Musings; take down the Jets edition

Plenty of goal celebrations tonight please.
Plenty of goal celebrations tonight please.

If you think the Rangers media/fan base is bad, you should have seen the stink kicked up by Jake Gardiner’s agent in Toronto. One naughty tweet (“free Jake Gardiner”) created a storm of speculation. Rangers’ prospects should relax knowing they don’t need to deal with the overzealous Toronto market.

Following on from his recent upturn in form, Michael Del Zotto is averaging a point per game against the Jets franchise. The Buffalo game aside (almost everyone stank), it will be interesting to see MDZ on the puck tonight and see whether he can continue to bring the level of poise and confidence he’s had recently. He’s an important part of this team, and when he’s on can make other players around him more dangerous.

Something about tonight’s match up; if the team can’t enter this game motivated, hungry, and with serious energy I’ll be slightly concerned. The Rangers and Jets are 8th and 9th in the standings, with the same points. There is a lot riding on this game. This is the kind of game where the Rangers better players need to step up.

If the Rangers do lose tonight (heaven forbid) they are in danger of losing ground on the 5-7 seeds. If they win, it’s all congested again. That point just re-emphasises how big tonight potentially is.

I hear people crying about a lack of respect from John Tortorella in his press conference after the Sabres game… Get over it. This is a passionate and demanding coach who is trying to send a message to his team. He’s not being personal; he’s just trying to be a coach. I’d rather see this passion, anger and desire in the coach than have someone who throws bland clichés at the media just to fulfill his obligations.

Despite his game winner against the Islanders, we really, really need to see Marian Gaborik more. Not just flashes in games, but consistently strong performances. Time’s ticking.

Personally I thought the Matt Gilroy-Steve Eminger pair was abysmal against the Sabres. I also think an out of condition Roman Hamrlik can’t be any worse than Gilroy.

So long as the Rangers are at the wrong end of the playoff seed battle we likely won’t see Marty Biron get as many starts as the coaching staff would want. Henrik Lundqvist needs rest but he’s also the key to the Rangers getting into the playoffs. No point having a well rested goalie that’s playing golf (or guitar) come May.

I’ve been hugely impressed with Derek Stepan recently. He’s visibly growing on the ice, both from a production and performance point of view. He’s stepping up when the team needs it. He’s playing intelligent hockey and suggesting that maybe he can become a top line center. He’s the Rangers no.1 right now, that’s for sure.

Taylor Pyatt has disappeared. Has Jeff Halpern even appeared at all?

Question time:

  • Do the Rangers make a trade before deadline day?
  • (With the PP improving) what is your biggest concern on the Rangers right now?
  • Will Lundqvist reach 20 wins this season?
  • Who has been the biggest disappointment defensively?
  • Hagelin, Stepan or Richards; who ends up with the most points?

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  • I believe that a trade will be made to shake things up. What position I don’t know, but we need secondary scoreing, and a big shot from the blue line.

    Scoreing, as above, we need a big shot on the blue line, and a power forward. I’d be willing to trade Gabby, his heart just isn’t in the game, or city!

    Hank has to win 20 in order for us to make the play-offs. The team in front of him has to do their share to make that happen. Yes 20 is doable.

    On the defense, I believe that with the injuries to Marc, you’d think Gilroy would run with the chance to prove himself. This kid is a big nothing!!!

    The way thing are going, Hags will lead the three, with Step a close second. Brad has got to get going, and real soon.

  • I think Gaborik playing on a not familiar wing is really throwing him off his game. Wonder if they switch it up to see if that helps?

  • I would not at all object to a trade involving any or all of the following players: Asham, Boyle, Gilroy, Bickel. Not sure what sort of return they might get, though.

    Largest concern has to be offensive consistency, which, despite a much improved PP still seems to be a major issue.

    Henrik better reach 20 wins. There are 23 remaining games, if we can’t take 9 of them, that’d be a disgrace.

    I suppose Gilroy. We all knew he wasn’t much of a defender based off his last tour of duty with NY. But at least we saw some flashes of playmaking ability, speed and a good shot. I actually liked him last time around and was happy to see him return. This year, though, he’s contributed nothing offensively or defensively in 14 games.

    The way he’s playing, I have to say Stepan finishes with the most points out of those 3. Hags and Richards are a toss up for second.

  • 1. Yes. Should add a 3rd liner who could score.
    2. Biggest concern is Depth scoring.
    3. I think so. I hope so.
    4. Gilroy. Recently i feel Stralman hasnt played that well.
    5. Stepan. His gamr has improved greatly. Contract year too.

  • Apparently the Rangers are in on Ribiero (post at 12:30 looking into that). Not sure if he fits the 3rd line scoring center mold, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

    • If there’s any truth to that it’d surely be as a rental – hes reported to be looking for a raise on his 5m/yr salary – and with no first round pick im not sure i want a rental or think we can afford one.
      Especially as you get less games out of a rental this year. Good players though

  • They’ll make a deal, maybe even a big one to shake things up. Also, they can’t afford to carry nine defensemen. If Staal can come back, either Gilroy or Bickel will go — probably will anyway.
    2. Scoring — they either need third line scoring or a lot more from Gaborik, Richards, and Callahan.
    3. Yes
    4. Gilroy -thought he’d win the job, but he’s not the player he was two years ago.
    5. Richards

    A note on the Buffalo game. Rangers faced a goalie who hadn’t won in over a year. Does anybody remember the last time the Rangers faced a situation like that – or a new goalie up from the AHL – and didn’t come away with an L? If the Rangers only lose games as hopeless as that one was from the start, they’ll be fine.

    • Seriously, the Rangers have a knack for being shutdown by streaking (but otherwise C-list) goaltenders, rookies and fresh off the AHL bus newbies. Holtby and Nuevirth being two prime examples.

  • It is obvious how bad the secondary scoring is, but not so obvious how bad the top line scoring is. Nash is not even among the top scorers in the league and has taken 436 minutes of ice time to get 23 points. At their current rate, Gaborik will take 639 minutes, Hagelin 680, Richards 690, Stepan 706, and Callahan 899. In comparison, two years ago it took Zuccarello 595 minutes.

  • 1) Yes but it will be minor
    2) Injuries eroding depth, bottom pair D
    3) Yes
    4) I don’t really view anyone as disappointing at this point. I had low expectations for the guys that aren’t performing.
    5) Gaborik not included? I say Step

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