02
Oct
09

Open Night Ceremony

The New York Rangers will kick off their 2009-2010 campaign with the Stanley Cup in the building. The Rangers will witness the Pittsburgh Penguins raise their Stanley Cup banner in the final opening night at Mellon Arena. Rangers coach, John Tortorella says the team will support the NHL and the Cup and watch the ceremony. Tortorella has been on the winning side of one of these ceremonies in the past with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

I am sure the ceremony will be fun for the Penguins, but possibly even a distraction. For the Rangers, it should serve as motivation. The Rangers have not won a cup since 1994, which does not seem long when compared to my blogging counterparts who have not won a cup since 1972…

Here’s my preview/predictions of the 2009-2010 New York Rangers…

The Blue Shirts have made the playoffs the last four years but have not made it past the East Conference Semifinals. This years team could be better, but that remains to be seen. There are a lot of new faces and a lot of young ones too.

Defense:

The Rangers lose two solid and physical defenders in Paul Mara and Derek Morris. They add youth in Michael Del Zotto (2008 first round pick), Matt Gilroy (recent NCAA Champion), and Alex Semenov (travling to Pittsburgh with the team, has not signed yet). They keep high paid Wade Redden and Michael Rosival. Redden clearly had a subpar, underacheiving season last year. He was brought in mainly to revive the powerplay. We all know how bad the Rangers powerplay was last year. For the powerplay to improve, the Rangers need a goal scorer. When Jaromir Jagr quarterbacked the powerplay, he posted over 50 points with the man advantage. Finally, there is only so much Henrik Lundqvist can do for the Rangers defense and lack of scoring. If the defense is any better this year, look for Lundqvist to have an MVP season!

Which leads me to the forwards.

Forwards:

This is a complete overhaul from last season. They lose a lot and gain a lot, but will this equation equal better, or better yet will it equal wins. They lose Scott Gomez (left a lot to be desired), Nik Antropov (big, but played small), Markus Naslund (good at times), Nik Zherdev (would have liked to see him stay), Blair Betts/Fred Sjostrom (made up the best PK tandum in the NHL), Lauri Korpikoski (young skilled forward), and Colton Orr (worst skater in the NHL, but a great fighter).

They add:

Chris Higgins (solid forward who could score 20 goals)

Ales Kotalik (a clone of Zherdev)

Vinny Prospal (Veteran forward who still has a lot of skil)

Enver Lisin (had 21 points in 48 games for the Coyotes last season)

Artem Anisimov (young forward with a ton of skill, 81 points last year with the WolfPack)

Donald Brashear (an older version of Colton Orr, Brashear has 15 years of experice dropping the gloves in the NHL)

Brian Boyle (a first round pick in 2003, he may play for the WolfPack more than the Rangers this season)

and last and most importantly…

Marian Gaborik – It is very difficult to rely on him as the Rangers savior. If he is healthy he will be a top ten player in the NHL, but that is a big IF. He will also have to deal with playing in New York. If his play goes south, the fans will let him know! For the powerplay to be any better this year, he will have to contribute.

The Rangers keep a lot of good young talent in Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky. The last two pieces of this puzzle are Chrs Drury and  Sean Avery. If the Rangers can get Avery to focus on hockey for a full season, he can be really good. He is a good skater, sees the ice well, and can score 20 plus goals. But, we all know the downside. He can break a team apart with his gong show style behavior. The coaching staff and veternam leader Chris Drury will have to keep Avery on track.

Look for my a post game post at about 10:30 PM. The ceremony will push the start time back about an hour…

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Open Night Ceremony”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Loge19 on Twitter

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: