‘Hart Off The Ice’
By Sean Hartnett
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The sensational play of linemates Marian Gaborik, Artem Anisimov and Derek Stepan struck a creative spark inside my mind. The trio had caught fire recently and accounted for all seven points against the Ottawa Senators in the Rangers 3-2 victory that extended their winning streak to five games. It was only fitting that their line was given a proper nickname – ‘The GAS Line.’
After Ottawa’s Milan Michalek put the Senators ahead at 8:39 in the second period, Anisimov pressured Sergei Gonchar which allowed a turnover to fall to an open Stepan who fed a razor-sharp pass that allowed Gaborik bury a wrist-shot in the back of the net. Two minutes later Anisimov and Stepan pressured Senators’ goalie Craig Anderson and Stepan jammed in the loose puck.
It was almost as if someone turned on the pilot light after the Blueshirts only managed 4 shots on goal in the first period. Gaborik went on to later notch his second goal of the night which was enough to preserve the victory.
Little did I know that one tweet could give way to a nickname that had legions of Rangers’ fans following suit. I’m not the sort of person who would ever take credit for someone else’s idea but I strongly believe that I was the first media personality to coin the Gaborik-Anisimov-Stepan line as ‘The GAS Line.’
Apparently quite a few Rangers fans and fellow bloggers caught wind of my tweets after Stepan scored the Rangers’ second goal at 11:38 of the second period. Using the Twitter timeline, I was able to pinpoint exactly when ‘The GAS Line’ began trending on Twitter. Even injured Rangers’ forward Mike Rupp got in on the action…
Obviously, I can’t post them all but here are a few tweets referencing ‘The GAS Line’ including mine that began the Twitter and social media trend:
November 9th – 9:12 PM EST @RangersTribune Just received an e-mail recommendation for a name for the first line from one of my readers: The “GAS” line. Gaborik, Anisimov, Stepan
November 9th – 9:15 PM EST @BlueSeatBlogs GAS line…
November 9th – 10:12 PM EST @Rupper17 Big W on the road for the boys tonight! The G.A.S line was full throttle again!
November 9th – 10:15 PM EST @TheNYRBlog Assuming we have to call Gabby, AA, Stepan line the GAS line? Nice acronym plus it seems like they always have foot on the gas. Thoughts?
November 9th – 10:33 PM EST @KenGlin Loving the people who are calling the Gaborik-Anisimov-Stepan line the GAS line. Move over FLY line
If you can come up with proof that someone else in the media came up with the ‘GAS Line’ nickname before I did, I will then I’ll gladly relinquish it as yours. I’ve done my homework and browsed through search engines and Twitter to find that there wasn’t any mention before mine at 8:49PM on Wednesday.
What is most important though is that we collectively try to get the nickname to stick. A previous incarnation of the ‘GAS Line’ didn’t last very long in Boston but that’s because it was broken up. The Bruins’ ‘GAS Line’ of Bill Guerin-Jason Allison-Sergei Samsonov ceased when Allison was traded to the Los Angeles Kings on October 24th, 2001.
Of course, this is New York and when I last checked… the Rangers are ‘kind of a big deal.’ I fully expect this nickname to take off provided that John Tortorella keeps the trio together. Judging by the recent success of the ‘GAS Line,’ there’s a good chance that Gaborik, Anisimov and Stepan will be paired together for the long haul.
The line has been clicking on all cylinders as Gaborik has maintained a four-game point streak with four goals and three assists over that stretch. Anisimov is currently on a 3-game point streak, collecting six assists. In addition, Stepan has scored two goals and fives assists in his last three games.
Rangers fans – how pleased are you by the play of ‘The Gas Line’ and can you see the line’s nickname sticking? Share your opinions below and send your tweets to @HartyLFC.