It's looking like one ECF appearance (a loss to you-know-who of course) in all of Sather's time with the Rangers. They've won a whopping 6 playoff series so far in his time there. Yeah, I'm sure that was the plan when he was signed up. There's definitely a crapshoot feel to the playoffs these days, but all Sather seems to know how to do is bring in expensive marquee names, even if they're clearly not what they were (Wade Redden). Damned near zero creativity.
Sometimes, the best moves you make are the ones you don't. He broke up a team that reached an ECF. Looks like I was right about the Nash trade. Dubinsky was a key cog who Tort misused. Subtracting him hurt their identity. They also lost Prust and Anisimov. I hated the AV hiring but he's done a respectable job. The problem is they still don't have a top line center and lack a power play QB. The second one hurts big time. You can't rely on an aging Richards with no true point. McDonagh probably is playing with a separated shoulder.
Not even the most negative Ranger fan could've predicted Nash's demise. Concussions didn't help. His puck possession stats are good but he's paid to finish. I actually feel for him. He's trying but just looks like a shell. Too much on perimeter. The best thing AV did was turn Kreider into a power wing. He uses his size, strength and speed around the net. It still doesn't excuse the lack of adjustments with the PP. Kreider is an important player because he's their fastest skater and is one of the few who drives the net. When your bravest guy is Zuccarello, that just won't cut it. Zuke plays with balls. His line with Brassard and Pouliot are the only one that gets any consistent pressure.
Obviously, Game 4 was a flat out embarrassment. But also highlighted their weaknesses. When you subtract a Callahan who's your leader, you risk becoming soft. The Rangers are as vanilla as it gets. I can't explain St. Louis. Obviously, it becomes more clear with his Mom's tragedy. Supposedly, she was sick for a while which might be the truth behind why he wanted to come here. That's a horrible thing. Feel for MSL and his family.
My biggest issue with the team is their lack of guts. Are they really about to go belly up to a Pens team that isn't what we'd call great by any stretch? At some point, enough is enough. Every good team shows a pulse. I took the Pens in 7 because I thought it would be hard fought. I don't think I'm asking for a lot for my team to show up for Game 5 and get the series back to MSG. I'm fed up with the excuses. Vigneault was a whiner with Vancouver. I don't need to hear about the schedule or how disappointed he and the players are about the booing. I don't believe in booing. There aren't enough real fans at the games anymore. I don't even care enough to go. That's what Dolan wanted. They priced out the diehards. The old MSG was much better.
CR, this isn't about the goalie anymore. It's about how poorly constructed they're built. Lundqvist is a top 3 goalie. I get into debates all the time about whether I'd put him ahead of Richter. I still wouldn't. Richter knew how to win the big games. But he also benefited from much better talent. It's not even a contest. My fear is that as long as Sather is running the ship, Hank's remaining good years will be wasted. He's getting older. He's not the reason they're down. 25 giveaways. Imagine that happening under Tort. No toughness. Easy to play against.
FWIW, Montreal looks like the better team than Boston. They lost on a fluky goal but I like how they play. They're not big either but play with much more ferocity. And boast the biggest power play weapon. Subban. Price looks locked in. I originally took the Bruins but think it might be the Habs year. Either one of those teams should reach the SCF. Glad the Ducks woke up and got back in that series. The Hawks look pretty tough. Love how the Wild compete at home. That'll be a tough Game 4. I think it's Kings and Hawks out West which would be a rematch. A toss up.