Where would Cam Talbot be without Ryan McDonagh‘s stick? Playing second fiddle to Henrik Lundqvist? Being penciled in for a minimum 5-7 starts as opposed to 23? Chicken Little was right, the sky is falling. It pains me to see this fan base fickle enough to acknowledge a two month stint of sheer luck. There are other “Blueshirts” who contributed to the success of New York’s record-breaking season. Athletes that don’t need ailing teammates to prove their worth.
Let’s play a game…
A. Who was a major factor in the rise of Rick Nash‘s MVP caliber season?
B. Who’s been an integral part of making Coach Vigneault’s top line click for two consecutive seasons?
Excellent puck handling, pristine vision and most importantly execution have all come from Derick Brassard. Since his acquisition from the Columbus Blue Jackets in April 2013, Brassard has not received the level of attention and respect his production deserves. While unleashing assists to his linemates Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash wasn’t enough for a Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, bear in mind that Brass has revolutionized the way Blueshirt faithful view center ice play.
The 27-year-old center currently leads the Rangers in assists, power play assists and power play points. He has gained a point in 43 of his 77 outings; a feat which puts him second on the team, only to Nash, in total points accumulation. Brassard has also won 49% of the teams 1,342 faceoffs. Second only in success rate to Dominic Moore, who has taken 309 fewer draws. How can you deny someone shedding a reputation for inconsistency and establishing themselves as a top-line center such recognition? How can you not acknowledge someone who’s turning a brand new contract into a dollar tree bargain brand steal?