Bruins-Rangers in review


Like a lot of New Yorkers — judging by the numbers here yesterday — there was too much going on yesterday to fully focus on the Rangers, and even Rangers in 60 was in the way of the World Series. (I also has the three-hour leaf-blowing interruption).

To see some of the highlights of yesterday’s game, click here.

Some quick thoughts:

1) Michael Del Zotto. How good is this kid?

2) I thought some guys bounced back yesterday, especially Dubinsky and Gilroy.

3) I think that a lot of the improvement in the play of a lot of players was strictly, and specifically due to Marian Gaborik’s return.

4) If Gaborik doesn’t play, that game goes into OT and the Rangers lose there, or in the skills competiton that follows tie games, and everybody’s totally negative here today instead of totally positive.

5) It still amazes me how people jump to one side or the other of the emotional fence regarding this team after each and every game.

6) All in all, this was a better performance than they’ve had in weeks.

7) The Bruins are still a difficult team to play, but they are a lot less so without Milan Lucic. Incredible that in a team sport like this, one player (Gaborik, Lucic) can make such a huge difference.

8) I liked Derek Morris crying that Gaborik’s goal was lucky, that he fanned a little bit (he did) and it still found the upper corner. Funny how that happens to the real snipers.

9) I think the Rangers would be better off with Morris than some of their other defensemen. He’s playing on the No. 1 pair with Chara on a much better team.

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    HA! You guys are funny! That blonde and the “leopard’ coat sure would look good on me!

    And i do snore at night, but usually not through my mouth/nose if you know what i mean… :P

    P.S. good game on Sunday…i actually got to watch it just now. Congrats to Hank…hopefully he’ll continue pilling up wins for us this season and many more to come. Btw, what the hell was Torts wearing? That tie and the short gave me a headache!

  2. yesterdays hard fought victory just proves how pivotal Gabby is.. if gabby gets hurt for any significant amount of time, we can kiss the season goodbye.. though with him, we are a legit contender

  3. Carp- as to #5- I for one go into every game expecting an amazing win. Anything less than that becomes a disappointment. I realize this is not realistic. But obsessions rarely are grounded in reality.

    P.S. 1st 1st. Sweet.

  4. Reeshay (or Riche') on

    This team, even with it’s numerous new parts… still has a confidence problem. When Gabby plays, they all seem to KNOW that they can win and play like it… when he doesn’t, they look scared and lost.

    Amazing how much of this game is played in the six inches of space between the ears.

  5. BTW, anyone playing with Chara plays better. Aaron Ward looked like a legit #2 d-man last year playing alongside FrankenChara.

    Chara, incidentally enough, is starting to look a tad bit old. Don’t get me wrong, he still has a rocket of a slapper and is big and tough. But he’s lost a step. And how how come he didn’t get called for a boarding against Cally or a high stick against Avery (which the ref was watching 100%.)

  6. It’s amazing that we’re 1/5th into the season, and haven’t had a shootout yet. In the past, we’d have had 7 by now.

  7. This team, because of its age, is going to be up and down all season. If Cally, Dubi, Higgins, Girardi, and Staal start to play more like veterans and less like kids, this team will solidify. At this rate, if he keeps improving, Anisimov will pass Dubi by January. Cally needs to bury a shot once in a while, I think Higgins will come around. Ultimately, this season will be a roller-coaster. Highs and lows. Get used to it.

  8. I remember the overall consensus here was that Morris sucked. Never agreed but, there are alot of opinions here I disagree with.
    Carp don’t forget the B’s also didn’t have Savard.

  9. Rick,

    MDZ is going to be a stud ( Joe would agree ) and a great D man for years to come…. Like with most first year players though, I really hope it isn’t all smoke & mirrors. My gut tells me he isn’t. I love his move when the puck goes into the corners, he skates, stops before the puck, takes the body & skates away with the puck.

    Gilroy was great last night, as was Redden. And I’d take Morris over Rozi in a heart beat.

  10. Newman – Chara hasn’t lost a step. The forwards in front of him aren’t as solid defensively as in years past so guys are coming at him with more speed and they are able to skate around him. Chara is slow and always has been. He’s not a great skater at all (as seen on Rozy’s softest trip of all time). He looked like a mite on that play.

    MAKO – MDZ is the real deal. I’ve followed this kid since before draft day and as I said then, he is our next franchise d-man. I know everyone thought it would be Gilroy based on the preseason, but Matt is 25, DZ is 19 so his ceiling is much higher. Plus as I’ve said, he was the #2 pick behind Stamkos in the OHL draft, just he dropped in the NHL draft because he was considering “undiscipline” in his workouts (he was about 220 pounds). Then he got fit, is down to about 195 and ready to be a top d-man for a long time. It’s early, but he’s got the skills and the hockey sense.

  11. Even with Gaborik though, they need another legit scorer. Kotalik is good but in all seriousness, being on a line with Drury won’t help. Um because…. You know…. He’s in a defensive role now.
    I’d like to see a Kotalik-Dubinsky-Lisin line somewhere down the road.

  12. Blueshirt in Paris on

    Would Chelios really be a downgrade from Rosival? How this guy gets the minutes he does is beyond me. Del Zotto needs to be paired with a stay at home def aka ‘be his Beauk’. I really cant see anyone on the roster that could help these kids (Staal is included as a kid) the way Chelios can.

  13. Jonny

    I love the way the kid plays. And that’s awesome you got to see him play before he was in the NHL! You know the way us Ranger fans are. Some
    players have flashes of brilliance & they just fizzle. I’m certain he won’t, because he is just that good. Gilroy is solid too, late bloomer yes but wow management did good by the team getting these two kids.

  14. Blueshirt in Paris on

    A few other things….

    I liked the Prospal – AA – ab line and think i should get another look. AA deserves more 1st line min then Lisin. And speaking of him, I just dont see it. Soft on puck, shots rarley get through, passes are poor.

    Liked the Avery-Dubi-Cally line. Could be

  15. Avery Dubi Cally played well together last year in stretches and in the playoffs. Should keep them together for a few.

  16. Laurel – Great that Chara is 6’9″, but he’s slow as molasses. Tyler Myers is 6’8″ and is 100x a better skater than him. He’s only 19, but after watching him in the WJCs and now on Buffalo, he’s a better d-man in many aspects of the game than Chara (especially skating). The only thing he’ll need to learn is to use his reach more, which will come with time. But he’s already so much better at joining and starting the rush because he moves like he’s 6’1″ 185 pounds.

  17. Was at yesterday’s game & thought Gilroy played his most solid game of the season. He moved the puck crisply & made several outstanding defensive plays.
    Saw Sanguinetti had a 6 point game over the weekend.
    Carp- if Rozsival is out (& he limped off yeasterday), do you think Torts would chance playing 3 rookies on the blue line? I’d like to see the 3 of them in the line-up. each one can move the puck quickly & with his shot, Sanguinetti could be a bonus on the powerplay.

  18. Hard work was much more evident yesterday. Callahan supposedly had the flu recently — did that affect anyone else? Anisimov finally got more playing time — sort of. Drury still is irrelevant — one or two decent shifts don’t make him a top six forward. But Callahan and Avery picked up their play.

  19. Jonny, I was making a joke referring to yesterday’s broadcast and the chat on the game post…..They mentioned that Chara was 6’9 about as many times as he has inches in height.

    and yes, as MAKO noted, that Kotalik has “thick forearms”

  20. Welcome to MSG After Hours, where your sweaty, thick, solid fantasies all come true!

    Hosts Joe Mich, Bill Pidto, and Johnny G take you deep inside the locker room for in depth analysis.

    MSG After Hours, tonight at Midnight.

  21. At the end of the commercial they have that slow motion shot of Dugay opening his shirt to show off his chest hair. BARF BAG CITY!!!!!!!!

  22. Laurel-you forgot that Boyle’s body is even thicker. We need to email Joe M to come up with more precise measurements next time…

    Carp- Bruins were a much better team last year…Not now, not anymore.

    Patience, that’s what we need with this young team. But that term isn’t used very often in NY.

  23. Bill Pidto reminds me of that kid in school, who wasn’t really tough or anything, but he liked to get in your face about things. The kind of kid who would come in the day after your favorite team loses and would say, “Hey, great game last night, haha,” and then walk away laughing all the way down the hall. I have disliked him ever since I have had the displeasure of watching him. Do any of you get that impression? He asks those questions that players on the losing team just don’t feel like being asked. He was like, “Hey Derek, what happened on that goal against? How does it feel to be losing, you loser? What was it like to not be asked back? Did you feel like a loser?” Ha, I know it didn’t go exactly like that, but you catch my drift.

  24. Nasty 1, now since you mentioned it, I do see what you mean. Good point. Where I come from those kids usually wouldn’t look too ..uhm.. photogenic by the time they are adults to be on TV.

  25. Pidto just misses being on ESPN. When he was covering hockey back then they were pretty open with what they asked players, but it was on a more national scale so they didn’t get too tough with them. Now I guess since he’s in one market, he’s trying to do his best to ask the tough questions to get the viewers more info. Not sure about that though.

  26. I have no problem with asking tough questions, but it almost seems like he is a character on the Office. Like he will ask a tough question and laugh and wink to the camera with a smile on his face, haha. It is all in his delivery.

  27. Laurel – I missed that whole part. my bad. that’s what happens when I go away for a few days haha.

    Broadway Blue – Sanguinetti is still a huge defensive liability. He’s better, but his positioning still sucks. He should honestly just move to forward if he can’t figure it out soon enough in the AHL because he has great skills in the offensive end.

  28. I should mention that Heikkinen should probably get a look before Sanguinetti. He has more experience at the pro level (in Finland at least) and is a much better defensive player in regards to coverage. Plus he’s proven to be pretty solid offensively this year as well as he has about 12 points I think on the year.

  29. Regarding how well Morris is playing, granted he’s better than Blowsival (so is a piece of wood). But let’s face it – he’s playing with Chara who could be the best d-man in the league. Not too hard to look good there, is it? Speaking of Chara I was at the game yesterday. He got away with at least 3 different no-brainer penalties, yet the refs swallowed their whistles. Definitely a double standard when it comes to a player of that stature.

  30. Cliff, not just Chara. The officiating was terrible in that game. High stick on Avery and boarding on Callahan were so obvious. There were several other non-calss like the trip on Dubinsky and the interference on Higgins.

  31. Hockeyman Rangers on

    Cliff I was about to say the same thing. Chara’s hit on Cally should have been called and the hit that Ave’s got called for should not have been called. Somthing needs to be down AGAIN this year with the refs, their double standards of it depends on who is doing the hitting if it gets called or not is CRAP.

  32. Cliff – Chara helps Morris out because everyone knows that when players don’t attack with speed, they go to Morris’ side. Because of that the forwards are tought to force players to Morris’ side and close them off. However when space is given and guys can go at Chara with speed, they’ll go down his side because they know they can skate around him.

    Same thing the Penguins did with Hal Gill the last two years, and he’s even slower and worse with the puck. It has nothing to do with them being the “best” d-men, just the fact that they are big, strong, and have a long reach so it’s tougher to get by them when you aren’t carrying a full head of steam.

    Chara always has problems with quick players. When Gabby got loose (Chara was trying to hold him all game), Z couldn’t stay with him. Same goes with Lisin. That’s how you beat him, with speed, but the Bruins want to slow you down and force you to attack Morris’ side so it’s easier to predict and play defense.

  33. I was watching the Caps game last night & there were some BAD BAD BAD calls that Boudreau went nuts over.

    Anyone know the status of AO’s injury?

  34. from the keyboard of Carp:
    “9) I think the Rangers would be better off with Morris than some of their other defensemen. He’s playing on the No. 1 pair with Chara on a much better team.”

    c’mon Carp, speak up. better than Rozy? sure. Redden? sure?
    DZ…..we know how you feel. Staal, nah. Girardi….um, not.
    one of the first two would have to be gone in order to afford Morris. and in the area of 3 mil plus we could use a shutdown guy rather than another offensive dman…….and i mean offensive in the productive, scoring sense!

  35. I mentioned that yesterday, I think. During that Caps-Columbus game( great game, btw)they showed Boudreau and Hitchcock side to side. Avery may have a point….

  36. jpg – I’d argue Redden is better than Morris in this situation. Redden actually played with Chara and put up career high totals and was actually worth his 6.5 million contact. Morris will most likely be an average d-man putting up at most 20-25 points and being decent defensively. Flip Morris and Wade right now and Wade would be doing better.

    ilb – I couldn’t stop thinking about that during the game. I literally laughed at one point when they showed Boudreau and then Hitchcock right after each other.

  37. yesterday’s game was awesome and yes gaborik is that much of an influence on games in the same way ovechkin or the sedin brothers are to their teams.

  38. I just got an Ipod Touch. I highly recommend it to everyone, if you’re willing to drop the $200 bucks for an 8GB one. It’s great, i just jail broke it, and now i can get a bunch of free apps. I have a bunch of tv shows i downloaded, and there’s movies you can download. And i got Sega, Nintento, Gameboy, and Gameboy Advance, and im aboot to try and get Playstation 1 games.

    Playstation 1 games, for free !!!!

    Sweetness !!! Buy an ipod touch, dooo it !

    And Brash*t still sucks ! Go Rangers !

  39. So it looks like Zipay will be going on the Western Canada swing and not Gross. Must be all of that cushy subscriber money! I have found that I am still able to access the main blog page without being a registered subscriber, but not able to see whole posts once I click the permalink. Does anybody else have this access? It may be because I registered as a free user of the website when they introduced the new comment system.

    Valiquette in Edmonton?

  40. Orr, did you pay for the nintendo application? It seems to have two available from Cydia, one of which is 5.99, The other doesnt work for me

    uh , got to get on topic, potvin beats his wife

  41. I’ve got the iphone, so basically the same thing as the Touch, or the Touch is the iphone without the phone. It would be nice if the blog had a mobile site so when I’m at a game I don’t have to continuous scroll to the bottom of the page.

  42. We always have trouble in western Canada, hopefully we can change that this week. Good teams, but nothing scary I don’t think.

    Orr, if you got the Nintendo app and didn’t get Blades of Steel…there’s no hope for you. It’s NHL 10’s great-grandaddy haha. The 80’s digitized voice was hilarious to me as a kid. Pwwwwwwwwwwwwwwtttttttttttt! Pshnalsty Shnat!

  43. anyone else think how bad bill pidto is. him and duguay must be the 2 worst in studio hosts that cover sports.

    what the hell does pidto know about hockey.

    makes me sick seeing guys like that covering a sport they have no clue about

  44. whenever I think of Blades of Steel, I think of the line “it’s a pass” and that awesome spaceship shooter game that you played on the jumbotron between periods every now and then. awesome game.

  45. JohnnyD,
    Just wondering how much you have seen Saguinettiplay?
    Because the Ranger higher ups have all said he is the most improved player in the system, and his Physical play is also much better. if he came up and threw one good check, that would give him one more than Staal.

  46. That was good, Laurel. Hank in goal in the context of jailbroken iphone. They won’t notice…

  47. devils boitano on

    Ken Daneyko ice dancing. man, you’ve got to give credit to that brave girl who let him lift her up and toss her around. she could have ended up with fewer teeth than Dano if he had dropped her

  48. Eric – Pidto covered the NHL for ESPN for like 10 years. I’m not saying he is a genius, but he knows hockey

    bulldog – technically I’ve seen him play since he was playing youth hockey because he played a few years down from me so he played with some of my buddies, and I have to say from when he was younger to now, never would’ve guessed he’d be at this level.

    As for how much I’ve watched him? I watch a decent amount of Hartford games each year and I said he’s gotten better, but its not about his physicality. He’s always been a hitter, just now that he’s putting on more muscle, his hits are a bit more effective. The problem is his vision on defense. He doesn’t know when to throw a hit and when to layoff to get back into position. Also while his vision with the puck is great, his vision to go and get the puck/cover the defensive end is pretty sub-par.

    Once again he’s improved, but still not where he needs to be at the NHL level. It says something that Torts went with DZ over him because he said DZ has better defensive instincts right now. Sangs will be up eventually, he just needs to get that down if he wants to be a top 4 d-man.

  49. Rangers don’t need Morris. Rozsival has one year left with the Rangers if not sooner. Sanguinetti is doing well in Hartford and going a point per game pace. IF he continues he will be a Ranger at the end of the season or next year.

    Gaborik is the game breaker the Rangers need. With some set lines they can win another seve games in a row.

  50. lucic and savard are out. savard is a hell of a player..

    gaborik is the whole package, he is top 10 for sure in the NHL he just needs to stay healthy…

    del zotto is playing great….roszival is there 6th d man………

  51. Rozi is in the 2nd year of a 4 year deal and with his cap hit and general uselessness he’ll be property of the Rangers (whether in the NHL or if by some act of Jesus/Allah/Buddah he’s waived in HFD) for his remaining days unless he’s bought out.

  52. off topic here but completely relevant-i think higgins struggles offensively can be quickly turned around. all hes gotta do for good luck is lick the puck!! him and drury should get out their barbara streisands greatest hits album and start jammin to her tunes and lickin some serious puck!! so how many games does higgins go without a goal. lets be serious guys and gal heads. 5 more games? 10? winner gets a date with ZzZz “pucker up buttercup” says greg zZzZ!!!

  53. gabbys definitely gonna break 40 goals unless he gets reinjured anywhere near the hip/groin area and misses 20 or so games. i mean hes that good that if plays 60 games, he would probably notch 35g or somewhere in that area. if he stays at the rate hes goin. if he plays 70 i could see him up in the 45-50 region. i still dont think he’ll break jagrs record just because he wont play a full season. hes already missed 2 so at most he will play 80. expect 65-70 tops. still, as long as hes healthy for the playoffs, i could care less if he gets 50+. as long as he helps us go deep.

  54. morris the cat would be an upgrade over rozy, but maybe the bruins would like to reunite the ambiuosly dynamic dup FrankenChara and night of the living Redden

  55. Laurel,

    Jailbreaking is basically changing the software on the ipod in order to allow third party applications. Otherwise, you are stuck with only what apple approves through itunes.

    What this does is allow you to change backgrounds and appearances of the ipod, while also allowing you to add games, features and applications that would be otherwise unavailable.

    For example, the ipod now has an update that allows bluetooth and copy paste. These have been available on jailbroken ipods for a while.

    A popular application are emulators which let you play super nintendo, gameboy nintendo and genesis games on your ipod.

  56. I miss Morris The Cat. 9 lives cat food.
    Anyone read Gross’ interview with Renney. Typical Renney psychobable.

  57. Pwwwwwwwwwwwwwwtttttttttttt! Pshnalsty Shnat! LMFAO!!! teh digital voice for those early games were pathetically funny. sound like a cross between stephen hawking and a speak n spell

  58. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "He Shoots , He scores !!! !"... says Greg L. on

    How many games will it take before Higgins scores a goal….I say he will score his first goal in Hartford!!! Just kidding ,he will do it in 8 games. WOW if I win , whatdo I say to myself on a date? Man , you loook gooood tonight!!!

    Funny how when Gaborik is out ,the game feels hopeless..I actually fell asleep during the Minnesota game but woke up early to watch the Boston game and seeing Gaborik kept me awake. The guy is golden .He makes me happy like Jagr did and doesn’t need to side-kicks to help him out.BTW Mike , you were right all along about Dubinsky and Gaborik . I geuss I was wrong.

  59. denisov is on loan to russia or he left to play for one of the euro leagues or khl i think. im not sure. could be baranka im thinkin of. but sometimes we still hold the rights to some of those players. idk if we still hold his rights.

  60. i was hoping to see a Justin Soryal call up for this tough western tour,dont think Brashs limp wrist is up to it.
    3 very physical teams.

  61. hey now greg, i never said duby was bad or overrated, but i think since he was a ranger pick, brought thru the system, and grew up as a ranger and is one of the few kids to atually make it and stick around on the big team, some of us including myself to a point, to be a little biass for him, and other homegrowns. plus hes a heart n soul guy. thing is, he just isnt that talented 1st line center we expected. he very well could have a breakout year or he could be the next prucha. similar situations in that they both benefitted from playing with one of the best players ever in jagr. gabby is not as physically dominant and yes, is more of a sniper, but cannot open ice up like jagr could. it gave both prucha and duby and even marcel hossa inflated numbers. duby will eventually max out as a good third or decent 2nd line center. i forget if he was a 2nd or 3rd round pick, but he still is young, and hes already got the size and ability to be a good forechecking energy guy to put in 50 somethin points a year. that aint bad. i think he really couldve benefitted alot with gabby, but he just hasnt done enough. he goes through stretches of mediocre play. yesterday he played damn good and hes gotta work himself back up to the top line. but with prospals passing and gabbys scoring, he needs to be kind of an in between guy. hes gotta provide the toughness on that line and provide some goals along with his strong board play and if he keeps that up and stops the giveaways he will be back playing with them. its still very early greg, so im not right or wrong about duby just yet. id rather be wrong and wish he does become our number 1 center one day.

  62. raycroft in net for the nucks tommorow?? if so we have a good chance to get back to scorin some goals even though they shutout the avs last night. they dont have luongo, half a sedin, and demitra. we gotta get the win tommorow.

  63. Avery should stop diving and laying on the ice, he might get some calls if he stopped that stuff.

  64. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "He Shoots , He scores !!! !"... says Greg L. on

    I shoved it in yer face when I was right so now im taking my lumps. Your modesty is kind but I do realize ,yeah I was speaking from the heart ,having a homegrown center make the top line would be awsome , he had Jagr and some Gabby teaching him how to be a winner but when you look at the big picture…maybe we should have traded our top 2 talents in the off season , who knows what we would have gotten for Dubi and Staalsie….omg I’m thinking like Slatapuss ..someone shoot me!!!!

  65. good evening all!! sorry for the hiatus, but now i’m back! And man does it show how big Gabby is to this team…. and SOMEBODY GET A BOX OF KLEENEX…. MORRIS IS CRYING!! haha what a touchy crosby he was being!

  66. greg- im still hoping duby can break 20 goals this year. i think he will. ya gotta think if he doesnt, hes pretty much lost alot of trade value and sather couldve had heatley for him!! but thats how it goes. the guy is 23 or 24 right? so, he should be reaching his peak very soon. like i said, back to back 14 and 13 goal seasons arent very good, but if he plays on the top line with gabby for most of the season, unless anisimov takes his spot away, he could definitely break through and get 25g 50-60 points. i hope he does, because he held out of camp and got his payday pretty early if u ask me, now hes gotta prove why hes worth that. we cant put off the expectations because other guys cant live up to their salaries like drury. hes 33 and not gonna just start scoring tons of goals. even though its not fair, he does have to now prove himself along with cally, who seems to have similar problems with finding the back of the net, but is looking back to form during the boston game.

    oh and my prediction is higgy scores on this western canada road trip. i think he gets 1 in one of these 2 games comin up. i mean he shouldve accidentally scored by now. i think the boston game really got his confidence up and torts is gonna give him some big minutes in the next few games. maybe it’ll be easier to get one on the road to without the home fans watching.

  67. I think Gaborik right now is a way better all round player than Jagr was as a Ranger. Jagr though was a real game buster when he was Gaboriks age.

  68. its all good greg. nobody can really predict the future of any player. but from what ive seen the past 2 years, and the start of this one, is that he is a good solid player, theres no doubt he helps this team. i just dont think he’s got the natural ability as other #1 centers do. thats all. alot of guys play top 3 or 6 minutes that dont actually deserve them, and in this case, you can see torts already has used 3 or 4 different guys on that line because duby couldnt handle it. i dont think duby deserves all the pressure anyway. we got stepan,krieder,grachev, werek all comin up within a few seasons and AA is already looking like a good fit with gabby. so my feeling is, if he is just a decent 2nd liner, id be happy with that. but 14goals a season isnt gonna cut it anymore

  69. yes but jagr could singlehandedly start and keep a forecheck goin with his size and strength, drawing 2 defenders away to him while opening up ice for his linemates. gabby is more of a sniper and is faster. both are game changers. both are supremely talented players. but do u think gabby could do what jagr did at his age? i dont. i also think gabby suits this system better than jagr, and will complement this team better with his quick transitional play. the fact is, the rangers rely on gabby, just as much or even more since it is a younger team as with jagr in his days here.

  70. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "He Shoots , He scores !!! !"... says Greg L. on

    Exactly Hockeymon!! Gaborik is in his prime . He is the best free agent to come here in his prime sinse Mark Messier. Gaborik has 11 goals already ,and can easily make it to 20 ,so yeah Jagr’s record is in serious danger. This crippled guy has confidence ,where Jagr seemed to lack it alot. Jagr didn’t like shootout where Gaborik probally loves ’em. It was just that we got Jagr at the end of his career . He was still dominating and made our club respectable.
    You see ,without Hank ,Gaborik and Delzotto … we would get no respect. Those 3 guys are what make us dangerous. Thats it , in a nutshell. Having Tort’s is a nice touch too.
    Our Big 3 is out top forward ,goalie and our young “Paul Coffey”

  71. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "He Shoots , He scores !!! !"... says Greg L. on

    Plus if anyones making it to the All-Star game ,it would be those 3 guys. No All-Star game this year huh?

  72. del zotto also has been good defensively lately. hes lookin better each game. and he hits too!! hes slowed down offensively and on the pp, but hes still great at keepin the puck in and makin plays and gettin shots and getting them through most of the time. i think the pp was really helping us during that 7 game win streak. it hasnt been scoring lately, but also, were not generating enough pp chances though. the refs are somewhat to blame, but its mostly a byproduct of not forechecking hard enough and forcing the opposition to make bad playss and wearing them out. we did that a few times against boston though which is encouraging to see.

  73. Wicky – I’m pretty sure we let Denisov walk. We signed him to a one year deal and I don’t think we renewed it so he went to play in Russia. Baranka is in the KHL also last time I checked, but we do still own his rights. That is a guy I would love to see come back and play in North America.

    Fast fact about Ivan (other than the fact that I have his jersey haha). His career NHL stats:

    1 GP
    1 Assists

    That’s a point per game. Bring him back. lol.

  74. Jagr never lacked confidence, Jagr was just old. It’s a shame we didn’t get him when he was supposed to come here. The year he moved to Washington, he wanted to be a Ranger. I forget the deal on the table, but Patrick declined it last second and moved him to Washington.

    We got an out of shape Jagr in the 05-06 season. He gained weight while he was in Washington (mostly because he didn’t want to be there and had split with his then g/f) and also began to have his hips/groin wear down. 05-06 he put up great numbers, but it was mostly due to the new style open game. He actually was better the next year even though he didn’t break 100 points because he dropped 15 pounds and gained back some of his speed. If we had Jagr when he was 27 or 28, he would’ve been more effective than Gaborik.

  75. yep jonny. i agre there. he wouldve played full seasons and was more dominant a player. maybe not as flashy as gabby, but in his prime, i think more effective of a player. now if gabby didnt have this huge injury issue, he could probably put up similar numbers to jagr in his prime. probably not as consistently year in year out, but the way hes playing now, he very well could break 90 points. probably 45g 40a. remember his best season was 42 goals. even though he was in minny playing defense and trap hockey though

  76. Guy’s it’s gonna be the same thing allllllllll year.We need a 2nd line center,THAT CAN SCORE,until we do forget it,Keep Drury
    put him on the 3rd line and penalty killing,Trade Dubinski not cause he can’t score,but because we can get a good player in return.I we don’t do it now he’ll turn into another Purcha and we get nothing for him.

  77. ZzZz NYR ZzZz "He Shoots , He scores !!! !"... says Greg L. on

    Mike , Gaborik has 11 goals in 15 games …on a crutch!!!
    Saying Gaborik will top out at 45 goals is silly. The guy could have 30 by xmas!!! I say he triples Higgins in goals , so right now Higgins should have 3 .5 goals.

  78. i think we should trade Gaborik for a goalie… send Hank to Hartford…make Redden a captain and give Drury 4 years extension. what you guys think? :)

  79. trade Brashear back to wash for a bag of pucks and some of those cool yellow laces Ovechkin uses

  80. I think the word that best describes Pidto is SMARMY. he just looks like a snake oil saleman! It seems msg wants to be as “hip” as the fools on ESPN, and it’s not working (for either entity).

    CCCP, glad you liked the coat check link!

  81. Spider, most of the time I can READ zips blog, but can no longer post a comment. As long as I can read it,I’ll be happy.

  82. why does everybody rag on every announcer or commentator w ehave or other teams have? i mean, its kinda funny to pick on every thing they do, but when does it all end??? the insanity!!

  83. Jonny

    Agreed with Jagr. I WISH he would have been delt to the Rangers, because he wanted to come here. He’s been one of my idols since he was with the Pens outside of Messier & Gretzky when I was growing up & playing when I was a kid ( I STILL play with the back on black skates with yellow laces, tuck my jersey in LOL ) I came across a great article over the weekend with an interview of him as well. I wanted to post it but I dont know how it would have been received since its either you love him or hate him on here LOL But I think he was VERY misunderstood while he was here… Gave his heart & soul to the team and did everything he could to put the team on his back & make the playoffs. Unfortunately, Renney system was very debilitating to his style of play & lack of production was an issue when Sather didnt resign Nylander.

    If anyone is interested I’ll post it…

  84. as long as we dont ever get beninati, the buffalo announcers or circumsision head mcguire, the constipated duck mike emrick, or chico resch

  85. HOLY CARP MAKO!!! funniest thing I think i have EVER seen! I am gonna send that to my daughter, the evil child LOVES HIM!!!

  86. “MY TEMPLE OF POETRY!!!!” Im going to try that line on my gf… maybe I should learn it in Russian, she’s Ukrainian maybe she’ll swooooooooon over it LMAO.

  87. i love how they showed some huge chick then it says that he hasnt met any girls in America!!!!!! I almost fell off my chair!!! And his classy soviet red underwear… and he does a lil package shake and goes wooo wooo!! He’s insane!

  88. or when he says he wants five kids, but not more than 10!

    ugly as sin, but an awesome sense of humor!~

  89. Linda

    Yeah, I love the guy’s talent, sense of humor, passion for the game too. He’s 10x the player & person Cindy is.

  90. i gotta agree with you there, he’s injected some humor into the game, which Count Bettman has been trying to kill for years. Didn’t appreciate him mocking our salute, lost some respect for him there, but he is an immense talent, and I’d pick him over cindylou any day.

  91. Any player who gets his nose broken & 2 teeth busted in a game and scores 4 goals afterward is a superstar in my book.

  92. MAKO

    dude!!! you just killed me with that Ovi video!! LMFAO!!!

    i wish you guys could understand Russian…it sounded so funny the way he talks! Believe or not this is a first time i hear him talk in Russian! What a herb! Herb with money!

  93. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack Renney’s Transcript from Zip. I know most of you probably have to pay or sign up. But this is the transcript in full as it is on the page. Will Renney’s spell on Rosi, Redden and Drury effect the outcome of the Edmonton game ?!?!?!

    sorry this is long…

    Here’s a transcript of some today’s discussion with Tom Renney, the Oilers’ associate coach, back in New York where Edmonton faces the Islanders. Katie Strang was there, while I was thousands of miles west. Thanks, Katie.

    What did he take out of the Rangers experience?

    All good. If you’re going to fall, fall forward and I think I always do that. I think the big thing for me is recognizing the pulse of the team. I certainly had a voice in where we were going and how we were going about it. I appreciate that. I think the big thing is again tapping into the room, tapping into your people, keeping your finger on pulse of what’s going on with those guys, but knowing when to draw the line. At the end of the day, democracy doesn’t work in a crisis—not to suggest we were in one—but at a certain point you’ve got to step up and I think I continued to do a decent job of that. I’ll be honest with you, it is different than Vancouver. I think I learned that I’m a pretty good coach. I think I learned I can adapt and put a game plan out on the ice given whatever the talent looks like that competes. Whereas coming out of Vancouver I came out wondering, “Am I right for this?”

    “I honestly felt like I could turn it around, whereas coming out of Vancouver I felt like I missed the mark a little bit.”

    “I didn’t see the end coming because I truly believed we would turn it around, but you’re never that naïve where you don’t think anything can happen at any given time. That’s always there, but not to the point where it consumes you. I really felt we’d get the opportunity to do it right and correct it and had decent success prior to that. I felt like team was ready to respond again.”

    Would he have done anything differently in retrospect?

    “I would have rather not gone to Europe, quite honestly. I think it accelerated our process. We were in really good shape and that’s what got us our start but I think it kind of stunted our ability to grow by being at home and practicing a little longer because we weren’t as tight as it appeared.

    Beyond that, sure, you evaluate this and that and look at yourself. I don’t think I was ever really pissed off. We were hurt, my family more than anybody, and obviously I took this opportunity to show my wife and girls what standing tall looks like and taking a shot looks like and having dignity to deal with that and not throw people under the bus. I was head coach, period. That’s that. I looked at it as an opportunity to help my kids understand that life’s not always what appears to be fair, but you just have to go with it. That’s as important to me as anything. That said, I think I was certainly treated fairly, I love Glen. As much as it’s a great organization—Jim was a superior owner as well–I wanted Glen to have success. I wanted Glen to be proud of this team, proud of me and that’s the biggest disappointment of all.”

    What does Thursday (when Rangers visit Edmonton) mean to you?

    It’s not quite the same unit. I’m going to have a hard time looking at the logo and not identifying with it. I’m going to see faces and be happy to see them again and want to beat them. The points are vital to us. It’s a tight conference, a tight division, so it’s important to us. I know they won’t be coming in with capes on but they’re a good team. They’re a very very good team. They have my undivided attention.”

    Any relief that its in Edmonton?

    Yeah, kinda. I loved it here and was really disappointed to go and I really identified with the city. I went through life experience that only people here could have had with 9-11 and I really felt like I was a part of it all. Believe me, I’m not here crying over spilled milk. I’m doing great and life is good. But I really enjoyed it here. I don’t think I could go into MSG and worry about whether I was going to get booed or our team was going to lose or anything like that. I could go in there and do my job and feel good about it.”

    On coach John Tortorella’s criticism about last year’s team not being in shape?

    “I guess it depends on how you qualify shape. I think from a psychological or mental fitness aspect, we had some difficulties and that can translate to a lot of things physiologically and I’ll leave it at that. That’s his point of view and I respect that I don’t have to agree with it. I do believe there is a synapse between what’s going on up here and the rest of your body.”

    Are you comfortable that your Rangers teams went as far as they could?

    Buffalo. That one was a bummer. That is the one obviously I think, aww gosh we had that right in our fingertips and we kind of let it slip away and it was a youthful team…. We still weren’t quite ready for responsibility of being complete with post -season play and we paid the price. But I look at it as a body of work and I hope the people were proud of their team and satisfied with its growth. And now it’s Torts turn. He’s the head coach. I think he’ll do a good job.”

  94. CCCP

    Glad you like it LOL I busted a gut when I saw this video. I had to watch it twice. I think he has a pretty bad underbite which probably impedes his speech somewhat but hell, he’s got it made in the shade.

  95. Got to get that c off drury. I really cant stand watchin him anymore. He doesnt look like the player he was in buffalo anymore he looks more like m. peca to me

  96. Jonny and grabachev

    Thanks for the denisov update!


    Awesome link and thanks for the renney interview as well!

    Just a question here since everyone was talking chara earlier (I think he is like 6 foot 9 or so), I heard that he wanted to come to the rangers, but didn’t like someone on the roster (kinda like gauthier this season I guess). Anyone know if that is true or just a rumor???


    Agree with you on the whole announcer thing, everyone gripes about everyone. I actually like announcers from non-team affiliated stations. I actually loved thorne and clement with espn and pang and levy I think as well with espn. I like sam and joe (sam and jd alot) better than the rest of the team affiliated announcers though. We usually try to go with the HNIC broadcasters as much as possible, mrs wicky loves don cherry!

  97. When will Chris Drury start to be held accountable for his minimal production?

    Sather, please do magic again and trade this *hack*.

    Drury for Prucha, straight up.

  98. MAKO – Jagr was just misunderstood overall during his time in North America. That’s what ultimately got him run out of Pittsburgh. He never wanted to leave, but Hlinka kept blaming him for everything (being that he was Czech of course) and the media there tried to create a rift between him and Mario as they would always come to Jags and try to alter Mario’s quotes to make it seem like they were aimed at him.

    Then he left because the Penguins couldn’t pay his salary and while he was going to take a cut, they wanted to move him to a contender to be fair. I forget what happened that pissed off Patrick, I think something that Jagr said to the media that was completely taken out of context, and thats when he changed his mind and shipped him to Washington.

    Salty – apparently from what I’ve heard, Drury is hurt. I remembered after it was mentioned to me, but in the preseason he blocked a shot off the inside of his hand and his stickhandling as been complete crap since. He can’t stickhandle well to begin with, but if you notice, he rarely touches the puck anymore and never takes his famous slapshot (that usually goes into the goalies chest).

    I’m not going to say it’s ok that he’s playing bad, but if it truly is because he’s hurt, then he should sitout because right now he’s completely ineffective. He looks 100x worse than he did last year because he can’t even stickhandle the puck.

  99. He’s an embarrassment to the team and to American-born hockey players in general.

    FACT: Without his “resume”/contract, Drury does not make the Rangers squad this year. That is a FACT.

  100. Gravey, thanks for the link, great way to start the day!

    Agree with Jonny D, if Drury is hurt, he’d be doing the team a favor by sitting until he’s healed. I know it’s macho to play hurt, but his play lately has been HURTING the team.

  101. not only that, but he took shots off the hand and foot in consecutive games i think or in the same week. they couldve had betts sacrificing his body for 600k and im not advocating drurys play, but anything to get him scoring again, it would be good to get him off the pk and on the pp in front of the net. he doesnt have to stick handle 5-10 feet out. thats where he makes his living scoring goals n front on the pp. i can see him playing pk late in the game when were up a goal or 2, but let boyle whos good at it, cally, duby, and higgins do it. heshould not be paid to beblair betts malkin replacement. his 1 goal was a deflection, and the other was a tip in right in front. now if he is hurt, get him off the pk and let his hand heal so he can start takin some hard shots again. i dont care if he doesnt score all the time, just wanna see nhim getting shots off and letting higgins scramble for rebounds or vice versa. whoever plays with the injured drury is gonna be affected bigtime and maybe put higgins on the top line for a game and maybe he’ll score a few. probably just get assists but at least hed be contributing.

  102. No offense Salty, but thats pretty obvious. I don’t really think that even matters though because you can say that about a bunch of guys if you started a clean slate every year so I don’t get your point.

    All I know is that watching him over the last few years (even on Buffalo), he was never close to being this bad. He wasn’t worth 7 million, but he didn’t look like a guy who just picked up a stick. In the preseason he was making plays and shooting the puck when he could.

    Three reasons why I think he’s hurt (outside of the fact that its a rumor I heard around the locker room): 1) He tries to get the puck as little as possible, 2) He never shoots his slapshot anymore (something he’s always done, and 3) he isn’t winning too many faceoffs anymore either.

    He’s usually around 55 or 56% in faceoffs, and he’s barely at 50%.

  103. put higgins on the top line next game. not because he deserves it, but for gods sakes, glen, hes 2.5 million dollar colton orr without the fighting!! well, maybe a little bettrer but still. higgins, dru, and kotalik is like shoe betts and orr 1.5 right now

  104. kotalik would be shoe, cuz the occasional goal, and he is good at shootout. orr is higgins cuz they both dont score, and dru is betts for obvious reasons. think about. its the 4th line except kotalik actually has some redeeming qualities right now. pp not so much at this point, but hes still got thick forearms baby!!!

  105. jonny- id love more than anything for capn crunch to be the player he was in buffalo. now, torts has to manage him better as far as putting him in a more offensive role. ok. 7 million dollarrs to block shots!! and dru has to be better and start scoring. now if his hand is hurt, or arm whatever, let it heal, and get him on the pp in front. he’ll get few more goals just from standing there deflecting shots

  106. Jonny

    Yep. My folks have a house in in the Poconos and I used to watch a bunch of Pens & Philly games. I watched him when he played with Mario & saw post game interviews and towards the end of his stay in Pitts it was dicey for him and you felt the tension when he was giving the interviews. I remember all of the media outlets in PA say the exact same things you said. The tension was reminiscent of when he was talking to the media here blatantly said that the system that’s been implemented now isnt working for him. Renney’s defensive system just kept on getting tighter and tighter – as we all witnessed.

    RE: Drury. He played injured in the playoffs didnt he? I know we all joke about his “clutchness” But really if a player is hurt and cant perform to at least 80% in the playoffs he shouldnt be playing ESPECIALLY if its a hand or wrist injury and you cant control your stick/puck because its sore, bruised etc. I would have more respect for a player if he took himself out of the lineup instead of being a “detriment” on the ice ever time he is out there where he cant perform his job. The guy has heart, no doubt about that and I wont ever question his will to want to win, but he isnt the same player I knew in Colorado or Buffalo. And Im sorry, but nothing he’s done constitutes him having the “C” he certainly doesnt step up when the team needs their leader to step up. Slap the C on Prospal. He shows more emotion.

    Off to work :) Have a great morning all!!!

  107. “I don’t think you ever find three guys who fit together perfectly,” said coach John Tortorella

    Ummm Torts as much as I love ya… GOTTTA disagree on that one. did a bonanza article of top lines in the league and all 3 players played perfectly together. We had one in recent time. Jagr, Straka & Nylader who combined for over 600 points in 2 years. sick.

  108. So there’s a story on that truth and rumors site fan nation that is basically about the cheap shot that chara delivered on avery and didn’t get a penalty for. It talked about how he quieted the “chirping” avery…I really can’t stand the avery haters anymore

  109. Grabachev – Higgins is definitely Orr…with those sick moves he pulls and posts that he hits. haha

    MAKO – it was different here because Jagr learned to just play with the media like they tried to play him. Instead of taking what they said seriously, he flipped the joke to them by making up ridiculous stories or situations and would let them run with them. So I think the frustration was the other way around here. It was funny because in Pitt there was no real tension between him and Mario, just the media was always trying to create it, mostly because people were pissed Jagr didn’t give Mario the C back (he offered it and Mario told him that it was Jagr’s team now and he shouldn’t give up the C).

    Also about that Torts quote, 99% of the time that is true. Jagr, Nylander, and Straka were an exception (although Jagr and other one of the two and Sykora or Hossa worked out well too), but most cases you only see 2 guys. I think another group of three is Ovi, Semin, and Backstrom. Other than that I can’t really think of a line of 3 that work perfectly together, just maybe a pair of 2.

  110. What cheap shot Chara had on Avery? All I saw was the hit he threw on him before Avery kind of charged at the net and grabbed a few guys with Cally and Dubi.

  111. Reeshay (or Riche') on

    I think that Torts comment is taken a bit out of context… it seems like from his perspective putting Dubi on that top line is putting all your eggs in one basket. i.e. He liked them all together but felt putting them all on one line made the team one-dimensional.

    I’d bet that if Higgins, Drury, & Cally were all scoring goals (or if he had better 2nd/3rd line guys at his disposal) he wouldn’t have a problem with it, but right now he can’t justify it.

  112. Jonny,

    A great trio in recent years or as of today’s NHL? In recent years there was the Pizza Line (Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson) and then a going back further the A Line (Elias-Arnott-Sykora).

    I read a few years back that to have a great line, sometimes you really only need 2 players that click. A slightly dated yet prime example was Selanne and Kariya on Anaheim. Often times the 3rd player just finds a way to fit in like Renberg on the Legion of Doom line.

    I see that happening with Gaborik and Prospal on this year’s Rangers. Dubi looked good with them at the beginning of the year and then Lisin had a few good games with them. Maybe this is what Torts is getting at where he’ll put someone struggling with those 2 to get him, in this case Higgins, going.

  113. Wow can’t believe I forgot those 2. Especially the Sens line since they all put up 100 points. My bad on that.

  114. He’s 2 meters tall!!!! Good morning Staal and all! MAKO, brilliant find!

    Grabs, I can’t believe you’re the first one to call me Babs and that it took someone this long…been a common nickname forveer.

    Greg, blogmama can’t wait for baseball to end…sorry yanks fans, but it’s the truth.

  115. I was chided last season when I enthused aboiut Mara and Morris, and hated to see them go. Now Morris is touted as Bruins best defenseman….????And from day one I’ve always been a Mara booster. Hasn’t anyone ever noticed the way he handles attacking speedballs in his own end? He’s given textbook views of his handling of guys like Kovalev and Ovechkin. He skates them shoulder to shoulder wherever they go and runs them out of room, or stamina..whichever comes first. He is one of the toughest guys in the game to get by one on one.

  116. Lines should be as follows: (1)Prospal, AA, Gabby, (2) Avery, Dubie, Kotalik (3) Higgins, Drury, Callahan & (4) Lisin, Boyle & Byers. These combos, I believe provide the best overall balance. Super additons this year: Prospal, AA, Kotalik, Gilroy, MDZ, Lisin & of course Gabby. On the downside, Drury, Cally, Higgins, Avery, Staal & Girardi need to lift their games and make statement. Rozsival really needs to go and supprisingly Redden seems to perform better when less is expected of him, albeit he’s still grossly overpaid.

  117. I agree with devils boitano on that ice dancing skit. I have to give him credit though, because you know how difficult it is for hockey skate wearers to slip on figure skates. That toe keeps tripping you constantly until you get over the difference. But it’s embarrassing.

    That Babcock is funny. That mental image of a flopperoo was priceless.

  118. Those lines are pretty decent, but I think Lisin gives us a better offensive presence up top on the 1st line than AA does. AA is better defensively as well so putting him on the 3rd or 4th line I personally believe is better for the team. Plus Lisin is probably the only one on the team that can keep up with Gaborik on rushes up ice (maybe Dubi and Callahan, but they don’t have the puck handling or shooting skills that Lisin possesses at full speed).

  119. I read that Renney interview and the guy is still full of it. I sure don’t miss that double speak, mister mumbleypegs. Ya they may make the playoffs because they are in a weak division. How do you blow a five goal lead?

    That video of Ovechkin was hilarious. Excellent post MAKO.

  120. No problem everyone. I was hockey starved last night lol

    I read an article either from or about top lines in the NHL. it was a good read & I just tried looking for it. But there are some great top lines that I forgot about…

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