Since 2005 Michal Rozsival has been a mainstay on the Ranger blue-line. A true puck-moving defenseman, Rozi likes to play a simple, quiet, and responsible game especially in his own zone. He was a consistent 20-minute d-man for the Blueshirts this past season and unfortunately only registered 23 points, which ends up being his second-worst point total in a full NHL season in his career thus far.
Join me after the jump for more.
|2009 - Michal Rozsival||82||3||20||23||3||78||1||0||1||0||80||3.8|
What we liked: Like I mentioned, Rozival is usually good in his own zone and makes sound decisions with the puck when he has it. His shot at the point is one of the best amongst Ranger d-men and his veteran presence has helped with the development of Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. He had the third-highest Goals For while he was on the ice amongst Ranger d-men in with 53 and his Corsi ratings across the board indicated that he did more right than wrong. Personally, I know when Rozi is playing well because when you are watching the game you don't really notice him; which is one of the best things a defensemen can do. Sure, I love a solid breakout pass as much as the next guy, but if you aren't making mistakes as a d-man, then you are doing your job right.
What we didn't like: The problem with Rozival, as much as I just praised him for it, is that it always seems like he can do more when he's doing nothing. I'm sure much of the conversation in the comments might center around the description of Rozival being "soft," and I don't disagree. He's 6-2 at least 205 and he rarely uses his frame to its full potential. I do not and will not expect Rozival to become a player he isn't in the future, but it's just a shame I guess. Rozi might be losing a step as well, as he averaged 1.1 penalties per sixty minutes of play for the season as well (Hall Gill led the league with 1.5 per 60 for comparision).
Highlight Play/Game: Rozsival only had 3 goals all season, but he had a two point game in a 5-4 OT loss against the Penguins on March 4th. That goal he scored in said game was also his highlight play of the year in my eyes:
Final Thoughts: Many cannot wait for Rozival's days as a Rangers to be over and I for the most part agree with these people; the problem is I don't think Sather will be moving him. To me, Rozsival needs to be playing second or third line Defensive minutes and nothing more. Maybe some work on the Penalty Kill, but not the power play that's for sure. He was very inconsistent this past season with a couple of Marek Malik-esque plays that just made you shake your head. With more focus on limiting mistakes in his own zone, I still think Rozi can create offense from defense and be more of a factor next season.
So, still want Redden and Rozsival banished to a deserted island? Think buying-out Rozsival is a viable option (I don't - for the record) ? Would the Rangers miss his veteran presence if they got rid of him and made the playoffs? Let's hear it...