Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
"Talking New York Rangers Hockey, since 2007"
New York, NY • United States • 23 Years Old • Male

All Thanks To Avery

Posted 8:23 PM ET | Comments 2
Author's note: Hit the "Discuss" link to comment on any individual topic in a regular Hockeybuzz forum

The Rangers have not lost a game since recalling Sean Avery from the Connecticut Whale on October 31. Contrast the 4-0 record with him in the lineup against the 5-3-3 record with him off the ice, and it looks pretty good for the agitator. This continues a long trend of team success when featuring Avery in the lineup, even though he no longer plays the large role he had in his first years on Broadway. But don't tell that to his supporters. Never mind his average ice time of 6:25 per game. This win streak is all thanks to Avery. Discuss

The big story is how the Rangers offense has managed to break out over the last 6 games. That is very true, and a big reason for the Rangers' success. But it has also helped that the defense has been much better, giving up only 9 goals in the last 6 games compared to 22 in the first 9 contests. That makes it a lot easier to score and a lot easier to win games, especially when the last 6 wins were all within one goal going into the 3rd period. Discuss

Brandon Dubinsky finally scored a goal, and call my a cynic but I think it is close to meaningless. Yes, he may gain some confidence from an easy, wide-open-net goal. That is great for him. But looking at the big picture, consistency on offense has been a huge issue for the 25 year old forward. He just ended a 14 game goal drought, but that represents only the 4th longest such streak of his young career. He is a great two-way player but if he is going to get to the next level like so many expect, he needs to deal with this problem. One easy goal is not going to fix this. Discuss

Look, everyone knows that plus/minus is not a great stat to use. It can give us a general idea of performance for defenseman, so when we noticed that Steve Eminger has a team worst (by far) -5 rating, we decided to investigate. According to NHL.com, the Rangers have given up 10 even strength goals with Eminger on the ice. Dan Girardi, who has played 140 more minutes of 5 on 5 hockey, "leads" the team with 11 goals against, only one more than Eminger. Even compared to Jeff Woywitka it looks bad; opponents score once every 18 minutes against Eminger, while just once every 35 minutes against the supposed "6th defenseman." Rangers fans clamored for Matt Gilroy to be benched for Eminger last season, but the former Ranger also allowed goals less often than the current one. Maybe, just maybe, Tortorella was on to something. Discuss

John Tortorella deserves a lot of credit for discovering the so-called GAS line of Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan, and Artem Anisimov. But all these players are skilled enough to make for a viable top line. On the other hand, continuing to play Brad Richards with Sean Avery and Ruslan Fedotenko is essentially admitting that it was a mistake to sign the center for $60 million dollars. Maybe you don't need him to play with Gaborik; that is a bigger positive than a negative. But the guy is a playmaker, at least put him with someone who has hit 20 goals more than once in his career. Discuss

All of this seems like nitpicking during a long winning streak, but even John Tortorella admitted that the struggles will eventually come. They always do. By solving the existing problems, the Rangers will be able to keep up their winning ways, even today's positives go to hell in a handbasket. Certainly, it would be beneficial for the Rangers to keep getting better and not become complacent like they have during successful runs in the past.

********************************************************
Results (last 2 weeks) & Schedule

Mon Oct 31, 2011 SJS (2) - NYR (5)
Thu Nov 3, 2011 ANA (1) - NYR (2) SO
Sat Nov 5, 2011 MTL (3) - NYR (5)
Sun Nov 6, 2011 WPG (0) - NYR (3)
Wed Nov 9, 2011 NYR (3) - OTT (2)
Fri Nov 11, 2011 CAR (1) - NYR (5)

Tue Nov 15, 2011 Rangers Islanders 7:00 PM
Sat Nov 19, 2011 Rangers Canadiens 7:00 PM

*********************************************************

The month of November should continue to be good to the Rangers, with "easier" opponents in the next three games. However, the month ends with a bang, in the form of Washington, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Right now, the club has the best record in the NHL in terms of points-per-game (tied with Washington at 1.40). If the Rangers take care of business this week, they could put themselves in a position to take over the conference lead by the traditional measure as well.


Leave your thoughts in the comment section below

**********************************************************

Weekly Recap/Preview blogs at the start of every week
Opinion blogs at the end of every week

Follow me on Twitter @ragstworiches
November 14, 2011 11:57 PM ET | Delete
steve ott is way better
November 16, 2011 11:25 AM ET | Delete
Is he the reason they've won 7 in a row? Oh wait, the stars have lost 3 in a row, my bad...
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.

Blog Archive

20 Again