Archive for Musings

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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oscar lindberg

Three questions for the mailbag this week. One was received during the playoffs, but I decided to hold off on answering that one until after the playoffs.

Anthony asks: If it was my call, I’d be letting AV go if they don’t get past Ottawa. Supposing it does happen, who would be the most sensible/realistic replacement? Do they go with Ruff or Paul MacLean? Or does Arniel get a shot? Anyone in the AHL worth taking a chance on?

Sorry for not answering this when you sent it, Anthony. But it made more sense to cover it after the playoffs. Suit covered a part of this yesterday, so you should definitely read that post. I would personally let AV go. He’s a good coach, but that’s not always what a team needs. A team needs the right coach, as Suit aptly pointed out. I don’t believe AV is the right coach. But I’ve been wrong before.

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I feel ya, Hank

The Rangers’ 2016-2017 season has come to an end.  I, like many of you, I’m sure, was left with a disappointed taste in my mouth following the Blueshirts untimely exit to a fairly mediocre Senators team.  Fortunately, my writing schedule allowed me to digest for a couple days before committing my final impressions of this season to the interwebs.  In thinking about concepts, angles and a final position for this article, I cycled through many emotionally driven think pieces.  The title “What a Waste” stuck in my head for several days.

I was seriously considering a sanctimonious diatribe about wasting another of Hank’s prime years and the complete unfairness of the generational level of performance he has given the organization over the past decade plus only to be rewarded with consistent disappointment.  Though this isn’t ultimately the point of this article, I do want to touch on that concept briefly.

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Categories : Musings, Offseason
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Ilya Kovalchuk was second in KHL scoring this season with 78 points

– The best player on the ice for the Blueshirts last night was Mika Zibanejad. Everyone expected Big Game Brass to take vengeance on his former club, but it’s Zibanejad that has three points in the series while Brassard has zilch. Zibanejad really has all the tools. In a few years we’ll either look back at the Zibanejad/Brassard trade as the modern day McDonagh/Gomez swap, or we’ll view Zibanejad as Nik Zherdev 2.0. I still think he’s going to blossom into a star.

– Another major positive from Game 3 was the return of Kevin Hayes. Along with Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan, Hayes has been pretty much invisible throughout the postseason. He looked like a different player last night.

– Tapped in Russian reporter Slava Malamud created a bit of a frenzy this week with a series of tweets in which he indicated Ilya Kovalchuk’s desire to return to the NHL after a three-year stay in the KHL. Malamud also noted there’s not much interest in a reunion by either Kovalchuk or the Devils, but Kovalchuk’s preference would be to stay in the NYC area (read: Rangers or Islanders), or move to Florida.

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Apr
14

Thoughts prior to Game 2

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Montreal Gazette

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→

Categories : Musings, Playoffs
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Apr
11

Playoffs Musings: Hold Fast

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Seriously wtf is this?

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.

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Ryan Remiorz / Canadian Press

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.

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Mar
30

Thursday Rangers thoughts

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pavel buchnevich jimmy vesey

Photo Credit: AP / Jim Mone

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.

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Mar
29

Mailbag: Expansion draft, playoff lines

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jets antti raanta

John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP

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):

Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist will be protected. Antti Raanta will be exposed.

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Categories : Musings
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