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Thread: Defense

  1. #31
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    I undertsand your point but my opinion is that Gilroy was never given the opportunity to show what he could do here. Especially considering how MDZ was handled in comparison. DelZotto was given every opportunity until it was painfully clear he couldn't play defense at the NHL level. I'm not saying this was a strength of Gilroy's but he was better. I can't count how many games Del Zotto literally lost on the defensive side of the puck and was still played over Gilroy who also was lucky to get 20 seconds of PP time when he was given any PP time at all. It took until this year's playoffs for them to recognize that he was their best skating and offensive D and was given serious playing consideration.

    The point about Tortarella is that it is a mistake to expect every player to play the same way. Some guys skate and some guys shoot and to get the best out of your players is to let them do what they bring to the game. When you can only trust a handful of players to play your style then you get what happened in the playoffs this year. Staal and Girardi exhausted and logging more minutes than Ovechkin did resulting in tired errors like giving the puck away in OT (for Staal game 1). Its like watching a high school coach who only uses one line.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans delbruk View Post
    I undertsand your point but my opinion is that Gilroy was never given the opportunity to show what he could do here. Especially considering how MDZ was handled in comparison. DelZotto was given every opportunity until it was painfully clear he couldn't play defense at the NHL level. I'm not saying this was a strength of Gilroy's but he was better. I can't count how many games Del Zotto literally lost on the defensive side of the puck and was still played over Gilroy who also was lucky to get 20 seconds of PP time when he was given any PP time at all. It took until this year's playoffs for them to recognize that he was their best skating and offensive D and was given serious playing consideration.

    The point about Tortarella is that it is a mistake to expect every player to play the same way. Some guys skate and some guys shoot and to get the best out of your players is to let them do what they bring to the game. When you can only trust a handful of players to play your style then you get what happened in the playoffs this year. Staal and Girardi exhausted and logging more minutes than Ovechkin did resulting in tired errors like giving the puck away in OT (for Staal game 1). Its like watching a high school coach who only uses one line.
    gilroy played 132 games for the rangers.. so add to that pre season and practices i think they would have seen everything they needed to see to make a well informed decision about his ability and how he fits within the team. i agree players play different styles but if gilroys style is a hindrance to torts system then he isn't going to give him 20 mins a game. for the record i thought gilroy was one dimensional and was rarely a difference maker, and for someone who is supposed to be an offensive dman, he didnt do himself any favours

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans delbruk View Post
    I undertsand your point but my opinion is that Gilroy was never given the opportunity to show what he could do here. Especially considering how MDZ was handled in comparison. DelZotto was given every opportunity until it was painfully clear he couldn't play defense at the NHL level. I'm not saying this was a strength of Gilroy's but he was better. I can't count how many games Del Zotto literally lost on the defensive side of the puck and was still played over Gilroy who also was lucky to get 20 seconds of PP time when he was given any PP time at all. It took until this year's playoffs for them to recognize that he was their best skating and offensive D and was given serious playing consideration.

    The point about Tortarella is that it is a mistake to expect every player to play the same way. Some guys skate and some guys shoot and to get the best out of your players is to let them do what they bring to the game. When you can only trust a handful of players to play your style then you get what happened in the playoffs this year. Staal and Girardi exhausted and logging more minutes than Ovechkin did resulting in tired errors like giving the puck away in OT (for Staal game 1). Its like watching a high school coach who only uses one line.
    Because MDZ initially had surprising success moving the puck, both at even strength and on the PP, in the absence of any other PMD -- and particularly because of Redden's failure to be the guy they signed him to be -- the Rangers forced the issue, although the 19-year old didn't continue to develop as fast as the organization needed him to. I agree that his defense has been bad (especially his positioning), but he at least has a physical aspect to his game that some thought didn't exist. So, now he is starting all over in the hope that he fulfills his potential and can play in the NHL again. I think he will, but I don't know if that's this season or next, or the one after that. They still don't have a PMD, unless Erixon has improved in that area, but he's more of an all-around defenseman than one you think of as your primary offensive weapon from the point.

    I didn't see Gilroy showing either the level of offensive potential that exists for MDZ, nor the willingness to play the body. MDZ's defensive problems can be fixed over time. Gilroy's lack of desire to engage the opposition cannot. Could the Rangers have gone with one "soft" defenseman in the top six? They could have, but chose not to. I agree with that decision because I personally favor the physical style of play. I also agree that Tortorella's style/philosphy excludes some players who might otherwise help a team, but I don't think Gilroy would have been one of those players in any event. I would rather they brought him back as , essentially, a "swing-man" who could serve as both the 7th defenseman and a healthy-scratch forward, saving them cap space by filling two roles for the team. Ultimately, I think any success he has in the NHL will come in that form, not as a top-6 defenseman.

  4. #34
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    Suffice to say, our defense this upcoming season is poised to be much better than last year.

    Eminger, Gilroy and Del Zotto comprised our 5th through 7th defenseman last season, and when Del Zotto showed he needed extended time in the AHL, McCabe was brought in.

    This season, Gilroy and McCabe are not with the club, and Eminger will be our 7th defenseman with veteran experience. Ranger management is obviously convinced Erixon is an upgrade over all four which filled in the holes last year; and are also comfortable that either Valentenko or Kundratek are an upgrade over Gilroy, or whoever filled the 6th slot last season. This assumes Del Zotto will require further time in the AHL, which is my personal view, but who is to say with certainty that he has not gotten his head straight and is prepared to assume a role on the club again.

    Add to all this the fact that McDonagh and Sauer will start the season with experience and a ton of confidence from their success last season, and I think we are clearly much stronger than last. There will be no sophomore slumps for either player.

  5. #35
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    ** this is translation from a Finnish paper **

    Sami Lepistö might enjoy next season in Manhattan's bright lights.

    Defenseman Sami Lepistö is currently without a club. According to a source, the Helsinki native is negotiating a contract with the New York Rangers.

    - More than one club has shown interest. I do not want to mention any team names, things are still open. I do not yet know where I will play next season, Lepistö commented to MTV3.


    I don't know what kind of player Lepisto is other than what his stats suggest, which is a sound 3rd pairing type defenseman. If the Rangers are indeed negotiating with him, does it mean they intend to go with Lepisto and Eminger as 6th/7th defenseman? Or might Eminger be advised to sign with another team to make room for a rookie and Lepisto?

  6. #36
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    I suspect Lepisto, if signed by the Rangers, would be the 7th, since none of the prospects fighting for a spot on the bottom pair would gain anything from being the 7th defenseman. Either play nightly in the NHL or play nightly in the AHL for the sake of their development.

  7. #37
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    No reason to rush McIlrath to the NHL although I am excited for him in the future. I know the 20 prospects series on the Rangers' website is all propaganda to get us fans excited for prospects that really may not be anything, but based on the reviews of some of these prospects, I can see it being a pretty interesting and exciting battle for the 5-7 spots. I don't think Erixon is guaranteed to make the team (I recall everyone saying McDonagh was going to make it out of camp last year and that didn't come to pass). I can see Valentenko and the other Russian getting real shots as well as Kundratek. I also feel there is no guarantee that McDonagh is in the top 4 pairing despite his strong play last year. Regardless it should be fun to watch.

  8. #38
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    As for Gilroy and Avery, I am surprised some still are of the view that Tortorella has not given these players ample opportunity to flourish with this club. Sauer, McDonagh, and Boyle are all excellent examples of players which either took advantage of the opportunity given or, in the case of Boyle, simply played his way into a core role with the team. Gilroy had two seasons to finally switch his performance into higher gear, and was slow to progress. Same goes for Avery; he appears to have the skills, but he simply has not learned to bring it on a consistent basis. It has nothing to do with the refs or the coach, and everything to do with Avery. Tortorella is not simply trying to construct a roster; he is trying to construct a roster which translates into an upper echelon club. I am very pleased we have a coach that holds his players to a standard of excellence and commitment; that's the differencebetween most clubs, and Stanley Cup winning clubs.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redfish View Post
    As for Gilroy and Avery, I am surprised some still are of the view that Tortorella has not given these players ample opportunity to flourish with this club. Sauer, McDonagh, and Boyle are all excellent examples of players which either took advantage of the opportunity given or, in the case of Boyle, simply played his way into a core role with the team. Gilroy had two seasons to finally switch his performance into higher gear, and was slow to progress. Same goes for Avery; he appears to have the skills, but he simply has not learned to bring it on a consistent basis. It has nothing to do with the refs or the coach, and everything to do with Avery. Tortorella is not simply trying to construct a roster; he is trying to construct a roster which translates into an upper echelon club. I am very pleased we have a coach that holds his players to a standard of excellence and commitment; that's the differencebetween most clubs, and Stanley Cup winning clubs.

    Gilroy was a fine third pairing defenseman last season. He played a great series against Washington. I think he'll have some success in Tampa.

    Avery just doesn't get the minutes anymore. People try to say that he only plays when he wants to but in reality I don't see him dogging it during any of his shifts. Avery always skates hard to pucks on the boards. You can't expect the guy to put up good offensive numbers when he's not getting the ice time or playing with guys who can create. Back when Renne was coaching he was one of our more important players. Torts will probably bury him on the fourth line and we'll get a new whipping boy next season.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerbang View Post
    Gilroy was a fine third pairing defenseman last season. He played a great series against Washington. I think he'll have some success in Tampa.

    Avery just doesn't get the minutes anymore. People try to say that he only plays when he wants to but in reality I don't see him dogging it during any of his shifts. Avery always skates hard to pucks on the boards. You can't expect the guy to put up good offensive numbers when he's not getting the ice time or playing with guys who can create. Back when Renne was coaching he was one of our more important players. Torts will probably bury him on the fourth line and we'll get a new whipping boy next season.
    [1] Gilroy doesn't have what it takes to play defense in the NHL. He has value as an offensive player coming from the blueline, but I don't see him having success as a defender. [2] When Avery was having success for the Rangers he was keeping the opposition off its game and drawing penalties. I can't recall the last time he had any success doing that consistenly, because since he came back from Dallas the officials just won't call anything where he's involved unless it's blatant retaliation. He's occasionally had success because of his skating ability and willingness to fight for pucks along the boards but he lacks the size and strength to do it enough, and he's sometimes been a drag on the team for the past two seasons. [3] Tortorella is slowly getting to the point where the roster has nothing but his guys (Richards, Fedotenko) or his type of guy (Callahan, Prust), but he's still got Wolski and Avery to kick around for another season, at most.
    Last edited by dashripdot; 07-13-2011 at 01:38 PM.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by dashripdot View Post
    [1] Gilroy doesn't have what it takes to play defense in the NHL. He has value as an offensive player coming from the blueline, but I don't see him having success as a defender. [2] When Avery was having success for the Rangers he was keeping the opposition off its game and drawing penalties. I can't recall the last time he had any success doing that consistenly, because since he came back from Dallas the officials just won't call anything where he's involved unless it's blatant retaliation. He's occasionally had success because of his skating ability and willingness to fight for pucks along the boards but he lacks the size and strength to do it enough, and he's sometimes been a drag on the team for the past two seasons. [3] Tortorella is slowly getting to the point where the roster has nothing but his guys (Richards, Fedotenko) or his type of guy (Callahan, Prust), but he's still got Wolski and Avery to kick around for another season, at most.

    While Gilroy didn't dominate in the defensive end he still got the job done. Like I said he was fine as a 3rd pairing guy. Redfish said that he was given more than enough opportunities. Well, Gilroy is an offensive defenseman that really didn't see much PP time...

    Avery always drew a few and took some stupid ones too. Avery has value because he's a hard working hockey player that doesn't hesitate to throw his body into the corner and fight for a puck. He always skates hard and he actually moves the puck around well unlike 3/4 of our roster. That hasn't gone away, the ice time has. He's not getting as many calls as he used to but lets not act like that was the main reason he was out there in the first place. He's still a pest when he's out on the ice.

    It's ironic because because Avery's style of play is exactly what Torts wants from his other players. Torts just doesn't like Avery as a person and that's why he doesn't 'fit' the team.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerbang View Post
    While Gilroy didn't dominate in the defensive end he still got the job done. Like I said he was fine as a 3rd pairing guy. Redfish said that he was given more than enough opportunities. Well, Gilroy is an offensive defenseman that really didn't see much PP time...

    Avery always drew a few and took some stupid ones too. Avery has value because he's a hard working hockey player that doesn't hesitate to throw his body into the corner and fight for a puck. He always skates hard and he actually moves the puck around well unlike 3/4 of our roster. That hasn't gone away, the ice time has. He's not getting as many calls as he used to but lets not act like that was the main reason he was out there in the first place. He's still a pest when he's out on the ice.

    It's ironic because because Avery's style of play is exactly what Torts wants from his other players. Torts just doesn't like Avery as a person and that's why he doesn't 'fit' the team.
    This is no defense of Tortorella, but once he realized that Avery wasn't gonna get anymore calls, there wasn't much Tortorella could do about it ("Hey, why don't you guys let my agitator agitate?"), and Avery, despite the good things he does, just isn't physically substantial enough to contribute. He works pretty well along the boards, but gets knocked off the puck too easily away from the boards, has good speed, but gets knocked off of his skates too easily. I don't dislike him, but I don't see that he has the same value he once had.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dashripdot View Post
    This is no defense of Tortorella, but once he realized that Avery wasn't gonna get anymore calls, there wasn't much Tortorella could do about it ("Hey, why don't you guys let my agitator agitate?"), and Avery, despite the good things he does, just isn't physically substantial enough to contribute. He works pretty well along the boards, but gets knocked off the puck too easily away from the boards, has good speed, but gets knocked off of his skates too easily. I don't dislike him, but I don't see that he has the same value he once had.
    I don't agree with your analysis of avery. He's one of the better dump and chasers on the team with his speed. He also cycles the puck well. He's well worth the two million he makes. If Renne was still coaching this team he'd be a candidate for the top line considering our depth at LW.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by fingerbang View Post
    I don't agree with your analysis of avery. He's one of the better dump and chasers on the team with his speed. He also cycles the puck well. He's well worth the two million he makes. If Renne was still coaching this team he'd be a candidate for the top line considering our depth at LW.
    Maybe this is an example of why Renney isn't the coach here. Honestly, Avery has never been a top line winger in his career. And, if he hasn't learned to play at a high level on a consistent basis at this point in his career, he likely will not ever. Hence, he is a quality 4th line winger who, on better clubs, may or may not be in the lineup each night.

  15. #45
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    I just think it's hypocritical of Torts to play dump and chase playoff hockey and then leave Avery out of the lineup for a game. Avery was one of the few players that was actually winning races to the puck.

    His personality might not fit but his game certainly does.

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