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10-13-2003, 07:41 PM
Brooklyn Ranger
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Originally Posted by True Blue
Oh, and the oldest 4th line in hockey was not the problem. Can't blame the weekend on Messier. Not that I was not horrified when saw that Messier playes over 16 minutes the other night and on the PP. However, was Messier really worse than Holik? Or CArter? Or Rosie? I think that Sather falling back on him as a safety valve when players flounder WILL be a problem this year, however Messier is not to blame for the team looking pathetic.
Where I can blame him is leadership. Shouldn't a Captain stand up and address the team after such a lacklusted performance? How could a leader be this silent?
But that aside, Mess has not conributed to the teams rather underwhelming performance.
I think you are asking Messier to do something that's beyond his authority. His job is to set an example with his hard work and dedication on and off the ice. This is not a question of getting one or two players to get with the program. With the exception of Messier and a few others, NONE of them have learned the "system". Messier has gone out and done everything asked of him. He played less than 13 minutes the first game, didn't see much if any power play time and played hard each and every shift. He played more the next game--but only because just about everyone else didn't come ready to play.

Also, given Messier's comments in the papers about individual and team responsibility,
"We have to implement certain expectations from a team standpoint," Messier said. "And we have to have certain expectations from an individual standpoint. We have to be held accountable as a team and as individuals. It has to be addressed.

"Otherwise, this is going to be another downward spiral." (Star Ledger on Sunday)

it seems to me that he is pleading with Sather to do more than pay lip-service to the idea of accountiblity.

Sather is the one who determines who gets to play and how many minutes each player is out there. He's the only one who can drive home the message that the same old "effort" (or lack thereof) is no longer acceptable. Yes, it's early, but there's no better time than the present to start breaking the losing habit.

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