Nov
05

Rangers beat Florida 5-4, win third in a row

November 5, 2017, by · Comments (63)

Courtesy @nyrangers

The Rangers beat Florida last night in overtime, racking up their third win in a row and second straight in overtime. This week has been a breakout from the October doldrums, and a reason for hope in Rangerstown. These are the Rangers we have been waiting to see.

There were lots of spots of optimism in the game last night, including the power play and getting goals from different sources. The defense accounted for three of the five goals (Shattenkirk 2, Holden) and Rick Nash is finally shaking the monkey off his back, netting one goal and one heck of a performance.

Some key takeaways from last night’s game: Read More→

Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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Nov
04

Game 15: Make it three in a row

November 4, 2017, by · Comments (74)

jt miller jussi jokinen

For the first time all season, the Rangers enter tonight’s game against Florida after winning two in a row. A win tonight makes it a winning streak. That’s big for the Rangers, as they dug themselves so deep a hole that they needed the two wins to barely stay above the magic number of three.

The good news is that the Panthers are a mess. The better news is that the Rangers played a very good game against Tampa, one with great process that can be built upon. The best news is that a win tonight puts the Rangers just one point out of a wild card spot, and in a much better position to rebound from their horrendous start. These are all good things. Despite how we feel about certain players/coaches, we all want the team to win and succeed.

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Categories : Game Thread
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Nov
04

Joe Whitney nets two in Pack loss

November 4, 2017, by · Comments Comments Off on Joe Whitney nets two in Pack loss

Springfield Thunderbirds 5, Hartford Wolf Pack 3

Springfield, MA, November 3, 2017 – Joe Whitney scored twice for the Hartford Wolf Pack Friday night at the MassMutual Center, and the Wolf Pack had three power-play goals, but Curtis Valk had two tallies for the Springfield Thunderbirds, and Samuel Montembeault made 38 saves to get his first pro win, as the Thunderbirds prevailed by a score of 5-3.

Ryan Sproul had two assists for Hartford, his first two Wolf Pack points. Henrik Haapala had three assists for the Thunderbirds, and Dryden Hunt had two helpers.

Springfield jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, on goals by Anthony Greco and Valk.

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Categories : AHL
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Nov
04

So what now?

November 4, 2017, by · Comments (40)

jeff gorton

The dust has settled a little bit on this past week, which started with a lot of smoke and rumors about AV potentially being fired, the Rangers making a big trade, or both. None of this has transpired – in fact the Rangers put together an exciting comeback against the red hot Vegas Golden Knights and managed to stymie the NHL’s most dynamic scoring duo, Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, while pulling off an OT win in Tampa Bay. They go for their third straight win against the Florida Panthers tonight in South Florida, which if they manage it will have the team looking not so bad at all. So this raises the question – what now?

Well let’s start with the win against Vegas. Sure the Rangers managed to put their foot on the gas pedal towards the end of the game, scoring some nice goals to change what seemed like a foregone conclusion of a loss. This win in particular was significant, as Larry Brooks’ column about AV being on the hot seat had just come out the day before. The conventional wisdom was that if the Rangers lost against Vegas, AV would be fired. So much for that.

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Categories : Musings
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Nov
03

Let’s talk about Hank

November 3, 2017, by · Comments (31)

NY Post

Things rarely happen in a vacuum.  Events, arcs and narratives have context.  A light switch doesn’t flip.  Change is mostly gradual.  Over the years, Henrik Lundqvist’s career has been, by and large, an upward trajectory.  He emerged on the scene in 2005 in the midst of a waste land of early 2000’s indulgence.  He represented a young, homegrown core player and quickly became a fan favorite.  It was only up from there.

He quickly went from young talent to superstar.  As a ridiculously handsome human being, his off-ice exposure went through the roof and he represented hope for the franchise for the first time in a decade.

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Categories : Goaltending
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Nov
03

Hank shines as Miller wins it in overtime

November 3, 2017, by · Comments (117)
miller shattenkirk

Photo Credit: AP / Chris O’Meara

For the first time this season, the Rangers have won two games in a row. They played a very good game against a very good team, something we haven’t said all season. Henrik Lundqvist was absolutely phenomenal in this one, making 27 saves –many difficult– to do his job in the win. Andrei Vasilevskiy was just as good with 33 difficult saves.

The game had an interesting flow. It felt like the Rangers actually showed up for all three periods, another first this season. They dominated the first, and then Tampa adjusted and showed why they are one of the best this year. But the Rangers held their ground, perhaps finally showing that they can be a good team when they show up and play.

It wasn’t a perfect game, there were a ton of gripes with lineups and deployment, but the process on the ice was there.

On to the goals:

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
Comments (117)
Nov
02

Game 14: Hello, old friend

November 2, 2017, by · Comments (100)
dan girardi

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

The Rangers are in Tampa tonight to take on the very good and very talented Lightning. The focus of the game is going to be on Alain Vigneault, as another poor showing may put his job in jeopardy. That said, if he was on a game-to-game leash, I feel like the no-show in the first period against Vegas would have done him in. But what do I know?

One of the other stories will be Dan Girardi. Girardi was a lifelong Ranger, but was bought out last summer in the cap crunch for the Rangers. No matter which side of the fence you fell on regarding Girardi’s last three years in New York, he was always a warrior on the ice who left it all out there. That part has never been in question.

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Categories : Game Thread
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Nov
02

One Month In, It’s Not All Doom and Gloom

November 2, 2017, by · Comments (42)

There’s no other way to put it: the Rangers are off to a terrible start this season.  But one month does not a season make.  Despite an overarching feeling of doom and gloom, the Rangers managed to stay within the magic number of 3 points of the last playoff spot when October ended.  There are still 69 (nice) games to go, and the task at hand for the Rangers is to have a good November to get themselves properly into the playoff picture.

Of course, there are more reasons for concern than hope.  Two days ago, Alain Vigneault was said to be coaching for his job.  Does that change going into tonight’s game against a good Tampa Bay team, just because the Rangers beat Vegas on Tuesday?  What about the highly public appearance of the Rangers’ top brass at the Montreal vs. Ottawa game earlier in the week?  Clearly, this is not a settled situation, and one wonders how this is all affecting the performance of the team in each game.

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Categories : Musings
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Nov
02

It’s time to change the defensive system

November 2, 2017, by · Comments (45)
alain vigneault

Photo: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Adapt or die.

That’s a quote from the movie Moneyball. Although that direct quote references including stats in analysis, it applies here to Alain Vigneault. AV has run the same hybrid overload/man coverage system in New York since his arrival in 2013. It seemed to work initially, but each season we’ve seen diminishing results.

At first it seemed to be a personnel issue. The Rangers weren’t mobile on defense, and it was certainly getting exploited regularly. This offseason changed things, as Kevin Shattenkirk and Brendan Smith replaced Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein. More playing time for Brady Skjei should have also led to positive results. But they haven’t. The defense is still a train wreck.

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Categories : Hockey Tactics
Comments (45)

brendan smith

Note: Big welcome to Chris (@yolo_pinyato), the newest writer at BSB. Chris has put together some phenomenal work at HockeyGraphs, and has present at the RIT Hockey Analytics Conference. We are all stoked to have him on board. Give him a follow on Twitter and check out his work, it’s great stuff.

With the Rangers season already perilously close to teetering off the edge of contention, I wanted to take a quick look at the Ranger’s big offseason acquisition, Kevin Shattenkirk.

First a quick breakdown of the data:

When looking at Shattenkirk’s shot impacts last year at 5v5, we can see that relative to competition, he was by far the best player of the Rangers’ current set of defensemen. The shot impacts are weighted meaning that if two players had the same Corsi For% but different levels of competition, the player with the stronger competition would be higher on the y-axis.

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