May
16

Gauging Mika Zibanejad’s next contract

May 16, 2017, by · Comments (128)

mika zibanejad

The offseason focus this year is naturally going to be on the expansion draft, and rightfully so. It’s the first time in the Twitter era that we will be able to watch it unfold on TV and on social media. While that is certainly going to be a focus, one of the key items on the Jeff Gorton’s To Do List is getting his RFA’s signed. The biggest RFA to get locked up is Mika Zibanejad.

Zibanejad was acquired last summer, along with a 2018 second round pick, in exchange for Derick Brassard and a 2018 seventh round pick. Zibanejad lit the world on fire in his first month with the Ranges, almost scoring at will before breaking his leg and missing 25 games. Zibanejad was slow to get his legs under him, and finished the season with a line of 14-23-37 in 56 games.

Read More→

Categories : Offseason, Players
Comments (128)
May
16

Blue Seat Blogs-Cast – Playoff Post Mortem :(

May 16, 2017, by · Comments (2)

On this week’s podcast we dissect what went wrong in the Rangers’s ill-fated playoff run, picking out the turning points and missteps in the series against Ottawa. As always you can find us right here, on SoundCloud, and on iTunes. Leave a review too!

Comments (2)
Tags:
derek stepan

Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire

One of the major talking points to come out of the disappointing playoff exit has been Derek Stepan. Stepan, the team’s top center and will be 27 years old in June, had a rough postseason. He had just two goals and six points in 12 games, and was one of the many key offensive threats that disappeared in the postseason.

It’s worth noting that before this postseason, Stepan put up lines of 5-10-15 in 24 games (2014 postseason), 5-7-12 in 19 games (2015 postseason), and 2-0-2 in 5 games (2016 postseason). I’m using the last three postseasons, as those were the ones where he was the top line center. So he’s producing about 0.5 points per game on average in the postseason. That’s not exactly terrible.

Read More→

Categories : Players
Comments (334)
May
14

Retaining Brendan Smith is Key

May 14, 2017, by · Comments (113)
Brendan smith

Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

As we reflect on the 2016-17 Rangers season, and unfortunately short postseason, one thing that ought to be clear is that this team’s defense simply isn’t good enough as currently constructed. The Rangers are obviously going to have to do something about Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, may make a serious push for Kevin Shattenkirk, and will most certainly have to give Brady Skjei the bigger role he deserves on this blueline. One other thing became abundantly clear this postseason, and it goes hand in hand with my last point: the Rangers must re-sign Brendan Smith.

This past playoff run, Smith showed that he is absolutely indispensable on the back end alongside Skjei, with his savvy play allowing the youngster to take more liberties and let his offensive potential shine. Their chemistry was plainly evident, and they would make a solid second pairing together.

Read More→

Categories : Players
Comments (113)
May
13

Mailbag: Replacing AV; Expansion; Lindberg

May 13, 2017, by · Comments (87)

oscar lindberg

Three questions for the mailbag this week. One was received during the playoffs, but I decided to hold off on answering that one until after the playoffs.

Anthony asks: If it was my call, I’d be letting AV go if they don’t get past Ottawa. Supposing it does happen, who would be the most sensible/realistic replacement? Do they go with Ruff or Paul MacLean? Or does Arniel get a shot? Anyone in the AHL worth taking a chance on?

Sorry for not answering this when you sent it, Anthony. But it made more sense to cover it after the playoffs. Suit covered a part of this yesterday, so you should definitely read that post. I would personally let AV go. He’s a good coach, but that’s not always what a team needs. A team needs the right coach, as Suit aptly pointed out. I don’t believe AV is the right coach. But I’ve been wrong before.

Read More→

Categories : Musings
Comments (87)
May
12

Conference Finals Predictions

May 12, 2017, by · Comments (12)

Battle of the Superstars

Although we’re all still questioning and dealing with the grief of the Stanley Cup being out of reach in New York, the show must go on. It’s moving on without our Rangers, and quite quickly at that. Tonight starts the Western Conference Final, and the battle for the East begins tomorrow night.

Many of the staff here at BSB are dealing with the undeniable sadness of seeing a defeated Henrik Lundqvist, and simply cannot think about the future of this playoffs at present time. Three of us were able to pull together the courage to get our predictions out there. As always, leave yours in the comments.

Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Read More→

Comments (12)
May
12

Should the Rangers Fire Vigneault?

May 12, 2017, by · Comments (106)
alain vigneault

Times up?

There are three constants working in the sports business. One, always wear a suit (preferably a well tailored one) to the arena on game day. Two, have thick skin. Three, get results or get out. The latter isn’t something I particularly agree with and those of you familiar with my work here or @thehockeysuit (shameless plug) know that I am process driven and not results driven. Regardless, the fact remains the same. You have to hit your goals in this industry or you go the way of Ned Stark.

All of which brings us to today’s topic – Alain Vigneault.

Read More→

Categories : Offseason
Comments (106)
May
12

Final impressions of the 2016-2017 season

May 12, 2017, by · Comments (47)

I feel ya, Hank

The Rangers’ 2016-2017 season has come to an end.  I, like many of you, I’m sure, was left with a disappointed taste in my mouth following the Blueshirts untimely exit to a fairly mediocre Senators team.  Fortunately, my writing schedule allowed me to digest for a couple days before committing my final impressions of this season to the interwebs.  In thinking about concepts, angles and a final position for this article, I cycled through many emotionally driven think pieces.  The title “What a Waste” stuck in my head for several days.

I was seriously considering a sanctimonious diatribe about wasting another of Hank’s prime years and the complete unfairness of the generational level of performance he has given the organization over the past decade plus only to be rewarded with consistent disappointment.  Though this isn’t ultimately the point of this article, I do want to touch on that concept briefly.

Read More→

May
11

So what’s next for the Rangers?

May 11, 2017, by · Comments (128)

jeff gorton

Well the season is over, and we’ve done as much postseason post-mortem as we can bear. It’s time to shift focus to the offseason, and how the Rangers will begin to address the many holes on the blue line. Do they retool, or do they tear it down? Which players are heading home from MSG for the final time?

This offseason is different though. There is an expansion draft happening in June, and the Rangers are guaranteed to lose at least one player to Vegas. Who that player is, we don’t know. The expansion draft is the wild card in all this that can force the winds of change on any club, including the Rangers.

Read More→

Categories : Offseason
Comments (128)
May
11

Three keys behind the Rangers playoff defeat

May 11, 2017, by · Comments (85)
henrik lundqvist mark stone

Credit: AP / Sean Kilpatrick

While many like to focus on one specific reason behind the demise of the Rangers, it is always a combination of reasons that leads to a team’s demise. Some performances or decisions have more of an impact than others, but there is never one sole reason why a team loses a series. As much fun as it is to point fingers, the reality of the situation is that the Rangers had multiple things that caused them to lose a series that they should have won.

1. Coaching

Of course we need to begin with coaching. Alain Vigneault is a good coach, but severely flawed. His flaws are his own undoing. I dove into this yesterday, but AV’s reliance on experience cost him this series. This had many different impacts, from lineup composition to in-game deployments.

Read More→

Categories : Playoffs
Comments (85)