Archive for Around the League

Mar
10

So long, Nassau Coliseum

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Tonight, the New York Rangers will play their final regular season game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The building has been home to the New York Islanders since they came into the league, but is easily the most dilapidated building in the NHL. Every time I’ve been in the past five years, my shoes have stuck to the ground, I’ve spent way too much time in the wrong line, thinking I was getting a beer only to be funneled in to the bathroom, and felt my seat was going to break underneath me.

But despite that, since I grew up on Long Island, I have some nice memories of Nassau Coliseum. It was significantly easier for my father to take me to Ranger/Islander games there than at MSG. After all, the Coliseum was a 15 minute drive, not an hour train ride. Instead of dealing with the disaster that is the parking lot, we parked at Nassau Community College and walked over.

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Mar
02

Trade deadline live blog, part 2

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Well, the trade deadline is today at 3pm, and while the New York Rangers are expected to be idle today after a busy day yesterday. There were three trades last night and a few this morning:

  • Detroit acquired forward Erik Cole and a 2015 3rd round pick from Dallas for prospects Mattias Backman, Mattas Janmark, and a 2015 2nd round pick.
  • The Bruins acquired forward Brett Connolly from Tampa Bay for a pair of 2nd round picks (2015, 2016).
  • The Lightning acquired defenseman Brayden Coburn from Philly for defenseman Radko Gudas, a 2015 1st round pick, and a 2015 3rd round pick.
  • The Canadiens acquired defenseman Jeff Petry from Edmonton for a 2015 2nd round pick and a conditional 2015 5th round pick, depending on the Habs playoff performance (could get up to a 3rd round pick)
  • Montreal acquired defenseman Brian Flynn from Buffalo for a 2016 5th round pick.
  • St. Louis acquired defenseman Zbynek Michalek and a conditional 2015 3rd round pick from Arizona for prospectMaxim Letunov.

Anything not in this bullet point list went down after 11am this morning.

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Mar
01

Deadline day comes early: live blog

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Hello one and all. Seeing as the trade deadline is clearly already underway, let’s have a post to discuss all the latest league manoeuvrings. We’ll throw up a fresh post tomorrow as well and of course, we’ll let you know in a little more detail if the Rangers do anything.

1:00 I was away from my computer for a while but it looks like the Rangers are on the cusp of a huge deal involving Keith Yandle and sounds like Dan Girardi may be involved. Stay tuned. This could be an organisation shuddering deal.

1:20 Several reliable sources have confirmed the Rangers have completed a trade for Keith Yandle. What they gave up to do so is yet to be reported. Stay tuned! Consider the powerplay upgraded folks.

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The New York Rangers sloppy defensive play over the last few games finally cost them, losing 4-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers last night. I admittedly did not watch the game, but the highlights showed the following the goals:

  • Matt Read made a nice play on his goal, knocking the puck out of midair to himself then banking it off Cam Talbot. Dan Boyle lost his stick, but Marc Staal didn’t put a body on Read, which allowed him the time to put the puck in the net.
  • J.T. Miller did a good job to get open on his goal, and then followed it up by getting his own rebound. Carl Hagelin did a good job on the forecheck to force the turnover which set this up.
  • John Moore’s goal was nice to see, and hey, it came on an assist from Tanner Glass.
  • Talbot slid way out of position on the Michael Del Zotto goal, but that was horrible defense by all Rangers on the ice there. No one picked up MDZ, who basically had all day. MDZ is too talented to miss that.
  • On a day when the Isles lost, the Rangers blew a chance to take advantage. That said, you can’t win them all.

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Feb
02

Trade deadline strategy

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It’s interesting. If you watched the Rangers play, while ignoring the rest of the conference, you might think they are destined for greatness. They’re playing uptempo hockey, bagging 2.92 goals per game. The power play is over 19% for the first time since Leetch was dropping knowledge on the NHL. Most importantly, they can just flat out fly whenever they play their game.

However, despite winning 15 of 18 games at one point, the Rangers sit in 8th place in the Eastern Conference. A playoff berth seems likely, but a chance to win the Cup still remains an elusive goal.

Tampa has our number. Ryan Callahan has dictated that much. The Bruins still manhandle us every time we take a trip up I-95. The Islanders have out scored us 13-4 this season. While we may be built for West Coast trips, handling our own conference is a different story.

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Who would have thunk it? Every season since this whole “loser’s point” thing that Senor Bettman introduced after Lockout: The Sequel, the playoff picture has been cloudy up until the last week of the season. This time around, the playoff picture is crystal clear, and the games remaining are more about jockeying for positioning than qualifying for the postseason.

In the Atlantic, Boston is finally playing Boston hockey again, and have regained their playoff spot while Toronto free-falls towards Conor McJesus and Florida falls back from the high heavens. With a seven point cushion for fourth place, Boston (along with Montreal, Detroit, and Tampa Bay) are essentially locks for the postseason.

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Jan
20

Hot or Not: Around the NHL

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With All-Star weekend upon us, it’s about that time again to evaluate who’s hot, who’s not, and exactly what has been going on while we’ve been in our Blueshirt bubble. It’s been a season filled with surprisingly good teams, surprising struggles and a strange new tradition up north of throwing jerseys onto the ice.

The Good

New York Islanders – as a Rangers blog, I’m sorry to open on this note, but credit is well due for the Isles so far this season. Given a healthy, talented young core and a steady netminder, the Islanders are sitting pretty atop the Eastern Conference, making work of the Penguins this past weekend and making it look easy.  John Tavares is living up to his studly name, contributing with 45 points (21G, 24A) and a 14% shooting percentage.  8 other Islanders, including two defensemen, have 20+ points so far on the season. With contributions coming from every line, if the defense gels up a bit more, they’re a serious playoff threat. Would be an interesting way to leave Long Island, for sure…

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Jan
11

All Star Game team thoughts

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The All-Star selections came out yesterday, making it a huge topic of conversation since it’s been three years since the last All-Star game. Some basic facts to know about the game are that it’ll take place in Columbus this year, it takes place on Sunday, January 25 (two weeks!), and that each team has to have at least one representative there.

If you’re unfamiliar with the selection process, the first six players are selected by fan vote and the remainder is selected by a committee.  Keeping in mind that each team needs a representative will help you with this list of “all stars,” but it still doesn’t sit well with me.

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Dec
16

Around the League: Trouble in Edmonton

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Yes, Craig, it is as bad as it looks.

Yes, Craig, it is as bad as it looks.

I was watching some hockey game last week – Lord knows it wasn’t the Rangers, since they had basically all week off – when the standings flashed on my screen and I nearly choked on my hot chocolate. The FLORIDA PANTHERS have more points than the Rangers!? Surely I must’ve been drunk, but no, I wasn’t. I wondered what the heck was going on around the league.

We’re more than a third of the way through the season, so although nothing is set in stone, most of the trends we see are, well, more than just trends.  There were some predictions I made early in the season which are horribly wrong (I thought the Oilers would break out. I understand if you don’t want to read this post anymore), and some that were right. Instead of analyzing these, I’m breaking down what you need to know in my (second) favorite form: bulletpoint.

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Media beware

Media beware

With the Rangers playing so many games in such a little amount of time, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole league out there that’s been happening without us. Luckily, you don’t need Center Ice or NHL.com when you’ve got a Sunday BSB update. A lot of really amusing things have been happening lately, so let’s go through them.

The Maple Leafs (temporarily) turn into the Oilers

On Tuesday, the Maple Leafs lost to the Predators 9-2. As in, if you were watching TV and just saw the score, you’d think Toronto just got an NFL squad and lost in a strange, safety-filled game.  Though the Leafs are prone to these blowouts at least once per season (hello Rangers last season), this loss came after a lifeless loss to the Sabres. The Leafs didn’t even look like they were trying against Nashville and, surprise, fans were pissed. This came in a week where Phil Kessel blew up at the media and the Leafs, after finally winning, didn’t salute their fans in an effort to “try something new.” The Leafs truly are the gift that keep on giving. Read More→

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