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Posts tagged: Chad Johnson

Which lineup is better: The 2014 Rangers, or the active ex-Rangers?

Marian Gaborik heads up a deep group of ex-Ranger forwards

We’re (finally) just one day away from training camp! There will be a whole lot of real Ranger news coming up, but since we’ve exhausted pretty much every type of camp preview imaginable this summer – allow me just one more random post before the action kicks into high gear.

What would happen if you were to pit the 2014 New York Rangers against the best lineup of former Blueshirts still currently playing in the NHL?

Here’s my take on the best hypothetical roster of ex-Rangers that takes into account positions and logical scoring and checking lines:

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Free agency: day one recap

Entering the first day of free agency it was widely thought that the Rangers would seek to upgrade their offense and add a depth defender.

Instead, the Blueshirts added grit on July 1st while watching several of their own free agents depart for greener pastures.

Here’s what went down on Sunday.

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Chad Johnson returned to AHL

Chad Johnson was again returned to the CT Whale of the AHL. Johnson was again called up as an emergency call up due to Henrik Lundqvist having the flu. Johnson has backed up Martin Biron for the last two games.

Rangers recall Chad Johnson

Again, the Rangers have recalled goaltender Chad Johnson. Johnson was recalled for Tuesday’s win against the Hurricanes, and served as the backup to Martin Biron, while Henrik Lundqvist was out with the flu. One would have to assume tonight would be the same situation, with Hank out with the flu and Biron starting tonight.

Chad Johnson returned to Connecticut

The Rangers have returned goalie Chad Johnson to the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. Johnson was called up last night as an emergency call up to replace Henrik Lundqvist, who was out with the flu. Johnson served as the backup to Martin Biron in the Rangers 4-2 win over Carolina last night.

Chad Johnson called up

Ipdate 3:45pm: Looks like I was mistaken, Biron gets the start tonight, Lundqvist has the flu. Johnson will serve as the backup.

The Rangers have called up goaltender Chad Johnson from the CT Whale, likely to serve as the backup for tonight’s game. Henrik Lundqvist, who was not at the optional skate this morning (starting netminders rarely partake in these) is still likely to start. That means Martin Biron may have some sort of nagging issue that will keep him from dressing.

No need to panic, this appears to be one of those emergency call ups, so it may not count against the Rangers four allotted call ups post-trade deadline (now at three since the call up of Mats Zuccarello).

Chad Johnson Returned To AHL, Hagelin To Play In Rookie Game

As expected, goaltender Chad Johnson was returned to the AHL immediately following last night’s 3-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Johnson was called up to serve as the backup to Henrik Lundqvist. Martin Biron was supposed to start the game, but was scratched with the flu. With no games for the next week, it is likely that Biron will be healthy enough for action when games resume.

In other news, per Josh Rimer, Carl Hagelin is expected to be named to the Rookie Game as an injury replacement. Good to see the kid get rewarded for his play. He has succeeded exceeded everyone’s expectations, even those who watched him reguarly at Michigan.

Christensen, Johnson Called Up; Biron Out

Per the AHL Transaction Log, the Rangers have called up forward Erik Christensen and goaltender Chad Johnson. Christensen’s call up is obvious: his two week training stint with the Whale ended.

As for Johnson, it looks like he will dress as the backup tonight, as Martin Biron –the slated starter for tonight– is out with the flu.

The Johnson call up is clearly temporary, but it will be interesting to see how the Rangers handle Christensen. Wojtek Wolski has been just as useless as Christensen, but Christensen’s cap hit is $3 million less. It wouldn’t shock me to see Wolski waived in lieu of Christensen.

Musings On Duck Day

Good morning humans. The Ducks are on tap today and after the loss in Sweden the Rangers will be more than keen to even the score, especially when you consider how little offense they mustered in that game. Anyway, it’s a musing’s day so let’s get in to it before the Rangers go duck hunting tonight.

Lauri Korpikoski has 3 goals to start the season and has 5 points in 11 games (after having 40 points last season). The Rangers gave up on the talented Fin too soon; however I’m not sure he’d have ever scored as frequently in NY. The ice time, role on the roster he has and patience level with players is a lot different in Phoenix. The Coyotes can afford to let a player have growing pains (his first year in their organisation the perfect example) whereby in a market like NY that would never be possible.

Tim Kennedy was demoted to the AHL again last night. Anyone still have complaints about his time with the Rangers? He’s a marginal NHL’er.

Regrets

How frustrating is the loss to Ottawa still? Well, firstly a 5-3-2 record would look a lot better but the extra point would mean a playoff spot rather than looking in from the outside. Every point is critical in Bettman’s parity league. Hopefully the Rangers kick on and don’t end up in a playoff scramble although several teams expected to be in the playoffs have had indifferent starts, no one more so than Boston.

Forgotten Prospect

Chad Johnson; remember him? The Whale and Rangers player was named AHL goaltender of the month for October and thoroughly deserved it. The Whale has had a good start to the year and Johnson has been a huge part of it. Johnson has a 1.69 GAA, .942 save percentage to go with 3 wins and a shutout. He hasn’t been beaten in normal time. However, where does he fit in the organisation going forward? If Biron continues to play well he’d likely be brought back for at least another year and Johnson isn’t a young prospect anymore. His NHL window is closing; it may be closed in this organisation already.

Steve Eminger is -7 in just 10 games. He’ll be sitting as soon the team has the resources to allow a benching.

The Kids Are Alright?

The impressive win against the Sharks may have been more important for the performance of several players than the 2 points gained. Artem Anisimov and Derek Stepan played some of their best hockey of the season while Ryan Callahan played the kind of all action game that the Rangers have come to expect – and need – from their captain. Brandon Dubinsky was much improved and all of a sudden Marian Gaborik doesn’t look like he’s taking on the world on his own (offensively speaking). If the supporting cast/core can do their thing then Brad Richards and Gaborik will have much more space and opportunity to do theirs. It all bodes well.

Christensen Sighting

He still doesn’t deserve his roster spot but credit where it’s due, Erik Christensen had a huge impact on the Sharks game. Two excellent assists and generally better play from EC mean the recalled Avery will watch from the stands tonight. The biggest question is can Christensen follow it up with another game tonight? Every indication is that he can’t. Otherwise he wouldn’t be such a frustrating player to watch but maybe the Avery effect will squeeze a little more production out of the skilled center. Competition for places is crucial to success so if Avery’s presence means Christensen earns a regular spot in the line-up that’s fine by me. Key word being earns.

Brilliant Biron

Just a quick tip of the (Broadway) hat to Martin Biron as we close out musings for another week. He’s played in 3 games, has a miniscule 1.38GAA and a mighty .947 save percentage. They are awesome numbers. On the rare occasion the King has a night off can any team in the league be more confident in their backup than the Rangers? With his role clearly defined (he could string together 6 shutout wins and there’d still be no goalie controversy) Biron is comfortable on this team and it shows. His play is a big reason why the Rangers have had a decent start to the year given the issues they have faced. Kudos Marty.

Whale Watch: Hot Hagelin

The CT Whale enter this weekend with a 1-1-2 record, similar to the Rangers but with two shootout losses on the books. For the first time this season the Whale will play a three-in-three days stretch over the weekend. This will be pretty new territory for some of the prospects on the team and without leading scorer and veteran leader Kris Newbury (tied for 2nd in the AHL in points) it will be interesting to see how the team reacts.

Up Next:

  • Friday: Manchester travel to the XL arena to take on the Whale with a 3-3 record after 6
  • Saturday: The Whale travel to Springfield to take on the Falcons who have a 3-2 record in 5
  • Sunday: Sunday sees the Whale entertain Springfield in the back end of a home and home.

Prospect Watch

Carl Hagelin has begun his campaign in impressive style. With 4 points in 4 games, an impressive +5 rating and a shorthanded goal to his name statistically speaking it couldn’t be much better for the young Swede. Hagelin has been displaying his impressive speed aplenty and will be needed to lead the offense this weekend with Newbury missing.

Chad Johnson has begun the year brilliantly and is pretty unfortunate to only have one win to his name thus far. With a 1-0-2 record the netminder still boasts a .939 save percentage and 1.85 goals against average. Bear in mind his sole victory was a 1-0 shootout win and Johnson hasn’t had much offensive support. If he gets that support the team can certainly rely on their goalie at the moment.

Aside from Hagelin, of all the (young) prospects on the Whale only Tomas Kundratek has a point to claim as his own. With one assist in 4 games the young blueliner is off to a relatively muted start and only has 2 shots through 4 games.

Ryan Bourque has already missed a game with illness/injury and in 3 games is scoreless and -2 thus far. Again noting Newbury’s absence, Bourque should have more ice time if he’s in the line-up.

Avery Factor

The circus comes to town this weekend and it will be interesting for several reasons; will Avery be a positive factor or a major distraction? Will he even be able to suit up this weekend (indications are that he will). If Avery plays he should be a difference maker at this level and could be an interesting addition to Hagelin’s line or, if Bourque moves to center on his line. Hopefully the Avery ‘addition’ to Connecticut won’t be the only storyline of their weekend.