Archive for Musings


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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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
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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
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Don’t fret about the first game

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kevin shattenkirk

Friends, it’s finally that time of year again. Regular season hockey is upon us, and boy does it feel good. Except depending on your persuasion, you may not agree with that because the Rangers did in fact drop their home opener against one of the worst teams in the league, the Colorado Avalanche. What I’m here to tell you is this: worry not, because it’s only one game, and even if that still does matter to you, there’s no reason to worry. Allow me to explain.

First, it’s important for me to say up front that I don’t believe you can really tell much about a team after the first game, and maybe even the first 5-10. It’s an 82 game season plus playoffs; there’s plenty more hockey to be played just as a matter of numbers. Going beyond that, guys are rusty, many members of the team have never played with one another before, and even though we did get to see some guys display their skills in the preseason, it takes some time to click. You might say that the New York Rangers are professionals and these things shouldn’t be issues for them but let’s be honest, they’re human. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and truly exciting hockey certainly won’t be either.

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Categories : Musings
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When was the last time you saw a Ranger D-man make a move like this? (Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Jeff Gorton is not blind to the hole at center
Gorton was very careful with his wording in response to reporters’ questions about attempted deals for help at center over the course of the summer. Though nothing materialized, it’s clear that Gorton has been active in conversations. But he’s also willing to be patient. When camp opened Alain Vigneault said he wants to see J.T. Miller at center because he’ll be needed there “at some point.” AV also indicated that both Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil have a real chance at making the team. It’s up to all three of those players to prove their merit and take the pressure off Gorton. But for the time being, it seems that Gorton is willing to let things play out.

Trading for Matt Duchene makes all kinds of sense for the Rangers, but not so much for the Avs
Josh wondered aloud the other day about the absence of trade rumors between Colorado and New York given the Blueshirts’ glaring need and the availability of such an obvious solution in Duchene. Gorton has surely conversed with Colorado GM Joe Sakic, but there still doesn’t appear to be a trade match between the two clubs. It’s widely known the Avs are seeking a blue chip young defender and the likes of Ryan Murray, Cody Ceci, Thomas Chabot, Justin Faulk and Noah Hanifin have circulated through the rumor mill as potential building blocks from known interested parties.

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Categories : Musings
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Photo Credit; New York Rangers

After a long and arduous offseason, the Rangers finally kick things off on the 2017-2018 season on Monday against the Islanders.  There has obviously been a ton of coverage over the summer on the Blueshirts’ moves and non-moves, but as the season approaches, I have some thoughts… Read More→

Categories : Musings, Preseason
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Neal Pionk registered 51 points in 82 college games

– The buzz is building around rookie Neal Pionk. On Monday Gordie Clark gushed about Pionk’s offensive abilities and said he thought Pionk might “shine” when given the chance to play with legit NHLers at camp. And last week prospect guru Corey Pronman chose Pionk as his young player to watch at camp for the Blueshirts in a piece for The Athletic:

There is always a bit of hesitance on my part projecting old college free agents to the NHL, and in Pionk’s case I don’t get overly excited over a 22-year-old defenseman without a history of high-level performance. However, I’ve talked to scouts that watched him in college who feel he could be as good as Troy Stecher was for Vancouver this past season (which was quite good) and potentially provide that kind of offensive spark to the Rangers. I want to see it first before feeling as confident, so I’m looking for him to blow doors down at camp.

Pionk’s path to the pros is pretty murky right now given the glut of defensemen, but he may be heard from later in the season.

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Categories : Musings
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Mailbag: What about Andreas Athanasiou?

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Andreas Athanasiou

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire

One question for the mailbag this week, but it’s a good one. As always, email us your questions using the widget on the side, and we will answer them in our mailbag.

Anthony asks: If Athanasiou were to leave the Red Wings for the KHL, how long do they maintain his rights? I think it makes sense to at least make an offer slightly above the compensation they would get for losing him on an offer sheet. Maybe there is a little more desperation to get something for him now, if they were to lose the rights in a year, versus 3 years (or however many).

I really like Athanasiou. Really really like him. If the Rangers have a legitimate opportunity to land him, they should. He’s criminally underutilized in Detroit, and would look really good on the third line for the Blueshirts.

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Categories : Musings
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