As I sat there watching the Rangers work their asses off only to lose, yet again, to Detroit, I had a couple of thoughts about the Ranger game. This team's identity is to work hard, never quit and prepare for the future. We've freed up some significant cap space, jumped with both feet into the youth movement, and are still in a playoff position. So how can the Rangers be competative for the remainder of this season, while not having Sather "sell-the-farm".
Here's a couple of suggestions -
1. GO TO THE NET! We've bitched about how poorly the PP is and how they need a quarterback. Mostly, they never really get a chance to set-up in the zone. Watching Detriot it became painfully obvious that when the Rangers cross the blueline, the no one without the puck drives to the net. Without this, the D can stand up at the blue line, and take away space in the offensive zone.
2. Solidify the lines. Over the last few games Torts has slowed down on the magic 8-ball style of picking his lines, but I think he can do better ...
3. Play the best players. Here are the line combinations I would go with:
Spare parts (Avery-Christensen-Prospal + whomever else is healthy + Kolarik)
This is not to be a knock on Avery and Prospal's play, I know they have been playing well, but I think it's doubtful either are in the long term plans. Also, knocking Gabby for his lack of production when pairing him with a player claimed off waivers and an over 30 playing in his second game really isn't fair. Gabby's a sniper, not a puck carrier or a playmaker. Put him with players who go to the net and create space.
4. Play for the future. Enough about dealing MDZ or Gilroy. I had no expectations going into this season. We're in a playoff position with 5 rookies in the line-up. Let them develop and play.