Archive for Ryan McDonagh

Jan
26

Tear it down

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(GENE J. PUSKAR/AP)

Even With last night’s win against the Sharks, the Rangers head into the All-Star break in a complete free fall.  We have all known for months that the process has sucked, and Henrik Lundqvist had been keeping the team afloat.  Well, now that Chris Kreider is hurt and a consistent rotation of random injuries keep hitting the roster, the team has had to bring up a carousel of AHL talent.  The goals are starting to dry up and Alain Vigneault’s “quality over quantity” system has stalled.

For the past several years, the deployment and systems philosophy had run contrary to our conventional understanding of hockey analytics, and the Rangers’ relative success had many analysts questioning whether the team existed between the lines of the current stats.  While it still might be a true statement, this years’ incarnation (which had apparent depth issues from the outset) has put any evanescent hopes of contention firmly out of reality. Read More→

Categories : Rants
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Dec
29

Some Friday thoughts

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www.NHL.com

The Rangers showed improved process on Wednesday night, winning a nail biter against Washington in a shootout.  They look to build on that game tonight against the Red Wings in Detroit.  The big news the past few days was the loss of Chris Kreider to a blood clot in his arm.  With these developments and the Winter Classic coming up, as you can imagine, I have some thoughts…

1. First, the Kreider injury.  This is one of those situations where the health of a human being supersedes anything hockey related.  First and foremost, you hope Kreider makes a full recovery, simply because blood clots can be extremely dangerous.  Complications can lead to stroke or heart attack.  Get well soon, Mr. Kreider. Read More→

Categories : Musings
Comments (10)
Dec
14

Ryan McDonagh’s Strange Season

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The Rangers up-and-down start to the 2017-18 season has called into question every facet of the team.  From Alain Vigneault’s obvious flaws, to questions about Henrik Lundqvist’s “decline”, to the lack of real center depth, there’s been no shortage of talking points as fans and analysts have tried to figure out why the Rangers have been largely mediocre this season.

One of the players that’s caught my eye this season, often for the wrong reasons, is Ryan McDonagh.  Even the most staunch McDonagh fan would have to admit that the Ranger captain just doesn’t look right.  His up-and-down season reached its nadir with a historically bad performance on Tuesday night vs. Dallas.

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Categories : Players
Comments (11)

ryan mcdonagh

When I was plugging McDonagh’s name into my trade machine I had to double check that there wasn’t some big error that I didn’t notice. $4.7M a year until 2019? *checks CapFriendly*. Well, I’ll be damned.

(Seriously, Jeff Gorton do not read this.)

But for the sake of a good time (I see you NY Post), let’s explore what a player like McDonagh could fetch in a trade.

First, let’s break down how this whole zany system works:

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Comments (36)
chris kreider

Has Chris Kreider even been more important than this coming season?

It’s been quite some time since I last wrote for the blog, but with personal things out of the way (amongst other things, work sucks doesn’t it?!….), the new season just around the corner and significant change in Rangerland behind us, now seems a good a time to get back involved. So, please accept my apologies that you will once again have to endure my ramblings.

Usually I fly over from the UK around mid-season for my annual Rangers fix, but this time I’ll be heading over for my first ever opening night Rangers game and I’m absolutely pumped. Here are three things I’m expecting from the upcoming regular season.

Chris Kreider’s true coming out party

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Categories : Preseason
Comments (55)
ryan mcdonagh

Photo: Winslow Townson/AP

It’s amazing what one summer can do. Last summer, the Rangers transformed their forwards into one of the most potent offenses in the league. This summer, they transformed their blue line from one of the worst in the league to perhaps one of the best top-four in the league. It’s amazing what Jeff Gorton has done.

Ryan McDonagh has been the rock on the Rangers blue line since he joined the team. He’s not quite elite, but he is in the tier right below elite. After dragging around an anchor for a few seasons, he finally has a chance to be free with Kevin Shattenkirk on his right side. Ryan McDonagh is a free elf.

But for how long?

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Comments (43)

kevin shattenkirk

Last summer Jeff Gorton made the Rangers into one of the most dynamic scoring machines in the league. The forwards were vastly improved and they could seemingly score at will. But that dried up against the good teams in the playofs because the defense simply couldn’t keep up. That made Gorton’s for this summer goal clear: Fix the defense.

By buying out Dan Girardi, essentially replacing him with Kevin Shattenkirk, and re-signing Brendan Smith, the Rangers have what could potentially be the best top-four in the Metro Division. A potential pairing of Shattenkirk with Ryan McDonagh also gives the Rangers what could be a top pairing that is top-five in the league. No hyperbole.

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Categories : Defense
Comments (83)

ryan mcdonagh

It is not time to sound the alarm just yet, but Ryan McDonagh appears to be out for tonight’s game against the Flyers. McD0nagh did not skate today at the morning skate, and the defense pairings appeared to be set without him.

Marc Staal-Kevin Klein
Brady Skjei-Dan Girardi
Brendan Smith-Nick Holden

Luckily the Flyers are not as good as the Penguins, but they still have some great talent that can burn that right side of the defense. It’s amazing how much of a hole McDonagh leaves in the lineup. Hopefully this isn’t serious, and is just a precaution to not rush him back in meaningless games.

Categories : Injuries
Comments (7)
Jan
10

Midseason report cards: The defense

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ryan mcdonagh kevin klein

Photo: MSG

With the Rangers on their bye week, which was perfectly timed with the halfway point of the season, we are afforded the opportunity to evaluate the Rangers with nothing else going on. Midseason report cards have been a bit of a tradition here at BSB, so let’s keep that tradition going, shall we?

Over the next few days, each of us will be tackling a different aspect of the team, and assigning grades accordingly. I’m batting leadoff here, and I’m going to be discussing the most polarizing aspect of this year’s team: The defense.

Overall, the back line for the Rangers has been relatively bad. The combination of age, injuries, wear and tear, and a shift towards speed has made what was once a strong defense into a bottom-five unit in the league. The slow start by Henrik Lundqvist exposed the defense even more. But it’s not all bad, either.

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Categories : Defense
Comments (65)
michael grabner

Pavel Bur… I mean Michael Grabner… Photo: NHLI/Getty Images

People talk about the Rangers 5-2 come from behind win against the Pens as a statement game.  For me, the biggest statement games were the significant Blues and Lightning victories a couple of weeks back – I feel they were more complete games even if the comeback against the Pens was very impressive. For me, the Rangers gave up far too many high quality chances against the Pens on Monday. It wasn’t a quality defensive performance.

Michael Grabner could go pointless for the rest of the season and he’d already represent good value. His goal against the Blue Jackets last week summed him up best. His speed gives teams fits, he’s up on the play so quickly and once he’s away you cannot catch him. The way he settled the puck and finished his breakaway underlined the confidence he’s playing with right now. It was a goalscorers finish.

Oh, and another thing: Michael Grabner, Cy Young winner?

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Categories : Musings
Comments (18)