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Kevin Hayes’ improvement warrants an All-Star Game Appearance

Alexandra Russo

kevin-hayes-full-body-profile-10-19

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

For years now, the NHL has regarded the All-Star Game highly. Kevin Hayes deserves a spot on the roster due to his excellent and consistent play with the New York Rangers so far this season.

After a seemingly lackluster performance last season, there was a lot of grief among the fan base and calls for him to perform better. When he started his career with the Rangers, he opened up with 45 points in his rookie season. To the chagrin of many, including coaches and fans alike, Hayes played the same amount of games, while only producing 36 points and three less goals (14). He was forced to listen to talks of trades and rumors of not maintaining a spot on the roster. But has he ever proven everyone wrong this season.

In just 36 games, Hayes has managed an impressive 23 points, including eleven goals and twelve assists. He is already on track to finish the season better than any he’s played before, and it’s not only limited to point production. His faceoff percentage has gone up by over ten percent, now operating at around a respectable 47%. And let’s not forget that his shooting percentage is a big reason why his game is functioning overall at a better pace, as it has increased from 10.5% to 19%.    Read the rest of this entry

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Top trade targets and how the Rangers should approach the deadline

Bobby Bevilacqua

Jeff Gorton and Glen Sather

Photo courtesy of Bruce Bennet/Getty Images.

Following the conclusion of an exciting 2016 NHL All Star game, one that saw Pacific Division captain John Scott scored two goals and help led his team to the million dollar prize, the league will get back to business with games starting on Tuesday.

Perhaps more importantly is the approaching trade deadline, when the trade window closes on February 29. Team’s looking to improve their roster and make a playoff push will be inquiring about several players around the league, and the Rangers are expected to be right in the middle of it, both as buyers and sellers.

With Alain Vigneault’s misuse of Keith Yandle and his expiring contract, the Rangers may unfortunately wind up dealing him to a team looking for a puck moving defenseman. However, they’ll also likely be in the market for a top six winger to add some consistent scoring, something they really need. Read the rest of this entry

Quick Hits: NHL All Star Game, Patrick Kane, and the Dennis Wideman hit

Bobby Bevilacqua

Welcome back to quick hits, where I talk about the most interesting topics around the league. The NHL is entering a break with the All Star Weekend festivities taking place this weekend. But there’s still some interesting things going around the league.

Jonathan Toews, Alexander Ovechkin will not participate in the 2016 All Star Game

alex ovechkin

Photo courtesy of Even Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports

This afternoon, we had the first two players bow out of the All Star game due to “injuries.” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin both announced that they would skip the All Star festivities to deal with injuries. Read the rest of this entry

Quick hits: New All-Star format, Dan Boyle retirement and bye weeks?

Bobby Bevilacqua

Welcome back to quick hits, where I chose a couple of the biggest topics from around the league and share my thoughts on it. I haven’t done this in a while, so be sure to let me know what you think, and leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

NHL Adopts New All Star Game Format (LINK)

bridgestone arena

Photo courtesy of the Bridgestone Arena.

After last year’s absolutely ridiculous All Star game in Columbus, finishing with a score line of 17-12, the NHL has decided to make a change in the format in an attempt to make it relevant and watchable.

Last year, two captains were chosen, Nick Foligno and Jonathan Toews, and teams were selected through a draft process. Divisions and conferences were split up, so it wasn’t the East versus the West. The actual game itself was dreadfully boring, with the players participating at half speed, not playing defense and seemingly taking the game as a joke. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers fall in overtime to the Stars; Kreider scores late equalizer

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs stars 2 2-8

Cam Talbot made 23 saves, but the Rangers could not come away with a win, dropping their second straight game, but this one came in overtime. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Despite a sloppy game, the Rangers (30-16-5) managed to pick up a crucial point against the Dallas Stars (24-21-8) at Madison Square Garden, losing early in overtime by a final score of 3-2.

It looked like the Stars were going to win in regulation, but Chris Kreider scored a clutch goal to send the Rangers to overtime.

It was a relatively sloppy game, with the Rangers struggling to carry the puck through the neutral zone and to clear their own zone. They also seemed to have trouble keeping the puck in at the blue line, often losing possession that way. Basically, the fact that they were playing the second game of a back-to-back showed, for both teams. Read the rest of this entry