I must admit, I had to chuckle when I heard Rangers General Manager Glen Sather characterize the trades he made yesterday as adding “size” and “grit”. Images of players like Adam Hall, Petr Nedved and Marek Malik flashed through my head, as I reviewed the statistics of the two players in question.
So what have the Rangers added exactly? It surprised me a bit when I did a little more research into the two individual players, and while there’s a good chance the two acquisitions will be only in New York for a short time, there are perhaps more nuances than the statistics alone provide.
A quick perusal of Antopov’s stats show him with 21 goals and 25 assists this season. That alone puts him first on the Rangers in goals, and puts him just one point behind team leader Nikolai Zherdev (47) in points. Clearly Antropov has the capability to produce goals as much as anyone on the Rangers, and can apparently throw some helpers in there as well.
It’s not like this is the first time either that he’s scored 20+ goals. He did it in 2007-08 too when he set career highs for goals (26), assists (30) and points (56). Of course that was playing along side Mats Sundin, so it’s somewhat heartening that he can do without the big Swede beside him. Prior to that however and it’s been a story of unfulfilled promise. Antropov has 125 goals in 506 games, and 93 games over the course of six seasons. The good news is that he’s not missed a game this year with the Leafs, and missed just 10 last year.
Last year 12 of his 26 goals came on the power play, without Mats Sundin beside him it’s dropped to 6 this year – still good enough for third on the Rangers. Perhaps a little more offensive firepower (excuse the humor) will help him out there. His 171 shots on goal this year is a career high, which suggests he doesn’t shoot as much as you’d want to, while his 24 penalty minutes isn’t going to scare many – he did have 92 last year however.
He’s been credited with two fights in his NHLcareer, the last in 2003 when Erik Brewer took offense and tried to goad him into some fisticuffs. The other occasion was in the previous season with Cory Sarich – no details on that fight I’m afraid.