What are you doing inside on a day like this? Go out and play. Oh….you’re outside and reading this on your phone? Well played.
1. Good for Dan Girardi last night on his game winning goal. He took a beating around these parts, and I’ve always maintained that it was never about the guy (it wasn’t) it was about the role, contract, and declining play. It seems now that a good portion of that was the system as well. On a lower pairing, on a much more consistent and stable team, and he’s been doing fine. I still stand by what I say that the Rangers needed to buy him out. Just because it was needed for one team doesn’t mean he isn’t useful somewhere else.
2. I always find it funny when people root against former players on their favorite team. I understand if a guy burns the club, but let’s remember that every single Ranger on the Bolts right now left because the Rangers forced them out. Ryan Callahan, JT Miller, and Ryan McDonagh were traded there. Girardi was bought out and signed there. Anton Stralman was lowballed and got his market value elsewhere. I hope they all win a Cup. I was thrilled when Carl Hagelin won the Cup, but it was horrible to watch him do it with the Pens. Either way, I hope that quintet gets a Cup.
3. How about those teams out West? It was just four years ago when the LA Kings and their big, brutal style of play dominated. Now? Not so much. All four teams are fast, skilled, and fun to watch. That is what hockey without the headshots looks like. It is a fast, skilled game that makes you sit on the edge of your seat. That’s what I hope the Rangers become. You can’t hit what you can’t catch.
4. Imagine how upset Gary Bettman is going to be if Tampa comes out of the East and any team except Vegas comes out of the West? These are small market teams that likely won’t do well on a national ratings scale. But if we get a Tampa/Winnipeg or Tampa/Nashville final, think of how much fun that back and forth will be.
5. On to the Rangers, since this is a Rangers blog after all. It looks like two of their coaching options (David Quinn – BU, and Jim Montgomery – Dallas) are off the board. Montgomery went without the Blueshirts even making an offer. I’m not all that surprised. But all signs are pointing to Sheldon Keefe as their primary target. Keefe can’t talk to any teams until the Toronto Marlies wrap up their season.
6. I’m not overly concerned about the Rangers picking 9th overall. I would have loved to get into the top three, but the Rangers can get elite talent at nine. The difference –in this draft, at least– between top-three and top-ten is NHL readiness. The top three can slide into a lineup right now (Dahlin is a generational talent). The rest of the top-ten project to be top liners or top pairing defensemen, but need more time to develop. Oliver Wahlstrom, whom I love, needs a few years. That doesn’t take away from his ceiling, it just means we need to wait a little longer.
7. There’s lots of talk about the Rangers moving up. I don’t think it will be from the #9 spot though. I think they move up from the early 20’s to the teens. They have the assets to do so. They need as much potential elite talent/ceiling players as they can find. They certainly have the depth to spare."Thoughts on a beautiful Saturday",