Oct
11

Early mistakes cost Rangers, fall to St. Louis

October 11, 2017, by · Comments (33)

Photo: Getty

The Rangers couldn’t overcome a pair of early mistakes, as St. Louis topped the good guys by a score of 2-1. A gaffe in the first 15 seconds by Brady Skjei and then another by the Nick Holden/Steven Kampfer duo later in the first doomed the Rangers, as the talented and stingy St. Louis Blues put the kibosh on any scoring chance. After the first period, the game itself wasn’t all that exciting, as St. Louis clamped down and didn’t give much.

A lot of credit goes to Mike Yeo on this one, who made necessary adjustments after the first period to help fight the aggressive Rangers. The solution was more aggressiveness, as the Blues pressured the puck carriers and passing lanes. This forced the Rangers to play dump and chase, a style to which they are not suited. In the end, it was Yeo’s adjustments that helped the Blues win this game.

On to the goals:

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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Oct
10

Game 4: Aim for better possession, same quality against

October 10, 2017, by · Comments (78)
rangers blues

Photo: AP

The Rangers won their first game of the season on Sunday night, but did so in a manner that wasn’t that impressive. It looks like Alain Vigneault backed off the 11F/7D train for now, which is good. The Rangers also limited quality chances and Royal Road chances against, which is good. However they were crushed in possession, which is bad.

If they keep the quality chances down and get more sustained offense/breakouts/zone exits, then it’s a huge step in the right direction. It’s about both quantity and quality. They’ve had one or the other so far, but never both. St. Louis is going to be a tough challenge to try to find consistency, but the Rangers are too good to be as bad as they have been. Perhaps this is the opponent they need to get things going.

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Categories : Game Thread
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Oct
10

DeAngelo and Smith to sit for Holden and Kampfer

October 10, 2017, by · Comments (67)

With all the roster movement over the past two days, Alain Vigenault has settled on his defense pairings for tonight’s game:

Marc Staal-Ryan McDonagh
Brady Skjei-Kevin Shattenkirk
Nick Holden-Steven Kampfer

AV seems hell-bent on making what could be a great New York Rangers defense into a mediocre one at best. This is not optimal lineup usage, at all. The Rangers traded Derek Stepan to get Tony DeAngelo and committed big money to Brendan Smith. Let’s chalk this up as bad decision making, no sugar coating needed.

Categories : Lineup Changes
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Oct
10

Rangers assign Filip Chytil to Hartford

October 10, 2017, by · Comments (15)

filip chytil

As expected, the Rangers are going to slow down the Filip Chytil hype train a bit. Chytil has been sent to the Hartford Wolf Pack –not to the Czech Republic– after the Rangers claimed Adam Cracknell off waivers. Clearing Chytil from the roster was expected, although sending him to Hartford was not.

Sending the kid to Hartford means the Rangers can recall him this year. If he was returned to Europe, he would be gone from the Rangers for the year, like Lias Andersson. I’m intrigued to see where this goes. Perhaps the team thinks he is too good for the Czech league, which is a legitimate feeling. Hopefully they aren’t rushing him, though.

Categories : Transactions
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Oct
10

Graced by Vadim Shipachyov

October 10, 2017, by · Comments (51)

vadim shipachyov

In the midst of the panic with the Rangers having a poor first two games of the season, one of the things that have been consistently talked about is Coach Alain Vigneault essentially benching 18 year old rookie Filip Chytil throughout the first two games of the season. Chytil has struggled, but when he is your defacto 2C, you can’t be playing him five minutes a night. Perhaps it takes a bit to get used to the tougher competition.

One thing thing the Rangers must do is add a talented center as soon as possible if the Rangers intend on sending Chytil back to Zlin (Czech league), otherwise the offense is in trouble. Adding a top-six center is incredibly difficult, and the Rangers don’t really have the chips to land a guy that fits that mold. It’s going to be easier said than done. So the club is going to have to get creative.

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Categories : Around the League
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In this episode of the podcast, Pat, Becky, and Dave urge everyone to keep calm while unpacking legitimate causes for concern from the first three games of the season, as well as discussing the recent waiver acquisition of Adam Cracknell. Plus we reminisce about the glorious days of October, 2013.

 

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Oct
09

Pack rights the ship, wins in shootout

October 9, 2017, by · Comments (2)

Hartford Wolf Pack 2, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1 (SO)

By Ben Harff

Hartford, CT, October 8, 2017 – Adam Tambellini scored the only goal of the shootout, and the only Hartford Wolf Pack regulation goal, against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Sunday at the XL Center, in a 2-1 Wolf Pack win.

The game featured a fine goaltending duel between the Wolf Pack’s Chris Nell, who made 28 saves and went 3-for-3 in the shootout, and Lehigh Valley’s Alex Lyon, who stopped 35 shots and was 2-for-3 on shootout attempts.

Just like Friday’s Wolf Pack opener, a 5-4 loss to the Charlotte Checkers, the Wolf Pack scored first in Sunday’s matchup. After Lehigh Valley racked up slashing penalties to T.J. Brennan and Phil Myers, the Pack was given a 5-on-3 opportunity. At the 9:40 mark, Joe Whitney snapped a pass to a wide-open Tambellini on the left back door. Defensemen Nick Pionk also assisted on the goal.

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Categories : AHL
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Oct
09

Rangers claim Adam Cracknell off waivers

October 9, 2017, by · Comments (17)

adam cracknell

The Rangers have claimed winger Adam Cracknell off waivers from Dallas. The 32-year-old journeyman will be joining his fourth team in three years. At 6’2″ and 218 lbs, this is a size over skill acquisition, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a bad move. Cracknell is a capable fourth line player, and could mean the end of the Andrew Desjardins speculation.

Of course, it could mean the end of the Filip Chytil experiment for this year. With the Rangers lacking forward depth, there’s nothing wrong with taking a flier on a guy like this.

Categories : Waiver Wire
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Oct
09

Different players, same coach, same questions

October 9, 2017, by · Comments (79)

alain vigneault

The Rangers seemed to turn a major corner this summer, recognizing a need to be more mobile on the blue line and acting to fix that need. Off went Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein, in came Kevin Shattenkirk and Brendan Smith. Marc Staal was moved to the third pairing. Nick Holden seemed to be the odd man out.

These moves came one year after the club made the same types of changes up front. Skill, speed, and youth seemed to take charge at forward, and the results were a fast paced offense that could almost score at will. On paper this season, the Rangers could be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

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Categories : Coaching
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Oct
09

Lundqvist shines in shutout win over Montreal

October 9, 2017, by · Comments (48)

henrik lundqvist

The Rangers finally got a win, shutting out the Habs by a score of 2-0 at MSG. Roster decisions led to questions at puck drop, and in game deployment raised even more concerns. While the Rangers didn’t really control possession, they tightened up their defensive zone coverage and didn’t allow as many cross-ice passes for high quality chances against.

I spent a lot of time looking at defensive zone coverage during this game, and there don’t seem to be any changes with Lindy Ruff on board, as expected. The problem has been execution, with the same issues of chasing to the blue line and the transition from overload to man when the puck is at the goal line. With so many new faces, expect that to be a problem this month.

On to the goals.

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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