Archive for Rants

Jan
26

Tear it down

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(GENE J. PUSKAR/AP)

Even With last night’s win against the Sharks, the Rangers head into the All-Star break in a complete free fall.  We have all known for months that the process has sucked, and Henrik Lundqvist had been keeping the team afloat.  Well, now that Chris Kreider is hurt and a consistent rotation of random injuries keep hitting the roster, the team has had to bring up a carousel of AHL talent.  The goals are starting to dry up and Alain Vigneault’s “quality over quantity” system has stalled.

For the past several years, the deployment and systems philosophy had run contrary to our conventional understanding of hockey analytics, and the Rangers’ relative success had many analysts questioning whether the team existed between the lines of the current stats.  While it still might be a true statement, this years’ incarnation (which had apparent depth issues from the outset) has put any evanescent hopes of contention firmly out of reality. Read More→

Categories : Rants
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Hate Week continues here at Blue Seat Blogs, and as Dave mentioned yesterday, the Rangers fully deserve it.  They are 2-5 since the bye week.  They are banged up, in part due to their own mismanagement of injured players.  They are running their 35 year-old generational goaltender into the ground in the name of desperation (“every point matters!”), then benching their third-leading scorer in a must-win game.

When this season began, the Rangers started so poorly that most fans and observers believed that they would bounce back.  The Rangers did, and put together an impressive streak that got them into playoff contention.  So who’s to say that this isn’t just another blip on the radar?  I give you the following (apologies for the shameless self-promotion): Read More→

Categories : Analysis, Rants
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We miss you always, Derek

This past week has been a strange one in Rangerstown, a lot of which we’ve unpacked on the blog in recent days. We now know that our top signing over the summer was playing on a torn meniscus, we’ve seen games with five players out due to injury, and we’ve had some interesting broadcasting.

The issue of losing your new star defenseman to a meniscus tear is much like an onion: the more you peel back all the facts, the more you feel miserable and cry. For starters, the injury took place in training camp, four months ago. This is an 8-12 week recovery injury. This would be old news had it been handled at the time of injury. Read More→

Categories : Rants
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Jan
09

It’s time for true accountability

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alain vigneault

In case you missed it on Sunday night, Rangers Twitter was turned upside down when Alain Vigneault made a pair of roster decisions that, for all intents and purposes, made little sense to a good number of people. The first was scratching Pavel Buchnevich (third on the team in goals and scoring), and the second was benching Brendan Smith for Steven Kampfer.

On the surface, there really is nothing wrong with the decisions in a vacuum. Logically speaking, Buch had been struggling to score lately, and there was likely a need to get Kampfer in a game before the bye week. That’s perfectly fine, if those reasons were given by the head coach when pressed on the issue. Instead, we got a vanilla “I liked the matchup” response. He dodged the question with, in my opinion, a bull**** answer. He insulted my intelligence in the process.

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alain vigneault

Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform you that Alain Vigneault is at it again. AV has put his lines through a blender, and somehow came up with this concoction that made us all go “wtf?” At this point, I’m unsure if AV thinks these are his best lines, or if he’s just trolling the fan base.

Let’s make a few things very clear: David Desharnais is not a top-six center for the long term. He’s a solid feel-good story and has been a pleasant surprise for this team. He slides in nicely as the fourth line center in a rotation with Paul Carey and Boo Nieves. That’s not a knock on Desharnais by any means. But slotting him as the 2C –or worse, 1C– doesn’t lead to long-term success.

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Dec
15

This isn’t sustainable process

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The Rangers have been a very streaky team this year. They started off “slow” to say the least, then went on a complete tear, putting themselves back into relevancy. Now they’ve played three terrible games out of four, with the one reprieve being against a Devils team that appears to be crashing back to Earth.

The Blueshirts have never been possession darlings, and likely never will be. Their system isn’t designed for sustained pressure. They are designed for quick counter attacks and high quality chances. That’s usually fine, as long as their defensive scheme limits those types of chances against (spoiler: it doesn’t).

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This past weekend we all bore witness to a monumental collision between politics and sports.  You all know the backstory.  I don’t need to rehash that here.  The fascinating and horrifying thing to behold during all of this was the uncomfortable punditry watching every move of the sports entertainment industry.  Watching solidarity and derision, anger and hubris collide in this fashion was something I never expected to see as a sports fan.

As an attorney, watching people twist and contort the first amendment to suit their personal political beliefs was difficult, as well.  The anger and confusion about what the protests actually represent caused additional upheaval.  Back in 2014, Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers took the stance that he was no longer going to stand for the national anthem prior to NFL games as a show of support for the people of color in this country who are victims of oppression, police brutality and injustice. It was out of this concept that #TakeAKnee was born. That was three years ago.

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Don’t tell Kevin how good Marc Methot was in Game 1

Folks, I’m going to be honest with you. There is no reason to hit the panic button quite yet. I know this is very alarming for several people, because people are so romantic when the team wins and so mentally unhinged when the team loses, but I promise you don’t need to freak out.

As a team ventures deeper into the murky waters of the playoffs, they’re destined to meet teams that also deserve to be there. Though people may have dismissed the Senators as a hard hitting, slow team (ahh, the good old Chris Neil days), the team now is far from that. Their defense is not well established, but they make plenty of adjustments and play Erik Karlsson —who, if he is injured, as a robot is not affected — damn near 30 minutes a night.

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Apr
04

The NHL has shot itself in the foot again

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No professional sports league has a history of shooting itself in the foot like the NHL. The NHL has had three lockouts in roughly 20 years, costing them two seasons of hockey. They are the only team to lose an entire year to a work stoppage. And that’s just part of the terrible PR the NHL contends with.

Gary Bettman has been on record stating fans don’t care about player salary information. Yet Capgeek was wildly popular and gave way to General Fanager and Cap Friendly. These are three sites that without, we would have no way of knowing a player’s impact related to salary. In a hard-cap world, player salary information is a must have.

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Categories : Rants
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Nov
26

About that win against the Flyers

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henrik lundqvist

It’s a holiday tradition unlike any other: The Rangers/Flyers post-Thanksgiving showdown. In keeping with the tradition, the Rangers showed the Flyers how a real hockey team plays, besting their Metropolitan Division rivals 3-2 in a high-spirited matchup that featured some phenomenal saves by Henrik Lundqvist. All of this should be cause for celebration, but while I hate to be a downer I’m going to come in and rain on the Turkey Day hockey parade.

Just to get it out there, front and center for all to see, the Rangers did not play a good game. Their CF% for the game was 32.04%, and the only Rangers skaters with above a 40% individual CF% were Brady Skjei, who played exceptionally given the circumstances, Josh Jooris, and Kevin Klein (no Rangers cracked 50%). For those who are really statistically inclined, xGF% on corsica.hockey, which takes into account things like shot type, distance, and angle of the shot, was 37.12%, which is also, suffice to say, not very good. How on Earth did they win this game then? Two words: Henrik Lundqvist. His save percentage was 95.24% and he made some simply outrageous saves in close that any other goalie would have let in. Once again, Henrik bailed us out.

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