Aug
07

A Different Kind of Fun

August 7, 2018, by

chris kreider

I’ve mentioned this before when discussing this rebuild, but a lot of what people get hung up on are the memories and moments of yesteryear. Trading away the players who brought us those fond times feels like betrayal, and the uncertainty of memories we may never get down the line is scary.

Still though, unless you’re Oilers-level bad at rebuilding, you’re going to have some probables, and maybe even sure things on the horizon (it’s also worth noting that although Edmonton is terrible at this rebuilding thing, they do have Connor McDavid). I think, even from the most conservative, skeptical vantage point, Jeff Gorton has done a pretty decent job at navigating this transitional phase, and I personally think he’s done more than just decent, but that’s just me. So there’s going to be some good things coming.

The first, and this is a real outside chance kind of thing but still one that gets me giddy with excitement, is Captain Kreider. That’s right, Christopher James Kreider will be the next player to wear the C on his chest in a Rangers uniform, because how could he not? He perfectly fits the mold of leadership and character that the Rangers are stressing, and given that eventually the mantle is going to pass to one of the young guys, most probably Lias Andersson, his contract status is actually pretty favorable.

It doesn’t make a ton of sense to appoint a short-term captain, but if there’s anyone well-adjusted enough to handle a weird, awkward captaincy situation, it’s Kreider. Just listen to the interview he did with Amanda Borges for the Rangers the other day, or better yet, read the piece ESPN did about his blood clot injury.

A dude who’s gone through that much and come out the other side even more at peace with himself and grateful for the game of hockey is exactly the guy you want to point to and say to a rookie “be like him”. Sure, there’s no guarantees they don’t just decide to turn into Michael Del Zotto anyways, but if you want to set a standard for what it means to be a New York Ranger in the intangible sense, there’s really only one right answer on this roster.

Kevin Shattenkirk will log at least 40, if not 50 points. This one requires a little bit less explanation than the prediction about Kreider: David Quinn is going to get the best out of Shatty, who with two fully functioning knees and a summer to prepare is going to tear it up. Look for the PP to be electric with our hometown boy at the helm, and look for him to play an excellent, free-flowing style alongside fellow skaterboi –I know they’re all really skaterbois, because they all ice skate, but him and Shatty are the two best on the team I think– Brady Skjei. They’ll get tons of minutes, and it will indeed be good.

This one you’re going to find predictable because it’s me talking, but there’s a twist. Pavel Buchnevich will not only have a breakout season, but he’ll make his mark in a big way: at least one OT winning goal. I’m looking for Pavel not just to score at even strength alongside the new Captain and our resident locker room DJ Mika Zibanejad, or even swish and dish on the powerplay, but rather, he’s going to come up huge when we need him to.

There’ll be key goals for Pavel, but what I’m saying is he’s going to pickpocket Claude Giroux in 3 on 3, go end to end, put the moves on whichever goalie Philly is trotting out this year, and roof it. The most joyous celly you’ve ever seen ensues, and scene.

Hank posts Vezina worthy numbers, and, get this, actually wins it. I know, I know, PHWA voters are dumb and will likely make a push for someone else to win it “because it’s their turn” but what I’m saying is Henrik Lundqvist will be so good that they can’t not give it to him. He’s the King, and he’s going to make sure nobody forgets it. They won’t and he’ll walk away at the end of the season with a big hunk of silver (just not that big hunk of silver, unfortunately).

You’re going to say I’m crazy for this one, and maybe I am, but here goes. Vitali Kravtsov comes over after the KHL season wraps up and joins the Rangers for the playoffs. What’s that? Playoffs? Yes, playoffs. The Rangers will make it, probably be a first round out and mess up their draft situation, but Kravtsov will get Kravty. It’ll be the second coming of College Chris Kreider (remember 2012? those were the days) and it will be glorious.

Now that I’m done hyping myself up, let me point something out. None of these things (well, except that last one, and I’m not entirely serious about it to be quite honest) involve playoffs, and certainly none of them mean lots of wins generally. That’s because while wins are what matters as far as racking up points in the standings and getting all the way down the road to that big hunk of silver, they only sometimes correlate with those memorable moments our hockey lives are composed of.

We can still share great times with our friends and family, build new connections, and see new, incredible things. Wins are nice of course, because it truly does suck to watch your team lose night after night, but there’s so much more to hockey than just getting that W. We’ll watch players grow and learn new tricks, see guys develop chemistry and cool habits.

We will witness Hank in all his glory for yet another year (let’s not pretend that he isn’t the best athlete any of us will likely see in our lifetimes), and see David Quinn come into his own as he learns to deal with press conferences and Larry Brooks (just kidding, much love to Brooksie). It’ll be good, I swear, and one way or another we’ll be with each other the whole way. It’ll be fun, just a different kind of fun.

"A Different Kind of Fun", 3 out of 5 based on 12 ratings.
Categories : Offseason

37 comments

  1. SalMerc says:

    Where can I buy a pair of your glasses?

    • JoeS. says:

      I have a pair and they are awesome. You can get them where real fans gather!

      • SalMerc says:

        Beautiful thing to go thru life ignoring reality. Rock on Joe

        • JoeS. says:

          I will Sal, Thanks! Remember, last years reality had the VGKs at the bottom of the pack. That’s why it’s a lot more fun to root positively for you team. I’m just kind of a glass half-full type of guy. I find it brings me more happiness in life!

  2. Chuck A says:

    This tale is Dickensian, so may I add “And so, as Tiny Tim said, ‘A Merry Christmas to us all; God bless us, every one!’”
    : – )

  3. Johnny Red says:

    WOW! Whatever you drank this morning must have been something! Kreider can be the captain of inconsistency and that’s about all. His type of player is not captain material.

  4. Monty says:

    Alternative reality – Hank will start losing and gets fed up with a struggling defense in front of him and asks to be traded at the end of the season to a contender? Any thoughts on this? 🙂

    • Township Rebellion says:

      I hope that happens too….alot of cap there

    • Egelstein says:

      I wouldn’t hold your breath. He stayed through probably the worst defense he’d ever had in front of him (all factors combined – injuries, no-shows, terrible system, terrible deployment decisions, trades – you name it, it went south with the defense) and a coach who continued to throw him under the bus last season. I will be shocked if things are somehow worse looking out from the goalie’s crease this upcoming season.

  5. JoeS. says:

    …and if you want a pair of these, you can go to any store in Loserville. ; )

    • Mintgecko says:

      Albany NY?

      • Egelstein says:

        Why you gotta take shots at Albany? Maybe pick Troy (always “The Troylet”, in my heart), Utica, Rome, or Watertown if you want to troll the upstate, LOL. Or even Syracuse. I’d take Albany over all those other destinations, currently.

        That said, I live in the finest city in NYS – Rochester – so, I might be a little bit looking down from my ivory tower, and all. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        (I grew up in Lewis County, so please understand – I make all of this comment in relative jest, haha.)

        • Mintgecko says:

          Dude the whole area surrounding Albany is a Cesspool. Anyone that works in that city with a bit of money knows better to live on the outskirts like in Saratoga Springs or Ballston Spa. Those people think they have something to prove since they’re really not city folks. The only good thing that I would say about central NY is it’s a small but cool hockey bunch down there. I would play against those kids alot in youth hockey and they were always game to make the journey for Can/AM in Lake Placid. Utica is a cool party spot if you know a few people around the area.

          Watertown by default is upstate New York but Syracuse, Rome and etc aren’t. Adirondacks is what you call “upstate New York “. Sorry but that’s my home turf and I consider it a burrow of it’s own.

  6. Resident Genius says:

    Captain Kreider! That’s what I have been saying.

    • Township Rebellion says:

      No…Kreider cannot handle the responsibility

      • Egelstein says:

        This stance seems to not have a lot of – or any, really – tangible evidence to support it, that I am aware of.

        • Township Rebellion says:

          The 20 games at at a time you dont notice he is even playing

          • Egelstein says:

            That’s not a narrative I support. Like most guys who aren’t truly elite PPG+ types, he’s gonna have some dull stretches. We all know (or should) that among his numerous gifts in the realm of hockey skills, unfortunately being a killer finisher with a laser sight for open spots in the net isn’t among his strong suits. So, he doesn’t pot as many goals as we would like. Nonetheless, his HERO chart still plants him very firmly in first line status at 63%.

            Some guys pretty much score and that’s it, like Kessel. Nothing wrong with that; the scoreboard decides the outcome of games, and all. That just isn’t Chris’s game, though. Even those PPG guys have some rough stretches, too. Kreider went five games played in a row at one point last season without registering a point. So did John Tavares…twice. These things happen, even to the best of them.

            All of that said, captaincy is not on a direct basis with how often someone produces a highlight reel clip. While it may not be coincidence that a lot of the game’s top scorers have a C or an A on their sweater, that doesn’t mean they are truly great leaders. Conversely, a guy not showing up on the score sheet every night doesn’t mean that he can’t be a great leader. Kreider seems very well respected by his teammates, seems to know how to connect with them, and from all outside indicators has great character. Fans may question his compete level because we can be difficult and completely speculative like that, but I very highly doubt that his teammates would do so. Nobody makes the NHL, or stays in it, if they take the night off 20 games at a time.

            • Township Rebellion says:

              The 3rd period of the Ottawa series Kreider is what we need to see alot more often

            • Odielicious says:

              doubt this will be read but what would you take a dozen krieders or a dozen Zucs ?

              Zuc is my choice and not because he is a ppg player cause he is anything but that…but it is his ability to impact almost every single game in a positive way for his team til last year. He just does what needs to be done. whether it is a big hit a great pass or back checking to stop a important shot.

              Krieder for long stretches disappears and I mean vanishes. No consistency from him at all. I don’t care about goals. I care about heart.

              • Township Rebellion says:

                Kreider overthinks everything to death and watches too much video….look at the final game of the season when they gave their jerseys away….Kreider talked to that kid for like 20 minutes….issues

  7. Mintgecko says:

    Very possible that Hank loses it when this team woul hit their rock bottom. I still will have hope that they could be in playoff contention whenever that would happen during the season. If they aren’t than Hank might waive his clause to get out of dodge if this team is full of young guys who look like they will take 2-3 years to fully develop with no true #1d or 1c in sight. If it wasn’t for a few pictures with these two together at the basketball games than I would have sworn that Hank has had a deepl hate for Skjei. No way was he happy to read about his new 6 year deal, I have a feeling he would never compare McD to Skjei like the narrative in the press did.

    • Township Rebellion says:

      Expect him to send his buddy Brooksie a text…then a damaging article gets written on Skjei…then Skjei gets traded….See Torts, Stepan, AV…

      • Egelstein says:

        This stance seems to not have a lot of – or any, really – tangible evidence to support it, that I am aware of.

    • Agentsmith says:

      Best result is hank requests a trade. They’ll never pick top 5 otherwise.

  8. RagsFan says:

    I actually do think the Rangers will make the playoffs. Who believed in Vegas at the start of last season? With Quinn and the right coaching on everyone and playing a better tighter ‘D’ system, we have the scoring to have a real good season. I also think we have a big trade coming (Hayes, Spooner, Gilmour, etc) to get a great star player to help lead the way.

    • Township Rebellion says:

      Im curious about your name….Rags is a slur as far as I am concerned…Thats all Devil fans refer to us as

      • Egelstein says:

        This stance seems to not have a lot of…JK, for this one. I could never take anyone thinking “rags” was somehow the greatest diss of all time very seriously, personally. Doesn’t bother me in the least when someone drops it like they just spit hot fire. Pretty lame as team insults go, IMO.

        As for Vegas in the original comment, there were many of us who figured they’d flirt with the playoffs. Obviously, they did a bit more than that…but I wasn’t shocked they didn’t suck at all, frankly, despite the fact that I certainly didn’t call them appearing in the finals. Depth matters, and unless they drafted like morons, they were bound to have great depth. Lo and behold, they had great depth. A goalie like Fleury even being available in the first place was also a sizable leg up for them. Rangers should have some depth, the D should be better as you noted basically by default, and they should have a good goalie tandem. I won’t say I am banking on it, but I will not be absolutely shocked if they do flirt with a playoff spot, either. Some of that of course will indeed depend on trades and if they go for established or on-the-cusp/ready player returns, or more farmhands that will need to develop and/or picks.

    • SalMerc says:

      Vegas had a combination of no names, but they were not rookies. They were players who embraced a second chance at a career. Their coach made playing fun again.

      It is rough to expect a team with possible 4 rookies to compete on the NHL level immediately, unless we had a #1 draft pick.

      Let everyone settle in and learn the NHL. By game 15 we should know more about the heart and talent of this team.

      • Township Rebellion says:

        Pizza, popcorn and something very strong like Makers Mark will be needed

      • JoeS. says:

        I gave you a thumbs up because that is fair. You know what else is fair? It’s the first week of August, and I’m going to dream about possibilities this time of year, not that the Rangers will suck. It must be horrible to watch games with that attitude… I’m sad for of you.

        I wish you all some sort of happiness, Life is just too short for anything else.

  9. Richter1994 says:

    Bettman has awarded the #1 overall pick to the Oilers for the next 15 years, or until they finally get it right and get past the first round of the playoffs.

    • Odielicious says:

      followed up by a quick fire sale after they make the playoffs for their best players who they thought were just add on pieces

  10. Odielicious says:

    Love the optimism pat…I say they make it all the way to the finals and lose to chicago. With Krieder having the C the man goes on a rampage and scores 50 goals and gets 6 assists all season. Lundy retires after the season and goes on to become part owner in the rangers with Dolan. The franchise then suddenly turns the corner and win 5 out of the next 15 cups! Look I can smoke crack too!

    There is a difference between building a franchise from scrap with the left overs of the league and landing a number one goalie with a cup to his name and hiring a coach with actually NHL head coaching experience. Versus what we got…7 legit players and a elite goalie at the tail end of his career making 10 million guaranteed and a coach who highest position coaching in this league was as a assistant.

  11. lv says:

    i think the Rangers do have the talent to make the playoffs this year. They have some very good players

  12. agentsmith says:

    between this article, and the pup thing … i think yesterday foreshadowed a looong agonizing season.