Jan
17

Appreciating Jimmy Vesey’s improvements

January 17, 2018, by · Comments (1)
jimmy vesey

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Jimmy Vesey was the prize undrafted free agent before last season, and the Rangers nabbed him. The former third round pick was instantly placed into a middle/bottom six role and put together a nice rookie season. The winger finished with a line of 16-11-27 in 80 games, which is impressive for a rookie given his usage.

That said, his play away from the puck left a lot to be desired. It didn’t go unnoticed that he was sporting a -4.27 rel CF%, a -13.32 rel GF% (!!), and a -5.83 rel xGF%, it just went without much criticism. He was a rookie and playing more than 40 games for the first time in his hockey career. His sophomore season would be looked at with more scrutiny, and he hasn’t disappointed.

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Categories : Players
Comments (1)
Jan
17

Rangers smoke Flyers with impressive home win

January 17, 2018, by · Comments (41)
rangers flyers

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Well it couldn’t get much worse for the Rangers, but the real question was could it actually get better? The Blueshirts answered that emphatically last night, torching the Flyers and completely dominating them from start to finish. The final score of 5-1 was certainly nice, but it’s the consistent effort for 60 minutes that I enjoyed the most.

For the first time in a long time, the Rangers held their opponent to fewer than 30 shots on goal. Henrik Lundqvist finally won a game without having to stand on his head and/or make a deal with the devil. Rick Nash scored twice. Peter Holland got his first point on the Rangers on a shorthanded goal. They scored on the powerplay. All in all, a good feeling and a win.

On to the goals.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (41)
Jan
16

Game 45: It can’t get much worse, right?

January 16, 2018, by · Comments (25)

The Rangers came back from their bye week and were promptly outscored 12-4 by a pair of division rivals. They’ve allowed 30+ shots in the past 15 games and haven’t won in regulation since December 17. So it can’t possibly get much worse. I hope.

The Flyers are a point behind the Rangers and one of the three teams that can unseat the Rangers for that final playoff spot. So from a playoff perspective, this game has a lot of value to it. But from a Rangers perspective, they just need to get back to playing actual hockey. They’ve been horrible to watch lately.

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Categories : Game Thread
Comments (25)
Jan
16

Which kids in Hartford could make a difference?

January 16, 2018, by · Comments (25)

anthony deangelo

The New York Rangers are not a good hockey team. Aside from their run in November, which was largely due to a regression in SH%, the Blueshirts aren’t even a .500 team. They’ve hemorrhaged shots like they’re getting paid to do so, and they are basically playing uninspired hockey. The last time we saw this happen, one that didn’t result in the firing of a coach, the Rangers recalled Carl Hagelin. That team went on a run to the Eastern Conference Final.

In theory, a shot of youth could get the team going. I say in theory because we’d still need to see the coach actually willing to play a rookie in a key role. Heck, he won’t even play the team’s third highest scorer in the top-six on a consistent basis. But let’s say this is Bizarro World, and Alain Vigneault will allow any kid that is recalled to play to their strengths, which kids could actually make an impact?

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michael grabner

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Rangers are a wildly mediocre team with major holes that and are not ready for a realistic shot at the Stanley Cup. The team we see before us is the culmination of learning the wrong lessons from tough losses over the past few years. It is the end result of ignoring process for goaltending-masked wins.

Regardless of how the Rangers got here, they are here now. The Blueshirts, despite the standings, are not a realistic shot to win the Cup. They struggled with Mika Zibanejad went down. They’ve been struggling since Chris Kreider went down. True contenders don’t fall off a cliff when they lose a top-six forward. The Rangers have, twice.

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Categories : Musings
Comments (69)

Springfield Thunderbirds 5, Hartford Wolf Pack 1

Springfield, MA, January 15, 2018 – A three-goal second period propelled the Springfield Thunderbirds to a 5-1 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Monday at the MassMutual Center, in a Martin Luther King Day holiday matinee.

Dryden Hunt, Chase Balisy and Curtis Valk all scored in the second for the Thunderbirds, who outshot the Wolf Pack 25-2 in the middle frame. The victory was Springfield’s fourth straight, and the Wolf Pack suffered its third consecutive loss, coming off of a road trip Friday and Saturday nights to Laval and Belleville.

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Categories : AHL
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Jan
15

Rangers recall Peter Holland, send Boo Nieves to Hartford

January 15, 2018, by · Comments (14)

peter holland

The Rangers have recalled forward Peter Holland from the Hartford Wolf Pack. They have also sent center Boo Nieves back to Hartford.

Holland was acquired by the Rangers earlier this season from Toronto for forward –and waiver claim– Adam Cracknell. Holland had a line of 5-9-14 with the Pack since his acquisition (16 games).

Nieves, the Blueshirts’ second rounder in 2012, had a line of 1-8-9 in 28 games, primarily in fourth line duties. Nieves found great chemistry with Jesper Fast and Paul Carey upon his call up, but had seen his game slip a little bit recent. In all fairness, everyone’s game has slipped.

Categories : Transactions
Comments (14)
Jan
15

Weekly Preview: Who The Heck Even Knows Anymore

January 15, 2018, by · Comments (12)

Apologies, loyal readers, if the attitude of the BSB staff seems particularly dour right now.  But it’s pretty clear why that is: the New York Rangers have given us nothing to get excited about.

Recent results have been demonstrably mediocre, and the on-ice process has been horrid.  The Rangers, who have not won a game in regulation since December 19 at home against Anaheim, now find themselves in a pickle for playoff positioning.  Here are the Metropolitan Division and Wild Card Standings, as of Monday January 15.

Metropolitan Division Standings – January 15, 2018

Wild Card Standings – January 15, 2018

The Rangers begin the week with two games on home ice, before hitting the road for a four-game west coast road trip.  Let’s take a quick look at this week’s slate of games.

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Categories : Preview
Comments (12)
Jan
15

Rangers still can’t figure it out, lose to Penguins

January 15, 2018, by · Comments (55)

The Rangers figured to have hit rock bottom on Saturday afternoon after allowing a touchdown to the Islanders. That game should have woken the team up and given them the shot in the arm they needed to stop allowing 30+ shots a game. Boy were we wrong.

This was now the 15th straight game where the Rangers allowed 30+ shots in a game. They now haven’t won in regulation since December 19. I’m amazed the goalies haven’t mutinied at this point.

I couldn’t watch the game, so I polled Twitter to see how everyone took the loss. Some of the answers were fun.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (55)
Jan
14

Game 44: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

January 14, 2018, by · Comments (44)

rangers penguins mika zibanejad

After yesterday afternoon’s “game” against the Isles, the Rangers traveled to Pittsburgh for another divisional showdown against the defending back-to-back Cup champs. The Penguins are not the same as they used to be, very top heavy and lacking on the blue line. That said, they’ve been extremely unlucky all year, and that terrible SH% is bound to get back to normal.

If the Rangers continue to play like they have the past few weeks, they are going to get torched by the Penguins. Regardless of their struggles, they still have elite talent that can put the puck in the net. We keep wondering the Rangers will wake up. We’ve been waiting for a few years now.

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Categories : Game Thread
Comments (44)