Physical presence up front....Please
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07-06-2006, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Originally Posted by
is a semblance of what it took to win the Cup. Watching the finals made me realize that the Rangers aren't close. They would not be able to compete in those games, which were fast paced, and physical. The 'Canes may not be overly physical up front, but Brindy, Recchi, Weight, and others do not shy away and will get their noses dirty. In Edmonton, you had guys like Smyth, Torres, Stoll and others who also were up to the physical play. Then you watch the Rangers play the Devils, who had guys like Gionta, Gomez, Elias and Langenbrunner playing physical. It's not the Laroque or Simon the Rangers are in need of, it's these other guys who will go in and bang a guy to come away with the puck, or have them cough it up. After defenses are done looking out for Jagr, they really don't feel the pressure from the Rangers skilled forwards. Prucha's willing, but he hits and bounces off. This is an element this team lacks.
True. I don't know why so many people believe that the Rangers need to add goon-type players to increase their toughness. That's not the type of physicality they need. Guys like Laraque and Dingman were farely useless in the old NHL and they're even more of a waste today. Dingman had some value in the playoffs in 2004 because he played a good grinding game that was responsible on the 4th line for Tampa Bay with Cibak and Roy, but hasn't been an important player since. Sure Laraque wins every fight but there's no fighting when it counts in the playoffs and Laraque isn't a good player. Plus guys like that only play a few minutes a game.
Look at the Rangers Cup team from 94. Messier, Graves, Larmer, Anderson, Matteau, Tikkanen, Nemchinov, Noonan. These guys could score goals
play a rough and tumble game. These players were multi-dimensional. When these guys were on the ice, opponents knew they were a threat to score, and when they weren't scoring, they were checking the crap out of them. The Rangers team today has all their skill guys with no grit (Jagr, Nylander and the Czechs) on one side and all their no-offense grit guys (Ortmeyer, Moore, Hollweg, Betts) on the other side. The only player who comes close to combining the two aspects is Prucha, but like Fletch said he just bounces off the larger players. The Rangers will be hard pressed to find any type of success in the playoffs unless their skilled forwards start playing a more aggressive, in-your-face type of game and start paying the physical price of winning in the playoffs. If they're not willing to do that, the Rangers don't need them.
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