Game Wrap-ups

Florida Panthers/Rangers Game Thoughts

Another track meet game!

So much of tonight could be summarized from last Sunday’s matchup, but then we could almost say that about every game this season. A lot of goals, but far too many goals against. Let’s get thinking shall we?!

  • This one was yet another track meet, both team’s depth showed up and put on a show offensively. Defensively however, we are back to square one. For a young team on the rise on the backend, it feels like there has been not a lot of growth over the sample sizes we have. Hajek is way out of his league so far this year and could use an AHL stint, Trouba is not generating the kind of offense he showed he could in Winnipeg, Skjei seems to do more bad than good night in and night out. It is a serious problem going forward when the 3 mentioned here are supposed to be the solution to the next contention window.
  • Now this could all get ratified with a coaching change, a system’s change, or flat out personnel change. We’ll see how the front office handles that one going forward.
  • The Rangers penalty kill is abysmal and NEEDS to be addressed. I’ve been very curious as to why they haven’t claimed anyone from waivers like Nic Petan, or even Brian Gibbons to help your special teams. We’ll see if they claim Pirri by noon Sunday. I know two of those guys are more offensive fire power, but at the end of the day, we are dressing a defenseman as a forward who should be put back on defense to claim one of those analytical darlings on waivers if given proper deployment and ice time.
  • Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren are SO fun to watch as a defensive pairing. It is nice to see that the puck moving/stay at home defender pairings can still be effective as long as your stay-at-home guy is a good skater. If you can’t skate in today’s league, you won’t last. Lindgren has done an incredible job in improving his stock over the course of his time in the organization as there were some who tagged him as a career AHLer from the get-go when acquired in the Nash trade.
  • Overall, a pretty good game and I’m sure Lundqvist would like at least 2 of those goals back. This team is REALLY missing Zibanejad at center and Kakko as well. Here’s hoping both are ready to go soon.
  • Have I mentioned Quinton Byfield before? Well, we’re getting one loss closer to hopefully getting him in the draft.

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  • Coach Quinn has a pep talk with Lias, telling him that he believes in him and his abilities, and then proceeds to play him even less than he has in the past, at under 4 minutes. This is supposed to motivate a young player? I really don’t get it.

    Just like having Haley and Smith on the roster. Smith’s PK really didn’t help last night, did it? Them, including Lias, played a combined total of 12 minutes. What’s the point?

    The Panther forwards have some skill, don’t they?

    I don’t know how many times it happened last night, but why do the Ranger players insist on waiting to shoot until the opposing goalie gets set? I remember Skjei at the end of the first period receiving a pass with Bob out of position, and he took 5 seconds to shoot the puck. By that time, Bob was in position to make an easy save. It amazes m that we as fans can see things like this but teams with the benefit of video tape do not, or worse, they see it and do not fix it.

    • Good point regarding waiting too long to shoot. I actually think they did a better job of it last year. This year it’s like they forgot that initiative. Their PP is looking more like the Brad Richards years, with them controlling play in the o-zone, but not shooting enough or quick enough.

      Not Hank’s best game. He goes down to his knees way too early/often.

      Because of all the Howden vs Lias talk I watched Howden very closely last night and…his play is unremarkable in every aspect. Lias should get a shot just to see what they got. Lord knows they’ve tried everything else the past two years except giving him more minutes with better players.

      Panarin and Tony D had very good games last night.

      • that means getting/drafting natural shooters. buch isn’t. his shot numbers past two years are pretty mediocre. u see him at end of the game helplessly wailing away. no zib/kakko was really apparent then.

        • I agree with your Buch assessment, Agentsmith. Buch had a miserable Florida trip and kinda reminds me of Kreider the way he disappears for games at a time. Not surprising they share the same line and that line was invisible last night. Realistically on a good team, Buch is a third liner. Even as a layman I can see he takes too many shift and entire games off. The other thing about Buch is on the PP his shots get blocked and bounce back dangerously into the neutral zone, often leading to short handed chances for the other team.

      • Not to simplify the PP, but isn’t it a lot about getting the goalie to move, so they cannot be square to the shooter to make an easier save?

        Howden and Lias are the same player, at the very least, it’s just that Howden gets the opportunity and Lias does not.

        Hank made unbelievable saves that offset some of the questionable goals. If you watch any elite goalie, game in and game out, they all give up questionable goals. They’re human.

        Tony D is playing so well that he is getting himself traded. Panarin was my “must sign” during the offseason.

        • Richter why pull the flowers and keep the weeds. ADA is a very talented young defenceman. He is just starting to hit his stride and put up big numbers. Why move him? It’s not his fault the Rangers overpaid for Smith, Staal, Skjei and Trouba.

          • I’m not trading him pal, the Rangers are going to trade him because they do not want to pay him $4M per.

            I agree with you, my post came across like that’s what I want. No way. I have been a huge ADA fan since last year and I want him here too!!

            Demote Smith, buyout Staal next year or LTIR him, and trade Skjei. Keep ADA.

            I’m sorry if my post came across that I wanted ADA traded.

        • Howden and Lias are NOT the same player!
          One is chiseled and the other isn’t a defensively terrible player.

    • Tony

      “Coach Quinn has a pep talk with Lias, telling him that he believes in him and his abilities, and then proceeds to play him even less than he has in the past, at under 4 minutes”.

      Now you understand why I call this coach a two faced individual, and full of crap. This has got to be the fourth, or fifth time he’s pulled this nonsense, it’s getting old already.

      One point about Lindgren, he is a keeper, and stated so last year after seeing him at Hershey, I just like his game, especially with Adam as his defensive partner.

      • Walt, this is similar to the Krav situation.

        Krav was told by Quinn that he was doing great and then was sent to Hartford. So a sense of “mistrust” has developed between Krav and Quinn, made worse by probably language miscommunication.

        All I can say is, I hope that JD is taking notes.

        Lindgren should have started the season here instead of Staal. It took the Rangers 10 games to realize what most fans already knew, but we’re stupid fans.

        • The Lindgren over Staal choice—couldn’t agree more with you. Blindingly obvious to everyone except Quinn. Another example—along with Chytil—of the coach’s really questionable judgment of talent. That’s why it’s pretty clear Quinn probably screwed up with Kravtsov as well.

          • How do we know this for sure?…How do we know it was Quinn that double-crossed Kravtsov? There are a few hands in Ranger fish bowl…

          • JD has to step in and do the following:

            Send Smith to AHL along with Howden and Hajek.
            Bring up Keane. send for Kravtsov and insert in lineup.
            Trade Georgiev and Strome while there is value.
            Igor has to come up….. Brooks read my mind.
            Decide on Kreider and soon……
            Buyout Staal after this season.
            Tony D will look to cash in and probably will not be with us… Looking like deadline trade..
            Brady needs a new pair of loins….
            get Reaves…
            Get rid of Ruff…..

          • Umm chytil did not have a great pre season. The ahl time seems to have helped him . No one ever questioned his skill. Krav wasnt ready… prob further away and pouted his way to mommy. You can be “doing well” and coachable yet STILL NOT BE READY like many top players in his draft.

          • Agentsmith: what did Haley and McKegg do in preseason, exactly? And what are they doing now, besides jack?

          • Quinn’s or org’s egregious decisions for this year, IMO:

            Shatty buyout over Staal
            Staal roster spot over Lindgren
            Howden’s teflon spot in the line up
            Smith on the Rangers at all
            Haley on the Rangers at all (waived today so there’s progress!!)
            Chytil’s demotion to Hartford
            Lias obvious mishandling
            Driving Krav back to Russia

            Am I missing any?

          • Agent: Staal has not had a great 3 to 5 seasons and yet there he was in the opening night line up.

            So Chytil may not have had a couple of good preseason games, but proved last year that he belonged. The preseason certainly did not warrant a demotion.

            And neither did Krav’s preseason either.

          • yep, so buy him out next year, LTIR him, or never play him again and let him ask for a trade.

  • We keep apologizing for Hank. I notice this morning that Larry Brooks is ready to sacrifice the lamb Georgiev so that the old sheep – that would be Lundqvist – can hang on in the shadow of Shesterkin.

    • Love Hank, but I wish he would have agreed to the trade Rangers had on the table two years ago…He knew what was happening here…..and he decided to stay……We cannot have Igor leave and believe me he will bolt so Rangers IMO, will be summoning him once G gets traded….Ruff has me doubling up at home….cognac…lol…….what is this team doing on defense? Can someone please explain the structure?

      • Hank can’t be traded due to salary considerations until much later in the season, when he won’t blow up another team’s cap. Additionally there’d likely have to be some kind of under-the-table promise from Hank that he’ll retire from the NHL after this year, so as to not ruin his new team’s salary cap next season.

        I love Hank, but would like to see him traded to a team like San Jose, Calgary, or Edmonton so he could have one last outside shot at the Cup. Out west. Couldn’t bear to see Hank with any eastern conference teams.

    • As I have been saying Igor is going to make things difficult and that process has started.

      Nice to see others finally picking up on it.
      He did point out the restriction on games/waivers so that definitely complicates things.

  • Here is my take on this take team:
    Brooks read my mind…. Bring up Igor…….
    Kreider……. 50/50 he stays…
    Strome and Georgie have some value….both will be moved…
    Tony D………playing well…..could be traded at deadline.
    Send Hajek to AHL…..summon Keane… let’s see what the kid brings to the big club.
    Trouba looks hurt to me…..
    Get Reaves to protect kids
    Ruff has to go….D structure is pathetic…..PP D is putrid….
    Who is really calling the shots here? Quinn looks like a puppet to me…..I have seen enough of Smith as well..

  • Howden had a good game last night. His line generated lots of scoring chances and they came back and took care of business in their own zone. The Howden hate is unjust and uncalled for. He was a better player then Lias in the world junior hockey tournament and he is better then Lias in the pros. Andersson needs to go down to Hartford and play minutes. Chytil spent time there and he came back an improved player. It’s time to bring up Shesterkin. He has earned an opportunity for a shot in the big league.

  • I must have been watching another game, I like Hajek and accept his rookie mistakes now and then. I think when the kid’s body matures in a couple of years he’s going to be a very solid d’man.

    • Agree with you on Hajek. He’s a little sloppy with the puck on his stick but is a decent passer. His size and athleticism are plain to see, it’s getting to the point where no defenseman in this system can be accurately judged with shot/possession numbers. Certainly more physical than Staal as well.

  • Looks like we have three really good looking defensive players about 1-2 years away….. I don’t know how much longer the fan base patience level is, but it looks to me like we are still a few years from contention, unless the defense decides to tighten up and play better… offense is clearly not the issue… the defense and structure clearly is the problem….

  • Geez Tyler:
    *Like Tanto, I also like Hajek and believe he is going to be a good one. Everyone wants the rookies to play, “even though they may make mistakes they will be learning” and “I don’t care if we lose if we play the youngsters…valuable playing experience” goes the narrative. Until, of course they make a mistake then its “send them to Hartford”!

    *Now this could all get ratified with a coaching change, a system’s change, or flat out personnel change. We’ll see how the front office handles that one going forward.” Andersson isn’t being treated fairly, LOL…you’re dreaming, the entire organization is doing a great job with the youth. Let’s see, Chytil, Kakko, Lingren, Fox, Lemieux, DeAngelo, (who no previous team wanted to work with) Georgiev and, yes, even Howden, are blossoming! Great idea, Tyler, let’s blow everything up because we will not win the Cup a year and a half into a rebuild. Absolutely laughable!
    Maybe Andersson is just is one of the ones that don’t make it. It wouldn’t be the first draft pick not to make the Bigs. maybe, he will though, with the right training and guidance, and maybe he is getting just that. Maybe, with him, patience is necessary.

    *Now you want to search the waiver wire for replacements because we are a young and developing team. I think this post must be a joke. Did, Dave put you up to this for a laugh?

    * Last, but not least, you want all these changes, presumably so they will not lose, and then your last point you wish for a number one lottery pick. How do you reconcile all of these contradictions. Tyler, you need to learn a little patience , my friend, this is a rebuild. It was never intended to happen overnight, and it is still not their intention. That’s what the Rangers used to do with all those over-aged big contracts they gave out. It didn’t work! Which is why we were all in on the rebuild, well, most of us. Others didn’t realize they were going to have to wait a few years for the winning to start and now want to blow it all up. Thanks for the laughs on a cold and stormy Sunday morning.

  • Friends…. can someone please explain to me why Ruff is still here? Buddy system with leadership? And what of Brady? Structure causing his issues? ….. very disappointed or were my expectations of Brady a bit high??

    • Having Ruff there is an org disaster. They all deserve blame for that.

      I hope that Brady likes Seattle.

      • The other thing that’s so irritating about Ruff coaching D is that his teams in Buffalo were also prone to rope-a-dope defense that bled shot attempts, because they had Dominik Hašek to bail them out. Any time he’s got less than Hall of Fame level goaltending his teams haven’t done well.

        • Supposedly Ruff does not totally control the D for the Rangers. Supposedly he and one of the assistants do.

          So why IS HE THERE? Advisory purposes? He’s an old hockey fool, who’s time has past a long time ago.

          Haley was waived today, which is a good move, so maybe the FO is finally “getting it.” Ruff needs to go, Smith needs to go, and Staal needs to never see the ice as a Ranger ever again.

  • Agree, Miller and Nils Lundkvist (who’s tearing up Swedish league) will make Brady expendable. He will be the Rangers sacrifical lamb.

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