Big trouble now (updated)


I’m always amazed at how quickly everything turns at this time of year … and I’ve only been watching hockey for, what, 40 years. But it does. You never expect one night to bring such euphoria, and another to bring such a frightening, lightning-fast end.

I mean, if the Rangers had won last night, things would have felt like they were snowballing toward a playoff spot … and then that would have changed 180 degrees if they lost tonight. Just as, even with that belly-punch loss, if they can win tonight, they will feel they have another shot.

Here’s the deal. They can still catch Boston. If they win tonight they’re a point behind the Bruins, and though the Bruins will have a game in hand (Thursday vs. Buffalo) the Rangers will temporarily, at least, have the tiebreaker with 37 wins. Then the B’s have Carolina Saturday and at Washington (meaningless for the Caps) Sunday while the Rangers have the Flyers Friday and Sunday.

So that’s possible.

And the Rangers could still catch the Flys, who have nothing left but the two with the Rangers. To do that the Rangers need a point tonight and a sweep of the Flyers. That’s possible.

And while that’s all smiley talk, there’s this: If they lose tonight, to a Toronto team that beat them a week and a half ago; if they lose tonight, at home , where they’ve been dreadful all season, then they need to sweep the Flyers and hope Boston doesn’t get more than one point in its last three games.

In other words, lose tonight and realistically it’s all over.


I’m withholding judgment on the whole John Tortorella-Henrik Lundqvist thing because it would be a second-guess at this point to simply rip the coach for costing his team a game it desperately needed.

I will say I didn’t like the move the moment it happened, didn’t like putting the best and most accountable player on the team on the bench at 3-2 in a must-win game. Didn’t like it one bit.

But I’m not on the bench, and I didn’t see what Tortorella saw (apparently). Lundqvist  “needed to come out” the coach said. OK. I think. I’m assuming he saw something we didn’t, and that he wasn’t just letting his anger cost the Rangers, that it wasn’t just a knee-jerk move. That there was a basis behind it.

I don’t know if there was, or what that was, and I do try to think things through, despite what some people think. And I doubt we will ever get the whole explanation.

But I didn’t like the move. And I’m sure a lot of you didn’t like it. And it may have cost the Rangers their season.


Here’s an interview I did with Nick Montemagno over at The Rangers Tribune blog.


AFTERNOON UPDATE, 12:07 p.m.: Here is the NHL’s final Central Scouting ratings of prospects for the 2010 draft.

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  1. Late in the second or early in the third, I can’t remember where exactly I saw it, but they showed a shot of Torts and he was seething. Like, more angry than he normally is during a game. I’m surprised he didn’t kill anyone after the game.

  2. The Rangers cost the Rangers their season, not torts pulling Hank (Which I didn’t like either)
    But if this team played like 95% of the rest of the NHL teams instead of putrid pee wee hockey, they wouldn’t be in this position!!!

  3. im not sure what to think about henke getting pulled. i thought after the 1st 2 goals he was off his game. 1st goal was short side and from bad angle. 2nd goal was brutal! but, it is tough to pull the guy who gives you the best chance of winning. tough call. if auld comes in and they win 5-4 we are praising torts for having the stones to make the switch. hey, i am sure he knew that whatever the outcome the rangers had to win the last 3 to get in anyway so that probably was a factor too

  4. 40 years and you’re 26. Something doesn’t add up. Let me guess…you dominated at the LLWS (pre-Drury era)?

  5. horrendous at home! just horrendous, its going to get ugly at MSG if we do not score early, i just do not see them winning a one goal game…..score early and often or elee the boo birds will be out tonight

  6. wicky (in Prust we Trust!!!!) on

    I agree with carp, they can still get in, they just have to outplay and win against equal teams or boston needs to choke, either way I hope our boys make it in!!!

    On the draft subject….HRASKO!!!!!!! (or that type)

    Resign prust and shelley ASAP!!!!!!

    I was reading something this morning about the flames may actually trade iggy in the offseason (stupid move), but if they do, we should be all over it even if it doesn’t fill our #1 need of a couple of hard hitting physical crease clearing d men, or a number one centre!

  7. Question for y’all… We knew going in that this would be a rough year for the team. But, if I told you back in September that there was still a chance at the playoffs with 3 games left, would you take it?

  8. Seth, you’re right. Whenever I do math in my head, as opposed to on paper or a calculator, I need an editor at hand.

    But they could win out and pass Montreal.

  9. iDoodie machetto on

    Carp, if they win out it will be moot because they will have passed the flyers.

    This team sucks so bad that they can’t even miss the playoffs properly. Enjoy the carcillo-ey draft pick and early golf.

  10. billybleedsblue on

    They build us up, just to knock us down…

    This is why I was so negative about the remaining 12 games or so. So now, this maybe hurts a little less because I already wrote it off. I’m still a fan though, and will be watching tonight’s game intently, looking to see some hope in this Rangers team.

    Carp, I agree that there must have been something that Torts saw that made him pull Hank. I missed most of the game, only tuning in on that joke of a radio station to hear the final 9 minutes of the 3rd, so I really can’t say I know what it is. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was also thinking it was time to take him out so he’s fresh for tonight? That doesn’t make much sense though…I dunno.

    Late in the 3rd, Maloney said (paraphrasing) the game had a feel of an exhibition, because with a 2 goal lead for the Sabres, it was like everyone knew it was over and they were just going through the motions. Not really what I wanted to hear in such an important game so late in the season…

  11. Yes, the islanders did us at least that favor with taking care of the habs in the SO but we need to rely on Carolina and Toronto to beat the Habs now…..Carp, im hear for you!

    MikeyM, no way not in the situation we are in, i know way back then i was one of the few optimists i had them as high as 4-5 in th east and was mocking TSN for placing them 22/23rd in the league….i thought the flyers would be very solid this year and i though the devils were actually going to be golfing early this year…but still now winning 3 in a row is very tall order for these blueshirts….tougher especially for a team with scoring issues and a team that plays horrendous at home

  12. Carp, no one liked the move. But my sense is that Torts felt that his team didn’t have it. He felt Hank didn’t have it last night either. He took him out. So now he is fresh and pissed off for tonight. Miller was unbeatable last night and they weren’t going to win it by playing safe is death. In fact, when he pulled him he kind of friendly hit him on his chest. “Not your fault, we’ll talk later”. When Hank came out after the intermission, I felt he looked calm. I do not feel the move was so negative, although emotionally it feels like it.

    If Boston gets 4 points, we can’t catch them. But if they only get 3 and we win both Flyers games in OT, Boston is out, us and the Flyers are in. If the Flyers only get one point, they are out. It’s still pretty complex. Again, as a fan I can’t ask for more- win your games and you are in.

  13. >>And it may have cost the Rangers their season.

    The Rangers didn’t score after he made the move, so how exactly could it have cost them the season?

  14. i also thought way back when that kotalik was going to be a very good signing and help the struggling PowerPlay a great deal!!!

  15. billybleedsblue on

    I’m not even sure if it’s possible anymore, but if we don’t make it, I still want to see the Rangers knock the Flyers out somehow. Blogmama, you said it…ifs couldas and havetas. Ugh. ‘Nuff said there. RAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarGGGGGggHHh!!!!!!!!!!!!! hehe I feel better now. :D

  16. Seth, Yeah, but it sounds like you are baseing your answer on what you know now and have seen all season. If I gave you that scenario before the season started, that is what I was going for.

    Unless I’m reading your answer wrong…

  17. ilb, I felt that way too, when I saw him get yanked. I think that for once Torts was thinking ahead and just figured last night was a lost cause and he wanted to get Hank some rest/get him PO’d for tonight and if the change happened to spark the team and they fought back, that was bonus.

  18. because, alan, you don’t know how differently the game plays out at 3-2 than it does at 4-2 and 5-2. At 3-2, maybe they get a clutch goal from Capt. Pizza with 16.5 left or 7.7 left. you don’t ever know.

    but if the move was to rest him for tonight, well, that’s kooky talk. tonight might be too late.

  19. sorry if i confused u-to sum up quickly i thought we would be better than most thought we would be… back in sept i would not be able to settle for that

  20. billybleedsblue on


    “But, if I told you back in September that there was still a chance at the playoffs with 3 games left, would you take it?”

    My answer is, YES. And that’s regardless of a lot of things. Simply put, the answer is yes. Yes, yes, yes. No. Just kidding, it’s still yes.

  21. >>The Rangers didn’t score after he made the move, so how exactly could it have cost
    >>them the season?

    I was about to ask the very same question. Lundqvist was pulled at 3-2; we lost 5-2. I suppose our forwards decided they would score no more, unless Lundqvist was put back in? These coaching experts really crack me up sometimes.

  22. JUST WIN BABY!!!!! IF they win tonight, we can dream of all the scenarios that could have them playing hockey for another week at least :-)

    one thing about this team, they keep us in ‘the vicious cycle'(aka the hamster wheel).

  23. Season’s over after a loss tonight. Hank and Gabby better decide to stop counting their massive wads of cash, and show up for the three biggest regular season games of their careers.

    That game the Craps have against the B’s might be worthless, but Ovechkin is gonna want to try and win the Rocket Richard, so he’ll most likely be in. Plus Semin probably wants to hit 40 goals, and Backstrom wants 100 points, etc.

    I have zero confidence in this team. They sucked at home all year. So, how can you really blame me?

  24. Seth, OK. that makes sense now. I don’t agree with you as I thought this would be tough, transition type year, but I can see your point.

  25. Hockeyman Rangers on

    I didn’t mind the Lundquist pulling, trying to get his team to play some defence other than the goaltender. Also maybe thinking the move would make the rest of the team step it up a notch. I don’t think it mattered who was in net, they would have lost anyway. It is pretty easy to figure out that the D-man was going to the pass and the shot. The Pen’s have done the same thing to us. From what the commentators were saying they knew they were going to do this and they still scored twice on it. Shame on the players for not listening or following thru pregame preparedeness. Are we still not desperate enough???

  26. yeah mickeym, i hear ya brotha-i hear ya, i was way off base, i thought kotalik was going to be good, i thought girardi was going to be good, i even posted way back when in sept that i thought roszival would have a decent offensive season-hahahaha, come next august im going to look at the glass half empty hoping for a lil reverse psychology!

  27. The home record is pathetic. So much to improve on next season. But at least we have this: MDZ and AA got an entire year of experience, Gilroy about 3/4 of a year. Staal seemed to have made a leap in the last 15 or so games. Cally was steady, two years in a row for him, so we KNOW what we have for sure there. Gabby could have hit 50 if only he had a solid #1 center all year long and he didnt get that gash/olympic injury. We got Prust and Shelley towards the end, which, i think both have turned out pretty decently, especially Prust.

    Dubi still a question mark. I know he was out for a while with the injury, and he could have probably netted 25 if not for that, but it’s almost like his attention to detail flits from time to time. Drury, Rozsi and Redden another year older, another year closer to the end of those contracts. Higgins gone, Kotalik gone, Puddin banished. Now Torts just needs to accept the fact that he has to fine tune his game plan to the guys he will have next season, and maybe get another assistant behind the bench. What exactly does Sulli do besides look sharp, read the blog, and suffer Giannone???

  28. really? pulling henrik down 3-2 might have cost them the season? first of all, henrik was obviously not sharp. the third goal could have been stoppable. the first two certainly were. auld is a professional, and a rested one at that. it was smart to see if he could hold buffalo the rest of the way. and how exactly did that move cost the rangers the season when they couldn’t score another goal in the remaining 35 minutes of the game?

    talk about knee-jerk reactions…you’re the one who had a knee-jerk reaction to the yanking of Lundqvist. Think about it with any sense of logic and you’ll see it was the prudent thing to do.

  29. I’ve been on the fence regarding Tortorella’s abilities as a coach so far this season, considering this is the most well rounded roster in the league. But that move last night was garbage – even Auld said something after the game along the lines of “You don’t take your best player off the ice when you need to win.”

  30. Wow..Rangers are a favorite tonight….

    Toronto Maple Leafs +175
    New York Rangers -210

  31. I am not big on the removal of Hank, either. This team has been able to gut out some games recently. They needed to do it last night. You need to be able to find a way to win when everything isn’t going your way. It was gut-check time, and they never got the chance because the white flag was raised. No disrespect to Auld, but if the Rangers can’t rally for Hank, then they really have no hope of rallying.

    However, it is in the past now. Of course, Carp doesn’t think, so I guess we don’t by default since we are on his blog.

    I think Torts is a good coach. He does two things that drive me crazy, though. The first is the constant line switching. Hockey, more than most sports, is all about chemistry. Changing players around constantly only makes things worse. Renney did that as well as playing people out of position (Prucha as a checking forward?). Torts doesn’t seem to do that to his credit.

    The second is the lack of accountability. However, I am seeing a pattern with that. There hasn’t been a single coach who has done a whole lot of that with the Rangers. As little of that as Torts has done, he has done it more than any of the other coaches since Sather took over. I am guessing that some of the game roster decisions are out of the coaches hands.

  32. Noonan-

    Bob was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was
    really pissed.

    She told him “Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the
    driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE !!”

    The next morning he got up early and left for work. When his wife woke
    up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box
    gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway.

    Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, brought
    the box back in the house.

    She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

    Bob has been missing since Friday.

  33. Linda-

    LMFAO!!!!…What exactly does Sulli do besides look sharp, read the blog, and suffer Giannone???

    AMAZING -seriously where is his added value? what are his assets? wtf is going on!

  34. Dan – I’m guessing you meant to say that this isn’t the most well rounded team.

    Tonight is huge. Not worth counting on Boston to lose out…we need to win out and go for broke in each game. Hope Lundqvist is up to it, because lord knows our defense won’t get it done.

  35. seth, he certainly does NOT help Torts with his ties!!

    AFLY, Hank is going to be HUUUUUUUUUUGE tonight, that is pretty much a guarantee. we need our other big $$$$$$$ men to come through tonight, and for the 4th line (4th meal lol) to continue their inspired play of late!

    dshea, great points!!!!

  36. evan, so you’re happy going down with a minor-league goalie in net? A guy who they can’t trust to play a single game down the stretch, all of a sudden is going to play the last half of a must-win game?

  37. Haven’t posted all year long (since last playoffs).

    But I think about the next few days as follows, or the way the Caps thought it about things last year when down 3-0 to us in the playoffs. You know you need to win, and win and then win again. But you do it one game at a time…

    In reality, the playoffs start tonight- anything less than a playoff performance from this team tonight (especially), and of course Friday and Sunday…well, maybe they will have just saved our time because if they can’t win these three the playoffs would just be a tease anyway.

    Fire Sather.

  38. It probably would have been smarter to call a time out and threaten Lundqvist with a pull rather than simply doing it. I would think an angry Hank with something to prove would be about a thousand times better than a rested Auld any day.

    Then, if he continues letting in bad goals, you pull him.

  39. LMAO @ MikeyM being a brother…

    But I’m starting to like the attitude. Just win, don’t worry about anyone else. I’m happy about it. Whatever happened yesterday, was just that- yesterday. In the past.
    Get in, we will see what happens. Except that Caps scored almost 100 (one hundred ) goals than we did this year. But I’d worry about next week.

  40. Jeff, too bad Hank can’t score. After the first two goals,the offense died it’s usual death. Sure, you gotta give a lot of credit to Miller, he made some pretty great saves. But when Brandon Prust is scoring a goal a game, and Brandon Dubinsky is gliding towards the bench for a line change, somethings rotten in denmark.

  41. bull dog line on

    they are what they are. if Hank isn’t great they lose. they just don’t have enough toughness, and skill to win when he is not sharp, and they don’t play a defensive system that they can fall back on when Hank is not sharp.

  42. its times like last night in the second period where one must ask themselves “what would keenan do”?


  43. Here is nightmare…

    Rangers sweep all 3, but Flyers lose in OT both games, get 2 points, tie Rangers and get in on wins.

    Has that been said already?

  44. In the spirit of full disclosure, my attempts at getting handed something under the premise of being a Red Sox fan, may not have worked in a current instance.

    I do not know for sure yet, but I have received no response since March 31, so it might have failed. I’ll give it a few more days to see!

  45. Can’t say I “liked” the move to pull Lundqvist either, but I wasn’t especially negative about it at the time. The 4th and 5th goals were no worse than the ones Lundqvist gave up, so it’s hard to pin the defeat on Auld being in net instead, regardless of whether the rest of the team felt like showing any interest in scoring a couple at the other end.

    And while Auld isn’t exactly the result of the genetic splicing of Hasek and Sawchuk, it’s a bit harsh to label him a minor-leaguer. A career back-up to spot starter maybe.

  46. bull dog line on

    I am not exactly sure what you watched with Dubi last night, but from what I saw he had a very strong game, physical and creative. there seems to be a a lot negative Dubi stuff this year on this blog, I am not really sure why. we should know by now he is not a 50 goal scorer, but he is a good secondary player who can get close to 20 each year. Kills penalty’s hits and chips in some goals. he is a solid player.

  47. bull, i’m usually a big dubi supporter. There was an instance they showed last night with him gliding to the bench, and the sabres guys were all over him. I was then they showed the replay and that might very well be the first time I’ve ever seen him do that. Mind you, i was on the sabres feed, so it could have been biased (and probably was considering the unprofessionalism of a few of those guys). I am usually not down on him, it was just a play on the names, and remembering that one replay. Then again bull dog, it was a pretty bad night for me personally.

  48. funny of 30 prospects, none are like current Rangers. Only Glenn Anderson and he wasn’t a real Ranger…

  49. Carp I never agree with Tortorella. As you know I really hate him as a coach for this team. Nevertheless, this was not Henrik’s night. It is what it is. Tort’s had to take him out for the team to have some chance. Furthermore, Lunqvist usually plays far after such an episode.

  50. wicky (in Prust we Trust!!!!) on

    great point on prust/dubi. Prust is just a stud, the guy brings it every shift!

    I wouldn’t mind drafting beuk’s son in the 2nd round for sure.

    I wish we would bring ulfie on as an asst. to help with the d.

  51. Linda- was afraid to ask, but you do “sound” better.

    On Dubi- with the expection of our 4th line, they all looked overmatched. Duby has been better in his previous few games, for sure.

  52. Pulling Hank was like taking your top starter out in the 2nd inning because he was getting the ball up a bit. Ridiculous…

  53. i forgot to mention that said glide happened before a sabres goal,and it was not just dubinsky.

    after listening to those guys last night, openly mocking the Rangers, i thought about sam and joe, who overhype to opposition. I truly do not recall them ever mocking an opponent, as a matter of fact, we tend to get annoyed with the praise they lavish on other teams lol.

  54. ilb, my personal demonic possession ended. It was a pretty brutal night. I hate when scars from the past burn their way back into the present. But thanks for asking, and next year i hope to be better prepared!

    Wicky, i wasn’t actually down on Dubi, its just the two Brandon guys ya know. If there were 2 olli’s, i’d have used them as an example. You know i’m typically a dubi backer.

  55. I think Dubi is a very good player. Starting next year, he should be a 25 goal and 50-60 point-a-year player. If he can’t be that, then he is playing below his potential. I actually thought he would be those things this year. Callahan should have about the same production. Both of these guys haven’t gotten to where they should have in scoring. If they drove to the net consistently, they both could get 30 goals. Cally is a keeper. Dubi is a mostly-keeper. However, if the Rangers could package him for some real scoring help, I would do it. There is no guarantee he will be more than what he has been this year, either.

  56. first off, the Rangers did not score another goal. they were behind when Hank was pulled, and stayed stuck on 2. therefore, it did not cost them the game

    will it motivate Hank for these last 3 games? we’ll see. that will be the evidence of whether Torts did the right thing.

    but, another thing. the Rangers can afford to win one of the games vs Flyers in OT if they get 2 pts tonight vs Leafs.

    also. the Rangers have the tiebreaker vs Bruins, but not vs Flyers

    the Bruins need 4 points in their last 3 games if the Rangers win out. so, even if the Rangers win twice in OT vs Flyers, and not pass them, then they could still beat out the Bruins

  57. dshea, in my earlier post i did mention that if he didnt get hurt, he probably would have netted 25. that injury is the only reason he didnt. He’s fun to watch when full of confidence,and bull dog is right, he does have a physical edge to his game when he’s on.

  58. Linda

    LOL. Not Francona’s number.

    It is, though, a phone number of a semi-famous actress.

    We’ll see! I never lose hope in the power of a Bostonian to get handed something undeservingly. :)

  59. CR, keep us posted on how it turns out! and thanks, things are much better today!!

    same lineup as last night???

  60. HomerJ Your wrong. The way Henik was playing he was going to let in a few more goals. All goaltenders have nights like this. Why embarrass him further. The challenge is there.

  61. Linda – I would like to think he would have gotten 25 if he didn’t get injured. He has missed 13 games (I believe) this year. Given his rate of scoring, that might be 2 more goals and maybe 7 more points. Depending on what he does the next three games, that might have put him in the range that I mentioned earlier. So, I guess he is doing what he should. Maybe it is because this team is what it is, but to me he seems like he isn’t quite there this season.

    Either way, this will be a career year for him, so he is trending up. So, maybe next year he and Cally will be more able to shoulder the burden we expect them to.

  62. the Avs are a good example of what you can do with young players. but Joe Sacco is a good, patient coach. THAT is the biggest failing of Torts. he benches young kids, and does not instill confidence in them

    my question is, Is Torts the right guy to lead a young crop of Rangers coming up and here now?

    I don’t think so. I prefer a better young player development coach running the team.

  63. Let’s win tonight, get a rousing rendition of Camptown Races Friday….and pound the Effers onto the golf course on Sunday!

  64. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    I do not like second guessing coaching decisions. (maybe because I am in the fraternity)
    And Carp…you are way off base to even consider the coaching move of changing goalies last night has had any impact on this season or where we are.

    You are what the record says you are. And the record says that if we lose tonight we are done, and if we win tonight we are alive going into the final weekend.

  65. Back from lunch and dropping $150 on clothes for the niece’s upcoming bday.

    Seth, not a brotha by a looong shot :)

    Mama, thanks for watchin’ my back.

  66. “April 7th, 2010 at 1:23 pm
    they are what they are. if Hank isn’t great they lose. they just don’t have enough toughness, and skill to win when he is not sharp, and they don’t play a defensive system that they can fall back on when Hank is not sharp.”

    He can’t afford to make ONE mistake. Oh well. Hope they do better tonight or they coul dbe dunzo.

  67. This is all hindsight bias but Henrik should have gotten an extra game or two off earlier in the season especially with playing in the Olympics.


  68. dshea, i am with you on that. Dubi won’t have the distraction that was his contract squabble next season, and i think he has the confidence to KNOW he CAN score 25+ in a season. I always hoped he’d pick up the Adam Graves garbage goal spot, and he does have snarl, so it could be safe to say he’s going to have a pretty decent season next year.

  69. billybleedsblue on

    CARP– I just got the call…a ticket has fallen into my lap and I’m going to the game tonight. Where do you hide out? I want a photo-op! Let’s Go Rangers!

  70. On Dubi and Cally… this is only their 3rd full year in league, for both of them, right? There is no doubt they each struggled at different portions of the year and dealt with injuries, but I’m inclined to hang onto both of them. They’ve both gone a tick upward this year- in the right direction- and I think that next year will be big years for both of them. The only problem is we (as a fanbase on the whole) have the realize they are not superstar goal scorers and instead are steady, 2nd-3rd line players who can do a little bit of everything.

  71. Henrik was marginal at best last night.
    1 goal through the 5 hole which a basketball could have gone through. Another he was not locked to the post which put enough daylight. I think he has been either spectacular or average last night average.
    They need him to be spectacular or at least damm good.
    I see nothing wrong with him being pulled although it was not completely his fault I think he is off his game or certainly inconsistent. The Rangers have more problems than goaltending can be held accountable for however.
    I believe they are done.

  72. Dubi is a center. Torts moved him to the wing. but he is not a stand in front of the net type player. he is good in the corner, but is not a classic up and down the ice straightline type player. more of a weaving, stickhandling, looking for an open teammate type

    he is more a passer and setup guy. just like that beautiful pass last night to Gaborik

    he has not yet learned completely the no-shifts-off tenacity, or the no defensive relaxing moments. he is good, but inconsistent in those 2 areas

    but he is far better than the garbage that is being bandied about, like Cogliano. I have seen him play many times, and he is nowhere near Dubi as an NHL player in most aspects of the game

  73. billybleedsblue on

    “its times like last night in the second period where one must ask themselves “what would keenan do”?”

    tr808– IMHO, the Rangers wouldn’t be in the same position if Keenan was around. I’d like to think that they would be in a playoff spot with him as coach, but what do I know? Just little old me, an observer who is tired of seeing that Torts doesn’t work…tired of seeing the constant juggling…tired of seeing a system (or lack thereof) that doesn’t work…tired of his face at this point…

    Even if the Rangers win the rest of their schedule and put on some kind of show in the post-season, Torts will still come out smelling like Carcillo IMO.

  74. I will make a prediction:
    Torts will not be the coach beyond next year. If they do poorly next year, Sather will blame it on him. If Mess takes over, he will change the coach at some point. Screamers like Torts are not Messier’s cup of tea.

  75. fans barking about Dubi and/or Cally: please.

    I’m fine with Tortorella as coach. He won a Cup with one of the worst goaltenders to ever win a Cup and turned players like Vinny LC and Prospal completely around. This team is soft and needs a guy like him to remind every play on the team that this is the hardest earned trophy in sports. Why do you think Cally wears the A? BECAUSE HE BRINGS 100% EVERY NIGHT!

  76. nyr2011 – I would love to see Dubi really succeed in the role you just described. In your scenario, he and Gaborik should be together and this should be a productive match. So far, that hasn’t been completely the case. I see the playmaker side of his game, but I see him more as a well rounded two-way forward. He is a good passer, but I don’t think he reads the play to be a consistently good set-up center. He did well with Jagr because Jagr is like Dubi in that he is a weaver and a finisher. Gaborik is more of an up and down winger. He needs another winger who is a weaver like him for Dubi to max his potential.

  77. The Caps will throw their game vs Boston on Sunday if they have too. If I were the Caps, I would rather play the Bruins then the Rangers. Lundquist almost stole it last year.

    Not to mention all the injuries on Boston. Boston has 1 20 goal scorer…Washington has nothing but 20+ goal scorers.

  78. regime change on

    pointing out Torts success in Tampa is like pointing out Sather’s success in Edm

    long ago and far away. a different league in terms of rules, contracts, player attitude and maturity, and coach approach

    the screaming bencher who cannot be disciplined himself looks like a hypocritical phony to his players with no patience, no discipline, and no uplifting of players’ morale and attitude

  79. All the Rangers have to do is win their next game, and then the last 2 in overtime.

    That would leave us tied with the Flyers in points and should give us the tiebreaker.

  80. Anybody watch that clip of OTR on TSN where that former Torts coach says that Torts should get fired, and he called him a son of a beach?

    Torts was his head coach. Sounds like somebody is a little jealous that he couldn’t win a Cup for the Bolts, but Torts could.

    What a moron the guy is. He called him “Tortalini”. This guy is making himself look like such a baby.

    I don’t get why people don’t like Torts’ style of coaching. I mean, isn’t that life? If you have a job, and you’re not doing it, you get yelled at, and maybe you get fired. I don’t see the difference between working at Best Buy, and being a professional athlete.

    But, it’s pretty obvious what will happen. Messier might take over next season, and he’ll hire his good buddy Gretzky, and we’ll be a garbage team for another year. Hopefully battling for a top 3 pick :)

  81. billybleedsblue on

    Regime Change– I couldn’t have said it much better. The morale and attitude part is huge. If Torts puts it on the line to the guys tonight, do you think they rally to play for this guy? I don’t think so. The outcome of this season lies in the potential individual effort of the players on this team, not a team playing well for their “leader.” Torts just doesn’t hit me as a guy that the players would go out there and die for, and I think that’s a huge part of the game that’s missing on this Rangers team.

  82. CR9

    Actually, that scenario would put us tied with the Flyers…with the Flyers having 40 wins to our 39…

    Which means, no playoffs.

    Don’t worry…I’m sure they’ll lose tonight so we can all stop with the mathematical probabilities and get back to physics:

    Glen Sather and James Dolan ARE…

    Therefore, WE SUCK

  83. look carp, I understand last night was a must win game (or, maybe not totally, since they’re still in the thick of it today) but how can you ignore the fact that Henrik was not on his game? Sure 99% of the time Henrik is better than Auld, but whether it was due to fatigue or lack of concentration or whatever, Hank didn’t have it. He let in two bad goals. Why not give Auld a shot at that point? It was worth it in the hope that the Rangers would tighten up defensively and maybe give them a little offensive spark. Didn’t happen that way, but it obviously wasn’t going well for Lundqvist. Everyone has an off night, and last night was his.

    I mean you’re right when you say that these games are must win. But to leave a guy out there, just because he’s your #1 most of the time, when he’s struggling makes no sense. This is what a coach is supposed to do. Adapt to what’s happening in the game to give his team the best shot to win.

    Bottom line, let’s hope that move gets him fired up for these final three where he NEEDS to be sharp. 100% of the time.

  84. LI RangerFan on

    CR – no, in your scenario, the Flyers would get the benefit of having more wins (40 to 39), which is the first tie-breaker if tied in points.

  85. LI RangerFan on

    Does anyone think the Rangers may have a better chance catching the Bruins? They have 3 tough games (Buffalo, Carolina (IMO, is never a push-over), and the Caps)

  86. Orr – I watched the clip. I still say Sather is the real culprit. Renney has been his most successful coaching hire to date. Although Renney had some success, the flaws with the roster and the horrid free agent contracts have killed this team.

  87. it is a different thing to yell at a worker who is making $40k and can be fired with notice, than to yell at a worker who has a multi-million dollar contract lasting several years.

    iow, the nhl player nowadays is more like a ceo than a worker. he knows that HE will outlast the coach, that the coach will be the first to go and that the players’ money is guaranteed.

    it is in the coach’s own best interest to not alienate his players nowadays

  88. onecupin69yearsand counting on

    I still think the rangers will make the playoffs
    yanking hank was torts way of trying to fire up the team

    and torts is the wrong coach at the wrong time for these bozo’s

  89. For Noonan:
    For his 25th wedding anniversary a guy takes his wife to Italy.
    What are going to do for your 50th a friend asks.
    I’m going back to get her he relies.

  90. Ya know what? Enough is enough and I hope they lose the last 3. Because they ARE what they ARE. *mediocre*. And while I love my team and I love the idea of ‘theyre in it so theoretically they can win it’ They’d just be Wash’s punching bag. And we’d all sit here complaining about how horrible they were and how sad it was that they couldn’t find a way to beat the Caps- as if it were ever possible.

    At this point, making the playoffs makes everything that’s gone on this season OK on paper. To Dolan, it means that they were ‘a playoff team’. and to Sather it means he put together a team that could compete for the Cup and alls well in the lil world of MSG.
    Even if they make it they don’t deserve to be called a playoff team. They’re a ‘win some lose some’ bunch that is only making things interesting because of the amount of mediocrity that exists amongst the other Eastern Conf teams.

    So with that said, I for one am going to stop letting them stress me out for 2009-10, enjoy the nice weather, and hope that they can take their middle of the pack draft pick and some middle of the pack UFAs this summer and get it atleast half way right for next year.

    For those of you who think I’m nuts- enjoy pulling your hair out tonight while they try to find a way to beat the last ranked team in the East so that they ultimately have a chance to play 4-7 games against the best team in the NHL.

  91. That Leafs game is really gonna come back to haunt us.

    Another game that Hank blew with softies.

    If we had that extra point, then things would be a little different if we lost tonight in regulation.

    All we would have to do is beat Philly in regulation twice, and we’re in. But, noooo.

    Makes me sick. Literally. I have the flu, who gets the fuggin flu in SPRING?!?!?! Ranger fans, that’s who!!

  92. for Tony—

    an older man says the secret to his long marriage is that they go out to dinner twice a week.

    he goes mondays and wednesdays, and she goes tuesdays and thursdays

  93. For anyone:
    A man looks for three things in a woman:
    A woman that has beauty
    A woman that loves sex
    A woman that can cook.
    As long as these 3 women don’t meet, life is good

  94. I dont think the Rangers make the playoffs….It’s probably for the best…this team is just loaded with terrible contracts….such a dead end hell pit……any Rangers fan who thinks otherwise is delusional.

  95. Sorry guys. I didnt look at the standings.

    I just figured with 3 more wins, we’d have more than the Flyers.

  96. Not feeling good aboot tonite. MTL (with all their fans) @ MSG doesn’t work out to well for us often.

  97. How would NOT making the playoffs help our terrible contracts ? I said it many times, I hope we make the playoffs & knock the Carcillo out of Philly !

  98. Baseball The 4-6-8 on

    Torts will be wrong, as well as right, on some of his gut-feeling in-game moves, but I greatly appreciate his DECISIVENESS and his consistent message to the players that he will not tolerate let-downs and that he does apply standards of performance to all players, including the few (two) superstars on this team.

    Torts, to me, is a breath of fresh air, compared with the manager of the baseball team I root for, the Phillies, who has NO standards of performance he holds the players accountable for, and who, basically, just pencils in the lineup on opening day and sticks with it, no matter who is tanking, and no matter how badly. Rollins was among the worst leadoff hitters in baseball last year, the deadbeat manager stayed with him. Lidge had the most Closer blown saves and a 7-run ERA, the deadbeat stayed with him all year.

    My thanks to Torts for CARING ABOUT WINNING, and for communicating this to the players. I hope Torts outlasts Sather and gets a decent GM to work with, because that would be a great start toward turning around circumstances which are beyond Torts’ control, and which he inherited. Torts didn’t win a Stanley Cup by just showing up and clocking in. I think far too many Ranger fans underestimate the impressive positives he brings to this organization. Perfect, no, brilliant strategist, probably not, but it would be nice if more of the players had his pride and his work ethic.

  99. “pointing out Torts success in Tampa is like pointing out Sather’s success in Edm”

    Apples to bananas. Do you know what being a GM versus being a coach is? And Tortorella’s success is much more recent than any of Sather’s.

  100. NANI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4-2 UNITED!!!!!!!!

    NANI strikes it past Jorg Butt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What a run and delivery from Valencia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  101. sather won cups as a coach, may I point out. so the comparison is valid

    both were done before the rules changes, the cap, and most of the coaches were more authoritarian in those days. think Keenan, then and later on.

    different world today in coaching

  102. Olga Folkyerself on

    We can still catch Boston, no? They have to play Buffalo Carolina and Washington yet. Don’t rule out this possibility…

  103. leetchhalloffame on

    I vote for Rangers to draft Austin Watson. Sounds like a (6 foot 3) power forward with talent, which means that Sather won’t be interested.

  104. after seeing the flyers beat Det and Nj recently, I doubt they will blow both games

    also, I notice that Carter is back to practice again, and MAY play if necessary on Sun

    I hope Rangers make it, but it looks bleak

  105. Sather coached some of the most talented teams in NHL history. Almost anyone could have won with those teams (as opposed to anyone being able to win with the highest payroll). He’s light years behind the best coaches in the history of the game.

  106. Ruh roh, United can’t let them score again without scoring themselves. Stupid away goals rule.

  107. exactly, CT. that is the point that was being made. that winning a cup does not make you a perennial great coach, or player

    times change, and Sather and Torts are dinosaurs in today’s game

  108. bull dog line on

    On Torts,
    he has failed on his handling of Gilroy, and Lisin, and he has made some strange decisions during the season, but, if you look at this roster and the lack of skill on it, this actually could, and I think should, be considered a great coaching job this season. to even be in the race with this team is an accomplishment. they have 3 top end players at their positions on the roster(Hank, Gaborik, and for arguments sake Staal), and a bunch of grinder, 3rd line types. plus they have some young players getting better. standings wise, with this team, they are higher than they really should be. just an opinion.

  109. I still think a lot of it comes down to the players, as in almost any sport.

    Babcock did some good things with the Ducks but he won with the Wings because they had a better team. Conversely, the Mets changed managers in 2008 and still had another late season plunge.

    The Devils had a coaching carousel and their 3 Cups are with 3 different coaches but they had the same core of players.

    I don’t always agree with what Torts does, but if they had that supposed deal of Stamkos done combined with Gaborik and then someone like Mark Streit instead of Redden, Torts would “look” like a much better coach.

  110. Two interesting scenarios under Tortorell’a bio:
    Last season he sits Avery because he feels that he is hurting this team and the next game tosses a water bottle over the glass onto a couple of caps fans and we end up losing the series.

    Last night, we are fighting for a spot in the playoffs and after being screened, Lundqvist lets in the 3rd goal. Torts decides to pull him, slaps his pads. Reporters question why and Torts has no comment even still today.

    Can someone show this guy the door?

  111. Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman all die and meet in heaven.
    God is sitting in his chair and says to Lemieux, “Mario, what do you believe in?”
    “I believe hockey is the greatest thing in the world and the best sport in history.”
    To that God says, “Take the seat to my left. And Steve, what do you believe in?”
    “I believe bravery is the best.”
    To that God says, “Take the seat to my right. And Wayne, what do you believe in?”
    “I believe you’re sitting in my seat.”

  112. I must have been asleep at the wheel….someone repeat the Stamkos story that apparently went down (or didn’t but made Torts and Sather look like idiots.) I missed that. Please someone?

  113. Our brilliant GM chirped to the press that he had a handshake agreement last year to trade for Stamkos with one of the head guys in Tampa only he didn’t have full authorization to make the trade.

  114. again, the biggest reason to replace Torts is that he is not the right guy to develop young players, and that is the only way this team gets out of the yearly bubble treadmill

    they need a guy who can work quietly and effectively with the younger players and bring them along. neither Sather nor Torts is that answer.

    and no, Renney is not that type either. he is incompetent, as his work in Vanc and Edm have shown, not to mention his work here.

  115. The refs cheated us.

    Red Card for Silva. 2 Yellows on 2 fouls. But Van Bommel committed 3 fouls worthy of yellows and only received a yellow on the first.

    Oh, well.

  116. “…but if they had that supposed deal of Stamkos done combined with Gaborik…”

    I don’t think there is a single hockey fan in the world who believes that bulldung coming from Slats about Stamkos.

    El Presidente never deems us peasants worthy of his presence or his words. The man has avoided the NY media like no other GM in NY sports HISTORY. BY FAR.

    So a decade into his rebuilding/crumbling of the New York Rangers franchise where every single Rangers fan and most of the national hockey media has declared him to be the main culprit in the disaster that is this franchise…

    …He decides to come down from his Ivory Tower and tell all of us how he’s so damn smart he almost had Stamkos before he broke out.

    I call shenanigans.

  117. I wasn’t suggesting that there was any traction to the Stamkos deal. My point was that if Torts had legitimate first line talent the Rangers would be a better team and Torts would look like a better coach.

    People cried foul when Hank Steinbrenner took a shot at Joe Torre on his way out, citing that people called him Clueless Joe. Well if the offended were willing to look at his managerial career pre-Yankees, Hank wasn’t so wrong after all (I will now douse my eyes in gasoline for saying that).

  118. THE REAL MikeyNJ on

    Knowing the way this freaking season has gone with this team, we’ll all stop wathcing games, they’ll sweep these last three, and beat Washington in 7 games jsut to eff with all of us.


  119. LOL @ Mama.

    I swear I heard a similar one to that recently, only it involved Gretzky,Lemieux and Messier.

  120. Real Mikey,

    From ur lips to Gods EARS!!!

    but the final chapter probably goes like this, rangers win 5-1 tonight somehow then win 3-2 friday and lose 2-1 sunday

  121. BB has sucked for years.

    I didn’t realize people still went there. I thought it closed down, because Doopey Silverstein couldn’t steal any money cause the majority of Ranger fans actually had a brain and figured out that a baby with one arm and half a brain can tell us what he’s always telling Ranger fans.

  122. Please let one referee in this world pay a steep price.

    Again, these referees are subhuman .

  123. I ripped it off the web. you could pretty much put any 3 people in there.

    hey all, seriously, where the heck has Izzy been?

  124. If you want the Rangers to make the playoffs, tonight is a BIG GAME.
    If you’re one of those who hope they don’t, why bother watching ?

  125. Blueshirt Bulletin is still in business?

    That blog was ridiculous. First they turned off the ability to comment on their stupid articles. Then they made you pay to read their stupid articles (full of insight and statistics and, and, and everything by Dubi the biggest ego on the internet).

  126. I’ll be honest about tonight. I’m watching the Rangers game, but I’ll be checking in on the Mets game as well.

  127. We dont know, nor will we ever know, if Torts hadnt pulled Lundqvist, would we have won that game?
    How do we know Hank would not have given up 3 more….or 4, 5 more?
    At 2-1, there seemed to be something not quite right with our man in goal….maybe he is exhausted?
    We will see about that one tonight.

    It does make me sad to know we probably will not make the playoffs……….feels like , well, like before the strike when we sucked. I hate that feeling !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  128. Carp.


    It’s just that they cheated Man U again. It wouldnt be so bad if they didnt cheat us this weekend and decrease our chances at the Premier League, now they knocked us out of the CL.

    I made sure not to use scumbag.

  129. I’m trying to vent in a less volatile way, and a less harming to other posters way.

  130. Im not messing with Carp.


    I am just SOOOO ANGRY that they did it again.

    And Sir Alex is insistent upon playing Michael Carrick.

    The guy provides nothing, he cost us both goals, with the first being truly game changing.

    He then missed a chance right in front of the net to put us back up 2.

    I RARELY insult my own players, but Michael Carrick is just a disgrace to the uniform.

    And he continue to see first team action.

  131. Linda says GO PRUST!!!! on

    # Tony from AZ April 7th, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Knock, knock
    Who’s there ?
    Torts who ?
    I’m not answering that question !

    LMFAO Tony!!!

  132. Tony – if you watched a Man Utd game…you still wouldn’t know who he was.

    But since he’s on CR’s list of things he doesn’t like, we’ll all be hearing about him 20-25 times a day from now on. (Joke, CR. Calm down.)

  133. The first 2 goals were unbelievably soft by Lundqvist, and the team was getting skated circles around all through the 2nd. The only problem i had was i thought it was a bit early, but it was justified.

  134. No matter how bad the Rangers were last night, they still hold their destiny in their own hands.

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