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Here's the thing about MDZ - when he plays well, the team wins. He's a catalyst, and adds a dimension of offense from the blueline (especially on the rush) that no one else really brings.
First half of his rookie year, and most of 2011-12, we saw that and the Rangers were winners.
Last season we didn't see much, and this year he's pretty awful. But when he's on, the Rangers are a better team.
Of course, we know how this story ends - gets traded, finds confidence and maturity, blossoms, and comes back to kill NYR in a playoff series. I hope he gets traded to the West.
1 day, 15 hours ago on Senators, Blackhawks & Bruins Scouts Attended Last Night's Game
At barely above 500 it's hard to excited about this team. But I pause to be THANKFUL for the following:
- That Nash is back
- That Kreider is finally playing top six minutes in the NHL and looks great
- That Staal isn't blind
- That a rookie goalie is winning games for us
- That Brad Richards is 2x as good as last season
- That the lockout is a distant memory
- That Stralman keeps getting better
- That Ryan McDonough is Ranger property and Scott Gomez isn't
- That the Rangers powerplay is somewhat respectable
- That Derek Dorsett stands up for his teammates
- That Ryan Callahan is our captain
- That Torts is no longer the coach
1 week ago on Rangers 5, Panthers 2
It really comes dow to the makeup of the Rangers lineup, where pretty much all the top-9 forwards except Nash belong on a second line, and none are natural third-line checkers who can initiate physical play.
Bressard is a not-so-great second line center. Behind Stepan and Richards who are better second-line centers. And Hagelin, Kreider, Zucs, Cally - none of them belong on a third line or are effective in that role (Hags especially, who always brings the best out of his scoring linemates but disappears as soon as he goes down to the third line).
I really don't know what the Rangers can do about it, without a blockbuster trade that remakes the team. It kind of all gets back to letting Prust go and breaking up the Boyle-Prust-Fedatenko line. It changed the makeup of the whole team.
1 week, 1 day ago on Rangers Couldn't Break A Carton of Eggs In Tampa
Love Danny boy but he is precisely the 6th most offensively skilled Rangers defenseman. He's never been effective on the PP. I bet he can't even figure out what's he's doing there. When the Rangers signed Stralman he was considered a PP specialist. Absurd that he's not getting a shot when playing well.
1 week, 1 day ago on Miller Sent to Hartford; Girardi Replaces Stepan on 1st PP Unit; Lundqvist Starts Again
Could not agree more, on just about every observation.
1 week, 2 days ago on Lightning 5, Rangers 0
I would much rather see the Rangers get a physical defenseman for MDZ than a forward. A trade the permanently keeps JT Miller in the press box doesn't do anything for the Rangers
1 week, 5 days ago on No Scouts Watched Del Zotto vs. Stars
Totally agree about Miller. Just makes no sense. Pouliot is not going to contribute from the 4th line, but Miller can. I think the kid has played well in limited ice time. Not sure what kind of message this sends. Really just messing with his head at this point.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Nash Returns Tonight; MIller Scratched
Sounds like Pouliot plus $3.6 million cap hit. Terrible idea.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Rumor: NYR Interest in Martin Havlat?
This idea of constantly sending players to Hartford for development and ice time is getting out of hand. These guys have proven they can play at the NHL level and having a couple bad games should not send anyone packing to the minors at this point of their career. Miller is a responsible and dynamic player. Last year I think they left him in the NHL too long when he wasn't playing at a level that proved he belonged. But this season he's been solid. At some point you just have to say, this guy is an NHL player and that's where he's gonna stay unless he proves he doesn't belong.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Nash Could Return Tomorrow Night; Coaches Haven't Given Up on Del Zotto
I hope that when Nash comes back, AV keeps the lines balanced - that is, keep the top two lines as is and put Nash with Bressard and either Miller, Dorsett or Pouliot. That would give the Rangers one of the most balanced/deepest attacks in the league.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Nash Skates Again; Moore Eases Into Contact; No Pyatt
Zuccs has been aswful this year, And so has just about every other Ranger forward, especially Pouliot. When they were playing with Brassard in camp they were the Rangers best line, and AV broke them up after 2.5 games. Wish he'd put them back together just for a game to see what happens. Then if they don't improve, bench both Zuccs and Pouliot. But if they did show some chemistry and scored a goal or two, it would be a big lift for a team that needs it desperately.
1 month, 1 week ago on Lundqvist Out vs. Flyers; Zuccarello Possible Scratch
So obvious that Fast and Pyatt should switch places. WIth the injuries, this should be Fast's shot to prove himself, and for the brass to assess what they have in him. If he's just going to get 4th line minutes, what's the point.
And if Fast has a big game, it will be a shot of adrenalin through the entire lineup. Pyatt can't provide that, even when he chips in a goal or two.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Pyatt to First Line; Kreider Coming Soon?
This is a great read. Thx for doing this. Keep these comin'
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Prospect Update 10/19: Wolfpack Come From Behind To Win Fourth In A Row
Yeah, Torts was AWFUL. A good coach gets the best out of his best players in the playoffs. He never did, ever.
Obviously something is terribly wrong with this team right now. But that doesn't absolve Torts.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Sather Didn't Think It Would Be This Bad; Biron to Start Saturday
I rarely defend Sather but I've got to here. The moves he made were popular with almost everyone at the time. In retrospect, the worst one was letting Prust go, but pretty much no one thought he was in the wrong there. Yeah, the team has lost some edge and grit, but the roster is still deep and has a lot of character.
No one can explain why they're so awful this year. Especially with so few changes from a team that went to the 2nd round of the playoffs.
But I'll say this. TORTS WAS AN AWFUL COACH. He went into the playoffs every year with a team full of guys who were exhausted and didn't know their roles. Every year the top players had awful playoffs under Torts and that was no coincidence. Looking back and second-guessing is pointless. This team has good players who are playing horribly. I don't know the cause, but Glen Sather isn't it. And I'm NOT a fan of Sather.
One last thought... biggest difference between this team and the team from 2 years ago is the play of Dan Girardi. He's gone from being an All-Star to being mistake prone, and that's hurt the Rangers big time. I love Dan. I will always be a fan. But his play has slipped big time. Last season and this season.
I agree about Pyatt. But putting that aside for a sec, Rangers lineup looks very deep and balanced, even w/o Hags, Kreider, Miller or Fast. This team has no excuse not to be a winner.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Rangers @ Kings (Game 2)
The Rangers should not give up any assets for him because of his contract. If they buy out Richards they'll have the $, but Toronto would love to have a taker so there's no reason to give up anything of value.
5 months, 1 week ago on More Sloppy Seconds for Phaneuf?
Going after another over-aged, over-priced free agent would be Einstein's definition of insanity.
6 months ago on Mark Streit Anyone?
You're WAY off calling Hags a third line player. Two reasons I say that: Hags has had multiple good stretches over the two years playing on the top line or second line. When he moved down to the third line mid-season, that's when he disappeared. He's usually put up numbers on the top line. BUT, there's more to it than that. Hags is a catalyst. When you put him on a new line with offensive guys, more of than not those guys get going. He's the ingredient that can make a line click, whether he personally puts up numbers or not. That's the role Hags plays on the Rangers, not a third line role.
6 months ago on Hagelin Contract Talks Look Good; Shoulder Update
@Mikeytri It does suck when it happens to your team, but given a choice between more 5 x 3 and fewer, I'd pick more. Too many crappy goalies with 2.50 gaa's i this this league. Rules changes should be to create more scoring, not less.
6 months ago on Visors to be Grandfathered in Next Season, Other Rule Changes Proposed