State of the Rangers

Three Games Later, Wolski Is Again In The Doghouse

Maybe “doghouse” isn’t the right word to use here, but after three games back in the lineup Wojtek Wolski has found himself back on the fourth line with minimal ice time. Used as an injury replacement for Brandon Dubinsky, Wolski was flying in his first game back (the 3-0 loss to the Senators). After that, it appeared that the winger was back to his old ways, as he played just 12 shifts for 7:20 in the Rangers 3-0 win over Toronto.

Last night, the winger was used sparingly at best, finishing with 11 shifts and 6:20 of ice time. Wolski was on the ice with Kris Newbury –called up to replace the injured Ruslan Fedotenko– and Mike Rupp for three of the Canadiens goals last night. Wolski finished with a -3 rating that was very indicative of his play: sloppy, lazy, and poor in his own end.

The Rangers focus this year has been on a team game, with players willing to go through a wall for coach John Tortorella. Wolski does not appear to fit that mold. His play in his own end has always been poor, but it’s more about the lack of effort displayed by the winger. Wolski can be a great player, but that’s only when he wants to be. The Rangers want to be great players for each other and for the coach –a view Wolski does not share.

When Wolski has played, he has been in the bold of Erik Christensen: some great shifts, but mostly just shifts consisting of poor defensive play, and poor play away from the puck. That does not fit in with this Rangers club.

In the end, Wolski likely won’t be back next year, and there’s an outside chance that he won’t even be a Ranger at the end of the season. Be it by trade, demotion, or straight up cutting him loose, Wolski is not a part of the future of the team. It’s a shame too, because he’s a tremendous talent that could be very successful in this league if he just cared on a daily basis.

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    • Wolski won’t be in the league next year unless he takes a massive pay cut on a poor team. He hasn’t shown any consistency or desire to produce, to be part of a team and he may be another that needs to go to Europe to re-establish himself.

      • WW will be in the NHL next season; however, it will be a no-brainer for Glen Sather to not qualify Wolski. The Rangers simply have too many forwards, especially with the emergence of Carl Hagelin.

  • All talent and no heart!

    Looks like this will be his 3rd team he couldn’t stick with. Looks like we would have been better off dumping his contract from the start. The $3 dollars worth the Rangers are getting out of his $3M contract is joke. I was hoping he would play well enough to show case himself for a trade. If he continues to play like this, he will be in the KHL next year right next to Zherdev.

  • It was easy for me to see how this team missed Dubinsky’s presence in the line up. He is an important part of the team. Reality is this for the Rangers these 5 players need to get better immediately and consistent, they are Richards, Anisimov, Gaborik, Stepan and Dubinsky. Callahan is slowly drifting towards these 5 however he still is bringing other elements to the team. Trots is correct when he said that Boyle cant be the best player on this team and frankly he gas been.
    I read somewhere that Newbury was playing his third game in three nights so if that is true he should not be vilified for his game in Montreal however Wolski can. For a player to get an opportunity to rejoin the line up and to play like he has tells me that Wolski is not the kind of player to have on this team not because of talent but because of attitude. He has Christensen written all over him.
    That first goal that was scored was on Staal with that stupid bank pass but Rupp left Pacioretty all alone and Bickel gets the yell. I wonder what the messege was there?

  • Come on Torts and accept the facts. Avery is better than Wolski and Christianson and deserves to be on the big club. It’s ok if you don’t want to start him – but he should be the guy to go in the lineup if someone is hurt. Keep the kids in the minors so they can get minutes and use Avery as an injury fill in

  • Wolski always seems to play great until he takes a hit. He then remembers that hockey is a contact sport and starts to shy away from plays that might result in getting hit, i.e getting the puck out of his own zone, going into the corner or in front of the net. I think EC is identical and, though both are good danglers in the shoot out, there is more to hockey than fancy stickhandling and breakaways. I like this team so far, and although we do need some scoring, there is no reason to alter the chemistry and mortgage the future to get it.

    • “I like this team so far, and although we do need some scoring, there is no reason to alter the chemistry and mortgage the future to get it.”

      Mortgage the future? No.

      Dump Wolski and Christensen to bring in some more versatile, rugged forwards? Yes.

      This is a team that on the year is doing ok with a 2.9 ppg average. However, over the last 10 games, Rangers are at a 2.3ppg, and not getting contributions from the top six.

      We need some more grit to keep the fore-checking going, keep the puck in the offensive zone, and wear down the opposition so guys like Gaborik can go out there and get a little more open space.

      • I agree. Wasn’t meaning to imply that EC and Wolski mean anything to this team. They could be waived or traded for any value, even if it is a bag of pucks. Its the other guys I wouldn’t want to change, except the 4th line wnich could use some worki.e., replace EC and Wolski.

  • It’s a long season, full of ups downs, and there’s no need to panic over a lull. Take a look at how many President’s winners have won the Cup.
    In 1983, before some of you were born, I’m sure, the Flyers finished first in the Patrick Division, the Rangers fourth. The Rangers swept the Flyers out of the 5-game first round. Flyers management then whined and belly-ached that Herb Brooks had used the regular season to set his team up for the play-offs, rather than give everything every night. I was at Game 3, and loved it.

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