The Rangers clearly need help on their blueline and have a well documented surplus of forwards up front so it stands to reason that multiple Rangers forwards would be connected to trade rumours given their uneven line-up. That doesn’t mean Jeff Gorton should be in a rush to move kids such as J.T. Miller for blueline help.
My personal feeling is that the Rangers would be making a monumental mistake if they wind up trading J.T. Miller, almost regardless of the return he brings. Miller’s development curve has been trending upwards for a long time now. Miller is still young, has good speed and size, a cap friendly contract and is a home-grown, cost controlled asset with yet more upside. All of these merits and yet we haven’t mentioned Miller can play all over the line up and in every different scenario. You don’t trade that kind of player.
“He’s dropped off a little bit for me,” an NHL scout told ESPN’s Craig Custance. “I hate to say it, but I think he’s on the backside of things now.”
There are likely a few reasons for the number of growing doubters: Read More→
It is no secret that the Rangers want to improve defensively. It is not just the bloggers who say it too, as NHL insider Pierre Lebrun yesterday said that the Rangers are doing their due diligence and will likely make a trade for a defenseman this season. I don’t really consider this “insider news” but I am a narcissist and like when the league is talking about the Rangers doing something potentially smart.
LeBrun: I think at some point #NYR will do everything they can to trade for a Top-4 D, or get some help on D, between now & trade deadline.
— Chris Nichols (@NicholsOnHockey) October 24, 2016
There are many factors that go into this small rumor. First and foremost is the Rangers’ ability to value players and defensemen. I’d say that for the most part, supreme leader Jeff Gorton has impressed a good portion of the fan base by revamping the NYR offense and creating a speed team once again.
On episode 25 of the Blue Seat Blogs-cast we talk about this past week of New York Rangers hockey, strong play from Chris Kreider, Adam Clendening, and further developing trade rumors. As always you can catch us right here, on SoundCloud, and on iTunes.
St. John’s IceCaps 5, Hartford Wolf Pack 2
By Henry Lucey
Hartford, CT, October 23, 2016 – The Hartford Wolf Pack suffered their first home-ice loss of the season Sunday at the XL Center, falling 5-2 to the St. John’s IceCaps.
St. John’s opened the scoring just thirty-six seconds into the contest when Sven Andrighetto’s wrister found the back of the net. The Wolf Pack were quick to respond, however, as Marek Hrivik evened the score at the 1:27 mark. The goal, Hrivik’s second of the season, was assisted by right-winger Justin Fontaine. Less than a minute after Hrivik’s tally, IceCaps defenseman Joel Hanley beat Harford goalie Mackenzie Skapski at 2:16 to take back the lead.
A bunch of injury news was released yesterday before the win against Arizona. This is a little delayed, but still noteworthy.
- Chris Kreider missed yesterday with neck spasms. Oscar Lindberg made his return, taking him off the IR.
- Pavel Buchnevich was moved to the IR with back spasms. Since he was placed on IR when Lindberg came off, the Rangers don’t need to make any additional roster moves.
- Dan Girardi returned yesterday, meaning the Rangers now have a healthy blue line.
With the return of Dan Girard in last night’s game against Arizona, the Rangers are finally back to full strength on their blue line. Adam Clendening joined Dylan McIlrath in the press box, as it appears Alain Vigneault will lean on veterans, as expected.
Girardi will likely go back to playing with Ryan McDonagh, while Kevin Klein probably ends up back with Marc Staal. That leaves Brady Skjei and Nick Holden in a third pairing role, with Holden still playing on the right side, a place where he wasn’t comfortable to start the year.
After a good win in Washington, the Rangers are back home to take on an Arizona Coyotes team that is better on paper than their record would indicate. The Yotes have been victimized by terrible goaltending early on, allowing a whopping 18 goals through four games. I admittedly haven’t watched much of the Yotes this season, but on paper their blue line is good, so it leads me to believe their goaltending is failing them early on. I could be wrong, though.
As for the Rangers, they just limited the Caps to two goals. Considering the porous defense and mediocre goaltending they had received prior, this is a very good sign for them. If the Rangers can shore up play in their own zone while continuing to score at this pace, they will be tough to beat. Plus, Henrik Lundqvist won’t play to a sub-.900 SV% for very long. He’s a slow starter anyway.
Hartford Wolf Pack 5, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 4 (OT)
Allentown, PA, October 22, 2016 – Nicklas Jensen’s goal at 1:55 of overtime lifted the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 5-4 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in a wild game Saturday night at the PPL Center.
Corban Knight, Andy Miele, Mark Zengerle and Chris Conner all scored for Lehigh Valley, and ex-Yale Eli Alex Lyon, making his professional debut in goal for the Phantoms, stopped 29 shots.
It’s early so far in the 2016-17 regular season, but certain things are starting to become apparent. One of the most basic is that the Rangers’ new found speed and skill is going to be tough for teams to handle, or at the very least fun to watch, and one of the players who best exemplifies this is Mika Zibanejad. Although losing Derick Brassard, a fan favorite, was touch for many early returns on Zibanejad are overwhelmingly positive. Chris has already touched on his efficacy on the powerplay, but I thought I’d go a little bit more into how he plays at even strength.
What we can see with our eyes is that Zibanejad is fast, has good hands, and makes good passes. In particular, one of the things I noticed when I broke down every single one of his goals from last season over the summer is that he has good hands in tight, particularly when he’s on the receiving end of a low angle, vertical pass, helping to generate shots in close. He’s also pretty adept at setting up high danger scoring chances for his linemates, as we’ve seen so far with Chris Kreider, complimenting their skills with his own speed and vision.