The New York Rangers “Where do we go from here?”
Ok so I had this whole article written, then told Carp to hold up, I just didn’t like it. I was being a little too negative for a year where we made the Final!!!!! Look, last year seemed like a little bit of a team that had all the right bounces, (at times) and things just fall into place. I thought we were a very good team, BUT I also thought there were some deficiencies in our lineup and that’s my point as far as saying, “where do we go from here?”
In my humble opinion, we went out and got some free agents that weren’t exactly eye popping signings of yesteryear. We have some needs, and although these players look to be capable, I just don’t see some needs being addressed. We just signed this Hayes kid, and that’s a player to get excited over!! I’m not saying that some of these other guys won’t be or don’t have the talent to be great hockey players, but I just don’t have a clear picture of our future.
I have to admit I haven’t been following the blog real closely or very much lately, but does anyone else have a problem with the thinking that Derek Stepan is our No. 1 center? I just don’t see it. He’s a great player, and still hasn’t reached his potential, so there is hope for someone like me who doesn’t see it … YET dare I say I would like nothing more than to be totally wrong.
My picture of a center, especially a No. 1, is the go-to guy!! A guy who doesn’t have to wear the “C” but if he’s out there on the ice, everyone knows it. Especially the other team!!! I’m hoping someone on this roster will fill that position but I’m just not sure who it is. With all due respect to Stepan, he strikes me as a great playmaker better suited for the second line, since the first line is going to get the other team’s best defensemen. Does that make sense??? Is that a concern that some of you might agree with? We are talking No. 1 defense pairs, against Stepan. I guess it’s his size that I see being the No. 1 issue. The other would be his lack of goal scoring, and penchant for passing instead of shooting.
I think this team played awesome for good portions of the year. I think it still need some more scoring and maybe this Hayes kid will bring some of that with him. Some of the guys we went out and got don’t seem to be the goal-scoring type of players we need. I saw some articles that said these guys were signed and are essentially on the roster leaving little room for some young guys to make this team. This is very troublesome to me. We lacked scoring last year, and I believe some of the youth need to be given the opportunity to step up and show what they can do. One writer said they will be fighting for two spots on this team!!!!!! That’s a problem. I think we got were we did because this team was playing a unique style of game play that no one thought of in a SINGLE COACH’S DESIGNED GAME PLAN.
So what do I mean by that??? Well Dan Girardi, and the animal he is, was out there blocking shots, like he did for his last coach. So were many of the other players. I don’t THINK Alain Vigneault was intentionally keeping that part of his game plan, but as the season progressed this two-pronged style of play was working awesome. John Torterella took a defensive style and drilled it into this team, and they played that way with all their heart and soul. Then Vigneault came along, and wanted offense from this team that played mostly defense for the last couple of years. So here we had two styles of play that blended so well together that we made it to the Final.
I do believe we still have great talent, and this team is still capable of playing some great hockey. I just have a feeling that things really fell into place for them, things around them happened at the right time, combined with some great two way hockey, and we almost finished a great season with the ultimate prize.
So maybe it’s just jitters about the upcoming season, and the unsure feelings about the roster turnover, but like any fan, I’m just a little worried. I don’t exactly know where we are going, but I do think a player like Hayes is a step in the right direction!! I also think that once in the playoffs one just never knows.
Look at last year, gentleman. Once in the playoffs, get hot at the right time, and clear room for another trip to the Final!!! We can only hope, but I do have a lingering fear of the roster, and where do “we go from here?” type of feeling.
Thanks Carp, and all the others for listening.
Photos by Getty Images.