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07-26-2011, 01:00 PM
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Hi guys.

The way I see it, since our team is one of the younger clubs in the league, we should theoretically be on the upswing for the next bunch of years whether we drastically change the roster or not.

I know there's no rule when it comes to young players definitely improving from one year to the next and they can have slump seasons like MDZ or stagnate in their progress, but in general I think our guys are all pretty good and they're going to be be a little bit better each year. Even if their production isn't necessarily better, most of their overall games should be.

I really expect McDonagh and Sauer to be very good this year and I think MDZ probably ends up returning to full time NHLer. Anisimov and Stepan both look like they could be a little better than last year and I think this is Dubinsky's "breakout" year where he reaches pretty close to his ceiling.

So all of that said, I think the addition of Richards is huge. I think this team is much, much better than last season, just on the strength of the experience our young players have under their belts. Richards fills a big void I haven't seen on a Rangers team in a long time. As a result, I think the Rangers are actually kind of close to being a genuine competitor, especially if all of the young guys do take a step. I actually think a lot of other hockey fans are underestimating how much better this team will be.

I've never been this excited for a season of Rangers hockey. I've just got a really good feeling.

I also agree with the poster who said Richards and Gaborik may not end up on the same line. If they have great chemistry, I'm sure they will, but if it doesn't seem like there's anything special going on between them by mid-season, I would split them up, do what the poster said and play Richards with Dubinsky and Callahan, because that line would have a great blend of skill, grit, two-way play and hockey sense. Dubinsky and Callahan could both be 30 goal scorers. Meanwhile, Gaborik should still have more space just because the threat is spread to two lines and teams can't cover both with their best defenders. One of Anisimov/Stepan will be a good enough match for him at center. I guess Wolski rounds out the top six but I can't say an upgrade their wouldn't be the one thing I think this team could really benefit from.

Anyhow, that's my take on the lineup for next season.

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