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02-06-2007, 05:57 AM
jas's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NJ
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Originally Posted by Edge View Post
I can see your approach, but I just can't really buy into it.

I think last year's team had a good 2/3 of a season before reality kicked in. I don't think the first 2/3 of last season were really where the expectations should've been, to me a lot of guys played the hockey of their lives and whether we signed these guys or didn't, that was going to be the reality of things.

Now having said I don't know what you really do about that. If the team is so fragile that you can't bring in players (and in Shanny's case guys who are respected league wide) than you're probably doomed anyway.

To me this team was flawed from the get-go but I don't think a lot of people saw it. I can remember having conversations during the summer, after the signings that this team still lacked a second line center and a good defense. The responses I got ranged from everything from 30 goals for Cullen to the believe that this was a team people were ready to go into battle with.

So in hindsight, was it ever really as talented or as good as was believed or where their glaring holes that really weren't addressed. I agree the team is more talented, but that talent seems to be to be top heavy with glaring holes. This team essentially had no scoring from it's bottom forwards, a very mediocre defense and a glaring second line center hole.

To some extent, mistakes and all, I tend to think Renney beld the turnip last season and there was nothing to get out of some of these guys. I think we got overprojected the types of players Cullen, Ward and Hall were. I think we didn't improve our defense and at the end of the day I think were a little over optmistic about what we had in guys like Jason Ward and Immonen.

I think this team was screwed even moreso without Shanahan.

I think this team has an average coach who doesn't have much to work with and at the same time isn't good enough to overachieve with this group again.

I think we have a mediocre defense and a pretty dismal bottom 6 forwards.

I think our best player is 35 years old and despite all the skill in the world is going to battling father time at this point.

I think Lundqvist hasn't been playing too his full ability and I think this defense only highlights that.

I think you're right on the right track with Straka,Jagr,Nylander,Shanahan, Lundqvist and Tyutin but there is too much of drop after those guys.

To me the key is not to change those 4 guys, but to maximize what they give you.

At the end of the day I think this team did some really ****** asset management and too many people put on those rose colored glasses last season.

Actually, here's where the signing altered the Rangers' locker room. Last year's team was much more Eurocentric, and Jagr was perceived as being the leader of that faction. The NA leaders were basically Rucchin and Dom Moore, neither of which are strong enough to pose any challenge personality-wise to Jagr's position as the main man.

But, last year's immediate ouster from the playoffs forced management to address the Eurocntric nature of the team, and not only did management undercut Jagr's poer base of support - most notably by not signing Rucinsky, but, also Sykora - they also altered the NA dyanmic by not only adding Shanny, a charsmatic, very public type of leader, plus Ward, stronger voice in the defensive crew, and clearly someone who'll support Shanny. They also moved Moore, and didn't re-sign Rucchin. The chemistry was clearly altered.

Now to say this wasn't an issue is wrong, because, clearly, it has been one all season. First of all, because the fans immediately made it one from the moment Jagr was made captain, and fans aligned themselves with each camp. And, it became a bigger issues when media members started going back and forth between both players on issues concerning the team.

Now, considering that the prospect base is full of NA types, I think having Shanny around will be very important, regardless of what he brings to the ice. And, considering that, for the most part, last year, when put in proper context, was an aberration, and this team is really only completing its 2nd year of rebuilding, (3rd for the system as a whole, then this year should be seen as a temporary side step/slight move backwards.

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