Game Thread

Game 6: Snapping the skid

The NY Rangers look to snap their three game skid at MSG against Vancouver

After winning their first two games of the season, albeit not in a pretty way, the Rangers have dropped their last three and looked bad in doing so. The Blueshrts are dead last in puck possession, meaning they aren’t sustaining offensive pressure consistently and getting pinned in their own end a lot as well. These are not good signs, even if it is just five games.

Their sixth today is against a beatable Vancouver team, but in order to win and look good doing so, they need to overhaul their process. It doesn’t appear to be an effort issue, it’s more a process issue and an execution issue. Someone other than the top line and powerplay needs to score. They need to stop conceding the blue line and speed through the neutral zone. Baby steps for sure, but this is clearly a rebuilding season.

Note: If the lines are off, then they changed after I wrote this at 11am. I’m currently at the airport in Miami and may not be able to change it.

Canucks Lines

JT Miller-Elias Petterson-Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson-Bo Horvat-Josh Leivo
Michael Ferland-Brandon Sutter-Jake Virtanen
Tim Schaller-Jay Beagle-Tyler Motte

Alex Edler-Tyler Myers
Quinn Hughes-Chris Tanev
Jordie Benn-Troy Stetcher

PP1: Boeser-Petterson-Miller-Edler-Horvat
PP2: Pearson-Leivo-Ferland-Myers-Hughes

Jakob Markstrom gets the start.

Rangers Lines 

Artemi PanarinMika ZibanejadChris Kreider
Pavel Buchnevich–Brett HowdenKaapo Kakko
Brendan Lemieux-Ryan StromeJesper Fast
Micheal HaleyLias AnderssonBrendan Smith

Libor HajekJacob Trouba
Marc StaalTony DeAngelo
Brady SkjeiAdam Fox

PP1: Panarin-Zibanejad-Buchnevich-Kreider-Trouba
PP2: Kakko-Strome-Lemieux-DeAngelo-Fox

PK Forwards: Zibanejad, Anderson, Fast, Kreider, Strome, Howden, Lemieux
PK Defense: Skjei, Trouba, Staal Smith

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches: Greg McKegg (healthy)

Crazy Prediction: No one has anything to complain about after the game.

Game time is 7pm.

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27 Comments

  1. How is this season a rebuild with Staal, Smith, and Haley all in the lineup at the same time?

    Today’s 4th line of Haley-Andersson-Smith will do WONDERS for Lias’ development.

    These are supposed to be “expert” hockey people. You can’t make it up.

  2. I understand what they are doing, there is a method to their madness — but that doesn’t mean their method is the most efficient development strategy … so I agree with you.

  3. How does dressing even more rookies in the lineup make the Rangers better. So far the only thing the young Rangers are learning is how to lose.

  4. Bloomer

    Because they are the future of this organization, and they can’t learn if they aren’t playing. Take Staal for insistence, is he a part of the future? Not no but hell no he isn’t so why waste time, and space with an immobile guy who is a defensive liability. If a kid makes a mistake, he learns from it. If Staal makes a mistake, do you really believe he gives a crap? Probably not…………

  5. Come on, Richter, the Ranger problem isn’t bad players but the absence of good ones. I admit there is no real excuse for playing Haley and Lundqvist, but Staal and Smith contribute. I think Staal complements DeAngelo nicely and in fact that is really the only defense pair that seems to work as a duo.

    And Lias seems to be learning to play well, something none of the kids were learning last year.

  6. Staal contributed a beautiful turnover today, right after Smith’s turnover.

    If a veteran player doesn’t contribute to winning, then they’re part of the problem and not in any way shape or form a positive influence on the younger players. Again, I would rather tolerate a mistake from a youngster than one from a vet — at least in our specific situation.

  7. Jesper Fast is a good example of a veteran player you keep and play. He may not wow you with offensive skills, but he never hurts the team and his effort and smarts are undeniable.

  8. Then I look over and see JT wearing a Canuck uniform. Miller is having a great start to the season playing along side the young Vancouver forwards. But for those here, JT was another whipping boy who couldn’t do anything right.

    It’s going to be a long rebuild. Welcome to the Oilers east.

  9. The honeymoon is over. WTF was that today? 40 minutes of hideous play followed by 20 minutes of desperation. I know that leadership is showcasing some of the vets that they want moved, but wow…..4 losses in a row is not a good sign….

  10. Smith dispite the odd gaff, adds a lot to this Ranger squad. Not only can get play forward and defence but he can play on the pk. He still skates and moves the puck very well and is strong on the boards which is an area where the Rangers are very weak.

    I cant make a good argument for keeping Staal in the lineup.

  11. Bloomer, you justifying Smith’s roster spot tells me that you do not agree with playing the young players. All of them. I don’t know what that direction leads to, playing these stiffs.

    That line up today was laughable. Funny how Lias actually looks like a good player when he has actual NHL players playing on his line.

  12. Raymond, if we’re going to lose, then I want to lose with the best NHL players available.

    Haley, Staal, Lemieux, and Smith in the same line up at the same time. It’s comedy hour.

    Meanwhile Chytil is a point per game player in Hartford.

  13. Bloomer, Smith is ok as your spare forward and spare d’man, if you have to rely on him more than that it’s not a positive sign. Re: Staal, he’s been on the downside of his career since the eye injury — add age into the equation and he just isn’t a guy who can do more than be a 3rd pairing d’man night after night. There’s NO reason he can’t be benched or scratched from a game here and there, especially on nights where he looks like the worst d’man out there.

  14. tanto said “Again, I would rather tolerate a mistake from a youngster than one from a vet — at least in our specific situation.”

    This is why you would make a horrible coach. When you tolerate a mistake, you are telling the player that it was okay. Well, then they won’t learn. Does that matter? For a veteran who is not part of the future, it’s irrelevant. For a part of the future core of the team, it is absolutely vital.

    Also, there are different kinds of mistakes. There are misconceptions with regard to what you are doing and there is faulty execution. Those mistakes need to be treated differently. You avoid the first kind of mistake by insisting that you will not tolerate it. You avoid the second kind of mistake by having better players – not by punishing the players who are not good enough.

    You bench players who don’t give 100%, players who ignore their assignments, occasionally players who make wrong decisions if you want to make a point. You don’t bench guys who just mess up.

  15. Richter, you are being impatient. It isn’t about winning, but about developing good players. Winning comes later. I agree that Chityl is better than most of the forwards in the lineup, but I want the best route to a Hart Trophy career even if that means not using him immediately.

    But let’s look at who is playing and who is not. On defense, the Rangers are uncomfortably young. If they wanted to play the best players, Smith would be the third left defenseman and Hajek would sit. Marc Staal is not good enough to e the best left defenseman on a team, but he may very well be on this team. Also, Keane and Day are playing in Hartford although there are veterans who may be better. And they didn’t sign Morrow so he wouldn’t get in the way. The only thing I would like to see is Fox and/or DeAngelo getting some PK time.

    At forward, the Ranger problem is that they don’t have very many good ones. Certainly Chityl should be called up soon, but I’ll cut the Rangers a few weeks of slack here. It’s not bad for him to play on an actual good team. I’d also like to see diGuiseppi, who has got to be better than some of the disinterested and/or weak forwards the Rangers have. But otherwise (except for maybe Beleskey), there is nothing at Hartford. Presently, Kravtsov has be cut some slack to justify playing him at all – he is far and away the worst of the twelve guys who are playing.

  16. Raymond, my approach has zero to do with winning. Tell me that Chytil, Krav, and Lindgren are not better than Smith, Haley, and Staal. AND, the former is the future and the latter is not.

  17. Marc Staal is totally immune to ramifications for making mistakes, so stop saying there is accountability.

    They pick and choose who they want to “punish.”

  18. The idea that James Dolan spent $136 million dollars on two players who are at their peak and will begin to decline sooner than some are willing to accept…..to lose is an exercise in mental gymnastics that even Nadia Comaneci couldn’t get a perfect 10 in.

    Only select Ranger fans.

  19. tanto

    Your comment is what I’ve been saying for the last three to four years, WOW!!!!!!

    Ray

    Some of us here liked JT Miller, me being one, but he was due for a big raise, and got it from Tampa, who immediately moved him for lack of production. It appears that your ability to evaluate players is somewhat lacking!!!!!!!!!!!!! He isn’t worth the $6 mil a year he gets, no matter how much we like him……….

  20. Richter,

    Staal Haley, Smith vs. Chityl Kravtsov, Lindgren

    First the easy one. Presently Kravtsov isn’t anywhere near the player Haley is (yes Haley stinks). He isn’t even Dawson Leedahl.

    I have little doubt that Staal is currently better than Lindgren – though from what I saw Thursday, Lindgren should be playing instead of Hajek.

    Probably Chityl is the best of the six. BUT he needs to be developed properly. I will be just a little disappointed if Chityl doesn’t turn out to be as good as Panarin, so it is imperative that he is dedicated to being all he can be and not satisfied with being good enough to play. As I said above, I think Chityl is ready to come to NY, but I’ll defer to management if they want another week or two in Hartford.

  21. Ray

    My mistake, it was meant for Bloomer. I’m wearing out my eraser lately, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. By TOLERATE I simply mean I would rather forgive a rookie/prospect if he makes a mistake than a veteran — in other words I expect more from my veteran players. I expect them to set the tone and the example with their play on the ice, with their practice habits, etc. Anything less than that expectation sends a bad message to the kids — yes kids, you have to play in fear of making a mistake while the vets can continue to collect their big money and suffer little to no consequences for their mistakes — repeated mistakes or not.

    You either hold the vets to the same standards or even higher standards, to hold them to the lowest standards does not foster development of the prospects.

  23. Walt, I’ve always agreed about Staal … but perhaps with less angst than you normally exhibit. 😉 I respect Staal and could tolerate him on a 3rd pairing, but nothing more than that at this stage of his career — and there are certainly games where I would bench him for a period before I would bench someone like Tony D … same for a scratch here and there. We can’t have sacred cows on this team, it sends a bad message to the kids.

  24. tanto

    Angst no, maybe emotions??????

    People cling to the past, show undue loyalty to certain players. I am for winning, and could care less how many years you played for us, you have to earn your keep, or be shown the door for lack of production!!!!

    Marc, Gerardi, and many others are shown too much respect for the past, signed to big deals that they never lived up to. Coming from a business background, we had to deal with what have you done lately, and if you didn’t produce, you were history. This may sound cold, but that’s a fact of life, and I had to work under those conditions,why shouldn’t these pros do as well? So if I come across as cold, that may be the case, and so be it…………

  25. The reason Staal does not get benched is because he does not do things that get you benched. He plays hard and with discipline. He follows the system. He tries to do the right things. He is not always successful, but you don’t bench a player for not succeeding.

    And one must view everything in context. I only saw the Devil game. What was the worst play made by a defenseman? Easy question. Trouba fumbled the puck and gave it away on a power play, a “mistake” which led to a breakaway. Quinn needs to view it in a larger context. Is Trouba careful when he is the last guy back in general? Was this a reasonable play that just went awry or was this actually a reckless play? In the end, if this was just bad luck, you ignore the miscue as bad as it was. If it is part of a pattern, then you take action.

    What people here seem not to realize is that mistakes that need attention, those that are part of a bad pattern, are more often made by young players than by veterans. is the idea that young players have more to learn than older ones that hard to grasp?

  26. You only saw the Devil game? No wonder, I was going to ask you what games were you watching if you think Staal doesn’t do things that get players benched. How could you even know if you only watched one game? Sorry Ray but it seems like you now have a credibility issue.

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