Guest blogger Doug Lowenstein: Season in review

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1. The pattern was set in Europe.  The Rangers were mostly out-skated in both games against LA and Anaheim, and the shot blocking persona came into sharp relief.  We were going to be a black and blue team.  But nothing over those first 10 games hinted at the team’s potential.  In fact, the Rangers were outshot 321-245 over the first 10 games. On Oct. 18 in Vancouver, the slow start continued for two dismal periods as the Canucks flew across the ice but could not pierce the Wall of Hank.  And in the third, Mike Rupp put the Blueshirts ahead en route to a stunning 4-0 win. That’s when the season began to turn.

2. Back home, though, losses to the Leafs and a blown 3-0 lead to Ottawa left us at 3-4-2 when the preseason Cup favorite Sharks rolled in.  But Marty stoned them 5-2 for his 2nd win (remember Joe Thornton’s “we are better than  them” post-game whine…how is your golf game, Joe?).  The game was another key milestone as fans began to believe that the plan to rest Hank 20 games a year might actually work out.

3. The win over the Sharks launched a season defining seven-game win streak.  Two bad losses on the road against the Habs and FL were discouraging but the Rangers came home and won two electrifying games against the Flyers and the Pens.  Yet, the discerning fan still worried recognizing that through the first 22 games we were being out shot 673-577 suggesting there was a lot of dependence on Hank who by now was clear was having a Vezina quality season.  But could he avoid the dips we had seen in past years?

4. The Winter Classic hype began to build through December and the Rangers played continued to impress.  The month saw some real highlights, from the goal against Phoienix with .01 seconds left to Hagelin’s SH goal against Marty in a 4-1 W over the Devils, to another throbbing 4-2 home win against the Flyers.  Of course, the Winter Classic capped off a stellar 11-5-1 run, including 5 straight, between Dec.1-Jan.2 firmly establishing the Rangers as a legitimate threat to win the East. By now, Hank’s jaw dropping level of play was taken for granted, and we realized McD was the steal of Sather’s tenancy as Ranger GM.

5. January dawned and many of us waited for the swoon.  We’d seen it so often…good starts, then a collapse in Jan-Feb and a desperate sprint just to make the playoffs.  Would this year be different?

6.  Belief began to really set in this month as the Rangers posted an 8-3-1 record, including memorable Ws like the 3-2 OT heart stopper against Boston with the 5-3 goal with seconds left, Callie’s SO roofer against the Sabres after Hank and Miller put on a clinic in goal, and another OT win against TB in a fire wagon hockey game when Marty stood tall.  And by now we knew the team was resilient, bouncing back from tough losses to Pitt only to beat Boston on the road, stinking up against Montreal only to shutout the Preds next, getting shut out at home by Ottawa (tough on us all year) only to play a near perfect game in shutting out the Leafs at the AC Centre.

7. The team closed out Feb. 6-3 but cracks were starting to show and in March they were more visible.  The month imposed a burdensome 17 games in 30 day run including multiple 3 games in 4 nights, and it took its toll.  We saw some games where the team looked out of it (Avs, Sabres, Hawks, Pens) and April started with a 2-1 loss to the Bruins where the team looked over matched for much of the game, and the season ended with 3 of 4 losses.  But for an inexplicable swoon by the Pens against the Isles (the Isles!) the Rangers might well have lost first place and ended up in the 4th seed and a first round series against the Flyers.  I wonder how much Sather’s stand pat deadline posture cost us, not because of Nash but the failure to add any depth on the back line.

8. The playoffs are too recent and too painful to bear review.  We all know what happened.  The team never seemed as dominant as they had before the March gauntlet.  They seemed weary no matter what Torts said.  They were on the heels more than at any point through the season.  Objectively, they were outplayed well over 50% of the 60 periods (not including OT) they played, and in the final they dominated only 5 periods, 4 of them when there was total desperation.  In fact, there was an eerie similarity between the team we saw in the playoffs and the team which was run out of buildings over the first 10 games.  As Carp and others have pointed out, this was a .500 club after March 1.   So where does that leave us?

9. It leaves me cautiously optimistic but hardly confident we can repeat as best in the East or even as Conference finalists.  You can’t expect to go 6-0 against the Flyers again, the Pens are going to have Sid for a full year which is scary, the Sens are for real, the Bruins will be back, the Canes, the Panthers, the Caps, and the Lightning all figure to improve.  So must we.

10. I believe in the Torts system BUT I believe there must be more balance.  We were lucky no one got seriously hurt blocking shots (remember Callie in 2011), and even though we reversed the shot on goal disparity (ended up with 6th lowest shots against), we were 20th in shots for, and only three playoff teams were worse — NJ, Preds, Caps.  In other words, 12 of 16 playoff teams had more shots on goal than the Rangers.  Stats can lie but in this case I believe it reveals a real issue — lack of consistent offensive zone puck control and pressure, forcing us to play in our own end too much, thus requiring the surplus of shot blocking and heightening the risk of serious injury which amazingly we managed to avoid (Callie, please start wearing the new protective skates). I remember the Torts team in Tampa and it was relentless offensively, and by the way, Vinny, Marty, and BR were not recklessly blocking shots).  Shot blocking should represent your work ethic and commitment to excellence and whatever it takes, but it should not be what you build a team around.  It leaves no margin for error and the playoffs proved that.  A few 4-1 games would have made a huge difference.

11. If I were Slats: I would do everything possible to add Parise or Nash…we need another legit sniper or else Gabby gets collared as happened in the playoffs, and while I think Kreider looks great 15 playoff games does not a career make and an 82 game grind is entirely different.  I would sign a Jaret Stoll or Chris Kelly (we have serious depth issues up the middle (AA is a waste, Step may be the real deal but disappeared  last two months so can’t count on him, and doubt J,T. Miller is ready for the bigs so who exactly centers a second acorer if we nab one?

12. I would try to sign or trade for a blueliner who understands how to shoot slappers from the point and actually gets it on goal (I think we lead the league in point shots that missed the net and AA would be a 50 goal scorer if the glass behind the goal counted); the Panthers Jason Garrison who had 16 goals or even a Mike Green whose defensive liabilities can be covered up if he is paired with the right guy.  If we can either sign or trade for Ryan Suter or Shea Weber we should do it (I would regard Dubie and  AA as trade bait, and even DeLZ if there is a package we could put together for one of those guys).

13. No idea if any of the above can work under the cap, or exactly how to package things.  That’s why Slats gets the big bucks.  Hopefully, some of the kids (Erixon, Miller, Thomas) are ready to step in but I would not count on it.  In sum, a run to the finals this year would have been overachieving.  It was great, exciting, filled with highs and lows, and cardiac moments.  But what a ride!  For the first time in years I am actually looking forward to a new season with belief not just blind hope.  And that feels good.

 

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263 Comments

  1. Signing Schultz is step 1, not only does he give them the mobile dman who can shoot and run a pp, but he will be less than 1m for 2 years as opposed to a Suter who’ll be 8x more. Suter is a better player as of now but I don’t even think the gap is that much, Schultz is NHL ready and will probably turn into an AS within 3-5 years. DZ though he has alot of raw offensive ability is just too much of a wildcard, with no shot to boot. I’d try and package AA/Dubinsky/DZ and 2 1sts to Columbus for Nash. You could replace AA’s numbers with a FA 3rd liner like Hudler/Boyes/Samuelsson who are better players as of now. Hopefully Erixon is ready to step in and contribute in the top 6. If not Schultz then look at a Wideman/Corvo/Souray type.

  2. Good morning, boneheads!

    Wow, nice surprise. Very well written, Doug. I hope you post here often, under whatever name.

    On #2. What Jumbo Joe actually said was :”we should’ve win this game. That was the softest team we played during that long road trip”

    On free agents- agree to an extent. The cap won’t be an issue. Disagree on Suter. He’ll cost around $6-$6.5M per year, but plays L side with L handed shot. Even if you trade MDZ, that still leaves Staal and McDonagh on the left. Which one of them, if you include Suter, plays 3rd pair minutes?

  3. Should’ve won, darn iPhone.

    Gotta run to work for a few hours, they need help. Later.

  4. Nice Job Doug!Only 1 criticism…. MIKE GREEN????? REALLY????? Did you watch that guy in the playoffs. Soft as one of Fatso’s donuts!

    I have total faith in Gordie Clarke. If they go after Justin Schultz, I believe we will NOT be looking at another Matt Gilroy!

    Totally agree that we need another stud scorer. Love Parise but totally doubt he will sign with the Rangers!

    GO KINGS!!!

  5. Boo-Ka-Boom on

    Morning Peeps,

    Thnks for the review Doug.

    #12- “AA would be a 50 goal scorer if the glass behind the goal counted” = priceless :)

  6. And how exactly is AA worse than useless Stepan besides an obvious misfortune of being a europansy?

  7. bull dog line on

    need at least 1 left wing, possibly 2. not sure what Kreider is yet. may be top 6 next season, but can’t be sure. Dubi, Hagelin, and AA are 3rd line wingers. one must go to fill other needs (Dman).

  8. bull dog line on

    a decision is going to have to be made on AA sooner, rather than later. I believe he is a year away from having to be paid. do you want to pay a 15 goal scorer, or do you want to keep waiting for potential. they have a team full of checkers, and some kids knocking on the door to replace AA.

  9. AA’s defensive play is what is likely to keep him here.And at least he did not disappear in postseason like Stephan, Boyle, Dubbie.

  10. Czechthemout!!! on

    Schultz is the answer for a lot of the questions that are on defense. And yes I realize that he is not guaranteed to be a great or even good player bla blah whatever. But I ave watched him play and so have a bunch of other people that have written about him. He has been compared to Drew Doughty by Bob Mckenzie and others. To me, he plays more like Duncan Kieth but with a better offensive game. He will be the moment he signs his contract the QB of the power play and the best offensive defenseman on the team. I just hope Sather,McD, Stepan, and Torts can sell him on why we are his best choice.

    Schultz said he is looking for a chance to compete right away for a spot on a team that is young and fairly close to contending for the Cup. There is no better description than that for what we currently are. Plus the fact that Torts shows every season that he is not afraid to play young kids. In fact he insists on it.

    I believe he will sign here.

  11. bull dog line on

    kovie,
    so you want to pay the checker. this AA love is starting to head towards Avery territory. AA is a so, so player. one who is easily replaced. like Stepan did this year when AA could not handle the number 2 center spot. or last year, when every center on the team outplayed him.

  12. bull dog line on

    AA middle name is disappear. that is all he does for long stretches of the season. I think he went 17 games without a point, and then followed that up with a 12 gamer. but his defence was great!

  13. Paul in Sunrise on

    Based on the recent signings I am expecting Hartford to look a whole lot different. May even look like like that Girardi/Cally/Dubi team, young with potential NHLers.

  14. Wow Doug you captured it perfectly. Both the results and what it all means.

    Suter is good but I’m concerned he could be one of those decent players who gets overpaid and for too long and then he won’t be viewed rationally.

    I like your calling out Mike Green, that took courage on this board. I think it would be intriguing to have him on our back line especially on the power play. Yes he’s a bit soft but as Torts said sometimes you have to prioritize talent and hope the player can learn from the team culture. Theres plenty of grit, we need some guys with skills.

    Be interesting to see what happens with Nash, I think some of our guys lost trade value with their playoff performances with the spotlight of the hockey world on them. Guys like Stepan and MDZ who we refused to consider moving at the trade deadline, it would be interesting to see if they command the return we would expect.

  15. If Anisimov is (and always will be) a third line checker…

    (a) So what?
    (b) Why be worried about him “getting paid”? Won’t he “get paid” like a third line checker with as little leverage as a RFA with mediocre scoring stats has?

  16. Paul in Sunrise on

    I guess I expect a Nash deal, but I think Slats will be swapping kids for kids if he trades any kids. Key here is that AA and Dubi are no longer kids. Stepan is not going anywhere with Schultzie waiting for a deal.

  17. Paul in Sunrise on

    Matteau – I think MDZ played well aside from the last few games…which can be attributed to a lapse in concentration due to family issue. He scored and played a ton of minutes. Attractive in a 21/22 year old D-man. I think he could fetch talent if dealt. If he can play the right side he may just stay.

  18. Sorry for the interjection here: My buddy, a lifelong Red Wings fan from CT, just guaranteed that Suter and Parise would be Red Wings next year.

  19. Paul in Sunrise on

    Manny – I just don’t see Parise agreeing to Rangers and Suter is not likely a target since money will be spent on scoring. What I don’t like is that Detroit will likely be in the “east” next year so rangers would have to play them more often.

  20. bull dog line on

    so what! so average hockey player is the standard now. the Rangers already have a 3rd line checking center, a good one at that in Boyle. my point at getting paid is that chances are the Rangers are not going to pay him to be a checker, therefore just let him go. I would rather trade him before that.

  21. Anisimov and Boyle need to spend the off-season with Gary Roberts so that they can pack on some muscles and get stronger on their skates. They both have the size to have an impact on the game. Boyler also needs to take AA to his power skating coach ti get stronger on their skates.

    Just say no to Garrison – beware of average players who have career years in their walk years. The Rangers have to be careful in free agency because the last thing they need to do is go back to free spending ways.

    Make a big swing for a Parise and if you can’t get or make a reasonable trade, then look to add a couple of 20-25 goal scorers and hope quantity makes up for quality. At the very least, it would add scoring av=cross four lines instead of concentrating it on one or two lines.

  22. That’s pretty much what I txted him back Paul. Vibin’ (not on the rug).

    Especially if the Devils win. But realistically the Wings are coming to the East and dominating the crap out of everyone with Suter and some other big time Forward.

    Exploit Howard!

  23. bull dog line on

    the Rangers are already paying Dubi 4 mill a year, for maybe 20 goals. do you really want to pay a 15 goal scorer/ checker. a decision will have to be made, Miller is on the way.

  24. Paul I hope you’re right about MDZ but even if hes still valued by other gms, he probably had more value in March than he does now.

  25. Manny, I think your friend is right. There are still some professional athletes who are honorable and Parise seems like one of them. No way he signs with the Rangers. He can still sign for a lot of money with a great organization by going to Detroit.

  26. Fine (if more than a little debatable) if you simply see Anisimov as a superfluous commodity given Boyle’s presence.

    But even if he has already maxed out as a 15-goal checker (again, debatable), I don’t see the alarm over him potentially getting a $4m contract as a RFA.

  27. bull dog line on

    cant have to many 15 goal scorers getting 4 mill a year, you know because of that pesky thing called a salary cap. and if you don’t think Boyle is a more important player for the Rangers, than you have not been paying attention.

  28. Anthony M – Good analysis. Good point on Garrison. I have been crying for Boyler to get stronger on his skates for 3 years. He has improved but needs too even more. I love the guy, love his heart, love that’s he’s on my team. Tired of seeing him come out from contact with smaller players on the losing end.

  29. Nash or Parise is coming. We’ll soon see if Parise was “in the plans” as Richards was, or as Gomez/ Drury were.I personally think the primary target should be Weber.

  30. We also need to coo whatever is necessary to bring back Christensen. He is the missing piece.

    Take note of how we bowed out of the Eastern Finals without his presence. Direct correlation.

  31. Bull dog- what would AA need to do to keep him, in your opinion? And where did $4M number come from?

  32. AA is useless. He’s not part of the “puzzle” – get rid of this clown at all costs.

  33. bull dog line on

    to me he is the odd man out. Hagelin, Dubi, and Kreider ahead of him on the left. we all think they are going to try to add a scoring left wing, that will move him down further on depth chart. at center, you have Richards, Stepan, and Boyle ahead of him. is a 4th line center? now if you tell me they going to be able to move Dubi at 4 mill a year, then I could see AA having a role. the 4 mill came from Dubi, and AA being RFA after next season. should the Rangers pay for what they hope may happen, or what has actually happened. I don’t think they are going to pay him, so do you let him go for nothing? or do you trade before that?

  34. “to me” being an operative word, bull dog. He’s shown he is very versatile, can play both center and wing from 1st to 3rd line. Torts trusts him with any situation, PK, PP, even strength…Sure they’d like him to score more. And there is no way he is getting $4M unless he scores 30 next year. I’m not suggesting they won’t trade if an attractive deal comes along, but I doubt they are actively looking to trade him.

  35. bull dog line on

    he has never shown he can play on the top line. he has ben given chance after chance on top lines, and he has always coughed it up. and yeah “to me”. isn’t this blog about opinions? to you he is versatile with potential. to me, he is a checker who gets passed on the depth chart every year.

  36. I’m not buying for a second that Parise won’t sign here because it’s not an “honorable” thing to do. He’ll go where he gets his money and where it would be the best for his career. Elias would’ve been here a few years back if they gave him an NMC he wanted.

    And before you proclaim Detroit being the best place to go for anyone, consider this:

    Datsyuk, 33, signed through 2014
    Franzen, 32, signed through 2020
    Zetterberg, 31, signed through 2021
    Bertuzzi, 37, signed through 2014
    Holmstrom is 39. Goaltending?

  37. bull dog line on

    kovie,
    do you mean how much is Stepan getting paid for his clutch 3 point performance in game 6 against Ottawa? you know the game were season was on the line, or maybe game 7 in that same series? or maybe being the top center for a large chunk of the season while Richards figured thing out?

  38. Jimmy Howard is a starter in this league, ilb. Wouldn’t consider him upper-echelon, but he isn’t lower-tier either.

  39. bull dog line on

    kovie,
    I am not convinced that Stepan is going to be more than he is now. I do not think he is fast enough, or has a good enough shot to be a big scorer. but he is a very smart, and skilled player.

  40. When an organization has invested scouting, development and ice time into a home grown player, it’s tough sometimes to realize that perhaps the player is not going to reach the level of projection. Not that the player is a bust, but you look at AA and have to believe the Rangers projected a 20-25 goals, 60 point player or better. Then the question becomes, do we accept him as is, be even more patient and allow further time to develop with the hope that he can reach that level, or do we move him while he still has an upside and we can get similar upside value in return. AA is a tough call – what you see (10-15 goals, 30-40 pts). might be the best you gonna get from him. If so, is that okay? Can you live with that? Obviously, a lot more than goals and points determine a players value to a team. How does Torts value him? top 6? bottom 6?

  41. bull dog line on

    I still would prefer Stepan to Anisimov. Stepan does more with what he has, than Anisimov does with what he has. and I do not view center as an area of need, while a goal scoring left wing is a big need.

  42. Starter he is, Latona. But he is 28 with .917% SV and 2.41 GAA careers average. On a pretty good defensive team.

  43. Bull Dog, Kovie,

    AA has the hands and the skating. I think the question with him is can he bring a consistent level of physicality to his game? Does he have the heart, the eye of the tiger to get to the next level. I am not convinced that he does.

  44. bull dog line on

    Papa Bear,
    the question is how long do you wait? he has had 2 disappointing seasons in a row.

  45. bull dog line on

    Anisimov lacks hockey instincts. that is not something that can be taught.

  46. My two cents, and it has nothing to do with one being a europansy:

    Anisimov could still figure this out, because he has the skill to be more than a 15-goal scorer and the brains to play away from the puck. Just turned 24.

    Stepan has some stuff to still figure out, too, but he has more skill and should put up more points than Anisimov and be on a higher line. He just finished his second season, had some moments in the playoffs, disappeared at other times, and isn’t yet 22.

    i don’t believe they’re looking to get rid of either, but I think they would include either in a trade that they felt improved the team.

    FWIW, Torts like both of them.

  47. Bull Dog, Bingo!! I would debate whether you could categorize his last two season as disappointing. Inconsistent yes, disappointing might be too harsh for me. But your right, the most difficult variable here (at least for me) is the question of when. I think the approach should be, for the right deal, and only for the right deal we move him. The right deal could be either straight up in a one for one, or as part of a package for a front line player….it has to be the right deal>

  48. Nice write-up. Kind of agree about shot blocking. You need it, but maybe not to such excess. It is hard to recover a blocked shot, too. It very often winds up right back on the O-man’s stick. We need to be somewhat more diversified. We need better puck handling in our own zone so we are not trying to shove everything out along the boards. I saw too many feeble attempts to clear pucks when guys were not even pressured. Dont like AA much. He drops like he is shot when he runs into normal contact sometimes. You just want to see more of an edge for a guy to be playoff useful. MDZ may have offensive skills but he coughs up the puck way too much. I do like his nastiness around Henrik, tho. I like to see D-men protect their goalie. I also believe that we have to have another skilled D man. Even a very talented rookie. I mean, Staal’s health is no sure thing either. Look what happened to Crosby when he came back. One real scorer and maybe a secondary scorer (who could be Kreider?) and someone to win faceoffs. Can the cap handle it? I am willing to chip in.

  49. Never said Anisimov was more important than Boyle. Just don’t quite agree that they do the same job.

    But if they are in the same ballpark, what makes you think he’ll get a $4m deal when Boyle gets under $2m?

  50. And I’m not at all opposed to Anisimov being moved in the right deal (since other GMs will probably covet disapponting third line checkers due a whacking raise…)

    Just don’t see the Rangers being forced into some major, time-critical decision over him.

  51. Carp – That’s what makes this s a really important time for this team and organization. They have several players who are on the cusp of taking it to the next level in AA, Stepan, MDZ, Hagelin – each possessing certain skills and lacking in others. Will they or won’t they get to the next level? It’s a crap shoot to some degree. There is risk in every decision. But I agree with your philosophy – only if you think it makes the team better.

  52. bull dog line on

    LW3H,
    you picked the 4 mill, not me. I said he was either going to get paid after next season, or be gone.

  53. bull dog line on

    Papa Bear,
    did he produce at the level expected, or even hoped for. if the answer is no, then he was a disappointment. this season he took a big step back, and last season of the centers on the team, he was the one who did not meet or exceed expectations.

  54. Cap isn’t an issue next year. CapGeek is estimating it to be $70.3M, although the number isn’t precise since the league can not determine the final revenue until after the SC Final is over.

  55. if you make a good-riddance trade, it’d better be with a guy like Christensen or Wolski, who you know aren’t going to make it. You don’t do that with guys who might figure it out, especially while you are building toward something … and the Rangers are still at that stage, regardless of what was accomplished this year.

    on the other hand, if you can make a deal you feel makes you better, virtually nobody’s untouchable.

  56. Bull Dog

    Well you could down the roster, look at “production” and make a case for a lot more players than just AA not producing to the level expected or even hoped for. He was 7th in scoring, plus 12, was 4th in PP goals even though he had very limited PP minutes , killed penalties, and played wing for a portion of the season. Followed the regular season with a decent playoff, tied for 4th in Playoff scoring. I would not say his season was disappointing, but that is just my opinion.

  57. lots of coaches and GMs also get fired for trading guys who do figure it out after you’ve traded them.

  58. ThisYearsModel on

    I have never had a labrum injury, but I have a son who did. He was flat put unable to play hockey until he got it fixed and rehabbed. It is disappointing that Torts throws him under the bus in an interview while aware that he was playing hurt in the Devils series.

  59. bull dog line on

    well than your expectations for him were not that high. actually I think your expectations for him were realistic. and there is the problem for me, I think he is a nice player, who does nothing exceptional, but does most things average. he can be replaced.

  60. Look, nobody knows the players better than their current team and the coaches who see them every day in practice and in games, especially in breaking down video.

    and they do it without the fan-heart thing, that “I don’t like this guy, they should trade him” garbage.

  61. bull dog line on

    or Zubov, well actually he had it figured out when he was traded. so I guess he doesn’t count.

  62. My main concern about AA, is consistency of effort. He is through 3 full season now and has yet to show a consistent effort, shift to shift, game to game. For me, that’s what is holding him from reaching the next level – consistent effort, shift to shift, game to game.

  63. there was a personal thing there with a coach who felt those two guys quit on him at a critical point in the coach’s career. And they did. But he still should not have let that happen.

    though Kovalev never did figure it out.

  64. And players who fall below “exceptional” have to be traded?

    I didn’t bring up $4m either, but I presume the phrase “getting paid” has the connotation of getting overpaid. Like I said, a player with mediocre scoring stats and little leverage as a RFA isn’t likely to get a monster deal (and his scoring numbers aren’t where Dubinsky’s were, for comparison), so I fail to see the urgency to get rid before his contract is due.

  65. I don’t get all the Anisimov hate. You take your time with big guys with skill….You could argue that he was transformed into a defensive player as a prospect in CT….he was projected as more of an offensive player, than a two-way player, and he happens to be one of the best two-way players playing in the best division in hockey….

    I think he has some of the most natural talent on the team. He could be a first liner. He has all the tools and we have seen him look like Rick Nash when he scores goals….

    Patience….and, if something better comes along, then you think about a trade…I don’t think the Rangers want to do that…

  66. The Gaborik benching might have been Torts weird way of sending a message to the team as opposed to sending a message to Gaborik. Prust sayin’.

  67. What do you folks think the hiring of Hartley in Calgary means? Are they going for it while Iginla is still skating, or they are going to retool? Hartley hasn’t coached in NHL since 2007

  68. AA was a young kid, away from home, in a foreign culture, spoke little to zero English when he arrived. He has played 3 seasons for a coach who rightfully drilled into him defense, defense, defense. I think he’s done okay considereing….

    Stepan another young player who has had 2 seasons of defense, defense, defense drilled into him.

    That is Torts philosophy with young players ( I’m sure we’ll see it again with Kreider). So yeah, you don’t see the offensive numbers. Let’s see how it plays out over the next couple of years if they stick around now that they’ve learned how to play on the defensive side of the puck.

  69. I’d imagine that Iggy isn’t pleased with the way that organization is handling itself.

    Feaster might wait until Nash is traded first. Maybe he can get more for Iggy based on the Nash price…

    I also don’t think for a second that Feaster would howser, like Howser did….

  70. Most miserable 6 hours of my life. Nautious, weak, in the middle seat and stuck next to a bostonian watching the celtics playoff game. Pumping his god damn fists every god damn minute, yelling out at the tv. I knew he was a bostonian as soon as he sat next to me. He had that look, the look of a (insert bad word here). So like a fool, i ask him if he’s a celtcis fan, he says yes and says im his worst nightmare w a yankees shirt and giants hat on.

    Anyhow, besides being an aasenhole over the game, he did give me a couple aleve to try and be nice, and i tried helping him with his busted headset, to which he said a red sox and yankees fan helping each other.. cats and dogs living together…

    How his headset got busted? He went to the bathroom, it was a super expensive bose headset, so i poured some water on them. He kept whining about how all of a sudden, only one ear was working, the sound was mono. Hahahaha, take that bostonian!

  71. “Some on this board who are now chiding the anti-gabbys are the same people who ridiculed when it was called out during Ottawa he had to be hurt the way he was playing.”

    Carrying this one forward. What about those of us who said people were being ridiculous for destroying him in part because we thought he was playing hurt? Do we get smart bonuses?

    (Really, the point of me calling people out is because it’s almost universally stupid to call out a player for being scared or not wanting it enough and yet we see it all the time. Annoys my face off. Hockey pun.)

  72. Oh, the headset story I didn’t know….That wasn’t nice, I hope it recovers….

  73. I told u ilb im not a good person. I had to be true to myself. What kind of NY fan would i be if i didnt capitalize on the opportunity?

  74. czechthemout!!!! on

    Carp

    Serious question. Would you trade AA for Prust straight up?

    I am just as frustrated with AA and MDz and their inconsistency. And I would would trade both of them for Nash without thinking twice. But to say that Prust is more important to the Rangers than AA is silly.

  75. How about Mike Baxter? The Pride of Whitestone!! He could play on the Rangers’ 4th line…talk about giving up your body for your team….

  76. bull dog line on

    why does it have to be called hate. I don’t hate Anisimov. I just do not think he as good as other people do.

  77. Because it sounds like hate.

    “he has never shown he can play on the top line. he has ben given chance after chance on top lines, and he has always coughed it up”

    The GAS line was very, very good. And, it was Anisimov who did a lot of excellent things, when that line was going….

    For whatever reason, it stopped working….I can’t blame that all on Artie….

  78. bull dog line on

    czech,
    that was my reaction when I read Carp’s comment. then I thought about it. if you are talking about size speed and skill, then its a no brainer its Anisimov. but I think you need to look at value to the team.playing tough, protecting teammates, doing all the dirty work, setting an example of toughness. than its Prust easy.

  79. NYR FAN

    I bet AA could play for the Metsies. Probably all glove no stick though.

  80. bull dog line on

    thats not hate, thats fact. he has been given many chances on the top lines. he was given the number 2 center job to start this season, and he did cough it up.

  81. Mister D if you called out that gabby must have been playing hurt and ignored those saying he was fine, and you said he shd get slack because he was playing hurt then yes absolutely you get points.

    I called out he must have been playing hurt but when media said he was fine I believed it against my better judgment, and questioned his courage. I don’t feel good about that part of it now.

    All that being said I still take Iggy over him in a second. But that’s a different point.

  82. Fair enough, bull dog. I understand the frustration….but, I still think he is too raw to just give away and say he isn’t a top-6 player. He has value.

    Only in the right move….Nash, Iginla, or Kane….obviously, then we move him….

  83. bull dog line on

    now the Gabby hate I don’t get. produced a lot of goals in 2 of his 3 seasons. scored a pretty big goal in the playoffs, and now you can’t even question his toughness.

  84. Iib we disagree on Parise, let’s make sure one of us is on here July 1 to acknowledge they were wrong.

  85. In terms of value to the team it’s not even close between Prust and Artie

  86. bull dog line on

    do not want to just give away Anisimov. I think they need help on D. someone who can play top 4 or 5 minutes. he plays a position that the Rangers have depth in there organization. if you can get a youngish top 4 or 5 D man for him, I do it. if you can’t get the value you are looking for, well, you can do a lot worse than Anisimov.

  87. Anyone can be moved…………..If it improves the team (or dumps salary to make room for a FA – which ultimately is trying to improve the team also!)

  88. Will be a tough call, Matteau….Unless he signs here, of course. If he doesn’t, how would one know it was because it’s not “honorable” thing to do, or he just got a better deal all around, better fit in his opinion. I say it’s still 50/50. In fact, according to what Carp, and other sources say, the Rangers are going to go for it. Does that mean they feel he isn’t an “honorable” athlete?

  89. I think it would be a dishnorable move for team captain and MVP to go to your most hated rival, one whose coach nearly came to blows with yours, just for money. Some might do it, I just don’t see him doing it. Just my opinion.

  90. Understanding that many have not seen Nash enough to have an informed opinion on his value, but making an assumption that he’s as good as most GMs think, curious, would you do this trade for him…

    Stepan, MDZ, Dubi, Thomas, no 1 in 2013.

  91. Reluctantly I think I would do that deal. If Anisimov replaces Stepan in the deal I do it almost immediately.

  92. czechthemout!!!! on

    Ilb

    I realize it will take more than AA and MDZ to get Nash, but not a lot more than those two guys. Maybe Dubi and the first rounder as well. We will soon find out I think.

    It doesn’t matter if Prust and AA are different players. No GM in the league would ever trade AA for Prust straight up. Many of us here including me like and respect Prust for what he does. That said, he is a fourth line player who is easily replacable in free agency or through a trade. That doesn’t mean that I would want to replace him. I would rather dump the garbadge player that is Mike Rupp and give his contract to Prust.

  93. Re: #12 blueliner who understands how to shoot slappers from the point

    I think it’s lost on a lot of fans how hard it is to get a shot on net from the point. While no one would mistake any of the Rangers blueliners for Lidstrom, Chara or MacInnis their shots as a group aren’t too, too bad.

    The real issue in my mind is that the Rangers forwards don’t create enough space for the D to get those shooting lanes straight to the net and they’re shooting wide because someone is either in the lane or they don’t have a solid look towards the net. I also don’t think the dump, chase then play below the goal line style they employed for much of the season helped either.

    Look at the powerplay if you need proof – they just couldn’t get shots from the point on net because there was always someone in the way because the puck movement wasn’t quick enough to create shooting lanes. Now think about that same scenario at even strength and you’ll see what I mean.

  94. Matteau – a lot to give up for one player but a deal that might get it done. In essence, you would be down from the current roster a 3rd line left wing (Dubi) and the #4 D MDZ (Nash and Stepan cancel each other out). Who replaces MDZ? I am not sure if I would do it, lacking a plan to fill the D slot.

  95. czechthemout!!!! on

    Matteau

    I would do the trade only if AA replaced Stepan in it. I don’t get the Stepan hate by some. Sure he was inconsistent in the playoffs and that needs to change. That said, he came up huge in the Ottawa series in game six and seven. He also played well in game seven of the Caps series. He also improved his point total from last season by about 20% , and he is not even 22 quite yet. He is not the problem and I bet that a full year playing with his WJC line mate Chris Kreider will yield an even bigger improvement in his stats.

  96. Artie’s shot reminds me of Shanahan as a Ranger. He either snipes it or misses the net by several kilometers.

  97. czechthemout!!!! on

    Matteau
    Don’t get me wrong, I also think AA is replacable which is why I would trade him I think both of them are replacable but if given the choice, to me its a know brainer. I would take AA every time.

  98. There’s no Stepan hate. But making him a deal breaker for a guy like Nash is absurd.

  99. Matteau, If you were Torts and came to me (I’m Slats) and said I got a deal worked out for Nash and sought my approval to to that deal – I’d ask you – how are we replacing MDZ? If you told me I talked with Suter and he will sign with us, I’d say get it done. If you said Erixon will fill the slot, I’d say hold on!

  100. “There’s no Stepan hate. But making him a deal breaker for a guy like Nash is absurd.”

    Why? He’s 21 and makes like 1/9 of what Nash makes.

  101. NYR, the question was, who’s more important to his team? Right now, it’s Prust hands-down. But if you’re going by skill or upside, then obviously Anisimov has more, so no, you probably don’t make that trade.

    But I think we’re going to see Prust “get paid” by the Rangers, because they realize his true value (the team led the league in fights and was one of the best on the PK, and both of those to different degrees because of Prust) and because other teams will covet him.

    It’s the old Adam Graves thing. I always said, I wish Kovalev had Graves’ heart, or Graves had Kovalev’s hands. Same here. Wish Prust had Anisimov’s skating, and Anisimov had Prust’s, ahem, onions. Not many have both. Those who do become very rich.

  102. did somebody say Stepan was the deal-breaker in the Nash talks with that howson Howson? Because I doubt it. But the total package was enormously lopsided and could never happen. That’s why I doubt it will happen this summer.

  103. Anyone who thinks Prust is easily replaceable hasn’t been paying attention to this team’s annual multiyear 4th line goon signing. Those are the guys available to replace Prust. The fact that he PKs is massive in terms of providing a secondary skill beyond punching.

  104. one of these years the GM will figure out that the coach won’t play the Brashears, Boogaards and Scotts.

    But he will play the Prusts (and Konopkas).

  105. czechthemout!!!! on

    Carp

    There are guys like Bernier out there that could replace Prust. In fact, he outplayed Prust in the series accept game five maybe. A guy like Travis Moen does it. And he is a better skater and more skillfully guy who would probably score more as well. Again, I think the guy needs to be signed but I wouldn’t pay him more than what Rupp makes. Rupp is the most overpaid player on the team and needs to be Whales for his roster spot and his cap space so that we can add a legitimate player to the roster.

  106. Derek Dorsett is a good comp. Just got $1.6MM for 3 years but he was 3 years younger so coming off a lower base and signed before hitting the market. So Prust is an easy $2MM per if it gets to July 1st. And I’m already wavering on my declaration that $3Y/$9MM is stupid money for him. I’d probably be mad if we let him walk at those numbers.

  107. Matteau, I wouldn’t with a vengeance. Some day, the NHL will follow other sports in terms of the masses grasping payroll and cap economics and, when they do, hypothetical deals like giving up a half dozen assets for Rick Nash and Rick Nash’s contract are going to be ridiculed.

  108. LW3H: Last offseason, absolutely. Where we are now … I hate the idea of opening up a hole on this roster. And while he doesn’t fill the traditional “can’t lose” hole of scoring or top defense, it would be a noticeable loss. At 3×3, I’d still be on the side of hating to see him go more than I hate to see those numbers on our cap.

  109. To Carp’s point on Prust not being easily replaceable – you only have to look at the PK to see his value.

    When Prust was on the ice during the PK a goal went in every 20 minutes. Assuming that Stepan, Dubinsky and Anisimov would pick up his PK minutes – they let in a goal for every 10 minutes on the ice.

    You could extrapolate that would mean an extra 10 or so goals against over the course of the season and probably a handful of additional losses. Prust is hugely valuable.

  110. czechthemout!!!! on

    Carp

    You are probably right that Prust gets more than Rupp but doesn’t mean he should. And he will not get 9 million over three years. Who ever posted that has to stop reacting emotionally. That would just be plain dumb to pay him that much money.

    And I also agree that it is unlikely that Rupp is Whaled, though he should be.

  111. guest bloggers stink on

    Not again……..

    No playoffs, no cup, Gaborik hurt and now back to guest bloggers… This isn’t happening. It can’t be…….Make it go away. please make it go away

  112. JimboWoodside on

    Aha! Carp mentions that Torts would play Konopka – is that a hint, Blogfather!? ;-)

  113. czechthemout!!!! on

    Wow. If you guys think Prust is going to get 3 million per year than Suter is going to get 10 million per year hey, maybe 14 million, why not?

    So than Dubi is not overpaid at 4.5 million if Prust is worth 3? Cause Dubi is a better penalty killer, faceoff man,scorer,passer etc… The only thing Prust does better than Dubi is fight.

  114. Nope, more guest bloggers coming … so why don’t you go away.

    It’s called “what the market bears,” czech. If Dubinsky got to UFA he would have gotten even more. If there are multiple bidders, the Rangers aren’t going to let Prust walk over half a million or a million.

    And if multiple teams are bidding on Suter, he’s going to get stupid money, too.

    Jimbo, I thought they should have signed Konopka last year, instead of Rupp.

  115. Look at what Richards got … he’s one of the top, what, 40 or 50 players in the NHL? Certainly not top 20 or 30.

  116. Carp – can they sign both Prust & Konopscoth? I really think we need a face-off man.

  117. czechthemout!!!! on

    Carp

    Richards is most certainly a top 20-30 player in the league. He averages about 72 points per season and in today’s game he is top 20 to 30. He also has been a clutch player throughout his career and that also counts for a lot.

  118. czechthemout!!!! on

    And his cap hit is what? 6.5 million. Not too bad now, though it will be an issue in about 3-4 years.

  119. JimboWoodside on

    >>>Jimbo, I thought they should have signed Konopka last year, instead of Rupp.

    I did, too – some here didn’t agree, but Konopka is good on faceoffs, and can actually play, when asked to – we saw that against us in the Ottawa series. And he fights when needed, too.

  120. AA is a defensive stud and has great instincts as a goal scorer. His problems are: 1) He needs to get stronger on his skates as someone pointed out, but more importantly he needs 2) Torts to get off his ass and let him play. I’ve never seen anyone so affected by his countless benchings than Artie, and to my eyes most of them have been totally unwarranted. Torts uses Artie as a scapegoat. If you want the guy, let him play. If not, package him. I guarantee he will burn us on another team.

    Just as I pleaded to get either Carter or Kovy over the past two seasons, we absolutely need Nash or Parise. I’d rather Nash as he’s a more consistent goal scorer. I’ve read all the garbage about him not taking the BJs to another level. Since when does one skater take his team to another level? Doesn’t happen. Goalies can, sure (Thanks, Hank!) He’s had one year where he was hurt about five seasons ago but plays almost 80 games a year. Scores at least 30. With a great playmaker (Richie, maybe Step) how much further does he get? I think much. More importantly he gives us the ability, as many have said above, to play two lines with legit scoring potential.

    Great job, Doug. I was with you all the way til No. 11. I really like Artie and hope he makes his career here.

  121. 1. Malkin, 2. Crosby, 3. Stamkos, 4. Giroux, 5. Spezza. 6. Kovalchuk, 7. Karlsson. 8. Ovechkin, 9. Neil. 10. Tavares. 11. Hossa. 12. Datsyuk. 13. Kopitar. 14. St. Louis. 15. Eric Staal. 16. Jordan Staal. 17 and 18, the Sedins. 19. Parise. 20. Zetterberg. 21 Chara. 22. Weber. 23. Gaborik. 24. Neal. 25. Kessel. 26. Perry. 27. Hall. 28. Thornton. 29. Lecavalier. 30. Phaneuf. 31. Keith. 32. Letang. 33. Doughty. … should I keep going?

    those aren’t ranked in any order, just off the top of my head players better than Richards, not including some of the great rookies and sophomores in the league, and not including any goalies … and I’m sure I could go on.

  122. Carp, no one on that list sees the ice like Richie. Maybe a Sedin, Crosby for sure. The rest need a Richie/Crosby/Sedin to get them the puck.

  123. Papa-Many more reporters than Brooks were critical of the shot-blocking. Up in Canada they were declaring the death of hockey because of shot-blocking, so I’m not sure it was just Brooks.

  124. Did I swear, Carp? Don’t recall that.
    Richie had no one to go to vs NJ. Torts had already split him and Gaby. Hags obviously hit the wall Step did last year coming out of college. Unfair criticism of one player when the whole team was outplayed but for six periods of a six game series.

  125. Alan – Listen to the interview, Torts refers to a local reporter. Brooks addresses it in todays post.

  126. Carp – It’s kind of silly to compare forwards and defensemen, the skill sets and market dynamics are totally different.

    I think the fairer comparison is where Richards ranks relative to other centers out there. Is he top 30 there – probably, maybe even top 20 and if you’re going to sign a free agent 1st line center that’s going to be a $6m plus signing.

    Looking at that list, would I rather have Lecavalier? Personally, no. I’m not too keen on Stamkos either – lots flash but a marginally positive contributor to wins once you take defense into account. Jordan Staal is good but he also benefits immensely by the two guys ahead of him on the depth chart. Would you ever have Jordan as your 1st line center on a team, nope, which puts him behind Richards in my mind.

  127. btw, according to a promo during the French Open bcast (ok, I love tennis too) Torts (among others) will be on with Bob Costas on Monday night following game 3.
    I will take a look at the post, Papa. Thanks.

  128. Chris Neil was more of a factor in the playoffs … :)

    Alan, he stunk vs. Jersey, and he saw the ice well … on the last play of the series, when he was kneeling on it.

  129. “I’d rather Nash as he’s a more consistent goal scorer”

    Last five seasons…

    Nash – 173 Goals

    Parise – 177 Goals

    That doesn’t include Parise’s 3 goal/13 games season. Point being, I don’t see how you say Nash is more of a consistent goal scorer than Parise.

  130. yeah, that news about Torts on NBC was reported here yesterday.

    and I’m not comparing positions … I’m saying they paid top, top dollars for a guy who isn’t one of the best 30 or 40 players in the game.

  131. We disagree about Richie. We didn’t lose to nj because of him. Watched him every game this year and no one we’ve ever had as a NYR sees the ice like him imo.

    Sure hope he doesn’t read your blog as he’s not gonna be too happy about what you’ve said about him!

  132. czechthemout!!!! on

    Carp

    I disagree with several of those players on your list. In fact with at least half a dozen.

  133. Orr-Got you point. I think Nash portrays himself as more of a goal scorer whereas Parise dishes as well as scores. Nash might have more assists if he had someone to finish.

  134. fine. which ones? The point is, I’m sure if I wanted to do some work, I could find another 10 or 15 or more to add to the list. Backes. Whitney. Doan. Nash. Sharp. Kane. Iginla. Pomminville Vanek. Seguin. Did I say Ryan?

    Alan, which wingers did Richards make better with that vision? how much did he improve the PP?

    Look, I think he’s a very good player and he was a very clutch goal scorer, and he’s a No. 1 center with the right wingers.

  135. I agree with cto. There’s a good number of players on that list that I do not think are better than Richards. And goaltenders and defensemen should not be on that list.

  136. not the point, Lev. I’m saying he’s not one of the best 30-40 players in the league. He’s not.

  137. I’m 56, Carp. Ratelle was great. Pav was also. As was Mess. Gretz also. Savard in his limited time here had incredible vision. This game being faster and having less ice to maneuver in, I take Richards.

  138. He’s not in the top 20-30, maybe, probably, but i think he certainly is in the 30-40 range. Players that should not be on the list before him to name a few: pominville, whitney and doan (at this point in their careers)… plus about 4-5 D that you named but again D should not be on that list.

  139. same with James Neal. he and Kessel had exceptional seasons last year… that does not make a career.

  140. Carp, you’d rather have Pat Sharp, Whitney, Pomminville instead of Richie? Backes has one great year behind him. Seguin one and a half. Vanek while gifted offensively doesn’t make players around him better.

    Richie working with Gaby for 1/4 of a season doesn’t count, I’ll give you that. But they were magic together when it worked. Gaby hurt in the POs didn’t help. No other forward clicked except Hags. No one could improve that PP as it changed from game to game. One game Richie’s bringing the puck himself up the ice and they score 3 goals. Next game nothing works. To me the best offensive dman didn’t play the PP at all. Give McD a chance (albeit by taking away some of his other ice time) and the PP improves immensely.

  141. Carp – I would trade Richards for Stamkos but probably not for the reasons you’re thinking. I just don’t like Richards’ contract given his age.

    Yes, Stamkos is a fantastic scorer. Yet for all those points he was a marginal +/- because he and his linemates played minimal defense. Do you think he can elevate his scoring ceiling higher? Seems unlikely in today’s NHL. Remember that guy Oveckin who used to score 60? His team was built on the run and gun for a while. Now where are they – I could see the same thing happening in Tampa.

    So yes, I would trade Stamkos for Richards but only because of the dramatic age difference. In fact I wouldn’t even put Stamkos in the top 10 centers in the league…..

  142. I’m not comparing eras. Obviously Gretz was the best. Ever. And he was great here too for those 3 years. I like Richie in today’s game.

  143. czechthemout!!!! on

    On your second list, the only one I agree with is Nash. Backes? , Pommenville? Really

    No way on Jordan Staal, James Neal, Henrik Sedin,Hall,Kessel,,Spezza,and as for Phaneuf, he would be the fourth best dman on the Rangers never mind a top 30 player.

  144. +/- = dumbest stat ever. Stamkos’ bad +/- is because he plays a lot on a team that was bad at even strength.

    Nothing to do with defense.

    Tyler Seguin +34. Not a Selke candidate, I would guess.

  145. czechthemout!!!! on

    Taylor Hall may one day may be better. Jason Spezza is not better because he does nothing in the playoffs.

    In Dallas, James Neal and Louie Ericsson both thrived playing with Richards. And yes, I too was disapointed in how he played against the Devils. But if the rest of the forwards played as disapointing as BR in the playoffs, we would still be playing.

  146. Carp I can’t believe you’re even spending time debating this. But appreciate that you are.

  147. I don’t disagree with the notion that extreme +/- values are meaningless without context.

    Riddle me this Carp – if you say +/- is no indicator of defense how do you explain why was Stamkos on the ice for 88 even strength goals? More than any other center in the league. Are you really going to argue it has nothing to do with his defensive play?

  148. whatever, the point was here’s a guy who’s not among the best in the league, being paid like a Hall of Famer because he hit the open market and had multiple bidders. that’s what started the whole stupid argument.

    And I’d trade Richards, Gaborik and Kreider for Stamkos.

  149. Carp I don’t think anyone knows what Howson/Patrick was prepared to do. Just because they put their demand out there doesn’t mean that’s what was required ultimately. I’ve been sayings this for a long time, because Sather low balled it made no sense for howtrick to counter. You don’t counter if someone offers you one dollar for your house. If not Howson, Patrick certainly gets it, and I think from a CBj perspective they played it right. They will have just as much if not more leverage in the offseason, when teams can retool.

  150. czechthemout!!!! on

    Carp

    I agree on the plus minus stuff. Dumbest stat in the league! See Marik Malik.

  151. By the way Carp….I’ve been looking out for it since Feb, and your post above I believe is the first time you’ve come out definitively and said what you would trade for Nash. :)

    For the record I would do that as well, even if Stepan and MDZ turn out to be good.

    If Kings win the cup does it matter that Simmons and Schenn end up being good? Did it matter that Amonte turned out to be good?

    Why do we always think that in order for it to be a good trade the other side has to get hosed?

  152. players id take before richards:

    1. Malkin
    2. Stamkos
    3. Giroux
    4. Kovalchuk
    5. Tavares
    6. H. Sedin
    7. Thornton
    8. Gaborik
    9. Kopitar
    10. St. Louis
    11. Parise
    12. Iginla
    13. D. Sedin
    14. Crosby
    15. Hossa
    16. Datsyuk
    17. Ovechkin
    18. Perry

    Im really having trouble taking guys like Nash, Vanek, Staals, Pominville, Neal before him. Id take Zetterberg and Selanne and Doan and Whitney if they were younger.

  153. Lev the only questionable one is Pominville the rest are much better than Richards

  154. Carp? trade Richards, Gabs and Kreids for Stamkos?

    I’m holding onto Kreider, can’t believe this is even a discussion.

    I think the kid reminds me of Messier in his youth…

  155. just read all the posts i for one value prust much more then arty. arty is still young and with his size he could still mature. the guy i am worried about going forward is stepan. i dont think he will be a top 6 forward. he sees the ice great but to me he has not enough finish. yes hes young but some players u could sense wont be more then what u see. i hope i am wrong

  156. maybe, E. Staal, have to give that some more thought….

    but really who cares, we have Richards, so whats the point?

  157. Interesting discussion, nice read, good opinions, albeit somewhat subjective.

    FWIW, over the 10 year period from 2001 to 2011 Richards is #6 on the list of highest point getters in the league with 714. That’s around .92 ppg. Last year it dropped to .80 ppg. He’s had similar seasons with .80 ppg before, but recovered next year.

  158. Alan-how can you say that he did not lose the series for us. I am not blaming him personally (I would not blame any one player), but if he had managed a goal or two we might have won the games he scored in. And he can see the ice all he wants, but for the money they are paying him, I would like him to see the net. He was a major disappointment in the last series. That fart shot he put in Fatso’s pads was a joke. He had all the time in the world, hockey-wise.

  159. I guess jdon you think Doughty’s exact same shot in Game 1 was also “a joke”? in fact doughty had much more time than Richards. Game of inches. Game of inches.

  160. and while Richards was executing his “fart” shot in the ECF, Stamkos was doing what?

    I mean, what are we talking about here?

  161. all I was saying was that for what a team pays a guy they have a right to expect him sto score a goal or two in an important series. if you are a great player you find a way. he sleepwalked through that series.

  162. vogs

    I am not talking about Stamkos at all, just Richards abd how good he is. But are you trying to imply that the Rangers would not have made the playoffs if they had had Stamkos instead of Brad Richards? Because I definitely disagree with that.

  163. I agree, bull dog. I think it’d be ridiculous for anyone to take issue when the context is the entire season. However, I understand people who criticize him for his NJ series.

  164. I was just talking about the NJ series. His previous two series and his season were fine.

  165. I think the argument at its base was Richards vs. his contract. I thought he went up and down this year, and was incredibly clutch, and had an overall positive effect on a team that had a splendid season. It’s Years 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 that will be problematic.

    And he stunk vs. New Jersey, especially on the final play of the series.

    Matteau, when did I say I would definitely trade for Nash? Because I’m not sure I would. I did say in February that he’s the type of piece they need. Not sure I’d give up what Howson wanted, and based on what I’ve heard, it was way more howson high-balling than Sather low-balling. And from what I’ve heard, what Howson wanted was absurd, starting with McDonagh.

  166. “And he stunk vs. New Jersey, especially on the final play of the series.”

    who didn’t stink on that last play? all 6 players (including Hank) stunk big time… But that play began with Richards when he gave the puck away at center ice.

  167. Wicky© RUPP SMASH!!! on

    I say sign Penner and have him and fatso start an eating contest 3 seconds into each game we play against the devils!

  168. Wicky© RUPP SMASH!!! on

    The difference in players between Nash and Parise is not that significant IMHO. Nash bigger and I think has a higher ceiling on goal scoring, but I think parise is probably a bit better all around player. That being said parise will cost more (a guess on my part) per season, so I would go with nash. Plus, you know Nash wants to be a ranger based upon his short list of teams to go to and parise may or may not want to and his decision is likely based on $$$$, while nash is locked in on dollars and just wants to come here (and out of columbus).

    If the price for nash has come down from the “deadline day” price, I’d trade for him before parise any day. Depending on the price of course.

  169. Czechthemout!!! on

    CCCP

    Totally agree. Penner stinks. Yes he has a had a good game or two in the playoffs. So what. He is not worth Mike Rupp money and you all know how I feel about Rupp.

  170. Bull Dog, Latona,

    Not sure, did Richards play in the Jersey series? I don’t recall seeing him ;-)

  171. Boo-Ka-Boom on

    Prust is a must sign. McD is obviously untouchable. Richards will be good and usefull for probably another 3 years max. Then his contract will weigh us down a bit. Stepan and AA are individually expandable, but you dont trade both in apackage unless u get at least a top15-20 player in return. Nash is not one of those players, although i would love to add him, i wouldnt give both AA and step up for him. They need to sign shultz, and lets hope kreidersauras rex and jt miller contribute big time and dubie bounces back.

    Final tonight- kings 4 devils 3

    Kings in six

  172. Czechthemout!!! on

    Carp

    I agree that Richards contract will be an issue beginning in year 5.

    Nash will be a ufa when he turns 32-33,same as Gabby will and he is now two years younger. If the price is right, Nash is a no brainer. If however Howson asks for MCD, Sather should hang up the phone right there and look for other options. But I also think the the Blue Jackets want to dump him and he wants to come here so I really think he will be a Ranger by the draft. Remember, he can effect where he winds up just like Dan Heatly.

  173. Instead of McD, Slats should throw in the promise of a job for Howser when he gets canned by Columbus.

  174. Czechthemout!!! on

    Quick change of subject.

    I believe McD is now the best defenseman on the Rangers and is one of the ten best in the game.

    Agree? Or disagree?

  175. After Columbus got Johnson i dont think they will require McD. i think MDZ will be enough for them. Sign Schultz, and then start a package for Nash with MDZ or call Calgary and ask about Iginla which will take less players. Ok 230 am, nighters.

  176. Id say one of the 15-20 best in the league. In a year or two he can be one of the best.

  177. Boo-Ka-Boom on

    Czech, this year he was definetly, although girardi was right there as well. Lets hope he has another monster year next season.

    Carp, lets all chip in and do a bonehead group trip to vegas for the NHL awards! We can give so many people a broadway jeer when they walk on stage! Who’s in?

  178. Czechthemout!!! on

    Lev

    I like getting both Iginla and Nash on the team but for the right price. Or instead, I would call Dallas and see what it would take to pry Steve Ott from their. Tough sob who can really play! He would neutralize Chris Neil, David Clarkson, a bunch of the Flyers and Penguins goons like Asham. I believe he is a former first round pick too so he can certainly play this game. Just think how tough this team would be to play against with Ott on the third line and Prust on the fourth line where he belongs. Oh yeah, and Rupp in Hartford where he belongs.

  179. Blueshirts off-ice officials in the league. Fixed the penalty box door in the Devils series and didn’t even require a trip to the Home Depot. If that was me, at least 2 trips to Home Depot, cursing like a drunken sailor all the way.

  180. #s 10-13 I agree with 100%, I suggested Cally shouldnt risk his life blocking every shot and people here got upset-I still dont see what losing him over that would prove

  181. Kreider-Richards-?A.Stewart? in short bursts his hot streaks are golden/In Dec/Jan= Gaborik

    Artukhin-Anisimov-Afinogenov(a commentator’s nightmare call them the AAA line)both Evgeny Artukhin who played for Tortorella @ 6’5/260 lbs and Afinogenov are faster than Stepan/Dubinsky

    Dubinsky-Stepan-Boyle(time for boyle to score more goals and forget about assists)

    Hagelin-Rupp-Callahan*you hide Rupp’s sloth by maximizing his reach w/ 2way speedsters*

    Note—there is NO 4th line—all the lines play the same even strength—PP time is a bonus of playing well even strength
    1 thing that the NJD taught the world this year….even strength is where you start and its how to wear out your opponents blueline the most.

    reserves—Fedotenko,Prust–JT Miller-Hrivika

    on Defense is where the changes are made McIlrath+Zucc+MDZ++ future considerations for Erik Johnson. Colorado gets a slight bump in goal production while boosting the Left Defense and NYR gets a bump in Right handed speed and puckrushing.

    Sign Schulz.
    Sign Gilroy as a low cost reserve(he can play like M.Dandenault of the Wings at F/D)

    McDonagh-Johnson(Speed and size for puckrushing every other shift)

    Staal-Schulz*Shut them all Down*

    Erixon-Girardi*Erixon is NHL ready now and has the ice time to prove it*

    Gilroy-Sauer*hopefully Sauer can make a full recovery but concussions can take a long time*

    just for the sake of argument Anthony Stewarts asking price was a 3rd round pick. not a steep price for a former 1st rounder similar reclamation project as Boyle who is developing nicely. Anthony has great strength and speed w/ decent hands when he’s hot invisible when he’s not. Get him hot early and maximize his strength advantage until Gaborik returns and teams need to worry about him.

    Only keeping Dubinsky in case Kreider has growing pains because Nash IS NOT the answer and Parise will not be available. As for Radulov he doesn’t play the Tortorella style. weaken the Philly Flyers and sign Jagr maybe???

    the blueline will surprise many.

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