It’s no secret to any Rangers fan that this summer the Rangers seriously need to upgrade their defense. When you take a look around the league it’s not about having a big hulking defense anymore. It’s about having a mobile defense that can skate, join the rush, and make that crucial pass. Having a great shot doesn’t hurt either. The Rangers need to retool their defense this summer and one key move may have already been a step in the right direction: the signing of UMD defensemen Neal Pionk.
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.
Kreider celebrates PP goal (Getty Images)
The NHL playoffs are right around the corner. When I realistically look at the Rangers chances, I see a team that is in better shape than last year, but not as good as the two years previous. Despite the presence of Ryan McDonagh, and the unreal emergence of Brady Skjei, the Rangers defense is their Achilles’ heel. Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein are coming back from injury, and at best are the second pair, but more likely third-pair defensemen. Marc Staal and Nick Holden have lost their chemistry as a pair, and have both been uneven from game to game. Trade deadline acquisition Brendan Smith has brought some bite, but hasn’t found chemistry with any one player to form a consistent pairing. Read more
Jeff Gorton gets a BIG FAT F today as the Rangers GM. After being exposed again as an overall soft team last night, Gorton was unable to make a deal of any kind to address it. Players like Brian Boyle, Steve Ott, and Dwight King were traded away for nothing. Read more
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America
Now that the trade deadline has come and gone, here is what I think about Jeff Gorton’s moves
Shattenkirk’s Twitter Profile pre trade.
Kevin Shattenkirk spoke with the media about being traded and dropped some very direct and interesting quotes about his future. Read more
Several trades have been made since late yesterday and if we are to take away anything from them it is this:
THE RETURNS ARE RIDICULOUS!
The Rangers are a good hockey team, regardless of what some naysayers continue to spout on blogs or social media. You can’t with a straight face say that this team is horrible just because you don’t like Dan Girardi or Marc Staal on defense. It’s silly! Read more
Vanek (26) celebrates (Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)
The trade deadline is less than 7 days away and you can expect us to throw as much info your way as possible. Jeff Gorton is sure to make a deal, whether it is minor or blockbuster remains to be seen. Read more
Lundqvist struggling (A.J. Causi/nyp)
Things are bad for the Rangers…real bad. Three straight losses is one thing, but allowing 16 goals in the process is another. Henrik Lundqvist is struggling mightily to make saves he normally stops in his sleep. The defense has regressed into a clown car circus act with no end in sight. What can the Rangers do to change it up? Read more