Will the Rangers surprise the league this year?
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07-14-2011, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Originally Posted by
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.
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.
: 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.
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.
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
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
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