“He’s a heart-and-soul kid … he’ll do anything for the team. He puts the team ahead of anything. If the team needs a fight to lift the team he’ll do it … if it needs a big hit he’ll do it … block a shot … he does the intangibles that coaches love. He’s heart and soul … he’ll play with the young kids and he’ll help them." - Dale Hunter via Montreal Gazette
Who the heck is this guy Hunter speaks of? Sounds like someone who could really light a fire under this uninspired Rangers team.
Who's that you say? Brandon Prust? You mean the Rangers fan favorite who always did things the "right way?"
Yes, I know that the Canadiens ridiculously overpaid for Prust's services at $2.5 million per for four years and with the Rangers likely to be up against the cap ceiling in the next few years it would have been irresponsible for Sather open the vault for a fourth line, energy guy. But man the Rangers could really use his passion right now.
I look up and down the roster and I'm really not seeing anyone other than Asham who could provide the kind of intangibles that players like Prust, Dubinsky, Fedotenko and Mitchell brought to the team last year.
Just look at what Mitchell, two goals this season for Colorado, did to his face blocking a shot the other night...
So I'm sending out this challenge to our current group of Rangers gladiators. Make us fall in love with you again. You had us at hello last year, but right now us Rangers fans are questioning our relationship. We need to know you're as committed as we are. So I want to see energy, passion, intensity and resiliency and I want to see it now.
Who has played up to what is expected since game 1.
Beside the GNR line not many. Hank- stuggling a little (but that is me being spoiled), Cally/Step/Boyle etc...all playing a step behind. If they start to play the way they are expected to play it will all fall into place.
One concern I have is...is Hagelin as good as we all think? I am getting more and more concerned about him every game. Oh and can we stop the stupid planned fights every night? Save the fight for when Gabby is run and pinned to the boards with a high hit..that is when it has meaning.
I have faith in our Rangers! They just need to get back to that strong forecheck we were known for last year. We have seen it in some games this year already, but it just hasn't been consistent. Consistency is the key to our success. Also, I feel like we are missing a lot of shots from the point...they need to be on goal.
As far as defense, I feel like other teams are utilizing their D to take shots from the point and get deflections in on net. They know that is the only way to beat the King when he is at his best. I am all for them blocking shots, but we need to cover the D at the points and win the battles along the boards to help out the King.
There's no team chemistry yet. Aside form getting in shape and working on the power play, training camp is to develop a team concept. With all the new faces this year, it's going to take some time for that to develop. Also, I get the sense that Torts doesn't have confidence in his team right now and the players can feel it.
I think we're going to need to make some moves at some point to get some more depth, but right now the team just needs to go through some growing pains and figure out how to play as a team.
That and learn how to create some movement on the PP.
And here I was thinking of the "I'm all heart muthafucka!".
Right now, you are a paycheck player. You play with your head, not your heart. In your personal life, heart. But when you get on the field it's all about what you didn't get. Who's to blame. Who won't throw the pass. Who's got the contract you don't. Who's not giving you your love. You know what, that is not what inspires people. That is not what inspires people! Shut up! Play the game, play it from your heart. And you know what, I'll show you the kwan. And that's the truth, man! That's the truth. Can you handle it?
I agree on your point; inspire us, play for the love of playing and being the best team in the conference, even the NHL. I think some players are rejuvenated by playing with Nash, I'm thinking Gabi, but I wonder if uninspired is the best way to describe the 4 game Rangers. Maybe, just maybe, it's preparation and understanding between players Ron lines that is the issue. The first line is going well but there's not much coming behind them. I hope we'll see it tonight.
Are we really waxing poetic a bout Mitchell? A 4th line center!!! This is preseason for the Rangers... Lets see where they are after 10 games before we start panicking even a little.. I'm looking for them to hopefully go 5-5, while they find their legs and build some chemistry..no need to worry!!
This team looks soft and out of shape to me, based on a number of other games I've watched around the league. And, as much as we fell in love with Callahan as the Captain last year, I have to question his abilities at this moment, given the Rangers poor start.
I hear you guys, but I just feel like that spark is missing so far this year and those guys brought it. Now that doesn't mean I still wouldn't do Nash deal, but I wish maybe the Rangers were able to keep a few of those guys.
And smoothy, you're right, Pyatt has filled some of those intangibles and then some.
A spark can only get a fire started, it takes some good seasoned logs to keep it burning. Gabby's hatter the other night was a spark, Hank's unbelievable 1st period against the Flyers was a spark. The problem has not been lack of sparks, it's been their ability to fan the flames. As much as I liked him, Prust is not the answer. They just need to find their game, which they will do in short order. They're not the only surprise struggling team in the league. Patience young Padawan ;-)
I really don't think that the Rangers problems so far are from not blocking shots or working along the boards.
It's the same as last season, lack of scoring. Hence the PP's and especially the 5 on 3's.
Hey, if we are going to lament the guys that left and their "2 goals," we need to acknowledge their replacements, especially Pyatt, who provides the intangibles and, lo and behold, has 2 goals of his own and has managed to keep his face out of the way of speeding rubber.
@Fleisch Why is it preseason for the Rangers and no one else? Because Torts runs a system? So do the Devils and they're undefeated.
@KevinDeLury The spark that's missing is the utter domination of Nash and Gaborik. When they start owning the ice, the rest will follow (swagger wise). Perhaps Carp was right — this is an all-new Rangers in that they don't rely on the lower tier guys so much with the grinding, etc.
@gravey94 Gravey you're right as usual, but this season brings half the games and we can be expected to have half the patience. While it's very pessimistic, especially looking at our roster and the skill we have, a few losses can definitely cost us down the line.
@Beckfan5 If we scored on the two 5 on 3's we had, we might be 3-1 instead of 1-3
@KevinDeLury @Fleisch have you looked at the devils schedule? Islanders, Philly, Washington.. Not exactly Boston and Pitt. But the real difference is the Devils have had 2 days off between games.. Which is huge when conditioning is down.. The 2nd game of a back to back and most teams are losing them!! The Rangers lost 5 starting forwards.. It takes time to mesh... Why panic after 4 games? Last I checked nobody makes the playoffs in the 1st week.
@_Jack But is that a good thing?
@KevinDeLury Depth issues.?
@_Jack If they split Gabby and Nash up they have two ELITE lines. Cally-Stepan-Pyatt is far from elite.
@KevinDeLury Yes. Up until this season Torts has been building this team as lot of hard nosed, metal lunch pail types who depending on who you ask, overachieved last season. I don't think they overachieved because the team spirt unity was there yada yada. However...
...this year's team is different. They hit a fork in the road. Rangers def. have TWO elite lines (first time in how long?) that when they're in boss mode should be able to turn the tide of any game. Pressure is on those top six, and not so much on the Mitchell types.