Found December 22, 2011 on Blue Seat Blogs:
New_york_rangers_2552
Its Thursday, it’s a musings day and a game day. It’s the beginning of a three game home stand against divisional rivals. Don’t get used to it with relocation coming though. Anyway, let’s get into it. Something I tweeted last night: Dan Girardi has gone pointless in 9 games. The entire tweet was a joke but what it did was reinforce how some players really do go beyond stat lines. Girardi is a solid two way guy who is good for 30 points but there may be no defenseman in the entire league – given the circumstances in NY – that is currently more important to their team. Girardi does it all. Quietly, several Rangers are near the league lead in statistical categories. Carl Hagelin is third in shorthanded goals, Mike Del Zotto is in the top ten for plus/minus, Gaborik is right in the mix for the Richard trophy (trailing Stamkos but just one goal) while Brad Richards is tied for third in the league in game winning goals. Then there’s a certain goalie. With goalies of at least 16 starts only Brian Elliot and Tim Thomas have better GAA’s and save percentages than Henrik Lundqvist. Vezina season? Beginning tonight, the Rangers have the Islanders twice and Philly over the Xmas period. 3 wins would be huge and are a realistic target given the new found strength on home ice. If the Rangers can get up for those games like they did against the Devils it will be a great stretch. I’m not being greedy; all I want for Xmas is 3 wins this week. Back to goaltending. Kudos to Tortorella for managing Lundqvist’s minutes perfectly this season. He’s on course to play ‘just’ 62 games this season, by far his least since 2005 – his rookie year. He’s been his most consistent this year and his usual dominant self. The extra breaks (and the presence of Biron) are the reasons why. The league needs to sort out concussion issues quickly. With four new additions (including ex Ranger Al Montoya) the list of players out due to concussions now stands at over 30. That’s an awful figure. Great players such as Chris Pronger may never play again and Sid Crosby could be well on his way to being the new Eric Lindros – dominant and cut down in his prime by the head issue. The league needs to be tougher on head shots, change unnecessarily tough equipment such as elbow pads and generally show more willingness to solve a horrible trend. After 19 goals last year, ex Ranger forward Lauri Korpikoski is headed towards 20 this year. The Rangers have handled player development (drafting, ice time, minor league development etc, etc) very well in general but I still think the Rangers gave up on Korpikoski a little too early. Be honest, did you think the Rangers would be ahead of the Penguins at Christmas, with three games in hand? Question Time:
  • Will Gaborik hit 50 goals this season?
  • Will Ryan Callahan hit 30 goals this season?
  • How many regular season games will Marc Staal play in this season?
  • How many current roster players will be ex Rangers before the season is out?
  • Who do you think is the Rangers MVP after 31 games?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… As it’s the last Musings before Christmas on behalf of the Suit, Dave and myself, allow me to wish everyone a Happy Christmas, or if you don’t celebrate it, a wonderful holiday season. A skinny tie for you all
THE BACKYARD
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