Jan
30

Jimmy Vesey and the NCAA wall

January 30, 2017, by
jimmy vesey

Photo: Brad Penner-USA Today

As the prized offseason signing for the Rangers, Jimmy Vesey burst onto the scene in his first month of NHL action. The highly touted rookie put up a line of 6-3-9 in his first ten NHL games, as the Rangers blew teams away to start the season. But as the Rangers dealt with injuries and the scoring regressed to a more realistic pace, Vesey’s scoring has disappeared. In his past 38 games, Vesey has scored just five goals and five assists, a far cry from the near point-per-game pace.

The dip in scoring was to be expected. It’s rare you get rookies that can score at a point per game, and those kids are usually taken in the top-five picks. Vesey was a third rounder and not an elite talent like McDavid or Matthews. Beyond the expected drop off, this is also the most hockey Vesey has ever played. He has played 48 games thus far, and the last time he even touched 40 games was in 2011-2012.

The drop in Vesey’s offense can be attributed to many things. Injuries, scouting reports, fatigue, schedule, and the NCAA wall all have an impact on his recent scoring drought. However the one item that should be focused on is Vesey’s hesitance to shoot. In those first ten games, Vesey took 18 shots (1.8 SH/Game). In the next 38 games, Vesey has taken just 49 shots (1.2 SH/Game). That may not seem like a small drop off, but it amounts to 50 fewer shots over the course of a full season.

If a player isn’t scoring, you expect him to be doing things away from the puck that still contribute to the success of the team. Vesey, despite the lack of recent offense, is doing just that. Despite third line ice time, he’s still scoring at a top line pace per 60 minutes of ice time. Some of that may be skewed from early season success and small sample size, but it’s still worth noting.

But let’s focus on the shots conceded portion in the middle-right of the HERO chart. When Vesey is on the ice, the Rangers concede fewer shots, and Vesey has been contributing in like a top-six winger in that regard. He hasn’t been generating much offensively, but he’s been decent/solid on defense, which helps him contribute to the success of the team.

It’s not all sunshine and daisies for Vesey though, as he was brought in to provide some secondary scoring and he’s barely contributing at an NHL level in generating offensive opportunities. That is in line with what was mentioned above, that Vesey isn’t shooting, and it’s taking away from the offensive success of the team while he’s on the ice.

Rookies go through these slumps. He came in with a lot of hype, that Chris tried to calm. Chris actually called it in his post, stating that come January, he could be running on empty. That’s what happens with NCAA rookies. They hit a wall of fatigue, as they take a little while to adjust to the rigors of an 82 game schedule, almost double what they are used to. But have no fear, Vesey will rebound as he gets used to the schedule. This is all part of the plan.

"Jimmy Vesey and the NCAA wall", 3 out of 5 based on 8 ratings.
Categories : Players

35 comments

  1. SalMerc says:

    Give him a game or 2 with Nash and Stepan and I bet he finds the back of the net again.

    • paulronty says:

      Exactly.

      • Jack says:

        That won’t save his game, kind of like Stepan “safe” playing style will always lead to a 45 to low 50s season, no matter what ELITES he plays with. Yeah anybody that plays with Nash will recover their game so again it doesn’t mean much to think those 3 are worth pushing out Buch or Zucc from the top 6. The way I see it is that there is a 85% chance Stepan gets moved by the deadline. Then both of them have a 90% or higher to be delt this summer especially if nothing can be done about the twins contracts. It’s not like those 3 will be a line to count on in the near future, at least not like the KZB line or Hayes/Miller duo that seems to be our future top 6. If Gorton was the man then he would find a 3c this deadline and deal Stepan already for the defensive blueline help and then move up Hayes and Miller to the 2nd while Vesey gets the 3rd line with Grabner.

        Do a package of Stepan and Graves (I like the already NHL D talent in Skeji ) and try to add someone like Jensen to it or if need be a pick for Trouba and Mathieu Perreault. We then could save Grabner and expose Perreault unless he turns out to be a gem for us. Then either we would have a speedy skilled 3rd line and our top RHD for Mcd, it’s a win win for us if they bit on that return.

        • SalMerc says:

          While I also would like to move Stepan, he isn’t going anywhere. Somebody thinks he is worth the money.

          • Jack says:

            No he will most definitely be traded soon, if you want to put your money on him not being delt by deadline then fine, I can kind of understand that. The line Gorton said of ” one last kick at the can” most definitely means Stepan’s number is going to get called upon. Now I’m a reasonable fan and seeing how Hank isn’t getting any younger, then the Rangers track record of blockbuster deals, I’m more than sure he could be delt for this upgrade on the blueline. Getting Mika was like a slow death to Steps game in terms of thinking he will play out his contract as a NYR. I also go by patterns with how players get used. Hayes has been used as a shutdown, top PK unit especially on his strong side, Mika as a PK’er now and top PP and top line with Kreider in the past tells me enough on what the team is gearing up to do. I wouldn’t be surprised if Minnesota entertain our blockbuster deal for their future with a center and RHD for Stepan and something else. Winnipeg might be the other team that would want Stepan as a 1b or straight up to fill the 1c.

            You will see though…

  2. Richter1994 says:

    It takes time. You can’t go from 35 college games a year to 82 plus playoffs NHL games without a transition period. Hayes hit a wall too in his first year.

    Vesey is still contributing so that’s not an issue, as he is a very smart and instinctive player. I expect that he will take a step forward next year after this year under his belt.

    To be expected and not a worry at all. Calls for him being a 30 goal scorer after his hot start were premature and unrealistic.

    • Ranger 11 says:

      Totally agree. You can’t expect a kid from college to just come in and be a star. Hayes had a good first year and then last year fans said trade him and now they love him again. When will fans realize there’s a process these kids go through. Vesey is just what you said a smart and instinctive player. Well said.

  3. Walt says:

    The kid will be just fine if they let him skate with a given line for the rest of the season, rather than bounce around like he has had to endure !!!!!!!! This guy will be very good in the not so distant future…………

  4. Spozo says:

    It must be great being a New York Ranger. Whenever you don’t perform well at your job you get a free pass because it’s always AVs fault!

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      Unless you make over 5 mil per year, then it’s on you 🙂

    • John B says:

      Not sure what you’re getting at here.

      Vesey is a 22, 23? year old rookie? He started the season scoring at an unsustainable pace. Anyone who expected a 30 goal 20+ assist season from the kid was delusional. He’s not shooting as much, but he’s still playing HOCKEY well. He’s limiting chances against the Rangers, he’s still using his ability to free up team mates, he’s making smart decisions moving the puck. His job is to play hockey and he’s doing that at an NHL level.

      Now if you’re trying to compare him to a certain pair of defenders, than you’re misguided. Again, that does fall on the coach. The coaches job is to put players out in positions where the TEAM gets maximum benefit of their talent and the players are put in the best position to succeed. Dan Girardi is done. He’s been done for 4 years now. Klein is now a liability to the team. That is not their fault. It is not their fault they are routinely trotted out there against competition that they’re vastly diminished skill sets do not allow them to excel against. That is on management for putting them in the position to fail. I don’t blame the software developer who can’t design the software because his boss promoted him from janitor to software design. That’s on management who put them employee in a position to fail.

      You can’t not logically or objectively compare a rookie who is playing, even at an OK NHL level, to two veteran defenseman who are playing at a “I’d be scratched at the AHL” level. The metrics show that there is NOT a significant difference in the play when Jimmy Vesey is off the ice vs on it. The metrics show a vastly improved NYR team when Girardi and Klein are off the ice, and a vastly worse team when they are on it.

      • John B says:

        “against competition that they’re vastly diminished skill sets do not allow”

        Stupid auto correct. Should be ‘their’.

      • Spozo says:

        I was poking fun at some other posters around here who just yesterday blamed Veseys poor play(scoring wise) as of late on the coach for changing his lines around. A common theme among some is to completely take the blame off of some players for their poor performance and blame it on the coach.

        • paulronty says:

          Or the alternative theme of never blame the HOF coach & always blame the player. When a player is to blame, he sits in the press box, goes to the minors or gets traded. But for those who never challenge authority(sycophants) the coach is NEVER EVER to blame. Maybe you should tell Dave he’s FOS for dumping on the coaching yesterday?

          • Spozo says:

            I’ll blame AV when he deserves it. Not for EVERYTHING that happens to this team. Moving a player around the lineup when his offensive performance have dried up is not something’s I will blame him for. That a rookie who was originally a 3rd round pick did not keep up the 30 goal pace he started the season with is not something I put on AVs shoulders.

            • John B says:

              We’re going to get into the chicken vs egg battle here.

              Two sides of the coin:

              Did the offense really “dry up”? Or did he come back to a more realistic first year NHL scoring pace?

              Did his offense “dry up” because he started playing with guys that do not compliment his skill set or did it “dry up” because he can not form a bond/chemistry with his line mates?

              We can all go around in circles. Much like the offensive line for a football team, a hockey line needs to “know” what each other are going to do in certain situations. Hayes and Miller are a perfect example. They don’t think where each other are on the ice, they just “know”. They have a chemistry.

              Moving a player around the line up because they fell back to a closer to normal/slightly below normal rate of production as a learning tool can’t work. I fully by into the fact that the coaches full responsibility is to place players in the best position for their success which will enable the team to have full success (See Patriots, New England…gag). With his skill set, I’m not sure Oscar Lindberg, Brandon Pirri, Jesper Fast, Matt Puempel or Marek Hrivik are the ideal line mates to allow his strong suits to emerge.

              Not sure who’s saying he’s playing poorly? I haven’t been around here been with family and work a bit. I personally don’t see Jimmy Vesey costing the Rangers games or goals against. I think he’s doing an effective job at playing hockey. His offense will return.

            • paulronty says:

              There is nothing new there is there? You’ll blame him when he deserves it? And he’s NEVER EVER deserved blame, according to you. In fact, you make fun of those who do, especially if the team is winning, & therefore we should never blame AV. You know, I never wanted him as coach in the beginning. If you went back at looked at my posts then, you’d see I was a lone voice saying No don’t hire him. Then when the team went on to the final, I did a mea culpa & said he did a great job, which he did. But in years two & three, I saw a lot of decisions & behaviour towards players that really bothered me. I’ve come full circle & like others think he’s the wrong coach for the Rangers. It’s very frustrating because I really think this could be a contending team, even with that defence. I want that Cup & I see AV as the major obstacle to that end. Poking fun at the non-believers is what you like to do, so be it. Let’s hear you poke fun at Dave & Becky(I’ve heard her say she’s not a big AV fan I believe), do you think they won’t love you if you do. There were people who challenged Dave’s assertion yesterday(you weren’t one of them). Good for them. As the playwright Pirandello once said: “Right you are if you think so.” or maybe time makes fools of us all.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Or as the HOF coach Bill Parcells said, “You are what your record says you are.” And AV’s record of succes in NY and elsewhere more than speaks for itself.

        • Jack says:

          Agreed, what about Hayes who had to play on the 4th line with Glass? He beat out those roles by always producing next to guys like Glass and Moore and he did so by playing wing. It was something we all knew he was extremely uncomfortable to be in yet exceeded to go play on a line with freaking Stalberg and at times Glass when he was promoted up.

          I blame this mostly on the leadership group on this team but Vesey should start engaging in more of the rough stuff. I’m not saying take a run every shift but he should welcome a new role like being a bit of a pest. Remember a top name and go after him by agitation. I feel at this point he needs to be a difference maker, let guys chase him so maybe they spend their energy on the wrong stuff.

        • Walt says:

          I don’t know if you were around when we had the GAG line, or the Bulldog line, where the players played together for the entire season, and won. We also had Stemkowski, Irvin, and Mc Gregor line skate as a unit, and the team was terrific, why, because they knew where the others were going to be.

          That has never been the case with this coach, so laugh all you want, the man is a loon when it comes to letting players play as a unit for more than a shift !!!!!!!!!

          • Spozo says:

            Funny that the first thing to come to mind is the GAG line. Well when the Rangers can have two hall of famers on the ice at the same time then I will argue they should stay together.

            He has kept the Kreider, Zuke, Stepan line together for a good stretch of games recently. Because they were playing well! Kreider has disappeared the last couple of games before the break. You called him out several times. Should he have kept that unit together? What’s the magic number of games you are allowed to look awful for until things are shaken up?

            • Walt says:

              He changes the lines like he changes his underwear, he has zero patients with some players, yet gives all kinds of lead way to others. Just watch a game with your eyes open, and an objective point of view, and count how many different combo’s he has in a single game, then come back to me, until then you can laugh all you want, he still is a sorry coach. I can give a damn what his record is, he is a sorry coach, and isn’t going anywhere in the PO’s with his stubbornness, while insisting on playing his vets who can’t skate.

            • Walt says:

              By the way guy, the three lines all played together at the same time……………

  5. Peter says:

    Vesey is going to be a good NHL forward. He has all the tools. No, he’s not Connor McDavid, but he is a smart kid with a lot of decent skills. He’ll be fine; he’s still learning the game.

    • Jack says:

      Maybe Gorton needs to get better role players to bring this out of him but he reminds me of a Pascal D from Pittsburgh. He should play a more B line game by using his speed and bring a edge to whatever he’s doing on the ice. Pascal wasn’t necessarily big but he worked the corners well and low key he knew how to finish a hit which are all things I hope Vesey develops. I think its on the leadership group of why he seems a bit soft since Girardi, Stepan and Staal are probably the most soft on this team.

  6. Blue Seat says:

    Could be part of package for defensive help.

    • ranger17 says:

      He is untouchable as it gets for right now . Maybe next year if he dose’t put up the #s that will change

      • Jack says:

        Why next year when it’s very possible that he has to go through another wall like the famous Sophomore slump? If you were a real GM and thought about doing him in next year if he doesn’t produce then I would tell you to just trade him now. Nobody can be a fan of a player who is having a hard time adjusting in his 1st year as a pro and then expects the same guy to break out in his 2nd year. A better way to look at this is that he’s no Hayes so give him even more time to adjust. Guys like JT and Hayes could be full time top 6 players very soon creating alot of room on the 3rd line to be filled. I would rather them find a 3c to play with and Grabner after the deadline, the kid is like a building block to continue production from the bottom 6 as a cost control player.

  7. paulronty says:

    “I was pretty excited to hear that Tortorella was going to coach. I have a little bit of history with him, but unfortunately, he couldn’t make it,” he said. (Ryan McDonagh). That’s for you Edward & your narrative that the players hated Torts & ran him out of town, according to your “source.” What a guy Torts is, staying home to nurse a sick dog. Now that’s a guy you can admire!

    As for Buch, he is indeed one of the core, with terrific on ice vision & excellent passing skills. He’s a player going forward. As for Vesey, he’s playing OK on the fourth line, and all I’m saying is that if you want him to score more, put him back with Stepan & Nash, & he’ll drive to the net & score on rebounds. Stepan is a good passer & just because I want to trade him(salary), doesn’t mean I think he’s a bad player.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      I knew as soon as I saw that quote that you would distort it’s meaning. It’s what you do after all! (So glad you didn’t get into journalism!)

      Why should McDonagh NOT look forward to playing for his first coach in an All-Star Game? I’d expect him to say nothing else.

      I never said ALL the players hated Torts. I’m not sure “hate” is even the right word. And I also never said that report was my source. It was not a confidential source that I had. It’s what was reported by virtually every major news source at the time. It was out there for anyone to read who actually is open to reading others opinions.

      I already posted all those stories months ago, but of course any source that doesn’t fit the narrative you choose to believe you dismiss. If you have some time, Google “Torts Fired Rangers” and see what comes up. It was reported by several beat writers that THEIR sources told them that several players had grown tired of Torts’s approach. Chief among them was Hank, who essentially implied after the 2013 playoffs that he wasn’t so sure he would be sticking around after his contract. That was a red flag for Sather, and he then apparently conducted exit interviews, found out there was that sentiment in the room (not with everyone but with many of the team’s leadership), and then concluded a change needed to be made. In conjunction with that, two quality alternatives–AV and Ruff, became available. Put it all together, and after four plus seasons of mostly borderline playoff teams and quick playoff exits, it was time to go.

      As I recall the reports, Torts was stunned by this sudden turn of events. He believed he was coming back. I remember reading a few months after that that he had wished that the players had come to him if they had a concern. He himself acknowledged that happened. You got the sense he was completely blindsided by it.

      And then, connect the dots going forward. He ran into the same issues times ten in Vancouver and was stunningly out of a job two years in a row. Possibly unprecedented in the history of pro sports. Then he was not hired in 2014-15, nor was he hired at the outset of 2015-16. GMs were wary of his style. But to his credit, as reported by John Shannon, Torts took stock and made some changes to his approach. JD became his “father confessor” and helped him to not let the little things get to him. Torts said himself a few weeks ago when asked about a certain situation, he said something to the effect of “in the past, I would have done something stupid”. The man has learned and grown…good for him.

      The point is, he realized he needed to change and he’s not the same talented but flawed coach he was in NY and Vancouver. The coach he was before was not successful enough to hold a job or disciplined enough to keep the attention of his room.

      When it’s AV’s time to go, it will likely be for similar reasons–message is getting old, time for a new voice. It’s year four. That expiration date could come as early as this summer if the Rangers flame out again in the first round.

      I find it so bizarre than you are so black and white with these things and fail to examine the actual facts or well sourced reports that have actually been established. In your world view, Torts and Keenan can do no wrong, even though there’s plenty out there from reliable sources that was reported that showed they had significant flaws and issues that needed to be corrected. McIlrath is waived and no one claims him, yet you ignore that fact and continue to blame AV. Can’t possibly be that you and other overrated him.

      Conversely, everything that is bad about the Rangers is on AV, but the success the coach has had with good but not great teams that have had no bonafide stars other than the goalie is ignored.

      Paul, these are complex personalities and the evaluation of all of them is far more involved than your binary approach to the world, which seems to be “person I like–can’t ever be questioned regardless of their flaws, person I dislike–awful and should be gone despite all the positive things they bring to the table”.

      And if ANYONE brings a different narrative, then we MUST attack him. Kill the messenger! As I’ve said before, Donald Trump would be proud.

      • paulronty says:

        Guys that get into journalism that don’t know how to write a precis, surely qualify as ultra garrulous. Glad you weren’t a Psychologist because your patients would have fallen asleep half way through the session, overwhelmed by the verbal diarrhea. Actually, you might want to consult a psychologist to have him check you out for Multiple Personality Disorder, LOL!!!!

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          As usual, no actual response to the facts as laid out. Instead, when confronted with overwhelming evidence that shows your position is incorrect, resort to the old Paul standby–attack.

          In my experience, generally the sign of someone too full of himself to engage in a meaningful discussion. Someone who thinks he’s always right, even when there’s substantial evidence to show that he is wrong.

          And of course, you ignored the article I posted for you below. What a shock!

          You did the same thing when we debated Keenan. Same with McIlrath. It’s hilarious! The World According to Paul, who is never, ever wrong–even when he is!

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Just for the record, here just one of the many articles on the subject. Posted by on CBS Sports.com on 5/30/13….

      When asked what the reason why John Tortorella was fired as coach of the New York Rangers, GM Glen Sather didn’t say much other than to say there wasn’t any one particular thing. That’s because he couldn’t say the players told him to.

      If there is any truth to the abundance of rumors circulating the day after the gruff coach was given the boot on Broadway, that seems to be what most precipitated the decision. One of those rumors/reports comes from Larry Brooks of the New York Post, saying things changed dramatically when Sather had his exit interviews with the players.

      “The Rangers players had had enough of the coach and they said so during their exit meetings on Monday. Sources have confirmed Sather had no intention of dismissing Tortorella in the wake of the team’s second-round elimination by the Bruins until a critical mass of players informed the GM that the coach’s overbearing personality had become a roadblock to success.

      When Henrik Lundqvist told the press Monday he would need time to think about committing his future to the Rangers, that was the tip of the iceberg. The franchise goaltender did not sing an executioner’s song, but we’ve learned that he was troubled enough by what had become a deteriorating dynamic between the coach and his teammates that he believed it was necessary to give voice to it.

      We’re told that though there were no ultimatums issued by the players, the overwhelming sentiment was that Tortorella had become the problem rather than the solution for the Rangers, who are now going on 20 years and 19 seasons since their last Stanley Cup in 1994.”

      Before you go thinking that this is just coming from some kind of ax that Brooks has to grind with Tortorella, two guys who had some verbal sparring matches over the years, it was pretty much echoed by Pat Leonard of New York’s Daily News. Not to mention Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada tweeted very soon after the firing that Lundqvist’s comments “changed everything.”

      There is plenty of smoke to see the fire here.

      Everybody sees the Tortorella in the media who is occasionally pleasant but most often surly and blunt. He apparently is pretty much the same guy behind the closed doors because the act definitely seems to have worn thin. Sather referred to coaches all having “shelf lives” in his comments on Wednesday, and that’s certainly true for a guy like Tortorella, who is so demanding and rough around the edges. That eventually can get tiresome for the players.

      Just to add a little more credence to the idea of Tortorella not being every player’s favorite coach, here is a sampling of a few of his former players’ thoughts after he was fired. That would be Marian Gaborik, who was treated like a scapegoat under Tortorella until he was traded to Columbus, and Matthew Barnaby, who played for him with Tampa Bay.

      The players’ pushing for Tortorella’s exit would seem to obviously be more than just the tip of the iceberg here, but it is also a move that probably isn’t made if the Rangers had found a little more success. But when you have a near mutiny on your hands, you have little choice if you’re Sather than to make Tortorella walk the plank.

      Care to produce a legit source that says this isn’t true Paul?

  8. kris says:

    Let me start with, I like Vesey’s game because some stuff may sound negative about him. There was alot of hype for the Hobey Baker award winner, because of the names associated with past winners. Lets remember he won as a senior and not as a freshman or sophmore like Eichel or Johnny Hockey. Looking at his points at Harvard, I didnt expect a ton from him. His college points equal Dominic Moore at the same school.

    He started clicking with Nash before the injury bug decided to take a chunk of our lineup. He was putting up points and all looked great. Now he has hit the wall and everyone has their reasons, sure not playing with the same linemates helps or the difference of playing with Pirri instead of Nash. But the grind of the NHL schedule and of players is much more intense and cant be overlooked.

    Some things id like to point out about his goals, how many were from the back door tap ins from rebounds or a player hitting him with a pass? Yes he put him self in the right spot, Im not taking that away from him. Not many were from shooting from middle of the circle.

    Vesey will be a solid player but needs time, like every rookie. That being said I wouldnt place him into a current top 9 with the current roster if all healthy.

  9. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    I like Vesey a lot. It’s no surprise that he’s hit a rookie wall. He himself acknowledged that’s it a very real thing. Hopefully, a little break here gets him re-charged. AV has stuck with him, which shows the faith he has in the kid. But you do have to wonder what will happen once Hayes gets back. The team has a log jam of talented forwards. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Vesey gets some time in the press box.

    But long range, the kid has great potential and he looks like a keeper.