Alexander Frolov and Erik Christensen haven’t quite shed their Halloween costumes yet. They’re playing like invisible men.
Their half-hearted shifts are adding to the Rangers inconsistency woes as they wait for their star sniper (Gaborik) and center pieces (Drury and Prospal) to return.
Frolov was brought in over the summer to take some of the offensive load off of Gaborik but so far he’s been dependent on hiding on the left wing on the original top line which featured the Gabster. The Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan line is the new number one, leaving Frolov to find his own way.
The $3-million-man has one point in his last five games and only two goals in 14 games this season. Even grinder Brian Boyle has more goals than that (5 so far this season, a career high for him).
Coach Tortorella on Frolov to Jim Cerny of rangers.nhl.com:“I want him to take his shot, from anywhere, even bad-angle shots. It can’t always be the same move, going to the backhand on the off-wing like he does a lot and taking it behind the net because teams scout and there are no secrets in this game. You have to change it up, and hopefully something will go in for him, and then he’ll regain some of his confidence.”
Another player who needs to change it up is Erik Christensen. The perpetual line bouncer has yet to find his groove this season.
Torts on Christensen via Cerny\’s twitter: “We’re not here to run him out of town, we are here to help him, but sometimes a player has to help himself. Everyone likes Erik. He’s a likable guy, but there has to be some consistency…with Erik it’s a mental thing.”
Granted perhaps, too much has been expected of him. The last time he had double digit goals was 18 in the 2006-07 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins.He is yet another example of a B- list celeb brought in to shuffle into an A list role. While he wasn’t a complete flop on the top line last season, he was living on borrowed time. The least he could do is bring some energy to the third line Brandon Prust style.
Bottom line: They are long overdue for a point.
The Blueshirts take on Alexander the Great (squared) and his Caps at MSG tonight. Marc Staal, Dan Girardi and Henrik Lundqvist have the tall order of shutting down Backstrom, Semin and Ovechkin. If they stay out of penalty trouble, they have a shot at two points.
About the Author
Written by Margaret DeJesus
I'm a recent college graduate looking for a dream job covering hockey. I've been watching the New York Rangers since my grade school days of VHS and Gordon Bombay's "ducks fly together" speech. While studying journalism at Boston University (COM '10), I wrote for the Daily Free Press, the student newspaper. I worked two summers at the Staten Island Advance, my hometown newspaper, writing city news and features. I've also written CD reviews for Music-Reviewer.com. One of my favorite gigs was interning for hockey analyst extraordinaire Stan Fischler covering the Boston Bruins and attending all their home games in the 2009-2010 season. (Yes, including the crushing defeat against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.)