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Making do without Brassard; Miller in the spotlight; #mumpsfacts; King of positive thought; Rangers vs Flames

Your Bantering Points for Tuesday, December 16, 2014.

"Dude. Your neck is swallowing your face Brass."
"Dude. Your neck is swallowing your face Brass."
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are searching for answers at center once again with Derick Brassard expected to miss time while recovering from the dreaded mumps. They will probably make do with 12 forwards on short notice and stuck out in Alberta. They are also playing pretty good hockey, otherwise. [Blueshirt Banter]  [NY Post]  [The Hockey Writers]

At least for now, J.T. Miller is the guy sliding back to his "natural" position at center. He was doing great on the wing. Let's see how he adjusts.  [NY Daily News]

Here's a guide to the mumps - because the more you know.  [NY Post]  [NY Times]  [CDC]  (Yes I just linked the damn CDC)

After the organization preached patience, just about ten days later Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins was fired after losing to the Rangers in a snoozeroo. You really can't lay all blame on him. But here we are. Hot takes from the mainstream media (like trading TAYLOR HALL) abound, of course. Rather perfectly, for comedy's sake, GM and convicted drunk-driving manslaughterer Craig MacTavish will be taking the reins until they can hand them to their AHL coach on an interim basis. This should only get more funner, y'all.  This is my favorite car crash. Distasteful pun intended. [Deadspin]  [NY Daily News]  [CBC]

Player reactions were player reactions. [CBC]

Henrik Lundqvist is feeling good about himself, and he wants to keep that going. If you know anything about Hank, when he gets hot for a prolonged stretch he is the best there is. Consider this course correction.  [Newsday]

Looking ahead at the Rangers vs. Flames: Calgary has lost 5 straight, their offense has gone bye-bye, and seems to me they are falling back to the pack finally. Where they belong. Meanwhile, the Rangers are feeling pretty darn good, mumps notwithstanding.  [Blueshirt Banter]  [Flame for Thought]  [NHL]  [Fox Sports]

Also, the Flames don't want the Rangers cooties. Seriously. Biological warfare.  [Calgary Herald]

This article measures the Rangers' defensive performance by shot location. Somewhat akin to my RBTN Analytics articles, it reveals some valuable information about the Rangers defensive shortcomings to date, and the general shot suppression tendencies of the team.  [Blue Seat Blogs]

Rangers prospect news and notes. [Blueshirts United]