Musings: Del Zotto appreciation, Cally, Redden, and moreJanuary 31, 2013, by
There’ll be no Marc Staal defence’s today (kudos Suit), no long-winded rants, just lots of discussion. I’m feeling concise today so let’s get straight into the Le Musing (ooh, very French…)
Michael Del Zotto: The young and oft maligned blueliner is off to a great start to the year. He’ll never win over all his critics but he’s been the Rangers best blueliner at both ends so far. For a unit that struggled early on, and for a player with much to prove, he’s doing exactly that. Several big plays already this season.
Glen Sather deserves a ton of credit for Del Zotto’s start. Sather challenged Del Zotto to earn a bigger deal. He called him out while at the same time ensuring he publicly acknowledged the young defenseman’s worth to the franchise. He doesn’t speak in public much but Sather hit this one on the head. Sather dealt with the MDZ situation perfectly.
If I were to personally grade Marian Gaborik after 6 games, I’d probably be harsher than most people. I’d give him a B+ where some people would see the totals and assume excellence. I’m one of Gabby’s biggest fans, but he’s at times dominated and at times been found wanting. Of course, the times he’s impressed have outnumbered those he’s struggled in. The only thing missing from Gaborik’s season thus far is that elite level of consistency.
Ryan Callahan’s left shoulder: This is the New York equivalent of when England held their collective breath when David Beckham broke a metatarsal bone in his foot before a World Cup. An entire fan base was hanging on the results and outcome of a medical report.
That said, the Rangers are better with Cally (obviously) but they can definitely continue to have success without him. What an extended absence would mean is more pressure on Carl Hagelin/Taylor Pyatt/Derek Stepan. Are they ready to handle that pressure?
Stu Bickel is the new whipping boy of Rangers fans. But think about this: Why does Tortorella persevere with a guy that even when returning to the line-up (against a rival no less) sees less than 2 minutes total ice time? Surely the coach has to realise this is becoming a waste of a place in the line-up.
Wade Redden scored in back to back games for the Blues. First time since 2008. I’ll let that resonate with you for a second.
The more I see of Benn Ferriero, the more I like. Also, the fact that he’s seeing ice time makes me think the organisation genuinely didn’t think Chad Kolarik had what they wanted, and that it was less of an unfair situation for Kolarik. If Tortorella thinks a guy has what he wants, he’ll give him a chance.
Ferriero’s ice time in 2 games so far: 12:40 and 8:21. He also has an assist with 3 shots and 3 blocked shots. He’s been pretty effective in a minimal role.
It was anticipated before the season, but injuries to significant players are starting to mount in the league. Including the Rangers’ own Kreider and Callahan is a long list of players including Jaromir Jagr, Jason Spezza, Danny Briere, Joffrey Lupul, Gabriel Landeskog, Derek Roy, Stephen Weiss, Scott Hartnell and Max Pacriottey. All have missed time already, with some of these anticipated to miss the bulk of the year. How many of those have been a result of the lack of camp and the compressed schedule? Food for thought…
- Who will lead the Rangers in points?
- Who has been the Rangers biggest underperformer so far?
- How many games will Marty Biron start?
- Do you still feel Rick Nash will reach 20 goals this season?
- Would you trade a prospect or a (higher end) draft pick for immediate help this season?
So much for being concise….. Game day!