Two in a row…

85

I know you all are perfectly capable of picking out the pertinent stats from tonight’s 4-2 win over the Islanders on the Island, but I just can’t help myself.

The Rangers had the main offensive players scoring again — Nikolai Zherdev, Markus Naslund, Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. Two goals were on the power play. And the team hasn’t won back-to-back games since Jan. 27.

Those are positive signs of meaningful change in the John Tortorella era. Now the Rangers just need to be able to keep it up against teams with winning records.

Torts cited Avery in particular for playing well and keeping his cool.

“Sean kept his discipline,” Tortorella said. “I didn’t see his (cross checking) penalty at the end of the game, but I thought Sean did some good things. I thought he held onto the puck, I thought he created some things, and some offensive zone pressures.”

He said Nik Antropov and Derek Morris needed a little more practice. Antropov in particular said he was just going off instinct.

“But good teams win games when they’re not playing that well and I thought we did that tonight,” Tortorella said.

Still, some good signs here.

“This team is hitting its stride at the right time,” said Morris on his Rangers debut, starting the game next to former teammate Paul Mara.

Lastly, Dennis guessed the lines in the previos post. Nice job.

Dubinsky-Drury-Antropov; Naslund-Gomez-Zherdev, Avery-Korpikoski-Callahan, Sjostrom-Betts-Orr.

On defense Redden-Roszival and Staal-Girardi.

We’ll see if that holds up at practice tomorrow.

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85 Comments

  1. I believe I called the lines last night when we were discussing the Antropov/Morris trades… too lazy to find my post.

  2. Ah I am a loser and found my post… switch Danny G and Morris and its a perfect match.

    —————————————————
    NO HYPE March 4th, 2009 at 10:21 pm
    —————————————————

    My stab at the lines:

    Zherdev-Gomez-Naslund
    Dubinsky-Drury-Antropov
    Avery-Korpikoski-Callahan
    Sjo-Betts-Orr

    Redden-Rozsival
    Staal-Morris
    Girardi-Mara

  3. Won't Make Playoffs on

    I guess this it what comes to as Rangers fans. Excited about a 4-2 win over an Islanders team who outworked us with a minor league club and looked better than us for large chunks of the game. Naslund scored? Yeah, on a flubbed shot that was tipped perfectly by Martinek. That’s like celebrating a 300 yd drive that bounced down a cart path for 170 yds.

    Pittsburgh is better than us. Buffalo is better than us, especially with Vanek back and Miller soon to follow. Carolina will challenge us, too. We’ll finish in 9th. At least that’ll be the impetus to fire Sather.

  4. this game easily could have been 6-2 or 7-2, 2 or 3 posts hit, 1 more antropov 1 by girardi and i think there was another one by someone.. so not as close as you may think

  5. It wasn’t pretty but they won. Linda’s right, forget about who makes what who is UFa/RFA/etc. there’s 17 games to go, Sather kept all the big prospects, it’s time to root for them to go to the dance!

    I really liked Antropov tonight. That fake out pass he made to Drury on the PP goal was great and his reach is huge. Him and Drury have some chemistry. He kept the puck in the zone with Dubi for the 2nd goal. They need to find a way to keep him. Three giant Russian players in the system (AA and Grachev) + Zherdev is sick!

    Avery needs to get back into game shape. He did well tonight, but he’s obviously very rusty and poor Cally/Korpi had to suffer with the -2s for it.

    Oh well; one down and a VERY tough game against Boston.

    Morris was ok. He hung in there. All three of the new guys need to go through some Torts cardio drills.

  6. No Country For Old Rangers on

    We’re heating up! GOMEZ was flying out there! how about 2 goals from the power play. sure it was the islanders but you gotta beat up on the shitty teams. RANGERS ARE BACK BABY. JOHNNY TORTS! HELL YEAH!

  7. I like Ant’s patience. It’s a good patience not a bad Jagr patience. On one of the shots he had, he waited, Dennis jumped and Niky would’ve have a goal if he didn’t hit the post. Bad luck i guess, kid is HUGE though.

  8. Yeah Matt I like Ant a lot. Even if he is just a 20G-20A guy and is good on the PP I’ll take it. Trade Rozi in the off season and sign this guy.

  9. The fact that we’re thumping our chests over beating the team who will have the #1 pick in the draft tells me all I need to know about this club. We picked up names, like we always do, while other teams tinkered and made themselves better (Buffalo, Carolina and Pittsburgh). We’re wetting ourselves over Nik Antropov? A guy who has never scored more than 56 pts while playing in a better offensive system is our savior? Derek Morris? The guy hasn’t done anything since the lockout. At least he and Redden can talk about their pre-lockout glory days together.

    I hope I’m wrong. I doubt it though.

  10. Did anyone else notice Avery standing still a few times?

    That’s one sort of negative that I noticed.

  11. Won’t Make Playoffs March 5th, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I guess this it what comes to as Rangers fans. Excited about a 4-2 win over an Islanders team who outworked us with a minor league club and looked better than us for large chunks of the game.
    ————–
    spot on.
    we should be able to destroy them.
    will se on sunday vs boston.

  12. The relief of not seeing Renney behind that bench is such that my need to post here has diminished a lot.

    This team is finally being well-coached, and while there is no chance that they can compete to win a Cup, I do think they stand a chance to give a few thrills down the stretch.

    I thought Avery looked good. Gomez is more focused. Antro can play. Girardi — again — looked like an ECHLer on the first goal against, turning a nothing rush into a goal due to horrible positioning and a lousy recovery. But Lundqvist was huge and probably the difference overall because of his play in the first eight minutes of the game.

    Sather is horrible, but at least things are much brighter than they were when Moe, Larry and Curly were coaching.

  13. Can we get a new poll to substitute “What’s Tortorella’s most pressing issue as coach?” As much as I’d like to vote Prucha, a new survey up here would be great.

    Hey, 2 points is 2 points. Garbage goals…they made Graves career so don’t knock ’em. Poor game or not…they won without OT or a shootout.

  14. Two spots up for grabs… Are Buffalo / Florida / Carolina / Montreal / Pittsburgh all better than us? Who knows time will tell, I’m not convinced that any of these teams are “better than the rangers” they haven’t showed it, though Pittsburgh’s finally come on I guess, but the others who knows, they could struggle and miss out, and what not…

    Everyone of those teams it’s pretty much ‘Play well and you’ll make it in, if you don’t you give someone the opportunity to run away with a spot and right now NO one has grabbed any of those 5 – 10 spots and Philly looks to be fizzling too… Who the hell knows, looking forward to Sunday’s game, i’ll be there section 413

  15. doodie, your comment that Avery was partly responsible for the first goal by the Isles is straight out of Renny’s handbook. Right, a guy makes a pass in the offensive zone and gets blamed for a goal 200 feet away. That line of thinking is total BULLSPIT, and you know better than that.

    The rush was innocent thru the neutral zone, no danger at all, until Girardi screwed up royally and turned it into a scoring chance. And if this guy doesn’t improve and fast, then Torts should make him the six defenseman and give him no more than ten-twelve minutes a game. He is not nearly as good as he needs to get if he’s going to be an asset.

  16. I don’t know if this is a team that can win a playoff series, but they’re a hell of a lot more fun to watch now…

  17. Hartford Whalerpack on

    It’s all about a hot goalie. Who knew this team would have gone as far as the second round TWO years in a row? I’m expecting second round again.

  18. from Yotes’ blog Five for Howling game thread

    Prucha

    Is playing well so far. Like him being everywhere.

    Support Your Local Coyotes Blog! –
    Five For Howling

    by OdinMercer on Mar 5, 2009 5:28 PM MST

  19. Geez, nothing to complain about here. Who cares if it was only the lowly Isles that they beat. Think about how that old ceiling cap of two or maybe three goals maximum has been removed. Think about how that was actually dipstick Renney’s goal!!. That old self-inflicted torture, that mindless idiocy brewed up by Renney, is gone, thank gawd.

    Think about that, and rejoice.

  20. ChrisF NYC. You’re right they are fun to watch and they should even get better when they nail down Tort’s system. At times it appears that they’re playing two systems, but its a learning process and eventually they will get this attack, puck control system down pat. Love the lines; great balance. Drury had one of his best games and Avery played nasty even though he had some problems in his own end. Antropov is only going to get better. Great hands. It’s really a good time to peak even though there is little room for error.

  21. Won’t Make The Playoffs,

    You are an idiot! Stop posting over here. That negativity belongs on that other negative site by the hockey rodent ( who does not know anything about hockey by the way)!
    THE HOCKEY RODENT IS TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!
    yes, i know who he is. A waste of life who does not know sh*t about HOCKEY; the actual game. To his credit, he actually does look like a rodent; get a life buddy!
    Carp, you are the man!

  22. onecupin69years on

    Renney must be one stubborn SOB for stifling the ranger offense all year long under his system.

  23. Did anyone else see Lundqvist’s veiled effyou to Renny in his post-game?

    He gave credit for the win to the new system, and he said guys were playing better because of the new system. When they opened it up a few more goals resulted, and it didn’t have to be a 1-0 or 2-1 nail biter. He said that guys were trying before, but they weren’t getting anything for it because the system was holding them back. Now they can just relax and play hockey.

    I’m obviously paraphrasing, and I am not going back on the TiVo to get exact quotes, but that is more or less what I heard.

  24. Okay, now here we go…Avery played an overall mistake free game, and got the puck deep and to the net at times…Antro was fine I thought, and Gmez and Dru finally woke the hell up. I saw the new life Rangers tonight and I liked it. As far as the playoffs. I think they will win the cup. Maybe not, but it is nice to dream of a late comeback team like that…Now I just want to say, STOP TALKING ABOUT PRUCHA like he did anything for the NYR. I know he liked playing here, but NYR fans have been chanting for a guy who never did anything. He is not a Ranger anymore, so lets stop pretending to sing this guys praise.

    Zherdev Rules.

  25. Rangers looked slow…. Great, they are bigger, but slower and just as soft … Antropov was a perimeter player … Morris coughed up the puck at least 4 times … I rather have Kalinin’s skating… Remember, they were outshot and outchanced by one of the worst teams in the league … glass is still half empty in my book … doomsday starts Sunday vs. Boston

  26. tooboocoo,

    yes. from this post.

    dg March 5th, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Hank saying that the new system is the reason for the bignames starting to score. basically threw Renney under the bus, and that is good, ‘cause it is true that Renney’s scaredy-cat trap held the team back , as some of us on this board have said for a long while.

  27. Jeez, you guys are negative.
    4-2 win, big names on the scoresheet, new boys got involved even though they’ve had hardly any training with their new team-mates. Only thing missing was Orr pummelling some sorry AHLer’s face in..

    Big test Sunday afternoon, i can’t wait..!!

  28. onecupin69years on

    For the rangers : two wins in a row against anybody is a Big Deal.Let them enjoy the glow!

  29. Cindy Crawford on

    Wont make the playoffs:

    Naslunds goal… How long have we been waiting for a lucky bounce like that? Every other team in the league gets them.. so I think we should too!

    Though very sloppy throughout, it’s a win when we need them. They aren’t going to click into the new system over night. I am happy with the win.

  30. I thought the Rangers played well in spurts. It is to be expected any time you add new players to the lineup that chemistry might take a little bit to find.

    Even from my days playing, any time I joined a new team it took a little bit to get used to my linemates. The real key is communication on the bench. I would think Dubi and Drury had conversations with Antropov on the bench, as well as Mara with Morris to try to get a better idea of where to be on the ice.

    Hopefully with a few days of practice before Sunday, the new guys will be able to adapt to Torts’ system and be ready to play against Boston.

    Overall, they got the two points. The Islanders might be a horrible team, but you can’t argue with the fact that they all work their tails off every shift. It’s too bad that the majority of the fanbase doesn’t even show up to games. I could have bought tickets on Ticketmaster up until 10 minutes prior. I didn’t want to see them move, but now I’m thinking a relocation to Canada (not Kansas City) might not be such a bad idea.

  31. It is all about making the playoffs now. I will take two points against a young inexperienced team with nothing to lose. When was the last time the Rangers or Devils for that matter gave the Isles and absolute pounding? It has been a while. We had 3 new guys in the line up and they were coming off their “mini camp”. I think this team will only get better.

    On a side note, I watched “A Day in the Life” last night on the NHL Network, and it was featuring Derek Morris. He seems like a pretty good guy. If you have the channel, check it out.

  32. jerkins perkins(mike in ia) on

    while i agree that we are definitely headed in the right direction, i have to think that we’ll just squeak into the playoffs and get bounced in the 1st or 2nd. i am not discouraged however because i think torts is doin a great job already and by next season we let some salary off and can sign our “own” guys first, before even thinkin about antropov. and then next season im sure the guys will be able to do some damage. gotta bring up aa and del z. if hes not ready yet, bring sangs up if hes going to be good defensively as well as offensively. it would be great if alot of guys take a hometown discount for the sake of the team. but either way, whether we go deep this year(very doubtful), or get bounced quick, it’ll be much more exciting and promising with torts and the big android here now

  33. How many goals would Prucha have scored last night? Like… 10?! Maybe 12 at least?

    * Gregorynyr:
    Now I just want to say, *STOP TALKING ABOUT PRUCHA* like he did anything for the NYR. I know he liked playing here, but NYR fans have been chanting for a guy who never did anything. He is not a Ranger anymore, so lets stop pretending to sing this guys praise.

  34. The defense looked horrible last night… FIRE KALINEN! Oh, wait…! haha.

    Kalinen’s NOT been the biggest problem in weeks now, maybe months. Didn’t he go from minus-17 to minus-7 from January to March? Lets see, so that leaves #33 and #6? Sweet. Oh, and #5 who’s play degenerates by the game.

  35. i thought Staal should be back with Mara and Morris should be paired up with Girardi.

    I understand why Torts put Morris and Mara together but we should spread the veterans around on defense.

    The Cally – Korpi – Avery line SUCKED last nite.

    Other then that ….. GREAT GAME – LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!!

  36. We need 10 wins out of the next 17 games and as few 3 point games as possible, to make the post season. It’s doable, but it’s a tough schedule.

  37. i thought morris looked terrible. the best he looked was when the first period was over as he had the puck and skated hard with it. ill chalk that up to first game jitters.

    that defelction the islanders player had for the nazzy goal was prob the best deflection ive seen in a while. it was so impressive that should have been on top 10

  38. Won’t Make Playoffs March 5th, 2009 at 11:11 pm
    I guess this it what comes to as Rangers fans. Excited about a 4-2 win over an Islanders team who outworked us with a minor league club and looked better than us for large chunks of the game.———————spot on.
    we should be able to destroy them.
    will se on sunday vs boston.

    You guys apparently haven’t been watching Islander games at all. They always play hard. Gordon’s system is Highly aggressive and when they get some talent in there they will be really tough to beat. Add to the fact that they play us harder than any other team every time and the crappy ice surface that they played on last night and you have a hard fought game. This was a good win for us tonight. Stop expecting us to be the Red Wings.

  39. Morris was noticeably nervous, but he still played solid. You’re not going to notice him much, which is a good thing (unless he shoots.. it’s a cannon).

  40. Told you so comment of the day.

    B’s have lost 9 of their last 12. Did someone peak too early?

  41. Zherdev13 (formerly Prucha25) on

    TooBooCoo March 6th, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Did anyone else see Lundqvist’s veiled effyou to Renny in his post-game?

    He gave credit for the win to the new system, and he said guys were playing better because of the new system. When they opened it up a few more goals resulted, and it didn’t have to be a 1-0 or 2-1 nail biter. He said that guys were trying before, but they weren’t getting anything for it because the system was holding them back. Now they can just relax and play hockey.

    I’m obviously paraphrasing, and I am not going back on the TiVo to get exact quotes, but that is more or less what I heard.””

    TooBooCoo, I agree. I got that impression when I watched that interview, too. I can’t say that I blame him because Henrik seems 100% more relaxed now. It makes a big difference when you know your team is actually trying to get goals for you.

  42. We 100 perecent will make the playoffs. I won’t any other predictions beyond that. I have no reason to think we won’t. In fact, I still thought we were making it under Renney, albeit I didn’t like our chances as much as i do now.

    Montreal is reeling. The Flyers are reeling. Buffalo and Carolina are just NOT THAT GOOD and the rest of the conference is average. We don’t have 5 games against the Bruins and Washington, not to mention we can pretty much eliminate the Flyers next week if we sweep the home and home.

    Sometimes you guys forget there are other teams in teh conference other than the rangers. The East has been a roller coaster ride all season for teams 4-11. All you gotta do is get in.

    Don’t tell me the carolina hurricanes, buffalo sabres, montreal canadians and phiadelphia flyers are THAT much better than us!?!? I haven’t seen it.

  43. First game I ever predicted the score and it actually came through!!!

    And Boston has lost 9 of its last 12 games inlcuding last night to the COYOTES!!!

    They are totally beatable on Sunday
    Plus Im going to the game!!

  44. Coyotes beat the Bruins last night.

    So. Using the logic espoused by many on this blog:

    If a bad team beats you or almost beats you (within 3 goals), then you are an awful team.

    In conclusion. Islanders>Rangers and Coyotes>Bruins.

    As TYREE mentioned. The Islanders have been playing hard every night. It’s damned near impossible to out hustle a team full of giddy call-ups and newbies.

  45. Redden, Rosi, Girardi, all awful last nite. Antro looks like he is skating in slow motion. Morris looked pretty good. Avery was out of position alot last nite, but it was his first game in months. Hey a win is a win even its against a minor league team.

  46. I think the games have been a little more exciting to watch. I am not falling asleep watching that boring defensive system. I think Boston’s troubles will help us Sunday and I look forward to see how we compete.

  47. Thanks for the Back up Jeffluke.
    This is still the NHL and Blowouts are never a givin no matter the matchup. Any team can beat another on a givin night . for a blowout to happen a team needs bad breaks and needs to be playing with no effort. Effort is never a problem on the Island. Talent is

  48. Hey maybe Sunday we wont have to watch a Boring 0-0 or 1-0 loss like all the other Bruin Ranger Games have been latley.

  49. i thought morris was pretty bad last night but he hasn’t even had a single practice with the team yet. he’s a -13 this year. im capable of making my own judgements and not relying on what others write but i find it interesting that the hockey news absolutely killed the rangers for their deadline moves. im not sure what impact morris is going to have on the pp if any. i guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    antro looked okay last night but i wouldn’t go much further than that. at times it looked like marek malik is a better skater than antro. he’s not physical at all and he is one of the streakiest scorers in the game but hopefully he can assimilate over time and start to help this team out. i’ve got some high hopes for him.. im just hoping he can live up to them.

    avery was avery. he had a couple flashes and a few hits. he was a major distraction when he was on the ice as well. the isles were all over him. i never thought i’d say this but god damn im glad avery is once again a ranger.

    anyone else kicking themselves for not getting an avery jersey when they were over half off at the beginning of the year?

    boston has been sliding lately but sunday’s game is going to be a rough one.

  50. Great win! Nice to see two back to back wins. And I am sorry, but those complaining we should have killed them: Chill out! Here are some numbers for you: 5-2…3-1..2-1..0-4. Yes, these are the scores the Devils beat (and the last one lost) the islanders by. I guess they are a terrible team. They didn’t win 7-0! If the scores are still too close for you and this evidence isn’t good enough, go blame it on the economy and get depressed or something. Thanks!

    Go rangers!

  51. Im not saying he shldnt have been traded AND he is a “smurf” .. but don’t you get feeling that PHX will watch dawes and say “how did we get him and Prucha”?

    Question for Westchester folks: is there a bar(s) in the area that will have a Rangers following for Sunday’s game? (I have a bruins fan in town and looking for some “atmospehere” outside of NYC?) – thxs

  52. From AP write up:

    “It was an ugly win and we have some things to work on, but good teams win games when they’re not playing that well,” Tortorella said.

  53. Steve Zipay had the lines posted in his live chat yesterday afternoon. Not sure if Dennis saw them, but that could’ve helped his “prediction” if he did.

  54. and Brandon… I like your post! When it comes to getting into the playoffs, I only lose hope when our destiny is out of our hands. That is hardily the case right now. We play the Flyers four times and the Devils once. We got every team in with us at least one more time on the schedule. I think that last Panthers game with Renney really tells the story. We kicked their ass and still lost the game. With the Torts system, I think we’ll be able to start winning those games and get into the playoffs. And Screw it, so we come in 7th or 6th, there’s a good chance we’ll play NJ or Washington, and we play the Devils good in the playoffs (Still can’t explain it. Every playoff series vs them I can’t see is winning more than 2 games but we are 4-1 lifetime vs them) and Washington is not a proven playoff team yet (Yet…). Definately still some hope left for the Rangers. I know this sounds corny, but the louder and more supportive we are at home (and away!) games really can make a difference. I guess that’s my end of the week rant. Have a nice weekend fellas!

  55. I think you guys are way off on Morris. He didn’t get beat 1 on 1 at any point. It’s MUCH more difficult for a defenseman to step in to a lineup confidently at this point in the season. There’s much more responsibility playing D and you can feel the pressure every time you touch the puck. A forward can simply dump and chase and play a safe game if they want.

    Morris made some strong plays at the blue line keeping the puck in. He’ll get better.

    I thought Girardi has the worst game of all defenseman. He got beat bad twice, once which lead to the second goal.

    IMO, Hank should have made both of those saves and we should have won 4-0. Sure, he made some other great saves, but that’s the difference between him and Brodeur right now.

    Brodeur makes the big saves and doesn’t allow the soft goals. That’s why he’s a shut out machine.

  56. I didn’t get to see the whole game but I liked seeing Avery back in the uniform. From what I saw it looks like he’s still got his edge although on the downside I thought I saw him standing there and not moving his legs very much but that will probably get worked out soon.

    Also, who cares if the Islanders stink? You have to win games against teams like this and the Rangers did. Same as Boston, NJ etc. – the points all count.

  57. I was at the game last night so I got a close look. I’m not trying to be negative here just stating what I witness. Morris was not good, coughing up the puck way to many times. Antropov is a big player but slow and very soft. Avery played very well and looked good. The islanders were skating and passing allot faster and better than the rangers. if it wasn’t for lundqvist the final outcome would have been completely different. I hope the rangers make the playoffs but don’t get to high yet because they won two in a row.

  58. Supposedly Chara crushed Prucha last night, anyone see it?

    It made the NOTES section of the AP writeup:

    Notes

    Bruins Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt celebrated his 91st birthday. … Phoenix only took one even-strength shot in the first period. … Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara flattened Petr Prucha in the first period, choosing to take out the Coyotes forward instead of keeping the puck in the zone. … Upshall had gone 18 games without a goal before scoring against Boston in the Flyers’ 4-2 win Tuesday night. He has scored in consecutive games—both against the Bruins.

  59. Ranger will go 8-5-4 in their last 17 games…will wind up with 94 points and finish 8th

  60. tomg

    re: Antropov

    He doesn’t finish checks. He just won’t take the body. Such an imposing physical force and he relies on his reach, and only his reach on the forecheck.

  61. Brandon, Agreed on both points (Giradi and Hank). Giaradi had a really bad game – he did ding one off the post, but his D was bad and he had a couple of other shooting opps that he passed up – it looks like he needs a stay at home Dman (Mara/Morris) to pair with to be most effective…

    The Bruins will be a real test on Sunday, but the home and home against the Flyers will be the real measuring stick (i.e. no playoffs or be a little competitive in the playoffs).. At that point they will have about a month under Torts; against a division rival that may be within reach in the standings.

  62. Some people need to get a life! If you are fans of the team, root for them. If you are not, go watch another team. Why are so many Rangers fans bent on wishing that they lose? I read posts like “big deal we beat the Isles” or “they sky is falling” etc. The negativity is just silly. I’ve never seen fans of any professional sports team wish so much ill feelings on the team they supposedly love. Sather made deal for two rental players, big deal! He did not mortgage the future, he did not tie up the team with any more long term salary. If the new players don’t work out, big deal! No harm no foul! Dawes? Prucha? C’mon, marginal players at best who had no future with the team. Slats did them both a favor by shipping them out. I guarantee neither one will make us wish for them back. Antropov won’t be back next year, neither will Morris. And that is two more spots for more kids next year. People are being so ignorant it is shocking. The team has not even failed yet but some people are already convinced they will. So why bother watching at all? Do watch the Devils if you hate the Rangers so much.

  63. The Esteemed Doodie Machetto on

    I think people are misreading what I was saying about Avery last night.

    The guy played well for what I expected of him having not played since November. No doubt about it. I just hate when people bring up that tired Record of Avery in the lineup and Avery out of the lineup. It really cheapens the effort of the team last night. We won that game last night because of good goaltending, a better PP, and Nik Zherdev. Goaltending is almost always there. But the PP and Zherdev I want to give the credit to Torts. Z has been playing very well since Torts showed up, like the defensive burdens of Renney’s terrible system are off his shoulders. And look what Torts is doing for our PP! 4 for 17 since he showed up, 23.5%, with a PP goal in 3 of the 4 games. Although, it was only 2 for 12 before last night, 16.66%. But even that is an improvement over Renney’s 13.8.

    I didn’t notice Morris out on the ice last night, which I think in this case was a good thing since it was his first game after not really getting a chance to practice.

    Antropov is a big guy and he showed that he definitely has hands. But man, that guy is SLOW. He also didn’t really show me much hustle. I hope to see more from him here on out.

  64. This was a good confidence win going in to Sunday’s game against Boston. Which, if the Rangers show up like they did tonight, is going to be a good one. I’d really like to see them hand Boston a losss down the stretch, and put some fear in a team that doesn’t get challenged very much in the Eastern Conference.

    Antropov looked good, Morris looked solid, Drury and Gomez looked like real hockey players, and Avery looked a little out of it. I guess that’s expected when he’s been out of the league for months, but I think if they’re going to play him, they have to let him off the leash a little bit. We’ll see what happens against Boston, because they’re going to be gunning for him. Did anyone see his last game against the Bruins with Dallas? It was a bloodbath.

    Anyway, they were fun to watch last night.

  65. UESBlueshirt on

    Hey 5-1 vs. the Fishsticks for the sesaon. Figures I had to go to their only loss, the 2 SHG against game on election night.

    C’mon, the Isles might be bad this year but they always play the Rangers hard. When was the last time they absolutely destroyed them?

    New coach, new system, new players. They took a gamble changing things up this late in the season and they’ve gotten 5 of the available 8 points. Compared to how they were playing before Renney got fired I think the team has acquitted themselves quite well all things considered.

  66. The Esteemed Doodie Machetto on

    Agreed with what a couple of people have said about Girardi. His game is deteriorating like Tyutin’s was last year. I think it’s a case of trying to do too much. Girardi was good because he never tried to be cute, just made the solid simple play. You never noticed him out there, but he would quietly play a solid game. Now he’s trying to be very physical, trying to get involved on offense, trying to do more in the defensive zone than he should. It’s hurting him.

    I also think Torts’ system is really going to hurt his play. I just don’t think he’s good enough in transition to play this kind of an uptempo system.

  67. This is just something that I was thinking about late last night. And Im sure Im not alone in this…

    Im not necessarily ‘impressed’ by last nights win, but rather, Im merely ‘satisfied’.

    Why? Because the Rangers skated away with a 4-2 regulation win instead of a 4-2 loss of overtime win/loss.

    Had Renney still been behind the bench, he wouldve immediately had the players sit back on their heels and play defense after Drurys PP goal that put them up 2-1.

    Against a team of young, hungry players, like the Iles, that wouldve been mighty dangerous and would likely result in being down 3-2 late in the 3rd only to let up an empty netter, or to push the game to OT only to go to a skills ocmpetition.

    Instead, Torts had them keep pressing the offense, and look where it got us.

    Things arent ‘great’ yet… but I can see them progressing in a positive manner.

  68. Papnubbin

    AGREE.

    Listen, I know people will say that “this is what blogs are for”…they provide a forum for us to critique.

    But it becomes RIDICULOUS when 75% of the comments after a WIN are NEGATIVE. Wake up, people. The NHL is a salary cap league, marked by parity. Furthermore, Rangers/Islanders games will ALWAYS BE CLOSE. Don’t you think Scott Gordon rallied his troops last night, even though they were an inexperienced bunch? Actually, the fact that they were inexperienced made them skate HARDER, because they had something to prove. They were as jacked up as the Rangers, and they were at HOME, in front of just the 5th sellout of the year at the Mausoleum.

    And the Rangers won the game! They hadn’t won a road game in 9 tries. Can we be happy about that? Can we be happy that our big guns produced? Can we be happy that Sean Avery showed up and played an effective game? Antropov got on the scoresheet. Lundqvist was awesome. This was a good, important win.

    Sometimes, I swear, everyone on here forgets there are two teams on the ice. If you wanna watch the Rangers play without any opposition, go to Greenburgh and watch practice.

  69. Great and exciting game last night; I just watched the Rangers Rewind this morning. I’m so glad they have that back rather than the Rangers in 60 on the following day. Avery did a good job agitating, drawing a penalty, and on offense. Lundqvist looked stellar, even with odd-man rushes, probably because the defensemen played them correctly. As they mentioned on one of the nationally televised games (I think TSN vs. Toronto), it’s strange that he stays so far back in the net, but that seems to work for him. That was a crazy bounce to give us the insurance fourth goal, but it’s another one on the power play, so we’ll take it.

    I’m glad to see such an action-packed game, hopefully it will be 80-90% of the time now rather than 20-30%. It looks like the division is out of reach, but we can still pass the Flyers for fourth with four more games against them. We can also fall into tenth, so they can’t let up for any game.

  70. From the “Hipshots” Coyotes fan blog…

    “The new kids came in and reenergised the team. Now I know its early (only one game in) but just damn was that exciting to watch. Prucha takes a hell of a lickin and keeps on tickin. I can’t imagine how good that influence will be on the youngsters…

    Prucha was gettin the shit stomped out of him by Chara all night but never let it get to him. The kid is like a jack n the box, you shut the lid on him and he just pops right back up. These new kids sure as hell know how to work the front of the net too…”

  71. Won't Make Playoffs on

    Brandon, if Buffalo is “not that good,” how do you explain their 3-0 record against us this year? We had our chance to distance ourselves from them while Miller and Vanek were both out, but we didn’t. Nobody realizes this, but there’s a fair chance we’re not even in the playoffs when we take the ice on Sunday against Boston. Carolina plays Calgary (second of back-to-back) at home and at Tampa on Saturday. Buffalo plays Phoenix (second of back-to-back) at home and at Ottawa on Saturday.

    I want to be optimistic, I really do. But I don’t think two wins, comfortable as they may have been, against the #15 teams in both conferences justifies too much optimism. The fact of the matter is, of the teams from 6-10 in the Eastern Conference, we have the toughest schedule remaining. We play 15 of 17 games against teams currently in the playoffs or right on the edge of the playoffs. The only “easy” games are vs Ottawa and at Atlanta. This team is in trouble unless it can start beating the better teams in the conference, which really haven’t done that frequently in the last two months. The Islanders and Avs aren’t on the schedule anymore.

    1-3-1 in the next five. Just watch.

  72. Koffy…you have always been glass half empty. So what’s new about your view?

    I didn’t see the game as I was traveling. They found a way to beat their arch rival. Anyone who thinks a game like that (arch rival, new faces, new system still) is easy just doesn’t know much.

    Don’t you think the Yotes should have gotten pounded by the Bruins? The game was in Boston! The Bruins have won just 3x in the last 10 games…same as us. The Caps have lost 3 in-a-row.

    Things are wide open. All you haters and glass-half-empty hosebags hit the road.

    The style of play and the energy of the Blueshirts seems to be headed in the right direction. We are 5 points out of 4th place in the conference and we play that team 4x more and Briere might be done for the season.

    Ovechkin is hurt.

    Nothing is certain right now and it’s all wide open.

    Haters hit the road.

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