Wednesday, September 17, 2008

1st Day of Rangers Camp

Steve Zipay at Blue Notes has line combinations and defensive pairings for today's practice...

WHITE (which will open in Ottawa, possibly with some tweaking, on Saturday)
G---Valiquette, Wiikman
D---Rozsival/Staal, Potter/Mara, Denisov/Kondratiev, DelZotto/Murray.
F---Dawes-Drury-Prucha, Voros-Nedved-Rissmiller, Sjostrom-Anisimov-Parenteau, Byers-Moore-Jessiman
BLUE (home opener vs. Ottawa Monday and NJ)
G---Lundqvist, Lafleur, Mike BrodeurD---Redden/Girardi, Kalinin/Fahey, Pock/Sanguinetti, Busto.
F---Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev, Fritsche-Dubinsky-Callahan, Korpikoski-Betts-Orr, Dupont-Pyatt-Jamtim

My thoughts: Naslund-Gomer-Zherdev could be nasty. I also like Fritsche-Dubie-Cal as an energy line. Hate Prucha on the second line. Would prefer Shanny there but don’t see him on the list. I think that Riss might wind up with Voros and Sjostrom in the regular season.

They have so many forwards. Time to start making some moves. Maybe (hopefully) they are trying to showcase Prucha. I think Rozy/Staal and Redden/Girardi are probably a lock for the top two d pairs. Schneider anyone?



Jacques Strappe said...

The Rangers are stacked up front. Like you I'm interested to see how the Naslund/Gomez/Zherdev line will come together. In goal, as long as Lundqvst stays healthy, they seem set for years to come. The true test for NYR this season will be on D. On paper they're not a strong bunch. Redden was a mistake in my opinion and you will learn to detest him. Everyone here in Ottawa was glad to see him go.

Swivelhead said...

I actually think the Rangers are going to be hurting up front. They have a lot of good third/fourth line energy guys, but a lot of questions as far as firepower is concerned. With a top 12 of Naslund, Gomez, Zherdev, Drury, Dawes, Dubinsky, Prucha, Callahan, Rissmiller, Voroz, Betts, and Sjostrom, they have 10 30-goal seasons and 22 20-goal seasons between them. And Naslund, who IMO is on his last legs, accounts for 11 and 6 of those.

Ogie Oglethorpe said...

I actually think they will be fine throughout the season. I think the first line of Naslund, Z, and Gomer is going to be one of the top 3 lines in the eastern conference. You heard it here first. The issue is going to be the scoring from the 2nd and 3rd lines, but I think they will be able to roll all 4 lines in almost all situations because the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines will be pretty well balanced (depending on how he groups the lines).

What's the over/under on Naslund's point total this year?

Swivelhead said...

In the 5 years Naslund/Morrison/Bertuzzi were together, Naslund had point totals of 75, 90, 104, 80, 79. But in the other 8 seasons of his career he had point totals of 11, 55, 41, 34, 66, 65, 60, 55.

He is going from one team that relies on goaltending and conservative play to another. He is going from playing on the same team with one of the NHL's premier playmakers (H. Sedin, who by the way he couldn't gel with) to another who plays a very similar game (Gomez, who he might not gel with). He is 35 years old and is well under a point a game since the lockout.

I am putting the over/under at 61 points. He will be rejunvenated a bit and exceed his point totals for the prior 2 years, which is unusual for a 35 year old.

And let me ask the Ranger fans this. If Gomez, Naslund and Zherdev play together, who is going to retrieve the puck? Who is going to head to the net? No way are they one of the top 3 lines in the East. No freaking way.

- Ovechkin, Semin, Backstrom
- Heatley, Alfredson, Spezza
- Lecavalier, St. Louis, Prospal
- Vanek, Roy, Pominville (who outscored the Gomez line by 40 last year)
- I'll take any 3 of Kovalev, Koivu, Plekanec, Tanguay, Kostistyn, Kostitsyn, Lang, Higgins (actually, there are probably 2 lines here better than the Gomez line)

And those doesn't even take Crosby or Malkin's lines into consideration.

Swivelhead said...

The over under on the first time Kalinin gets booed by the MSG fans is 2 games.

He is a turnover machine and will be hated.