Focusing on positives through 30 games

The Rangers are going to play their 30th game tonight in Tampa Bay. We’ve seen enough of this team to know what they are. Or what they aren’t, and that is a playoff team. But that’s not to worry, we knew that was going to happen. We knew the blue line would likely be a mess. We knew the Rangers would be adjusting to a new system.

But those are all the negatives of a rebuild season. We knew it would be like this. Not everything needs to be negative though. There are still plenty of positive takeaways from the first two months of the season.

  • Opening with the obvious: Henrik Lundqvist is still an elite goaltender. I lead with this because he is with the club for better or for worse, and as long as he’s elite, the Rangers will always stand a chance to win.
  • Heading into the start of the season, there were tons of questions about whether Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider could be top line players. Both have been producing at those levels. Both have proven they can be top line players. They aren’t elite level talent, but they are both great talents.
  • Tony DeAngelo has been a pleasant surprise this season. I, along with many others, did not expect him to be anything more than a powerplay specialist. He’s struggled at times, as has every young player in the history of the game, but he’s been pretty good overall. Maybe he put it all together. Maybe he realized this was his last chance (third team). It’s a win for the Rangers though.
  • Marc Staal may not be worth his contract. That we know. But this year, Staal has been, dare I say, somewhat decent and reliable. He’s had some absolute clunkers, but overall he’s been one of the better defensemen. Granted, the bar isn’t set that high, but hey, it’s a positive, right?
  • Jimmy Vesey has taken a lot of criticism in the past, but he has had a pretty good start to the year as well. Perhaps he’s another one that has put it all together as well. Whatever it is, he’s on pace for 20 goals.
  • Kevin Hayes has shown he’s worth keeping around, assuming they can get a deal done. He’s going to command a decent amount of money, so perhaps trading him is in the best interest of the club going forward. So keep boosting that trade value.
  • Speaking of trade value, the Rangers are being extra cautious with Mats Zuccarello, and with good reason. His trade value isn’t going to be hurt by his extended injury. As long as he gets back in the lineup and plays until the deadline, he’s going to fetch a decent amount as well.
  • Henrik Lundqvist. Still elite.
"Focusing on positives through 30 games", 3 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.

48 thoughts on “Focusing on positives through 30 games

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 6:56 am
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    And none of David’s points include any of the young players, save for DeAngelo.

    That’s disappointing, he’s correct not to, which makes this season a disappointment so far. It’s all about the kids, or at least it should be.

    Vesey, if he had any kind of hands, would have 20 goals already, which makes him a useful bottom 6 player, but that’s it. Giving him $4M per would be ridiculous.

    Hopefully the Rangers play well tonight against probably the best team in the league right now.

    • Dec 10, 2018 at 8:17 am
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      Agreed, Richter, Vesey is just not a great finisher at the NHL level. He’s a player who scores two goals in his scoring games a lot, oddly—and then goes to sleep for 5 games. Career pattern so far.

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 6:39 am
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        If Jimmy had any shooting skills then the Rangers would have something here. But he doesn’t so giving him $4M per would seem ridiculous.

        We did that already with Names and Spooner, 2 bad contracts, among the many on this team.

    • Dec 10, 2018 at 9:29 am
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      Agree on Staal, who has been about as good as he can be at this stage of his career. I am getting mixed signals on Shattenkirk…….I thought he would be one of the few untouchables on the team headed towards the trading deadline, but my hunch is that teams might be calling Rangers for his services….As for Hayes and Zucs….they both have to go for the sake of this rebuild…….Hayes is not worth long term contract money…….

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 9:50 am
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        On Shattenkirk I don’t think the Rangers would trade him unless he asked. I think the Rangers management feels some sort of loyalty for a guy who took a discount to come play for them. Plus I think he’s been one of the better defenseman on this team.

        I think its a given that Hayes and Zuccarello are traded. I think you can a nice return for both of them.

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 6:40 am
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        Bro, I thought that Shatty would be untouchable, but I don’t think that now.

    • Dec 10, 2018 at 1:18 pm
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      I wouldn’t mind keeping Kevin Hayes. He’s a big top 6 centerman with skill and that skates well. Those don’t come around all the time. Honestly, I doubt Gorton will be able to get good or equal value in a trade involving Hayes.
      I would love to add a pair of 2nd round picks or a solid prospect/young roster player. However, short of a bidding war for Hayes, I don’t think that happens. Probably only going to get a 3rd round pick for Hayes. Just not enough.

      • Dec 11, 2018 at 6:42 am
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        “I wouldn’t mind keeping Kevin Hayes”

        I will ask you what I ask every fan that says this:

        The Rangers have him now, playing probably the best hockey that he can possibly play for his skillset, and how good is the team with him?

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 7:07 am
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    Dave

    On most counts I’ll agree with your analysis, except for the turnstile Staal. He is a disaster waiting to happen.

    You also failed to mention the progress being made with the kids, specifically Chytle, and Howden. The growth also of the young ones down at the farm, Hajek, and Lindgren in particular. How about what Kratsov is doing in Russia? Let’s not forget the kid I love the most Miller, what a stud he will be someday.

    As much as I hate loosing, this season is a growing process, with results being seen already, minor as they may be, but results just the same from the kids. When the KHL season ends we get Kratsov, Rykov, and the goalie to come over and see what they have to offer. With the potential of additional draft picks for some of our players, Zucc, Hayes, possibly Name, I’m excited for the future of this organization. Nice to have a positive thread, it’s refreshing !!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dec 10, 2018 at 11:22 am
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      I don’t want any of the KHL players coming over this spring wait until the summer. If there play in the spring it may make them exposed to the expansion draft the thus have to be protected.

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 12:29 pm
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        can players 20yo+ like Rykov and Shesty come on loan from the KHL team to avoid playing under a standard NHL contract and avoid incurring a year of pro experience under the CBA?

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 1:59 pm
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        Joen7

        I agree, but it has been stated already by Kratsov’s agent that he plans to come here after their season ends. The Rangers could sign him to a try out contract, to get around the three year entry level contract, I believe that is the case, but I could be wrong???????????

    • Dec 10, 2018 at 12:44 pm
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      What is your secret information about Hajek and Lindgren? I don’t want to say that they do not necessarily have a bright future ahead of them, but what is it that you think they are doing now. They have five assists between them and so offensively are providing nothing. Hartford’s record does not suggest they have good players on the team.

      Dave was right to ignore Chityl and Howden. They may be the future, but so far this year they have not excelled.

      Marc Staal is still an elite defenseman.

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 2:06 pm
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        Ray

        I have to disagree on your entire post. Hajek almost made the team out of camp. He was sent down because some of the other d-men would have had to go thru waivers, and we didn’t want to lose them.

        Lindgren is a hard nosed stay at home guy who is tough as nails, he will be with the big club soon enough.

        As for Staal, he is a pylon on skates, and should have been placed on waivers at the beginning of the season. Let’s just agree to disagree!!!!!!!

        • Dec 10, 2018 at 2:49 pm
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          We can agree to disagree on Staal. On Hajek and Lindgren, there is no disagreement. You refer to their growth down on the farm despite the fact that you have no information whatsoever. You are just making stuff up and I am calling you on it.

          • Dec 10, 2018 at 3:09 pm
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            Ray

            Call me out on it all you want, but I’ve seen them play against the Hershey Bears, and I can tell you in no uncertain terms they are going to be good. Until you’ve seen them with your own eyes, don’t be so cavalier and call people out when you know nothing!!!!!!!!

            FYI-I don’t make things up dude……….

            • Dec 10, 2018 at 4:00 pm
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              Let’s be clear Walt. My first response began with a question “What is your secret information about Hajek and Lindgren?” Your response talked about Hajek’s play in camp and generalities about Lindgren and completely ignored my question. A reasonable presumption on my part is that you had not seen them play in Hartford. Obviously I was mistaken, but this was a failure of communication that could have been avoided.

              We both bear some blame here. I apologize for my part.

              • Dec 10, 2018 at 5:27 pm
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                Not a problem!!!!

    • Dec 10, 2018 at 1:11 pm
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      Many Ranger fans are very concerned about the direction of this team. I could be dead wrong, but I am one that has kept the optimism that the direction is indeed headed in the right direction. I myself am excited at the players that will be here in the future..from Igor to Lindgren…Hajek.. Rykov.. D’Miller and others….I’m also a realist and understand the need to acquire an elite player or two to compliment these players….

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 8:32 am
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    You had to expect an odd season. Hope that rookies performed, hope that the defense would gel and hope that Hank could steal 10 games or so.

    Hank has been great, the rookies show some promise but have a long way to go and the defense shows some signs of gelling, albeit not often enough. Probably a team that doesn’t make the playoff, but not in the bottom 5 of the league.

    My concern is that our “kids” are not lighting the lamp enough. I think we are putting them in a position to succeed (all but Andersson) and while we see glimpses of talent, it isn’t there every night. Next year we will need more than Kravsov and Rykov to be a playoff team. Hopefully any money saved can be spent on elite talent.

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 8:58 am
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    This “rebuild” is exasperating, Quinn is doing things as if he may lose his job any day now. He’s making frequent moves and changes seemingly out of desperation. Apparently, maybe, the FO (Sather, Dolan) is slowing down this rebuild for 2 reasons… a) ticket sales… and b) respect for Hank. Don’t over-think this, play the kids for crying out loud!

    • Dec 10, 2018 at 9:43 am
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      They are playing the kids for crying out loud. Your boy Andersson had quite a few chances in the top 9 but blew it. Howden is a stable force as a 3c and plays in all situations. I think Chytil will move down to the 3rd line for tonight’s game ( probably going to shelter the heck out of Howden and him tonight ). ADA, Pionk and Skjei are all playing at the same time. Quinn is doing a great job with his time management for his young guys.

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 10:05 am
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        “The kids” are getting the ice time they deserve. Putting them all out there with no experienced players is a recipe for disaster (Do we want to be the Edmonton Oilers of 5 years ago? 4 number 1 picks since 2010, and one playoff series win in that time, because they didn’t put a TEAM together until last year). You want players like Zib, Kreider, and Hayes there to be on ice coaches. Andersson’s only getting 4th line ice time because Howden is the same type of player, but better. Everybody loves Pionk for his PP scoring, but he’s a train wreck 5 on 5. Tony D is improving, but I think the fear is that he’s a powder keg waiting to explode if someone says the wrong thing to him. Hopefully, he’s learned his lesson.

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 2:25 pm
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        Andersson blew it? Blew what? He’s playing 9 to 10 minutes a night with some wingers that wouldn’t make Tampa’s AHL affiliate. Let’s see what he’s got with real wingers on his lines with real minutes, before you continually call him a bust. Why the bias against a kid with NHL skills and works hard shift in and shift out. That’s right play the kids Quinn, and top 9 too.

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 9:00 am
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    Lundqvist is indeed having a solid year and I believe the Rangers are playing a more structured game in front of him. They have more talent most of it young and rising. A total of 12 first round picks 4 on the Blueline. They are a better team then most give them credit and as young as they are I still think they will make challenge to return to the playoffs.

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 9:10 am
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    Good News – Team not as bad as they could have been

    Bad News – 4 great players away from being a competitive playoff team

    Reality – Team plays hard, coach needs to play his top 12 forwards every day, defense needs an upgrade, Hank needs to let Georgiev play a little more

    • Dec 10, 2018 at 12:55 pm
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      Actually, the Georgiev problem does not seem to be playing time. He has actually started seven games for the Rangers and 6 games for the Wolfpack, so he’s gotten work. But he is clearly struggling. His Pack save percentage is actually lower than that of Tokarski and Mazanec. He needs to regain the rhythm he had last year – if he can.

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 1:45 pm
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        Perhaps his work needs to be a little more regular in order to get into a good rhythm. I know that Hank likes to play a lot for that reason. Maybe they can work the kid in a little more.

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 9:16 am
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    Watching the games, win or lose, is once again fun for me. This is due to he effort the team puts in most nights and due to watching the young players slowly get better.

    The youngsters have only played 30 games in the NHL and although we are all impatient to see them sparkle, they are still taking their first steps. Sure, none of them are McDavid, but they do have some solid young people and they and the ones in the wings will eventually populate the team. Getting a couple of elite players to complete the team comes a bit later. Right now it is all about seeing what they have, getting more pieces and building a solid and winning culture.

    While I don’t always agree with all of Quinn’s moves, I think he has done a good job overall. I am optimistic about the future after watching the first 30 games.

    • Dec 10, 2018 at 9:34 am
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      Kreider has McDavid type speed. Smh

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 10:12 am
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        Do you ever contribute anything to these discussions except moronic remarks, Mint? Where in his post was Peter talking about Kreider vs McDavid in terms of speed? I can’t wait until Hayes is traded so you can go bring your nonsense to another team’s blog. I swear, you are as indefatigable as you are tiresome.

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 10:14 am
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        True, but not the rest of McDavid’s skills. On the other had, he’d fit really well on McDavid’s wing. Might be a decent trade possibility there, starting with Darnell Nurse (and I mean starting. I’d want more.)

        • Dec 10, 2018 at 12:16 pm
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          Yeah I been preaching for that exact trade request since last year. It won’t be anymore than Nurse so don’t bank on it. That dude is BFF’s with the Oilers franchise top line center McDavid. They’re already making his life tough with 90% of the cast that they surrounded him with like guys like Chiasson ( I played against him during his prep school days ).

          I know Edmonton is looking for a puck moving defenseman. I would like it to be a blockbuster trade and hopefully pry out Nurse, Kassian, and a 1st, 2nd and 3rd or forget about the 1st and 3rd and take Puljujarvi in return instead. Send Skjei, Zucc and Kreider care package their way.

          The Ducks are specifically looking for a LHD. Skjei and Zucc for Josh Manson and 2nd round pick. I know they love him over there but I could see how his age could still work into the plans over here. He’s durable and a stay at home D man who will automatically look good with Pionk or ADA and on the pk. I low key rather see a trade for Manson. Darnell can get lost in his own zone, it’s just his skating makes him a top 4 accountable. Manson just might be a bottom 4 player but I would put him right on the 2nd pair. If you like contact and good gap control than he’s your man. He will probably age like Jake Muzzin though ( isn’t to bad ).

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 9:32 am
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    Beleskey should be a main stay with the club for now on. I see no reason on why to send him down to the AHL. I can see Fogarty staying as the 4c and getting a extended look over there. Andersson is going to be the odd man when healthy with Buch real soon. He couldn’t take advantage of his increase ice time. 2 games on the top 6 and 4 games on the top 9.

    I know some fans want to see the kids get hand deliver some serious top 9 roles but as of today Quinny has done a great job.

    • Dec 10, 2018 at 9:47 am
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      Andersson has played a total of 15 games this season, the vast majority with little ice time. I’d say your conclusions are premature. I’d say that really about any of the youngsters on the team at the 30 game mark.

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 10:14 am
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        ” I’d say that really about any of the youngsters on the team at the 30 game mark. ”

        ^ Yeah the difference was that Pionk, ADA ( I hope ), Howden and Chytil are all stable forces on this team. In other word’s, they have Quinn’s trust by now, even if it’s at the 30 game mark which is more power to them. The premature narrative is baby talk from over the summer when nobody should of had a lick of say on what expect. It still didn’t stop the bandwagon of giving Chytil an Andersson the magical keys into the top 9 center spots. Remember how Howden was going have to be the 4c or play in the AHL?

        Buck up bro, Andersson was given bigger roles due to injuries. Coach saw he couldn’t handle it and he’s gotten demoted ever since than. Top 6 down to 3c, pushed over to 3rd line wing, back down to 4c and now pushed over to 4th line wing lol. There’s no premature in that kind of free fall but I digress.

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 10:16 am
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        Mint’s conclusions are asinine as well as premature, Peter—you are kind enough to him to leave that out.

        I’ve never seen a fan be so threatened by so many different players on a team that they root for. More proof of the singular insanity of Mint.

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 10:41 am
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        And I still contend it was a waste of Andersson’s development to bring him up and play him low minutes on the fourth line. There are plenty others who could have filled that role. The kid needs to play.

        Now he is the odd man out after playing 15 games and is likely is headed to Hartford after having burned his ELC.

        IMHO, Horrible asset management by the front office.

        • Dec 10, 2018 at 11:46 am
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          Now that is how thoughtful and pointed criticism of Lias Andersson & the front office is properly expressed. And honestly I’d agree with you in terms of the mishandling of him this year so far. But once Hayes is traded time will open up for him.

          • Dec 10, 2018 at 12:34 pm
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            So you got offended because I didn’t sugar coat his demotion? Lol you can get bent homie. I like how you try to talk tough in the morning with 98 cent cup of coffee at the McDonald’s eating lounge. Free Wi-Fi for you to use huh? That explains why you’re always blowing this place up at all hours of the day. You must live near a McDonald’s that’s open 24/7 huh? You obviously treat that place like a local soup kitchen. I can always count on to see your stuff posted here during all hours of the day, breakfast, lunch, dinner, desert, half way house.

            • Dec 10, 2018 at 3:29 pm
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              Thanks Mint, you prove my point about how dumb you are on a regular basis. I’m not talking tough here, just tired of hearing your “hot takes” on a sport that clearly confuses you.

        • Dec 10, 2018 at 12:41 pm
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          ” Now he is the odd man out after playing 15 games and is likely is headed to Hartford after having burned his ELC. ”

          Some of those 15 games were spent i
          on the top 9. He had a chance to make Quinn have no choice but to limit someone like Vladdy before and after he got hurt. His 5v5 lacked which in returned made Quinn not trust him. Once before time Howden got promoted after playing with worst 4th line player’s. Beleskey just scored a deflection in between his own legs. I don’t think management is stressing about Andersson, they know what they’re doing.

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm
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    Welll, that certainly clears everything up! 🙂

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 3:14 pm
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    Sometimes I just come here for the love

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 4:35 pm
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    wow, some heated fan talk…

    I am really fine with where this team is after 30. In fact, the mere fact that they look like a team has been awesome to see.
    Sure they are young and growing for the most part, but did anyone of us honestly think they would be better then where they are right now?

    I love the play and effort, sure they are gonna hit stretches of bad play… the best teams do it too.

    Go Rangers, MGT, Coaches, GO!!!!

    and I am certain a guy like Staal, and Shatty too, are doing a larger role in the background as well.

    LGR!!!

    • Dec 10, 2018 at 5:32 pm
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      Pas44

      As much as I dislike Staal’s play, and Shatty as well, you may be right about what they may be contributing in the background???????????

      • Dec 10, 2018 at 6:38 pm
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        From what I have read, for what it is worth, Staal is well loved by his team mates. Yes he is sort of slow, but in Quinn’s system he has played better, and he never takes a shift off. If it wasn’t for his humongous contract I think there would be less fan ire directed at the man. I think he should get some nights off but so far Quinn hasn’t thought it necessary.

        Shatty was never a shut down guy. He is an execellent passer with a good shot. I think he will contribute a lot that the young guys can learn from and unless the Rangers get a good offer for him I expect him to stick around. His contract also ends in two years, which is about the time we might see some more young defenders hit the Rangers’ NHL roster, so he might not stay around past then.

  • Dec 10, 2018 at 6:49 pm
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    I think Claesson is a bright spot, and I think the team should lock him up with a 4 year deal. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing both Skjei and Shattenkirk gone at the deadline.

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