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Old
10-15-2009, 04:15 PM
  #1
qwertyaas
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Early season evaluation

What really stands out to me is the change between early last season and this season. Early last season, the Rangers got off to a very hot start. But even then, many posters, including myself, said the record didn't directly tie to how the team was playing. They were getting the Win, but they weren't necessarily the better team out there. Additionally, the team is no longer playing for a shootout, or playing for a 1 goal lead and then becoming extremely defensive. They are attacking all game now. The forecheck is relentless. We have had no Shootouts or OT yet! One goal leads are not enough anymore. This team wants a 3 goal lead!

This season, it is no longer a line of Voros - Dubi - Zhervev keeping us afloat. Production is coming from everywhere. We even have Kotalik - who let's not kid ourselves, at his absolute floor would be a good 3rd liner - playing on the fourth line. We have Grachev playing in the A since there is simply no room for him.

And the best part so far. The Powerplay is actually producing, and producing well. They are finally moving around. This is no longer the powerplay where a forward needs to challenge the the blueline and we cough up the puck. This is no longer a PP where the defenders need to be pylons and stand still since they know where the shots come from. There is movement, everywhere.

To be honest, it feels great having too many quality type forwards. It has been quite the opposite lately.

On to the players:

First Line - Nothing really needs to be said. Gaborik is just what we needed and hoped for (stay healthy!). This guy is the real deal. Prospal is a great surprise and so far, a great signing. Even if he didn't pan out, his cap hit was so minimal anyways. And Dubi, he looks possessed this season. The points are slow for him so far, but that is due to having another playmaker [in Prospal] on the line.

Second Line - This line feels like 3 of the same person. They all play a similar game - a hardnosed game which is great. A bit snakebitten besides Cally, but the goals will come. The biggest issue here is the lack of a playmaker. 3 finish type players but noone to dish the puck to them.

Third Line - Our logjam of secondary scoring. This line is really coming together, especially with Avery back and Anisimov getting more comfortable.

Fourth Line - I'm liking Boyle - size and pretty responsible out there. Let's be serious, Brash is a definate [hockey] upgrade over Orr - but the contract... It's alright. And Kotalik - If you have a player like that on your fourth line, that's a great sign.

The Def - Not much to say that we don't all know. Staal, DZ and Gilroy - we all have the Mancrushes. Girardi is earning his cheers back again.

Redden - This guy has really turned it around since late last season. Been playing a really solid game. Will he ever be worth the contract - probably not. But if he continues to play his solid game, I'm sure we will all be happy.

Rozi - When he is on his game, he is [was] our best Dman [arguably]. Problem is, when he is in a slump, he's stuck there for a bit.

The issue I see with Redden and Rozi is the style of play. Rozi seems much more accustomed to Renney style of play which is why he was very good last year [when not in his slump]. Redden on the other hand is the uptempo system type of player. Issue here is, it seems both will not be good at the same time.

Hank and Vally - We love our goalies in NY!

Overall - such a fun team to watch now I am not shooting the gun here saying this team will be first place, be the conference champs or win the cup. I am just enjoying what I am seeing so far and I'm sure you all are too.

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Old
10-15-2009, 08:44 PM
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Not much to add . Gab is so exciting , MDZ running the PP , ProspaL cally's intensity ; what more can you ask.It'S like an early Xmas.
Such a fun team to watch.

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Old
10-15-2009, 08:48 PM
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More Skill, Better Depth and a New System to keep it short.

Solid post Qwert.

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Old
10-15-2009, 08:52 PM
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Disagree whole heartedly. What team have you been watching? We're just outright awful.

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Old
10-16-2009, 01:13 AM
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ohbaby
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All of your observations are spot on Q. And I wholeheartedly agree. I would just like to add, there is a very powerful underlying factor that I think most of us overlook when viewing this teams success. And totally unlike last year,... it is that we are much more capable of moving the puck forward, up the ice. A critical factor in playing an up tempo style to create more scoring. And to this I credit the 2 youngsters on the blueline. Their value to this team goes way beyond their ability to play capable D. Their ability to move the puck, see the ice, and most important, get up the ice to join the forecheck, have been critcal factors for our style of play to be successful. And MDZ in particular, has been the starting block in our sprint to success. I always thought Gilroy would be more valuable to this team. And although he is very talented, it is MDZ who puts the wheels in motion. His maturity is way beyond his years. Has the hockey sense that few have. Sees and understands the plays develop. Very composed under pressure and was born to play quarterback. And in absolutely no time,.. he has become the General on the ice, moving his troops foward into positon and supporting them. Who would have thought? I am exaggerating a touch to bring this point out. But as you watch more Rangers games,... you will see this develop before your eyes.

And with Rosy, Redden, Staal, Girardi,... the stalwards of our great D from last year, will be more than a capable cast of supporting characters.


Last edited by ohbaby: 10-16-2009 at 01:35 AM.
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Old
10-16-2009, 07:28 AM
  #6
Barbara Underhill
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Nice post, good to see you didn't make any bold predictions. I'll add a few observations as well.

Dubinsky- I think he is just quietly racking up the points. He has 6 in 7 games. Last season after 7 games he had 7 points. I bet we all noticed it more last year though. We are blinded by Gaborik, Prospal, Kotalik, etc..

Anisimov- Very possibly the most improved player already this season. He went from looking uncomfortable and lost to the point I was actually worried he might get sent down, to playing some great hockey. The kid is very determined to be the best he can be.

Del Zotto- Complete stud, a baby Niedermeyer back there. His defensive play is steadily improving.

Gilroy- Solid he has toned down the offensive rushes a bit and you haven't been hearing as much about him lately but that's a good thing too.

4th line- What can I say Voros stinks but he is helping this team as much as he can and is being a good sport about it so I can support him, same with Kotalik he seems to accept his role. I think that is something very important with this team. The stars know who they are and everyone else knows there place.

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10-16-2009, 04:08 PM
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qwertyaas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Failure By Design View Post
Nice post, good to see you didn't make any bold predictions. I'll add a few observations as well.
...
I agree with all that as well. I wasn't trying to prop this team to be something they aren't or make any predictions of where they will be. Just to state how they are right now.

Dubi - He is putting up some points but I still think having Prospal on that line too is taking quite a bit away from him. Don't get me wrong, it's great how Prospal is doing. But it seems that right now, Prospal is Gabby's playmaker.

DZ - So far, he is the real deal. How he made the jump in so far and has been so effective is extremely impressive.

Gilroy - I think his game takes a bit of time to adjust too at the NHL level. It isn't as simple as a pass (bad wording, I don't mean a great vision passer is still a 'simple' thing to do) but being the rush up type defense-man takes a bit more time to adjust to. That, and lack of time on the first PP - and rightfully so. That's DZ's spot

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10-17-2009, 08:31 AM
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One other thing about DZ on the PP. I thought for sure he would get exploited, get beat, make mistakes like all rookies do,... which I would expect, and accept somewhat. But he's looking like one of the best PP quarterbacks in the league. Certainly the best we have had, since Leetch.

Kinda shocked, Torts has taken him off the 2 man advantage, going with 5 forwards.


Last edited by ohbaby: 10-17-2009 at 09:03 AM.
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Old
10-17-2009, 08:57 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohbaby View Post
One other thing about DZ on the PP. I thought for sure he would get exploited, get beat, make mistakes like all rookies do,... which I would expect, and accept somewhat. But he's looking like one of the best PP quarterbacks in the league. Certainly, the best we have had since Leetch.

Kinda shocked, Torts has taken him off the 2 man advantage, going with 5 forwards.
I'm okay with 5 forwards on 5 on 3. He wanted Gaborik on the point instead of the halfboard. So far, it worked great. Del Zotto also gets a break so that he can return for the 5 on 4 PP.

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Old
10-17-2009, 09:02 AM
  #10
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Don't really have much to add, because I completely agree with your posts. Torts' system really seems to fit the groups of players that he has in NY. They do an excellent job forechecking and getting back to at least help break up rushes. I'm really excited f or the rest of the season and to see how Torts molds the rookies.

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Old
10-17-2009, 10:09 AM
  #11
IceBear86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qwertyaas View Post
What really stands out to me is the change between early last season and this season. Early last season, the Rangers got off to a very hot start. But even then, many posters, including myself, said the record didn't directly tie to how the team was playing. They were getting the Win, but they weren't necessarily the better team out there. Additionally, the team is no longer playing for a shootout, or playing for a 1 goal lead and then becoming extremely defensive. They are attacking all game now. The forecheck is relentless. We have had no Shootouts or OT yet! One goal leads are not enough anymore. This team wants a 3 goal lead!

This season, it is no longer a line of Voros - Dubi - Zhervev keeping us afloat. Production is coming from everywhere. We even have Kotalik - who let's not kid ourselves, at his absolute floor would be a good 3rd liner - playing on the fourth line. We have Grachev playing in the A since there is simply no room for him.

And the best part so far. The Powerplay is actually producing, and producing well. They are finally moving around. This is no longer the powerplay where a forward needs to challenge the the blueline and we cough up the puck. This is no longer a PP where the defenders need to be pylons and stand still since they know where the shots come from. There is movement, everywhere.

To be honest, it feels great having too many quality type forwards. It has been quite the opposite lately.

On to the players:

First Line - Nothing really needs to be said. Gaborik is just what we needed and hoped for (stay healthy!). This guy is the real deal. Prospal is a great surprise and so far, a great signing. Even if he didn't pan out, his cap hit was so minimal anyways. And Dubi, he looks possessed this season. The points are slow for him so far, but that is due to having another playmaker [in Prospal] on the line.

Second Line - This line feels like 3 of the same person. They all play a similar game - a hardnosed game which is great. A bit snakebitten besides Cally, but the goals will come. The biggest issue here is the lack of a playmaker. 3 finish type players but noone to dish the puck to them.

Third Line - Our logjam of secondary scoring. This line is really coming together, especially with Avery back and Anisimov getting more comfortable.

Fourth Line - I'm liking Boyle - size and pretty responsible out there. Let's be serious, Brash is a definate [hockey] upgrade over Orr - but the contract... It's alright. And Kotalik - If you have a player like that on your fourth line, that's a great sign.

The Def - Not much to say that we don't all know. Staal, DZ and Gilroy - we all have the Mancrushes. Girardi is earning his cheers back again.

Redden - This guy has really turned it around since late last season. Been playing a really solid game. Will he ever be worth the contract - probably not. But if he continues to play his solid game, I'm sure we will all be happy.

Rozi - When he is on his game, he is [was] our best Dman [arguably]. Problem is, when he is in a slump, he's stuck there for a bit.

The issue I see with Redden and Rozi is the style of play. Rozi seems much more accustomed to Renney style of play which is why he was very good last year [when not in his slump]. Redden on the other hand is the uptempo system type of player. Issue here is, it seems both will not be good at the same time.

Hank and Vally - We love our goalies in NY!

Overall - such a fun team to watch now I am not shooting the gun here saying this team will be first place, be the conference champs or win the cup. I am just enjoying what I am seeing so far and I'm sure you all are too.
SEVEN. GAMES. IN.

'nuff said

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