Found July 21, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
MSG: something Rangers players won’t see much of in October
With the release of the 2013-2014 schedules, it was confirmed that the Rangers would kick off the year with a lengthy nine game road trip as Madison Square Garden’s renovation is finally completed. With teams such as the Penguins still very much a league heavyweight, the Islanders ever improving, and the Blue Jackets new to the party, a solid start is critical to the Rangers.
The first month of the season is simply survival mode for the Rangers. A nine game road trip is tough regardless of opponents; but when analysing who the Rangers actually face in the month of October – 12 games in total – the Rangers have a brutal stretch to begin the year. The new season begins with tough games against the Coyotes, Kings, Sharks, Ducks, and Blues, all on the road. Losing to any of those teams on the road would not be a shock for any club, so the possibility of starting out 0-5 is by no means unrealistic. There’s no ‘gimmie’ amongst that quintet for sure.
Following that start up with trips to the Capitals, the always annoying (even if decimated) Devils, rival Flyers, and re-tooled Red Wings certainly suggest the road trip doesn’t get easier. Then, finally, the Rangers begin their home portion of the schedule by entertaining the Canadiens – a team it seems they never play well against. Completing October is a trip to the Islanders (always tough) and a Halloween match-up at the Garden with the Sabres.
Perhaps the Devils and the Sabres aside, you could probably have not handpicked a tougher start for the Rangers. Factor in the likely absence of key forwards Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin early on, factor in the adjustment period any new coaching staff faces, and the Rangers have to hit the ground running or face playing catch up all season.
Of course, this is a talented club and none of those October opponents will relish facing the Rangers but regardless how, the Rangers just need to get out of October in-touch with the leaders in the new division (horrible division name by the way; is it a division or a cocktail?).
If the Rangers could escape October with a .500 record entering November, not many people would complain. A winning record would be an excellent achievement. With so many factors to consider, new players to integrate, and key injuries to accommodate, the Rangers are already in survival mode. But as the Rangers have proven in recent seasons; it’s not how you start the regular season but its how you finish. Just don’t start too bad.
BEST OF MAXIM
Oscar Lindberg, fast becoming a top prospect for the Rangers
We have already discussed the expectations that may surround Jesper Fast as he looks to make the Rangers next season. When it comes to dealing with ‘reasonable expectations’ however, Oscar Lindberg may be on a hiding to nothing. When you’re an MVP, a league winner and an elite scorer in your domestic league people...
Defense usage chart.
Last week, we looked at how John Tortorella used his forwards from a matchup perspective. Since AV is very similar to Torts in the way he utilizes matchups and zone starts, we figure it’s good to know how players were deployed, as it will likely remain the same under AV. This style plays to the strength of certain players, and particularly keeps the weak defenders...
Rick Nash and Marc Staal were 2 of 47 invited to Canadian Olympic camp, as Canada looks to form their team from this group. Nash was on the 2006 and 2010 rosters, but Staal was left off the 2010 roster after receiving an invite. Dan Girardi was notably absent from the list, but there are a lot of big names there.
Markus Naslund barely avoided the upset yesterday.
As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Yesterday we saw #6 Markus Naslund squeak by #11 Colton Orr. Today’s matchup is #3 Ryan McDonagh vs. #14 Mike Rupp:
Ryan McDonagh (acquired – 2009 trade with Canadiens...
Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, and Ryan Callahan have all been invited to US Olympic Camp, to be held in the last week of August. Callahan, who could serve as one of the captains or alternates, is returning after earning a silver medal in the 2010 games. McDonagh and Stepan will by vying for their first Olympic appearance.
The Rangers have spent more time this season focused on keeping their own rather than shopping in the expensive free agent market aisles as they typically do. Because of their cap constraints, the Rangers have been precluded from making notable free agent additions this offseason. This situation may ultimately prove to be a blessing since [...]
Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that while Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin will be sidelined for the first few weeks of the year, it won't be enough time to qualify for the long-term injury exemption.
In order for a player to be eligible to be placed on long term injured reserve (LTIR) the injury must cause them to miss at least 10 games or 24 days.
Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers are going to name Daniel Lacroix as the third and final assistant coach under Alain Vigneault. The former Ranger was an assistant with Tampa Bay for the past three seasons. He will join Scott Arniel and Ulf Samuelsson behind the bench with AV. Benoit Allaire will be the goalie coach.
JT Miller, the Rangers 2011 first-round pick, made his NHL debut last year showing off his skills on the big stage. The 20- year- old Center has accomplished so much already. He possesses a plethora of international experience and was a member of the US’s entry in the 2013 World Junior Championships leading the [...]
The Rangers have already signed key restricted free agents Ryan McDonagh and Carl Hagelin, leaving Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan unsigned. Zuccarello, due to his contract etc., was able to file for arbitration, which he did, and the hearing is slated for July 31. The hope is and it sounds positive that arb will be avoided and a deal reached. Stepan is not eligible for arbitration...
In case you haven't noticed there's a big gaping hole in the 2013-14 NHL schedule from February 9th thru the 25th. And the reason for that? The Olympics of course.
On Friday, the NHL announced that an agreement has been reached with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to secure participation of NHL players in the...
Ryan McDonagh won by a blowout yesterday.
As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Yesterday we saw #3 Ryan McDonagh blow out #14 Mike Rupp. Today’s matchup is #7 Blair Betts vs. #10 Marcel Hossa:
Blair Betts (acquired – 2004 trade with Flames)
Blair Betts won yesterday.
As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Yesterday we saw #7 Blair Betts take out #10 Marcel Hossa. Today’s matchup is #2 Brendan Shanahan vs. #15 Michael Sauer:
Brendan Shanahan (acquired – 2006 unrestricted free agent)