The New York Rangers will be better in 14/15. The younger players are another year older and another year experienced. They played twenty-five tough playoff games that included a three games to one deficit against Pittsburgh. A series they would go on to win the last three games of. Taking that series in seven to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals. Having a full season and playoff run complete with five Stanley Cup Final games with Alain Vigneault will only help the core players have better seasons.
Will the New York Rangers be a better team in 14/15 than the one that went to the finals in 13/14? Expectations will be sky-high going into camp There will most certainly be a microscope on the Eastern Conference champs during training camp all leading up to opening night. One reason they will be better is It’s going to be Alain Vigneault‘s second season as the New York Rangers head coach. Last summer General Manager Glen Sather did very little to change the team assembled for John Tortarella’s strategies. Aside from bringing in bargain cast offs Benoit Pouliot and Dominic Moore.
Both became integral parts of the depth that made the New York Rangers a dangerous team. Alain Vigneault used all his players to their strengths. He studies advanced statistics and uses them to put players in the best situation. The New York Rangers Management did the same thing this summer as they did last. By making low risk signings to fill the roster. So far this summer they already have. The only problem in the roster is turnover this summer again. They lost some real good players that became big parts of a tight New York Rangers team. I just hope it doesn’t set the coaching staff back in finding new line combinations. Alain Vigneault and his staff are already short one coach from last years squad. The associate coach and the eye in the sky, Dan Lacroix to the Montreal Canadiens.
The New York Rangers let some good players leave via free agency.
Glen Sather likely wanted to keep Benoit Pouliot but was smart not to commit twenty-million over five years to a journeyman. Those types of players are a dime a dozen on the UFA pile. The Edmonton Oilers will be looking to get rid of him soon enough when he plays inconsistently like he did before coming to New York. Management may have wanted to keep Anton Stralman even more but Tampa Bay needed the hip checker more. His contract and the one Benoit Pouliot got are ridiculous. Both are secondary depth players getting paid like top line and top pair contributors.
For the New York Rangers the plan was addition by subtraction. Lose slower defensive players and add more speed or offense. Brian Boyle left for three hundred thousand dollars more than he got per season on his last contract. Of which he will take home a third of. I hope he plays the same role in Tampa Bay as he did in New York. The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.
The New York Rangers defense will be much improved on the offensive side of the ice.
Dan Boyle already makes the New York Rangers a better team from the back-end. He’s a defenseman that teams will have to account for anytime he has the puck. That opens time and space for the forwards in the offensive zone. Let’s not forget the breakout season Ryan McDonagh had this past season. If he improves even a little on what he accomplished, this years team will have a whole new dynamic from the back-end.
John Moore played well enough during the regular season. He played better when the Nashville Predators sent over Kevin Klein in a trade for Michael Del Zotto. John Moore is an incredible skater and with a steady veteran defenseman in Kevin Klein on his right side. The two make the New York Rangers defense complete as a solid third pair. John Moore had a tough Stanley Cup Finals and that might keep him from getting a big raise or a raise at all.
The New York Rangers forwards remaining from last season had their best seasons under Alain Vigneault.
One more reason the New York Rangers will be better is Martin St. Louis will begin the season with the team this coming season. Rick Nash will hopefully stay healthy with larger enforcer Tanner Glass on the team willing to do what is necessary to protect the skilled players.Derek Stepan will have a full camp this season. Expect a career best this season given it’s a contract year for him. Derick Brassard will get more ice time if the lineup remains the same as far as the centerman go. If this is the case forty-five points won’t cut it in the top six. Eighteen goals work but he needs to have forty assists if he’s going to contribute as the second centerman.
The gamer Mats Zuccarello has another full season to show that he belongs in New York and the National Hockey League. He is a threat to every opponent that plays the New York Rangers. Carl Hagelin was a two-way monster in the playoffs last season. He was second on the team with seven goals during twenty-five playoff games. He will be counted on more next year. I see him being a wild card for the New York Rangers. If he improves on last season and picks up where he left off. He could be a twenty-five goal and forty-five point player.
Chris Kreider finally got his chance to play a full season in the National Hockey League and he didn’t disappoint. He might have gotten to twenty goals on the season had he not gotten injured. When He returned from injury in the playoffs he sparked the teams comeback against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He should break twenty goals and forty points this year. There’s a lot of players fans should be excited about coming into this season after the unexpected run we saw last season.
The New York Rangers were a good fit for Alain Vigneault. Now he can build a team around him and his strategy in his second season as coach.
Part of building the New York Rangers around a coach and his strategies begins with the right players.
Fear not Ranger fans, the Eastern Conference champs have improved in some areas. Chris Mueller was signed to a one way contract. He’s a right-handed center versatile enough to play all three forward positions. He will battle in camp with Jesper Fast, JT Miller, Oscar Lindberg, and even Danny Kristo for a spot in the New York Rangers lineup. Overall these New York Rangers will be better prepared from day one to run Alain Vigneault’s strategies.
The New York Rangers will be better in the coming season after the long run they had in the playoffs together. The core players that have been here the last three to five plus seasons have played a lot of playoff games and that’s only going to make this team that much better. The players they brought in namely Lee Stempniak and Matthew Lombardi were brought in because of their price tag and more importantly because of their speed and skating
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