No news is kind of good news these days. At least when it comes to the New York Rangers 2014-15 season.
The Rangers are hoping for another Christmas turnaround, much like they experienced last season. [NY Post]
They begin a Western Canadian swing that will see them square off in a weekend back-to-back against the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers. They'll then take on the Calgary Flames, who don't make any sense**, two days later. The Canucks just stumbled to the end of a 3-3-1 Eastern Conference road trip and have been playing a bit flat of late. But they have had a few days to get their wits, and health, about them, despite the continued absence of Dan Hamhuis on the blue line. Goaltending has been an issue, as Ryan Miller has not lived up to his contract thus far. Make no mistake though, they are a very solid club that runs four lines and gets contributions up and down the lineup.
The Canucks have moved on from the John Tortorella Tire Fire and totally changed regimes. Lost in that was the suspect firing of Alain Vigneault. Hey, worked out for the Rangers. [Bleacher Report]
Some in Vancouver have questioned whether this year's team truly is better than last year's Torts-led squad. Spoiler, it is a silly question asked by one of the silliest mainstream medias in all of hockey. They finished a long road trip 0-2-1, losing one of the games at Montreal on Jean Beliveau night. Come on, guys. Yes. Yes they are much better. Every team hits rough patches. [The Province]
**I'll have Rangers By The Numbers Analytics features for each game on the road trip, because they each bring their own intrigue. Namely, the Flames are a team that should be a basement dweller, but are somehow in the mix at the top of the impossibly stacked Pacific Division.
Kevin Hayes will be squaring off for the first time against his former linemate Johnny Gaudreau AKA Johnny Hockey next Tuesday night in Calgary. Hayes and Gaudreau were 2/3s of one of the most formidable lines in the history of college hockey. But Hayes has ties with a ton of NHLers, and has all the makings of a star himself. [NY Daily News]
Until then, here's video of Gaudreau, the second coming of Patrick Kane, going absolutely bonkers at the World Championships last spring.
Here he is doing this to Anton Volchenkov:
More Kevin Klein love. [Newsday]
What does the expected 2015-16 Salary Cap mean for the Rangers and their decisions going forward? Should be interesting to find out. [Blueshirt Banter]
Jesper Fast has been pegged by some as a defensive stalwart. But the line runs show that he hasn't quite gained the trust of Alain Vigneault in critical situations, despite what Vigneault says about "Quickie" (easily the worst nickname I've heard in some time by the way). Before we anoint Fast as one of AV's trusted defensive stoppers, let's take a look at how he is being used and whether that budding reputation is warranted. [Blue Seat Blogs]
Tanner Glass Friday Fun Facts:
Tanner Glass has a negative relative CF% in 288 of his 399 career NHL games, or 72%.— Tanner Glass Facts (@T_Glass_Facts) December 11, 2014
Tanner Glass is one of four forwards this season with at least 100 minutes played and a GF% under 10%. http://t.co/LDOOBSi7vt— Tanner Glass Facts (@T_Glass_Facts) December 10, 2014
Tanner Glass' career fighting record is 19-20-16 (W-L-D), according to the voters at @hockeyfights.— Tanner Glass Facts (@T_Glass_Facts) December 9, 2014
Dan Bylsma made Beau Bennett a healthy scratch in Game 7 against the Rangers last spring to re-insert Tanner Glass into the lineup.— Tanner Glass Facts (@T_Glass_Facts) December 7, 2014