Archive for Musings

Nov
17

Some quick Friday thoughts

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(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Happy Friday, BSB faithful!  Through more or less the quarter season mark, it has been the tale of two campaigns for the Rangers thus far: the tire fire first twelve games, which saw the Blueshirts go 3-7-2 and the much improved last seven games, when they went 6-1-0.  The Rangers have jumped back into the playoff picture with the win streak, so naturally, I have some thoughts…

1. As Dave has mentioned several times, the need for another center (or forward depth in general) just isn’t going away.  Mika Zibanejad has been a revelation and Kevin Hayes has been a much more effective 2C than I would have imagined.  However, for this team to actually contend, they need to be able to create matchup headaches lower in the lineup. Read More→

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The Rangers have pulled themselves together for a lengthy win streak, currently at six games as they enjoy a few days off for needed rest. From an abysmal start, the past two weeks have proven to be just what the doctor ordered in getting the Rangers back in the thick of things.

The Rangers’ play has become much more cohesive, and fans in general should be excited about this progress. The standings have progressed nicely, as shown below (far right column indicates points on the first column, indicating standings as of November 1):

This week the Rangers will be on the road for two games, something unusual for the team who has only seen five away games in 18 this season. Let’s take a look at what they’ll be facing.

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Categories : Musings
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Nov
10

Some Friday afternoon thoughts

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jimmy vesey

AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes

The Rangers are in the midst of a five game winning streak, and have stormed back to relevancy. It’s nice to see after that horrid start. Naturally, I have some thoughts.

1. It’s very nice to see some sense of urgency from this team. There are certainly issues, most out of the hands of the guys suiting up every night, but it’s good to see they sensed that their season might be over if they don’t get their collective acts together. I am still of the belief that a true 2C makes this team a legitimate Cup contender, but that is based on a few assumptions.

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Categories : Musings
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Nov
04

So what now?

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jeff gorton

The dust has settled a little bit on this past week, which started with a lot of smoke and rumors about AV potentially being fired, the Rangers making a big trade, or both. None of this has transpired – in fact the Rangers put together an exciting comeback against the red hot Vegas Golden Knights and managed to stymie the NHL’s most dynamic scoring duo, Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, while pulling off an OT win in Tampa Bay. They go for their third straight win against the Florida Panthers tonight in South Florida, which if they manage it will have the team looking not so bad at all. So this raises the question – what now?

Well let’s start with the win against Vegas. Sure the Rangers managed to put their foot on the gas pedal towards the end of the game, scoring some nice goals to change what seemed like a foregone conclusion of a loss. This win in particular was significant, as Larry Brooks’ column about AV being on the hot seat had just come out the day before. The conventional wisdom was that if the Rangers lost against Vegas, AV would be fired. So much for that.

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Categories : Musings
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There’s no other way to put it: the Rangers are off to a terrible start this season.  But one month does not a season make.  Despite an overarching feeling of doom and gloom, the Rangers managed to stay within the magic number of 3 points of the last playoff spot when October ended.  There are still 69 (nice) games to go, and the task at hand for the Rangers is to have a good November to get themselves properly into the playoff picture.

Of course, there are more reasons for concern than hope.  Two days ago, Alain Vigneault was said to be coaching for his job.  Does that change going into tonight’s game against a good Tampa Bay team, just because the Rangers beat Vegas on Tuesday?  What about the highly public appearance of the Rangers’ top brass at the Montreal vs. Ottawa game earlier in the week?  Clearly, this is not a settled situation, and one wonders how this is all affecting the performance of the team in each game.

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Categories : Musings
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Oct
28

Some Saturday Morning Thoughts

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ondrej pavelec

It’s Saturday morning folks, and the Rangers are almost done with their 10 home games in October. This weekend we have the Montreal Canadiens in Montreal, followed by the Vegas Golden Knights at home on Halloween, and then we return to a semi-normal schedule of mixed home and away games. Given what a long strange trip it’s been, I figured some Saturday morning quick hits were in order to kind of sum up what’s been going on both of late and over these past ten games or so.

  • I’d be remiss if I didn’t respond to the notion that the Rangers’ hot hand is currently Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec has been just fine, and what we’ve seen from him so far is likely what we’ll be getting from him throughout the season, but let’s not overstate things. He played an ok game against an awful team – it wasn’t even a shutout! If AV is serious about reducing Hank’s workload then fine, but if he’s playing Pavelec because he gives them the best chance to win, well, he doesn’t.

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Categories : Musings
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anthony deangelo

The Rangers made three roster moves yesterday in what was a busy day for them. The waived Adam Cracknell, signaling the end of his short tenure in New York. They then sent Anthony DeAngelo to Hartford and recalled Boo Nieves. It was a busy day, so let’s review.

1. The Cracknell acquisition was a low risk move in an attempt to stabilize the fourth line. On paper, Cracknell is a solid, if unspectacular, defensive oriented forward. He’s not flashy, but good in his own zone. The problem he had in New York was adjusting to the system. His skating, while not necessarily a flaw, wasn’t up to what the hybrid overload/man coverage system required. In the end, it was a choice of Paul Carey or him as the 13F. Carey won.

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Categories : Musings
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Oct
23

This is a big week for the Rangers

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This week, the Rangers will play games 10, 11 and 12 of an 82-game schedule.  Under normal circumstances, this would be a fairly nondescript week, with two Western Conference teams visiting the Garden before a road game in Montreal.  But these are not normal circumstances.

While this isn’t quite “must-win” territory, the Rangers have dug themselves a significant hole.  2-5-2 is a bad record, made worse when you consider that 7 of those 9 games have been played at MSG.  The Rangers are dangerously close to squandering nearly a quarter of their home games before Halloween.  On the flip side, wins over San Jose and Arizona will put the Rangers on a modest three-game winning streak heading into Hockey Night in Canada up in Montreal.  Here’s a look at the (important!) week ahead.

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Categories : Analysis, Musings
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Happy Friday, BSB community!  I started writing this as a “thoughts” post, since it’s tough to do actual analysis at this stage of the season, with the sample size being so small.  My first thought started with Alain Vigneault, and just never really left that topic, so I guess this post is about the head coach now.  So, maybe it still is a “thoughts” post, just a “thoughts about Alain Vigneault” post.  Sorry about that.  I hope you enjoy.

This season has a very small sample size of data to this point, but for the head coach, we have four seasons worth of data to draw from.  I think, and I’m going into speculation mode here, that we ended up feeling a little bait and switched from what our initial expectations of what his coaching philosophies were.  Remember when Torts was let go and we were sold on Vigneault based on his “progressive” approach to data and matchups?  He tried to leverage zone starts and seemed to be more open-minded to data-driven deployment, so we all felt that we were getting a “Moneyball”-type coach who would maximize the information available to try to gain an edge.

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Categories : Coaching, Musings
Comments (52)
Oct
12

Who me, worry? Never…

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We miss you Marty

The season is one week old, yet it already feels like we’re back in the full swing of things. This mindset can be very comforting, like an old blanket on a chilly day. It’s familiar, it’s fun, and it’s always home at the Garden. However, some pieces of hockey season need to be analyzed with the part of the season we’re in — in this case, the early season.

Although it’s a hard truth that every game matters, it’s important to allow your team to ease in to the swing of things. Here at Blue Seat Blogs, a lot of people have issue with the coaching tactics of Alain Vigneault; that will be discussed below, but even he deserves the benefit of the early season doubt.

That being said, of course we’re still allowed to have our concerns. There are a few reasons to legitimately be worried with the state of our Rangers. Let’s dive deeper into why we should relax vs why we should panic.

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Categories : Musings
Comments (86)