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NY Rangers Gaining Momentum Without McDonagh, Nash

Bruce HeenThe NY Rangers have stringed together four straight wins without two of their best players. Both Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nash are huge contributors to the winning formula of The Rangers. First reaction is to think New York will have issues scoring and defending, ultimately losing games and falling out of the tight playoff race in the east. Luckily this just isn’t the case, and what’s occurring for The Rangers is very reminiscent of the teams success and eventual President’s Trophy last year. They are getting contributions up and down the roster with some unlikely players making a mark on the stat sheet.

One player that is experiencing a great hot streak over the last 10 games is J.T. Miller. Miller is young, energetic, but early on has had a tough time finding his place on the team. He has been up and down and in and out of The Rangers team and there AHL affiliate, The Hartford Wolfpack. With Miller’s latest output of scoring, it is hard to imagine him making a return to the AHL and likely has cemented himself as a solid NHL player.

Outside of Miller, we are seeing players like Jesper Fast, Dominic Moore, and Kevin Hayes making their presence felt. The Rangers most recent game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a 3-0 win, Fast, Moore, and Hayes each scored a goal. For Dominic Moore it was his first goal of 2016!

In summary, The Rangers are playing some of their best hockey at a great point of the season. Once McDonagh and Nash get back in the action they should only strengthen the team.

via Bruce Heen http://bruceheen.net/ny-rangers-gaining-momentum-without-mcdonagh-nash/

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2016 in Bruce Heen

 

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Rangers lose out on Stanley Cup race, but the future looks bright

The New York Rangers are a solid team every year as playoff contenders, and more recently they have had the type of relentless dedication on both sides of the puck that can carry a team all the way to a Stanley Cup title. A surprising run last year to the finals, followed by a season with huge promise this year, including a President’s Trophy during the regular season, panned out to be not enough. It is a big disappointment after what will be an unforgettable season, but the NY Rangers shouldn’t hang their heads in defeat, and instead should look forward to more great seasons much like this one, as they have found a great identity, with a phenomenal nucleus of young and seasoned veterans to lead the charge.

Taking a look at the team that will be coming back next year, you can’t help but like your chances again despite missing out on what seemed like a sure shot to the Stanley Cup finals, especially with the play of the team in Henrik Lundqvist absence. See below for three key areas that bode well for continued Ranger success next season:

1. World Class Goaltending

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Henrik Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist can flat out play and he is absolutely coming into his prime as a goaltender. Not only is he hands down phenomenal, but he is also clutch in big time positions. You think Lundqvist would be rattled after what unfolded a couple weeks ago, but don’t fret – he is a competitor and a great professional. He will continue to show up every night and give it his all, standing on his head game after game, frustrating his counterparts and invigorating his team.

2. Young Talent / Veterans

You have to like this if you’re a coach and fan. Your young players are coming into their own at such an early age and your veterans have plenty left in the tank to motivate and provide developmental direction.

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Jesper Fast

We see this with the emergence of Jesper Fast in the playoffs and the heady play of Kevin Hayes during the regular season / postseason. You also can’t leave out Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider from the core of young players that can flat out play on the NY Rangers squad. These two can sometimes get lost in the veteran talk because they have been good for some time, and by some time we are talking 3-5 years, which is really quite young in hockey terms. They are growing, learning and their ceiling has yet to be met and should only continue to provide great scoring / playmaking touch that you can’t help but love. Not to mention,

Kreider is a freak athlete that is fast, strong, and is only truly starting to realize his

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Chris Kreider

potential. Just check out this video of him jumping out of the shallow end of a pool, it’s crazy.

Looking at the veterans, you can’t ignore Rick Nash and his scoring during the regular season, but you do need to point out his subpar play in the postseason. Subpar might be a bit harsh, but if you look at the stat sheet you can see how people could judge him, especially after a season filled with scoring and assists. Nash can do a lot of things, and that’s exactly what he did during the Rangers post season run this season. He didn’t always show up on the state sheet, but his presence was definitely felt most times he was on the ice. Another veteran worth noting is Derek Brassard. His play in the postseason was on display big time an you’d think if it wasn’t for him the Rangers wouldn’t have gotten nearly as far as they did with such little scoring than they are accustomed to in their postseason run.

3. Blue Line Presence

The Rangers have one of the best defenses in the league, hands down. Each line gets the job done and some, with a few capable providing offense on the other end. There’s not much to pick at here and they will continue to have this identity for years to come, as there major assets are locked into long-term deals.

The NY Rangers exit from the postseason came as a surprise to many, but it shouldn’t dissuade you in the least. This team won’t be changing drastically from the cast that carried them all the way to a President’s Trophy during the regular season. The future looks bright, so sit back and enjoy a team that will be fun to watch for the foreseeable future.

via Bruce Heen: http://bruceheen.net/bruce-heen-rangers-lose-out-on-stanley-cup-race-but-the-future-looks-bright/

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2015 in Bruce Heen

 

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NY Rangers turn a close game into a blowout

Bruce HeenThings were neck and neck going into the third period until the NY Rangers found new life and the back of the net. Tied at three a piece, New York came alive and ran the Florida Panthers right out of Madison Square Garden. Dan Boyle, Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash each scored in the decisive third period of play.

It is no surprise that when Rick Nash scores goals it bodes very well for the Blueshirts. With 31 goals on the season, Rick Nash is scoring at will and putting his team on his back. With a little bit more help on the bottom two lines, the NY Rangers would have more of a complete team and would in turn be even more dangerous then they currently are.

With Rick Nash clicking on all cylinders, you have to suspect the Rangers are finally smiling widely after the blockbuster trade that sent him packing in Columbus and into the bright lights of New York City. You can also make the assumption that Rick is more comfortable with his surroundings and in better health after sustaining a particularly bad concussion last season.

It will be interesting to see how the season plays out. Will Nash continue his scoring ways? Are the New York Rangers serious contenders for another run at the Stanley Cup? There’s still a lot of hockey to be played and it will be a lot of fun to see how things pan out.

via Bruce Heen http://bruceheen.net/bruce-heen-ny-rangers-turn-a-close-game-into-a-blowout/

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Bruce Heen

 

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