State of the Rangers

Despite defensive ineptitude, Rangers rebuild still trending in right direction

It's not all doom and gloom with the defense

Let’s open with one tweet:

Fitz here, who has apparently retired from making gifs, has hit the nail on the head, and it is something that is often lost around here and throughout casual discussions about the Rangers. Breaking down who Fitz was referring to:

The fun thing here is this doesn’t include the kids currently with Hartford that are either expected to make the Rangers or fight for a spot: Lias Andersson, Joey Keane, Tarmo Reunanen, and Adam Huska.

And the funner thing is that doesn’t even include the non-AHL players: Call Sjalin, Morgan Barron, and basically the entire 2019 draft class, which the Rangers nailed.

Not all of these guys are going to be Rangers. Some will be busts. Some will be included in trades. Roster players may be moved to make room for some of these kids, sure. That’s expected in a cap era. But to think that the Rangers may actually need to make a decision between DeAngelo and Lundkvist is both fascinating and promising. The fact that Shesterkin may force a Georgiev trade sooner rather than later fits in this same boat.

We harp a lot on the defensive system, and for good reason. It’s maddening to watch some great offensive numbers and talents not hit potential because they spend so much time in their own zone. Eventually the question regarding Lindy Ruff, David Quinn, and whether they are the coaches for the next step in the rebuild –actually competing– will need to be addressed.

For now, we know this is a rollercoaster ride of a season. The 9-4-2 November certainly gives us the rose colored glasses for a brief moment. The offense is clicking, albeit incredibly top heavy. The kids are progressing and should, in theory, be able to replace any departing veterans from that top-six. There’s skilled depth in the pipeline to fill in the holes.

Is it perfect? Far from it. I’m basically ignoring defensive stats on the Rangers because the system is so FUBAR’d that you can’t actually discern if it’s the player or the system. Those are the drops in the roller coaster ride. But for all those drops, the coaster keeps climbing. They can still screw this up by rushing it, but I’m cautiously optimistic they can pull this off.

"Despite defensive ineptitude, Rangers rebuild still trending in right direction", 5 out of 5 based on 19 ratings.
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22 Comments

  1. The team’s overall D has been much better lately. Because, basically they were atrocious to start the year, giving up historic attempts against.

    The 2 top pairings, Skjei-Trouba and Lingren-Fox, have been really good lately. And the forwards gap control, the key to the Rangers’ overall D IMO, has been very good the past week or so. They are not allowing the opponents to do what they want.

    Staal probably will be replacing Hajek, to pair with ADA. Whatever.

    But definitely trending in the right direction. I still predict a possible 8th seed for the playoffs.

    1. Great post Dave….I could not agree with you more and this is the reason for my patience…..Unlike in the past where I would go off the deep-end and use every curse known to man when it came to player development by the NYR…..The franchise is clearly headed in the right direction and for the first time in 4,933 years…..we are truly developing players before our eyes….Concerning is the upcoming Kreider decision….and how to rid of some of our contracts and dead weight….Other than that, it’s all good…….I will not comment on Ruff…….lol

  2. When the season started I said that we may not win, but it should be fun watching these kids grow. And grow they did.

    The system is loaded with some very good prospects, and I suspect that Miller may come out next season, and vie for a spot on the left side of the defense. If that is the case, can we see the possibility of Skjei being moved? Watching the game against the Devils, it appears that he, and Jake make a nice first pair, and unless he regresses, he will be a keeper.

    We could see a defense of Miller, Skjei, and Lindgren on the left side, with Trouba, Fox, and ADA on the right, and Hajek being the 7th man. I hate saying this but Tony may be the odd man out because we won’t pay what he is worth, and that may force the issue with management.

    I love the direction that the organization is going, and also look forward to the next five to six years of making long runs for the cup!!!!!!!!!!

    1. It’s funny how right Walt is with the four idiots, what’s wrong with what he said.

  3. 4 of the top 10 teams come from the metro division. I don’t see this team catching up to any of them. All the teams above them in the standings can easily separate themselves from inconsistent team’s. Pitts is just waiting for Crosby to come back but other than that the standings seem already set imo.

    I expect Tampa to make a push which will put a nail on this team’s chances. The lottery pick would do more good for this team for now and later. I know Dolan wants his seats filled come May but by adding a top 6 prospect, this rebuild could come complete. This comes with the obvious conclusion of another fire sale. Use Kreider and whoever else for another deep draft.. I think this team will work it’s self to be shaped that way.

    1. Hey Avery—how’s that Kevin Hayes Jets jersey fitting? As well as your Kevin Hayes Flyers jersey?

      As far as “fire sales” and “completed” rebuilds go, not sure about the validity of either. Kreider should definitely go, Georgie too—but that’s hardly a fire sale, it’s just being smart with expendable assets and expiring contracts. But then I guess you’ve got the pulse of the front office, you were so right about Hayes’ future with the Rangers, after all.

      1. You’re forgetting that they need to make decisions on Fast, Strome, ADA and Lemieux as well — if they trade Fast I’m betting he gets more value than some here expect.

      2. Add Strome and you’ve completed the “must trade” list. I’d add Fast to that but I would actually keep him around on a multiyear deal assuming the dollars make sense (less than $3M annually for 3-4 years). If he wants more add him to the trade list too.

  4. That November run was a very good one for the young team, especially considering that they were without Zibanejad for ten games. You can see things falling into place pretty nicely for the Rangers. They have decisions to make, but they are dealing with much more talented and younger pieces than they had in recent years, so they don’t have to be forced into bad choices unless the cap crunch hinders them. However, I think they should be able to handle that too.

    With more youngsters in the pipeline, hope springs eternal for the team. If they somehow made the playoffs that would be nice, but no matter what I am looking forward to the rest of the season.

  5. Tip of the iceberg boys.

    Imagine what it will e like when we don’t need filler spots on the roster like McKegg , and Howden.

    2 more years and we will be in the playoffs.

  6. No matter how the Rangers are doing at the trade deadline, I think they should move Kreider. He is not the same player he was last season and his camp is still looking for a large re-up in his salary. The Rangers need to create cap space to resign ADA and Lemieux. Strome is a restricted free agent, perhaps a one year deal is in the cards for him.

  7. This young team needed time to gel – and they are not finished yet. The Fox/Lindgreen pair seems to be working well as a team. Trouba/Skjei/Tony D still need to find a real pairing. The return of Staal may complicate things.

    The Zibby/Buch/Krieder line looks to be playing well, as does the Strome/Panarin/?? line. Let’s leave Kakko there and let him learn with two guys who know the game.

    Chytil is playing pretty well since his return. Let’s find a solid set of wings (Lemieux/Fast perhaps) and leave them there to become a strong 3rd line. Still wondering who Howden should have on his wings or if Boo should center Howden.

    Hank can still play and Georgi will be our chip to trade come the deadline. We still are inconsistent, but getting better every game.

    Seems like DQ is getting a hang of this.

  8. It’s funny that the Rangers’ 2019 draft was labeled a monster success (it was) and the only “bad”, “head-scratcher” pick was Hunter Skinner in the 4th round. Well, this 6’3” RH defenseman is one of the leading scorers among defensemen in the OHL as an 18 year old with 22 points in 24 games. And like K’Andre he’s a converted forward that’s just starting to learn the game defensively. Talk about a potential steal in the draft!

  9. Watching the game against the Bruins, it was pretty obvious how important it is for a line, and a team, to have experience playing together. Players learn what to expect from their team mates, and line mates, so they don’t have to think about where they’re going to be in every situation. Their reactions can be quicker, and more precise. To expect a team with as many new moving parts as the Rangers to reach that level of teamwork in just 20 some games is unrealistic. the fact that they’re showing significant progress this soon is definitely a good sign, but we can still expect to hit some major rough spots before the season’s over. Let’s just enjoy the ride for now.

  10. I see improvements…

    MGT has gotten the club new players, players have improved their play, more players in the pipes to improve the team more…
    the team has improved their play October to November…

    whisper these words aloud…. “I see improvements”

  11. We still have a ways to go before we start thinking about knocking on the door of the playoffs.
    We need a shutdown pair, and we need to have at least 3 strong lines. Hoping we continue to make progress. Still could use a stay-at-home defenseman to play with Tony D. Tony is doing well, but needs to remember his defensive responsibilities.

    Chytil and Kakko still hold on to the puck too much, but that lesson is yet to be learned.

  12. Why are you people so intent on trading Georgiev. That kid has a shot at being a star. Also think that Quinn is the perfect coach for this team, a good teacher who also demands accountability. Keep Georgie and let Shesterkin play out the season at Hartford, what is the big hurry in bringing him up. Georgie is a known NHL quantity whereas Igor is not.

    1. The risk is that Shesterkin may not be willing to spend the entire year in Hartford. I’d rather see us bring him up for while to see how he looks in the NHL, even if that means Georgiev has to sit (or play in Hartford) for a few games. Yes, Georgiev has looked good, but he’s still not a proven NHL goalie.

      1. Shouldn’t be difficult, they just need GOOD communication … sit Georgie down and tell him he and Shesterkin are the future, that he has a legitimate shot at being the starter when Hank leaves (whether they fully believe it or not). Send him down before he’s waiver eligible and let Shesty play a few games — but again, explain it not as a demotion but as a move for the future good of the TEAM.

  13. Georgiev is Lundqvist’s replacement, Sheterskin will back up Georgiev. Quit trying to trade Georgiev, it would be a huge mistake to trade him.

    1. There’s little chance of that being the case. Georgiev will be in Connecticut or traded by January at the latest to make room for Igor.

      The Tsar is coming soon to NYC. And barring a change of heart and a dropped no-movement clause, the King will be right there with him. Georgie is the odd man out.

  14. The King has one year left on his contract after this year, then he is probably done with the Rangers . He’ll be 39 years old at that time. You can team up Georgiev and Shesterkin for many years. And you don’t know how Shesterkin is going to pan out. Georgie is a known quantity, Igor is not. Big mistake if you trade Georgie.

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