Monday, December 24, 2007
So the NHL is taking tonight and tomorrow night off for Christmas (even though they didn't take off for Hannukah or Kwanzaa; tsk, tsk, how unpolitically correct). In the giving spirit, Santa Scotty is going to go around and bring presents to the Rangers ...
Sean Avery: I could be glib and say another gorgeous blonde who doesn't mind his passion for fashion but as many of us are secretly selfish on the holidays and give presents that are good for us, I will say good health. The Rangers are a different team without you Sean, have a Happy and HEALTHY New Year ...
Blair Betts: A scoring touch. Bettsy already has everything else (speed, faceoff prowess, fearlessness to block shots, defensive acumen) that he just needs to add a dangerous wrister and he will be a second line center.
Ryan Callahan: Consistency. The kid has so much energy that when he gets his wheels going, he forces play and pressures the other team to react; too bad it has only come in flashes so far ...
Nigel Dawes: A center whom he is comfortable playing with. Dubi hasn't worked yet and Drury sure as hell didn't work. As proven by his stop back in Hartford, he gets to the right places on the ice to score - he just has to have someone to create room and get him the puck.
Chris Drury: A return to form. The last two seasons he was a game-breaker in Buffalo with Briere - if he didn't score, he assisted or created the play that set up the big goal. Since coming here, he has been an enigma ...
Brandon Dubinsky: I would say consistency but I am giving that to Cally so instead I think he could use some boxing lessons. Remember that fight against Luke Richardson?? Ugh!
Scott Gomez: A scrapbook of photos reminding him that he could be a dynamic, game-breaking center that won the Stanley Cup.
Ryan Hollweg: More games like the one he played against Ottawa. He was huge on both ends of the ice, and made an impact every shift.
Marcel Hossa: A bus ticket to Hartford. Maybe there he can rediscover that magic he had for six games late last season.
Jaromir Jagr: Since Santa gives and doesn't take, I guess he will keep the C, but the Tin Man needs a heart to put some passion back in his game. He has had a few moments this year but as captain he needs to have it all of the time.
Greg Moore: Some Greyhound Road Rewards because he is sure to be riding the bus back and forth from Hartford a few more times this season.
Colton Orr: Some better wheels because he all too often lags between his two linemates. He will always be a middleweight fighter so he has to improve the rest of his game to justify his ice time. If he can't keep up, then the team can just use a heavyweight goon to come in and skate a few minutes a game.
Petr Prucha: A cape because he is Indestructible Man! I truly have no idea how he takes so much abuse.
Brendan Shanahan: More water from the Fountain of Youth. He still has one of the best one-timers in the league but hasn't been able to get many of them, either because he has slowed down a step or because his centers haven't clicked so far.
Martin Straka: A hardhat and lunchpail. He doesn't get much credit and hasn't put up a lot of points this season but the hard work and selflessness he brings to the rink every game is so admirable.
Dan Girardi: An extra jersey, because I want his. He has been so solid that it is hard to believe that this is his first full season in the NHL.
Marek Malik: A trade. Let's face it, the fans won't give him a break because he is so soft. He has his moments of skill but they have been outweighed by the colossal mistakes that he has made.
Paul Mara: More power play time. He is supposed to be an offensive defenseman who is good moving the puck but he has rarely shown it as a Ranger. Replacing Straka at the point could go far to get him the chances he needs to prove his $3 mill-plus worth.
Michal Rozsival: A pack of Post-Its to remind him to play defense. Rozy has been amazing offensively but his defensive gaffes have been quite costly.
Marc Staal: A poster of this, his brother with the Stanley Cup to add a little more motivation to be all that he can be.
Jason Strudwick: A clipboard and a whistle because he will be a helluva coach in the near future; if I had my way now, they would revive the player/coach title for him.
Fedor Tyutin: Its tough to pick something for him because he has it all as a well-rounded defenseman. Maybe improve his slap shot or his willingness to take it ...
Henrik Lundqvist: A crown for the King, if only to remind him of his divine powers.
Stephen Valiquette: More cushions for the bench because his rear end should stay planted there for much of the second half.
Tom Renney: A whip. Its time for Tom to get tough and force the team to buy into his game plan; no more waiting and hoping they listen.
Benoit Allaire: More recognition for being one of the best goalie coaches in the NHL.
Perry Pearn: A new plan for the power play, since this one certainly doesn't work ...
Mike Pelino: Someone to not pick on him for his fashion choices during interviews as Al is so quick to do.
Glen Sather: A new deal to give Henrik Lundqvist and a sure-handed plan for the post-Jagr era that is sure to be starting sooner rather than later.
And to all of you: Kind wishes during this holiday season for health, happiness and good hockey. Cheers!