Musings: Girardi and Cally, momentum, and the playoffs

He will be signed (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

He will be signed (Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Chris is still MIA, so if you happen to be walking through the city and see a lost Welschman, please direct him back to his laptop so that he can continue writing the musings. I know you like his ramblings more than mine. But for now you will need to make do with me.

  • This whole Ryan Callahan thing is getting blown out of proportion. Take a step back, read my post this morning, and realize that no team that is a legit contender trades their captain. This is just the media hyping things to sell page views, in my humble opinion.
  • No one has really mentioned Dan Girardi in a while, but that’s likely because he is getting overshadowed by Cally. Hey, I’m all for that. One less rumor to continually write about until my fingers bleed.
  • I am sticking with my prediction: Girardi re-signs before the roster freeze, and Cally before the trade deadline. I know that doesn’t give me much room for error, since the roster freeze is tomorrow, but I am sticking to it.

  • In case you’ve missed it, and by the looks of all the people who want to gut the team, you have, the Rangers have managed to win a few games. And by “a few,” I mean 15 of 21, including four in a row currently. They had two other sets of three in a row in January. The slow start will prevent them from catching Pittsburgh, but they’ve been one of the hottest teams lately. They fell asleep in December, but they are still making the playoffs.
  • New York has Edmonton tonight and Pittsburgh tomorrow. I honestly think they can win both games, making it six in a row before the Olympics.
  • But therein lies the concern: Will the Olympics cause the Rangers to lose their momentum? That’s a legitimate concern for a team that has been top-ten in points since their 3-7-0 start.
  • Another thing: The Rangers aren’t just beating the bottom feeders. They beat legitimate teams who will be making the playoffs in Colorado and Chicago. They also beat bubble teams Detroit, Ottawa, Ottawa, Philly, Dallas, New Jersey, and Toronto. Some of these games were in convincing fashion as well. Even their loss to St. Louis was a “good loss” in the sense that they played very well.
  • So when you pool all that together, you have a team that not many teams want to play in the playoffs. They are running on all cylinders. They are scoring, playing defense, getting great goaltending, and executing on special teams. The forecheck is creating turnovers and they are capitalizing on these turnovers.
  • Speed kills. But this time around, it’s New York’s speed that is killing other teams.
  • Questions:
    • What holes do you think the Rangers need to fill at the deadline?
    • Cally is at 11 goals with about 25 games left, think he can get to 20 goals?
    • If I told you at the beginning of the season that Brad Richards and Mats Zuccarello would be leading this team in scoring at the Olympic break, would you have believed me? (Note: This is a trick question.)

32 Responses to “Musings: Girardi and Cally, momentum, and the playoffs”

  1. cnp says:

    I really think we should just stay the course at the deadline. Can’t make moves just for the sake of making moves.

  2. Spozo says:

    Wait, what’s going on with Cally? I must have missed this……

  3. Gary says:

    1) None, seriously (if as expected G & Cally are still w/ team). Maybe, MAYBE defense depth.

    2) Possible, not probable. Though he’s showcasing so who knows?

    3) Half way. A pre-season question on this blog was ‘who would lead the Rangers in scoring?’. My answer was BR. Very pleasantly surprised about Zuch.

  4. robert cyruli says:

    Grit. Same as Keenan begged Smith to get him at the deadline in the 94 Cup run. Granted, game has evolved some since then, but not all THAT much. Playoffs bring the hitting and intensity that gave Boyle concussion, etc. etc. Don’t need an overhaul, but need the element that Smith got for Keenan (and remember, NYR gave some great talent to get it – Gartner, Amonte…). It’s got to be. Playoffs are for men; no “lady’s only” skating. Proof is in the pudding from prior years.

    • Chris A says:

      Forget who you are willing to trade away and acquire, who are you sitting among the current twelve forwards to get these ‘Grit’ players in the lineup?

      Just curious

    • Walt says:

      Well stated! Look at Boston, Ducks, and even LA!

    • doug peters says:

      Carcillo & Dorsett

  5. Spozo says:

    1) I don’t think the team has any big hole. Obviously they could use a legit #1 center and a mobile, puck moving, pp quarterback on the blue line with a cannon but doesn’t everyone?

    2) I think he has a shot at it. But if he scores at a pace through the last 25 to bring him up past 20 goals, I’m gonna be pissed if he gets dealt.

    3) I’m not surprised at BR and I think if Nash was healthy all season he would be right up there. Zuke is a very pleasant surprise. He’s due for a hefty raise this summer, whether it be by Sather or someone else.

    • WilliamW says:

      Best answer I’ve seen to #1. The Rangers needs are at the premier, high value positions. 1C and RH PP QB. Not too many teams have those two, a lock down top D pair (McD and G), a game breaking W (Nash) and an elite G (Hank). Three out of 5 is pretty good.

      I can’t think of any team aside from LA, Anahiem and maybe Chicago or SJ (depending on how you view the goalies) that have all 5

  6. Chris F says:

    Thank you, Dave!

    1) This team has no holes that can be filled absent a major blockbuster deal (I.e. getting a #1 center). I’d not make a single move until summer.

    2) Doubtful that he’ll reach 20, unless he uses the Olympics as a spring board to elevate his play.

    3) Did you tell us this? ;)

  7. JoeP199 says:

    Here’s a thought. Callahan and/or Girardi to the Oilers for a bunch of young players, prospects, draft picks. Taylor Hall, maybe?

  8. Leatherneckinlv says:

    As much as I am a fan of both Girardi and Callahan and want them both signed, it looks like both want to test the pot of gold via free agency. They have both earned that right.
    I think Girardi will be signed, I fear that Callahan will not. The risk of losing them for nothing to FA is not worth it to take.
    Better to trade them both than get nothing in return. Both of these players will fetch a bounty. As an organization it will be a disaster loosing 2 assets such as Girardi and Callahan for nothing. In the long run it would weaken us tremendously.
    By trading them and getting great multiple assets for each it keeps us competitive. Getting one of the top 2 picks in this years draft can be had. There is 0 doubt of that. Getting Reinhart will get us closer to having that number 1 center, Getting Ekbald gives us a franchise D man with a Right handed shot to play along with McDonagh.
    The risk of playing the year when we are likely a 30% chance to win the cup is not worth it to keep them 2 and risking losing them for nothing

    • Spozo says:

      You realize that in order to get one of the top two picks in this years draft that means the Rangers would have to trade with the worst team in the league? Why on earth would that team trade away a first or second overall pick for a player who’s contract is up in 25 games?

      • Leatherneckinlv says:

        Both Edmonton and Buffalo have reasons to trade with us. Buffalo gets Callahan and a Captain for the younger and loaded talent, Edmonton needs a Leader on the defense.
        With all those early picks everybody thought they would start to be at the minimum at the middle of the pack. Well they are a Lottery team yet again. They need Veteran presence.
        Buffalo gets a player they can Market and lead the team. Buffalo has more than enough picks last few years. They will pick up more assets soon. Gone will be Miller, Ott, Tillander, Strafford and Ennis. Coming in are Luke Adam, Pysyk, Gigerenko, Amira, Zhardov, Larsson, Ristoleinen and probably Matt Hackett. That is a ton of talent.
        Edmonton still has their corps players signed up for long term, Hall, Hopkins, Eberly, Schultz, Yakupov, Hamilton, , Nurse, Klefbom and Musil….How many more prospects of high caliber do they need?

        • Spozo says:

          This is still a fantasy

        • Spozo says:

          Where in that convoluted equation is the guarantee Cally and Girardi sign for the big bucks after this trade? If they are going to give them their kings ransom, why trade away picks when they can wait until the offseason to throw money at these guy? This still makes zero sense.

          • Leatherneckinlv says:

            there is no guarantee for anyone. Both have cap space and the assets to make the trade in the form of need. Dig a little deeper Spozzo

            • Leatherneckinlv says:

              They are getting quality Veteran presence immediately in the form of a C and an A in our line up that is loaded

            • Chris A says:

              If you were a Buffalo fan or an Edmonton fan wouldn’t you be furious if your team gave up valuable assets to trade for players that could have been had for only cash on July 1?

              Were you one of the people that wanted Slats to send Anisimov and a pick to Dallas for upcoming Free Agent Brad Richards at the trade deadline a few years ago?

            • Spozo says:

              I’m digging as deep as I can and I can’t find the logic from the oilers to make this move. So the Rangers should trade Callahan because there is no guarantee they sign him so they don’t lose him to free agency for nothing. The Oilers trade the first overall pick to gain this exact risk? So they then might lose Callahan to free agency and it also costs them the first overall pick? You say they are swimming in assets but how does that make for a good business decision?

              • Leatherneckinlv says:

                They get the negotiating rights without being hampered. We don’t have the cap space, THEY DO

              • Spozo says:

                One what planet does a first everall pick go for negotiating rights? Do me a favor and google “nhl negotiating rights trades” and find me where a second rounder has been traded for negotiating rights, let alone the first overall pick.

  9. Leatherneckinlv says:

    We have a 1 in 7 chance to win. Pittsburgh, Boston and the Rangers from the east, Chicago, Anaheim, St Louis, Los Angeles and San Jose from the west. At best we are 6th in rating over Los Angeles. I rank us last personally. That is a 15% chance. For the faithful and I, I doubled it to 30% in the above statement

    • pavel says:

      I’m more worried about the Edmonton game than the tilt with Penguins. We seem to take the foot off the pedal when playing bad teams, but show up for the good ones

  10. JoeS. says:

    1.) What holes do you think the Rangers need to fill at the deadline?

    I agree with ChrisF, stay the course, Why can’t we lose Cally for nothing this summer??? Can’t he be like a rental, but for us? Also gives us more time to sign him. He doesn’t want to leave NY, nobody does. Is there a better place to play in the league? is there?

    2.) Cally is at 11 goals with about 25 games left, think he can get to 20 goals?

    I think he could especially if he gets back on the power play, and like it looks like AV is going to try it. Plus I think he’s motivated. Anybody see him play vs. the AVs?

    3.) If I told you at the beginning of the season that Brad Richards and Mats Zuccarello would be leading this team in scoring at the Olympic break, would you have believed me? (Note: This is a trick question.)

    Hmmm, Not really that surprised by Richards, but not sure I would have thought he would be leading. As for Zucc, always liked him and am happy for him, but no I probably would not have believed.

  11. Kevin says:

    1) A 2nd line scorer
    2) Probably comes close (16-18)
    3) Yes.

  12. Ray says:

    1) no needs to address, but if a way to improve the team falls in our lap
    2) no
    3) I didn’t guess in the beginning. I think if you had told me that Nash would miss significant injury time and wouldn’t be in the top three and that Zucc would get the playing time he deserved, I think i would have gotten the top three scorers right. But I think I would have reversed Stepan (now 3d) and Zuccarello. Now I think, as I did a few years back that MZA has 70+ point seasons ahead of him.

    As for G and C, I think Sather and Girardi are haggling over a few dollars and no one doubts the deal will get done. Even if we get to June, there is no reason to panic. OTOH, I think that Callahan believes that his market value is considerably higher than his true worth. He sees no reason to take what he deserves when he can get a lot more. I think all these rumors suggest Sather wants to make it clear (whether true or not) that he would rather let Callahan go than pay him way too much.

    • Walt says:

      Walt says:

      Feb 6, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      But what’s the point if the man wants out?? Slats will treat him fairly, but if won’t sign on, he will be forceing his hand.

      Here are some stars in the NHL, and their salaries as per cap geek:
      Crosby 8.7 mil
      Neal 5.0 mil
      Gireaux 8.25
      Jon Tavares 5.5 mil
      Bergeron 4.5 mil
      Pat Kane 6.3 mil
      Jon Toews 6.3 mil
      Hossa 5.275 mil
      Parise 7.54 mil
      Perry 8.625 mil
      Getzlaf 8.625 mmil
      J Staal 6.0
      Zajac 5.75 mil
      Henrique 4.0
      Sadin twins 7.0 mil each
      Backstrom 6.7 mil
      Wheeler 5.6 mil
      Evander Kane 5.25 mil

      On this list are 8 cup winners, and almost all have out scored Cllie, and he is asking for up to 7 mil. That is out of line, I don’t care how many people don’t like what I’m saying, his demands are too high. Yet Slats is willing to pay him plenty, but not give away the store in the process. We all love the guy, but that is flat out greed, and if doesn’t sign, well again show him the door, the ball is in his court!

      Look over the list, and then think this through with your brains, not your hearts!!!!!

  13. Mikeyyy says:

    Slats is usually quiet at the deadline. No big trades. He makes his trades in the offseason