Maybe this isn’t the best time to be talking about Brendan Shanahan as an early MVP candidate. It’s only been a few weeks since “I made that case”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2007/01/15/the-shanny-dilemma/ to the folks at the USA Today, but in that time, the eight-time All-Star has been immersed in a prolonged goal-scoring slump, the Rangers have dropped out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, and at least a slight whiff of unrest is now permeating through the dressing room.
Among my other brilliant insights:
You get my drift. In this turbulent season, I still think Shanahan has been the team’s most important component, and “my short story in our nation’s newspaper today”:http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/2007-01-21-mvp-capsules_x.htm?csp=34 helps explain why. But I’m not sure they give the Hart Trophy to a guy that joins a playoff team from the previous season and guides them into 10th place the next.
Of course, if this team manages to right itself — and there still may be time to do just that — you can bet Shanahan will be at the fore.