A few thoughts on a lazy Sunday

Apologies, there will be no recap from last night’s game. I thought I was going to be able to watch, but plans changed. So instead, I’m going to brain dump on the Rangers so far. That works, right?

1. I’m surprised at the number of people who think that the Rangers should prioritize Neal Pionk’s development over Tony DeAngelo’s. This is no slight against Pionk, who is important for the future as well. However DeAngelo is the more talented player. He’s had his issues in the defensive zone, as had Pionk. The difference is raw ability, of which DeAngelo has more. At least, that’s just my opinion.

2. There has been a lot made of line combinations, the lineup blender, and playing time for kids. It’s always something to watch, but there’s nothing worth flipping out over yet. Easing rookies into the lineup is preferred, which means limited playing time and perhaps some time as a healthy scratch to watch from above. The lineup in March is more important than the lineup now.

3. Last bit on lineup decisions. I’m really (not) looking forward to the outrage that will occur when DeAngelo or Pionk are scratched when Adam McQuaid is back. Or when Lias Andersson is sent back down when forward injuries clear up. When frustrated, refer to #2.

4. Regarding trades, there is no rush to trade anyone either. There is a belief that trading Kevin Hayes now will someone inflate his trade value, but it basically isn’t true. There’s minimal trade value in an extra 10-15 games, trading Hayes in December versus January. If the Rangers go the trade route, finding the best deal possible is the priority, not the timing.

5. I’m still of the belief that the Rangers will not trade Mats Zuccarello. However, I’d be wary of whoever his new best friend is.

6. Henrik Lundqvist is still an elite level goaltender. Don’t ever forget it.

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  • #5 relates back to #2 if you have any plans on keeping him next year. and if not its silly to not deal him for best offer.

  • 1. I don’t see any reason to prioritize development of serious prospects. Pionk-DeAngelo should not be either-or, unless you decide one or both are not worth the time.

    2&3. agree on 2. I don’t think the return of McQuaid and Zuccarello will have the impact you suggest. I could be wrong, but i don’t think McQuaid will play very much. As for Andersson, I think it will come down to whether the Rangers want to burn a year of his ELC and not to a concern about playing time. Lias is playing far more than Chityl now and it is not hard to find someone else to send down. Lettieri isn’t an NHLer, or alternatively it might be best to send Chityl down.

    Of course, McLeod doesn’t belong in the NHL either but at least for now he is not taking the spot of somebody who does. The Ranger do not have twelve legitimate NHL forwards.

    agree on 4 & 5. I think we are seeing now that you can’t just build a team by throwing in a lot of prospects; many propsects disappoint – one should give some thought to keeping good players you have.

    Interesting note: Sean Day has been demoted to Maine after a bad start and lots of healthy scratches. Overall, the defense numbers from Hartford do not suggest there is anyone there who belongs in NY today.

  • ” I’d be wary of whoever his new best friend ”

    Lol was that a knock to Hayes? They been tight since day 1. Brassard, Hayes went to go live In Norway at Zucc’s back in the summer of 15. Than they headed to Ottawa in the summer of 16 at Brass’s place. I remember he did a podcast when he was still with the Sens. Someone made a joke that they always trade Zucc’s bff and Brass clapped back by saying that his 2 musketeers have always been Hayes and Zucc. Than went on to say it’s his team now so nobody shouldn’t assume that Hayes would get traded. I thought that was real interesting, the link is still on Reddit.

    The best thing that was said of Lias Andersson on draft night was calling him a future clone of Chris Kunitz. Because that’s where he would need to play if he saw top 6 minutes. Well I didn’t see that last night, he’s always on the wrong side of the forecheck. Kreider had to do the heavy lifting on the as the 2nd man in if Lias was the first. Hayes was covering for him in the NZ ( that was a big part of why he couldn’t get himself in position for a pass by Hayes).

    Andersson doesn’t know how to slide over in a DZ coverage ( which you still have to do, sh#t happens, be ready to read for it ). There were times when he’s letting the strong side be left wide open. At one point Hayes had to skate through him along with 2 CBJ player’s which one being Panarin, who hounding him the whole way. It’s unfortunate that Hayes couldn’t stick check his man in that one play but that wide open point shot was a prime example of what I’m saying here. You leave a elite D man open who has vision and hands to aim for a deflection, than it’s going to happen 7/10 times.

  • ADA, Pionk … Pionk, ADA … they are both the future on the right side. Shattenkirk may be the present (or the past for some) …

    Both have been a joy to watch lately — aside from the occasional hiccup on defense, although ADA has been better than Pionk defensively the last couple of weeks.

  • 2 thumbs on Dave’s post. Young players need to earn their spot on the team and not be given a free pass. DeAngelo is one of those players who has been kept on a tight leash and not been provided with a lot of leeway. He has responded by improving the details of his game and is rounding out to become a very solid dman.

    Pionk has still a lot to learn about playing defence and he is an adventure out there whenever he steps on the ice. He may need sometime in the pressbox to figure it out.

    Howden asserted himself into the lineup and not only demonstrated he was the most NHL ready forward over the other rookies, but is more dependable then some of his journeymen teammates.

    Chytil and Andersson will get there but they have to make adjustments to their game and adapt to the pace and the rigors of the NHL. They are no where near taking over the duties of Hayes or Zuc.

    • chytil needs to get a bit stronger and learn to go to the inside – maybe work with rick nash a bit. lias just gonna be brutally honest here – not sure hes more than a third liner skill wise. if they sell hayes and / or zuc likely howden moves up in the interim don’t think rw is affected with spooner there.

    • Not sure why the thumbs down, but you’re spot on about Lias and Chytil … Chytil needs to learn to use that big frame of his wisely in the offensive zone. That said I’m happy with the effort I’ve seen him put in on the defensive side of the puck — better than one would expect for the type of prospect that he is.

      • chytil isnt going to do much while hes spending time with mcleod on the 4th line. I do realize there isnt much room for him and he has not shown he can play in any other spot…Lias seems decent, maybe a 2nd / 3rd line player but hes a kid and has a lot to learn. staying out of the penalty box would be a good start. also im not sure why people like DeAngelo so much more than Pionk. Of course Pionk is going to have his defensive breakdowns as does all the other rangers (veteran or rookie) but he seems to be much more confident. DeAngelo has had time to show what he can in the NHL and has failed while Pionk has just started. while im not saying i dont want DeAngelo to get a chance because id rather him in the lineup than Claesson or McQuaid to be honest, i do think Pionk to be very promising.

  • It would be really stupid if the Rangers don’t trade Zuccarello. You have to trade him, Hayes, Spooner and McQuaid.

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