Showing caution with the kids in Hartford

J.T. Miller is off to a hot start.

J.T. Miller is off to a hot start.

With the Rangers off to a 1-4 start, any attention not focused on the Blueshirts has been on the Hartford Wolfpack. Specifically, attention has been on Danny Kristo, J.T. Miller, and Chris Kreider. Some other attention has been on Oscar Lindberg and Brandon Mashinter as well.

The attention isn’t unwarranted. Kristo (2-3-5), Kreider (2-1-3), and Miller (4-0-4) are all making waves with fans with their offensive performances. Mashinter (0-3-3) and Lindberg (0-3-3) also have some pretty nice point totals through four games. But points only tell half of the story. Since #fancystats aren’t available for the AHL, we need to focus on stats that are available.

Focusing on Kristo/Kreider/Miller, let’s focus on shooting percentage and +/- (I know…). Both stats add a little more to the discussion about rushing kids based on point production.

Kristo, who is leading the team in points at the moment, is shooting at a whopping 22.2%. The league average for a player is around 10%, and while it is unfair to say that Kristo will regress to that average (after all, an average means that some sit above, and others sit below), it is fair to say that he won’t maintain a shooting percentage over 20%. That’s unheard of.

Miller, who has four goals this season, has an even higher shot percentage than Miller at an astounding 36.4%. That is completely unsustainable. However, it is worth noting that none of Miller’s four tallies were on the powerplay. Both Kristo and Miller should see some sort of regression with their goal scoring relatively soon.

As for Kreider, his shot percentage isn’t as crazy as his peers (16.7%), but even that is still due for a little regression. Two of Kreider’s three points have been on the powerplay as well, which leaves him with a -1 rating. Yes, +/- has a lot of flaws, but considering it is the only stat available at the moment that attempts to measure defensive performance, it’s worth noting that Kreider’s -1 leaves him as one of four Pack players in the negative.

The other player in the negative for plus/minus: Lindberg. The Swede has three assists on the season –all at even strength– but is still a -1, meaning he has been on the ice for four even strength goals. Now, we don’t know much about the competition he is facing, but for a kid whose specialty is supposed to be defensive play, there is a lot of room for improvement.

Mashinter, who a lot of people want up to replace Arron Asham and Derek Dorsett, is actually the most logical of the call ups at the moment. He’s not exactly an offensive force, but he’s been pretty solid defensively for the Pack, and has managed to chip in three assists at even strength.

While the Rangers are struggling, the urge is to panic and call up a kid that may not be ready for the show. That was absolutely the case with the big-name prospects for the Rangers, and there is no need to rush them to the NHL. The Rangers will get better. There’s no need to sacrifice the future over the first five games of the year.

31 Responses to “Showing caution with the kids in Hartford”

  1. Bloomer says:

    I am a little concerned with bringing up young players when the team is struggling. Fast introduction to the NHL has been rough as every mistake he makes seems to lead to a goal. The Rangers will get better as stated in previous blogs, how much better will depend on their coaching and the return of players coming back to form. I advocate bringing up Powe for now until the team can get their bearings.

  2. WilliamW says:

    Sounds like Miller is getting the call. He plays more of a grinding game and would fit better with Boyle/Pyatt who are playing very well

    Pouliot could also move down and miller could fit with Zuc and Stepan on a more skilled line

    Would prefer to let Kreider and Kristo develop together for 1/4 the season at least in Harftord

  3. Mashinter is tougher, CHEAPER, and a more disciplined player than PM machine Dorsett.

    Still prefer Tanner Glass over Dorsett as a tougher, more disciplined player over Dorsett at
    comparable salary.

    Kreider still struggles defensively…even at the AHL level….boom or bust?

    McIlrath & Skjei are bottom 3rd pair defenseman…maybe. McIlrath AT LEAST could make it as a tough guy only….has 2 goals in Hartford and a 96 MPH slapshot.

  4. Mikeyyy says:

    +- is more indicative of team play. Is his entire line negative?

    Ready no. Bust not quite yet.

    I think a trade or signing is coming. With Asham and biron waived we clear some cap. 2.3 mil or something like that.

    Maybe a bigger move or a van nyr swap

    With that much space we could call a few kids up. And av wants some skill. I think kristo gets the nod.

    Or a trade. I smell trade.

    • Dave says:

      I wasn’t a big fan of using +/- (I hate the stat), but there was nothing else available. The point was that despite offensive stats, they still need work away from the puck.

  5. rwa says:

    Leave the kids down for at least 30 games. Let them get to get used to each other as they are all the future of the franchise.

    Mcllrath will never make it skill wise. He will make it as someone’s goon, probably with us. It might be needed.

    And Kreider, he has had plenty of time to learn how to backcheck. Probably never will. Which makes him a bust.

    Around Christmas, look for the kids to get another chance with the big club.

  6. Saw UTube video of McIlrath skating back on a possible icing call with Boulton (tough guy in NHL). Mcilrath just lifted him up and threw him like a rag doll.

    McIlrath will play in the NHL.

    Mcilrath needs to have a 25′ rope tied to his waist, then to his goalie’s net. If McIlrath
    can just stay around the net and refine his game he will be OK as a 3rd pairing defenseman/tough guy.

    McIlrath is a kind of a wasted #1, but not as bad a pick as Brady Skjei who was benched 4 gms last season as a freshman in college for unmotivated play.

    Skjei is what he is, no offensive skills, VERY finess big player, and disappears early in the game if he is hit once or twice.

    Changes are going to happen.

    Moving MDZ or Staal will be an admission that Gordie Clark has no skill at identifying talent in the 1st round 2 out of 11 number ones still with Rangers. Moving MDZ or Staal will lower
    that % even more.

    • Mikeyyy says:

      What’s the league average of first round picks still with the team? Anyone know?

      • Washington has 8 of their original 1st rd picks on their team

        • Spozo says:

          How many cups have they won? How much playoff success have they had since the first lockout? I don’t see a correlation eternal first round picks on a roster and success.

          • Spozo says:

            I dunno how “between” ended as “eternal”. That’s a new one but thank you iPhone autocorrect!

        • Spozo says:

          Also the reigning Stanley cup champs have 3/11 of their recent first rounders on their team right now. Seabrook, Toews, and Kane. The latter two were 3 and 1st overall pick. So with three top ten picks they only have one more draftee on their current roster than the Rangers do. Where exactly is this correlation between success and the number of first round drafts picks on your current roster?

        • Mikeyyy says:

          League avg stay on point frank..

          Don’t throw rocks from a glass house.

          So we have shown through 2 data points the following.

          Washington with 8 picks can’t win a cup.

          Chicago with 3 can win multiple cups.

          So us having 2 is closer to chi. Thus better.

          Or better yet. It’s statistical insignificance. One has nothing to do with the other.

          So let’s stop this horse. Cause it’s dead, very dead. And you are wrong…very wrong.

    • Chris F says:

      Moving Staal or MDZ says nothing about Gordie Clark’s prowess. If anything, it would indicate short sighted reactionism on the part of management making the move.

      I, for one, would be quite happy to see the Rangers ice a team exclusively made up of their own draft picks in the last 11 years. Sadly, they’ve dealt most of them away.

      RIP Cherapanov.

    • Dave says:

      You seem to have a hard-on for Skjei and dropping the B word. Kid was drafted in 2012. Relax.

    • JerryinMA says:

      Carbone’s monomania about Gordie Clark is obviously in need of intervention and I urge him to seek it out. Once his problem is addressed he might then be available as a scout or off ice consultant. After all, as he will be the first to inform you, nobody, absolutely nobody,knows more about hockey than he does. He can predict with absolutely precision that McIlrath is a dud as a first rounder even before he’s played less than twenty or so games in the AHL, that Skjei is a bust after only one year at Notre Dame — did he even watch him play? He even can mind-read, having determined that the Penguins are ready to deal Glass if only the Rangers would urge them to. What organization wouldn’t want a hockey mind of his caliber. But first he must deal with his Clark monomania.

      • Freank Cerbone says:

        You are obviously brain dead-

        Brady Skjei played 36 gms last year at the Univ of Minnesota as a freshman, NOT NOTRE DAME.

        I have been fighting guys like you at Blueshirt Banter for years.

        Guys who know nothing about hockey & so quick to criticize.

        • Paco33 says:

          Dude, if you’re going to be so quick to judge others for factual errors, you really need to improve your own percentage. Contrary to your claim in an earlier thread, Bobby Sanguinetti is NOT from New England. See, “People in glass houses….”

          • Sanguinetti is from New Jersey; same same
            Time Erixon is from Port Chester; same same

            Gordie Clark doesn’t travel far to evaluate players.

            Cherepanov was a “blood doper” who Clark thought was a steal because he dropped so far just prior to the draft.

            Same goes for drafting Del Zotto, who dropped like a rock before the draft, when the Rangers should have drafted his defense partner John Carlson. Carlson, who also played for the London Knights was drafted by Washington Caps later in the 1st rd.

            • Paco33 says:

              New Jersey is in New England to the same extent that the University of Minnesota is Notre Dame. If you’re going to jump on people for factual mistakes either improve your own shooting percentage or have the stones to own up to your own missed shots.

            • JerryinMA says:

              Erixon was drafted in the first round by Calgary but refused to sign. Clark didn’t “draft” him but, of course, in your myopic eyes he is responsible for everything the Rangers do or don’t do, even when they sign a former first rounder drafted by another team. Your fixation on Clark is clearly a sign of monomania that you need to have addressed and I would urge you to get professional help.

              As for my mistake in enrolling Skeji in Notre Dame instead of Minnesota, well, at least I didn’t confuse New Jersey, the Garden State, with New England, where you moved Bobby Sanguinetti.

        • Mikeyyy says:

          Please state the number of games you watched with Brady in it.

          Where you could assess his sill set etc.

  7. Gary says:

    What’s not to like about a guy w/ the word ‘Mash’ in his name?

    I think they should leave most of the kids right where they are until a) the NHL teams sorts itself out and b) the kids settle in and really prove themselves @ Hartford.

  8. rwa says:

    Also, don’t like Talbot. He such an asset, nobody pick him up on waivers a few weeks ago. Shows what the other GM’s think of him.

  9. Mike O. says:

    Dave- good thoughts. I would advocate leaving all these guys in Hartford for the foreseeable future, but what the heck is going on with Kreider? Are you telling me he’s a bust because he doesn’t back-check? So what? Ovechkin doesn’t back-check either. Before everybody jumps on me, I know he’s not Ovechkin, but he was good enough to provide a spark in the spring of ’12 playoffs, and now he’s an abject loser? Come on; they’re mishandling him. He should be on the big club.

    Not a big fan of making trades in October after slow starts, a lot of times the other team smells panic and gets the better of the deal. Unless Slats has something major up his sleeve that’s been in the works for a while. Also not a big fan of +/- it can be misleading. You really have to watch the games, and actually watching on TV is not ideal either. Need to be there in person. Looking at statistics of minor league games is not ideal either, shooting percentages or whatever.

    I just hope Sather is not panicking. Next eight Ranger games are back in the Eastern Conference; let’s see where the team is after 15 more games or so. For all the craziness, it’s only five games; I think in a month we’ll know. Keep the faith.

  10. Mikeyyy says:

    It’s a trade.

    Check it. If biron and Asham clear it’s 900k cleared.

    Moving Dorsett and Pyatt clears 3mil. Bring all the kids up and call it a rebuild. And you would still have 2-3million to add something to the roster. Or pay hank his raise.

  11. paulronty says:

    Kreider & Miller both need to be on the parent club period. Even AV admitted Kreider was very close. He’ll learn more playing in the NHL than he will in the AHL because the competition is better. Pyatt needs to go now too preferably for a draft pick. We need speed, speed & more speed in order to play a puck possession game. I think the D is OK although I’ve never been a big fan of either DZ or Stralman. I think next year we’ll see both Diesel & Allen.

  12. Next year when Richards is bought out center Andrew Cogliano will be a UFA.

    Andrew Cogliano-2nd only to Hagelin in fastest EVER recorded speed during rookie skills competition, NEVER ever has missed a game in the
    NHL, and an excellent forechecker.

    WEAKNESS-only 5-10, 185 and I am probably better at faceoffs at age 66 than he is.

    • RangerSmurf says:

      You would think that you would know he has been playing wing nearly his entire time in ANA, given how obsessed you are with him.