Defense Wins Championships

November 22, 2017, by · Comments (1)

ryan mcdonagh

The below post was written by Rob Luker. Rob used to write for Blueshirt Banter, but retired for a while. He sent me this and I was more than happy to post it. You should be following him on Twitter here. He is a great follow with tons of good hockey insight. He also wrote this article from the summer.

I presume most or all of you have seen the recent Progressive Insurance Dad Support group commercial? There’s a little bit that applies to the Rangers, at the moment:

“Next thing you know I’m telling strangers that defense wins championships … well it does.”

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Categories : Analysis
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lias andersson

As you all know, I absolutely love looking at prospects and the upcoming draft. With more information readily becoming available, I am enjoying incorporating everything from individual scouting to the underlying numbers that have been unearthed due to research projects in the analytics community. Over the weekend, I came across a tweet by Byron Bader of the Athletic here that shows how likely a prospect can become an NHL player by using NHLe as a key. This piqued my interest.

I then incorporated Christian Roatis of NHLNumbers NHLe calculator to get an accurate NHLe for some of the Rangers forwards prospects. Byron’s tweet came at just the right time for me, I’ve noticed people have been complaining about picking Lias Andersson over Casey Mittlestadt due to point production, and while we can make the argument in regards to potential, the point argument in my opinion is invalid. When comparing NHLes both players have a nearly identical number which would also put them in the same cohort for Byron Bader’s NHL likeliness/superstar key.

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Categories : Prospects
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Ryan McDonagh will not make trip to Carolina

November 21, 2017, by · Comments (56)

A bit of surprising news here, as Ryan McDonagh will not be accompanying the team to Carolina for their game tomorrow night against the Hurricanes. He has an ab strain that he’s been dealing with for a good portion of the year. Nick Holden is skating with Brendan Smith on the top pair. Steven Kampfer will be with Marc Staal. Kevin Hayes replaced McDonagh on the powerplay.

The only other lineup change is that David Desharnais will be back in for Paul Carey. That was relatively expected.

Categories : Injuries
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The Hank-Vingeault Era – A Tragedy in 3 Parts

November 21, 2017, by · Comments (13)

Being a fan of star-crossed team can be one of the cruelest forms of self-inflicted punishment. Only the most masochistic of us can envision an ending for our favorite team that most likely will lead to heartbreak, and yet exacerbate it with the hope that “maybe this year will be different”.

The Past

“History is written by the victors” – Winston Churchill (maybe)

For example, by Emmanuel Perry’s WAR metric from, last year’s Washington Capitals were the 5th best team in terms of total WAR since 2010.  Despite the fact that last year’s Penguins were the top-ranked team in the same time frame, Washington outshot Pittsburgh by nearly 60 shots over the course of the seven-game series.

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Categories : Players
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filip chytil

Chytil: Please. Don’t. Rush.

Following the weekend just gone, there will no doubt be plenty of calls to bring Filip Chytil back to New York at the earliest opportunity. Healthy again, the need at center still obvious (moving JT Miller again is not the answer) and fresh off a two goal outburst on the weekend, Chytil’s play is demanding attention.

Chytil is off to a tremendous start in the AHL with 11 points in 9 games but he is exactly where he should be. He’s the focal point of the Wolfpack’s offense, playing important minutes and is now starting to get comfortable with the system and the pro game in North America. The Rangers should be able to make the playoffs without him and should allow him to grow in Hartford at least for the short term. With the team’s logjam on the blueline at all levels of the organisation the team should also be able to upgrade the center position without losing anything significant in return.

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Categories : Prospects
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Is it time for Vinny Lettieri to get a shot?

November 20, 2017, by · Comments (63)

vinny lettieri

With each passing game, the desperate need for a 3C intensifies. Last night, with David Desharnais struggling, the Rangers shuffled the lineup, putting Paul Carey into the mix. This is the same Paul Carey that Alain Vigneault passed over in favor of 11F/7D earlier in the season.

As it sits right now, Desharnais is the 3C (sometimes masquerading as a 2C) and Carey is the 13F. When one struggles, the other is in the lineup. That’s not the most ideal scenario. Replacing Derek Stepan with literally nothing was not a smart move. While we wait for a potential trade, a move from within may be the best bet in the short term.

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Categories : Prospects
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AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The Rangers were looking to get back on track after losing two in a row, and did just that against Ottawa last night. The Rangers played strong defensive hockey (not perfect, but it’ll do) and made the most of their chances in the 3-0 win. They club really cemented the win after a brilliant PK after the Brendan Smith major/game misconduct.

The Rangers got a big two points against a team they may be fighting for a playoff spot down the road. It may not seem important in November, but it’s a four point swing against a potential playoff team. At this juncture, with how the Rangers have played, every point and every swing counts.

On to the goals:

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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Game 21: Right the ship, get revenge against Ottawa

November 19, 2017, by · Comments (23)
jesper fast

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett

The Rangers are back home tonight after getting swept in their short two game road trip to take on the Ottawa Senators. They will be looking for some form of revenge against the Sens, who ousted the Rangers from the playoffs last year.

The Rangers are hanging around at .500, but that won’t be good enough (obviously) to move the needle among the fans. They need to start playing 60 minutes of hockey consistently. I can’t believe that is an actual problem for this team, but it is.

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Categories : Game Thread
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Chytil nets two in return, Pack win

November 19, 2017, by · Comments (2)

Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Utica Comets 1

Utica, NY, November 18, 2017 – A pair of rookies, Filip Chytil, with two goals, and Vinni Lettieri, with a goal and two assists, led the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 4-1 win over the Utica Comets Saturday night at the Adirondack Bank Center.

Another first-year pro, Gabriel Fontaine, also scored for the Wolf Pack, posting his first pro point, as Hartford snapped an 0-1-2-0 streak.

“I thought we were able to produce a lot of chances from our speed,” Wolf Pack head coach Keith McCambridge said. “I thought that game was probably one of our fastest, with regards to coming through the neutral zone, getting on the puck in the offensive zone, and our execution being cleaner on our breakouts. And the one thing that really jumps out is the third period, being able to do a real good job playing with the lead.”

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Categories : AHL
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The dreaded middle

November 19, 2017, by · Comments (16)

alain vigneault

The Rangers have cooled off somewhat from their hot streak, and we’re once again seeing the flaws inherent in the structure of this team and the execution of their game. Although the loss against Columbus was primarily due to Sergei Bobrovsky’s phenomenal night, the previous game against Chicago had a lot to do with their inability to play a full 60 minutes. Whether it’s due to the players in the lineup, the coach who sends them out onto the ice, or the GM who put together the lineup the Rangers are headed towards a serious predicament: the dreaded middle.

See, if there’s one thing you don’t want to be in today’s NHL, especially considering the top tier talent available in the early picks of next year’s draft, it’s just ok. If you’re good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to contend, then you just miss out on a better draft pick. Similarly, if you’re bad enough to miss the playoffs but not all that bad compared to the rest of the early golf crowd, then the draft pick you end up getting won’t move the needle too terribly much. From a fan perspective too it’s kind of disappointing – at least if you’re watching your team lose a lot of games you know that somewhere down the line, and maybe as soon as the following year, you’ll be watching something good. Nobody wants to be the Carolina Hurricanes (sorry Canes fam, you’re still my second team anyways), good enough to make people say “next year should be fun” but bad enough that that next year actually isn’t.

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Categories : Uncategorized
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