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Chris is still out gallivanting around this glorious country of ours, so I’m covering his musings today. I don’t like to dawdle with long intros, so let’s get right to it. It’s the final musings before the trade deadline.

  • There has been a lot of action the past two days, and it looks like all of the solid potential targets that we wanted for the Rangers are now gone. Let’s recap the trades around the league:
    • Montreal sends Jiri Sekac to Anaheim for Devante Smith-Pelly
    • Florida sends Sean Bergenheim and a 7th round pick in 2016 to Minnesota for a 2016 3rd round pick
    • Carolina sends Jiri Tlusty to Winnipeg for a 2016 3rd round pick and a conditional 2015 6th round pick
    • Toronto sends Daniel Winnik to Pittsburgh for Zach Sill, a 2015 4th round pick and a 2016 2nd round pick
    • Caolina sends Andrej Sekera to LA for a 2015 1st round pick and solid prospect Ronald McKeown
  • All of that happened since Tuesday, which leads us to believe that actual deadline day will be boring. Of course now that I said that, there will be 14 blockbusters. No more. No less.
  • The Rangers could have really used Winnik to shore up that fourth line if they aren’t sold on Lee Stempniak or Oscar Lindberg. Tanner Glass is no longer a viable option there. The Rangers probably could have acquired Winnik for the same price, but draft picks are becoming a rare commodity for New York. I can see the logic.
  • That said, I think the asking price for Bergenheim was just fine, and something the Rangers should have gone for. He was one of those guys that came up in the same chart as Mats Zuccarello when I analyzed him a few weeks back.

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Rangers return Oscar Lindberg to AHL

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Oscar Lindberg’s stay with the Rangers was brief, subbing in for the injured Rick Nash for last night’s 1-0 win over the Calgary Flames. Lindberg was immediately returned to the Hartford Wolf Pack following the game. This is likely due to the fact that cap space is very tight, and since cap space is calculated on a daily basis, Lindberg’s $760,000 cap hit only stays on the book for one day (about $4,000 over a 160 day NHL season). If they need him again Saturday, they will call him up then.

As for his performance, Lindberg played 8:18 on 16 shifts, primarily with J.T. Miller and Carl Hagelin. He was a +4 SATF/CF in those eight minutes. He had 2 SOG, 3 hits, and won 2 of 5 faceoffs. He was tentative on his first few shifts, but seemed to gain comfort and confidence as the game progressed. Lindberg played just two shifts in the third period.

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All Star Game open thread

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Today is the NHL All Star Game, and Rick Nash will be the lone representative for the New York Rangers. Yesterday, Team Foligno beat Team Toews in the skills competition 25-19 after all six events were completed. I didn’t get a chance to watch that (or the draft, which was supposedly very cool), but it appears a good time was had by all, fans, players, and viewers.

The game itself is today at 5pm, and I again will not be able to watch. I’m a busy guy, what can I say? Anyway, use this as your open thread for the game.

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Friday chat reminder

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Happy Friday, BSB faithful!  I know it’s been a while (blame accounting), but the live chat makes its triumphant return this afternoon.  We can talk All-Star stuff, the recent run, contracts, whatever.  We will get started at noon, but make sure to stop by at 11:45am to fill the queue with questions.  See everyone in a bit!

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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:


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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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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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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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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