Rangers-Maple Leafs in Review

Today’s guest review is provided by Stranger Nation (SN). Great job, SN.

Before we get to that review, I just want to say for myself how great Michael Grabner was last night. Easily the best player on either team, by a mile.  I was very happy he was rewarded with two late goals.

NYR 5 – Loafs 2

Check Up for the Neck Up:  For a regular season game toward the end of January, this contest carried significant weighting from a weary Blueshirt fan base.  The recent struggles of the mighty King had left his minions questioning his sovereignty over the domain of MSG hockey goals.  Had his mighty knights not adequately protected the fortress or were there deeper flaws hidden inside the psyche of our proud King.  Only time will tell and based upon a legacy of excellence and stand out performances in the current season, one had reason to believe/hope all would balance out in the Ranger Kingdom and King Henrik would continue to sit high on his throne (not to be mistaken for E3’s throne).  I will leave discussion of the King’s ransom being paid by Prince James the Zero for another day.

The Loafs:  Toronto is playing with 8 rookies and their tenacity, speed, and recklessness is in full evidence.  When coupled with Coach Babcock’s on puck interference plays [Editor’s Note: I’m so glad somebody else noticed], it creates a challenge for teams unwilling to make quick passes and move their skates.  Currently, the Loafs are tenuously perched as the 2nd wild card and 2 pts out of 3rd place in the weak Atlantic Division so there is some reason to believe in the Capital of Hockey.  Matthews, Nylander, Marnier are very good players but Defense wins games after the ASG and they are lacking in that area regardless of the strong affinity for the Hunwick’s game by Norm and Papa [Editor’s note: Hunwick is their normal third pairing defenseman. He was OK last night].

Road Warriors:  The Rangers started strong and controlled play in the first showing an urgency missing from most games; particularly at home.  This year’s team are Road Warriors, leading the league in road wins.  Why play so well at home and not in front of the mobile phone wielding fans of MSG?  Are T-shirt tosses not enough to inspire these players?  Do they need loud music played at ear splitting levels or, dare I say, a dancing buffoon with less moves than Kreider on a break away??  This will need to be straightened out prior the playoffs (Playoffs?!?  Did you say Playoffs!!!), if they hope to win at least one round.

Cupboard Full of Forwards:  The lineup features all of the front line talent that tantalized the fan base in the beginning of the season with only Pumps (#12) missing as part of the misfit 4th line.  From the beginning, the forwards pressed down low and won 50/50 board battles to create some Grade A opportunities.  While his puck skills are evident, the two way play and faceoff prowess of Zika (#93) along with smart play of Butch (#89) joining Nash creates a formidable line requiring a matching of the opponent’s better D pair and opening up more opportunities for the 3rd line of JT-Blaze (#13)-Grabber.  If I was King of France or Bazooka Joe, I would move THE (#20) back over with Zika and Butch and put Nash with Step/Zucc.  Nash provides a better defensive presence so Step doesn’t have to cover for both Zucc [Editor’s Note: I thought Zuccarello had a very strong two-way game last night] and THE and #61 is a shoot first, pass last player who would be playing with 2 players who refuse to shoot unless ordered to by the bench.  THE had great chemistry with 93/89 earlier in season and will look to pass when controlling the puck.  If the lines remain the same, both lines will continue to score, but in the long-term better line balance is needed.

Clean Slate…Grabber it! The best bargain in the NHL is #40 of the NYR.  As a 3rd line forward last season with Loafs, he had 9 goals; currently he has 21 with no PP time, leading the league in even strength goals ahead of some guy named Crosby on Pittsburgh. Kreider with 18 is nipping at his heels for team lead so he needed to turn on the jets.  That is exactly what he did on a short-handed break away on a beauty of a feed by Lazy Hazy.  Grabber actually slowed down to let the passing lane develop as the Loaf’s D-man angled over to Haze’s side to allow a perfect pass on the tape and ending in the back of the net for market #20 on a wicked wrister past Anderson’s glove to make it 4-2 in what had become a tenuous one goal lead entering the 3rd period.  He quickly added to that lead two minutes later as the Loafs pulled Anderson and Grabber made a great play to intercept a pass at the blue line and wrist it in while falling down.  He also drew two penalties; one a break away in the 1st and one in the 3rd.  Haze drew one in 2nd  as well.  The refs missed a number of other calls, mostly from the stick work of #47 Komarov and 8 Carrick [Editor’s Note: The worst player in the game last night] along with a kneeing by Polak on Zucc.

Youngblood on D:  The game started with Shea (#76) paired with the Miracle Met (#4).  The NYR fan base held their collective breath as Shea’s wandering nature in the D-zone creates chaos and the Miracle Met’s forte being on the Offensive side of the ice [Editor’s Note: I continue to believe that Clendening is a marginal NHL player, at best].  The pair played well, being on the ice for 2 even strength goals and limiting grade ‘A’ chances against.  Shea had the first goal off a beauty of a feed from Zucc who made a nifty play to win a 50/50 board battle after THE only the forecheck forced the D to cough up the puck.  The Miracle Met was also the victim of a Toronto pick-pocket to lead to a short handed goal.  Butch left the puck on a cycle down low to begin the break out and Zika and The Miracle Met did not communicate well and next thing you know, a high danger shot is in the back of the net.  Salmon Joe let us know #11 is a tireless worker, aren’t all the other teams good plays made by hard work??  The PP is really something once establishing possession in the Ozone with the excellent passing by Zika and Butch but there have been some scary moments getting the puck up the ice.  Earlier in game#4 made a nice play at the point leading to the second goal on a goal mouth scramble, started by Nash outmuscling Matthews and finished by Butch beating Hunwick; #89 always seems to be in the right place at the right time.  The young D pair was also on the ice for ‘tripping call’ by #4 late in the game when big bad Matt Martin ‘lost his footing’ with a stick to the thigh.  Didn’t notice Martin during the game, must be his new hairdo.

The King:  Ultimately, the game (and season) hinges on the play between the pipes and the King was up to the task.  There were plenty of rushes by the Loafs early in the game where he was tested and proved up to the task.  The 2 goals were the result of a bad bounce off of Ein Kleiner’s stick from a blind hard pass into crease which ended up right on the tape of Bozak.  This was mostly bad luck and the 2nd period shortie where Henk was drawn out of the crease and beaten high corner from in close.  The Loafs only had 25 SOGs so the D did their job limiting opportunities, especially in the second half of the game. [Editor’s note: I actually give the forwards a lot more credit in that regard] NYR seemed determined to play all 200 ft and Dan Girardi, playing in his hometown, found the fountain of youth for a game and played effectively in his own unique and unorthodox style.  This is only one game to build on with the following week leading up to the break will provide a peak into the second half potential of this team.  The talent up front will help alleviate the pressure on the D and, in turn, the King.  The 3rd goal showed how the offense can counter punch as a mini break away by Loafs led to a quick outlet and break by JT who eventually got the puck back from #13 and shot it in off Hunwick’s helmet; love the Hunwick!

Hope Springs eternal in the playoffs.  This team is still a steady top 4 RD and a 4th line fore-checker (in addition to Fast) away from a full complement to attempt to wrestle the Cup away for Pissburgh, albeit not very likely.  The Puree experience has turned and is now starting to stink up the joint.  Matt Pumps is not a 4th liner.  At the beginning of the season, VC was all over the place, now there are fits and starts but the college player ‘wall’ looks like something out of the North in Game of Thrones.  Don’t want to give up the farm, well, actually not much back on the farm to give up, so I prefer not to give up any young talent on the roster.  Would prefer Brassard type deals, where we get younger and better while giving up a bigger contract and experience.  Since the expansion is coming, all bets are off as to what the market will bear.  Just don’t want to mortgage the future for a very uncertain present/near future.

Let’s Go Rangers!

SN’s Three Rangers Stars:

#40 – Grabber

#30 – Shampoo Boy

#10 – Miller Time

Ranger Report 2.0’s Three Stars:

  1. Grabner
  2. Lundqvist
  3. Zuccarello

Your Three Rangers Stars:

  1. Grabner
  2. Lundqvist
  3. Miller
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196 thoughts on “Rangers-Maple Leafs in Review”

  1. Doodie – send me SN’s email so that he can send his guest blogs to me – and I’ll post them – so as not to bother you,. I know you’ve been overly swamped of late…

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  2. Luv the way any and all of Babcoc(k)’s teams run interference for each other and yet never get whistled for same.

    Toronto will be a force and ye right soon….young and talented….

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  3. Coos
    Lol. No, I’m 220lbs and I’m sure my IQ isn’t above my shoe size (size 10 btw). It’s the headstone # of my father in the military cemetery he’s planted in.

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  4. I have found the secret to Grabner’s success. As long as I keep him off of my fantasy teams he will keep scoring. 30, 40 maybe even 60. But if I pick him up off waivers? Cold. Ice cold. So you’re welcome, boys!

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  5. Every morning at the mine
    You’d see him arrive
    Stood 6 foot 6
    Weighed 245
    Kind of broad at the shoulder
    Narrow at the hip
    And everybody knew you’d give no lip
    To big Wick
    Big wick, big wick, big bad wick

    Nobody seem to know where wick called home
    Just drifted into town and stayed all alone
    Never said much kinda quiet and shy
    And if he spoke at all he’d just say hi
    Big wick
    Big wick big wick big bad wick

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I see the Shatty rumors starting up again on some sites. I’m sure he’s interested in playing for his home town team, Now while I don’t know the extent of his defensive capabilities I’, with you guys, don’t think he’s the proper fit. They need more of a defense first guy. Doesn’t mean he can’t play in this system or move the puck. But they need someone that can be relied upon on the right side of McDonagh. That’s got to be the top priority. From there they can figure out where theyre at and what they need because I think it’s past the point of just needing one guy on that blueline.

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  7. move Shatty into Girardi’s contract $$ and get rid of D, than you are talking. Other than that, heard he is asking $8M per for 6 and having to give up any assets for an upcoming UFA doesn’t pass the smell test. No more long term+30 yo deals please

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  8. Shatty would be perfect if we had the Olde Marc Staal – now THAT would be a feared 2nd pairing. Unfortunately, even though Staal is having a good recovery season, he’s not exactly the guy I would rely upon to safely and effectively cover for an offensive partner. Skjei’s not quite there yet either. And while I really like what I’ve seen out of Holden, on a good team he’s 3rd pair.

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  9. I voted for the guy, deplorably, but there’s no question he gives his face a constitutional wash in Cheetos every AM.

    Great write-up, SN, way to make it your own! Hard to follow all the nicknaming, but it’s gotten to the point where using real names is counter-culture, and I love to research, love to learn… happy for Yanks Manager in his Spare Time, who had a very strong game I thought.

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  10. Great review SN – a fun read! Just saw that the Blues are sending Jake Allen home for a few days for a “mental reset.” Anyone ever heard of that being done before? I think it’s a pretty good idea and if Antti had been healthy I think sending the King to Jamaica for some sun and guaranteed-to-relax-you ganja might have taken a bit of the edge off!

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  11. If they were to want Shatty they’d be stupid not to wait until July 1 just like they did with Brad Richards. I’ve heard Tyson Barrie’s name being mentioned in the Colorado tear down rumors. Interesting since he and Holden were the top pair for the Avs but he’d cost a small fortune and is another puck mover. Dmitri Kulikov is the guy I would be gunning for.

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  12. Serious question- why is it that everyone’s making a big deal out of Vesey having to adjust to an 82 game schedule but the 8 or 9 rookies on TO don’t seem to be having much of a problem with it? Maybe banishing him to the fourth line isn’t the best strategy?

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  13. I don’t know Norm. Haven’t seen Hank, Allen, Schneider or Price for that matter looking very relaxed lately. I’m in favor of Hayes sharing his edible gummies with his goalie before games. Would at the least stop all that bad body language everyone is talking about…

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  14. Only reason you trade for an unrestricted guy like shattenkirk during season is if you want to change the expansion draft protection dynamic (ie you send a fwd to stl for him because you have too many Fwds you want to protect).

    Also think skjel’s exemption from expansion draft makes him a valuable trade chip.

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  15. I can absolutely see a scenario where all three rightys that were in the lineup last night are not on the rangers next season.

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  16. The expansion draft is the only reason Trouba hasn’t been moved. Not many teams can add him and still protect him and their current guys. On the flip side, Winnipeg has a lot of guys to protect and it will be hard to protect a package of players in place of Trouba.

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  17. The thing that bugs me about Woody Johnson (I said Woody and Johnson) is that you’d think a billionaire could find a green tie that’s the same color as his team’s uniforms. Some people have told me that it could just be his lucky tie, and no doubt he’s had a great deal of good fortune in his life, but his football team’s luck might be worth changing.

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  18. Kulikov doesn’t pique my interest, James G. Never liked him in Florida. Also, he’s a lefty, which we’re flush with. Beggars can’t be choosers, but we’re hurting for a skilled top-4 right shot on D.

    Agreed that Trouba’s still in ‘peg because of the upcoming expansion draft. THOUGH – if you somehow move a forward from our top-7 for him, you could:

    1) Fit Grabner into your protected 7F
    2) Ask both Girardi and Staal to waive their NMC (as if Vegas would touch either of them) to fit Holden and Trouba in with McD.

    This allows ‘peg to protect Toby Enstrom (he would’ve been a casualty behind Buff, Myers, Trouba). Their forward 7 aren’t THAT deep past the first liners. The bottom few would include Joel Armia, Mathieu Perreault, Mark O’Dano, who are guys that would easily slide down the pecking order if they picked up a guy like Zuccarello, Miller, Hayes, etc.

    Not totally advocating for it (the likely guys, Hayes or Miller, are showing us just why we should NOT trade them), but it’s a better fit than you’d think if we’re looking at it in terms of expansion.

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  19. I met her on Monday, it was my lucky bun day, you know what I mean.

    I love her each weekday, each velvety cheek day, you know what I mean.

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  20. Woody Johnson is a marquee member of the lucky sperm club. They give you funny names when boozing on gin all day and night.

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  21. You protect mcdonut on D, and you have to protect staal due to the nmc, and then….

    I buy out Girardi regardless, Klein is either traded before seasons end (possible) or exposed (probable).

    I trade for trouba (and protect him) or if they want shattenkirk that bad, trade for him (no protection needed because he’s ufa or protect him if he signs new deal as part of contingency of trade).

    Holden (due to lefty depth) I leave exposed (if the make any deals for a righty that needs protected, if not, I protect him).

    All this is moot if there is some way to jettison staal or at least get him to waive clause.

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  22. Forwards…Nash (must be protected I think), miller, Kreider, z pack, Hayes, grabner (although I don’t think he has a season offencively like this one next season),….

    Those are the only locks at forward I protect for sure. The last spot I wait and see who I trade if anyone. Those are the 5 forwards I definitely want back next season plus Nash.

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  23. The last few games should show how much Staal is still useful. He will be protected. He is not at all in the category of Girardi.

    So McDonagh and Staal will be protected. If a defenseman is traded for who is worth protecting and under contract that will be the 3rd protected defenseman. This is all assuming Girardi either waives his no move or is bought out.

    Wicky

    Zucc and Stepan will also be protected.

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  24. Alex
    So you are agreeing with me in the first part of your post?

    The second part…it wouldn’t shock me to see zucc traded at all and maybe step depending on the return so I left them out.

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  25. Yes Carp plus he is still one of the better defensemen here. The past few games should have shown that.

    Staal will be protected and not only because of the NMC

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  26. Alex – appreciate your love of the past but Holden can play LD2 as Staal does not have the value of his contract. If he was making $3-3.5 maybe. Significant injury risk as well.

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  27. SN

    There is not 1 contract of a guy making more than $ 5 million here that is justifiable. It is the structure of the league that guys get paid more as they hit ufa years.

    You can’t seriously expect that both Staal and Girardi (and Klein as well) will be gone between now and next season opener.

    You clearly dislike both players pretty intensely based on your nicknames for them. It will be a costly hit for Girardi to be bought out and that dead money will hurt enough to begin with.

    Other than Skjei who have the rangers drafted on the back end in recent years that is the next wave of our defense corps.

    I like Holden just like I like Grabner and Raanta. We will likely lose 1 of the 3. Any will hurt.

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  28. Ales – Staal has been a steady Ranger who contributes next to nothing offensively and is a significant injury risk. On the left side you have McD, Shea, and Holden who are all better values than Staal at this point. Keeping him is insurance on Shea.
    Agree the UFA deals are always more which is why smart GMs don’t sign second pair D-men to out of market contracts.

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  29. I’d keep skjel over staal, but the reality is staal aka trs isn’t going anywhere. I wouldn’t hesitate to add skjel to any deal to get a multi dimensional top 6 fwd or a solid NHL righty D man. I have no problem with Holden or graves on the left side of the rangers D next season in place of skjel.

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  30. SN

    Staal is the 2nd best defenseman on the team.

    You seriously can not expect to turn over the defense to lose Girardi (while keeping a substantial cap hit). Klein and Staal over 1 summer. That is completely unrealistic.

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  31. Just got home and finished the review. Great write up SN totally agree with switching The and Gnash! Kreider Zibanejad & Buchnevich should be paired for the future! I can also see Hayes Miller & Vesey as a line for next year. Would like to see that now but Beep Beep is just too good with Hayes & Miller right now! Here’s hoping Hank returns to form!

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  32. I just feel that regardless of Staal’s contributions, he has a contract that Vegas is simply not even remotely interested in. Def not saying he’s in Girardi territory in terms of ROI. I think both can safely assume that if they waive their NMC, they will not be boring their families with discussions about “dry heat” next season.

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  33. Meaning they will probably need to take a couple of vets with some bloated contracts to steer the kids for the first couple of years.

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  34. SN-Las Vegas must select players with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100% of this season’s upper limit for the salary cap. So they have to spend at least $43.8M

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  35. SN

    that’s for the expansion draft and I presume they can trade guys and certainly doesn’t mean they need to take long term deals with high $.

    Like carp said and I agree Staal would be top 4 defense on many teams and I believe he’s top 2 defense here.

    The Rangers are not losing both Staal and Girardi in same off season unless Staal gets more injuries then goes Long Term Injury.

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  36. People also said the Rangers have the best 6 D in the league. Staal is not top 4 on most winning teams, maybe the Ghost of Seasons past. Losing both players would be a godsend IMHO.

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  37. SN, I was the guy asking: if some team had a better 6-man rotation than the Rs (when it was intact) who was it? Got no answer. I put forward the Wild? No answer.

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  38. Norm – possibly a better way is for you to rank the NYR Dmen relative to their peers.
    There are 180 starting Dmen in the league, where do they slot based upon current performance?

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  39. I’d say right now minny for sure…caps D on paper isn’t but it might give us a run (holtby helps their cause for sure), ducks? Blackhawks top 3 are certainly better than our 3 best by quite a bit, I’d put the jets top 4 ahead of ours…probably their 6…

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  40. To think that there are only, say 100 defensemen total in Canada, the USA, – indeed in the entire world, who are worthy of being called expert representative talents at their position is mind-boggling. no? Or is it?

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  41. My point was not that the Rs had the best D-corps in the league, but that nobody at the time (haven’t looked lately) had as good and deep a rotation. You saw superior top threes and top fours all over the place, with table scraps filling out the bottom pairings. The Rangers, conversely, had and still have a star-free, balanced group that has been a good fit with the similarly star-free four lines, thus their success with this model. It’s a tenuous one, though, as we’ve seen once Staal came out of the line-up. Not much depth after the top six, and no stud to rely on when there’s an injury.

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  42. Staal is one of those guys some fans hate without looking at the big picture. If he went to Pittsburgh the same people would be all pissed off every time he played well against us. “Oh sure now he doesn’t suck” we need a RR psychologist around here.

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  43. Girardi is unfortunately the guy who really causes the issue. If they could eliminate his cap hit and essentially replace it with a legit top defender that could pair with Mcdonagh then you have 3 guys perfectly capable of making up the second pairing with the other one falling into the 5 position to get paired on the third pairing. Of course that still leaves two defenders not playing their natural side..but I agree w Alex it’s not all getting corrected overnight.

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  44. I think NYR can reach a gentlemen’s agreement with both Staal and G on the NMC. As pointed out, highly unlikely they would be desert bound given $ and health and age.

    Now, a more important topic: how to move Salmon Joe by the trade deadline. Total boat anchor on Sam and everybody knows the window is closing on Sam too. Team needs to do something!

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  45. Staal hasn’t been that since the first injury, let alone the second. Pitts would be the perfect team for him or any D as they control the puck most of the game.
    He is a non contact positional LD with poor puck handling skills and no shot

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  46. If I am Vegas GM George McPhee I am not taking any onerous contracts without getting paid off in players and/or prospects and/or draft picks – and even then I wouldn’t take anything more than two years unless Don Vito Corleone made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

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  47. BDL, by which I mean I’m sure you’re right. I never trust my memory. That said, my faulty memory has the Wild being the only comparable team that might have skated six regularly (don’t think they did, though).

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  48. It was about a month ago Norm. You mentioned you felt the Rangers had the best 6 man D rotation. You asked for anybody to find one better. I came up with the Wild. Not that it matters, I just want the credit. 😁

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  49. Sometimes I think people think there should be 6 all star defensemen on the team. The Penguins have Letang, then there’s old fart Daley, Dumoulin, Maata, Cole and Shultz. I wouldn’t exactly call that a superstar lineup of defensemen, but they won a Stanley Cup with it.

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  50. NYR D
    McD – RD1
    Staal – LD2
    Holden – LD2
    Shea – LD3/4
    Klein – RD2/3
    Girardi – RD3/4
    Clendenon – RD3/4
    .
    Blues D
    Pietrangelo – RD1
    Bouwmeester – LD1
    GunnarsonLD 2/3
    Shattenkirk – RD1
    Parayko – RD2
    Edmundson – LD3/4
    Bortuzzo – LD3/4

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  51. On many nights, our best Dman is not the best D man playing…our #1 isn’t better than theirs (not a knock on mcdonut, just saying).

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  52. And he needs to stop doing it. Poking to the right to “help” Girardi and letting Benn in behind him the other night was a truly bad play. It’s too late to change it, but in retrospect it might have been wiser to give Nash the C and let McD just play. And perhaps McD is a really good captain. Carp might know.

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  53. Shatenkirk a RD 1? Please. Last season, on a team with no minus players to speak of, he was minus 14! This season, once again, he is minus 14! Hens a Dman who plays on only one end of the rink, and that end is not the D end

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  54. Can anyone even recall the last few defensive minded D men this time had other than the better versions of Girardi and Staal? Who was it, The Hunwick? Steve Eminger?! Maybe Jason Strudwick or Derek Morris? Certainly wasn’t Caber!

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  55. What numbers are those Norman?
    Goals Allowed: #2, NYR #10 (pretty important one, no?)
    Shots Against: #10th, NYR #23 (another important one)
    Shots %: 10th; NYR #30! (that’s a lot of high percentage shots given up)
    Save %: 27th, NYR 29th; both have goalie issues, but one team is giving up more chances
    .
    +/- is not a real stat, unless MSG and John Gianone is your source for hockey knowledge. Yes, Shatty was -14 and still would be #1RD on NYR. I think he is a one dimensional D-man and would not sign him period but he would still be RD1 on this team.
    Phil Housley – over 1200 pts; career (-53) – he stinks!!
    Rob Blake career (- 4); horrible!
    Kevin Hatcher – over 1150 games (-27) how did he last??

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  56. SN, Caps, Jax and Wild are top three GA, so I’m not sure what team you’re referring to. I thought we were on the Blues?

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  57. Norman – correct, I was looking 5v5 last year; expanding to last 1 1/2 seasons
    .
    Goals Against; StB 15th, NYR 16th
    Shots Against; StB 8th; NYR 15th
    Save %; StB 13th; NYR 18th
    .
    So the best 6 man D-unit (NYR) is in bottom half of major defensive categories over last 1 1/2 seasons. Got it!

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  58. I was only talking about this year, SN, what with the new team, new high-tempo style. Bringing in last year is an interesting new topic.

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  59. This year; all situations
    Goals Allowed; StB -25th; NYR – 15th
    Shots Allowed; StB – 5th; NYR – 11th
    Save % – StB – 30th; NYR 18th
    .
    So the best defense in the NHL is not top 10 in any category
    As bad as Henk has been in some games, St. Louis has an unmitigated disaster between the pipes on its hands

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  60. I hate the penguins just thought I’d throw that in the mix! Without crybaby being drafted they might not even have a team! Their colors suck too!

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  61. Carp
    Re your 7:46…at least their coach wasn’t yelling “don’t do anything, we’ll make them pay on the power play” 😉

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  62. And I don’t think shattenkirk is a #1 right D, he would be on this team but that’s more of an indictment of our current D.

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  63. Different passion, Wick. I imagine you throwing your beer can at the screen and singing a colorful aria when some Ranger doesn’t have his teammate’s back. Whereas I throw mine and sing when he shoots when he should have passed.

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  64. Norm – you said the Rangers have the best top 6 defensive unit. The stats don’t support your claim.
    Sorry I brought the facts out.

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  65. SN, that’s not what I said at all, and I think you know it. But benefit of the doubt: read 6:52 AM post if you’re curious to understand the point I’m trying to make. Appreciate the extra stats you brought in, though.

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  66. “That is not it at all,
    That is not what I meant, at all.”

    ‘No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
    Am an attendant lord, one that will do
    To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
    Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
    Deferential, glad to be of use,
    Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
    Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
    At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
    Almost, at times, the Fool.’

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  67. Insomnia strikes. Earlier in the season, during some critique or other about the Rangers D, I went to NHL Stats and did some filtering on team TOI. I was surprised to learn that the Rangers were the only contenders at the time skating 6 D on a regular basis. After today’s reprise of this stuff, I went ahead and did it for all 30 teams. The Rangers lowest TOI guy (of the six regs.) is Klein at 740 minutes. So if you set filters at > 700 minutes, you find the following number of D per team:

    BUF, DET, EDM, TOR: 3
    ARI, BOS, CHI, COL, DAL, LAK, MIN, MON, OTT, PHI, STL, VAN, WIN: 4
    ANA, CAL, CAR, CLB, FLA, NAS, NJD, PIT, SJS, TAM, WAS: 5

    The Rangers have 6, as do… the Islanders! (Leddy,de Haan, Hickey, Boychuk, Hamonic, Seidenberg) I like the Rangers six better. If you drop TOI to >600, you pick up DAL, WAS and PIT, so teams are settling in as the season progresses. Washington now has the best six, IMO, with Schmidt having caught up.

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  68. So the ‘facts’ you bring is the quantity of ice time as an effectiveness measure for depth of Defense. The reason the other teams play their top 4 more is they are significantly better than their bottom 2 and as a result they are letting in less goals and giving up less shots.
    The Rangers bottom 4 are all playing to a 3rd pair level this year. This is the issue. That is why they all play the same amount; the performance is the same…poor and not up to their cap hits. This Defense got one D coach fired and everyone is questioning the ability of the new D coach. Guess what? It’s not the coach
    Ultimately, the argument is NYR has the best 3rd pair Dmen (and weaker top 2/4).
    Whooppeeee!

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  69. Took you a while, SN, but you got there! With Staal in, I see six good NHL defenders sharing time and fitting well into a balanced system. You see a lack of star power and mediocrity at best, 4 third-pair defenders. We disagree. Fair enough.

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