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The Myth of Depth and Other Issues of Concern

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03-15-2012, 05:36 PM
  #76
TUQ
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Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
The fact that this team has relied on Bickel, Eminger, Woywitka and Scott on defense shows the lack of depth.
Stu Bickel is steadily improving to top six defensive defenseman. In my opinion, Stue Bickel is one of the most improved players on the Rangers throughout the season, begining with the games in Europe, in which he was slow, had no anticipation, no skating, he was horrible ... to last few games, in which he was steady calming presence in front of our goal, able to skate, complete a pass, cover a player one on one.

Eminger, Woywitka and Scott on the other hand .... Just wanted to distinguish Bickel from the other three because he is not on par with them, he is way better right now.

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03-15-2012, 05:39 PM
  #77
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Trading some of the excess wealth the Rangers have on defense may be a necessity at some point. If all of them are going to play at or above the level expected of them, collectively they're all going to demand salary which matches their play.

Eventually the Rangers will be in a situation where they just can't afford to keep all of the wonderful young defensemen they have. It makes sense to manage this ahead of time by trading away some assets to acquire others in areas where they are weak.

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03-15-2012, 06:16 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Jabroni1994 View Post
But that's precisely what he's saying.

If the Rangers had great depth, then we would have better defensive options than Woywitka, Bickel and Eminger.
How so? What teams in the NHL don't have at least one questionable or expendable defenseman in their top 6? What teams can afford to sustain 2 significant injuries to their top 4 defensemen and not end up calling up a rookie on defense or players like Woywitka/Bickel/Eminger?

Take a look around the league. Not realistic to assume teams are going to sign top-4 defensemen to play bottom pairing roles. Nor would those players want to play those roles if they are really top-4 defensemen... There are also timing issues where you may have good defensive depth in your prospect barn but cannot call those players up (CHL) or they are playing overseas (SEL/KHL). Rangers had injury concerns and went with cost-effective short term replacements so that they would not have to rush any younger players' development (see Tim Erixon) or lose any significant assets making a trade (see Philly).

We have very good depth in the back end.... Rangers expected those injured players to return to the line-up so there was no sense in pursuing long term replacements via other means. If we sustained similar injuries next season you have options like Erixon or worst case, McIlrath. Stu Bickel is quietly turning into a very effective bottom pairing defenseman....


Last edited by wolfgaze: 03-15-2012 at 06:28 PM.
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03-15-2012, 07:04 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by wolfgaze View Post
Not true... If Staal and Sauer didn't miss a combined 96 games so far this season, you wouldn't see all 3 of those aforementioned players in the line-up as much as they have been. Probably just one of them...

Staal
Girardi
McDonagh
Del Zotto
Sauer

That's very good defensive depth when the players are healthy.
So if they were healthy they would have depth? Isn't that my point?

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03-15-2012, 07:07 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by TUQ View Post
Stu Bickel is steadily improving to top six defensive defenseman. In my opinion, Stue Bickel is one of the most improved players on the Rangers throughout the season, begining with the games in Europe, in which he was slow, had no anticipation, no skating, he was horrible ... to last few games, in which he was steady calming presence in front of our goal, able to skate, complete a pass, cover a player one on one.

Eminger, Woywitka and Scott on the other hand .... Just wanted to distinguish Bickel from the other three because he is not on par with them, he is way better right now.
Gonna have to agree to disagree. Not overly impressed by Bickel. I don't see a real upside. A good spare but not a guy I want to see game in and game out. And don't love the idea of him in the playoffs. I fear the Rangers not getting a vet D man at the deadline will come back to hurt them.


Last edited by SingnBluesOnBroadway: 03-15-2012 at 07:40 PM.
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03-15-2012, 09:06 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
So if they were healthy they would have depth? Isn't that my point?
Which teams in the league are constructed so that they can sustain long term injuries to their top 4 defensemen and not miss a beat or resort to using stop-gaps as replacements?

It's not like many teams have high quality NHL ready defensemen just sitting in the AHL waiting for injury call-ups....

Even if the Rangers lost one of their best defensemen, we still would have 4 guys ready to play major minutes in top-4 roles and do a good job at it....

Staal
Sauer
Girardi
McD
MDZ

None of those players deserve to play a bottom pairing role... That's having depth... There is no answer for having multiple defensemen go out at the same time for significant periods of time. Nor would there be if we lost 2 of Richards/Callahan/Gaborik, either....

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03-16-2012, 08:34 AM
  #82
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Originally Posted by wolfgaze View Post
Which teams in the league are constructed so that they can sustain long term injuries to their top 4 defensemen and not miss a beat or resort to using stop-gaps as replacements?

It's not like many teams have high quality NHL ready defensemen just sitting in the AHL waiting for injury call-ups....

Even if the Rangers lost one of their best defensemen, we still would have 4 guys ready to play major minutes in top-4 roles and do a good job at it....

Staal
Sauer
Girardi
McD
MDZ

None of those players deserve to play a bottom pairing role... That's having depth... There is no answer for having multiple defensemen go out at the same time for significant periods of time. Nor would there be if we lost 2 of Richards/Callahan/Gaborik, either....
Stop gaps are one thing. Playing marginal NHL players is another.

And if the last few games haven't demonstrated the lack of depth in the lack of forwards, I don't know what will.

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03-16-2012, 08:40 AM
  #83
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What teams have great depth? It's a matter of who gets hurt. Take away both Malkin and Crosby and the Pens are near the bottom of the standings. Take away Kovalchuk and Parise and the Devils are near the bottom of the standings. Take away Lundqvist and Gaborik and the Rangers are near the bottom of the standings. You can take away top defensemen on any team and they'd be screwed.

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03-16-2012, 08:57 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway View Post
Stop gaps are one thing. Playing marginal NHL players is another.
People around here sure sour on players that aren't long term solutions pretty quickly... Eminger and Stralman have given the Rangers very meaningful minutes for a large chunk of this season, no one was calling them marginal defensemen when they were holding their own and logging all those minutes with Staal & Sauer out of the line-up and we were winning and plugging right along.

Quote:
And if the last few games haven't demonstrated the lack of depth in the lack of forwards, I don't know what will.
That's obvious. If players like Dubinsky and Anisimov would find any consistency in their offensive contributions, the depth issues would be a lot less pronounced.

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