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Jan
08

Game 38: Keep rolling in LA

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The New York Rangers made it three in a row last night with a strong win in Anaheim against the NHL’s leading team. Tonight they look for revenge in LA, taking on the Kings team that beat them in the Stanley Cup Finals in June behind three overtime/double overtime victories. Yea, it still stings.

The Kings are an interesting team because they are never dominant in the regular season, but they are a fantastic playoff team. A #fancystat darling team, the Kings surprised a lot of people by not buying out Mike Richards in the offseason, and that has led to some issues on their fourth line. They have a +9 goal differential, and the Rangers have them beat in goals for (117 to 112) and goals against (103 to 91).

What have they done lately?

The Kings are an interesting team. They really ride Jonathan Quick’s highs and lows. They held the Sedin’s in check to start the year, then gave up seven to Nashville. They are barely above .500 in their last 10 (4-2-4), and have been treading water in the tough Pacific Division.

That said, they are doing all the right things lately, and are again one of the top possession teams in the league at 54.1% score-adjusted Fenwick. Over their past few games though, they’ve been dominant:

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They may be a 54% score-adjusted team, but they’ve been around 60% Fenwick over their past 10 games. They do this not only by generating a good number of shot attempts in the offensive zone, but by clogging up the middle of the ice in the neutral/defensive zones and severely limiting opposition shot attempts. They are one of the best in the league at forcing the opposition to dump and chase.

They’ve been done in by some poor luck (7.3% shooting rate) that puts them near the bottom-third of the league. This is par for the course for the Kings though. Their rolling five-game average has their PDO below 95.

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Eventually this will turn around for the Kings, but they are running into a red-hot Rangers team that has no sign of slowing down. Then again, this is just the team that can slow the Rangers down.

Kings Systems:

Daryl Sutter has the Kings playing a system similar to that of John Tortorella’s Rangers. They generally run an aggressive overload 2-1-2 forecheck (forecheckers attack the same side of the ice) and they play a 2-1-2 zone defense off the wall (two guys take the hit zone, one takes the support zone, two have the slot). Once the puck moves up high, depending on the matchup, they’ll attack the blue line or collapse their forwards.  They play a hybrid penalty kill, and a 1-3-1/modified umbrella on the powerplay.

Rangers lineup:

Rick Nash-Derick Brassard-Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Martin St. Louis
Carl Hagelin-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast
J.T. Miller-Dominic Moore-Lee Stempniak

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Dan Boyle
John Moore-Kevin Klein

Cam Talbot is in net tonight.

Scratches/Injuries: Tanner Glass (healthy), Matt Hunwick (healthy)

Be sure to check out our ticket link if you’re looking for tickets to the game.

Game time is 10:30pm on MSG.

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Nov
27

Happy Thanksgiving

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From us here at BSB (yes, even Chris, who’s British), we want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. We are very thankful for you all to be supporting us the way you have over the past 6 years, and this place wouldn’t be what it is today without you guys.

As for the loss, let’s not ruin one of my favorite holidays. They lost, it’s still early, let’s move on. The Lightning did the right thing by honoring the best player in franchise history, showing a video tribute in the first period. Very classy, very well done.

Enjoy the holiday folks. Use this thread to discuss the game, what you’re thankful for, and anything else you wish to discuss.

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Update (11/21): The game has been moved to Friday, February 20.

Original Post (11/20): As expected, tomorrow night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, in Buffalo, has been postponed. Buffalo is getting buried under snow at the moment, and were expect 150-180 inches. No makeup date has been announced.

I would like to point out that 180 inches of snow is 15 feet of snow. FIFTEEN FEET.

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Oct
31

Friday chat reminder

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Happy Friday, BSB faithful!  We’ve had a long, between game layoff, but no shortage of Ranger-related news.  The imminent return of Derek Stepan, John Moore’s suspension, line combos, defensive pairs, the last time anyone has seen Cam Talbot alive…  Join me today for a chat on all these topics and more, starting at Noon today.  Don’t forget to drop by at 11:45am and fill up that queue.  See everyone in a few short hours!

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Oct
30

BSB Fanduel League, Round Two

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Tuesday’s league went pretty well, we filled all eight slots. So let’s go ahead and try it again tonight. For those unfamiliar with Fanduel, you are given $55,000 to construct a team of 2 LW, 2 RW, 2 C, 2 D, and 1 G. The goal is to find some good bargains (for example, Scott Darling of Chicago is $6,000 while Marc-Andre Fleury is over $9,000) and save money for some stars you know will put up points.

I created another league at Fanduel for tonight’s games. You can sign up for Fanduel by clicking here. The league link is here.

We don’t do anything crazy, it’s $2 to enter and winner takes all. It’s an eight person league again (winner gets a shade over $14). If the league fills up before you can sign up, let me know. Trying to gauge how big to make these things.

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If you’ve been following myself and Kevin on Twitter, then you’ve noticed that we spend a lot of time talking about daily fantasy hockey. Personally, I find it to be more fun than the season long stuff because I can change my roster a lot, but I have a short attention span. Anyway, we’ve been playing daily leagues against each other and three other BSB regulars, including everyone’s favorite Tommy Tabasco.

Anywho, we’ve enjoyed it, and there I just wanted to gauge interest from everyone else. I created a cheap league ($2 entry, nothing crazy) and made it for eight people. There are 5-6 of us that join regularly, so this is just a guinea pig to see if you all have interest in something like this. You can sign up for Fanduel (coincidentally it’s the site we all use) by clicking here. The league link is here.

If the league fills up before you sign up, please please please let me know in the comments, so that future leagues will increase in size.

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Oct
10

Friday chat reminder

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Join me this afternoon for the first live chat of the regular season!  Plenty to discuss after yesterday’s opening night victory; Rick Nash’s big night, Dan Boyle’s injury, MSL at center, systems, whatever.  We will get started at 1pm, but make sure to stop by at 12:45pm and fill up the queue.  See everyone in a couple hours!

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Oct
03

Friday live chat reminder

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I realized last night that the next time I post, the regular season will be under way.  Crazy.  Anyway, it’s been an interesting preseason, so let’s chat about it.  We’ll get going at noon, but make sure to stop by at 11:45am to start filling that queue.  We will talk Anthony Duclair’s exceptional performance, line combos, depth spots, whatever the people want.  See everyone at noon!

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Sep
28

BSB Fantasy Hockey League

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It’s that time of year again. As the start of the season approaches, it’s time for another year of BSB Fantasy Hockey. This time around, BSBer Puck Luck is going to be the commish. Click here to join the league directly. If the link doesn’t work, the ID is 65764 and the name of the league is BSB Fantasy.

Good luck to everyone that participates.

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Sep
21

The Five Stages of Fantasy Drafting

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Stage Four

Stage Four

It’s that time of the year again. Preseason hockey officially kicks off today with Carolina facing Columbus this afternoon at 1:30pm. The Garden has a fresh sheet of ice down, ready to see the Rangers skate their first preseason game tomorrow night. Less than three weeks stand between us and the regular season. We’re already getting injury reports. Life is good for the hockey fan.

Late September also blooms into a time when, if you’re very rabid, you find nothing wrong with planning social events around your several fantasy drafts. Each of these is special in their own ways: admit it, the head to head with your co-workers is important cause of 40 hours a week bragging rights, but your keeper league that Jim has won three years in a row needs a new king in town, right? So you strategize. You agonize. You figure out your way to win and you go for it.

Lucky for you, faithful reader, I have been watching a disgusting amount of Grey’s Anatomy lately and I feel confident in diagnosing the Five Stages of Fantasy Drafting. Read More→

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