Oct
30

Weekly preview: Rangers take on some hard hitters

October 30, 2017, by

See you soon, old pal

On the eve of Game 13 of the season, the Rangers find themselves firmly in panic mode, needing to right the sinking ship. If the Titanic has taught us anything, it’s that a) Jack could have fit on that door, and b) you need to make sure you have enough life boats to save the ship. It seems the life boats, as the “gimme” games against Montreal and Arizona, have sailed far away.

The Rangers are looking out on Games 13, 14 and 15 this week against two very hot teams and one team playing average hockey. The time to have turned the ship around would have been last week, and it looked like that almost happened against Montreal. Unfortunately, the regulation loss against the Canadiens on Saturday night could prove to be more harmful than it seems.

Let’s take a look at what lies in the week ahead.

Tuesday, 10/31 vs. Vegas Golden Knights (8-1-0)

This expansion team has burst on to the Pacific scene with an impressive 8-1-0 record. They’ve also begun to have their share of asset mismanagement drama, having paid for, and now sent down, KHL talent Vadim Shipachyov, leading to an early favorite tweet of mine:

 

The down low about this team is that they’re actually beatable, even by the lowly Rangers. Vegas’ PDO — that’s #fancystat talk for your shooting % + save % — is 106.5. Your “true team” would have a PDO between 99-101, and Vegas is leading the league in PDO by two and a half points. Of course this will all even out, but what it means is that a team shooting 12% is due for a grounding back down to earth.

Additionally, the team is down to their third goalie after injuries to Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban. Even though backup goalies traditionally give the Rangers fits, Oscar Dansk with a save percentage at .959% is not sustainable. This is a winnable game and would give the Rangers loads of confidence for their next game.

Thursday, November 2 @ Tampa Bay Lightning (9-2-1)

This one will be a doozy. Unlike the Golden Knights, this record is reflective of the actual talent on Tampa, harnessing a (finally) healthy Steven Stamkos with 17 (!) assists already through only 12 games played. Though the Bolts boast a high PDO as well, their primary goaltender, Andrei Vasilevskiy, is actually great, and will most likely be playing on Thursday. Pair that with some offensive talent and there could be issues.

Of course, this will be the first time that the Rangers play scorned love Dan Girardi since his departure over the summer. Girardi has no points and is back on his old shenangians with a -4.6% relative Corsi, so as far as being a great weapon against the Rangers, it shouldn’t be a concern. Expect the media to go nuts over the reunion, however, unless something shakes up Rangerstown by mid-week.

Saturday, November 4 @ Florida Panthers (4-5-1)

The Panthers are always a bit enigmatic, in that they’re always at least relevant and could be dangerous, but when you look at their roster, you had no idea half of these guys still played. After goalie Roberto Luongo suffered a hand injury on October 20, the Panthers picked up Antti Niemi (why) and have been starting him. Backup James Reimer isn’t much better, so should the Rangers get some offense going, they definitely won’t be up against any brick walls.

An interesting player to watch out for is right wing Evgenii Dadonov, a skilled player who is back to Florida after spending five seasons in the KHL. Dadonov has 11 points through 10 games and is lethal on the power play. The Panthers are 6th in the league in goals per game, troublesome if the Rangers can’t get their defensive chemistry correct by next weekend.

Predictions

Rangers 4 – Vegas 3 (OT)

Lightning 5 – Rangers 2

Panthers 4 – Rangers 2

Looking for some kind of shake up by next weekend, whether it be a call up, send down, or outright firing of some of the coaching staff.

Share your predictions in the comments!

"Weekly preview: Rangers take on some hard hitters", 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.

20 comments

  1. Walt says:

    Right, or wrong, the AV era may well come to a screeching halt this week if this team doesn’t win the next set of games!

    Too many articles being written on this subject.
    Too many poor starts to games.
    Too many players seem disinterested.
    Too much finger pointing.
    Too much unaccountability.
    Too much favoritism.

    Bottom line, the next three games, if not sooner, will determine just how long this coach remains with us!!!!!!!

    I suspect that after AV is relieved of his duties, JG will start trading some of the non-producers as well, and get ready for a rebuild. If this ship isn’t put on course for at least 103 points, we get thrown into the lottery pool………..

    • SalMerc says:

      Probably won’t make it to next week.
      Shame on the whole organization.

      • Walt says:

        Sal

        As everyone on this site knows I’m not a fan of this coach, but for the players not to show heart, desire, it’s almost like they want this guy gone???????????

        If that is the case, then shame on them, for they have a loyal fan base that cares, obviously more than they do. The dead wood has to go as well…………

        • SalMerc says:

          There is plenty of blame to go around.
          Thinking that teenagers were the solution to your hole at center is 1 problem,
          Thinking Shatty is more than a second pair defenseman in another.
          Leaving Oscar unprotected is another.
          Not being able to motivate the team is another.
          The players not having enough pride in themselves to go all out every shift is another.
          Lots of blame to go around, but you can’t fire 23 players.
          I just hope Lindy isn’t the answer.

          • RichS says:

            This team needs a ”’messier ”’ like leader in the worst way and a sean avery/ esa tikkanen player or two as well!
            Fred Shero once said ”take a straight line to the puck and go there with a bad attitude!”
            We didnt just lose Oscar , we lost our best [ 4th] line in the playoffs!
            Again strallman, lindberg, hagelin, talbot, stempniak all gone for nothin’……maybe gorton has to go as well!!!!!

        • Rangers Rock says:

          I don’t blame them! The coach screwed them for many years.

  2. joe cafardo says:

    They wont win one of the next 3. Not enough heart and way too many mistakes.

  3. avsucks says:

    More than the coach has to go, Its time for a new start.

  4. Bloomer says:

    Actually I believe the Rangers have the team to win all three of the next games. It’s a matter of putting together 60 mins of complete hockey.

    Why are they having difficulty doing this is liking lack of preparation. Did the Ranger squad come out of training fit and ready to go. Sure didn’t look like it to me. Now with 4 functioning lines the team should be a bit better (we all knew the team was lacking forward depth from the get go)…. Well except the GM.

    On defence…stop giving away the puck please…ffs. And forwards I know you are tired and not quite in shape but you gotta friggin back check.

    Well there you have it. Rangers come away with 5 out of the next possible 6 points. This in spite of the goofy fancy stats.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      I’m with you on this–at least my hopeful side is. This is a big week ahead to be sure. Sure, they can beat Vegas and Florida. TB? They are just way more talented than we are, regardless of who’s our coach. Still, if we can beat them, that singular act might actually save AV’s job.

      Hank needs to be Hank this week to have any chance. It has always started with outstanding play from our goalie (even our back up goalies) to cover up for this team’s flaws. Those flaws aren’t going to magically go away no matter who is the coach, but better execution and “Vezina Hank” making an appearance (even the Hank who beat Montreal in the playoffs last year) is what we need here.

      • Rangers Rock says:

        What AV should do is to keep the backup goalie in and prove we can win with whoever he puts in, to be consistent with his decisions!

  5. Stevem says:

    VGK 4 NYR 2
    NYR 1 TBL 6
    NYR 5 FLA 4(OT)
    AV fired and Jean Guy Talbot and his track suits back behind the bench

    • SalMerc says:

      I am thinking Gorton is on the phone with Darryl Sutter & Ken Hitchcock right now, neither is ideal for this situation.

      Lindy gets the “interim” title until they find someone in their 40’s who has an attitude. None of the ex-Rangers have shown interest in coaching.

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        Ken Hitchcock is coaching the Dallas Stars this year, he was hired in the offseason.

      • Stevem says:

        How do you feel about Dan Bylsma?

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Well, he won a Cup. But that was a long time ago and he had a loaded team of superstars that he clearly will not have here. What’s more alarming is how quickly Buffalo moved on from him in what was supposed to be a long term rebuild upstate. That would raise a lot of red flags if I were making the call.

          If AV gets whacked, it will likely be Ruff for now. Then they will regroup in the off-season and see who is out there. Coach Q could be available, among many others with resumes. Or there may be an assistant in some organization that will be deemed ready.

          Here’s a crazy thought. Ulfie?

  6. Mintgecko says:

    Long term hitter: LV looks like it will make hockey exciting for once in the desert and will eventually push out the Yotes to Seattle or somewhere in Canada. Unless Bettman wants thge Yotes to be like the Isle but with a worst history and no franchise star.