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Alexis Lafreniere and the Rangers Reach a Critical Point


Pete
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9 hours ago, josh said:

Othmann is currently tied for a team worse in points for the WJC. He’s barely at a PPG on his new team in the OHL. 
 

Oh. Nobody saw that coming, when they sent him back to Jr's with nothing left to prove. This isn't shocking or anything people didn't expect. He's bored. This happens. 

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3 minutes ago, The Dude said:

Oh. Nobody saw that coming, when they sent him back to Jr's with nothing left to prove. This isn't shocking or anything people didn't expect. He's bored. This happens. 

Jr. Hockey in Canada gets special treatment that the NCAA and Euro leagues don't.  It's long overdue for a change.  There should be far more AHL teams in these provincial cities up there.  It might reduce the sway held by Jr. hockey in these places.  Before the season, I would have bet good money that Othmann would regress.  If you take the best student in 5th grade and hold him back to repeat it, what happens?

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19 minutes ago, The Dude said:

Oh. Nobody saw that coming, when they sent him back to Jr's with nothing left to prove. This isn't shocking or anything people didn't expect. He's bored. This happens. 


Yup. Along with requesting a trade to a different OHL team to be closer to his family and two sick grandparents. Also not surprising his production has decreased since. Before the trade he was pacing 99 pts, more than last year. Seems his head is elsewhere at the moment and who can blame him?

 

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9 hours ago, jsrangers said:

I'm not assuming Othmann steps in as anything but a camp invite. Done being fooled.  But that really has nothing to do with what Laf has proven or failed to prove to date. 

It has to do with what Lafrenière has proved and if he fits the spot that is available to him or another player, with the current coach and organization mindset.

 

Othmann is next in line. His style fits team needs as well as the requirements for the potential open spot if Lafrenière isn't here. It seems like the Rangers want a 3rd line LW. I think Lafrenière was to be way more than just that. I'd think he believes that as well. 

 

The 2 have a lot to do with each other, due to the logjam in the top 6 that already exists. 

 

People think Lafrenière is too good for 3rd line minutes or a 3rd line type of role (because he hasn't identified his game yet...... lol). For some reason the Rangers arent moving him to RW consistently enough, and he supposedly would rather only play the left side. He's not taking Kreider's spot. He's not taking Panarins spot.

 

I'll blame Gallant all day for this. Simply because the team was winning with the lineup of

 

10- 93- 21

13- 72- 24

20- 16- 26

 

They CAN get him more minutes.  They win when they roll 4 lines consistently. He may not be putting up huge numbers, but that may have come with consistency. Heck as noted, he was contributing.

 

It was less of the same old same old. Everything looked better when it was set up like this. Some tinkering with some RW spots come trade deadline, would have been a smarter move than what they have done. 

 

If the Rangers are going to continue letting Gallant change things up like this then have him bitch about developing players,  Lafrenière is doomed unless he catches fire and plays like a dominant player for weeks. 

 

I'm waiting to see some dominant shifts before I change my mind about how disappointing he has been, or to sway me from thinking it's best to move on and cash out, while there is still perceived value.  I believe they can still get quite a bit for him as far as team needs as well as backfilling the cupboard a little. 

 

I blame the Rangers more than I blame Lafrenière for where this is at today. I feel he has been held back by Gallant. Yes, a look on PP1 would be nice. Treat the fuckin kid as a possible danger to your top players. HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE!  This is one of the players you slot up when things aren't going well. Not Vesey. Not Goodrow. Not Blais (now). Instead we see the same 4 players moved around 2 lines with patchwork bottom 6 forwards as the filler. Why not your top picks? Why not use the kid line that hasn't really faltered? Expand their role!

 

I do also think Lafrenière is responsible for a lot of this as well. Be that generational talent and force your way up or out. If you're that good. Do it. He's had opportunities. The spot he's is forced into isn't even that bad. 3rd line with 2 progressing youngsters and they get favorable match ups. There's no excuse to not be dominating out there. 

 

If people are OK with what he is now and think this is it, then I really want to push him out and try Othmann or someone else there next year. As is, he doesn't make the team better. I wouldn't say he makes them worse either. I'd say someone else would be a better fit  and bring more of what is missing. 

 

Change the coach? Then I  change my mind. I don't think they are changing the coach. 

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21 minutes ago, The Dude said:

It has to do with what Lafrenière has proved and if he fits the spot that is available to him or another player, with the current coach and organization mindset.

 

Othmann is next in line. His style fits team needs as well as the requirements for the potential open spot if Lafrenière isn't here. It seems like the Rangers want a 3rd line LW. I think Lafrenière was to be way more than just that. I'd think he believes that as well. 

 

The 2 have a lot to do with each other, due to the logjam in the top 6 that already exists. 

 

People think Lafrenière is too good for 3rd line minutes or a 3rd line type of role (because he hasn't identified his game yet...... lol). For some reason the Rangers arent moving him to RW consistently enough, and he supposedly would rather only play the left side. He's not taking Kreider's spot. He's not taking Panarins spot.

 

I'll blame Gallant all day for this. Simply because the team was winning with the lineup of

 

10- 93- 21

13- 72- 24

20- 16- 26

 

They CAN get him more minutes.  They win when they roll 4 lines consistently. He may not be putting up huge numbers, but that may have come with consistency. Heck as noted, he was contributing.

 

It was less of the same old same old. Everything looked better when it was set up like this. Some tinkering with some RW spots come trade deadline, would have been a smarter move than what they have done. 

 

If the Rangers are going to continue letting Gallant change things up like this then have him bitch about developing players,  Lafrenière is doomed unless he catches fire and plays like a dominant player for weeks. 

 

I'm waiting to see some dominant shifts before I change my mind about how disappointing he has been, or to sway me from thinking it's best to move on and cash out, while there is still perceived value.  I believe they can still get quite a bit for him as far as team needs as well as backfilling the cupboard a little. 

 

I blame the Rangers more than I blame Lafrenière for where this is at today. I feel he has been held back by Gallant. Yes, a look on PP1 would be nice. Treat the fuckin kid as a possible danger to your top players. HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE!  This is one of the players you slot up when things aren't going well. Not Vesey. Not Goodrow. Not Blais (now). Instead we see the same 4 players moved around 2 lines with patchwork bottom 6 forwards as the filler. Why not your top picks? Why not use the kid line that hasn't really faltered? Expand their role!

 

I do also think Lafrenière is responsible for a lot of this as well. Be that generational talent and force your way up or out. If you're that good. Do it. He's had opportunities. The spot he's is forced into isn't even that bad. 3rd line with 2 progressing youngsters and they get favorable match ups. There's no excuse to not be dominating out there. 

 

If people are OK with what he is now and think this is it, then I really want to push him out and try Othmann or someone else there next year. As is, he doesn't make the team better. I wouldn't say he makes them worse either. I'd say someone else would be a better fit  and bring more of what is missing. 

 

Change the coach? Then I  change my mind. I don't think they are changing the coach. 


More minutes will only come on special teams. The kids are already up there with Zibanejad and Kreider in 5v5 time. Kakko has more than both. Laf has more than Kreider.

 

I don’t think anyone is thinking the kids just need more PK time, so it really comes down to PP. At most you’re taking off one guy from PP1 (Trocheck?), or you’re benching PP1 for PP2, and Gallant isn’t interested in changing it. So nothing is going to happen with the kids’ ice time as they are already being rolled equally with the top players on the team at 5v5 and they aren’t seeing PP time anytime soon.

 

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1 hour ago, Sod16 said:

Jr. Hockey in Canada gets special treatment that the NCAA and Euro leagues don't.  It's long overdue for a change.  There should be far more AHL teams in these provincial cities up there.  It might reduce the sway held by Jr. hockey in these places.  Before the season, I would have bet good money that Othmann would regress.  If you take the best student in 5th grade and hold him back to repeat it, what happens?

 

What are you talking about lol. How about we do what we want. Junior is the lifeblood of Canadian hockey.

 

AHL teams? lol. 

 

Othmann just isn't what many have hyped him up to be, here. This isn't Conor Bedard. This is a NHL middle 6 role player. He also needs to learn to push through adversity. Not a great attitude so far, needs to harness his attitude in the right direction.

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1 minute ago, Phil said:

 

There's nothing wrong with slotting Othmann on L4. The issue is always going to be the PP.

 

Like, even if you get Patrick Kane, are you not going to play him on the power play? Who comes off? Tro? That changes the entire dynamic of the power play... Which could be fine, since it hasn't been great anyway. 

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1 hour ago, Phil said:

 

I'm still confused as to why people are talking about Othmann taking a spot on the team next year. We've had much higher touted prospects than him stepping on to the team and be completely invisible, or even a liability, the last few seasons. I don't see what's different here?

 

So far his D+2 season is trending the same way Cuylle's did last year and he's currently spending time adapting in the AHL. Othmann is also having an impressively bad WJC, while Lafreniere was named player of the tournament in the same tourney right before he stepped in to the NHL. Much talk about his grit, toughness and big hits, but he's been playing against little boys. Kakko and Kravtsov spend years playing with men and they both struggled big time when they first arrived in the NHL.

 

Othmann won't be a regular NHL'er before 24/25. By that time we should know what we have in Lafreniere and we should be able to move Kreider if needed.

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43 minutes ago, Zuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuc said:

I'm still confused as to why people are talking about Othmann taking a spot on the team next year. We've had much higher touted prospects than him stepping on to the team and be completely invisible, or even a liability, the last few seasons. I don't see what's different here?

 

So far his D+2 season is trending the same way Cuylle's did last year and he's currently spending time adapting in the AHL. Othmann is also having an impressively bad WJC, while Lafreniere was named player of the tournament in the same tourney right before he stepped in to the NHL. Much talk about his grit, toughness and big hits, but he's been playing against little boys. Kakko and Kravtsov spend years playing with men and they both struggled big time when they first arrived in the NHL.

 

Othmann won't be a regular NHL'er before 24/25. By that time we should know what we have in Lafreniere and we should be able to move Kreider if needed.

Disagree. Showed leaps and bounds, better all around game in camp this year than any of our top prospects. He hit everything in sight and used his speed to create scoring chances,  even in a penalty killing role. Was a pain in the ass. 

 

How many WJC standouts actually bring much to the NHL these days?  Haven't we learned to stop gauging players by their performance in that tournament? In the last decade who besides Zegras has been outstanding in it and has been an impact NHLer? It's not the end all be all gauge it used to be. 

 

Like you said Lafreniere tore it up. Now look at him. Don't go by it. 

 

This kid fills needs that he can bring,  without having to be an offensive force. This makes him different than past prospects.  He has many uses and uses that the team needs from the potential spot he could take. He doesn't have to "get it" right away to be useful. 

 

Unlike Lafreniere,  I'm already ok with the fact that Othmann likely doesn't pan out as a generational talent or 1st line scorer. IMO, he was never headed in that direction.  I'd be fine to find out that he tops out where he fits on this current roster. 3rd line energy winger. That's all I expect from him. Anything more is gravy. 

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3 hours ago, The Dude said:

It has to do with what Lafrenière has proved and if he fits the spot that is available to him or another player, with the current coach and organization mindset.

 

Othmann is next in line. His style fits team needs as well as the requirements for the potential open spot if Lafrenière isn't here. It seems like the Rangers want a 3rd line LW. I think Lafrenière was to be way more than just that. I'd think he believes that as well. 

 

The 2 have a lot to do with each other, due to the logjam in the top 6 that already exists. 

 

People think Lafrenière is too good for 3rd line minutes or a 3rd line type of role (because he hasn't identified his game yet...... lol). For some reason the Rangers arent moving him to RW consistently enough, and he supposedly would rather only play the left side. He's not taking Kreider's spot. He's not taking Panarins spot.

 

I'll blame Gallant all day for this. Simply because the team was winning with the lineup of

 

10- 93- 21

13- 72- 24

20- 16- 26

 

They CAN get him more minutes.  They win when they roll 4 lines consistently. He may not be putting up huge numbers, but that may have come with consistency. Heck as noted, he was contributing.

 

It was less of the same old same old. Everything looked better when it was set up like this. Some tinkering with some RW spots come trade deadline, would have been a smarter move than what they have done. 

 

If the Rangers are going to continue letting Gallant change things up like this then have him bitch about developing players,  Lafrenière is doomed unless he catches fire and plays like a dominant player for weeks. 

 

I'm waiting to see some dominant shifts before I change my mind about how disappointing he has been, or to sway me from thinking it's best to move on and cash out, while there is still perceived value.  I believe they can still get quite a bit for him as far as team needs as well as backfilling the cupboard a little. 

 

I blame the Rangers more than I blame Lafrenière for where this is at today. I feel he has been held back by Gallant. Yes, a look on PP1 would be nice. Treat the fuckin kid as a possible danger to your top players. HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE!  This is one of the players you slot up when things aren't going well. Not Vesey. Not Goodrow. Not Blais (now). Instead we see the same 4 players moved around 2 lines with patchwork bottom 6 forwards as the filler. Why not your top picks? Why not use the kid line that hasn't really faltered? Expand their role!

 

I do also think Lafrenière is responsible for a lot of this as well. Be that generational talent and force your way up or out. If you're that good. Do it. He's had opportunities. The spot he's is forced into isn't even that bad. 3rd line with 2 progressing youngsters and they get favorable match ups. There's no excuse to not be dominating out there. 

 

If people are OK with what he is now and think this is it, then I really want to push him out and try Othmann or someone else there next year. As is, he doesn't make the team better. I wouldn't say he makes them worse either. I'd say someone else would be a better fit  and bring more of what is missing. 

 

Change the coach? Then I  change my mind. I don't think they are changing the coach. 

I think this is all basically true. Lafreniere can control a lot here. He can be in better shape. He can do a lot more, sure. I think we'd all wish he'd make better decisions with the puck, but that's just inexperience. The biggest critique was his physical shape last year - he's in better shape this year. Hopefully next year his skating will improve. Look what happened with Kakko once he worked on his physical abilities. It's a different player. Laf can and should do this, and it's right to expect it out of him.

 

But to overlook that Gallant is holding him back is also wrong. As far as we're all concerned, Laf did what he needed to do in the playoffs last year and...has had no change in coach behavior as a result. Chytil and Kakko to a lesser extent see the same. Let's stop fucking around with tinkering vesey/goodrow/whomever around the top 6 and put the line that carried us in the playoffs 5v5 where they ought to be when things don't go well. Laf/Chytil/Kakko should absolutely be looked at as a top 6 threat to our very well paid superstars, because they are. Stop fucking around and give them the top line minutes for a game or two. They deserve the chance, and the tinkering is not going to win games. Worst case scenario is you spend time developing the team of the future while we lose anyway. 

 

Last, I think you made a great point about Lafreniere really just not being in that bad of a position. You're right. He can't control the perception of him, but he's factually played his way onto a contending team in a third line scoring role getting favorable matchups where he should be getting more ice time. He isn't, but he should be. He should be doing more himself too. He isn't, but he should be. That's really just not that bad. If that's how the coach is going to use him, and Drury is not planning on changing that, then absolutely, he's got to be worth more in a trade.  

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17 minutes ago, The Dude said:

Disagree. Showed leaps and bounds, better all around game in camp this year than any of our top prospects. He hit everything in sight and used his speed to create scoring chances,  even in a penalty killing role. Was a pain in the ass. 

 

How many WJC standouts actually bring much to the NHL these days?  Haven't we learned to stop gauging players by their performance in that tournament? In the last decade who besides Zegras has been outstanding in it and has been an impact NHLer? It's not the end all be all gauge it used to be. 

 

Like you said Lafreniere tore it up. Now look at him. Don't go by it. 

 

This kid fills needs that he can bring,  without having to be an offensive force. This makes him different than past prospects.  He has many uses and uses that the team needs from the potential spot he could take. He doesn't have to "get it" right away to be useful. 

 

Unlike Lafreniere,  I'm already ok with the fact that Othmann likely doesn't pan out as a generational talent or 1st line scorer. IMO, he was never headed in that direction.  I'd be fine to find out that he tops out where he fits on this current roster. 3rd line energy winger. That's all I expect from him. Anything more is gravy. 

Having a strong camp means next to nothing.

 

He should absolutely spend 20-40 games in the AHL regardless of what he does next year in camp. It'll build character and you can reassess where he is after 20/30/40 games. 

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1 hour ago, Pete said:

Having a strong camp means next to nothing.

 

He should absolutely spend 20-40 games in the AHL regardless of what he does next year in camp. It'll build character and you can reassess where he is after 20/30/40 games. 

I'm expecting an undeniable camp. IMO he had one this season too, but they had no spot for him to have an impact worth wasting a contract year on.

 

But, yeah, if there are questions about his ability at that time or he's coasting ala fat boy here, absolutely. 

 

And Jommy Vesey disagrees with you about a good camp meaning next to nothing.  

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54 minutes ago, Valriera said:

I think this is all basically true. Lafreniere can control a lot here. He can be in better shape. He can do a lot more, sure. I think we'd all wish he'd make better decisions with the puck, but that's just inexperience. The biggest critique was his physical shape last year - he's in better shape this year. Hopefully next year his skating will improve. Look what happened with Kakko once he worked on his physical abilities. It's a different player. Laf can and should do this, and it's right to expect it out of him.

 

But to overlook that Gallant is holding him back is also wrong. As far as we're all concerned, Laf did what he needed to do in the playoffs last year and...has had no change in coach behavior as a result. Chytil and Kakko to a lesser extent see the same. Let's stop fucking around with tinkering vesey/goodrow/whomever around the top 6 and put the line that carried us in the playoffs 5v5 where they ought to be when things don't go well. Laf/Chytil/Kakko should absolutely be looked at as a top 6 threat to our very well paid superstars, because they are. Stop fucking around and give them the top line minutes for a game or two. They deserve the chance, and the tinkering is not going to win games. Worst case scenario is you spend time developing the team of the future while we lose anyway. 

 

Last, I think you made a great point about Lafreniere really just not being in that bad of a position. You're right. He can't control the perception of him, but he's factually played his way onto a contending team in a third line scoring role getting favorable matchups where he should be getting more ice time. He isn't, but he should be. He should be doing more himself too. He isn't, but he should be. That's really just not that bad. If that's how the coach is going to use him, and Drury is not planning on changing that, then absolutely, he's got to be worth more in a trade.  

All this. His best options are the younger players who need the opportunity.  Instead he just seems to go with whatever vet is around.  

 

His lack of faith in the kid line is what drives me nuts. He's so quick to pull that successful trio apart, yet he keeps trying to force this Panarin Trochek combo together  and can't keep Kreider away from Zibanejad for more than 8 or whatever games. 

 

For a guy that's a players coach and just one of the boys, he sure is out of touch on some things. Like: how the kid line gets the best out of the 3 players and should only get more quality icetime. Especially when you are going through a Panarin cold stretch.  Or when Zibanejad hasn't scored an ES goal in a month.. 

 

The best thing for this team would be for Lafreniere to wake up and dominate ON the kid line, with the others contributing as well. Then somehow getting him on a bridge deal. Then they go from there, with the eventual rising cap. Maybe Othmann makes the roster next year and pushes his way up the lineup on the RW. 

 

It's going to have to be a perfect storm.  I don't think it will work out, no matter which way Lafreniere goes as far as keeping him here, signed, happy and productive. 

 

It's all on his shoulders. He's not getting any help or favors from Gallant. Some will say he shouldn't get any special treatment.  I disagree. I'd baby the fuck out of a 1OA if I'm the Rangers.  

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Panarin

 

Kreider

 

Where's the opportunity for a #1OA LW to break out as of the moment he arrived on the roster?

 

Yes, #1OA's don't usually wind up on a talented roster however this particular talented roster was loaded at his specific position.  This has led to zero opportunities on the PP.  It has led to very little time in the top 6.  And LaFreniere has had a target on his back the whole time.  You don't think the guys lining up opposite him knew they were lining up against a #1OA?  You don't think they put a little bit more into their play when they line up against him, particularly when he was 19 and 20?

 

You can't blame anybody but LaFreniere for his part of the equation but the Rangers have flat out stunk at creating the opportunities for him to break out.  There was a point last year where he was #2 on the Rangers in ESG.

 

Looking at the overall picture I think you have to ask why the Rangers wasted the high picks they did.  It's not just LaFreniere that has disappointed.  Maybe he and a few others would have done better if they were labeled the savior on a bad team coming in and fed the minutes and opportunities to try to get the job done.

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12 minutes ago, Br4d said:

Panarin

 

Kreider

 

Where's the opportunity for a #1OA LW to break out as of the moment he arrived on the roster?

 

Yes, #1OA's don't usually wind up on a talented roster however this particular talented roster was loaded at his specific position.  This has led to zero opportunities on the PP.  It has led to very little time in the top 6.  And LaFreniere has had a target on his back the whole time.  You don't think the guys lining up opposite him knew they were lining up against a #1OA?  You don't think they put a little bit more into their play when they line up against him, particularly when he was 19 and 20?

 

You can't blame anybody but LaFreniere for his part of the equation but the Rangers have flat out stunk at creating the opportunities for him to break out.  There was a point last year where he was #2 on the Rangers in ESG.

 

Looking at the overall picture I think you have to ask why the Rangers wasted the high picks they did.  It's not just LaFreniere that has disappointed.  Maybe he and a few others would have done better if they were labeled the savior on a bad team coming in and fed the minutes and opportunities to try to get the job done.


all of this is summed up by horrible, horrible coaching from a coach that doesn’t know how to use the tools given him. 
 

it’s not hard to have two PP units, split playing time among the top players, spread out the skill, get guys in position to be successful, and NOT fuck with the lines every game 

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18 hours ago, Br4d said:

Panarin

 

Kreider

 

Where's the opportunity for a #1OA LW to break out as of the moment he arrived on the roster?

 

Yes, #1OA's don't usually wind up on a talented roster however this particular talented roster was loaded at his specific position.  This has led to zero opportunities on the PP.  It has led to very little time in the top 6.  And LaFreniere has had a target on his back the whole time.  You don't think the guys lining up opposite him knew they were lining up against a #1OA?  You don't think they put a little bit more into their play when they line up against him, particularly when he was 19 and 20?

 

You can't blame anybody but LaFreniere for his part of the equation but the Rangers have flat out stunk at creating the opportunities for him to break out.  There was a point last year where he was #2 on the Rangers in ESG.

 

Looking at the overall picture I think you have to ask why the Rangers wasted the high picks they did.  It's not just LaFreniere that has disappointed.  Maybe he and a few others would have done better if they were labeled the savior on a bad team coming in and fed the minutes and opportunities to try to get the job done.

 

I totally agree with this sentiment. I don't care if if he was the consensus #1. You drafted a #1 OA to a roster filled with NMC ahead of him on the depth chart. Such a dumb move. BPA is so dumb in this scenario specifically. You know teams are willing to trade A LOT to capture that #1 OA at the draft. Draft position could've been traded or we could've went off board; Byfield would have been so much more beneficial for this roster. (I know he isn't a generational talent either but imagine the depth chart with another center with higher potential.)

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