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Musings; momentum growing for the Rangers

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

It’s a good day to be a Rangers fan. Two wins on the bounce, two four goal games produced by the Rangers and suddenly a goaltender who was boasting about a lack of challenge has started to look rattled. Let’s get into the musings

I don’t care who you are – the 80’s Oilers aside – no player or team should ever provide motivation for the opposition. Holtby’s comments and Ovechkin’s comments have both being countered by improved play on the ice by the Rangers. Adam Oates cannot be happy with the way the series has begun to swing.

Obvious thought of the day: Derek Stepan is going to be a very rich hockey player sooner rather than later.

Is Stepan the first of the home grown kids – talking ‘tweener contracts – where Sather really doesn’t have the same power as he usually has in regard to controlling costs? With Richards clearly in decline (despite the occasional production recently, Stepan is an absolutely critical Ranger long term given the way he is developing.

Derek Stepan has four game winners in his last nine goals. Please remember this young man is just twenty two.

I agree with many that Rick Nash needs to be better. However, this is why you have depth. The playoffs are traditionally where teams try to put the squeeze on the star players and this is where you need a goal from Asham here, a goal from Boyle there and a few assists from your Zuccarello’s in between. When that secondary support becomes more consistent players such as Nash get more freedom. That’s when he’ll be expected to produce, no excuses.

Why do the Rangers blueliners slide so much? Sometimes it works, often it doesn’t. Without being critical I’d love to hear Tortorella publicly explain the tactic.

With every passing game, Glen Sather keeps looking better for the Gaborik trade doesn’t he? Moore is growing by the game and Brassard is playing up to his talent level. Derek Dorsett is helping the team return to the black and blue approach of last year.

It will be interesting to see how Zuccarello’s future plays out over the summer. He’s playing well and deserves to stay but I cannot help feeling his future is linked to the team’s immediate (by immediate, I mean next season) intentions with Miller and Kreider. Something has gotta give; there’s only so many roster spots.

Taylor Pyatt is helping the Rangers out. He’s playing better, producing offensively (somewhat) and adding some trade value. Can’t see how he stays a Ranger beyond this year but he could definitely help a team out the way he’s playing lately.

A few more games like game four and Ryan Clowe will be a Ranger beyond this season. What he brings to the Rangers – consistently – isn’t common enough on this roster. He’s physical and makes an impact whether he plays 12 or 20 minutes.

Here’s hoping Marc Staal gets back for game five because the Rangers cannot win a game in DC without more puck possession and having a short bench. They need more minutes from other guys and Staal gives them so much more.

Question Time:

  • Who will lead the team in goals in the playoffs?
  • Who is the biggest disappointment after four games?
  • Who is the biggest surprise after four games?
  • In the event of a call-up who would your next in line be?
  • What is the biggest issue heading into game five?

 

18 Responses to “Musings; momentum growing for the Rangers”

  1. Ray says:

    *Nash — I think the Rangers win Round 1 without much of his help, then he relaxes and returns to form.
    *Del Zotto — I think he’s gone in the offseason unless Staal can’t come back.
    *Taylor Pyatt
    *Kreider
    *Can Marc Staal play?

    Ditto on the sliding. As for Zuccarello, I don’t think the youth will play a big role in this decision. The Rangers will always need good inexpensive players and he currently fits the bill. Sather will resign him if the price is right. He won’t if Zucc asks for too much.

  2. Mikeyyy says:

    Nash if he can get over his playoff jitters

    Richards. I expected clutch

    Moore. World class skater to quote the game announcers

    Miller. He had a lot of hits during the regular season and he’s a strong kid

    Ovie. If he comes out like the ovie of old we are toast.

  3. Jake Silver says:

    1. Stepan will get most goals
    2. Nash by far the biggest disappointment
    3. Brassard a great passer, quietly produces.
    4. Kreider should be on our abysmal PP.
    5. Can we keep beating a more talented team?

  4. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Playoff Goals- Callahan

    Disappointment- Nash so far. He’s been too quiet for someone who should be a game breaker. Good news- still time to leave his mark.

    Surprise- Brassard has been money

    Call up- Depends on reason for call up / body to replace. Krieder

    Issue- Staal. His presence would do alot more for us on the road, when Torts can’t line match. 3 capable pairings are KEY for winning in their building.

  5. Justin says:

    I don’t get the animosity toward Nash. Has he played his best 4 games in blue in the playoffs? Not even close. But let’s not forget he is THE focal point of the Caps defensive game-plan.

    Each game he has had at least one or two high quality chances where he just imposes himself on the Caps’ d-men.

    And while we’re at it, ask yourself this: if Nash’s semi-break in game two hits twine instead of iron, and the Rangers are going back to Washington up 3-1, how disappointed in him are you?

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      Solid point… I’m not throwing hate at him in the least. I did think that he would be able to still find more offensive consistency against the caps top D pairing, who no one around the league really fears.

      It’s not animosity which I possess. I’m dealing with humbled expectations through the first 4 games. I still fully endorse him and believe the points and plays will come (and I’m not discrediting his game winning primary apple in game 3). I’m waiting for him to prove to us that he’s all world.

      • Justin says:

        That’s absolutely fair Hatrick. The comment wasn’t directed toward you specifically, but other comments from around the interwebs goating him for the fact that the secondary scoring had to step up.

        • Chris F says:

          I think it’s a gut reaction by folks –myself included– who see Nash with a single point through 4 games, when he was supposed to be a game-changer.

          With that said, someone pointed out yesterday that the strategies of both teams has been to shut down the two elite scorers, Ovi and Nash. Both teams have been successful at doing this. So, while Nash hasn’t been producing, he also hasn’t been invisible. He’s had a few chances, and he’s facing very tight defense. They won’t give him much space out there.

          But, with that said, he needs to find ways to score. It’s NY. It’s the playoffs. He doesn’t want to get on the wrong side of the frothing NY media and fanbase. We’re too reactionary.

    • Walt says:

      How much can you expect from a player when he has at least 1, if not 2 players draped over you? Nash will be OK, he will start to adjust soon enough.

      • Randy says:

        Plus, if someone told me the Rangers would be tied 2-2 in the series with no goals from Nash, I would call them crazy. He is a world class player, and he is going to get his chances. The Caps should look out when he starts burying them. This series has shown the opposite of the regular season, and the Blueshirts have kept the series even with help from secondary scorers like Brassard and Hagelin. If and when Nash gets going, the Rangers will take the series. Let’s just hope it starts tonight!

  6. SalMerc says:

    I am thinking Nash is a disappontment, but then they are treating him like we treat Ovechkin. I may trade no goals for either in this series.
    Brassard and Moore are keepers.
    If we are 6 deep in defenseman, it may be a luxury or an excess. All I know is that if Torts stays, he loves veterans, so if MDZ gets moved, getting a great rookie won’t help. Getting someone who is a vet-scorer may be the thing to do. Unsure if Kreider/JT Miller will ever be on roster fulltime if guys like Pyatt/Asham/Powe stay around.

  7. Pas44 says:

    Brassard

    ? can;t pick one yet

    Brassard

    Chris Kreider

    Stall!

  8. HARLEMBLUES says:

    Stepan.Brassard/Zuccarello.B.Rich looks so old.Kreider/JT Miller.Getting rid of B.Rich and his contract.

  9. SteveD says:

    Stepan will lead in goals

    Nash, he is trying but cannot put the puck home

    Brassard can skate, assist and score. He is a keeper

    Miller – I like his scoring ability

    Must take out the crowd early and often. Make the Caps fans silent

    One more note – get Asham more time – he can shoot the puck.

  10. TxRanger says:

    Who will lead the team in goals in the playoffs?
    Stepan

    Who is the biggest disappointment after four games?
    Henrik, game 2 aside, he’s let in too many goals.
    Who is the biggest surprise after four games?
    Boyle.
    In the event of a call-up who would your next in line be?
    Miller.
    What is the biggest issue heading into game five?
    Playing in DC.

  11. Joestradamus says:

    1) Hagelin – The attention to Nash has given him a lot of open ice and his speed is deadly
    2) Del Zotto – He just is too tight out there, he is thinking too much rather than doing
    3) Stralman – playing great defense and is chipping in on offense at the right time
    4) Kreider – Already has playoff experience. Let him loose.
    5) Those dominating stretches of puck possession the caps seem to have too often.

  12. Walt says:

    Step will lead in goal scores

    Richards is by far the biggest disappointment

    Brassard, and Moore, toss up, wonderful suprise

    Miller should get the call up, more of a well rounded player

    Two things, can Staal play, also the Caps very effective forecheck

  13. supermaz says:

    1- hagelin
    2- nash
    3- boyle
    4- miller
    5- we need a healthy staal