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Old
12-03-2013, 05:10 PM
  #26
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Originally Posted by kenjets36 View Post
I feel bad for you. You hit the nail on the head completely, yet this entire concept will likely fly over the head of 85% of the board here. Kudos.

The attitude of this team is off. I've been saying that this team lacks resilience. Resilience isn't a skill, it's a mentality. It's the unwillingness to allow defeat. This year's Rangers team doesn't have this character trait, although it is undeniably one of the key components of a successful team.

You can argue until your face is blue and you want to smash your keyboard from frustration - you'll still get everyone here who believes you only win with goal scorers.

Boston has 0 consistent goal scorers. They score by committee. Their attitude and team mentality (which you refer to as identity) is what wins them their games and makes them successful.
How much of this falls on the shoulders of Callahan, Staal, Richards?

Boston seems to have great leaders who create this mentality amongst their team. I don't know how much Julien affects this.

Shouldn't the leaders on this team be doing something?

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12-03-2013, 05:20 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Riverdale View Post
How much of this falls on the shoulders of Callahan, Staal, Richards?

Boston seems to have great leaders who create this mentality amongst their team. I don't know how much Julien affects this.

Shouldn't the leaders on this team be doing something?
You remember how Tortorella kept on saying its a mindset. He was trying to instill a mindset when he got here, and once it finally did, that team went on a run, even though it wasn't a talented roster, it was a great team.

One that lacked depth, and didn't take the kill shot in early playoff rounds before finally tiring out. The final product is the on ice aspect.

But a lot of it is off ice, camaraderie, battling, competing, giving it your all because the guy next you is going to do the same. There are a few coaches that believe in these intangibles. But ultimately identity is an organizational reflection.

It's who you are. It's what you do. It's that willingness. That drive. That desire to win. Not for the fans, not for the coach, not for the paycheck, not for the next contract, but for the guy next you.

That is what being part of a team is.

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12-03-2013, 05:24 PM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Riverdale View Post
How much of this falls on the shoulders of Callahan, Staal, Richards?

Boston seems to have great leaders who create this mentality amongst their team. I don't know how much Julien affects this.

Shouldn't the leaders on this team be doing something?
I would argue that almost all of it falls on our general manager, devoid of the concept of camaraderie. Besides 11-12, I can't remember the last time a Rangers team had the sense of brotherhood, guys that made sure they looked out for each other.

The onus may be with the leaders of the clubhouse (Cally, Staal, Richards)... but I opt to go with Sather, the man with the ability to construct the team. He's had a 20 year sample size. 1/20 of his teams have bonded. That's pretty poor.

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12-03-2013, 05:29 PM
  #29
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There was a player survey of 318 players (roughly half the league) asking if players were for fighting in the game. Now half the league isn't the whole league, but out of that 318 players, 98% supported fighting.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-pu...175557533.html

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12-03-2013, 07:25 PM
  #30
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The Rangers were following the Bruins model two years ago. The Bruins have tough guys who can play. It's just simply the better way to go. The Rangers that year had Prust, Rupp, Bickel and some support from guys like Dubinsky. Prust signed with someone else--not replaced. Rupp has gotten old--and was moved on for Powe who sucks and Bickel's been in the minors. Stu's not really a very good NHL'er but he's a better player than the likes of the Orr's, McGrattan's etc. He's not a better fighter though and though he has his moments.

We can go round and round on this. Bring in McGrattan or Steve MacIntyre and that's fine but it makes it a bit harder to roll 4 lines because apart from fighting they're not much good at anything else. I get the idea that this team is soft. It's pretty obvious when a faux heavy like Tom Sestito is beating his chest like a grizzly bear. We had Orr and he couldn't skate. He hasn't improved much at that over the years. We had Booggard and people hated that because boy did he suck. Brashear was at the end of the line. Shelley wanted too much money. He actually played a few decent games for us.

Here's another thing--being soft holds us back--no question in my mind. But as Ola is wont to point out--not having someone on the point with a bomb for a shot is holding us back too. Which is to say there is more than one issue that makes this team dysfunctional at the moment. It might be easier to say cut a deal to get a Joel Rechlicz or Letourneau-Leblond but it won't have the same impact as adding a Subban or a Weber's shot from the point. It might have little impact at all. That's why I think it would be better to get guys who can play mean and tough but have some real hockey skills other than just fighting.

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Old
12-03-2013, 07:33 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Mikos87 View Post
There was a player survey of 318 players (roughly half the league) asking if players were for fighting in the game. Now half the league isn't the whole league, but out of that 318 players, 98% supported fighting.

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-pu...175557533.html
Yes and 10 years ago it would have been 100%.

Five years from now maybe it will be 80%. So on and so forth.

Polling several generations, the majority of whom grew up watching and playing a sport where fighting was the norm, accepted and most of all, expected, will of course yield a majority saying it is desirable.

Also, to say it is something they support, is not to say it is something that is necessary to win.

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12-03-2013, 07:35 PM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Ailurophile View Post
Yes and 10 years ago it would have been 100%.

Five years from now maybe it will be 80%. So on and so forth.

Polling several generations, the majority of whom grew up watching and playing a sport where fighting was the norm, accepted and most of all, expected, will of course yield a majority saying it is desirable.

Also, to say it is something they support, is not to say it is something that is necessary to win.
Being in a 2% minority is basically half a vote for Ron Paul, yeah it's that small.

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12-03-2013, 07:40 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by NGgator60 View Post
I've lurked long enough (I go back to the pre-9/11/01 days of HFboards when we had single line threads) while holding my tongue due to time constraints but after reading some of the patently false narratives as of late, coupled with the Rangers' pathetic performance on the ice I felt the need to speak up.


The "cheapshot deterrent" argument has some merit but to me is tertiary to the main tenet of fighting and toughness in hockey; promoting a culture of brotherhood within the team. Fighting and physical play promote this. Again, the overwhelming majority of NHL players support fighting in hockey. I'll defer to them and enjoy a more entertaining product as a fan but I digress...

I'm a fan who's hockey acumen developed right at the dawn of our most recent "glory years" which culminated in an ECF loss to the Flyers in 97. This of course ushered in the dark ages of Rangers hockey. As I saw the Kamensky’s, the Fleury’s, the Driver’s, and their ilk sully the ice on the 7th floor of MSG I learned quickly that there was much more to hockey than goals, assists, skating, and the scoreboard at the end of one game. Many of our dark aged teams were constructed to excel in those areas yet these rosters remained fatally flawed. The Rangers were being built to play in a vacuum devoid of human emotion, psychology, and without appreciating the “war” rather than the “battle.”

NHL hockey is a game in which the collective wills and talents of a locker room must build and culminate throughout a season to peak at just the right time. It comes down to establishing an identity that can win and being able to execute on that identity in the harshest of circumstances. The Ranger teams in years past never had an identity or never had the horses to win with the identity that they attempted to emulate (2011 being the closest we came). The mental aspect of this is just as important, and perhaps I’d argue even more important, than the physical skill necessary to score goals. This is why we often see hockey seasons morph into wars of attrition where the best teams will sacrifice games over the course of the season in order to further build the identity that will help lead them to their ultimate goal of a Cup. The Bruins would be glad to sacrifice a late-November game against the Rangers in order to instill a physical fear in the Rangers and a camaraderie in their locker room that will pay dividends going forward.

This is where fighting and physical play become integral in the successful development of a team; teammates that can look at one another down the line and know that they have the will and ability to defend each others' honor when called upon will likewise lay themselves on the line to further the interests of the team. Its human psychology at its most rudimentary level. We can discuss the impact of a physical team culture on camaraderie, intimidation over opponents, and so on but I must say it really is common sense when looked at logically.

Again, there is a reason why every little gnat on Boston seems to play a bit bigger and skate with a sense of entitlement each time they step on the ice. They know that when the Brian Boyle's of the world attempt to exert a bit of fortitude against them they have a legion of guys, including their captain, willing to demonstrate that the ice is theirs. And while our fans gleefully exclaim when Chara is off the ice for 5 minutes (a loser's mentality, I might add), the Bruins gladly accept the short-term Chara for Boyle tradeoff for the long-run benefit of furthering their identity while demonstrating physical superiority over their opponents.

There are those that do not have the capacity to grasp or the will to understand the concept of the mental idiosyncrasies of athletes, human beings, to affect the outcome of sport through a season long campaign. These folks do not understand hockey at its most fundamental level. These folks see every game in a vacuum and think that the team with the fastest skaters, most precise shooters, and highest score total at the end of the game will win the championship. Thankfully that is not the game that I have grown to love.

The beauty of hockey is that there are so many different ways to win and compete. The one constant of all championship teams that maintained success over multiple seasons was that they never went too extreme in one team-building direction, rather they had a bit of everything (toughness, skill, speed, offense-defense-goaltending) while still emphasizing their key identity.
Nicely done Lurker!

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12-03-2013, 07:40 PM
  #34
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Great post NGgator60, well thought out and I couldn't agree more.

Truly not trying to be inflammatory or anything, but now that the conversation has progressed a little, I was wondering about a little clarification from some of those who may be in the "opposition" to this thread, whatever that may mean.

The thread isn't titled, "Don't add skill only add toughness", and what appear to be the most offensive ideas in the thread were pretty much centered around adding a pure fighter to the 4th line or 3rd pair, which really doesn't constitute much of a loss of skill for toughness.

On top of that, I can't recall anyone actually denying that there are other areas that the Rangers also need to improve on.

Now, as a consensus seems to be developing around the idea that rather than just add a goon, the Rangers need to improve on team-wide toughness, I just wanted to follow up and see if that's still something that some people in this thread think is misguided and unnecessary, or if that's something they think the Rangers should actually try and improve while concurrently improving the teams goal scoring ability?

Like, am I crazy to think if we're going to add a top-6 player, he really needs to have plus size? Is NGgator wrong when he says that he believes Boston's smaller players play bigger and find more room on the ice because of their confidence in the physical support of their teammates? If we acknowledge that there are other problems with the roster, are we still misguided in thinking that a perceived lack of toughness throughout the lineup may actually be negatively hindering the team AS WELL AS the lack of goal scoring? Do you guys think the lineup is fine as is, but for a St.Louis or Skinner type in the top 6?

Sorry for putting words in anyone's mouth, just kind of wondering if we might be able to all agree that the Ranger's would benefit the most from improving toughness alongside our goal-scoring. And if so, what are some realistic ways or players we could target that could potentially add some degree of both of those things not just at the bottom or top but throughout the line-up.

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12-03-2013, 07:41 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Mikos87 View Post
You remember how Tortorella kept on saying its a mindset. He was trying to instill a mindset when he got here, and once it finally did, that team went on a run, even though it wasn't a talented roster, it was a great team.

One that lacked depth, and didn't take the kill shot in early playoff rounds before finally tiring out. The final product is the on ice aspect.

But a lot of it is off ice, camaraderie, battling, competing, giving it your all because the guy next you is going to do the same. There are a few coaches that believe in these intangibles. But ultimately identity is an organizational reflection.

It's who you are. It's what you do. It's that willingness. That drive. That desire to win. Not for the fans, not for the coach, not for the paycheck, not for the next contract, but for the guy next you.

That is what being part of a team is.
absolutely. They aren't doing it now.

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Old
12-03-2013, 09:03 PM
  #36
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Anybody see the Shaw/Roussel fight? Kane got laid out last week and this was payback for it. Unbelievably spirited fight, Rangers have nobody to do that, and won't do it anyway.

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12-03-2013, 09:24 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by NGgator60 View Post
I've lurked long enough (I go back to the pre-9/11/01 days of HFboards when we had single line threads) while holding my tongue due to time constraints but after reading some of the patently false narratives as of late, coupled with the Rangers' pathetic performance on the ice I felt the need to speak up.


The "cheapshot deterrent" argument has some merit but to me is tertiary to the main tenet of fighting and toughness in hockey; promoting a culture of brotherhood within the team. Fighting and physical play promote this. Again, the overwhelming majority of NHL players support fighting in hockey. I'll defer to them and enjoy a more entertaining product as a fan but I digress...

I'm a fan who's hockey acumen developed right at the dawn of our most recent "glory years" which culminated in an ECF loss to the Flyers in 97. This of course ushered in the dark ages of Rangers hockey. As I saw the Kamensky’s, the Fleury’s, the Driver’s, and their ilk sully the ice on the 7th floor of MSG I learned quickly that there was much more to hockey than goals, assists, skating, and the scoreboard at the end of one game. Many of our dark aged teams were constructed to excel in those areas yet these rosters remained fatally flawed. The Rangers were being built to play in a vacuum devoid of human emotion, psychology, and without appreciating the “war” rather than the “battle.”

NHL hockey is a game in which the collective wills and talents of a locker room must build and culminate throughout a season to peak at just the right time. It comes down to establishing an identity that can win and being able to execute on that identity in the harshest of circumstances. The Ranger teams in years past never had an identity or never had the horses to win with the identity that they attempted to emulate (2011 being the closest we came). The mental aspect of this is just as important, and perhaps I’d argue even more important, than the physical skill necessary to score goals. This is why we often see hockey seasons morph into wars of attrition where the best teams will sacrifice games over the course of the season in order to further build the identity that will help lead them to their ultimate goal of a Cup. The Bruins would be glad to sacrifice a late-November game against the Rangers in order to instill a physical fear in the Rangers and a camaraderie in their locker room that will pay dividends going forward.

This is where fighting and physical play become integral in the successful development of a team; teammates that can look at one another down the line and know that they have the will and ability to defend each others' honor when called upon will likewise lay themselves on the line to further the interests of the team. Its human psychology at its most rudimentary level. We can discuss the impact of a physical team culture on camaraderie, intimidation over opponents, and so on but I must say it really is common sense when looked at logically.

Again, there is a reason why every little gnat on Boston seems to play a bit bigger and skate with a sense of entitlement each time they step on the ice. They know that when the Brian Boyle's of the world attempt to exert a bit of fortitude against them they have a legion of guys, including their captain, willing to demonstrate that the ice is theirs. And while our fans gleefully exclaim when Chara is off the ice for 5 minutes (a loser's mentality, I might add), the Bruins gladly accept the short-term Chara for Boyle tradeoff for the long-run benefit of furthering their identity while demonstrating physical superiority over their opponents.

There are those that do not have the capacity to grasp or the will to understand the concept of the mental idiosyncrasies of athletes, human beings, to affect the outcome of sport through a season long campaign. These folks do not understand hockey at its most fundamental level. These folks see every game in a vacuum and think that the team with the fastest skaters, most precise shooters, and highest score total at the end of the game will win the championship. Thankfully that is not the game that I have grown to love.

The beauty of hockey is that there are so many different ways to win and compete. The one constant of all championship teams that maintained success over multiple seasons was that they never went too extreme in one team-building direction, rather they had a bit of everything (toughness, skill, speed, offense-defense-goaltending) while still emphasizing their key identity.
I'm absolutely not a MOAR TOUGHNESS MORE FIGHTS guy, but this was an outstanding post. Very nicely written.

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Old
12-03-2013, 09:51 PM
  #38
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"Hockey is a game of mistakes, there are a lot of mistakes in the game and everyone makes it, as players, they make mistakes.”

This was a quote from Brassard today after his gaffe last night. There aren't a lot of mistakes on winning hockey teams. A lot of that is because of how guys perceive the game. Brass is doing his best at sounding like a winner.

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12-03-2013, 10:05 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Mikos87 View Post
"Hockey is a game of mistakes, there are a lot of mistakes in the game and everyone makes it, as players, they make mistakes.”

This was a quote from Brassard today after his gaffe last night. There aren't a lot of mistakes on winning hockey teams. A lot of that is because of how guys perceive the game. Brass is doing his best at sounding like a winner.
He should have admitted he screwed up instead of the "everyone makes mistakes" soundbite. Must have learned that sort of mentality in Columbus.

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12-03-2013, 10:30 PM
  #40
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He should have admitted he screwed up instead of the "everyone makes mistakes" soundbite. Must have learned that sort of mentality in Columbus.
I'm starting to get worried about that.

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12-03-2013, 11:47 PM
  #41
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I'm starting to get worried about that.
In hindsight, relying on players coming from a culture that is so pathetic it is demoralizing, was probably a terrible idea.

I've really soured on Brassard.

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12-04-2013, 08:53 AM
  #42
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Now, as a consensus seems to be developing around the idea that rather than just add a goon, the Rangers need to improve on team-wide toughness, I just wanted to follow up and see if that's still something that some people in this thread think is misguided and unnecessary, or if that's something they think the Rangers should actually try and improve while concurrently improving the teams goal scoring ability?

Like, am I crazy to think if we're going to add a top-6 player, he really needs to have plus size? Is NGgator wrong when he says that he believes Boston's smaller players play bigger and find more room on the ice because of their confidence in the physical support of their teammates?
You're not crazy at all, the need is pressing and unequivocally so. Here is just one way having a teammate who has your back helps.

It's a game of size and speed now. Off ice training has evened the playing field where non-talented guys that can skate well earn contracts and contribute towards a winner. It's why guys like Etem, and Cogliano playing 3rd-4th line minutes have an impact. It's because of their speed. Turnovers, aggressive forecheck.

Getting hit at such high speeds is not only painful, but more dangerous than ever. If those faster little guys aren't flying out there, they aren't having much of an impact because they will invariably lose physical battles in a slower slugfest.

I'm sorry but Mats Zuccarello will not out muscle most NHL defensemen. He has to outthink, and outquick them

For those little guys to skate fast, and with confidence, having a teammate who will step up and actually do something gives them the assurance that there will be retribution, and any malicious player will be held accountable. Otherwise they are risking an injury.

It's part of why Brassard floats half the game, avoiding contact. It's part why Pouliot pirouettes a turnover, it's part of why Jesper Fast was circling the zone avoiding contact. It's part of why Zucc isn't going all out when the team's trailing.

I don't think AV likes coaching guys that can be off kilter off the ice. Referencing the tougher, emotional, dirt bag types that hate losing more than they like winning.

He was criticized in VanCity for not being tough to play against. He blew a 3-1 lead in the cup finals after the Bruins started roughing Vancouver up. Since then teams took it to them in the playoffs and they bounced in the first round. It's a part of why Hodgson for Kassian happened, a part of why Tortorella was hired there.

Arniel just adds more to the loser mentality imported from Columbus.

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12-04-2013, 10:29 AM
  #43
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Seriously. This guy sounds like George Patton.

Toughness/guys that fight is something that a successful/highly skilled team looks to add at the deadline these days. This team has so many holes, and so much goal scoring problems, it seems silly to harp on this stuff when its outside the realm of the highest priorities.
Again, I think this is looking at it very narrowly. It's not just about having guys that can fight. That is much less a factor than it was years ago.

What you have to have is guys that can play a very physical game along with solid two way hockey. It makes a lot of things come together for a team.

It's not impossible to find these players or they would not exist on other teams. Having these well rounded players is just part of having an elite team....maybe that is not the priority

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12-04-2013, 11:18 AM
  #44
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Again, I think this is looking at it very narrowly. It's not just about having guys that can fight. That is much less a factor than it was years ago.

What you have to have is guys that can play a very physical game along with solid two way hockey. It makes a lot of things come together for a team.

It's not impossible to find these players or they would not exist on other teams. Having these well rounded players is just part of having an elite team....maybe that is not the priority
Oh you mean like Ryan Callahan? Hes better than just about every player named in this thread that other people covet.

Grass is always greener.

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12-04-2013, 12:08 PM
  #45
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http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/10...ing-goon-fight

This is a very good read for anyone interested.

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12-04-2013, 12:24 PM
  #46
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http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/10...ing-goon-fight

This is a very good read for anyone interested.
great read... one excerpt.

"As (John) Scott says, "In one of my first fights, my team was down three goals in the third. I said to George, 'You wanna go?' George said, 'Not really. But you'll owe me one.' Now anytime he wants to fight me, I will."

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12-04-2013, 02:11 PM
  #47
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Oh you mean like Ryan Callahan? Hes better than just about every player named in this thread that other people covet.

Grass is always greener.
Ryan Callahan is a player perfectly complimented by the kind of players I'm talking about. He is NOT a player anyone is afraid of or intimidated by. Opponents are not dreading a check from Ryan Callahan.

This team has few if really any players like that.

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12-04-2013, 02:44 PM
  #48
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Ryan Callahan is a player perfectly complimented by the kind of players I'm talking about. He is NOT a player anyone is afraid of or intimidated by. Opponents are not dreading a check from Ryan Callahan.

This team has few if really any players like that.
Well, then I think you're just reaching for stars here. Everyone wants players that can intimidate, possess skill, score, and have a 2-way game -- all at the NHL level. Those players just aren't easy to find.

Theres guys like Lucic or Clowe from 5 years ago that anyone would like to have. But Im pretty sure anyone else you name come with the same ol' warts and question marks.

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12-04-2013, 03:01 PM
  #49
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Great post NGgator60, well thought out and I couldn't agree more.

Truly not trying to be inflammatory or anything, but now that the conversation has progressed a little, I was wondering about a little clarification from some of those who may be in the "opposition" to this thread, whatever that may mean.

The thread isn't titled, "Don't add skill only add toughness", and what appear to be the most offensive ideas in the thread were pretty much centered around adding a pure fighter to the 4th line or 3rd pair, which really doesn't constitute much of a loss of skill for toughness.

On top of that, I can't recall anyone actually denying that there are other areas that the Rangers also need to improve on.

Now, as a consensus seems to be developing around the idea that rather than just add a goon, the Rangers need to improve on team-wide toughness, I just wanted to follow up and see if that's still something that some people in this thread think is misguided and unnecessary, or if that's something they think the Rangers should actually try and improve while concurrently improving the teams goal scoring ability?

Like, am I crazy to think if we're going to add a top-6 player, he really needs to have plus size? Is NGgator wrong when he says that he believes Boston's smaller players play bigger and find more room on the ice because of their confidence in the physical support of their teammates? If we acknowledge that there are other problems with the roster, are we still misguided in thinking that a perceived lack of toughness throughout the lineup may actually be negatively hindering the team AS WELL AS the lack of goal scoring? Do you guys think the lineup is fine as is, but for a St.Louis or Skinner type in the top 6?

Sorry for putting words in anyone's mouth, just kind of wondering if we might be able to all agree that the Ranger's would benefit the most from improving toughness alongside our goal-scoring. And if so, what are some realistic ways or players we could target that could potentially add some degree of both of those things not just at the bottom or top but throughout the line-up.
I think that you did a great job of building on my sentiments and turning the discussion towards where it should and needs to go in order for the Rangers to be a legitimate Cup contender.

To me the debate is not based upon skill versus toughness, rather to me its always been about pairing one particular set of skills with another set of skills, both of which I believe contribute to a hockey team with sustainable success. Some folks seem not to consider toughness or the mental aspects of hockey to constitute "skill" whereas I understand it to be (this is why I bucked when one poster referred to Parros as an idiot).

My assertion is that there are structural flaws with the strategic direction that management has taken the organization that will prevent us from truly becoming Cup contenders. This goes much deeper than "MOAR fights." And while the most uneducated observer could quickly point out that we need more consistent secondary scoring and we place an over-reliance on stellar goaltending, I choose to also emphasize issues that maybe aren't quite so obvious but are underlying in our failure.

Paramount to my concerns is our lack of identity and character. That isn't to say that our individual players or coaches lack character, it is to say that the aggragate product of our team does not result in a strong identity or character showing up on the ice each and every game. Win or lose we simply are not a tough team to play against because we never really leave a lasting impression on our opponents or even on ourselves. Even when we beat the Pens I am left knowing that Crosby/Malkin/etc still have an incredible amount of firepower that can beat you on any given night, with a supporting roster that plays hard to every whistle. When we beat the Leafs I'm left knowing that they'll bring a physical game and take their pound of flesh while featuring some snipers up front. What do teams leave MSG thinking? I'd imagine that they think, "the Rangers have an awesome goaltender but if he let's a few in they're a pushover."

So how do we build an identity while becoming a tough team to play against? Of course it wouldn't hurt to have a generational scoring talent but since I don't see one walking through the door for us anytime soon my more immediate solution is to become physically tough to play against. This isn't a new concept for Ranger fans, as we'd enjoyed relatively recent success employing this strategy, unfortunately when we attempted to fix our scoring woes it came at the expense of this value-add component.

At this point I really believe that our roster is so devoid of any toughness that the addition of one player having this skill would have an amplified positive effect on the culture of this team. Of course to really build a sustained advantage over time would require a more total roster commitment to hardnosed, physical play but until Slats and/or AV can further shape this roster I believe that the marginal utility of an "enforcer" on the fourth line would be much greater than that of generic winger like a Pyatt and/or a Pouliet. I really do not feel that rolling 3.75 lines regularly rather than 4 lines would hamper our offense to the degree that others suggest, and I believe that one player would be a terrific start in slowly shifting our team identity. I dont believe that every tough player needs to be a Lucic or have even mediocre speed to add value as a role player. Again, if our playoff or championship aspirations rest on the offensive or defensive contributions of our 12th forward then we have much larger issues.

Hell, throw Bickel on the 4th line and bring up McIlrath in January and we might actually see the beginnings of a team that has a bit of swagger on the ice which leaves a lasting impression on its opponents. This is not to say that the PP QB has been found or the goal scoring issues have been resolved but it does go a long way to establishing a culture of resiliency while not forcing us to deviate from addressing our other deficiencies (having our goal scorers score goals).

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12-04-2013, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by eco's bones View Post
The Rangers were following the Bruins model two years ago. The Bruins have tough guys who can play. It's just simply the better way to go. The Rangers that year had Prust, Rupp, Bickel and some support from guys like Dubinsky. Prust signed with someone else--not replaced. Rupp has gotten old--and was moved on for Powe who sucks and Bickel's been in the minors. Stu's not really a very good NHL'er but he's a better player than the likes of the Orr's, McGrattan's etc. He's not a better fighter though and though he has his moments.

We can go round and round on this. Bring in McGrattan or Steve MacIntyre and that's fine but it makes it a bit harder to roll 4 lines because apart from fighting they're not much good at anything else. I get the idea that this team is soft. It's pretty obvious when a faux heavy like Tom Sestito is beating his chest like a grizzly bear. We had Orr and he couldn't skate. He hasn't improved much at that over the years. We had Booggard and people hated that because boy did he suck. Brashear was at the end of the line. Shelley wanted too much money. He actually played a few decent games for us.

Here's another thing--being soft holds us back--no question in my mind. But as Ola is wont to point out--not having someone on the point with a bomb for a shot is holding us back too. Which is to say there is more than one issue that makes this team dysfunctional at the moment. It might be easier to say cut a deal to get a Joel Rechlicz or Letourneau-Leblond but it won't have the same impact as adding a Subban or a Weber's shot from the point. It might have little impact at all. That's why I think it would be better to get guys who can play mean and tough but have some real hockey skills other than just fighting.
As an example of this....Yesterday the Habs signed FA Jack Nevins who is captain of the PEI Islanders in the Q . He is 6ft 2 and about 210 now and going at a point a game clip and likes the rough stuff...he got a 3 year deal and was also wooed by Ottawa...now there s a guy we should have been all over . That type of guy is more to be found in the Canadian Junior Leagues than US college...am I right or wrong on that ??? I think we need an overhaul in our scouting . http://www.habsworld.net/article.php?id=3266

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