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Mika Zibanejad 3/6
Will sit out tonight with the flu
 
Kevin Shattenkirk 3/6
Skated in a regular jersey this morning, looks like he'll be a couple of practices away from a return
 
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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.

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September 29th, 2017

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

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  BIRTHDAYS

Bert Connelly - 1909
Glen Sonmor - 1929
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BARRY RICHTER
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Could Derek Stepan make a significant impact?

Room For Optimism - Part II
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ 3:44:08 PM - October 6, 2010

Earlier today I put together reasons why I felt you could be optimistic about the upcoming Rangers season. In Part I, I applied a critical viewpoint to each of the teams in the Eastern Conference and highlighted questions that could be raised about almost every team.

That's not to say all those questions will remain unanswered, and that every one of those weaknesses will remain unresolved. After all, young players can emerge, veterans rebound and spare parts or acquisitions and coaching staff can all have impact. Sometimes it can be as simple as luck and the state of mind that winning can instill in a team.

So with the other teams covered, let me now turn my attention to the Rangers and explain where it's possible that a team very similar to last year, can be better.

On the face of it, you could certainly say that the team is very similar to the one that we saw finish last year one point shy of making the playoffs. The players brought in, are largely role players and some of the core questions - first line center, physical defenseman anyone? - remain unresolved.

In actuality, seven players from last year's opening night roster will not be there to start 2010-11. Gone are: Kotalik, Higgins, Valiquette, Brashear, Voros, Lisin and of course Redden. Also missing will be Chris Drury and Vinny Prospal, both of whom will start the year on injured reserve. In their places will be: Frolov, Biron, Boogaard, Christensen, Stepan, Prust and either Sauer or Eminger.

Looking at it a different way, over the whole season, those players who were replaced (along with a handful of others) accounted for 413 of the 1563 game appearances, or about one quarter. They only accounted for 34, or 15.5 percent of the goals scored.

If you simply extrapolate out what Christensen and Prust would do over a whole year, based on their Ranger numbers last season, add in the 19 scored by Frolov, 11 by Fedetenko and 4 by Eminger and you're already at 48 goals with no credit given to Stepan - I didn't bother projecting anything for Sauer or Boogaard.

All very well you might say, but the Rangers still appear to lack legitimate depth in the scoring department, and the games will be one on an individual basis, not by padding out some wins.

This may very well be the best area for optimism in the upcoming year. Last season they were 13-11-11 in games decided by one goal, for a win percentage of just .371. The biggest contributor was a 4-11 record in OT and the shootout.

The poor win percentage in one goal games, ranked them 29th amongst the 30 teams. The OT/SO record was dead last. Simply by moving to the middle of the league(15th or 16th) and the associated .514 or .500 racked up by the Ducks and Flyers respectively, the Rangers could have added another 8-10 points putting them as high as fifth in the Eastern Conference.

Throw in a couple more come from behind wins - they were 30th in the league with a 1-25-2 record when trailing after two - and things could be decidedly improved.

What these stats show are areas where the coaching staff can work to improve the team's position. It also shows how close the Rangers were to being a much more successful team last year, and how a couple of bounces, a little extra effort or a call going their way could have made a significant difference in their season.


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:


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