Archive for Rants

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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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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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, 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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Categories : Rants
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alain vigneault

Boy, the Rangers play two mediocre games and all of a sudden the world is ending. The focus, as always, has been on the defense. But let’s be clear here. We all knew the defense was in need of an upgrade before the season started. The major problem lies on the right side, where Dan Girardi plays top pairing minutes and Kevin Klein has been bouncing between second and third pair. Brady Skjei has moved to that side to try to stabilize everything.

Dylan McIlrath wasn’t the answer. Adam Clendening may or may not be a viable bottom-pairing guy, and we won’t know until he’s in the lineup more consistently. Alain Vigneault is going to lean on his guys until major roster decisions are made down the road. So let’s try to get into AV’s head and understand why he’s making the decisions he’s making, instead of just bashing him or the players blindly.

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Categories : Defense, Rants
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What kind of name is Skjei?

What kind of name is Skjei? (Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

Things are going a little too well in Rangerland right now and I’ve had just about enough of it. Until the Blueshirts start losing some games and facing a little real adversity, I thought it might be helpful for all of us Never Satisfied New Yorkers to focus our energies on a few other irritating areas for the time being…

Michael Grabner may be second in the NHL in goals, but he’s also second in that garbage plus/minus stat. I’d like to praise Grabner’s start, but until he gets that corrected, I just can’t get on board.

Adam Clendening missed a golden opportunity for a viral Mannequin Challenge video on Sunday when he was glued to the bench. If he’s not going to play, he should at least be helping the Blueshirts get pageviews from the bench.

– Chanting BUCHHHHH sounds way too similar to ZUCCCC. How are fans watching on TV supposed to differentiate? Jeff Gorton needs to consider these things when he brings new players into the fold. Read More→

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The Tides of Change

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The concept of change is not a complicated one. One thing becomes another. Yet, out in the real world, change embodies complication. It can be lengthy, violent, compromised, terrifying and exciting. It tends to affect most things, some more than others. Some is met with little resistance, some with the greatest force you could ever imagine. The way it effects you will be determined by your investment, your willingness to adapt, and what you stand to lose. It effects economics, politics, art, religion and yes, sports. At this juncture, our beloved sport of hockey is at such a crossroads of change.

It was brought to light yesterday that Matt Pfeffer, an analytics consultant for the Montreal Canadiens was let go from the organization for his impassioned plea for the club to reconsider trading PK Subban. Now, in a vacuum, while it raises operational questions, it is not a big deal. Any employee who does not see eye to eye with their employer can be let go. However, this situation is emblematic of hockey’s growing civil war between the current powers that be and the emerging sub-culture of analysis-driven management. Read More→

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One of them new-fangled puck movers

The evolution of sports is an interesting beast. Forever embedded in the American (and Canadian) consciousness, competition and loyalty can breed life long interest and devotion. People spend countless hours over countless years watching their idols. The love of the sweater eventually outlives all the players you grew up watching and those who have long faded into oblivion. As players come and go, the game changes around them. Some embrace the evolution, some fail to evolve and their time within the game draws to a close.

The evolution tends to come in common themes. Players get bigger, faster, and more skilled. They are better trained, with their talented cultivated from younger and younger ages. The game itself develops more specialized roles for players and matchups and statistics become more prevalent. Trends emerge, science is tested and every team tries to gain that competitive advantage.

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Categories : Defense, Rants
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AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

It’s now been a good amount of time since the Rangers have been eliminated, and the rest of the league has settled nicely into round two, which has allowed many of us fans to absorb the loss and perhaps move on with our lives.

Although I cannot speak for all fans, I feel confident that you’ll all agree with the following statement: Henrik Lundqvist deserves better. And so, I’ve written a short open letter to him on behalf of all fans.

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Categories : Rants
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Miller (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

Miller (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

Accountability has been a word thrown around by many Rangers fans this year. Its meaning can be subjective. The name on the jersey can sometimes influence accountability, even if it shouldn’t. The job of a coach is to fight through subjective reasoning and enforce accountability at an objective level.

Accountability has been an issue all year for the Rangers. Veterans who have played poorly have not been benched. Heck, they haven’t even seen their ice time slashed. Kids that make rookie mistakes are scratched. Second year players are called out publicly. Others are benched mid-game.

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How the Rangers wasted Keith Yandle

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Yandle, soon to be gone?

Yandle, soon to be gone?

Over the weekend, news broke that Keith Yandle has put off extension talks with the Rangers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Yandle’s minutes since coming to New York have been minimal. He’s been relegated to third pairing and second powerplay time, after playing 20 minutes a night in Arizona. You can make the case that the Rangers have a deeper defense than Arizona, which is true, but you cannot defend playing inferior players over Yandle on a nightly basis, especially when you consider the cost to acquire him.

Yandle cost the Rangers Anthony Duclair, a first round pick, a second round pick, and John Moore. Moore was included to make room for Yandle, and the first/second round picks are the cost of doing business in the NHL. The biggest piece was Duclair, who is having a great year in Arizona with a line of 12-11-23 thus far. He was a first round talent that fell to the third round, and the Rangers got 18 games and one-and-a-half seasons of a misused Yandle for him. Horrible asset management. And that’s not even the crux of the issue.

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Categories : Analysis, Players, Rants
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