Sunday, November 21, 2010

Daily Recap: Rangers Quarter Pole Awards; Say No To Brad Richards; Prospect Updates

Today marked the first day after the first quarter of the season was over and there have certainly been highs in the first quarter of the year but overall the rollercoaster that has defined the last few Rangers seasons is still intact.  The overall effort has more consistent and the fight when they fall behind has been better this season, but the results have still been spotty and they still do not know how to build on momentum and maintain success.  The bright spots have certainly been the play of Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, Brian Boyle and Artem Anisimov as all have made big strides from last season.  There have been disappointments as well, but let us not dwell on them here.  What has been most evident with this team is that their success is rooted primarily in playing tough basic hockey by getting the puck in, pressuring the opposition and cycling the puck in the opposition zone.  When they fail to do that they generate little in terms of chances and it transfers to the defensive side.

In honor of the quarter pole this morning I put my views on who would win awards for the Rangers if the season ended today or at least to this point in the year.  Some of the choices were obvious and would be common among all the fans and some of the others might not be all that popular. 

This evening I responded to the rumor mill churning again about Brad Richards coming to New York by going through why I believe the Rangers have to avoid the temptation.  The simple reasoning is the cost in terms of assets and then salary cap space is too great for it to help the club in the big picture.  There is also the overlooked part that we already have Artem Anisimov and Derek Stepan who are playing well enough as a top 2 for a combined salary of 1.697 million dollars this year.

The only other thing today was an update to the prospect stats which saw some nice performances today in Christan Thomas following his 3 goal 3 assist performance of Friday with a 2 goal 2 assist game on Sunday.  I do not care what league you are playing in 5 goals and 5 assists in two games is unbelievably good and leaves Thomas with 17G and 16A in 20 games this season.  Ryan Bourque continued his hot week as well with 1G 1A to give him a week of 3G 4A in 3 games.  In Hartford prospect news they lost today after winning two in a row, but Mats Zuccarello scored 1G giving him 2G 3A in the last three and Dale Weise would score as well.