I know it’s to be expected at a place like this, where people really do bleed when the team loses, really suffer with any losing streak.
I have come to expect the ultra-negative when the team loses, and I’m probably as negative as anybody, even though I try to keep my negativity analytical, especially since I really don’t care if the Rangers win, lose or go to a skills competition.
But I have to say, some of the stuff the last few days is hard to believe:
* People giving up on Lundqvist.
* People giving up on Staal.
* People giving up on Dubinsky.
What in Holy Hell?
First, if you’re giving up Lundqvist, you better get an elite goalie in return. Yes, he’s had some struggles this season. Yes, he’s been on his knees too much, and opponents have figured out to go high, especially glove side. But it’s nuts to think about dealing him. How many times has this guy bailed out his team? Think back to the three playoff games he stole last spring. Part of his struggles this year are the team in front of him and the system it plays. He’s still easily one of the best in the league, and one of the few legit all-star types on the roster.
Second, Marc Staal has certainly had a tough year at times. His partner went through a terrible stretch, and they probably were better in a defense-first system. And our expectations of this kid being a two-way threat, an offensive defenseman, and a Norris Trophy winner, were a couple of miles too high. But he’s 22. Most of the league’s top defensemen are 28-32 in any given year. He’s 22!!! He’s going to be a very good defenseman for a long, long time. He will be. You don’t trade guys like that.
Third, you also don’t trade big forwards who are tough and can skate and score a bit. Dubinsky needs to play a lot better than he did after his holdout. And he will. He’s not a No. 1 center, but he’s as much of a No. 1 center as Prospal is, or Drury. He can play the wing. And believe it or not, the Rangers have surely missed him since he broke his hand. Never mind the contract stuff. That’s business. He had to do that. You would have done the same thing. I would have done the same thing. Maybe you trade him, but you better get something really good back. Otherwise, you wait for him to get back to where he was last year and the year before. He will. He’s too good not to.
And then there’s this “Fire Tortorella” stuff. Are you serious?
Question: What do you think would have happened to Avery if he’d done what Ovechkin did? Or what Matt Cooke did? Or what Glencross did?