Rangers mid-season grades: Coaching

Quick note: Last night’s goal breakdown will be posted this afternoon. Back by popular demand, we’ve decided to resurrect our hotly contested player, coaching, and management report cards. For those of you new to the blog, the staff and I hand out ‘performance grades’ around the mid-way point of the regular season and just after the commencement of the playoffs….

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Fixing neutral zone play will be key in Rangers resurgence

Forget what you think you know about hockey zones. The game continues to evolve at a rapid pace and one of the areas that have changed drastically over the last several years is the neutral zone. Traditionally, the neutral zone has been referred to as the area of ice between both bluelines. However, with the evolution of today’s game, most coaches…

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Game 37: Parise Returns

Zach Parise returns to the Garden tonight, but will be sporting Minnesota green instead of Jersey red. The Minnesota native, along with Mikko Koivu leads the Wild in scoring (27 points), and will be looking to rebound after a 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh last Thursday. Under Mike Yeo, the Wild run a 1-2-2 forecheck which they use aggressively or conservatively depending…

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Game 35: Penguins vs. Rangers

After an ugly win against Calgary, where the Rangers made some baby steps in the right direction, the Metropolitan Division leading Pittsburgh Penguins are in town. The Pens are beaten up, with half of their defense (Orpik, Martin, Scuderi) and two key scorers (Malkin, Neal) either injured or suspended. If you’re going to catch Pittsburgh at any point, now is…

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Monday Mailbag: Trade Winds, AV, Signs of a Turnaround?

No goal breakdown today folks. Unfortunately Dave is traveling and I only caught the second half of the game. Apologies for that. Anyway, I originally had an x’s and o’s post scheduled for this morning, but I decided to call an audible since the team really hasn’t been playing well of late. I feel like during such a critical part…

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Game 34: Flames make a rare trip to MSG

Tonight the Calgary Flames (13-15-4) make a rare trip to MSG. The two teams haven’t played against each other since October 2011 and haven’t squared off at MSG in 3+ years.  There isn’t much history between these two teams, so tonight’s game could be a dud. Hopefully it won’t be, as both teams are sub .500 and searching for some…

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Callahan out 4-6 weeks

As if the season couldn’t get worse, AV said in his post-game press conference that Ryan Callahan has a 2nd degree MCL injury. Cally will likely be out 4-6 weeks. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more news.

A Need for Grit

It’s no secret, hockey is a war of attrition. Come playoff time, games are usually settled in dirty areas of the ice by close scores. The Rangers style of play has certainly changed since they last made a run in 2012 where they pretty much embodied my last sentence. This season we’ve begun to learn what we don’t have and…

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Lundqvist signs 7 year extension

According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Henrik Lundqvist has signed a 7 year extension worth $8.5M per year. This should put any doubts about who the number 1 goalie is to rest, as Hank now becomes the highest paid goalie in the NHL. The raise is a modest $1.75 million from his current contract, so the cap hit,…

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One size does not fit all when it comes to player development

There’s an old cliche that lingers around front offices and rinks throughout North America that ‘if you’re good enough, you’ll make it no matter what’. It’s a cliche that lives on because so to do the skeptics and excuses that often attach to certain players who don’t live up to expectations. All too often fans and media members are quick…

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