If you look around at all the old teams in the NHL, Original 6 or whats left of the Expansion 6, they all seem to have a different chapter they take out of the "school of hockey". I mean this as a whole franchise, not the individual teams form year to year. But im having difficulty placing the Rangers in a category. Lets take a look at some of the teams around us.
Attack: Montreal found their success by using a formula that worked for them. Attack. They predominantly used small, fast French (Canadian) forwards to blow by their opponents defense and had a stellar defense of their own. Once these small forwards had possession of they puck they would relentlessly attack the net rush after rush, never forechecking. Other teams that have adopted this school of play is the New Jersey Devils (dynasty days) and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Smashmouth: Boston found a way to counter act these small, fast players by playing "Smashmouth" hockey. They made the rink at Boston Garden smaller than the one at the Forum just so the forwards couldn't skate around their huge players. Everyone on the Bruins was bigger than any other team and would continuously forecheck, just so you couldn't get the puck. Anything change today? The team that has best adopted this is the Philadelphia Flyers. In fact, their pretty much identical teams.
But where do the Rangers fit? I would put them under Gritty, but that's only been the past 2 years. What about them as a franchise? As a whole?
I was talking to a guy at this pizza place outside Msg a few months ago. He was telling me the Rangers should be classified as a "Greatness" team. Whatever the hell that means. He compared them to Detroit. I thought he was nuts.
But he did have a point. New York and Detroit do have the same types of players. Not necessarily playing one type of hockey, but all of them. You dont see Lidstrom or Zetterburg killing guys with checks, or blowing right by defensemen with their finesse. They just have "great" players playing "great" hockey. So think of our "GAG line, our Cook brothers, Brad Parks, Leetches, and Giacomins. Now im not comparing the successes of the Red Wings to the Rangers, just their style of play.
I dont know, if i had to categorize the Rangers, i suppose it would be "Adaptive". Coaches look at the team they have and decide to play the style thats most appropriate. What do you think the Rangers are?