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