Panthers-Rangers in review


Ah, what a nice way to start the all-star break. A fluky loss by your boys, and then another snow storm.

I remember being on a road trip in Houston with the Mets in 1986, and they were on a roll when the all-star break hit, and they didn’t want to stop playing. And the headline in our paper was “Break Dancin’.”

I don’t think these Rangers would be dancin’ had they won last night — especially those with broken or badly bruised bones. But they would have felt a whole lot better about what they’d just done in the five games/seven nights with all those AHLers plugging holes so well.


1) They still should be dancin’ because these first 52 games have been just impressive as all hell.

2) The post-game notes said that the Rangers have registered five more wins and six more points through 52 games, and have scored 13 more goals and allowed 15 fewer, than last year. But it really feels like a whole lot more than that, doesn’t it? And anybody who thinks this team, compared to last year’s team, is only that much better, hasn’t been paying attention at all.

3) The Rangers tied the game in D.C. Monday on a fluky goal, and lost this one on an equally fluky goal, and maybe they do all even out through 82 games. Except that I thought the Rangers were the better team in D.C. and the far better team in N.Y., and sometimes you’d like to think the better team deserves the breaks, and that sometimes luck shouldn’t be so much a part of the equation.

4) I am really impressed with the offensive stuff going on with Gaborik, Wolski and especially the Italian kid from Norway. They’re creating a lot, and I think it’s only a matter of time before Gaborik, especially, and the rest start putting up three-plus every night. The Rangers scored more than two for only the second time in 13 games last night, and the other one doesn’t count because it was Toronto. That still has to improve.

5) I came into the building the same time as Gaborik again, and again he signed a whole boatload of autographs. This time no jackwagons yelled at him. I was also in the elevator with Del Zotto, who was happy to be back — and had to know that he’d probably be re-Whaled after the game. He was telling me about his 10-hour bus rides in the minors. Ugh. I still think the kid’s going to be a stud offensive D-man, and sooner than later.

6) Happy 50th Birthday, TGO! I don’t want to start a whole argument again, but IMO, there’s not even a discussion about who’s the best player to ever lace them up. There was Wayne Gretzky. Then Bobby Orr. Then Mario. But it’s a lot closer between second and third than it is between first and second. And what a pleasure and highlight it was in my career to have a chance to know him and spend time around him.

7) I saw that Martin Havlat was named to the all-star game yesterday. Here’s my favorite story about him. In Mark Messier’s second stint in New York, during a bad time and a bad game in Ottawa, Havlat (typically) cheap-shotted Messier behind the net. Messier beat the daylights out of him, and then added a few extra shots as the officials tried to pry him off of Havlat. After the game, one of the Ottawa writers asked Messier, “What were you thinking there?” And Messier replied, “I was thinking what else I could do to him.”

8) Do you just love Brian Boyle’s quotes after the game? He’s become a go-to guy in the lockerroom, a must-interview.

9) I’m thinking that only three of the five sent to Hartford are coming back Monday, since Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan are expected to return Tuesday vs. Pitt. I think Kris Newbury will be one because A) he’s tough as hell, and B) he wins faceoffs. Anybody want to guess who the others will be?

10) Was there anybody — including John Tortorella or Glen Sather — who wouldn’t have signed for 3-2 in these last five games? It certainly didn’t play out according to script, and yes they got, and should have been, greedy after the back-to-back wins in Atlanta and Washington. But bottom line is they got six points in a seven-night stretch when it would have been possible that they might get two or one or none.


AP photo, above.

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  1. Oh, right. It’s the All Star break and the Boneheads, being All Stars….. well, you get the picture.

  2. the Rangers are getting nothing right now from Anisimov. Boyle has become the number 1 center, and Stepan is 2. Anisimov has scored points in about 1 of the last 12 games, and his lack of production is hurting the Rangers. he needs to get it going after the break or they are going to have to pay for a center.

  3. in answer to number 9 Carp,
    I just hope one of them is not Kolarik, he is awful. Torts hinted about Dubi being back sooner than expected, and Sam and Joe said they thought Prospal may actually be back soon as well. I thought MDZ was much better than he had been earlier, and I would not mind seeing him back for good. I don’t know who he would replace, just saying I thought he played well.

  4. I thought Grachev was better against Washington than he was last night. he seemed hesitant last night. I would not mind at all if Newbury came back up, and stayed. I like what he adds to the 4th line, and the team. he plays hard, and is physical.

  5. Bull dog the Rangers are getting a whole lot of nothing from a lot of guys most nights. This is AA’s first year playing top 6 minutes. These days he plays half of the PK minutes so his contributions aren’t always going to be on the scoresheet. It took Boyle this long into his career to become a consistent player, IMO AA is much further along the growth curve at this point in his career than Boyle was and maybe even ahead of where Dubinsky was in his 2nd full year.

  6. CT,
    I understand that this is part of his development, and I still believe he is going to be a player. my point is the Rangers seem to have something going this season, and he is the one center who the Rangers are probably getting less than they hoped. if they are going to make a run this playoff season he is going to have to be more productive, otherwise they are going to have to find somebody else to fill the center role this season. I am not giving up on him, but they need more from him now.

  7. MZA’s passing skills are top-notch. On that 3rd goal, if you watch the reply, he gets to the puck behind the net off to one with 3 or 4 players right behind him, including a Panther who’s almost on his back.

    MZA somehow spots, within that group of 3 or 4 players, a Ranger and does a behind the back pass (off the boards, I think) through that group of 3 or 4 and gets the puck to the Rangers, who proceeds to bring it out front.

    It’s time to put him on Gabbie’s line, IMO. From what I can see part of Gabbie’s issue is he’s forcing things – trying to create more ice when he has a little ice, and usually it ends up with no ice. He is carrying the puck a lot (probably more than last year when he played so many games with Prospal who is a puck distributing centerman). Of course there’s nothing wrong with him carrying the puck, but not as often as he’s been doing. He’s more effective getting in the open and having the puck fed to him.

    I think MZA can do that.

  8. Bull dog, do you mean find someone else via trade or reshuffling responsibilities with the current crop of centers? The latter might happen when/if the injured players return. Maybe Prospal slots in on the top line and AA gets bumped to 4C while Stepan and Boyle take 2C and 3C.

    Acquiring someone from outside? It would take a haul of young assets to get a bona fide 1C, something which I can’t see the Rangers doing this year. Maybe if they can remove Drury from the roster via buy out or convince him to retire (since demotion and trade are virtually impossible) then they go after Richards in the offseason but I think this is their team or at least this is their forwards unit for the rest of the year.

  9. CT,
    I was thinking Prospal, but I was also thinking a veteran center. A Ray Whitney type, a cheap rental.

  10. CT/Bull dog: AA very well will become redundant over the summer if the Rangers sign Brad Richards. Richards, Stepan and AA are 1 too many offensive centers (and with Boyle anchoring the 3rd line, there’s no spot there, either).

    AA would likely be packaged with perhaps a defenseman to address other holes (ie power winger/bruising defenseman who can actually play top 4 minutes).

  11. I believe Whitney has primary been a wing and rentals aren’t quite cheap these days. Dominic Moore has twice been traded for 2nd round pick. Ollie Jokinen was involved in a deal that included a 1st rounder when he went from Phoenix to Calgary. So a vet that’s probably in the range of a 60-70 point guy, pro-rata, is going to be fairly expensive in terms of future assets. And I’m of the opinion that the Rangers are not one player away from being a contender right now. They can contend with good teams on a one off basis but against a deeper team like the Flyers the talent differential will come into play over a best of 7.

  12. Jim,
    I know I am in the minority here, but I don’t believe the Rangers are going to open the vault for Richards. Boyle, by the way, is the Rangers number 1 center right now, may be he slides back to 3 next season, but right now he 1.

  13. I guess you are right CT, there are no cheap rentals. I just see a Ranger team that has all the secondary pieces in place, and with a little help at center may be able to make some noise in the post season.

  14. Good morning, boneheads!

    I, for one, was hoping for 5 points out of these 5 games, so no disappointment here. But yo do get greedy…I’m happy because they still played hard and were very close to getting at least a point.

    Avery was excellent again, btw.
    I think the AS break will be very good for Gaborik. Not physically, but mentally. He is very close to scoring again, and sometimes you need a mental break to put it all together.

    Here goes packaging AA again! That would be a huge mistake, and I don”t think our management will do it. Anisimov, btw, isn’t groomed as an offensive center at all, but rather as a two-way center.

  15. bull dog- you don’t think they will go after Richards this offseason? Or you don’t think they will overpay for him?

  16. MDZ makes our PP much, much better. He has, by far the best passing skills on our defense. And he isn’t hesitant to shoot. Honestly, I think he should stay up. I know it won’t happen, they want him to get more defensive skills in AHL. But he and Gaborik have an amazing chemistry. Gaborik knows where MDZ’s pass will lend, as well as MDZ knows where Gaborik will be. Gaby, seemingly, had more jump yesterday when MDZ was on the ice.

  17. ilb, I agree with MDZ passing skills being probably the best our defense has to offer. I just wish he would shoot more. I wouldn’t call him hesitant to shoot, but he often looks pass before shot. I still like him at the point, but he needs more shots.

  18. Well, we can always pick up a new center but Sather will have to think outside of the box a little. It doesn’t have to be a “name player” or a guy who is having a fantastic year, but rather, a guy kind of like Wolski who had not been having a good year with his present team but could fit in and do well on the Rangers.

    One name that I’ve mentioned before is Andrew Cogliano from Edmonton. He could be another Enver Lisin, or he could be something better. May not be a bad trade option depending on the risk/reward factor.

    Dominic Moore bounces around every year from team to team and there must a reason for that, as there was a reason we got rid of him.

    Also, don’t know if anybody caught this or not but Prospal was activated from IR according to LB.

    PS – I concur with bull dog line and would consider trading Anisimov for a NON-RENTAL player, depending on what we got back in return.

    Right now though I think more than anything the priority is to get a veteran defenseman with a hard slap shot from the point.

  19. OK some thoughts. First off- Carp why don’t you just give those tickets to me? I’m real, I’d email you to confirm and I have the ability to put up a nice steamy hot bag of walter’s hot dogs and some curly fries as a bribe ; ) lol

    The more Grachev plays for the big club the further it probably drops his stock value. He skated well the other night but it was more of the same last night. Just my opinion.

    2nd- I think when Prospal comes back he’ll probably be used on LW althought Im sure they’ll take a look at what he can do at center when it comes to faceoffs. I dont remember him being what we’d call dominant last season on them but we’ll see.

    I also think that when Vinny is back in the lineup they should reunite him with Gaborik and try both Boyle and Stepan in the middle with him. it would be nice to find a legit first line for the last 30 games. Though I think Boyle may still be at his best with Prust and Feds when that whole line is healthy-ish.

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Newbury back and playing in Drury’s spot down the stretch. As for Drury he’s been one of my favorites for a long time but at this point I see his role being more of the pizza cottage nature then an NHL rink. I’m going to agree with the idea that it’s likely he’ll be bought out this summer.

    Also- when Dubs and Cally are back I think they should be reunited with AA to see if that line can click again. call AA whatever kind of center you want but he looked good with those guys to start the season even though they eventually cooled off.

  20. Bull dog: I like BB, so don’t take this the wrong way: I agree that right now he’s probably the Rangers first line center but that highlights to me one of the biggest issues organizationally: Lack of a true number one center. BB doesn’t have the skills to be that player. He doesn’t distribute the puck well and has a mediocre shot.

    What BB does have tremendous desire, a strong work ethic, good overall hockey skills and a willingness to hit, do corner work and go to the net. He is, IMO, a perfect 3rd line center and when is the last time you could say that about the Rangers?

    I recall in the 90s knowledgeable hockey people lauding the 3rd line center skills of Joel Otto. Remember him? Well, BB is Joel Otto with more skill and better goal scorer ability. He belongs on the 3rd line with Brandon Prust on one wing and preferably someone with speed and skill and a commitment to playing a 2 way game on the other. I am curious to see what this kid Carl Hagelin will be capable of come next fall’s training camp. From all his pressclippings, he might end up being that other winger.

  21. No to Cogliano. There’s really no fit for him on this team and he would not be getting preferred minutes of Stepan, Boyle and AA. They already have a logjam at forward when players start to return.

  22. BTW, as expected the Rangers are farming out Del Zotto, Newbury, Kolarik, Grachev and Dupont to the Whale.

  23. Carp, or anyone in the know
    Question: Do all teams play the same number of back to back games in a season, ect.

  24. I agree CT. I don’t think this team needs any more spare part players. we’re stocked with them. I think if you add a legit threat up the middle with Gaborik on one side and someone like Dubinsky or Vinny P on the other side then you have an upgrade worth making. As for right now they need to get healthy and weed out who is the top 12 forwards are going to be going towards (hopefully) the Playoffs. It’s funny in a way. They’ve played so well despite the injuries it’s kind of like training camp all over again mid season.

  25. RO- I don’t believe so. I’m pretty sure the schedules are made by a computer. It’s a roll of the dice kind of thing? These other guys probably know better than I do though

  26. I can’t imagine they have the same # of BtB, too many variables and the travel schedules vary greatly for Eastern and Western teams. Also there are teams that share their arenas with basketball teams and others that don’t.

    I would imagine playing in the Atlantic actually hurts the Rangers with the scheduling because the farthest they ever have to go within their division is Pittsburgh so being able to do something like the past two nights of DC then NY is easy compared to what a team like Vancouver probably has to do.

  27. The comment about Boyle being a go-to interview is correct; and, it also displays the slide into irrelevance of our captain. If if he did contribute, he’d only mumble some cliches anyway.

  28. billybleedsblue on

    Carp, nice to hear you on the radio last night. I couldn’t agree more about Boyle. Man, he’s been fun to watch and I’m looking forward to his further development. By the way, what was up with Weiss pulling at Boyle’s sweater after that goal there last night? Looked like Boyle was going to rip his face off for a second there…then after that, on the draw, the two of them were chatting it up. I always wonder how those exchanges go. Nothing happened as a result of it, and props to Boyle for keeping his head…

  29. Thanks guy’s, I just think the Rangers 18 back to backs this season is insane, and will cause more injuries, and hurt the team when playoff start. Although so far the Rangers have been very good on back to back games, they have a a ton of guys that were hurt so far.

  30. RO: Almost for certain that isn’t tracked. So much of the schedule depends on arena availability that I suspect it would be impossible to track.

    What I do know is teams input certain requests (ie Maple Leafs due to TV revenue and tradition) play on Saturday evenings probably 3 out 4 (if not more) weeks in a month.

    There is a myriad of other requests (ie MSG unavailable due to the circus) that have to be taken into account, not to mention the quirky team vs team requirements (ie play the Aves something like once a season with rotating home/away matching).

  31. Can’t help but keep wondering Dreary’s pressbox possibilities once all those injuried guys return. Cally, Feds, Christensen, Dubi and maybe even Prospal means 5 guys come out. MZA won’t, so that means:

    Gabbie, MZA, Stepan, BB, Prust, AA, Wolski, Avery and Dreary = 9. 9+5 = 14, meaning if all are healthy (and yes, admittedly that’s a stretch) 2 sit.

    If Dreary automatically gets dressed, who the hell sits? I’m guessing Avery (even tho right now his play doesn’t warrant it) but who’s the 2nd guy?

    Tough decisions and I cannot see how Dreary, given his ineffectiveness, doesn’t sit.

  32. Carp,

    Those 86 Mets were a wild bunch. I’m sure you have some stories if you were on that beat back then.
    I have a vague recollection of a certain Met, All Star first baseman, smoking in the dugout. during the game. wild.

  33. AA will be a 30-35 goal, 90 point player in this league. Trading him for a spare part would be beyond foolish.

  34. ilb2001,
    both, I do not see them signing Richards because it force on the 3 young centers that they have down on the depth chart, or change there position. unless they are going to trade Stepan, AA, or Boyle, I don’t think it makes sense.

  35. I wonder what happens to AA once prospal comes back?

    Wolski-Stepan-Italian kid from Norway

    Four great lines that torts can role all night long

  36. AA may get sent down to the 4th or maybe Prospal starts low on the depth chart get his game back. He hasn’t played a competitive game in almost 10 months. I don’t think it’s a certainty that Avery stays in the line up when everyone is back and healthy. I think you might see a rotation of one of Drury-Avery-EC as being in the lineup while the other 2 sit.

  37. Carp,

    Why not auction those tix off to the boneheads and give the proceeds to a Rangers-endorsed charity?

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

    Honestly, if Torts had any self-respect, he’d sit Drury when the cavalry returns. I understand that players look up to him and he’s good behind the scenes. But he brings zero to the table on the ice these days and keeping him active at the expense of someone like Avery seems ludicrous.

  39. Prospal is gonna last about two weeks, then hurt his knee again. I wont worry too much about him. Getting Drury to sit out will be more difficult.

    I agree that Avery had a good game last night, but he’s still just Avery. He doesn’t have good hands up close, and missed many chances to score goals there last night. On that cycle along the boards, I knew exactly what he was going to do most times and so did the other team. Not real effective for scoring goals. killing time, I guess its good for that.

  40. 3) The Rangers tied the game in D.C. Monday on a fluky goal, and lost this one on an equally fluky goal, and maybe they do all even out through 82 games. Except that I thought the Rangers were the better team in D.C. and the far better team in N.Y., and sometimes you?d like to think the better team deserves the breaks, and that sometimes luck shouldn?t be so much a part of the equation.

    Kramer would consider them even Steven’s, right?

  41. CT, no the Cooters brawl was on the previous trip … of course we visited Cooters when we went back in July … and, as it turned out, again in October.

    RO, a lot of it also has to do with arena availability, because MSG has so much going on …

    Good morning, Sally!

    Grachev’s still only 20, right? What 20-year-old with that size and skill has his stock drop? He may just be a late bloomer, and if he blooms at 21 or 22, that’s not really late, is it?

  42. Turtle,
    you really think that Avery is going to the 2nd left wing ahead of Dubi? I don’t think he even going to be ahead Fedotenko. he is going to be back to where he belongs, and that is the 4th line.

  43. Grachev’s still only 20, right? What 20-year-old with that size and skill has his stock drop? He may just be a late bloomer, and if he blooms at 21 or 22, that’s not really late, is it?


    Not at all, look at guys like Holmstrom, Franzen and Dan Cleary. They didn’t become consistent NHL players until they were in their mid 20’s, let alone consistent scorers. Grachev at 22 or 23 could very well become the next = MONSTER.

  44. the one that is going to interesting to me is Zucarello. what do they do with him when everybody is healthy. the right wingers are Gabby, Cally, and Prust. do they use Zucarello on the 4th line? or do they bump Prust?

  45. I think if the team is still having trouble scoring goals you gotta keep MZA as a top 9 guy. I think he keeps top 6 minutes even as some guys come back as they build up their game shape.

  46. I agree CT,
    but Prust has had a big role on the team, and Torts has never really been a 4 line guy. he has been a little more this year, but still not that much.

  47. Drury and EC are the odd men out when everyone is healthy. Would rather cut Drury, and rotate EC and Newbury in the last spot depending on the opponent (if we need more skill or toughness). But if Drury has to play because of his contract and the C, then EC is odd man out.

    Maybe we trade 2-3 of our spare forwards for something, to clear up the logjam and address a need.

    I also anticipate Prospal starting on maybe the 4th line (with maybe a little special teams play) to get his game and conditioning back. He won’t jump right in to first line minutes.

  48. Those who are ready to write off AA and Grachev need look no further than Brian Boyle, who, even Torts admits, The coaches were on the verge of writing off before the season. Now, Boyle, at the ripe old age of 26, has emerged as what we all have agreed is a Monster.
    You have to be patient with young players, especially with big young players who typically take longer to grow into and learn to use those bodies.

  49. Grachev wil be a monster. Can’t imagine him not being an impact player when he matures and learns to be a pro…His combination of strong skating, puck skills, and size is rare.

    He certainly has all the physical attributes and skill to be a top 6 winger…It is just the consitency and attitude that he needs to learn…

  50. czechthemout!!! on

    Enough with the fosters ,cglianos,McCabe’s.
    We have Kreider and Hagelin available in about a month. Not areNHL ready.

  51. and they’re happy with the slow progression he’s made this year.

    if Torts has four dependable and productive lines, he’ll roll them.

  52. Bull dog- I happen to agree with you on Richards. I believe that instead of going after him and chewing up another $7.5M of cap space they need to stay with what we have at center and develop Stapan-AA-Boyle as 1-2-3 centers. Kreider will need some time to develop and can work as a L wing, if necessary. Instead, I’d look into another winger-scoring threat.
    Unfortunately, knowing our management, and past history between Richards and Torts, I’m afraid they will go after him hard and overpay. It may work well initially, but I thunk it will hurt eventually.

  53. If you watch the games carefully, you would notice that AA is probably our best defensive centers, in not all the forwards already. And a few times he shows his offensive skills, it’s jaw-dropping. He is 22, people, you don’t give up someone like that….

  54. Rangers are, indeed, looking awesome. Great team to root for, blue seat mentality.

    However, I’ll take a second season of Boyle, MZA and others before I’m proclaiming everyone’s status as monsters or All-Stars.

    Guess Prucha kind of broke my heart.

  55. ilb,
    I am not sure if you were referring to me, but just in case, I never said I would give up on or want to trade AA. I just feel he has been the least offensively productive among the centers on the team. they need more from him now if they want to even consider making a good playoff run this season.

  56. Grachev — did he play a bit on the pp? thought he did, but it was when the team didn’t really have the puck. barely has a chance to show anything on that 4th line with Drury although
    there was a little bit more life to the captain last night

    as far as Richards, i’d be most concerned with the number of years on the contract. maybe he can be a strong contributor over the span of 5, which seems like a likely number
    in Sather World but i’d be happier with 2 or 3, especially since i can’t imagine his
    price being lower than $7 mil per year.

    finally, in regards to Kreider. when his college season is done this year
    any word as to what he’s going to do? can he go to Hartford or…?

  57. Good point Chris. But Boyle is not gonna get knocked around like Prucha because of his size and MZA at least proved he could be very productive in a pretty good league in the SEL. Obviously not guarantees of future success, but Prucha while easy to root for was the very definition of a fluky but successful season.

  58. No, bull dog, the second post wasn’t directed to you, I know you didn’t say that. It was a general response to some suggestions about using him as a part of a trade..

  59. jpg- I doubt Richards will sign for 2 years, this could be his last lucrative contract, he’ll want long term.

  60. Richards wants a retirement contract. If Rozsival can get a $20mn deal, Richards can get $35-$40mn.

  61. On Grachev – the kid is HUGE. Anyone that big needs time to develop. He might not be ready this year but he’ll get his shot next year. Guys that big need time to figure out their space on the ice, whether he can do it or not is the question.

    On Prospal – I doubt he gets much ice time, maybe in the playoffs if there is an injury

    Drury – keep him on the 4th line and let him finish out the season, no sense in embarrassing the captain of the team

    Overall – the teams needs more “jam” on defense. Gilroy, McD, Emminger, MDZ and Girardi don’t add enough. Sather will have to decide who to go after in that department or use players in Hartford.

    I think Grachev will add a lot of “jam” up front, although not going to drop the mitts, he is a big boy who can hit.

    I think this team has a great foundation on which to build and develop, maybe we can get a playoff round victory this season, but certainly our eyes should be on two three seasons down the road when our youth are hitting their prime.

    Must say though, with Prust injured and nobody willing the address the physical side of things, we miss have the Boogeyman on the bench.

  62. Richards — yeah, expected that he’s going for that last big paycheck. makes sense for him.

    Grachev — know he’s still young and figuring things out. just wish i could have seen just a little more. possible sighting of a spark or two but he wasn’t in the best of situations. maybe the coaching staff just wanted to see if he’d be consistent with coverage in all three zones right now and realize that he wasn’t on a scoring type of line.

  63. The big days to come to NYC might be over with this crop of young kids in the organization.

    Dubinsky, Cally, Staal, Girardi, Henrik, McD, MDZ, AA, Stepan, Gabby, Gilroy, Boyle, Prust, etc. are all young and will need multi-year, multi-million dollar salaries to keep this team’s core intact.

    From there you have Kreider, MacIylrath, Grachev and even Marty Biron as the backup.

    There really isn’t any money left to throw around, unless you let Gilroy and Emminger go and use that money to get a guy who can hit. But I really don’t want to see Gilroy leave.

  64. If anyone wants Gretzky’s final game on DVD, please email Blogmama – if you have her email address.

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

    What a dirty move by Jagr to beat the Rangers in Gretzky’s last game.

  66. I wanted to take my friend to see a Rangers game. I went to the Garden box office to get tix. I got 2 limited-view tix to the game on April 18th. No worries…it’s the last game of the seaons, the Rangers are out of the playoffs….nobody will be at the game and we can move down and sit virtually anywhere. Then like a week before the game TGO announces his retirement and I’m one of the lucky ones with tix. My friend mentions selling the tickets to scalpers outside the Garden. I say, you can if you want to but I’m not selling for any price. We both went to the game. Not happy with Jagr’s goal but it was ELECTRIC. Everybody was wearing #99!

  67. I know this has been discussed hundreds of times, but can someone please remind me of the specifics of buying Drury out after this season?

    The guy is done. Finished. And let’s be real, he isn’t pulling a Naslund on us and retiring….not with that kinda dough on the table.

    It’s sad. I’ve been a HUGE Dru fan for some time, but the guy skating with # 23 on his back aint the same guy.

  68. Marji= true Rangers fan!

    NYR4life= Drury’s buy out looks like that: the team saves $3.3M for 2011-2012 in cap hit, his cap hit remains $3.7M for that year. His cap hit for 2012-2013 season will be $1.66M.

  69. And I agree with whoever said it before- let him stay in the lineup, perhaps on intermittent role, no need to embarrass our captain. But I’m almost certain they will buy him out after this season.

  70. Not sure if it means he’s definitely coming back but, the Rangers announced Prospal was activated off of Injured Reserve after the game last night.

  71. I just noticed Orr’s new name this morning. LMAO! I’ve never used this guys link, but is there any true to what dde posted about similar links this am?

  72. The thing that struck me most about that Gretz highlight clip was the jerseys. Look how big and loose they were!

  73. Good afternoon all! Carp, do you think Gabby might be starting to think he’s being followed by you?

    Happy Birthday GO!!!!

  74. The jerseys then were so much better. I have a Leetch jersey from 1994 that could probably get run over by a truck, repeatedly and only have a few scratches. I have a few of the new ones and considering the price they charge for the authentic jersey I’m afraid it may come apart after a few more times in the washing machine.

  75. Orr, I think you’ve been pretty successful in telling him to screw off just by using your name, lol…

  76. BTW, I hate all star games. Is anybody planning to watch? Not me. Here’s hoping none of our guys get hurt.

  77. Orr – My team may not have won, but I still would like to do something kind for you. Please get in touch with Mama – you can even set up an email acct just for use with RR. I think you’re an awesome kid with a great sense of humor, and we are all lucky to have you.

    Also, could you please stop with the comments about blast. So a guy wants to get hits for his site and he’s a Rangers fan. Cut him a break. He’s welcome here just as much as you or I.

    And please give the tickets to Sally! Or Blogmama! Or ilb! They are RR’s 3 stars. So just pick one!

  78. Can’t unload those tickets eh? Given the Rangers struggles at home, I don’t know if I would take them either.

  79. True Blue Mike on




    Im sorry but with that line up i can really see the Rangers going far in the playoffs. When needed you could take out Avery (If he isn’t producing/playing well) and throw in Christensen and move Prospal to the wing. This line up allows torts to just role 4 lines and through the final 30 games of the season this is going to be important. I do think that MDZ might be up with the big club sooner rather than later although.

  80. Hey all, WHO asked Torts “the stupid question” that pissed him off last night?

    They should send Drury to the minors. It will empower the youth and Dru can get his skills back or display to his true hometowners why he is there. No one will pick up that boat anchor of a contract so he can go up and down at will. Sad story but thats the NHL these days. …He signed it…

    They definitely can toss a few forwards in a trade for an upgrade, or depth, especially with all these kids doing well. I like Anisimov but I don’t see him getting much better than he is. Whatever they do they have to mind the chemistry in the room.

    WHO asked Torts “the stupid question” that pissed him off last night?

  81. Boys and girls, Lev won the tickets and will get them. He had good reason for being slow to claim them. But he has, and we will do another contest soon.

    Do you prefer an all-star game contest (just to make it interesting) or one of the first few games after the break?

    Hipbone, as I said, I don’t know who asked the question because I didn’t want to turn around while I was laughing. But it wasn’t a regular. He wouldn’t do that to a regular unless it was a really bad loss and a really bad question.

    Hi Tiki, glad to see you back. Was worried about you after the big fall on Sunday.

    Mama, I’m starting to think he’s following me.

  82. billybleedsblue on

    Wow, I almost hate to say it, but, Torts is growing on me. I couldn’t stand him, especially last season. No doubt the fact that the Rangers are actually looking like a team helps my opinion of the coach, but it’s more than that…he’s somehow more likable now…

  83. True Blue Mike on

    I have a question for you guys… would you be mad if Sather made a trade that would send AA, Grachev, Gilroy/Eminger to Ottawa for like Mike Fisher and Gonchar?

  84. Tony, you see a lot of movies and let your housecleaning go to carcillo……I’m an expert!!!

    I vote for contest on regular game, not All Star.

    Carp, maybe the crowds are really there to see you.

  85. “They should send Drury to the minors. It will empower the youth and Dru can get his skills back or display to his true hometowners why he is there. No one will pick up that boat anchor of a contract so he can go up and down at will. Sad story but thats the NHL these days. …He signed it…”

    Drury has a no-movement clause, meaning not only can we not trade him, but we cannot send him to the minors. He is here, for better (unlikely) or worse (very likely).

    Of course, that won’t stop him from being bought out this summer.

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

    morning ILB and all!!

    rumours (rumours mind you) floating around about rangers leading to get iggy with flyers next. Just adding to the onvo for today.

    No way richards goes with a 2 year deal. I’d say 4 or 5 years wherever he signs.

    You have to give up players to get players, just keep that in mind folks!

    I like this team a lot and do not think we are at the flyers level yet. That being said, if you can improve the team at the deadline, do it!

    You never know what an happen once you get into the playoffs, if someone knocks the flyers out…maybe just maybe..well, you never know.

    The one tihing I do not want the team trading for is a PP d man (if they want a guy with a great point shot soooo bad, bring up vtank). That being said, they need a serious crease clearer especially for the playoffs. I guess in the end, the organization will get a player they think they need, to fill a hole they think they have to fill, from outside the organization if they do anything.

    I also think they will get a player that will mesh in the lockerroom with a very good work ethic all over the ice.

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

    drury should naslund, but i bet he gets bought out if he doesn’t!

  88. Thanks, Carp. That means a lot to me.

    Im still in a period of mourning, but at least we stopped N.E. from routing the Steelers in the AFC CG. And now Ben has a chance to tie the N.E. QB for Super Bowl victories.

    Tiki Two actually watched the last 2 Rangers games with me. He has missed much of the season, with work and his gf. But he knew that I needed someone because I was feeling down. And he is so impressed with Zuccarello, and he’s always liked Wolski, so he was super impressed with both of their shootout goals, and AA’s. He literally yelled OMBG when MZA and Wolski scored on those shootouts.

    Orr, okay. But I hope one day I get the pleasure of meeting you. You’re a special person with so many great qualities. Thanks for not watching the game, and caring.

    Every Giants fan on this site should have no problem whatsoever with the Jets. The Giants and Jets are not like the Yankees and Mets. For Hartnell’s sake, they share the same stadium, they’re like brothers. And there is no rivalry between them.

    fyi, my Steelers friend jokes that Ben is a “therapist.” Get it? “the-rapist”

  89. True Blue- no we wouldn’t get mad. But we would probably submit you to guillotine for proposing it :-)

  90. And despite the adversity we had to overcome on Sunday, we fought until the end like true champions. If only we didnt have a stinky OC like Schotty calling 2nd and 3rd and goal pass plays from the 1 yard line. With the headsets not working, if Sanchez called those plays, then I can easily forgive him. If Schotty called those plays, he ought to be fired. Re: Schotty, like father, like son. 2 loser apples that didn’t fall far from the tree.

  91. True Blue Mike on

    Hahahaha i was assuming i would get answers like those, unfortunately to get players we have to give up players. Maybe we could make a move with Christensen and a pick for an extra vet D-man, other than that i hope Sather doesn’t do anything stupid this trade deadline…

  92. True Blue Mike on

    Tiki im with you on that. I am a Giants fan but was hopping that the Jets would make it to the Super Bowl but now i honestly don’t care that they didnt.

  93. Tiki, nice to see you back. I have no clue about the names you mentioned, but you’re probably right. Stay sane, buddy…

  94. Yea, Tik, there is definitely a rivalry between the Jets & Giants. Yet, it is not Yankees/Mets or Rangers/Islanders.

    As a Giants fan, I couldn’t care less about the Jets. If the Jet’s win or lose, I really don’t care. What does annoy me about the Jets, the last few seasons, is all the focus on the coach, Rex Ryan. He is a good coach. His popularity stems from his sense of humor and personality, not his football genius. IMO, he has not done enough as a head coach to warrant the praise he gets. He is not Vince Lombardi part deux. The other thing that annoyed about the Jets this year was all the attention they get away from the football field. It seemed to me that you could pick up the paper everyday this season and read a story about the Jets that has nothing to do with football: The Spanish reporter, Cromartie, Rex’s foot fetish, Favre’s sexting…etc

    Enough! So glad I don’t have to hear about the Super Bowl champion Jets until the summer!

  95. No rivalry at all, Tony. Every Jets fan in the world was – or at least better have been – cheering the Giants in SB XLII.

    Thanks, ilb. I spent a lot of the past few days cuddling my Tiki – against her will. :) And when she wants to get away from me, she just sneezes in my face! She’s the sweetest most perfect girl in the world.

    And to stay with being positive, I’ve gotten to know over the past couple months and fall in love with the most amazing woman in the world. She helps me be a better man and helps me to keep things in perspective and loves me for all my quirks. I cant say enough about her…When I talk to her, I can feel my heart skip a beat.

    Dont worry, I’ll always love you too, Mama! :)

  96. In terms of Iginla. I think the Flyers will go very hard after him, and eventually will make an offer that no one will be able to match. And they should. adding Iginla makes them SC favorites instantly.

  97. ilb, they’re already a top team without him. He’s got 2 more years at a $7M cap hit. They don’t have a lot of money coming off the books after this year. Unless they find takers for a few of their $3M-$4M players they can’t afford him.

  98. don’t worry Tiki,
    the jets are the 5 time defending champions of the off season, and they won’t let you down this off season either. they need to be champs of the off season, because they will never be champs of an actual super bowl.

  99. CTB- you’re right about their cap issues. However, it’s been reported from many different sources that they’ve been going after him….

  100. I hope it costs them at least Giroux and van Riemsdyk to get him, I can live with depleting Philly for down the road.

  101. And I hope it’s not us, bull dog. He is a great player, but not what we immediately need, and not for the price Clagary will want….

  102. ilb,
    I don’t want him either, but, what would you be willing to give up to get him. he would become the Rangers best forward the minute he stepped on the ice.

  103. billybleedsblue on

    What’s the difference between the Jets and a dollar bill?

    You can get 4 quarters out of a dollar bill.

    Go Giants, and LGR!!!

  104. Drury, EC, Eminger, recall Todd White and then send him out too for Iginla. Get it done Slats!

  105. Bull dog- Iginla is right winger who shoots right. Where does he fit. I doubt it’s a great idea for him to switch wings at this stage of his career….

  106. I would never, ever, never give up Todd White for Iginla, CTB! Never! Please don’t upset me today…:-)

  107. Todd White helps us recognize who the good players are because they don’t play like Todd White.

  108. “What’s the difference between the Jets and a dollar bill?

    You can get 4 quarters out of a dollar bill”

    I hear the Bears fans are throwing out their kitchen knives. They don’t like Cutlery

  109. billybleedsblue on

    hahahahaha… how do you keep the Jets off your front lawn?

    Paint a goal line!

    Hahaha. All in good fun, good fun…

    How do you get the Jets fan off your porch?

    Pay for the pizza… :D

  110. oh good grief. please, save me……going out to lunch and movie. would adore not seeing anything about football when I get back. TA!

  111. billybleedsblue on

    ok, ok, only 1 more then…

    you’re trapped in a room with a lion, a cobra, and a Jets fan. You only have 2 bullets in your gun. what do you do?

    i think we all know the answer to that one…

  112. Yeah, but if you really hate the Jets fan, wouldn’t you shoot the Cobra, so it doesn’t poison the Lion, and then shoot yourself, so you don’t get slowly ripped apart by the lion, and go out on your terms?

    That would leave the Jets fan with the Lion, and he would get slowly ripped apart, unless he’s a like Sigfried and Roy.

  113. Spider – It’s for prostate cancer and I already have one shirt and I have one to send to Mama!

  114. “How do you approach a long lay off?” With a plane ticket to somewhere warm and sunny.

    Tony, this won’t work for you. Nothing personal. Just sayin..

  115. billybleedsblue on

    Tony, it’s been snowing here since sometime this morning…and it’s expected to go through the night…i’m about 30 miles north of MSG…there’s about 3 to 4 inches or so out there from today so far…

  116. Tony, I’m struggling with what I think I will do when I finally meet you: hug you, or punch you…

  117. Carp, here’s an idea for the tix contest. Take the three games after the ASB. In total, how many goals scored by Rangers, by opponent, Rangers top points player, followed by player with most goals/assists….. or something like that. Makes it more interesting than one game where right away people are eliminated.

  118. ilb – What will you do when you meet me? Im hoping for the hug!

    Speaking of which, has Mama gotten in touch with you?

  119. For PP help I would look at the following player –

    T. Kaberle from TO. He is UFA this summer, 32 years old, has a few seasons left in him and could be a great mentor for MDZ, McD, Gilroy, Staal, all of em.

    I would be willing to give up some picks and defensive prospect for him to have the chance to re-sign him this summer at a certain price.

    I have always liked this guy. He can run the point on the power play for three more seasons and then let the kids learn from him.

    I think he would be a perfect addition to this team as currently constructed.

    Then my defense for the next three years would be Staal, Kaberle, Girardi, McD, Sauer, Gilroy, MDZ –

    Then I would sit and hope MacIyrath can make an impact in a couple years.

    I would work Grachev into the lineup and use his size.

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