Archive for Around the League

See you soon, old pal

On the eve of Game 13 of the season, the Rangers find themselves firmly in panic mode, needing to right the sinking ship. If the Titanic has taught us anything, it’s that a) Jack could have fit on that door, and b) you need to make sure you have enough life boats to save the ship. It seems the life boats, as the “gimme” games against Montreal and Arizona, have sailed far away.

The Rangers are looking out on Games 13, 14 and 15 this week against two very hot teams and one team playing average hockey. The time to have turned the ship around would have been last week, and it looked like that almost happened against Montreal. Unfortunately, the regulation loss against the Canadiens on Saturday night could prove to be more harmful than it seems.

Let’s take a look at what lies in the week ahead.

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Oct
10

Graced by Vadim Shipachyov

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vadim shipachyov

In the midst of the panic with the Rangers having a poor first two games of the season, one of the things that have been consistently talked about is Coach Alain Vigneault essentially benching 18 year old rookie Filip Chytil throughout the first two games of the season. Chytil has struggled, but when he is your defacto 2C, you can’t be playing him five minutes a night. Perhaps it takes a bit to get used to the tougher competition.

One thing thing the Rangers must do is add a talented center as soon as possible if the Rangers intend on sending Chytil back to Zlin (Czech league), otherwise the offense is in trouble. Adding a top-six center is incredibly difficult, and the Rangers don’t really have the chips to land a guy that fits that mold. It’s going to be easier said than done. So the club is going to have to get creative.

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Sep
09

Metro Division Preview

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Since hockey season is almost upon us (certainly the preseason at least) I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to write a quick preview of the Metropolitan Division, to refresh all of the things that went down this summer in our hockey backyard. It can be tough to remember every offseason transaction, so why not compile them all in one place and offer a little bit of analysis? Anyways, here’s your 2017-18 Metropolitan Division.

New York Islanders

This team got undeniably better, on the addition of Jordan Eberle alone. His chemistry with John Tavares is going to cause problems for teams around the Metro, and when you factor in Josh Ho-Sang the Isle’s scoring depth just became a force to be reckoned with almost over night. Still, although they’ve improved substantially up front, they’re the Islanders, with such luminaries as Dennis Seidenberg and Casey Cizikas down the depth chart, which is to say they’re not exactly stacked as you move down the lineup. I’d project them to make some noise as the playoff push begins to come together, but ultimately they’re a bubble team at best.

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Still cooler than any of us

Welcome to the second installment of this year’s Top 31 goaltenders.  I covered all of the introductory/methodology/housekeeping issues during the first portion of the list, which you can find here to bring yourself up to speed.  Otherwise, we are going to jump right in.  Here goes, goaltenders 20-11… Read More→

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You will never be this cool

Welcome to the 6th Annual Top 31 Goaltenders List.  Can you believe it’s been six years already?  Wild.  Anyway, this was one of the most difficult years to rank, in that many veteran goaltenders started to reclaim for former glory and a few young guys took aim at some top 10 stalwarts.  However, with the addition of the Vegas Golden Knights as the league’s 31st team, I got to add another spot to the rankings, giving me a little extra breathing room.

So, let’s get the house keeping stuff out of the way before we get to some honorable mentions and our first section of the list.  The criteria for the rankings are as follows:  I am advising a hypothetical “team” on a one-year solution between the pipes.  I am completely ignoring concepts of age, contract status, incumbent goaltender, contention window or any other factors relating to the status of said “team”.  Everything is in a vacuum and all about current talent level that can be projected out for the next twelve months.  It goes without saying this whole exercise is for fun and massively subjective, so feel free to run me through the gautlet in the comments.  Read More→

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Is Brian Elliott the answer in goal for Philadelphia?

Washington Capitals

The Caps experienced the most significant turnover of any Metro team, and not for the better. Washington lost Kevin Shattenkirk, Justin Williams, Nate Schmidt, Karl Alzner and Marcus Johansson. They did lock up Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Dmitry Orlov, but any way you slice it this team took a giant step back. To his credit, GM Brian MacLellan admitted that the salary cap had simply caught up to him and after going for it the last two seasons the writing was on the wall. Washington still has a ton of talent and will absolutely be in the playoff hunt, but the Caps don’t look like the bona fide contender they’ve been for the last decade.

New Jersey Devils

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May
27

Who to root for in the Stanley Cup Final?

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Hopefully by this point we’ve all come to terms and accepted our beloved Blueshirts’ early and unfortunate playoff exit, enabling us to once again enjoy the game of hockey for what it is. It’s been a couple of weeks, and lucky for us there’s still some great playoff action to be enjoyed.

Rejoining the rest of the hockey world for the Stanley Cup Final might be tough however if you aren’t sure which team to support. If you find yourself struck by this deep existential conundrum, look no further, because I’ve got you covered.

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May
12

Conference Finals Predictions

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Battle of the Superstars

Although we’re all still questioning and dealing with the grief of the Stanley Cup being out of reach in New York, the show must go on. It’s moving on without our Rangers, and quite quickly at that. Tonight starts the Western Conference Final, and the battle for the East begins tomorrow night.

Many of the staff here at BSB are dealing with the undeniable sadness of seeing a defeated Henrik Lundqvist, and simply cannot think about the future of this playoffs at present time. Three of us were able to pull together the courage to get our predictions out there. As always, leave yours in the comments.

Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

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Photo: NYDN

Per Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers have denied a request by the Buffalo Sabres to interview Assistant GM Chris Drury for their General Manager position. Drury was promoted by the Rangers to the Assistant General Manager position before this season. Prior to this position, Drury was serving as Director of Player Development. He was instrumental in recruiting Jimmy Vesey.

It’s not really a surprise to see the Rangers decline permission to the Sabres. He was named Director of Player Development in September of 2015, and a year later was promoted to the Assistant GM role. It may not seem like a huge jump, but a promotion that quickly indicates he is an important piece of the front office. Plus, the Rangers are in the middle of a playoff run. Not sure if that last bit means anything significant, though.

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Apr
26

BSB Playoff Predictions: Round Two

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Bruce Bennett/Getty Image

We’ve made it to Round Two of the playoffs, Rangers unscathed and surprisingly a lot of statistically advanced teams going home. The playoffs, as we know, are a whole different animal, and we’re already deeper here in the New York Metro area (or wherever it is you cheer from!) than we were last time. May hockey is a wonderful, heart attack inducing, fun thing to experience.

Of course, here at BSB this means a fresh crop of predictions. Let’s see how the BSB staff have done through one round:

Beatin the Boys

The second round of predictions includes Justin, so let’s all go blank slate and see how we can fare from here on out. As always, please share your predictions for the four upcoming series in the comments.

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