Guest blogger: Pavel

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For the last two seasons, it seems that the best way to cause chronic eye twitching was to watch a Rangers’ power play. Perhaps I missed the angelic chant by Sam Rosen, or maybe it was the lack of production! Despite the various roster overhauls since the lockout, I am more optimistic this year than ever, at least with the power play. Quite simply, I am a numbers guy. In my opinion, the most important statistic in the “new” NHL is the power play. Let’s look at some stats:

2005-2006: 83 PPG on 440 attempts: 18.9%
2006-2007: 75 PPG on 406 attempts: 18.5%
2007-2008: 61 PPG on 370 attempts: 16.5%
2008-2009: 48 PPG on 346 attempts: 13.9%

These are regular season stats, but for the sake of comparison, let us look at the power play stats from what I feel were the best and worst post seasons (in terms of special teams):

2005-2006: 2 PPG on 21 attempts: 9.5%
2006-2007: 13 PPG on 54 attempts: 24.1%

It is amazing how healthy power play performers improve your playoff run. Not really, as it is a necessity (cough Pittsburgh). I felt these examples demonstrate the importance of big power play producers. Jagr was a monster in 2005-2006, but he only had 1 point in 3 games during that awful sweep, due to injury. A year later, he had 11 points in 10 games. Now, everyone wave an angry fist while thinking of Drury!

Given the recurri… recent roster overhaul, do you feel our power play will improve? I do. It really comes down to the experience gained by returning players, and the new acquisitions. Prospal had 7 PPG last year, and 10 goals in the previous season. Higgins put up only two power play goals last year (injuries kept him out of the lineup), but he had 12 goals the previous year, on the man advantage. Let us not forget Gaborik’s contributions to the Wild with his 2, 11, 12, 10 in his previous 3.25 seasons. That’s right. Marian Gaborik is a Ranger! I do not think that has really set in yet.

Girardi has really stepped up his offensive game, and I am assuming Rozsival’s injury woes are behind him. The key will have to be the play of Mr. Redden, or if Staal joins the power play. I am actually feeling good about the 2009-2010 Wade Redden. From what I read on early reports in pre-camp camp, he is in better shape, and has been working on his conditioning all summer (for the sake of the Tortorella system, I hope everyone has significantly improved their conditioning). I am not even concerned about the two vacant defense spots. I have a feeling Gilroy and Sauer/Heikkinen will be Rangers, post-camp. I would really like for Del Zotto to make the main club, but I am going with my gut.

We must not forget that Henrik is returning, after another stellar year. If not for Hank, this team would not make the playoffs the last four seasons. That may bring up issues of his stamina (why can’t we have Olympic hockey in the summer to ease our cravings?), and the reliability of Valliquette.. but you know what? I am not worried. I am confident that Tortorella’s aggressive, puck-possession style of hockey will not only give a significant increase in scoring chances, but it will also lead to more power play chances. The penalty kill might be a concern because Betts/Sjostrom are gone, but we still have Hank. Could we see a return of a 19% power play?

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159 Comments

  1. good post.

    I think that the Betts/Sjostrom guys were a great PK. But this is not football with a 45 man roster. We have limited spots and we need people to be more then just specialists / one-dimensional guys.

    bottom line is that those two did not produce points, they only prevented points. That is just not enough.

  2. great post pavel. agree 100%. gaborik will be the key to the pp, even strength and possibly pk too. i hope the othet guys on the team step up and id like to see one of these kids have a good rookie season like prucha did few years ago. im lookin forward to anisimov especially. i know he can be a set up man, but id like to see him score alot too. redden and drury will have to be better . alot better if we are gonna do any damage postseason. i liked reddens game last playoffs though. he looked better. we need him to score though. he really needs to be the true qb on the pp. hes still the most gifted offensive d man we have. i know, rozy is good too. botyh have good shots. but were very hesitant to shoot. i think the shorties we gave up really killed any flow we had on the pp last year. but yea, good post man.

  3. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Pavel, Fantastic post. I’ve never known a Russian with such proper English so my props.

    I think you’ve also nailed the summary of the season and what we’re to expect. The PP should be better by virtue of having a guy that can hit the net with a wicked shot. Put Drury in the crease as a garbage goal guy and hope Cally nets a couple too! Should be better. Overall, Is the team better though?? …hhmmmm, we’ll see.

  4. Pavel

    Great post – terrific discussion of the power play and its overall importance (good stats) without our usual guessing of who will be teamed up together on each unit.

    Also the most optimistic post in a long time – you’re making us all pissed we have to wait and see – lol.

  5. finally… a post about hockey! now all the experts could sleep tight.

    Great post Pavel… you’re right, it is still hard to believe that Gaborik is a Ranger. Redden better show some desire to play…or he’ll find himself in a doghouse pretty fast… which won’t be a bad thing. In Torts we trust!

    13 more days to first pre-season game!

  6. Bitt

    Carp’s on vacation so there is nobody to cover the practice rink, plus while I enjoy Zips column, what news? Girardi tripped Avery, they showed up to practice? Lighten up and enjoy the guests – they’re doing a good job.

  7. It amazes me how many are bitching about the guest bloggers – would you rather the whole thing just shut down while Carp is away, like some blogs shut down completely in the off season?

    All these guys took time out to start a discussion where there is no news, tell a funny story (CCCP always has clever remarks and tells a good story), and generally keep people entertained during a dead period.

    You should appreciate the effort or read another blog until the season starts.

  8. BlueBlood and others-To continue the Watchmen references human beings have been bitching and complaining about everything since before we had opposable thumbs and will continue to bitch until we’re all on a cinder block and cockroaches are the dominant life form on earth.

    But the heck with that, these guest posts are great.

    As far the PP, well, there’s more skill, speed, and size with guys like Gabby, Kotalik, Propsal, and hopefully Anisimov (get to camp already Artie!!!!), Boyle, and Lisin (nice of you to be here so soon!!!) in the mix along with our favorite incumbent heroes from last season.

    That being said, the D need to be more active which is why I like this Heikkinen kid. He has the Rafalski ability to dance with the puck and the deceptive wrist shot. Him, Gilroy, and Sauer all have good shots and will get some PP time if the fantstic four (well, more like 2.5) can’t get the job done.

  9. Great post Pavel! Digging deeper, there is an another, equally disturbing trend in addition to power play percentage. There were nearly 100 fewer power play chances generated in 08-09 compared to 05-06. That’s insane!

    It means the futility is not just on the power play but at even strength. Consider that according to these numbers – had the Rangers been better at generating power plays – even with their PP futility – they would scored 14 more goals last year. 62 instead of 48. That probably would have meant a few more wins even without a better power play. So…

    IF (big if) Torts makes good on his promise to have go-go team that creates puck pressure – the amount of power play chances should go up. If they don’t, this would be a great indicator that the team’s makeup is no better (just different) then last year’s squad. That’s my two cents at least.

  10. ZzZz 10 ZzZz "Gaborik nets 50 this year!!! "… says Greg L. on

    Nice summary of the Powerplay Pavel…I didn’t know if the last few paragraphs were still on the same topic but I guess your post is about the powerplay and the Rangers in general. I liked that Staal was mentioned because if given a chance on the pp , He could stickhandle and make moves to open up a streaking Gaborik !! We’ll be hearing some Rosen…” IT’S A POWERPLAY GOAL!!!!!!!”

  11. Excellent post Pavel. The PP is what separates the men from the boys when it comes to playoff contenders. Detroit decimates opponents with sickening PP efficiency, in spite of lax defense and questionable goaltending this past season. Teams like that and Montreal of a few seasons ago made you pay when you were a man down, and success follows closely.

    I know there is a tradeoff of offense for defense, but I just hope we struck the right balance and don’t end up like the Thrashers or Lightning of this season past. I don’t think we will. We have a wonderful luxury in Hank, where you know you have a chance to win no matter who the opponent is.

  12. Good post Pavel. I agree, without a dominant powerplay (and a proper QB to run it) we are destined for another 7-10th place finish and early play-off exit.

    I’d like to see Redden prove everybody wrong this year, mostly because that contract is such a bad one its going to be a problem trying to trade or buy him out and if he can be the go-to guy on the powerplay and be an OK guy at even-strength then it means he’s only a million or two overpaid (instead of the 4-5 million he was overpaid for last year!).

  13. Pavel,
    You need some one to run the power play from the point in order for it to be successful.
    Which is why Sanguenetti will be on the team. None of the Dmen you mentioned are QB’s on the power play, they are complimentary players. The need for a Dmen to run the power play, also opens the door for Del Zotto. Either Del Zotto, or Sanguenetti will make the team in this roll.

  14. Neil,
    I think part of the reason for the one hundred less powerplays is the fact then when the lockout ended the refs were insane with the highsticking calls and other phantom calls. It’s still not like it used to be, but they definitely relaxed a little bit. The other reason though is that we didn’t have someone last year who could just hold onto the puck all day and draw penalties. Plus we were soft lol. I do believe under Torts that the number of drawn penalties will go up, unless Avery gets a lot of playing time.

  15. Pavel is definitelly Russian. He is just smart enough not to think like one.

    Agree on the Gaborik comment. I think everyone is affraid to get excited about Gaborik due to his injury ridden past.

  16. bull dog- i am not sure. i see sanguinetti making it as a 7th, and will be given a shot if the pp is not producing, but i dont know if hes good enough defensively yet to play regularly. id like to think redden will get back to playing the way he can and running the pp. if that doesnt work, you could throw kotalik on the pont. gilroy is going to play the pp also. i definitely think del zotto is still a year away. until he either plays a full season in hartford or is too good to put back in juniors, i think hes out. not that i agree with it, its just we never did package any of these stockpiled d men in atrade and theres guys who are farther along than him. even sauer and potter are ahead of him and have a better chance of makin the team. i actually think sauer could be great as a semi physical d man on 3rd pair. potter is good, i just dont see any outstanding qualities that will put him above the other kids. heikkenen could really make the team as a 6th or 7th. hes got good experience anmd can hit too. and had good offensive numbers in his league. actually was a leader in points for d men. i still think some of these d men could be moved after the season stsrts. gilroy has a spot so you figure 1 more spot and with runner up being 7th d man for pp time or injury., and that should be sangs. i hope he makes it. hes been getting better and with a great camp, i think we’ll see him on the team. were still gonna need redden and rozy to contribute on the pp. rozy has a great shot and so does redden. i wouldnt put them together but maybe redden-gilroy and rozy-sangs or rozy-kotalik.

  17. Great post, excellent stats data. You forgot Kotalik. Most of his goals last year came on PP. He has a legit heavy shot, something this team has been missing and even if it doesn’t hit the net every time, the opposing teams will have to respect it so someone else will be open.
    I also think that Torts will make sure the PP gets better. Simply put, if you are there to shoot and you don’t, you won’t be there!
    True fans- what makes you think Pavel is Russian? And from your comment one can discern you haven’t met too many of them. CCCP-opinion?

  18. as much as i loved mara- you could see he couldnt play the point at all. morris the cat was definitely better and shouldve been resigned if we couldve dumped rozy. i was hesitant to put rozy on the pp again, but i think both him and redden will have better seasons. just with the change in coaching styles, we should see them join the play more and get some good shots through even on even strength. i like how sangs and del zotto are coming along. i think both will be on the team next season for sure unless they really suck. rozy has much better chance of being traded if they get his value up and getting him to score alot of pp points will help that. redden will never be traded unless a miracle happens, but he could at least play better and ease the suffering of us fans a little. gilroy, heikkenen i think are the 43rd pair with sangs being 7th d man for pp help if it fails again. man, idk its so hard to determine this when camp hasnt started yet. if i had to pick now thats the players id choose for the vacant positions. sauer id like to play too. torts has ots of tough decisions to make thats for sure!.

  19. Pavel-nice work, i think Kotalik is going to be a huge upgrade on the PP as well, i think we will see him settle down and Play a decent amount of time on the point on the PP……I have been saying all summer that i expect big things for Michael Rozsival this year…Pavel,you seem optimistic for the PP, where do you think the Rangers will finish in the EAST? 4th? 5th?

  20. repost
    I’ve been away and don’t know if this was posted already but Directv is fighting with Comcast and not carrying Versus. Not that I’m a fan but 1 month b4 the season starts? It’s like Dolan is running Directv. I went there to get away from him.

  21. Pavel…
    wow! good stuff bro!
    excellent breakdown…I will say that for me, I realize we have Gaborik, but I realize too that having Gaborik is only worthwhile if he stays healthy. He is a complete game changer. He is definitely a player who can carry a team. (though I don’t want him to carry anything…he might get hurt! But I guess if he needs a chiropractor…nevermind!)

    All I have to say is the season is 1 month away…and I have the jones bad!

  22. Hey all, thanks for the kind words. I’m actually Polish, but I prefer to spell my name with the “v”, rather than “Pawel”.

    I forgot to mention Kotalik, but I think I had too many numbers going through my head.

    SOMEONE needs to be quarterbacking the point. Maybe Rozsival will stop looking for that pass to Jagr and he’ll launch his cannon, or maybe Redden will see the angry stare of Torts and launch a missile… then we always have Girardi and possibly Gilroy with their blasts.. Kotalik/Drury might be a great combo.. I can see Kotalik blasting and forcing a rebound that Drury cleans up.

  23. Speed Ranger
    September 2nd, 2009 at 9:06 am
    ‘Pavel’ can be Russian, Czech, Slovak, Polish….

    And Bulgarian, Romanian etc. etc.

  24. I remember at some point toward the later stages of the season I did some number crunching in the context of the questions, what would you rather have the number 1 PP or the number 1 PK and then would you rather have league average PK and PP rates?

    Using constraints of the league’s top PP % and top PK % along with the league average, it basically came down to the Rangers goal differential was better off having the top PK and a bottom 5 PP versus having league average efficiency rates at both.

    Now, I’m not saying that the PP shouldn’t improve (it can’t get much worse can it?) and I hope that they find more ways to score on special teams and even strength, but if you’re going to have top ranked special teams it’s worth it to have a top notch PK.

  25. And the one bugaboo from last season that will hopefully be addressed…giving up SHORTHANDED GOALS!!!

  26. ZzZz 17 ZzZz "We want Dubinsky signed!!! "… says Greg L. on

    Kotalik is a PP guy and it could look like this Pawel :

    #1)Kotalik Drury Gaborik – Rosival Redden

    #2)Callan Dubinsky Higgins Prospal Staal

    Way to go Grabachev on taking the “first” championship from CCCP. It’s your day bro!!!

  27. Spector is reporting that Zherdev may sign with the Thrashers for $1.5 mil for 1 year?!?!?!?! That can’t be right. Could Z be as dumb as he appeared to be on the ice? Would the NYR offer him a low ball deal and take him back? His agent should be fired. . . . . . . . or shot.

  28. Mike in IA,
    I like Redden this year to bounce back as well. But he has never been a power play QB, even in Ottawa. He has always been that second guy on the point, not the QB. That is why I think the Rangers need a PP QB. The 2 guys in the system that fit that role are DZ, and Sangs.

  29. Pavel — I’m going to say, I too am hopeful about the 09-10 Redden. He played much better under Tortorella than Renney.

    Enjoyed your post.

  30. Yeah Sally, that game was the one time I agreed with the NBC crew on their assessment of the Rangers. If I recall they were even letting Renney get off easy and I think Rangers fans had sunk to a new season low on seeing how flat the team was playing.

    Man, did I want to cut every single player on that team that day.

  31. UESBlueshirt and Sally,

    I totally agree … I live in South Jersey and ALL of my friends are Flyers fans (with a couple of Devils and Pens fans mixed in), but me and a couple of my buddies were watching the game when Richards scored the 5 on 3 SH Goal.

    It was eery cause my buddy said “You know Richards is a beast on the PK right?” and i said “Oh, I know, i’d almost not have a PP cause the Rangers give up more then they acually score with the man advantage” …..

    less then 5 seconds later Richards scores

  32. carp i shot a 94 on the blue course in (eisenhower long island)yesterday.dont know if youre familiar with that course any way to me it was like winning the us open.i really should have broke 90 but fell apart on 17 and 18 oh well.sorry to get off subject my fellow boneheads Lets Go Rangers.

  33. I think our PP will be better, but it has nothng to do with the players involved. For one, it really cannot get any worse. And two, we have new coaches.

    If Renney and Pearn were still here I would not expect anything better than where we have been. But I placed all of the blame for our PP woes these past few seasons solely on the coaching staff. Renney was fine as long everything was going well. But as soon as things were not going well, Renney clearly proved he did not have the guts to bench players or even change anything to improve their play. But we do not have a wuss like Renney behind the bench anymore. There’s no way that Torts is going to be throwing Redden out there to get the most PP time after he goes 60+ games without a PP point. That stuff won’t happen anymore so I’d say we’re going to have a better powerplay this season.

    I am soooo looking forward to a season without Tom “Safety First” Renney behind the bench.

  34. The declining number of power play in every season since the lockout is pretty interesting. I think nowadays we’re seeing far fewer high sticking and flimsy interference calls than 2005-2006.

    I’m interested to see what Kotalik does on the PP. I spoke with a Sabers fan recently who seemed to really know his stuff, and he said that Kotalik has the hardest shot he’s ever seen in person. He also expects Kotalik and Drury to find some chemistry. Let’s hope he’s right on both predictions.

    I know most people have given up on Redden, but for some reason I agree with Pavel. I’m not sure why, but I expect Wade bounce back this year – he really did improve under Tortorella towards the end of last season. I mean, the guy has the talent, I think he just had a really awful season. One thing that people don’t really consider is that it’s not too uncommon for pro athletes to stumble a little bit during their first season in NY.

  35. “Girardi has really stepped up his offensive game”.

    What offensive game? If he had a shot, he’d be on the power play. Even without a shot he might be useful if he could pass. This guy has not improved at all in the past two years. He makes too many turnovers and falls asleep in front of the net repeatedly.

    Well at least you didn’t say, “Redden has become more physical.” Otherwise a good contribution by you.

  36. Nice Job Pavel.
    As others (and yourself) later mentioned, Kotalik will be a nice addition with the man advantage, but you are dead on when you say a healthy PP improves your playoff run.

    When teams dread your Power Play, they take less dumb penalties, (less clutching and grabbing) which leads to more room on the ice for your players.

    A 20% PP efficiency would be a sweet goal.

  37. Where's Pavelich? on

    Nice Post, Pavel!

    …no Power Play QB and/or killer shot from the point will translate to an average PP, at best.. Redden aint it…I think Giradi’s offense has been pretty steady but his production is a function of his D partner (i.e. covering up for Redden = bad; I think he was with Rosie, when he was putting up some #s)

  38. Pavelich- Girardi’s offense is as good as it’s gonna get. He does have an ability to get his shot to the net, but he is unlikely to be a major contributor on PP. Redden…. oh well. One can just hope that he is a proud man and just gets mad at himself for having such a horrible season. But he clearly has the skills.

    Carp- thanks for doing this while on vacation. Actually, thanks for doing it, period.

  39. Love this post and good points by all especially UESBlueshirt when talking about the shorties. You could actually see the players sag when ever they got a PP chance because they were worried about giving one up. How sad is that! Special teams this year is a huge question mark and everyone knows it can make or break this team.

  40. BTW –
    Ottawa Defenseman Jason Smith has retired-
    Which now puts Ottawa under the cap, including Heatley.

    Gives teh Sens a little more flexibility for a deal as well.

  41. Rob E,

    But wouldn’t the issue still be whether OTT’s trading partner has enough cap space? I could see it working that OTT can demand more players since they can trade Heatley’s $7.5MM for his cap hit + Smith’s, but I think his rep is sullied to the point that everyone is going to lowball OTT.

  42. “Bitt, so go to Zipay! I don’t get it…should Carp post the same “news” that Zip does…then you get to read it twice”

    Exactly. These people are so retarded. It makes me cry that we have so many Ranger fans that are complete idiots.

    And as for Nicky Z, i knew at some point he’d go to the Trashers. I don’t know if you noticed but i saw a major boner during his first game against the Trashers, against Kovalchuk. He even tried to impress him by scoring a goal, and slew-footing a goon. Kovalchuk is bringing Russia to him !

    And i cant believe Ivanovic lost in the 1st fuggin round, that’s horrible. Sharapova is my only hope ! WIN !

  43. Actually what i meant to say is, yeah Carp should post the same stuff, since this is a blog, and that’s his job, but the guy is on vacation, so when you’re on a vacation, that means you don’t have to work, so it’s not like we cant get the news elsewhere. I usually wait to hear something from one of the posters here. Whiners !

  44. sec308 and carp

    i live in nyc so its hard for me to play. 2 weekends ago i played bethpage blue on the saturday after the crazy rain. there was no one on the course. i shot a 88. first round i played this and will prob be my last and it was also the best round i ever played.

  45. Yup, 12 year deal. He’ll be bringing his grandkids to the games by then. And he will be exactly 30 years older than Josh.

  46. ORR
    “Exactly. These people are so retarded. It makes me cry that we have so many Ranger fans that are complete idiots.”
    Trust me, buddy they are not Rangers fans, just passerbyes looking for their 2 sec. of fame. Otherwise, would be major offence for all of us. So, best is not to pay any attenttion to zu-zing incects.

  47. UES BlueShirt-
    cap space for Ottawa’s possible trade partners is the main stumbling block.

    But now, ottawa can afford to take on a large contract or two medium ones in return plus the picks and Prospects they want and still stay under the cap.

    Ottawa will have to take what they can get for him if they want to deal him by training camp. That locker room is very fragile and will crumble if they have to deal with Heatley and the surrounding drama every day. Remember how the Sens fell apart when Emery became a distraction?

  48. 4everanger

    Today is the Birthday of Odessa! Thank you for warm wishes and your love for the City!

    And it turns out that Sather and Odessa share a birthday… what an honor!

  49. Under a cap situation, these long term deals to the league’s “best” players will create a two tier system where the stars get great deals and the remainder of the NHLPA gets low end, hardball deals. You can see it on many rosters already – a couple of guys at the top and everyone else around 2mil. with a short term deal.

    Good guys like Betts end up without a roof over their heads.

    I can foresee dissent within the NHLPA at the end of this CBA.

  50. Matt R I Find the less I play the better I play go figure.Bethpage blue is a tough course played it about 8 yrs ago some people say the front 9 is even tougher than the black dont know how true that could be.I try to stay away from bethpage on the wknds pace of play is like snails.I like the red course out their alot some holes border the black.

  51. hockey is in the winter olympics for a reason unfortunately. the winter olympics are in the winter for an even better reason…

  52. )THE REAL) MikeyNJ on

    So Eklund Liar is saying it’s still US and the Sharks as the only palces Heately can go

    Does anyone htink this is even possible anymore?

    I don’t unless they take Rosi and a prospect or two abck, and NOT dubinsky

    This is almsot liek last year with Sundin, I cant wait until it’s over and the freaking season starts already!!!

  53. nice job!

    what i’m also looking forward to is a Tortorella run
    system. again, hoping that full sessions
    that begin in 12 days (!!!)
    may bring something more positive to this team.

    it looks as if the make up of players include those who have been successful on the PP. thus, they should know what to do on a technical and instinctual level.

    also, a grittier group of players should, hopefully, be more aggressive in the offensive zone and around the net.

    here’s to hoping for a positive change.

  54. Lol, Hacklund is such a moron. This thing is over with, Nyr and Heatley has been over with for months. That’s why nobody can ever take this douche seriously.

    I cant wait for this to end as well. I hope Heatley goes way out West, where he wont do any damage to us.

  55. CCCP- congrats on Odessa-mama’s birthday. Who is older- she or Sather?

    ORR- we can only hope the Heatley saga is over. He doesn’t belong here. Not to mention, between him, Drury, Gaborik, Hank and Redden, it’ll be in the are of $35 mil. All this team will have left is enough to hire Zamboni drivers to play.

  56. Grachev the Gamebreaker (JAY G) on

    Hey,

    I missed the Luongo announcement but did anyone hear if he thanked Mike Milbury for the opportunity to make $64M?

  57. CCCP
    Thanks.What an irony, thou…But Odessa looks,sounds and feels much younger and definitelly much more loved!

  58. happy b day slatipuss!! one year closer to retirement!! thanks for what youve done this season. you have finally started doing the right thing for this team. now dont screw up!! keep goin with youth so mess or shoney have a good startin point to get this team into a cup contender.

    oh, cwgatti- is richards on his way yet? is the news gonna break any time now? :)

  59. seth- no prob. i think boston will not be as good as last year. just have a feeling. montreal i think will actually be much better. you know the pressure is great after that bad season, and gomez with gionta could help alot, and of course calamari, who i wish we had gotten. tampa is better too. ohlund and hedman should be a great 1st pair , and tangauy should help too. i think ottawa doesnt trade heatley before camp and i know it will disrupt the team, but i think they will have a bad season regardless. kovalev is a good addition but hes pretty streaky and already hes makin comments about wanting to retire in montreal. idk how effective he will be. hed be great on teh 2nd line or if heater is traed to play rw on top line. i think we will sadly be about the same in terms of standings. we will most likely score more and have a better pp, but i think this year could be hard with all the new players agai just like last year. building chemistry and hank getting used to run n gun hockey could counter the increased offense. all depends on gabby. he plays a full season or at least 70 games, we could be in 5th or 6th. most likely 7th. but anything can happen. thats why hockeys great. id rather us be the underdogs again anyway. look what happened last time they ranked us so low

  60. Mike-couidnt agree with you more brotha on the underdog role…we have a lot of young players so they do not need the extra pressure on them they have enough pressure playing at the garden on a nightly basis…..off to MSG to pickup my season tix-there is some light at the end of the tunnel less than two weeks to go my fellow blue!!!!!!!!!

    LETS GO RANGERSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  61. good stuff staal. pretty funny that capn clutch has a sense of humour. good to know he has a personality after all. also good to see duby scoring on teh elite, matt zaba. no, but seriously, duby should have a good year. hopin for 20 goals at least. anything less and he will drop to 3rd line probably. i wanna see him succeed.

  62. Laurel Babcock on

    Good afternoon Staal and all! So how was everybody’s week? What’d I miss? No way I’m going to catch up with all your insights since Friday, but I’ve read all the guest posts I missed and a belated bravo to you….and Rob C., you know I liked your idea! (can A’s go shirtless?)

  63. Todd in Colorado on

    Bottom line – too many penalties are called. 5-on-5 is far more exciting…let the boys play!

  64. 4everanger and ilb2001

    thank you comrades! Odessa will always be young and will always be loved! something that cannot be said about Slats.

    Good morning Laurel! how was your trip?

  65. Rick (No, not that one) on

    The P.P. better be good.
    With Tortorella’s system, we are going to give up
    more goals. And draw more powerplay chances.
    We need to score.

    (personally, I think all the “idiots” who just come here
    to be negative should henceforth be known as “Zherdevs”)

  66. I’m loving the guest blogs. Good job to those who have done it so far. I’m busting at the seams now though, I want this season to start already!!!

  67. what an honor it is for Hayden Panettiere! lol

    she has no clue how lucky she is being number 2 on ORR’s Hot list!

    isnt she like 15?

  68. orr- are you really that down on brashear? why? i know he almost killed betts but if he was on our team and did that to cindy you wouldnt love him?? cmon give him a chance. i know once he fights and wins you’ll change your mind. unless he fights orr. im always gonna root for orr, and i have a feeling that when orr comes to visit msg, if he beats one of our guys in afight, he will get cheers. id like it if they all cheered for him and he did a salute to us!! well, only if he fights brash or voros. any other ranger and i wont like it then.

  69. im watchin fsn top 50 “did that just happen moments” and they had a game betwen dallas and edmonton and dallas was winning by 1 late in the 3rd, somebody was skating the puck to the empty net, and 5 feet in front of the net he fumbles the puck and falls down not even getting a shot at the empty net, edmonton skates the puck back up and scores with .5 seconds left!! hemsky scored i believe. that was few years ago wasnt it? it was almost as bad as o byrne putting the puck into his own net and the habs fans booing him like crazy.

  70. lmao the number 1 moment was during a hockey game the girl forgets the words to the american anthem and stops, goes between the benches towards the drssing rooms and then comes back to i guess try to finish, and then falls on her ass!! i heard about that but never saw it until now. wow that was embarrasing yourself not once but twice!. poor girl

  71. or should i say, i feel like going “russian coat check”!!!

    whos hayden panties-in-the-air?? or whatever her name is. i like eva mendez. holy crap shes so luscious. shes a spicy little chalupa supreme!! with extra gaucamole!! ehh, no hold the gaucamole!

  72. while i sure hope that redden plays better, and he probably will, i’m not expecting too much. His “skills” have been deteriorating ever since chara left and ever since the lockout ended (ie he can’t clutch and grab anymore). I don’t really buy the whole argument that it was his first year in ny, etc. we can only hope he can play like a #4 defenseman (who is paid like a #1) instead of a #6/7 (who is still paid like a #1)

  73. ohh i dont watch many tv sjhows. just hbo and some history channel, discovery, and spike. only tv shows i watch on cable is married with children, seinfeld, everybody loves raymond and scrubs. reruns mostly. all funny shows.

  74. Hayden is 18 or 19, and extremely hot. and it is an honor, my list doesn’t change that often. She’s gonna have to lose a sex tape to get past Megan Fox.

    MIKE

    I hate Brash, and always will. It’s not just the Betts thing, it’s a bunch of other things he’s done. He’s a wimp, and it’s sad that he’d held that “heavyweight” title for so long, when he’s a wimp ! I hate him, and hope he gets the crap kicked out of him so bad, that we waive his ass. And i never heard of that Gong chick

    CARP

    You talking aboot Star Bits ? I liked the ad with the Blonde chick with the big chesticles better.

  75. ZzZz 17 ZzZz "We want Dubinsky signed!!! "… says Greg L. on

    Orr , I had the show two and a half men on my tv yesterday and the grama had her grand daughter visiting. She was 16 years old in the show and was smoking hot… It looked exactly like Megan Fox. I stayed and watch while she sun taned on the balcony . Maybe it was a younger her? Did ya ever see her on that show?

  76. Rick,
    I did not attend the event at the WAMU theatre tonight but there was a decent crowd waiting to get in and ask drury how he was going to step up his game this year and to make sure he enjoyed his summer before camp TORTS begins!

  77. To all of other blogs lovers and this blog “critics”.
    Try to comprehend this “piece of art” crap I read at my.hockeybuzz:
    ” The Rangers will have a real problem with identity despite getting Larogue Avery will be a room killer again as I don’t think that guy will ever learn unless he’s old and grey. As tough as they think they are thay are going to have a lot of holes on defense which Laroque won’t be able to patch through his beligerant play.”
    Isn’t it something? and I’m not even talking about substance. What a …!

  78. seems like women tennis players have gotten hotter over the years. back in the day alot had nice bodies, but ugly faces. some had manly mannerisms too. ehh, you know what im getting at. whats that one from the 80’s or early 90’s? stefi graf?? ughh or martina navartovla or something like that. yikes!!

  79. Mike, how much time should I put aside to read your post tmr? Something tells me I may not have enough time regardless. Can I give you my email so you can gist it for me?

  80. hey carp- i just reread it. i am ok with it. i mean, i wanted to do more but with a topic like that, it could go on forever. i figure if i forget something the guys will let me know. its just basically my opinion anyway, not really anything statistical, so im ok with it. but one thing. change the last sentence. instead of “the coolest blogger in iowa”, just leave my name there. lol that was so cheesy. i will never hear the end of it ok. thanks!

  81. hey, cool man. im a fellow viking too. hail thor!!! im half swede and fin, and half italian. i hear ya man i love the cold. love summer for bbq’s and the beach, but hate the heat. and theres no hockey!!

  82. my mother is scandinavian so she loves hank and shoe. she used to love tikkanen. its weird when the last winter olympics were goin on, i asked her if she wanted finland to win or sweden, and she said she wanted both to win, but if she had to choose she said sweden. it was only because of hank. she has a huge crush on him! it sucks italy doesnt have a good hockey team. i would definitely root for them. they love soccer over there more.

  83. I would not want to go club hopping with Henrik and Avery. That’s the guaranteed way to be forced to jump on the grenade.

    It’s never happened before, I swear!

  84. Mike, that’s a combustive mix, man! But predominantly Italian part explains the length of your posts. No offense, I enjoy reading most of them, but my ADHD doesn’t let me always finish reading.

  85. Rick (No, not that one) on

    Hey Carp, could we convince ORR !! What Is It Good For ?!?! to do a blog post?
    Might have to hide the women and children, but it sure would be a fun read……….

  86. great video pavel. the slovakian rocket indeed!! i see ost of the goals scored were results of some good passing plays to spring him 2 on 1 or breakaway. very fast too. i could see him playing very well with duby. also i can see redden gettin him the puck alot and springing him loose for goals. and his wrist shot kinda reminds me of zherdev a little but with more accuracy. zherdev has a great shot too. i wish we couldve kept nikky. damn it id love to see them on a line together. slats!!, nikky z is a great passer!! but if he signs in atl for 1.5 i’ll be pissed. he shouldve stayed here. put him with gabby and hed get 70 points easy

  87. from Pavel: “I would not want to go club hopping with Henrik and Avery”

    I respectfully disagree….:)

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