Rangers-Islanders in review



1) It’s funny how we critique these games sometimes, that we pick at how well or poorly played they might be, and always with the caveat that “it’s the Islanders.” I think John Tortorella said it right last night, that when the Rangers and Islanders play, it’s always a “screwed-up” game. So take your four points and move on. The Rangers probably played better against Pittsburgh on Monday than they did on Long Island on Thursday. Which result would you rather have had? And how bad a loss would that have been Thursday at Nassau if they played that way and didn’t win?

2) Some guys who played much better Friday: Anisimov, Frolov (whom Butch Goring was calling “Frolik” on the Islanders broadcast) — maybe there is something to that fourth-line sparkplug — definitely Staal and Girardi, Dubinsky, Stepan.

3) Some guys who were darn solid right through the home-and-home: Del Zotto and Rozsival, Gaborik and Avery, Callahan, Prust, Boyle.

4) If you’re an Avery fan, you have to like that the newer, kinder, gentler John Tortorella got his back up when it was suggested by a reporter that Avery had fallen off the discipline wagon. This is what Avery is, and if you’re going to punish him for what he did last night, then you’re going to lose him. You will get the 2009-10 Avery, and you don’t want that. I do think that Avery didn’t need to take that misconduct. That’s where he needs to zip it, especially when he’s playing first-line minutes. Those minors he took, and all the aggravating he did, you accept that whole package.

5) Boy, do we spend a lot of time talking about this one guy, No. 16.

6) The Rangers have established this down-low style, and it works for them. But two things. First, they need to learn, and are learning, that the puck eventually has to come back to the front of the net to create offense. Second, it looks sometimes that the power play is trying to play the same game, when the puck should be moved much more so out in front of the goal line. You don’t want to kill the two minutes cycling.

7) And maybe this should have been No. 1, Marc Staal has really shown late last season, during the preseason, and so far through this season, that he’s got very good hand skills in close, that he’s got a good shot from the point, that he can go back-hand. Look at the four goals he scored and, if I recall correctly, the beauty he got in the preseason. There is no reason this guy shouldn’t be able to be an offensive force, too, and no reason why he shouldn’t be able to play on the power play and be the No. 1 D-man everybody expects him to be. And I think he will be all of that. Maybe that’s starting to come.

8) Besides, the Rangers sure are desperate for PP point men after Del Zotto (who is struggling there a bit). I think the move to Stepan there has been fine. I think Staal should get more and more looks there. The one thing I don’t like is Gaborik on the point. He’s too important by the hashmarks, too dangerous there, to waste up high. But he’s good on the point, too.


AP Photo, above.

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  1. Mama, that’s so sad, touches home even though I’ve never met either one. My thoughts are with Fozzy.

  2. Repost:
    Not so good morning all…..I just learned that our dear friend Linda Fozzy has lost her beloved husband Tom. Some of you met him at last spring at the boneheads fest and surely remember him as a great guy. I know I do. I don’t know what happened, and I sure hope Fozzy isn’t mad at my letting you all know, but I think she’d sure like to know that her bonehead family is thinking of her and sending her love. RIP Tom Vecere.

  3. Excellent points, Carp. Totally agree on #7 about Staal. And, haven’t you noticed they are usually game-breaking goals that he scores too?!?

  4. FolkyerselfsPhychiatrist. on

    Oh, no. Not to her. She is my favorite female bonehead. My heart goes out for her and my deepest, sincere condolences. Please, hold on Linda – we are with you.

  5. #2 Frolicking Folik?

    #5 Waaay tooo much time. And he loves it.

    #6 I believe that’s something Dubi has been saying for a while now. A strong cycle is great but at some point you need to go to the net/create something off of it.
    I think Dubi should be the QB on the PP.

    #7 Staal rises to the occasion offensively

  6. so let me get this straight, Avery takes 14 minutes in penalty’s, causes the Rangers to have to shuffle the lines, and he is still considered to have had a good game. this guy is more trouble than he is worth. when he goes a month without doing anything its Torts fault for holding him back, and when Torts does not hold him back he spends the night in the box.

  7. Let me repeat what Bull Dog Line is trying to say:

    Torts holds Avery back because when Avery is on the ice, he is more susceptible to being cheated by the referees.

    Last night – as the night before – Torts put Avery on the 1st line and gave a middle finger to the referees, and he had 14 minutes in the box because the referees cheated him and called 14 unwarranted minutes of penalty time on him. Essentially, the referees gave Torts the middle finger right back.

    I agree with you Bull Dog. Avery’s inconsistency is caused by the referees, not because of any lack of skill on his part.

  8. It is always about balance with Sean. I do agree with Carp and think that he didn’t need to take that misconduct. He just needs to shut his mouth in that type of situation, especially when he’s playing first-line minutes. But you know what, we don’t win these 2 games without him…especially Thursday….

  9. I like Avery, so maybe this is slanted, but what exactly was said that caused a 10 minute misconduct?

    It’s ridiculous that the refs can’t handle any verbal criticism. There were bad calls both ways last night. I didn’t think Avery trying to get to the front of the net (being interfered with) would have been called on anyone else with “AVERY” on the back of the jersey. The camera follows him, he says what I think is “What for?” and then gets 10 additional minutes?

    I was suprised that the Islander player got a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for having a face shield on when attacking Callahan. They both wear face shields – shouldn’t that be negated?

    NHL officiating is not good.

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

    we are so sorry to hear about what happened. Condolences to you and your family! We are here if you need anything!

  11. As I am reading Twitter updates, I find it hard to believe people around hockey thought Cally would receive supplemental discipline from the NHL on that “elbow”. It was a high check and his elbow was slightly exposed. Was it blindside? I have no problem with 2 minutes even though I think that could be let go by the refs. It sucks that almost everything is questioned these days in the NHL…not a good precedent to set…

  12. What horrible news. Tom was a wonderful guy, so lucky I got to meet him in NYC last spring. Foz, my thoughts are with you and your family.

  13. so glad we have staal locked up. I wouldn’t trade him or anyone else who is part of the young core for anyone not named ovechkin.

  14. >>They both wear face shields – shouldn’t that be negated?

    Why should it? Does it say so in the NHL rulebook?

  15. Tiki –

    Nice fuggin try. Don’t mean to speak for bull dog -but that ain’t what he’s saying and you damn well know it. Stick to what you do best, complaining about announcers. Or better yet just stick your thigh high stocking in your mouth :)

  16. ddeb = That’s what I took from Bull Dog’s comment. I feel the same way about Aves as Bull Dog. He’s always being held back by unfair officiating. If given a fair shake, Aves could be consistently be very good.

  17. Doodie Machetto on

    Sad to hear about Linda’s husband. Is that the Linda who was commenting in the game thread last night?

    I’m totally with Bull Dog Line. Avery just can do no wrong by some fans. If he is ineffective, they say Torts is holding him back. But then when Torts loosens the leash, he’s a mixed bag. Sure, sometimes you get a game like two nights ago. But other times, you get a game like last night where he is much more of a liability than an asset.

  18. Doodie Machetto on

    Tiki, that’s not what Bull Dog was saying at all. He was saying what I said. Fans like you either say it’s Torts or the officials.

    Truth is, it’s Avery. He’s just not a consistent hockey player.

  19. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, I don’t like Stepan on the point. Too risky to have such a young forward play the point on the PP.

  20. Tiki- LMFAO see what you want to see or just spin, WTB

    And I’ll the first person to say what Avery is capable of, but it just doesn’t jive with what you get on a consistent basis.

    He’s the Wizard of ID

  21. Pretty sure it’s not in the rulebook that the extra two minutes for instigating with a visor is negated if the opponent also wears one, but it should be. Makes no sense the way it is.

  22. Okay. Doodie. I guess I was mistaken. But today isnt the day for me to continue in the Avery bashing discussion.

    Today is a day of mourning for Mr Fozzy and Linda’s entire family. And Doodie, no it was not the Linda posting here last night. She posts on here as Fozzy.

  23. Doodie –
    Stepan is fine on the point until Joe M says how smart he is. Can he please say how MDZ has such a terribly inaccurate shot?

  24. Ria- I like you better when you zip it. I Smid, I Smid. I hate to be negative, but even more I hate dishonesty. Granted, I guess that comes with ‘fandom’.

  25. I love Cally but that hit was at best, at best, borderline —- the guy was vulnerable and Cally’s elbow was not exactly tucked safely away. If that hit was made on Cally instead of by Cally, the outcry on this board and others would be for two games, without question.

    Stepan on the point on a PP is not anymore risky than having MDZ on the point, or any other young guy. And Stepan’s hockey sense is not only first tier for a rookie, it is first tier for a four year vet. Keep him there and tell him to shoot more.

  26. Slapshot by Pronger makes it 3-2 Fys over Debbies in the 3rd….I actually want the Devs to win this game…

  27. Excellent post, Carp. Torts did say that he’s reducing MDZ’s pp time. If Stahl becomes a fixture at he point on the pp, who takes up some of his five on five minutes? How about Sauer. I just read that Sauer leads all rookies (including forwards) in plus/minus with a +8. He really brings a calm, reliable presence to the defense. I’ve yet to see him rattled. Btw, Stepan is third in the league among rookies in scoring.

  28. Orr-
    I need your expertise. Lee Jeans commercial with Mike Rowe. New one, not the one where the girl tugs on his belt loop. This one has a girl with maximus gluteus maximus walk by and I swear he says, almost subliminally, “research her”. Am I nuts?

  29. If Stahl becomes a fixture at he point on the pp, who takes up some of his five on five minutes? How about Sauer. I just read that Sauer leads all rookies (including forwards) in plus/minus with a +8. He really brings a calm, reliable presence to the defense. I’ve yet to see him rattled. Btw, Stepan is third in the league among rookies in scoring.

    Lowell, these facts make me a happy NYR fan. Staal is our #1 and MVP, next to Henrik. Sauer has been great for a rookie. He plays like a seasoned pro. Stepan improves game by game. It’s great news for the Rangers in the long term picture of things. When MDZ finds his game, this team could really have a special core of excellent young players.

  30. Even though I hate the Flyers even more than the Devils it probably makes sense to hope they win.

  31. Looks like it ain’t happening, Orr. That Clarkson dive was a stupid penalty…..now they scored another, its 4-2…ugh

  32. >>I guess I’m alone on the Cally point…

    You’re not alone, NYR_FAN. Callahan is well known around the league as a hard but CLEAN hitter. He should get the benefit of a doubt from Campbell.

  33. I’m still worried about them getting their game together enough to cause a playoff cluster fugg.

  34. ORR, I share your concerns as well. I want them to win just enough so they do not get a draft pick in the single digits.

  35. JBytes I agree that Callahan should get the benefit of the doubt from Campbell, for the reason you suggest. But that hit, taken alone, with no mitigating/aggravating personalities to consider, was the type of hit that is expressly forbidden by the new rule, due to the vulnerability of the player AND the line-of-sight issue. Of course the league never rules with no consideration of the players involved, so again I agree that Cally should not get suspended. But just sayin’, if a NYR was hurt by a hit like that I would be livid.

  36. Guys- Any video of the Cally hit? I saw it once, but I like to see things like that a few times.

  37. Sometimes I think a player is more apt to get seriously hurt by thinking about delivering a hit than the one receiving it. Not that this is the case.

  38. …and yes, knowing how to spell the name of the player you watch (supposedly) on regular basis should be a second nature…

    i would be embarrassed to misspell the name of any of the Ranges players.

  39. CCCP,
    I have grown tired of talking about Avery. lets talk about another player. you can choose the player, and which side you are on, and I will take the opposite side.

  40. I’m still trying to get over the horrible news about Tom. Mrs and I were lucky enough to meet him and Fozzy last spring. Nice, quiet guy. Puts things in perspective, for sure. Our thoughts to Fozzy.

  41. Thanks JB-
    Pretty much what I saw originally – Carcillo happens so fast during a game- things that look bad don’t mean a player is being dirty. The chicken wing follow through is a natural tendancy and if that was a shoulder to shoulder hit which I’m sure Cally intended its a none issue.

  42. Well, I did spend a few days misspelling Sauer’s name. I make no apologies though; people always misspell and mispronounce my name. I only get embarrassed when I misspell an English word.

  43. Couple of things,

    1) Whatever Avery said or did to get the misconduct, he has to know better, especially when he’s playing on the first line. He also has to know by now that he gets a shorter leash from the officials, right or wrong. And that he gets the ejector button faster than anybody else. So shut up. You took the minor, you don’t like it, shut up. You and the team do not need the extra 10.

    2) Callahan’s hit was indeed an elbow. I think he might be fined.

    3) The instigator with face shield rule is a good one. It doesn’t matter if the other guy has a shield. A guy shouldn’t have to fight if he doesn’t want to nor expect to fight (hence the instigator penalty in the first place) and he definitely shouldn’t have to fight a guy with a shield. In my opinion, if two guys want to fight, and they wear shields, they should take the helmets off. But if one is clearly the instigator, he deserves an extra two minutes.

  44. Carp, you’re so right about the short leash from the refs.
    If you look at the replay Aves says “who me?” to the ref. When the ref points to the box Aves say “Bull Sh*t” That’ll got him the extra 10 minutes.

  45. Oh, and Staal should be able to handle a few extra minutes in his game. he’s young, strong, in shape and the PP minutes don’t involve a lot of skating … Leetch used to play the whole 2:00 of every PP and still get his 28-30+ minutes a night, even when he was older.

  46. I just watched the Cally hit on Nielson and one thing that comes to mind is that it must be hard for a player to always take into account the opposing player’s positioning. Nelson came at Cally with his knees bent, and he was quite low. Had he been skating more upright, Cally’s eblow would have been in Nielson’s chest. I just wonder if it should be the hitter’s responsibility to adjust to, or even predict their opponent’s positioning.

    I thought the same thing about Staal’s hit on Stajan. Flames f

  47. lol Carp that reminds me of the James Bond matchbox car with the ejector seat I had as a kid

    plunk- seeeyaa Seeaan

  48. I thought Callahan could have really hurt him, but even though the elbow was up, he let up a bit.

    Right, Tony. He has to know that such a little Christmas-y phrase as that will get him an extra 10 … and shut up.

  49. Sorry, stupid iPhone cuts me off…

    Flames fans were outraged by Staal’s hit, but it was almost like Staal needed to read Stajan’s mind to figure out if he was going to keep his head up.

    So if refs and the league are going to get more into trying to judge players inTentions on hits, I think it will be a slippery slope.

  50. ilb, I’m with you. News took the air out of my banter today. I will say one thing on the cally deal. maloney made the point that he had the chance to play the puck or the man, and he chose the man, which may make the difference in how the league reacts, even though he’s known as a clean player. I don’t think it was a purposeful at all, but it did happen.

    and since we’re not talking about him, here’s a Sweet 16 just for fun :) that is all….

  51. CCCP,
    Frolov just needs steady ice time with Gabby. he was hurt more than anybody by Gabby’s injury. give him more time.

  52. bull dog line

    you’re kidding, right? more time? Frolov has played in every possible situation and on every possible line combination and has not clicked with anyone! I have yet to see him take a good hard shot on net! He used to be ELITE…but not anymore :)

  53. Dedeb

    I also cringed a bit on the
    Cally hit, the moment it happened, but on replay, I could see that he was actually a bit surprised at the guys sudden arrival and made what looked to me like an instinctive hit, without having time to judge where his arms were. Both of them had arms going and yes, his arm did hit the guy’s head, but I doubt that it was a deliberate head shot.

    I just don’t believe that he is that type of player. In the heat of the melee, with everyone criss crossing, and in and out and then suddenly the boards, it’s easy to get
    misdirected. The big thing about dropping the helmet has always the possibility of going to the ice with no head protection.Aaron Asham when with the Islanders always used to whip off his helmet and invite the other guy to do like wise. I don’t know if he became Flyerized since then, but that always impressed me about him.

  54. CCCP,
    he is a proven goal scorer. it is his first year with a new team. give him time.
    fact of the matter is they need him to be good. they need a goal scoring left winger, and he is what they have.

  55. Brandon Prust (#70) was taken 10 spots after Brandon Dubinsky (#60) in the 2004 draft.
    Chad Kolarik whom Dan Byers( #48 that year) was traded for was #199 in the same draft.

    6 Al Montoya
    19 Lauri Korpikoski
    36 Darin Olver
    48 Dane Byers
    51 Bruce Graham
    60 Brandon Dubinsky

  56. Carp,

    I thought the Islander player got two for instigating, 2 for unsportsmanlike, and 5 for fighting.

    I have no problem with instigator. Face shield or not, that was the right call. I think the unsportsmanlike is ridiculous when both have the shield. It’s not like the guy is hiding behind having the shield. I would gather the intent of the unsportsmanlike rule was to level the field. Sort of like when fighters would have tear-away jerseys, and later, not strap down the jersey so it could be easily removed for an advantage.

    IMHO, when both guys are wearing a shield, the additional unsportsmanlike should not apply.

  57. That is some list ddeb…haha

    wish we still had Korpi…He is one of Phoenix’s best players right now…

    And Carp, why do you think Cally will be fined? If it was an elbow, it was accidental and he got his 2 minutes in the box. Is there really a need for more discipline there? I think intent and reputation of the player should be considered.

  58. Gaborik is really only at the point when it’s a 5-3 or 4-3 situation… I think that works well in that situation because he can get a good one-timer from above a circle or make a quick decision on a pass down low.

    Rozsival has been as steady as it gets and he IS a calming influence defensively and also when it’s pertinent to getting the puck under control in the offensive zone. He has also shown a good knack of taking and sometimes giving really solid bodychecks.

    Girardi and Staal are becoming men among men in the NHL… good to see the entire maturity with these two over the past few seasons.

    Interesting stat so far… after 1/3 of the season… and even though no team has played more games than the Rangers (Blackhawks also 28) They’re currently tied for 5th in the NHL in goals scored…. WOW that’s improvement!

    Let’s Go Rangers… here’s to no swoon before the Holidays!


  59. Been out all day and just saw the terrible news about Fozzy’s husband. I’m so very sorry, Fozzy. My prayers go out to you and your family.

  60. I just heard on The Hotstove that, “The Rangers want Brad Richards…and are now willing to give up assets to get him.” Oh dear!

  61. One last note from the Penguins-Rangers game … On the Pittsburgh broadcast the announcers were talking about Sean Avery and when his picture was up on of them said “we didn’t draw those glasses on him he put them on himself.”

  62. Just got back from Boston College vs. BU; Chris Kreider had a nice game, creating a breakaway on the penalty kill and scoring. That kid is FAST. I hope he signs with the Rangers next year. Good size, lots of speed, and a good shot too.

  63. I’ll be in CT from the 20th to the 3rd, and would love to get up to the Garden and run into some of you all….but I’ve already been put on notice…..t’aint gonna happen.

    On such limited time and with so many friends and family to visit, there just won’t be time. I didn’t know Ms Fozzy and was not aware that there was a death in her family. That’s always a crying thing to happen especially if it is sudden.

    I must confess that I begin to grow confused with all the
    variations on ID names posted and what really keeps me off kilter is the knicknames that so many have for players and each other…..I find myself re reading the posts to try and decipher who is posting and who the players are with the knicknames and abbreviations.

    Ms Fozzy you have my deepest sympathy, and I know that all of your friends here on the blog feel likewise.In spite of the major league saltiness of the posters, they are by and large a good group, and not given to excess in their rancor. I recall losing both sisters of mine who were younger than me, and it was difficult to contain for a while. But God’s love is eternal and I will offer Rosary for your family member this season.

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