marty is a servicable goalie, but the problem here is we'll be facing awesome goaltending for 32 divisional games a year. realistically marty is in no way better than D/P, fleury, king henrik or that dude in new jersey--whats his face--and they're all going to get better, except brodeur who can't really be any better.
therein lies the problem and no goalie we could have gotten in the past year would've done the trick. as much as homer preaches defense, we don't have the goaltending, so we're going to have to be a balls to the wall offensive minded team, not geared towards team defense.
I think this is the best goaltending situation we've had in a very long time. Marty is solid and Nitty has something to play for when he does get in. If both are healthy I think the goaltending can translate into an extra 12 points in itself...I'll worry about the playoffs when we get there but I think one more puck-mover on the back end is a much more pressing issue.
We don't need them all to come through to be the best group.
Shanny disappeared last year in the 2nd half, especially in the 2nd half. A large number of Rangers fans would have been quite happy to see him go.
Gagne, Knuble, Upshall, Hartnell, Lupul, Umberger, Eager and Kapanen is an excellent and well balanced group. You have size, speed, toughness, offensive and defensive ability.
Shanny had 16 pts in 19 games after the break... including having his face ploughed over by Knuble. not sure he disappeared that much. He's also a force in the room...
all that being said, if he stays resonably healthy i'd pencil him in for 30 goals, which i'm not sure you can say for anyone on our club other than Gagne going into the season.
I like our wings, but they're very young, and very unproven after Gagne and Knuble.
Hartnell has a history of injuries (because he plays so hard) including the dreaded concussions. Upshall has been injury prone as well... neither is a proven NHL scorer.
then you have Lupul coming off a disastrous NHL campaign. Kapanen can no longer find the net with his shot. Eager i have high hopes for, and a question mark at RW on the 4th line... Umberger is also floating around somewhere.
now, they have a lot of potential... but if i'm going to battle THIS season, i'm a bit happier with the Rangers setup. 2-3 years from now, I like ours a lot.