Hello everybody! (*Dr Nick voice*). It’s a musings day but in Ranger-land there’s not much to be happy about, so let’s just get straight into it. It’s all business folks.
I read yesterday that we give the ‘star’ players a pass on this site? Not so. If you look back through the musings I was pretty critical of Gaborik recently because he has lacked consistently. That criticism still remains, and it goes for all three of them. When you ice a top heavy line-up the one thing that line has to give you is a consistent effort, even when it doesn’t score, and that trio were generally lousy against the Devils.
Whose return to the line up Thursday is more urgently required, Girardi’s or Callahan’s? Given the constant team wide defensive gaffes you could argue Girardi’s, although with the Edmonton Oilers of the 80’s in no danger of losing any scoring records to this Rangers, maybe its Cally. Hopefully both return.
Peak in to the past time: Bobby Sanguinetti: 6 GP, -4, 0 pts, 13:38mins/game. What a shame.
Whether it’s partly due to the abbreviated season or not, kids are having legitimate success all over the league this year. Tarasenko, Schultz, Galchenyuk, Huberdeau etc are all have strong rookie campaigns. Sometimes you just need to let the kids play. If Tarasenko can earn 15 minutes a game under a strict coach like Hitchcock, maybe Miller and Kreider should get more consistent ice time with Torts? The maturity of the two Rangers prospects has never been doubted so maybe it’s time to just throw them out there and play them. This offense needs fresh impetus.
One last thing on Tarasenko in St Louis: He’s drawn initial comparisons from a skill perspective to a young Kovalchuk. Wow. I know the Rangers had a different priority at the time of the draft but they passed on him as they took Dylan McIlrath. So did 15 others (14 if you don’t count the Blues first pick that round). If he plays up to his talent the Blues could become a perennial monster.
Speaking of 2010 draft; that Rangers draft is starting to frustrate me. Yes, it may be a little early to draw conclusions (standard for that is 4-5 seasons), but the Rangers drafted so much talent – McIlrath, Fast, Yogan and Chris Thomas – and not a single NHL game between the bunch of them. Yet.
Reasons to be cheerful? One reason is Cristoval Boo Nieves’ season with NCAA Michigan. 21 points in 28 games as a freshman – especially on a club that’s been struggling – is impressive. Constantly hearing about how his combination of size, speed, and skill are rare. He’s not 20 until next January so I doubt he’ll be rushed to the pro-game any time soon.
Rick Nash has gotten a pretty easy ride thus far in terms of being immune from criticism from the entire fan/media base. To an extent that’s fair as he has at times dominated games, he’s created plenty (as well as space for others) but here’s the thing: He needs to start burying the chances he’s being paid $7.8m to bury. I’m happy with his start but he’s a finisher that isn’t finishing. It won’t take long for the media to start criticising him if he doesn’t start potting a few more. I’m sure we all agree though, that it’s just a matter of time. Guy has too much going for him.
- Has any Ranger impressed you offensively?
- If you had to bench one Ranger right now to send a signal, who would it be and why?
- What area concerns you more; Offensive production or defensive inconsistency?
- Has anyone seen Ryan McDonagh lately?
- Would you start Biron or Lundqvist against the Islanders?
- In a shortened season, can the Rangers still win the Atlantic division?
Game day bro! See you later skaters.