by Patrick Hoffman on 08/23/10 at 12:00 PM ET
When the New York Rangers acquired forward Erik Christensen from the Anaheim Ducks, many fans and pundits were shaking their heads.
Both were wondering what Christensen had done to merit GM Glen Sather’s attention as well as playing time rather than look inward and use someone from their farm team down in Hartford. In fact, both fans and media are still wondering that today but we’ll get to that later.
As it turned out, Christensen had a solid season on Broadway with 26 points (8 goals and 18 assists) in 49 games. In fact, a lot of his time was spent on the team’s “first” line with Marian Gaborik and they seemed to have some chemistry.
With all that said, is Christensen really the answer as a top-flight player for the Blueshirts? Looking at his track record, it does not seem that he would be.
However, since the season has yet to begin, here is what Christensen can do to help the Rangers in 2010-2011:
Produce: If you’re going to be a first line player, you need to put points up on the board. This season, there is a chance that he may be playing with Gaborik and Alexander Frolov so points will be there for his taking.
Be Consistent: Christensen needs to show up every night. The knock on him was that some nights, he was ever present while on other nights, he was nowhere to be seen. If Christensen wants to play in head coach John Tortorella’s system, he will need to engage himself in every game.
Stay Healthy: With the Rangers’ lack of offense, the team needs every point producer they have to be healthy this season. No one is quite sure whether Christensen falls into this category but he did put up 26 points in 49 games, which isn’t terrible.
Again, the season has yet to begin so let’s see what Christensen does before throwing him under the bus as an underachieving player for the Blueshirts.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.