A pre-Olympic break break

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Three days off for the Rangers, well-deserved after last night’s solid win over the Devils … but maybe they’d want to keep playing, no?

This break marks the end of the grueling schedule of 21 games in 36 with only two breaks of two days between games, and in one of those breaks they were traveling to Phoenix.

So how’d they survive it?

The Rangers went 8-10-3 (or 8-13, depending if you’re a NHL Kool-Aid drinker or a realist), scoring two or fewer 13 times and being shut out five times in that stretch.

So now they have three left — against Nashville Wednesday, at Pitt Friday, and home against Tampa Sunday — before the Olympics. Which also means they have a week left before the roster freeze, and when the roster unfreezes there will be three days until the trading deadline. Interesting times ahead.

Thoughts:

1) What do you think the Rangers’ record might look like if they defended around their net the way they have defended against the Devils this year? Their lack of scoring aside (and most teams are in the same boat in terms of offense) the Rangers have lost plenty of points because of their stick-checking, poke-checking, style around the net. Last night bodies were being piled upon bodies, cross-checks aptly applied to spinal columns, etc. That’s how you defend your goalie. (though, good as they were defensively, the Devils still fired 42 shots).

2) The goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, was splendid. It looked as if he were out of his net just a tad farther, and on his skates a split second longer, all of which may have allowed his glove hand to be better. Whatever he did, the glove hand was unusually good, and Lundqvist — as he is in most Rangers wins — was spectacular. They will need more of the same the rest of the way.

3) Did you see these two fights on MSG’s hockey night show: Colton Orr’s knockout punch of Matt Carkner? Wow! Too bad the Rangers couldn’t get him over the summer. What? They had him? And then there was Ales Kotalik’s fight for Calgary. Looked like Kotalik took hugging lessons from Brashear.

4) How about the captain ripping one inside the post instead of his usual blocked/wide shot. He’s got nine now. Maybe he can salvage something down the stretch.

5) Great game by Del Zotto. Pretty good games by Staal and Girardi. Best games in a while for Gilroy and Redden. I didn’t notice Rozsival much, which is probably a good thing.

6) It occurred to me while watching that the Rangers’ home-ice record can’t be very good since they started putting those eye-sore virtual ads on the end glass. It also occurred that MSG now misses a lot of between whistles stuff trying to squeeze in all its sponsored this-and-that, which means a lot to the network, but didley to the fans. And how do the Knicks bump the Rangers to one of those sub-channels? Because they were having the honor of being slaughtered by LeBron?

7) Sean Avery got Kovalchuk off the ice at the end of the game, which reminded me of the 2007 playoff series, when Avery was scoring and agitating at his best. He was asked, after a similar skirmish with Kovalchuk, if he would take that tradeoff every time.

“Not really, not right now,” Avery said. “Would you? I’d rather have me on the ice than him.”

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134 Comments

  1. Repost:

    And I find it hard to believe Avery is on the ice late in the game just to take Kovy off his game. Honestly, I think he was on the ice because they needed someone strong on the puck to help them win the faceoff

    You can’t expect another player to just go after Avery because of his words. That’s all on Kovy…like nobody else in the NHL uses words to get to people? Come on, lets be realistic here

  2. Repost
    Just a thought for the people talking about twitter . . . how do you actually know the twitterer is actually who they say they are, Like when myspace was big there were fake myspace pages for players and fake facebook pages for players.

  3. Pretty sure Chicago and Colorado jumped on the virtual glass advertising bandwagon this year too – it’s not hurting their records too much. They must have fewer virtual players.

  4. Are you guys watching the Super Bowl with me here tonight?
    I’ll put up a separate SB post.
    Of course we can still talk hockey during the Super Bowl, too.

  5. Not reposting. Forgot what was the point I was trying to make. Which reminds, we didn’t get a chance to ask Sean at W77 last night what exactly he said to Ilya. But people who know him well suggested that he likely wouldn’t remember anyway.

  6. I was in the pool!! on

    A more forceful defense(pokecheckers need not apply),one more sniper and the CORRECT players on the powerplay point(blame goes to Tort 100%) and I may just start beleivin again.

  7. Agravaine, we did imagine. We thought it was either about his sister or his mother. Do you remember my wife’s look when we mentioned that? She is still learning hockey. Baby steps, honey, baby steps…

  8. Yeah Il I have a feeling Avery probably would have said something like “What do you think I said? . . . That’s what I said” (I have no real reason to think that but if that had been his answer I would have been soooooo happy)

  9. I never tried to hide what I felt. It’s one game. I’ll wait a week till the high wears off. When I said I didn’t know kovi can fight. I didn’t mean that he doesn’t fight. I meant he CAN fight. He laid out Avery till the refs saved his life. If you think I, or other devils fans don’t know hockey, you’re wrong. Yes, our D is a disaster. We still are down our top D man. When somekne said “get used to losing” is a typical bandwagon fan. Look at the records. If you think hank can play like this every night, you’re nuts. Nobody can play like that game in and game out. Not even Marty. But ya gotta admit, there is no rivalry like this one. We’re both lucky to have this heat. Not even Canada can lay claim to it these days. Although they might try. I didn’t hate the game all around. Just the score.

  10. Ilya is 6-2 and 230lbs

    Avery is 5-9 185…

    yea I think Kovy would probably win that one every time… is it really worthwhile to brag when a guy that much bigger can pound on a guy that much smaller?

    Its guts to be the little guy nothing to be the big guy…

  11. You know, Carp. As a realist, I would say the Rangers were 8-11-2 over this stretch. I mean, SO losses are basically ties that give an extra point to whichever team dazzles the crowd more in a mockery of determining a winner.

  12. well im excited for the super bowl…
    lol

    had a great time last night.
    great win. great game. great after party.

    so does anyone have any suggestions on the next meetup?

  13. Carp… you can compmliment him on back-to-back games… Rozsival played another real solid game last night. He didn’t do anything flashy (which is just fine), but he was really good in our own end, and was making good reads down low for a change.

    I think Rozy will never be worth the contract, that we all know… but he has certainly improved on the ice as of late.

    Good game by all the D last night!

    I think it helps when they play the Devils because let’s face it, the Devils are not a big team.

    @@

  14. Rivalry? 12-4-2 over the last three season. Is that what you call it? Would you call the goaltending head-to-head 16-3-4 a real rivalry too? Hmmmm. And I guess you read my post about your defence too and agreed. That’s why I think that trade would backfire. Ilya would not compensate for defensive flaws. Lou took a chance, and I give a credit for trying. But it wasn’t his best move by any stretch.

  15. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    If you think hank can play like this every night, you’re nuts. Nobody can play like that game in and game out. Not even Marty.
    ……
    I don’t know what games you watch, but Hank has outplayed Marty since the lockout and the ONE time he didn’t was during the 05-06 playoffs where the Rangers had no Jagr, Hank had off-season hip surgery and addressed his concussion/nausea issues as well. Your D is better than the Rangers (don’t know why you’re whining, well, you’re a Devils fan so that’s what you do but you get my point…), last night was the D the Rangers put out EVERY NIGHT! Hank wins 90% of the games! Hank also beats Marty more often than Marty beats Hank.

    Besides Marty’s crappy 3 minutes last night and his very frequent awful goals against (wraparounds, bad angles, out of position/overplaying shots), his floppin’ around on the ice more often than not, whining and diving, he’s nearly as good as Lundqvist. You’re right.

  16. I for another meeting. Friday and Saturday nights are best for me because I have a trip to get home and always have work M-F at 8. But I guess weekdays/Sunday are better I suppose I would go and just leave earlier.

  17. Unfortunately I’m hosting tonight but I’ll be on later.

    We should be able to win 2 of the next 3 with two home games…maybe 5 out of 6 points?

  18. Linda says I BELIEVE IN THE NOSENS!! and FIRE SATHER!!!! on

    Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone!! and for those not interested in the game, Happy Sunday!

    so marrrrrrrrrteeeeeeeeeeeeeee was whining after another loss to the Rangers? maybe he should incorporate ‘crosby’ into his name. How is a grown man such a sore loser?

    and they forget that they had that assclown claude lemieux on their team for quite a while.

    glad you guys had such a good time at Warren last night and that all of you got home safe and sound!!

  19. This will be the same group slamming all the players on the next loss. Things will go back to normal. Didn’t Hank just break a 6 game drought? I’m not gonna pick on him cause I think he’s fantastic. But he’s no Marty. Marty at age 37 is prepping for another cup run in April, Hank is looking at deals on trips to Mexico for April

  20. most of this season has been the stupid bowl leading to the toilet bowl, and cup of soup. The coach & the gm should resign.

  21. Linda says I BELIEVE IN THE NOSENS!! and FIRE SATHER!!!! on

    lmao ilb!! grandpa manties

    honestly the guy is a big sore loser. Remember when he said DiPi was better than Hank?

  22. Good crack of after noon all! TR, he wasn’t supposed to show! ARGH!

    Tampa Bay meet-up? Show your Valentine’s Day love for the boys.

    No SB for me, but you all enjoy. I only watched the halftime last year for the show :)

  23. blogmama
    sorry, lol
    yeah im very excited for the super bowl halftime show
    out of all the crazy concerts ive been to the who is and always will be the best show ive seen. hands down. every time ive seen em im not disappointed.

  24. yea enjoy the Superbowl party all.

    Best moment ever I was at a TSO concert on LI and Roger Daltry came out on stage and played a bunch of songs at the end… AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

  25. And for every Devils fan who is happy they gave up two good roster players and some, just watch the game on NBC. That’s the reason Ilya will be useless

  26. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I watch a lot of hockey, I haven’t seen any goalie let in the softies that Marty lets go through him… and I’m not referring to twinkies and donuts (although they do go through him pretty often, obviously).

    As a 37 year old, he better hope his team is better this year in order to carry him one last time. Last year they weren’t, he sucked, lost game 7 for his team! Ha. What did Hank do? Oh yea, he stole 3 games against the 2nd best team in the NHL by himself and nearly won game 7 too. And what happened the year prior? Oh yea, Avery and Jagr anihilated Marty. Are we talking about the same Marty Brodeur? 5W, 12L over his last 3 playoff series… the “great” Martin, wife-beating, brother-in law wife swapping, french canadian whining and diving… Brodeur?

  27. Have fun at the Superbowl party TR! (and have fun to everyone else going to SB parties)

    Ricky you can post anywhere you want but why why why are you posting on a Ranger page? Why not post on a Devil page? If your gonna post on a Ranger page . . . don’t be surprised that we are happy with the win and that we think the Rangers are better then the Devils.

  28. How did I become a sore loser all of the sudden? That’s not a fair assesment. So, how soon till Sather gets excited about Hank and trades him for that superstar on the Caps, Jose Theodore? You never know with that guy. Well, good luck on the run for a playoff spot. If they play like this every game, they have a shot. Take a deep breath, it gets scarey from after the break till game 82. There are a lot of teams in that run.

    Ok, in 4 games we’re all (well, most) are gonna be on the same team. This will be the first time I’ll be rooting against Marty. I wanna see how it feels. IT’s an american hockey fans dream, all of us will be rooting against Crosby, OV, Marty, Iginla, Hank. Can’t wait to see you celebrate when Zach scores.

    USA USA USA!!!!

  29. Until the Caps get some real goaltender, OV will be scoring 60 goals a year and they will rarely go beyond second round

  30. Linda says I BELIEVE IN THE NOSENS!! and FIRE SATHER!!!! on

    lmao, didnt we make varLAAAAAAAAmov a superstar last year???

  31. Oh, and if you wonder why I post on a ranger site. You should look at all the devils blogs, ranger fans are all over it. And not as easy as I am. If I wanted to cause havoc, I’d link this site to all the devils blogs, and it would ruin your fun. It would be impossible to ban them all. I wouldn’t do that. Most of you are pretty cool. Plus I like the Sather Wrap Ups.

  32. Oh, and if you wonder why I post on a ranger site. You should look at all the devils blogs, ranger fans are all over it. And not as easy as I am. If I wanted to cause havoc, I’d link this site to all the devils blogs, and it would ruin your fun. It would be impossible to ban them all. I wouldn’t do that. Most of you are pretty cool. Plus I like the Sather Wrap Ups.

  33. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Backside Bullseye! Var-lamov? Var-LAM-ov?

    Apparently, Varlamov wasn’t that good… i’m shocked!

  34. Well Ricky, I would have the same question to those Ranger fans posting on Devil boards. I just don’t get it.

    And I hope you will have fun cheering Callahan on with every hit and assist he gets (with an occasional goal)

  35. Linda says I BELIEVE IN THE NOSENS!! and FIRE SATHER!!!! on

    you just stole the words outta my fingers Jorek. it’s pretty sad to go to another teams board and taunt them. i think everyone here is too smart to do stuff like that, besides, why’d any of us want to go anywhere else???

  36. I think we can all agree that it’s much better having a somewhat level headed Devils fan on here giving his objections more than some local fan lol

    I can’t wait to see how much money Sather puts out for a backup goalie that will play 15 games next yer

  37. RickyM2 – all of us will be rooting against Crosby, OV, Marty, Iginla, Hank.

    ……..

    speak for yourself kid…ill be rooting for OV and Malkin and Kovalchuk and Datsyuk and Nabokov…and occasionally for Hank! And of course you cant spell R *U* s *S* i *A* without USA in it!

    Rossiya!! Rossiya!! (too bad those Ukrainians cant play hockey)

  38. Linda says I BELIEVE IN THE NOSENS!! and FIRE SATHER!!!! on

    crosbys lips would’ve swallowed talbots noggin

  39. ill be rooting for Niki Z to comeback to the Rangers! And Niki Z will be rooting for team Russia while sitting on a couch at home eating borscht with sour cream!

  40. Looks like it’s been a long season for Bruce Boudreau. I think he lost some weight. He looks almost as slim as Ken Hitchcock.

  41. Yeah, Talbot would massage Crosby’s hot dog lips with a hockey stick, while making weird screaming noises.

    Lol, and what’s with all these fat guys trying to lose weight after Aves calls them fat ?

    I hope Aves doesn’t date a fat girl, cause she’s gonna torture herself.

  42. I don’t care about American football enough to watch the Super Bowl, but l’ll try to tune in for The Who fake concert at half-time.

  43. What do you think would have happened if Sather resigned Zherdev and didn’t sign Kotalik? Zherdev wasn’t anything to get excited over, but he did score a few goals every now and then.

  44. Linda says I BELIEVE IN THE NOSENS!! and FIRE SATHER!!!! on

    the Caps would be ultra dangerous if they had a goalie!

  45. Who’s with me to start a pool to give to Pierre McGuire if he’ll just STFU. He NEVER STOPS talking !!!! I hate him so much…

  46. Linda says I BELIEVE IN THE NOSENS!! and FIRE SATHER!!!! on

    just when you think milbury has reached the apex of assness, he takes it to another level

  47. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    One last comment on the Maaaaaaaaaar-teeeeeeeeee vs. Hank debate.

    For all the bragging Devils fans love to do and the gushing the media does over ‘how great’ Brodeur plays… why is his career SV% .914? Even last night, Chico said to be considered a great goalie you have to get in the .920’s. Brodeur’s only surpassed that mark twice in a very long career on a team that’s made the playoffs basically every season. Wow! Hasek, who played until he was 43 finished with a .922 overall Career SV%! Hank currently has a .917, also better than Brodeur’s! Now recall, Hasek played a lot of seasons for an awful Sabres team… hmmm… I wonder what it will take to connect the dots for you Jersey Shores idiots, Brodeur has benefitted tremendously from a very good team that has won several stanley cups. Doesn’t make him the best in the game now nor did it make him the best at any point. Both Roy and Hasek were better and in his short stretch, Hank has been better too.

  48. Donald Brashear on

    RickyM2 –

    Regarding your comments from the previous post.

    I’d thrash you from top to bottomus!

  49. nice post carp. your number 7 got me thinking and check this out. i know we werent going anywhere under renny anymore but does anyone remember avery under renny, and avery now? a huge difference. yea he took kovalchuk out of the game which got me remembering that series. it seems like he only gets up for teams that have players hes had issues with, or maybe its all his extracurricular activities taking alot of his focus and concentration or that torts is really trying too hard to protect him from himself and in doing so, has for the most part, made him just not effective enough anymore. im not saying he isnt as good or players have maybe learned to tune him out but it seems like right after he got scratched in game 5, hes not been nearly the same as before, when renny was here. trust me, im not saying renny had anything to do with it, just seems like aves is not the same and i really think its on torts. maybe his comments on tsn or his benchng of him. but its almost a year later, and we were gonna gibve this guy 4 million?? not this guy. maybe the old avery

  50. Hey Carp- I wanted to get the” true scoop” on Kotalik.You had him headed for the dumpster. So did Torts.Now I got the other side of the story from North of the Border- The Globe and Mail in Toronto.How was it the Flames could take on Kotaliks 3mil contract for 3 years and feel it was a good deal? Well Calgary mgmt talked to GM and Coach of Buffalo-Regier and Ruff. It seems they wanted a spot in their lineup for Kotalik.but they were up against the Salary Cap. Buffalo had to take a pass on him.But Calgary locked themselves in for 2 morey ears. based on talking to Buffalo mgmt.
    On the Washington game, biggest disappointment of the whole season for the Rangers. How do you allow a team to come into town,take over the ice, dictate their terms , run all over the ice and run away with a victory. I thought the Home team had choice on who to play on the ice. And to have a 2 goal lead with what should have been just 1 period left. Bob Gainey, Kirk Muller, Pandolfo made careers out of being on a checking line.(So did DeMaio) Do you neutralize Ovechkin with that lousy defense of Gaborik. Don’t think so. Where is the Torts checking line? Who is on it? Avery?With the draft set up the way it is, there will always be better players on the ice than the players you can put out on the ice.
    Didn’t see last nights Ranger game. Went to a college game instead. Some of those guys may be in the NHL soon.

  51. Avery being tuned down isn’t just Torts fault. The NHL is watching him so closely that just about everything that can be called against him is. That probably also effects Avery’s play.

  52. this pens – caps game is an instant classic i must admit…but i really cant handle DOC, eddie O,milbury like this….i realize its the nothing but crosby network and the nhl is begging for their stars to perfrom like this but malkin just cross-checked SEMIN to the jaw then grabbed his stick then slashed a caps dman and they are praising him (u gotta love his play, etc, etc-this is the problem with the league the stars get away with murder night in night out),,,

  53. Linda says I BELIEVE IN THE NOSENS!! and FIRE SATHER!!!! on

    nbc must be furious that this game is gonna go to OT. they’ll be late getting in their golf coverage

  54. If they wanted to grow the league they should pick one or two players from each team to showcase not just players from 4 or 5 teams.

  55. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Get your notepad out, Papa Drury, because those 2 3rd period goals and PP primary assist from Ovie was how a real clutch captain wins a game.

  56. That Cormier kid should never be allowed to play again. No room for that. And this wasn’t his first time.

  57. Sick game last night. Drury again proves he is most effective in a 4th line role with players of similar skill and talent.

  58. wicky....where the hell is Witt slatipuss?? on

    someone posted on the last thread that the wings waived tollefsen already??

  59. wicky....where the hell is Witt slatipuss?? on

    was it jonny? He thinks every rugged d man sucks anyhow!!!

  60. wicky....where the hell is Witt slatipuss?? on

    maybe i should change my call sign to “in prust we trust”

  61. Linda says I BELIEVE IN THE NOSENS!! and FIRE SATHER!!!! on

    Hey Rick, are we supposed to declare our SB teams before the SB post or wait for it?

  62. wicky....where the hell is Witt slatipuss?? on

    i didn’t think so, and with stuart being injured recently, he seemed like a very good cost effective option and releasing him would be silly.

  63. Good afternoon, Carp! I’m going to a SB party, so I won’t be joining you tonight.

    Anyone else excited about the Puppy Bowl?!

  64. wicky....where the hell is Witt slatipuss?? on

    I saw that atlanta is recalling lehtonen, time to make a deal for hedberg and maybe valabik (i would love armstrong) slats!!!

  65. Yeah, Tollefsen was waived as soon as he was acquired by the Wings – they needed to clear cap space for Franzen’s return this week. Could see them keeping him around as a depth player for the playoffs (if the Wings get there).

    While understanding your near-desperation for a physical D-man, Wicky, is a player who Ken Hitchcock had no need for and was playing less than 10 minutes a game for the Flyers the answer any more than Witt and Exelby weren’t?

  66. wicky....where the hell is Witt slatipuss?? on

    did anyone see wheeler’s “attempt” at fighting, made drum boy semin look like kocur!!

  67. wicky....where the hell is Witt slatipuss?? on

    anyone else think that slats makes a deal before wednesday??

  68. As I said earlier this week, Ovechkin is simply the best player in the world. Carp, I see by your poll that most people seem to agree with me.

  69. Thats a no brainer, Atlanta is finished. The Rangers should pick up Zach Bogosian when their roster gets purged. He’d be an amazing addition to MDZ, Staal, Girardi and Gilroy.

  70. CCCP, why am I not surprised you like the puppy bowl? There’s actually one happening in my backyard right now! The landlords have an Australian Shephard puppy! She’s bossing around the big dogs. SO CUTE!

  71. Me & Wicky just created a drink called The New York Ranger:

    equal parts:
    local apple wine
    Jameson
    Bacardi
    and all the Baileys you have left.

    It’s hard to swallow.

  72. One daft lame big mouth
    Sometimes cried well used Crosby
    Dink blueshirt fart goal

    Oh Sean Avery Random Haiku Generator <3 <3 <3

  73. Happy Super Bowl evening all!

    I missed the game entirely last night, but caught the highlights on NHL on the FLY. A good, solid win from all accounts, one that they needed desperately. The question is can they carry in into the next 4 games.

    I’ll be out at a party tonight, so can’t join in the fun here. My prediction? Colts 34- Saints 31. Peyton Manning is just too good and with 2 weeks of prep time, he’ll know how to take apart the Saints D.

  74. Boston just beat Montreal 3-0

    talk about problems. it’s the Bruins first win in 10 games. wow! and we’re complaining. they’re supposed to be good!

  75. LMAO @ myself

    Okay boneheads, I’m off. Hope you all have a fun and safe night and that my future boyfriend, Scott Fujita, does… whatever the hell linebackers do.

  76. I cannot figure why anyone would include Girardi in Rangers long term plans. He’s little more than a quicker moving ( but not by much) Redden.

  77. Callahan 4 Captain on

    Girardi is a HITTER, and we cannot have enough of them to compensate for the glut of kitty cats on this team. Girardi also BLOCKS shots, and is not afraid to sacrifice his body to help this team. He is young enough so that he is still developing positional judgment and stickhandling and scoring skills. But, he has had ample time to have a break-out season and has failed to do that. I have to agree with those who relegate him to the journeyman status level his all-around game represents, so far. But I haven’t quit on him, as yet.

    Now take a look at our Captain, if you really want someone to trash. Here is a player who skates 2-3 strides behind the best skaters in the league, from end to end. Here is a player who almost never takes the body. And here is a player who telegraphs his shots, thus, nine puking goals to date, on pace to record about 15 for the season. Now consider his reticent personality and lack of leadership and communications skills and you have one over-priced brick you are paying like a gold bar, on your hands, who will be extremely difficult to unload on another team, during the life of his contract.

    If that is not enough, he is over-30 and on a career production downhill slide, with each passing year. Sather has made some of the most dreadful FA signings seen around the NHL over the last 20 years, with the signing of Drury ranking up there as one of the most cumbersome, irreconcilable, franchise suffocating moves, ever.

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