Author Archives: Zak Chiger

Fourth Line and “Black Aces” Season Recap and Grades

USA Today

The Rangers fourth line was unique this season for the Blueshirts. The line had constants in Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg, but the third spot saw a constant rotation. The spot was occupied by Russian rookie Pavel Buchnevich, journeymen Brandon Pirri, Tanner Glass and Matt Puempel, and Hartford Wolfpack call-up Nicklas Jensen. No matter who was on the line, the unit played with grit and an unwavering work ethic that was always much appreciated by the coaches and the Blueshirt faithful.
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Third Line Season Recap and Grades

USA Today

The Rangers third line of JT Miller, Kevin Hayes, and Michael Grabner was together for nine percent of the 2016-17 season and was very productive for the majority of the campaign. The trio played with a combination of speed and skill that caused problems for the opposition. With the potential of Grabner being selected by Vegas in the expansion draft, his year on Broadway was one that saw a lot of successes.
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Second Line Season Recap and Grades

USA Today

The line of Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey was only together for a measly 2.09 percent of the Rangers season. But with Nash and Zibanejad both missing time due to injuries, this line did not have much time to gel during the heart of the regular season. The line performed well together, with Vesey able to “go under the wing” of Nash. All three players should be back on Broadway next season and, hopefully, will continue to get better in the coming years.

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First Line Season Recap and Grades

AP

The line of Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello was together for just 12% of the Rangers 2016-17 campaign, but when they were, they were very effective. The distribution of Stepan, who racked up 38 assists during the regular season, the speed of Kreider and the playmaking and vision of Zuccarello, who himself had 44 helpers, made this line very dynamic. Each player went through their personal hot and cold streaks, but when the Rangers were in need of a goal, this line was almost always on the ice.
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Changing of The Pack

Getty Images

After missing the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five years, the Rangers relieved Ken Gernander of his head coaching duties with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Gernander, who is the only player to have his number retired by the Wolf Pack, has served as the bench boss in Hartford since the 2007-2008 season. Gernander got as far as the AHL’s Eastern Conference Finals as head coach but had five seasons of not making the postseason. Gernander helped mold some of the NHL’s finest talents including, Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Mats Zuccarello, and Ryan McDonagh to name a few.
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Why I Am Embarrassed To Be a Rangers Fan Today

Getty Images

I’m not usually one to speak out about stuff like this, but it really bothered me last night. Sitting next to me at MSG was a man who was taking notes on the game. Today I found out that it was the Pittsburgh Penguins’ general manager, Jim Rutherford. And there is nothing wrong with what he was doing. But on the other side of the aisle were a few drunk and rude Rangers fans who were taunting the man, calling him KGB, a spy, and Nazi. And because of all of this harassment, Mr. Rutherford picked up his stuff and walked away from the situation. Read more

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