Thursday, September 25, 2014

New York Rangers Season Preview 2014-15

Last Season: Unless you live in a cave, I'm guessing you know how the Rangers season ended last year. They made it to the Stanley cup for the first time since 1994, that's a long time. They couldn't get past the Kings, mainly because the Kings are just an absolutely dominant team and were on an absolute roll.

Acquisitions: Ryan Malone, Kevin Hayes, Lee Stempniak, Matt Lombardi, Nick Tarnasky, Cedrick Desjardins, Mike Kostka, Dan Boyle, Tanner Glass, Steve Kampfer, Matt Hunwick
Departures: Darroll Powe, Justin Falk, Brian Boyle, Brad Richards, Stu Bickel, Benoit Pouliot, Anton Stralman, Derek Dorsett
While the Rangers did make some pretty good moves in the off season I don't think they gained anyone that will have a huge impact for this upcoming season. They got a bunch of good players like Dan Boyle but as everyone knows he's getting up there in age and who knows how big of an impact he'll have for the blue shirts this season and how many minutes he'll be able to log. He will definitely be an asset on the power play but I'm not sure if he will be the reason they end up in the cup again. Kevin Hayes was another awesome pick up but he's never played a professional game before so who knows how he'll do this season. I think the loss of Brian Boyle will definitely hurt the blue shirts. He didn't always put up the most numbers but he was a good all around bottom line center. The Rangers also lost Anton Stralman, between him and Boyle they're losing a lot of size. Tanner Glass will help make up for that but it won't be the same. Getting rid of Brad Richards was something that I think everyone knew was going to happen. 
Weakness: I've been saying this for a while now. I think that Rick Nash is one of the most overrated players in the NHL. For the superstar that he's made out to be, he really doesn't do a whole lot. He's a solid player but I think he gets way more credit then he deserves. He doesn't come up big in big games and that's what superstars are supposed to do. He barely showed up during the team's play off run last season. Rick Nash needs to step his game up if he wants to be the superstar that everyone makes him out to be. 

Strengths: Gonna start this off with the most obvious one, Henrik Lundqvist. Guy is an absolute brick wall in the net and in my top 3 best goalies in the NHL (Tuukka Rask, Jonathan Quick, Lundqvist). When you have a guy like that as your last line of defense you automatically have an upper hand on a ton of teams. To be a strong contender for the cup, you need a goalie that your team can rely on and that can keep you in the game when the rest of the team is playing poorly. That's exactly who Lundqvist is. Chris Kreider has been proving himself lately after a slow start to his career so I would look for his numbers to keep increasing and see him become an integral part of the NYR. Zuccarello is another guy that's really proved himself lately and shown that he is the real deal. The Rangers have even more young guns in Carl Hagelin, Ryan McDonagh, and Derek Stepan. The Rangers also have a should-to-be star, JT Miller in the system. Not sure if he'll make the roster at the beginning of the season but keep an eye out for him to be in the big apple soon tearing it up. All these players are great assets to the team but I don't see them making another run for the Stanley Cup in the 2014-15 season.

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