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Jan
14

Mid-Season Report Card: The Defense

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Welcome to this special place, Kevin

We’ve saved our best (worst) report card for last: the stellar defensive corps of the New York Rangers. I’ve been searching for the best string of analogies to explain how bad this defense has been. It’s similar to the DirecTV ad campaign… some people really just enjoy being in pain. And that’s us, wishing the Rangers would play well.

We’ll take a look at the seven gentlemen who defend our goaltenders through the 43 games played. Oh yes, 43, including the disaster that took place at the Garden yesterday. Keep in mind that this season started with the promise of a new day in the form of Kevin Shattenkirk supposedly playing with Ryan McDonagh. Lol.

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Categories : Defense
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MSG until Saturday

Good news folks: there’s no Rangers hockey until Saturday, so we get to look at Michael Grabner’s Bahamas vacation and not Paul Carey on the second line. Sadly, eventually Saturday will come. Let’s look at the Metro standings:

Metro Standings as of 1/8/18

 

Wild Card as of 1/8/18

Far be it for someone who’s #neverplayedthegame to state why the Rangers aren’t picking up easy points, but only picking up two points last week is clearly hurting them now. Not fancy stats. Not shot attempts. Actual Points.

When the Rangers come back from their hard-earned vacation, they’ll have two Metropolitan Division matches. Let’s take a look.

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Memories.. light the corners of my mind

Coming off the heels of another great outdoor win, the Rangers only have three games that separate them from their week-long break. They also only have three more games until the effective halfway point of their season, as Saturday’s melee in Vegas will be their 42nd game of the year. Time flies, folks.

As we do, let’s take a look at the ever-so-tight Division Standings along with the Wild Card picture:

Metro Division, January 2 2018

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Dec
26

Weekly Preview: Post-Holiday Push

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Brooks Orpik does indeed still play for the Capitals.

The Rangers have a light week ahead of them, with two games to warm them up before the showdown on New Years Day at Citifield. Hopefully, the break has given the team a chance to regroup from the messy ending of last week.

The standings are close as usual in both the Division and the Wild Card, and the Rangers are in the playoff picture for the time being.

Metro Standings, 12/25

Wild Card Standings, 12/25

A dead tie between the Isles and Rangers, and three points has both Carolina and Pittsburgh looking in… well this ought to be fun.

Let’s look at the games this week.

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Dec
18

Weekly Preview: A Potpourri of Opponents

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mats zuccarello

The Rangers have a lighter week than last, playing two home games and one on the “road”: road being in quotation marks as Newark is historically heavily Ranger-land. With a brief reprise from a hectic week, the Rangers don’t have to think about a back-to-back until the new year.

This week features an array of opponents from different divisions: one Pacific (ANA), one Metropolitan rival (NJD), and one Atlantic (TOR). As always, let’s take a look at the Metro and the Rangers playoff standings (as of Sunday afternoon):

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Your Friday Night Matchup

As mentioned last week, and as will be likely be mentioned every week until April, the Metropolitan Division is tighter than Ron Duguay’s blazers. Despite a divisional matchup week last week for the Rangers, there hasn’t been much movement going on either way, so the Rangers just need to keep their heads up and win win win.

Here’s what the Divison standings look like as of Sunday night:

The Rangers are still shy of the playoffs, but certainly not out of the picture entirely – surprisngly, nobody really is with the division being separated by only ten points. The Rangers have four games this week, starting tonight, against mostly subpar opponents. The question will be whether they can cash in on easier games. The second question is if Henrik Lundqvist will play every game (my vote’s on yes).

Let’s take a look at the opponents.

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The Rangers won’t be seeing this face

The Rangers enter another week of work with just three games, two on the road, but both within 400 miles of the bright lights of Broadway. The Rangers will be facing divisional rivals, first in Pittsburgh, then in Washington, and finally the Devils… and these are not the matchups that we’re used to in years past.

The Metropolitan Division is extraordinarily tight, with the top six teams separated by only five points. Of course, only about a third of the way through the season is not the ideal time to discuss playoff seeding, but it’s likely that this will be a nail biter all the way through April. Here are the standings as of last night:

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The Rangers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 last night, capitalizing on the Canes premature pull of goaltender Scott Darling with two minutes left in the third period. Michael Grabner got a hat trick off of two empty net goals and Paul Carey added a last minute trash goal to inflate the score much larger than the actual play would indicate.

The game was pretty evenly matched through the first period and a half, despite Carolina’s goal occurring within one minute of the game opening. You’d never be able to tell from the final scores of each of their matchups, but these two teams are similar: both are fringe playoff teams, both have talent, yet both have glaring issues that need to be fixed in order to go far.

Let’s break down some key points of the game:

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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Nov
28

Weekly Preview: win another two at home

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Photo Credit: Chris Seward

The Rangers are doing whatever is necessary to rake out two points each game lately, at times more theatrically than others. At the same time, they’re seemingly investing heavily in high blood pressure medication for their fans, which has become a requirement. The past two games have taught us that this team is magical at the Garden… magical in that they pull wins out of nowhere.

This week is relatively quiet, with games only tonight and Friday, and can help launch the Rangers higher in the rankings of a tight Metropolitan Division. As of Tuesday morning, the Metropolitan looks like this:

Listen: both of the games this week are easily winnable. Easily. In fact, the Rangers have already beaten both of these teams, and scored 11 goals between those two games. We aren’t in “must win” territory anymore, but it’d be silly not to win these.

On to the games:

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Image c/o Labatt Blue

The Rangers looked to right the ship last night in Columbus, just two days after suffering their first loss in two weeks. Sadly for the Blueshirts, they faced the same hot goalie that they did last week in Sergei Bobrovsky, except this time, they were unable to score.

This game featured Brendan Smith’s return to the lineup, marking his first start since the October 31 win against Vegas. The game also featured the return of the ever-infuriating Pavel Buchnevich Project, where inexplicably, some players get long leashes whilst others do not.

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