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Reloaded Rangers target Stanley Cup

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08:25 AM ET 01.18 | Hockey's back this weekend, and, with it, expectations in Manhattan. The Rangers are one of the leading Stanley Cup contenders -- if not the favorite -- entering the lockout-shortened 48-game 2013 season that opens Saturday. They finished first in the Eastern Conference last season at 51-24-7, advanced to the conference finals and added star winger Rick Nash from Columbus. In John Tortorella's fourth full season as head coach, the Rangers have no choice but to meet the lofty outside expectations head on -- or better yet, to share them. "Everybody knows who we are and knows the expectations," center Brad Richards said. ... "[We're] not just out here trying to make a playoff or stay in the middle of the pack. We do want to push ourselves to be up top again."

New York Daily News

Brad Richards, Icon Sports Brad Richards, Icon Sports
January 18, 2013  08:48 AM ET

The same could be said for a good many teams, including my Hurricanes, with the additions of Jordan Staal and the mercurial Semin, it's going to be a print to the finish, and anyone who falters early is going to find it almost impossible to recover...

I eagerly await the first puck drop :)

January 18, 2013  08:56 AM ET

a few things about living here in NYC. Expectations are always set high, mainly because of the fact that Nyers think they are the best of everything. And because of the success of the "olde-line" teams, like the Giants and Yankees...(a lot of fans here are either Yankees/Giants/Rangers or Mets/jets/Islanders, there isn't a lot of crossover) fans get crazy. Let's face it, there are teams and players here that ONLY get attention because they are here. Id the 72-74 A's had been in NYC, the papers here would be calling them the greatest team ever . (I actualy think they are in the top 5, but I am not the average NYer)
All of that said, I think the expectations are warranted this season. I think they are taking a good team from last season with upgrades, and could very well be in the mix at the end.

January 18, 2013  09:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

a few things about living here in NYC. Expectations are always set high, mainly because of the fact that Nyers think they are the best of everything. And because of the success of the "olde-line" teams, like the Giants and Yankees...(a lot of fans here are either Yankees/Giants/Rangers or Mets/jets/Islanders, there isn't a lot of crossover) fans get crazy. Let's face it, there are teams and players here that ONLY get attention because they are here. Id the 72-74 A's had been in NYC, the papers here would be calling them the greatest team ever . (I actualy think they are in the top 5, but I am not the average NYer)All of that said, I think the expectations are warranted this season. I think they are taking a good team from last season with upgrades, and could very well be in the mix at the end.

Well I would have to agree with you there, as long as you can get them all to work past their egos...

January 18, 2013  09:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Well I would have to agree with you there, as long as you can get them all to work past their egos...

What ones have a bad ego? Or did you make that up because its NYC? Pretty good team the Rags have right now. They should go far although id prefer a cup in a full season. If by chance they do win it all we will just hear about it not counting because of the shortened season for the rest of time.

January 18, 2013  09:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Well I would have to agree with you there, as long as you can get them all to work past their egos...

Torts does a pretty good job with that I must say, and Callahan is the perfect captain for this bunch too

January 18, 2013  09:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

What ones have a bad ego? Or did you make that up because its NYC? Pretty good team the Rags have right now. They should go far although id prefer a cup in a full season. If by chance they do win it all we will just hear about it not counting because of the shortened season for the rest of time.

which would prove an anti-NY bias that everyone always denies. I don't remember anyone putting an asterisk up when the Devils won their "1/2 season' Cup

January 18, 2013  09:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

What ones have a bad ego? Or did you make that up because its NYC? Pretty good team the Rags have right now. They should go far although id prefer a cup in a full season. If by chance they do win it all we will just hear about it not counting because of the shortened season for the rest of time.

I wouldn't bet against the Rags this year. Fast start is the key and they've got the guns to do it. They're tuff in goal and play that shot block D.... all the tools are in place. I don't care if it's a short season or not...if they win it all they're still the champs. Let the others cry.

January 18, 2013  09:37 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

What ones have a bad ego? Or did you make that up because its NYC? Pretty good team the Rags have right now. They should go far although id prefer a cup in a full season. If by chance they do win it all we will just hear about it not counting because of the shortened season for the rest of time.

I never said a bad ego... but you have to admit that a lot of these players have a strong ego, and sometimes strong egos are like a flint and steel, causing sparks and fires. I don't have a New York bias in any form, as I am not from here originally, but I was wondering if Tortarella could contain them and get the best out of them, that was my only contention.

January 18, 2013  09:40 AM ET

A side note:

There is a interesting piece on the travel requirements for each of the teams with the shortened schedule. Islanders are the lowest at 11,321; while Minnesota is the highest at 31,273. The Eastern teams average 17,305 while the teams in the Western Conference will log in 26,093.

Those of us who travel for business know that those miles do take their toll.

January 18, 2013  09:42 AM ET

The Rangers certainly have the talent to compete for the Cup this year. It may take awhile for them to figure out the right line combinations with the shortened training camps so who knows about a fast start. As for egos, can any team match the ones on the Miami Heat? Their egos didn't prevent them from a championship.

Having said all that, I can't wait to see the Rangers go down in flaaaaaaaaaaaaaames :))

January 18, 2013  09:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

I wouldn't bet against the Rags this year. Fast start is the key and they've got the guns to do it. They're tuff in goal and play that shot block D.... all the tools are in place. I don't care if it's a short season or not...if they win it all they're still the champs. Let the others cry.

Fair enough as long as there is no NY whining when another team hoists the cup.

January 18, 2013  09:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

A side note:There is a interesting piece on the travel requirements for each of the teams with the shortened schedule. Islanders are the lowest at 11,321; while Minnesota is the highest at 31,273. The Eastern teams average 17,305 while the teams in the Western Conference will log in 26,093.Those of us who travel for business know that those miles do take their toll.

In today's Wall Street Journal

January 18, 2013  09:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

)All of that said, I think the expectations are warranted this season. I think they are taking a good team from last season with upgrades, and could very well be in the mix at the end.

I agree 100%, their window is this year & next, then they have some big decisions to make. They will surely have to start moving players by that time.

January 18, 2013  09:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Fair enough as long as there is no NY whining when another team hoists the cup.

totally agree on that drys

January 18, 2013  09:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Having said all that, I can't wait to see the Rangers go down in flaaaaaaaaaaaaaames :))

Sheesh! What a rotten thing to say! (But I agree with you)

:)))

January 18, 2013  09:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Fair enough as long as there is no NY whining when another team hoists the cup.

agreed...if you can't get your wheels going fast enough, oh well

January 18, 2013  09:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Originally posted 09:42 AM ET 01.18 by Nobody expects Phantomphan MMT Having said all that, I can't wait to see the Rangers go down in flaaaaaaaaaaaaaames :))



Sheesh! What a rotten thing to say! (But I agree with you):)))

I mean this in the nicest way possible, but please take this opportunity to go and scratch your tuchases with a pineapple...my friends....

January 18, 2013  09:55 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

agreed...if you can't get your wheels going fast enough, oh well

LA was a horribly slow starting team this year. they do it again and they will miss the playoffs. conversely they have the depth and goaltending to perhaps see the Rangers in the Finals

January 18, 2013  09:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

I mean this in the nicest way possible, but please take this opportunity to go and scratch your tuchases with a pineapple...my friends....

The prickly outside or the sweet moist fleshypart on the inside.

Jus' clarifying your point

 
January 18, 2013  10:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

I mean this in the nicest way possible, but please take this opportunity to go and scratch your tuchases with a pineapple...my friends....

Something amiss? :)

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