Guest blogger: Mike G


What will our Rangers roster look like come opening day?

Glen Sather was a very busy GM this off-season and the Rangers will start the 2009-2010 season with a drastically different look than they had finishing off the 2008-2009 campaign.  The revolving door to the Rangers locker room is still spinning thanks to the never ending slew of additions and subtractions we saw go down this off-season. Let’s go through a quick recap of the complete overhaul the Rangers roster went through since the regular season ended.

Subtractions (in no particular order): Zherdev, Gomez, Naslund, Mara, Dawes, Korpikoski, Sjostrom, Betts, Orr, Antropov, Kalinin, Prucha, Morris, Fritsche. For those keeping score at home, that totals 14 players lost from last season’s roster to trades/free agency/retirement.

Additions: Gaborik, Higgins, Arnason, Boyle, Brashear, Kotalik, Lisin, Gilroy, McDonagh. That totals 9 new players that could end up on this year’s opening day roster. Simple math, and a very honest John Tortorella tell us that aside from the new guys like Gaborik, Higgins, Brashear and Kotalik, this year’s training camp will be a dog fight amongst the other Ranger hopefuls (especially the young guns) in donning the Rangers’ blue come opening night. Spots will be earned and lost in training camp.

Given all the action we saw this summer off the ice, let’s take a look at what The Rangers’ opening day roster might look like on the ice. Keep in mind two things when reading what I think the roster might be come October: 1) I am assuming Brandon Dubinsky will sign a new contract 2) I have been wrong before.
Line 1-Higgins-Dubinsky-Gaborik: Dubinsky is going to be given the chance to run the show as the #1 Center. Prospal was signed this off-season as a winger for the most part, and a center in case Dubinsky fails to produce as the #1 center. Higgins seems to be a good fit for the top line based on his aggressive style and his hard work in the corners. He could create a lot of room out there for Gaborik to work his magic.

Line 2-Prospal-Drury-Callahan: Callahan and Drury have complementing styles that could prove to be a powerful combo; throw Prospal on the opposite wing (hoping he has an up year) and this line could produce a good amount of points. Should this line fail to produce, it’s very possible we could see Drury and Kotalik reunited on the same line like the old times in Buffalo.

Line 3-Avery-Anisimov-Kotalik: Tortorella has made it very clear that the young guys in the organization have just as good a shot to make the team as the veterans. That being said, I think Anisimov will be the guy to shine in training camp and get the nod for the start of the season. Avery and Kotalik are both aggressive wingers that could create a lot of scoring opportunities when they are out there; having a skilled center man in between them would be a good way to get them going offensively.

Line 4-Brashear-Boyle-Lisin:  The Rangers as a team, got pushed around a lot last year (Remember Torts recently called them soft, I don’t think he was only talking conditioning). Colton Orr was really the only heavy weight on last year’s team that could go out there to protect and serve. Now that The Rangers have replaced Orr with Brashear, I think using Boyle at center for the fourth line (6’7 244 Lbs.) gives the Rangers some added toughness out there when it is needed. Tortorella really enjoyed having Sjostrom’s speed out there with the tough guys, giving the fourth line a more versatile look than other fourth lines around the league. I think Lisin could prove to be a nice replacement for Sjostrom in that regard.

D1-Staal-Girardi: This pairing is the clear number one for the Rangers this year and for years to come. I am very excited to see how they fair this year.

D2-Redden-Rozsival: Tortorella will stick with this pairing as he did for much of last season. When talking about the pairing during the playoffs, Torts had this to say, “Reds and Rozie really stabilized it [game 1 after a bad penalty call at the start of the game].” This pair was really solid in the playoffs and I think we see Torts go back to it come the start of the season.  

D3-Del Zotto-Gilroy: If the Rangers have showed one consistent organizational trait over the last few years, it’s a dependency on their young, up and coming stars (especially at the blue line). Like they leaned on Girardi and Staal (look how that turned out) I think we see Torts lean on Del Zotto and Gilroy to showcase their talents and get some NHL experience to grow on. 

Honorable mentions: Grachev and Voros. Both could be options down the line if they come out strong in camp but I feel as if Torts will go with other options before giving these two the nod. Grachev could benefit from some time in the AHL and Voros has not really proved himself to be anything more than a punching bag for opponents.

And that concludes my thoughts on what our New York Rangers will look like come opening day. Let’s discuss like only us “Boneheads” can. Carp, thanks so much for giving me this honor and opportunity to fill in for you today, I really enjoyed writing this for everyone to read and discuss.

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  1. Olga Folkyerself on

    Good presentation Mike G! I bet those lines are pretty close.

    Bad news- 8th place.

    Fire Sather.

  2. Great job Mike! I second that Sally. I am ready for some hockey!

    TR-808, who are you on Twitter? What is twitter name?

  3. Just added you, sorry about that!

    I definitely think a group of us should try and get together for a game this year. Either at a bar or at MSG.

  4. That would be so much fun to watch a game with you boneheads! I’ll let you know if I’ll be in the city at all this winter.

  5. Nice post Mike G! I cant wait to see the team in action! It promises to be one hell of a season!

    Hey Carp… i got your email and i gotta ask you something…Why did you send me your nude pictures for?? I almost went blind just now! LOL :P

  6. Nasty 1 – posted something on the last thread about your post and added you on Twitter (bmitchelf).

    This is a great way to pass the time before the season!

  7. Trapped in LA on

    Lisin is not a 4th liner.
    I would like to a Russian connection of Grachev-Anisimov-Lisin.

  8. Thank you, someone who has Kotalik on the 3rd line !! That’s where he belongs.

    Camp’s coming, i cant wait. Im sick of hearing aboot football retirements, or non-retirements, and stupid boring baseball, and basketball players getting suicidal even though they have all the money in the world, and blah, blah, blah.

    I raise my glass to you, hockey ! But mostly to you Megan Fox !!

    I also raise my glass for Sienna Miller tonight, cause she looked hot on Kimmel.

  9. ZzZz 11 ZzZz "Don't mess with Mike G!!!! " says...Greg L. on

    Who says a Guest can’t say what is what? You read stuff , watch stuff , like tsn and they talk about the Rangers and they usually do not have a clue.

    It oviously shows that you do know yer Rangers Mike and ya nailed them perty darn good. Good job . I Bet you can’t do all the NHL teams like ya just did the Rangers!!? If you can …Do the Atlantic divison next week!!! Mon -Pit /Tue -NJ/ Wed -Flyers /Thur -Isles/Fri – Predictions

    you can do it!!!!

  10. ZzZz 11 ZzZz "Don't mess with Mike G!!!! " says...Greg L. on

    scribble , scribble all ya want !! we can still read it!!! Dam line through my sentence :(

  11. When I read Kotalik on the third I said to myself ‘Orr’s gonna LOVE that!”.

    Glad to know I stayed up for a reason.

    Great Stuff Mike!
    I think you are right when you mention Buffalo redux – My guess is we’ll see Kotalik get a chance to fail alongside Drury – on the 2nd line.

  12. MikeG – nice post. I think Prospal has a good chance of being on Dubi’s left, but it will depend on how Higgy does in camp and in pre-season and i’m not sure if MDZ will make the jump just yet, id’ bet on Heikkinen, Sauer, Potter or Sangs filling that spot.

    Lets hope this is a continuing trend now of 3-4 youngsters getting their shot each year, if they show the maturity required i say throw them in.

    Lets also hope assumption number 1 comes true very soon.

  13. Great post,

    Religiously read the blog since Sam’s days, got the itch to participate this year.

    IMHO, Sauer will be there instead of Del Zotto and Grachev makes it over Lisin. I have them carrying Voros and Potter as extras, not sure about the third.

  14. Nice work Mike. I thought the combos and your assessment were spot on, except I have a sense Kotalik was really signed specifically to work with Drury so up front I’d probably switch those two. But you did mention that as a possibility. Also, while Boyle certainly provides size up front for the fourth line, his rap is that he doesn’t play big or tough. But we’ll see. Great post.

  15. Great job Mike

    – I like Cally and Avery on the same line though, with Kotalik up on Drury’s line. I’ll bet we get to see both combos right away in any case. Two rookie defensemen together also makes me nervous, but I agree that I don’t really want to separate the two “working” pairs we have. All in all I think you nailed it. Who knew all you guys could write so well :)

  16. Also although I know Avery really isn’t a first line guy he can be good up there sometimes. I keep thinking he might be good with Gabby between his speed, his super powers at distracting opponents and making them forget everthing but going after him, and his willingness and ability to fight – sounds like just the thing to open Gabby up and make players pay immediately for any cheap shots. Thoughts?

  17. I was thinking that for a bit (Avery with Gab) but then thought that maybe he’s too radical and could take too many penalties to play on the first line…because let’s face it, he is going to take penalties.

  18. Mike G -great post….what do we think the special units will look like, you know torts likes to play his top players top minutes

    1) PK line one

    Staal Girardi Drury and Callahan

    2) PK line two

    Rozsival Redden Dubinsky and Higgins

    More interesting are the PP Units, will staal get to see more time on the PP, will Torts demand Rozsival to use his one time shot more, will drury see any point time on the pp, will torts go with kotalik on the pp and thus possibly have two pp lines with 4 forwards….i think the PP lines are a crap shoot at this point but here goes a shot

    Rozsival Redden Dubinsky Gaborik Drury
    Staal Kotalik Higgins Prospal Callahan

    Maybe Sanguinetti impresses in camp and he becomes a valuable player on the PP point, who was the last guy we had faith at the PP point!

    22 days until I am in the blueshirts and I Get to hear LETS GO RANGERS AND POTVIN SUCKS, I AM GETTING THE CHILLS ALREADY


  19. onecupin69yearsand counting on

    Great post Mike,
    on paper the rangers always look good,in order for this team to win ,every one,I mean everyone has to have a good year.
    last year they were injury free, I don’t expect them to avoid the injury bug this year, thats what hockey is about, depth, guys stepping up.
    Jagr was a horse and took a lot of punishment from the opposition, gaborik isn’t a horse, he needs to be protected.

  20. My only change would be to use Drury and Kotalik together. Both guys had career years when they played on the same line in Buffalo. Why not try to recreate some of that magic.

  21. gaborik will have to be a horse. he’ll have to be tough as an italian stallion if hes gonna make it in the atlantic division. i think he can go out and have an amazing season and i think the best thing is if he starts defending himself instead of letting aves do it all the time. hes gotta show some meanness and go after guys that take liberties with him. if e3verybodys worrying about gabby all the time, it will affect the rest of their game, especially when playing with him on the same line.

  22. Mike — you might be right on the penalties, but I think he’ll have to reign it in a little – he won’t get to play otherwise. He managed for a while on the top line with Jagr pretty well, but I guess we can’t expect that all season.

    Do you think we’ll see an end to open season with no calls on Avery – I’m surprised Torts and Schoenfeld didn’t make more of that last season.

  23. I was originally thinking about doing a post just about the powerplay but then i realized I would be wasting mine and everyone’s time lol. PP is a total guess I think at this pt. Torts has shown he likes to mix it up and I am sure that is what he will do until something sticks. As far as PK I def agree with you Seth: PK1 Dru-Cally and Staal Girardi and PK2 I think Higgins/Kotalik actually and the same D pair.

  24. BlueBlood I feel like Avery needs to earn Tort’s trust before he is put on the top line. But it certainly could go down should things not work with his combos. Avery is def a L2 L3 guy under Torts IMO though.

  25. blueblood- i hope your right. i was pissed off whenever they would give aves every call against anytime he went ner any other player, and didnt call anything when he was messed with. i think hes always gonna have a bias against him, but i dont see it being so onesided like it was anymore.

  26. laurel, and carp- i changed my mind. i want to do a whole post next week. or if thats all filled up, id like to do one later in september when you go on vacation again. but id like to do next week. i hope im not too late. if i am, laurel, i still will do a little one with you.

  27. Hockeyman Rangers on

    I am not sure this post helps me getting thru the summer months. Because now I can’t wait to see how these lines actually do come together. But great post Mike G. I would really like to see some Hartford boys in the line up Anisomov is a good start, Grachev I think will be hard to send down to AHL. But you could be right he might need some AHL level of play to get him started. Am I wrong or did you miss a few players that were signed but not on your line list???

  28. Mike G.
    Nice post! I also like your line combo’s.
    It seems as though Torts is building a very gritty, fast team.

  29. I think they should spread the grit around. Avery/Cally/Higgins play the grinder style and should probably be distributed on different lines. I remember Cally having some good chemistry with Drury 2 years ago (I’ll dismiss last season when no one seemed to have good chemistry except for the Voros-Dubi-Z line for about 10 games). I seem to recall that Avery did pretty well with Jagr and Dubi that season as well. So the lines may look like:


  30. Mike G,

    Nice post. Like your thought process mostly.

    Here is the one thing: Boyle…for as big as he is, the guy has not been in any fights barely. I am not sure how size translates to toughness. Anyone remember Willie Huber? He was like 6’5″ or something and 240lbs or whatever and a total pu$$y on D. I never considered that guy a tough guy. So Brashear is still the only real enforcer or tough guy on the team as far as I can tell.


  31. Hockeyman Rangers: Hmm…yeah I missed Corey Locke but I think thats it. Also, I do not see him making the team lol.

  32. Newman, I think thay you can have two types of enforcers: 1) the fighter (Brashear) and 2) the guy that can slam you into the corner and make you feel like you just faught someone. I think that Boyle could play that role if he embraces it as his own. I mean thats a lot of size that can do a lot of damage. Take Mara for example. Not much of a fighter or tough guy before last year. But he was asked last off-season to step it up physically by the coaching staff. He did an excellent job of that. I think its not a reach to think they might ask the same of Boyle. Thoughts?

  33. I still think they’re looking for the first line center. Either they acquire Heatley (dump Roszival salary) and Prospal centers him and Gabby, or the just add Sundin and it looks like this:


  34. Nice post Mike G.

    I think I’ll agree with two other posters that Kotalik will be on the 2nd line. Drury has played with him before and according to internet rumors (yes I know) vouched for kotalik’s signing. I think if you switch Kotalik and Avery that is a very realistic lineup for opening night.

  35. DelZotto/Gilroy paired together? 2 rooks will not be out there at the same time, except maybe for a pre-season game.

  36. Great post Mike G… Spot on assesment. I’m with the others who say Drury with Kotalik but otherwise great job.
    I think what we have to realize is that Torts will switch things up mid-game if necessary so what we have in the makeup of this squad is interchangeable parts. We may see more line combos than even in the Renney era. Bad? Good? I dunno

  37. Grachev the Gamebreaker (JAY G) on

    Mike G. Great Post.

    Just curious to get a feel for what some of you think about the Sharks stripping their captains of their patches? Do you think this will benefit the team and Will Joe Thorton finally step up and become the leader we have all expected him to become?

    Big Joe definitely has the numbers to be a top star in the league, just don’t think he has the leadership skills to get the sharks to the promise land. I hope I’m wrong because he is the epitome of Canadian Hockey.

  38. What the heck on

    I respectfully disagree mike g. I agree more with ues.

    Line 1,
    Avery, dubi, gaborik
    key word- versatility. Aves provides grit and protection (gabby needs that), gaborik has the scoring touch, and dubs has the center position down, plus he’s a great playmaker and the energy and passion of the line. This line is based on gabbys needs.

    Line 2,
    higgins, prospal, callahan
    key word-energy
    after the first line tires out opposition, the second line comes out flying. Cally has scoring touch and energy, higgins is energy and playmaker, prospal is a goal scorer and needed experience for the line

    line 3
    kotalik, drury, lisin
    key word- buffalo sabres
    let’s face it. Drury is no first or second liner and same with kotalik. Lisin reminds me of petr prucha with more of a scorers touch. Lisin will be best utilized on the third line, most definitely not the fourth. With the moves he pulls, he could give away pucks too, which leaves drury as a defensive minded center to back him up. And sather brought kotalik to be with drury.

    Line 4
    brashear ansiminov voros
    key word-grit and size
    brashear is the fighter, voros provides energy, ansiminov provides skill, without a touch of skill this line will flounder and get scored on every time. I know we don’t want to reduce ansiminovs playing time, but I think this is best for this years team. And torts is a “this year” guy

    d-line 1
    staal redden
    key word-versatility
    redden has the shot, but has a lack of energy and makes mistakes. Staal has no shot but will make up for the areas in which redden lacks

    d-line 2
    rozi del zotto
    key word-versatility
    opposed to mike gs stance, I do not think they will put two players who have never seen the NHL before together. They will be split up between players that have seen the NHL.

    D-line 3
    girardi gilroy
    gilroy has not even seen the ahl yet and will therefore be a third liner.

    I’m not sure if these dlines are correct, but I know that they won’t play two rooks together and they won’t put two non-goal scorers and two goal scorers together.

    Wow that was a long post.

  39. I think that Torts might use the Kotalik Drury thing as a backup. I mean why not try something new with all these new parts and fall back on what you know if it doesnt work. Maybe thats too radical of a way to go but I think it proves to be interesting.

  40. Nice post Mike G!!!
    Carp, can you make this guest posting thing a weekly event? Nasty and Mike have done a great job.

  41. Laurel Babcock on

    Good morning Staal and all! Mike G….you knocked it out of the park (oops, sorry, didn’t mean to talk baseball). Can’t wait to see who predictions come true.

    Mike/Grab…it’s Carp’s call on who gets the coveted guest blog spot, but I’ll sneak you in sooner if you like.

    It’s gonna be a great day!

  42. I like how Janssen switched from righty to lefty a couple of times in that fight. He must have thought to himself “Geez this guy is so easy to beat I’ll go with my weak hand”. Why in the name of the sweet baby jeebus did Voros get back up after getting knocked down the first time?

  43. Lee,

    I second that motion. Carp I promise to keep it clean if you gimme the opportunity to blog after opening night!

  44. OPENING NIGHT. o man. I can’t wait. I have my call today with MSG about possible season tickets. Anyone want to buy a kidney?

  45. i believe there are limited packages available, i was offered additional season tickets on the 300s so i think in this economoy there are some limited seats left

  46. Enough is Enough on


    Really like the lines you put together here. I actually like them more and more as I think about ’em.
    One thing though: We saw Avery be very effective on some of the top lines last seaason. Don’t you think his role as a pest is most effective when he’s skating against the opponent’s better players?
    I know he definitey shouldn’t be 1st line, but second is something to consider…

  47. Mike G

    Great post my friend. You stirred up some great conversation.


    add me on twitter, I requested top secret clearance!

    Grabachev and everyone else

    Good morning and have a crease clearing hard hitting physical d man day!!!

  48. I see that we are off to another great day of discussion. I think those lines look pretty damn good, and make sense.

    I do think we will see Drury and Kotalik together on the PP.

  49. Swap Cally and Valerie (Kotalik) and you have the lines nailed. I can’t imagine Kotalik being lined up with anyone other than Dru.

  50. What the heck, Drury may not be a 1st or 2nd liner, but I don’t think we’ll see him anywhere else.

    Good morning, Carp!

  51. Here comes seidenberg, here comes seidenberg
    right down slatipuss lane
    redden and rozsival and all the d men
    play the same style game!!!!

    That is my opinion on seidenberg, a current ranger d man clone. (my thanks to grabachev for the usage of the slatipuss phrase)

  52. Lisin on the 4th line seems to me to be a complete waste of his pure skills and a sure way to get him depressed and then to have him underperform as a result. He needs to be pushed to excel, not asked to get into spots his linemates can’t handle.

  53. Man I love that Voros video. His fight philosophy is to “Cool Hand Luke” it and just get up till the other guy is confused. Unfortunately there are refs in hockey, and they frown upon 9 minute bludgeonings. I bet he can eat a ton of eggs too.

    Great posts both Nasty and Mike G! I’m coming back to the blog now that we’re getting closer to camp!

  54. Great little tune there, Wicky. Now what about that crease-clearing d-man?

    CCCP, you wish.

    Good morning, Sally!

    Mike (Grabachev) I’ll put you in next week’s schedule.

  55. Carp

    Oh, its KILLING me!!! Until we sign another vet d man (if we do), I’m holding out hope for gauthier. Glad you liked the tune!

  56. Nice job Mike. I don’t expect Del Zotto to make the big team this year but I’d like him to. I think they’ll give him some time in Hartford before the jump to the NHL. Sangs, Heineken and Potter have a chance also. Let’s get Dubinsky signed already!

  57. I agree with the no Voros comments…he is slow and last season was an embarrassment.
    I have a few questions on Boyle though…
    I understand that he is huge…but is he slow?
    Antropov was huge, but he did have some speed, not Sjo speed or Dubi speed but he could move…I think big players just because of size…appear slow.

  58. Anyone going the Rangers’ Fan Fest this weekend? I dub it the “offical start of the 2009-’10 season”. A season when our boys in blue will surprise a lot of people, particularly The Hockey News & their wacked-out prediction of 13th in the East. I’m starting to see a somewhat anti- Rangers bias coming from that publication. The pick of 13th in the East was bad in itself, but then THN rates the King as only the 24th best player in the League & gives their prospects a C+ rating. I’d love to to hear their rationale for predicting Florida ahead of NYR. Let’s see, Florida added no free agents of significance, but did lose their best player from last year- so they’ve obviously improved.

  59. I agree with Chris F. about Lisin on the 4th line although… I will say that I’m not expecting as much out of him as some others may be.

    I know he has skill but honestly why would Maloney trade him away for nothing if he had that much upside?

    There’s potential there for sure… but I see him more as a guy that gets some games when someone is injured or in a slump…

    He may impress in camp and get a spot… That would be great… but otherwise he’s just gonna be rotated in.

  60. BroadwayBlue-i will be attending saturday’s festivities-first time for me-what exactly goes down at the fanfest?

  61. For those complaining about Lisin possibly being stuck on the 4th line, remember: Injuries happen. Players on the top 3 lines will come and go, and Lisin can slot up to fill those spots as needed. Players will also need rest (especially with the Olympics), or will slump, and he can rotate in for that. Guarantee he doesn’t play 82 games on the 4th line.

  62. According to the article in

    Patrick Elias won first career “The Gold Stick” award as the best player in Czechia with 428 votes. Jagr was second with 357 votes. The winner is chosen by the results of voting of trainers, commentators and journalists. Third place was awarded to the best sniper in KHL Yan Marek with 334 votes.

  63. about Lisin

    i’ve read somewhere online that Maloney wasn’t really happy with Lisin’s defensive play and that Lisin wanted to go back to Russia if he wasn’t gonna get a contract he was looking for in Phoenix. So Maloney was afraid to lose Lisin for nothing and traded him to us…i guess Lisin was happy to be traded to New York (Russian capital of USA) and signed with us. Maloney got a pretty decent player back in Korpedo. Korpedo won’t score as much as Lisin, but he is a much better player defensively and could really help Coyotes to improve in that department.

  64. those lines look good to me! im just wondering how our penalty kill and power play are going to look :-/

  65. Kotalik is going to play with Drury. Their contracts also run out at the same time. They’ll be fine on the 2nd or 3rd line (in terms of minutes).

  66. In the past, it was fun to draw up line combos because Renney would stick with them no matter what. But with Torts, the lines don’t just change from game-to-game, but from period-to-period and often shift-to-shift. If anything, we should be looking at 2-player pairings more than anything.

    For example, I strongly believe that Kotalik was brought in to play with Drury and they will likely see a lot of each other.

    What interests me more is how will the PP look? It can’t be worse than last year, can it? Here is my guess and reasoning:


    Gabby shoots left and therefore should be on the LW
    Drury centers to win the key draws
    Kotalik because of his expected chemistry with Drury
    Staal because this is his breakout season
    Callahan because 4Fs-1D is Torts style and he loves Cally

    On paper, not great, but can it really be worse than our PP the last few seasons which looked good “on paper”?

  67. Very nice post Mike, well written.

    Frankly, I’m more interested to watch the battle that this training camp should be based on all the new faces and Tort’s willingness to consider the kids. Torts mixed lines just as Renney did trying to find something that worked. Regardless of who makes the team, I’d like to see line combinations come out of camp that are kept together for a while and given a chance to gel.

  68. with regards to the PP i made some predictions earlier as well but the main thing is the KISS Theory (KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID)…..TORTS knows how unconfident we looked on the PP all year long and I think he is going to demand people like roszival, redden to get pucks to the net, demand the point men to take one times, demand the forwards down low to get in front of the goalie…..Gomez is gone so it is going to be alot more of a dump over the red line ahd chase down the puck by players like higgins/dubi/callahan who then have to win the puck down low and get it back to the pointman….i do think we will see a whole bunch of combos before the top two PP lines stabilize….i can definitely see kotalik and drury getting a lot of point time which means we will see 4 forwards out there quite often…he threw voros out there on the 2nd half of a PP against the caps to send a wake up call so anything goes….

  69. flippedturtle on

    I think the pp will be better now that we will not be constantly looking to pass to Gomez so he can carry it into the zone and lose it. That was pretty much all they ever did and I for one was sick of it. All the PK’ers had to do was wait for Gomez to gain the zone then patiently wait for the Rangers to give the puck right back to them.

    I am guessing that they will do a lot more dump and chase to gain the zone then use good board work to setup the PP. This is much harder to do but also a lot less predictable.

  70. Good presentation Mike G! I bet those lines are pretty close.

    Bad news- 8th place.

    -Yeah but what teams in our division have gotten better? I think the Islanders will be sadly decent but not winning the division. Devils didnt do anything, the Flyers are so so like every year. Maybe Pitt will be the only real competition for the division

  71. Philly’s going to be tough… They’re only ever so so because of their horrible luck… well and last year horrible goal tending too… But if they can stay healthy and if one of the 3 goalies they have can have a decent season they’ll be tough to play against. Lots of scoring talent and a defense led by Pronger…. Not saying they’re unbeatable but they should be good games

  72. 4Generations and only 4Cups on

    Teams like the Devils are always contenders. Remember when Brodeur went down? I personally called a playoff miss then and there. An Atlantic Division title? Cmon. Tavares will spark an Isles team that was decimated with injuries and make every game against them good competition. Rangers need to follow through with the offseason plan. Speed. Size. Skill.

  73. The Isles will be very good soon. I see them like the Rays in baseball. Toil along in the basement for a bit, but stockpile some fast, young talent, then suddenly explode. Okposo, Streit, Tavares (assuming hype is true), etc. make for a good core. If they can get some solid goaltending, they could become very pesky to play against.

  74. please can we stop talking about the islanders or i am going to PUKE…isles are like the jets and mets-wont be good for a while, how many more years for RICKY,

    1984 1984 1984 1984 1984 1984


  75. 1) Islanders suck
    2) MSG and the Dolans suck. Why would I sign up for season tickets to save 2.25 cents a game. Id be spending $4180 a ticket for the season. thats 44 games (PS included). Last year I spent under $3k and went to 28 games in 100’s or better. This b-L-ohs.

  76. Mike G,

    LOL, yeah i guess im the sucker who pays 4180 but im a huge sucker for the rangers what can i do, the good thing is on ticket exchange if i cannot go im almost guaranteed to sell for atleast face value


  77. uncle carp- you the man!!! thanks big guy!! wick- theres a fee of 50 cents for each use of the copyrighted”slatipuss maximus” phrase. but for you, i’ll only charge a dollar!! haha. j/k.

    cccp- i agree that maybe dru and kotalik dont have to play on the same line together but for the pp they wil. you can bet on that. torts will obviously use them together at some point, but cally deserves 2nd line. kotalik hasnt done anything yet to deserve it.

  78. I mean dont get me wrong. If i had the cash I would pay it. But seeing as how I went to 28 games all in better seats (stubhub,ebay,craiglist) for almost half the price I would be a fool at this time to do it. Once I am making tons of cash then I will do it haha.

  79. shoryuken- youre back!! check yesterdays post, i said a prayer to the hockey gods to bring you and kaspar back to the promise land of blogs. and now the next day youre back. i think kaspar is in ranger purgatory. he mustve offended the ranger gods. he mightve played as the islanders in nhl 09.yep that would do it.

  80. seth- i dont want drury anywhere near the point on the pp. in front of the net for him. 15 feet out in the slot or in front lookin for deflections. he tried the point last year and got burned badly a few times

  81. Mike IN IA-

    Hey trust me i do not want drury anywhere on the ice but he is unfortunately our captain….he does however have a decent accurate shot, we need an accurate shot that gets to the net

  82. Doodie Machetto on

    So, I’m debating between two ideas for my guest spot on Thursday. The first is making a list of a few things that I think we should be keeping an eye on during training camp and the preseason. The second is a discussion of how Dolan has taken the classiest franchise in hockey and turned it into a giant cash-grab.

    I’ll let you boneheads decide.

  83. 4Generations and only 4Cups on

    I honestly don’t want to hear your personal opinions of what somebody else is doing with their money and time. Some people complain about how Steinbrenner conducts business, some people don’t. I don’t like the way this franchise has been headed for a long time, and agreeably, because of a terrible system of management. But to go on a rant about the same things that frustrate us all is kind of beating a dead horse. Keep your post positive.

  84. Doodie,

    I think your post should be on the pre-season… you usually have semi-tremendous insight (don’t want anyone thinking I’m sucking up). Might as well put it to use.

  85. Might I add, that I’m in town for the golf tourney in Jersey City…

    God I miss NY. For those of you that still live here (there actually since it’s still across the Hudson from my hotel)… don’t take it for granted.

  86. doodie- do the 1st one. its funny because one of my ideas was something similar. now that you and mike g have 2 of my ideas already used, im really gonna have to think of somethin good. i better wait till all of this weeks posts are up and done before i give any real consideration and commit to any of the ideas i had.

  87. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp’s suggestion wins. Whatever Carp says goes.

    I have a picture that would’ve gone along with that other post really well.

  88. Laurel Babcock on

    I agree Doodie……your first idea is best, and Mike G gave you a nice assist to set you up.

  89. Doodie Machetto on

    I have a picture in my phone of me holding the package with the thundersticks in it at game 3 giving a thumbs down. I saw it the other day as I was going through the pictures on my phone and I was just upset by it. I thought I would expand my thoughts on it into my post, but it looks like I’ll talk about training camp/preseason instead.

  90. Nice Blog!

    The only thing i really have to question you on is “Higgins seems to be a good fit for the top line based on his aggressive style and his hard work in the corners”

    I will assume by that statement you have not seen Higgins play at all?

  91. I mostly agree with these Line combos. From the moment I heard that Higgins was acquired I knew the top-line for the rangers would be him with Dubinsky and whoever they brought in via free agency. The only thing I disagree with regarding your line combos is with Grachev and Del Zotto, I think Grachev will beat out Prospal for the available Left wing spot, as I know he’s determined to get to the NHL and I think he will just have a better training camp than Prospal. Plus, I think that Sanguinetti will take the final spot, not Del Zotto, Sanguinetti is older and has already been thru the rangers system while Del Zotto has not, he will head to Hartford for further growth.

  92. Ha CJ, I have seem him play a bit but not a whole lot. He had a rough year last year, as did every Canadien. But hes a gritty player that could do the hard work along the boards which in turn would create more open ice for Gaborik. That’s what I was going for on that one…

  93. i highly doubt that prospal would be the odd man out so that grachev could make the team, with all the forwards we have i see grachev playing another year in juniors but i like his game alot and would love if he earned a spot on the team

  94. evan- sry but prospal is making the team. grachev isnt. i know it sounds bad, but grachev really needs to develop more and play against better competition first before we throw him to the wolves right off the bat, after having a great season in the ohl.he should at least have 1 season in hartford first. theres no need to rush this guy if hes that good, ok, i can see him getting lisins spot on the 3rd, but hes not taking prospals spot on the top line. theres no way. the guy has a bright future ahead of him, and i wanna see him develop the right way. 1 year in hartford will only make him that much better and prepared for next season. but i definitely think and agree that he should be first call up when injuries happen

  95. also- even if grachev has a better training camp than prospal, that means little. prospal is a proven nhl’er. grachev isnt. he would most likely be competing against other rooks like himself or fringe players like voros and arnason. if cally has a bad camp, and byers does good, is cally gonna be sent to hartford? no. as much as the wide open training camp idea that torts put forth, yes, it will be a better oppurtunity for the prospects than before but in no way does a proven nhl’er who was signed for specific needs of the team, get put in minors unless they are absolutely terrible in camp,badly out of shape, or if they are going to be traded. if slats hadnt signed lisin and kotalik, then id say grachev definitely has a spot on the roster, but it just doesnt make sense to go out and make these signings if they arent in the teams plans.

  96. i hope grachev doesnt go back to juniors. hes a lock for hartford, so i cant see why he would do that. he must know he has a good chance to get a few nhl games in this year if/when injuries happen or trades open up a spot

  97. I remember on one of those MSG holiday things they showed Dubi with his girlfriend, wonder what she thinks of those pictures haha.

    And on the Grachev subject, I say give him every shot to make the team out of camp. Incisive analysis, I know.

  98. Everyone is on twitter these days! freaking geeks!

    so, i guess twitter is a male version… would “twatter” be a female version?

    sorry for the language i just had to do that!

  99. I don’t know why I have this feeling, but I think torts likes voros. I wouldn’t mind seeing soryal or weise instead of him though. I do not have the hate for voros that others do here, I really think his effort and heart are there, he just does not have a great skill set other than in front of the net.

  100. bull dog line on

    like what you had to say for the most part. i disagree on Lisin, and Del Zotto.
    I don’t think Lisin will play 4th line, 3rd line or not at all. you need more grit on the 4th line with there limited ice. The Rangers right now are very happy with Sanguenetti. Both Clarke, and Schonfeld have had very good things to say about him. Where as Del Zotto, i have read has been called out of shape last season. and had a rough go of it at prospect camp.

  101. If Torts likes Voros then…


    Just say no to Voros. “NO. NO. BAD HOCKEY PLAYER! BAD!”

  102. DanTheRangerFan on

    Loving the guest blogs…great job.. Singles night hosted by Avery and 101.9 radio tonight at Warren 77 should be fun Avery promised guests too…..

  103. DanTheRangerFan on

    Sorry Laurel read every day havent commented in awhile..thought some of you guys would prob be going. Didnt mean to Dangle a carrot lol

  104. Laurel Babcock on

    Aww Wicky…..

    Hey Dan, a heads up next time eh! I feel like too much of a bowser today to compete with all the Fox wannabes anyway :)

    Mike G., you blew the roof off this joint today! The pressure is ratcheting up that’s for sure.

    Good evening Staal and all…..signing off.

  105. Nice writing Mike, another good read today !
    I know I am in the minority, but I don’t get the whole Dubi is our #1 center thing. I don’t know, call me crazy but if Dubinsky was a great option as a number 1 center, wouldn’t someone have tried to sign him to an offer sheet at a cool 2 mil???? I would think if he was truly a #1 center that 2 mil would be a bargain and every team would be willing to make an offer.
    Everyone talks about Dubi like he is Messier…. In my opinion he is a good 3rd line center who can play 2nd line minutes. I can’t see a better option in our system at center than Anisimov. It may not work that way, but you certainly don’t have a guy who scored 37 goals (4th best in the entire AHL) last year at Hartford centering the 4th line. Torts rarely uses the 4th line and it would potentially destroy a promising career to shove him on a 3 shift per game line.
    As for Avery on the first line, it’s a tough sell because he is whistled for breathing too close to the other team….. you would rarely see the first line getting even strength minutes together.
    I do however like Mike G’s thought of Del Z making it to the big club. From watching video, this kid plays offense, shows no fear and can hit. Sanguinetti really picked up his offense this season at Hartford, but he is afraid of his shadow. Just like that big oaf Rismiller.

  106. Laurel, thanks a lot! I had a ton of fun writing it and commenting back and forth all day with everyone. This idea was awesome. I am excited for tomorrow post!!

  107. Carp: Thanks again for this! and to my fellow boneheads: another awesome day on The Rangers Report. kudos to all.

  108. fellow twitterati feel free to follow @bbritton81

    Guest posts have been great so far, excellent idea and excellent fan insight.

  109. haha troj. dont worry man i dont play all that much. i suck too. i dont even wanna get x box live because i’ll just get beat badly. i play against the computer and cheat too. no man, its boring this summer and theres no beach in the midwest. so now ive recently gotten into shooting stuff with my high powered rifle!! thisfall my buddies are takin me hunting for the first time. its fun but now im partially deaf in my left ear. my cousin told me it will go away soon. at least thats what i thought he said. i couldnt hear him too good :0

  110. I don’t get it that twitter thing

    Why would anyone want to be followed by bunch of people all day long? So they can see what you up 2? Don’t you people have your own lives to follow? :P

    Ill pretend I’m on twitter too…here is my status:
    Im sitting here short-less in my south park Speedo like underwear…eating big bean burrito and flashing it down with Mountain Dew!

    Tell me you didn’t just waste like 5 minutes of your time when you could’ve been doing something more useful with your own life! lol

    {takes deep breath}

  111. cccp

    think of it from a business point of view
    if youd like me to ramble on and on about google and indexing and meta tagging and referral links etc let me know.

    twitter has made me probably 600 bucks this week and its only tuesday. its a free service that if used right only takes about 5 to 10 minutes out of your day and can get you tons of business as well as traffic to your site.

    twitter could work for your business im sure of it.

  112. cccp- i dont get it either. i told my dad about it and he said, i dont even wanna talk on the phone with most people, why would i wanna do that?? hes old and cool!! i hear ya on twitter. idk maybe when i saw that commercial where the kids dad is on twitter telling people hes sitting down on the porch i just said wow, thats totally lame. lol. maybe its cool if you follow people for ranger news, but i dont wanna know what kinda draws youre sportin cccp!!! lol

  113. see TR- im not very computer savvy. i guess since i dont know too much about it, thats why i dont really get it. or wanna get it. but for someone like you, with your line of work, its useful, so to each his own.

  114. for kids its crap.
    takin about pooping taking pics of their food.

    if you own a business or blog, etc twitter is awesome.
    its a lot easier for google to index 140 characters quickly than it is to send out a spider to crawl your site to check for updates.

    im sure youre joking cccp and i totally get it. when i first started on twitter (2007) i was bored with it. now a ton of people have it and people like google and yahoo are starting to take notice of this. facebook bought friendfeed, google bought grand central to start google wave. companies are really starting to take microblogging seriously.

  115. paulieplatypus on

    LW C RW
    LD RD

    Great posting guest speeker! In my opinion these line seem a little more realistic to me.

    #1 line – What ever good chemistry Drury and Kotalik shared together in Buffalo? No reason they cant improve on it (and some) playing with a linemate as talented as Gaborik.
    #2 line – I would really like to see these three players playing together!!!
    #3 line – I could see Prospal fitting in very nicely with these two Russians.
    #4 line – Torts might not play the fourth line very much, but when he does other teams better keep their heads up. But the biggest advantage to playing Avery on the fourth line (Durring the regular season only!)… Is that if a player on the top three lines goes down with an injury, or is sitting in the dog house? Avery could easily just move on up into any other players line spot. Not to mention that a little less icetime might increase the chances of Avery being a little less banged up come the end of the season.

  116. i hear ya TR. i wish i knew more about them. i never was into computers at all until i moved here. my sis started me on facebookm and myspace and i slowly found these blogs and just talkin to you guys ive learned alot about them. its great connecting with other fans and friends back home. im sure one of these days i’ll get twitter. idk y but i will. it took me the longest time to get a cell. when everyone was getting them, i was still using a beeper!! lol.

  117. 4Generations and only 4Cups on

    Rangers #1 team eventhough they lose in the playoffs a lot, overspend and sell a lot of talent short before stardom.


  118. paulieplatypus on

    D- I see Sanguinetti and Gilroy most likely beating out Potter, Sauer, DelZotto, Heikkinen, Kundratek, McDonagh, Williams, Urquhart, Dowzak, etc.

    I could also see Owens (LW-C-RW) making the NHL team instead of Boyle if the Rangers need a great penalty. Not sure if Boyle could kill penalties? Scouts rave about Boyle being a very good defensive player, refering for example how he shut down Anisimov during the regular AHL season and playoffs. But I’m not sure if he’s the kind of penalty killer that Owens is?

  119. Mike G

    That’s the only reason we bought the 360 system, was for the post whistle rudy poos!!!!

  120. plus… when it comes to line combos…this blog is the best in the business! ppl here can talk aboot line combos forever!

  121. The Rangers have four penalty killers set now; Dubi, Cally, Higgins, Drury. They need one more pair.

    From the roster, I know Anisimov can kill penalties well at the AHL level. Will Torts let him PK? His reach could be great.

    Gaborik has killed penalties for Minn and with his speed he’d be great, but do they let him PK or save energy? Especially since the schedule is so condensed this year.

    I have no idea if Lisin (speed), Kotalik, or Prospal PK at all. Avery did in limited duty and was pretty good. Can someone offer a little assistance on the PKing personnel?

  122. I like those lines and D pairings but I am not getting my hopes up on DelZotto. They were so carefull with Staal I just can’t believe DZ makes the team but I hope so. Seidenberg as a 7th D would help.

  123. If Gaborik is healthy there is no reason to put him on the PK. From everything that i have read he was a fixture in the Minnesota PK for most of the time there. There is nothing like having a star player on your PK to give us another dimension to the offense (Torts said he wanted to play aggressive on all sides of the puck, including PK iirc). Considering what Torts said, I’m almost positive Gabs will be out there in both 5 on 4 situations

  124. ZzZz 11 ZzZz "Don't mess with Mike G!!!! " says...Greg L. on

    Here ya have it , Opening day line-ups!!

    Line 1-Prospal-Dubinsky-Gaborik
    Line 2-Drury-Higgins-Kotalik
    Line 3-Avery-Anisimov-Callahan
    Line 4-Brashear-Boyle-Voros

    Injury replacements -Lisen,Arnason

  125. great job on the post MikeG! and also to everyone who responded. I learn a lot from you guys and your theories on line combinations, that’s why this is the best Rangers blog!!

    I’m just hoping Sally did NOT see those pics of Dubi with those girls…

  126. Tomorrow is Jane’s swan song. I’m sure her blog will be great, and sad at the same time.

  127. Del Zotto is going to the captain of his junior team year and it will be very important in his development. Unless for some miracle Del Zotto blows away all the competition in training camp (which he failed to do in the Prospect camp), he will be sent back rather early too…

    btw it looks like the Rangers will crack the top 5 in’s top farm systems…looks like they are finally getting it…

  128. Sally

    well they arent going to keep all of them thats for sure. I just hope the guy they bring in is legit…

  129. I am sure he’s read it already, but ORR, if not, your woman has signed on to play Catwoman in the next Batman movie.

  130. Agreed. Great job Mike G!

    Two good days in a row. I am excited and sad to read Jane’s post for tomorrow.

    Good night all.

  131. im pissed, not i pissed!

    …Dubi is a ladies man! Who needs hockey when you’re surrounded by beautiful women! Lets hope he scores as much on ice as he does off ice!

  132. GREAT DAY at RR. Thanks everyone for the kind words I had an awesome day with my fellow boneheads.

  133. I signed up for NHL alerts from the same company (4INFO) that issues breaking news alerts for This morning they send out a text… I s**t you not, this is what it says:

    *”NHLNEWS: Montreal Canadiens aquire* (sic) *top center Scott Gomez from New Jersey on Tuesday”*

  134. Dunno why that formatting looked wrong, but the whole text should have been in bold. Spelling mistake and all.

  135. Reading about the mess in Phoenix. It seems that the NHL is gonna step in and buy the Coyotes. . . . .

    . . . . where was the NHL when Quebec and Winnipeg were going broke?

  136. If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know about Gary Bettman, the owners, and the joke league that the NHL has become, I don’t know what will.

  137. cwgatti- that pic is just wrong for all the wrong reasons!! lmao!1 holy crap between the jock hangin in the back on the wall behind mess, to the washcloth he wearing, to the beer , the one missing hand and GARY COLEMAN???? i cant believe ive never seen that before. funny stuff man

  138. slatipuss maximus has done a good job this year. whys everyone gettin on his case all the timne? i know its years and years of crappy moves but he didnt do bad with his trades and signings so far. maybe arnason wasnt needed but the rest of the new players will fit in great. kotalik got too muchmoney for 1 yr too long, but if he can get dru goin and our pp than im not complaining.

  139. the only problem i have with slatipuss was signing brash for 1.4mill and prospal for 300k cheaper! hows that happen??? but im not gonna complain about him anymore until he deserves it. whats done is done, nobody can change the redden deal, or the other bad deals. this year hes kept all of our prospects here and not traded youth away for heatley, or richards. so im happy with what hes done this year. and not just that, but since torts is coach now, the moves that were made have been beneficial for the most part. i think renny and PEARN(thanks for redden) were part of the reason those bad moves were made.

  140. Doubtful that Prospal does not play alongside Gaborik. Also Kotalik and Drury will be starting on the same line from day 1 for sure. You won’t see two rookies on the third D pair together for sure. They will mix it up.

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