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-   -   Canadian Press/Pierre Lebrun's NHL training camp preview (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=416628)

RangerBoy 09-06-2007 07:05 PM

Canadian Press/Pierre Lebrun's NHL training camp preview
 
Quote:

New York Rangers: Some of those who witnessed the Rangers-Sabres second-round series last spring argue Buffalo was lucky to beat New York. If that's the case, the Rangers are on the cusp on great things with the flamboyant additions of Chris Drury and Scott Gomez - the creme de la creme of the free-agent crop and a stunning upgrade at centre. That's the good news. What's not so impressive, however, is a blue-line that simply doesn't scare anyone: Michal Rozsival, Marek Malik, Fedor Tyutin, Thomas Pock, Andrew Hutchinson, Paul Mara, Jason Strudwick and Dan Girardi. Look for GM Glen Sather to upgrade his back end before the trade deadline. In the meantime, one of the league's top coaching staffs led by Tom Renney and the excellent goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist will help the Rangers shoot for the Eastern Conference title. If they add a top blue-liner, this is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/hockey/070906/h090615A.html

No mention of Marc Staal.Come on Pierre,you are better than that:rant:

RMcDonagh 09-06-2007 07:26 PM

Here we go again with the defense, you know now it's just like "whatever, ignore it" honestly it is. Hopefully Staal plays some games with us this year, and I'd so love for us to win the cup not only so I can party my ass off and die in peace (even though I'm young and have good chances at seeing more cups from our Rangers) but just for the meer fact of shoving it in these "no blue-line, non contender" faces of these "NHL experts".

The Perfect Paradox 09-06-2007 07:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruno Ranger (Post 10354375)
Here we go again with the defense, you know now it's just like "whatever, ignore it" honestly it is. Hopefully Staal plays some games with us this year, and I'd so love for us to win the cup not only so I can party my ass off and die in peace (even though I'm young and have good chances at seeing more cups from our Rangers) but just for the meer fact of shoving it in these "no blue-line, non contender" faces of these "NHL experts".

^^ agreed

Levitate 09-06-2007 09:01 PM

Eh, we should be used to it by now, and there is a legit point in there. The Rangers defense is not that dynamic, and has no big names...but that doesn't mean it's weak and is/will be their downfall.

Honestly, if Rozsival can put together a consistent season, I might actually consider him a legit top pairing defenseman, and everyone else is solid, if unspectacular at what they do. Having another top tier guy in there could definitely help, but I basically feel like the players the Rangers have on D right now aren't going to be what makes or breaks this team. The Rangers didn't have such great GA totals over the second half of the season *just* because of Lundqvist (though he was obviously a big factor).

Anyways, defense is just the easiest thing to point out about the Rangers. They don't have a big name back there and they don't have a true #1 guy, so everyone is always going to say that's their weakness.

RMcDonagh 09-06-2007 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Levitate (Post 10355113)
Eh, we should be used to it by now, and there is a legit point in there. The Rangers defense is not that dynamic, and has no big names...but that doesn't mean it's weak and is/will be their downfall.

Honestly, if Rozsival can put together a consistent season, I might actually consider him a legit top pairing defenseman, and everyone else is solid, if unspectacular at what they do. Having another top tier guy in there could definitely help, but I basically feel like the players the Rangers have on D right now aren't going to be what makes or breaks this team. The Rangers didn't have such great GA totals over the second half of the season *just* because of Lundqvist (though he was obviously a big factor).

Anyways, defense is just the easiest thing to point out about the Rangers. They don't have a big name back there and they don't have a true #1 guy, so everyone is always going to say that's their weakness.

If Staal comes up and plays great and is a top tier conditioned and all that and puts up rookie top points then will they still say no big names?

Levitate 09-06-2007 09:28 PM

Yes, they'll say no big names until Marc Staal proves that he is a big name in the NHL.

Brooklyn Ranger 09-07-2007 01:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bruno Ranger (Post 10355182)
If Staal comes up and plays great and is a top tier conditioned and all that and puts up rookie top points then will they still say no big names?

It's possible, but no one can expect or assume it will actually happen. And certainly Sather isn't expecting it to happen--there's plenty of time between training camp and the trade deadline to find help if (and probably when) it's needed.

The defense is legitimate issue and will be around until there is either a trade which improves the defense or the Rangers win the Stanley Cup with the defensemen on the roster.

Inferno 09-07-2007 01:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brooklyn Ranger (Post 10356597)
It's possible, but no one can expect or assume it will actually happen. And certainly Sather isn't expecting it to happen--there's plenty of time between training camp and the trade deadline to find help if (and probably when) it's needed.

The defense is legitimate issue and will be around until there is either a trade which improves the defense or the Rangers win the Stanley Cup with the defensemen on the roster.

agreed. i think staal will be a #1, but to expect in his first season is crazy. im hoping he makes the team as a #6. if by the end of the year he is a true #3 or 4 id call it amazing progress.

Brooklyn Ranger 09-07-2007 02:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by inferno272 (Post 10356630)
agreed. i think staal will be a #1, but to expect in his first season is crazy. im hoping he makes the team as a #6. if by the end of the year he is a true #3 or 4 id call it amazing progress.

The kid can't even drink and some people are expecting him to take over and be the savior before he's even played one game in the NHL. If he can make the team and provide steady defense for 80+ games as part of the 3rd pair, it will be a very successful debut. To assume anything more, especially for a team with such high expectations, is insane.

Lundqvist=Vezina 09-07-2007 02:15 AM

That's a solid preview, except for the point about the defense of course. A lot of people just like to ignore the facts.

RangerBoy 09-07-2007 06:23 AM

TB and Carolina won championships with their defense.The closet thing to a top notch D man on those two teams was Dan Boyle.People will always find reasons to criticize.Which defenseman is going to make the Rangers a legitimate contender?The available players will be players past their primes who won't be able to make a major difference or some overpriced piece of garbage.At what price in terms of assets and cap dollars?

Wheatking 09-07-2007 06:48 AM

I'm not here to bash and I'll quickly admit that I don't know a ton about the Rangers past the absolutely huge news that makes headlines.

From what I can see, the Rangers defense isn't "strong". I'm here to tell you that although you have a great set of forwards, that's a bigger problem then you might think and I witnessed it last season with my Oilers. We had Torres coming off a 27 goal season, Lupul with 28, Smyth with 36, Horcoff with 22, Stoll had 22, Sykora had 23, Hemsky had 19 and Pisani had 18. All these guys with the exception of Sykora and Smyth were still young and only getting better. The media was saying we would score 300 goals. We certainly had the personel to do it but all our problems rooted from the back end. We ended up scoring fewer goals than any other team in the league. Why? Because there was no transition game.Our defensemen couldn't get the forwards the puck. There was never a goal that came on the fly. Instead quick skaters like Hemsky, Lupul and Torres would have to wait at the red line for a pass to come off the boards. They couldn't enter the zone with speed and it lead to us having a lot of trouble getting set up or just turning over the puck.

Based on the scouting reports I've read, the Rangers don't have a single Dman past maybe Rozsival that can move the puck. That could be wrong. You guys know more than I do. If this is the case then be prepared to not score as many goals as you'd have hoped. Luckly you have names like Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez and Drury up front. That's alot better than Smyth, Hemsky, Sykora and Torres so you might be able to fake it for a while. Just don't be surprised if your defense is exposed a couple months into the season.

Again, I'm not here to bash. I've actually always had a spot for the Rangers due to the amount of Oilers that were there in the early 90s. I'm just given you guys the heads up on a possible situation that I had to witness for 82 games last season.

Ola 09-07-2007 06:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RangerBoy (Post 10356920)
TB and Carolina won championships with their defense.The closet thing to a top notch D man on those two teams was Dan Boyle.People will always find reasons to criticize.Which defenseman is going to make the Rangers a legitimate contender?The available players will be players past their primes who won't be able to make a major difference or some overpriced piece of garbage.At what price in terms of assets and cap dollars?

I agree 100%. The blueline in the entire NHL is in a transition period. The conditions have changed; many defensemens who could have developed into really good D's in the "new" NHL never got a chance 10 years ago, or was moved to other positions -- like if you where 6'1 or shorter...

I wouldn't at all be suprised if the best D moved this season is on par with a Alex Zhitnik; there aren't better guys out there developed. Guys like Norström among others just isn't a big addition, he wil never put anyone over the top, and they got a really hefty price tag. So many of the big names in the old NHL have taken a step backwards, like Special Ed.

There are a few guys, like Neids, Pronger, Lidas and Kaberle who deserves to be called franchise D's. After them is the guys who never will get moved; like Phaneuf, Campbell, Weber and Redden among others. What left after that just don't intrigue me, they would come with a extremely high price, both to get them and with a huge hit to the salary cap; and wouldn't put us over the top.

Like, for example, McCabe would be a upgrade over Mara, but a marginal one, and he would probably cost us atleast one 1st & 2nd rounder, along with atleast a good prospect like Korpikoski and maybe even a roster player like Prucha. On top of it all he got a 6 m cap hit.

So I don't see what Slats realistically could do. Unless he could swing a deal like Prucha/Callahan and Mara for a Seabrook or something like that...

Levitate 09-07-2007 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wheatking (Post 10356974)
I
Based on the scouting reports I've read, the Rangers don't have a single Dman past maybe Rozsival that can move the puck. That could be wrong.

Couple of things. The defense is mainly the same as it was last year, and the year before. And in those years, the Rangers offense did just fine for the most part, with the real culprit being a lack of a legit 2nd line center to help spread the offense out.

Next, almost every defenseman the Rangers have can transition the puck well. Malik actually is one of the better outlet passers on the team (except for occasional brain farts that he gets lambasted for...they're not that common though). Tyutin as well is quite good at passing or skating the puck out of the zone. Girardi proved he is solid and calm and moving the puck, and Mara is decent at it as well.

The "problem" with the Rangers D at this moment is that it doesn't have any extremes. There isn't a guy who's really great on offense, and there isn't a guy who's super shutdown defenseman of the league. Most of the D are good at both, but relatively unspectacular.

Basically, the transition out of the zone should be fine, as it's worked for the past several years.

Sad London Ranger 09-07-2007 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lundqvist=Vezina (Post 10356696)
That's a solid preview, except for the point about the defense of course. A lot of people just like to ignore the facts.

i think the preview is spot on. our D is not inflicting fear into anyone, thats a fact.
Whether Marc Staal is going to scare the bejxsus out of Isles and Deb forwards remains to be seen. An upgrade is in the offing....there might be some sacrifices made by trade deadline..

Pizza 09-07-2007 11:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wheatking (Post 10356974)
I'm not here to bash and I'll quickly admit that I don't know a ton about the Rangers past the absolutely huge news that makes headlines.

From what I can see, the Rangers defense isn't "strong". I'm here to tell you that although you have a great set of forwards, that's a bigger problem then you might think and I witnessed it last season with my Oilers. We had Torres coming off a 27 goal season, Lupul with 28, Smyth with 36, Horcoff with 22, Stoll had 22, Sykora had 23, Hemsky had 19 and Pisani had 18. All these guys with the exception of Sykora and Smyth were still young and only getting better. The media was saying we would score 300 goals. We certainly had the personel to do it but all our problems rooted from the back end. We ended up scoring fewer goals than any other team in the league. Why? Because there was no transition game.Our defensemen couldn't get the forwards the puck. There was never a goal that came on the fly. Instead quick skaters like Hemsky, Lupul and Torres would have to wait at the red line for a pass to come off the boards. They couldn't enter the zone with speed and it lead to us having a lot of trouble getting set up or just turning over the puck.

Based on the scouting reports I've read, the Rangers don't have a single Dman past maybe Rozsival that can move the puck. That could be wrong. You guys know more than I do. If this is the case then be prepared to not score as many goals as you'd have hoped. Luckly you have names like Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez and Drury up front. That's alot better than Smyth, Hemsky, Sykora and Torres so you might be able to fake it for a while. Just don't be surprised if your defense is exposed a couple months into the season.

Again, I'm not here to bash. I've actually always had a spot for the Rangers due to the amount of Oilers that were there in the early 90s. I'm just given you guys the heads up on a possible situation that I had to witness for 82 games last season.


This seems to be the perception of our blue line in general. I'm not a stat maven, but I think our goals against percentage was pretty decent. In terms of moving the puck well or making the good out let pass, I think we're a little under rated in this area. That gives us a chance to pull some surprises. Renney and his staff are pretty good at that. If the D stands up the way it did last year, we'll be fine.

Inferno 09-07-2007 01:09 PM

the rangers outlet passes have to be from their own zone...to 3 feet away. if the rangers forwards dont skate back and play D, we get killed. its as simple as that. and if they are playing D, transitioning the puck to them is much easier.

RangerBoy 09-07-2007 01:39 PM

It wasn't that long ago(at least to me)that hockey experts were claiming the Rangers couldn't win with their blueline.91-92/92-93/93-94.The team did win two President's trophies and a Cup in those three seasons.The media was pounding the table about the Rangers needing to go get Dave Manson out of Edmonton.He was the missing piece to the Rangers puzzle.Instead of making the big deal and meeting Sather's ranson demand for Manson,the Rangers traded for Kevin Lowe(Roman Oksiuta and a 3rd round pick)and allowed Sergei Zubov to develop.Zubov made James Patrick expendable.Of course,they had a young Brian Leetch.Plus Jeff Beukeboom(Messier deal).Neil Smith made an excellent deal with Quebec-Mike Hurlbut for Alexander Karpovtsev


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