State of the Rangers

What you see is what you get

AP Photo/Fred Vuich

The New York Rangers are a good hockey team. Their top 14 forwards as a unit are some of the best in the league. They have skill, speed, and most importantly, depth. They have one of the best goaltenders in the world. But as we’ve all seen, the Rangers are deeply flawed on the blue line.

Flawed teams are generally inconsistent. I say generally because the size and type of flaw matters here. A flawed fourth line, for example, isn’t as big of an issue as a flawed blue line. It’s tough to hide three or four bad defensemen. With that flaw, and the division the Rangers play in, we are going to get what we’ve been getting. Some bad losses, some great wins, and some in between.

This isn’t an indictment of any one player, coach, or front office staff member. This is an objective evaluation of the team. Even when the Rangers were steamrolling opponents early in the season, they had key losses to Pittsburgh and Columbus. They had bad losses to Vancouver, Florida and Ottawa. They also had big wins over Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and San Jose. Consistently inconsistent.

That is going to be the story for the Rangers going forward until big changes are made. The status quo is what we see before us: Big time offense, awful defense, and goaltending getting hung out to dry. This is the new norm for the Rangers.

The good news is that it can be fixed. The bad news is that it takes recognition of the problem and some major changes. As it stands today, the Rangers likely won’t be able to compete with Pittsburgh, Columbus, or Washington in a seven game series. Henrik Lundqvist and the forwards can win them a seven game series against any of the Atlantic teams though, so that’s a good thing.

The Rangers are far from the only flawed team headed to the playoffs this year, but their flaws are in some of their big minute players. Unless major changes are made, this season is going to be a roller coaster ride. May as well strap in and enjoy it.

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  • Goaltending is brutal…let’s be honest here….The team has no confidence and it starts with the keeper…..way too often Lundqvist has given up atrocious goals this year on a consistent basis…it does not just rest on the defense alone. We will not contend for the Cup for a long time with the cast of players assembled.
    I see a lack of heart….no push back from a vast majority of the players and all the wrong people with the letters on their chest, main one being McDonagh. he is not Captain material.
    To me I believe it is time to change the culture of this team but this will not happen since AV got an extension….so we will remain a pretty pretenders for a long while

    • A team that almost overturned 5 goal deficits twice in two weeks is not a team that lacks heart. If the team lacked heart they would roll over and not bother attempting a come back.

      It is pretty simple, this team is incapable of defending on a consistent basis. Again, I said it after the opening night win against the Isles (go look at the game recap thread, it’s there), this is a team that is going to play crazy high scoring games all year. They are going to win some and lose some of those crazy games. Like Dave said in his post, this is exactly how the Rangers are constructed, until the D is overhauled over the summer this is how it’s going to be.

      It’s not the coach, it’s not the captain, it’s not the leadership, it’s not the goalies, it’s the collective hockey skills of the D Corps. Again, like Dave said, it’s going to be a roller coaster, might as well strap in and enjoy some offensive hockey.

      • I was at the game Chris, the CBJs stopped playing after it was 6-0 and Torts was seething behind the bench and that was when he called the time out. I would not put too much into making it a 6-4 game because if the CBJs had kept the pedal to the medal then it would have been a lot worse.

        • Fair enough, I turned it off after the 2nd because I just didn’t want to stick around for this one.

          To be honest though, I wasn’t shocked to see the final was 6-4. The Rangers were actually pretty good in the 1st period. Some times it just doesn’t bounce your way.

          And even if CBJ laid down, the Rangers still had to score 4 goals. That’s saying something.

        • Once Columbus stopped forechecking, it allowed the Rangers to get out of their zone and get some offense going.

      • I actually agree with you.

        They can not play defense on a consistent basis and there is no goalie who’s going to succeed behind this defense.

        I will say, that we can improve our defending with a few minor tweaks. Will it be perfect? No. Will it be ideal, no. Could it possibly be worse? Maybe.

        But could it be better? Yes.

      • The good news is that it can be fixed. The bad news is that it takes recognition of the problem and some major changes.

        Now that’s funny because I’ve been on the bandwagon for over three years about the pylon twins, and I don’t profess to be a GM, even though I stayed at the Holiday Inn last night.

        Who ever supported these two ought to be fired, simple and sweet. The signs were there for the world to see during the finals against the Kings, but emotions came into play, as opposed to clear thinking heads on business people.

        After two embarrassing season of watching G play, I believe even his die-hard supporters will have to admit, it’s time to say adios. Jeff Gorton is a good judge of talent, and I do believe, in spite of the major mistake made this week re-signing Marv Levy (for Joe719), changes will come our way, and the defense will be rebuilt, hopefully to reflect Gorton’s style, rather than Marv’s!!!!

        • The worst thing the Rangers ever did was hiring Glen Sather. A friend of mine said to me, “I wanted you to be wrong about him.” After screwing up multiple times, he finally did the thing that won for him in Edmonton, he hired smart peopl(Gorton&Clark) & Torts who was the right guy at that time. He made good trades & terrible deals & I just wish he’d get entirely out of the picture.
          Gorton is vilified for trading assets for Eric Staal. I’ve heard on here what a dumb trade it was. But Eric Staal has 16 goals for the Wild. In an interview he stated Boudreau has put him in a position to succeed. Everyone can fill in the blanks from there. I was really, really disappointed he gave that extension now. He could have waited till the end of the season.

          • E. Staal said something nice about his current head coach? Well, clearly that’s a shot at AV.

            Orrrrrrrrrr …. E. Staal finally got in shape this past summer after leaving the steaming dung pile of an organization that the Canes have been for most of the past 7 years.

          • I have never, never been a of fan of Sather, and he did indeed turn out to be a disaster. Remember his remark, if I had the Rangers money to work with, I’d win many cups. That chicken choker never delivered one, what a farce !!!!!!!!!

    • I am growing increasing skeptical with the goal tending. Not trying to pile on Hank, but lately he’s let up way more bad goals than he would normally and they are not all the fault of the D. The D is not good. But he has been less than average for the past month maybe month and a half and it does not seem to be trending better. He had a few great games before the all star break, but he has had some real stinkers.
      All that said. don’t do much at the trade deadline. Certainly don’t give up any young forwards. With the competition in front of us our odds of winning it all this year have to be low. So no point in mortgaging any part of the future.

    • I agree about the leadership group comment but if we want to try and talk reasonable about how to fix that then don’t expect Mcd to get the “C” taken away. I fully suspect either a new leadership group of alternate captains will be here after the deadline or by next season. Does anyone actually think the new core or new names have respect for Stepan, Staal and Girardi? I sure don’t and when fully healthy Nash takes away Stepan’s home “A” which tells me enough. You never hear of the vets hanging out with the more stable tenure Ranger players like normal teams. I’v seen more to do with Zucc being with Hayes than I have ever heard about Stepan and a Ranger player just kicking together after practice or in the off-season, it tells me something.

      At the end of the day you see and hear players backing Mcd up as “the man”. I believe a cultural shock is most definitely coming especially with Gorton finishing last years exit conference with the one last kick at the can statement. I just hope Zucc survives and gets to wear the “A” for the rest of the year after this years deadline and Gorton looks to flip him down the road but not now.

    • So much of what is going on is related to the defense, or lack thereof, including the goaltender. It’s very simple, that first fluky goal goes in and it’s “here we go again.” It’s a domino effect from there (downward).

      It’s not that they’re not playing hard, the issue is that they’re not CAPABLE of playing well against the better teams. See, fans “assume” that they are a good team. They’re not. They have a good forward group and a horrendous defensive group. That’s a good team? Nope.

      So being incapable and not giving effort or leadership or whatever, is mixing apples and oranges. If you go this narrative then you’re assuming that this is a good team that can contend, and I’m telling you that they’re not. Stop using Oct and Nov as the basis of what this team “should” do in the playoffs. Use what they’re doing now as the barometer for playoff success.

      • I think most of the analysis here is wrong. So much of it has to do with advanced stats. Advanced stats have strengths and weaknesses. The strength is that they are less prone to sample size error. The weakness is that they don’t quite measure the right things.

        Someone pointed me to a study which asserted that team Corsi over one 20 game segment was a better predictor of team +/- over the next 20 games than +/- was. so, if all you know about is a short stretch, advanced stats is the way to go. The thing is that advanced stats miss some things and while in most cases, these are less significant than sample size error, it is not a hard and fast rule.

        Consider the Rangers. Advanced stats have told us for years that they are not very good. Each year it seems that next year that should have a tough time making the playoffs. They are simply not a quality organization like Tampa Bay. The excuse, well, it’s Lundqvist seems absurd when the Rangers are at their best with his backup in net.

        The NY Rangers are a very good team. They are fourth in the league in team +/- despite having a goaltender, who, whether you like him or not, has given up an above average number of soft goals (a problem not likely to continue). And they have been a good team for years when they have had a less impressive cast of forwards.

        What no one here I think understands (including me) is precisely what makes them a very good team – but I do not see how one can easily see how to improve a team without understanding its strengths.

        • Realize this could be misunderstood. When I said most of the analysis is wrong, I was referring to BSB in general’s take on the Ranger problems and not directing my criticism at Richter1994.

          • Actually I knew what you meant Ray but thank you for clarifying anyway.

            I want to optimistic, I really do, but I just see a gaping hole in the roster on the back end, and ultimately an inability to stop the better opponents. Obviously I can be wrong. I hope that I am.

          • Actually we went through this a bit some time ago and I think that it is not so much the defensemen as the way they interact with Hank. My own instincts are that Hank wants the defense to play a certain way and he is flat out wrong. I think AV and Beuk need to set the defense the way they want (like they do when Raanta plays – or Talbot of yore) and have Hank learn to play behind that. Goodness know the man is talented.

            Coaches should coach and goalies should play goal.

          • Eh, I’m there at the games, the Rangers are constantly running around because they’re out of position constantly.

            The D men are basically slow which forces them to be out of position. I don’t think you’re realizing how bad they are and how they get exposed by the better teams.

            But I do agree that Hank has no confidence in his teammates and that’s what worries me, that mentally he may be fried. I still believe that physically he can still do it.

        • I still have no idea where you’re going with the advanced stats.

          Advanced stats do NOT indicate who will/won’t make the playoffs. They indicate how well you’re controlling play and dictating the terms of the game.

          The advanced stats do tell us that the Rangers are not very good at this. Ironically enough, the style of play that the team is playing is leading to further regression each year and increased time in the defensive zone. Like them or not, we rode a high PDO and average CF% to the Stanley Cup finals. The following year our CF% went down further and PDO came back to norm, bounced in the Eastern Finals. Last year CF% dropped/stayed same (don’t have it in front of me but I’ll look it up when home) and we were bounced in 1st round.

          So the advanced stats are telling us, that we need to limit our defensive zone time for success. We’re doing the opposite, relying more heavily on forcing turnovers near, or in our own zone. This is putting increased pressure on the goalie and leading to more defensive break downs and goals against.

          You seem to think that I or others seem to think that Hank HAS to be the answer. My argument is that our current defensive philosophy is “The goalie will make 100% of the saves all the time and we’ll go the other way and score.” It is unrealistic to expect ANY goalie to face the repeated defensive breakdowns or be left out to dry as BOTH are goalies are facing.

          It’s NOT a goalie problem. It’s the style of play and defensive scheme we are relying upon. And the advanced stats are proving it in that Henrik Lundqvist is among the league leaders in High Danger shots against, and he’s saved over 86% of them. The best in the league.

          What’s making them a very good team the past few years is Henrik Lundqvist and the other goalies playing in god mode saving defensive breakdowns. This year it’s the offense trying to out score the opponent. In either of those scenarios, it’s not a sustainable level of play. And the advanced stats are showing that.

          • Controlling play and winning are not the same thing.

            So-called high danger shots and hard to stop shots are not the same thing.

      • Richter,

        I agree the defense needs an overhaul that cant happen over night but addition by subtraction helps. Im getting tired of what seems to be the new breakout cause they cant make a tape to tape pass, so they flip the puck up and out and hope. Most of the time the other team just gets the puck back, also not talking about when they are hitting a streaking Kreider or Grabner.

        So last night im sitting there having a friendly conversation with the guy sitting next to me while the 4 on 4 is on, from when Zuc took that dumb penalty costing us a pp that they probably wouldnt have scored on anyway. Guy says why is Staal out there after they score, I answer with cause if its not Staal its Klein or Girardi one of them is always out there.

        I know your a Trouba guy and we disagree on who they should send for him. If they arent going to solidify the defense they will continue to be a pretender.

        • Right Kris, sometimes it’s not who you add but who you take out, using my “effect of G on McD” example. That’s why I’m annoyed that Clendening does not get in on a regular basis. At least he can pass and skate to a certain extent, which goes to your point of breakout passes. They’re currently not breakout passes, they are cries for help just to get the puck out of the zone.

          As for Trouba, I salivate about getting that guy. It’s not that I want to trade a particular player or not, but to get this guy, it’s going to cost. I dare say that I might “overpay” to get him, that’s how much I think he would help the Rangers. Plus he’s 22 so he’s got 10 years for sure.

        • Usually I agree Jack, but let me say this to you. 1994, Game 6 against the Devils, the Rangers’ backs are against the wall. Win or go home game. Messier on the team. They came out FLAT and if not for Mike Richter they lose that game 5-0 and do not win the Cup. Messier is probably run out of town and his “guarantee” blows up in his face.

          Would you say the 1994 team had strong leadership?

          • Yes,they had the names that could wake eachother up when one of their better players was stealing the show. Its a good alternative story you mention here that most folks that I’m around everyday never bring up.

            2014 same incident, besides the tragedy of someone losing their monther. I would like to say it could have ended just like how 94 did but of course we had no players like Messier to make a leap of faith to step up and turn the story around even though I respected what Brass did down the middle that run. At the end of the day Hank had to bail them out against Pittsburgh after game 4 all the way up to 7 and the leadership group of MSL and yes Richards even in the press box was still apart of that. It showed after Cally was gone but it opened a new door for a vocal leader like Marty. I kind of want to see that guy get all piss when they aren’t playing to their standards.

            We have the youngest team in how many years? They’re about go to battle in a environment that has guys like Ovi never getting passed a 2nd round. I’m not confident the younger crowd can handle it and with Hank being a bit out of funk and the regress Staal, Klein and Girardi who all won’t be shutting down squat anymore. We all know that they’re will be some serious mental hurdles that could help Mcd grow, bring more culture and be a talking force on the bench if all is going bad since all AV does is chew is gum behind the boys. Stuff that Hayes pure talent or Kreider’s speed just won’t work if there is no level headed vets around and I don’t believe Girardi, Staal or Stepan will ever help at all in those departments, besides the fact that they’re all over paid. I’m more of a kill two birds with one stone type of guy so if someone who is new could replace with those 3 names then I would be first to approve the move most likely.

            You’re original stance on needing defensive help is completely correct though. I can’t front about that but again I think a deal that like could pry Ellis and their captain Fisher away would do wonders for this team. They need that gritty with hopefully enough skill veteran though. Vesey needs to be on the new 3rd line with one just as bad as Mcd needs a reliable 1st pair.

      • Spot on, this was the main reason I refused to post early this season, because people blindly stated look at the standings, etc, etc. Bottom line, the defense will be addressed, and that would lead to a major improvement in my humble opinion !!!!!!!!!

        • I was saying it earlier in the year Walt to wait until at least Jan or Feb to assess this team and maybe even after March 1 to see if they acquired some help. Fans pronouncing the Rangers contenders in Oct and Nov were premature in their assessment, to put it mildly.

          I knew this was coming because of how bad the D is and how they would be exposed once the Rangers’ goals dried up. Once the calendar turns to the new year, the better teams play better and the D tightens up to start the Cup run in earnest.

    • Think I’m one of the only with you on this Leather … He’s been awful … Yes the D has sucked too but they are consistently scoring 3-4-5 goals a game and still loosing While most times the other teams 2nd or 3 rd string goalie have outplayed him

      • We all see it. You know what a huge King fan I am but I see it. I’m afraid that he’s mentally fried. This franchise has worn him out over the years.

        And when you say a 3rd string goalie has outplayed him, how do you not hold the revered forward group for not scoring on those 3rd string goalies?

        Does anyone else on the Rangers get to be held accountable other than the goalie?

        • Sadly, no.

          Remember our defensive mantra.

          “The goalie will stop 100% of the shots all the time, no matter what. Anything less, its the goalies fault for not stopping 100% of the shots.”

          • Basically John, and the coach rarely calls out a player other than Henrik. “The process.”

  • How to fix it .You can’t because of the Cap and the contracts on the blue line . Unless you intend to bye out G and Staal and send KK to Hartford next year it can;t be fixed . Just tell me what any of you would do to rid us of G Staal and KK .

    • Ranger17,

      With the buyout penalty, they cannot afford to buy both Staal and Girardi out. Girardi has one less big year of penalty so hes more likely to be bought out. Klein can be shipped for a 5th to a cap floor rebuild team, with them hoping he plays better than this year and someone gives up a higher pick at the deadline to improve their defensive depth, which I dont think is unreasonable.

      The pipedream to get rid of both Staal and Girardi for next season would go as follows. Girardi accepts going to Vegas, Gordon give Vegas a pick or prospect to take him. What would make Girardi accept the deal, 4.29 million dollars. If bought out he gets 2/3 of his money 13 million, by going to Vegas he gets his full 13 million. Vegas will have to get to the cap floor also so maybe pending on whats offered to take Girardi maybe they bite. Then the Rangers can buyout Staal and only have his penalty.

      • According to Cap Friendly, it’s only an extra $3.3M. Girardi has only $10M in actual cash left on his contract. But, the fact that Girardi’s salary is significantly less than his cap hit ($10M/3 yrs. vs $16.5M/3 yrs.), potentially makes him an attractive trade target to a cap floor team (I fully understand that the number of cap floor teams is dwindling).

        Don’t forget, Girardi’s no trade clause becomes limited to only half the league this summer. There could very well be a taker this summer, and I am sure the Rangers would be willing to take next to nothing in exchange for Girardi.

        • Chris,

          Hes got 10 million in salary but 3 million (one each year) on signing bonuses, which I believe I am not sure factor into buyout.

          The reasons I send to Vegas over another trade. Regardless of who it is something positive has to go to the team taking Girardi. So Vegas or one of the others is getting one asset, if he goes to one other then we lose another asset to Vegas. If he goes to a different team we may take back a bad contract.

          The last is the buyout window ends June 30. The only way the august buyout opens is if a player goes to arbitration and gets a deal awarded by arbitrator. Girardi also doesnt have to give his list until July 1. So timing wise it could bite us.

          Basically would rather give the asset to Vegas and know hes clean off the books, then give the asset to someone else and have Vegas take another asset.

          The flip side is could be a lesser asset if salary is retained im sending him. If they retain say 2 million still less then the buyout penalty plus no additional years, but again lose 2 assets instead of one.

          • Kris, you’re right about the bonus.

            I looked at Brassard’s contract on Cap Friendly, and they listed a $2M bonus for 2016-2017, if you recall, that particular bonus is why Brassard’s deal was in place in June but not announced until July, after the Rangers paid Brassard’s bonus.

            So yes, you were right, Girardi is likely owed $13M not $10M like I thought.

          • Exactly and thats why we got a second round pick for paying the 2 million. The big difference was Brassard was a positve asset, his production out weighed remaining salary.

            Plus Ottawa made a choice of who they didnt want to pay Mika or Hoffman.

          • Signing bonuses are included in AAV, they are not performance related bonuses(which don’t count against AAV but do count against the cap.)

          • So with a guy who has a limited NTC frontloaded contract where the ASV is greater than the actual contract is super easy to move after the signing bonus is paid out.

            Except if he can’t play. Rangers would have to assume the following signing bonus as much as they can, but I don’t have my slide rule handy to figure that out.

      • Its a long shot and obviously I don’t know how to start a trade proposal but I would see if Stepan could go with Staal to Minnesota. Full retention on Staal and right there you save a ton of money to do whatever with in the future and you still can flip Nash in the summer months and buy out Girardi. Regardless though Mika and Hayes are the future and if Stepan was going to get traded no matter what this summer so I think you use him in a package deal to whatever team bites first, it’s not going to get attention from most teams . Winnipeg second and then try Calgary last, all those teams could over pay due to many factors and they all have want the NYR need which would be a 3c and RHD.

        I would give Stepan, 1st, Graves and Jensen for Stone and OEL. If a another team needed yo join this like Minnesota then so be it.

  • Yes, the blue line is the obvious problem but unless some really creative maneuvers are possible then its hard to see how it gets fixed at the deadline or even in the off-season. Its one thing to speculate about how 5 and 8 can be exiled to Las Vegas or some other team that needs to get to the salary floor but who is going to replace them? Somebody in a Rangers jersey needs to stand out there part of the time. Clendening? LOL. He’ll be exposed pretty quickly. Holden? Next year’s KK.

  • You can’t remake the defense overnight. There are only three realistic options, noting that the defense is ineffective only when Hank plays.

    A. Change the way the team plays when Hank is in net.
    B. Commit to Raanta as the playoff goalie (or trade for one).
    C. Pretend it is all a defense personnel problem.

    • “noting that the defense is ineffective only when Hank plays.”

      Guessing you judge those 3 goals against on 10 shots last night, as effective goal tending?

      • Antti Raanta has faced 453 shots this season and 487 last season and you want to judge him on a 10 shot sample coming back from an injury in an already lopsided game.

        This year, in GAA, Raanta is 12th of 49 tenders with 15 or more games while Hank is 30th. Raanta was 8th before yesterday.

        • Practice hypocrisy much?

          Can’t show that Raanta suffers equally as Lundqvist behind the Rangers defense cause of fewer shots against…

          But in next paragraph rate Lundqvist against goalies that haven’t played as many minutes as him, including Raanta.

          So it’s not ok to point out that Raanta suffered just as much due to the lack of defensive zone coverage due to “sample size” but it’s ok to rate Lundqvist against that smaller sample size. I sincerely hope I don’t have to define hyprocisy for you,cause you did it yourself.

          Henrik Lundqvist rate out right now as in the mid-range of all goalies who have played over 1,400 minutes so far this year. Not stellar “Hank” like numbers but not bad.

          Where he ranks #1 at though? Average shot distance. The other goalies are in the mid to low 30 foot range. Hank? 26 feet away.

          • Henk ranks number #1 in the overpaid underachiever category. With a .905 save percentage he is right up there with stud goalies Al Montoya and Conner Hellebuyck.

  • Aside from the obvious problems defense, goal tending & coaching. They need to change the captain to a player with heart (Zuc) there is no intensity on the ice. The coach can only do so much off the ice (which is lacking) but players need to find some fire in their game. McD reminds me so much of Leetch great player but too quiet. There has not been a leader on the ice since St. Louis. Give Zuc the ‘C’ and watch things change

    • Is giving Zuc the ‘C’ going to change any of the following:

      Improve Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Nick Holden, and Kevin Klein skating ability?
      Improve Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, and Kevin Klein passing and handling of the puck?
      Improve the group of 7 defenseman on the team make better decisions with the puck? (Some are better than others, but as a group it needs improvement)
      Improve the 5 man group on the ice is in the proper position in the defensive zone?
      Improve the defensive pairings and line combinations that are sent over the boards by the coaching staff?

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say that at least 4 of those 5 are answered with “No”.

      It’s amazing that when people who question AV about line up decisions get told all the time, “Well you don’t see behind closed doors” “You don’t see practice” etc.

      How do we know what kind of Captain, Ryan McDonagh is? Ever watch his body language when he and the goalie is left hanging and it results in a goal? That type of body language is not a player with no, “heart”.

      • No, but it might get them to show up for the game which is step one.
        I would vote for Kreider as Kaptain!
        A change of captaincy may wake the players up and it cost nothing. We are not changing the coach (dopes) so let the coach, coach from behind as he always does.
        Don’t worry Ryan will be quiet if this does happen he is quiet now.

        • You know what McDonagh is like as captain exactly how?

          I question AV all the time. I don’t play the he said she said stuff. I use the product the players put on the ice as that basis. I don’t think he plays Girardi top pair and over Clendening cause he “hates” Clendening. I don’t know why. What I do know is what the metrics show. And for that reason I question him.

          People are rewriting last nights game. The Rangers came out playing. They carried the better of play in the first period. So where this “leadership” stuff took root, don’t know don’t care.

          Changing the captain accomplishes nothing but people’s blood lust for a head. The “captain” has been the best defenseman of all of them. Had his bad games. It happens. So he’s not Mark Messier. Who cares!! The 90’s are over. It’s time to stop judging these guys by the rements of a former Oilers dynasty and judge them by their current peers.

          • By watching him.
            I think he plays Girardi top pair and over Clendening because he “hates” Clendening.
            Yes, a conversation should be had about what a captain should be. And a great example of what he shouldn’t be is Leetch and Ryan.

  • One interesting note thats going to get the AV haters going. I was there last night, so Im not sure if it was shown on tv or not. Late in the second, while CBJ was up 4 or 5 ( I think 5) as one of the CBJ players came for a change, Torts went over and gave him the business about something he did out there. I said to the person I was with look at Torts giving that guy the business up this much. Yet when were laying an egg like last night, AV wont even use a timeout a rip them. One of the things that drives me nuts about him.

  • “That is going to be the story for the Rangers going forward until big changes are made. The status quo is what we see before us: Big time offense, awful defense, and goaltending getting hung out to dry. This is the new norm for the Rangers.”

    Right Dave, which means that you can get away with it during the regular season but that formula doesn’t go well in the playoffs. So everyone that was absolutely giddy in Oct and Nov, saying that this was a contending team, is now getting the reality check as this is now when the better teams start to really play and gear up for the Cup run.

  • I can’t see where we went from a solid blue line to one that is his horrid within a season without changing personnel.

    This is a system issue. Once a team figures out your system you need to tweak it.

    The rangers system relies on pouncing on turnovers and getting into passing lanes. This puts you out of position.

    This leads to better opportunities by the opposition.

    Av has made one fatal decision here. He believes he needs an amazing goaltender. And he is right. But he has sacrificed defensive play to score goals.

    it’s pond hockey. Plain and simple

    • It’s closer to 3 seasons. Our best blue line in recent years (2014):
      2014
      McD – Girardi
      Staal – Stralman
      Moore – Klein

      2015/16
      McD – Girardi
      Staal – Klein
      Yandle – Boyle/McIlrath

      2017
      McD – Girardi
      Staal – Klein
      Holden – Skjei

      Answer to your question:
      Girardi, Klein, Staal have gotten worse with each passing year.
      Moore turned to Yandle turned to Holden. Holden is nowhere near Yandle.
      Stralman turned to Boyle turned to Skjei. You can’t ask Skjei to do what Stralman did as a rookie.

  • I think the NYR should fire AV, even with the extension, and hire Ken Hitchcock. Hitchcock has won a SC and, as we all know, that’s the sole criterion for judging the success of an NHL coach.

  • Nothing is a binary answer as both the D is a mess but Hank is in the Khabiabulin zone where he can stand on his head for 50 minutes and lose the game on 2 softies. It’s no longer a blip, it’s not even a trend; it’s the pattern.

    I don’t think the old answer of giving him a run of 7 games in 10 is working anymore. Time to find a better solution or play the statistical better goalie.

    And if AV can’t make that call, why did they extend him?

  • The Rangers need to open possibilities to sign John Tavares…that has to be the ultimate transaction goal for this team

    • I guess if you keep saying it maybe it will come true?

      They don’t need JT, they need 2 D men, one a top pair and another 2nd pair D.

  • AV extension is a mistake that already has been made

    just gotta hope Gorton dictates to him who he is playing, and construct roster to give him limited FUBAR choices.

    As I have said before
    move the most senior vets

    build around young core
    play the kids

  • Girardi is as tough as they come and has played hard for the Rangers. Not sure what is going on with Klein – maybe it is his stupid ass hairdo. But tjhey gotz to go. Clendening is as good as the rest of the D. I don’t understand why management doesn’t get with the program. Each generation of player is better than the last….just my opinion. I have no idea why they don’t bite the bullet get rid of Klein and Girardi and bring up a new D man every week till one sticks.

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