It’s hard to call the Rangers 6-1 demolition of the Penguins last night anything other than an incredible first impact from the new guys. Wherever you looked, players were making a difference and it’s intriguing the momentum and impetus incoming players give the current roster. On to the musings; dedicated to the trade deadline
You just know the TSN crew were nervous given the lack of activity (to put it politely) going into the final few hours.
Ryane Clowe: I liked Brandon Prust; he overachieved, always gave his all and was perhaps the ultimate team player. There’s a reason however that everyone acknowledged the Canadiens overpaid to get him. He has a ceiling. Then there’s Clowe. Yes he had a poor start to the year but he’s potentially so much more for the Rangers than Prust could ever be. It’s foolish to compare them. Prust was the perfect bottom six player. Clowe can be a legitimate scorer, fighter, physical presence and thinly veiled threat. Whether he does it consistently, only time will tell but if he plays to his old level in SJ the draft picks were well worth it.
The Rangers got a lot younger this week. Wasn’t sure that was entirely possible.
I’m not embarrassed I said – just yesterday – that the Rangers would be better off holding onto Gaborik until the summer. I didn’t think Sather could get an elite (still young) defensive prospect that the Rangers were desperate for, a young 50-70 point potential skill center and another gritty forward at the deadline. He outdid himself. Ridding cap space was the cherry on top. Gaborik will be missed, and may come back to score against the Rangers but the Rangers added a huge dollop of depth, potential and grit in their deals this past few days.
Derick Brassard: His presence could mean more space for a guy like Brad Richards or he could spell danger for Richards’ future. Either way, Richards aside, the Rangers have two exceptionally skilled young, intelligent centers in Stepan and Brassard. Brassard has had productive, yet underachieving seasons in Columbus and carries a health risk but it was all in the hapless Columbus organisation. With quality wingers, on a better team Brassard could be a huge coup for the Rangers.
Worst deal of the day: The Capitals send top prospect Forsberg to Nashville for Erat? Ouch. Erat is a second line player who’s perhaps peaked. Forsberg has the potential to be a superstar. The Caps were clearly going on proven ability as opposed to potential.
I wonder how much of Brian Boyle’s performance against the Penguins was born out of relief?
Despite the score, despite the additions I can’t help thinking the Rangers should have had a longer look at Pascal Dupuis way back when. He loves to score against the Rangers and his speed is impressive. But: product of his line mates or underappreciated player?
Jason Pominville’s move to Minnesota has sure made the Wild a dark horse this year. They have some impressive fire power and plenty more prospects on the way. If they can cement their goalie position beyond this year they’ve a chance to be a West heavyweight in a fairly wide open (but deep) conference.
Future regret: I can’t help thinking the Senators will enjoy Corey Conacher long after Ben Bishop is the backing up somewhere in the NHL. Both are good players now, but I like Conacher’s potential upside and the position available to him long term in Ottawa. That said, it’s nice to see two teams make a ‘hockey trade’.
The Rangers game at Pittsburgh on Friday will be a great test of dealing with the backlash from a wounded opponent, testing their ability to back up a result like Wednesday’s and to see what momentum they can draw from their special teams, beyond one game. Late season measuring stick?
One final thing: last night’s result allows the Rangers to leave Kreider, Miller and Fast in the AHL to develop. It’s the right place for them. You should never rush prospects where possible. Sather has managed to acquire time as well as talent this deadline day.
- Who will be the biggest deadline day addition (long term) and why?
- Does Brian Boyle have a long term future with the Rangers?
- If he returns to his old form consistently, how much is enough to retain Ryane Clowe?
- Given the new additions, where will Kreider and Miller start the 13/14 season?
- Where does Brassard’s Rangers future lie (given the roster and organisational depth): wing or center?
- More points at seasons’ end: Richards or Brassard?
A crazy day in Rangerland couldn’t have ended much better on Wednesday night. Although they did fail to capitalise on one of four powerplays… Tut, tut, tut (I kid) See you Friday night peeps.