Archive for Musings

Jul
20

#TBT: Rangers vs. Devils – March 19, 2012

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COREY SIPKIN/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Welcome back for another edition of Blue Seat Blogs’ Throwback Thursday.  In last week’s edition, we revisited Nikolai Zherdev’s last gasp, game-tying goal against the Penguins way back in 2008.  This week, we jump forward in the time machine nearly four years to reminisce about another memorable matchup with a division rival.

For fans of a certain age, hockey hatred was learned not by watching Rangers-Habs or Rangers-Isles, but Rangers-Devils.  While the rivalry has lost some steam in recent years, Rangers-Devils still evokes a distinct type of of animus among the Garden Faithful.

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Jul
16

Sunday Rangers thoughts

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mika zibanejad

1. This offseason has been an interesting one for the Rangers. They addressed their defensive needs, to the point where they created a logjam on the bottom pair. Assuming Anthony DeAngelo is guaranteed a spot, then the Rangers are fine with Neal Pionk and Alexei Bereglazov starting in the AHL. That’s perfectly fine. But are they ok with Nick Holden or Marc Staal as the 7D? That’s a lot of money to have on the bench.

2. In addressing their defensive needs, the Rangers created a huge hole at center. Instead of letting Mika Zibanejad grow into the 1C role and Kevin Hayes into the 2C role, they are forcing each into those roles. It may work. It may not. But it’s still curious to say the least.

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Remember me?

Folks, it’s July.  And not just July, but the MIDDLE of the July, which is the worst time of year for a hockey fan.  The fun part of free agency is over with, the #hockeyinsiders are on vacation, and the players are enjoying some free time before getting serious again ahead of the new season.  The clock ticks ever so slowly towards October 5th.

In order to pass the time, I thought it would be fun to take a weekly stroll down memory lane, at least until we have some more substantial and current Rangers-related issues to discuss.

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Photo Credit: New York Rangers

Happy Friday, BSB faithful.  Sorry to double down on the “Thoughts” and “Musings” posts this week, but it’s been a very active week in Rangerland.  The last time I wrote, it was the day before the Expansion Draft.  Obviously, quite a lot has happened since then.  So, as you can imagine, I have some thoughts.

1. Since there is a lot to analyze, let’s take this in semi-chronological order. Let’s start with the Girardi buy-out.  It had to be done.  I know it sucks carrying his cap hit for the next few years, but the Rangers really had no choice.  They needed to get younger and more mobile on the blue line and starting to clear the log-jam of overpriced veterans was the first domino.  I wish Dan all the best in Tampa, even if I gagged a little when I saw the contract.  Nice try, Yzerman.

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David Desharnais registered 14 points in 49 games with Montreal and Edmonton last season

– David Desharnais was a frequent whipping boy in Montreal, but he put up pretty solid numbers across most of his tenure with the Habs until the bottom fell out last year and Desharnais was sent to Edmonton for Brandon Davidson. In an extremely weak free agent crop with most of the available centers already scooped up, Desharnais was one of the better options. But don’t kid yourself – this is a bargain bin flyer and nothing more. Desharnais will be 31 when the season starts and has little left in the tank. He has drawn highly favorable offensive zone starts throughout his career, which might be hard to come by in New York. Desharnais should still chip in some supporting offense, but he still leaves the Blueshirts one-dimensional down the middle and lacking a pivot that can handle tough assignments.

– It looks increasingly likely that J.T. Miller will be moved back to center. He’s a better option than anything else that’s realistic at this point, but Miller presents the same problem as Desharnais and Kevin Hayes. None of them are aces in their own end, leaving a whole lot of pressure on Mika Zibanejad. An improved defense will mask this deficiency, but it’s going to be a problem nonetheless. Perhaps Boo Nieves or Lias Andersson can steal a job at training camp, but asking them to anchor a checking unit as a rookie would be unfair.

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Jul
04

July 4th musings

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jeff gorton

Happy Fourth of July everyone. Enjoy the day off with some musings of the Rangers’ offseason thus far.

  • Jeff Gorton has had an interesting offseason. It’s clear his goal was to upgrade the defense, and he did just that by buying out Dan Girardi, re-signing Brendan Smith, and signing Kevin Shattenkirk. He got a bonus in Kevin Klein’s retirement. So on that front, so far so good.
  • The top four on the blue line, as mentioned yesterday could be the best in the Metro Division. It has established puck movers who are solid two-way defensemen. This top-four will help resolve the issue the Blueshirts had with zone exits last year.

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Jun
17

Saturday Morning Thoughts

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derek stepan

Photo: AP

There’s a lot going on in the hockey world, with trades and buyouts going down and the expansion draft looming. I can’t really say I’ve got any unified thesis on the state of things, rather, I’ve got an assortment of hockey thoughts to throw out there this Saturday morning. After all, given that the trade freeze is at 3pm today and expansion draft lists are due at 5pm, things are likely to be changing soon anyways.

  • While things might seem hectic now and it may be tempting to make a move sooner rather than later, I would hope that Jeff Gorton shows some patience in potentially trading Derek Stepan. Of course it would be ideal to trade him before his No Trade Clause kicks in, but he is a valuable asset who could potentially bring home a haul – no need to pull the trigger in the next day if you’re not getting fair value. There’ll be plenty of time after the expansion draft to make trades should GMJG be so inclined.

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Matt Duchene is one of many intriguing players that could be on the move in the coming days

We’ve been speculating for months about what the expansion draft would mean for the Rangers and the consequences league-wide. And yet, here we are just days away from a seismic shift in personnel around the NHL and there’s still little clarity of New York’s plans. We know two things for sure:

1) The Blueshirts will lose at least one player to Las Vegas, and potentially several more in corresponding maneuvers.

2) The Rangers have expressed an organizational desire to get younger on defense.

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The Predators have four D-men with 10+ points, while Pittsburgh has the four leading scorers in the postseason

– As we relearn every year in hockey, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. The final four teams in the 2017 playoffs were drastically different in style. The defending champion Penguins were built around two megastars down the middle, a younger rotating cast of supporting pieces and a patchwork defense. The Senators have one all-world talent on defense but mainly made it so far because of an outstanding commitment to team defense and dogged determination. The Ducks have probably the league’s deepest defense and are a load to handle up front, but were very top heavy. And the Predators have the most offensively active blueline in the league to go with an under-appreciated roster of blossoming young players. There’s no one model to achieve success in today’s NHL.

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May
28

Musings on a holiday weekend

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rangers canadiens

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Minas Panagiotakis

We have officially entered the calm before the storm of the 2017 offseason. The Rangers have been active, signing Neal Pionk and Alexei Bereglazov as undrafted free agents, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The expansion draft, buyout period, and NHL draft are all places where many expect the Rangers to make moves to retool the team before free agency. As always, I have some thoughts.

1. As always, the main focus will be how the Rangers position themselves for the expansion draft. There are a ton of chances for the Rangers to add a quality defenseman from teams that need to deal to protect their assets. But in order for the Rangers to make such a move, they will need to dump one or both of Marc Staal and/or Dan Girardi. After all, what’s the point of acquiring a defenseman before the expansion draft, just to be forced to expose him?

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