The Rangers aren't slower than any other team per se. At least not to the point where it manifests itself like it does on the ice.
There is an apparent lack of skill and hands on the team (especially on defense), preventing the Rangers from consistently moving the puck, breaking out with speed, and put pressure the other teams defense effectively.
There are so, many sloppy plays by guys who obviously have the skill to play in the NHL. It just keeps blowing my mind, and I'm not talking about one or two instances although one example that is the Rangers in a nutshell so far was when Del Zotto tried to control a lazy saucer pass (puck's flipping all over the place) at the blue line on the 6 on 5 (against Toronto?). Instead of using his foot (he had plenty of time and space), he is trying to pin the bouncing puck with his stick, can't control it, and it drops out over the blue line. Awful pass, bad choice on DZ, all resulting in another lost opportunity to play offense.
I don't know about on the whole, but Del Zotto, to me, looks considerably slower than he did last year. I really think he took a hit in the agility/speed department this summer.
On a few occasions he came bolting out of the zone and I was like "Whoa"... he got a little faster, but i agree, on a whole he seems sluggish in his skating. That might repair itself as the season moves on. But somethings not right there with him this year.
There has been a few occasions, and i hate to admit this because i love his game - where i said to myself "I dont like him"...
But its early - he needs to get his defense together - quick.
And yet another penalty last night where he gets caught flat footed at his own blue line and decides he absolutely has to trip the guy instead of moving his damn feet!
The "we gotta keep him hes our only veteran defenseman!" on the team argument is flying out the window pretty fast.
I'm starting to lean on the side of getting rid of Rozsival. He's been stupid in the first four games... I know it's only four games, but he's just been so stupid and lazy, and like you said, he gets caught flat-footed. He barely shoots when he's on the power play - excluding last night, he doesn't play to his strengths and shooting the puck at the point is a strength when he uses his stick.
The best skating defenseman in Rangers' camp this year was Ryan McDonough. Once he is used to the pro game he will be manning the Rangers' blueline. I'd say no later than Dec.15. He will need to find some nastiness, but his physical play will be more than sufficient. If Gilroy is a 7 on a scale from one to ten, MCD is an 8.5 or higher.
Rozi has been stupid forever. He just used to cover up his laziness and stupidity with excellent stick skills. Those skills have lessened and the gap between his skating and the overall speed of the game have widened so much that he is constantly just trying to catch up to the play. If any of the other teams feel he has value at $5 million per, move him. Move him now.
Slowest? In the NHL?
Oh, please... Don't be pathetic! We are not the slowest, nor we are the worst. We are at the top of the bottom half. Our problem is NOT that we are there. The problem is we are there for too long.Speed of our Ds has nothing to do with it.