Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Survivor: NYR Third Line Edition

As I am still coming to grips with the mighty Mirtle's selling out move to SB Nation, I figured I would turn my attention to the Rangers even though the boys in blue don't play again until Friday. If reports are to be believed, Patrick Rissmiller was placed on waivers Tuesday. The Rangers haven't put out a release and the young German is still on their roster but I will take it on face value and take a look at the third line logjam.

There are five guys attempting to get on that line and, being as Chris Drury is the captain and all, there are two roster spots for four players. I know, I know; the lines have been all jumbled up of late and I would move Cally alongside Gomez so 'third line' is an arbitrary designation but the key numbers remain: two roster spots, four players. Sounds like the makings of a reality show ... sooooooo come on down and let's meet the contestants on

Survivor: NYR Third Line Edition

Nigel Dawes
5'9" 193 lbs, 23 years old
Nigel is the only one of the four to have scored a point this season. Including playoffs, Dawes has played in 85 NHL games and put up just 35 points. He is also the smallest in stature on a team that made a conscious decision to get bigger. He is pretty hard to knock off of the puck but has yet to show much skill without it. Doesn't seem to have been able to create chemistry with anyone in particular and yet has still played in six of the eight games. Are the Rangers showing patience or showing him off as trade bait?

Dan Fritsche
6'1" 204 lbs, 23 years old
Dan has played in just two games, took four shots and has no points or PIM. Fritsche has good size and has shown some flashes of skill but it is still hard to judge him. His prior experience in Columbus frankly shouldn't count because they were just a terrible excuse for a hockey team and he is a complimentary player, not a star. After dealing away the ill-fated (incompetent) Christian Backman for him, you have to imagine the Rangers will give him more time and more opportunities.

Lauri Korpikoski
6'1" 195 lbs, 22 years old
The Ranger first round pick in 2003, Lauri made a splash in his first game by scoring a playoff goal against the Penguins. Korpikoski spent two full seasons in Hartford but seems to still be learning how to play with the big boys. In seven games so far this season, he has taken just one official shot on goal and has been caught out of position on several occasions, which is odd considering he has shown versatility in playing both wing and center. Maybe some stability could help? He is almost certain to keep one of the two spots unless the Rangers make a move to bring someone else in - they have invested too much in his development.

Petr Prucha
6'0" 175 lbs, 26 years old
Petr is the lightest Ranger but he doesn't let that stop him from throwing his weight around. Timex has considered sponsoring Prucha because he embodies their old catch phrase - takes a licking, keeps on ticking. But for all of the abuse he has absorbed, Pru has seen things go considerably downhill since his rookie season. He has trouble getting into good scoring positions and when he does, grips his stick too tight and blows it. He has added some defensive responsibility to his repertoire but there are many better on the Blueshirts than he in their own zone. At 26 years old, you have to wonder when he stops being a prospect.

I am sure you can tell who I am endorsing from my scoring reports but I wouldn't be unhappy if Sather and Renney go off this board to fill the slots - especially if their mediocre play continues. Artem Anisimov, PA Paranteau (if he can pass waivers), Dane Byers or Greg Moore are all down on the farm and capable of seeing some NHL shifts. And I honestly wouldn't mind seeing them give Petr Nedved a call in the Czech Republic. Yes he is much older than these four candidates, and is under contract back home, but he would add some credibility and accountability to the locker room.

What do you think?


Brother P said...

The Nedved idea is BAD! If they are going to bring an old guy back in how about SHANNY? He has a lot more in the tank then Nedved. Since I honestly don't think the Rangers are bringing back either one of those 2 I would let Prucha play (which Renney won't) and Fritsche. So since Renney won't play Prucha I roll the dice on Dawes and Fritsche. I like the size and speed of what I have seen from Fritsche. I just don't get the benching of Prucha for the other players. He has proven more then any of them.

Pete said...

I think the whole Prucha situation falls under the heading of failed attempts at player development. Lump him in with Manny Malhotra and maybe even Al Montoya (though the rangers claim that his attitude held back his development, but, whatever). I think it was clear that, once the Rangers did the typical move of signing Drury and Gomez, and putting them on a team with Jagr and Shanny and the rest of the usual characters, that Prucha wasn't going to enjoy the ice time he was allowed in his freshman year. I considered it a bad omen when he broke Kovalev's rookie numbers, and it appears I may have been correct.

Scotty Hockey knows I'm a big Prucha fan, and I want desperately to see the kid come back. If heart counted most in this sport, Prucha would be a hall of famer. But, the only way he's going to mature is by getting ice time. The first 9 games indicate it's not going to happen. So, I hope that they at least trade him to a team where he'll get ice time (Columbus seems to have been our dumping ground, but our friend in St. Louis, JD has always been big on young talent - Manny lived with the guy in his rookie season)and he'll be wearing a jersey that I would like to buy and wear myself.

Anonymous said...

dont blame, Jags, Shanny, Gomer, and Dru cause Prucha cant put the puck in the net. I feel bad for him, but not that much. There are poor people in Somalia that need food. I think prucha can deal with it.