Winces of Pain; Winds of Change; Crack Open the Champagne!
Ranger fans are trampling over themselves for a chance to drive Michal Rozsival from MSG to the airport and Alex Frolov to the farthest suburban hospital. As we speak, Rozsival Fat-Heads are being ripped off maybe two walls in America and Rangers fans have donned fake EMS uniforms willing to ensure Frolov gets the proper neglect he needs. The taking back of our Blueline from Rozsival's occupation is akin to Gen. MacArthur returning to liberate the Philippines. The loss of Frolov is like donating your car to Cars-For-Kids. You're just happy to have it off your hands with free pick up service.
Two of Glen Sather's numerous gaffes have for all intent and purpose, played their last games as Rangers. Alex Frolov is out for the rest of the season befallen by injury like the rest of his imports and Michal Rozsival was traded to the far, far away Phoenix Coyotes for Forward Wojtek Wolski.
In what is pure addition by subtraction, the Blueshirts are better already! I would have taken an empty Snapple bottle, a roll of tape, and a broken whistle for Rozsival and his incessant defensive end turnovers, feeble outlets, and BlueLine blunders. The fact we got a 24-year old for him is down-right remarkable. As for Frolov, he was skyrocketing up the list of the Rangers' Most In-Consequential Player. He was only the latest, worthless, Zherdev....As Wolski will be the next Zhredev-Frolov. But who cares at this point. This is a time for celebration.
Rejoice! We are free of Rozsival; the GRIM SLEEPER; killer of clearing attempts; slaughterer of outlet passes. His turnovers in the defensive end will torment our sleep no more; not to mention our season (although he has been "less harmful" this season).
On the serious side of this, the Michal Rozsival trade means the New York Rangers gain a little bit of desperately needed Salary Cap buoyancy. This probably means Glen Sather is maneuvering into position for a follow-up trade to compensate for the loss of Frolov and his season ending knee injury; the prolonged absence of Vinny Prospal; the rest of the time the Rangers remain without Ryan Callahan and Derek Boogaard; and the lacking play of Christensen. I'm sure Wolski isn't being looked to for much right now. Expect him to make appearances on the fourth line.
However, if the Rangers were desperate for size and experience on the Blueline before, they're going critical now. Rozsival was the only Blueliner above 30 years old. The other extreme age was Michael Del Zotto at 20 years old. It's unlikely the Whale have any more Defensive help to give and a trade for a Defenseman with substantial size who can throw his weight around is also unlikely. Maybe Sather can find Girardi a backbone on the trade market? We'll see. But there's probably another forward in our near future who's committed to a two way game, if much else.
There is always this question ~ What are the Tampa Bay Lightning going to do? Everyone has been waiting for the Big Fire Sale for three years now, and it never comes. They just added a goalie so they appear to be buyers at the moment. The play of Roloson in net might determine which direction the Bolts take.
Another obvious question would be, are the DEVILS buyers or sellers? They should be big sellers if you ask me. Parise, Elias, Zajac, should all go. They should even try to trade Brodeur. The Devils should just tear it down and refit a new cast around Kovalchuk. It'll be the new PC Devils falling into harmony with the rest of this screwed up world.
The Buffalo Sabres are a team still teetering on a massive, but still pending overhaul since their shaky start to the season. Calgary might be at the end of their window of opportunity also. Will they be buyers or sellers? Ottawa Senators? Ditto. Toronto might have some pickings too...Like getting Colton Orr back! I digress.
The days leading up to the Trade Deadline suddenly look a little more intriguing for the BlueShirts. A key transaction on the wing, a return to health from injured players and the continued enthusiasm and respectable play by the rookies...and the Rangers could be looking good heading into the early days of Spring.
But for right now, we're expecting another foot of snow and we're still only in January. But what a happy day it was. Without even playing, we win.
But back in Reality, what the Rangers ultimately need is for Marian Gaborik to start scoring goals. Chris Drury will never be mistaken for Phil Esposito, but he too, needs to start making a difference in front of the net. And the loose cannon; Sean Avery, needs to seize the moment with his opportunity playing on the higher lines.
LET'S GO RANGERS!
NEW YORK RANGERS
Madison Square Garden