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Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

For the first time since, I don’t know the 90s, the Rangers had pretty stable line combinations at the forward position. While most of us figured there would be more consistency with this new regime, I don’t think anyone expected to see the lines stay together as often as they did for as long as they did.

Even if you look back at AV’s tenure in Vancouver, he rarely kept the lines together as consistently as he did last season. Obviously, this had a lot to do with depth. With the departure of many key players at several different forward positions, you wonder what kind of consistency we’ll see during 2014-15 season.

Today, we take an early look at what the Rangers potential line combinations could be come October.

First line

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Categories : Offseason
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Panic at the disco

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Even Margot Robbie is worried

Even Margot Robbie is worried

I was going to post a picture of your average Rangers fan, but I figured Margot Robbie would yield more pageviews. Yes, you’re all suckers.

Other than the fact that she’s hot, I think her reaction is probably synonymous with how most of this fan base reacted to the org’s first week of free agency. Mass panic!

It’s amazing how everyone always derides the Rangers organization for throwing Jim Dolan’s money around this time of the year, yet another summer of keeping his wallet in their pockets and everyone acts like it’s the end of the world. Life of a sports fan I suppose.

Me? I am not worried. I’ll even go out on a limb and say that I actually like the moves our organization made this past week. There’s still work to be done for sure. I mean we are three months away from opening night. But so far, we’re building the roster AV wants.

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Replacing Richards

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Spezza could be an option

Spezza could be an option

I think most of this fan base understood that Richards needed to be bought out. It was certainly something I pushed for last summer and I fully support the move. However, the obvious downside to this decision is now we have a major hole on our roster that needs to be filled.

Assuming the Rangers want to keep Stepan as a 1 or 2c and Brassard as a 2 or 3c, finding another secondary center appears to be the route we’re going to take. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot available. At least no one that I’d consider an ideal candidate.

Here are the few options that will be available this summer and what they would likely cost us should we chose to pursue them.

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Categories : Offseason
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Rangers final grades: Coaching

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Needs improvement

Needs improvement

Back by popular demand, we’ve decided to kick start our annual player, coaching, and management report cards. As always, these grades aren’t just based on stats, but also the execution of each personnel or player’s respective role within the organization. Obviously there’s some subjectivity here, but that’s what makes this interesting and conversational.

Before I get started on AV and company, let me first say that grading coaching specifically is not easy. Many of the greatest coaches in this game have been fired multiple times over, and it’s never because they lost their ability to do what they do. More often than not, those decisions typically come down to politics.

So how does one evaluate a coaching staff?

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Categories : Coaching, Offseason
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Diagnosing Rick Nash

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Courtesy of someone on the internet

Courtesy of someone on the internet

Do the math. Five goals in thirty eight playoff games (or 0.13 goals per game) vs. 336 goals in 783 regular season games (or 0.43 goals per game). If anyone wanted to make a case that Nash wasn’t a playoff performer or that he’s a choke artist, the numbers are there for the taking.

But making such claims are easy. The hard part is trying to figure out why this isn’t working. The even more difficult task is prescribing a solution.

Look, I’m not an expert. I have no magic potion, but I think I at least have a theory as to why Rick Nash’s offense has sank to Brandon Dubinsky levels of erraticism. And the only way to right the ship is to make an adjustment.

Scope this out.

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Categories : Analysis
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Rangers fans walk the long road

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And the waiting is over…until it began again

Well, I certainly never thought I’d be writing this post. The Rangers return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1994 when Richter, Leetch, Messier, Graves and company became legends for slaying dragons, making guarantees, but most importantly — getting the job done. It still amazes me to think that it has been 20 years.

I first started following the Rangers in 1988, the same season Brian Leetch was a rookie. My old man worked for a construction company, which had seats by the old Bud Light sign near the away team tunnel. I still have tickets to my first game that season. It was against the Devils and they were $67.

After watching games on TV with my dad, I remember walking down the stairs to our seats and being blown away at how vivid all the Rangers jerseys were and how gold the Garden ceiling was. Standard TV in those days just did not do the hockey experience justice.

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Categories : Musings
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Memorial Day

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 (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)

(H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)

I know there’s quite a few veterans and active military who read this blog. Thank you for your readership, but most importantly, thank you for your service.

From our family to yours, we hope everyone enjoys the day off. Stay safe.

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According to the internet, Derick Brassard will be back in the lineup tomorrow. Although, Katie Strang tweeted the following quote from AV, “He didn’t tell me. That’s good news.” Either way, expect Brass back in the lineup. 

Stepan is likely out after having surgery on his broken jaw on Friday due to the illegal hit he suffered from Brandon Prust. Prust received a 2 game suspension. Yeah…

Categories : Injuries
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(Eric Bolte/Reuters)

Rangers fans are certainly getting a taste of different hockey clubs this postseason. After playing the Capitals four out of the last five postseasons and the Devils three times in the past eight years, the Rangers squared off against Philly for the first time since 1997 and now get the Montreal Canadiens for the first time since 1996.

Unlike 1996, when both teams’ windows to win were closing, this time around both clubs square off with their respective windows wide open. This series will go deep and will be one for the books for sure.


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Categories : Analysis, Hockey Tactics
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St. Louis Post-Game Speech

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For those of you who missed it, the NHL YouTube channel posted a locker room video of Martin St. Louis giving a nice speech to his teammates following the Rangers win last night against Pittsburgh. It’s definitely worth a watch.

As an avid Hard Knocks, 24/7, it was pretty cool the NHL was able to capture this. Hopefully they post more behind-the-scenes footage like this through out the playoffs.

Scope it out.

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Categories : Playoffs
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