Found March 19, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
Back in the offseason I spoke frequently about the Rangers need to acquire players who fit their team template. The three main ingredients needed to restock the Rangers were roster balance, skating, and effort. As the deadline approaches, the Rangers should stick to those three ingredients when evaluating their own team and what’s available on the marketplace.
As for Tortorella, you may not like his personality and you may disagree with his coaching systems and strategies, but whether he stays or goes (I vote he stays!), the foundation he’s laid for this roster should and likely will remain intact. With that said, let’s look at few pieces and see where upgrades could potentially be made.
I’ve said it in almost every post-season report card I’ve written about Gaborik, but his skill set can fit any team concept. It’s not just the fact he can score goals, it’s how he scores goals. Gabby doesn’t want the puck until the last third of the ice. When he’s on a roll, he’s snapping shots the second he receives the puck. Executing the creative stuff like Nash, Ovie, or a Malkin isn’t in his wheelhouse. Problems start to occur when he physically (often due to injuries) or mentally (due to his own head) can’t get to the area of open ice needed to get that shot off the way it has to.
So what does this mean for his future as a Ranger?
It all depends on who’s available, for how much and if a team expresses interest that he’s willing to accept a trade to . The Rangers are still looking for balance. If there’s a player, or a package of players that will bring back offense, plus our key ingredients (balance, speed, and effort), then I’d consider moving him. However, if there’s no deal to be made, I wouldn’t overreact either. All of those missed shots are bound to start going in at some point.
Should his play not turnaround, I could see where this amnesty buyout talk might pick up steam, but that’s months away. At this point his contact is immovable, so he likely stays through the deadline.
Boyle is a solid defensive center, but as Dave and I have said time and again, he’s best served as a 4C, not a 3C. Of course, Halpern is doing just fine as a 4C and at a much lower cost. In my opinion, Boyle doesn’t bring offensive balance, his skating isn’t strong, and his effort level is hit and miss.
The Rangers could use some pop on offense in our bottom 6, as Powe (0 goals), Halpern (0 goals), Miller (2 goals), Pyatt (4 goals), and Haley/Bicks (0 goals), aren’t cutting it offensively. However, all of those guys possess the other ingredients. Obviously Boyle on his own won’t generate much interest, but a package could be worth exploring.
I know a small contingent of Rangers fans have already moved on from hoping he’ll live up to the hype. I’m not one of those tweeners because Kreider’s potential hits on all of those ingredients. Once he fixes a few of those defensive issues in the AHL, he’ll be up here contributing. Additionally, if Gaborik actually were to get moved, this would all but cement the fact that Chris would be taking Marian’s role.
There isn’t one player on defense I would trade at the deadline. We’re thin on defense till Staal gets back, so there’s no point trading any of our full-time blueliners.
As for everyone else, the rest fit our team concept and have played well under Tortorella’s tutelage. This team is far from perfect, but if we make a few moves to upgrade our offense without sacrificing these main ingredients, a Cup will be ours sooner than our current record would indicate.
BEST OF MAXIM
The Rangers have recalled rookie Chris Kreider from the AHL after a one month stay with the Whale. Kreider, who was sent to Connecticut on February 28, scored six goals and added an assist in eight games since the demotion. Kreider seemed more confident with the puck and was making better decisions without the puck, which was a big part of the reason for his demotion.
To make room...
- The Rangers are just 4-10-1 against Eastern Conference opponents currently in the playoff picture.
- Chris Kreider has scored six goals and one assist for the CT Whale since being demoted just over two weeks ago.
- The Rangers are 11-5-1 when both Rick Nash and Marc Staal are in the lineup.
- The Rangers have allowed their opponents to score first in 18 of 28 games this season...
Derek Stepan, just one of many reasons for optimism this season
There’s a million and one sporting clichés but one that often appears to ring true is how a team has to learn to lose and experience struggles before they can get to the top. The Rangers have struggled mightily at various stages this season. Perhaps, their struggles even began when they were outlasted by the Devils...
Since the last write up it has been a complete contrast in performance and results for the New York Rangers. A road trip that was seen as a definitive point in the New York Rangers season. With games against divisional rivals and positional rivals up and coming the Rangers needed points. They didn’t get them. [...]
With the Rangers down 1-0 to the Hurricanes and looking more lethargic by the second, it seemed like the season was slipping away in front of our eyes.
So in the second period when Riley Nash popped open on the crease and had the final nail in the Blueshirts coffin on his stick, Rangers fans saw this lost season flash in front of their eyes. That was until Henrik Lundqvist decided...
The Rangers finally righted the ship in more ways than one. They ended their scoreless streak at a little over two hours, they ended their pointless streak at three games, and snapped their three game losing streak. The Rangers came out flat in the first –as per usual– but dominated the second, third and overtime periods. The game was eventually won in a shootout when J.T. Miller...
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The Rangers succeeded last year because they executed. They followed the system, they executed and they won. Many are looking at the coaching staff for the three game slide, but in reality it’s about execution from the players.
It’s been widely known that coach Tortorella uses a 2-1-2 forecheck, which is not a defensive system. It’s a bit of a misnomer...
Rangers rookie J.T. Miller fumbled his way to a goal in the third round of a shootout and New York snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.
The 20-year-old Miller skated in slowly on Dan Ellis and briefly lost the puck before calmly gathering it and scoring from a tough angle near the goal line. Rick Nash scored in the opening...
Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger
After a hot start, the Devils have crashed back to Earth, and sit two points ahead of the Rangers in the standings, although the Rangers have a game in hand. In the month of March, the Devils have struggled mightily, posting a record of 3-4-2. For comparisons sake, the Rangers have a record of 5-4-0 in that span. This is one of those four point swing...
Bergen Record - Rangers halt three-game skid with 2-1 shootout win over Hurricanes
Bergen Record - Andrew Gross: John Tortorella safe behind bench ” for now
New York Post - Rangers end skid, now must ‘back it up’
New York Post - Lundqvist stands tall in moment of urgency
Daily News - Rangers back on track with 2-1 shootout win over Canes
New York Times...
The #NYR have recalled forward @chriskreider from @ctwhale and assigned Micheal Haley to the Whale
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 20, 2013
...got to admit this is very surprising considering Torts' comments yesterday. But I'll take it. Obviously, the move is to put Kreider on the third line with Miller and Boyle, while dropping Pyatt down to the fourth line...
TONIGHT’S GAME The Rangers will complete their back-to-back set when they face-off against the New Jersey Devils tonight at Prudential Center (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in an Atlantic Division matchup. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank ninth in the Eastern Conference, with a record [...]
The New York Rangers took to the ice in Newark against their cross town rivals, the New Jersey Devils, whom they trail by two points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With only twenty games remaining, these were two vital points, for both clubs. One thing you can count on with these two [...]
The latest from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
• The New York Rangers have been on the lookout for a top-four, right-handed defenseman and a source told me Tuesday that the Blueshirts have interest in veteran Dan Boyle from the Sharks. There’s an obvious connection there, with Rangers head coach John Tortorella having Boyle in Tampa when both won the Stanley Cup in 2004. ...
The New York Rangers (13-12-2) host the Carolina Hurricanes (15-11-1) at Madison Square Garden starting at 7:00 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.
Rangers Game Notes
TV: MSG; Radio: ESPN Radio (97.8 FM), XM 212
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