Is Ballard worth the risk?

With the NHL draft behind us, the attention turns to the free agency period beginning on July 5th. In the mean time, teams begin to offload salary and make roster changes in anticipation of auction season. One of the moves that has already been made has seen Vancouver place Keith Ballard on waivers (regular waives, not buyout waivers). While the…

Read More→

Rangers final grades: Defense

Defense was a hallmark of the 2011-2012 New York Rangers.  It was arguably the key ingredient in their run to the Eastern Conference Finals.  They had an unwavering commitment to shot-blocking and solid play in their own end.  Even without a ton of roster turnover, the unit was not as proficient as they were last season, but still had a…

Read More→

Estimating Ryan McDonagh’s next contract

 When news broke yesterday of Roman Josi’s new contract with the Nashville Predators ($28 million over 7 years), focus immediately shifted to Ryan McDonagh. After all, McDonagh and Josi are very comparable players. They are both coming off their ELCs. They are both top-pairing defensemen. They are both arbitration eligible. Most importantly, they are both likely to receive some attention on the RFA…

Read More→

Michael Del Zotto is safe in New York, for now

Michael Del Zotto is a whipping boy for many, and his underwhelming season hasn’t helped him convince certain groups of fans –and media– of his long-term future being in New York. That said, Del Zotto is here to stay for the foreseeable future.  Depending on how the offseason plays out, the Rangers are not exactly blessed with a ton of…

Read More→

Stay or go: Steve Eminger

If there’s one problem that has plagued the Rangers longer than the broken power play, it’s a lack of depth on defense. You’ll never confuse Steve Eminger with a Norris Trophy candidate, but the 29-year-old has provided tremendous support for New York’s top blueliners over the last three seasons. Whether Eminger was asked to sit in the press box or…

Read More→

Finding a puck mover like Torey Krug is more important than finding a cannon point shot

As some of you may have noticed, the Rangers were awful on the power play again in 2013. One of the simple fixes suggested by many has been to bring in a guy with a cannon point shot.  That’d be a nice luxury to have, but the truth is that there are very few players in the league as effective…

Read More→

Until Marc Staal comes back, the defense will struggle against deep teams

Something that was very obvious during yesterday’s loss was that the Rangers defense had a lot of trouble matching up and shutting down the Bruins forwards. Prior to the series, coach John Tortorella swapped his defense pairings to prepare for a much deeper Bruins club. In doing so, he split up Dan Girardi/Ryan McDonagh, and put Girardi with Michael Del Zotto. Let’s be clear about…

Read More→

The Rangers do not have a single player averaging over 27 minutes of ice time

A lot of noise has been made about how coach John Tortorella deploys his defensemen. Most of this is due to the coach playing five defensemen during last year’s playoff run, but some new noise has been made recently when Steve Eminger was benched for half of Game Four. But a lot of this is just noise, and the Rangers…

Read More→

With Staal out and Eminger benched, the bottom pairing becomes a problem

Last night, Marc Staal was a last-minute scratch from Game Four, forcing Steve Eminger back into the lineup. In Games One and Two, Eminger got enough ice time to give the others a rest, playing 10 minutes in Game One and 14 minutes in Game Two. After sitting out Game Three (with Staal in the lineup), Eminger played just six minutes in Game…

Read More→

John Moore getting more comfortable in Rangers’ system

When the Rangers traded Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets at the deadline this year, the concern was adding more grit and toughness to the lineup.  Having already added Ryane Clowe, the attention turned to what Derick Brassard and Derek Dorsett bring to the group.  John Moore was something of a mystery player.  He wasn’t a throw in by…

Read More→