Thoughts following Rangers/Devils

Hockey season kicked off yesterday, with the Rangers taking the ice for the first time since April. Preseason hockey has a different feel for the Rangers this season, since they are not expected to be Cup contenders. It’s a shift from preseason to get back into games to preseason to see how the kids have grown, what the Rangers have in new kids, and what we will see in the revamped forward group.

Last night’s game was likely a microcosm of what to expect from the season. The Rangers will have defensive structure. They will have flashes of brilliance, flashes of dullness, and a lot of in between. It’s the preseason, so I’m avoiding the full goal breakdowns for now. Here are some thoughts.

  • Chris Kreider was killing penalties. Get used to it. The best thing to have on the PK is speed and awareness. Kreider has both. He did not look out of place. The best teams use their best players in all situations, and the Rangers will need to use Kreider like that as well.
  • On the first penalty kill, I was really focusing on how the Rangers approached it. The system really doesn’t matter, since PK systems are pretty standard. What I did notice was the defensemen took a much more traditional approach to the PK. The strong side D would follow the play while the weak side D was planted in front. When the puck crossed the ice, they switched. Much more traditional, and much easier to adopt.
  • At even strength, the defense was very similar. If there is one thing to take away from this game, then it’s this. The defense will have structure.
  • The power play was a clear 1-3-1. The major difference is that the skaters actually, you know, moved around and created different looks. This is something last year’s PP style lacked. They just stood around and passed. This game they moved and forced the goalie to move.
  • On the Lappin goal, it was a classic breakdown. There were three guys caught on the forecheck, but it didn’t matter much as it wasn’t an odd-man rush back. Neal Pionk kept the play to the outside, and Marc Staal took the first man low in Brian Boyle. Both were proper moves. It was Cody McLeod who was following the puck and not the play, leaving the man open in front for the shot.

  • The Quenneville goal was much different. There was no breakdown of any sort that I saw. It was a clear case of being shorthanded. The Blueshirts forced Quenneville to take the shot from the outside of the circle. It was just perfectly placed.

  • The Lias goal was a thing of beauty, going top shelf short side on the breakaway while shorthanded. But it was Jesper Fast who created the turnover by pressuring Taylor Hall in the neutral zone.

  • Remember when Kevin Hayes couldn’t win faceoffs? He has really rounded out his game well. I hope I’m wrong and that he’s a part of the future, and not just trade bait.
  • It was tough to see how the Rangers are going to be on the forecheck because most of the game was played on special teams. It’s standard for the refs though, call everything in the preseason and then slowly begin swallowing whistles until June. Par for the course.
  • I didn’t think the hit on Boo Nieves (by Eric Gryba) was a headshot. It certainly wasn’t clean, but it didn’t look like a headshot. The main point of contact looked to be the chest, but their heads collided.
  • Lias Andersson and Tony DeAngelo both had strong games. However they will make the roster based on their last two games of the preseason, not the first two.
"Thoughts following Rangers/Devils", 5 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.

43 thoughts on “Thoughts following Rangers/Devils

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 6:11 am

    Like I wrote in the last thread, not sure that ADA can run a 1-3-1 PP. kept on drifting left, forced Buchnevich off the half wall to the top of the circle, makes it easier for weak side F to cut off passing lane.

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 6:28 am

    Didn’t see the game, but heard another Ranger takes a headshot and no response. Again. Same ole.

    Dave, I saw the replay and it looked like Gryba caught Boo in the chin. There was a replay from behind Gryba that showed it.

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 7:15 am

      Fast went at him, linesman got in the way. Gotta like that.

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Lias shined…I have to eat my words. He really looked good out there with Fast. Buch looked like a beast out there. Obviously not sure if it was against rookies or vets, but we will find out. Krieder did him…skate real fast up the wing but put nothing in the net. But man is he quick.

    One change I noticed was the team as a whole was standing up on the boards alot more. Feel like last season we would bail as soon as the opposition had the puck. Like we would pressure the man but not necessarily take away the boards. Lias’s shorty was a perfect example of what I am talking about but we did it alot more on the offensive side…so I am guessing that is what a 1-3-1 looks like when it works.

    Now for the empty cup side…Gettinger needs to go…looks lost out there. Mcleod also. No need for that guy now that you have McQuiad. But McQuaid might look just as bad as Mcleod so lets wait and see. Lindquist is still a kid …needs a lot more seasoning.

    ps I think lindgren looked good. I just think he didn’t play any special teams so he wasn’t as noticable. Him and Claesson are the same except the latter got lots of short handed time. Hope he gets more of a look. He looks like a solid player. I want him to succeed cause from my eye test he looks really good at positioning and moving the puck.

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      Have to disagree, I was rather impressed with Gettinger’s presence. This is a kid who will need some time to fully develop, he’s got a real good chance to be a big bodied bottom 6 guy in the NHL in a couple of years.

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 7:18 am

    McLeod is a punch drunk old man…get rid of him….bring in Chris Stewart on a PTO.

    Please draft some size…outside of the Russian and Miller…this draft was all about drafting the same exact guy…5’10-6’0, 175 – 185lbs,, that just adds to all the 5’10 guys we already have.

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 7:36 am

      Chytil is 6’2”, Miller is 6’3”

      • Sep 18, 2018 at 8:58 am

        I mentioned Miller…but thank you and just because your tall, it doesn’t make you tough.

        • Sep 18, 2018 at 9:18 am

          Kravtsov 6’2” Howden 6’2” Hajek 6’2”

          You didn’t mention toughness, you mentioned size.

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 11:40 am

      100 % agree JB…….
      Chris Stewart twice as good as mccleod and also brings size, toughness and right handed shot………
      As for the draft, rangers seem to be looking for smaller players…..and even go out of their way to trade size and skill and performance JT Miller 6-2 220 for skill Neniistikov 5-10 180……
      Funny, how most pacifists here suddenly applauded the signing of mcquaid…..which is something we need since hockey will always require size and toughness as well as skill……

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 7:20 am

    They had a good work effort but need to learn the defensive structure

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 7:35 am

    . Realizing it’s pre season it was a good effort and a good start. I hate the fact they kept falling behind and but I love how they bounced back before finally winning.

    If Cody McLeod plays this season then something has gone terribly wrong. He’s just not a good hockey player.

    Andersson looked prepared. Very nice first goal, but great effort and nice job following the puck on the second goal. Buch also looked really good last night. I had to do a double take when I saw #20 on the PK. But why rule anything out so early. Him and Hayes made a nice tandem. Hayes also was solid last night. Nice face off win on Buch’s goal. Gryba clipped Nieves’s chin. Fast also played well last night.

    I was hoping to see more out of Meskanen and Lindquist. It’s one game but they will only get a few shots at the big team.

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 7:42 am

    As the season goes on u will see more youth infused ……forget the playoffs…this is about the future…I am all in on the plan……..even with the bonehead trade for McQ………

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Some guys stood out last night. Andersson, Buchnevich and Hayes had nice games. Buchnevich seems a lot stronger. On 5 on 5 and on the PK ADA looked much more confident and defended very well and had a couple of nice scoring chances. He needs work on the power play, but overall he looked much more prepared.

    I have to caution myself that it was only the first pre-season game, but I also liked how the team got better and better as a unit as the game went on.

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 9:26 am

      Buchnevich came in at 196lbs so he’s crossed under the 100 number(99) of height(cm)-weight(kg) that indicates the average player can be effective at the NHL level.

      I thought that they were using last year’s stats when they released the camp roster and it turned out that way.

      Should break 50 pts easy, looking at 60+ breakout.

      • Sep 18, 2018 at 9:41 am

        I don’t think he could do it alone. It’s going to require 50-55+ players to help him through it. Than again alot of Rangers are expecting to break out this season.

        • Sep 18, 2018 at 10:03 am

          Thank you Captain Obvious. Next you’ll be writing that this team will only go as far as Hank takes them.

          • Sep 18, 2018 at 11:00 am

            Well that was a real basic reply to your basic prediction. Next you’ll be predicting that Zucc should be able to reach 55 points again “easy”.

            • Sep 18, 2018 at 11:06 am

              But wait, isn’t Zucc only like 5’7?


            • Sep 18, 2018 at 11:34 am

              Predicting that a player is going increase his scoring by 15% and a specific reason why if you want me to be more precise, his scoring rate will go .66 ppg from .58.

              The easier call is that Zucc won’t break 50pts this year.

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 9:41 am

      Lars was really good …….Looked confident and assertive….

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 8:16 am

    We are a new team, where players need to get to know each other. I am thinking it won’t be til about game 20 that we really see what our team is capable of. Too early to pass judgement on whether we are a 70 point team of an 84 point team.

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 9:40 am

      Exactly creature….New team…New coach..New system….Ranger fans want a cup in a month……..After one pre-season game…….I can’t even fathom to complain at all…….I am just glad hockey is back and really enjoyed the game last night…….

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 11:24 am

      My concern is will we really be a new team than the lineup the we put out in April? We have a bunch of old guys including the 2 defense men we brought in. What other kids will play? No room the blue line for youth Pionk and ADA is the battle for the last spot in my mind. Maybe 1 forward can surprise us and make the jump.

      • Sep 18, 2018 at 12:00 pm

        Putting Staal’s play in perspective over the last 3 years and the showcasing of last night, he’s still bad at this. There’s no reason for him to play if Smith and Quaid play average at best on most nights. ADA was A1 last night, if this is how his game will look like than a bottom 4 pair and PP2 QB is his calling. Pionk, Skjei ( hopefully ), Smith, Quaid and Hank could do without Staal on the pk. Unless someone like Smith really wets the bed, there’s no reason to keep Staal in the lineup.

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 9:45 am

    The Rangers didn’t allow 50 shots against so that in itself is a victory. I like a team that is agressive on the forecheck and can force turnovers. Players lazy on the backcheck who do not come back and pick their man should be excommunicated to Harford.

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 9:55 am

    ok, let me clarify…the Rangers need to draft more guys like Lindgren…guys that play with sandpaper.

    When a guy gets blown up on a dirty hit and Jesper Fast gives the guy a good talking to…something is wrong.

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 10:05 am

      Lindgren is 5’11”

      • Sep 18, 2018 at 10:14 am

        Marek Malik was 6’7″…I can play your dumb game as well

        • Sep 18, 2018 at 11:32 am

          You’re reminding me of the Paul Gaustad and Roman Hamlrik days. I understand where you’re coming from but I say don’t throw down if you’re REALLY not ready for it. Growing up I’ve seen repercussions of it on the ice and near my downtown pubs when someone would felt like they got ” disrespected”. It’ always going to end the same way with the advanced fighter coming away with all the momentum.

          Messages don’t get sent through poorly landed punches while you take more slugs to the face. Nobody liked to talk about it but 2 years ago when Pacioretty had Vesey’s jersey over his head looking like a Mighty Ducks meme. Believe it or not but that gave MTL the momentum in a away. None fighter’s make Chara look like a experience boxer on skates a la Brian Boyle anybody?

      • Sep 18, 2018 at 11:27 am

        Lindgren has the mean streak…I love it

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 10:10 am

      …and it cannot be just one designated guy. Of course McQ, but Kreider should be capable and do it, Hayes needs to man up, McLeod (though obsolete), Smith. There should never be a time that the men on ice do not consist of at least one guy to make sure it stays clean if nec. A player who can handle himself and do what is necessary when necessary. Makes team play bigger and will slow any further shenanigans. It rarely prevents the first transgression, but seeing your wise guy teammate get his head handed to him can sure dull the appetite for further shenanigans.

      • Sep 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        Rich, from 30+ years as a fan…and especially since Sather was hired…the coach at the time determines who Sather/Gorton draft.

        Hopefully, Quinn will demand they draft guys with balls.

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 11:41 am

      You don’t know whether to cry or wind your watch.

      I’m the guy who advocated for Montana Onyebuchi to get drafted, so save the argument about needing grit for somebody else.

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 11:16 am

    One of the big battles in camp that I see will between Pionk and ADA. Last night I thought ADA had the better game.

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      Not even close. Pionk was better by a lot. ADA doesn’t have a high hockey IQ. He isn’t positioned correctly on the PP and passes when he should shoot and shoots when he should pass. Plus Pionk already proved to be the better player last season.

      • Sep 18, 2018 at 1:33 pm

        Actually Czech, ADA was better 5 on 5 and on PK, at least last night. Pionk looked slow and out of position a few times last night, but that may have been due to this being the first game back with limited practices. ADA was not good on the PP, I will grant you that. But that can be taught. I also have questions about his hockey IQ, but we will see how that goes.

        • Sep 18, 2018 at 3:23 pm

          I didn’t see the game, but the box score said ADA did not even play on the PK, so how could he have been better.

          The elephant in the room here is that ADA cannot be sent to Hartford without putting him on waivers. Pionk of course is waiver exempt. With ADA’s pedigree, he seems likely to be claimed and so the Rangers will be very reluctant to send him down. Unless he is truly awful, I expect him to be kept in NY or traded.

          It is hard to figure out when putting a former first rounder like ADA or McIlrath through waivers is no longer a fool’s errand. The conventional wisdom is that Chris Bigras (not quite a first rounder, a #32 pick) is likely safe but ADA is not yet there.

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Like Kreider on the PK. When Wayne Gretzky played the PK, I was not impressed with his defense. But every single member of the PP unit knew that #99 was looking to put the puck in the net, ready to jump on an errant play and the result was a tentativeness which led to ineffectiveness.

    With Kreider’s speed, he has to scare the opposing PP unit.

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      I think this is a great point that many readers will overlook because they will immediately think “oh this guy is comparing CK to Gretzky”.

      If we’re PK-ing against a 1-3-1 , you better believe that 1 at the point is going to have in the back of his mind… if this pass isn’t clean, or shot gets blocked…. immediate breakaway. Mind games don’t win games in the NHL typically, but I think this is a fun way to think about CK on the PK

    • Sep 18, 2018 at 1:09 pm

      Hayes set him up with a easy open netter. The goalie and defenders had no chance but instead Kreider went a 100 mph and couldn’t even get wood on the puck. What was his objective to go that fast when his teammate had the puck on his stick within the high slot? Kreider’s speed goes to waste 50-60% of the time. He’s not a natural goal scorer who just needs a chance to score them, he always needs things to lineup for him. His DZ makes it that worst for him. He could never get as many breakaway chances as someone like Grabner can. His speed alone should have him making plays on McDavid’s level in terms of generating.

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Remember CK is not great on his edges that could be an issue on the PK #99 could turn on a dime!

  • Sep 18, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Ray, I was pretty sure I saw him on at least one PK, but either my eyes fooled me or the kill had just ended. Thanks, I had not looked at the box.

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