Saturday, May 7, 2011

The NYR Facts Of Life: #43 Martin Biron

For each player who suited up in a Blueshirt this season we will take the good, we will take the bad and take them both and see what we have. And this time around we started with the high numbers and are up to #43, Marty Biron.

#43's #s: 17 games (15 started), 8-6-0, 2.13 gaa, .923 save %.

Take the good: Biron proved me wrong - I dogged the signing last July 1st and by the middle of the season admitted he was a big part of the team. Luckily we were given a look at how big not only by kind words by the beat writers but by Biron's assist to Wolski in the Carolina shootout. He had the utmost trust of his teammates and his coach and gave Hank the extra rest that the King needed. When Torts wanted to give Hank more time with Benoit back in November, Biron stepped in and performed quite well. He didn't have a single shutout but he gave up less than three goals in 10 of 15 starts - which was huge because the Rangers didn't score more than two goals in 10 of his 15 starts.

Take the bad: Getting hurt in practice is certainly not his fault but that definitely qualifies as bad- doubt Hank would have had to start 31 straight games to end the season had Marty been healthy. You figure Biron would have gotten the start on the Island in the 6-2 loss on March 31st and perhaps would have came away with a better result. Especially considering how he would have been extra motivated to avenge his performance back on Dec. 2nd when he blew a 2-0 Ranger lead by giving up three straight goals to his former teammates before being yanked. That was bad but Biron was astoundingly awful in his second start, allowing five goals to Atlanta - three of which were easily stoppable.

Take them both and then we have: A good backup for Henrik Lundqvist and a definite improvement over Steve Valiquette. His affable nature endeared him to the room and he did not give any public indication of being unhappy to be relegated to being a No. 2. Of course, that is better than being one of three on Long Island but still. Given that Torts has no faith in Chad Johnson and the few other goaltenders in the organization are far from NHL worthy (at this point at least), Biron is a good stopgap while the team finds and develops Hank's successor.

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