Thrashers-Rangers in review


The “first game home after a road trip of three games or more” theory is built on a solid foundation. Every NHL team has gone through it, and nobody has conquered it. The legs aren’t there, and nobody can explain why. So it’s a legit reason for the Rangers’ start last night. But it’s not a legit excuse for the defensive breakdowns, mindless turnovers or the penalties.

Some thoughts:

1) As I write this there’s some drunken idiot on the train with me, and he’s dancing and walking around like a freak in the aisle, chewing on his fingers. He looks like he’s having some sort of drug withdrawl, too. Maybe he’ll drive the porcelain bus tonight. Nice.

2) I know that had nothing do to with hockey. Neither did this: Butch Goring was in the MSG corrider between periods last night and some Ranger fan, probably in his 40s, was screaming at Goring, “Get out of here. You don’t belong here. Get out!!!!” I thought it was funny.

3) The penalty on Avery is questionable at best. OK, it was a penalty. But do all four referees’ eyes have to be trained on him when there are 11 other guys on the ice with him? Another two for being Avery. And maybe that’s the way it’s going to be forever, Avery paying for all the stupid, undisciplined things he’s ever done.

4) If the Avery penalty is called, then the Bogosian hit on Callahan absolutely has to be called. Absolutely.

5) More troubling, I think, was that after Callahan was thrown dangerously into the boards, nobody reacted. If he’d been hurt — this is the alternate captain, remember — there had to be a swarm to the perp. But nobody reacted. Callahan got up, saw there was no call, and defended himself. Good for him, but again bad for the Rangers. They are not a tough group in terms of sticking up for one another. Not at all.

6) I said this in the comments last night: Having Brashear is not a deterrent. Boulton ran Gaborik, and it was up to Prospal to step up. Brashear’s presence did nothing to prevent the hit, and when he and Boulton were on the ice the next time together, nothing happened. Perhaps it was because The Donald had fought Boulton already and maybe reinjured himself? I know Brashear’s primarily left-handed, but during that scrap he never went righty, even though the opportunity seemed to present itself and he has, often in the past, switched hands when needed.

7) So what do you do when somebody runs Gaborik: You jump him, every guy on the ice. Or you go after Kovalchuk. Simple.

8) I had no problem with the slashing penalty on Del Zotto (he broke the guy’s stick) and I think the diving call was fairly legit.

9) Tortorella to reporter before the game: “Carpy, they spent the money to send you to a game?”


Our friend, the Mouth, has a special guest on his Blueshirt Banter blog radio show tonight (Friday) from 8-9:30 p.m.: Theoren Fleury, who’s hawking his book. Should be a good listen. Probably the biggest guest Mouth has ever had (in terms of significance, not size; after all, he’s had me, and I’m twice the man Theo is).

You can catch it by clicking here, or going to this link:



Thank you — Management.

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  1. Just embarrassing. That’s what this team is. They never stand up for each other. And the defense was atrocious. It easily could’ve been 11-3. Awful.

    The coach wasted his timeout bc he doesn’t trust our other guys. Who’s fault is that? Now Parenteau’s back up. Man oh man. Same old Rangers.

  2. 1) As I write this there’s some drunken idiot on the train with me, and he’s dancing and walking around like a freak in the aisle, chewing on his fingers. He looks like he’s having some sort of drug withdrawl, too. Maybe he’ll drive the porcelain bus tonight. Nice


  3. I supported the signing of Brashear, and he is still a much better PLAYER than Orr, but something is wrong with him. Watching him fight, he looked timid. I know he has been hurting, but this can’t happen. What’s worse, is that the rest of the team has no guts. Cally having to take on a much bigger player all by himself was ridiculous. Torts said when he took over this team that only one guy had any balls on the team. . . . then he proceeded to cut Sean Avery’s balls right off.


    Can we stop with the Drury/Rozi/Redden contract posts? WE KNOW that those deals suck. But look around the league, and you will see a lot of teams with the same problem. I don’t like the deals either, but I blame Drury/Rozi/Redden more than Sather because these scumbags held their hands out like they deserved it.

    Sather is no Lamarillo, but I don’t see how firing him now helps the Rangers going forward. Maybe when Grachev makes the club, and Del Zotto wins a Norris trophy, Gaborik wins the Hart, we can forget the disappointments that are Drury/Rozi/Redden.

  5. carp ask the coach for a refund. He’s not getting his job done, alias not earning his pay nor pulling his weight. What does he use to wash his hands of losing outcomes, besides denial of his responsibility in those loses ? Look at his icetimes, absurd.

  6. cegatti I’m sorry you feel that way about the resident genius posing as gm. I strongly disagree. He needs to retire.

  7. maybe I’m alone in this but I am quite underwhelmed by Tortorella as a bench coach. A minute and half to play, down a goal, and he puts old Sasquatch imself out there?

    And of course Roszival is immediately left dangling in the wind by hard skating real hockey players.

    And have you seen such a lousy passing team. Seldom hard crisp accurate passes, And of course their old stand by..the deadly wrist shot from long range. They insist on making long S L O W passes..most of them picked off..easily. They won’t be among the living and breathing for long at this pace.

  8. One line team that’s basically they are. And even then it’s mostly due to Vinny and Gaborik.

    They’re slow on average and don’t connect with each other very well on the rush with passes.

    The lack of caring about each other on the ice is sickening, yet another team in need of a full body makeover.

  9. We all were anxious for Ranger hockey over those four off days and this is how they come out? No heart, AGAIN! Calli left to defend himself after that un-penalized hit? Someone said in a previous post that Brashear is a better PLAYER than Orr but I gurantee that Orr would have taken on that guy in Calgary for hitting Drury and he would have taken on that d-man for Atlanta!! And, IMPO, he would have dished out some justice to all those teams that were running Hank all year!!! Yet, nothing can replace players on this team playing with heart!!! They seem like htey are waiting for something or someone to do something?? And Avery, I don’t know what the story is here. Torts, what the hell are you doing back there?

  10. onecupin69yearsand counting on

    as another mediocre season proceeds, at what point do you fire Tort’s, sather , or fire both?
    Or is this progress?

  11. onecupin69yearsand counting on

    cwgatti- what are smoking or taking to make things look so rosie? Give us some.

  12. Rangers legs may not have been there but mine were and I strolled over to watch Fringe after period 2. Let me know when they decide to start playing hockey again.

  13. Carp,
    Spot on with point #5. No toughness on this team except for Cally and the player that used to skate around in Avery’s jersey (not the castrated current version – thanks Tort!). But we knew that. However even more spot on with point #7. Having Brashear fight Boulton on the next shift means nothing in today’s NHL. Goon vs goon doesn’t settle a thing. I much prefer the old days when if you went after our star player, your star player immediately had a target on him. That’s what ends the BS.
    There was a shot last night on Gabby lined up opposite Kovalchuk for a face off. Joe or Sam waxed poetic that he was telling Kovi to come to NY. What he should have telling him is “Avery wanted me to give you message. He said he was going to slash you as hard as he can next shift to try and break your freaking arm. Good luck”

  14. drury and gomez were both brought in to win a cup. im not carpin you. with jagr and shanny o the team, they didnt need leadership qualities. all they needed from gomer n droopy was what they had done there whole careers. gomer was a great set up man. he was gonna replace nylander. his speed ws also to get a forecheck established and add some creativity. dru was brought in for his defense, his faceoffs, and his clutch goal scoring which he had provided all of those things before he came to ny. with jagr leading the way, shanny as a pp n pk specialist who is kinda like an older version of kotalik on the pp, but is more of a leader like mess was(not the same at all but thats where these guys werfe fitting into the team). then u add a guy comin off 37goals, and a fast playmaker, with hank in net, we had the makings of a cup winner or contender. rozy was still good back then(he actually scored back then). after jags and shanny left, there was a huge void and sather was left with a goofball who couldnt carte less and a leaderless leader in druyry who couldnt score anymore. both gomer n dru were great before they came here. they sucked after. i guess sather threw all his chips on the table, and now were rebuilding again. but this time, we have a goalie who has basically stagnated. hes great, hes one of the best, but he hasnt gotten better imo in order to play torts run n gun. and most of that is the defense fault leaving him out to dry constantly. hes still probably hurt too which is why hes been giving up 3-4 goals a game. he still makes unbelievable saves and if we ever do get deep in the PO hes the reason. but gabby is the only elite player we have. duby,cally,avery,dru,kotalik,lisin,boyle,brash,voros,prospal,higgy,AA are either young and inexperienced, or mostly 2nd and 3rd liners. we have 1 true 1st line player. gabby. prospal is good too, but hes got 4 goals. he had a glorious chance last night and couldnt score. he will put 20 g in this year. thats our offense. duby before the injury was a 3rd liner playing top minutes. hes got good qualities but hes not skilled enough. cally was basically a fluke with his 22 g last year. he might get 25 on eday in his career, but we all thought these kids were ready to become stars in this league or at least dependable players who could chip in 50-60 points. higgins is ok, but hes not a goal scorer either. the team lacks heart, and skill!! somebody said they have the heart but no skill. wrong. they dont stick up for each other except our worst player)voros). all these 3rd liners that we couldve traded for stars like heatley(duby,cally,etc…_) not staal. we couldve had some real talent on this team besides the 1 man show gabby. i love that sather kept duby at the time, but the more i think about it, hes never gonna be even close to what heatley is.

  15. Avery is not Avery only a watered down version its sad he looks like a guy who should be playing 3rd line in the ECHL.
    Brasher a goon with goon skills that no longer exist.
    Except for Del Zotto, Gilroy, Gaborik and a few others the entire team looks sad.
    You can not win hockey games if you can not control the puck in either zone. If you can’t win faceoffs your backing out of the offensive end and flat in the defensive end.
    Frankly even King Lunqvist looked out of position way too much of the time. I can’t wait to see the Press and Torts when the reality sets in. This team might not be a playoff contender by Mid January..This is sad.

  16. Pretty accurate Grabs. However unless Rozi was part of the package to send for Heatley they’d be left with the problem of not being able to afford both Heatley and Gaborik. So they’d still be a one player show.

    The defense now is just flat out not good. Whether it’s personnel or the system or the coaching, they’re not even close to getting the job done. And what’s with all the goals against in the last 2 minutes of periods? Is it Sullivan that’s responsible for the D? It’s a dramatic drop off from last season. I think Renney’s style covered up a lot of flaws on the D.

    The toughness element? I would never thought I said that I missed Hollweg, but last night that guy would have probably gotten himself kicked out the game for checking someone from behind, but it would have been retribution for Cally.

  17. Team has a lot of issues but my biggest concern continues to be the regression of Staal, Callahan, Dubinsky. Very troubling. And someone should tell Henrik to never play the puck, please just stay in the net.

  18. Avery is Avery,a player with not that much skill,who over time will want attention and will get attention with those in your face antics. He appears now like he did in Dallas -hardly noticed.

    Skilled vs Goon players -who do you want to watch? Detroit proved you could win without the goon. Anaheim proved you could win a Stanley by intimidation. (Yeah Anaheim had some decent players but more TV viewers watched the Coney Island hotdog contest on ESPN than the Anaheim contest on at the same time)

  19. Tom. you’re right. Hank’s a great goalie but he has two glaring weakness. High glove side and can’t handle the puck. Arguably both of those contributed to in two goals last night.
    Now, he was spectacular on a bunch of other saves which any other goalie gives up at least 2-3 goals on. So you live with it.

  20. A marriage
    Husband: Honey, what would you do if I hit the lottery?
    Wife: I’ll divorce you, take half of the money, and look for someone else
    Husband: well I just won $10 dollars on a scratch off, so here is your $5 dollars and get the heck out.


  21. Why the heck is Byers being sent down to recall Parenteau – as per Andrew Gross? When are they going to LTIR Dubinsky and save some cap space?!? If anyone should go down it is Brashear. Admit the mistake, clear up the $1.4 million (or what is left of it, and make a deal for a center. See if the scouts can uncover another Peverley.

  22. onecupin69yearsand counting on

    Hindsight is always 20/20 when a trade isnt made, Dubinski and callahan will never be #1 stars or elite players.
    Popular in NY yes, like Prucha was.
    But what you see is what you got.

  23. onecupin69yearsand counting on

    At the beginning of the season I thought the rangers would be better than the isle and devils, well I guess I’m wrong so far.
    The devils lose players every year, change coaches and like roaches they don’t die.

    The isles always out muscle and hustle the rangers, something is wrong somewhere.

  24. Voros is just worthless,stumbles around and get his butt womped for a cool milly.
    man ill do that for the free jersey.
    Boyle hasnt gotten the hang of his (for you Mic)MASSIVE body.
    come see me when your 29-30 there baby hughy.
    The softness of this team comes from the top down Torts style needs to be tweaked,let the defensive d men be just that,it looked like a tennis match there with the back and forth.
    gonna flat out break Henrik.

  25. i never really supported having a heavy weight at anything more than the league minimum. As carp said they do nothing. if u dont score u dont win, and most of those heavy weights dont one who plays 4 mins a game should be be making more than league minimum.

  26. The Devils play virtually mistake free and very patient hockey. They make high percentage plays and wait until the other team makes a mistake of their own and pounce. They don’t dominate teams like the Pens/Wings/Sharks have done the past couple of years. With the Rangers playing the way they are, a game against them would be a bloodbath because there are too many players coughing up the puck in the wrong places all over the ice (and that includes Lundqvist).

    The Isles, well there’s no excuse for that. They have shown a propensity for blowing games this year and the Rangers loss to them certainly showed how thin the Rangers offense is past the 1st line. Using a narrow definition of the Hart Trophy – player judged to be most valuable to his team – Gaborik should certainly get a ton of consideration because without him the Rangers could be a lottery pick team.

    I really wonder what they practice during practice days. Their fundamental play, especially in their own end is awful.

  27. Brash was one of 5 Rangers that did what he gets paid for last night people,Hank DZ Gilroy Gabby and Brash.
    Voros is the most obvious waste of cap space ,and lets get one of (pick one of four,any one.)our d men a night(day)off and get Bobby Sangs up here.
    oh yeah how about a centerman that wins more than 50%of his draws,

  28. Matt R,i agree,a young,hungry tough guy would be a better option for trimming some fat,but Brash can actually take a shift come PS(silent prayer).

  29. Carp,

    I agree with the below:

    And maybe that’s the way it’s going to be forever, Avery paying for all the stupid, undisciplined things he’s ever done.

    This is why nobody wanted avery except the Rags..and now he is so uneffective its ridiculous.

    Am I the troll? Stop feeding me as in stop responding? You have to put that in every post? What a joke.

    CT: This is Great

    The Devils play virtually mistake free and very patient hockey. They make high percentage plays and wait until the other team makes a mistake of their own and pounce. They don’t dominate teams like the Pens/Wings/Sharks have done the past couple of years. With the Rangers playing the way they are, a game against them would be a bloodbath because there are too many players coughing up the puck in the wrong places all over the ice (and that includes Lundqvist).

    Tom: Good one

    Team has a lot of issues but my biggest concern continues to be the regression of Staal, Callahan, Dubinsky. Very troubling. And someone should tell Henrik to never play the puck, please just stay in the net.

    One Cup: Well said

    The devils lose players every year, change coaches and like roaches they don’t die.

    it has to be Lou!

  30. Does anyone think we should have re-signed Antropov? That was a mistake. Maybe it was a cap space issue, but there are plenty of others on this team who could have been pushed out.

    BTW, did Higgins even play last night? That has been the #1 disappointment this year, bar none.

    MDZ is a stud. Gilroy had a nice game. Staal played OK. Redden was quite bad, Girardi looked lost, and Blowzsival, what-f-ing-ever, that guy just plain sucks. No 2 ways about that guy.

    Offensively, we have about 2 threats. The rest are wastes of space. Kotalik needs to get stuck into the mix more.

    The lack of grit on this team is so apparent. No one hits except for Cally and no one sticks up for anyone else. Sad and pathetic.

    Lots of hockey left but our defensive miscues and high-risk plays are not working. We need to tighten it up and play more conservative in our half of the ice. Take chances in the offensive half or the ice. But too many lapses and careless attempts on our side of the redline are killing us.

    Chris Higgins….are you out there?

  31. Out of all the problems the rangers seem to have I believe that one definite fix would be to bury Rozival in the farm, clear some cap space and replace Rosival with Sanguinetti. Out of the big three bad contracts Rosival is by far the worst, he is become totally useless and I think Sanguinetti would play much better than rosival.

  32. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    I think Torts Sully and Shoney need to sit down and do an honest assesment of the D Corps, and get a 7th Dman from within up here already before making any plans on signing someone else.

    My break down is this:

    Del Zotto – PP point man and good on D

    Staal – Defensive D man, should NOT be employed to join rushes, pair him with one of the other offensive Dman

    Girardi – a little bit of both, Has his nights where he’s great defensively & offensively, then others where he slacks.

    Gilroy – Been solid for a first year Dman, but should be the offensive part of a d-pair

    Redden: Has surpised me the most and been failry solid as well as getting his shots through when he has the opportunity

    Rosival- his game is just gone completley. Is on the ice for almost every goal against and makes so many mental mistakes it’s just not funny anymore

    So for Ottowa My D-Pairs would be as follows:

    Staal – Del Zotto (one defensive Dman, one offensive)
    Gilroy – Girardi (again the same one offensive/one defensive)
    Redden – Sanguinetti (Veteran with Rookie plus Sangs can shoot the puck)
    Rosi as 7th dman or sit him

    As for the forwards the best have been:
    Gabby- Obviously

    Prospal – PROUD that he’s wearing the A, and plays his ass off EVERY SINGLE GAME

    Cally – heart & soul

    Kotalik – PP specialist and doing what he was brought in to do

    Artie – he’s progressing nicely and will only get better

    Lisin- Broken foot, still playing, looking good, hopefully only gets better

    Boyle – has already tied BEtts entire goal production from last year and palys hard. Good 4th line center

    Now the problems that need a fixin:

    Cant bash Drury & Dubi when there not playing so I ‘ll leave them out, but when they get back they both HAVE to elevate there games

    Avery – Needs to really find his game and just accept that he will get calls against him. Has to be the the annoying in your face player he has been the last two seasons. Torts needs to accept this and let him off the leash. He’s jsut not effective playing the way he is now

    Voros – Seriously waste of space. ANY ONE in HArtford can and should replace him and he should be sent down and stay there. He really brings nothing to the game other than running around and looking like an idiot while taking penalties.

    Brashear – 4th line fighter/goon. But needs to start doing his job period, if he sees someone run cally, gabby or Hank, he has to go out there and mess some people up, period

    Hank: No he is not Exempt from criticism.
    If I’m Torts I get Benoir practice puck handling and high glove side shtos EVERY DAY. His game is solid everywhere else, he just needs to really work on these two areas IMMEDIATELY


    That’s my assesment anyway, were not lost just need to seriously fine tune.


  33. Carp is sleepless in New York …..:)

    otherwise he wouldn´t write an entry at 1.32 in the morning in a train with a drunken idiot :):):)

    DO WE NEED TO WORRY ABOUT YOU ???????????????:):):)

  34. Are all you suggesting If Gabby gets checked then the player who checked him should get jumped? Or Brash should go injure the other teams top player? i know this is what Carp is suggesting…..and you guys think you are classy???

    1994 Forever and Ever
    Patethic organization Forver and Ever and Ever and Ever

  35. Can we trade Voros & Brash for Orr & Ortmeyer?

    Need to dump Rozi for whatever we can get, and bring in anything / anyone else (even Chelios) to play D, and add a 7th (again, anyone is better than Rozi).

    That said, Lisin has been playing very well. I think that was a steal, getting him 1-for-1 with Korpedo.

  36. LOCAL FAN,

    I’m guessing you are probably 5’7, 250lbs, single, collect unemployment and have never attempted to play a sport in your life. You just sit behind the computer and TV all day.

    Really, is your life that pathetic that you need to troll around in other team’s blogs?

    You continue to make light of the 1994 championship, I think you have some issues man seriously. Listen, we all sympathize with your situation, the Devils are an organization that has been run well but in terms of popularity they will never be able to compete with the Rangers. None of the Devils championships will ever even be remembered. I feel bad for Brodeur playing in obscurity his whole career. He has been a great player, he will have his jersey raised when its his time. What’s unfortunate for him though is that when he does retire the interest in the team will wane and ultimately the Devils will move. Then you can have your pick of supporting the Rangers of Flyers.

  37. So once again the doom clock strikes…but Voros is still here, and the guy who showed a bit of pressure in his FEW moments on ice is sent back down. Does anyone believe that
    Sanguinetti would be worse than Roszival? At the very least, he’d have caught the guy that smoked Roz last night.

    The more I see of Torts bench coaching the less I enjoy it.

    And yes… I too am a bit concerned about what looks liek some regression the part of Staal.

    You know, if Boyle played this game with the same physical vigor of Callahan, he would be positively awesome.

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