Sep
21

Filip Chytil steals the show with overtime winner

September 21, 2017, by · Comments (18)

chris kreider

The NHL did it. They found a rule that I hate more than the puck over the glass penalty. It’s now the stupid faceoff violation penalty. Don’t get me wrong, I think that blatant violations should be penalized. But a winger lining up with half a skate in the circle? Are you serious? No league gets in their own way quite like the NHL.

Now that my gripe is out of the way, let’s get back to the evaluation of the game.

  • Starting with Filip Chytil. It was only one preseason game, and I don’t expect him to make the club, but boy did he look good. The kid just turned 18 years old, and he was out there controlling play. There was one sequence where he protected the puck –they showed it on replay– and he looked like a seasoned NHL vet. Skill beyond his years.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups, Preseason
Comments (18)
Sep
20

Preseason Game 2: Jersey smells weird

September 20, 2017, by · Comments (5)
rangers devils

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

The Rangers are back at it tonight against the Devils after beating the Isles in overtime on Monday. Filip Chytil will get his first look at preseason hockey, skating between Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello. That will be a fun line to watch. Kevin Shattenkirk is also making his Rangers debut.

Lias Andersson will play again, as will Ryan Gropp. That’s a good sign for both guys. Brady Skjei will skate with Shatty, so….drool. I’m expecting a round of cuts after this game or tomorrow.

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Categories : Game Thread, Preseason
Comments (5)
Sep
20

What we’ve learned from training camp so far

September 20, 2017, by · Comments (29)

When was the last time you saw a Ranger D-man make a move like this? (Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Jeff Gorton is not blind to the hole at center
Gorton was very careful with his wording in response to reporters’ questions about attempted deals for help at center over the course of the summer. Though nothing materialized, it’s clear that Gorton has been active in conversations. But he’s also willing to be patient. When camp opened Alain Vigneault said he wants to see J.T. Miller at center because he’ll be needed there “at some point.” AV also indicated that both Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil have a real chance at making the team. It’s up to all three of those players to prove their merit and take the pressure off Gorton. But for the time being, it seems that Gorton is willing to let things play out.

Trading for Matt Duchene makes all kinds of sense for the Rangers, but not so much for the Avs
Josh wondered aloud the other day about the absence of trade rumors between Colorado and New York given the Blueshirts’ glaring need and the availability of such an obvious solution in Duchene. Gorton has surely conversed with Colorado GM Joe Sakic, but there still doesn’t appear to be a trade match between the two clubs. It’s widely known the Avs are seeking a blue chip young defender and the likes of Ryan Murray, Cody Ceci, Thomas Chabot, Justin Faulk and Noah Hanifin have circulated through the rumor mill as potential building blocks from known interested parties.

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Categories : Musings
Comments (29)
Sep
19

Lineup for the second preseason matchup

September 19, 2017, by · Comments (28)

filip chytil

The Rangers have revealed their lineup for tomorrow’s tilt against the Devils:

Chris Kreider-Lias Andersson-Ryan Gropp
Matt Puempel-Kevin Hayes-Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey-Adam Tambellini-Filip Chytil
Daniel Catenacci-David Desharnais-AndrewDesjardins

Brady Skjei-Kevin Shattenkirk
Vince Pedrie-Brendan Smith
Marc Staal-John Gilmour

Henrik Lundqvist
Alex Georgiev

That fourth line seems like a throw-away line to me, but the top-nine are very skilled. I’m intrigued to see how Gropp does. But all eyes will be on Chytil. Also Skjei/Shatty as the top pair? Drool.

Categories : Preseason
Comments (28)
Sep
19

Rangers reduce training camp roster by five

September 19, 2017, by · Comments (7)

The Rangers have cut five players from the training camp roster, leaving 49 players left in camp.

The Gettinger/Ronning moves were expected. It is interesting that Sean Day was not assigned to juniors. The club may be looking at sending him to the AHL instead.

The fact that Kovacs was assigned to Hartford with the first players cut is not promising. Many, including myself, were hoping his rough year last season was due to the bad team and bad usage. However getting cut this early does not bode well.

Categories : Preseason
Comments (7)
Sep
19

Top 10 Prospects for the New York Rangers

September 19, 2017, by · Comments (27)

lias andersson

Time for the final addition of my prospect rankings this year. If you missed it, here are rankings 35-29rankings 28-21, and rankings 20-11. Without further ado:

10. Ryan Gropp, W – Ryan Gropp is a polarizing character on the Rangers prospect list. Don’t get me wrong, I like a lot of prospects more than I like Gropp, but given his physical traits and his quick release he may have a better chance at carving out an NHL career. It is hard for me to get excited about Gropp knowing the Rangers willingly passed on Daniel Sprong, Jeremy Bracco and Oliver Kylington and it is even worse when he hasn’t exactly made them look brilliant. While he is known to be a wonderful scorer with an NHL release, you would expect him to produce more as an overage guy in the WHL.

Unfortunately for the Rangers, he didn’t really get the offense going until halfway through the year when Islanders top prospect Matt Barzal returned to his pivot. His lack of offense was a major red flag, and coincidentally as it was becoming more profound we started getting prospect reports discussing Gropp’s drastically improved defensive play.

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Sep
19

Recap #1 of the Season: Preseason opener vs. the Islanders

September 19, 2017, by · Comments (43)

Spoiler Alert: Not from this game

There isn’t much to say about last night’s preseason game. Maybe the Rangers wanted to temper everyone’s excitement so they could gradually build it up, or maybe it was just a preseason game. But Neal Pionk had something to say about that shortly into the 0-0 overtime.

Folks…

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups, Preseason
Comments (43)
Sep
18

Preseason Game 1: Fishsticks

September 18, 2017, by · Comments (25)

rangers islanders isles

Hockey has arrived, and boy am I happy to say that. The Rangers begin their preseason tonight at home against the Islanders. There are a bunch of roster battles taking place this preseason, with the focus primarily on the bottom six and the bottom pairing. We get to see Lias Andersson tonight with Pavel Buchnevich and Michael Grabner flanking him, something we could see in the preseason. We also get to see Anthony DeAngelo tonight as the 3RD, a role he might get with Nick Holden, his partner.

Also playing tonight are Neal Pionk, Ryan Graves, and Boo Nieves. All three have an outside chance of making the club. We may see Graves-Kampfer, a pairing tonight, as the top pairing in Hartford this season, so paying attention to that chemistry will help us figure out what we have in the AHL this season.

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Categories : Game Thread, Preseason
Comments (25)
Sep
18

Filling the leadership void

September 18, 2017, by · Comments (12)
mats zuccarello

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

The Rangers made major moves this offseason, not only shedding salary and getting younger, but parting ways with two member of the leadership core. Dan Girardi was bought out, and Derek Stepan was traded to Arizona, leaving just Rick Nash and Marc Staal with ‘A’s on their jerseys. Both of their futures are questionable as well.

Alain Vigneault has hinted that he is unsure if the Rangers will go with four ‘A’s again next season, or just stick with Nash and Staal. Letters are more recognition that a player is a leader in the locker room, but you don’t need a letter to be a leader. Just look at Henrik Lundqvist, who’s a powerful and respected voice in the locker room.

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Categories : Preseason
Comments (12)
Sep
17

Lineup for tomorrow’s preseason opener

September 17, 2017, by · Comments (11)

Alain Vigneault has released the roster/lineup for the preseason tilt tomorrow at MSG against the Islanders. There’s a mix of kids and roster players, with some interesting lines/pairings:

Bobby Farnham-Boo Nieves-Vinni Lettieri
Pavel Buchnevich-Lias Andersson-Michael Grabner
Rick Nash-JT Miller-Paul Carey
Andrew Desjardins-Gabriel Fontaine-Cole Schneider

Ryan McDonagh-Neal Pionk
Nick Holden-Anthony DeAngelo
Ryan Graves-Steven Kampfer

Ondrej Pavelec/Brandon Halverson

The Buchnevich-Andersson-Grabner line could be the third line on opening night. It also appears that DeAngelo will be given every opportunity to stick on the third pair, assuming Holden gets the nod. Wonder what that means for Marc Staal.

Categories : Preseason
Comments (11)