Archive for Oscar Lindberg
While the disappointment of Carl Hagelin’s (necessary) departure still lingers for some, something might have been forgotten. The Rangers you may recall, have a rather talented NHL ready prospect, on deck, waiting for his chance. Thanks to the Hagelin trade, the path should now be clear for Oscar Lindberg’s arrival in New York.
Lindberg has been ready for a while, a fact only emphasised by his impressive AHL playoff performances this spring (16 points in 15 games). The main problem may have been finding an appropriate spot in the Rangers line-up suitable for Lindberg’s skill set. So is it a case of exit Hagelin, enter Lindberg?
Got four questions for the mailbag, so let’s have at it.
Q (More of an FYI, from Ray): I questioned the SAT data showing the Lightning dominated the first two periods of Game 6 in a BSB comment. Anyway, I actually didn’t watch the game live – I taped it -and so I could revisit it. I tried to keep track of zone time in the first period (too mindless to do the entire game).
My numbers aren’t perfect, I’m sure, but they are unbiased with presumably small errors which likely mostly balance out.
I believe OZ time itself is a better indicator of possession, but the NHL stopped tracking it in 2001 for some reason. We use SAT because, logically, if you have the puck in the offensive zone, you are getting shot attempts. Yes, this does undervalue the cycle, and wearing down and pinning the opposition, but the goal of the cycle is to get shot attempts. You can cycle all you want, but if you don’t get shot attempts, the puck won’t go in.
Your email was very detailed. I’m posting the full email in the comments so that people can discuss.
It’s easy to get lost in the playoffs when games come thick and fast but there’s been a few other things going on in Ranger-land aside from the absorbing Tampa – Rangers series. Shocking I know. Let’s have a quick catch up.
Glen Sather was nominated for the GM of the year award this week. Deservedly so. The Rangers have played the most playoff games (73) in a four year stretch and this is the third year in that period they’ve gone to at least the Conference finals. Sather has his faults (a lot of them) but he’s done a great job in recent years, perhaps none more recently than this year that included the Presidents Trophy.
It’s easy to write positively about an individual when that player has just scored an enormous, game winning goal in the biggest game of the season to date. However, since returning to the Rangers Dominic Moore has been absolutely everything the Rangers could have hoped for and more. He has been an example to the younger players, he’s been a defensive rock, a rare shining light at face-offs for a team so inept at them and he has been unexpectedly productive, particularly when games have mattered most. All this for the comparatively bargain $1.5m per year. In many ways Dominic Moore is the ideal bottom six role player.
We can break down Moore’s production (27 points, in a primarily defensive role) and discuss the penalty kill influence and face-off efficiencies he has but perhaps the biggest advantage of having Moore in the line-up has yet to be felt. While Moore is a veteran at 34 he is not long in the tooth and the Rangers have at least one more year of Moore as it currently stands. Moore’s presence in the line-up, his unquestioned work ethic and his ability to lead by example may be keenly felt for the remainder of this playoff run but also beyond this season.
The Hartford Wolf Pack squeezed into the second round of the AHL playoffs Friday night with a come from behind 3-2 victory over Providence. Thanks to the overtime win, Hartford won the series 3-2 after being 2-1 down and having struggled to solve the Bruins’ goaltending almost all series.
Defenseman Tommy Hughes scored the series clinching goal just over four minutes into overtime after Chris Mueller’s second powerplay goal of the game tied it with under a minute to play in the third period. Oscar Lindberg, who had struggled to produce offense all series, came up huge in the series decider as he assisted on all three WolfPack goals. The assists were his first points in a series where each game was decided by one goal. Lindberg also had seven shots on net as he made a real impression on the game.
Apart from Lindberg, who continues to grow into a solid Rangers prospect, other prospects of note included Brady Skjei who put four shots on net and Chris Bourque (who can’t really be counted as a prospect but I digress) who grabbed two assists including on the game winner. McKenzie Skapski was back on the bench for Hartford. The ‘Pack will play Wilkes- Barre/Scranton, the Pens affiliate in the next round. The Baby Pens swept their opening round series against Syracuse.
How the Pack’s progress into the second round influences the Rangers’ decision to call up a forward is yet to be seen and may depend on the scheduling of the AHL’s second round. Here’s a GIF of the OT winner, courtesy of Adam Herman.
As the New York Rangers continue to struggle for offense and as Martin St Louis remains sidelined, prospect Oscar Lindberg has continued to play well for the Hartford WolfPack at both ends of the rink. Lindberg scored another two points Friday night, including his twentieth goal of the season as the ‘Pack won their Friday night game against Leigh Valley, 3-2.
Lindberg did all his damage on the powerplay last night (take note Rangers special teamers…) and has really developed his offense at the AHL level. He has reached the 20 goal plateau for the first time, scoring two more goals than last year but in 13 games less, while he should pass his career high of 44 points imminently. Like JT Miller, it appears Lindberg is outgrowing the AHL.
Lindberg has played consistently well all season for the Pack. His style and skill set should fit seamlessly in to New York and with the Rangers relying on depth for offense Lindberg should be getting a look given that cap space is available and they have enough transactions available to make a move.
James Sheppard makes his Rangers debut against the Detroit Red Wings tonight so from a Rangers perspective we know very little about Sheppard. What we do know about Sheppard is that he brings faceoff skill (better than all but Dom Moore on the Rangers), versatility and defensive ability to the table. As a top ten pick back in 2006 he brings pedigree and perhaps some untapped offense as well (was tabbed as a scorer before he got rushed by the Wild).
In the past Sheppard has had a tough time staying healthy but resurrected his career in San Jose via the AHL. He has become solid depth player at the NHL level even if Minnesota expected more when they drafted him. Sheppard’s arrival also means (health allowing) we’ve seen the last of Oscar Lindberg in New York this season after a mere one game cameo.
The bigger question now becomes what Sheppard’s arrival means for Lindberg in the mid to long term. After all, there’s only so long a prospect is allowed to dwindle in the minors and only so long before that prospect wants a change for the sake of his own career development as well.
Much has been made of the Rangers’ salary cap woes with the likes of Mats Zuccarello, Martin St. Louis, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin set to be free agents and the ceiling unlikely to increase much in the offseason. However, the emergence of several top prospects has made biting the bullet of letting a key player or two go much easier.
Obviously every franchise wants to retain as much talent as possible, but of course there is only so much money and so many positions to go around. The good news is that the team is well prepared to weather a significant loss.
Anthony Duclair and Pavel Buchnevich are potential replacements for Zuccarello, St. Louis and Hagelin; Brady Skjei will take the Matt Hunwick/John Moore job; and now it looks like even Oscar Lindberg could be useful should the team need to deal Dominic Moore in a penny-saving move.
Oscar Lindberg’s stay with the Rangers was brief, subbing in for the injured Rick Nash for last night’s 1-0 win over the Calgary Flames. Lindberg was immediately returned to the Hartford Wolf Pack following the game. This is likely due to the fact that cap space is very tight, and since cap space is calculated on a daily basis, Lindberg’s $760,000 cap hit only stays on the book for one day (about $4,000 over a 160 day NHL season). If they need him again Saturday, they will call him up then.
As for his performance, Lindberg played 8:18 on 16 shifts, primarily with J.T. Miller and Carl Hagelin. He was a +4 SATF/CF in those eight minutes. He had 2 SOG, 3 hits, and won 2 of 5 faceoffs. He was tentative on his first few shifts, but seemed to gain comfort and confidence as the game progressed. Lindberg played just two shifts in the third period.
The Rangers shutout the Calgary Flames last night at The Garden, by a score of 1-0. It was a crucial two points for the Blueshirts, as they needed to keep pace with both the Islanders and Canadiens at the top of the Conference, both of whom picked up wins last night. Cam Talbot recorded his 4th shutout of the season and newly un-shaggy Kevin Hayes continued his red hot play with the game winner. Since Dave is sick, we won’t have all his fancy bells and whistles, charts and breakdowns, just some good ol’ fashioned thoughts on this one…
- The Rangers played a very controlled defensive game with very little available to the Flames. It made the game kind of like watching paint dry, but two points are two points.
- I mean, what else is there to say about Kevin Hayes at this point? He has grown by leaps and bounds throughout the season and become a legitimate scoring threat every time he is on the ice. He has brought additional depth since the beginning, but he is starting to really be a player the opposition has to be aware of at all time. Especially if he is drawing third line matchups. Once everything clicks, he is going to be an impressive player.
- This was exactly the type of game Cam Talbot needed. I am coming to the conclusion that he is prone to the big save, but has a tough time making all the routine ones over a lengthy span of games. That skillset was well used last night, when he didn’t face a ton of rubber, but turned away some tough chances in spurts.
- Oscar Lindberg made his NHL debut last night and played a little over eight minutes. Obviously, that’s not a ton of time on the ice to make a lasting impression, but I thought he looked good. He was aggressive on the forecheck and responsible on both sides of the puck. In the spirit of beating the dead horse, I would love it if he could finally force Glass to the press box, either when Fast returns or prior…
- Kari Ramo played very well in this one. He made some very good chances look routine and that glove save on JT Miller was ridiculous. Usually I will lament desperation plays being lauded as great saves, but a tough bounce off the post will force you into scramble mode. That save showed a tremendous amount of athleticism and hand-eye coordination.
- Lack of scoring aside, the Rangers did what they had to do in this one: dominate possession, limit opposition chances and secure two points against a weaker team.
- Just goes to show you how much Rick Nash brings to the table when he is healthy. Having him and Hank back for the stretch and (obviously) playoffs are a make or break reality for any chance of a big run this spring.
- I love the spunk he showed, and I have historically been a fan of fighting, but JT Miller’s tilt just kind of reinforced how unnecessary it has become in the modern game.
- At some point the MSG crew has to give John Gianonne some protection between the benches from errant pucks, right?
- Islanders on MSG and Rangers on MSG+? I don’t understand the world anymore.