Waiting for Game 82 … and 83 (updated)

83

Some rainy, holiday-weekend, pre-playoff housecleaning:

First, you know that the Rangers are tied with Montreal, each with 93 points, but the Rangers have the tiebreaker with one more victory (42-41).

The Habs play at home against Pittsburgh tonight. If Montreal loses, everything is settled as far as the Rangers are concerned. They finish seventh and play Washington in the first round.

If Montreal wins, the Rangers would need to win tomorrow in Philadelphia to get the seventh seed. Otherwise they’re eighth and play Boston in the first round.

If Montreal gets a point in overtime or with a loss in a silly skills competition after the overtime, then the Rangers would need just one point in Philly to clinch seventh.

Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues for making the playoffs (thanks, in part, to that win over the Rangers a little while back). The Blues are run by one of Rangers Report’s favorite all-timers John Davidson.

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* Henrik Lundqvist said he wants to play in Philly for a number of reasons. One of them, he said, is that he has 37 wins for the third season in a row and like to top that number.

* We failed to mention that the Rangers’ 26 home victories (albeit in the skills competition era) are the most since their 28 in the Stanley Cup year of ’93-94.

* With the Hartford Wolfpack in the playoffs it is doubtful the Rangers will make many callups just to have extra bodies around. They have gone with one extra player (Aaron Voros) since the trade deadline, with the exception of injury-related recalls.

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Get ready for some playoffs. NHL Network announced that it will have a special season wrap-up tomorrow night at 8 p.m., with all the final playoff matchups decided. Then, Monday at 8, NHL Network will do a big playoff preview show.

PS, the Rangers announced that the Flyers-Rangers game Thursday was the highest-ranked game on MSG Network in 2009 and the second highest of the ’08-09 season (a November game against the Capitals was first).

Also, beginning Monday, you can get almost all the information the news media gets at thePortal at NHL.com  — it includes the guide (Total Stanley Cup), plus NHL hockey operations rulings (should be interesting), plus statistical matchups and storylines; and live streams of coaches’ postgame press conferences. Trust me. It’s good stuff.

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Thanks for all those who sent “before” or current photos for the Rangers Report’s inaugural PBE (Playoff Beard Extravaganza). We will have a slide show on the LoHud.com Web site Monday. I’ll post more details when I get them.

In the meantime, keep them coming. For those who missed it, you can e-mail “before” or current photos to me at rcarpini@LoHud.com. Please only send one or two so my inbox doesn’t implode. We’ll then ask for some whisker updates during the first round, and we’ll set up some sort of poll at the end of the playoffs (after the Stanley Cup parade?).

And, again, thanks to Sal’s Hair Station in White Plains for donating a gift certificate for a beard trimming for the winner.

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AFTERNOON UPDATE, 1:21 p.m.: Andrew Gross reports in his blog that John Tortorella was a little ticked off for the way his team practiced this morning. Also, that Chris Drury did not skate for a second day in a row.

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83 Comments

  1. Not sure who I’d rather play in the first round. I know we haven’t had much success against Boston, but Ovie scares the hell out of me. That guy can win the series by himself. That alone makes me think that finishing 8th might be better.

  2. I’ll take Washington to go please; their goalie is suspect at best. Boston is a far better all-around team. I’d rather deal with Great 8 than Tim Thomas and Boston’s suffocating defensive style.

  3. I wish I could start the beard, but I have a performance review coming up this week and need to look my best… lol

  4. What can I say? I have it down when it comes to the ladies of internet advertisements! LoL

    * mike in iowa(perkins alter ego)
    April 11th, 2009 at 11:32 am
    truefans!!- u lucky dog howd u get that hot babe to stare at while i got the auto show ad??

  5. hockey purist on

    Carp, just one complaint. why is it ok with you to have a penalty shot break a tied game, but not a shootout? it’s the same thing, kimosabe. just happens during or after the action.

    your dislike of shootouts is irrational.

    signed,

    hockey purist

  6. no it isn’t. Having a shootout is the same as playing rock, paper, scissors, match or having a spitting contest, or a footrace. It is not within the context of the game, kimosabe.

    A penalty shot within the game is a direct result of a penalty in the rulebook, and thus part of the game. It isn’t some staged, contrived, tie-breaker that might as well be, “let’s see who can hit the scoreboard from the blue line” or one of those bicycle races they do between periods.

    And if you want to really decide games with a non-hockey aspect, then no points should be awarded to the loser.

    ACD… they can’t figure the schedule until we know the matchups. Boston’s rink is booked for Celtics Wednesday, for example, I think.

  7. hockey purist on

    Carp, then are you equally upset about 4-on-4 OT, which is just as much a contrivance as the shootout?

    btw, a penalty shot is just as much a “silly 1-on-1 skills competition” as a shootout is.

    I agree with you that no points should be given for losing. in fact, there need not be any points, just wins and losses.

  8. Right, if they do away with the points for losses, then you wouldn’t need points or the first tiebreaker at all … it would be W-L, just like every other sport.

    The penalty shot is not contrived. It is a penalty deemed to be more severe for a foul that takes away a breakaway/scoring chance.

    No, I’m no thrilled about the 4-on-4, either, but 4-on-4 at least is actual hockey.

  9. hockey purist on

    then we agree on one important thing. a game should not be worth more if it goes past 60 minutes. that is what I would like to see the media harp on and demand that the league change, the fact that the league is saying that a game that goes to OT is worth 50% more than a game that ends in regulation.

    thanks, Carp.

  10. The shootout is horrible, the 4 on 4 is horrible ,the over time Win/loss is a travesty. this was all done to cater to droves of potential fans who NEVER showed up under Gary Bettman’s failed grand design to make the NHL a big time American sport. Now that Bettman has drowned a game that absolutely needed no fixing in his epic fail sauce, we are left with a Power play laden games with silly penalties on most nighta by TWO referees.

    Oh by the way i went to the Ranger viewing party at Foxwoods. If ya want see what happened check out the video I shot.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83eNFFrf56Q

  11. Carp you better get over the shootout eventually, because it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Otherwise you’ll end up like one of those anti-fighting guys who all they talk about is how fighting shouldn’t be part of the sport.

  12. I don’t care about matchups. To me, we’re gonna have to go through all the tough ones to make it to the cup, so whoever it is bring it on.

  13. “Carp you better get over the shootout eventually, because it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Otherwise you’ll end up like one of those anti-fighting guys who all they talk about is how fighting shouldn’t be part of the sport.”

    Thats it!!
    Fitzy and Carp…just have best of three fights settle ties instead of shootouts….

    Now that is a gimmick we’d all like

  14. bull dog line on

    Carp is right,
    The shootout is a joke, 4 on 4 is a joke, and 3pt games are the biggest joke of all.

  15. I think the silliest of all are those people who seem to think they know how hockey matches should best be decided. If they don’t like the shootout, they ought to turn the TV off or leave the arena after the overtime period. Stop the incessant whining! I watch hockey for the entertainment, and from where I sit, the shootout provides pretty good entertainment. Have you seen the latest by Mike Ribeiro?

  16. bull dog line on

    why does it have to be decided? a tie is a tie, a win is a win and a loss is a loss. that seems pretty simple. that is how the game was always played until the lockout, and the NEW NHL. I like the old NHL, not this european soccer version of it.

  17. Carp, I don’t know if Midnight Taco is here to stay. But even if it is, it is not that bad. Makes me think of when I was in elementary school and they had taco flavor Doritos. They came in an orange bag that had the see through front, where you could actually see the Doritos. There is another new flavor called Last Call Jalapeno Poppers. Only two new flavors, but I bet those are good too. I don’t know if it will get “worse” but maybe.

  18. HA HA HA HA

    I am just not going back and reading all the posts. Carp said, “I know. It’s here to stay … it might even get worse.”

    I thought he was talking about my Doritos comment.

    I am declaring it my “Bonehead” moment of the day.

    He was definitely not talking about Doritos.

  19. I meant, I just went back and read all the posts.

    Geez, I can’t get with it today.

  20. With the Flyers winning and the Canes losing in regulation today, it sets up an interesting dynamic with regard to playoff positioning as determined by the Montreal-Pittsburgh game tonight and the Rangers-Flyers game tomorrow.

    If Montreal beats Pittsburgh (in either Regulation or OT):

    Tomorrow’s game would be meaningless for the Flyers but the Rangers would need a victory tomorrow to get the #7 seed.

    If Pittsburgh beats Montreal in Regulation:

    Tomorrow’s Game would be meaningless for the Rangers, but the Flyers would need at least 1 point tomorrow to gain the #4 seed and home ice advantage in the first round.

    If Pittsburgh beats Montreal in OT:

    Then both the Rangers & Flyers would need 1 point out of tomorrow’s game to get the #7 seed and the #4 seed respectively. I don’t think this is a scenario we want because the other two scenarios provide for a meaningless game for one side tomorrow – which I think makes things much better for both teams.

    Also, if Pittsburgh gets at least one point tonight, they will play the Flyers in the first round and Carolina will play the Devils. Otherwise, the Pens will play the Devils and Philly gets Carolina

  21. I wish we were playing the Devils. Would have been a great series. I am not saying we would have swept or anything, but I think we would have won, and it would have been extremely entertaining. And we would have got to hear Chico get all homered out again. Ha. I still love that. Does anyone have the audio or video on that?

  22. ZzZz 13 ZzZz Rules !! says Greg L. on

    Playing the bruins would be fine with me , Tim thomas is a weak Dominic Hasek wannabe and sure he plays well but if we pepper him , he win fall!! I want Boston and not a dangerous team like Ovetchkin ,Green ,Semin and old man Fedorov. These guys hopefully wear down a bit playing someone else…

  23. I miss the 78-79 NY Rangers (formerly Prucha25) on

    Kaspar April 11th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    If I’m the Pens I lose tonite and play the devils”

    I agree. No one wants to face the red-hot Hurricanes now. The Pets might throw it.

  24. pens would play the flyers not the canes if they win. if they lose they play the devs. they can’t play the canes 1st round

  25. 11 year deal for Franzen?! Oh my God! What are some of these GM’s thinking? Franzen is still <1 year from pretty serious concussion syndrome! Wow, this league is going to the crapper especially if Detroit’s making moves like that now!

  26. Another thing to consider: Maybe Montreal wants to play Boston. They are divisional and traditional arch-rivals, they played to an overtime Thursday, and the game was loaded with angry, multi-player fights. Maybe the Habs think that matchup would be good for them.

    Maybe they tank tonight. Maybe both teams try to tank?

  27. the whole reason there is a cap tom is because you have teams that simply refuse to pay players(see NY Islanders, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators) who are almost below the cap floor.

    they should thin out the league and stop revenue sharing

  28. Pat in Dutchess on

    I think the Wings can survive the Franzen deal turning out bad with all the smart moves they made. And I don’t think the cap hit is as high as “great number 6″ but somebody please correct me if I’m wrong.

    And it would be fun to watch Montreal and Boston beat each other up over a nice long 6 or 7 game series.

  29. I don’t think Penguins are playing to win. They’ve had tons of power play and just kept moving the puck on the perimeter, rarely attacked the net.

  30. Price should make that save on the third goal. Montreal will not get very far in the playoffs if he keeps giving up easy ones like that.

  31. Looks like we get Caps. I guess we can only hope that Ovie gets a bad case of botchulism.

  32. Well, it looks like Rangers have a date with Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin and Mike Green.

  33. So it’s Rangers-Capitals, Canadiens-Bruins.

    If I’m Tortorella, I’m calling up half the Wolf Pack to play in Philly tomorrow. He won’t, but he’ll probably give Antropov the game off (Aaron Voros time!).

  34. I believe the east is all set

    Boston vs Montreal
    Washington vs Rangers
    Devils vs Carolina
    Philly vs Pitt with home ice decided by tomorrow’s game (philly needs at least 1 pt to secure 4th place)

  35. Do we want Crosby and Pens to get home ice advantage over Flyers? Naaaah!

    I read Lundqvist wants to play tomorrow because he wants to get past 37 wins. That’s a pretty selfish approach if you ask me. Whatever happened to “team first”? Steve Valiquette should be in net tomorrow, period!

  36. Sidney Crosby just said on HNIC that he is a Ranger fan tomorrow, for home ice purposes.

  37. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Its funny how good teams have been able to be successful with bad goalies. Examples: Carey Price, Marc-Andre Fleury, Chris Osgood (including stanley cup!).

    That sorta scares me with Washington in the first round because their goalie is pretty terrible right now. He’s had some amazing streaks in his career, but now he’s the pits (why Wash dumped Huet is a mystery). But the new NHL doesn’t necessarily require a good goalie as evidenced last year when Nabakov, Lundqvist, Brodeur, and Turco all got eliminated fairly early to the likes of Fleury and Osgood (who are like peewee goalies compared to those 4).

    That said, how amazing will it be to see Ovech for the entire first round? How amazing will it be to (probably) never have to see Cindy! Pretty excited because i’m now a secondary Capitals fan so if the Rangers win or lose, I still have a playoff team to root for.

  38. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Lundqvist said he wants to get 38 wins because he’s had 37 the past 3 seasons (and he has 37 now).

    I love how some people will get on here and praise Brodeur like he’s the best athlete ever but then say Lundqvist is selfish by wanting 38 wins…?! Haha. Lundqvist just wants to be the best, he wants to win, I’m not going to complain about that ever. Whether that “winning” is on a per game basis, or in terms of his career stats, he wants to be the best and that’s what makes him one of the best right now.

  39. UGH – I would have rather the Rangers play Boston to tell you the truth. Im not too keen on them playing the Caps. They can score at will….

  40. Hank might just get his 38 wins,,,,,,,,But it WILL NOT be this year.Vally plays tomorrow.
    Could you imagine if he plays and gets hurt tomorrow.

  41. Pat in Dutchess on

    MAKO, your right they can score at will, but we can’t score in Boston and if you can’t score you can’t win. But crazy 8 does give me nightmares too. But were in and that’s where the fun begins.

  42. Only difference with that record is that this team was not coached by Tortorella and we did not have Avery or Morris

  43. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I don’t think there was ANY chance the Rangers beat Boston. The offense just couldn’t get through the neutral zone and when they did get some shots they were pretty much all weak ones from the outside. Last game, there was 1 good shot in Boston and Callahan clunked Thomas on the head (1-0 loss). Didn’t they lose 1-0 the previous game they played Boston too?

    Ovie and that offense scares me also, but we have a guy who has a chance at stopping them. There’s too many people (forwards) that would need to step up in order to beat Boston. I’ll take the Washington match-up and say my prayers that Hank stays on top of his A game.

  44. Nice! Ragz vs. Crapz! I’m scared… *NOT!!!*

    LQ better sharpen his skates well… Redden is such f*cking liability! This is Drury time… if Drury is ever to survive next 4 years this is the right time to do it. Same goes for Scotty too…

  45. Has their ever been a Rangers playoff series where us Rangers fans didnt despise the top player of our opponent?

    In other words, Rangers fans totally respect and like AO and it should be interesting now that he will be skating around the ice trying to put us onto the golf course.

  46. Should be a great matchup… The key for the Rangers is to stay away from the penalty box… with Green, Ovechkin, Semin…couple of bad penalties by the Rangers will make this a very short series… Penguins power play last year really messed us up…

  47. TrueFans, point taken about the bad goaltender going deep in the playoffs, but you’re forgetting a few key things. Osgood was part of the duo with Hasek last year, and took over starting duty in the playoffs. Osgood was far from mediocre during that time. Detroit also had one of the stingiest defenses in the league last year. Carey Price was ATROCIOUS in the playoffs last year, and was manhandled by the Flyers offense. Fleury is inconsistent, but benefited from a stronger Penguins team in front of him.

    Boston is a powerhouse right now, and honestly there is no other team I’d want to play less, except for maybe the Pens, where we’d be playing 5 against 6 the whole game. Remember Marty Straka’s phantom hook on Crosby? Boston is deep everywhere. They have size and scoring with Wheeler, Lucic and Krecji. They have their D anchored by Chara. Thomas and Fernandez are having great years in goal.

    Washington is based around their potent offense. Shut down, or at least contain OV, Semin, Backstrom and Green on D, the team is beatable. Goaltending and defense are suspect, so with Tort’s system and puck possession, keep the puck away from the Washington offense and keep pressing. They will crack

  48. CCCP, once AO leaves his feet to try to injure one of the NY Rangers….we will see some hatred run through the veins of Rangers fans….I cant wait for this to begin!

  49. Pat in Dutchess on

    It should be some “entertaining” hockey unlike the 1-0 snooze fests the games in Boston were this year and Hank better be ready, other wise my nightmares will come true. I put entertaining in quotes because if Ovie lights things up alot I don’t think any of us will be that entertained. The sad thing for me is aside from the Rangers the Caps are the team I would like to see come out of the east, just not at our expense.

  50. Im so glad we got the Caps over Boston. hopefully we can pull out a series win over the caps (in less than 7 b/c i dont want any part of OV in game 7). I’d love for montreal to find a miracle and beat boston but I dont think it will happen so hopefully Boston sweeps the habs and gives them a long layoff and hurts their game.

    LETS GO RANGERS!!!

  51. I was also thinking about Hank…. I dont think he has really gotten on a “hot” streak… hes been great and very consistant with a few weak goals here and there but with that being said hopefully this years playoffs is his year to shine!

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