Mailbag: Lundqvist, the defense, Panarin, and overall standings

anthony deangelo

I formally polled Twitter yesterday for some mailbag questions, but also cheated a bit and answered some here that I received before I polled Twitter. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or via the mail feature on the right to have your questions answered here.

Multiple people asked: Henrik Lundqvist was bad the other night. But yet Cam Talbot always made this defense look great.

Ok this isn’t really a question but it’s something that gets pointed out a lot. Yes, Cam Talbot was solid in New York. But guess what? Henrik Lundqvist has been and always will be better. So, get over the Talbot thing already. He’s been gone for a while.

As for Lundqvist, it was one preseason game. He has never had a good preseason. There was one year he was trying out new pads and had a terrible start and everyone thought he was done. Then he was back to his usual self. I’m not worried.

That said, Hank is getting older, and while there has been nothing to show he’s slowing down, he eventually will. I don’t think this is the year, though.

Rick asks: Who will finish the season with more points, the Sabres or the Rangers?

That’s a difficult question. If we assume the forwards and defense groups on both teams are a wash, then the Rangers certainly have the advantage in net. However the Sabres have the division advantage, since the Metro is expected to be another dogfight at the top.

Since I know it’s a cop-out to say it will be a draw, I’m going to go with the Rangers finishing with more points. It’s the Lundqvist factor. But it will be close.

Brian asks: Does Tony DeAngelo make the team?

I thought he was going to make the team out of camp in August. That had mostly to do with his waiver status. However after his first two preseason games, it has become less about his waiver status and more about his play. He’s been the clear cut best defenseman among the guys he’s battling with. He will make the team out of camp and get a legitimate shot and being a steady contributor. I think with a coach that develops players at the helm, he will turn into a decent bottom pairing/powerplay guy.

Mike asks: What are the chances the Rangers get Artemi Panarin?

It depends. If you’re asking about during the season, it’s about 0%. The Rangers aren’t going to give up assets in a rebuild year for Panarin. It’s not going to happen.

As for the offseason, I think there is a strong possibility. The Rangers what Panarin is looking for: cap space, Russian players, and is near water. I would put it at 50%, probably higher.

"Mailbag: Lundqvist, the defense, Panarin, and overall standings", 5 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.

18 thoughts on “Mailbag: Lundqvist, the defense, Panarin, and overall standings

  • Sep 21, 2018 at 6:19 am

    Just trying to find out what happened to Jeff Beukeboom?

    • Sep 22, 2018 at 1:39 pm

      They moved him to scout or something like that. Still with the org, just not as a coach

  • Sep 21, 2018 at 7:32 am

    Agree on Tony DeAngelo, it’s a make, or break year for the kid. He will have to force the hand of the management team, and coach, to prove his is worth keeping around.

    I can still see some other kids on the roster, later on in the season, or after the trade deadline. Don’t be surprised if we don’t see Hajek, whom I think is the real deal!!!

  • Sep 21, 2018 at 8:51 am

    If Quinn is a real teacher, there are quite a few kids, including AD that have raw skills and need to learn system and team play.

    I think AD could be a dangerous weapon, if he is controlled and taught.
    Our defense will need time to become competitive. Might take half a season. – I think our points after 40 games might only be 30, but I think we get better second half.

  • Sep 21, 2018 at 9:07 am

    I think Tony D makes the team out of camp. The question is can he stick given the shortcomings of his defensive play. He’ll get that shot under Quinn.

    Last night Quick gave up 6 goals on 22 shots. Do you think the Kings’ fan base is calling him a washed up bum? Or are they saying it’s his first preseason game so who cares….?

    • Sep 21, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      Only one ripping on Quick will be Sporting News. Every year he’s on the over rated player list. kind of silly…

    • Sep 21, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      One game is hardly anything to draw conclusions from. But it is also absurd to compare Lundqvist to Quick. Quick was one of the top NHL goalies last year. There are no questions about how good he is and a single bad outing does not inspire questions. Hank, OTOH, is more of a question mark. Will he rebound from his nightmarish finish last year? We should be looking for signs and the first outing was, while incredibly unimportant, not a positive sign.

      I might add that I don’t consider Hank alone in this group. If I’m an Oiler or Canadien fan, I am watching Talbot or Price carefully to see if they are going to bounce back. Ditto Cory Schneider.

      Oddly, as a Ranger fan, I was a little more concerned with the two goals on 18 shots that Georgiev gave up (save percentage under 90%) as he is less of a known quantity than Hank.

      • Sep 21, 2018 at 3:04 pm

        Hank played nearly 3 months of unbelievable hockey last season – allstar and a league leader in most goalie metrics right through January. His “nightmarish” finish occurred after the team was decimated due to injuries and the rebuild. He had back to back 50 save wins after the tear down, something never done before in the NHL. He was 4th in the league in shots against and 3rd in high danger shots against and he posted a .915 even though he faced over 40 shots per game 12 times. 12. And he did all of that on an injured knee. So I’m not buying that he is washed up, overrated, etc, etc. I hope that Quinn brings some much needed structure to the team defense and that Henrik faces a lighter, less intense workload. He still has the tools (like Luongo) to be outstanding as he heads into his late 30’s so long as the team shares a commitment to protecting the house.

        • Sep 21, 2018 at 4:05 pm

          Hank is not a problem in goal for the club. Even if he is not what he was years ago because of father time, the Rangers do not have someone on the roster who is going to out play him game in game out over the course of a season. Even in the approaching twilight of his career he is still a helluva goalie.

        • Sep 21, 2018 at 4:58 pm

          This is actually what happened last year. Twelve games into the season, on October 30, Lundqvist had a personal record of 3-7-2. He had not been playing well. Over the next 34 Ranger games, a little over 2-1/2 months, Hank was stellar. It was now January 19. Over the final 36 Ranger games, Hank’s record was 5-15-3.

          On January 19, the Rangers were on a pace to get 94.5 points, a shade below the 97 it actually took to get to the playoffs but in the hunt. Yes, Shattenkirk and Kreider were hurt, but otherwise the Rangers were fine. At this point, Lundqvist lost six games in a row and the opposition scored 24 goals. Lundqvist buckled before the dam broke, not after.

          Yes, the season degenerated and the Rangers resorted to an AHL defense corps which gave up a ton of shots, but Georgiev went 4-4-1 and posted a higher save percentage than Hank’s average over the last five years. The crap defense gave up more shots, but not necessarily better ones. And yes, two of Hank’s five wins were back to back 50 save outings, but he did give up five goals in one of them.

          We don’t know what will happen this year of course, but I do understand what we saw last year. On a given day, when he is feeling good physically and his head is in the right place, Lundqvist is a fabulous goaltender. Last year, he largely did that for a stretch lasting 41% of the schedule and for a number of isolated games scattered throughout the rest. But great goaltending isn’t about good stretches and great games; it is about providing consistent good tending. He has been hurt three of the last four years and often can’t stay on an even keel when healthy.

          Ranger fans remember the HOF caliber tender he was oh so many years ago and see the flashes and think time has not passed and he is who he always was (and maybe he can be that tender again).

          • Sep 21, 2018 at 5:18 pm

            Well stated case Ray. I do tend to disagree with some of your conclusions, particularly the idea that the 6 games that they lost were due to Lundqvist having ‘buckled’.

            I submit that the Rangers were playing awful defense as a team just about the entire season, even before they went AHL defenders. In my opinion they lost those six games because of awful team defense. AV’s team defensive system was a mess last season and is a big reason he isn’t here today.

            I think it is important to keep Hank fresh, so hopefully whoever they choose as backup can play at least 30 games. He is an older goal tender, but he isn’t quite done.

            • Sep 21, 2018 at 6:33 pm

              I point out the top two names on a list which both pertain to your comment. In the entire century long history of the NHL, the two highest save percentages among tenders who played 20+ games in a season were posted by Jacques Plante when he was something like 42 years old and Cam Talbot in 2013-2014.

              Plante played I think exactly 40 games, roughly playing every other game. This points to what a talented old guy can do with enough rest. Goaltending is both a tremendous physical grind and a tremendous mental grind. What could Hank do if he was restricted to 40-50 games? We just don’t know. He has maintained he can handle the grind, and maybe he can handle the physical grind if he can stay healthy, but I have my doubts about how he has handled the mental grind.

              Now Cam Talbot is not a great goaltender and he was not in some incredible zone in 2013-2014. So why is he second on the list. In part, but only in part of course, because it was a good year for goaltenders. But what it says to me is that the 2013-2014 NY Rangers were a great defensive team. McDonagh, Girardi, Staal, Stralman were an awesome top four. No one here acknowledges that. The accolades always went to Hank.

              And yes, the defense did decline some from that lofty peak, but it remained good over the next three seasons as the continued success of Talbot and later Raanta testify. Yet in these parts that good defense was subjected to incredible vitriol. And BSB was programmed to blame everything on the defense. Last year, Hank started losing Jan 20; McDonagh got hurt Feb 6. It wasn’t until McDonagh got hurt that the Rangers had no real defense anymore.

              • Sep 21, 2018 at 9:34 pm

                Ray, I am not blaming it on the defensemen alone. In fact the biggest problem last season even when they were sort of still in the hunt was the failure of the forwards to play adequately defensively. You reference other seasons when I am speaking about last season, and you speak about the defensemen alone. Sorry but overall team defense, that is how the team plays as a unit defensively, was from bad to astoundingly bad last season.

  • Sep 21, 2018 at 9:27 am

    It would seem that this is indeed a make or break season for Tony with the Rangers. So far, I have thought he has played pretty well in the pre-season games. Maybe he will put it all together under Quinn.

  • Sep 21, 2018 at 9:46 am

    If they’re a playoff team than I think they should shoot for Panarin. They just need to make sure that they go over the details before trade to know if he’s all in. If Rangers are still in a rebuild mode and LVGK are still flying than 1)They either trade him now 2) They win the sweepstakes.

  • Sep 21, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Hank will be fine.

    I think it is possible the Sabres could top The Rangers this year. They have some good young players coming this year. I think a lot depends on how well Dahlin and Mittelstadt play for them. I am not really sold on Carter Hutton so that will probably be the factor to determine their ceiling or floor this year.

    ADA has looked good. And that is a good thing for Rangers fans. Agree he’s a bottom pair/ PP guy and that’s fine. He will need a stay at home D partner to really succeed.

    Panarin is an interesting one. We have watched Seguin and Karlsson(not signed long term yet) and Pacioretty all get traded and/or sign long term deals. Just to name a few. The 2019 UFA pool looks much less desirable today than it did back in June. I think the biggest hurdle we have to acquiring him will be if the Devils or Islanders make a run at him at the trade deadline or before. I’ve heard rumblings that he may want to go to LA, but not sure how they can fit him with all the bad contracts they have on the books. I hope we can land him. If we are really serious we MAY need to make an offer at the trade deadline to get him. Time will tell.

  • Sep 21, 2018 at 9:59 am

    ADA has to play and given a big chance to prove he is an NHL’er. The rangers say they are rebuilding but based what they have done or not done since the deadline looks to me they are trying to play it both ways. Hoping they do not go too deep into this season rolling out old vets in a battle to play 500. Yes it looks like some of the young kids are not exactly ready but the organization needs to get them ready fast and get there feet wet sometime this year. Do we want to be sitting here 2 years from now saying let’s start the rebuild. I’m not saying lose for Hughes but but I’d rather lose with kids than be middle of the pack with old washed up guys.
    I’m really afraid we are going to get stuck in the middle.

  • Sep 21, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Tony DeAngelo looks good so far but I am worried about Brady Skjei.

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