When Hank was asked about what the team identity is supposed to be this year, as in more defensive like in previous years or more open and offensive, he said, "I'm not sure I'm the right guy to answer that." Very telling. In previous years everyone, including Hank, would have an answer to that question without hesitation.
You're not riled up enough to actually need that advice, I know you understand the difference. Some posters seem to forget it.
Here is a reason to relax, no too many men penalties this season that's an improvement! Also, no icings on the PP yet HUGE improvement.
rationalization at it's most absurd. you're happy to be blown out of the ****ing water every night as long as we don't have too many men penalties? I thought the reason we got angry with the too many men penalties was because taking them made it harder to win. And the same goes for the PP.
If you refuse to acknowledge what you see in front of you, that doesn't make you a better fan, it makes you more delusional. I've been calling a bad year for us ever since we made the change from Torts because I had a working understanding of the dearth of talent on the roster and what Torts system and what the new system would mean for that sort of roster. Point is there were tons of red flags because even the first game was played, so being negative after losing 3/4 and getting BLOWN OUT in 2/4, in back to back games, isn't irrational. It's anything but. It's the rational position.
Look, I am sure that the team will look better at some point. And how they play now isn't necessarily an indicator of how they will play a few months from now.
However, it is disappointing to see that all the good qualities that the team have espoused in recent years have gone out of the window for the time being. The solid defensive play, the character, the mental toughness, the identity, even the goaltending has taken a step back. This organization is always spinning its wheels instead of moving forward.
Building a successful team, no matter what the sport, is an inexact science, to say the least. If it wasn't, we would have a league of absolute and total parity.
Stepping back and looking at the big picture: since the first lockout, the Ranger modus operandi has been to build a young core and once that core developed to supplement them with high end talent, even to sacrifice some of the young talent to bring in more experienced high end talent.
This is SOP in all sports and if you think of it, how the Yankees have been successful since the mid 1990s. It is not a bad philosophy.
We had our core and the high end talent that was supposed to bring us the Cup during a brief window (including last year) was Gaborik, Richards, and Nash. We brought in a coach, Renney, to stabilize the team after the lockout and then a coach, Torts, who everyone knew had a short shelf life but whose peak of influence would coincide with the window of talent the team had. I was never a Torts fan but I give him credit for creating a team that for an instant was more than the sum of its parts: hard working and hard nosed, never say die, blue collar work ethic, a team nobody wanted to play against.
What happened? Gabby, who I love, was inconsistent from year to year, and who clashed with the coach's philosophy. Whose fault was that? I blame Torts: you don't take a high end offensive talent and shackle him by stressing defense first.
Richards, who almost everyone here on the boards, including me, thought was an excellent signing and just what we needed, aged quickly and deteriorated far from his hoped for roll as a #1 center. Even though he appears to be better this year, he is still far from what he was and never will be again.
Nash was the ultimate gamble. The thought of Gabby, Richards, and Nash together was enticing to everyone and the trio would be the high ending grouping to deliver the Cup. We sacrificed two people from our core. We can argue all we want about the price we paid and I think the team misses Dubinsky more than it thought that it would, but it was the gamble we took. I gamble we perhaps had to take.
The lockout happened. Torts used up his shelf life. The group dynamic Torts created was not sustainable/
Coming into this year I was just not impressed with the talent level of our forwards: trying to look at it objectively, hard for any fan to do, I felt that we overvalued some of our forwards, in particular Stepan and Brassard. Good hockey players yes, but top end centers, no. I thought we were to small, to slow, and not physical enough. When camp opened, the most exciting part for me was to see which of our young forwards would win starting jobs on the top 9. None really did.
I thought what would save us was Henrik and our D. I am totally confused as to why our D seems so lost and helpless. Could they have been so robotisized by Torts that they can't think on the ice? Hard to believe that. Hard to believe that it is just system. I don't know what is going on here.
Where to go from here? Obviously, we are not this bad. But that doesn't mean we are any good. The whole disjointed training camp schedule, long road trip,etc hasn't helped. I expect things to get somewhat better but not appreciably so: we are still small, slow, and not fast in a league that values size, speed, and strength.
Our plan has not worked. Our young core has developed into some fine NHL players but there are no elite, high end players among our forwards.
Plans don't work in sports all the time. Failure is more common than success. Moves that look good at time backfire and when that happens everyone complains about a team being a collection of misplaced parts. Monday morning quarterbacking becomes common. The teams that can be competitive for a long time, like the Wings, and I hate to say it, the Devils, are the exceptions to the rules.
If things don't get better soon we need to jettison some of our dead wood players; guys who are slow and can't compete in today's league: Boyle, Pyatt, Asham, and Moore (nice story but does he have the talent anymore?)
We need to plug in our next wave of young players quickly: Hrvik, Kristo, Miller, Kreider, Lindberg. But the problem here is once again, there doesn't appear to be any high end potential here. I once thought Kreider might be an elite talent: he still may be but I have my doubts.
I don't see how we are going to contend for a Cup anytime soon. Distressing when you are almost 66 years old, have been a fan for over 50 years, and have seen one Cup. Teams are locking up their young players for their prime years and even with the cap going up in the next few years, signing high end free agents (who may or may not work out) may not be an option.
But, that is hockey and sports. You just never know what will happen to your best laid plans (see: Mets with Matt Harvey,Yankees a few years ago depending on Chamberlain, Hughes, and Kennedy, Mets of the 90s with Wilson, Isringhausen, and Pulsipher, Cubs with Kerry Wood and Pryor). You just don't know. I know all of these examples are injury related but just show how hard it is to build a team.
To be a life long sports fan means to deal with failure more than success.
These games have been horrible. As bad as I can ever remember. I'm not sure whether this team is capable of making the playoffs. I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet but if this continues until Christmas, I say it's time to start again. By the way, Sather has long outlived his usefullness.
If it's to be uptempo and take the offense to the other team, why does anyone thing you can do that when there's only one legit top offensive player on the roster (who now might be a concussion concern — although I have my own theory on that).
Disclaimer: This is my own theory. I can't prove this. It's based off what I see and think.
My theory is he never recovered from the concussion he got at the end of last season. Since that hit, he's never been the same player — the poor performance in the playoffs and the fact that he's been a perimeter player ever since.
The fact is, even if her was fully recovered from last year's concussion, he's now more susceptible to more of them.
The feeling around here reminds me of a saying from a hall of fame football coach. He said something like after a early season loss we are thinking how the heck are we ever going to win a single game and after a early season win we are thinking we cant be beat.
Not looking to hijack your thread, just shocked to see the Rangers in this state. I think trading Nash may be impossible in the cap world, that contract will be a tough one to move. I think you may be able to trade Richards and maybe use a buyout on Nash?
Yes!!!!I agree, and while we are at it we should just buyout mcdonagh and stepan as well.
Do you have any other pearls of wisdom you would like to impart?