Rangers Signing Lombardi Impact on Stanley Cup Odds

David Lawrence

Monday, July 21, 2014 2:26 PM GMT

Sharp sports bettors pay attention to events which affect the odds so that they can adjust their predictions accordingly. Take advantage of our NHL experts as they share the news on the NY Rangers.

The New York Rangers caught some good breaks en route to the Stanley Cup finals last season but make no mistakes about it: they were never really that close to winning it all. While they needed to add pieces to the puzzle in the offseason, they ended up losing a number of them. The recent signing of Matthew Lombardi will be their signature free agent move as far as the forwards go. That’s not likely to move the needle on their 16/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup.

 

Rangers Take A Flier On Lombardi
The Rangers have ample cap space but didn’t get in on the free agency hoopla. They tinkered a little bit and on Wednesday, added Matthew Lombardi to the mix on a two-year, $1.6 million contract. It’s a good low-risk move and he’s a player that will fit their scheme. He’s a grinder, a blue collar worker with speed and a decent center who is a good penalty killer.

 

Recapping The Rangers Offseason Moves
It’s hard not to say that the Rangers are worse this offseason. They need scoring in the worst way – especially since Rick Nash has decided to stop contributing – and they didn’t get any. We’re talking about a team that finished 18th in goals scored; only two other teams less goals than them and made the playoffs. However, the Rangers didn’t add much and lost key cogs like Brian Boyle, Brad Richards and Benoit Pouliot. It’s not that those guys are irreplaceable but the team appears to have downgraded with Lombardi and Tanner Glass as their replacements.

On the blue line, the Rangers let Anton Stralman go, which was probably a mistake. He signed a five-year deal with Tampa Bay to earn $4.5 million per year. The 27-year-old is not an offensive threat but is one of the more underrated stay-at-home defenseman in the NHL. In his stead, the Rangers brought in Dan Boyle, who at 38-years-old is not what he used to be. He’s an offensive defenseman that should boost the power play but he’s making $4.5 million as well. Why not just keep Stralman to maintain one of the best top-four defensive rotations in the NHL? 

 

How To Bet The News
Lombardi will give the Rangers some depth but don’t mistake him for some type of All-Star. Yes, he had 20 goals and 30 assists in Geneve-Servette in Switzerland last season but there’s a reason he was there to begin with: not many teams were demanding his services in the NHL. He’s probably about a 40-point guy these days.

When you do the math with the Rangers, it just doesn’t add up. They lost Boyle, Stralman, Pouliot and Richards, which takes away some of the character of this team. They didn’t lose offense by letting these guys walk but they didn’t exactly bring any scoring in either. If they’re pinning their hopes on a 38-year-old Dan Boyle to put them over the top, the Rangers must be crazy.

This will still be the same Rangers team as last year. They’ll be a quality defensive team that plays in plenty of unders. They’ll be able to beat the bad teams and match up well with the better teams. However, they’re still a cut below the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens and even the Tampa Bay Lightning. If those elite teams beat themselves – like Pittsburgh did in the playoffs – or if they suffer an injury, as the Canadiens did, then the Rangers can take advantage. Otherwise, this is still the same old second-tier Eastern Conference team.