Nov
07

Kevin Shattenkirk has been as advertised

November 7, 2017, by

kevin shattenkirk

The major signing of the summer was Kevin Shattenkirk. The Rangers moved one popular player and bought out another to make room for the 28 year old defenseman. Shattenkirk was brought in to bring life to the power play and to stabilize the top-four defensemen, especially on the right side.

Through the first 15 games this season, Shattenkirk has done exactly what has been expected of him. Despite not finding a permanent defense partner yet, Shattenkirk has put up 5-10-15 in those 15 games, a 22-49-71 pace for 82 games. That puts him in the Norris conversation. It’s still early, but that’s as impressive a start as you can get.

Shatty is going to have issues in his own end, and he certainly has had a few blunders already. Touching the puck against Pittsburgh was downright silly and a bad mental mistake. That’s the egregious mistake that sticks out in our minds. Let’s be real, that likely won’t happen again.

The defensive zone issues that Shatty makes are going to come up. He’s not Ryan McDonagh in his own zone. We know that. We’ve highlighted a few actually in the goal breakdowns (the Duchene goal in the opener, for starters).

But that’s what you get with Shattenkirk. He will put up the goals and the points. He will also have some defensive lapses. The positives far outweigh the negatives here. If you rate everyone on a -5 to 5 scale, and Shatty is a -2 defensively, but a 4 offensively, it’s a net win.

Shattenkirk has been as advertised for the Rangers this season. He’s actually on pace to almost double his career highs in goals and points. For me, that is more than worth it to deal with some defensive lapses. This is why you create the cap space for him.

"Kevin Shattenkirk has been as advertised", 5 out of 5 based on 13 ratings.
Categories : Players

26 comments

  1. Arisrules says:

    I think you want him on the ice as much as possible and he should be playing with McD on the top pair.

    • Chris A says:

      Why? He’s almost a point per game player against easier assignments. What else do you want, or expect, from Shatty?

    • sherrane says:

      I disagree. I think he and Skjei have worked very well together. That has been our best pairing thus far in the season IMHO.

      • Chris F says:

        Putting him with Skjei ensures that Holden or Smith continue to be assigned top pair duties alongside McDonagh, a task neither really deserve.

        • Chris A says:

          It wouldn’t be the first time McD has had to tow an anchor around the ice.

          McD and Shatty was never a likely pairing. Shatty isn’t a top pair kind of guy, it doesn’t play to his strengths. If Shattenkirk is posting almost a point per game, even if he’s exploiting weaker matchups, he’s doing his job, period.

          • Chris F says:

            I agree about Shatty. I like him on the 2nd pair and 1st PP unit.

            But, not necessarily with Skjei.

            At this point, I’d prefer to see:

            McDonagh-Skjei
            Smith-Shattenkirk
            Staal-Holden/Kampfer

            I hate that third pairing, but it’s better than continually trotting Holden out on the top pair.

            • Chris F says:

              Or, maybe, to spread out the lesser talent:

              McDonagh-Skjei
              Staal-Shattenkirk
              Smith-Holden/Kampfer

              That second pairing would need to have a very short leash, as I don’t want to see Staal drag Shattenkirk into obscurity, but with Staal’s relative resurgence this season, it’s worth playing around with until we can get some better assets NHL ready from Hartford.

            • Blue Seat says:

              I agree with your defensive pairs, and 3rd pair comments. Pioenk or Deangelo when ready could upgrade the 3rd pair.

          • Chris A says:

            You won’t get an argument from me. Skjei/McD should be the first pair. Though with Smith being broken at the moment, that might not be the best move.

        • sherrane says:

          I agree McD’s options aren’t as attractive as I’d like. If Skjei-Shattenkirk is better than McD-Shattenkirk (which it has been), then the move should not be made just to prop up the Captain.

          I have been highly critical of Smith here. If he plays at the level he did in NY last season, he and McD would be a good pairing and I think it could be the best two combinations. If he can’t, then re-signing Smith is a mistake the Rangers (plug in your favorite scapegoat here) made this offseason.

  2. Snake says:

    Sad thing about the NHL these days is Dmen don’t need to be any good at defending to be in the Norris conversation.

  3. Perry says:

    I said before the signing that he was Keith Yandle all over again. I was wrong
    He is much better than Yandle in the offensive zone and much worse than Yandle in the defensive zone. Very frustrating player to watch !!!!!

    • pavel_burrito says:

      I think/hope that his defensive play stabilizes once he gets a permanent partner. I still don’t see how playing him with Brady is a best option. Brady should be on the first pair with McD instead of Holden (jeez). And Smith isn’t going to be riding the pine forever.

      Why not ease Smith into a third pair, give him sheltered assignments and slowly build up the confidence?

    • Peter says:

      I noticed that Yandle played a pretty solid game for the Panthers against the Rangers last week and was on the the ice for about 23 minutes.

      I think Shatty will get a bit better in the defensive zone when (and if) he has a regular partner. He definitely has offensive skills.

  4. Chris F says:

    Shatty, at least in terms of my own expectations, has been worse than advertised defensively, but far better than advertised offensively.

    I’m not sure yet if the defensive deficiencies are a product of his own shortcomings or the overall funk the entire team defense has been mired in. Team-wide, it’s been getting better. Hopefully, he follows suit.

    But, even if this is what we have with Shatty defensively, his torrid pace of production and the way he’s weaponized that first PP unit more than makes up for any misgivings I have about his defensive game.

    With a line of 5-10-15 In 16 games, with 8 PP pts and a 5-on-5 CF%Rel of 3.8 (2nd among Rangers Defensemen, and 4th among all Rangers with 10+ games) and a regular CF% of 51.5%, Shatty is more than pulling his weight, and is making the summer signing one of the best deals in the League this year.

    • Chris A says:

      Shatty is on pace to have the best season for a Rangers Dman since Brian Leetch posted 79 points in 82 games in 2001.

      I think its safe to say he’s been a fine signing.

      • Chris F says:

        Imagine if McDonagh/Skjei replicate their ~40 pt production from last season and Smith returns to 2017 Playoff form.

        This can still be a dangerous team.

        • Chris F says:

          McDonagh currently tied for third in assists with 9 (a 46 assist pace over 82 games) but has no goals. If he starts scoring a bit, oh boy.

          • Chris A says:

            What’s funny is that if the Rangers had a stretch of 5 pointless games in 6 games in January, no one would raise an eyebrow. But if it happens to open the season, it’s time to fire AV, trade everything and burn MSG to the ground.

            The moral of this story is to just relax. Give things a chance to breathe.

            I mean the Devils are still sitting at 19 points and I honestly don’t think they are good enough to win the Calder Cup, much less make the NHL playoffs.

            • Chris F says:

              I was never in panic mode.

              Frustrated? Yes. But never ready to give up or blow it up.

  5. Eugene says:

    Skjei and Shatty works, don’t touch.

    Just get rid of other 3

  6. DAVID k says:

    Shatty needs a defensive defense man with him all game and to me that would be Smith. Holden, Kampfer & Staal two of these need to be moved or one should be the 7th d-man. There are a lot of options in Hartford that need to develop on the Rangers.

  7. Richter1994 says:

    No he’s not, we’re not undefeated so the signing is a complete bust.

    • James1090 says:

      I was curious what you thought about Smith. It seems like people are turning on him and saying he was a bad signing. My personal opinion is that he will work out his problems and be a solid defensive defenseman like last year.

      • Richter1994 says:

        I like him James. I was fine with signing but not over $4m per, which means that they would have seen him sign elsewhere

        The gaffe was not trading to keep Lindberg. I said then and more so now. Zib, Hayes, Lindberg, DD/Boo. Anyone complain?

        The cynical view is no Smith, Stepan stays, and Shatty still signed. They had enough cap space for that. Smith isn’t playing now, so same thing as if he weren’t here. At some point he has to play over Kampfer, if he isn’t traded. I don’t know what the issue is with him and AV. No one does.

  8. craig says:

    It is obvious that Shatty needs a stay at home defense partner to make up for his lousy defensive game.
    That choice is Staal(who is playing very good so far) or Smith when he gets his act together.
    McD is having a sub par year defensively so far and in my opinion should be potential trade bait being his contract will run out soon. With the right blockbuster deal, he and maybe Vesey (who can’t put the puck in the net) could
    potentially bring a lot back..
    Skjei would be wasted with his offensive strength (though better defensively then Shatty) when he could also be paired with Kampfer who is more defensive to help balance out the overall defense on the team pairings