Musings: Is there a captain that means more to his team than Ryan Callahan?March 22, 2012, by
It’s been a while since I’ve written the musings here. This is generally Chris’ post, but he’s currently “indisposed.” So I’ve taken them over. Feel free to use your own interpretation of “indisposed” and make fun of Chris in the comments.
How about that Ryan Callahan eh? He does everything for the Rangers. It is clear why he is the heart and soul of the team, and why he was named captain at the beginning of this season. There are very few captains in the NHL that mean as much to their team than Cally does to the Rangers. In fact, I can only think of a few: Jonathan Toews, Jarome Iginla, Dustin Brown, and Shane Doan.
Brad Richards sure has been something of late. With last night’s goal, the alternate captain has 15 points in the month of March (6-9-15), a span of 12 games. He has the most points in the month of March than any other player, and is getting back on track to clear 60 points. When the Rangers signed Richards, expectations were that he would clear 60 points most seasons, and have a few seasons clearing 70 points. Considering the effect he’s had on Michael Del Zotto’s turn around, I’ll take 60 points and leadership/bettering others over 70 points any day.
Rough stretch for Del Zotto
Speaking of Del Zotto, he hasn’t looked the same since that hip injury. Maybe he’s just favoring it a bit, or maybe he’s just hitting a slump. But that lateral pass on the powerplay last night was last year’s version of Del Zotto, not this year’s version. The kid still has a lot of learning and growing to do, but mark my words, every mistake he makes he will learn from. Patience.
The Rangers definitely miss Mike Sauer, but not as much as you might think. Tim Erixon and Stu Bickel have filled in very well for the injured defenseman, and while both have a lot to learn still, they are making the loss of Sauer easier to manage. Bickel and Sauer play extremely similar games, so it’s like he was never injured in the first place…except for that stint where Steve Eminger and Anton Stralman comprised the bottom pairing.
Stralman gets a bad rap
One quick note about Stralman: Boy he gets a bad rap here. The guy came in as an UFA signed in the beginning of the season, and had to work his tail off to even get into the lineup. When injuries started to mount, he played top four minutes and helped Del Zotto along in his development. Once players like Bickel started to emerge, and Stralman started to slump, he started getting blame for a lot of things. He filled in well, and was a great signing to help deal with injuries.
So long Fedotenko
Ruslan Fedotenko may be one of the more under appreciated signings Glen Sather has made in the past few years. Last year Feds was magnificent while playing on a line with Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust, forming one of the most formidable shut down checking lines in hockey. This year, the magic just wasn’t there. It wasn’t so much that he appeared to lose a step, it was that others played better, thus passed him on the depth chart. The emergence of Mats Zuccarello was the final nail in the coffin for Feds.
- Has Bickel’s emergence made Sauer expendable in the right deal?
- Would you trade Sauer and Brandon Dubinsky for Bobby Ryan at the draft?
- Which team scares you more in the playoffs: the Penguins, Flyers, Bruins, or Caps?
- Over/under 60 points for Cally this year?
- Over/under 30 goals for Richards?
- Over/under 40 points for Del Zotto?