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To think: On paper, this could end up being the best Rangers team in history

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03-30-2012, 11:45 AM
  #1
IAMREALITY
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To think: On paper, this could end up being the best Rangers team in history

We are in striking distance of breaking two NYR records; with points and wins. On paper, and historically, that would technically make this team the best NYR team in a single season ever. How surreal is that?

But I think about that, and it initially is perplexing. How are we that good? I mean, we know we don't have the most talented players. We know several of them have had pretty disappointing seasons. Dubi, Boyle, both not up to expectations. Feds, Rupp; thought we'd get more out of them too. Even Stepan has seemed to hit an offensive wall at times. Pair all that with having the 29th ranked power play, and it makes where we're truly at even that much more surreal; at least at first glance.

We started the season with probably the toughest schedule ever, were without our original top defenseman for half the season, had a ton of other injuries the first half, have had more call ups of youth in one season than I can remember, and overall have a core of inexperience and youth. We know we have a bunch of gaps to fill and made no moves at the deadline to address any of them. It wouldn't seem like we should be a team battling for the President's trophy let alone for the team record for the best season ever. But we are, and we can be.

But how? Without the sheer talent of other teams or teams of Rangers past, how are we in such a position? What about our team makes us the best? Made me kinda scratch my head a bit trying to figure it out. But then it hit me. It's the work ethic. It's the team commitment to that work ethic. They are the Blue Blood Warriors out there every game. They sacrifice their bodies, use their bodies and overall work harder out there than any Rangers team I can remember. Torts has created this culture of pride and toughness that the team has completely bought into. I mean holy hell, a little while back Gabby; without hesitation, laid his body right in front of a Zdeno Chara slapshot. I mean, for real??? Years ago you would never see an offensive talent like that sacrifice himself so easily for the team. You wouldn't see someone like that be so willing to throw, or even take, a body check either. Yet he does. They all do. They all do without hesitation. But they're not just physically tough. They're as mentally tough as any team I can remember. Nothing shakes them. Half our team are kids, yet still; nothing shakes them. That's what makes us great.

For the first time in forever we have an identity. We go out there and battle as warriors, every game. We have no fear. We are the hardest working team in the NHL. That is why we are within striking distance of being possibly the best Rangers team in history. In reflection, I can't think of a single season Rangers team that has ever surprised me more... That ever were greater than the sum of their parts more... And when I think of all that, then the reality of what we can achieve all of a sudden doesn't seem so surreal, or unrepresentative or so unexplainable. And then all at once it hits me how proud I am to be a NYR's fan. How proud I am of them for how hard they work, how willing they are to sacrifice themselves, how committed they are to each other, how hard they fight for each other, and how they go out each game and battle like blue blood warriors. I'm even prouder because they do this, they play this tough, without having to sacrifice integrity. They do all this without being dirty, or shifty or reckless.

It is for all those things that they might go into the record books as the best single season Rangers team ever, and it is for all those things that if they do, they would be worthy of it.

It's been a long time since I felt this close to a team. And it makes me want it for them. I want the Presidents trophy, I want them to break both records, I want the Cup. I want it all. So badly, I want it ALL. But the biggest difference I see in my perception of this team and teams of the past is that I so badly want it for THEM. I had always wanted those things for me, for us fans, for our watercooler pride. But this team has made me want it for them. So badly for them. And I no longer will be surprised one bit if they go out and do it.

LGR!!!!

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03-30-2012, 11:48 AM
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To be fair, you should take away the points that we got from shootout wins.

That is what, 4 or 5 points?

Still an unbealivable record and one of the best from our franchise.

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03-30-2012, 11:52 AM
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we actually havent been benefited to much from SO and OT. i think we'd only have 6 less points if there was no shootout and u didnt get a point for an OT loss.

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03-30-2012, 11:53 AM
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Great post!

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03-30-2012, 11:54 AM
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It's nice to have a coach who likes to try to win in OT rather than forcing SO...

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03-30-2012, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecemleafs View Post
we actually havent been benefited to much from SO and OT. i think we'd only have 6 less points if there was no shootout and u didnt get a point for an OT loss.
It's one of those things hard to quantify. Without a shoot out, you play harder for the point in OT. Some of the games that went to a SO, maybe if it had been years ago we would've won in the OT instead. Some we might have lost, some we might have tied. Some of the games we lost in the SO, maybe some of them we would've instead won. So ya never know. But it's easier to call it a potential wash when we have benefited from the SO so little this year.

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03-30-2012, 11:57 AM
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Without question our best team post lockout, and possibly since 1994. However the points and wins are very slightly inflated because of the shootout. It doesn't take away much though because our ROW is exceptional and yet another sign of a great team.

You identified some good reasons why this team is doing so well. IMO the only way you get Gaborik and Richards blocking shots is if their captain is Ryan Callahan. His leadership on the ice has served as the perfect model for what this organization expects out of everyone.

Before the beginning of the season we had a forum vote saying that most of this board agreed on a 5th place finish. I picked 5th myself, even though I thought that was probably a seed or two too optimistic. Look where they are now though. It's perplexing what hard work (and the best goaltender in the world ) can do.

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03-30-2012, 01:45 PM
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I have lurked on this board for quite some time now. I've enjoyed looking thru threads, searching for nyr & nhl news, and reading about how other fans feel. But, I never really felt the need to register and join the conversation until now. This OP is probably the best post I have ever seen on any sports forum.

As for this team, I cannot be more proud. The part at the end of the post where you said you want to see them win it for THEM, I cannot agree more. This team really represents what a "team" really means. A group of guys that play as a group. Its easy to see the special bond that they share and that they are ligitimate friends, not just teammates. They stick up or each other. They want to perform at the highest level for each other. They want to see each other succeed. Every player sacrafices their body without the slightest hesitation, from the grittiest of players to the finesse guys.

And then theres the coach. I know there are a great number of people that despise him. For these people, keep hating and nitpicking. Because he sure as hell doesn't care a single bit if everyone likes him or not. He only thinks about 1 thing. His team. Yes there were some growing pains during the beginning of his tenure, and there very well might be some more dreadful moments. But you cannot deny his perseverance, determination, and strong passion to stick to his guns and build this team the way he thinks is best. Its easy to joke on him at times and its almost unbelivable how someone can be so consistent. But this guy has laid out a plan, stuck with it, and this season we are finally seing the results. Not to mention, our future looks very bright. He has built this team from the ground up, through the draft, and through our own system. He hasn't given in to the temptation of abandoning our youth to jump start our lineup. (Sather deserves much credit here too, but I can't help but think Torts' has influenced his decision making in a great way.)

Torts has branded his style of hockey into each and every Ranger. And it starts with the captain. The emergence of Cally, the homegrown kid, the relentless scrapper, in my eyes has to be fate. It has to be fate for him and Torts to come together at this point in time. It is a perfect match and we are seeing firsthand how it is affecting this team. He is the heart and soul of this club and personifies every attribute that Torts would ever want in a player.

I am rambling a bit now, but to sum it up. I have major respect for this team. They have done a masterful job and should be proud of this season no matter the outcome. We have a lot to look forward to in the near future. Lets keep supporting this team, this coach, and the rest of the organization, hope that we get the important bounces when it counts... and BE PROUD OF THIS TEAM. LGR!

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03-30-2012, 01:49 PM
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As for being top seed none of us dared to dream and some even rushed to judgement that this was a bad team. LOL

Yet A large portion of this HFNYR board has recognized our upward arc. Even when we missed the PO's that year we recognized the template was there to only get better. Last season confirmed the suspicion for me and for many that this core of hockey players was truly unique and capable of special things. Experience, defensive awareness, sacrifice, work ethic AND enough skill in guys like Dubs, Cally, Artie and Stepan coupled with elite play from gabs and hank. Then we signed BRich.

Now we've all been hoping that between (At the time) Stepan, Werek, MZA, MDZ, Sangs, McD, Horak, Hagelin, Bourque that there'd be 3 or 4 guys ready to step up. Really for McD, Stepan and Hagelin i think it was 100% expected. but to add to it thanks I think in large part to the system built around them hagelin and McD were able to again mix pure athletic talent and no small amount of skill with the balls to the wall attitude of the rest of this team and vastly overachieve. Stepan has also more than lifted his share of the burden. Guys like Prospal, Prust and Boyle certainly helped while gab temporarily had his head screwed off but obviously got it back on right this year. These guys became brothers plain and simple so they bust themselves open for each other and for us. One of my all time favorite teams right here.

Hank was a given. The skaters finally became worth more than a groan and a beer launched across the room

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03-30-2012, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubiSnacks17 View Post
It's nice to have a coach who likes to try to win in OT rather than forcing SO...
Thank God; I don't even hang around for shootouts since they instituted them.
The league should just listen to Crosby and deep six them!

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03-30-2012, 01:53 PM
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The Kicker: It should be even better next year.

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03-30-2012, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubiSnacks17 View Post
It's nice to have a coach who likes to try to win in OT rather than forcing SO...
I always hated that when Renny was here, it was "Don't take any chances what so ever in OT. Let's just get to the shoot out because we have Hank." I really can't stand the shoot out, and would rather go back to ties!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewbackatu View Post
Thank God; I don't even hang around for shootouts since they instituted them.
The league should just listen to Crosby and deep six them!
I must have missed it Drew, what did Crosby say?

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03-30-2012, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badgerfan View Post
To be fair, you should take away the points that we got from shootout wins.

That is what, 4 or 5 points?

Still an unbealivable record and one of the best from our franchise.

Exactly. We're not breaking any records if you're going to be fair with the numbers. Still one of the best seasons ever, though.

To be fair, based on Wins-Losses-Ties over an 82 game schedule:

1970-71: 115 pace (109 in 78 games)
1971-72: 115 pace (109 in 78 games)
1993-94: 109 pace (112 in 84 games)
1991-92: 108 pace (105 in 80 games)
1972-73: 107 pace (102 in 78 games)
2011-12: 105 pace (99 in 77 games, 45-23-9 W-L-T format)


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03-30-2012, 02:12 PM
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Callahan really deserves alot of credit. He's really shown that he can be a fantastic leader and I think the team really looks up to him as a whole. There doesn't seem to be any real ego problems among anyone. They are a true "team" in every sense of the word.

I couldn't imagine trying to block a Chara slapshot with my body, or anyone else's slapshot especially after one breaks my ankle. That's truly sacrificing yourself for the greater good because you certainly don't get points for blocking shots.

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03-30-2012, 02:19 PM
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i get goosebumps thinking about Cally getting to hoist the cup as the captain of the NYR. This whole team has given it everything they got, but it all starts with him.

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03-30-2012, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by IAMREALITY View Post
It's one of those things hard to quantify. Without a shoot out, you play harder for the point in OT. Some of the games that went to a SO, maybe if it had been years ago we would've won in the OT instead. Some we might have lost, some we might have tied. Some of the games we lost in the SO, maybe some of them we would've instead won. So ya never know. But it's easier to call it a potential wash when we have benefited from the SO so little this year.
First of all, we have been mediocre in the shootout this year and amazing in OT (4-5 vs. 8-2). There's no way we're playing for shootout this year. Second, even if we were 20-0 in the shootout there's no reason to play for the shootout when it hurts you in the tie breaker.

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03-30-2012, 02:53 PM
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This team wins the Cup, and the title is theirs.

They're also younger and should be together longer than the '94 core.

That being said, still a long, long way to go before they're in the '94 teams league. For starters, they need to win the Presidents trophy first, and then win 16 more games after that. That's at least another 18 or 19 wins. Stay the course.

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03-30-2012, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAMREALITY View Post
We are in striking distance of breaking two NYR records; with points and wins. On paper, and historically, that would technically make this team the best NYR team in a single season ever. How surreal is that?
Not to be pedantic, but don't you mean the opposite of "on paper?" That's a phrase normally meant as an evaluation of team potential based on looking at individual player talent. "On paper," the Rangers teams with big names and hired guns were better than the current one. But this team has already proven that in real terms it is far better than they.

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03-30-2012, 03:11 PM
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I'll tell you this much, we're already the best underdog of all time. Noone outside of this board has the Rangers doing anything in the playoffs.

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03-30-2012, 03:23 PM
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The core of the 28 through 33 teams was the best in franchise history.

Followed by the 1940 and 94 teams.

Then by the 37, 50, 72, 79, 86, 92, and 97 teams that could have won the Cup.

We have had at least one Stanley Cup Final or Conference Final appearance in every decade except the 60's and 2000-10 decade.

So far this is a great regular season. We have to make a deep run in the playoffs. The potential for something special is there.


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03-30-2012, 03:28 PM
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You judge a team solely based on playoffs, not the regular season. They could win the Cup. They could lose in the first round.

A bit too early to classify this team.

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03-30-2012, 03:51 PM
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IMO the 1972 team is the best team in franchise history regardless of point and win totals.

That team had 13 ties. No overtime in the regular season back then. 9-4 is a reasonable record if there was OT and shootouts.

57-17-4 -- 78 games

2-2 in additional games

59-19-4

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03-30-2012, 04:21 PM
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Nothing is better than the '94 team. Sure the earlier Ranger teams were good, but the amount of pressure on the '94 team makes them the best Rangers team ever.

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03-30-2012, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khelvan View Post
Not to be pedantic, but don't you mean the opposite of "on paper?" That's a phrase normally meant as an evaluation of team potential based on looking at individual player talent. "On paper," the Rangers teams with big names and hired guns were better than the current one. But this team has already proven that in real terms it is far better than they.
Yeah, on paper this is far from a dominating team. It's not even close to the top teams in the league talent wise. However, the reality is that the team has been far greater than the sum of its parts.

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03-30-2012, 04:25 PM
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IAMREALITY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khelvan View Post
Not to be pedantic, but don't you mean the opposite of "on paper?" That's a phrase normally meant as an evaluation of team potential based on looking at individual player talent. "On paper," the Rangers teams with big names and hired guns were better than the current one. But this team has already proven that in real terms it is far better than they.
Nope. Meant it how I meant it, in context. The on paper in this case is the team's stat record, not the team itself. The point to ponder was that based on that stat isolated alone, if we were to break such records, this years team would indefinitely be on the top of the list as the best single season team in franchise history; despite other variables.

The point to ponder was then do we deserve such standing in our club's great history? Many have argued kinda, but not really, based on a lot of other criteria; some of which is best guesses, some of which is mere perceptual opinion, and some based on logic. But my conclusion was that for different reasons of which I detailed, that just maybe, if they can continue this journey they're on, they are in fact deserving.

As a side note, I don't put as much weight into the overtime argument as others do. If there is no shootout, you approach the game; both in overtime and at times even in regulation; differently. Because the whole approach is different it is impossible to determine what the true outcome would be. You can't just take SO wins and turn them into a tie. Some of them we very well may have won in OT instead. Some we may have lost. Some that we actually did lose in the SO maybe back then we would've won in OT. You just don't really know. But we've benefited so little from the SO this year, and so few games overall are affected, I considered it to be an even wash as to games we may have won in OT anyway, games we won but may have lost and games we lost but who knows, may have even won. So what I'm getting at; is that if we break the records I don't really consider it to be dismissible due to rule changes.

I also fully understand how passionate some are about teams of other years. But my post, a piece written solely on opinion, is about knowing that comparing player to player we wouldn't seem to be the best ever. I completely understand why some would, even passionately, discount them as such and instead firmly believe other years teams were. But my point was to make the case that we are in fact worthy of if not that title, at least being in that company. The question to ponder was if we don't have the skill of the 71 team, the 94 team, etc, then what is it that brought us there? What makes us that special to join those elite teams, and possibly on paper actually rank above them? My conclusion was work ethic.

My position is that this is the hardest working, most dedicated, and most willing to sacrifice team overall that I think I've ever had the pleasure of watching throughout the course of a season. Opinions will of course differ. But it was my hope that all of us could at least agree on the pride we have for this team, and on what makes this team so special that they could earn a place atop Rangers history. I hope I've explained myself a bit better here.

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