Monday, June 6, 2011

The NYR Facts Of Life: #20 Vinny Prospal

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 #20, Vaclav Prospal.

#20's #s: 29 games, 9 goals, 14 assists, +4, 8 PIM (5 playoff games, one goal, no assists, +1, no PIM).

Take the good: Prospal was the only player to maintain some chemistry with Marian Gaborik. He scored in his first game back from injury on February 3rd and then put up 13 of his points in an 11 game span a few weeks later. Had 58 hits in his 34 games, 14 of which came in the five playoff games. Ten of his 23 points came on the power play. Not a single player - not even any of the rookies - was as happy as he was when he scored.

Take the bad: Prospal is old, he has slowed and he missed more than half of the season thanks to his bad knee. He didn't get a single shot on goal in two playoff games, one being the double OT disaster - for someone in a top-six spot, seeing serious ice time and with a 14.8 shooting percentage, that is just ridiculous.

Take them both and then we have: There were stretches of last season where Prospal disappeared but he didn't play enough this time to run into the doldrums - unless you count the playoffs. As we saw at the fan forum, the players love him and respect him so having the old man around isn't a detriment. But he is just keeping Chris Kreider's spot warm until the kid grows a pair and jumps to the NHL.

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