I hope those who celebrated Christmas yesterday had a lovely holiday. For those who celebrated Hannukah, I hope you had a lovely eight days leading up to Festivus. Before the holiday break started, the Rangers won seven in a row, including a big divisional matchup against the Caps on Tuesday night. There has been a roster freeze in effect until today, but it didn’t really affect the Rangers. News has been slow, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have random thoughts to go through on this slow day.
- I hope you all like the new site design. It will take some getting used to. Everything used to scroll chronologically, and for the most part it still does. The difference is the image scroller at the top, which will have the six most recent featured posts. A featured post will be our standard posts that you see twice per day, and it will also include any big news/transactions.
- The list underneath is in chronological order and will include any other post (lineup changes, FanDuel notices, minor news) and any featured post after the six most recent. Again, it will take some getting used to.
- Why the new design? A few reasons, but the biggest is that we all felt some posts would get buried by minor news posts, like lineup changes. By making this change, we keep our analysis posts at the top so they are easier to find. In the end, we think it will be a welcome change. Plus, that image at the top is an homage to when The Garden actually had the blue seats, which is what this blog is named after.
- On to the Rangers: Ryan McDonagh has certainly turned his game on of late. He struggled mightily to start the season, but he’s finally starting to look like the player that was named captain this season. The weight of the ‘C’ probably took its toll initially, hence the struggles.
- Speaking of struggles, Dan Boyle sure has struggled, hasn’t he? His line of 2-1-3 in 15 games while manning the point on a pretty anemic powerplay isn’t promising. You have to hope he’s playing hurt, and that it’s not his age showing. If it’s the latter, the Rangers are going to regret –even more– that they let Anton Stralman walk.
- Focusing on the blue line, Matt Hunwick and Kevin Klein have been a pretty solid third pairing this season. Those are words I never thought I’d utter this season. Hunwick has been a pretty solid signing, surprising even the most optimistic fans. He’s certainly usurped control of the third pairing LD spot from John Moore.
- Up front, it’s good to see Mats Zuccarello start to get going. It was only a matter of time, and the constant turnstile of forwards in the early going probably didn’t help. He’s 2-6-8 in the seven game win streak.
- With games against the Devils, Stars, and Panthers coming up, the Rangers have a legitimate shot to make it ten in a row to close out 2014. It will be tough, but it is certainly doable.
- One non-Rangers note: The World Junior Championships begin today, and the Rangers have four prospects participating. We will at the very least be providing game recaps and stat sheet updates for the prospects playing.
The break ends tomorrow when the Rangers are in New Jersey. Hopefully the three days off didn’t affect their mojo.