1. Last time the Rangers finished a season with a greater than 20% power play??? 1998-99... with Wayne Gretzky and Brian Leetch running the show. For the sake of argument, the frame of reference I'll use will be where the Rangers stopped allowing teams to score 2+ goals starting with the 10/24, 2-1 loss to Philly. They have won 6 of their last 9 with the power play operating at a 19.3% clip over that time span. It'll be interesting to see if they are able to maintain that pace throughout the season.
1b. Speaking of the power play, Michael Del Zotto has been an utter failure at the point with the man advantage. Even New York Giants running back David Wilson would scoff at Del Zotto's fumblitis issues with attempting to keep the puck inside the offensive zone. Having McDonagh back there has been a sight for sore eyes.
2. I'm sure you've taken a glance periodically to see how Vancouver has been on the man advantage under the old Torts/Sully regime. If you haven't here's a hint...
Canucks powerplay brought to you by Nerf. It looks real, but it never hurts.
— Wyatt Arndt (@TheStanchion) November 8, 2013
3. After Brad Richards hot start (4 goals in the first 5 games), he's only scored 1 goal in the last 11. The short term and long term cap ramifications of his contract are simply too much of a burden as his skills will continue to decline. If the Rangers earnestly want to keep this core together, that cap hit has to disappear after completion of this season, no matter how many goals he ends up with.
3b. While you're at it, trade Rick Nash too once he gets healthy. The Rangers seem to be doing just fine lately without him. $15 million in cap space cleared up just like... that!!! The new-found cap space will come in handy when Callahan's contract negotiations begin next summer and his contract demands are made public to the tune of 5 years and 35 million bucks.
4. Regarding all the trade rumors elsewhere, as I continue to state on social media, the Rangers should be in the market for a top 9 right handed, right winger. Why right handed? AV before the season stressed the importance of mixing righties and lefties in order to have a successful power play. Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Derek Dorsett are the only current forwards on the team with a right handed shot. While Ales Hemsky in Edmonton fits the handedness aspect the Rangers should be looking for, is it worth giving up even half way decent assets to a guy who can't stay healthy and has only eclipsed 40 points once in the last 5 seasons? Besides, Glen Sather doesn't even have to look far in order to find aforementioned tools. Perhaps the leading goal scorer in Hartford, Danny Kristo deserves a look in a blueshirt soon?
4b. Nail Yakupov? Just say no Glen, just say no...
5.For those that don't have twitter or haven't seen this yet... Have fun photo-shoppers.
sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words http://t.co/pPOVH5kcqI pic.twitter.com/dDCO2VaR02
— Neill Fowler (@NYRblogneill) November 7, 2013
Follow me on twitter: @NYRblogneill
I Love 4B (paleezzz) - good points all around as always but I'd rather Nash works out. If so we cannot just dump him for a new team. Everyone's suddenly saying we have good offense now and we are fine, don't need Nash and so on but really it's way too soon to know this . Once we get into a scoring drought and see how the guys handle it then we'll know where our offense is at. My guess is that it will prove to be on the weak side still. Also, and more importantly; even if I am wrong and we prove to be deadly in their end a functioning Nash is going to make it that much better simply because he is so dangerous that he will demand top coverage, and even double coverage every moment he's on the ice, otherwise he'll bury his opponents. He's that good. Do you think that might help open up room for others and make our offense even better? Due to his recent injuries and the shortened season (and the criticisms of him being "soft") most haven't seen much of Nash here and I don't think many here are appreciating how good this guy really is and how he tips the scales in our favor whether he's scoring or not. His cap hit is totally worth it IMHO if he re-gains his game. More importantly I am praying for his good health and safety and hope he takes care of himself first and takes his sweet time coming back
Does anyone know why Danny Kristo isn't ready to be brought up to the Rangers? What are his weak points other than inexperience? He couldn't play fourth line minutes? Powe is better? Just wondering. And is Brassard really 6'1". He looks and plays much smaller.
5 years 35 million?!?! What are you smoking?!?? In point 4 you said we shouldnt give up decent assets for An often injured player. I love cally as much as the next guy but for that money id gladly pack his bags myself. And trade nash?! Hes the most elite player in his prime we ever had! But youd give a 20 goal scorer 7 mil a year?!? Smoke another
LOL a team with out richie and nash is a subpar team, yes theyve played well recently but bot having a scorer on the team isnt good. Having the lead scorer top out at somewhere between 25-30 goals isnt good
Sorry Neil. Regardless of what happens, pretty much 99 percent sure Nash will be a Ranger at least until the end of that contract. Sather destroyed the team to get him, and no matter how bad it turns out, doubt he will ever admit that failure. I still think we can keep the core together with Nash on the books, but Richards has to go....
Guys like Hank, Callahan, Kreider, Boyle, Moore, and Brassard (especially if we dump richards) are all must keeps at this point with raises to a different extent coming for each.
The hard part is going to be looking at Girardi, DZ (think he is for sure gone), Pouliot, Zuccs, D. Moore, Stralman, and deciding who sticks around there. May not be able to afford Girardi... should definitely look into moving him for assets if it comes to that at the deadline
@stevmore Most will cite his defensive liabilities but he's simply not NHL ready in most areas of his overall game. He's sure lighting it up down there. Exciting prospect
@stevmore Cause he's very good at playing the college game, but not the NHL game yet, meaning he holds onto the puck too long, causing mistakes. College players take time to adjust to the NHL. Look at Boyle, Kreider, Hagelin, McD, Step. They all didn't come out roaring from the gates (ok...maybe Step did), but college players need a season or two to adjust. Don't worry. He's getting there.
Cause his defensive game isn't lacking... It's non existent. He needs time down in the ahl (probably this entire season unless there are a lot of injuries) until he learns how to play both parts of the game
@Rangeranger Red is for "sarcasm". (While hell, hell is for children.) Although it's technically "irony".
@cb1 read further down the comments...
and don't forget in 2 years... Stepan is probably going to be looking for 6-6.5 per year if he keeps up this play as a first line center (especially after taking the gap)
@KreiderisTheChosenOne red font indicates sarcasm
@ChrisP I'm in for Gomez! lol
@KreiderisTheChosenOne agreed. gotta hope for a good increase in the cap ceiling before his contract expires to accommodate his third contract.
@NYRblogneill @KreiderisTheChosenOne The Rangers are going to have about 30 million in cap space this summer and that's before the buyout and an increase in the salary cap. I have to think some spots will be filled by rookies but they'll have plenty of money to keep who they want. Callahan and Lundqvist will use up a lot of it but they are in good shape for the future with all the nice prospects in Hartford.