It might be as simple as this

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As much as my story in today’s paper makes the argument that the “Rangers have been patching over lax defensive play with their newfound ability to score goals”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080306/SPORTS01/803060401/-1/SPORTS, it also points out a simple distinction:

If Henrik Lundqvist was playing better, we might not even notice.

It really might be that simple. As I’ve long pointed out, the only thing I really know about goalies is I can’t score on them. But there’s no getting around the fact that Lundqvist needs to find his game if the Rangers have any hope of making noise in the postseason.

And there may be no better time to start than tonight. As for who the Rangers will be seeing in the opposite net, that “remains a mystery for at least a little while longer”:http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/ny-spisles065603345mar06,0,4115115.story

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95 Comments

  1. First it was his father’s health, then it was the contract, or lack there of, being negotiated/signed. Now he’s got the contract and his father is on his way to recovery. He knows it, the team knows it, the fans know it. I’m pretty sure Benny knows it. It’s almost as if the next/last 15 games are a ‘spring training’ for him. To try to enter the playoffs in the best form of the season. The question is….can he do it? Is HE healthy? Maybe the clothes he wears are too tight. Maybe one too many photo shoots have left flash bulb spots in his vision.

  2. Other than Staal, who I think as a rookie has been one of the best if not the best Ranger D man. He has had to play with everyone jumping from partner to partner, not easy.
    Girardi and Tyuts have at times been great, only to have there play fall off.
    Rozi when he finds his offensive game, seems to forget his defensive game.
    Hopefully they tighten this up cause if Hank continues to not show up and the offense slows a little this team will go nowhere in the playoffs.
    Lets Go Rangers, eat fishsticks…

  3. Repost:

    tomg March 6th, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Beer Me!,

    I said this multiple times on this blog before lunndqvist signed that big contract that he is terrible at handling the puck (just look at the other night, goal), he gives up rebounds and he flops way before the shooter even hints at taking a shot. Lundqvist is a mess and if he doesn’t get his act together the rangers are in trouble. We all knew as ranger fans that our d-fence wasn’t that good but mow with a guy (backman) playing it’s even worse. I said before the big contract that I thought we as fans might have over rated lundqvist and hoped sather didn’t give him more than 5 mil, well he did so we can’t complain over spilled milk. The rangers better hope I’m wrong and it’s just a slump.

  4. To defend Hank, the first two goals against the flyers weren’t his fault at all, and two of the Islander goals were complete BS. Yea they are Soft goals, but what is he supposed to do about goals going in off skates from behind the net.

    I’m not worried, he’ll step up.

  5. I don’t know what it is but obviously we need Henrik, without him Rangers are going no where.

    Still killin me, Rozsival in the shoot out before Drury??!!

  6. Rob, no doubt. But that’s just 4 goals of MANY that have been ‘soft’ over the last 2 months or so.

    I’m not tryin to kill the guy here, and I’m sure for a lot of us the big contract becomes part of our criticism. We all want him to get back to form. But the ‘softies’ can’t be completely over looked here. Not when every point counts.

    tomg – I hope so too. But to me, it looks as though if playing OUTSIDE a defense first system, he’s a top 10 NHL goalie, not a top 3.

  7. SeamusORiley on

    not always in agreement with hockeyrodent, but his article today was really good…

    Bachman has got to sit
    Malik scared of the hit, gives up the puck, leads to a goal, nothing new here. Well, what is new is that when Malik finally makes a routine, pedestrian play, the MSG shiling announcers have to act like he just saved the game….

    Staal cannot carry bachman. Pointing out his rookie errors in comparison to Malik and BAchman’s play is a joke. This kid is going to be something special and I am just glad he is allowed to play through mistakes and learn. He will be 10lbs stronger next year.

    Rosi cannot be in shootouts. This absurdity just adds to the list of bonehead decisions that Renney makes that say he will never take any team to the Cup. never. It reminds me of someone doing some super unorthordox decision on the rare chance that it will work out and he will look like a genius. Unless all our shooters, including our fearless captain were injured, Renney looks like an idiot.

    what is with these decisions? how much worse can malik and bachman play before renney/sather calls up ANYONE else??

  8. Doodie Machetto on

    Kudos Sam on actually calling out the poor play on Henrik.

    He has been just average since December, which if you’re counting, is HALF of the season. At what point does the slump become the norm, and the good part be the fluke? I’m starting to get really worried. He has been the 4th best goalie in the division ever since Ty Conklin took over the Pittsburgh job. Even forgetting Conklin, he still hasn’t been better than either DiPietro or Brodeur, not to mention that those guys took hometown discounts to keep their salaries lower, while our goaltender had to become the second highest paid in the league. King Henrik? He’s been more like the court jester.

  9. talking about the Rozi shootout choice…once I saw that I knew it was the Islanders game for the taking. Renney literally gave the f#@$ing fishsticks that point.

    Don’t forget he used all his forwards before going to Malik in the historic 15 round beauty goal.

  10. Henrik has been average at best for months. I no longer expect him to make the big or key save. I no longer am confident of a win when a game goes to the shoot out. I no longer hope to see a spectacular save that makes me shake my head in wonder. And worst of all I assume he will let in a bad goal a game. He needs to put together a solid month of outstanding goaltending and steal a few games before I believe in him again. This is a shock to me because he was the last player I expected to struggle this season.

  11. Doodie Machetto on

    Bill, I feel the same way as you do. It felt familiar, a nervousness everytime the puck enters the defensive zone, like we could be scored upon at any moment. I realize now that I’ve felt this way before: when Kevin Weekes was in goal.

  12. Salty – I’m right in line to point out flaws in Hanks game. But overall I still don’t see DP being better than him. It could have something to do with my outright disgust for DP and most that wear the fishsticks sweater. Even with the obvious recent shaky play, I still see Hank as the better of the 2. But certainly not currently top 2 in the div, let alone the league.

    Here’s a good question to mess around with…

    Which contract would you rather have if you’re the GM? Hank’s or DP’s? Consider everything. And don’t forget that DP’s is a 15year deal and he’s had a few concussions already.

  13. Renney should go with Valliqutte or be ready with the hook if Lundqvist continues to not be elite.

  14. just imagine if the fans are nervous about being scored on how the team feels. they will continue to play scared hockey until hank regains his old form. as he goes so does the team as a whole. hopefully hank will improve, if not we have a big problem.

  15. Doodie Machetto on

    “It could have something to do with my outright disgust for DP and most that wear the fishsticks sweater. ”

    I think it has a lot to do with that. I think when it comes to goaltending fundamentals and potential, Hank has DP beat by a mile. But there are other things to consider, and I think DP has the edge in the following categories:

    1) Consistency. DP rarely has a complete stinker. Hank, as we’ve seen, does with some frequency.

    2) Puck handling. DP is REALLY good with the puck and probably second only to Brodeur in the NHL. You can see it rubbing off on Dubielewicz, too, who I thought made several excellent plays with the puck on Tuesday. Hank is rotten, probably one of the worst puck handlers I’ve seen since Artus Irbe.

    3) Leadership. If goaltenders were allowed to be team captains, DP would likely be one of the maybe 3 goaltenders who would have been team captains (Brodeur and Kolzig would have been the other two). Call him out for missing a game because of his grandmother’s death if you want, but that isn’t fair. They have a capable back up in Dubielewicz, and goaltenders need rest anyway. Not really much of a better time than when mourning a loved one’s death. My grandmother died earlier this year and I didn’t even want to get out of bed for a week, let alone play hockey.

    4. The Islanders SUCK balls. You have to consider this when you look at his numbers. It’s not fair to just compare him stat for stat with Hank because his whole team sucks, and so of course it is going to be harder to keep the puck out of the net. He faces a lot more rubber. His GAA is .43 higher, but his save percentage is almost identical. In just 25 minutes more of ice time, he has faced over 200 shots more than Hank.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, when Hnank is hot, he is the King. But fact is, for the past two and a half months, he just hasn’t been that good.

  16. Backman screws up the entire defence. If he’s out there it’s three goals against easy. Staal can’t play with him and I don’t think anyone can.

    Backman was minus two in his third game with the Rangers. Strudwick has played 47 games at that position this year and has never been minus two. (At forward yes, in the Montreal meltdown). Staal was minus two against a hot Ottawa team in December. Against an ordinary team like the Isles, he goes minus two playing alongside Backman.

    He’s okay for depth, spot him in an emergency. To play him every game is just like pissing away points.

  17. Beer me, I’d have to shy away from any type of 15 year deal. What happens in 2 years if the Islanders suck and DP wants out. It’s tough to get rid of a guy with 10+ years left on a contract.
    Even if he stays with the Islanders, in 10 years when he’s in his late 30’s, you’re going to be paying him 4 or 5 million to possibly be your backup goaltender. Not a smart contract to take on if you ask me.

  18. Doodie Machetto on

    I would actually prefer DP’s contract over Hank’s. You could always just waive the guy to get his salary wiped from your books, like we did with Kaspar. It’s a pretty big loophole in the CBA.

  19. Henrik needs to get out of his “slump” as soon as possible for the rangers to be a successful team throughout the playoffs. But let’s not hang the man, because he, while “slumping,” is still an above average, top tier goaltender in the league. He just set his own bar so high the past two seasons, and earlier this season, that we are just not used to his poor performances as of late.

    This isn’t to say that I am 100% defending the man. Because, this is extremely untimely, and ultimately his successes are our successes. This is the time of the year where your key players need to step it up a notch, not bring it down a few, so yes Henrik is a little at fault, but let’s not hang the man.

  20. my bad salty. That was doodie.

    In that case…I don’t agree that Conklin is better than Hank…Doodie. And overall, I’d take Hank over DP (big surprise huh?). And we can kinda leave Marty The Whiner out of the conversation b/c he is clearly one of the all-time greats and no one in the div is even close.

    Good points in that next post. But I just can’t stand the guy. And I’ll flat out admit that I’m blinded by my hatred.

  21. Hockeymanrangers on

    Ok men, how much of Lundquist’s bad play can we blame the D on??? Any at all???

  22. On DP’s contract. I’m not sure on any of the details, but there’s been lots of recent deals that include ‘partial’ NTC’s & NMC’s.

  23. hockeyman – some for sure. But some of those rebounds that have been ‘gamebreakers’ can only be one guy.

  24. $55 for 1st round playoff tiks in blue seats. $75 2nd, $100 3rd and $150 4th. FOR BLUE SEATS! Thanks Dolan.

  25. Ok men, how much of Lundquist’s bad play can we blame the D on??? Any at all???

    —-

    Plenty, if you don’t want to use your brain at all and calculate accountability. The D has been soft, but you are nothing more than a chimp if you think that Henrik has been good and all those *soft soft soft* goals are the D’s fault.

  26. Doodie Machetto on

    Beer Me, Conklin has been one of the best goaltenders in the league! He leads in save% and is tied with Hank in GAA, and Hank’s stats get the benefit of his hot start to the season. Since Conklin has come in to replace MA Fleury, there is no doubt that he has been MUCH better than Henrik. I’d say he is currently #2 in the division, although he has has 2 or 3 stinkers lately. So he could be moving out of that position. But I’d still say he is currently playing at a much higher level than Hank.

    BTW, just to make that shots to minutes comparison I made with DiPietro, if he had played as many minutes as Henrik, he would have faced over 300 shots more. As it stands, he has faced 828 shots in 1,645 minutes.

  27. just find it funny that once sam writes that the defense is been shotty and henrik has been struggling everyone seems to acknowledge this as truth, but when a few of us have been saying this for the past week or so, we were called fake fans and too negative. Go figure.

    Backman needs to come out. We should buy the guy out this summer, no point paying a defenseman 2+ million to sit on the bench.

  28. Doodie, waiving DP means putting him in the minors and paying him 4.5 mil to play in the minors. That would be insane, wouldn’t it? His contract runs out in 2021.

  29. longtimerangersfan on

    Valli should start tonight, imo…he’s shown that he can play and has EARNED the shot but Renney’s ego and blind faith in his favorites won’t let him.
    The first time he sat Malik, he played Pock for ONE GAME then down to Hartford never to return this season. Pock wasnt’ very good that game but Malik has been terrible for the better part of the season.

  30. Doodie Machetto on

    Rob, that may be an issue for a team struggling to find money, but that’s chump change for Dolan.

    That’s why Denis in Tampa is an issue, because he is being paid 2.8 million to toil in the minors. Since the team is strapped for cash, it’s a big deal. But MSG can eat up 4.5 million, easy.

    What matters is that the money no longer appears on your books for cap purposes.

  31. Sam – does anyone asked Renney why there was Rozsival ahead of other forwards in the SO?

  32. longtimefan – just like my hatred blindness effects my opinion on DP, your’s is doing the same thing with the goalie situation tonight. Don’t you remember Vally playing in philthy a few weeks ago? This is crunch time and our ‘king’ HAS to be the guy down the stretch. If he needs a rest, the next four games (after nite) are out of division. That’s his only chace…IMO.

    doodie – I think that conv started off wrong. I didn’t mean to imply ‘better’ as of ‘right now’. If you could pick Conklin or Hank to be your goalie for the next 6 years, which would you prefer? That’s where I intended to take that. The #’s really paint the picture between those 2 right now and there’s really not much room for debate I guess.

  33. stf – I don’t think the question really needs an answer. In this instance I believe the fans (here at least) touched upon the answer yesterday. How do you know that Rozy didn’t bury 10 of 10 in shootouts in practice for the last 2 weeks? It’s what you don’t see that leads to most decisions.

  34. But even to me, a supporter of the winningest ranger coach of the last decade, it looked like it was a bad move.

  35. Great post Sam. Agree with you 100%. Lunquist has barely played average over the last two months. It’s been so long since he’s stolen a game. Our defense and improved offense have accounted for recent successes. Play Vali tonite. Henrik, usually has his best games after being spelled by Valiquette. We must tighten up, however, in our own zone.

  36. Doodie Machetto on

    Beer Me, I would pick Hank, and I said before that based on fundamentals and potential alone that he is better than DP, and now I’ll extend that to Conklin and every other goaltender in the league save 3 or 4.

    My point isn’t who I would take in the long haul, but who I would take right now. And right now, I wouldn’t take Hank. And when your goaltender is playing 4th best in the division, how could you possibly sign him up to a deal that makes him the 2nd highest paid goaltender in the league? That’s my real gripe, I suppose, is that we have locked him up as a franchise goaltender based on his potential alone. It’s a bad decision, and continuing to start him and ride him when he is clearly not playing that well is a mistake.

    Valliquette deserves a shot at the starting job right now based on how Henrik has played. In other words, they should be splitting duty until one of them emerges as the starter, and if it’s Valliquette, so be it.

  37. longtimerangersfan on

    Beer Me!
    March 6th, 2008 at 11:40 am
    longtimefan – just like my hatred blindness effects my opinion on DP, your’s is doing the same thing with the goalie situation tonight. Don’t you remember Vally playing in philthy a few weeks ago? This is crunch time and our ‘king’ HAS to be the guy down the stretch. If he needs a rest, the next four games (after nite) are out of division. That’s his only chace…IMO.

    Beer, I don’t hate Renney…I hate his dumb decisions. I think he’s a good man and the players like and respond to him BUT he’s too stubborn and egotistical, imo.

  38. Who Needs Lohan on

    No one really has talked about it, but the most entertaining part of this blog over the last two weeks has been the mispellings and misnamings (made that word up) of our newest “worst player”. We’ve had Backman(correct way, for those keeping score) Brackman, Backmen, Bachman, Bracken and a few humorous others. If only I knew had to make that Scandinavian symbol with the two dots over the vowel. Then we’d be in business……

  39. This shootout thing is absurd. It would be like second guessing who a coach put in for a game of HORSE. Sure, it seems like the best goalscorer would be the guy, but maybe the coach knows that isn’t the case. Of all Renney’s decisions, this one is gonna stay up on the board for days??

    As for Hank, the thing that seems missing is his focus, as I’ve said before. Hopefully it’s just the NHL lifestyle and his becoming a superstar that has gotten to him and now he needs to learn to not believe his own PR department or the cheers of the crowd and remember to just focus on the puck (and accept that he sucks at stickhandling). He’s had long stretches of mediocre play before, and he’s overcome them.

    We’ll know he’s doing better when he doesn’t shake his head at the arena ceiling whenever something bad happens. Until then, beware of any puck tossed at the net.

  40. doodie – I agree totally with that post right up to the point of starting vally 2nite. I look at that in the way of the “Let him play through it” cliche. I don’t want to sit him on the bench to protect his own ego. I guess I want to see him earn his contract. Looking back at that game when he ASKED to be taken out of the game, I see it in a similar light. He probably WANTS to take a seat tonight to avoid embarassing himself. Are we going to do the same if he gets beat by Jersey or Pitt in the next few weeks too? I hope not. He’s THE guy in NY.
    There’s a million ways I could try to make my point, I hope something above makes my OPINION clear.

    longtime – I just don’t see it the same, but it’s a free country…sort of.

  41. I don’t mean to discredit Vally at all. He’s been there for us when we need him. And I’m a fan. Especially for $600k.

  42. longtimerangersfan on

    Should the Rangers win tonight and I hope they do, they will be only 4 points behind Pitt with the same number of games played. That being said…a SOLID, not lucky, performance by the team would be nice! Despite what some of you might think, I root HARD for the Rangers every game, just don’t like lacksadasical (not sure if I spelled that right) performances by my team.

  43. The thing that bothers me the most is I’ve watched the fish sticks play the last few weeks and they suck. They can’t score
    but when they play the rangers or the devils they look like a good team and because of this I am really concerned here because we play those idiots three more times including tonights game.

  44. longtime – right you are! not to mention that tonight is a game in hand on them too. AND we play them 3 more times this season. Unfortunately, barring any other injuries in the next 2 weeks on their end, they’ll have one of the most potent offenses in the league. If the THE most.

    I also think I figured out what I’m trying to say on the goalie situation. Vally may be the right choice to win this game TONIGHT. But if we don’t get Hank turned around, we’ll need lots of offense to keep the point streak alive. I’m not sold that sitting will help.

  45. longtimerangersfan on

    Beer…sorry I’m just not a fan of “we’re paying him all that money we have to play him” bullshit. Kinda like shooting yourself in the foot, imo. If it were a “life or death” situation, would you want him in there?

  46. Doodie Machetto on

    Beer Me, see, I look at it differently than you. I think PLAYING him protects his ego. Like, “no matter what, you’re our guy” doesn’t really give a guy incentive to work. But benching him and basically saying “I dont care how many millions you make, you’re not playing like number 1 right now” puts him in his place and shows him that yes, even King Henrik has to show up every night.

    I would say “let him play through it” if it were a bad week or two, maybe even a bad month. But it’s been two and a half months! At what point does the slump become the norm and the norm become a fluke? We have to be getting close to that point.

  47. longtimerangersfan on

    Loyalty only goes so far and then it’s “what have you done for me lately.”

  48. doodie – Can’t argue that either. The only thing that is certain is that one of those 2 have to play. And only 1 person makes that decision. If Vally plays and we lose, it’s the coaches decision. If Hank plays and we lose, it’s the coaches decision. Same goes for a win.

    longtime – if this were a game 7 or the last game to get in…I go with Hank. No question.

    I may be blind to see on the DP thing, but I’m not blind to see that Hanks game has been garbage. And I’ve never really taken the position to defend him. And I’m not trying to do that now either.

    I’ve never been happier NOT to be the head coach of the Rangers on this one. Slats should flip a puck!!

  49. Doodie Machetto on

    Beer, two things in response:

    1) We’ve ridden Hank all season and he hasn’t shown that he is going to improve this season. If anything, he is getting worse. At what point do you cut your losses?

    2) Don’t you think that if Valli shows he can carry the load, that you should ride him? Look at his numbers this season. He’s been surprisingly good. Why not give him a few starts in a row? If he can’t hack it, put Hank back. It’s not like playing Hank has been making him better. Why not try sitting him for a few games and see if he plays well? If he doesn’t, we’re back where we were, except we know what our chances are with riding Valliquette. Besides, if one of them doesn’t show they can carry us, then we aren’t going anywhere in the playoffs anyway.

    I say they should split the load until one of them emerges as our clear starter. If nothing else, Henrik will be rested should we make the playoffs.

  50. Salty…sometimes your comments leave me thinking (a good thing). Other times they leave me shaking my head. Other times they leave me laughing.

    This time:

    “$75 2nd, $100 3rd and $150 4th. FOR BLUE SEATS! Thanks Dolan.
    ………

    I really wouldn’t worry too much about that”

    That just leaves me saying you hate the player and you hate the game. I just don’t get it.

    I am not saying we are winning the Cup this year. But you attitude just sucks man. Period.

    If we make the playoffs, we have as good a shot as anyone to win the East. Maybe Pitt and Montreal are a touch above us, but just barely.

    Your attitude blows man. Sorry.

  51. Who Needs Lohan on

    With the season on the line id put my faith in Hank. You dont win Gold Medals folding under pressure. Relax fellas, we have 17 points in our last 10 games, we are just as close to first as we are to ninth and Buffalo doesnt scare me. Relax……

  52. doodie – I totally see it that way too. I guess I picked 2 big topics in a row to play both sides on. I’ve dogged Hank all year (not here, but to friends/family). I like vally a lot and hope that he’s resigned to tell you the truth.

    It took nearly 3/4 of the year to get the offense going. I’m hoping that the same will happen for Hank. I guess I just don’t think that he’ll get any worse. And if he gets better, the whole team will be coming around just in time. As soon as we get Backman out of there. THERE!! I said it. lol

  53. Yeah really salty. I thought you were going to buy ‘happy pills’? Your job this weekend is to find something to level yourself out!

  54. Doodie Machetto on

    I think Backman has just come at an unfortunate time. I think if he can have a preseason and some more games to learn his role in the system, he could be a good 5th or 6th man.

    But for right now, he is definitely wearing my patience thin. But I’m not a guy to judge a player on three games. I still think he deserves to play out the regular season. I also think that they should try him with a different partner, like Malik. Just even for a little bt, and if i’s every bit as terrible as it potentially could be, then you go back to what you have now for the rest of the game.

  55. Someone mentioned Staal somewhere up there. I too remember saying a while back that he’s been a pretty solid rookie dman. Especially having to be the guy to change partners so often. It’s going to happen though. Whether its due to injuries or anything else. Once he fills out his frame a little more and gets a full season under his belt he’s going to be a great force for us on the blueline.

  56. I asked this question earlier in the season and now I am going to ask it again. Are you guys happier winning games 4-2, 5-3, 6-5 or games 2-1, 1-0 like in the beginning of the season? I am just curious.

  57. And I am not being sarcastic in any way, I am just curious as to what some of you might say.

  58. Doodie Machetto on

    4-2 would be ideal. If we won every game 4-2, we would lead the league in goals for and goals against, by a lot.

    But I see your point, and I don’t care what the final score is, so long as we’re winning in regulation and we’re winning by two. Different games have different tempos and feels. Sometimes a goaltender can give up 5 because his defense has hung him out to dry, but if it was as a result of scoring 7, I’d be OK with that.

    On the other side of it, if the team is only scoring 2 goals because they are so committed to defense to ensure that no goals go in, I’m OK with that as well.

    Like I said, win every game by 2 and I couldn’t care less about the final.

  59. Nasty1, I do not give a rats a$$ about the score as long as we win. We could win every game 6-4 or 2-1 and I would be happy.

  60. Sam, read your article this morning. Good stuff. I do think the other teams goals that we are giving up are rather soft. I mean they are not in the slot scoring chances, or 2 on 1’s. The other teams plan is to throw the puck at Lundqvist and you know what, they go in. These chances are not great scoring chances. I wish I could count on my fingers the number of goals that just tweak by or squirt through but I can’t and the bad bounces going in is starting to get annoying. We can’t go far with a goaltender in which the other team’s plan is to just throw the puck at him. Its pathetic. Say what you want about bad bounces but I rarely see them go in on Luongo or Brodeur.

  61. I guess my point was, do you want a potent offense or a tight defense and goaltending? Which is going to be more important in the second season? I think strong D is important in the playoffs, but you need to be able to score goals. We have seen this team at different stages all year. Getting chances and not scoring, playing solid D and winning games 2-1. Scoring a lot of goals and totally dominating teams. Playing pond hockey and winning or losing 5-4, 6-5.
    I know the most important thing is winning. I think I would rather be a lower scoring winning team than a high scoring winning team that also gives up a lot of goals. We haven’t really been able to play a complete team game with strong O, strong D, and strong goaltending all season. 1 of the 3 is always off.

  62. Lundqvist is in the middle of a really rough stretch, there’s no doubt about that, but to have people on here suggesting that Steve Valiquette is the answer is just asinine. I like Valiquette A LOT. He’s an extremely reliable backup and he approaches his role with dignity and class, but he is a backup nonetheless.

    I agree Hank has let up some softees. I was never more angry at him than during the Anaheim game (the team’s last regulation loss, by the way) a few weeks ago, when the Rangers gained momentum to tie the game in the 2nd, and he let in a bad angle shot to Corey Perry and the Rangers were doomed from there. It was a shot he should have stopped.

    That said, I still believe that the coaches, his teammates, and fans need to show confidence in him. You can’t just jump ship on a guy who helped turn the Rangers into a playoff team two years ago (and won Olympic Gold that year as well) and who has 8 shutouts this year.

    Yes, it seems like feast or famine with Hank this year, but eventually the bouncing pucks will start hitting him and he’ll regain some confidence. He has to in order for the Rangers to make a run. But please stop suggesting that Steve Valiquette is the answer…he’s not.

  63. I know I am pointing out the obvious, but I definitely see this team sacrificing strong team D when they are playing a stronger O game.

  64. I strongly suggest that those of you who like burgers shuffle ass on over to the local Red Robin and get the new steak sliders. So damn good and you won’t have to worry about bringing a change of boxers. I had no problems at all.

  65. Regardless of the score the Rangers have proven that they don’t have the killer instinct to put teams away when they need to. Montreal game is perfect case in point. Isles on Tues they came out flying hit a cross bar and had several other quality chances and were down 1-0 after one on a fluke goal. Fluke goals happen but you need to limit their damage by finishing your opportunities. Another case, is Shanny not finishing the breakaway. As high a regard as I have for him he has not been the player that he was since the concussion. He shy’s away from contact and doesn’t drive through his hits anymore not to mention his hands and legs are beginning to show their age.

  66. I’m with Doodie 100% on the goalie thing.

    “Your attitude blows man. Sorry.”
    ~New Newman

    That’s a fair thing to say I suppose. I don’t think there’s any major revelation there. When this team stops playing like they are all trying to work around eachothers menstruation cycles, you’ll find a happy camper. Check the archives to last year when the team was losing but playing with balls and then finally started *earning* their wins.

    While I’m not a shill, *It does not take that much to impress me.* I don’t thikn what I expect of this team has been all that much. I never expected a cup this year. I did expect a threatening team though. The New York Rangers are a non-threat. They will get *smoked* in the playoffs, when they face a *legit* team who didn’t stumble in.

    Sorry dudes, My attitude may *suck*, but I think I’ve got pretty good reason for it.

    When I see someone complaining about the price of Stanley Cup tickets though… I have to laugh. I mean, that line was meant mostly as a joke, but on the serious side… shut up about the price of the tickets.

    You’d be *lucky* as shit to pay only $150 for the worst seat in the house of Rangers getting swept in game 4 of the finals. That is the truth.

  67. Sam/guys…don’t know if anyone has asked this or not in other comment sections….

    BUT….

    is there such a thing as an expanded roster in the NHL, or as i’m assuming, is it that it is the strict 23 man roster rule all throughout the year?

    thanks…

  68. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I would rather win every game 2-1 with an added empty netter, 3-1. It shows this team is very responsible to a system, not over-commiting to scoring goals or pressing too hard, and is sound both defensively and in goaltending. It also means the team is playing playoff like hockey. Perhaps not the most exciting, but the way to win games into the postseason.

    And on that note, I completely agree with Salty – I just think he’s being a realist (there’s no need to worry about $100 or $150 seats come playoff time). Sorry guys.

  69. Ted Nolan is wise enough to stick with what “works”, despite big contracts. He may look like a disgruntled native american who made his own hairpiece out of oxen tails and aqua net…but the man knows how to motivate a team and play a simple game.

  70. Salty

    I thought I told you yesterday to go buy an Islanders sweater, let DP bang you in the ass, ad gargle his man yogurt?

    Jump ship man, you love orange and white so go move to the Island

  71. And lookie here, I couldn’t type fast enough before Salty starts blowing Nolan and the Islanders again.
    Hey Salty, hows Long Island house hunting going? Talk to alot of realtors, or is Nolans baby batter still stuck in the back of your throat that you can’t agree on a place close to that shithole your boyfriends play at?
    HA HA HA

  72. Dopes who keep talking about the price of playoff seats:

    If the Rangers get to whatever round of the playoffs, you can scalp your tickets and sell em for more than you paid for them.

    But you know damn well when they get there you will be thanking your lucky stars that you were able to get them at face value from MSG.

    I have season tix. Have for about 35 yrs. When the Rangers made the Cup in 1994, I could have sold the tix for huge multiples of what I paid for them.

    Did I? Of course not.

    But I will say this to you guys bitching and complaining, if we go deep into the 4th round, I will find takers of your tix at face value if it makes you feel better.

  73. I agree with billyNYR, why bother even saying your a ranger fan if you don’t beleive in the team you supposedly are a fan of?

    Billynyr, by the way, your pretty F*@&ing funny!!

  74. I look at it this way. Since I’ve been following the NHL the basic formula has always been you go with the goalie that is hot or playing better and it doesn’t matter if he is your number one making millions or you’re backup. The way I see it Vali has been solid in the net, he handles the puck adequately, He doesn’t give up rebounds and he makes the big save when needed. lundqvist on the other hand, well, do I have to say more. This is the season, the few games remaining is the season. I do not feel comfortable having lundqvist in net when I know he isn’t playing well and the backup is. The bottom line is to win the game and to do that you have to play the goalie that is playing better, bottom line.

  75. lunny really sold us a bag of sh*t.. when are the rangers ever gonna get a goalie that can skate/handle the puck and not play like they are wearing two blockers..i would prefer valiquette in net tonight.. renney is a complete moron.. drury, jagr, avery, callahan even shoestring are better options that stankface roscival.. malik roscival girardi and tyutin make some of the worst passes i’ve ever seen.. oh and sick trade with backman.. the guy can barely skate.. thank you for listening to my complaints

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