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jt miller

Photo: NHL.com

One of the major topics of the players still on the Rangers this season is how they are going to perform next season. There were a bunch of very high shooting percentages on the Rangers, and they’ve come into focus as August drones on. And for good reason, it helps us navigate whose season was for real, and who may be coming crashing to Earth.

Of course the big thing to remember here is that talent matters when it comes to shooting percentage. A bunch of folks automatically assume that a high shooting percentage will come down. And yes, most players will see some form of regression for abnormally high shooting success. But skill matters. Let’s keep that in mind.

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Categories : Analysis
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Aug
14

Monday morning thoughts

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Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a Monday morning in August, which means it’s hot, there’s no hockey, and we are all back at work. Fun stuff, isn’t it? Here are some of my random ramblings to ramble through on your random Monday.

1 – There was a lot of blowback on the Ryan McDonagh post the other day. Perhaps I should have been clearer. I don’t think the Rangers will dangle him this year. It would be silly. He’s a top-tier defenseman on a great contract. It would be silly to dangle him now. But at the trade deadline next year, with a big raise coming? Perhaps. Not advocating for or against, just saying it’s a route they can take. They’ve done it before with Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan.

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Categories : Musings
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ryan mcdonagh

Photo: Winslow Townson/AP

It’s amazing what one summer can do. Last summer, the Rangers transformed their forwards into one of the most potent offenses in the league. This summer, they transformed their blue line from one of the worst in the league to perhaps one of the best top-four in the league. It’s amazing what Jeff Gorton has done.

Ryan McDonagh has been the rock on the Rangers blue line since he joined the team. He’s not quite elite, but he is in the tier right below elite. After dragging around an anchor for a few seasons, he finally has a chance to be free with Kevin Shattenkirk on his right side. Ryan McDonagh is a free elf.

But for how long?

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mika zibanejad

The other day, I went through the bottom half of the 2016 New York Rangers 2016 Top 25 Under 25. There wasn’t much turnover, with just three new faces. However there were some big movers up the list, as big years from a few kids led to some shakeup in the bottom half.

Now it’s time to go through the top half of the list. Let’s remember that there are a good number of players on the NHL roster that are under 25 years old, so the top half of this list is mostly populated with them. There was a shift in the rankings for some of these kids though, as we’ve learned what each one is capable of in the lineup. Plus, the Rangers added some first round picks for the first time in ages.

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Categories : Prospects
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tim gettinger

Gettinger (Photo: Adam Bell, OHL)

Over the past three years, I’ve gone through the Rangers organization and ranked the top 25 players under the age of 25 years old (201320142015 part one2015 part two 2016 part one, 2016 part two). The ground rules for this list are simple: To qualify for this list, a player must be under 25 years old. It doesn’t matter if this player is in the NHL, AHL, or in any of the leagues around the world. If they are Ranger property and under 25, they were considered.

First, let’s go through the players from last year’s list that no longer qualify and honorable mentions who missed the cut:

Aged out: Kevin Hayes, Jesper Fast
No longer with the organization:
Oscar Lindberg, Dylan McIlrath, Mackenzie Skapski, Nicklas Jensen, Brad Morrison
Honorable mentions: Steven Fogarty (LY: 25)

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Categories : Prospects
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Aug
07

Dog days of summer

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jt miller jesper fast nick holden oscar lindberg

The Rangers and hockey in general have entered the dog days of summer. It’s August. The entire hockey world has gone on vacation. There’s MLS on (shameless plug: visit my NYCFC shirt page!), there’s MLB on, but that’s not enough to really keep us from craving hockey. But since it’s the dog days, I think some thoughts are in order.

1. First things first, we’ve been making a lot of noise about the need for another forward. Trading Derek Stepan opened up the path for Kevin Shattenkirk, but it also opened a big hole up front. Mika Zibanejad can probably handle the 1C duties, and maybe Kevin Hayes can handle the 2C duties. But if the plan really is for Lias Andersson to be the 3C, and that falls through, then what? If David Desharnais is the 3C at any point in the season, something has gone horribly wrong.

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Categories : Musings
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Gettinger (Photo: Adam Bell, OHL)

Rangers prospects Sean Day and Tim Gettinger have survived the first round of cuts for Team USA at the World Junior Summer Showcase. Along with Lias Andersson (Sweden), the Rangers have three prospects competing this summer.

Day has been a hot topic lately, as the club has a choice to send him to Hartford this year instead of spending one more year in the OHL. The 19-year-old lefty has exceptional talent, and the Rangers stole him in the third round.

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Categories : Prospects
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lias andersson

With the Rangers retooling at defense and making blockbuster trades at forward, much of the attention has been spent on figuring out how the club will round out the roster via trade. One area that seems to be lacking in conversation is the kids that might fill out the roster. From first round picks to trade acquisitions to kids on the cusp, the Rangers have a bunch of options at all positions to try to fill out a potential Cup winning roster.

Lias Andersson

Starting with the obvious, it appears that Andersson will be given every chance to succeed in New York next year. He’s already succeeded in Sweden’s top league, and by all accounts he might actually be NHL ready as an 18-year-old. He projects to be a middle-six forward, which is exactly where the Rangers need help. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

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Categories : Prospects
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jt miller nick holden

AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

The below post was written by Rob Luker. Rob used to write for Blueshirt Banter, but retired for a while. He sent me this and I was more than happy to post it. You should be following him on Twitter here. He is a great follow with tons of good hockey insight.

When Larry Brooks pointed out that the Rangers are expected to try to trade Nick Holden in his Tuesday, July 25th column, this got me texting and chatting with friends. Back on May 9th, fresh off the series loss to Ottawa, I tweeted the following:

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Categories : Analysis
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Jul
30

Mailbag: Riley Sheahan, Sean Day

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sean day

It’s been a little while since we’ve received questions for the mailbag, and we got two good ones for this week. As always, use the mailbag widget on the right to submit your questions for the mailbag!

Anthony asks: What are your thoughts on targeting Riley Sheahan from Detroit as a 3C?

Sheahan is an interesting target. The Wings are in cap hell, and Sheahan’s $2.075 million deal, which expires at the end of the season, is something that looks to be an easy target. Sheahan, a former first round pick, is just 25 years old, and will have a year left of team control for any acquiring team.

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Categories : Musings
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