In The Crease With Kappy

Welcome to In The Crease With Kappy (working title) where i’ll go through some of my thoughts and obvservations of the week. The goal here is to keep them short, sweet and simple with a little bit of humor and hot takes melted in to one.

The Rangers PowerPlay looks good

I’ll start off with a nice and easy one, but boy has the power play clicked and not just the first unit, which has been unreal almost scoring on demand, but the second unit as well which we saw put up a beautiful tic-tac-toe with a beautiful feed from Skjei on Saturday. Kevin Shattenkirk has been an absolute revelation for Arniel’s All-Stars.

Nothing gold can stay

Teams will obviously begin to game plan against this. It’ll be interesting to keep an eye out for when and how that happens and how the Rangers will adjust to that. For now, that cross ice pass is opening up and they continue to finish.

They are what we thought they wereThe Rangers started the season 3-7-2 and they’ve now won 6 in a row making them 9-7-2. Going into the season, most analysts put the Rangers as a bubble team. Take out the poor start, take out the winning streak and that’s pretty much what the Rangers are at this point of the season. (more on this later)

Take it down a notch “experts”… 

This came from JT Borne of The Athletic (which by the way, is one of the best media outlets out there now, I highly suggest getting yourself a subscription.) where he talks about the obsession of fans on the internet with fringe players. Now this article had nothing to do with Alain Vigneault or the New York Rangers, but also has everything to do with it. The Rangers are on a 6 game winning streak and playing some darn good hockey and 95% of the tweets I see out there are about why Nick Holden or Steve Kampfer shouldn’t be playing.

I mean this with a big heart, but take it easy fellas, it’s still early on in the season and the only thing you’re going to achieve by questioning the coaches decisions (that have been resulting in wins) is giving yourself some gray hairs. Sit back, relax and enjoy the wins while they’re here.

 

I have some other theories as to these obsessions, feel free to check out @TheTiltedIce for some… let’s just say “clickbait anyone?” Really, the moral is that hot takes are all well and good, but when they’re feeding on the bottom of the barrel for material, they’re really just “hot-taking” for the sake of hot taking.

Brendan Smith will be back in the lineup

Like I just spoke about before, fans are making a bigger deal of this than it really is. I’ve watched the past few post game pressers with AV and he’s not even getting hit hard with Brendan Smith questions. If beat writers aren’t questioning AV’s lineup decisions, it’s pretty safe to say there’s not much of a story there.

Larry Brooks was asked about the defense on Sportsnet Hockey Central “Brendan Smith is going to have to play for them the way he played in the playoffs.” When asked what happened Brooks went on to say “He just got off to such a bad start, I don’t know why…Smith came out, they’re playing now with Nick Holden on their top pair… with Steven Kampfer as one of their top 6 who’s been a useful player but you know this isn’t going to be their 6th… they’ve gotta get Smith playing well.” Brooks went on to say that it’s “possible that one their kids, Pionk or DeAngelo might by the middle of the year be ready to come up and play.”

Don LaGreca mentioned on his podcast, Game Misconduct, that Smith came into camp out of shape. With that being the case, look at Smith’s absence as a 2-3 week type of thing to get the conditioning up.

Pretty Darn Cool

In the “This is cool” category Darren Rovell tweeted this out the other day. Mark Messier’s hand written contract with the Vancouver Canucks

The King Inspires

It recently came out that during the intermission between the 2nd and 3rd periods of the Las Vegas game, Henrik Lundqvist gave a highly emotional speech to his teammates in the locker room. We all know how the team reacted to that, scoring 4 goals in the 3rd and going on to win their next 5 after that. Lundqvist has absolutely been a catalyst for that. The question needs to be asked, is it Lundqvist’s play that’s been better or has his play been better as a result of the play in front of him. I think it’s a little of both and with the better defensive zone structure, the play is a little more predictable for Hank. Either way, both have really turned around.

Now What?

The team’s played well and spurred any talk of firing the coach or trading away the team. We now know this team is capable of playing some pretty good hockey. So the question now becomes, if they continue this good play and find themselves in the mix of things come December and January, what do they do with guys like Rick Nash. Do you sell at the deadline or do you possibly make a move to see if this team can actually compete in the playoffs.

It’s really early now and a lot can happen, but don’t expect any big trades. The Rangers biggest need is at Center right now and we all saw the value of a Center with the Duchene trade. The Rangers are not going to trade Filip Chytil and you can bet that any trade conversation starts with him in return. I don’t see Gorton going after any big names solely based on cost alone. Now can Chytil be a mid-season call up? That’s something to watch for before they go out and make any moves.

Cheers good sir

 

I have to give credit when credit is due. We’re New York Rangers fans and aside from the many fan sites out there, there’s not much daily Rangers-based content available from the big boys. Carp, Brooks, Zip all do a great job covering the team but this is no Toronto market. I personally try to tune into Sportsnet Canada when I can, and they talk some great hockey but they very rarely touch on the Rangers. The best podcast out there is obviously Tilted Ice, but Don LaGreca has been doing the Game Misconduct podcast for a little while now and it’s New York based, daily hockey talk. I see Don as a rising star in the media game. He’s gotten some great notoriety recently for some of his hot takes on The Michael Kay Show, but when it comes to talking hockey, he gets you 30 minutes of Tri-State area hockey talk every day. Kudos to him! Don LaGreca is a gem.

As a side note, I’m hearing there’s circles of hockey now that are building their team based on the Pisarcik Theorem.

 

Housekeeping

The Tilted Ice Podcast will be dropping a new episode this week. Make sure you subscribe on iTunes and if you’d like to be featured on it, please tweet at us @TheTiltedIce with the hashtag #TiltedIce any questions or comments you have and we’ll feature them on the show. Behind the scenes, we’ve seen some real encouraging numbers in listener growth and we aim to be the go to podcast for all things New York Rangers. As a result, we’ll be popping out episodes more frequently. Please give us a rating and a review on iTunes and feel free to be honest. If you hate it, give it 1 star and tell us why, but rate it please!

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Time to pull the goalie, Kappy’s out.

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