Practice updates: Buchnevich to the fourth line

Alain Vigneault activated his lineup blender. This time, he broke up the KZB line, putting Pavel Buchnevich on the fourth line.

Rick Nash-Mika Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider-David Desharnais-JT Miller
Jimmy Vesey-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast
Michael Grabner-Paul Carey-Adam Cracknell/Pavel Buchnevich

Ryan McDonagh-Tony DeAngelo
Brady Skjei-Brendan Smith
Marc Staal-Kevin Shattenkirk
Nick Holden-Steven Kampfer

If this doesn’t illustrate the need for a center, then I don’t know what does. Yikes.

92 thoughts on “Practice updates: Buchnevich to the fourth line

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Why is Fasth on the 3rd line?

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 1:31 pm

      Hes smart with the puck and Hes a righty shot at RW. We don’t have many of those. I don’t like most of these moves but Fast on the 3rd line isn’t one of them.
      I agree there would be better options at that position but we don’t have many RIGHTY forwards.

      • Oct 16, 2017 at 11:16 pm

        I’m a 50 something beer league player with a right hand shot. Maybe I can have a crack at right wing too.

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      What in the world is your issue with Fast? Every player on the Rangers wants this guy on their line. One game back and he was arguably the Rangers most active forward. Why would playing him on the third line be an issue?

      We need MORE guys like Fast on this team, not less. He reminds me of Jan Erixon or Sergei Nemchinov. Max effort all the time, every shift, and their teammates love them!

      • Oct 16, 2017 at 9:58 pm

        Fast couldn’t carry Nemchinovs hockey bag. Jesper hustles and works hard but is a single digit goal scorer. The defensive side of his game is overrated. Jesper is a 4th line player on every other team.

        • Oct 16, 2017 at 10:34 pm

          I’m not suggesting Fast was as good as Nemchinov or even Erixon. I’m just saying that Fast has been, to this generation of Rangers, what Erixon was in the 80s and Nemchinov was in the 90s to those Rangers. He’s an underrated piece of the Rangers 100+ point teams these past three seasons.

          • Oct 16, 2017 at 11:09 pm

            Speaking of underated ….Dan Girardi and his Tampa Bay snow angels are off to a 5-1 start.

          • Oct 17, 2017 at 1:25 am

            Hey Eddie, if Erixon and Nemchinov were on this current roster they would make up 2/3 of the first line!!

            • Oct 17, 2017 at 12:57 pm

              I think, sadly, you may be right Bobby!

    • Oct 17, 2017 at 12:29 am

      Because he scores at the rate of a 4th liner in all scenarios, but the coach loves him beyond reason.

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    …..this makes sense.
    Buch has been one of the only players playing well.
    Fire AV.

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      The one thumbs down was either E3 or AV himself, lol.

      • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:29 pm

        Not me!

        • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:42 pm

          Then it was AV!!

          • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:54 pm

            If so, can you blame him?

            • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:55 pm

              yes, I blame him for everything, including whatever went wrong in my office today, lol.

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    This indicates the need for AV to get his head out of his ass more than anything else.

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    This is a coach who knows he’s about to get fired soon.. Sutter!!

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    ^See name ^

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    FFS…defensive pairs look a bit better (although, I still hate third line for Shatty)…aaaaand he blows up the forward lines.

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Flip Fast and Buch

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Based on the first six comments, I need not say a word!!!!!!!!

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Looking for something you guys will approve of, he kept Tony D with Truck even after a bad game. Best case, TDA just needs to settle down and will do better. I like the other back line pairings “on paper” for the reasons elsewhere discussed.

    As for the front lines, I don’t think anything AV does is going to get him slack cut from some of you. This appears to me like a search for better balance, since the fourth line has been so, so bad. At any rate, I don’t see how you blame the guy for scrambling the personnel which has been horridly lacking in chemistry. What has the so-called first line done 5on5?

    Hey, if the Giants could win….

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    This is a coach searching for an offense!
    You can be a AV hater, but tell me why any line should stay the same? None are producing offense. Zucc playing well? JT doing anything other than winning faceoffs? Hayes/Kreider even know the season started yet?
    None of the defensive lines are showing great strengths, so you might as well use the blender.

    Sure you can say he should keep KZB together, but other than letting them learn how to play with each other (didn’t they figure this out last year?) AV is seeking a scoring threat line.

    I like the line from a previous post, round peg in square holes, but Gorton giving him triangles. I think that line sums it up nicely.

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 3:04 pm

      Amen. If it ain’t working, try something different. Best play to try is practice.

      And KZB has scored one even strength goal in six games – that’s a line you can’t break up, really? So far, pointwise, Miller has been the only good forward at ES with three points.

      It would be fine to jump on AV for messing with the first powerplay unit, but that is not what we are talking about.

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 6:50 pm

      LOL, Sal you make it sound like anything has stayed together for more than 5 games. He’s changed the line up, deployment, etc more than he changes his underwear.

      If basically the same line up was together and didn’t work after 5 games, THEN you make a change. Tell me what combination of anything has stayed together long enough to make any type of assessment, good or bad?

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Absolutely hilarious. The offense right now is a trainwreck. Nothing is working. NOTHING. We had ONE good offensive game, and that was in Toronto after they took the foot off the gas in that second period. The KZB line has only been effective on the PP. Even strength, they’ve hardly been impressive. Buch is 0-3-3 and a -3 in 6 games. But of course, like we do with all our “stars”, we overrate him and obviously we can’t even think about moving a guy with numbers like that!!!! What is AV thinking?

    Forget about line demotions, if it were possible, every one of these overrated players should be sitting, with the exception of Mika. So since that is not possible, the coach should be fired for scrambling his lines? He should be fired if he didn’t!

    Actually, I’m upset with AV for continuing to play and trust Trainwreck Tony on defense. After that hideous performance on Saturday, I would have taken him downstairs to Penn Station and put him on the next train to Hartford. But I guess AV has more patience than I do. Wait….what? I thought AV hates ALL young players. He’s putting him on the top pair with McD. What’s going on here?

    The insanity is truly remarkable. If Messier, Graves, and Anderson could be activated, and AV went with that line, you guys would find a reason to kill AV for that as well.

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      I think you are making the same mistake with DeAngelo as everyone else. He is a very talented player. AV wants to harness that talent. How does one do this? In general, some mixture of playing him, benching him, praising him, lecturing him, maybe sending him to Hartford. Of course, the hard part is figuring out which of these contradictory tricks to use at any one time.

      Maybe just maybe, DeAngelo appreciates the fact that he basically lost the last game and is receptive to coaching. If so, it is not the right time to beat him over the head. Don’t underline mistakes that don’t need to be underlined. And don’t send a guy to Hartford if you think you can coach him better in NY.

      Bottom line: I do not see how the NY Rangers win the 2018 Stanley Cup without substantial contributions from Chityl and DeAngelo. So developing those players properly (whatever that means) is way more important than winning a few games now. [Of course, neither you nor I nor AV nor JG expects the 2018 Cup, but this is the only path and it is also the right path for the 2019 Cup.]

      • Oct 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm

        Well, actually, we are in agreement for the most part. Obviously, none of us are in the room. None of us have any idea which players respond to a kick in the behind and which need nurturing. On a simply “gut” reaction, I would have sent him down for a week. But the fact that AV actually is putting him on the top pair is an interesting decision, and is yet another bit of evidence that the whole “AV hates the kids” narrative is a bunch of baloney.

        I’m fine with the decision. It was really more “faux” outrage on my part to make a counterpoint than anything else. I really don’t get all that worked up about these decisons one way or another the way most of the rest of the blog does. If AV feels this is the right approach, and it works, then I will be happy to admit I was wrong.

        • Oct 16, 2017 at 5:21 pm

          I don’t know if playing Tony D on first pairing is a sign of AV giving him a chance, or more of this random pairing combinations nonsense.
          Didn’t he try every other defenseman with McD so far this season?

      • Oct 16, 2017 at 6:31 pm

        Much like how AV coached up Yandle. Or Boyle.

        He wants the most out of players like this in the way John Wayne Gacy was all about the kids.

        • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:57 pm

          Zuccarello (who credits AV as the coach who actually believed in him as opposed to his predecror), Kreider, Fast, Skjei….just to name a few. Hayes in his rookie year. But why acknowledge facts when fiction works so much better.

          • Oct 16, 2017 at 8:09 pm

            That should be “predecessor”….sorry.

          • Oct 16, 2017 at 10:25 pm

            Of course you ignore that I mentioned puck moving defencemen and not forwards to fit your narrative.

            It’s not about youth, it’s about archetype.

            • Oct 16, 2017 at 10:30 pm

              And what puck moving young Rangers defenseman has AV given up on that later went on to shine elsewhere? I’ve counted it up and the number I come up with is…..ZERO. Doesn’t there need to be an example of at least someone before we kill the coach for his supposedly “bad” judgment?

              • Oct 17, 2017 at 1:19 am

                Your ex post facto argument means less than nothing to me, as it usually is a self fulfilling dream for you as it is a waste of resources to me.

                There’s nothing in AV’s body of work that suggests he’s a great coach, let alone exceptional. Won 1 title in junior, didn’t win squat in the AHL( Barry frickin Meltose did better than that)

              • Oct 17, 2017 at 12:31 pm

                Nothing….except 615 wins….14th all time.

            • Oct 17, 2017 at 2:35 pm

              Brady Skej,
              Which, I think, is the only puck moving defenseman to come out of Hartford.

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    So this doesn’t show me a need for a center this and the last post on fancy stats all point to one conclusion.

    Fire av in a New York minute.

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Who wins this game of chicken?

    Av or Gordo?

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      Gordon eventually

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    I see AV, super genius, decided to play 52 pickup with the line combos. With Hartford off until Friday, you think they would have players like Chytil, Nieves and Chytil up, just for a looky loo.

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Well you see, THOSE decisions are usually made by our super genius GM in terms of who to recall—not our super genius coach. Why recall players that may or may not be ready? Certainly Chytil…they just sent him down. He’s barely 18. Let him get his practice time in at Hartford. It makes ZERO sense to recall him at this point.

      As for Nieves, it’s pretty obvious that the Rangers braintrust (Gorton, Drury, etc) do not believe he is NHL ready—and he may never be. We just enjoy making believe he is.

      • Oct 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm

        Not to play, but to practice. Can’t have a proper recall as roster is at 23.

        • Oct 16, 2017 at 5:10 pm

          Thanks for the clarification. But again, why? Don’t they practice in Hartford? Doesn’t introducing extra guys into the mix take away from the time needed to get the guys on the big club going? Just seems like a move with little upside and while there would be an enormous downside as a potential disruption to achieving the end goal of getting the guys on the big club going.

          • Oct 16, 2017 at 6:08 pm

            It is important that Hartford take its games seriously — which means that the players on the team practice together. Also, there should be trust between the coaching staffs. Trust the Hartford staff to say “Hey, he’s ready.”

            • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:07 pm

              Since they’re playing the same systems, where you practice as a line is irrelevant.

              • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:17 pm

                But you do want Chityl practicing with Lettieri and Schneider to develop chemistry.

              • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:59 pm

                But it accomplishes nothing and takes away from the NHL group that desperately needs to get it together. That’s the point.

              • Oct 16, 2017 at 10:47 pm

                I want competition for jobs. I’d like for guys to execute the coach’s plan, no matter how flawed it may be. DeAngelo has done it more often than not.

                But what I really want is for a coach to execute the GM’s plan.

                I wrote last week about cycling more often and when they should do it. The team opened that way against the Devils for 20 minutes and dominated. Then Jersey adjusted and the current Ranger coach didn’t for the 2nd time in a week.

                There are two fundamental aspects to coaching strategy(not bringing man management into this part of the occasion):

                1: Talent dictates tactics

                2: When the other team starts figuring out the answers, you start changing the questions. IOTW, have a plan B.

                AV has shown at times he grasps the 1st part eventually, never seen a plan B out of him.

                I’ve written repeatedly that even great coaches only add 10-15% to a point total, but bad ones cost teams 30%.

                AV is officially in bad coach territory *for this team*.

                He doesn’t have a roster he wants, I doubt he can adapt quick enough to salvage this season and it’s quickly approaching fish or cut bait time.

                I’m a firm believer in having D who can actually, you know, defend. The club’s roster decisions certainly fly in the face of that. Coupled with the coach’s choices has made for our current confluence of events.

              • Oct 17, 2017 at 2:39 pm

                How is it irrelevant? The players on the big team need to practice with the guys they will be playing with. Developing or polishing chemistry.

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    give something a damn chance to work. ya just can’t keep changin thingz, cause then no one will know what their doin !! not just av. kreider and hayes have been awful, nash & miller workin hard but no resultz. if anything, it wouldn’t hurt to bring letteirri up for a look just to spice thingz up a bit, at least he puts out an effort.

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    So ADA gets another shot playing alongside our best defenseman. Hmmmmm sounds like AV is giving him every chance he can to succeed. A fact that will be quickly forgotten.

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      Of course. It’s not even mentioned. Only the Buch demotion. But again, why give AV any credit when that narrative runs counter to the agenda of demonizing the coach at any cost?

      • Oct 16, 2017 at 5:39 pm


        That may last all of two shifts!!!!!! I’ll wait to see……..

        • Oct 16, 2017 at 8:02 pm

          Maybe….but same for Buch’s demotion. Lines and pairings get shuffled all the time on most teams—unless you have the GAG line or the French Connection. Keenan famously shuffled lines in the ‘94 playoffs when things weren’t working. All part of hockey.

          • Oct 16, 2017 at 8:12 pm


            Someone said it best, AV changes lines more than his underwear!!!!!!! That I could believe…….

          • Oct 16, 2017 at 11:06 pm

            Keenan also knew how to shake a team out of lethargy by putting a line out after a goal that would hit anyone who touched a puck.

            AV? Notsomuch.

          • Oct 17, 2017 at 3:19 am

            Speaking of Keenan, he also benched Leetch for nearly the entirety of a game in the playoffs for lackadaisical play.

            Whewwwwww boy if AV did that to McDonagh in the playoffs. I shudder to think…

      • Oct 16, 2017 at 6:18 pm

        I actually think Mac and ADA is a poor pairing for exactly the same reason as Mac and Shatty doesn’t make sense either. Notice in the last post AV was blasted for having Mac start 85% of his zone starts in the o-zone? Those numbers are practically identical to ADA’s. So AV is having Mac start more in the o-zone because he’s paired with ADA. So AV is Pairing ADA with the best defender on this team and still giving him sheltered minutes (yet he was still a train wreck in his own zone). Yup he’s bending over backwards to put the kid in a spot to succeed. But no one will admit that.

        Cuz ya know, AV hates kids.

      • Oct 17, 2017 at 2:41 pm

        I was, at first, upset by my namesakes move to the 4th line. But, maybe it’s away to get him away from the top defense pairings, sneaking in a much needed goal or two?

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Simple, offence doesn’t click because of teams find the way to break transition game and make team to make mistakes, AV and Co can not find the solution, it means the reason is AV and Co, fire them yesterday

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    I saw the title of this article and I thought, “Oh E3, where art thou?”

    The coach has lost his efn mind. I think he has a bet with someone to see what it will take to get fired.

    Desharnais on the 2nd line. I can hear it now, in AV’s head: “Mais bien sur, Viva La Desharnais!!” He of all of 14 pts last year and all this PP time this year producing NOTHING.

    Fast on the 3rd line. Look I love Fast but once again AV trying to force something that doesn’t work.

    Sure take one of the best and talented forwards on the team and put him with stiffs.

    I’m fine with the D pairing.

    One night he can’t get the D pairings right then the next he can’t get the lines right. Is he trying to sabotage the team? Does he have a bet that the Rangers don’t make the playoffs this year?

    • Oct 17, 2017 at 7:03 am

      I think he likes the Dahlen kid, and wants to be in a position to draft him next season. LOL!!!!!!

      • Oct 17, 2017 at 7:33 am

        “Dump for Dahlen?” I think it’s a thing and it’s a happening my friend.

        • Oct 17, 2017 at 7:57 am

          As long as AV isn’t around to coach the kid, who may well be on the 4th line with Buch!!!!!!!!!

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Ok, this is like the 4th time my comment was held for moderation. Is there a problem with me or my posts?

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      And I thought I’d be the first one blacklisted around here.

      • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm

        lol, you are a rebel my friend.

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      Are you editing at all? Because that’s usually been the kicker for me.

      • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:45 pm

        yes, maybe that’s it? I have to grammatically be more compliant the first time.

        • Oct 16, 2017 at 10:48 pm

          Here’s a tip for both of you. After you post and if you make a mistake, don’t edit. Instead, copy what you posted, then delete the post entirely. Then paste it again and make your edits before you re-post. Then you won’t be doomed to moderation purgatory.

          • Oct 17, 2017 at 5:51 am

            I think you guys are correct, it seems when I hit the “edit” button it puts you in the penalty box, lol.

            Well done guys. And I apologize for coming across like a baby, even though I am what I am, lol.

            • Oct 17, 2017 at 6:26 am

              If you are editing would that be 2 minutes for slashing. Or would that be boarding?

              • Oct 17, 2017 at 7:31 am

                Maybe even a match and possible banning, lol.

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    these lines really don’t mean anything because it will all change during the game, after the game, before the next game…..blah blah blah….

    I think AV’s years of poor deployment combined with weaker centers is really catching up to him.

  • Oct 16, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    I jumped away from the Yankees game to watch the only hockey game on tonight. And I saw an amazing site. Late in the game, the team that was winning had a familiar player on the ice at the end of the game with the goalie pulled as his team tried to protect a one goal lead. I took a closer look, and lo and behold, it was Dan Girardi. But I thought to myself, that’s impossible. I was told he’s a pylon. He’s not even an NHL player. No way any sane hockey mind other than our clueless coach would put the likes of Girardi out there in that situation, right?

    But I checked and sure enough, for some bizarre reason, Cooper did exactly what AV used to do. Dan Girardi on the ice at the end of game, resulting in another win for his team, this time the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team with the best record in all of the National….Hockey…League (doing my best Bill Pidto imitation).

    I could have sworn I heard people say out here that no other coach would even put this guy on their roster, let alone play him in that situation. Must have heard that wrong.

    If the Rangers don’t make it to the playoffs this year, the SC matchup i’m rooting for is the quite possible matchup between Dan Girardi’s Bolts and Tanner Glass’s Flames. That would just be SO apropos! 🙂

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      Tampa’s D is Hedman and a pile of garbage, so it’s damning with faint praise.

      • Oct 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm

        Stralman is garbage?

        So let’s assume what you are saying is true. Essentially, that means Cooper has no choice but to go with Girardi in that situation, since he doesn’t have better options, right?

        But wasn’t that EXACTLY the same situation with the Rangers, especially the last two years? Most of this blog said the Rangers defense was a tire fire. So wasn’t AV in the exact same position the last two years that Cooper now finds himself in this year? Girardi is among the better (or only) options to put out there in that situation. So why was AV wrong for playing Girardi, since he really did not have any better options in those seasons (Sorry, but Minor League McIlrath and 7D Clendo don’t qualify as better options).

    • Oct 16, 2017 at 11:25 pm

      Maybe Dan Boyle will make a come back and relive his Tampa glory days.

    • Oct 17, 2017 at 5:58 am

      LOL, I can’t tell you how much I love you bro, and how entertaining your comments are. 🙂

      Here’s what you didn’t say:

      Hedman, G’s partner got over 26 minutes, 23 at even strength.

      G got a grand total of 16 minutes, 4 shorthanded minutes, so that’s a big fat 12 minutes at even strength, for a top pair D man.

      Stevie Y ALSO signed no better than 3rd liner Callahan to a 6 year, $36M contract. Who got a total of 12 minutes last night, but hey, at least he played as opposed to being sidelined with an injury.

      So if that’s how you’re going to “vindicate” AV then I recommend that you look at it a different way, lol. It still doesn’t justify what he does and does not do here.

      After all is said and done, regular season records are meaningless, right Washington Caps?

      • Oct 17, 2017 at 12:48 pm

        At the end of this season, I doubt you will be talking about the meaninglessness of regular season records. And Tampa Bay didn’t think they were meaningless last year.

        What is meaningless – possession stats!

        Reality: I haven’t seen him this year, but last year Dan Girardi was a quality defenseman – and this year the Rangers miss him. Is he as good as Hedman or Stralman? Certainly not. Should he be playing top pair anywhere? Not unless the team is pretty bad. Is he worth $5.5M a year? No. Was buying him out reasonable? Yes.

        But he is a real second or third pair guy worth at least $2M a year at this point. He won’t win a Cup for TB – Stamkos, Hedman, the triplets must do that; but he won’t lose it either.

        • Oct 17, 2017 at 12:55 pm

          100% agree.

      • Oct 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm

        Glad you enjoy them buddy! I aim to entertain! 🙂

    • Oct 17, 2017 at 7:11 am

      And we bought him out, how stupid are we?????

      Earlier in the game I saw that same individual get skated around by too many Wings forwards, but that dip stick coach, whom you’ve had some critical words about yourself, put him back there again. Another Einstein!!!!!!!!

      All these coaches love the snow angel routine………….

      • Oct 17, 2017 at 7:32 am

        Hey bro, there’s a snow angel in NY AND now TB. How cool is that?

    • Oct 17, 2017 at 7:34 am

      You mean the 27% CF, -30% relCF, -14 shot attempts, and the whopping 18% xGF Dan Girardi?

      Oh yea, that’s $3mil worth of talent right there.

      • Oct 17, 2017 at 12:54 pm

        I’m just having some fun with you guys. My point all along in these debates has not really been about whether we should or should not have played McIlrath or Clendo more. It was to push back on the over the top narrative that went along with it—that if only we would have a different coach…any other coach, Girardi would be in the press box and our “favorite players” would be on the ice instead. But given what became of McIlrath after he was let go, and so far, (small sample size admittedly) Clendo remains in the same 7D role he has always had with 6 other teams, given the lack of interest in the two players AV passed on and the fact the guy he favored got the biggest deal of the bunch, playing on a team with legit SC hopes, it seems to me that the whole premise of the argument out here—if only we had a different coach we’d see different players playing—has been pretty much completely de-bunked.

        • Oct 17, 2017 at 2:05 pm

          Bad time to point out that Adam Clendening is averaging more TOI 5×5 this year than Dan Girardi, and putting up as good numbers as well?

          Clendening TOI/60- 16:09; TOI/5×5- 15:27, 46%CF
          Girardi TOI/60- 17:07; TOI/5×5- 12:60, 48%CF

          Huh, guess the only difference between the two of them is about 2.1 million dollars.

          • Oct 17, 2017 at 2:15 pm

            Bad time to point out that Girardi has played in every game on a legit SC contending team, while Clendo has been in his usual place in the press box for 3 of the 5 games on one of the worst teams in the league (since apparently no contender actually wanted him). And if I’m not mistaken, he’s only in there now because of an injury.

            2 games is a pretty small sample size John. Care to have a friendly wager which of them plays the most games this year?

            • Oct 17, 2017 at 2:48 pm

              No because I’ll abide by the rules to keep it civil.

              You twist or turn anything to suit your liking. You blast, blame etc Tony DeAngelo for “costing” us the game against NJ, calling him “Trainwreck Tony” because the coach has benched him; but yet turn a blind eye to every single game Girardi has cost us over the past several years.

              You’ll fall on your patently tired and false narrative about “30 other yada yada” and “look he got a contract”.

              I don’t care if he’s in because of injury or if he was sitting because he was injured or sick. I care that in the course of two games his coach decided he was good enough to play him almost 16 minutes of 5×5 time when he could have played him significantly less.

              I care that in game 1 Girardi got about 20 minutes of ice time and since then he’s seen significantly less ice time at 5×5.

              But that doesn’t matter to you. You talk about others having things fit their “narrative” but ignore that you spin everything to fit your own.

              And PS, has nothing to do with this but since I’m and adult and fair I’m not going back to the other thread, I was incorrect and didn’t check. I thought Kris Russel was traded to Edm but was traded to Dallas. I’ll freely admit when I’m wrong and in that case I was.

              • Oct 17, 2017 at 6:31 pm


                This is a blog, We all have strong opinions. Everyone of us, intentional or not, all have narratives that we believe in and attempt to support with various pieces of evidence. You feel strongly about yours. I feel strongly about mine. That’s what a blog is supposed to be, right?

                Other than our mutual support and admiration of Hank, you and I see the Rangers and more broadly the sport of hockey very differently. I am frankly amazed at your knowledge and use of advanced stats to support your position. I may not agree with your interpretation, but I do learn something from you and others who similarly embrace the advanced stats. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy coming out here—to learn.

                But, and believe me when I say this, I mean NO insult here at all, I’m extremely skeptical when these stats are rolled out as “absolutes”. Stat X says this player is good, Stat Y says this player is bad. Discussion over. I think that advanced stats are interesting but still very suspect in terms of player or team evaluation—especially when in the hands of fans like we all are. I believe that every GM looks at all this info, and probably proprietary data that we have no access to, and can glean different things from it then we “lay people” can.

                Great example is McIlarth. AV was skewered out here because he didn’t play the kid more. Some folks (can’t remember if it was you or not) trotted out adavnced stats that “proved” McIlrath was the better choice.

                So then he goes to Florida. I was curious about the kid so I read some of the Panther blogs. And it was fascinating to read their take. They talked about the advanced stats that suggested McIlrath was poorly utilized by AV. But then they presented an argument, using a different set of advanced stats, that showed that McIlrath’s positive advanced stats were actually an aberration, simply because of how AV used him and shielded him, thus inflating his stats. They predicted that he might wind up being exposed if used more.

                Well, we know the rest. He’s in the minors now. Maybe for good.

                My point on Clendo is simple. This is now his SEVENTH organization in 3+ NHL seasons. That’s an ASTOUNDING amount of movement for a right handed puck moving defenseman, don’t you think? I totally get that his advanced stats show things that make him an appealing choice, but what about the proprietary data that we know nothing about? I mean, are you saying that every single one of these organizations have no idea what they are doing? So far, in five games, his coach chose to sit him in three. Not exactly a ringing endorsement. And if he does turn out to finally find his game, good for him. AV, like any coach, is not going to be perfect on every player evaluation. And given that the rest of the league seems to evaluate him much the same way as AV did, it’s heard to find much fault here.

                I am admittedly a more old fashioned type when evaluating teams, players and coaches. I’m much more of a big picture, end result kind of guy, and I match up those results with my perception of the talent level on the team to determine whether I am satisfied or not with the season.

                So to me, it is totally non-sensical to say that AV is a “bad” coach. 615 wins trumps everything else in my book. So does these past four seasons, which have been right up there among the best four year stretches in team history. It is a real reach to have people say that Girardi and Staal are SO awful, that they shouldn’t even be in the league, when during their time as Rangers, they were part of a team that in the last few years delivered 100+ point seasons three years in a row. I mean, how bad can they be if the team has been this succesful? Same argument even for Tanner Glass back in 2014-15. The Rangers had one of their best regular seasons in their history that year. So again, how bad could he have been?

                Similarly, AV has been with the team for 4+ seasons now. There hasn’t yet been one player that I can think of that the coach “got wrong” that went on to excel elsewhere. To me, that’s a pretty significant point that can’t easily be dismissed as nothing.

                And I take great umbrage when anyone attacks Hank (as you do), because to me, of all the NY athletes I’ve observed over 50 years, I can’t think of one who has as much sustained excellence, and has had to bear as much of a burden for his team’s success as Hank. Patrick Ewing is the only other one that comes to mind for me. To me, how anyone can denigrate the guy by calling him “Leaky” or “Sieveqvist” is simply incredible, given that he’s on his way to the HOF in the near future, and probably none of his teammates (other than certain “cup of coffee” guys) will be joining him.

                As for DeAngelo, you are right, that was over the top and probably a bit uncalled for. But I was being just a bit tongue and cheek here—tweaking those in the “play the kids at all costs” camp, and also making a point to those who have slapped disparaging nicknames on players and coaches with actual track records. IMO, he was certainly very culpable in the loss on Saturday. I stand by that. And, he has been a “train wreck” to an extent, in that he’s had attitude issues that influenced two teams to move on from a very talented kid. So to me, he hasn’t earned any leash or benefit of the doubt at all.

                But hey, good for AV for giving the kid a top pair assignment, even after that poor performance. Let’s see what he does with it. He’s earned NO leash so far, at least not in my book.

                I look forward to a further (hopefully respectful) debate on all the things we will likely disagree on going forward. 🙂

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