So, who comes out?


The Rangers go to D.C. tomorrow to face a team that ought to test their aggressiveness and the inconsistencies they’ve shown defensively in the first three games. I saw some of the Capitals’ game against the Flyers last night, and man, both teams looked pretty darn good.

Anyway, the Rangers might get their sandpaper back, their agitator. Sean Avery has been targeting tomorrow as his return from an MCL sprain.

And here is the natural question, which is perhaps even more complicated by the two-game winning streak:

Who comes out of the lineup for Avery? (the Rangers played Games 1, 2 and 3 of this season with the same 19 players).

So who comes out?

1) Aaron Voros. Perhaps. But the fourth line has been fairly effective so far, and I don’t think Avery will play on a fourth line, and I doubt that anybody Avery would bump down to the fourth line would give that threesome the same characteristics.

2) Brian Boyle. See No. 1. Plus he kills penalties.

3) Donald Brashear. Yeah, right. Not at $1.4 million, and not against his old team.

4) Enver Lisin. Maybe. Avery could slip seemlessly into the third line wing spot. Lisin hasn’t been bad enough to deserve a demotion, but Avery does bring something extra.

5) Ales Kotalik. Not going to happen. Too important to the team, too much of an investment, the coach likes him, and he’s become critical to the power play as a point-launcher.

6) Artem Anisimov. I suppose, if Anisimov is scratched, Vinny Prospal could slip down to play third-line center and Avery could move to the first line. Or Avery could play on the second line and somebody else move up to Prospal’s spot on the left of Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik … if Tortorella wants to break up the top line’s chemistry.

I do believe Anisimov will not spend the entire season with the Rangers, that he’ll be in Hartford for stretches, unless he lights it up offensively. So far he hasn’t. But he is pretty decent defensively for a scorer.

What to you think they’ll do? Is it even imaginable that Avery will be ready to go, and that Tortorella will hold him out?

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  1. 1) 2) and 3) are on the fourth line. There aren’t any good options on the third line for demotion that would make a difference.

    Anisimov needs to stay.

    Kotalik? come on he has a $3million slap shot.

  2. Damn, carped again!!!


    of course I should also bring up the fact that tollefsen is injured again!!!!!! Moving on, did anyone see the russian hammer light that guy up from toronto???? That is a d guy that can hit!!!


    I agree….lisin!!

  3. Lisin is the only one that makes sense…it doesn’t disrupt anything and Lisin’s contributions won’t be missed. Does he deserve it? No…does it make sense? Yes

  4. did anyone see the Philty vs Craps game?? damn… those teams look scary! Especially Ovi and Co! Can one man really have so much talent?

  5. can’t break up 1st line chem. If anyone is going it’s gotta be lisin.

    Caps and philly are offensive powerhouses. Goalies are still suspect though. Varlomov morphs into a friggan superstar when he plays the rangers though

  6. how long is anisimov going to play in hartford? if i was him, and i was sent down to the ahl again, id give the team the finger and go home to make a couple of mil and play all the time. such crap if he is sent down again.

  7. ctrain

    because people fought in wars for others to say the first thing that came to their mind no matter how clueless it may be.

    also because al gore invented the internet

  8. because- why didn’t al gore profit off of his invention? Seems like he had to write a book to make a few bucks.

  9. I don’t think Torts wants to scratch Lisin, and he won’t break up the top line.

    At this point pulling Lisin or pulling Boyle is the only rational alternatives and I can’t see how you can justify breaking up that top line, especially for Avery who really has no business on it. I think Lisin should be scratched and Avery needs to give the 3rd line some needed physical presence.

    At this point all we can hope for is that the 4th line continues their play from the Devs game, but I doubt it. Down the stretch Prospal will go on as 3rd line center and the 4th line wont include Boyle and Voros.

  10. My guess is Voros will get scratched and Lisin will move down to the 4th line to provide some additional speed similar to what Sjostrom did for the 4th line last year. Torts wants speed throughout the line up for hard forechecking and Voros seems like the best bet to be scratched.

  11. AA hasn’t shown much in the 1st 3 games. Pre-season is over. But, I think Lisin has to sit if Avery comes back. Voros has salvaged some trade value, so maybe now would be the time to acquire that 7th D man. . . . . .

  12. I would keep an eye on San Jose. Heatley is exhibiting his usual “indifferent” play. That ain’t gonna work out so well. . . . .

  13. Don’t want to mess with Lisin’s psyche right now, when he’s playing a decent game, it sends the wrong message. But Voros has done nothing to warrant a place on the bench right now, either. Torts may need to do a good job of explaining this to whomever the unlucky player is. Hopefully he’s already prepared the path in other briefings to let players know that decisions like this are inevitable and that some playing time is going to have to be shared.

  14. Drury has been responsible for at _least_ 4 goals against so far… he’s slow and doesn’t play the body in front of the net. Look for it. Look at Crosby’s goal, could have easily been thwarted if Drury wasn’t a skirt.

  15. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on


    I think Torts is an “earn your ice” coach (almost or maybe to a fault). Therefore Anisimov sits out. Normally, Prospal would go center the third line, but he must “ride the wave” of the first line for now, so I see Higgins going to center line 3, Kotalik moving up to Drury/Callahan line 2, and Avery sliding into a wing spot on the 3rd line. (until the 1st line cools off and Vinny can move to a center position.

  16. I agree with Rmant. Despite the fact that they may be playing well, I think the plan if Avery was healthy from the start would have been Lisin on the fourth line and Voros in street clothes as a regular lineup.

    Good to be back after a busy weeekend and a couple of good games by the Rangers. That was one hell of a timeout in the Devils game!

  17. No easy choice here but that’s somewhat opposite of last year when the question of whether to play Prucha/Dawes/Fritsche/Rissmiller/Voros was mostly based on who could resemble anything close to an NHL level player.

    I’d say Artie but again sending him down to HFD doesn’t do a whole lot of good as he more than proved himself down there.

    Caps game is going to be tough unless they can build more than a one goal
    cushion in order to stave off the inevitable point where Ovechkin decides to take over the game.

  18. ues- yea, but look what it did for cally when he got sent down. he came back and played great. sometimes they need that to find consistency in their game and so he knows he is not safe. and doesnt get complacent. anisimovs line hasnt been very good and i think hes a few more bad games away from going to hartford, but as it is, we need centers, so lisin would sit. the 4th line is not where lisin is going to score goals. 4 minutes or less a game? no, voros and boyle, until they prove otherwise, have done their job well. take out the guy who deserves it. lisin. he doesnt want to see guys like voros playing and he sits. its good motivation to earn your spot. voros has done that imo. so has boyle. AA prob will stay but hes not too far off from goin to hartford and that would really suck given how well he did early on. i think torts wants to give him a chance. 3 games is not enough. if after 5 or 6 games he hasnt at least improved his play, then maybe he needs the same motivation cally got 2 years ago

  19. the caps goalies suck. we should be ale to score on this varlamov kid but for some reason he turns into roy everytime we play them. if hank has a great game, we should win. varlamov got lit up yesterday. lets get at him while hes not at his best. but just think of the few extra odd man rushes the capos will get and i cant see this turning out anything less than having to score at least 4 goals to win. our offense needs to be real good because the caps will score. anybody see semin and ovie last night?? those 2 are so damn good its scary. against the D of philly no less. those are some good players. timmonen,coburn,pronger! caps d isnt that great so we should be able to exploit it,and drury has to play much better dfensively thursday. if hes not scoring, he needs to play tougher on his guy hes coverin or supposed to cover(zajac goal)

  20. You guys forget that Avery can play center. Thats the position he came up as in the league. Now defensively I don’t think he’s responsible enough to play center, but he can play there.

    Lisin offers a lot more than people around here seem to think. I know defensively he has some issues at times, but the guy is a wizard on the puck. He sees the ice in the offensive zone very well and he’s a key member of the 2nd powerplay. Don’t forget, he plays over Anisimov and Drury on the PP, so I don’t think Torts will want to take him out. The only problem is on the 4th line, his offensive talents are wasted a bit because even though Boyle and Brash are better offensive guys than Orr and Betts, they still aren’t as good as Arty and Kotalik.

    It’s a tough call, but you can’t keep Lisin out of the lineup for too long if you do pull him. The kid is too good and scores clutch goals (which we’ll see later in the year). He did it in Phoenix and I’m very sure he can do it here in NY.

  21. yes jonny. i agree. i really think AA and him are the 2 guys that might sit. i wish he had scored or got some assists because i dont want AA goin back to hartford, or being scratched. lisin could be hes a winger and looks like the most likely. it sucks but he’ll play alot of games.

  22. Carp, Very nice review and analysis.

    I love the aggressive play but the team is very sloppy at times.

    Avery should be with someone who can score because he opens the ice for others by drawing the ire of the other team.

    AA should stay with the big club and learn, it is to early
    to send him down.

  23. Drop Lisin, put Avery in his place. Easy decision. Lisin hasn’t done anything to elevate him over the sandpaper element Aves brings.

  24. Salty

    you are absolutely right about Drury and the way he’s been playing .that last goal the other night with him just standing there really got to me. All he had to do was take a few quick strides and get in the guys’ way. I agree that he’s been “listless”.

  25. cwgatti:

    Tomas Kundratek is back with his Junior team, Medicine Hat in the Western Hockey League. The Rangers thought he might bolt to the Czech league but evidently he was convinced a year in Juniors would serve him better as far as the NHL was concerned.

  26. Anisimov needs to play. He’ll get stronger and his skills are obvious. Lisin is too much of an offensive threat at ES so he shouldn’t sit either. I’d sit Voros and use Kotalik on the 4th line plus on the PP, that’s where he excels. I’d put Avery with Anisimov and Lisin. That would be one fast line.

  27. I’d be shocked if Torts breaks up the first line. In fact, I’d almost bet a ton that he doesn’t. Their #s are sick. And it would be the Ghost of Renney’s past to break them up. Not happening.

    AA will only be sat if they can find a legit center for the 3rd line.

    I think Lisin is the only one that makes sense.

  28. In the old regime, AA would sit. I hope Torts sits Voros. Let’s give AA a couple of more games before sitting or sending him. Move Lisin to the 4th line and give the 2 giants some speed.

    Now to get the I HATE THE CAPS blood boiling. Just remember the crap that came out of Maryland after the series last year. Even the writers bashed the Rangers and acted like we had no business going 7 games with their elite team. Also that annoying horn:beep beep beep, “let’s go caps.”

  29. lennynyr;

    I’m with you. I like that line and I agree that Kotalik does his job on the PP. But I can promise you 100% that it will not happen.

  30. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    I really don’t think Torts is going to sit Artie.

    It’s been three games, and that is not a long enough amount of ice time to warrant sending him back to Hartford, plus were super thin at center, and Prospal is fixed on the top line. Why break up a line that is getting at least 2 points per game so far?

    It’s not rocket science to sit Voros for one game and see what happens. At the very least, Lisin excels on it, gets a goal, and Voros is bye bye forever!! Either way sitting him keep shim in the fold, doesnt expose him to re-entry waivers and gives you an extra body if (God forbid) someone is injured

    Think about it. Voros is THE most expendable player we have now. Yeah he forechecks hard, but thats the entire 4th line’s job. His hands are still stone.

    Throw Lisin on the 4th line, and give him PP time.
    Problem solved.

    Plus Avery had chemistry with Atrie in the Pre-season, so I have a feeling reuniting them will spark some offense. PLus with Avery in front of the net casuing havoc, Kotalik can drop his bomb of a shot with more of a chance that its goign to get through, or stuffed in on a rebound by Avery or Artie.


    Hank Starts

    Voros sits

    Drop the puck!

  31. I think Anisimov will stay with the team unless they get a good third line center. Avery should play with Anisimov and Kotalik. This should strengthen the third line as he is more affective on the left wing than Lisin. Lisin will take fourth line RW spot on the right. Voros will be the odd man out.

  32. So, does Voros then sit if that happens, or go back to Hartford? If he goes back to Hartford he will then have to pass through waivers. Unless they pull out the ever popular “Conditioning stint.”

  33. Kotalik should never sit or play limited minutes. he too is too gifted on offense.

    If Avery moves to the 3rd line, Kotalik should move up to the 2nd only because Avery and Callahan killed when they played together. Two guys who hit, and have speed with and off the puck with Anisimov would open up space for Arty to be more creative.

    Kotalik had his best seasons with Drury (no surprise Drury had his best years with Kotalik either) so they have the chemistry of playing with one another. Plus Higgins gives a scoring and physical threat on that line. Lisin can play 4th line and I’d keep him there just so he can play on the 2nd PP unit. Voros has worked his butt off, but he doesn’t play in enough situations to warrent being on the ice when Avery is back.

    I hope the lines look like this:

    Prospal – Dubinsky – Gaborik
    Higgins – Drury – Kotalik
    Avery – Anisimov – Callahan
    Lisin – Boyle – Brashear

    I think that makes the most sense based on previous history and freeing up the ice for certain guys. Plus now that I think of it, Lisin would probably be going up against the other teams 4th line, and he can dance around most of those guys on any team with ease.

  34. I’ll tell you guys when you’re ice level watching the game for some reason everything looks different. Lisin is sooooooo fast and carries the puck very well. All of the top guys should stay. It should be Voros or Boyle…
    I’m excited to see Avery back with the team.

  35. Prospal – Dubinsky – Gaborik
    Higgins – Drury – Kotalik
    Avery – Anisimov – Callahan
    Lisin – Boyle – Brashear

    I like this. As long as the most playing time is still going to that first line, and 2 and 3 are getting an even amount of ice. The fourth can be used sparingly as they have been.

  36. Real Mikey –

    Those lines are perfect. I really hope thats what Torts does. That’d be one of the best 3rd lines in the league if Avery can get Anisimov going and the rest do what they’ve always done. Avery creating space for Kotalik’s blast…it’d be a fun line to watch.

  37. I was throwing this around in my head and wanted to see what someone else thought….Could Boyle/Anisimov play wing and Avery play center? It’s not optimal but it would bump Voros


    Anisimov is very responsible defensively and could put some in on the fourth line….of coruse he wouldn’t get consistent time

  38. Avery is very good at cycling the puck, as are AA and Cally. The line of Avery Dubi Cally was great last year. I think this line could be almost as effective. AA is not as strong on the puck as Dubi, but he is good.

  39. Well I personally don’t care for Voros.. so I hope he sits… true story the toehr night at Jersey one of our friends was getting Voros’s signature and Jo looked across the crowd called are friend and just said “ReallY? REALLY?!?” Voros didn’t have a clue but my friend ws dying trying to hide laughing… and after he finished she just said “she needed it” (She was getting her program signed by all the players on their pages.

    I like the lines above with Avery and Cally on AA’s wings and Lisin on the fourth line.

  40. Voros or Boyle are obviously replaceable — games won’t be won or lost without them — Avery helps Anisimov and Lisin gives speed to the 4th line.

  41. If you would like to keep the contents of your stomach inside of you, I’d recommend not clicking on the link in my name.

    I was checking out the “Bodies We Want” spread in ESPN the mag. First shot is a hot surfer chick…the fourth shot is Zdeno Chara posing naked, with his hands on his head. WOW is all I can say. He is going to get BERATED on the ice for this, I don’t care how badly he can kick anyone’s ass.

  42. Salt – you make a valid point that Drury has been on for four goals this season but watching the videos of each I think it’s hard to point the finger as them being all his fault.

    Crosby goal – It was a fairly lucky bounce after a broken two on one. You’re right, Drury probably should have taken the body but Staal was right there too.

    Afredsson goal – Drury took the last shot in the zone, Higgins and Callahan were caught high behind the goal line. Redden made a bad change that let Alfredsson walk in alone while Gilroy chased Spezza into the corner. Redden’s fault.

    Niedermayer goal – Staal lost his guy in the corner, Drury came over to support. Niedermayer was high on the circle without Higgins or Callahan covering him. Probably Higgins fault.

    Zajac goal – Powerplay goal. It looked like Drury was positioned correctly, just a good play by NJ. One goal against in 8:26 of shorthanded ice time, what is that … 1 goal against in 8 shifts (12.5%)?

  43. That Alfie goal was just a bad change. Def not Drury’s fault. Niedermeyer goal should’ve been stopped. I think the block attempt by Girardi threw Henke off, but he barely even moved.

    The only ones I’ll get on Dru for are the Crosby goal and the Zajac goal, but on the Zajac one it was just a slow rotation by a few guys. Girardi went late, Staal went late following that, so the natural cycle would be Drury going late. The Crosby one he was right there for and lifted his stick way too early then forgot about him.

    I know you wanna get on Drury, Salty, especially for his contract, but I think you are picking on him too much in some situations. There were breakdowns way before Drury got involved with the play. Should he be playing better at times? Sure, but he’s been pretty good so far. I would just like to see him scoring more.

  44. I wonder if it makes sense to rush Avery back. . . .

    If more time would be prudent, why not keep him out making sure he is 100%?

    Another thing,
    I supported the Brashear signing. But I saw some troubling things in his pre-reason tilts, and the two scraps he has had in the regular season. He looks timid. So, I did a little research and I found that the last time someone got the better of Brash, was Wade Belak. March 10, 2009.

    He didn’t fight anyone–I mean ANYONE– after that. Unless you wanna count Betts. I wonder if he really got hurt in the Belak fight, and I wonder if his psyche has been damaged as well.

    With all the booing, and the indifference Montreal shows Larauqe, would a trade make sense?

  45. gross just reported that avery is again in a yellow non-contact jersey at practice

    translation: no avery tomorrow

  46. It’s time to give Drury a 2nd chance. 3 years ago, Dru and Gomez were brought here to be the go to guys. All of the pressure was on them. This year, we have a cast of characters that let Dru do his thing without being looked to as THE GUY. We can’t do anything about his contract but I think he really will turn out to be captain clutch.

  47. For Anisimov to stay he is going to have start being noticed on the ice. Right now he is blending in with the boards. Create some chances, finish a check, or maybe even score a goal. His play right now does not warrant him staying the line up.

  48. If you’re a “professional” fighter who got floored by one puch, its gonna stick with you for a while. He’ll be fine. Its 3 games and we’re already looking to replace people (other than Voros, its already been mostly agreed that he needs to go)?

  49. Doodie Machetto on

    “but I think he really will turn out to be captain clutch.”

    He already is captain clutch. captain clutch his stick.

  50. AFLY,

    That picture is definitely…something. He does have a great body, but that pose is SCREAMING “HEYYYYYYYY!!!!!” LOL Maybe he was doing a spread for Playgirl mag.
    As for Drury, it has been killing me as of late. He was totally lazy during that Devils game. He really needs to step it up. He is still one of my faves, but he has got to get his act together!

  51. What’s with this rush to get Avery back in the line-up? Seriously! The team has won two consecutive matches; let him wait until a change is necessary. Right now, it isn’t.

  52. I wonder if AA’s game has suffered because of the players he is with. Anyone who has played with one dimensional players ( I have done that too many times to mention) usually suffers. I used to play with some really good all-around players and my stats were awesome. Then next year I had some guys who were pretty horrible. I spend most of my time trying to cover their defensive mistakes and my play and stats suffered for it. Lisin has goal scoring potential, but doesn’t know how to play without the puck. No defensive positioning, or finding good shooting lanes in the offensive zone. Kotalik was brought in for the PP, his all-around game is so-so.

  53. I will give Artie a few more games…but have not been impressed at all. I’m hoping he starts to shine. Voros is eh. I don’t think I’ll miss him.

    I’m thrilled that DZ & Gilroy are playing well. They will make mistakes, but they r working hard.

    I’m excited about Avery coming back. I just hope he is truly 100%. BTW, is it me or is Avery always hurt in the beginning of the season??? I dunno, I just want him strong, healthy, and fiesty.

    Maybe I was a little harsh on calling Dru lazy, but I know he can be better.

  54. Either sit Voros and put Lisin on the 4th line, and give him PP time on the second unit, or you can sit Artie, and slip Higgins into the 3rd line center spot, and pop Ave son the second line.

    I haven’t seen much too much from Higgins, and Aves always seems to play well with good players, so who knows, maybe he’ll fit in there.

    Either way, they better win.

  55. dshea

    I’ve heard AA does best with players who play like Cally and Avery,it might just be a difference of style he excels in I don’t know.

  56. Rick (No, not that one) on

    Well, if all we have to worry about (aboot) this year is if we put Lisin or Voros in the lineup, I’ll be real happy.

  57. @AGrossRecord: Avery rules himself out of Thursday’s #Rangers game at WAS. Says barring anything unforeseen, he’ll play Sunday v. #Ducks.

    That is Twitter speak that Avery won’t be playing on Thursday.

  58. Can we talk about the real issue here?
    Rozival and Redden are horrible. They are now in roles of stay at home defenseman and are both horrible at it. Redden has been better than Rozival but they both need to go. We must trade one or release one of them and trade for a hard hitting stay at home defenseman like a brendan witt type player.

  59. I say Voros is out…

    now, just to change the subject a little… have you seen this article at puck daddy?

    Pass or Fail: NHL legend LaFontaine’s radical power-play idea

    Taking that idea to a fascinating new level, LaFontaine offered this:

    “Maybe if there’s five minutes to go in the third period, if there’s a penalty taken, maybe there’s an optional penalty shot?

    “Here are your options: You either get one penalty shot or a two minute penalty where the player doesn’t come out of the box. You have a chance to go for two goals instead of maybe one goal. But what if the penalty occurs with, say, 30 seconds left in the game? What it does is allow some excitement into the game. You need to put the breakaway back in the game.”

    1. Pass or Fail: Pat LaFontaine’s penalty shot/”2-minute major” power-play option.

    2. Pass or Fail: All power plays should be “majors,” allowing teams to score as many goals as they can until the penalty expires.

    what you guys think?;_ylt=AvFBfOLfzK1mUbQiuyRp8WZ7vLYF?urn=nhl,194300

  60. Staal

    Stay away from L. F. He comes here and says he’s a devils fan. He goes to Fire & Ice and says he’s a Rangers fan.

    He is neither.

    He just wants attention in the form of argument.

  61. Bitt – You really need to lay off them, especially Redden. The guy hasn’t done much bad this season so far. We’ve already established he’ll never be worth his money, but as long as he doesn’t do anything wrong and makes those quick outlet passes from the zone like he has done so far, theres not much more we can ask/get from him. And forget about trading them. they have 0 trade value so we’re stuck with them. I think we need to just realize that and move on.

    Also has anyone thought that Anisimov hasn’t seen the scoresheet because he’s playing the defensive role on the line? We know he has offensive skills, but with Lisin and Kotalik as the 2 offensive guys, he A) touches the puck less and B) drops back to help out on D more.

    There’s nothing wrong with his game, its just that he’s not jumping up on offense as much. Also they are usually out there with Staal and Girardi, both of which have been pinching extremely deep into the zone.

    So Arty is usually the one guy that drops back into that position for the d-man. I noticed it in the Ottawa game, but its hard to notice on TV. I suggest you guys look for it in the next game when Arty is on the ice because I think that has to do with why he hasn’t put up any points yet.

  62. it’s amusing to see local fan over at Fire & Ice… he basically says the same things he says over here and just interchanges team names..

  63. LF is probably a Flyers fan. haha.

    Another question I think should be brought up:

    Torts said Henke would play less this year. Now I haven’t looked at the schedule later in the year, but when is Vally going to start taking some games? If so, how many?

    I’m thinking he’ll play Henke no more than 65 games, maybe 60 because of the Olympics. Thoughts?

  64. Yeah Avery is not playing tomorrow per Gross’ twitter. Tough game tomorrow so I’m sure someone on the 4th line/Lisin will play themselves out of the lineup.

  65. I hate that we have to break for the Olympics.
    Hockey should be a summer Olympics event.
    No other sport that I can think of takes a break & risk the top players to injury for the Olympics.

  66. johnny d,
    as i said, redden has played better than rozival so far but rozival has been horrible. He loses every one on one battle. he fans on the couple shots he does get. he has no physicalness if thats a word to his game. wouldnt you rather cut him and get half of his salary to put towards another good player?

  67. I understand what you mean Bitt, but thats not how it works. If he clears waivers and sits in Hartford, then we just pay him. If we try to bring him back up then we pay half his salary. However if we buy him out, it could end up being more expensive than that or over a longer period of time. Its just overly complicated and doesn’t make enough sense financially because it’ll hold us back for more than just 3 years if we cut him.

    Plus who else out there can we get to take his position? All you guys want crease clearers, but the only guys out there are terrible. Gauthier is a cone that will become the next Big Apple Turnover after Gomez. He seriously is not an NHL hockey player and I’d much rather have Gabe Gauthier than Denis, and I wouldn’t touch Gabe with a 10 foot pold. McLaren doesn’t hit like he used to and is still hurt I believe. Nobody is going to touch Randy Jones because he’s absolutely terrible.

    The best guy we could’ve gotten was Francis Bouillon, but he’s gone. he’s little but he is a beast on hits and doesn’t back down from anyone. Plus he’s fast, which is something that is vital to Torts’ system. All those other guys are way too slow to keep up.

    There is a huge reason why Jones was cut and guys like Gauthier weren’t even offered tryouts/contracts for this season. There is no place for them in the NHL. Jones moreso than Gauthier, but either way they both aren’t NHL caliber players. Just because you hit, doesn’t make you a good hockey player (see Dan Girardi).

  68. I should clear up what I said. In hartford he doesn’t count against the cap but he still gets paid. If he gets picked up on re-entry waivers, half his salary stays with us. Plus we can’t just cut him either. I’m pretty sure you can only buy out players during the offseason. But if we did, it would be over a longer period of time and would take away from our cap space. I’d much rather hold onto him since he’s better than a ton of other guys in the league.

    Then next year when he only has 2 years left on his deal and guys are looking for PP QBs, we can try to trade him off for picks or prospects or if we’re lucky, an expiring contract (which won’t happen).

  69. I hear ya and I know another rookie is not an option. Im guessing we will have to wait a few more months until a team is terrible and willing to trade a big defenseman. If we only signed orpik instead of rozival last year this team would be awesome. He is the type of player this team needs very badly and i agree it wont be easy to get one. Even Tyutin would be a much better fit than rozival if we can somehow can get him back. I would even take back Kasparitis. (half joke, but he is still probably better than rozival)

  70. Can’t we just blame Redden and Rozsival on who’s responsible for bringing them in the league, Mad Mike and the Penguins?

  71. I’ve been on Rozi’s case for over a year now. Face it folks, he’s not going anywhere this year. You can blame Sather for paying 11 mil + for his #5 and #6 defensemen. He’s probably a better alternative than Sauer or Potter at this point. I guess we’ll have to watch him lose every battle, again, all year long. And don’t be so sure the rest of the league is going to jump and take him off of our hands next summer with a couple of picks.

  72. Orpik had his mind set on going to the Pens. We gave him an offer that I think was bigger than the Pens one, a couple teams did actually, and he took the Pens offer instead. It sucks because in today’s NHL, these d-men haven’t been signed as FAs year. Outside of Komisarek (who in my opinion is way overpaid due to his stupid penalites and injury history), I can’t think of a big name, shutdown, hitting d-man that has been picked up off FAs.

    Most of these guys like Phaneuf (also overrated but still good) are drafted and still very young. Teams are also trying to lock them up before they become extremely overpriced so they get them at a good deal. They all hit, are fast, and can jump in on offense. The guys out there now are left from pre-lockout and can’t keep up with the game.

    The one guy who we could bring up to be the crease clearer is Nigel Williams. He’s pretty big at 6’2″ and 225 and is pretty tough from what I’ve seen/heard about it. I know he was a top prospect d-man for Colorado, but a lot of it had to do with the fact that he’s pretty fast and can lay some mean hits. I think he’s another year away, but with him and McDonagh coming up and probably passing Sanguinetti, Sauer, and Potter on the prospect chart, our D will be pretty solid in another year or two.

  73. Wasn’t Pronger signed as an FA by the Oilers right after the lockout? It sort of shocked the world but Bettman liked it since it showed the salary cap allowed small market teams to compete on star players.

  74. Tony from AZ.
    I agree with your Olympics thoughts…I am less interested now than before Pro’s could play in the Olympics. What made the 1980 USA win so special? It was because a bunch of no name kids beat the mighty Russians. But now its a bunch of pro’s risking injury from their real jobs. IMO Olympic hockey was so much better when it didn’t include the pro’s.
    I remember when Jagr took that body check to the head from that bastard Ruutu, and all I could think about is how dumb of a move it was to play in the Olympics when you had a pro team paying you to play.

  75. If Avery is back, Lisin bc he hasn’t finished. If he doesn’t, there’s no use playing him. Anisimov should stay in cause he is a center and decent on draws. Give him Avery and Callahan. Kotalik can play with Drury and Higgins.

  76. Staal Wart – yup, those kids beating the Russians was way better than any “dream team”
    The NBA plays in the winter, but the olympics are played in the summer. Hockey should do the same. It’s not like they’re going to play outdoors or anything.
    besides, it’ll probably be on Versus & nobody will see it !

  77. Rangers beat the Devils, who cares. Broduer looked great, and that’s all that matters. By great, i mean he looked very cute. I hate it when the opposing teams score goals, but the only good thing that comes out of it, is Marty’s cute angry faces.

    0-2 is no big deal, we’ll bounce back.

    Oh well, at least i still have the Flyers, who are 3-0. Go Flyers !

  78. the night man on

    local fan: And you’ve always got Pittsburgh to fall back on too. That’s still pretty local, right?

  79. lol @ Fatso letting that shot in 5hole. that shot from Girloy looked like one of my flubbed slapshots. Marty lost them the game.

  80. Heck night man,
    LF could just throw in Boston as well as the Caps, and since DC isn’t too far from Carolina, Go Canes…and since Carolina is close to Florida, Go Tampa, Go Panthers!
    LF just root for every east coast team.

  81. The fourth line has been pretty good so far, but they are just big bodys and they hit. Well I guess Brashear can fight , I don’t know about Boyd, but voros sure can’t. I have been wondering for a while why Boros is still in the line up. I suspect Torts is soft on him because he’s a friend of Gabby’s, and he does work hard, but neither him or Boyd have shown why they should be playing over someone with lots more talent. We have seen what Voros can do, lisen on the other hand, we are not sure of but he looks to me to be a guy that should be playing.

  82. Jonny

    first of all gauthier was offered a tryout with us, he declined (probably the avery issue), and he would be a bad top 4 d man, but not what we are looking for. We need a 6/7 which would be fine for him. But there are no true physical top 4 d men available and you will have to pay a kings ransom for one. As far as this team needing one, it needs one badly. It may not need one in game 3 or game 7 of the season, but as the season wears on and especially in the playoffs it is a must!!

  83. The above post is from “A local fan”, not from the regular “a local fan”. I think someone’s about to get banned.

  84. Lordy AFLY, I had to get that Chara link off my screen at work so fast before someoen thought I was looking at a banned site…Linda, Sally, you seen that yet?? Yow….

    Sorry, had to chime in with that…back to work. Been a nutty day.

    and good afternoon Staal and all….

  85. Jonny

    You also need to realize while footspeed is important, all the footspeed in the world means nothing if you do not know where the hell you are supposed to be on the ice. IE some of the vets that are out there may be slower, but if the “experience” they have is good and they “know” where to be and how to hit, it makes up for the lack of speed. Again we are talking about a 6/7 d man. If the speed was the only issue, we would probably have a young guy like sauer or williams as our big physical guy, however we do not (or even heikkenen), obviously it is not!!!

    The simple solution is get rid of rozy’s sorry butt (to hartford i guess), clear up his horrible horrible salary space and go get a veteran physical guy that “can skate” with the available cap space freed up by dumping the albatross that rozy is!!

  86. Laurel, what Chara link?

    I’m sick and tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m gonna celebrate by staying in my pajamas all day, drinking tea, and watching the Rangers (and Sabres) win!

  87. Lisin has not clicked with Anisimov, neither has Kotalik. So before you sit Anisimov you need to get him some wingers who can play with him.

    Prospal/Dubinsky/Gaborik = this has to stay together for as long as they ride is high.

    So put Higgins/Anisimov/Callahan and Avery/Drury/Kotalik as the other two lines and see what shakes out. I think those two could have nice balance.

    Then the 4th line can be whatever. Lisin can fight it out with Voros/Boyle/Brashear for games. Torts can rotate Lisin around now and they to see if something happens. Basically the kid needs to score, but he also needs a chance.

  88. Wicky – have you watched Gauthier play for more than the few times he played on the Flyers (when he destroyed Straka)? I watched him play all year last year and if the Kings weren’t trying to develop Harrold and Johnson didn’t get hurt, he would’ve never played. He costs teams games, trust me. if he’s not good enough for the Kings, he’s not good enough for the Rangers. I don’t care if he’s our 6th or 7th d-man, if you give away games singlehandedly when the rest of your teammates play their hearts out, I want nothing to do with you.

    You are right that footspeed means nothing without knowing where to be, but if you aren’t fast enough to get there, then you are useless.

    Defensive positioning can be taught. Speed cannot, and Del Zotto is a perfect example of that. When he was drafted, they said he wasn’t good enough defensively. I know he still has miles to go, but from his 1st year in juniors to last year and now up with the big club, he’s improved drastically.

    The reason why Williams and Sauer aren’t up is because Torts doesn’t need a big d-man in his system. He has Staal and Girardi to hit. His philosophy is that you play defense by holding the puck and not letting teams get past the red line. Thats why we give up many odd-man rushes, and with those, you don’t need a big guy to hit. I’m not saying I don’t want one, but it’s not a necessity right now and probably won’t be down the line if we control most of the puck possession. it’s why we went much bigger with the forwards this year.

  89. Jonny

    No, I did not see him play a lot last year, but I did see him play a lot with calgary (yes, not as current as last year, i understand that). I can assure you he cost LA fewer games than rozy cost us and yes, you can teach positioning. I am not looking for the club to sign a guy for 8 years, we need a physical guy as a stop gap until the younger “physical” guys in our organization have been taught the proper positioning. You are also implying by your last post that our club will be dictating the pace of all the games and everyone will be playing our tempo, that would be nice, but will not happen, you still need a guy that can play down low with grit and jam when the puck is stuck in our own zone as well as guys that can light someone up coming across the blueline, we do not have that currently. This is why torts has said staal needs to try to play with more jam and he has been calling girardi out for tha same thing, he knows we do not have it and we need more of it!!!

    I am not disagreeing with you at all on the concept of the team but you seem to think i want a starting 6 d consisting of 5 gauthier’s and a redden or something, which is not the case at all. the current crop is acceptable to me right now if we would lose a rozy and add a physical guy (gauthier would be fine at 6 or 7 like i said) or just add one physical guy in the mix somewhere in the 7 for the long haul and especially the playoffs.

  90. Happy Birthday Sally! Sorry you’re sick, but not a bad way to spend a day….and that pic…I know!!!

    Jonny, if you know anything about Wicky, you know he’s all about the hard hitting physical d-man!

  91. Jonny

    If torts didn’t want/need a big/physical dman in his system, then why the invite of gauthier, then mclaren, then semenov and semenov getting a contract offer. Then when semenov declines the contract offer and goes home, why does torts say we need to find another guy like him and it sucked he wasn’t going to be here. There were smaller, non physical, puck moving vets out there like babchuk, bergeron, or so on, but we did not sign them. Torts system does not need or utilize 5 or 6 big lumbering hard hitting guys, but torts knows you have to have bang back there no matter what system you run in the NHL!

  92. Went to school upstate – south of Buff. Had a friend (Sally) from Syracuse who was a huge Sabres fan.

  93. Thanks Laurel! Yeah that Chara is… something. I’m blind in one eye now, but I think it’s the good kind of blind?

  94. Sally – its the link in my name.

    Pretty gross eh Laurel?

    The HR department in my firm randomly takes screenshots from our CPUs during the course of the day and keeps a sort of photo album of browsing history, rather than track hyperlinks. In case there are ever any disciplinary issues this is something they can turn to and peruse for other misconduct…

    Anyway, I couldn’t imagine trying to explain that picture if I had to. If anything I bet they’d feel bad for me that I was “into” that sort of thing and let me off with a warning.

  95. Sally

    Happy Get Well Birthday!!!!


    You rock!!!


    I wonder if someone asked hank if he would like to see a big banger back there that would clear the crease….I wonder what his answer would be??? But why cater to him right!

  96. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Dubi sure does dangle!!! " ...says Greg L. on

    Sally , Ya watched the Sabres instead of the last Rangers game, Yeashhhh. What the hell? Your love for the pathetic Sabres could get you in trouble here on the blog. Sabres are enemy #1 as well as Azzlanders ,Mickey’s Devils and Phillthy Philly.

  97. Jay, different Sally.

    Thanks Wicky.

    Greg, I watched the last Rangers game and I’m watching the one tomorrow night, too. I don’t love the Sabres, and they’ll never be my favorite team, but I gotta have some Buffalo pride now, you know? I promise that when the Rangers are in town I’ll root for them loudly, even if that means I get punched.

  98. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Dubi sure does dangle!!! " ...says Greg L. on

    ahhh Buffalo pride , Gottchya . Could be cold down in buff , I think I see snow flakes starting over here!!!

  99. Seaman, you should have been a drummer.
    Laurel…Got a new puppy the other day…named him Ranger…He’d look good on your blog…haha

  100. Thanks, Carp.

    As far as who should be out tomorrow, I vote for Roszi. Then we can move whoever (AA?) to defense. Problem solved!

  101. Staal, don’t kid me on such a serious topic!

    AFLY, as for the hands on head pose, OK, odd, but as for the neck down, gross is not the word that comes to mind :)

  102. Laurel – I know he does. I haven’t visited here in awhile but I’m starting to get to figure out who likes what players. haha

    Wicky – I never said I didn’t want one and it is always great to have one. I wouldn’t mind bringing in McLaren just because of his experience. I just don’t know why you would want Gauthier. And I never said anything about bringing in a puck moving d-man. There was no need for one with Redden and Rozsival (they aren’t but thats what we signed them for) and Gilroy and Del Zotto making the team.

    I think Torts wanted someone who was a stay at home guy that had veteran experience, which is why they were giving those three looks, especially McLaren because the only reason he got sent to the minors was because of his terrible pre-lockout contract. I didn’t hear about the Gauthier invite, but I think once the Rangers saw what he had to offer…or what he didn’t offer, they would’ve just let him go.

    Back on Calgary, that was in the old hook and hold days, so he got away with a ton. D-men like him don’t succeed in today’s NHL. Hal Gill and Brendan Witt were considered shut down d-men back then. Now they routinely get lit up (except by the Rangers for some reason). Even one of the best checkers/hitting d-men in Derian Hatcher finally hung them up after a few years of being lit up by faster forwards who were able to walk around him since he couldn’t hook and hold.

    I understand you like physical d-men, trust me I love a good bruiser too (especially to help out Henke), but I don’t agree with dishing out money to a guy that shouldn’t be in the NHL. It’s not worth spending it on someone just because they throw a big hit every once in awhile. That’s all my point really is.

  103. Jonny

    fair enough, we throw that money at rozy and he is a 5 or 6 guy on most teams the way he plays now. I would rather throw 1.3 mil at gauthier for a 6/7 guy (or someone like him) than throw 5mil at rozy!

  104. Voros should sit. He sucks! As for Gauthier, he’s horrible. I don’t understand all the chicken little fans worried about who the scratched defensman will be.
    Why don’t all you worry warts just calm down and enjoy the mostly brilliant play your young dmen ar showing you.
    MDZ and Gilroy are directly responsible for the two wins your team has gotten.
    And if there is an injury or the rnr boys continue to suck,the kids in hfd can step in.

  105. Wicky – You make a good point. I am in no way happy with those contracts. As long as its someone other than Goat, we’re both happy. haha.

  106. I say you scratch Voros from the lineup bc your not going to scratch Boyle since hes the only one who can center on the 4th, not going to scratch Brashear bc hes the enforcer and against his old team, and I dont think one of the more skilled forwards such as Anisimov or Lisin should get scratched just because they would hurt the “chemistry” of the 4th line that plays 6 mins a game

  107. Also, I say that Avery takes Lisin’s spot on the 3rd line and you move Lisin to 4th.. but to get more time for Lisin, you give him an occasional chance on 2nd PP unit, and when Lisin doesnt get a shift on the PP you use him (instead of Brashear) with Anisimov and Drury on the first even strength shift after the PP. The first few games torts has often sent out Anisimov and Drury with Brashear bc Anisimov and Drury are the two top 9 forwards that arent being used on the PP much if at all. Lisin wont be happy with the demotion but he will get more mins than a 4th liner would. I think it could work, they better not send Anisimov down he needs some time and he has played well defensively in his own zone as carp mentioned

  108. I think Lisin gets scratched for Sunday against Anaheim. I like Boyle’s PKing actually.

    As for Chara, psh, that’s what my body looks like.

    Seriously though, there are a couple NFL linemen in there, girls, you’ve been warned. My retinas still hurt.

  109. I know there’s a new post already but that Lafontaine suggestion is God awful. I have the utmost respect for Pat who was a superb player- one of USA’s best. But the idea that he put up makes me wonder if he took one too many blows to the head.

    The suggestion of Avery with Dru ain’t bad. I still feel putting Aves and Cally with Anisimov could get him going. He looked good with Cally in preseason and those two energizers should help create space. Something that’s necessary for Artie to play his game.

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