Musings: The Final 2011 Edition

It’s a Musings day, the last of 2011 and what a year it has been. The Rangers have given us a lot to smile about toward the end of this year haven’t they? Without further ado, let’s throw ourselves into another post of ramblings

New York Rangers 2011. What do you think of when you think of this year’s edition? I think progress, youth, a bright future and significant change. This team has added quality players like Brad Richards, quality prospects like Tim Erixon and JT Miller and have become a team that looks like it can contend perhaps sooner rather than later. Let’s hope 2012 carries on like ’11 is ending.

It’s the World Junior Championship and that means JT Miller is representing the Rangers on Team USA. So far Miller has a goal and is +2 in 2 games (one win, one loss) for the American team. Being the youngest player on the roster Miller should learn a huge amount during the tournament. In general, it’s becoming a very productive season for Miller who’s having a fine year in the OHL too.

Martin Biron lost a game on Wednesday. That doesn’t happen too often.

Brad Richards is really in a mid season funk isn’t he? I’m surprised the boo-boys haven’t jumped out and questioned the signing yet but it is what it is: a slump and nothing else, even if pointless in 5 games is a rarity for the center.

That said, last year, and many seasons previous, when a big player like Richards slumped there wasn’t people there to pick up the slack. This edition of the Rangers is different. Gaborik has been scorching hot, his line has been consistently productive and guys like Carl Hagelin have provided secondary offense. That’s depth my friends. Richards’ slump simply emphasises it.

Does anyone else think the coach’s comment regarding the Caps’ defensive liabilities was a little controversial? He was clearly frustrated but rarely does he openly criticise the opponents like that. That said, he was right – everyone knows Semin and co. hate going backwards.

I’m not buying in to some people’s suggestion that Dubinsky is back, yet. He’s got a long way to go before anyone can announce his return to being a contributor. If anything he’s needed more now than ever if Richards’ slump continues much longer.

Oh look, another game Brian Boyle didn’t contribute offensively (awkward silence).

So, if the Rangers were to lose to the Panthers Friday and lord forbid, lose the Winter Classic, all of a sudden the Rangers would own a three game losing streak. You just know a bunch of fans would press the panic button. It’s an 82 game season, there’ll be losing streaks. If it happened I’d still be confident in this team going forward.

What’s wrong with Brandon Prust? Are Prust and Boyle’s coinciding disappointing season’s coincidence or do they really affect each other’s games that much?

Question Time:

  • First to make the Rangers: Kreider or Miller?
  • Who will be the Rangers top scoring center this season?
  • Would you rather keep Erixon in the line-up or Woywitka?
  • Is Mike Rupp benchable yet?
  • Sean Avery anyone?

So, just a couple of days left in 2011. Personally, it’s been an interesting one for me – amongst the highlights, seeing the Rangers open the season in Stockholm and forgetting what happened in the Pens-Rangers game at the MSG in November because Dave and I were that drunk. Well I was anyway. 

On behalf of all of us at the blog, Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2012 is a great one for you, me and the Rangers. Here’s to it. 

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  1. kreider by a mile. pull a couture maybe?

    i think richards will still lead centers in points in the end.

    when staal comes back the erixon debate should be over.

    avery is done.

    i dont see why people are getting on rupp. he’s not sposed to get a hat trick evry game. is he?

  2. Kreider.
    Woywitka. Like Erixon, but he’s not ready yet. What do you mean ‘yet?’ He was from day one.
    What about him?

    1. I was leaving the Avery question open to interpretation. Agent Smith saw it as he’s done, maybe some people may see him as necessary in the line up, me? I see him retiring at the end of the year.

      And Rupp? I was ok with the signing but not for what he got and his injury has really limited his effectiveness. Basically, he has none right now.

      1. Rupp got 2 too many years and ~$500-750k too much. I can see him having value in the postseason, but against any non-Atlantic opponent, they need a better player on that 4th line.

        1. maybe im in the minority but i like having rupp in the lineup. he is a big physical presence out there.

          1. You are kidding about Rupp? Well, I’ll give you that he’s big. He doesn’t hit, he doesn’t fight. He’s Donald Brashear all over again. Prust does all the fighting.

  3. First of all, as a fan of this blog site, and I think I speak for a number of others, THANKS for the great job you guys have done all season long!!!

    Richards, with a large margin.

    Tim is just too raw, needs some seasoning at the AHL level.

    Rupp is just as accountable as anyone else, call up Devenoux if need be, and Rupp goes down to get his game in order.

    Sean, we love you but your cap hit, and the growth of the Hagelin kid, bye bye buddy!

    Next year, Chris Kreider will make the team, Miller may, or may not, we don’t need to rush him too fast.

    Possible line for next season:

    Artie, Stepan, and Gabby
    Kreider, Richards, and Hagelin
    Dubi, Boyle, and Callie
    Prust, Rupp, and possibly Miller, Mitchel, and or Devenoux

    That line up doesn’t look too shabby, now does it?????

    1. Love our depth, so much!

      And thanks for the compliment. I write half the stuff I do because you guys keep commenting. It’s nice to hear everyone’s opinions whether I/WE agree with them or not.

      Rupp needs to step up or the Avery fans will again question the presence of favouritism. Right now, I cant see how Rupp is more effective than Avery in any facet.

  4. Hopefully Kreider.

    Probably Richards.

    Woywitka, however, he needs to go as soon as either Staal, Sauer or Eminger is healthy. Del Zotto, McDonaugh, Girardi and those 3 need to be our regular 6. Stralman, Woywitka and Bickel can rotate in as needed between the Rangers and the Whale. Erixson, to be honest, has no role on this team this year unless injuries make his presence absolutely necessary. He needs more time to develop.

    Rupp brings an added size that we could use, especially since Boyle refuses to throw his body around much. Rupp isn’t here to score goals. But, I think you could rotate Rupp and Avery in and out of the lineup, see who really brings more to the Rangers game.

    Avery? Available when necessary. Wouldn’t cut him lose just yet. See above.

  5. Kreider will not see a minute of playing time in the AHL. He will make the team and never look back. He is ready for the NHL now. Miller is a bit of question mark, given how young he is. I can see him playing a bit for the Whale before making the jump.

    When all is said and done, I think Richards will be, but Step won’t be far behind.

    I think the Rangers are playing it right with Erixon. I would rather see Tim in there over Woywitka, but I think it is better for Erixon to get consistent big minutes in the AHL before making the jump. He is going to be good.

    The Rangers suck at signing enforcers. No matter who smart a signing it may look, this guy looks washed up. He needs to sit when Wolski returns.

    Avery’s career is over after this season. He is a dead topic to me.

  6. Kreider……………………………………….Richards…………………………………….Let Erixon play top minutes in Hartford…………………………………………..Rupp needs some ice time to show what he has got in him,he skated fairly well his first game back.It’s a little too soon to determine his value………………………………………..Avery has some hockey left in him but Tort’s will not give him a chance,might as well be in Hartford………………………………………Happy New Year Chris,enjoy life to the fullest while your young.Thank you for all your wonderful articles.

  7. I think this is the most insightful/intelligent Rangers blog site out there, but God help you if you say something dumb or totally disagree with the rank and file.

    Expect Kreider first.
    Stepan will have more points than BR. I don’t think he’s been that great (except for a coupla game winners.
    Woywitka is NHL ready, Erixon still plays at AHL speed. Too many turnovers (not that Woywitka is much better). Staal and Sauer will make both obsolete for now.
    Rupp = Brashear. Sit him. Avery more valuable.
    Someone will claim Avery on waivers.

  8. Chris, awesome that you get involved in the discussions…Keep up the great work.

    2 cents…, How can anyone be anything but excited about this team, regardless of this years outcome. Nice to see good hockey, potential of being great, being played consistently by a team I’ve been watching for over 20 years.

    ok, 3, cant wait till Staal and Sauer make it back, some blue line that’ll be…

    Happy New Years everyone.

  9. First off, boys thanks for writing a great blog.

    Krieder will make the team.

    Richards will lead the Rangers centers in scoring and a great job mentoring Stephan and Del Zotto.

    Erixon is out and will playing big minutes with Wade Redden. Redden will help Erixon just like he did with Mcd.

    Rupp deserves a chance to see what he could do. He had knee surgery and i am guessing is lacking some confidence. He plays about 7 minutes a game and Prust needs some help with the fighting.

    Enough with hating on Boyle. He was never a scorer and picked up 20 something goals last year. Where would the team be without him last year? Boyle was almost out of the league after his first season in NY. Boyle is turning into very strong defensive center and the best faceoff man on the team. In the preview you mentioned Boyle starting in defense zone most of the time. Torts trusts him to win the draw and play well in the defensive zone.

    You kill Boyle about secondary scoring but you said in the blog Hagelin has stepped up into that roll.

    The depth on Defense Corp is crazy. Where does Staal play when back in the lineup? I say Staal shoukd play with Del zotto. Keep Giradi and McD together and play Emminger and Sauer. There is not one guy sniffing thirty. 2012 and beyond is going to be very exciting.

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