For most of the summer, I've felt real good about the Rangers chances of making a Cup run this season. But then I read this from Ryan Porth at Sportsnet and it sort of freaked me out...
"Outside of Nash, who can they count on to find the back of the net? Not Brad Richards, who is no longer a No. 1 centre. Not Ryan Callahan or Carl Hagelin (for the time being), who will likely miss the start of the season after off-season surgeries. Derek Stepan, the team’s leading point-getter in 2012-13, isn’t necessarily a goal-scorer.
If former first-round picks Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller don’t step up, the Rangers could starve for offence when the games matter most."
...i don't think Nash has a 40-goal season in him this year, but 35 is absolute doable. After that, I'm not sure who else the Rangers can truly count on to supply consistent goal scoring.
...we've all be fawning over Brassard this offseason, but the fact remains that he's never eclipsed 20 goals in any season during his career. And we're on pins and needles waiting for Stepan to be re-signed, but as Porth notes, he's never been known as a goal scorer as he's failed to score more than 21 goals in a season.
...Callahan and Hagelin's absence for the first month or so will obviously keep their goal totals down and even when they're back in the line-up there's no guarantee they'll immediately return to form. See Gaborik's return from shoulder surgery last season.
...and for those of you predicting a breakout season for Kreider, just remember he has a grand total of TWO career regular season goals. JT Miller, who will likely start the season in Hartford, equals Kreider's regular season goal total.
...that's right folks, after Nash, only two players on the current roster (Callahan & Richards) have reached 25 goals in a season. And as I mentioned above, it is very doubtful Callahan will reach that total this season. Ditto for Richards if he continues his downward spiral.
...sure, Vigneault is going to open up the offense this season, but if he doesn't have the players who can execute his new schemes, does it really matter?
...so I've got to ask, are you as concerned as I am about the Rangers scoring ability this season?
Oh how sweet it was when we had 2 former 40 goal scorers on the team...oh wait, that's right , they STILL couldn't score. If nobody is scoring come November, then this is a fair question to ask. For now, it's just summer fodder. How long til' camp...too long!
You mean the Rangers are not offensive juggernauts? Wow thanks,I never knew that .:O
Of course not scoring has pretty much been the problem for us. Talent is a bit thin this year yes but there is enough, that given the right combinations other goal scorers will emerge, also I'm gonna disagree with you and say that will Nash have a 40 goal season. If every other facet of our game is strong and clicking this year we have adequate talent to generate enough goals to win games and go deep into the playoffs. Maybe a trade or 2, and a rookie surprise will get us over the top.
I agree with whoever said our problem will be toughness this year (unless something changes) not goal scoring talent. Now goals could go way down as a result of being pounded and intimidated by more physical teams, but lack of talent wont' be the root cause.
not worried. The open offense is going to open up more chances for other guys besides our top goal scorers. If they each contribute a few more than normal thatll make up for it. Well be fine. Remember we only have to score 1 more than the other guys, and with Lundqvist in net, we might only have to score one
Not worried. Payers will step up because they're going to given a chance and given a chance to create plays. Not worried at all.
The Rangers are going to benefit from regular length intra-conf schedule. Last year's short schedule only against their own conf made every game almost twice as important and teams played d that way. A long season with games out of conference and you will not see the sort of intensity night in night out. Nash should do well, picking up A-Rod type stats in a lot of "fluff" games. Boyle will also do well with less competition for the tough spots on the ice. He should be able to put in some rebounds from all these guys that can pass better than they shoot.
Unfortunately, unless they add some size and heart they are going to run into trouble when the rink gets small during ANY competitive game. Take a look at that pic of Cally & Girardi at Yankee stadium with an Islander and Devil flanking them. Cally & Girardi are NYR "heart" players...but they are just not that big. Physics always eventually wins.
The Rangers will score enough to win, but they will lose a lot of games unless Ulfie can somehow bring some meanness to the defense and have them clearing out the crease with some snarl. Plus...Nash will have to show that he won't simply glide away after the whistle blows and the pushing and ugliness begins. There is NOTHING more disheartening than watching one of your stars do that. Ask Nomar Garcioparra, who the great talent the Sox had who would do EXACTLY that and whom the Sox finally jettisoned for clubhouse morale.....before they went on to win the WS!
We nay not light it up, but we will score more than we have been with a coach who neglected offense and the power play. And Hank will be up to his usual thing and that will put us on the winning side of all the close games which is most of them
At the beginning of the season look for Pouliot to start off hot. 10 goals in 15-25 games. Kreider is going to have a great year and put in 25-30. I can see Boyle having a good year, 17-25 goals. Richards has a good year, but not a scorer.... Stepan not a goal scorer???? he had 20 last year in 48 games.... I really am not that worried... I think Pouliot is going to bust out this year, and Kreider is going to win the Calder.
Teams like Boston don't have multiple Rick Nashes lying around. I think we had two of the games best scorers but traded one (Gabby) for depth. So now 30 goals between brassard Moore and Dorset as opposed to from just Gabby can be expected. I liked Gabbys chances better, and think we should have cut torts loose not trade gabby.
No negatives here.. A different staff makes for more scoring.. No blocking shots for your salary.. Loved Torts energy.. But one team got his attention.. While he was there.. The last year Prust played with the Blueshirts!!
just because Stepan, Brassard, Zucc etc. are great passers doesn't mean they can't score? Step + Brass are good for 20-25 goals each while making their linemates better. I think Nash can score 40, without being injured this year he would've been on pace for that. Pouliot. Moore. Boyle, Dorsett, all good for 10 or more goals, and they're bottom 6 players. Richie, he might not be as good as he once was, but he's still a smart and hopefully effective player, who also CAN score goals. This guy who wrote the article speaks like guys that set people up just don't score. the real x-factors IMO are Kreider and Zuccarello. If Zuccarello scores 30 points, and Kreider scores 10-15 while not being a liability, this team will be good. Now, if Kreider REALLY breaks out and gets like 30, IMO we win the East. I am not worried about goal scoring. I'd rather have team depth that can all chip in than two 40 goal scorers and a horrendous bottom 6.
Stepan can score goals, Brassard can too Cally and Hags will both score when they get back., MDZ can score some.Richards and Zuccs are good for some.Those are all fairly sure bets.If just one of the new guys can light the lamp on the big team we are going to be fine:Krieder, Kristo, Lindberg or Miller Jesper Fasth is a goal scorer, with AV increased offence most of these players will score more goals.
C'mon, Stepan was on pace for 31 goals and it was amazing how many scoring opportunities he failed to cash. The guy has an incredible faculty for being in the right place. As his shot improves, he will get even more goals. He could be a perennial 30 goal scorer. Callahan can score 30 goals. Hagelin 20. Richards would have been around 20 goals last season. He always scores mid twenties and with renewed dedication and conditioning no reason whatsoever to think he won't this year. Brassard got a new lease on his hockey life and his passion for the game and for being at MSG should enable him to continue his excellent play. After all, he's a former elite draft pick who had injuries and coaching conflicts, but who is still young and could get even better.
The overall production will pick up with Pouliot who has a history of low double digit goal output. Dorsett had 12 goals two years ago and showed a good hard slap shot and grittiness around the net. I'd be shocked if he doesn't get 10 goals.Pyatt and his on pace for 10 goals will be replaced by someone who may very well score more. Boyle, who was on pace for five, will certainly have more.
AV is also more offensively minded that Torts and will likely have his better players starting shifts in the offensive zone and that's a scoring plus.
The defense couldn't score less goals could they? Eminger, Bickel, Hammer, Gilroy all gone. Moore will score for sure; the amount to be determined by his ice time and whether he gets pp time. MDZ couldn't possibly score less even if he's third pair. McD certainly has the potential to increase his production.
Now we have Zuke, Kreider, Kristo, Lindberg, Fast. No reason not to think that any one of these kids can score double digit goals. The lineup will replace Pyatt, Powe, Halpern, Rupp, Asham....all non productive goal scorers with guys who have a history of scoring. It's quite likely someone will step up. This team will surprise people with their scoring increase especially if the pp improves as expected.
Pardon my optimism, but I like this team.
Richards... PFFT I have no faith in him. Lord I hope he proves me wrong. But we do have Steps.. Or maybe not, Cally Yeah he can score, Hags, Maybe Miller and Krieds?? Hell I am not worried and I don't even care if we win like one goal all that matters is the W!!!
Most players are factors of a system. Dont forget the lack of creativity, the simplicity and down right awful breakouts we had under Torts, especially last season. Under a new coach there will be new practices, new focuses and new system that could entail more opportunity, higher quality attacking and overall more goals. Guys like Richards, Stepan, Hagelin, Kreider could all see better stats. Nash too.
Cally, stepan, richards will be better i believe, kreider will have 10-15 or more i think we'll be fine... No remind me, when was the last time the ny rangers had 2 or more 30-40+ goal scorers on the team at the same time? Not back in the day high number players that were old when we got them but younger guys?... Anyone? Great read but pointless story.. LETS GO RANGERS!!! I am not worried... When we finished 1st in the east we didnt have 3 or more 30-40 goal scorers and we wont this year!
@TheNYRBlog Bruins won cup with 1 30 goal scorer, and 3 20+ goal scorers. Rangers are fine.
@TheNYRBlog Damn, Kev! Not yet! Haha, I feel that if we have a bunch of 20 goal scorers we can afford only one 40.
Hopefully the scoring will be a bit more spread out this year and the secondary scoring will actually show up to take a bit of the pressure off of Nash. The extra setup guys (Brass, Zucc and even Ritchie if he can show up) will help even out the scoring and make us more than a one trick pony with only one line a real threat. Maybe Delzaster will actually start aiming for the net! Okay, okay, we can always hope can't we?!?
The Rangers won't need many more 30+ goal scorers if the lines are balanced and they have many in the 15-25 range. But 'many' is the key word in that sentence - they need at least five in that area.
@TheNYRBlog I don't know why but I think Kristo is going to be a good surprise this season.
@Hotfreak Just going to guess but it was probably Mcphee... But I am sick of all this we are lacking in .... Every team is lacking in something, that is what the salary cap is meant to do... Each team has deficiencies. The teams that win the Cup are by no means perfect, but they make up for their deficiencies in other areas. When the Pens won the cup they werent the nastiest, toughest team. For the Bruins they did not have the most talent. And the Hawks didnt have the best goaltender.
The team that wins the Cup is going to be lacking in something, but you can't harp on that area. You have to focus on a teams strength... Right now the Rangers strength is their defense and goaltender. We have the best goalie in the World, and honestly from my perspective there is no better 6 man corps of defenseman in the league. That is a great start... I know AV was brought in here to score goals... great. But, he has to remember that this is a defense first team, that cannot change... This is not a flier for Torts, what he did was suffocation.... but I really hope we don't become run and gun because the teams that win are the ones that play to its strength (Bruins=toughness, Hawks=Offense, Penguins=Talent, Kings=Toughness and Goaltending).
Dude, "The Rangers are going to benefit from regular length intra-conf schedule. Last year's short schedule only against their own conf made every game almost twice as important and teams played d that way. A long season with games out of conference and you will not see the sort of intensity night in night out. Nash should do well, picking up A-Rod type stats in a lot of "fluff" games. Boyle will also do well with less competition for the tough spots on the ice. He should be able to put in some rebounds from all these guys that can pass better than they shoot. " good points
@FREE LINDBERG Boy I wish I had some of the stash that you've been smoking. I hope you are kidding because what you're writing is far out absurd. You really must have a wild imagination. Kreider scoring 25-30 goals? It should be on Jimmy Kimmels monologue as the joke of the NIGHT. LOL.
Then what would we have done for a coach in the middle of the season and where is the Center depth coming from? Without that trade, Boyle is our 3rd Centerman and either Faulk or Johnson are the 6th defenseman because there is no John Moore. Just Having Brassard alone made that trade worth making. He's a young Centerman and a true playmaker. He will probably be the 2nd Pivot behind Stepan in 14/15 or even this season. He's capable of scoring 50 points and 20 goals on the year. That's not asking a lot and that's scoring depth not a lot of teams have from the 3rd line Pivot. Richards can certainly score 60 points this year and he's always come up huge in big games. I think aside from Nash, the scoring is going to have to come by committee. I think we could have used another goal scorer but to think all of a sudden this team is going to be an offensive juggernaut is foolish. The team isn't much different than the last couple seasons. The core players are all the same. I think AV will allow for some more timely goal scoring even strength and on the PP. The other player I expect a big year from is Pouliot. I think he will be important the 1st month of the season. He's a gifted offensive player and under this puck possession system AV uses, he should have a career year. 26 G 48 points from Pouliot.
That's gonna fall to a couple new guys. Expect Pouliot to play 2nd line LW and 2 PP unit that 1st month. 5-6 goals from him in 9 games. I predict a breakout year from him this year. I also think we will get a welcome surprise from a rookie early on those 9 games. I think it's going to be Kristo.
To think Kreider is going to score 30 is ridiculous given the 2 he scored last year in regular season. I saw some improvement in the Boston series but he still doesn't know the pro game yet. To think he becomes a star out of nowhere is not fair to him. Those kind of expectations are what got him in trouble last season. He has to learn positioning in all 3 zones. With a full camp hopefully he learns something. If Kreider can score 15 goals and be a factor every game. I'd be extatic. So should other fans. He could be a 2nd power forward on the team besides Nash.
@shishya100 Optimism on this blog?!?!?!? Are you trying to get yourself banned?
@Rangerfan41 Thank you!
@jsachnin LOL! Hope you're right.
@mobilope Lots of potential on the team which is great. But to many maybes with this team.
@FREE LINDBERG that said, I'm liking your spirit! Keep it going, man!
Josh, I was merely pointing out that, whereas Kevin's article asks the question whether goal-scoring will be the Rangers' issue, I believe their "real" weakness stems from a lack of toughness.
Your points are well taken, but I'm going to extend my comments to say that for none of the teams that have won the Cup in recent years was toughness a major concern. The playoffs, after all, are a war of attrition. Even without the physical attrition of the playoff schedule and each game's intensity, winning hockey is about achieving momentum, playing with confidence and abandon. It's tough to do that when the other team is pushing you around, taking shots at you without retaliation and you're always looking over your shoulder for the next hit.
@FREE LINDBERG @Hotfreak Interesting point and very true. That said, the Rangers are what they are unless something unforeseen happens. The teams you mentioned are indeed exemplary of the traits you associated with them, which to your point means that is largely the "why"they won.
You cite the Rangers for "no better 6 Def-men in the league" as their " niche....equal to and as likely to carry them to a cup as Bruins toughness, hawks offense, etc... I totally disagree. They are a good group, largely better than average, but by no means do they have a group of D that could be as instrumental to their success as those other qualities you cite in other teams. They are not nearly physical enough, they can't shoot the puck well, they aren't intimidating, they don't move the puck all that well, and they don't skate (overall) all that well. If the NYR "D" is your answer to all that you point out for the other teams than I think they are in trouble.
Rather than having a dominating trait, which they don't have (take goalie out, b/c EVERY cup winner has a great goalie) the NYR are an "amalgam" team in that they have to be better in all areas to compensate for not having that ONE special trait. And one of those areas that they must improve in is size and toughness. They were pushed around last year.
"The team isn't much different than the last couple seasons. The core players are all the same." Nope.
@PenaltySh0t It's actually very refreshing. Good to see everyone's positive to start the season. Although, watch out if the Rangers are shutout in Phoenix for the season opener. lol
@TheNYRBlog I agree with that. I'm just saying I feel Kristo is gonna surprise ppl & pot 20-25 this season
@mobilope Silly me. lol
@TheNYRBlog by worst you mean greatest ever in the history of sports don't you?
@mobilope Easily the worst trade in NHL history.
@TheNYRBlog if I'm to .at least they didn't take a 7.5mill cap hit for 1 goal a season
@mobilope First McD and then Kristo? Man, the Canadien fans would riot. lol