Pre-game stuff


Hi kids. I didn’t make it down to MSG tonight for a variety of reasons, so I’ll be in the chair watching our good friends at Versus and, despite that, trying to watch the game with youse tonight. Maybe listening to the great Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney.

Anyway, I never got around to posting the entire Tortorella post-practice thing yesterday, so here it is, minus the old news.

John Tortorella:

On having 15 forwards and seven D-men at practice yesterday:

“Too many bodies for practice. But, no, it’s good to get the guys on the ice … obviously when you have that many bodies, they’re getting close.”

On the competition the healthy guys bring:

“Once we find out who’s healthy and who isn’t, we have to cut down our numbers to get a proper practice in. And we have a few days this month that we can practice with only 12 games. But, no, for the past — really for most of the year — we’re just trying to field a team out there to get a full practice in. So this is the other end of the spectrum, after some time off, some guys have healed and some guys, the timing of their injuries, coming back, it’s good stuff. And I think we’ll be a better team for it once we get some guys back in the lineup.”

On Del Zotto:

“He played well enough the past couple of games. Did some decent things as far as puck movement on our power play. We’ve got to make a decision there. He was brought up also because we weren’t sure about Danny (Girardi).”

He said Kolarik had dipped, and before sending Grachev down today, this was his assessment:

“Grach has played much better. It hasn’t transformed here yet, but he has been one of the better … Schoeny was (at the Whale’s games) and felt Grach was the guy. Him and Newbury. I like Newbury’s grit. Hopefully he can take a faceoff or two. But Grach has scored some goals down there, has played hard, is going through the process. Now, the next step for Grach is to protect pucks here as we’ve asked him to down there, but also to try to create some offense. Weise played well, too.”

On Dubinsky:

“If it was up to him he’s play, but it’s not going to be his decision. We’ve got to check with the doctor and see how he feels (today). … It’s just dealing with pain. Is there going to be pain. The doctors have said we don’t need another X-ray or anything like that. They feel it’s healed. It’s just a matter of Dubi … remember, this was going on with Dubi for quite a while prior to (the discovery of the stress fracture). But Dubi was knocking on my door after the Florida game and knocking on my door before (yesterday’s) practice. He wants to play. But it just can’t be his decision. We can’t put him in a situation where he could get hurt again. So we’ll see how he feels … and we’ll make a decision.”

 On Wolski learning the grind:

“I’m hoping the whole team rubs off on him, because that’s the way we have to play. And he has bought in. He’s trying to grind. He’s trying to win puck battles on the boards, both ends, defensively and offensively. He’s been around the puck and he’s been told that’s what he’s going to have to do. I’ve had so many opinions on him thrown my way when we traded for him. I haven’t seen some of the things people talked about, so we have to make our own judgment and he knows how he needs to play here. And he’s trying to do that.

“We don’t want to turn him into an absolute grinder. He’s a talented player. But he has to do the job away from the puck and puck battles are a part of that.”

Asked to clarify what he said about not seeing the things people talked about:

“That’s a positive. People weren’t running him down, but you get traded a couple of times in a very short while, people are saying, ‘Well, what’s this guy all about?’ I didn’t want to listen to … obviously we have to get information and I have a couple of people over in the Western Conference that I trust very closely, and I called them. And they gave me information on him. So you have to find information. But you never know when it clicks in. He’s 24. He’s still a kid. And you never know when it clicks in. I like the way he’s played. I like his effort, which is the most important thing, away from the puck. And he’s been around it offensively, too, in creating offense. So we’ll see where it all goes.”

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  1. Tiki - my roughie toughie snoots! on

    Getzlaf, Perry, Selanne???

    If that’s our basis for “stars,” then Marian Gaborik and Dubinsky are stars.

    Selanne was a star at one point his career, but at that point in his career.

    Come on, seriously? Van Riemsdyk?? Carter and Richards, sure. Briere, grossly overpaid. No goalie. Pronger is our Staal.


    ilb – We have a much younger, better shutdown D man in Staal. What is Pronger, 56 years old. Come on, seriously. Id love facing the Flyers in the playoffs and knocking them out in 5 games, if only for the added bonus that some of you fans that so often praise every other team, might laud our team.

  2. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on


    Briere may be overpaid… but he scores and puts up points. and the Ducks i mentioned were THEIR star players. They may not be Malkin/Ovechkin/Stamkos… but when you lead the team in scoring, you’re a star of that team.

    You don’t have to agree, and it’s obvious you don’t, but Stanley Cup winning teams are deep. THey have multiple levels of talent and guys who can get it done. Look at the stats in the playoffs, the guys who are supposed to score, score.

  3. Carp’ed:

    The 2000 Devils were the 2nd highest scoring team in the league that year, not to mention two HOF D in Stevens and Niedermayer and Rafalski as their 3rd D, they didn’t have a star scorer per se, but they were a deep team. Ditto for their 2003 team.

    Being a Ranger fan doesn’t mean being blind to the fact that a team that has taken 3 out of 3 games from them so far and has 10 more points in two less games played and that’s scoring 0.60 more goals a game (something which a stronger Rangers PP would not account for) is better than the Rangers this year.

    Even if I concede the Rangers have statistically a better D than the Flyers and even if you want to attribute that to Lundqvist, being a deeper and more productive offensive team gives the Flyers a decided advantage. Head to head and against the rest of the league records prove that.

  4. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Average goalies can play well, good goalies can play bad, stuff happens.

    Last year we got beat by a better team. Period. True fans can admit when their luck runs out, and the odds take over.

  5. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Our goalie is outstanding… but he can’t win if the team in front of him doesn’t score more goals than the other guys.

    Losing a game 2-1, or 1-0 is still losing.

  6. I’m not sure what stemmed this debate between Tiki and CT and the gang but I’ll say this much the odds of the Rangers getting past the likes of Philly in the post season this year is pretty slim. You can pull the ‘anyone can beat anyone’ card on me or say that certain guys can steal a series and you’d be right but in the games we’ve played against them they’ve clearly been the more talented team that gets the better breaks.

  7. the only team in the history of the NHL to win a Stanley Cup without a tremendous offensive team was the 2002-03 NJ Devils. However they had 2 Hall of Fame skaters on their team Scott Stevens, and Joe Nieuwendyk and their neutral zone trap was so good that the NHL changed the way the game was officiated as a result. Also they had Brodeur, who is arguably the best goalie that ever lived.

    The other two Devils teams were offensive powerhouses as we all know…

  8. Considering Getzlaf’s worst season production was is 5 points less than Dubinsky’s best season in about 25 less games, I don’t think we can put Dubinsky and Getzlaf at the same level until Dubi puts up a few 25+ goals, 60 + point years, you know something he hasn’t done yet.

    Teemu Selanne, at 40 years old would lead the Rangers in scoring.

  9. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    CT, and they had Marty in the pipes. As much as I dislike him, the guy is a HOF goalie.

  10. Tiki - my roughie toughie snoots! on

    You’re the one who said “star scorers.” Now it’s not star scorers, per se….

    You all make fine points. 30 goals more in 2 less games is a lot. Gab and CTB – you know i love you 2, and we can disagree. That’s fine.

    What about Carolina? All they had was Staal, Ward, and………………………………Matt Cullen :)

    I believe our team is deep. We have guys that can grind and score. Cally, Dubinsky, Gaborik, Stepan, Boyle, Prust, AA, Staal, Gilroy, EC, and Prospal.

    We can’t score on the PP; we dont have a point man, so go to a 4 forwards, 1 D man PP with MZA at the point. MZA is responsible defensively. PP is all just coaching.

    You cant forget, we also have Drury’s intangibles and leadership and LLWS victory!
    Our only disadadvantage is our youth and inexperience, but again, that cannot be quantified.

  11. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    That being said… I LOVE this years Rangers team, and think they have great intangibles that make them a VERY dangerous team to play against. We can def. make noise in the playoffs if we stay (relatively) healthy, and get hot towards the end of the regular season.

    Can we beat the Pens in 7, or the Flyers in 7? Sure anything is possible. But we won’t beat those teams with a crappy Powerplay and if we don’t score goals.

  12. Tiki, you’re entitled to believe what you want to believe. I’ve said it before, I don’t always agree with what you say, but in the sense that until the Rangers are eliminated from play (preferably in the context of the playoffs) there’s always a chance.

    But between myself, Doodie, oleo and other posters, we’ve demonstrated that there’s a lot working against the Rangers from winning this year. And the idea that Lundqvist can level a pretty tilted playing field has a low chance of occurring.

    Believe me, I’d love to be proven wrong but at the beginning of the year I wasn’t expecting anything out of this team so in that respect they could lose in a 4 game sweep in the 1st round where they don’t score a single goal and I’ll think they’ve accomplished more than I expected.

  13. Tiki - my roughie toughie snoots! on

    James – And yet I think the 3 games we’ve lost to Philly this year have all been 1-goal games. I could be wrong, but for being so outlandishly much more talented than us, only 1-goal victories?

  14. The Rangers have McDonagh, Gilroy, Sauer, who have not even played in a full season in the NHL let alone a postseason game before. To say we have better defenseman is completely ridiculous especially when they have Pronger.

  15. Beninati working the pxp again tonight. Heave ho, two in a row! Don’t kill the messenger. At least Jaffe is back with him. Surprised Joe B. is doing this game with the Capitals playing tonight, but I don’t know who else Versus would choose. With almost a full slate of games tonight, someone had to miss their team’s broadcast.

  16. It’s pretty obvious that we’ll have agree to disagree on that, Tiki. But I do hope that our management agrees with us and doesn’t dismantle our young core and decide ti go for it. That common cliche-“anything is possible once you get in” only works to certain extend. And, yes, there is something to say about it. That’s why from our team’s perspective they may add one or a couple of small elements just to go deep in the playoffs with our young core. Teams have to lose a few rounds before they win it all. But this shouldn’t be the year when we declare- let’s go for it.

  17. Tiki - my roughie toughie snoots! on

    CTB – You all do have very fine points. But I do believe Henrik can make the difference. Goalies make the difference in the playoffs all the time. I’ll never stop believing in the Rangers; the key to a 7 game series is to just take it game-to-game, and if the Rangers do that, we can beat the Flyers. It’s not only possible, it’s probable. We’re the better team, IMO, with the NHLs best goalie.

    Btw, where was Hartnell prior to last years Flyers playoffs run? Nowhere. As was Reimsdyk and half of their other players.

  18. philly is more talented then the rangers and better. so what. rangers can still beat them in the playoffs. rangers get to the dance, stay healthy and they can cause some damage. when healthy they have 12 forwards who can play, a very good young d, and a world class goalie. that is a winning formula in the playoffs….

    there are no sure things in this NHL..

  19. Tiki, a pair of 4-1 losses in Philly and a 3-2 game that was more of a 3-0 game when there was still meaningful time left.

  20. Tiki - my roughie toughie snoots! on

    oleo, dont manufacture words I didnt type. Never said we have better defensemen. I said Staal i better and younger than Pronger.

  21. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on


    I can’t believe you seriously listed EC, Gilroy, and Prust. Yes they can score, but not 25. And not knocking the guys, i love Prust for what he brings.

    As i type this, here is the point production to date this season:

    EC- 6-8-14
    Prust- 7-12-19
    Gilroy- 3-5-8


    Getzlaf- 13-24-37
    Van Reimsdyk- 12-11-23
    Perry- 25-26-51
    Selanne- 15-30-45

    Says it all right there.

  22. Tiki - my roughie toughie snoots! on

    CTB – So I was wrong on that.

    ilb – I definitely 100% agree with you on not dismantling our team. Ive never proposed that we do. I think we can win with the team we have and I won’t stop believing that until we raise the Cup this year or we’re on the golf courses.

    Now it’s really time for Tiki Teddy and Taylor to get walked!

  23. GOALS for GAB-orik- Keep reading Prust!! on

    Tiki – my roughie toughie snoots! February 1st, 2011 at 5:07 pm
    James – And yet I think the 3 games we’ve lost to Philly this year have all been 1-goal games. I could be wrong, but for being so outlandishly much more talented than us, only 1-goal victories?

    *kinda proves my point. You said Philly has no goalie, but if we can’t score, our awesome goalie and our team still takes the ‘L’.
    And yes, if they score more they are better than us.

  24. I’d be more inclined to suggest that the Rangers have some chances against the Pens in the playoffs. They have some pretty glaring holes (the wingers, defense). Ditto- Caps and Tampa. But not against the Flyers. I think we will take a few points from them this year, but we won’t win the best of 7. And I’d be a very happy human if we go all the way to EC finals…

  25. Tiki you’re right about the one goal games but like I also said- the Flys seem to have gotten the breaks as well.

    You can all debate it until you’re blue in the face- fact of the matter is- there’s just no way that the Rangers’ season doesn’t end in heartbreak for most of us no matter what we expected from them this season. If they don’t make it we’ll wonder what they could have done if they grinded their way in and if they get in and lose in a 1st or 2nd round series there’ll be 500 things to debate. The point is this- the team is making great strides and it’s been a fun year but they’re not good enough to win it all. No matter how enjoyable they’ve been to this point.

  26. I agree, ilb. And, the thought of the Flyers with Iginla is even scarier. I don’t want to see the Rangers vs. the Flys in the postseason.

  27. NYR_FAN-I’d love to see the Rangers against the Flyers (with Iginla in their lineup)! That is an invaluable experience that will mature our young core better than playing 5 years on non-playoff team.

  28. haha…I should have phrased that as: “I’d rather see the Pens or Tampa over Philly.” I just don’t think we have enough fire-power to beat them in 7 game series. Obviously, we have better goaltending then they do but that probably isn’t enough. I agree that playoff experience will be quite beneficial to the youngers!!

  29. MickeyM needs a new phone on

    ilb, I agree with you. I think this team has a better chance of taking out a healthy Pens team in 7 games than a healthy Flyers team. Purely based on what I’ve seen of the games so far this season, that is.

  30. ilb, re: the Pens. I definitely like the Rangers wingers better than the Pens but they have a couple of guys that are better at giving them the puck. Also, their top 4 of Letang-Orpik-Martin-Michalek is pretty good and more experienced.

  31. Last year the Caps were far and away the best team in the league, scoring more than everyone else combined, and unstoppable force heading towards the Cup…

    …until lowly Montreal beat them in the first round.

    I’ll grant that the Flyers have a deeper roster (especially where scoring is concerned), but anything can happen in the playoffs. But the way the seeds are shaking out, we won’t be playing them in the first round anyway, so that gives some other teams a chance to get lucky and knock them out.

    At playoff time, it’s anybody’s game. Not saying the Rangers are winning the Cup this year (imagine?), but there’s always a chance.

  32. I agree with that Mickey. I think the Rangers are more capable of winning in Pittsburgh than they are of winning in Philly.

  33. you dont need a great goalie to win the Stanley Cup, you do however need an offensive juggernaut. I have 50+ years of NHL history to back me up on that.

    I will delve into this and remove some teams once the playoffs start but the only teams in the east that can win the Cup this season (barring any drastic change) are Philly, Pittsburgh, Washington, Tampa Bay and Carolina.

  34. Also, I just realized: If we won the Cup this year, Drury would be the one to raise it, and that would be the image that would live on in NYR history. And he’s the worst player on the team…

  35. I’m just glad that the players on the team don’t have the same negative mindset that many of you have. If they did, we wouldn’t be watching such exciting games & someone with that mindset shouldn’t be on the team anyway. They believe they can win and that’s all I really care about.

  36. MickeyM needs a new phone on

    Sally, Lil Man is definitiely IN. And on the top line with Gabby and AA.

    Cally with Zuke and Stepan. Boyle and Prust with WW. Avery dropped to the 4th lines with Drury and Newbury.

    DZ’s IN too. Eminger is out.

    Per Zipay and Gross on twitter.

  37. Uh, wow: “Eminger out tonight, so the oldest defenseman in the lineup for the Rangers is 26-year-old Dan Girardi.” – Dave Lozo

    Surprised MDZ is playing over Eminger, since Torts stated that he wanted MDZ to continue in CT.

  38. CTB- clearly Pens are a better team, my point was that we have a better chance against them than against the Flyers.

    Zipay reports MDZ is in, Eminger healthy scratch.

  39. anybody can beat anybody in the playoffs that is correct, but in order to win 4 playoff series you MUST have an offensively powerful team. You can survive playing like the Rangers do for 1 or 2 rounds but it will eventually catch up to you in the later rounds as you cant hold teams like Vancouver, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Philly all playoffs long.

  40. You’re wimpy, Sally? And you live in Bufallo with all these inches of snow? We need to talk..

  41. I’m not wimpy about snow, I love snow! I just get really annoying when I have to work when I’m sick. Also about lifting heavy things, raccoons, staying up late, waking up early, being hungry, and doing karate.

  42. Good evening all! Boy, I redefined the concept of lazy today, and I thought I’d already done a pretty good job…..are we all ready for a win tonight!!!

  43. MickeyM needs a new phone on

    Anytime, Sally!

    Mama, me too! I had plans of doing all this stuff around my place since I had the day off due to the weather, and well, I’ve done the dishes. That’s about it.

    Buuuut, I have an excess of energy now, so I think I’ll swiffer the bathroom and kitchen floors and vacuum. Then be back in plenty o’ time for the game.

  44. Hey Sally! Mickey, holy hartnell, I just was thinking about taking on my bathroom and kitchen!!!

  45. ***** 2 FREE tickets to tonight’s game ****** (303, D, 9-10)

    1st to email me gets them:

    steve at blacks4 dot com



  46. blast from the past on

    glad to see Dubi in there and Eminger sitting. Eminger’s game has dipped and he’s really a 7th dman.

  47. Ilb, tonight: 7-11 inches of snow, possible thunder.
    Tomorrow: 3-8 inches of snow & freezing drizzle.

    Ah I really wish I wasn’t sick. A snow day without sledding and rum hot chocolate is a totally wasted snow day.

  48. It’s Just Sally,

    Be careful lifting the raccoons, had one in my basement last year. It came in through the fireplace. poor thing was looking for a place to have her babies. we had to call someone to pick her up, luckily she wasn’t rabid. I like to think that she is frollicking at the park with her babies

  49. I guess the team doctors know more than I, but it seems early for dubi to return? Does anyone else think so?

  50. jpg’s sister, let me tell you one thing about raccoons. They ALL have RABIES. This is a scientific FACT. They are all out to get me. Also, they have some kind of secret alliance with Nazis. I am not making any of this up. Raccoons are pure evil. And no, their hands are NOT CUTE. I’m pretty sure they are going to get me one day and give me rabies, even though I got a preventative rabies vaccine in 2003.

  51. Let me tell you one more thing about RABIES. It’s totally possible that a rabid bat could fly in through your window, drool on your pillow, and fly away without you ever knowing it was there. You could contract rabies from the bat drool on your pillow and it could be in your system for TEN YEARS without you knowing it. Then, one day, you could start drooling and biting people (like a zombie) and then, right before you die, you become completely normal again. This is TERRIFYING.

  52. lines per Andrew Gross:

    Brandon Dubinsky-Artem Anisimov-Marian Gaborik
    Wojtek Wolski-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust
    Mats Zuccarello-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
    Sean Avery-Kris Newbury-Chris Drury

    Marc Staal-Dan Girardi
    Michael Del Zotto-Matt Gilroy
    Ryan McDonagh-Mike Sauer

  53. Everyone is talking about Philly’s D and just talking about Pronger. Why no love for Mezsaros, who has been EXCELLENT this season, especially with Pronger out? Not to mention their other great defensemen Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, and the very capable Matt Carle?

    Fact is, Pronger, Mezsaros, and Timonen would all be the #1 defenseman on our team this year, and Coburn would be #2 behind Staal.

    If that team can get adequate goaltending during the playoffs, the Cup is theirs to lose.

  54. MickeyM needs a new phone on

    LOL, Sally.

    You must have campus kitties up there, right? The black squirrels. Though I ran across a totally white skunk one night walking back across campus and was scared shitless. Perils of western NY in the Alleghenies.

  55. MickeyM needs a new phone on

    jpg, one of our sale guy’s last name is Callahan. Every time I email him I snicker to myself.

  56. i’m nervous about watching tonight’s game
    haven’t watched previous pens games
    this season

    i may be able to deal with it tonight due
    to a lack of cindy on the ice
    but i’m sure they’ll be talking about him

    we’ll see how long i’ll last

  57. Mickey, I have never seen those! Blame it on Love Canal?

    Raccoon, I’m gonna get you first!

    LW3H, at work last weekend I told a guy in a Flyers hat that he’d have to pay an extra tax on account of his cap… he was cool about it though. I was ready to throw down.

    See how tough I am?

  58. Lol, Sally with rabies….Funny, you’re almost totally right about what you said.

    LMAO @ rabid Hartnell!

  59. MickeyM needs a new phone on

    Huh, and here I thought it was a whole western NY thing. Must have been a PA thing since Olean is only 20 minutes from the border.

  60. ZzZz NYR ZzZzello " Back from break!!!"...says Greg L. on

    wohooooooooo geuss what time is comming up………????

  61. ZzZz NYR ZzZzello " Back from break!!!"...says Greg L. on

    Go time!!!!!!! Lets take advantage of these wounded birds. 2 pts is on the menu tonight!!!!

  62. Sally,

    Stay safe from the raccoons, hope they don’t get you. Was in Western New York a couple of weekends ago and I think they were all hibernating. Only saw people out and about

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