Found April 19, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
Michael Del Zotto
New York Rangers
Columbus Blue Jackets
Photo: New York Times
When the Rangers traded Marian Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets at the deadline this year, the concern was adding more grit and toughness to the lineup. Having already added Ryane Clowe, the attention turned to what Derick Brassard and Derek Dorsett bring to the group. John Moore was something of a mystery player. He wasn’t a throw in by any stretch, but he was a player that most of the fan base was unfamiliar with, and thus has no idea what we were getting back in the former first round pick from Chicago.
During his abbreviated tenure in New York (eight games, to be exact), Moore has been impressive. It’s becoming clear that he is becoming more comfortable in the system and is starting to make some really intelligent hockey decisions to go along with his raw tools.
His raw tools are also impressive. As we have seen for the past 8 games, the kid is an incredibly impressive skater. He has top end acceleration, and that gives him some extra wiggle room with taking chances in the offensive zone. To go along with high end skating he has a tremendous shot from the point. It’s not a traditional cannon, but he is extremely accurate. His vision and creativity were also lauded coming out of the USHL. The knock on him during his draft year was lack of defensive positioning. This is a skill that most toolsy defensemen lack when they first break onto the scene. He obviously isn’t perfect in that regard, but he seems to be coming along nicely.
When I turned to his advanced metrics, I found that there was a ton of sample size noise, both due to the lack of quality in his teammates in Columbus, and his abbreviated ice time both with the Jackets and the Rangers. He’s also not a veteran guy who is what he is at this point, he’s a young player finding his way in the league. Corsi numbers from 2010 unfortunately aren’t going to tell us about the player he is today, or will be next season and beyond.
For now, let’s just take a look from a scouting/coaching standpoint. After a big 14 minute debut against Pittsburgh, Torts decided to scale back the young American’s ice time to around 8-9 minutes per game. The last few he has been averaging around 12:30 per game. Seems like Torts and his staff are starting to trust him with more important minutes. With Marc Staal’s vision still blurry, having Moore be able to play quality minutes in big games would be a huge lift for guys like Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto.
What he’s been doing with those minutes has been the impressive part. Last night against the Panthers, Moore played what I consider to be his most complete game as a Ranger. While the rest of the team made several defensive miscues (many of which were bailed out by Hank), John Moore was a model citizen from a decision-making perspective. He showed tremendous vision in knowing when to move up ice and when to remain back. He skated, was aggressive along the walls in the defensive zone and put an epic beat down on Jack Skille.
Torts called him “Mac Lite”, referring to seeing a lot of Ryan McDonagh in his game. I think we can all agree that if Moore turns out anywhere near as good as McD, then he almost makes up for the Gaborik trade by himself. If Derick Brassard continues to show the creativity and poise that he has shown in his brief New York tenure, that’s a lot of value given up by the Jackets to get Gaborik. Gordie knows how to pick ‘em, huh?
The focus for the next few weeks will obviously be securing a playoff spot and gearing up to make a run, but watching how John Moore develops for this organization could have a potential impact for years going forward. We’ve mentioned this several times in this space before, if Moore can develop into a top 4 defenseman, it will give the Rangers quite the formidable core.
BEST OF MAXIM
Photo: Kevin Hoffman, USA TODAY Sports
Brad Richards has been a bit of a disappointment this year. He hasn’t been consistent, and he hasn’t been that top line center and powerplay quarterback that the Rangers thought they were getting. That said, Richards has been getting hot at the right time, and his hat trick last night could be just the beginning of a strong run for the veteran...
For most of this shortened season, things have not been easy for New York Rangers' forward Brad Richards.
For much of this year, Richards struggled in all areas of game whether it was on offense, on the power play, handling the puck, etc. A few times this season, Rangers' head coach John Tortorella even went as far to bench the Rangers' nine-year man.
With that said...
Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record reports that Brian Boyle is out indefinitely with a lower body injury.
...and Boyle's nightmare season continues.
...time for Stepan, Richards and Brassard to step-up in the faceoff circle.
This injury obviously opens up a huge opportunity for Chris Kreider, who told Katie Strang at ESPN.com that he focused a lot on check-finishing...
After Brad Richards recorded his first career hat trick against the Sabres last night, John Tortorella said this about the alternate captain's struggles this season (via Bergen Record)...
“He’s been good all year as far as his attitude. He’s a pro. He’s been through a lot of ups and downs. He knows more is expected of him. He has still made plays along the way, though...
Rick Nash needs to find twine again. Starting tonight.
It’s a game day. It’s the Florida Panthers who always seem to trip up our boys in blue. If ever there was an occasion not to play down to the level of your opponents it’s tonight. Let’s jump into the musings.
Rick Nash needs to be better. The past few games – starting with a few turnovers against the Islanders – he...
Rick Nash had a goal and assist in the first period, and Ryan Callahan had a pair of assists as the New York Rangers hung on to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Derick Brassard and Nash both scored power-play goals, with help from Callahan in the first, and Mats Zuccarello found the net for the second straight...
The Rangers righted the ship in a big way tonight, routing the Panthers 6-1 in a must win game. The Blueshirts came out firing, and just completely dominated the Cats in every facet of the game. By the time the middle of the third period rolled around, it was clear that the Panthers had given up, as their breakdowns became more egregious and their effort level tanked completely....
NEW YORK (AP) -- Rick Nash had a goal and assist in the first period, and Ryan Callahan had a pair of assists as the New York Rangers hung on to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a 6-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
Derick Brassard and Nash both scored power-play goals, with help from Callahan in the first, and Mats Zuccarello found the net for the...
TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rangers will face-off against the Buffalo Sabres tonight at First Niagara Center (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), to complete a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank eighth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 22-17-4 (48 pts). The Rangers [...]
Tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with only six games remaining, the New York Rangers began their stretch of ‘Must Win’ games against the league worst Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. With every game, every period, and every shift so vital right now, Henrik Lundqvist made [...]
Brad Richards netted a hat trick to power the NY Rangers to an 8-4 win over the reeling Buffalo Sabres. Rick Nash, Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan were some of the Rangers’ goal scorers. Cody Hodgson scored his 15th of the season for Buffalo in the loss.
SPIN: The Rangers used an offensive blitz to chase Ryan Miller from the net for Buffalo after he allowed four goals. Jhonas Enroth...
Photo by Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
This is a must win for the Rangers. They dropped the ball in Philly against what was more or less an AHL defense, and now they desperately need two points against the Panthers. They are still on pace to finish their final ten games at that 6-3-1 pace we determined would be enough to make the playoffs, but they sure are making us sweat for it....
The New York Rangers (23-17-4) defeated the Buffalo Sabres (19-20-6) by the score of 8-4, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...only the Rangers could score 14 goals in two games and not look good doing it. Sort of a strange game with all the deflected goals and terrible goaltending. But as I said yesterday, two points are two points and watch out because not only...
The New York Rangers are safe in the knowledge that they control their own fate in the race for a playoff spot.
The Buffalo Sabres can only wish for that kind of luxury.
A regulation win against the Sabres on Friday night would move the visiting Rangers a step closer to a postseason berth while eliminating Buffalo from contention.
New York rebounded from a lackluster 4-2 loss...
The New York Rangers were pushed to the brink of playoff elimination the last time the New Jersey Devils were in town.
New York can knock the defending Eastern Conference champs out of the playoff picture for good when these Atlantic Division rivals meet on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Trying to reach the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since winning it all in 1994, the...