In the last post we introduced Hockey Prospectus’ VUKOTA projection system and scrutinized its forecasting skills against the actual results of last season’s Blueshirts squad. While VUKOTA proved somewhat underwhelming in a limited sample I thought it would be interesting to see how VUKOTA pegged this year’s club. Here are the results.

Player

Pos

GP

G

A

Pts

PPG

PIM

GVT

Brad Richards

F

72

28

48

76

9

22

14.0

Marian Gaborik

F

69

27

33

60

8

28

11.1

Derek Stepan

F

79

25

30

55

6

26

8.8

Brandon Dubinsky

F

75

24

30

54

6

78

9.3

Ryan Callahan

F

66

23

26

49

8

47

8.3

Wojtek Wolski

F

67

15

27

42

3

19

6.7

Artem Anisimov

F

72

18

23

41

4

22

6.7

Mats Zuccarello

F

51

10

21

32

2

19

4.8

Brian Boyle

F

70

16

13

29

3

58

5.1

Marc Staal

D

73

6

22

28

2

45

7.3

Dan Girardi

D

71

5

21

26

2

36

7.0

Ruslan Fedotenko

F

62

11

16

26

2

29

3.9

Sean Avery

F

62

8

17

25

2

130

3.3

Brandon Prust

F

68

9

13

22

1

131

3.1

Michael Del Zotto

D

59

5

17

22

2

28

3.5

Mike Rupp

F

64

8

7

15

1

86

1.5

John Mitchell

F

44

6

9

15

1

27

1.4

Michael Sauer

D

66

3

11

14

0

62

4.7

Ryan McDonagh

D

51

2

10

12

0

32

3.4

Dale Weise

F

30

5

5

10

1

42

0.8

Chad Kolarik

F

25

4

5

9

1

24

1.0

Steve Eminger

D

55

2

7

9

0

24

1.6

Kris Newbury

F

28

3

5

8

1

43

0.8

Totals:

246

393

639

60

Name

P

GP

Save %

 

 

 

 

GVT

Henrik Lundqvist

G

59

0.919

 

 

 

 

17.9

Martin Biron

G

21

0.908

 

 

 

 

0.8

Team GVT:

137.6

Let’s ignore the individual stats for a moment; instead we’ll focus on the team GVT value of 137.6. If we recall the post in which we extrapolated GVT into a WAR-type stat, Tom Awad indicated that a GVT value of three was equivalent to one point in the team standings. Dividing 137.6 by three will leave us with 45.9. Also, a threshold team is expected to finish a full slate of games with 50 points. If the Rangers team GVT value of 137.6 equals an additional 45.9 points in the standings over threshold then VUKOTA is projecting the Blueshirts to finish the year with 95.9 points. Keep that in mind for a bit.

As far as individual stats are concerned I am somewhat surprised Gaborik wasn’t projected higher. A 27-goal output would likely be considered a disappointment given his talents and the addition of Richards. Richards meanwhile was forecast to be slightly better than a point-per-game player which makes sense.

Brandon Dubinsky is expected by VUKOTA to virtually repeat his production from a year ago. Depending on how the Richards acquisition impacts his ice time and whether or not Dubinsky skates on the top line with Richards and Gaborik much, a case could be made that VUKOTA’s projection is a baseline for the Rangers winger.

After potting 23 goals in just 60 games, a figure which would prorate to better than 31 tallies in a full schedule, it’s surprising VUKOTA only pegged Ryan Callahan to produce the same 23 goals this season. That might have something to do with the 16 games Hockey Prospectus’ projection system expects Callahan to miss this upcoming year. Of course Callahan plays a physical game, isn’t the biggest of guys and will lie out to block a shot from literally anyone in the game with no fear and yes. All of that can lead to injuries like we saw last year. However, in his first two full NHL seasons, Callahan combined to miss just 6 games. I think it’s just as likely he plays around 75 games and finishes with somewhere between 25 and 28 goals next season as he is to meet VUKOTA’s estimate. We’ll check back later to see who was closer in their predictions.

Another player I think VUKOTA is missing the boat completely on is Artem Anisimov. In two NHL campaigns he has appeared in every game and improved his rookie year offensive production by 16 points in his sophomore year. Yet for some reason VUKOTA presumes he will miss 10 games and record fewer points this year. I actually expect the talented center to further boost his scoring totals and potentially threaten the 60 point plateau. I don’t have any advanced stats to back that supposition up but I do recognize the skill level and his incremental scoring improvement from year one to year two of his career.

I would also expect McDonagh to make more of an offensive contribution than predicted. He will see a lot of ice time on the Rangers second pair; he is a smooth skater; and is a solid passer. I wouldn’t be surprised if he approached 20 points this season given a little PP time.

Now back to the expected 96-point campaign that VUKOTA projects the Rangers to finish with based on GVT. Adam linked to a ratings system devised by ESPN.com and originally explained in articles by Craig Custance and Alvin Chang. In essence, they’ve researched different characteristics of Cup winning teams to find common themes amongst successful playoff clubs. Apparently, at least within the volume of data researched, a team’s record against clubs defined as elite (top eight finishers in the league’s regular season) was most important in achieving playoff longevity. Therefore it is assigned the highest relative value in their system and if you finish with a record of or better than .500 against the “elite eight” you are awarded eight points.

Other stats that matter are goals for (if a team averages better than 2.8 they are awarded another four points), shots for (averaging better than 31 per contest is worth four points in this system) and save percentage (a team SV% of 0.910 or better earns that club two points). Simply tallying all of the points accrued by a team is supposed to help tell how well a team may do in the playoffs. The Rangers finished fourth in the East in this exercise on the “Playoff Power Meter Score.” That can be interpreted to mean the Rangers statistically have a great chance to at least make it past round one and have a fighting chance to make it as far as the Conference Finals if this research (and the projections) is spot on.

Of course none of that matters if the Rangers don’t make it to the playoffs in the first place, right? Well the initial step this system took was to utilize some combination of VUKOTA and AccuScore game simulations to decide the final regular season standings and thus where the Rangers placed both in the East and in the NHL overall. It was also used to calculate how many of the thresholds identified as keys for playoff success a team met and thus was used in the “Playoff Power Meter Score.” I couldn’t find where the math was explained and even if I had I’m not sure I’d understand it well enough to explain it. Regardless this system pegged our beloved Rangers to win the Atlantic, finish third in the East and fourth overall in the league. That projection doesn’t seem to fit the 96-point team though as we determined VUKOTA forecasting for the Rangers.

In actuality it doesn’t. Just last year 13 NHL clubs posted more than the 96 points VUKOTA forecasts the Rangers to finish with this year according to the accumulative projected GVT ratings. That would seem to indicate either Vukota is underestimating New York or AccuScore is overestimating the squad. Either way one of them has to be mistaken.

As for ESPN’s system, I appreciate the intent and can respect some of the research done. It’s probably as good a guess as any right now. But the reality of it is that it is just a guess; an educated one yes but still a guess. We have no way of knowing for sure how well all of the new pieces in Philadelphia will mesh or if Buffalo is really talented enough to finish second in the conference as this system projects or if even Brad Richards can coax another 40+ goal season out of Marian Gaborik.

Advanced stats and projection systems can suggest certain things but not guarantee anything. That’s why they play the games afterall.

If anything I expect this system to be more accurate predicting which clubs will fare well in the postseason when utilizing the actual regular season stats recorded by the clubs this year.

Advanced stats were never meant to do anything other than provide useful new information to the folks running NHL clubs and for the fans that follow those teams. I don’t recommend any manager to run an organization using a spreadsheet. However, advanced stats can help to make important roster decisions, assist with assembling line combinations and in identifying weaknesses of your opponent. They do have their place in this great game of ours.

Remember, the use and development of these metrics is relatively new to hockey. They can and will only get better as we refine them and apply more data to the formulas. Who didn’t like reading the backs of hockey trading cards as a kid? Everyone loves stats and it’s only a matter of time before even the doubters start liking some of the advanced metrics too.

Thanks as always for reading and forgive the rant. I just wanted to clarify my position; I have never advocated for advanced stats to replace traditional methods of player evaluation. I simply happen to know a little about them, find them to be interesting blog fodder and believe they can be a tremendous resource for NHL clubs if used correctly along with being a topic that can generate interesting dialogue among fans.

Remember to give me a follow on Twitter: @Gkmkiller and if you have any suggestions for further topics please email me at gkmkiller@cox.net.

Tags: 2011-12 Predictions, Advanced Stats, NO MAIN PAGE

Dec 27, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta (32) makes a save during the third period against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Dec 27, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Antti Raanta (32) makes a save during the third period against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

In the latest issue of The Hockey News, they have Vegas selecting Antti Raanta from the Rangers in the expansion draft.

There is a belief that Vegas will acquire Marc-Andre Fleury but The Hockey News instead has Fleury being traded to Calgary.

They wrote later in the issue that Raanta is "cheap, a short investment, still in his prime and often outplayed 'The King." Great target for the Golden Knights.

Tags: Antti Raanta
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Mar 13, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner (40) scores against Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Peter Budaj (31) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Mar 13, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner (40) scores against Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Peter Budaj (31) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

During the playoffs, Alain Vigneault said that one thing about Michael Grabner is that his game doesn't change when he is moved around the lineup.

Vigneault said that Grabner is someone who scares the opposition with his speed, forces turnovers and creates offensive opportunities.

Grabner scored 27 goals this season while mostly skating with Kevin Hayes and JT Miller.

Tags: Michael Grabner
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Apr 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) is honored as one of the stars of the game after scoring a goal to help beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Apr 2, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith (42) is honored as one of the stars of the game after scoring a goal to help beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

5/22/17 | Brendan Smith's agent Anton Thun told Larry Brooks that Smith enjoyed his time playing with the Rangers and that he would "certainly consider" signing a new contract prior to becoming a UFA on July 1. (NY Post)

Thun noted though that Smith has not told him to "get a deal done" with the Rangers and that Smith will be looking for a "good fit with a good organization in his next contract. (NY Post)

He noted that the Rangers definitely "qualify" as a good fit but that for Smith to pass up free agency he will need to sign a contract that "reflects market value." (NY Post)

Tags: Brendan Smith
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May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Nick Holden (22) scores a goal past Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) during the first period of game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Nick Holden (22) scores a goal past Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) during the first period of game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Nick Holden played in 80 games for the Rangers this year, scoring 11 goals, 23 assists, a plus 13 rating and an average of 20:34 per game.

Holden played the second most minutes of any Ranger during the regular season, was second in ice time per game at 20:36 and played 18:18 at even strength, 1:42 on the PK and 36 seconds on the PP.

In 49 games before the All-Star break, Holden had 8 goals and 16 assists, a plus 18 rating and an average of 20:15 per game.

Tags: Nick Holden
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

The Rangers will have the 21st pick in the first round of the 2017 NHL draft, their first pick in the first round since taking Brady Skjei in 2012.

The Rangers traded their picks in:

  • 2013 to acquire Rick Nash
  • 2014 to acquire Marty St. Louis
  • 2015 as a condition as part of the Marty St. Louis trade
  • 2016 to acquire Keith Yandle

Jeff Gorton said that he tried to move into the first round last year, with some saying it was to try and acquire the fourth overall pick from Edmonton.

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The Penguins defeated Ottawa in double OT during last night's Game 7 to win the Eastern Conference Final for the second straight year.

The Penguins are aiming to to be the first team since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to win the Stanley Cup in back to back years.

They will face the Predators starting on Monday in Pittsburgh.

The Rangers felt, after being eliminated by Ottawa, that they still should have been playing.bu

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 (Andy Marlin)
(Andy Marlin)

Brandon Pirri played in 60 games for the Rangers this season, netting 8 goals, 10 assists, 96 shots, 201 shot attempts, a minus 8 rating and 12:17 per game.

Pirri played in the Rangers first 32 games of the season before being scratched for two games.

He then:

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Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kevin Hayes (13) carries the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) trails the play during the third period at Nationwide Arena. New York beat Columbus 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)
Feb 13, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kevin Hayes (13) carries the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) trails the play during the third period at Nationwide Arena. New York beat Columbus 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)

Larry Brooks wrote, when the season ended, that the Rangers need more consistency from Kevin Hayes moving forward. (NY Post)

Brooks wrote that Hayes has not been "forceful enough" in using his size, reach and puck skills in getting to the net. (NY Post)

He did note that Hayes adapted well to being put in different positions by Alain Vigneault, including more time in the defensive zone. (NY Post)

Alain Vigneault said in February that Kevin Hayes is "rounding out as a player" and starting to better understand the game at both ends of the rink.

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Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and defenseman Dan Girardi (5) congratulate goalie Magnus Hellberg (45) after the 3-2 win over against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Apr 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and defenseman Dan Girardi (5) congratulate goalie Magnus Hellberg (45) after the 3-2 win over against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Magnus Hellberg has reportedly signed with Kunlun Red Star of the KHL, who play in China. (Elite Prospects)

Kunlun's head coach is former Rangers head coach Mike Keenan.

For Hartford this season, Hellberg was 12-15 with a GAA of 2.95 and save percentage of .903.

Tags: Magnus Hellberg
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Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) shoots during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Mar 18, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (76) shoots during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

Brendan Smith said during the playoffs that he had been "really impressed" with Brady Skjei since joining the Rangers and that he is sometimes "in awe" of the plays that Skjei makes. (NYR)

Smith said that Skjei is "wiser" than his age and that he doesn't see the kind of mistakes that other rookie defensemen tend to make. (NYR)

Smith said that Skjei is "strong" at both ends of the ice and "that's what you need from a defenseman." (NYR)

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New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad scores a goal past Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson during the second period in Game 6 of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad scores a goal past Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson during the second period in Game 6 of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. (Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports Images)

While speaking about Mika Zibanejad on breakup day, Alain Vigneault said that Zibanejad is at a crossroad in his career and needs to "figure it out."

Vigneault said that Zibanejad has the "tools and capabilities to be a high end center in this league and needs to put it together."

He said that Zibanejad is in a phase of figuring things out and understanding how to play in different situations and what those situations may require him to do.

Tags: Mika Zibanejad
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 (Danny Wild)
(Danny Wild)

JT Miller said earlier this season that the Rangers expect him to bring his "A" game on nightly basis and that is what he also expects of himself. (CBC)

He said that he challenges himself to be better every year and that he has high expectations for how he wants to perform. (CBC)

  • Larry Brooks writes that Miller was the Rangers best forward through the first 50 games of the season before going through an "unfortunate slide." (NY Post)
  • Miller had 16 goals and 19 assists in the first 49 games this season, prior to the All-Star break, and 6 goals and 18 assists in the 45 games that followed, including the playoffs.
  • In 24 games in January and February, Miller had 7 goals and 15 assists.
  • In 19 games in March an April, Miller had 3 goals and 5 assists.
Tags: J.T. Miller
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Defenseman Neal Pionk said that he chose the Rangers after visiting with the organization, meeting the management team and speaking with Alain Vigneault. (Duluth News Tribune)

It was reported when he signed that around 20 teams were interested in Pionk.

Pionk said that he likes the Rangers style of play as well as the success they have had the past few years. (Duluth News Tribune)

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May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Oscar Lindberg (24) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period of game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
May 4, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Oscar Lindberg (24) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period of game four of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

In 5 games at the World Championships, Oscar Lindberg had 2 assists, a plus 6 rating and 18:10 per game while helping Sweden win the Gold Medal.

Lindberg spent most of the tournament on a line with Washington's Nicklas Backstrom and Toronto's William Nylander.

Sweden's coach Rikard Gronborg said that despite Lindberg playing more of a defensive role with the Rangers, they view him as an offensive player who fit in well with Backstrom and Nylander. (HockeySverige)

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New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) looks to make a pass against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild)
New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) looks to make a pass against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Madison Square Garden. (Danny Wild)

Mats Zuccarello said that the hopes to be able to play for Norway in the Olympics next year despite the NHL saying that they won't shut down their season. (Nettavisen)

Zuccarello said that he would like to have a chat with the Rangers about possibly playing in the Olympics and that if the decision is up to him then he will go." (Nettavisen)

Asked why he didn't go play for Norway in the World Championships after the Rangers season ended, Zuccarello said that the team was doing well without him and that he wanted to take some time to relax. (Nettavisen)

Henrik Lundqvist has said that he would like the chance to play in the Olympics again.

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Dan Girardi and Marc Staal watch the final seconds during the third period of a first-round NHL playoff game. (Gene J. Puskar)
Dan Girardi and Marc Staal watch the final seconds during the third period of a first-round NHL playoff game. (Gene J. Puskar)

Alain Vigneault was asked on breakup day about Marc Staal an Dan Girardi and if they are both still 20 minute a night players.

Vigneault said that if you were to ask the players that question then they would likely say yes, while adding that from his perspective everything will sort itself out at training camp.

  • Girardi played 63 games this season, scoring 4 goals, 11 assists, 19:06 per game, 44% of the shot attempts at 5 on 5. He played in all 12 playoff games, 2 assists, 22:06 per game 45.4% of the shot attempts at 5 on 5.
  • Staal played 72 games this season, scoring 3 goals, 7 assists, 19:11 per game, 46.6% of the shot attempts at 5 on 5. He played in all 12 playoff games, 0 points, 19:15 per game, 44.9% of the shot attempts at 5 on 5.

He added that there are some players who are "taking strides" and deserve more minutes and that would mean that other players would get fewer minutes.

Asked about his season, Girardi said that it was definitely an improvement over his 2015-16 season but that he wishes he could have done more in the playoffs. (SNY)

Tags: Dan Girardi, Marc Staal
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Sep 25, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during a break in the action against Team Europe during a semifinal game in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Team Europe defeated Team Sweden 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Sep 25, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) during a break in the action against Team Europe during a semifinal game in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Team Europe defeated Team Sweden 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

Henrik Lundqvist said that he suffered a knee injury in Saturday's semi-final win over Finland.

Lundqvist said that around lunch time on Sunday he did not think that he would be able to play but the pain "disappeared" after undergoing acupuncture treatment. (Expressen)

He said that some pain returned to his knee about halfway through the game but said that all he was thinking about was stopping the next shot.(Expressen)

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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 (Andre Ringuette)
(Andre Ringuette)

Following his win in the Gold Medal game of the World Championships, Henrik Lundqvist said:

  • What does winning mean, "so many things. Sitting in NY ten days ago, this is what I pictured myself, to be here with my brother, to hold this trophy. What a game, so exciting. It's been an amazing week, to be part of this team, this group, to spend time with my brother and then play exciting hockey, that is what I was looking for. It was very disappointing being in New York, the way we ended it. This really, makes me feel a lot better." (IIHF)
  • What was going through your mind in the shootout, "stay calm." (IIHF)
  • Is the trophy heavier than you thought, "yes. Not the medal, but the trophy is pretty heavy." (TSN)
  • What part of the experience will you take with you, "everything. I think 5-6 reasons why I came here and it turned out to be an amazing time for me. To come and play with my brother and win this. It's a great group to be part of, I knew that coming here. To play for your country and to see the flag go up, it's just an amazing feeling. It was very disappointing end in New York the way we did but I recharged and wanted to play with my brother again and come here and experience this was awesome." (TSN)
Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 14, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) takes to the ice prior to Team Sweden game against Team Europe during a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at Verizon Center. Team Europe won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Henrik Lundqvist and Sweden defeated Canada 2-1 in a shootout to win the Gold Medal at the World Hockey Championships.

Lundqvist stopped 42 of 43 shots during regulation and OT including 20 of 21 in the third period and OT.

He also stopped all four shots he faced in the shootout and was named the Player of the Game. 

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist, Oscar Lindberg
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Dec 11, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (right) celebrates after scoring his first NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Dec 11, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei (right) celebrates after scoring his first NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

While speaking about the defense on breakup day, Alain Vigneault said that the Rangers are "definitely" looking at bringing in another young defenseman next year.

Dan Girardi (33), Kevin Klein (32), Marc Staal (30), Nick Holden (30), Steven Kampfer (28), Ryan McDonagh (27) and Brady Skjei (23) are all under contract for next season.

The Rangers signed Alexei Bereglazov (23), Vince Pedrie (23) and Neal Pionk (21) this spring and had John Gilmour (24) and Ryan Graves (21) in Hartford this past season.

Brendan Smith (28) is a UFA and Adam Clendening (24) is an RFA.

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 (Rick Osentoski)
(Rick Osentoski)

While writing about the center position and potential moves this offseason, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers could try and use Derek Stepan to land a top-pair right defenseman. (NY Post)

Moving Stepan would also allow the Rangers to give Oscar Lindberg a bigger role at center as well as protect him in the expansion draft. (NY Post)

Brooks notes that potentially moving Kevin Hayes, as opposed to Stepan, likely wouldn't bring "close to the yield" that the Rangers could get for Stepan. (NY Post)

He writes that Lindberg has been under-utilized so far in his time with the Rangers and that it would be a "shame" to lose him in the expansion draft because of limited ice time. (NY Post)

Tags: Derek Stepan, Kevin Hayes
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Sep 25, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up prior to the semifinal game against Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports  (John E. Sokolowski)
Sep 25, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Team Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) warms up prior to the semifinal game against Team Europe in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

6:22PM: Lundqvist reportedly made an "acrobatic save" in the final moments of the third period and had to receive treatment after the game.

Reports indicate that as of now Lundqvist should be able to play in the Gold Medal Game. (Expressen)

3:27PM: Sweden defeated Finland 4-1 today to advance to the Gold Medal Game at the World Championships.

Tags: Henrik Lundqvist
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