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Worst teams in the NHL?

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08-24-2005, 11:41 AM
  #1
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Worst teams in the NHL?

There seems to be a lot of debate as to what effect the Rangers' recent signings will have on the club's ability to finish in the bottom (er, top) five spots and land a true impact first line prospect this coming offseason. In the Rucchin thread I asked the question which teams people (particularly those dissatisfied with the Rangers' offseason moves) see as finishing below (and therefore with better lottery position) than the Rangers. There's a lot more to talk about in the Rucchin debate (it's already up to seven pages in less than 24 hrs), so not surprisingly my question hasn't gotten much attention, but I think it's an interesting one, so I thought I'd start a new thread here to pose the question.

Personally, I think the team is taking exactly the right approach (Sather can still mess it up, no question, but he hasn't yet), which will lead to development of the current prospects AND a shot at the top pick come next summer. I only see Carolina, Washington and maybe Buffalo with a legit shot to finish worse than the Blueshirts. What is everyone else's analysis?

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08-24-2005, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynRangerFan
There seems to be a lot of debate as to what effect the Rangers' recent signings will have on the club's ability to finish in the bottom (er, top) five spots and land a true impact first line prospect this coming offseason. In the Rucchin thread I asked the question which teams people (particularly those dissatisfied with the Rangers' offseason moves) see as finishing below (and therefore with better lottery position) than the Rangers. There's a lot more to talk about in the Rucchin debate (it's already up to seven pages in less than 24 hrs), so not surprisingly my question hasn't gotten much attention, but I think it's an interesting one, so I thought I'd start a new thread here to pose the question.

Personally, I think the team is taking exactly the right approach (Sather can still mess it up, no question, but he hasn't yet), which will lead to development of the current prospects AND a shot at the top pick come next summer. I only see Carolina, Washington and maybe Buffalo with a legit shot to finish worse than the Blueshirts. What is everyone else's analysis?
I have 2 thoughts. First let it be known that i am an Islander fan. 1) the Rangers do look horrid, and for once I am happy to see it agreed upon that the islanders are the better team hands down. 2) I fully expect the islanders to drop 6 of 8 ot the rangers who seem to kick our *** for the past 3 seasons without any problem.

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08-24-2005, 11:51 AM
  #3
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I think we will see a lot of predictions, even expert predictions, go down the drain because a lot of things are unpredictable at this point. The style of play is going to change a bit so while Phily might look like the early favorite on paper, the Hatcher signing might prove a huge mistake if the pace of the game is able to pick up for example. I think it's safe to say the streak will continue to 8 (9?) this year. I think we have an outside chance to make it but most likely no. It all depends on how things work out with the rule changes. I see predicting standings also very difficult because of how many positions in the standings the shootout could determine. It could sway your team maybe 10 points. Parity is growing and the rules are different. It's too tough to predict anything as far as im concerned.

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08-24-2005, 12:10 PM
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I think the Rangers arent the worst team but aren't a playoff team. Unfortunatly i see them once again stuck somewhere in the middle. You have a very soft team that really has one dimension, aging european playmakers.

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08-24-2005, 12:38 PM
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Agreed Edge...

I had thought that Sather would put together a mediocre team that will at least be able to compete, but in all likelihood fall short. Right now, barring major injuries, there's little if any hope for a playoff spot, and little if any hope for a lottery pick.

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08-24-2005, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
I had thought that Sather would put together a mediocre team that will at least be able to compete, but in all likelihood fall short. Right now, barring major injuries, there's little if any hope for a playoff spot, and little if any hope for a lottery pick.
Okay, I hear what you guys are saying and it jibes with what you've posted on the Rucchin thread, but please tell me, who are these 10 or so teams that are going to be worse than the Rangers? I don't see it. Especially once Sather (knock wood) starts trading the vets in midseason.

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08-24-2005, 01:18 PM
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The vets...

if traded, will be gone by the end of the season. Not all vets will be gone and likely Jagr too will not be gone. The ten teams? It may not be 10, but there will be more than 5. The Rangers will hang around in the 9-12 spot in the Eastern Conference, I believe, with teams like Buffalo, Florida, Atlanta, Washington (although they may already be out of it) and PITT. It'll be a dogfight to the end, and it's tough to predict, but if this team stays healthy, and there's a chance that they will be healthy, they'll put up some points.

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08-24-2005, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
if traded, will be gone by the end of the season. Not all vets will be gone and likely Jagr too will not be gone. The ten teams? It may not be 10, but there will be more than 5. The Rangers will hang around in the 9-12 spot in the Eastern Conference, I believe, with teams like Buffalo, Florida, Atlanta, Washington (although they may already be out of it) and PITT. It'll be a dogfight to the end, and it's tough to predict, but if this team stays healthy, and there's a chance that they will be healthy, they'll put up some points.
Thanks, this is more along the lines of what I was looking for - it's obviously a matter of opinion, but while I agree regarding Washington and Buffalo, I think you're way off base on the other three. I think their rosters are already significantly better than the Rangers' (in terms of what they'll do this year certainly) AND Florida, Pitt and especially Atlanta are moving in the old Ranger direction of picking up names to increase their wins this season, whereas the Rangers' moves are all in the shepherd-the-kids-along mold.

Furthermore, Washington has several kids that are in the stud category that all of the posters on this board want the Rangers to get. If they develop THIS year and the Rangers trade their vets sooner rather than later, even Washington could finish ahead of the Blueshirts.

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08-24-2005, 01:35 PM
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Honestly, I think the team is looking like a pretty strong candidate for a lottery pick. What little established talent we have has a history of injuries. I can't imagine 5 teams putting together weaker teams, other then Washington i don't see a team that we are "definitely" better then. That being said i like the path we're on, giving young players an opportunity to develop and surrounding them with veterans that can be moved for more assets come trade deadline time.

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08-24-2005, 01:44 PM
  #10
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I agree...

that they're moving in the right direction, although I don't think they're there yet and each, especially PITT, will experience some growing pains (and on PITT, I'm not that impressed with their defense at this point), and the long season amplifies that. My assumption is that Jagr has a better-than-average season, Nylander's his average to above average self, Straka's mostly healthy, Rucchin's a decent two-way guy, Rucinsky's the same guy we've seen and the Rangers experienced more consistent goaltending than the previous few seasons. I think that can compete with those teams. I think currently, on paper, Florida's better than the Rangers, but it's a long season. For Atlanta - I'd like to see them keep the puck out of the net. They have a great young goalie, but their defense is suspect and if they misuse deVries (i.e., not on a third pair), then they may not have improved vastly.

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08-24-2005, 02:28 PM
  #11
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This season will in my mind be one of the toughest to predict given the amount of churn, the new rules (one team will get two points out of each game) new coaches and a big layoff.

IMO the Rangers could just as easily make the playoffs as get a top 5 pick, and it is very difficult to predict. Under normal circumstances you see teams that you expect to make the playoffs miss, and then teams you didn't think would do it surprise.

I don't expect them to make the playoffs, I also don't expect them to make the bottom five either...I just think there's teams out there like Minnesota, Anaheim, San Jose, Dallas, Washington, Carolina...even others like Pittsburgh that could challenge for those positions.

I would even be surprised to see Colorado miss the playoffs this year...

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08-24-2005, 03:45 PM
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Fish, San Jose will challenge for the top spot out West. It's hard to predict much else. Our team looks like another tease now.

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08-24-2005, 04:08 PM
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I still think this is a lottery team. It's true that we have a number of vets now, but let's look at the guys we've picked up:

Straka -- I like the guy as a player, but he hasn't played more than 60 games in a year since 2000-01. He seems to run into one freak injury after another. If he plays in 65 games this year, it's more than I would expect out of him.

Rucinsky -- I know we've all been raving about his play from his last go-around, but in that year he only scored 14 goals. He hasn't scored more than 50 points since 1997-98. He's no difference maker.

Nieminen -- A 3rd liner. So what?

Rucchin -- Old and declining. I like him for his leadership, but not what he brings to the ice.

Malik -- Here's a recipe for success: let's take a veteran player who established himself in a certain role and then overpay him to come to NY. Then we'll play him in a larger role to justify his salary. 30-year-old players blossom into something more all the time, right? I doubt he's bringing us any closer to the playoffs.

How do these players ruin our shot at a lottery pick when 3 of the 5 teams (Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Phoenix) that finished below us last year have taken much, much larger steps forward. Throw in that only 1 team (Buffalo) that finished significantly close to us looks worse than they did last year.

I think we've all got to reset our gauges a bit for the brave new NHL. With the salary cap, the bad teams aren't going to be as bad as they were before. So instead of just looking at our roster and thinking we're not so bad, we need to also look at the rosters of other teams and see who we're better than.

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08-24-2005, 04:32 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodiak
I still think this is a lottery team. It's true that we have a number of vets now, but let's look at the guys we've picked up:

Straka -- I like the guy as a player, but he hasn't played more than 60 games in a year since 2000-01. He seems to run into one freak injury after another. If he plays in 65 games this year, it's more than I would expect out of him.

Rucinsky -- I know we've all been raving about his play from his last go-around, but in that year he only scored 14 goals. He hasn't scored more than 50 points since 1997-98. He's no difference maker.

Nieminen -- A 3rd liner. So what?

Rucchin -- Old and declining. I like him for his leadership, but not what he brings to the ice.

Malik -- Here's a recipe for success: let's take a veteran player who established himself in a certain role and then overpay him to come to NY. Then we'll play him in a larger role to justify his salary. 30-year-old players blossom into something more all the time, right? I doubt he's bringing us any closer to the playoffs.

How do these players ruin our shot at a lottery pick when 3 of the 5 teams (Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Phoenix) that finished below us last year have taken much, much larger steps forward. Throw in that only 1 team (Buffalo) that finished significantly close to us looks worse than they did last year.

I think we've all got to reset our gauges a bit for the brave new NHL. With the salary cap, the bad teams aren't going to be as bad as they were before. So instead of just looking at our roster and thinking we're not so bad, we need to also look at the rosters of other teams and see who we're better than.
I couldn't agree more. This is why I am so mystified with how the folks on the Rucchin thread are convinced that all the kids are screwed by the vet signings. They are the perfect fits for a rebuilding team. Why people think the presence of Rucinsky, Straka et. al. mean that the top two lines are closed to kids for the season...? Like I said, I'm mystified.

And is anyone paying attention to who the Floridas and Pittsburghs have signed in free agency when they say that they'll finish in better drafting position than the Blueshirts? John LeClair, etc. are exactly the sorts of folks that have been coming to the Rangers and insuring them 13th overall picks for years.

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08-24-2005, 04:34 PM
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I think well end up 24-27th in the league. Like others have said...our team is extremely soft so I fully expect to really get our ***** handed to us while playing teams like Philly and Ottawa.

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08-24-2005, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by FLYLine88
I think well end up 24-27th in the league. Like others have said...our team is extremely soft so I fully expect to really get our ***** handed to us while playing teams like Philly and Ottawa.
We're soft for now, but that wont last much longer once some of our North American kids come up. I like the grit our youngsters have.

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08-24-2005, 05:18 PM
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I actually really like where we are right now.

As it stands, we have only one star in Jagr, a handful of proven and decent NHLers in Straka, Rucchin, Nylander, Rucinsky and Nieminen. We also have a bunch of entirely unproven kids who will not be simply handed roster spots and fed to wolves every night, but will have to fight to earn their spots. The big difference between the upcoming season and the previous ones is that I honestly believe that the kids will finally be rewarded for that effort, and team record will be second to prospect development.

If Immonen or Giroux or Lundmark surprise us and show that they deserve top 6 play, they will be given that time. They should not be handed 15 minutes a night simply because it's a rebuild, as this will be more detrimental than beneficial to their development. And a prospect doesn't have to score a PPG to prove himself, he just needs to show effort and determination; he doesn't need top 6 minutes to prove himself worthy of them.

I don't think that we will not win a lot of games; in fact, if we are anywhere near the .500 come the treade deadline, I will be extremely surprised. And even if we are, there are at least 2-3 vets that are being shipped outta here come trade deadline, so we are still right on course to finish bottom five and land a high pick.

I like it.

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08-24-2005, 05:21 PM
  #18
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Originally Posted by BrooklynRangerFan
I couldn't agree more. This is why I am so mystified with how the folks on the Rucchin thread are convinced that all the kids are screwed by the vet signings. They are the perfect fits for a rebuilding team. Why people think the presence of Rucinsky, Straka et. al. mean that the top two lines are closed to kids for the season...? Like I said, I'm mystified.

And is anyone paying attention to who the Floridas and Pittsburghs have signed in free agency when they say that they'll finish in better drafting position than the Blueshirts? John LeClair, etc. are exactly the sorts of folks that have been coming to the Rangers and insuring them 13th overall picks for years.
One thing is you see a player signed and you almost automatically slot him. He'll be on this line-that line. Jagr-Nylander-Straka-Rucchin-Rucinsky-Nieminen are 6 and then most would think Balej-Lundmark-Immonen-Prucha-Ortmeyer-Ward (why'd we sign him?) and Betts (talk about injury prone). But maybe you're right and we're overreacting. And yeah I think Philly might have screwed themselves on Hatcher and Florida with Nieuwendyk and Roberts. One thing however I don't think Sather is done. And if I were to predict he's going back to work on the D. This team though as it stands is going to get knocked around big time. It reminds me of the teams with Lafontaine and Gretzky or Nedved and Daigle. Are we going to have to keep a spot open for Purinton? Just to have someone to take on Godard or Brashear. Looks like it to me.

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08-24-2005, 05:31 PM
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Keep in mind also that Maloney and Renney were doing this sales job during the lockout about youth youth youth with their meet and greets and MSG videotaped specials. One might see them a little bit off message right now. Before the NHL came back it was like we (their fans) were in on the plan. Now we don't know what the hell they have in mind.

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08-24-2005, 06:34 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrooklynRangerFan
I couldn't agree more. This is why I am so mystified with how the folks on the Rucchin thread are convinced that all the kids are screwed by the vet signings. They are the perfect fits for a rebuilding team. Why people think the presence of Rucinsky, Straka et. al. mean that the top two lines are closed to kids for the season...? Like I said, I'm mystified.

And is anyone paying attention to who the Floridas and Pittsburghs have signed in free agency when they say that they'll finish in better drafting position than the Blueshirts? John LeClair, etc. are exactly the sorts of folks that have been coming to the Rangers and insuring them 13th overall picks for years.

How is it exactly that Rucchin can be at the same time, both a declining player who is here for leadership and little on ice and in the next argument for the pro-trade side a solid second or third line player who can benefit the young kids and somehow possibly get a decent return if a kid outplays him?

We've morphed this guy more times than someone out of the dang matrix.

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08-24-2005, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
How is it exactly that Rucchin can be at the same time, both a declining player who is here for leadership and little on ice and in the next argument for the pro-trade side a solid second or third line player who can benefit the young kids and somehow possibly get a decent return if a kid outplays him?

We've morphed this guy more times than someone out of the dang matrix.

There just aren't many guys on our roster who bring what he has. Anyway, I think your point is overrated for one reason. Rucchin is in his final year of his contract and could always be traded. He's the kind of player a playoff team might look to add.

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08-24-2005, 06:48 PM
  #22
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Yeah the Rangers sure outbid a lot of people with Gilles and a 4th.

And what exactly do you think Rucchin exactly brings to the table, that i haven't been watching on the local sports station?

The final year of his contract is great but 2 million dollars for an agiging second line center isn't going to get the return you seem to want to think it will.

And the argument on your side of the fence was that he was going to be checking center anyway, so that would theoretically impact that even more wouldn't it?

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08-24-2005, 06:54 PM
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With the new rule changes, 1 year lay off, all the trades and signings, smaller goalie equipment, lack of true chemistry yet on most teams, I think it's going to be very hard to predict the out-come of any one team let alone the Ranger's with their supposed youth core.You also need to factor in the shoot-out (provided your team is able to score goals to tie a game). Plus add in that some coaches are already figuring out ways to beat/neutralize the lack of a red line, no one can say what team will be able to accomplish what, until after we watch a few games, and then see how well the coaching staff and players adjust to the new format and show that they want to play and win games.

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08-24-2005, 07:11 PM
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i think you can least predict some elements. The rules changes are designed to bring the scoring back from yesteryear, not necessarily take a sport thats never scored and make it score.

Having said that, i think a lot of these guys have the talent but have always been hit or miss talents. That likely means there are going to be nights where Rucinsky looks awesome, Nylander and Jagr look hooked and the team stuns some people and other games where they dont show up and the team struggles.

Likewise i expect a somewhat streaky team.

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08-24-2005, 10:42 PM
  #25
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If you think about it with the new schedule this season we are going to see alot of the Islanders, Devils, Hurricanes, Bruins and Panthers in the first 4 months out of the season, Teams we have had decent records against in the past, with the exception of maybe the Devils, but what if by some fluke we do really well in our home to home games, and against the new "rivals" we have. If in the first 4 months we get some points on the board, towards the end we start facing teams like the Senators, Maple Leafs, Flyers, and the Lightning, if we start falling then, we might still have enough points to finish mid-pack, probablly 10th-12th in the east, which wont help our picks much, So unfortunatley this season I've gotta say Go Islanders!If we get our ***** handed to us then we get a lottery pick Yay!

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