Archive for Analysis

rangers hawks kevin shattenkirk henrik lundqvist

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

The biggest story at the end of Alain Vigneault’s tenure in New York was the defense. The Rangers hemorrhaged shots left and right. They did so from almost point blank range. At first it was supposed to be the personnel, but the players on the blue line changed over, and the defense got worse.

While I don’t have much insight into new coach David Quinn’s systems, I have oodles of time analyzing and evaluating AV’s systems. It’s lazy analysis to say it was the system, and then not provide any real proof. So let’s take a look at what AV did, and what Quinn can do to make improvements regardless of the roster makeup.

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Categories : Analysis
Comments (21)
Jul
09

Who really drives the KZB line?

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pavel buchnevich chris kreider

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/AP

As the offseason turns to the dog days of summer, us fans are left counting the days until October. The roster appears to be set, and the Rangers look like they won’t be making any big moves. Naturally, that can all change, but I think it’s safe to say that Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, and Pavel Buchnevich will be on the club and form the Rangers’ top line next season.

The KZB line has been phenomenal when together. They seem to gel together, and complement each other nicely. Zibanejad is the scorer, Kreider is the beast, and Buchnevich is the visionary. Everything seems to work for them. But there seems to be an argument that Buchnevich (or Kreider) is the passenger on the line. So let’s look at those claims. Who really drives that line?

*-Note: I am forming conclusions as I write the post, based on what I’m seeing. This is not a preconceived notion/post.

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Categories : Analysis
Comments (41)

I’d like to start today’s post off with an assumption that everyone is familiar with the modern idiom “paralysis by analysis.”  If you’re not, here’s a quick definition courtesy of everyone’s best friends over at Wikipedia:

“Analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis is the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.” Read More→

Categories : Analysis, Offseason, Rants
Comments (115)

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)