But it means old, big teams who make a living obstructing and trapping are now dinosaurs. Witness Toronto and Boston. However, fast, puck possession teams like New York and Ottawa now get to break out with speed. The Rangers were also too fast in back checking for Toronto, and too quick to collapse around the net. Coupled with good goal tending this is unbeatable, as Ottawa found out last week when the Rangers slayed them handily.
At this stage of the season, NY, Ottawa and Philadelphia are the form teams. I am surprised that Philadelphia is doing well. They are in the Toronto/Boston cart for an over-sized, over-weight and overly-slow team. But they are doing well. They must be faster than expected. They do have a lot of Europeans on the second and third lines. Having a fast, big, forechecker like Knuble play with Forsberg is a positive. Philly must have got the balance between speed and size right.
New York used to be laughing stock of the league. They would buy and trade for any piece of junk on the market. For instance Messier at age 40 at 6 million a year. What a waste. He was old, slow and a media whore. Thanks for 96, now fuck off back to some frozen waste land in Intuitistan. MSG is constantly playing Messier week and other crap since he got his jersey retired. Better hope this current NY team doesnt string together a couple of Stanley Cups or retiring Messier's jumper will look a bit premature. Let Edmonton retire it.
The salary cup has been a bonus for NY, it has forced a fiscal discipline on them, that they were unable to do on their own. The old guys they do have are fast and skilled. If you are going to get an old free agent, it is a good thing to ensure they have the speed of Martin Straka. Other old folks include Jagr, Nylander, Sykora and Kaparitus.
Because of young folks like Ortmeyer and Ward, NY is probably one of the fastest clubs around. Probably only Ottawa and Montreal rival them for speed. NY also has a big and mobile defence corps - like Ottawa and Philadelphia. Montreal has a small defence and is not doing so well.
The Rangers go into the Olympic break looking fast, strong and confident. Since I started watching hockey in 1998, I cannot recall the Rangers looking this good. And to top it off, the Olympic ice hockey tournament is on! For lack of an Australian ice hockey team at the Olympics, GO USA.
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