Thrashers-Rangers in review


You know, they’re not completely blinded by the blue-colored glasses when they say that some of these losses haven’t been bad. And they’re not off-base when they say that effort is not the problem. I thought the Rangers played a really strong game, lots of jam, not many passengers (pick your cliche) but lost a skills competition against Atlanta.

Should you win that game? Absolutely. Should you not even get to OT or a shootout with the Thrashers at home? No doubt. Give Hedberg some credit. If they play that way against the Islanders the next two nights, they should be fine.

1) The skills competition. Is anybody coming around to my way of thinking on this ridiculous way of deciding HOCKEY GAMES? The Rangers played their almonds off and that would have been a good tie. Instead a conference rival gets an extra point that could mean the difference between who makes and who misses the playoffs (not to mention millions of dollars in revenue), because Kozlov is good at slow-motion, practice-rink breakaways. Instead of feeling like, “Hey, we could have had two points, but we’re happy with one” the Rangers left the building feeling like they lost again Idiotic.

2) What the heck is Drury doing on the ice repeatedly in overtime? Isn’t safe death anymore? The captain did some nice things on the PK and especially the 5-on-3 (although the goaltender had something to say about that). But when will it dawn on the coaches that Drury’s got about the same chance of scoring as Brashear?

3) We’re really seeing the ups and downs of an 18-year-old future star, aren’t we. And MDZ’s ups really outweigh his downs. It’s time to put him with Staal, give Staal a directive to be the shutdown guy and not worry about offense, and put Staal and DelZotto on the ice in a group of five with Gaborik, against the other  team’s best players. All the time.

4) I thought the officials were really, really good after being very iffy in the Buffalo game.

5) Ales Kotalik, welcome to MSG, the world’s finest ice surface.


Reader Hockeyman Rangers tipped us off to this story in The Hockey News. Nothing we haven’t discussed, but worth reading anyway. I thought this was light on the Drury contract.

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  1. Leetchhalloffame on

    Seeing the way DelZ is playing as a teen and the massive potential he has to be a star in this league for a long time shouldn’t we all be afraid that Slats trades him even-up for some washed-up 39 year old?

  2. Is it me or does Chris Higgins have the poorest shot selection ? when he gets a chance he picks the worst move possible in a scoring attemt.

    Gretzky & Messier 3/4/81 vs Rangers at MSG Video

    Featuring :

    A young John Amirante singing the national anthem

    A Young Slats.

    A Young Gretzky and Messier

    Horrible goaltending on Both ends

    A massive cheap shot

    Messier vs Kotsy !


  3. The League Doctor on

    No one likes the shootout, but the average fan was not happy with tie’s. If the NHL is going to grow, you have to mold the product into something appealing to all…the purists will stay with either format…the average fan may not.

    The 3 point system is needed. 3 points for a win in regulation or OT, and 2 for a shootout win, and 1 for a shootout loss.

  4. I think the shoot out is here to stay, at least until the next lockout.

    I’ll again reiterate my opinion that if you’re going to stick with the skills comp you need to make regulation wins more important. 3 points for a reg win, 0 points for a reg loss, 2 points for a OT/SO win, 1 point for OT/SO loss. There’s a loser point but where’s the extra winner point?

    And even though they played an aggressive game they still don’t have the pure finishers outside of #10. Kotalik whiffed on another open net and Avery softly backhanded a puck into the pads on one of the PPs. Carp, take these guys out golfing and show them how to use a wedge.

  5. I agree with you Carp MDZ is a stud and should play with Staal. This guy has the highest ceiling of any Ranger defenseman since Simo Saarinen.

    Tonight on Blueshirt Banter Radio we talk to guest Leslie Treff of Hockeys Future and discuss the state of Ranger prospects as well as under 25 players in the organization

    Listen live or archived

  6. Reeshay (or Riche') on

    If Slats trades MDZ I will cease to be a Rangers fan.

    I’m not joking.

    I will switch to some other team/sport.

  7. This game was a bit misleading. It may make you think that the Rangers actually have a chance or some skill. Enjoy the feeling. In reality, they played an opponent that was as soft as they are.

    The Rangers played a remarkably soft game against a remarkably soft opponent – the only reason that the game looked as good as it did (before the shootout). The Thrashers had no forecheck, they stood up at the blue line and didn’t look comfortable doing it. They let the rangers skate straight through them when many other opponents would have put their shoulders down on them.

    I remember several instances a Ranger crossed the blue line stick-handling and a Thrasher could have lined him up and dropped him but shyed away. Not many opponents play such pussified hockey like the Rangers. Maybe ATL played down to the Rangers’ level last night?

    The Islanders will eat the Rags up. Very unfortunate.

  8. All that being said, Del Zotto is just so amazing to watch develop and you gotta love Dubinsky when he’s trying. Duber-Higgins and Gaborik look like they may be a good trio.

    Anyone else think that when Lehtonen comes back for ATL we should enquire about Hedberg or Pavelic as a backup for Lundqvist? Not sure about cap ##’s but they will have a logjam at goal soon.

  9. Is it too early in the season to get a FIRE SATHER chant going? Anyone ever dared to bring a FIRE SATHER sign to the garden?

    My next home game is at the end of January, think I might just have to do it….I’ll post a note prior to the game – if anyone sees it on TV that would be amazing.

  10. Shootouts are boring now. They were fun the first year or two, now they stink. Plus the slow motion breakaways that you see now are lamest of all. If they’re going to keep the shootout, they should put a timer. Guy has 5 seconds or something to take his shot.

  11. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    Carp: Great Post, but doesnt it amaze you, as it does me, that the problems WE AS FANS see, the coaching staff does not? I mean Drury in OT? Did you really thinkhe was gonna get a goal?

    And for everyone else, here’s a fun little way to make SAther’s life miserable.

    LAst year I called the main MSg tel # and entered in two names through the directory. Glen Sather and Tom Renney.
    I was so pissed at the time I wanted to leave a Nasty message.

    Whats funny is I actually got through. Firt try. Punched in Renney’s name thorugh the pad, and wah la! Renney picked up. IT surprised the hell out of me and I hung up. It was the day before he got fired.

    So If anyone REALLY wants to tell Sather somthing Dial this number, 212.465.6000, enter in Sather name, and leave him a message

    PS I havent tried it since last year, so if anyone gets through let us all know.

  12. Where's Pavelich? on

    they did put in a great effort last nite, but, why is EVERY opposing team: Faster AND Bigger AND Stonger AND More Skilled (less Gaborik) then the Rangers and their “to-the-cap” payroll?

    Torts job is to get the effort, the GM gets the skills…Drury gets $7.5 mil to be Blair Betts

  13. Drury has to get going. It’s a reality. The coaching staff is doing the right thing (in a business sense) by rolling him out there. They’re not going to throw 7.5 million dollars away.

    If he does get going again, better for us, no? Who else is scoring on this team besides Gabby anyway?

  14. Drury and Higgins had breakaways and could not score. These players can’t shoot high. Other players could have easily scored. Even Kotalik tried to diek in the shootout and lost the puck. Look what Kovalchuk and Kozlov did in the shootout. They simply don’t have the confidence to shoot like Koleta did or Kozlov did. Not even close to Kozlov. The only one on the team who can is Gaborik. The rest just shoot the pucks low and put the rebounds back into goalie pads.

  15. I like the 3pt system. If you’re going to have shootouts, you have to move to 3pt games. No one liked ties, ever.

    I somewhat disagree with you Carp on the “skills competition” comments. Each team has an opportunity to send their top guys out. It’s not surprising that the same guys who score the goals in regular game time (Kovalchuk, Kozlov) also score in the shootout. There is no real comparative advantage and the games are usually decided by the same players.

  16. I did like the shootout for about a month when it was first implemented. But then I realized that it has taken away so much from the game.

    I think they should do a 5 minute 4v4 OT, and if no one scores, a 3 minute 3v3 OT. I dont know how the point system would work, but how crazy would that be?

  17. JJP – what would you call it other than a skills competition? That’s exactly what it is – it’s the title of the exact same event that takes place in the All-Star Game…

  18. Great post as always Carp…..I’ve been siding with you on the shootouts from the get-go. They’re fun to watch in an actual skills competition, not a way to end a real game.
    You have to give credit where credit is due to Hedberg in that game, though, not just the shootout but throughout the night, especially given our considered improvement in front of the net.

  19. Where's Pavelich? on

    NYRangersFan – I have a Canadian friend that says that, generally, American players just aren’t as skilled as Canadian/Euro players and he always uses “lifting” the puck as an example.. sadly, I dont have much to refute him – esp with Drury and Higgins,as you mentioned

  20. I love the idea of a 4 on 4 and then a 3 on 3. That to me, would be just as exciting with all that open ice.

  21. Where’s Pav: That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. Americans can’t lift the puck??? Higgins shot it over the net about 5 times last night.

    Maybe tell that one to Leetch, Lafontaine or Roenick. Lol.

  22. Mrs. Nasty found me naked and shivering in a ball in the corner of the shower again last night. She just put a blanket on me and went back to sleep.

  23. Pavelich – I’m not only American, but I’m Jewish, and have no problems lifting the puck. I don’t think its an American thing so much as a confidence thing with the guys on the Rangers. Zach Parise has no trouble lifting the puck. I just point out the Jewish part since us Yews aren’t traditionally the most hockey-oriented, or atheletic in general, types.

  24. Forget about elevating the puck for a moment. We can’t even HIT THE NET from inside the circles. I mean, I saw at least 5 wisde shots from in close by Drury, Higgins, Kotalik, and Dubi. Not to mention all the one-too-many-passes problem. You can’t ask for more quality scoring chances than we had in that game. Yet we never led. I really enjoyed watching Kovalchuk break Rosy down to his knees with all that puck handling in OT. Basically any scout watching that will never pick up Rosy. I mean, he was on his knees reaching with his stick by the time Kovalchuk was finished with him. Hilarious–in a traji9c-comedy sort of way.

  25. “JJP – what would you call it other than a skills competition? That’s exactly what it is – it’s the title of the exact same event that takes place in the All-Star Game…”

    Henrik Rules, at the end of the day aren’t all sports skills competition? One set of players is better than the other at the skills required to win the game….

    It’s not like there are special players on the roster who only do shootouts or that the object of the shootout is fundamentally different than that of the game – “score a goal and the team that scores more wins.” There are breakaways in regular play and penalty shots, the game isn’t decided on who can skate faster or has the hardest shot.

    My point was that it’s not some abstract way of deciding the game and it is based on situational play. Usually the same players who are major factors in deciding the outcome in regulation decide the outcome in the shootout.

    I agree that as it stands, the current point system structure with shootouts is irrational and should be changed.

  26. I hate the shoot out (maybe because now the whole world knows to go high glove side) but I have a bigger problem with the 4 on 4 OT. That’s more gimicky to me. It’s not the real game. Skate 5 on 5 for five minutes. Points should be same as a regulation game; 2 points for an OT win, NO points for an OT loss. Each team gets a point if tied after OT. Winner of SO gets 2.

    Plus if you’re going to market a skills competition, then let’s see more skill. Go to 5 shooters, not 3.

  27. Reginald Dunlop on

    I say the games get settled by an “Eating Contest” between the writers of the two respective teams….. my $$$ would be on the Rangers always…..Norm MacLean is a lock…makes as much sense as the shootout does…….maybe the Captains of each team get in those little pedal cars and drive 2 laps around the ice to determine the victor…..

  28. NASTY

    At least you have somebody to put a blanket over you. When im naked, curled in a ball in the corner, all i get is my friggin kitten rubbing his head on my leg. I think he’s mocking me.

    His names Henrik. I think he’s trying to apologize for the real Hank for all the soft goals this season.

    Anyway, i agree aboot trading Del Z. If it were to happen, i would officially lose all interest in this team. Id probably become a Kings fan, i like their team.

    Like i said last night, it get tougher and tougher to watch this team. Lets see how they do against a team that just lost 7-1. Should be interesting.

  29. We are going to win back to back games and get a false sense of hope, only to have our dreams crushed like Voros’ cheek bone and nose against Jansen last year. Sigh, I might just drink the entire Belgian beer sampler I got for Christmas to soften the blow a little bit.

  30. Good morning, Sally!

    Reginald, I could think of a few other skills Norman has … none of them very appealing.

    I’d be in favor of, like, a hot dog eating contest or a pizza eating contest among the writers. I’d really have to push to get back on the beat then.

  31. As my late uncle used to say, “We don’t have anyone on this team that could hit the broad side of a barn with a banjo.”

    He was a funny guy. He used to sit my brother and me down and make us eat hard sourdough pretzels and drink Old Milwaukee beer with him. We were 7 and 5 years old. HAHA.

  32. Where's Pavelich? on

    Yeah, I know the American skill thing is ridiculous, but Drury and Higgins.. just score already!

    AFLY – One Jewish guy and the 1994 cup team.. who?

    PS – Happy Hanukkah

  33. That certainly was a game they should have won last night. Too many missed scoring chances and that short handed goal was unsightly. 2 points on that. What was Henrik doing not playing the puck on the shoot in and what was MDZ doing not playing the man after it came all the way around the boards? It seems that whenever the Rangers make a mistake it is always capitalized on by the other team. I know what it feels like to be a Buffalo Bills fan. They only had to deal with wide right. We have to deal with that as well as wide left and over the net !!!!

  34. The shootout format should be as follows:

    ZERO points awarded at the end of regulation. If there is no winner after the 5 minute overtime, then each team gets a point. The shootout would decide the final point.

  35. WOW! Thank you CT, you know I want that thing bad! I am going to the game on the 23rd against the Panthers, and I am going in early just to get that hat.

    I am going to Warren after if anyone is going to be around that night.

  36. Next two games against the Isles…I have a prediction…

    Captain Clutch Drury will score a couple of goals because the Isles and Tampa are about the ONLY team he scores against.

    And Sam and Joe will sing his praises with MSG-scripted wording like “Who else but Chris Drury with the game on the line?” and “That’s what Chris Drury has done his entire career!”

    Ugh…I dunno…I would not be surprised if the Rangers get their asses handed to them by the Isles the next two games.

  37. CT, can you try and find that hat for me online and send me the link. I have been trying with no luck at all.

  38. Or, if I was to call the NHL store and order it, what would I ask for? Can you call and order from the NHL store?

  39. Mouth, that is a classic clip. Talk about Safe is Death! Also, check out the crooked numbers on the out-of-town scoreboard. And Jim Gordon can’t pronouncer Messier. Wicky would have loved that team, with Beck, Kotsopoulos and Hospodar clearing the crease.

  40. Michal Roszival on

    Hi guys!

    Taking a break from practice to let you know that I’ve been permanently moved to Del Zotto’s side … Coach Torts (that stud) thinks that I can help DZ become acquainted with the finer details of being a top shutdown NHL defenseman, like myself …

    Can’t wait to play the Islanders tomorrow night … they’re the perfect team for me to use my new subtle poke check … sure to get them off their game.

    I’ll be back after practice to provide another update. But first, Torts has promised me a deep-tissue massage …

  41. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    Does anyone want to take me up on my offer abotu leaving Sather some messages?

    212.465.6000 and enter Sather’s name to give him a piece of your mind

    Hell Try Dolan’s name too

    Should come up, it did last year

  42. “Hey Mikey, this is Glen, I am just returning your call to wish you a happy holiday, now PISS OFF!”

    BEEP, that was your last message. Press 7 to erase, press 9 to save, press # to exit the menu.

  43. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    And I have a buddy who owns a T-shirt company

    Said he can make us the t-shirts
    Hes a Devil fan, but still knows our situation with Sather and feels sorry for us, so Im pretty sure theywould be free

    Maybe we can all plan a night to go to a game, then hit Warren 77 with our FIRE SATHER or SATHER SUCKS T-Shirts?

    ANyone interested?

  44. Leetchhalloffame on

    If you enter Sather’s name and it doesn’t connect try “Idiot.” That will get you through.

  45. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    NAsty – I would LOVE if he actually called me back

    “Hi Mr Sather thansk for the return call. Can you kill yourself? No? Ok then, I have about 20,000 fans that will do it for you.” let me knwo what day and tiem works for you”

  46. GCBlue, I’m with you on the 4 on 4.

    ORR, send me a photo of Henrik (without you on the floor) or I might have to ban you :)

    All, Carp would win a hotdog eating contest at Walter’s here in our neck of the woods hands down I believe.

    ilb, sisterblog post up in your honor :)

  47. Good post, Carp. You pretty much mirrored what people with any hockey knowledge were saying during the previous post- if they keep playing the way the did last few games, they’ll be fine. As opposed to keep bashing the team, Hank and everyone else. They get it from us enough when they earn it.

    And for all these bashers who crawl out of their holes: If you don’t believe in your team, why don’t you move your attention to the Rock! You’ll sure get enough points and wins every year. Enjoy it. Just don’t forget to bring your ipod along, because this is as much entertainment as you will get.

  48. HOORAY!
    PAP cleared waivers guys
    the cup is comin!

    is it me or were 2 of the 3 wins while dubi was hurt because of PAP in the shootout?

  49. Yeah I can’t find it online either Nasty. But if you call the NHL store just ask if they have the Mitchell&Ness trucker hat. Like I said they had them a couple of weeks ago in the store. Otherwise I looked on M&N’s site and even they don’t have it.

  50. Adam Protuea (or however you spell it) is an ahole.. a biased Sather and Ranger hater..

    Haven’t the Rangers and Devils been the only team in the East to make the playoffs 3 straight years? I don’t remember reading that in his blog..Point is- everyone knows the mistake and bad contracts (most teams have them) but his blind hatred for Sather just leads to a lack of objectivity

    What is the statue of limitations on the Hugh Jessiman pick for Ranger haters?

  51. THE REAL MikeyNJ on


    were continuing to Bash them all (Save Gabby Cally & Hank) becasue the changes Carp so eloquently sees that need to be made ARE NOT being made.

    WHy is Brashear playing over Christensen and for tha matter AT ALL?
    Why is Lisin seeing 3:00 of Ice time?
    Why was Drury on the 4-4 in OT?
    Why dont you pair Staal and Del Z and make Staal be the steady Shut-down D man he is?
    Why are NONE of our secondary scorers scoring except for Callahan?

    There are so many why’s, and so many years of all of us fans scratching our heads that its enough to make us stand in the shower, under ice cold water shivering & crying.

  52. Why is Voros still counting against our cap other than the fact that he and gaborik were best friends in minnesota… guy’s as useless as a pecker on the pope (Sorry in advance Carp, don’t ban me please!)

  53. Buccigross has responded to some of my hockey-related e-mails before..maybe if we all hound him to write an anti-Sather piece he will


  55. RickyM2 December 15th, 2009 at 1:52 am

    “Local fan? Me? No shot. I’m not and never was posing as a fan of any team except the NJ Devils. I’m posting here cause it’s interesting to see how fast you guys turn on your team. No faith no patience. You complain about your GM but your all just as impatient as he is, except you don’t have to bare the brunt of it. Calling for everyone to be traded or sent down. If he did that and it didn’t work out, you’d all blame him. I see a bunch of front runners here. There are few changes from this year and last. I didn’t hear anyone crying about sather when you were up 3-1 vs Washington. Sather is an extension of the fans. You want quick fixes, tank a season, and if u got everything u asked for you’d still all cry. Like I said “bunch of front runners””

    I think you are dead wrong as far as the GM goes. The fans are not an extension of Glen Sather just as the Devil fans are not an extension of Lou.
    The players are an extension the GM and then the coach.
    RickyM2, have you ever seen Sather get introduced to the crowd? or show his fat mug on the GardenVision? The Boos are freakin loud! The fan reaction is so negative that this year the organization decided to skip player intro’s and just have them all skate out at once.
    I think the “organization” knows the mistakes of Sather but will do anything to anything to sweep them under the rug.
    I know for a fact that when Lou Lamorello is shown around the Pebble he certain is not booed.
    This organization needs a face lift. Mess may be good, he’s loved by the fans, I think he has the ability to spot talent. Then surround him with knowledgeable hockey people and go at it. The problem is Messier may inherit this organization in a world of hurt, but he is a leader after all. I think that could handle the job…I have no reason to believe he can’t.

  56. Stop The Madness... on

    I wish that all the nonsense about Messier would just stop. After the Cup run in ’94, everyone conveniently seems to forget how quickly he bailed to Vancouver the first opportunity he got. A great player doesn’t necessarily translate to even a good GM. ’94 was 15 years ago; get over it…

  57. Hockeyman Rangers on

    Stop the madness.
    I really don’t think Messy bailed on us, I don’t think he had a choice. But I bet maybe Carp would have some info of how it really went down. Carp can you back our man Messier???

  58. If I had the money this holiday season, I’d send a Fire Sather T-shirt to each player. (NY and Hartford)

  59. Stop the madness and Hockeyman, there is not a chance in hell that Messier would have left if they wanted him. He cried like a baby after he signed with Vancouver, and not tears of joy. They showed him the door.

  60. Not that this game should have ended in a shootout had the Rangers actually score or at least hit the damn net on our numerous excellent scoring chances…but Did you know Gaborik is an unbelievable 1-for-16 ins shootouts in his career? At 6.2%, it’s the lowest success rate of any player who has taken a minimum of 10 attempts.
    Also, Christensen is at the top with 58% anbd obviously Parenteau has scored our last two shootout victories.

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