Rangers Lack Depth on D

Jeff Zelevansky/Icon SMI

NorthJersey.com is reporting that the Rangers do not have enough talent on defense to win the cup.

Due in a large part to the signings of both Drury and Gomez the rangers have left themselves in a position where they may not have left themselves with enough cap space to be able to add defenseman come trade deadline time. It is reported that the Rangers will have only about 1. 3 million to make some moves at the deadline and as a result may have to reply upon a player such as Marc Stall to step up his game.

Read the full article here


43 Responses to Rangers Lack Depth on D

  1. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    I've been thinking/saying all summer that the Rangers are over-rated.

    I haven't watched them a lot, but they're defense isn't exactly horrible, it's just not an elite unit.

    But they do have good goal-tending and a strong offensive attack.

    I don't think they're the cream of the Conference or even their Division, but they're pretty good. They'll probably fight for the 6th-4th spot in the East, and should be able to reach at least the Semi-Finals again.

  2. wheresthesoda says:

    This has been talked about over and over, everyone knows that they don't have any "studs" on the blue line, but it does not matter. The Rangers' system isn't about having a star on the back end, even Renney knows that they lack a true #1 defenseman. I don't think it matters, because numbers speak for themselves, last season the Rangers were 2nd in the east in goals against, why does everybody overlook that?

  3. wheresthesoda says:

    I think the Rangers have much more overall depth throughout there lineup than the Penguins by far. The Rangers have much better goal tending, and they play a much better defensive game. The Penguins will do better only if Sidney has a 160 point season, which is possible.

  4. hatterson says:

    Right and they were 4th last in goals for.

    Gomez has a career high 84 points and Drury has a career high 69 (on the best offensive team in the league).  That's not exactly going to change that.

    And adding "offensive" players will mean the Rangers need to get away from their tight defensive system (more the reason they had low goals allowed than talent) which means a lot more chances and responsibility to an under talented dcore

  5. 1messier1 says:

    i think the Rangers have much more overall depth than the pens ,and any other team in there division this year,and yes ,the Rangers are terrible on"D" ,and i am completely suprised that they went out and bought drury and gomez,and did not focus on there "D".i think that drury is the better pick up than gomez ,which they should have in turn spent that money to keep nylander and picked up a solid defenseman and not got gomez since they wanna part ways with kasper.after all the closing years of richters carreer of watching him stand on his head to make crazy saves that the "D" faulted on til he was finally forced to retire due to injuries ,u would've thought that they would have acted since then to put better defence in place.youth is nice but i dont feel its the answer the rangers can rely on to make a run at the cup.as far as the comment about the rangers finishing 4th or 6th i say you are wrong i feel the rangers are gonna run the division with philly on there heels ,jersey is outta of it they have nothing but broduer and the iles have there multi year multi million dollar goaltender who is like the weather ,and as far as the penns,yes crosby and the rest of the new youth are very good but they have not put in enough years yet and you cant bank on the likes of crosby to carry the team ,and who's there goaltender ,remember last year with fluery ,him and the coach had alot of issues one week he was the starter and next week not,i dont feel fluery is not the goaltender of the future there ,look at his game last night against the canes.i feel the rangers are the team in there division this year but i feel they will have there hands full with the sens i feel they have most of the right stuff this year to win the cup.

    GO RANGERS!!!!

    Fire Bettman !!!!!!!!!!!

  6. wingerxxx says:

    Ok, first, consider the source of that opinion.  Secondly, that article has absolutely no real insight into the Rangers' current team situation, and you'd have to do a good job of convincing me that whoever wrote that article has watched many Rangers games.  To me, it read like a series of opinions gathered from reading scoresheets.

    In order for the Rangers to take the next step, the defense does need to take the next step.  But is the defense a huge liability?  No.  The Rangers have Tyutin, who really needs to take his game up another notch.  Girardi and Staal will be pushing for more ice time.  These are players that need to be played.  And this is a defense by committee.  There is nothing wrong with that, the approach has been proven to work.  The Rangers top 6 is set. 

    The only reason I can see, for the Rangers to add a defenseman at the deadline, is if a player goes down with a season ending injury.  From what has been seen recently as last year, adding a deadline defenseman does not guarantee you playoff success, and I think that Sather realizes that. 

    All in all, a very underwhelming article. 

  7. wingerxxx says:

    If both teams play up to their potential, give me the Rangers over the Pens any day.

  8. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    Your right about the source. That didn't register with me.

    I think hockey writers in general are stupid though. They keep writing the same things over and over that everybody already knows.

    Look at the Sens. All the Ottawa papers keep publishing articles how "It's going to be difficult to sign Heatley And Spezza and Keep Redden". Everyday there's a new one. So redundant and obvious it's not even funny.

  9. PointMeAtTheSky says:

    Sorry, that was a bit off-topic, but i felt the need to rant :p

  10. 1messier1 says:

    well first off i do watch rangers game and i am i die hard rangers fan so i am not bashing a team i love ,and frankly i feel your issight to the problem is somewhat misguided ,the rangers are average on defense ,and there past play over the years have proven that by what defense shows up on the ice that night.i know on any given night any player can have  a bad game ,tyutin is ok but not the top blueliner they had hoped he would become.and as far as staal he is  a name and has even played enough in the rangers line up to even be ranked as a one of the good defenceman on the rangers lineup.girardi and rozival will be two of the better defenceman .im not saying the rangers youth based defence is bad im just saying that they cant rely on it to make a solid run for the cup with them unless they can prove through the season to be stellar d-men.and i also only stated that they should have bought nylander for the 4.0-4.5 mill he wanted instead of gomez for the 7.0+ ,and that would have left them more room under the cap to allow them to get  a defenceman if they needed them.so in closing you should probably watch some game and see how many nights lundqvist has to come up big,to compensate for the defence's errors,and rethink the thought of mara and malik on D for the rangers as they have not been that impressive for the amount of money they are making (3 mil).for that kinda money they should be putting up boyle or lidstrom type numbers !!!!

    in response to your uninsightful article

  11. wheresthesoda says:

    riiiight, we'll see. As for finishing 4th in goals for, the devils were last, and they finished 2nd in the east.

    All I'm saying is that everyone is underrating the defense meanwhile i think the D is solid, defense by committee works for this team, not to mention the play of Lundqvist.

  12. wingerxxx says:

    Ahh ok, so you wrote the article.  That is the way the article appeared to me.  I felt it could have used more overall insight into the defensemen and the system the Rangers employ.  Believe it or not, I watch every single Rangers games over the entire season.

    Tyutin is still very young.  Don't forget, it took Anton Volchenkov quite a while to really blossom into what would be considered a very good defenseman.  It's definitely not too late for him, and as such, Tyutin still has a lot of upside.  I never said Staal was a "good" defenesman, but he definitely has a lot of upside.  It's not just his name.

    And really, how long do you keep bringing Nylander back for 1 year deals?  I think that Sather overpaid for Gomez, but I think that the Rangers will be better off with Gomez in the long run.  It's a gamble, sure, but Gomez is a pretty good offensive player.  The problem last year with the Rangers wasn't defensive depth.  The defense did its job, especially over the course of the second half of the season.  The Rangers, beyond Nylander, just did not have enough offensive depth at center. 

    Overall, the Rangers are a better team this year than last.  Malik gets a lot of crap for his errors, but he also does a lot right as well.  Mara is never going to be an elite defenseman at this rate, but looked fine the other night.  With a defense, if you have players that play well together, that's half the battle right there.  You have Malik and Roszival who have been paired for a while, and Girardi and Tyutin, who again, have a lot of upside.  Also, $3 million is about the going rate for mid-tier defensemen nowadays, when you consider the kind of money that players like Jay McKee have been getting.  

    All in all, you have to have several games to really judge how a team is doing.  So far, all we have to go on is a bunch of meaningless preseason games (which give the word "meaningless" a whole new definition), and one regular season game.  Not quite time to sound alarms yet.

  13. 1messier1 says:

    you are right about what you wrote ,but i just feel in my oppinion that i would rather have had nylander back even if for a one year deal instead of the overwhelming amount they have tied up in gomez for the long term,and with jagr's money and drury ,there money is tied up long term and what teams are gonna wanna take up that much money if the rangers come across a trade .and by no means am i saying the rangers defence is bad i was just saying that they really could have beefed up the defence over the summer.i like malik and rozival,and i also like tytin especially after seeing him when they called him up after the dreaded collapse of the rangers allstar team they overpaid for a few years ago and made the big dump when they knew the season was over.i thought tyutin was awesome and could not wait til he came back the next year ,i know he is young but i dont think he is that impressive as he was the year he was called up to finish the season.plus i dont think the rangers have a solid powerplay blueliner that can really shoot well form the blueline,leetch was the best blueliner they had and i feel even poti was a great powerplay blueliner.but you are correct in what you say and like all things you have to see where it goes,i just hope sather doesnt wait too long to make any changes if they need to be made

  14. beckfan05 says:

    And Nylander's is 83 and Cullen's is 60. These are the 2 players they are replacing.

    So whats your point?

  15. TheStryker says:

    How bout

    Dandenault, 2nd round pick

  16. 1messier1 says:

    we dont players in a wheel chair and definatly not for avery

  17. 1messier1 says:

    and they cost less

  18. hatterson says:

    My point is that they wasted a ton of money to marginally upgrade their offense but yet somehow everyone thinks they're a cup favorite.

  19. 1messier1 says:

    drury for cullen yes gomez for nylaner no and i wouldnt have paid that much for drury and i would have taken some of that money they spent for gomez and bought nylander and  a blueline leader or  a better backup goaltender for down the stretch so lundqvist was rested for the playoffs,and yes the rangers are cup bound as are alll the other teams in the league,any team has  a chance.but i feel the rangers are the better of the chances in there division.

  20. eron says:

    you want to bring in the guy who said French Canadians are whimps who have to wear helmet visors?  Oh yeah, great move.

    Rangers need a D-man who is cheap.  They have little to no capspace so they either have to give someone away or trade for a draft pick and get someone due for a raise next year.  In Montreal, a guy like Mark Streit fits that bill, but Montreal would be insane to deal him.

    The Rangers are lacking in the blueline but that is what having Henrik Lundqvist is for.  The Rangers will simply try to outscore their opponents.  I think that means a lot of wins and excited NY fans who get to see some great games, but it doesn't earn them an Eastern Conference Championship.

  21. papichulo71 says:

    how about Foote at the deadline

  22. beckfan05 says:

    If you were to start a team and your choices were Gomez and Drury or Nylander and Cullen, who are you taking?

  23. NHLman says:

    There's no doubt they don't have the D-men Anaheim has, but to call the defense bad is foolish.

    Michael Rozsival is a #2 defenseman on just about any team. Marek Malik is a #2-3 defenseman depending on the team. Fedor Tyutin is about a #3 defenseman on most teams.

    Basically, I'd say the defensive unit consists of a #2 defenseman, Rozsival, and five #3-4 defensemen. I know this team well and I am not concerned about the defense. The fact that Henrik Lundqvist is standing behind the defensemen doesn't hurt either.

    The real important thing is the offense. The offense has to come together.

  24. 1messier1 says:

    like i stated with free agency you have  a choice and said drury and nylander ,look at tonite, two games in and what has gomez done absolutly nothing another overpaid blueshirt,drury had a couple of scoring chances tonite at least.i would have let cullen go and passed on gomez thats the beauty of free agency.and i think the nhl needs to start looking at these super huge contracts they are getting outta control.its gonna have  an impact down the road if they dont stop.

  25. 1messier1 says:

    sorry i think you need to put your tv on the right channel cause i dont feel there is that much wrong with offense ,renney just needs to get the lines straight ,the offense if good ,its the defense that lacks will ,look at tonites game against the sens the defense couldnt even hold the blueline on all of the powerplay chances they had,they allowed thenselves to be picked off before they could even dump the puck in,come on the offense concerns you.we have not had  a good defensive showing on the rangers since beuk and leetch and ulf and so on and so on RETIRED.malakov and poti were better than what is present now.poti was almost not quite the closest thing to replacing leetch ,if would have just motivated himself more,he was a good blueliner on the powerplay like leetch,and he had  a bullet from the blueline as did malakov.

  26. beckfan05 says:

    Dont you feel that you're jumping the gun a little bit? You're making assessments after two games???

  27. kamullia says:

    I watched the Rangers opening game and highlights from their second game, and frankly for a team that is picked by a lot to win the cup, I am not impressed at all. The team is not meshing well on offense, and the defense, although I have seen worse, they are not much to write home about. It could be “start of season” jitters, which are not uncommon, but they better get their act together quick, especially on offense. Gomez was a complete non-factor against Florida’s defense (which is not very good), and Ottawa is not wonderfully gifted at defense and yet the Rangers could not muster a single goal. They certainly have problems in Manhattan and they are bigger than most think at this point.

    As a side note, I completely disagree that Rozsival would be a #2 defenseman on just about any team. Roszival is mostly an offensive defenseman, because his defensive attributes are not that good, and you could classify him more of a power play specialist on balanced teams or good all-around teams, which basically amounts to a #4 defenseman. His story thus far is very much in the mold of a Dick Tarnstrom, who in a depleted Pittsburgh team was prominent, even the highest scorer, but that did not make him much of anything in most teams, and has only finally possibly found a niche as a power play specialist. The only difference between Roszival and Tarnstrom is that Michael has actually been seen playing meaningful defense once in a while. Overall, I would say New York’s defense is made of Rozsival and #5-#6 defensemen thus far, but they should get a bit better with some seasoning.

    In the end, I do agree that there is not much to be done on defense as far as solutions, and there is a ton to be done on offense to make it worth while. When Florida’s group is able to hold this team to 9 total shots through 40 minutes of play, they have a problem. A big problem.

  28. getzlaf15 says:

    As we all know, they do not have the same talent on defense like the Anaheim Ducks have, but they still have an impressive defensive core. 

    MALIK       ROZSIVAL                                     

  29. Hoondog2 says:

    I read in the TO Sun that the Rangers were interested in the oft-injured Jovonovski.  I wonder if some sort of deal involving the Leafs with McCabe going the other way would work out.  I think with the tight defensive game the Rangers play, that McCabe would be a great addition there.  Maybe sending a little salary and a prospect TO’s way would work.  I definitely think it would be better than Jovonovski, who’s defensive game is way overrated, and will likely only play 50-60 games.

  30. chanman says:

    Defence is what wins. If Henrik is anything less than supurb, Rangers wont see anything higher than the second round again. They have too many second-tier dman. Their defence is slower, less agile and less talented than half the other teams in the league. Great offence, but questionable back end.

  31. NHLman says:

    They got shutout against Ottawa. The offense is the issue.

  32. NHLman says:

    If you watch Rozsival over an entire season or for the past two seasons you will see that the guy is far from a power-play specialist. In fact, you calling him a power-play specialist is the first time I've ever heard him labeled as such. Rozsival has had a good +/- over the past two seasons and is a well balanced player.

  33. dog_farts says:

    Did anyone watch the Sens/Rangers game last night?  I've never paid much attention to Gomez or Drury before but I gotta say, they looked absolutely useless.  They kept floating around trying to do these pretty plays and Ottawa's D were just stripping them of the puck left and right.  I think they should pay a percentage of their new contracts to Briere and Elias for making them rich.  Rangers are going nowhere.

  34. kamullia says:

    I do not watch every single game the Rangers play, by far. However, I do happen to have a liking to the Rangers and do follow them more closely than most and I am fairly well informed on them from this and having to listen to some very good friends who are avid Rangers fans (no one’s perfect). And to boot, I have followed Rozsival’s career from the start with a keen interest since I was expecting more of him than it has turned out.

    You are correct that Rozsival is not labeled at this point, not will he be labeled as a power play specialist, because that is not his role or has it ever been. But you fail to absorb my message that that’s exactly what he would be on a good or balanced team. Tarnstrom was not a power play specialist while in a dreadful Pittsburgh defensive corps, but that is all he has amounted anywhere outside of that time. Hence my posture is that if Rozsival was in a more balanced defensive team, like say Minnesota or New Jersey, he would not be a #1 #2 or even a #3 defenseman, and would find himself in a #4-#5 defenseman role while manning a point during the power play. That was the message I was trying to convey.

    As to him being “a well balanced player,” your opinion, and the opinion of my colleagues, the circles of hockey I frequent, and my media friends, cannot be further apart. Otherwise I would not have called him a power play specialist. And all in all, +/- can be an indication, but it is not purely exclusive of good defensive or even balanced defensive work, especially for players that are inclined into the offensive aspects of the game. In other words and using numbers from last year, while Pronger’s +/- indication is a good measure of his play in the defensive zone, Scott Niedermayer’s +/- numbers do not begin to tell the story of how good he is defensively in his own zone. But in the end, we just simply disagree on how we view Rozsival and the New York defense in general.

    As a side note, I typically give more credit to that New York defense/personnel than most of my friends (except most of those that are Ranger fans), therefore I could not begin to tell you in what light most view that defense. I suspect that in all probability, the exact truth lies somewhere between my views and theirs, but that certainly does not help your cause.

  35. wingerxxx says:

    When Ottawa's defense is on, they can make any set of forwards look pretty bad. 

  36. 1messier1 says:

    well go back and watch the game over becayse the defense could not get the puck and move past center ice ,and they were terrible on the powerplay ,look at how many times they lost the puck at the blueline or were picked off at the blueline ,i think they were wearing cement skates.yes the offense needs some adjustment,but i dont feel gomez was the answer drury yes ,but there were many more options to pick from than to pay that much for those two guys.just remember the allstar select team the built a few years ago,and what happened they collapsed and they had  a big sale at the end of the year.they had some good defence prospects that year and all they needed was leetch type player to run the defence.right now there is no one to quarterback the defence.and if all you think that its rozival (#2 defenceman) your wrong and tyutin ? hes ok but not the leetch type d-man i thought he would be.plus where did all the defense men go that stood up for there stars,now you got strudwick,hollweg and orr wow there are some great ahl players filling the void where the rangers had over spent themselves to have no choice but to play them.and what about hossa he stinks,they resign him and send him to the minors,what about dawes or immonen they seem to play great up for the rangers but they are down in hartford.my point is that all the games i see the offense might not always get the job done but the d is lacking so bad that the offense seems to have to help back up the d ,u see it ever game look at the odd man rushes the rangers d gives up per game,if it werent for sir henrik the games would be an even bigger rought.the rangers d is lazy and i think when they put the blueshirt on that winning is automatic in there minds.but you have to skate and play smart hockey and for some reason they forget that when they play.i like the other persons comment — that they build there offense so they can get a high enough score so defence isnt a factor.

  37. nyrhockey094 says:

    We needa  DEFENSEMAN. Not a over-rated offensive player on defense.

  38. 1messier1 says:

    i totally agree with you i dont feel there is too much wrong with offense,but d does make a big part of winning games ,it seem the opposition can skate circles and move the puck well around our d in our zone.this is off the subjec some but this is why i feel bettman needs to stop messing with the rules ,the game has change to much an teams cant even touch another player anymore without  a penalty.thanks to marios whining about clutching and grabbing.its the game of hockey not  a hockey icecapdes.it was meant to be rough and physical,and yes an occasional fight.this is why i feel there is such a decline in tough defense man they all wanna be top line scorers as well ,it would be nice to see a defenceman play with more pims than more pp points than anything else.play the game the way it was meant to be played not the way some looser fancey boy commisioner wants it to be played.

  39. leafy says:

    I could have told you that.

  40. AHLoldie says:

    This post was supposed to be about the poor D of the Rangers, and it evolved into an absurd discussion of the Rangers Offensive might.  OK…the Rangers will probably manage to make it into the playoffs, but they are in no way near the class of Ottawa or the Penguins, who had the misfortune to play each other in the first round of last years playoffs.  They were the twe best teams then, and are definitely the two best teams now.  As far as the Rangers defense goes, they are being forced to carry Marc Staal due to the cap.  I saw him play at least ten games in the minors last year, and he was pretty much over-matched.  When he's playing against players his own age, he can dominate them.  He still needs at least two more years in the minors – at least.  He's definitely not ready for the NHL. 

  41. Hoondog2 says:

    All you have is defensive defenseman.  Is Rozsival really your powerplay guy?  Thats not very impressive.

  42. leniwm1 says:

    AMEN TO THAT BROTHER! Although, drury does know how to win and plays hard ever shift, i would never shit on him, Gomez, differetn story…

  43. nyrhockey094 says:

    our defense is weak as it is, We have enough offense to take care of a lack of PP specialist. What we dont have is a SOLID shut down defenseman, and McCabe is FAR from that.

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