The Odd Joys of EvenDecember 22, 2008, by
It’s amazing how much we as fans rejoice when we see that players are on the plus side of the +/-stat. Nick Lidstrom has been hovering around +182,000 for his career, and he’s going down as one of top defensemen of all time.
The Rangers as a team are -75. This, unlike Nick Lidstrom’s +182,000 above, is not an exaggeration. The Rangers are really -75 this season, with four, count em (Staal, Zherdev, Dawes, Betts), four players on the positive side. Let that sink in for a while….
Ok. Now that you have at least spent some time, probably about one second, thinking about that, let’s break it down further. Who’s the worst culprit?
Do I really need to answer that?
Dmitri Kalinin, whipping boy around these parts, is an astonishing -16 (see: Kalinin Count) with no goals and six assists all season. I have a higher tolerance for an abysmal +/- if the player is at least producing or has been injured (see: Rozsival, Michael).
So what can you do with Kalinin? Trade him? Fat chance. No one wants to pay $2.1 million for the 766th best +/- in the NHL (out of 769). Waiving him is the best option. Send him to Hartford, maybe he can remember how to play defense again. Let Potter replace him permanetly. It will save cap room, and provide a more stable defensive corps. I like to call that two birds, one stone.
It actually makes you wonder why Sather signed and overpaid for the Sabres reject.
Kalinin isn’t the sole offender in atrocious +/-, the other negative double digit offenders are Rozsival (-11) and Gomez (-10). In Gomer’s case, he was -7 for two games in a row. Eliminate those games, he’s a -3, which is what you expect from Gomez. As for Rozsival, refer to two paragraphs above.
Back to Kalinin, I understand that Renney wants to show confidence in his players. But enough is enough. Let Kalinin go. Please. We will do anything for a replacement that is just even.