Found April 22, 2013 on
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AP Photo/Matt Slocum
When Taylor Pyatt was signed, he was brought in to help replace the departed combination of Ruslan Fedotenko, Brandon Prust, John Mitchell, Brandon Dubinsky, and Artem Anisimov. In those departed five players, the Rangers lost a lot of depth, but more importantly players capable of eating big minutes against tough competition. Suffice it to say, he hasn’t lived up to expectations so far.
Even off the score sheet, where Pyatt is well below is career averages, the big forward has been struggling to find consistency on the defensive front as well. During last season, Pyatt was a reliable defensive forward, facing decent competition (.140 Corsi Rel QoC) and starting just 41.2% of his shifts in the offensive zone. His RCorsi of -9.3 wasn’t stellar, but this is more a factor of zone starts. It’s tough to maintain a shot attempt advantage when starting 60% of your shifts in the defensive zone.
Even going back to the 2010-2011 season, Pyatt’s metrics showed he could be reliable in the defensive end. But those numbers haven’t translated over to New York this season, and it is relatively alarming.
Pyatt’s Corsi Rel QoC this year is -.140, which is second-worst on this club among players who have played 30 games. Only Darroll Powe (-.871) is worse. Pyatt’s RCorsi is better this year ay -6.7, but it’s his zone starts that throw this for a loop. In Phoenix, Pyatt was usually starting 40% of his shifts in the offensive zone. This season, he’s at 53.1%. In exchange for 13% more starts in the offensive zone against significantly weaker competition (+.140 to -.140), Pyatt’s RCorsi is just four shots better.
There are a number of factors here, specifically in a short season. Pyatt did not have a proper preseason, thus has not gotten used to Torts’ demanding style. A short season also means less time to get in hockey shape. But every team has had to deal with these issues. So maybe the problem lies deeper than just a short season.
Pyatt isn’t the fastest skater in the world, and that is what Torts’ systems are designed for. That said, slower skaters have still had success because they are defensively responsible (see: Boyle, Brian) and make up for it with positioning. Pyatt is in the same boat as Boyle, as they are both relied upon heavily for defensive roles. They are also in the same boat because they are the same type of player: Grind along the boards, use the body for positioning, and make up for slow foot speed.
This isn’t saying Pyatt isn’t a good fit, as someone with his level of hockey IQ can fit anywhere. Maybe it’s just a matter of getting used to Torts. Maybe it’s a matter of more depth leading to better play (as we’ve seen in every player since the trade deadline). Whatever it is, the club needs him to be more consistent heading into the home stretch and the playoffs. Perhaps this pairing with Brad Richards is the jump start he needs.
BEST OF MAXIM
Pat Leonard at the Daily News reports that Henrik Lundqvist will make his 12th straight start tomorrow in Florida against the last place Panthers.
...i don't care if the Panthers are the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the Rangers are hanging on to a playoff spot by the skin of their teeth and I, for one, couldn't be happier to see Lundqvist back in there tomorrow...
Before the season started I wrote a piece right here on Ranger Nation (which you can read by clicking here) arguing that for the Rangers to succeed and take full advantage of their two snipers (Nash and Gaborik) this season Derek Stepan was going to have to step up. My rationale was simple; I figured [...]
Yesterday at practice in Florida, Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record observed that Brian Boyle (right knee) appeared to still be limping and it looked like he was still wearing a brace under his suit pants.
John Tortorella said there were no updates on Boyle, who remains out indefinitely.
...if Boyle is still limping around I find it hard to believe that he'll be back...
The Rangers played one of their most complete games of the season as they eliminated the Devils from postseason contention, winning 4-1. The Rangers were the better team throughout led once again by Callahan and Stepan offensively with Henrik Lundqvist again in strong form in net. The Rangers are peaking at the right time. You have to enjoy the Devils mocks from the crowd toward...
- Since the trade deadline, Derick Brassard has three goals in six assists in 10 games and Marian Gaborik has three goals and four assists in 10 games.
- The Rangers are 7-2-1 since the trade deadline. (Via @Herman_NYRBlog)
- The Rangers are 8-36 (22.2%) on the power play since the trade deadline and were converting at a 14.3% rate before it.
- Brad Richards has four goals and...
Yesterday, I posted that with the Whale season ending without a playoff birth, the Rangers will, similar to last season, be recalling some prospects as taxi squad players for the final week and into the playoffs.
Brett Cyrgalis at the New Yor Post says the likely players recalled include J.T. Miller, Brandon Segal, Brandon Mashinter, Benn Ferriero, Dylan McIlrath and Mike Vernace...
There is no way around it, Brad Richards has struggled mightily this season. Richards seems as though he has lost a step, and his better days may be behind him. This week he started proving the naysayers wrong by … Continue reading →
For the second straight year, EA Sports is holding a fan vote to determine the cover of NHL14.
And for the Rangers the two representatives are Ryan Callahan and........Carl Hagelin? Huh?
Listen, I love Hagelin, but how in the heck is he in the running over guys like Rick Nash, Henrik Lundqvist and Derek Stepan?
And actually, if you look at most of the teams' representatives...
The Rangers eliminated the NJ Devils from playoff contention with a 4-1 victory at the Garden today. For a box score click here.
Wins don't feel much better than that. Especially against a bitter rival who eliminated you from the playoffs just a season ago and found themselves on life support. Sweet, sweet revenge...
Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye.....
Jason Szenes for The New York Times
The Rangers are in Miami tonight to take on the Panthers, and can clinch a spot in the playoffs in the process. If the Rangers win tonight and the Jets lose in regulation to Washington, then the Rangers clinch at least the eighth seed. If the Rangers win tonight and the Islanders lose to Carolina, then the Rangers jump to the sixth seed, one point...
TODAY’S GAME: The Rangers will face-off against the New Jersey Devils today at Madison Square Garden (3:00 p.m. — TV: NBC; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in an Atlantic Division matchup. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 23-17-4 (50 pts). The Rangers [...]
The Connecticut Whale did themselves no favors over their last six games of the year, dropping all six games and getting just a single point as they pushed to make the playoffs. Following last night’s 5-1 loss to Portland, the Whale need help to make the playoffs. They need losses by both Hershey and Norfolk in order to back into the playoffs as the eighth seed.
Check after the...
The New York Rangers (24-17-4) visit the Florida Panthers (13-26-6) at at BB&T Center starting at 7:30 p.m. For a preview go to Yahoo! Sports.
Rangers Game Notes
TV: MSG Plus; Radio: AM 970 The Apple, XM 215
Live Stream (Don't click on ads in stream, may download virus):
The New York Rangers (23-17-4) host the New Jersey Devils (17-17-10) in a Sunday 3 PM matinee at Madison Square Garden. For a preview, go to Yahoo! Sports.
Rangers Game Notes
TV: NBC; Radio: ESPN Radio (98.7), XM 92
Live Stream (Don't click on ads in stream, may download virus):
A bit of deja vu tonight. Markstrom stood strong and the Panthers held on long enough to get their two necessary goals. Give credit to them for doing what they had to.
Nonetheless, frustrating result for the Rangers. With the Jets losing in regulation, the Rangers had the ability to clinch a playoff spot. And with the Islanders losing in overtime, they had the ability to move...