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Rory Grades the Rangers

teacherbraEric pointed out to me that the last thing I posted about was the Rangers/Sean Avery getting a shoutout on 30 Rock.  And that was pure chance that I watch 30 Rock.  Actually it’s not pure chance – 30 Rock is awesome, and clearly, I know awesome when I see it (not really, but just go with it, people).

So, here’s my post to make up for what a shitty blogger I’ve been for the last month.  And it just so happens to be my ‘Grade the Players’ post; a month too late.  Again, because I’m awesome – awesome I tell you!

Note: To determine which players I graded and what order they went in, I just pulled up the website roster and went from that.  So if you have a problem with anyone that is or isn’t listed, take it up with the Rangers’ webmaster.  Or just suck it up, which is the advice you’ll probably get from anyone in charge of anything over at MSG.  I did, however, add Markus Naslund and Petr Prucha.

FORWARDS:

Artem Anisimov:  This guy played in about 2 or 3 games, and well, he didn’t suck, but showed some promise.  So I’m cool with him.  Incomplete.

Nik Antropov:  Antropov the Enormous led the team is goals the minute he was traded.  I don’t know if that speaks to his ability, or our team’s lack of it.  But he did alright – scored some good goals when he had to, but sometimes was totally invisible, despite being a house with legs.  So overall, I’m rather ‘meh’ about this guy.  I won’t mind if he’s back next season, but I won’t be heartbroken if he’s not.  B

 

It was on my fridge all year, it may as well be in my season wrap-up post.

It was on my fridge all year, it may as well be in my season wrap-up post. (Credit: The Gap)

Sean Avery:  So Aves returned from purgatory (aka Texas) and I was somewhat excited.  So Seanie put up some points, threw some punches, and for the most part acted like the old Sean.  And then took some utterly stupid and potentially disastrous penalties at the end of Game 4 against the Capitals, for which I’m pretty sure he repaid Henrik by being his slave for a day.  Car wash, bathroom scrub-down with a toothbrush, French maid’s outfit (what?), the whole deal.  So he did alright, but could have been better.  B- ….ok, I still think the ‘sloppy seconds’ comment was funny. B

Blair Betts:  I love this man.  If I could throw Donald Brashear into a wood-chipper for that hit in Game 6, I wouldn’t hesitate.  Betts gave 150% every single night, which is more than can be said for the majority of this team.  He’s an RFA this summer, and made $615,000 last season.  If Slats can’t pony up at least $700,000 to keep him, so help me, I’ll pay the man.  A

Ryan Callahan: Ryan Callahan will be the captain of the Rangers one day.  Quote me on that.

I want to see this for a long time.  (Credit: REUTERS)

I want to see this for a long time. (Credit: REUTERS)

  This kid was awesome this season – gave it all, every night, never took a shift off, never gave up.  Hopefully he’ll be in Ranger blue for a long, long time to come.  I plan on making two jersey purchases in the next year:  one an old-school Beukeboom jersey(long overdue), and the other will be Cally.  A-

 

Chris Drury:  I was super stoked when we signed Chris Drury two summers ago.  Now, I could care less whether or not he dresses each night.  Come to think of it, I don’t think he does either.  His scoring totals were dismal this year, and “Captain Clutch” wasn’t very ‘clutch’ at all.  He’s our captain, he’s one of the highest paid players on the team, he’s supposed to be a cornerstone of the team.  I wonder if he knows that.  D+

Brandon Dubinsky: Oh Dube.  I hope to God we get to keep this kid.  I really do.  When he’s on, he’s ON.  Unfortunately, there were a couple stretches this year when he was OFF.  But then he did this, so it’s ok.  C+

Scott Gomez:  Dear Scott Gomez, Kindly take your God-awful point totals, your constant taking shifts off, your shit-eating grin that you have on even after we get blown out, and your enormous sack of money that’s counting against our cap, and GET THE @&*# OFF MY TEAM.  When we signed Gomer a couple of summers ago, I was happier than Marty Brodeur when the dessert cart comes around.  Now, every night he’s on the roster getting full ice time makes my blood boil.  D+

Markus Naslund:  See this post.  C

Lauri Korpikoski: I could listen to Korps read the damn phonebook.  Plus he’s not half bad on the ice (or eyes, for that matter).  For his role, I think he’s worth the money.  B

Colton Orr:  Colton Orr has one job on the team – to wipe the ice with the faces of various other ‘tough guys’.  And this season, he did that a lot less than he should have.  I’m not cool with that.  But this fight with Eric Goddard was awesome.  C-

I was going to put a picture here to illustrate how hot Sjo is, but this photo of him and Dube made me laugh. So you're getting this one. (Credit: REUTERS)

I was going to put a picture here to illustrate how hot Sjo is, but this photo of him and Dube made me laugh. So you're getting this one. (Credit: REUTERS)

Petr Prucha: I want to cry thinking about how poor Pru has to waste away on one of the shittiest teams in hockey when he should be here.  As soon as he escaped the evil tyranny of Tom Renney, he gets traded.  For shame, Glen Sather, for shame.  Just because I’ll miss him, A

Fredrik Sjostrom:  I love Freddie.  I so hope that Slats re-signs him, I really do.  He’s a good role-playing guy, seems like a great teammate, always gives a shift 125%, and is damn nice to look at.  A-

Aaron Voros:  Oh good Lord.  F

Nikolai Zherdev: Nikki Z apparently does what he wants when he wants.  He scores when he feels like it, and does absolutely nothing when he feels like it.  If he wants to stick around, he’s gonna need to start doing that whole scoring-goals thing on a regular basis.  C

DEFENSEMEN

Dan Girardi:  Is it just me, or was Girardi a lot better last year?  Who knows, but I like this kid and I hope he sticks around and keeps improving, because he’s going to be an excellent defenseman one day.  This season though, he needed a little work.  C

Paul Mara:  Because, admit it, Paul Mara’s beard gives you a boner:  A

THE SEX.  (Credit: FromTheRink.com)

THE SEX. (Credit: FromTheRink.com)

Derek Morris:  We got rid of Petr Prucha for this lump of crap.  D+

Wade Redden:  I HATE YOU WADE REDDEN.  GO BACK TO THAT SHITPILE TEAM IN OTTAWA WHERE YOU BELONG.  YOU ARE A WORTHLESS SACK OF CASTRATED DOG TESTICLES AND I HOPE YOUR WIFE CHEATS ON YOU WITH ANOTHER WOMAN WHO HAS BUCK TEETH AND A UNIBROW.   That being said, he did improve somewhat when Torts came to town.  Grade: Q-

Michal Roszival:  Rozi could have been better this season.  A lot better.  I realize he was recovering from his hip surgery for a while, so I’ll be nice.  But still.  Not worth $5 million.  Step it up next season, Rozi.  C-

Marc Staal:  Marc Staal is our best defenseman.  And he’s my age.  And makes probably the least amount of money of the whole defensive corps.  Something seems wrong with that.  I would give him an A, but he’s a ginger, so he gets an A-

GOALTENDERS:

Henrik Lundqvist:  The only guy in the NHL who had a harder job than Hank did this season is the guy who has to escort the drunks from the stands to the drunk tank, probably getting punched in the face, cursed at, and barfed on and/or pissed on in the process.  And I’m sure even he watched

I just wanted to use this picture again.  (Credit: PageSix)

I just wanted to use this picture again. (Credit: PageSix)

 the games this season and that ‘wow, I’m glad I’m not that guy’.  Little to no offensive support, sometimes non-existent defense, and a coaching style that emphasized winning games 2-1 or 1-0 all added up to Hank having to be perfect or near perfect in every game.  Oy vey.  Some other bloggers counted off points for his tendency to allow a softie in a lot of games, but I’m gonna give him those points back for not jumping off the Verrezano halfway through the season.  A

 

Stephen Valiquette:  Vally!  Stevie V is an extremely capable back-up, and on many other teams he’d be a starter, but he seems content in his role.  He also seems like a great guy to have in the locker room, and is very intelligent and well-spoken when he’s interviewed, which I appreciate.  And I won’t hold that game in Dallas against him, since I’m fairly convinced that third period was a team mutiny.  B+

COACHES:

Tom Renney:  Oh Tom.  You did a lot of good things for this team, you really did.  But it was time for you to go.  Farewell to you and your nasty-looking ties; you’ll be missed.  Sort of.  C-

John Tortorella: Torts will do great things for this team.  And already has.  I look forward to him being the Rangers head coach for the next few years, and hope that he tries to spear obnoxious fans in the Prudential Center.  B+

Perry Pearn:  Perry Pearn is almost as worthless as Wade Redden.  His power play has been atrocious for what felt like a billion years, and his goatee made my eyes bleed.  Thank God he’s gone.  F

Mike Pelino:  I’m very glad that Pelino survived the coaching purge, the penalty kill was one of the best things about this team this season, along with Hank’s goaltending and the new season of ‘Rock of Love’.  Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure he’s in charge of the bench, including line changes.  Which means Too Many Men penalties fall as much on him as they did Tommy Boy.  B-

Jim Shoenfeld:  Shoney’s cool.  B

Benoit Allaire:  Benny’s coaching of Hank didn’t include a one-way ticket to Nicaragua to escape the torturous hell that was goaltending for the Rangers this season.  And for that, we thank him.  A

That's All Folks T-Shirt (1009)

Well folks, there you have it, I was a (somewhat) responsible blogger and graded the players of the team that I cover.  Hopefully you enjoyed them, and feel free to start any discussion below in the comment section.  I’ll be back soon with coverage of more ridiculous crap that has little to nothing to do with hockey!!


About the author:  Rory is a recent college graduate from central New Jersey majoring in History and PR. A Ranger fan all her life, the bane of her existence is the New Jersey Devils, and she harbors a severe hatred for Martin Brodeur. Her favorite current Rangers are Henrik Lundqvist, Sean Avery, and Steve Valiquette, and her favorite all-time Rangers are Mike Richter and Jeff Beukeboom.


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5 Comments

  1. First – Check out this link for a Beuk jersey, its the cheapest I have found anywhere.

    http://www.pro-jerseys.com/rangers.php

    Second – If memory serves me correctly, Pelino did not survive the coaching purge, but did stay with the Organization.

    Third – Prucha gets an A but Zherdev a C? Now I am one of the biggest Prucha fans there is, I have a Blue and White Prucha jersey and numerous autographed 8×10 photos on the wall…but just because I like him and he was a fan favorite doesn’t necessarily translate into a higher performance grade. Prucha should have been awarded no grade, or incomplete, because he was routinely scratched and utilized incorrectly. Zherdev was our best offensive player and while he lacked consistency, he still led the team in scoring. And given his relatively low salary, he performed up to it. I understand that Zherdev is oozing with talent and should be continually reaching 70-75 points, but it may take another season or two. I think if we get a few goal scorers on the team, Zherdev, who likes to pass first, would approach 45-50 assists.

    Overall, great post Rory…

    • Thanks for commenting, Brian, I always appreciate feedback!

      And thank you for that link, that ‘s a great price for my Beuk jersey (I can’t wait).

      And I know I was far too generous to Pru, he didn’t play enough to warrant a real grade, but I loved him so while he was here, and while Zherdev played 82 games with full ice time until Torts showed up, Pru only got to play when someone else was too hungover and had to sleep it off in the pressbox. Or if it was his birthday, maybe Tom let him play on his birthday, who knows.

      So really the A was a farewell gift, because everyone knows that Pru reads this blog religiously :)

      Thanks for reading!!!

  2. I’m sorry, but I think you were spot on with the Prucha grade.

    I read so many opinions that “although we love Prucha, he gets an Prucha played twenty eight full games with the Rangers this season.. How many did Antropov or Morris play in comparison? He deserved to be graded, just as those players did. And at that, Prucha did come up big in a couple games, and certainly put forth more effort than the rest of the team (minus Callahan) combined. He deserved an A, at least, for effort.

    In comparison, Zherdev had full games where he was invisible… I love Z and think it would be a huge mistake for him not be resigned, but putting salary and talent aside, think about what you expected for Z and expected for Pru coming into this season. Did either meet their expectations? No. But Prucha was a healthy scratch for no good reason, while Zherdev got consistent opporunities to come up big… and a lot of times, didn’t. Every time Prucha played his heart out in practice, every time he wore that Ranger jersey with pride despite what he was going through…. he deserved that A. Just my opinion.

  3. I almost died laughing a few times while reading this (Redden, Voros). Thanks for making my work day more entertaining.

    Aside from the humor, thank you for having the balls to call out Girardi. He is good, but not so good that he is untouchable in a trade for a scoring winger.

  4. Agreed with so much of what you wrote but especially PRUCHA

    I will never get over what a waste of talent that was with Renney’s bias against him. I never understood it because it made absolutely no sense at all. There were way too many other players who got chance after chance and did not deliver or try hard and yet Pru was benched time and time again — it has made me loathe Renney for life.

    I was truly hoping he could come back home like Avery did and was very disappointed to hear the Coyotes just signed him again. Maloney loved him from his time in NY and knew how good he is and made sure he stayed there……….again another waste Petr would have fit in so well with Tortorella it really sickens me because there are far too few Ranger players that we have that giver their all and make a difference each game.