Archive for Musings
To the surprise of many, the Rangers went out and stole game one against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night, shutting out the Habs 2-0 on the back of the ever so rare Tanner Glass goal and turn-back-the-clock brilliance from Henrik Lundqvist. With game two looming this evening, I have some thoughts on game one and where the team goes from here…
1. Forgive me for beating a dead horse, but the performance of the defense was nowhere near what is necessary to get past this round. Nick Holden was abysmal. I would like to see Clendening in for him, but honestly, I think I would take Klein over what I saw from Holden Wednesday night. Read More→
Good morning Rangers fans! I hope everyone is excited as I am for the playoffs to begin again. Although I don’t make internet as much as I used to (family time has gotten in the way of that), I still can’t get enough Rangers hockey, especially this time of year.
Dave is traveling this week. I believe he’s at a Cross Fit convention or something…I can’t remember which one of those fake workouts he does. Anyway, since he’s gone everyone’s favorite Suit is back!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted and in that time a lot has changed in the Rangers blogosphere.
For starters, I was perusing through our image archive trying to find a good picture to insert into today’s post. You know, something to get everyone pumped for the playoffs, like an image of a sold out MSG (kind of rare these days eh?), or a photo of Kevin’s Klein playoff beard circa 2015. However, all I could find were bar charts and graphs. Seriously the nerd factor of this site has increased exponentially since I’ve been gone.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
Three questions for this week’s mailbag. As always, use the mailbag feature on the right to submit your questions.
Mike asks: How far do you see the Rangers going in the playoffs this year?
Considering the matchups the Rangers are going to get (Montreal, Ottawa/Toronto), I think the Rangers have a real shot at coming out of the Atlantic to face Washington in the Eastern Conference Final. However they need to get through Montreal in the first round, and that is not going to be easy.
Thursday is usually musings day, but it’s been a while since I’ve actually written one of these. I leave them to Chris, but he’s MIA at the moment. Since there isn’t much going on in Rangerland, today seems like a perfect day to bring it back.
1. There isn’t much for the Rangers to play for in the next two weeks, yet despite our calls to enjoy stress free hockey, it seems to be difficult to do so. Lineup decisions have been questioned, but none moreso than the repeated scratching of Pavel Buchnevich. In short, this is a terrible decision by Alain Vigneault. Buchnevich is better than half the forwards on the roster, and is the long-term future of this team at forward. He needs these games to grow and develop. Putting Matt Puempel and Tanner Glass in over him is folly.
Two questions for this week’s mailbag. As always, you can submit questions using the mailbag widget on the right.
Anthony asks (short version): Who are the Rangers going to protect if Jeff Gorton can’t make any moves to prepare for the expansion draft?
This is a pretty straight forward question with a straight forward answer. Assuming there are no moves made, the Rangers will protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen and a goalie. They must expose two forwards signed next year, and one defenseman signed next year (note: RFAs don’t cut it. They need to be signed). First and second year pros are exempt. Any player with a no-move clause must be protected. So let’s go through the obvious choices (UFAs are excluded):
After a semi-frustrating loss to the Islanders on Wednesday, the Rangers now have eight games left in the regular season. They have a 12-point lead in their spot for the first wild card and a 14-point lead for the second wild card. At this juncture, it’s pretty clear they are going to be playing the winner of the Atlantic Division, the only question is whether Montreal will be able to hold on or if Ottawa will overtake their current three point lead. At this weird spot in the season, I have some thoughts… Read More→
Received a couple of questions this week for the mailbag. So let’s have at it. Don’t forget to use the mailbag feature on the right side to submit any questions.
First things first, Shestyorkin is the heir apparent to Hank. He’s been lights out in the KHL at just 20 years old. Of all the goaltending prospects the Rangers have, and they have a bunch, he is the best.
– Both Dave and the guys at Blueshirt Banter started beating the drum last week – but they’re absolutely right that Brady Skjei deserves more attention. Skjei has gotten lost in the shuffle because of the ridonkulous rookie class, but he’s been better than anyone could have imagined this year, especially offensively. That part of Skjei’s game was never trumpeted in scouting reports, but his unexpected passing skills combined with his ability to skate the puck to safety have made Skjei a very dangerous weapon.
– With Ryan McDonagh’s return to an elite level and the reports that New York is interested in retaining the very useful Brendan Smith, the Blueshirts could be halfway to a solid defense going forward. Smith has been pretty much exactly as billed – he brings nothing to the table offensively but is rock solid in his own end, plays with an edge and flips the ice pretty quickly. There’s no flashiness to his game but he’s a perfectly effective player.
The Rangers received some brutal news yesterday, as goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will be out for 2-3 weeks with a lower body injury. It may not seem brutal at the moment due to Antti Raanta’s superb play, but if this is something that will linger into the playoffs for Hank, then it could be a critical blow to any chances this year. As always, I have some thoughts.
1. As mentioned above, if this is something that lingers, it could pose a serious problem for this year’s playoff chances. As great as Raanta’s been, he’s not Lundqvist, and he’s not playoff Lundqvist. Hank steps up his game in the playoffs, and when one of the top goalies in the world gets hot, anything can happen. If he gets hot like he did to kick off last season, then the Rangers could make a run. Again, no slight against Raanta, but he’s no Hank.
Yesterday sure was a day in Rangerland, wasn’t it? The Rangers world was lit on fire when the Rangers announced that they had recalled Tanner Glass and Steven Kampfer. The move was designed to address a perceived issue that the Rangers lacked toughness. So Glass and Kampfer have been recalled. And I have some thoughts.
1. Let’s start with the reason why the call ups were made: Toughness. First things first, toughness is a very subjective term. I think toughness is quantified by playing through injuries. Others believe it to be the number of hits delivered. Regardless of your definition of toughness, there are two problems with these moves. The first is that two players –one (Kampfer) who won’t be in the lineup in a week– do not change the toughness culture. Players that have that requisite “skill” need to be dispersed throughout the lineup. The second is that no one seemed to have a problem with this exact same lineup in January when they were winning games. It only became an issue over the past four games.