We’re a short week into the 2016-17 NHL season already and have seen some high scoring hockey in our hometown at the Garden. With the excitement of new faces like Jimmy Vesey, Pavel Buchnevich, Mika Zibanejad, etc., it’s been easy to forget that other hockey teams exist around the league.
Don’t be sad, dear reader. Our job here at BSB is to keep you clued in on not only all things New York Rangers, but all things hockey. It’s been an entertaining week in hockey-land, so let’s break it down systematically.
Goals, Goals, Goals
The Rangers dropped a game to the Blues last night in St. Louis, and boy do we have some things to unpack here. What needs to be said prior to this bullet point recap is this: the Rangers played well and were on the wrong side of PDO last night, so let’s take this loss with a grain (or twelve) of salt.
- The first goal, and beginning of the game, featured some bouncing pucks and attempts to settle play. The goal was a bad hop over Girardi’s stick at the blue line for a Tarasenko breakaway. Fun fact: he doesn’t miss those. Ever.
Acquiring fresh faces for your team usually results in endless discussion about the players ceiling of impact. A fan learns all they can about the player and their ideal fit in with the team. In the case of a trade, one may notice what left the team for the new player. Otherwise, it’s mostly focus on the new, out with the old.
The Rangers lost some players this offseason to free agency (or basically free agency, in the case of Keith Yandle), who were considered peripheral players that were, well, replaceable. So, what about these players futures?
Due to my overwhelming excitement at the beginning of football season, today’s post will be a pre-season discombobulated musings. The World Cup preliminaries this past weekend show that the sport is quickly upon us. It brings up some pretty good questions about our Blueshirts.
- The World Cup is really fun, but can it be damaging? I caught some highlights from Friday night’s game and honestly wish I hadn’t. If a Ranger gets hurt, even a little banged up, I’m not sure I’m on the WCH-is-a-valid-reason-like-the-Olympics train.
Beginning September 17, the world of hockey will bring back the international competition that so many of us crave without having to wait for the 2018 Winter Games. The World Cup of Hockey will reinstitute itself next month in an effort to bring about some good hockey fun prior to the season starting.
Teams have been fully announced, with several alternate players selected. The tournament is assembled with only eight teams, which allows for each team to get a fair shot at making it to the finals. Teams like Team North America and Team Europe will be comprised of either youngsters or of several nationalities who may not have otherwise created a team. It’s an exhibition that should prove to be fun for fans to watch.
With the spectacle this past week of Alex Rodriguez taking over the sports world, it was hard to not take notice of the superstar legacy that was (is?) his career. Since this is a hockey blog, the details are unimportant; the point here is that, whether you like him or not, he will go down as one of the best to have played the game. And for most of his career, not even at his natural position.
So you may be asking what this has to do with said hockey blog. Great question, friend. While thinking about Rodriguez’ infamous career, it brought about a lot of questions about sports and icons in general. The idea of him going out as a pariah is a joke, but that speaks more to the institution of the MLB and the club that didn’t protect him than anything. How about other guys with talent flowing out of their every pore and their public persona?
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend Smashfest for a third year in a row. For those unfamiliar with Smashfest, it is a questionably named fundraiser that (former?) Ranger Dominic Moore throws every year in Toronto. The event raises money for rare cancers and concussion charities, which both have personal ties to Moore.
Several NHL players attend to show their support for the cause, which elevates a ping pong tournament, paired with silent auctions, to raise over half a million dollars for charity. NHL players compete for ping pong supremacy in the friendly confines of the Steamwhistle Brewery, just beneath the CN Tower.
Last week, I proposed a somewhat scandalous suggestion, in that it doesn’t rely on either the eye test or on advanced statistics. It called upon the Rangers’ lack of enthusiasm and other intangibles that often make stats people a little upset. It’s worth a quick read prior to this post.
The majority of comments cited a need for change, that the Rangers have outrun their window to win. However, does this necessarily mean blowing up the team? From Gorton’s moves this week, it certainly looks like he’s trying to create a team to win, with prudent signings this week which will hopefully ameliorate the current core.
The dog days of summer are here, with limited hockey activity and extended lazy days, it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on with the home team. Free agency has come and gone, and now development camp is the most action that we can see. It’s easy to lose sight of a winter sport while playing in the ocean, grilling in the yard, or relaxing with friends.
This year has been particularly difficult, though, in a way that was not apparent in years past: I immediately stopped caring about the Rangers halfway through the final game against the Penguins. It felt as though the Rangers stopped caring, and, as any good jilted lover does, I withdrew. It has been months and I barely wonder about them at all. Read More→
There have been plenty of moves around the league since Friday to keep us chattering for the next few weeks, but the real craziness occurred on Wednesday with trades after trade. It started with Seth Jones signing an extension, then the Hall-Larsson trade, then the PK Subban – Shea Weber trade, finalized with the Steven Stamkos extension.
While any of these transactions could be the topic of a blog post, let’s focus on the state of Montreal here. The trade was shocking; after hearing that he’s on the market at the draft, it was assumed that Canadiens’ GM Marc Bergevin was simply making waves. We’ve discussed here how a GM’s role is to hear out all possibilities coming from anywhere, for anyone. So for Bergevin to say it is one thing, but to act on it was shocking. Read More→