How’s this for a candid assessment?
“This was probably the worst playoff game I’ve played as long as I can remember playing. For some reason, I couldn’t do anything. … I made poor plays and bad decisions. I have to forget about it and fight through it. I can’t go into a protection mode. I’ve got to be honest with myself. I was awful.”
That was Rangers forward Martin St. Louis, talking to the New York Post about his performance last night in a 4-2 loss to the Penguins.
St. Louis, 38, has not made the impact that was expected when the Rangers gave up Ryan Callahan, a first-rounder and a conditional second-rounder to get him out of Tampa Bay, where he had grown unhappy. In 19 regular-season games with the Rangers, he scored just once. And in 11 playoff games, he’s scored just twice, with no points in four contests against the Penguins.
Also remember that St. Louis is only signed through next season, and that just 10 players in the entire NHL are older than he is. For the Rangers, the trade with the Lightning was about winning now. Instead, they’re facing elimination in Game 5 of the second round.
Related: Slumping Rick Nash booed by Rangers fans
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.