9 clear points in front of Boston. 10 clear points in front of Philly, with a game in hand. 1 point behind Detroit with 3 games in hand for the President’s trophy. Ladies and Gents….your New York Rangers. This is despite the hellacious scheduling to start the season with all those road games and all the international travel. Just a spectacular display by the boys in blue on a night in and night out basis. The truly remarkable thing here is that the Rangers are doing this in such a consistent manner. They never stop playing defense. Tonight was such a perfect example. Clearly the Rangers were not having a good night in the offensive zone. They scored 1 goal thanks to a fluky bounce off of Chara, another on the power play which was definitely beautiful, and another on an oddman rush with a perfect shot. However they really only had maybe 2 or 3 quality chances outside of that. The Bruins though had full offensive zone control of this game, throwing up 42 shots on Henrik, and another 22 that the Rangers skaters were able to get in front of (Rangers had 20+7). However, the Rangers did a phenomenal job forcing the vast majority of those shots from low quality angles, and did an outstanding job “protecting the house” (the low slot). Henrik, still, had to make several game saving spectacular saves, but you’d still have to say that it was a relatively easy 42 save performance compared to some of the games Henrik has had.
As Torts said, the Rangers did a superb job defending. They have mastered that end of the ice. However, they still are lacking in the offensive zone, they put up a few goals here in the last few games, but outside of the game against Philly you’d have to say most of them were either very lucky, or very opportunistic. That’s not a bad thing, but you can’t always count on being lucky. Sometimes, you DO have to be good.
This is where Rick Nash comes in. We’re all hearing the rumors. It’s all over the place, and I think I need to revisit what I said yesterday. On one hand, I really don’t like Rick Nash’s contract. It’s pretty close to being an albatross. However, I think, if you can pry Rick Nash out from Columbus and not have to give up Stepan, McDonagh, Hagelin, or Kreider…Yes, I said Kreider. Then, and only then would I do it. Why? Because quite simply, the Rangers will need Kreider going forward to absorb some of Nash’s salary. Meaning cheap, effective talent to get us through these years coming up. My proposal for Rick Nash. Brandon Dubinsky, Wojtek Wolski, Michael Sauer, Dylan McIlrath, Christian Thomas or Michael St. Croix, and our First this year for Rick Nash. Then, I say sit back and watch the domination.
You’re effectively only removing 1 regular from this years lineup in exchange for a guy with 40/40 type offensive skill.
Anisimov – Stepan – Gaborik
Nash – Richards – Callahan
Hagelin – Boyle – Mitchell
Fedotenko – Rupp – Prust
McD – Girardi
MDZ – Stralman
Staal – Eminger
That’s a damn good team guys.
Again though, that’s probably a lot less than what Columbus is looking for. I think Kreider could make this a dealbreaker only because of Nash’s salary and the need for the Rangers to be able to supplement their roster with inexpensive and effective talent.
Get Nash for our price, not for Columbus’. If they want more. We can go to war with what we have.