2010-2011 Team Preview - New York Rangers

The New York Rangers are a team everyone loves to hate. The Rangers have always been a high-paying team that throws cash at free agents and roster players alike. Glen Sather has something less than a spectacular reputation in the Big Apple, and some of his hideous roster moves are still haunting the Rangers. Wade Redden is only the most recent example of ludicrous mismanagement, but there are plenty. If the Rangers are going to do anything at all, they’ll need to rid themselves of the off-ice distractions, get another full-year of play from Gaborik, and have the pieces come together in just the right way, at just the right time. Oh, and Lundkvist doesn’t hurt.

Overview:

The best thing I can say about the Rangers is that they provide excellent fodder for anyone with a pulse. Mismanagement is something that, until recently, we could empathize with here in Los Angeles, but the team this year has some interesting pieces. Unfortunately they are fairly shallow at all positions, and important injuries at bad times could be crippling for their chances of making the playoffs. If Gaborik goes down and takes his scoring with him, there’s nobody on the roster that can fill that hole (not many in the league that could fill that hole, but still). The Rangers are not in the worlds easiest division either, and may struggle to make a serious impact in their own division, let alone the conference.

Key Players:

Marian Gaborik, Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal, Alexander Frolov

Offense:

Gaborik is one of the most electric forwards playing in the NHL these days. His skill and skating ability are nearly unmatched, but he has been injury-prone through most of his career. Of course it’s possible he just hated playing in Minnesota, so took any chance he could get to stay out of the lineup… suffice it to say, if Gaborik is in your lineup, you’ve got a gamebreaker suiting up. That’s good news. The bad news, is that behind Gaborik, the Rangers are somewhat lacking. Frolov will be suiting up for the Rangers this season, his first after departing Los Angeles. If he can finally capture what some have seen in him for years, he could be dangerous playing in NYC. Brandon Dubinsky, Vinny Prospal and others will provide supporting offense, and then of course there’s Avery. Yea, there sure is.

Defense:

Obviously starting from the crease, the Rangers look good. Lundqvist is a potential Vezina Trophy winner, and has some serious ability to steal games in New York. Martin Biron behind him isn’t great, but he’s a backup and will probably snag 12-15 games in relief and can do a serviceable job to be sure. In front of that duo, the Rangers will dress a crew of players including Dan Girardi, Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto. I see Del Zotto taking a bit of a step backwards in his second year in the league, but Girardi and Staal are both talented players. Here again they are susceptible to the injury bug. Losing Stall for a significant period of time could be devastating, and leave Lundvist dangerously exposed.

Prediction:

The Rangers appear to be cursed. Unlike other teams, the curse facing the Rangers is almost entirely self-inflicted. They overpay for every player (except the ones they actually need), and no matter how good the team looks on paper they somehow manage to screw it all up. It’s kinda sad watching from the outside. Could they do better this year? Sure, and the Cubs might win it all next season. C’mon though, it’s not going to happen. I see them finishing behind the Flyers, the Devils and the Penguins. Might they get into the playoffs? Sure, it’s the East, who knows. Don’t count on it though. Good work Sather…

Tags: Alexander Frolov Brandon Dubinsky Chicago Cubs Dan Girardi Glen Sather Henrik Lundqvist Marc Stall Marian Gaborik Martin Biron Michael Del Zotto Minnesota Wild New Jersey Devils New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Penguins Vinny Prospal Wade Redden

  • Motto

    First of all its Marc STAAL, not Stall, and second, regarding the “injury bug” comment between Staal and Girardi? Um, Staal hasnt missed a game in 2 seasons, and Giardi hasnt missed a game in 3 seasons.

    Actually, Staal has only played 3 seasons, and has played 80, 82 and 82 games respectively. Where the hell you get injury bug from them, I dont know.

    Maybe you should just stick to the Kings?

    As far as the Rangers being a team everyone loves to hate? There was a poll done recently on HFBoards and they were nowhere near the top. Its mostly Canadian teams like Montreal and Toronto that people love to hate.

    Only Devils, Islanders and Flyers fans love to hate the Rangers.

    As for making the playoffs.. “dont count on it”? This team missed the playoffs last year for the first time in 6 seasons on a shootout the last day of the season.

    How far off are you? Holy shit dude. Its a good thing youre not an analyst for TSN.

  • Motto

    As if somehow theyre going to be worse than last season in a weak Conference, keeping their core key contributors and only improving areas like backup goalie, toughness and scoring (Biron, Boogaard and Frolov).

    I dont get it.

    The Rangers are a 5-8 place team especially when you consider they missed last year’s playoffs ON THE LAST DAY OF THE SEASON TO A SHOOTOUT.

  • http://www.theIEsolution.com Gavin Humes

    1)Thanks for the catch on the Staal spelling. Autocorrect can be a bitch.
    2)If it wasn’t clear, the injury bug can hit anyone, not just people it’s bit in the past. You’re right Staal hasn’t had to deal with it yet, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible this year. I hope he stays healthy, because I hate to see any team (except Anaheim) lose because of injuries. But to dismiss it as impossible is silly and I think you know that.
    3)I’m glad the HF Boards are the be all, end all in determining favorite/hated teams. The high-spending Rangers have been, and will be a target for ridicule and hatred for as long as they continue their mismanagement. I’m glad you can ignore it, but don’t kid yourself. As for if people hate Canadian teams, that may also be accurate, but doesn’t discount my point. Try again?
    4)If I needed any more proof you’ve lost the plot, the comment about Boogaard being an example of an improvement pretty much does it. He hasn’t scored in years, he fought an amazing 9 times last season… wow. Impressive.

    I stand by my comment that they won’t surpass the Devils, Flyers or Penguins. They could sneak into the playoffs, but… I wouldn’t hold my breath. Feel free to come back in June and tell me how right I was.

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