Nov
27

Don’t get too excited by Rangers winning streak, just yet.

November 27, 2017, by
alain vigneault

Any chance of a good start AV?

One of the reasons I jumped off the Alain Vigneault bandwagon quite some time ago was the coach’s constant regurgitation of clichés. After the Canucks game on Sunday night we got to hear the classic line; ‘good teams find ways to win games’. Sure, of course they do.

Call me a cranky fan if you will (for the record, I love me some positivity and I’m a fan that usually is a little too high on his own team) but I’d prefer some honest assessment from AV such as how the Rangers were abysmal for large stretches of the game on Sunday night. Slightly of track, but I’d also think it would resonate in the dressing room more, if the players heard their coach openly say they sucked (and how and why) when it’s actually the case. But I digress.

Previously (and I’m too lazy to check which game the quoted followed) we were gifted with the ‘we came ready to play today’ quote. If you’ve listened to him enough you’ll note this is one of Vigneault’s favourites. If I recall correctly, it came after the Canes victory.

This brings me to my point. The thing is, the Rangers didn’t come to play against the Canes – despite the pretty score line after all was said and done. As in many other games recently, the Rangers were kept in the game by their all-world goaltender, in addition to some generous assistance from ‘Canes goalie Scott Darling.

Here’s some basic numbers for you all (including the Canucks game Sunday night): 4-11, 6-17, 11-17, 10-7, 12-14, 11-9, 9-12. This is not deep analysis folks – Im writing this Sunday night after a flight back from Iceland so please forgive me for the most basic of statistical insight. Those numbers are the shot totals from the last seven first periods.

Dating back to the Oilers game, the Rangers have been outshot 87-63 in first periods. They have only led after one period in two of those seven games and one of those was the Hurricanes’ game, a game which the Rangers had Lundqvist and Darling to thank for their lead after one.

These are basic stats folks. We haven’t delved into any fancy stat analysis at all yet (I’ll let someone else do that another day). Scoring chances, possession numbers… let alone dare we go near the turnover numbers. Here’s the thing… enjoy this streak. Enjoy the Rangers racking up wins and feasting on the soft schedule and enjoy watching Henrik Lundqvist (by and large) carry this team into a playoff berth. A tougher schedule is around the corner. So is potentially a rude awakening.

Winning brings confidence, wins create momentum and of course, some breathing room in the standings, but the Rangers’ constant slow starts to games – even against ‘lesser teams’ cannot continue. Hopefully the Rangers can address their slow starts. They won’t be in games if they don’t.

My concern is this: at least publicly, Vigneault doesn’t seem to get it. Based on the numbers, either AV isn’t addressing the team’s sloppy starts, the players are not listening or they are failing to adhere to their coach’s grumbles.

The Rangers have dragged themselves back in to the thick of the playoff race with a run of wins (and winning percentage) that isn’t sustainable. They’ll only stay in that race if they start playing from the first puck drop and supporting their hot goaltender. Until we see better play from the off, don’t get too excited by the current run of form.

"Don't get too excited by Rangers winning streak, just yet.", 2 out of 5 based on 23 ratings.
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62 comments

  1. amy says:

    they are playing well right now wait for the back to backs for example playing down in Washington against Ovetchkin and Company and then playing the devils on Saturday night and then you have the kings on Friday the 15th and then the b’s in Boston

  2. amy says:

    they are playing great

  3. Reenavipul says:

    Winning cures all, even when it doesn’t fix the problem. Team now sorta stable in their own end, now the coach has to let his puck moving defencemen move the puck out more often(something they’ve done a lot of during this run of games.)

    Vancouver not surprisingly good, an organization that has a pocketful of fools gold(due to horrid starts within the division) and think they’ve turned the corner.

  4. Arisrules says:

    Smoke and mirrors as usual under AV, and this team will figure out a way to get into the playoffs, only to get embarrassed by some joke team in the playoffs.

    Right now our defense is getting destroyed both in terms of total shot totals, and in terms of high quality shots. Only above average goaltending from Hank (top 10 in terms of GSAA at 5v5 and all situations as per Corsica) is saving the team right now. Why was Ruff hired? Why are none of the beats asking why opposing teams always get lots of high quality chances and our defense looks lost?

    I will give AV credit in that his teams always generate high quality shots. This year we’ve been a bit unlucky in that our shooting percentage is so low at 5v5, but Shatt, KZB, and Zuch have more than made up for that underperformance on the Powerplay (I will not say it’s the coaching staff because PP2 is not good and we’ve under-performed on the PP for years).

    But in the playoffs this formula does not work. It hasn’t worked for so many years now. Why are we doing this again? This is Groundhog’s Day, but no lessons are learned. What a miserable reality we have here.

  5. Resident Genius says:

    One of the elephants is doing well. Hanky is playing well. Good move to put Fasth on a different line. Vesey is much better than Fasth even though Fasth is making me look bad. I still think Fasth belongs on the 4th line, not Vesey.

  6. SalMerc says:

    Sometimes it is good just to enjoy the success of the last week, and hope that it continues.

  7. Resident Genius says:

    I think the Rangers play better with McDonough out! Trade him!

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      If you believe the Rangers are playing BETTER with McDonagh out, then you need to have your head examined. The last few games, despite the victories, show how much they miss him.

      Now, as to trading him, that’s another discussion. Once he is healthy, the Rangers certainly will have some big decisions to make either this deadline, this summer, or next deadline. No doubt.

      But as it stands today, if McDonagh can’t be McDonagh, this team is toast.

      • RichS says:

        3E,
        The way he has played this year, very ” un-mcdonagh ” like, maybe he has had this injury since training camp…….????? Do we know this?
        This organizations decisions regarding injured players concerns me……2014 playoffs??/ girardi playing injured, mcdonagh or stall broken foot playing ????
        It seems to me that kamfer has settled down a bit……his play isnt as bad……..although I was only able to catch parts of the last few games……am I wrong?

      • Matt R says:

        Elite two-way defensemen do not grow on trees, pay the man a bit less than he would make in free agency and be happy that hes wearing a Ranger’s sweater.

      • Resident Genius says:

        McDonagh is no leader. Tell me what stat is he doing well at? With all his ice time what do we get from it?

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          And you know this about McDonagh how exactly? Are you in the room? You are not.

          When he is a healthy, he’s widely regarded as one of the top 20 d-men in the league. That’s not easy to replace.

          Now as I said, would I consider trading him at the right time? Sure. He’s going to likely be difficult to re-sign when his deal is up in the summer of 2019. But the question is, for what return?How do you replace him?

          Again, no sane individual would agree with you that the Rangers are a better team with McDonagh NOT in the lineup. That’s nuts.

          • Resident Genius says:

            Show me the math.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              What math do you want to see? Is he a top 5 or 10 elite level defenseman? No. Not even at his best is he that. But you’re acting like this guy is Wade Redden or something. Again, he posted good solid numbers, he’s a perennial all-star. He’s not going to the HOF, but he’s one of our better players.

              What can be disputed about that? And how are we better with him gone if there is no one as good to replace him?

              Now, once he’s healthy, and assuming he’s part of some deal that brings in a return or talent that allows the team to upgrade, then sure, I’m with you. But right now, without him, we are MUCH weaker.

          • Resident Genius says:

            McDonagh would be better for us on another team where he is not called a leader. The team relies on leadership and obviously, he has failed in that department.
            What room do you need to go into to see he is not leading?
            We see he gets ample ice time and we see his stats are not great. He leads in what category? Top ten of what?
            During the playoffs last year I noticed when they increased Ryans ice time the worse the team would do.
            Perhaps you can keep an eye that stat in the future to see if I am wrong.
            That’s why I said they play better without McDonough.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              And again, you are making these totally bogus claims about leadership. What do you even know about it? You are the same guy that disses Fast, who’s the two time Players’s Player, which shows you know absolutely less than zero about what is going on in the room. So please, give us specifics as to how he has failed to lead? Or is this just another Bizarro World rant?

              You are right on his stats. They are not great. They are though very good. He is not a great player (although I find that odd coming from you, since you have repeatedly said we have so many “great” players, yet the one guy who is legit great, Hank, you have little use for, and the guy who arguably has been our second best player, McDonagh, an All-Star two years in a row, you also think is no good. Again…..Earth to the Bizarro World……)

              Stats for defensemen don’t always tell the full picture. But last year he had, statistically speaking, his best season since his breakout season in 2013-14. 42 points from the backline is nothing to sneeze at. He plays more minutes than anyone not wearing goaltenders equipment—and they are BIG minutes against the league’s best players. He chipped in 7 points in 12 playoff games, and in fact his production was tied for second with Zuc. Only Mika had more. He played 27 minutes per game in the playoffs. It would be nice if our pretend “great” players who you time and time again overrate would have come close to producing at that level. If they had, we probably would have advanced.

              Again, real good, real solid player that would not be easy to replace. I have no idea what your beef is with our best players.

              • Resident Genius says:

                I don’t consider Fasth our best player. Maybe our best 4th line player.
                2nd best player?
                Thank you for putting me in my place. Sometimes you think you know it all but know nothing like me.
                But what I do know is, is who is a leader. McD is not and that is obvious.

              • Resident Genius says:

                Tell me why did AV take Fasth away from the second line if he was doing so great?

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                You are overthinking the line construction. In this day and age, you need four lines that work and players are moved around all the time. Especially on this team where there are few clear cut top line vs bottom line players.

                What is evident is that Fast seems able to help whatever line he is on. He’s the perfect “swing man” player to fill a role on a line that needs him.

  8. Puckpaul says:

    I have yet to see the Rangers really control play. they dominate for small stretches but they also get beaten pretty badly regularly in terms of possession and chances. To me, to win you really need to be able to control play when you bear down. This team has enough depth and talent to pull out some games (lets face it, in the NHL if you show up and have enough talent you can win a lot without being a really good team), but we all know that when the best teams are ready in the playoffs this team cannot shut them down and make sure they win. The coach is a big part of the problem ( his system is a part of this inconsistency), and overall defensive play is a big problem, and a lack of forecheck is a problem.

    in the Ottawa series, when they took it to Ottawa for stretches, they looked like they could control play, but they couldnt do that for 60 minutes or a series. this team seems no different now, but they have many above average players that can allow them to win in front of excellent goaltending.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Your last sentence says it all—“they have many above average players”. You don’t generally win Stanley Cups or advance very deep with above average players. That’s not about the coaching. That’s on the GM to fix.

      • RichS says:

        ”’Above average players”’ should say ”’above average young and improving players”’ …….
        Best case scenario I see kredier, miller, zib, buch, vesey, [grabner -ok 30 years old] all 20-25 goals…….chityl should be there too with his skills…….
        We need hayes to score 20 and defense to improve and IMHO we can win a cup without a superstar……ala Bruins beating canuks…..difficult but not impossible……more likely to happen than us drafting a ”’mcdavid” ……

      • lv says:

        Agree….Penguins win cups with 3 stars Kessel, Malkin,Crosby

  9. InvalidBeard says:

    It’s the same old AV, but now with the even older Lindy to compound it. Glad they’re winning, but it’s about maximizing potential, which calls for perspective and adjustments. All been said before though. Just frustrating to know that when things go south, AV will continue to bang the NYR’s collective head against the wall instead of making tweaks.

  10. Chris F says:

    Chris,

    Admittedly, the team hasn’t been as good their record lately. However, I fear you’re making an oversimplification of the problem.

    You wrote, “My concern is this: at least publicly, Vigneault doesn’t seem to get it. Based on the numbers, either AV isn’t addressing the team’s sloppy starts, the players are not listening or they are failing to adhere to their coach’s grumbles.”

    Why do we always assume that if we see a reoccurring problem, it’s not being addressed behind the scenes?

    Isn’t it just as conceivable that the slow starts are being addressed, that the players are listening, and attempting to adhere to the coach’s grumbles, but that there are other factors at play? Your hypothesis assumes that all the Rangers have to do is address the problem vocally by the coaching staff and listen as players, and then it will all get better? If that were the case, why would any team ever struggle? You don’t succeed just because you will it.

    We have lots of holes on this roster, and there are other teams out there every night actively trying to win games as well. Sometimes, the competition is just better, or outplays you. That doesn’t mean that the coaches aren’t coaching or the players aren’t listening.

    • InvalidBeard says:

      “at least publicly”

      • Chris F says:

        I don’t really care about that distinction.

        Either he gets it or he doesn’t. I’m not basing any assessment on public coachspeak. There’s a couple coaches in the League who are forthright and open, but most are not.

        I’m not going to assume anything about what goes on behind closed doors based on what the coach tells the press.

        • InvalidBeard says:

          He’s acknowledging your point, that maybe this is being addressed, but since he only seems to speak in cliches, if one is to comment on a coach’s approach/performance at all, they are left with interpreting the results and their limited public interactions. With that in mind, Chris lacks confidence long term because of what he’s seen from AV and his staffs in the past, and the cues he’s getting today.

          • Chris F says:

            Does he only speak in cliches, though?

            I just watched the press conference. He specifically noted the bad start, pointing out that Vancouver had 6 scoring chances in the 1st period, and that the Rangers didn’t generate enough until near the end of the 2nd period. This all prefaced his comment that “good teams find ways to win.” It’s pretty clear, he’s saying that the Rangers played a bad game, but that they are a good team that found a way to scratch out a win. I dont see how that analysis indicates a blindness to the team’s slow starts.

            Kreider also acknowledged this in the first period intermission. I dont see any indication that anyone in the organization doesn’t see what we are seeing.

            • SalMerc says:

              Not quite sure what you want the coach to say? If it is Torts and he says “We really sucked tonight”, that might be honest, but does that score any points in the locker room? I think coaches have to be very careful not to alienate anyone on their team, including the other coaches.

              AV plays things close to the vest, that is true, but if you are looking for total honesty, don’t look to coaches in any sport.

              BTW, there is no way AV didn’t know the prognosis of McD. He just found a way to tell you “I am not disclosing what I know”. Not much different from most of the NHL.

            • InvalidBeard says:

              Fair enough. The broader point I think is that AV has continued to do maddening things that seem to cost this team wins, and a frustrated fanbase cant help but get annoyed with his pressers. Remember when he made the comment about not knowing that Glass had the reputation he did, and was glad he didn’t follow that stuff? He doesn’t have the benefit of the doubt when things aren’t going well that behind the scenes he’s taking care of business.

    • Reenavipul says:

      Working under the assumption he’s addressing the issues, then the fact that it’s not working speaks volumes.

      The captain is out, next A up needs to help fix it.

  11. Chris says:

    Hey! You sound like the previous coach!! and your’e right!!!

  12. HOF 19 says:

    We are winning games where we are not playing at our highest level of capability . So I am gonna chose to be very positive (right now) about our players and our coach. Lets just keep it rolling……LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!

  13. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    Chris (author of the story, not Chris F)—

    Seriously? Your beef with the coach is that you don’t like his press conferences? As a TV executive, I would concur that AV’s pressers aren’t exactly Must See TV. Torts was much more entertaining, no question. But the coach was not hired to put on a “show” for a TV audience. He was hired to win games, which is what he’s been doing for most of the past four plus seasons with a less than star studded roster. This team was projected by most to be a borderline playoff team. That’s exactly what they are. They are a flawed team that exhibits their flaws more often than we would like. That should hardly be a shock to anyone, especially with arguably their most important player other than Hank first compromised and now out.

    I think you are looking at AV through an old school lense, or maybe some people out here just love the scene in “Miracle” when Brooks tips over the table in the locker room to get his team’s attention. (BTW, in that movie, and in real life, what exactly did Brooks give us that was all that different than AV? I was on the beat when Brooks was the coach. Also when Shero was the coach. They gave us reporters next to nothing—just like AV does. What they say and how they say it tells you NOTHING about what goes on in the room. NOTHING.).

    This is a new era of athletes. These guys don’t respond to bullying tactics. Most athletes do not appreciate being called out. Sometimes it happens, sure. But as SalMerc said, you have to be very, very careful when you do. Otherwise, there is a real risk of losing the room, as Torts did at the end in NY.

    It was pretty evident to me from AV’s words that he was none too pleased with the effort for most of the game. I don’t think he needs to snarl and growl at reporters in order to get his point across.

    On the bigger picture here, why isn’t anyone giving credit to the coach and the players for getting this team turned around? The start to the season was abysmal. People out here and elsewhere were making false claims that the coach has lost the room. Yet all we have seen from this flawed group, even during most of the bad start a month ago, was a team that would never give up and find a way to battle back most nights. That’s the sign of a team that is very much together and believes in each other and the system they are playing—not the opposite. I’ve covered teams that quit on their coach and themselves. This does not appear to be one of them. So how about giving some credit where credit is due? The coach and the rest of the leadership group kept the team together, didn’t panic, and found a way to battle back into playoff position. There is still a long way to go and certainly much to correct, no doubt. But overall, there have been far more positive steps taking place recently than negative.

    I have no doubt that if the Rangers HAD made a coaching change and we saw the same winning streak with the same process, this story would be totally different today and the “savior” coach who would have replaced AV would have gotten ALL of the credit.

    • Chris F says:

      Don’t ruin the narrative.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Maybe between periods, Sather or Gorton can come in into the locker room like Joe McGrath did and get the boys attention that way. Or, at his next presser, AV could place a bounty on someone’s head. That should get them all focused real fast! 🙂

    • SalMerc says:

      When players execute, the coach is a genius, when they don’t, we all want the coach fired.

      Av is doing all he can with 10 forward and 4 defenseman at the moment.
      Kudos to AV

      • InvalidBeard says:

        There are very specific complaints. This inane “but we’re winning!” and he’s “doing all he can” crap is not contributing.

      • RichS says:

        Sal/merc
        Agree the coach gets too much credit and too much grief at times……
        BUT how many NHL teams can claim to go 10 deep at forward , 4 deep at defense….????? Not many!
        I think many of ”’us”’AV detractors have more long term complaints….
        like, inconsistent player development, repeated playoff failures, failure to ever make in game strategical adjustments……etc. etc.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          10 deep at forward? 10 deep of what? Good but not great players. That’s about it. 4 deep on defense???? Uh….no! This defense isn’t even better than what it was last year. And it surely is not without a healthy McDonagh.

          As for the other complaints—

          1) Incosnistent player development— Myth. The guys he was unable to develop both in NY and in Vancouver never amounted to anything. He can’t be held accountable for not making mediocre players into great ones. Zuc credits AV with making his career happen. Kreider has gotten AV’s full support where as under Torts he was jerked around. He played Hayes immediately and the guy had a great rookie season. Miller was a slower build but that was all about the player being extremely immature. Skjei has been a revelation. Buch is coming around. The allegations on this don’t bear up under the glare of reality.

          2) Playoffs—He’s won more playoff series than any Rangers coach in 80 years. He’s been far, far more succesful than his predecessor in that regard. He’s been more succesful than Emile Francis was, despite the Cat having substantially better talent to work with. He’s one of the few current coaches that regularly gets his teams past the first round. The only time he didn’t was in 2016 to a far, far superior Pens team. And really, the only playoff “failure”, if you want to call it that, was last season vs Ottawa. Every coach has them. And in the end, last year was more because your “Elite Beasts” were complete no-shows when it mattered.

          3) Strategic Adjustments—Subjective. All I can say is that, other than the back half of last season when the Rangers were having trouble protecting leads, the Rangers have been an extraordinary 3rd period team. So if this was a coach that was weak in that regard, how is it possible the Rangers have been that good in the 3rd. Indeed, how is it possible this coach has made the playoffs like what, 7 consecutive seasons with two different teams? Not many coaches have done that in the post-lockout era.

          Is he perfect? Of course not. He’s made more than his share of mistakes—just like most every top tier coach in the league. When the inevitable happens and AV is eventually let go, you all will find something new to complain about with the next coach, who, most likely, will probably oversee a regression in point total relative to what we have been used to getting with AV.

  14. John B says:

    “These are basic stats folks. We haven’t delved into any fancy stat analysis at all yet (I’ll let someone else do that another day). Scoring chances, possession numbers… let alone dare we go near the turnover numbers. Here’s the thing… enjoy this streak. Enjoy the Rangers racking up wins and feasting on the soft schedule and enjoy watching Henrik Lundqvist (by and large) carry this team into a playoff berth. A tougher schedule is around the corner. So is potentially a rude awakening.”

    I posted the advanced stats in the other thread. They’re quite frankly, alarming. We’ve lost the xG battle in 7 of the last 11 games. This is the same exact hockey that they were playing during the start of the season. The only difference right now, is they’re shooting percentage. When they were losing they were shooting around 8% in all situations. Now they’re shooting around 10.5% in all situations. When the Sh% drops back to the league age of 8% again, the losses will come right back.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      As I mentioned on the previous page, you could be right. And certainly Chris as well. On the other hand, this is a process. Their play has improved. Who’s to say the next stretch of 10 games their play doesn’t improve more?

      I see a team that is working hard and playing better. As it stands, the way they are playing is not going to be nearly good enough to go very far, but why do we assume that will remain the same? Players improve (or regress). Trades can be made. Maybe Chytil will be ready later in the season. Maybe defenisve help is coming? Who knows?

      Your point and Chris’s point is more than valid. But there are few things you both are not considering—

      1) Hank is a HOFer capable of continuing his great run. Every Rangers team from the past decade pretty much requires that from Hank anyway. Who’s to say he won’t have one of his finest years? It’s a lot to ask, but Hank is an extraordinary athlete. Great goaltending can cover up a myriad of sins—as long as the sins are not too overwhelmingly awful.

      2) The PP has gone into a significant slump since the Chicago game. They are due to get back on track. So consider that an almost guaranteed positive regression I would think.

      3) McDonagh—That’s the elephant in the room right now—or better said NOT in the room or on the ice. He obviously was playing subpar earlier in the season. If the time off gets him back on track, I suspect our process you and Chris are concerned about will improve greatly. If he’s substandard or worse yet, out for an extended period, then all of this is a moot point. The season is likely over. Few teams can survive the loss of their Captain and one of their best all around players—and the Rangers as currently structured are certainly not good enough to do so.

    • Chris F says:

      Hank has also been much better during this winning streak, so even with a drop in SH% I wouldn’t say it’s a given they’ll return to their October ways.

      Also, the PP has gone cold during this winning streak. If it returns to what we saw earlier in the year, it could help offset any regression of ES scoring.

      There are alot of variables at play. I don’t think it’s too predictive to look at a single variable (SH%) and assume that a regression of that variable would ruin the team.

      • Chris A says:

        Also, the Rangers of recent years have always beaten league average SH%, so regressing to a league average 8% SH is nowhere near a given. After all, playing for higher quality scoring chances should lead to an above average shooting %.

      • Flatbush says:

        Hank is the reason for the winning streak. Period

    • John B says:

      I’ll sum up every rebuttal:

      Wash, rinse, repeat.

      Same stuff we’ve been hearing for the past 3 years as people warn that we’re winning badly and being outperformed in the process.

      We’ll be “shocked”, blame this, blame that, say we lack this, say we lacked that. The underlying process issues won’t be addressed, cause hey they were “winning”, and we’ll repeat next year.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        I, for one, won’t be shocked at all. We aren’t a great team. We haven’t been truly a legit SC contender IMO since the 90s. A lot of things have to click just perfectly for this team to make a deep run, let alone win it all.

        The underlying process won’t get better until the talent does—either through maturation of the young talent and/or through acquisition(s) that would improve the roster. Beyond that, it’s hope for the best, maybe the other teams are also flawed this year (and it seems to me the East is more balanced top to bottom, but other than TB, no one really stands out) maybe the flawed Rangers can surprise and make a run.

        • John b says:

          BS

          Changing the roster doesn’t fix playing Nick Holden, Steve Kampfer, Jimmy Vesey, Paul Carey and others while trailing in the 3rd period over the best offensive players you have.

          Changing the roster doesn’t fix purposefully matching inferior players against superior players in a game of Russian roulette.

          Changing the roster doesn’t matter if players acquired are played out of position or are incompatible with whatever system were attempting to play that’s not working

          Changing the roster does nothing if people evaluating the roster are using archaic 1980 thinking and using same thinking to acquire that “talent”

          What makes the Patriots so great for so long? They’ve never been ok with the status quo. They’re always trying new unheard of players or schemes to get ahead.

          Us? We, and a large segment of the fan base, just don’t want to change. Where does that leave us? “Happy” that we’ve won a lot of playoff rounds, yea go us, finding excuses why we can’t when the answers are literally right in front of us.

      • Resident Genius says:

        John B you are wise! You need not play the role of a reporter because you cut to the chase.

  15. KevKreiser says:

    Well put. Yay for winning, but being sloppy as hell to start games will not get them anywhere.

    The last 3 games were cookie cutter to those of early October, only difference is Henrik has figured it out and can keep the team in these games until the decide to start competing.

    AV needs to do a much better job of getting this team ready to start the game. Winning masks a lot of problems.

  16. Flatbush says:

    Chris, great points

  17. craig says:

    Everyone is saying Hank is carrying the team, and it is true. The question arises, what good or great team really wins,with a mediocre goalie? It takes a great goalie for any team to be great. All the top teams right now, have strong goal tending. Right now Hank is in the top 5 the way he is performing. That is how the Rangers win usually, been that way for years.
    My biggest concern is not depending to much on Hank,but how long Hank can be overused at 35 years old. Pravelec needs to get more playing time. So far, he hasn’t been given much opportunity to play or prove himself. The workload will eventually catch up to Hank in time, if not given the rest now and then.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Craig-

      More than fair. I’ve raised that concern myself about overusing Hank. But two things are in play here—

      1) We got off to a hideous start, thus putting a playoff spot immediately in jeopardy.

      2) The schedule has been very favorable, with no back to back games the past month and lots of off days.

      So I wouldn’t worry about Hank being overused right now. Down the road, Pavelec will certainly be called upon more frequently.

      • Mancunian Candidate says:

        There’s no guarantee that Vigneault plays Pavelec. The fact that we’re 24 games into the season and Pavelec has 3 starts so far should clue us all in as far as his future usage. Hank is probably looking at 70+ starts this year, and it’s all because Vigneault grabbed Hank like a liferaft to save his job after the horrific start to this season.

  18. Richter1994 says:

    As I have said every season for the past 50 years, I want to see what Feb-??? brings.

    You have to keep pace in November to make the playoffs but you can’t win the Cup now. The Rangers do not “solve” the center position by the playoffs then they are going no where. I don’t care how great the King plays because he will not be able to overcome that flaw by himself.

  19. avsucks says:

    That first period look familiar? Whats changed? there a up and down team. a .500 team at best.

  20. Agentsmith says:

    With current cast of players (and salary distribution) its still hank or bust. Im not sure what youre looking for unterms of drastic change. So stop rooting for the team until possesion numbers are better? At least there’s a semi capable pp and top line this ur.