Game Thread

Game 55: A new direction

rangers flames derek stepan
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Yesterday was a big day for Rangers fans. First Neal Pionk was recalled, seemingly replacing the waived Brendan Smith. Then the big announcement came – The Rangers, for the first time since 2004, will be sellers. The front office tested the waters, and they were largely met with acceptance. John Gilmour was recalled today, signalling a change in guard on the blue line.

Tonight marks the first of 28 games where the Rangers are officially sellers. We had an idea that they were selling, but it’s official now. Every game is a showcase for a pending free agent. Every game is a showcase for potential blockbusters involving fan favorites. Calgary, now no longer after thoughts in the league,

Flames Systems

Glen Gulutzan is the new guy in Calgary. He is fairly standard with his systems. It’s a 1-2-2 forecheck, but it sometimes looks like a 1-1-1-2, could just be the tv angle. The defensive zone system is an overload, sometimes collapsing depending on puck location. The PP is a 1-3-1/umbrella hybrid. The PK is a hybrid box/diamond.

Flames Lines

Johnny Gaudreau-Sean Monahan-Michael Ferlund
Matt Tkachuk-Mikael Backlund-Michael Frolik
Sam Bennett-Mark Jankowski-Troy Brouwer
Ryan Lomberg-Matt Stajan-Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano-Dougie Hamilton
TJ Brodie-Travis Hamonic
Brett Kulak-Michael Stone

PP1: Tkachuk-Gaudeau-Monahan-Brouwer-Giordano
PP2: Ferlund-Backlund-Bennett-Brodie-Hamilton

Brian Elliott gets the start.

Rangers Lines 

Rick NashMika Zibanejad–Mats Zuccarello
JT Miller–David Desharnais-Jesper Fast
Michael Grabner–Kevin Hayes-Vinny Lettieri
Cody McLeod-Peter Holland-Paul Carey

Brady Skjei-Steven Kampfer
Nick Holden-Tony DeAngelo
John Gilmour–Neal Pionk

PP1: Nash-Zuccarello-Zibanejad-Miller-Skjei
PP2: Hayes-Desharnais-Lettieri-Gilmour-DeAngelo

Ondrej Pavelec gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Chris Kreider (blood clot), Kevin Shattenkirk (knee), Pavel Buchnevich (concussion), Jimmy Vesey (concussion), Marc Staal (cervical sprain), Ryan McDonagh (lingering something or other)

Crazy Prediction: Pionk and Gilmour both score in their debuts.

Game time is 7pm. Be sure to follow on our Snapchat for in-game shenanigans.

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  • McDonagh out, Kampfer in I presume.

    I have no idea how to make pairings out of Skjei, Pionk, Gilmore, Holden, DeAngelo, and Kampfer.

    But, one thing’s for sure: the kids are gonna get minutes tonight.

  • McDonagh scratched 24 hours after hearing management tell us we may see some familiar faces that we care about and respect leave.


  • I like the showcase spin Dave puts on this game. I see it more like the Rangers tanking to enter the Dahlin lottery sweepstakes.

    • I was sort of I between as to whether AV should stay or go. Until today. He is desparatly trying to save his job and while Henrik has been inconsistent, where would the Rangers have been without him. To throw Henrik under the bus should get him drummed out of New York.

    • I heard that too .. he mentioned it twice in that presser. That was ridiculous. No mention of the lack of offense or the deficiencies on defense. I dunno what he’s trying to prove with statements like that.

      • He said, more or less, that the team’s success has risen and fallen with goaltending consistency.

        That’s entirely true. He said the Rangers were one hot goaltending streak away from making the playoffs.

        That’s also true.

        What he did not say was the Rangers problems are solely in goal.

        That’s an absurd and biased interpretation of what he was clearly saying.

        • As shown by MSG, Henrik Lundqvist has the 4th highest SV% since Nov 1 in the entire NHL.

          If by consistent he means anything less than a shutout, then yes. He’s been inconsistent.

          • He also gave up 14 goals in the four games preceding tonight. Yeah, the defense has been bad, but so has Hank.

        • Chris, you are correct. This is just more nonsensical blather. You summed it up perfectly, but that won’t stop the AViHaters from overreacting and distorting reality, as per usual.

        • The whole team’s success comes down to the goaltending? Are you kidding me? They’ve been going through the motions since Christmas. That falls on the players AND coaches. They’ve scored 40 goals over the last 19 games (not including tonight). 2 goals/game …so I guess Hank/Pavelec have to pitch shutouts or only give up 1 each night.

          My point is … why call out the goaltending? There are so many other issues with this team he could have ALSO addressed.

          • You are overreacting. That’s NOT what AV said.

            If the Rangers are going to make an improbable playoff run, it will be up to Hank to lift his game. He’s been ordinary since the All-Star Break. While totally understandable that he would have a slump after two plus months of utter brilliance, what’s wrong with stating the obvious???? A hot Hank can carry this team, so players and fans, don’t lose hope.

            Good message IMO.

          • That’s the thing, he wasn’t calling out the goaltending.

            He was being a realist: this team goes as the goaltending goes. That’s not a knock on the goalies, that’s a knock on the rest of the team.

          • Bingo…..or in Star Wars terms, AV is doing his best Princess Leia imitation…

            “Help me King Henrik….you’re our only hope!”

          • Good point, didn’t think of it that way. Very frustrating though, I do feel like he has mentioned the goaltending a couple of times this year in his pressers when the players as a whole have looked lifeless. The team in front of Hank has been extremely tough to watch with their inconsistencies.

          • If your team and system is so reliant on all-world goaltending, you have an issue.

        • Again. For context also from AV

          ““I believe we’re playing better than our record indicates….” coupled with:

          “I felt we were playing better than our record indicated. Goaltending got better, we went on a [18-7-3] run. Came back from the bye week and since that time, we’ve been on a [3-10] run. A little inconsistent in the goaltending department.”

          1. They started sinking well before the bye week.

          2. Again, just basic stats- Henrik Lundqvist SV% since Nov 1 is the 4th best in the entire NHL p, which includes their “3-10 run”

          3. During this time frame the Rangers gave up the 4th most counted shots against (all strengths), gave up the 3rd worst 5×5 shot attempts, and a league worst -381 shot attempt differential.

          4. Both goalies gave up 121 GA ( all strengths), roughly 99 5×5 goals against for a rough 5×5 GA/G of 2.3.

          The most basic facts that any 5 year old can look up on the horrible NHL stat page fly directly in the face of the utter BS spoken from his lips. To even entertain otherwise would ignore that this was the same crap he said about Luongo.

          • You are over analyzing this. The team is flawed and now is even more so with all the injuries. When Hank was sizzling hot, the Rangers were able to win anyway. All AV said was we are a red hot Hank streak away from being a playoff team. Pretty much the drill in most seasons of the Hank Era.

            Hank by his own admission has not been sharp recently. And call me crazy, but Hank certainly didnt look demoralized or pissed off tonight. Indeed, he looked motivated. Very typical to challenge your best players to be even better. And certainly not the big deal the AViHaters are making it out to be.

          • Which part of the fact that he thinks the team on ice is playing well are you choosing to ignore?

          • yep, desperate coach who knows where this is going.

            Gorton NOT addressing the coach saying he doesn’t want to bring attention to it, just brought attention to it.

    • Once again, never AV’s fault, ever.

      I wanted to wait until after the season to kick his can out the door, but after the trades, maybe it should be now.

      The players have to be to the point that they don’t even care what this jack-ss says any more.

      • I’m sure that’s what the AViHaters think my friend. As for the players, there was no sign of quit or anything negative in play last night. Quite the opposite. I’d be willing to bet that AV has NOT lost the room. And that management is not fed up or done with him at this point. If either were true why would they retain him after announcing two days ago their plans for a rebuild?

        AV is not the President of the United States where every word spoken must be micro analyzed. He’s a French Canadian coach who speaks English as a second language, He’s not the most eloquent of speakers. I would be willing to bet that NO ONE in the room was negatively affected by AV’s words. Unless this train goes further off the rails in the weeks ahead, management has made it clear. He’s staying.

        Now as for the former Rangers coach in currently residing in Columbus….. 🙂

        • Bro, you’ve been traveling (welcome back!!) and you have not seen the sh-t show this team has been since the allstar break.

          Bottom line, it’s over and whatever positive they do on the ice only enhances their trade value.

          Latest is, it might be either Miller or Zuc in addition to Nash, Grabner, McD, Holden, and DD.

          AV is gone, and I told you the extension he signed meant zippo.

          • Tony,

            AV said the teams playing well. You just need to ignore everything else and focus on the fact that AV said the teams playing well.

            We just need consistent shutouts every night and we’re golden.

            Awesome fact from last night, just basic stats with a generous home stat keeper at that:

            The Rangers outshot the Flames 21-8 the first period.
            The Rangers were outshot 34-16 from that moment on.

          • It was worse John, it was 19-5 at one point. Slowly but surely Calgary went on shot advantage spurts until it got to 27-27.

          • Great to be back, and true, I only saw snippets of highlights. No question, it was awful. But there’s a lot in play here to discuss.

            1) Agree, anythng the players do positively on the ice only enhances their trade value. No question.

            2) While not said perhaps as eloquently as he should have, AV is fundamentally correct. Hank is the one true great player they have. And great players can do amazing things. We’ve seen Hank do it. Despite some hiccups and some pedestrian recent play, he’s had a mostly brilliant season. So yes, AV is correct. We are a Hank Hot Streak away from making the playoffs. That’s not a criticism of Hank. It’s the Captain Obvious statement we will know.

            3). Most of the teams in the Metro have their own flaws and issues. Hank gets hot. The young guys provide a spark. After the deadline, sometimes teams play better even when they are sellers. Kreider and Shatty could be back in a few weeks. I’m not saying these things WILL happen….they probably won’t. But the presence of Hank makes ALL things possible. This is a chance for both Hank and AV, the former a sure fire future HOFer and the latter a borderline candidate, to write a magical chapter in their career. That’s what sports is about. The unexpected CAN happen.

            4) You are never as bad as you seem to be when you are going bad, and never as good as you seem to be when it’s going good. I wouldn’t be too caught up in how awful they looked for a stretch there. Plenty of time to right the ship.

            5). For a team under siege, they showed a lot of character last night. A team of lesser character comes out flat. Props and credit to the players and coaches. They sent a message they are not yet ready to go into the good night.

            6). Back to AV, if the coach had lost the room, if he had lost Hank, if he was a detriment to young players, why on earth would management keep him when they desperately need to see what their assets, both current and future, look like? So I say again, its clear to me no decision has yet been made here. But I do believe that AV is, to some extent, coaching for his job. More efforts like the Bruins game will surely get him fired maybe before the season ends. But what if they make a magical run and make the playoffs? Maybe win a round? Are you 100% on his not returning? I’m not. Odds are against him for sure, but not a done deal IMO

            7) You misconstrued what I said about the contract. I NEVER said or even implied that he would serve out the full term. Indeed, few if any coaches ever do. I said at the time you brought it up (following the playoffs last year) there was no chance they exit him that soon after extending him. I also said he was likely safe this year barring an epic meltdown. After this season, two years left, sure, it could happen. But i still say it will only happen IF it’s determined he’s lost the room and/or a better option (Q) becomes available. I stand by that.

          • Based on what I am hearing, and I heard a lot weeks before the infamous “press conference,” the Rangers are looking to wipe the slate clean. That means EVERYBODY, players, coaches, but not upper management, lol.

            I heard that the Rangers were going for a full rebuild before the allstar break, which quite honestly, I did not believe at first, knowing the history of the Rangers at the trade deadline.

            UNTIL, I heard from both of “my guys” independently, that the Rangers are “sellers” regardless of what they do between the allstar break and the trade deadline. Only THEN did I believe that we were going through a complete transition, other than for Hank who will not go no matter what the team looks like in front of him.

            So, as far as I have heard, here is the scorecard:

            Gone – Nash, Grabner, McD, Holden, and DD

            Decision time – Keep Zuc or Miller, as Miller is generating a lot of interest and may “force” the Rangers’ hand to trade him only because they may be able to get a haul for him and the Rangers are unsure whether they want to “pay” Miller. Plus Zuc is a much stronger leader and may be kept for the young players coming in.

            Smith – They tried very hard to trade him. Some apologies to AV because this is on the player, for the most part. The Rangers believe that he will be back with them next year after all the changes. But make no mistake, the coach and upper management are fuming over the way Smith handled himself after entrusting him with that contract. Fuming. But they believe that he is still capable with a fresh start next season.

            Kovy – This one is “hot.” The Rangers are seriously looking into this one. Kovy will only go to the Rangers or Florida, where he has family. The Rangers could give Kovy a one year low cap deal with incentives since he’s over 35. They think lining Kovy up with Buch and Zib would be some line.

            Andersson/Chytil – Rangers are 50/50 whether to burn their first year ELCs. They are very much on the fence at this point. They believe that they can handle the jump but wasting a year is something they are thinking long and hard about. I would like them up because if they are going to be on the team to start next year, then their “preseason” starts now. And they should get used to the NHL pace right away.

            Nash/Grabner – Lots of chatter that they would be signed back. Believe it or not the Rangers want Grabner back more than Nash, as of right now. That could be because they might feel Nash’s next contract could be too high for them.

            Future coach – I have no idea. But these coaches are gone as far as I know. Except for Benoit, of course.

          • Excellent stuff my friend. Hard to argue with any of this coming to fruition as you are hearing. Your sources have been pretty solid for as long as I’ve known you so I’m going with you.

            My sources in Chicago say Bowman wants to clean house too. Very well could mean Q is a goner. I’m hearing some little birdies whispering that the Rangers have interest and are monitoring the situation. We shall see.

          • How good is Q with young players? That’s a tough one because to some extent it is based on comparison to whom? Is he better with young players than an unknown guy in the AHL? Maybe not. Is he better with young guys than AV? It’s hard to say.

            AV, despite his reputation in the blogosphere, has done a pretty good job with many young players. The Sedins. Kessler. Kreider. Zuc. McDonagh. Skjei. All those come to mind as successes, and we can debate how he did with Hayes and MIller.

            Q came to Chicago and did a great job with Kane, Toews, Seabrook, Versteeg and Byfuglien. But those guys are mostly very high end players. How he would do with more of the B or B+ young guys that the Rangers youth movement may offer is largely unknown.

            So fair point… he the right guy for this mission? It really depends on exactly what the mission is and how young the players are, what their upside is, how long the rebuild would be. All unknowns at the moment, at least to us.

            And mostly, it depends on stacking up Q vs the other coaching candidates, whoever they will be. I am always very, very wary of young coaches who’s primary attribute is that he is “good with young players”. A lot of times, that is code for “he will be our transition guy”. Odds are, he won’t be around for long. Given that, I would take my chances with a guy who knows what winning is all about. Likely no one better will be available than Q.

          • To be honest, I want a fresh start coach. A guy in the AHL let’s say who has had success and is ready for the next level.

            That wold seem to fit with the Rangers’ player fresh start as well.

          • You keep glossing over simple facts.

            Alain Vigneault believes the NY Rangers have been playing WELL all year. Through hot, through cold.

            Through both they gives up the MOST SA/G, they are a league worst, by a mile, -485 shot differential which is staggering, the 4th most total shots on goal against.

            That is not a team playing well. Both goalies have been excellent mostly, and at worst merely good. They aren’t going to play any better.

            So again, if AV needs consistent shutouts from his goalies every game then yes both goalies have been woefully inconsistent.

    • And today the same writer wrote this “He said beforehand he needed more consistency from his goaltending, and that is a testament to the thin line this group walks every night, needing excellence between the pipes just to have a chance”.

      That’s a little different spin on the quote from yesterday’s “AV is blaming Lundqvist for the recent slide”

  • Oh leaky….

    clear example of a bad goal bad time….spozo the bozo right there….I know your infantile brain won’t comprehend that

    • What happened to Paveleak? I came back after the first and second intermission and Leakqvist was in net.

    • I’ll comprehend that goal when you explain why AV is a moron for calling up Gilmour instead of Graves. And also explain how that was AVs choice, not an organizational decision.

        • Because Graves needs the opportunity to be here and show what he has to offer. He also adds toughness this team needs on D….has a cannon of a shot…I liked what I saw from him in the past two preseasons…..face it….AV the tire fire doesn’t like physical Dmen…..and that’s enough for me for him to be up here

          Also this Fk’tard is not helping his development by this lind of BS. Deep down inside you don’t think that Graves feels the disappointment? Wasn’t he an all star in the AHL last year?

          So you defend Leaky and AV… explain why?

          You must not know Marines very well, we ain’t shy bubba

          • No where in that argument is that Graves is a better player than Gilmour or has had a better season. He “needs an opportunity to show what he has to offer”. And deep down I should feel sympathy for the disappointment Graves might be feeling

            Your argument is overwhelming

          • No, you’re not shy, but you are a bigmouthed shitehawk who knows nothing about hockey.

          • Haha….no bwahaha…..ok….keep thinking that….in all reality that statement doesn’t even deserve a reply


          • BTW, Graves was an AHL All-Star back in 2016…got the nod over Skjei. Last year it was Jensen, who is no longer in the organization is now in the KHL. So the fact that Graves was an AHL All-Star TWO years ago is pretty meaningless.

          • And again, if Gilmour and Pionk are having better seasons, which apparently they are, why bring up Graves? There is no indication that he is anything more than a borderline AHL/NHL type, like our last physical savior with a booming shot—Minor League McIlrath.

            And you still dont seem to even remotely comprehend that among the Rangers braintrust, AV probably has the LEAST amount of input as to who is called up…and especially now when the sole focus is on thinking about the future. So if you want to continue with your Graves obesssion, send your letters of complaint to Gorton and Drury. AV won’t be able to help you with your complaints here.

          • Hey Leather—you know you’re not supposed to ingest chemical weapons, right? Because your “thinking” bears all the hallmarks of accidental gas poisoning—confusion, ill temper, obsessive repetition of gibberish.

          • And the royal d-bag comment award goes to the moron who brings politics to a sports blog. Well done.

          • Conveniently not answering the question on how you think Gilmour over Graves was an AV decision and not an organizational decision. But hey, you don’t shy away from answering questions right bubba?

      • Hey, all right! You got your fake IP address up and running again. You’re a veritable McGyver.

          • It’s awesome how both of you guys have the same problems with spacing & punctuation. You use the same insults too. Space comma space. Space period.

      • And as usual, Sieve and Leather go silent when Hank dazzles as he did in relief tonight. After a few off games following the all-star game, he slumps and the Hank Haters can’t wait to pounce. Pitiful.

        The only reason the Rangers are even in sniffling distance of a playoff spot is because of Hank. Such great Ranger fans you both are!

        AV is correct…if Hank gets hot again, he’s the one guy who can carry his team to an improbable playoff berth.

        • LOL this combat between you guys is the best. Maybe you guys should get a room together or apartment like the odd couple.

          As I pointed out in the post with justin hank is the 2nd worst goalie in the league in the last 30 days stats wise. Go read my comment.

          We only have a scent of playoffs cause of the parity in this division. One hot streak and the rangers are in the hunt. But so is every other team in this division. Don’t get all excited over nothing.

          Be happy over the effort put forth tonight. I missed the game and am waiting for the recap. But heard it was an excellent effort put forth.

    • “Oh leaky….”

      I said this in my head when I was at the game, thinking of you bro, LOL.

      So, to be fair on your part, when the King makes a stellar save, you should say “Wow leaky!!” Just to be fair. 🙂

  • Best hockey game by the team in a long time. The youngsters all had decent games. It was fun to watch for a change.

  • Yep. No question. The Rangers look demoralized and defeated, and clearly have quit on their coach.


    BTW, we are just one point behind the vaunted Blue Jackets, who are also currently out of a playoff spot. Could Torts miss the playoffs with a team many thought would win the Metro if not the East? Now THAT would be hilarious!

    • Have to be careful … They may resteer the ship and send a bunch of #1 picks away for some washed up veteran to make a run

    • eddie…Who were the Rangers playing for the other night. The night when the Bruins waltz into MSG and kicked their butts.

      • They were horrible that night vs one of the hottest teams in hockey. Tonight, a supposedly demoralized team responded with a terrific effort. So I’m not following you.

        I do think AV and the Rangers may decide to mutually part ways at season’s end…especially if his agent thinks an underachieving team with legit Cup-level talent may be looking for a coaching upgrade. Hmmmmm…..I wonder if a certain city in Central Ohio might be looking for a new coach at the end of the year. After all, we all know that AV has a track record of dramatically improving performance over formerly Torts-led teams! 🙂

    • Bro, I love you, but you gotta stop. You should have sat with me at the Toronto and Boston games. I dozed off twice at the Boston game.

      They (finally) played a spirited game last night and it was a good win, but overall they’re “dead men skating” with a lifeless coach behind the bench.

      Any doubts as to whether McD is being traded was just squashed with him being a scratch last night and not being on the upcoming 2 game road trip.

      • Tony

        Fun to see the kids played well, and won, but the upcoming game will tell how real this “victory” really is. We played the Flames last night with a record of 55 games & 64 points, with the Jets next who played 55 games & 73 points. That’s a big difference, especially that we played a team that had close to our record of 55 games & 57 points last night, on home ice. Let’s see if they can put a string of two good games together against a tough opponent!

        • OMG Walt, you want to be excited? Pionk and Gilmour certainly did not look out of place at all. They were not in awe of anyone, and the Rangers played a quality opponent last night.

          They weren’t perfect, but for a first game? Excellent.

          I was all giddy when Pionk was in his own zone and had a Flame draped all over him and guess what Pionk did? Shook him off and made a pass to a RANGER to get the puck out of the zone. Fantastic play by a young player in his first NHL game. I was thrilled!!

          • I wonder if the coach saw what we all did? If Pionk makes a mistake, he’ll sit for it…….Oh no Staal, Mac Truck, Shatty all out, maybe he won’t, LOL!!!!!!

          • You have to wonder if Nash and McD will be gone soon. Certainly McD being out for 3 games at least tells you that they want no harm to come to him.

            Nash has been a beast lately, good for his trade value.

  • The best option is Coach Q? Sad part is I know you are right on the money. I would rather keep AV then just shift to another good ole boy. I say Gretzky as Head Coach and Messier as one assistant with Buekeboom on defence. And hire Alex as the video coach. And throw Zubov a bone and see if he will come over here and train the rookie defense. Since we all know mac is gone now.

  • AV called out Henrik. He just signed his walking papers. For those that say AV was not wrong my response is if your whole system relies on a goaltending playing on his head, your system/team is flawed. And that falls back on him.

    Even IF we still want to give AV the benefit of the doubt, there is a time and place. His first presser after the announcement and he brings Henrik up on his own in a way that ‘could’ be taken in a negative sense? Not a smart decision, he made a huge mistake.

    • He has never been considered a cerebral giant by a long shot!!!

      The boys played well, Hank was great in relief.

      “my response is if your whole system relies on a goaltending playing on his head, your system/team is flawed. And that falls back on him”.

      No truer words have been posted on this site in quite some time. Enjoy Paris my man!

  • Come ladies and gents. We all complain and bitch when the Rangers show a lack of effort, energy and passion, and rightly so. I was, am and always will be critical of a team that doesn’t put forth the effort. And the only consistent thing about this years Rangers is their inconsistency. Effort isn’t relegated to just “generational” players, and skilled players, effort can be put forth by everyone on the ice regardless of skill set..
    So what I don’t get is the critics complaining about a team that put forth the effort and beat a fairly good, even if a little tired (back to back games) Calgary team.

    I get the Dahlin sweepstakes. I’d love to be able to be in a position to take him in the draft, but NOT at the expense of tanking.
    Tanking, even for Dahlin, is not the culture of the team I want to root for.
    Tanking is not what I want the players that survive the exodus to experience.

    I want this team, no matter who they suit up to play with maximum effort, all the time.

    I have never been a AV fan, and can’t wait for the press conference where he’s gone. One of the major complaints, and there are MANY complaints all well served, was his laid back attitude.
    Good for him to announce he wants to win every remaining game and expects his players to respond in kind. This is the first time he’s shown any semblance of passion.
    I am happy to see this new attitude, even if it’s self-served as I think he knows he’s gone and needs future employers to see he’s a “fight to the end” type of guy.

    I have been consistent in the way I feel. When one of the “venerable” posters here belittled my post very early in the season that this was AT BEST a bubble playoff team, that IF they get in they’d be dispatched in the first round. He, being all knowing, FORCEFULLY stated the ONLY team we need to worry about is Tampa. He was so sure the Pens and Caps were going nowhere, the Devils were a mirage, laughed at the Flyers, Bruins.
    Depending on matchups we could go “far” this year he proudly proclaimed!. Yeah how’d that work out for you?

    Let the purge begin, but whoever puts on the Ranger sweater, let them put forth maximum effort and try to win each and every shift, of each and every game they play.

  • The kids were skating,passing and hitting well last night. They also looked engaged from start to finish. The Rangers are in a excellent position by selling and acquiring assets( picks and players). They can bring up kids who are ready to see what they have during a playoff push. Exactly what the Yankees did two seasons ago by bringing up Sanchez. They just missed the playoffs. They had kids in the system but Torres and others came with the big sell off. Groton still sell smart. Don’t bring up the 2017 1st rounders if there’s not enough people to protect them. No more elbows to the head of our younger players. Hey lets enjoy the playoff push with a group of hungry youngsters.

    • Elbows to the head are always going to happen in hockey. It is like football a contact sport. Now the intentional hits to the head are not needed but the league for better or worse is trying its’ best to stop them. Forsberg’s elbow to Vesey was clear as day to anyone who kept their head up it was coming. For whatever reason he had a bone to pick with Vesey and well he did it and paid for it with 3 games out. I for one am not against this type of play. Cause players do some nasty things out on the ice …some of those cross checks in front get awfully brutal. I mean Crosby slashed off someone’s finger last year. Just keep it in check and don’t try to hurt someone permanatly like McSorely’s wack over that guys head with his stick and sucker punch.

      But sad to say I think this type of play of going after a player intentionally trying to harm others is going to increase in frequency since the decline of fighters and fights. Forsberg’s intent was to deliver pain no doubt. And Vesey should have seen it coming. But Forsberg should have dropped the gloves if he wanted to make a point. But cause he can’t fight and no one on Nashville can fight this is what happens. And the Rangers not being fighters themselves with the least amount of 5 min majors in the league teams know they can take liberties with our players.

  • Maybe maybe the players that don’t want to leave NYC and play else where might just decide to play a lot better and want management to keep them at the TDL .
    We know Nash wants no part of leaving the Rangers Grabner either . But we need to make things happen before TDL .
    Not on team next year
    Pavelic gone also
    What we have left
    Thats 9 players proberly a lock to come back . Now we have Staal either LTIR or a bye out . Kids Pionk Gilmour -Andersson -Chytil maybe this years draft pick or a player we get back at the TDL . NHL network says Grabs only going to bring back a 2ed . If that is true would rather keep him and try to sign him before the draft . If you want to get Faster you don’t get rid of the fastest guy in the NHL, other than McDavid – Larkin – Hags . What we need to do is get a Super star ALA Tavares Karlsson -Patrick Kane Kopitar Type player .

    • Yes the Rangers could use a prolific scorer. However, you need capspace to sign and retain players like that. When you blow your brains out and sign a depth defenseman (Smith) to a 17million 4 year term, you are not doing yourself any favours as a GM.

      • Don’t give up on Smith yet. Yes, this year is a bust, but there’s 3 more years to salvage.

        Rangers seriously, and yes this is true, looking into Kovy. He can still play and by being over 35 the Rangers can give him a one year, low cap contract with lots of goal related bonuses and incentives.

        Think Kovy-Zib-Buch as your first line.

        • As I like your point, but this is the same line of thinking as Slats. Which in turn got the Rangers no where, while having the highest salary in the league and then the strike came. Slats in his first 3 or 4 years had the highest team salary by a landslide and not one single playoff appearance. Not a winning formula.

          Play kids and roll the dice on youth. Only sure way to develop another long term winner like the past 10yrs.

          • I just did an armchair GM roster for next year in the newest thread. check it out.

          • I hear what you are saying, but you can’t do a rebuild solely with youth. You need some veterans sprinkled in as well. If he comes on the cheap and doesnt take away a roster spot from someone of significance, it’s a no brainer to bring him on board and no risk if a one year deal.

          • there is a huge risk. As with signing any free agent. And that risk is Duchene. Bringing in players through free agency there is always a chance you get a cancer. And Kov’s checkered past in the NHL is not something I want on my team for any price. Plus he is russian and wont play defense. I have stated many times before Russian’s are notorious for playing amazing offense but horrible defense and it takes them a few years to adjust to a North American style of game.

          • That would apply to any player, not just Russian FAs. Obviously, all factors have to be considered. But talent is what matters here. Buch may very well thrive under Kovy’s tutelage. And again….it’s one year with incentives. He will be motivated to behave.

            There folks who thought Jagr was a cancer too. That worked out pretty well for the rebuilding Rangers a decade ago.

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