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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

RON SCOTT
(1983-1988)
  Born: Jul 21 - 1960  
  Position: Goaltender  
  Games Played: 16  
  Record: 3-7-4  
  Shutouts: 0  
  GAA: 3.86  
  Sv%: -  
 
Coach Tortorella will rely heavily on Henrik Lundqvist this season


O Is For Offense
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ 4:15:47 PM - July 18, 2009
The best defense is a good offense. Write that down somewhere, because you'll probably need it frequently in the coming season watching the Rangers. The process of dismantling Tom Renney's version of the Blueshirts has well and truly progressed this Summer, and you're not likely to see the Rangers amongst the league leaders in goals against or penalty kill.

Under Tortorella you're unlikely to see the fourth line out there for the last shift of the game, or facing up against the opposition's best lines at even strength. The reason? Well for one, the new coach doesn't really believe in using four lines, and he believes even less in players who are simply strong defensively.

If you look at the team the Rangers have assembled this off-season, it's almost all about adding offense. Gone are the Rangers' two top penalty killing forwards (in ice time, if not ability) - Blair Betts and Fredrik Sjostrom. In fact, if you look at the Rangers' PK from last year, five of the eight forwards who averaged 45 seconds or more short handed time each game are gone.

Replacing them are Christopher Higgins and Marian Gaborik. Higgins was one of the key PKers in Montreal - 2nd amongst forwards in short handed ice time per game - and will likely take one of the vacated spots. Gaborik also averaged a steady 55 seconds a game short handed, and certainly would be the kind of guy you'd want out there towards the end of a kill. After those two, the pickings are kind of slim.

The quintet of Enver Lisin, Tyler Arnason, Brian Boyle and Donald Brashear combined for a total average of 36 seconds of short handed time per game, with most of that - 34 seconds - coming from Lisin.

Add to the loss of veterans Paul Mara and Derek Morris on defense, and the Rangers' penalty killing units look as if they'll have a hard time matching last year's league best performance.

That is of course not to say that the Rangers' PK is going to suddenly drop to amongst the worst in the league, but there's definitely some question around how effective it's going to be.

The transition to more of an offensive line-up, and some new blood on defense will also likely have an impact on the team at even strength. While the Blueshirts were in the middle of the pack when it came to average shots given up per game - 29.7/15th - they were able to keep the goal totals relatively low, finishing sixth in the league in goals against average with 2.66 given up a game.

If the Rangers are to even approach that mark in the upcoming season, then they will need goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to step up along with improvements from their top four defenders.

It's not really surprising though.

If you look back at the teams Tortorella coached after the lockout, they consistently averaged more than three goals against - 3.17, 3.18 and 3.26 respectively. But then again, that was with the likes of John Grahame, Sean Burke, Marc Denis and Johan Holmqvist in net.

So now we really get down to the crux of this off-season's strategy: improve the offense, add some new blood and hope that Lundqvist can bail them out. This certainly worked for coach Tortorella when he had Nikolai Khabibulin in net and a Tampa team that ranked 12th defensively in the league in 2002-03 and 10th in the year they one the cup.

Clearly the thinking is that if the Rangers can score more goals, they'll be able to improve their odds of winning simply by avoiding those close one-goal games - and the successful, though nail-biting shootouts.

So when Kotalik turns over the puck in the neutral zone, when Lisin misses his coverage or when Donald Brashear takes a stupid penalty and the PK gives up the goal, the idea behind it all is that the best type of defense is a good offense.


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:


YOUR COMMENTS

 
October 18th, 2021
AIR CANADA CENTRE
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1 0 0 1 2
0 1 0 0 1
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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Rangers projected lineup: Artemi Panarin finding his shot is key
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  NEXT GAMES
Thursday Oct 21st
8:00pm - Road

Saturday Oct 23rd
1:00pm - Road

Monday Oct 25th
7:00pm - Home

Friday Oct 29th
7:00pm - Home

Sunday Oct 31st
9:00pm - Road

Tuesday Nov 2nd
10:00pm - Road

Friday Nov 5th
9:00pm - Road

Complete Schedule
  CALENDAR
Oct 31   First Ranger game in Seattle
Jan 1   2022 NHL Winter Classic
Jan 28   Lundqvist Number Retirement
Jan 30   First home game against Seattle
Feb 4   NHL All Star Skills Competition
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  STANDINGS
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  Flyers 2 1 0 1 3  
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  Devils 1 1 0 0 2  
  Islanders 2 0 2 0 0  
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