THN Predicts the Rangers will underachieve
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08-14-2008, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Ok here's how I see it:
The guys we lost were huge losses, which were not replaced by incoming personnel. However, it has been very clear that those players were either on the decline (Jagr, Straka, SHANAHAN) or potential time bombs (Avery-- I'm not sold on him as a locker room cancer either, in fact I think he would still help this team).
For the last three years this has been a very Jagr-centric team, but over the last two years, especially last year, the club has been moving away from players who play in the Jagr style.
I think that with the current roster you will see more from some players. ( I think Rosival will be a much better power play guy without Jagr on the ice, because it always seemed like no matter what was available he would look to get the puck to Jaromir) At the same time some players will disappoint (Dubinsky isn't going to be getting the same room to operate), but the overall team will be better.
This will be a better regular season team. They won't lose "ordinary" games like they have a tendency to do. The problem will be that I don't think there is anyone on this team who has established themselves as a big game player. I know Drury has that clutch rep, but he's more of a 1 big play at the right time guy, he isn't a guy who will take over a game and win it. That is what is missing from this team to make it a true contender. Jaromir Jagr was that guy, and I feel that he will be missed greatly come playoff time.
I also think that Sean Avery would have been a help to this team for two reasons. 1. - He draws attention, specifically physical attention from other teams. 2. He has enough hockey ability to be a consistent contributer. That said, he may have cost too much.
As far as the players brought the big three (Naslund, Redden, Zherdev) are all going to be contributers. I know many people have low expectations for Naslund and Redden, but they will do what they were brought in to do. Do they replace the guys we lost? No, but that is why it is important that we see a change in team dynamic.
Expect a team more like the Sabres team we faced in the playoffs then the team we iced against them stylewise. I don't think that it is a great style for the playoffs but it will make the Rangers a better regular season team.
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