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-   -   Larry Brooks: Rangers/NHL Preview (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=827035)

RangerBoy 10-07-2010 06:44 AM

Rangers/NHL Preview
 
Brooks has the Rangers finishing 7th in east and getting bounced in the 1st round to the Debbies. He feels the Rangers have significant upside which could separate them from the pack. He pointed to a few key players.

Quote:

MOST IMPORTANT OFFENSIVE PLAYER
Artem Anisimov. Gaborik will get his 45, but the Rangers are counting on Anisimov to emerge as the linchpin of a second unit that will relieve some of the goal-scoring burden from The Great Gabby and linemate Frolov.

MOST IMPORTANT DEFENSIVE PLAYER
Marc Staal. The progress has been steady over his first three years, but the Rangers need Staal to become a legitimate No. 1, their version of Norris winner Duncan Keith, strong in his own end, capable of both leading and joining the rush without sacrificing defense.

TOP ROOKIE
Derek Stepan. He appeared comfortable in every assignment in his first pro camp while displaying the edge, personality, confidence and borderline cockiness that looks good on a Ranger.

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/range...OzfzKxTlq2z1fP

Agree with all 3 players. AA in his second full season and the development of Stepan would go a long way towards alleviating concerns at center. They do not have the boffo #1 center but they do have two good young solid centers in those two players. That's more than other teams have up the middle. Chris Drury will be better than last season. Erik Christensen will get his points by accident playing with Marian Gaborik and Alexander Frolov(contract year).

This is Staal's team. He should get the "A". Had a solid 2nd half last year. Torts told Dave Maloney and Bill Pidto on the MSG NHL show before training camp(which I will not watch if Butch Goring and Al Trautwig are on. Goring is a ****ing moron)that Staal finally got what he wanted him to do. It showed in the Staal goal last Friday.

Development from the young players. Breakout year from Dubinsky(contract year). Ryan Callahan(contract year).

The Rangers have the assets to make a deal. Cap space. Prospects. Picks.

Power rankings

Quote:

14. NEW YORK RANGERS
Marginal in many places, but more upside than the last two seasons.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/range...#ixzz11fh4fHxE

Predictions

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/range...UXwnchlo1vBAyK

The Debbies:sarcasm:

nyranger61494 10-07-2010 06:54 AM

Decent stuff from Brooks. The Devils has many flaws. Have learned not to count them out of playoffs, but no way is that team winning the Cup with that defense and lack of scoring depth.

msv957 10-07-2010 06:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RangerBoy (Post 28147345)
Brooks has the Rangers finishing 7th in east and getting bounced in the 1st round to the Debbies. He feels the Rangers have significant upside which could separate them from the pack. He pointed to a few key players.



http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/range...OzfzKxTlq2z1fP

Agree with all 3 players. AA in his second full season and the development of Stepan would go a long way towards alleviating concerns at center. They do not have the boffo #1 center but they do have two good young solid centers in those two players. That's more than other teams have up the middle. Chris Drury will be better than last season. Erik Christensen will get his points by accident playing with Marian Gaborik and Alexander Frolov(contract year).

This is Staal's team. He should get the "A". Had a solid 2nd half last year. Torts told Dave Maloney and Bill Pidto on the MSG NHL show before training camp(which I will not watch if Butch Goring and Al Trautwig are on. Goring is a ****ing moron)that Staal finally got what he wanted him to do. It showed in the Staal goal last Friday.

Development from the young players. Breakout year from Dubinsky(contract year). Ryan Callahan(contract year).

The Rangers have the assets to make a deal. Cap space. Prospects. Picks.

Power rankings



Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/range...#ixzz11fh4fHxE

Predictions

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/range...UXwnchlo1vBAyK

The Debbies:sarcasm:

Really.. you can make a case for any center who plays on the first line with Gaborik and Frolov getting plenty of points by accident just passing the puck to Gaborik... Whether it be EC, Stepan or whomever...

Not bad info from Brooks. I can see the Rangers making the playoffs with this roster. There is plenty of talent on this team.

Chessarmy 10-07-2010 07:02 AM

Depth:

Kovalchuk
Parise
Zajac
Arnott
Elias
Langenbrunner
Clarkson
Zubrus
Rolston

Can all score consistently. As for the D, it is weaker than it should be however the Devils acquired possibly the best defensive defenseman on the market, Anton Volchenkov, and a solid puck mover, Henrik Tallinder. Those two additions will help a lot, not to mention Brodeur is back in net and you can always count on him to erase defensive mistakes.

Don't underrate the Devils just because you're trying to convince yourself that they can't win the cup, in reality, they're just as much a contender as anyone else.

beastly115 10-07-2010 07:03 AM

Interesting predictions. I don't see the Devils making the SCF. Their defense is weak and Marty has broken down in the PO's for a few seasons now. Goal scoring will only get them so far - ask Washington.

I agree with the predictions for us. I see us finishing anywhere from 7-10.

BobSantos 10-07-2010 07:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chessarmy (Post 28147426)
Depth:

Kovalchuk
Parise
Zajac
Arnott
Elias
Langenbrunner
Clarkson
Zubrus
Rolston

Can all score consistently. As for the D, it is weaker than it should be however the Devils acquired possibly the best defensive defenseman on the market, Anton Volchenkov, and a solid puck mover, Henrik Tallinder. Those two additions will help a lot, not to mention Brodeur is back in net and you can always count on him to erase defensive mistakes.

Don't underrate the Devils just because you're trying to convince yourself that they can't win the cup, in reality, they're just as much a contender as anyone else.

There's quite a bit of age in the list of names you posted, there, not to mention no one to spell those old legs if they get creaky. That's the real problem on that team. They'll score just fine when they're all in top form, but how long will that last?

The additions on D are ok, sure, but I get the feeling that both are a bit over-rated and coming in off payday type contracts, may slack a bit. After watching seasons of the Rangers trying to bolster their D with numerous mercenary f-a signings I'm not expecting great results for the Devs with that pair.

Marty is what 37? 38? The success has to end some time.

Melrose_Jr. 10-07-2010 07:44 AM

I honestly don't know what to expect from the Devils. Obviously, the forwards are going to be a consistent offensive threat, but I can only guess at how the changes on defense are going to function when it counts. Do people realize that Martin Broduer is also 38 years old?

Stugots 10-07-2010 07:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chessarmy (Post 28147426)
Depth:

Kovalchuk
Parise
Zajac
Arnott
Elias
Langenbrunner
Clarkson
Zubrus
Rolston

Can all score consistently. As for the D, it is weaker than it should be however the Devils acquired possibly the best defensive defenseman on the market, Anton Volchenkov, and a solid puck mover, Henrik Tallinder. Those two additions will help a lot, not to mention Brodeur is back in net and you can always count on him to erase defensive mistakes.

Don't underrate the Devils just because you're trying to convince yourself that they can't win the cup, in reality, they're just as much a contender as anyone else.

Agreed that Kovalchuk, Parise, Zajac, and Langenbrunner (despite his age) all can score a lot of points. Clarkson, Zubrus, and Rolston? They are 3rd liners and have put up 3rd line numbers since they've been with the Devils. Arnott and Elias CAN put up big numbers IF they are healthy. Arnott has played over 70 games once in the last 4 seasons and Elias is 34 coming off of a groin injury.

I believe the Devils ARE a contender but you have to admit that there are question marks after that top line.

offdacrossbar 10-07-2010 07:52 AM

more larry being paid by the column/inch. ho hum.

this lineup right now today misses the playoffs. sorry but true. however, this will not be the team that's playing in march.

unless we're way out of it- not ruling that out either, especially with a key injury- come the deadline, i fully expect there to be moves and possibly, even before then. this team will under go atleast one major overhaul this season.

right now though, i dont think we score enough at even strength to be competitive against some of the more powerful offensive teams. were a .500 team right now.

and this season will be the swan song for atleast a few of these players. take your pick, but atleast 2 from this list will be moved to acquire a playmaking centerman.

blowzsy
dubinsky
girardi
grachev
sauer
mcdonough

these names will all be in play.

and if we are out of it come spring, i like the fact that both ftank and frolov could fetch us a decent pick or 2.

if we acquire a swift skating, setup centerman to play with gaby and frolov, i think were a much better team. having stepan center our 2nd line and arty anchor the 3rd line makes us much better. until that happens though, and as long as we have erik christensen centering anything, were a .500 team.

pwoz 10-07-2010 08:07 AM

NJ is going all out this year bc they'll have cap problems next season and Marty is going to be useless after 1-2 years.

Levitate 10-07-2010 08:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melrose_Jr. (Post 28147669)
I honestly don't know what to expect from the Devils. Obviously, the forwards are going to be a consistent offensive threat, but I can only guess at how the changes on defense are going to function when it counts. Do people realize that Martin Broduer is also 38 years old?

Yeah I pretty much feel the same way. Their forward group is great, other than lacking a true star center (but Zajac should hold his own just fine between two star wingers). Their defense...the third pairing sucks, but hey it's a third pairing. Their first pairing is good but when we're using to seeing first pairings like what the Hawks and Flyers rolled with last year, it's lacking.

Greene is pretty good but is he really ready for 1st pairing minutes? (e: write that before fact checking, he did play a good amount of minutes last year, so he can probably handle that, just not sure I'm sold on him as a team leading 1st pairing guy) Volchenkov is solid defensively and with his shot blocking, but can't handle the puck or break it out to save his life.

I've always felt Tallinder is overrated to some extent, and then throw in a rookie...

Honestly I'd say the Rangers D matches up pretty well against the Devils D and we know the Rangers aren't contenders, so to me that means their D is still a questionmark if we're talking about a team expected to get to the finals. And who knows with Brodeur...he's supposedly going to play fewer games. Will that help? Is his age just catching up with him in general? How much does he have left? I feel like erring on the side of "Marty will still be solid at least in the regular season" but it's still a question.

But they'll still be very good and the forward group might be able to carry any deficiencies elsewhere.


As for the Rangers...decent write up by Brooks, though it doesn't say a whole lot. A true #1 center would make this team so, so much better, but they're simply not going to find one anytime soon IMO. At least, not a legit, established one. In a lot of ways they could be a real solid team, but it depends on some players really taking a step forward, even if it's not a huge one. Dubinsky and Anisimov need to continue to get better, but if they can, they should help provide a fairly legitimate second line. Third and fourth lines are fine for what they are. Defense is pretty good but still needs players to step up.

I think the team is better than the one that started last year but yeah, guys gotta step up

TonyTheGr8 10-07-2010 08:41 AM

Wow..for once, Brooks is spot on. I think we will make the playoffs. No higher then a 6th seed, but more likely 7th or 8th. The one thing I am looking for from this team this year, is growth from the young guys. Dubi, Callahan, Staal..it's time for them to take control of the leadership of this team. DelZotto and Gilroy will hopefully build off the positives of last year, and Stepan could be a Calder candidate..not saying he'll win it..but he could be in the running.

Regarding the Devils, cause they were mentioned here. They will be where they usually are. Towards the top of the conference, what they do beyond that is anyone's guess, but I don't see them getting bounced in the first round again, that's for sure.

hpNYR 10-07-2010 08:48 AM

IMO Buffalo, Montreal, Tampa, and Rangers are going to battle it out for the 7-10 spots.

If I had to pick I'd go:
7. Tampa
8.Rangers
9. Montreal
10. Buffalo

Rangerfans 10-07-2010 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chessarmy (Post 28147426)
Depth:

Kovalchuk
Parise
Zajac
Arnott
Elias
Langenbrunner
Clarkson
Zubrus
Rolston

Can all score consistently. As for the D, it is weaker than it should be however the Devils acquired possibly the best defensive defenseman on the market, Anton Volchenkov, and a solid puck mover, Henrik Tallinder. Those two additions will help a lot, not to mention Brodeur is back in net and you can always count on him to erase defensive mistakes.

Don't underrate the Devils just because you're trying to convince yourself that they can't win the cup, in reality, they're just as much a contender as anyone else.

I agree with a lot of this. I can't even fathom how anyone can possibly say that the Devils are lacking depth on offense. They have arguably the best top-9 in the east...if not in the NHL. Offensively they're going to be a monster force and they're easily going to make the playoffs. They're also my pick to win the Atlantic - once again - this season.

Defensively, they'll be fine for the regular season. I still think the devils blue line is suspect for the playoffs. Even with Volchenkov (but with the minus of Paul Martin), I do think you lack a solid blue-line which has plagued them in the playoffs the last few seasons.

In net. Brodeur (like him or not)/Hedberg is a pretty solid combination. There is no dispute that Brodeur is on the decline due to age (can't believe he's 38 years old) but is still a very solid goaltender. In this new NHL, you don't need an NHL superstar goalie to win a cup. The Devils are definitely fine in the goalie department. Say what you want about Brodeur, the man can still steal games and stand on his head.

Jersey Girl 10-07-2010 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobSantos (Post 28147658)

Marty is what 37? 38? The success has to end some time.

It already ended a few years ago. :nod:

Pizza 10-07-2010 10:38 AM

Pretty good article by Brooks actually imo.

The key is youth.

It's been the cornerstone of the organizations strategy over the last few years. Now it's time for that youth to step forward and assume the leadership role.

If the younger guys can really step forward, then this year could be a major surprise. If not things might get ugly.

To insert a huge cliche: This is where we separate the men from the boys.

Melrose_Jr. 10-07-2010 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rangerfans (Post 28148398)
In net. Brodeur (like him or not)/Hedberg is a pretty solid combination. There is no dispute that Brodeur is on the decline due to age (can't believe he's 38 years old) but is still a very solid goaltender. In this new NHL, you don't need an NHL superstar goalie to win a cup. The Devils are definitely fine in the goalie department. Say what you want about Brodeur, the man can still steal games and stand on his head.

There was an interesting discussion over the summer here about superstar vs. non-superstar goaltenders. What I took away from is was that, the real key to post-season success in goal is a guy who isn't gassed from the regular season workload. Last year's SCF tenders both saw less than 40 regular season games IIRC and neither is what anyone would call "elite" at the moment.

Brodeur played in 77 regular season games last year. If he's even close to that again, he'll be pushing 100 starts by the time the SCF's roll around. I'm not sure a young player could do it. I'm almost positive a 38 year old can't. MacLean's going to have to resist the temptation to use Marty in the way he's always been used if the Devils are going all the way IMO.

nyranger61494 10-07-2010 11:16 AM

I really don't think the Devils have all that much scoring depth. That first line is superb. I like Clarkson's game. What do you get from Elias and Arnott at this point in their careers?

Agree on Melrose's Brodeur point. That's alot of hockey for any goalie, let alone Marty at this age with that many mileage already there. Factor in that there is little/no room for them to improve the club due to their cap position. I am also curious to see if GM's turned off by Lou's Kovalchuk shenanigans make deals with the Devils come deadline time. Obviously, they are going to do what is best for their club but they may look elsewhere for deals.

On Rangers, Brooks nailed it with the young players that need to step up. This Anisimov, Dubinsky, Callahan, Staal core now have tremendous responsibility. Reward our faith.

h0ckeyman 10-07-2010 11:17 AM

Let's not kid ourselves and pretend the Devils won't be a great team this year. They are pretty stacked.

Fitzy 10-07-2010 11:20 AM

NJ's forwards are ridiculously good. I don't know what team you're looking at.

Parise-Zajac-Kovalchuk
Elias-Arnott-Langenbrunner
Clarkson-Zubrus-Rolston

I challenge you to find a forward crew better than that in the league.

Their defense is a question mark, particularily their #6, and if Volchenkov gets hurt they are in trouble. But their offense certainly should not be being called into question here. Its deadly. You have potentially 9 20 goal scorers.

FOXHOUND* 10-07-2010 11:28 AM

Defense will be the demise of the devils this season - ironic.

nyranger61494 10-07-2010 11:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fitzy Duke of NY (Post 28150559)
NJ's forwards are ridiculously good. I don't know what team you're looking at.

Parise-Zajac-Kovalchuk
Elias-Arnott-Langenbrunner
Clarkson-Zubrus-Rolston

I challenge you to find a forward crew better than that in the league.

Their defense is a question mark, particularily their #6, and if Volchenkov gets hurt they are in trouble. But their offense certainly should not be being called into question here. Its deadly. You have potentially 9 20 goal scorers.

I think Boston and Philadelphia both have better forwards. Again, I said their top line is superb. Arnott is 36 years old. Elias is 34. Langenbrunner is 35. Rolston is 36. Rolston is a shell of his former self. I said that I like Clarkson's game. They have question marks too.

DutchShamrock 10-07-2010 11:39 AM

We are what we are, fighting for the playoffs... which is what everyone has on paper. No surprise.

I have to say, all of these predicitions with NJ going to the conference finals or better is shocking. Top notch 1st line but everything else is smoke and mirrors. 2nd line is ok, but it pales in comparision to the 2nd line of Bos, Chicago, LA, Det, TB and even Phi 3rd. Par with Was, and most every team come to think of it. Elias, Arnott and Lang are consistent, steady performers but just not contender quality in my opinion. That 3rd line is terrible if you are relying on them to steal a series which is exactly what you need at some point on the way to the cup. Zubrus and Rolston go from waiver/salary cap casualty to solid and awesome top 9? Sorry, not buying that. Clarkson is Carcillo except with a more repected sweater among the officials. He wouldn't get away with any of that crap in a blue or orange jersey.

Their D are good, but not great and especially not when you talk about championship caliber. Nowhere near Pit, Phil, LA, Van, Chi, Det, Bos, maybe Mon when they get healthy.

I think these predictions are banking on a rested Brodeur but that begs the question, if he is playing 60ish games how are they making the post season? If he is forced into his usual 70+or even high 60s, they are done in 1 again.

I see Pit-Phi in the East and LA-Van in the west. They fit the championship mold. 2 stars up front, 3 deep scoring lines, great top 4 on the blue line and a goalie. Not a great goalie or experienced or x factor, just a goalie.

Melrose_Jr. 10-07-2010 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nyranger61494 (Post 28150783)
I think Boston and Philadelphia both have better forwards.

Philly yes, but Boston, disagree. My personal feeling is that Lucic and Krecji are wildly overrated and without Savard, I think the Bruins won't even be close to the top offense in the East.

Any team that has Ovechkin, Backstrom and Semin, or Crosby, Malkin and Staal in their top 9 certainly needs to be considered as well.

Brooklyndevil 10-07-2010 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pwoz (Post 28147825)
NJ is going all out this year bc they'll have cap problems next season and Marty is going to be useless after 1-2 years.

Cap problems? How so?? And wasn't this Brooks article about the Rangers???


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