Brian Boyle: Worth keeping around?

Brian Boyle: Worth keeping around?

After Tuesday’s disappointing and above all unnecessary loss to the Lightning, the Rangers take on Detroit tonight. Absolutely there for the taking, the Rangers need to avoid a let down game against the Wings who are depleted and not what they were a couple years back. Let’s hit the musings for the first time in a while shall we?

Careful what you wish for: For all the moaning and concerns about the Rangers start to the year, consider the state of the Wings franchise right now. A squad with a few core aging players (think Alfredsson, Kronwall, Bertuzzi, Samuelsson and Cleary) and not a huge amount coming through their system (relatively speaking, of course). The Rangers on the other hand are younger, with a pipeline that while not chock full of talent is far from empty. The Rangers could be in a lot worse shape compared to many teams in the league.

Just when you thought he’d turned a page, Michael Del Zotto has a major lapse in the Tampa loss. That’s why he is so frustrating; for all the good, there is always some bad just around the corner.

The Rangers MVP after the halfway mark? Ryan McDonagh. Undoubtedly without McDonagh, the defense – which has been in a state of flux all year anyway – would have been in big trouble. His offense is also developing quickly.

Talking contracts: How much can Ryan – I can’t stay healthy – Callahan really command and get come contract time? Is it possible that he demands more than the Rangers can offer?

Talking contracts II: Do the Rangers keep Brian Boyle after this year and if so, how much is enough? He’s been good defensively, tolerable offensively and is a key penalty killer on a team that needs it’s special teams. Has he earned a pay rise? If Boyle would re-sign for the same money he’s pulling down now, he’s worth keeping around. It’s never a good thing to have too much roster turnover.

There is no way (thinking realistically) that the Rangers trade Dan Girardi. Even if he regresses back to early-season form, this team cannot lose a 23 minute a game guy if they have designs on a deep playoff run.

We’ve talked about it before; but if Chris Kreider continues his current projections and hits close to or above the 50 point mark are we thinking Calder trophy? The Rangers have more upside as a team (for this season) than the massively overachieving and in the tougher conference Avalanche (with McKinnon), or the Lightning (Johnson) and will Antti Raanta play enough for the Hawks to stay in the mix? Prediction: If Kreider reaches 25 goals for the year he’ll grab the trophy.

I hated the acquisition of Dan Carcillo but so far he has been a pleasant surprise. Let’s hope it continues.

Question time:

  • How many wins will Lundqvist finish the season with?
  • Who will lead the Rangers in goals?
  • Pittsburgh aside, what teams do you fear in the Eastern conference?
  • Should the Rangers consider trading Brad Richards if there were takers?