Sweet 16 (remaining)


Let me just throw this out there. You have 17 games, going on 16, left, playing at home against a team that’s way out of your playoff picture. In other words, if they get an extra point out of the game, it doesn’t affect you. But you really need two.

Now you’re heading into overtime, having just tied the game very late.

So do you really want to start your shot-blockers and penalty killers to begin 4-on-4 OT? What happened to Safe is Death? Why not start your top goal scorer, Marian Gaborik, instead of Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan? Or at least start Brandon Dubinsky (who scored the late goal) with Callahan?

Or how about this? Again, you have one point, you need the other one, and it if the opponent gets the additional point, it doesn’t affect you. Why not use three forwards and one defenseman in overtime? Especially if most of your defensemen are going to be spectators as they were last night? Why not go for it? Why not roll the dice and try to win the game and the extra point, instead of playing it safe and risking leaving one on the table?

So you know what happened. Buffalo 2, Rangers 1, with, by coincidence, Drury and Callahan on the ice. Another point, in a game pretty well played, but another point that got away, too.

1) Did you notice the similarities on both Buffalo goals? A rookie defenseman (Matt Gilroy on the first, Michael Del Zotto on the second) gets taken behind the net by a Buffalo forward. The other defenseman just fouls up completely. And the backchecking forward tries a weak stick check on the guy who scores the goal.

On the first, Michal Rozsival did the right thing by staying in front of the net, then didn’t pick up anybody. Still, it was Artem Anisimov who needed to make the play on the goal scorer, and reached with his stick instead of taking the man.

On the second, Knees Girardi went to the back of the net. Why? What are you going to do there? What are you preventing from back there? So this clown Kaleta comes out, and Drury tries to stick check him (as Callahan circles away from the play), loses his stick and allowed Kaleta to score the winning goal with Girardi having the best view in the house, directly behind the net.

2) Girardi has really been disappointing this season. Early in the game, after an Avery giveaway and an immediate poor checking attempt by Avery near the blue line,  Buffalo had a 2-on-1. Girardi back, did his usual knees-to-the-ice slide across, and as usual didn’t prevent the pass, and Lundqvist had to make a terrific stop.

3) Despite all that’s happened in three straight losses, the Rangers got two points, and they have eight of the last possible 12 — a pace that might get them into the playoffs. And, to repeat, I thought they’d played two pretty decent games the last two, given their lack of talent.

4) Jody Shelley hasn’t fought yet, and his time here will eventually be judged by what he does when he meets Daniel Carcillo and Co., and how he handles other team’s tough guys. But purely as a player, so far he has shown that he is no better than Donald Brashear. In fact he may be worse. So far.

5) So that commercial they keep showing on MSG, just to understand. If your father owns a Mercedes, then you have to go to school even when it’s closed?

6) How about that MSG poll for best U.S. born goalie. Mike Richter ran away with it, and that’s not surprising, and Ryan Miller was second. But Tom Barrasso got something like three percent. Barrasso might end up in the Hall of Fame.

7) Only a hundred or so showed up for the Fire Sather Rally? That’s embarrassing. This thing was in the works for months. It’s a Sunday, the weather’s great, and just a few feet away there’s a game which 18,000 or so will attend. And that’s the turnout? Why bother?

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  1. Funny thing is that Sather wasn’t even there, though I see the rally as a very small victory.

  2. The followup article on Blueshirt Banter contains some very “telling” material.
    Yes – the turnout for the rally was embarrassingly low. Probably for a variety of reasons – but I won’t try to dissect the situation.

    Bottom line – complain all you want – nothing’s going to change. Zip. Zilch. NADA.

  3. BroadwayBlue on

    Unless NYR goes on some sort of positive streak, they & we will be watching all playoff games from our couches. Because the team has played so poorly at home their best chance of making the post-season may be some other (now) contendong team going on a losing streak. What may be more significant will be the team showing that it wants to be in the playoffs. The time of urgency is now. Playing .500 the rest of the way will not get them there.

  4. Carp,

    Great post. A few comments:

    1.The highlight of the “RALLY” was when larry brooks arrived and everyone started chanting LARRY LARRY LARRY!

    2. You keep mentioning dubi was a lazy backcheck in washington, then anisimov last night again, we talk about the cancerous contracts and that is why first and foremost one of them have to go. I honestly think the kids on this team look at the contracts the BIG three have and are like WTF why should i give it my all every shift-this is just my opinion obviously but the guys who give it their all everynight are few and fair in between ( i would say boyle, callahan,henrik, and MDZ)

    3. Jody Shelley is horrendous, Colton Orr was horrendous, D. Brahshear is horrendous, Ryan Hollweg is horrendous-seriously who is scouting these players…how many fourth line goals have we had since the lockout???????????

    4. How bad are we on 4-4, i think prospal scored our first 4-4 goal of the season just before the olympic break. How many OT losses before the SO do we have? Montreal, Islanders, Pitt, Buffalo, Carolina just brutal…the game was almost over 5 seconds into OT last night

  5. I thought it was Callahan that initially got his stick on the puck from Kaleta but he then turned away from the play rather than stay with it to engage Kaleta. Then Kaleta was able to regain possession and jam away Lundqvist.

    Drury was the high man on the play, which I think was the right position for him to be since both D were bunched up behind the goal line in the corner. Drury did make a last ditch attempt to get the puck away from Kaleta after his first stuff in attempt. Maybe a swift cross check to the back could have prevented the goal? But the Rangers rarely seem to take “good” penalties these days. And despite it being a McCreary game, cross checks and technically illegal shoving around the net usually are allowed.

    When it comes down to it, Torts seems only slightly less by the book as Renney. He does use 4 forwards on the first PP unit and 2 forwards, 1 D for the 5 on 3 PK, but the only time I’ve seen him stray from conventional wisdom was the ill advised 5 forwards on the 5 on 4 PP in LA. He doesn’t seem to be much of an outside the box thinker and doesn’t even attempt to match lines against the other team.

  6. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I was only mocking Gabby, but maybe Torts does actually feel that Gabby quit on this team? One might say that, based on their position in the standings. Gab gave it all for the Olympics and, perhaps, Torts feels/realizes Gabby decided to quit on this roster.

  7. NJ can sink us Wed if we get 0 pts. Think they are like that. Only saving grace is they stink as well witha bloated goalie who has jumped the shark.

  8. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    3. Jody Shelley is horrendous, Colton Orr was horrendous, D. Brahshear is horrendous, Ryan Hollweg is horrendous-seriously who is scouting these players…how many fourth line goals have we had since the lockout???????????

    Dale Purinton was horrendously horrendous, as Edzo might say.

  9. Hockeyman Rangers on

    Maybe you need to have a fire the owner of MSG rally. Not only are the Rangers STINKING and I am not a basketball fan but heard something on Mike and Mike this morning that the Knicks got beat by the Nets and should be totally embarrassed. Carp didn’t I hear you say the owner is only in for the attendence money and he don’t give a damn if these teams win or loose????

  10. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Don’t worry guys, Dolan stopped paying ABC for a dozen hours or so in order to afford half of Drury’s clutch hourly salary. Phewww.

  11. Seth, great point about the toxic-contract guys poisoning the minds of the young players.

    I do believe, though, that almost everybody is trying. Or at least think they’re trying. Exceptions: maybe Redden.

  12. Good morning all! That’s all I got today….


    Well that’s better than the Rangers have given us the past couple of days.

  13. Gonna be 60 or more here today Tony!

    I did forget one thing: Carp, did ya have to use Sweet 16 as the header for this post? Awwww…..

  14. Doodie Machetto on

    Problem with the organization of the rally is that it was months after it was first proposed, and the team was in a collosal slide at the time. They have only played like 5 games in the past month. No one is heated like they were then.

    That, and people realizing what a futile endeavor it was to being with.

    As for last night, agree with you on everything, especially on Girardi. He’s regressing daily. I’d much rather cut him loose next year and give I’d-like-a Heinniken a shot.

  15. TrueFans – I think it is possible that Gabby, and others, have quit on Torts rather than Gabby quitting on the roster. Not to excuse bad play, but to pretend that Gabby is not injured and say he needs to learn to differentiate between sore and injured is pretty insulting.

    Starting to seem like Torts is quitting on his players — all he does is blame them and then do things like bench Gabby on the PP, throw Drury out there for OT – maybe these players are tired of having their lines, gameplan, everything changed every day while he talks out both sides of his mouth. Nearly every player on this roster did better before being coached by Torts. Could be a lack of chemistry or could be the lack of honesty, discipline and decision making by the coach.

    Seems to me like he has his favorites who are never to blame and get the icetime, and then there are those who get thrown under the bus….

  16. When it comes down to crunch time, we are not taking the body.

    Gilroy faced Mair in the corner and didn’t slam him into the boards. Mair does a rink turn and spins, passes the puck in front, and Artem is stick checking instead of picking up the guy through the crease. In fact, Mair started into the zone in like a 1 on 3 at the time. How hard is it to body Mair and just separate him from the puck? 1-0 bad guys.

    Then in OT, Kaleta (f-ing Kaleta…one of their goons) comes from behind the net and Cally (sorry Ryan, you are usually not a guy to take the blame) tries some stupid spinning away rink turn with a stick check that mightn’t have broken glass, instead of just steam rolling Kaleta as he showed his ugly mug coming for the wraparound. Drury too, he had a shot at running straight into Kaleta as he came around, but no. 2-1, game over.

    Meanwhile Carp you are right in not starting more offensive-minded guys. But it wasn’t like they’ve been lighting the lamp lately either. I did have the same reaction you did when I saw Cally and Drury in there to start the period.

    On an aside note, I DO think Drury is playing his best hockey of the season right now. Maybe the Olympics inspired him, but he has been fighting for real estate in front of the net. That’s good to see.

    However, over all it’s. But you know what, forget getting worked up. We are either 7th or 8th and out after round one or we are 9th-11th and playing golf on tax day. Does anyone here expect any different? If not, we should (I already am) get passed getting too worked up.

    Either way, Redden should already be sent to the minors. Give him a taste of what he has in store for next year. I mean is the only thing keeping him from the minors now that (a) we have a 20% chance to make the playoffs or (b) because Sather is too proud to admit the worst signing in his career or (c) both.

    And yes, the bloom is off the rose with Girardi. I can’t see him being around next year either.

  17. i mean i might have let my emotions get the best of me above (i often tend to get heated with my beloved blueshirts!!!)but there are multiple shifts at a time when players jsut give up on the backecheck and it sometimes is dubi then anisimov then avery then …..just look at the tape from last night…from the the red line in they must have had close to TEN 3 ON 2s last night and the sabres are a brutal offensive team these days…..

    anyway-torts knows we are not going anywhere fast this year

    switch up the lines for the homestretch

    let gaborik play with anisimov
    give boyle some better wingmen-he has been one of the future brigh spots this year-we thought we would miss betts but he has honestly filled in very nicely….

  18. Headline…Sweet 16!! I was sur mama had made a post with some nice pics. LOL. A bit disapointet but thats nothing new when u are a ranger fan.

  19. Doodie Machetto on

    The thing with Orr was he at least would throw down (and do well).

    Hollweg skated well but couldn’t fight and didn’t know how to hit someone without boarding them. I remember after he got a major for boarding and a misconduct he watched a replay on the way out and remarked “that’s not boarding.” He seriously just had no idea what the rule was.

    Brashear is useless. Shelly isn’t proving himself to be much better.

    Voros works hard but just sucks at everything.

    Why can’t we get a guy like Clarkson? Can fight and play.

  20. Doodie Machetto on

    I’d like to see Anisimov center Prospal and Gaborik. He’s too talented to be stuck with Dregs like Avery.

  21. It’s funny Sather was not present last night, on the day of the rally. I noticed he was absent from his box high up on the 7th Ave end. Only Jim Schoenfeld, who always stands and 2 others were there.

  22. Doodie,

    Thats the thing though the garden has turned into a circus -do we need to see fights, do we need to see dancing —- larry/h– larry EVERNIGHT….im as diehard as they come but do i need to see Orr drop the glvoes for no reason, yes i need him to stick up for gabby but do i need him beating someone up to start the game? me as a fan, i wanna see goals, good goaltending, good defense, good passing etc….why does shelley play over lisiin-the kid can skate and atleast shoot the puck WIDE

  23. LI RangerFan on

    Carp – excellent post !!!! Regarding your “safe is death” comment, IMO, Tortorella has failed miserably with this team. It’s no coincidence that guys like Marc Staal and others are struggling. From watching these games (season subscriber), it seems to me that no one is sure what they are supposed to do in any given situation and that is a coaching / “system” issue. Again, IMO…

    BTW, was at the “rally” yesterday and yeah, it was extremely embarassing. Very disappointing that the turnout was so small. Of course, nothing is going to change regardless of the attendance, but still…

  24. Doodie Machetto on

    The theory as to why you dress someone like Orr/Shelly/Brashear is to keep the other team from running your guys or the other team will have to answer to Orr/Shelly/Brashear. Other times, they can throw down to try and spark some life into their team. I agree that fighting for the sake of fighting is stupid. But if used properly, it could be effective in certain ways.

    Now, the problem with Shelly and Brashear is that they are both so slow and terrible that even if someone runs Gaborik, those guys aren’t going to be able to run the other team’s star player. That’s why I like Prust a lot. If they can teach him to block shots and kill penalties, he should be a fixture on the 4th line for the next few years.

  25. Thanks Paul.

    LI RangerFan AND Carp have it right. Doesn’t necessarily seem like most of them aren’t trying – more like they don’t know what they are supposed to be doing. Rosie and Drury are getting top minutes and kids with potential are wandering around the ice clueless. To me that’s on the coach.

  26. I think the thing that is embarrassing about the rally is all of the beat reporters who covered it, commented on it and supported it, which includes Carp. What did you want Sather to do this year that he hasn’t done?

    Everyone is preaching time/patience etc and then is unwilling to pay the piper when it comes time to wait for kids to develop. We have a top 10 talent in the league in Gabby, a top 5 goalie in Hank- a bunch of spirited gritty, if not spectacular guys in Dubi/Cally/Staal and another crop of kids coming in Ani/Grachev/Del Z/Sangs/Gilroy/MacD-

    The patience you guys are preaching is needed now and you aren’t showing it.

  27. Doodie Machetto on

    The only attendance that would get Sather fired is if a Rangers game had a turnout like the fire Sather rally.

  28. Please lay off Dan Girardi. It’s only natural he’s not been a shut down defenseman. He’s trying to cover for his partner who is right now the worst defensive defenseman in the NHL. Del Zotto is minus 20. To put that into perspective, there are 839 players with NHL stats this season. Only five (just 5!) have been worse! And only one defenseman has been worse. And that guy, Steve Staios spent most of the year in Edmonton and might be done playing at age 36.
    On the winning goal last night, Girardi does get caught behind the net. But why is he there? Probably because he doesn’t trust Del Zotto to do anything useful against Kaleta [he shouldn’t] and Girardi’s trying to do too much. And you point out Drury, Callahan, and Girardi’s poor skating lines and great view of the goal, but mention nothing of the golden child Del Zotto who, as usual, had a beautifully clear view while coasting.
    -20 and getting worse. Maybe it’s time the rookie starts seeing the bench. He’s obviously not learning how to play defense in the NHL.

  29. Hockeyman Rangers on

    I don’t think to many fans are crazy about Messier taking over but at least he would have some passion for this team. The owner and the GM have none whatso ever, which you know trickles down to the coaches and players. It is just a team that people pay to come and see, and they are happy with that. And apparently it is the same way with the Knicks as well????

  30. Doodie Machetto on

    Fly Line: No one is complaining about the team losing if it was only because of growing pains. They complain because of Sather’s sins which continue to cripple the franchise: Drury, Redden, Rozsival, Brashear, a 2nd round pick last year for Antropov so we can go one and done, a 3rd round pick for Brian Boyle, a 6th for Jody Shelly.

    Do you realize that we are going to be paying Wade Redden 6.5 million for another FOUR years? At least Drury and Rozsi are gone in another 2. FOUR years for Redden. That’s the remainder of Hank’s contract/his prime, with 6.5 million in salary tied up in Wade Redden.

    I’m not even going to touch some of his terrible moves from before the lockout. The point is, this guy should have been fired a long, long time ago.

  31. BroadwayBlue on

    I realize yesterday was a bad day for Cablevision, but does Dolan want the season’s ticketholders to be responsible for the additional $ he has to pay ABC/Disney? Apparently so. I just checked my account & saw the cost of 1st Round playoff tickets is 100% more than regular season games. I sit upstairs & pay $34/game/seat. For the 1st round games it’s $68/game/seat. Yipes.

    Carp- I have been a strong supporter of Tortorella since he took over as head coach. There are now several things I question: (1) it appears his constant line changing is resulting in nothing positive & may be detrimental. Team has zero chemistry. (2)isn’t it time to replace Rozsival with Gilroy as Marc Staal’s dfefensive partner? I’ve been watching Rozsival’s play & in addition to frequently being out of the play or in the wrong position, he’s become a “give away” machine, turning the puck over on almost every shift. (3) has Tort’s “lost” the team? (4)will he be the coach of NYR for the 2010-2011 season, as no one can be happy with a season of “win one game”, “lose one game”

  32. It doesn’t matter how many people showed up for the “fire Sather” rally. Dolan loves Sather and will never fire him. ranger fans will have to suffer until this a-hole is gone.

  33. It will never happen but the only way to wake up Dolan in firing sather is for fans not to buy tickets and go to the games.

  34. Listen, Redden is the worst move any GM has made in a very very long time. It’s a horrid/horrid move. However, other than that has there been something that has been horrible? I was happy with the Drury signing- I hated Kotalik (many people loved it) but he redeemed himself with the latest deal. Redden will be banished to Hartford next year hopefully and that can erase one of the mistakes.

    If we do that we are looking at around 18 million of cap room next year with the promising future of the many players I listed earlier. This team’s future, in my mind, is bright- brighter than it’s been in a long time and I guess I just don’t get all the negativity at this time from so many fans that I feel are knowledgable.

  35. MDZ makes some bad mistakes but he also makes some very good plays. When you’re team scores one or two goals a game, mistakes are magnified.

    I thought they gave a good effort but I think mentally they are on the downside. They know they are mediocre.

  36. Fly Line, I think part of the problem is that the team seems destined to be mediocre for at least another 2 to 3 years in which time you don’t know what they’ll have with Gaborik and Lundqvist.

    You keep pushing Lundqvist at 70 games a year and he will start to break down. And Gaborik unfortunately can’t be relied on to play a full season every season.

    Otherwise there’s some depth talent up front with Dubi/Cally and some emerging top 4 D talent in MDZ/Staal but the bulk of the high end talent in the system is a couple of years away from making a meaningful impact at the NHL level. I love the fact that they have some highly regarded prospects in the system but they don’t have an Ovechkin or a Crosby level talent in the organization.

    And the Pens and Caps have mostly young players that will still be excellent in 2, 3, 5 years. And both those teams have several core players are locked in to long term deals.

    There have been several drastic rebuild projects around the league the past couple of seasons that have taken place in less time and constructed teams with a much higher potential yield than what the Rangers currently have.

  37. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    Nothing will change until Sather is Dead or retired. I’d take either option

  38. old harvey jersey on

    Everyone can talk about which player is not doing what or who is overpaid etc etc. The problem with this team is that there is no identity. There is no player that can take a new signing or draft pick and say welcome to new york, this is what it means to be a ranger. Look at Detroit and NJ from management on down there are individuals that you will always associate with their respective organizations still playing an active role and passing the torch down to new players. Grinders like holmstrom and pandolfo not only play an important part on the ice but also in keeping up the traditions and character of their teams. Slats traded the remnants of this lineage away when he sent leetch to toronto.

  39. CT- it’s tough but where do we go? We have Hank, so the chances of us being a team that can draft in the 1-5 spots in the draft, where you would find an Ovechkin/Crosby talent are extremely slim. I also have no issue with the move for a 2nd last year for Antropov…when you have a goalie like Hank you get in the tourney and never know what can happen.

  40. Just one comment to make. The rangers are as phsical in fron of their own net as a bunch of figure skaters.

    If I’m coaching this team there would be a lot of practice time with out sticks or pucks. Just CHECKING!!!!

    Thats what I do with my bantam team to teach them how to hit.

  41. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    March 8th, 2010 at 11:44 am
    Please lay off Dan Girardi.
    Why? He’s been awful. Doesn’t play physical, has no offense. Is now a defensive liability. I hope he’s gone (or making less money to stay) next year.

    Fly Line,
    I think you’re missing the point. The Rangers wasted so much money trying to make the playoffs that their mediocre teams didn’t allow them to get a top-5 draft, yet, they missed the playoffs (blame: SATHER). They have tied up salary in Voros (1mil), Brashear (1.4mil), Gomez (7.27mil), Drury (7.05mil), Redden (6.5mil), and Rozi (5mil) prohibiting them from signing/re-signing: Jagr, Hossa, probably Kovalchuk (this off-season) and any good defensmen. (blame: SATHER). They have no top line prospects and they don’t look to be getting any soon (blame: SATHER). They’re best draft in the past decade came from the seventh round, their first round drafts over the last 10 years include 3 NHL players: Malhotra, Staal, MDZ (blame: SATHER’s directors of scouting, ie. SATHER for not firing them sooner!).

  42. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Fly line
    I also have no issue with the move for a 2nd last year for Antropov…when you have a goalie like Hank you get in the tourney and never know what can happen.

    I’m sorry, i disagree. It’s a waste of time if you know you’re getting a first round exit. Oh well, i tried to make my point but, based on this comment, we will never see eye to eye.

  43. @True Fans Bleed RW&B how is he a defensive liability? He has managed to only be -5 with a partner who is -20. Who knows how many goals opponents would have scored with MDZ on the ice if Girardi had not been tracking back. And it seems you’ve conveniently forgotten about the PENALTY KILL at which the Rangers actually excel and during which Dan Girardi is our best asset. Look it up. He leads the team in SH TOI for a reason.
    And he has no offense? He’s second among defensemen on the team with 14 Even Strength Points. That’s 5! more than the offensive Del Zotto and 4 more than Gilroy. I’d say Girardi is doing a fine job.

  44. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Girardi is consistently out of position. He screens Hank on most shots he blocks (which is probably why he has one of the highest NHL totals) and he doesn’t block passes around him. He is weak along the boards, compared to his young days. He doesn’t hit anymore. He is terrible with breakout passes. He started the season out of shape and if you see him now, he’s clearly lost some focus to maintain his work ethic on and off the ice. I think he’s finally becoming the non-drafted player everyone was surprised he didn’t become sooner.

  45. Doodie Machetto on

    “If we do that we are looking at around 18 million of cap room next year with the promising future of the many players I listed earlier. This team’s future, in my mind, is bright- brighter than it’s been in a long time and I guess I just don’t get all the negativity at this time from so many fans that I feel are knowledgable.”

    None of our prospects are bluechip, first line types. After 8 years of not making the playoffs, we don’t have a single star player to show for it. That’s Sather’s fault.

    I wasn’t happy with how much we paid Drury and that we gave him a NTC. That’s Sather’s fault.

    I wasn’t happy that he traded a 2nd rounder last year for Nik Antropov. That’s Sather’s fault.

    I wasn’t happy that he didn’t trade Prospal, Jokinen, and others for picks/prospects at the deadline this year. That’s Sather’s fault.

    I’m not happy that our #1 center is a waiver-wire pick up. That’s Sather’s fault.

    I wasn’t happy when he resigned Rozsival to a 5 million per year deal. That’s Sather’s fault.

    I wasn’t happy when he made Henrik Lundqvist the highest paid goaltender in the league despite the fact that he showed focus problems and potential mechanics issues in his glove hand and still hasn’t won anything at the NHL level and Sather was resigning LQ, so basically got no hometown discount whatsoever. That’s Sather’s fault.

    I wasn’t happy that after trading up to take Marc Staal in ’05, he then took Sanguinetti in ’06… only to take MDZ in ’08, and sign Gilroy to a one-way pro contract straight out of college, still to not have a single defenseman who has shown me they are close to being a first-pairing defenseman in the entire organization. That’s Sather’s fault.

    Aaron Voros, three years, million per. Sather’s fault.

    Donald Brashear, two years over 35, 1.4 per. Sather’s fault.

    Redden isn’t going anywhere next year. He will be in New York. Sather can’t trade him (at least Gomez had some value), and he will never admit his mistake by sending Redden to Hartford (no way does he ask Dolan to pay him 6.5 million to ride the bus).

    Next year they’re going to have about 11 million in cap space and still have to resign Marc Staal, make decisions on Prust, Girardi, Lisin, and Christensen, pay a backup goaltender, and replace Jokinen and Prospal, while still having enough cap space left over for the following year to resign Callahan, Dubinsky, Anisimov, and Gilroy, with the only salary coming off the books that year being Brashear’s 1.4. IT’S ALL SATHER’S FAULT.

  46. Doodie Machetto on

    Darren, Del Zotto was Rozsival’s partner for most of the season. Girardi was paired with Staal for most of the season.

  47. Redden's Agent on

    Why I didn’t attend the rally:

    I live in NJ, and I would either have to take the train into NYC, or drive…pay for the tunnel, parking, etc.. and I didn’t have tickets to the game…

    SO.. The trip would have only raped me of MORE $ on that pathetic excuse for a roster.

    Fck that. They’ve gotten enough.

  48. 7) Only a hundred or so showed up for the Fire Sather Rally? That’s embarrassing. This thing was in the works for months. It’s a Sunday, the weather’s great, and just a few feet away there’s a game which 18,000 or so will attend. And that’s the turnout? Why bother?


    It was very poorly planned and marketed by a 20 year old kid. You need to advertise something like that with more than a damn facebook page if you want to even come close to having an impact that is noticed. The kid didn’t have a real website highlighting Sather’s follies, etc… I mean basically a guy like me is his prime target audience to get to come to this thing and I struggled to gather information about what this thing was… the organizers really did a poor job as far as I can tell. Were there even news reporters there taking notice? That’s what you really want when putting this together, media attention.

    It’s a shame that it was a squandered opportunity and a turnout like that only makes it harder for people to take the issue seriously in the future.

    Are there pics/video of this?

  49. FYI 300s in the center where i sit are 60 face value for regular season, guess 1st round price per ticket! winner get a f— bobby holik bobblehead doll from SATHERs glory days lol

  50. I have a question concerning the GM meetings today !

    Why do they held those meetings in a five star hotel in South Florida in Boca Raton and not in
    the cellar/basement of 3,5 Star hotel in Topeka/Kansas right in the centre of the US ? :)

  51. True Fans RW&B if you could show me any numbers that support Girardi’s descent, I’d appreciate it. For instance, “[Girardi] doesn’t hit anymore.” Yet, he leads the Rangers defense in hits. “He is terrible with breakout passes.” Well he has one less giveaway than Staal and one more than MDZ. but also 10 less takeaways than Staal and 11 more than MDZ.

    The stats show that Girardi is doing alright. Until you can show me evidence otherwise, I’ll be glad that the he and Staal are anchoring the blue line surrounded by a cast of sieves.

  52. MDZ and Gilroy aren’t the problem. Two offensive minded D-men that are still finding their defensive games. It’ll take time. In fact, I thought Gilroy was very good at moving the puck through neutral zone and going deep. And a couple of times he had enough speed to return back and defend. Tha’s what you want from your puck mover. It’s too bad that one of his mistakes cost us a goal. MDZ, by the way is the most physical D-men on our team. And that’s the problem. Staal is good, but he is more of a positional and stick using D-man. I still feel he will get better. And you all know the rest.

  53. But JoeM said that Rozi had been playing better the past couple of weeks! How he found time to do that in between singing praises of Crosby I’m not sure.

  54. Doodie Machetto on

    “Yet, he leads the Rangers defense in hits.”

    1) The hit stat as applied to Rangers is meaningless since they grossly inflate the number of hits Rangers make while at MSG.

    2) He is 1st on a team that doesn’t have defensemen that throw hits. And it’s only by two hits. Big accomplishment. He is still being outhit by Callahan by over 100.

    3) Not all hits are created equal. Pressing a guy lightly into the boards is not the same as the bone crunching hits that a good hitting defenseman can lay. Girardi is not one of those defensemen.

    4) Numbers don’t tell the story in hockey the way they do in other sports. The evidence is on the ice. Carp noticed it, I noticed it, Truefans noticed it. We’re not crazy. His play is regressing.

  55. True fans, how do you know you are getting a first round exit? I mean they did have the series at 3-1, didn’t they?

    Doodie- I’m not saying that Sather has done a good job, I’m basically saying that there isn’t really a move in the last 2 years that I didn’t like. However, I’ll respond to some of your thoughts-

    1) Sather came in the middle of that- he wasn’t responsible for drafts of all 7 years of not making the playoffs-
    2) I was happy about Drury
    3) I am happy, as I said before about Antropov-
    4) We can fight about this til the cows come home- but I don’t know what value people placed on Prospal/Jokinen. You seem to like them much more than me. If Jok had value why were we able to get him so cheap?
    5) Blame Dubinsky for not being as good as we thought he was
    6) Rosi questionable, but I thought at the time it was a 50/50 type of thing
    7) If you hate the Lunqvist signing I can’t imagine you liking too many moves any GM would make
    8) Staal hasn’t shown he’s capable of being a first pairing defenseman?
    9) Agree on Voros/Brashear, but they are ehh moves- 12th forwards on teams are made a lot bigger here than they need to be
    10) I disagree and think Redden will be sent down or coupled with a young asset to move him- sucks but we went through the Redden situation already.

    But I bet you get up in the morning everyday and have a half-empty glass of orange juice, huh? Jeez

  56. OMG – let’s not get started on JoeM….please. He’s so far up Cindy’s backside ….. ah….never mind.

    When I heard that comment about how ‘well’ Rozsival’s been playing I nearly gagged. Is he playing better than he was? I’ll grudgingly say “Yes”. Is that anything to be trumpeting as some kind of triumph? I don’t think so. Is he playing as well as – say – a rookie like Tyler Myers? (chirping sounds inserted here…..)

  57. Doodie Machetto on

    1) Sather was reponsible for the first 4 and we got nothing, including the can’t miss draft of 2003, in which he missed.
    2) You were happy to give 7 million and a NTC for five years to a 31 year old player that had scored 30 goals only twice in his career and that had never eclipsed 70 points?
    3) Then you’re just wrong about playoff hockey. Bad teams don’t win the cup. It’s that simple. Carolina was the worst team to win a cup in recent memory, and from top to bottom, they were still a REALLY good team. We lost a series while up 3-1 because our team was lousy.
    4) Any value is better than letting them walk for nothing. We got Jokinen for so little because he was a pariah in Calgary, a sign of their downfall. That trade was one of Sather’s good moves. He’s had a couple, no doubt (Gomez trade), but the bad ones just crush the good ones.
    5) I’m not going to blame Dubinsky for not being as good as we thought he was. He’s a 2nd round pick. He’s exactly as good as I thought he was: A solid 2nd line player. I’m going to blame Sather for not drafting an elite NHL player once in his entire tenure in NY.
    6) YOU THOUGHT ROZSIVAL WAS 50/50?! 5 MILLION FOR ROZSI WAS OK!? You *are* Glen Sather, aren’t you?
    7) I don’t hate that he resigned Lundqvist, I hate how much he paid him. He couldn’t get a discount or be more creative with his contract in order to get the cap number lower?
    8) Nope. He is soft as melted butter, his offensive game is mediocre, and he can’t play defense when he tries to play offense. Until he learns to throw the body instead of perpetually stick check, he will never be more than a solid 2nd pairing guy.
    9) It’s not the quality of these players, its the money tied up for nothing.
    10) Take off your blinders. Redden is going nowhere.

  58. Is Cherapanov dying Sather’s fault? No, of course not.

    Is being the only GM to take a player from a country where the NHL lacks an international player transfer agreement Sather’s fault?

  59. Doodie Machetto on

    Also, taking a player without giving them a proper physical, especially when the guy had come and worked out for the Rangers: Sather’s fault.

    Not to mention that there’s no guarantee the guy would have been an NHL star. He was just a really talented prospect.

  60. paulieplatypus on

    I would have loved to have gone to this rally, maybe I could have added to the “peanut gallery” a voice of reason. But instead I had to drop my kids off with my ex Sunday night and be at work early Monday morning.

    I love this blog and the passion all of you seem to have for the Rangers. But one has to understand that the opinions on this sight are from mostly the outspoken minority who are lucky enough to have a little bit more free time than most others in life.

    I have been a Rangers fan since 1976, when I was only 7 years old. Jim Gorden (with his voice) and Bill Chadwick (with his respect for the game and it’s players) were able to make the game seem larger than life to me. In all my time as a Rangers fan, if one were to look at all the free agent signing the Rangers have had – not just the ones Sather has signed… Only a small % of them have been worth the money they were signed too.

    For some reason??? :) The pressure of playing in NY (and more importantly playing in front of the NY fans) is too much for most small town NHL player to psychologically take. That is why I feel the majarity of Blueshirts fans appreciate Sather… For in a few years we’ll have so many good young players advancing through the ranks that we’ll never again have to rely on signing free agents anymore.

  61. Baseball The 4-6-8 on

    Re Shelley and the other in-the-tank fourth line washouts we have employed in recent years, Strudwick and Isbister also “deserve,” recognition, although, again, most players with limited skills give their best just to stay in the league, it is the pucking GM who brought them in here, who deserves the blame. I will put on a uniform and make an ass of myself, too, for a million bucks, or so, if Sather will go for it. Too often he does.

  62. Cherapanov is the type of chance you get- he was uber-talented, which everyone is correctly saying we don’t have enough of. Didn’t it come out that he was handled properly in terms of physical and this was something that multiple Dr’s missed?

    Doodie – I may be wrong but didn’t we fight about Dubi for Heatley?

    And Rosival has certainly digressed since he signed that deal, and he had surgery etc which should have been red flags, but I have to be honest at the time I wasn’t infuriated with the deal at all. Hard for me to kill a guy personally when I didn’t hate the move at the time (I hated Redden)

  63. Baseball The 4-6-8 on

    MONTREAL, not New York, which is more obsessed with the Knicks and a couple football teams in New Jersey, is where there is unrelenting pressure on the players, game after game. Toronto, too, is a tougher hockey home for a player who is not producing, than New York. New Yorkers think that New York is the “big town”, and everywhere else on the map is just Green Bay Lite. Wake up, hockey players here play in relative obscurity. How often do Gaborik or Lundqvist get bothered for an autograph, or for just a brief verbal exchange, when walking down the street, here? Players in Canada can’t go anywhere in public without being beseiged.

    Find another excuse as to why players under-achieve, here. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they get no motivation away from MSG, rather than the opposite.

  64. I don’t know if it’s the pressure of playing in NY. You could argue that Montreal or Toronto put more pressure on their players. If anything, I’ve read interviews with a few recent FA signings saying how they enjoy the fact that they can be anonymous in NY versus a smaller city. Hockey is still a distant 4th in NY, there’s just a large enough population where even if 0.1% of the population likes hockey it’s enough to fill MSG over and over again.

    The problem is that the Rangers have always been more concerned with selling the sizzle and less concerned about the quality of the steak. They fail to realize that a consistently winning team trumps a marquee player, but it’s a lot easier to sign a marquee player than go through the process of building a winning team.

    As much as I like Lundqvist, he was getting tons of praise and accolades very early in his career. Vezina nominations are nice, but honestly how many people remember who were the 2 also-rans in the Vezina race in years that Lundqvist or no other Ranger goalie were nominated? But it’s easier for MSG to sell a young, photogenic and stylish goalie than finding the right talent to put in front of him.

  65. How do the rangers feel after letting that Piece of Sh*t Kaleta twirl his a** all over center ice at the garden last night after he scored? The team has no self-respect, dignity or whatever else. Someone should have flattened Kaleta out ala Hatcher on Turgeon some odd years ago after he scored. That’s unacceptable on home ice. Remember when Terrel Owens I believe danced all over the dallas cowboys star on the 50 yard line after he scored a touch down. He got CLOBBERED by the opposing player while he was dancing. That should have happened last night but it didn’t. Memo to Tortorella, to Avery, to Shelley, to Prust or whoever their so-called tough guy is, ur a bunch of pu**ies.

  66. He did the same thing in Buffalo’s last visit to MSG.

    Just add that to the list of instances from this season where players can walk all over and mock the Rangers without getting an obligatory shove or dust up.

  67. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Roszival had a poor season the year before he was signed. He scored one nice game 5, second OT goal against Pitts which seemed to be the ONE thing Sather recalled signing him. What YOU and SATHER (although that may be redundant) forgot are the THREE MINORS (6 PIMS) Rozi took in game 7 against the Penguins. Awful signing.

  68. I think that 2OT goal was against Buffalo in 2007. 2008 when they lost to Pitt it was in 5 games. Either way players like Streit and Hainsey were available in the same FA as Rozi for about the same or less money. Rozi’s deal in isolation isn’t a complete cap killer, it’s just when you combine it with Redden it makes it worse.

  69. Redden's Agent on

    I think it’s the complete OPPOSITE of ‘pressure’. I think its the lack of pressure that allows this team to fail.

    They’re almost all overpaid, and even if the GM can find a way to move the player, they still leave with pockets full of cash (usually for a long-term).

    With Rozy & Redden dressing every night, you’d HAVE to believe its due to Dolan letting sather lay in the bed he made, and you know what… THAT’S not Dolans fault. That’s on Sather. Unfortunately for us, we get crapped on.

    So where’s the pressure? From the fans? From the one’s who line up for seconds of sh!t?

    There’s no pressure.

  70. Carp,

    While I respect your opinion most of the time, this comes across as a second-guessing armchair masterpiece. Drury, Callahan and Dubi were on all night. THAT is why they were playing. Safe is death makes no sense. They just got beat by a good team. You can’t just beat everyone. Are you telling me the Devils TRIED to get shut out by Edmonton last night? It happens. Bottom line is this: the Rangers best offensive player is coming back from injury. For a team struggling to score, this is not easy at all. They played well against 2 good teams. Not enough to get 2 points but secondguessing who was on the ice is just silly.

  71. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    CT you’re right. Thank you for correcting me.
    THe 6 PIM’s in that game 5 against Pitt still stands though. Uggh. Mike Green and Rozi basically make the same money. See a problem with that, besides both of them not being able to play defense?

  72. yea no game 7 against the pens (there was that killer game 1 though)

    Like I said in retrospect the Rosival deal hasn’t been good- but personally I thought he was a nice 2 way defensemen at the time.

    Know I come off as a Sather apologist, which I do not consider myself. But I do think he has done a pretty good job in the last 2 years and think the negativity on this board is a little over-the-top compared to our current situation.

  73. How about a coach who can’t even attempt to answer a question in a press conference? How often does Tortorella say he doesn’t know, or he’ll talk about it another time, or says a question is stupid? Sometimes he won’t criticize a player, yet sometimes he throws them randomly under the bus. Sometimes he blames an individual player to make some sort of quasi-psychological point apparently, then he wonders why the media and fans are making a fuss about said player. Then he blames the fans for criticizing. This atmosphere which he has created of deception, paranoia and anger is not an atmosphere which seems to allow players to be successful on a continual basis. Except maybe for Lundqvist, who is left alone. But it sure didn’t do Valiquette much good. How much of the disintegration of the team is Tortorella’s reign responsible for?

  74. In addition Carp, you can’t ignore the fact that one team was playing an OT in the 2nd game of a back to back, while the other had a day off.

  75. they just had 2 hours of interviews of NHL GM’s on NHL live, and they talked about who had sway and who is important and who is listened to in the GM meetings etc

    and guess what, that cake eating sob Sather was not even mentioned by ANYBODY. he has no real respect or influence even amomng fellow GM’s. he is a paraiah to the fans, and to many of his peers too

    Sather is a washed up piece of crap who needs to be fired, but since Dolan will never do that, the best we can hope for is kicking him upstairs and hopefully minimizing the damage he can do.

  76. Doodie Machetto on

    I was saying trading Dubinsky for Heatley would have been fine. We would have also been rid of Rozsival. I’d still consider it.

  77. Your analysis of Girardi on the 2 on 1 got me thinking…. as a goaltender myself, I always tell the defenseman that I want the shot on an odd man rush. You have a better chance with that than trying to go all the way across your crease to the backdoor guy. But maybe Lundqvist has told his defenders that he’d rather them take the pass. We all know that Lundqvist doesn’t have the greatest hands in the world. Maybe he feels that he’s so good at moving across and getting his legs over, that he’d rather take the weak side guy that has to react quickly and doesn’t have time to pick a corner. I’m not saying you’re right and I’m wrong… but it’s a possibility

  78. Doodie Machetto on

    charlie, no way. No way does LQ think he has a better chance with the pass than the shot because he still has to stop the shot off the pass, except now while moving side to side instead of being positioned.

    Sadly, it’s just our terrible defense.

  79. look, you play young guys, they are going to make mistakes as they learn, and you have to expect and live with those mistakes. so I don’t blame young players

    I blame veteran guys like Drury who know better, who looked like crap on that OT goal, dropping his stick instead of taking the man at the side of net.

  80. a decade of ineptitude on

    I cannot believe that guy above who praises Sather. he has been here for 10 yes TEN years, a frickin decade, and the team is still a 9th place bubble team constantly shuffling one vet underachiever for another. and ANY decent young players the Rangers have are more due to scouts and player personnel guys than Sather. I know that firsthand seeing the show they did a couple years ago on MSG that miked and taped everything the rangers hierarchy did and said leading up to and at the draft. Sather was a mumbling, bumbling clueless almost non-participant in the draft process

    anyone praising Sather is flatout clueless

  81. old harvey jersey on

    The fact that Redden flipped out when he was benched speaks volumes about the mindset of nyr ufa signings. Guy had been playing like a doofus (dufus?) and he gets benched yet has the stones to march into tort’s office and complain? Like i said before, this team lacks an identity and there is nobody in the room that could have taken redden aside and said, get your butt in gear. Seems like prestige is based on contract size here. You think he would ever do that to Mike Babcock? You think it would ever get to that point?

  82. “That is why I feel the majority of Blueshirts fans appreciate Sather… For in a few years we’ll have so many good young players advancing through the ranks that we’ll never again have to rely on signing free agents anymore.”

    man, we’ve got a buyer for the Brooklyn bridge.

  83. so the good players are sather’s fault and the bad ones are his fault? Again, I don’t think Sather has done a great or even good job, but right now the negativity on where our team is is crazy based on the fact that we have a brighter future at this point in time than we have in a long time in my opinion.

    Just tell me what you would have done differently in the last 2 years- that’s all I have really defended-

  84. NHL Live on satellite radio just said that hundreds of Ranger fans protested in front on MSG with a Fire Sather rally. They said Ranger fans are fed up with Sather.
    At least they got some recognition.

  85. Who Needs Lohan on

    Some of you guys make me laugh……can anyone here honestly say that the talent level of this team is anything other than a 7-11th place team? This guys sucks, that guy isnt trying, the coach has quit, the coaching is bad…….. They are doing decent considering the hand they were dealt. Can anyone really argue otherwise. I am totally with New Newman, I cant even get over excited or over exasperated here. If they get to the playoffs great, I will enjoy watching them attempt to stretch out a series against WAS or PIT. If they dont, ill just tune over to SNY to watch my mediocre baseball team, grab a beer and turn the grill on outside. SOrry about the laid back attitude, but its not worth being any other way.

  86. Bay Area Rangers Fan on

    I told you all when the trade went down … Jody Shelley doesn’t fight anymore. Meaning this: He rarely fights and when he does he gets his clocked cleaned. Dude didn’t “enforce” squat for the Sharks all season.

    Being a Rangers fan is killing me. Slowly, but surely.

  87. ThisYearsModel on

    Right on Carp. We are all watching the same games. Torts was probably sending a message to Gaborik by sitting him in the OT. As for 18,000 fans last night, it sounded like 8000 of them were Sabres fans.

  88. doodie
    if we had a guy like clarkson, torts would jack his ice time around and punish him for every fight and he would be underutilized jus tlike avery!!

    on the kaleta goal, it looked like drury had his stick knocked out of his hand at the last minute by hank, but i could be wrong!

  89. Baseball The 4-6-8 on

    To CHRIS:

    Dammit, Man, will you get real and stop making excuses for the team such as “they were playing in OT, and playing back-to-back games, while the other team had the previous night off.” Did you ever stop to consider that if the players had the same attitude they would not be playing to win, just playing “to grab a point in the standings and be happy” Do you think the Detroit, Montreal, New Jersey, San Jose, or Chicago organizations go into a game with an attitude like that? look at Montreal, coming from two goals down to win in OT, in a west coast game, long after their bedtime, had they been on the east coast. Guess the Habs forgot to feel sorry for themselves for the tough travel and late game time schedule. Wish the Rangers would show the same spunk, even if some Ranger fans think it is asking too much of them.

    Hockey is a tough grind and EVERY team has a choice as to how it either guts it up or puts up a white flag, according to the character and leadership of the team. These players are making millions, in so many cases, why can’t it be tough and demanding? And this is not even the playoffs yet, just the regular season. Telling the team it is ok to settle for one point at home, while the road team takes two points out of it is unacceptable, even if the team is playing its fourth game in five nights. Got It? If not, there is lots of tennis-grunting on service volleys on TV to misinterpret as a tough grind and a manly sport. Maybe that’s more your speed.

  90. buffalo chips on

    the Sabres are a good example of NOT giving big money to vet free agents. they let Drury and Briere go, and were proven right in both cases. and in the case of Vanek, a younger goal scorer at the time, they were forced to overpay because of a hostile offer sheet. and vanek is not worth it either

  91. I dont ccare what anyone says or thinks about this statement:

    We need to get rid of Tortorella for this team to prosper. He is no where near the right guy for the job, and i know many will not admit it, but he has dissapointed thousands of Rangers fans with his all talk and no action remarks and attitude.

    What a disgraceful organization we root for.

  92. We arent getting rid of Sather or Dolan any time soon. Unfortunately, Torts is the next guy who must go. I dont even think he could make this team win even if we had gotten Kovy.

    Lets go Rangers 2010-2011

  93. The team has given up on him. He has given up on the team and himself, and everything is tumbling down.

    I hate to say this, but the team never played this bad under Renney. It was boring, and we didnt win all the time, but the effort was there every night.

  94. Johnny LaRue on

    Yeah, I don’t get that Mercedes commercial either. The explanation is…

    A) The kids just assumed school was closed and were wrong.

    B) The dad is an air traffic controller at Kennedy and he has to take the kids to work with him so they can direct flights.

    C) The dad is afraid of the evil snowmen attacking his car like the other commercial and he wants his kids along to return snowball fire while he drives.

  95. And give me a break………hundreds of fans at the Rally. I was there, if i say total between people coming and going at 125, i may be lying. What a joke. Eveybody hates Sather, but they are too good to show up and represent something they beleive in. Or are they just jumping on the bandwaggon with the hate Sather stuff.

    over 18000 people at the game last night, and we couldnt even break 150 people at the rally.


  96. Hooray 4 the Chiefs! on

    5) So that commercial they keep showing on MSG, just to understand. If your father owns a Mercedes, then you have to go to school even when it’s closed?

    If your father is an ignoramus and owns a Mercedes, he’ll drop you off at a closed school so you can freeze to death; moronic advertisement.

  97. Who Needs Lohan on

    What are you talking about bro? We just got 4 points in 4 games against the 1,2,3 and 5 seeds. Yeah it wasnt the greatest hockey I have seen but man you are dilusional.

  98. Doodie Machetto on

    Last 2 years? Easy.

    1) Fire Renney and Co. before last season.
    2) Don’t sign Wade Redden. Sign Mark Streit instead.
    3) Don’t sign Donald Brashear.
    4) Don’t trade our 2nd rounder for Nik Antropov.
    5) Don’t trade Prucha and Dawes for Derek Morris. Not saying that they needed to be kept, but if I dump them it’s in a “sell” capacity, not a “buy” one.
    5.5) Don’t Sign Dimitri Kalinin.
    6) Resign The Beard.
    7) Don’t trade a 3rd rounder for Brian Boyle.
    8) Sell at this year’s and last year’s trade deadline.
    9) Don’t sign/resign Steve Valliquette and instead pursue a backup goaltender that has actual NHL experience and can help Lundqvist develop better focus and get tougher mentally.
    10) Don’t sign Marcus Naslund.
    11) Don’t pick up Sean Avery off of waivers.
    12) Trade Bobby Sanguinetti for a power forward or crease clearing defenseman.
    13) Sign Marc-Andre Bergeron.
    14) Waive Rozsival.

    These are the things that popped in off the top of my head, and are all things I had suggested at the time they were available to be done.

    Then, depending on the number, sign Mike Cammalleri (in my hypothetical, I have no idea how much cap space this would leave the team with so I can’t say for sure if I would do this).

  99. Doodie Machetto on

    “I hate to say this, but the team never played this bad under Renney. It was boring, and we didnt win all the time, but the effort was there every night.”

    Dude, where were you last year when the entire team CLEARLY quit halfway through the season? The only team Renney had that put in effort night-in, night-out was the 05-06 team.

  100. Ahh, its neither here or there. The funny thing is, we can say what we want, feel what we feel, the bottom line is……….

    these guys are all laughing all the way to the bank WIN or LOSE.

    And we are working our little jobs, trying to make enough money to buy playoff tickets just to watch them get tossed in the first round.

    GREAT real freakin Great!

  101. I also was at the rally, if thats what you want to call it. If anything, this rally proved to Dolan that the fans will come regardless of Gm’s and record’s. I for one think it was a complete disgrace that we only had 100 people or so there. Not to mention the fact that for the most part everyone was quiet.

    You call this a Rally? I know its hard to get a lot of people to get together to fight for a cause, but C’MON!!!!!

  102. Doodie get out of my head man lol.

    Now maybe I can see someone defending Girardi (even though I think he is destined to be a 5-6th D-man on a mediocre team at best), but Sather??? Are you serious? He came in after all that bluster and has built a team that has gotten to the second round twice. In 10 effing years. Just what do you have to do to get fired around MSG anymore?

    He lucked out on Lundqvist, and Staal will most likely end up as a solid 1st pair guy in his prime, not the Neo-Nick Lidstrom some (cough, cough, Micheletti) would have you believe.

  103. My new favorite guy….besides Matt Cooke…

    Brad Keselowski….He takes it to Roush Fenway Carl Edwards, and Edwards dont like it!

    It was okay when Edwards choked a fellow driver, and of course got defended in the media because of his team affiliation.

  104. yeah, Renney has sure helped that Edm team become a world-beater hasn’t he?? more like last place jokes like him

    Torts is not consistent in his ranting, that is his biggest problem. he defended huggy when he was obvious garbage who was not helping the team, he benches some guys but defends others who do worse

    but, he has not had the horses either. much more blame goes to Sather than anyone else.

    but I will say that the old school screaming coach is not as effective anymore. and the hardass Quinn, Keenan, Hitchcock, and yes Torts types are falling out of favor among the players in the league

    the more successful coaches are the player-friendly coaches who were former players who did AHL coaching stints to learn their craft, like Boudreau and Bylsma

  105. What Sather has done good is quit drafting. Hired more scouts,7 amateur scouts plus a couple in Europe.
    thats where the Rangers can use all their money to their advantage.

    sather still sucks. Gaborik wasn’t a real risky signing after our medical staff checked him out. After you are satisfied that he will be healthy. You know the guy is gonna score goals.

    almost every other free agent signing he has made is a terrible one. People are praising Sather for getting rid of Gomez? who signed him a year earlier? Gomez was still an asset though.

    Sather goes through free agents and Dolan’s money like Tiger Woods goes through porn starts. Every team we play has a couple of ex-Rangers on it who somehow be able to be doing OK on a different team.

  106. ilb2001

    I disagree. While MDZ and Gilroy have some upside, I really do think they need time in HFD. Fact of the matter is that most of the really young guys in the league are not d-men. It takes time for defensemen to learn the game because so much of defense is positioning and anticipation, something MDZ and Gilroy have struggled with all season. Its a huge jump in skill from juniors and college to NHL, and i think they jumped the gun a little with these 2 guys. Even if they played them 20-30 games this season it would be better. I

  107. MDZ and Gilroy are here to stay. How much do you really know about hockey?

    MDZ is probably our second best defenseman already. Gilroy has struggled a little but he still better than Redden. Yea that $6.5 million/yr guy.

  108. we keep mentioning 18k fans coming to the game and only 125 people showed up to the SATHER RALLY….that in no way is an indication of the knowledgeable diehard hockey fans out there….its an indication of how many diehard hockey fans are at a typical game at MSG, the place is a circus, most of the people in my section do not even know who Erik Christensen is…..i mean no one knew why the dubinsky offside goal was disallowed

  109. Doodie Machetto on

    I don’t disagree with that a little time in Hartford probably would have done them both some good (especially Gilroy since he is new to playing defense in general). However, I don’t think it hurts them at all to learn at the NHL level directly. Our record, yes, but the unfortunate truth is, they’re better than what else we’ve got right now.

    But hey, that’s part of the growing pains young teams go through. I’m cool with that. Problem is we have no hope for the future as a result of these growing pains.

  110. WE have hope for the future. Sather and Dolan can’t live forever. i think I will outlast them.

  111. wow. a lot of anger here today.

    Chris, yes, it was a second guess. From the moment it happened. Why are Drury and Callahan starting the OT, and not Dubinsky and Callahan, or Gaborik or Jokinen or Anisimov or somebody with a chance to score a goal? You say Drury-Callahan-Dubinsky were clicking? So why not Dubinsky and Callahan to start OT? Not the guy who has, a couple of times, been demoted to fourth line center and penalty killer. You are trying to win to get a point you desperately need. If you lose, you get the point anyway.

    Fire Torts, I’m not saying he’s done a good job. But how much better could he be expected to have done with this cast? And to say this is the worst means you have a short memory, or you’re six years old. Because it was worse last year at the end of Renney, it was worse when Sather coached. And Trottier. And Low. And Muckler. And even at the end with Campbell.

  112. Seth, who is Erik Christensen?

    And for anybody to complain about Del Zotto and Gilroy, well, that’s crazy. Those are two examples of the few things that have gone right this year. They have struggled and taken their lumps and they are learning. Del Zotto has a chance to be a star, and Gilroy the skills to be a long-timer in the NHL. But at some point they have to go through this, and why not this year? Live with it.

  113. Torts isn’t that bad of a coach for this team. What really needs to happen is for Sather to swallow is own uh uh uh sword.

    Dump Redden. admit to the world that you are an incompetent GM but will take one for the team.

  114. Rick,

    you think im kidding……there are more people at the game that enjoyed Larrys dance with 7 minutes to play than dubis goal with 1+ to go

    the seats are filled-for those that work on wall street we NEED the ticket CVC to GET DOWNGRADED ALL DAY EVERYDAY, cablevision needs to go under to fix this NIGHTMARE i live in everyday of my life

  115. Carp, Del Zotto has potential he surely does. But that does not mean he has not been the worst defenseman for the Rangers on defense this season and he has not dragged down his partner whenever he’s played. If you’re going to accuse Girardi of regressing you should at least mention for consideration that his partner right now is the worst defenseman in the NHL. And that frequently Girardi has to cover for his partner’s complete lack of positioning [that includes when Del Zotto finds himself in the wrong zone while the puck is heading towards his net]. That is not my opinion. That is what the statistics say.

  116. Sup Carp and Crew (hi Linda)-

    On Girardi- what do you expect? It sucks. but these are the habits that he and others have developed playing for this team. The guy is an undrafted Dman who only had so much potential. After the 3 or 4 years he’s been here who has he had to learn from? who have any of our young Dmen had to learn from? Mara? Rozsi? cmon. Part of learning the ropes on the blueline is having a positive influence on the roster. Someone who does things right. Or in this case, just a ballsy physical dman that could preach to these guys that when an opposing player is getting deep inside your zone- he needs to get hit and hit hard. especially around the net. You can’t sit here and tell me that it’s all on the coach. All our Dmen since the lockout with the exception of like Tyutin Kaspar and maybe Mara or Morris (for the full month he was here) have found physical play as a secondary option. And that doesn’t cut it. Our forwards are small and lack skill. Our enforcers don’t play the game well enough to be in important plays. That leaves our D. And as one of my friends used to say ‘they’re usually as soft as Carvel ice cream’. Torts hasn’t improved this problem any more than Renney did and something tells me that the only way to remedy this is to find the next Orpik, or find a poor man’s Pronger and let him set the tone and be the leader of this blueline (or co leader if you’re gonna bring up Staal). I’m not ready to give up on Girardi just yet though. This is the first year he’s been outside of Renney’s system and he deserves a brief chance to show this is an off year.

    On Shelley- I like Prust better. I can’t even tell you what number Jody’s wearing for this team because I’ve seen so little of him. You don’t even hear his name called during the broadcast of games. Sometimes it’s a good thing when that happens to a player. In this case, it’s a problem. Unless he’s going to take on the role of enforcer (and as it’s been said, it’ll take a game vs Philly to see if it happens) then he’s useless and Prust is the one who should hang around.

    On Torts starting the players he did- I don’t get it. Again, similar to a Renney mentality. I know Gaborik isn’t a 100% but he’s got more skill at 70% or 50% or whatever the hell he is right now then 95% of the roster. He shoulda been out there with Jokinen and probably Dubinsky..I know he has a lack of talent on the roster but Torts has made some bad coaching decisions this year, still we havent taken 97 too many men on the ice penalties so I guess he’s an upgrade from Renney to some extent.

  117. Czechthemout!!!! on

    The bottom line is Sather is a bad GM who has been living off of someone elses hard work in Edmonton. Since he took over drafting,he has only
    Found Ryan smyth as a bonafide first round pick. In the last 25 drafts he has not found a single other elite first round pick.

    And Marc Staal is way overrated. He is noting more than a second pair defenseman.

  118. Seth, I know.

    Darren. what statistics? First of all, Girardi has played most of the season with Staal, if I’m not mistaken. And he’s considered the best defenseman on the team. Also, covering for Del Zotto? Who was he covering behind the net on the game-winner? The goal judge?

  119. Carp, Del Zotto has potential he surely does. But that does not mean he has not been the worst defenseman for the Rangers on defense this season and he has not dragged down his partner whenever he’s played. If you’re going to accuse Girardi of regressing you should at least mention for consideration that his partner right now is the worst defenseman in the NHL. And that frequently Girardi has to cover for his partner’s complete lack of positioning [that includes when Del Zotto finds himself in the wrong zone while the puck is heading towards his net]. That is not my opinion. That is what the statistics say.


    No offense but when you have a 19 year old Dman like Del Zotto on the roster you don’t critisize. you say thank you to the hockey God’s for finally giving us a break and you prepare yourself to endure viewing his growing pains. This kid should be around for a long time. He (like Girardi) doesn’t have a positive influence in the locker room to work with him and he’s a baby with less then 80 NHL games under his belt. Give it time. I know it sucks when he and the statistics look brutal but there’s too much there talent wise to be disgusted. Trick now is to hope he doesnt regress at all next year. It’d be great if they could get a veteran presence worth a damn to work with him next year.

  120. LI RangerFan on

    Seth – while I agree that Cablevision / the Dolans are the root cause of a good percentage of all this, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Cablevision to go under.

  121. wicky (Leeloo Dallas, multi pass!!) on

    First of all, until you address the lack of toughness on the blueline, this team will always be on its heels and never be overly successful. It doesn’t hit and it doesn’t fight. (I think the d men have 3 fights all season, 2 by redden and one by gilroy) That is pretty sad considering how many times hank has been run and the carcillo incident. MDZ really is our most physical guy, and that is sad (no offence to MDZ).

    Speaking of fighting, I do not understand when many of you are expecting these guys to fight? Are they supposed to shadow box with themselves at center ice on one of their shifts? Shelley had 5 frakking hits last night in far less ice time and for less money than princess dubi had (dubi had 2 in 18.5 mintes, shelley got his in 6 minutes). Has he fought anyone, nope. Has there been any horrible transgressions against the rangers with him in the line up (i’m not sure)? I love rough nasty hockey probably more than anyone else here, but some of you are just delusional about fighting. So shelley grabs derek roy and just starts pummeling him right? I mean he IS fighting then. He has to have someone TO fight, if gabby is on the ice with another teams 4th line out there and we don’t put our 4th line out or give gabby some protection on his line, that is coaching, not the enforcers fault. If enforcers start taking dumb penalties with cheap shots or getting majors and giving the team long powerplays then they get the hollweg treatment from the fans (he’s an idiot, cost us the game, horrible worthless player). Can’t have it both ways folks. The problem with enforcers on this team isn’t the enforcers, it is how they are used in the games…..coaching! I am certainly going to give shelley the benefit of the doubt until he has an opportunity to fight and turns it down or doesn’t stand up for a teammate with another fighter!

    Oh, and anyone that thinks we should not resign prust is a fool!!

  122. wicky (Leeloo Dallas, multi pass!!) on

    girardi needs to go period, he was a renney system success!!

    at this point you are correct, he is a 2nd pair d man on most teams right now!

  123. LI-

    hey its a blog i can dream right!!!!

    MDZ is one of the very few highlights on the team this year…..the kid is asked to QB the PP every game! yeah he neeeds to bulk up but he sees the ice very well…

  124. Carp, Del Zotto is minus 20. There is only one other defenseman near that abyss and Steve Staios is 36 and spent most of the season in Edmonton. Girardi and Staal started the season together but I believe Tortorella split them fairly quickly when he realized he needed each one to cover for the deficiencies in the bottom 4. He’s recently begun putting them back together for some shifts against opponents top lines. I may be wrong on when the pairs became set as present, but they’ve been playing with the current set for more than a month.
    To those who argue that Del Zotto’s offensive prowess makes up for his poor defense, he has scored only 9 points at even strength. That’s 5 less than Girardi.
    And covering behind the net!? Watch the play again. Del Zotto and Kaleta go behind the net, Del Zotto fails to deter Kaleta or get any attempt of a check in his vicinity. Is it so wrong for Girardi to anticipate his partner’s whiff and try to take Kaleta behind the net? I’m not saying it’s a sound strategy. It’s actually more like peewee where even skates after the puck. But can you blame Girardi when Del Zotto has been so awful at containing players? No you cannot. If he feels he has to cheat over to try to cover Del Zotto’s guys, I’m glad he’s at least trying. And I’m not blaming him for trying to do too much.

  125. Doodie- Redden was signed 3 years ago- you wanted to fire Rendog after beating the Devs and losing to Pittsburg? With you on Brashear, but think that was an appeasing move to Torts if you read the comments after, seemed like a Torts move to me- I already stated I liked the Antropov deal- who cares about Prucha or Dawes (really that’s number 5?) You are right on Kalinin, but again not a big deal, you complain about a stagnent, old franchise and you wanted to resign the beard? Why? Agree on Boyle I didn’t like htat one- Sell at the deadline is sort of redundant with your other points, but I disagree as well based on I don’t think we would have gotten anything for the guys you wanted to trade- I thought Vally showed flashes of being pretty good last year and was a fine backup- who did you want for his $? What was wrong with Naslund? Avery at less than $2million is fine- maybe you didn’t watch the team when he sparked us a couple of years ago…what crease clearing d-man? Anyone can toss out a random guy to sign and I agree on Redden-

    To me, this isn’t really that bad of a list and when you compare where we are now to a couple of years ago it is better-

  126. here’s a quick 20 ufa blueliners for this summer. A couple obviously are gonna demand big money, but I don’t see many names here I wouldn’t demote Redden or Rozsival for. Hell, even a guy like Acouin could atleast provide more toughness then we have now.

    Niedermayer, Gonchar, Johnsson, Sutton, Mitchell, Van Ryn, Morris, Salej, Tallinder, Foote, Volchenkov, Hamhuis, Seidenberg, Aucoin, Eaton, Leopold, Exelby, Mara, Jurcina, Lilja, Brookbank.

  127. I didn’t mean to offend anyone by saying Gilroy and MDZ need some HFD time, it was said from the begining of the season that it was a gamble because they were so young. I can deal with any players mistakes as ive been watching the rangers for 25 yrs, and just because i think they need HFD time does not mean i think the other defensemen are doing better or deserve to play. The only d-man that i think is doing up to par is Staal. Im sorry but anyone who doesn’t think this team needs a revamped defense is wrong.

  128. Carp, Girardi and Del Zotto have been paired since the November 28th blowout to the Pens. ie for the last 31 games, minus injuries.

  129. “5) So that commercial they keep showing on MSG, just to understand. If your father owns a Mercedes, then you have to go to school even when it’s closed?”


    Haha! me and my friends were talking about this last night… Such a dumb commercial.

  130. Read through much of the ranting and want to chime in:

    Girardi has gotten steadily worse since first being paired with Redden. You’ve all seen that when he plays with Staal, he instantly gets better. But when one slumped, the other did too and they had to be broken up.

    The timing of the rally and the way it was publicized both helped led to what happened. Second home game back after the break after the first home game was exciting. And no newspaper ads, no flyers handed out … The interweb may be a neat place to get some of the word out but you still have to beat the bricks.

    As for Cherapanov, he may have turned into Jagr, he may have turned into Brendl – we will never know. We do know that there were questions about him that let him slip all the way down to us and the Russia factor was not likely the only one. But we will never know for certain. Either way, one possible star player out of the last 10 drafts is embarrassing.

  131. I’ll go even further with Shelley and say that we shouldn’t compare him with Brashear. I do believe Brashear broke his hand during that fight with Orr and he lost a few steps. I think Shelley is still a legit heavyweight. He figths anyone. In fact, before that goal this punk Kaleta has been awfully quiet in terms of dirty plays. Him and Mair are the guys who do most of the fighting on Sabres and none of them is in Shelley’s class. They know it. Could be wrong, but he’ll get his chance. Peters on Wednesday? I hope it’s not Prust again, because it looked like bulldog against yorkie:)

    One point about Torts I meant to make- I still believe he is a good coach. And great at getting everything out of his players. But he isn’t that good at mentoring and teaching young players. That requires patience. And patience isn’t his virtue.

  132. HAHA, he didn’t look drunk at all. No doubt those training sessions helped him out with that test.

  133. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Not good!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Im the kinda guy who really hates to get really personal around here. I have to be honest with you guys cuz im a little bit of a wreck.

    I split up with my girl friend 5 years ago after being with her for 16 years . We have 1 daughter who is 17 and she stays 2 weeks here and 2 weeks there. I live alone and met a great woman from ireland online. I talked to her everyday on the computer and on the phone. She has sent me gifts as well as I have to her. My mom talked to her ,my brother and I stood together on cam for her. I saw her on cam and I knew her and she knew me better than my ex did. I loved her more. We stopped talking for a bit cuz it was hard to have a relationship with someone so far away. She keeps a picture of me on the back of her cell phone. I sent her son a Lunqvist figurine a few years ago for xmas. Well today I recieved a message from her twin sister saying that shes been in the hospital for the last month and has just died a few days ago. I have only read this about her a few hours ago. Im sorry guys but im a mess. Ill try to be myself but its so hard. I just need to be honest with you guys..

  134. Darren, Girardi was with Staal as recently as Thursday against Pitt. Rozsival was there some, too. I don’t see how anybody can defend Girardi standing behind the middle of the net while the winning goal is scored. And plus/minus is the most overrated, worst stat in sports.

    As for Shelley, I’m sure he will be more willing than Brashear when the time arrives. But from what I’ve seen, I don’t know if he’s a better player or worse.

  135. The White Plains Batman on

    James, most of those UFA Dmen you listed are geezers. I didn’t realize Lilja was 34 until I just checked.

    Volchenkov could be good but he could also be Kasparitus 2.0 on the Rangers. Seidenberg I wanted last summer after his most excellent playoff run with the Canes.

    Honestly, I’d be down for trading Girardi for Patrick Sharp to “help” Chicago with their cap mess, sign one of these geezers for a cheap one-year deal, and see if any of Sangs/McD/Kundratek/Potter are ready to fill a spot.

  136. secondary assists are overrated as well….MDZ definitely has helped the offense create more than girardi…his “primary” assists have to be greater than those of DAN… guys its not girardi’s fault the guy went undrafted he should be a 5th dman but when the team is so bad he gets exposed kinda like our discussion of 4th line players…..MDZ has a long future with the blueshirts

  137. A early commenter stated we are better off than a few years ago, may be slightly true but it’s like to you want to jump out the 26 floor or burn to death either way we are screwed. I know a lot can change in a year or two with great management skills, but I believe that won’t happen and i’m not doom and gloom just real about it. We are years away from even getting past the 2nd round waaaay too many holes. Torts could be better especially as of late, but he has a lack of TALENT. This team for all my disgust has not quit on him, it’s there not good enough. The lack of effort guys are going to do what with a new “players coach” start playing with effort? Stop the merry go round and leave the coach alone, he’s got a Cup under his belt and who are you going to hire. The bigger problem is Sather will leave this summer or next and ya know Mess is coming and that will be the beginning of some real bad things and when you hire him how are you ever going to get him to leave? His ego wouldn’t let him do the right thing in the past. Hire a good hockey man in Schoney who knows the team, minors and the NHL, peddle Rosi somehow, let Ollie walk, demote Redden, let Shelly walk, give Staal 2nd pairing $ or set up a deal there. Goobbye to Voros,maybe Lisin bring back Vinnie one yr. at a time or no thanks, goodbye to EC. Get a banging D man play the kids and get a powerforward who can score with some freed up money. Not easy I know and not happening it’s just a countdown to Messier.

  138. Carp, I think you should check again. Girardi and Staal played together some last Thursday, but they also rotated with their “lesser” pairings. Tortorella was trying to get his better defensive guys on the ice while diminishing Gilroy and Del Zotto’s ice time, hence the much larger disparity in ice time between the top 3 and bottom 3 defensemen than usual. Here’s a link to the box score: http://espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=300304013 If you watched the game, you’d have seen that. And, yes, sadly Rozsival qualifies as a top 3 defensive defensemen on this team.

  139. And if you could find me a better stat then +/-, I’d welcome it. How is it the worst stat in sports? I believe most hockey stats guys regard it as more weighted than the counting stats (points, assists, etc.). +/- is ice time neutral and you can compare it to the overall team +/- to see if a player is outperforming his squad or underpeforming.

  140. Chris from Buffalo on

    Greg! Just read your post and feel like a douche with my post right after. So sorry for you!

  141. Darren, I did watch the game. I was there.

    Plus/minus tells you what? You can compare to some degree among players on the same team (assuming they play roughly equal amounts at even strength). But comparing team to team is ridiculous. A great player on a poor even-strength team will have a worse +/- than a bad player on a good even-strength team. Great offensive players have better +- than great defensive players. The best players tend to play the most against the better offensive players. The best players are on the ice in go-for-it situations late in games where the team is likely to allow more 2-on-1s and breakaways and empty-net goals. A great PP player may not have a good +/- because his 23 goals, for example, don’t count. There are just so many variables. But it sure as hell isn’t a defensive stat.

  142. Darren-

    take a look ar callahans +/- compared to his teammates
    take a look at reddens +/- compared to his teammates

    its a stat that is very inconsistent….matchups are a huge factor-is callahan -13 because he is always asked to play against the oppositions top line?
    how many times has a player just jumped on the ice that resulted in a goal against?…how many times have MDZ been on the ice for the empty net goal at the end, usually he is on the ice when we are trailing by 1 and girardi is nailed to the bench because he has no offensive skill

  143. Carp, In fact, when opponents of +/- decry it as a bad stat, they usually point out that top defensemen tend to be out on the ice versus the opponents’ top forwards and so their +/- understates their value. That does not apply in Del Zotto’s case as Tortorella, while loud and sometimes unaccommodating, is not stupid and tries whenever possible to keep Del Zotto as far away from opponents’ top lines as possible. It in fact makes Del Zotto’s +/- much worse. If Tyler Myers, Victor Hedman, etc. were so negative in their rookie seasons it would be understandable as they were immediately leaned on for top 4 matchups. Del Zotto has not been. Much of his play has been against teams’ 3rd and 4th lines.

  144. Vancouver and the Caps have the top 10 +/- players in the NHL.


    Sidney Crosby is in 40th with a +14, that says all you need to know about the plus/minus stat.

  145. Brian Leetch was +31 in 1996-97 and -36 in 1997-98. And that pretty much tells you all you need to know about that stat.

    Two words: Use less.

  146. Seth
    See my post above. Del Zotto is frequently matched up against an opponents lesser lines, Callahan is matched up against the top lines as you’re arguing yourself. Sadly, this means Del Zotto could potentially be even worse if he’d had more time against opponents’ 1-2 lines.
    And empty net goals make up less than 6% of the goals scored against the Rangers so far this year. They shouldn’t skew data that much. If you think they’ve skewed Del Zotto’s stats more thank his mates’, please show me how.

  147. Oh that’s right the Rangers team was -41 in 1997-98. So Leetch was still showing his value to exceed his team.
    Stat seems pretty useful

  148. Carp don’t make a habbit of agreeing with CR9 please, we need some sense coming from you. PP stats are a little weak as well boys, I wish they would put the stat compared to how many min/sec on the PP. I also wish the Ref had they ability to have the PP run the whole 2 min for different degrees of penalities. I know the Ref’s hate us and one more way to screw us but I do think it would be good

  149. And Carp,
    Did I ever say it was a valuable way to evaluate players from season to season? No. It is, however, valuable to evaluate players against their cohorts.

  150. Greg, my budddy, mama is late to the news but no less sorry. What can we do for you??

    My sincere condolences and xoxox….

  151. my point was that MDZ’s plus minus STAT might be bad but that he is not necessarily the root cause of the issue…. as we know callahan is a top player on the team and probably the best two way forward we have and he has the second worse plus minus on the team so what does that say about the STAT….

  152. Seth,
    It says we can learn from it, but that it’s not that be-all end all. Combining plus-minus with the knowledge of who each player tends to match up against is in fact the damning analysis for Del Zotto. The fact that his teammates regularly play the more challenging opponents and still have better +/- numbers than he is a stronger indicator than the stat alone.

  153. Hey Darren how’s about we forget all about the stats and just watch the game and then we decide who’s playing better? Stats are for guys not paying attention

  154. As Carp said, Leetch was -36 in the 97/98 season. But his team was worse. Knowing that Leetch played versus the opponents’ best every night, we can say that he was clearly better than his teammates. And that conclusion matches what we know about Leetch having actually seen him play.

  155. i would argue that staal is the only other dman that is more consistently matched up against the oppositions top talent…MDZ gets a lot of ice time, in fact he has probably lead the dman with ice time a bunch of games…we can agree to disagree ill live and die and let MDZ mature….girardi will probably be out of the league in a few years…..

  156. Alright Hedberg. Who’s playing better in the defensive zone Del Zotto or any of the other Rangers defensemen? What would Tortorella say? What do his even strength minutes say?

  157. Seth you can check all of the game logs if you’d like. But Del Zotto sees nowhere near the opponents that Staal and Girardi do. And in fact MDZ does not receive a ton of ice time. He receives a ton of power play time. But there’s a reason why he’s last in PK time and 4th in even strength time.

  158. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Must stay in the hunt!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Toney ,One cup,mazio, Carp ,Linda ,ilb ,CTblueshirt, CCCP,Chris from Bufalo,Cr9,blublood and Momma …I came back and saw what ya guys wrote . My eyes are in tears I cant lie Im a mess. It feels good , really good . Tony , I picture u in the beard contest and I take what you said to heart.Im hangin in there Carp and Chris dont feel bad , I really should n’t of gotten personal but I love you guys like My Rangers. Gotta win Wedsneday , just win baby.

  159. Did anyone hear Eddie Os comments on hits to the head? I like the idea of allowing refs to review the play and then determine what kind of penalty/game misconduct should be called on the play

  160. Darren, right now I would say that Staal is playing better in his own zone to answer your question and I don’t know who Torts would say but my guess would be Staal as well the way he uses him. Now watch the game and forget the stats. Me watching tells me MDZ has a very good not great upside, he surprises you with the body,too rare for most of our like ‘in, great vision but has fell in love with that home run pass up the middle, esp on the pp, it gets broken up and kills the clock. Late in games he seems to grip the stick on the point and fumbles it a bit. I would leave him off the pt. late in games or when the goalie is pulled. IMO I think the fact that he is a NYR and all that travel and everthing else is wearing him slightly. Needs to get bigger up top and not get posioned by the culture. Fair assessment from my eyes or no?

  161. Just read what happened Greg, I’m really sorry man. Don’t hesitate to vent on here if you need to, we’re all here for ya.

  162. Chris from Buffalo on


    Dont apologize for gettin personal. I dont post here too often but If ya need anything, just ask.

  163. Hedberg,
    Pretty fair assessment. I’d agree that Staal is playing better in his own zone. I also think Girardi and Roszival usually play better in the D-zone then Del Zotto. I do like that he tries to take the body sometimes. But frequently, I think it’s either/or for him and he’s usually not in a position to do so. In fact, he frequently gets caught flat-footed by players who he should be able to skate with based on his athleticism. He does have the habit of going for the home run pass and other teams have not ignored this. When he doesn’t go for the home run and instead skates the puck up ice, he’s very effective. But again, he tends to take himself too deep and get caught in no man’s land without enough speed to sweep through and head back down ice. He should watch how Staal does it. I’m not sure what’s causing his difficulties on the point. Whether its nerves or his height, but he has had some real difficulties keeping pucks in. I’ve found myself actually wishing Staal was there as containable pucks slip out of the zone. Of course that doesn’t include how much Del Zotto vacates the point; he frequently looks more like a forward playing the point. Fair?

  164. hedberg

    A fellow blogger loses someone close to him and you did not bother to take the time to feel for that person, but you took the time to insult me.

    Speaks volumes about your (lack of) character.

  165. This has seriously been a crash course year for MDZ, hopefully he will grow as a player next season. I can’t help but think a good defensive leader would help this team out so much with all the youth on the back end.

  166. Mama, I’m going to be talking about a lot of golf. A lot. And the plus/minus there is always going to be plus.

  167. One more thing about Del Zotto, and then I’m going to shut up and get away from this Bryzgalov computer … if he was a right D-man I’d bet anything he’d be playing a lot with Staal … regardless of his stupid, useless +/- stats.

  168. For all my Russians out there (and for not so Russian also) check out this kid!

    Ok here we go! First audition tape for the Russian Jersey Shore “Brighton Beach” is in!

    Hilarious! Kid is representing!


    This is his fb page name – Andrei Chip – Toronto’s Last Russian Prince! Vote for him!

  169. Carp,
    Name calling is not a becoming form of debate and does not further your point about the usefulness of +/-. It’s a number. It is not “stupid.”
    Next time you’re around Tortorella, ask him why he’s not playing Del Zotto more against the Crosby, Ovechkin, Parise, Vanek, etc. lines.

  170. Doodie Machetto on

    “Doodie- Redden was signed 3 years ago”

    Nope. Signed before last season.

    Also, Darren: Marek Malik led the league in +/-. Game, set, match.

  171. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Must stay in the hunt!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Yeah CR9 , its ok with me .Thanks. Shry ,NYRguy and you Ranger909 I appreciate it .

  172. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Must stay in the hunt!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Well said Mazio , a plus minus is a team stat.

  173. wicky (Leeloo Dallas, multi pass!!) on

    just got home from work samsquatch,… bro…..no need to apologize for anything! It takes time, it’s not easy, but if you need anything, anything at all, let me know!!! Keep your head as clear as you can and focus on the good times. All my best bro, and let me know what I can do!!!

  174. mazio, great link, thanks!

    hopefully the plus minus stuff is out of everyones systems now ;-)

    Wednesday vs twinkie the kid should be another fun event!

  175. Doodie,
    You’re right. He did. So? You must be a new fan. In the pre-lockout, clutch-and-grab NHL, and when he was younger, Marek Malik was actually good. I know 2003-2004 is so long ago, but maybe you should not form biases against players based on how they stunk late for the Rangers. Do you think Flyers fans believe Derian Hatcher was always a bad player? No. These guys were just from another era.

  176. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Must stay in the hunt!!! " … says Greg L. on

    Thanks alot Wicky!!! Mazio , that made me chuckle .

    Darren , the only era Malik is from is the bush-league era. I loved his shoot-out quadiactathon goal . BUT he was awful . Gretzky said he’d never play hockey if he couldn’t be Wayne Gretzky. He retired and was still the best player on the Rangers. When was Malik..Malik? He never hit and always had a scoff look on his face.

  177. the reason Del Zotto doesn’t play against the top players is a number other than plus/minus: 19. That’s his age.

    Good night, Jim-Bob.

    Good night, John Boy.

    Good night, Sally!

  178. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Must stay in the hunt!!! " … says Greg L. on

    I ‘m trying Orr , losing a “babe” is one thing but I really did love this woman. I’d have traded in Megan fox ,Cutbert and the young wonderwoman just to be with her.

  179. miscellaneous on

    Greg bro really sorry to hear this. you are doing the right thing in talking about it and showing your emotions. all you can do is go 1 day at a time.

    by the way i skip a lot of peoples posts but not yours as you were posting when i did and i always admired your passion about the rangers and about life itself. never lose that as people do care about you especially your daughter.

    found this one just for you bro.



  180. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Must stay in the hunt!!! " … says Greg L. on

    miscellaneous , Thanks . I love Matteauuuu. Your kind words is much appreciated. True fans , it means alot comming from you ,ty bud.

  181. Greg – hang in there. It sucks when you lose someone close but eventually the pain subsides(it never goes completely just to remind you of your humanity and love for others).

    I lost my dad in my late teens and my favourite grandfather a few years after and i can now look back at all the holidays, football (soccer) games, playing golf together, watching movies with my grandad and building stuff in his shed – there are still moments of sadness that they aren’t there but their spirit lives on in you.

  182. I was at the rally and got a chance to meet one of the resident boneheads here CCCP. What a terrific guy and good sense of humor. he was snapping pics the whole time, you can even see him in the video I put together of the Fire Glen Sather Rally here.


  183. Another blindsided hit to the head. Savard is diagnosed with Grade 2 concussion. That’s a seriuos injury. He could be out for awhile. How long is it going to take for NHL and NHLPA to step in? My fear is that they will be “debating” it until someone dies. And it will be one life too late.


  184. Here’s a take on the hit from the Pens Blog:

    Let’s get it out there right now.
    We don’t feel bad about the Marc Savard hit.
    We don’t care about the Marc Savard hit.

    You know why? Because we can see into the future. It comes with the territory of being part of the fanbase of the World Champs: The time will come when a Penguin is the victim of this type of hit, and whoever made the hit would be championed all across the Internet. We wake up every day preparing for that.

    It was kind of sad on Sunday night reading stuff about the hit as we were making our rounds on the Internet. 95% of the coverage is coming from people who haven’t watched more than 3 entire Pens games this season. They watch “NHL ON THE FLY” while looking at a box score and think they have a grasp on what the Penguins are all about.

    Any Pens fan reading this right now has more than likely watched every game Matt Cooke has played as a Penguin. He plays the game on the edge, no question about that. But is he dirty? Nah. If we noticed him cruising around looking for cheapshots every game, we’d be the first people to mention it and make a photoshop about it. Bloggers everywhere will try to astonish you with stories of rituals and dazzle you with official-sounding terms like “repeat offender” and “code red.” They might even cut into a few third-line grinders for you. But there’s nothing else to talk about on their clichéd soapbox.

    But this was a headshot. No doubt about it whatsoever.
    It sucks to see hits like this take a player out; for any player to get injured, period.
    (Pay no attention to fans from other cities wishing for Crosby to tear his ACL.)

    Headshots have no place in the game.
    But you know who else doesn’t have a place in the game?
    Matt Cooke…if he doesn’t attempt a hit on Savard here.

    There is a fevered competition on the Penguins’ bottom two lines that has just kicked into high gear.
    And Matt Cooke doesn’t really light the lamp. He’s on the team for a specific reason.
    If he shirks away from delivering a hit, it is noticed in the film room.

    Some thoughts:

    1. — Cooke is bearing down on Savard. Savard is taking the shot. By no means are we blaming Savard, but how can you expect any player in Matt Cooke’s position to stop. What is Matt Cooke supposed to do? It’s clear to anyone watching the video that Matt Cooke was preparing to hit Savard before Savard put himself into a vulnerable position.

    2. — People are quick to compare this to the Mike Richards hit on David Booth.
    The Richards hit was 150% more brutal than this one.

    3. — This clown: Joe Haggerty from some paper in Beantown.

    Dirty, vicious elbow by Matt Cooke on Marc Savard to his blind side after he shot a puck at the Pittsburgh net. Just no regard for the health and well-being of another player right there. Replays showed Cooke lowered an elbow that smashed directly into Savard’s head when he had his head turned away from the Penguins forward. The elbow knocked Savard right down to the ice. Savard was down for 10 minutes and trainers had to take the playmaking center off on a stretcher. Somehow there wasn’t a penalty called on the play, but there’s no way Cooke gets off without a lengthy suspension. That is the kind of play that the NHL is trying to rid their sport of, and it’s yet another injury that the B’s can’t afford.


    4. — If you’re coming here looking for us to wag the finger at Matt Cooke, sorry, you’ve got the wrong place. As we mentioned before, a player putting a hit like this on a Penguin, be it Crosby or Malkin, would have YouTube tribute videos made about him, all the while people would call Crosby a ***** or something.

    You think the Bruins are going to play a clean game on March 18th when the Pens play in Boston? They’ll jump Cooke, and the Pens will go on the powerplay. It will be 3-0 before fat-*** Tim Thomas can muster up the fortitude to complain. Thanks for the 2 points in advance.

    Cooke will probably get suspended 5-10 games.
    Good. Rest up for the playoffs.
    It gives a chance for Disco to juggle some lines and ****.

  185. I would love to see the blog’s reaction if Crosby or Malkin were hit like that.

  186. If Crosby got hit like Savard, said offender would be suspended for life by Colin Campbell and forced to carry Glen Sather’s cigar case for a year.

  187. CTBlueshirt- thanks for that link. It signifies the real problem that exists in NHL- ignorance among the players and the fans. Disturbing, because it was very well thought through point of view. As long as we talk “legal” vs “illegal” head shots, the problem will not be solved.

  188. It’s always tough as a fanbase to admit that one of your players is dirty, but I have no problem admitting that when Hollweg was a Ranger he was dirty. Now some of that may be due to the fact that the penalties he incurred often hurt the team, especially in the playoffs vs the Pens.

    The well hid butt end that Avery pulled on Jurcina in the playoffs last year was dirty and he was lucky he didn’t get suspended for it.

    The Pens Blog zealously defends the Pens players, which any partisan blog (particularly one run by fans) is apt to do. Still, there comes a time to recognize when one of your own has crossed the line. Saying such a player plays with an edge or that he delivers such type of hits because if he didn’t then he’d be benched is extreme tunnel vision.

  189. And when I mention Avery’s hit on Jurcina I know Torts suspended him, but I’m surprised the league didn’t go frame by frame to find Avery guilty of something. Then again it surprises many people to know that Avery has never been suspended for an on ice incident.

  190. Good morning all! Mouth, that video was a great way to start the day. Hysterical. And CCCP in his CCCP sweatshirt!

    On a serious note, I just want to say how touched and impressed I was by everyone’s response to Greg last night. We may disagree here, sometimes not so politely, but it made me proud of all you boneheads how you rallied around him, and to be a part of this blog community.

  191. Doodie Machetto on

    Darren, Malik was always bad, clutch-n-grab or not. But even taking the year he led the league away, in 05-06, Rozsival tied for the league lead in +/- with Wade Redden. Malik was 15th. In 06-07, Malik was 9th.

    So if plus/minus is the ultimate stat for determining a player’s defensive worth, Marek Malik was a top 15 defensive defenseman in the NHL in 05-06 and 06-07. The stat is bogus. Let it go.

  192. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Orr put a couple Ovechkin chicklets on the ice once and the NHL was in an uproar. 5-game suspension. Cooke will probably get a raise and a slap on the ass.

  193. The problem with the Pens blog is it is (rightfully) biased towards the Pens. Anyone who is unbiased will only need to look at 10 seconds or less of video and tell you whether the hit was dirty or just a good, hard hit. Its not about viewing the whole game in context, its about the individual incident.

    Fact is, if they allow this to continue then the teams and fans will lose a skill player for an extended period of time while a dirty player is allowed to skate on – how does that make the game a better on-ice product?

  194. zzzz sorry for your loss…hang in there.

    Remember that the Hockey News picked this team to finish in 13th place….I guess they were pretty close after all.

  195. Boo Hoo for the poor Pens, how about blogging about tanking games to improve your draft positions?

  196. For the record: i’m against head shots of any kind. When i see a guy crouch as he goes into a hit I know he wants to hit the oncoming player under the chin. If its someone of Pronger’s size hitting say, Marty St.Louis there is going to be some head contact as its a huge guy hitting a midget, what you have to look at in those cases is did the guy raise his elbows or turn himself to increase the impact to the head in any way?

    Ovy on Jagr – too much, not necessarily dirty but 1 or 2 game ban for me.
    Cooke on Savard – way too much, dirty and 6-8 game ban.
    Richards on Booth – waaay too much, dirty and 10-12 game ban.

    I would also add a Crosby rule – if anyone embellishes a hit to the head to get an opponent punished – 1 game ban.

  197. Greg, sorry I’m a little late here but that’s just awful. I can’t imagine what you’re going through now. So sorry to hear about your loss.

  198. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    Greg – Sorry for your loss brotha. Your bonehead bretheren are here for ya!

    Matt Cooke – IF anyone saw the Vs Washington game last night, Eddie OleChuck(Spelling) had the perfect idea for how to get head shtos out of the game. AUTOMATIC 10 game suspension and the team can NOT fill the roster spot, and have to use 22 for the time he’s out. This way both the team and player suffer. I think its a great idea.

    Our sad, sad Rangers: Glen Sather must die, period. Choke, get hit by a bus, whatever. His time has come, and he is a laughing stock, but you all know this.

    I went into this season expecting us to have a transition year, and I think this is exactly what we are seeing.

    How many players on our team will not be back? Alot
    Brashear already gone, Redden Hopefully, Rosi hopefully gets traded, Voros in HArtford or on Waivers, Prust, Shelley, Jokinen, Prospal, Christensen, (hope they both stay)

    So the hope as its been since 94, is that we build from within, make smart signings, and build a consistent winner

    But of course that wont happen until our GM has the last name Bowman

  199. Doodie Machetto on

    “Matt Cooke – IF anyone saw the Vs Washington game last night, Eddie OleChuck(Spelling) had the perfect idea for how to get head shtos out of the game. AUTOMATIC 10 game suspension and the team can NOT fill the roster spot, and have to use 22 for the time he’s out. This way both the team and player suffer. I think its a great idea.”

    First, call him *EDZO* !

    Second, you can’t just say every hit to the head is automatic suspension because then you get into situations where players stop hitting because what happens if the opposing player lowers his head before just before he’s hit? Or what if Zdeno Chara hits Brian Gionta and just because of height issues it’s a head hit? And what if in the playoffs a player deliberately lowers their head because it’s Ovechkin and forcing him to be suspended 10 games will be worth the head shot (I know it sounds ludicrous, but I don’t doubt someone would try it)?

    It has to be case by case, it simply has to be. What’s important however is that when it’s not a clean hit, the suspension has to be swift and severe.

    I do however like Edzo’s ideas regarding the term of the suspension.

  200. MikeyNJ – i fear Slats will be with us until he rides off on his retirement Zamboni and his replacement will be Messier. Which, as long as Messier has some understanding of cap management will be an improvement.

    As valiant as the protest was this week past by Mike Zippo et al, the comments made by the MSG exec outside the garden that were quoted somewhere here on an earlier post show that the brass don’t care, Slats will go when he is ready or the playoff revenue dries up.

  201. Doodie – i think they have to consider whether the hit is excessive or dirty.
    Excessive should just carry a one game ban or warning, if its dirty than slap them with a 6-10 game ban depending on how dirty.

    As i mentioned earlier – a Pronger on St.Louis hit may always involve the head so as long as the big guy doesn’t get his elbows up its just a size difference and you can’t punish a big guy just cos he hit a little guy.

    you also have to consider where the puck is, does the player being hit have his head down, is it a blindsided hit, are there elbows involved or is it a shoulder or bodycheck. Has to be a case by case and preferably done by a panel of a few people – not one man law machine Campbell.

  202. Doodie Machetto on

    UKRanger, Messier will be Sather’s puppet. Sather will be President and pull all of the strings. And when the team is horrible under Messier, all he will be doing is tarnishing his legacy. Meanwhile, Sather still gets to run the show, except now he has a loved face to point to, instead of everyone staring at his hated, cigar-filled visage.

  203. Doodie Machetto on

    Right, but as soon as you bring discretion into it, Edzo’s automatic suspension plan is eliminated. Either the suspension is automatic or it isn’t. For instance, and instigator penalty with 5 minutes left in a game is an automatic. Either he got the instigator in the last 5 minutes or he didn’t. Any type of body check play can never be automatic because there are too many shades of gray.

  204. The other option is something like they use in Rugby Union where a team can “cite” a player after a game for a specific incident, it then goes to a disciplinary panel who review the incident and decide on what punishment is handed out.

  205. LI RangerFan on

    UK – isn’t that exactly what the NHL is doing now? Using the Cooke hit as the example, the incident was cited and now Colin Campbell & Co. are reviewing to decide on further penalty…

  206. O'Callahan#24 on

    I have been thinking about the deadline and the totally uncharacteristic silence by the Rangers…
    So what is the reason that Sather made no real moves this deadline?
    Any thoughts?
    Was it because absolutely no one would bite on a move that included one of the untradeables?
    Was he just sticking to his guns of not trading any of our youth?
    I agree he probably should have sold a few players…
    BTW…I traded Staal Wart for O’Callahan.

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