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06-05-2011, 05:45 PM
  #26
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Yea, no problem

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06-05-2011, 05:48 PM
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For those concerned about our forward depth you should read the article on Jesper Fasth that is on the Rangers site.

I thought nothing of this pick when we made it, but this guy has really opened every body's eye's. A remarkable development curve apparently.

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06-05-2011, 05:55 PM
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...
As much as I love Hank, and constantly say he's the best goalie in the NHL, many of his league-leading shutouts this year were a combination of his superb goaltending and a great effort from our top 4. I don't think it's out of line to say our top 4 this year was one of the best defensively in the league. When you add offense to the equation we're not as good, but defensively this unit is spectacular.
....
This is one of the few posts on HF since I have been here that I agree with. I think WITH AGE CONSIDERED this is probably the best DEFENSE in the league. As long as Marc, Danny, Ryan and Sauer keep developing and Erixon turns out to be what they say he is, it will be more apparent sooner rather than later. Also, if DelZotto can get out of that slump and develop into what they were saying he could be, you are looking at a cup contending D...maybe cup contending team if the remainder of the D can return some talented forwards through trade or Gordie can find some more gems in the draft. Gordie maybe blowing smoke but the interest from the versus and espn guys of the boys and the numbers (mainly the blocked shots, low GAA and high shut outs? Forget it. It's a good d-core and one of the best if you ask me.

Plus...I think both he and McDonagh were rated as their respective teams top prospects. Can't go wrong with those deals. Both were literally stolen from their respective teams!


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06-05-2011, 07:17 PM
  #29
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If our on ice talent was as skilled as our public relations department we'd be in the middle of the greatest dynasty in the history of the NHL.

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06-05-2011, 07:46 PM
  #30
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I don't see Gordie Clark as a PR guy. He's pretty reputable.

We'll see.

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06-05-2011, 08:10 PM
  #31
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This is one of the few posts on HF since I have been here that I agree with. I think WITH AGE CONSIDERED this is probably the best DEFENSE in the league. As long as Marc, Danny, Ryan and Sauer keep developing and Erixon turns out to be what they say he is, it will be more apparent sooner rather than later. Also, if DelZotto can get out of that slump and develop into what they were saying he could be, you are looking at a cup contending D...maybe cup contending team if the remainder of the D can return some talented forwards through trade or Gordie can find some more gems in the draft. Gordie maybe blowing smoke but the interest from the versus and espn guys of the boys and the numbers (mainly the blocked shots, low GAA and high shut outs? Forget it. It's a good d-core and one of the best if you ask me.

Plus...I think both he and McDonagh were rated as their respective teams top prospects. Can't go wrong with those deals. Both were literally stolen from their respective teams!
What does "WITH AGE CONSIDERED" even mean? Is there a stat for that? Can I find it in the standings next to OT losses?

Sorry, but on the subject of perception vs. reality, Im gonna go with actual performance over what these players might be down the road vs. the rest of the NHL.

But even more importantly, we've already established that the 3rd pairing is a huge question mark headed into next year. And when you look at Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, and Sauer can you honestly say that they will be remarkably better than they are now? I think McDonagh is capable of it, Staal is as good as it gets defensively but I dont think he'll ever develop an offensive game - Can you see Sauer and Girardi getting better with age?

I see an adequate defense, and a few nice prospects with some upside. I dont know how that translates to people jumping to the conclusion that we even could have the best defense in the NHL.

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06-05-2011, 10:43 PM
  #32
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the blue line being younger simply means we can go this that defensive group for longer. or we have a better chance of keeping them all together for longer. if they all as a whole truly become better than the Bruins of the 80s 90s, we're gonna have a hard time keeping them all past when Staal's current contract expires. Girardi is UFA one season before that.

but no way is their talent level near top in the league. And it's silly to say "well if we only had Chara or Weber or Letang, one of those guys would give us the top defensive corp in the league!" Yean and if we only had Crosby and Ovechkin, we'd have the best offensive team in the league as well.

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06-05-2011, 10:45 PM
  #33
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the blue line being younger simply means we can go this that defensive group for longer. or we have a better chance of keeping them all together for longer. if they all as a whole truly become better than the Bruins of the 80s 90s, we're gonna have a hard time keeping them all past when Staal's current contract expires. Girardi is UFA one season before that.

but no way is their talent level near top in the league. And it's silly to say "well if we only had Chara or Weber or Letang, one of those guys would give us the top defensive corp in the league!"
Yean and if we only had Crosby and Ovechkin, we'd have the best offensive team in the league as well.
Not really. It's the same as saying "if we added a nice piece we'd be the best in the league," which signifies right now we're near the top.

I really don't think there's many d-corps better than ours. The age means that this current group has a ton of time to grow and advance while they're already great.

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06-06-2011, 02:21 AM
  #34
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I am looking forward to The Hockey News trashing the team during their pre-season assessments

like they always do

I also think that ideally Girardi is better suited to 2nd pairing minutes so Staal will need a different partner eventually.

however you break it down NY has a good problem on the blueline going forward for the next 5-7 years.

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06-06-2011, 08:51 AM
  #35
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This D was already quite good. With the addition of Erixon and another year of development from McDonagh and Sauer it will be even better. If MDZ gets his act together it could be a great squad. We can worry about McIlrath a year or two from now.
MDZ will be good this year.

Calling him a defensive train wreck? He is 20 years old, let him grow, he will get stronger and will get the job done on D

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06-06-2011, 09:40 AM
  #36
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If MDZ becomes a 60-point producer and Erixon becomes even slightly better than McDonagh (as expected), this would be the best defense in the league, no doubt.

But both of these things need to pan out first, and neither is a certainty.

In any event, time to stock-pile offense-first forwards. I want to see more picks like Thomas and Fasth. Not in terms of how good their post-draft year was, that can't be predicted.

I want more draftees who are like Thomas and Fasth were 12 months ago.

The Rangers need to pull a scoring rabbit from the hat.


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Old
06-06-2011, 09:43 AM
  #37
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I wonder if the Rangers could acquire a 20 year old forward prospect for their four picks this year.

Even if it's another Anisimov, but a winger, it would be worth it. Who knows, maybe Zuccarello will develop well over the summer.

I really hope he works hard on his skating.

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06-06-2011, 10:56 AM
  #38
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Staal and Girardi are a very good shutdown pairing, no qualms there. Although Girardi folds like a cheap suit without Staal out there with him.

Sauer and McDonagh are nice. I think you've seen the most you're gonna see out of Michael Sauer, which is fine with me. Ryan McDonagh has upside, but upper-echelon defenseman upside? Ehh, maybe, probably not.

We dont even currently have a 3rd pairing. I know everyone is excited about Erixon, but Gordie Clark has been blowing smoke up the fanbase's ass quite frequently lately, and I think its way too early to definitely hand a 20 year old kid a fulltime NHL roster spot. Speaking of the plight's of 20 year olds, Michael Del Zotto will be contending for that spot as well. Offensively talented? Yes. A defensive trainwreck? Also yes. I love Pavel Valentenko's game, but worry about his footspeed. Who else? Gilroy? Give Eminger another shot?

This is not even particularly close to the best defense in the league, let alone the best young crop of defenseman in a generation, which is just ridiculous and needless hyperbole.

If Staal goes down with an injury, this defense would crash like a house of cards.
Do you remember how Staal progressed this past season compared to the one before and so did Girardi (not to the same extend but nevertheless, he did). So I don't understand why you dismiss further development for Sauer as well as the rest of the group? It's also reasonable to expect MDZ to get develop and get better both defensively and offensively because sophomore slump is a well documented and common part of development curve in hockey and sports in general. That's the youth is an attribute that is very valuable when one built a team, even though you wouldn't see it in any defensive stats.
The teams that in the final right now were ranked ##1 and 3 defensively. Our team with its (young) defense was #5. That's pretty exciting, IMHO.

Finally, your last statement is applicable to nearly EVERY team in the NHL.

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06-06-2011, 11:21 AM
  #39
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MDZ will be good this year.

Calling him a defensive train wreck? He is 20 years old, let him grow, he will get stronger and will get the job done on D
For some reason too many fans neglect this part of player development. I highly doubt the all of the best defenseman you see in the league right now were as strong as they are right now compared to when they first broke into the league.

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06-06-2011, 02:42 PM
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I don't think people neglect it, but the fact is RIGHT NOW he's bad at defense.

I'm still very high on MDZ. Hopefully he can make the team next year.

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06-06-2011, 03:26 PM
  #41
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What does "WITH AGE CONSIDERED" even mean? Is there a stat for that? Can I find it in the standings next to OT losses?

Sorry, but on the subject of perception vs. reality, Im gonna go with actual performance over what these players might be down the road vs. the rest of the NHL.

But even more importantly, we've already established that the 3rd pairing is a huge question mark headed into next year. And when you look at Staal, Girardi, McDonagh, and Sauer can you honestly say that they will be remarkably better than they are now? I think McDonagh is capable of it, Staal is as good as it gets defensively but I dont think he'll ever develop an offensive game - Can you see Sauer and Girardi getting better with age?

I see an adequate defense, and a few nice prospects with some upside. I dont know how that translates to people jumping to the conclusion that we even could have the best defense in the NHL.

Tied for 5th in the NHL in team GA.

Staal, Girardi, Sauer, and McDonagh were a combined +51.

Staal 25min ATOI
Girardi 24min ATOI
McDonagh 18min ATOI
Sauer 17min ATOI

Staal and Girardi put up about 30 points a piece.

Girardi was among the top of the NHL in blocked shots and hits for a defenseman.

McDonagh and Sauer were only rookies.

The facts state they're one of the better top four in the NHL.

To say they can't get better is wrong.

If Erixon, Del Zotto, and/or McIlrath pan out we are that much better for it.

And age is significant, because they're also one if the youngest top four in the NHL.

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06-06-2011, 03:42 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by BlueshirtBlitz View Post
I don't think people neglect it, but the fact is RIGHT NOW he's bad at defense.

I'm still very high on MDZ. Hopefully he can make the team next year.
I would say inconsistent rather than bad. Go watch the Toronto tape from earlier this year and he was the best defenseman on the ice. He's a young guy. He'll even out and hopefully at a very high level. No one expects Nick Lidstrom here but I think he will be a very good player. All young defensemen tend to be very inconsistent.


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06-06-2011, 03:54 PM
  #43
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I would say inconsistent rather than bad. Go watch the Toronto tape from earlier this year and he was the best defenseman on the ice. He's a young guy. He'll even out and hopefully at a very high level. No one expects Nick Lidstrom here but I think he will be a very good player. All young defensemen tend to be very inconsistent.
Agreed. He's never been forced to work on his defensive game as much as he has been since he came to NY. It's a major adjustment for the kid.

While I hope Erixon will lessen the development burden on Del Zotto, I don't think one makes the other expendable. Erixon is a good with the puck on his stick, but IMO, nowhere near as dynamic as Del Zotto. Ideally MDZ is the QB, and Erixon is the triggerman. Could be an excellent combination.

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06-06-2011, 04:41 PM
  #44
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Is it just me or does anyone else think that one of Erixon will replace Girardi on the top line with Staal?

I love Girardi but the truth is, you need a faster moving better puck moving D to be on your top pairing and that sounds to be exactly what Erixon is. McD and Sauer is the shutdown pair and Staal and Erixon can be the top pair. Girardi slides down to the third pair where he can cover for MDZ's defensive flaws. Or better yet, move Girardi and let Vtank cover for MDZ's defensive flaws.

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Originally Posted by Trxjw View Post
Agreed. He's never been forced to work on his defensive game as much as he has been since he came to NY. It's a major adjustment for the kid.

While I hope Erixon will lessen the development burden on Del Zotto, I don't think one makes the other expendable. Erixon is a good with the puck on his stick, but IMO, nowhere near as dynamic as Del Zotto. Ideally MDZ is the QB, and Erixon is the triggerman. Could be an excellent combination.
You need two highend offensive defenders. I totally agree that MDZ is the more dynamic of the two with pure offensive ability and with the talent to carry the puck better. Both can distribute it fairly well though which bodes well with pointmen controlling the PP. I'm very excited.

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06-06-2011, 04:52 PM
  #45
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Do you remember how Staal progressed this past season compared to the one before and so did Girardi (not to the same extend but nevertheless, he did). So I don't understand why you dismiss further development for Sauer as well as the rest of the group? It's also reasonable to expect MDZ to get develop and get better both defensively and offensively because sophomore slump is a well documented and common part of development curve in hockey and sports in general. That's the youth is an attribute that is very valuable when one built a team, even though you wouldn't see it in any defensive stats.
The teams that in the final right now were ranked ##1 and 3 defensively. Our team with its (young) defense was #5. That's pretty exciting, IMHO.

Finally, your last statement is applicable to nearly EVERY team in the NHL.
Im simply responding to anyone who looks at this situation and can definitively declare that we have/will have the best defense in the NHL. Its ridiculous hyperbole, and its said with a nearly impossible perfect-world scenario of all these young players progressing to their absolute ceiling, and little to no regard to other NHL rosters and their prospect pools.

As for my last statement, yup, you can say it for nearly every team in the NHL - but not the best defenses in the NHL.

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06-06-2011, 04:52 PM
  #46
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Is it just me or does anyone else think that one of Erixon will replace Girardi on the top line with Staal?

I love Girardi but the truth is, you need a faster moving better puck moving D to be on your top pairing and that sounds to be exactly what Erixon is. McD and Sauer is the shutdown pair and Staal and Erixon can be the top pair. Girardi slides down to the third pair where he can cover for MDZ's defensive flaws. Or better yet, move Girardi and let Vtank cover for MDZ's defensive flaws.


You need two highend offensive defenders. I totally agree that MDZ is the more dynamic of the two with pure offensive ability and with the talent to carry the puck better. Both can distribute it fairly well though which bodes well with pointmen controlling the PP. I'm very excited.

It's a great idea, but not right away. Let Erixon play with McDonagh and get him adjusted to the NHL and see how he does (Sauer with DZ). Then if you want, put Erixon with Staal (if Torts and the coaching staff trusts him enough) and put Sauer or Girardi with DZ and keep the other one with McDonagh... My 2 cents

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06-06-2011, 04:54 PM
  #47
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Originally Posted by SupersonicMonkey View Post
Tied for 5th in the NHL in team GA.

Staal, Girardi, Sauer, and McDonagh were a combined +51.

Staal 25min ATOI
Girardi 24min ATOI
McDonagh 18min ATOI
Sauer 17min ATOI

Staal and Girardi put up about 30 points a piece.

Girardi was among the top of the NHL in blocked shots and hits for a defenseman.

McDonagh and Sauer were only rookies.

The facts state they're one of the better top four in the NHL.

To say they can't get better is wrong.

If Erixon, Del Zotto, and/or McIlrath pan out we are that much better for it.

And age is significant, because they're also one if the youngest top four in the NHL.
Just thought I'd throw it out there; Girardi led the NHL in blocked shots. He was an absolute puck eating machine

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06-06-2011, 04:56 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by SupersonicMonkey View Post
Tied for 5th in the NHL in team GA.

Staal, Girardi, Sauer, and McDonagh were a combined +51.

Staal 25min ATOI
Girardi 24min ATOI
McDonagh 18min ATOI
Sauer 17min ATOI

Staal and Girardi put up about 30 points a piece.

Girardi was among the top of the NHL in blocked shots and hits for a defenseman.

McDonagh and Sauer were only rookies.

The facts state they're one of the better top four in the NHL.

To say they can't get better is wrong.

If Erixon, Del Zotto, and/or McIlrath pan out we are that much better for it.

And age is significant, because they're also one if the youngest top four in the NHL.
I guess Henrik Lundqvist had nothing to do with your facts.

He made that defense better, not the other way around - and anyone who has that twisted is drinking the kool-aid.

Let me be clear, I'm very excited about where our defense is - one of the rare components of this team that doesnt need to be worried about.

Best in the NHL? Far from it.

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06-06-2011, 05:00 PM
  #49
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I guess Henrik Lundqvist had nothing to do with your facts.

He made that defense better, not the other way around - and anyone who has that twisted is drinking the kool-aid.

Let me be clear, I'm very excited about where our defense is - one of the rare components of this team that doesnt need to be worried about.

Best in the NHL? Far from it.
True, but you can't blame the defense's great stats all on Lundqvist. The defense was stellar, just look at the penalty kill. It may not have been top in the league, but I think it was around 7th (correct me if I'm wrong). The D should get a lot of credit. Just imagine having Redden and Rozsival instead of Sauer and McDonagh

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06-06-2011, 05:01 PM
  #50
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He made that defense better, not the other way around - and anyone who has that twisted is drinking the kool-aid.
That's a two-way street IMHO.... Henke definitely bailed the team out at times when they blew coverages or gave up odd-man rushes, but our defensemen (Girardi in particular) blocked a ton of shots, important ones too. These are shots that could have found their way to the back of the net, could have been deflected by a stick in front of Henke, or could have been saved and led to rebounds that resulted in goals or additional scoring chances. The shot-blocking conducted by our defense is huge, as is our goaltender's performance. I know in watching post-game interviews that Henke has gone on the record complimenting the defensemen for their ability and willingness to sacrifice their body to block shots and keep pucks away from the net.

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