Friday, August 20, 2010

Are we really that bad?

The Hockey News has predicted the Rangers will finish 13th of the 15 teams in the East - behind the Islanders!

I think they are wrong.

1. We are not that bad. We came within an shootout goal of being in the playoffs last year, finishing 9th, and this year our young defense will be better. We did not lose anyone of value. There is little reason to believe we will be worse.

2. We just might become a top four team. Gaborik was our only threat last year. If any of our other top six started to score we might even be a top four team.

What is the difference between a top four team and the rest? The answer is the difference between GF and GA. The top four all had 20 or more goals scored than allowed.

- Washington 318 233 +85
- New Jersey 222 191 +31
- Buffalo 235 207 +28
- Pittsburgh 257 237 +20
- NY Rangers 222 218 +4

We were only plus 4. We need 20 more goals

Dubinsky, Callahan, Drury, Avery and Prospol only scored 84 goals. Add Gaborik and that is 126. We need 150 goals, or about 110 from the five other top six, to be a top seed. Two players need to step up - or two get replaced by either Frolov, White, Anisimov or Aasen. I would not be surprised to see Grachev on the ice at MSG later in the year either.

3. We are likely to make a big trade. With Frolov and White likely to get a crack at the first line, Anisimov a crack at the second line, and two, if not all, of them stick there, I would not be surprised to see the Rangers looking to trade Drury and Dubinsky for one good center or, if that fails, a sniper. Avery is likely to go too (if someone will have him, or down to Hartford).

It is nice that we are under the radar. Reminds me of the year we were predicted to be last. We may not be in position to contend for the Cup - but then again, we might.

Prediction? My guess is 6th. What's yours?

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  • jb said...

    I think the Rangers finish 8th. It will be a struggle and the last month of the season will again be a game-by-game, will they, won't they make it race. Interesting in the short run, but not significant. Because it will then be one-round and done in the playoffs. So I don't see any big changes. Basically, more of the same, like the last three seasons.

    All, especially MSG, will hail making the playoffs as a big success. Making progress back towards the cup.... more blah, blah, blah, just like every other time.

    There we will be no real change in our fortunes until Sather, the Stealth GM, is gone. I'm also believe Torts is not part of the solution. His record is worse than Renney and his negatives outweigh his positives.

  • Kid Dynamite said...

    The Rangers will drop out of the playoffs again. They don't have the scoring. If Lundqvist doesn't get a quality backup they'll end up closer to 15th than 6th. My fear is that Lundqvist starts showing more wear and tear this season. He had some stinkers last year.

  • Dan Stryker said...

    Until somebody steps up to the plate and starts scoring, Rangers are a one trick pony (Gabby).

    One trick pony = no playoffs

    Sign Staal now! Stupid GM...

  • Purplestones said...

    Will the Rangers make the playoffs?

    Will Lady Gaga join a convent?

  • Section 335 said...

    Basically, everyone sees the same problem. A one trick pony will not go far in the NHL.

    That said, we really are very close to having a contender. We are one great player away. Add another 20 goals and we make the playoffs. Add another 50 and we make the conference finals.

    Kovalchuk would make such a difference.

  • Rick said...

    Why is it always Dubi and Dru that are to be traded when Dru will not waive his NMC and Dubi is part of the solution and not part of the problem. It is more advisable to hold on the young assets than to trade them away and then look for the same replacement. A 20 goal scorer-that plays with grit and sticks up for his teammates, has the skill set to play on the PK and is a forward who is learning a power forwards position. Who else is a power forward on this team?

  • jb said...

    I haven't seen anyone around here promoting a trade of Dubi. As far as Drury, given his contract, I think we're stuck with him for this season and next until he becomes a UFA. Dubinsky hopefully is an out-performer this year, that might be one of the few bright spots. Everyone predicting a playoff run needs Dubi to deliver.

    Dubi is a little bigger than one of my favorite power forwards, Cam Neely. Neely had his big breakout years when he was 23-25, right where Dubi is. Here's hoping.

  • Section 335 said...

    The ONLY reason I suggest trading Dubi is that he is one of the few players we have with trading value. We need a true center for the first line and we need a 30 goal sniper. If he can be bundled with someone else to fill a need (under age 33) and to give us some cap room I would do it.

  • Rick said...

    Sect 335: With the kids coming up-why waste youth on a trade for a 1st line center? Maybe buyout Dru and Rozi in their final year. You can save 3.716M for Dru and 3M for Rozi; thats 6.7M+ for a FA center like Richards and you don't lose Dubi.Just a thought.