New York Rangers 2010-2011 Player Review

[Note by Jim Schmiedeberg, 04/27/11 11:03 AM EDT Cross one of my upcoming stories off the list, Caerid did a better job than I would have anyway. Great work, enjoy!] 


  The New York Rangers 2010-2011 Season was an up and down year, filled with excitement, heartache, frustration, and hope. While I'm sure the Blueshirt Banter Staff will have a player-by-player review of the season, I'd like to submit my own abbreviated version for each player, regardless if they'll be returning or not for the '11-'12 season. The stats are from the website, though I removed a few non-significant players (any gripes about the lack of Todd White and I'll piss in your ear).


    It's a simple format of a short summary (what I saw from that player during the year), notables (anything that stood out about the player), and improvements (what I'd like to see that player work on for next season). I tried not to take this too seriously and injected some goofy anecdotes at times. I also apologize for some formatting issues near the end, this thing isn't very Excel friendly. Feel free to post any comments or critiques or if you have something funny to add to any of the players, hope you enjoy it...


Player   GP   G   A   P   +/-  
#17 Brandon Dubinsky   77 24 30 54 -3
Summary: I look at Dubinsky's year as a tale of two seasons: the first half was the player we all hoped Dubinsky would be, the second half was the player we all feared he was. He showed us he could be a consistent leader and a dominant force, but could also be a wallflower. With what we saw in the 1st half, there's no reason he shouldn't post goal totals in the low to mid-30s for the next ~5 years.
Notables: Posted team-highs in goals, assists, and points. Aside from a few moments, had a terrible playoffs.
Improvements: Find something that will inspire him, and use it to find some consistency. It's the only thing I see missing from his game.
#10 Marian Gaborik  62 22 26 48 8
Summary: Continues to show his penchant for getting injured (though as a positive it wasn't his groin this time). Dominated the league door-mats, disappeared rest of the season. Showed some desire to back-check and play D usually after getting out-skated by such notable burners as Trevor Gillies and Mike Rupp (guessing, don't remember the exact players). Made a decent showing in the playoffs, but at some point 7 million dollars needs to result in actual points.
Notables: Managed not to hurt his groin this year.
Improvements: Engage more. Needs to transport the puck more with his skill and speed. Also needs to attack defenders more with the puck: use them as a screen, make them take penalties, and it'll also open up ice for his line-mates.
#24 Ryan Callahan  60 23 25 48 -7
Summary: Showed us he's more than a checker with skill, he's a scorer who can check. Should be able to post 30 goals given more offensive time. Has a death wish. 
Notables: Scored important goals coming back from broken-wrist. Broke wrist/ankle blocking shots. Leads with his play on the ice; needs to find a way to get team to follow said lead.
Improvements: Kevlar body-armor.
#21 Derek Stepan  82 21 24 45 8
Summary: Had an impressive rookie season, showing a nose for the net, good play-making ability, as well as being a quality person. Sucks on face-offs; skill-set may beget a move to wing at some point. Good vision on the ice, plays a 2-way game and earned responsibility from the coaching staff.
Notables: Female side of family leads to many impure thoughts from dirty old men and horny boys. Hat-trick in first game. Elbowed renowned douchebag Mike Green in head.
Improvements: Conditioning and strength training. Try to add some speed. If wishes to stay a center, invest in book called "Face-offs for Dummies." 
#42 Artem Anisimov  82 18 26 44 3
Summary: Artillery continues to improve his all-around game. Showed a willingness to drive the middle of the ice. Terrific wrist-shot, likes to use D as screens. Also plays well defensively. Gets taken off puck too easily.
Notables: Being a non-enigmatic Russian. His willingness to drive and shoot the puck, coupled with some heavy training should turn him into a formidable force.
Improvements: Barb Underhill skating school to add some quickness. Strength training to add some bulk to his lanky frame so he doesn't get knocked off the puck.
#22 Brian Boyle  82 21 14 35 2
Summary: Bigfoot showed he can be an effective 2-way center.  2nd half of season was worn out due to workload (his first real season in terms of minutes and responsibility). Goals scored may have been an aberration; next season, after some conditioning, should give us a good idea of his goal-scoring potential.
Notables: Was a +2 in a defensive role, and scored 21 goals.
Improvements: Conditioning. Looked worn out 2nd half of season. Face-offs too.
#86 Wojtek Wolski  73 12 23 35 6
Summary: Showed us he has a lot of skill and talent to burn, but ignited it far too often. Very enigmatic, so is probably a Russian KGB agent.
Notables: He's Polish. Name doesn't adhere to rules of English alphabet.
Improvements: For a player with his size, skill, and skating-ability, needs to contribute more. I suggest a cattle-prod.
#5 Dan Girardi  80 4 27 31 7
Summary: Continues to be a shot-blocking maven. Must find a way to prevent shots otherwise won't reach 40 years of age. Still gets worked by quicker players. Continues to make positive offensive contributions with 27 assists. Tremendous playoffs, sacrificing body.
Notables: Deserves purple-heart for work in playoffs. Ugliest chin ever.
Improvements: Skating-quickness and speed. Must do more to prevent shots.
#8 Brandon Prust  82 13 16 29 2
Summary: Has become Ryan Callahan before Cally was scoring goals. Super hard-working, sticks up for teammates, plays a clean game. Great on the PK, scoring some short-handed goals. Fearless fighter, good on the fore-check.
Notables: "It's just pain." Short-handed goals. Would fight a Grizzly naked.
Improvements: Avoid fighting guys who belong in prison.
#18 Marc Staal  77 7 22 29 8
Summary: Continues to be one of the premier shutdown defensemen in the league. Showing improvements in his instinctive offensive game. Must find a way to avoid letdowns against lesser competition.
Notables: Did you know he has 2 brothers in the NHL? NHL All-Star, +8 while playing against other team's best players. Continues to add to his offensive game.
Improvements: Tall, lanky skater, must find way to get quicker feet because he has problems with fast players who can change gears quickly. Be nice to see him do even more offensively.
#28 Bryan McCabe  67 7 21 28 2
Summary: Made a decent impact on our PP after coming in from Florida. Had less and less of an impact as season went on through the playoffs. Was sort of an audition for next year. He failed in my opinion.
Notables: Managed to improve our power-play for a short time before realizing that making bad decisions and not shooting the puck were our mission objectives.
Improvements: Must get back to being decisive with the puck. When he first came in, the power-play improved because he knew he was shooting/passing/holding the puck before he got it. His only job was to improve the PP; if he can't do that, he's useless.
#26 Erik Christensen  63 11 16 27 3
Summary: Never found any chemistry with Gaborik this season. Scored some big goals, but is ultimately an invisible player most nights, though continues to be invaluable for the shootout.
Notables: Has a Sakic-like wrist-shot. Comparison dies a horrible death there.
Improvements: Find a way to contribute consistently, especially with his amount of skill. Find a way to look less creepy.
#19 Ruslan Fedotenko  66 10 15 25 9
Summary: Was one of the few real positives from the playoffs. Is a beast on the fore-check, and provided an good all-around effort on most nights.
Notables: +9, great work in the playoffs. Less chance of growing facial-hair than a Ken doll.
Improvements: More consistent effort during the regular season.
#16 Sean Avery  76 3 21 24 -4
Summary: Sean just never seemed to find what makes him Sean Avery. Didn't find 'the edge' for most of the season, though could be due to coach. Did have 21 assists,
Notables: Appeared naked in an add (was covering his junk). Continues to be the most hated player by shit-headed hockey fans who have never actually watched Sean Avery play.
Improvements: Has a quality shot, must use it more to help out with scoring. Play more on the edge, assuming he can still find it.
#36 Mats Zuccarello  42 6 17 23 3
Summary: Seemed to bring a consistent effort, though it didn't net the results we all hoped for. Is a quality passer, though his line-mates never seemed to capitalize on it. Good at controlling the puck along the boards, and doesn't shy away from physicality.
Notables: Must wear lifts to get on carnival rides. Showed a feisty side and willingness to engage much larger players (though I don't think Chara likes people chewing his ankles). Very creative and good vision on the ice. Shootout wizard.
Improvements: Work on shooting the puck and building some leg strength which will benefit him like it does Marty St. Louis.
#20 Vinny Prospal  29 9 14 23 4
Summary: Tan-Man Vaclav Prospal continued to be a spark at times after coming back from a serious knee injury. Scored 23 points in 29 games.
Notables: So tan we almost confuse him for Anson Carter. Best goal celebrations ever.
Improvements: Find a way to rekindle magic of the '09-'10 season with Gaborik.
#31 Alex Frolov  43 7 9 16 4
Summary: Managed to play himself into a stint with the KHL, which may have been his goal in the first place.
Notables: FRAPAROUND! Attempted so many wrap-arounds I thought his legs would get stuck in that position.
Improvements: To actually score on a wrap-around, making his life complete.
#38 Michael Sauer  76 3 12 15 20
Summary: I was going to have somebody else write this for me, but he apparently looked at Henrik Lundqvist and was never heard from again. If anybody is available, Michael is looking for an alibi on the night in question. Defensive stalwart, finally a player who will defend his goalie. Doesn't take shit. Positionally sound, good checker.
Notables: +20, on a team that doesn't score. How is there not an award for that?
Improvements: Could use some speed. Work on making adjustments in D-zone (he sometimes gets rooted defending 1 guy when he needs to go cover another).
#4 Michael Del Zotto  47 2 9 11 -5
Summary: Somehow lost any confidence he had. His passing was abysmal, though his defensive play did improve. Looked lost when he had the puck, and showed some emotional immaturity at times.
Notables: Only a -5, so actually an awesome improvement....if you discount everything else he did this season.
Improvements: Must find a way to regain his confidence, especially after breaking his hand in Hartford. Time away from game might do him some good.
#97 Matt Gilroy  58 3 8 11 5
Summary: I really just have nothing for Matt Gilroy. He actually had a good playoffs, as it was the first time I've seen him play physically and skate with some confidence. Not sure what it was.
Notables: "Hi, I'm Matt Gilroy."
Improvements: Whatever he did in the playoffs. Be more physical, skate with more confidence, and I'd like to see him carry the puck more, maybe even on the PP.
#27 Ryan McDonagh  40 1 8 9 16
Summary: McDonagh had a shaky start in the AHL, but showed vast improvements. Tremendous ceiling on this kid. Terrific skater, will play a physical brand of D but doesn't take himself out of the play. Positionally sound, keeps players out of the crease. Showed some offensive instincts, and will bring the mean on occasion.
Notables: "McDiesel" Every time McDonagh plays a game in a Rangers jersey, a Canadiens fan sets a car on fire.
Improvements: Teach teammates how to skate. Like Sauer, sometimes gets too locked on 1 player and needs to adjust. Continue to add to the offense, I'd like his focus to be his shot in the off-season, as well as conditioning.
#44 Steve Eminger  65 2 4 6 -5
Summary: Poor Steve. Paired with McCabe, Roszival, Gilroy, and Del Zotto; obviously lived well in previous life to deserve this punishment. Is a decent skater and has some physicality to his game. His positioning needs some work, as well as his breakout passing.
Notables: In 10 years he's going to be the final player in our "Name That Clown" competition. I got nothing else.
Improvements: Suitable 7th D, needs to work on his positioning and play with the puck.
#23 Chris Drury  24 1 4 5 2
Summary: Apparently had a bum knee at the beginning of the year, continues to be a great PK/face-off/defensive specialist....for 7 mil a year. My plumber's a specialist too, and he has to dig through shit.
Notables: Scored 1 goal in 24 games. Who wants some oily pizza (something from a B porn flick?)
Improvements: I think he's beyond them at this point. Score more? 

Goalie   GPI   GAA   W   L (w/ OT)
#30 Henrik Lundqvist  68 2.28 36 32 0.923
Summary:  Had a rocky start to the beginning of his season, letting in some very soft goals, all the while getting plenty of rest when Biron was healthy. 2nd half of his season, through the playoffs, was nothing less than stellar.
He's still better looking than your goalie, so nyah! 11 shutouts. Started so many games in a row even Cal Ripken was like "Dude!...."
Improvements:  Don't let in any softies early in the season since I don't foresee our goal scoring getting a significant boost anytime soon. Need more instances of "HULK SMASH" when players crash his crease (including his own team).
#43 Martin Biron  17 2.13 8 6 0.923
Summary:  Best shootout coach in the game. Capable back-up goalie and a quality teammate. May have actually made Henrik play worse due to him getting rest.
Notables:  While sitting in the runway area because the benches were too short, had a player go out of his way to consult him about the upcoming shootout. Player subsequently scored. Contagious smile. 
Improvements:  Don't get hurt.
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