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-   -   Building the team for the conference... (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=151215)

Choice 07-14-2005 02:36 PM

Building the team for the conference...
 
We all know that for the most part in recent years the trend has been that the Eastern Conference play is more rugged and physical than that in the West, favoring teams such as the Flyers, Leafs or Devils. Thus, a guy like Nedved or Dvorak has a better chance of putting up strong number out west where the game is more north-south, favoring speed over grinding physical play. My question is, with the new CBA, the massive amounts of free agents and some teams basically starting from scratch, do you guys thinl this trend will continue? Should the Rangers look to emulate the succesful Eastern teams over the past few decades or is it going to be a whole new game?

SingnBluesOnBroadway 07-14-2005 02:39 PM

It might sound simple but: balance. You need both.

broadwayblue 07-14-2005 02:40 PM

very interesting question. with upwards of 400 free agents there's going to be a ton of player movement. should be interesting to see how teams re-create themselves. if i had to guess i'd say things will stay more or less the same though, as i believe the coaches/managers build the teams around a particular style of play moreso than they alter their style of play to suit the players they have.

ATLANTARANGER* 07-14-2005 03:29 PM

The answer to your question is already known
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnnyChoice
We all know that for the most part in recent years the trend has been that the Eastern Conference play is more rugged and physical than that in the West, favoring teams such as the Flyers, Leafs or Devils. Thus, a guy like Nedved or Dvorak has a better chance of putting up strong number out west where the game is more north-south, favoring speed over grinding physical play. My question is, with the new CBA, the massive amounts of free agents and some teams basically starting from scratch, do you guys thinl this trend will continue? Should the Rangers look to emulate the succesful Eastern teams over the past few decades or is it going to be a whole new game?

all you have to do is look at the type of player they have drafted over the past 3 years to get an idea of the style of play they intend play. I think he wants a skating team that is very fast and that plays a physical game based on a hard forecheck, with mobile defensemen who are paired with a physical partner. Most of the players selected play a two way game with some grit to their game.
You go drafting a certain type of player into your organization and then turn around bring in players from the outside that are not complementary to what you drafted.

otto1219 07-14-2005 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ATLANTARANGER
all you have to do is look at the type of player they have drafted over the past 3 years to get an idea of the style of play they intend play. I think he wants a skating team that is very fast and that plays a physical game based on a hard forecheck, with mobile defensemen who are paired with a physical partner. Most of the players selected play a two way game with some grit to their game.
You go drafting a certain type of player into your organization and then turn around bring in players from the outside that are not complementary to what you drafted.

well if this is the case the rangers should actually hold on to guys like kaspar and puriton based on their sheer brute force, the devils really dont have to many tough stronger guys, but like a previous poster said, they are so balanced. instead of getting a group of individuals the rangers need to start picking up guys that will build chemistry, ie nylander was signed to help jagr. if they build around jagr, they could still make a balanced team with a very dangerous offensive threat.

ATLANTARANGER* 07-14-2005 03:41 PM

Nylander, to me, is a continuation of the old way we were doing things
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by otto1219
well if this is the case the rangers should actually hold on to guys like kaspar and puriton based on their sheer brute force, the devils really dont have to many tough stronger guys, but like a previous poster said, they are so balanced. instead of getting a group of individuals the rangers need to start picking up guys that will build chemistry, ie nylander was signed to help jagr. if they build around jagr, they could still make a balanced team with a very dangerous offensive threat.

Chemistry is built by sharing a common experience. Playing together as a team, in Jrs, the minor leagues, does that. Bring in parts from all over the place doesn't work. Like the old chicken commercial, parts are parts.

Having said that though, almost everyone is going to be in the same boat. Those organizations that have some prospects that they have been developing I think have an advantage over those that have a thin prospect pool. I do think, and this should not come as a surprise, that everything hinges on where we pick in the draft. If we get crosby then I think it changes the way things are going to be done.

Fletch 07-14-2005 03:50 PM

Atlanta...
 
I agree on how to build chemistry, but sometimes you need to get a guy like Nylander. Your more successful teams have had 1-3 UFAs signed and/or acquired COGs at the trade deadline. So there is a mix. Jagr, if he is going to be on the Rangers, needs to play with a centerman other than Holik. Right now, I cannot think of a top-line centerman in the organization, and thus wouldn't suggest giving anyone a shot there. Nylander's not the best, but a kid's first experience shouldn't be to get pounded into the boards by Scott Stevens (not actually Scott himself, but that type of player). If a guy like Immonen comes and makes the team and is playing on a second line and excels, perhaps then he deserves to be pushed up. But the point is UFAs do need to be part of the mix, even in the changed NHL environment.

ATLANTARANGER* 07-14-2005 04:07 PM

Fletch
 
I think the wiping out of the 04-05 contracts changes things a bit. While we would still have some big ticket players, their term is short. So maintaining a Holik, Kasparaitis, Nylander and even a Poti has no long term effect. Actually, we will have contract lengths where many of the new ones will be. To be honest, I don't see how we can go wrong, as long as there is a plan in place and we bring in the right combination of UFA's to mix in with what we have attempted to do in our drafting, i.e. character, grit, speed, etc. It is ging to be really interesting to see what teams do in terms of buying out existing contracts. I doubt that any team would not qualify any quality young player. I think what you are going to see if all of the big contracts and those contracts of players who really are not worth what their contract amounts are, brought out.

BwayBshirt 07-14-2005 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnnyChoice
We all know that for the most part in recent years the trend has been that the Eastern Conference play is more rugged and physical than that in the West, favoring teams such as the Flyers, Leafs or Devils. Thus, a guy like Nedved or Dvorak has a better chance of putting up strong number out west where the game is more north-south, favoring speed over grinding physical play. My question is, with the new CBA, the massive amounts of free agents and some teams basically starting from scratch, do you guys thinl this trend will continue? Should the Rangers look to emulate the succesful Eastern teams over the past few decades or is it going to be a whole new game?

i don't think the rangers have to be a really big and strong team to be successful in the eastern conference. i just think they have to have players who won't be afraid to be physical and who won't be afraid to take hits.

and just as important they have to have an identity of what they want to do. do they want to be more of a big and physical team? or do they want to lean towards being small and fast/quick? do they want 4 lines capable of offense or do they want the traditional 3 scoring/1 checking line approach? do they want their d-men to be offensive minded or do they want balance between offense and defense?

a perfect example of this is the last 2 stanley cup champs. the devils underwent a philisophical change at the time they hired pat burns. yes, they kept their core group together, but remember under lemaire/ftorek/robinson part 1 they were "big and physical". but then when they hired burns they went small and quick. granted the loss of holik had a lot to do with the change-up, but still lamoriello had the idea to re-invent the team and as a result they haven't skipped a beat. and on top of that, new jersey while not having the same size they used to at the forward position still maintain their physical presence to a slightly lesser degree.

and then look at the lightning. they aren't particularly huge and they aren't over physical. they aren't even that fast as a team. yet they have an overall collection of guys who aren't afraid to hit and aren't afraid to be hit, and they have burners mixed in as well. we saw how much philadelphia and calgary tried to intimidate the bolts physically and yet they not only weren't phased, they held their own and even picked their spots to be physical. and most important, tampa bay never changed their mentality when it came to offense. they made mistakes, but they kept after it against everyone they played and as a result they won a cup.

not only have the rangers had far too many guys who have been passive when it comes to either approach in hitting, they never stick with a game plan DURING a game much less from game to game. if you're going to be physical with a team like the flyers, show that intensity from beginning to end, don't let up and get up when you get knocked down. if you're going to try to speed by an opponent, don't change at the first sign something doesn't go as planned.

the rangers also have to find a balance between knowing when to stick up for a teammate and when to avoid stupid penalties. remember that hit by mike danton that virtually ended pavel bure's career in the preseason game? where was the need to put danton in his place? i don't know whether it was 1 or 2 seasons ago but there was a game against the penguins where holik, during a shift, was being shoved around by 2 or 3 different different pens and no one...NOT ONE PLAYER...came to his aid. that crap can't go on anymore.

and lastly, the rangers have to...and this is a must...be a better overall skating team. the teams who skate the best, the teams who perform best in the transition game, are the teams that win stanley cups. new jersey has always been a solid skating team. tampa bay is a great skating team. detroit and colorado the same. even the teams that have been finalists have been good in their single years because they outskated the teams they faced in the playoffs. too often the rangers will look like they are stuck in quicksand against certain opponents like the devils and the senators. even when we've had guys who could skate, they either wouldn't for us or they were put in a position by our past coaches where it wasn't utilized.

the best thing about the rangers in recent memory when they've played the islanders is that you see the very best of what this team needs to do consistently. they realize they are bigger than the isles, so they pound them. they realize they can skate with the isles so they usually aren't caught. they stick with whatever plan they have against them. they pick the right spots to stick up for themselves.

when renney was hired, he said the team was going to look for more "2-way players" and guys who were effective at both ends of the ice and stop going for one-dimensional players. yet another aspect of cup-winning teams are they have gotten all their players to contribute at both ends. so in that regard, if the organization is true to its rennovation, we'll be making a good step in the right direction

:teach:

otto1219 07-14-2005 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MyCaptain11
the best thing about the rangers in recent memory when they've played the islanders is that you see the very best of what this team needs to do consistently. they realize they are bigger than the isles, so they pound them. they realize they can skate with the isles so they usually aren't caught. they stick with whatever plan they have against them. they pick the right spots to stick up for themselves.



:teach:

i completely agree, a lot of hockey is psychological, and the rangers knew they could win those games against the isles and sheerly dominated. the rangers need confidence in their lineup, and i know a lot of people may agree but guys like barnaby brought that to the team. he never backed down and had the feeling he could take on anyone, and the rangers need that attitude and those types of players. when mess was in his prime he could look any hockey player in the face and realize that he could skate with them or better than them, we dont have a leader or a player like that right now, yet jagr was starting to show that in his run with the czecks. so i guess we will have to just wait and see, i do agree though that i dont think we can be any worse than two years ago, and right now we can only get better, so lets hope for some good moves and draft picks.

Fish 07-14-2005 06:56 PM

If the league is going to move towards a higher scoring game with less obstruction interference allowed, then I'm thinking that bigger more physical players are not going to be the ones that win games for you.

New Jersey has gotten a lot smaller over the past couple of seasons and the Flyers younger guns coming up through the ranks are more finesse than fire. You will always need to be more than a one dimensional team, but I would think that speed and offense will be things that teams look for going forward.

In terms of what the Rangers need to do to win in their division. I think the first thing is to focus on a team philosophy, and involve the coach more in terms of building that team approach. Drills in practice (instead of the freestyle favored by Sather), accountability on and off the ice and discipline instead of penalties.


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