Oct
03

Pavel Buchnevich needs to build on his rookie year

October 3, 2017, by · Comments (75)

pavel buchnevich

There are so many intriguing aspects to watch out for on the 2017-18 Rangers that makes this a truly fascinating season. One of the most critical for me, is watching how Pavel Buchnevich develops this season. Amid reports of his better conditioning, the impressive pre-season play and the positive soundbites hailing from Alain Vigneault, it appears Buchnevich is primed for a breakout campaign. If he does indeed take his game to the next level it couldn’t be better timed. He’d make Jeff Gorton look like a genius for starters (centers? Who needs centers! Pah! Enjoy the desert Derek!)

While Buchnevich is obviously no center (and as such not a replacement for Derek Stepan – who will be missed, even if he can be replaced) if the Rangers can get more consistency and development from Buchnevich, as well as Jimmy Vesey and a solid rookie campaign from Filip Chytil, then the Rangers are all of a sudden legitimately three lines deep.

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Categories : Players
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Oct
02

Day returned to OHL; Halverson sent to ECHL

October 2, 2017, by · Comments (5)

The Hartford Wolf Pack made some roster moves today, sending goalie Brandon Halverson to the ECHL and returning Sean Day to the OHL for his age-19 season. Day was in the mix for a Wolf Pack spot at 19 due to his “exceptional” status as an OHL draftee, but the Rangers opted to not rush him. There is nothing wrong with that.

As for Halverson, he was competing with Alex Georgiev and Chris Nell, and appears to be the odd-man out. If Georgiev is going to be the AHL starter, then it makes sense to get Halverson some work in the ECHL. That said, time is running out for the former second round pick.

Categories : Prospects
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Oct
02

Rangers sign Brandon Crawley to entry level deal

October 2, 2017, by · Comments (14)

brandon crawley

The Rangers have signed defenseman Brandon Crawley to a three year entry level contract. Crawley, taken in the fourth round of this year’s draft, was a bit of an interesting draft pick as an over-ager. However his play in camp showed he could take the next step.

At 20 years old, Crawley will help solidify a blue line in Hartford that was in dire need of some young speed. He’s not flashy, but he gets the job done with good positioning and stick work in the defensive zone. Crawley joins Neal Pionk, Alexei Bereglazov, Vince Pedrie, and Sean Day on the Hartford blue line, which makes them a strong and mobile group.

Categories : Transactions
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Oct
02

Can Henrik Lundqvist rebound after a down year?

October 2, 2017, by · Comments (12)

henrik lundqvist

Last year, Henrik Lundqvist was the talk of the town. It wasn’t because of his usual stellar play, though. It was due to his inability to keep the Rangers in games, especially later in the season. There were multiple times when Lundqvist allowed “weak” game tying or game winning goals. At least, that’s the way his play last season was perceived.

Make no mistake, Lundqvist had a down season last year. He wasn’t his usual self, able to make the difficult saves look easy and the impossible saves look somewhat challenging. He posted his worst SV% of his career at .910, and it was the first time in seven seasons that he posted a SV% below .920.

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Categories : Players
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Oct
01

Robin Kovacs missing from Hartford camp?

October 1, 2017, by · Comments (35)

robin kovacs

An interesting note, Robin Kovacs was not not he Hartford Wolf Pack training camp roster. There are some rumblings that he may be in Sweden based on his Instagram account, but it is strange that he’s not with the Pack.

Looking to rebound from a poor year last season, Kovacs was one of the first players cut from camp this year. It’s a little alarming that he’s not in camp this year, and with no official word on where he is, it makes you wonder.

Categories : Prospects
Comments (35)
Sep
30

How well will Anthony DeAngelo do with Marc Staal?

September 30, 2017, by · Comments (15)

anthony deangelo

The preseason has wrapped up, and the regular season is just around the corner, which means it’s time to speculate about the way this lineup is going to shake out. Now, even though I personally enjoy wild speculation, as it happens corsica.hockey, the premier online stats database is back online after a summer hiatus, so we’ll be making somewhat educated guesses today. As an aside, I highly suggest you play around with Corsica, as I’ve learned a ton just exploring the numbers on there. What I’m interested in exploring today is something a little less sexy than how Filip Chytil will do, or who’s going to lead the team in points – what we’re going to be talking about today is how well Anthony DeAngelo might play with Marc Staal.

The top two pairings for the Rangers this season are pretty much set, with McDonagh/Shattenkirk and Smith/Skjei being more or less guaranteed at this point, although maybe there’s a little variation within that set of four players depending on the scenario or how AV is feeling. That leaves Anthony DeAngelo, who had a standout showing in preseason, to be paired most likely with Marc Staal. In a perfect world he’d be with someone like Pionk, but given that one of Staal or Holden is likely to play (I’d imagine hell freezes over before AV sits BOTH of them in the press box) and given that Staal is much more likely to play than Holden for a host of reasons, it’s looking like DeAngelo is going to be paired with Staal. So how will he fare?

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Categories : Defense
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Sep
29

Reasonable expectations: Filip Chytil

September 29, 2017, by · Comments (72)

filip chytil

This is a much needed post, more than any other of the reasonable expectations posts we’ve written here over the past nine (holy crap it’s been nine years) years. After making a big splash at camp and proving he at least belongs in the short term, Filip Chytil was penciled into a second line role, with Rick Nash and Mats Zuccarello as his flanks.

The good news is that Alain Vigneault recognizes that the kid who is barely 18 years old needs to be put in a position to succeed. With Nash and Zuccarello, he will be able to create offensively and not be the center of attention on the line. Nash and Zuccarello will draw the attention of the opposition, giving Chytil a little more room to work with. Plus, it’s good to have two skilled and seasoned vets with a kid who can’t even buy beer legally yet.

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Categories : Players
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Sep
28

Lines at practice give insight to roster decisions made today

September 28, 2017, by · Comments (61)
filip chytil

Photo: NYDN

The lines at practice today were revealed by the Rangers, and it may have provided some insight to Alain Vigneault’s thought process.

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Pavel Buchnevich
Rick Nash-Filip Chytil-Mats Zuccarello
Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-JT Miller
Jimmy Vesey-David Desharnais-Paul Carey
Andrew Desjardins-Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh-Kevin Shattenkirk
Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith
Marc Staal-Tony DeAngelo
Nick Holden-Steven Kampfer

Right off the bat, we see that Chytil has forced his way onto this roster. He’s being put in a position to succeed, between two great veteran players with tremendous offensive instincts. It’s nice to see the KZB line return as well.

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Categories : Preseason
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Sep
28

Pionk, Graves, Andersson, and Nieves all among next cuts

September 28, 2017, by · Comments (62)

lias andersson

The Rangers have trimmed the roster by seven players, with kids being some primary cuts that will make some unhappy. Ryan Graves, Neal Pionk, Vinny Lettieri, and Boo Nieves have all been sent to Hartford. Matt Puempel will go on waivers at noon, and presuming he clears, will join them.

Lias Andersson will return to Frolunda in Sweden for this season. I find it funny that we all penciled him into the lineup, but it was Chytil who impressed more than Andersson. That’s not to say he wasn’t good, but Chytil forced his way onto the roster.

Bobby Farnham has been released from his PTO.

Categories : Preseason
Comments (62)
Sep
28

The strategy of keeping veterans around through September

September 28, 2017, by · Comments (30)

nick holden

The preseason is over for the Rangers, however there are still 32 players remaining in camp for only 23 spots. There are difficult decisions to be made. What will happen to Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson? Neal Pionk and Tony DeAngelo? Ryan Graves and Boo Nieves? Marc Staal and Nick Holden?

Those last two certainly don’t fit the young and fast mold that the Rangers are trying to build. It doesn’t help that they both had terrible preseasons and were routinely outplayed by the youngest, faster, more skilled youth. Yet here we are, a day removed from the final preseason game, and they are still around.

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Categories : Preseason
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