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04-11-2010, 07:45 PM
All Is Well
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The 08-09 and 09-10 Rangers; a Comparison

Alright so now that the season is over, I am setting out to show 2 things.

1. That this ranger club, despite missing the playoffs, was better than last years

2. That we are moving in the right direction as a franchise

Team stats

Our 08-09 team;

43 wins, 95 points. 1st round loss

210 goals for, 218 goals against, -8 spread.

Leading scorer; Gomez and Zherdev with 58 points each

full time rookies; Lauri Korpikoski

our 09-10 team

38 wins, 87 points. Missed playoffs

222 goals for, 218 goals against. +4 spread

Leading Scorer; Gaborik with 86 points

Rookies; Del Zotto, Anisimov, Gilroy

Alright, so lets review. The 08-09 rangers finished the season with a shootout boosted record. They had a negative goals for/against spread, and had an anemic offense.

Our offense under this team was 12 goals better, despite less shootout wins and an intense dry spell in the beginning of the year.

Why? Because the power play improved with Michael Del Zotto and Gaborik. Last year our power play was barely over 10% for most of the year.

Now, our goals against stayed at 218, despite the addition of two rookies who at many times had real difficulties in their own end. Redden regressed from a no-offense, top 4 dman to a no offense, 3rd pairing dman. So why no change?

Was it because Girardi, Staal, and Rozsival were better? Maybe partly, but Lundqvist was also better statistically and allowed fewer goals. This season showed us that we dont have to have the worlds best defensive depth for Lundqvist to be comfortable and put up good numbers. We can run a more offensive scheme and be safe with it.

The major difference between the two seasons though, has to be the direction. Last year, Korpikoski was our most promising rookie and looked to be just another 3rd line defensive forward. This year, thanks to Tortorella, we gave a 19 year old PP QB with a bright future playing time and the experience he needed at a level appropriate for him. We also saw Anisimov, who despite an unimpressive offensive first season and some holes in his game looks like he could be something pretty good for this club if he keeps progressing.

End of last year; cap strapped, no offense, D leaving. This year, some open space, a premier goal scorer, and some promising kids.

What im trying to say here, fellow Ranger fans is that despite the disappointment of missing the playoffs for the first time since the lockout, we have a lot to look forward to. I feel much better at the termination of this season then I ever did last year.

Oh, and Jokinen is donezies as a ranger.

Now we have a GM and some guys with some work to do. Dump Redden. Get Volchenkov or Kovalchuk. We're much closer now to a competing team. Optimism.

FInally my end of season kudos.

Kudos to Dubinsky on his first 20 goal season
Kudos to Gaborik on a close to full season and career high in everything.
Kudos to Lundqvist on what may be looked at as his best season
Kudos to Prospal for earning more than his pay
Kudos to Staal for taking the next step.

Hold your heads up Ranger fans. Things are only going to get better.

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