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I ripped AV a couple threads down, but gotta disagree with you folks here: I think he got the lines right this time. First, he's finally using four real centers. Valid points about the advantages of a Brass-Zuk-Kreider line - I might agree with you on that -- though I also like Nash and Kreider together -- think back to how dominant they were together in the opener vs the Blues. Nash is on the off-wing because he's better there. Moore belongs on the 3rd line til Step returns -- I was actually hoping for Moore-Hagelin-Duclair since that line was good pre-season, and think we may see that next game. Still think his handling of Miller is misguided, but for who he has in there I think AV is finally on the right track.
Took him too long to get there, though.
3 days, 13 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
@JMK8363 @allagash I see your point, and I can accept that we needed to use most of the pre-season to weed out the rookies whose success was more a product of playing against other rookie lineups -- guys like Haggerty who disappeared once the level of competition ratcheted up, for instance. But none of that excuses mistakes like keeping MSL on the wing, and a number of the other things I mentioned. Av comes across as a class guy and much that he does is positive; but I still maintain that just as he struggled with getting a handle on this team last year, AV continues to struggle in that regard this season.
4 days, 17 hours ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
AV brings much that is good to this team -- his steady-as-she-goes approach, his up-tempo style, both surely contributed to the team's successful run last year. But I still maintain his lineup decisions are flawed. Just as he seemingly took forever to get a handle "on what he has here" last year, several of his moves this season already are suspect. Most of the team struggled for a couple games, yet Miller gets singled out, despite being one of the better puck handlers and play-makers on the team -- what chance did he really get? MSL clearly needed to be back on the wing, yet AV stubbornly kept him at center until late in yesterday's game, even though he could have used Brassard, Miller, Moore, Hayes at center til Step's return. Despite a camp that clearly revealed his deficiencies, Kostka gets inserted into the lineup over Hunwick for no apparent reason and the game turns on his miscues. Hagelin is kept with Brassard and Zuk, though it was clear from the start he wasn't a good fit there. Until Step's injury, the genius plan was to move Nash to the left wing, a plan as destined to fail as it was when Totorella made the same mistake with Gaborik. These are just a few examples, but there's enough of a sampling here that I'm concerned, and I can't look past all of this just because of last season's Cup run; his poor decision-making on personnel issues will eventually catch up with AV.
McD. Everyone else fighting for second place. Clinched it for me with that rush up the ice to set up the Stepan goal in Columbus -- one of those "enough is enough -- just give me the puck" moments that showed me he had the stuff captaincy is made of.
2 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
Noticed you've started putting the Corsi numbers into a little more context -- nice touch.
3 months ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
@Herman_NYRBlog @allagash @Dgimbz I admit to being somewhat surprised to see there's such a strong correlation; because from what I see on the ice with my own eyes, and with all the variables involved in each shift, like where the shift starts, who else is on the ice, the difference in quality of shots...I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around these stats as being truly indicative of possession prowess. I know during the playoffs the announcers occasionally made reference to some of the internal stats teams keep, like quality scoring chances for and against; I'd be more interested whether something like that might be utilized as a starting point to measure puck possession -- it would at least eliminate some of the weaker shots on net as part of the equation.
3 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
@Dgimbz @Herman_NYRBlog As I suggested in my discussion with Kevin yesterday on the JT Miller thread, I too have serious reservations about the Corsi and Fenwick stats. They measure shots, not "possession" -- which in a fast-moving game like hockey are far from equivalent. Concluding that because the Kings have a high Corsi rating means that it's a valid measurement is erroneous; it just tells me they take more shots than they give up. I do believe in the importance of possession, and if someone were able to make a qualitative assessment of each player's shifts that actually measured that player's possession contribution, I'd be thrilled to see it. Unfortunately, the Corsi numbers don't do that, and nothing Kevin or Adam has said yet convinces me otherwise. And so until I'm persuaded differently, anytime I read that we should value so-and-so player because of his "possession stats", I will pretty much disregard the comment as without foundation.
Thanks for the response, Kevin. But I still maintain that regardless of the sample size, I don't see these stats as necessarily being indicative of "puck possession". All they're doing is measuring shots. But all shots are not created equally. Maybe my gripe is in the label: if the Corsi and Fenwick numbers were known as "shots stats", I'd have no problem with them, and simply take them for what they're worth. But there are just too many scenarios -- ie. grinding, cycling type shifts -- where these numbers will not accurately reflect how good the possession was on a particular shift. And just because the Kings ranked high with these stats doesn't persuade me, just as I wouldn't be swayed upon hearing that the Kings ranked high in +/- stats -- doesn't mean they're accurate measurements of possession.
Good post, and glad to see JT getting some love in the comments section as well. Gonna switch gears a second, here, because Kevin mentioned the Corsi numbers: I finally started reading up on the Corsi and Fenwick numbers, the so-called "possession stats", and I'm not sure I buy what they purport to measure. While I agree that measuring possession is a worthwhile endeavor, do these stats really do that? Seems like they might better be labelled as "shots stats", which to me is not necessarily the same as possession. One quick example:
In scenario1, the team gains possession at center ice, Player A (we'll call him Brad Richards) carries the puck over the blue line and fires a relatively weak shot on net, the other team gains control, quickly moves the puck out of the zone, and then the play is whistled down for a hand pass or something.
In scenario 2, after the team gains possession, Player B (we'll call him JT Miller) carries to the blue line and softly tosses the puck to the corner and hustles in after it; Miller arrives with the d-man, bangs the d-man off the puck, and moves the puck to a winger, who then feeds back to the point; d-man throws it across to opposite point, other d-man shoots it toward the net, where Miller, in front, redirects the puck into the net.
If I'm understanding the Corsi and Fenwick numbers correctly, both Richards and Miller would get identical +1 possession stats for those shifts. Is that accurate? Because if it is accurate, then I've gotta question the value of these stats as a measure of possession, since no way are those two shifts qualitatively equivalent. Can anyone help clear this up for me? Thanks.
Excellent post -- I share Kevin's concerns about this guy, and this contract, completely. And I'll add this: though AV undoubtedly has brought a lot of positives to this team, I still don't consider his personnel grasp to be a strength -- and so his endorsement of Glass doesn't particularly persuade me.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
I don't think I saw it on this video, but for me McD's defining moment this season occurred at Columbus: shortly after the Nash fight, Columbus scored a goal that seemingly squashed the momentum we thought we had built. But then McD seemingly said fuck that, I am not going to allow this to get away: he powered the puck all the way up the ice to behind the Columbus net, and set up Stepan in front for a huge goal.
For someone who covers this team so extensively, and does an outstanding job at it, that's a remarkably short-sighted statement, Kevin. I could go on at length as to why, but now is not the time.
4 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
Does the phrase "hasn't sniffed a point" mean Nash hasn't even been close to a point? Is that what you and others are seeing Kevin? Is there no value to the team, no value to the flow of the offense, from Nash's "fancy stats"?
And as for the low "fancy stats" for Nash's line in Game 4, that doesn't surprise me, since the line change AV made was ill-conceived and the lack of chemistry hurt us in the very first shift, where Hags pulled up on Nash's centering feed.
No doubt we're in this with a chance, though I'd feel a lot better if AV would stop messing around with the lines. Multiple lines are disrupted to accommodate Richards, and the Kreider- Hagelin swap hurt the chemistry -- despite the win it was our weakest offensive showing, no flow at all. He's done a lot of good with this team, a lot, but personnel moves have not been AV's strength. Don't over-manage this, AV, don't mess with what got you here.
In regular 5-on-5 play, I fully expect Miller-Kreider-Nash to be an upgrade. Step's absence will be felt in other areas.
5 months ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
Carcillo shouldn't even have been playing. AV, in typical fashion, went one game too many with D. Moore centering Zuc and Pouliot, whereas he should have had Miller centering them, leaving Moore with Boyle and Dorset.
@EquusBiz @allagash It's one thing to acknowledge that Philly was effective on the PK; but admitting to a "lack of confidence" and that the other team is "in our head" because they came at us hard is just plain weak-ass. Can you imagine Messier ever saying something like that in the middle of the playoffs?
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
“The Flyers really came hard at us and kind of shook our confidence a little bit. Now, it’s in our head..." Is that really the type of statement that Brassard needs to be making right now?
We outplayed a strong Pittsburgh team last night, but Fleury was outstanding, hit some metal, and they stole one from us. It happens. We've been on the other side of that scenario with Henrik plenty of times. In the long run, you're better off being the team that carries the play than the team that steals a win. And yet all around me at the Garden I hear people booing the team, spewing venom at individual players...I'm not sure exactly when or why it happened, but it's more than just the raised ticket prices: a large part of this team's fanbase are hockey-morons. So what that we've never beaten this team in a playoff series -- Ron Friggin' Francis is irrelevant now. Bring the effort again tomorrow night, and I'll take my chances on a better outcome.
This fatigue concern has taken on a life of its own...and it's nonsense. We were sharp coming out of Game Seven vs Philly, and it carried over to Game One vs Pens, so the scheduling actually helped there. To Pittsburgh's credit, they adjusted and came out banging in Game Two; but they also took a bunch of penalties, and if our PP had scored the complexion of the game changes and we're probably having a different conversation now. Agree that JT needs to be in for Dorsett, but that has nothing to do with fatigue - he can help the offense. Same with Diaz - he can help the PP. And of course, gotta get that 1st line going. One-one after two games in Pittsburgh -- we're good.
Stay the course, Kevin. Although the Flyers are not a "far inferior team" as you suggest, the Rangers have carried the play, which to me is what's most telling. The Flyers have been far more opportunistic than we have, which is why this series is still going, but we're the better team. Let's have some fun tonight. Fun, goddamnit.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
I trust what I see with my eyes more than someone's "empirical" conclusion. JT played well -- he was strong on the forecheck, had at least one hard hit, made an intelligent chip to the corner against MacDonald, was in the middle of the Richards goal, and energized that line, as he did with other lines he played on during the season. I'm completely with Josh-CK on this -- he belongs and should stay in the lineup.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/uncategorized/miller-provides-just-enough-to-rangers-offense.html
Your entire post is right on, Kevin. After game one, we were probably all a little guilty of this:
But let's not over-react in the other direction by panicking now -- inserting a guy like Carcillo moves this series in the entirely wrong direction for us.
6 months ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
Usually love your write-ups, Kevin, but talk of us facing an elimination game in Game 5 is over-dramatic. Today Philly was the more opportunistic team, but Flyers still haven't shown enough to conclude they'll beat us this series, let alone in 5 games. I'm troubled that we skated a top-9 forward who the coach wouldn't even use in the 3rd period, while JT Miller continues to sit. But otherwise, I still believe we're the superior team, and I fully expect us to win this thing.
Berube has to adjust or the series will be over quickly. Ranger forwards bottled up Philly at center ice, and our d-men stood the Flyers up at the line, so Philly wasn't able to gain our zone all night. You know they want to get the puck deep and pound us, but they'll have to figure out how to gain our zone first. Great start.
6 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
Glad to see AV back off his original comments a bit with his "clarification." JT is a talented player who belongs on the varsity; he's strong on the puck, forechecks well, and if you actually watch him you'll see how he creates scoring chances beyond what his goal-assist totals will show. Kevin, don't be discouraged by the lack of support shown for Miller in your post a couple days back; you're right-on in what you see in this kid, and either AV will wake up and give him a legitimate chance to show it here, or he'll be a productive player for another team.
@Hockey1982 @allagash This has nothing to do with placing blame on a line -- that line was, as usual, our top line last night, and Zuc in particular was outstanding. This was about players not converting scoring chances,and the coach not constructing a lineup that gives us the best chance of success.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
We lost because Pouliot and Brassard missed open nets, Hags and Nash missed big chances in front. Should have been 5-3 win, but on some nights we're not good enough to miss those chances and still win. Also, AV again did not put us in the best position to win: forcing MSL to play with Richards and Boyle (Boyle???) while JT Miller rots in Hartford is just plain wrong.
Gee, I haven't been this excited since we had Isbister playing alongside Jagr. Morons, I have morons (running) my team.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
I'm joining the chorus of those below wondering what the hell AV was doing in the 3rd period last night. By benching Miller and not leaving the Brass-Zuk-Miller line in tact for a single shift in the 3rd, AV didn't put the team in the best position to win. Period. And this while we're in the middle of a tight push for the playoffs. I guess it's easy to single out the kid and demonstrate your authority, AV. Personally, even though I appreciate how you've got the team playing more up-tempo this season, I believe you've struggled to get a handle on the team's personnel from day one, and in that regard you're still not where you need to be to coach this team at the level it requires.
Unless Brassard and Miller caught the flu in the second intermission, AV did a brutal job coaching the 3rd period.
I was as pumped as everyone to see that kind of emotion from Nash. But let's not lose sight of the fact that we yielded a goal right after the fight, and it was McD who then took command with a determined rush up the ice that set up the equalizer and may well be one of the biggest plays of the season for this team.
7 months ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/
We have enough talent to do better than what we're seeing of late; it just isn't being used correctly. First priority is getting St. Louis going, which means getting him the hell away from Richards. I want to see Brassard with St. Louis, with either Nash or Kreider as the other winger. Bring up JT Miller (who should have been up all along), give him a regular top-9 shift. Drop Pouliot to the 4th line with Moore and Dorcillo, scratch Boyle.
7 months, 1 week ago on The Rangers Aren't Scoring 5-on-5
9 months ago on Islanders 5, Rangers 3
To excuse most of Nash's poor performance earlier this season as "bad luck" is just plain silly; hopefully the suthor's observations will improve, his own regression to the mean.
9 months ago on Rangers 4, Senators 1
Just starting from the top, even though you rank JT Miller at no. 1, your descriptive paragraph is underwhelming. You write that "he'll never be an all-star" - based on what? He's demonstrated good puck control, poise, aggressiveness, strong forecheck in limited minutes, often with 4th liners. The only reason he's "struggling to make his mark" is because his dopey coach won't utilize him properly; poor AV still trying to figure out what he has here. Tell me, which center on this team has played better than him at even strength. Heaven forbid we get a look at a JT-Kreider-Cally line -- might actually have a line that attacks consistently.
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Ranking The New York Rangers' Top 25 Prospects: January 2013