Rangers at Panthers tonight


Good morning, Sunrise (Fla.). The Rangers look to avoid the dreaded Florida sweep against, as Esa Tikkanen used to say, the Punters. It’d be nice if everybody showed up tonight, unlike Wednesday in Tampa.

It’ll be an interesting call on the goalies, with the back-to-back games tonight and at Nashville (I still can’t believe the NHL has a team in Tennessee) tomorrow.

Me? I’m on my way to Syracuse for a state championship football double-header today. Probably won’t see the game live, maybe Rangers in 60 later in the hotel.

Meanwhile, here’s your pre-game notes from the Rangers:

Friday, Nov. 26, 7:30 p.m.
BankAtlantic Center • Sunrise, FL
Rangers: 12-10-1 (25 pts)
Panthers: 9-11-0 (18 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Nov. 24

The Rangers will continue their three-game road trip when they face-off against the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center (7:30 p.m.), in the first game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 12-10-1 (25 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-3, on Wednesday at St. Pete Times Forum, and are now 2-1-0 in their last three games. The Panthers enter the contest with a 9-11-0 (18 pts) record to rank 13th in the Eastern Conference, and have lost three of their last four games. Following the contest, the Rangers will conclude their three-game road trip when they face-off against the Nashville Predators on Saturday, Nov. 27, at Bridgestone Arena (8:00 p.m.), in the second game of a back-to-back set.

*       TV: MSG Network
7:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Bill Pidto and Ron Duguay
7:30 p.m. – Rangers at Panthers
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
*       Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio
7:00 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game with Don LaGreca
7:30 p.m. – Rangers at Panthers
Broadcasters: Joe Tolleson (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)


*       All-Time: The Rangers are 36-23-6-4 all-time against the Panthers: 18-12-4-0 at home and 18-11-2-4 on the road
*       2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks the first of four meetings between the Rangers and Panthers this season, and the first of two meetings at BankAtlantic Center
*       Last Season: New York was 3-1-0 against the Panthers in 2009-10, including a 2-0-0 record at Florida. The Rangers out-scored the Panthers, 6-2, at Florida last season.
*       New York ranks fifth in the NHL on the road with a record of 7-4-0 (14 pts) in 11 games; Florida has posted a record of 5-4-0 (10 pts) at home to rank 22nd in the league
*       The Rangers have posted a record of 0-4-0 vs. Southeast Division opponents; the Panthers are 2-2-0 vs. the Atlantic Division
*       Henrik Lundqvist posted a record of 3-1-0 with a 1.48 goals against average and a .944 save percentage in four games vs. Florida last season, and is now 10-5-1 with a 1.88 goals against average in 16 career regular season games against the Panthers; Martin Biron is 7-11-1-0 with a 2.72 goals against average in 20 career regular season contests vs. the Panthers
*       Marian Gaborik has tallied five goals and 10 points in 11 career regular season contests vs. Florida; Erik Christensen has registered six assists and nine points in 14 career regular season games vs. the Panthers
*       New York lists two former Panthers on their roster: Vinny Prospal (2000-01); Steve Eminger (2008-09)
*       Florida lists two former Rangers on their roster: Radek Dvorak (1999-00 – 2002-03); Christopher Higgins (2009-10)


*       Power Play: The Rangers notched one goal in four power play opportunities (6:03) on Wednesday at Tampa Bay, and have now tallied a power play goal in three consecutive games (3-11, 27.3% over the span). New York ranks 17th in the NHL with a 16.3% (14-86) success rate, and ranks 10th on the road with a 18.4% (7-38) success rate. The Rangers notched one goal in one, five-on-three chance (0:30) on Wednesday at Tampa Bay, and are now 1-5 on five-on-three attempts (5:01). New York is 0-1 (1:05) with a four-on-three advantage this season. Shorthanded goals allowed (1): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen).
*       Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts yielded three goals to the Lightning in six shorthanded situations (8:48) on Wednesday at Tampa Bay, and are now 33-37 (89.2%) over the last 11 games. New York ranks 21st in the NHL with a 81.1% (73-90) success rate, and are 14th in the league on the road with a 81.2% (39-48) success rate. The Rangers held the Maple Leafs scoreless in one, three-on-five situation (0:31) on Oct. 30 at Toronto, and are 4-6 on three-on-fives (5:08) this season. The Blueshirts held the Penguins scoreless in one, three-on-four situation on Nov. 15 at Pittsburgh, and are now 4-6 (2:41) in those situations this season. Shorthanded goals for (4): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky); 11/5 at NJD (Dubinsky); 11/15 at PIT (Staal); 11/24 at TBL (Boyle).
*       Four-on-Four: New York did not skate in a four-on-four situation on Wednesday at Tampa Bay, and are now plus-two in 20, four-on-four situations (28:08) this season. Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov); 11/15 at PIT (Callahan). Four-on-four goals allowed (1): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel).

The Blueshirts have started games off strong this season, tallying the first goal of the game in 16 of their 23 games and posting a record of 11-4-1 in those contests. The Rangers own a record of 7-1-1 when leading after the first period, having out-scored their opponent, 17-10, in the opening frame. Brandon Dubinsky leads the team with four, first period goals on the season, followed by Brian Boyle with three goals.

Tonight’s contest will begin the Rangers’ sixth of 18 back-to-back sets this season. The Blueshirts are currently 2-3-0 in the first game of back-to-backs, and are 1-3-0 when the first game of the set is on the road following a 5-1 loss on Nov. 19 at Colorado. The Rangers are 5-0-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season having out-scored their opponent, 16-5, and are 4-0-0 when the second game is on the road. Over the last two seasons, New York is 14-2-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including a 9-1-1 mark away from MSG over the span.

With Saturday’s 5-2 win at Minnesota, Rangers Head Coach John Tortorella recorded his 300th career NHL victory to become the 40th head coach in league history to reach the mark. Tortorella has posted a record of 301-275-37-52 in 665 regular season games over 11 seasons with the Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning, and ranks 12th among active NHL head coaches on the NHL’s all-time wins list and first among U.S.-born coaches with 301 career victories.

The Rangers have had nine different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season, which is tied for second most in the league. New York trails Washington (10) by one, and is tied with Detroit, Montreal and Tampa Bay entering tonight’s action.

The Blueshirts currently lead the NHL with 387 blocked shots on the season, averaging a league-high, 16.8 blocked shots per contest. Dan Girardi ranks first in the NHL with 68 blocked shots, and Ryan Callahan leads all NHL forwards with 30 blocked shots.

The Rangers currently rank first in the NHL with 678 hits on the season, and lead the league with an average of 29.5 hits per contest. Ryan Callahan currently ranks second in the NHL with 93 hits.


*       The Blueshirts’ power play has tallied a goal in three consecutive games (3-11, 27.3% over the span)
*       The Rangers’ penalty kill has yielded just four goals in their last 11 games, registering a 89.2% success rate (33-37) over the span
*       Marian Gaborik has notched eight points (four goals, four assists) in the last seven games
*       Derek Stepan has recorded eight points in the last seven games, with six assists over the span
*       Dan Girardi has tallied eight points in the last 11 games, including seven assists during the stretch
*       Ruslan Fedotenko has registered six points (three goals, three assists) in the last eight games
*       Matt Gilroy has recorded three assists and a plus-six rating in the last seven games
*       Ryan Callahan has registered 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in his last 18 games
*       Brandon Dubinsky has tallied 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in the last 18 games

Based on opening day rosters, the Rangers have the ninth youngest team in the NHL with an average age of 27 years and 44 days, and the second youngest defensive corp in the league, trailing only Los Angeles with an average age of 25 years and 51 days.


*       Erik Christensen: 3 games from 300 NHL career
*       Dan Girardi: 7 points from 100 NHL career
*       Alex Frolov: 8 points from 400 NHL career


*       Michael Del Zotto: 100th career NHL game (11/19 at COL)
*       Dan Girardi: 300th career NHL game (11/19 at COL)
*       John Tortorella: 300th career NHL win (11/20 at MIN)
*       Ruslan Fedotenko: 700th career NHL game (11/24 at TBL)


*       Vinny Prospal (IR on Sept. 24/knee surgery on Oct. 18, 6-8 weeks) – 23
*       Chris Drury (IR – fractured finger on Oct. 15, 6 weeks) – 20
*       Michal Rozsival (shoulder strain, 7-10 days) – 8

Total Man-Games Lost: 70


*       Nov. 23: Acquired defenseman Stu Bickel from Anaheim in exchange for defenseman Nigel Williams

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  1. Good morning, Carp! We’ll be so close! I’m heading back to Buffalo from Ithaca soon. Damn!

    Hope all youse boneheads had a lovely Thanksgiving!

  2. Shattenkirkheadzo on

    Morning Assen-heads. Hope everyone had a carcillo-free Thanksgiving!


    Sire Father….

  3. morning hang! I like syracuse- great town and i have good friends there. hope troy high wins!

    stuck at work today. would rather be shopping!

  4. Heads up!

    1. Folks are probably trying to kill each other out there in search of Black Friday bargains.
    2. The weather looks miserable.
    3. Hockey starts at 12:00.

    What other reason do I need to keep my butt home?

    [Now, if only Starbucks would to deliver my java…]

  5. N.CountryNYRFan on

    Who would have thouht that Derek Stepan would have more goals and points than Ilya Kovalsuck 20 something games into the season.

  6. Have a question, is it me or is Torts blind with his line combos ? And heres why I ask, Aves is playing his azz of hard on the puck, great behind the net and a real team player yet he is stuck with Booger and the whiney ratard. With Nolof sucking wind wouldnt it be to Torts advantage to maybe have someone on that line that can control the puck and get it to where it belongs. What happened to Boyle-Avery-Prust/ Fedetenko I thought that was a real blue collar hard working line

  7. Kurt, I agree that Avery should get more ice time to try to get him going….Guys like Frolov, EC, and Prust should be on the 3 or 4th line. The Pack needed to be broken up.

    Here’s what i would try:


  8. I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. I will be at the game tonight, looking forward to seeing them play.

    Everyone have a great and safe weekend.

  9. The word is that Hank is getting the start tonight. I think that’s a good move ifthey are trying to get his head straight as he really couldn’t be blamed for the Tampa debacle.

  10. Avery has 2 points in his last 14 games. He started off playing really well and deserved at least top 9 minutes, maybe even top 6. His highwater mark came in that game vs Atlanta where he scored his only goal of the season and set up one more (he also had a couple of multi-assist games earlier in the season). The Edmonton game saw the reduction in his ice time from top 9 to 4th line minutes which not surprisingly coincided with around the time Gaborik returned.

    And when it comes down to it, you know he’s not going to replace anybody on the Dubi-AA-Cally line, nor is he taking ice time away from Gaborik or Stepan. And as much as Frolov has disappointed this year, he’s still outproduced Avery both overall and over the last 10 games.

    As for the 3rd line, he’s not competing against Boyle based on position and he hasn’t been as productive as Feds nor is he deemed as important as Prust who plays a simpler game but is more responsible defensively, hence his role on the PK.

    I know it’s easy to bash the coaching staff, although they’ve kept their lines together much more this year than last, but they’re not withholding playing time from Avery for no reason. He simply hasn’t been very good the last dozen or so games. I like that he sticks up for his teammates, but so do other players like Dubi/Cally/Boyle/Prust/Sauer/etc. Maybe when the team was more plain vanilla they needed him but the Avery of 2 or 3 years ago is not the same player we’re seeing these days.

  11. CT….You make valid points about Aves. He has been a shell of himself from 2-3 years ago. I am tired of defending him and making the case for him to play more right now.

    Unfortunately, as Carp said last week, Avery needs more playing time to find his game again. The problem is that Torts won’t give him more ice because he is afraid of Avery taking a dumb penalty or soft defense. Plus some guys deserve it more. It’s a Catch 16.

    Carp, he is a liability on defense, that is why I think you have to play him with more skilled guys who can hold the puck in the offensive zone. By the way, he is a +3 this season….

    The longer this goes on, the harder it will be for Avery to ever redeem himself…I just don’t buy the argument that he is washed up or isn’t the same player anymore….He’s only 30 and came into camp in great shape…

  12. Duhh, Avery is a forward, like don’t ya know that??
    Defense is something that Defenseman play, sheesh.

  13. Setting aside the personality issues, the suspension and team imposed disciplinary actions, the knock on Avery his whole career is that he does have reasonable athletic skill, unless you’re a pure pugilist, you don’t make it and stay in the NHL without skill, but he’s never been able to put that skill to productive use on a consistent enough basis.

    Is he really that different than Callahan in terms of size, speed and physical abilities? No, he’s not. But you know that Cally will bust his butt every game, not take bad penalties and is very good at making the right decisions with the puck.

    Another knock, he’s actually been a tad injury prone since coming to the Rangers (save for his first season where he played 84 games due to scheduling mismatches). Not Gaborik injury prone, but he does tend to get banged up a bit over the course of the season these past few years.

  14. Shattenkirkheadzo on

    Anybody think if Gabo has another poor game he gets sat like Lundquist? Unfortunately there’s no replacement a la Biron for Henrik, but a message needs to be sent.

  15. Blue Seat Horror on

    I’m not in favor of giving anybody more time to find their game. I’d rather they find their game and earn the ice time. Last year was about playing guys more to find their game and that didn’t turn out very well.

    CT, great points about Avery and his fit in the current line-up.

  16. DDB, I’ve actually noticed Gaborik hustling back on D a lot more this year than last year. There was a couple of times last year where he kind of loafed it on the back-check. In Montreal for an OT loss and in Chicago for an OT loss come to mind. And based on his Corsi and Fenwick numbers, he’s a lot more responsible on D than some of his comparable players in particular Kovalchoke.

  17. Avery can play dopey sometimes but when he actually manages to enter the zone onside he is one of the only Rangers who consistently throws the puck at the net… something they all should do much more.

  18. CT – I can’t argue with the facts. He has been injury prone, inconsistent, and his behavior a problem on and off the ice for his whole career…

    I just think something has to be done. There is too much dead weight on this team taking up cap space….Frolov, Avery, White, EC…that’s over $8M in cap space right there where we are getting close to zero production…Not to mention EC and Avery being questionable teammates….

    And, Froloaf hasn’t earned a lick of icetime as far I’m concerned.

    Do I need to say anything about Todd White?

  19. Blue Seat Horror on

    They just have to stop passing the puck to Christensen period. He can only get a good shot off, it seems, if he steals the puck or intercepts a pass. Getting set up in a prime spot with an open net doesn’t seem to work well for him :-)

  20. I just couldn’t resist CT. He’s good at times, just a few too many lapses for my liking -from a guy we are relying on so heavily. A great defensive play especially from an offensive player like Gabby sets an example more than a great offensive play IMO. Sort of like Cally or Drury dropping the gloves.

    I wish I could remember details like you.

  21. Well every team has dead weight players, especially in the eyes of fans. Isles have almost an entire roster of dead weight. The Devils fans aren’t exactly wishing Langenbrunner a speedy recovery, Mr. Hilary Duff in Pittsburgh is getting a real nice view of the luxury suites at their new arena and yadda yadda yadda.

    I had zero expectations of White other than he wasn’t Donald Brashear. He’s only on the NHL roster because Drury and Prospal are injured.

    Frolov was risk/reward, with the downside risk minimized to this year. As bad as he’s been at scoring (or really good at not scoring if you want to put that way) he’s not really doing anything that hurts the team, he just doesn’t do anything remarkable that helps them on a consistent basis. Sort of like Matt Cullen in his lone season in NY.

    Christensen is getting 4th line minutes at this point. Like White he’ll probably be a perma-scratch when Drury returns (keeping in mind Boogaard will still be in the 4th line rotation). I’m holding out less hope for Prospal at this point.

    But most of those guys, they’re not the horses that will drive the team this year and beyond. It’s easy to pick on them because they don’t seem to do a whole lot with their scraps of ice time, but I’d rather worry about getting MDZ to act as the catalyst for the PP again or getting Staal and Girardi to stop alternating solid games with bad ones or getting Gaborik to the level he played at the first 50+ of last year.

  22. Czechthemout!!!! on

    As much as some people may not like to hear this, Brandon Prust is nothing but a good fourth line player. He busts his assen every shift and always sticks up for his team but he puts up almost no points. Avery is by far a more talented player who also busts his assen all the time and we all know that he sticks up for his teammates even scum like EC who don’t deserve to be stuck up for. I think it is time to play Prust where he belongs and that is on the fourth line and the pk.
    Avery has ten points with very limited ice time. He needs to be put back on the third line.

  23. Is there deader weight in this world than Rick DiPietro?? HAHA! I really dislike that guy!

    Hope youse all had a great Thanksgiving.

  24. Czech, I can’t argue that Avery has more natural skill. Prust has been the more productive of the two lately, which isn’t saying much overall, but while Prust’s ceiling might be a borderline 3rd line/4th line player, Avery’s play over the last few weeks has been that of an average 4th line player.

  25. Tony, per Andrew Gross:

    Again, from afar since I’m not enjoying the rays of sunshine in Florida this week (and will be missing a fantastic night of music on Music Row in Nashville after tomorrow night’s game) but a quick thought on tonight’s game at Sunshine, Fla.

    These happen a few times each season but tonight is a referendum game for the Rangers, specifically, for the team’s two best players: Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik.

    Lundqvist’s inconsistencies have been well documented. Gaborik’s invisibility, for lack of a better term, was brought out by John Tortorella after Wednesday’s 5-3 loss at Tampa Bay on Wednesday, even if Tortorella yesterday insisted he was not calling out Gaborik.

    Both have to respond tonight with good games, because the heat will only get hotter on them if they don’t.

    Gaborik will have a new linemate as Brandon Dubinsky, we believe, will be skating on his left wing with rookie center Derek Stepan. Looks like Derek Boogaard will be a scratch with a shoulder issue.

  26. It’s just a shame Prust doesn’t stick up for his team mates or hustle like Avery does. ehhm

    Avery’s ice time has been down recently but he is still averaging 47 seconds more ES TOI/game and more PP time than Prust.

    Total time per game Prust leads by 11 seconds. The difference of course is Prust gets 1:30 of PK per game vs 0 for Avery.

    Will career high minutes start to expose Prust a bit? we will see.

  27. Boyle season has not gone unnoticed. From Pierre LeBrun’s ESPN blog (probably the only ESPN writer I don’t think has his head up his Cooke in most of his columns), regarding top 10 surprise players for the 1/4 mark of the season:

    5. Brian Boyle, New York Rangers
    The 25-year-old had 12 goals combined in three previous NHL seasons. He had 10 as of Friday morning. What the heck is going on? For starters, he worked on his skating with former world pairs figure skating champion Barb Underhill in the offseason, as recounted in a nice “Hockey Night in Canada” feature by my pal Elliotte Friedman in October.

  28. Will career high minutes start to expose Prust a bit? we will see.


    Expose him as wear him down or expose him that he’ll start playing poorly on D and the PK? In either case I don’t think it will. Aside from his feisty play, one of the things I noticed about Prust even last year was that he doesn’t try to play outside of his limits. He knows he’s got barely above replacement level skill at the NHL level and he doesn’t try to make plays he doesn’t have the hands or feet to do pull off.

    That’s where Avery sometimes gets into trouble and where a lot of his turnovers come from is that he tries to be too fancy. I was at the game last year where Avery torched the Dallas D in the neutral zone and then did a spin move and placed a tape to tape pass on Drury’s stick for a goal but I also remember being at a game a couple of years prior where Avery tried a similar pass just outside his own blueline, almost across the entire rink…in OT against the Flyers who promptly intercepted it and scored the winner.

  29. wicky© (We still need a hard hitting physical crease clearing d man!) on

    My opinion of avery is if he gets 4th line minutes, he usually plays like a 4th liner. If he gets 2nd line minutes, he plays like a 2nd liner. If we compare avery to cally, if avery gets the same amount of ice time that cally does, avery is the better offencive player than cally is (stats don’t lie in this case). If you look at stats from each season from 06 to now, you look at points per game played and then ATOI (pts for both are obviously no whole points and ranged from .25 pts a game to .77 a game) avery averages the same or higher pts per game than cally with some times 6 to almost 8 minutes less of ice time per game.

    Seems to me (on stats alone), you would move avery up and cally down in the line up to get more offencive “punch” in the line up. Thankfully, this isn’t baseball and the game isn’t based upon stats alone.

    Off to work on black friday and a dvr’d game late tonight. LGR!!!!!

    later assens!

  30. Former resulting in the latter, possibly.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love the Prust and I agree he knows his limitations and keeps it simple.

  31. I think most of you are missing the point on Avery. he is not going to be a Ranger long term. I believe he has a year left on his contract after this season, and he will not be brought back. so he is being used accordingly. Prust, is now part of the core, part of the identity of the way the team plays. I agree he is more of a 4th liner, but the way he plays brings more value to the team than Avery.
    the Cally, Avery comparison, not a good one.

  32. I seldom see mention when it comes to giveaways on the team, of certain players who do their share of this feature…like Gaborik.. Watch him sometime when he’s pressed.

    The one thing that Avery does and does very well, perhaps best on the team is battling for and winning most of the scrums behind the opposition net, and then making solid set up passes to the front ( on those rare occasions when a Ranger is in the slot) he gets it done very well.Beyond that . eh, I’m ambivalent. Prust is also pretty good there, but Avery comes up solidly most often.

  33. Prust will be on the 4th line once Drury comes back anyway. there is no way Prust plays over Avery and Drury.

  34. Wicky- I’ll say this to that.

    If Avery is capable of doing what Cally does – just go out and do it. He was getting 14-15 minutes a game for a good stretch to start the season. Did he do some good things? Yeah. If he did enough good things on a consistent basis sans the negative, dumb or selfish stuff he’d be getting the same time or more.

    The comparison to Cally begins and ends with physical abilities.

  35. wicky, I don’t think you can compare them based on the season they’ve both been in the league, but rather use age or whatever year of experience they’ve played. Let’s throw out their first partial season, and use “full” seasons (not necessarily 82 GP, but where they were on the roster from the beginning of the season).

    Full season 1 age 22: 52 GP, 8 G, 5 A, 0.25 pts/gm, +7, 12:22 ATOI
    Full season 2 age 23: 81 GP, 22 G, 18 A, 0.49 pts/gm, +7, 17:04 ATOI
    Full season 3 age 24: 77 GP, 19 G, 18 A, 0.48 pts/gm, -12. 19:24 ATOI

    Full season 1 age 22: 51 GP, 6 G, 9 A, 0.29 pts/gm, +7, 8:39 ATOI
    Full season 2 age 23: 76 GP, 9 G, 19 A, 0.36 pts/gm, +2, 11:41 ATOI
    Full season 3 age 25 (due to lockout): 75 GP, 15 G, 24 A, 0.52 pts/gm, -5, 13:37 ATOI

    Ok, pretty similar so far.

    This year Cally is on pace for 60+ points this season, I don’t think he quite gets there. I’m thinking low to mid 50’s is more likely. Avery is on pace for just over 30 points, maybe give him a few more points here and there and he gets 35. Cally gets more overall minutes mostly because of the PK although he does get a good chunk of PP minutes some games as well.

    But it’s a tough argument at this point, based on seeing how Callahan has evolved as a player to say that Avery deserves the same minutes as Cally.

  36. Dublowsky-Step-On-Gabby

    Could be a pretty good line. I like the “Pack Line”, but Dublowsky has been our best player, so he needs to play with the most talented.

    This should be a blowout tonight. Hank gets a shut-out, and Gabby has four points. Then we get killed by Nashville with Taylor Swift in the house :P

  37. bulldog, I think you’re right about Avery’s future. First, he’ll be 32 and require unrestricted FA money after his current deal expires. After seeing the Dallas fiasco, I really don’t know who his suitors would be after NY. Second, I think the Rangers will let go all of their unrestricted guys after next year meaning him along with Drury and Rozi.

    Oleo, I think you’re right that Prust doesn’t play over Drury. But I think Prust will dress over Avery. He’s been getting more minutes for the past number of games and will still probably get PK time.

  38. I had Drury’s pizza last night … I was so hungry, it was exactly what I needed … clutch

  39. Fishstix up 2-0 on the Devils. Would love to see the Isles streak come to an end over the Devils, mostly because I had a bad feeling they’d end it vs the Rangers next week and I’m going to Friday’s game with an Islanders fan.

  40. CT

    I orginally expected Boyle to drop down to the 4th line b/c he is not gonna stay on the goal scoring pace much longer but until he stops I think Avery has to be on the 4th line by default.

    I certainly cant see Avery being a healthy scratch though, Christensen will be the odd man out…

  41. Yeah oleo, as great as the Boyle story is, I don’t see him scoring 30+ goals this year. Although it would great if he gets to even like 25. I could see Drury moving to the 3rd line maybe seeing them do what they do with AA-Dubi where Drury takes the faceoffs but positionally plays the wing during play.

    Or maybe the 3rd and 4th line get more even minutes with keeping the Boyle-Feds-Prust line intact and having them start plays in the offensive zone with Drury-Avery/Boogaard-EC getting starts in the D zone. But between Prust and Avery, I still think the coaching staff has a lot more trust with Prust than Avery.

  42. CT

    honestly I dont even see him getting 20. Usually when a player has that many goals and so few assists it means that the goals are pretty lucky.

  43. It’s tough to tell where Boyle will end up. 10 goals over the next 60 games to get 20 for the season? I think he can do it.

    The problem is that it’s tough to get a read where his career is trending because he doesn’t have a lot of overall experience. One thing I think is a direct result of his better skating is that he’s getting more shots on goal than he ever has. Now even if his ridiculously high shooting % goes down, I think he’ll still manage to get more shots than in years past because he’s a little quicker and has much better balance. Also, in all but 2 games this year he’s managed to get a shot on goal.

    Currently his shooting percentage is over 21%, that can’t last obviously. He’s getting 2 shots on goal per game. Let’s assume his shots range from around 1.5-2.0 SOG for the rest of the year. Then also decrease his shooting % down to 10%. He’d still get somewhere between 8-12 goals the rest of the way. I’ll take the push/over line at 20 for the season, I’m taking a little blind faith in Boyle.

  44. Boyle has been a MONSTER this season. Has nothing to do with luck. Guy worked very hard in the offseason and it shows. He finally starting to reach his potential and developing. He was a 1st round draft pick. He will continue to score goals for us. I wouldn’t say 30G is out of reach or unreasonable….but pleasantly surprising, absolutely….

  45. I don’t think Boyle’s scoring has been all about luck, but 21% is really high for shooting %. Even in the top goal scorers in the league this year most of them are under 20%. Stamkos and Giroux are over 20%. Dubinsky is too, I expect Dubi’s shooting % to go down as well, but hey having two unexpected guys score upwards of 25-30 goals this year wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  46. Haven’t posted in forever…wanted to say hello. Spending a fun day at my desk doing law school work. Couldn’t be better though watching the Devils look absolutely pathetic against the Islanders.

    I’m a man of patience, but I wonder how much Lou L has when it comes to Maclean. It will be interesting to see…

  47. Yes! Glad the Isles won. That means they cant break their streak against us, and I know we play them soon.

  48. Wheres the love for Avery??????? ET TO BRUTUS`S The guy is a hustler and does have mad skills, does he go south every once in awhile SURE but which Ranger doesnt ? When youre tinkering with lines and not scoring much why not put in a guy who gives his all. As I see it Torts ruined Aves by putting the cuffs on and Aves has answered evry bell Torts rang. As far as him not being here long term I dont know about that, the guy was made for NY and I think he would be an ADDITION as a vet player say more than Captain Coma

  49. Boyle sure does deserve the credit but that said, i stick by assessment that he wont get 20 goals. When a player has so much more goals than assists it, its usually a tell tale sign of luck.

    Thats not really a bad thing though considering he’s a 3rd/4th liner anyway.

  50. haha. the Flyers just got robbed by the Avery rule. they scored in OT, but the goal was taken away because Pronger, who was in front of the net, took one hand off the stick, and moved his arm in front of Kiprusoff’s sightline, thus the goal was waved off, and Pronger was given a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. the announcer even called it the “Avery rule”

    Calgary won it in the shootout, so the crowd was furious, they booed for a long time all thru OT and after the game.

  51. Torts didn’t ruin Aves’ game, Buttman did. Aves shot himself in the foot when he made that “sloppy seconds” comment. He rarely got a break before that, but now it’s worse.

    Aves is just becoming useless. He doesn’t as much, he doesn’t fight as much. He makes a few good passes here and there, but he also makes a ton of stupid plays. And his shot is as good as Crosby’s playoff beard.

    And I’ll go on record! Boyle will score 27 goals, and 10 assists before the season is over! Belieeeve!

  52. Kurt,
    who do you think is going to be with the Rangers longer, Torts or Avery. I think if you answer that question honestly you will see why Avery is not going to with the Rangers long term.

  53. Avery is still a good player its just very hard to pick up points while playing on a line with Derek Boogaard. I mean why do you think Avery only has 2 points in the last month and Prust had barely any points before recently????

    the fact of the matter is unless Avery gets moved up, he wont be producing so unless Prust gets hurt or becomes ineffective, Avery’s point totals will stay low and there is nothing Sean can really do to prevent that.

  54. Aves was never a good fighter or a 4th line grinder…

    He is what he is:

    The most hated pest in the league. A guy who can cause the opposition’s best players to lose focus on the game and focus on him. A guy who has played well with HOF players like Hull, Shanahan, Jags, etc… great skater, above average passer, excellent at cycling behind the net, and a pretty food wrist shot. He has a poor defensive game…

  55. yeah, how elite was gaborik when he sat out Ranger games last season, but was ok to play with slovakia? answer that Torts.

  56. not elite

    because a regular season game in February is nowhere near as important to him (or any other NHL player really) as a medal game in the Olympics that happens once every 4 years especially when Slovakia will probably never get that far again…

  57. I don’t give a damn what HE thinks is important. he is getting paid by the Rangers, and their fans are paying for those games he is sitting out, and they missed the playoffs by one pt

    what he did is inexcusable. he can play in the olympics all he wants. what he cannot do is sit out regular season games and then pretend he is all of a sudden ok to play for slovakia. he pulled the same crap in Minny. he sat out games when he was cleared to play by the medical staff.

  58. NYR_FAN

    exactly and considering the Rangers 3rd line has been extremely good defensively, Prust will continue to get time over Avery despite Avery obviously being able to get more points..

  59. not elite

    he had to get stitches for a deep cut in his leg and still managed to get in 1 game before the Olympics. then he injured his groin for slovakia, a completely diff injury and missed 3 games after that. I dont see how Gaborik was missing Rangers games on purpose just to be healthy for Slovakia.

    What you should be more concerned with is that Gaborik single-handedly got the Rangers within one shootout win of the playoffs by having a career season right after signing a big contract with the Rangers. Cant tell you the last time a Ranger player actually did that.

  60. i can see you are a koolaid drinker concerning him. single-handedly? I laugh at that ridiculous assertion. more like last game where his own coach had to call him out for his lazy, crappy play.

  61. I’d be more concerned with Frolov getting as much ice time as he’s getting…Prust is better than Avery at certain things like PK and fighting…

    Avery shouldn’t be in competition with Prust as they are very different players…they each have different roles…

    Frolov has yet to be factor in a close game this season…playing top minutes…

    Glad to see that Torts moved him off the top line…hope it stays that way…

  62. Gabby was hurt before the Olympics, he decided to play through the pain. He then injured his groin once again, and then decided to play in the meaningless bronze medal game even though he was in pain, and he made it worse, causing him to miss games for the team that is paying his fuggin salary.

    All for a Bronze medal, which the garbage Slovakia team couldn’t even win.

    We could have used a half healthy Gabby down the stretch, but he blew his season.

    But, it’s in the past. Last season is over with. No point in going on aboot it.

  63. not elite

    yet Gaborik is still at a point per game pace, playing on a line with Frolov (who has been disappointing) and either a rookie center or Erik Christensen.

    for what little he has to work with, Gaborik has put up some gaudy numbers as a Ranger and even though he has been bad the last 2 games, im sure he will more than make up for it going forward…

  64. Orr, I actually liked that Slovak team. lol. It was sweet how they beat the Russians. They almost beat Canada too…I was hoping they would get to win a medal…

    smirf…you are right…unless some ridiculously talented Slovak kids come up in the next year or so…Slovakia will not contend for a medal in a long time since all their top players will be out of their primes or retired.

  65. i just dont understand how Ranger fans can be really upset at Gaborik. The guy signed a big contract and actually came through and had a fantastic year. He finished 10th in the league in points and 5th in goals and all those guys who finished ahead of him had the benefit of playing with great linemates.

    I mean how many more points would Gaborik get (and those players lose) if he was traded straight up for Dany Heatley, Patrick Marleau, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Semin etc.

  66. He did have a fantastic year, but had a horrible finish.

    What kind of superstar doesn’t show up for the most important game of the year? Game 82 is why Gabby is not ORR-elite, Dd-elite, Torts-elite, or any kind of elite.

  67. ORR

    we were on the road against a team that wound up going to game 6 of the Stanley Cup. I know he didnt have a good game but it wasnt like he was dogging it either. He needs some help and until we can get him that (which wont be till this offseason at the earliest) were gonna have to live with the fact that more often than not, Gaborik wont be able to come through against these top teams…

  68. >>haha. the Flyers just got robbed by the Avery rule.

    It’s hilarious hearing the guys on NHL Power Play blame Flyers’ loss on Sean Avery.

  69. RetireBradPark's#2 on

    Prucha’s Been Prucha’d.

    Petr Prucha was sent down to San Antonio today.

    I wish his career had gone better. He really did well during his time with Jagr, but he couldn’t stay on his feet (or avoid getting flattened) after #68 left.

  70. Well, look on the bright side, finally Prucha will consistently play hockey! You don’t get Prucha’d in the AHL. At least he wont. If he does, then it’s time to reunite with Jags, Nyls, or Straks in the KHL.

  71. oof, leftovers have left me stuffed…hope the boys aren’t all turkeyed (or partied) out down there in south fla

    i’m liking Behind the Bench

  72. Using one game out of the entire season as an example of whether a player shows up or not is ridiculous. How about game 81 where he scored the game winner and set up another or the dozens of other games where he was the only player to create anything on offense. Gaborik was among the league leaders in terms of % of team scoring.

  73. I wasn’t using that one game. I blame the way he played down the stretch on the Olympics. We needed him healthy, and he came back worse than he was before he left, and he was useless in the most important games of the season.

    It’s not all on him, but he was our most important guy. Unacceptable!

  74. and that had nothing to do with the Flyers being a really good team. please, without Gaborik we would have been lucky to finish ahead of the Islanders…

  75. I wasn’t commenting specifically to you Orr. Last year was last year and I tend to place the blame on the 17 other guys on the team that didn’t do jack-Carcillo in many of games 10-70. Assinging blame to one player in a team sport is short sighted in general.

  76. Blue Seat Horror on

    Pronger really didn’t help his cause by facing his palm toward Kipper on that disallowed goal. Leaves too much room for referee interpretation.

  77. Blue Seat Horror on

    Even Tom Poti can score against the Lightning. Makes Wednesday’s game all the more embarrasing.

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