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-   -   Will the Rangers surprise the league this year? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=951149)

Beacon 07-14-2011 09:19 PM

Will the Rangers surprise the league this year?
 
At the beginning of last season, I was arguably the most pessimistic person here. I remember writing that unless Boyle gets 20 goals, we won't make it. We just didn't think that he'll score that much. In fact, we needed a few more surprises (Stepan, Sauer, McDonagh) and some last day luck just to make the playoffs.

This year, I think the Rangers are significantly underrated.

Basically, people are predicting the same thing they were predicting last year: 5-9 spot. It makes zero sense to me.

Additions in the 12 months:

1. Brad Richards
2. Derek Stepan
3. Brian Boyle (was projected as a minor leaguer or fill in last summer)
4. Ryan McDonagh
5. Mike Sauer
6. Tim Erixon
7. Wojtek Wolski
8. Mike Rupp
9. Carl Hagelin

Significantly improved players:

1. Artem Anisimov
2. Brandon Dubinsky
3. Ryan Callahan
4. Dan Girardi


And what did we lose?

1. Frolov, Drury and Prospal played about the same number of games that one player would normally play last year.

2. Rosie and Gilroy played what one defenseman would normally play.

==================

EXPECTATIONS

A. Defense:

1. Erixon will step in and be as good as McDonagh and Sauer. I am basing it on various scouting reports that say that he should be better than those two, not just in the future, but immediately.

2. McDonagh will be at least as good as last year, but he will play a full season with the Rangers.

3. MDZ may get better, but he certainly won't get worse.

4. Girardi may not necessarily have another stellar season.

Conclusion: Defense will be better than last year. McDonagh replaced Rosie, and Erixon should be significantly better than Gilroy. MDZ may or not be better, and if he is, then we are hugely better than last year, but even if not, replacing Gilroy with Erixon should still be a significant improvement.


B. Centers:

Not even in the same stratosphere. The addition of Brad and Stepan is huge, and the improvement of Anisimov and Boyle is also very significant. Boyle won't repeat last year's performance, but Brad will more than make up for whatever offense we will lose from Boyle ... times 3. Stepan should take another step forward.

Overall, centers should probably score at least 5 more goals than they did last year. Boyle-21, Stepan-21, Anisimov-18 and Christ-11 is what we had last year. I expect that Boyle will have what Christ (who won't play regularly) had last year and Brad will get at least 5 goals more than Boyle's 21 year, and maybe Brad will get 10 additional goals.


C. Wingers

1. The addition of Brad should get Gabby to his usual 40+ goal output.

2. Callahan and Dubinsky may not score as much as last year, but I can't see them being too far behind.

3. Either Zuccarello or Woski will step us this season. Can't prove it now, but I think it will happen. I'm more confident in MZA than WW, but one of the two should be able to do it.

4. Carl Hagelin will be a competent winger.

5. Mike Rupp will be a good 4th liner.

Overall, the wingers should score more if for no other reason than because Gaborik will likely add another 20 goals. As far as other players go, I expect that some will go up and some will go down, but all in all, others should not go down in scoring as a group.

===================

TOTAL OFFENSE AND DEFENSE PROJECTIONS

1. Last year, the Rangers were tied for 5th in goals against. There's no reason to expect them to get worse, and if anything, they should get better with Erixon playing the games MDZ/Gilroy played last year. They were only 4 goals from being second in the league and only 3 goals behind being first in the Eastern Conference in the last goals against. In all, from #2 to #7 spot in goals against were separated by only 5 goals. I again expect the Rangers to be in the mix as one of the top defensive clubs in the league.

2. They Rangers finished #14 in goal scoring. If Boyle and Gabby add an additional 25 goals, it would take the Rangers into the top 5 in scoring in the league if scoring remains the same next year. I assume it will change a little, but the Rangers should still be in the 3-7 range.

=====================

So it's not unreasonable that the team will be in the 3-7 range in both Goals For and Goals Against. Last season, Boston had a +51 goal differential, which led the Eastern Conference. The Rangers were +35. It's possible that the Rangers will have the same goal differential that Boston just had, maybe even more so.

Sure, this is just on paper. Of course games need to be played. But when we talk about "expectations", we talk about the future, which naturally involves guesstimating.

And my guesstimate is that the Rangers are probably a significantly underrated team. A team that will likely finish around #5 in both goals for and goals against should not be projected to finish as #6 in the East.

The Rangers are not a bad team. This is easily their best squad since the 1996-97, at least on paper. We don't know how that will translate on the ice, but judging the team based on the information that we currently have, it should finish higher than #6.

New York RKY 07-14-2011 09:28 PM

This is based on a lot of expectations.

It's hard to anticipate what we're going to see out of the Rangers this year.

if everything goes perfectly, ie Gaborik and Richards mesh, no significant injuries, continued development of Cally, Dubinsky, and Artie, and lastly no sophomore slumps from any of last years rookies, it could be a good year.

Right now there is waayy too much up in the are for me to even being to articulate if this team can gel, or how long it will take to gel, etc.

Judging solely from the main threads a lot of people are penciling the Rangers in the 7-10 spots. So based off that fact I think we will surprise the league because I think this team can be 5th or 6th. If everything goes perfectly like I mentioned above, I don't see 4th as out of the question.

Blueshirt Special 07-14-2011 09:29 PM

We ARE better.

However, the Eastern Conference is still waaay tough.

It will be an interesting season. Could be very exciting.

Matt4776 07-14-2011 09:32 PM

I still believe the major problem with our team is the lack of offensive ability from our D-men. Sure, our D is great at playing defense, which is what is most important, but almost all contenders have that offensive D-man who is capable of a great breakout pass and/or leading a rush down the ice. We do not.

broadwayblue 07-14-2011 09:56 PM

Surprise, perhaps...but the league knows the Rangers are now a tough team to play.

Personally I still think we're a top 6 scoring threat and a PMD away from contending.

Kershaw 07-14-2011 10:03 PM

We need guys to go above and beyond expectations in the post season. Anisimov needs to pull a Krejci, Hank needs to pull a Tim Thomas.

darko 07-14-2011 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by broadwayblue (Post 35040861)
Surprise, perhaps...but the league knows the Rangers are now a tough team to play.

Personally I still think we're a top 6 scoring threat and a PMD away from contending.


Agree.

Our weaknesses were #1C, PP, PMD and a top-6 winger. Richards fits 2 needs, #1C and PP. If we can somehow add top-6 LW, no one too flashy just someone who could fit with Gaborik and Richards so that we can keep Pack Line together plus a PMD I think we could be potentially very good if we could avoid any major injuries.


We are not a contender right now. Hell we are not even a lock for playoffs. East is deep.

darko 07-14-2011 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Duskfamous (Post 35041045)
We need guys to go above and beyond expectations in the post season. Anisimov needs to pull a Krejci, Hank needs to pull a Tim Thomas.


Play around 50 games a season? ;)

Barbara Underhill 07-14-2011 10:19 PM

I think MDZ will regain his form next season. I am basing this solely off the fact that he probably hates bus rides.

As far as the rest of the team the key factor in my eyes is sophomore slumps. We just can't afford to have any of last seasons rookies tail off.

Richard Brads 07-14-2011 10:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RangerEsq (Post 35039693)
At the beginning of last season, I was arguably the most pessimistic person here. I remember writing that unless Boyle gets 20 goals, we won't make it. We just didn't think that he'll score that much. In fact, we needed a few more surprises (Stepan, Sauer, McDonagh) and some last day luck just to make the playoffs.

This year, I think the Rangers are significantly underrated.

Basically, people are predicting the same thing they were predicting last year: 5-9 spot. It makes zero sense to me.

Additions in the 12 months:

1. Brad Richards
2. Derek Stepan
3. Brian Boyle (was projected as a minor leaguer or fill in last summer)
4. Ryan McDonagh
5. Mike Sauer
6. Tim Erixon
7. Wojtek Wolski
8. Mike Rupp
9. Carl Hagelin

Significantly improved players:

1. Artem Anisimov
2. Brandon Dubinsky
3. Ryan Callahan
4. Dan Girardi


And what did we lose?

1. Frolov, Drury and Prospal played about the same number of games that one player would normally play last year.

2. Rosie and Gilroy played what one defenseman would normally play.

==================

EXPECTATIONS

A. Defense:

1. Erixon will step in and be as good as McDonagh and Sauer. I am basic it on various scouting reports that say that he should be better than those two, not just in the future, but immediately.

2. McDonagh will be at least as good as last year, but he will play a full season with the Rangers.

3. MDZ may get better, but he certainly won't get worse.

4. Girardi may not necessarily have another stellar season.

Conclusion: Defense will be better than last year. McDonagh replaced Rosie, and Erixon should be significantly better than Gilroy. MDZ may or not be better, and if he is, then we are hugely better than last year, but even if not, replacing Gilroy with Erixon should still be a significant improvement.


B. Centers:

Not even in the same stratosphere. The addition of Brad and Stepan is huge, and the improvement of Anisimov and Boyle is also very significant. Boyle won't repeat last year's performance, but Brad will more than make up for whatever offense we will lose from Boyle ... times 3. Stepan should take another step forward.

Overall, centers should probably score at least 5 more goals than they did last year. Boyle-21, Stepan-21, Anisimov-18 and Christ-11 is what we had last year. I expect that Boyle will have what Christ (who won't play regularly) had last year and Brad will get at least 5 goals more than Boyle's 21 year, and maybe Brad will get 10 additional goals.


C. Wingers

1. The addition of Brad should get Gabby to his usual 40+ goal output.

2. Callahan and Dubinsky may not score as much as last year, but I can't see them being too far behind.

3. Either Zuccarello or Woski will step us this season. Can't prove it now, but I think it will happen. I'm more confident in MZA than WW, but one of the two should be able to do it.

4. Carl Hagelin will be a competent winger.

5. Mike Rupp will be a good 4th liner.

Overall, the wingers should score more if for no other reason than because Gaborik will likely add another 20 goals. As far as other players go, I expect that some will go up and some will go down, but all in all, others should not go down in scoring as a group.

===================

TOTAL OFFENSE AND DEFENSE PROJECTIONS

1. Last year, the Rangers were tied for 5th in goals against. There's no reason to expect them to get worse, and if anything, they should get better with Erixon playing the games MDZ/Gilroy played last year. They were only 4 goals from being second in the league and only 3 goals behind being first in the Eastern Conference in the last goals against. In all, from #2 to #7 spot in goals against were separated by only 5 goals. I again expect the Rangers to be in the mix as one of the top defensive clubs in the league.

2. They Rangers finished #14 in goal scoring. If Boyle and Gabby add an additional 25 goals, it would take the Rangers into the top 5 in scoring in the league if scoring remains the same next year. I assume it will change a little, but the Rangers should still be in the 3-7 range.

=====================

So it's not unreasonable that the team will be in the 3-7 range in both Goals For and Goals Against. Last season, Boston had a +51 goal differential, which led the Eastern Conference. The Rangers were +35. It's possible that the Rangers will have the same goal differential that Boston just had, maybe even more so.

Sure, this is just on paper. Of course games need to be played. But when we talk about "expectations", we talk about the future, which naturally involves guesstimating.

And my guesstimate is that the Rangers are probably a significantly underrated team. A team that will likely finish around #5 in both goals for and goals against should not be projected to finish as #6 in the East.

The Rangers are not a bad team. This is easily their best squad since the 1996-97, at least on paper. We don't know how that will translate on the ice, but judging the team based on the information that we currently have, it should finish higher than #6.

well thought out and i agree with about 90 percent of it. idk if mza/wolski will have a good season (wolski is in a walk year though) and hagelin at the nhl level remains to be seen.

someone else said this was a 'if this all goes perfectly' scenario - disagree with that.. if it all went perfectly boyle would have his 20 goals and dubi/cally would eclipse what they hit last year, in addition to richards and gaborik clicking. i think that esq's prediction was pretty reasonable

either way, should be fun :handclap:

Beacon 07-14-2011 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by New York RKY (Post 35039999)
This is based on a lot of expectations.

It's hard to anticipate what we're going to see out of the Rangers this year.

if everything goes perfectly, ie Gaborik and Richards mesh, no significant injuries, continued development of Cally, Dubinsky, and Artie


Actually, I kind of figured that Cally and Dubi will not score as much as last year and MDZ will continue to suck (not at all a certainty), though I thought Step and/or AA will do a little better, plus we'll have more depth.

My logic was that Gabby will go back to his usual 40 goals, Brad will 5 goals score more than Boyle did last year, and Boyle will score what Christ did last season (and Christ will sit). Everything else would remain the same on offense, give or take a couple goals from each player.

Then I figured that replacing Gilroy will Erixon should make our defense at the very least no worse.

So based on that, I figured we'll give up about the same number of goals and we'll score about 25 goals more than last year. That would bring our goal differential to +60, which is more than anyone had in the Eastin 2010-11. That's not a squad that finishes at #7.

Beacon 07-14-2011 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darko (Post 35041253)
Agree.

Our weaknesses were #1C, PP, PMD and a top-6 winger. Richards fits 2 needs, #1C and PP. If we can somehow add top-6 LW, no one too flashy just someone who could fit with Gaborik and Richards so that we can keep Pack Line together plus a PMD I think we could be potentially very good if we could avoid any major injuries.


We are not a contender right now. Hell we are not even a lock for playoffs. East is deep.


I think we are another Dubinsky-like player away from contention. That or if MDZ steps up and scores 50 points. Either a 50-point defenseman or a 60-point two-way forward will make us a contender. If we get both, a top-6 winger and a PMD, we will likely be the favorites to win the Cup. Short of a bad season or injury by a key player, it would be a team without any major flaws.

Radek27 07-14-2011 11:08 PM

The guy with the tank avatar was pessimistic you say? No way!

Beacon 07-14-2011 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Radek27 (Post 35042901)
The guy with the tank avatar was pessimistic you say? No way!


Where it currently says "registered user", it used to say, "tank this season!"

I wanted to deal away Frolov, Prospal, Rosie, etc. for any young assets we could get to build up for the future.

BrooklynRangersFan 07-15-2011 12:06 AM

I agree that the team will be better than projected. I honestly think they have a real shot at about 3rd in the conference, barring major injuries of course.

Last year they finished 8th. Outside of the goaltender, the core of that team was composed of young guys, the majority of whom will likely get better just due to their natural progressions. The team's one legitimate sniper was hurt/off his game for most of the season. We added a premier defensive prospect who by all accounts is ready to step in and improve the third pair which was arguably our third biggest hole last year. And, oh yeah, we addressed our two biggest holes (1C and PPQB) in one fell swoop by signing the one and only impact UFA available. Heck, the mere fact that we signed Richards and there was no other UFAs near his quality available for other teams to acquire and therefore keep pace by itself should bump us up a couple of spots (theoretically, anyway).

Obviously, there's still plenty of time until October and lots of moves to be made, but as of now, I think they'll be in the upper echelon in the East.

Vitto79 07-15-2011 05:24 AM

in the season I expect them to finish in the middle of the East but it's in the playoffs where I now expect bigger things

the East and the league in general is very even so that's why I don't see them as a top tier team. I do see them as a playoff team and a contender after one or two years together

Black Tank 07-15-2011 05:51 AM

The big problem IMO last year was that there were some games where we ran up the score BUT there were other games where we never got a sniff at the net for 20-30 mins at a time.

The D and Lundquist kept us close but there was simply no offensive chances. This is where I hope Richards will make a huge difference. Just a small spark of offensive creativity, one that can feed Gaborik in a decent scoring opportunity could turn many of those lifeless losses. And if other teams fear the Richards-Gaborik line, this should free the Pack line up a bit by going against a weaker D pairing and allow them to take advantage of their north-south game.

I think we will be better than last year, but how much better depends on whether the Gaborik-Richards line can create opportunities when we are getting completely shutdown.

I am also looking forward to the Rupp-Boyle-Prust line, tough to play against and knocking in a decent amount of goals for a bottom line.

blueshirtbolt 07-15-2011 06:10 AM

we made the playoffs without brad richards, with gaborik injured, with callahan injured etc etc etc

with richards on board and a healthy team - I fancy our chances! :nod:

SingnBluesOnBroadway 07-15-2011 06:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RangerEsq (Post 35039693)
1. The addition of Brad should get Gabby to his usual 40+ goal output.


Richards should help Gaborik but I'm failing to see the idea of Gaborik and his "usual 40+ goal output." First of all, he's only scored 40+ goals twice in his career. Second of all, unless Richards has some healing powers we don't know about the issue with Gaborik remains that of health.

district9 07-15-2011 06:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway (Post 35047631)
Richards should help Gaborik but I'm failing to see the idea of Gaborik and his "usual 40+ goal output." First of all, he's only scored 40+ goals twice in his career. Second of all, unless Richards has some healing powers we don't know about the issue with Gaborik remains that of health.

those 2 seasons were also his only (almost) full nhl seasons. he put up 38 in 05-06 in only 65 games and the other two years with 40+ he played in the high 70s. if he can stay healthy and only miss ~10 games we can expect him to put in 40 goals i think.

i want to be optimistic about this season, i really hope and think that they can be great and a serious contender in the next 2-3 years, but i can't start saying things like that without seeing how they play together

nyr2k2 07-15-2011 07:07 AM

The Rangers may put together a great season. They're a young, hard-working team with some talent. I don't think our success would come as a surprise to the league though. Well, maybe to Devils and Leafs fans.

BrooklynRangersFan 07-15-2011 07:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Emma Royd (Post 35047893)
The Rangers may put together a great season. They're a young, hard-working team with some talent. I don't think our success would come as a surprise to the league though. Well, maybe to Devils and Leafs fans.

Hahaha. Too true.

Now, if only we had Bozak, THEN we might surprise the league. (But then again, in that case it couldn't really be called a "surprise" given that everyone who really knows hockey knows that he's the second coming of Gordie Howe, could it?)

TonyTheGr8 07-15-2011 07:58 AM

Said it in the other thread, and I will say it in here. We are 1 to 2 years away from being a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Like a previous poster mentioned, we need a puck moving defenseman, and another scoring winger. A player I would love to get who is an UFA next year, is Patrick Sharp. Not only a scoring winger, but a clutch goal scorer. And one of my favorite players in the league.

We could finish anywhere from 3rd to 6th this year. My guess is gonna be 5th. A second round playoff appearance in my opinion, is mandatory.

Black Tank 07-15-2011 08:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Emma Royd (Post 35047893)
The Rangers may put together a great season. They're a young, hard-working team with some talent. I don't think our success would come as a surprise to the league though. Well, maybe to Devils and Leafs fans.

Those are the same Devils fans that think they have a great team this year, that Lou is doing a great job, and that Brodeur will win the Vezina. . .

SingnBluesOnBroadway 07-15-2011 08:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by petejudge (Post 35047717)
those 2 seasons were also his only (almost) full nhl seasons. he put up 38 in 05-06 in only 65 games and the other two years with 40+ he played in the high 70s. if he can stay healthy and only miss ~10 games we can expect him to put in 40 goals i think.

i want to be optimistic about this season, i really hope and think that they can be great and a serious contender in the next 2-3 years, but i can't start saying things like that without seeing how they play together

How is this different from anything I said?


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