Blog Archives

Changing the system: Alain Vigneault should roll with four skill lines

Bobby Bevilacqua

alain-vigneault-behind-bench-9-27

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Traditionally, a hockey team is structured with 12 forwards composing four different lines; the top two lines are the scoring lines and full of a team’s stars. The third line is more of a two-way line that can chip in scoring and play some defense. And the fourth line is the checking line, your penalty killers and usually not great at scoring.

Most coaches tend to try and structure their lines in this fashion and it’s how hockey has been played for a very long time. But this year, the Rangers need to try something different.

The group of forwards that the Rangers have brought into camp is the most talented group of players that I have seen since I started following the team closely. Buchnevich, Vesey and Zibanejad are some of the talented, young newcomers brought to New York in the offseason, and all of the offseason additions have injected a plethora of speed, skill and scoring prowess into the lineup. Read the rest of this entry

Potential Depth Signings for the Rangers

Chris Vallely

Jesper Fast full body with numbers 10-18

The Rangers are going to need to build their third and fourth line around guys like Jesper Fast. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

This offseason is going to be a difficult one for Jeff Gorton, GM of the New York Rangers. The Blueshirts have a projected $15,325,000 in cap space, but a multitude of players to re-sign. Restricted free agents Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, and Kevin Hayes, will take a majority of that cap space away, if both parties can agree on terms. Unrestricted free agent, Keith Yandle, is another highly touted player the Rangers would like to sign.

With these players clogging up most of the cap space, if not all, New York is going to have to look for cheap signings in free agency. Dominic Moore and Viktor Stalberg’s future remain uncertain, and Gorton is going to have to find replacement players. The Rangers top 6 is pretty much taken care of.

With New York’s tight budget, it’s going to be key to find inexpensive depth players to fill out the roster. Here is a list of low-risk, depth forwards the Rangers should look at in free agency: Read the rest of this entry

What is the most important area for the Rangers to improve in the offseason?

Bobby Bevilacqua

derick brassard and henrik lundqvist 12-6.jpg

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Over the course of the regular season and the brief playoff run, one thing was clear with the Rangers; changes needed to be made. They were outmatched against top teams, threw away games they should have won, and went “all in” on a trade for Eric Staal that didn’t pay off.

That leaves the team in a weird spot, not ready to rebuild and not ready to win a Cup. Jeff Gorton is stuck making some really tough decisions that could shape the franchise for the rest of the Henrik Lundqvist era and beyond.

Gorton will look to make improvements, but there are quite a few areas that they need to tweak and work on before moving forward and trying to capture that elusive Stanley Cup. But which one is most important? Read the rest of this entry

Mailbag Monday: Playoff matchups, consistency from Zuccarello and Nash and more

Bobby Bevilacqua

Welcome back to the first mailbag Monday in a while. With the playoffs approaching and getting closer, lots of questions are floating around in people’s heads about the Rangers, their chances in the playoffs and more.

If you have a question you’d like answered for the next article, leave it in the comments section below, or click the “Contact Me” tab and send an email with your name and question.

With that out of the way, let’s get started.

Do you thing we have a chance in the playoffs without Nash scoring goals? – Scott Rosenberg

rick nash profile 11-23

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

When he’s playing at his best, Rick Nash is clearly the Rangers’ best player. We’ve seen it in the past few games, scoring twice in the past four games. And in the last two games, he attacked the net and got some great chances despite not finding the back of the net. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers take on the Bruins at MSG; Nash recovering following “maintenance day”

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers vs Bruins 3-28

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

 

It’s an Original Six matchup at Madison Square Garden tonight as the Rangers (41-24-8) battle the Boston Bruins, with both teams looking to strengthen their positioning in the standings as the playoffs draw closer.

Both teams have had some rough stretches lately, making today’ game important as both teams are looking to get back on track. The Rangers are just 4-4-2 in their last 10 games following Monday’s win, but they’ve managed to hold onto second place in the Metropolitan Division; two points ahead of the Penguins and five points ahead of the Islanders.

The Bruins were just swept on their three game road trip, losing to the Sharks, Ducks and Kings and getting outscored 9-3 in those games. Boston is also in a pretty good position in their division, sitting in third place but just three points behind the Panthers and the Lightning. Read the rest of this entry