Posts tagged: Bobby Sanguinetti

Chris Higgins Can’t Buy A Goal, And Other Random Thoughts

As we try to digest yet another Rangers loss, I couldn’t help but think. So here are some random thoughts coming from my mind to yours.

-Chris Higgins can’t buy a goal. Honestly. He’s been playing so well. He’s been aggressive on the forecheck. He’s creating chances. He just can’t bury the puck. And I don’t know why. I don’t know why. But,  I have a feeling that he’s going to get hot. He has to at some point. He’s playing to well.

-Lundqvist needs a break. Whether he’s been worked too hard, or whether is mind is elsewhere, having Valliquette start a couple more games cannot hurt. Hank needs to be Hank for this team to win. Right now, he’s struggling.

-Marian Gaborik is close to breaking last year’s high goal total. Markus Naslund had 24. Gabby has 21. He should break it this week.  And it hasn’t even been 30 games!

-Gaborik is why this team is better than last year. Immediately, you have a better scoring presence. Power play is imporved, markedly. This team should make the playoffs. They are better than last year. This is probably just a rough stretch.

-I miss Wade Redden.

-Bobby Sanguinetti does nothing for me.

-Chris Drury looks like a different player, in a good way. Much faster, much better skating-wise. He’s doing a hell of job on the point.

-Ales Kotalik has found his way into the doghouse.

-P.A. Parenteau is pretty good. He should stay for awhile.

-Like I said, this is a playoff team. This is just a rough (very rough) stretch. All teams go through it. If the Rangers can come out of this and get some points, everything will be okay.

Redden Out One Week

It looks like Bobby Sanguinetti is not going to be a ‘just in case’ call up. Wade Redden will be out one week, guaranteeing we will be seeing Sangs play during the three games in four night stretch beginning tonight in Tampa.

Sangs has been lighting it up in Hartford, and many fans have been calling for his recall to get Michal Rozsival out of the lineup. So you get half your wish, as he will definitely be playing. Let’s hope that training camp showing was just a blip on the radar, and not a sign of things to come.

Sanguinetti Recalled

Considering today is Thanksgiving, I didn’t expect to have anything to post other than the Happy Thanksgiving post below. Alas, I was mistaken. With the Wade Redden injury, the Rangers need another defenseman. It looks like fans are going to get their wish, as Bobby Sanguinetti has been recalled. He will be filling in for the injured Redden for the road trip. Dare I say that Sanguinetti has some tough shoes to fill? Well, I do. Redden has been great this year.

Sanguinetti has been tearing up the AHL, at the tune of a point per game. He deserves the call up. I bet his Thanksgiving just got a lot better.

Training Camp/Preseason Lessons

With training camp and preseason coming to a close, we are left with what looks to be the final version of the Rangers roster. In my initial 2009-2010 Rangers outlook, I had initially pegged one of Bobby Sanguinetti, Corey Potter, or Michael Sauer to be the seventh defenseman. My how things have changed.

Sauer was one of the first cuts in the preseason, his stay-at-home style doesn’t fit into the John Tortorella system. Expect him to get traded. Bobby Sanguinetti came into camp out of shape and really struggled to work back from that. He was the most recent cut, and there are rumors that the Rangers don’t have faith in him, and are shopping him around. Corey Potter seems to be the most logical choice at this moment to get a call up int he event of an injury, but he was part of the second round of cuts, before Sanguinetti was cut.

On the other side of the coin, you have Alexei Semenov. Semenov, invited to camp on a tryout, without a contract, came to camp in great shape, and has simply played his way on to the Ranger roster. Credit needs to go to the big defenseman, as he outplayed the aforementioned defensemen, and wrestled the starting job away from Sanguinetti (it was his to lose). You also have Michael Del Zotto, who at just 19, impressed everyone from the coach to the fans. He has given us a glimpse of what a powerplay quarterback can do. He has played so well that he forced the Rangers into giving him another look during the regular season. He now has nine more games to show he belongs, or else be returned to the OHL for the season.

Moving on to the forwards, fans expected Evgeny Grachev to play well in camp, considering his performance last year in the OHL. While he has played extremely well in the preseason, he will benefit from a year in Hartford, so expect him to be the final forward cut before the season starts. If he lights up that league, he will be one of the first call ups during the season.

A pleasant surprise was the newly acquired Enver Lisin, who came over from Hamilton Phoenix for Lauri Korpikosi. Lisin also has played his way into consideration for the roster, and leaves coach John Tortorella with an interesting issue. Lisin belongs on the top three lines, there’s no doubt about that. But, the top three lines seem to be set at the moment. The dilemma: do you put Lisin on the fourth line, getting five minutes a game, or send him to Hartford for regular shifts, at the risk that he bolts for Russia? More on this in another post.

With one last preseason game this weekend in Washington, look for the Rangers to give Grachev, Del Zotto, and Lisin more playing time to let them prove they belong on the NHL level.

Bobby Sanguinetti Cut, Roster Down to 23

Defenseman, and former first round pick, Bobby Sanguinetti has been reassigned to Hartford, leaving seven defensemen left on the Rangers roster. Sanguinetti, suffice it to say, was a major disappointment this preseason. He did not come to camp in shape, despite coach John Tortorella’s warnings. He was so out of shape that he was not on any roster for the double header against New Jersey. This is a monumental step backwards for the defenseman, who has fallen behind Michael Del Zotto and Corey Potter in the depth chart.

This move ensures that Alexei Semenov will make the team, probably as the seventh defenseman, as the player who will give one of the albatross twins (Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival) a night off should their terrible play continue into the regular season. Expect him to sign a deal around $750,000 for the season.

This move also means that Michael Del Zotto has played well enough to earn himself an extended stay in New York, for at least the first nine games of the season. Junior players are allowed to play nine games in the NHL before their NHL contract kicks in. If Del Zotto performs, you can expect the Rangers to keep him around.

Assuming the $750,000 salary for Semenov, and that Evgeny Grachev spends the season in Hartford, the Rangers are right up on the cap, as Del Zotto’s cap hit is over $1 million due to bonuses. This includes a spare forward and spare defenseman:

2009-2010 Salaries

There will be one more cut, probably Grachev, before the roster is complete. Opening night is one week away.

Preseason Game 3: Rangers at Red Wings

The Rangers are still looking for their first win of the season tonight, taking on Western Conference Champion Detroit at Joe Louis Arena tonight. With the Rangers making their first round of cuts yesterday, just 12 skaters and 2 goalies will be sitting tonight. Marian Gaborik, who is still a little bit sore, will be sitting again tonight.

Steve Zipay has the players likely sitting out tonight:

Nine players—-who likely won’t be in the lineup tonight in Detroit—skated hard with all four Rangers coaches (yes, Schoenfeld included): Gaborik, Prospal, Kotalik, Staal, Del Zotto, Gilroy, Sanguinetti Valiquette and Johnson.

So, it appears that Henrik Lundqvist and Matt Zaba will share duties in net tonight, and the defense will be Redden, Rozsival, Girardi, Heikkinen, Semenov, Potter.

One of those players I thought would defintiely be playing tonight is defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti, who has been less than stellar in training camp this year. It appears he didn’t get the memo from coach John Tortorella and came into camp extremely out of shape. He is far down on the depth chart right now, and really needs to impress before he can even reclaim his spot as highly-touted prospect. It has become very apparent that Matt Gilroy, Michael Del Zotto, and Corey Potter are ahead of him in terms of progress. It looks like Ilkka Heikkinen may pass him on the depth chart soon too.

Detroit’s lineup tonight is courtesy of MLive:

Forward lines
Bertuzzi-Zetterberg-Cleary
Leino-Filppula-Jason Williams
Ryno-Abdelkader-Maltby
Ritola-Emmerton-Mursak

Defense pairs
Kronwall-Janik
Lebda-Stuart
Meech-Kindl

Goalies
Osgood
McCollum

In a follow up post, Zetterberg will be sitting tonight, no word on his replacement.

Feel free to discuss the game here. But it’s a Friday night, and it’s beautiful out, watch the game at a rooftop bar or something.

Sanguinetti Still Around (Updated: Nope)

Bobby Sanguinetti, one of the top prospects in the Rangers’ farm, is still around today, lasting longer than I thought he would. Hartford’s next game is Wednesday, so if Sanguinetti wasn’t sent down today, I guess he will be hanging around until after the Rangers/Islanders tilt on Tuesday.

But will he play? Doubtful, he was probably an emergency call up in case Roszival’s injury on Friday was more than just stitches. I guess they didn’t want Corey Potter to rack up more airline miles.

Those who have been watching Sanguinetti note that he is not NHL ready yet, and needs to shore up his play in the defensive zone. Don’t expect him to play during this call up.

Update: Well that was short lived. He’s back in Hartford.

Rangers’ Prospect Update

I (mostly) cover Yankees’ prospects over at RAB, so talking about minor leaguers is familiar territory for me. I thought it would be cool to bring some of that flavor here since the Rangers still have one more off day before they meet up with the Caps in DC.

The Wolfpack are currently 16-14-4, tied for third in the AHL’s Atlantic Division with 36 points. They’re on a bit of a hot streak, going 6-3-1 in their last ten contests. Here’s how some notable prospects are doing down in Hartford:

Artem Anisimov, C: 34 GP, 14 G, 19 A, 33 PTS, +3, 38 PIM, 85 shots – he leads the team in points and is 13th in the AHL overall
Dane Byers, LW: 9 GP, 4 G, 3 A, 7 PTS, -2, 18 PIM, 15 shots – he’s done for the year with a knee injury
Vladimir Denisov, D: 34 GP, 1 G, 6 A, 7 PTS, +3, 81 PIMS, 36 shots
Brodie Dupont, LW: 33 GP, 6 G, 8 A, 14 PTS, -6, 33 PIM, 64 shots
Greg Moore, C: 34 GP, 10 G, 11 A, 21 PTS, -8, 20 PIM, 89 shots
Tommy Pyatt, C: 32 GP, 7 G, 9 A, 16 PTS, +1, 8 PIM, 53 shots
Bobby Sanguinetti, D: 34 GP, 3 G, 17 A, 20 PTS, -8, 20 PIM, 62 shots – he’s still working on the defensive aspect of his game, so don’t worry about the eyesore of a +/- … the kid can hit though
Michael Sauer, D: 21 GP, 7 G, 5 A, 6 PTS, -4, 13 PIM, 37 shots
Dale Weise, RW: 33 GP, 3 G, 5 A, 8 PTS, 0, 24 PIM, 39 shots – the team’s fourth round choice last year has been a bit of a disappointment coming off a 29 G season (in 53 games) with Swift Current of the WHL
Miika Wiikman, G: 25 GP, 11-11-3, 2.75 GAA, .902 SV% – coming off a sterling 21-8-3, 2.30 GAA, .919 SV% campaign
Matt Zaba, G: 12 G, 5-4-0, 3.20 GAA, .881 SV%

Here’s how some of the non-AHL guys are doing:

Michael Del Zotto, D: 30 GP, 6 G, 24 A, 30 PTS, -10, 44 PIM – ditto Sanguinetti’s comment, plus you gotta love the point-a-game pace … he’s with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL … you can see his 2008 Draft profile video here
Evgeny Grachev, C: 30 GP, 19 G, 16 A, 35 PTS, +11, 35 PIM – he’s with the Brampton Battalion of the OHL
Derek Stepan, C: 20 GP, 3 G, 10 A, 13 PTS, -5, 4 PIM, 49 shots – he’s a freshman at the University of Wisconsin

Alexei Cherepanov’s passing left the Rangers’ lacking an elite, bonafide number one type prospect. Sanguinetti & Del Zotto are currently the two crown jewels of the system, but still a notch below Cherepanov’s level. Anisimov is a solid third wheel that could see action with the big boys this season. Moore got a six game cup of coffee last season, and could get another look-see this year.

Hockey’s future rated the Rangers’ farm system 24th in the league, noting their glut of power/checking forwards.

Mike Axisa writes for River Ave. Blues and can be reached here.

Farm Update: Del Zotto/Sanguinetti

The two first round picks are playing well in their respective leagues. Their lines:

    Sanguinetti (AHL): 24 GP, 2 G, 13 A, 15 Pts, 14 PIMs, -7
    Del Zotto (OHL): 26 GP, 6 G, 22 A, 28 Pts, 38 PIMs, -4

The first thing that may jump on people, other than point totals, are the negatives in the +/- category. First off, relax. They are young, and the hardest part to transition to the pro game is playing in your own end. I am looking forward to a time when we see a top-four of Sanguinetti/Staal and Del Zotto/Girardi.