Block The Red (updated)

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Sort of ripping off the Capitals’ slogan with that headline, but that is what the Rangers did in Game 2. They blocked everything. OK, Alex Ovechkin hit the crossbar and went away cursing, but everything else was stopped before it got to King Henrik Lundqvist or it was gobbled up by His Highness in goal. Add up the 29 blocked shots and the 35 saves and that’s a pretty impressive shutout.

Series over? Not so fast. The Rangers have an opportunity to turn it into a short series, or can let the Capitals right back in it in Game 3. There’s no reason to think the Rangers won’t play as well as they did in Game 2, which was far better than Game 1. But we should also expect the Capitals to play better.

Some thoughts on Game 2 and the series:

1) I don’t even have any more words to ask the question, “How great is Ryan Callahan?” Actually, what has crossed my mind lately when I see him and Dubinsky and Avery is this question: “Why doesn’t everybody give that kind of effort all the time?” I don’t have that answer.

2) The edge in goal. We knew that the King would be the biggest Rangers’ advantage, and he is all of that. I never would have imagined a 1-0 shutout win in this series. The Caps made a bold move to the youngster, Simeon Varlamov and usually you judge a move like that by the result. But the Capitals lost and still made the correct move. The kid had nothing to do with the outcome. He makes the goaltending matchup much closer than ThreeOrMore.

3) Looks like it was a right hand or arm injury to the captain after all. He couldn’t take faceoffs and protected it in scrums. 

4) Brandon Dubinsky’s ice time did not diminish as expected with Drury’s return.

5) When Ovechkin went on about Lundqvist’s big pads before the series, maybe he was trying to gain an edge. Or maybe he was just saying what he thought. But now it looks like Lundqvist’s pads might be in Ovechkin’s head. Sometimes you can accidentally convince yourself of something.

6) The winning goal, the only goal, made the Caps look awfully bad. Kozlov committed the bad play at his offensive blue line, Ovechkin, at the end of a long shift, couldn’t get back, and Mike Green, who was trapped, made zero effort to bust it back before Callahan cashed in Naslund’s 2-on-1 pass. They left Varlamov hanging out to dry. Can’t do that in a playoff game, and this time it was lethal.

I posted the stats about 2-0 leads in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the previous threads. Check it out if you missed it.

The Rangers took the Amtrak home last night and will practice late this afternoon, so I will update much later.

Here are the official game summary and event summary for Game 2.

————————

AFTERNOON UPDATE, 12:47 P.M.: The Rangers just sent out this notice about fans being able to ride double-decker buses through midtown to celebrate Games 3 and 4:
  New York, April 19, 2009 – New York Rangers fans will ride on two Rangers branded Double Decker buses prior to the New York Rangers taking on the Washington Capitals for games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals.  Fans will ride through midtown cheering on the Blueshirts and will proceed to Madison Square Garden for the start of Games 3 and 4, which will air live on MSG Network starting at 7 p.m.  Lucky fans will meet Rangers alumni and will be given the chance to win Blueshirt gifts and prizes, including coveted playoff tickets.

 WHAT:  New York Rangers Fans Ride Double Decker Buses Through Midtown
 WHO:   Rangers Fans and Rangers Alumni 
 WHERE:  Starting at Madison Square Garden  (In front of 7th Ave at 31st St. continuing through midtown and returning to MSG.)
 WHEN:  Monday, April 20th and Wednesday, April 22 at 5:00 and 5:45 pm.  (Final bus departures at 6:45 pm for all non-ticket holders to attend viewing parties at Joshua Tree at 35th and 2nd and Mercury Bar at 46th and 9th.)

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136 Comments

  1. I said the rangers will win this series in six since the beggining, and im going to stick with that. Also i love how our big players are starting to show up Redden showing some great defence but still pretty bad on his offensive play, but what has suprised me in this series is the play of Marcus Naslund, hes been playing very good despite his 3 penalties in game 1. Also i dont think many people have mentioned it but for a long period of time the rangers took no penalties, and that may be one of the biggest reason we came out of this game alive.

    RANGERS IN 6, LETS GO RANGERS!

  2. AO and the rest of the Craps looked awfully tired to me in the third period. Seems to me like they have to start playing their listless third line more on Mon. This time they only get one day in between games to recoup too.

  3. Linda misses NY @ Playoff time on

    good post mike! I mentioned Nazzy’s 3 penalties in game 1 but improved play over on topix, and that’s a huge help. We need him to contribute, we need EVERYONE to contribute for the team to be successful! It’s great that they are coming together at the right time!

    Callahan…..it’s almost as if he gets better every game! The kid is THRIVING with his ice time, and showing everyone how they need to play! Him Aves and Dubi, you hit it right Rick…so much energy, so much guts, leading by example! The other thing is, as you said, they are willing to take a hit to make a play, making smart plays, and as mike said, STAYIN OUT OF THE BOX for long periods of time yesterday! Sally had also mentioned that in the game blog.

    If they can keep up this level of defensive play, and generate MORE offense, they could find themselves in the 2nd round before the week is out. Hank is KING!

  4. Linda misses NY @ Playoff time on

    doppler, they started saying that in the 2nd period yesterday, that the caps looked winded on the bench. It’s funny, when Torts first got here, how the Rangers looked that way. He got them in condition pretty quick because they are looking pretty good!

    They have to put more pressure on Varlamov tomorrow night, one goal is NOT going to do it two games in a row. Besides, Hank, and all of us, need some breathing room!!!

  5. mike in iowa(perkins alter ego) on

    stan fischler on game on blog is proving his senelity. hes talkin about sweeps and how boudreu is being badly outcoached. if he was a caps analyst, hed be like mcguire or beninati to us. although game 3 is probably the most pivotal game, i think even if we lose it, we can definitely get game 4 and just as easily win in 6. but stans acting like nothing wrong will or could happen to us in the series. thank god hes not coachj. torts is definitely got an edge over boudreau, but that kid varlamov is better than jose. we can still score more than 1 on this kid. even though the caps will play better, i think we always play better at home and torts knows how important this next game is. i think we win. close game but we will do it. this series is lookin more and more like atlanta in 07.

  6. mike in iowa(perkins alter ego) on

    linda- i saw the boston game also last night and i had posted about how whenever harwood would talk about the caps being frustrated and desperate and hank being a brick wall, and the payin the price to win games, beninati either changed the subject or didnt say anything about it. at least sam and joe have the decency to acknowledge other teams besides the rangers.

  7. Linda misses NY @ Playoff time on

    thanks for that link doppler…pretty funny stuff! If they park Brashear in front of Hank, or try to run him, I’m sure they will find a very uncomfy seat in the penalty box.

    Did you guys read, I believe it was Brooks, about Kerry Fraser!? What a slap in the face to Helmet head! How does he not get the call in round 1. They were really takin it to vanMasochist, sayin he has an ax to gring and all. The level of officiating this sport will take a dive ( or shall i say ” A CROSBY”) if AquaNet man decides to call it a day! van Massenhoven and McCreary…ugh…and mcgoo…ugh…

  8. Linda misses NY @ Playoff time on

    DOPPLERBOB
    April 19th, 2009 at 12:05 pm
    More funny stuff:
    http://boards.washingtoncaps.com/lofiversion/index.php/f4.html

    fans over there are talking about putting in Brash-air tomorrow night to roll over Henrik. They don’t care if we take penalties considering our weak PP. Guess they have a point there

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

    it would be hilariously funny if they do that and that’s the game our PP clicks!!!!! Can you imagine a Redden bomb from the blue line actually finding its way into the net!!?? That would be awesome. I’m telling you, I have a feeling our PP is going to come up big in one of the next 2 games!!!

    Mike, I agree with you on Sam and Michelobetti, they do acknowledge great plays or players on the other team. Beninati is such a shill that he can’t give credit to the man who shut out the team who pays him. Thats pretty small.

  9. “The point is you have chosen to have no opinion until it is safe to have an opinion. If you need to see where this team ends up this season to be convinced that the team is coached infinitely better than it was by Renney, then you have very little in the way of insight to offer here.”

    Riguere, I’ve already stated that I enjoy watching Tortorella’s brand of hockey more than Renney’s. Point set match on that one, it is more entertaining. Tortorella is a good coach but I think saying the team is infinitely better coached is over stating the case. The regular season is over and here are some observations:

    – The Rangers barely made it into the playoffs even with Tortorella, it came down to the last few games
    – Tortorella had Antropov, Avery and Morris
    – Those three players were difference makers down the stretch
    – The team still took bench minors even with their infinitely better new coach
    – The two big arguments for Tortorella relative to Renney, accountability (Redden, Roszival, Drury, etc) and opening up the game for guys Renney was “holding back” (Zherdev, Dubinsky, etc.), neither came to fruition

    Sorry, I respectfully disagree that you can make such a blanket statement on coaching ability when the results weren’t compelling, the team make-up is different, and the supposed trademark benefits of one coach’s style were never achieved.

    I’m psyched the Rangers made the playoffs and want Tortorella to be successful. I’m rooting for him and the team.

    I also don’t believe that the Ranger’s being up 2-0 right now has anything to do with coaching. It’s been all goaltending, Theodore playing like garbage game 1 and Lundqvist playing to his potential in game 2.

  10. mike in iowa(perkins alter ego) on

    linda- i sent you an email on myspace other day. i forgot but i was gonna ask you to tell me your daughters name to see if i knew her or my friends did because they were from selden/centereach. they went to newfield too. but actually, shes only 22? then we probably wont. were all in our late 20’s. im 28 so i know i wouldnt but my youngest friend is like 25. o well. anyway, its good to chat with a fellow strong islander from the same area!

  11. Rangers played a great game keeping wash shut down as well as one can.Calli and Dubi are the two best players the Rangers have not counting the King obviously :).
    The officials are a joke especially when it comes to Avery being attacked.I just hope it doesn’t take a serious injuryto Avery before buttman and his sstoogies start calling a fair game!!!!!!!!!Kerry Frasier is one of the best all time and to treat him like that is a disgrace,way to go buttman,collie and walkin.

  12. Linda misses NY @ Playoff time on

    i know you guys have strong opinions and that a lot of stuff was said before i found this place, but I hope all this ‘infighting’ doesn’t spill over into the game blog tomorrow. I was hoping it’d be contained to the post it started on. I know, I know, I’m just a girl, what do i know…but it seems to bring down the board when everyones bickering.

    The team seems to be playing a hybrid of both systems. Torts has tweaked the defensive end of it, but has also opened up the offensive side to let players be more creative. This has helped Cally and Dubi the most I think. But team defense and Hank won the game yesterday, and some of that was the system instilled by Renney. Renney was a good man, but his time here was done. You can’t win a playoff series without having a good defense, and the boys are playing that way right now.

    It doesnt really matter who’s right or who’s wrong at this point. The boys are in the playoffs and are currently up 2-0 with the next 2 games at home. Lets concentrate on that!

  13. You just can’t make this stuff up…I found this post on the Caps BB (thanks dopplerbob). Here is a Caps fan’s response to another Caps fan thinking starting Varlamov at MSG might be a bad idea:

    “hostile MSG? They will be lucky if the place is 80% full. Its like playing at a neutral arena. I would have no concerns with starting Varly in MSG….”

    What MSG is he/she talking about?

  14. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    And I forgot Antropov and Morris! (if there is any chance to keep them at all).

  15. True Fans, it’s going to be impossible to keep them all. I think either Morris or Mara or both will be gone, and Zherdev one way or another. Don’t know if it will be possible to sign Antropov, either. This summer will test Slats’ smarts for sure.

  16. not buying the sales pitch on

    I see some Renney-ade drinkers coming out of their caves and trying to attach some credit to clueless Tom for these 2 victories.

    well, I’ve got news for you guys.

    King Henrik said the biggest reason for the way the Rangers are playing is, ta-da, “the coaching change”

    Henrik should be more in favor of a defensive system, but NO, he likes the Torts system, and said so on TV.

    so, forget that Renney gets some credit crap, ’cause I will go with Henrik’s assessment over some posters who idolize clueless Tom.

  17. The way Versus and NBC are talking about Callahan (don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he’s getting the recognition he deserves) means he will get a juicy offer. There are still plenty of teams with lots of cap space that could use a 20 goal scorer who also blocks shots and defends his teammates.

  18. Cally is not getting $4 mill a yr. mara and morris are gone. the rangers will try to sign either zherdev or Antropov…

    Cally is a very good player but he is not getting $4 mill. a yr…

  19. Yes AO didn’t get back, but you didn’t mention that it was AO who turned it over in the first place with a pass to noone off the boards that Dubinsky easily picked up and passed ahead to Naslund.

    I love this stuff. I can’t wait to get up and come back to work tomorrow. Cause I know what is coming after.

  20. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Assuming you can sign Betts and Korpi on the cheap, who do you keep? By my calculations the Rangers will have 12.4million (+/- 500K)

    ALL Forwards hitting the market (8):
    Zherdev, Korpi, Shjoestrom, Dubi, Betts, Callahan, Orr, Antro.
    Forwards under contract (4/5):
    Gomez, Drury, Naz, Avery, as well as Voros, Anisimov (if you want to count him)

    Defensman UFA/RFA (2): Morris, Mara (+Gilroy)
    Other 4 defensman still under contract.

    Summary: ~10 players (depends if MDZ/Gilroy/AA can make NHL) need to be signed with 12.5millin! OMG!

  21. I don’t know why I’m bothering, but to anyone with an open mind out there, here it goes…I’m still confused about this black and white argument about Renney vs Torts.

    Renney needed to go – the team stopped responding – I think everyone can agree on that one. Torts seems to be a much better coach in-game so far. Renney was a good strategist, he just couldn’t get the team to buy in any more.

    The Rangers continued playing Renney’s system since the day Tortorella took over. Torts made adjustments here and there, but you can’t think the team will completely forget everything they learned + practiced 60 games into a season and take on a whole new system.

    The Rangers did play better thanks to the coaching change – it gave a shot of adrenaline to all the players. But those comments by Lundqvist don’t give you any ammo to say Renney gets no credit. It only supports the fact that Torts deserves plenty of credit for turning the ship when he did.

    Here’s a question to help one look at it from a different angle: Does Torts get 100% credit for the PK unit performance? Because that’s been a big asset for the Rangers this series…

  22. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Sorry, put Gilroy in wrong column. He should be in the “defensman under contract.”

  23. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Clive, no one’s saying Renney was useless.

    He served his purpose and he build the PK unit (great example).

    But Renney finished his with the Rangers going 2 – 9 – 2! Hank was asked what turned the team around to play better, well, that was coaching change! Had Renney stayed, they don’t make the playoffs. No doubt about that.

    Does it mean Torterella could have made the Rangers a playoff team from day 1? Well, that’s impossible to figure out. It’s almost not even worth arguing because its such a convoluted discussion to have.

    The main point is that MANY here thought the players were the problem and that NO COACH could win with these guys! Many posters (and even authors of this blog) thought that Renney was the secondary problem to the talent of the squad. Those Renney supporters said Torterella would still miss the playoffs!

    Coaching change, and guess what, PLAYOFFS! So while you can’t say Torterella is a 100% better coach, you CAN say that Renney was a big part of the problem.

  24. Unemployed Steve (formerly sesak) on

    Carp, how is the beard going? Mine looks and feels horrible.

  25. “The Rangers continued playing Renney’s system since the day Tortorella took over.”

    WHAT?? That is simply not true. I know you are referring to what the Rangers came out like in Prague. But as we all saw, that was the exception. Because as soon as Renney built a cushion of eight-ten games over .500, he began to try and play out the clock. Why? Because his conservative, fearful instincts took over.

    Tortorella, unlike Renney, does not have a coronary when three forwards are below the hashmarks in the offensive zone.

    Tortorella believes in pursuing the puck and possessing it. Renney does anything but. (See Vancouver too.)

    In short, the “system” this team was playing on Feb. 22 is OPPOSITE to what Renney was preaching: Passive, flood the neutral zone, dump and change, hope for a tie in regulation.

    And how people can type things like the quote above continues to astonish…

  26. Clive

    Wait a second. Tortorella’s team forechecks. Renney’s team did not come close to forechecking. How can you say they are playing the same system?? The two are completely and diametrically opposed in their approach to the game!

  27. Under Renney….I don’t remember ever seeing NYR block this many shots or the D-men down on one knee taking away passes through the crease. When was the last short-handed goal scored against?? uhm that’s right…when Renney was behind the bench.

    sorry, but Torts in da man.

  28. Shoryuken

    It is not “fighting” to point out that a statement is wrong and/or unfounded.

    If someone posted that the Rangers trailed this series 2-0 instead of leading it, it would bring a reaction.

    So when somebody posts that there is no difference between Renney’s system and Torts’ method, it will bring a reaction too. More similarity in the two examples than not if you ask me.

  29. True Fans,

    I agree. Renney was a big part of what wasn’t working when the coaching change was made. The team became dysfunctional under his watch.

    And I also agree that it is impossible to determine how the season would have gone with Torts from day 1. At the same time, it is impossible to figure out what would have happened if Renney kept coaching to the end of the season, and post deadline. (We all think we have an idea, though.)

    We also have to keep the timeline in perspective, too. The players-as-the-problem issue was dealt with as well at the trade deadline (barely a week after the coaching change). Bringing in Avery, Antropov, and Morris is pretty big change to the lineup. What would Renney have been able to do with that? Who knows at this point.

    Nobody can say as a fact what attributed to the turnaround more, coach or players. Sure, we can all argue about it with our opinions, but unless we were able to play this season with 4 different combinations of coach+roster (Renny/Torts and pre-trade/post-trade) and compare results is impossible.

    There are some here who sound like Renney deserves absolutely NO credit for where the Rangers are right now. That’s where I strongly disagree.

  30. Should Drury even be on the ice if he can’t take faceoff’s and has to protect his arm?

  31. Who cares about a past coach right now? Or the future salaries? Let’s enjoy the present!

  32. hey Clive, if you are going to give Renney credit for the PK now, then you also have to say that the crappy PP now is still his fault.

    you can’t have it both ways.

    besides, any teams’ PK depends more on good goaltending, and that is Henrik, not Renney

  33. No Country For Old Rangers on

    How about the huge smile of Redden’s face at the end of the game? Gotta say, I loved it

  34. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I’m still rooting for Petr Prucha, Nigel Dawes, Dimitri Kalinen, and the St. Louis blues!

  35. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I had to pinch myself this morning. Someone else pointed out that it feels like a dream! Hell yea!

    Up 2-0 in a series we weren’t given any chance! Woohoo. Pleasant surprises…. but I think it’s going to be a long series regardless. Huge edge, but if they revert to Renney-form they’ll get lazy and sit-back now. I hope Torts stays on them to press… it even looked last game the team sat way back, in terms of the “torts” system.

  36. I am not saying that Torts didn’t make adjustments. But does anyone remember what happened when Torts put in the hard forecheck with all forwards in? They got caught high and out of position, causing problems on the defensive end. They lost a couple games with that tactic. So what did he do? He pulled back on his approach and made sure the 3rd man stayed high (Renney’s method) going forward. That’s what they still do now.

    That’s Renney’s PK unit out there every night, too. Torts didn’t touch it much, and I’m glad. The PK units are a thing of beauty.

    Renney got too conservative because he got over-obsessed with defense. Why? Because we couldn’t score. Then players got tentative not wanting to risk too much going on offense, so they scored even less. So Renney pulled them back tighter on D. It became a vicious cycle.

    My argument has purely been that you have to give some credit to Renney for the Rangers current style of play. If you make the claim otherwise, then you have give Torts 100% credit for the PK unit performance? That doesn’t seem logical to me.

  37. Dawes was a healthy scratch quite often in Phoenix. even Gretz got sick of his soft perimeter act real quick

    the other guys, PP, Montoya, and kalinin did ok there

  38. Carp-

    Is it just me or did Jim Fox of Yahoo Sports change his pick to the Rangers….

    I’m 100 percent sure none of the writers chose them before…

  39. joe,

    I wasn’t asking for it both ways. I never said that the PP was not Renney’s fault or blamed Torts for it. But I’m glad you mentioned it. Torts and his staff couldn’t improve that much, now could they? Why is that? Because it takes a lot of time to employ entirely new systems…you could see it improve in fits and starts, but the players have tended to go back to what they had beaten into their heads for so long – which involves a lot of standing around. (I’m hoping they start to forget that part of Renney’s game before this round is over.)

    Again, I don’t know what the issue is – Renney needed to go…I’m glad they replaced him. It was the right change at the right time. At the same time, his mark is still on the team in one way or another.

  40. I JUST BOUGHT 2 TICKETS TO WED. GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOHOOOOO

    Ok I’m finished taking up bandwith now

    Thank You all for your patience and understanding

    Whooooooo Hooooooooo

    Rangers in 4!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. you are full of it, Clive, if you think the Renney system was an offensive zone system. the Torts system is an offensive zone forecheck. the renney system is a NEUTRAL ZONE TRAP.

    they hang back in the renney system, they are on their heels.

    they DON’T attack

    and none of your revisionist idol-worship will make it so.

  42. SECTION 345 bleeds blue on

    So here is the question: Thunderstix v.s Rally Towels.

    I think someone should write an article about the pros and cons of thunderstix and rally towels. Being in the playoffs every year since the lockout- and being a season ticket holder- the rangers organization supplied rally towels at every game, to the delight of the fans at the worlds most famous arena. The towels were fantastically used when the rangers scored a goal and the rangers goal horn rang in the ears of the garden faithful, with simultaneous jerking of the wrists in unison the towels proved to be working in perfect synchronization.

    The Thunderstix, however, provide one thing that towels do not: a heck of a lot of noise. The towels did not provide any luck for the rangers in the past, being bounced out of the playoffs without even making it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Perhaps this is the year of the thunderstix, leading to the year of the rangers.

    See you all there.

    Section 345.

    Where passion lives.

  43. fyi clive, the adjustment Torts made to his own system was to not have the Dmen pinching as often, because they were not always reading the play and their support correctly, and giving up 2-on-1s

    the 3rd man high forward is done by all coaches, and has nothing to do with the adjustment that Torts made to his own system.

  44. SECTION 345 bleeds blue April 19th, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    So here is the question: Thunderstix v.s Rally Towels.

    I’ll bring my Wolfpack Thunderstix
    And the beautiful wife is going with me!
    Boy I am a lucky man
    She is actually excited about going even though she thinks I am “embarrassing” at the games sometimes…lol

  45. Johnny LaRue on

    I think the only reason that the Renney subject has even come up is because the Rangers managed to protect a 1 goal lead for the whole game yesterday. Which was basically Renney’s philosophy for every game, but that’s where it ends.

    The team is becoming less and less Renney-ish. They protect leads by being aggressive now, not passive. And Renney certainly didn’t have them in the kind of condition it took yesterday to keep up that level of intensity for the whole game.

    The only problem is still their dopey power play. They needed to be watching Boston last night. Now that’s a power play. Maybe it’s easier said that done, who knows.

  46. e.m.,

    I think D-men pinch more now with Torts than they did with Renney, at least more effectively. At the end of Renney’s tenure, they looked much more tentative (e.g. Roszival + Redden especially).

    I think people only remember the way the team was playing under Renney when he was fired. It was a slow morph from the team that started off the season so well.

    No wonder anyone who liked Renney is not here anymore. You can’t say one nice thing about him without getting beaten over the head.

  47. Dubi or not Dubi on

    I’m bored from reading all the Renney vs. Torts stuff. It’s all subjective, I know I enjoy watching them more with Torts. That’s all!

    On an unrelated NHL note, Lucic will probably get a suspension for a “Cross check to the head/neck area” yesterday. If that’s the case, how come I’m not reading anywhere that Semin has a meeting with the league after his crosscheck to Cally’s face/neck? Anyone know the answer? I’m curious. (Of course I’ve already given up on Mike Green’s elbow to Sjo from game 1)

  48. dopplerbob,

    Please do me favor and pass on both. We don’t need props to help cheer at MSG. :)

  49. Dubi,

    I think Lucic has to be suspended, he got a match penalty that he really has no basis for objecting to. That said, I heard he claimed it was just his glove that hit Lapierre…

    We aren’t lucky enough to get those breaks. And by breaks, I mean consistent punishment for similar offenses.

  50. Despite celebrating a little too much last night, today is a beautiful, beautiful day.

  51. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    Clive Diggs –

    If you believe that the Rangers are playing anything remotley similar to Tom Renney’s system,you just don’t understand the game.That said,it doesn’t impune you from being a fan. So sit back and enjoy the run and stop with the Renney thing.If you need more proof of why the team is better than before,just listen to what it’s best player said when asked what is different now “coaching change and sytem” That says it all!

  52. I’m still not convinced that Varlamov is any better than Theodore. The guy has 6 NHL starts, whereas Theodore is a struggling vet who has seen playoffs before. There is no way this kid is past the starry-eyed phase yet, and if the Rangers strike hard, this kid will probably crap his pants.

    If Brashear takes a run at Lundqvist, I have little doubt that Tortorella will deploy Orr on him, or better yet, Varlamov. 2 can play that game, and Orr gets 4 minutes of ice time, so losing him to a match penalty is no real loss.

    Boudreau is vastly out-coached by Torts. Let’s face it, Boudreau is a good coach with AHL experience and 1 season of NHL experience, and 1 playoff series loss. Torts has a ring.

  53. that disgraceful jerk emrick talks over, and then cuts off the God Bless America duet with Kate Smith and lauren hart

    he is beyond contempt.

    yes, I know they recorded it during the commls. but he could have let it be heard after they came back. but no, he thinks his own stupid comments are more important

  54. Does anyone know if Matt Hunwick of the Boston Bruins has the same injury as Avery had last year?

  55. alex,

    This is too funny…How many times do I have to tell people: I’m glad Renney got replaced. Torts came in and made the right changes to make some good things happen.

    Objectively, there are elements of the Rangers game from Games 1 + 2 that were carry-overs from the Renney regime (and other games late in the year, too). We didn’t really bring it to the Caps when you watch the tapes – we were pushed back in our own end a lot.

    I’m not trying to say that Torts’ mantra is similar to Renney’s, I’m saying that players can’t just forget what they learned this late in the season, and they are displaying elements of both coach’s styles. Yes, they are more agressive on the other end – and I’m glad.

    On their own end, there is a lot of things they do the same way they did since day 1 of the season. Like the PK.

    But don’t start questioning people’s understanding of the game. That’s pretty tacky. We all have different perspectives, sure, but that doesn’t mean lack of understanding.

  56. It says Hunwick had a ruptured spleen while Avery had a lacerated spleen. I think in both cases they have to be removed, but it’s slightly different.

  57. Joe in DE,

    I agree, Varlamov has yet to be tested. I don’t know if his lack of experience helps or hurts right now – he could be more relaxed since he coming is the backup. What does he have to lose?

    If Brashear (or any Cap) hits Lunqvist, the refs better put a stop to it fast. I won’t hold my breath, though.

    Boudreau is at a loss – he basically said they’re not doing anything wrong and still can’t win. Not a vote of confidence.

  58. I’m like Kaspar —- cannot believe that I am rooting for the Philadelphia Effing Flyers. But my disgust and loathing re: Pittsburgh & Cindy & Malkin is way too strong. Go Flyers!

  59. Clive Diggs – I have to admit, the news articles don’t say either way, and I cant really remember. I suppose they could have repaired a laceration.

  60. Count me in on the rooting of the Flyers.

    Yes, I despise the Flyerss…..and my hatred for the Penguins is at an all time high….

    but I think the Penguins are a well-rounded team….but the Rangers can matchup with Philly much better.

  61. Malkin is a nasty fugg….Me thinks he is a better all around team player than O-Choke-in.

  62. Liquid,

    Ovechkin’s stock has slipped in my book this series. I’m sure bias is settling in because we are up against him, but his one-dimensional play makes him a liability when he doesn’t score.

    At the same time, I don’t think this warrants rooting for the Flyers. Chances are we wouldn’t face them in the next round anyway, so better to see them go out now. Devils, too.

  63. I hope Torts shows that Malkin goal to the Rangers. Flyers played great shut down defense the whole period, but let down for 40 seconds. Just enough to let Malkin score. Same thing happens if we do that to Washington and AO Lesson: Never let your guard down!

  64. Clive

    Today you have told us:

    —Renney and Tortorella play the same system.

    —-Tortorella reverted to Renney’s methods defensively. (As e.m. pointed out, you completely misunderstood/botched the tweak Tortorella actually made, ie. with the D, not the forwards)

    —-Ovechkin is a one-dimensional player.

    Please stop. It’s getting ridiculous.

  65. Wait…so the NHL warns GM’s there’s no message sending at end of games (by losing teams). But a guy gets a match penalty for intent to injure near, and Millbury thinks the league will give him a pass? If he’s right, then we’ve got problems.

  66. “But (AO’s) one-dimensional play makes him a liability when he doesn’t score.” Hahahahaha. You are joking, right. Liability!?

  67. Riguere,,,,

    Malkin is a Center. Ovy is a winger. In hockey, a team is usually built around Center #1. Malkin is not only a playmaker but he can score. He covers more of the ice and is more defensive minded. Ovy is one gear, overdrive. He can hit, he can skate, but he doesnt make his team mates better. He may inspire them to play better with the bunny hop celebrations.

    I would take Malkin over Ovechkin at this point in time to build my club around.

  68. I haven’t exactly seen AO tear up the ice defensively the past couple games. He got lazy on the back check after a long shift – helped us get the game winner. He is playing a great offensive game but not much else that I’ve seen so far. Malkin is playing better all-around.

    It’s like a pool of piranhas in here….ready to bite at anything.

  69. The Rangers will be a very young team for the next few years. They signed a defenceman yesterday just out of college who some say will be playing with them within the next year or so, and then theres Del Zotto, and a few guys in Hartfort pretty well ready. I wouldn’t be suprised if Rozy, and very likely Morris, and maybe even Mara don’t get signed. I’m sure there are a couple of forwards ready also. There will be some free agents here now not get signed for sure. That is something to think about next year for now I’m excited about this team and the way things are unfolding. Go Rangers!!

  70. Liquid

    Your argument is perfectly respectable until your write that AO “doesn’t make his team mates better.” When you resort to such an obvious untruth, it doesn’t help your cause. But again Malkin is a great player and you are on solid ground at least. Don’t think many GMs would pass on AO for him, but it would not be out of the question.

    Clive

    Again, if you write things that are ludicrous, you will get a reaction, This is a blog, remember??

  71. hockeymon –
    Rozy is ours next year, like it or not. Already has a contract. So far no complaints here since he returned from the injury though.

  72. Riguere,

    Maybe you should moderate the blog so someone who disagrees with your opinion doesn’t make it on to the site then. Then again, why have a blog at all?

    How can you call Liquid’s comment an obvious untruth? Ovechkin could be hurting his teammates by seeming to go shot first on almost every play. Is it so obvious he makes them better by doing this?

    It just boggles my mind you get so angry over this stuff…relax buddy.

  73. We have Rozy for 3 more years, no? Maybe he’ll get some trade value if plays solid thru the rest of the playoffs…but even if he does play at his current level, he’s still overpaid.

    Gilroy is not exactly a young college graduate. He’s 24…not sure why he is graduating so late.

  74. Carp,
    What do you think is wrong with Nik Zherdev? All the talent this guy has and I don’t think i have heard his name once in Games 1 and 2.

  75. Gilroy is not exactly a young college graduate. He’s 24…not sure why he is graduating so late.—

    Gilroy was a walk-on, no scholarship! Don’t know how that happened but we are the lucky recipients. If he were 1 year younger he would go to the entry draft and Tampa Bay or someone would get him (probably within the first 5 picks you would have to think)

  76. Clive

    “Ovechkin could be hurting his teammates by seeming to go shot first on almost every play” It just keeps getting crazier.

    Disagreements are great. The problem with you is not about disagreement. The problem with you is that your assertions are often factually incorrect. (See Torts, Renney coaching schemes)

    On AO, one-dimensional would seem to mean he has one skill. I assume you think it is goal-scoring. Do you not know how many assists he had this season? Are you not aware that each time he is on the ice the other team has to account for him, leaving tons of ice for his teammates. Did you see the game in Dec. when he singlehandedly brought his team back from a 4-0 deficit at MSG? Dio you know how hard he hits? Do you know there is NO ONE in the world who acelerates like he does?

  77. I agree Kris-
    halfway thru the game yesterday I posted a sarcastic remark “Is Z scratched today”

  78. This is part of the problem: http://www.faceoff.com/hockey/columnists/story.html?id=8205dbf7-a09f-4a6d-bcc4-50051f6ddf57

    Talking about game one: “Once again, Avery had done his job, albeit with the assistance of the referees, who should by now automatically send him to the box any time he starts one of his stare-downs with the other team’s goalie.”

    Clearly, that would show the referees having bias, which shouldn’t go into their penalty calls. Stupid Toronto media.

  79. Riguere wrote
    “On AO, one-dimensional would seem to mean he has one skill. I assume you think it is goal-scoring. Do you not know how many assists he had this season? Are you not aware that each time he is on the ice the other team has to account for him, leaving tons of ice for his teammates. Did you see the game in Dec. when he singlehandedly brought his team back from a 4-0 deficit at MSG? Dio you know how hard he hits? Do you know there is NO ONE in the world who acelerates like he does?”

    Good point. AO’s problem in my opinion is first of all his coach sends him on the ice way too much- Quality ice time should be the rule- in his case Quantity gets him into trouble.
    Second, he uses up WAY too much energy foolishly with his actions. Way too much. Just watch him behind the play- always doing something. The opposite of Redden, if you will.

  80. Is there really is a discussion on this board as to whether Ovechkin makes his teammates better?? Really?? Is that possible?? WHO ARE WE, A BUNCH OF FIRST GRADERS??

  81. Gilroy started college 2 years late to work on his game. he was also a late bloomer in terms of growth spurt. part of article is shown below

    http://www.bu.edu/today/node/8608

    “After high school, he played for two years in a junior league to prepare for collegiate hockey. “I wanted to play at a school that had a rich hockey tradition,” he says. “And everyone knows the legacy of BU.”

    Gilroy was the last player to be selected for the 2005–2006 BU hockey team, the only one who didn’t come in on a hockey scholarship. The acceptance came with a stipulation from Coach Jack Parker: Gilroy had to switch from forward to defenseman. The condition would have discouraged most players — Parker has said that in some ways, that was his intent — but Gilroy accepted the challenge. “It’s actually one of the best things that could have happened to me,” he recalls, “because it developed me into a two-way player.”

    During his freshman and sophomore years, Gilroy grew seven inches and gained more than 50 pounds. And his game improved — so much that less than two years after his tenuous beginning at BU, the pros came calling. Nearly every team in the National Hockey League was courting the player who had barely made the college team.

    Gilroy never considered deserting his teammates. “I wasn’t ready to leave,” he says. “You only get four years of college hockey, and then it’s over. I didn’t want to give that up.”

  82. Oh goodie, intermission is coming up … we’ll get to hear McNugget talk about how the Avery is bush-league while he’s getting some underneath the table from Milbury

  83. DopplerBob

    Interesting; you might be on to something. But I can’t help but feel that we are whistling past the graveyard in this series so far where AO is concerned.

    AO turned Roszi and Girardi inside out many times over the past two games. He got has 19 shots in two games. He hit the crossbar after a terrible gaffe by Staal (however slash-induced it was).

    And it just feels to me that people are discounting his greatness after two games in a series that is still very much up for grabs.

  84. Its almost like he got too pumped up for this series and overwhelmed himself. When he hit the crossbar in the third yesterday, it seemed like that was one of the few but far between chances he got so far. But you’re right, he is still the best in the world and Mon. night we have to stay on him like a fly on you know what.

    Riguere April 19th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    DopplerBob

    Interesting; you might be on to something. But I can’t help but feel that we are whistling past the graveyard in this series so far where AO is concerned.

    AO turned Roszi and Girardi inside out many times over the past two games. He got has 19 shots in two games. He hit the crossbar after a terrible gaffe by Staal (however slash-induced it was).

    And it just feels to me that people are discounting his greatness after two games in a series that is still very much up for grabs.

  85. Riguere,

    Now we’re getting somewhere. I wish you would stop considering viewpoints as facts. That might make you relax a bit more…

    You interpreted a comment like one-dimension to mean one-skill. What I meant was in this series he is purely focused on offense, specifically a shooting offense. so much to the point where he cost his team a game-deciding goal in Game 2. I don’t think that helps his teammates as optimally as someone like Malkin, who seems to be a more balanced threat shooting and playmaking wise, not to mention defensive responsibility). (Forgive me if I don’t have my facts…er, opinion right)

    Again, I’m talking about the play this round only (hence, my reference to his stock slipping in this series). Why you are bringing up the regular season is beyond me….

    Ovechkin is still a huge threat and I think the Rangers will certainly keep a lot of their attention on him.

    And dufarge, yes it is possible…and he started it. :)

  86. DooblerBob
    Sorry I guess I knew Rozy was all ready signed, not thinking real well I guess. Like you say though, if he continues to play like he has been. Why complain. I was really disappointed with Zerdive, he really wasn’t doing anything yesterday. It seemed he was way out there. skating but doing nothing making stupid plays with the puck . putting people offside making to many moves. He looked like he didn’t know what he was doing.

  87. Dubi or not Dubi on

    Re: Z – he has played 23 minutes combined in both games so far… Not really a lot of time to make something happen. Especially when he seems to play with a different center every time he goes out there. I mean, Drury played 15 minutes yesterday and the only time we saw him was when he was getting punked by Backstrom.

  88. The good thing about O.V. is he doesn’t pass much so that gives the advantage to the checker. Although with his speed and power he got to be really hard to keep track of. In the game yeaterday I think it’s the first time I ‘ve ever noticed him standing around, and that was only a couple of times, but usually his feet are allways moving. He also made a couple of bad giveaways.

  89. This team has contained the best player in the world for 2 games. They have the big-shot tv analysts saying that AO should be looking to PASS more… The same guy who led the league in shots by almost double.. Gotta love the way they’re playing.

    Anyway, Dru has been invisible, but he’ll come up big in one of these games – when you least expect it. THat’s what he does

  90. oh and on the cally goal. The correct term to use regarding AO’s play is he ‘Dogged it’

  91. hockeymom, let’s hope for more of the same from him from here on out then.

    That said, be careful. Your comment might not pass the fact-checkers’ screening on this site…

    I hope the Rangers can take the next 2 and give Drury an extended rest. He needs a healthy arm/wrist/hand/finger if we expect to go much further.

  92. Matt Turz, Who?

    Clive, egads, a Poodle!

    Kris, I have no idea, but he looks lost. Maybe it’s a first playoff thing, maybe the tempo and the hitting are more than he thought they would be. I don’t know. But he’s not doing himself any favors.

    To all … Maybe I should put up a post for the Renney vs. Tortorella Holy War people and let them all just stay over there so the rest of us can talk about something that’s relevant.
    Fact of the matter is, Renney got them five rounds of playoffs in three years, after none in eight and then his expiration date arrived. He’s gone, he’s a good man — and if you think he isn’t, you’re WRONG — and it doesn’t matter any more.

  93. Clive

    Facts are stubborn things. But keep watching the games, and learning, and in time they will become your friends too! So one day you too will know the difference between a 1-2-2 and a team that forechecks below the hashmarks!

  94. Carp

    It does matter, when the level of discussion on this site has reached a point where Tortorella and Renney are described as playing the same systems, and Ovechkin is described as a one-dimensional player who lost Game 2 all by himself. That’s how low the standard has fallen today.
    Be a Renney fan, fine. Be a Torts fan, cool. But when you can’t even tell the difference between their philosophies, then it’s getting pathetic.

  95. BrooklynDomi on

    wheres zherdev been?
    i agree with hockeymom about him looking lost out there, it seems like when the playoffs started Z stopped playing.

    or maybe im being too harsh too early into the playoffs but either way i would like to see him making some crazy plays that we all know he is capable of

  96. Im going to have to go back and read 2 days worth of posts. OMG what a game that was. I know Im late to the game 2 celebration.

    I dump Rozi and Naslund – $10 mill right there to resign who they need to.

    Im really disappointed in Zherdev, though he would come alive in game 2. Honestly, if he doesnt do anything tomorrow night – dump his a$$ too…

  97. Hasn’t Zherdev gotten even less ice time than has been usual under Tortorella? No excuses for him, he has been a total nonentity.

  98. Rick that is an awesome picture. Any way I could get a print (or at least a bigger sized picture?)

    Keep up the good work.

  99. There’s no pleasing some people…even if you try to paint a balanced perspective, the overzealous types go nuts.

    Maybe I made some poor choices of words in communicating what I’m trying to say. But I know differences in philosophies – we’d heard the entire week they brought Torts in. The team still has been playing to both IN MY OPINION (key phrase) – there isn’t exactly an ocean of difference between the way the Rangers played these first 2 games, and the way the Rangers played (at their best) under Renney. We didn’t exactly apply that much forecheck pressure…and our PK was key.

    Can we put it to rest now that I’m telling you for the 50th time that I AM HAPPY THEY REPLACED RENNEY. TORTS IS DOING A GREAT JOB. I AM HAPPY TORTS IS THE COACH.

  100. Dufarge,

    Torts said he would give more time to the players that perform, instead of hoping for someone to turn it on. Z must have been who he was talking about.

  101. Mako to your post, i think the rangers are going to dump zherdev, morris/mara one of the too, and try and trade rosival/redden probably will only be able to move rosival though. I know this is a pretty insane idea but what if the rangers got Gilroy in hopes of trading home with say redden or rosival. I also think thrashers are going to try and make a push to get callahan or dubinsky on their team. On top of all that imagine this trade

    Gilroy, Rosival 2nd round draft pick and rights to Nik Zherdev for Malkin?? lmfao i wish but a more likley trade which i can actaully see

    Rosival, Mikka Wikkaman and 3rd draft pick for Alexander Semin??

    I just hope the rangers can get a 40 goal scorer next season (Grachev or maybe Antropov, maybe even Callahan) but i doubt it, i would want Gaborik but he gets hurt to much

  102. MAKO, if you are going to go back and read two days worth of posts, you can surely skip a few hours of some of the most poorly timed, ridiculous arguments we’ve had here in the three months I’ve been here.

    PuxinOx, just Google Henrik Lundqvist, AP photo. That’s where I found it.

    New post.

  103. Rick, there is a big difference between good man and good coach.

    we don’t say that he’s not a good man. I’m sure he’s quite pleasant to talk to.

    but, as a coach, he is clueless. and he did NOT get the rangers five rounds of playoffs.

    HENRIK did.

    and clueless Renney tried to keep him on the bench and play that sieve Weekes, even after Henrik had proved himself the first time Weekes was injured, Renney STILL INSISTED that Weekes was his #1, until another injury gave Henrik and the fans the chance to make it impossible for clueless Tom to continue the charade.

  104. those are facts that everyone who was there coming out of the lockout in ’05 knows is true. that is exactly how it happened.

  105. Capital is quite tight in my household suitable now so many extras can be found eliminated from our budget. The very first factor to go was our cell phone plan and cable wasn’t far behind. At 1st I thought this would be a huge issue as my husband likes to watch sitcom re-runs. Yet, this hasn’t been a issue as he is capable to Watch Frasier Online. too as other favorites of his. I’m glad he discovered these as I do not want him to lose everything he loves. Thankfully, I am able to write part of our Internet fees off for my job so we didn’t have to get rid of that also. I believe that would happen to be the final straw for him.

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