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"Talking New York Rangers Hockey, since 2007"
New York, NY • United States • 23 Years Old • Male

In part 2 of 10, I will break down Offense Line #1, aka, the Jagr line. I will expound upon the strengths and weaknesses of each player and explain why he fits on the line. I appreciate the input recieved from part 1 and will certainly take the feedback into consideration as the series progresses. Keep it coming. Part 2, Here we go:

Left Wing: #81 Marcel Hossa
Personal: 25 years old, from Ilava, Slovakia. Stands 6 ft 3 in and 220 lbs. Drafted 16th overall by Montreal. Shoots lefty. Salary is 1 yr, 870k. Entering his 3rd year on the Rangers. 2007 stats: 64 gm, 10 g, 8 a.
Strengths: Marcel is a big forward who excels at the possesion game. His large frame makes him very effective in the corners and in battles for the puck. He can be a presence in front of the net and has good hands to find loose pucks. Hossa is especially effective when playing with Jagr, who has a similar style of play. It is difficult to knock him off the puck so his play helps to wear out the opposing defense by keeping the puck deep in the offensive zone. He is a solid forward who plays his role very well.
Weaknesses: Hossa is not a fast skater so he will have to work hard to keep up with the speedy Gomez. He is questionable on the defensive side and can be a liablity in transition. He has not lived up to his potential or overcome the shadow of his older brother, Marian. Because he doesnt have a great shot, it will be difficult for him to produce on the fourth line. He doesnt have the defensive skills to excel on a checking line so if he doesnt play with the first line, which will be spending much time in the offensive zone, he will likely be scratched or sent down.
Why Line 1? Hossa's strengths and weaknesses make him a fit for the first line only. He has good chemistry with Jagr who likes to keep the puck and control play. He can be physical along the boards and maintain possestion to make Jagr's game effective. He would struggle on a lines 2 and 3 which are more speed lines because he is not fast. He doesnt have the defensive skills to play on the fourth line. Also, having him on the top line adds depth to the lineup and if he is dropped, the third line would be considerably weaker.

Center: #19 Scott Gomez
Personal: 27 years old from Anchorage, Alaska. Stands 5 ft 11 in and 200 lb. Drafted 20th overall by New Jersey. Shoots lefty. Contract: 7 yrs 51.5 mil. Entering his 1st year with Rangers. 2007 stats: 64 gms, 13 g, 47 a.
Strengths: Gomez is a speedy playmaker who makes accurate passes, has a good shot and can really fly. He racked up 60 pts on a defnsive-minded Devils squad and playing in Tom Renney's offensive system with Jagr should pad his stats. He has valuable experience, having been in the league since 2000 and winning two cups with New Jersey. At 27, he is entering his prime. He should play well with Jagr as his passing skills have been compared to Nylander, Jagr's pivot from last season. If he finds chemistry with Jagr, he may be part of the best offensive tandem in the league.
Weaknesses: Gomez only scored 13 goals last year. Yes, he played with the Devils but he is not worth his contract. He may not form chemistry with Jagr in which case he will be bumped to the second line and replaced by Drury. There will be no room for error for Gomez, coming from the rival Devils for a huge salary. He will feel the pressure of playing for New York from game 1 and if he doesnt improve on last year, he could be hearing boos. All in all, getting him for so much cash was a huge risk and if it doesnt pan out, heads will roll.
Why Line 1? His passing skills should keep the puck loving Jagr happy. He has the ability to make Jagr the best player in the league and form a great top line. His speed is great for the New NHL and if he finds chemistry, he will have a 100 pt season. He is exactly what the Rangers need in a first line center.

Right Wing: #68 Jaromir Jagr
Personal: 35 year old from Kladno, Czech Republic. Stands 6 ft 3 in and 234 lbs. Drafted 5th overall by Pittsburgh. Shoots lefty. Salary is 2 yrs 8.36 mil (half is being paid by WAS this season). Entering his 4th year with the Rangers. 2007 stats: 82 gm, 30 g, 66 a.
Strengths: Jagr is the Rangers best player and an top 10 forward in the NHL. He is impossible to knock off the puck and when he gets into position, he has a rocket of a shot. If he gets space in the slot, he can pick a part any goaile in the league. His big body allows him to shield the puck from defenders and his top line can keep the puck deep for minutes. He has won two cups with Pittsburgh and is hungry for another with the Rangers. A happy Jagr is a good Jagr and if he likes playing with Gomez, he could win a lot of awards, maybe even the Stanley Cup.
Weaknesses: Jagr is known to be a lazy player. He doesnt back-check very often and his defense is horrendous. If he cannot keep the puck in the offensive zone for every shift, he will not be as effective. He may be called out for his lazy play by the team's off-ice leaders and the last thing the Rangers need is a conflict in the locker room. On the ice, he is a marked man and the opposition will use every opportunity to shadow him, double team his and make it impossible for him to get into position. If his linemates cannot draw the defense away from him, it will be a long season.
Why Line #1? Why?! Because Jagr is the captain and the Rangers best player. If he struggles, the team struggles. He is the leader on the ice and will be on the top line as long as he is a Ranger.

Line 1 Grade: A
This line has potential to be a top 3 line in the league. Chemistry may become an issue but if that is overcome, this line will be unstoppable.

"Analyzing The Rangers: Part 3: Offense #2
CHECK IT OUT ON: http://my.hockeybuzz.com/rags2riches and hopefully on the MyHockeyBuzz home page soon!
August 5, 2007 8:50 PM ET | Delete
I'm still not sold on Gomez. He has the potential to be agreat player and bring a more defensive mind to a very offensive team. But i think people are judging his skills by his salary. Hossa is a good player...but just good and Jagr is a future hall or famer and a candidate for league mvp every year. So in my opinion this line is very solid, but I'd rank it a top 10 1st line, by no means top 3.
August 5, 2007 9:55 PM ET | Delete
I'm not sold on Gomez either. I'm still undecided if he is a product of the Devils scheme. It will be interesting to watch for sure. Don't forget Jagr has a chip on his shoulder with his buddy Nylander out of town... Theres no doubt the line will be good but top 3.... I'm not too sure about that.
August 5, 2007 10:49 PM ET | Delete
I've been a fan of Gomez for a while, and it's tough to be a fan of ANY Devil if you're a Ranger fan. I think his skills are undervalued because of where he played. Look for him to flourish in a very offense first team, especially playing on a line with Jagr. He'll get a lot more room to move as Jagr will be double team a whole lot, and I think he a Jagr will have a good Synergy going.Flyers, Jagr understands why the Rangers couldn't sign Nylander. He got a 4 year deal at 35 and getting older just wasn't in the Rangers plans.
August 5, 2007 10:53 PM ET | Delete
Are you sure that your top line? I see some problems here. 1. Although Jagr can score, he has not been the same type of scorer since his shoulder gave out. Hossa is NOT a 1st line player, more like 4th line or scratch. And Gomez is a set up man, but I truly think he would match up much better with Shanny.
August 5, 2007 10:53 PM ET | Delete
Are you sure that your top line? I see some problems here. 1. Although Jagr can score, he has not been the same type of scorer since his shoulder gave out. Hossa is NOT a 1st line player, more like 4th line or scratch. And Gomez is a set up man, but I truly think he would match up much better with Shanny.
August 5, 2007 10:59 PM ET | Delete
RagstoRiches, good but misses on a couple of points. Hossa's main weakness is his lack of hustle/effort game in game out. One night or one shift you'll see him making great play, working to win battles, and skating with a meaning, then the next he'll just be coating. He's very inconsistant and I think it'll come to be seen that he will be a product of Jagr.You bought into the whole contract issue with Gomez. His worth is in more than just scoring goals. He wasn't handed a contract for his goal scoring abilities, but for his playmaking abilities, of which he is premier. He consistently scores over 50 points per season on a devils team that was very offensively stifled. You could say the same for Elias, Gionta, and Parise. Remember too that his contract is for 7 years, and by that time...maybe even in 2 or 3 years....he will be a bargain.
August 6, 2007 11:13 AM ET | Delete
Is matching Gomez (who has been described as a playmaker) with Jagr a good thing? Jagr is a guy who can create his own shot. Wouldn't he be better matched with Drury, a guy who can score muck goals on Jagr's shot attempts? And wouldn't Gomez be better suited to play with a guy like Shanahan who could probably use a playmaker more than Jagr?
August 26, 2007 12:40 AM ET | Delete
I've been thinking a lot about that myself. I think Gomez gets the first crack at playing with Jagr, but Jagr is a playmaker, and Gomez is a playmaker, and someone has to score the goals. Another thing about Gomez is that he is significantly better than Nylander, who was a product of Jagr. Gomez can actually make Jagr better, as he is one of the best playmakers and passers in the league. It's Drury's contract I question, not Gomez's.
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