Hopefully, for the sake of Dan Girardi‘s sanity, he doesn’t hear all of the heckling.
The often-criticized New York Rangers defenseman is aware that he has plenty of critics and hopes to bounce back in 2016-17.
That doesn’t mean he necessarily loses sleep about it, as the New York Daily News reports.
“I want to come out here and prove I can play,” Girardi said. “I know I’ve got a lot of doubters out there, but I’m not really worried about what’s getting said around here or anywhere else. I’m worried about myself, the team and what I can do to help the team. Just play the best I can and not worry about anything else.”
In some quarters, Marc Staal also absorbs at least a portion of the heat that Girardi receives. Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault told the media that some rest did both blueliners some good.
“I can tell you what I’ve seen so far [at workouts], you can tell when you talk to them they’ve turned the page on the past and they’re focused on right now,” Vigneault said, according to Newsday. “They seem to be in a good space mentally.”
In other words, they’re probably not staring at things like their ghastly HERO charts:*
The preseason is a time that’s rife with optimism, and really, wouldn’t it be kind of weird if players moped their way into October?
It’s tough to imagine Girardi silencing his critics in 2016-17, but it’s plausible that he could get in his coach’s good graces. If nothing else, his biggest haters could at least root for the blueliner to pump up his trade value.
* – Hey, at least Staal’s chart was prettier to look at just a few years ago.