Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Road To The Cup-The Coach

Tom RenneyThe Ranger Pundit does not subscribe to the theory making the rounds in New York sports circles that the Rangers will win the Stanley Cup. I do feel that they will have a shot at it with some key additions. Those additions would relate to the area of toughness, either with a clear the crease type defenseman or a crash the net no nonsense forward. They were available in the free agency market but the brain trust opted for finesse over brawn again. Can they win the Cup? Not with this group. I still see Cam Janssen running roughshod over the Rangers. Remember he put Marek Malik out with a shoulder injury in the last regular season encounter. Legal hit sure, but he went out of his way to put a hit on a body. Outside of Ryan Hollwe, who on the Rangers will go out of his way to put a hit on a body. Cam Janssen played 47 games with the Devils last year and had a grand total of zero points and 91 penalty minutes. He was equally as effective in the playoffs. In nine games he had , yep you guessed it, zero points and 26 penalty minutes.

I do believe we can make the Conference finals but I do not think we are tough enough to get by Buffalo or Ottawa. What also bothers me in our quest is the coaching. Yes Renney had a good year going 44-26-12. But was it Renney, or the dynamic duo of Jagr and Lundqvist? The Rangers sputtered after the Olympics and lost the last six games of the season plus four in the playoffs. You all know that. What did Renney do to change the downward spiral? Nothing. There were no call ups, no benchings. There was a load of talent in Hartford that maybe, just maybe, they may have provided a spark.

What Renney does have going for him is a happy locker room, a strong leader in Jagr and some able and talented coaching assistants in Perry Pearn, Mike Pelino and goalie coach Benoit Allaire. Allaire is the behind the scenes coach who prior to joining the Rangers was successful with such goalies as Nikolai Khabibulin, Sean Burke, Brian Boucher and a host of young goalies all of whom improved under Allaire's tutelage.

The Rangers have improved with their additions but a move away from the perimeter, tic, tac, toe game toward a more aggressive go to the net game would go a long way toward bringing that elusive Cup to New York. Jagr kind of admitted that the other day after playing with Shanahan. The line didn't really click except on the power play. He likes to go to the net said Jagr of Shanahan. Good for Shanahan. Unfortunately the way the Rangers are constructed there will be too few who rush the net.



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2 comments:

  • Gate 80 said...
     

    Pundit,

    I too think that the Ranger Stanley Cup prognosticators are a little too optomistic. Last year the sun, the moon and the stars fell into alignment (until the last month when they all fell out of the sky and smashed on the ground!). Where are they going to get the scoring? You can't count on Jagr to get 50 again - and Shanahan has got to play with somebody who's not skating in a circle. Who's going to play the point on the power play? I like this team - but they are no favorite.

  • mike said...
     

    gate 80-They are hoping for Prucha, Cullen, Hall and maybe Dawes to come up big. That is a big maybe. The point on the PP is a huge issue. Pock might help but he is not a starter. That's why I think they should bring Leetch back.

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