Friday, January 6, 2012

New York Rangers: Top Tier Team or Lucky Streak?

The New York Rangers are on top of the NHL, boasting a record of 26-9-4, beating the next teams, Pittsburgh and Vancouver, by 3 points.

Everything seems to be clicking for them, Lundqvist is a top goaltender who can shut down teams, the back up Martin Biron is good enough to be a starter. Marian Gaborik seems to have re found his scoring touch (23 goals, 34 points). Newly acquired centre Brad Richards seems to thrive in the spotlight at MSG. Captain Ryan Callahan is doing nicely after being appointed the leader of the team. The only disappointment in my opinion, would be Brandon Dubinsky, but he is starting to heat up as well.

The coach, John Tortorella, has satirical post game comments (including one after the Winter Classic about the officiating which got him fined).

The Rangers weren't always like this. Barely squeaking in the playoffs last year as the eighth seed, they were dispatched by the Capitals in 5 games. During the offseason, they signed coveted free agent Brad Richards, physical winger Michael Rupp, resigned RFA captain Ryan Callahan. Yes, Ranger's GM Glen Sather seems to have readied his team for the playoffs during the 2011-2012 season with his major deals. Sure the team looks good on paper, but would the team perform and work together during the season?

A little bit over 1/3 through the NHL season, the Ranger's have quashed any doubts about that issue, but can they finish the season strong as the number 1 seed? We can't know that for sure but right now, the Rangers are the best team in the league.

Philadelphia Trade?

Matt Walker has been placed on waivers. I did some emailing and it seems to be a precursor for another move. Hearing Tom Gleason's name being out a lot. We'll wait and see, this is a strange move to say the least.

Official: Calgary Trade.

We told you about the Calgary trade last night, and a trade did happen, but i'm gonna be completely honest with you, we were expecting something much bigger. Nevertheless, this is the trade:

Tampa Bay Lightning acquire:
D Brendan Mikkelsson

Great Checker, Strong Puck Handler, Smooth Skater.
Will make a good 3rd defensive pair.

Calgary Flames acquire:
C Blair Jones

Knows how to improve his game, good shot, verge of making the team or near the top of the organization in ranking of prospects.
Will make a good second line on a weak team, to a third line on a bad team, but I see him as more of a second line player. Has the guts to make the riskier moves to score a goal.