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.