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11-12-2013, 12:33 PM
  #77
eco's bones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GAGLine View Post
People like to discount things based on sample size, and I understand the argument. But it's important to remember that the playoffs are a small sample size. At the very most, a team will play 28 games.

If Brassard only scores .5 points per game during the regular season but then gets hot in the playoffs and scores a PPG like he did last year, I'll gladly take it. If Nash only puts up 35 points because he missed half the year with a concussion, but then plays well in the playoffs, I'll gladly take it.

Right now, as a team, we have scored 19 goals in our last 5 games. Yes, that is a small sample size, but that could be 1 round of the playoffs. And that's without Nash and without Brassard contributing much. I think we need Pouliot to step up or we need to find a better option for the 3rd line to get some more goals out of our bottom 6, but regardless, we have been scoring goals lately. I don't care who scores them as long as they play for the Rangers. I'd be just fine with 6 players with 50+ points rather than 2 players with 70+ and everyone else under 40.

All that being said, the real depth of this team won't be known until the playoffs. Scoring goals is always harder in the playoffs. That's when we need those 3rd and 4th line guys to step up and contribute.
Yeah--it might be taking making the playoffs for granted but real success comes down to playoff success. Brassard came through for us big time last year and that's not easy to do. Regular season stats are great but playoff stats are better. Who scores the goals and points now matter but once you make the playoffs whoever does the scoring matters more. The main thing is that we score more and if the scoring is spread around three semi-dangerous lines that can be a lot more useful than having one very dangerous line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynRangersFan View Post
I completely agree with all of the above. Honestly, I'm not sure how you could argue any other team was deeper (unless you have an axe to grind).

It looks like both Nash and Moore will be back soon. That means this team fields:

Kreider-Stepan-Zuccarello
Hagelin-Richards-Callahan
Pouliot-Brassard-Nash
Boyle-Moore-Dorsett
(Miller, Pyatt)

McDonagh-Girardi
Staal-Stralman
Moore-Del Zotto
(Falk)

Lundqvist
Talbot

I know everyone loved our grinders in 11-12, but that is one hell of a fourth line - and there's no question that the top 6 is better as are the bottom pair, Del Zotto's issues on the right side notwithstanding. You've got Rick Nash (or Callahan) on the third line for crying out loud. And that's with Kristo, Lindberg, Fast, Hrivik, Powe, Asham as forwards and Johnson, Allen, McIlrath as defensemen in the minors. Even taking into account injuries, you've got enough extras and kids to keep the team as competitive as they have been over the last 12 games or so (as evidenced by the fact that they didn't have Nash that whole time). Clearly the deepest we've been.

Furthermore, that's without major contributions from Brassard, Pouliot or Miller as of yet. I think we'll see a lot more out of Brassard once Nash gets back and I'm also hopefully that Miller's most recent game will be the start of something good, which eventually will force Pouliot out of the lineup. (Pouliot improving... eh, I'm a lot less optimistic about that.)
I'm one of those who thinks you can never have enough NHL able defensemen when the playoffs come around. Rangers made kind of a run for the cup in 11-12 but we had too many nail biters because our offense and pwp weren't effective which led to too many OT games--some of which went long into overtime and not having a reliable #6 d-man hurt us a lot. Basically Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, Del Zotto, Stralman and Bickel and Eminger was having injury issues. Now we have McDonagh, Staal, Girardi, Stralman, Del Zotto, Moore, Falk, Johnson (who has almost 300 games of NHL experience)--two good prospects in McIlrath and Allen and Bickel and Syvret. Rangers have options instead of none.

Rangers may also have 3 pretty good offensive lines if healthy with Boyle (a good playoff player) centering the 4th. So if we're healthy we might just do okay. Would like to see a bit more grit though.

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