While the Rangers only officially announced their new coaching staff the other day, according to Assistant Coach Ulf Samuelsson (via Blueshirts United), they've already begun prepping for the season...
"We've had some really good meetings here in the city, really pounded through everything. I learned that (Vigneault) is really thorough, very organized, and wants to be up and running well before camp starts. We are creating a new working environment, and it's been a very interesting and pleasing process so far."
Samuelsson, who said he has watched tape of almost every shift from the Rangers defensemen from last season, has also been in contact with Hartford Assistant Coach Jeff Beukeboom to learn about the up and coming defense prospects in the organization.
Samuelsson added that he'll be emphasizing offensive production from his blueline in camp as well as consistency clearing opponents out of the crease, and to make sure not to screen goaltenders Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron.
...i absolutely love hearing this. Sounds like the staff is hungry to get going and learn about their new players. BTW, how insane is Samuelsson that he's already watched almost every defensive shift from last season? Talk about dedication.
...got to say, AV scheduling these early August meetings to get the coaching staff on the same page is very impressive. Now this won't mean squat if the Rangers struggle this season, but at least initially I'm starting to feel good about the 34th head coach in Rangers history.
...between Beukeboom and Samuelsson, the Rangers have really set McIlrath up to succeed. There's really no excuse for him not to be in the Rangers line-up at some point this season.
THIS IS WHAT I LIKE TO SEE. Get Stepan signed and lets get this damn season started. Can't wait to see the undertaker throwing people around in front of the net this year.
Great stuff. Really love this post and Ulf's approach seems really on point. I hated Torts' collapse and block strategy last year leaving the league's best goalie screened and vulnerable to deflected shots (usually off our own Dman). Don't know how this coaching staff will work out but so far I like this I intelligent approach.
LOVE this post. Impressed all around. Gotta say that the 4th coach up in the sky, as it were, is also a great idea. Starting to get excited over here.
"... has also been in contact with Hartford Assistant Coach Jeff Beukeboom to learn about the up and coming defense prospects in the organization."
So McIlrath and.... McIlrath. Nobody else in Connecticut from last season has even a remote chance of becoming an NHL regular. We really need to see something out of Noreau and Allen this season or else we could be in a bit of a jam prospect-wise. Skjei isn't going to be turning pro for a while.
I hate to say it Kev, but unless there's a ton of injuries it's gonna be another year before they call up McIlrath.
Samuelsson must have had more than a few triple shots of espresso in his coffee to watch film of the Rangers' D ;-)
I'm pumped for the season to start, it can't come soon enough!
BTW, Claude Giroux tore some tendons or something in his finger when his golf club shattered. He's out 4-6 weeks and had surgery. I think someone on that team has the Brady Bunch tiki idol from Hawaii!
Can't wait to see Del Zotto flop into players in the crease now instead of against the boards.
Jokes aside. I'm pumped. Let's do this.
"BTW, how insane is Samuelsson that he's already watched almost every defensive shift from last season? Talk about dedication." -- Exactly what I was thinking!!! Loved him as a player and I'm already loving him as a coach. :)
No offense to Torts, but I think you're going to see the difference that reliance on metrics and an insane attention to detail will make. I think AV will put the Rangers in a position to succeed every night, and given our roster I think we're real contenders.
I tweeted this yesterday, but Ulf's comments have me fired up for the season to start. He sounds excited to work with this defense and I think he can bring out the best in them. They need to be tougher, play with an edge while maintaining their defensive awareness. He's the guy to instill it.
Yeah, man. We'll have twice as many coaches as the previous team. What's wrong with coaches? Can't hurt to have all these eyes and metrics, right? We'll see. Here's looking at a smooth transition!
I'm excited too !!!!! LGR !!!!!!!
Yeah man. It's real thin, even with the acquisitions. The good news is our defense is quite young. Barring a ridiculous amount of injuries there's time to build that up.
@Herman_NYRBlog Sad but true my friend.
@thenyrblogneill I didn't necessarily mean a full time gig. There are always injuries, so I think he should at least get a taste this year. If he's not one of the first defenders called up due to injury by mid-season I'd start to worry if he'll ever be NHL ready.
Agreed. I'm not convinced the kid is ready anyway, but I'd be happy for him to prove me wrong.
@gravey94 LOL! Saw that last night. Sucks for them.
I think dz will be huge for us this year. I think he's probably the type of guy that will thrive under a players coach.
@Scott_from_Jersey I'll be interesting. Torts was an "all intuition/gut feeling" guy, where AV is very much about "metrics and patterns".
@TheWrage Absolutely. think about it: Every hockey player around the world aspires to play in the NHL and Ulf accomplished it. Next logical step is to coach and Ulf getting this opportunity back in NY is obviously something he has long desired since his playing days! If only to hear that convo between Ulf and Book!!!!! LGR!
I'm with you 1000% ... I'm dying to see that transpire
@Betweentheworlds everyone of our d-men are capable of 20+ points, with 2 capable of 40+ (MDZ and McD). I'd say we do.
our nhl d is very young right now. if we could keep it in tact for years to come we will be in good shape. Skjei can take his time.
What will be interesting though is if/when one of the defensemen get hurt who the call up would be from Hartford. That'll tell you everything you need to know about where McIlrath's standing in the organization.
@PenaltySh0t @Betweentheworlds I don't disagree with you but I have not seen it yet either. with a new philosophy and a new system I'd think that what you say is plausible. I would add to that Moore could emerge as one of the 2 top scorers from the blue line. It would surprise some but not me. Also If we could get more velocity on our point shots it would help add some goals and rebound assists.
I agree, for years we drafted dmen first. those players have developed and now it's time for us to be more balanced in our drafts as we saw this year.
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG We currently have a very good situation with our NHL level D men...that McIlrath is the only hot prospect on the immediate horizon is not particularly irksome. Personally I woulda resigned Eminger, always thought he was underrated but meethinks he'd prefer going somewhere where he's gonna have a more legitimate shot to be in the top 6 (NYR Staal, McD, Girardi, DelZ, Moore, Stralman don't give him the chance for that.
@KevinDeLury @thenyrblogneill If you go back to the 2010 draft in the first round, only Gudbranson and Fowler have seen significant NHL minutes. Gormley, who I wanted, was highly touted coming out of that draft as well hasn't gotten his chance yet either. But like you said I'll start to worry if he isn't given consideration if a spot opens up.