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View Full Version : Wherefore the Elite Player Magic Now?



Respecttheblue
08-04-2014, 11:35 PM
Now that brad Richards is outta here, I can't help wondering how we get back some of that elite player magic he had, the magic of the type of player that scores goals with 0.005 seconds to go. Unfortunately, as time went on we seemed to get a Brad Richards who wound up only showing glimpses of that magic, but what he had was the residue of an elite player: an elite player underachieving rather than "a very good player" overachieving.

Shame his wheels and stamina didn't seem to be there late in the season/deep in the playoffs, and his contract stunk.
Lucky Chicago if they give him the right role and moderate minutes, and don't overload with expectations.

Ditto Gaborik. He had it, too. I miss his elite skills.

We're lucky we have Nash, MZA and McD, and Kreider is coming along nicely, but does anyone think we could still use a touch of what those elite players bring to the game or will we be just fine without?

AmericanJesus
08-05-2014, 07:29 AM
In the sense that there is no team in the league who couldn't benefit from another elite weapon, sure. As far as being competitive this season, I'd say we are in a similar boat to last year. To be a cup contender we need our best guys to be at their best. If we had another guy like you are talking about it would increase our margin for error.

Pete
08-05-2014, 08:27 AM
Richards wasn't elite in any sense of the word as a Ranger. He had no magic. He was in the right place at the right time. Once. Are some now use that to define him?

Phil in Absentia
08-05-2014, 09:03 AM
I think the term you're looking for here is "quick strike", not "elite". Elite/magic would refer closer to what you see out of players like Pavel Datsyuk, where what we saw out of Gby and Richards was primarily quick strike offense that you often didn't see coming.

CreaseCrusader91
08-05-2014, 09:05 AM
Timely clutch scoring would be another one to describe those goals scored when time was of the essence.

Pete
08-05-2014, 09:12 AM
Yea, I don't think he's talking about quick strike. He's talking about a knack for clutch scoring or a big play, IMO.

Just that mystique for getting it done that most elite players have.

Vodka Drunkenski
08-05-2014, 09:44 AM
Martin St Louis

Pete
08-05-2014, 09:48 AM
Martin St Louis

I don't have any faith in his ability to be more than another ~60 point player. And I hope I'm wrong. But the rink just gets a lot smaller when Stamkos isn't on the ice.

Vodka Drunkenski
08-05-2014, 10:09 AM
I was going more of that clutch type player. I see him in the 50-60 range as well.

Phil in Absentia
08-05-2014, 10:14 AM
I don't have any faith in his ability to be more than another ~60 point player. And I hope I'm wrong. But the rink just gets a lot smaller when Stamkos isn't on the ice.

Maybe, but Richards and Gby were both averaging around that per year as Rangers as well, but still met this clutch criteria.

On paper, I'm not sure the team has many of those players, but that would all depend on the progression of guys like Kreider and Stepan, as well as wild card players like Stempniak, Brassard and Zuccarello. It also depends on how well Nash bounces back.

Respecttheblue
08-05-2014, 10:18 AM
Yea, I don't think he's talking about quick strike. He's talking about a knack for clutch scoring or a big play, IMO.

Just that mystique for getting it done that most elite players have.

Yes, I guess "elite" or "former elite" and Richards in the same sentence might be stretching the lower end of the envelope of the elite class a bit, … but definitely a leader with "a mystique for getting it done,"/creating memorable moments worthy of a "marquee" player. (I'm not sure the couple of 91 point seasons in Tampa and Dallas, whether that gains him access to the lower tier of the elite club? Is the word "marquee" perhaps?)

More to the point perhaps, I'm talking about the caliber of offensive player that seems to be ether infrequent or short-lived in New York, compared with our market size, one might have thought we'd have been able to do better.

But, on the upside, Boston has shown it's possible to play and win a cup without any bona-fide stars/quasi-stars/superstars/megastars —*and the guys Richards leaves behind certainly have ability, playoff experience and a few other good things going for them.
Maybe the need for magic-capable stars is overstated?

Vodka Drunkenski
08-05-2014, 10:20 AM
Boston's makeup is a lot different than ours but I get what you're saying with the reference.

Pete
08-05-2014, 10:30 AM
The Boston model is dated, at this point. Once the world knows how to beat you, you have to change the way you play.

Boston's M.O. was to beat you down physically, agitate you into some bad penalties that basically shorten the game for you, and generally intimidate you. Montreal played "Catch Me If You Can" speed game, moved the puck against their slow-ish defense, and didn't get caught up in the after the whistle garbage.

The NHL is just getting faster. With speed, you need skill. Star players are going to need to shine. It's going to be harder and harder for depth teams to win when many of the western elite teams have not only depth, but depth of star power. LA has freakin Justin Williams on the third line. Chicago goes down the RW with Kane and Hossa and down the LW with Sharp, Saad and Bickel. Dallas now has Jason Spezza as a #2 center. Anaheim added Kesler without giving up almost anything of value. San Jose is always stacked, maybe one day they'll learn to win.

This is why I can't imagine how people don't see we need an upgrade at center.

Respecttheblue
08-05-2014, 10:17 PM
The Boston model is dated, at this point. Once the world knows how to beat you, you have to change the way you play.

Boston's M.O. was to beat you down physically, agitate you into some bad penalties that basically shorten the game for you, and generally intimidate you. Montreal played "Catch Me If You Can" speed game, moved the puck against their slow-ish defense, and didn't get caught up in the after the whistle garbage.

The NHL is just getting faster. With speed, you need skill. Star players are going to need to shine. It's going to be harder and harder for depth teams to win when many of the western elite teams have not only depth, but depth of star power. LA has freakin Justin Williams on the third line. Chicago goes down the RW with Kane and Hossa and down the LW with Sharp, Saad and Bickel. Dallas now has Jason Spezza as a #2 center. Anaheim added Kesler without giving up almost anything of value. San Jose is always stacked, maybe one day they'll learn to win.

This is why I can't imagine how people don't see we need an upgrade at center.

Aight. Now we're getting somewhere.
It would be nice to catch one of these young stars on the way up for a change, but we all know how hard that is.
And why it's nuts to even think of trading a Kreider. Yup, plenty of folk were ready to ship him out at the start of last season.

This team has shown it has some potential. I think the next few years they gotta keep their eyes peeled for possibilities for the 1st line center to match their aspirations.

Pete
08-05-2014, 10:20 PM
Aight. Now we're getting somewhere.
It would be nice to catch one of these young stars on the way up for a change, but we all know how hard that is.
And why it's nuts to even think of trading a Kreider. Yup, plenty of folk were ready to ship him out at the start of last season.

I think the next few years they gotta keep their eyes peeled for possibilities for the 1st line center of something near our dreams. This is a team with some potential, itI'm not sure how true that is.

And even if it were, what was the return proposed? I mean, if people wanted to trade Kreider for Evander Kane what is that so nuts (depending on your personal feelings about Kane)?

Why is it so jaw dropping? I'd trade anyone on this team but McD and maybe Lundy for the right player.

ThirtyONE
08-06-2014, 10:11 PM
Being a known as a "clutch" player is so skewed these days. Chris Drury was "clutch" for the rest of his life for something he did in his 20s. You know who's clutch? Anyone who steps up. Brian Boyle. Dominic Moore. Henrik Lundqvist. You don't need to go out and get a "clutch" player you need to get character players who give a shit when the going get's tough.

Richards will be missed in the room but he was pretty terrible on the ice. We will miss Brian Boyle more than we'll miss Richards.

momentum
08-07-2014, 05:57 AM
Interesting topic. I think we have plenty potential clutch scoring in players such as MSL and Nash and even Brassard, MZA and possibly Stepan and Kreider, they just have to show up is all. I don't think Richards provided this mysterious marquee player quality anymore when he was here, he was quite bad and many times actually a detriment for our team if anything. His magic was gone. But still, even a blind squirrel will find a nut sometimes and if put in those important moments enough times even he manged to score a late goal here and there. I think we will actually BENEFIT from Richards not being on the ice most of the time because another player with fresher legs will take his place. Also people forget the signing of the excellent Dan Boyle who will replace any "veteran elite magic" possibly lost with Richards gone.

I think the only thing we'll maybe miss from Richards is his veteran presence in the locker room but I think we will be fine on that front now as well, we have other vets who will speak out such as MSL and Hank and not to mention all these younger guys has gone to the big dance now themselves and KNOWS what it takes, they have that vital experience themselves now, this is very important and the effect of that should not be underestimated.
HOWEVER our team IS short on ELITE skill as you said (something Richards wasn't providing anymore unfortunately). Like some have mentioned, our weakness at center is glaring and if you inserted an elite topcenter there ahead of Stepan that enabled him and Brassard to slide back in the lineup strengthening the every line and the whole team with that one player added there is no tellign how much it would improve our team but it would be by a lot IMO.

momentum
08-07-2014, 06:02 AM
Aight. Now we're getting somewhere.
It would be nice to catch one of these young stars on the way up for a change, but we all know how hard that is.
And why it's nuts to even think of trading a Kreider. Yup, plenty of folk were ready to ship him out at the start of last season.

This team has shown it has some potential. I think the next few years they gotta keep their eyes peeled for possibilities for the 1st line center to match their aspirations.

Agreed, 1st line center position is definately the most glaring hole on this team to fill at the moment. Hard to get it filled though without making another as big hole somewhere else.
Oh and btw, if anyone wondered, NO it doesn't mean I HATE Stepan or think he sucks.

Pete
08-07-2014, 06:28 AM
I
Being a known as a "clutch" player is so skewed these days. Chris Drury was "clutch" for the rest of his life for something he did in his 20s. You know who's clutch? Anyone who steps up. Brian Boyle. Dominic Moore. Henrik Lundqvist. You don't need to go out and get a "clutch" player you need to get character players who give a shit when the going get's tough.

Richards will be missed in the room but he was pretty terrible on the ice. We will miss Brian Boyle more than we'll miss Richards.

Drury was clutch his whole career, even before the NHL. His percentage of GWG out of total goals is pretty high and goes up in the playoffs.

People like to down play GWG, but when the ratio is that skewed, there's something there.

That said, I think we'll miss anyone who raised or maintained their level of play, because Stepan and Nash really don't. How much is left in MSL tank?

Brassard and Kreider seem to have a knack for big goals at key times.

Dr. Jimmy
08-07-2014, 07:07 AM
Richards will be missed in the room but he was pretty terrible on the ice. We will miss Brian Boyle more than we'll miss Richards.



I tend to agree with this. He may not have been a frequent visitor on the scoresheet, but Boyle did a lot of the other stuff that may not be glamourous but is needed to be successful. Plus I guess he was liked in the locker room too. Who is going to replace him?

LyNX
08-07-2014, 08:40 PM
Need Nash to play like he was meant to. Use that hulking fucking figure and drag players into the net, while using the hands to dazzle the goalie.

Myusername
08-08-2014, 09:25 AM
Duclair could be that. The guy has speed, hands, and that extra "something" you see in great players.

Otherwise, no forward on this team can really be considered "elite" in any way. Thankfully we have an elite goalie in between the pipes and Mcdonagh is shaping up to be a franchise defender.


Richards wasn't elite in any sense of the word as a Ranger. He had no magic. He was in the right place at the right time. Once. Are some now use that to define him?

You really think the guy only scored one big goal here? Come on.

I'm no Richards lover, but on a team that wasn't exactly replete with offensive talent he was a breath of fresh air at times.

Pete
08-08-2014, 09:43 AM
Duclair could be that. The guy has speed, hands, and that extra "something" you see in great players.

Otherwise, no forward on this team can really be considered "elite" in any way. Thankfully we have an elite goalie in between the pipes and Mcdonagh is shaping up to be a franchise defender.



You really think the guy only scored one big goal here? Come on.

I'm no Richards lover, but on a team that wasn't exactly replete with offensive talent he was a breath of fresh air at times.

Two. The one in PHX and the one that sent the Caps game to OT.

Other than that? Not really.