Yes, I know Dave gave you a Musings this morning. Whatever. You’re being spoiled today with two. As the Rangers close in on a playoff spot, form, health and special teams become so incredibly important at this time of the year. With the Avalanche on tap this evening, let’s have a muse for the second time today.
It’s nice to see the Captain (the real captain) holds no apparent bitterness toward the Rangers following his coaching snub last summer. Mark Messier says the Rangers have a chance at the Cup and, if they avoid the Bruins, there’s no reason to think they can’t go far if health and form holds up.
That said, the Rangers cannot go far in the post season without a better powerplay and consistency from Nash, St Louis, Richards – in that order. The defense will keep this team in games, Henrik Lundqvist will steal games but the offense needs to spot the King a lead or two. Stating the obvious?
Captain Swap Watch: St Louis: 15 games 1+3, 1 SHG, 29 shots. Callahan: 14 games, 6 + 4, 3 PPG, 39 shots.
How do you look at those stat lines and not cringe? That said, they’re just starts. If Callahan keeps that pace up I’d like to ask him why he didn’t score at that rate in NYC.
Ryan McDonagh has ‘no structural damage’. The entire city of New York exhales.
Thinking beyond the season and to Mats Zuccarello’s contract situation. How much does he get and for how long? Do the Rangers’ have complete trust in him that he can replicate this production long term or do they still have nagging doubts due to his size and a reluctance to shoot more? He should get paid.
Is it a coincidence that the Rangers’ best line are all in contract seasons? Zuccarello, Brassard and Pouliot all need new deals. At the moment, it’s an absolute must that they’re all retained and kept together. Chemistry is priceless.
I have been quietly impressed with Kevin Klein since he came to the Rangers. They traded away talent for stability and have been rewarded. Klein and Raphael Diaz have been very good depth defenseman for the Rangers, whose defensive unit is nothing short of impressive.
The elephant in the room this summer? Marc Staal. How much and for how long do you commit to Staal? Given the money tied up on the blueline (McDonagh, Girardi, Klein), what’s the number Staal gets? He shouldn’t get more dollar than Girardi or McDonagh but again, he knows on an open market and with an increasing cap ceiling he certainly can get more. This is a huge issue about to confront Glen Sather over the summer.
The Rangers get an up close look at Paul Statsny tonight. 64 games, 53 points, on a hot streak, Statsny is certainly a good candidate to replace Richards but would he represent a similar risk to Richards? He’ll want a long term deal if he even makes it to free agency and yet his numbers are comparable to Richie Rich, he’s a health risk and last broke 60 points in 2010. That said, he’s a quality player in what will be a weak free agent market. Buyer beware?
- What would you pay Marc Staal and is there a number you’d walk away from?
- How much would you commit to Derick Brassard this summer?
- Which young Rangers (if any) would you be willing to trade to improve the center position?
- If you only kept one, who: Stralman or John Moore?
- Are there any circumstances where you would keep Brad Richards beyond this summer?