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Last years starting line up compared to now

View Poll Results: What do you think of last years team compared to this years?
I think this is the better team 125 99.21%
Last years team was better 1 0.79%
They're about the same 0 0%
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Old
07-26-2011, 12:15 AM
  #1
Callagraves
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Last years starting line up compared to now

In last year's first game against Buffalo, we rolled out with this starting line up

Alexander Frolov - Erik Christensen - Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky - Artem Anisimov - Ryan Callahan
Sean Avery - Derek Stepan - Ruslan Fedotenko
Derek Boogaard - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust

Marc Staal - Michal Rozsival
Michael Del Zotto - Dan Girardi
Steve Eminger - Mike Sauer

Frolov is headed to the KHL, Christensen looks to be the odd man out, and of course the tragedy with Boogaard are really the 3 differences in forwards. My guess as to what this year's opening forward lines will look like is this

Wolski - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky - Artem Anisimov - Ryan Callahan (A)
Sean Avery - Derek Stepan - Ruslan Fedotenko
Rupp - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust

There's wiggle room in that bottom six for line juggling, reuniting Boyle prust and Feds, or just seeing where chemistry goes. Zucc will have a chance to fight for a role along with the other prospects, and I'd love to see him replace Avery, or for Thomas to challenge for Fed's spot.

The defense is the real overhaul. Rozi was traded for Wolski, which I personally believe will turn out to be a good move in the long run, Del Zotto had an unfortunate sophomore slump, but the guy is my age (to the day, actually) which is young, and has a massive upside. Staal and Danny G turned out to be an impressive shutdown pair, while Sauer was consistent, he didn't flourish until his good buddy McD got called up, making them the best bang for the bucks D pair you could believe. The brilliant acquisition of Erixon and the re-signing of a CHEAP Eminger rounds out our D core nicely.

Staal- Girardi
Sauer- McDonagh


The bottom two are up for grabs. There's big talk about Erixon, and if Del Zotto returns to form, the two of them could make one hell of an offensively potent 3rd pairing. Eminger is there as a reliable 3rd pairing man, but to not need him would be the ideal.

So that's my take on it. I think the mid-season and off season team building has been superb. If the cards fall right, and key players play to their potential, I call this club a Cup contender. Of course, that title doesn't mean much, as once a team is in the playoffs, it's up for grabs.

What do you think of this team versus what we saw a year ago?

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Old
07-26-2011, 12:18 AM
  #2
n8
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without a doubt. even if you took Richards out and put EC in there.

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07-26-2011, 12:22 AM
  #3
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Nobody should say last year's team was better.

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Old
07-26-2011, 12:25 AM
  #4
New York RKY
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I don't think there's any way to look at the two years and not see a noticeable improvement.

Looking back at last years roster you couldn't help but still notice the big glaring hole of haveing EC on the first line.

I think the main difference between the two years for the forwards is the fact that we can go into next year and can feel confident the bottom 6 can contribute. Last year those bottom 6 players were a HUGE question mark, but now we feel confident that Stepan can get at least 40 points. Feds is good for another 20 or so. Meanwhile Boyle and Prust provide quite a bit more than anticipated than last year.

As for the defensive scheme, I know last year there were some question marks going into the year but we never expected MDZ to blow up like he did last year. We also still weren't sure what to expect from Sauer, and we were hoping just to get by with Rosy.

Comparably this year, we have a top 4 that we don't have the slightest worry about. We also can fill the final two spots with either a dearth of extremely gifted young players, or even a very solid veteran in Eminger (who we didn't know what to expect from last year as well).

I think that the development is huge in our young players, but the major difference between the two years is there is a lot more confidence in all of our young players to step up and produce at this level. Which in turn leads to a lot less question marks.

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Old
07-26-2011, 12:36 AM
  #5
petejudge
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i wouldnt say that we dont have to worry about our top 4, mcsauer was a great combo last year but mdz was also an outstanding rookie and look what happened to him this past year? they seem to be more consistent players but our defense is still young and still a question mark.

i definitely think our team is better this year than it was last though, it has potential to be up there with boston and philly

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Old
07-26-2011, 12:45 AM
  #6
New York RKY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petejudge View Post
i wouldnt say that we dont have to worry about our top 4, mcsauer was a great combo last year but mdz was also an outstanding rookie and look what happened to him this past year? they seem to be more consistent players but our defense is still young and still a question mark.

i definitely think our team is better this year than it was last though, it has potential to be up there with boston and philly
Couple things I want to mention in your post:

While there are individual question marks surrounding individual players (like MDZ), should he continue to falter we have VERY good young players like Erixon readily available to take his place. We also know what Eminger brings to the table in a worst case scenario kind of thing.

While our defense is still very young, I don't even put an ounce of thought into our top 4 d-men because I know they will be fine. With people like Erixon, MDZ, Eminger, Valentenko, etc battling for the final two spots I think we are well set on d.

My only other comment is that I think you may be looking at two different end of the spectrums with PHI and BOS. We know BOS will be near the top of the East, but PHI on the other hand is still to be determined. I also am not sure that you can pencil us into competing with the top dogs in the East yet because with the lack of question marks on defense and goaltending, we have quite a bit of questions for our forward group. For example will Brad Richards mesh with Gabby? Will we see the old Gabby? Will Stepan hit a sophmore slump? Will Boyle and Prust produce something close to last year? etc.

If all these questions for our forwards are answered positively then you may be able to pencil us in to competing with the top.

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Old
07-26-2011, 12:50 AM
  #7
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There is little to no comparison. This years team is better.

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07-26-2011, 12:53 AM
  #8
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Is it me or does it feel like Rozsival has been off the Rangers for A LOT longer than half a year.

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07-26-2011, 12:58 AM
  #9
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I think it's amazing that the club was able to remove or use the weakest links in exchange for major, major improvements without surrendering any considerable assets. A team that has improved this much yet still feels like the same "blue collar" Rangers i got to watch all of last season makes me wonder who the GM is and what he's done with Glen Sather.

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07-26-2011, 01:00 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salvage21 View Post
Is it me or does it feel like Rozsival has been off the Rangers for A LOT longer than half a year.
Even when he was here, I was waiting for him to leave. I remember one game i was at, the fan in front of me yelled for the opposing team to hit #33 every time he touched the puck. I never liked Rozi, but I never really wanted to see him injured. When I asked the guy why he was doing that, he responded "I wanna see McDonagh take his spot."

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07-26-2011, 02:43 AM
  #11
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Not even close. This year's team is much better. Our young guys will progress and we added a #1 Center and PP QB. Its simple.

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07-26-2011, 07:37 AM
  #12
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Richards >>>>>>>>>> EC
Frolov > Wolski
Rupp >> Boogaard

Big improvement in the forward corps. Frolov was better than Wolski but he wasn't a huge contributor anyway. Richards is obviously a huge improvement over EC, and Rupp is a big improvement over Boogaard on the 4th line.

Defense is a little tougher. I would say Rozsival is better than McD but at the same time, when Rozy left and McD stepped in, we didn't really miss him. And McD may be better defensively. No matter how you look at it, I think McD is going to end up at a much higher level than Rozy is/was/will be so this is an improvement in the long term.

With continued improvement from our younger players, esp. Stepan and AA, you can't say this team isn't better than last years.

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07-26-2011, 07:41 AM
  #13
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On paper it is an improvement because of the Richards addition. Rupp is better than Boogaard as well.

Understand that that does not necessarily mean that we will be higher in the standing this year.

This also doesnt account for the possibility of a big rookie breakout.

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Old
07-26-2011, 08:07 AM
  #14
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Don't forget that Eminger was 3rd on the club in blocked shots. I think he will play more than half the games next season. Hopefully allowing Staal and Girardi to take a game or three off. I know Girardi looked worn down by the end of the season...

Hopefully Erixon proves he deserves the shot and NY dresses a guy like Valentenko for opening night, assuming Del Zotto doesn't simply take the job back by avoiding turnovers and playing like he did during his rookie season.

Decent depth at center too.

The more I think of it the better I like the idea of Dubinsky on the top line with Gaborik and Richards. Wolski play the drive to the net look for rebounds style with Cally looking to use his wrist shot and Artem improving his overall passing and physical play.

Stepan on the 3rd line is a nice spot for him. 2nd season, smart hockey player hopefully he improves his faceoffs because if he is under 50% he won't be out there for the important defensive draws.

I think Zucarello is the odd man out, although I would prefer to see Avery get the boot. Then again if Sean shows up motivated and doesn't become a liability or a distraction on the ice NY could use his kind of jam...

this seasons team is much improved

hopefully the powerplay can become top half by christmas and top 3rd by playoff time, the PK only needs to tread water.

The defense should be better too

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07-26-2011, 08:37 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New York RKY View Post
I don't think there's any way to look at the two years and not see a noticeable improvement.

Looking back at last years roster you couldn't help but still notice the big glaring hole of haveing EC on the first line.

I think the main difference between the two years for the forwards is the fact that we can go into next year and can feel confident the bottom 6 can contribute. Last year those bottom 6 players were a HUGE question mark, but now we feel confident that Stepan can get at least 40 points. Feds is good for another 20 or so. Meanwhile Boyle and Prust provide quite a bit more than anticipated than last year.

As for the defensive scheme, I know last year there were some question marks going into the year but we never expected MDZ to blow up like he did last year. We also still weren't sure what to expect from Sauer, and we were hoping just to get by with Rosy.

Comparably this year, we have a top 4 that we don't have the slightest worry about. We also can fill the final two spots with either a dearth of extremely gifted young players, or even a very solid veteran in Eminger (who we didn't know what to expect from last year as well).

I think that the development is huge in our young players, but the major difference between the two years is there is a lot more confidence in all of our young players to step up and produce at this level. Which in turn leads to a lot less question marks.

LOL Dearth. I'm pretty sure we have the opposite of a dearth of good young defensemen.

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Old
07-26-2011, 08:58 AM
  #16
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Even aside from Richards, the fact the core 6-8 guys have another season under their belt (or even their first ones in a few cases) is a huge plus.

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07-26-2011, 09:11 AM
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What a difference a true first line center makes. I'm so pumped for this season.

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07-26-2011, 10:03 AM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New York RKY View Post
I don't think there's any way to look at the two years and not see a noticeable improvement.

Looking back at last years roster you couldn't help but still notice the big glaring hole of haveing EC on the first line.

I think the main difference between the two years for the forwards is the fact that we can go into next year and can feel confident the bottom 6 can contribute. Last year those bottom 6 players were a HUGE question mark, but now we feel confident that Stepan can get at least 40 points. Feds is good for another 20 or so. Meanwhile Boyle and Prust provide quite a bit more than anticipated than last year.

As for the defensive scheme, I know last year there were some question marks going into the year but we never expected MDZ to blow up like he did last year. We also still weren't sure what to expect from Sauer, and we were hoping just to get by with Rosy.

Comparably this year, we have a top 4 that we don't have the slightest worry about. We also can fill the final two spots with either a dearth of extremely gifted young players, or even a very solid veteran in Eminger (who we didn't know what to expect from last year as well).

I think that the development is huge in our young players, but the major difference between the two years is there is a lot more confidence in all of our young players to step up and produce at this level. Which in turn leads to a lot less question marks.

I think you touched on one of the most important factors.

While our top 6 might still be missing a legitimate left winger, the fact of the matter is we have four lines, that on any given night can make the difference.

We know what we've got if Dubi-Arty-Cally are together. One of the hardest working lines in the league that will be defensively responsible, control the puck, and generate scoring chances.

On the top line we'll have two legitimate first line offensive point producers in the game in Richards and Gaborik.

The third line should thrive this year. Stepan will be a key to this season IMO. His line will be facing 2nd and 3rd pairings a lot, so we need to hope he doesn't have a second year slump and really keeps improving. Feds showed last year he still has some solid hockey left in him. If Avery is on that line we know what he can bring when he's on. If it's Zucca we know he'll be playing his tail off trying to stick around.

Then you throw out the fourth line and they just have the potential to be arguably the best fourth line in the league. We've got guys who can take the body better than most, drop the gloves if they need to, but also are fully capable in their own zone, and are pretty damn effective when it comes to cycling, creating scoring chances, and changing momentum. We have a fourth line that has all three players capable of scoring between 15-20 points this year.

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Old
07-26-2011, 10:48 AM
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Better line up for sure this yr. Richards alone makes them 10X better

as for the top line LW I think we are all comfortable with Richards, one of AA/Steps , Gaborik, Callahan, Dubinsky.

Wolksi is the wild card. He has the talent but if he fails I can see them making a move at the deadline for that top LW.

It may mean time to move a Zuke, Vtank , 1st rounder to get it done

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Old
07-26-2011, 10:58 AM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New York RKY View Post
Couple things I want to mention in your post:

While there are individual question marks surrounding individual players (like MDZ), should he continue to falter we have VERY good young players like Erixon readily available to take his place. We also know what Eminger brings to the table in a worst case scenario kind of thing.

While our defense is still very young, I don't even put an ounce of thought into our top 4 d-men because I know they will be fine. With people like Erixon, MDZ, Eminger, Valentenko, etc battling for the final two spots I think we are well set on d.

My only other comment is that I think you may be looking at two different end of the spectrums with PHI and BOS. We know BOS will be near the top of the East, but PHI on the other hand is still to be determined. I also am not sure that you can pencil us into competing with the top dogs in the East yet because with the lack of question marks on defense and goaltending, we have quite a bit of questions for our forward group. For example will Brad Richards mesh with Gabby? Will we see the old Gabby? Will Stepan hit a sophmore slump? Will Boyle and Prust produce something close to last year? etc.

If all these questions for our forwards are answered positively then you may be able to pencil us in to competing with the top.
There's a contradiction in the bolded statements. You are certain about the play of 2 sophmores on defense, yet are concerned Stepan might suffer a slump? Why? McD only played half a season, Sauer is in the same boat as Stepan.

Overall, the team looks better. They've addressed the issues of 1st line center and PP QB. However, the youth on D does contain an element of uncertainty. Most importantly, who does the offense on the blue-line come from? We are counting on MDZ and Erixon, unless Staal or McD break-out unexpectedly. All are question marks. A trade at some point might become necessary.

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07-26-2011, 11:24 AM
  #21
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Pretty one-sided results so far.

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07-26-2011, 11:32 AM
  #22
Darrelle Lundqvist
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This year. You know your forward lines are strong when you have a 20 goal scorer on your fourth line.

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07-26-2011, 11:39 AM
  #23
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The Rangers are going to be very good this year! I could not say that about last years team.

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Old
07-26-2011, 11:42 AM
  #24
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We gotz a #1 center any one who selects option 2 or 3 is hi!

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07-26-2011, 12:18 PM
  #25
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Even if 3 regulars were erased from last years starting lineup, and Richards inserted - its still a better team.

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