How in the world can a team turn so bad over night. They lost the first game of the season and then won seven in a row. They scored like crazy every game, and now they can not win a game for anything.
For starters we are all aware of how John Tortorella has accomplished nothing. His mix matching lines, not playing guys that should be playing more minutes and even going as far as sending a player back down to Hartford.
Matt Gilroy is a major reason the Rangers were so effective on the power play. He was learning more with every game he played, and out performing players that are in the league for 10 and 13 years and Tort sent him down, placing blame. Compared to Rozsival and Redden , Gilroy is great. We have watched as Tortlrella made this team into the embarrassment of the NHL.
Before I get into what I really want to. Let me ask you this. Lets just say the Rangers turn it up and start to play better. Lets just say the rest of the eastern conference stays the same, struggling. How long will it last and do you think they have what it takes to either go deep into the play offs or win it all? I personally doubt they make it into the play-offs regardless of how every other team is playing and if they do they will get booted in the first round. With that being said why be embarrassed again and what is the correct way to fix this season?
So what can they do to change this season around to at least make it worth it? As of right now they have the worst defense in the league. They are having scoring issues with 17 players out of 18 players not scoring. Sure players can go on a scoring streak, but it never lasts for more then a few games. Not if your name isn’t Malkin , Ovechkin, or Gaborik. So we might as well forget anyone other then Gabby and Prospal carrying this team for the season.
If there was ever the time, the need to or season to star to enter the rebuilding stages, now is the time. But how can we do that when we have a coach that can not recognize a good player from a guy that is like a virus to the team.
So the first thing that needs to be done is Tortorella needs to be replaced. That is first. These are all things that need to be done in this order. Believe me I rather see Rosy and Redden disappear off the face of the earth, but that is not going to happen. They need to find a young coach who not only is patient but focused only on looking at his players to form a better team next year. Therefore everyone will see quality time on the ice. If they win they win, no big deal. We as fans will understand what they are doing and we can be patient as well. At least we will not have to watch or listen to Tortorella place blame on everything but himself and act like he is doing everything he can to win games. Because he is not. With this team and him talking , we are looking for wins to make the play offs. With him gone and the Rangers rebuilding, we will be aware of what is happening and why things are being done the way they are. The way it is now , we are left in the dark.
While the new coach is being brought in, Rosy and Redden need to be placed on waivers. I am not a 100% on this but I think the Rangers would be penalized for it, on next years cap, but that’s ok, Its worth it. We have a full roster ,Unlike Tortorella who does not prefer to carry additional players. So either the Rangers can either Place Drury on waivers or carry him till the end of the season, for if need be situations. Either way it is a no lose situation.
This opens up three doors. Two spots for defense, which means they can go all out with Heikkenin who is already on the roster but never played, Gilroy and either Sanguinetti or another young defenseman.
This move also allows the Rangers to have an open door between Hartford and the Rangers roster. I would like to see guys like Brent Henley. He is not an offensive defenseman, he is all defense and he is huge. 6’7 250lbs and he loves to hit and fight. Although he is not young , 29 years old, he isn’t old either. As well as the fact that he comes with little money spent. Give the guy the shot and maybe he can do his role which is be tough in the defensive zone, clear out in front of Lundqvist and be a physical presence on the ice. This is a guy that looks for the big hit and I can not understand why Tortorella has not called this guy up with the defense being what it has been.
Also we have Corey Potter and Mike Sauer who deserve looking at again. Nigel Williams who is 6’4 226 and can also hit and has some offensive skills come up as well. He is not a Del Zotto but he is definitely better then Redden and Rosy. Add his physical presence on the ice, this guy deserve a look at and why not, can he do any worse. We are looking to rebuild, so everyone gets a shot.
Jared Nightingale is another defender 6’3 205, I don’t think I ever seen this guy play but hey as I said, lets see what every one has to offer. Given the chance you can bet that every one will give their best and more.
As well as improving our defense for as little money as they can.
The third door being open with these moves are for the forwards.. There is also young players like Brodie Dupont, Evgeny Grachev and Corey Locke. All players that really need to be called up and given the chance to prove them selves.
Players like Higgins and Kotalik should be traded for draft picks and or big , tough defenseman or forwards. Milan Lucic for starters would be a nice pick. No one old , we have Gabby and Prospal for leadership. That is enough.
You play the hell out of the young guys to get a really good look at them. Not this 7 minutes a game crap. Forget it. Play them till they drop. It doesn’t matter, we have more guys to call up and look at.
Now I am not a Brian Boyle fan as you already know from my previous articles. I can not stand players with his size that are either afraid to fight or do not know how to, and are not a physical presence on the ice. There is really no excuse for it. However, Boyle has indeed played well. He has shown speed, when there has not been a scoring opportunity he creates one. For the most part he has not missed the net, he has an accurate shot and is not afraid to try to create chances on the ice. Looking at the over all play, he has potential and I believe he can be converted into a physical presence as well as improving his offense. He has potential and with the right coach it can happen. Tortorella has talked about it to great lengths but has done nothing to improve this. Either Boyle toughens up or he can go.
We have what we can call a nice start to the rebuilding process as it is right now. Artem Anisimov, Enver Lisin, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Matt Gilroy, and Mike Del Zotto. Add prospal and Gabby that is 8 out of the 18 needed.
Donald Brashear is another guy that needs to be traded along with Aaron Voros. What is the purpose of having an enforcer if he doesn’t enforce or play. The whole meaning is to rebuild, have to have open mind to every idea and option that is available. Most important is that they get the best look at what we have right now, both in Hartford and on the Rangers roster. Getting rid of the trash and starting from scratch.
Sean Avery I can not really say what to do with him. He is inconsistent with his physical play and his offense comes and goes as well. Sure he has been playing better. But better then what, other players on the team, or better then we ever seen him play? See that is the question. Has he improved his game, has he shown he has what it takes? I always thought he can be a real scoring threat if focused. But I just do not know any more. He definitely has not be the Sean Avery of old that we have grown to love or hate. Hasn’t been antagonizing anyone. No fights as of yet, little offense has been shown. I say the hell with it and trade him too. If someone will take him. If not third line and that is it.
The same goes for Dan Girardi and Staal. These two guys need to go. there defense has diminished greatly, and they have over stayed their welcome!
We already know what 70% of this roster can really do. Now its time to take it to another level. Rebuild with low salary contracts from within, as we trade for draft picks and leaving a low cap for those free agents that are big time stars. As of right now we could not sign Marik Malik,, not that we would want to, but just shows how the cap is full. If there was an opportunity for a big name player we have no chance in acquiring them.
The other thing they need to do in regards to trades and or free agents is to stay away from players like Higgins and Kotalik. You know those guys who can score 20 goals a year with a certain team but come here and do nothing. These are the guys that will not improve. Kotalik has been a 20 goal a year player for the last 4 years or so. He is 30 years old and if he was going to get better he would have by now.
Its hard when you just look at a players stats. Sure Higgins was an asset in Montreal, but he also had good chemistry with the guys on his lines. That does not always mean that it will happen on another team. As is the case now with him , Kotalik, and Drury. This has plagued the Rangers for so long. They need to just stay away form these guy and build from within. This would also have Sather pay more attention to the players in Hartford and on draft picks. More responsibility on the scouts. But this also helps keep the cap low. Sather has shown what he can do in Regards to draft picks in the past. If he gets on that track , he can turn not only his time with the Rangers around but also take this team to another level.
They need to build a solid team. Old school! Establish two solid scoring lines and have your third line as both physical and scoring ability. Your fourth line is your CHECKING line. Big tough guys. Enforcers to the fullest degree. As It looks now, those are the guys that Sather will have to search for due to the fact that the Rangers do not have size and or toughness. No long term contract, no big money spent. Simple one or two year deals. Two way contracts.
There is nothing wrong with taken a chance on a young player that has shown potential. Players like Milan Lucic. Sure he will want to get paid little more, one way contract. But he has shown he plays the same way every game. Hard checks, very physical for 60 minutes and scores goals. But Sather has to stay focused and not act like a kid with a new toy and try to keep it forever. Spending huge amounts on one guy. Forget that, its history. Looking to start over. Unless he gets a chance at a real star like Malkin or someone of that caliber.
This is the time, and frankly I rather see them try to make sense out of this year and do something that should have been done years ago then watch them be humiliated because of a coach that is a bum and has no clue on how to run a team correctly any more.