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Category Archives: In the Crease

Vigneault’s lineup decisions and constant changes will doom the Rangers

Bobby Bevilacqua

Alain Vigneault

The Rangers have gotten off to an awful start to the season, winning just one of their first 6 games, not scoring much at even strength and leaking chances and goals through their new and improved defense.

Some people might chalk this up to all of the new faces in the locker room trying to learn the system, figure out their roles and what this team’s identity. But the Rangers have a much bigger problem at hand, and it’s the man behind the bench.

Alain Vigneault has been criticized in the past for his lineup decisions, but his choices this year have been truly baffling, especially when it comes to the defensive pairings. Read the rest of this entry

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Rangers set to open the season: Lines, outlook, predictions and more

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers celebrating a goal

 Following another season of a disappointing playoff exit, an offseason full of questions and speculation, the New York Rangers are back for the 2017-18 season with a re-tooled roster and Stanley Cup aspirations to boot.

To start, I want to address my long absence from blogging. I hit a wall last year, overwhelmed with balancing school work to end my senior year of college and writing lot of the articles myself, I unfortunately lost motivation to keep it going. In doing so, I didn’t deliver what my readers wanted and fail in that aspect to cover a really exciting and important offseason for the New York Rangers.

Because of my work schedule and the time’s that I work, which is largely late nights until 2 or 4 AM sometimes, I won’t be able to cover and recap each individual game like I have in the past. But I do want to continue to write about the Rangers and cover what I can, and I hope my readers will come back and support the site again. Read the rest of this entry

Glass: Half Full or Half Empty? Rangers begin road trip against Tampa Bay

Marc Weissman

Tanner GLass hit

Welp, the stick finally hit the proverbial (Ranger) fan as Coach Alain Vigneault and GM Jeff Gorton apparently had enough of their own lip service as well as that spewing from their players ad nauseum. That’s right. None other than discussion-lightning-rod and AHL-banished forward Tanner Glass was recalled from the Hartford Wolfpack yesterday, along with defenseman Steve Kampfer.

Now, say what you want about Glass – and virtually everyone in Rangerland has – the current state of affairs for this team with only a month left to go in the regular season and the trade deadline in the rearview mirror is indisputable:

1) The team’s forte, its scoring prowess, has all but disappeared, case in point they’ve scored fewer than 2 goals per game over the last 9 while only playing wildcard worthy, .500 hockey. Read the rest of this entry

JT Miller has played his way into untouchable status

Bobby Bevilacqua

jt-miller-profile-1-5
Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers have been fortunate to have quite a few talented young players blossoming at the NHL level recently. Kevin Hayes is emerging as a top six quality center, racking up primary points and playing a much better two-way game. Chris Kreider set a new career high in goals and is emerging as a fantastic power forward. And Brady Skjei is far outperforming offensive expectations while playing a very solid defensive game.

But JT Miller’s steady development and consistency over the last three seasons has been the most exciting, and he might be evolving into a franchise player.

Miller, 23, has played parts of five seasons with the Rangers and has improved in each and every one of them. In the 2012-13 season under John Tortorella, Miller was largely a fourth line player, not earning the trust of the former head coach and tallying four points (2-2-4) in 26 games. It was much of the same in Alain Vigneault’s first season as well, recording six points (3-3-6) in 30 games and playing just four playoff games in the team’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Read the rest of this entry

AV must give Pavel Buchnevich more ice time ASAP

Bobby Bevilacqua

pavel-buchnevich-goal-celebration-first-11-5

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Rangers incredible forward depth has been their biggest strength this whole season, allowing them to fight through many injuries, roll four skill lines and score the third most goals in the league (181). But with so many quality wingers and only six spots in the top nine, somebody is going to suffer because of it.

Lately it’s been Pavel Buchnevich. The 21 year old rookie has been very effective this season, already totaling 15 points (6-9-15) in 21 games and even recording an eight game point streak, scoring six goals and six assists over that span.

Despite all of that, as well as the fact that many other stats back up how good he has been, Buchnevich has found himself on the fourth line for the past few games. Sure, there are a lot of good wingers and forwards that need ice time, but wasting Buchnevich on the fourth line is not the right decision. Read the rest of this entry