Four questions for the mailbag to open the season. Here we go.
The Rock (I think that name is trademarked, might want to try a new one) asks: I’m predicting 37 goals and 22 assists for Filip Chytil, to get the pessimistic Ranger fans off my back.
Ok that’s more of a statement than a question. If Chytil puts up those numbers he’s winning the Calder. Given the ice time I expect him to receive, I’m thinking that if he cracks 20 goals it will be a huge year for him. My prediction is more in the 12-17 range for goals, and roughly 30 points. He’s a rookie, he’s going to be eased into the lineup, and he’s not going to get top line minutes right off the bat.
Mikeyyy asks: Loving the rebuild. Enjoy the ride.
Ok again more of a statement than a question. Yes, I love the rebuild, watching the kids and the coach grow together. But let’s not kid ourselves, this is going to be a rough ride. The first three games are just a microcosm of what’s to come. Sure, the team will eventually figure out the system, but as the cream rises to the top, they are going to pound on teams like the Rangers. It’s going to be a rough few years.
Mikeyyy also asks (I rephrased this for you): Given the system David Quinn runs –where the strong side defenseman goes to the corner and the weak side defenseman covers the slot– isn’t it possible that the number of shots given up from the left side is primarily because of the right defensemen?
First things first, nothing is every mutually exclusive. Yes, there will be times when shots from the left will be because of the defensemen on the right are not covering the slot properly. However, there are only isolated times when that comes up. That would be when the puck is in the corner or behind the net.
If the puck hasn’t crossed the goal line, then it’s still the LD who is responsible for coverage and gap control on the shooter. That will be more times than the puck is in the corner, so regardless, there is still an abnormally large quantity of shots being let up from that side of the ice.
It’s not just the heat map either, Rob L. (since we now have two Rob’s here) noted in his post the day that both Brendan Smith and Marc Staal have been somewhere between bad and horrendous to start the season. It’s only been three games, and while there is optimism (hope?) that Smith will eventually get it together, Staal has been regressing for years now. It goes beyond the stats and the heatmap, it’s the personnel as well.
Dave asks: Shattenkirk as the scratch?
Yes, that was the entire question I got. There are a few things at play here with Kevin Shattenkirk being scratched. First, I think Quinn is actively trying to get everyone into the lineup early, which means someone needs to sit. Shattenkirk is recovering from a torn MCL, so another day off won’t really hurt him. Plus, Quinn has noted he has a great rapport with Shatty, so my guess is this is something they discussed prior, and we on the back-end only get bits and pieces.