The Rangers are said to be taking a different approach to this years regular season as games to see who will be ready to make an impact for the playoffs. They don't care if they win them all, they just want to get the right pieces to the puzzle in place when it comes playoff time. It just happens that this season the Rangers have started off strong with a 15-3-2 record inspite of still having some glaring weaknesses. The weaknesses are being disguided by great goaltending a timely scoring. The Rangers seem to have addressed the huge problem of the last few years in the faceoff circle with the additions of Jarrett Stoll and Oscar Lindberg. How will the Rangers fix the bad powerplay and secondary scoring is the big question right now.
Looking at the lineup to start the next 1/4 of the season, it seems like a big shakeup except for the real first line of Rick Nash-Derrick Brassard--Mats Zuccarello. The USA line has been put together of Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Kevin Hayes. The Hartford line of J.T. Miller-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast has been reunited. The 4th line of older grizzly veterans with great faceoff talent of Dominic Moore-Jarrett Stoll-Victor Stalberg hopes to stay in the lineup with Emerson Etem not showing enough to break into the top 12 on a regular basis. The Rangers are hoping that this gets a few of the players clicking and filling the oppositions net while not giving up too much on the defensive side of the game.
Posted by Michael M. Ramos ≡ 1:36:18 PM - October 30, 2015
The Rangers have started off the 2015-2016 season as a 6-2-2 team that looks like a team that isn't mising a beat from last seasons team that was the best during the regular season. If the Rangers play to the same pace throughout the season, they would play to around 112 points. The reality is that this Rangers team, has a long way to go to be as good as last years club. The best part about this team is that they know they are just feeling their way through the start of the season and they don't seem to have their sights on winning the regular season, but staying ready for the long playoff run through the playoffs more
Posted by Michael M. Ramos ≡ 12:35:43 PM - October 7, 2015
This summer saw a few changes on the ice and in the front office. The new G.M. Jeff Gorton signed 20 layers from inside and outside the organization and has 2 open spots to bring players in through trade, freea agent signings, or from overseas once their seasons are over (such as Pavel Buchnevich or Carl Klingberg). The Rangers finally have the depth that they have been missing for the last few years that when the injuries occurred, they had no answers. Is this the year? Let us watch tonight the celebration of the Blackhawks of what its like to finally reach the title. Last year the Rangers were the best team in the regular season, but injuries stopped them 1 game short of making it to the finals. Do they have the depth this year to battle through it?
Jeff Gorton got Oscar Lindberg, Dylan McIlrath, Marek Hrivik, and Matt Bodie to accept less than their qualifying offers to buy into the team concept. Gorton got J.T. Miller and Emerson Etem to accept only their qualifier offer instead of bigger deals. Derek Stepan took what many feel was a hometown discount to stay longterm in New York with his 6 year contract with a yearly caphit of $6.5 million. Then you add in cheap 1 year signings of Stalberg and Stoll that add leadership and experience. The depth that was added at forward was Megna, Gibbons, Adams, and Lindblad that have all been assigned to the AHL waiting for a callup. On the defensive side, Rafeal Diaz was sent down after being beat out by Dylan McIlrath for the 7th spot. Having Rafeal Diaz and Brady Skjei ready if any of the top 7 faulter. In goal, the Rangers will be 4 deep once Mackenzie Skapski gets healthy, with Lundqvist, Raanta, and Hellberg ahead of him.
With the loss of Martin St. Louis, Cam Talbot, Carl Hagelin but gaining Stalberg, Raanta, Etem, and Stoll along with ading from inside the organization Oscar Lindberg and Dylan McIlrath, the Rangers seem to be stronger. Not only should Stoll and Lindberg make a major difference in the faceoff circle, but another year of a long playoff run should help players such as Miller, Hayes, Kreider, Fast, and Yandle more
Posted by Michael M. Ramos ≡ 2:42:29 PM - August 26, 2015
As the NHL loks to expand the league to more teams, it looks as though Quebec and Las Vegas will be getting the first 2 expansion teams. Both of the Quebec and Las Vegas arenas are said to be on target to be opened for business by next season, but it is reported that the projection for the newest teams to start playing will be for the 2016-2017 season. The last time that there was expansion in 2000 for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild, the teams already playing in the NHL had two options of protecting some of their players exempt from getting taken away by the upstart teams. The first, which will be most likely what the Rangers will choose, you are allowed to protect 1 goalie, 5 defensemen (at least 1 defenseman with over 40 games played in 2015-2016 has to be exposed) , and 9 forwards (at least 2 forwards with 40 games played in the 2015-2016 season has to be exposed). The other option was 2 goalies, 3 defensemen, and 7 forwards. Each team could lose two players in the expansion. It will be up to new General Manager Jeff Gorton to choose the correct scenario for the Rangers in which option to choose and which players to expose in the draft. Some teams leave some bigname-big contract players out there but not many have ever been taken in these expansion drafts as teams are looking for young players with promise that can grow into a solid team. If the expansion teams are ready to go for next season, it would be off of this years roster as the exoansion draft was before July 1st and free agency back in 2000 more
Posted by Michael M. Ramos ≡ 12:54:43 PM - August 17, 2015
In Jeff Gorton's first summer as Rangers general manager he has made some pretty good cap friendly deals for the lower 6 forwards and depth while extending Derek Stepan at a reasonable price. In the Cap World, there will always be players and teams that have to adjust because the raise they are due makes them unable to stay with the team and this summer it happened to be Carl Hagelin. Hag's was a very useful Ranger and played a solid role in the Rangers success over the last few years, but the raise he wanted (he signed with the Ducks for $16 million over 4 years) that took him out of the Rangers plans and got him sent to Anaheim in exchange for Emerson Etem (at a very cap friendly amount of under $1 million for this upcoming season). The Rangers also sent a 6th rounder and their 2nd for the Ducks 2nd that moved the Rangers up 18 spots in that round and they were lucky enough to grab LW Ryan Gropp. Emerson Etem has history with a couple of the Rangers young core American members and he was in need of an organizational change of systems which he seems to fit in perfect to the way the Rangers play. The Rangers saw over the last few years that they needed to get bigger at forward and they did that this summer without losing too much speed more
Posted by Michael M. Ramos ≡ 12:42:54 PM - July 13, 2015
Anyone who follows the Rangers knows how good this team has been for the past few years. They have won divisions, been to 3 of the last 4 conference finals, and a Stanley Cup Final just last year, but they haven't had that extra something to bring the Cup back to New York. The Rangers have been successful while having a somewhat revolving door around their core players of Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello, Carl Hagelin, and Cam Talbot. The Rangers had already traded ex-captain Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, and a few other homegrown Rangers to get bigname players to add while working within the cap system. This Summer the Rangers already traded Cam Talbot who deserved to be a starter somewhere for picks, and Carl Hagelin for Emerson Etem to save somewhere near $2 and 1/2 million this year. The cap makes you pick and choose who you can keep longterm and who is just for a year or two more