What is Kevin Hayes’ ceiling?

There haven’t been too many 6-5 22-year-old rookie centers in NHL history, so it’s a little difficult to project the player Kevin Hayes might turn into. He seems to be getting better and better with each game and has turned into a solid third-line center in no time. Hayes wasn’t all that impressive in the preseason. Prospect pundits had been gushing…

Read More→

Is J.T. Miller here to stay this time?

Stop me if this sounds familiar: a heralded first-round pick impressed immediately in his first professional season, but struggled as a sophomore and spent much of that season in the American Hockey League. In his third year, the prospect looked like a lock for a full-time job out of training camp, but was sent back to Hartford after just a few games. But about…

Read More→

The power play is beginning to feel the Dan Boyle effect

Martin covered Boyle’s impact yesterday, but here’s a little more. It’s Thanksgiving week so forgive me for not rewriting this one. Though contract length and roster construction played a part, the Rangers basically chose between two distinct skill sets when they elected not to re-sign Anton Stralman and inked Dan Boyle as his replacement in July. The argument for Boyle was that…

Read More→

The Rangers haven’t been able to replace Brad Richards

We’ve spent a lot of time bemoaning the loss of Anton Stralman, whose departure has coincided with a drastic drop in possession numbers. We’ve also talked about the impact losing Brian Boyle has had on the penalty kill and on faceoffs. Heck, we’ve even reminisced about Raphael Diaz. But one key veteran has been quickly forgotten since his forced exit just…

Read More→

Rangers have legit excuses for early struggles, but show they’re capable of much more

When we look back on the season at the end of the year, there’s a good possibility that last weekend will represent its low point. A blown lead against Toronto followed by another embarrassing performance at home against Edmonton seemed unacceptable over the last couple of days, but last night’s 5-0 drubbing of Pittsburgh was a good reminder that the Blueshirts…

Read More→

Reinforcements are on the way

The Rangers are so shorthanded right now that they’re bringing in Tomas Kaberle to skate with the team today, but that won’t last much longer. Derek Stepan’s return is imminent, Dan Boyle’s recovery is also in it’s final stages, and John Moore’s suspension will be over after Sunday’s game. Kevin Klein could follow soon after, though no official prognosis has…

Read More→

Rangers’ depth shining in the early going

Forget Mike Kostka. The one-game experiment with the 28-year-old defender notwithstanding, the Rangers’ depth has been extremely impressive so far this season. Derek Stepan and Dan Boyle are two enormous losses that most teams wouldn’t be able to withstand, but New York has weathered the storm remarkably well through seven games. It hasn’t been easy. Poor planning down the middle during the…

Read More→

Pleasant surprises dotted through Rangers’ early struggles

Three losses in four games and 12 goals against in the first two home contests certainly isn’t how the Rangers wanted to start the season, but it’s not altogether unexpected. With No. 1 center Derek Stepan and No. 4 D Dan Boyle on the shelf, and a slew of raw youngsters in the lineup, it’s no surprise that the Blueshirts have been…

Read More→

The opening night lineup doesn’t matter

It’s a fool’s errand to try to predict the opening night lineup before training camp. Even once camp begins, there are far too many variables to nail it. But though we can’t help anticipating and debating who will make the team during the summer months, the opening night lineup means very little in the grand scheme of things. No one could have…

Read More→

Rangers’ offense figures to be much improved, but what about the defense?

Just over a year into Alain Vigneault’s tenure as coach of the Rangers, the team’s roster already looks dramatically different than the one he inherited last June. Granted, roster turnover is nothing new for New York, but the moves made over the last 15 months have Vigneault’s fingerprints all over them. Black and Blueshirts like Brian Boyle and Ryan Callahan…

Read More→