Archive for Preseason


Preseason Game 1: Fishsticks

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rangers islanders isles

Hockey has arrived, and boy am I happy to say that. The Rangers begin their preseason tonight at home against the Islanders. There are a bunch of roster battles taking place this preseason, with the focus primarily on the bottom six and the bottom pairing. We get to see Lias Andersson tonight with Pavel Buchnevich and Michael Grabner flanking him, something we could see in the preseason. We also get to see Anthony DeAngelo tonight as the 3RD, a role he might get with Nick Holden, his partner.

Also playing tonight are Neal Pionk, Ryan Graves, and Boo Nieves. All three have an outside chance of making the club. We may see Graves-Kampfer, a pairing tonight, as the top pairing in Hartford this season, so paying attention to that chemistry will help us figure out what we have in the AHL this season.

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Filling the leadership void

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mats zuccarello

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

The Rangers made major moves this offseason, not only shedding salary and getting younger, but parting ways with two member of the leadership core. Dan Girardi was bought out, and Derek Stepan was traded to Arizona, leaving just Rick Nash and Marc Staal with ‘A’s on their jerseys. Both of their futures are questionable as well.

Alain Vigneault has hinted that he is unsure if the Rangers will go with four ‘A’s again next season, or just stick with Nash and Staal. Letters are more recognition that a player is a leader in the locker room, but you don’t need a letter to be a leader. Just look at Henrik Lundqvist, who’s a powerful and respected voice in the locker room.

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Lineup for tomorrow’s preseason opener

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Alain Vigneault has released the roster/lineup for the preseason tilt tomorrow at MSG against the Islanders. There’s a mix of kids and roster players, with some interesting lines/pairings:

Bobby Farnham-Boo Nieves-Vinni Lettieri
Pavel Buchnevich-Lias Andersson-Michael Grabner
Rick Nash-JT Miller-Paul Carey
Andrew Desjardins-Gabriel Fontaine-Cole Schneider

Ryan McDonagh-Neal Pionk
Nick Holden-Anthony DeAngelo
Ryan Graves-Steven Kampfer

Ondrej Pavelec/Brandon Halverson

The Buchnevich-Andersson-Grabner line could be the third line on opening night. It also appears that DeAngelo will be given every opportunity to stick on the third pair, assuming Holden gets the nod. Wonder what that means for Marc Staal.

Categories : Preseason
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JT Miller celebrates like a boss.

In just 18 short days, the Rangers will open the 2017-2018 season with high hopes and elevated expectations.  A busy off-season left in its wake a roster that is stronger than last year’s in some areas, but potentially weaker in others.  Such is life in the salary cap era.

By adding Kevin Shattenkirk and re-signing Brendan Smith (an almost forgotten-about, but extremely smart and important move), the Rangers undoubtedly begin this season with their best defense corps in at least a half decade – question marks on the bottom pair notwithstanding.  On any given night, the Blueshirts’ top four defenseman will likely be superior to their opponent’s.  The power play prowess of Shattenkirk will surely be a boost as well.

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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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Desjardins, another underwhelming addition by Jeff Gorton

Bobby Farnham and Andrew Desjardins. Read those names back to yourself. Neither of the Rangers recent PTO signings generate excitement, do they?

It’s hard to be anything but underwhelmed at the Rangers attempts to address the center position toward the end of this offseason. Hoping a prospect (such as Andersson or Nieves) wins a spot is fine – after all the team needs to continue with its transition period. Inviting PTO’s to compete for spots and potentially earn a depth spot is also the right thing to do.

However, the Rangers choices are both confusing and disappointing given the calibre of depth free agent candidates that could have been had this offseason. Let’s consider just a handful of names below.

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Rangers announce training camp roster

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The Rangers have announced their training camp roster:

Andrew Desjardins is the only interesting name, as he will be in camp on a PTO. He’s not really a 3C, and he’s 31 years old. A bit odd, but not as odd as Bobby Farnham’s invite.

The preseason opens on Monday after a pair of practices on Saturday and Sunday. It’s expected that the first round of cuts will be following that game, with the kids playing in Juniors to be sent back to their teams.

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Five training camp predictions

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nick holden

It’s that time of year folks. The air is crisp (well in the mornings it is). The temperature is no longer scorching. Long sleeves are out. Pants are worn regularly. It’s almost hockey season. While the Baby Rangers are in Traverse City looking to grab a winning record, the regular Rangers are gearing up for camp. As such, here are some predictions for camp.

1. Nick Holden will not be a Ranger when camp ends. That seems like a gimme prediction, but the relative silence on the trade front hasn’t been reassuring. But the defense trade market is waiting for the Vegas shoe to drop. They have to waive at least three defensemen. When they do, teams get a clearer picture of what’s available. Holden’s contract is cheap, and teams likely want a chance to get a 30 point defenseman.

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Categories : Preseason
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chris kreider

Has Chris Kreider even been more important than this coming season?

It’s been quite some time since I last wrote for the blog, but with personal things out of the way (amongst other things, work sucks doesn’t it?!….), the new season just around the corner and significant change in Rangerland behind us, now seems a good a time to get back involved. So, please accept my apologies that you will once again have to endure my ramblings.

Usually I fly over from the UK around mid-season for my annual Rangers fix, but this time I’ll be heading over for my first ever opening night Rangers game and I’m absolutely pumped. Here are three things I’m expecting from the upcoming regular season.

Chris Kreider’s true coming out party

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Don’t Worry About Bobby Farnham

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Bobby Farnham

This week has been chock full of important Rangers news, like the recent signing of Bobby Farnham to a PTO. While this may be cause for concern among some fans, I’m here to tell you that it’s all going to be fine. Farnham is likely just a body for preseason and maybe the AHL (if that), and while he might be someone AV tries out on the fourth line at absolute worst he’ll be Daniel Paille – around for a little while and eventually gone, as the ill-fitting nature of his inclusion on the roster becomes apparent.

Let’s start with the primary reason why they likely signed Farnham, who is more or less just an enforcer (although he scores once every year or so). Preseason is coming up, and since not everybody on the first team will show up in the few games that precede opening night against the Avs, somebody (literally almost anybody) needs to play hockey alongside the various youngsters that get a look. So enter Farnham, a warm body who’ll help to fill out the lineup in case any of the regulars have nagging injuries, oversleep, etc etc.

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