Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pavel Buchnevich gives away a stick

Yes, the Rangers got the, 4-3, overtime win against Pittsburgh, but the highlight I'll remember is 12-year-old Rangers fans, Benjamin Lefkowitz, getting Pavel Buchnevich's stick.

The Rangers tweeted out a picture last night, and ESPN Sports Center gave us the backstory this morning.

Good job out of you Pavel.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Rangers On the Edge of the Abyss

It's time, All-Star break weekend, 50 games played, 32 remaining in the 2017-18 season, will this team get patched up, or blown up?

Standings: Ranges outside of Wild Card at All-Star Break
Rangers outside of Playoffs after 50 games

Last night's 6-5 victory over the San Jose Sharks keeps the NY Rangers in the Wild Card hunt, but only by a thread. Another 3 game losing streak like they had out West against the Avs, Kings, and Ducks, and this team will certainly get blown up. The demolition will begin with the three unrestricted free agents: Nash, Grabner, and Holden. Where it ends is anyone's guess.

The consensus out there in Rangerland looks like it's a go for the demolition to begin.

Justin / BlueSeatBlog:
Tear it down --
In the spirit of “hate week” as Dave has coined it, it’s time to burn it down. If the organization wants to get Lundqvist that elusive Cup, it needs to take decisive action to give the organization a complete overhaul and recognize this for the lost season it is. I don’t think there is any way around it. This team is going nowhere... The Coaching Staff - Lay waste to it...
Sam Prevot / Blue Line Station:
New York Rangers: Why missing the playoffs isn’t a bad thing  --
"Missing the playoffs could be a blessing in disguise for the New York Rangers. It is now time to start looking at the future of the team when it comes to prospects and the 2018 NHL Draft..."
Shayna Goldman / Blueshirt Banter:
Banter Roundtable: 2018 Trade Deadline --
"The first question was whether we believe the Rangers should be buyers or sellers; we unanimously agreed that the Rangers should be sellers. The fact is, this team is flawed in almost every way – except for in net, and their stellar goaltending masks most of their deficiencies..."
However, a few are still holding out hope for a resurrection. Sean McCaffrey over at the Blue Collar Blueshirts, before the West Coast losing streak said:
"Ranger fans, don’t give up on this team yet. Don’t buy the “RANGERS MUST SELL” shit. The field is wide open this year and with the way your boy Henrik Lundqvist is playing, why would you wave the white flag..."
That's a little ironic, given Sean's frequent Lundqvist bashing, but he makes an excellent point about the field being wide open for any team that gets hot going into the playoffs. That team could be the Rangers.

Don La Greca, the back up Rangers play by play guy, and Michael Kay Show co-host underscores that point:
I just don't know what you're gonna get for Rick Nash, when you have Evander Kane out there, who's a little bit younger. Who Buffalo is going to trade for players. It's a tough spot... If this team is within 2 points of a playoff spot (on Feb. 26th), don't you have to, kind of, try and make it in this sport of all sports. It's a wide open Eastern conference, right.... I'm all for rebuilding, but unless you are going to get a Herschel Walker type of deal for some of these guys, I think I want to try and see what I can do in the playoffs.
So what's a GM to do?  The trade deadline is February 26th, exactly a month away. We say: wait and see. If these players want to have a last hurrah, they should go and get it.

Our guess is the decision will be made by February 17th, when the Blueshirts complete a 4 game road trip in Ottawa. That road trip probably decides the fate of this team and this season (2/11 at Winnipeg, 2/13 at Minnesota, 2/15 at the Islanders, 2/17 at Ottawa). They must go at least 2-2 on that trip. If you can't win on the road, how are you going to win in the playoffs? Of course, the 5 games before that road trip could tip the balance, but the Rangers play on that road trip should be the decider.


Larry Brooks is now saying that Rangers management is going to blow it all up.

NY Post (Jan 26, 2018):
The Rangers are going to blow it all up -- 
There is no ambivalence within management. The Blueshirts, we’re told on good authority, view the Feb. 26 trade deadline as a unique opportunity to refresh the roster and replenish the organization, regardless of where the club stands in relation to a playoff spot.

The mandate, approved (if not established) in the owner’s suite by Jim Dolan, is to build a Stanley Cup winner rather than to simply extend a seven-year playoff streak that is in jeopardy...

Rangers standing on the edge of the abyss

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Undead Rangers

The New York Rangers aren't dead yet
The Rangers have resurrected their season with this current 6 game winning streak. It was topped off yesterday by their 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Cam Talbot and his Oilers came East, they conquered the Isles and the Devils (thank you very much), and were then ambushed by the Rangers sharpshooting power play. The Rangers notched 2 power plays in the second period to give them the edge, after trailing 2-1.

Lundqvist made 27 saves on 29 shots. Nash scored two goals, Buchnevich had a PP goal, and Grabner potted an empty netter. Mats Zuccarello had two assists, and McDonagh had one on the Nash power play goal. And worst stat of the day: Jimmy Vesey lost two front teeth after getting hit in the mouth by a Zach Kassian skate early in the second period. Ugh!

Vesey was back on the ice for the third period. It's hockey for all you NFL, MLB, and MLS, pinky raised, tea drinking ladies, who get dizzy and nauseous after seeing a little blood.

Vesey sent out a "It's hockey, #SorryMa" tweet after the game documenting the damage. On the x-ray you can see at least one tooth embedded in his lower lip. Is a tooth considered missing if it's lodged in your lip? You still have it, just not in the right place.

Good job out of you, Jimmy, sacrificing two teeth for a Rangers win.

Jimmy Vesey lost two front teeth in win over Oilers
All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth
Anyway, when you are a bottom feeder, like the Rangers, as alleged here recently, you absolutely have to feast on the second worst team in the Western Conference, the Oilers, or else you'll lose your bottom feeder status. What's lower than being a bottom feeder, maybe done and dusted, or dead. But the question now is, what's the next level up? The Rangers need a promotion. Three teams are now below them in the Metro division: Carolina, Philadelphia, and Washington. The Rangers have played more games, but we'll ignore that trivial detail. Bottom line, the team is on the rise.

So, the Blueshirts need a new label. How about saying the Rangers have achieved "Undead" status? Not dead and finished, as in trade Lundqvist, fire AV, and clean house for next year. But, "Undead," because they are staggering, not marching, toward the playoffs like an undead zombie looking for a brain to eat.


Steve Zipay at Newsday wants to focus on "Henrik Lundqvist’s new mask a lucky charm for Rangers." How about instead we focus on his stick. Can someone please give Hank some Stickum or something to help him hang on to his goalie stick. The McDavid PP goal in the 2nd period got past a stickless Lundqvist. It seems like he's losing it at least once every game now. And we know from Sean Avery's new book, that Hank is really the exact opposite of stickless. So let's get a grip please.

The level of writing on Rangers blogs this year is awesome. Some really good stuff turned out by lots of guys. Some recent examples:

Sean McCaffrey over at BlueCollar BlueShirts.

Adam Herman over at Blueshirt Banter: Grabner’s Run of Empty Net Goals is No Fluke -- In fact, of the 41 players in NHL history to score at least 17 empty net goals, Grabner is fourth in goals per game. Only Pavel Bure, Wayne Gretzky, and Mario Lemieux ranked higher.

The guys at ForeverBlueshirts: Henrik Lundqvist: Better Than the Numbers? -- The stats may not be glamorous but Lundqvist can do one thing, and that is keep the Rangers competitive in games.

The crew at Blueseat Blogs: View from the Chase Bridge for a six game winning streak -- I don't understand why Marc Staal and Steven Kampfer are continually out on the ice. It’s mind boggling to me. They just aren’t a good defense pairing.