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Team sucks despite having alot of last year's problems correct themselves. Why?

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12-07-2013, 10:32 PM
  #1
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Team sucks despite having alot of last year's problems correct themselves. Why?

So here we are at 15-14-1 and the results have been the definition of mediocre. But frankly looking at the way things have gone this season, alot of things that I expected to go wrong, and were bad things last year, have totally gone right.
  • Brad Richards is no question past his prime, but back to producing at a good pace for the player he is currently (63 point pace)
  • Zucc is having a really nice year after being up and down last year (57 point pace)
  • Kreider has improved beyond our wildest dreams (pacing for 25 goals and 60 points)
  • Cam Talbot is 6-2 when he wasn't even on the radar in camp
  • Nash has been Nash, which is nice considering his 2013 playoffs
  • McDonagh is having nothing short of a godlike season (on pace for 51 points, playing almost 24 minutes a night)
  • The powerplay hasn't just improved, it hasn't just been respectable, it's been downright good.

These are things that I thought would be the issues going in, or at the very least on make or break status. Considering all these scary things have broken our way all the way down the line, what's the issue? I mean I know we're not getting Sidney Crosby production here, but there's some nice punch from guys we weren't getting it from last year.

Frankly I think Callahan and Lundqvist's play have been huge factors. But I'm just interested in hearing thoughts of other posters as to why we're playing mediocre hockey despite so many players and aspects of our game actually improving from last year.

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12-07-2013, 10:34 PM
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Staal, Girardi, and MDZ have been abysmal. That's pretty much it right there. Callahan hasn't been good either. Our "top 5" defense has been very, very poor all year.

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12-07-2013, 10:37 PM
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The 2 years prior to this one we were getting a lot of breaks and shut down the other team. This system is less grinded out, I think sooner or later we improve and make the playoffs. But I agree our big guns have improved stat wise but cally hank Girardi DZ Boyle all fell off. Something's gotta give

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12-07-2013, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WojtekGoalski View Post
Staal, Girardi, and MDZ have been abysmal. That's pretty much it right there. Callahan hasn't been good either. Our "top 5" defense has been very, very poor all year.
MDZ has been fine, he's being mismanaged badly this year.

Maybe with Staal probably out a while, MDZ can take his spot and run with it.

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12-07-2013, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by theFiGS View Post
The 2 years prior to this one we were getting a lot of breaks and shut down the other team. This system is less grinded out, I think sooner or later we improve and make the playoffs. But I agree our big guns have improved stat wise but cally hank Girardi DZ Boyle all fell off. Something's gotta give
Well theoretically aspects of our game that have normally been good could become good again and then with the extra production the team could take off.

But what if those other players/factors don't return and then on top of that Richards/McDonagh/Zucc/Kreider stop scoring? That's the scary thing.

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12-07-2013, 10:41 PM
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The entire defense (-McDonagh) and Callahan post/injury have been a complete joke.

Stepan's VERY slow start really hurt, but he's been much better lately.

It doesn't help that this team is already mentally weak.

Why is it every time a few players step up, half the team takes a step back?

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12-07-2013, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspewtin View Post
The entire defense (-McDonagh) and Callahan post/injury have been a complete joke.

Stepan's VERY slow start really hurt, but he's been much better lately.

It doesn't help that this team is already mentally weak.

Why is it every time a few players step up, half the team takes a step back?
That's the frustrating thing for me and it's why I'm so perplexed. For every green fruit that ripened this year, a ripe fruit went sour.

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12-07-2013, 10:44 PM
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Its just another excuse, but having Nash out for so long might very well have cost us points.

Stepan has not been a big "enough" factor. He has points yes, but a lot of his assists are secondary. They're still important obviously, but a player of his skill should be able to produce more primary plays.

Girardi has been a bit of a dissapointment if you look at what was expected of him.

Callahan is not himself, would it be insane to sit him a game to send a message ?

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12-07-2013, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Idlerlee View Post
Its just another excuse, but having Nash out for so long might very well have cost us points.

Stepan has not been a big "enough" factor. He has points yes, but a lot of his assists are secondary. They're still important obviously, but a player of his skill should be able to produce more primary plays.

Girardi has been a bit of a dissapointment if you look at what was expected of him.

Callahan is not himself, would it be insane to sit him a game to send a message ?
Even points wise Stepan has 20 in 30 which is 55 over 82. That's not enough.

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12-07-2013, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Machinehead View Post
That's the frustrating thing for me and it's why I'm so perplexed. For every green fruit that ripened this year, a ripe fruit went sour.
It happens every ****ing year. We get some half-expected surprises (this year it's Kreider and McDonagh), but instead of complimenting good veterans, those surprises have to lead the team through the whole ****ing year. I'm starting to think other players just coast because they see someone else picking up the slack, cause they care.

McDonagh and Kreider have stepped up VERY admirably, but the entire defense, and some notable impact forwards now feel it's okay to give half effort. At least that's what I'm seeing.

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12-07-2013, 10:45 PM
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One of the questions in the offseason was what would happen to the GAA and Hanks play when we moved away from the '6 goalie system'. Thus far we are seeing that it's leaving him facing a better quality of shot which is getting through more; at the same time our forwards and D don't appear to have the skill to hurt teams going the other way

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12-07-2013, 10:46 PM
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We have 1 legit finisher outside of Kreider/Richards. We have 12 forwards, and at most 1/4 of them can be relied on to score a goal. That's really bad.

We're really just not a very good team. Then you add in the insane schedule to start, new coach, etc.

There's also a give and take when hiring a new coach; yes, AV has fixed certain things, but there were many things that Torts did right. Those right things don't necessarily carry over to the next coach.

And we blow hard on faceoffs.

I blame Brian Boyle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara Underhill View Post
We don't have enough talent, I'd like Sather to work some trade magic. Get me a young talented forward for MDZ, trade Pouliot and a prospect like MSC for a solid but not spectacular #6 D. Call up McIlrath and give him a taste. See what happens on the back end and if it's not a disaster and we can play consistently good on D trade Girardi for even more offensive help.
I'm so anxious to see him play. This team needs more psycho.

Our GAA is dead average, and this roster doesn't have the talent to overcome it = Mediocrity. (And no I don't heavily blame Hank like so many seem to. Anton ****ing Stralman has been our #2 defensemen this year).


Last edited by Aufheben: 12-07-2013 at 10:59 PM.
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Old
12-07-2013, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Machinehead View Post
Even points wise Stepan has 20 in 30 which is 55 over 82. That's not enough.
At the VERY least he's contributing. Tonight he looked like freaking Datsyuk (stole that from another poster, don't remember who) with his pokechecks and takeaways. The points are coming for him.

What's the rest of the roster's excuse?

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12-07-2013, 10:52 PM
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We don't have enough talent, I'd like Sather to work some trade magic. Get me a young talented forward for MDZ, trade Pouliot and a prospect like MSC for a solid but not spectacular #6 D. Call up McIlrath and give him a taste. See what happens on the back end and if it's not a disaster and we can play consistently good on D trade Girardi for even more offensive help.

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12-07-2013, 10:53 PM
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12-07-2013, 10:58 PM
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My personal opinion: the team is way too f-in indifferent. I've played on average teams that won more than they should've because there were guys on the team who HATED losing. I've also played on very talented teams that lost more than they should've because of the opposite.

Is this a Cup caliber roster? No. But they really should have a better record than they do. But there is no consistent fight, no foul taste in their mouth when they lose, no fire to put teams away when they have the chance, and this team, through its indifference, has been its own worst enemy.

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12-07-2013, 11:01 PM
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- The core is just not playing good.

- This team has no identity/culture. It feels like a core that is underperforming, a few guys who are doing really well and a few who don't even belong. This is not a team.

- They need more talent.

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12-07-2013, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Cake or Death View Post
My personal opinion: the team is way too f-in indifferent. I've played on average teams that won more than they should've because there were guys on the team who HATED losing. I've also played on very talented teams that lost more than they should've because of the opposite.

Is this a Cup caliber roster? No. But they really should have a better record than they do. But there is no consistent fight, no foul taste in their mouth when they lose, no fire to put teams away when they have the chance, and this team, through its indifference, has been its own worst enemy.
I agree 100%.

The majority of this team seems so indifferent to losses.

Who is leading this team? I like Callahan as much as the next guy but he needs to step it up and lead this god damn team. Make them show some heart. This was one of my complaints last season and it hasn't changed.

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12-07-2013, 11:14 PM
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We couldn't backfill our support players (Ani, Prust, Dubi, etc.) from the farm, had to overpay for 3rd and 4th liners who arent even good at doing that.

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12-08-2013, 01:10 AM
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My personal opinion: the team is way too f-in indifferent. I've played on average teams that won more than they should've because there were guys on the team who HATED losing. I've also played on very talented teams that lost more than they should've because of the opposite.

Is this a Cup caliber roster? No. But they really should have a better record than they do. But there is no consistent fight, no foul taste in their mouth when they lose, no fire to put teams away when they have the chance, and this team, through its indifference, has been its own worst enemy.
I've been watching a fair amount of Flyers games this season, and I can't help but seen some real similarities between the two teams. I think the struggles have been eerily similar. Giroux is our Lundqvist, Simmonds our Brassard, Hartnell our Callahan, Voracek our Hagelin. I mean regardless of the specificity of each comparison, I believe the issue and the solution are the same. For me, when I watch and listen to our team right night, I don't see indifference, I see trepidation, unease, and anxiety, which I believe looks very similar.

To explain my comparisons a bit more, I think it all starts with two seasons ago. For the Rangers, it's their a season in which as a team and as individuals we have established an identity for ourselves, and win or loss, each player sticks to it. It took years of building towards on a specific path. But you had a group of players coming into their own together at the right time. Prust, Del Zotto, Callahan, Anisimov, Hagelin, Girardi, McDonagh, Stralman, all of them had found their game, even Lundqvist was better then ever. I believe this was a process that owed a lot to the fact that they were growing together, but it's kind of a question of which came first, the chicken or the egg--the success of the team helped these players grow, but the players growth was the reason the team won. In any case, I believe that the clear overachievment of that season had to do with how many players were really beginning to step into themselves, not the other way around.

Taking the example of Claude Grioux, who's Flyers team, I believe had a very similar 2011-12, I don't see his struggles this or last season as indifference. Since the very beginning of his career, Giroux has not only been consistenly good, but he has consistenly imporved every season. I don't think being captain overwhelmed him, I believe that he expected that of himself. I think the struggles that his team went through the year of his captincy, and then to being this season too, made Giroux falter. Simply put, he was gripping the stick too tight, but more than that, he was trying to change his game. Be somehting he's not. Veer from the formula he'd had so much success with. Reacting, waiting for lanes to present themselves, not forcing plays and hoping his talent would make them happen. This, combined with bad luck, and I think you get a Giroux who doesn't score for as many games as he did.

I see our players as struggling with the same things right now. I personally can't picture a Callahan that's indifferent. He's defined his entire career as the antithesis of that. He went from being an unknown, undersized, 4th round pick, worked his way up through the minors, willed himself from fourth line minutes to top-six minutes to an Olympic roster spot and the captaincy of an Original Six franchise, and he certainly didn't do it on talent alone. When I watch Callahan this season, I see a player who, when he got the captaincy, his team had it's most successful season in two decades. He learned from Drury how to lead--that is, to lead through quiet example, hard-work, and dedication to his own game. That's the Callahan I grew to love. He wasn't a player who was an offensive catalyst, he didn't make nifty passes, or lead the rush up ice, or hold onto the puck to make the complicted play. He was effective because of his defense. Becasue if you were on the same side of the ice as him and had the puck, you were getting hit, if you wound up to shoot, he was diving right out in front of you, and bouncing immediately back up. Callahan is most effective when he is disrupting the other teams momentum, not when he's trying not to lose any for us. I think I've seen Callahan go for more pokechecks this season than maybe his entire first five seasons. He always used to finish his checks. What I see from him isn't a player who suddenly stopped caring about how he can contribute, but rather a player who suddenly started to doubt his identity when the team suddenly stopped succeeding.

Over the past two seasons there has been a lot of changes. The roster of 2011 is extremely different than 2013. We have new coaches. New expectations. I think all of that is bound to lead to some struggles. I believe certain players have responded to these struggles in the worst way. Not by not caring and giving up, but by putting too much of the team's success or failure on their shoulders. They question themselves too much so that whether they team success becomes the measure of their personal effectiveness. So they try to change their game. They move away from what works. Like I explained with Callahan it could mean playing more conservatively. With Lundqvist I think it has to do with trying to win games for the team rather than with them. For Del Zotto, it's doubting his ability to qb a pp or lead the rush, or hit (remember his rookie season when he would lay guys out with some freqency?). Go down the list and I see the same thing.

The last example I'll bring up is Richards. He has been the best example of mental fortitude and confidence that I have seen on the team this season. Rather than looking at last season and doubting himself as a player, and doubting his ability to contribute, he looked at his extensive carreer to that point, and decided that they more than that one rough run defined him as a player. He didn't use the teams success as the defining factor of his own, he looked at his own game, better prepared himself and got back to who he is--the player we have seem thus far. A model of deciciveness, savvy, and effort. And it has paid off for the team as well (see our pp%).

To conclude then, I'd like to go back to my Flyers comparison. I think there was a definite moment when their season turned around and I don't think it was when Berube was hired. I think it has had a ton to do with the addition of Steve Downie. He's not come in a led the team in goal scoringm but he is a player who has not changed his game from team to team. He plays with a swagger. He knows his game and he plays it, every night. When a player like that comes into a team full of players who have lost themselves, he rubs off. His confidence in his own game has given his linemates some confidence in themselves, and it's spreading throughout the lineup to everyone not named Voracek. This Flyers team of late does not look to me that different in terms of style to Lavvy's, but players are performing as you would expect them to. They look like themselves, nothing more, nothing less, and it has completely turned the season around for them. They're not fantastic, but tbh, I wouldn't expect them to be with their defense corps.

Anyway, I feel like this kind of addition has happened countless times since I became a real fan of profession hockey a little over a decade ago. Nyqvist in Detroit helped Detroit snap a 7 game losing streak in his first game after being recalled this season. He's awoken Franzen, and the team has put on a 6-4-0 record since his recall without Datsyuk and Zberg at points. Kunitz in 09 for Pitt I see as a similar move. Avery here a few years back. Or Marcus Foligno when he was first called up in Buffalo.

I really think that if we can string a winning streak together, our season will turn around, for each player especially. If that has to come with a little more luck than we've been getting (i.e Janssens goal tonight), or if it has to come with the addition of fresh blood of somebody at the top of their game whether as a first or fourth liner, NHL or AHL. If these player would stop trying not to lose so much and just start playing their games, we will have a much much improved team. If everyone contirubtes in the ways they do best they will strengthen their identies as players. This in turn will lead to the development of the team's identity, which leads to consistency game in and game out, win or loss, which of course, will lead to wins.

It's longwinded, and perhaps more unreasonable than I think, and I'm sorry it's so long. Hope it makes sense.

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12-08-2013, 01:40 AM
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Our special teams have improved but our 5v5 play has fallen off a cliff.

Additionally, this team has far less resiliency and mental toughness than some teams of previous years. No identity or pushback. Lack of talent has been an issue for some time but the work ethic that was present in previous teams is not apparent as it once was.

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12-08-2013, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike14 View Post
One of the questions in the offseason was what would happen to the GAA and Hanks play when we moved away from the '6 goalie system'. Thus far we are seeing that it's leaving him facing a better quality of shot which is getting through more; at the same time our forwards and D don't appear to have the skill to hurt teams going the other way
Agree 100% and I was actually thinking about everything OP brought up tonight.

Just going purely off what I'm seeing, the Rangers LOOK like a better team. We have more offensive zone possession time than we ever did under Torts, passing is better, zone entries are cleaner and most obviously the PP is much improved but the lack of skill was really apparent tonight.

So many great opportunities end up with shots going wide or somebody fumbles the pass and loses the puck. I'm really not surprised that a guy like Edler was a stud in this system and is now playing horribly under Torts. Look at the players who are having success now under AV - McDonagh is going to be a Norris candidate, Zuccarello is creating tons of opportunities, Richards is back to being productive, Kreider is scoring tons of goals. I hate talking about "systems" but it's obvious that AV is looking for a different breed of player from Torts.

I think we're due for some roster shakeups soon for a whole variety of reasons.

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12-08-2013, 02:02 AM
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It's longwinded, and perhaps more unreasonable than I think, and I'm sorry it's so long. Hope it makes sense.
Long-winded is fine and your Downie/Flyers assessment makes sense. I just can't fathom how with pro athletes it needs to ever come to that. The burning passion to fight to win, and a deep hatred to lose, these things should be built in. And I'm not singling out Callahan cuz 90 percent of the time he plays like this we end up finding out he was playing hurt.

My problem is the whole team. This season and last. The lack of fire, intensity, pride, and any semblance of killer instinct. Not to mention some of the bigger guys playing like they're 4'6 and skating in freakin ice capades. Boyle 6'7 and 245, Nash 6'4 and 220, Pyatt 6'4 and 230... these have to be the softest big guys I've ever seen. Why is Zuccarello's tiny ass playing with more physical presence and intensity than those three guys combined?! That's something I cannot wrap my head around. I don't disagree with your Downie/Flyers assessment, and my comment in the post game thread about sums up my feelings on that:
Blaming Toronto for the kicked in goal, blaming refs... none of that should have mattered. This team had no fire. A 2-0 lead and no kill switch was on. You have a 2-0 lead, start kicking the damn horse while it's down... throw some mean hits, play with some freakin fire, skate your ass off both ways and play like losing is not an option. Dammit... a crosstown rival comes in your ****in house and that's the lackluster vanilla effort you put in?

Enough with the ballet dancing perimeter punks who refuse to get dirty and play hockey. Enough with the doe-eyed 'we need to pick up our game' post game pressers. Bring in some guys who hate losing and are willing to play hockey... cuz this crap is getting old.

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12-08-2013, 02:07 AM
  #24
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Agree 100% and I was actually thinking about everything OP brought up tonight.

Just going purely off what I'm seeing, the Rangers LOOK like a better team. We have more offensive zone possession time than we ever did under Torts, passing is better, zone entries are cleaner and most obviously the PP is much improved but the lack of skill was really apparent tonight.

So many great opportunities end up with shots going wide or somebody fumbles the pass and loses the puck. I'm really not surprised that a guy like Edler was a stud in this system and is now playing horribly under Torts. Look at the players who are having success now under AV - McDonagh is going to be a Norris candidate, Zuccarello is creating tons of opportunities, Richards is back to being productive, Kreider is scoring tons of goals. I hate talking about "systems" but it's obvious that AV is looking for a different breed of player from Torts.

I think we're due for some roster shakeups soon for a whole variety of reasons.
You kind of had to expect it. It's what most people suspected, and it's been proven to be true. A lot of guys were specifically gone after for what they could add to Torts' system. We're still dealing with those contracts. I look at Girardi--Torts' system turned him into a star. Right now, he looks to be struggling.

I still maintain that the majority of the bottom 6 has to go. Pyatt and Pouliot don't add much of anything and have been absolutely brutal at times. I even wonder about Boyle--I understand he's a big body, but having him out there on the PP...yikes. Moore hasn't added much.

Missing Dorsett tonight, I could see the team just seemed dead without him.

I'd like to see how Brass does on the wing. His faceoffs have been bad lately. I'd also like to see him SHOOT more. I'd give Miller a shot at centering two guys who can play. I keep Boyle in the lineup for what he can do on the PK.

Kreider - Step - Nash
Brassard - Richards - Zuccarello
Hagelin - Miller - Callahan
Boyle - Moore - Dorsett

Pouliot
Pyatt

I realize Pouliot and Pyatt are most likely worthless at this point, but I'd try to ship them out for whatever we could get.


I think of a crazy fourth line if Beach ever gets called up. He seems kind of Dorsett in that he can be impulsive at times. Add McIlrath to the lineup and there's a lot of bruising going on without anything being given up.

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12-08-2013, 02:14 AM
  #25
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Lundqvist hasn't been himself, and that just shows how poorly constructed a team this is -it's also highlighting the badness of Girardi/Staal/Callahan this season. The bottom-6 is basically nothing out there, although I thought Miller had a strong game. Our 2nd line is very inconsistent (and has to deal with having Callahan on it). Hell, we don't even have a set second line, or even a set third line. Zuccarello has been the only consistently effective player we have in the middle six right now. We need to get a legitimate bottom-6 C to replace Brassard - hopefully, Oscar Lindberg can fill that role at the start of next season. I've really liked his game in the Wolfpack games I watched. Smart, strong on the puck, good skater, solid hands. He's a keeper for sure.

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Last edited by JeffMangum: 12-08-2013 at 02:40 AM.
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