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01-25-2010, 06:56 PM
  #71
Boom Boom Geoffrion*
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kovalchkin71 View Post
Sure, it's exaggerated negative spin to talk about "the infection" on the Rangers roster and to suggest that we need to get AA out of a "toxic situation" but the hate for Larry Brooks here is just as bad as the hate for Redden or Roszival or Drury that we see on these boards. The fans here are incapable of judging ANYONE fairly. You are either the bane of the world or a god.

So while Brooks is a butthead who insists on turning everything into some extreme negative, he's still correct, not only in his thinking that AA should go back to Hartford to get his confidence up over the break (and if we're going to send him down for the break, we might as well just send him down now and let him have a longer while to get his game going), but in suggesting that complacency is contagious.

No, there's no infection in the locker room and AA isn't going to "catch" anything from Kotalik or anyone else, but a young player can easily develop bad habits if he's in a locker room full of lazy and/or unmotivated players. Now, I've read all of the theories regarding this team's poor performance and remember, for example, reading about how the players were far too pampered by this organization. I didn't think much of it but, just for the sake of stirring the pot, I recently saw in Sean Avery's blog a picture he posted of the Rangers "in flight menu" from one of their recent trips. It included items like a "cold filet mignon platter" and "stuffed grape leaves".

Obviously, being pampered doesn't MAKE the team play poorly, but how good of an influence is it on guys like Gilroy, MDZ, AA, etc. to be "mentored" (for a lack of better words) by a group of underperforming, overpaid, unmotivated players who are reclining on their private jet, eating like they're at a five-star restaurant, going out and getting shutout four times in seven contests? To my eyes, that certainly DOES teach you that it's "okay" to play this way and that even these subpar performances will be rewarded (or at the very least, not penalized).

Perhaps AA and anyone else on the roster who CAN be sent down should be, if not just to help them get their confidence back against lesser competition but also to remind them that they have to EARN their keep in the NHL and that pulling on a Rangers sweater is about working hard to represent one of the oldest franchises in the NHL -- NOT about enjoying a platter of stuffed grape leaves and coasting to embarrassing losses and a mediocre record.

And to that end, I do have to wonder about the veteran leadership on this team. Certainly none of us know what goes on in the locker room and at practice and I am generally in the "we don't know what goes on so we can't really comment on the captaincy situation" camp, but I have to admit that I have NEVER seen Chris Drury show much emotion, stand up for a teammate, elevate his physical play or give the impression of a strong leader at all. The idea of our rookie players watching their captain sit back and suck down luxury hors d'oeuvres as if he could be satisfied with his performance (and the performance of the team HE has been charged with helping to motivate and lead) just makes me want to vomit.

Obviously, I'm taking one posting from Avery's blog and extrapolating it into some grand theory, composed mostly of speculation, but as much as the latest trend on these boards is to get on Larry Brooks the way we get on Michael Roszival after one of his famous no-look cross ice passes gets picked off for an OT breakaway against Henrik, I have to imagine that our older players AREN'T setting the best example for our younger players and if all these young guys see is our leaders being pampered and catered to, even when they've had 1 goal or less in 5 out of 7 recent games, I can easily see how they might fall into the mentality that, now that they've made it to the big show, a moderate effort is all that's required to reap the material rewards they've dreamed of their whole careers.
How are we supposed to read all this when we're busy watching our team lose?

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