What can the Rangers do to beat the predictions?

pavel buchnevich chris kreider
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/AP

The predictions are in, and the Rangers are projected to finish with less than 80 points. It’s easy to see why the Rangers are predicted to be bottom feeders. The defense has been a train wreck for a while, they are clearly rebuilding, they are focusing on youth and growth, and they have a rookie head coach. There’s nothing off about these predictions.

However predictions are just that, predictions. There is room to improve, especially for a team that has a lot of skill up front and in net. Plus the rookie coach is just that, a rookie coach. No one really knows what to expect from David Quinn. With all these variables, the Rangers can beat these predictions.

Let’s start with Henrik Lundqvist. He’s still an elite level goalie, even at 36 years old. Don’t be fooled by his GAA/SV% last year. Hank faced the toughest workload of any goaltender in terms of average shot distance faced, and it wasn’t even close. Any sort of improvement on defense means better numbers for Hank.

Moving on to that blue line, this is where the prediction models hate the Rangers. And let’s be real here, there’s good reason for it. The Rangers are returning the same defensive unit as last year, which wasn’t that good. Any chance for improvement on the predictions comes from the defense. With the same personnel, it’s going to be all systems based. This is where we will see if the issue really was Alain Vigneault’s system.

Up front, the Rangers are skilled. Assuming everyone remains healthy, they have a young, fast, and skilled top-nine that could cause some issues for opposing teams. If you assume defensive improvements, it means more time in the offensive zone. In theory, that means more scoring opportunities, and more of a chance of beating those predictions.

Personally, I think the Rangers are going to finish over the high-70s predictions. I’m all in on the defensive system being the issue, which means the personnel should all improve. But that’s just my prediction. The one thing I’ve learned is that my predictions mean diddly.

"What can the Rangers do to beat the predictions?", 5 out of 5 based on 11 ratings.

36 thoughts on “What can the Rangers do to beat the predictions?

  • Sep 15, 2018 at 8:56 am

    Rangers will likely be very inconsistent team due to roster and possible roster movement during season, even if Quinn and his systems are effective and promising. Likely type of team that can unexpectedly beat you one night and unexpectedly lose the next. Likely a tough team to play against if only for that reason. Unpredictable. Only chance for any consistency is if Quinn and systems really take hold, and it will not be his fault if it takes more than a year. Like Parcells in football though, if he is the real thing then we should see at least consistent effort and consistent progress even if slow.

  • Sep 15, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Gotta get rid of hank. The defense has to play a certain way for him to be effective. They need to leave the lane open so he can see the shot. His twitch reflexes have lost a bit of its old speed. Positionally he played great last year. He just can’t make some of those saves he used to.

    You can blame it on the defense but the reality is the goalie is the last guy who can stop the puck

    • Sep 15, 2018 at 7:18 pm

      You probably blame a catcher when the pitcher lobs a beachball down the middle of the plate because “the reality is the catcher is the last guy to touch the ball after a pitch”.

    • Sep 15, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      Mikey, this comment of yours is extremely nieve and shows very little understanding of hockey.

      Every goalie needs a defense to play a certain way to be effective…and by that i mean they actually have to play defense. You take an elite goal scorer with the ability to put the puck anywhere on net, an not be pressured by a defender and they will suceed more often than fail. A goalie only has the size to cover 60-65% of the net. Making the a first save and not having a defnder clearing the crease for a second attempt is not on a goalie.

      You take a below average group of defensemen and add a horrid coaching system and it is destined to fail. If you think any goalie could have succeeded with what we saw last year you are completely unrealistic.

      • Sep 15, 2018 at 8:01 pm

        The team asked him to take a trade so they can rebuild and he told them no

        He will be exposed by whatever system they play until adjustments are made to help him deal with it. Negating the value of the system.

        I don’t see how him chewing up starting time that can go to developing a younger player.

        And he has a huge cap hit to a team not going to win the Stanley cup with him on the roster. 2-3 years out hank is retired.

        What’s naieve is believing that he will somehow defy time, turn in a vezina performance and single handedly carry the team to the cup ala uncle Daddy.

        • Sep 16, 2018 at 10:54 am

          They didn’t ask him to allow a trade. They asked him IF he wanted to be traded. Big difference. Stop making things up.

          • Sep 16, 2018 at 11:16 am

            Maybe, maybe not. Lundqvist is the 1000 pound gorilla sitting on the Rangers’ throat. He has to be approached tactfully and the way you approach someone like him is to phrase things from his point of view. So you would not dare say, “Can we trade you?” when you can say “Maybe you would be happier elsewhere since we won’t be contending anytime soon?” So we can’t make inferences from the words that we were given. [And it would unnecessarily annoy Hank fans if it were reported that the Rangers asked to trade him and he refused.]

            Of course, as Lundqvist has negligible trade value and the Rangers don’t have cap issues, a trade doesn’t help, so why not keep him to please fans.

            HOWEVER, in terms of making things up, Mikeyyy doesn’t come close to the “Hank is still an elite goaltender.” Which to justify requires the very hateful (yes hateful) criticism of what was a stellar defense.

            I would not have done this, but if what the Rangers did in summer 2017 was buy out Hank instead of Girardi, avoid the Stepan trade, don’t sign Smith, and address the lack of forward depth, the Rangers contend instead of collapse.

            • Sep 16, 2018 at 1:54 pm

              Wow. Wow.

              They buy out hank, then become a contender with Raanta in net?

              • Sep 16, 2018 at 5:42 pm

                People who don’t follow hockey very closely shouldn’t make silly comments.

                Among goalies who played 40+ games last year, the best in GAA and save percentage was Raanta. The .930 save percentage posted by Raanta was achieved exactly once in his career by Hank and he won the Vezina that year. Raanta was flat out the best goalie in the NHL last year.

                Now, I said in my comment that I would not have made the moves I suggested. That Raanta was the best goalie in hockey last year is hindsight and was likely expected by no one. But it is nonetheless true. Nor did I have the foresight to see that signing Brendan Smith was a waste of money (which some others did). I did see that the Rangers were careless about forward depth.

                But in hindsight, Raanta over Lundqvist would have been a major upgrade in goal, Girardi over Smith a major upgrade on defense, Stepan would still have been here, and the Rangers would not have had to resort to guys like Carey and McLeod. That is a much better team.

                No one is saying i hope that Raanta is as good as the Vezina-winning Lundqvist. But neither is Hank.

            • Sep 16, 2018 at 3:39 pm

              And then there are those times when hindsight is not 20/20 but is in need of corrective lenses.

  • Sep 15, 2018 at 10:54 am

    After the trade deadline last season it seemed like the Rangers were giving up 50 shots a game. They added a couple of vets to their Blueline and if they change up their system it’s very possible we could see a marked improvement on defense. And yes this will make life easier for their goaltenders for sure.

    On the attack, their PP gets a boost with a healthy Shattenkirk, and their forwards are just hitting their prime years so it’s possible they could provide more scoring.

    The Blue Shirts are in a very competitive Metro Division. And what killed them last season was a lack of depth, when they got struck by the injury bug. If their prospects can step in and contribute when needed, the Rangers have a chance to squeak into the playoffs.

    • Sep 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm

      Pass me some of that koolaid.

  • Sep 15, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Kevin Hayes-“I had a great conversation with Dru (Chris Drury) and Gorts (GM Jeff Gorton) as soon as I signed my contract. I believe there’s no inclination of me being trade bait or me thinking that I’m going to be out of here. I did not sign a one-year deal to go to free agency…”

    This season is setup so that he’ll earn his 6+ million dollar contract and clause right away. I think it’s going to be fun seeing him more offensive position to score this season.

    • Sep 15, 2018 at 4:10 pm

      It’s gonna be so awesome to see your reaction when Hayes is traded. Are you making up quotes now, or just too lazy to attribute where you got this hot scoop on Hayes’ future with the team?

      • Sep 15, 2018 at 4:35 pm

        When you need to use that line of “making up quotes” as if that’s such a thing in this day and age than you’re to far gone in La La land for me.

        I will give you my secret layer where I go to found these hidden quotes of mine. I must you warn, the web is deep and sometimes you’re going to need my verification in order to crack these wonderful made “up quotes”

        Top secret source: ******John Giannone’s Twitter******** Dunnn Dunn dun. If you tell anyone outstside of this place else than I’ll end you. (That goes for everyone)

        • Sep 15, 2018 at 9:49 pm

          Mum the word Mint. No leakers here.

        • Sep 16, 2018 at 11:02 am

          Again, try attributing your quotes when you first cite them. Given your borderline stalker fandom of Kevin Hayes, it seems to me that you comment regularly based on your fantasies rather than real statistical evidence or actual articles by sportswriters. So therefore yes, I do assume that most of what you say is made-up.

          • Sep 16, 2018 at 1:26 pm

            “Oof” you want that cited as well?

            Lol yeah I’ll get right on on my citations for you once you admit that you’re apesh*t crazy.

    • Sep 16, 2018 at 6:16 am

      Again, why would the Rangers give Hayes $6M+?

      If they do, then my opinion is that Gorton really doesn’t know what he’s doing.

      • Sep 16, 2018 at 7:31 am

        He wouldn’t get 6. you can bank on 5.25-5 .5 though. Im not so sure I’d do that – esp considering they just got 3 first rd pick “centers”.

        I’m not sold on Gorton tho. That skjei deal was lunacy IMO.

        • Sep 16, 2018 at 10:49 am

          The Skjei deal is like playing Russian roulette for the next 3 seasons. I have my doubts about it but if he ended up looking like a second pair with problems in his own end still than the deal was a major fail. I rather see JG meet Darnell Nurse in the middle of his demands than put a question mark on the first pair.

          You can bank on Hayes receiving more than 5.7 in his extension with the Rangers. Enough wind has been let out that the FO was going to give him between Zib’s money and 5.5. They gave him the same prove it contract that Karlsson got basically from LVGK. 6 years for 5.5 is just out of touch with reality unless you’re one of those “than I won’t personally sign him arm chair GM’s”. He will be in a position to get what JG and Quinn have told the press and that’s looking like a 6+ dollar deal.

          • Sep 16, 2018 at 4:59 pm

            You may get your wish bro, Zib was tested for a concussion is fine. But that’s not a good sign at all.

            • Sep 16, 2018 at 5:45 pm

              I think Hayes could win it on his own so I wouldn’t call it a wish, actually it’s far from it. This ruins my wish of flipping Zib in a package to trade for Panarin. Maybe they add Lias and Spooner to make it work? I think Howden will end up being the better player.

              I’ve been preaching Zib’s lack of durability pretty soundly since Quinn became the new coach. It’s been in your face hockey kind of talk all summer long and as you know, you need to take those lumps in a system like that.

              • Sep 16, 2018 at 6:15 pm

                I mean Zib getting tested out and the preseason games haven’t even started yet?

                Not good.

              • Sep 16, 2018 at 7:02 pm

                Nah man I agree it’s not good at all. This is probably why Spooner and Vladdy are still around. They’re good stopgap players for the kids and incase for injuies in the top 6. I think what made this worst is the style of play that’s expected from now on and intense practices. Will a injury prone body hold up on team that wants to play rugged? I’m assuming that Zib banged his head a couple times last summer.

        • Sep 16, 2018 at 1:59 pm

          $5M+? That’s what Hayes got for one year. If he got that for 5-6 years then he should fire his agent and look in the mirror to call himself a moron.

          Hayes will be looking for a Stepan deal ($6.5M per) if he does anything positive this year, like reach either over or close to 60 pts.

          And going back to the one year deal to Hayes, why not go to arbitration and pay less than the $5.25M? The only reason I have is that the Rangers ARE “maybe” looking to extend him, which, again, would be very foolish.

      • Sep 16, 2018 at 5:56 pm

        Because of the rise in the salary cap, salaries are going up. It makes way more sense to give Hayes $6M than to give $4M to Namestnikov or $2M to Vesey. Zib would get $6M+ easily now. Not taking a position on what the Rangers should do, but likely Hayes will get that much.

        The numbers will shock us for a while.

        • Sep 16, 2018 at 6:19 pm

          I’m not shocked by the $$, but it’s a player by player value type of thing.

          A player can be making $1M per and be a cap waste. Or like trading for McQuaid and incurring an almost $3M cap hit for a team that’s going no where this year.

          A 4th round pick is not a big deal in of in itself, but using it to help trade up in the 2nd round to get a good prospect is worth something.

  • Sep 15, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    The defense will be better then we may think as compared to last year, if healthy. Consider this: Shatty played on one leg half of the year until he went down with the injury. Though not renowned for his defense, a healthy Shatty should help.
    Pionk was good, and will have another year of experience under his belt to improve on defense.
    Brady Skjei had an off year, but under a new system and being the young talent he is, he should bounce back to his rookie form, if not better.
    Classen, I don’t know much about, but he was the stay at home type of D-man for Ottawa who I believe did play along side Erik Karlsson. May bring some stability.
    Staal is Staal.
    De Angelo, still young, could mature and flourish under a new manager
    McQuaid will clear the crease, bring a physical element that was missing, and bring a good veteran presence to the team.
    Maybe one of the young defense prospects may step up.
    With all these variables, I truly believe the defense has to be better then last years defensive disaster. Don’t forget, they also need to be able to score goals, which may be a problem.

  • Sep 15, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    As the post points out the defense will be essentially the same personnel as last year so… Expect similar results there. the d core was the same when tort changed to AV and the team still hemmoraged shots. So I’m expecting no different.

    One Of the ways to alleviate this is more o zone POSESSION TIME.

    this requires personnel who shoot the puck. So don’t count on that. BUT Perhaps this is where Quinn can make his most immediate impact in the teaching game. Strategies for PUCK POSESSION TIME.

    • Sep 16, 2018 at 7:33 am

      sorry for this unhinged rant – and yes its posSession .

  • Sep 16, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Zib left the ice today with a head injury…..

    • Sep 16, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      I saw somewhere that Quinn told the media that he’s fine. It looks like they took him off for tomorrow’s game and replaced him with Hayes and also added Meskanen who I think replaced Vladdy.

      It’s not a good start for Zib when you want to consider a hungry group of 1st rounders that want to make the roster and a FA who is looking for a big extension. Management announcing it none one and done deal makes it that much more critical that Zib shows good durability. It sounds like this is how Quinn’s practices will be run,” relentless ” hockey battles, gotta stay healthy to make it in this system.

    • Sep 16, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      I have repeatedly called him Mr. Softee. Yet you all have high hopes for him. Listen to him speak. He might have amazing talent but he is just not mentally tough. Soccer would have suited him better. Serious trade talks should start taking place right away. He can’t hack it.

      • Sep 16, 2018 at 9:33 pm

        Speak for yourself, I been in the wtf has Zib done all his career to be considered a quality 2c narrative since day 1. In both 80 game seasons, he hasn’t shown much, touching north of 50 points once with 51 points and 21 goals to show for it. Homies a 40+ player in a top 6 and PP role who happens to be prone to injuies. Go listen to Quinn and his views on practice and this time span before regular season starts, it doesn’t sound so hot for Zibby.

  • Sep 16, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    At the trading deadline if something makes a great offer for Hank that will set up the franchise for the next five years I’ll drive him to the airport myself

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