Friday, May 6, 2011

The NYR Facts Of Life: #44 Steve Eminger

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 #44, Steve Eminger.

#44's #s: 65 games, 2 goals, 4 assists, -5, 22 PIM. Benched for entire playoffs.

Take the good: When the Rangers first traded Voros for him I was less than pleased but Eminger did have his moments - primarily in that span when Rozsival was out with injury. He wasn't the decent puck mover that was hoped for but rather a capable, positional seventh defender. He blocked 103 shots, had at least one hit recorded in 60 of his 65 games and the Rangers posted a record of 4-1-1 when he tallied a point.

Take the bad: That shows that he only put up points in six games - his production dropped for the second straight season and it was his lowest total in the five seasons where he played at least 60 games. Eminger had several nights when he had clearly checked out and was caught flatfooted left and right. Despite being a veteran of more than 300 games when he got here, it did not appear (from outside of the locker room) that he added any kind of leadership. Eminger lost Tortorella's trust and played less than 13 minutes five of his last six games and didn't dress once in the playoffs. In the midFebruary come-from-behind win over Pittsburgh Eminger was responsible for one of the early goals against and Tortorella benched him. He ended up with just over four minutes of total ice time while Staal saw nine seconds shy of a half hour.

Take them both and then we have: Someone with no future with the franchise. Matt Gilroy was not a better player for playing alongside him. Eminger came in, worked pretty hard and did his job but that is simply not enough for a seventh defenseman - especially one making over a million bucks. There are surely better bargains out there as a Jason Strudwick-type guy (one who could actually skate though) is very necessary for the young corps of Blueshirt Blueliners.

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