Earlier today, I was coaching my team of six-to-eight-year-old players. We did a simple drill. Pass the puck across, and receive a pass back. We tough the simple mechanics of receiving a puck. Move the stick back a little bit and keep control of the puck. Follow through towards the target with the pass and put it right on your teammates stick. These kids did it flawlessly.
I then get to watch the Rangers, and notice a bit of a common theme lately. Michal Rozsival's inability to hold on to a puck or make a good pass. I laugh inside as I listen to the announcers make excuses for him, time and time again.
Well Mr. Maloney, offer as many excuses as you want, a player doesn't have a minus-eight rating in the last 10 games because of some bad bounces.
Something needs to change with Rozsival. For every time he actually uses his hard shot, he gives the opponent two or three more. The garden crowd finally had enough of Rozsival's "bad luck" and let him know it.
Ladies and gentleman, we have found out who this years Tom Poti is. We have found the defenseman on the team we must boo, and it is the top notch blue liner, Michal Rozsival.
It isn't a rare sight to watch a replay of an opponents goal and see the puck come from the stick of Rozy. For example, the debacle against the Islanders. Rozsival continues to see power-play time, even after being responsible for numerous goals against, including three shorthanded goals, two of which were in the same game against he Islanders, a 2-1 loss.
When you look at our defensive depth, you must ask the question, where does Rozsival fit? Wouldn't one assume that signing Wade Redden makes Rozsival obsolete? We had the defenseman who would run the Power Play (which is another issue, for another time) as well as Paul Mara who also has a shot.
Dmitri Kalinin had at one point been a good offensive defenseman, and Girardi is well on his way to contributing big time on the stat sheet from the blueline. Mix in the potential of Staal, and it is hard to see how Rozsival would add anything to the team.
In the system, Sanguinetti may be just a year away, and Del Zotto is not far behind either. So, Greg Caggiano's favorite defenseman (no, not really), Michal Rozsival offers absolutely nothing to the team, short, or long term.
Yet, Rozsival still continues to consistently see 20 minutes a game. The defensive "slip ups" are nothing new. All of last year, and this year have been mistake after mistake for Michal, yet Tom Renney, whom I have tons of respect for and think is a great coach, does not even think to bench him.
Some of our top players like Zherdev and Dubinsky have both been benched at times this year for far less then what Rozsival has consistently got away with.