I know you just had the musings yesterday, but I have a bunch of thoughts I want to share that aren’t worth a full post. Deal with it. Here’s some thoughts following the Rangers 3-2 win in Dallas last night…
- Is there really anywhere to start but with Hank? The King was absolutely out of his mind last night. Watching the game, there were several times I found myself gasping at his awesomeness. Dare I say he out Tuukka’d Tuukka’s performance from the other night. Hank’s positioning was spot on, he tracked the puck exceedingly well, and he hung with very tough second and third chances. He was an absolute wall.
- Man, it’s nice to have Rick Nash back. I absolutely love watching the guy play. His size, speed, and fluidity are all sorely missed when he’s out of the lineup. He has this way of just mesmerizing opposing D-men as he nonchalantly glides into the zone. I can totally understand why sometimes his teammates just stand around and watch him. Read more »
Per Andrew Gross, Rick Nash is good to go and will play tonight. He will take J.T. Miller’s spot in the lineup, as Miller will be a healthy scratch with Michael Del Zotto. Nash had been out since the third game of the season with a concussion.
Per Pat Leonard, Rick Nash is wearing a full contact jersey today in practice. This is nothing short of great news, as his time table for return –which had been as long as week-to-week earlier this week– is now day-to-day. The Rangers are that much closer to their best player returning to the lineup.
Also per Leonard, Michael Del Zotto appears to be a healthy scratch, as he is paired with Nash on defense. Justin Falk is skating with John Moore. Leonard also notes that Dominic Moore is a go for tomorrow, and Brandon Mashinter will be scratched.
Quietly having a strong season: Brian Boyle
A strong, prolonged period of results was slightly tarnished with the sloppy, unnecessary loss to the Devils earlier this week. Sloppy goals, defensive lapses and a lack of finish had many reminding us of the early season edition of the Rangers. With games against the Canadiens and Kings on the weekend it’s a big couple of days for the Rangers. On to the musings
Generally speaking, the Rangers have played well in recent games and this has highlighted the contributions from the youth on the roster such as Chris Kreider. With the Wolf Packing doing pretty well too, it makes the Rangers prospect ranking of 27th on Hockey’s Future (if you buy into that kind of thing) pretty farcical.
Danny Kristo, JT Miller, Jesper Fast, Kreider (still not classed as ‘graduated’), Dylan McIlrath, Oscar Lindberg and ‘Boo’ Nieves highlight a pretty talented pool if you ask me. There’s a ton of NHL upside in the Rangers system and the best part is none of it needs to be rushed. The only area of real concern (in my humble opinion) is in goal.
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Is Kreider a Calder candidate?
It’s come a year later than expected, but Chris Kreider is finally making his own way as a New York Ranger. During the Rangers recent stretch of good form, Kreider has arguably been the biggest physical force on the ice for the Rangers, using his body to great effect on countless occasions. He’s been producing offense, getting under countless opponents’ skin (hello Sidney), and generally playing the most consistent hockey he ever has done, at the pro level.
As with all projections and forecasts, when you’re barely a month into a seven month season, there is much scope for change. But there is no reason Kreider – who still qualifies as a rookie – shouldn’t be in the reckoning for the Calder trophy come the end of the season. If it’s down to opportunity and ability he’ll be in the mix.
Assuming Rick Nash returns soon – which every person associated with the Rangers hopes – Kreider will not be affected adversely as some may speculate, in fact quite the opposite. With Nash attracting the attention of most team’s best defensive lines, the theory is Kreider and his linemates will have weaker opposition to exploit. With 8 points in 10 games to date, and as one of the current focal points of the Rangers offense, Kreider has proven he can handle tough assignments so it stands to reason he should benefit from the attention Nash garners.
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In a series of tweets from Andrew Gross, Rick Nash (concussion) skated before practice, and has been symptom free for a few days now. Nash is still close to week-to-week than day-to-day, but seeing him skating is always a good sign. Gross also noted that Dominic Moore (oblique) was skating with Nash before practice, and that Taylor Pyatt is indeed concussed after taking a headshot from Fedor Tyutin against Columbus.
There is no time table for return for Nash, Pyatt, or Moore.
Per Katie Strang, Rick Nash has been performing “intermittent” physical activity at the Rangers practice facility over the past few weeks. While there is nothing new to report on his status or time table for return, being able to perform some physical activity is a good sign. Concussions are tricky, so expect Nash to be out a while longer.
(AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
In almost every post here since Rick Nash went down with a concussion, the talk has been about his status, how long he will be out, and how good the Rangers will be (now that they appear to be clicking) once he returns full time. However, there has been a lot of concern about the severity of his concussion. Mum has been the word from the Rangers, and while that doesn’t necessarily mean bad things, it’s not exactly a positive either.
With concussions, the rule of thumb is no news is bad news. We here at BSB are the eternal optimists, but even we are beginning to get a little concerned about Nash’s concussion, his second in a calendar year. The Rangers have a history of being quiet about concussions, since there is never a set time table for his return. They were quiet for Marc Staal, who took almost a year to come back. They were quiet with Mike Sauer, who never came back.
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Frank Franklin II/AP
Since Dave was at the game last night and the rest of the crew was otherwise engaged, apologies for the lack of goal breakdown. However, to fill that void, I figured I’d share some thoughts following last night’s game.
I can’t help but notice how much more organized the Rangers look in all three zones over the past couple games. AV’s system requires constantly changing coverage assignments and a more fluid positional structure. I can see why after four years of the relatively straight forward Torts’ zone coverage why this was an adjustment. Seems like they are finally getting it with some consistency.
The goal scoring woes are an odd situation. Kevin did a great job of breaking down the shooting percentage situation, and if you didn’t get a chance to read that piece, make sure do you ASAP. Long story short, though, is that the Rangers’ shooting percentage is unsustainably low and will regress back to the mean and the scoring will come. Last night’s game was something of a prime example of this. Ryan Miller made some tremendous saves on pucks that would normally find the back of the net. That game should have easily been 5-0. Read more »
Makes you wonder
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: There is no way to replace Rick Nash in a lineup. He’s the lone game breaker this club has, and his absence has created a gaping hole in the lineup. Concussions are a tricky thing, and the Rangers aren’t exactly known for their transparency when it comes to dealing with them. Lest we forget the lack of information made publicly in regards to Michael Sauer.
Nash has now suffered a pair of concussions in less than a calendar year, and it is unknown if or when he will return. If the Rangers project him to be out long-term, and we should find out relatively soon via LTIR, then expect GM Glen Sather to explore the trade market for a replacement RW. With Nash on LTIR, the Rangers are allowed to spend over the cap by Nash’s cap hit ($7.8 million). That’s a lot of extra money to work with.
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