In a bit of a surprising move, the Rangers have traded forward Brandon Mashinter to the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Kyle Beach. Mashinter. In ten total games with the Rangers over two seasons, Mashinter was held off the score sheet with ten PIMS. With Hartford this year, Mash had a line of 1-6-7 in 11 games with 15 PIMs.
Beach, currently with the Rockford Icedogs of the AHL, has a line of 4-0-4 in 7 games. Beach has no NHL experience.
This is a very minor move, as neither had much NHL experience. It is worth noting that Beach is a right handed shot. He will report to Hartford.
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Now that all the hemming and hawing over Henrik Lundqvist’s contract situation has been completed, Cam Talbot’s future has been an oft-discussed topic. Whatever you may think about the specific details of the contract, Hank is going to be manning the pipes at the Garden until 2020-2021.
This brings us back to Talbot. His emergence this season as a viable NHL goaltender have prompted quite a few fans to jump to conclusions about his long-term future in the Rangers organization and his potential trade value and contract status. Just to get the facts out of the way, Talbot is under contract for this season and next at a very reasonable $562,000 cap hit. As Dave pointed out in his fantastic analysis of Hank’s contract, the discount between Marty Biron’s salary and Talbot’s hedge quite a bit of the raise that Hank received in the context of overall goaltending cost.
After next season, because of his age, Talbot will be eligible for Unrestricted Free Agency. Generally speaking, when a player makes his NHL debut, there are usually several cost controlled years at the team’s disposal, either through the ELC or RFA status. Because goalies are more often than not, late bloomers, the Rangers don’t have this luxury with Talbot. Read more »
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The Rangers came into Buffalo not only in need of a win, but in need of a win where they dominated the opposition. They did both last night, taking control of the Sabres in a 3-1 win. Henrik Lundqvist was stellar, and the Rangers scored at even strength and on the powerplay for a nicely balanced scoring attack. New York dominated puck possession, and was finally able to convert on scoring chances. Sure it was Buffalo, but confidence building has to start somewhere.
Speaking of Hank, what a game he played. He wasn’t tested often, but he had a lot of difficult saves to make, including three acrobatic saves (one split on a breakaway, one glove save, and one diving blocker save). He was surely on his game last night.
As for special teams, the Rangers PK is still phenomenal, and the PP continues to convert and generate solid chances.
On to the goals:
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The Rangers are in Buffalo tonight to take on the league’s worst team that is currently in a state of flux. Since these two teams last faced off, the Sabres have fired their head coach (Ron Rolston) and their GM (Darcy Regier). Pat Lafontaine was hired as President, and charged with finding a GM and a coach. As of now Ted Nolan is the interim head coach of the team as Lafontaine continues his search, but this is a team that is 2-6 since the shake up.
Ted Nolan has the Sabres running a 1-2-2 forechecking system and try to shut down the middle of the ice. For the defensive zone system, he has them playing the low-zone collapse pretty much exclusively. On special teams, the Sabres run an umbrella power play and a wedge+1 penalty kill.
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If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that we love the shows where the Rangers talk with the coaches to discuss the x’s and o’s of the game. We were big fans of “Behind the Bench” with John Tortorella, and we are equally fans of “The AV Squad” with Alain Vigneault. MSG was kind enough to provide us with some quotes from tonight’s all-new episode at 6pm, just before the game tonight. The show give us a behind-the-scenes look at the past two weeks in Rangerland. Due to the timing of the Henrik Lundqvist deal, that will have to wait until the next episode
In this episode, AV talks about getting the team to be more consistent, but trying to avoid moving his lines around too much.
“At this point, I’d rather believe in the players, give them more opportunity, give them another chance on the ice as far as showing what they can do. Maybe sometime you give them a little less ice time because you’re not satisfied with what’s going on, but we’ve got to work ourselves into the team that we believe we can be.”
AV also tells host Bill Pidto that the recent win over Vancouver might have tasted a little sweeter than the rest.
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We’ve received some feedback over the past few weeks that readers are looking for a more objective viewpoint on hot-button Rangers issues. In our insatiable desire to please our readership, we’ve decided to start the Playing devil’s advocate series, looking at both sides of major debates and lending our own conclusion.
As the 2013-2014 season progresses, one topic that always remains at the forefront is the Brad Richards buyout decision. The Rangers are allowed one more compliance buyout in June of 2014, and the rumors are they will use it on Richards. The 33-year-old center signed a back-diving contract as a free agent prior to the 2011-2012 season. After a strong first season, Richards struggled mightily in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. He got off to a hot start this season (5-3-8 in the first 8 games), but has slowed a bit, putting up 2-10-12 in the other 20 games. Despite that, Richards is still leading the team in scoring, with 20 points in 28 games. Regardless of your opinion of Richards, he’s a critical Ranger this season. But is he worth the risk of keeping him around?
The case to keep him around:
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Per the Rangers Twitter feed, Derek Dorsett will be out tonight with a lingering wrist issue. Taylor Pyatt will return to the lineup in Dorsett’s place. Also, AV noted an unspecified defenseman is banged up and the defensemen will be a game time decision. We can speculate all we want, but we know it isn’t John Moore that is banged up, since AV confirmed he will return tonight. If the unspecified defenseman is good to go, then I assume Justin Falk, who barely played in the third period last game, will be the healthy scratch.
In case you missed it, and I doubt you did, the Rangers re-signed Henrik Lundqvist to a massive seven-year, $59.5 million ($8.5 million cap hit) contract extension yesterday. It is a long commitment to the best goalie in the world. It’s also a contract that makes him the highest paid goalie in history (not counting Roberto Luongo’s contract, which was for a much longer term). The contract represents a clear message: This team is committed to winning, and is also committed to keeping their franchise players in New York for the foreseeable future. Naturally, there are a lot of pros and cons of the contract, so let’s get into them.
- The contract is only a $1.7 million (approximately 25%) raise on his current deal. With the cap expected to hit $70 million next season (10% increase), the cap hit only represents 12% of next year’s cap, compared to 10% now. The 2% increase is well worth it to keep Hank around. The interesting part is when you start combining goalie salaries. Martin Biron (pre-retirement) was slated to make $1.3 million, for a combined total of $8.175 million this season (12.7% of the $64.3 million cap). Next year with Hank’s contract and Cam Talbot’s $562,500 contract ($9 million total) is only 12.9% of the $70 million cap. The numbers actually remain the same in terms of dollars spent on goaltending. Read more »
It wasn’t until late yesterday that I realized it was December 3rd, so suffice it to say it was a long day. But when I actually realized what day it was, I had one of those “oh crap” moments. It was a good “oh crap” moment, because I realized that the blog turned five years old yesterday. It’s amazing how fast time flies.
It was five years ago yesterday when my good friend Becky told me that I should start a blog. There weren’t many readable blogs at that point (maybe a handful), mostly because hockey wasn’t as popular as the other sports, so I decided to go for it. I reached out to friend of the blog Mike Axisa (of River Ave Blues) for advice on how to get things rolling. He was even kind enough to promote BSB on RAB (hooray three letter acronyms) a few times to get the word out, and to help write here to get the blog moving along.
In those times, I was happy to cross 100 hits per day. If I got a comment on a post I almost wet myself. I remember the first time I crossed 500 hits, and it was when Mike posted the first link to BSB in an RAB open thread. I had a celebratory beverage.
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Pavel Buchnevich (2013, 3rd) was invited to Russia’s World Junior Championship tryout camp. Buchnevich was one of 29 players invited to Russia’s camp. The 18-year-old forward sustained a concussion last month, but was in the lineup today for Severstal, indicating he is good to go.
Brady Skjei was invited to the USA WJC camp, one of eight defensemen to be invited. Skjei is expected to make the club.
The Rangers do not have any prospects that were selected for Canada’s WJC camp. As far as I know, Sweden has not released their camp roster yet.