Thursday, January 31, 2008
Where Do We Go Now?
Where do we go?
What can we do?
As fans, we can just sit here and hope that Sather or Renney have some kind of miracle cure for what ails the team. But what does ail the team? Let's take a look, with possible solutions for each issue:
We have a captain who has spent 99% of the season being a moody child who has led by bad example.
SOLUTION 1: Hope that he snaps out of it in time, becomes a man and regains his scoring touch.
SOLUTION 2: Strip the C and let him roam with no pressure.
SOLUTION 3: Deal a high draft pick for Colorado's Jaroslav Hlinka or Columbus' David Vyborny. Another Czech; I know, it doesn't thrill me but remember how well Jagr played with Marty Rucinsky.
SOLUTION 4: Deal him and get some draft picks. No one will part with a young, mobile defenseman and the last thing this team needs are more veterans with more time behind them than years ahead, so picks would be it and the top few picks of '08 and '09 look really solid.
The power play has been blacked out.
SOLUTION 1: Change the personnel/placement on the power play. If Jagr wants the puck so much, put him on the point - he will have more room to operate and may even unleash his little used slap shot (just get him a wood stick first). Put Hollweg, Orr or Dubi in the crease and don't let them move. Show highlight films of Adam Graves working the paint Clockwork Orange-style.
SOLUTION 2: Pick up a puck mover like Dan Boyle and pray that the price isn't too steep. A new player might not feel as obligated to put every play though Jagr, which has lead to predictability and ineptness.
SOLUTION 3: Fire Perry Pern and get a new coach in asap to implement a new system.
We shoot ... a lot ... but we don't score.
SOLUTION 1: As I said with the power play, move someone, anyone into the crease. There has to be someone down low fight for garbage goals.
SOLUTION 2: Implement a harsher, tighter forechecking scheme to try to force turnovers in better spots. Remember Nigel Dawes' goal against Minnesota? Plays like that happen when you don't concede the zone.
SOLUTION 3: The Garden faithful will hate this one, but pass more. Not on the power play, but already into the zone. Too often the guys are forcing shots, leading to odd-man rushes. This doesn't mean that I want more passing on the power play, or on the breakaway (damn you Marty Straka), it just means that Shanny shooting from the top of the circle into a winger adn a defender is pointless.
Marek Malik is on the team.
SOLUTION 1: Set him free back in the wilderness so he can roam with others of his kind.
SOLUTION 2: Deal him for a mid-level pick. He won't garner much more alone as other teams are well aware that he has worn out his welcome in New York.
SOLUTION 3: Deal him with someone else (sorry Pete but I would say Pru) to Dallas for Mattias Norstrom. Hell, maybe get Joel Lundqvist out of it and move him to wing.
SOLUTION 4: Let him play alongside Rozy as the third, THE THIRD, pairing and then let them both walk at the end of the year. With them, Mara and Kaspar off of the books heading into next season, the team can buy a few new defensemen.
Henrik Lundqvist hasn't been King Hank.
SOLUTION 1: Relax.
SOLUTION 2: Relax.
SOLUTION 3: Relax. How good would you be when you go into every game knowing that your slightest mistake means automatic loss because the team can't score?
Of course, all of these will be pointless if the Rangers go pointless in the next three games, all of which are on the road - which leads me to the final issue:
The Rangers suck on the road.
SOLUTION 1: Hit the charter plane with a sledgehammer, make it look mean.
SOLUTION 2: Make 'em stay in Motel 8s, see how the lesser folks live and let them know how great they have it.
SOLUTION 3: Bring more Ranger fans on the road so the team will always play in front of a harsh crowd.
SOLUTION 4: Watch Miracle on the charter, since that is pretty much what it will take to get in the playoffs if they don't start winning soon.