Salvaging the Season May Cost the Rangers

After a horrendous start to the season, the New York Rangers found themselves at an early crossroads. Many, including myself, called for the team to read the writing on the wall and begin concentrating not on the current season, but the future. That start was followed by a bipolar-esque turnaround, which saw the team rattle off a six-game winning streak. That streak was followed by two road losses and then another four straight wins before a loss in their most recent game at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

That loss to the Florida Panthers mirrored the team’s season thus far. Behind by three goals in the first period, the Blueshirts managed to march all the way back to a four-four tie. Though the comeback would fall short late in the game as first a Brendan Smith and then a Nick Holden turnover would gift the Panthers the go-ahead-goal.

New York Rangers Schedule Wallpaper – December 2017

December is here – time to update your wallpaper accordingly!

Download it via the links below:

Rangers Unveil 2018 Winter Classic Jersey

After the Buffalo Sabres revealed their 2018 Winter Classic jerseys earlier this week, the Rangers have finally unveiled theirs in a cute, albeit mildly kitschy commercial pushed to Twitter:

Chance the Rapper is Very Cold Covering Rangers Hockey in SNL Skit

Many sports suffer from inferiority complexes, especially when directly compared to cultural monoliths like NBA basketball and NFL football, but none suffers theirs quite to the degree that hockey does. Colloquially referred to as “please like my sport”, hockey is especially conflicted – hypocritically heralded by many of its fans for its unique combination of speed and skill while it’s less marketable traditions are ferociously protected to prevent the kind of change that could arguably allow it to grow.

But even the most ardent hockey fans have to appreciate the work put in by the cast of Saturday Night Live and Chance the Rapper, the show’s guest host, last night:

Quick Hits: Rangers Sidestep Smith Disaster While NHL Flirts with Houston

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.

Sidestepping Disaster

Let’s be honest here. How many more games would Brendan Smith have needed to view from the Press Box before an official trade request was submitted to management – two, maybe three? The Rangers’ six-game winning streak was snapped by the Blackhawks on Wednesday night, but had they won that game, what are the chances Alain Vigneault would have bucked his tendency to not touch a winning line-up to get Smith in against the Blue Jackets on Friday night? Slim to none.

Jimmy Vesey Lost His Two Front Teeth Today

The Rangers won their sixth game in a row this afternoon, beating the Edmonton Oilers 4-2, but it didn’t come without a price: Jimmy Vesey’s teeth!

Skate to the jibs, front teeth lodged in my lip. #thatshockey

A post shared by Jimmy Vesey (@jimmyvesey26) on

One word: ouch!

Rangers' Big UFA Swings Finally Pay Off With Shattenkirk

It’s not often a high-profile free agent that the New York Rangers sign comes in and delivers exactly as advertised. After being burned by the likes of Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Wade Redden, and, most recently, Brad Richards, the Rangers took another shot at the big name prize when they signed Kevin Shattenkirk to a four-year, $26.6 million contract this past summer. His mission was to bring his well-documented offensive prowess on the blueline to his hometown of New York and bolster the Blueshirts power play.

Now 17 games into the season, Shattenkirk is beginning to look like the player that Rangers management had hoped for. In the midst of a six-game point scoring streak, Shattenkirk is tied with his former teammate Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues for the league lead in scoring among defensemen with 16 points. His production on the power play, to the tune of two goals and six assists—first and third among defensemen, respectively—is a major reason why.

For Duchene, Brady Skjei Was Rightfully a Non-Starter

Immediately as the Rangers’ turned their play around (of course) and started their five-game win streak, we kicked around the idea of blowing up the defense by trading Ryan McDonagh or Brady Skjei. The strong run over the last seven games has quenched some talks, at least for now, and the fact that GM Jeff Gorton didn’t pull the trigger on a Matt Duchene trade suggests that he’s committed to keeping Skjei as a building block.

“They wanted Duchene badly, but not enough to give up defenseman Brady Skjei, which was what Colorado was insisting he be part of the package,” Bob McKenzie told TSN 1050.

If (Shooting) Percentages Don't Balance Out, Rangers May Crash, Burn

Fresh off their fourth victory in a row, the New York Rangers are rolling. The early hole they dug themselves into that nearly cost Alain Vigneault his job is one they’ve finally begun to climb out of. Monday night’s victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets officially turned the Blueshirts into a .500 hockey team (7-7-2) for the first time this season. Thanks to a relatively weak Eastern Conference at this point of the year, they’re also just one point out of a Wild Card spot.

Sure, a white-hot power play is largely to thank for the success of these last four games that have righted the Rangers’ season, but that’s nothing to apologize for. Successful teams often ride waves throughout the season, be it productive special teams, an especially productive player (wave to the crowd, 2016-17 Michael Grabner), or otherwise. For as long as this wave continues to roll, the Rangers should be content riding it, picking up as many wins along the way as they can. If the Rangers are going to build on this success, however, they should be prepared to address some of the underlying reasons that will come up when it comes to an end – and it will end.

Rangers Loan D Alexei Bereglazov to Magnitogorsk of KHL

In what has come to be an expected announcement, the New York Rangers have confirmed that defenseman Alexei Bereglazov has officially been loaned back to the KHL.