Dec
30

Missed Chances and Questionable Calls Doom Rangers in Detroit

December 30, 2017, by

The Rangers and Red Wings played another entertaining, low-scoring game on Friday Night.  Detroit ultimately prevailed in the shootout, 3-2.  Like the last time these teams met, Henrik Lundqvist and Jimmy Howard were a big part of the story.  This time however, the referees played a major role as well, adding drama and intrigue to this midseason matchup.

A questionable call on Brendan Smith (an illegal check to the head was called, when replays showed there was no contact to the head) sucked all the momentum from the Rangers as they pushed for a go-ahead goal in the third period.  Marc Staal also committed a tripping penalty with 1:20 remaining in the game, which bled into the overtime period.  Then the Rangers got a call, as Brady Skjei drew a penalty shot in overtime.  Unfortunately he couldn’t convert, and the game was decided in the coin-flip that is the shootout.

There was plenty of good news on this night, final score notwithstanding.  Vinni Lettieri scored his first NHL goal (.gif below), and the Rangers played another sound game defensively.  Per NaturalStatTrick.com’s data, they limited Detroit to just five high danger scoring chances at 5v5 the entire game.  The Rangers probably deserved a better fate, but they did earn a point, and now move on to face Buffalo in the Winter Classic on Monday.  On to the goals (thanks to Shayna Goldman for providing .gifs)…

Rangers 1, Detroit 0

Danny DeKeyser turns the puck over behind his own net, and an alert Jimmy Vesey pounces on it.  Vesey’s pass looks more like a wraparound attempt, which deflects off of Howard and right to David Desharnais, who buries it.

Rangers 1, Detroit 1

Andreas Athanasiou, Detroit’s version of Michael Grabner, flies down the ice and beats Nick Holden and Ryan McDonagh to Dylan Larkin’s alley-oop pass.  Holden does pretty well to recover, but Athanasiou stays strong on his stick and is able to flip the puck over Lundqvist’s shoulder.  it’s tempting to try and assign blame to a Rangers defenseman on this play, but it really is just a great individual effort by Athanasiou.

Rangers 2, Detroit 1

What a moment for Vinni Lettieri.  Not seen in the .gif above, he started this play with a smart bank pass off the boards to enable the Rangers to exit their defensive zone.  Boo Nieves cuts back to buy some time and space, and puts the puck on Lettieri’s stick.  Lettieri didn’t have much time to pick a spot, but his quick release was more than good enough to beat Howard.

Rangers 2, Detroit 2

Boo Nieves unfortunately evened out his ledger with a bad turnover inside the Rangers defensive blue line.  Henrik Zetterberg came in on a partial breakaway and scored on his own rebound.

Frans Nielsen scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout.

Score-Adjusted Corsi

This was a fairly even game throughout in terms of shot quantity.  Detroit mounted their biggest push after tying the game in the second period.  The Rangers were dominant in the third period at even strength.  That penalty call on Brendan Smith really ended any chance they had to win this game in regulation.

Scoring Chances (not score-adjusted)

Jimmy Howard was excellent in this game, as the Rangers had several chances in close to extend their lead, or grab a late winner.

It would have been nice to beat the Red Wings, as the Rangers have a tough and road-heavy schedule ahead of them.  That said, this was the second game in a row where the Rangers outplayed their opponent, and for the most part did a decent job defensively in front of their goaltender.  Now, the scene shifts to CitiField, and a frigid outdoor game against Buffalo.

"Missed Chances and Questionable Calls Doom Rangers in Detroit", 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.
Categories : Game Wrap-ups

45 comments

  1. Ulf Marxen says:

    Let’s see – Shattenkirk as your third option in the shootout. I think that is his third miss in a row and loss for the team this season. Thank God we didn’t need him vs Caps the other night. AV is just brilliant. Like Buch, Miller, Nash etc wouldn’t be better options. Another clear example of the coach getting in the way of a potential win. His stubbornness to even make common sense decisions is mind boggling.

    • Spozo says:

      And the moron on the other side put out Zetterberg who is a career 25% in the skills competition.

      All coaches are morons!!!!

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Of course Spozo! What would a loss be without the usual overreaction to an AV decision. Ulf (and Stevem and Sieve on the other page) won’t bother telling you that beyond Zuc and Mika, the Rangers don’t HAVE any other better options. Check their stats. Better yet, use the eye test. We have no shooters. If they changed the shootout to a “pass-out”, where the team that makes the prettiest passes wins, then we’d have lots of options.

        Beyond Mika and Zuc, Shatty and Nash are the only guys who have had any semblance of past success. So going with Shatty is hardly the egegrious mistake being portrayed here. When Mika and Zuc miss, it’s game over.

        We just happen to stink at this, that’s all. If you want to take AV to task, then rip him for not pulling the goalie in the final minute of 3 v 3. 🙂

        • roadrider says:

          Exactly.

          Instead of crying about the shootout lineup how about getting on the offense? Two goals in regulation in the past 2 games. Is that AV’s fault?

          • CTfan says:

            Actually, it is.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              Right…because as we know, all things bad with the Rangers…blame the coach. All things good with the Rangers…credit the players. Makes perfect sense.

        • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

          Ur always right 3E … Maybe the time zone made Shittenkirk a better SO guy … So far he’s done nothing … I would have given Vinni the nod but again I’m always wrong so …

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Simplistic response to a legit debate. You and others took AV to task for not going with another option. I simply responded that IMO, there are no real better options. Guess you don’t appreciate being challenged when there are legit facts and stats to dispute your flawed position.

            Again, before killing the coach over the decision, maybe you should have looked at the recent and career stats of the rest of the players. Given the choices, it was more than reasonable for AV to go with Shattenkirk there.

            I actually agree with you on Lettieri. It would have been a bold move to go with the kid there……IF he had a track record of doing well in SOs on the AHL level. But I have no idea if he’s good at SOs, and it seems to me that’s a lot to ask of a kid to figure out what move and spot would be best to beat a veteran goalie like Howard in his first NHL game. But yeah, given how pitiful our other options are, perhaps once he’s had a chance to settle in and learn the strengths and weaknesses of the goalies, he might be a great choice.

            And no, I am not always right and you not always wrong—except on the Hank debate, where yes, you are pretty much ALWAYS wrong..as your crazy and inaccurate name pretty much confirms. 🙂

        • Stevem says:

          So Hayes, Miller or Buchnevich may not be better options before Shatty? I wouldn’t mind seeing them get a crack at it.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Yes I know…you and others feel that AV must demonstrate to us, the fans, who the better options are. We are the jury. It makes no difference what the coaches see behind the scenes in practice. If AV doesn’t demonstrate it to us, then he is not doing his job properly. Makes perfect sense.

            Shatty, Miller, Hayes, Buch. Yeah, I guess you can just draw the names out of hat at that point and hope for the best. But my point was, why kill AV for going with Shatty when he has no other legit better options? Going with Shatty is as reasonable an option as any of the other ones.

            • Stevem says:

              It’s not like I’m going after AV with torches and pitchforks.. lol, I’d just like to see guys like the ones I mentioned getting a poke at it

              • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

                3E is God of the Blueshirts board though … Lmao

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Of course! Sieve’s expected lame “deflection” in lieu of an actual response after being confronted with facts.

                Hard to take you seriously when that’s the best you can do. But then again, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at all coming from a so-called Rangers fan with a screen name like yours.

          • Spozo says:

            Do you remember the season right after the lockout when Jagr was leading the league in goals scored practically the entire season? He said himself that he was awful on breakaways and the coach Tom Renny at the time never used him in the shootout. He never used the league leading goal scorer (and first ballot hall of famed if he ever retires) in the shootout because he was bad at it. Just because we think someone would be great in the shootout doesn’t mean they actually are.

            And on the opposite end of the spectrum: Eric Christenson (forgive me if I butchered the spelling but it’s not worth looking up). The guy literally was a Ranger because he was brilliant in the shootout. He was a waiver pickup that only dressed just in case they made it to a shootout. He was useless at anything else involving a hockey stick.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              Well done Spozo!

              Absolutely correct. Incredibly, Jagr, one of the great goal scorers of all time, was never asked to even attempt a shot in a shootout in his Rangers career. Indeed, in the eight plus years since he has left the Rangers, he has attempted a grand total of 10 shots in shootouts…and he has made two.

              As you said, the shootout is a very specific skill. A guy who is a good goal scorer is not necessarily the right choice for this specific task.

              It reminds me somewhat of debates I’ve had with people about the PP. Sometimes a team can be really good scoring 5 v 5, and yet struggle on the PP. And then we’ve also seen the reverse can be true.

              So you can’t just line up the best goal scorers on your team and assume they will be any good at shootouts.

              Here’s an idea….hire Marek Malik as shootout coach!

            • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

              Well done Spozo …. But Shittenkirk hasn’t done a thing in the SO yet , just sayin … Maybe on the other time zone team he was on he was decent , zippo here

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                And you are wrong again! How hard is it for you to actually look something up? Not sure if this is updated or not but Shatty is 1 for 3 this season acccording to Hockey Reference. Pretty much in line with his career percentage. But sure, go with the false narrative. It works so much better for you.

                My over-arching point here is simple. Shatty is no better or worse than any other choice the Rangers have for the SO other than Zuc or Mika. To take AV to task for using him in that spot is simply ridiculous.

              • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

                Name is staying .. lol
                Well Idid make a deal with a real blogger on here if wins a Cup ( Sittoo)

        • CTfan says:

          The AV suckup is in midseason form.

    • Buch Nieves says:

      This is exactly the sort of 20/20 hindsight, letting off steam, blame somebody (I know, the COACH!), kind of comment that makes social media fun to be a part of. Carry on, sir!

    • howiehockey I I says:

      I I agree with you 1000%… Was thinking the very same thing.
      AV has issues (and) amnesia may be one of them.
      His decisions are costing us points…it is AV that has to go,,,,,,

      • howiehockey says:

        My above comment was a reply to “Ulfmarxeen'” comments.
        You have JT, Hayes, Vesey, Grabner,Nash, Carey, Nieves and VL…and you choose a player who gets most of his goals from the outside. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          That’s one definition of insanity. Here’s another….making insane claims is also the definition of insanity.

          Career Shootout stats

          Nash 38%
          Shatty 32%

          Miller hasn’t made a SO shot since 2013

          Hayes and Vesey have a minimal sample size of 7 shots between them and 3 of them successful.

          Grabner has a grand total of ONE attempt in all his years in the league…with four different teams. Maybe the sainted Coach Babs mishandled him as well.

          Carey and Nieves? Now THAT is truly the definition of insanity.

          Lettieri might be possible eventually. But none of us know if he has that skill set.

          The point is that Shatty is just as good as any option the Rangers have at the moment not named Zuc or Mika. To skewer the coach for going with him over those other options is ridiculous.

  2. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    The last two games have me encouraged. Our defensive play has really improved. Good sign.

    Once Mika finds his game and Shatty snaps out of his funk, we should see the offense turn around. Especially on the PP which is crucial to their success. Can’t rely on secondary scoring to carry us for any extended period of time.

    Miller and Buch….we need much more from you guys. Much more.

    I’d include Nash and Hayes in that, but it’s hard to find fault with them given their exemplary efforts the last few games. Still, at some point, effort isn’t enough. We need production here.

    Lastly, other than our goaltending, the unit that is the team’s MVP right now would have to be the PK. They have been lifesavers. Best it has been since Hags left town. Kudos to Ruff, AV and the players here. (Oh I know….can’t EVER give the coaching staff credit out here so I’m saying this in a whisper). Might be the best PK in the league right now since Halloween.

    • Bloomer says:

      Getting their PP back on track would help the Rangers in the win/loss column. From the eye test, the powerplay had their best chances when Nash was screening the goalie. They need to get more bodies to the net and score the dirty goals IMHO. If they continue to play the perimeter game it will likely cost them a playoff spot.

    • Playground 9 says:

      I’ve been begging for Vinni and so I was glad to see him get his shot.

      Anybody else cringe in sympathy when he whiffed on his first one-timer? But that bee-line to the net made up for it in spades thanks to Boo. I hope AV keeps rolling four lines. I really like Carey too.

      I think it is important for us to see what we actually have at this level so we have a better idea what to do at come the trading deadline.

      I have no complaints with the D. I really like Holden – don’t think he gets enough credit. Brendan hopefully will stop trying to do too much.

      Don’t even need to talk about our Goaltending…..PAV is making me a believer too.

      LGR 2018

    • RichS says:

      3E
      Couldn’t agree more with ALL these comments…….defensively rangers have got it together, forwards and especially smith, stall and even holden has looked better…….credit to AV/ Ruff for this improvement…..
      Nash and hayes must have magnets in their sticks and puck, fun to watch and dominate in offensive zone BUT you are right , they must start scoring goals…..
      When kredier and fast return this lineup will be tough to beat…..we lead atlanic division with +14 goal differential…….thats meaningful…..
      All these young legs, letteri and his speed and right handed shot fits in well on 4th line……IMHO this team can and will play in finals!!!!!!!
      …….and to be even more optimistic [hyperbolic?] in juniors, besides andersson and chytil this Ty Ronning looks to be the next cam atkinson….right handed sniper…..

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        For the most part…..we agree! 🙂

        But yeah, you are doing the Captain Hyperbole thing with Ronning. Long, long way to go there before we can make that claim! And then we are on our way to the finals now?

        And it’s the Metro division…but we will give you a pass there. 🙂

    • orangemike says:

      Yeah Eddie you should know by now it’s verboten to ever give the coach credit for anything. IMHO these guys are “gripping their sticks too tight” the last few games, as they say in the business. Maybe they didn’t get the memo that the idea is to get the puck into the goal. If I see another Ranger hit the goalkeeper in the chest on a breakaway, I’m going to throw my TV through the window. Nash watch- 9 goals and 8 assists in 38 games. $8.5 mil/yr. Yep. Happy New Year, everyone. Maybe they’ll actually score a goal against Buffalo.

      Regards- orange

  3. Swarty says:

    I posted early this season that the margin for making the playoffs in the East over the last 4 years was 2.5 points (if i remember correctly).

    At the end of last evening the eight teams in the Metro division are separated by just ten points top to bottom (as opposed to 28 points in the Atlantic!). The Rangers and the Islanders now occupy the revolving seat known as “wild card position” with three other teams within 4 points.

    After attending the Lightning/Flyers and then watching the Rangers/Wings on TV last night it occurred to me that the Rangers have a significant opportunity to drastically improve their long-term future come Feb 26.

    To accomplish this, Gorts (and the fanbase) must dismiss the notion that this team can be competitive come the playoffs and not sacrifice the future once again. Reality needs to be the order of deadline day.

    Someone is going to want Nash – history shows he is likely worth a #1, or a #2, and/or a young stud. Someone will want Grabner and his rejuvenation as a Ranger has upped his value considerably. Even Holden, likely has value as a righty D-man. Those three moves alone, would net a considerable haul of future assets.

    And then there is McDonagh. This is where it is tough. His contract is amazingly friendly and has a year left. He is integral to the team’s success and wears the “C”. But what could Gorts get back for the opportunity to have Mac on someone’s Stanley Cup contending team for two runs?

    While not exactly a good trade match, what would a team deep in talent like the Lightning give up for two runs at the cup with Mac? Let’s start with 23 yr.old young D stud Koekkoek, a young forward (can you say Namestnikov?) and a pick.

    Sure- it’s a theoretical, but it is in line with what type of value could come back for McDonagh.

    Add the potential draft day haul to Andersson, Chytil, (not to mention Lettieri who looks like a keeper after one game), Graves, DeAngelo, Sean Day, young goaltending depth (can’t wit for the Igor chants at the Garden) and now finally being in control of their draft picks after years of trading them away, the future is bright.

    If…and it’s a BIG IF, Gorts can orchestrate some trade magic then there is always the opportunity to go into the draft with the potential to parlay Hayes or Vesey, or JT into an even bigger haul.

    All it will take is a little creativity and one day’s worth of reality/sanity checks.

    Bring on Feb 26 and let the deals begin…

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Swarty-

      Great analysis, and absolutely, what you are saying may well make sense. But it depends on what the return is, right? What if teams aren’t prepared to offer us what you are suggesting? Maybe there are better options out there then what the Rangers can offer up. Remember, it takes two to make deals like what you are suggesting, and I’m not as convinced as you are that opposing GMs will be falling all over themselves to grab the Rangers assets.

      And then there’s the opposite take. The Rangers are in playoff position at the moment. Other than Tampa, who in the East looks formidable? It is more than plausible that a healthy Rangers team, as BUYERS at the deadline as opposed to sellers, could very well make a move here and a move there without sacrificing the future and make a deep run.

      If you’re Gorton, and you believe the Rangers can make a run to the ECF, there is no question in my mind he will be in “go for it” mode and not be sellers. The next two months will likely dictate the course of action here.

      • Swarty says:

        Hey Eddie –

        The next two months will absolutely dictate what path is taken at the deadline. After Monday, the schedule shows 24 games, 14 on the road and 5 within Metro. What is interesting is that the 19 of 24 are against teams that currently sit, or are within 5 points of the playoffs as of today. A lot of sorting out is going to happen between now and Feb 26 for the Rangers and for everyone else.

        I’ve always looked at this year as transitional – the team is not built for the long-haul, but it has remained competitive, and it has the pieces which can help them transition to a whole new place. If I am the GM, I take a step back and look at how to best use my pieces. Unless the Rangers somehow find themselves breaking from the pack of middlers and make a real strong Cup challenge, then my role as GM is to get the best possible return for my expiring assets that have some market value.

        The market is what someone will pay – Nash and Gartner have value in that market and Holden likely does as well. Even if the historic returns don’t hold, if my team is four – six points out of the playoffs I have to decide whether it is better to recoup, say a 2nd rounder for Nash rather than him just walking. I take the pick.

        But if my team is in or out by only two or three points then do I make that deal? And how many points out of the playoffs do I have to be to consider trading Mac?

        There are going to be opportunities at the trade deadline to improve this club for the long-term. Potentially significant improvement. Does that include Mac? The thought never crossed my mind until the recent chatter. But turning him into some younger stud assets at a time when he is a year out from RFA certainly has merit.

        These are the tough decisions Eddie – and as you know it requires a most delicate balance of present vs. future. I like Gort’s approach thus far and i am really happy he is the one sitting there making those decisions.

        Either way, it will be interesting….

        • James1090 says:

          The only thing I would do differently is ask for Sergachev before settling on Koekkoek. I don’t think McDonagh will get traded, if he does it will be at the draft.

          I think trading players on expiring contracts like Nash, Grabner and Holden.

        • Peter says:

          Nice job Swarty, nice analyses. You too 3E.

          Happy New Year to everyone at Blueseats and all our friends who comment. May it be happy and healthy.

        • Richter1994 says:

          The problem is that the Rangers will be in position for a playoff spot and see Nash and Grabner as key Rangers for whatever playoff run management thinks they have in them this year.

          Trading those 2 would signal a “going young” mentality that basically takes them out of the playoffs for this year. Because what are the Rangers getting for Nash, Grabner, and Holden? All on expiring contracts? Draft picks. Draft picks won’t help them this year.

          So, as much as we would like to think that the Rangers will do things for the long haul, they have never operated that way as making the playoffs is their goal. It makes too much money for them as it is all gravy to them.

          Now, what they won’t do is trade young core players for rental vets to make the playoffs. That’s the difference between this year and past years. But if Graves and a pick get them a vet that can help this year then I think that they do that. It just won’t be for a young core piece.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Yep…100% agree.

            The only way the situation Swarty proposes happens is if the Rangers unravel the next few months and find themselves where the Flyers are at the moment. Indeed, in 2010, the last time the Rangers wound up misisng the playoffs altogether, they were buyers at the deadline, trading future assets for the likes of Brandon Prust and Ollie Jokinen.

            (I just had a horrible flashback/flash forward moment. Jokinen cost us the playoffs in 2010 because he was the best option available to take that infamous shot in the shootout. We are horrible at shootouts this year. What if the hockey gods torture us and it comes down to that again? Ugh!)

            The last time the Rangers were sellers at the deadline was 2004, when the Rangers dealt away Leetch, Kovalev and Nedved for some picks that didn’t ultimately amount to much. That Rangers team was pitiful so selling was the only option. Not likely they will be in that position two months from now.

            This situation reminds me a lot of 2013-14. That Rangers team struggled early before righting the ship, but still, at the deadline, there was little reason to believe that team had a deep playoff run in them. The Rangers had many players coming up on their UFA summers. It would have been more than reasonable to consider backing up the truck and reloading at that point. Indeed, there were legit rumors that Sather considered shipping off Cally to SJ for picks at that deadline, but opted instead to go for it and make the MSL trade. That trade sparked one of the most memorable playoff runs in team history, and they came oh so close to getting it done that Spring. Even though they fell short, I’m sure everyone associated with the team would have made that deal again in a heartbeat. The Garden made a boatload of money on that run.

            In addition, back to 2010, the Rangers were a shootout away from making the playoffs. The Flyers made it instead. The Flyers went to the SC Finals. I’m sure the Rangers all felt…Hey, that could have been us. Last year, a lot of folks thought the Preds should be sellers. They were the 8th seed. Made the SCF. The Kings were a low seed in 2012 and won it all over another low seed, the Devils. Those lessons aren’t lost on Sather and Gorton. I have no doubt that if the opportunity is there to “go for it”, the Rangers will opt for that route because history says it’s a route worth pursuing.

            But again, the return offered on any potential trade will dictate the course of action. I don’t think the Rangers will proclaim themselves “buyers” or “sellers”. They will assess what’s available and determine if there is a chance to become a stronger SC team this year without sacrificing the future in any meaningful way. They’ll do that first. If they can’t, then I predict they will make a deal like the Smith deal—nothing significant just an acquisition to fortify a need. Last resort…..they fall out of it and/or someone knocks their socks off and offers some high end future talent or picks for current assets, then that will be considered….but NOT if they believe they can make a run this year.

            • Richter1994 says:

              In 2004, you are forgetting one major fact, the cap was coming and the Rangers divested themselves of all big contracts they didn’t want anymore, in preparation for the hard cap.

              They, probably, will be buys but CAUTIOUS buyers, meaning they will not trade for vets at all costs. That certainly is not happening.

              But Graves and a 3rd for someone that can help? Sure. I think that’s as far as they go. Or if they can get someone on the cheap that will provide some depth help, again, that I can see.

              I can be wrong, but I can see almost no scenario whereby Nash and/or Grabner get traded, unless the Rangers somehow get blown away and that aint happening.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Very astute points, especially on the 2004 circumstances.

              • Stevem says:

                Bingo, Cigar chompin Slats new the cap was coming after that lockout so he had to part with those contracts

            • Swarty says:

              Please pardon my pun – but the competitiveness in the Metro is the wild card here.

              Any of the eight Metro teams can be seen as a legitimate playoff team this year. Eleven points separate top to bottom. As it stands now, the Penguins are out and I just watched the Flyers, the lowest ranked Metro team, manhandle the Lightning a couple of days ago.

              As I said yesterday there is a lot of shaking out to be done in the next two months. The problem is that you have to show your cards at the deadline which still leaves six weeks of further shaking out to be done.

              Two years ago the Rangers were basically a middling team except for two strong runs – one to start the year and another leading up to the trade deadline. Both of those streaks influenced the thinking that they had a legit shot and we ended up with Eric Staal 🙁 as the deadline day prize.

              This year’s horrible start has been followed by a run of pretty good hockey. Somewhat inconsistent – but pretty good.

              But here is the thing – 10 of the last 13 games are within the division and those 13 games will decide where the Rangers end up. As much as I want them to be a legit Stanley Cup contender, I just don’t see it though. A playoff team sure – but not a Cup contender.

              There are some things that can be done at the deadline to help the long-term future of the team, maybe immensely. My worry is that we stay at or near the bubble and then do not capitalize on some chip-cashing opportunities especially with Nash and then miss the play-offs altogether.

    • RichS says:

      Like your thinking Swarty and normally I agree with trading older players for high picks and good prospects……but in this case I dont …….for several reasons…
      1. Grabner is our goal scorer..and fastest player…resign and pencil him in for 25+ the next 3 years
      2.The way we are playing and improving and with all our talent we CAN make it to the finals..4 lines capable of scoring and playing defense, excellent PK and PP
      3 Abundant team speed
      4. Give nash opportunity to resign here at discount
      5. NEVER give away young talent, esp when they have not reached their peak……..see middleton, ridley etc
      6. Plenty of young talent soon to arrive –chytil, andersson, day, ronning, deangelo, gettinger, pionk, igor….no need to break it down and no one is giving you connor mcdavid……
      7. The mcdonagh trade interest me and i would make it , but tampa wont make that trade….unless phil esposito or mike milbury are the GM……
      All that aside, I would almost never trade any young talent at the deadline to “win” this year…….

  4. Peter says:

    All of the above commenters have astutely analyzed exactly why it is unlikely that the Rangers will not be the sellers that I believe they should be at the deadline. I hope that I am wrong, but even with the addition of a winger or a center at the deadline, I do not see a cup in this team as configured presently.

    I see vets approaching UFA’s who could be traded for picks in the upcoming draft, which is said to be a good one. With the young core that they already have in place and some talented young people already in the wings, a good draft could stock the team for years. But you are all correct, that is not how management plays it. Unfortunately, much of the fan base would probably complain too if they were sellers. Gorton is doing a good job within the constraints in which he operates, but I see an opportunity here that is likely to be missed and it is disappointing.

    Nevertheless, I will cheer them on of course and hope against hope that I have underestimated them (which Is always possible.) May they kick butt in the New Year!