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Thread: Rangers Woeful Defense Requires Summer Boost

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    Rangers Woeful Defense Requires Summer Boost

    To say that last season’s Rangers weren’t a very good defensive team is as strong an understatement as one could make. They gave up the fourth-most goals on the season with 263. Their 182 even-strength goals against were third-worst. Their 3.21 goals-against per game were fourth-worst. They gave up the second-most shots against per game with 35.3, trailing only their rival New York Islanders (35.6) by a slim margin. And they had the second-most losses when being outshot by their opponent (25) – a metric led by the lowly Ottawa Senators with 28.

    Moreover, according to Corsica, the Rangers were last in the league in Corsi for percentage (CF%) with 45.9 and in Corsi against per 60 minutes with 62.58. They were also last in expected goals-against per 60 minutes with 2.8 and expected goals-against with 186.5, and were third-worst in overall goals-against per 60 minutes with 2.25.
    A trade might be the answer:

    Already expected to be active on the trade front, especially at the draft, perhaps the Rangers could go back to the old Arizona well and ask John Chayka’s Coyotes about the availability of 30-year-old Niklas Hjalmarsson. The Swede, who recently played with Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, is well known for his defensive, minute-crunching ability. His career 52.4 CF% sparkles next to his career 51.7 defensive zone start percentage (dZS), especially for a player averaging more than 20:00 of time on ice per game (TOI/G) over his career.
    Tanev might be the best pure shot suppressing defenseman in the league. Like Hjalmarsson, Tanev boasts a quality 50.5 CF% yet averages an even higher dZS% of 55.3. He has also averaged shy of 20:00 per game over his eight seasons in the NHL. He won’t provide much else, though, given he’s not a very productive offensive player. But for a Rangers team bleeding shots and shot attempts, stopping the bleeding is of greater value than adding scoring for their back end, especially on a blue line expecting a fully healthy Shattenkirk next season.
    Or on the free agent front:

    de Haan boasts an aggregate 50.4 CF% through six seasons with the New York Islanders while playing with an average 50.3 dZS%. Up until this season, he also boasted positive CF% relative numbers that measure the even strength on-ice CF% versus off-ice CF%. Most of all, he’s a reliable-in-his-end type who skates well and can crunch big minutes. Playing with the Isles, he’s averaged more than 19:00 TOI/G, though he’s also coming off season-ending shoulder surgery as well so buyer beware.
    https://thehockeywriters.com/rangers...ason-priority/

    --

    My guess is they'll need to trade to find meaningful help here, but whatever route they take, they simply have to improve. Corsi metrics aren't the be all, by any stretch, but it's incredibly important to bring along the kids in an environment in which they aren't getting shelled every night in order to sidestep creating a broken, losing culture like the Sabres and Oilers are suffering.


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    I think we have to wait on a coach before anything.

    I think a different defensive system should definitely help Skjei and Smith, and allows us to milk another solid season from Staal. A simple system can also help younger guys like Pionk, even allow Hajek and/or Lindgren to get extended time in the NHL. Adding: And maybe it will make Shattenkirk and DeAngelo look like NHL defenseman in their own zone once a month, or so.

    Depending on coach/style, you could see them grab a dman with their first and try to get him in the NHL next season, or they might sign a stop-gap or two. I dont see them signing another "middle tier" defenseman. We dont need another 5x5 contract that kills us season after season. Go big (K/Carlson), or stop-gap (Bieska, Holden, few other UFA that had down years on 1/2 year deals)
    Last edited by josh; 04-26-2018 at 10:49 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    I think we have to wait on a coach before anything.

    I think a different defensive system should definitely help Skjei and Smith, and allows us to milk another solid season from Staal. A simple system can also help younger guys like Pionk, even allow Hajek and/or Lindgren to get extended time in the NHL. Adding: And maybe it will make Shattenkirk and DeAngelo look like NHL defenseman in their own zone once a month, or so.

    Depending on coach/style, you could see them grab a dman with their first and try to get him in the NHL next season, or they might sign a stop-gap or two. I dont see them signing another "middle tier" defenseman. We dont need another 5x5 contract that kills us season after season. Go big (K/Carlson), or stop-gap (Bieska, Holden, few other UFA that had down years on 1/2 year deals)
    Completely agree here. That's a half-measure.

    I also agree that a different defensive system can help. But it will be difficult, and hopefully it doesn't come at the cost of stifling any offensive creativity and explosiveness.

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    Coaching will help in and of itself, provided they get one who doesn't subscribe to the same philosophy, but the idea of going into next season with Gilmour, DeAngelo, Shattenkirk, Kampfer, Staal, and this version of Brady Skjei and thinking a new coach is going dramatically improve their shot differentials isn't exactly inspiring.


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    Rangers Woeful Defense Requires Summer Boost

    But I do agree a mid-range free agent signing would probably help. Certainly more than a entertaining Carlson. It's why I suggested guys like Pateryn and de Haan. There's no way they'll come with much term or with obscene AAVs.

    Just focus on guys who protect their own end.


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    I think the answer is in an RFA like Shea Theodore. I'd certainly trade a pick for someone like him. I don't want Hjalmarsson. I don't want 30+ year old players when we already have Staal back there. de Haan is part of the worst D-Corps in recent memory.

    Hard to know really. I don't even know who we can pencil into the lineup. Shattenkirk, Skjei, Staal.... After that it's all a giant question. It would be nice if Smith could get his shit together. He could actually play a big role with this team if he gets his head out of his ass. Pionk? DeAngelo? I honestly don't know what to expect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThirtyONE View Post
    I think the answer is in an RFA like Shea Theodore. I'd certainly trade a pick for someone like him. I don't want Hjalmarsson. I don't want 30+ year old players when we already have Staal back there. de Haan is part of the worst D-Corps in recent memory.
    I'm not particularly interested in vets either, but Theodore is pretty unrealistic. Vegas is going to be building around him, you'd have to be sending a lot more than a pick their way.

    In a one-for-one, he'd probably cost you Buch, but that doesn't really make sense for either team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Future View Post
    I'm not particularly interested in vets either, but Theodore is pretty unrealistic. Vegas is going to be building around him, you'd have to be sending a lot more than a pick their way.

    In a one-for-one, he'd probably cost you Buch, but that doesn't really make sense for either team.
    Sure the idea, like I said, is someone like him. A young RFA who's already done something in the league. Not a project player.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThirtyONE View Post
    I think the answer is in an RFA like Shea Theodore. I'd certainly trade a pick for someone like him. I don't want Hjalmarsson. I don't want 30+ year old players when we already have Staal back there. de Haan is part of the worst D-Corps in recent memory.
    Yet boasts some of the better possession numbers while playing nearly 20:00 a night. That suggests that on a better team, he'd be part of the solution, not the problem.

    I also understand the reluctance behind not wanting to acquire wrong-side-of-30 players, but they're not all equally lacking value. You need to look at them as individuals to determine who still has viable years left and who doesn't.

    Hard to know really. I don't even know who we can pencil into the lineup. Shattenkirk, Skjei, Staal.... After that it's all a giant question. It would be nice if Smith could get his shit together. He could actually play a big role with this team if he gets his head out of his ass. Pionk? DeAngelo? I honestly don't know what to expect.
    Pionk, maybe, but his shot suppression left a lot to be desired. Albeit on a skeleton crew roster.

    ADA is Shattenkirk-lite. He's the guy you tap to get you the goal. Not to protect the lead.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    Yet boasts some of the better possession numbers while playing nearly 20:00 a night. That suggests that on a better team, he'd be part of the solution, not the problem.

    I also understand the reluctance behind not wanting to acquire wrong-side-of-30 players, but they're not all equally lacking value. You need to look at them as individuals to determine who still has viable years left and who doesn't.



    Pionk, maybe, but his shot suppression left a lot to be desired. Albeit on a skeleton crew roster.

    ADA is Shattenkirk-lite. He's the guy you tap to get you the goal. Not to protect the lead.


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    I don't even know what this means. There are so many factors that go into that. I don't put much, if anything, in a stat like that especially, like you said, on a team like the one we had here last year. Pionk was good. Perhaps the brightest of the young players that made the jump all season. I'm not going to worry about his Corsi numbers 20 games into a career.
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    I don't either. Not for that player this soon. But with larger bodies of work, you can glean quite a bit.


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    What about John Moore? I don't think he was bad when he was here, although those match penalties were a real problem. Moreover, he has looked solid for the Devils.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sod16 View Post
    What about John Moore? I don't think he was bad when he was here, although those match penalties were a real problem. Moreover, he has looked solid for the Devils.
    Hell. No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    Yet boasts some of the better possession numbers while playing nearly 20:00 a night. That suggests that on a better team, he'd be part of the solution, not the problem.

    I also understand the reluctance behind not wanting to acquire wrong-side-of-30 players, but they're not all equally lacking value. You need to look at them as individuals to determine who still has viable years left and who doesn't.



    Pionk, maybe, but his shot suppression left a lot to be desired. Albeit on a skeleton crew roster.

    ADA is Shattenkirk-lite. He's the guy you tap to get you the goal. Not to protect the lead.


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    I wouldn't overthink Pionk, we're not going to be contenders for a few years, IMO. He was a bright spark in a rather dismal season's end.
    Let's see what he can do. The place to think hard right now is what, if anything, we do about free agency, what other kids get a chance after camp, etc. And right now,I'm not going to waste my time thinking about band aids. It may be unreasonable, but I don't want to see the David Desharnais of defense while we have prospects and picks up the yinyang.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Respecttheblue View Post
    I wouldn't overthink Pionk, we're not going to be contenders for a few years, IMO. He was a bright spark in a rather dismal season's end.
    Let's see what he can do. The place to think hard right now is what, if anything, we do about free agency, what other kids get a chance after camp, etc. And right now,I'm not going to waste my time thinking about band aids. It may be unreasonable, but I don't want to see the David Desharnais of defense while we have prospects and picks up the yinyang.
    The problem is, you can't hang these guys out to dry every night, getting beat up and beat down. That's not how you improve. Look how bad skjei was as a second pair guy. And was worse after mcdonagh left.

    You either get a top guy, or a stop gap to take the beatinf, shelter the young guys a bit, allow them to grow. If they aren't contending for a year or two, what's the issue signing a 31 yo vet for one or two years?
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    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    The problem is, you can't hang these guys out to dry every night, getting beat up and beat down. That's not how you improve. Look how bad skjei was as a second pair guy. And was worse after mcdonagh left.

    You either get a top guy, or a stop gap to take the beatinf, shelter the young guys a bit, allow them to grow. If they aren't contending for a year or two, what's the issue signing a 31 yo vet for one or two years?
    I think there are very few players who are going to be willing to sign to play here for one or two years. You'd have to try and get somebody off the scrap heap, like Stralman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I think there are very few players who are going to be willing to sign to play here for one or two years. You'd have to try and get somebody off the scrap heap, like Stralman.
    Only need 1.

    And based on the coach, you never know.

    I mentioned names, I’m not expecting Carlson to sign for 2 years at 3m. Could end up being Staal and Smith, it just can’t be Pionk, Skjei, Lindgren, etc. You can’t set them up for failure. That is key.
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    Agreed. If the D is lead by teenagers, good luck. You're going to need it. Not just to improve, but to sidestep poisoning their development.


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    I think they need to trade their RFA forwards for RFA D-men. Plenty to choose from, from teams that might be forced to take less than equal value, due to cap constraints.

    Buyers beware though. Let's not forget a majority of this board thought addition by subtraction of Girardi was going to turn this defense around. Shattenkirk was going to be this huge turn around in this supposed direction you need to go in for your D men.... Maybe an over 30 not such a great skating D man who simply plays hard CAN fit in HERE.

    Then again, with a different coach and a different system, maybe it's not a terrible idea to throw the kids out there on a part time basis. Have that bus traveling back and forth to Hartford. Who ever is playing exceptionally well stays. If they all stink, then the Rangers are likely in trouble for the foreseeable future, as many are riding on these prospects to be the real deal. Well at least they were when they were acquired. For all the hype and talk about some of these guys I expect one of them to be up with the Rangers by mid season.

    I think they need to deal ADA. They don't have room for two offensive D men who are absolute disasters in their own end. Do it before they ruin his value even more by not playing him for that exact reason. I can't picture a lineup with both of them on it, that gives anyone confidence.

    Skjei- Shattenkirk
    Smith- Pionk
    Staal - DeAngelo

    ? Gross. That's shit. That isn't looking good. Sorry, I'm also not that into Pionk. But, that's what they have.

    Does adding a Dehaan make that much a difference over giving one of the newer additions a chance? At least if the kids need work or don't play well, you can send one down. You sign someone and they stink, it's just another D man you can't get rid of, making it three or possibly 4 total.

    RFA trade or use the new kids is my newest opinion.
    Last edited by The Dude; 04-27-2018 at 02:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    I think they need to trade their RFA forwards for RFA D-men. Plenty to choose from, from teams that might be forced to take less than equal value, due to cap constraints
    Hayes is the only RFA forward worth anything and there are no teams with cap constraints this offseason, especially not if the cap goes up to $80m.
    Last edited by Future; 04-27-2018 at 03:34 PM.

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