Mailbag: Rangers favorite department, chances of avalanche recur

Where do you see the New York Rangers end up in the Metropolitan Division? -thewriteben

first place.

Rangers have the best goalkeepers in the division. You could argue that alone should suffice given that they also rank well in scoring, special teams, defense and training, but goal-directing is what separates New York from the division’s other seven teams.

Igor Shesterkin Not one season wonders. He is the current Rangers goalkeeper following in the footsteps of Henrik Lundqvist, who followed Mike Richter. When the Rangers struggle in their own territory, Shesterkin rescues them. When they struggle to score, Shesterkin beats them 1-0 or 2-1. If the power game is going downhill, the penal killing won’t be due to Shesterkin. He is the biggest team maker in the NHL. Yes, Rangers have one of the top 10 positions in Mika ZibanjadHe scored 50 goals in Chris Criedera great game maker in Artemi Banarinwinner of the Norris Cup in Adam Fox An old school physical defense man in Jacob TroupBut it’s Shesterkin and there’s no other team in the Metropolitan Division that can say that about the player who occupies the top spot on the ice.

I hear you, New Yorkers fans. you scream Ilya SorokinHe shouts his name at me. And you have a point. He has a chance to take part in the Visina Cup as well. But the Islanders don’t have the same strong attacking or top six in defender as the Rangers or the Carolina Hurricanes, who finished first in the league last season and will finish second this season. Carolina’s only issue is the depth of the position after the loss Vincent Trochek In a free agency for New York and did not replace him, which puts pressure on him Paul Stastney36, or Jesperi Kotkaniemi, 22 years old, to deliver in that spot. It is a concern.

The Penguins of Pittsburgh will be strong again. The Washington Capitals will fight for a place in the Stanley Cup playoffs, although I’m not sure they can snatch a berth this season. Columbus Blue Jackets and New Jersey Devils improved on paper at the offseason. But the win is Rangers. They have a Chesterkin. The other seven teams don’t.

Repeat avalanche? -Mister_Teague

If you play the odds, I have to say the Colorado Avalanche will not repeat as the Stanley Cup champion. They’re not the same team they were a few months ago, and overall it’s hard to replicate.

Nazim Qadrithe former runner-up in Colorado, is preparing to take on the same role with Calgary Flames. Darcy Comber, the former No. 1 goalkeeper in the avalanche, is the new No. 1 in Washington. he is Alexander Georgiev On the level of this task? It was a backup for Lundqvist and then Shesterkin in New York. He’s entering training camp as the best goalkeeper on the depth chart for the first time. With that comes a different kind of pressure that Georgiev has to prove he can handle. This is one of the biggest questions asked of the Colorado camp. The other is who takes Qadri’s role as the second place? JT Comfier And the Alex Newhawk You have the inside track, but part of what made the avalanche special last season was the depth they got with Compher and Newhook in different roles. They also have to replace Andrei Burakovskya reliable and productive striker among the top six strikers signed with the Seattle Kraken.

Colorado should get a boost from the back man of the defense Samuel Gerrard, who broke his sternum in Game Three of the Western Conference’s second round against the St. Louis Blues and missed the rest of the postseason. The Avalanche has the best defensive man in the NHL (Cal Makar) and one of the best two or three positions (Nathan McKinnon). Devon Toze He is also one of the best defenders but does not get enough credit because he plays with Makar. This is a team loaded even without Kuemper, Kadri, and Burakovsky, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see avalanche recurring as the Stanley Cup champions. They were built to last the franchise on the assumption that McKinnon, entering the final season of a seven-year contract, signs for the long haul. But I will face the odds and say it won’t happen again. In fact, my intuition told me to pay close attention to the Edmonton Oilers, who swept the avalanche in the Western Conference final last season.

Do you think a smaller portion of the island’s population is good enough to get them back to the playoffs and advance if the old players falter? Specific players in mind Matthew BarzalAnd the Anthony BouvierAnd the Oliver WallstromAnd the Noah Dobson And the Alexander Romanov. – @johnfiorino97

Can.

Barzal needs to return to the points center for each game. I would buy that Berzal has become an all-around player in the past four seasons under former coach Barry Trotz, but he is one of the best playmakers in the NHL and without a doubt one of the best players on the open ice. He must appear in his crime. The Islanders will not be a playoff team in the Metropolitan Division that score fewer than three goals per game. The partition is very good. Berzal, who had 59 points (15 goals, 44 assists) in 73 games last season, should have turned the 85-point player who was a rookie and won the Calder Cup in 2017-18 without sacrificing other areas of his game. to improve.

Beauvillier and Wahlstrom should be consistent threats, with each scoring at least 20 goals. Wallstrom scored 13 in 73 games and Bouvier 12 in 75 last season, and the Islanders missed the playoffs. They haven’t added from the outside this season, so they are counting on internal development to get back into the playoffs. That should come from Wahlstrom and Beauvillier. They must have collected at least 40 goals this season.

If they play together, Dobson and Romanov should be a reliable and productive defensive duo at the back Adam Bellick And the Ryan Bullock. Dobson scored 51 points (13 goals and made 38 assists) in 80 games last season. If he stays there and improves his defensive play, the islanders will be better. Romanov should be more productive with better players around him having racked up 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 79 games for last-placed Montreal Canadiens. The islanders would be in a strong defensive position if they could. Scott Mayfield On the third pair with either Sebastian AhoAnd the Robin SaloAnd the Denis Chulovsky Or a potential left-handed warrior they could still add.

If all this pays off and there is no withdrawal anywhere else, then the islanders will be a team in the playoff again.

Video: NHL Tonight talking about offshore islanders

What’s next for Canadians? Do they cooperate with the Rangers, the clearing cap? – @seebs66

I suppose you mean to go in the same direction as Rangers did 4 and a half years ago by doing a complete rebuild: trading veteran players in near-expired contracts for draft picks and prospects, building through the draft and supplementing that through free agency and trade. This is the correct approach for the two clubs, so the first targets are the players on contracts that expire: the attackers Sean MonahanAnd the Jonathan DrouinAnd the Evgeny Dadunov And the Paul Byronthe goalkeeper Jake Allen. All of them could become unrestricted free agents after this season, but it’s too early to say they will all be traded. What if Monahan rediscovered his ability to be the first or second midfield? He’s 27 years old and it’s not out of the question for Montreal to re-sign him. But these are the goals you should look for in the next move(s) for Canadians.

At the same time, Canadians should see continued growth from the front Nick SuzukiAnd the Cole Caufield And the Kirby Dash (Still a restricted free agent without signature). Let’s see what kind of effect Juraj Slavkovsky It could make him an 18-year-old with the pressure of being a first-choice in the 2022 NHL Draft. Will any of the best defenders make an impact? Kayden Jahl20, Justin Barronand 20 and Jordan Harris, 22, should get chances to make the team into a training camp. Suzuki, Coffield, Dash, Slavkovsky, Johli, Barron and Harris should form a large part of the future core.

Montreal is a destination market and Martin St. Louis must be a destination coach, which means NHL players must want to play for Canadians. With some growth this season and patience from everyone, the rebuilding will pay off.

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