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?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Absentee Owner And The Losers

The Absentee Owner, of all things with MSG, woke up from one of his snoozes, saw his shadow and decided he needed a complimentary bookend to the Stealth GM and tried to hire Isiah Thomas to complete the set. What goes with this guy?

The Absentee Owner has a love affair for incompetents. How else to explain his long love affair with the overly incompetent Stealth? Talk about not having his finger on the pulse. Who's next? I won't belabor the point but my buddy, Scotty Hockey, has a humorous piece on some potential new hires. Thomas , as GM of the Knicks, literally brought them to their knees, same as the Stealth is doing to the Rangers.

The Knicks have still not recovered and the Rangers continue in their comatose state. Every year we are lured by the "fools gold". They pick a player here and another one there. There is no plan for either team just a hopscotch approach to filling the roster spots. Usually they are players in their declining years but the Big Apple is going to bring out the best in them. Yeah, sure. I swear they are probably using a dart board to pick the next "hot prospect" or the "aging veteran" who is going to turn it around.

I hear Stephan Marbury and Theo Fleury are available for the right price.

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