Injuries, a lack of form, bright lights and confusing trade scenarios: The Musings

December 19, 2013, by
Franson could be NY bound (Photo: Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)

Franson could be NY bound (Photo: Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)

Welcome to Thursday. It’s finally time for another Musings (not that fake musings Dave did yesterday. What a bum). The Rangers have been better the past couple games without being very good. With plenty to muse over, let’s do it for the final time before the festive season kicks in.

As you’ll have seen; rumours are abound that the Leafs are considering Michael Del Zotto and Cody Franson may come the other way. From the Leafs perspective it doesn’t make sense. You’re essentially swapping one expiring contract for the other but giving up a bigger more productive player who’s better on his feet without being a great defenseman. Seems like a lot of trust in Del Zotto’s ability to turn the corner in his career.

Rick Nash. Oh, Rick Nash where art thou? He was invisible in the Penguins game – a game where I had previously said he needed to make a statement. It’s as simple as this: the Rangers cannot be successful long term unless Nash and Henrik Lundqvist are on or near the top of their games. Right now neither is close, hence the current position in the standings.

I really dislike Dan Girardi’s game this season and I would love it if Alain Vigneault could eradicate his obsession with going to the ice so early. I think Girardi’s fall from grace – since his particularly strong season a few years ago – has been pretty distinct.

The Rangers continuing to tread water isn’t that much of a shock is it? No Staal, no Callahan, an awful Nash and an inconsistent Lundqvist. Four core guys, none of whom are contributing how their team need them to.

I don’t like his salary but I’d definitely want the Rangers to retain Derek Dorsett. This team is too vanilla as it is, and he’s one of the few players that effectively gets under the other team’s skin, plays physical and his effort can never be questioned. If he’ll take a team friendly deal he has to be kept.

So when did this team become soft? Can it be traced back to the Brandon Prust departure is that too easy to use as an excuse?

Consistency: Mats Zuccarello is getting more expensive by the game isn’t he? He’s continuing to contribute offensively, is by far the most productive forward on the power play unit and is slowly starting to finish better too. The Rangers are lucky to have him right now, he truly is one of just few bright lights in a very grey season so far.

If the Rangers had a better record right now and/or had more depth on the backend Anton Stralman would surely have had a game in the press box by now, no? Brutal recently.

I can’t help think about how nice Jaromir Jagr would look in Ranger blue right now.

The Rangers are spinning their wheels but there’s 47 games left in the season. A reason for optimism folks.

"Injuries, a lack of form, bright lights and confusing trade scenarios: The Musings", 3 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.


  1. paulronty says:

    Zucc rules!!! Jagr? Oh please, that’s past history. Jagr wouldn’t help just like Holik or Gomez didn’t help. Where is THE MESSIAH, he’s very needed.

    • Becky says:

      Jagr is leading the Devils in points

    • Dave says:

      I’m pretty sure Jagr would be a welcomed addition over some of the other wingers who can’t find twine.

    • Kevin says:

      41 year old Jaromir Jagr is outscoring 3/4ths of the current Roster. Also, chastising Dave for being in the past and then pleading for Mark Messier is the definition of hypocrisy

  2. Chuck A says:

    My rare night to watch the team instead of via Tune In Radio. In the “if” category, if they had just a speck more fluidity in their passing game…is it talent or time (or both) that is lacking here?

  3. Melissa says:

    Thank you for mentioning Stralman’s play recently. I was beginning to think I was the only one who noticed he hasn’t been good recently. (Then again no one on the team has been so…)

    • Dave says:

      Only McDonagh has been consistently good. Stralman was solid up until this recent homestand.

    • Bluesboy says:

      Stralman needs a consistent partner in order to be more effective. He is not strong as a “defensive” defenseman but can excel on the breakout and joining the rush. He needs a Girardi or another experienced stay at home bruiser type to be paired with. Moving him around makes him change his focus and worry about covering both sides of the zone… Also, he needs at lease ONE forward who knows how to backcheck or cover the point if he pinches (which he is very good at if his butt is covered)

  4. SalMerc says:

    If the team were to get a real facelift, then someone like Girardi would have to go. I always through Boyle in any trade as he is somewhat invisible on the ice.

    • @Centerman21 says:

      I don’t see how you could possibly miss Boyle on the ice. He’s the only guy finishing checks every shift. He’s on every PK and if he’s in the box it’s a PPG against everytime. Watch the next time Boiler is in the bin. Boyle doesn’t do the big stats. He’s in the trenches digging. That’s what makes Boyle effective.

      • SalMerc says:

        A point every 4 games or so would be nice too

      • SalMerc says:

        Boyle played 35 games, has 7 points and a -6. Me thinks we need better production from him.

        • @Centerman21 says:

          I agree he could burry his chances more but he’s a defensive forward. His -6 is indicative of his PK mins and Dzone starts against top line talent. I love Boyle but if NYR can squeeze more from Dom Moore, they may look to move him for that reason. His lack of offense. I don’t think they need both players and as much as I love Boiler. If they can get a solid return. I’d say make a move now. He could always resign in NY during the summer. I think the Rangers need a player in his position that can provide a little more offense.
          Sather should bring in a guy like Stempniak and maybe a Zack Smith type player too. Stempniak is from NY. I think Boyle can be part of one of those trades. Then if it were up to me, I’d give this kid Beach a look on the bottom 6 somewhere. He’s a big kid that can score and play gritty hockey. We need those guys that can fill multiple roles.

        • Dave says:

          23% of his zone starts are in the OZ. That’s it. Let’s see how Stepan does with those zone starts.

          You need guys like Boyle. Guys who play solid defense, win face offs, and kill penalties.

          Sure, I’d like more production out of him, but it’s not like he’s the only one not scoring here.

  5. Sally says:

    I don’t think it was just Prust leaving. It was a combination of Prust, Dubinsky and Mitchell. My son (the Suit of my house) says the Rangers have too many of the same-style players. He was also commenting the other day about leaving Giroux on the table in 2008. Can you imagine Giroux and Jagr together on the Rangers? I would take Jagr back in a minute.

    • Dave says:

      Don’t forget about Fedotenko. That was a loss as well.

      • Chris F says:

        Rangers lost toughness in Dubisnky, Prust, Mitchell, Fedotenko, and Rupp.

        They also lost crucial veteran leadership (Stanley Cup winners) in Rupp and Fedotenko.

        Look at the Rangers now, with the exception of Richards, these guys haven’t ever even played in the Cup Finals. That’s an important tangible that’s missing.

        • Chris F says:


        • paulronty says:

          We are always crying over spilled milk, us Ranger fans. Dubi was very inconsistent but played hard, Mitchell was just OK, Fedetenko & Rupp were done. Prust priced himself out of action & he’s always injured now, besides I like Dorsett just as much. Time for the young guys.

          • Mark says:

            Agree with all your comments except that Rupp was done. He could still stick up for teammates if nothing else. I don’t understand the obsession with Fedetenko in the comments. He was another trench player and not a great scorer or hitter. He was better than Pyatt or Pouliot though.

        • @Centerman21 says:

          3/4 of the players in the NHL have never played a SCF game. That’s nothing to hold against any player.

      • Sally says:

        Yes, I did forget about him and that was a big lost.

      • Kevin says:

        So was losing Gaborik’s goal scoring

      • Walt says:

        That’s all that great drafting again!!

        Maybe we should trade with Wilkes-Barre to get some of their kids, our men can’t do the job!!

        Alright Dave, Chris, and the rest, have at me again.

        On a serious note, AV doesn’t believe in the rough stuff, and that is a main reason we don’t play as well as we can. Get rid of the softies, bring in men like the Bruins, and or Pens have, then let’s see what happends!! This team with just the addition of Clowe last season, skated with more gusto than I’ve seen from them this entire season.

      • Hoggo says:

        Losing Rusty Feds hurt. Never looked out of place on any line he was on.

    • Dave says:

      Leaving Giroux on the table, in hindsight, was tough. But it’s hindsight. Slats is using the old school method of building from the net out. Goalie (check), solid defense, and depth down the middle. It should explain a lot of the picks early on in the post-lockout rebuild.

  6. AD says:

    So the moral of the story is: we lost players that were contributing, and replaced them with others that were not additive to what previously existed.

    That is exactly the script being written with our coaching position.

    We’ve taken two steps backward as a team and are at a loss of player or coaching leadership to move us forward. Stuck in mud.

    • paulronty says:

      Funny because I think this is a better team than the one Torts took to the conference final.

    • @Centerman21 says:

      I’m afraid the Rangers could end up a modern version of the 06′ Mets. Got close but fell short. Had high expectations for years after but went back every season for 5-6 years now. Oh it hurts still. Up 7 with 17 to play and blew it in 07′.

  7. Al says:

    JT Miller up Mc and Asham sent down

  8. Tim B says:

    Remember when people were saying Zucc had no place on the roster 2 years ago?? See what happens? He was brought back, played well and was scoring before he was playing defense and blocked a shot with his wrist breaking it. And now he is one of NYR’s best scoring forwards right now. See what happens when you give a guy a couple of years on broadway? He adapted to the NHL. it s always possible Zucc can scoe a few goals per week. I always liked this guy. People say he is too small but look he is the rangers best scorer at the moment. Size don’t mean jack to me right now. So what if Zucc continues his hot streak? How much will he be paid? A bridge contract?

    • Dave says:

      Zucc’s first run with the team was pretty inconsistent. He certainly earned his spot in March of 2013 and this year though.

      • Hoggo says:

        You think Zuccarello was inconsistent his rookie year? He and Stepan produced at the same rate. He never got a fair shake the second year. After Wolski went down in the second game, Torts did his line blender and Zucc was dropped to the fourth line with Rupp. Then he was sent down the next game because Torts “couldn’t find minutes” for him