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FOOOOORREE! Says the Rangers


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#721 Derek21

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 07:00 PM

Zam, the board's missing the point on Messier. What a shock considering who he plays for?


Stevens isn't the same player anymore either but is he still valuable to the Devils as Team Captain? Sure.

The only difference is Stevens has a better TEAM surrounding him where there's a core nucleus (Daneyko, Brodeur, Niedermayer, Elias, Pandolfo, Madden, Rafalski, etc.) that understands what their roles are and how to go out and execute the gameplan night in and night out.

The Rangers have none of that kind of core that's been there other than Leetch and Messier (and Mess bolted for Vancouver in much the same fashion Holik bolted the Devils).

The Rangers have been overturned so much, that there's no chemistry whatsoever. It's individuals trying to fit into a chaotic environment. This probably sounds like something MaddDog would say. But it's true.


If more guys brought it every night like that 42-year-old Captain people like to diss, the Rangers would be in the playoffs without question. Instead, individualism conquered them once again with little chemistry on most of the lines.


Look how long it took Pat Burns to come up with his four lines. It took him more than half a year but when he finally did, it gave the Devils a consistency and a camaraderie.

The Rangers never had that consistency for various reasons (coaching staff changes, injuries to star players and chaos).

If you can keep a team intact and have a coach establish what your lines are and the roles are clearly defined, it will give the team an identity and they will jell. This never happened with this year's Rangers.


Messier can lead as much as he wants but if their best players (Lindros, Kovalev, etc.) are going in circles moving from line-to-line because of confidence issues, you aren't going to be successful.


Mess had a fine season. For all the criticism I had for him, he earned his ice-time and was a team player. He played hard on most nights and even was the 4th line center when the team reduced his role.

For a guy that was supposed to be washed up, he didn't play like it.


Now, getting back to Stevens. The Devils Team Captain struggled for most of the season and had quite a few off nights. But his team still needed him in the lineup for his presence. He's played better the past month and led by example. That's all you can ask from a leader.

This could be a good omen for the Devils.
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#722 Triumph

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 07:08 PM

I believe the point is that is Messier was the greatest leader in the history of sports, why can't he motivate these guys to play better?

I think it's an overstatement to say Stevens struggled. The guy is still a plus player playing against the top lines most nights.

To say he should have retired before he went to Vancouver is revisionist history, the guy was still near the top of his game when he went West.
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#723 Derek21

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 07:13 PM

The six Cups speak for themselves. Mess won his 5th without Gretzky in Edmonton and followed through on his promise when clearly, the Rangers had their backs to the wall against the Devils in Game Six.

That's why he gets lauded so much.


I am glad to see someone say that Messier was still near the top of his game when he left the Rangers for Vancouver (as huge a mistake as Holik leaving the Devils for similar reasons???).


Is Mess still a leader? Sure he is. Go ahead and look at the season he had. He didn't take many penalties either and played hard.

It's ashame some of his most talented teammates didn't follow his lead.


Well, time to watch the NCAA tournament.
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"The greatest trick Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

 

Hasan, Brian and I blog at New York Puck. Devils, Islanders, Rangers and Sabres.


#724 Zamode

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 07:13 PM

Points well made Derek.

Still at it, eh Triumph? Anyway....personal opinion that I think he should have retired and I am not the only one. Does not matter because he is still here and the fans love him regardless. He was given a hearty welcome his first trip back to MSG when he was a Canuck.

The main point of these tangent posts was to address the fact that he should not have publicly made that statement about Blackburn.
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#725 Derek21

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 07:17 PM

No problem Zamode. I agree that what Mess said about Blackburn was wrong. That's not fair to the kid.

I felt sorry for him last night. Clearly, he needs some seasoning in Hartford next fall.


As for Messier being annointed the "Greatest Leader Of All-Time," that's debatable.

Is he one of the best? Without question. His career speaks volumes.

But to say he is the greatest leader ever is always open to debate. Look at Yzerman on Detroit. I'd have to say he took the torch from Messier in the category of best leader in the current NHL.


But that's what makes debates fun. Always getting differing opinions with good analysis.
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"The greatest trick Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

 

Hasan, Brian and I blog at New York Puck. Devils, Islanders, Rangers and Sabres.


#726 Triumph

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 07:32 PM

I guess no one's allowed to simply disagree anymore.

Anyway, Derek, I don't think Messier can be called a great leader anymore.. just my opinion. He certainly was, but from many accounts in Vancouver, he was far too involved with the operation of the team. Rumor also is that the Messier signing was revenge for the Rangers signing Gretzky away from Vancouver the summer before.

He should take a 4th line role next year. For Messier to be in the top 9 when the Rangers have Lindros, Nedved, and Holik is ridiculous. Those guys should not be moved to wing to accomodate #11.
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#727 Zamode

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 07:34 PM

How long is Cromag's contract? He must only have a year, two at the most?
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#728 GetReal

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 07:38 PM

Derek, please don't leave for the NCAA unless there is a special team you want to follow. a hockey fan which you are can still enjoy watching hockey even if your team isn't in the running any more.

There is a lot of great hockey ahead in the playoffs and I feel you will and do enjoy watching the SPORT.

Hopefully next year will be different.
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#729 LizDevil30

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 08:07 PM

I agree Derek should be able to enjoy the playoffs. I know I enjoy non Devs games because I can watch and not have knots in my stomach.
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"Why is a puck called a puck? Because dirty little bastard was taken."-New Jersey Devils Goaltender Martin Brodeur, of whom I am happy co-keeper with poohbear.
His lean, limber muscles tensed under the skin are ready to contort his body into unnatural goal stopping positions. Tara Sullivan, Bergen Record.
A person's a person, no matter how small. Horton the Elephant, "Horton Hears a Who"
NEW JERSEY home of the Devils, Giants, Jets, Red Bull, Nets and the Statue of Liberty--standing on our front porch waving to the neighbors.

#730 devilsrule33

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 09:14 PM

I find it unbelievable that Messier would say that the game is on Blackburn's shoulders. What a complete moron. Blackburn got no help and Messier was crap.
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#731 teresa25

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 09:32 PM

I respect Mess' career and records, but his remarks on Blackburn were totally out of line and (in my opinion) not something a good captain should say. Yzerman is the finest leader in hockey, look at how his return motivated the dead wings
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#732 Derek21

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Posted 27 March 2003 - 10:09 PM

Tri, my feeling on why Messier left for Vancouver was that he didn't feel respected by Neil Smith. Smith went and made other guys top priorities like Keane and Skrudland and that rubbed Mess the wrong way.

I really think Messier leaving the Rangers was very similar to why Holik left the Devils.

Holik felt slanted and disrespected because they put better players ahead of him.

Both Messier and Holik are egomaniacs.


Messier at least realized that going to Vancouver was a mistake.

I wonder if Holik feels the same way about leaving the Devils now.


On the hockey GR, I will watch the playoffs as always and hope for exciting series like Tampa Bay-New Jersey to come off.


But I am also a diehard college hoops fan and have followed the tournament since '85. Even with St. John's out of it, I still enjoy the games.
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"The greatest trick Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

 

Hasan, Brian and I blog at New York Puck. Devils, Islanders, Rangers and Sabres.


#733 BlueSkirt

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Posted 28 March 2003 - 07:24 AM

Good recap Derek.
Thid is my favorite line:

Both Messier and Holik are egomaniacs.


Neither of which has seen a playoff game since making their decision to leave !!
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#734 bg.

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Posted 28 March 2003 - 09:27 AM

When mark said what he said in 1994 it wasn't to put pressure on the team, it was to show the team that he had confidence in them and believed they could come back not only to win the game but the series as well when probably many of them did not. Well this is NY, it was all over the back pages, turned out the Rangers did win the the Captain got the hat trick, thus it became (righfully so) larger than life.

Now I didn't hear what Mess said in regards to Blackburn, but knowing Messier I believe it was along the same lines. I think he wanted Danny to know that the team had full confidence in him and even though he hadn't played in a long time he wanted Danny to know that as well. Its just the way Mark does things, its a little different than everyone else.

Obviously a different result, but I have to give the captain the benefit of the doubt. The guy has always been about winning, hockey is his life - that is not open for debate.
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#735 bg.

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Posted 28 March 2003 - 09:33 AM

While Holik will never been anywhere near Mark's level part of what makes a great player like Messier, Messier so to speak, is that huge ego. I'm sure that ego has more than rubbed a few players or coaches the wrong way, but it is also responsible for some amazing moments. Some of the things Mark has done during his career are not things normal players or men do. I don't know anyone who doesn't tighten up a little bit when the pressure is on, to rise above all that is special.

A superstar is blessed with an incredible amount of talent, but more than that they all share one firm belief - they are the best. That is what seperates them from everyone else. They know when the time comes they can get the job done. I heard (in sports) one of the hardest things for a coach or manager to do is handle a superstar on the way down. I truly believe that.
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#736 LizDevil30

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Posted 28 March 2003 - 10:45 AM

A so called guarantee, is nothing more than a flip of a coin, 50/50 chance it will pay-off. Messier got lucky - once. Now what would have been impressive is if he got lucky twice. :P

That kind of statement about a 19 yr old goalie is not a confidence booster. It is pressure pure and simple and is another flip of a coin, and this time is blew up in his face. Men stand up and are accountable, esp leaders. Mess isn't either. He is just an arrogant, albeit talented, player. What Mess should have said is the team had the game on its shoulders, but then again the Rags aren't a team so I guess that's why his mentality was to put it all on the kid. :evil:
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"Why is a puck called a puck? Because dirty little bastard was taken."-New Jersey Devils Goaltender Martin Brodeur, of whom I am happy co-keeper with poohbear.
His lean, limber muscles tensed under the skin are ready to contort his body into unnatural goal stopping positions. Tara Sullivan, Bergen Record.
A person's a person, no matter how small. Horton the Elephant, "Horton Hears a Who"
NEW JERSEY home of the Devils, Giants, Jets, Red Bull, Nets and the Statue of Liberty--standing on our front porch waving to the neighbors.

#737 Nieuwy25

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Posted 28 March 2003 - 01:16 PM

I'm so glad this topic isn't pinned anymore. We can let it just drift away now . . . .

like the Rangers. :D
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Winner of the 2004 Lady Byng Award and the 2003 and 2004 Joe Nieuwendyk award.
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"He has no ego," says Lou Lamoriello, general manager of the New Jersey Devils. "I don't think he has a selfish bone in his body. It gets infectious with people around him, but that's Joe. Having him here was something very special."
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And the simple truth is this -- before and after Joe Nieuwendyk, this franchise has not been as good. Yes the same could be said for others, but Nieuwendyk's effect on his team, on his team's best players, on the fans and in the community can only be compared to, well, what Jarome Iginla is doing now in Calgary. Ralph Strangis, dallasstars.com
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#738 LizDevil30

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Posted 28 March 2003 - 01:28 PM

I agree NJDev, but there is one guarantee I remember clearly, sorta. After Dallas won game five in the finals, I can't remember who it was, but a Dallas player was interviewed after the game and said flat out, "We won't lose in our building." That was Game 6 and well we know how that turned out. :evil:
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"Why is a puck called a puck? Because dirty little bastard was taken."-New Jersey Devils Goaltender Martin Brodeur, of whom I am happy co-keeper with poohbear.
His lean, limber muscles tensed under the skin are ready to contort his body into unnatural goal stopping positions. Tara Sullivan, Bergen Record.
A person's a person, no matter how small. Horton the Elephant, "Horton Hears a Who"
NEW JERSEY home of the Devils, Giants, Jets, Red Bull, Nets and the Statue of Liberty--standing on our front porch waving to the neighbors.

#739 Nieuwy25

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Posted 28 March 2003 - 01:49 PM

Gee, thanks for the reminder. . . :P

I don't know who that was, but Reunion had been "berry berry good" to the Stars - until then.
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Winner of the 2004 Lady Byng Award and the 2003 and 2004 Joe Nieuwendyk award.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
"He has no ego," says Lou Lamoriello, general manager of the New Jersey Devils. "I don't think he has a selfish bone in his body. It gets infectious with people around him, but that's Joe. Having him here was something very special."
------------------------------------------------------------------------
And the simple truth is this -- before and after Joe Nieuwendyk, this franchise has not been as good. Yes the same could be said for others, but Nieuwendyk's effect on his team, on his team's best players, on the fans and in the community can only be compared to, well, what Jarome Iginla is doing now in Calgary. Ralph Strangis, dallasstars.com
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

#740 insanity_gallops

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Posted 28 March 2003 - 01:59 PM

All this talk of Messier reminds me of MJ's comments after a Wizards' loss a week or so ago.

He said there's something wrong when the only 40-year-old on the team is outhustling and outplaying teammates 20 years younger in an attempt to get the team into the playoffs.

From what I'd seen of Messier this year, he always hustled on every shift, was always dedicated to the game and kept focused. Sure, he's lost a step and it can be argued that he should have been given a lesser role on the team (there was some stat circulating that the Rangers were almost perfect in games where Messier played less than 11 minutes), but the same arguments could be made for even our beloved Stevens. He's not the same as he used to be, but he's still valuable, he's still respected around the league, and he can still get the job done when he's called on. Personally I think Stevens is in better shape (in a few ways) than Messier is these days, but that's that.

Like it was said before, if more Rangers had played with Messier's intensity and focus, they would have made the playoffs.

And if they had any sort of core group of guys that actually had chemistry. But that's getting off the Messier-related-rant.
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