Game Wrap-ups

Rangers Get Gut-Punched, Lose 5-4 Heartbreaker to Panthers

We’ve spoken a lot about the Rangersslow starts recently, and they were finally victimized by an early deficit. The Blueshirts lost on home ice for the first time in 8 games to the Florida Panthers 5-4.  The loss was particularly gut-wrenching, as the team clawed back from deficits of 3-0 and 4-1 to tie the game, carried by the newly formed “KDB” line.  David Desharnais filled in admirably on the top line for Mika Zibanejad, who warmed up but missed the game with a mysterious “upper-body injury.”  Desharnais, Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich recorded three points each and nearly propelled the Rangers to a memorable win.

Unlike Sunday’s game vs. Vancouver, the Rangers were not guilty of no-showing the first period.  They created several chances and generally controlled play, but still found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-0 score, thanks in large part to James Reimer.  His counterpart Henrik Lundqvist didn’t make it out of the first period, and the Rangers were eventually undone by a couple of egregious miscues (and a dubious disallowed goal) in what was otherwise a solid effort.

On to the goals (thanks again to Shayna Goldman for the .gifs):

Panthers 1, Rangers 0

Try to follow the bouncing puck here.  With Florida on the power play after Brady Skjei was called for a questionable interference penalty, Jonathan Huberdeau takes a shot that bounces off at least three different players.  Aleksander Barkov was credited with the goal.

Panthers 2, Rangers 0

Nick Holden mishandled the puck badly (though credit the Panthers for jumping on him quickly), allowing Nick Bjugstad to set up Jamie McGinn for the quality scoring chance.  Steve Valiquette pointed out during intermission that Lundqvist may have been screened on this shot.

Panthers 3, Rangers 0

Micheal Haley scored.  That is all.  Gross.  Exit Lundqvist, enter Pavelec.

Panthers 3, Rangers 1

The Rangers get on the board early in the second, with JT Miller sweeping home Zuccarello’s partially blocked point shot.  Great work by Miller to lift Derek McKenzie’s stick

Panthers 4, Rangers 1

This was a comedy of errors by the Rangers, mainly an extremely slow and poorly-timed line change by the Zuccarello-Miller-Grabner line.  It led to what was essentially a 4-on-2 for about 10 seconds, which is an eternity in hockey.  On his third rebound attempt, Jonathan Huberdeau lifted the puck over a prone Pavelec.

Panthers 4, Rangers 2

The first of two Kreider-Buchnevich connections.  On this one, Kreider banks the puck to himself off the backboards, sending two Florida defenders the wrong way, and creates the time and space he needs.  The pass is perfect, and Buchnevich is strong on his stick to finish.

Panthers 4, Rangers 3

Another beautiful, tic-tac-toe Rangers goal.  That one-time Buchnevich pass across the slot line is ridiculous, and Chris Kreider going hard to the net is simply unstoppable.

Panthers 4, Rangers 4

Another perfect passing play by the Rangers’ top line.  David Desharnais puts it right on Kreider’s stick, and for at least a few minutes, it seemed like there was no way the Rangers would lose this hockey game.

Panthers 5, Rangers 4

What you don’t see in the .gif above is the egregious Nick Holden turnover which started the sequence.  Brendan Smith got hurt blocking the initial shot, and in the ensuing scramble, Denis Malgin (who?) gets open for the thunderous one-timer.  The icing on the cake here is Holden (who has been pretty good lately, but made some costly and noticeable blunders tonight) screening Pavelec, who really can’t be blamed on this one.

Score-adjusted Shot Attempts (5 on 5)

The score-adjusted chart above doesn’t necessarily reflect the true flow of this game, which was generally dominated by the Rangers.  For context, the actual 5 on 5 shot attempts were 54-42 in favor of the Rangers, and the total shot attempts were 69-48 for the game.  The Rangers controlled the puck and created a lot of offense.

Scoring Chances (5 on 5, not score-adjusted)

The lazy narrative around last night would be that the Rangers “weren’t ready to play”, but this was actually one of their better first periods in recent memory, as you can see above.  Once they went down, they pushed hard to tie the game and did.  Unfortunately, the Panthers had the last laugh.  Despite the result, this was a really exciting hockey game that had a little bit of everything (even some feistiness from Pavel Buchnevich).

The Rangers, who are all of a sudden banged up (Ryan McDonagh, Zibanejad and now potentially Brendan Smith are all nursing injuries), will look ahead to Friday night’s match-up with Carolina.

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  • Buch has a 3 point night yet sees the least amount of even strength ice time among ALL ranger fowards, yes that includes Paul Carey. Somethings gotta give with that BS, this coach is horrific.

  • Buchnevich a beast. One of the best prospects the Rangers have had in a very long time. We can only pray this coach doesn’t get in his way. Think about this – a player AV benched in playoffs last year in favor of TG. Enough said.

  • Some day yesterday huh?

    The King is not God like so the Cats race out to a 3-0 lead due to the all too often Ranger slow start to the game.

    The football Giants bring disgrace to themselves and bench the one guy that made that franchise since 2004.

    I would love to know how many game winning goals against Holden is on the ice for. Yet another horrific turnover after Smith could not get the puck out of the D zone. Holden, as is usual, just aimlessly flings the puck landing on an opponents’ stick that leads to the game winning goal.

    Looking at the first 3 FL goals up above should make everyone sick, including the Ranger coaches and management. They stand there and do NOTHING while the opponents are throwing close in shots at their goalie.

    This is what it is boys and girls. If the King doesn’t stand on his head then the Rangers lose. It’s very simple. The goalie can out perform his teammates but his teammates cannot out perform their goalie.

    BTW, that disallowed goal was a complete farce. Nash was not even in the crease. Another disgraceful call by NHL “refs.”

    I have been a Giant fan as long as I have been a Ranger fan, maybe just a touch longer. I hope that the Raiders absolutely light them up this Sunday. I want a massacre. I’m just so disgusted at yesterday’s news, I thought it was a joke and not true that Geno (efn) Smith is replacing a HOF QB. I hope the Giants front office is flooded with hate mail.

    • “Looking at the first 3 FL goals up above should make everyone sick, including the Ranger coaches and management. They stand there and do NOTHING while the opponents are throwing close in shots at their goalie”

      I pointed out the other day that the Rangers have been escaping with horrible ugly wins the past 12 games. I was poo-pahed.

      The underlying issues with the team remain the exact same. They are playing nearly identical to their start to the season. I predicted that as soon as Lundqvist didn’t make the saves he was making during the winning streaks, we’d return to losing. It took all of 1 game for that prediction to come true.

      But people will continue to find excuses and blame the symptoms. Many of us are a doctor treating the pain and not finding the root cause of whats causing the pain.

      Wash, rinse, repeat. Until the underlying issues with the team are corrected this will continue.

      • “I pointed out the other day that the Rangers have been escaping with horrible ugly wins the past 12 games. I was poo-pahed.”

        Nah John, you know where I stand with this team, it is all on Lundqvist. They’re a flawed .500 team. So the “excitement” for whatever streak they are on the past 15 games is only to put them where they should be, at .500.

        It is the same game over and over again. I have said this for a long time is that #1 they are not a great group of talented players and #2 they have tuned out the coach a long time ago.

        The only way this teams “contends” is if they play 99% of their capabilities on a regular basis, because anything less than that is not good enough, quite honestly.

        How do people get excited about a win, when they give up only 1 or 2 goals, but give up 40 shots on goal, with a large number of them high danger chances? That’s the goalie, not the rest of the team.

        This team is pinning all its hopes and dreams this season on an 18 year old that hopefully can play 3C after his world junior tournament. Also, whatever D are in Hartford, please get them here now, I don’t care if they’re “ready” or not. We have 3 D men that are not “NHL ready” playing night in and night out. I think Kampfer has surpassed Holden. Wow, lol.

        John, you’re a stats guy, how are Staal’s and Kampfer’s #s? Below NHL standards I would imagine.

        • You don’t want to know, but since you asked:

          Kampfer: SA/60- 33.07, a staggering -24 shot differental (actual counted shots), a GF% of 37% (meaning the Rangers have a 37% chance to score a goal everytime he comes over the boards, as opposed to the other teams 63% chance), a GA/60 of 2.65 and in the realm of all shot attempts (blocked/unblocked) he’s a -66.

          Staal: SA/60- 28.44, a -17 shot differental, GF% of 40%, GA/60 of 2.50, and all SAT a -68.

          Holden is being kept afloat by his time with McDonagh and the forwards he’s being deployed with. But as his level of responsibility has gone up, since McDonagh went down, his level of play has gone down and turnovers are up.

          It’s worth noting as well, that Kampfer, Staal, Holden all have a Save% north of league average (Hank). Shattenkirk, Skjei, McDonagh are at leage average, and Smith has the worst Sv% of all of them, a NYR goalie makes a save only 88% of the time he’s on the ice. Smith has the highest GA/60 at 3.33 in the entire NHL.

          So as I said, all those praising Kampfer, the “resurgent” Marc Staal and Holden are in fact praising Henrik Lundqvist cause they’re giving up a ton of shots.

          • Interesting stats John B………Here is another one , many here wont like…….from may 2016!!!
            Dylan McIlrath, in just 35 games, was a 51.06 corsi for % at even strength. He was a -1.88% in offensive zone starts rel, and was a +2 in scoring chances differential. When you looked at the Rangers defense and saw all the problems, McIlrath never caught your eye — despite Vigneault treating him like a player he couldn’t trust on the back end.

          • Captain Hyperbole strikes again!!!!!!

            Why do you continue to advance this preposterous narrative? He’s been waived three times in the past 13 months and every single NHL coach and GM passed on him. So if you can AV and bring in anyone else, the EXACT same thing happens—unless McIlrath’s Mom or Dad are named the next Rangers coach.

            Try to be a little less off the wall my friend. Have a beer…chill out. Anything. I beg you though, please drop the nonsense with Minor League McIlrath.

  • Played a decent game offensively, but never pounced on rebounds. Got to hang this loss on Hank.

    The more Kampfer and Holden play, the more likely we will see horrible turnovers. Would like to see a kid brought up for a few games on both sides of the ice.

  • Given the weaknesses of this team, how strong the metro is this year, and the horrific coach we have, we’d be insane not to sell off expiring contracts. Load up on picks (in this deep draft especially) and prospects and plan for next year.
    I know everyone loves Mac but if they don’t trade him this season they absolutely should in the off-season. He will bring in a haul. If we give him a 7 year deal in the 7.5 million dollar range when he’s 30 then this franchise and fans who agree with that move for that matter will never get it and will be fine with the rangers being mediocre because they’re handcuffed by an aging, deteriorating dman with a huge contract. Weird, I feel like we’ve been here before…

    • You’re completely right DC.
      Nash (who I love), Grabner will bring back a nice return in picks in very deep upcoming draft.
      McD, will fetch another return we will not be able to get again in the foreseeable future.
      Enough with this bs kicking the can down the road.
      If The King really wants a Cup (ala Ray Bourque) ask him to wave his NTC, and send him to a true contender.
      This team will at BEST barely get into the playoffs, and be fortunate to win a round. Maybe.
      This is a perfect storm type situation for the Rangers. Gorton needs to be bold and face the fact that this team, right now is mired in mediocrity.
      Bite the bullet, and set us up for a bright future.
      There are certain contributors to these blogs who advocate the theory that it’s next to impossible to win without generational talent. Now we have the opportunity to have a chance at getting a really gifted player or two. But to even have that chance we have to stop with the same old bs about winning now, for Hank, with this flawed team!

      • I understand the logic, but when you pay $5K for season tickets, you want to see a good competitive team. Currently, that is what they are. If you sell off all your resources we won’t be a good competitive team this year and all won’t get their $5K back.

        Just remember to think about fan backlash when you want to sell off all of your stars.

        • This is a patently false narrative about New York sport fans. If you look through every NY area sport team, every single one of them have been profitable and their value has gone up through prolonged down periods.

          The NY Jets are still turning a profit despite being in a seemingly endless 45 year rebuild plan that never gets past pouring the foundation, erecting one wall stud, and placing one roof rafter up and watching the whole thing crumble.

          The NY Mets, still had fans in attendence during their 30 year rebuild plan. The Knicks still fill the Garden. The Rangers in the dark ages still filled the Garden.

          NY Ranger fans will still go to games and will accept losing if there is a well thought out plan that management executes. However, as evidence by the moves, and lack of moves, by this organization, the right people are not in the right places to formulate a well thought out approach to where hockey is and where hockey is going.

          • Your last paragraph is so spot on, Ranger front office incompetence has been the rule rather than the exception throughout the history of the team. 1 Cup in 77 years doesn’t happen by accident, but by poor design.

          • The “plan” was to remove another albatross contract (Stepan) so there would be money to pay the PP defenseman we so sorely needed. The plan was also to slot in our first pick as a 3rd or 4th line center.

            Is that a horrible plan? They were not going to eat Staals contract a year after eating Girardi’s.

            I think the plan was not poorly thought out. I think execution on some people’s parts is poor (AV and Lias Andersson).

          • The Stepan trade was NOT to sign Shattenkirk. That money was there already with the Girardi buyout. The Stepan trade was a result of the Smith resigning. And again, Stepan did not have an albatross contract. Stepan is outproducing Hayes and just under Miller on a worse team.

            Any “plan” that relies on a rookie to fill a hole, a rookie that’s never played a milli-second in the NHL is the very definition of a poor plan.

          • No, the Stepan trade is the highlight reel and evidence #1 that the right people to lead the organization are not in the right spots.

            1- The NTC thing is false. Smith was resigned with one. So that didn’t factor into it. If you’re afraid of something, you don’t give that same thing to a much lesser player.

            2- The organization didn’t do their homework on the player they received back.

            3- The organization expected the players they have to be able to become more than they are. But they are being outproduced or equally produced by the player removed which has thrown the whole lineup into flux.

            4- The organization banked on a rookie(s) to adequately fill empty spots in the lineup with no backup plan.

            5- The organization is now scrambling to find a replacement(s) for the very problem they created which was never a problem to start with.

          • You make mostly good points here John, but just a slight correction.

            Stepan had a NMC about to kick in. That means he can’t be dealt at all. Once it would have kicked in, it would have lasted for two years. Then the final two years, he would be in a limited NTC situation where huge could be dealt to a list of 15 teams. So I think the Rangers were concerned about the impact that keeping him for these next two for sure would have on re-signing other guys down the road.

            Smith has a limited NTC (at a slightly less AAV) by which he can be traded the next two years to a list of 15 teams, and the final two years to a list of 10. So Smith is most certainly cheaper and more importantly, more moveable over the life of the deal.

          • The Knicks don’t fill the Garden; it’s half full of visitors most nights, 3/4 when Cleveland, Lakers or Warriors are in.

        • Creature,

          I understand what you are saying. And I certainly would like to see a competitive product on the ice, whether or not I’m at the game paying an exorbitant ticket price, or what I pay for Center Ice, living in FL.
          I am not advocating putting a 100% rookie team out there. If we were to trade Nash, Grabner, Zucc, Mac and as I said give Hank the option, we’d still have a nucleus of Krider, Miller, Hayes, Buch, Zieb, Vesey, Fast, & Brady. Two young centers in the system that have potential, along with forwards Lettieri, Tambellini, and three D-men, D’Angelo, Pionk and Day, throw in Graves. A super goalie prospect in Shestyorkin.
          All I am saying is we might not have the opportunity we have now to re-stock and attempt to mold a REAL cup contender in a few years, rather than just making the playoffs and shown the door in the first or second round.
          I understand Dolan cares only about the economics and putting backsides in the seats.
          But as a fan, I want a real chance to win the ultimate prize a second time in my lifetime.
          But again, your point is well taken.

        • “Good competitive team” is such a stretch. I absolutely respect the fact that you don’t want to spend $5K just to watch a team lose, but one thing is for certain, you’re never going to see them win a championship with their current makeup.

    • The Rangers never sell DC, as a matter of fact the latest tidbit I heard is that Miller may be being shopped around for a top 9 center.

      The Rangers don’t sell, they buy. Making the playoffs is the goal because of all the money the Garden or any team makes. Don’t forget, the players’ salaries basically stop after the regular season is over so the playoffs are a revenue boon.

      • Exactly right Richter. The only way the Rangers sell is if circumstances caused by significant injuries or their play were to spiral and they simply fell hopelessly out of the race, forcing them to make that call.

        This is a badly flawed team. But right now, other than TB, maybe Columbus—every team in the East is flawed. The Rangers will most certainly go for it if the right deal is out there.

        • Most teams have flaws in a hard cap league. But the Rangers do not have:

          1) Cup worthy centers.
          2) Back up goalie that’s worth a dam.
          3) A D corps that resembles anything that can defend at all.

          • 1) Yes, certainly depth wise. I’m liking what I see from Mika. But you said “centers” plural and I agree.

            2) Yes, and as you recall, I said we would take a hit here. Pavelec is fine, just not anywhere near as good as Raanta or Talbot. If the Rangers are going to have to scrap and claw just to make the playoffs, will Hank have to play 65-70 games? Can he handle that at age 35?

            3) That might be a tad harsh. But clearly, our defense isn’t anywhere near good enough. Very disappointing. But again, for those who were saying our top four defensemen would be among the best in hockey, I said then that was an extreme overstatement and I fear now I may be right. At its best, our defense is ok. At its worst….ugh!

          • It’s not looking good and now I’m hearing that Miller is being shopped for a center that has term on their contract.

  • lost 2 points, can’t get back this opportunity. it’s gone.

    why doesn’t this team show up in first periods?


  • One of their better first periods in recent memory? Really? Better than the first period against Carolina? I guess if you discount that game then, yeah, the Rangers’ first periods recently have been so freaking bad that even this one might look good – except for all of the missed passes (controlling play?) and defensive gaffes that resulted in 3 goals for the opposition. Yes, Hank was not on his game but that doesn’t excuse the execrable defensive play in front of him.

    Still, it was a winnable game except for the inexcusably bad call that disallowed Hayes’ goal and, well, Nick Holden. I should also mention that you’re giving Reimer much too much credit. He made some really good saves but for the most part the Rangers shot the puck into his chest or pads. I love Rick Nash (and agree with Dave’s analysis yesterday) but man he is really having trouble burying his chances and no its not all attributable to bad luck (luck is a random thing – consistent phenomena have other explanations).

    • Hank was not up to the task yesterday and that’s ok given how stellar he was for the month of November. But I agree that the starts have been brutal and the defense is at times non-existent. Relying on your goalie to clean up so many mistakes so early the game is not a sustainable winning formula. Paging Captain McDonagh!

    • The Rangers out-shot and out-chanced Florida badly in the first period, so yes. Just because they gave up three goals, two of them soft, doesn’t mean they were outplayed. Sometimes in hockey, you get badly outplayed and still win. It happens to the Rangers a lot! But it wasn’t the case last night.

      • Two were soft?

        One it looks almost like Smith put the puck in his own net, or the Fla player did with Lundqvist on the other side. Seriously looks like Smith batted the puck into his own net though.

        Second, Smith again is playing the floppy fish in front of his own goalie where the goalie can’t see the puck.

        Third, I’ll give you that one. Even though Carey chipped the puck as well.

        • Carey definitely deflected the 3rd one and it knuckled to the side. If Hank was on his A game he would have stopped 2nd and maybe 3rd, even though both were off pretty bad turnovers. Rough night for him for sure. But I don’t know how anyone can say the team played a good game and the loss was on him. They fought hard and came back which was great, but they gave the game away by being sloppy in their own end.

      • Results matter. And, yes, so does process and the process was very sloppy last night, particularly in the first period. Just because they out shot and out chanced FLA in the first period does not mean that they played well. OK, you can argue that they played better and got worse results in the first period than in some other games but that’s really setting the bar pretty low. Sorry but there’s not enough naive statistical lipstick to put on that pig.

  • What you dont see in the GIF of the winning goal is the turnover by Brendan Smith in the nuetral zone and then him actually turning up ice looking for a pass when Holden gets the puck instead of getting to the boards to support the play.

    • Smith’s reaction after the goal wasn’t just due to injury, he knew he blew it on the play that led to the goal I think.

      • He stinks, I hated that deal. Why the hell is forcing nz passes with 90 secs left. I mean use your noodle

  • This team’s defense has been suspect since game 1. Team needs to win 6-5 games. I thought we would tie it I was just nervous wed leave too much time on the clock. 69 seconds is too much I guess. (Lol)

    • Well said……I guess AV didn’t learn a thing from the Ottawa series last spring. Rangers can’t have Holden out there with less than 2 minutes left in a game. AV continues to make the same mistakes over and over, which will eventually cost him his job!

  • Too much OVER REACTING HERE!!!!! No need to panic…….This team has a very bright future…Many of its young stars Kreider, Zib, Buch, Sjkel are Studs!!!!!!
    And I expect Vesey, Miller, Hayes, Chytil to join that group!!!!!!! [ mcdonagh needs to get healthy and return to form][ Shatty – not great defensively but look at PP]
    We need to RESIGN Grabner, and Nash IF he takes a substantial cut……he is terrific player but not 7 million dollar scorer, he knows that! Zucc, Fast and eventually Letteri and Andersson provide great depth!!!!!!
    We need a RHD –[ like a young girardi, strallman ] and a Goalie…to at least split time with Hank….Hank is in the discussion for greatest ranger ever but………
    The most immediate need is to JETTISON AV before he completely ruins this group like he did to the Canuks!!!!!!!!!

    • I agree with your overarching points here Rich. Total overreaction by some to one loss—and a game we lost with arguably our best forward and certainly our best defenseman out. The defensive issues have reared their ugly head in large part because McDonagh has been out. Everyone else has to step up and fill those minutes, and we just aren’t good enough to do that.

      Assuming McDonagh is back soon (the reports seem to suggest that) and that Mika’s injury isn’t a long term thing (unknown) and there aren’t any other injury issues we don’t know about, let’s all take a breath here. We are “mired” in a one game losing streak. Yes, the team significant flaws, but I have to tell you, I love this team’s ability to handle adversity and battle back seemingly on a nightly basis. That is a very positive sign, and a credit to the players and yes, the coaches. Obviously, they certainly have to improve on these poor starts, no question. But given the choice, I’ll take a team with heart that finds a way to battle back, despite themselves and their all too obvious flaws.

      Where I disagree with you, once again, is your Captain Hyperbole narratives. It’s a little soon to call Kreider, Mika, Buch, Skjei studs. What would be accurate to say is that right now, they are playing extremely well. Let’s wait until they actually perform over a lengthier period of time. Kreider has a habit of disappearing, so I wouldn’t go all in on him just yet. The other guys are still young and mostly unproven.

      Vesey, Miller, Hayes—all good solid players. That’s about it. Studs? They have a long, long way to go to earn that moniker.

      Chytil—take a chill pill. He’s 18. We can hope. That’s all. But we won’t know that for a few years.

      Grabner and Nash—all depends on what they want, what the Rangers status is at the trade deadline or after the season, and also what they might fetch as a return in a trade. And, who might be better out there as a FA that might make for a better acquisition. Saying either player MUST be re-signed is silly. But I agree, both players are valuable assets that we either find a way to keep or parlay into assets that make us better in other ways.

      Zuc and Fast—-couldn’t agree more.

      Lettieri and Andersson—again, take a chill pill. I’ve heard mixed things about Lettieri down in Hartford. Andersson, so far so good, but again, he’s 18.

      Agree we need help on D. We need another center. At least you are no longer dumping on Hank as you were a few weeks ago (boy do you change your tune fast!). I agree, I’m not sold on Pavelec. I said before the season that we would regress as a team point wise without Stepan, Girardi and Raanta, because IMO we didn’t do enough to replace any of them. That’s is proving to be right thus far.

      As for the coach, he ruined the Canucks? Please! Your facts are so wrong about this it is totally lauaghable. He’s hands down the greatest coach in Canucks history. The GM Gillis is the one who ruined the Canucks with awful drafting. The team unraveled once AV left, and they still haven’t recovered.

      As for here in NY, I don’t need to rehash his record here, because it’s been among the best in franchise history with arguably talent nowhere near the level that the other great Rangers coaches, Lester Patrick and Emile Francis, had to work with.

      So, Captain Hyperbole, your dream comes true. The Rangers lose their mind and decide to hire a crazy knee-jerk reacting fan to be their new GM. The job is yours buddy. Tell me, after you fire AV, who exactly do you hire to make the franchise better? Well, let’s see, there is Lindy Ruff. But is he really an upgrade? I suppose if Coach Q becomes available after the season, that would be logical. But keep in mind that Coach Q was essentially AV until he landed in Chicago and Bowman brought guys who would become some of the best players in hockey. In Colorado and St. Louis, with good teams to lead, he was no better than AV was. Arguably worse.

      Maybe Barry Trotz will be available after the seasons, or before. But of course he has NEVER advanced past the second round in his entire career, despite having excellent teams in Nashville and loaded teams in Washington. Not…even…once. And it’s funny reading stories about Trotz, and even the sainted Coach Babs, Coach Q and McClellan in Edmonton. Just like on the Rangers blogs, seems like half their fan base and the media are killing them for deployment and having players on the “wrong” lines. Hmmmm..sounds familiar. I thought AV was the only clueless coach who does that!

      Wait, I have an idea…..Dave Hakstol! Wasn’t it just a few years ago people were saying, see, THAT’s the kind of guy we should hire. Someone young, who’s excelled in college or juniors or wherever, someone great with advanced analytics. A new age thinker…that’s what we need, right? I’m hearing he will be available any day now! Oh wait….he’s epically failing in Philly and their fan base is on the verge of running him out of town on the next train.

      I’m all in favor of changing long as the guy you get me is an improvement over what we have now. And the guy we have now is one of the winningest coaches of all time. So all I can say to you, Captain Hyperbole, is if you were the GM and made that move, you’d better be right. Because if you are wrong and the organization, which I will remind you has been among the most successful in hockey the last five years, goes backwards, guess who gets fired next……YOU!

      On the other hand, if I were you, I wouldn’t give up your day job. Stay being a fan. This way you can continue to make knee jerk proclamations and no one will hold you accountable—which is what all of us fans do! 🙂

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