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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Keep him or Dump him: New York Rangers edition

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers skaters (awesome pic) 11-6

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

It’s been addressed many times before, but there’s going to be quite a lot of changes this offseason for the Rangers. Alain Vigneault addressed it on breakdown day, and some of the players alluded to it as well.

This team as it stands has a lot of problems. There was the rapid decline of some of the players, seemingly a lack of a full 60 minute effort from the players on a consistent basis, and what Vigneault described as a “puck-moving problem.” All of that, coupled with the defensive breakdowns, atrocious penalty kill and lack of line chemistry was all evident in the team’s five game series loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.

Part of the change the Rangers will experience will come in the form of a new lineup. There are A LOT of upcoming free agents, both RFAs and UFAs, and not a lot of salary cap space to sign all of them. Some tough decisions will have to be made, and it could potentially help shape the next era of Rangers hockey – for better or for worse. Read the rest of this entry

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The state of the Rangers: Gorton faces a crossroad this offseason

Pat Rice

alain vigneault on bench 12-15

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers season came to a disappointing close, falling in the first round to the Pittsburgh Penguin in just five games. This is the earliest they were eliminated since 2011.  The bad part is they were completely outclassed, losing by a combined score of 11-3 in the last two games, 19-6 in their four losses, and 21-10 for the series.

Pittsburgh had their way on the special team units, scoring on 8 of 21 power plays for a 38% success rate, while the Rangers were 2 of 19, just over 10%.

The Penguins were the better team.  They had energy and execution, while the Rangers didn’t.  This did not come as a surprise because Pittsburgh played very good hockey the second half of the season, while the Rangers have been inconsistent since Thanksgiving.  The series was a combination of losing to a better team and the Rangers tank being empty.  Read the rest of this entry

Season ending embarrassment is exactly what the doctor ordered

John Dundon

Henrik Lundvist dejected 4-23

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Rangers were one minute away from walking into the locker room with a one goal lead after two periods in game three. Instead, Sidney Crosby deflected a puck over the outstretched leg of Henrik Lundqvist with 42 seconds remaining in the period to tie that pivotal game at one.

Pittsburgh would go on to win 3-1, take a 2-1 series lead and never looked back. Alain Vigneault called it the turning point of the series. Perhaps he’s right in some regard.

The Rangers season ended the second Crosby got a stick on that pass. Through a maze of ineffective Rangers penalty killers, Phil Kessel was easily able to make a pass to the best hockey player in the world, sitting wide open on the doorstep. It was a goal the Rangers couldn’t let up at that point in the game, series or season. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers season comes to a close with 6-3 thrashing in Pittsburgh

Alexandra Russo

Rangers vs penguins Game 5 4-23

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Alain Vigneault said before the game that his team has been there before, and they’ve been successful by staying in the moment. Unfortunately, that success didn’t carry over to this season, as they lost this game, this series, and their season, by the final score of 6-3.

One of the things the Rangers said they needed is the strong presence and scoring of Rick Nash, and he opened up the scoring for his team 1:01 into Game 5. Brady Skjei made a fast pass to Dan Girardi, who took a shot from the point. That got deflected by Nash in front for the early Rangers’ lead.

But the Blueshirts didn’t stop there. They proceeded to harass Murray and were able to get quite a few quality opportunities. Specifically, they had an odd-man rush where Nash made a great pass to Girardi in front of the net, but Murray made a good save to prevent a bigger lead.   Read the rest of this entry

Rangers head to Pittsburgh for Game 5 with their season on the line

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Penguins Game 4 4-21

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Just like the last two seasons, the Rangers find themselves in a 3 games to 1 series deficit, dropping two straight games on home ice to the Penguins. Starting tonight at the CONSOL Energy Center, Alain Vigneault’s squad will be looking to make it three straight seasons with a come from behind series victory.

In 2014, the Rangers defeated the Penguins after being down 3-1, winning two on the road and Game 6 at MSG. Last year, the Rangers found themselves in the same hole to the Capitals, winning three straight games including a Game 7 overtime winner from Derek Stepan.

The only positive to take out of this is that the Rangers have been in this situation before, they tend to respond well to adversity, and they’ve knocked Pittsburgh out of the playoffs for two straight seasons. Other than that, it’s a tough mountain to climb. Read the rest of this entry