Silver Nuggets: Which is More Likely Series: Rangers vs Blue Jackets

PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 26: Columbus Blue Jackets fans in Pittsburgh show their support for Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets as Nash warms up before a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 26, 2012 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Well, here it is; WIML has finally grown up and burst out of its cocoon. It is into the wild now, and I intend to use scenarios from all over the league as well as a few more with Senator ties.

Yesterday wasn't much of a serious WIML, more of a Daniel Alfredsson celebration, as I put in an option that was just begging for you to choose it. Nonetheless, with about 80% of the vote most of you said that Alfie's impact to the team would not be measured in points this season. I Still Miss Hossa put it the best:

His worth is so, so much more!!

I think the fact that he feels better than last year likely means that his production will be higher. But Alfie’s worth is so much more:

His hockey smarts, the way he slows things down, how he doesn’t force the play when he doesn’t see one. The way he’s able to handle the puck even against bigger defencemen.

The biggest thing is the valuable experience he will give to the rookies who will get to see how he prepares and handles himself with class, how hard he practices, and how clutch he is. That is worth much more than points!!!

In terms of the other two options, more of you thought Alfie would eclipse 35 assists instead of scoring 25+ goals. Chocolate Covered Spezzle put that argument best:

Sweet

While I DO dig the deliciously pandering third question, in the interest of generating conversation, I’m gonna try and tackle the other two options.

With Alfie stating that he feels better and stronger than he has in recent years, I’d say that there’s some hope that he’ll post even stronger numbers than last year. In fact, assuming he stays as healthy as he was last year, I think it’s very likely that he eclipses the 60pts mark. What I don’t know is whether he’ll be bettering his previous year’s totals by adding more assists or more goals. In recent years, Alfie’s prowess has been slowly shifting from set ups to goalscoring. He’ll be playing a full season with Turris (a shooter) and will likely be playing with one of Latendresse or Silfv who are both goalscorers as well.

So, while I wouldn’t be surprised to see him scoring in the high 20s in goals, I also could easily see him potting around 40 assists. So I’ll say beating 35 assists is the more likely of the two!

With that one behind us, I bring you the first league-wide Which is More Likely. Today we look at two teams that have been in the news quite a bit lately: The New York Rangers and the Columbus Blue Jackets, as they recently completed a trade that saw Rick Nash find a new home. The question today is this:

Which is more likely? That the Rangers finish first in the East OR that Columbus finishes last in the West?

Rangers: With a top-6 when healthy of Brad Richards, Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan and either Chris Kreider or Carl Hagelin to go along with their stud d-core and top goaltender, it is not unreasonable to think the Rangers have a good chance of repeating as East champs.

Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets were dismal last year and while they are not the same team that entered the 2011-2012 season, I am not sure that they are any better. Gone are Rick Nash and Jeff Carter, in are Brandon Dubinsky and Nick Foligno. Yikes. They have a growing group of d-men but their goaltending is far from solidified. It could be another basement year for Howson and Co.

So, which is more likely? Looking forward to a good debate here today. Maybe you think both are likely, maybe you think neither but the point is which is MORE likely.

Links after the jump.

Sens News:

  • Alfie is looking to guys like Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne for inspiration as he looks to play better than ever at the age of 40. [Sens]
  • WTYKY does a hilarious roundtable on "the return of the king" [WTYKY]
  • It was hinted yesterday that even though he is back for this season, don't assume it will be his swan song, he could keep playing. [SensExtra]
  • Wayne Scanlan catches up with Eugene Melnyk in London at the Olympics to talk about the Alfie news. [Scanlan]
  • According to Shawn Simpson (not sure how credible he is) the Senators are in on Bobby Ryan. Interesting idea. [6thSens]
League News:
  • NHLPA received 76000 pages of financials from the NHL so that it could better understand the revenue sharing situation before countering with their own proposal. Seems to me that may take a while to sift through. [CBC]
  • The New Jersey Devils begin NHL.com's 30 teams in 30 days segment. How will the Devils deal with the loss of Parise? [NHL]
  • Puck Daddy looks at the top-7 remaining free agents. After Shane Doan, it is all downhill. [PD]

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