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I’m not as high-tech as Dave is, so you don’t get pictures tonight. Not that you wanted them…
Well, that was fun. The Rangers dropped a laugher tonight to the Devils in Newark by a score of 4-0. Let’s break down the ineptitude…
Devils 1, Rangers 0
This play started in the offensive zone, where Derick Brassard made an ill-advised pass through the middle attempting to find John Moore at the point. Instead, the pass was picked and the Devils went to work in the Rangers’ zone. As the cycle progressed behind the net, Moore got caught wandering and failed to pick up his man. Hank provided a juicy rebound and Andrei Loktionov was left all alone in front to net his first of the year.
Devils 2, Rangers 0
The Suit and I found ourselves in a little disagreement over this one on Twitter. Girardi committed to a questionable pinch, and a nice pass by Jagr saw Adam Henrique streak behind Darrell Powe and Girardi along the boards. Henrique sped in an ripped a shot over Lundqvist’s blocker on the short side. Suit thought Hank should have had it, I thought it was just a nice shot. Anyone care to weigh in? Read more »
Happy Friday BSB’ers! Just wanted to throw out a friendly reminder that our first live chat of the season will be held today at 2:30pm. There’s plenty to talk about, so stop by up to 15 min before hand to submit your questions, complaints, rants, etc. See everyone this afternoon!
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
As we all know by now, the Rangers have gotten off to a slow start this season. One of the more surprising factors in Blueshirt’s early malaise was the rather pedestrian play of all-world goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. It wasn’t necessarily that he was playing outright badly, just far below the lofty expectations that the fan base has for #30. After posting his first shutout of the year in Washington on Wednesday night, the fan base was able to relax a bit about the form of our number-one keeper.
Buried in a quality post-game piece by Pat Leonard of the Daily News, Hank was quoted as making a small but significant adjustment to his game for the tilt in Washington: he took an extra step out from the goal line for positioning purposes. Hank was quoted on the subject as follows:
“It was more on face-offs I took a step out. My positioning on the ‘D’ shots was a little bit better. A couple times in the early games I got caught deep in my net. That’s the way I play, but there’s been a lot of deflections, (so) you want to come out a little bit more, and today it worked for me.”
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AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
To say the Rangers have gotten off to a rough start this season would be an understatement. The Kings game aside, the Blueshirts have been thoroughly de-pantsed by some of the Western Conference’s finest over the past few games. After spending all summer telling my wife (who knows an awful lot about the game) how excited I was about AV’s arrival and the potential for this team to be really successful this season, she pointedly asked me last night, “what the hell is wrong with them?”. I was at something of a loss.
Earlier this week, The Suit splendidly broke down AV’s systems and got us all up to speed on what we should be expecting out of the Ranger players this season. But this malaise goes much deeper than simply adjusting to the system. They are making serious fundamental hockey errors, as opposed to systems errors.
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Last night, the Rangers lost their 2013-2014 opener in Phoenix. It was neither pretty nor particularly encouraging. Sure, there were some bright spots; Brad Richards showed signs of life, Marc Staal looked great and the defense as a whole looked much more active in the offensive zone.
Since the pre-season started, the staff here at BSB has been preaching patience. There has been a ton of upheaval even though there was very little roster turnover from last year’s team. Not only has there been the difficulty of a coaching change and all new systems implementation, but the Blueshirts start the season on a 9-game road trip.
Derek Stepan got a late start on camp due to his contract situation and two top-6 forwards in Callahan and Hagelin are out to start the season; not to mention the disappointing camp from Chris Kreider.
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According to Elliotte Friedman, Derek Stepan and the New York Rangers have agreed to terms on a 2-year deal. The value is estimated in the $6.5 million range, but is yet unconfirmed. Looks like Sather got his bridge deal, after all. Welcome back Step, now get to work.
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Since the emergence of Henrik Lundqvist during the 2005-2006 season, many Ranger fans haven’t put much thought into the future between the pipes. Fast forward eight years later, Hank is still only 31 years-old and likely to sign a 7-8 year extension within the next 12 months. The stability The King provides has masked (no pun intended?) a rather glaring organization weakness: depth in goal.
Although its only been two preseason games, Cam Talbot has been impressive the first long-look of his career. Although the numbers are nothing to write home about (3.21 GAA, .875 Sv%), he has looked closer to NHL-ready than anything we’ve seen from the Rangers’ goaltending prospects in some time. This has prompted a discussion about Marty Biron’s future and contemplating a world where we can off-set some of Hank’s raise with a cheap backup. In this spirit of this curiosity, I thought I’d take a closer look at Mr. Talbot’s background and overall game.
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It signs the contract or else it gets the hose again.
Up until pre-season games start up in earnest, the fan focus around Rangerland will continue to be Derek Stepan’s unresolved contract situation. The boys around here have done a fantastic job covering the specifics, comparables and negotiating leverage surrounding the Blueshirt’s final RFA, but I wanted to examine a slightly different facet: the gaping hole in the CBA that lead to this situation to begin with.
The age in which a player signs his ELC will determine whether or not he is eligible for arbitration rights during his RFA years. Depending on how long the ELC is, a player could foreseeably have two years (though, usually just one) of RFA eligibility without receiving arbitration rights. This essentially means a player is allowed to seek “market” value (compared to other team-controlled players with no arbitration rights), but is still somewhat at the whim of the team’s valuation, with very little negotiating leverage. Read more »
Welcome to the final installment of the annual Top 30. It’s been a fun ride over the long summer months, but with hockey season upon us, let’s take a gander at the Top 10. In case you missed it, here are parts one and two. Before we get to the best tenders in the land, let’s take a look at the final two tenders who were relieved from their Top 30 duties of a year ago…
Miikka Kiprusoff- Retired: The reason Kipper is no longer on the list is pretty obvious: he chose to retire at the end of last season, even vetoing a trade to the Maple Leafs prior to calling it quits. The Finnish keeper was #15 on the list last season, and surely would have made another appearance had he not decided to hang ‘em up.
Nikolai Khabibulin- Chicago Blackhawks: The Bulin Wall checked in at #26 last season, when he was getting fairly consistent reps in Edmonton. However, since he decided to take on the role of veteran backup behind the newly extended Corey Crawford, he is sure to see his playing time significantly reduced. While I believe Khabby is still a solid keeper, the role change really forced my hand.
With that out of the way, ladies and gentlemen, rankings 10-1… Read more »