Top ‘O the mornin’ to you

102

Or afternoon. Whatever. Happy St. Paddy’s Day.

More than corned beef and cabbage, the Rangers could use a Leprechaun or some plain old good luck tonight in Montreal, where they meet a team in direct competiton for a playoff spot.

The Rangers and Les Habs are tied for sixth (Montreal has a game in hand) and are only four points out of fourth (but also four points out of 10th) in the East. But you know that.

You also know that things are looking up for the Blueshirts after Sunday’s fairly complete win over the Flyers at the Garden avenging the less-than-stellar loss in Philly the day before.

And you know that John Tortorella has made a big difference since the coaching change.

Well, Montreal has had its own coaching change, too, with GM Bob Gainey pulling a Glen Sather and stepping behind the bench himself after firing Guy Carbonneau, another Montreal legend.

Here’s a story on that topic from TSN today.

So the Habs are struggling since the change, with a win over a bubble team, a bad loss, and then another against the Devils and Martin Brodeur, who tied St. Patty Roy’s wins record with Roy in the house. Alex Kovalev — you’ve heard of him — missed the last two with a flu bug, but he is expected back tonight. Kovalev has been known to sleep-walk through games and even long stretches of games. But he has also been known to awaken wide-eyed and with a vengeance whenever he sees Blueshirts in front of him.

Expect him to be prowling for goals tonight. Expect the Habs to anticipate the Rangers’ aggressiveness, and to patiently wait for the inevitable (Wade Redden) bad pinch or turnover at the blue line, and then to counter-attack. Expect Gainey to have them ready for what the Rangers are bringing in the Tortorella era.

The big question is whether King Henrik can turn around his abysmal record in Montreal (it’s not the Forum anymore, Hank). Larry Brooks wrote about that today (but beware, you may be assaulted with one of those annoying video ads if you try to read it).

I’m back from my Oddyssey through Poughkeepsie, New Paltz and Utica, where I actually saw a high school hockey championship double-header and one of the teams was named “Oddyssey.” I was reminded that former Devils coach Tom McVie used to coach at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, where I saw the games.

McVie is credited with the line that Roger Neilson used to borrow whenever they saw a bad game:

“They should let everybody in for free and make them pay to get out.”

——————-

Or for free, you could win $100 million. Seriously. All you have to do is fill out a perfect NCAA men’s bracket and you could make more money than Wade Redden, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez and Michal Rozsival combined. It’s free, so why not slide over to the hardwood and give it a shot? I will be competing with fellow blogsters Pete Abraham, the Blogfather himself, Kevin Devaney Jr., Josh Thomson (the mystery man from the right side of this page) and Sam Borden.

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102 Comments

  1. Welcome back, Carpie. You said you used to play hockey and I was just wondering where & when?

  2. LUCKY GREEN LIQUID on

    I hope Sean Avery gets the Gordie Howe hat trick tonight……I am guesing he has some Irish in him…

  3. Now im starting to feel bad for Antro.

    St Patty’s day, is awesome ! I love it when Nyr plays on this day, i remember that thrashing Nyr gave Boston two years ago, when Cally scored his first two goals of his career, and Matty Cullen had two goals, and i think Aves had a goal, and Pruchs. Ah good times, i really loved that team.

    Anyway, hopefully Hank can turn his luck around in Montreal, and pick up two points in regulation, and hopefully the Wings can help us out by beating the Flowers in regulation. This is a HUGE game. I wanna eat my corn beef & cabbage happy, not pissed cause of a Rangers loss. That can cause me to choke.

    GO RANGERS, GO AVES !!!

  4. Orr, the Rangers have played some classic St. Patrick’s Day games. I remember a few with the Flyers at MSG and in Philly. Not surprisingly there was quite a bit of “action” in the stands during those games, too.

    I also remember covering many St. Paddy’s games and taking the train home. Let’s just say those rides were very crowded — between Rangers fans and parade watchers — and very intreresting, somewhat scary, and more than a little bit messy.

    Artie, just pickup hockey. We didn’t have a high school team in Harrison. So we had sort of a club team and we’d play pickup games. Also played a ton of street hockey. My favorite was an outdoor rink in White Plains in the summer. There’d be no ice, just cement, but otherwise it was an actual hockey rink with boards and benches. So cool for street hockey.

  5. Really important game tonight… they need to string together some wins here.

    I hope Redden rides the pine for the entire game and then the Habs will be waiting for nothing!!!

  6. Carp, was that the Ebersole rink that you played street hockey on in White Plains?

  7. Yep. That is exactly what MTL will do on Redden’s side. Im telling you, if they make the playoffs watch how they exploit him. There is just no way Redden will be able to stop it. Its unfortunate he just isnt the same and will reapeatedly hurt this team time after time after time.

  8. Hockeyman Rangers on

    Carp you were up in my old stomping grounds. I am originally from the Bingmahtom area, where I used to watch the Binghamton Rangers. You (if I dare the older gen) probably remember the Binghamton Whalers. That was a bit before my time. But I used to go to the Binghamton Rangers games all the time. Kenny Gernander coach of Hartford played his _ss off there. Also Zubov came through there as well. I am thinking there was a Utica AHL team but can’t remember the name.

  9. Speed Ranger on

    Am I the only one who thinks Redden’s play has improved under Tortorella? I think you guys just want to hate him.

  10. Hockeyman Rangers on

    Ok now for tonights game, I swear they will do Ok tonight. If they play the same way they played in their last 2 games they will be fine. Like I said Saturday night I didn’t think they played horribly Saturday. Yes we seemed to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time a few times I won’t mention any names. But it wasn’t frustrating to watch. If they continue to play the way they have that’s all we can ask for. Hope to see another good one tonight.

  11. Longtime Lurker on

    Speed Ranger, totally agree.

    Whilst he still has made some hard to forget mistakes since Torts took over, overall his game has improved. He’s hitting people more, playing well deep in the zone, and his passing has been smarter.

    People just want to hate him, kinda like every fan of hockey except for Ranger fans feel about Avery.

  12. Speed

    If you cant see that when Redden pinches he ALWAYS gets beat, then I dont know what you watch during the game when he is on the ice. Teams KNOW how to play against him.

  13. Carp,

    Did you get to the “Finger Bullet” (worst name of a bar ever?) in Utica…

    Ah memories.

  14. ZzZz 13 ZzZz Rules the First line!! says Greg L. on

    Go00000 Rangers gooo!!!Montreal needs to go down!!!1 Time to claim our higher position in the race today. I just love it , other teams are trying to figure us out and we just play our own game ….beutifull!!!!

    Just because there are leprachons running around today , I don’t think we can relate this race with others at this time…were a different team , different year with a different coach. It don’t matter if this was newyears eve , we need a win tonight no matter what!!

  15. Carp, since Staal Wart brought up about tonight’s game being back on MSG I need to ask this request again. Could you ask around and find out why MSG is blacking out their HD coverage of Ranger games to satellite providers. I have DirecTV with the sports pack that has MSG and also NHL Center Ice. I get both MSG & MSG+ but when the Rangers (and Knicks, NYI, & NJD) are on they black out the HD channels and only show the games in regular defintition (I guess that’s what you call it). During other programing they provide HD coverage. The same is true for the feed thru NHL Center Ice. This all started about the 1st of the year. Last season and earlier this season it was all HD. If I watch the opposing teams feed I can sometimes get it in HD. Of Course Canadian teams don’t broadcast in HD on Center Ice, only when one of the networks cover the game. Anyway it’s bugging the heck out of me. BTW I’m in KY if that matters and DirecTV tells me it’s not them blocking it. They are just a conduit and can only pass on what they are fed. I know I’m spoiled; but hey, winning’s always better in HD!!
    Go Blueshirts!!

  16. C here’s the thing… Dredden sux… that’s why we hate him.

    People hate Avery because he gets under their skin, is somewhat of a sideshow, and still has some ability.

    Big difference.

  17. O'Matteauonov on

    I don’t hate Redden, but the game they lost to Filthy, Redden botched pinching two times, which led directly to goals against. He was horrible.

  18. green lucky LIQUID on

    Hockeyman Rangers-

    Did you ever see Darren Langdon out at the bars up in Bing.? lol

    Those were the days

  19. Nelson
    What part of the coultry are you located? Maybe it has something to do with the Rangers marketing are.

  20. I don’t merely hate Redden. I loathe him. I despise him with every ounce of hate that I have in my body. It’s amazing because obviously I don’t know the man and i’m basing my hate solely on his lack of skill, effort, and ability but I honestly cannot recall hating a person, let alone a ny ranger so much in my entire life.

    The look on his face when he’s trying to get back in a play that he was horribly beat on is always priceless. You know the one, the squinty-eyed, I know I suck, I can barely skate, everybody in the building hates me look.

    If only Redden died and Cherapanov lived…

  21. I always find it really uncomfortable when someone wishes death upon another, joke or not, especially if they don’t even know them.

    If it’s not crossing the line, which I think it is, it’s definitely of poor taste.

    And I’m by no means a prude.

  22. I understand where you’re coming from but would anybody here seriously be upset if Redden died or say had a career ending injury?

    Would anybody trade the life of washed up old Redden for a blossoming young Cherapanov? i know I would.

    Death to Redden

    Death to Tyrrants

  23. Quite honestly, I STILL think we gave St. Louis something to think about three weeks ago. And Atlanta is, at the end of the day, a good team. So it’s incumbent on me to tell you all bang-on that I can sleep at night (which as we know is at the end of the day).

  24. Hockeyman Rangers on

    HATE-TROPOV Come on now that last remark is un called for.

    The reason fans (i’ll put it this way) DISLIKE Redden is b/c we are paying him a crazy amount of money that he DOES NOT DESERVE BY ANY MEANS. Yes we can blame Sather for giving him that kind of a contract. But it just seems like Redden SHOULD be so much better.

    HATE-TROPOV you should be ashamed of your self wish death opon any body is just wrong.

  25. Alexei Kovalev (at any point in his career) > Zherdev (at any point in his career or future)

    I still find it weird when people boo Kovalev when he makes his returns to the Garden. Not only was he an integral part of the 94 Cup, but he didn’t leave for more money or ever talk bad about the Rangers.

    He was erratic at times, but there’s few more entertaining players in the league.

    Kovalev in his prime was better than any player we have.

  26. alright alright, my bad. I apologize to all the kind souls i offended.

    HATE-TROPOV is full of hate and sometimes he can’t take it.

  27. DubbievKomie on

    I think the matchup everyone would love to see is Komisarek and Dubinsky. I hope they each give each other a go this time around. We have to play physical against these visor wearing freaks.

  28. Anyways, does anyone here take a look at the Rangers draft picks for the past 5 years like I do on a daily basis?

    2004 specifically. We took Al Montoya and Korpedo over:

    Zajac (doing decent)
    Mike Green (!!!)

    We took Darin Olver over David Booth

    Duby over David Krejci (arguable there), Johan Franzen

    Though we did get Callahan fwiw.

  29. Hockeyman

    I’m from Endicott and it was the Mohawk Valley Comets in the NAHL (Broome Dusters w/ Rod Bloomfield) and then the Utica Devils in the AHL.

    Liquid,
    Langdon and Tie Domi where in Bingo. And remember when Kovalev came down to play for Bingo after his knee surgery? That was heaven watching him. He was a man amoungst boys when he had the puck on his stick. He’d curl around from behind the net, fade away, and snap it in the top corner at will.

    Carp,

    Trivia fact–Utica Memorial Arena is one of the locations used to shot the movie Slap Shot. and the aforementioned Rod Bloomfield played the part of Paul Newman’s second for the skating sequences. He had that distingtive two step hop when ever he started up ice.

  30. “We have to play physical against these visor wearing freaks.”

    DI-O’BOLICAL!!!!

  31. Carp, excellent preview for tonight. Hate, that’s a bit much. Once a hated player puts on the blueshirt, I root for him. Even Lindros, Fluery, Greg Gilbert, hell, even Bill Goldsworthy. As long as they’re a Ranger, I want them to do well.

    I kmow squat about college bb but entered anyway.

  32. DubbievKomie on

    I bet Rangers win 4 to 2 and Kovalev scores both goals for Montreal, he always seems to have our number.

  33. CaptainAvery on

    HATE-TROPOV- I hate Redden as much as the next guy but I wouldn’t wish death upon him. That’s just f-ed up. I can get behind the career ending injury for sure though.

    AVERY FOR CAPTAIN.

    DRURY FOR JANITOR.

  34. Brandon

    I’m with you on Kovalev. As erratic as he may be, he can light up a game almost anytime he wants. He’s one of my all time favs. He definitely has entertainment value.

  35. Hockeyman Rangers on

    NICDIP Nice job, Do you go to the Bingo (as you call it) Senators games???

    I live down in southern PA now and the only time I go see the Hershey Bears (which are real close) is when Hartford is in town, and obviously it is not to see the BEARS.

  36. Didn’t Callahan have a great game a couple of years back against the Bruins on St. Pat’s?

  37. Hey Nelson, hindsight is 20/20 and believe me I dislike having to defend Sather. But, a lot of teams past on Zajac and Green.

    Sometimes drafting players can be a luck of the draw.

    IMO, I think Sather is over-rated and people are still living the Great One’s era when it comes to him. He has had nine years to develop a winning team and all he has produced are 2nd round losing, cap strapped, bunch of 3rd and 4th line players (with a touch of 2nd) teams. I know there are a few high regarded prospects, but that is what they are….prospects.

    Do you really think he likes to have Tort behind the bench? No way, but he had no choice and needed someone to save his job.

    But, I love my Rangers and will always support them…so, Let’s go Rangers!

  38. Brandon, thank you… I remember that being a fun game and a lift…

    We need that tonight (and every night from here on out).

  39. 2003 Draft was even worse.
    Jessiman over Parise, Getzlaf, Richards, Perry…Erikkson, Weber,
    OK, I’m done whining.

  40. The National media are treating Sather like he did Mother Theresa work giving Avery a second chance…you should have heard Pierre Maguire on Montreol radio yesterday…he told a story of how Sather is helping to get Peter Pocklington (the ex-Oilers owner that sold gretzky) out of finacial/legal trouble by giving him a cool million…and then he went into the Avery thing..”only in NY he was going to be given a chance”…and …”although they had their differences Glan sather gave him another chance”….

    WTF…didnt we need him as much as he needed us???

  41. Speed Ranger on

    TRUE GREEN — He sure did! I think it was his first 2 NHL goals, same game, on St Pat’s day.

  42. Hockeyman

    I live in basketball country now, Louisville KY so I don’t get to too many hockey games. I was a linesman in Binghamton for the NAHL and then the 1st year when they went to the AHL. That was a real treat, breaking fights in the NAHL. The likes of Goldie Goldthorp with Syracuse and then when he came to the Dusters. And then there was Nick Fotiu when he played with Cape Cob. I got a cracked rib from trying to break up one of his fights.

  43. Speed Ranger on

    As for NYR draft selections…. You can’t say, for example, “Parise” in a vacuum — it’s Parise as he is now having come up through a strong and focused system.

  44. I just found it troubling that the only first round draft pick of ’03 (Jessiman) is the only player not in the NHL.
    OK, I’m really done being bitter.

    Hoping for a good game tonight…any word if Kovalev is going to play?

  45. Kovalev is expected to return and as always, shove the puck up our collective arses for trading him… twice.

  46. I had a Kovalev jersey since ’93. Got pissed after they traded him. Got thrilled that they got him back. Then they went ahead and shipped him off again. Then tried to figure out how to move the letters of KOVALEV around to somehow spell the others that have gone on to use #27.

  47. the bell centre is the house of horrors for hank and this team. besides super bowl last year nothing ever goes right there. i dont have good feeling tonite. also cant see montreal losing 3 home games in a row.

    be happy with a point

  48. lucky green LIQUID on

    Lifted from HFboards froggy thread

    Pacioretty – Plekanec – D’Agostini
    Latendresse – Koivu – Kostitsyn
    Higgins – Lapierre – Kovalev
    Stewart – Metropolit – Kostopoulo

    Markov – Komisarek
    Hamrlik – Brisebois
    Schneider – Gorges

    Price, Halak

  49. Hockeyman Rangers on

    NICDIP
    Wow!! My son was down in Richmond, KY just came back in December. He was attending EKU but decided he couldn’t (nor I) afford it, so he is trying to get into the Air Force hopefully they can afford it.
    Do you ever get back to IBM country at all?? LOL.
    Do you get the Center Ice Pack to catch the Rangers games, my son was telling me that they have NO hockey down there. I guess a few college teams here and there but that’s it.

  50. Zherdev13 (formerly Prucha25) on

    The luck of the Irish will be with Callahan tonight. He’ll get a couple AND the winner. Don’t hold me to this, it’s just what I’m thinking now.

    ;)

  51. if the SJO fits on

    MY PATHETIC PREDICTION:

    4-2 RANGERS WIN TONIGHT

    HANK WILL STAND ON HIS HEAD.

  52. GardenFaithfulinFLA on

    For quite a few games now we’ve said ‘it’s make or break time’. Tonight is that game for sure. They need go in like this is Game 7 of the finals – the Habs will. Tonight is the night they need to play with total desire and passion. Tonight they need to show that they are the hungrier team.

  53. It all seems to break down in Montreol because that is the most intense atmoshpere in league and the Rangers are ( or were) mentally weak…happy footed defensemen, fowards who doubt their scoring abilities, even Hank gets down on himself….

    this is it…if the Torts/Avery experiment is a success they will overcome that…even a close grind it out game will do

    Habs are getting beat up by media right now…at a low ebb…

    If there is another ranger melt down, like last time, we’re all just wastin our time

  54. Rangers need more than a point out of this. If they took two from Philly, a point would suffice – but this is a another 4 point swing. Rangers road record is not good to begin with and we know how they play up in Montreal…. If Aves can be affective in getting under the skin of Plekanec and Kovelev without getting his ass kicked or suckered into to stupid penalties by Komisarek, we’ll win.

    HATE-TROPOV’s IP address should be banned from this thread. We don’t need lowlifes like that around here.

  55. My predictions for tonights game:

    1) Avery will have a two point night
    2) Hank will give up 2 goals
    3) Wade Redden will break a nail in the ladies room and because of it will be on IR for the remainder of the year, including the playoffs.
    4) Rangers win 5 (1 empty net goal scored by Cally) – 2

  56. Breaking News…

    Beloved Rangers defenseman Wade Redden DEAD of apparent cocaine overdose. Though the autopsy still pending, the coroner indicated that the significant amounts of white powder found in Redden’s nose and around Redden’s face tested positive for the narcotic cocaine. Reportedly Redden was found naked in his upper west side penthouse watching tapes of Ottawa’s 2006-07 run to the Finals.

    As Ranger fans rejoice, Mayor Bloomberg is scrambling to schedule a celebratory parade in midtown Manhattan for later on this week.

  57. Jay

    yeah thats me….cant wait till tonite…got a green shirt and a green girl with a green skirt on!!

  58. Fischler's Ghost on

    Can we stop with wanting Redden dead? Geez, at the end of the day it’s just a game (it’s not like Redden’s swindling the taxpayers like the folks at AIG) and more importantly, it’s St. Paddy’s day, so relax have whisky and a Guinness, eat some soda bread and enjoy the game.

  59. Jay
    March 17th, 2009 at 4:35 pm
    Kasper – great point
    Not used to so many words from you – is that you?

    —–

    Jay

    his English got much better since the last trip to Hartford :P

  60. I got an Irish Wife and gallons of Guiness to go with the corned beef thats a stewin’

    LGR!!!

  61. No suspension for coburn ???
    Go Campbell/Bettmen – way to crack down on those hits to the head.

  62. ZzZz 13 ZzZz Rules the First line!! says Greg L. on

    Let’s go boys and take out the RE-habs!!!! Losers who think 100 years is gonna buy ’em something??? Get real , that organization lost everything when the dumb coach never pulled ROY in that romping that Detriot gave ’em!!!

    Rangers rule and Habs drool!!!

  63. “Was he found With Kevin Stevens and a few Hookers?????”

    Stevens called the cops and fled the scene. Tochett was en route but bailed when he saw the cops and ambulances.

    Redden was allegedly burning piles of cash when he ran out of wood for his fireplace. He also had custom made toilet paper made of 5, 10, and 20 dollar bills.

    According to his attorney, Redden was in the process of cementing his legacy by having a “thousand dollar bill” printed with his likeness on it.

    No word on what will become of Redden’s fortune…Several third world countries who stand to feed countless hungry and needy are in the running.

  64. dont know if anyone else tried the pickem for the ncaa but it wont let me pick any teams in the upper right because there is an add covering it. weird. BIG GAME TONIGHT! LETS GO RANGERS!!!

  65. Jay
    March 17th, 2009 at 5:02 pm
    No suspension for coburn ???
    Go Campbell/Bettmen – way to crack down on those hits to the head.

    ********************************************

    BS aint it? And I was SURE he would at least get 2 games from that hit to the head.

  66. Im nervous aboot this game, the Habs fans seem to always get to Hank, he needs to step up tonight and shut the door on these losers, i mean c’mon, if the Isles can beat them, cant we ??

    Go Rangers, nothing but two points, and no three point games !!!!

  67. I can’t believe Cobourn didn’t get a suspension.

    And you people wishing Redden dead better hope Karma doesn’t repay you. That’s a horrible thing to wish on anyone. Grow up.

  68. If people stop resonding to him, he will go away…..Now, it does not surprise me that Cobourn did not get suspended.

    I bet you anything that if Crosby would have been the one hit, a suspension would have been given. If Avery did that same exact hit, he would have been suspended and force to go for more intense treatment. Campbell and the NHL are just horrible when it comes to reprimanding players.

  69. Nelson
    March 17th, 2009 at 2:03 pm
    Anyways, does anyone here take a look at the Rangers draft picks for the past 5 years like I do on a daily basis?

    2004 specifically. We took Al Montoya and Korpedo over:

    Zajac (doing decent)
    Mike Green (!!!)

    We took Darin Olver over David Booth

    Duby over David Krejci (arguable there), Johan Franzen

    Though we did get Callahan fwiw.

    ********************************************************

    Dubinsky in 158 NHL games:

    22 goals, 51 assist for 73 points +3

    Krejci in 133 NHL games:

    27 goals, 63 assists for 90 points + 27 and No Jagr.

    LOL. I’d take Franzen over both of them ;)

  70. OK, new rule on the blog. No death wishes.

    To answer a couple of earlier questions:
    Yes, it was Ebersole rink.
    No, I didn’t go to the Finger Bullet bar, and I doubt I would have dared to go into a place with a name like that.
    Yes, Redden has improved under Tortorella, but he’s still the sixth best defenseman on the team, and he’d be seventh if they had six others.

  71. Carp,
    I have been to Finger Bullet it is not bad, used to hang out there in high school.
    What teams were in the High School games you got to see in Utica?
    And to who ever asked about the AHL team in Utica, it was the Devils and where our least favorite goalie started out met him many times back then.
    As for parts of Slap Shot being filmed at Utica War Memorial, I have many family members who got to be extras in the portions filmed there, said it was great.

  72. No need to panic if tonight doesn’t go the right way. All of us — myself included — tend to make sweeping, emotional statements when this team falls short in a given game, especially at this time of the year.

    But my sense is that while the race will go down to the wire, one or more teams (other than the NYR) that is right there today may wilt and fall back by the last ten days of the season is upon us.

    (At least that it what I’ll be telling myself if MTL wins this evening.)

  73. jerkins MCperkins(mike in ia) on

    o mako-price has been bad but never doubt what a weak goalie can do to a ranger offense. its like some of these goalies get supernatural abilities when we play them

  74. The high school hockey state finals were:

    Division 1: Greece Athena/Oddyssey 3, Mamaroneck 2.
    Division 2: New Hartford 6, Pelham 1.

    I do remember the Bingo Whalers, of course. And the Binghamton Rangers.

    Anyway a new post is up. Or as I like to call it, a blank canvas for your creativity.

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