Report card: Defense

Dan Girardi – What a roller coaster year Girardi just completed. He looked totally lost at the beginning of the season (like several Blueshirts), but quickly turned around his game and played like his old self during the second-half. Management was convinced that Girardi’s early-season hiccups were an anomaly and rewarded him with a six-year, $33 million contract, essentially choosing Girardi over captain Ryan…

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Little positive energy around the Rangers is understandable

There will come a time when Rangers fans look back on this season with mostly fond memories, but it is not this day. Not when the team was so close – four measly wins from attaining the sport’s ultimate prize – but now faces the very realistic prospect of an embarrassing sweep. And not when that prize was seemingly lost as much because…

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Stanley Cup Preview: Rangers vs. Kings

Fans are so deliriously happy with the New York Rangers that the two biggest sources of outrage leading up to Game One were over A) the NHL Shop’s handling of mistakenly priced $63 jerseys that eager fans tried to buy by the truckload, only to have their orders canceled, and B) the secondary market ticket prices north of $1,500 for games at Madison Square Garden…

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It looks like Alain Vigneault did a pretty good job managing Henrik Lundqvist this year

Though much has changed with the New York Rangers over the last 12 months, one thing remains the same: the team goes as Henrik Lundqvist goes.  During the early part of the season when the Blueshirts were regularly getting crushed by Western Conference foes, The King was not himself. And not coincidentally, during the second half of the year when…

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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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