Colin Stephenson of the Star Ledger talked to one of the new Rangers, Steve Rucchin. The 34 year-old center said he sees a lot of the 2002 Mighty Ducks, his former club that reached the Stanley Cup Finals, in this year's New York Rangers team:
"I look at this situation as the exact same," Rucchin said. "But I see more talent here. I see a better hockey team here. And there's no question I can use that experience (to help rally the other players)."
Based on everything I have read and heard about Rucchin, especially from Ducks' fans, he should quickly become one of the favorites around MSG. He is a hard working two-way player who was beloved as captain of the Ducks. There is a good chance that he could emerge from camp wearing a "C" or at least an "A" on his sweater.
Well Rucchin seems a bit optimistic right now. Jagr guaranteed playoffs and Rucchin is saying that this team is better than 2002 Ducks squad and that he can rally them. Rally them for what? And to me that means rally them to make the playoffs.
Players have been really impressing in camp so far. Nylander and Straka impressed alot and there veterans. Its not like their young guys that trying to fight for a spot. No matter what Nylander and Straka are making this team but yet they still have played well.
And then you have guys like Kondratiev, Graham, Prucha, Bahensky, etc. really showing that they have the skills to make the squad or get their contracts.
Well, to be fair and square, we did run a proper season playthrough at the office with rosters quite like they should be on the opening night and the Rangers really did improve a lot from what we've seen in the past runs simulating the 03/04 and the missed 04/05 season. In our run, the Rangers ended up missing the playoffs but only did so after losing the very last game in regular season, while Buffalo won theirs. One point was the difference. And since my own career with these current Rangers got off to a decent start, I'm feeling slightly optimistic that there could be a better season ahead. Well, time will tell....again
At no point did Rucchin mention the playoffs. Thats just other posters saying that
No but he did mention them and compared this team to a cup finals team....actually he said he thinks they are better. To me he is talking playoffs..............I don't know how you can rule anyone out right now from the playoffs with the season not even started. There is a reason they PLAY the games gentlemen.
--I think the Rangers have a shot at the 8th spot if Jagr really steps it up and the additions of Straka, Rucinsky, Nylander, and Rucchin really bring that much needed chemistry that we havent had in years.
--We have a very young defense with the exception of Malik and Kaspar. Poti is still young enough at 27, 28. Poti's at the age where if he is gonna be that number 2 defenseman or even a number 1 defenseman in the league, this is the time to step it up. I dont think anyone could stress it anymore on this board about the new rules making the game more offensive and he is an offensive defenseman so here's his chance. I think Rozsival was a great pickup and will really help this defense. Kondratiev looks like an automatic for a spot on the roster before camp even opened. And now with his great play during camp he is a sure-bet to make the squad. As is Tyutin who hopefully in the last year has matured even more and is ready to start moving foward towards developing into our top defenseman.
-Weekes is very underrated and I think with Benoit Allaire he is gonna shine this year. Plus we'll have Henrik Lundqvist who just seems to be the real deal. I would not mind the two sharing time in a 60%/40% split for the season with Weekes having the 60%. The two are gonna be huge this year.
--Rucchin should take the "C". Some have said that there should just be three alternate captains on the ice, but I disagree. Rucchin has been around long enough, was part of that Stanley Cup run in 2003 where they just fell short of winning it all to the Devils. He can carry this team.
----Maybe Jagr didnt sound soo stupid afterall----