Thoughts following a wild Game 7

Since there’s absolutely no chance of me putting together a coherent post in the wake of that Game 7, I’m going to share some thoughts in bullet point form instead: – Henrik Lundqvist really struggled at the start of the season, but he was Vezina-caliber in the second half and raised his game again in the postseason. The bozos that have…

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Chris Kreider appears to be nearing a return, and boy do the Rangers need him

Though coach Alain Vigneault wouldn’t say it outright, it sure sounds like winger Chris Kreider is getting very close to returning to the Rangers’ lineup. Kreider has missed the team’s last 19 games with an undisclosed left hand injury and would be a major addition to New York’s suddenly offensively-starved lineup. Vigneault has been married to his unofficial top line…

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Special teams will be the key to Game 7

So here we are yet again. Game 7. With the exception of last night’s game, the Rangers have dominated most of the series. They’ve outshot the Flyers in four of six games and have held Philadelphia to just nine goals at even strength, including an empty-netter. Nearly every #fancystat indicates that the Blueshirts have outplayed Philadelphia at even strength by a wide margin….

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Martin St. Louis trade paying dividends when it matters

Things didn’t go so well for Martin St. Louis in his first 19 regular season games with the Rangers, but the trade for him on March 5th was never about the 82 games between October and April. The deal was made because A) New York wasn’t going to re-sign Ryan Callahan and wanted max value in return, and B) St….

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A different way of looking at special teams statistics

The Rangers went on a bizarre tear in March in which they scored on seven of 41 shorthanded situations, yet managed just five goals in 45 of their own power play opportunities. Obviously that was just a weird anomaly, but it made me realize that the traditional ways of measuring special teams – power play and penalty kill percentages –…

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New playoff format set to pour gasoline on old rivalries

Pretty much since the moment I first heard about realignment, I wasn’t a fan. It seemed silly to me to dramatically restructure the league when more changes might have to be made in short order due to relocation or expansion (although the likelihood of that has been reduced). I thought it was unfair that both Eastern Conference divisions housed an…

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Benoit Pouliot’s breakout year is a good example of why teams roll the dice on disappointing youngsters

Every year it seems like the Rangers have a reclamation project or two on their roster. There have been former first- and second-round picks that never panned out in their former homes like Enver Lisin, Chris Higgins, Alex Frolov, Wojtek Wolski and Brian Boyle as well as fringe NHLers looking for a final shot like Ales Kotalik, Anton Stralman, John…

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Examining the teams in the race for the final playoff spots

On Monday, Dave pointed out that though things have seemed a little hairy lately, the team’s playoff chances were still at 94.4% according to SportsClubStats.  Those odds improved to 97.9% after New York beat Phoenix in overtime and Philadelphia lost in regulation to Los Angeles on Monday night, and St. Louis beat Toronto, the Capitals lost to the Kings in…

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Rangers double up on Senators in defensive nightmare

Boy, did I pick the wrong night to do a goal breakdown. Both teams played atrocious defense in this game, but at least the Rangers broke out of the offensive slump that saw them score just six goals in their last four games. Oh yeah, and Henrik Lundqvist became the team’s all-time winningest goaltender with career victory No. 302. Better…

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The reasons for keeping Cam Talbot beyond this year are adding up

When Henrik Lundqvist re-signed with the Rangers for seven years, $59.5 million on December 4, one of the possible dominoes was the team trading backup goalie Cam Talbot this summer. Talbot has produced at probably an unsustainable level. With just one season separating the 26-year-old from unrestricted free agency, you have to assume Talbot is eyeing a chance to compete for a…

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