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Scouting the Opposition: Steve Mason

Mason

With the newly implemented playoff system, this year’s playoff matchups came into focus a bit quicker than they have in recent seasons. I remember the past few years writing multiple scouting posts depending on how the Rangers ultimately finished in the standings. This year, however, it’s only down to Philly and Columbus as potential opponents. I’m going to lead off with Steve Mason, and if Columbus jumps the Flyers in the standings, I’ll just hijack one of my colleague’s slots next week to scout Bobrovsky. Coin flip at this point.

The format remains the same, Stance, Crease Movement/Depth, Equipment, Puck-handling ability and Exploitable Weaknesses. Let’s get after it…

At this point, most of us know the book on Mason: Rookie of the Year winner, future superstar turned reclamation project for the Flyers. No one really knows that happened to him after that first season in Columbus that wrecked his confidence, but he has rebounded significantly in his first season in Orange and Black, and was rewarded with a slightly pre-mature, slightly ridiculous 3-year/$12.3 million contract.

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BSB live chat 4.11.14

 

Friday chat reminder

Sorry about missing last week, but I’ll make it up to you today in a pre-playoff chat.  Make sure to stop by at 11:45 to fill the queue, and we’ll get going at noon sharp.  See everyone this afternoon!

Rangers waste opportunity in Calgary, lose 4-3

Gerry Thomas/Getty Images

The Rangers saw their five game winning streak snapped in addition to having their lead on the Flyers for 2nd place in the Metropolitan Division trimmed in a bitterly disappointing loss to the Flames in Calgary tonight, 4-3.  This one saw Martin St. Louis kick in his would-be first Rangers goal, Henrik Lundqvist surrender a super soft game winner, and Kari Ramo make some huge saves before all was said and done.  It wasn’t all bad for the Blueshirts, however.  They created tons of chances, and the 4th line again looked fantastic.  It’s just tough to swallow a loss against a team like the Flames.  Onto the goals…

1st period

Rangers 0, Flames 1

After some nice work on the forecheck, Derek Dorsett pursued the puck into the zone and took and ill advised penalty behind the play.  As the penalty wore down, McDonagh and Derek Stepan found themselves both collapsing as the Flames entered the zone.  This gave Curtis Glencross the space to drift into the high left slot and blasted a shot over Hank’s left shoulder.  Although the light went on and both teams reacted as if the puck had gone in, it had actually hit the post.  On the ensuing scrum in front, Joe Colborne banged in a rebound for the early lead.  Read more »

Thoughts heading to Calgary

www.timesunion.com

As often happens, my esteemed colleagues here at Blue Seat Blogs have comprehensively covered the vast majority of the pressing Rangers issues of the day, so I’m going to meander through some various thoughts as we approach tonight’s matchup with Calgary.

  • Tonight’s game has trap written all over it.  The Flames are terrible and the Rangers have won five in a row.  With a playoff spot looking more and more secure, it’s my biggest concern that these easy points could slip away as the team looks ahead.
  • With that said, this is a quality test for AV and the team’s leadership to keep the squad focused on the task at hand.  Home ice in the first round is still attainable, and they just need to look no further than the LA Kings of 2012 to see what a massive hot streak entering the playoffs can do for a team’s Cup aspirations. Read more »

BSB live chat 3.28.14

 

Friday chat reminder

Happy Friday to everyone out in Rangerland.  Only have about half hour to chat today, but makes sure to stop by a 11:45am to fill that queue, and we will get going promptly at noon.  See everyone there!

BSB live chat 3.21.14

 

Friday chat reminder

Happy Friday, everyone!  Be sure to stop by today at noon (actual noon this week, I promise) and we will get a nice pre-game chat in.  Bring those questions 15 minutes before and we will get after it.  See everyone this afternoon!

Contextualizing Hank’s place in history

CBS Sports

CBS Sports

With his win over Ottawa on Tuesday night, Henrik Lundqvist passed Mike Richter for the Rangers’ all-time wins record.  His 302nd career victory came on the heels of back-to-back disappointing losses, so this achievement was somewhat marginalized.  It’s very difficult to take stock of history while you are in the middle of a somewhat frustrating playoff race.

Aside from the Rangers’ franchise record, Henrik moved into a tie with Turk Broda for 26th on the NHL all-time wins list.  Just for some context, he is only one win behind Olaf Kolzig, and two behind Billy Smith before some separation sets in.  In only eight-plus seasons, Hank has put himself in the discussion with current or projected hall of famers.  This got me thinking about his overall career trajectory.

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