C is for Hank
It’s been a tough couple of years for our Blueshirts, and it’s been even tougher for the Garden faithful. Every thing this proud franchise has worked for since its existence seems to be unraveling before our eyes, yet we’re too loyal of a fan base to look away.
The end of the 2009-10 campaign was a microcosm of the whole season. Had we won just one or two more games, this may not have happened, but our hearts were torn in two watching our Rangers fall in a shootout. There was no emotion in their game, no heart: just empty eyes all around the bench. The only emotion we saw from our team was the anger and frustration of our goalie Henrik Lundqvist, an anger that should’ve fired up the rest of the team but didn’t (not even Torts could wake this team up). Where are our leaders? Where are the Rangers we once knew?
There are hundreds of things wrong with this Rangers team. They need more offense, better defense, better coaching, and better management. Yet, the one thing they need more than anything is a true leader – a leader who embraces his team, his city, and is not afraid to carry both on his shoulders. In 1994, the Rangers had four of these caliber players (you know who they are): Leech, Graves, Richter, and Messier. They were New York, and they were true Blueshirts; they bled red, white, and blue. It’s no coincidence that they’re numbers are forever immortalized in the rafters above our heads at the Garden. These guys were our guys. They had the “it” factor, and they knew what a proud franchise this team is.
Where are these types of players now? Well, while we may not have four of them, there is one person that shines and plays his guts out in EVERY game. Whether or not the team in front of him is alive, this man plays his heart out through thick and thin, just like the previous mentioned players. This man is Henrik Lundqvist, and the only thing missing for him is a capital “C” on the top right of his sweater.
How many times do we watch games and think, “What more can Henrik do?” This man has stood on his head for this team numerous times, so much so that he is physically and mentally drained by the time March comes around, and it’s so frustrating to me that the players in front of him can’t do the same back.
Chris Drury, your time as captain is up. Give Hank the “C”, because he can handle the pressure and the spotlight that Drury obviously can’t. This is something that is long overdue! The man is becoming a legend in New York, but if we’re not careful, he may become more appreciated somewhere else. Why give him the C? Not only does he have the numbers to back it up, he is the embodiment of a Ranger and a true leader. Plus, Henrik knows what it’s like to win a championship — he’s been there. Hank carried a whole country on his shoulders during the 2006 Olympics, proving that he is born for this opportunity.
Hank loves this city, and the city loves him back; we believe in our goalie, and he believes in us. This city deserves a new hero, and Lundqvist can be our red, blue, and white knight. So, listen up John Tortorella: it’s time for a change. Make this a proud franchise and dominating force once again. Make Henrik Lundqvist — our franchise man and New York hockey’s sweetheart — the 26th team captain of the New York Rangers, and let him lead our team the way he deserves to.