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The 5 Game Assessment

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Old
10-13-2009, 11:59 AM
  #1
I Am Chariot
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The 5 Game Assessment

Ok so everyone's played 5 games....Rangers actually played their 6th last night.

First off, I know its early but, the off season re-vamping of the roster is looking pretty impressive. A great mix of skill and roll guys and it "feels" right watching them interact on the ice. The kids are making mistakes, but they have generally been the right kind of mistakes kids make by playing hard with passion.

The Rangers have been in every game. They only lost the opener to the Pens and they were competitive till the end. Today they are on top of the Eastern conference.

Lets not get a head of our homer-selves but the team looks like a team and is playing like a team and looks like they are having fun.

Key observations:

1. They play Torts system hard all 60 minutes. They dont appear gassed in the third like last year

2. The Power Play is night and day from last year. I came to dread the PP last year. Just an opportunity for the other team to embarrass them with a shortie. 5 games in the PP looks exciting and is producing.

3. Depth - I questioned letting some of last years quality depth guys go, but I'm not missing them during the games. I think it's possible the team even upgraded most of their roles, by developing their own and key acquisitions. I know the D is young but Gilroy and Del Z are incredibly impressive. I'm amazed that both these guys are Rangers and have no qualms at this point about them replacing Mara and Morris. Granted they have to play the whole long season but I'm ready to let them run with it and see what happens. They are two very entertaining players on the blueline.

4. Lundqvist is looking sharp. Not sure why they don't enforce his crease and space more diligently but he's keeping them in the games. He was $$$ in the Washington game, despite giving up the worst goal of his career

5. The Gabby Gomez cap swap - Thank you Mr. Sather


All in all a very enjoyable 6 games from a fans pov. Of course they are winning so it's easy to stay positive. But its hard to pick at this team faults right now. I really like what I'm seeing.


Thoughts?

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Old
10-13-2009, 12:03 PM
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clmetsfan
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I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, because I can't believe how well this team has come together in just 6 games. I'm fairly certain that they're not THIS good, and that a slight regression to the mean is inevitable. But no matter what, this team is going to be a contender this season, and a remarkably fun one to watch as well.

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10-13-2009, 12:06 PM
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On observation 1. Think we'll have to wait a bit longer than 5-6 games to see if getting gassed in the third periods will happen. May be inevitable to a certain extent. Keeping up that pace all year may be impossible.

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Old
10-13-2009, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clmetsfan View Post
I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, because I can't believe how well this team has come together in just 6 games. I'm fairly certain that they're not THIS good, and that a slight regression to the mean is inevitable. But no matter what, this team is going to be a contender this season, and a remarkably fun one to watch as well.
Rougher times are certainly on the horizon, but this team does have the pieces necessary to succeed longterm.

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Old
10-13-2009, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gluvhand View Post
On observation 1. Think we'll have to wait a bit longer than 5-6 games to see if getting gassed in the third periods will happen. May be inevitable to a certain extent. Keeping up that pace all year may be impossible.
I almost am expecting a let down in the next 2 games but with the way the team has played they should be able to beat the Kings and Leafs again...........big deal is no let downs. The Kings have been playing pretty well

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Old
10-13-2009, 12:11 PM
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When we come back down to Earth, I think we'll be a 4-6 seed.

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10-13-2009, 12:16 PM
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HockeyBasedNYC
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Lets keep in mind that last year the Rangers went 5-0 on to a 10-3 start which would later disintegrate over the course of the season ending with the canning of the coach.

It is early, very early - but a few of encouraging things we are seeing -

1. The PP is vastly better
2. The third periods are their best period
3. Henrik isnt the story every night because they are avg. 4 goals a game right now.

Of course those things can change. I can see other teams building their conditioning to keep up better in the third, but right now the Rangers have this advantage most likely because of the camp they were put through.

If Lundqvist is himself and avg 2 goals a game, with this type of offense, getting production from all areas, it could be a good season. But the Rangers are pretty young and you wonder how long players like Anisimov and especially Del Zotto and Gilroy will stand up to the rigors of a full NHL season. The Olympic break shoudl help them a bit i would think.

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Old
10-13-2009, 12:19 PM
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We're not quite as good as we look now, and teams WILL start to figure us out. Despite this, 2 reasons why this team WILL be in the top 3 in the east? #1 Lundqvist #2 overall talent. This team can flat out put the puck in the net. We all know that the scoring will slow down but I think we're much better off than last year. As far as I'm concerned any system that can make Redden look as good as he has is as good as gold . Rozy will come around, remember hes played for renney longer than ANY of these other Dmen and it may take him a little bit longer to get with the program.

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Old
10-13-2009, 12:20 PM
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I Am Chariot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyBasedNYC View Post
Lets keep in mind that last year the Rangers went 5-0 on to a 10-3 start which would later disintegrate over the course of the season ending with the canning of the coach
Very true...but they must also be wary of this little bit of history. No one wins the cup in October. This game has a lot to do with the long haul and how a team withstands the ups and downs all teams have throughout the year.

Do we have the leadership to chart those stormy waters when they arise?

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10-13-2009, 12:28 PM
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h0ckeyman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chariot View Post
Very true...but they must also be wary of this little bit of history. No one wins the cup in October. This game has a lot to do with the long haul and how a team withstands the ups and downs all teams have throughout the year.

Do we have the leadership to chart those stormy waters when they arise?
We're generally a young team, hopefully that translates into short memories when times do get rough. Gabby comes off as the type of player who plays one shift, one play at a time. He's probably not the vocal leader, but boy is he a leader on the ice. I think he'll have an A sooner or later as well.

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10-13-2009, 12:46 PM
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Not for nothing, but no mention of that offensive juggernaut Dan Girardi??? 3 goals in 6 games!

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10-13-2009, 12:58 PM
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Not for nothing, but no mention of that offensive juggernaut Dan Girardi??? 3 goals in 6 games!
Last year I think Girardi scored 80% of his goals in the first 25 games and then forgot how to get a point for a while.

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10-13-2009, 01:20 PM
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it is still really early in the season and obviously no ones raises the cup in october and i know how hot we started last year...but this year's team feels differently. for once theyre no relying on lundqvist to win every game and theyre playing with alot of confidence. theres going to be some rough patches during the season as always and MDZ and gilroy will inevitably go through some growing pains and make rookie mistakes, but the biggest thing im taking away from these games is how impressive this team can be if theyre firing on all cylinders. if they can pull themselves together and go into the playoffs hot, this team could potentially be a contender.

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10-13-2009, 01:31 PM
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I remember lots of Rangers fans last year saying that the record was much better than the team's play. Hank got many of the wins by himself, and it was just a matter of time before they'd come back to earth.

Now of course we won't stay at this pace for the whole season this year either, but I'm a lot more confident that this team won't completely implode. They win because they dominate the play for large times, they don't rely too heavily on Lundqvist (although his mostly good play has covered up for quite a few defensive errors), and the powerplay can score.

The only thing I would have liked from last season is Betts as our 4th line C. It's not that Boyle has been bad (he is pretty good on the pk, better than I expected), but he hasn't shown anything offensively that yet that Betts hasn't, and I'd simply prefer Betts defensively.

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10-13-2009, 01:34 PM
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I don't think that it'll be as "easy" later in the season, but I also think that the team can actually be better later in the season, as they still have kinks to work out and to get better at their roles.

Also, just an observation about Gilroy. I like that he's such a good skater he can stay with just about any forward and the tricks they try on him. Changes of direction, etc, he's good enough to not get burned easily by that. Still gotta work on his positioning and I'd love to see more of his pinches turning into points, but he's still looking good and getting his chances

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Old
10-13-2009, 02:40 PM
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everyone needs to relax. its a long season. fast starts always seem to level off.

i will say however that the powerplay is much, much better this season.

kotalik and mdz make all the difference and not having rozy bumbling pucks is worth the price of admission alone.

gaborik is a monster. he makes everyone he plays with better. period.

torts is a very good coach. he plays the best guys the most. he plays the weakest guys the least. what a refreshing change compared to tommy boy. his in game changes based on "feel" have been spot on and so far, hes pushing all the right buttons.

i have only 2 concerns so far.

first, we need to find some scoring other than that 1st line and the pp. the 2nd line works hard but if you look at the even strength scoring, the 2nd line is weak. that will need to be addressed if they dont start scoring goals.

ice time will eventually catch up to us. torts plays his top guys alot. that may be a problem down the road once the legs start to tire.

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