Game 51: Game 1 to prove they shouldn’t sell

February 1, 2018, by · Comments (31)

rangers leafs mika zibanejad

The Rangers are back in action tonight, taking on the very talented Leafs in the first of 13 pre-trade deadline games. This is the first game that the players will have to prove to the leadership in the front office that they should not be sellers.

It’s a tall order for this club, as they are without two of their top players and have looked lost without them. Granted, they looked lost with them, but that’s besides the point. The point is the club needs to actually learn how to play defense and stop allowing so many damn shots.

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Categories : Game Thread
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There are no half measures in selling

February 1, 2018, by · Comments (76)
mats zuccarello

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

As soon as the rumors hit about the Rangers selling, names started flying. Ryan McDonagh. Mats Zuccarello. Rick Nash. Michael Grabner. Nick Holden. Henrik Lundqvist. Every name on the roster was mentioned, as a full gutting of the team was being envisioned by many.

Let’s be real for a moment. I doubt Hank is getting traded. Which means if the Rangers are truly punting this season, they are going to gear up for next season and the season after as a last ditch effort to get Hank a Cup. In the event of a full tear down, the Rangers likely wouldn’t be ready for a Cup run for 3-4 years, especially if they are content with getting picks and not NHL ready players.

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Blue Seat Blogs-cast – What Should We Do? Well … Sell

February 1, 2018, by · Comments (1)

On this week’s episode the gang discusses what the Rangers should do at this point in their strange season. The answer is sell, but how and to whom are open questions – listen in and find out! As always you can find us right here, on SoundCloud, and on iTunes – feel free to leave a comment or a review too!


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Can Brady Skjei handle top pairing responsibilities?

January 31, 2018, by · Comments (58)
brady skjei

Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Much of the focus the past week is what the Rangers would be able to get for Ryan McDonagh and other players on the roster. However there is still life after the trade deadline, and while trading McDonagh is not a guarantee, there needs to be a contingency plan. The Rangers will need someone to fill in top pairing duties. And by that I mean an actual top pairing defenseman, not another Nick Holden.

The logical step is that Brady Skjei would take that role. He’s already the clear cut #2 on the left side, well ahead of Marc Staal on the depth chart. There aren’t many in the system who could take his role either, so barring a return of a top-pairing defenseman –unlikely at best– we are looking at Skjei assuming the role of top pairing defenseman on the left side.

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Categories : Players
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What can Michael Grabner fetch in a trade?

January 30, 2018, by · Comments (83)

When the Rangers signed Michael Grabner to a two-year deal two summers ago, it seemed like a deal designed for the expansion draft. Grabner certainly had a unique skill set and some value, but was never going to be relied upon to be the team’s leading goal scorer. However he’s done just that for the Blueshirts. He led the team with 27 goals last year, and is far and away the leading goal scorer this year with 21. He’s on pace for a 30 goal season.

A revitalized career in New York has done wonders for Grabner, who will certainly cash in on his back-to-back 25+ goal seasons. He won’t fetch a McDonagh return, but there is a good case to make that he could bring back a nice haul. After all, teams always need speed and goal scoring, and are willing to pay handsomely at the deadline.

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ryan mcdonagh

Back in August, we explored the possibility of the Rangers trading Ryan McDonagh. The comments section is kind of funny, but at the time of the post there were already “rumblings” that the Rangers had a deal for him with Edmonton at the 2016 draft. The deal had the #4 pick heading to New York. It’s something Elliotte Friedman confirmed a week ago. Then in December, Chris Watkins wrote about what McDonagh could possibly fetch in a trade.

With the news that the Rangers are all but guaranteed to be sellers, it’s time to revisit the situation. For the Rangers, McDonagh is their most valuable piece in a trade, certain to bring back a haul. From a business perspective, it makes sense as well. McDonagh’s deal expires at the end of next season, when he will be 30 years old and due for a big time deal, roughly around six years and $6.5 million. For a team that needs to avoid bad deals, McDonagh’s deal would be bad, even if he is one of our (my) favorite Rangers.

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Categories : Uncategorized
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Where do we go from here?

January 28, 2018, by · Comments (68)

jeff gorton

Over the past week, we here at BSB have torn into the Rangers organization. While most of our critiques in the past have included some form of hockey-based analysis to draw our conclusions, be it systems, stats, eye test, whatever, the past week was more subjective than objective. It was a good old fashioned venting session.

The plan for the week didn’t start that way. After all, we did correctly read the Rangers’ moves that they will be sellers. That was written last Sunday and published the following day. But by that time, the events of the week had really settled in. The Kevin Shattenkirk injury and news of how the Rangers handled it was first. Then came the tone deaf Ron Duguay comments. Then came some in-game decisions that were truly baffling. Add that all to a season that has seemed to lack direction, and we all just needed a good ole fashioned venting week.

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Nieves notches goal, assist in Pack’s shootout win

January 27, 2018, by · Comments (5)

Hartford Wolf Pack 3, Charlotte Checkers 2 (SO)

Hartford, CT, January 26, 2018 – Adam Tambellini and Filip Chytil scored shootout goals, and Boo Nieves had a goal and an assist in regulation, Friday night at the XL Center, as the Hartford Wolf Pack won their season-high fourth straight, a 3-2 shootout victory over the Charlotte Checkers.

Charlotte came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to tie the game, the first of a two-game series between the two clubs, but the Wolf Pack won the shootout, 2-1, with Alexandar Georgiev stopping two of three Checker shooters.

A line of Nieves with Tambellini and Scott Kosmachuk combined for five points, with Tambellini scoring a goal and Kosmachuk contributing two assists.

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Categories : AHL
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The Power of a Promise

January 27, 2018, by · Comments (65)

(Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

A pall has descended over Rangerstown, and it’s sucking the fun out of the game. The Rangers are barely winning anymore, they’re doing that thing again where they totally mismanage injuries, Henrik Lundqvist is on pace to play way too many games, Cody McLeod is now a New York Ranger, and AV is still around, up to his old tricks.

The team, seeming lacking in any sense of direction or coherence, is now rumored to be decidedly in the selling camp as we approach the deadline, and likely beyond that to the draft. You’ll have to excuse me for being cynical about whether any of that comes to pass, or whether any of it is well executed, given the state of things. The Rangers have somehow taken a consistently good thing and in one season (but actually over the course of many seasons, which I’ll get to) turned it bad. How did we get here?

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Categories : Analysis
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Tear it down

January 26, 2018, by · Comments (87)


Even With last night’s win against the Sharks, the Rangers head into the All-Star break in a complete free fall.  We have all known for months that the process has sucked, and Henrik Lundqvist had been keeping the team afloat.  Well, now that Chris Kreider is hurt and a consistent rotation of random injuries keep hitting the roster, the team has had to bring up a carousel of AHL talent.  The goals are starting to dry up and Alain Vigneault’s “quality over quantity” system has stalled.

For the past several years, the deployment and systems philosophy had run contrary to our conventional understanding of hockey analytics, and the Rangers’ relative success had many analysts questioning whether the team existed between the lines of the current stats.  While it still might be a true statement, this years’ incarnation (which had apparent depth issues from the outset) has put any evanescent hopes of contention firmly out of reality. Read More→