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How to build a team...

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Old
09-08-2005, 08:29 AM
  #1
Fletch
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How to build a team...

a Post article caught my attention today which made me think a bit. We've always looked at the Devils as a team we hate, partly because of their success, and the other part because of annoying fans. Their success is not to be denied. Lou Lams put together strings of teams, and every year many thought that this was the year the Devils don't make it. And usually they were wrong. We've talked a bit about the new NHL. The softer, kinder, gentler NHL. Looking at the Devils' defense...it appears as though the Devils seem that it's important to protect the front of their net. The defense consists of, after Martin and Rafalski, neither of whom shy away from physical contact, White, Malakhov, McGillis and Matvichuk. Four big defensemen. Four defenseman who aren't too quick. Four defensemen who like to hit (Malakhov when he wants to, but he appears to play better when not on the Rangers). Matvichuk, I believe, has lost a few steps, but is still smart. White never had those few steps. McGillis and Malakhov too have lost steps. At forward, they're not monsters, but they are a bunch of players, mostly quick (aside from Langdon and Oliwa) who are aggressive, get to the puck quick, and will use the body to get the puck. It's seems almost opposite of what the Rangers are really building - which is a east-west type arrangement where flair and skill will win-out.

Going over to Fly-Land, and they have monsters on defense: Hatcher, Therien and Rathje, each at 6'5, each willing to pound some flesh. This goes along with guys like Brashear, Handzus, Knuble, Stevenson and Primeau, all of whom will be getting decent minutes.

Either Sather's got this one right, or he's really gotten this one wrong, or he just doesn't care about this season (and from past experiences, he does care about this season).

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09-08-2005, 08:56 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
Either Sather's got this one right, or he's really gotten this one wrong, or he just doesn't care about this season (and from past experiences, he does care about this season).
Not only do I think that he got it wrong, I also think that he is petrified of trusting younger players. Even in what is supposed to be a rebuilding year. It seems that he thinks that finishing 10th with a veteran laden team is MUCH better than finishing in the bottom 5, with a team filled with young players. He seems to think that young players learn much more from playing in Hartford and watching Malik play in MSG, then playing in the NHL.

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09-08-2005, 08:58 AM
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Problem is...

and I don't know if this year's different, he doesn't go into the season thinking he's finishing 10th. If he goes with kids, or went with kids in the past, he knows he's finishing 10th.

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09-08-2005, 09:16 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
a Post article caught my attention today which made me think a bit. We've always looked at the Devils as a team we hate, partly because of their success, and the other part because of annoying fans. Their success is not to be denied. Lou Lams put together strings of teams, and every year many thought that this was the year the Devils don't make it. And usually they were wrong. We've talked a bit about the new NHL. The softer, kinder, gentler NHL. Looking at the Devils' defense...it appears as though the Devils seem that it's important to protect the front of their net. The defense consists of, after Martin and Rafalski, neither of whom shy away from physical contact, White, Malakhov, McGillis and Matvichuk. Four big defensemen. Four defenseman who aren't too quick. Four defensemen who like to hit (Malakhov when he wants to, but he appears to play better when not on the Rangers). Matvichuk, I believe, has lost a few steps, but is still smart. White never had those few steps. McGillis and Malakhov too have lost steps. At forward, they're not monsters, but they are a bunch of players, mostly quick (aside from Langdon and Oliwa) who are aggressive, get to the puck quick, and will use the body to get the puck. It's seems almost opposite of what the Rangers are really building - which is a east-west type arrangement where flair and skill will win-out.

Going over to Fly-Land, and they have monsters on defense: Hatcher, Therien and Rathje, each at 6'5, each willing to pound some flesh. This goes along with guys like Brashear, Handzus, Knuble, Stevenson and Primeau, all of whom will be getting decent minutes.

Either Sather's got this one right, or he's really gotten this one wrong, or he just doesn't care about this season (and from past experiences, he does care about this season).
I think that we are all putting too much importance on the rule changes. There might be more flow and possibly more scoring but there is nothing to indicate that teams do not need to still have balance.

The Devs - I could see them taking a step back with Niedermeyer and Stevens gone. Marty is a year older and how long can he continue to play 70+ games a season. Elias may not be healthy. It might just be the year the take a step back (of course I say this every year)

The Flys - They do have size and guys who can pound but they also have guys like Gagne and Forsberg and Pitkannen and Johnson who can skate and move the puck.

Regardless, both teams have better depth and better balance then the Rangers.

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09-08-2005, 09:23 AM
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The thing is, both those teams have an identity. They've fostered it over the years and have stuck with it. The FLyers have had a fair amount of turnover, but they have kept a core together, or replaced it slowly.

The Devils have lost big parts of their core, but they've always been about the sum of their parts, and they'll still be a pressure team, who's deadly in transition.

The rangers have not developed a core, nor an identity since the early 90's, and they keep paying for it.

The Penguins will be a very finesse team, and the rangers may as well. It might not be a terrible/losing thing, but it won't work unless the core gets developed and the team learns how to play together.

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09-08-2005, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davisian
The thing is, both those teams have an identity. They've fostered it over the years and have stuck with it. The FLyers have had a fair amount of turnover, but they have kept a core together, or replaced it slowly.

The Devils have lost big parts of their core, but they've always been about the sum of their parts, and they'll still be a pressure team, who's deadly in transition.

The rangers have not developed a core, nor an identity since the early 90's, and they keep paying for it.

The Penguins will be a very finesse team, and the rangers may as well. It might not be a terrible/losing thing, but it won't work unless the core gets developed and the team learns how to play together.

What's also true is both teams will have young guys from their organization playing important roles:

The Devs Gomez, Hale, Martin, Parise

The Flys Carter, Richards, Pitkanen, Gagne

Somehow these perennial playoff teams have room for youth but the Rangers do not.

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09-08-2005, 10:52 AM
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I hate to bet against...

the Devils (although I also love to bet against the Devils). Without Stevens, the team didn't seem to miss a beat. Without Stevens and Niedermayer, someone like Rafalski will have to step up, and Hale is starting to come into his own. I think with Matvichuk, Malakhov and McGillis, the depth beyond the top pairing is increased, which is good, and there will be some offense. At forward, not having Elias may hurt, but that depends on where others are on the curve. The year off may've helped Brodeau a bit - he may be ready for 70 games again. It's amazing that I bet Matvichuk and McGillis would be disasters in New York - looking slow that is. I'm guessing they won't look like that in Jersey.

I agree SBoB...the point is the guys named are guys who will get significant ice time, and are deserving of it. Balance is key, as we all know, but balance isn't 8 finsesse guys on the three top lines and 3 bangers on the fourth line. It's being able to have guys on those top three lines, and each pairing.

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Old
09-08-2005, 10:56 AM
  #8
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Hartford is there for a reason.For once,the Pack will not be made up of veteran journeymen.If you look at the Devils,all of their young players except Scott Niedermayer,Scott Gomez and Paul Martin played in either Utica or Albany.They play together and win together in the minors.Rushing Hugh Jessiman into the NHL just to prove the team is rebuilding is foolish.The Rangers brought in fold the fort players this summer.One year contracts.Buys time for the young players to get another season of development instead of force feeding them

Bill Guerin
Marty Brodeur
Mike Dunham
Brian Rolston
Jason Smith
Sergei Brylin
Denis Pederson
Brendan Morrison
Jay Pandolfo
Patrik Elias
Petr Sykora
Sheldon Souray
Steve Sullivan
David Hale
Colin White

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09-08-2005, 11:04 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway
Somehow these perennial playoff teams have room for youth but the Rangers do not.

What about Jeff Ulmer??

Nothing but a Sather hater..

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Old
09-08-2005, 11:36 AM
  #10
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What about Jeff Ulmer??

Nothing but a Sather hater..

Or Layne Ulmer for that matter.

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09-08-2005, 12:13 PM
  #11
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Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway
Or Layne Ulmer for that matter.

Jeff was better.

He had more "jump" for Low.

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Old
09-08-2005, 12:17 PM
  #12
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Layne signed an AHL deal with San Antonio

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Old
09-08-2005, 12:19 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingnBluesOnBroadway
Somehow these perennial playoff teams have room for youth but the Rangers do not.
Heck, for the last 3 or 4 years of hockey, Colorado & Detroit found room for youth, while the highly successfull Rangers have not.

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09-08-2005, 12:21 PM
  #14
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Originally Posted by RangerBoy
Hartford is there for a reason.For once,the Pack will not be made up of veteran journeymen.
Hartford has been there for the last 6 years of Sather drafting. Somehow, within that time, all other perennial Cup contenders have found a way to get youth important minutes within their lineup, not just 3 minutes on the 4th line.

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09-08-2005, 12:23 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True Blue
Heck, for the last 3 or 4 years of hockey, Colorado & Detroit found room for youth, while the highly successfull Rangers have not.
And if not now , when ??? Just another reason why Sather should not have been kept in charge for the house cleaning and 'rebuilding' IMO.

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