Archive for Henrik Lundqvist


Thoughts following the trade deadline

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The trade deadline came and went on Monday this season with a flurry of activity and some very big moves. Since I usually will write my articles for Friday, I haven’t really had a chance to weigh in at this point. I know that there has been a couple games in the interim, but since the Rangers don’t play again until Sunday, I’m just going to share my post deadline thoughts anyway…

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Categories : Musings
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Thoughts after five Hank-less games

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Before we get started, I just wanted to take a minute to lament west coast games. Last night wasn’t even a proper 10:30pm west coast game, and I still hated it. It forced me to admit that I am an old man when I fall asleep half way through the third period and miss everything. It’s stupid. All games should be played based on Eastern Standard Time. Get off my lawn!

Ok, onto some actual Ranger-related thoughts after five Hank-less games…


  • Wow, Kevin Hayes.
  • Speaking of Hayes, I’m going to state the obvious and talk about how great that third line has looked. JT Miller needs to stay in the lineup.
  • I think Chris Kreider has an unbelievable amount of talent. However, he seems to be developing into a seriously one dimensional player. He can use speed to the outside and fire off a slightly off-angle shot. If he doesn’t get to the front of the net, it’s a pretty exciting build up, but nothing usually comes of it.
  • I’m going on record and saying Marty St. Louis is in a slump. Far from done. Although, that turn over on the Av’s second goal last night was borderline inexcusable.
  • Cam Talbot has looked very good in Hank’s absence. He has good composure, positioning and is prone to the big save. The key will be how consistent he can be if Hank is out for more than 10 games or so. That is the real separator of starting-caliber goalies.   Can they rely on him night in night out?
  • Rick Nash is awesome. I love that I get to say that now almost every time I write one of these posts.
  • Speaking of Hank, his injury is one that is rarely seen in hockey. I’ll be cautious whenever he returns and I don’t know how confident we can be that he will be fully healthy when the time comes.
  • I need to starting seeing some losing out of NYI, PIT and WSH very soon. I’m getting sick of their crap.
  • The fanbase seems to be very split on how intense this year’s trade deadline should get. As long as Tanner Glass gets a good seat in the press box to watch from, I’ll be good.
  • We are officially in the grind portion of the season. Especially without Hank, it’s tough to get up for a run through Feb/March. It’s about collecting points and jockeying for the highest conference position possible. Still on pace to fight for the top if games in hand are won.
  • It never ceases to amuse me how much my wife loves watching the dad’s up in stands during their visits.
  • How about that Evander Kane trade? I’m not going to like seeing Buffalo on the schedule in a couple years.
  • I’d love to see MacKenzie Skapski get some action. For one game, let’s see what the kid’s got.

Rangers are right back at it tomorrow against the lowly Coyotes before a big tilt (relatively speaking) against the Isles at the Coliseum.

Categories : Musings
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The Rangers obviously endured a significant loss with the news that Henrik Lundqvist will miss around three weeks of the regular season but here’s the thing; if it was going to happen then now is the perfect time, in the perfect situation and with a great schedule coming up. Providing Lundqvist comes back 100% the Rangers may see this as a blessing in disguise.

A quick look at the Rangers busy schedule for the next three weeks and there are several games where, based purely on standings and opposition quality, the Rangers shouldn’t ‘need’ Lundqvist which begs the question whether Talbot would have been in line for more starts this month anyway. In February alone the Rangers have several ‘bottom feeders’ on tap.

The Sabres, Coyotes (twice), Leafs are all on the February schedule while the Flames, Flyers and Avalanche also play the Rangers and aren’t exactly intimidating opponents this season either. Given Alain Vigneault’s declaration that he knew which games Talbot was going to get moving forward, did he look at the rather friendly – and busy – schedule and had already planned a heavier workload for Talbot in February?

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Categories : Goaltending
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Per Larry Brooks, goalie Henrik Lundqvist will be out one month with a neck injury sustained last week. Hank was struck in the throat with a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes last Saturday, finished the game, and played Monday against the Florida Panthers before being a last minute scratch against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

Cam Talbot will get the majority of the starts in his absence. MacKenzie Skapski will serve as the backup.

Categories : Injuries
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Henrik Lundqvist injury update: Day-to-day

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After giving everyone a big scare yesterday, the New York Rangers have announced that Henrik Lundqvist’s injury is not overly serious, and he is day-to-day. Hank was a last minute scratch last night, prompting the Rangers to recall MacKenzie Skapski to serve as backup for Cam Talbot.

Lundqvist will likely miss the weekend’s games against Nashville and Dallas, and it’s expected Talbot will start both games.

Categories : Injuries
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In some “uh oh” news, Henrik Lundqvist is unavailable tonight, and is being checked out for something “throat related.” MacKenzie Skapski has been recalled to serve as the backup tonight against the Boston Bruins. Cam Talbot will get the start.

If you want to panic, feel free to in the comments.

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Thoughts heading into All-Star Weekend

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After a tremendous stretch of hockey going all the way back to December 8 and winning 16 out of 19 games, the Rangers get a much deserved break for All-Star weekend. Once they get through the festivities, they face a tough trip to Long Island to get a second crack to show the upstart Islanders who New York’s real team is. Since there isn’t much specific analysis that the crew hasn’t covered since the OT win again Ottawa, I have some thoughts…

  • While I agree that the All-Star Game is kind of silly and since the implementation of the shootout, the Skills Competition has lost much of its luster, the All-Star Weekend is still a great concept for the host city. I was in Ottawa a couple years back when the All-Star Game was held there, and the whole city really came together in a celebration of hockey. We fans might not care at this point, but I’m sure the city of Columbus cares a great deal.
  • That said…those jerseys. Yikes. Remember the days when the All-Star jerseys were modeled after old school sweaters? Those were sharp. I’m sure even The Suit approved. These looks like the hockey equivalent of a site worker’s safety vest.
  • I’m glad Henrik Lundqvist decided to skip the weekend once Jimmy Howard went down. Over the past few seasons, he hasn’t gotten much in the way of rest this time of year. Between the Olympics and other All-Star festivities, he has been a busy guy in February. It’s only a couple days, but it could go a long way in recharging him for the stretch run.
  • You have to be impressed with Matt Hunwick’s play of late, no?

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Categories : Musings
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Midseason grades: Goaltending and coaching

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It’s not exactly the midpoint of the season, but now is as good a time as any to begin our midseason grades. It also helps that I had writer’s block and no idea what else to write about, so this won. I’ll be covering the goalies and coaching this year, and I’ll be grading the coaching staff at the group level. I won’t be breaking it down into each assistant coach.

Henrik Lundqvist: 20-9-3, 2.31 GAA, .917 SV%, 5 SO

Hank had another very slow start to the year, allowing three or more goals in 11 of the first 20 games of the season. His numbers remained respectable due to four shutouts in that span, but it was the second season in a row where people wondered if Hank was starting to decline. Of course Hank turned it on in the next 12 games, allowing three or more in just two games.

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Categories : Coaching, Goaltending
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Is it a coincidence that the Rangers are on an absolute tear now that Henrik Lundqvist is back to his best form? Of course not. Lundqvist struggled to begin the year and many people began to wonder whether Lundqvist had peaked and whether the 32 year old’s best years were behind him. Lundqvist however has been able to rebound in a big way and has been – along with Rick Nash – the bedrock of the Rangers success.

In his first ten starts of this season Lundqvist was wildly inconsistent. In those first ten starts he conceded at least three goals six times and in addition to his bloated numbers, Lundqvist’s first few months were punctuated by his conceding several soft goals. Recently however, we’ve seen Lundqvist be much more compact, stingier and when needed, he has subsequently bailed the Rangers out on a few occasions. The San Jose win on Saturday was a prime example of when the Rangers had to rely on their goaltender he was an absolute brick wall.

Lundqvist’s return to form also coincides with the Rangers recent offensive outburst. When a team’s goaltender is on form it allows a team to take more risks, allows defensemen to pinch a little more and generally, allows a team to play more aggressively in all areas of their game. If Lundqvist is at his best, the Rangers are surely a Cup contender again this year. So where does Lundqvist belong in the pecking order of NHL goaltenders, right now?

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Categories : Goaltending
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Thoughts heading into 2015

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Welcome to 2015, BSB faithful. 2014 is now behind us, which is a little weird, to be honest. It was a pretty interesting year, all told. We got a Stanley Cup Final run, a traded Captain, Stadium Series Games, troublesome contract negotiations and much more. But, it’s now ancient history, so let’s talk about some of the topics burning in the New Year…

  • Obviously non-Rangers related, but is it just me, or has the Winter Classic jumped the shark? Sure, it’s still interesting, and playing hockey outdoors will always be awesome, but the whole thing was just “blah” this year. Maybe it’s the rotating hosting of Bettman’s favorite teams. Or Pierre Maguire’s obnoxious voice. Or the fact we didn’t get a 24/7 because no one knows what EPIX is.
  • Back to Rangerland. Oh, look Tanner Glass sits and the Rangers get back to winning. I’m kidding, the whole thing has gotten a little out of hand. We all know Tanner Glass is god awful at the occupation he makes over a million dollars a year at. Yet he continues to play, and it doesn’t make that much of a difference. Until it does, against good teams, in the playoffs. Figure it out, AV.
  • I will be very interested to see how Sather (or his successor?) handles the long term construction of the blue line. Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi are the only two players locked in long-term, and it seems with every game that Marc Staal is inching toward the door. Kevin Klein is around for the mid-term, but not a cornerstone piece. Dan Boyle likely won’t be here beyond next season. Matt Hunwick isn’t a long-term solution. Would have been nice if John Moore turned that smooth skating and size into more useful hockey skills.
  • The forwards are in a slightly different boat with a glut of talent on the wings and very little depth up the middle. At some point, the front office needs to turn that strength into assets that are needed, but there really is not much available on the market. High-end centers are the league’s most valuable commodity, and while Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan have been very serviceable in the Top-6, this team could really use a true 1C. Something tells me Jim Nill is too smart to give away Tyler Seguin.
  • Henrik Lundqvist has played much better lately. He is still prone to the odd soft goal or two, but I feel like if we traded that goal every couple games for one of the absurd saves he makes going in, no one would be complaining. No one likes soft goals, but he hasn’t allowed them in situations which cost the team games.
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if this actually got Chris Kreider going?
  • Rick Nash is still a monster. It had to be said.
  • Don’t you love how these west coast games conspire to throw a wrench into the schedule? Not only does it suck having to stay up for them, you get a string of non-conference games against tough opponents. We should be getting the opportunity to improve our playoff positioning with matchups against the Isles, Caps and Penguins right now.  But nope, here come the Sharks, Ducks and Kings.
  • I’m not going to completely rip off Chris’s setup here and throw a bunch of questions out, but there are a few things I’m curious about how the community feels:
    • Do you think this team as constructed can make another run?
    • With that in mind, trade deadline wish list?
    • Do you think Chris Kreider is more valuable long-term on the roster or as a trade asset?
    • What would be your minimum required asset to rid the team of Girardi’s contract?
    • What would you look for in a potential Marc Staal trade?
    • And finally, the question bomb: if you could flip Henrik Lundqvist (and his contract) for John Gibson, would you do it?
Categories : Musings
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