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This week on the Blue Seat Blogs-cast we talk about the preliminary rosters for the World Cup of Hockey, initial impressions of Eric Staal, and thoughts on resting Henrik Lundqvist. As always you can find us here, on Soundcloud, and on iTunes. Thanks for listening and be sure to join us next week!
The Rangers once again chose to go “all in” this trade deadline, sending two second round picks and highly touted prospect Aleksi Saarela to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for pending free agent Eric Staal. Staal, who is now reunited with his brother Marc in New York, is yet another player in a line of those seen as the missing piece to a Stanley Cup winning team. There’s various ways to pick apart this trade, and I recommend reading Dave’s piece here or listening to our discussion of the trade with Patrick Kearns on the podcast for those purposes, but one thing I feel is important to stress with this move is patience.
Patience is what paid off in both of the Rangers’ previous splashy deadline day trades, in which they acquired Martin St. Louis in 2014 and Keith Yandle in 2015. In both cases, the players acquired needed some time to adjust to a new system, were plagued by poor puck luck, and just overall required some time to gain chemistry and identity with their new team. In both cases it may have seemed at first that the Rangers lost each trade, especially given the price paid to acquire both St. Louis and Yandle, but in the end we saw Martin St Louis lead the team to the Stanley Cup Finals and Keith Yandle blossom into the commanding defenseman that we know today.
Some sad news here. Rangers great and Hall of Famer Andy Bathgae has died today, as noted by the Hockey Hall of Fame. Bathgate played most of his career with the Rangers, a total of 719 games. He amassed a scoring line of 272-457-729. He was inducted into the HHOF in 1978.
The Rangers matchup against perennial contenders the LA Kings ended in heartbreak after the visiting team tied it late and came back to win it in overtime. The Kings opened the scoring early, with Anze Kopitar scoring the first of his three goals just 33 seconds into the game. The Rangers came back to tie it and eventually take the lead, but once again Kopitar had their number, sending his team to overtime and completing his hat trick late in the third with the goalie pulled.
While it’s hard to be entirely happy with the way the team played, struggling to generate sustained offense or connect on passes, it is worth noting that the Rangers were missing some key players, and they still managed to walk away with one point on the evening.
Kings 1 Rangers 0
The Rangers have not played good hockey at all this month. They won on the back of Henrik Lundqvist, and now that he is returning to normal –not a .960 SV% goalie– the Rangers are losing games and looking bad doing it. But let’s be real, they were looking bad while winning games previously, so this losing skid isn’t a surprise to those that watched the process.
Process breeds results, and the Rangers have had a poor process all season. Carolina isn’t a good team, so now is the time to take a step back, right that ship, and get back to doing the small things that improve overall process. I’m talking smart passes out of the defensive zone, crashing the net, getting shots towards the net, and so on. You never know what comes from a lazy shot from the point. The perfect shot isn’t necessary all the time.
Plus, it’s Cam Ward in net, so you never know when one of those lazy shots gets through.
Last night, we saw the Rangers nine game win streak come to an end. It was a bit ugly and frustrating, but whatever. It’s hard to complain about winning nine of ten (note: analyzing is not complaining). Since it’s Friday afternoon before a holiday week, and we will be right back to the grind tomorrow night, I thought I’d bring some levity to your last work day.
There has been tons or articles over the past couple years highlighting the different archetypes of beer league players (seriously, Google it), but I have never seen one from a goalie’s perspective. If you’re a beer league player, laugh and nod your head along with me, if not, just a quick glimpse of what you are getting into if you decide to lace ‘em up with some of the game’s finest. Read More→
Concussions are one of the most serious and pressing issues in contemporary sports, with hockey being no exception. Concussions can have both short term effects, causing painful symptoms and leading to missed games for players, as well as longer term and sometimes much more tragic consequences. Treating and preventing concussions is one of the foremost challenges of today’s game, and I recently had the privilege of attending an event where a new collar like piece of equipment potentially revolutionizing the field of concussion prevention was unveiled.
The event was held by Performance Sports Group, a sport equipment company whose brands include Easton and Bauer. The presentation began with a short video about the symptoms and effects of concussions, including testimonial from Marc Staal about his experiences with concussions. Kevin Davis, the CEO of Performance Sports then gave a short speech on his company’s focus on innovation and safety not just at the professional level but also amateur and youth levels as well, before ceding the stage to Dr Julian Bailes, Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and Co-Director of the NorthShore University HealthSystem Neurological Institute. Dr. Bailes, who will be played by Alec Baldwin in the upcoming movie Concussion, then began to explain the science behind the new device.
Ahh November, the second full month of hockey when everyone’s beginning to shake the dust off and come into their true 2015-16 form. It’s when teams are beginning to either warm up or fizzle out, when the teams you expect to be in first are and those that have started hot can really prove themselves. it’s when your Saturday fantasy teams are so packed that you definitely have to bench a guy who’s playing tonight — and flip out when they score some goals.
Apparently, it’s also the time that the rumor mill gets started and hot takes heat up. Last week, trade rumors came about for two forwards from the West, one of whom made Rangers twitter a complete nut house and pretty unbearable in general. Yes, more unbearable than usual. Read More→
Henrik Lundqvist sat down with Bloomberg Television’s Scarlet Fu the other day to speak about his philanthropic efforts. He said “I wanted to reach people back home and other places around the world and also start thinking about life after my career.”
The full interview can be viewed here.
The transcript, courtesy of Bloomberg TV, is below.
I’ll preface this short post by letting you know that this will be a rant. The Rangers game last night wasn’t pretty, and after reading Alain Vigneault’s comments about the current roster situation yesterday, one has to wonder if there will be changes tonight. But I think that this tweet I posted last night is really the most concise way to say how I feel about things right now: