My dad has a saying for success in sports: The Kids! The Kids! Play the Kids! He says that kids provide enthusiasm, exuberance, talent. It seems the Rangers were listening. After three games, it’s hard to tell if Michael Del Zotto is going to play as well as he has. It’s hard to tell if Matt Gilroy is going to play as well as he has. It’s hard to tell for Enver Lisin, even Brandon Dubinsky. It’s hard to tell for Artem Anisimov. But for three games, these guys have shown that they can produce, that they can infuse life into a team.
Let’s take last year’s team for example. Pretty veteran laden team. How many rookies did they have? Just Lauri Korpikosi. Include Callahan and Dubinsky, and that’s only 3 kids. Petr Prucha and Nigel Dawes were traded midseason. You see, the problem of the Rangers in the early 2000s was the lack of youngsters. You can overpay for veterans, and your team could be very talented, but unless you have that youthful exuberance, that youthful spirit, you’re not going to go very far. The Red Wings always call up a rookie or two for their playoff run. The Yankees in baseball infused youngsters and vets on their way to the best record in baseball this year. Youngsters are crucial to success in sports.
Now you have MDZ, Gilroy, Anisimov, Lisin on the ice nightly, and playing in all situations. It’s been three games. It would be foolish to get over excited. But, it’s exciting to watch these guys develop, produce, it’s good for the team. The Rangers might not win the Cup. But their success is crucial to the team’s success. It’s all about the kids. My dad was right all along.