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It’s New York Rangers day on PHT

Aug 27, 2013, 9:15 AM EDT

Henrik Lundqvist Getty Images

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The New York Rangers.

The Rangers are the classic “tease” team. They offer one of the best goalies in the world, top-end offensive talent, and sound defensive work. They should be a Stanley Cup contender each year. “Should” being the operative word there.

Looking at how they’ve finished the last few years, it’s been a roller coaster. In the past four seasons they’ve missed the playoffs, been bounced out in the first and second rounds and made it to the Eastern finals two seasons ago. They’ve done everything but make the Stanley Cup Final and now they’ll look to do that with a coach who was there as recently as 2011 and knows a fair bit about the sting of unfulfilled expectations.

The Rangers are young and talented but their franchise goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, is itchy to win now.

Offseason recap

The biggest news of the summer came when the Rangers fired John Tortorella and hired former Canucks coach Alain Vigneault to replace him. The thought here is that Torts wore out the players with his tough ways and that Vigneault will help tap into the Rangers’ offensive potential a bit more.

As for player news, the Rangers kept it rather quiet. They acquired former Canadiens prospect Danny Kristo in exchange for their own prospect Christian Thomas in a trade. Free agency was equally low-key with signings like defenseman Aaron Johnson and forwards Benoit Pouliot and Dominic Moore. Moore’s story in particular is inspiring returning to hockey after the sudden passing of his wife.

Now if they can just get restricted free agent Derek Stepan taken care of and maybe start negotiating with their three potential unrestricted free agents next summer (Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi), GM Glen Sather can take a breather.

The Rangers’ core is strong (did we forget to mention Rick Nash?) and there’s no reason to think they won’t be a Stanley Cup threat again this season.

Related:

Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series

  1. benp72 - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    With Torts finally out the door, a coach that realizes they have top tier offensive talent and a world class goalie to hold the fort down they will surprise a lot of people this season.

  2. thecheeman - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    No.

    They’ll be good but this team’s going to have to figure some things out and maybe make some hard decisions with trades. They should probably open things up to get the most out of younger players like Nash and Hagelin and Del Zotto and especially Kreider, but it’s going to marginalize the potential contributions of guys like Girardi, Staal, Richards and especially Callahan. It will be very weird if the Rangers captain doesn’t have a comfortable fit in the Rangers offense for maybe the first time in his career.

    Is Richards going to be the third line checking center on a run and gun team?

  3. 950003cups - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Any chance AV and DeBoer start attacking each other? Sending goon squads out at the drop of the puck? Talking trash and maybe a few shouting matches?

    In 2012, the Rangers / Devils rivalry hit a new level after that wild year, it was crazy they met in the EC Finals. Which was an epic series. Even had Rupp take a swing at his old pal Marty. Kovy spearing Callahan in a scrum. The scorpion save (I know they scored 10 secs later on the same PP) was a classic highlight.

    Gonna miss Torts a lil.

    • billyhauntswizards - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM

      the one problem I had with firing Torts………I hope AV picks up where this rivalry left off.

  4. 950003cups - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    But as far as the season? It’s just like the article said. They look great on paper. But it never translates itself to game time.

  5. millertime1101 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    top-end offensive yeah right goalies good defense is b- c+ all they do is block shots

  6. capsfan19 - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Why couldnt we skip this day? (Couldnt help it, im sooo very sorry for being classless)

    • stepanup - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      Why couldn’t you get a powerplay? :)

  7. billyhauntswizards - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    I feel really good about this season for a few reasons. First, unlike last year, largely the same roster will be taking the ice this year. Last year, about half the forwards left the team or were traded, that can significantly screw up chemistry, cause demoralization, etc. Second, this team has a lot to prove. They’re up for a LOT of new contracts (ugh), Richards want’s to prove last year was a fluke, Hagelin needs to prove he doesn’t stink (lol), etc. and third, I just trust what this team could do scoring a few more goals and not playing break-your-ankles shot blocking hockey all the time. Can’t wait for opening night!

  8. billyhauntswizards - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    And also saying this team has top end offensive talent is being a litttttle generous lol. They’re very deep but I wouldn’t call them elite or anything.

  9. stepanup - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Admittedly I could be bias, and I’ve thought this for a few years running, but I think the Rangers are poised to do some damage this season. Lundqvist is elite, and that gives you a chance night in and night out.

    With a healthy Staal to log minutes with McDonagh, Girardi, and Del Zotto, the top 4 is extremely solid. I was a big fan of John Moore from what I saw after the trade, and that leaves Stralman, Falk, and Johnson to platoon with Moore for the bottom pair. There’s offensive and defensive defensemen there, and that crew will also be competitive night in and night out.

    The question, per usual, is the offense, and I think there’s legitimate reason for optimism there. Stepan (he will be signed) emerged as a #1 center, and played really well with Nash. Richards should be able to bounce back at the #2 center spot, and Brassard was really impressive as the third line center.

    A healthy Dorsett and the Dominic Moore signing will give the bottom 6 the roles of grit and heart that they didn’t have and missed early last season. Boyle and Hagelin will need to chip in more offensively, and I think they’ll be able to do that with a more attacking and creative system. You know what you’ll get from Callahan, so the x-factor to me will be Kreider. He was held back by Torts, and has been touted for the last couple years, if AV can get the most out of his talent, then he’ll round out the top 6 perfectly.

  10. President Charles Logan - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Nah … not good enough for a Cup right now … even with Hank . He’s usually dead tired by the time the Playoffs roll around and for all the spectacular saves he makes .. there’s usually a couple bad softies he lets in in a Playoff Series . Why ya’ll didnt cut Richards loose on the Compliance Buyout is beyond me as well. The guy’s slower then Molasses .. he might Cherry Pick for 15 goals this year but dont expect the guy that sniped in TB and Dallas to reappear .

  11. ballistictrajectory - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Under Torts the Rangers dove in front of the puck. Under AV they will just dive.

    • 950003cups - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      I don’t care who you are. That’s funny!!

  12. girouxed - Aug 27, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Please they’re not going to be that good this season they’re going to have a brand new coach

  13. mattybo - Aug 27, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Yeah, maybe the flyers will win more games against them compared to the last two years total.

    (One)

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