By Jmacwilli (aka Say My Name)
Everyone who has played hockey knows that though the basic and standard metrics of hockey are useful in showing production that it's nothing more than lattice work. A winning team (or a winning game for that matter) is determined by so many other factors. Most of them are impossible to put into quantitative form, but they are arguably much more important than any stat available. How can one measure character, or toughness, or resolve? How do you attribute a score for heart, aggressiveness, or confidence? You can't. But it is certainly easy to identify when it is there...or when it is absent. Here are a few reasons why the New York Rangers are swimming in mediocrity:
1. Sather has created an Island of Misfit Toys
Who would want a train with square wheels, or a Charlie-in-the-box? Glen Sather would, for he is King Moonracer and the Rangers are his toys. How else to understand why the Rangers have a giant that can't fight, or that their team toughness is generated almost entirely from players under 5'10"? Or that anyone with size doesn't check and most with speed can't shoot? Someone should send a memo to Glen reminding him that while very few players are the complete package that it is important to make sure that the player's plus column isn't completely negated by his minus column (or at least largely offset) Speaking of which...
2. Nash is one of the "Stars" on this team
This is a problem. Nash is possibly the most overrated star in the NHL. He is magnificent...so long as he has open ice, the game is relatively mild, the defense is tired, or simply bad, etc... There is no debate here. It was his calling card on the Blue Jackets and it is the same here. He rarely appears in meaningful games. Please don't provide a sampling of one or two as evidence otherwise, this is not your little brother I am criticizing. It is what it is. Even when he does score he seldom, if ever, takes over a shift, let alone a period, or a game. Watching a 41 year old Jagr fight for the tough ice AND WIN IT while Nash was invisible crystallizes the problem perfectly. Jagr is forty-one and he is still a force! Nash is in his prime and is simply an empty stat machine. Given his contract and the ice-time he gets and the way in which he effects the tenor of the game vis-a-vis that ice time, I will state without pause that the Rangers will not win a Cup so long as he is here. Which brings me to...
3. Tilting the ice
Sure time of possession can be counted, but the show of force can't. The Rangers need more players that simply wear down the opponent. It is not just checks. It is not just toughness. It is that trite expression "compete level". We all remember that kid growing up, the one who played pond hockey with us. We all know that kid who just seemed to have no "off" switch. We were playing pond hockey and THAT kid was playing as if every single second it was game seven of the cup finals. What a pain in the ass he was. Well...that is what it takes to win games in the NHL. Every play, every inch, every second is contested as if it were game seven. The Rangers HAD Cally and that wasn't nearly enough. You need the majority of players on your team to be THAT guy. They don't show up on the scoresheet but they determine the game. Grinders. The Rangers don't have them. They are far too easy to play against.
4. Hank is the other "Star"
Buying Hank for seven years while you still have dozens of other problems is the equivalent of putting a 5000.00 hood ornament on your 1985 Dodge Omni. Still that aside, he is a GREAT goalie and that never hurts, right? Well, I wouldn't have paid him for the first reason, but there are other glaring problems with this guy's game. Hank's stick handling is atrocious and people seem to dismiss that as just a minor inconvenience. It's not. If you ever played hockey you know how big a problem this is and how it effects everything from time in your own end, players getting needlessly walloped dozens of times per game, the energy shift the result of that very same thing, etc... This is impossible to put a number on, but it is real and it is huge. To draw a baseball analogy, if you are going to break the bank for a player, particularly an older player who you are signing for many years, most GM's would make damned sure they were getting a FIVE-tool player. Trout, Wright, Pedroia, etc... Hank ain't that. Sorry. He is really good...maybe even great....but he is not worth the opportunity cost. Add on top of it the fact that he, like almost all Rangers, is far too meek while playing. If he can't use his stick on the puck, could he perhaps use it occasionally on the legs of those draped on top of him? No, that would be unsportsmanlike...
5. Team & Fight
If the Rangers were a nation, they would be France. (sorry for the horrible and unfair stereotype) What we as fans have come to applaud as sticking up for one's teammates is a sign of how disgraceful this has become. I am a big Boston fan too and make no mistake about it I think (and have said) that Shawn Thornton should possibly be brought up on CRIMINAL charges for what he just did to Orpik, but consider the motivation. This guy was SO incensed about liberties being taken with his teammates/friends during a stupid hockey game that he quite literally lost his mind and committed a criminal act to try and serve justice. The act....reprehensible and unforgivable, suitable to be punished in the most severe way possible. However, the motivation that set him on his way? The Rangers are simply bereft of it...and it shows.
I know that some of these views will be unpopular. Still, before you commit to throwing down the gloves for a difference of opinion, consider that for millions of dollars the Rangers won't even skate through contested ice for you. And......GO!
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The Rangers have become the Columbus Blue Jackets - East. Columbus was a mediocre run of the pack team...never seen as contender...and what player couldn't shine his own star without the mighty pressure of Broadway. Those of us who can remember 1994...Keenan got rid of Turcotte, James Patrick for some sandpaper in Larmer...he got Neil to get rid of Amonte for more sandpaper in Matteau and Noonan, and Gartner for woodchipper in Glenn Anderson...while long term some of those moves didn't make sense, the Rangers were not going to win a cup without any sandpaper. I would kill to get Prusty back here...or one or two players of his quality. Pyatt, Boyle, Pouliot...nice guys but don't hit...don't score...show them the door. DZ and Moore...show them the door. We need a bunch of toughness...not bigness...and be prepared to make someone pay if they take a run at Stepan, Nash, Richy, etc. Kreider shouldn't be the one doing that, but I'm glad to see him at least willing to take some of this on.
Criminal charges. STFU.. Orpik should of and could dropped his gloves before this happened and Answered. The instigating rule caused this to happen. Thornton wasn't trying to knock him out but it was dirty. But for you to say criminal charges. Really go watch soccer
Like this blog post or not, one thing you can't deny is it generated some pretty awesome debate. Bravo everyone, especially @Say my Name.
Well said...speaking of Jagr, let's all remember Sather was the genius that chose not to re-sign him after a lower scoring (for Jagr) season, even though he broke Graves' single season scoring record just a season earlier. He also chose not to re-sign Shanahan on a team that needed scoring...a team where Shanahan and Jagr were the top goal scorers. Sather is a guy who thought signing Gomez, Drury, Redden and Roszival to long, expensive contracts was a great idea. A guy who let Colton Orr go, and believed the despised and aging Donald Brashear was a smarter choice. A guy who thought Brandon Prust didn't add enough to the team to hold onto.Sather felt the problem with the New York Rangers was the coach...who I'm sure he will begin blaming soon enough, because the problem certainly cannot be Sather himself.
You my friend have written a very compelling blog that is getting tons of feedback. Congratulations. I hope Nashty is reading it lol. With his tools and size he should be a game beaker even if he's dragging 3 defenders down the ice, especially with Kreids riding shot gun. To date your assessments are spot in, and all it would take to change it and make a liar out of you is a commitment, starting with Nash to display more heart so he can be that elite scorer we know he can be. Frustrating that he doesn't bring it every night. This would spark the whole team. This is a decent collection of players but is a bad team. No matter how passionless the coach is heart has to come from within. Yes it's the coaches job to spark his players, but its also up to the players to inspire their coach so no AV blame games please. This is a team and everyone needs to functiion for the good of the whole but right now the team sucks, though the parts are potentially good. Rememder 11/12. everyine thought that team sucked and many experts projected them to finish dead last. agree that we need more grit but this year is no different if each and every player makes the same commitment to show up like they did 2 years prior. Inspiration from within starts with the captain. Inspire these guys to find that heart and desire to destroy their enemies every shift. This team has always lacked the killer instinct under Calky's captainship, and actually from before then,, even in that great season. They won a lot but even then when they were in a position to run away with the game they failed to do so, they sat back with big leads and let the other team back in it. If you remember you know I'm right. Now this cap't can not lead by example due to injury or whatever so he has to find another way. Great opportunity for our young Cap'n to grow. Watch Jeter and Messier tapes. Talk to these guts if possible. We need to become fighters. Not victims. No help is coming from outside until these players help themselves and it starts by playing with heart. Great job "Name"
heres why well turn it around..... the list of players who will play better than they are now (stepan.. brassard.. hagelin. lunquist) u can argue the only person playing to his potential is zuccarello and i been predicted that he would once he got playing time... another reason is the percentages.. weve had an incredible amount of quality scoring oppurtunities that werent cashed in and its only a matter of time before they start going in if u look at it from a percentage standpoint... kreider will figure out how to finish in the nhl.. zuccarello and brassard will start to shoot more when they realize sometimes it hurts the team to pass too much... nash will get the chance to hit a stride jesus christ people the guys barely played a few games straight this season slow down.. we dont need much this team can win but we can get alot better with a small change... u can make a couple little moves and this teams great in my opinion.. we need a dman that can score and get his shot through from the point cuz richards gets blocked more then neone in the entire nhl id put money on it... and u need a little toughness wich is easy to find since alot of teams have dropped there fighters since the nhl is changeing and u didnt seem to notice... i do think that boyle is a joke and needs to go tho hes too soft and doesnt score either whys he here
who the fuck wrote this garbage u can explain it alot easier... the first two weeks of the season and a long road trip... seriously takke out that start and were not mediocre plus we didnt have nash ur judgine based off of what 6 games.... cut that shit out this team can win when the players play up to there standards
Players we need gone are as follows ;
if Slats can upgrade over these players then the team should do better...
I can't believe how many readers on here fell for Brassard's decent play last year, look at his stats every season, plus the fact he plays extremely soft...
Dubi or Atri> Brassard or Pouliet
The Nash trade was the beginning of the end for this club, although the Richards signing wasn't the brightest...the only reason Slats didn't buy out Richards in the summer is because it would have made Slats look like a complete moron
@TheNYRBlog love the piece. then there's the fact that about 9 of our starters are 2 inches shorter and 25 pounds lighter than most teams
This is a brilliant assessment of our Rangers. I applaud you for your strategic acumen and applaud you again for saying what is unpopular. Your comments on Nash and the King are right on the money. The other day, prior to Henrik's signing I wrote that The Rangers were at a crossroads and signing or not signing Henrik was going to determine the immediate future of the team....so be it.
Sather has always had a reputation throughout the NHL for stubbornness and a lack of flexibility. Remember Lundquist was a Sather draft. No way Sather would ever give him up. Sather is enamored with super scorers in the tradition of the Pre-Cap Oilers. He will never change simply because his boss (Dolan) is the exact same way. As long as Dolan is in charge we will never be different.
Thank you again for your assessment. It is "a big picture".....strategic......."right brained" assessment.....very very rare in these parts........and very much appreciated.
WOW don't sugar coat it. I can't remove the gun from my mouth now. But everything you said is dead on.
if the rangers ever go after an enforcer, they need someone just to be there not to start something but be able to to finish if needed. not any of this staged crap. those should be game misconducts. that's not what the fighting aspect is about in hockey, it's to police the game.
how about a line of dorsett, steve ott and matt martin, might be hard to play against and have some grit. also i love this kid tom wilson of wash caps and he's only 19 or 20. glen sather: if they don't have desire, DON'T ACQUIRE !!!!! i guess also that more people might be thinking that torts knew more than they thought he did
Thank you for being unafraid to speak the truth. Whenever you criticize Hank on most sites you get your head handed to you, like people think he's immune.
Fact is, his even-strength save percentage of .918 is the worst of his career and ranks 23rd among 30 goaltenders with at least 14 starts.
I love the misfit toys analogy!!!! Everyone criticized Torts for not adjusting to his team, maybe he was the only one who "got" his team???? He knew what they were and knew what they weren't. Sather never did and never will.
Though I agree that goaltenders who can handle the puck greatly benefit teams (it is an extremely undervalued ability), I still would take a puck stopping Hank over a puck moving mediocre goalie (I do wish the contract term were shorter though).
And finally, I'm not ready to give up on Nash quite yet. There are times where I see him do shit and I just blurt out "holy. shit." The guy has the tool set to do some amazing things. But until he starts playing FEARLESS HOCKEY, he'll be stuck in 3rd gear. Too bad Prust isn't here to have his back. Reason #2,567 to have a legitimate enforcer.
Cap ceiling projected to be 71 million next year at the GM meetings. We'll see what happens next....
Agree on all points. Well written. I wrote a huge response but it went poof. Surprised by some of the asshole comments you've reviewed. People like that make me want to move to a cabin in the woods and finish my manifesto. Kidding.
Jmacwilli, i think you are WAY too panicked here. Take it easy and take a step back. In one article, you write Rick Nash will never win a Stanley Cup (mind you his 53 pts in 54 careers international play games, Olympics mostly of games that matter) vs his stat line in 1 playoffs, 2 rds, 12 games. Furthermore, how do you compare a Goalie signing to that of "5 tool players" in baseball? Hank's contract begins next year, and doesn't effect the team one bit. Keep in mind, the Board of Governers just voted in a $71 million dollar cap that will continue to rise each year with the new Rogers deal. By the middle of his contract, he won't even take up more than 7% of the teams cap space.
The Rangers brought in a coach in Alain Vigneault that preaches and teaches a high paced offensive style, however, he has always had a reputation especially in his earlier years of being a defensive minded coach as well. I'm pleading, give him time. He is not the type of coach who will come in and spark a team over night (that was Tortorella), he's a guy who will coach and teach and preach consistency. That, you can see in his dimeanor. The Rangers have been very disciplined under him and they will frustrate teams, once they begin to play consistently at a high level, in the way they frustrated Crosby a few weeks back when they played Pittsburgh and put 5 up on them.
The true merits of the AV signing won't be seen until the back end quarter of this season and probably won't come to full fruition until next season. Keep in mind, this is more or less the same personel as last season's squad, so AV has not brought in any of "his guys" yet.
I read this blog daily, and usually the insight is even minded and level headed, however, this blog post really got to me for the simple fact that you chose to point out 5 issues that plague the Rangers, but 1,3,& 5 are pretty much all in the same, just re-stated in different words. Furhtermore, in 2 & 4, you come down on the teams 2 best players, making it an issue that they are stars. that doesn't make much sense as you usually want your best player to be your goalie. So you state 2 reasons they're swimming in mediocrity the first is the personel on the team isn't Shawn Thornton, tough enough, and doesn't fight enough. With all due respect, how does Shawn Thornton or a player of his kind, win the Rangers any games this past weekend? Washington smoked them, dominated them the entire 2nd period. It's funny how in New York, we always confuse "cool headed" with "lackadaisical" until they win, then it's "cool and calm under pressure" so the same way you say Nash is "nowhere to be found" or this team shows no "heart" is exactly what critics said about (here's your real usable baseball analogy) Joe Torre or even Eli Manning? Look at AV's reaction when the Rangers tied the game in the final seconds , he acted like he's been there before. It's that calm and confidence that will transfer to his team in key situations later in the year.
Do me a favor? If you're going to write an article "Why The Rangers Are Swimming In Mediocrity" write a follow up "How Do The Rangers Swim Out From Mediocrity" One of the biggest issues with sports fans, is they offer no solutions other than "Let's fire the coach" and "Let's trade our best players in a 3 player deal that highly benefits us, while giving up nothing - you know, like i did in GM mode in NHL 2002" The way this team will get out of mediocrity is sticking to the plan, sticking to the system, buying in 110% and putting together a few wins that turn into a streak. That's exactly how they swam their way out from 2-9 to start the year. We gave Vigneault a contract, believe in the guy, and give him time. While it takes most coaches 20-30 games to teach his system, it usually take a season and a half for his culture to be fully adapted. We knew that going in. Be patient, See what Asham and Dorsett bring to the lineup tonight. Give some time to Brassard to start clicking on all cylinders (the importance of a 3rd line is what seperates mediocre teams from contenders in this league).
@maddo305 Nailed it!
Ha ha. That puts it into perspective. Dont it. Would this be the same GM who let Nylander walk, who displayed amazing chemistry for 2 straight seasons with a superstar who has a hard time gelling with his center one year after said 52 goal season, who then signed the most over rated center in the game to supposedly take his place then scratched his balls as the predictable disaster ensued...yeah, I think I know the guy.
In my world motivation where leaders are held accountable to raise the level of performance of their team works in the following way.
1) an exceptional leader (by an act of his or her will) inspires his team with his personality and with the team culture that he creates as a coach. Inspiration is 500% on him or else ownership fires his butt.
2) The coach's inspiration ignites the "inner motivation" that lies within each individual player. Each player must choose his "inner motivation" to be ignited (that is also an act of the will)
3) in any walk of life that and only that is what drives improved performance.
If anyone doubts this simply listen to the speeches of the inductees to their respective Halls of Fame. What do they talk about in their speeches.?.......they thank all the people who inspired and believed in them along their journey of exceptional performance.
Everybody here ask yourself what would you say if your were inducted into The Hall of Fame of Life?????
@JoeAntos amazingly insightful. I'm not sure being more wrong is even possible, but thanks for playing.
Very kind words indeed and VERY much appreciated. Thank you. It was fun. (no death threats yet, but the night is still young...LOL)
Thanks! Yeah, I think some people just think of it as blasting Nash and Hank...which it really is not. Well, maybe Nash a bit..lol. Still, I think it is just two simple points with him. The first is that he is overrated...not a horrible thing to say. He does not reach his potential, which due to his size and skill is enormous, yet he is compensated and expected to be THAT.The second point (that the NYR will not win with him) is not really entirely about him, rather the fact that I have ZERO faith that the inept GM will be able to navigate around what I think are the too long and too large contracts given Hank and Nash. All of that to say that I think it entirely possible to win a cup with these guys if you have a very skilled GM....which....we....don't.
Good Points All. Except, panicked? Hardly.
I didn't even suggest a move to be made (though I would love to in a follow up piece). Stating that the NYR are a collection of players that are ill-constituted for their roles is not really a news flash. And I like Nash and Hank, they are great talents....just not at those years (particularly for Hank who will LIKELY not be near what he has been during the back end. And Nash IS overrated in that his impact on the ice shift in shift out, game in, game out, is not NEARLY what it should be given his size and skill. He is not even the force of a FORTY-ONE year old player with whom he shares the similar size and skills. Please.
Stating that the Rangers have very little passion, or heart, or toughness, or "grind" OR compete level hardly constitutes a rash comment, does it? Are you watching the same team?
Also, I would not fire AV. I don't think this falls on him. Good hockey players don't need a coach to motivate them to play hard-nosed hockey. Direct them, sure? Motivate? That just reinforces my view of the current roster.
Put aside the requests for an enforcer, to buy out Brad Richards, to trade Rick Nash, to fire AV and to rip up the contract with Lundqvist. Let's make the requests more simple. How about the next time you go in to the 3rd period with a lead, don't take your foot off the gas, try to extend that lead, or at least lay out in front of a slap shot to "take one for the team" to get the win. How about the next time we go down 1-0, on the ensuing shift, try to make it 1-1, and if it doesnt happen, try again, until it does, instead of admiring how skilled the opponent is. How about the next time your Alternate Captain with a history of concussions is drilled in the jaw by an opponent's shoulder, REACT!! I'm not asking for a melee. I'm not asking for a Shawn-Thorton like act. Just REACT! Act like you're present! Act like you care about the name on the front of your jersey and the 19 other guys on your side!
@NYRBlueBlog I really like what you're saying, and I want to believe a lot of it, all of it. But i'm having a hard time.
Beyond skill, beyond cap space, beyond prospects, there is a simple need that every team has: Players with a desire to compete, to improve and do better. Yes, they climbed from a 2-6 start to get to 8-8 (largely on the back of a rookie goalie, but i digress), but have flatlined ever since.
AV isn't the type that will yell and scream. I get that. But the players asked for this, they asked for a new voice, but their not responding now. Fans aren't calling for trades and firings and demotions because of the record. Their fired up because in just under 27 hours we witnessed some of the most listless, uninspired, emotionless hockey we've ever seen. And we're expected to believe this team has the capability to compete in this league? I'm not sure this team could compete in the AHL or the ECHL at this point!
@NYRBlueBlog Nice counterpoints. And to answer your question of "How NYR swim out of mediocrity?" - it's on Dolan and Slats to change how they operate, cause they're not going anywhere anytime soon.
@Say my Name @maddo305 If someone could teach Kreider to fight, he could be a more skilled version of Lucic. He's got the size and the strength, and he' easily twice the speed. If he could back it up with his fists when needed, and chip in 50% more goals, kid could be an absolute stud. But he can't keep spearing people and flipping people and then skating around with that "who? me?" smirk on his face.
I think that is all very true, and insightful on your part but what if you have a dead fish for a coach? Does the cap't have to be the next in line to inspire his team, similar to what Mess did in '94 when the player coach relationship was breaking down. I probably shouldn't equate lack of passion with inability to inspire (though it sure Seems to go hand-in-hand). Then the players Themselves have to find their heart and passion from within? Ideally your coach should be the spark plug vut imif that ain't happening what then? In the best cases the coach is the spark plug but then the players feed off that ibspuration and in turn inspire their coach. That's a areal team. We got a taste of that in 11-12 Though we didn't quite have the talent level to see it to completion.
@Say my Name good stuff, disagree but was a good read . my manifesto is coming when they go on 8-0 run late in the season
You my friend have written a very compelling blog that is getting tons of feedback. Congratulations. I hope Nashty is reading it lol. With his tools and size he should be a game beaker even if he's dragging 3 defenders down the ice, especially with Kreids riding shot gun. To date your assessments are spot, and all it would take to chane it and make a liar out of you is a commitment, starting with Nash to display more heart so he can be that elite scorer we know he can be. Frustrating that he doesn't bring it every night. This would spark the whole team. This is a decent collection of players but is a bad team. No matter how passionless the coach is heart has to come from within. Yes it's the coaches job to spark his players, but its also up to the players to inspire their coach so no AV blame games please. This is a team and everyone needs to functiion for the goid of the whlie but right now the team sucks, though the parts are potentially good. Rememder 11/12. everyine thought that team sucked and many experts projected them to finish dead last. agree that we need more grit but this year is no different if each and every player makes the same commitment to show up like they did 2 years peior. Inspiration from within starts with the captain. Inspire these guys to find that heart and desire to destroy their enemies every shift. This team has always lacked the killer instinct, even in that great season. They won a lot but even then when they were in a position to run away with the game they failed to do it, sat back and let the other team back in it. If you remember you know I'm right. Now this cap't can not lead by example due to injury or whatever so he has to find another way. Great opportunity for our young Cap'n to grow. Watch Jeter and Messier tapes. Talk to these guts if possible. We need to become fighters. Not victims. No help is coming from outside until these players help themselves and it starts by playing with heart. Great job "Name"
You my friend have written a very compelling blog that is getting tons of feedback. Congratulations. I hope Nashty is reading it lol. With his tools and size he should be a game beaker even if he's dragging 3 defenders down the ice, especially with Kreids riding shot gun. No excuse that he gets top coverage. all top players do. To date your assessments are spot, and all it would take is a commitment, starting with Nash to chane it all, by display more heart so he can be one that elite scorer we know he can be. Frustrating that he doesn't bring it every night. This would spark the whole team. This is a good collection of players wven with the dead wood but is a bad team. No matter how passionless the coach is heart has to come from within. Yes it's the coaches job to spark his players, but its also up to the players to inspire their coach so no AV blame games please. This is a team which needs to come together and unspure each other and right now the team sucks, though the parts are potentially good. Inspiration from within starts with the captain. Inspire these guys to find that heart and desire to destroy their enemies every shift. This team has always lacked the killer instinct, even in that great season. They won a lot but even then when they were in a position to run away with the game they failed to do it, sat back and let the other team back in it. If you remember you know I'm right. Now this cap't can not lead by example due to injury or whatever so he has to find another way. Great opportunity for our young Cap'n to grow. Watch Jeter and Messier tapes. We need to become fighters not pussy victims. No help is coming from outside until these players help themselves and it starts by playing with heart. Great job "Name"
@shoot_the_goalie @NYRBlueBlog How can you say they're not going anywhere? Do you remember the state of this organization when Sather took it over? Dolan might have silly influence with MSG home teams, but he doesn't have any with the Rangers. He loves Sather and gave him the keys long ago. Bringing in AV was a change of gear for how they operate. As an organization, we have alot to be proud of, this team was on the verge (and in many circles was already) a joke when Sather came in, he got us out of soo many bad contracts, even some that he signed as well, developed our system, drafted well, i truly believe and quote me on it too, this team and organization is close. There is no magic trade available today that will make us an overnight contender, but the organization does possess the pieces. Going to the ECF's 2 years ago was not a fluke. Last year was a step back, and bringing in AV was a bit of a side step but you have to trust that Sather knew what he was doing and believed that the upside to growing pains with AV is greater than having Torts take this team out of the gate and i'm saying that even believing that with Torts this year, this team is top 3 in the East. I think AV's coaching mentality gets this team over the hump, you just need to be patient with the growing pains of AV.
@AG_Blue We try...
@Say my Name Exactly!
@Say my Name I agree. He doesn't need to be the semi-enforcer that Lucic is, where a guy like Dorsett or Prust thinks they NEED to fight him. But if players knew that he could hold his one when called upon, it would elevate how players perceive him, and it would give him the confidence to go finish checks that much more.
Kreider talked about how there was a point coming in to this year where he realized he needed to stop being so in awe of his opponents and realize that he belongs. I think, almost a microcosim of that, he needs to realize he can go beyond fast and strong and become hard to play against and intimidating.
Totally agree. I don't know that it is possible though. Fighting technique can be learned, but that snarl seems to be an either you have it or you don't thing.
What I found in all walks of life the inspiring leader is rare indeed.......whether that be a parent......a teacher.....a coach......a lover. Someone who can ignite behavior change in another and thus in that relationship create new and better results.......very very rare indeed.
Messier was a rare exceptional inspirational on-ice captain because he inspired teammates both with his inspiring words and also provided inspiration with his play on the ice. I have some business connections in Edmonton and they tell inspiring stories about Mess in junior hockey. Messier never played for an inspiring NHL coach during his years in Edmonton. He said, Keenan was the greatest coach he ever played for.
Jeter, a great captain indeed inspires through his excellent example. I will catch some slack for this but I think Clark was a little more like Messier.....just a little.
@EHBIGAPPLE there are zero indications that this team has bought in. That in itself is a very troubling proposition, especially when you have comments out of AV like you had yesterday. Say what you will about Torts, but he rarely threw the skill level of his team under the bus. AV's mantra is quite different. As far as what convinces me that this team will buy in this year and how will they be playing the future comes down to a few factors. If you look at the top tier of the league and the modern NHL, it's built up the middle. Years ago your 3rd line was your grinders and 4th line was your fighters. The fighter and grinder have become a hybrid of both and are meshed on the 4th line. However, that 4th line also needs to be able to compete offensively i.e. Boston's 4th line, Devils 4th line 2 years ago in cup year, Chicago's 4th line. That does need some addressing as you can't use the 4th line as a hiding spot for underperforming players which i never agreed with Torts for doing and now AV seems to be doing by stashing Poilout there. On the the 3rd line and it's importance. If you have a top end 3rd line, you can roll 3 and play with the big boys in the league. In the games this year that the Rangers have looked great and that they may have bought in (Detroit, Pittsburgh, 1st game vs WSH) the 3rd line (whomever it was at the time) led them in strong play. Since Nash's return to the lineup, AV has been unable to properly balance his depth. He found the stellar line of Kreider,Stepan and Zuc and i feel he should've kept them together and built a 1st line around Nash. That's where Poulliot comes in, i believe his skill and size allows him to play with Nash HOWEVER, he has not played up to that level and that does fall on AV as he should have been coached up. This point is very important as if you can slot Poillout on the top line with Nash, you can afford to then use Hagelin and Cally as wings on you 3rd line that enables them the depth to then roll 3. AV has not been able to find that balance and although i still believe that the talent and personnel is there to give him that balance it comes with coaching up players like Poillout to be able to play on top lines. Coached up, you can hide his short comings by making up for it with Nash's skill. Nash has not been 100% and being someone who's returned from concussions before, i'm telling you it takes weeks if not months to fully come back to form. Having said that, as well as Cally now being out for 4-6wks, it makes finding that balance very difficult. I believe the Rangers have the answers in house right now and i'm not sure what management is thinking but especially in a slump like they are in where confidence is waining you need to roll the dice here. I think the best way to put pressure on veterans is not by bringing in more vets but by bringing up some youth and seeing if that sparks your team. Kristo has done very well down in the minors (22GP,10G,8A) and Dylan McIlrath has only a -2 and has even put up 7pts in 24 games. At this point, you should make a move, bring both up, as well as JT Miller and either Lindberg or Fast. If, Hartford is being run the way it was under Torts, then the AHL team plays the same system as the Big squad and infusing these guys into the lineup will spark a fire. What else it will do is in the case Miller, Lindberg, Kristo and McIlrath do play well, looking forward, upon the returns of Cally and Staal, players like BP, Brassard, etc will feel the pressure to step it up as well. I also have to say the hiring of Scott Arniel in the offseason was tagged as many as a scary hire as Brassard never played well and even butted heads with him and it may not have been a wise choice as Brass was embracing the fresh start in NY. I believe that fear has come to fruition as Brass has played afraid of his greatest asset which is creativity. Not sure it's conventional to let go of an Asst but it is a low risk way of making a statement.
O. K. let's be patient. I ask you very respectfully what would be the measurable indicators that would convince you that this team has fully bought in? How specifically will they be playing in the future in ways that they are not playing now. What are the things that they will stop doing in the future that they are doing now? What are the things that they will do in the future that they are not doing now? Please elaborate.....please?
Perfectly stated BigA. NYRBlue is clearly a Sather apologist, but nothing can divert the attention from the immutable FACT that this team has wallowed in mediocrity under his watch. LOL...yet STILL...Blue states that to merely CITE this fact is "panicking" and that we must "take a step back". Yes, stating that the NYR perform woefully beneath even the most patient expectations over a period of FOURTEEN years (with nary an interruption of achievement) warrants "taking a step back"
Begs the question, how does BlueBlog manage to type on his computer while he has Sather's ---- in his hands?
All of what you say is true. Perhaps you might recall Sather's words when he took The Rangers GM job, "I am here to bring the cup back to New York........"amemba that?"
We are all from or live close to The Media Capital of the world......the greatest City in the World........a place that everybody envies. I want the cup like Sather promised! Did he deliver...............NO! Fire his ass and Bring in someone who will.
In the world of accountability You either hit your target or you don't.
The worse thing about second place is the view.....don't you think?
I have to convert you in regards to Sather. Your impatience is understandable, but you need to take a deeper look at the stats. Sather took over in 2000, at that time, the Rangers were filled to the brim with bloated long term contracts, aging vets, and absolutely no farm system to speak of. By the time he re organized the contracts, traded away the vets, it was 2003,2004 when he traded Brian Leetch away. Then came the strike of '04-'05. At that point, he came back after the strike with the beginnings of a farm system, he began to stockpile good youth. Keep in mind, when you are a team in NY, you can't rebuild by tanking for 3-4 years in this town. The media and fans won’t let you. So Sather was forced to try to put somewhat a competitive team on the ice, playing .500 hockey and still drafting well with not many top 5 picks, but more in the range of 12-20th picks. Tell me a team who’s drafted as well as Sather the past decade not drafting consistently in the top 10? Aside from Detroit, it doesn’t exist.Look at the talent he’s drafted, Callahan in the 4th round, Dubinsky in the 2nd, Hagelin (a top 5 fwd) in the 6th round, Stepan in the 2nd. Girardi wasn’t even drafted! Don’t forget Michael Sauer in the 2nd. Sauer, Cally, Duby, those are all picks because of the trades (albeit not directly correlated) that were made in the first 3-4 years of his tenure. Sather had the most contracts to shed after the 1st strike and since that lockout the Rangers made the playoffs each year except 1. Dolan, doesn’t care, Sather on the other hand, the guy has built a good and solid organization and to be honest, I doubt he has little to do and has had little to do with the day to day operations for the past 3-4 years. It’s a testament to the kind of scouting dept he has built. Oh and I forgot to mention Henrik Lundqvist drafted in the 7th round. All this, building more or less 5 of the top 6 from the draft as well as an all world Goalie and as good a top 3 Defense as there is in the league all from the draft with ZERO top 5 picks to speak of. I challenge you to find me a team that’s developed better without tanking it for top 5 picks for 3-4 years in a row. LA, Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago – last years final 4, all had picks in the top 5 multiple times the past 5-7 years and put out a crap product to their fans while the Rangers stayed relevant and re-built.
@NYRBlueBlog @shoot_the_goalie I think you make some great points, but you lost me when you defended Sather. I could go into a long discourse of why and how bad Sather has been for the NYR, but I don't think anyone would want to read pages and pages of it on the blog. let along pages and pages about Sather. The simple fact is that Sather is a mediocre GM who has fielded mediocre NYR teams for the past 14 years. FOURTEEN!!! (more than enough time to create a Cup contending team, which the NYR are not) And with the exception of ONE overachieving season (2011-2012 team which had lots of holes and weaknesses which many don't see because of the great run) the NYR have been a team going nowhere fast, and that won't change since Sather & Dolan are not going anywhere. Then again, maybe Dolan & Sather don't care about fielding a winning team since the NYR are still the 2nd highest grossing team in the NHL.