Found December 15, 2013 on
Swift swede Carl Hagelin is hard to miss when he’s on the ice. And yet in far too many games this season, the third-year forward has simply disappeared.
A fast start to the season stalled in the middle of November and then simply broke down in December, leaving Hagelin a disparate piece in the team’s puzzle. After posting eight points in his first seven games, he put up just three points through the final ten games of November. Entering Sunday night’s game against the Flames, it had been seven games without a point for Hagelin.
“And you think that’s bad?”, Brian Boyle thought to himself. “Try 16 games, man.”
But with all due respect to Boyle, the Rangers can probably survive his scoring drought. He’s not exactly the type of player you factor into your offensive outlook. Hagelin, though, is an important weapon in the team’s arsenal, and the Rangers are a weaker group without him.
In games Hagelin has scored a point this season, the Rangers are 8-2. When he’s held off the scoresheet, they’re 5-9. To an extent, you could say, the Rangers go as he goes. But Hagelin, despite his breakneck speed, isn’t always going. He takes himself out of games for long stretches at a time, drifting toward the perimeter of the ice on offense while defending with a drive-by mentality.
But when he plays with a purpose, Hagelin is one of the most effective players on this Rangers team. His speed is an asset the opposition has to respect, and when he takes defensemen on, when he skates right at them, he creates a gap entering the zone that gives the offense room to maneuver. And below the goal line, he makes his own space in congested areas with the quick little moves of a running back.
Sunday night against the Flames, in a 4-3 Ranger win, Hagelin’s proved his value to the team. He was a force from the get-go, moving his feet every second he spent on the ice. Playing on a line with Benoit Pouliot and Dominic Moore, he helped the Rangers establish a consistent forecheck, something the team has been missing the past three games.
He was rewarded in the second period with his fifth goal of the season, converting a quick wraparound after beating Lee Stempniak to a loose puck behind the net. But goal or not, Hagelin deserves praise for his effort, who reaffirmed the fact that he can be a difference-maker for this team.
He still has more work to do and more of an imprint to leave, but Sunday night was a good start. After fading through November and early Decemeber, it appears Hagelin may have caught a second wind. Let’s see if he can keep this one in his sails.
BEST OF MAXIM
Mackenzie Skapski (WHL.ca)A rather quiet Saturday of prospect hockey involving New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects as both Hockey Canada and USA Hockey get serious about their entries for the 2014 IIHF World Under-20 Championships. With just about every team playing without some of their best players, the challenge for teams was to find ways to win games.Tonight's...
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Pouliot scored the fourth goal of the Rangers' first shootout of the season, and beleaguered goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped Mikael Backlund to give the Rangers the win. New York is 1-3-1 on its team-record...
Henrik Lundqvist already knows the joy of getting a lucrative contract extension. Who knew that one week later, a win at Madison Square Garden would bring the star goalie pure jubilation.
When Lundqvist turned aside Mikael Backlund in the seventh round of the shootout Sunday night, he and the rest of the New York Rangers had a long-awaited 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames and...
Courtesy of ExtraSkater
It is not a secret that I was unable to watch last night’s game. I am traveling for work, and the place I am visiting does not carry Rangers hockey. However I was able to watch the highlights and read Twitter, so I got a general feel of how the game went. Combined with the Fenwick chart above, I can make some educated guesses about how the game went.
Photo: Bruce Bennet/Gerry Images
In case you missed it, new Michael Del Zotto trade rumors surfaced recently. Apparently the Colorado Avalanche are interested in the defenseman, per Bruce Garrioch (I know…). Del Zotto has also been tied to Toronto and Edmonton. Suffice it to say, Del Zotto has been tied to all 29 teams in the NHL. Pretty impressive.
The Rangers have been pretty...
When Derick Brassard missed Wednesday’s practice, people were naturally wondering why and if the reason was serious enough to cause him to miss Thursday’s contest.
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Progress was made Sunday night at the Garden for the Rangers, albeit incrementally.
The first 15 minutes felt like a replay of Friday night’s forgettable performance, yet by the end of the evening, the Rangers had two points and Henrik Lundqvist was able to celebrate for a moment in this uneven season of his.
The King’s stop on Mikael Backlund in the seventh round of the shootout...
The Rangers and Penguins are the only two teams in the East to have qualified for the playoffs in seven of the eight seasons of the hard cap era.
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Most people remember Adam Graves as a rugged, tough-as-nails power forward type following a successful 15-year NHL career. After all, Graves appeared in 1,152 NHL regular season games, potted 329 goals, accrued over 1,200 minutes in penalties, led the 1993-1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers with a then team record 52 goals and eventually had his number nine retired by the...
A nine-game homestand was expected to leave the New York Rangers feeling jolly.
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New York (15-17-1...