: News Article:
Rangers' core ready to contend for Cup
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09-14-2011, 08:43 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Originally Posted by
I'd like to see the team add two things:
1. A legitimate, experienced, top-4 defender. McDonagh, Sauer, Girardi, and Staal is a fine top-4 -- however, none of these players have ever been past the 2nd round of the playoffs. That group needs a mentor and a winner to help guide them through the postseason.
Also, it'd be even better if that defenseman were in the mold of a primary puck mover. Looking around the league, nearly every championship caliber team has/had two legitimate puck moving defenseman. Anaheim had Pronger/Niedermayer in 2007. Detroit had Lidstrom/Rafalski in 2008. Pittsburgh had Letang/Gonchar in 2009. Chicago had Campbell/Keith in 2010. Boston had Kaberle and Chara (to an extent) in 2011. Who do the Rangers have? They haven't had a defenseman score 40 points since before the lockout, and before this team goes anywhere beyond a medicore regular season finish, this needs to change.
2. A legitimate 3rd line RW -- in the mold of a Fedotenko or a Recchi (09 on). An experienced, winning, all-effort two-way forward with a touch of skill.
Right now, in my opinion, the team is far too inexperienced to win a Cup. Of course, that isn't the end all be all of deciding how good this team is. Hopefully the team can go relatively deep on somewhat of a "high", akin to the '09 Blackhawks squad that made it to the Conference Finals. Even if the team does get humbled by a more experienced team as the 'Hawks did, it'll give the young leaders of this team experience, and give them a challenge -- fix the mistakes you made in this series to get farther into the next.
Lastly, before we start determining whether or not this is a cup caliber roster or not, we have to see how Richards fits in with the team on the ice, if Gaborik can shed his "regular season star, postseason dud" title, and if either one of Anisimov/Stepan can take the next step and become a dependable 2nd line center. The pieces are there, so to speak, we just need to see whether or not the players can put them into place.
IMO, those are the types of players who a team can add at the deadline fairly easily. Just using last year as an example, Kaberle and Kelly to Boston. Liles to Toronto.
There are those "top-4" puck-movers who will be available who have some experience if you still feel they are needed and there are ALWAYS players available who can fill a 3rd line winger spot(Torres is available every year
I would rather go into the season with those spots open and place rookies in there considering the large amount of depth the Rangers have at practically every position except goalie and then when injuries happen bring in that veteran presence where you fee he will do the most good. Maybe its a top-6 winger. Maybe its a #6 defenseman who has some playoff experience. Who knows.
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