Nov
06

Weekly Preview: Torts, B’s and McDavid Invade MSG

November 6, 2017, by

McDavid has been a one man show in Edmonton so far.

Folks, we finally have a winning streak.  Last week, the Rangers took care of an expansion Vegas team on its fourth-string goalie (though they needed a late comeback effort to do it), and then swept the always-difficult Florida road trip.  While none of the games were perfect, the team’s process has been noticeably better since the third period of last Tuesday’s game against the Golden Knights.

This week, the Rangers continue what’s been a home-heavy early season schedule, with home games against Columbus, Boston and Edmonton.  The Garden has hardly been a fortress so far, with the Blueshirts posting a mediocre 4-4-2 record.  Despite success on the road in recent seasons, it would behoove the Rangers improve their home form, as the schedule will obviously include more road games than home games moving forward.

Monday 11/6 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (9-4-1)

Rangers/Blue Jackets has evolved into a true rivalry in recent seasons.  Lots of players have worn both teams’ sweaters and of course, John Tortorella’s presence looms large.  This season, Columbus is off to an impressive start, occupying first place in the Metropolitan Division.  At a team level, the Jackets control play to the tune of a 53.5 CF%, and generate 12.4 high danger scoring chances per game, while allowing fewer than 10 (all data from NaturalStatTrick.com).  So as the numbers suggest, Columbus generates offense, but takes care of its own end as well.  Individually, the wealth is evenly spread, with Seth Jones (defenseman) and Artemi Panarin (forward) tied for the team lead in points with 11.

Wednesday 11/8 vs. Boston Bruins (5-4-3)

Get excited fam: this week brings us the first WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY matchup involving the Rangers, when they clash with a fellow Original Six club, the Bruins.  Of course, there is no real rivalry between the two teams (anymore), but that’s besides the point.  Boston boasts a combination of the usual suspects (Marchand, Bergeron, Krejci, Chara, Rask) and youthful additions (Charlie McAvoy, Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk), which should make for an interesting game.  Head coach Bruce Cassidy is in his first full season after taking over for Claude Julien last February.  The Bruins have dealt with some injuries – Bergeron and Rask both missed significant time – which may explain their middling record so far.  Expect a tight game; Bruins-Rangers usually is.

Saturday 11/11 vs. Edmonton Oilers (4-8-1)

The Edmonton Oilers are probably the most intriguing story in the NHL so far this year, but for all the wrong reasons.  Connor McDavid and company were supposed to take the next step, after losing in Game 7 of the second round to Anaheim last year.  It hasn’t happened.  Instead, the supremely talented Oilers (though, as an aside: wouldn’t they love to have Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle right about now?) go into the sixth week of the NHL season with just 30 goals scored to their name.  How, you ask?  Well, according to our friends at NaturalStatTrick, the Oilers somehow have the worst shooting percentage in the league (6.1% in all situations).  So, some of it can be attributed to bad luck, but the Oilers are also top-heavy.  Beyond McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers are depending on guys like Patrick Maroon and Milan Lucic to play key supporting roles.  Combine a sputtering offense with bad goaltending – Cam Talbot’s GAA is an unsightly 3.17 – and it’s easy for things to spiral out of control quickly.

Predictions

The Rangers will lose a hard-fought game to Columbus 3-2, but rebound nicely with wins over the Bruins (4-1) and Oilers (6-4).  Look for that last game to be a back and forth affair, as both teams play a fast game and are prone to trading chances.

Let us know your predictions for the week in the comments below.

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43 comments

  1. Ranger17 says:

    We just might have a 6 game win streak by the end of this week.. Let Hank play all 3 and get him going LGR

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      You raise an interesting point 17. Wouldn’t be surprised if we see Hank all week. In fact, given the Rangers rough start to the season, and with no back to back games until December, you wonder how many games Pavelec may even play in the next month. Two? Three?

      Given the lack of back to back games this season combined with the slow start (and the fact that my gut says Pavelec is not viewed as the same caliber of goalie as Talbot or Raanta was), Hank may wind up playing more games than he has in recent years—for better or for worse. He obviously thrives on work but he is 35 yo and of course he needs to be fresh come April.

      • Rangers Rock says:

        Your favorite AV ass kisser was sent to the minors. Flames place F Glass on waivers!

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          You mean the Flames did exactly the same thing the Rangers did with him two years in a row? Wow! There’s a news flash for you!

          • Rangers Rock says:

            You mean the Rangers made mistakes 2 years in a row! Let’s see if the Flames make the same mistake.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              You mean sending Glass down to the minors was a mistake? See, I knew deep down you actually were a Glass fan. You pretend you hate him, but deep down, you actually love him. In fact, I’ll bet you’ll eventually confess that you are an AV fan too! 🙂

              Glass’s playing time dropped in every season he was in NY. He played in all of 11 games out of 82 for the Rangers last year, or 13%. The Flames so far played him in half of their 14 games. So if anything, the Flames have been more enamored with him than the Rangers were.

              So again, your point is what exactly?

              • Rangers Rock says:

                AV benched Butch for Glass who no one other than AV believes he is good enough to play!
                You don’t have the same standard for Mcllrath and others. You hypocrite.
                Since you don’t judge the aspect of coaching and just judge the player except Glass and who ever AV is fond of you can not properly evaluate what is being done.
                I know you judge the record but don’t judge why he fails in the playoffs.
                I do believe there is a cable lose in your noggin. Or maybe a short circuit.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                He benched Buch for Glass because Buch was a shell of himself once he came back from the back injury. And AV made the right call. Because without Glass and his game winning goal, the Rangers lose Game 1 and quite possibly, don’t make it out of the first round. And then after a few games, he sat Glass and put Buch back in. Very similar approach to how he coached in 2014 when he used Carcillo in certain situations. But of course you conveniently forgot all of that—especially the fact that it was Glass who was the hero of Game 1…other than your other favorite player Hank.

                How do I not have the same standard? McIlrath was a marginal at best NHL player, he was put on waivers what, three times in the past 13 months and no one claimed him. Thus AV’s decision was validated, and the phony notion of “if only we had a different coach” was once again disproven.

                Glass was signed to a PTO by the Flames, made the team, played in half the games, then was put on waivers before likely heading to the minors where he will probably be an insurance policy—exactly as he was for the Rangers last year. Again, AV’s usage was validated and another coach did pretty much exactly what AV did. So again, how is it a double standard?

                You are right. I judge the record. Because in sports, that’s all that matters. As Parcells said, “You are what your record says you are”. What the record says AV is is that he is one of the most highly succesful coaches in league history who has certainly won more than his share of playoff series, especially as Rangers coach where he has won more series than anyone in 80+ years. Again, that’s what the record says.

                The record is as clear as can be. Except to those like you who are so blinded by their hate that they can’t see past it.

  2. Mancunian Candidate says:

    Wait, Cam Talbot ISN’T actually better than Hank? Imagine that….it’s almost as if the Hank critics have grossly exaggerated the small-time success of players like Talbot & Antti Raanta to prove some made-up point about the quality of Hank’s game!

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      I know. Last year we got pretty much daily updates on Talbot from the Hank Haters. What happened guys? 🙂

    • billyy1407 says:

      The team in front of the goalie might matter just a bit, don’t ya think?

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        So are you trying to suggest that the Oilers have a “weaker” team in front of Cam than Hank has in front of him? If not, forgive me. If so, allow me to simply say……LOL!!!!!!!!

    • Leatherneck says:

      Cam Talbot is better than Leaky

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Correction. He was better than Hank last season. For their careers, one is a HOFer. One will be forgotten in 10 years. Care to guess who is who?

        • Leatherneck says:

          Yeah….Leaky….as Talbot will win a Stanley Cup before Leaky does

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            If so…with a guy who may, before he’s through, go down as the greatest player of all time…..you might have heard of him….McDavid I think?

            I doubt seriously when and if the Oilers do win that the narrative will be that Talbot put the team on his back carried them to the victory a la Tim Thomas in 2011.

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        At age 30, Talbot only needs to do the following to be as good as Hank:

        –win 310 more games
        –win 54 more playoff games
        –win 10 more playoff series
        –compile 43 more reg season shutouts
        –compile 8 more playoff shutouts
        –be a starter in the NHL for 10 more seasons
        –win 6 more game 7s

        Should be easy, right?

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          I nearly gagged on my morning coffee chuckling!…..well done!!!!!

        • Leatherneck says:

          Win a Stanley Cup….and he will before Leaky does

          • Mancunian Candidate says:

            Of course. Edmonton wins Cups all the time, right? Oh, wait–that’s right, they haven’t won a title since 1990!

            And its not like they were a flash in the pan last year or anything. Probably unlikely. Just like it’s unlikely that a 73-game workload (with another 13 playoff games) last year burned Talbot out. After all, Hank’s durability pales next to the Camster’s, right? Wait–wrong again!

            That Cup will be in Edmonton any day now. Their 4-8-1 start is just to build dramatic tension, I think.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Championships are team achievements. That’s like trying to make the case that Trent Dilfer (who won a Super Bowl) was a better QB than Dan Marino (who did not).

            Please try to get a grip on reality Leather. Your Hank Hate is deluding your mind.

            • Leatherneck says:

              Dilfer won, Marino did not….so yeah

              Marino was the greatest QB that never was

              Every time you open your mouth triple E you make my points without realizing it with your rationale.

              Interesting you mention team achievements, yet in your world it’s always Leaky to the rescue.

              Your bias for leaky is very noticable to those who pay attention.

              I will say this AGAIN, I do not hate Leaky. I just won’t anoint him to what he is not.

              Oilers will win the Cup before the Rangers will. You can book that Danno

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Well, if you believe that Trent Dilfer was the better QB than Dan Marino, then you are pretty much an island among fans. No sane sports fan, except those who have no true understanding of the difference of team vs individual accomplishments, would agree with you.

                So let’s see, off the top of my head, by your deluded standards, Chris Carter was a HOF WR. But because he never won a Super Bowl, that means the mostly forgettable Giants WR tandem of Lionel Manuel and Bobby Johnson were better WRs than he was? Joe Morris was a very good Giants RB who won a SB. Was he therefore better than Barry Sanders, who never did?

                How about Joe Girardi? He must be the greatest catcher of all time given the rings he won in NY. Certainly better than HOFer Carlton Fisk, who never won a thing.

                And the list of nonsense goes on and on.

                But at least we know now how you think. Win a title and you as individual are a GREAT player. Don’t win a title, and no matter what you accomplish, you’re a bum.

                Right! Makes perfect sense.

        • billyy1407 says:

          Numbers matter greatly to the HOF and hank was a great goalie. In reality what matters most is now, and if cam wins a cup he will be remembered forever regardless of his numbers. The great 1 was great! Don’t mean squat right now

  3. amy says:

    i am looking forward to tonight’s game with Columbus as they honoring Nasher’s 1000 game then Boston with NBCSN coming in and then a Saturday matinee with the Oilers and McDavid that will be fun

  4. amy says:

    i am looking forward to tonight’s game with Columbus could this be win number 4

  5. SalMerc says:

    Everyone see where Duchene was traded to Ottawa? 3 way deal.

    • Chris A says:

      The irony is that Ottawa would have been better off passing on the trade and just signing Turris to the same 6 year $36M contract he signed in Nashville

      • supermaz says:

        Agreed, Turris is a better all around player.

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        Supposedly Turris didn’t want to sign with Ottawa, and given his history as a guy who will hold out to protect his financial viability, Ottawa cut bait & traded him. I think Ottawa got robbed in this deal, Turris for Duchene plus a 4th rounder should’ve gotten it done. Add in the multiple higher round picks, and Duchene’s rapidly declining production, and it looks bad at first blush for the Sens.

      • Mintgecko says:

        Yall are on some drugs and must have missed the 2016 World cup of hockey, Duch was arguably the best Canadian and he was on the 4th line. If you think Turris was the better option than you probably thought that we didn’t need him because Stepan is on his level. I don’t know what you guys are talking about because Duch has speed, hands and a whole lot better of offensive awareness than Turris imo. He will go well for their counter game, smart deal by Ottawa.

        • Mancunian Candidate says:

          Turris had 27G, 28A in reg season, then 4G, 6A in the playoffs. He’s a consistently nasty forward. Duchene had 41 points last year and quit on his team. Ottawa got robbed.

        • Chris F says:

          Mint,

          Duchene is hands-down an upgrade over Turris. I agree.

          But, to lose Turris, a 1st and 3rd round pick in a deep draft, a serviceable backup in Hammond, and top prospect in Bowers is way to pricey for Duchene.

          • Chris A says:

            And Turris at $6M is a better player than Duchene at whatever ungodly number ($8.5M per?) he’s going to get

  6. Leatherneck says:

    This trade actually points to a major problem the Rangers have had historically. They have always been one off…1 part of the equation missing.
    Colorado was smart, they traded their one off asset to gain assets that will work for them in the future.
    The one off in this instance is age. They traded for younger assets to mesh with the plethora of young players and prospects the AV’s have. Good, smart move.

    Rangers truly need to consider doing the same. We are more than one off. This team is not winning the Cup for many years to come being a middle of the pack team. If the goal is to sell seats then continue as is, if your goal is to win the Cup then changes must be made and a price has to be paid which is a couple of years being in position to draft top 3.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      There’s a lot of truth to what you are saying here Leather. But there are several things you are not fully considering.

      1) Colorado, despite their surprising start to the season, was not likely going to be in the mix for even a playoff berth, let alone a serious Cup run this year. When you are as bad as they were last year, then it’s a pretty easy decision to gut the franchise and start over. I doubt seriously the Avs would have been in rebuild mode if they were in the Rangers position.

      2) Right or wrong, fair or not, all out rebuilds are very, very difficult to do in NY compared to Denver. First of all, there’s not a lot of options for things to do in the sporting landscape in Denver. Fans will be more patient there. In NY, with two other NHL teams to compete with, not to mention everything that NY has to offer, going totally into the tank for an indefinite period—and on top of that doing it WILLFULY after a pretty succesful stretch here, that is an even tougher sell.

      3) You are deluding yourself if you think that making money isn’t top priority in a publicly traded company. Selling tickets is everything, and not just selling them, filling the building, then have a product that is good enough that you can justify raising ticket prices, as well as growing ratings on MSG Network, then raising advertising rates as the product gets better. Not to mention what the advertising along the boards and in the arena are worth. All that gets significantly compromised in a rebuild. The Knicks are in a seemingly endless rebuild and never play meaningful games in April and May. You really believe Dolan would be ok with his arena being totally dark in the Spring for an indefinite period? Think again.

      4) Then there is the human cost. The likely reality of your plan is that both Gorton and AV will not be around once the rebuild is complete—unless it goes absolutely perfectly. So what coach?GM will be willing to come on board for the uncertainty that a rebuild brings? Remember what a revolving door it was back in the late 90s/early 2000s? That might well happen again. Rangers have a rep has a great, stable, franchise. Would they continue to be in a rebuild? And how does that affect FA signing here? Or current young players wanting to stay here? All important factors to consider.

      5) Essentially, you are asking the fans to be patient for how long? Three years? Five years? Ten years? How long have the Islanders been rebuilding? Or the Oilers? Or the Coyotes? There are no guarantees whatsoever that if you choose to dial it back, that any of the picks you get will materialize in the way you want them to. Indeed, the NHL lottery system largely discourages such an approach, since a team that tanks might not even get the high end pick they want if the lottery balls don’t bounce their way. So then what?

      But I agree with your overarching premise here….we have been stuck in the middle with good but not great talent, and that’s why we haven’t been good enough to win it all. That was all because Sather and company (and Neil Smith before him) completely blew it around the turn of the century when the Rangers were truly awful and failed to draft difference making players. So we got “stuck” with the “good” and missed out on the “great”, other than lucking into Hank.

      So how to break that cycle and still be cognizant of the reality that this is a business? Well, short term, you keep doing what you are doing. Get younger. Deal assets as the cap requires everyone to do. Make those trades succesful and nail those draft picks. But stay “good”, keep the fans coming in, sign FAs and do it smartly, and then hope that in a given year when it all clicks (2012, 2014, 2015) that the elite teams ahead of you have “one of those years”, as we saw happen with the Pens with the injuries to Malkin and Crosby. Then perhaps, if all breaks right, you can make deep runs and maybe, just maybe, win it all.

      But then eventually, the long term opportunity will come again. And you just never know when it can happen. Look at the NY Giants. They were supposed to contend for the Super Bowl this year. But it all imploded and circumstances now will force them to rebuild—and the fans will be ok with that. But imagine if they had decided to do that prior to the season? You think the fan base would be ok with that? No way.

      So when the team eventually has one of those years (let’s say 2010 when we missed the playoffs altogether), then you have a chance to do some things. This time, don’t blow a lottery pick on a Dylan McIlrath type and instead draft a Vladimir Tarasenko, and then you likely have a Cup, maybe two by now.

      It can be done…but remember, it’s a business…first and foremost.

    • Chris A says:

      I know! It’s not like the Rangers just swapped out Stepan (27) and Brassard (30) for Zibanejad (24), De Angelo (22) , and Andersson (19) the last two summers!

  7. Richter1994 says:

    Beat the CBJs and Bees these next couple of days and I will say something nice about the coach. I’ll come up with something.

    • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

      Win all 3 and I might say something good about the goalie !

  8. Snake says:

    No one may see this comment, but that was a good piece.