Rangers-Leaves in review

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Don’t put too much stock in the score, OK? There was some lousy goaltending and lousy play by the lousy visiting team and it got out of hand in a hurry.

That said, there were a lot of positives, including the PK early, then the PP, mostly Gaborik getting going and the offense in general getting into gear, and the Rangers needing to win because they’d lost three of four, and because they were beginning a difficult stretch of five in seven nights, including the next three on the road against decent Southeastern teams.

Of course there were gargantuan negatives, too, those being the injuries to Brandon Dubinsky and Ruslan Fedotenko. Some thoughts:

1) I happened to walk into MSG at the same time as Gaborik last night. He was signing autographs, a lot of them, and doing so in a very friendly manner, and as he was done and stepped inside the entrance, some clown hollered at him,“Score a byfuglien goal!” Gaborik told me he heard it. He smiled and shook his head. It bothered him. Some fans just really make you scratch your head, don’t they? This guy must have been a jackwagon.

2) Gaborik has 10 of his goals in three games … against Edmonton, the Islanders and Toronto. So there’s a “Yeah, but.” Yeah, but … nobody scores 40 without having a few big games, and nobody scores 40 only against the good teams. How many times do you suppose Phil Esposito, or Mike Bossy, or The Great One or Mario Lemieux lit up the Golden Seals or the Kansas City Scouts or the early Devils or the early Mighty Ducks? Yeah, but the Rangers need him to score more consistently, and to score in those close games with the Flyers and Penguins and Canadiens. He knows that. Everybody does. He understands that. And he cares a lot more than people understand.

3) I’m not going to say anything bad about Colton Orr because a mutual friend keeps inviting me to play golf with him in the summertime — I haven’t been able to do it yet — but the last thing I want to do is ruin a round of golf by getting the bejesus kicked out of me. But I do think he might get suspended for that vicious, needless, senseless slash on Steve Eminger. I say “might” because I thought plenty of other hits and things this year should have resulted in suspensions and didn’t, most recently P.K. Slewfoot.

4) The Dubinsky injury really came out of nowhere, and it really is a big one. He’s the team MVP this season, to date, and probably, IMO, more irreplaceable than anybody but Henrik Lundqvist, and that includes Gaborik or Marc Staal or Ryan Callahan. Another bad side is that — I’m no doctor and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night — with a stress fracture, I think rest is the prescription. Which means that when he’s ready to resume skating he will have to go slowly, and that means his conditioning could be an issue, unlike those guys with broken hands and such. And it might mean he won’t regain his form for a while after he does return. (I was really looking forward to him vs. Ovechkin again next week. And do you think the Caps will be just a little frisky for that game after the other 7-0 game this season?).

5) If Avery-Anisimov-Gaborik didn’t work, my suggestion would have been Prust-Boyle-Gaborik. I would still like to see that at some point. I just think those two guys go get the puck the way Avery does, and they’re pretty good at getting pucks to the front of the net, only they don’t have a sniper there when they do. Plus Gaborik would be better protected physically, and better protected defensively.

6) I’m going to work on the contest results later on. One Bonehead had Rangers 7, Leaves 1. I imagine he/she was rather ticked that that goal was disallowed, though correctly, or that Lundqvist didn’t give up one. So it goes to the first tiebreaker, which was GWG, and since multiple Boneheads had Gaborik, it will now go to the second tiebreaker, Rangers shots. So I have to sift through a few hundred comments over the last two days. Or I could just give the tickets to Sally.

7) The Leaves are really, really awful, and they sure do define the term “gliding” in their play, and they kind of threw up the white flag really early. Too bad the Rangers are done with them.

8) The Rangers roster really looks rag-tag right now. I thought it was good of John Tortorella to heap props on Ken Gernander and the coaches in Connecticut for having so many bodies ready when needed. It’s pretty amazing (or sad) when a team is desperate for Erik Christensen to return, or praying Steve Eminger isn’t hurt too badly. And when some of the mainstays are named Dale Weise and Kris Newbury.

9) I wonder if that whole game might have looked different if A) the Rangers hadn’t killed those early penalties, B) Gustavsson hadn’t lost his stick.

10) Brian Boyle=Monster.

11) Sign of the times. Normally when Toronto visits, the pressroom is full of media from North of the Border. Crawling with Ontarian writers. This time there were only a handful. A lot of newspapers are cutting back on travel, among many other things. Too bad. The upside of that is: More pressroom chicken parm for me.

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AP Photo, above.

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Back with pre-game notes this afternoon. Until then, do your research on Brodie Dupont and Chad Kolarik.

Here is Mitch Beck’s interview with Dupont, from his Howlings blog.

Here’s my column from The Journal News and LoHud.com today.

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74 Comments

  1. Toronto Male Leaves are not good at the sport of hockey. I think having an American GM and coach (let alone two that were part of the Olympic team) run that team into the ground is some nice payback for Salt Lake and Vancouver.

  2. The injuries where a bit much already , and now these last two are making it out of hand now .

    I’d like to see the Rangers buckle down on D and play some tight checking games winning 2-1 for the next couple.

    That Newbury is a tough SOB .

    Wiese got in a good shot but got rocked with an even better one.

  3. Maple Leaves, not Male Leaves. This isn’t a site about Adam and Eve, although I would not be surprised to hear about a Ranger missing a rib at this point.

  4. Now heres my question/thoughts..

    you obviously keep together 16/42/10.. and id think 36/21/86 as well

    Now heres the question.. Does drury move up to play with boyle and prust? That leaves 3 AHLers as the 4th line playing ~5mins a game. But something tells me torts wouldnt let an AHL only line play even 40 seconds a game. Defensive liability etc.. Or do you put one of the AHL kids on the line with prust and boyle? And if you do that can you still play them as your shut down line against the other teams top line? Thoughts?

  5. Re: Orr, I don’t remember him being that cheap and borderline dirty with the Rangers. Aside from his slash he took a couple of other WTB penalties. The sloppy play of the Leaves has to be attributed to the leadership and coaching of that team. Phaneuf, Komisarek and Beauchemin have all been good to All Star caliber D and they looked like the kids who skate during intermission last night. Good luck rebuilding that pile of trash in Toronto, made even more difficult because if the picks they traded to get Kessel.

  6. Carp, if you played golf with Orr and he cleaned his ball in the fairway, would you penalize him a shot?

  7. JT: No, keep Dreary where he is – on the 4th line and on PK duty. I thought Weise had a strong game, even if he picked the wrong guy to fight (Schenn, as an 18 year rookie, fought continually and took on and held his own some of the big boys – the coaching staff like him too much to let him fight now, though).

    I think Weise should be moved up into Feds spot with B and P.

  8. Jim

    while i can easily agree with you (and for the most part do), just to play the devils advocate here, do you really trust weise defensivly to be put on the shutdown line with B and P?

  9. since im REALLY bored at work and i know your all just itching to know who won the contest.. whoever posts as “Lev” won.. gwg-gaborik and picked 28 shots for the rangers.

  10. Look at Toronto’s D: Phaneuf, Komisarek, Beauchemin’ Kaberle, Schenn, Gunnarsson. That should one of the better defense in the league, full of crease clearers, tough guys and puck movers. They were utterly lost last night. Stay away from any of those names, please. And don’t get me started on their goaltender. Bet you Burke can’t wait to unload half of them, especially for what they are paid…

    Two points, considering the injury bug, is the most important achievement last night, along with Gaborik’s “back to goal scoring” feat. Having said that, they still need to stop taking those dumb penalties early in games. If they didn’t kill both of ’em- who knows?

    Speaking of Gaborik, his first goal was pretty, for sure (so much for people saying he can’t stick handle, eh?), but to me, the real sign of him getting back his confidence was his last goal. That thing went exactly were he wanted it to go- upper corner with high velocity, using the D-man as a screen. There is no goaltender who could stop this one, no byfuglien way!

    Again, AA showed why nobody should even think about trading him. He was great with his vision, retrieved the pucks well for Gaborik, and his passes landed flat, right on the tape. And, Carp, if anyone else, HE is the one to provide sufficient defensive back up for Gaborik.

    Last thing, and this isn’t to make mama happy…Well, not only the reason :-)

    Avery=Monster.

  11. Oh, did I mention that Brodie Dupont has instantly turned into my favorite player, despite the fact that I haven’t seen him play a single minute? I can assure you he will do better than Todd White :-)

  12. Carp – I would give Orr a mulligan if he asked for one, as well as a tap-in.

    Injuries- Newbury, DuPont, Prust, Avery, Weiss… at least we might see some bodies hit the ice.

    Carp – Can you provide a Booggard update? Have you seen him at the Garden? Or is he that injured where he can’t make it to the rink?

    Thanks!

  13. I hate the term swagger/swag too ( to respond to one of the Carpfather’s previous posts)!!!!

    Henrik did make a couple good saves in the 3rd. Nice for him to get another shutout. Yay for Dupont getting a chance!

  14. The Make Believes are horrible. Really, really horrible. I might add that Gabby’s first and fourth goals were real beauties. It was really inspiring to see him taking hits, delivering hits and going hard to the net. That is how he scored his first goal. His fourth goal, what a gem of a shot. That is a real sniper’s shot: through traffic, top shelf – 2-hole baby.

  15. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Well that was a timely and effective name change! It was a gift of goals last night… in bunches!

    I think i may have to do something to get Drury going.

  16. That would be a bad switch because then 11 would be unlucky and 13 would be lucky. Can’t eff up superstitions.

    I would fix the typo if I could from a 2 to a 4.

  17. ilb, I think their D could be better but Wilson (very overrated coach IMO who’s lived off of taking the Ducks to their first playoffs and the Caps to Cup final over 10 years ago) doesn’t get nearly enough out of his team as he should. The Leafs aren’t the Islanders, they have substantial talent and are well financed. They are the Rangers of the late 90’s/early 00’s.

    I’d guarantee that if you put the top 4 Leaves D on say the Wings or the Habs you’d have a top 5 goals against team.

  18. Yum, chicken parm!

    Just wanted to share a story with you guys. Last night at 5pm, before the crowds were allowed in, I got to take my engagement photos with my fiance in Madison Square Garden. Such an incredibly cool experience. My fiance and I wore our new heritage jerseys for half the shoot, took a ton of pictures in my section, and hung out against the boards. Then after the game, we were invited on the ice to take a few photos there.

    Let me say, this was so much more fun than going to a park! Everyone at the Garden was great. Say what you want about the Rangers, but they know how to treat their loyal fans right and they do what they can for their season ticket holders.

    Thought you guys would enjoy this story. I’ll try and post a link when my photographer puts them up.

  19. I haven’t heard anything about Kolarik, but Dupont has been a decent scorer in the AHL hasn’t he? I think it’s great that they can get a little taste of the NHL. Then when Dubi and Feds and Cally and maybe even Vinny are ready to play the team will be right in the thick of it.

    Does anybody here watch any of Connecticut’s games and can give a report on Kolarik?

  20. Pardon Me Machetto on

    “7) The Leaves are really, really awful, and they sure do define the term “gliding” in their play, and they kind of threw up the white flag really early. Too bad the Rangers are done with them”

    How Ron Wilson hasn’t been fired is beyond me. Say what you will about the complete lack of talent on the Islanders, most nights they come to play.

    “but the last thing I want to do is ruin a round of golf by getting the bejesus kicked out of me. ”

    Line of the season.

  21. Kolarik’s an offensive guy they traded Byers for right before the Whale of a name change, IIRC. I don’t watch enough AHL games to comment on his D work.

  22. Noah-el Zotto-ospal-allahan-insky-tenko, 28 on

    All these injuries/demotions are making my handle way too long.

  23. 2) Gaborik has 10 of his goals in three games … against Edmonton, the Islanders and Toronto. So there’s a “Yeah, but.” Yeah, but … nobody scores 40 without having a few big games, and nobody scores 40 only against the good teams. How many times do you suppose Phil Esposito, or Mike Bossy, or The Great One or Mario Lemieux lit up the Golden Seals or the Colorado Scouts or the early Devils or the early Mighty Ducks? Yeah, but the Rangers need him to score more consistently, and to score in those close games with the Flyers and Penguins and Canadiens. He knows that. Everybody does. He understands that. And he cares a lot more than people understand.

    ***

    Tying this is in with the game note that Gaborik is the 1st Ranger with 3 hat tricks in a season since Jagr in 05-06:

    Jagr’s hat tricks
    5-4 L vs NYI 10/20/05, Isles finished with 78 points or .476 points %
    6-1 W vs PIT 11/12/05, Pens finished with 58 points or .354 points %
    6-3 L vs PHI 3/22/06, Flyers finished with 101 points or .616 points %

  24. Noah-el Zotto-ospal-allahan-insky-tenko, 28 on

    By the way, I was at the game last night. The “sloppy seconds” chant was tremendously tremendous. I was at the home opener agaisnt the Leafs and it never got that loud.

  25. Johnny, I’d penalize him, but I wouldn’t argue with him because I wouldn’t want to be like Pincus the dry-cleaner.

    Noah, these injuries are making me thirsty.

    Good morning, Sally!

  26. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Can anyone else see Coltor Orr in a batting cage stopping the baseballs with his chest/head ala Happy Gilmore?

    “THAT’S MY PUCK BABY… DON’T YOU EVER TOUCH MY PUCK!”

  27. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Saw something interesting on Facebook today,

    aside from there being multiple all 1 dates ( 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, and 11/11/11 )

    If you take the last 2 digits of the year you were born, and add the age you will be this year, it will equal 111.

    Weirddddd…..

  28. Nice article in the paper this AM, Carp. Loking a t the schedule, if the Rangers can split these next 4 games and keep their heads above water, they get a week off due to the all star break. They resume onFeb 1 by which time hopefully Cally and maybe EC or Feds might be ready or close to ready to return, so things on the personnel front should improve( barring furthur injury.) Of course a win tonight in Carolina would be large.

    On point 5, the only problem I see with pairing Gabby with Boiler and Prusty(love those inventive hockey nicknames) is that in most games Torts has been using Boyle and Prust as his checking line against the other teams best line. I don’t know if playing Gabby in that situation wuld work out and I think that ovewr the next 2 weeks it will be even more important to limit the other guy’s best scorers.
    On point 10, Brian Boyle has been the most pleasant surprise in a season full of pleasant surprises. He is a monster and I think he will stand tall (Yeah, I know he’s about 6’10” on skates) during these next 4 games. Monster indeed.

  29. Carp, read your article. Can’t disagree that the Rangers have survived the injuries they’ve faced this year. Can’t disagree that Callahan was a big loss or that Dubinsky might be a bigger loss. But some food for thought:

    Rangers record without Gaborik: 7-6-0 (14 of 26 points, .538)
    Rangers record without Callahan: 8-5-2 (18 of 30 points, .600)
    Rangers record with both: 12-7-1 (25 of 40 points, .625)

    Now whenever a team loses a player that absorbs so many important minutes such as Callahan it hurts. We know that the Rangers are more of a team of Callahans than they are Gaboriks and as much as you need both (their best points % is with both), there are more Rangers that can rise to fill Callahan’s role than can adeptly fill Gaborik’s.

  30. Thanks ilb. :) I’m gonna be a good wife. I know plenty of women that dragged their future husbands to the botanical gardens for engagement photos, and I took my future husband to Madison Square Garden.

  31. vogs, Boogaard update isn’t much of an update. PCS is an inexact “injury.” I have seen him at the Garden once. But until he’s symptom free he can’t even think about working out. And then it will take him some time to get in shape — and I don’t think he was ever in Tortorella shape. On top of all that, consider what he does. PCS for a fighter is far more serious, I would think, than for another player. He won’t be able to fight for a while, and if he can’t fight, then what’s the sense of having him in uniform? So my guess would be that we may not see him the rest of this season.

    Roe, congrats! I wish I had seen you at MSG last night. You are a good wife already.

    old coach, that’s part of my reasoning. By playing him with Prust and Boyle (and by extension, Staal and Girardi), Gaborik will get more minutes and will get to play against the other team’s offensive players, not checkers. I think he’d get more opportunities to score in that situation.

  32. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    haha Carp,

    Yea i forgot the land of the boneheads clocks are wired differently. Byfuglien.

  33. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Roe,

    Great choice to bring the future hubby to MSG. That man will love you forever, and so will we!

    My wife had a Rangers garter as her ‘something blue’at our wedding. True story. I wanted to marry her all over again!

  34. >>Speaking of Gaborik, his first goal was pretty, for sure (so much for people saying he can’t stick
    >>handle, eh?)

    Gaborik has very quick hands to control the puck. His problem is that he cannot stick handle past defenders.

  35. I couldn’t post last night, but what a fuggin game!

    Gabby only scores against crappy teams now. He needs to do that against the best.

    Wise needs to learn to protect his jaw. That’s all there is to it.

  36. Weise! Not wise. Fuggin iPhone!

    In surprise with Orr as well. He has been a but dirty since joining the Leafs. He really wanted to go with Noberries. Smart move by Noberries to refuse.

    Tonight is a pretty important game. The Canes are not far behind. I could be wrong, but I think they got beat 7-0 in their last game.

    Anybody know who’s in net tonight.

  37. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Yea Weise fared pretty well against that rubbish pile.

    Hey Carp… any word on how McIlwrath is doing? Did he heal up?

  38. I was going to comment on Boogaard before. I have a feeling he might be done for good. Time wise, this concussion is very close to being PPCS. This one was very close to the previous one he sustained against King. If this one lingers, I doubt he will ever come back. If he can’t fight, he isn’t getting on the ice. The current 4 year contract is insured, so he will get paid. I doubt anyone will insure his next contract, so he might as well just call it, folks.

  39. Wise did great against Carcillo, but he wasn’t smart against Schenn. He was leaving his jaw out open. It was like a contest of who can knock out who first. Luckily it was Schenn, and nit someone stronge.

    Dublowsky got knocked out in his first season. It happens.

  40. Congratulations Broadway Roe! You’re awesome!

    Gabby’s breakout was all because of GOALS FOR GAB! Dont change your name for Drury!

    Good morning all!

    Ilb! Wickster! Gab! Banj!

  41. Toronto was definitely lousy last night, but that shouldn’t demean the win in any way. Teams can never be counted out on any given night; we’ve all seen the Rangers lose to lousy teams with 3rd string goalies. Good work last night.

  42. GOALS for GAB-orik on

    Good morning Tiki!!

    I can’t take all the credit…. i mean… i guess Gaborik had a little to do with it.

  43. TIKI!! I was rooting for you to win the contest…you deserve it!! yesterday they sold the AAPL…then they clobbered the FFIV in the after hours…were they going for the hattrick on the NY RANGERS? NO! Because the Rangers gave us the ol’ UPOD…under promise and over deliver…the RANGERS is back! The USA is back!! TIKI NEVER left…so he cant be BACK! FIRE THE OLGA to keep the win streak alive!!! TOO late to change now!!

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

    morning ILB and all!

    Nice story here..
    wwpinc WoundedWarriorProjec
    A 19-year-old medic will be the first woman in Afghanistan to receive the Silver Star. http://on.msnbc.com/eMInP9

    on to hockey..
    Orr last night reminded me of fedoruk running around during that game that renney scratched orr.

    So just curious here, but with carp’s opinion on boogey (and I agree with him) being gone for the season, do you think slatipuss adds another “heavy weight”? This is a WWSD question!

  45. Does anybody think that Captain Clutch will score 1 goal this year? I can’t believe how bad he looks. He’s slow, doesn’t engage in anything, and honestly looks disinterested. We have GOT to buy him out this offseason.

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

    orr
    completely forgot luke richardson knocked him the frak out!!!

    the actual positions don’t line up correctly with newbury and boyle both being centres, but I would love to see newbury prust boyle!

    yep, weise just seems to look like byers in the last couple of fights…horrible!

  47. WWSD? Go fishing.

    Weise is used to overpowering guys in the AHL. Won’t do that here. Gotta learn to pick your spots. I’d really like to see him score tho.

    Anyone know who was the Maple Leave that Gaborik hit with a big check in the 2nd period right in front of the boards?

  48. Nope, Gab, I think all the credit belongs to you. Gaborik had very little, if anything, to do with it. Let’s just keep it up and have Gabby lead us!

    Mao! I got 6 hours of sleep! Hip Hip Hooray! Im hoping Linda gets the tix, or Tony, or any one of you awesome people!

    I will be up in NY soon, and cant wait to meet you great people. If I get to NY and dont get to see Mama, Ilby, CCCP, Gab, etc., I will very disappointed!

    Mao, Id love to learn more about you and what makes you so awesome! You’re a special person!

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