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Tonight is a make-or-break game for the Rangers and for AV as big changes loom  

Bobby Bevilacqua

av and ruff

Rangers head coachAlain Vigneault (left), could be replaced by assistant coach Lindy Ruff (right) if things go awry in tonight’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

Following a loss to the Canadiens in which the Rangers (3-7-2) were thoroughly outplayed and saw their comeback, the Blueshirts look to rebound on a brief stop at home to play the Vegas Golden Knights (8-2-0) for the first time ever.

This has sparked trade rumors, articles from beat reporters about tonight potentially being Alain Vigneault’s last game as head coach of the Rangers if things go wrong, and more following the game, especially if the result and the team’s play is similar to their last game against Montreal.

Last night also saw some of the Rangers highest members of their management attend the Ottawa-Canadiens game, including president Glen Sather and assistant general manager Jim Schoenfeld. It’s very rare for a team to send people as senior staff like them to one game, so something big might be in the works. Read the rest of this entry

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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

The Rangers should try and trade for Shayne Gostisbehere

Bobby Bevilacqua

NHL: Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers

Photo courtesy of USATSI.

Last season saw the emergence of many good rookies, such as Jack Eichel, Filip Forsberg, Artemi Panarin and Connor McDavid. But Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers was one of the most exciting and promising players to emerge from last year.

Gostisbehere was coming off of a 2014-15 season where he tore his ACL and played just five AHL games. The Union College grad played in a full-time role for the first time last season, featuring in 64 games and scoring 17 goals and 29 assists (46 points). The 17 goals was a Flyers record for goals by a rookie defenseman. He also had a 15-game scoring streak, which was the longest by a defenseman in the last 20 years, and also was the first rookie to score four overtime goals.

He played on the top pairing against some of the top players in the league and was certainly a strong and effective defender. He was lauded for his ability to transition quickly, easily able to recover from a turnover and get back on defense. A great skater, an excellent passer and scorer, and a power play quarter back (8-14-22 on the power play last season), Gostisbehere had the look of an elite defenseman. Read the rest of this entry

Quick Hits: Kevin Shattenkirk rumors, Alain Vigneault contract extension, Rangers scouting the Kings?

Bobby Bevilacqua

Welcome back to Quick Hits, a series where I address some interesting topics about the Rangers and the league all in one article. The NHL is just coming out of the All Star Break and approaching the trade deadline. With a lot of teams competing for playoff spots, things should get pretty interesting very soon.

If there’s anything you want me to talk about in the next edition of Quick Hits, leave suggestions in the comments below.

Rangers one of the teams interested in Kevin Shattenkirk

kevin-shattenkirk

This is a longstanding rumor linking these two teams, but they’ve come back again and it seems like the Rangers are interested in trading for him at the trade deadline. I have a ton of mixed feelings about this. Read the rest of this entry