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Nicklas Jensen for Etem swap is paying unexpected dividends

Bobby Bevilacqua

Nicklas Jensen

Photo courtesy of the New York Rangers.

After trying out Emerson Etem in the lineup for a little while, Jeff Gorton made the decision to ship out the 23 year old and get something in return. Etem, 23, had been part of the trade with the Ducks when trading the rights of Carl Hagelin, a trade where Gorton was mainly concerned with moving up to select Ryan Gropp.

Many people complained about Etem’s usage and the lack of chances that he was given, but personally, I never saw anything from Etem. He really wasn’t that effective offensively, had trouble with the puck, and he wasn’t good in puck battles against the boards, which he pointed out as one of his strengths. So trading him for some kind of prospect was a smart move.

Jeff Gorton sent Etem to Vancouver, reuniting him with his junior hockey coach, and getting 23 year old Danish prospect Nicklas Jensen in return. Jensen didn’t turn any heads or create headlines, as he seemed to be just a middle of the pack AHL prospect. Read the rest of this entry

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Ranking the Rangers—Part One: 20-26

John Dundon

This will be a series of posts in which we rank players on the Rangers roster who played at least 10 games (Regular season/playoffs) as a Blueshirt in 2015-2016. Let’s get right into it:

26: Danny Paille

daniel paille full body 1-25

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

OH GOD SHIELD YOUR EYES!

Paille played in 12 games as a Ranger from Late-January into February, and boy were they memorable. Not in a good way.

Paille was a team worst 35.1% CF% with exactly ZERO goals and ZERO assists. His signing came at a time when the Rangers were looking for help on the penalty kill. All Paille did was make the already pathetic PK worse. There is no bright spot here. Watching Paille squirm out there, dragging Dom Moore down with him was painful. Although it took them a month, they finally did away with Paillie, but the damage had already been done. Read the rest of this entry

The Problem with the Process

John Dundon

Jeff Gorton and Glen Sather

Photo courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images.

The New York Rangers have managed to stay in the cup conversation despite organizational failures, past and present.

The Blueshirts started out the year strong but wound up limping past the half way mark of the season sporting a modest 26-16-5 record. One cannot but help wonder what the main underlying cause is for the team’s decline in play could possibly be. Not because they are hard-pressed to find issues, which have been plentiful and even overwhelming thus far through the 2015-2016 campaign.

It’s surprising though given the fact that right around this time last season, the Rangers took off. They dominated the league, even in the wake of losing Henrik Lundqvist for an extended period due to a freakish neck injury. Cam Talbot had replaced and even duplicated the edge that Lundqvist gave the Rangers night in and out. The Rangers finished the season on a tear and made a trip to game 7 of the conference final, where injuries eventually caught up to them in a humbling 2-0 loss on home ice. While the decline may be a surprise to some it didn’t sneak up on people who have looked at and made a point of the organizations failures, especially dating back to the offseason after that heartbreaking 4-1 Stanley Cup Final defeat. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers look for consecutive wins when they take on the Islanders; Girardi a game time decision

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs islanders faceoff 12-2

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The last time the Rangers (23-14-5) won two games in a row, the Rangers had won their 16th game of the season in just 21 games, sitting atop the Metropolitan Division and amongst the league leaders in points.

Flash forward almost two months, and the story is completely different. While they have been playing better lately, with a 4-2-1 record in the last seven games against some tough competition, they’re just 7-11-3 in the last 21 games.

So tonight’s matchup against the Islanders (23-15-5) presents an opportunity to not only gain ground in the division, since both teams are tied with 51 points, but also for the Rangers to get their first win streak going in over seven weeks. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers rally late for win over the Bruins; Girardi suffers lacerated hand

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers celebrate good pic 1-11

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers (23-14-4) like to make things exciting, and they were able to turn a thrilling third period into a 2-1 win over the rival Boston Bruins (21-15-4) at Madison Square Garden, getting back in the win column before heading on the road for three games.

After a heartbreaking loss with a late goal against the Capitals, it was the Rangers breaking hearts tonight, as Jesper Fast scored the game winning goal with under two minutes remaining. After some shaky and rather bland play in the first two periods, the Rangers rebounded nicely and secured a big two points.

The Rangers may have struggled a lot on the road, but they’ve been great on home ice so far. Vigneault’s squad leads the Eastern Conference with 34 home points, and they’ve posted a 16-5-2 record at the Garden. Read the rest of this entry