Musings; the futures edition

Can Kreider's recent good form translate to the NHL this year?
Can Kreider’s recent good form translate to the NHL this year?

It’s rather a sombre beginning to a Musings post today as the unfortunate news of Glen Sather receiving treatment for prostate cancer reached us all. Whether you’re a Sather fan or not, I’m sure everyone joins me in repeating the wishes from this morning’s post here at the site in wishing a full and quick recovery.

One more thing regarding Sather; following an abysmal start as Rangers general manager he’s done a terrific job over the past several seasons. Wherever you look the Rangers have a bright future. Prospects dominating in Europe, a young farm team full of prospects and a young, growing contender in New York. Eventually, Sather has restocked the franchise and fleeced several of his colleagues along the way. It’s that last aspect why I’m not nervous heading toward the trade deadline.

Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh have truly developed into integral parts of this roster. That isn’t going to be a cheap summer for Sather and co. Further down the line I can see problems for the Rangers; with the cap coming down after this year and Del Zotto, Girardi and Stralman with expiring contracts after the 13/14 season the management may have to part with one or several players for financial reasons.

The above point emphasises another point: the development of Dylan McIlrath, Brady Skjei and even Calle Andersson is fast becoming critical. At least one of those three is going to be needed as a full tim NHL’er soon.

Speaking of Calle Andersson, he’s a little discussed prospect since being drafted but has been playing for Farjestads in the Swedish Elite League and managed 2 points in 34 games. Getting in to 34 games as an 18 year old defenseman in a league that is notorious for not rushing kids is no mean feat. It appears Andersson hasn’t been in the line up during the playoffs however.

Rookie watch: Cristobal Nieves has 29 points in 38 games for Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA. As a college freshman those numbers are hugely impressive. Appears the Rangers may have themselves another college bred center on the way.

Rookie watch II: recently acquired Josh Nicholls is three goals from 50 for the season. Impressive feat if he gets there.

For me, Derek Stepan aside the best New York Ranger in the past two-three weeks has been Ryan Callahan. He’s willed his team on, led impressively and produced offense showing a still improving skill level. Scarily, I don’t think Callahan has reached his ceiling offensively. He’s growing in confidence which is hard to believe.

What’s happened to Taylor Pyatt? He’s not been bad but he’s pretty invisible lately.

If Chris Kreider manages to stick this time, contribute and play meaningful minutes I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see JT Miller get some AHL reps under his belt before the seasons over.

Question Time:

  • Chris Kreider goal total: over/under 7?
  • With Biron due tonight do you think he makes 7 or more starts this year?
  • Have we seen the last of Stu Bickel?
  • Will Brian Boyle be a Ranger after this season?
  • How many rookies do you foresee making the Rangers next year?

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  • I just read that Kreider skated with Boyle and JT Miller. I guess that means Pyatt shifts to the fourth line. I like that third line with the defensively sound Boyle and the very speedy wingers. I’ll be curious to see how much Torts trusts a line with two rookies but hopefully Boyle will help round out those liabilities.

    • As its at home, Torts will likely be very careful with rolling the Boyle line. He’ll pick his spots carefully. That said, Boyle as you say is defensively responsible. Disappointed to see it took Pyatt just two months to find his way down to the 4th line. Hoped for more.

  • Did anyone see what happened to Andre Deveaux in the AHL the other day?

    While down on the ice after being high-sticked, a teammate accidentally stomped on his face, leaving a nasty gash from the skate. 50 stitches. Pretty gruesome stuff.

  • Chris

    I’m glad you made mention of some of the other kids in the system. We do have a stable of good kids coming up, lets not rush them along!

    Kreider-less than 7 goals

    Marty-less than 7 games

    Stu may play again, against either the Devils, and or Filthadelphia

    I think he may be traded if not by April 3rd, next season. I like him but he has taken many steps backwards

    At least 2, Mc Ilrath, and Lindberg

  • I wish all the best for Slats, he is a character and brings colour to the game of hockey. As far as lineups, I rather see Krieder on the first line and sit Gaborik, as he is a liability to the team when he is not scoring.

    • Bloomer, that doesn’t make any sense. Why would you sit one of your top 2 scorer’s if your not scoring? The only thing wrong with Gaborik in my opinion is that he is not using his legs. If you watch the games you always see him reaching for the puck. One of the things he is known for is his speed and high amount of breakaway chances. Kind of like Grabner from the isle with a better shot and hockey sense.

  • I still don’t understand why I have never heard a CALLY CALLY chant from the Garden yet. This should be an almost every game chant.

    • I hear it all the time…usually after those shifts where he blocks two or three, or after any multi goal game…or just in general when he’s having one of his all over the ice doin’ stuff games (more stuff than usual, which is a lot).

  • I like Callahan, but I think you are vastly overstating his offensive contribution. His numbers are actually declining year to year. He actually scored more last year than the year before only because he played 16 more games. Over the three year period, Callahan has averaged one point for every 28.6 minutes on the ice; in comparison, Zuccarello averaged one point per 26.7 minutes and didn’t even get noticed. The disappointing Brad Richards has averaged one point per 23.8 minutes of ice time over that period.
    Now, Callahan has defensive skills that MZA and Richards lack and he’s also willing to stand in front of the net on power plays, so he is a valuable player. But he’s not a top line or even a second line offensive forward – but the guy you want on the ice playing against Crosby and Kovalchuk. A good checking line defends and counterpunches — and gets lots of ice time.

    Kreider – over
    Biron – under
    Bickel – depends on injuries, expect to see Bickel or Gilroy traded, probably Gilroy.
    Boyle gone
    Three rookies

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