I'd like to take you back to last June for a moment. In an interview with Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Mark Messier divulged his thoughts on a what he believed the Rangers needed to do that offseason in order to win a Stanley Cup.
"...teams that win the Stanley Cup get stronger as series move on, so for us this year the big thing is to add depth so we don’t have to use as many players as much as we did.
“The more depth you have, the less chance of wearing players down and having injuries.”
Depth. The ability to roll out all four lines, have them be effective in all three zones and spread the ice time around. The depth the team dearly coveted. The depth Glen Sather utilized to acquire Rick Nash. The depth the Rangers desperately needed when they traded Marian Gaborik midseason.
The depth that is severely lacking as the team faces an insurmountable 3-0 series hole against the Boston Bruins, who ironically, have incredible depth.
From the naked eye, the Bruins' bottom six of players is handedly outplaying the Rangers' top six of players. Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, and Daniel Paille will never be confused with the GAG line. Their chemistry and ability to dominate in the offensive zone down low and along the boards, however, is something to behold.
The Rangers simply have no answer for it. It's also a marker of how deep and cohesive the Bruins run.
Everyone on this blog underestimated just how good the Bruins were. Yes, they play similarly to the Rangers and try to win games the same way. However, Boston has the right players and execution to deliver results. New York...simply does not. Keep in mind the Bruins have two rookies playing defense at the moment and playing well.
The Rangers? The farthest thing from cohesive at the moment. Examine their "fourth line." It's a mishmash of spare parts. A young player still in need of major development in Chris Kreider, a mercenary looking as if he's lost the ability to play hockey in Brad Richards and a watered-down version of Arron Asham. It's a bad combination and it has been exposed through three games.
The team is clamoring for Ryane Clowe and Marc Staal to return to give them a lift, but their injuries will most likely prevent them from playing another game this season. It's on the players remaining to find a way without reinforcements and, after their Game 3 performance, it's tough to find signs that the Rangers will find a way back.
The Rangers' depth has been an issue—one that will cost them a chance at a Cup this season.
I know ranger fans don't want to hear this but hagelin stepan kreider miller will be career 3rd and 4 th liners...I guarantee that in 5 years from now stepan will be the only player left in the NHl from that group....there not talented enough....we fall in love with homegrown draft picks
I love it when I see my thoughts and words show up on these blogs the next day. It's happening more and more - yes the Bs play the same way as us but have better personnel for that style, but we have a coach who refuses to appropriately adapt his system to exploit their weaknesses rather than play to their strength. Our depth is not bad btw, we are just using poor line combos making it appear worse than it is. Playing richey on the 4th line - the grit and guts line of the team is a joke! You either play him to score or you bench him. He's woeful right now but he's a scorer. It's ridiculous. Playing your skilled line against their grit and guts line is equally as weak.
Lack of "depth," where depth is the supposed 1st-line centers getting paid $15 million a year that can actually play hockey.
Stealing this from Adam Herman...Rangers and the Kings are the only two teams to advance past the first round each of the last two years...everyone needs to relax in killing torts acting like he hasnt been good for this team. The rangers have been good and only will get better in the next few years and this team can win with this coach
Big, tough, fast and young simply isn't available in free agency. Has to be developed. Just like young starting pitching - ain't on the market. After all who would be stupid enough to let it go? NYR MUST give their youth a chance and we all will GLADLY let them learn on the job. Hockey is more physical than EVER. It literally chews people up. A successful org will now have their youth burdened with lots of minutes - at important times of games. A successful org will have a coach that manages to do this EVERY year - creating that delicate balance of growing the youth while minimizing the impact of their mistakes. Some years your youth will have the talent to rise to the task, some years it wont. But the approach must be the same. Torts can't, or is unwilling to do that. We would've cheered anything, so long as it played with heart. He sacrificed youth and development in a shortsighted attempt to have a shortened team somehow win (which doesn't work out anyway due to overwork). Remove that from the equation and the only plus of Torts is that he gets players to play tough. And....as he obviously didn't even do that we now have a pretty air-tight case to dump him.
Guys gotta run. Will be back later.
I have to say Thanks. The back & forth has made me feel better about being down 3-0 & being elimanted soon. The future is bright for us. We are only a couple of moves away. Lets hope Kreid, Miller Lindberg Mcilrath, Skjei & the rest develop into good or even great players. Then man would we have depth & a team that could compete w-anyone.
Richards has to go. By all accounts he is a GREAT guy and I'm sure he will bust his ass to try and get better, but he is just too slow now. You NEVER get speed back once you let it slip due to lack of conditioning, or injury after a certain age. It just doesn't happen. That is why after 30 you see athletes working year round to maintain.
Gimme some of what ur smokin John...and then tell me what the Rangers have done in the FANTASTIC Sather era.
Lack of depth is a misnomer. How about lack of utilized depth? Torts doesn't seem to comprehend that no matter how little faith you have in your 3rd and 4th gears that if you race without them you are GOING TO BURN OUT YOUR 1ST AND 2ND GEARS!!! Yes, you may lose anyway, but you will have a better chance...rather than simply depleting your top 2 lines game after game, until they TOO BECOME INADEQUATE!!! How can a person be so obtuse as to not recognize this very, simple notion??? THAT alone is a big enough indictment to warrant letting him go.
This is why next year I hope our lineup looks something like this:
With these 4 lines, I honestly think you can allow the 4th line to play 10-14 minutes every night, just like the Bruins do
How do you know Rangers will get better? They have gotten worse since last year. The team can win but what have you seen that makes you think the Rangers will win the Stanley Cup with Torts as the coach. I'm not a huge anti Torts guy but the teams playoff performance since he's been the coach doesnt show me that they will win the Cup with him
@Jbianco He went 10-10 last postseason, and we're looking at 4-7 this postseason.
I hope it is Stepan or Mac. Think it may be Stepan just becuase Staal is already the 'defenive captian'. Any chance Girardi gets it tho? Not saying he should be he is already the alternate alternate for the team.
@Josh6 Stepan, or Mac....Nash is a sniper...important, but not enough heart. Can't let him be recognized as team leader.
@Josh6 Josh I know we disagree about him & u want him gone but Richards will probably be back next year. They have another yr to amnesty him & unless they need the Cap space they are going to bring him back.
@jmacwilli Dude all succesful coaches don't use their depth if they don't trust them. In 94 Keenan barely played his 5th & 6th defense pair or his 4th line. Bowman, Lemaire, et al;
Josh & I were commenting last night here is Asham? He came on he gave away the puck B's scored. U can't use guys if they aren't good cause they will be exposed.
Depth is an issue on this team but Cally has 2-goals in the playoffs, Nsh has one, Stepan has -2. Richards was brought in here but he has abeen such a mess he can't get on the ice. U need ur big guys to play big then the depth adds to that. The Rangers did nt lose this series cause off lack of depth. They lost it cause they don't have enuff talent. Boyle, Pyatt, Hags, Asham, Dorsett, are all 4th line players. Cally & Stepan are 2nd line players. Among many things about this team that are wrong the biggest is not enuff talent.
I like what I've seen from Brassard but I really do not think that he is a top line center. He has had a great post season but we cant forget about how he played in Columbus. I hope he keeps his play up and I think he has the talent to do it but there was a reason he was what he was in Columbus
@Josh6 I would dump Pyatt, Asham and Boyle. This team needs to get faster. They offer little. Nice players but should be replaced with faster, younger players. Just look at Detroit.
Also if we can stay healthy our defense could be unbelievable next year:
Moore Mcilrath/Connor Allen
They will get better because they are getting their best defensemen back. They are getting better because they will have a full year to gell with the current players on th team instead of a lockout shortened season in nash's case and even less for brass/moore/Dorsett. They will get better becuase Krieder and Miller and other AHLers will be another year older and better. They will get better because with all of this they are not losing anyone of signifigance except maybe Richards and that is a good thing.
I thought all year that no matter how bad he played he would be back. But that was before the playoffs. I really dont see any reason to justify bringing him back.
@ThrSage @jmacwilli Wrong. While their depth is not great and their talent is insufficient and while coaches DO shorten their benches at critical times it is ALL a matter of degree - and expense. You are missing the point. Torts plays a shortened bench virtually EVERY game. If his trusted players are 10's and his untrusted players are 5's....his system depletes the 10's to 6's and the net is much worse off.
Plus, he works from a position of being scared. If his depth makes a mistake they ride the pine b/c he knows HIS system can't overcome even the most modest deficit. The problem is compounded by having his "depth" not gaining any valuable playing time to actually learn how to NOT make as many mistakes! Torts creates a downward spiral - a self-fulfilling prophecy. Lemaire, Bowman???ha - don't even mention Torts in the same sentence.
@ThrSage @jmacwilli The problem is in 94 it was a different type of NHL. If you look at the last group of cup winners, they are all the teams with the most depth.... LA, Boston, Chicago, Pitt... their 4th line is capable of hurting you and they give them ice time. Over the course of the 100 games they will play if you have a capable 4th line it saves a lot of minutes for your top guys they dont have to play and they are fresher. If we had a 4th line of Mashinter Miller Dorsett next year I would be happy
@Jbianco We wait one more year to get Malkin... Honesstly the ufa market is terrible, and like I said. There is not a first line or a fourth line.... we want to role all 4, that way our team does not break down. Also, I am optimistic Lindberg can turn into a 1st line center, the guy is nasty
@Josh6 These 6 D I agree 100% although if Allen isnt' ready, let him start in Hartford. Eminger as a 7th Dman is ok by me but wouldn't mind them signing someone else on the cheap. Now if only they could get Sauer back!
@Josh6 Imagine if Sauer comes back...wow.
Is Strallman a FA cause we could lose him. someone is going to over him top-4 $$$ after these playoffs.
I hope your right. I think he will get a chance next year even if its not riht away and I hope he makes the most of it
Josh....Why do u think he will b a stud? I hope ur right but from what I read he projects to b a good 2-way center w-20-25 goal potential. Is there something I missing?
@Jbianco two words.... OSCAR LINDBERG, watch out for him, if he gets a chance next year he will be a stud
i agree completely with you. check the link below posted after the rangers beat the caps: http://www.nyrangersblog.com/2013-articles/may/you-still-want-torts-fired.html
Whoever said Torts would be able to finish on his terms? I didn't see that & whoever wrote that is an idiot. A distinction like that is very rare. Even Joe Torre got pushed out. Look Im a Torts supporter but he has a short shelf life. He is demanding & abrasive. Eventually guys like him lose the team cause he is lime sandpaper. He wears u down. Not to mention its only a matter of time b4 he says something stupid publicly or privatly to his bosses & gets fired.
@jmacwilli @ThrSage exactly why Miller and Kreider ended up down in the AHL. It made no sense as they could of have time to develop during the rest of the regular season. I've had it w/ Torts n his nonsense. It's funny to think that some people were saying Torts will be able to finish up his career in NY on his terms after beating the CAps in 7 games. The single biggest reason this team has made it this far is because of Hank....plain and simple.
Thats a good point, though I wonder if they have the $$$ to amnesty Fleury then sign Malkin...I sure hope not.