The benefits of switching Gaborik to LW

One of the bigger stories during minicamp has been the position switch made by Marian Gaborik. Gaborik, a left-handed shot, has played the off-wing his entire career, until now. This season, Gaborik will at least start the year on the left side, with Derek Stepan as his center and Ryan Callahan as his right wing (the other top line is…

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Hockey systems: What Nash means to the Rangers power play

Hockey will be back soon and finally we can start talking about the systems and strategies of this great game we all know and love. One of the most critical – and contested – aspects of the Rangers system in 2012 was their power play. For the sake of brevity, I will just say last year’s mediocre power play was not…

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An early look at the Rangers bottom six

Last week we took an early look at the Rangers potential top 6 line combinations. I think the majority of us agree some iteration of Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Rick Nash, Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan will comprise our top 2 scoring lines. With that said, the Rangers bottom six is a bit less certain. The assumption is…

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An early look at the Rangers top 6

Today, we’re going to take a break from CBA talk and look down the road to training camp and beyond. Call me hopeful, but this suit thinks the NHL will play a partial season. With this in mind, perhaps no other aspect of a training camp, preseason, or regular season roster is more critiqued & analyzed by fans than line combinations, especially how…

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What Nash means to the Rangers hockey system

With this week’s blockbuster trade, many are now wondering just how far the Rangers will go with the addition of Rick Nash.  While it’s still way too early to be penciling us in as front-runners to win the Cup, one thing we can do is look at how the Rangers might change from an x’s & o’s or “systems” perspective. Fortunately…

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A case for shot-blocking

____ is killing hockey. That seems to be the only headline that moves the dial in Canada these days. Every couple of weeks it’s something else that is supposedly destroying the game. First it was keeping a hockey team in Nashville, a market that was never supposed to succeed. Whoops. Then it was the Lightning’s 1-3-1 trap, which was supposed…

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Rangers vs. Devils Eastern Conference Finals preview

Another series for the Rangers ends in seven games and another series begins with just one day of rest in between. This time around, the six seeded Devils stand between the Rangers and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Devils are here after beating third seeded Florida in seven games in the first round and fifth seeded Philadelphia…

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Musings: Revisiting Nash, Line juggling, and more

Nash revisited? With many expecting impending doom on Saturday the question is again being asked, could Nash help solve our PP and lead us to the Cup in ‘13? While it may be premature to start talking about next season and beyond, I think the Rangers are going to make a run at Nash this offseason regardless of what happens…

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Systems Breakdown: Ottawa Senators

Of the three potential first round match-ups, the Senators were the last team I wanted to draw in the opening round. I know on paper the Senators probably look less scary than the Capitals, but from a systems/coaching standpoint, I think the Rangers are going to have their hands full and part of that is because of their ability to execute…

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Modernization of the neutral zone trap

The year was 2000. The series was between the Dallas Stars and the New Jersey Devils, and if you weren’t a fan of either team, that Stanley Cup matchup likely made you bored out of your mind. This wasn’t because these two teams lacked recognizable players or because they played in uninteresting markets. No, the ’00 Finals bled interest in…

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