Hurricane Cam. Gulp.

79

Another litmus test. Carolina is 10-1-2 in its last 13, all with red-hot Cam Ward in goal. We know the Rangers soundly beat the Devils with perhaps their best performance of the year, yet we also know how mightily the Devils are struggling (will Lou Lamoriello lop another coach just before the playoffs?) and how that struggle continued last night against the Penguins.

And we know the game before the victory over the Devils, the Rangers didn’t play poorly, made some terrible mistakes, went with four defensemen, and were victims of some questionable, at best, calls. But that was another game against a smokin’ hot team. The Pens are 13-1-2 in their last 16 after pounding the Devils last night. Oh, the Pitt game was on the road, the Devils game at home.

So the Rangers go on the road to play another team steamrolling the league. And needing it.  Can they possibly beat the Hurricanes? Can they afford not to?

And, as hot as the Canes have been, the Rangers can tie them in points with a win tonight. Imagine.

The whole thing has really bunched up the last two nights, with Pittsburgh, Montreal and Florida all winning, and Philly losing but having another in its home-and-home with Toronto remaining. The Habs get the Islanders tonight.

After this, four remain: At Boston Saturday in another of those cursed matinee games; home for Montreal in what might be the biggest game of the year Tuesday; and the season-ending home-and-home with the Flyers. As you already know, the Rangers have the toughest remaining schedule of the bunch fighting for Eastern playoff spots 4-5-6-7-8 … and 9.

—————————————–

A few things.

I know you guys miss JD. Well, John Davidson, the president of the surging St. Louis Blues, will be Gary Bettman’s guest on his NHL Hour show today at 4 p.m., on XM channel 204 and Sirius channel 208, or NHL.com. You can ask JD questions by calling in at 1-877-645-6696 or by email at nhlhour@nhl.com.

Two words: Al Montoya.

I was watching one of the games the other night, I think it was Edmonton, and doing the color commentary was none other than Louie DeBrusk, the man whom Glen Sather tried to get as compensation (with Steve Rice) for the Rangers’ signing Adam Graves in 1991, and whom Sather did get (with Rice and Bernie Nicholls and a big bag of cash) for Mark Messier a month or so later.

I was also watching Seinfeld, the backwards episode with the trip to India. The groom, Pinter Ronowat, looks like Michal Rozsival. Anybody else notice that?

“You can call us Usha and Zubin.”

“Well, Usha …”

“I’m Zubin.”

——————————————-

Not sure if we’ll squeeze in another post before they drop the puck in Raleigh tonight. Sorry. My car’s going up on the rack all day (I might sneak off to a local links to kill some time while I wait, especially if it’s really going to be in the 60s and sunny). If I get back in time to give you a blank sheet for your in-game artistry, I will.

If not, enjoy.

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79 Comments

  1. wow carp you’re early today! are you feeling ok? :)

    REPOST:

    I’m trying to understand something here… is Cindy the only reason why the league is up the fly-less birds tuhes (as$)? Or is there something more than just Cindy’s full lips?

  2. Golf? You’re playing golf in playoff season?

    Good job Carp
    I’m nervous about tonight…Cole, Staal, Rod the Bod, Ward, Corvo, Ruutu, Cullen,

  3. REPOST: Montoya shutout a team who is purposely tanking for a shot at getting Tavares.

    He was 7-17-2 in the minors!

    ———-

    Anyway, the Canes will probably win tonight. Hank was amazing the last game, so look for mediocrity tonight.

  4. No, Kaspar, I’m playing golf BEFORE playoff season.

    CCCP, only up early because my car has to go to the shop. Otherwise i’m feeling fine, thank you. How are you feeling?

  5. Woe!
    This IS playoff season…but you do what you want

    Watched the last half of the Coyote last night…I could have limited the Av’s to 1 or less goals last night…

    I’m happy for Montoya though…hope he does great
    cant believe after all the hype we get Freddie Sjostrom for him

  6. Yeah Im a bit nervous about tonight’s game. Well, it will test the resolve of this team and how they will step up to fight for what kind of statment they really want to make. Simple as that.

    Sorry to hear about your car issues Rick.

  7. It can’t just be Crosby… could it? But I don’t know what else is behind it…

    Is it true Tavares said he won’t go to the Islanders? I can’t see that as true but you never know…

  8. Patrick Brennan on

    I agree with Pavel…Canes will probably win tonight but hopefully the Rangers at least show up and give it close to a 60 minute effort!

  9. Agravaine, I think it has to do with Mario. He whined during the lockout because his team was going bankrupt, and that’s how he got the #1 overall… in addition to the other lottery and #2 and #3 picks.

    I haven’t heard anything about Tavares saying no NYI, but he COULD pull a Blake Wheeler… get drafted by a team (PHX), refuse to sign, become a free agent… although I doubt he’d wait that long to sign to play in the NHL.

  10. well Carp, i am feeling like i rather be in bed with salma hayek right now… other than that, life is good.

  11. I was thinking I knew about Mario whining… but the Coyotes and Isles are having money trouble and the league isn’t bending over backwards to help them out (all right wait the league is giving the Yotes money right? and pressuring the county to do the stupid Lighthouse but still it isn’t anything done in game)

    I love Christian Bale I have seen many (not all) of his movies… Empire of the Sun was the second one I ever saw of his when I was a kid and I loved it… was hooked ever since…

  12. HUGE game tonight. Can’t believe I’m working late and missing another. If they get 2 pts tonight, I’ll feel good about them making some noise in the playoffs. If they don’t even get a point, it will be over soon. Now is the time to peak and play the best hockey of the season. Rangers have 2 more wins than Florida with 5 games remaining for each.

  13. I figured Montoya would show up and do well last night; if only my team was still alive in the fantasy keeper league in which I have him. Maybe I’ll go propose a trade with him right now! haha

    It was against the Colorado Avalanche, who I’m pretty sure have lost *a lot*. :)

  14. I guess Mario’s wish list didn’t end with draft picks. Now he wants the league to favor his team over 29 other teams in the league. WHY? They are doing well financially and got one of the most talented teams in the league… why the f’ing favoritism? And how does it work exactly? How do you make every single referee play on the Penguins side? I wonder if Pittsburgh games officiated by certain referees more times than others.

  15. CCCP

    I think its gone beyond Mario – this is Bettman’s fault Knighting Cindy the face of the NHL.

  16. CCCP
    its the refs fault.

    If you have a friend who likes baseball or football and you watch games with them, and then they hop over to watch a hockey game with you..the NHL refs are embarrassingly inconsistant. Football has contact; guys get injured but calls are pretty consistant…you never hear this crap about favortism in the NFL do you? You dont see refs “pretend” not to see a penalty like these clowns do

    The inconsistant calling is “literally’ only done in pro-wrestling..thats not a figurative, sarcastic remark…thats looking at it for waht it is

    watch the games of last weekend there were 5 hits worse than what Orr did in Pitt…some werent even penalties much less 5 minute majors and game misconducts

    this league is all overv the place
    Thats why they are on Versus ( and have 6 games a year on NBC to advertise golf)

  17. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Jerkins, yup… just 2gwg for mega dreary-D-bag.

    Mako, I watched the Crosby goal. It was weird because he angled his skate to re-direct the puck. Then just after it hits his skate he has a kicking motion. Never seen anything like it, but I’m guessing it was counted because he only re-directed it but after the collision he attempted to kick it. It was weird a lengthy review didn’t happen and that, I would attribute, to the name on the jersey of the guy re-directing it.

    The subjectiveness of this league is pathetic. Shanahan has spoken about it (concerning Jagr and Euro’s). Torterella has spoken about how Avery is targetted. We’ve all Cindy diving and drawing penalties while he should be getting 2 himself… the league really is the biggest joke out of the big 4.

  18. If Sutter gets fired, you can bet he will walk in to the locker room and kill a few players before Lou takes him out with a single shot between those uneven eyes of his. Sutter’s face looks like the mask from the “Scream” movies. HAHA

  19. UESBlueshirt on

    Looks like the Devils are spent after pushing for Marty’s record breaking win. If you look at the Rangers roster vs. theirs, the two biggest areas they have an advantage would be the Zajac-Parise line and the size of the forwards. Elias is probably better than any of the Rangers 2nd line forwards but if Antro or Zherdev are playing well then it minimalizes the difference. The 3rd and 4th lines are pretty much the same.

    Just like last season I think the Rangers have better talent on D. I’ve read some the Devils Fire and Ice blog and a lot of the complaints, other than Sutter, are based on the lack of skill on the blueline. The 2nd and 3rd pairings are completely unspectacular and they don’t have a complete shut down D like Staal.

    Getting back to the love affair with 552* wins, the Pens fans started a weak MMMAAARRRTTTYYY!!! chant last night after they scored their 6th goal, and Chico said the Rangers fans were doing the same thing and somehow he ties in that the opposing fans are doing that out of respect for the winningest goalie of all time…just STFU about the record Chico.

  20. Rumour is that sutter was thinking about leaving after this season ( or after contract is up) because he msses his iold Alberta homestead

    Keenan cant last much longer in Calgary can he? I mean by now he’s perculating…Flames go out in RD1 luike they always do…does D Sutter hire B Sutter??

  21. UESBlueshirt on

    Not sure if the Canes removed the interim tag on Maurice, but how about Sutter coaching his son on the Canes?

  22. UESBlueshirt on

    re: Crosby. Well there was an anti-Crosby backlash among the other Atlantic Division fans since his rookie year, especially Flyers fans. Of course with his flopping and diving he really endeared himself to the Rangers fans last year in the playoffs.

    I watched a Caps-Pens game on NBC before Don Cherry pooped his pants about OV’s goal celebrations and even the NBC guys were starting to get on Crosby a little bit about how when the Caps were giving him the business after the whistle that no one on the Pens teams was sticking up for him and they were hinting that he’s not as embraced by his teammates as Malkin is.

    The whining and diving I think are things we have to live with. The problem with the way the Pens are built now is that he’s their captain and there’s almost no veteran presence to tell him to cut that out, then again he did learn from Mario in his rookie season. Could you imagine if say the Rangers drafted him and Messier decided to stay on another year to mentor him? I doubt he’d have the reputation he has now.

  23. UESBlueshirt April 2nd, 2009 at 11:09 am

    re: Crosby. Well there was an anti-Crosby backlash among the other Atlantic Division fans since his rookie year, especially Flyers fans. Of course with his flopping and diving he really endeared himself to the Rangers fans last year in the playoffs.

    I watched a Caps-Pens game on NBC before Don Cherry pooped his pants about OV’s goal celebrations and even the NBC guys were starting to get on Crosby a little bit about how when the Caps were giving him the business after the whistle that no one on the Pens teams was sticking up for him and they were hinting that he’s not as embraced by his teammates as Malkin is.

    The whining and diving I think are things we have to live with. The problem with the way the Pens are built now is that he’s their captain and there’s almost no veteran presence to tell him to cut that out, then again he did learn from Mario in his rookie season. Could you imagine if say the Rangers drafted him and Messier decided to stay on another year to mentor him? I doubt he’d have the reputation he has now.

    I think we’re all waiting for Milbury to punch out McGuire during a telecast. His time is up already.

  24. Rick,

    You could stuff your sorries in a sack, mister.

    (I don’t know what that means.)

  25. re:Crosby.
    It’s not Mess or Mario mentoring him. It’s the person you are.
    JJ came up with pens and Mario mentoring, but never dived or cry like Cindy.
    Crosby is just whining baby that does not know any better.

  26. Carp,

    It’s not really “sneaking off” to the links when you broadcast it.

    Have fun anyway.

  27. Rangers remaining schedule is no walk in the park, but its exactly the schedule they need right now. All season long, they have been playing mediocre to horrible hockey versus the garbage teams….but they seem to respond better when their is some competition and adversity.

    In respect to the Carolina Hurricanes, I can’t grasp why they are playing so well. Their lineup on both sides of the ice doesnt really scare me, yet they are playing very well as a group….They dont have big size other than E Staal & Babchuk…….

    I think the Rangers will come out blazing tonight, guns drawn, and look to really play 3 more of the best games of the season (CAR-BOS-MON)….

    3 wins and we are in….Then it comes down to Philly home and home to possibly determine 4th place, which would be exciting.

  28. UESBlueshirt on

    I’d settle for 6th and a possible matchup with the Devils. 4th or 5th almost guarantees a date with Crybaby and the PlayPens.

  29. GardenFaithfulinFLA on

    I only hope the team that hit the ice against the Devils is the same team that hits the ice tonight not the Renney Rangers.

  30. True fans bleed RW&B on

    What Mario story? He was a diver/whiner his whole career. I don’t know that he played with Crosby, but Cindy def lived with him his rookie season.

  31. Not much to fill you in on… Mario Lemieux is one of the biggest babies in the history of professional sports.. and Crosby lives with him. The end. XD

  32. Actually I remember Lemieux “whining and crying’ about the nuetral zone trap era-with all the clutching and grabbing that suffocated the worlds most exciting game into a bad square dance

    “the NBA would never let Michael Jordan be grabbed by the shirt and held at center court?

    That was one of his quotes that I remember and agreed with.

    Crosby is just a whining little brat and deserves whatever ire he gets…until he finally “gets it’ and stops…plus his face is one of those faces of the rich kid in hi-scholl who needed everything to gom his way or he wouldn’t play

    Blame Crosby and the idiot refs…not Mario

  33. ummmm, anyone else believe in the concept of DUE? As in, Carolina is DUE TO LOSE A DAMN HOCKEY GAME!

    The Rangers started to turn the corner in Pittsburgh and were hosed (as usual) by the Crosby loving zebras. Then they played comprehensively good hockey against Jersey on Monday. I think they’ll carry their strong play into tonight, and if they get through the first 5 or 6 minutes, they’ll be able to take the game to the ‘Canes. But seriously, Carolina is overdue to lose, and I hope the Rangers can get a huge W. Damn this schedule is so tough down the stretch…

  34. I blame Mario for advocating the whininess in Crosby. I blame Crosby for being a baby.

    AO is a real hockey player. Malkin is a slew footer.

  35. If we lose tonite we can kiss 6th place, and a chance at playing the Devils, goodbye…

    I would then hope to finish 8th and play Boston…that means winning enough to make it but losing enough to drop one spot

  36. Tonight is totally winnable, and Drury and Gomez have been saying since the last game they want some payback for Carolina. (I cant remeber but was it a testy game last tiem we played them?)

    Look they’ve won so many in a row and at home, there due for a loss, which is hopefully what we can deliver tonight.

    And here’s my only second lifetime prediction for a game:

    Rangers win 4-2

    Dubi Scores
    Antro Scores
    Gomer Scores
    Morris or Redden scores

    Last time I predicted a win we beat Boston,and it was the exact score I predicted, so let’s hope my psychic abilities prove fruitful!

    Also anyone read about the Islanders today? How that politician woman (cant rememebr her name) pretty much shut down the LIghthouse plans now? Looks like Wnag is heading to Queens first to talk to them, then its on to KC.

    What a disgrace. I hate the Fishsticks, but love the rivalry.

  37. Ah
    everybody has their warts…I remember people saying Messier got away with murder because the NHL wanted the Rangers to win

    I also remember gretzky getting the “whiner” treatment because he complained and was not physical…Islander, Flyer and Falmes fans in the 80’s especially despised him..

    Even the great AO has warts…i watched a game earlier this year where he scored an empty netter to ice the game; the caps announcers were all “The great 8 strikes again!!” but when they showed the replay it went like this:

    The opponent had the goalie pulled; there was 6th skater in the caps end…and they were playing against 4 caps!!..not because there was a powerplay but because AO was lingering out in center ice looking for a breakaway…the pressure by the other team was pretty intense..luckily the puck was swatted out and AO scored

    Maybe I’m being a little picky but he didnt appear to care about protecting his teams lead as much as scoring his own goal

  38. So since Drury’s the captain now, does he have to grow the “Jaromir Hitler” stache/soul patch combo for the playoffs?

  39. We can all complain about Crosby and the refs until we’re blue in the face, but I didn’t see the refs helping him out when he smoked Redden up the middle and deked Hank out of his skates.

  40. Nah… I hated Mario when I was younger. One of my best friends in HS was a Pens fan. We used to go to every PENS, Rangers games here in the city. I used to watch all of the games when I went out to PA to my folks vacation place. Let me tell you, Mario WAS a whiner and a complainer. He hated getting touched, hit etc. And used to complain to the refs all the time. Trust me, Mario took Cindy under his wing and I remember his rookie year he complained so much that I cant remember who it was, told him to tone it down. And if Im not mistaken he still lives with Mario and his wife.

  41. Dan DL

    Cindy didnt “deke” LQ out of his skates. The shot he took went through him, between his arm and body.

  42. I also remember gretzky getting the “whiner” treatment because he complained and was not physical…Islander, Flyer and Falmes fans in the 80’s especially despised him..

    **************************************************
    Kaspar

    As much as I love Gretzky and he was my idol growing up. I didnt like that side of his play either.

  43. Broadway Roe on

    Oooh. From your earlier comments, it sounded like he said something new recently.

    Of course he’s been a crybaby his whole career!

  44. i don’t know who deked who outta what… i know one thing right now… this Roast Beef sandwich with onions fresh mozzarella and gravy from “John’s Deli” in Brooklyn (Stillwell and Cropsey) one of the best in NYC!

  45. from today’s NY post:

    Interesting quote LOL

    “If we have to motivate our players now for them to be ready to play hard then we have the wrong bunch of guys here — which I know we don’t,” Tortorella said. “They’ll be ready to play.”

  46. Gretz is still a whiner as a coach. and I’m a big fan of his. but it’s true. he throws fits on almost every call. so Crosby has plenty of company. but the real answer is that it depends on what team you root for. Avery is a hero to us, but a villain to other teams. same with fill in the blank etc, when they played against the Rangers we hated them, but when they became Rangers, all of a sudden the other teams guys are the whiners.

    besides, I’d rather have a whiner than an emotionless robot like Drury who accepts bad calls without a peep

  47. I keep thinking how much easier this would all be if they held on to the 4-1 lead v Atlanta, the 4-0 lead on the Caps and the 2-0 lead on Toronto.

    Amazing how those games could’ve helped us now huh?

    But back then it was all “We’re just gonna put it behind us and move on…” or “We got a much needed point out of it… it may be the point that gets us into the post-season…”

    BLAH BLAH F-IN BLAH!!!

  48. both sides
    April 2nd, 2009 at 1:24 pm
    “Gretz is still a whiner as a coach. and I’m a big fan of his. but it’s true. he throws fits on almost every call.”

    I kind of like a little Mechel Bergeron in my coach.

  49. My grandfather used to say to the coffe pot “perk-you-late you sonno-mo-beetch”

  50. Riche’
    April 2nd, 2009 at 1:26 pm
    I keep thinking how much easier this would all be if they held on to the 4-1 lead v Atlanta, the 4-0 lead on the Caps and the 2-0 lead on Toronto.

    Amazing how those games could’ve helped us now huh?

    But back then it was all “We’re just gonna put it behind us and move on…” or “We got a much needed point out of it… it may be the point that gets us into the post-season…”

    BLAH BLAH F-IN BLAH!!!

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

    Oh and not to mention all of the 2-1 games, because ya know they are a “2-1 playing team”

    ;)

  51. If this season comes down to one point, either way, Drury looks like a fool. Ha.

  52. FYI – Al Montoya played his first NHL game for the Coyotes last night & got his first shutout. I know it was against the Aves, but it’s still a shutout .
    Good for him

  53. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Riche’,
    Great points! Where’s Renney to talk about that game where “they really gave St. Louis something to think about?!” Ummm… are they going to play St. Louis in the Finals? NOT IF NEITHER TEAM MAKES THE PLAYOFFS! God, Renney was such a jag-off.

    What’s better is now, the “Captain” (2GWG and minus-11 who has 20 of his points against teams who are in the bottom 5 in the NHL!!!) can’t still be happy the team got 1-point before Christmas, can he? What about the one point you didn’t get, you rich, ugly-nosed, moron! Any chance Drury loses the C this summer?

    * Riche’
    April 2nd, 2009 at 1:26 pm
    I keep thinking how much easier this would all be if they held on to the 4-1 lead v Atlanta, the 4-0 lead on the Caps and the 2-0 lead on Toronto.

  54. Actually i will look back at this if we dont make it:

    … the fact that the GM signs three defensemen for a total of $13 million a year and they’re only talent is playing offense ( a little)

    But the GM’s coach decides to play an all-defense system with soft, non-hitting dee-man…WHO CAN ONLY PLAY OFFENSE!!

    Obviously things would be a lot different if these two knucklE-heads actually shared a vision and spoke with each other…

    Idiots!

    the 1 pt here or there you can do to any team

  55. Go Rangers, Go Blues !!!

    Good for Monty, getting a shut out. Hopefully it’s just because the Avs were half assing it, and they jut suck. I hoped we could have gotten more for him, even though Freddy Shoes is doing good with the team, at least defensively.

    Waste of a draft pick. Could have gotten a d-man who can score 30 goals !!!! Just like Luke Skywalker, the Korpedo is our only hope, from that draft.

    Rangers win 2-1, Antro, and Cally score, Lundqvist burps while letting in his only goal, and we all fight over the goal, with some thinking it was soft, and some thinking it was a good goal.

  56. Not sure if anyone else watches Life on Mars, but I was a little let down with the Series Finale ending last night. Great show, but I didn’t like how the ended it. Anyone else?

  57. Nasty-
    I really loved Life on Mars too, and that Finale last night was terrible!

    PS Gretchen Mole is hot

  58. i cant wait for next week’s lost. We will finally get some ben answers hopefully and see the temple

  59. Renney saying they gave St. Louis “Somthing to think about” may have been the low point that Gomez said they hadn’t hit yet at the time.

    That was close to it for me… after losing 10-2… is this rock-bottom?

  60. No Country For Old Rangers on

    guess what? Esteban is not playing this time, we are going to rape Carolina a new asshole tonight.

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