Musings; Playoffs anyone?April 5, 2012, by
It’s late and for that I apologise. On to the Musings.
The way Brad Richards has taken his game to a higher level recently is why the Rangers gave him the big dollars. He’s peaking at the right time heading in to the playoffs and the Rangers have a (legitimate) first line for the first time since the Jagr-Nylander-Straka years.
Ryan Callahan deserves a 30 goal season; hopefully he bags one in the next two games. If you could re-do the 2004 NHL draft there is no way he’d last in to the fourth round. He’d be a nailed on first rounder.
Rick Carpiniello recently discussed the Rangers passing ability. I think it’s underrated and has clearly improved this season. The Rangers may not be as skilled as the Red Wings or the Penguins but they don’t get the credit they deserve in regard to their skill level.
Hopefully fans (the team sure won’t) don’t overlook the Capitals should they be the first round match up. They have underachieved all year but are remarkably talented and could easily go deep. They’re a huge potential banana skin for the Rangers.
If the Rangers make some noise in the playoffs they’ll do so because Marian Gaborik is scorching hot. There are very few players in the entire league playing better right now. His pace makes people back off him and he has the talent to back it up. Right now, it’s an absolute joy to watch him on the ice.
Ryan McDonagh: Within the next five years he’ll be a Norris Trophy candidate. That’s how good he can become.
NHL.com recently tipped Jon Quick to pip Lundqvist for the Vezina. While he’s a quality goalie, he’s the beneficiary of a stingy system and doesn’t have to face the ridiculously deep Atlantic division so often like Lundqvist has. If Hank doesn’t win it this year he may never get it; how good does he have to be?
Wonder if any of Woywitka, Eminger or Stralman will be back next year?
- Yes or No: Does Lundqvist retire as a Ranger? Does he get his number hanging from the ceiling?
- Will Marian Gaborik have a 50 goal season as a Ranger?
- Will the Rangers bring back Jon Mitchell next season?
- Brand Dubinsky or Anisimov; which will be an ex Ranger sooner?
- Who will be the Rangers highest scoring defenseman in the playoffs?
Rangers take on the Pens today. I’m expecting fireworks. Not a bad game at all to rest Lundqvist.
Should the Rangers get the Caps, it could add a huge dollop of intrigue to game 82 of the regular season. Do the teams try and beat each other up ahead of their series? Do the teams rest players, starting goal tenders or change up the special teams personnel? An interesting game to coach…