Friday, October 16, 2009

Prospal, Kotalik Making an Impact

Wes Goldstein at CBS Sports takes a look at lower profile newcomers that have made their presence felt on various teams in the early going including Vinny Prospal and Ales Kotalik...

3. Vaclav Prospal: Prospal didn't have a job until training camp was about to begin, so he came a lot cheaper than Gaborik for the Rangers. Prospal's numbers declined sharply last season, but the 34-year-old's history with coach John Tortorella make him a worthwhile gamble that has more than paid off to this point. Prospal is playing on the top line with Gaborik, and both have picked up 10 points in New York's seven games so far, six of them wins.

...not only is Prospal doing it on the score sheet, but he has brought veteran leadership along with a knowledge of Torts that he can pass along to other players especially the younger ones.

10. Ales Kotalik: Start with a Ranger and end with one, but Kotalik gets a mention because of what he's added to the New York power play. The Rangers were 29th in that department last season, but rank in the top 10 now because they are connecting twice as much as they did. Kotalik seemed to be an expensive free agent signing at $3 million a season, but his booming shot from the point has made a difference for New York when it has a man advantage. He has three goals among his seven points, and two have been on the power play.

...i got to tell you, I was way off with Kotalik. I thought he was going to be the typical half-effort, second tier European player. But this guy plays hard and his shot from the point speaks for itself. I know Del Zotto gets a lot of press for his work on the power play, but the threat of Kotalik's shot at the point is the difference between this year's man-up and last year's.

1 comment:

James said...

I was kinda optmistic about Kotalik if only because he seemed to be a Drury-endorsed acquisition. Say whatever you want about Drury and his production as a Ranger, but you can't deny the guy works hard and has the right mindset. I assumed Kotalik would be a hard-worker if Drury liked him. I don't think Drury has time for half-assed effort.