Rangers are a big, troubling question mark

This is the type of performance that places the entire operation under scrutiny. This 7-2 humiliation the Rangers suffered at the hands (and legs) of the Islanders at the Garden on Saturday afternoon raises all sorts of questions about the program and this team that is trending in the

Rangers know biggest weakness but fixing it will take work

The common thread that runs through the Rangers’ season is the unacceptable number of times they have been marked absent at the drop of the puck. The Blueshirts have come out flat well in excess of the 22 games in which they allowed the first goal. As such, the

Predicting NHL awards, with a few New York headliners

The halfway mark is as good a time as any to assess what has taken place in this 2017-18 NHL season, and to start giving out our awards (that mean nothing right now). There have been surprises and disappointments alike, and, as Rangers coach Alain Vigneault says any

Rangers won’t give Grabner the usual trade deadline ultimatum

In 2014, while the Rangers were in a typical scramble for a playoff spot, then-general manager Glen Sather put a full-court press on pending free agents Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi to sign extensions by the trade deadline or face being sent out of town. Girardi signed. Callahan

How Rangers should treat Henrik Lundqvist’s resurgence

Regarding the Rangers, who were delayed on their way to desert weekend matchups in Glendale and Vegas that precede the bye week: 1. No list of Hart Trophy candidates can be considered credible if it does not include Henrik Lundqvist, who in having his best season since 2011-12 has

What Rick Nash’s demotion means for Rangers’ trade plans

It isn’t wrong for Alain Vigneault to attempt to spark Mika Zibanejad by moving J.T. Miller onto his line in place of Rick Nash. Miller is not only a straight-line, pace winger, but he is a give-and-go type player who is arguably the best pure passer on the

Why the Winter Classic is still an NHL home run

The Winter Classic no longer creates the national footprint it did when the NHL’s outdoor extravaganza was created 10 years ago. It no longer makes for appointment viewing. Fact is, the national TV audience that peaked at 2.5 million for the 2009 game at Wrigley Field between the Blackhawks

Young local stars evoke memories of past rookie greats

Mathew Barzal, a legitimate threat to Brock Boeser, Clayton Keller and Malcolm Subban for the Calder Trophy, would constitute a special rookie class unto himself around these parts, given the combination of speed and skill he flashes on a clockwork basis for the Belmont-bound Islanders. But wait. There are

NHL enables repeat offenders with senseless discipline system

DETROIT — There is an understandable amount of gray area in every rule book. But what is absolutely confounding about the NHL’s discipline policy is that there is no standardization for supplemental punishment. So the definition of a slash can be left up to the interpretation of the officials.

Vigneault pushes all the different buttons to wake up Rangers

For this night, Alain Vigneault was a master choreographer. Juggling every line combination and two of the three defense pairings in an effort to “catch everybody’s attention,” the coach coaxed just the response he was seeking. “When you switch everything up halfway through the season, that definitely sends a

Digging into stats to find how Rangers’ top goal-scorer stacks up

Coloring the Blueshirts by numbers awaiting Wednesday’s return from the Christmas hiatus against Washington at the Garden: 1. Since Michael Grabner joined the Rangers at the start of last season, the Austrian Express leads the club in overall goal-scoring with 44, five more than Chris Kreider, 12 more than

Rangers must start considering their Ryan McDonagh options

You’ve heard from two headliners of the prospective marquee free-agent class of 2019, and you’ve heard that Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty intend to reap rewards commensurate with their considerable worth. But you haven’t heard that kind of declaration from the star-spangled member of the class, which projects

Rangers brought down by the details in embarrassing fashion

Some 70 feet across the ice from where Michael Grabner burst across the line on the left side, Kevin Hayes had the best look of all as the Austrian Express left a pair of Maple Leafs in his exhaust fumes before snapping a drive past Frederik Andersen at

We are now witnessing the sad decline of Sidney Crosby

We made the list, checked it twice and well, it was hard to believe. Of the 29 NHL forwards who had played as least 500 minutes at five-on-five entering Saturday’s final pre-Christmas matches, just four had scored fewer than four goals at full and equal strength. Arizona’s Max Domi had

Rangers now must deal with an emerging Devils juggernaut

A word to the wise and all of our other readers, too: Measuring sticks this time of year come in the shape of candy canes. But my goodness, did the Devils’ riveting 4-3 shootout victory over the Rangers at the Rock on Thursday ever come in the form of

I needed Long Island to get our team back

So many of us who grew up on Long Island were the products of broken hearts: it was our fathers and our grandfathers, our uncles and older cousins who had given their souls over to the Dodgers when they ruled Brooklyn, when it seemed impossible to believe they

Kevin Hayes starting to refine an important aspect to his game

Don’t get Kevin Hayes wrong. While the Rangers’ center readily acknowledges that he is “a pass-first type of player,” No. 13 isn’t on a mission to feed everyone else while he himself goes hungry. “No, it’s not like that,” Hayes said, laughing a winner’s laugh following the Blueshirts’

This is the Islanders’ best day in 34 years

You are an Islanders fan, and this is your best day since Denis Potvin hoisted the Cup back for the fourth straight year on May 17, 1983, following the sweep of the Oilers, because, on this day you and your team are back in the big leagues. You are

Sean Avery memoir a fascinating look beyond the rink

There is an attorney I know who grew up an avid Devils fan during the organization’s Era of Excellence and remains steadfast in his support of his team. Which is to say — needless to say — he found Sean Avery a detestable character without redeeming qualities. And yet,

Erik Karlsson represents a perfect Islanders opportunity

When Pierre Dorion walked into the press conference room in Ottawa on Wednesday evening before his team’s game against the Rangers, he said he had just got off the phone with another general manager and could have made a deal “three minutes ago.” Maybe it was hyperbole, but

Rangers looked like a complete mess in ugly loss

If you believe that the Rangers “earned” the point they wound up with in Monday’s 2-1 shootout defeat to the Stars at the Garden, then your definition of the term is far more generous than just about anyone else’s. And that includes Alain Vigneault, the coach of the

It’s never too early for Rangers to consider the standings

If the playoffs started today … you wouldn’t be preoccupied with buying gifts for Hanukkah, Christmas or, for that matter, finding that perfect Festivus pole. Which is to say the playoffs do not commence for another four months, so it is of little concern the Blueshirts do not

A path to avoiding a fourth NHL lockout is available

Would the NHL actually lock the door on the Seattle Totems just as this 32nd franchise is ready to drop a $650 million puck on the 2020-21 season? Or is the league simply going to dare the NHLPA to go out on strike after either or both sides

Seattle team puts NHL in danger of falling into sports’ greed trap

The reason there is hesitation when hearing the NHL has agreed to allow Seattle to fill out an application for expansion is that unmitigated greed can undo something great. And greed is the first sentiment that comes to mind when commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday that the Board

Jimmy Vesey wants to be the one Rangers call on in the clutch

In the bad old days after an opening 35 minutes through which the Rangers’ energy quotient was equal to the big round zero on the Garden scoreboard Sunday afternoon against the Canucks, someone surely would have gone over the boards to initiate a fight in order to get

It’s time for the Islanders to go all-in with a big trade

It is premature to declare the end of the Pittsburgh-Washington axis that has been dominant in the Metro Division, but it appears as if we’re experiencing an ongoing redistribution of power in which a path to the conference finals is wide open. And though the road to the final

Rangers’ Brady Skjei much more than a jersey on an SNL skit

This is some of what George McPhee saw when, as general manager of the then-embryonic Vegas franchise, he scouted the 2016 World Championships in Russia. “That No. 76, I like the way he carries himself on the ice,” McPhee said during a chat between periods of a Rangers game