Archive for Musings

Mats is still trying to understand golf

This might come as a surprise to you, but the New York Rangers did not make the playoffs this year. Though a rare, initially horrible shock to us fans, we can look at the silver lining. When you’re constantly in it, you don’t see certain things that you might from the outside.

It’s important to note the few positives right off the bat – for starters, this is an opportunity to get some rest for our oft-injured, overworked players. Think about Kevin Shattenkirk coming back refreshed, or how great Henrik Lundqvist’s tan will look. Also, a positive according to me, missing the playoffs essentially sealed Alain Vigneault’s fate.

There are a lot of things, though, that we couldn’t think about while constantly battling the Capitals and crushing their dreams of making it past the second round. Let’s look at some lessons learned thus far.

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Mailbag: Coaching style, free agents

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rocco grimaldi

Two questions for the mailbag this week. As always, you can use the widget on the right to send us questions.

Steve asks:  What type of coaching do we need? What offensive strategy do we employ to best suit the skills? Defensive strategy?

This was sort of answered a bit in a few posts, but it’s good to have one central answer here. In regards to the type of coaching we need, the best answer is the simplest one. The Rangers need a coach who will develop the youth. That is first and foremost.

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First thoughts of the off-season

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Well, the off-season is officially upon us.  For the first time in years, we can watch playoff hockey stress free.  Kinda stinks.  There has been quite a bit of noise so far in Rangerland, between coaching rumors, exit interviews and an uncharacteristically vocal James Dolan.  As you can imagine, I have some thoughts…

1. First, I want to talk out the coaching rumors.  Dolan has seemingly cast a wide net of potential candidates, ranging from NCAA to NHL experience.  He has indicated they are keeping an open mind with regard to experience, prioritizing a certain skill set over a set resume.  This is a good thing.  If there is a clear direction within the organization about what type of mindset they are looking for behind the bench, the more likely they actually get it as they move through the interview process.  I know I felt a little baited and switched with AV.  I understand the hire based on where the team was at the time, but he was advertised as progressive coach who was going to use data to try and gain a competitive edge.  We all now know he turned out to be just another hockey man.  Hopefully, with a clear mandate, we actually get what the team is telling us they want. Read More→

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Thoughts on the firing of Alain Vigneault

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In case you missed it, and if you did I’m not sure how, the Rangers fired head coach Alain Vigneault last Saturday night. It was a move that was expected, but I don’t think any of us expected it to happen so soon. After all, it happened at 11pm on a Saturday night, just five hours after the 2017-2018 season ended for the Rangers. It was a sign that AV was gone from the get-go, and was coaching for his next job once the rebuild was announced. As always, I have some thoughts.

1. First things first, AV’s firing was long overdue. Personally, I think he should have been fired after last year’s playoff debacle against Ottawa. He was no longer a coach that was going to drive this team forward. There are many reasons why he needed to go, but the overall summary is that he was a square peg in a round hole.

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marc staal paul carey jimmy vesey

AP Photo/Bill Kostroun

Two questions for the mailbag this week. As always, use the widget on the right to submit questions for the mailbag.

Felix asks: After watching him play for a year, where do you think Chytil would be ranked among all prospects if he had waited to be drafted this year as opposed to last year when he barely made the age cutoff?

This is a tough one. For those who don’t know, Chytil made the age cutoff for last year’s draft by roughly ten days. He was a first round talent despite being just 17 years old, and it shows in the way he plays. He’s 18 now, and doesn’t turn 19 until September, so the kid is still finding his own. Yet despite that, he still has the potential to be an elite talent.

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filip chytil

The Rangers are playing some pretty meaningless hockey to round out the season. Well, it’s meaningless from our perspective. It isn’t meaningless for the players, coaches, or front office staff. There’s still a bunch of work for them to do, and the offseason is fast approaching. But there are still eight games remaining before we get there, and the path the Blueshirts take seems to be a hot topic. Naturally, I have some thoughts.

1. Rob was absolutely justified in his rant after Thursday’s loss in Philly. It has nothing to do with the loss, or even how the team played. After all, we aren’t expecting much and we kind of but don’t really but kinda really want them to lose. It’s more about playing guys with no future with the Blueshirts over guys the club should be evaluating. Cody McLeod shouldn’t be playing on the top line. End of story.

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Quick thoughts on tanking

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With the win last night, there seems to be two groups of people. One group is upset the Blueshirts won (over the Penguins!) because they need to tank. The other group is happy they won. There are a few people that want the tank and want to beat the Pens, but they seem to be few and far between. I fall in that group.

Let’s be clear about the tank. The front office sold off assets to set up for the future. They did not deliver a message to the players to lose on purpose. For starters, that’s just wrong. You don’t want that message to come from anyone in the club. It sets the wrong precedent and gives these kids, who we want to grow and develop and have that “competitive attitude” we all want. Telling them to tank does the opposite.

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Some Wednesday thoughts

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jimmy vesey

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It’s Wednesday, and I honestly have a little bit of writer’s block. Blame the NCAA tournament, I guess. There are a bunch of little things on my mind, but nothing big enough to make a full post. Then it hit me. How about a musings post? Works for me. Hope it works for you.

1. Jimmy Vesey got a hat trick on Monday night. Good for the kid. Happy for him. He’s a decent bottom six forward, capable of 15 goals, 20 points. He may get some penalty killing minutes. However there is a growing –and very vocal– group that thinks this kind of production belongs in the top-six. I staunchly disagree. Even based on the current production, he isn’t a top-six forward. Simply put, 15 goals and 20 points doesn’t cut it.

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Who will make up the next Rangers core?

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pavel buchnevich chris kreider

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/AP

For those that have been here a while, you know Rangers Fan in Boston from the comments. RFiB emailed me the other day, asking about specific players (Brady Skjei, Chris Kreider, Pavel Buchnevich, Mika Zibanejad) and if they will be a part of the next Rangers core. I was going to include it in the next mailbag, but it got me thinking. The thoughts have led to this post, independent of the next mailbag.

The next core is very hard to predict. We know more moves are coming. We know that the team is being transitioned to the next group of Blueshirts. However we don’t know who that will include. That’s where the anxiety, and to be honest, some of the fun lies. There’s cautious optimism regarding the next moves to come. However there’s a set of nerves that comes with it, since we like a bunch of guys that may be sent packing.

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Scattered Friday Thoughts

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the Rangers were absolutely dismantled by Rangers-South the Tampa Bay Lightning in predictable fashion.  This was an ugly one to watch, as the Blueshirts were helpless to defend wave after wave of offensive attack.  No one said rebuilds were easy.  As we start to move towards the twilight of a lost season, I have some thoughts…

1. There has been a lot of talk about the most beneficial way to play the remainder of the season.  Logic would dictate that the Rangers should lose as many of the remaining games as possible and improve their odds of a higher draft pick.  Makes perfect sense.  The problem is the players on the ice will and should try to win.  You can’t throw games in professional sports.  The team on the ice is going to be outclassed most of the time, given the way the roster was gutted, and we can all root for losses.  Expecting professionals to go out there and throw in the towel isn’t something that should be on our radar.

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