thats what i like to hear about W2. he is as important as they come to our roster believe it or not and he really needs to step it up this year if we wanna make some noise. everyone shouldn't underestimate him, we all know the talent and ability is there. lets see some consistency from this kid now that he finally seems to realize what HAS to be done.
Wow this thread is what HF is all about. great insider info being exchanged, great debate, oppossing sides recognizing that each side's speculation has some basis and nobody is talking at or down to anybody.
As faar as MDZ I definitely agree that conditioning and strength...growing into his body is something every young player MUST do and it will only help him figure out what is his main problem...his brain. No matter what he has to make better decisions...but if he is physically capapble of making more and better plays this may also mitgate some boneheadedness as well as help him avoid making bonehead plays. We'll see. B/t MDZ and Erixon I hope Eminger gets scratched all year though i really liked Eminger. Interested to se if VTank can surprise over one of the aforementioned.
As far as the LW debate both sides were right.
You want to keep those two scoring lines (PACK and the WRG line) and it makes it near impossible to gameplan against. On the other hand you may get two even better scoring lines if Dubs matches better on the 1st while WAC works better as a 2nd. We all know the way Torts is we are likely to see both. Then you get a 3rd line witha hopefully improved Stepan, Avery, Feds...should be a very smart, hard working line and we've got I think the best 4th line in hockey that really could be our 3rd line depending on the games.We'll see how it goes though I feel that 3rd line needs retooling it's missing a scorer.
Just the first Rangers scrimmage, but the trio of Wojtek Wolski, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik was quite productive. Wolski had four points, Gaborik two goals and an assist, and Richards hit the crossbar behind Marty Biron from close in on the right as the Reds beats the Greens 4-2.
John Mitchell, feisty throughout, was on a line with JT Miller and Sean Avery, and scored twice for the Greens. Miller was stopped by Jason Missiaen's pad on a penalty shot.
Dale Weise beat Biron on a breakaway, sprung by Wolski...Artem Anisimov centered a line with Mike Rupp and Mats Zuccarello for the Greens...Steve Eminger was pounding people on the borads, playing as if he's not content to be pencilled in as a six-seven D....Michael Del Zotto was pretty crisp...Biron played the whole scrimmage, allowing the four goals. Chad Johnson shut out the Greens in the first of two periods of 20 minnutes of running time..
Its fairly simple as i see it, if he does fit on the first line, he'll get an awful lot of ToI, and that should (in theory at least) translate into a high point production (considering who his line mates would be, that alone should "bump it up"). So if he is a first liner throughout the season, 70 points is absolutely within reach.
Within reach, and I think it would be the absolute optimal we could hope for. 70 points from Wolski would likely mean 45 something goals from Gaborik, and probably 90 points from Richards. I think thats unlikely, but no point being negative this early.
Red: G: Chad Johnson (no goals allowed in first half), Jason Missiaen; D: Michael Del Zotto, Stu Bickel, Steve Eminger, Lee Baldwin, Jyri Niemi; F: Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Dale Weise, Lee Grant, Ryan Bourque, Tayler Jordan, Kelsey Tessier, Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, Wojtek Wolski.
Green: G: Marty Biron; D: Dan Girardi, Pavel Valentenko, Tomas Kundratek, Samuel Noreau; F: Sean Avery, John Mithcell, Mats Zuccarello, Artem Amisinov, J.T. Miller, Andrew Yogan, Jordan Hickmott, Kale Kerbashian, Mike Rupp, John Mitchell.
Each of the four teams have 16 players....Henrik Lundqvist scheduled to play the entire 40 minutes (running time) for the Whites; Scott Stajcer/Cam Talbot will split time for the Blues…Notables: Dubinsky, Stepan, Callahan could be top trio on Blue….Prust-Boyle-Fedotenko for White…. Erixon on White…Thomas, Hagelin, McColgan on Blue….Mike Sauer on Blue roster, along with McDonagh, Bell, McIlrath, Ceresnak on D…Yogan's separated shoulder will keep him out of these, but he skated in the practice between 10 and 11 a.m.
Scrimmage performance is totally meaningless, but...
I've been saying for months that Wolski was easily ripe for a 50+ point season. He's only one year removed from scoring 65 in the NHL without a ton of offensive talent around him, still young enough that consistency can be an issue without it spelling the E-N-D for him and in a contract year, potentially playing with Richards and Gaborik, he just has too much talent to not be able to produce. Just by virtue of defenders trying to zero in on Richards and Gaborik on that line, he has too much talent not to be able to capitalize on the space that those two create just by being on the ice.
Seems like a lock that these two will get a surefire lock at the top 2 lines: 1. Wolski-Richards-Gabby 2. Dubinsky-Stepan-Callahan
And than these two seems likely for the other two: 3. [Avery/Rupp]-Anisimov-Zucc 4. [Avery/Rupp]-Boyle-Prust
The first lines in TC have for as far as I can remember, with the exception of Shanny's first year here when JJ was injured, basically been kept together for atleast a couple of games of pre-season.
I like that Zucc seems to have a spot to loose. As opposed to Christensen.
I bracket Avery/Rupp since I wouldn't be suprised at all if Torts is just playing game with Avery by putting him on like a 8th line to start the season...
I don't mind at all that Stepan is given a shot at a scoring role on a top 2 line. I think that Anisimov-Zucc and Stepan-Cally makes alot more sense than the other way around.
I think Fedotenko's relationship with Torts gives him a marked advantage over Rupp and Avery insofar as starting lineup positioning goes. If the top two lines remain the same, I'd say it's Rupp and Avery fighting for the final spot, with Feds taking the other LW spot.