What's needed to win the Stanley Cup? Are the Rangers good enough to win it? What pieces are they missing? Let's take a look at all the necessities.
Goaltending, Goaltending, Goaltending: No team has ever won a cup with weak goaltending. Now that's not to say there haven't been goalies who were normally sub par that won the cup, but they easily played some of the best hockey of their lives to win the cup. Here's a list of the cup winning goalies who started most if not all of the games for their team post-lockout:
Where does Hank stand in all of these goalies? Well post-lockout he's consistently been ranked one of the top goalies so goaltending is definitely not the issue for NYR. But the thing is for the Rangers to win the cup Hank has to be more than average and has to be on top of his game for them to win but I don't see that as a problem.
Depth down the Center position: Every team that's won has had some really stellar players at the center position. Let's look at each team's top 2 centers.
CAR: Staal- Brind'amour
PITT: Crosby- Malkin
The Rangers have Richards and Dubinsky/Anisimov which could be good enough, but it's not as good as some other one two punches on that list. But it's workable.
Extremely good defensive: No team has ever won a cup with poor defense. I don't even think there's a reason for me to point out the defensive players each team had on their cup winning team.
The Rangers defense is still a work in progress. They have two good pairings with Staal-Girardi and Mcdonagh-Sauer, but are still looking for a reliable third pair. Steve Eminger is not the answer. Tim Erixon will be good second or even a first pairing d-man one day but he looks like right now he can possibly handle a 3rd pairing role. Also, not to mention is the lack of a Offensive defenseman. Is MDZ the answer? Maybe. But he has to prove to the coaching staff, and on the Blueshirt Banter he can play in his own zone.
Getting the most out of the players on their way to winning a cup: Now this doesn't necessarily apply to the star players on the team but the bottom 6 players rather. I think it's very important for teams that most people in their bottom 6 have career best playoff performances. Even goaltenders this applies to. I think Cam Ward will never have as good a playoffs he had while winning the cup in 06'. Brad Marchand just last year wasn't expected to carry the team a lot last year but getting 19 points in 25 games plus doing everything he could do without the puck he certainly played a pretty big part in that role. It's possible he can re-do that performance but still he came up pretty huge when he wasn't expected to.
Those are just some of the themes I constantly see going into the cup finals, and I selected only post-lockout teams just for a smaller sample size.
Feel free to add any comments about the similarities of the Stanley Cup champions you notice.