by Patrick Hoffman on 11/22/08 at 12:00 PM ET
It looks like New York Ranger fans have found themselves a new Marek Malik to boo in defenseman Michal Rozsival, a guy the team signed a $20-million contract extension over the summer.
This is something that the Rangers cannot afford to have and Rozsival needs to change things fast or else he is going to make Rangers’ management look extremely stupid for resigning him over the summer.
Back on November 4th, Rozsival was directly responsible for a New York Islanders shorthanded goal when he gave up the puck on the blue line in the offensive zone.
A week and change later, Rozsival did the same thing and it led to a Boston Bruins shorthanded goal as he fumbled the puck at the Bruins’ blue line.
And on Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks, he was absolutely dreadful looking lost on almost every play he was involved in.
It is quite obvious that No. 3 on the Blueshirts has lost his confidence. He can’t control the puck anymore as he continues to turn it over in both the offensive zone and in the team’s own zoo.
The truth of the matter is that he has earned the wrath of Rangers’ fans. Night in and night out at the Garden, he continues to leaves a sour taste in their mouth.
Unfortunately folks, the team is not going to move him and Rangers’ head coach Tom Renney is going to continue to give him lots of minutes both at even strength and on the power play, which could mean more sloppy play from the team’s struggling defenseman.
The club’s fans need to take that into consideration because booing him certainly isn’t going to help things.
Does this mean that Ranger fans have to like him? No. However, they will have to put up with it as the team has him locked him contract wise and with the way he is playing right now, I don’t think other NHL teams will be begging for him.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.