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rangers blue jackets

Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty

The Rangers and Blue Jackets played a very even 40 minutes of hockey. It was good pace, with good chances on both sides. Each side scored once, but neither seemed to gain an advantage. Then the third period happened, and it was all Blue Jackets, leading to the eventual game winner by Artemi Panarin.

Henrik Lundqvist was phenomenal in this one, getting beat clean just once on the Panarin goal. The first goal was a deflection that he had no chance. He made 40 saves in the loss. But Sergei Bobrovsky was up to the task, playing a solid game, albeit quiet for most of the third. This entire game came down to the first 10 minutes of the third period. The Rangers were poor, and it cost them the game.

On to the goals.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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Game 5: Someone please help Mika

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rangers blue jackets ryan mcdonagh brandon dubinsky

The Rangers are off to a slow start this season, and things aren’t going to get any easier. They are in Columbus to take on a strong Jackets team that should be a playoff contender again this season. The Blue Jackets have a very strong blue line, goaltender, and top-nine. Their fourth line can be exploited, though.

As for the Rangers, they are going with another variation of blue liners tonight. Tony DeAngelo is still out, and Nick Holden gets a boost to the top pairing. Poor Ryan McDonagh. The forwards are still a little shallow, as the need for another center grows with every game someone not named Mika Zibanejad can’t score.

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Categories : Game Thread
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Alain Vigneault has thrown more darts at the board in an attempt to find defense pairs that “work” according to him.

Ryan McDonagh-Nick Holden
Marc Staal-Kevin Shattenkirk
Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith

I don’t know what dart he threw that made him think Holden and McDonagh would work. But at least Kampfer isn’t in the lineup. Nothing like trading your 1C for a healthy scratch defenseman, though.

Can you sense the snark, frustration, and hopelessness?

Categories : Lineup Changes
Comments (23)

mika zibanejad

It’s been an interesting start to the season, hasn’t it? Jeff Gorton and Alain Vigneault have toyed with our emotions, albeit inadvertently, with their roster decisions. The team has toyed with our emotions by scoring a ton, not scoring ever, and playing a combination of great defense and Swiss cheese defense. All in all, it’s been one of the more entertaining starts to the season since the 2013-2014 season. You know, the one where Tomas Hertl deked Martin Biron into retirement.

The main positive that has been the focus of attention has been Mika Zibanejad. With five goals this season, Zibanejad has opened this season the way he did last year before breaking his leg. He’s seemed to have found a home in the Ovi spot on the powerplay, and with Kevin Shattenkirk feeding him one-timers, he’s poised for a big year.

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Categories : Forwards
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Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

When it comes to hockey, the goings-on between front office and coaching staff personnel is usually very tight lipped. There is never a leak. There is never any sort of inkling that something could be wrong. There is speculation based off reasonable assumptions, but that’s the best we can do. It’s one of the more challenging aspects of not just hockey, but all professional sports. Insight into front office workings just doesn’t exist regularly.

Which is why when it comes to the Rangers, it comes as a little bit of a surprise that there appears to be a disconnect between the front office and the coaching staff. This is 100% speculation on my end, and I wholly admit that. That said, this isn’t wild speculation, it’s educated guessing. There are clear signs that something is not right in Rangers town.

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Photo: Getty

The Rangers couldn’t overcome a pair of early mistakes, as St. Louis topped the good guys by a score of 2-1. A gaffe in the first 15 seconds by Brady Skjei and then another by the Nick Holden/Steven Kampfer duo later in the first doomed the Rangers, as the talented and stingy St. Louis Blues put the kibosh on any scoring chance. After the first period, the game itself wasn’t all that exciting, as St. Louis clamped down and didn’t give much.

A lot of credit goes to Mike Yeo on this one, who made necessary adjustments after the first period to help fight the aggressive Rangers. The solution was more aggressiveness, as the Blues pressured the puck carriers and passing lanes. This forced the Rangers to play dump and chase, a style to which they are not suited. In the end, it was Yeo’s adjustments that helped the Blues win this game.

On to the goals:

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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rangers blues

Photo: AP

The Rangers won their first game of the season on Sunday night, but did so in a manner that wasn’t that impressive. It looks like Alain Vigneault backed off the 11F/7D train for now, which is good. The Rangers also limited quality chances and Royal Road chances against, which is good. However they were crushed in possession, which is bad.

If they keep the quality chances down and get more sustained offense/breakouts/zone exits, then it’s a huge step in the right direction. It’s about both quantity and quality. They’ve had one or the other so far, but never both. St. Louis is going to be a tough challenge to try to find consistency, but the Rangers are too good to be as bad as they have been. Perhaps this is the opponent they need to get things going.

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Categories : Game Thread
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With all the roster movement over the past two days, Alain Vigenault has settled on his defense pairings for tonight’s game:

Marc Staal-Ryan McDonagh
Brady Skjei-Kevin Shattenkirk
Nick Holden-Steven Kampfer

AV seems hell-bent on making what could be a great New York Rangers defense into a mediocre one at best. This is not optimal lineup usage, at all. The Rangers traded Derek Stepan to get Tony DeAngelo and committed big money to Brendan Smith. Let’s chalk this up as bad decision making, no sugar coating needed.

Categories : Lineup Changes
Comments (67)

Rangers assign Filip Chytil to Hartford

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filip chytil

As expected, the Rangers are going to slow down the Filip Chytil hype train a bit. Chytil has been sent to the Hartford Wolf Pack –not to the Czech Republic– after the Rangers claimed Adam Cracknell off waivers. Clearing Chytil from the roster was expected, although sending him to Hartford was not.

Sending the kid to Hartford means the Rangers can recall him this year. If he was returned to Europe, he would be gone from the Rangers for the year, like Lias Andersson. I’m intrigued to see where this goes. Perhaps the team thinks he is too good for the Czech league, which is a legitimate feeling. Hopefully they aren’t rushing him, though.

Categories : Transactions
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Pack rights the ship, wins in shootout

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Hartford Wolf Pack 2, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 (SO)

By Ben Harff

Hartford, CT, October 8, 2017 – Adam Tambellini scored the only goal of the shootout, and the only Hartford Wolf Pack regulation goal, against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Sunday at the XL Center, in a 2-1 Wolf Pack win.

The game featured a fine goaltending duel between the Wolf Pack’s Chris Nell, who made 28 saves and went 3-for-3 in the shootout, and Lehigh Valley’s Alex Lyon, who stopped 35 shots and was 2-for-3 on shootout attempts.

Just like Friday’s Wolf Pack opener, a 5-4 loss to the Charlotte Checkers, the Wolf Pack scored first in Sunday’s matchup. After Lehigh Valley racked up slashing penalties to T.J. Brennan and Phil Myers, the Pack was given a 5-on-3 opportunity. At the 9:40 mark, Joe Whitney snapped a pass to a wide-open Tambellini on the left back door. Defensemen Nick Pionk also assisted on the goal.

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Categories : AHL
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