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
Yesterday was an embarrassing game for the Rangers (26-13-1), who lost 4-1 to the Buffalo Sabres after showing almost no effort or fire in their game. The team needs a quick turnaround, because they take on the Philadelphia Flyers (20-14-5) on the road tonight in what could wind up being an important one for the Metropolitan Division standings.
The Rangers did almost nothing right last night, and were outworked and out-executed by one of the worst teams in the league. Alain Vigneault normally keeps his cool, but he was fuming after last night’s loss.
“There’s no doubt we didn’t do a good enough job in preparing our team for tonight’s game,” Vigneault told reporters. “I mentioned it many times. There are no easy games in this league. We weren’t ready when the game started, our execution was nonexistent. We didn’t have a ‘D’ that could make a pass, and our compete level was not good enough. I haven’t said this very often about this group since I’ve been here, but this was a very bad game where we got outworked badly, and we’re going to need to respond here.” Read the rest of this entry
UPDATE: John Gilmour, Ryan Graves, Robin Kovacs, Malte Stromwall and Mackenzie Skapski were sent to the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL).
With Alain Vigneault continuing to trim the roster down as the regular season draws closer, the team made two more cuts prior to the preseason closer against the Flyers tomorrow. Forwards Marek Hrivik and Nicklas Jensen were the casualties today and were placed on waivers.
Hrivik had no points in four games, while Jensen had a goal and an assist in four appearances. His goal came in last night’s game against the Islanders and sent it to overtime.
The Jensen cut made sense, as his performance was relatively underwhelming and players like Brandon Pirri had been outperforming him. Hrivik was a little surprising because he has shown the ability to handle a fourth line role and deserved a longer look than he got. Read the rest of this entry
Last night in the New York Rangers’ preseason game against the Flyers, perpetual goon Radko Gudas was at it again, this time targeting 23 year old rookie Jimmy Vesey with a blatant and deliberate hit from behind, resulting in a brawl and a game misconduct for Gudas.
The hit was extremely dangerous, driving Vesey’s head into the boards while he was in a vulnerable position. And the six-foot, 204 pound Gudas never stopped skating, hitting Vesey right in the numbers and sending him temporarily to the locker room. While Vesey turned to the boards, he was trying to play the puck and Gudas had plenty of time to avoid making contact. But he didn’t. He even adjusted his own angle to make the hit. Here’s the hit;
Gudas hit on Vesey pic.twitter.com/vWzHesVSKa
— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 3, 2016
Before the offseason started, there were talks about Jeff Gorton and the Rangers doing some minor tinkering and potentially entering the first phase of a rebuild. The team looked to have some major flaws and holes, an aging blue line and issues to address before opening night.
But Gorton made a lot of small, smart depth signings during Free Agent Frenzy, a trade for Mika Zibanejad, brought aboard a highly coveted NCAA prospect in Jimmy Vesey, and even made some changes to the coaching staff and management.
The moves made in the offseason show that the Rangers aren’t looking to rebuild and exit the first round this season, they’re looking to contend. Read the rest of this entry