Sunday, November 1, 2009

Nugman has a beef

(Dave Pucks Analysis below my long winded commentary, be sure to check it out. His is filled with less hate. Which is important on God's day...depending if today is your God's day)

And this, this is why my ill-fated postseason roster moves grade was only a C- for Sather. (I never did finish with my reasons, so I feel I can chime in a bit now, not to mention, I don't remember if I gave a C-, C, or C+, but it was somewhere in that range).

Is Gaborik amazingly talented? Yes. Was he the top free agent in terms of ability? Yes. can he stay A resounding no.

Gabby's fast start has helped make the Rangers look like something they are not, an elite scoring team. He makes everyone around him better. He has turned prospal (a very intense straka) into a point a game scoring machine, and by taking on the top defense pairing for other teams every night, he sets up better matchups for guys like Kotalik. He is a real weapon to have in a playoff series....if he is healthy. But right now we are seeing what the Rangers are without him....which is....nothing. They are really a 10th place caliber team in the eastern conference, with a goalie so good, he can steal them a 6 or 7 seed, and then they are done in the first round if they face the 1 or 2 seed (so pray for the six to take on the always lesser, and coin flip match up of the weakest division winner in the 3 spot).

Its another offseason where sather went out, brought in guys past their prime (Prospal, Higgins, Kotalik to a degree), all 20-something goal scorers, MAYBE, none of them real playmakers, and once again, it's a team with ZERO payroll flexibility, who is somehow max'd out, yet their entire season rides on just ONE guy (and it ain't Hank. I love Hank, but: 1) No matter how good a goalie is, he can't do it by himself in the playoffs. The other teams have too much firepower, and a long season of having to carry the team where's on him, 2) Hank's playoff career, at this point, is suspect. He has been "solid", with some brilliant games, and some stinkers. I think this inconsistency is mainly due to the fact that the guy can't be on EVERY time, and if he is not, he is going to get torched because the rangers have a very thin, very soft defense, and no offense to back teams off their pressure). So the Rangers WILL make the playoffs. I have zero doubt of that. They have enough scoring to win the 2-1 games, occasional 3-2. But the point is, if your not going forward, you are going backward.

Sather has built a team that once again, completely overturned the roster, brought in one of the most hated players in the league in Brashear, and the offensive chemistry they had, we are now seeing, was in reality probably not there. It was gaborik getting off to the best start of his very up and down career. If he is there in the playoffs? We got a shot, we know that. But I really feel like even if he is, we are only back to where we were in 2006 with Jagr, and being within a late chris drury goal of going up 3-2 in the semis, one game from the eastern conference finals. Without Gaborik, likely a first round exit. I love Torts, but there is only so much a guy can do when you completely overhaul rosters year in and year out, keep bringing in past their prime pieces to mix with young kids who haven't found their game yet, and then bank ALL of it, on a guy that is incredibly talented, but that his previous team had ZERO interest in bringing back. There is a reason the bluejackets gave zherdev away. There is a reason Minnesota let Gabby walk. They didn't think he could stay healthy, and I don't think any other teams were ready to offer him 7.5 million a year. He has the talent, but can't stay on the ice.

I have little to no doubt, that if Drury had Gabby's current groin/leg/lower body issues, and they were magnified by 3, he still would not have missed a shift.

The point is, I am slightly bummed, we are injured currently, but through the injuries we get to see what we will likely bring to the table when Gaborik goes down for good (which is where the smart money should be bet), and if that happens, Sather has given us another, 9-10th place caliber team, which Hank will carry to the playoffs, only to watch us lose games 4-1, 2-1, steal a 2-1 game, and eventually get eliminated and wonder, "How could we put our entire season on a guy who has played more than 65 games, just ONCE, the previous 5 seasons?"

If I can draw a baseball analogy for baseball/yankee fans who may follow the blueshirt brothers as well, Gaborik in many regards is an AJ burnett. The Yankees didn't get Burnett to make the playoffs. They already had assembled the best offense. They had an ace in CC, they thought a returning ace in Wang, a veteran in Andy pettitte, young kids in hughes/joba to make some starts, and the best closer who ever lived. With or without Burnett, they were going to the playoffs. But the got Burnett for October. For the chance that he could take the mound 1 night, and just win the game by himself. He and Gabby are very similar. Fantastic, top 5 in the league talent for what they do. Terrible histories with injuries. If you can get them to the playoffs healthy, THAT is where their true value comes to light, and they become difference makers. But the difference here is, the Yanks weren't counting on Burnett to get them there, the Rangers are. (In some fairness to Sather, because of the Salary Cap, he didn't have many other options to go get a more steady guy, or make a trade for a heatley type, and then be able to add Gaborik as the complimentary piece....but then again, the reason he had no cap flexibility is because of THE TERRIBLE CONTRACTS HE GAVE TO GOMEZ, DRURY, REDDEN, ROZSIVAL. Every team can live with a bad contract, or maybe 2. But FOUR?)

So this ends my rant. Nothing can be done about it now. The Rangers season can not be saved. This is what it comes down to. They are either getting knocked out in the first round, or they are making a deep run that could surprise some, and it ALL rests on the health of a guy who hasn't been healthy since the 2002-2003 season.

Big Sunday, Giants, Rangers, Yanks. I will check in sometime during the Rangers game to give my thoughts on what a terrible city Boston is and to compare who has a higher percentage of inter-family sexual relations, residents of Boston, or Philadelphia.

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