Lightnings-Rangers in review


Don’t want to be a broken record, and I really don’t believe in moral victories, but I thought the Rangers played pretty darn well in this loss, better than they’d played in their previous two games (which were wins). And that’s a darn good point, despite the one that got away.


1) The two goalies were fabulous, but the best player in the game was Brandon Dubinsky. You have to love when he plays like that. Also the way Brandon Prust and Brian Boyle played (again, broken record) and Artem Anisimov, and even Alex Frolov played.

2) Speaking of whom, he really does have to start putting pucks in nets regularly. No more nice-tries.

3) I really expected Marian Gaborik to get one before the game was over. He really came on after Tampa handled him pretty well in the first period.

4) Speaking of which, I think it’s cool that the Lightnings coach is a bit of a throwback in the style of play, and especially in the use of a checking line. Not many do that anymore. Wonder what would happen if John Tortorella used Boyle and Prust and whomever against some of the opponents’ top players.

5) Faceoffs, according to the statisticians in Tampa, were 38-30 in favor of the Lightnings. I thought it was closer than that, and I really do think the Rangers have made some strides in that department since the captain came back … not just because he’s good at it, but I think Dubinsky, Anisimov and Boyle have gotten better lately. Still, they lose a few big ones every game.

6) Sometimes I defend Michal Rozsival, and I didn’t necessarily think he played poorly. But the guy is just so indecisive so often, you have to wonder how that fits into the way they play. Though I did enjoy the way he flung Dominic Moore to the ice.


Saw some of the Winter Classic, too, during Rangers stoppages.


1) Hey, does Gary Bettman know that there were 10 other players on the ice getting in the way of the game between Alex Ovechkin and Sid the Skid? Everything I had seen leading up to the game led me to believe that it was going to be just those two.

2) Very, very cool: The shot from the blimp. Indeed, that might be the way to televise hockey that the NHL has always been seeking. Get rid of all those hanging scoreboards and put a camera in the ceiling above the red line and show most of the game from up there.

3) When the rain was making the playing surface slush, Pierre McGuire compared it to the ice at the World’s Oldest NHL Arena. Ouch.

4) You really couldn’t hear the large crowd because it was so far from the ice, but you could hear the Penguins fans whining on every call and non-call, like they always do.

5) Love the throwback Capitals uniforms.


Will have pre-game notes for Rangers-Panthers later.


AP Photo, above.

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  1. Rozi isn’t a complete disaster out there, but he isn’t getting any better. He is indecisive, has no confidence, has no jam, and as Scotty Hockey pointed out, he has no upside/future. Why doesn’t he get a few days off, and let MDZ and Gilroy make the same rookie type plays?

  2. I liked the caps throwback jersey as well, also thought it was funny that Pittsburgh redid their 3rd jersey again.

    repost:MDZ has been scratched this season because unlike last season, we have depth at the D position and can afford to not play a D man who has momentarily lost his way. I am no where near giving up on the kid but lets face it he hasn’t been good recently, he has shown no prowess on the PP or in the offensive zone, and his defensive play has been mediocre at best. Gilroy on the other hand came in to fill in for a game with MDZ hurt and busted his butt and played really well, he deserves the few more games that he has gotten and i have no problem with that. Worst comes to worst, it increases his trade value if we go that route with him come the deadline.

    Also, of course, no thanks on Iginla. I don’t really think this team is ready to “win NOW” so there is no reason to make a win now move, the team is finally establishing a system and a great identity and like torts says, we should live and die with the kids. In 2 years from now if the team keeps going in the direction it has gone we are gonna have one hell of a hockey team.

    Which brings up another point, remember all the people calling for Torts’ head at the end of last year? I’m so glad they didn’t cave in to the people who were calling for his head. He is the perfect coach for the kind of team we are looking to build.

  3. Tough loss last night. The euphoria from tying the game with less than a minute to go was quickly dashed in the overtime. I still think there should be 3 points for a regulation win, 2 for an overtime win. After the Rangers goal neither team really played to win the game in the last 45 seconds.

    And, Carp “Hey, does Gary Bettman know that there were 10 other players on the ice getting in the way of the game between Alex Ovechkin and Sid the Skid?”

    You know how they have match races with race horses? Why didn’t they just have a match game with Ovie and Cindy. Who needs the other guys anyway? :P

  4. Franklin Kistner on

    Just awoke in Tampa (we live in Danville, CA) makeup for lady Ranger fan of 55 years. Loved the building last night. The Rangers worked all night. Happy with point. Need two tonight to show Torts is the guy. Stamkos is very young and DeJardins will be back in minors soon. GO BLUESHIRTS!

  5. I just read an article that essentially said that the Winter Classic is so cool it doesn’t even matter who won, just being there is the ultimate victory.

    I don’t think there would be any such article had Cindy prevailed.

  6. Good morning, boneheads!

    Yes, Carp, despite all the negativity last night, they played well. Against the team that has much more talent in the lineup. I thought they were pinned in their zone during the first period, but Hank kept them in the game. But they dominated for long stretches of the second period and the whole third period. And if it wasn’t for their young goalie, the outcome could’ve been different. It was nice to have that feeling that the team could score up to the last second. And they did. Gaborik still needs to get involved more, even though he was better last night.

    Both Sauer and Gilroy made mistakes on that GWG.

    Stepan had occasional good moments, but was average last night. Dubinsky was great, AA had some good moments. I felt that our fourth line should’ve had more icetime. Avery looked like he was going to do some damage, and Weise again was good.

    Roszival is easily becoming the weakest link on defense, I think they are playing him to increase his trade value. As much as he is starting to look out of place on this team, I believe he can help many contending teams. I hope so do some GMs.

  7. By the way, I watched the Winter Classic after our game. I thought, despite the rain and bad ice, the game was great. It truly is becoming a classic and NHL should think in advance how to continue the trend. It’s time for the Rangers to make an appearance, that’s for sure

  8. wicky(grating CCBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    Morning ILB and all!

    I still think you guys should watch the vid I linked in the last thread towards the end……perspective!

    off to work and a dvr later!


    Later assens!!

  9. Excellent post Mr. Carp especially so in the light of the extreme negativity regarding this game from Ranger “fans”. They played one of the league’s best teams dead even on their ice where they are very tough. The R’s scrapped and fought and got the point in the end. People seem to expect the R’s to win every game and whine so much when they have to settle for a point. They seem to overlook that the the leagues elite teams are losing to the Isles and Devils while the R’s are beating those teams. I love this edition of the R’s; they play hard every game.

  10. I did, wicky. there is no denying that Don does great things, and it was touching to hear him get choked up when he was saying it. But all the other redneckish stuff he says outweighs all the positives in my book.

  11. Count me in as one who thought the Rangers played well and deserved the point they garnered.

    I think people in general are under-estimating the Bolts – they are a skilled team and if they can ever get consistently quality goaltending, they will be a force.

  12. If I were trying to increase Rosival’s trade value, I would not be playing him. He looks worse and worse every game, unless you are looking for a dman who never hustles back to play a puck in the corner, will ALWAYS look to pass before shooting, and is so predictable with his PP breakout that my pee wee team could shut him down 5 out of 10 times up the ice. I would rather see MDZ learn through young mistakes than see a veteran repeat the same ones time after time.

  13. In terms of that purported Dubinsky+ MDZ for Iginla trade. It wouldn’t be a trade, it would be a suicide. Iginla is a great player and, no doubt, will help a contender to edge the other strong teams, and even win the cup. The Rangers are not those teams. Not this year, at least. You make that type of a trade if you think you’re very close to winning the Cup. Even then, you think twice about trading your young, best forward this year AND 20 yr old potential all-star. You try to get away with giving up only one of them plus some picks. In the meantime, you are acquiring a 33 year old player with cap hit of $7M that runs through 2012-2013 season. With NMC on top of it. Not when you’re starting to look like a young team that’s being built for the future. They are making the playoffs without Iginla.

    The good news, it’s not happening. I just don’t think it’s a mindset of this organization this year. Plus, even if they were out of their minds, there is no cap space to fit him in. Not without moving a big contract back. And Calgary is against the wall cap-wise as it is.

  14. N.CountryNYRFan on

    i also thought the rangers played pretty good last night and was glad we at least got a point. Hopefully we get the win tonight and take 3 of 4 points from the Fla. teams, that vwould be a good trip.

    I watched the W Classic in between stoppages and it was a great game to watch, very happy crybaby lost. Worried that the Caps will go on a major tear now with the confidence that got from that win though.

  15. N.CountryNYRFan on

    Carp i agree with you 100% on Frolov i thought he had a great game with his work ethic last night but he really needs to start burying the biscuit. All he usually does is get close to the net with the puck then losses it before even getting a shot or a such a weak shot a baby could stop it.

  16. The Winter Classic was a good game actually. I’m sure the NHL will milk that cow for a while. Those Capitals jersey are their best looking kit, even though they bring back nightmares of John Druce.

  17. Leetchhalloffame on

    Pierre McWiner should just shut up. If it wasn’t for hockey he’d be a cabbie in Toronto.

  18. DJK-

    “As for Dubinsky- isn’t it kind of known that he hasn’t exactly ingratiated himself to people around the team?”

    WTB? Where did you come up with this Carcillo? Why, because of his contract last year? Get over it.

    It’s like when someone said there was this lingering bad blood between Avery and Dubi because of some rubbish when he went to the Stars.

    and next thing you see them singing the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” together!

  19. Carp- I didn’t see the blimp view that you mentioned but I almost made a similar post the other day about having more of the center ice cam. Even if it’s just for PP’s when the action is more in one end.

    I have to think someday we might be able to interactively select which camera feed you get for sporting events.

  20. Carp, I also loved the blimp view from above. Great angles.

    As far as the NYR game, the Rangers seem to have a habit out of making rookie goaltenders look like Vezina winners. More shots needed to be taken last night.

    There have some goalies that have bested Hank over the last few years with little or no NHL experience.

    Tuuka Rask, Jeff Drouin Deslauriers, Mike Brodeur, Cedric Desjardins, Sergei Bobrovsky, and there are certainly more…

  21. Carp
    As to point 4, Torts actually did play Prust and Boyle against St.louis line quite a bit in the 2nd half of the game and it worked out very well as that line was relatively quiet. Of course, being on the road you can’t always get the match ups that you want, and Torts hasn’t always seemed to look for specific match ups.

    Also, I thought that this was Rozi’s best game in a while. Maybe the threat of a benching was enough to wake him up. I agree that in the long run he doesn’t seem to fit into the picture very well but he does have another year on that contract.

  22. old coach, but most of the time Tortorella just uses Staal and Girardi and doesn’t worry about the checking line type of matchup, right?

  23. Frolov always looks busy and involved in the fore-check. He is arguably the best at holding the puck along the wall down low. Yet, if he doesn’t score or create scoring opportunities, he is no more than a good 3rd/4th liner. You need to score to play in a top-6 role, it is that simple.

    Zuccarello didn’t deserve to be benched for most of that 3rd period, just play him with more defensive minded players like Boyle or Dubinsky. He needs more time with Gaby on the power play.

    I really think Drury’s pizza looks delicious. I also think it would not hurt to try use Drury and Gaby on the powerplay points, stick Boyle in front of the net, and put Stepan and Zuke on the wings.

  24. ever notive how bad avery is with the puck> he does the euro back pass instead of the safe move, kinda like gaborik does.

    frolov is playing better but if he cannot score he is of little help.

    DZ should be in the lineup tonight give Roszi the night off….

  25. IMO Dubi is considerably better along the wall. It’s a shame Frolov couldn’t convert on that takeaway he had late in the game -it was a great play.

  26. Carp
    That’s right. Mostly he seems to be concerned with D pair matchup, which is easier to get on the road. Let’s see if his style is changing as the season progresses and he goes for a checking line matchup. Being an old schooler myself, I’d love it if he did.

  27. not so *BREAKING NEWS*

    Philadelphia winger Nikolai Zherdev got the hook in Los Angeles and was a healthy scratch. When asked why, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, shrugged. “You (media) guys use your own judgment on what’s going on,” said Laviolette. Zherdev’s work habits and defensive relish have always been in question.

  28. Grabbywaffles(sir spins alot)-URY on

    hey guys, tough loss but great goal for gabby to get back to scoring and being a factor. just went on and on their vod they got chris drury giving a tour of his new restaurant in conn. u should go watch if ur struglling to fall asleep lte at night.

  29. Grabbywaffles(sir spins alot)-URY on

    did everyone have a good new year? pens lost. thats cool i guess. uhh, yea, my new years resolution is no more alchohol for me. lucky im here now. thats all i’ll say. have a good one everybody and i’ll be here more so u guys dont miss me too much. right deb?

  30. Grabbywaffles(sir spins alot)-URY on

    stuart- aves is almost bad as dz in his own zone. maybe worse. he needs to just hit people and trash talk. cuz he isnt doing much to stay in the lineup when vinny comes back. i know weise had a bad giveaway too, but hes a 4th liner, zuccarello will be sent back maybe so with ec out and avers playin poorly ya gotta think vinny cally and frolov will stay in teh lineup. the guy is gonna score soon. and for all teh bad games hes had, he still has the same amount of goals that ec and avery have combined. yes, thats only 7, but still!! lol

  31. Grabbywaffles(sir spins alot)-URY on

    ddeb, zherdev has 13 goals. what is that like 2nd on our team? hell, id take him and antro back over froloaf and sister christensen as the mouth likes to call him!

  32. Well, looking at your monologue production, I think you are back full time, Mikey! Nice to have you back.

  33. lol Grabby, Happy New Year and no more alcohol for me either. Who picks up the slack doing the monologues?

  34. did anyone know that the Rangers were on at 5 pm today??!

    I just found out!

    What I learned last night is that Gaborik should just set up near the crease/near the net and let other playmakers feed him the puck. He was in PERFECT position last night for the game tying goal and stuck it in.

    It’s painfully (arthritically) obvious that Gaborik cant create for himself – especially against the good teams.

  35. Now how did you all like that Malik impersonation done by the great Gaborik. Standing there
    like a mannequin while that Bolt won the game?

    It’s not the first time that I’ve seen his aversion to impel hjimself when the occasion calls for it. In my estimation …yeah…he can score mightily when the wind blows in his direction, but way too often he’s out to lunch. Way over estimated.

  36. I can’t believe that we’re only aboot 5 points behind the Pens for first place. We need to take advantage of the Pens, and Flyers losing in regulation.

    If I’m a betting man, then I’m obviously not putting my cash on NYR to finish on top of the Atlantic, but anything can happen.

  37. yes, you can watch the Jets game b/c it’s meaningless, but not the Giants or Packers games.

  38. Yeah none of the 272 goals that Gaborik has scored (which is the most amongst active Rangers) have ever been done by himself.

  39. Grabbywaffles(sir spins alot)-URY on

    what i dont get, is how does ec make those sweet shootout goals almost every time, but cant score when hes playing against opponents? its like in bloodsport when van damme brock some bricks, then chong li started clapping and said” brick no hit back”!!! so hes soft imo. get him outta here. we could tell papsmear his ban on nyc clubs is suspended, and have him play part time for us.

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