Archive for Players

henrik lundqvist

Last year, Henrik Lundqvist was the talk of the town. It wasn’t because of his usual stellar play, though. It was due to his inability to keep the Rangers in games, especially later in the season. There were multiple times when Lundqvist allowed “weak” game tying or game winning goals. At least, that’s the way his play last season was perceived.

Make no mistake, Lundqvist had a down season last year. He wasn’t his usual self, able to make the difficult saves look easy and the impossible saves look somewhat challenging. He posted his worst SV% of his career at .910, and it was the first time in seven seasons that he posted a SV% below .920.

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Sep
29

Reasonable expectations: Filip Chytil

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filip chytil

This is a much needed post, more than any other of the reasonable expectations posts we’ve written here over the past nine (holy crap it’s been nine years) years. After making a big splash at camp and proving he at least belongs in the short term, Filip Chytil was penciled into a second line role, with Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello as his flanks.

The good news is that Alain Vigneault recognizes that the kid who is barely 18 years old needs to be put in a position to succeed. With Nash and Zuccarello, he will be able to create offensively and not be the center of attention on the line. Nash and Zuccarello will draw the attention of the opposition, giving Chytil a little more room to work with. Plus, it’s good to have two skilled and seasoned vets with a kid who can’t even buy beer legally yet.

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Sep
23

Could Filip Chytil make the team?

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filip chytil

Photo: NYDN

Friends, I’m going to be honest. When I heard that the Rangers would be taking Filip Chytil at 21st overall my first reaction was “Who?” I’d imagine I wasn’t alone in this, as the Rangers seemingly went against the conventional wisdom circulating around draft time (with both of their picks actually) and maybe disappointed some of us when they didn’t go for a Liljegren or a Yamamoto. The hype began to build however around Chytil as broadcasters compared him favorably to players like Auston Matthews (actually Chytil’s own comparison) and Ondrej Palat (Bob McKenzie’s comparison) and news began to trickle out that if he had declared for the draft the following year he would have likely been taken in the top 5 in what is by all accounts a stacked draft. Team Chytil began to coalesce quickly, and he has not disappointed thus far in the preseason.

His creative vision and strong play on the puck has been easily noticeable in the preseason games he’s played thus far, and he uses his size (200 pounds at age 18!) and skating effectively. He scored a nice game-winning goal the other night after playing catch with Mats Zuccarello all up and down the ice that evening against the Devils, and against the Islanders in Bridgeport he played a crucial role in the Rangers’ dazzling (but unfortunately unproductive) powerplay in the second period. He’s making quick, effective decisions with the puck, and even saw time on the penalty kill alongside Pavel Buchnevich (imagine if those two turn into two-way threats?). To put it succinctly, he’s impressed so far in the preseason, and would be making a strong case for himself regardless of the Rangers’ roster situation.

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Sep
16

The many faces of Kevin Shattenkirk

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Friends, we are a short two days away from bliss in the form of a talented defenseman wearing #22 for our beloved New York Rangers. That means tomorrow, instead of the “Sunday Scaries,” we’ll be having the “Holy Crap Live Rangers Hockey is on Tomorrow!” which, frankly, is way better.

Yes, sure, it’s preseason hockey which counts way less. But now is as good a time as any to take a look at the vast difference between our newest Ranger, Kevin Shattenkirk, and how his life has markedly improved since he signed his contract with Jeff Gorton.

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Aug
29

Rangers to retire Jean Ratelle’s #19

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An honor that is long overdue, the Rangers will retire Jean Ratelle’s #19 this season. Ratelle was a key cog in the famous GAG line with Rod Gilbert and Vic Hadfield, putting up a line of 336-481-817 in 862 career games with the Blueshirts.

Ratelle ranks third in points, sixth in games played, second in goals, and third in assists for the Rangers. The ceremony will be on February 25th. It’s about time.

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Jul
21

What to expect from Anthony DeAngelo

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anthony deangelo

Since his acquisition in the blockbuster June trade that sent Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to Arizona, Anthony DeAngelo has been the source of much analysis. From his off-ice issues to his on-ice predictions, DeAngelo is going to have the spotlight on him whether he likes it or not. While we all hope he can get his act together off the ice, his on-ice performance is going to make or break him in New York.

What we do know about DeAngelo is that he is supremely talented. He put up a line of 5-9-14 in 39 games on an abysmal Arizona team. It’s tough to really judge a player’s on-ice performance after 39 games on a bad team, so we can work with a combination of tools at our disposal to identify what kind of player we are dealing with.

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Jul
17

What a move to center means for JT Miller

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jt miller

Photo: NHL.com

As currently constructed, the Rangers have a decently sized hole at center. It’s the one major flaw of the roster right now that can’t be ignored. There are no names in free agency that make sense. There are some trade targets, but anyone worth while is going to cost an arm and a leg to acquire. The fix, as of now, appears to be internal, and one of the major names thrown out there is JT Miller, and shifting him back to center.

Miller was drafted as a center and played the position until he came to the Rangers. It was then that Alain Vigneault moved him to wing. On the surface, it made sense. Miller isn’t sound defensively, and AV requires a lot of defensive play from his centers. Even Martin St. Louis, one of the game’s greats, had trouble making the shift to center for a short period. There’s a good reason for that too.

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Categories : Hockey Tactics, Players
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Depending on which sites you read, Kevin Shattenkirk is either amazing at defense or a defensive liability. Fancy stat folks obviously love possession stats and have countered the beat writers’ narrative that Shattenkirk is all O and no D. The eternal fight continues…YAWN.

What’s important though is not what the pundits say about his d-zone coverage, but whether or not he wears summer threads (preferably hopsack over cotton) that are body conscious.

Apologies, I forgot this is Blue Seat Blogs, not Gentlemen’s Quarterly. Got my blogging journalistic responsibilities mixed up.

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Categories : Hockey Tactics, Players
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david desharnais

The Rangers have had a pretty decent run of it so far in free agency, with Kevin Shattenkirk joining the Blueshirts and Brendan Smith re-upping for another four years. Aside from rebuilding just the defensive corps though, Jeff Gorton has begun reconstructing the Rangers’ center depth, after losing Oscar Lindberg to Vegas and trading away Derek Stepan.

Signing David Desharnais is a positive step in the right direction, and although finding a replacement for Stepan will be trickier, having Desharnais around will give the Rangers some options in the bottom six. I thought it’ be worthwhile however, to examine just exactly how Desharnais will replace Lindberg – if their playing styles are the same, how they stack up against one another, and how they complement their linemates.

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Jul
07

Kevin Klein officially retires

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kevin klein

As broken last week, Kevin Klein was set to retire. His official retirement announcement came this morning. Klein retires after 12 seasons, three with the Rangers.

The Rangers acquired Klein in 2014 for Michael Del Zotto to help solidify the right side of the defense. Klein was somewhat of a marvel on Broadway, setting career highs in goals, assists, and points. Back injuries derailed Klein the last few seasons, which only exacerbated his skating issues.

Klein retires with a line of 38-116-154 in 627 games.

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