when you look at this ranger team, you see potential, and you see downside.
This is why the majority of "experts" call them a middle of the pack team. For them to say that shows that if the rangers bust, then obviously no one stepped up this year, and if they break out and are a top 4 seed, then obviously gaborik and the young guns stepped it up. All this means is that they predict some things to go right for the rangers, and some things to go wrong.
Things that could go right/wrong:
-Chemistry between all the new faces not meshing
- the old guard(drury, redden, roszival, etc) show more signs of aging
- the young guns(MDZ, Gilroy, anisimov, etc) show they arent ready
- the new core(callahan, Dubinsky, Staal) arent the answer
thats alot of things that can go either way, some we wont know till after a year or two. But the fact that the rangers need more than a few things to go in their favor shows they aren't a certain playoff team.
We as ranger fans see every nook and cranny of this team and we all know it can be great, but after following this team forever we all know how blah it can be.
One thing we should all be looking at win or lose this season isnt donald brashear or ales kotalik... Not Drury or higgins or redden for that. What we should look at is our young players developing. Callahan, Dubinsky, and Staal lead the way for guys like Del Zotto, Gilroy, Anisimov and others who might come up and down.
thats the future of the team there. The New NHL(post Lock-out) is all about developing a core of young talent and building around it.
Albeit pitt and washington got a bunch of gems in the draft a few years back in the names of Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin, Backstrom and semin. Throw in J. Staal MA Fleury and Mike Green and these two teams are set for years.
this will probably NEVER happen for the rangers becasue they are never a bottom of the barrel team like the islanders.