Two questions for the mailbag this week. As always, use the widget on the right to submit questions for the mailbag, and we will answer them here.
Ray asks: Not really a question, but the Rangers terminated the contract of Michael Lindqvist and he’s back in Sweden.
Thanks for the heads up Ray. Lindqvist played 16 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack, putting up a line of 3-4-7 in those games. It’s a little disappointing to see the contract terminated, because I thought there could be some potential there. On the bright side, now I only have to Lundqvist variations to deal with. I’ll take that as a net win for me.
Anthony asks: Earlier this year you posted about the team allowing a high amount of shots from the left side (about 4 or 5 games into the season). Has that continued? Did it stabilize/improve?
This is the post Anthony is referring to. I admittedly may have jumped the gun on that post, but it was an issue at that point. We’ve had 20 additional games to look at, and below is the heat map. It’s not pretty.
The Rangers allow allow a lot of shots, that we know. The defensive system has certainly done a good job of limiting shots from the high slot. That’s a direct impact of the center being positioned there. However down low is still an issue. That’s not your question though.
The right side has become a little bit more of an issue than the left side. Perhaps Marc Staal’s stabilization has helped the left side, but it’s worth noting that Neal Pionk still hemorrhages shots from the right side. Now this is just from a shot quantity standpoint (we don’t know if these are wide open looks), but the distance is worrisome. That’s a giant red vacuum there.
I’m not sure if that helps, but let’s just assume that the defense will be an ongoing issue from a quantity of shots allowed standpoint. As far as the eye has shown, these don’t look to be wide open looks, but I’ve also missed the last two games.