Dirty dozen


At this point, maybe we can throw out that 6-0 game against the Flyers as the aberration.  Because it’s 12 games now, with that being the only regulation loss.

And why?

Because John Tortorella scratched Wade Redden and Ales Kotalik, demoted Chris Drury to the fourth line and later even benched Marian Gaborik for a few shifts. Because  Henrik Lundqvist and Sean Avery called a team meeting and aired Festivus grievances, and Avery later called another, and Lundqvist put the team on his all-star shoulders. Because some guys whose job it is to score goals scored one; some of them even scored more than one. Because some guys finally got it.

1) The Rangers scored more dirty goals yesterday in Boston, and they probably have scored more of those in this 12-game run than they had in the entire season before the benchings and meetings.

2) That was especially so in Boston. Even as the Rangers’ points total climbed, we kept hearing them say “we have to get pucks and bodies to the net.” We heard it almost as often as we heard about that smoker lady’s amputations. But until yesterday, we really didn’t see it to an acceptable degree. Really, it’s not that hard. The Islanders do it. Carolina does it. Why did it take this long for the Rangers to do it? That’s rehtorical.

3) The forecheck. All the TV guys were gaga (and I don’t mean Lady) over the forecheck yesterday. It was probably their best of the season, and probably why those dirty goals and chances materialized. It was this simple: Boston is a good neutral zone team, so the Rangers had to dump the puck and then go get it with two forwards, sometimes three. That’s the way they want to play. But it took an opponent like Boston to get them to do it. Why? Rhetorical again. But suffice it to say that Boston will be a good prep for Tuesday’s game against the Devils — right now the best team in the NHL.

4) Del Zotto. Not anything more to add to that.

5) Brashear. OK, his fight was a joke (is he still hurt?) and he’s been pretty useless. But Saturday was one of the best games we’ve seen from the Rangers’ fourth line. Part of that is tied in to the above points about forechecking and going to the net. They did it extremely well. Part of it is that Tortorella, in this tough piece of the schedule, needs to play more players, and he could do so with the lead. Full marks to those guys and to the coach.

6) Those ads for the nationwide pizza chains during games … are they really hitting their target audience? Don’t they realize that here in New York we have pizza joints? Would you or I really go to one of these chains before we’d go for a slice of sicilian on the local corner? Not me.

Gotta go. See youse all later.

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  1. http://www.ottawasun.com/sports/hockey/2010/01/09/12406066.html
    There has been talk the Rangers are going to place D Wade Redden on waivers and then send him to the their AHL affiliate in Hartford. There is nothing to stop the Rangers from doing that because Redden has a limited no-trade clause, but he doesn’t have a restrictive no-movement clause. Signed to a six-year, $39-million deal on July 1, 2007, the Rangers have tried to deal Redden, but haven’t been able to find any takers. Even if New York GM Glen Sather did want to deal Redden, he’d have to get a list from the defenceman of eight teams where he doesn’t want to go.

  2. Agree on the 4th line – they were decent enough yesterday not to hurt the team (or Shawn Thornton’s face…). Still wouldn’t put them up against Crosby/Malkin or similar as you could with Betts et al the last few years, but they’re capable of getting minutes against weaker offensive teams.

    I assume the Bruins play better against other teams, but for a supposed upper-echelon team, they haven’t impressed me at all when they’ve faced the Rangers the last two years.

  3. Reeshay (or Riche') on

    Way to sum it up carp.

    I live in florida and rarely (if ever) go to those pizza chains. Those who are from NY know good pizza (here in FL it’s damn near impossible to find), and ANY chain you pick is NOT good pizza.

  4. Reeshay (or Riche') on

    Carp I thought your best point was “Because some guys whose job it is to score goals scored one…”

    Absolutely shows what this team could do if everyone did their job. This isn’t to say that Drury needs to score every game… but IF he scores and the next game Kotalik scores, then Avery, Dubi, Cally, etc. Also, if Redden and Rozi aren’t terrible… just average.

    This team would be in the play-offs without a doubt.

    Contenders? No… probably not but only a couple of pieces away.

  5. Carp,

    I was there yesterday. Bruins are obviously hurting considering the injuries, but Rangers deserve credit for another solid road game. They were getting the puck deep and giving Boston trouble coming out.

    Good forecheck, all 4 lines looked good. Gilroy had a good game, Girardi and Stahl were solid. Dubinsky is really going now and Christensen has been quite a find.

    Hank’s save on the penalty shot was the turning point. Should not have been a penalty shot, but that’s another story.

    Team has confidence, is gelling and I now agree with you that they should make the playoffs.

  6. I live in New Haven, and, believe it or not, Dominos has a presence here. I don’t understand it at all. A lot of the local one-shop pizzerias deliver, so it’s not that. It’s just a mystery to me.

  7. we’ll see. i’m sure there will be another downward dip or two, when the sky will be falling again, and probably another good streak or two when we start thinking they’re good again. They’re in between. Mediocre. And they should be in the race for a spot that final week of the season … as I’ve said all along, and as they were last year.

  8. Sal’s in Mamaroneck. Sunrise in Rye. Ray’s in downtown NYC. (Can’t remember if it’s Original Ray’s or Famous Ray’s or just Ray’s but there are a bunch of knockoffs).

  9. New Haven has Sally’s, the best pizza in the universe, but they don’t deliver.
    As far as the person who lost all their limbs because of smoking: You think if the number was around 20, she would be trying to tally the numbers from, first, number of digits she has remaining, and, second, since she gets confused when she starts counting.

    We will find out how good this team is on Tuesday. Can’t wait to see Fatso and Aves together again.

  10. Rick

    fantastic posting….you hit on some
    great points, even that haunting commercial! Ugh

    Even though it was the beginning of the season, during that 7 game run, their forechecking was ferocious!!!

  11. lmao @ the pizza discussion! It took me 3 years to find quality pizza in Alabama, and thats only because this place just opened a year ago. They are originally from Queens, so you know its real NY style! Thank God for them! Best pizza I ever had was a place in NY on the way to Kings Plaza, I’ll have to ask my mom what street it was on, but OMG it was great. Also, Cafe Amici in Selden, and Mama’s Pizza in Centereach. First two places I got when I go visit home is DD and Cafe Amici.

    909, don’t go gettin us all excited now!!

  12. mmmmmmmmmm PIZZA !
    Lots of places in the Phx area say they have “New York style” pizza. I don’t know what part of NY they come from but it ain’t Brooklyn !

  13. Tony, my uncle is in Sun City, I’ll have to ask him if there’s any “NY STYLE” pizza there.

    Wow pats getting their hineys handed to em in the first quarter!

  14. My wife and brother-in-law rave about Colony, but I never have been there. They don’t have slices, do they? Do you go there, ZZ?

  15. I’m watching Ray Rice tear up the Patriots. It’s so cool that I covered him in high school. Such a good kid, too.

  16. Tony – You gotta go to Venezias in Tempe, AZ. Thats the closest thing ive had to real NY pizza while I was in AZ. It may actually be better than some of the pizza joints ive had in NYC.

  17. Another reason for the Rangers recent success — there are very few other strong teams! Caps, Devils, maybe Penguins. That’s about it. Every other team is beatable (or not). Parity. No passion in the rivalries. Who are the villains? Where is the personality? With all the weak teams, it’s tough to get excited about some of these match-ups. Oh well, winning is still better!

  18. Bleecker Street pizza in the West Village is the best pizza I’ve had in a looooong time. It used to be pizza box on Bleecker & McDougal. But now it sucks.

  19. Born and raised in the Centereach/Selden area, so I can attest to the greatness of Cafe Amici for sure. I’m moving to Stamford, CT Friday, so I’ll be sure to check out Colony Pizza soon. Thanks for the tip.

  20. Oh yea Carp, you have to go with them some time.

    And Colony doesn’t serve by the slice but that’s probably because nobody would ever order just one slice since the pizza is so good.

  21. wicky229 (gabby, just get 27 more!!) on

    happy sunday to you!

    I know, it looks like he was trying out for the czech greco roman olympic team. Hilarious, he looked like brashear out there!!

    Go raven!?!?!

  22. I’m lactose intolerant but pizza is better without cheese anyway!!! Great crust, sauce and pepperoni is all you need!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. You’ve got gold, not only is their pizza great, but their antipasta salad is awesome also! and why are there no carvels here in da souf?!

  24. i can make a better pizza using a whole wheat boboli ‘crust’ than dominos, little ceasars and pizz hut!

    Tony, NEXT tuesdays game is also on versus, and the Monday after that too, and that one will be the crosbys goolovefest!!

  25. Tony, there is for me! I’ll be in Kansas on business so Versus is the only way I’d be able to see the game, if my hotel has it

  26. hey all,

    Went to the wolfpack game in Albany lastnight and wanted to give you a quick summary. Only one player stood out and unfortunately it was Zaba. PA Paranteu was the most noticeable forward, he definitely plays much better at AHL speed then NHL. Other than that the team looked pretty awful. Grachev is huge and has real nice speed but I honestly dont think he had the puck on his stick more than 2 or 3 times the whole game. Sangs was invisible. Potter and Saur were solid and covered the crease well. Heikinen was pretty bad. He kept getting caught trying to pinch or making an ill timed rushes. Albany scored shorthanded when Heikinen waited forever to take a shot and shot it right off the rats shinpads. The rat took the puck up ice and scored SH.

    overall, very dissapointing showing. I was really hoping to see Grachev at least play with the puck or rip off a shot. One good sign is that was obvious how much they miss Anisimov. I went last year and Anisimov had the puck the whole game and basically controlled the pace of the game. Now hartford doesnt have anybody like that. Prior to Anisimov it was Dubi, so I was hoping to Grachev in that role. Again, PA looked like he was the one trying to fill that role but n ot reallt doing a good job. Thats it…wish I had better news.

  27. Don’t you all love ESPN…

    “Former Pittsburgh Penguins star Jaromir Jagr was part a brawl-filled game in Russia that had to be called after four minutes for a lack of players”

    Ya know ESPN, he did play for the Rangers as well!

  28. wicky229 (gabby, just get 27 more!!) on

    yep, that is where he had all his success (read cups) and everything else is just an after thought (except to some ranger fans). I will admit I miss hockey on ESPN and i miss it even more hearing clement and thorne on nhl10!

  29. B4 my heart problems (or may be it was a cause)pizza was my favorite, so I did a lot of “trial stops” in NY and find nothing better for my taste then Nick’s Pizza at Austin St./Ascan Av. in Forest Hills, Queens with unparallel thin crust ( not serviced by slice thou). Still salivating while writing that. Can’t have it anymore… UGHH..Best thing after Rangers Victory and sex.

  30. hey Carp,
    REALLY like today’s blog entry…..you’re getting into a nice rhythm with these things. clever and making a number of good points.

    was unable to contribute on the road yesterday
    so this may have been discussed
    as far as Gabby and getting benched for a bit in the second,
    i’m thinking/hoping that Tortorella was making him accountable for some terrible zone coverage. i think Gabby and his line were on the ice for a few goals lately and despite some good defensive moves at times he was missing coverage a lot lately.

  31. I was born brought up and ;lived most of my younger life in New Haven, and still have relatives there. Frank Pepe introduced Pizza TO THE US IN 1928, and if memory serves me, his family still operates the place on Wooster St( little Italy) just down the street from that late comer Sally.

    They also have some great Italian bakeries that produce all those great Italian confectons…and once a yar on St Anthony’s day they held great big gatherings and a parade there…great fun inj the old days. ( Sort of like Yale’s classic song of the Whiffenpoofs, ….” to the tables down at Mory’s and the place where Louie dwells, and the dear old Temple bar we knew so well….we will serenade our Louie, while life and voice remain….then we’ll pass and be forgotten like the rest. “We’re poor little lambs who have lost our way, baa baa baa.etc……..” New Haven used to be a beautiful city years ago, (The Elm City),….no more.

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