Moulson is another rental that could fill a hole.
Last week, we spoke how the Rangers might target Mike Cammalleri at the trade deadline to fill a need for top-six scoring consistency. It is the only real need for this team since the trade for Kevin Klein, as that trade addressed two needs: toughness on defense, and a right handed shot for the third pairing. With the blue line stabilized, the focus turns to offense.
Moulson was shipped to Buffalo by the Islanders in the Thomas Vanek deal. While that deal may have been puzzling to say the least, it doesn’t take away from Moulson’s value as a rental player. The 30-year-old LW has three straight 30-goal seasons under his belt, not including a 30-goal pace last season. He may not hit 30 this season, but his 15 goals would put him in second place tie in New York.
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First, my apologies for this morning. I definitely wrote an open thread post for the morning’s game against Slovenia. I definitely scheduled it to post. But it is not in the database at all. Probably just a glitch, but my bad on that. I just noticed this now because it’s been a bit of a busy weekend.
Anyway, the US dominated Slovenia this morning, taking the game 5-1 and clinching first place in Group A. Ryan Callahan notched an assist and 14:57 TOI, Ryan McDonagh scored a goal in 19:38 TOI, and Derek Stepan –dressing in his first Olympics game– was held scoreless in 4:59 TOI.
With the win, Team USA is guaranteed at least the #3 seed in the medal round and a bye to the Quarterfinals on Wednesday. If they finish with the third seed, they will play the winner of the Switzerland/Latvia game. If the Canada/Finland game goes to overtime, they will claim the #2 seed and the winner of the Czech Republic/Slovakia game.
T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues was the hero for Team USA this morning, scoring four times in six shootout chances (James van Riemsdyk and Joe Pavelski missed their chances) to propel the USA to a 3-2 shootout win over Russia. The win gives the US a big edge over Russia, and would clinch first place in Group A with a win over Slovenia tomorrow morning at 7:30am. Rangers Ryan Callahan (13:51 TOI) and Ryan McDonagh (23:39 TOI) were held off the scoreboard, but played huge defensive roles in a very strong effort.
At noon, Sweden clinched first place in Group C with a 5-3 win over Latvia. Carl Hagelin played just 3:46 in the contest. Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves.
Keeping Callahan means building a contender (Photo: Anthony Gruppuso, USA TODAY Sports)
If you’re a cup half full kind of person, assume for a minute that both Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi sign back up with the Rangers and the core remains intact. Let’s also assume for a moment that Anton Stralman sticks around for a reasonable cost, and all of a sudden the Rangers fine core remain together; losing ‘just’ Brad Richards who is surely off to pastures new.
With the NHL salary cap going up this summer –and with the Rangers likely to have some serious cap room to play with– the opportunity (or danger?) to go out and entice a major free agent or two is there. Of course, most Rangers fans start getting anxious at the thought of Glen Sather having a blank cheque book. Sather’s Achilles heel is his free agency history.
Dan Girardi and Anton Stralman represent the key to the Rangers spending ability this summer. The upcoming free agency period is absent of legitimate options on the blueline, unless you’re happy to over commit to 36 year or 37 year olds. With Girardi and Stralman (hopefully) under wraps the Rangers retain one of the deepest defensive units in the league, allowing them to focus any spending up front, where there could be a few quality players available.
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This morning at 7:30, Team USA (with Rangers Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh, and Derek Stepan) will take on Russia in a game that will likely determine the Group A winner. Since the winner of each pool is guaranteed a spot in the quaterfinals (along with the best record among the second place teams), this is clearly the most important game for both teams. Use this thread to talk about the game, the Olympics, or anything else you want to discuss at 7:30 on a Saturday morning.
Today marked the second win of round robin play for Canada and the second loss of round robin play for Norway. Canada disposed of Austria by a score of 6-0, and Norway was dropped by Finland 5-1. Both Mats Zuccarello of Norway (20:51 TOI, 4 SOG, -1) and Rick Nash of Canada (10:26 TOI, 3 SOG, +1) were held off the score sheet.
Canada’s next game is a showdown with Finland on Sunday to determine Group B’s winner. Norway takes on Austria on Sunday as well, but Norway will not make the medal round.
Through this evening, no Rangers have tallied a point in any Olympic contest.
Henrik Lundqvist backstopped Sweden to a 1-0 win over Switzerland this morning, stopping all 26 shots he faced. Hank has now stopped 53 of 55 shots faced thus far. Carl Hagelin was held off the scoreboard, but did register four shots on goal in 9:40 of ice time.
Sweden is now 2-0 with one game against Latvia coming up on Sunday. It is safe to say that they will make the medal round, winning their pool.
This year’s Olympic competition sports a pool of goaltenders amongst the strongest we have seen since the NHL began participating in the games. The United States and Finland are especially deep, each with three goaltenders that could easily start for most nations. Although the tournament has already gotten underway, and we have seen some solid (Lundqvist, Hiller) performances and some sketchy (Rask, Halak) ones, let’s take a look at what each county’s best stopper has to offer. I realize there are going to be some changes made between the pipes as the tournament goes along and most teams have several starting caliber tendys, but I’m going to break down the ones who should be starting based on ability level and previous performance.
United States- Jonathan Quick
Why not start with the Red, White and Blue? Despite this being a Rangers’ blog, I have committed a significant amount of digital ink to the King’s world class netminder. Ryan Miller was dynamite in 2010 and deserves some ice in Sochi, but this is Quick’s team. The Americans will only go as far as he can carry them, and judging from some of his playoff performances, that could include the podium to accept the gold medal. His athleticism in this tournament is rivaled only by (ironically enough) the two Russian netminders. However, his technical skills, vision and positioning are lightyears ahead of the hosts. Read more »
Both Rick Nash (Canada) and Mats Zuccarello (Norway) were held off the scoreboard this afternoon, as Canada beat Norway by a score of 3-1. Zuccarello had the most ice time (23:57) of all Norwegian forwards and registered one shot on goal. Nash played for 12:32 and had a pair of shots on net.
The Rangers have four players involved in games tomorrow. Sweden (Carl Hagelin, Henrik Lundqvist) takes on Switzerland at 7:30am EST on NBCSN. Canada is up against Austria at 12pm EST on USA. Norway takes on Finland on MSNBC, also at 12pm EST.
Source: Calgary Herald
As the Rangers chug along towards a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, they will likely be buyers at the trade deadline. They’ve already made one significant move, trading Michael Del Zotto to Nashville for Kevin Klein. The move addressed two holes for the Rangers: A right handed shot to solidify the third pair, and a physical presence on the blue line. Since the trade, the Rangers have looked much more stable on defense.
One other hole is a top-six forward, as the top-six so far have been relatively inconsistent. That’s where Mike Cammalleri fits in. Unlikely to re-sign in Calgary, thus likely to be dealt at the deadline, Cammalleri would give the Rangers added secondary scoring, and serve as insurance in case a forward gets injured. When the deadline comes, the Rangers would be able to fit his $6 million cap hit under the cap. His contract expires after this season as well, making him the perfect rental candidate.
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