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Thursday, March 5, 2015

A.V., Rangers Continue To Roll Lines, Is Zuccarello Contract "Fair?", Rick Nash in Gretzky/Lemieux Camp!



   Despite losing 2-1 in overtime against the Detroit Red Wings tonight, NY played their 2nd consecutive ‘solid’ game since the trade deadline. Detroit is a worth adversary in the polarized Eastern Conference, and it was The Jimmy Howard Show for most of the time (stopping 39 of 40 propelled pucks). Cam Talbot was also in top form, as only 2 goals total were scored in 60 minutes of regulation. James Sheppard made his Rangers debut, playing a team-low 9:58, and going 1-0 in the faceoff circle
  • The NY Rangers have now gone 18 consecutive games (12-3-3) without losing a game by more than 1 goal, excluding empty-netters. The streak dates back to the 4-1 loss while visiting The New York Islanders on January 27th. The dozen-and-a-half games since have all been wins, or close losses.
  • Coach Alaign Vigneault continues to roll his lines very evenly, which has been helpful to New York offensive surges in the 3rd periods all season long, and could be likewise effective in the postseason. Think about it. The game remains tied for 60, 70, 80 minutes, forcing teams to literally exhaust their benches to the bone. Yet Vigneault's Top 2 lines have been more rested than any of the teams listed below. This is a strength we're not hearing many people talk about specifically, so we created the chart below. 

NY with arguably the most interchangeable forward lines in the Conference playoff picture? Yes, please.

  • Coach Alaign Vigneault continues to roll his lines very evenly, which has been helpful to New York offensive surges in the 3rd periods all season long, and could be likewise effective in the postseason. Think about it. The game remains tied for 60, 70, 80 minutes, forcing teams to literally exhaust their benches to the bone. Yet Vigneault's Top 2 lines have been more rested than any of the teams listed below. This is a strength we're not hearing many people talk about specifically, so we created the chart below. 
  • Now that Mats Zuccarello's contract has been signed, and been allowed to sink into our thoughts for a few days... do you have any? At first, I didn't know what to make of it. Was it a "good" signing, or was it "relatively costly?" So I eyeballed 10 signings (into UFA years) the past 5 seasons for which I'll submit as "arguably comparable" predecessor contracts to Zucc:


This survey suggest Zuccarello's contract was close to "arguably comparative", which is to say NOT a bad thing. 

  • Rick Nash, who registered an assist in tonight's overtime loss, continues to simultaneously lead the NHL in Even-Strength Goals & Shorthanded-Goals. This hasn't been accomplished since 22-year-old Mario Lemieux did it in 1987-88. Only Lemieux, and Wayne Gretzky ('82, '84, '85 & '87) have accomplished it in the past 35 years. Nash would also break Reggie Leach's record as the oldest player to lead both categories, as Leach was 29 when he did it in 1979-80. Nash turns 31 in June. 
CHECK OUT OUR NYR SALARY CHART HERE
CHECK OUT OUR NYR SALARY CHART HERE

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