The Sports Daily > NY Rangers Blog
TheNYRBlog’s 20 Thoughts: The Kids Are Alright

Get excited Blueshirt fans!!!! There’s only a month till training camp and many of the Rangers prospects are already playing actual hockey. Some in very impressive fashion which could impact decisions when final roster spots are being debated. So let’s get into it.

1. When Lias Andersson was drafted #7 overall by the Rangers a month and half ago, you could feel the disappointment engulf the fan base: “Did we really trade away Stepan to draft a center with less upside?” We’ve seen this story before. Passing over more talented players for immediate need (*cough* McIlrath *cough*). No one doubted Andersson’s skills, but were there players available with more raw talent? Yep. It felt as if the Ghost of Draft Day Past had paid us another visit.

But it’s funny what a week of playing hockey can do to a fan base’s perception.

2. The great Alex Nunn put together this highlight video of Andersson’s World Junior Summer Showcase performance…

Aaaaaaaaaaaand I’ve officially gone from disappointed in the pick to worried that expectations might be too high for the kid. Talk about a flip flip.

3. Despite all the goals and faceoff wins, my favorite Andersson highlight from the Summer Showcase?

Love, love, LOVE the sandpaper. Hasn’t been enough of that on the Rangers roster in recent years and it would be a welcome addition.

4, Another characteristic Rangers fans should be impressed with are Andersson’s leadership qualities which were touted during the entire showcase. Here’s Andersson’s coach (via NHL.com)…

“Lias was here last year and he was good but he didn’t make the same impression he does now,” coach Tomas Monten said. “Lias is a player that leaves everything on the ice every time. That’s a big key factor for your team. We need the leadership, that kind of work ethic on the ice.”

Yeah, I’d say I loved reading that quote.

5. Now that I’ve gotten all the “fan boying” out of the way, it’s time for a reality check. Despite Andersson’s impressive performance, let’s remember that this was against his peers (aka other teenagers). Playing against grown men for 82 games? A whole other ballgame.

I’m not saying Andersson won’t compete for a roster spot, but it might be time to temper some enthusiasm until we see him lace ’em up against NHL talent.

6. Andersson wasn’t the only Rangers prospect impressing at the Summer Showcase as both Sean Day (2016, 3rd) and Tim Gettinger (2016, 5th) made the final cut and were included on Team USA’s final roster for the last three games of the tournament.  While the talented Day surviving the cut isn’t a huge surprise, the 6’6″, 220lb Gettinger (2g) definitely made a name for himself this week. A potential late round steal for the Rangers? In Gordie We Trust!

7. Meanwhile over in Russia…

The Rangers window will not close when Lundqvist retires. I repeat, the Rangers window will not close when Lundqvist retires.

8. Hell even 2017 Development Camp invitee 21-year old Pavel Poryadin had a show stopping move this week…

9. Ok, so now that the Rangers have all this talent in the pipeline, who’s going to help new 43-year old Wolfpack head coach Keith McCambridge develop them? His name is Joe Mormina.

10. Another Summer League game, another goal from Ryan McDonagh…

Damn his skating is DEAD SEXY!!!!

11. Meanwhile Pavel Buchnevich has been working with Chris Kreider on improving his game in tight spaces…

Buch vs Kreids…tight area escape…

A post shared by stickhandling system (@xdangler_pro) on

If Buch keeps this up, the Rangers coaching staff will have no choice but to keep him in the Top 9 this season. Right AV…

12. Kreider was also spied setting up Mats Zuccarello for this sweet 2-on-1 goal on a helpless young goaltender during the Rangers recent Junior Rangers camp…

13. Are we seriously talking about Rangers practice? Not a game, not a game, not a game, we talking about Rangers practice.

14. Remember the old Nike “Bo Knows” ad campaign…

We might need an updated version of it with Zuccarello after proving he’s more than just a hockey player last week…

15. So how have the Rangers done this offseason? Just ask Kevin Weekes, who’s obviously used to watching the Rangers from the sidelines…

16. While the Rangers might be a top five most improved team, they still haven’t addressed their dearth of quality center icemen. One dark horse contender to win a spot on opening night could be Boo Nieves, who recently had this to say (via NYR.com)…

“I’m trying to make the team,” Nieves said. “I think that’s my goal this year. I think it’s something I’m capable of as long as I’m healthy and I’m playing my best. I think there’s a chance to show what I can really do at this level. I just want to prove that I belong here.”

Injuries prevented Nieves from making a bigger leap with Hartford last year, but, if he can stay healthy, the former Wolverine will absolutely be given every opportunity to earn a spot in camp.

17. Speaking of opportunities, our old friend Brandon Prust will attend Los Angeles Kings training camp this fall on a professional tryout. While I used to be the biggest Prust fan around, after his gutless hit on Stepan during the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, don’t expect me to root for his return to the NHL any time soon…

18. Hey Esa, what have you been up to these days?…

Seriously, how the hell did Messier ever understand what Tikkanen was saying?

19. Apparently, the Rangers ticket sales strategy this year is to confuse fans into thinking there isn’t a price increase by offering ELEVEN different pricing tiers….

20. And finally, have you seen the Top 10 NHL goaltenders list released by the NHL Network? You know, the one that placed Henrik Lundqvist at #8 behind Cam Talbot, Jonathan Quick and Devan Dubnyk?

I don’t even know where to start with this abomination. The last time I checked, neither Holtby nor Price can beat Hank in the postseason, Bobrovsky has won a grand total of THREE postseason games, Matt Murray has been able to ride Crosby & Malkin’s coattails to two Cups, Jonathan Quick hasn’t had a save % above .920 since the 2011-12 season and do I really need to spell out why Lundqvist should be higher than Talbot and Dubnyk?

Meanwhile, where are Rask and Schneider and how are Rinne or Jones anywhere near the top 10?


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11 thoughts on “TheNYRBlog’s 20 Thoughts: The Kids Are Alright

  1. Is it possible to put an attachment (picture) in comment?
    I’m always lookiglng forward to read your insights and thoughts, Kevin. I can’t wait for hockey season to begin!


    1. Yes, you just have to paste the url for the photo in the text box and when you click “Post Comment” it will appear. Thank you for the continued support and readership!


    1. Also, I get why people are mad that Hank isn’t rated higher, but the thing is: it’s impossible to say how good a goalie is without saying how good the defense is. We could spend forever talking about how to adjust for defense and such, but the truth is that we’ll never know. Maybe hank did take a down turn this season. Maybe he’s playing his best hockey behind a shitty defense. As the numbers currently stand, the powers that be could have rated hank much lower, so I’ll take n underachieving top 10 goalie over and over-achieving top 10 goalie any day of the week.


  2. If the Henrik Lundqvist in the interactive exhibit at the hockey HOF is any indication, he is already on his game. Shut me out yesterday. Did have a couple posts and a crossbar, but that was it. Pretty embarrassing though. A guy shooting before me shot with the stick on his right side, but with his right hand on top and left on bottom, like a cross handed putter, and scored one against the Maple Leaf goalie.

    Ready for the season to start. Lots of new faces. Looking forward to getting most of my Ranger news here.


  3. We all know what Hank can do. Goaltending is not all about great reflexes, raw skill etc. ITs a mental game. Poor defense or not Hank was not stellar last season. Too many stoppable goals. Though the listing is brutal HAnk’s placement is fair based upon recent seasons IMO. For him to regain his stature as”The King” he needs to stop reacting to stupid shit for starters and keep his composure and focus on the games and not his skaters errors. . Staying focused is the key. Several goalies like Hasek had their best seasons during the years of waning skills and reflexes. Like an older picture can make up 3 mph off his fastball with good placement an older goalie can compensate for his declining reflexes with smarts. Other than that I’ll get excited when we get a top line center, though Nieves is intriguing


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