It’s thirsty Thursdays folks and you know what that means…musings day! Chris and Dave usually do these, so my deepest apologies if you are not amused with my musings. See what I did there?
Rangers thoughts and musings…
- I know there’s some worry among the fans about the lack of a puck mover on this blueline. I hear ya, especially if MDZ doesn’t live up to his potential. However, I believe Ryan McDonagh possesses that ability and it just hasn’t come to fruition yet. We didn’t see glimpses of it at the college or AHL levels, but towards the end of the season/playoffs, I thought he was skating with more confidence and getting the puck north through neutral zone schemes (i.e. traps). These are things you can not teach. If he has that untapped vision, then Torts must let the chains off. I believe next year he will prove to be more than just a defensive defensemen.
- I believe that the future direction of this Rangers roster lies in the fate of Chris Drury. If Glen and company decide to give Chris one more shot at glory, then we can scratch our plans of acquiring Richards or Statsny…or both if you believe in such strategies. Should they buy him out, this roster could look drastically different come September.
- As for those of you with a permanent man crush on Sean Avery, don’t fret folks. I would be shocked if he’s not in the lineup on Opening Night. Why you ask? If he were to be traded, the acquiring team would have to absorb his full $4 million per cap hit (not the $1.9 he’s costing us). No GM in their right mind is going to take that on. Well I shouldn’t say no GM. Bob Gainey hasn’t gotten a job yet has he?
- One of my friends is part of that Blue Shirts United thing and as a benefit he got to bring a few friends to a Rangers practice up in Westchester. I was fortunate enough to get an invite and I have to say watching them run through drills and such, Derek Stepan was the best guy on the ice, by far. Sure it was just one practice, but he nailed every drill to a T on the first try. No one else looked as impressive. You could tell the coaches were just enamored with him. I mean the kid was just flawless. I don’t know what the important folk are projecting for the kid, but I really think he could be an elite talent (75 pts+).
Non-Rangers thoughts and musings…
- It’s truly remarkable the turn around that has gone on down in Nashville…and I’m not just talking about W/L records, but at the gate too. They’ve been packing crowds all season and turned games at the Bridgestone into quite an attraction thanks to great marketing and event presentation. It just goes to show that a little effort and local support can go a long way in securing a team’s market share. It’s a
goodgreat thing they weren’t relocated. Just don’t tell the media that because they all wrote them off the map. Kudos to Bettman for his patience. Yeah I said it…
- All this focus every season on defensemen’s +/-. Most irrelevant stat there is. Back in 2004, best +/- in the league…Marek Malik.
- Watching Vancouver, Chicago, Detroit in the postseason is like nothing else. These guys move the puck so quickly and so fluidly, especially from the blueline in. Watching the Rangers & the Eastern Conference dump and crash all year almost made me forget what beautiful hockey looks like. The Penguins, Flyers, Bruins are all good teams, but it is such a different style from what goes on out West with the elite teams.
- Maybe it’s the market or the roster, but Alain Vigneault is the most underrated and least talked about coach in the game. Couple years ago Alain rearranged their system from a trapping/defensive system to more of a puck possession style (cycling, regrouping) and it sure is paying dividends.
- Speaking of coaches changing their systems, Bruce Bodonuts could be a goner. Personally, I like Bruce (despite his comments). I think he’s a good coach and good guy at heart, but Caps fans and the DC media are going to need a scapegoat – as all losers do. Bruce may not be able to survive this one. Though I hope he does, he’s a very good coach.