NEW YORK RANGERS
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• Record: 42-30-10
• Division: Third in the Atlantic
• Conference: Sixth in the East
• Playoffs: Ousted in the second round by Buffalo
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Goalie: Al Montoya
The question for the Rangers is whether to give the sixth overall pick from 2004 another year of seasoning at the AHL level or give him a taste of NHL life as Lundqvist's backup. Montoya was 27-17 with six shutouts for the Rangers' AHL affiliate last season.
Defenseman: Daniel Girardi
The undrafted native of Welland, Ontario, appeared in all 10 Rangers playoff games, averaging an impressive 19:51 a night in ice time.
Forward: Scott Gomez
Everyone assumes playing in a more offensive system will lead to an offensive explosion for the longtime Devil. But Gomez has hit the 20-goal mark just once in his career.
MORE FROM BURNSIDE
Late in the offseason, it looked as though the Rangers were going to add another center in the form of veteran checking specialist Michael Peca
, but he signed with Columbus. That's not to say the Rangers don't need a player of Peca's pedigree. They might. And given that the Jackets aren't going anywhere near the playoffs come trade-deadline time, it's not a stretch to suggest Peca still could end up in Gotham.
Where Rangers Will Finish
The Rangers will finish first in the Atlantic Division and first in the Eastern Conference.
Where do you think the New York Rangers will finish this time around? Who will lead the Rangers in scoring and what's your take on the man behind the bench? Vote now!
With the influx of talent at center, Jaromir Jagr vaults into the top-five fantasy performers this season. Not that Patrik Elias was a slouch, but Scott Gomez finds himself in a much better situation and is a No. 1 center. Michal Rozsival stepped up his game in the postseason and now warrants attention as your No. 2 defenseman. Henrik Lundqvist is a bit too inconsistent to be considered among the elite goaltenders, but he will backstop your team adequately. -- Sean Allen
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