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The Myth of Depth and Other Issues of Concern

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Old
03-07-2012, 12:17 PM
  #26
I Am Chariot
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Clearly they are going to block shots to the cup...




Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
All season we have heard about the great depth this team has. But let's really examine that.

- The third line (I'm using Dubinsky, Boyle, Prust) is on pace a 19 goals 71 points.

- The fourth line (I'm using Fedotenk, Rupp, Mitchell) is on pace for

- While Callahan is on pace for 12 more points compared to last season, Anisimov is on pace for 4 fewer.

- While Stepan is on pace for 18 more points compared to last season, Dubinsky is on pace for a staggering 22 fewer.

- Carl Hagelin has as many goals as Dubinsky and Boyle combined.

- The offensive is basically coming from two players (Gaborik and Stepan)

- There are really no options in Hartford who can help this team's sputtering offense and that includes Zuccarello.

- Combine with that with an ineffective at best power play and there are serious concerns about where the goals are going to from entering the playoffs.

Other concerns:

- The team's supposed #1 defenseman who is being paid almost 4M is playing on the bottom pair with Stu Bickel. Why?

- This team has played hard all season. Yet they have had the play taken to them in three straight games now. Are they gassed? For that matter, do they have an extra gear going into the playoffs?

- They have gone from being a tough team to a team that is fighting just to fight. Toughness comes from finishing checks and playing in your face hockey. They have done neither in the games against the Bruins and Devils.

- The team is easily kept on the perimeter in the offensive zone.

- If Hank gives up more than 2 goals, who exactly is this team going to win.

It's not my intention to be negative. I mean if someone told you that in March the Rangers would be in first in the East despite Dubinsky having 7 goals, 19 points, Brian Boyle having 5 goals, Dan Girardin being on pace for 3 fewer points than the previous season, Brad Richards having 27 assists, and Anisimov having 13 goals you say that that person was nuts. But there are concerns. Is this just smoke and mirrors? Is this team ripe to be exposed in the playoffs?

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Old
03-07-2012, 12:30 PM
  #27
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this team is heavy on 3rd and 4th line caliber players, and light on 1st and 2nd liners. end result...2nd liners are playing first line minutes, 3rd liners are playing 2nd line minutes, 4th liners are playign 3rd line minutes, and ppl who have no business being in the nhl (Scott) are playing 4th line minutes.

getting a guy like Nash woulda fixed a lot of the personnel problems we are having...pushing guys into roles they are better suited to play.

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Old
03-07-2012, 12:32 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by MSG the place to be View Post
Please tell me you did 7 gwg x 2 points per game = 14 points, and then deducted that from our point total.

That would be hilarious if you did that.
There's no way to know if we would've won those games anyway, gotten 1 point, or lost in regulation so I didn't do any math. I was exaggerating to make the point that although Richards point totals aren't where they should be, he's stepped up in key situations and helped us steal points. Maybe we wouldn't be in 7th, but I don't see how there's any way we'd be in 1st place right now without him.

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03-07-2012, 12:33 PM
  #29
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We have yet to "learn" to be a playoff team.

First round is critical. My personal feeling is that winning a 7-game war in the first round with a team like the devils or pens will galvanize our playoff mentality.

(I KNOW it probably wont be the pens!)

The point is, the playoffs are different. We have the learn fast.

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Old
03-07-2012, 12:40 PM
  #30
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The team should consider calling up someone. The offense has been a joke for awhile now. Zuke, Wellman or maybe even sign JAM and try him if thats even an option. I don't want to see Newbury called up, hes just more of the same. Too much grind and not enough skill. On top of that, maybe call up two guys and start rotating the lineup resting certain players as the team looks tired and we arent even close to done yet.

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03-07-2012, 12:46 PM
  #31
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If the the playoffs started now, I don't think the Rangers would be the clear-cut best team going in. They'd have no excuse losing to the 8-seed, but NJ, Ottawa and Pittsburgh (especially if Crosby returns) all look pretty dangerous to me as a Rangers fan. I'm not overly worried about Boston or Philadelphia, but whatever team makes it out of the East is going to face a very tough Final as well.

Another thing that worries me is that I feel there are other teams who can really step up their game in the playoffs -- the Rangers have been playing like every game is a playoff game all season, so sometimes I wonder how much more they have to give.

I'm not down on them, though, these are just concerns. The good side is that I think the Rangers are able to keep an 'us versus the world' attitude because of that.

Also, I'm not sure why SBOB doesn't see Hagelin's performance as a positive. He's achieved a lot more than I would have expected this season, and, while he's a rookie, there's a decent chance he will be able to contribute in the playoffs.

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03-07-2012, 12:47 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OverTheCap View Post
There was always this myth of depth on defense because we were carrying so many of them on the roster, but part of the reason why Girardi and McD are so gassed is because we haven't had a reliable 3rd pairing all year. The loss of Sauer really hurts right now. I mentioned in the post game thread that Stralman, Eminger, and Bickel (might as well throw Woywitka in there too in case he plays) really need to step up and play their best hockey now. I thought we needed a veteran defenseman at the deadline but unfortunately there weren't many available.

This team is in big trouble if more than one forward goes down with an injury. I am not liking dressing both Rupp and Scott in the lineup. They are both slow and Rupp's hand must still be bothering him because he hasn't been that physical as of late.

The most glaring problem to me lately has been all the mistakes and carelessness with the puck. It appears to get worse with each game. Physical and mental exhaustion are setting in. They have to raise their alertness level on the ice and start playing smart hockey if they want to make any noise in the playoffs.
I think our 3rd-pairing has been fine all season. There's a reason they're the 3rd-pairing and they're really no worse than any other team's 3rd pairing.

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03-07-2012, 01:06 PM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuccarello Awesome View Post
Without his 7 game-winning goals, we'd be in 7th place.

That's not even considering a few moregame-winners that he set up.

And it's not even considering the intangible effect of his professional veteran presence and leadership on guys like Stepan, Del Zotto, Hagelin, etc.

And it's not considering the fact that even if he scores 0 points in a game, he helps everyone slide down a spot to where they should be. For example, without Richards, Stepan would be facing every team's top shutdown pair every shift, every night.
How exactly does subtracting 7 Richards game winning goals equate to us being in 7th place?

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03-07-2012, 01:08 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007 View Post

Also, I'm not sure why SBOB doesn't see Hagelin's performance as a positive. He's achieved a lot more than I would have expected this season, and, while he's a rookie, there's a decent chance he will be able to contribute in the playoffs.
When did I say it wasn't a positive?

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03-07-2012, 01:17 PM
  #35
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Interesting to see that some people think Richards has made a huge difference here. I don't. I know he's had some GWG's, but he's also 0-for-8 in shootouts, and we've lost 5 of those 8 games.

His numbers have been pretty disappointing, but even worse, there are GAMES (not stretches) where he has zero positive impact, and there have been a lot of them lately. He was nowhere to be seen last night, and despite having two secondary assists against Boston, played a miserable game. Lost several DZFO's that led to being hemmed in, and failed to pick up the puck/man near the crease on Boston's 3rd goal.

Gotta hope he isn't declining, because his contract may very well prevent us from re-signing one of our young'ins down the line.

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03-07-2012, 01:17 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henriks Broadway Hat View Post
Staal is on the third pairing because he came back from a concussion and missed training camp in the summer, not because it's where he usually belongs. He's been our best defenseman for the last 2 games at least.
No doubt about it; he's fresh because his season didn't start until the winter classic and so he should probably get the lions share of the minutes on a 1st pairing going forward. The biggest issue hurting our defense is Sauer's absense for the remainder of the year though.

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Old
03-07-2012, 01:20 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewbackatu View Post
No doubt about it; he's fresh because his season didn't start until the winter classic and so he should probably get the lions share of the minutes on a 1st pairing going forward. The biggest issue hurting our defense is Sauer's absense for the remainder of the year though.
Agreed. Sauer is a really good stay-at-home defenseman whose value goes underrated here sometimes, but he's important to the defensive core.

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Old
03-07-2012, 01:25 PM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuccarello Awesome View Post
Without his 7 game-winning goals, we'd be in 7th place.

That's not even considering a few moregame-winners that he set up.

And it's not even considering the intangible effect of his professional veteran presence and leadership on guys like Stepan, Del Zotto, Hagelin, etc.

And it's not considering the fact that even if he scores 0 points in a game, he helps everyone slide down a spot to where they should be. For example, without Richards, Stepan would be facing every team's top shutdown pair every shift, every night.
Great post! Richards has brought a lot of intangibles to the team that can't be quantified.
I do believe that the expections from Richards production wise for this season were completely unrealistic from the get go because he hasn't played with anywhere near the talent level here compared with Dallas and Tampa Bay.

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03-07-2012, 01:31 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Henriks Broadway Hat View Post
Agreed. Sauer is a really good stay-at-home defenseman whose value goes underrated here sometimes, but he's important to the defensive core.
Absolutely right. I have always felt that Sauer(who is vastly underrated around here) is our smartest and soundest stay at home defenseman hands down.

It really puzzles me as to why so many posters include him in every conceivable trade package and are also writing him off going forward due to injury issues in the past. A real head scratcher!

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Old
03-07-2012, 02:48 PM
  #40
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SBOB: Your questions are well taken. However, I'm less concerned about the offense. My real concern is Hank and the defense. Hank has not looked good in his last three games. Are Hank, Girardi, and McD, starting to feel the grind of the season? If so, we will not go far. If the defense and Hank continue the season long elite play, I'm less concerned. Hank will make us a very tough out in the playoffs regardless of the opponent. Further, if Dubi and Richard find their scoring touch, we could have two decent offensive lines. In the playoffs, two lines are usually required for a deep run

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03-07-2012, 02:57 PM
  #41
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Drury brought intangibles too.

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03-07-2012, 03:04 PM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bathgate View Post
SBOB: Your questions are well taken. However, I'm less concerned about the offense. My real concern is Hank and the defense. Hank has not looked good in his last three games. Are Hank, Girardi, and McD, starting to feel the grind of the season? If so, we will not go far. If the defense and Hank continue the season long elite play, I'm less concerned. Hank will make us a very tough out in the playoffs regardless of the opponent. Further, if Dubi and Richard find their scoring touch, we could have two decent offensive lines. In the playoffs, two lines are usually required for a deep run
Fair point. I put a lot of the issues on d on the offense as they are getting no time in the attack zone. True the defense was responsible for some brutal turnovers last night but a common theme over the last three games has been lack of sustained pressure on the other teams' defenses.

If Dubinsky and Richards find their scoring touch it would certainly help. But we've been waiting all season. It's a big if now.

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03-07-2012, 04:33 PM
  #43
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Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
When did I say it wasn't a positive?
The problem with defining "depth" is that it has been put to use over the last two years. Look at the players that we had to go with to plug holes, and how have now developed into everyday players. On teh forward front, there is no one who is ready. And developing top line forward has ever been an achilles heel of this team.

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03-07-2012, 06:56 PM
  #44
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Re: depth

On paper, this current team has 2 first liners, 4 2nd liners, 1 3rd liner and 5 4th liners. The top 6, as currently constituted is fine to be a competitive team. It really sucks to be that lone 3rd liner (at this moment, it's Dubinsky).

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03-07-2012, 08:25 PM
  #45
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A team with depth ...meaning skilled depth with some speed , would notsend a roster out every night with all of these guys dressed... Rupp , Prust , Bickel, Scott , Emminger and Boyle . On a real contender with depth...only 2 of the above would be in the lineup on most given nights and in some special situations possibly 3 would be in .

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03-07-2012, 08:41 PM
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leetch66 View Post
A team with depth ...meaning skilled depth with some speed , would notsend a roster out every night with all of these guys dressed... Rupp , Prust , Bickel, Scott , Emminger and Boyle . On a real contender with depth...only 2 of the above would be in the lineup on most given nights and in some special situations possibly 3 would be in .
Eminger was on a Washington team that beat us 3 years ago. Eminger isn't bad. Neither is Prust. Rupp won a cup with the Pens right? These guys aren't bad. Boyle is no exception. Your making a bigger deal of this depth thing then needs to be made.

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03-08-2012, 07:56 AM
  #47
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Originally Posted by Leetch66 View Post
A team with depth ...meaning skilled depth with some speed , would notsend a roster out every night with all of these guys dressed... Rupp , Prust , Bickel, Scott , Emminger and Boyle . On a real contender with depth...only 2 of the above would be in the lineup on most given nights and in some special situations possibly 3 would be in .
Rupp is afine 4th line player. Boyle is a fine 3rd/4th line center. Prust is a 3rd 4th line tweener. Bickel has shown that he can play the role of a #6 defensemen. At least 4 of the players belong in an everyday line up.

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03-08-2012, 09:16 AM
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
When did I say it wasn't a positive?
Sorry, misunderstood the part about what you said about Hagelin in the first post.

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03-08-2012, 10:03 AM
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Blue View Post
Rupp is afine 4th line player. Boyle is a fine 3rd/4th line center. Prust is a 3rd 4th line tweener. Bickel has shown that he can play the role of a #6 defensemen. At least 4 of the players belong in an everyday line up.
No, see this is where the problem is with this team. Boyle and Prust are not tweeners... they are excellent 4th liners. When you start playing these guys on the 3rd line consistently, that's when it becomes apparent you have a depth issue. We have a legitimate lack of 3rd line players.

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03-08-2012, 11:56 AM
  #50
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No, see this is where the problem is with this team. Boyle and Prust are not tweeners... they are excellent 4th liners. When you start playing these guys on the 3rd line consistently, that's when it becomes apparent you have a depth issue. We have a legitimate lack of 3rd line players.
I think of Boyle as an effective 3rd line center.

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