Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The NYR Facts Of Life: #33 Michal Rozsival

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 was almost finished before realizing that we missed #33, Michal Rozsival.

#33's #s: 32 games, three goals, 12 assists, +3, 22 PIM.

Take the good: Now I know that there have been plenty of people following this Facts of Life series, but no one noticed that Rozy was skipped - perhaps that says quite a bit about Rozy but it doesn't say it all. Rozsival was the quiet, calm veteran from whom you knew exactly what to expect. He even surprised us with a several good performances at the beginning of the season (five points in a five-game span in late October) and then one outstanding shift in the otherwise forgettable 3-0 loss to Florida just after New Years. He was a crutch for Tortorella and saw an average of 22 minutes of ice time a night.

Take the bad: There was a time where he was the team's number one defenseman (which wasn't saying much about the blueline back then) but that was a long time ago. This season the 32-year-old Czech fought hip, shoulder and rib injuries that stripped away whatever effectiveness he had left. Rozy was soft, he was slow, he had bad turnovers and he took bad penalties. More often than not he was a liability who brought his partner down as said partner had to scramble to cover for him.

Take them both and then we have: The last piece of the post-lockout Czech-mate Rangers to be removed. His teammates respected him - even if we fans did not - and not one of them doubted his effort - even if we did. Rozsival played a total of 467 games with the Blueshirts, a solid tenure (that he was paid handsomely for). The decision to trade him away not only opened up salary cap space but it secured a permanent spot for Ryan McDonagh on the blueline.

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