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There is no way around it; Mika Zibanejad going down with a concussion is about the worst case scenario for the Rangers short of losing Henrik Lundqvist (especially on a senseless, late hit like that).  With already severely compromised center depth, both the short and potential long-term blow to the lineup is massive.  When the season started there were serious concerns about the lack of qualified replacements for Derek Stepan and Oscar Lindberg.  The Blueshirts were left with a ragtag group in the bottom six, and now their depth will be tested even further. Read More→

alain vigneault

Any chance of a good start AV?

One of the reasons I jumped off the Alain Vigneault bandwagon quite some time ago was the coach’s constant regurgitation of clichés. After the Canucks game on Sunday night we got to hear the classic line; ‘good teams find ways to win games’. Sure, of course they do.

Call me a cranky fan if you will (for the record, I love me some positivity and I’m a fan that usually is a little too high on his own team) but I’d prefer some honest assessment from AV such as how the Rangers were abysmal for large stretches of the game on Sunday night. Slightly of track, but I’d also think it would resonate in the dressing room more, if the players heard their coach openly say they sucked (and how and why) when it’s actually the case. But I digress.

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Nov
19

The dreaded middle

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alain vigneault

The Rangers have cooled off somewhat from their hot streak, and we’re once again seeing the flaws inherent in the structure of this team and the execution of their game. Although the loss against Columbus was primarily due to Sergei Bobrovsky’s phenomenal night, the previous game against Chicago had a lot to do with their inability to play a full 60 minutes. Whether it’s due to the players in the lineup, the coach who sends them out onto the ice, or the GM who put together the lineup the Rangers are headed towards a serious predicament: the dreaded middle.

See, if there’s one thing you don’t want to be in today’s NHL, especially considering the top tier talent available in the early picks of next year’s draft, it’s just ok. If you’re good enough to make the playoffs but not good enough to contend, then you just miss out on a better draft pick. Similarly, if you’re bad enough to miss the playoffs but not all that bad compared to the rest of the early golf crowd, then the draft pick you end up getting won’t move the needle too terribly much. From a fan perspective too it’s kind of disappointing – at least if you’re watching your team lose a lot of games you know that somewhere down the line, and maybe as soon as the following year, you’ll be watching something good. Nobody wants to be the Carolina Hurricanes (sorry Canes fam, you’re still my second team anyways), good enough to make people say “next year should be fun” but bad enough that that next year actually isn’t.

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Image c/o Labatt Blue

The Rangers looked to right the ship last night in Columbus, just two days after suffering their first loss in two weeks. Sadly for the Blueshirts, they faced the same hot goalie that they did last week in Sergei Bobrovsky, except this time, they were unable to score.

This game featured Brendan Smith’s return to the lineup, marking his first start since the October 31 win against Vegas. The game also featured the return of the ever-infuriating Pavel Buchnevich Project, where inexplicably, some players get long leashes whilst others do not.

On to the bullet points… Read More→

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See you soon, old pal

On the eve of Game 13 of the season, the Rangers find themselves firmly in panic mode, needing to right the sinking ship. If the Titanic has taught us anything, it’s that a) Jack could have fit on that door, and b) you need to make sure you have enough life boats to save the ship. It seems the life boats, as the “gimme” games against Montreal and Arizona, have sailed far away.

The Rangers are looking out on Games 13, 14 and 15 this week against two very hot teams and one team playing average hockey. The time to have turned the ship around would have been last week, and it looked like that almost happened against Montreal. Unfortunately, the regulation loss against the Canadiens on Saturday night could prove to be more harmful than it seems.

Let’s take a look at what lies in the week ahead.

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The Rangers played very poorly last night. To put it bluntly, they stunk up the joint so bad, I’m smelling it across the Hudson. Let’s check in on how the team is doing right now:

The game was, as usual, a total cluster and yet in some ways, totally predictable. The Rangers played roughly 1/3 of this game, perhaps thinking this is still practice? But maybe this is just how they’re coached at this point, since they had a habit of doing this last year as well, except they managed to win these games that they’re losing in 2017. Read More→

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Jul
18

Scouting Alex Georgiev

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alex georgiev

When teams invite players to their prospect development camp, it is rare to expect much from the players. After all they went undrafted, and usually for a feasible reason. But there was one name that stood out on this year’s list. Alexander Georgiev, a talented goalie prospect in Liiga was among the invites for the Rangers only weeks after they didn’t retain Magnus Hellberg and Mackenzie Skapski. The Rangers signed him late last night.

Georgiev is a name that is known among the European hockey fans, he although Russian, has been playing in the Finnish league to play against pro men since he was 19 years old and over the last 3 years has taken strides in that league along with significant international tournament exposure.

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Jun
03

A Window into Jeff Gorton’s Mind

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jeff gorton

Now that we’re knee deep in the Stanley Cup Final, and it’s looking like the Penguins could do the damn thing, it’s naturally time to start worrying about what comes next. After all, who actually likes watching hockey anyways – it’s all about the crazy offseason machinations leading up to October, right? All jokes aside though, in about two weeks we’ll have a pretty solid look at what GM Jeff Gorton’s general roster construction philosophy is, and that’s a pretty big deal, so here’s a look at a few key dates coming up that’ll give us that inside perspective.

First, and perhaps most consequential, is the buyout period that opens on June 15th. Here is where we’ll see if Gorton has it in him to cut ties with one (or both) of the Rangers’s stalwart defensemen/black hole contracts in Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. I’m fairly certain at least one of them gets bought out, but nonetheless we’ll see whether Gorton really does value speed and skill as much as he seems to on the forward side of things, and whether he gets how addition by subtraction works. It’ll also be telling to see if he buys out both or not – maybe indicating that a trade is still possible for the Wonder Twin left standing (or that he’ll end up making the roster in October, but that’s less exciting).

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Categories : Offseason, Uncategorized
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A Redditor sent this to me just now, and asked me to share his 9-year-old’s letter to Henrik Lundqvist. It’s truly a heartwarming letter, and definitely the best thing you’ll read today.

I hope you get to meet him, Cameron.

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The question of whether the Rangers could flip the proverbial switch had been asked, rightly, of a team that had little to play for over the last six weeks of the regular season. It took about a period, but the Rangers did just that, playing a very solid road game and taking a 1-0 series lead over the favored Canadiens, winning game one by the final score of 2-0.

The winning goal came from an unlikely source: Tanner Glass.   Glass has been a lightning rod for debate among the Blueshirts faithful since his acquisition, but there was no questioning his impact on this game. Read More→

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