Quick Hits: Fourth Line Players, First Line Play

Welcome to a new feature (well, an old feature made new again) here at ClearedForContact: Quick Hits. Each Sunday, we’ll cover some of the recent happenings, statistics, and anecdotes from the previous week’s games, as well as touch on important goings-on around the NHL as a whole to cap off the week and to get your Monday mornings started.

Say It With Less

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes fifteen or so suffice just fine. I present to you the New York Rangers’ 2017-18 season, perfectly encapsulated by a graph.

Rangers Re-Call F Vinni Lettieri From Hartford Wolf Pack

Following the loss of Chris Kreider to a mysterious “upper-body injury” that caused him not to return to last night’s 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals, the Rangers have officially re-called Vinni Lettieri from the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Chris Kreider Out With Upper-Body Injury

The Rangers’ 1-0 shoout victory over the Washington Capitals tonight might have come at a significant cost to the Blueshirts.

Jesper Fast Out Two to Three Weeks With Quad Strain

The Rangers didn’t just lose a hockey game to their cross-river rivals last night. They lost one of their most valuable middle-six players and penalty killers in Jesper Fast.

With a Limp PP, the PK is the Blueshirts' Blue Pill

Since Halloween, the Rangers have been, hands down, one of the premier teams in the league. After presumably saving Alain Vigneault’s job with a win over Las Vegas to close October, the Blueshirts have donned a new costume – contender.

In the 22 games since the Vegas tilt, the Rangers have the third-highest point total in the league (33) and trail Nashville and Washington by just one point. For a team with this much talent, a sustained run of success shouldn’t be a surprise, but, for a team with an identity tied to explosive goal scoring, the fact that the defense is driving the winning should be.

Scoring at a 3.5 goals per game clip over that 22-game span means the offense is clicking, but over the same, the Rangers are surrendering just 2.41 goals against per game, pulling them into 10th, at 2.77, overall. While much of that can be attributed to strong goaltending as Henrik Lundqvist has been strong with a heavy workload and Ondrej Pavelec has put in a few stellar performances, it’s the penalty kill that has set the Rangers apart.

Quick Hits: Grabner is the Best, Melnyk is the Worst

Welcome to a new feature (well, an old feature made new again) here at ClearedForContact: Quick Hits. Each Sunday, we’ll cover some of the recent happenings, statistics, and anecdotes from the previous week’s games, as well as touch on important goings-on around the NHL as a whole to cap off the week and to get your Monday mornings started.

Beast Mode

I see your falling-to-your-knees-but-still-scoring-anyway, Alex Radulov, and I raise you.

Regards,
Chris “Beast Mode” Kreider

Quick Hits: Rangers Have a First-Rate Fourth Line

Welcome to a new feature (well, an old feature made new again) here at ClearedForContact: Quick Hits. Each Sunday, we’ll cover some of the recent happenings, statistics, and anecdotes from the previous week’s games, as well as touch on important goings-on around the NHL as a whole to cap off the week and to get your Monday mornings started.

Quickie Hits

With three goals in his last three games and six in his last eight, who on the Rangers is hotter than Jesper Fast right now? We shouldn’t expect this pace to continue for long, but there’s no reason to expect his game-to-game work ethic to subside any time soon.

Marek Mazanec on Waivers; to Sign with Rangers

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the New York Rangers have placed G Marek Mazanec on waivers with the intent to sign him.

Quick Hits: Things Are Looking Up for Rangers

Welcome to a new feature (well, an old feature made new again) here at ClearedForContact: Quick Hits. Each Sunday, we’ll cover some of the recent happenings, statistics, and anecdotes from the previous week’s games, as well as touch on important goings-on around the NHL as a whole to cap off the week and to get your Monday mornings started.

Trending Up

7-3-0 in their last ten games, the Rangers have dramatically improved from their nearly season-crashing poor start. They have 35 goals for and a plus-11 goal differential in that span. There’s still work to do, but through 26 games this season, if we’ve learned nothing else we know that there’s no game scenario they can’t compete in.

Michael Grabner – What's the Cost of a Unicorn?

Kristaps Porzingis, the 7’ 3” Latvian who has quickly ascended into the face of the New York Knicks isn’t the city’s only Unicorn. He’s not even the only one who calls Madison Square Garden home. In the truest sense of the Unicorn moniker, Grabner’s production against his contract and expectations makes him truly unique in the league. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, for general manager Jeff Gorton, that’s going to make evaluating the 30-year-old’s next contract awfully difficult.