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Scouting the Rangers for the Playoffs

Craig Custance at ESPN Insider checked in with a number of NHL coaches, players and scouts to get their scouting report on the Rangers going into the playoffs.

The Rangers strength is said to be John Tortorella’s ability to get the most out of the team, while their weakness is scoring depth….

“It’s a good thing to be able to win those games 2-1, but the night you need four — do you have enough to get there?,” one coach said. “They have two guys that you know can put up numbers if they have to in Gaborik and Richards. Callahan is a good player. After that, there’s not a lot of proven guys.”

…agreed on both points especially the scoring depth. If Gaborik and Callahan slump, you have to wonder where the goals are going to come from.

The scouting report adds that Brandon Dubinsky could be a secret strength in the playoffs, while Henrik Lundqvist is the main reason they’ll advance…

“He (Dubinsky) has the ability to take his game up another level from what we’ve seen,” an Eastern Conference scout said. “I don’t blame his off year on him; it’s just the circumstances there — for some reason he seems to have been pushed out a little bit. I like him a lot.”

…Dubinsky could have a real positive effect on the Rangers lack of scoring depth as he could add an additional scoring threat they’ve been lacking all season.

The scouting report also says that Marc Staal is the missing ingredient for a Cup run…

“He’s gone, for me, from a Norris trophy candidate to a guy playing in the five- or six-hole, and he looks like it,” one coach said. “If he can get anywhere near that level, it’d change things … but I haven’t seen signs he’s getting better.”

…couldn’t disagree more. While Staal is a shell of his former self, I think he has improved drastically since he returned for the Winter Classic.

Finally, Rangers Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld offered up to Custance the Rangers team motto…

“Good athletes push themselves until they hurt. Great athletes push themselves while they’re hurt.”

…no better motto describes this team.

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