Habs-Rangers in review


I’ll get to the pre-game notes later, and I’ll be headed for MSG this afternoon.

Until then, I’ve got one word for you:


1) I believe concentration is at the root of being good or bad on faceoffs. I really do. Some are naturally better than others, and some have better technique. Some just aren’t paying attention. The Rangers don’t have good faceoff men, overall, but they shouldn’t be that bad, either. There is no excuse for the 3 of 16 first period on draws and that put the Rangers on their heels as much as the penalties and the bad plays. This is a team that needs to have the puck to be effective, needs to gain possession and get it deep and go to work. You can’t do any of those things without winning faceoffs. I don’t know if John Tortorella and his staff have had open tryouts — a lot of teams have wingers who are good at draws, better than their centermen. It has to change for the Rangers … and it did change to a large degree in the third period. Is that concentration?

2) Concentration. I didn’t think the little shot Brandon Dubinsky gave P.K. Slewfoot was much worth a penalty. In the pre-wussification days, that stuff happened all the time. Still, Dubinsky has to be more careful, especially after a whistle, especially when it’s been established that he has a thing going with Slewfoot, and had drawn a penalty against Slewfoot earlier. The PPG went in off Girardi. OK, you shake that one off and move on.

3) Conecentration. I know the Rangers want their D-men to play aggressively, but Marc Staal has to know better, while trying to kill a penalty, than to chase the puck all the way to the right point. He can’t. He did. The result was that Slewfoot made a pass to a wide-open teammate, Plekanec, down low, with poor Dan Girardi trying to cover two Canadiens. On TV they raved about the pass, and it was a good one. But Derek Boogaard could have made that pass because nobody was within 10 yards of Plekanec. I could have made that pass. Slewfoot could have kicked that puck to his teammate.

4) Concentration. Wojtek Wolski can’t just leave his man, Kotstitsyn, in the high slot. Can’t just turn away. Did. 3-1. GWG.

Other thoughts:

5) Good thing Marian Gaborik got through customs in time to play the third period.

6) I know he’s had a lot of problems this season, and he’s not exactly playing with Forsberg and Sakic, but in my opinion, that’s as bad and ineffective as Chris Drury has played this year.

7) I like Newbury’s toughness and willingess. And I’d like to see him get a shot against the Flys tonight. Maybe Weise, too. But who comes out?

8) Henrik Lundqvist was as good in this game as he was in his 1-0 win over Vancouver, or any other game this season. He’s really at the top of his game now. And you had to love it when he went all Hextall there.

9) Tough night for the Sauer/Eminger pair. You know what? You live with that. It’s actually remarkable that their young D pairs haven’t had more nights like that.

10) Based on the way this season has gone, I fully expect the Rangers to have a strong, strong game tonight. But if they don’t, if they get beaten again, and especially if they get beaten and have trouble scoring again, is this the first little crisis in a while?

11) That too-many-men penalty against the Rangers. That looked like a bench-clearing brawl breaking out.

12) How does the NHL justify not suspending Alex Burrows for trying to neuter Staal the other night?

13) Now this was a game the Rangers couldn’t win 1-0. That’s 11 actual goals scored in the last eight games, not counting the “awarded” shootout goal.


AP Photo, above.


Hey, Boneheads, one of your own donated a prize that I want to give away. I need an idea for a contest we can have … it has to be something in the next week or so. Any ideas? Otherwise I’ll come up with something simple.

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  1. OK they won the passing contest during power plays, but too bad they lost the game. When’ll they ever learn?

    During the time they made a zillion passes during their PP
    the Habs would have had about 7-8 shots on the net.

  2. Who is to blame for such a horrible powerplay? IMO Mike Sullivan should be held accountable,all year long he keeps marching out the same guys and same technique that just arent getting it done,well maybe an occasional change in personel.I`m tired of Sam and Joe( Look at those forearms) talking about how the PP is looking better YEA REALLY guess what it could look like the MonaLisa but it isnt scoring and can someone teach these guys to roof the puck

  3. Contest idea. Give the prize to me. I think it’s a stellar idea. Go fot it. lol

    The scoring problem is going on too long to be just a little hiccup in the season. I don’t know what you do to get them scoring. It’s not like you can take them into a room and yell “START SCORING” and it’ll work. But, one or two goals per game is not going to cut it.

  4. “Who is to blame for such a horrible powerplay?”

    Sather. He has one bonafide scorer on his team in Gaborik, but no one to get him the puck, and absolute ZERO on the point.

    Larry Brooks points out that Grachev could be the ultimate victim in the Rozi trade. I don’t see what the NYR will get for Grachev. What has he done?

    Anisimov is a wimpy player for someone his size. It’s frustrating watching him try to make a play. He can be seperated from the puck easily.

  5. Look folks, I’ve been bitc**ing about their PP for 4 years. It’s still reeking of the old Jagr way of moving it around in pretty passing style until the PERFECT opening comes along, and all the while that ol’ clock is a tickin.
    Notice how successful the habs were in volley shooting?


    During the cold war an aide came into old Uncle Joe’s
    lair and told him breathlessly that with the new American M1A1 tanks they had a vast superiority in
    quality of armor. Old Joe just smoked his pipe and casually notified him that “Quantity has a quality all of it’s own.” You see, he remembered Kursk, and Stalingrad… where the giant Nazi Tigers were overwhelmed by the Russian’s dinky little ( but fast and movable) T 34’s.

    Let’s hear it for Stalin’s way.

  6. I was killing AA earlier, but he’s been showing good fight, he’s much harder on the puck than at the start of the year.

    He’s a funny player to figure out that way. He could use 10 lbs but he’s still only 22.

    He’s on and around the puck a lot, and when he gets a clean look at the net he can really bury it. So I think patience is in order, see what he does the 2nd half.
    Anisimov could use some help too. It’d be nice if he had the right linemates (Cally & Dubinsky) and their lines weren’t always in a state of flux.

    He’s on pace for almost 20/50. Not terrible.

    And as opposed to earlier when he went something like 9 games without a shot, if I added right, he’s got 35 shots in his last 11.

  7. Why would they pick up Kaberle, he’s not a bad Dman, but he is no better than what the Rangers have now. It makes no sense to pick up Kaberle. Also if they had to give up anything at all for him it would be to much.
    I have been wondering lately why on the powerplay they are always trying to get the puck to Gaborik. He is so snakebit he couldn’t put the puck in the ocean. He doesn’t want the puck these days. He’s always trying to dish it off, rather than take the shot.

  8. Im hoping for no trades at all,at least from our active roster.

    #7,Carp thats easy,you sit Captain Zero.


  9. Hey, if someone wants to meet up, I’ll be sitting in sec. 69, wearing Hank’s Heritage Jersey with young, Spanish looking girl next to me. Shuddup.

    Carp, pre game warm ups may not work, mrs wants to go for early pre game dinner. Hey, can’t have everything my way :-)

  10. For the Contest: Starting with the Maple Leafs game guess who will score the next 5 goals for the Rangers.(Even though that might take 5 games at the rate they have been scoring)

  11. A lot of mubo-jumbo in LB’s Slap Shots this am, but the last phrase deserves some attention:

    “Say, how’s that hard cap working out for Eugene Melnyk in Ottawa, anyway?”

    The truth is that hard cap has done nothing for what it, supposedly, was designed to- help small market, low income teams stay afloat. Ottawa may not be the best example, but the teams that have struggle, continue to struggle financially. Contraction isn’t an option, but do you think the Board would recognize, that perhaps it should be revisited again? Cutting back, decreasing players revenue sharing percentage may lead to another lock out. And I highly doubt any of those franchises can sustain another lock out, that much they know. Luxury tax, anyone?

  12. no really hey carp, heres one. whoever guesses the 8 teams from the east to make the playoffs wins. and in correct order. i know, not very original but i just woke up.

  13. Carp,
    you seem to be looking for a crisis. this is the second time in 2 weeks you have asked that question. having said that, I do think the injuries are finally taking a toll. Cally has been badly missed, and all his responsibility (as far the physical game) has fallen on Dubi. Christensen has been missed as well, when Stepan struggles, having Christensen around allows Torts to use him in Stepan’s place. plus he is a very good skater, and in games like last night he would help.

  14. I still believe with this group of players the PP could be better, it leads me to believe its in the coaching. Sullivan reminds me of Renney when it comes to pounding square pegs in round holes

  15. Mikey- just woke is right! He said within a week or so. They don’t teach you how to read in IA, I gather. Oh, wait, you’re from NY….Even worse..:-)

  16. ilb gets to meet carp tonight! go ilb! man i wish i could come out there soon but i just keep running into problems. i wanted to bring my soon to be 5 year old daughter with me, but i have to notify my ex 2 months in advance and i’ll have to wait till summer to take her out of state because of the amount of time i want to take her. i might come alone bfore the seasons over but shes becoming such a big ranger fan and watches all games with me when i have her over my house. anyway ilb, talk to me on fb i wanna get your opinions on something. a 2nd opinion if you will. hah later till gametime..

  17. kurt,
    I think Avery could play the point on the power play, shoot the puck, skate real fast and get in front of the net and screen the goalie. he does not need those other guys with him, he’s that good.

  18. ilb, my eyes were still closed when i read carps post haha and my daughter will not shut up, will not leave me alone, keeps begging me to download some lada gagy song and a “grenade song”. i dont know what the hell that means, but dont think she should be listening to lady gag-a at her age. its not me man it must be her mother. i cant believe the kinds of crap kids are exposed to nowaday. when i was a kid, i watched gi joe and scooby doo. my ex and her bf watch family guy with her. and who knows what else. maybe southpark and other crap. this girl knows more about life at 5 then i did at 15. lmao. its not really funny actually. what can i do? i only get her on the weekend. so 5 days a week shes doing god knows what. alright this isnt a parenting forum. go rangers!!

  19. I know it may sound insane to some of you but Drury actually has a bomb of a slapshot…why not try him on the point on the power play?

  20. kurt- how bout this for a pp- boyle,prust,feds, and staal. leave out gabby so they have no choice but to shoot and if theres only 4 guys on teh ice they will play better than with 5 anyway.,

  21. nyrfan- they tried dru on the point. hes too slow to skate back incase of an oddman rush, plus he cant pass very well. the only place he should be is in front of the goalie. hes done it alot in the past and he gets most his goals from 5-10 feet out. but at this point hes just got nothin left it seems. whatever role they put him in will most likely be ineffective. he cant even win a faceoff anymore it seems. at least not last night from what i saw. especially in the first.

  22. Drury has a bomb of a slapshot? Got any film footage of this rare sighting? Up there with footage of bigfoot and a sober Lindsey Lohan

  23. Drury is about 1/8th the player Naslund was when he decided to retire. I doubt Sather would have the balls to buy him out but watching Drury on ice is becoming extremely painful. Too slow. Too small. Can’t pass. Can’t shoot. Other than that…a damn fine hockey player.

    Does he even go to the net anymore? I don’t think he’s got the hand-eye coordination to get those garbage goals anymore.

    Sad to see, even though I have no love whatsoever for a man who’s more concerned with his pizza joint than winning hockey games.

    Retire, Chris. Your tenure in NY has been an unmitigated disaster. Walk away on your own terms and the fans will love you for freeing up money that could be spent on someone who can play the game.

  24. I think we should try Hank on the point during PP. He is better than Avery at holding on to the puck at near boards, that’s for sure.

  25. the team will be fine. staal had a open net on 1 PP, but the puck slid of his stick. the PP is to stagnant and the passes are not quick enough and also guys cannot always handle the passes cleanly in other words it lacks skill.

    they can get by with less skill if they make faster decisions and spread things out.

    they were being dominated 3 to 1 and totally dominated the 3rd and hit a few posts. i cannot blieve boyle did not socre at the end of the game. aslo the zuc hand pass with 25 sec left in the offensive zone really hurt.

    anisimov is 22, will add more weight and is a very good young, complete player.

    so now drury is the new whipping boy from the whining fans…..DUbi cannot commit stupid penalties…………..duby is there best forward by far, gaborik is not. gaborik has done jack…………..

  26. to be a avery groupie, do you have to be 25 or younger??

    the guy cycles well down load but let’s be real he has 2 goals and is bad with the puck on his stick expecially in the defensive zone.

    if the rangers success is based on avery’s minutes we are doomed……………..

  27. haha cjp, . and he is not good at every other aspect of playing the point on teh pp. he cant pass well, he is slow, so any breakdowns which will happen at least 2-3 times during a pp, will leave him exposed for oddman rushes, and he just flat out sucks offensively. he gets garbage goals. i have seen his slapper and its not any better than averys. rozy had a much better shot when he actually shot it. giradi has a good shot and so does gilroy. the problem with the pp is that they dont have guys who can create chances and make quick decisions with the puck. they need guys to be quicker when dumping in too. they dont retrieve well. not enough skill on teh team. thats all. and gabby is really bad right now so if hes not helping we might as well have 4 guys out thre and treat it liek a pk.

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

    Morning ILB and all!!

    you suck for going to the game (just jealous) and have fun

    “with young, Spanish looking girl next to me”….So you got the xmas gift I ordered off the internet for you finally??

    Anyone know how bad the patriots beat the jets yesterday??

  29. ilb- na birons better at handling the puck, so id go with biron to start the point, but hank did have that 4 game assist streak, so who knows. put drury in net for pp’s

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

    Huge resounding NO to kaberle and his marshmallowness!!

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

    well! How you doing bro? How did the other night go??

  32. Say what you want about him, PK is a good player. He can shoot, pass and is an excellent skater. And unless someone hurts him, he will get even better.

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

    yeah, I’m an excellent skater…dad’s lets me skate all the time…yeah….256 and 4 in the box!!

  34. >>Drury has a bomb of a slapshot?

    I think NYR_FAN meant to write, “Drury has a bunt for a slap shot.”

  35. Just because Drury can shoot it doesn’t mean I think he can skate. I also don’t think he can or wants to win battles in front of the net anymore.

  36. He plays like a 40 year old and way past prime… but you have to try to put him in a situation where he can succeed…

    Point on the PP?


  37. I posted this before but I just don’t get why Drury is so bad.

    I guess it’s because Torts realizes the younger players should be getting their chance on the first 3 lines. But really though, Drury was somewhat decent before and helped win many games in buff and colorado

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

    do the rangers have a skate this morning?

  39. Why all the negativity on Aves I`m 51 and not a groupie just smart enough to see that the guy DOESNT GET BUMPED OFF THE PUCK HOLDS IT WELL AND MAKES SOME REALLY SWEET PASSES and if the claimers that Aves is nothing more than a 4th liner than OPEN YOUR EYES Besides could it get any worse than it is?

  40. Yes, Wicky, that would be perfect. But Naslund didn’t have the ego that Captain Clutch has…I don’t expect Drury to retire, even if it means he gets traded or bought out…

    I would be surprised if he retires…

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

    nonetheless, that is the outcome I am holding out for!

  42. Avery deserves a shot on PP. Down low, behind the net, in front of the net, screening the goalie etc…But not at the point. Holding on to the puck while under pressure along the boards near the blueline isn’t his strong point.

  43. Blue Seat Horror on

    ilb, I’ll be at the game. Section 403.

    I’m a little concerned about Lundqvist. His point production has slowed.

    The difference between last night’s game and a similar game in seasons past is that the Rangers put on a real push to tie it instead of panicking themselves out of position and giving up multiple odd-man rushes.

    Todays a good day to beat the carcillo out of the hartnelling Flyers.

  44. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Interesting comments here re many wanting Drury gone, and I concur, wholeheartedly. One related question in all this is PROSPAL. When he returns, isn’t he just another Drury, a severely downside, overpaid, way below par and physically vulnerable at this stage, major liability? How many of this type do we need? I would rather lose (and hopefully improve along the way) with young and struggling Grachev types than with old dumpers just playing out the string. This team will be much better off when the remaining over-30 mercenaries are mercifully gone.

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

    oh man, I may of just sent tiki off the bridge…sorry tiki!!

    re hank and his point production…maybe a stint in CT would help him find his game again!

  46. Rangers rarely skate game days; there may be optional skates for guys that are hurt, etc; they always have ice available.

    They almost certainly wouldn’t skate after traveling last night.

  47. Prospal is having some real ups & downs.

    Last night from what I saw it was down again, that he might not make it back.

  48. Yup. I feel for Prospal, he was great last year and – if healthy – would really give them some quality depth.

    It’d be like adding a forward thru trade w/o giving anyone up.

    I just caught tail of MSG report, but even Giannone put down his pom-poms and said it didn’t look good.

  49. Good afternoon all! I’m over last night and ready to kick some cheesesteaks…..any word yet on who’s in goal?

  50. He needs to be in today’s game. His point production streak is severely interrupted by last game. It was terrible and need to be addressed.

  51. The news from Prospal and watching that video of him gingerly taking turns on the ice seems to point towards him just flat out not helping this team this year. Too bad, too. Guy had an awesome first half last year and you have to say he certainly had the fire in his belly…

    And as for the best tan in the NHL…well…

    Too bad, Vinny. But I think if he comes back this season it may be a miracle.

    As for Drury becoming the whipping boy for the fans. It comes to a couple of factors:

    1. SALARY – This can’t be ignored. We’re paying superstar salary for a barely serviceable 4th liner. And yes, I believe a player should be held up to the expectations of his contract. No, I didn’t think he’d score 40 goals and get 90 points…but I think everyone can agree he’s performed WAY below expectations.

    2. CAPTAINCY – Handing a mercenary the captaincy was a mistake. Forget all his talk about being a Rangers fan as a kid. The man was handed the “C” when he, in my humble opinion, didn’t deserve it.

    3. PROPAGANDA – MSG force-feeding us about how much of a proven winner he is and putting his little league world series up there with Messier’s Stanley Cups in Edmonton is laughable. He won a Cup on a stacked Colorado team. His “prime” was severely limited time-wise. Anybody else want to puke in their soup when Schmuckeletti said about Derek Stepan “He’s got a little Chris Drury in him”? The fans see through the
    They see another overblown mercenary who’s getting paid for past glories…and they aren’t all that glorious.

    4. DEMEANOR – I wish I could remember who on this board said it, but they said watching Chris Drury give an interview is like watching a POW video. The man isn’t soft spoken, he looks BORED. And his tenure as captain can best be summed up with two statements: “I’m not gonna let this ruin my christmas” and “Buy my pizza”

  52. BTW, I know that everybody feel the same, but I was really ecstatic about Hank yesterday, the only positive feeling after that game.

  53. All that being said. I’m primed for tonight’s game. I’m hoping they finally beat the Flyers and put the first two periods of last night’s game behind them.

    This is still the most fun I’ve had watching this team in a long time.

  54. If Rangers will keep losing, I’m afraid, I’ll will need serious help by AA. No, not from Artem Anisimov, but Alcoholic Anonymous. I can’t take it without my auxiliary army of Relaxing Drops (Rx-100 drops per shot), which could grow to some problem. So, they better start winning, however, it is also very good cause and reason. Hmm.?

  55. oh my, did I miss a language alert?? be a good boy CJP

    warren alert: CT and I will be there for game, with others hopefully to join after….come on down! LGR!!!

  56. Apologies to all. ;-)

    Anybody else more interested in the Rangers-Philly game than the Jets game?

    Should mention I’m a Giants fan…lol

  57. But PK for me become a curse, almost expletive (I’m not talking about penalty killing here).

  58. CJP, I only care about the Rangers, but on behalf of our friend tiki, I’m pulling for the Jets.

  59. Bet you Tiki has been meditating since midnight….Orr, stay away from the game and the score, this thing may turn worse than ugly, lol…

  60. Blue seat

    Good one, about LQ’s point production…could become a problem eh?

    That point about them never slap shooting from the point…true enough, and hopefully with the new guys that scab will be lifted. Biggest problem of shooting from the point is that they don’t really shoot..they make glorified passes and hope someone collects it. Still too much hit and miss to their game. Somewhere along the line it boils down to the coaching, and what they tolerate ( or worse yet..condone.) I truly believe that the main reason they don;t slap or one time from the point is that they’ve not been coached and they really have no
    confidence in their shooting..

  61. That lollipop eating James Wisniewski is very good at lowering his shoulder and launching a howitzer from the point on PP. He did it in LI, and he is very dangerous in Montreal.

  62. OK all, off to rest up for my evening :) perhaps I’ll join her later…til whenever, LGR!!!!! TA!

  63. Blue Seat Horror on

    Lundqvist, on the Patch-or-etty incident:

    “I felt he didn’t try to stop,” said Lundqvist. “But the energy in this building makes you want to jump guys sometimes. It’s hard to stay calm.”

    I hope Henrik didn’t catch the flu from Pacioretty.

  64. >>Anybody see Drew Doughty destroy Taylor Hall last night? Loved it!

    And, he finished the match with a goal and an assist. Why can’t our team land a defenceman like that?

  65. Blue Seat Horror on

    Chad Kolarik with a goal and 2 assists for the Whale so far. MDZ with a better game as well at +2.

    3-0 Whale. 5 min left in 1st.

  66. 4generations 4 cups on

    JBytes because we havent finished low enough recently to get good enough picks like the top 10 usually have. Fortunately, we had crafty work by Gordie Clark in finding Kreider and he should be a MONSTER.

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