Rory Grades the Rangers
Eric 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.
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
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.
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-
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
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
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-
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
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+
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
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.