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OTG POLL

What do you think of the Rangers season so far?

Quite surprised
Modestly surprised
As expected
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Previous Polls
 INJURY REPORT
Vladislav Namestnikov 12/14
Expected to be in the line-up tonight
 
Fredrik Claesson 1/16
Will be out until February with a right shoulder injury
 
Neal Pionk 1/16
Will be out of the line-up until after the all-star break
 
Kevin Hayes 1/16
Could be back in the line-up as soon as Thursday
 
  MORE INJURY NEWS...
SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2014
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Read the submissions so far and see if you can come up with the best caption for today's photo

Best Of:
2014-15 ~ 2013-14
2012-13 ~ 2011-12
2010-11 ~ 2009-10

RUMOR MILL

Tuesday - October 25th

Either Josh Jooris (New York Daily News) or Dylan McIlrath are likely to find themselves on waivers when Pavel Buchnevich returns from back spasms.

The team is expected to cut the roster down to 22 players, and as such one of the two will need to be either moved or sent down.

  MORE RUMORS...

Question Of The Day

September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

Answer...
  BIRTHDAYS

Lindy Ruff - 1960
Luc Robitaille - 1966
Jean-Yves Roy - 1969
Nathan Lafayette - 1973
Vinny Prospal - 1975
Todd Harvey - 1975
Brodie Dupont - 1987

  SEARCH BIRTHDAYS
  RANDOM RANGER

BERT WILSON
(1973-1975)
  Born: Oct 17 - 1949  
  Pos: Left Wing  
  GP: 66  
  G: 6  
  A: 2  
  Pts: 8  
  PIMs: 68  
 

A Season Of Change
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ - October 9, 2008

Well I'm finally back from a long summer that finished up with a two week trip to Europe and the back to back games in Prague. I certainly apologize for not having everything ready to go for the start of the season, but as you can imagine there are things in life that sometimes take precedence...not to mention the preparations for the whirlwind four country, two week tour of Europe.

For those who haven't been, Paris, Munich, Vienna and Prague are all worth the effort. I definitely preferred Vienna and Prague, as unique places to go, but each of the cities had a uniqueness to them that is different from anything you'll find in North America.

Thanks also go to Pavel for setting up the tickets for me, and hosting a post game party that I'm probably still recovering from as I type this article five days later.

As for the Rangers?

Well this has certainly been an off-season of change, with the team completing the transition put in motion last season when they signed up both Chris Drury and Scott Gomez. The moves made this summer (including those not moved) have changed the team dynamic to one that is focused less on individuals and more on the sum of the whole.

It's a model that has best been represented by the Devils and Red Wings, who've built long term success by being able to replace parts of their team without affecting the overall approach.

The difference however is that both the Red Wings and Devils have a long history of success and have paid far less for what they've assembled than the Rangers have done, and that has largely been a result of the Rangers desire to play leaders once again in the free agent market.

The Cap situation has put New York in a posiiton where they will find it difficult to make changes if things don't work out, and perhaps will prevent them from making any kind of substantial moves at the trade deadline.

On the positive side, the team you have in front of you is one that is based less on indiviudals, and more on the system. Drury and Gomez are not necessarily elite players, but they, along with Naslund and Zherdev will be seen as the offensive leaders on the team.

The addition of Redden also changes the blueline, though the long term commitment to the aging veteran is certainly of concern.

Given the salary cap status, and the make-up of the team, the key this year will likely be the performance of the twenty somethings. Primarily among them are the likes of Zherdev, Sjostrom, Dawes, Callahan, Dubinsky, Girardi, Staal, Frtische and Prucha. All of the players are relatively cheap, and will have to find ways to bring both offense, and defensive responsibility to a team that is in search of balance.

The fourth liners like Betts, Orr and Voros (who will likely see time on other lines during the year) also need to find ways to produce more than they have to date.

On the blueline, the Rangers made really just two changes, bringing in Redden and Kalinin...both figuring to provide a little more offense to the team. With a couple of NHL neophytes behind them in Corey Potter and Jeff Fahey, there is some question about depth, but both players were amongst the last cuts on the team.

Behind the bench, Tom Renney also finally steps out of the shadow of Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan, and will get the opportunity to show whether he really is an NHL coach. Renney is the only coach in the Eastern conference to have taken his team to each of the last three playoffs, but much of that success was attributed to Jagr.

Renney now has "his" team...one that resembles the heyday of the cross-river Devils more than any that has gone before. He has a roster filled with largely interchangeable parts and a star netminder...and players who may not stand out on their own, but clearly are team players.

The move to name Chris Drury captain is also an interesting one. Drury has been loath to speak out, and is more in the Brian Leetch mould when it comes to dealing with the media. Can Drury handle the pressure of the added attention from the New York press, particularly when things don't go right.

Throw in a disruptive preseason that featured little time to practice, as well as eight closely stacked games before the opener in Prague, and there is certainly questions as to whether the team is prepared enough for Friday's home opener, followed by five more games in the ensuing eight days.

This could be a long first month for the Blueshirts, and while October rarely defines a team's fortunes, it will certainly be a test of the make-up of the new team.


Profile of the Author:
Has been an active follower of the New York Rangers since the 1996-97 season. Began OutsideTheGarden.com in 2001, and has continued to collect data and provide analysis on the team through to the current day.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


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