Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 62

Thread: Neal Pionk is Complicating the Rangersí Defensive Logjam

  1. #1
    If you ain't first, you're last! BSBH Legend
    Phil in Absentia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    84,656
    Rep Power
    421

    Neal Pionk is Complicating the Rangersí Defensive Logjam

    But all the while, Pionk (not to mention DeAngelo), is fighting for ice time and a meaningful role on a logjam defense made worse by the decision to carry eight defenders to start the season. Itís bad enough with seven. Eight is simply untenable for any sizable stretch of time.

    Should Pionkís pace maintain, even at a reduced rate, his play could force the Rangers to alter that eight-man layout earlier than they anticipated, either via trade or demotion. As they currently sit, however, only Pionk is still waivers-exempt. That means if the solution the Rangers seek is to simply stash an extra defender in Hartford, the only way to accomplish that without exposing one of theirs to waivers is to send Pionk ó the optics of which could look rather ugly if he remains even half as productive by that point.
    Perhaps this is a case where the eye test (which Pionk often passes with flying colors) is sunk by the data. Perhaps thatís all the Rangers need (or want) to feel comfortable making a move to better stabilize their back-end. Or, perhaps even none of this would matter had the Rangers simply opted not to acquire Adam McQuaid so late in the summer. Iím not entirely sure that would prove true given Fredrik Claessonís ability and willingness to play both sides of the ice, but regardless, eight defensemen isnít a lasting philosophy, and was never designed to be.

    Sooner or later something has to give. Not for monetary reasons, but pragmatic ones. Itís simply not possible to run the marathon of an entire season with this many options for a position that relies so heavily on playing time to gauge effectiveness. And this says nothing of the fact that this season is going to be highly evaluative, thus begging the question of just how well any young player can be graded in such a manner if they arenít given room to breathe.

    Pionk still leaves much to be desired away from the puck ó that much is borne out by the analytics, for sure ó but his play with it is arguably the strongest reason to see if an extended stretch of play canít shift the tide in his favor.
    https://www.blueshirtbanter.com/2018...fensive-logjam
    Hidden Content

    "Everyone says you should be a good loser. If youíre a good loser, youíre a loser."
    - John Tortorella


    "I've always said, I'd rather tame a tiger than paint stripes on a kitty cat."
    - Dean Lombardi


    "Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus, and the feeling that whatever
    you think you'e bound to be okay, because you're in the safely moral majority."

    - Christopher Hitchens

  2. #2
    Russian Meddling BSBH Rookie
    josh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    25,607
    Rep Power
    268
    Pionk has had a good stretch of games. I can see improvement (confidence) since last season.
    He's improved his defensive game, but still getting adjusted to the structure.

    As you mention, the hardest thing for Pionk is the log-jam ahead of him. And unfortunately for him, those guys are playing like crap, and that's negatively effecting his development at this level. He's the perfect youngster to come in and fill out a bottom pair, or 2nd pair with a solid defender (with prime Staal), but we dont have that. The vets should be elevating their game to allow these guys to progress, and that's not happening. In this "not just 1 season rebuild", you'd hope to bring these guys along slowly, rather than throw them to the wolves (Skjei)... but we might have to sacrifice for... the sake of competition.
    Lias Andersson for #AJT2019

  3. #3
    swamped Midget Division
    fletch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Too far from MSG
    Posts
    4,195
    Rep Power
    81
    Pionk is my best reason for watching the Rangers right now. Look at our current roster and think about when we want to be competing for a cup 4-5 years from now. He's in my top three rankings (currently on the NHL roster) when thinking about that time frame.

    Trade Shattenkirk or healthy scratch some aging vets before you demote Pionk.
    "We're all f*cked. It helps to remember that." - George Carlin

    "How many Cups you've got?" - Esa Tikkanen

    "Hatred can keep you warm when you run out of liquor" - Ray Ratto, Dan Patrick show 1/20/2017

  4. #4
    Senior Member Squirt Division CBrowningPI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    Posts
    291
    Rep Power
    6
    Pionk has 4 points in six games. DeAngelo has 2 points in 2 games. I'm mentioning this because there is a logjam of players with only 2 points in 8 games. (Hayes, Skjei, Shatt, Spooner) Pionk and DeAngelo have an offensive upside that this team needs desperately. The teams defensively had kept most teams below 30 SOG. This in itself is a huge accomplishment. They need every advantage they have available to get more scoring. Pionk and ADA both need to be playing fulltime. IMAO.

    Sent from my SM-N900T using Blueshirts Brotherhood mobile app powered by Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Moderator Junior Division
    Future's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    6,720
    Rep Power
    136
    The logjam is caused by the Shattenkirk signing and then subsequently made worse by the McQuaid trade.

    They clearly think ADA is an NHL player, because they know he won't clear waivers to go to the AHL, but he's still getting scratched for guys who are 30+ and have no long-term future here. There's not one good reason why the pairings aren't:

    76-44
    42-77
    18-22

    33

    How does adding McQuaid to the mix accomplish anything for this team? This is a self-inflicted problem for no reason. Even if ADA proves to be a poor player, then at least we'd be finding out right now. Instead, we don't know more about him now than we did last year.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mite Division RodrigueGabriel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    DC Area
    Posts
    153
    Rep Power
    12
    Been bullish on Pionk since soon after the call-up last year. Less flash than DeAngelo but broader and deeper to my eye. He's been learning fast and, like Fletch, I look forward to seeing what he's playing like a couple years from now, a relative vet and team leader when K'Andre, Rykov, et al show up.

  7. #7
    Russian Meddling BSBH Rookie
    josh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    25,607
    Rep Power
    268
    Quote Originally Posted by Future View Post
    The logjam is caused by the Shattenkirk signing and then subsequently made worse by the McQuaid trade.

    They clearly think ADA is an NHL player, because they know he won't clear waivers to go to the AHL, but he's still getting scratched for guys who are 30+ and have no long-term future here. There's not one good reason why the pairings aren't:

    76-44
    42-77
    18-22

    33

    How does adding McQuaid to the mix accomplish anything for this team? This is a self-inflicted problem for no reason. Even if ADA proves to be a poor player, then at least we'd be finding out right now. Instead, we don't know more about him now than we did last year.
    ADA, Shattenkirk and Pionk play a similar style - offensive minded, and weak defensively. McQuaid is a physical player, experienced, and defensively responsible in his own zone. Pionk's issue is we already have 2 guys that play the same game.
    Lias Andersson for #AJT2019

  8. #8
    Moderator Junior Division
    Future's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    6,720
    Rep Power
    136
    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    ADA, Shattenkirk and Pionk play a similar style - offensive minded, and weak defensively. McQuaid is a physical player, experienced, and defensively responsible in his own zone. Pionk's issue is we already have 2 guys that play the same game.
    On a rebuilder none of that matters.

    I also don't really see why it would be a problem to just play all 3 of those guys. 76, 42 and 18 are all defensive-minded. This team is a rebuilder, there's no reason to shoehorn a bunch of vets into the lineup and let ADA or Pionk sit for more than a game here and there.

  9. #9
    If you ain't first, you're last! BSBH Legend
    Phil in Absentia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    84,656
    Rep Power
    421
    Quote Originally Posted by fletch View Post
    Pionk is my best reason for watching the Rangers right now. Look at our current roster and think about when we want to be competing for a cup 4-5 years from now. He's in my top three rankings (currently on the NHL roster) when thinking about that time frame.

    Trade Shattenkirk or healthy scratch some aging vets before you demote Pionk.
    4-5 years from now, Pionk isn't even on my team. I'm not at all convinced he's a Cup contending defensman. But he deserves a longer leash to know what he is right now.
    Hidden Content

    "Everyone says you should be a good loser. If youíre a good loser, youíre a loser."
    - John Tortorella


    "I've always said, I'd rather tame a tiger than paint stripes on a kitty cat."
    - Dean Lombardi


    "Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus, and the feeling that whatever
    you think you'e bound to be okay, because you're in the safely moral majority."

    - Christopher Hitchens

  10. #10
    Moderator Junior Division
    Future's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    6,720
    Rep Power
    136
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    4-5 years from now, Pionk isn't even on my team. I'm not at all convinced he's a Cup contending defensman. But he deserves a longer leash to know what he is right now.
    This is pretty unfair because if you put him on the third pair, he's doing what Brady Skjei did two years ago.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Midget Division
    Giacomin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    3,434
    Rep Power
    95
    That was a good article and an even better thread of great comments followed. Until Phil fouled it all up.

    Phil, forget 5 years for starters. This team needs and should be playing Cup contending hockey in 3 years MAX! I think we'll be a year ahead of schedule if we don't screw up on personnel from now till the first week of July.

    That aside, any of our rookies (Pionk, Howden, Chytil) should be evaluated on their strengths and aptitude to improve their weaknesses. All 3 are flashing multiple NHL attributes in their short stint in the league. Pionk's entire game has gotten better each year. His D went from scrambling confusion last year to a much more disciplined positioning game already. Give him another year and he will be very reliable. More than a year and he should be a top 4 guy on a real contender, if he keeps progressing at this rate. Only his size could hold him back. But it hasn't, he could develop into Spurgeon.
    Last edited by Giacomin; 10-22-2018 at 04:04 PM.

  12. #12
    swamped Midget Division
    fletch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Too far from MSG
    Posts
    4,195
    Rep Power
    81
    our defensemen vets should be treated as placeholders, until younger more talented players are ready to gain experience and replace them. mcquaid is not part of the picture 3-4 years from now. pionk needs to face nhl caliber competition to gain experience, develop, and achieve his potential. play pionk and rotate the vets as healthy scratches to keep them fresh and feisty.
    "We're all f*cked. It helps to remember that." - George Carlin

    "How many Cups you've got?" - Esa Tikkanen

    "Hatred can keep you warm when you run out of liquor" - Ray Ratto, Dan Patrick show 1/20/2017

  13. #13
    Senior Member Pee-Wee Division
    Ozzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Suffolk County, NY
    Posts
    709
    Rep Power
    22
    Kid's got some game...I'm liking his ability, and he's definitely a must watch player for me every game.

  14. #14
    If you ain't first, you're last! BSBH Legend
    Phil in Absentia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    84,656
    Rep Power
    421
    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomin View Post
    That was a good article and an even better thread of great comments followed. Until Phil fouled it all up.

    Phil, forget 5 years for starters. This team needs and should be playing Cup contending hockey in 3 years MAX! I think we'll be a year ahead of schedule if we don't screw up on personnel from now till the first week of July.

    That aside, any of our rookies (Pionk, Howden, Chytil) should be evaluated on their strengths and aptitude to improve their weaknesses. All 3 are flashing multiple NHL attributes in their short stint in the league. Pionk's entire game has gotten better each year. His D went from scrambling confusion last year to a much more disciplined positioning game already. Give him another year and he will be very reliable. More than a year and he should be a top 4 guy on a real contender, if he keeps progressing at this rate. Only his size could hold him back. But it hasn't, he could develop into Spurgeon.
    Thanks for the backhanded compliment. I didn't foul anything up. The five-year window was a response to fletch's suggetsion. He issued the timeframe, not me.

    Regardless, my point is that he hasn't been given the runway required to know what he is, but I seriously doubt the progressive outlook you seem to have that has him jumping up to become a full-time top-four D. That's a tremendous leap from where we are right now.
    Hidden Content

    "Everyone says you should be a good loser. If youíre a good loser, youíre a loser."
    - John Tortorella


    "I've always said, I'd rather tame a tiger than paint stripes on a kitty cat."
    - Dean Lombardi


    "Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus, and the feeling that whatever
    you think you'e bound to be okay, because you're in the safely moral majority."

    - Christopher Hitchens

  15. #15
    Russian Meddling BSBH Rookie
    josh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    25,607
    Rep Power
    268
    Quote Originally Posted by Future View Post
    On a rebuilder none of that matters.

    I also don't really see why it would be a problem to just play all 3 of those guys. 76, 42 and 18 are all defensive-minded. This team is a rebuilder, there's no reason to shoehorn a bunch of vets into the lineup and let ADA or Pionk sit for more than a game here and there.
    Yes it does. You still need to compete, be competitive, and if its not a 1 year rebuild, you do need to shelter guys a bit.
    Throwing Pionk out against Crosby or Ovechkin every night is not going to help his development in any way. Let Smith, Staal, McQuaid, Shattenkirk take those minutes. If we are going to get shellacked, let the dollar boys earn their paychecks, let the kids work on their games.
    Lias Andersson for #AJT2019

  16. #16
    Senior Member Midget Division
    Giacomin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    3,434
    Rep Power
    95
    interestingly, Claesson is out ~ 3 weeks, so we are down to 7 dmen. I think the team assumed it was better to have competition and also bring defensive minded guys in (plus McQuaids size/grit). I can't kill them for also planning for some depth in case of injury. Or if Smith didn't recover his game and attitude, or Shatty and ADA would be 100% in their skating. Or Pionk would keep improving, or Claesson would be decent w/o Karlsson. Or Staal would hold up.

    Plus McQuaid is trade bait at the deadline. However, now there is an issue. We need to see what these kids have, on a consistent basis. I think the coach knows this and is managing the kids in a big way (breakfast with Howden and Chytil every morning) and is telling Pionk and ADA that their time is coming. When Claesson comes back, someone will have to go soon. Hopefully a trade.

    To add to the logjam, a guy named Hajek forced the Rangers to renege on the idea of keeping the best players in NY. I'm fine though, he's getting big minutes.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Midget Division
    Giacomin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    3,434
    Rep Power
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    Thanks for the backhanded compliment. I didn't foul anything up. The five-year window was a response to fletch's suggetsion. He issued the timeframe, not me.

    Regardless, my point is that he hasn't been given the runway required to know what he is, but I seriously doubt the progressive outlook you seem to have that has him jumping up to become a full-time top-four D. That's a tremendous leap from where we are right now.
    Phil, sometimes I say things like "you had to go and foul it up" cause it sounds funny. Dry humor, comedic purposes, I swear. Thought it would be a fun way to disagree.

    Regardless, we agree it is a leap from where he is, but we disagree on his trajectory it seems. IMO, Better than 50% chance he gets there. I'm sure you hope I'm right. Just to illustrate an even-handed pessimistic outlook... I'd say less than 50% chance Buch becomes a top 6 on a contender. And it would really help if he did.

  18. #18
    Moderator Junior Division
    Future's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    6,720
    Rep Power
    136
    Quote Originally Posted by josh View Post
    Yes it does. You still need to compete, be competitive, and if its not a 1 year rebuild, you do need to shelter guys a bit.
    Throwing Pionk out against Crosby or Ovechkin every night is not going to help his development in any way. Let Smith, Staal, McQuaid, Shattenkirk take those minutes. If we are going to get shellacked, let the dollar boys earn their paychecks, let the kids work on their games.
    Fine, then play Staal and Smith against the top guys - like they did against Col - and give 76-44 and 33-77 easy matchups. It's better than having ADA play 2 out of every 10 games. Neither Pionk nor ADA is going to get any better from anything other than routinely playing in NHL games, at this point.

    This is also different than your first point - was that the problem was having redundancy on defense.

  19. #19
    If you ain't first, you're last! BSBH Legend
    Phil in Absentia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    84,656
    Rep Power
    421
    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomin View Post
    Phil, sometimes I say things like "you had to go and foul it up" cause it sounds funny. Dry humor, comedic purposes, I swear. Thought it would be a fun way to disagree.
    All good.

    Regardless, we agree it is a leap from where he is, but we disagree on his trajectory it seems. IMO, Better than 50% chance he gets there. I'm sure you hope I'm right. Just to illustrate an even-handed pessimistic outlook... I'd say less than 50% chance Buch becomes a top 6 on a contender. And it would really help if he did.
    You're right. I do hope you're right. Because the math just isn't there to support that kind of trajectory. Especially on the metrics side. He's been brutally bad in generating more offense than he lets up, which is the opposite with Buchnevich. That gap has to be bridged before I can be reasoned into buying any "he's a top-four guy" arguments.
    Hidden Content

    "Everyone says you should be a good loser. If youíre a good loser, youíre a loser."
    - John Tortorella


    "I've always said, I'd rather tame a tiger than paint stripes on a kitty cat."
    - Dean Lombardi


    "Don't take refuge in the false security of consensus, and the feeling that whatever
    you think you'e bound to be okay, because you're in the safely moral majority."

    - Christopher Hitchens

  20. #20
    Senior Member Midget Division
    Giacomin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    3,434
    Rep Power
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil in Absentia View Post
    All good.



    You're right. I do hope you're right. Because the math just isn't there to support that kind of trajectory. Especially on the metrics side. He's been brutally bad in generating more offense than he lets up, which is the opposite with Buchnevich. That gap has to be bridged before I can be reasoned into buying any "he's a top-four guy" arguments.
    That's totally fair. We really need to wait to see how both perform the whole year and we'll have a better handle. Which is another well-stated point in your piece.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •