Musings: The sub .500 edition

February 7, 2013, by
Googled 'desperate for offense'. I kid you not, this was the 3rd picture found.

Googled ‘desperate for offense’. I kid you not, this was the 3rd picture found.

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.

Question Time:

  • 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. 


  1. dapowl says:

    1. Stralman, Points so far, but looks way better on the point at PP than MDZ
    2. MDZ, he brings the offensive side but at a much to high cost defensivly – can’t bench any D-man… no depth
    3. Offense , G will be back and RMD will find is game – also solid effort with Staal/Stralsi lets hope MDZ learns to play D
    4. Few nifty moves but far away from consitency
    5. Biron – I know Hank needs his games – but he looked not confident (despite solid performances) he is not where he should be
    6. Yes, Sidney Crosby will soon be out due to a concussion 😉

  2. Tyler says:

    -Miller has impressed me(only one game but still)
    -Boyle would be benched. Didn’t he score 21 goals for us one year?
    -Defense. We are not nearly as tight defensivley this year, but i think it will click before playoffs. We got first last year with little offensive production and good defense
    -I don’t worry about mcdonagh
    -they can, but they wont

  3. george says:

    1. Pyatt. 3 goals and is strong on the boards in the offensive zone
    2. Gaborik. Not because of production but because of effort.
    3. Both. Hank looks human and with two 40 goal scorers, the ranger should be scoring more
    4. He’s made plays in every game. Made a nice move against the devils to draw a penalty on the PK.
    5. Hank.
    6. Its possible but unlikely. The Pens are a beast (hate to admit).

  4. Tommy T says:

    1) say what you want about this team but Nash is everything hes made out to be, best offensive player on the team so far, despite his numbers. Things will click soon

    2) Boyle needs to take a seat, or find his way out the door, soft and doesnt offer half of what he has over the last 2 years. Maybe losing Prust hurt his feelings

    3)The D scares me more than the O right now. We have prided ourselves on the ability to play solid D and give hank a chance to win 2-1 games.

    4) McD is still so young, he will be fine, i just think we all raised the bar really high after last year. Give him a few more games and he will be back to his old self. I wish torts would loosen the reigns on McD he has big Offensive potential

    5) Henrik needs to play, must find his groove

    6) Never say never on the division, we could hit our stride as all these teams start to level out. give it to game 24 to revisit if we can win it or not.

  5. Walt says:

    Offensively-Nash-great hands, but as you stated, he needs to close a little more!!

    Gabby-when he is hot, he’s on fire, when not, he’s cold as ice. Again, break up the top line, maybe Gabby does better with Step, as he did last season.

    Both, but the offense has to start scoring quickly. How come big time players put on the Ranger jersey, and become journeymen?

    McD is going through a rough time, but the kid has heart, and will do well. Can’t say that about MDZ!!

    Hank, we need the 2 points!!

    NO, but who cares, they will make the play-offs. I think that the Devils will win, Cindy gets another injury, and Igor (Malkin) gets plastic surgery. That is one ugly dude!!!!! He has a face only a mother could love.

  6. Greg B says:

    Nash seems like the only Ranger who has impressed offensively! He’s a superstar that needs to finish as we all have said.

    Boyle. The Rupp trade had to have woken Boyle up right?

    Both start with the offense. The forwards need to be more accountable in our zone as we saw in the Devils game. And the F need to start scoring.

    I’d rather see McD a little off his game than Gomez.

    Lundqvist. Let’s get a signature Hank effort tonight. Start Biron against TB again next game?

    Too early, but the way it has been looking, no.

  7. Randy says:

    1) I think Staal has impressed offensively. He doesn’t have jaw dropping numbers, but you can tell from watching the games that he is starting to get more confident with the puck and make plays offensively. Combine that with his defensive play and the all-star is back on track.

    2) Initially I would bench MDZ for his game against the Devils, but we already know how quickly he can lose confidence so I think that would actually hurt his game. With that being said, I think Richards should not be benched, but should play a period or two with the checking lines because he has not been moving his feet enough (though he has somehow managed some points).

    3) Offense. We aren’t going to win games when we only can get 1 or 2 goals a game. Defense has been fine, just need to clean up the turnovers that have been costing us.

    4) Definitely not worried about McDonagh. While he hasn’t been making plays offensively, he has been playing relatively sound defense and I have not seen him make too many mistakes. Won’t be long for him to start dominating.

    5) Biron. The team is at a point where they need to buckle down on defense because they can’t score, and the defense seems to try a little harder when they don’t have the luxury of Hank behind them.

    6) Absolutely. They are only a handful of points away right now, so one hot streak can skyrocket them up the standings. With that being said, in the shortened season, all you need to do is get into the playoffs, then it is anyone’s playoffs. If the Rangers get hot at the right time, they will make a run.

  8. rickyrants13 says:

    •Has any Ranger impressed you offensively? NO

    •If you had to bench one Ranger right now to send a signal, who would it be and why? BOYLE

    •What area concerns you more; Offensive production or defensive inconsistency? POWERPLAY

    •Has anyone seen Ryan McDonagh lately? N/A

    Would you start Biron or Lundqvist against the Islanders? Biron

    •In a shortened season, can the Rangers still win the Atlantic division? YES

    Out of the young players you mentioned from that 2010 Draft class the only one that is bothering Me is Thomas. He isnt even doing all that great in the AHL. McIlrath is not because we all knew that it takes Def players his size awhile to reach the NHL. And I do believe that he was close last year before he got hurt. And Fast is playing overseas. And many players take a long time to come over at that age. As for Yogan he is right where everyone thought he would be. A 50/50 chance player to make the NHL in 3 to 5 years.

  9. rickyrants13 says:

    Oh and from the looks oft We get Cally back tonite. Still have no clue to whats wrong with Girardi

  10. Rosser says:

    So I have watched Boo Nieves play a couple of times being at grad school here at Michigan, and I have a couple of thoughts on him.

    1- He is a fast skater, but I don’t know how. He cuts his strides short and does not have that same effortless speed of a Krieder (also not as fast as him, but still quick nonetheless). If he could improve that, he would be really, really fast.

    2- I want to see him be a little more selfish with the puck. He has really soft hands and looks to the pass a lot, but from the few games I have seen him, there are a bunch of times when I wish he would have shot instead of passing.

    So yeah, my thoughts on Nieves. Been streaking lately and I cant wait to see more of him next year.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for the update Rosser. Nice to hear a perspective from someone that his seen him play.

  11. Eric says:

    1. The flashes of Rick Nash have been very good
    – the have been horrible offensively so far
    2. Ryan MCDONAGH he is minus 3 and doesn’t look like himself. Love the kid but he needs a wake up call.

    3. The defense will come around but with addition of Nash we should be scoring goals in bunches. The offensive inconsistency has been a major disappointment

    4. Hank needs to play to get his game going.

    5. The Rangers could still win the Atlantic. I do not think they will win the division. They will barely make the playoffs. They look awful.

    I think this team is not the type of team to play Torts system. Guys like Dubi, Arty and Purst are the heart sole guys we are missing these type of players thrive in torts system. I think after the season Torts could be fired but he most likely will not be fired because of the shortened season. I hope the Blueshirts could turn it around but I am really worried they won’t.