The prospects gave us the night off and that allowed us to take a peek at the New York Rangers and what is being said about them. Some of the stuff being said is kind of puzzling; most of it is backtracking to cover someone's ass.
Let's get right to the point and that is can we stop already with all the gloom and doom nonsense? Oh the Ottawa Senators had a better head to head record during the regular season than the Rangers; so what?
This is the playoffs and what matters is that the Rangers are the 1 seed in the Eastern Conference while the Senators are the 8th seed. It gives the Rangers a chance to set the tempo and dictate how this series will be played.
In other words who cares what the Sens want to do? This is our house as play how we want to.
Yes it has been a long time since the Rangers opened up at home in the playoffs so Rangers fans have forgotten the difference makers they can be for the team. Bring the noise and it becomes a psychological weapon that few teams can match.
If by now 109 points has not told you that this is a good Ranger team then there is nothing we can do to convince you otherwise. But do the rest of us a favor and don't bother watching if you are expecting them to lose.
It seems all that is being said is how the Senators can beat the Rangers but few "experts" are remembering that while offense can win you games, it is defense that will win you championships.
We have spent the last 8 years watching Ranger prospects work their way towards this moment in time and forgive us if we say that it is the Senators who need to worry about how they will stop the Ranger's youth.
If you don't know our list of Ranger homegrown players who came to the Rangers from winning programs then you missed out. Your loss but unlike the Senators, the Ranger built this team from players who have played in the big games as they developed.
If you want 4 Rangers to watch then keep an eye on Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Del Zotto and Carl Hagelin as all 4 are very dangerous in crunch time. All have played their best hockey in the biggest of games and we doubt the Stanley Cup playoffs will be any different for them.
Then there is a weapon that sometimes gets very overlooked and that is Ryan Callahan the captain. Down the stretch Callahan scored key goals and in the playoffs.
We expect Ryan "Rambo" Callahan to continue to lead by his play and challenge the team to follow him into battle.
If you don't believe any of this that is your right but don't blame us when you don't enjoy seeing the Rangers win.
Doing the Kreider backstroke
Oh wait now people are saying that Chris Kreider is not going to sign with the Rangers and play for them during the playoffs.Yet for most of them, they still can't get their information right.
Kreider would be playing for free
Actually what they should be saying is Chris Kreider will not be paid a salary since nobody draws a salary during the playoffs. But that doesn't mean Kreider won't make any money as there are several ways for him to do so.
Kreider can collect a signing bonus, he also would draw expense money to cover when the Rangers are on the road, he could also collect a share of the Stanley Cup bonus money once it is divided.
Kreider doesn't want to play for the Rangers
Oh boy that one was as funny as the guy who said Kreider lacked hockey sense. Kreider is friends with Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Ryan Bourque AKA the 4 hockey nerds of New York.
They work out together during the summer and we are glad we don't have to pay their phone bills. Guess it is easier to say this rather than acknowledge what we keep saying that Chris Kreider will first finish his obligations to his Boston College teammates and his coach.
Of course Boston College coach Jerry York would love to have Kreider come back for a senior season. York isn't an idiot and Chris Kreider returning would make Boston College the odds on favorite for the 2013 NCAA Championship.
But Jerry York is also a coach who wants what is best for his players which is why so many are as loyal to him as they are. York will give Kreider his blessing and that will be it.
Kreider will return for senior season so he can be a UFA in August 2013
The first thing the NHL is going to want to do is change that date to a year after the senior class graduates so teams do not lose out on top prospects like Kreider. Kreider is not going to risk a year's salary on "what if's?"
Kreider knows what the amount the Rangers can pay him in salary and bonus under the current CBA and most believe that it will be the players on entry level contracts who will see their salaries and bonus money cut.
Here is why people keep missing on Chris Kreider; Kreider is a good humble person of character. He is an intelligent young man from a very good family who raised him right.
Kreider at times is way too humble, way too nice but most of all if I had a kid I would want him to have Kreider for a role model. Maybe it was getting his education first that fooled you or maybe it was his giving credit to everyone but himself.
Kreider has the option not to burn a year of his deal if he chooses but we still feel Kreider winds up in the AHL to see how he adapts to it. If he dominates and can help the Rangers then they will recall him if not see him in July at rookie camp.
Now can we spend more time cheering for the Rangers than freaking about or dealing with the naysayers?
(NYR logo-courtesy New York Rangers. Kreider- JrWarriors )
4 hours ago