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Late last week, we learned that Mats Zuccarello would be the Rangers Ambassador for You Can Play. The You Can Play project is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the LGBTQ community and fighting homophobia in sports. The Rangers will celebrate You Can Play during tomorrow night’s game against the Ducks.
The details of the event can be found here. A special table will be set up at Section 113/114 where fans can talk to a representative and learn more about the organization and their initiatives. There will also be an online auction, and 100% of the auction’s proceeds will benefit the You Can Play Project.
The New York Rangers started off strong and then tapered off in the first half of the season, largely due to their shooting percentage descending back down from the heavens, but also in part due to injuries to three of their top six forwards. Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad, and Pavel Buchnevich all spent significant time on injured reserve, and their collective return has helped the Rangers find more of a scoring touch and get the most out of their forward depth. Still, with the way the last few games have been going, there’s work to be done.
Let’s start with the positive: DJ ZBad, Buch, and Nash are all finally back, and their return should be a major help as we head into the second half of the season. Zibanejad, although he’s only played two games so far, has recorded two goals for a P60 of 4.17. He’s also helped reinvigorate the Rangers’s power play, with his one-timer proving to be a serious threat that other teams now have to respect. Lastly, although it’s an incredibly small sample size, he’s got a 56.92 CF% for a relCF% of 8.77.
Sad news to report here, as office Steven McDonald has passed away at the age of 59 today. McDonald suffered a massive heart attack earlier in the week, and passed away today. McDonald, an NYPD officer, was shot on July 12, 1986, an incident that left him as a quadriplegic.
The Rangers have honored McDonald every year since the shooting by presenting the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award each season since 1987-88 to the Rangers player who goes above and beyond the normal call of duty.
From the entire BSB family: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, Happy New Year, Happy whatever holiday you celebrate. Use this as your open thread for today. Hockey is on its second day of the mandated three day break for the holidays. However there are two football games on TV today. I think there’s some basketball too, but to be honest, I don’t follow the NBA.
Just for some fun:
- What did you want for the holidays? Did you get it?
- Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, or Merry Christmas? Does it matter
Two angles of Cody Eakin’s dirty hit on Henrik Lundqvist.
The Rangers won the second game of their back to back set on Friday, with Nick Holden scoring the lone goal of the game in OT to cap it all off. Unfortunately I fell asleep for parts of the game but I did see a good portion of it, and I feel comfortable saying that the Rangers played a much better game than they did against Winnipeg, and a much better game than their recent form in general.
Although there were stretches of struggle for the Rangers during parts of the first and second period, with a couple of shifts in particular sticking out in my mind as areas for improvement, on the whole they carried more of the game than Chicago did. A few quick comments before I pass out:
- First of all, this game was solid evidence that a game does not necessarily need to be high-scoring to be exciting. Both goalies were back-ups and played out of their minds, with the two teams trading odd-man rushes at different points in the game. Overall just a great thing to see two goalies one-upping each other like that, although obviously Raanta was better n the end.
- No, these past two games does not mean there’s now a goalie controversy in New York. Hank is still the number one, and if you need convincing otherwise we’re probably going to disagree on a lot of stuff.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Use this as your open thread for the day. There’s a lot of football on today, 3 good games. Also it looks like the Rangers need to protect Rick Nash in the expansion draft, per Sportsnet.
You all know the commenting guidelines. Enjoy the day!
This is a bit alarming, as MSG Inc has reported a year-long credit card breach at five of its locations. Those locations: MSG, Theater at MSG, Radio City, Beacon Theater, and Chicago Theater. The breach took place between November 9, 2015 through October 24 of this year.
I’m posting this here because as a Rangers site, it is my guess that a number of people here have gone to and used their credit cards at MSG over the past year. Every concession stand, every vendor. Everywhere.
Please monitor your credit card and bank account statements. Take the necessary action to make sure you are not the victim of fraudulent activities.
Although I haven’t had the opportunity to catch much of the games lately (to be rectified now that the Western Canada road trip is over, of course), my understanding is that things are still going well for the Rangers, and in particular, they’re still getting solid scoring chances night in, night out. We talked a bit about this on the most recent podcast – how even though the Rangers’ CF% isn’t looking so hot and there may be some drop off in wins as a result, their SCF% (scoring chances for) is pretty good, and this is indicative of the team being more than just a flash in the pan a la last season’s hot start.
As some of you may know, I also write occasionally for NHLNumbers.com, where a recent article by the esteemed Loserpoints explored the concept of scoring chances and how to best statistically encapsulate who is in fact getting the most high-end chances. I highly recommend this article, as it does a really great job of explaining what’s pushing the envelope in statistical analysis these days, in particular expected goals (or xG), in an intuitive and easy to understand way. I’m not really a math guy, although I do like statistics, and even I found it easy to understand.
On Episode 27 of the Blue Seat Blogs-cast we recap the Rangers’ recent scoring craze, talk a little bit about what’s driving their prolific offense these days, and discuss what it would take to pry away the recently re-signed Jacob Trouba from Winnipeg. As always you can find us right here, on SoundCloud, and on iTunes.