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Offiical GDT: NYR @ TOR 2/11/06 6PM Start

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02-12-2006, 06:20 PM
  #351
Edge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
how resilient this team is. They just won the last six, and have won 7 of 8 and have points in all 8, getting points/beating Toronto twice, Ottawa and Philly twice. And the schedule was pretty tight: 8 games in 13 days. And the games were rough, but the Rangers seemed better during the second half, than the first half, it it's hard imagining them losing. We all talked about the physical games and how this could be a very telling period of the team's make-up, and they blew by it. Then we talk about March and how we'll see an even tougher stretch. These Rangers just go out and do their thing. Jagr, when happy and healthy, will go out there and score - you can rough him up, and his game doesn't change, and he's out there from 20-25 minutes per night. The bottom two lines don't really get pushed around, nor does the second line. I do agree about the possiblity of getting physically worn down, and have been warning about it since the first couple weeks, but there's been no slow down from the top guys. I dunno. We'll just have to wait until the end of April to see how this one plays out. I'm thinking of scapling some April 18th tickets against Ottawa right now (just got a early April Philly game).
The thing is such a minor change really. It's not a total style change at all. It's simply responding a little better. There's no denying the team has been resilent, that isn't the issue. Sometimes you have to fire back a shot as well though. A boxer can stand in there 10 rounds and take a lot of punches and can be very resilent. However if he never fires back, by the end of the fight those punches stand a very good chance of catching up to him. Now there's no gurantee that firing some punches of his own is going to prevent that, but it certainly helps the odds a little bit.

The one thing that does concern me a little bit is that I see a LOT of the Senators in this team. I see the ability to take punishment in the regular season, but I think there is a concern about playoff hockey. There is a balance to be had and every team that's won the cup in the last decade has had a way to protect their stars so that they were able to do their thing come playoff time. That doesn't require a great fighter or even a guy with triple digit pim number, it requires a certain mindset.

This team has done well so far, but my goal is to allow players like Jagr to do their thing and I've seen a lot of players who aren't normally froggy leap at this team. Now we've seen a good stretch lately, but we've also seen games where team's do a good job of running this team down by the third period. I'm starting to wonder if this team's scary third periods may even be a result of them starting to feel it by the end of the game. Is it a concern now, not so much. However in a tight series it could very well be a concern.

The playoffs and the regular season are very different environments and its that way in hockey, football, baseball and basketball. If it weren't the best regular season teams would always be the last to be eliminated.

People are associating team toughness with a change in style or that this team needs to get into 5 fights every game and that is simply not the situation.

I can't help but feel this question is a bit of a no-win situation for my point of view. Even if this team gets to the playoffs and say my theory is correct, I already know the response will be "But they weren't even expected to get that far anyway so it's a success" or frankly some other reason. I've been around the board's long enough to know that there's often a catch-22. When you're wrong, you're wrong but when you're right you're still wrong because someone has a justification for it.

Now is the toughness a problem? Don't really know for sure, but it stands a very good chance of being one.

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02-12-2006, 06:30 PM
  #352
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I don't really disagree, Edge...

it just seems as though this team has been defying the odds. I agree about the Sens and the playoffs, but what the Sens were missing was someone like Jagr, and goaltending to put them over the edge and steal the big games. The big wildcard with the Rangers is Jagr...If he wants to take a series into his own hands, he just may do it. I'd like to see a little more toughness, don't get me wrong, but this team is tough to predict.

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02-12-2006, 06:33 PM
  #353
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
The one thing that does concern me a little bit is that I see a LOT of the Senators in this team. I see the ability to take punishment in the regular season, but I think there is a concern about playoff hockey.
I have said the same thing myself, Edge. Expectations change. Before the season started, we would have been glad enough to loose 2-1, just so long as the team played hard. Now, however, the standards are different. The catch-22 you point out is also a good point. This is only a loose-loose situations. Rangers make the playoffs and loose for the reasons that we are outlining, and the sunshine sentiment on this board will be out in-force with "Can't you be happy?.....They were picked to finish 30th.....". They make the playoffs and go far and the same crowd will crow about how right they have been all along and how those who do see things differently are not real Ranger fans.
But I digress......Back to the Rangers. It took the Senators 3 or so years of getting themselves run out of the playoffs by a team like the 'Leafs. It took 3 years of getting so beat up in the playoffs, that they basically submitted and said "Uncle", for them to change the makeup of their roster so that such reasons for loosing the playoffs do not happen again. Let's hope that Renney can learn that lesson much faster.

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Old
02-12-2006, 06:35 PM
  #354
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
I agree about the Sens and the playoffs, but what the Sens were missing was someone like Jagr, and goaltending to put them over the edge and steal the big games.
Missing goaltending yes, but their defense was much superior to what the Rangers currently have and while they did not have Jagr, they DID have Hossa, Alfredsson & Havlat.

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02-12-2006, 06:58 PM
  #355
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When they played 18 games...

a couple seasons ago, the best scorer was Bonk with 6 goals...Those guys are not Jagr.

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Old
02-12-2006, 07:09 PM
  #356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edge
The thing is such a minor change really. It's not a total style change at all. It's simply responding a little better. There's no denying the team has been resilent, that isn't the issue. Sometimes you have to fire back a shot as well though. A boxer can stand in there 10 rounds and take a lot of punches and can be very resilent. However if he never fires back, by the end of the fight those punches stand a very good chance of catching up to him. Now there's no gurantee that firing some punches of his own is going to prevent that, but it certainly helps the odds a little bit.

The one thing that does concern me a little bit is that I see a LOT of the Senators in this team. I see the ability to take punishment in the regular season, but I think there is a concern about playoff hockey. There is a balance to be had and every team that's won the cup in the last decade has had a way to protect their stars so that they were able to do their thing come playoff time. That doesn't require a great fighter or even a guy with triple digit pim number, it requires a certain mindset.

This team has done well so far, but my goal is to allow players like Jagr to do their thing and I've seen a lot of players who aren't normally froggy leap at this team. Now we've seen a good stretch lately, but we've also seen games where team's do a good job of running this team down by the third period. I'm starting to wonder if this team's scary third periods may even be a result of them starting to feel it by the end of the game. Is it a concern now, not so much. However in a tight series it could very well be a concern.

The playoffs and the regular season are very different environments and its that way in hockey, football, baseball and basketball. If it weren't the best regular season teams would always be the last to be eliminated.

People are associating team toughness with a change in style or that this team needs to get into 5 fights every game and that is simply not the situation.

I can't help but feel this question is a bit of a no-win situation for my point of view. Even if this team gets to the playoffs and say my theory is correct, I already know the response will be "But they weren't even expected to get that far anyway so it's a success" or frankly some other reason. I've been around the board's long enough to know that there's often a catch-22. When you're wrong, you're wrong but when you're right you're still wrong because someone has a justification for it.

Now is the toughness a problem? Don't really know for sure, but it stands a very good chance of being one.
Just think back to many of the cup teams. They all had that "fighter", the guy who protected everyone and stood up for his mates. Even we had Kocur and Kyprios in 94. The Devils had McKenzie and Oliwa in their days.

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Old
02-12-2006, 07:10 PM
  #357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
it just seems as though this team has been defying the odds. I agree about the Sens and the playoffs, but what the Sens were missing was someone like Jagr, and goaltending to put them over the edge and steal the big games. The big wildcard with the Rangers is Jagr...If he wants to take a series into his own hands, he just may do it. I'd like to see a little more toughness, don't get me wrong, but this team is tough to predict.
No, that's the thing. We want him to be able to, but not if he's gonna be getting rocked around and banged around physically like he has been lately. That's why we need a boost of toughness

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02-12-2006, 07:14 PM
  #358
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As far as that goes I expect this team to make at least several changes during the off season and upgrading the D and bringing in more muscle are IMO the first two things that need to be addressed. And hopefully toughness will be something to focus on in the upcoming drafts. This is still a team being rebuilt at least in my mind--so there shouldn't be anything static about our lineup from year to year. To me that was part of Ottawa's problem. Something that would be helpful for us would be if someone like say Dupont could within 2-3 years become something of a player for us. A guy that is young, enthusiastic, plays physical, can take a regular shift. His emergence would come at the expense of someone on our 3rd or 4th lines but that's the way it goes.

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02-12-2006, 07:18 PM
  #359
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I guess I'm of the opinion...

that if a guy's going to be out there 20+ minutes per night, he's going to get banged around no matter what. I've also always thought that if you retaliate in kind, games get messy and out of control and spill into the next meeting between those two teams. The Darcy Tucker example's the best, and I always use it. He's going to do what he does...period. You can respond in kind all you want. You can go after him and take stupid penalties. If he wants to bang Jagr, he's going to bang Jagr. He's done that throughout his career. I was one of the guys in here calling for this team to be tougher - for all the reasons being laid out here -that this team needs to make it through the season, etc., but was moreso calling for Jagr to play less than 20 minutes, not around 22, because I believe he's going to get hit no matter what. If he doesn't, then the other teams aren't doing their jobs.

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02-12-2006, 07:54 PM
  #360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
that if a guy's going to be out there 20+ minutes per night, he's going to get banged around no matter what. I've also always thought that if you retaliate in kind, games get messy and out of control and spill into the next meeting between those two teams. The Darcy Tucker example's the best, and I always use it. He's going to do what he does...period. You can respond in kind all you want. You can go after him and take stupid penalties. If he wants to bang Jagr, he's going to bang Jagr. He's done that throughout his career. I was one of the guys in here calling for this team to be tougher - for all the reasons being laid out here -that this team needs to make it through the season, etc., but was moreso calling for Jagr to play less than 20 minutes, not around 22, because I believe he's going to get hit no matter what. If he doesn't, then the other teams aren't doing their jobs.
Good...and every time he bangs Jagr or does something dirty, you do the same, or you go kick his ***.

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02-13-2006, 02:38 PM
  #361
Edge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch
that if a guy's going to be out there 20+ minutes per night, he's going to get banged around no matter what. I've also always thought that if you retaliate in kind, games get messy and out of control and spill into the next meeting between those two teams. The Darcy Tucker example's the best, and I always use it. He's going to do what he does...period. You can respond in kind all you want. You can go after him and take stupid penalties. If he wants to bang Jagr, he's going to bang Jagr. He's done that throughout his career. I was one of the guys in here calling for this team to be tougher - for all the reasons being laid out here -that this team needs to make it through the season, etc., but was moreso calling for Jagr to play less than 20 minutes, not around 22, because I believe he's going to get hit no matter what. If he doesn't, then the other teams aren't doing their jobs.
I dont think there's any way around Jagr getting hit, that's a given. But Jagr is our top player and if he's getting hit, and his counterpart on the other team isn't over the course of a series that gap is going to play a factor. You can get away with that a little better when it's one game and you move onto another team, but when you play a team 4-7 times in a row it's going to be a factor that's what really seperates teams in the playoffs.

And again checking and hitting the other team's best player doesn't require penalties. When you have guys like Corey Cross willing to take liberties, then something is wrong.

The defense is not always that you stop the Tuckers or the McCabe's but that they understand you're going to work their stars over too. In doing so you prevent guys who are only brave when they think they can get away with it (see Cross, etc.) and it's one less guy who is a physical concern. In playoff situation, if you can elminate 1 or 2 guys from the equation physically that DOES make a difference.

If the difference is Jagr getting hit 15 times instead of 20, that's potentially 20 less hard hits he takes in a 4 game series. You're essentially taking a game's worth of punishment off his body and sometimes that is a big difference.

Again, playing physical does not require punching someone, taking an elbowing penalty or a knee on knee hit. Checking is not illegal and throwing your body at someone and wearing down a team is a sound strategy.

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