Another year of Rangers hockey is in the books, which means another gut-wrenching, season-ending loss to a hated opponent has come and gone. Everybody doing okay? Hopefully you didn’t become a face-eating atrocity in Miami like a certain other Rangerland writer did (R.I.P., Leedsy). Now that our feelings of rage, grief, and mourning have subsided, we can take the time to reflect on what a wonderful season the Blueshirts put together…and arbitrarily assign letter grades to the players and staff.
Positive: Bonded with teammates by playing first-person shooters.
Negative: Strained those bonds when the first person he shot was Mathieu Garon.
Negative: Couldn’t quite find the scoring touch he had last season.
Positive: Showed marked improvement in his beard-growing skills.
Positive: Provided great leadership on and off the ice in his first season as captain.
Negative: Didn’t do his captainly duty by scoring a hat trick in Game 6 against New Jersey.
Positive: Ummm…well, I guess his haircut wasn’t as terrible as it usually is.
Negative: Shall I compare thee to a fiery train wreck?
Positive: Was a nice guy and gave his #19 to Brad Richards.
Negative: Also gave him crabs.
Positive: Somehow managed to play in all 82 regular season games.
Negative: Only showed up for 5 playoff games.
Positive: Helped to foster chemistry between Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards, giving the Rangers a formidable first line.
Negative: Went to Michigan, so he’s probably kind of a dick.
Negative: Didn’t turn out to be a complete disappointment, letting Rangers fans think that they can actually have nice things.
Positive: Will be playing in Columbus next year.
Positive: Earned some key minutes on the power play late in the season.
Negative: Earned some key minutes on the power play late in the season.
Negative: A bit prone to taking bad penalties.
Positive: Still the best return from the Olli Jokinen deal.
Positive: Gave Rangers fans a signature moment with his last-minute heroics in Game 5 against Washington.
Negative: Messed up Henrik Lundqvist’s hair by putting the Broadway Hat on it.
Positive: Scored two goals in the Winter Classic.
Negative: Had less assists than Henrik Lundqvist this season. Seriously, look it up.
Positive: Avoided the dreaded sophomore slump and contributed well on the top two lines.
Negative: Didn’t give me his mom’s phone number when I met him outside the Garden.
Negative: Doesn’t really know how to play defense.
Positive: Was 100% in the faceoff circle this season.
Michael Del Zotto
Positive: Bounced back nicely from a horrendous sophomore season that saw him relegated to the minors.
Negative: Looks enough like Andy Samberg that I don’t mind when someone punches him in the face.
Positive: Definitely not as bad as the last guy who wore #44.
Negative: Was consistently scratched in favor of Stu Bickel.
Positive: Was a defensive warrior all season long, consistently shutting down the opposition’s top players and providing a physical presence on the blueline.
Negative: Had more points than Marian Gaborik in the playoffs. Wrap your head around that one.
Positive: We got this guy for Scott Gomez? Hahahahahahahahahahahah
Negative: Suffered a season-ending and career-threatening concussion after a brutal check from Dion Phaneuf.
Positive: Still a totally solid defensive defenseman for my NHL 12 team.
Negative: Sat out the first half of the season due to post-concussion syndrome.
Positive: At least we didn’t have to hear about which Staal brother was the better tipper during the games he missed against the Hurricanes and Penguins.
Positive: Provided Rangers fans with the European scapegoat on the blueline they’ve longed so desperately for since Michal Rozsival was traded.
Negative: Could’ve tried to be a little more Russian instead.
Positive: Provided solid relief for Henrik Lundqvist, allowing him to get more rest in the regular season.
Negative: The Biron Rule isn’t quite as funny as the Avery Rule.
Positive: Played MVP-caliber hockey all season long, stealing many games for the Rangers and keeping the score close in several games they had no business being in.
Negative: Really could’ve used some more goals from him during the playoffs.
Positive: I’m not going to answer that.
Negative: Next question.
Grade: We’re going to keep it in the room.
Positive: Says more during between-periods interviews than John Tortorella does in press conferences.
Negative: Despite his best efforts, could not keep the Rangers off of the Road to Perdition.
Positive: Didn’t break up the team’s nucleus by trading away valuable young assets for Rick Nash.
Negative: Can’t decide if Zach Parise is worth Scott Gomez money or Bobby Holik money.
The 2011-12 New York Rangers
Positive: Won first overall in the East using a core of young players and key free agent additions with a philosophy built around team defense, shot blocking, and superb goaltending. Won two thrilling Game 7s at home in the playoffs before bowing out in their first Eastern Conference Final appearance since 1997. Exceeded all expectations and solidified the franchise as one that would once again be among the elite in the NHL.
Negative: Waived Sean Avery. Twice.
Final grade: F
Hat tip to Sed for helping with the grades.
Sed’s note: Because if there’s one thing that I LOVE to do, it’s spend my evenings grading. God-damned entitled undergrads…