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-   -   The Myth of Depth and Other Issues of Concern (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1129051)

SingnBluesOnBroadway 03-07-2012 10:26 AM

The Myth of Depth and Other Issues of Concern
 
All season we have heard about the great depth this team has. But let's really examine that.

- The third line (I'm using Dubinsky, Boyle, Prust) is on pace a 19 goals 71 points.

- The fourth line (I'm using Fedotenk, Rupp, Mitchell) is on pace for

- While Callahan is on pace for 12 more points compared to last season, Anisimov is on pace for 4 fewer.

- While Stepan is on pace for 18 more points compared to last season, Dubinsky is on pace for a staggering 22 fewer.

- Carl Hagelin has as many goals as Dubinsky and Boyle combined.

- The offensive is basically coming from two players (Gaborik and Stepan)

- There are really no options in Hartford who can help this team's sputtering offense and that includes Zuccarello.

- Combine with that with an ineffective at best power play and there are serious concerns about where the goals are going to from entering the playoffs.

Other concerns:

- The team's supposed #1 defenseman who is being paid almost 4M is playing on the bottom pair with Stu Bickel. Why?

- This team has played hard all season. Yet they have had the play taken to them in three straight games now. Are they gassed? For that matter, do they have an extra gear going into the playoffs?

- They have gone from being a tough team to a team that is fighting just to fight. Toughness comes from finishing checks and playing in your face hockey. They have done neither in the games against the Bruins and Devils.

- The team is easily kept on the perimeter in the offensive zone.

- If Hank gives up more than 2 goals, who exactly is this team going to win.

It's not my intention to be negative. I mean if someone told you that in March the Rangers would be in first in the East despite Dubinsky having 7 goals, 19 points, Brian Boyle having 5 goals, Dan Girardin being on pace for 3 fewer points than the previous season, Brad Richards having 27 assists, and Anisimov having 13 goals you say that that person was nuts. But there are concerns. Is this just smoke and mirrors? Is this team ripe to be exposed in the playoffs?

Zuccarello Awesome* 03-07-2012 10:33 AM

I don't understand why youre so sure Zuccarello cant help this team. Maybe he won't, but did we really see enough of him to make a judgement either way? He played half a season and scored at a 42 point pace in his first season in North America. He's scored at a PPG pace in the AHL this year. How can you honestly say he can't contribute?

He was the MVP of the 2nd best league in the world. He does have talent. The question is can he overcome the size disadvantage? That remains to be seen.

Kel Varnsen 03-07-2012 10:34 AM

Games aren't played on paper.

Shadowrunner 03-07-2012 10:34 AM

It begins and ends with physical and mental fatigue. Pretty much all your concerns are a result of that. 60+ into the season, we've had a target on our backs for a while now, no one takes a game off against us. Most of the team is young and needs seasoning to make it through 82 games. This is where our veterans need to step in and keep things humming along to recovery.

Are Bruins a .500 club just 'cause they've been playing that way for nearly two months now?

SingnBluesOnBroadway 03-07-2012 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadowrunner (Post 45676593)
It begins and ends with physical and mental fatigue. Pretty much all your concerns are a result of that. 60+ into the season, we've had a target on our backs for a while now, no one takes a game off against us. Most of the team is young and needs seasoning to make it through 82 games. This is where our veterans need to step in and keep things humming along to recovery.

Are Bruins a .500 club just 'cause they've been playing that way for nearly two months now?

If I were the Bruins, I'd have serious concerns going into the playoffs as well.

Bird Law 03-07-2012 10:40 AM

It's clear that Richards has made a huge difference. This team would be similar to last year without him. Maybe even worse. He was the main change over the season along with McDonagh continuing his strong play of the end of the year.

People hate on Richards all the time, but I shudder to think where we'd be without him. Probably fighting around 6th place.

Giacomin 03-07-2012 10:45 AM

Richards doesn,t have the numbers that we all expected but I believe he has helped The Rangers more than most give him credit for.

Trxjw 03-07-2012 10:47 AM

The stats are somewhat alarming, but I think this is what you see when you build a team off of talent and hard work, but don't necessarily have the talent and creativity you need to occasionally throw a curveball at your opponents.

Look at a team like Boston, who is built on a similar ideal as we are. They have grit, work ethic and determination, but they also have a healthy amount of skill in their lineup. Their "grit" can also score in bunches, and score pretty consistently.

The biggest issue I've seen is the way teams have been able to take our game and throw it back in our faces. Boston forechecked the hell out of us and pretty much dominated the last 45 minutes of the game. Jersey never let us get into their end. Our defensive system seems to fall apart rather quickly if we're spending too much time in our own end.

Fitzy 03-07-2012 10:47 AM

This is because the difference between this year's team and last has nothing to do with offensive output.

Of course there are some differences, namely where the offense is coming from, but what has us tops in the East is the quantity and quality of chances we allow at even strength and the percentage of those than Henrik/ Biron have kept out of the net.

It is improvement in hose areas that has vaulted us as a team. Our problem now is that St. Louis has done it even better.

SingnBluesOnBroadway 03-07-2012 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonathan. (Post 45676869)
It's clear that Richards has made a huge difference. This team would be similar to last year without him. Maybe even worse. He was the main change over the season along with McDonagh continuing his strong play of the end of the year.

People hate on Richards all the time, but I shudder to think where we'd be without him. Probably fighting around 6th place.

I'm not really sure what you're basing this on. I think you know me well enough to know that I'm not really the type to "hate" on guys. But I don't see how he's made a huge difference.

TRC 03-07-2012 11:06 AM

The power play will be the teams achilles heel in the playoffs.


I have a feeling the Rangers will overpay for Nash in the offseason if they don't advance to the ECF. Seems to be the logic, throw band-aids at the PP hoping it works instead of fixing it to work with the personel on the roster. (ex. Richards brought in to the point man on the PP was supposed to make a huge difference).

Machinehead 03-07-2012 11:11 AM

I've never heard anyone say this team had good depth.

Rangers Fail 03-07-2012 11:17 AM

Staal is on the third pairing because he came back from a concussion and missed training camp in the summer, not because it's where he usually belongs. He's been our best defenseman for the last 2 games at least.

Zuccarello Awesome* 03-07-2012 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway (Post 45677293)
I'm not really sure what you're basing this on. I think you know me well enough to know that I'm not really the type to "hate" on guys. But I don't see how he's made a huge difference.

Without his 7 game-winning goals, we'd be in 7th place.

That's not even considering a few moregame-winners that he set up.

And it's not even considering the intangible effect of his professional veteran presence and leadership on guys like Stepan, Del Zotto, Hagelin, etc.

And it's not considering the fact that even if he scores 0 points in a game, he helps everyone slide down a spot to where they should be. For example, without Richards, Stepan would be facing every team's top shutdown pair every shift, every night.

OverTheCap 03-07-2012 11:24 AM

There was always this myth of depth on defense because we were carrying so many of them on the roster, but part of the reason why Girardi and McD are so gassed is because we haven't had a reliable 3rd pairing all year. The loss of Sauer really hurts right now. I mentioned in the post game thread that Stralman, Eminger, and Bickel (might as well throw Woywitka in there too in case he plays) really need to step up and play their best hockey now. I thought we needed a veteran defenseman at the deadline but unfortunately there weren't many available.

This team is in big trouble if more than one forward goes down with an injury. I am not liking dressing both Rupp and Scott in the lineup. They are both slow and Rupp's hand must still be bothering him because he hasn't been that physical as of late.

The most glaring problem to me lately has been all the mistakes and carelessness with the puck. It appears to get worse with each game. Physical and mental exhaustion are setting in. They have to raise their alertness level on the ice and start playing smart hockey if they want to make any noise in the playoffs.

Gardner McKay 03-07-2012 11:51 AM

I will say this: This team won't go anywhere playing Eminger over Stralman (and I am a huge Eminger supporter) and Scott over Mitchell. Mitchell is a great forchecker and in order for this team to be successful a good forcheck needs to be implemented every game, if for no other reason then to make up for the weakness on faceoffs.

SingnBluesOnBroadway 03-07-2012 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Henriks Broadway Hat (Post 45678795)
Staal is on the third pairing because he came back from a concussion and missed training camp in the summer, not because it's where he usually belongs. He's been our best defenseman for the last 2 games at least.

That's great. So why is he still on the third pairing?

Rangers Fail 03-07-2012 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway (Post 45680525)
That's great. So why is he still on the third pairing?

Sure as hell hasn't been playing third line minutes. He logged the most out of anyone on the team against Boston,

KingWantsCup 03-07-2012 11:57 AM

They're gassed that's all. March has a ton of games. With that said though the Rangers will have a lot of difficulty scoring in the playoffs. If they don't go far, that will be the reason why.

Zuccarello Awesome* 03-07-2012 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NvincentYvalentineR (Post 45680439)
I will say this: This team won't go anywhere playing Eminger over Stralman (and I am a huge Eminger supporter) and Scott over Mitchell. Mitchell is a great forchecker and in order for this team to be successful a good forcheck needs to be implemented every game, if for no other reason then to make up for the weakness on faceoffs.

Agreed.

Stralman has been better than expected. He moves the puck quickly and accurately, and he has the wheels to skate the puck out of trouble in our zone. His value to this D group is under appreciated.

Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, Del Zotto, Stralman should all have their spots.

The 6th spot should be up for grabs between Eminger and Bickel. I even wouldnt be opposed to seeing Erixon if for nothing else but to play a point on the powerplay. Although, having Bickel or Eminger gives us some more snarl on the back end, which I think the D group would be lacking if Erixon was in the lineup for one of them.

Woywitka is Redden-esque. He's a great #9 defenseman. Jon was right about him. I'll eat crow on that one.

SingnBluesOnBroadway 03-07-2012 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Henriks Broadway Hat (Post 45680725)
Sure as hell hasn't been playing third line minutes. He logged the most out of anyone on the team against Boston,

That's great. Why is he paired with a bottom pairing player?

Fitzy 03-07-2012 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway (Post 45680893)
That's great. Why is he paired with a bottom pairing player?

Because we have 3 excellent left defensemen and only 1 excellent right defenseman. Del Zotto has looked mediocre when we have tried to move him over.

Any other solution relegated MDZ to the third pairing. Which is okay, but not an enormous move.

Zuccarello Awesome* 03-07-2012 12:03 PM

I like the idea of Staal with Stralman.

McDonagh Girardi

Del Zotto Eminger/Bickel



Or

Staal Girardi
McDonagh Stralman
Del Zotto Bickel/Eminger


I think I prefer McDonagh with a more stay -at-home guy like Girardi, because I want Mcdonaghs two-way game to continue to grow and improve. If he's paired with a more offensive guy like Stralman, he may feel more responsibility to stay back, and I really like Mcdonaghs offensive potential. Reminds me of Neidermeyer in many ways, and he's still so young.

Rangers Fail 03-07-2012 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway (Post 45680893)
That's great. Why is he paired with a bottom pairing player?

Obviously if there's a 7 minute difference between Staal and Bickel's icetime, he's not playing the whole game paired with him. When Torts shortens the bench on the third, Staal is out there. Bickel is usually not.

Anyway, I expect him to be moved up soon anyway.

MSG the place to be* 03-07-2012 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zuccarello Awesome (Post 45678987)
Without his 7 game-winning goals, we'd be in 7th place.
That's not even considering a few moregame-winners that he set up.

And it's not even considering the intangible effect of his professional veteran presence and leadership on guys like Stepan, Del Zotto, Hagelin, etc.

And it's not considering the fact that even if he scores 0 points in a game, he helps everyone slide down a spot to where they should be. For example, without Richards, Stepan would be facing every team's top shutdown pair every shift, every night.

Please tell me you did 7 gwg x 2 points per game = 14 points, and then deducted that from our point total.

That would be hilarious if you did that.


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