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The far-reaching impact of Derek Stepan’s return

It was just over four weeks ago that Chris Mueller was the third-line center for the New York Rangers. Feels like a lot longer than that, right? New York’s problems down the middle began when the team failed to bring in a replacement for Brad Richards and were exacerbated when Derek Stepan broke his fibula during training camp. But since Stepan’s return to…

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Addressing the glut of wingers with Chris Kreider’s return

Disclaimer: This was written before this morning’s announcement that Anthony Duclair will be the healthy scratch. Chris Kreider will return to the lineup tonight after dealing with the death of his grandfather, and with his return comes another logjam at wing. Even without Tanner Glass, out with the mumps for an unknown period of time, the Rangers have nine very…

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Carl Hagelin’s strong season

The Rangers haven’t struggled to score goals this year, they’ve simply struggled to spread the goals around. Thanks in large part to Rick Nash and Marty St Louis, the Rangers have scored enough to stay in the playoff race while the defense and the goaltenders (up until recently) have struggled through injury, fluctuating form and suspensions. One of the lesser…

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The Rangers need more from Chris Kreider

Thank god the Rangers have Rick Nash. That’s a statement not just uttered countless times by the Ranger fan base but is something that Chris Kreider has probably said a few times this season as well. Luckily for Kreider, Nash’s blistering start has diverted a lot of attention from several underperforming players including Kreider. Kreider has had games this year…

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The Rangers haven’t been able to replace Brad Richards

We’ve spent a lot of time bemoaning the loss of Anton Stralman, whose departure has coincided with a drastic drop in possession numbers. We’ve also talked about the impact losing Brian Boyle has had on the penalty kill and on faceoffs. Heck, we’ve even reminisced about Raphael Diaz. But one key veteran has been quickly forgotten since his forced exit just…

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Fixing the fourth line

All season long, the Rangers have had some serious issues with the fourth line. It’s not really a surprise, since the Rangers have used nine different players on that line already. Nine. Tanner Glass, Dominic Moore, Jesper Fast, J.T. Miller, Ryan Malone, Chris Mueller, Lee Stempniak, Kevin Hayes, Anthony Duclair. Suffice it to say: That’s a lot of forwards used…

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Logjam at wing may spell end of Duclair (temporarily)

Anthony Duclair was a healthy scratch as the Rangers beat the Sharks 4-0 yesterday. When the initial news broke, there was some serious outrage over scratching Duke, some of it was rational and warranted, most was irrational. The Duke has three assists on the season, but has yet to put one in the net. That is partially due to lack…

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Chris Kreider providing the Rangers reason for optimism

Building on what Kevin talked about yesterday, not everything in Rangerland is a negative right now. Despite the inept goaltending currently found at the Garden and the sinking ship that is the Rangers defense, there are still reasons for optimism in New York. One of those reasons is Chris Kreider. If the Rangers had just a competent defense in week one we would…

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Injuries hampering veteran chances

The Rangers went on a low-risk spending spree this summer, bringing in veterans Matt Lombardi, Lee Stempniak, and Ryan Malone. Some questioned this initially –Stempniak not so much– as the Rangers have a lot of kids ready to take spots in the lineup. However, more competition is good. Competition breeds improvement. But now, two of those veterans have seen injuries…

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Rise of Duclair and Buchnevich clouds the future of other forward prospects

Entering training camp last fall, there was an intense battle for the final forward spots between youngsters Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg and Danny Kristo. Fast actually won the job out of camp, but an early injury combined with Kreider’s emergence put an end to the competition. Miller, Fast, Lindberg and Kristo are all clearly on the…

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