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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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The need to beat up on bad teams in December

With their 6-3 loss last night, the New York Rangers dropped to 0-3 against the Lightning, and the mood switched from positive –following a home-and-home sweep of the Flyers– to negative pretty quickly. It’s amazing how that works. But the best teams in the league do two things consistently: Beat up on bad teams and stay around .500 against good…

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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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Have the Rangers found market value for Carl Hagelin?

This past week the Montreal Canadiens signed one of their talented homegrown core to a long-term contract and in doing so, helped the Rangers begin to identify market value for Carl Hagelin’s next contract. Habs’ winger Brendan Gallagher is a comparable for Carl Hagelin in a variety of ways. Both players were mid-round draft picks, neither are blessed with great…

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The impact of Ryan McDonagh’s return

For the first time all season, the Rangers will dress a fully healthy squad. Captain Ryan McDonagh, injured since early this month with a separated shoulder, is set to return tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers. His return helps balance out the lineup on special teams as well as at even strength, but it goes far beyond the decision of who…

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The power play is beginning to feel the Dan Boyle effect

Martin covered Boyle’s impact yesterday, but here’s a little more. It’s Thanksgiving week so forgive me for not rewriting this one. Though contract length and roster construction played a part, the Rangers basically chose between two distinct skill sets when they elected not to re-sign Anton Stralman and inked Dan Boyle as his replacement in July. The argument for Boyle was that…

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Dan Boyle’s return to the powerplay

It’s no secret the Rangers power play has been the subject of much criticism for seemingly the last decade and this season had been no different up until the return of Dan Boyle. The Rangers have been constantly, and unsuccessfully, looking for a man to run the point since the days of Brian Leetch and it seems as though they…

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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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Should the Rangers be worried about Dan Girardi and Marc Staal’s form?

With a few exceptions the Rangers have been abysmal in their own end for almost the entire season. Whether it’s been the disruptions to the line up caused by the myriad of injuries or ‘a lack of desperation’ (says Rick Nash) or execution on any particular game night, it doesn’t matter. The Rangers have not been good enough. The Rangers…

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