Some Wednesday Thoughts

neal pionk henrik lundqvist rangers wild

Edit: Today is Wednesday, not Thursday.

The preseason is going to be coming to a close before the weekend, and there has been a good amount of hockey to digest over the past week. We’ve seen good performances, bad performances, and perhaps most importantly, signs of a promising future on Broadway. As per usual, I have thoughts.

  • I think the Rangers go into the season with 13F/8D. The only reason why I think this is because both Tony DeAngelo and Neal Pionk have earned spots this preseason. Both have been solid and look to be taking the next step in their careers. With Brendan Smith seemingly revitalized, and Adam McQuaid/Frederik Claesson in the mix as well, it means a crowded blue line. It’s a good problem to have.

  • I’m intrigued to see where that situation goes. Injuries will have an impact at some point, so maybe all eight wind up being needed. But if the Rangers luck out and don’t have any injuries, what then? We don’t really have an answer to that right now.
  • As for the forwards, both Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil have earned spots on the club. If you assume only one of Cody McLeod or Peter Holland make the club, that puts them at 12 forwards, enough for one more. Perhaps it’s Vinni Lettieri’s to lose after a strong preseason. But what happens when Boo Nieves returns from injury? What about Matt Beleskey?
  • It’s pretty clear Alex Georgiev is going to be the backup to Henrik Lundqvist this season. He should be in line for 25-30 starts. Is there another Cam Talbot situation here?
  • Larry Brooks brought up an interesting point regarding Jesper Fast and his role in the lineup. Fast has always been thought of as a bottom-six player, but he’s steadily improved every season since his rookie year. He’s always in the right place at the right time –he was on the ice for a good majority of the playoff OT winners– and he’s never really a hindrance in driving offense or team defense. I don’t agree that he’s capable playing the top line on a regular basis, but he can certainly hold his own in a pinch.
  • More on forwards – If we assume KZB remains in tact, then we could be looking at Chytil/Hayes/Zuccarello as a second line and potentially Namestnikov/Andersson/Fast as a third line. That makes Spooner/Lettieri(?)/Vesey is the fourth line. I’m just spitballing on lines, but it’s not the combos that matter right now. That’s solid depth no matter what the combos look like.
  • David Quinn seems to be implementing a much more conservative system in the defensive zone. It’s working in spurts, but it’s going to take time to really take hold. When it’s working, the club seems to be much better at limiting quality chances. But when the players are going back to old habits –and these habits will take some time to break– then it’s tough to watch. I expect a few months of adjustment. Same goes for the PK.

The games will mean something next week, so enjoy some stress free hockey tonight and tomorrow. It won’t last long.

"Some Wednesday Thoughts", 4 out of 5 based on 10 ratings.

41 thoughts on “Some Wednesday Thoughts

  • Sep 26, 2018 at 6:18 am

    1) Does Quinn hold to Gorton’s wishes to keep Hayes, Chytil, Andersson, and Howden as centers? If so, then Howden starts in Hartford which he probably should and then gets the call up when Hayes is traded.

    2) They HAVE to keep 8 D men. They have created a glut there and sending Pionk down just because he’s the only one that can go to Hartford without going through waivers would be criminal.

    3) It appears like McLeod is here with the big club, probably as the 13th forward (he better be the 13th forward if he is here). I think that Lettieri has earned his spot here as Meskanen and Lindqvist have not shown that they belong in the NHL just yet. They both need time in Hartford.


    McLeod (NOT MY CHOICE)

    Staal (NOT MY CHOICE)-McQuaid/DeAngelo


    Boo Nieves (hope he gets well soon) is an AHL lifer, period, so is Holland, and Belesky may have a shot but I would rather give the spot to Lettieri.

    BTW, Vesey needs to pick it up, big time.

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 7:41 am

      I think the Rangers need to keep developing there Centers as Centers, but i dont think playing three 20 & Under rookie Centers night in and night out is a good thing, even for a young rebuilding team.

      Totally agree on Pionk. Between his body of work last year and what he has shown this preseason, it would be criminal to send him down only because of Waiver status.

      I think it will be Belesky sticking and McLown sent down. 2 reasons…1st i think Belesky showing something (anything) at the NHL Level can bring back something small in return. 2nd Cody signing at league minimum for 1 yr was a “I just want to keep playing hockey” contract. Between McQuaid and to a lesser degree Smith we have the nonsense grit we need. Cody will be watching over and punching faces (not our own teams hopefully) to protect the youth we have at the Pack.

      • Sep 26, 2018 at 8:02 am

        Howden will definitely be sent down and play in Hartford for a while, at least until the trade deadline, barring injuries.

        Pionk is a top 4 D man on this team, I don’t think there should be any question about it.

        I hope that you’re right about Belesky over McLeod. I really don’t understand this signing at all. Chris Stewart, who I would have pushed for instead, is a much better player and much better fighter. McLeod is washed and risks getting seriously hurt.

        • Sep 26, 2018 at 8:38 am

          I agree on Vesey, he needs to show he belongs. Meskanen and Lindqvist have had some bright spots, but not enough to keep them. I can see us making a move or two to remove the logjam at bottom six forward and bottom pair defenseman, Maybe a 2-for-1 deal or something for another pick. Would like to see Howden, Meskanen and Lindqvist up with the big club sometime this year, as these kids all have promise.

          We need a top 5 pick in next year’s draft.

          • Sep 26, 2018 at 5:47 pm

            For some reason I think that the Rangers will win just enough games not to be in the top 5. Unfortunately.

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 7:42 am

      Yep – good lineup up front – would not be surprised if there is a move after this pre-season with another team, though. On the back end, McQuaid will be on the ice somewhere, and in net its safe that its King and Gorky. Great game at the Garden – looking forward to the remaining before the start of the Season.

      • Sep 26, 2018 at 8:07 am

        The big question is, do the CBJs trade Panarin now, at the trade deadline, or not at all and lose him for nothing?

        Hearing a lot of buzzing out of Columbus that “Bob” and Panarin want out, so the CBJs may see this year as their last shot to contend for a while.

        And, to my surprise indeed, I have heard that he Rangers are not as high on Shesty as one may think, certainly I am shocked by that. Package deal for “Bob” and Panarin? How about Hayes, Names, Spooner, Georgiev, and Hajek? (lol)

        • Sep 26, 2018 at 9:13 am

          The Glen Sather school of GM’n has sailed!

          • Sep 26, 2018 at 5:48 pm

            How long do you think they go the “rebuild” route?

            Not as long as you may think, lol.

        • Sep 26, 2018 at 9:19 am

          I think Panarin causes a distraction in the locker room and that trade happens sooner than later. The best bet would be for both Zib and Hayes to play amazing while Chytil lights it up so JG could make that executive decision between Hayes vs Zib right away. Setup a package deal surrounding Zib to try and offer for Panarin. Or maybe if Panarin gets hurt while Zib is injured than just him and pick woul do it? Injured player for a elite injured Lol

          • Sep 26, 2018 at 11:38 am

            Yep I would move Zib first….no way give up assets for Breadman

          • Sep 26, 2018 at 5:50 pm

            The injury issue is a real one for Zib, no question.

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 9:08 am

      I think any NHL coach would want to keep Hayes as a center. Quinn poached as a winger back in the day and now he’s grown up as a top 6 200 ft center who can play in every situation. Lol I don’t think he needed to hear JG’s blessing to want to keep him in the middle.

      I use to give that same layout all during the summer months with Chytil and Andersson as the bottom 6 center’s. After seeing Andersson’s overall game and being on the PK, I don’t see him making it in the NHL without alot of problems. I don’t think that he’s make it past the 9 game stretch at best. I’m going to assuming that Chytil would get a sheltered role which would leave the 4th line against stiff competition. If you put a rookie center next to Vesey than they become sitting ducks.

      I truly think once the dust settles, a vet signing of like D Moore will happen. JG wants the AHL to build culture and he said that wants his young guys to grow together. I think Andersson and Howden are AHL top 6 bound. Lettieri might get a chance at 4c? Maybe Foger makes a statement before pre season ends.

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Let see how Rob O Gara looks tonight after a very strong game last week. He has not played the last two games. He’s “gritted” up this summer. Everyone seems to forget about him. I hope he gets a shot tonight…

      • Sep 26, 2018 at 5:51 pm

        All due respect Jerry, O’Gara stinks. He was behind Hajek and Lindgren the moments that got here in trades.

  • Sep 26, 2018 at 6:48 am

    I agree with you on what you said about the lineup. Lettieri has earned a spot for now and could be a nice 4th liner.
    If Hayes does end up being traded, maybe they could package up Staal with him. If not we will be looking at another buyout after the season. I am not sold on Names either and think he gets traded at some point.
    If Hayes trade does happen, maybe Spooner moves back to center?

  • Sep 26, 2018 at 7:13 am

    It’s Wednesday

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 8:08 am

      Dave is just a forward thinker!

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      my dudes.

  • Sep 26, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Good morning Tony, Peter, Andy,Leather, Jerry, Sitto, Mint, Chris C. Thanks to all of you men for the kind words, and thoughts. I just hope that I didn’t miss anyone else.

    Last night after reading some of the responses, I had Maria read them as well. She was moved to tears, thinking how people went out of their way to express there good wishes for her. I had to tell her that this is my Ranger family, and that we all may disagree on things, but that we pull for each other.

    You all are a class act, and as a family, we appreciate your wonderful thoughts.

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 8:04 am

      Our best wishes to you Maria and Walt!

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 8:10 am

      Bro, we are a family here, with fights and arguments to go along with it, lol.

      But everything gets pushed aside when one of our own experiences adversity, especially health adversity.

      You and Maria have our thoughts, prayers, and full support.

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Walt, tell Maria she has one (really old) gal among all these fellas wishing her well! Rangers fans are definitely a family with all the chaos (and all the love) that entails…

      • Sep 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm

        I’m so sorry to assume you were one of the boys. Love you dear, and thanks again……….

        • Sep 26, 2018 at 10:23 pm

          No apology necessary!

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 11:35 am

      Walt …. sorry to hear about the wife , f- cancer , to many good people in this world leaving us at a short time because of it . Wishing Urself and the Wife the best at this tough time , keep fighting the good fight. All this other stuff is just hog wash passing time ?

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 11:41 am

      God Bless Walt…I hope everything works out for the best

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      As I said yesterday Walt, Maria and your whole family are in our prayers. I’m sure you’ll continue to give Maria every bit of the support she needs to kick cancer’s ass.
      Our prayers and thoughts are with her and your whole family……………

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 4:40 pm

      Hello Walt
      I dont know exactly what is going on with your wifes health except what I read above.
      My Dad is the only person I know who was CURED of cancer not just treated. I want to speak to you about how he got cured, I think you and your wife may find it helpful.
      I will ask that Dave share my email with you and we can communicate if you’d like. He was stage 3/4 and given 6 months by the oncologist in sloan kettering…..and died many ,many years later after completely being CURED>

      • Sep 26, 2018 at 7:47 pm


        Thanks for the offer, but from all I heard, and discussed with her oncologist, CLL is very manageable, and Maria will be in remission for some 4 to 5 years, after her treatment, at which time we repeat her six rounds of chemo again.

        As I stated before, if one is to have leukemia, CLL is the best form of it to have, if there is such a thing as a best form? We feel very confident with our physician, Johns Hopkins trained, board certified, and a good person to boot. Thanks for your concern just the same, much appreciated. Oct 10th will be our 48th anniversary, and I’m not going anywhere any time soon, shes stuck with me. LOL!!!!!!!

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      We have had our fair share of disagreements but at the end of the day this is a game. The significance is nothing compared to your family and loved ones. Thinking of you and hoping for the best Walt!

  • Sep 26, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Concerned at carrying 8 D. This tells me we do not have a top 6, and instead have a bottom 4. Would still like to see a move for a real defenseman, but not seeing that anytime soon.

    Forwards look okay for now. Will not really scare anyone unless our first line actually does some damage. Let the kids play and see where we fit into the standings. I cannot see us finishing up with more than 75 points, but it is a rebuilding year.

  • Sep 26, 2018 at 8:59 am

    I don’t get why Jimmy Vesey is just pencilled into all these lineups. Yes, I think he’ll make the team for whatever reasons they have. But I really don’t know why he’s not under the gun here as a “maybe.” That kid seems to get every benefit of the doubt, while guys like Lettieri work their asses off. You’d probably get a glimpse of the type of player he should be if you threatened to send him to Hartford. That kid needs a huge wake-up call…. and probably a change of scenery.

    Everyone seems to love him now, but I’m just not sold on ADA. I watched him closer last game too. The kid can make plays for sure. To me though, he still generates unnecessary turnovers… particularly when he’s under pressure, and sometimes just all by himself. It’s an extra stickhandle, or curling back instead of an easy play, or telegraphing passes at times. It looks decent in preseason (like it did last year). But I still feel that he will struggle when the players are better, the opposing systems are tighter, and there’s more pressure to perform.

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 10:26 am

      I’m with you on Vesey. He was supposed to benefit from Quinn’s arrival, but he has not made a case for himself so far. In fairness to ADA, he’s noticeably playing a lot better than he did at any point last year.

      I don’t think Namestnikov has done much to make a case for himself either. Ironically Spooner seems to produce a lot of offense and also seems to get glossed over. Lettieri deserves a shot. If we are serious about rewarding effort I think adding him to the team will send the right message for how we expect you to play and what will earn you ice time.

      On the D Staal has been pretty bad and noticeably slower this year. She should spend a fair chunk of this season in the press box. I am good with carrying 8 players. Only real concern is ADA and Pionk don’t get enough playing time. I won’t be surprised either if by the trade deadline Smith(assuming he plays better) and McQuaid are both playing for a contender. that would allow Hajek and/or Lindgren to each have an audition and see what they bring.

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 6:45 pm

      “I don’t get why Jimmy Vesey is just pencilled into all these lineups.”

      Very simple, there are a few players that the FO think will benefit from Quinn being the coach, Vesey is one of them.

  • Sep 26, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Don’t see single reason to keep Claesson, he were absolutely no show.

    My take…. Wave Claesson, sit Staal, till the end of the season, keep Hajek, keep McQuaid as #7

  • Sep 26, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Hi all,

    Staal (NOT MY CHOICE)-McQuaid/DeAngelo

    Imagine for a sec Rangers getting Def Jacob Trouba. He would immediately be the top def, perhaps take the pressure off skjei as well. Dallas resigned Seguin, so instead of trying to pursue other players should we get Panarin, figure with Panarin and Trouba Rangers could be fighting for a playoff spot. Trouba is 24 so NYR would get a young def in the prime of his career. Figure Staal is traded or leaves as an UFA. DeAngelo in my opinion is a AHL player maybe NHL call up. When was the last time the Rangers had a young defensemen that is coming off helping his team reach the west finals.

    The Rangers rebuild process could be accelerated with a deal for Trouba, and if the Rangers do not make the playoffs this season, they can at least have the pieces in place for a run at the playoffs next season. Most importantly and realistically Lundqvist is a few years away from not being an elite goalie anymore. Rangers need to give him the best defense core he can have, and try to let him compete until the Rangers draft the next franchise goalie.

    What do you guys think? Can/should the Rangers pull the trigger bring Trouba here. I have a feeling if Rangers don’t get him, he may end up on Pitt or Washington or any team, that team will be that much better. Also this deal would allow for the Rangers to also make any necessary trades or moves for the future. Kindly let me know what you guys think about all this. Thanks Let’s Go Rangers!!!!!

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 11:53 am

      First off…..
      1. Like your thinking Tony, but will they really give up Trouba?
      2. Lets really go full on youth movement and jettison….Stall, McCleod and Lunquist…….
      3. I want Chytil at center, with his long reach, skills, on ice vision and passing ability…..not getting pounded in the corners
      4. Everyone needs to relax on Vesey……he was jerked around for the past 3 years by AV…..yet still produced some…..he is a gritty player, willing to hit and go into corners, and front of net….
      5. We will miss Jt Miller!!!!!!!! Namestikov has not impressed me this preseason…..Belesky needs to be one of the forwards…….

      • Sep 26, 2018 at 12:01 pm

        Vesey will be okay. Don’t like the return we got from Tampa on that trade. Namestikov is just average. We shouldn’t trade with Tampa anymore. Gave up to much and never got their true top prospects.

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 4:04 pm

      Have a strong feeling the only way Staal is moved is next June during the Buyout period. Two years left on the Glen Sather contract special to Staal. Hard to get a team to pick up that salary for two years for a d men who is no more than a 3rd pairing d men playing 12 to 15 minutes.

    • Sep 26, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      I would love Trouba to come here. Hayes and ???

Comments are closed.