Archive for Analysis

Photo Credit: Lasik MD

Goaltending is a unique position within the hockey world.  It is wildly misunderstood and poorly analyzed. The industry as a whole seems to pass the buck to “goalie people” when seeking information or guidance about pretty much anything regarding the position.  This correlates to the way fans view the position, as well.  Coming from the perspective of someone who plays, studies and analyzes the nuances of the discipline, this can be quite frustrating.

One of the most egregiously misunderstood aspects is the psychology associated with manning the crease. It is a complicated relationship you have with just about everyone on the ice; from the head coach to your teammates, referees and fans.  From reading commentary -not only from this site, but from the larger media, in general- how a person feels about a goaltender’s role, value or behavior can vary greatly.  Read More→

Categories : Analysis, Goaltending
Comments (51)
Jun
01

Discussing advanced statistics

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Happy Friday, BSB community! As we all know, our beloved Rangers missed the playoffs this season.  Suffice it to say, this has created a much longer off season than we have all recently grown accustomed to.  While a huge bummer, I prefer to look at it as an opportunity.  For one, I personally have enjoyed watching stress free playoff hockey for the first time in forever.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  When the Pens, Devils, Bruins and Flyers were alive there was a little stress, but thankfully they didn’t last long.

More importantly, it gives us an opportunity to discuss the game, the team and other hockey related issues without the break-neck pace of a typical off season.  This is exactly what I would like to do this morning.  But, I need your help.  We have an incredibly diverse readership here.  People coming from all walks of life to enjoy content and discussion about our favorite team.  Different ages, professions, education, geography, gender, etc., creates a multitude of different perspectives and ideas, which is a great thing. We don’t always get along, but the variety of opinions is what makes this site so great. Read More→

Categories : Analysis, Offseason
Comments (45)
May
26

Can David Quinn Fix Brendan Smith?

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Hey, remember Brendan Smith? All-around solid defenseman, slated to be on their second pair last year, a potentially perfect partner for Kevin Shattenkirk? Yeah, that guy.

The Rangers acquired Smith in a trade from Detroit at the deadline two seasons ago, and he helped them reach the second round of the playoffs. Despite a rough game six against Ottawa (perhaps a portent of things to come), Smith’s play down the stretch was a revelation. He was the embodiment of the modern “stay-at-home” defenseman; he played a reliable defensive game with an edge, but also moved the puck efficiently and chipped in on offense (seen here):

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Categories : Analysis, Offseason, Players
Comments (32)

With the dust settling on Saturday’s lottery, the long wait for the 2018 NHL Draft drags on. As Dave and Pat have noted, the ninth overall pick that the Rangers possess is by no means a death knell.  Trading up is a possibility, but conventional wisdom holds that unless Jeff Gorton can maneuver into the top three, it’s better to hang onto the pick and see if some classic #HockeyMan folly results in a very good player falling into the Rangers’ laps. Being an optimist, I’d be fine with this strategy.

However, there’s a counterargument, which in my mind starts starts here, with a tweet from noted smart Rangers fan and friend to the blog @HockeyStatMiner:

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Comments (35)

Pictured: Third line scoring winger Cody McLeod!

The Rangers continued playing out the string last night, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3. The game was an entertaining affair, and featured strong performances from Jesper Fast, Alexandar Georgiev and Chris Kreider. The Blueshirts put forth a solid effort, but lost due to the lack of talent and depth that playoff teams like the Flyers boast. It was a game very much in line with what we’ve seen from the Rangers over the last few weeks, and likely what we’ll continue to see as the season winds down.

But if you came here expecting a full game recap, I’m sorry to disappoint. Instead, I’d like to talk about Cody McLeod and Vladislav Namestnikov.

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Categories : Analysis, Game Wrap-ups
Comments (73)
Mar
17

Alain Vigneault Still Looms

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Being a Rangers fan over the last few weeks has proven to be a strange existence. A lot of what we’re experiencing has the feel of Seinfeld’s Bizarro World: scoreboard-watching for repercussions on the draft lottery (as opposed to the playoffs), knowing that wins – while often fun – are not the best medicine, and still getting strangely upset at the Blueshirts’ glaring deficiencies while knowing that they’re an objectively bad team at present.

One key thing that remains is the presence of Alain Vigneault.  Indeed, there has been a lot more speculation about AV’s future than one would expect given the situation the organization is in.  A lot of people have pointed to Jeff Gorton’s non-committal comments last month as a sure sign that Vigneault would be fired at season’s end, but other than that, there seems to be a somewhat strong possibility that he may stay.  As Bob McKenzie noted on Wednesday night on NBCSN, the coach’s contract runs through the 2019-20 season at an estimated $4 million per year.  The Rangers would likely have to fork over a lot of that cash up front if they were to let him go.

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Comments (19)

Now that we’re in a veritable rebuild I thought it would be fun to take a look at some cautionary tales, teams that have attempted to rebuild and failed, in order to determine what went wrong and how the Rangers should avoid making those some mistakes (all this of course, with the idea of Gorton or someone high up in the Rangers’ front office is reading this, because there’s a non-zero chance of that happening). This is going to be something I try and stick to, because I’d like to be able to really give some time and thought to why and how exactly teams have blown it in blowing it up. With all of that said there really is no better candidate for a cautionary tale deep dive than the Edmonton Oilers.

The Oilers have been rebuilding now for more or less a decade, depending on when you consider the rebuild to have started. A good trail marker along the mountain trek that is the Oilers rebuild is the Ryan Smyth trade: they gave up a heart and soul player, someone who had set records and given his all to the team through some very successful years (including a run to the Stanley Cup Final that ended in heartbreak at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes), all for Ryan O’Marra, Robert Nilsson, and a first round pick that they’d use to select Alex Plante. This break with the previous era came shortly after the Oilers traded another mainstay in Chris Pronger, who brought back Joffrey Lupul, Ladislav Smid, and three draft picks (the draft picks ended up going to various other places in exchange for various other pieces, the details of which can be found here).

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Categories : Analysis
Comments (51)
Mar
03

Kicking Things Off Right

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Friends, as we enter into this rebuild it’s important to consider what we lost and what we got in return. While we did sell off Nash, Grabner, Holden, McDonagh, and Miller, we ended up getting a boatload of picks in return (we now have three first rounders, two second rounders, two third rounders, and then one each in rounds four through six, with our own seventh rounder having been traded away as part of the Mika Zibanejad deal – a fair enough swap I’d say) but we also got some roster players, and so far it’s been going alright.

While guys like O’Gara and Lindgren may be underwhelming (I think Lindgren will be alright, but I know others aren’t so crazy about him) with regards to Namestnikov and Spooner, the future is looking bright. Now, both of them will have to be re-signed long term, providing the Rangers intend to keep them and not flip them both at the draft along with every prospect and pick they have for the first overall, but as far as production goes they’ve been pretty solid so far.

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Categories : Analysis
Comments (41)

ryan mcdonagh

I have to admit that I was one of the many, many skeptics of the Rangers announced plan to end their quixotic push for playoff appearances and actually begin a full level rebuild. Nevertheless, I’ll have to begrudgingly give a lot of credit to Jeff Gorton, for not only stating his plan but actually executing on it.

Based on my Trade Machine model (highlighted here) the Rangers emerged as the clear winners of the trade deadline (although, TB has a pretty good argument too).

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Categories : Analysis
Comments (106)
Feb
23

First impressions of Alexandar Georgiev

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(Photo by David Kirouac/ Getty Images)

Last night, in an otherwise meaningless game, goaltender Alexandar Georgiev made his NHL debut, stopping 38 shots in an impressive performance.  The young Russian was originally an undrafted free agent who attended the Rangers prospect camp this past summer, after an impressive stint in the Finnish Liiga.  Georgiev didn’t come completely out of nowhere; he helped backstop Russia to a silver medal in the 2016 World Junior Championships.  So, what do the Rangers have in this young tender?  Let’s take a look. Read More→

Comments (33)