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Rags owner says [We are close to winning a Cup]


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http://espn.go.com/n...ose-winning-all

NEW YORK -- In a rare, impromptu news conference Tuesday night, New York Rangers owner James Dolan said he feels his Blueshirts are closing in on the Stanley Cup.

"I'm very proud of the organization," Dolan said after the team's 3-0 win over Nashville. "I'm particularly proud of Mr. [Glen] Sather because all the way back to 2004 when things weren't going so well and we had a lot of free agents here and we decided to basically re-do the strategy, Glen and I made a pact.

"I gave him something, which I won't reveal today, but I gave him something to seal the pact. I said 'You can't give it back to me until we win the Stanley Cup.' And I think we're pretty close to getting that thing back," said Dolan, who has not addressed the Rangers media since the 2005-06 season.

Dolan went on to laud his general manager for constructing the team the right way -- building through the draft and cultivating a foundation of home-grown nucleus players.

"For me it's all about the system he built. Of course its great coaching, but it's about the farm system, the scouting system and the development -- going with kids -- and sticking with that philosophy even at times when it didn't look so good. So, I'm very proud of him and the organization," Dolan said.

With their shutout win over the streaking Predators, Dolan's Rangers are 29-11-4, which puts them first in the NHL standings with 62 points and three points ahead of the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference. But even after the surprise endorsement from his owner, coach John Tortorella said he didn't want his squad overlooking the task at hand.

"I have my owner up here talking about a Stanley Cup. That's a bunch of bull----," Tortorella countered good-naturedly. "We need to take one game at a time."

The team's .705 winning percentage through 44 games is the team's best start in 40 years and the third best start in franchise history.

Although Sather's tenure as general manager has, at times, been characterized by his willingness to throw loads of cash at some of the league's biggest free agents, the team is enjoying success with a promising crop of young, homegrown talent. Of the team's 20 players on Tuesday's roster, eight were Rangers draft picks.

Dolan isn't the only one within the organization to share his lofty postseason expectations. Sather guaranteed a Stanley Cup championship during a Winter Classic news conference in Philadelphia this September. He also guaranteed the Rangers would beat the Flyers on Jan. 2 (they did, 3-2) and that the New York Yankees would win the World Series (they didn't).

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If Lundquist continues to put up Vezina/Hart like numbers the Rangers are definitely contenders. Without his great play this season the Rangers are a borderline 6 or 7 seed at best. They don't get a whole lot of secondary scoring. Gaborik is currently slumping but he is putting up a large portion of their offense. Torts seems to have pretty good control of that lockerroom and they have good leadership in guys like Callahan and Richards. I think the team realises their ownership is just trying to create "buzz" around the team but they know its steady as she goes.

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I would like to see thier fall like a rock in playoffs

This team reminds me Caps couple years ago.

The only way they remind me of the Caps a couple years ago is their points in the standings. How they got there is completely different. The Caps were a high octane offensive machine. The Rangers are a top the NHL because of their goaltending.

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Not saying that they wont go deep but it is early days yet and we cant say that there wont be a key injury or a prolonged slump etc. This kind of statement should not be made right now (at least not in public) as it sounds arrogant and overconfident.

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Closer than the flyers, that's for sure.

All it takes is a streak one way or the other to reverse fortunes. Lundy goes cold and the Rangers are doomed. Bryz or Bobs gets hot and the Flyers soar. The Rangers are only 4 points ahead... one single Winter Classic's worth of points based on a 3-2 game.

The Rangers are a built team. The Flyers are rebuilding, and still breathing on their heels. With the depth the Flyers have and four scoring lines, they are overcoming their goaltending issues most games. The Rangers can not mimic that.

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All it takes is a streak one way or the other to reverse fortunes. Lundy goes cold and the Rangers are doomed. Bryz or Bobs gets hot and the Flyers soar. The Rangers are only 4 points ahead... one single Winter Classic's worth of points based on a 3-2 game.

The Rangers are a built team. The Flyers are rebuilding, and still breathing on their heels. With the depth the Flyers have and four scoring lines, they are overcoming their goaltending issues most games. The Rangers can not mimic that.

Weak defense and goaltending don't win you a cup. Obviously you could inject "ifs" all day long to make your point stand up. As they are built right now, the rangers are closer as their defense and goaltending is MUCH better than the flyers.

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I would like to see thier fall like a rock in playoffs

This team reminds me Caps couple years ago.

I disagree. I think this team is a legitimate contender. They have a great goalie and sound defense. They have Gaborik who is having a great year and they have solid role players too. This is a dangerous team.

If we're to compete with the likes of Boston and New York we need to upgrade our D and I would love a guy like Clutterbuck to throw his body around and wear down some of these teams.

I think we need to get more physical.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hopefully this will officially jinx the Rangers team. I am picturing the Flyers-Rangers meeting in the playoffs and the Flyers getting revenge for their losses during the season.

1 plays 8.

Flyers will not be 8.

Someone else gets to soften up the Rag's first.

Beautiful.

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  • 3 months later...

But the Rangers are going to win the Cup, and I'm going to vomit every morning as soon as I wake up and remember it all summer long

But the Rangers Devils are going to win the Cup, and I'm going to vomit every morning as soon as I wake up and remember it all summer long.

That's not much better

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  • 2 months later...

Dolan is the Knicks owner as well and I know personally how horrible of an owner he is. He purposely doesnt like having famous coaches or GM's around because he likes to call the shots. Guys a jerk. Thank god he doesnt know too much about hockey so he doesnt step in and try to run things with the Rangers like he does the Knicks but he still makes stupid comments like this one every now and then.

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