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OTG POLL

What do you think of the Rangers season so far?

Quite surprised
Modestly surprised
As expected
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Previous Polls
 INJURY REPORT
Vladislav Namestnikov 12/7
Expected to be in the line-up tonight
 
Mats Zuccarello 12/7
Appears as if he will not be in the line-up tonight, but has been rotating in during practice
 
Pavel Buchnevich 12/7
Skating as an extra in practice, close to returning
 
Adam McQuaid 12/7
Is skating in a non-contact jersey as he edges closer to a return
 
Kevin Shattenkirk 12/11
Left the arena with his arm in a sling, and likely won't know the extent of the injury until Wednesday
 
Cody McLeod 11/23
Broken hand will keep out to about New Year's eve
 
  MORE INJURY NEWS...
SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2014
CAPTION THIS
Read the submissions so far and see if you can come up with the best caption for today's photo

Best Of:
2014-15 ~ 2013-14
2012-13 ~ 2011-12
2010-11 ~ 2009-10

RUMOR MILL

Tuesday - October 25th

Either Josh Jooris (New York Daily News) or Dylan McIlrath are likely to find themselves on waivers when Pavel Buchnevich returns from back spasms.

The team is expected to cut the roster down to 22 players, and as such one of the two will need to be either moved or sent down.

  MORE RUMORS...

Question Of The Day

September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

Answer...
  BIRTHDAYS

Bill MacKenzie - 1911
Clint Smith - 1913
John McKenzie - 1937

  SEARCH BIRTHDAYS
  RANDOM RANGER

JERRY BYERS
(1977-1978)
  Born: Mar 29 - 1952  
  Pos: Left Wing  
  GP: 7  
  G: 2  
  A: 1  
  Pts: 3  
  PIMs: 0  
 
There is no date for Marc Staal to return

Rangers Staaled
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ 10:43:53 AM - October 5, 2011

A tough start to the season just got a whole lot tougher for the Rangers.  The loss of Marc Staal for the beginning of the season to headaches, neck pain or concussion-like symptoms - depending on which story you prefer at any point - suddenly makes the defense look a whole lot less dependable.

Yes it's true that the Rangers have much the same defensive corps as they had last season, but Staal was clearly the number one blueliner for the Blueshirts, and we're about to find out what it's like playing without your best defenseman.

It wasn't bad enough that the Rangers have been touring around Europe playing a schedule that a politician would find overwhelming, or that the team will open the season Friday and Saturday with back to back games against the Kings and Ducks, a mere 3,905 miles from their home ice.  Then there's a four game western Canadian trip to welcome them home, after a one-game cameo out on Long Island.

And Marc Staal may miss them all.

The problem is that no one really knows what the problem is.  Diagnosis of concussions is only moderately removed from the dark ages.  Physicians and the medical establishment understand the symptoms and can diagnose the problem, but are generally unable to pinpoint the exact cause or damage, and are even less able to address any such damage.

Pretty much the only thing that resolves a concussion is the human body's ability to repair itself naturally, and the human body has no deadlines or dates that it needs to meet.

As such, the Rangers are left in the difficult situation of facing the start of the season without one of their key players and will have to rely on others to step up.

Dan Girardi has certainly become a mainstay of the Rangers' defense, but he remains more a role player.  He's a guy who can play on the first or second pair, add some offense and be a reliable defender when the team needs it.  He'll likely be paired with Ryan McDonagh, himself very similar in style to Girardi.

On the second pairing it looks like Mike Sauer and Michael Del Zotto.  Sauer may be a little underdone after suffering a shoulder injury during the preseason clash with the Flyers, and not being able to practice until today.  

His projected partner remains even less reliable.  Del Zotto has shown an improvement offensively in this European tour, but his defense remains questionable and the opposition for the most part has been below NHL standards.  He still struggles with his positioning in his own zone, demonstrating a tendency to chase the puck, and his acceleration remains below par.

For the third pair, it looks like the Rangers will go with Steve Eminger and Tim Erixon.  Eminger was superceded last season as Tortorella found better options, and his play in the preseason has been less than impressive.  The rookie Tim Erixon has shown his ability to play calmly under pressure, but he still has plenty to learn.

As for Stu Bickel and Brendan Bell, it's telling that Tortorella is looking to the rookie Erixon ahead of either of them.

Clearly the Rangers are a much weaker team defensively without Staal in the line-up.  It'll be up to the forwards to help relieve some of the pressure in his absence, both by providing a quality backcheck, and perhaps more importantly by scoring goals.

Henrik Lundqvist is going to have to step up his play in net too.  He'll start the season in his homeland, and should be as prepared as any of the Rangers.

Ultimately the Rangers will do well simply to be at .500 by the end of October.  Here's hoping they get a few breaks along the way, and that Marc Staal can regain his health and fitness quickly.



Profile of the Author:
Has been an active follower of the New York Rangers since the 1996-97 season. Began OutsideTheGarden.com in 2001, and has continued to collect data and provide analysis on the team through to the current day.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


YOUR COMMENTS

 
December 10th, 2018
TAMPA BAY TIMES FORUM
  1 2 3 T
2 0 1 3
1 2 3 6
FIRST PERIOD: 1. NYR Hayes (Strome,Namestnikov) NYR 1-0   2. TBL Stamkos (Hedman,Miller) Tied 1-1   3. NYR Hayes (Vesey) NYR 2-1    SECOND PERIOD: 4. TBL Stamkos (Hedman,Point) Tied 2-2   5. TBL Mcdonagh (Point,Kucherov) TBL 3-2    THIRD PERIOD: 6. TBL Cirelli (Cernak) TBL 4-2   7. TBL Stamkos (Palat,Coburn) TBL 5-2   8. NYR Fast (Chytil) NYR 3-5   9. TBL Cirelli (Killorn,Miller) TBL 6-3   
Boxscore Game Thread
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No goalie controversy here, des...
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Friday Dec 14th
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