Finally, Rangers fans have their razzmatazz back on Broadway, or do they? News out of training camp created an impeccable look into the metamorphosis of the New York Rangers. Despite a loss to the New Jersey Devils in preseason, the Rangers have an incredible group of players who will overcome any obstacle, particularly if coach Torts has anything to say about it. So why are they sitting last in the division?
Considered by The Hockey News for the Jack Adams award for best coach, John Tortorella won with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004, and he will win again. With the cast of talent in New York, the playoff run will surpass the past few season. Filling in the gaps will bring the Rangers the stature the team, Torts and the fans expect from an Original Six team. Fan-fave Sean Avery was given the boot and possibly took the energy with him. While Torts and Avery clashed, the talent on the team now did surpass Avery’s abilities over the long haul.
The New York Rangers paid a pretty penny to secure dominance in the New York market with the addition of Brad Richards. Richards is excited to be playing in New York, but has he been distracted by the huge crowds eyeing his every move? Are the Rangers able to deliver on their preseason prowess or will they find Richards a bust in the Big Apple? Too soon to tell Rangers fans. Let Ryan Callahan lend his captaincy to the cause. The Rangers looked good and they have the tools to do it, eventually.
How about those Buffalo Sabres? Great team concept with Derek Roy, Jason Pominville, Christian Ehrhoff, Tyler Myers, Robyn Regehr and the entire cast of the Sabres who could become the New York team fans are cheering about on Broadway. Ryan Miller’s blueliners are showing more cohesion and so it was planned to stop that gap effectively showcasing Miller’s abilities. Be true Buffalo fans and allow those bandwagon fans to cheer because when was the last time that happened?
Tavares has brought the New York Islanders the franchise player the Island wanted. Not quite the fisherman of yore, but steering the boat nicely. The return of Evgeni Nabokov looks like a nice fit by the confidence in goal against the Rangers over the weekend. With Ricky D out again, anything can happen in net.
Islanders Vintage Logo
The New Jersey Devils are close behind with their confidence in their new coach and new system in play. The nagging issue remains in net with Martin Brodeur an iffy healthy mainstay. Johan Hedberg is no slouch. Hedberg served with the Penguins and is familiar with the demands in this division. Look for the Devils to add players as needed- recent rumor for Kyle Turris.
The Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins make this division an enticing race. With Jagr’s return and Sidney Crosby slated to return soon, the Pennsylvania teams will lace up and tighten the race for New York’s teams.
Posted in Eastern Conference, Teams
Tagged blueliners, Brad Richards, Eastern Conference, Hedberg, Jaromir Jagr, Marc Staal, Marty Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Callahan, Ryan Miller, Sean Avery, Tavares, Tortorella
One of my New York Rangers fan groups has this ongoing discussion, for over a week, about Chris Drury’s leadership. The call was to offer Drury for someone better. That’s not a bad idea. But recently rumors of trades have not involved the captain, rather performers Ryan Callahan and Ales Kotalik. Really? Allegedly. And what the Rangers will get in return is putting a big pile of mess on the ice at the Garden.
Talks with the Calgary Flames turned heads in New York as fans were hoping to get the call for Dion Phaneuf. Suggestions were Drury and Donald Brashear for Phaneuf. Is that even an equivalent assessment? I had to remind some of my fellow Rangers fans of the “sloppy seconds” debauchle involving Dion and Sean. Phaneuf has been dealt out of Calgary, so the two bad boys will eventually have more battle time on the ice when Phaneuf plays the Rangers on March 27th. Early blogs raised the question of the Ranger’s spark and was it possible to revive with a trade. Maybe the wrong guy is being traded. A captain’s job is to ignite the team into the best team they can be. Drury seems like a nice guy, but a pushover. Maybe he needs to go to Calgary.
His skills were apparent with his peak in Colorado, when the Avalanche had their dream team. He played against his former team Sunday night with a 3-1 win. Drury has landed his dream job, being a Connecticut native his aspirations as a kid was to play with the Rangers. Could this mean that even a superstar such as Chris Drury suffers from complacency on the job? What’s worse is his under par 19 points, then throw in his –11. Go back two years previous when Drury posted 58 points. If Drury can’t lead the troops into battle, then someone needs to suggest that another commander lead the call.
So if the Rangers bring in the big prize, Olli Jokinen, who has slumped lately can he become a team leader? Good player at the start of the season as Calgary was displaying, but it went up in flames. Trade options for the Rangers are limited: Brashear’s a bust; the blue line is badly drawn, and seems to be invisible. Sean Avery is battling back but frustrations are showing. Acquiring a Center puts some pressure on Olli to come in, take the lead and prove he’s worthy. It could happen if the trade happens, but some wheeling and dealing is happening to benefit both sides. Fans are buzzing over the flurry.
The only saving grace of the Rangers, like last year, is King Henry. The Swedes are all over the ice in domination, so let’s put goaltender extraordinaire Henrik Lundqvist in as team captain. Honestly, look at what Roberto Luongo has done in Vancouver. The goalie seems a natural captain. The team puts the knuckles in the faces of those who greet Lundqvist brutally. He’s the reason we were in the playoffs last year, he’s the reason the Rangers still sport some respectability.
Stay tuned for more drama from the New York Rangers.