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Posts tagged: Taylor Pyatt

Best case/worst case scenarios for Ranger forwards in 2013

A bounce-back season from Brad Richards would be a huge boost for the Rangers

Arron Asham

Best case: Asham continues to provide comedic relief on Twitter and plays in a handful of games with the Blueshirts.

Worst case: New York is unable to find a taker for Asham on waivers and he spends the final year of his contract in Hartford.

Benoit Pouliot

Best case: The former fourth-overall pick puts it all together as a Blueshirt and records a 20-goal season.

Worst case: The Rangers learn why Pouliot has already played for four teams in his young career and the big forward is invisible most nights. Read more »

Stay or Go: Taylor Pyatt

{Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America}

{Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America}

Usually when we do our stay or go posts, we look at pending UFAs to see if the Rangers should spend the money to keep these players around. Last week Suit wrote a stay or go for Brian Boyle, as Boyle is the subject of a lot of discussion, and I’m going to piggy-back on this. Many know that I’m a Boyle supporter,and with AV –and his significantly less aggressive systems– in, his skating issues won’t be easily exploited as much. His defensive play makes him an almost indispensable part of the fourth line. This of course brings us to Taylor Pyatt.

Signed to be a replacement for Ruslan Fedotenko, Pyatt immediately showed that he has tremendous hockey IQ. He simply knows the game and knows where to be. The problems with Pyatt were his inability to score consistently –eight of his eleven points came in two different stretches of three and five game point streaks– and his foot speed, which was exploited time and time again.

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Rangers final grades: Bottom six forwards

A lack of depth up front was New York’s Achilles’ heels this season

As former coach John Tortorella repeatedly mentioned, New York’s depth up front was gutted during the summer of 2012 following the trade of Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov and the free agent departures of Brandon Prust, John Mitchell and Ruslan Fedotenko.  The Rangers struggled mightily to replace that depth all season, but had a difficult time doing so in part due to injuries and inexperience.  As a result, Tortorella was left with very few reliable forwards and it showed throughout the 2013 campaign.

Brian Boyle

It was a very disappointing regular season for Boyle, who was an occasional healthy scratch and never regained coach John Totorella’s trust.  However, in the playoffs Boyle was one of the best, most consistent Rangers, scoring three goals and finally using his big body along the boards and in front.  Boyle admitted to being extremely frustrated by his performance this year, which he blamed partially on his decision not to play during the lockout.  He wasn’t the only Blueshirt that was negatively affected by that decision, but it may offer hope for a return to form next year.
Grade: C- Read more »

Pyatt, Callahan among most disciplined Rangers

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

It’s always interesting looking at the penalty statistics each season, and this year is no different. PIMs are a bit misleading, as there’s no real difference between someone who takes undisciplined stick penalties and some heat of the moment roughing/fighting penalties. Ok, fights are easily tracked, but the minor penalties aren’t in the PIMs department.

When looking at the raw penalties taken, three Rangers really jump at you. The first is Taylor Pyatt, who has struggled until recently. Pyatt has played in all 47 games up to this point, and has taken just two minor penalties. TWO! That’s incredible. Considering how streaky and inconsistent Pyatt has been all year, only three guys who have played at least 40 games have taken less penalties.

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Despite goal, Pyatt still needs to find consistency

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

When Taylor Pyatt was signed, he was brought in to help replace the departed combination of Ruslan Fedotenko, Brandon Prust, John Mitchell, Brandon Dubinsky, and Artem Anisimov. In those departed five players, the Rangers lost a lot of depth, but more importantly players capable of eating big minutes against tough competition. Suffice it to say, he hasn’t lived up to expectations so far.

Even off the score sheet, where Pyatt is well below is career averages, the big forward has been struggling to find consistency on the defensive front as well. During last season, Pyatt was a reliable defensive forward, facing decent competition (.140 Corsi Rel QoC) and starting just 41.2% of his shifts in the offensive zone. His RCorsi of -9.3 wasn’t stellar, but this is more a factor of zone starts. It’s tough to maintain a shot attempt advantage when starting 60% of your shifts in the defensive zone.

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Musings: Bring on the Isles

Photo: NHL.com

Photo: NHL.com

Since Chris is on his annual pilgrimage to the US of A, you’re all stuck with me for this week’s musings.  I know my questions won’t be anywhere near as poignant or provocative as my colleague from across the pond, but I’m gonna give it the old college try…

After not having seen the Maple Leafs since the middle of January, I’ll admit I was expecting more of the same from Toronto.  I was incorrect.  That team is a pain to play against.  They run an aggressive forecheck and are deadly in transition.  They are going to make someone’s life very difficult in the first round.  As long as their goaltending holds up…

Torts shuffled the lines around big time last night.  While I really enjoy seeing the Nash-Stepan-Cally line together, I understand Tort’s thinking.  The Phaneuf matchup was killing that line and Tort’s needed to give Toronto a different look.  I wasn’t crazy about any of the specific lines he created, and since the Isles don’t have a shut-down number 1 d-man, I’d expect more familiar line combos come Saturday.

I know Hags hasn’t fully cemented himself as a top-6 player just yet, but even when he’s moving up and down the lineup, I think it’s a waste to play him with Boyle or Pyatt.  Read more »

Who could be trade bait?

(Scott Levy/NHLI/Getty Images)

(Scott Levy/NHLI/Getty Images)

Acting GM Jeff Gorton is on record as saying the Rangers plan to be aggressive on the trade market to try to improve the club by the April 3rd trade deadline.  Marian Gaborik is obviously the biggest name being floated in rumors, but it’s difficult to find a good fit and it’s probably more likely than not that Gabby finishes the season with the Blueshirts.  That said, it’s common knowledge that New York would like to add a top-four defenseman and a top-nine forward to help replenish the depth that was lost during the offseason and has crippled the team all season.

With so many teams still in playoff contention in this lockout-shortened season, trade prices appear to be sky high, even for rentals.  So who could New York offer in trade packages over the coming weeks outside of Gaborik?

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With Zuccarello in, who will sit among Boyle, Pyatt, and Powe?

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

In case you missed it, the Rangers re-signed Mats Zuccarello, who will likely join the club within the week. Zuccarello will bring some stability and scoring to the bottom-six, something that is desperately needed. The addition of Zuccarello will lead to some lineup changes. When all the pieces fall into place, the odd-man out is not who you might think it is.

It’s been very clear that the organization wants offensive talent to play alongside J.T. Miller on the third line, so it’s a logical assumption that these two will see some ice time together. Since Zuccarello is rather flexible and can play either wing, that opens up a few options for the Rangers. If Torts wants to try Miller at center, then the Rangers can try either Marian Gaborik (RW) or Chris Kreider (LW). Each line will have a lot of skill and speed, but the downside is that the trio will be defensively inept. The rest of the top-six remains the same.

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Pyatt another savvy addition by Sather

Pyatt has proven to be a nice addition so far by Glen Sather

Pyatt has proven to be a nice addition so far by Glen Sather

Strike up another successful acquisition by Glen Sather. Taylor Pyatt –all 6’4 and 230 lbs of him– has proven to be a solid add to the Rangers, even though we’re still too early in the year to make significant conclusions. While Sather goes about adding integral pieces to roster like Rick Nash and Brad Richards, it’s the additions of the likes of Pyatt that give the Rangers a chance at success; and it’s not just about the numbers on the ice but those off it as well.

Pyatt has already grabbed 5 points in 8 games and has at times looked pretty impressive. Despite a lack of foot speed he offers a physical presence, an ability to hold on to the puck, and has shown good chemistry with a few different Rangers. Of course, he won’t be able to maintain his 30% shooting percentage. Nor will he be able to produce as much as he has thus far when a second line staple such as Ryan Callahan returns but he won’t have to.

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Early shot percentage numbers show some over and under achievers

Hagelin won't be goal-less for long.

Hagelin won’t be goal-less for long.

With the Rangers offense appearing to finally be coming to form, the attention shifts focus to the goal count for the newcomers and those with high expectations. Many expect the offense to come primarily from Rick Nash, Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, and Derek Stepan. But to the surprise of many, Taylor Pyatt (three goals) has thrown his name into the mix, and Carl Hagelin has been MIA on the score sheet.

Pyatt has been the second best offseason acquisition thus far. His three goals are a product of his hard work and his ability to be in the right place at the right time. Pyatt’s three goals have come off seven shots, good for a 42.9% conversion rate. Obviously that won’t continue, especially when you look at his career 11% conversion rate. A regression to the mean is bound to happen, and while seven shots is a small sample size, those expecting Pyatt to continue scoring at this pace will be in for a rude awakening.

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