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Are we better or worse than we were in May?

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Old
10-03-2008, 08:21 AM
  #1
Jersey Girl
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Are we better or worse than we were in May?

OK so when we last saw our boys lace 'em up in anger, we were playing the Penguins in the NHL quarterfinals, the Eastern Conference semifinals, the final eight of the league. We had just trounced the Devils, were giving the Penguins a run for their money (it could have been a totally different series if we had held onto that 3-0 lead in game 1), Henrik was a Vezina finalist as one of the top three goalies in the league, and things were looking good.

So how are we looking now? Since nobody has lost a game yet, or has seen their goalie give up a bad goal yet, or seen their defense exposed yet, or seen their power play pull an oh-fer yet, or seen their team unable to put the puck into the net yet, there is optimism all around the league, including here. The prevailing thought everywhere right now is, 'why not us?'

That of course leads to the question, 'why us?' Have we improved since May? Are we better now than we were then? Is there any reason to think we can advance further than we did last year? Did Sather put us in a better position to win the Cup than we were in five months ago? Hmmm.

I know it's popular to say it takes three years to decide if moves have panned out, and there is some truth to that. But Sather's job was/is to make the team better not only three years down the road, but this year as well. If three years down the road is all that matters, why waste $20 million over the next three years on Wade Redden? Wait three years to sign him, save half the price of his contract, and compete for the Cup then.

So what do you guys think? Did Sather put us in better position to win this year, or worse? How do you feel about our chances compared to how you felt five months ago?

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10-03-2008, 08:35 AM
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Fletch
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I'll tell you in May 2009.

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10-03-2008, 08:47 AM
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Jersey Girl
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Originally Posted by Fletch View Post
I'll tell you in May 2009.
And I'll tell you in November who will win this year's World Series.

Hindsight is always 20/20.

Just asking what people think of our team in October 2008 compared to May...

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10-03-2008, 08:55 AM
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zestystrat
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Originally Posted by Jersey Girl View Post
And I'll tell you in November who will win this year's World Series.

Hindsight is always 20/20.

Just asking what people think of our team in October 2008 compared to May...
Kind of like asking - Will we miss the players who left?

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10-03-2008, 09:07 AM
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Trxjw
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I don't think we're necessarily 'better' in the sense that this team would beat-up on last years team, but I do feel we've improved.

I think the style of play will be more effective against the faster teams in the league. I also think we'll see more scoring from the 2nd and 3rd lines, possibly even the 4th. I feel better not having to look to one guy (Jagr) to shoulder the load and have the team more or less live and die by his performance.

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10-03-2008, 09:29 AM
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Faster, younger...but impossible to see if we are better because certain players who will need to improve ( Dubi, Staal, Dawes for example ) have yet had a reg season game to show their possible improvement.

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10-03-2008, 09:33 AM
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Jersey Girl
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Originally Posted by zestystrat View Post
Kind of like asking - Will we miss the players who left?
Sorry, I'm new here...are opinion threads frowned upon?

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10-03-2008, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Jersey Girl View Post
Sorry, I'm new here...are opinion threads frowned upon?
eh not really but its all that has been going on lately b/c of the offseason so some people are getting fed up w/ them. by the way if you do an opinion try, to give your own as well. it just makes for a better read and can start a conversation faster easier, plus its always good to see what others think.

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10-03-2008, 09:38 AM
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hindsight is 20/20...

at this moment, though, it's difficult to tell how this team would do. I don't even think Renney can tell you what the lines will look like at the end of October, so saying this team is better or worse than last season's team is quite difficult. I can say if a lot of things happen, then yes, but I'm not prepared to make those assumptions, which all need to come to fruition for this team to be better (it's definitely possible, but I'm just going to sit back, observe and cross my fingers).

trx - I may've mentioned this in another thread, so sorry for the redundancy, but I understand your point that you don't like looking to one player for this team to succeed. Of course, last season there were a few other players, two of which are currently on this team, who could've stepped up during times in which Jagr was stopped. My concern is that there is even less depth after the top line this season because last year's depth, scoring wise, included Dubi and Drury.

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10-03-2008, 09:40 AM
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Jersey Girl...

much of the Summer was spent debating the same issues on which you've been starting threads. And it was a looooong Summer that began when the Rangers lost to the Pens. I personally don't mind the threads because the current mindset is different. Games have been played, we're a lot closer to the start of the season, and we've had a chance to see what we've been speculating about all Summer.

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10-03-2008, 09:59 AM
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We are certainly faster and younger.

We are also (arguably) less talented and softer.

If this team can hold onto the 4-6th spot in the East for the majority of the season and then add a legitimate sniper at the trade deadling (Kovalchuk, Gaborik), they could be a Stanley Cup caliber team.

They could also miss the playoffs, its just impossible to tell....so much change.

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10-03-2008, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
We are certainly faster and younger.

We are also (arguably) less talented and softer.

If this team can hold onto the 4-6th spot in the East for the majority of the season and then add a legitimate sniper at the trade deadling (Kovalchuk, Gaborik), they could be a Stanley Cup caliber team.

They could also miss the playoffs, its just impossible to tell....so much change.
It is hard to say but I think we are better. I don't think we are softer because of the additions of Voros, Fritsche, and Riss. i would say we are tougher because we only lost Avery. I do think that the newcomers need to step up for me to say that we are more talented. Naslund and Zherdev need to play better to compensate for the loss of Jagr and Straka. And of course Dawes, Dubi, and Prucha need to show more.
Tough question with so much change.

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10-03-2008, 10:14 AM
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tougher?

from the looks of it, Riss and Fritsche could start the season in the press box, so that's two parts of the greater toughness. Voros replaces Hollweg. Yeah, he's tougher, but Hollweg wasn't exactly a whimp and Voros is not feared. Then you have Avery, who was lost, and in the toughness department, that hurts more than losing Orr since Avery takes regular shifts.

On defense - Toots wasn't tough, but he hit a lot more than his replacement, Redden, and Strudwick was tougher than Kalinin.

Shanny wasn't tough, but I'm sure he's tougher than Zherdev and Jagr can hold off three guys, something Naslund can't do.

I'd say his team is a fair amount softer than last season's and the hope is that the top six, which will be out there more than 2/3 each game, will not have to worry about getting hit because the opposition won't be able to keep up with their quick stickwork and fancy footwork and the defensemen won't have to work much.

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10-03-2008, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by AGMongoose View Post
It is hard to say but I think we are better. I don't think we are softer because of the additions of Voros, Fritsche, and Riss. i would say we are tougher because we only lost Avery. I do think that the newcomers need to step up for me to say that we are more talented. Naslund and Zherdev need to play better to compensate for the loss of Jagr and Straka. And of course Dawes, Dubi, and Prucha need to show more.
Tough question with so much change.
I really don't like the idea of hoping Naslund and Zherdev make up for the loss of Straka and Jagr. Hoping for positive contributions from both, but Naslund does not have Straka's drive, and at this stage I'm not even sure if Naslund still has Straka's hands.

Zherdev compensating for Jagr...ugh. That holds the kid to way too high of a standard.

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10-03-2008, 10:30 AM
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Girl...

if we're comparing last season to this season, Naslund's hands (and body) are better than Straka. If Naslund is here to replace Straka, then that's an improvement.

But if we look at it as this guy is replacing that guy, this team isn't near last season's team. The point to be made is regarding the look of the team. Will the 'change' in philosophy of being a quicker team be better this season than last. Can the lines fine chemistry that may've not been there last season at times (although in the end, last season's team did make the playoffs and lose to a team that had forwards that were tough to contain; and that still have those fowards).

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10-03-2008, 10:31 AM
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Jersey Girl, FYI, all of these topics that you are starting is stuff that we have been discussing here all damn summer. Read the board and lurk a little bit more.

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10-03-2008, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Jersey Girl View Post
Sorry, I'm new here...are opinion threads frowned upon?
No not at all, just a having a little fun at your expense. The threads seemed very similar.

Also like what has been said above, we have had a lot of threads over the summer dissecting the off-season moves - most ending with the pro JJ camp vs. the ready to move on from JJ camp. Which IMO is at this point

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10-03-2008, 10:38 AM
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I did not mean to suggest 1 to 1 compensation. I really think Naslund can make up for Straka. He was playing very well in the 1st half and was getting shuffled from the twins line (and that was his off-wing position) down to the 2nd line with the likes of Kesler, Pyatt. And he still had 55 points. I see him getting closer to 70 points this season. Of course Zherdev is not ready to replace Jagr but he does have the talent to be a #1 RW. And if other youngers step up like they should I think we will be in good shape.

As for toughness, I did not like Hollweg at all. His stupid running around did not accomplish much. And I will never forgive him for that dumb penalty in the playoffs. Voros is tough and goes to the net all the time and will contribute so much more. I don't think Fritsche is starting in the pressbox. He has played well and I think will start. I don't think Rangers brought him in to sit. You are right about Avery. He is not as easy to replace. I guess we will have to see what happens once the season starts.

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10-03-2008, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by zestystrat View Post
No not at all, just a having a little fun at your expense. The threads seemed very similar.

Also like what has been said above, we have had a lot of threads over the summer dissecting the off-season moves - most ending with the pro JJ camp vs. the ready to move on from JJ camp. Which IMO is at this point
I suppose the difference between the summer threads and now is it's no longer summer. We've had a training camp and pre-season to get a first impression of life with the new players, and without the old players. And the new season is upon us.

That's a lot different from July speculation.

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10-03-2008, 10:51 AM
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We're a million times better than we were in May.

There, questioned answer, close thread.

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10-03-2008, 10:58 AM
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We're a million times better than we were in May.

There, questioned answer, close thread.
Actually, $6.5 million...

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10-03-2008, 11:32 AM
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Offensively, I think we are much better.

Naslund-Gomez-Drury - Drury is looking really great on the wing. Gomez flies like usual. Hopefully Naslund will be the sniper we need.

Dawes(?)-Dubi-Zherdev - To anyone that's been watching the past couple games, how can you not like what Dubi and Zherdev have been doing. I have a feeling this will be a very exciting line, regardless of who the other wing is.

Prucha/Sjo(?)-Korpi-Cally - A line with alot of hustle. Could be a nice offensive threat as well.

Rissmiller-Betts-Voros - If this is the fourth line, we know what they are on the ice for. Same as last season. Still probably better off than last season.

Defensively, I think we are better. I don't think Redden is as bad as people are making him out to be. Rozi is no longer the "#1" Dman on the team in term of veteran status, so maybe that will help him out a bit. Staal and Girardi are a year older with another year of experience.

All in all, we lost some key players, but it was time to cut the leash. If it wasn't this season, it would be next. Who's to say that Jagr's production wouldn't drop even more this season? Shanny, the gas has ran out, we all saw that. Straka, great defensively, but just lost his offensive touch. Avery, he was a nice fit for the NYR, but still a bit overrated around here. Tyutin, I'll miss that hipcheck!

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10-03-2008, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Jersey Girl View Post
I suppose the difference between the summer threads and now is it's no longer summer. We've had a training camp and pre-season to get a first impression of life with the new players, and without the old players. And the new season is upon us.

That's a lot different from July speculation.
Not so much. Considering that lines have barely solidified and a full NHL squad has not been iced for more than a few games.

If anyone is already missing someone that left last year it has less to do with the current team more more due to fandom. The current team has barely gotten off the ground.

Let's play a few games and then see if we need to worry about Avery et all.

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10-03-2008, 12:44 PM
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I think we are worse. I'm also predicting that we'll end around in the 8-10 seed range. Yes, that means I don't think we'll make the playoffs and if we do, it'll be 8th seed.

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10-03-2008, 01:50 PM
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Another thread on this stuff, from the same person? This **** has been discussed in 456746789658432 threads already over the past few months.

No one knows. Everyone has an opinion. If you want to know what those opinions entail, read the aforementioned bajillion threads!

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