State of the Rangers

The basis for better

That the Rangers are two wins away from the Stanley Cup final is down to the impressive work rate, team ethic and application of the roster and the coaching staff. That the team is almost running on empty and may perhaps fall short of the Finals is because of the way the team plays, the style and energy required to play that way. That said, whatever happens the rest of the season it has been a hugely successful one. More importantly, the way the Rangers play promises so much for the future.

Teams can be blessed with skill and can fall short because of a lack of heart, character or work ethic. It’s hard to acquire those traits. It’s easier to acquire talent. The Rangers have gone about it the right way and that is why this team should be a contender for the foreseeable future.

That the team (currently) struggle to score goals consistently is down to the fact the club has a lack of in their prime skill players – Gaborik and Richards aside. Players like Stepan and Anisimov, Kreider and Hagelin are still developing. This is one of the youngest clubs in the entire league. Players such as Ryan Callahan need to be complemented with skill. It’s this combination of youth however that should develop in to quality scorers even if it’s not happening just yet.

Marian Gaborik has struggled to hit the net, in part because the rest of the club has also done so. Next year, where Hagelin, Kreider and Stepan are that much more engrained, more experienced and more confident in their own abilities they should step forward and contribute more. Then we shall see more space for Gaborik and the others.

Given what Chris Kreider is already doing, when you couple that ability with the clubs work rate it promises so much. Teams like the Capitals had to change their entire DNA to find a way to go deep in the playoffs. The Rangers already have that DNA and need ‘only’ grow in to the players they can become. That’s what is so exciting. For every Ranger fan it should be hugely exciting that a season that may include a trip to the Cup finals can be seen as a bonus.

Sather, Tortorella, Gordie Clark and the rest of the Rangers brass have built this team the right way. The foundation is there in both talent and mentality. This isn’t a bunch of Alex Semin’s. This is a team of Ryan Callahan’s. That’s why the Rangers will win the Cup in the near future. Exciting times thanks to a Black and Blue core.

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  1. Well said and I couldn’t agree more. That being said, do you think that the Rangers will chase Nash (or another skilled forward) over the summer?

    I have to say, I was in favor of any reasonable deal for Nash prior to the trading deadline, but now I think I would pass and just let the team develop.

  2. Chris,I have to respectfully disagree with your analysis of Ranger fortunes on several levels. The first is it’s fairly obvious they can’t continue to “play the way they have” indefinitely,because they are both undersized and the human body will not hold up to that style. I would also question your comment that Sather has built the organization the right way. He has been in his position for now 12 years. His early years were spent( excuse the expression” trying to fulfill his lame comment “that anyone could win with the Ranger money”! He’s managed to waste millions on free agents who have not produced like Gomez and Redden to name but two. His drafts have been less than spectacular. Even his most recent aquisitions of players like Voros,Rismiller,Brashear,Boogaard,Rupp,and yes Richards for ridiculous dollars, especially Richards 7yrs. and 60 million for a 31 year old center have made him one of the least repected GM’s in the NHL for his absurd abuse of salary constraints and 20 years of failure to produce a winner. As for the future and our vaunted prospects,the top four being Erixon,McIllrath and Thomas,Erixson simply mirrors what this D already has,technique,McIllrath to date has not shown the ability to play at the NHL level and some think he may never do so. Thomas is a very good scorer but is on the small side which is already a problem in this organization. And finally Miller who is by reputation a tenacious grinder. Hmmm,where have we heard that before? Bottom line IMO is, let’s not get carried away by their unbelievable success this year mainly predicated on the back of a fortuitous 7th. round pick. Even a blind squirrel finds the nut occasionally.

    1. Are you for real? Your head is swiveled backwards bro…time to turn your head. The glass is have full, not half empty. As for Sather’s past spending, so what? Now what! He didn’t trade for players like in the past and has started to build a TEAM since 08. Funny how you mention Redden and et al, but you fail to mention the signings of Biron, Stralman and Fedetenko or the trading of Gomez for McDonagh or Getting Erixon for almost nothing, Boyle for a 3rd rounder, drafting players such as Kreider, Del Zotto, Stepan. Your observations lack your name (common sense) and your point mute and old.

    2. Are you for real? Sather’s drafts since 2004 have been sensational, McIlrath projects to be a top 4 if not a top 2 D-man, Richards is top-20 NHL talent, signed to a market contract (Kings offered slightly more, but he preferred Rangers… I could go on and on.
      Go root for your Islanders, dude.

  3. I do agree that the brass have built a good club. I don’t see an infusion of skill as the catchall or magic bullet to fix the situation.

    I believe its the playing style that stymies the skill players. While that blue collar style has gotten us this far, if you infuse the team with more talent…you will have to adjust the style the team plays to compliemnt that.

    Right now you have lots of skill. Brad Richards, Gaborik, Stepan, Kreider, Anisimov. But the fact those skill players are along the boards constantly fighting for pucks doesn’t put them in prime scoring areas to utilize those skills.

    The defense has come a long way in terms of pinching at the right time, and playing a solid game two way game. But you need to also have that extend to the players up front.

    If anything, if we keep our current style of play, I would actually think we need to get bigger, stronger, and sandpapery so that it defines the club better.

    And like anything it takes time to perfect that system. Do the fans have the patience to have a losing record for the first 30 games while the team adjusts to a new system that allows the creative players to be more creative? Can we afford to run two different systems because the lines are constructed differently. We saw what a team that is skilled and plays defensive can do…a la Washington during the playoffs…they lost. We need to pick one style and go all out. Do one thing really well, and capitalize on it.

    If we get faster guys, then we need to play a system that maximizes the effectiveness of fast players. If we go big and strong, we need a system that plays puck possesion and cycles.

    Not sure if Torts can relinquish control to the players hoping they score more goals. Not sure if the fans can wait long enough for the team to grow into that style of play.

  4. As my husband said this morning, I’m sure the Rangers can win game seven, I’m not sure about game six. Whatever happens, it has been the best season in a very long time. I thank everyone on the team for the thrill of the ride.

  5. This article is bogus we are not eliminated yet there is still two games left as far as the future goes they better win a cup soon henrik is going to be 31 buy next season and other teams like the pens flyers,and caps are going to be getting better we are just two players away pp scoring d man and a sniper rw cause gaborik stinks and should be traded

    1. fatso is 40 and one win away from another stanley cup final. tim thomas is 38 and one year out from backstopping his way to a conn smythe/vezina season (his second vezina in three years).

      you think hank is going to just swim out to sea and die in the next year or two?

    2. I don’t recall the article mentioning that we were going to be eliminated. Also, gotta agree with wwpd.

    3. Dewd you’re bogus. Gaborik has scored 40 goals in two out of his three seasons as a Ranger. He needs to play more consitently in the playoffs, but he, like this post, does not stink. Also, Rangers in 7.

        1. 3OT goal vs Caps, tied the game last night. Yes, he’s been up and down and we need to see a little more, but you can’t just discount his regular season performance….those games count too.

  6. Great post, my thoughts exactly. Yes it will be quite depressing if they lose to the Devils. But man oh man the future looks bright.

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