Per Pierre LeBrun, citing Gary Bettman in a meeting with team owners, next year’s salary cap ceiling is projected to be in the $73 million range. That will be a $4 million increase (5.79%) increase on this year’s cap. Bettman stressed that this number is based on the Canadian Dollar not going down much further, Every dollar the cap goes up is critical for the Rangers, as they have five pending UFAs (St. Louis, Zuccarello, Stempniak, Staal, Hunwick) and five pending RFAs (Stepan, Hagelin, Miller, Fast, Moore).
Most of the pending free agents are due raises, specifically Derek Stepan.
Here is the info for today’s FanDuel league: Sign up here, the league link is here.
For those unfamiliar, you are given $55,000 to construct a team of 2 LW, 2 RW, 2 C, 2 D, and 1 G. The goal is to find some good bargains (my advice is to save money on defense and spend big on offense) and save money for some stars you know will put up points. High fantasy points per game (FPG) with low cost is a good way to go, but look for streaks as well.
Rotowire has a lineup optimizer, as does DangleFactory. They are good resources if this intrigues you, or you’re new to daily fantasy sports.
As always, if the league fills up before you can get in, let me know in the comments. I leave the league size at 10 people for now to ensure it fills up. If there is more interest, I will expand the size as this continues.
Per Steve Zipay, the New York Rangers have loaned winger Anthony Duclair to Team Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championships. This was expected, as Duclair had been a healthy scratch for a few games in a row now, and it looked like he had lost his spot in the top-nine. Duclair will be with Team Canada for the next month or so. After that, the Rangers will need to make a decision to keep him on the NHL roster or return him to the QMJHL.
In 18 games this year, Duke has put up 1-6-7, while driving puck possession (51.27% CF) in sheltered minutes (60% OZ starts).
Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images
The New York Rangers sure are a weird team. They put up a giant oh-fer against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but in three games against the Pittsburgh Penguins, they are 2-0-1 and were almost 3-0. This is a team that blew another two goal lead, but didn’t let it get to them as Kevin Klein –again– was able win it in overtime for the good guys, sending Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin home, wondering how they are 1-5-1 in their last 7 against the Rangers.
Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves, Dominic Moore contributed two assists, and eight other Rangers contributed with points in the victory. While the victory was big, the fact that they blew another two goal lead –for the second night in a row– is somewhat alarming. But you know what, I’ll take points in the standings, and work out the kinks as we keep moving along.
On to the goals:
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The New York Rangers will be wearing their home whites tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins come to town, and it will be a heavily depleted Penguins team that comes to town. The Pens will be without three of their top five scorers (Hornqvist, Kunitz, Letang), another top-four defenseman (Maata), and another top-six winger (Dupuis). If there was ever a time to beat down on a division leader, now’s the time. This is a big game for the Rangers, who need points.
The Penguins are playing a slightly different system under Mike Johnston than it did under Bylsma. Johnston has Pittsburgh running a stacked 1-2-2 forecheck, which is what AV runs. Everyone attacks and breaks-out in packs. Short, quick passes and attacking the blueline with speed is preferred over dump and chase hockey and home run passes. Pretty much everyone is playing this way now. Not much has changed in the DZ. They still run a basic zone defense, a 1-3-1 power play and a hybrid penalty kill depending on puck location. It’s a copy cat league kids.
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Per Sean Hartnett, winger Chris Kreider is doubtful for tonight with neck spasms after colliding with Carl Hagelin at practice yesterday. With Kreider likely out, J.T. Miller will stay in the lineup for at least one more game.
Meanwhile, AV also confirmed that Tanner Glass and John Moore will return to the lineup tonight. Glass is replacing the injured Kreider, and Moore is replacing Matt Hunwick. If Kreider can go, it’s safe to assume Miller will be the odd man out.
As noted at Blueshirts United, the New York Rangers have agreed to terms with 15-year-old defenseman Chris Falzone on a one-day contract. Diagnosed with cancer during his freshman year of high school, Falzone was told he would never play hockey again after needing a full hip replacement. His treatment options changed, and he was placed in a semi-body cast in Philadelphia to heal. Falzone has healed completely and has since rejoined his hockey team, with tryouts for his high school team coming.
Miller will sit for Glass. Shocker.
Update: Tanner Glass is out for the optional skate, which means he will likely be a healthy scratch, per Steve Zipay. The original title for this post is relatively useless, so I’m going to change it now.
Original Post: In case you missed it yesterday, Tanner Glass returned to practice and skated on the fourth line with Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast. With that, J.T. Miller will be a healthy scratch, sitting alongside Anthony Duclair in the press box. If you’re on Twitter, and you’re following me, Martin, Becky, Chris, or Kevin, then you know how absolutely thrilled we are to see two younger and better skaters sitting for Glass.
I’m not going to beat a dead horse and explain why Glass isn’t even remotely close to being the best option on the ice. Been there, done that. By all accounts, Glass is a fantastic person, but on the ice, he’s just not the answer. Let’s just compare him to the two kids sitting in favor of Glass, and it’s pretty clear.
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Sorry folks, no goal breakdown from last night’s game. I didn’t get a chance to watch the game. So, use this to discuss the game, the “two lazy backchecks” that AlainVigneault called out in the second period, the awful 5-on-3 (or 5-on-2 1/2, since one player didn’t have a stick).
Again, sorry about that.
Cam Talbot will be in net tonight, looking for his third straight win and third straight shutout in Detroit, as the New York Rangers take on the Red Wings. The Rangers are fresh off a 6-3 loss to Tampa Bay, their third in a month, but are 6-0-1 in games where they haven’t played the Lightning, so that’s always a positive. These two teams met a month ago in New York, with the Rangers winning in overtime on a Derick Brassard powerplay goal. Hopefully their non-Tampa Bay roll will continue tonight.
Mike Babcock has his boys playing a 2-1-2 forecheck, but mix in a LW lock depending on game situation. In their own zone, Detroit plays a straight up zone defense. On the PP, the Wings employ an umbrella and a 1-3-1 formation, but will use Zetterberg as a rover. He’s all over the zone. On the penalty kill they change up their strategy depending on the opposition’s setup.
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