The goalie dilemma we didn’t expect to have

March 20, 2018, by · Comments (77)

alex georgiev

No, this isn’t a post about Henrik Lundqvist. So Hank haters need not apply. When the season started, though, the Rangers were set with Hank in net as the starter and Ondrej Pavelec as the backup. It was a risk, but it paid off as Pavelec –after a rough start– started to show that he was a fairly capable backup. If not for some odd obsession with starting Hank every effing game, Pavelec would have seen more action.

Then the knee injury happened, basically shutting him down for the season. Up came Alex Georgiev on February 9, who basically sat on the bench for a while before getting his first start on February 22. He got back-to-back starts, stopping 90 of 97 shots. It was an impressive debut on a team that bleeds gives out more shots than LMFAO.

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Categories : Goaltending
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Trading Chris Kreider is a fool’s errand

March 19, 2018, by · Comments (60)
pavel buchnevich chris kreider

Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/AP

The Rangers are done for the year. The remaining games are meaningless, serving only to #fuelthetank and get a look at some of the kids who may be on the bubble for next season. All attention is going to be on the April through June months, as the Rangers are poised to make more moves to help rebuild the roster. The biggest move is going to be behind the bench, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the roster is safe.

One player that many people have focused on is Chris Kreider. He’s the second highest paid forward on the roster, with another two seasons remaining at $4.625 millions. His rare combination of speed and skill make him a match up nightmare, and he would likely fetch a haul at the draft. The argument to trade him makes sense.

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Categories : Players
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Fogarty, Nieves score in Pack win

March 18, 2018, by · Comments (1)

Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1

Wilkes-Barre, PA, March 17, 2018 – Cole Schneider had a goal and an assist, and Chris Nell made 30 saves Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, to help the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 4-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

The victory was Hartford’s second straight, after the Wolf Pack broke out of an 0-5-1-0 drought with a 4-3 shootout win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night at home.

Dan DeSalvo had the game-winning goal for the Wolf Pack in Saturday’s game, and Steven Fogarty and Vinni Lettieri also scored. Daniel Sprong scored the only Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goal.

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Categories : AHL
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How Not to Rebuild: Arizona Coyotes Edition

March 18, 2018, by · Comments (16)
rangers coyotes

AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Welcome back all to this week’s edition of How Not to Rebuild. After two riveting examinations of the laughably bad Edmonton Oilers and the actually-just-kind-of-OK Carolina Hurricanes, I figured we’d go back to another team that is really, truly, not very good. For this week I figured it’d be appropriate to take a look at the Arizona Coyotes, our favorite desert hockey team (as opposed to the LA Kings, who are no friends of ours here, or the Vegas Golden Knights, who are just sort of bizarre).

The boundaries we’re going to place on this analysis is the 2012-13 season to present, given that in 2011-12 they made it all the way to the Conference Finals, having lost the previous two post-seasons in the first round. So really, not as if they had a ton of sustained success in the first place (their 2009-10 playoff berth was their first since 2001-02) but whatever, playoffs are playoffs (or so I’m told). It’s worth pointing out that things don’t break down as easily in terms of the rebuild lining up with coaching/management changes either, as Dave Tippett was coach from 2009-2017 and Don Maloney was GM from 2007-2016, with the former being replaced by Rick Tocchet and the latter by the infamous Computer Boy, John Chayka. In any event, let’s take a look at their draft history first.

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Categories : Around the League
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Game 72: St. Patrick’s Day Rangers

March 17, 2018, by · Comments (16)

Photo: Getty

The Rangers are back in action tonight in St. Louis, taking on Blues in a battle for draft positioning. Neither team is making the playoffs, so neither team has much to play for. The Blueshirts are getting long looks at the kids, and the Blues are gearing up for next season.

On the bright side, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. And there shouldn’t be any more Susan Sarandon between the benches. So those are two positives for this game. This could have been a homecoming for Kevin Shattenkirk as well, but he’s not playing. He should be shut down for the year, but who knows. Anyway, let’s enjoy some stress free hockey.

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Categories : Game Thread
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Chytil scores again in Pack shootout win

March 17, 2018, by · Comments Comments Off on Chytil scores again in Pack shootout win

Hartford Wolf Pack 4, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 3 (SO)

Hartford, CT, March 16, 2018 – The Hartford Wolf Pack snapped an 0-5-1-0 drought Friday night at the XL Center, with a 4-3 shootout win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

The Wolf Pack are now 5-0-0-0 on the year against the Phantoms, who lead the Atlantic Division with a 40-16-3-5 record.

Dan DeSalvo had the only goal of the shootout, and also scored in regulation, and Marek Mazanec made 28 saves and went 3-for-3 in the shootout, after having been out since January 19 due to an injury.

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Categories : AHL
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Alain Vigneault Still Looms

March 17, 2018, by · Comments (19)

Being a Rangers fan over the last few weeks has proven to be a strange existence. A lot of what we’re experiencing has the feel of Seinfeld’s Bizarro World: scoreboard-watching for repercussions on the draft lottery (as opposed to the playoffs), knowing that wins – while often fun – are not the best medicine, and still getting strangely upset at the Blueshirts’ glaring deficiencies while knowing that they’re an objectively bad team at present.

One key thing that remains is the presence of Alain Vigneault.  Indeed, there has been a lot more speculation about AV’s future than one would expect given the situation the organization is in.  A lot of people have pointed to Jeff Gorton’s non-committal comments last month as a sure sign that Vigneault would be fired at season’s end, but other than that, there seems to be a somewhat strong possibility that he may stay.  As Bob McKenzie noted on Wednesday night on NBCSN, the coach’s contract runs through the 2019-20 season at an estimated $4 million per year.  The Rangers would likely have to fork over a lot of that cash up front if they were to let him go.

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Happy Friday, BSB faithful!  The Rangers will take on the Blues on Saturday, but that’s not what I am here for today.  We all know the Rangers suck and are rebuilding/re-tooling/limping toward the finish line, etc.  Tomorrow night won’t change anything there.  So, to keep some levity in an otherwise morose time in Rangerland, I want to engage in a hypothetical exercise.  Yesterday on Twitter, Tyler Dellow posited a notion of the NHL moving to a 40 team, dual-league relegation model, similar to the way European soccer leagues operate.  As a break from the normal Rangers-related content around here, I thought it would be fun to explore the feasibility of this idea.  Let’s take a look… Read More→

Categories : Business of Hockey
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Quick thoughts on tanking

March 15, 2018, by · Comments (54)

With the win last night, there seems to be two groups of people. One group is upset the Blueshirts won (over the Penguins!) because they need to tank. The other group is happy they won. There are a few people that want the tank and want to beat the Pens, but they seem to be few and far between. I fall in that group.

Let’s be clear about the tank. The front office sold off assets to set up for the future. They did not deliver a message to the players to lose on purpose. For starters, that’s just wrong. You don’t want that message to come from anyone in the club. It sets the wrong precedent and gives these kids, who we want to grow and develop and have that “competitive attitude” we all want. Telling them to tank does the opposite.

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Categories : Musings
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AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The Rangers and the Penguins played a fairly fast paced game, one that was pretty entertaining actually. The Pens dominated the first two periods, then their defense took a nap in the third and the Rangers poured it on. The teams traded chances in the third, which ended with Evgeni Malkin missing on a penalty shot with ten seconds remaining, forcing overtime. Was a fun period. But in the end, you can’t match the Penguins in 3-on-3 hockey. It’s really not fair. Can you tell I expected them to lose? Hah. Sorry. I forgot I wrote that and didn’t proof read!

Alex Georgiev played very well in net, but he will want that Carl Hagelin wrap around back. Casey DeSmith wasn’t so bad either. In a game where the teams really traded chances, the goalies played very well. The teams traded chances. It was open. it was fun hockey. Sure, there was some sloppy play too, but this was the most entertaining game I’ve seen this team play in a long, long time.

On to the goals:

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Categories : Game Wrap-ups
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