Blog Entry

Trading places

Posted on: November 2, 2010 1:30 pm
Anyone else get the feeling there is a bit of role reversal going on these days between teams on the opposite side of the Hudson River?

Okay, so maybe it isn’t all that obvious yet since the season is only a month old. But so far it’s fair to suggest the New Jersey Devils are crumbling under the weight of what now looks like ill-advised spending on the free agent market. Traditionally, that’s been the fate of the Rangers, but lately, New York is starting to win games in prototypical Devils-like fashion, combining a great goaltender with a non-descript lineup that plays a tightly structured game and works its way to wins.

“We just need to grind,” Rangers coach John Tortorella was saying after New York edged the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Monday. “That’s the type of team we’re trying to become, that’s the type of mindset we have to have.”

Not that there is really much choice, not for now anyway considering that Marian Gaborik, Vaclav Prospal and Chris Drury have hardly played for New York this season. In fact, Gaborik’s three games played are actually more than the other two combined. But for a team that is offensively challenged to begin with and is now missing some of its biggest offensive threats, the Rangers are getting results by playing a better ‘team’ game and doing little things like blocking more shots than anyone in the league.

Naturally it helps to have a goalie like Henrik Lundqvist, who again showed off his all-world talent against the Blackhawks, particularly in the final period when he stoned Chicago’s high-pressure offense. Lundqvist often can cover up a lot of shortcomings, but the Rangers success of late – they have won five of the last seven after dropping three of the first four – has been more about work ethic than star power.

Then again, that could be because young forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan are not yet widely recognized as Stars. They’ve been on a line all season with another youngster, Artem Anisimov, a unit that that has been one of the best in the league and on fire during the team’s recent run. Callahan, who is what hockey types would describe as an “old-school” player, is on a seven-game point streak, while Dubinsky is tied for third in the league in goals and Anisimov has five assists in the last five games.

“It seems right now we’re clicking,” Callahan said.

And leading the way for the Rangers too, although Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal,the foundation of the blue line, are all stepping up their games. And of course Lundqvist is being Lundqvist, with the upshot being that the Rangers are in the thick of the playoff pack, a spot they hoped, but were not necessarily expected to be in. Unlike the group across the Hudson, where the Devils and their $100-million-man Ilya Kovalchuk have been in systemic and focal disarray since the start of the season.

“The biggest strength is that it’s a team,” Tortorella said. “Everybody is playing for one another so that’s a good thing early in the year. We gotta keep building on it.”
Category: NHL

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: November 5, 2010 2:07 am

Trading places

Yes, I luv my Rangers, but Sather has to go.

Since: Oct 31, 2008
Posted on: November 3, 2010 6:37 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: November 3, 2010 6:19 pm

I don't get Wes again.

Exaggerating the signing of Kovalckuck cannot compare to Sather's constant over-spending on numerous FAs.  Ignoring the Gaborik signing is in itself ignorant of Wes.  Both teams have always had talent through drafting, crazy Wes apparently is new to hockey and doesn't get that teams over-pay for FAs all the time in this league.

Both teams have been created the same way Wes, tying to make them opposites is a dumb idea.

Since: Nov 20, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2010 8:18 pm

Trading places

Yeah but I think the CBS morons just say things to agitate people enough to come back to their website. It's too early to get too excited, over 70 games to play... but I do love the jab at the Devils. Go Blue

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2010 7:13 pm

Trading places

Wow, this genius mocked the Rangers this off-season, now he says this? He's just another clueless drone on CBS who knows nothing about the sport he covers. Goldstein, Dodd, Prisco and knobler comprise the worst writers imaginable. CBS is the Pittsburgh Pirates of sports sites.

Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: November 2, 2010 7:04 pm

Trading places

Have to compliment my BOYS IN BLUE But its just so early.Hockey season is a marathon.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: November 2, 2010 6:15 pm

Trading places

Doooby Dooo,.... Agreed, altho, I would like to see more consistantcy outa Dubs this yr. So far,so good.  Yes Frolov needs to pick up his game when Gabby gets back.  I heard also that we are looking into trading Gilroy to the Stars for Brad Richards, we shall see.....

Since: Nov 2, 2010
Posted on: November 2, 2010 3:10 pm

Trading places

Couldn't have said it any better than that.  Brandon Dubinsky will have a solid year. Callahan is extremly underrated.  Frolov won't produce until he has someone who can score goals on his line (Gaborik).  The only problem for the Rangers is, there defense is playing mediorcre at best. Del Zotto has looked awful thus far.  Once Drurys contract and Rozsivals contract expire, the Rangers will have just about 13 million dollars to play around with.  It is kind of a scary thought that they could add a shut down defensemen or another center to go along with these players.  Not to mention they have a solid core of kids in their system right now Kreider, Borque, McDonaguh, Zuccarelo, Tomas, and don't forget Stepan who has shown flashed of talent.  This team has a great young core, and in a couple of years will be a force in the Atlantic. 

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