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Eastern Darkhorse?

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Old
03-20-2009, 11:09 AM
  #1
Sad London Ranger
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Eastern Darkhorse?

from Faceoff.com.......(john MacKinnon Edmonton Journal)

Quote:
EDMONTON - Competitive balance, not the slightly pejorative 'parity,' is the buzzword the NHL prefers to use to describe the race for playoff berths in its two constituent conferences.

Whatever term is used, once you get past front-runners San Jose and Detroit in the West, and Boston and the surging New Jersey Devils in the East, which teams might sneak out of the tightly bunched packs and make a bit of a Stanley Cup run?

In the East, you start with the New York Rangers, and for three compelling reasons: goalie Henrik Lundqvist; agitator Sean Avery; and head coach John Tortorella
http://www.faceoff.com/hockey/column...hn%2bmackinnon


Last edited by Melrose_Jr.: 03-20-2009 at 11:37 AM. Reason: posted entire article with no link
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Old
03-20-2009, 11:23 AM
  #2
BklyNYR4Life
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Why not?

As good a goalie as you're going to find in the eastern conference, and in the entire league.

A team that's finally getting balanced, and timely scoring.

A team that is not shying away from, even engaging the physical tempo in their play, and not losing their defensive focus in the process.

I'd say things are in place for a good run!

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03-20-2009, 11:24 AM
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I think the East is so wide open that I wouldn't be surprised with any result at this point. New Jersey is definitely the best team in the East, but they were great last year too and looked what happened to them in the playoffs. That said, they are the last team I'd like to face and I hope someone else takes them out.

That said, I feel much more comfortable with this team headed into the playoffs with Torts than with Renney. I think we'll fare better against more skilled teams like Pittsburgh and Washington. Time will tell though. Let them make the playoffs first

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03-20-2009, 11:33 AM
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Good article. I can buy into this thinking.

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Old
03-20-2009, 11:39 AM
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- do not post entire articles

- you MUST post links

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Old
03-20-2009, 11:53 AM
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The Rangers are the x-factor in the East right now. NJ and Pittsburgh are head and shoulders above everyone else right now and everyone else is kinda there, but the Rangers have been a totally different team since March 4 and could be a team that the top teams may not want to face even if the Rangers finish 7th or 8th.

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Old
03-20-2009, 11:53 AM
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Synergy27
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Every single team has a weakness. In my opinion the Devils and Flyers have the fewest weaknesses of any team in the East, and the Rangers have proven that they can play with both of them. I won't even identify a "darkhorse" because in my opinion the conference is completely wide open.

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Old
03-20-2009, 11:56 AM
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The author makes some good points but how come the Rangers record of 7-3-1 is better than the Pens last ten games at 8-0-2? I think the East goes through NJ but the Pens could be labeled a sleeper as well.

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Old
03-20-2009, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson Ranger View Post
The author makes some good points but how come the Rangers record of 7-3-1 is better than the Pens last ten games at 8-0-2? I think the East goes through NJ but the Pens could be labeled a sleeper as well.
The East goes through NJ and Pittsburgh. I think the whole NHL has known the beasts in the igloo have woken up with the arrival of Chris Kunitz.

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Old
03-20-2009, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson Ranger View Post
The author makes some good points but how come the Rangers record of 7-3-1 is better than the Pens last ten games at 8-0-2? I think the East goes through NJ but the Pens could be labeled a sleeper as well.
He's kind of pointing to the BIG changes as the reason, and no one else has made as many.

You do have a point though. Pens essentially added Gonchar, and Kunitz has been a nice addition for them. MAF, like Biron, is the wildcard for an otherwise solid group of skaters though, and since he puts an emphasis on goaltending, I'm guessing that's why they're not mentioned.

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Old
03-20-2009, 12:16 PM
  #11
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Dark Horse

Anythings possible. Lets make some headlines.



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Old
03-20-2009, 12:22 PM
  #12
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IMO I would have rather had Kunitz or Jokinen instead of Ants but that's water under the bridge..

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Old
03-20-2009, 12:24 PM
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IF they get there...

The Rangers definitely have the team, the goaltending and the coach to make things happen.

But theres one thing theyll really have to do if they want to make any kind of splash in the playoffs...

Stop giving up goals right after they score one. This is a big problem that seems to be flying under the radar right now because they are winning games. But in the playoffs the momentum swings are even more volatile in the big pressure games, like 5, 6 and 7...

Fighting and fighting and finally getting the lead and giving it back is not good in the playoffs and it can kill a team mentally over a long series.

Let's hope Torts continues to work on this teams killer instinct and finishing ability. Cause they'll need that big time.

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Old
03-20-2009, 12:36 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy London Ranger View Post
IMO I would have rather had Kunitz or Jokinen instead of Ants but that's water under the bridge..
I think everyone would have. But when you take into account the our cap situation, and the assets we were willing to give, Antropov fit the bill just fine.

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Old
03-20-2009, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
I think everyone would have. But when you take into account the our cap situation, and the assets we were willing to give, Antropov fit the bill just fine.
And Antropov has been fantastic since he came over. No complaints with him, Morris or Avery so far. Key being SO FAR, but the deadline and the hiring of Torts have been great to this point.

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Old
03-20-2009, 12:47 PM
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I don't think we're the Dark Horse.

Until we get consistent scoring from our key players (Zherdev, Drury, Dubi, etc.) we're not going far.

Dubi...wow. Talk about a sophomore slump...guy couldn't score on any empty net.

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03-20-2009, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrose_Jr. View Post
He's kind of pointing to the BIG changes as the reason, and no one else has made as many.

You do have a point though. Pens essentially added Gonchar, and Kunitz has been a nice addition for them. MAF, like Biron, is the wildcard for an otherwise solid group of skaters though, and since he puts an emphasis on goaltending, I'm guessing that's why they're not mentioned.
You're right Melrose, the difference is probably the goalies but last I looked, Pittsburgh did make it to the finals last year with MAF while Hank and Marty were playing golf. I think the difference between Pittsburgh's top line players and the Rangers top line players is larger than the difference in goalies.

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03-20-2009, 12:58 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson Ranger View Post
You're right Melrose, the difference is probably the goalies but last I looked, Pittsburgh did make it to the finals last year with MAF while Hank and Marty were playing golf. I think the difference between Pittsburgh's top line players and the Rangers top line players is larger than the difference in goalies.
I couldn't agree more. The Rangers offensive juggernaut is still pretty pathetic. Personally Pittsburgh has a lot more depth and is far more lethal than the Rangers.

What good is goaltending if we can't score?

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03-20-2009, 01:21 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by Rangerfans View Post
I couldn't agree more. The Rangers offensive juggernaut is still pretty pathetic. Personally Pittsburgh has a lot more depth and is far more lethal than the Rangers.

What good is goaltending if we can't score?
Darkhorse? Sure why not...the confidence is presently building so...

Pittsburgh have their own demons to conquer....What happens to Geno when they meet a team that HAMMERS him game in game out in a 7 game series?

How ironic is it that the Rangers darkhorse leaders include Avery and Tortorella...

Avery is our leader....

what do ya know

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Old
03-20-2009, 01:33 PM
  #20
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Reading this queue I just realized that we'll once again have 4 team representing the Atlantic Division in the playoffs (along with the 2 hottest teams in the league right now). It's gonna be a hell of a Spring!

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Old
03-20-2009, 01:43 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synergy27 View Post
Every single team has a weakness. In my opinion the Devils and Flyers have the fewest weaknesses of any team in the East, and the Rangers have proven that they can play with both of them. I won't even identify a "darkhorse" because in my opinion the conference is completely wide open.
IMO Flyers have the biggest weakness with goaltending...Yes biron stepped up last year but him and nittimaki have been very inconsistent ... if you have a great goalie anyone can make it to the finals

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03-20-2009, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson Ranger View Post
I think the difference between Pittsburgh's top line players and the Rangers top line players is larger than the difference in goalies.
Hmmmmm.... Do I agree with that? Tough one.

How about the defenses, and defensive strategies? I'd say Fleury has the harder job.

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Old
03-20-2009, 01:56 PM
  #23
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I don't see this team getting by any of NJ, WSH, or PHI. Especially not NJ. Boston is in such a freefall right now I suppose you can catch them on the down side and get past them.

NJ is just, unfortunately, a phenomenal team right now, and I have a feeling Ovechkin is going to take his game to another level in the playoffs this year.

I think PHI, in a 7 game series, will be too much for the Rangers.

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03-20-2009, 02:06 PM
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i wouldn't consider the Rangers a dark horse, considering how highly touted they were in the beginning of the season.

The Panthers, should they make it, would be a dark horse.

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03-20-2009, 02:08 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyH2O View Post
i wouldn't consider the Rangers a dark horse, considering how highly touted they were in the beginning of the season.

The Panthers, should they make it, would be a dark horse.
Highly touted? LOL

By who? Who thought this team was going to be good lol?

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