Sather: Rangers to change their style of play
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07-04-2008, 11:04 AM
Change is good.
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Brooklyn of course
Seriously. I had a long post earlier this year where I described the Rangers as having multiple personality syndrome (or whatever it's called - I seem to recall another poster correcting my terminology in the thread)
and this is exactly what I was talking about. Jagr and his crew played one way, the guys who came up through the system after the 04 purge + the Rangers' big FA acquisitions last offseason clearly play another way (and to be clear, I'm talking about on OFFENSE here).
The Jagr faction (for lack of a better name - not trying to make it contentious) likes to slow it down, peel off at the blue line, wait for the play to develop and then make their move. The Drury/Gomez/Callahan/etc. group likes to attack full force to the net with give and go plays. The first style relies on moving against the grain, making pretty plays in traffic against stationary D and - let's face it - Jagr's unique (and unfortunately declining) ability to cut through the middle to draw 1-3 defenders and then either shed them for the shot or the pass to the open man. The second relies on counter-attacking, speed around the edges, shooting before the defense is set and crashing the net for rebounds.
There was going to be internal friction and disjointed play as long as that was going on - and in many ways I think the fact that we had people pulling in different directions was the real lack of "chemistry" the team experienced for much of last year. I think that the fact that we now have a single identity will lead to a much more cohesive group, much more quickly.
This is not an attack on Jagr - as I posted in another thread, he single-handedly made the Rangers relevant after a decade of irrelevance. I think his brief tenure here was one of the best we've ever seen, short as it was. But his presence on the team created an internal division - at least as regards style of play. That kind of division can be overcome and you can win against teams with lesser talent in the regular season and in the first few rounds of the POs, but it is a barrier that comes into play when you're trying to take the final few steps to a championship. It's time to move on - it's necessary if we want to win the Cup any time soon.
Last edited by BrooklynRangersFan: 07-04-2008 at
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