Steve Eminger Needs To Be Better

When Marc Staal was diagnosed with post concussion symptoms, most fans knew that the Rangers were going to have some trouble addressing the hole he leaves in his absence. Replacing Staal is impossible, although Ryan McDonagh seems to be filling in just fine, but the biggest issue came when the Rangers tried to piece together a third pairing, and wound up with Steve Eminger, Brendan Bell, Jeff Woywitka, and Tim Erixon all spending time there.

Erixon and Bell are in the AHL now, leaving both Eminger and Woywitka back in the lineup for the foreseeable future. The problem is that neither one of them should be playing steady minutes on a regular basis, and Eminger is off to a terrible start to the year. In nine games, Eminger is pointless with a -7 rating. He has looked lost in his own zone, and can’t seem to do anything right in any zone on the ice. As bad as he has looked, his advanced metrics show he is even worse off than we thought.

Eminger’s Corsi rating –a rating that values puck possession– is atrocious. The only one on the team with a worse Corsi was Erixon, and he’s a rookie. ┬áCoupling his awful Corsi with the fact that 45% of his shifts start in the offensive zone, and you get a player who can’t maintain puck possession despite being given the opportunity. His Qualcomp is middle of the road for the team, but still doesn’t help his case. GVT numbers are currently unavailable (small sample sizes).

This is one of those cases where the eye test matches the metrics test: Eminger has been awful and needs to be better. With Staal out, and Michael Del Zotto being ‘babied’ a bit with his matchups, Eminger needs to provide veteran stability on the blue line, something he is not doing. Although these are small sample sizes, Woywitka has outplayed Eminger thus far, and would get many votes to stay in the lineup if and when Staal returns.

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  • Eminger is, and always will be a stop gap player for us. He did play well at times last season, but we can’t expect that on a consistant basis.

    On a different note, I’m glad that they are bringing back Avery, if for no reason other than to shove it down Tort’s throat. He never gave him a shot this year, and his personal feelings hurt this team. I’m not saying that Avery is the answer to cure all, but at least this will quiet down people like myself who wanted to see him get a shot!!!!!
    As for the move with Tim Erixon, that was a good move, it may save his career. Some kids can play poorly and not effect their minds, I’m not sure that is the case with this kid at this stage of his developement!! He will play well at the AHL level, will return to NY and have a good long career with us.

  • Eminger will be better with Woywitka…I think Emmy was compensating for paying with both Del Zotto and Erixon, pressing you could say. Let’s see how they play as a third pair for a few and I mean a few games before writing posts that for whatever reason on Ranger blogs are negative or overly melodramatic. The key to the defense is to see Del Zotto reach his potential and being paired with Sauer will expedite that proccess. Honestly Sauer is just as important a piece to the Rangers “D” as are McDonagh, Girardi and Staal. If Eminger and Woywitka can give us 14 mins a game with no glaring mistakes and allow for the other 4 to get good rests in during the game then they will have done what they are supposed to do.

    On Avery returning to the line up my hopes are he contributes, fact is though he is also a stop gap measure, along the likes of Christensen, Fedetenko, Newbury Wolski, Eminger and Woywitka. The future of the Rangers will be the additions of Krieder, Miller, Bourque, Hegelin, Fogerty, Thomas, Erixon and McIlrath and with a high hope of adding Reinhart to the fold in this years draft. So Avery fans enjoy your last year of Avery and to you Mr Avery do us proud and play well and disciplined and don’t become a distraction.

    • I’d love to see reinhart in a rangers uniform. I hope fans dont get upset when we draft a defensemen this year. the draft is so defensemen-heavy that its rediculous

      • I think they draft a defenseman, it makes logical sense. Any defenseman drafted in 2012 likely won’t be NHL ready until 2014-2015, at which point the Rangers will know what they have in Erixon, McIlrath, and MDZ; and Girardi’s contract will be up.

  • Closing ranks here with Walt and The Leatherneck.

    Last year, in spot duty, Eminger’s game veered between adequate and not detrimental. Nonetheless, come 2K11 he’s pressing, trying to overcompensate and not playing a positionally sound game.

    In the long run, I believe as Walt opined above, this ‘sitch will definitely benefit Tim Erixon.

    To that end, let Redden, The Six Million Dollar d-man mentor Erixon, and maybe buy him a McRib sandwich.

    Let’s hope MDZ puts together more good shifts than atrocious ones; but let’s also look at acquiring a quality D-man in the short-term, to better acclimate and mesh than a deadline addition, especially if Marc Staal sits out the season.

    Winterpeg appears to need depth forwards: how about a package for Zach Bogosian? Though Ron Hainsey might come cheaper.

    A couple of regular posters have mentioned Ryan Suter’s impending RFA–or UFA?–status; though I think Nashville’s going to want two of our top-five prospects.

    • They can’t fit Suter under the cap, at all. Also, Bogosian is not exactly what the Rangers are looking for on a bottom pairing. Right now, the bottom two guys are stop-gaps for Erixon and McIlrath.

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