It seems that our usual Thursday musings is turning into the usual Friday musings. I think we can continue that.
1. I am so, so happy that the Bruins did not win again. It honestly has nothing to do with the Bruins themselves, minus Brad Marchand, but more with the fact that the city of Boston has won about 1,500 championships in the past decade. It’s time to spread this stuff out. Plus, St. Louis is a good hockey town and their success story from worst to first is a great one.
2. One thing about the Blues that I love is that they are still calling Craig Berube their interim head coach. The guy just won a Stanley Cup, and he’s not even the “real” coach. That’s just funny to me.
3. Since this is a copycat league, the Blues won with two cornerstone defensemen, a franchise scorer, depth down the middle, and a hot goalie. They didn’t win with “toughness.” They didn’t win with elite level anything other than their crazy hot goalie through the playoffs. They were just a solid team.
4. Comparing that to the Rangers, they certainly lack the cornerstone defensemen, but they are about to get their franchise scorer in Kaapo Kakko. They lack depth down the middle for sure, but that’s really just lacking a true 2C right now. If Filip Chytil grows into that role, then the offensive pieces are there. I know we always harp on this, but the blue line clearly needs work. Right now they have zero cornerstone defensemen, but there is the Lindy Ruff factor and we might not know what the true potential is until he’s gone.
5. The goalie situation in New York is going to get interesting fast. There’s no reason to rush Igor Shestyorkin, so keeping him in the AHL for a year is only going to help. Plus, while he is certainly a prized prospect, he’s no guarantee. Meanwhile Alex Georgiev has shown he can play, he’s still under contract for a year, and if Shestyorkin stumbles he can be retained as either a stopgap or a full on Henrik Lundqvist heir. And yes, we are getting to a point where Lundqvist might not even start the majority of the games next year.
6. I happen to think the Rangers are in a good spot in their rebuild. They have a lot of solid depth. They have some elite skill either budding or coming over. They are getting their franchise player this draft. All of this came in about a year and a half of the rebuild – truly impressive in just a short amount of time. Kudos to Jeff Gorton.
7. Kudos to John Davidson for recognizing that the Rangers’ prospect management is horrible. The coaching staff in Hartford was unceremoniously canned before JD got here, of course, but JD is on record saying this is one of his first areas to address. I have no idea if Tanner Glass is going to play a role in this, but it sounds like he might. JD gets the benefit of the doubt from me, and a player’s success on the ice is rarely tied to success in the front office. Just look at Wayne Gretzky. We have no idea if Glass will be good in this role or not. Heck, it hasn’t even been formally announced yet.
8. Building a comfortable environment for prospects to not only grow as players and as people is critical to this growth. Maturity certainly plays a role here, but if David Quinn was able to keep Tony DeAngelo in check –to what we believe we know so far– then there is hope that the club realizes they will need that same kind of environment for growth for the kids coming from overseas. It’s not just about playing time and ice time, it’s about making them feel at home in Hartford with the multiple language barriers they will undoubtedly be faced with.
9. Pipe dream time: Leverage Anaheim’s mess and get Hampus Lindholm. If it means taking Corey Perry’s contract to facilitate a trade, do it.