Read/Stats: Marc Staal’s start and potentially being put back with Dan Girardi

Marc Staal Visor2:42PM: Staal said today, when asked about playing with Girardi,Playing with a lot of different guys to start the year but obviously G is who he is and is a great defenseman and a lot of fun to play with. I’ve played wit him and watched him play so it’s nothing new. (NYR)

9:36AM: Marc Staal is averaging 21:16 per game through the first nine games of the season and holds a plus one rating with 9 hits, 11 blocked and 4 giveaways.

Staal is averaging 18:45 at 5 on 5 and has been on the ice for 10 goals for and 9 against. When he is on the ice at 5 on 5 the Rangers control 50.6% of the shot attempts. (Puckalytics)

He is starting 43.13% of his shifts in the neutral zone, 33.75% in the defensive zone and 23.13% in the offensive zone. (Puckalytics)

Staal has played more than half of his 5 on 5 minutes this season with Kevin Klein but skated with Dan Girardi on Monday night. (Hockey Analysis)

Monday night was Staal’s best game of the season and it may have been a result of his history and comfort with Girardi. (NY Post)

Since 2007, at 5 on 5 Staal has played the most minutes with Girardi and when on the ice together the Rangers controlled 48.5% of the shot attempts. (Hockey Analysis)

Read: Ryan McDonagh on his start to the season and what needs to be fixed

Ryan McDonaghThrough the first 9 games of the season, Ryan McDonagh is averaging 25:26 per game, has 0 goals, 22 shots, 3 assists and has an even rating.

At 5 on 5, McDonagh has been on the ice for 8 goals for, 6 against, 147 shot attempts for, 132 shot attempts against (52.7% Corsi), and is starting 37.93% of his shifts in the offensive zone, 35.86% in the neutral zone and 26.21% in the defensive zone. (Puckalytics)

Asked about his start, McDonagh admitted that he is “fighting it” a bit and trying to play more instinctively and assertive. (NYR)

He added that his “timing is a little off right now, maybe just a split second of where to go with it, when to get rid of it. I need to get my mind caught up with my legs and my hands. I have had not the greatest start here, I know that. Our team is finding a way and that is what is most important and individually I am a big part of that and I need to raise my game for sure.” (NYR)

Buzz: Derek Stepan could return next weekend (Updates)

11/Stepan 1/14 | 4:48PM: Stepan said on Friday that he doesn’t have a return date in mind just yet and he is waiting on the doctors to tell him what is next.

Alain Vigneault said:

  • Could he play Monday, “at this point could he play Monday? I would not rule anything out but I would not guarantee anything. I would say that it could be anything from Monday to the other Monday. It’s a day to day thing and he will tell us how he feels.”
  • Do you want to see him practice before he plays, “Monday would give us Sunday as a full practice. But all things considered I would like to have him in more than one practice but if he and the medical staff say he is 100% and he says he is ready to go, we will read and see what we need to do there. I would say day to day.”

10/31/14 | 7:03AM: According to Larry Brooks, “barring a setback,” Derek Stepan will likely return to the Rangers lineup either next Saturday in Toronto or next Sunday at MSG against the Oilers. (NY Post)

Alain Vigneault said on Wednesday that Stepan was to begin practicing with the team shortly.

It’s expected that Stepan will likely center Chris Kreider and Marty St. Louis with Rick Nash sticking with Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello. (NY Post)

Stepan is eligible to come off of LTIR for Monday’s game.

Recap: The latest episode of the AV Squad

Alain VigneaultThe second episode of the AV Squad debuted on Thursday 10/23:

  • On the start to the season, “there have been a few areas. Like any season, you look to get better, improve your game and after playing a solid first game in St. Louis, our other games have not been up to the standard that I think this group of players can play. We have been working on a lot and a main focus of the last 7-10 days has been our defensive part of the game. We were giving the other teams way too many grade A opportunities which makes it hard on our goalies. We are tightening up and making better reads when we don’t have the puck and making better decisions when we do have the puck. That has helped out our overall game.”

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Read: The Rangers coaches on the PP

Rangers 2014The Rangers PP so far this season is 2 for 23 on the PP and their 8.7% is only higher than Nashville at 7.4% and Buffalo an Minnesota which have both yet to score on the PP.

The Rangers have the fewest time spent on the PP in the league at 40:35 and also the fewest shot attempts on the PP at 52.

Alain Vigneault said on Wednesday, that the Rangers aren’t getting many PP opportunities and it’s tough to establish momentum from them. He adds that the Rangers are trying different units looking for chemistry as well as trying to stick to their core PP principles of moving the puck and establishing the shot.

Vigneault also said that while he doesn’t use it as an excuse, the Rangers spent all of training camp with Dan Boyle on their PP and using him for different set ups and losing him in the first game has presented a different dynamic.

Scott Arniel said on Monday that not having Dan Boyle or Derek Stepan to start on the PP has forced the team to adjust things. He adds that the most important thing for the Rangers is establishing the shot.


Read: John Moore called Erik Haula to apologize

Steve Ott,  John MooreJohn Moore called Erik Haula on Tuesday to apologize for the hit he put on him on Monday night. (Chad Graff)

Haula said that the hit was “pretty dirty” but that Moore apologizing was “classy.” (Chad Graff)

Moore was given the number by former Ranger teammate Justin Falk. (Star Trib)

He said that hearing from Moore caught him off guard but was a “class act.” He said that he isn’t the type of person to hold a grudge and that he is sure Moore didn’t try to intentionally hurt him. (Star Trib)


Read: Ryan Haggerty’s start in Hartford/knows he can play at NHL level

HaggertyThis season, Ryan Haggerty is tied with Danny Kristo for the Wolf Pack lead in points with 6.

He has 1 goal, 5 assists and 15 shots on goal to go with 9 PIM.

Haggerty said that he wants to be with the Rangers but being in Hartford is a good place for him to keep developing. He said that he hopes to make the jump to the NHL as soon as he can. (Courant)

He said that he knows he can play at the NHL level and he just needs to round into being a complete player and not someone who is up and down to Hartford. (Courant)

Alain Vigneault said that when he sent Haggerty down to Hartford at the end of camp the two had a good chat and Haggerty gave good feedback on his game and where he needs to improve. Vigneault added that Haggerty had a “strong camp.”

For more on Haggerty, CLICK HERE.

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