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OTG POLL

Where do you think the Rangers end up this year?

Best in NHL
Beast in East
Best in Metro
3-6 Playoff spot
Wildcard
Out of playoffs

Previous Polls
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

  SEARCH BIRTHDAYS
  RANDOM RANGER

JOHN WEBSTER
(1949-1950)
  Born: Nov 3 - 1920  
  Position: Center  
  Games Played: 14  
  Goals: 0  
  Assists: 0  
  Points: 0  
  Penalty Minutes: 4  
 
It's not clear whether Brian Boyle will make the team


Line Dancing
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ 5:44:32 PM - September 27, 2010
Twenty Seven players. A maximum of twenty four spots - if Chris Drury starts the season on Injured Reserve. Probably more likely to be twenty three spots, whether or not Drury is healthy to start the season.

Remaining on the roster, the Rangers still have sixteen forwards, nine defensemen and two goaltenders. At least deciding the goaltending duo is going to be easy. As for the rest, I'm going to take a stab at breaking this down further.

Let's start with the forward position. The following players I consider as certainties for the opening night roster: Artem Anisimov, Derek Boogaard, Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury, Brandon Dubinsky, Alexander Frolov and Marian Gaborik. That's seven guys, and if you assume the team will carry at least one extra forward, then there are six spots remaining.

Of those remaining six spots, you'd have to think that Brandon Prust and Vinny Prospal are more than likely going to be there, while the remaining seven forwards will battle it out for four...maybe five spots.

A guy we all thought would be there opening night, at least earlier in the Summer, was Erik Christensen. Signed to a new two-year contract, he looked to have a spot locked up. Even in camp, it was thought that Tortorella saw him as a given, but things are not so clear now.

Despite a better performance in yesterday's game in Detroit, there still remains plenty of questions about his viability as a top line center. The trialling of Derek Stepan as the first choice between Gaborik and Frolov, should tell you all you need to know about what the coaches are thinking.

It's not a given though, and the fact that he's got any time between the top offensive duo means that Stepan has far from locked the spot up.

While the Rangers' 2008 second round pick has had a noticeable start to camp and the preseason, the difficulties of the first line to create offense against Detroit until the latter part of the game, coinciding with his Christensen's substitution, may give Tortorella some pause.

There's also some doubt whether having Christensen and Stepan on the roster at the same time makes much sense - some would say there are better third line options - so it may come down to whether Tortorella wants to be aggressive or conservative.

For Stepan to solidify the spot, he'll need to show he can help the top line convert offense, and with just three games remaining, his time is getting short.

One other player that figures to be tried between the two top forwards is Todd White, but Tortorella has yet to try this option, which suggests he doesn't expect it to pan out.

White in fact looks like to be the odd man out in the center position if Chris Drury is healthy to start the season. Instead it looks as if Tim Kennedy and Brian Boyle are battling it out for the fourth line spot, and the coach appears to be favoring Kennedy.

Boyle may still be able to secure a roster berth however, by showing his ability to play all three positions, and by being able to be used as a 13th forward to spell Boogaard when he's not in the line-up. If Kennedy fails, then Boyle could also slot back into the fourth line center spot where he played last year.

On the wing, things are less congested, though any of the centers could potentially move across. With six of eight wing spots seemingly set, the battle largely remains for the third line. If Tom Renney was still the coach, you could probably place Sean Avery in one of those vacancies, but with Tortorella on the bench and Ruslan Fedotenko in camp, things are a little different.

The history between Avery and Tortorella is well documented, and the Grate One struggled last year to deliver the kinds of performances we've seen in the preseason from him.

Try-out Ruslan Fedotenko awoke offensively in his last outing, and made it through the first set of cuts. Two Stanley Cups, including one with Tortorella and the Lightning probably don't hurt his cause either.

Meanwhile another player with an extended history with the Head Coach is also in the mix, with Prospal seemingly a strong candidate for either wing position.

So three wingers, and only two spots...

On the blueline the Rangers have nine defensemen following today's cuts. Alexei Semenov had factored into the equation before today, but with his departure the field narrows considerably. Marc Staal and Dan Girardi figure as the certainties, while Michal Rozsival and Michael Del Zotto seem highly likely.

That leaves five guys for two starting spots, and probably one bench spot. The front runner for the bench you'd have to think is Steve Eminger. You don't want to use that spot for a guy who's still developing, and Eminger has proven to be a steady guy who can play regularly or in spots if needed.

Going into camp, Matt Gilroy probably would also have been a strong candidate, but his off-season workouts, coupled with some steadier play may have saved his spot.

That leaves three rookies for one final spot. The clear standout through the preseason to date has been Ryan McDonagh. The 21 year old defenseman looks easily the most poised, in fact one could easily confuse him with a veteran. McDonagh also brings a little bit of everything with his game, and you'd have to think he'll be there.

Given that scenario, then Michael Sauer and Pavel Valentenko are likely heading to Hartford or elsewhere. Sauer also faces the prospect of having to clear waivers, and while it's not certain that he'll be taken, there's a posibility that a team like the Islanders could pick him up.

So now we come to the moment of truth, how will the roster likely look on opening night. Barring the prospect of a trade - which the Rangers could now pull off given their extra salary space, I figure the following.

The Rangers sign Fedotenko to a one year deal. Derek Stepan gets a long look, but ultimately gets reassigned to Hartford and the Rangers elect to trial Erik Christensen in the center to start the year, roster down to 26.

Valentenko and Sauer are reassigned to Hartford, McDonagh and Gilroy get the last two starting spots and Eminger is kept on as a seventh D. Roster down to 24.

Todd White is reassigned to Hartford. Roster down to 23. Spare forwards to start the year, Chris Drury - injured - and Brian Boyle.


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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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
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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
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
 More important dates...
  STANDINGS
  Team GP W L OT Pts  
  Penguins 3 2 0 1 5  
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  Hurricanes 2 2 0 0 4  
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  Lightning 3 2 1 0 4  
  Flyers 2 1 0 1 3  
  Red Wings 2 1 0 1 3  
  Capitals 2 1 0 1 3  
  Bruins 1 1 0 0 2  
  Devils 1 1 0 0 2  
  Islanders 2 0 2 0 0  
  Canadiens 3 0 3 0 0  
FULL STANDINGS

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