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09-08-2013, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Elmira NY
Originally Posted by
Meant to say late 90's early 2000's. That toughness didn't do much for this franchise from '97 onward.
I just don't understand how people can look at this team the past few years and single out "toughness" as being the main problem. In 07-08 NYR lead the league in hits. In 08-09 NYR lead the league in hits. 09-10 NYR was second. Lead the league again in 10-11. Lead the league again 11-12. Third in the league this past season. Even taking into account the well publicized MSG scorer bias, does that look like a characteristic of an overly "soft" team? I don't even need to look at the blocked shots stat to know we've probably been top 5 in that the past few years as well. Or are blocking shots and hitting not generally accepted as elements of "toughness" around here? The toughness crowd keeps saying that they are anti-goon and have realized the league has moved past those types. Well, OK, so I guess you guys are really just looking for more fighting majors? Do you really believe that adding a Chris Neil or a Matt Hendricks is the make or break element for this team to have success?
Toronto signed our beloved Colton Orr and it didn't help them one lick in the standings. Sather gave us a string of players like Brashear, Rupp, Boogard, John Scott, and now Asham and yet every single season this same thread crops up.
Toughness might not be the main problem with this year's coming team but it still may be a significant problem. People say what about Chicago? but Chicago makes other teams pay for taking liberties with a top notch pwp--which is what the Red Wings--post Probert, Kocur days did as well. To me you have to have at least one or the other and preferably something of both. Other teams don't fear the Rangers toughness and they don't fear the pwp--so yeah they can knock us around if they're capable--and some teams are--without worrying much about the consequences.
In any case the 90's teams arguably the best Rangers teams since I've been following them going back to 71-72 were very tough and very good as well and the most fun to watch. They took care of business. The 11-12 team kind of approached that. Last year's not so much. The argument here really isn't about going out and getting Orr's, Brashears, Booggard's and Scott's. The argument is going out and getting guys who can actually play whether they score a lot or not--some guys still can skate and play their position responsibly. Finding them is not always easy as there is not a lot of them but we should aim at getting and/or developing more players like that.
BTW Chris Neil can be a very good player and he was a force in the Rangers-Senators series in 11-12. He does not put up a lot of offense but he can cause a lot of havoc. One reason is he's a good skater (size, speed and agility)--and he's a very heavy bodychecker and is capable of going toe to toe with at least most of the best fighters in the league. He's a guy that softens up opponents. He is a bit overpaid--even so. Hendricks has never impressed me all that much.
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