New York Rangers Mid Season Report

New York Rangers


5th Place in Eastern Conference

2nd Place in Atlantic

Key Injuries: Blair Betts

Point Leader: Jaromir Jagr 29 goals, 40 assists, 69 points

Current Situation: The Rangers have been one of the NHL’s biggest suprises. Mostly due to the tremendous play of Jagr, and terrific goaltending from Lundqvist, and Weekes. The Rangers have built a very nice cushion in between the final playoff spot. The Rangers have been rolling 4 lines, and have been lucky due to the lack of serious injuries this season. They also have been winning close games, something they havent done in recent seasons.

Strengths: The penalty kill, this has been a huge part of the Rangers success this season. The Rangers are currently ranked 6th in the NHL on the PK. It has slipped a bit the past few weeks, still is the backbone to the success. Not to mention the great play of rookie sensation of Lundqvist. This guy has proved himself internationally, and is now proving himself in the NHL. The defense has been solid also. Marek Malik is turning into a great acquisiton in the offseason, he is great on the PK, especially when down 2 men. Jaromir Jagr has been one of the top players in the NHL all season, if not the best. He looks like the Jagr of old, before the Capital era. Almost forgot to mention Petr Prucha, man does he have some moves. Also, the coaching is the key, Tom Renney is doing a great job… far in my view, its a deadlock in between Renney and Laviolette for coach of the year (at this point).

Weaknesses: The Power Play, i dont know if anyone can disagree with this. The power play is lacking that true PP QB. Another major weakness, that goes back to the PP, is over-relying on Jagr. Teams now know what the PP is all about, getting the puck to Jagr. The guys on the PP dont skate enough. The recent acquisition of Sykora is a big help. Hopefully he’ll provide a spark in the second line, which the first few games, he has.

Needs: This team desperately needs a defensman that can take control of the power play. This has hurt the rangers a lot, and its a huge disapointment to see Poti not being able to do the job at all. The man everyone would like to see fill this role, is Brian Leetch. I dont know what the odds of it are, especially the way Sather treated him, before he got traded, also in the offseason…not even calling him up. All i want is Leetch…..LEETCH COME BACK TO NY.

Expectations: For most of the season, i have doubted the Rangers, mainly because of the depth in the offense, but ever since Sykora has come to NY, i have felt my confidence for the Rangers increase. I now expect them to make the playoffs, and once theyre in the playoffs, who know what will happen. Especially if the goalie, whether its Weekes or Lundqvist is hot.

It should be fun to watch the rest of the way.

35 Responses to New York Rangers Mid Season Report

  1. habsoverserver says:

    I didn’t expect to attend many games this season, but the Rangers have been exciting to watch and so I’ve found myself in the stands quite often. Fans are definately appreciative of Lundqvist and especially of Prucha, who as you said, really has some great moves.

    The Rangers are not just going through the motions and there is actual chemistry on the ice. This is not a physical team. I don’t see much hitting and they lack an agitator. They could use a veteran third line hitter who could add leadership to the team.

    For the first itme in close to 10 years, I think I may actually be getting my money’s worth for my ticket.

  2. wingerxxx says:

    I really do think that the power play has to be addressed, and soon. Two shorthanded goals scored by Edmonton is simply unacceptable. The team’s slip in the standings is no coincidence. We simply can’t be relied on to score with the man advantage right now. I think that there are younger, cheaper alternatives out there to be had, rather than Leetch. I mean, if he came back, I certainly wouldn’t be heartbroken at all! But I don’t want Sather to sacrifice a younger player or a 2nd round pick to get him. If Columbus is willing to shop Bryan Berard later on this season (a big if), it would be worth it for the Rangers to look into it. As long as Poti could be gotten rid of. Poti adds an element of superior skating to the blueline, but I still think that he needs to go. I really want to see Thomas Pock brought up to play some games with the big club. The Rangers are in the midst of a very tough January stretch. I do see the team making the playoffs as a lower seed. It’ll be on Lundqvist’s back, but Weekes needs to be kept. A veteran really needs to be there to back Lundqvist up, and Weekes can go on some impressive hot streaks. But if the current weaknesses are not addressed, we won’t make it very far.

  3. gordiet says:

    Please don’t even think of crediting Weekes are any semblance of success– Jagr, of course… Lundqvist, hell yeah… BUT WEEKES!?!

    Lundqvist 17-6-5 4th in GAA 3rd in Save%

    Weekes 8-7-2 27th in GAA 38th in Save%

  4. Hockey_Fan_99 says:

    Weekes IS new york without him they would be in the basement of the NHL 🙂

  5. Neely4Life says:

    they will finnish 6th in the conferance and then get bounced by philly first round.

  6. NYIGoalie23 says:

    Well I don’t see Philly finishing 3rd, so that wouldn’t happen if the rangers finished 6th.

  7. wheresthesoda says:

    yea, right now, with the injury to kaspar, i dont know how serious it is, but they should call up Pock, and give him a shot to take control as a defensman on the PP. Ive liked what Ive seen from Tyutin on the PP, he’s got a heavy shot, but he’s not QB material. Rucinsky is doing a horrible job, I’d like to see pock be givin a chance, but i want leetch back in NY.

  8. wheresthesoda says:

    Weekes, is a good goalie. He’s let in some soft goals, which is pretty bad, but he’s a veteran goalie. He has also gone through injuries this season, that hasnt allowed him to be the real #1 renney said he’ll be. Lundqvist played great during that time, won over the fans, and it looks like he’s the number 1.

  9. Neely4Life says:

    i do, i think carolina will pound out some more wins in their division, and i think ottawa will finish first so, its not a gigantic deal if they finish 3rd. Plus, Philly/NYr woul dbe a great series i think.

  10. Neely4Life says:

    And carolina right now is only 1pt behind philly with 2 games in hand. But we’ll just see.

  11. TheRussianEvolution says:

    Actually, I think the Rangers match-up very good with the Flyers– the speed and hustle of the Rangers’ forwards cannot be contained by Philly’s big and slow D-men– and would expect the series to go seven games

  12. Neely4Life says:

    im just venturing a guess, but it will be interesting to see, 2 rookie goalies going at it too, as well and Carolina having Gerber in nets, and this is why i like the Sens with Hasek, and the Leafs with Belfore (hurts me to say that). I think all things considered, the sens will be the team to get to the finals, if healthy, they should be there. Rangers, i would like to see them knock out the flyers too, they scare me, but Hitch***** is a great coach, and cant under estimate him.

  13. RangerSteve says:

    To my fellow Ranger fans:


    Believe it or not, we are going to need this guy as soon as the Olympics are over. Lundqvist will be playing a lot of hockey for Team Sweden as their #1 guy, so what better situation to have a veteran like Weekes who can carry the load? You’d have to assume that Hank is going to get tired a bit, so us having him might be a blessing in disguise right now.

  14. wingerxxx says:

    I second that. Lundqvist needs a guy playing behind him, who has been in the playoffs and can get on hot streaks himself. Like it or not, Weekes is here for the season.

  15. wingerxxx says:

    Good thing is that Kasparaitis is the team’s 5th defenseman, so it’s not like we just lost our best guy on the blueline. This is a great opportunity for Thomas Pock.

  16. Gretz99NYR says:

    Well first all glory must go to Sather for his unmatchable passion for beatsing everyone in his path, in route to his undoubted place in the hall, and title as Greatest Hockey Person in the world. (GHP)

    We DO have a PP QB….they call him Jagr. But the hugest mistake is calling Poti incapable in this area. He hasnt seen the ice enough, the guy is shackeled to the bench at the most unopportuned times. I suspect it is the devious doings of the trainer, blackmailing the asisstant coach, forcing him not to play thier most deadly weapon, saying he refuses to fix any players if Poti gets his dues. What a sad proposition to ponder.

  17. DevilzAdvokit13 says:

    Honestly, I think that Jagr is not what you call a PP QB. Yes he has the Capabilities to be one but he has to be the one to score. We need someone like Zubov. Also, playing ruscinsky on the point isn’t helping too much because he holds the puck to much, which makes him liable to lose the puck. We need someone in a mix with Zubov and the rookie Phaneuf, who has a cannon, to play the point. So far, if Tjutin builds up his confidence, he will be a great asset to our PP.

  18. wheresthesoda says:

    tyutin isnt a kind of player that can consistently be able to bring the puck into the zone, like leetch can. I like tyutin on the PP though, he’s got a real nice shot. He also knows when to go in front of the net.

  19. UncleShmool says:

    I mostly agree with your midseasons report, but I must tweak it a bit. Now the most mentioned “tweaking” if you will, most people believe the Rangers need is a PP QB, which I must say would be absolutely tremendous, but the odds of getting one are slim. But I think the odds of getting a man like an Adam Graves, Mark Parrish, Trent Hunter, Todd Bertuzzi (ESPOSITO!). A guy who can stand infront of the net feerlessly and tip, chip, put the puck in the net off a rebound/shot is something I think the Rangers need far more than a PP QB. Think about it, the Rangers new style of Defensive Dmen is working remarkably well (and yes especially for the Rangers!) But a guy who can stand infront is not limited to the PP, furthermore, typically a guy like this is rough, gritty and powerful. Think of it as a Niemenin x100..or a Todd know what I mean. These kinds of guys are remarkably valuable and I’d even trade Sykora or Rucchin or Hossa for one..with a sliding scale of age, depending upon who you’re giving up aswell.

    Moving on to Blair Betts, who in my slightly jaded mind, is on par with what David Tyree was to the Giants (if any of you get that comparrison). He does it all on the PK and he makes others better in that area, not to mention he is a great all around defensive player, with a pentiant for being a spark offensively. He’s most deffinately a smooth opperator in these realms, but I do think someone or a combo of someones could fill in respectively well for him. Whether it be a combo of Moore, Rucchin, Ortmeyer, etc. I am very confident they can get the job done.

    I also b elieve that the Rangers need another solid defenseman in general, especially with Kasperitus down now. I think some struggles could be on the horizon if the Rangers other Dmen don’t step it up.

    The Rangers can still go either way, but I am still expecting them to get into the playoffs and at least be a respectable opponent.

    You have to remember the kinds of games the Rangers have typically lost, which are hitting teams. Teams that make it their buisness to take the Rangers out of their game with physical play. The Rangers need to both find a way around that and through it because it will be all that happens to them in the Playoffs. The Rangers are very falable if they’re hit a lot. Which only increases the need and importance of Niemenin, Hollweg, Kasperitus, Malik/Strudwick being physical and the allusive and before mentioned, Bertuzzi-esk player.

    What do y’all think?

  20. wingerxxx says:

    I don’t think that there are any Bertuzzi-ish players available that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg in a trade. Hunter is playing badly for the Isles, and Milbury isn’t about to make any deals with Sather. Don’t forget, the organization is rebuilding right now. Hossa wouldn’t get anything in a trade right now. The team needs Rucchin. Prucha is doing a fine job of scoring Graves-like garbage goals. Rucchin is capable of filling that spot as well. The enforcement on obstruction is helping out there.

    The Rangers biggest need is a defenseman to run the power play. And because Kasparatis went down, is no reason to trade for another defenseman…because Darius is really just our number 5 defenseman. It’s Thomas Pock’s turn to get a chance with the team. And I think it can work out very well. The Rangers have to stay true to the long term commitment to the future, and not trade for any older players unless absolutely necessary.

  21. wheresthesoda says:

    yea, but the rangers #1 unit, doesnt score goals like that. thats there problem, they cant set up the PP, and when they do they dont shoot. but when they do there is rebounds and usually its prucha that puts it in. plus there arent ne guys available.

  22. DevilzAdvokit13 says:

    Tonight I beleive is tomas Pock’s 2005-06 debut in place of Kasparitis. I expect the pairings to be different because he is offensive minded and he needs a devensive pairing. Let’s see how he does tonight before sather has to make any changes.

  23. UncleShmool says:

    I agree to stay true to the long term plan and such unless its absolutely necesary, but I still stay strong to my opinion. I think the injury to Kasparitis is not a serious one, maybe a week or two, I don’t truly know, I am not a doctor. And he is not a number 5 dman and if he is, that’s saying a lot for the Rangers’ defense corp. (And I’m not trying to be cute here.) I’d give more examples of garbage man guys, but I am currently swamped in hw, there is definately one around, though you may just be right that it might be too hefty a price. Which would be quite unfortunate. I am not saying that a PP QB player wouldn’t not help the Rangers, I just think that the player i feel they should seek for is more important and even if Prucha does that job, why not have two? Also, why would a PP QB Dman NOT cost 2 arms and your penis? I mean we’re talking about a player who’s more rare than just about any other. We may just be talking about unobtainables for the Rangers for more reasons than any of us truly care to list. But however it turns out, I think as Rangers fans, we should start a new tradition in the Garden where sometimes instead of chanting “POTVIN SUCKS” or just as an entirely different chant, we should start a chant that cahnts the captain of the team the Rangers are playing and says he sucks. EXAMPLE if the Rangers are playing the Icelanders you’d chant YASHIN SUCKS!, if its the Habs; KOIVU SUCKS!, Leafs; SUNDIN SUCKS!

    Anyway i just thought I’d get a concensus on that little idea.

  24. Hockeyislife says:

    WEEKES SUCKS!!!!!!!!! Tom Renney made a Huge mistake playing him tonight (let alone any night) Yeah yeah, say he’s rusty. I say he is horrible. No effort was put forth by him at all. Nash’s breakaway was an easy stop in the 3rd. Let alone his usual first period follies.

    Am I right when I say Rosisval was on the ice for at least 3 of the goals against. Horrible play.

    Message to Tom Renney- STOP trying make peace with Kevin Weekes, YOU have a Number 1 goalie, let Weekes be a back up.

    The Rangers cam out hard But Kevin’s POOR play took all the life from them for a while.

    The line of Hossa Moore and Ward was on fire tonight. Unfortunately, when Weekes is in net, It’s always a come back game.

    There were many mistakes tonight, BUT it comes down to goaltending. If Henrik was in net, those first 3 goals were not in. Very weak goals.

    Game notes- SIT WEEKES forever

    Bench Rosisval


  25. UncleShmool says:

    boy you gots ta remembuh, a goalie cant play 70 games in a season. you uhh gotta play the other goalie at least 20-30x in a season

    the team ought to be good enough to over come his play more often than not

  26. wheresthesoda says:

    weekes sucked ass tonight, roszival was actually a +1 tonight, and is now a +19 for the year.

    but what you lastly said, your completly right

  27. wingerxxx says:

    Lundqvist had two very rough games in a row. He needed a breather. He is still a rookie goaltender. Like it or not, we need a veteran goalie on this team to spell off Lundqvist.

  28. ranger_fan says:

    Good News, WEAKes showed some poise for a little part of the game. Listen, Hank needs to be played most games, unless back to back nights. He can’t play them all, but Weekes might need to go to Hartford for a couple of “Weekes” Call up Chris Holt or Stephen Valiquette, keep Montoya in Hartford, and let Hank decide the Rangers destiny.

    If Someone claims Weekes, thats 1.9M gone. Surely Potvin isn’t that expensive.

  29. UncleShmool says:

    No you can’t have someone who isn’t used to the pros, let alone someone who hasnt played in god knows how long be a backup for your team. Not in this new NHL, its not like when the Devils took Beezer out of retirement as a safety net for Brodeur.

    Don’t think that anyone can step in and play a decent game in the NHL, if a professional backup is having trouble, why would a rookie be able to do any different? Weekes just turned 30, he’s not over the hill or anything. Potvin deffinately is, that’s why he stopped starting in the old NHL. These aren’t interchangable parts.

    And you know, Weekes is something like 8-8-? so that’s a hair under .500, you know the Rangers could pick up the play you know for a goalie who’s having trouble in the NHL. The oanis cannot be squarely put on the goalie.

  30. wheresthesoda says:

    yea, its not like weekes has been horrific, well a few moments here and there, the rangers also dont score enough goals for him.

  31. DevilzAdvokit13 says:

    What are you talking about?? We had a comeback in the third but nash’s goal destroyed the confidence we were trying to build the whole game. Scratch that. EVERY GOAL they scored was a bomb in the center of our confidence. Every night weekes plays, we have a lot of trouble winning games. period. everytime lundqvist plays, we see the easy way into winning hence look at both goalies records on the season.

  32. ranger_fan says:

    Have you seen weekes play lately? His is always off to a slow start, and he won’t play next game, and his confidence is shot. No one will pick up 1.9 million on the cap, so send him to the pack for a few games and see if he responds.

  33. wheresthesoda says:

    cant send him to the pack, he’d have to clear waivers, and i’m sure some1 would pick him up

  34. wheresthesoda says:

    thats cause lundqvist is playing every game, he’s not rusty, and the players now trust him and feel confident in front of him. thats not good, they need to feel confident in front of weekes also.

  35. ranger_fan says:

    Why would someone pick up nearly 2 million in cap space for a cold netminder? Anyone pick up Thibault at 1.5?

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