IN THE FORUMS >> VIEWS REPLIES  
  ■  Leetch Resigns 102 5  
  ■  Trades and Toughness 223 8  
  ■  Gallant to interview 55 1  
  ■  Rangers hire Mike Grier 46 0  
  ■  Next Coach! 951 51  
  ■  Quinn fired! 480 42  
  ■  Jack Eichel 328 14  
OTG POLL

How do you see the firing of Davidson and Gorton?

Huh?
Okay...
Of course!

Previous Polls
RUMOR MILL

Thursday - March 25th

With 18 days remaining until the NHL trade deadline, all is relatively quiet on the Rangers front.

Not unexpectedly, the Rangers are probably going to be minor players this time round, without much in the way of short term assets they would be looking to part with.

Clearly they would look at offers for those on short term or expiring contracts like Brendan Smith, Ryan Strome, Jack Johnson and perhaps the likes of Colin Blackwell.


  MORE RUMORS...
 INJURY REPORT
Kaapo Kakko 5/8
Sat out for preventative reasons in last game
 
Brendan Smith 5/8
Sat out for last game of season
 
Julien Gauthier 5/6
Left the game after seemingly twisting/spraining his knee on a hit along the boards
 
Jack Johnson 5/6
Tried playing, but ultimately was not effective done for the season
 
Artemi Panarin 5/4
Is expected to miss the rest of the season
 
Ryan Lindgren 5/10
Is feeling a lot better that he was, no mention of on-going concerns
 
Chris Kreider 5/10
Mentioned that he had back spasms that he could not shake the last two weeks of the season
 
Jacob Trouba 5/10
Feeling much better, and probably would have returned this week if the Rangers were still playing
 
Brett Howden 5/1
Broke his foot blocking a shot
 
  MORE INJURY NEWS...
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


Question Of The Day

September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

Answer...
  BIRTHDAYS

Bill Boyd - 1898
Pat Hickey - 1953
Jim Hiller - 1969

  SEARCH BIRTHDAYS
  RANDOM RANGER

BUTCH KEELING
(1928-1938)
  Born: Aug 10 - 1905  
  Pos: Left Wing  
  GP: 452  
  G: 136  
  A: 55  
  Pts: 191  
  PIMs: 260  
 

Assessing the Defense
Posted by Daniel Akeson ≡ - August 23, 2007

Throughout the off-season I have blogged about possible defensive options from free-agent signings to trade possibilities in order to upgrade their squad. However, I never sat down and actually assessed the defense that we have. As the season nears, it appears more and more likely that the current Rangers defense is the one that will battle for the top seven spots.

While few defensemen stand out as elite, the Rangers have at least ten defenseman that are capable of making that top seven. Let's make a quick list:

- Marek Malik
- Michael Rosival
- Fedor Tyutin
- Dan Girardi
- Thomas Pock
- Jason Strudwick
- Paul Mara
- Andrew Hutchinson
- Darius Kasparaitis
- Marc Staal

While any of those would be a second or third pairing defenseman on most teams, none are true Norris-consideration material. Not to say that is a bad thing because depth is always important, but is this a Stanley Cup caliber defense? Hardly.

Before we get into individual performances and roles on the team, what is truly and glaringly lacking is a true offensive defenseman. Call me spoiled for all those years of watching Brian Leetch, but there isn't one power play quarterback or consistent 50+ point guy there. How do you compensate?

Well, this has been a forced role for Michael Rosival and Fedor Tyutin still hasn't come into his own offensively. So as any good coach will tell you, defend as a unit. Head Coach Tom Renney has enacted that and had success, but not enough to really push New York over the hump.

The first way to break this squad down is to determine who the top seven will be. It's safe to assume that Rosival and Malik will remain a pairing, as they have been the steadiest ( I say that cringing ) pairing the Rangers have. Next is a little interesting.

Personally, I would love to see a Tyutin and Girardi pairing, it almost reminds me of the Leetch and Beukeboom days. Not to say either Girardi or Tyutin play as them, but it is a young pairing that can grow with both an offensive and defensive presence on the ice. In fact, Girardi was the most steady Rangers defenseman at the end of last season.

Already we have the top spots four gone. Three remaining.

Paul Mara showed some power play abilities and has a solid shot. If he were paired with a solid defensive defenseman, he could be an offensive asset. He's also still relatively young and has some potential. So who should he play with?

Thomas Pock is an offensive minded defenseman. Darius Kasparaitis has shown a tough time keeping up in the quicker paced NHL. Jason Strudwick is a utility guy, but does he warrant nightly ice time? Newly acquired Andrew Hutchinson is a bit of an unknown, but has power play potential and offensive talent.

Now it would almost appear the Rangers have too many offensive defenseman. However, none of them are offensive talents, just offensive-minded.

Let's presume that Kasparaitis is sent down to Hartford again to alleviate salary cap space and save room for the younger defenseman. There now remains two spots and four players to look at.

Of the remaining four, the only true defensive-minded skater is Marc Staal. Though he hasn't seen a game in the NHL and doesn't have much AHL experience, is this a good break-in year for him? With the Rangers having a very specific goal of a Stanley Cup, this isn't time for rookie mistakes.

At the same time, there could be two offensive defensemen on a pairing. Having two offensive defenseman as a pairing could work if the players were defensively responsible. In this case, it just may very well have to work.

If, in the interest of experience, we give one of the final two spots to Andrew Hutchinson we now look like this:

Malik - Rosival
Tyutin - Girardi
Mara - Hutchinson

Kasparaitis - Hartford

Marc Staal, Thomas Pock, and Jason Strudwick remaining.

At this point it would seem that Staal would be best served beginning the season in Hartford. Pock and Strudwick have both earned their stripes and the rookie Staal could use the AHL for transition. He would most likely end up being called up during the season anyway.

What is unique about both Pock and Strudwick is that both are utility players and can play both forward and defense. Chances are the two of them will rotate throughout the season or the Rangers may even choose to carry eight defenseman.

Our final solution looks like this:

Malik - Rosival
Tyutin - Girardi
Mara - Hutchinson

Pock/Strudwick rotate

Kasparaitis and Staal in Hartford.

I still personally feel a move is in the works to alleviate some of these defensive issues and bring in a more quality defenseman. That may also have had something to do with Peca's non-signing.

Time will tell, but for now we have an elite goalie, potent offense, and average defense.


Profile of the Author:
An avid New York Rangers fan, season ticket holder, and New York critic! Feel free to contact me or visit my blog at PucksOnBroadway.blogspot.com!

 Additional stories from Daniel Akeson:


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