Rangers-Senators in review


In the previous thread, we discussed the Matt Carkner blood-flicking allegation.

As for last night’s game, the guys on TV were right. This is a game the Rangers probably lose last year. And the Rangers don’t stop playing. They might stink it up once in a while. But they play to the end.


1) I’m not sure if it was Scott Driscoll or Michel Cormier, but one of the linesmen deserve a big assist in this win for the Rangers, because when that knucklehead Chris Neil ran over Ryan Callahan late and high, one of those guys cut off Brandon Dubinsky. And Dubinsky was coming in angry, power play be damned, and good for him. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he’d evened up the manpower by going after Neil there, and I think he would have. But the linesman got between them, the Rangers got the power play, and Michael Sauer scored the winning PPG.

2) Derek Stepan, at 20, is the best center on the team. That simple. I think they ought to leave him on Marian Gaborik’s line for a while and see what happens, especially since Chris Drury is coming back to fill in on one of the other lines.

3) Good for Sauer, who made that awful giveaway on the 1-0 goal. John Tortorella said it wasn’t that bad a play — meaning in theory, I guess — but because of what happened, it was a very bad play.

4) No idea what Eminger’s injury is, but I guess that would make the decision to get Del Zotto back into the lineup easier. Because Matt Gilroy didn’t do anything to deserve to come out, and Del Zotto doesn’t need another game in the pressbox.

5) Boy, Derek Boogaard caught one right on the button. I didn’t think that was an instigator on Carkner, only because there is almost never an instigator when two enforcers fight, and it wasn’t as if Boogaard didn’t want to fight. Yes, Carkner started the fight. But somebody starts every fight, and the instigator is almost never called when two real fighters fight. But they sure could have given Carkner a minor for the original shot to Boogaard’s head before the fight, and they sure could have given him a minor for unsportsmanlike conduct for whatever he was doing at the end of the fight, instead of the misconduct. Giving him a 10-minute misconduct there is completely useless.

6) It’s now 11 road wins. Most in the NHL. Teams that win on the road win in the playoffs. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

7) The Rangers still don’t out-skill teams … I don’t think they have more speed or skill than the Senators, for example. But I think the Rangers are the better team. You can say the same thing about a lot of the bubble teams in the Leastern Conference.

8) Did Alexei Kovalev break a sweat in either game?

9) In the old days that goal Erik Christensen scored almost never happened, because goalies hugged the post, standing up, and there was no room. Now the goalies move off the post or go down to a knee. Why? No idea.

10) When Marian Gaborik is going like he was in that game last night, he’s one of the top players in the game, on a par with almost anybody.

11) Don’t know if Michal Rozsival was to blame for the bad change that resulted in the breakaway goal. But he had a rough night, and if that was his fault, it was a terrible night.


AP photo, above.

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  1. Pucktenko (formerly The Puck Drops Here) on

    I was just told I am posting comments too quickly…. slow down. lol

  2. And maybe they should wear white jerseys at home, anything to give them a road ice advantage.

  3. Joekuh - EC Fan Club President on

    That was a great shot by Sauer. Roszival needs to shoot more. GOOD MORNING BONEHEADS!!!!

  4. Czechthemout!!!! on

    Agree with you on Stepan. I’ve been saying that for a while now. As well as he played last night, he actually would have been first star if Gabby converted the two breakaways he set him up for and Dubi converted his. That’ three breakaways that he set up. I don’ recall ever seeing one player from the Rangers setting up three breakaways in one game.

  5. Can you imagine after Rozi leaves the Rangers could have an entire D of homegrown players? Staal, Girardi, DZ, Sauer, McIlrath, Valentenko or 5 of 6 if McD stays.

  6. The fact that Boogie took that shot in the nose and didn’t go down immediately, says a lot about how tough the guy is. It was a Rocky moment when they both landed a big one at the same time. What really should have happened is that as soon as they both made contact with each others face, the screen should have froze, and it should have panned out in to a painting of a freeze frame of that very shot, ala end of Rocky when he and Apollo fight in the empty gym. :)

  7. Linda CalPrustBoylahan on

    HAPPY FRIDAY MORNING ‘HEADS!! Hope youse guys have a great day. I’m about to enter the gates of hell, aka work, and not looking forward to the fall out from yesterday! 5 pm CANNOT come soon enough!

  8. Goalies go down on one knee so that they are in better position to move laterally. If there’s a pass out to the front or to the other side, the goalie is supposed to slide over with his leg down and his body upright so he’s only giving up the upper corners. Then he pops up into the normal position when there isn’t an immenent danger of the puck being shot. Without that leg being down, sliding over, it’s much easier to just put the puck hard on the ice and get a goal.

  9. Hockeyman Rangers/I vote for Captain Callahan on

    I am getting frusrated with Tortorella changing the lines combo’s, did he leave one line together at all through out the game last night???? I know this is a ongoing thing with him but last night was ridiculous. I don’t get it??

  10. Nasty, I’ll take a box of jujyfruits, a box of junior mints and get me another box of jujyfruits.

  11. YES! And then to Warren after, and probably a night of debauchery with my brother. I am in need of one. Been a rough few months. I am annoyed!!!! I finally was going to order a heritage jersey at pro-jerseys.com and they are all on back order. Grrrrrr.

  12. Cool, I’ll be there too with Mrs. CTB. I’m waiting for my heritage jersey that I ordered on Black Friday from NHL.com. They said it would arrive sometime between the 8th and the 14th. The tracking info says it hasn’t left the warehouse yet, double grrrr.

  13. Doodie Machetto on

    Carkner has to be the man to beat in the NHL now, right?

    While it was nice that Sauer got the PP goal, I’m shocked Torts gave him PP time after that dreadful giveaway in the first period. Any play that has me immediately stand up and yell “WHAT THE BUFF!?”, even before the puck ends up in the net, is beyond terrible.

  14. Carp – I would say the Rangers have more skill than the Senators as they are currently playing. Gaborik and Lundqvist are the best players on the ice, followed by Alfredsson, Spezza, Gonchar (maybe not anymore), and possibly Michalek, then a few Rangers come next.

    Doodie – It wasn’t real power play time, it was just convenient timing as the power play was expiring and the second unit went off.

  15. Good morning, ‘heads!

    Great post, Carp! Can not express more on #2. I do believe that Stepan can be a legit #1 center. He shows something new every game, I think he has even more to offer immediately, but his rookie status holds him back somewhat. It makes me smile when I think what he can become with more experience. He needs to play with top players in order to flourish. I’d leave him with Gaborik for long stretch. Hope Torts agrees.

    Wasn’t the best defensively played game by any stretch of imagination, but they kept playing and took over the last period. I guess three days of rest helped.

  16. I was real happy to see Fedotenko score. His was a great goal all around and he deserved to be rewarded for his hard work of late.

  17. >>And maybe they should wear white jerseys at home, anything to give them a road ice

    And start calling those home-and-home series “away and away”.

  18. >>…but they kept playing and took over the last period.

    Once again, proving that you don’t need to play a full sixty minutes to win.

  19. Jlone2Bubblehead on

    From the Rangers website.

    The Rangers did lose two players to injury during the game. Derek Boogaard was hurt during a first period fight with Matt Carkner. After the game Tortorella said he believed that Boogaard ?busted his nose?, but was not 100 percent sure. Also, Eminger?s back ?locked up? after a third period hit and he, too, did not return

  20. Tiki - I am a nudge: One who persistently pesters, annoys, or complains. on

    The two best parts of the picture by Carp is 2. Prust smiling and 1. Avery excited and smiling.

    The Rangers showed great character to come back three different times from a goal deficit.

    If they start playing complete games, we will be a team to be reckoned with.

    And Sauer and EC showed exactly why it’s smart to get shots on net, because anything can happen when you do. Also, when you hit nets, you limit the amount of breakouts in the opposite direction. HIT THE NET!

  21. Doodie Machetto on

    I think Drury ends up playing on the “2nd” line between Dubinsky and Callahan so they can win some more faceoffs without having Dubinsky start at center and transition to the wing. Anisimov and Stepan have been DREADFUL in the middle.

  22. Tiki - I am a nudge: One who persistently pesters, annoys, or complains. on

    One thing we can all agree on – something positive about this team – is that the team is gelling together and growing up together. Oh, and Henrik owned the 3rd period.

  23. Interesting how Carkner is a legit heavyweight AND can take an NHL shift. Unlike Boogaard. Makes sense now that the NYR would draft McIlrath. The era of guys that fight but not play is over.


  24. CW- having a D-man as your heavyweight has positives and negatives. He can protect every third shift. But if he gets into 2 fights per night, that is at least 10 min to be eaten up by 5 other defensemen

  25. Doodie Machetto on

    cw, Carkner is a rare exception. Not really any heavyweights can take real shifts. There are a lot of good middleweight players (I think Ryan Clowe is best), but no true heavyweight regularly takes meaningful shifts.

  26. davy, I’d rather give up the cross-crease pass/dunk than those game-breaking bad angle goals.

    Hockeyman, I didn’t think the line juggling was so bad last night.

    Good morning, Sally, 26!

  27. Awesome points, Carp. I really liked that play by Prust and Avery to set up Sauer for the GWG. I think those guys should get more PP time.

    Carp, to answer your question (#8)….

    A resounding no, and thank goodness. You never know which Alex Kovalev will show up. When he is on, he can be the best player on the ice and its a good thing he wasn’t last night or at MSG.

  28. “10) When Marian Gaborik is going like he was in that game last night, he’s one of the top players in the game, on a par with almost anybody.”

    Well, he is on par with the top guys on the league at all times, no matter what night, end of story. Even the best players in the league have off nights or bad stretches (Kovalchuck, Ovechkin). Gaborik is an elite player.

  29. Good afternoon all! Nasty, you’re going to warren??? I’m gonna have to come on down!!!! CT, what about you?

  30. After seeing what Gaby has done in his with the NYR, it is ignorant to not consider Gaby one of the top 5 players in the world….He is that elite, like Carp said, on a par with almost anybody…

  31. Certainly is interesting how this team is rattling off wins on the road…makes one wonder just what in the hell is wrong with them at MSG. Especially since Torts talked long and loud about how they needed to seal the deal at home.

    I will say this season has, so far, been a pleasant surprise. The attitude is there for the most part, and this team does play hard on most nights similar to the team that came out of the lockout and surprised everybody til the end when Hank collapsed and Jags missed wide right.

    I find myself curious as to what Prospal can give us when he comes back. If he can play the second half like he played the first half last year, he helps us enormously. Not to mention I miss seeing that George Hamilton Bronzed face when the Rangers score (Prospal definitely seems to be one of the more enthusiastic players when the team scores)

    Drury, I shudder…yeah, he can win faceoffs. And the team desperately needs help in that department. But he’s also small, slow, can’t pass, can’t shoot and is a 50/50 shot at being crippled every time he goes to block a shot. Maybe he knows this is his last shot to do ANYTHING of consequence in a Blueshirt…because so far he’s done absolutely nothing since winning that puck flip with Gomez.

    Speaking of Gomez….DAMN, does he suck in Montreal!

    Oh, and Frolov gets the annual “Sather-Signing-Bust” award.

  32. “Carkner has to be the man to beat in the NHL now, right?”

    Didn’t Orr (the real Orr) take Carkner apart about 20 times last year?

  33. Doodie Machetto on

    Yeah, I suppose he’s not. Anyone follow Engyland on the Penguins? Smaller guy, but man, he fights great.

  34. Carkner is an odd goon. He’ll upset a big name goon, then he’ll get the sh*t kicked out of him for his next few fights. He’s a lucky fighter.

    Shawn Thornton is the toughest goon this year. He hasn’t lost many fights. Also, Engelland, from the Pens.

    Booger has been a bust thus far. Not as dominant as he was in Minnesota.

    But, not only should Carkner at least have gotten an instigator, he should have gotten a roughing minor as well. I think that’s BS, the same rules don’t apply for a goon. What if it’s a one goal game, and you don’t want to give the other team energy? What? You’re forced to fight because you’re a fighter, and potentially screw your team? Doesn’t make sense. This league doesn’t make sense. Mike Ricci’s face doesn’t make sense.

    Also, I’m thankful for those linesman as well. Not only did they secure a PP for us, but they saved Dublowsky from an ass-kicking he wouldn’t have wanted. I mean, the guy can barely fight Mike Green, how do you think he’ll do against that square-dead, gap tooth, piece of carp, Neil?

  35. Did anyone see the Marian Gaborik McFarlane figure? It’s pathetic. They gave him black hair. You can’t see it that well because of the helmet, but he has curly black hair. It doesn’t look much like him.

    McFarlane is slacking.

    Also in the series is Kane, Crosby, Gomez, Backstrom, H. Sedin, Penner, and Kessel.

  36. Mama, I’ll try to convince the Mrs. to come down. I’d definitely like to do a meet up, and I have an day off from work scheduled the next day. Mrs. CTB has to work though.

  37. Tiki - I am a nudge: One who persistently pesters, annoys, or complains. on

    Please everyone keep a fellow bonehead and her daughter in our prayers today. the daughter of fellow poster “henrik lundqvist blog” is very sick and has been for a couple days and is going to the hospital for testing.

  38. True Blue Mike on

    Vote Avery!

    Text Bombing Avery to Victory
    Received an e-mail from TheNYRBlog reader Tim yesterday who informed me that on the Android market there are three free text apps that allow users to continually send the same text message. With those apps he was able to vote for Sean Avery over 3,000 times by text message yesterday.

    The apps are: sms bomber, elitebomb sms text bomber free and text bomber.

    Before any of you Droid users run to download one of these apps, please, please, please check with your provider that you will not be charged for these texts. And that goes for anyone texting votes for Avery. The last thing you need is to text “Sean Avery” 3,000 times and find out you’re getting charged for it.

    The official word from the NHL on text voting is that “Message and data rates may apply.”

    Also, I’m not pushing anyone to use these apps as I’m personanally not familiar with them, I thought I’d just pass this along.

    For all of those who might think this is cheating I give you this quote from the NHL…

    “…the balloting process is entirely digital, offering sports’ most tech-savvy fans the ability to vote as often as they like via mobile devices and online.”

    …the NHL says to vote as often as we’d like and we intend to.

    To vote for Avery you can go to NHL.com or text “Avery” to 81812.

    Also don’t foget to “Like” the official “Vote for Sean Avery” facebook page.

  39. True Blue Mike on

    We need to get Avery into the top 10 by the next time they let out the rankings and we can do it!

  40. CT, the next day’s a Friday. tell the mrs. to power through :)

    tiki, will do. thanks for the info.

    True, same to you :)

  41. said it last night and i will say it again- i LOVE it when Dubinsky defends Callahan. makes me soo happy to see that. not that i don’t love it when he defends other teammates, but when it’s Cally he defends, i just think it’s somethin extra special.

    Missouri drivers are officially worse than NY drivers. there were nuts all over the roads today! and for some reason the roads were a little icy in spots and ppl apparently took that to mean they should drive like maniacs. Crazy!!

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

    I really don’t think the boogey man is a bust and we have clearly seen (i.e. the flames game, when inserted at the proper times by the coach, he can settle things down). It is just a shame this shoulder thing keeps happening to him (I agree with nasty, that punch had to suck, but he took it and kept going. The shoulder is what kept him out) and the coach doesn’t play him enough.

    Speaking of torts, I really don’t get putting the AA line out there at the end of the game. It should be the Boyle line which is way better defencively to protect the lead. Anyone else think avery or prust should be seeing more powerplay time??

    Anyone watched the behind the bench yet, cracks me up that torts uses the term “cat” when describing players.

    If eminger is out, here is my thought….(set to the music of a well known song) All we are saying, is give vtank a chance!!!!

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

    My advice (definitely the worst drivers EVER!!!) stay at home if at all possible, they really do suck!!.

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

    Blues are looking for a forward….wonder what we could get from them for EC (not a lot I would guess).

  45. Tiki - I am a nudge: One who persistently pesters, annoys, or complains. on

    True Blue – Do you text “Avery” or “Sean Avery”?

    because Ive been texting “Avery” for the past hour and hope Im not wasting my time.

  46. A few more things on that fight last night:

    1) That hit by Boogaard, he needs to do more of that. Though I think he could have been called for interference since Jesse Winchester, who got crunched in open ice, had long ago released the puck. But if Boogaard is going to truly be an effective player, he needs to hit people and bully people.

    2) That’s obviously what got Carkner going.

    3) Though Carkner, as I said, could have gotten an extra two for the shot to Boogaard’s head before the fight, it was Boogaard who dropped his glove first. I don’t think an instigator would have been the right call, given how enforcers always fight on cue.

    4) I think Boogaard was wrestling Carkner as much as Carkner was wrestling Boogaard after the broken-nose punch and the simultaneous haymakers. Boogaard was hurtin’ and I wonder if he might have a concussion, too. That’s complete speculation.

    5) Whatever the heck Carkner was doing when he was laying on top of Boogaard at the end of the fight, unless he was asking him if he’s OK (doubtful), he should have gotten an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

    6) I hope the league is seriously investigating this alleged blood flick.

  47. I give Avery credit on the Sauer goal also strong on the boards got it to Prust great pass to Sauer on the GWG

  48. Can’t they use a psychologist to figure out why the team can’t win consistently at home? Maybe the one from Geico jackwagon can help?

    Tiki, I just sent you a FB message.

  49. We should throw pancakes at the Rangers next time they lose at home. These Leafs fan are on to something.

    But, don’t throw bacon. That would be a terrible thing to do.

    In fact, If I were president, I would make a new law. Automatic year in jail every time you drop a strip of bacon!

  50. True Blue Mike, I think you are good. This from the NHL:

    Mobile users in the U.S. and Canada will be able to cast their votes via text message using any mobile device and wireless carrier. To vote via text message using any wireless carrier, fans should text their favorite player’s last name to the shortcode 81812. Message and data rates may apply.

    Orr, can I vote for you for President? I take my bacon very seriously! ;p

  51. “The other thing I don’t get is the putting of dubi AA cally line out towards the end of the game when they are so bad defencively (I hate the plus minus stat, but seriously) and you are trying to prevent a goal with the other team’s goalie is pulled. Dubi makes avery look like a selke winner as bad as he is defencively.”

    Wicky- Were you Fedotenkoed again? I hope this song doesn’t make it to your heavy rotation playlist.

  52. btw who ever wanted to order heritage jersey from pro-jersey.com i have spoken to their rep and he said they dont expect them in size L before mid February :(((

  53. Wow, True Blue, I’m so glad I got mine.

    Tony, you keep eating that bacon, I doubt you will use your new Medicare card for very long, sorry. :-)

  54. so Carp,
    you are now carrying the grudge Campbell had for Kovalev. the minor league quitting on the coach happened over 1000 pts ago. I think its time you got over it.

  55. I don’t hold any grudge. I just thought he absolutely floated for these two games against the Rangers … and I’ve seen him float dozens of times.

  56. In case anyone was wondering about my Islander fan grandson, he is doing much better today. Last night the doctors had to surgically drain his sinus and discovered an abcess that 2 CAT scans done at 2 different hospitals had faided to detect. Today the fever and swelling are down and they feel that after 2 more days of IV antibiotics, he will be able to return home. I told him that while he was under, I paid the doctors extra to perform an Islander fanectomy and a simultaneous Ranger fan transplant. He was so glad to be felling better that he just smiled and nodded!

  57. Pardon me carp, but I respectfully disagree with you on instigator and the “mutual wrestling”. Carkner skated from his defensive zone to rangers blue line just to crosscheck and punch boogaard. That is clear cut instigation of a fight.

    Watch clip of the fight and watch carkner sweep boogaards legs out using his foot while growing boogaard to the ice, text book judo toss (known as slew foot if playinghockey). Boogaard lands directly on shoulder which I’m guessing is the current injury.

    Yes, boogaard was holding on after getting stunned by the punch to nosebut in no way was boogaard wretling carkner to the ice.

  58. Sorry, iPhone fingers going on here…

    Should say “throwing” not growing

    and wrestling not wretling.

  59. Kovalev in 43 games vs the Rangers, 20 G, 29 A, +4

    with PIT, 21 gm, 11 G, 22 A, +12
    with MTL, 16 gm, 9 G, 6 A, -4
    with OTT, 6 gm, 0 G, 1 A, -4

  60. Carkner's white blood cells (formerly James G) on

    My birthday is soon. Anyone who wants to get me a gift can just throw bacon at me.

    When do we meet back up with Ottawa? I wanna see the rubber match between Boogaloo and the blood donor

  61. BTW- Carp- dozens of times? As a Rangers fan I feel like I’ve seen Kovy float TRILLIONS of times.

  62. And maybe that’s Carp point, the guy usually lived to destroy the Rangers after he got traded. Especially after the 2nd time. So to see him be a non-factor these last two games and in the past couple of season with OTT is departure from how we’re used to seeing him play vs the Rangers.

  63. ilb, remember I told you I tore my ACL. Well it’s still torn. Do you think I can play hockey with a torn ACL if I wear a brace or do you think I’ll do more damage to the knee.
    I’m not getting surgery until Feb-March

  64. CCCP- quick! you get a crying towel and a big sign that says “boo Byfuglien hoo! play with some heart for a change”. I’ll gas up the car and get ready to drive us to Ottawa

  65. I appreciated how he stepped up his game in the ’94 playoffs but I was very often disappointed with Kovalev through most of the rest of his Ranger tenure. I always thought he could be just as good as Bure or Mogilny but too often he got caught up in beating that extra man one on one or yes there would be games especially against the more physical opponents that he’d disappear.

  66. Admittedly, I like Kovalev, so I may be a bit biased. But can you remind me how many home grown players we had that scored more than 1000 points playing for us?

  67. touche ILB…but does anyone remember the 1/4 finals in ’95 against Quebec when Wendell Clark just punished the crap outa Kovy for the whole series?

  68. This guy Cory Clouston is definitely going to get fired, Brian Murray may too. That trade for Heatley was pure robbery by the Sharks. They definitely could have gotten something better back in a trade. The Sens couldn’t be worse as a team than they are now. How many Sens players are underperforming? Yes, Kovalev has been bad but hasn’t had much ice time. Gonchar and Spezza have been absolutely awful…

  69. From the Kovalev article:

    “There’s nothing I can do about it,” said Kovalev. “I’m not the only one not playing well and he decides to pick me. It’s been happening my whole career. I accept that.”

    A couple words come to mind when I read that..responsibility, accountability..soul searching..maybe he should have looked himself in the mirror a time or two (a little too late to do it now) and said that maybe he’s getting picked on for a reason.

  70. Even at his age now, if he was still playing for us, do you think Kovalev would produce more playing on the left wing with Gaborik than anyone the Rangers tried so far? Bet you he would, even if showed up to play every third game.

    ORR- Alex also is a pretty good sax player. And he is very well read.

  71. JamesG,
    you should not make stuff up (95 playoffs) because there are people like me who remember that series. Kovalev was tremendous in that series. he was a major reason they won that series. Kovalev was a very good playoff performer for the Rangers, even Carp will tell you that.

  72. I actually remember Kovalev being instrumental in that series with the Fleur de Lis, it was him getting injured on a play that negated a crucial Nordiques goal that was actually a huge blunder by the refs.

  73. Like I said earlier today, You never know which Alex Kovalev will show up. When he is on his game, he can be the best player on the ice.

    No question that he was a great playoff performer for the NYR! Had 39 points for the Rangers in 44 Playoff games

  74. i’m dumbfounded at the moment…the shot that hit the crossbar, line, post was a save by lundqvist! i read his comment and now watching the rangers in 60 i slowed down the replay and sure enough it glanced off his head. so it was head, crossbar, line, post, out :) incredibleness

  75. The fact that he was left off the Russian Olympic team probably has a lot to do with the floating we have noticed over the last year…

  76. ILB I was laughing to myself thinking about that point about Kovalev. But if I remember correctly though he bashed the Rangers organization after he was traded to Montreal during the fire sale. Something about how the organization was run poorly and he’d only come back when his career was almost over so he could mail it in like everyone else on the team or something like that?

  77. No, James, I was referring to what Smith said when he traded him to Pittsburgh. I was hoping someone would remember better, but Smith said something about Alex showing the Rangers everything he can do in hockey. Meaning that this is all he has. Well, he made sure he showed them what he could actually do while in Pittsburgh.
    When he was traded to Montreal he said he’d never play for the Rangers again. He was traded for Joseph Balej, who, IIRC, scored exactly one goal in NHL.

  78. Glad to hear that, Old coach.

    As for Kovalev, first, it was Craig Wolanin who chopped him and everybody in the building thought he was faking an injury, so Andy van Hellemond let play continue until Sakic scored, then he waved it off. That’s what got van Hellemond fired.

    And as for his laziness, or whatever you want to call it, outside of a very small group — Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr (not that Orr), Jagr — Kovalev had as much pure skill as anybody, the best hands, an unbelievable shot, strong skater, overall strength. For him to have “only” 1,000 points after, what, 17 seasons, is a waste of his ability. For him to have so rarely put up 40-goal, 100-point seasons is an indictment on him. Or maybe his hockey IQ just wasn’t very good. But when he wanted to play — parts of the ’94 playoffs for example — he was as good as anybody.

  79. Thanks for refreshining me on Wolanin Carp! lol. Great assessment of Kovy.

    ILB- for what it’s worth I remember the one goal Balej scored lol. But thanks for clearing that up.

  80. They fired refs over blown calls back then, can you imagine? Imagine if that same principle applied in the Crosby era.

    Then 4 yrs later they blow the biggest call of them all in the Stars-Sabres final.

  81. parts of the 94 playoffs is not fair Carp, and you know it. I will not dispute that he should have had multiple 100 point seasons, his talent is that good.

  82. carp….in 1994 game 6 vs. devils kovalev was the third best player on the ice ,after mess and richter(maybe second best)…that was the greatest game game he ever played…for that reason alone i will always be grateful he was a ranger,flaws and all

  83. It’s funny- whenever someone mentions Kovalev’s value to the Rangers I always picture him scoring that goal in Game 6 and a random hat trick he scored against the Pens in a home and home back in like 96..

  84. Tony – yep, along with Karpovtsev, Nemchinov, and Zubov

    Random quotes from old articles:

    ”I’m not sure Alex understands the object of the game is to put the puck in the net,” Smith said. ”It doesn’t matter if the fans jump out of the seats or how many players you skate through or how long you possess the puck, if the puck doesn’t end up in the net, the effort was for nothing.


    “He is a difficult player for other teams to defend,” Ranger General Manager Neil Smith says. “The problem with Alex is they don’t know what he’s going to do, and we don’t either.”

    Kovalev, 24, bristles when he is questioned about listening to Campbell. “I’m not playing for him,” he says. “I’m playing for the Rangers, my teammates. I play for myself, and I play for my teammates.

  85. ddeb- great find. Like I said I think Alex’s biggest problem is that he never considers himself part of the problem. It’s always been the coaches.

  86. Tony,
    that Kovalev, Keenan thing was in a game against Boston. he actually scored at the end of the shift. the only goal the Rangers would score in a 4 – 1 loss. it was about a 4 minute shift, Keenan just kept waiving at him to stay on the ice.

  87. That was Colin Campbell, Tony. Altough Keenan may have done it too.

    I just happened to read it.

    “Ask coach Colin Campbell about Kovalev and you will get one of those raised-eyes, why-me expressions. Campbell has tried benching Kovalev and talking to him about being more team-oriented. Mike Keenan once kept Kovalev on the ice for four minutes (a shift generally lasts 30-to-45 seconds and anything longer is punishment) to get his attention.”


  88. no surprise that the Rangers have a good road record. when you lead the league in hits and blocking shots, well that is the recipe for road hockey. too bad that they can’t play better at MSG. that continues to be the big bugaboo for the team last year and this one.

  89. btw- Coach I’m glad to hear everything is ok. Amazing how they can do test after test and over look things but the important part is that he’s getting better.

  90. Signs your players have quit on you :

    “During the team Christmas party, all the players’ children keep climbing up on Santa’s lap, pointing in your direction, and making a throat slash gesture.”

    http://www.downgoesbrown.com/ = some funny stuff

  91. Kovalev, schmovalev…..I’m so moved on.

    hey, great news for mama!!! she’s getting a brand new up to date fabu computer for Christmas that she’ll be able to use WHILE WATCHING GAMES!!!!! whooooo hoooo! (why am i talking about myself in 3rd person?) should be bought and hooked up by mid-week…..psych!!

  92. Duh, my bad it was Keenan. I also came across something saying the shift was longer than that. It’s like a fishing tale.

  93. the first russian on the stanley cup is one of those bar trivia questions…it wasn’t the rangers group of russians…

    Canadian Johnny Gottselig was the first Russian-born player (born in Odessa, then of Russian Empire, now of Ukraine) to win the Stanley Cup. Gottselig moved to Canada with his family at a very young age.


  94. Interesting Dubiiii- I see Gottselig also captained the ’38 Cup winning team

    Wow, those were a couple of nasty rights Voros took under the eye

  95. You know, Senators are even worse, despite a win. Just luck. When you watch unbiased such a game it makes it more obvious. Very bad goaltending and unbelievable amount of turnovers, mistakes, etc. We are lucky…being Rangers, and still mutter constantly. Sweet Debbies lost however.

  96. ddeb, they’re the holiday turkey that just keeps on giving, until you Kovalchuck it :)

    all, I’ll sadly be offline for the next two games (actually may be at warren for one) but to get old computer synched with new one, I have to do without for a bit (holy hartnell!!) don’t give me carcillo, I need the pros to handle for me……but wait until I can watch games and post at the same time :) Carp, I apologize in advance…hee hee.

  97. 4everanger, I agree that the Sens are worse. At least the Devils can say their best player is out of the lineup (Parise). We saw so more floating tonight from our “friend” AK27 on the Sens.

  98. He definitely lost taste for hockey at all. Hope his other hobbies (flying, playing sax, and making babies) will help to fulfill his lavish and not-so-boring life. Honestly, it always kind of sad to see such a waste of God given gift and talent, not to mention undertaken pleasure and entertainment for hockey fans.

  99. bulldog, is it not fair to point out that he did nothing vs. Washington and was worse than that in Games 1-5 of the Devils series?

    Or Games 5-6-7 of the finals?

    Not only could he play the sax and fly a plane, but he was legendary on the golf course. He was left-handed, and he was paired at an outing with Sal Messina, who had a brand new driver. Kovalev took a look at it and asked to try it. It was a right-handed driver. He got up right-handed and cranked one down the middle about 250 or so. Remarkably talented kid, probably more brilliant than we could ever know, certainly smarter than I am. But never figured out how to be the star he should have been.

    That’s all I’m saying. Personally, I really liked him.

  100. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. You can’t help, but like him in pure talent, skills hockey sence and moreso feel sorry for…

  101. My son is named Alex after Kovalev so I am biased towards him. With that disclaimer, he was the #1 most frustrating player to have ever watched in a Ranger uniform. Carp is absolutely correct, his unbelievable ability on the nights he seemed to get it made him so frustrating to watch on the nights he didn’t seem to give a carcillo. However, the nights he got it are among some of my most exciting hockey memories and will always be one of my favorite all-time Rangers even though he was so frustrating more times than not.

  102. Just have to throw this out there – the call that went against the Devils tonight makes this Devil’s season the gift that just keeps on giving!

    I don’t need to remind everyone that we have gone through a number of these seasons over the years and know how it feels but reading the Devil’s Star-Ledger articles and reading the Devil fan’s comments has been just too much fun this season.

  103. Didn’t Kovalev actually spend most of a season on a line with Gretzky and Luc Robitaille when Wayne was here? You’d think he woulda had 130 points playing with guys like that. instead he struggled.

    I think Kovalev is a great guy with many talents but definitely one of the more frustrating Rangers in my lifetime

  104. While I’m getting satisfaction out of the Devils’ woas I plan to just keep my mouth shut about their play. I’ve seen them struggle before and if there’s a team that would go 40-12 the rest of the way and finish ahead of us then go deeper in the playoffs- it’d be them! So until the Debbies are mathematically eliminated from the Division title, Conference title and playoffs mum is the word :P

  105. Kovalev used to do stuff at practice that would leave even guys like Leetch shaking their heads. He could hit the crossbar from the opposite blue line repeatedly. He could flip the puck onto the blade of his stick, throw it up over a rafter in the ceiling, and then catch it on the blade of his stick on the way down.

    I’m telling you, other than Gretzky, Lemieux, Jagr and Bobby Orr, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such skill.

  106. James –
    I would tend to agree but the odds against them grow exponentially with every game they go pointless. Then when you see them not get the call on that Clarkson goal, I just think, it ain’t gonna happen for them. Just one of those years.

  107. Orr-
    Linus Omark with the SO clincher. Crazy spin-o-rama as soon as he picks up the puck. I think the goalie was baffled -like I was WTB was the purpose of that? But it worked.

  108. Carp, it is funny that you mention Kovalev’s skill and being in awe of it. When I was a kid, I played hockey and the organization I played for set up a clinic with the Rangers in 1995. A bunch of Rangers players were there including Graves, Beuke, Lidster, Hartman, Wells, & Kovalev. Kovy was dazzling around all the kids, doing crazy things with the puck. He was consistently hitting the cross bar from the red line with a slapshot. Everyone who was watching was in amazement. I remember my dad couldn’t believe how he was stick handling around four little kids none of them could take the puck from him.

    It really is such wasted talent.

  109. Can we please move off Kovalev!!! Geez, everybody beeatched about him when he was a Ranger….carp, I do love your posts though :)

    ddeb, I’m calling in geek squad. Gleeks sound great, but don’t know about their tech skills….la la la!

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