After trading away their beloved captain on March 5th for Martin St. Louis, the Rangers made the decision not to name a new capitán for the remainder of the season.
Instead, Brad Richards, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi have been a captain by committee to lead the Rangers through the postseason.
However, Alain Vigneault admitted yesterday that Richards has stepped up as the de facto captain since the trade (via New York Post)…
“If there is one guy that has taken more of a ‘Take-charge, helping everybody along, being a real good teammates, sharing his experience,’ Brad is definitely up there.”
…i very much doubt that this news surprises anyone. Even though he wears the “A,” Richards definitely has always had that captain vibe. He’s taken many young Rangers under his wing during his tenure and is always willing to stand up for a teammate or the team in the press.
…i’m sure he’s had a huge role in the Rangers turnaround this series and led the charge to rally around a teammate going through a difficult time. At his advanced age, there’s going to be inconsistencies on the ice with Richards, but his influence in the locker room this time of year is invaluable.
…i still don’t see anyway the Rangers won’t buy him out at the end of the season, but make no mistake about it, his locker room presence will be missed.
One interesting note for tonight, the Penguins, for the first time in years, spent last night in a Pittsburgh hotel instead of in their own beds.
…wow, I don’t want to call that a panic move, but it’s a big change to a professional athlete’s routine.
…now will that move be the reason the Penguins win or lose tonight, I don’t think we’d ever be able to quantify that, but these guys are creatures of habit and it could potentially throw a couple of them off tonight.
…when I played lacrosse in college we would stay in hotels the night before road games and it’s a much more structured atmosphere than home games. Your mind is focused on the game from the time you wake up until the opening faceoff. So, I can see why Bylsma would want to make this change, but my hope is that this variation in normal operating procedure will mess with a few Penguins’ game preparation.