Scratchin’ and Clawin’

Friday, October 21, 2011

After a sluggish start with 2 losses in Europe (Shoot out/OT) and the first game on US soil against the hated Islander’s (4-2 loss) the New York Rangers have scratched and clawed their way to 2 straight wins.

On a 4 game swing through western Canada, The Rangers shut out the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 (Lundqvist stole the game) and dropped the Calgary Flames in OT, 3-2. Before I get too carried away I had to talk (Basically yell at) a few close friends and Rangers fans off the cliff about the Rangers slow start. I reminded them that 3 games into the season, and you are already chirping? Please! Passionate as they are, as Ranger fans, I believe they jumped the gun way to early. Look, it’s a long season and the Rangers have a ton of work to do that is clearly obvious. Ugly or not, give them credit for scratching out the wins out west.

So far here’s my take on what I‘ve seen. The offense needs work. You got give the King Henrik Lundqvist some help and how do you do that? By scoring goals, it’s that simple. The Rangers must get the power play going in this “New NHL” (Seems like every year I say that) penalties are being called by the bushel full and that can be a deadly weapon. Getting the team healthy would help, especially on the D (Staal and Sauer). What the Rangers have got out of their young D is quite remarkable. When you think about the ages of Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto, Tim Erixson they are gaining valuable experience. In the end though, they are going need Marc Staal, Michael Sauer, Dan Giradi to be the Rock solid foundation.

Some other thoughts. Love the Kris Newberry call up. If you are not going have Sean Avery (One of my favorites) in the line up then Newberry is a decent replacement. He’s got a little edge to him and will drop his gloves for his teammates. Something the Rangers need, in my opinion. Also what about the offensive production out of Ryan McDonagh? Those close to me know that I kind of predicted this. He got his feet wet last year and now feels comfortable with the speed of the game. In turn, he now has the confidence to join in on the rush which is something the Rangers have lacked in a long time. Still has a little trouble in his own end with giveaways, but I can live with that and I’m sure the coaching staff can as well. 2 games to go on the western road trip. Edmonton Oilers are up first and then the Winnipeg Jets (Doesn’t that sound good?) to finish the trip up before the home opener next Thursday at the new improved MSG against the Toronto Maple leafs.

Remember to check out the Quinnipiac Bobcats D1 Hockey team, who are off to a great start, and tune into the “The Instigators” radio show every Tuesday night 8:30 (subject to change). That’s it for now but feel free to opine if you agree or disagree. I might even answer back, you never know! Over and out!

Instigators Link

Quinnipiac Bobcats Radio Link


Wrath of Sanity said...

Can't jump off the bridge after a slow start with all the Europe shenanagens that went on. I was disappointed that they lost to the Isles, but when do they not lose to them anyway?

Hopefully this road trip will spark the team going forward. I also hope that Staal and Sauer can come back soon and be healthy. They are extremely important to this team.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Wrath, Too early for the jumping part. Fans have to settle down, it's a long season. I think that going to Europe is a waste of time. The Rangers did bounce back with 2 wins since the Islanders loss. Nice to see.

The Rangers are going to need Staal and Sauer big time if they are to go far this year. Sauer looks to be coming back soon, But Staal is starting to be worrisome.

Rangerweary said...

I believe most everything will come together with time. They are already better than they were in Europe, just do to some quality practice time. Powerplay is a different animal. Until there is sufficient movement of bodies in motion, the powerplay will suffer.

If Staal is unable to recover, then a trade deadline move might be necessary. Right now, keep playing those kids!

Kotsy's Korner said...

Rangerweary, Time together and being away from MSG might be good in the long run. Getting movement and quick passes should benefit the PP. Someone once said practice makes perfect. Not sure about that one. Didn't work for me LOL.

I feel it's too early to speculate on Marc Staal's condition. The thought is he'll be back. When? Who knows? However you are dead on that they would have to make some kind of move if it became a long term problem. The "Kids" as you say will have to grow quickly. Thanks for responding. Hope to hear from you again.

Leatherneck said...

The Defense is going to be formidable, and I do believe there will be some interesting descisions up ahead. Does Girardi go back with Staal or stay with McDonagh? My opinion is he stays and let Sauer pair up with Staal. Del Zotto should go back to the Whale while Eminger pairs up with Erixon and Woywitka plays 7th D. Del Zotto reasson I think should go to Hartford is that he gets top minutes in all situations and becomes more experienced plus When McIlrath goes to the Whale they can be paired up as a unit which in my estimation is a future pairing for the Rangers. Woywitka has played fairly well and more suited to play the 7th D than Del Zotto. I think at this upcoming draft we need to still draft a defenseman and there are two that stand out to me in Griffin Reinhart or Slater Koekkoek. Our defense and goaltending is our foundation so here is my prediction for this year and next two years.

Staal and Sauer
McDonagh and Girardi
Erixon and Eminger and Woywitka

next year
Staal and Sauer
McDonagh and Girardi
Erixon and Del Zotto and Eminger

Just my observations Chris

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, As usual you have done your homework. When and if Staal comes back Tort's has tough decisions to make. I'd like to see Woywitka play to his size, Didn't look that physical to me.

Not sure if I agree with you about Del Zotto. Maybe it's just me LOL. The two prospects you mentioned I honestly have no clue about. I'll take you word and expertise on them.

The goal tending and D is the core foundation of this team as it is today. Sure would like to see the offense catch up to the above mentioned.

Great talking with you. Hope all is well.

Leatherneck said...

Hiya Chris, I think that Staal's absence is not as major a deal as a lot of Ranger blogs are making it out to be. Sure I want him in the line up however the other players need to take up the slack in his absence. This should be a perfect opportuniy for Erixon to contribute. Sauer coming back will immediately help the "D" and with Staal out of the line up it is still an impressive unit as we are watching McDonagh blossom into the elite status. Girardi has now quitely become an all star defenseman. Sauer is as steady as she goes, Erixon is getting valuable experience and Del Zotto the opportunity to show us what he is capable of. Eminger and Woywitka add depth in a good way and not a liability. My concern is Kunderatek and Valetenko who were supposed to be Dmen that could step into the line up that the Rangers are faced with. Instead I am reading about possible trades or signings of Dmen from outside of the organization. That is not a good sign for the depth of our defensemen within our own system. So drafting a defenseman in the upcoming draft will not be such a bad thing. Can you say Koekkoek or Reinhart? Prior to the season our "D" was supposed to be where we had depth and now we are faced with the fact that it has some weakness in fact. This is a nice revelation for Gordie Clark to realize.
I had to go watch the brawl again against the Kings last night and in watching I noticed the "whistle" comment that you were holding your hand and possibly have injured it, did you get hurt? I still cherish your nod to me to this day when I had snuck into the Garden to watch a game. I recall tapping the glass and say...hey Chris, go get em. Your D partner was Tom Laidlaw if I recall correctly and both of youse were rookies.

Kotsy's Korner said...

Leatherneck, When key players go down(Staal)good teams who strive to be great have others step up. So you a right in your theory of the young players getting the experience they need. Still it would nice if you have all your ammo(Again Staal)healthy and ready to go.

As for Kunderatek and Valetenko the y are still big cards the Rangers can use filling a spot on the big club or trade bait for more urgent needs. In the end you can never have too many "D" in the system.

Never hurts while you are in the heat of the moment. I think the "whistle" god rest his sole might of overstated it a bit LOL.

Mr. Hockey said...

Kots,How are you doing? Sunday mornings just ain't the same anymore,but baseball fans never understood the game anyway.Way to early to nitpick,but there is a lot if room for improvement.Do you believe the BS that Coach Rhetoric was feeding as to why 16 was waived?The PP is a big question mark.It killed us the last 2years-last years 1st. Round it was a joke--well it had to be the 1 st rd.we don,t get past that.If the PP does not produce year after year,as far as I'm concerned itcan only be 1 thing---- COACHING. Enjoy Thursday

Kotsy's Korner said...

Mr.Hockey, Very nice to hear from you. it's been a long time. People have to settle down it's absolutely way to early to "Nitpick" as you say.

You know I'm a big Avery fan and where I stand on this issue is obvious. As for the PP well it's got be turned into a weapon with all the phony calls in the NHL these days. Use it to your advantage.

Even though I'm not attending the game it should be a big night for the Rangers and the fans.

ChefChuckT said...

looks like number 16 is on his way back big man.

ChefChuckT said...

Looks like Torts realized he could use #16 after all eh big man? This is Chuck by the way

Kotsy's Korner said...

ChefChuckT, Thought it was a mistake when they sent him down. Now he get's to prove to everyone his worth.

Avery creates a buzz sometimes good sometimes bad, But there is that buzz period.

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