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-   -   If Sauer Was Healthy During Last Season's Playoffs (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1287829)

KingWantsCup 11-20-2012 10:59 AM

If Sauer Was Healthy During Last Season's Playoffs
 
If Sauer was healthy, do you think he would have made a difference in where the Rangers ended up?

In my opinion, yes. Sauer is a very good D-man, and that shouldn't be understated, however it has more to do with the fact that we were rolling 5 D-men. Having an adequate bottom pairing guy would have been a huge help. Torts couldn't trust Bickel, which meant a bigger work load for everyone, and what a work load it was. Two seven game series, a six game series, including a triple OT game sprinkled in with several other OT games. And don't forget all those blocked shots. Sauer's contribution would have been much greater than Bickel's, and IMO we probably would have made a finals appearance given how far we went with just 5 D-men. Seriously, the Devils had no business beating us.

WhipNash27 11-20-2012 11:00 AM

Absolutely, having Bickel on the bench all game didn't help the D. We had guys playing ridiculous minutes. D was shot by the time the Devils series came around.

Vitto79 11-20-2012 11:04 AM

Dont get me started. It "could" of made a big difference since Sauer when healthy is a top 4 Dman. On the other hand Stralman did well in the playoffs. although he likely still would of gotten PP minutes as Sauer is a defensive player.

Definately did not help having Bickel sit aorund and get very little minutes. Eminger didnt play much either. I am fine with both of those buys back for depth this yr but given the yr if we have a yr will start later is there not a shot Sauer is healhty now?

Brian Boyle 11-20-2012 11:06 AM

Obviously the team would have been better with Sauer.

It's impossible to say what impact he would have on the results, however.

nyr2k2 11-20-2012 11:07 AM

While it certainly would have helped, it's impossible to say whether it would have made a difference on the end result.

nyrpassion 11-20-2012 11:09 AM

****. just got pissed off again about the devils series. but what an amazing run it was. Comeback to beat the Sens, and then the Caps series was amazing.

Kane One 11-20-2012 11:12 AM

All I know is that if Sauer comes back, now that we have Nash too, I'm confident in the Rangers winnning the Cup. :yo:

I'm still confident even without Sauer, but having him in would obviously be much better.

silverfish 11-20-2012 11:36 AM

Certainly would have helped keep McDonagh, Staal, and Girardi fresh. Impossible to say whether or not the Rangers would have gone farther with him in the lineup.

Hope he can come back and play sometime this season (ha, this season :laugh:)

Fitzy 11-20-2012 11:50 AM

What ifs, maybes, and might've beens? Come on, now. Every team has players missing at that part of the season. Missing our #4 dman wasn't a season-ender.

Fire Sather 11-20-2012 11:58 AM

He could have helped.

He could have also had a goal go in off his skate in Game 7 of either series causing us to lose.

No way to quantify any of this

Cresto 11-20-2012 12:07 PM

Haha, no! Bad thread! Bad! If gabby wasn't hurt and was scoring at his PPG/GP2G rate. If Stepan, Callahan, Dubinsky performed at their 2P/3G level. If onlys and ifs! I've laid awake thinking about this for months. A scoring gabby = less than 14 games series 1&2... If sauer then a D that could allow DZ and Stralsy to be a bit more aggressive. Maybe a goal from sauer too. It's just depressing stuff to think about especially since the seasons toast.

Blueshirt Believer 11-20-2012 12:19 PM

Sauer would have probably helped us more against the Devils. Perhaps the quarter and semi finals wouldn't have been as long.

But, I really think it wouldn't have changed all that much against a team like LA. Rangers simply didn't have the consistent offense to beat a team like LA.

Rangers at times only had one consistent scoring line(whether it be the 1st, 2nd ,or 3rd line during a game) during the playoffs. You need at least two, preferably three if you are going to win it all.

pld459666 11-20-2012 12:30 PM

Difference would have been marginal at best.

Our problem in all three series was the ability to scor goals when we needed them. Sauer doesn't help that.

Normal production out of Dubinsky would have been more helpful than having Sauer.

The ability to score on the PP in key situations would have helped more than Sauer.

The Rangers ability to keep the puck out of the net was not the Rangers un-doing.

And as JCresty stated, a completely healthy Gaborik would have helped more than Sauer.

that's just my opinion

Bleed Ranger Blue 11-20-2012 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KingWantsCup (Post 55904131)
If Sauer was healthy, do you think he would have made a difference in where the Rangers ended up?

In my opinion, yes. Sauer is a very good D-man, and that shouldn't be understated, however it has more to do with the fact that we were rolling 5 D-men. Having an adequate bottom pairing guy would have been a huge help. Torts couldn't trust Bickel, which meant a bigger work load for everyone, and what a work load it was. Two seven game series, a six game series, including a triple OT game sprinkled in with several other OT games. And don't forget all those blocked shots. Sauer's contribution would have been much greater than Bickel's, and IMO we probably would have made a finals appearance given how far we went with just 5 D-men. Seriously, the Devils had no business beating us.

People get hurt, thats the way pro sports goes.

Maybe its because Im a cynic, but instead of wondering where we would've been with Sauer, all this makes me think about is how the depth on D is still an issue.

Starting in 2005 when the Rangers drafted Staal, defensive depth was a priority for this organization. Here we are 7 years later and we still cant find 6 regular defensemen capable of playing a regular shift.

Inferno 11-20-2012 01:08 PM

didn't Bickel save one of our elimination games with a glove save? Maybe that save never happens? maybe we lose earlier?

who knows.

SingnBluesOnBroadway 11-20-2012 01:26 PM

Only if Sauer was going to jump-start the Rangers offense.

Stasis 11-20-2012 03:05 PM

As others are saying, a lot of ifs that are easy to look at when debating the past, but as much as Sauer is beneficial to this team in the past or in the future I think the D was fine overall. It's the offense that couldn't keep up.

Blue Seat Spartan 11-20-2012 03:09 PM

Having a healthy Sauer in the lineup might have helped the Rangers and their D-corps during the series vs the Devils (hindsight being 20/20, all things considered). It still opens old wounds seeing the Devils advance to the Stanley Cup Final at our expense, but having said that... the system of play by Coach Tortorella had its pitfalls.

On the positive side, it's a simple, easy-to-understand system of keeping 5 guys in the picture, get in front of shots, block shots, and if you're not committed to the system, you sit. Simple. And once you've gained possession of the puck, proceed with dump & chase, forecheck and grind the opposition to oblivion.

Now, for the downside. If you want to win playing a sustained hard-nosed game from October all the way to June - and hopefully the Stanley Cup - you better damn well have all 20+ players on the same page - no malcontents like Kostitsyn & Radulov in Nashville providing distractions to the team concept. On the same token, the coach should avoid becoming too dictatorial in managing player personnel. Which brings me to Stu Bickel and Steve Eminger. Bickel was becoming a liability as the playoffs wore on and series became protracted exercises in attrition. Rightfully so, he was stapled to the bench in the latter parts of games and overtime. As for Eminger, Torts' reluctance to give him extra minutes on the D pairings was a sign of the coach's stubbornness with his "Stay the Course" mentality.

So what happened? The Rangers get extended to Game Seven in consecutive series, against the Senators (an 8 seed that should be dispatched in as few games as possible) and the Capitals (who emulated our shot-blocking and grinding formula to a tee, courtesy of Dale Hunter). As a result, by the time the Rangers faced the Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals, fatigue from the inability to finish off those two previous opponents was becoming apparent, and the Devils were all too happy to oblige in exploiting that situation. Their high-pressure forecheck and roll-four-lines approach instituted by Pete DeBoer took advantage of the gassed Rangers skaters. Guys like Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk, were able to force the Rangers D to their knees by firing fast and often, leaving Lundqvist to pick up the rebounds off blocked/redirected shots. And when unheralded players like Bryce Salvador can score goals from the point, something needed to change at that point. Perhaps it was fitting that the series was ended in OT by a fleet-footed rookie center on the third/fourth line: Adam Henrique.

I don't need any further explanation on this, since losing a series and being eliminated one round too early from the Stanley Cup Final at the hands of our cross-river rivals still leaves a slow burn in my gut. Hopefully, Coach Tortorella and his lunch pail gang in Blue learned an important lesson of Stanley Cup Playoff hockey: finish off your opponent when they're down, finish them off as quickly as possible, and utilize your 20+ skaters (including rookies, press box vets, and emergency call-ups from the minors) for the long exciting journey to hoisting the Stanley Cup at the end.

(PS - I don't know if any of you are old enough to remember this, but the 2011-12 New York Rangers reminded me of the 1992-93 Toronto Maple Leafs: rugged, grinding, defensive-minded squad that went to consecutive seven game series with a shortened 5 D-man rotation... before succumbing to Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings, denying a chance at a Centennial Stanley Cup Final for the ages vs the Montreal Canadiens - who would've won anyway on the strength of Patrick Roy and 10 OT wins)

Kershaw 11-20-2012 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inferno (Post 55908639)
didn't Bickel save one of our elimination games with a glove save? Maybe that save never happens? maybe we lose earlier?

who knows.

Bickel was on the ice for the Ryan Carter GWG in game 5 and played an integral part on that goal based on him being out of position to hit Kovy or Gionta (forgot who). That goal was the end of the Rangers season, to come back and climb onto the mountain, only to be pushed off once again. The most deflating loss in franchise history imo.

Any competent NHLer wouldn't be doing that in the 3rd period of a key playoff game.

With Sauer, he logs 18 or so minutes mistake free hockey. Del Zotto doesn't have to kill penalties either, which is where we were feasted on by the Devils forecheck. He would have made a huge difference, although I still think the Devils would come out victorious. We had very little scoring depth.

Kershaw 11-20-2012 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway (Post 55909543)
Only if Sauer was going to jump-start the Rangers offense.

He would've helped in game 5, where we allowed 4 goals.

Bleed Ranger Blue 11-20-2012 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tortorella (Post 55916815)
Bickel was on the ice for the Ryan Carter GWG in game 5 and played an integral part on that goal based on him being out of position to hit Kovy or Gionta (forgot who). That goal was the end of the Rangers season, to come back and climb onto the mountain, only to be pushed off once again. The most deflating loss in franchise history imo.

Any competent NHLer wouldn't be doing that in the 3rd period of a key playoff game.

With Sauer, he logs 18 or so minutes mistake free hockey. Del Zotto doesn't have to kill penalties either, which is where we were feasted on by the Devils forecheck. He would have made a huge difference, although I still think the Devils would come out victorious. We had very little scoring depth.

Girardi and Del Zotto were on the ice for that goal.

Facts are useful.

Brian Boyle 11-20-2012 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue (Post 55917471)
Girardi and Del Zotto were on the ice for that goal.

Facts are useful.

You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true.

Cresto 11-20-2012 05:17 PM

None of this debate matters. Debating the differences to the dynamic of the lineups with Sauer instead of Bickel and how it would change the defense pair's roles and abilities to become more offensively minded and how it could have given us less time stuck in our own zone works. Debating about how Bickel saved this in this game and how Sauer might have done in such situations is superfluous.

Clowes Line 11-20-2012 05:43 PM

This lockout needs to end.

Cresto 11-20-2012 08:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kreiders Underwear (Post 55921291)
This lockout needs to end.

Thinking about picking up archery or something.


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