Tag Archives: playoffs

Runner Up is the Big Loser

While many blogs and sites have posted who they think their biggest loser is in the off season dealing, I can’t help but think they got it all wrong. The Rangers are the biggest losers of the off season due to the lack of moves and signings.

Let’s start with the loses, Brad Richards was bought out by the Rangers due to his high price tag and slowing production. Richards was no longer a first line center but in the right situation he still has the potential to be a second line player. The loss here for the Rangers is of leadership after the Callahan trade and that they haven’t head a first line center in years and have been making due with over working 2nd or 3rd line players. Richards went on to sign a 1 year 2 million dollar deal with Chicago.

Brian Boyle – He couldn’t hit the side of a barn with his shot but his penalty killing was second to none and he always seemed to come up big in the post season. He logged minutes between lines 3-4 when not killing penalties and aside from a random 19 goal season has been useless on offense for his tenure in NY. Boyle wants an increase in playing time and bigger role on a team (probably a raise too) as Sather made sure to say that he wasn’t going to get either. Boyle to Tampa for 3 years at 2 million a year.

Anton Strahlman – Great second line dman who could possibly have an offensive upside and has been very consistent and came up big in the playoffs. Wanted years and a raise and got it in Tampa to join Boyle and Callahan. 5 years 22.5 million or 4.5 a year.

Benoit Pouliot – Provided secondary scoring and grit to the Rangers during the season and stepped up in the Playoffs as his line clicked. He outscored Nash which should show something. He wanted a raise (which he got) and wanted years in one place as he has been moving around a lot in his career. Signed with Oilers 5 years 4 mill a year.

The Rangers also traded Dorsett.

 

The Rangers gained a puck moving dman well past his prime in Dan Boyle for 4.5 for 2 years who can hopefully get a scoring touch and maybe show Staal to shoot the puck. Hopefully this turned into an upside as the Rangers haven’t head a shooting dman since Leetch and Poti but also hoping McD steps up.

Tanner Glass…. Who?

Mike Kosta, prone to injury, gets passed around a lot, may be a decent stay at home guy but need to hope he doesn’t get his head rung again.

Matt Hunwick – I like this move but is there room for all these dmen?

 

Advertisements

The Sharks and Their Captain

All the news has been about lately is the Sharks and how they continue to fail in the post season. There are talks of taking away his captaincy as well as trading the Thornton (which would be a pretty good return) as well. Their GM wants players who want to play for the Sharks and not just live in the area and Thornton has continued to say that he wants to play there.

This is a lot of talk for a player who is still a 70-80+ point player. The Sharks also just signed him for another 3 seasons midway through this past season at a cost of 6.75 per.

That’s a big cost for a team that states it is starting a rebuild and with what they would fetch in return for the Thornton could be a great help towards the future, we are still talking about a player who is still playing at a high production level.

The Sharks are contenders now, they just have a mental lapse when it gets to the post season. Secondary scoring may be more of a need then trading Thornton.

You always want your big players to stand tall in the post season and hate when they can’t carry the load but to be successful in the NHL you need to be scoring down the line.

The Penguins are a high scoring team but only on their top 2 lines and that cost them again the Rangers in the second round, where the Rangers made it to the finals while having no players in the top 14 points but got additional scoring from lower in the lines when needed.

The Season is Over

Yeah I know that I am late to the party, but as stated, I was on vacation!

So.. The Kings won the cup and if you know anything about hockey you would have seen that even before the first puck dropped in game. It’s not that the Rangers couldn’t have done it, but it just seemed that their trend of having calls not going their way and the hockey gods rooting against was eventually going to catch up to them. 

It only took 5 games to beat the Rangers and of those games they only lost one of them clean, one game they won and the other three were lost in overtime. The part that is harder to see is that the Rangers gave up a massive amount of shots and Henrik had to be at the top of his game to keep them even close to winning. 

It just so happens that even Henriks best isn’t enough to defeat the Kings who out shot, out hit and out played the Rangers at every chance. 

I wanted to get into this series and enjoy it but it was so one way that it made it difficult to enjoy when one team just keeps peppering the other net.

Was interesting to see how Gaborik would play back in NY after being traded last year. Quick wasn’t amazing and nor did he really have to be, he had some fantastic saves when they were needed but his team backed him up enough where he idn’t have to face that many shots.

As of today Brad Richards has been bought out by the Rangers as they try to move forward and improve upon their issues. Nash is rumored to be on the trade market as well and where we got him for a steal it may be harder to be rid of a player whose regular season stats have dropped since joining the Rangers and has shown that he can’t perform in the post season. Maybe a trade of Nash for the Sharks Thornton is in order? Something to think about.

Rangers Need to Fly!

The Rangers fell flat in the 3rd and even the 2nd period of game 1 of the finals. They only managed 3 shots in the third period and really need to make themselves learn from their mistakes. They flew out the gate with 2 goals and just watched as the Kings pelted Lundqvist with shot after shot and never took control of any part of them game. 

The fact that is went into overtime is still confusing to me seeing how badly they were playing. 

The Rangers need to keep flying. They need to use their speed to move around the ice and throw pucks at the net. You don’t win without shooting and to beat the Kings you need to soar around them and slap it home. The Rangers need to bump bodies and throw their weight around. The Kings have the size and power and skill to make things difficult and the Rangers and to adapt and overcome in order to make this series a competition.

The Kings don’t need to change anything, they managed to control the Rangers for the last 2 periods of the game eliminate any advantage that they had. 

The Rangers better wake up of it will be a short series.

Kings Knock Off Blackhawks!

So now we know that the Kings will face the Rangers for the Stanley Cup after ousting the Blackhawks in overtime of game 7. This is going to be an interesting series as the teams went 1-1 during the regular season. The Rangers will need to keep their speed up and hope for better luck in scoring on Jonathan Quick then they had against the Canadians. Goals will not be easy to get on both sides whether you whose in net. 

This series is going to come down to goalies and defense. Both teams can score but it is going to come down to which team can stop the most pucks. Where the defensive edge goes to the Rangers, the goalies are tied and the offense going to the Kings who have been flying high since the playoffs started after not scoring often during the regular season. 

I also feel bad for the Kings fans in California as the game will either start at 7 or 8 eastern time which is either 4 or 5 western time. Most will either be in work or on their way homes. May take the home ice feel out of the game.

Want to Write for the Poke Check?

Currently looking for writers to add to the blog. There is a lot of things going on in the hockey world and this is something that I do on the side so looking for people to help, especially on the west coast or people who pay more attention to the west coast. I have to be up at 4am EST so west coast games are hard for me to watch. Email thepokecheck@gmail.com if interested.

Another Late Hit

Injuries and late hits are becoming all the rage in the series between the Canadians and Rangers. You start the series with Prush hitting Stepan late and getting a 2 game suspension along with the “depends which team you cheer for” collision between Kreider and Price and now we have John Moore and Dale Weise. Moore, not known for causing injury hit Weise with an obviously late hit (but at least this hit was called) and after a trip to the locker room Weise was able to return to the game.

Moore is facing a hearing from the league and will probably get a 2-5 game suspension from the league. The Raners have Diaz who they can bring in to replace Moore during his possible suspension.