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Where do you think the Rangers end up this year?

Best in NHL
Beast in East
Best in Metro
3-6 Playoff spot
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RUMOR MILL

Tuesday - October 19th

Per Elliot Friedman in his 32 thoughts column on Sporsnet, Gerard Gallant was the one that reached out to Vitali Kravtsov to ask him whether he would return. Certainly the Rangers could use some help in the top six right now with Ryan Strome in COVID protocol and Kaapo Kakko out in the short term.

Friedman says that Kravtsov doesn't really want to come back to New York, and that the Rangers price for a trade is high.

  MORE RUMORS...
 INJURY REPORT
Kaapo Kakko 10/16
Blocked a shot in the first period and did not return
 
Ryan Strome 10/15
Was placed in COVID protocol, and will not be available for the game against Montreal
 
  MORE INJURY NEWS...

Question Of The Day

August 19th, 2021

Earlier this year the Rangers won by a margin of nine goals as they beat the Flyers 9-0. How many times has the margin been bigger?

Answer...
SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2014
CAPTION THIS
Read the submissions so far and see if you can come up with the best caption for today's photo

Best Of:
2014-15 ~ 2013-14
2012-13 ~ 2011-12
2010-11 ~ 2009-10

  BIRTHDAYS

Zdeno Ciger - 1969

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  RANDOM RANGER

MARK HARDY
(1987-1993)
  Born: Feb 1 - 1959  
  Position: Defense  
  Games Played: 284  
  Goals: 7  
  Assists: 52  
  Points: 59  
  Penalty Minutes: 409  
 
There is no date for Marc Staal to return


Rangers Staaled
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ 10:43:53 AM - October 5, 2011

A tough start to the season just got a whole lot tougher for the Rangers.  The loss of Marc Staal for the beginning of the season to headaches, neck pain or concussion-like symptoms - depending on which story you prefer at any point - suddenly makes the defense look a whole lot less dependable.

Yes it's true that the Rangers have much the same defensive corps as they had last season, but Staal was clearly the number one blueliner for the Blueshirts, and we're about to find out what it's like playing without your best defenseman.

It wasn't bad enough that the Rangers have been touring around Europe playing a schedule that a politician would find overwhelming, or that the team will open the season Friday and Saturday with back to back games against the Kings and Ducks, a mere 3,905 miles from their home ice.  Then there's a four game western Canadian trip to welcome them home, after a one-game cameo out on Long Island.

And Marc Staal may miss them all.

The problem is that no one really knows what the problem is.  Diagnosis of concussions is only moderately removed from the dark ages.  Physicians and the medical establishment understand the symptoms and can diagnose the problem, but are generally unable to pinpoint the exact cause or damage, and are even less able to address any such damage.

Pretty much the only thing that resolves a concussion is the human body's ability to repair itself naturally, and the human body has no deadlines or dates that it needs to meet.

As such, the Rangers are left in the difficult situation of facing the start of the season without one of their key players and will have to rely on others to step up.

Dan Girardi has certainly become a mainstay of the Rangers' defense, but he remains more a role player.  He's a guy who can play on the first or second pair, add some offense and be a reliable defender when the team needs it.  He'll likely be paired with Ryan McDonagh, himself very similar in style to Girardi.

On the second pairing it looks like Mike Sauer and Michael Del Zotto.  Sauer may be a little underdone after suffering a shoulder injury during the preseason clash with the Flyers, and not being able to practice until today.  

His projected partner remains even less reliable.  Del Zotto has shown an improvement offensively in this European tour, but his defense remains questionable and the opposition for the most part has been below NHL standards.  He still struggles with his positioning in his own zone, demonstrating a tendency to chase the puck, and his acceleration remains below par.

For the third pair, it looks like the Rangers will go with Steve Eminger and Tim Erixon.  Eminger was superceded last season as Tortorella found better options, and his play in the preseason has been less than impressive.  The rookie Tim Erixon has shown his ability to play calmly under pressure, but he still has plenty to learn.

As for Stu Bickel and Brendan Bell, it's telling that Tortorella is looking to the rookie Erixon ahead of either of them.

Clearly the Rangers are a much weaker team defensively without Staal in the line-up.  It'll be up to the forwards to help relieve some of the pressure in his absence, both by providing a quality backcheck, and perhaps more importantly by scoring goals.

Henrik Lundqvist is going to have to step up his play in net too.  He'll start the season in his homeland, and should be as prepared as any of the Rangers.

Ultimately the Rangers will do well simply to be at .500 by the end of October.  Here's hoping they get a few breaks along the way, and that Marc Staal can regain his health and fitness quickly.



Profile of the Author:
Has been an active follower of the New York Rangers since the 1996-97 season. Began OutsideTheGarden.com in 2001, and has continued to collect data and provide analysis on the team through to the current day.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


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October 18th, 2021
AIR CANADA CENTRE
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FIRST PERIOD: 1. NYR Zibanejad (unassisted) NYR 1-0    SECOND PERIOD: 2. TOR Bunting (Rielly,Tavares) Tied 1-1    OVERTIME: 3. NYR Panarin (Zibanejad) NYR 2-1   
Boxscore Game Thread
  HEADLINES
OCTOBER 19
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OCTOBER 18
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  NEXT GAMES
Thursday Oct 21st
8:00pm - Road

Saturday Oct 23rd
1:00pm - Road

Monday Oct 25th
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Friday Oct 29th
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Tuesday Nov 2nd
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Complete Schedule
  CALENDAR
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Feb 4   NHL All Star Skills Competition
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