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Time to Change it Up

11/27/09

Just two games removed from a season-high seven-goal performance against the Blue Jackets, the Rangers played their most uninspired game in quite some time losing 5-1 to the Lightning. The offense continues to be flat, having scored just one goal in the last two games, and the young defense tonight was porous in front of Henrik.

This team has been flat, tentative, and lacked confidence for a while now. I had hopes that Columbus would get the Blueshirts out of that funk, but it turned out to be an anomaly. Needless to say something needs to change in the Big Apple.

My idea, give Gaborik the captaincy. This isn't meant as a knock on Drury, but Gaborik deserves it. Not only is he the Rangers' most talented player, but he's one of the few who brings his "A" game every night. As a captain, Drury provides a model of responsibility both on and off the ice, but other players on the team need a captain they can lean on when games are tough. Drury doesn't provide that.

Most New York fans will tell you that Messier was the greatest Ranger captain, maybe the best captain every. The reason for that: he was a leader and a dominant player. In tough games, other players could look to him for a big goal, and he could provide much like Gaborik has in the third periods of this season.

Whether it is giving Gaborik the "C" or making a personnel move, something needs to change on Broadway. I know we aren't even at the halfway point of the season, but this team is showing no signs of turning it around to get where they were in the beginning of the season.

Luckily, they won't have too much time to think about tonight's loss as the hit the ice against tomorrow against the talented Penguins on Saturday night. This will be a good challenge to test the Rangers' mettle.

-Mike Valvano

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