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Moving on up?

Moving on up?

Admin note 1: The upgrade had some issues last night, and will continue into today. I am disabling comments on this post for now, as this is currently on the old database. This post will reappear on the new database when this is complete.

Admin note 2: Comments have been activated. The migration is near complete, but there will be limited functionality until it is complete.

Before we jump into this week’s musings, I first want to thank everyone for their patience as our site’s server was recently upgraded and we were unable to post anything for the last 24 hours. As Dave stated yesterday, hopefully this upgrade will help the site run a little smoother and faster.

Back to business. Below are this week’s random thoughts on the state of the Rangers. As always, feel free to pop off in the comments section below.

The last Stral?

This past week Larry Brooks reported that Anton Stralman turned down a three-year, nine million dollar contract offer from the Rangers. Two thoughts on this. First, Stralman isn’t worth much more than that. While he’s been a dependable defensemen, Diaz and Klein – both right-handed shots – make Stralman expendable. Both guys were accustomed to playing around 18 minutes a night prior to their trade to the Rangers.

The other interesting thing about this news was that Stralman’s agent denied the report, which leads me to believe the Rangers leaked this to Larry Brooks and not Stralman’s camp. I don’t know how the rest of you feel, but I’m getting pretty tired of these public contract negotiations which seem to be happening more and more with our current players. I wonder if they’re getting sick of this too.

Contracts Staal-ed

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Categories : Musings
Comments (12)
Nash

Nash

Other than the start of free agency, perhaps there’s no other time of the year where hockey fans, the media, and even front office staff get overly excited about other team’s players. Some trade deadline’s end up as complete busts, while other’s see more movement than anyone could have anticipated. How this week will turn out, nobody knows for sure.

However, for the first time in a rather long time, I’m hoping the Rangers will stand pat. Even if it means holding on to you-know-who regardless of whether he signs a new contract by 3pm Wednesday. This year the reason to stand pat is simple — we’re playing very well and we still have yet to see the best of Rick Nash.

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Categories : Players
Comments (33)
Courtesy of NYR Zone

Courtesy of NYR Zone

In case you missed it, Boomer Esiason sent Twitter into a craze over the weekend when he posted a series of tweets alluding that Ryan Callahan will be traded before the deadline. What started as a more casual conversation with ambiguous thoughts and ‘gut feelings’ turned in to something much more.

By the time he was done responding to fans he had crossed out potential trade partners as well as specific trade candidates. In other words, he’s claiming to know something. This whole thing was basically positioned as something where both parties already agree upon the framework of a deal. For all of his tweets, click here.

Now I know some of you may ask, how would a former NFL QB get inside scope on the Rangers? It’s a fair question and the answer doesn’t seem obvious, at least not at first.

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Comments (102)

Last week in my NHL fan guide to Olympic hockey, I briefly spoke about how systems on international ice can be a bit different than what we are used to seeing in North American rinks. After watching much of group play, we’re starting to get a sense of how teams are tactically approaching their opponents with the extra 15 feet of ice.

If there’s one common denominator in many of these games, it is that there’s still not a hell of a lot of room out there, especially in the neutral zone. I expected a lot of trapping from the Latvia’s and Slovenia’s, as overmatched teams generally employ such systems. However, even top teams like Canada, Sweden, and Finland are using these same conservative structures.

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Categories : Hockey Tactics, Olympics
Comments (9)
Feb
10

NHL fan guide to Olympic hockey

Posted by: | Comments (21)
The King

The King

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi are underway and soon hockey fans from around the globe will be treated to the best ice hockey tournament not named the Stanley Cup playoffs. For the 5th straight Winter games, NHL players will officially be allowed to participate. And as a result, expectations for gold are highest around Canada, Sweden, the US, and of course the host country – Mother Russia.

Tracking the quest for gold is always the main reason for following the Olympics. However, this year in particular there are quite a few other narratives that are equally compelling and definitely worth waking up early to watch.

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Comments (21)
Feb
07

Goal breakdown: Rangers vs. Oilers

Posted by: | Comments (40)
So close

So close

Although the Rangers won the puck possession game with 60 even strength Corsi events (shots+missed shots+attempts blocked) to Edmonton’s 46, they just couldn’t find a way to win. The Rangers also had way too many giveaways — 15 to be exact — to a team they should have had a better time managing the puck against.

On the positive side, Captain Callahan had another solid game with 8 hits, 2 blocked shots and several grade A chances, including a breakaway that just wouldn’t go. I know, I’m starting to sound like Doc.

And a shotttttttttttt!

Anyway, on to the goals:

Rangers 0, Oilers 1

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (40)
You got questions. The Suit has answers.
You got questions. The Suit has answers.

Happy Monday Rangers fans. I hope everyone had a fun and safe Super Bowl Sunday. We received a few good questions over the past few weeks, so hopefully I can provide some good answers as the Rangers continue their push towards the playoffs.

You’ve written that the Rangers play an ‘overload defense’ but NBC continues to label the Rangers as team that plays man-on-man coverage, which is it?
-Bob

When it comes to defensive zone coverages, a lot of coaches just don’t want their clubs playing one way anymore. Alain Vigneault is one of those coaches. Without getting too repetitive, as I’ve covered this before, AV has our boys playing an overload defense when the puck is along the half wall. However, when the puck ends up down low, they switch to man-on-man. Recognizing the overload vs. man-on-man vs. zone isn’t too hard to spot.

The overload has defenses outnumbering the opposition (e.g., 3-on-2, 2-on-1) in certain parts of the ice. Man-on-man coverages mean players defend evenly and will follow their check. There is often a lot of movement around the slot, almost resembling a cyclone with guys swirling everywhere. Zone means skaters will defend a patch of ice, so defenses end up looking like a more static geometric shape (e.g., box+1, triangle+2, etc.).

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Categories : Musings
Comments (23)
You got questions. The Suit has answers.
You got questions. The Suit has answers.

Happy Monday Rangers fans. I hope everyone had a fun and safe Super Bowl Sunday. We received a few good questions over the past few weeks, so hopefully I can provide some good answers as the Rangers continue their push towards the playoffs.

You’ve written that the Rangers play an ‘overload defense’ but NBC continues to label the Rangers as team that plays man-on-man coverage, which is it?
-Bob

When it comes to defensive zone coverages, a lot of coaches just don’t want their clubs playing one way anymore. Alain Vigneault is one of those coaches. Without getting too repetitive, as I’ve covered this before, AV has our boys playing an overload defense when the puck is along the half wall. However, when the puck ends up down low, they switch to man-on-man. Recognizing the overload vs. man-on-man vs. zone isn’t too hard to spot.

The overload has defenses outnumbering the opposition (e.g., 3-on-2, 2-on-1) in certain parts of the ice. Man-on-man coverages mean players defend evenly and will follow their check. There is often a lot of movement around the slot, almost resembling a cyclone with guys swirling everywhere. Zone means skaters will defend a patch of ice, so defenses end up looking like a more static geometric shape (e.g., box+1, triangle+2, etc.).

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Categories : Musings
Comments (23)
Jan
27

Ryan Callahan and his future in blue

Posted by: | Comments (49)
Courtesy of NYR Zone

Courtesy of NYR Zone

When the clock strikes 3pm on Wednesday, March 5th signaling the time which any player acquired by a team can be eligible to participate in the postseason (also known as the trade deadline), it is all but certain Ryan Callahan will still be Captain of the New York Rangers Hockey Club. However, what happens between March 5th and July 1st is still anyone’s guess.

Today, we’re going to take a look at a few different scenarios around what the Rangers might look like with and without our Captain heading into next year, and what the cost implications might be. Realistically, barring a trade (which is unlikely to begin with), there are only two scenarios for the Rangers: They re-sign Cally, or they do not re-sign Cally.

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Categories : Analysis, Players
Comments (49)
The image that keeps on giving

The jpg that keeps on giving

Over the past several years, we’ve talked a lot about hockey system basics like forecheckingdefensive zone systems, and power plays, as well as different philosophies like ice-time distribution, line juggling, and the countless ways to tactically differentiate Alain Vigneault and John Tortorella. Believe it or not, there’s still a lot more to cover.

We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on things such as entries (o-zone and d-zone), breakouts, regroups, counters, backchecking systems, face-off plays, etc. In other words, I hope you all still have a healthy appetite for this stuff.

Thanks to a request from loyal Blue Seat Blogs follower Tommy Tabasco (@ttabasco13), today we’re going to focus on breakouts. This was a good pick from Tommy since breakouts are such a crucial first step to generating offense. 

When it comes to even-strength breakouts, there are essentially two different types: control breakouts and pressure breakouts.

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Categories : Hockey Tactics
Comments (27)