Top 9 forward with heart and size, willing to stick up for teammates
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10-09-2013, 08:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
I think the problem with this Ranger team and the vast majority of the ones before it is lack of players with a mean streak. That's pretty different from "toughness," "standing up for teammates," or "hitting." I think the confusion lies in no easily quantifiable stats for this category of players and the fact that many of the guys who play on the edge also happen to fight and are frequent hitters. However, a number of the guys who fight and hit a lot don't play with a mean streak. The Rangers usually have the latter type of "toughness."
The 11-12 team was statistically tough. They were at the top of the league in hitting and fighting. Players stood up for their teammates. That didn't stop the Sens from pushing them around in the play-offs.
For all their toughness that Ranger team lacked a single player with a real mean streak once Avery was banished and lost his effectiveness. The Caps and Devils were not intimidated one bit in the following series, with the Caps in particular running far more Rangers than vice versa.
NYR need a guy like Kronwall who never fights, but intimidates through big hits that are at the edge of legal far more than someone in the top 4 D who will just fight for his teammates. They need a guy like Dustin Brown who hits to hurt and is sometimes reckless at it, not one more Cally who separates the opposition from the puck and wears them down through volume. They need at least a couple of guys who are intimidating between the whistles and can log major minutes. If they can fight, it's a bonus, but not a priority.
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