by Patrick Hoffman on 02/15/11 at 10:25 PM ET
From good friend of the blog Rob Simpson at MsgNetwork.com:
1) Don’t mess with the Rangers’ rhythm: This year’s 0-4-1 record out of the All-Star break shouldn’t surprise anyone. Last year they went 1-3-1 after the long Olympic sojourn, and in 2009, after Henrik Lundqvist’s first All-Star game (which he wasn’t too crazy about), they came back and went 1-5.
2) In a recent blog post I talked of the perseverance of Matt Gilroy. Trade strategists would suggest the additional game time is the result of the Rangers having the young D-man on their tradable list. They’ll have to give up someone young (or two such someones) if they’re to acquire a valuable playoff commodity. Steve Eminger, sitting out for the last half-dozen games, probably wouldn’t be on that list. There’s an oddity age-wise: Gilroy, a second-year pro, is 26 years old, while Eminger, an eight-year-pro, is only 27.
3) Oh yeah, and all that talk about Dallas not dealing Brad Richards because they’re in the thick of the Western Conference hierarchy? Maybe so, but how about this scenario: They hold on to him, to prevent sending the wrong message to the team and the core fans, and then they drop from the playoff scene. Phoenix just passed Dallas for first place in the Pacific and the Stars (68 points) are only three points clear of being a non-playoff team, with division rival LA at 65. If they drop quickly enough, as in the next 10 days to two weeks, the Rangers might not have to wait until free agency after all.
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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.