by Patrick Hoffman on 07/30/10 at 11:35 PM ET
When it comes to hockey, it’s obvious that every team focuses on winning the Stanley Cup.
As such, GM’s from all 30 clubs build their teams so that they can qualify for the playoffs in order to get closer to their gaol of one day winning the Cup. So, where does this leave the Blueshirts?
If I had to look into my crystal ball, it is very possible that the 2010-11 version of the New York Rangers may not even make the playoffs. I know, I know, the season hasn’t even started yet but let’s take some time and look at the reasons why this club may not make the postseason for the second straight year:
- Scoring: While the team may have Marian Gaborik and have added Alexander Frolov, the team is still missing a sniper. This team struggled to score goals at crucial times last season and if Gabby and Frolov cannot do it this season, fans can expect much of the same.
- Line Chemistry: Last season, head coach John Tortorella mixed and matched the lines what seemed like every single game. Because of that, no lines had a chance to grow as a unit, giving the team trouble with consistency. Torts needs to use training camp, pre-season and the first few weeks/month of the season to see which guys belong on the ice together.
- Depth: This team has not learned how to use prospects in the right way. Sure, Sather calls them up for a game or two but Tortorella does not give the player a chance to show what he can do. One has to understand that Torts wants to win hockey games but at the same time, the organization needs to learn to take a chance on more of its youngsters. Just look at the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, etc.
No Improvement in the Off-season: It would appear that each team in the Atlantic Division has made improvements to their hockey clubs. Yes, the Rangers added Frolov, Boogaard (questionable signing IMO) and re-signed a few players, but other than that, there were no significant moves.
I know it is early to judge but if you looked into your crystal ball, where do you see the Rangers finishing and why?
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.