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12-23-2013, 06:38 AM
  #39
NCRanger
Bettman's Enemy
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Charlotte, NC
Country: United States
Posts: 3,271
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Before anyone puts words in my mouth, I am not saying to get rid of Hank.

That said, we've been through this before with another "proven" goaltender that couldn't adjust to the game at the beginning of the Dead Puck Era in 1997-98. Nobody ever blamed Mike Richter for a thing because he was crowned the "Greatest American Goalie". That didn't matter when he was consistently losing 2-1 or 3-2, usually on some soft goal. But he was the greatest ever.

No replacement was ever groomed. It basically took the seven seasons of crap before the Rangers found a legitimate starting goaltender (and it was supposed to be Kevin Weekes).

I'm not saying Richter was the cause of the beginning of the seven years of hell, but some blame has to be thrown in his direction, especially during the 1997-98 season. This season is shaping up to be very similar to that one, where the team was adjusting to a new style, not only within the team, but within the league in general. Had Richter been able to adjust to the new game in the league, maybe the Rangers make the playoffs that season.

OR, if management and the fans realized that Richter was a much better goaltender in a more wide open game, Neil Smith would have done something about the position.

Just saying.

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