Mailbag: The rebuild, the video player on the site, the offense

Three questions for the mailbag this week. As always, use the mailbag widget on the side to email us your questions.

Mikeyyy asks: During this rebuild why are some fans so down on the team. A rebuild is like a Phoenix being reborn. New opportunities new coach new system new players. All this is good right?

I like the analogy. A Phoenix being born. Well done.

As for the fans being down on the team, that’s expected because the team isn’t winning. There is a large group of fans who didn’t want the rebuild at all, which is perfectly fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

However I think the larger issue is that most folks liked the idea of a rebuild in theory. Rebuild from the ground up, get high picks and prospects. In theory it’s great. But the team needs to lose a lot for that to happen. I think there is a subsection of the fanbase that wasn’t prepared for this. Personally, I like where the team is right now. They are competitive and keeping games close. The never say die spirit is something that will carry forward with the team when they start winning.

Rick asks: Why can’t this team finish? It’s mind boggling with these forwards.

Ok that is a fair point. The team is having trouble finishing consistently. The Rangers have a bottom-third shooting percentage right now (roughly 7% at even strength). Last year that was almost 10%, so that’s a big drop off. The good news is that it’s early, and this sort of stuff usually corrects itself. The Rangers are too skilled to sit at 7% for the whole season.

The bad news is that Alain Vigneault’s counter attack system sacrificed offensive zone time for quality chances, which inflated that SH% over the last few years. David Quinn appears to be more focused on sustained offensive zone time and a more stable defensive zone presence. That means fewer chances taken for counter attacks, which in turn means the SH% is likely to drop. They won’t be this bad, but it may not get much better.

Dave (Me): Just an FYI, I’m sure you’ve all noticed the video player that was recently added. That was supposed to be there from Day 1 of the new design, but I had a lot of issues and needed two different tech support teams to figure out why it wasn’t displaying. As the season progresses, you’ll see more Rangers content on it. I’m hoping to get game specific videos in game recaps as well. Hope you guys like it.

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  • Sustained attack in the opposition’s zone requires strong play along the boards to keep possession. The Rangers forwards are not big and strong enough to win those puck battles. They are more suitable for AVs run and gun fast break hockey. In other words they need a couple more grinders up top and a couple less perimiter players.

    • Beleskey should be a welcome audition for for his North/South game.

      Wait so you’re telling me that Kreider’s chance to breakout isn’t going to come due to the system? Dang, I guess I have to wait to see him put up a consistent 25+ goal seasons and 50-55 points. 3 Coaches down, maybe his new coach will get him there. SMH JT Miller would have been perfect for Quinn’s system.

      I disagree about winning one on one battles being a bigger deal now. AV’s system was crucial for one thing in order for it to work. Winning your board battles was huge. It’s what made the stretch passing work. It was always cash money when a Ranger player would win his 1 on 1 in the DZ and NZ for quick stretch pass.

      Certain top 9 names can’t take the puck from point A to point B and make the play. Than the few that can do that tend to not shoot the puck enough. Imo the major downfall is the inept outlet passes. It ruins the true speed of this team and counter attack because the D suck at defending and moving the puck.

    • exactly. as larry brooks mentioned, its kind of square pegs in round holes right now. to play the offense quinn is looking for stronger wall guys are needed to maintain puck possession/retrieval and better shooters in general especially on defense. because shots drive possession and goal mouth opportunities. Under AV the system was designed to create odd man rushes where a pass across the royal road can mitigate lesser innate skill. its kind of being exposed during this transition period – which for hughes, kakko sake is fine.

  • In the regular line up, that played last year: Kreider, Zib, Buch, Vesey, Hayes, Zuc, Names, Spooner, Fast, Skjei, Shatty, Smith, Staal, Lundqvist.

    New to the regular line up under 25: Chytil, Howden, and Pionk.

    In and out of the line up: McQuaid, McLeod, Lettieri, DeAngelo, Claesson, Georgiev.

    Let that sink in for a second or two.

    • Dude I tried warning you about this “rebuild”. It’s really a retool and a audition to see who’s going to be apart of the future. In that regular line up, you have only Skjei and Staal ( if he’s not bought out) on long term contracts pass 2020-21.

      JG made it pretty clear that this roster won’t carry all three rookie centers. The guy’s that they drafted were between 2–3 year’s away from playing in the NHL or are stuck in the KHL. They added more vets to the flux of D men, I thought those were all tell tale signs that this was a retool. I don’t get the sudden surprise by the age group which is still pretty young.

      I’m hear Kreider’s name is already being shopped around.

      • This is a rebuild, not a retool. The problem identified above is because our young talent is not that good and not NHL ready. We need more young talent and that will be apparent when many in the “regular line up” are traded at the trade deadline. This rebuild has at least another 2 or 3 years to go minimum. Some in the “regular line up” are being showcased so we can get something for them at the TD.

      • “I’m hear [sic] Kreider’s name is already being shopped around…”

        Dear Mint—Aside from your typically poor writing style, you’re the only person hearing that Kreider’s being shopped around for a trade. And just a little tip—I’m pretty sure these voices mentioning this tidbit about Kreider are all in your own head. Maybe up the dosage on the antipsychotics again?

        Kreider leads the team in goals and points. How’s your boy Hayes doing again? Speak up now, Mint—because to me it looks like the $6 million dollar bong has 8 teammates ahead of him on the scoresheet at the moment.

        Sincerely yours—MC

      • Bro, I think that Feb will tell the story. If you’re boy is still here in March then I will lose faith in the “plan.”

      • I refuse to call this a real rebuild until 36 is wearing another jersey. that’s like the signal for me. until that happens its an on the fly retool while trying to keep season tix holders placated.

        • I don’t think that’s fair re: King. He is the face of the franchise and has an unmovable contract. Moreover his apparent successor, Shetsky, is organization property and will be here next season, I believe. These rebuilds are never perfect. You don’t trade your best d man, best center and top winger if ur not in full rebuild mode.

          • The King wears number 30. Zuccarello wears number 36, and is a constant target of Mr Matrix’ scorn. His remarks were directed at his usual target.

  • “As of late in the week, no team had contacted the Rangers for permission to speak to Alain Vigneault since he was dismissed within hours of delivering his valedictory address following the team’s final game of last season in Philadelphia.”

    I can’t recall many people saying how they missed the HOS coach! It appears the whole of the NHL has no interest in AV, surprise.

    I miss the bantering with E3, does anyone know if he’s OK?

    Doc Paul, and Nick, chime in will you……….

  • Nothing surprising to start the season. The Rangers have a new system they are acclimating too, and Quinn is trying to find the effort players so mixing lines and players looking for some chemistry and who should be staying in the line up. The Rangers are not as bad as there record, and no doubt will most likely screw up the rebuild by sneaking into the playoffs in a wild card spot.

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