The Death of the Kalinin CountJanuary 9, 2009, by
When I initially created the Kalinin Count, I was aiming to show a glaring hole in the Rangers defense. I started it when Kalinin was a -15, and in the bottom 3 of +/-. While he was not the only culprit on the Rangers, he was the biggest hole. His play was terrible, and he couldn’t produce to balance out his defense lapses.
Fast forward to today, Kalinin’s play has greatly improved. He is playing better defense, and is even starting to jump up on the rush, putting up a goal and an assist and a +4 in his last six games, a period that the Rangers gave up 18 goals. Even more impressive is that he was +1 against Montreal, where the Rangers gave up 4 even strength goals, and +2 against Washington, where the Rangers imploded and lost 5-4.
Does this mean I’m all of a sudden a Kalinin fan? No it doesn’t, he still is the worst on the team in +/-. But the gap between him and the other culprits has decreased significantly (Gomez and Naslund are -10 and -11 respectively). It is unfair to single out Kalinin on a team full of defensive underachievers. I don’t think he belongs on the PP or the PK, but that’s a whole other topic.
We all want Kalinin to succeed. If he succeeds, the team does well. But rest assured, if his play falters again, the Kalinin Count will return.