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10-28-2010, 11:17 PM
  #101
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Originally Posted by squishy View Post
So we take a rookie that's struggling in the NHL, and a sophomore that's struggling in the AHL, and put them together and expect "dominance" in the NHL simply because they played well against rookies, juniors and AHL try-outs in Traverse City and development camp?

Nope, no unrealistic expectations here.
Seriously. You deserve a prize.

The Grachev hype and the fact that he deserves 2nd line status is seriously mind-blowing.

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10-28-2010, 11:30 PM
  #102
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Interesting is an understatement.

I truly hope that Tortorella gives Boyle more minutes. Here is a guy that looks ripe for stepping up, and just needs to be asked to do so.

It's going to take some real stepping up by everybody, but why not go with somebody who so far has shown some good stuff. Give him more, he looks ready for it.

If Grachev is not comfortable in Hartford, will he be a different guy with the big club? I know next to nothing about him past that wonderful year with the Batallion, but from what I've read, well, let's say again it should be interesting.

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10-28-2010, 11:34 PM
  #103
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Interesting is an understatement.

I truly hope that Tortorella gives Boyle more minutes. Here is a guy that looks ripe for stepping up, and just needs to be asked to do so.

It's going to take some real stepping up by everybody, but why not go with somebody who so far has shown some good stuff. Give him more, he looks ready for it.
No way dude, we need to put flakey prospects in top line roles. You don't have to earn it, you just have to be young and have a high ceiling.

Put guys like Boyle who work hard and improve their game on the bench!


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10-28-2010, 11:36 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by DrurysWeekend View Post
No way dude, we need to put flakey prospects in top line roles. You don't have to earn it, you just have to be young and have a high ceiling.

Put guys like Boyle who work hard and improve their game on the bench!

This is the boards mentality, my friend.

I know...I'm just as baffled as you.

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10-28-2010, 11:38 PM
  #105
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Derek could stand to improve his conditioning, strength, and skating.

As far as his talent, intelligence, and attitude, he's ready.

Weather he's in the AHL or the NHL, that's not going to change right now.

He can't hide that in the AHL any more then he can in the NHL. The AHL is a great league, its not a joke.

So, how can you determine which league he plays at and works on those things, especially when the Rangers NHL roster isn't terribly deep right now, and there are key injuries.

The coaching staff at the NHL level is equally as committed to developing its players as much as the organization expects of that in Hartford.

Another thing to consider is that Hartford doesn't seem like a great environment to be in, from an outside-looking-in point of view.

Stepan is probably better off staying in the NHL, at least for now, working with the staff, and working with the two established NHL veterans right now (Avery and Fedotenko) that he's on a line with.

Stepan also can't really do much to improve his conditioning mid-season. He can change some routines, change his nutrition, things like that. But he can't wear himself out even more. They already skate everyday, be it practice or game. Plus the dry land training. They have busy schedules. There really not THAT much he can do mid-season.

This is how rookie seasons go for players that are not superstars, even some who are superstars(look at Malkin and Stamkos). They learn. They work on some flaws in the summer, and come back stronger, and will learn even more the following year, and so one and so on.

And no one is claiming any of our prospects to be superstars. They're only being claimed as very good players. Superstars don't often get drafted past 5-10. Only rarely (Lundqvist, Zetterberg).

And just because one person is "anti establishment" doesn't mean another person that follows prospects is wrong for being excited about a few of them.

Maybe the naysayers are the ones who had unrealistic expectations? The ones who closely follow them know what to expect. And the Rangers organization is also expecting them to fill large roles. If that's not desirable to some, then too bad.

They made and are making a committment to youth, and building through the draft. It took time before there were young players worth establishing on a consistent basis. There are a bunch of them now, and its going to take time to develop them at the pro level. And for more of them to arrive to the pro level.

Let's look at our leading players thus far: Dubinsky, Callahan, Girardi, Anisimov, Staal, Del Zotto, Stepan... All players drafted/graduated by the Rangers.

And, dispite not having top veteran players in the lineup, they are right in there with everyone else in the league.

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10-28-2010, 11:42 PM
  #106
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Hopefully this will help mza`s game, atleast he wont have Gratchev on his line.

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10-29-2010, 12:02 AM
  #107
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Boyle definitely deserves to at least be tried out in a larger role.

Very good skater, a good amount of skill, smart, dependable defensiely, good shot.

The only question is, who does he replace and who goes down to the 4th line?

Boyle is more valuable as a center, IMO. He's good on faceoffs. He skates well enough and good enough defensiely. But he can play wing.

So if/when Grachev goes back to Hartford, how about Prust go back to the 4th line, White center Prust and Boogaard, and Boyle go on the RW with Frolov and Christensen?

While Grachev is up, he needs to be playing in a spot where he can succeed. Putting him on the 4th line with scarce minutes isn't going to help him.

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10-29-2010, 12:08 AM
  #108
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No genius, it's actually a quote from Stoudamire....
If you actually follow the Knicks you would know they're actually in great shape.
If you don't care about them don't comment. Otherwise you will get sarcastic responses from me.
Stoudamire is now an MSG employee, and that sound bite and phrase has been promoted quite a bit since. I certainly follow the Knicks. Not with the same vigor that I follow the Rangers, but enough to know they are not one of the best teams in the East. If they get Carmelo, sure, but there is no guarantee they will at this point. As it stands, they are a decent team, at best.

I don't know how long you've been a Knick fan, but when I was a kid, I think I stayed in my room for 3 days after they lost to the Rockets. I felt they turned their back on me as a franchise in 1998, so I turned my back on them. But I still follow them closely, if only to laugh at their never-ending ineptitude. One of the most pathetic franchises in all of pro sports. An embarrassment.

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For the record, Grachev's game in the CHL wasn't to bowl people over and crash to the front of the net. He played a highly skilled game based much more on speed, passing and his laser beam shot. When he did use his size it was more to protect the puck against the boards, rather than to run people over or to camp out in front of the net.

Having said all of that, it doesn't change the fact that based on what I've seen of his game this year (towards the end of this year's camp and the small portion of 'Pack games I've watched), he needs to effin move his feet when he gets his chance tomorrow.
A good deal of his goals came from close to the net. He used skill to get there, but he was able to use those skills thanks to the fact that he could ward off all defenders rather easily. Because he can't do that anymore, it's hard for him to use those skills. Marcel Hossa had good hands when he was wide open. Not saying Grachev is going to be Marcel Hossa, but he's got to make that next step.

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10-29-2010, 12:17 AM
  #109
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Originally Posted by Sting36e View Post
A good deal of his goals came from close to the net. He used skill to get there, but he was able to use those skills thanks to the fact that he could ward off all defenders rather easily. Because he can't do that anymore, it's hard for him to use those skills. Marcel Hossa had good hands when he was wide open. Not saying Grachev is going to be Marcel Hossa, but he's got to make that next step.
Yeah, the crazy thing is that I honestly don't think it is more than one step until he could be a pretty good NHLer right now. To me, it is all mental with Grachev. He has the physical tools, its just knowing when to use/do what in the pro game.

I also wish the Rangers had better centers for him to play with in Hartford but that is another discussion.

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10-29-2010, 12:34 AM
  #110
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Originally Posted by hockeyviper87 View Post
Yeah, the crazy thing is that I honestly don't think it is more than one step until he could be a pretty good NHLer right now. To me, it is all mental with Grachev. He has the physical tools, its just knowing when to use/do what in the pro game.

I also wish the Rangers had better centers for him to play with in Hartford but that is another discussion.
That's the thing. I feel like in a lot of cases with players like this, it's mental. That's why I'd rather not draft them with top picks (like McIlrath, Jessiman, Nino) because the players that already have that element when they step into the league are usually, at least, somewhat productive offensively. Those players, unless they are severely lacking in the size, speed or strength categories, are more likely to succeed, or at least not bust.

A guy like Stepan has been using his head to play the game for a while before he gets to the NHL. The best offensive players in the league, or a sizable majority of them, share this trait. The guys who rely largely or exclusively on one of or any combination of size, speed, and strength are not always going to be able to make that leap. Again, I'm not saying this is what I think about Grachev. But if he doesn't make that leap by next season...

Same reason I'm not ready to anoint Kreider as anything more than a 25 goal, 55-60 point second line LW just yet (and I'd be happy with that; with that skillset that's not bad for a 19th pick). Some people have him as a superstar already. I think that's a little bit over the top at this point in his career.

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10-29-2010, 12:44 AM
  #111
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Sounds good, If AA is able to play they should try out the russian mafia line

Grachev-Anisimov-Frolov

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10-29-2010, 03:48 AM
  #112
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Boyle everyday. He will establish himself. Give him top 6 minutes, its the only chance he will ever get

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10-29-2010, 04:01 AM
  #113
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I like this move. A lot. EG - might I remind a lot of folks here - almost made the squad last year. And then he had a rough time in the AHL. In TC he looked great --- in camp not so much. Seems to be an emotional guy. Good in good weather. Not so good when it is pouring down rain. He has the hands, shot , size and speed to succede. But the other things he seems to lack.
I think he will be used in an offensive role now and he could well succede now - at least short term. Maybe he does OK for 5 games and then gets shopped in a package for top line talent.
It kinda looks that way imo. Also - looking at our LW side now (Frolov, Dubinsky, Avery,Prospal, Boogs with Kreider & Hagelin & Werek & Bourque coming up) there is a risk management sees it as time to take a chance and try to cash in on a highly touted 3rd round pick before his value diminishes altogether struggling in the AHL. I mean if he does good now in the NHL --- his value will soar fast. If not ---- well then no big deal. We can live with that. That is how I would see it. Typical Sather move.

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10-29-2010, 04:05 AM
  #114
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Why not call up a player that is player good and has proved something?

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10-29-2010, 07:30 AM
  #115
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The only reason I can see for bringing up Grachev ahead of MZA, is Grachev's size. If the plan is to let the call up play in a bottom 6 role, MZA is not well suited for that.

However, I personally think the more sensible choice would've been to put Zuccarello on 2nd line RW and brought Prust down to the 4th line again. MZA is better than Grachev and Prust is a better 4th liner than Grachev.

The lines for tonight look scrambled as hell.


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Old
10-29-2010, 07:34 AM
  #116
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Tortorella wouldnt comment on lines yesterday, but Brooks surmised that we could see a 4th line of Grachev-Stepan-Christensen. Whats the over-under on minutes that line gets? 5?

Great for Stepan and Grachev's development.

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10-29-2010, 07:45 AM
  #117
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Dubs - AA - Cally
Avery - Stepan - Feds
Frolov - Christ - Grachev
White - Boyle - Prust

is what I would like to see

Boogey in for White against Toronto

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10-29-2010, 08:02 AM
  #118
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Originally Posted by AOWRanger View Post
Sounds good, If AA is able to play they should try out the russian mafia line

Grachev-Anisimov-Frolov
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Originally Posted by terrrrrible View Post
If the BAR line wasn't our best line right now, I'd say run frolov/anisimov/grachev just for kicks.
hivemind!

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Old
10-29-2010, 08:04 AM
  #119
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Originally Posted by SupersonicMonkey View Post
Derek could stand to improve his conditioning, strength, and skating.

As far as his talent, intelligence, and attitude, he's ready.

Weather he's in the AHL or the NHL, that's not going to change right now.

He can't hide that in the AHL any more then he can in the NHL. The AHL is a great league, its not a joke.

So, how can you determine which league he plays at and works on those things, especially when the Rangers NHL roster isn't terribly deep right now, and there are key injuries.

The coaching staff at the NHL level is equally as committed to developing its players as much as the organization expects of that in Hartford.

Another thing to consider is that Hartford doesn't seem like a great environment to be in, from an outside-looking-in point of view.

Stepan is probably better off staying in the NHL, at least for now, working with the staff, and working with the two established NHL veterans right now (Avery and Fedotenko) that he's on a line with.

Stepan also can't really do much to improve his conditioning mid-season. He can change some routines, change his nutrition, things like that. But he can't wear himself out even more. They already skate everyday, be it practice or game. Plus the dry land training. They have busy schedules. There really not THAT much he can do mid-season.

This is how rookie seasons go for players that are not superstars, even some who are superstars(look at Malkin and Stamkos). They learn. They work on some flaws in the summer, and come back stronger, and will learn even more the following year, and so one and so on.

And no one is claiming any of our prospects to be superstars. They're only being claimed as very good players. Superstars don't often get drafted past 5-10. Only rarely (Lundqvist, Zetterberg).

And just because one person is "anti establishment" doesn't mean another person that follows prospects is wrong for being excited about a few of them.

Maybe the naysayers are the ones who had unrealistic expectations? The ones who closely follow them know what to expect. And the Rangers organization is also expecting them to fill large roles. If that's not desirable to some, then too bad.

They made and are making a committment to youth, and building through the draft. It took time before there were young players worth establishing on a consistent basis. There are a bunch of them now, and its going to take time to develop them at the pro level. And for more of them to arrive to the pro level.

Let's look at our leading players thus far: Dubinsky, Callahan, Girardi, Anisimov, Staal, Del Zotto, Stepan... All players drafted/graduated by the Rangers.

And, dispite not having top veteran players in the lineup, they are right in there with everyone else in the league.
Your analysis is deeply flawed, mostly because you want to see the Rangers lineup stuffed with as many prospects as possible, and want to see Stepan in the NHL. It seems to be clouding your judgment.

The AHL is a notch below the NHL for a reason - and to try to portray that theres not much difference between the two leagues is a joke. Stepan doesnt look slow, tired, a step behind (whatever you want to call it) through any fault of his own - hes a 20 year old kid coming straight out of college, which is a notch below the AHL and two notches below the NHL. He looks slow out there because hes trying to develop against the best players in the world, and to say the AHL wouldnt help him improve his conditioning is flat out wrong. He could and should be playing 20 minutes a night against very good players instead of playing limited 3rd line minutes (and getting benched) against great players.

Tortorella is always talking about a "process" in developing young players. Well, Stepan is currently skipping one of the big steps in the development process.

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10-29-2010, 08:19 AM
  #120
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Tortorella wouldnt comment on lines yesterday, but Brooks surmised that we could see a 4th line of Grachev-Stepan-Christensen. Whats the over-under on minutes that line gets? 5?

Great for Stepan and Grachev's development.
Development takes a back seat when club is shorthanded due to injuries. Grachev is just a body out there at this point in time. He will get a closer look if his play gets attention with as little time as he is going to play. Otherwise he goes back, end of story for now.

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10-29-2010, 08:30 AM
  #121
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Development takes a back seat when club is shorthanded due to injuries. Grachev is just a body out there at this point in time. He will get a closer look if his play gets attention with as little time as he is going to play. Otherwise he goes back, end of story for now.
Stepan is a unique case because he has the brain to be in the NHL, but not the physical tools.

But are you telling me theres not someone down on the farm that can play 3-5 minutes a night on the 4th line? How exactly does that help Grachev at all considering he is supposed to have top 6 upside and it struggling at the AHL level?

Dane Byers??? Anybody? Just a strange move.

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10-29-2010, 08:31 AM
  #122
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We're a game over .500 and currently sit in 8th place in the East. As much as I'd like to see what Grachev can do with significant ice time, it's too early in the season to jeopardize points for development. Everyone in the lockeroom has one thing on their mind and that's making the playoffs. Ice time will be delegated based on ability to contribute towards a W.

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10-29-2010, 08:37 AM
  #123
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Originally Posted by Bleed Ranger Blue View Post
Stepan is a unique case because he has the brain to be in the NHL, but not the physical tools.

But are you telling me theres not someone down on the farm that can play 3-5 minutes a night on the 4th line? How exactly does that help Grachev at all considering he is supposed to have top 6 upside and it struggling at the AHL level?

Dane Byers??? Anybody? Just a strange move.
First - it's not a given that he's in the lineup tonight. I think Boo-Boo is a game time decision.
Second - why not? He's not going to hurt the team too much playing for 3-5 minutes and maybe this is to give him a taste of what he's working for and incentive to work harder to get here.
Third - 3 of our top 6 scorers from last year aren't in the lineup. Calling up a big guy with some talent isn't a bad idea.

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10-29-2010, 08:44 AM
  #124
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While I'm not expecting anything great out of Grachev tonight should he suit up, I would like to point out that players with his skill set and his size take some time to get comfortable in their own skin.

He may be having a slow start to this season, but to me that's perfectly fine. If he takes another 1-2 years to develope that will be just as fine.

It's not about 1-2 seasons of development, it's about getting his development right.

Nic Bergfors played 4 full seasons in the AHL before "getting it" And he was a 1st round pick.

This is Grachev's 2nd season in the AHL, if it takes him this year and the next 2 before he also "gets it" then there is no harm in that. No harm in that at all.

Let me also say that I am also a believer that some players actually play better with better players. Wether that is a by product of the guys they are playing with or a more comfortable feeling when out on the ice or whatever.

Grachev played well with Cody and Matt, he played well with Stepan and Bourque, maybe what he needs is a good playmaking center or a decently talented winger neither of which we happen to have in Hartford. The actual "talent" level in Hartford is pretty thin and will be until we start getting the Bourque's and the Thomas's and the Kreider's and the Horaks and the Wereks into the pipeline.

I would think that over the next 2 years we are going to see an influx of actual talent into Hartford and with that an increase in Grachev's point totals if/when he's sent back down.

It's a mistake to bring this kid up, play him 5 minutes on the 4th line. Let him play 3rd line minutes, get him some PP time and tell him to park his big body in front of the net. Put him in position to best use his talents, 4th line checker is not it.

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10-29-2010, 08:53 AM
  #125
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Grachev was viewed to have a future in the NHL based on his CHL performance. Now he has struggled in the in the AHL, and is subsequently less valuable than guys... who are tearing up the CHL? Sounds like shiny new toy syndrome to me. Professional sports organizations tend to avoid this kind of mentality, and that's a good thing.

Guy isn't tearing up a professional league by the age of 20, so he's bumped down the depth chart by a bunch of kids in Canadian Juniors and a kid who hasn't registered a point at BC this year. Makes sense.
Great post.. Right on the money.

Great stats in the CHL and college really is just a good start to their careers.. This big adjustment is seeing if these prospects can do it at the AHL level and then the NHL level... Grachev had good numbers in juniors just like these "shiny new toys" are doing this year..

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