Read: ESPN’s Rangers Season Preview

At ESPN.com, Scott Burnside list 10 things you need to know about the Rangers as part of his season preview for the team.

Among the topics that he touches on are Henrik Lundqvist, Brad Richards, the defense and Marian Gaborik.

The defense is certainly a big topic with the uncertainty of Marc Staal, Michael Sauer’s injury and the readiness/preparedness of players like Tim Erixon, Michael Del Zotto and Brendan Bell.

 

Read: Picking The Rangers To Win The Atlantic

At USA Today, Kevin Allen picks the Rangers to win the Atlantic Division.

He says that if Brad Richards puts up close to 90 points the Rangers could have a shot to win the division for the first time since 1994.

Allen lists Derek Stepan as the Rangers player to watch and thinks that he could get close to 60 points with the proper amount of ice time.

Well, the hype has been coming and coming over the last few weeks. If Richie goes for over 90 the Rangers will be in very good shape. I also love Stepan this year. He will work his way into getting a lot of ice time.

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Picture: The Projected Lineup

via NHL.com

Not so sure about this. Certainly seems like Mats Zuccarelllo will replace Feds on that line, Feds will drop down and Rupp will be on the left side of Derek Stepan. Sean Avery just doesn’t seem to figure into the starting lineup. Del Zotto and Tim Erixon also will probably switch spots on here.

Advanced Stats: Using VUKOTA To Predict Stats and Finish This Season

In the last post we introduced Hockey Prospectus’ VUKOTA projection system and scrutinized its forecasting skills against the actual results of last season’s Blueshirts squad. While VUKOTA proved somewhat underwhelming in a limited sample I thought it would be interesting to see how VUKOTA pegged this year’s club. Here are the results.

Player

Pos

GP

G

A

Pts

PPG

PIM

GVT

Brad Richards

F

72

28

48

76

9

22

14.0

Marian Gaborik

F

69

27

33

60

8

28

11.1

Derek Stepan

F

79

25

30

55

6

26

8.8

Brandon Dubinsky

F

75

24

30

54

6

78

9.3

Ryan Callahan

F

66

23

26

49

8

47

8.3

Wojtek Wolski

F

67

15

27

42

3

19

6.7

Artem Anisimov

F

72

18

23

41

4

22

6.7

Mats Zuccarello

F

51

10

21

32

2

19

4.8

Brian Boyle

F

70

16

13

29

3

58

5.1

Marc Staal

D

73

6

22

28

2

45

7.3

Dan Girardi

D

71

5

21

26

2

36

7.0

Ruslan Fedotenko

F

62

11

16

26

2

29

3.9

Sean Avery

F

62

8

17

25

2

130

3.3

Brandon Prust

F

68

9

13

22

1

131

3.1

Michael Del Zotto

D

59

5

17

22

2

28

3.5

Mike Rupp

F

64

8

7

15

1

86

1.5

John Mitchell

F

44

6

9

15

1

27

1.4

Michael Sauer

D

66

3

11

14

0

62

4.7

Ryan McDonagh

D

51

2

10

12

0

32

3.4

Dale Weise

F

30

5

5

10

1

42

0.8

Chad Kolarik

F

25

4

5

9

1

24

1.0

Steve Eminger

D

55

2

7

9

0

24

1.6

Kris Newbury

F

28

3

5

8

1

43

0.8

Totals:

246

393

639

60

Name

P

GP

Save %

 

 

 

 

GVT

Henrik Lundqvist

G

59

0.919

 

 

 

 

17.9

Martin Biron

G

21

0.908

 

 

 

 

0.8

Team GVT:

137.6

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Read: The Rangers At The Top Of The Eastern Conference

At ESPN Insider, Craig Custance answers a question about how good he thinks the Capitals will be this season and says that he has the Rangers, pending Marc Staal is healthy, and the Penguins ahead of the Caps.

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I like the Caps a lot this season since they added some nice grit and most everyone expects Alex Ovechkin to dominate again. A lot of people seem down on Tampa Bay, but I wouldn’t bet against Steven Stamkos, Marty St. Louis and Vinny Lecavalier. I still see the Rangers finishing in either sixth or seventh, maybe fifth, but not much higher than that. Maybe I just don’t want to raise my expectations that high, but I still see some teams that are better and that they finish behind.

Read: The Rangers Playoff Power Meter

At ESPN Insider, Craig Custance and Alvin Chang combined to devise a ranking system, using some advanced stats, to determine the standings for the Eastern and Western Conference this season.

They have the Rangers finishing third in the conference and winning the Atlantic Division.

Using their playoff power meter, the Rangers scored a 28 out of 36. The Capitals, projected to win the Presidents trophy, have a 36 out of 36.

Some of this stuff is a little confusing, but it looks like some advanced stats are on the Rangers side, at least projection wise. I still think that the Pens will win the Division, but it will be a close race, six points or so, between the Rangers, Flyers and Pens.

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Read: Projecting Next Seasons Stat Lines

At TSN, Scott Cullen projects out the top 300 scorers in the NHL next season.

He picks Alexander Ovechkin to capture the Art Ross Trophy and score 44 goals and add 58 assists.

Cullen picks Brad Richards to finish 23rd in the league with 25 goals and 46 assists with 31 of those points coming on the PP in 72 games.

Marian Gaborik and Ryan Callahan are picked to finish 52nd and 59th respectively. Gabby with 29 goals and 30 assists in 67 games and 26 goals and 32 assists for Cally in 73 games.

I think that Richards has the potential to go over 80 points this season, but is this a good enough season for Gabby? I think that we all expect him to bounce back a little better and I could see him with a 35 goal 35 assist season. I see Cally in that 55-60 point range.

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What are your point predictions?

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Read: The Hockey News On Where The Rangers Will Finish

Last week, The Hockey News announced, in their annual yearbook, that they predict that the Rangers will finish in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Today, as they countdown where teams will finish, they explain why they put the Rangers seventh.

They say that the Rangers “One of the best defensive teams in the NHL last season backed by one of the game’s elite goalies in Henrik Lundqvist, the young blueline led by Marc Staal and Dan Girardi will take another step forward in 2011-12″ and that they can’t be worse after addressing their biggest need, with Brad Richards, in the offseason.

They pick Washington, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, Buffalo and Tampa to finish ahead of the Rangers.

I have the Rangers finishing in sixth this season. I think that they will finish ahead of Buffalo, but behind Tampa and in what will likely be a close race for seeding and positioning.

Right now, where do you think the Rangers will finish this season?