Quick thoughts following the Draft Lottery

On Sunday, the NHL Draft Lottery was held, and the Rangers first round fate was decided.  When all the balls stopped popping, the Blueshirts ended up with the #9 overall pick.  The gang around here has done some really nice analyses and historical context of the pick, but I haven’t gotten a chance to weigh in, yet.  With that in mind, I have a few thoughts on this Friday morning.

1. Now, obviously we are looking at a talented player at number nine, especially in a deep draft. However, I think there is a natural emotional response of disappointment after what the fanbase went through this season.  That’s ok. I feel the same way.  After all the “almost” moments of the past few years to just have the bottom fall out beneath us, we deserve Rasmus Dahlin.  We deserve that Auston Matthews piece that gives us hope in a quick turnaround on the re-build.  It’s only natural.  Alas, it was not meant to be.

2. That doesn’t mean that we won’t find a really really good player in that spot.  It may just be a guy who needs that extra year of development. Most of the mocks have the Rangers taking Hughes, Dobson, Boqvist or Wahlstrom.  Now, of course this could change, but these are really talented kids. I think it’s safe to say that the big three will be off the board by the time the Rangers pick but given the wealth of puck-movers on the backend and power forwards on the front, the top ten is teeming with potential.

3. As Rob mentioned in his post yesterday, Hockey Men™ do stupid things all the time.  You never know who they will pass by because their junior coach from Thunder Bay said that Svechnikov was soft in the corners.  My assumption is that Brady Tkachuk will go much higher than his appropriate draft slot for this very reason.  This isn’t to say that he isn’t a good player, and to be honest, if he was the best player available at number 9, I wouldn’t be that upset if the Rangers drafted him.  I feel like Tkachuk gets picked on a bit because he has become this draft’s poster boy for all that is wrong with modern hockey evaluation, but you know he will go higher because he is perceived as tough, “hard to play against” (whatever the hell that means) and has good blood lines (have you seek Keith lately?).

4. A quick note on the “hard to play against” thing.  You know what’s hard to play against?  A guy who smokes you with his speed and snipes your goalie.  That is much harder to play against than a guy who really won’t give up in a corner.  /rant.

5. How pissed must the NHL have been at Ernst & Young (the auditing firm in charge of the integrity of the draft results) when that ball came up Buffalo?  It’s just getting sad, now.  Although, they will have two Rasmus’s, and that will be fun.

6. The Rangers placement, of course leads to talk of using that number nine pick to trade up into the more elite talent range.  As fans, we tend to look at it as a binary, do we or don’t we trade up? I think any GM worth his salt is doing his most complete diligence on the nine pick and keeping an eye out for opportunities if a worthwhile trade presents itself.  At this stage of hockey operations, I think you can feel pretty confident that some GM will do something stupid. Whether that is offer you a nice deal to move up for a more established asset (Ryan Spooner: Good Canadian Boy, anyone?) or pass by a more talented player in the Draft itself chasing the mythic hard-nosed, elite-skilled, teammate defending, knows-how-to-win total package at the number 5 pick.

7. The coaching search continues.  My money is still on Sheldon Keefe.  Who knows how any of these less established guys will shake out, but as long as the organization has a consistent message, it will be an improvement over the rigidity of the last regime.

8. Speaking of which, why hasn’t Lindy Ruff been fired yet? I know it’s beating a dead horse at this point, but guys like that tend to have a much louder voice in the room than they should. Whether he is an assistant to a rookie head coach or a special advisor to Glen Sather, his message is no longer welcome.  For the organization to truly turn the page, a fresh, modern message is necessary.

9. Man, this whole non-playoff thing is weird.  After this much time without Rangers hockey, I am ready to get on with the business of the off-season.  Such is life. Two plus rounds to go.  Hopefully the Rangers will announce a coaching hire soon and we can start dreaming on roster construction in advance of the Draft. This is one of the most important off-seasons in the franchise’s history and it feels like a lot of hurry up and wait. So, wait we will.  Have a great weekend everyone!

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73 thoughts on “Quick thoughts following the Draft Lottery

  • May 4, 2018 at 7:10 am


    So you were in the military, where hurry up and wait is SOP!!!!!!!!!!! LOL……

    As for the draft, we should draft the very best player available, regardless of their positions, because we can then build thru strength, and move lesser talented players for other assets!!!!!!!

  • May 4, 2018 at 8:05 am

    As a Ranger fan that went through tough years while the Isles were winning those Cups, we have to step back and appreciate brilliance as hockey fans.

    Bill Torrey had the rare opportunity to “start from scratch” and put a hockey franchise together. The expansion rules were not as skewed towards the expansion team as they are now. Less players to choose from back then so the construction of that team really started with the draft.

    Torrey is a legend, he developed a dynasty and should be given full credit for what the Isles accomplished during his time there. It was annoying to me at the time, but I appreciate it looking back, and upon his passing. And to add to it, he can be “blamed” for the Ranger-Isles rivalry, as the rivalry became fierce when the Isles became relevant.

    One of the great architects in NHL history. Tip your cap, even as Ranger fans. RIP Mr. Torrey and thoughts and prayers to your family.

    • May 4, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Annoying to admit this, as I too watched those Cups raised, but so very honoring, 1994, and so very true.

      • May 4, 2018 at 8:50 am

        I hated John Sterling on the radio:


    • May 4, 2018 at 8:53 am


    • May 4, 2018 at 9:27 am

      As a kid I went to more Islander games then Ranger games ( neighbor had 4 season tickets ) … God I hated that team but looking back the talent on the ice in front of me( isles and what ever away team ) was unreal in the 80’s , each team had at least 5-6 top tier all-star players! You definitely have to give Torrey 2 thumbs up on his master piece.

    • May 4, 2018 at 9:52 am

      Could not agree more. Torrey built great teams. Teams that I hated but teams that beat the daylights out of my Rangers most of the time. Growing up on Long Island like I did, I was often surrounded by fans of the enemy. They had great teams to root for. R.I.P. Mr. Torrey.

      • May 4, 2018 at 10:06 am

        RIP Mr Torrey

        The Potvin Sucks chant at the Garden and I wonder if they still do it ensured us fans how wonderful a job you did that led to a hockey record that’s tough to beat…..19 straight playoff series wins.

    • May 4, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      Hey Tony, Moody here. Hope you’re good. Meskanen and the new “Quist “ signed, are they NHL ers ? Or you think a couple more draft day deals ? Plonk paired with Hughes on The National team, wouldn’t that be nice.
      Gotta tip my hat to Mr Torrey, he was good on draft and trades. A true H of F Er. I’m thinking Sheldon Keefe or Todd Nelson now, though I just recently heard about one of Babcock ‘s assistants.
      Btw, moving back up to NYC area next week, my 42 year “weekend” trip has come to an end. LGR.

      • May 5, 2018 at 7:33 am

        Hey pal, it looks like, if nothing, the new signings is to bring the quality of the whole org up, including Hartford. Maybe one makes it to the big club? But I see these more as depth signings than anything else.

        If I were to say, Keefe is the target.

  • May 4, 2018 at 8:40 am

    I agree whole-heartedly that at pick 9, that player will require a year of development. That said, are we willing to wait? This is where free agents come in. It would be nice to get a good player on a real short-term deal to allow us to be competitive once again while we wait for No. 9 to bear fruit. Holds true for the rest of the picks as well. Let them learn the game at the AHL level, then make a more confident jump, possibly playing beside a veteran who knows the ropes.

  • May 4, 2018 at 9:53 am

    As I read many of these type articles I can’t help but draw a comparison to our society today. Someone is old so let’s get rid of them because we young with our new ideas have the answers. You old people and your ideas don’t apply to today’s world and our ways. SAD! because I’m older and I see and feel what it’s like when you are looked upon as no good anymore, or your ways are a thing of the past.
    Let us not be so fast to look to the young just because they are young. Let us remember with age comes wisdom because we have lived longer and endured more. I’m all for us getting a coach who can work with young players, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be someone who is older!

    P.S. This team has very little luck so many of us knew they weren’t getting #1 overall. We’ve NEVER had the #1 pick overall and since 1967 have only had 1 pick in the top 4

    • May 4, 2018 at 11:51 am

      The only time the word “young” appears in this article, it was in reference to Ernst & Young. “Old” and “age” do not appear at all. There’s nothing here about age, in other words.

      I personally don’t care what age the coach is. I do care about their philosophy, however, and the reality is that many of the coaches above certain age thresholds have shown a general inability or unwillingness to involve the metrics that we have available to us today, if not an utter disregard for advanced metrics altogether. Many of them have shown a tangible preference for brands of hockey from days gone by, that no longer optimize effectiveness in today’s NHL.

      AV is 56. That’s not particularly up there in age for a coach. His failure to properly analyze his team’s performance and strengths and weaknesses according to what was happening on the ice – not according to his preconceived notions – and make the right calls for system, strategy, and deployment would be equally unacceptable if he was 36, or 76. He’s almost a perfect example of watching the game fly by one’s philosophy. He was considered to be quite innovative when he started with the Canadiens…problem is, he didn’t also evolve with the game from there. Along similar lines, Ruff doesn’t need to go because of his age – he needs to go because he’s not adding anything new to the equation – an equation that was an absolute dumpster fire last season, of course.

      Antiquated thinking has absolutely nothing to do with age directly…but it would be folly to fail to admit that there are certain probabilities of antiquated thinking in relation to age. I think a lot of the times people actually do say things like “fresh young coach”, if they really thought about it, the philosophy is what they truly mean – fresh philosophy. That said types of philosophy more often occur in younger coaches who are more focused on finding edges more frequently than coaches who have been set in their ways for some time and will not waver from their preferences is just how the cookie crumbles.

      • May 4, 2018 at 1:28 pm

        As far I can see, it has not been demonstrated that advanced metrics lead to better decision-making – or that new trends in thinking lead to better teams. While stereotypes are not entirely accurate, it is true that older people tend to be more conservative and less willing to change their thinking and younger people are quicker to embrace new fads, even ones that have not been well thought out.

        Can we please retire the stupid expression “dumpster fire”? Certainly in at least one game of the Winnipeg series, that expression would have described the Nashville defense. It’s all perspective.

        Reality: Forwards are good – they score goals. Goalies are good – they prevent goals. Defensemen are bad – they give up shots.

        • May 4, 2018 at 1:56 pm

          It frankly is just very, very basic common sense. You’re not seeing it because you are not looking for it. More informed = higher potential for successful decision making. This is a universal principle, and there need be no statistical representation that you approve of for it to be true. More information does not guarantee better decision making, because the information then needs to be processed correctly. This is – quite evidently – an area the Rangers have been lacking.

          4th worst in goals allowed, 2nd worst in shots allowed. That is over a season-long sample, not one night’s worth of games. What term would you like to see people use instead? “Trainwreck”? “Disaster of epic proportions”? “The very definition of putrid”? Something with a little less flare perhaps, like “quite obviously terrible”?

          How you can consistently be presented a picture of the sky and conclude it is not blue is beyond me, man. Sometimes the correct answer is the one right in front of you.

          • May 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm

            Common sense leads to promising ideas, but when these are used, they can be tested — and it is long past time for advanced metrics to be tested. Common sense also dictates scrapping stuff that does not work. I don’t know enough about organizations to do a study, but one can evaluate management and decide which teams embrace metrics and which don’t – and which fare better.

            Here is my common sense. Winning and losing is decided by goals for and against. That is the principal metric. Goals are the result of two factors – shots and the percentage of shots that go in. I actually analyzed the scoring in the 2016-2017 season. I looked at Goals For, thinking they would be a better test since they are not influenced by single goaltenders. Basically what I found was that the range in number of shots taken was not so large and in fact, goal scoring was overwhelmingly influenced by shooting percentage. So the key to scoring is converting the shots you take, not taking more shots. Yet the advanced metrics I have seen seem to be based on the philosophy that the key to success is maximizing shot differential and that shooting accuracy is basically luck.

            Anyway, were I a general manager, all else equal, I would trade players with good advanced metrics and acquire those with poor ones on the grounds that advanced metrics are overvalued in the community at large and of course you succeed by acquiring undervalued players and trading overvalued ones.


            The Rangers fielded two different defense corps this year. They began with McDonagh, Staal, Smith, Shattenkirk, Holden, Skjei, Kampfer and ended with Skjei, Gilmour, Pionk, Sproul, DeAngelo, O’Gara, Staal.

            Reality: They started with a reasonable defense that did fine with Hank was sharp and didn’t when Hank wasn’t. They finished with an AHL defense that simply bled shots. The season numbers were greatly skewed by the 40-50 shots a games the AHLers gave up. As I noted above, they don’t vary that much team to team.

            The first group was not a trainwreck. The second group was simply in over their head. If a high team played the Rangers, you would not say they were terrible; you would just say they were. a high school team.

            The biggest problem with the Ranger defense one the last several years has been that they are playing in front of Lundqvist. Hank was at one time playing at a HOF level. More recently, he has become a goalie who is still excellent when he is on, but has become increasingly inconsistent. But the fans insist on pretending he is the old Hank and when the puck goes in the net, someone has to be blamed.

            • May 4, 2018 at 2:59 pm

              Are you saying that sometimes Hank sucks? Blasphemy!

              • May 4, 2018 at 3:29 pm

                LOL, that’s not what Ray is saying. He’d have you believe Gorton could put me between the pipes, and you *might* see a marginal drop-off in GAA. Maybe.

              • May 4, 2018 at 3:33 pm

                Sometimes every player sucks. It’s not blasphemy. What’s ridiculous is to say great players suck over season-long stretches, or to say that career backups who wash out of starting jobs in 3 seasons are better players than 14-year starters who have set numerous NHL and NYR records.

            • May 4, 2018 at 3:36 pm

              I’ve been on record for some time now blaming the system more than the personnel in regards to the Rangers in their own end during AV’s tenure. Here’s the rub, though – it doesn’t matter why the defense has been bad when it comes to evaluating the goalies’ struggles in relation. Could be either. Doesn’t matter which. Peppered with high danger chances is peppered with high danger chances. Bleeding shots is bleeding shots.

              There’s no be-all end-all for advanced metrics. If that ever happens, they will be able to play the games on paper, instead. Corsi For %, for example, go over to Hockey Reference. Sort it by team over a decade. There are gonna be some outliers, like this year’s Carolina team. Those outliers, however, are going to be sprinkled in among a lot of solid teams. It’s a matter of probability – not infallibility.

              Wanna chance a guess which Rangers team in the AV Era had the best Corsi For %?

              • May 4, 2018 at 3:57 pm

                I don’t believe that it is true that the Ranger goalies have been peppered with high danger chances (though I have not seen the precise numbers). What I believe is that Lundqvist has been peppered with high danger chances. And so one must fault Hank.

                If you wear a seat belt and a situation arises where you need to exit your vehicle quickly, it may be a hindrance. You are ceding some control over your life in return for what is generally accepted as superior safety. There are millions of examples just like this. A goaltender wants to have as much control of the situation as possible – and also to keep the puck out of the net. Those goals are not the same, even though it is tempting to think that a goalie in control is maximally effective. Hank insists on control. It maximizes highlight reel saves. It maximizes performance on high danger shots. It may even maximize his chance of being a first ballot HOFer. It didn’t win a Cup.

              • May 4, 2018 at 4:02 pm

                Have you ever looked at the Corsi For % as you suggest? Whenever I do it, the numbers seem random. One year, Washington had the best record, Toronto the worst, and Corsi said Toronto was better.

                I’d guess 2014-2015 of course since Hank was injured, but I suppose you will say it was 2013-2014.

              • May 7, 2018 at 10:53 am

                Again, you can find outliers with Corsi. This is why I note that; to hopefully prevent one-off examples like this being used in retort as though they represent a big picture. When you look at the whole, a lot of teams who have appeared late in the playoffs in recent seasons had solid Corsi. Not too many teams who had terrible Corsi did the same.

                “What I believe is that Lundqvist has been peppered with high danger chances. And so one must fault Hank.”

                Don’t even know what to do with that. Really, at a loss. You’ve literally know begun to blame Hank for the types of shots the defense lets through.

    • May 4, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      Old and Old School are 2 very different things. Ruff’s age has little do with many of us fans dislike for him, it is his old school coaching ways, toughness over skill, grit over speed, and sitting young talent for “proven” but lesser veterans.

    • May 4, 2018 at 3:44 pm

      Johnny Red I am sorry you feel that way. But that is life. Out with the old and in with the new.

      I am not agreeing with the philosphy just stating that it is fact in this society. Now if this was japan …by all means your words and all the old people would be revered. But this is america land of the drive by shootings, mass shootings, mass car runovers you can find a fast food place no matter where you live 1.5 miles from your house. There are tons of stupidity every where in this country why would the young want to learn from the old?

  • May 4, 2018 at 10:19 am

    A good chance Wahlstrom will fall to 9 is going to be his 3 years away due to playing in college. No matter what if the pick is one of Dobson, Bouchard or Wahlstrom, it’ll be a great selection.
    Hughes and Hayton consolation

    Veleno and Kotkaniemi are your Lias Andrersson’s of this year that could shoot up the draft rankings and get selected earlier than projection. Veleno is a boom or bust selection who if he blooms could be the steal of the draft with elite talent potential or be the next Jessiman.

    3 teams that are going to be our nemesis for Wahlstrom are going to be Detroit, Chicago and Arizona. If they go D then Wahlstrom easily can be had at 9. Vancouver I am certain will draft a D too.

    • May 4, 2018 at 1:02 pm

      Leather I think projecting 3 years for a college bound Top 10 pick is a bit much. It’s going to be more like 1 or 2 years — If I’m figuring 3 years then it’s more likely a Russian or a 2nd round/mid-round college kid.

      What I’m wondering is which kid from 10-20 is going to be picked in the Top 10 and screw everything up. 😉

    • May 4, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      with Hockey I think college athletes are a little weird, just ask kevin hayes, Jimmy Vesey. But they developed into better players over there years in college, both were late round picks if I am correct. Leather does have a point about Walstrom. That is me taking leather at face value and not looking to see if this kid is a freshman. But seems like you do you homework so I trust your opinion.

      I honestly don’t care who we pick as long as it is a center. We need a center. Anything is a loss and a waste of a pick.

      • May 4, 2018 at 10:33 pm

        Wahlstrom is not Hayes or Vesey, I think he’s going to develop pretty quickly. In any event I hope Leather is right and “college” scares away the teams from 5-8 away.

  • May 4, 2018 at 11:33 am

    I’d like to see us trade down and get the isles 2 picks 11 + 12 for the 9 and one of our late first rounders. We might get 2 of those players at 11 +12.

    I have not heard anyone suggest this any thoughts I my idea?

    • May 4, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Can’t see the Islanders doing that, picking back to back is a good thing.

    • May 4, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      Fantastic idea! Am surprised no one suggested it. I am just doubt the islanders will do that with JT leaving them.

    • May 7, 2018 at 11:21 am

      … thought about that – but it really comes down if Isles had someone in mind at 9. Even tho’ will not happen – I would rather give them my 2 late rounders for either the 11 or the 12. 🙂

  • May 4, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Several thoughts on point #8 – on a modern approach, Lindy Ruff, and turning the page. Success in hockey is about having good players playing good systems with discipline and effort. I see no evidence whatsoever that those who have embraced new ideas have had greater success and moreover, the success of Vegas suggests that the rest of the league is generally making poor decisions.

    Why is Lindy Ruff still around? Well, unlike the other assistants, he doesn’t need to start looking for a new job. If somebody wants him, they will just ask. If the new coach wants him as an assistant, he will keep him. If not, he won’t. Also, a man who gives you both good advice and bad advice is useful if you can sort it out.

    Finally, the Rangers are not going to turn the page. This has been Henrik Lundqvist’s team for 13 years and will be for three more. Ironically, the only coach who might have changed the dynamic was Alain Vigneault, who understood after it was too late that you can’t win with a prima donna goalie.

    • May 4, 2018 at 11:53 am

      Your last paragraph is the dumbest assessment I’ve ever seen of the Vigneault Rangers era. You should be proud of yourself, it’s quite an achievement.

      • May 4, 2018 at 12:24 pm

        Or to put it another way: 70% of Vigneault’s last 539 wins as a coach have come off the backs of Roberto Luongo and Henrik Lundqvist. I’m pretty sure Vigneault would be viewed more as the mediocrity that he is without the 2 elite goalies he had as his primary netminders in Vancouver and New York. The fact that Vigneault moaned about both goalies says less about primadonna players than primadonna coaches.

        Do you pay any attention to stats at all? Or do you make this all up in your head?

      • May 4, 2018 at 12:36 pm

        No it isn’t. You just don’t remember what you read yesterday. In fact, my last paragraph is not even an assessment of the AV era.

        Here is an actual assessment. The Rangers configured their defense differently when Hank was in the net and when he was not. That is an inherently dumb idea (though it may be justified) because it leaves the team less comfortable with its systems. I am presuming – and have heard nothing suggesting otherwise – that the alternate system was the preferred system and the Hank system was at his request. The numbers that count (GAA, Save%) indicate that Hank got slightly inferior results to his backups over the course of AV’s tenure. [OK, the system did produce lots of highlight reel saves.]

        What does this all mean? Is Hank simply no better than Talbot, Raanta, Georgiev? Or has he been ineffective because the defense has played an inferior system that he has insisted on? I don’t know nor does anyone else because he has not let us find out.

    • May 4, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Gallant is a perfect example of a coach who adapts his systems to his players, not the other way around. Vegas is not at all an appropriate example of the stance you are taking. Exactly wrong.

      Lindy Ruff is still around because of his name and past reputation. The defense was an absolute dumpster fire last season. While it obviously is not the most skilled unit of defenders in the NHL, nobody knew where they were supposed to be, they overloaded far too frequently, and they relied on the boards far too much – that’s on coaching. Ruff should have been dismissed simultaneously with AV. Would you keep an employee around who was patently terrible at getting the results needed for the role? If so, probably because he is a friend. That’s pretty much the case with Ruff, apparently.

      AV has never had success when his goalies perform to simply average levels. They need to be top notch, because his defensive system is trash in his own end. AV’s best stints have been while his teams featured, as you like to put it, “prima donna” goalies. I’m sorry Ray, but unless you are mistaking “prima donna” to mean “extremely talented and clearly in the upper echelon of goalies for that generation”, then, again, exactly wrong.

      • May 4, 2018 at 12:55 pm

        Fun facts: Lundqvist’s W-L record on Jan 20, 2018 was 21-11-4. Lundqvist’s W-L record on trade deadline day 2014 was 22-20-3.

        In 2014, Lundqvist played well to make the Rangers deadline day sellers and a team that missed the playoffs. However, among tenders who appeared in 20+ games, Cam Talbot posted the second highest save percentage in NHL history and so instead of dealing Callahan for draft choices, he was traded for MSL. Now Talbot is not a HOF goaltender. Talbot’s stats merely indicate just how good the Ranger defense was back then – a defense that has rarely gotten its due because Hank has sucked all of the oxygen out of the room.

        And as for this year, again, the defense was not so bad before Jan 20. It was crippled by injuries to McDonagh and Shattenkirk and the absurd reassignment of Brendan Smith to Hartford. And even then, the team went 4-4-1 with Georgiev in net.


        Lindy Ruff is not still around because of his reputation. He is around because Gorton wants him around because he wants to hear what Ruff has to say. He is not coaching the defense now because the Rangers are not playing.

        But seriously, why do you give Hank a pass when it comes to the defense. They are designing the defense to suit his wishes, so he is a coach. And they are playing two different defenses so of course they screw up more than teams that play only one.

        • May 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm

          Cam Talbot is already considered a failure by the Edmonton fanbase after a mere 3 years on the job as a #1 goalie. You really need to stop citing a hot month in Talbot’s career as a Ranger as “proof” of your asinine contention that Lundqvist is an inferior player. It is unbelievable that you repeatedly cling to this. Backups aren’t starters; starters don’t usually last 14 seasons on the job. The list of durable elite NHL goalies of the past 15 years starts with Luongo and Lundqvist. Talbot is not on this list, not even close.

          Hašek liked his dmen to front as well. Carey Price doesn’t. I’d take Hašek every time.

          • May 4, 2018 at 1:35 pm

            You really need to learn to read. What I said, in very blunt terms, was that the Ranger defense in 2013-2014 was so good that a mediocre goaltender could post the second best save percentage of all time and still with that defense in front of him, Lundqvist was so poor that the team would have missed the playoffs without Talbot’s wins.

            • May 4, 2018 at 1:57 pm

              The defense was made to look better than it was by the goalies that year. You’re talking about a year in which the Rangers’ overall team SV% was tied for 3rd in the league (Boston, LA, Rangers/Montreal was the order of finish). While that was going on, the Rangers goalies had to make 300+ more saves than LA goalies, and 50+ more saves than Boston’s goalies. So you’re wrong as usual—in 2013-14 the defense was being made to look better by Lundqvist and his backup, as has been the case since Henrik has been here. Hank & Talbot faced slightly more shots than average, the Rangers were middle-of-the-pack in shots allowed.

            • May 4, 2018 at 2:05 pm

              You continue to ignore reams of data over years’ worth of time in the process of propping up – as MC noted – one month’s worth of data regarding a goalie who came in hot and the rest of the league knew little about what weaknesses of his to exploit. You continue to trash a no doubt first-ballot hall of fame goalie in favor of guys who will most likely be forgotten immediately after their careers end.

              • May 4, 2018 at 3:14 pm

                C’mon Egelstein, you are a smart guy and you should know better than to echo anything MC says. What was the month you are talking about? HINT: There wasn’t one. The month MC is referring to is no doubt March 2015, which IIRC was not part of the 2013-2014 season. Talbot did play a handful of games in a row in December when AV benched Hank to help him get his head on straight, but Hank’s injury was the next year.

                Also, just because MC thinks I am praising Talbot does not mean that I am. The Cam Talbot of that season was not in a zone; he simply did a workmanlike job and posted the second best save percentage in NHL history among tenders who played 20+ games. He was amazing simply by taking advantage of what was a truly stellar defense.

                And it is interesting to consider this year. Edmonton had a horrid defense, worse I suspect than the Rangers for much of the year but of course better at the end. I doubt the defense affected the goalie stats particularly. Talbot by all accounts was unsatisfactory. Talbot and Hank faced the same number of shots. Talbot gave up fourteen more goals. 14! Hank was less than 1/4 goal per game better than a guy who couldn’t do his job.

                Let’s start where we agree. From 2005-2013, Hank was a stellar goalie. I am not sure whether that constitutes a HOF career out just a really good start to a HOF career, but he was a true star. I agreed with Sather’s decision to give Hank a great contract the following season and I agreed with AV’s decision to use Hank in the playoffs despite the fact that Talbot had posted better numbers. Hank deserved to be regarded as the unquestioned Ranger starter. [And in what was otherwise a lackluster year he did singlehandedly beat the Penguins in Round 2.]

                Where we disagree is in assessing Lundqvist 2013-2018. What is statistically clear is that there has been no positive correlation between putting Lundqvist in the game and reducing the number of goals scored against the Rangers. And I guess I think that that is what good performance means. And while I agree with cutting a star some slack, it’s been five years.

      • May 4, 2018 at 1:13 pm

        I wasn’t citing Vegas as an example. I was questioning the embrace of modern ideas – that it is all about possession and puck moving defensemen. My observation was simply that brain trusts of most teams likely have it wrong if the new kid on the block can succeed so quickly.

        I might also point out the similarity between the Vegas team and the Rangers of recent history — eighteen skaters who were all legitimate NHLers working hard – as opposed to a few elite players, a solid middle group and a fourth line, third defensive pair that belongs in the AHL.

        • May 4, 2018 at 2:10 pm

          It’s actually a really good point, that Vegas and the Rangers aren’t all that different in structure. You conveniently left out great goalkeeping, as would be expected. So, what’s different? The coaching. Rangers were old school brain trust lately – I mean, dear lord, what more than the hiring of Lindy Ruff, whose philosophy is literally about two decades old and stopped working well about ten ago, do you need to see that? You’ve, again, somehow managed to turn pretty blatant tangible realities into some sort of bizarre set of “alternative facts”.

          • May 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm

            ????? Actually, the Rangers were not unsuccessful. I believe they even reached the SC finals in 2014!!! And I was not referring to the 2017-2018 Rangers. A big difference between Vegas and the competitive Rangers of recent history on one hand and the present Rangers and many other teams is exemplified by Paul Carey. Not a true NHLer, just playing because there was no one better.

            Yes, the Rangers had good goaltending for the most part. Here is my problem. During the AV area, the Rangers used five tenders in 5+ games: Lundqvist, Talbot, Raanta, Pavelek, Georgiev. Which of the five stands out from the others (ignoring playing time)? Everyone else here would say Hank, but I would argue that it was Pavelek. A principal reason that the core goalie stats do not say that Hank was better than his backups was because those backups were damn good. Raanta was so good at Arizona this year that he should have been in Vezina competition. Talbot was stellar as a Ranger and has been good at times since. Georgiev was red hot with an awful Wolfpack team when he was recalled. When Hank had a backup who has no business being an NHL starter (Pavelek), he was clearly the best goalie on the team.

            Look, Hank is a good goalie when he has head on straight. The problem is that when the world revolves around him, he is not good enough to win. And the world seems to revolve around him.

            At this point, Fleury is better. Playing with Sidney Crosby has kept him from being bigger than life. Losing his job to Matt Murray has given him true humility. I don’t know what Hank could do with those advantages, but I do know that he is not quite good enough without them.

            • May 5, 2018 at 11:35 am

              Anybody could’ve coached the 2013-14 Rangers to the Cup final by merely not being Torts and running players into the ground during the regular season.

              AV couldn’t even remember that by year 2. I’m sure that minature President’s Trophy was worth it.

    • May 4, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      Lindy Ruff is probably around for some continuity. Management couldn’t very well keep any AV guys around, so Ruff provides something of a link.

      • May 4, 2018 at 1:23 pm

        Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld is why Ruff is still here. They were teammates on the Buffalo Sabres—that’s the connection. Everybody keeps forgetting that.

    • May 4, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      What I am gathering here is Ray is trying to point out that goalies, even the so called elite ones rely on team defense. You can make any goalie look good or bad based off of team defense.

      Not sure if any of you have actually played the position or studied it as deep as I have but there is a great misnomer about talented goalies out there. And again I will point to Ben Scrivens article in the players tribute as a must read. It is what got him booted from the nhl. He really breaks it down. please read it.

      I think ray’s issue is that if Hank is actually dictating how players play in front of him then it doesn’t matter who we get back there and who we have as coach cause Hank dictates the play. Which if is true is utterly ridiculous. NO GOALIE NO MATTER WHAT SHOULD DICTATE PLAY.

      If I am wrong Ray then I am sorry.

  • May 4, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    I would think we have a coach before draft day so as to have some sort of input on players he may coach in his tenure.

    Lindy may not be around after the draft, or if the new coach has a system (I sure hope so). I am guessing Drury may be heading up the player review for us. Either way we add talent to the troops. If you think about it, we may have Chytil, Andersson and Letteri on the opening night roster. Add Zinbad, Buch and Kreider, you have 8 forward roster spots left for guys like Fast, Zucc, Vesey etc. Makes me think we will add a free agent or 2.

    This is all supposition until draft day anyway.

    • May 4, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Gorton cited the start of free agency as a time he’d ideally have a coach selected by, not by the time of the draft. I don’t think it is important to him that the next coach have draft input, because I think he is looking specifically for an “Anti-AV”. It seems to me that he wants a coach who will adjust the system to the players, not attempt to do things the other way around. If that is in fact the case, I applaud that line of thinking. I suspect he is looking for a Swiss army knife, not a hammer.

      • May 4, 2018 at 2:55 pm

        I hear you, but without any input on players, a coach can use the GM as a scapegoat (this is his team, not mine). If you utilize the new coaches input, he can “own” the team. Just my opinion.

        • May 4, 2018 at 3:23 pm

          I mean, if you have one or two missing pieces that the coach really is adamant need to be a certain style, while usually he trusts scouting and the GM, that’s one thing. Not where the Rangers are, though – they have a lot to figure out, and there are more than one or two pieces missing.

          I look at it like this: I want the GM of my teams to pick out the puzzle and make sure the pieces fit. I really don’t care if the coach prefers the picture that it makes, so long as he understands it is his job to make that picture complete. At the end there, AV was basically cutting up pieces of the puzzle to make his own, different mural.

          • May 4, 2018 at 4:36 pm

            In the end, this is a balancing act, but I think your basic premise is wrong. I think that TEAMS win and collections of players lose. To have a team, one needs a team concept. The best way to create a team concept is to have a system that works in general, not one that is tailored to the players. Tailoring the system to the players is a recipe for a team where the players are more important than the team.

            Within reason of course. Should your goalie handle the puck? Well, you should not be blind to whether your goalie is Lundqvist or Rinne. And good goalies are hard enough to come by that you can just go out and get the kind you want. And of course, if your system is too hard, then it isn’t any good.

            But there are a wealth of players like Jesper Fast, Michael Grabner, Nick Holden, Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes — and you can collect some that fit your system and trade those that don’t. I suspect that guys like Fast can play almost any system and guys like Zherdev need just the right system and maybe you just stay away from such players.

        • May 4, 2018 at 3:25 pm

          I agree. 100 Percent. I said this awhile ago. And it matters because Chytil and Andersson were selected while AV was here. So are those his and Gortons players or just Gorton? I think it is just Gorton. This team is going to be his idea of a what is needed and the coach is just a figure head to handle the media

          • May 4, 2018 at 4:26 pm

            We need to try to do it Gorton’s way or we will have Slats back in 2020

  • May 4, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    What do you think about trading down from 9.

    If we aren’t going to get that generational talent and the staff has identified diamonds in the deep draft. Is it better to get more picks that can pan out vs one that might not.

  • May 4, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Completely disagree with your take on “hard to play against.”

    I feel that’s been one attribute missing badly from this organization. We went from the Black and Blue Rangers to a very soft Turn the Other Cheek roster.

    If you’re watching the playoffs, then you see. You need a mix. A roster full of soft, skilled players is not going to get far. Marchand is very “hard to play against” and he’s not a big player and definitely doesn’t suck. You can be both…. it’s not one or the other.

    • May 4, 2018 at 3:11 pm

      Both sets of attributes in the same body don’t grow on trees, unfortunately. When in doubt, go with skill, IMO. However, Gorton has shown he believes in both attributes in players, and Howden, Lindgren, and Hajok all would be examples of players he went out and got recently that I think are hybrids. That probably is not a new philosophy of his.

      I suspect AV was a significant factor in why the Rangers got this “soft” label from some. I know, it seems like I am blaming the coach for absolutely everything now, and…well, to a degree, yes, I am. I’d personally contend that you don’t make the NHL if you are “soft”; you’re weeded out long before then. AV overreacted to mistakes – especially penalties – by younger or less-favored players, and playing as hard as possible unfortunately often comes with a higher risk of mistakes and penalties. Not to mention, they all were probably constantly preoccupied mentally IMO with how unnecessarily complicated AVs systems were. Then, further add to the equation a removal of confidence/stability by the coach with his constant quick-trigger line/minutes demotions and constant line tinkering overall…these things affect a player’s motor. It’s hard to optimize physical performance when the mind is fogged.

      I think especially the last two seasons, much of the roster was playing hesitant and confused, much of the time. Buchnevich’s recent comments – as one would expect – were pretty damning towards AV. Even if a little was lost in translation, you could plainly tell that Buchnevich has been rattled by his treatment in NY so far. I’m willing to bet that if/when they have a coach who has the room, and will instill confidence, along with simplification of the systems…these guys will be feeling their oats a little more. I think we will see more confident, energetic, and therefore physical hockey from them if the next coach is the right selection.

    • May 4, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      IMO hard to play against is just a compete level thing. How badly do you want to win? Stated all the time about elite players…they will do anything to win. Sidney, St. Louis, Zuc, Kessel, Kane, Kopitar, Kucerov, they are competitors. They want to beat you every shift.

      Kreider is a perfect example of old school hard to play against mentality. When he first got up he tried to punish players with his hits. What he realized soon after was he was constantly out of position after his bone shattering hits. I just saw a highlight of Byfgulain smashing some nashville player but in doing so he created a 2 on 1 in nashvilles favor. They didn’t score but still the chance was there. Does that affect the player the next time he is in that position? I am sure he will think twice cause the sacrifice he made was pointless, But you know it is there.

      So I just think this last year the Rangers as a whole had no compete level once the all star break was over and even players like Zuc just stopped competing. That was not the case 2 years ago.

  • May 4, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Hockey goalies need to stop pucks and shut their cakeholes. Nothing more annoying to a player then having his goalie yapping at him.

    • May 4, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      Throw the pads on for a game, Bloomer. Might change your perspective.

      • May 4, 2018 at 8:59 pm

        Theere is a difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Obviously it is useful if the tender helps direct traffic, but frustration expressed by a goalie who is already getting 100% of the credit for team successes and no blame for failures is a definite no-no.

        Interesting tidbit: Jacques Plante is created with the innovation of helping to position the defense in-game.

      • May 4, 2018 at 10:49 pm

        Naw we always put the nerdy chubby kid who couldn’t skate in net.

  • May 4, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    I remember playing rugby 7s freshman year as a 1st timer against an organized high school team. 1st half they ran rings around us. 2nd half we knocked their peckers in the dirt. For some reason they stopped running so fast.

  • May 4, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Exactly my point Ray.

  • May 4, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    Dan Girardi with the OT winner tonight for Tampa Bay. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t good enough to play for the Rangers. Karma is a bitch.

  • May 4, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    —Callahan, Mcdonagh, Miller, Girardi, Strallman………are not just role players,but a major part of Tampa’s success!!!!!!
    —Chara …..I feel like Charles Barkley and I want to punch Chara in the face! Ran away from Boogard and John Scott but likes to run the tylor johnsons of the league….Punk!
    —Miller passing up scoring attempts to pass…….expect that to change soon with this quality coach…..
    —Marchant needed to be thrown out of the game for diving at knees!!!
    —If Tampa wins the cup Glen Sather and Gorton should get Rings.

    • May 5, 2018 at 8:09 am

      And Girardi FTW in OT

    • May 5, 2018 at 9:09 am

      It seems you’re posting while full of rage again, maybe you need to chill out a little bit. Let’s address a few things here:

      —Zdeno Chara is a hall of famer who has played 20 seasons in this league at a very high level of play. Derek Boogaard is dead from a combination of CTE and opioid addiction, and John Scott is a goon and terrible hockey player. To suggest out of these 3 players that Chara is the dishonorable one is completely laughable. Chara is pound for pound the toughest European player that’s ever played in the NHL, and I’ve seen him crush people with bodychecks and in fights. He’s not one to shy away from fights, even with circus acts like Boogaard and Scott. 20-year NHL veterans may be a lot of things but they sure aren’t punks.

      —if Tampa wins it’s good for the Rangers, so stop complaining about them winning.

      —for a JT Miller fan you seem to not know his game. Passing up scoring opportunities in the playoffs is how this talented yet lunkheaded player operates. That’s why 2 separate Ranger Head coaches were frustrated with the allegedly hard-to-coach Miller. That’s why Tampa can have him as far as I’m concerned. He’s a terrible defensive player still as well.

  • May 5, 2018 at 10:23 am

    We need a coach and a system and the right players for that system and team chemistry and leadership. Right now we don’t know how it will all unfold. It’s hard to talk about individual players except that we do not need forwards on our team that are defensive liabilities. Gorton should know this when discussing trades but we should have a coach before the draft since Gorton is not coaching the team. If AV coached Vegas, they may have missed the playoffs with the system AV would have used. The Vegas coach gets the most of what he has on the ice.

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