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Musings: Rangers chase the Senators and Iginla traded to Pens

Will Sather make deadline deals?

Will Sather make deadline deals?

As the Rangers bask in the glow of an impressive win over the Flyers on Tuesday and prepare for tonight’s game against the Senators, it all comes back to Ryan Callahan’s comment a few weeks back; ‘We have to back it up’. The Rangers need two points tonight just as much as they did on Tuesday. On to the musings

Derek Stepan. It is only fitting that this week’s musings begins with Stepan. He was immense on Tuesday, beyond ‘just’ the points. His back checking to break up plays, his stick work and positional sense were all great examples of his sky high hockey IQ and growing confidence. When a player is on top form he always seems to find a way to be on or around the puck. Stepan’s shown great development this year. Especially after his so-so start to the season

As a loyal commenter pointed out yesterday, Rick Nash would be on course for 82 points in a full season. However, where I disagree is that’s his ceiling. If Stepan’s development curve continues and Nash has a training camp under his legs I think he has 100 point potential as a Ranger. His skill set is definitely 100 point calibre.

Statistical quirk: The Rangers sit 4th in the league in goals against per game (all the more impressive given the injuries on D and the overall team record) yet despite that lofty ranking they don’t have a shutout this season, yet.

Food for thought: Over a seven game series can the Rangers beat the Penguins or Bruins this season?

How important are blocking shots to the Rangers? Despite impressive numbers (2.40 GAA, .932 S%) Lundqvist has only won 2 of 7 starts when making 30+ saves.

I was very impressed with Chris Kreider against the Flyers. He was around the puck a lot, looked to get the puck on net and – perhaps most promisingly – showed some nice chemistry with JT Miller.

Perhaps one of the most critical factors of the Rangers run-in is the ability of Steve Eminger to continue to log big minutes until Marc Staal returns. Eminger played over 19 minutes against the Flyers and has played at least 16 minutes in each of the last 7 games. Eminger appears to have regained Tortorella’s confidence he had a season ago.

Stu Bickel. I really don’t see how he returns to the Rangers barring an injury epidemic or he shows quick, unexpected and significant improvement in his all round game that demands a recall.

Why have the Rangers struggled to get a foothold in the standings? Roll off some of the names of guys used in the line-up this year: Segal, Mashinter, Ferriero, Haley and Bickel. That’s a long list of players with very limited ability, most of whom should be no more than injury call ups, and short term solutions. The revolving door that has been the bottom six is a bigger issue than perhaps the team thought it would be at the start of the year.

Never saw it coming: The Rangers are fifth in the entire league in face-off percentage.

(Update) In other news the Penguins acquired Jarome Iginla for the Pens’ first-round pick and the rights to unsigned draft picks Kenneth Agostino and Ben Hanowski.

Question Time:

  • Zuccarello: over or under 10 points this season?
  • How many goals will Marian Gaborik score this season?
  • Who do you think secures a top six spot sooner: Kreider or Miller?
  • (In light of Zuke’s arrival) would Fast be better served coming to North America ASAP or playing a key role for Team Sweden?
  • How many current Rangers will be ex Rangers when the puck drops on next season?
  • Will the Penguins win the Cup?

16 Responses to “Musings: Rangers chase the Senators and Iginla traded to Pens”

  1. ranger17 says:

    Zucc 10
    Gabby 18
    Kreider Fast should be in AHL first
    Counting all the players that have played here this year
    5
    Pens are going to be tough to beat but then again look at what we have on PAPERnobody was going to mbeat us this year thats why they play the games

  2. SalMerc says:

    Stepan has become our #1 center. Now we need Richards to anchor a productive #2 and we may have something.

  3. Dave says:

    Went to bed, Iginla to Boston.

    Woke up, Iginla to Pittsburgh.

    Fantastic…

    • Justin says:

      I know this is a bad thing, but I have just so many obnoxious Bruin’s fan friends on facebook, so that took the sting out.

      • Dave says:

        Half of the Pens fans don’t even know who the prospects are that they gave up.

        • Cole says:

          Yeah I only know Agostino from playing against him in High School otherwise I wouldn’t have known either.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Personally, I think it’s better that one team loaded up, rather than the wealth being distributed among many top teams. I’d rather take my chances with one super team rather than 2-3 super teams.

  4. Walt says:

    Iginla to Pitt for a #1 pick this year, two prospects drafted 3rd, and 5th rounds. That sounds like a steal. Well maybe not, this is just a rental. If he playes again next season, it will be with the Flames, so he can retire from that organization! As good as he is, there is no assurances he wins the cup. I believe that the two other moves made the other day will have more impact!

    Zucc-gets 10 points

    Gabby- scores 15 goals, or less

    Kreider will secure a top six spot first, Miller will be there in maybe two more seasons

    Let him come and do a cameo in the A, so management can see first hand what he can do on a smaller sheet of ice

    Maybe four players?????

  5. DPeters says:

    How r Pens going to afford all these high-priced players that they have acquired recently in the future. Small market team. Cap ceiling is coming down next year. Going for the Cup this year only?
    Rental players? Surprised at GM Shero & Mario not building for future but maybe they are? They got Iginla for nothing – only real value is draft pick but will be very high unless Pens have 2 choices in first round. Looks like teams offered by Jerome were not that interested or were not willing to part with what they have.

  6. PAL says:

    Great collection of disconnected musings. The 1st period breakaway pass that Stepan made to Hagelin on Tuesday night was sick!

  7. Ren says:

    I don’t think it was a steal for Iginla. Correct me if I am wrong, but he is an unrestricted free agent after this season(rental), and it is a 1st round pick in what is supposed to be a very good draft year.

  8. david says:

    the pens are just sick with Igilna we got ZERO chance…

  9. Chris F says:

    The already loaded Pens add Morrow, Murray and Iginla. I’m wondering what the hell they hope to accomplish by adding two veteran captains from other teams. Who’s leading Pittsburgh? This smacks of something destined to tank.

  10. Leatherneckinlv says:

    Shero pulled a Sather, absolutely fleeced the Flames he did, and not one roster player headed to the Flames. Brilliant move, Now Sather pull us a Jedi mind trick….EH

  11. DPeters says:

    1) Send the Smurf back to KHL or can he be designated shooter for shootout. He is not St Louis.
    2) 15 to 20. If u check his track record of scoring history reads like a rollcoaster and this a down year.
    3)Miller. Ann Arbor & OHL programs made Miller more well-rounded player.
    4)Decision is his but I think he wants to see if he can play at NHL level or get taste of it NOW.
    5)Bottom six r going, going, GONE!
    6) DUH!!!!