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Why are we so much better this year?

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Old
03-21-2012, 11:19 AM
  #1
SnowblindNYR
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Why are we so much better this year?

An outsider might think it's Richards. But our goals per game average is identical to last year's. So that leaves the defense and the fact that we give up fewer than .2 goals per game than last season. But why is that? This year Girardi and McDonagh improved, but we also didn't have Staal till January and when we did have him he was much worse than last year. We also haven't had Sauer since December. It's a little apples to organes since McD and Sauer didn't play all of last year. Still seems like some guys progressed but others either were injured or regressed. So does it all come down to Hank playing the best hockey of his career?

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03-21-2012, 11:22 AM
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EpicDing
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Girardi, McD, MDZ, Hagelin. Richards definitely has something to do with it. Biron had a great start to the season as well.

Oh, and Gaborik. Exponentially better than last year.

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03-21-2012, 11:23 AM
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I can almost certainty say that Henrik playing at an unGodly level has something to do with it.

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03-21-2012, 11:24 AM
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Don't forget Torts.. He's done an excellent job with the team in my opinion. This team has a hard nosed style/identity because of the type of coach he is and it has brought them together and playing like a team.

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03-21-2012, 11:26 AM
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SnowblindNYR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicDing View Post
Girardi, McD, MDZ, Hagelin. Richards definitely has something to do with it. Biron had a great start to the season as well.

Oh, and Gaborik. Exponentially better than last year.
Yeah I forgot MDZ in my post. Still seems like a bunch of guys playing better and others are injured or playing worse. The bolded are forwards. We're scoring the same as last year, so I don't know if they have that much to do with it.

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03-21-2012, 11:26 AM
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Coming of age.
Richards and REAL intangibles.
Gabby normal season.
Hank said "clock was ticking" wants to win one in his career.

Sum it up?

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03-21-2012, 11:27 AM
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Many factors at play, but IMO the biggest is that the whole team has bought into Torts' system.

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03-21-2012, 11:28 AM
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McDonagh turned into superman.

Gaborik playing extremely well.

MDZ playing like a beast.

Lundqvist having a great season.

Callahan is leading like a champ.

Richards having a big impact on the team.

Really, you can keep this list going. The whole team is just gelling at the same time. Everyone took a step forward this year. A lot of it, IMO, is leadership. Callahan buys into what Torts preaches. Richards was already a convert. The vets in the room play just as hard as the younger players, and it brings everyone's game up.

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03-21-2012, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowblindNYR View Post
An outsider might think it's Richards. But our goals per game average is identical to last year's. So that leaves the defense and the fact that we give up fewer than .2 goals per game than last season. But why is that? This year Girardi and McDonagh improved, but we also didn't have Staal till January and when we did have him he was much worse than last year. We also haven't had Sauer since December. It's a little apples to organes since McD and Sauer didn't play all of last year. Still seems like some guys progressed but others either were injured or regressed. So does it all come down to Hank playing the best hockey of his career?
Keep in mind we had some blowout games last season that skewed the Goals Per Game stat. I'm not saying the D isn't better... much better, but that stat doesn't tell the entire story.

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03-21-2012, 11:32 AM
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Hank, for sure. The re-emergence of Gabby and Del Zotto. The team is tougher and harder to play against. And, at one point earlier in the season, the defense was playing far better than anyone anticipated.

Offensively, this team is more opportunistic than they were last season, there are lots of games in which they have scored late in order to win it or tack on a goal to seal the win. Last year, we had lots of blowouts which made our team seem better than they were on offense.

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03-21-2012, 11:33 AM
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I think everyone has stepped up this year. The main difference from last year is the play of Biron,Bickel, Stralman and Hagelin who we didn,t expect much of this year and other players whom were not expected to perform . Hagelin looks like he could be a star and the Rangers didn,t expect that. Torts has really brought this team together. I wanted to keep Avery and I thought he played well this year but he was probably not the best influence on the young players.

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03-21-2012, 11:48 AM
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1. Henke
2. Growth of kids
3. Unexpected contributions from fill ins
4. Chemistry
5. Adherence without fail to playing exactly they way that Torts wants and demands. Anyone who has not, has been weeded out.

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03-21-2012, 11:57 AM
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There are a few differences that have made this years team more successful than last year

but at the end of the day the biggest differnece by far was Marian Gaborik being in absolute beast mode all season

him playing at a high level changes everything

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03-21-2012, 11:57 AM
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Organic growth plus Richards presence and Gaborik's resurgence...

Plus, our offense might have the same average numbers as last year, but it has been far more consistent. A combination of the fact that, generally speaking, we let in 2 or fewer goals with a high regularity and, generally speaking, we score 3 or more goals with a high regularity... it means you win a lot of games.

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03-21-2012, 11:58 AM
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Henrik

Key contributions from Richards, Gaborik, Hagelin, McDonagh, Girardi, Callahan, Del Zotto, and others

Finding ways to win

And finally, getting bounces.

In past years it seemed we'd have at least one goal per game go off a Ranger defenseman and deflect past Henrik. This year that has rarely happened at all. It makes a big difference.

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03-21-2012, 12:13 PM
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Henrik and Torts being the two biggest parts of it.

A lot of individual improvement is the biggest reason but Torts has to get a lot of credit for that. In all sports, it seems that individual improvement seems to happen much more often with good coaching.

Guys below improving so much:

Gabby
Del Zotto
McDonagh

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03-21-2012, 12:30 PM
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Henrik, Gabby, McD, MDZ, Richards

Those are my top picks. I leave out Torts because he's had more of an overarching effect on the team over a few years.

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03-21-2012, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowblindNYR View Post
Yeah I forgot MDZ in my post. Still seems like a bunch of guys playing better and others are injured or playing worse. The bolded are forwards. We're scoring the same as last year, so I don't know if they have that much to do with it.
Yes and no. You can look at the offense and say it's basically the same as last year, but this year, our scoring has been much, much more consistent. We haven't had any prolonged periods where we couldn't put the puck in the net, unlike last year.

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03-21-2012, 12:56 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by GAGLine View Post
Yes and no. You can look at the offense and say it's basically the same as last year, but this year, our scoring has been much, much more consistent. We haven't had any prolonged periods where we couldn't put the puck in the net, unlike last year.
Yup, and a few blowouts last year skewed our stats. We haven't had any blowouts this year so the overall goals for stat and goals per game is much more indicative of our actual offensive performance. And like you said, the scoring has been consistent.

It's been beaten to death, but if this team could seriously fix their powerplay, we'd be an incredibly hard team for anyone to beat in a 7 game series. More than we need an elite LW, we need the powerplay to make other teams pay for taking penalties. As it stands now (ignoring the not-yet-proven Zuccarellian powerplay), teams can take liberties against us, especially in the playoffs when less is called to begin with, because if they do take a penalty, we don't have the killer instinct, confidence, or swagger on the PP to make teams fear it.

Richards has the swagger on the PP, but Gaborik is honestly one of the worst half-wall players I've ever seen, for such a skilled guy. He does not control the puck well, he doesn't have as much patience as he should, and he makes soft plays with the puck under pressure. Oh, and he rarely shoots off the pass. He likes to get it, fake, step into the middle, and then shoot into the 3-4 bodies in front. I honestly think Gaborik should either be on the opposite side wall, or on the second powerplay unit altogether. He's stifling whatever flow Richards tries to create with movement and quick passes.

Richards, Zuccarello, Stepan, Del Zotto, and either Cally or Hagelin should be our top PP unit.

Put Gaborik with Mitchell (who actually has controlled and settled the puck better than Gaborik on the PP this year) and Dubinsky on the second unit. If he ever figures himself out, we'd then have two units with weapons.


PP1
Obviously Richards for the face off, but as far as the setup:

Stepan Hagelin Zuccarello
Del Zotto Richards


PP2

Gaborik Dubinsky Mitchell
Callahan Girardi

I'd like to see Cally tried at the point. He's got an underrated slapshot, IMO.


Last edited by Zuccarello Awesome*: 03-21-2012 at 01:03 PM.
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03-21-2012, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowblindNYR View Post
An outsider might think it's Richards. But our goals per game average is identical to last year's. So that leaves the defense and the fact that we give up fewer than .2 goals per game than last season. But why is that? This year Girardi and McDonagh improved, but we also didn't have Staal till January and when we did have him he was much worse than last year. We also haven't had Sauer since December. It's a little apples to organes since McD and Sauer didn't play all of last year. Still seems like some guys progressed but others either were injured or regressed. So does it all come down to Hank playing the best hockey of his career?
It's all about the system and the team's overall commitment to it; that plus the #1 goalie, a young and talented group of defensemen, a healthy, productive Gaborik and a good core group of players have made the difference this year.

We are growing up as an organization/ team the past 3-4 years by drafting better and doing a much better job developing the prospects in our system.

Although his numbers may not be indicative of his cap hit, signing Brad Richards was a no brainer in the sense of the skill, experience and professionalism he has added to the team.

The bottom line is "it's all about the team," we have a tight group of players who have become an extension of their coache's personality.

Now if we can only achieve a measure of success in the post season, that will be a true indication that we are in it for the long haul and better days are ahead for us!

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03-21-2012, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Zuccarello Awesome View Post
Richards has the swagger on the PP, but Gaborik is honestly one of the worst half-wall players I've ever seen, for such a skilled guy. He does not control the puck well, he doesn't have as much patience as he should, and he makes soft plays with the puck under pressure. Oh, and he rarely shoots off the pass. He likes to get it, fake, step into the middle, and then shoot into the 3-4 bodies in front. I honestly think Gaborik should either be on the opposite side wall, or on the second powerplay unit altogether. He's stifling whatever flow Richards tries to create with movement and quick passes.
This is one of the few areas where I do actually think coaching is the problem on the powerplay. Gaborik is most effective in the slot and between the bottom of the circles and the goal line. Putting him on the half-wall is a complete misuse and misunderstanding of the player.

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03-21-2012, 01:13 PM
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This is one of the few areas where I do actually think coaching is the problem on the powerplay. Gaborik is most effective in the slot and between the bottom of the circles and the goal line. Putting him on the half-wall is a complete misuse and misunderstanding of the player.
Totally agree. In fact, I've been blaming the coaching for the miserable PP for quite some time. Not just the misuse of Gaborik, but the fact that we overemphasize parking a guy in front of the net at all times, even before we have complete control in the offensive zone. It basically eliminates the actual advantage because it allows the four penalty killers to play the other four Rangers 4on4, since they don't have to worry about the guy in front unless a shot actually gets through (rare), and 99% of the time, he's not a passing option because he's on top of the goalie.

We definitely have the personnel to have a powerplay that's in the top half of the league at worst. 29th out of 30 for the #1 team in the East? It's absurd. The Columbus Blue Jackets have a better powerplay percentage than the Rangers. Vomit. Tortorella needs to hold himself and Sullivan accountable for this and make an effort to CHANGE the strategy and philosophy on the powerplay. Blow it up and start from scratch of you have to, but keeping Gaborik in the same spot and expecting him to be Jagr, and expecting having a "net presence!" to magically make the powerplay work is insanity.

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03-21-2012, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowblindNYR View Post
An outsider might think it's Richards. But our goals per game average is identical to last year's. So that leaves the defense and the fact that we give up fewer than .2 goals per game than last season. But why is that? This year Girardi and McDonagh improved, but we also didn't have Staal till January and when we did have him he was much worse than last year. We also haven't had Sauer since December. It's a little apples to organes since McD and Sauer didn't play all of last year. Still seems like some guys progressed but others either were injured or regressed. So does it all come down to Hank playing the best hockey of his career?
Goals are down around the league this year, so matching last season is more productive.

Also, offense is more consistent, we had quite a few 7-0, 6-1 blowout type games last year. The goals per game is definitely mor balanced than a year ago. Instead of winning 6-1, we get 3 and 3.

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03-21-2012, 01:44 PM
  #24
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It's simple:

Buy In.

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03-21-2012, 01:47 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by True Blue View Post
1. Henke
2. Growth of kids
3. Unexpected contributions from fill ins
4. Chemistry
5. Adherence without fail to playing exactly they way that Torts wants and demands. Anyone who has not, has been weeded out.
Agree with every item. Except I'd put the above on top. Everything flows from that.

This season is a non starter with out Buy In from the players on Torts and his system.

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