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The Illusion of Depth

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Old
05-28-2012, 10:43 AM
  #1
Bleed Ranger Blue
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The Illusion of Depth

At various points this season, especially on this board, I've seen the Rangers depth be commended time and time again. Personally, I had a problem with it then and I still have a problem with it, considering lack of depth is what eventually ended this team's run.

The defense, while the least of this team's problems, still lacks considerable depth. McDonagh, Staal, and Girardi are as solid as they come. Del Zotto is a wildcard as Im not completely sold on his mental toughness. The third pairing was rescued by Anton Stralman, but still needed to choose between Bickel and Eminger. Thats not depth - its top heavy, and the opposite of depth.

On offense, its far, far worse. This is a team that went 19 straight playoff games without scoring more than 3 goals. It was only a matter of time before their offensive shortcomings (and lack of depth) became exposed. Its almost poetic justice that it came at the hands of a team that rolled 4 lines, and possessed a 4th line capable of scoring big and timely goals. Could anyone imagine the Prust - Mitchell - Rupp combo contributing in such a manner? Or even the 3rd line? Or even the second line at times?

The first step is admitting this team has a depth problem, which may be difficult for several people. The second step is figuring out what can be done about it.

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05-28-2012, 10:46 AM
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Anyone who says we have depth is stupid.

Rupp, Fedotenko, Prust, Mitchell, and Boyle are depth? LOL yea ok.

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05-28-2012, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Everyday Im Hagelin View Post
Anyone who says we have depth is stupid.

Rupp, Fedotenko, Prust, Mitchell, and Boyle are depth? LOL yea ok.
People really believe it. Or people bring up prospects as a form of depth, which is completely missing the point when it comes to the present.

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05-28-2012, 10:52 AM
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Wait, who ever lauded the depth?

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05-28-2012, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by DubiSnacks17 View Post
Wait, who ever lauded the depth?
Not really sure if you're serious. All you have to do is go back to all the trade threads and the several posts that identify an embarassment of riches on the blueline that can easily be traded away.

It doesnt happen too much with the offense, although there are some loonies out there.

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05-28-2012, 10:55 AM
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I've been saying this all year. Boyle, Prust and Fedotenko are fine in terms of depth, but they need to be playing on the 4th line.

Another example of depth problems is Anisimov playing LW most of the year. This was a result of lack of depth on the wings. Both the fact that they needed another top6 left wing (mostly due to Tortorella's lack of trust in Wolski) and the fact that they had no players with the combination of offensive and defensive ability needed to maximize Anisimov's effectiveness at C on the 3rd line.

Kreider and Hagelin's presence go a long way towards addressing this problem. However, there's still a giant gaping hole on the 3rd line's RW. It's a pretty big drop from Gaborik/Callahan to Brandon Prust.

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05-28-2012, 11:00 AM
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Everybody knew going into this season that the team was going to have a problem putting the puck in the net. Yes, we have a ton of bottom 6 guys, and while it would be nice to get more production from them, the reality is you need your "scorers" to score regularly...and we didn't have enough of them. Not sure who could have been surprised by this. The team succeeded by hard work, shot blocking, grinding and willpower...but in the end that can only take you so far.

On D we would have been a bit less worn down if Sauer hadn't gotten blasted into another galaxy or Erixon was ready to step in this year. But overall our D managed to get the job done for the most part.

So yeah, the bottom line is we need more offense. I still contend we don't have to go all in for a blockbuster Nash deal or similar...but rather adding a 25 goal scorer to play in the top 6 and perhaps a 3rd liner who can chip in 15 or so goals would go a long way to getting us into the top 10 in team scoring. Adding a net of just 20 goals would have been good enough for 5th in the league. I don't think we're that far off.

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05-28-2012, 11:00 AM
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the problem isnt that our 4th line isnt scoring big goals....the problem is our 4th liners are on lines other than the 4th line.

IMHo Fedotenko is a 4th liner. Boyle is a 4th liner. Prust is a 4th liner. Rupp is a 4th liner. Mitchell is a 4th liner

Thats 4 4th liners....usually 2 of them are playing at lines higher than they should be.

that messes up your depth. we dont have enough top end talent, and its pushing people up rather than pushing people down, which is what having more talent does.

We're young. Our impact players are still a few years away from being in their prime.

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05-28-2012, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Not really sure if you're serious. All you have to do is go back to all the trade threads and the several posts that identify an embarassment of riches on the blueline that can easily be traded away.

It doesnt happen too much with the offense, although there are some loonies out there.

Yes, there are posters claiming we can afford to trade a D-man, and then there are those of us who have already ridiculed that idea, asking where is the depth when your sixth D-man, be it Bickel or Eminger, cannot be trusted to play more than 5 minutes a night.

As for the forwards, just about had agreed that at least another top 9 forward who can put up 20 goals is needed, and also suggests that even with Boyle and Prust relegated to the 4th line, someone like a Gaustad, Konopka or Kelly would be a good addition to upgrade the 4th line.

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05-28-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inferno View Post
the problem isnt that our 4th line isnt scoring big goals....the problem is our 4th liners are on lines other than the 4th line.

IMHo Fedotenko is a 4th liner. Boyle is a 4th liner. Prust is a 4th liner. Rupp is a 4th liner. Mitchell is a 4th liner

Thats 4 4th liners....usually 2 of them are playing at lines higher than they should be.

that messes up your depth. we dont have enough top end talent, and its pushing people up rather than pushing people down, which is what having more talent does.

We're young. Our impact players are still a few years away from being in their prime.
Right, it's not that our 4th line doesn't score. It's that our 3rd line doesn't score that's the problem.

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05-28-2012, 11:03 AM
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FAs like Jones would really help out here. Also injuries to Sauer and Zucc didn't help at all, but depth is an illusion for every team in every sport. Injuries and underperformance is inevitable and no matter how much depth one starts with in the beginning of the season, by the end of the season, most or all of it is gone.

The depth will be better in the next two years however. Guys like Yogan, Miller, McIlrath, Fasth and Thomas will be getting big minutes in the AHL instead of guys like Tommy Grant, Casey Wellman, etc.

I would like at one more free agent defenseman (Jackman, Schultz?) and obviously a forward whether that is Ryan, Jones, Kelly, or whoever. The main thing is that Dubinsky, Anisimov and Callahan should play on the third line with Boyle, Prust and Rupp on the 4th line.

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05-28-2012, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Not really sure if you're serious. All you have to do is go back to all the trade threads and the several posts that identify an embarassment of riches on the blueline that can easily be traded away.

It doesnt happen too much with the offense, although there are some loonies out there.
When people talk about defensive depth of course they're going to mention the prospect pool. The Rangers have a great top 4 (if not one of the best in the league). If Sauer ever returns he's a very solid dman as well. Then you have Erixon and McIlrath. That's more depth at D than just about any team in the league. Of course prospects aren't guaranteed to work out...


With the forwards it doesn't happen much because we have no depth at all. IDK that there are really any players in the pipeline that we expect to have first line potential at this point. Even legit 3rd line players in the AHL aren't too prevalent. When someone like Dubinsky went down, the Rangers were forced to use 4th line players on the 3rd line rather than a good 3rd liner.

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05-28-2012, 11:09 AM
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Those players a decent but there 4th liners. Having two 4th liners is not something you would want.

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05-28-2012, 11:13 AM
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im not looking to upgrade our 4th line.

im looking to upgrade our TOP line, and move everyoen down.

HYPOTHETICALLY....


Parise - Richards - Gaborik
Kreider/Hagelin - Stepan - Kreider/Hagelin
Dubinsky - Anisimov - Callahan


then, you dont care as much about your 4th liners not coming up big.

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05-28-2012, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
Right, it's not that our 4th line doesn't score. It's that our 3rd line doesn't score that's the problem.
Which is why if your 3rd line is Dubi/AA/Cally, you do not need Boyle or Prust getting 3rd line minutes.

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05-28-2012, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inferno View Post
im not looking to upgrade our 4th line.

im looking to upgrade our TOP line, and move everyoen down.

HYPOTHETICALLY....


Parise - Richards - Gaborik
Kreider/Hagelin - Stepan - Kreider/Hagelin
Dubinsky - Anisimov - Callahan


then, you dont care as much about your 4th liners not coming up big.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jas View Post
Which is why if your 3rd line is Dubi/AA/Cally, you do not need Boyle or Prust getting 3rd line minutes.
Right, you can achieve that effect by upgrading the top line, there is no doubt about it. It's just a lot cheaper and nearly as effective to upgrade the middle 6 as it is to upgrade the top line. (by the way, I'm sick of people talking about top6, bottom6. it's not meaningful anymore)

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05-28-2012, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
Right, you can achieve that effect by upgrading the top line, there is no doubt about it. It's just a lot cheaper and nearly as effective to upgrade the middle 6 as it is to upgrade the top line. (by the way, I'm sick of people talking about top6, bottom6. it's not meaningful anymore)
No, it's not. If the Pack line is capable of returning to the form of two years ago, it becomes a line that Tortorella trusts in all situations, and eats up a lot of minutes.

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05-28-2012, 11:27 AM
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The depth comments are coming from organizational depth

Hank is the best G in the league and Biron is a solid vet backup

The D is perceived to be real young and going to get better. Erixon and McIlrath are first rounders that should be NHL caliber at some point. So that's depth in my opinion. People talk about moving a key Dman because of it

Yea they need some offense but Kreider and Hagelin were rookies. Stepan is still very young. They could obviously use one more scoring F which is why they almost dealt for Nash

I still say they are deep and its a reason why they won the East in the regular season

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05-28-2012, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inferno View Post
the problem isnt that our 4th line isnt scoring big goals....the problem is our 4th liners are on lines other than the 4th line.

IMHo Fedotenko is a 4th liner. Boyle is a 4th liner. Prust is a 4th liner. Rupp is a 4th liner. Mitchell is a 4th liner

Thats 4 4th liners....usually 2 of them are playing at lines higher than they should be.

that messes up your depth. we dont have enough top end talent, and its pushing people up rather than pushing people down, which is what having more talent does.

We're young. Our impact players are still a few years away from being in their prime.
I agree Rupp and Feds, Mitchell are 4th liners( 2 of them are gone as UFA) but everyone has so much hate for Boyle when in reality he is a responsible defensive C. He's a typical 3rd liner. Prust can do more than punch people in the face so he is more to me too.

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05-28-2012, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jas View Post
No, it's not. If the Pack line is capable of returning to the form of two years ago, it becomes a line that Tortorella trusts in all situations, and eats up a lot of minutes.
But it's still a second line and with a 3rd line that's producing as well, you're talking about a top3, middle6 and bottom3. That's the ideal we should be striving for anyway.

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05-28-2012, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Tawnos View Post
But it's still a second line and with a 3rd line that's producing as well, you're talking about a top3, middle6 and bottom3. That's the ideal we should be striving for anyway.
Agreed...even if the Pack line is the "3rd line", if it's producing in manner like it did in 2010-11, it's takes pressure off the Kreider/Stepan "2nd line".

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05-28-2012, 11:47 AM
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The team, as it was constructed in the offseason as built to have depth, but Wolski and Christensen bombed and were dealt without proper replacement.

Hagelin and Kreider augmented the squad but this is why I say we need to target guys, not let Fedotenko go, go after Jones as a 3rd line RW, and perhaps even sign a ray Whitney at LW. Short terms deals if possible. Win now mode doesnt mean get one big guy, it means spread the money around and complete a deep roster.

Whitney-Richards-Gaborik
Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan
Kreider-Stepan-Jones
Hagelin-Boyle-Fedotenko
Rupp, (Prust?)

McD-Girardi
Staal-Stralman
MDZ-Gleason

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05-28-2012, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inferno View Post
im not looking to upgrade our 4th line.

im looking to upgrade our TOP line, and move everyoen down.

HYPOTHETICALLY....


Parise - Richards - Gaborik
Kreider/Hagelin - Stepan - Kreider/Hagelin
Dubinsky - Anisimov - Callahan


then, you dont care as much about your 4th liners not coming up big.
agreed. they only need one top winger. If they can get that and keep what they have then they can win it. All they needed this yr was a few more goals and not many just a few

I like the lines above. Let guys like Feds, Mitchell walk. Prust back for the right dollar amount

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05-28-2012, 11:53 AM
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They need guys who can play NHL minutes ready for the playoffs, just in case. They could have really used a Brian Rolston or even a Brad Boyes just as a warm body. Would've helped over playing Bickell and Emminger at wing.

Not to bring up the 94 team again but that team had guys like Gilbert, Olzyck, Hartman, Hudson; dudes who could play minutes.

Sign a guy or two coming off a bad year like a Boyes and make him work for a spot.

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05-28-2012, 12:22 PM
  #25
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We have defensive depth, we lack offensive depth.

Not many teams can lose 1/3 of their defense and still compete.

On the other hand, this team has an abundance of fourth line players pretending to be third liners and a serious lack of scoring wingers.

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