by Patrick Hoffman on 02/04/10 at 02:41 PM ET
With the recent moves the New York Rangers made along with their struggles, I figured now was as good a time as any to catch up with Scotty from Scotty Hockey to get his thoughts on what is going on in Rangerland.
PH: What do you think of the Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust move? How do you think they will help the team for the rest of this season? What about in the future?
SH: It was a great trade, not necessarily for getting Ollie and Brandon but to get rid of Kotalik. Jokinen may or may not help. Prust will be an asset but not a game-breaker - neither one will be able to win the team a playoff series. As for the future, this trade was brilliant as Jokinen will leave at the end of the season and free up cap space. Then again, that may be a bad thing with Sather still around ...
PH: What was wrong with Ales Kotalik this season? Did you think it was wrong for the Blueshirts to pick him up in the first place? What was wrong with him?
SH: He is not a good hockey player. He is a one-dimensional soft European who has no concept or capacity for defense. When his one dimension doesn’t work he is worthless and as he is soft and not very smart, the softness turned him into a detriment to the team. Granted, he might have fared better with a coach that was willing to coddle him and put him next to Chris Drury - the player he was most familiar with and comfortable with. But good riddance to bad garbage.
PH: What about Christopher Higgins? Why wasn’t he able to succeed on Broadway?
SH: No clue. As I’ve said hundreds upon hundreds of times, Smithtown was trying. Perhaps because he was “home” he gripped the stick a little too tight at times and perhaps he was just snakebitten. The guy worked his ass off, he just couldn’t take advantage of the benefits brought by that effort.
PH: Have any other thoughts you’d like to express about the current makeup of this team?
SH: Perhaps if they make Sather co-GM with Messier we will be in a better state. Let Sather make trades, and let Messier do the free agent signings. Tortorella isn’t a good coach - any leader who doesn’t believe in chemistry is a bad leader. As for the players themselves, now that Kotalik is gone we can only pray that Brashear is next. While asking for help from above, maybe there is something that can be done with the captain or the blueline, presented by Charmin. If Jokinen can find any kind of scoring touch, it will help take the load off Gaborik but outside of a miracle, this team is headed for another first round playoff exit.
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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.