Musing the Rangers: Getting defensive

Should the Rangers play Boyle tonight? Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Should the Rangers play Boyle tonight? Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America

Fresh off a dominant victory over the offensive juggernaut that are the Pens, things appear slightly rosier in Rangerland. Tonight, the Rangers have to cope with another offensively skilled team when the Avalanche comes to town. Let’s discuss the goings-on in Rangerland.

What to do with Duclair? I know I’m in the minority but I think I would send Duclair back to juniors. I would rather see him playing 20 minutes a night in Junior and dominating. Once the Rangers are back to full strength I think a guy like Jesper Fast would be better suited to a bottom six role and help the Rangers return to their identity of being a difficult team to play against.

I have Rick Nash in both my fantasy teams. I am very happy about this.

Pleasant surprise: Kevin Klein. Klein had a sticky patch a few weeks back (who didn’t?) but he’s turn his game around. He looks confident, has shot the puck with authority and has been solid defensively, for the most part. I’m more than happy with Klein given the revolving door that has been his defense partner.

How many games will JT Miller play with the Rangers this season? Will we see him in New York again?

Dave is on the Conor Allen bandwagon and I am on there with him. This is the time where the Rangers should be taking an extended look at him if they think he’s got a long term future with the franchise. There’s only so much damage his presence can cause this early in the year and given the (lack of) alternatives, he’s got as much if not more upside than any of the other internal candidates.

So Tomas Kaberle is going to play for the WolfPack this weekend. This seems to be annoying a lot of people. Why? It’s a low risk move. He’s a shadow of his former self but if he can help – in a sheltered role – and help an underperforming powerplay unit he’s worth investigating. No one is insisting he takes the spot of a kid, just yet.

Keeping on the Defenseman theme; John Moore was very impressive against the Pens. Moore was confident carrying the puck, made several good first passes, was always joining the rush. When Moore plays like he did on Tuesday he’s got a real future with the Rangers and alleviates the pressure on the top four. Now we need to see it more often.

Should Dan Boyle play or should the Rangers ease him back? Let’s not forget the season is still young.

Vezina Watch: When Henrik Lundqvist plays like he did against the Pens he’s in the Vezina conversation, no question. Now, he needs to do it game in game out and not let any soft goals in. Lundqvist has had a somewhat inconsistent season so far which can be partly explained by the patchwork defense in front of him but he’s slowly returning to his royal best.

We’re approaching the quarter mark of the season. Does Rick Nash belong in the MVP conversation? Yes, it’s incredibly early but (Crosby aside) has anyone meant more to their team in the early going, than Nash?

Shall we have some Question Time?

  • How many goals will Nash finish the season with?
  • What grade would you give Chris Kreider after 15 games?
  • Who is the Rangers number one center right now?
  • What are your (revised) expectations from Dan Boyle?
  • Who will score more goals, Kreider or St Louis?
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