Rangers-Penguins in review


Well, that wasn’t exactly a textbook game, was it? Entertaining? Yes. Certainly not perfect. Your boys should be happy they got a point, because they could have easily gotten none, but sorry they let another one get away, to a team they’re chasing.


1) I am so, so sick of all this talk about the NHL cracking down on head injuries, and of all these TV clowns discussing it. When the NHL gets serious about head injuries there will be severe suspensions for head shots. That simple. No minor penalty is going to do it. No major penalty is going to do it. And the Jordan Staal match penalty for intent to injure is an aberration. They’re never going to call that, especially since some people obviously think Brandon Prust embellished it. I don’t know that he did, but it’s possible he did. Or that he could have. So, if the league really wants to crack down, then Jordan Staal gets a whole bunch of games off without pay. But he won’t. And if the league really wants to crack down, then Brooks Orpik needs to get a penalty, at the very least, for the head shot against Avery, even though he’s Avery, and, well, you know. Suspensions. Severe suspensions. That will be the only deterrent that works. But the NHL has no interest in those, does it?

2) Ah, Versus. No replays. Missed stuff everywhere on the ice, as it happens and after it happens. And that amateur Joe Beninati and his cliches. Like a ninth-grader trying out for the high school JV radio team. Unwatchable. Oh, and then a game that is sold as such a big event, and the moment it ends, off we go. No interviews. No post-game wrap. Nothing. Yeah, that’s how you sell the game.

3) So I go over to the radio with the outstanding Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney and Maloney’s going on and on about how physical the Penguins are, and how aggressively they kill penalties, and he was absolutely dead-on, as usual. Couldn’t have been proven to be more right. And, by the way, that’s why I think these Penguins are going to the Cup final. Because in addition to the top-shelf skill they have (and were missing) they grind, they pound you, they are aggressive all over the ice, they block shots like the Rangers, they fight, they’re tough and deep, and they have a goalie as good as any goalie in the game.

4) And we sure saw some kind of goalkeeping during the skills competition after the hockey portion of the game ended, didn’t we? Fleury made a couple of beauts during the hockey portion of the game, too, or there wouldn’t have been a skills competition.

5) I think the NHL and its sponsors really do think there are only two players in the league.

6) What a piece of carcillo Cooke is.

7) I thought Marian Gaborik was playing pretty hard … again. Before he set up the goal. and after. It ain’t easy to play wearing Brooks Orpik.

8) Shocker. Garden ice was awful in the first game in a week. Shocker. Somebody got hurt on a rut in the Garden ice yesterday. Shocker. The Penguins called it a lower body injury. Freakin’ liars. It’s a knee, everybody. It’s a knee!!!

9) Brandon Prust shouldn’t be fighting that T-Rex Engelland, who has beaten all the big boys. Especially with all of Prust’s injuries, especially up 2-0 at home, especially since Cooke wanted no part of him earlier. And Prust should know Cooke won’t fight him. I’ve said before, I think Prust should learn a few things from Avery, or from a guy like Cooke or Carcillo, and be a bit more of an agitator, a little bit of a punk, and less of a heavyweight. I think he’d be more effective and last longer that way. And I’m not putting down Prust at all. You all know how I feel about him as a player and contributor.

10) I thought Artem Anisimov was really good throughout, including in the OT. And he was back with Dubinsky and Callahan for a while. And how about that bat-to-bat goal from Dubinsky to Anisimov?

11) The Rangers were better on faceoffs, but two of the Penguins goals were scored directly off of faceoffs — one of them following a Rangers icing and a Rangers timeout. And one was scored after Dubinsky failed to clear, Drury got caught out of position, and Staal failed to tie up a much smaller man in front, didn’t even challenge the deflection. So, plenty of stuff for the video room today.

12) Ryan McDonagh can flat out skate, and this was a good game for him to show it. He made some plays with the puck, too.


AP photo, above.


I’m looking for two Bonehead volunteers to do game reviews for the two road games next week (Detroit Monday, Atlanta Friday), when I’ll be enjoying a furlough (a forced unpaid vacation). I want it to be two regulars, people who are here all the time and know exactly what we do with those game-in-review things. So, if you’re interested, e-mail me at rcarpini@lohud.com. Sorry, I will only be able to pick two.

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  1. I think this game is on Torts. to much time spent trying to match, constant line changing at face offs. he did what he always says he tries to stay away from, and that is over coaching.

  2. When we were up by two goals i thought this game was in the bag…. they got a couple deflections …
    pissed we let the point get away, shoulda had 2

  3. I hate to repeat myself constantly BUT Mike Sullivan needs to get tossed as the PP coach. I am tired of seeing the same inept PP game after game. I know you have to play with what you have but can we try something new. How about some different players? Maybe a couple of guys criss crossing in front of the goalie as the shot comes from the point. Used to work for the Debbies and they were no dynamo

  4. I dont know what I was thinking yesterday thinking that this team was capable of winning a Cup.

    Stupid prucha of Eminger.

    Here’s the thing, when the Rangers play a full 60+ minutes – which is a big if – then they are extremely tough to beat. But that’s the problem, getting a full 60 minutes out of them.

    And of course Drury and Gaborik. In the case of Gaborik, when you’re a guy that can’t carry a team on his back a la Jaromir Jagr, then 2 for 19 career in the shootout is unacceptable. The shootout is a skill, a skill which can be developed and harnessed through practice. 2 for 19 is a sign of a guy who doesn’t care about getting better to help his team attain that extra point.

    Like someone else said last night, I dont see Gaborik ever helping us a win a Stanley Cup. He’s just not an elite game breaker. As long as he is a Ranger, though, Ill hope he develops into a Jaromir Jagr – a leader that can put a team on his back against the best.

    Time to go sleepy! Niters!

  5. Agree kurt. Instead of changing what does not work – our PP – and trying different combinations and perhaps 4 forwards and 1 defenseman, our team changed what did work – MZA shootout attempt without a deke.

    Typical New York “bush-leaguery”. Go away from what works and stay with what doesn’t.

  6. This is what the Rangers get for scoring in the first period.

    Agree about Prust – I was upset that he was fighting that behemoth (Engelland). I was just screaming at the tv hoping that he didn’t get hurt.

    Gaby and Anisimov both played quite impressive games. Worked really hard. Artem playing baseball in front of the net was classic. Hard working goal from a guy you don’t see taking bodies in front of the net that often.

    Got a point. That is what I scream as the seconds wind down, “Get Points!” The Rangers are in a fine position to make the playoffs if they just continue to get points.

    That said, they should have gotten 2 against the Cindy-and-Malkin-less Pens.

    Oh well. Maybe next time we get in a skillz competition against a great goalie we can actually get a puck more than two inches off the ice when shooting.

  7. I think it’s pretty obvious that the Rangers PP is killing them. Imagine if it was producing at a reasonable clip – they’d have up to 10 more points than they do now (yesterday’s game being a perfect example of lost points due to an inept PP).

    So what’s the fix? Clearly, the lack of a true number 1 center is hurting them, but obviously that isn’t a fix that’s readily available. Also lacking is a true PP QB – MDZ might be that player – he certainly appears to have the raw skills needed, but it’s unrealistic at this point to expect him to perform at that level. Give him a couple of years to mature, at least.

    Also missing is the big bomb from the point. Of the 3 missing pieces, this one appears to be the easiest to remedy.

    So, with that in mind, what about Sheldon Souray? Now before people start blogging my head off, please hear me out:

    Request the Oilers (Sather still has ties there) to put Souray on re-entries waivers then pick him up at 1/2 the salary (this is assuming Souray is healthy again and playing).

    The immediate problem is a logjam at the defensive position. Eminger was pressboxed yesterday, but his play doesn’t warrant it, IMO. MDZ could be farmed out again, but that still leaves 1 too many d-man. Therefore, trade one. To me, that would be Girardi.

    Girardi for a first and a prospect (to Tampa or SJ or whomever).

    Souray can play on the bottom pair and instructed not to fight. He’s big (6’4″ and 230) physical and can fire the puck. Let’s not forget 3 years ago he had 23 goals and played 81 games.

    This move (or any other to land a legitimate PP bomber) is predicated on where one believes the Rangers are in terms of their current build. Do you stay the course and therefore, accept the PP for what it is (which is basically crap and is costing points). Or do you believe that some reasonable tweaking is justified (and moving 1 player in and another out is, IMO, reasonable tweaking).

    That to me, is the bigger question (as opposed to who do you land to help fix the PP).


  8. They had to find a way to get 2 points out of that game. Terrible 2nd period and the PP is a disaster as we all know.
    Never thought I’d say this, but please put Eminger back in the lineup.

  9. Meant to add that Souray at 1/2 the salary is almost a wash cap wise with Girardi being moved out for a pick and a prospect. Also, via doing the latter, you keep the pipeline going for the future.

    With the maturation of the likes of Sauer and McDonagh (and if MDZ slowly rounds into form) someone has to go anyways. It’s better to trade from a position of strength, which is what Sather would be doing now.

    I’m not advocating trading Girardi cuz I don’t like him (quite to the contrary) – I happen to think of the Ranger’s 7 D, other than Staal (who’s basically an untouchable) he’d probably bring the most back in a trade right now.

  10. Zuccarello and Del Zotto get assists on Cally’s goal. Zuccarello y Del Zotto sounds more appropos to a restaurant menu not a hockey stat sheet. I am just saying.

    Agree 100% Prust should not be fighting Engelland when we are up 2-0. Silly. Cooke is a piece of Carcillo.

    Who thinks a trade is coming? I mean we are talking about Prospal, Christensen, and Fedotenko coming back. Newbury is out. I get that. Avery likely to get the 2nd hook? What about Drury? The guy is slow, out of step, and he’s not THAT great at faceoffs or penalty kills. Package 2 of those dudes or 1 and a D-man for a big crunching, Beukeboom-type.

    On the PP, I like Zook there. Like Torts says, he does have great vision and is an outstanding passer. But still they need a real PP QB on the point.

    I give Dubi and Cally grades of “B” on their return. They did some good things. Still a bit rusty. Looking forward to them getting their legs back under them.

    Devils tomorrow…they are a hot team. We need 2 pts.

  11. Carp I agree about how bad Versus is. During the shootout especially the camera angles were awful.

    As far as the post game interviews and wrap ups I find myself turning them off anyway. I am tired of the same responses to the same questions asked different ways. Unless someone is going to say something like “I was great but the rest of the team did not show up” (which would never happen) It is all the same quotes.

    Is it different when you are there live?

  12. Two points definitely would have been nice, but one is better than nothing. Honestly I’m just going to blame the loss on not playing for a week. Passes were either in the skates or just out of reach. I think they were trying, but it just didn’t seem to be happening for them. It’s not like the Pens were really any better. Take the point and come out strong against NJ tomorrow.

    And a hearty “no” to Souray! He’s constantly hurt. Not sure what the answer is though, because that PP is killing us!

  13. That second period was atrocious. Just sloppy. Kind of like their usual first period.

    I think Del Zotto needs to SHOOT more from the point. He had the puck a few times but every time he passed it off to Gaby. Del Zotto ddin’t even skate around to find a lane. He just passes. He has a shot. Use it.

    The PP needs serious help. Seriously.

  14. PS – Can someone please force Time Warner Cable to carry Versus HD! Watching Hockey in Standard Definition is really brutal. Let alone having to listen to those goons.

  15. I’d take Joe Beninati over Joe Micheletti any day of the week. Why Micheletti’s in the TV booth and Dave Maloney is doing radio is beyond me.

  16. Versus is horrible…they do not even show or explain reasons for penalty calls and shootout angles were bad…Not a bad game for Rangers got a point against a good team and that got a few bounces. Dubi and Callahan looked a bit rusty first game back but expect offense will pick up with them back in addition to Prospal.

  17. Because Micheletti is so huggable for Sam Rosen! He’s so nice to, and in love with, Rosen. It is pukeworthy at times.

  18. ThisYearsModel on

    A forced furlough? Really? Looks like we need to ramp up the hits on this site. Unreal that a guy who does all that you do on a reporter’s wage ends up furloughed. Sorry to hear it Carp.

  19. It does!? I am in Brooklyn. If that is true and I get it I am going to literally vomit on myself. I have been searching for that channel for MONTHS.

    Although I just moved here from Connecticut and us country Bumpkins are a little slow around electronics.

  20. Jeez Carp, if Joe Beninati is an amateur, what in God’s name is Sam Rosen? JB at least calls the game and doesn’t spend his time making insipid jokes with his analyst or talking about chocolate chip cookies during an overtime.

  21. Carp
    I had a perfect view of the sucker punch from my seat and in no way do I think Prust was embellishing. He got caught unexpectedly by a short left hook right on the jaw and went down. I can remember seeing quite a few pro boxers floored by exactly that kind of a shot. Besides, watching Prust over the last year and knowing how tough he is, I don’t believe that it is in his character to stay down if he wasn’t shaken up.

  22. Here’s how to score on the PP:

    1. Send your biggest and strongest player to the front of the net.
    2. Set the screen.
    3. Blast it from the point.
    4. Pack it in.

    Why have we been unable to execute this for YEARS on end now? We don’t have anyone capable of #4.

    Also the general consensus re: Souray is that he’s done and incapable of playing at the NHL level anymore.

    Edmonton does have a guy we should try to get, and that’s Kurtis Foster.

  23. billybleedsblue on

    Rosen runs his mouth largely unchecked by his partner Joe, the yes man. JD would call Sam out usually when warrented. I miss those days…to answer why Dave is on radio and Joe in the TV booth…I don’t know for sure, but I would guess it’s POLITICS.

    The Blueshirts stink on the PP. It’s ALMOST like they should skate 3 when down a man. I like their chances shorthanded 4 on 3 better than up a man…

    Allow me to remove my tongue from my cheek before I move on…ok…SO, I like the idea of going after a “bomber” from the point for the PP. My question is though…why can’t they make somebody already on the team play that role??? You mean to tell me that there is nobody that can consistently hit the net with low hard shots from the point? Ugh….

    Ok, I can’t resist this one: Tiki, what are you on dude?

    “…In the case of Gaborik, when you’re a guy that can’t carry a team on his back a la Jaromir Jagr, then 2 for 19 career in the shootout is unacceptable. The shootout is a skill, a skill which can be developed and harnessed through practice. 2 for 19 is a sign of a guy who doesn’t care about getting better to help his team attain that extra point.”

    I’ll take 2 for 19 over 0 for 0 any day. Jagr was a dog, and a selfish player. Good thing for him that his days in NY are long-gone now. He wouldn’t survive a day on this new team.

  24. I like it a lot. Their old jersey’s looked a little XFL. Too flashy. The new jersey’s are like a vintage comic book hero.

    Definitely Into it.

  25. Btw Carp, great post, as always!

    “Gaborik was playing pretty hard…It ain’t easy to play wearing Brooks Orpik.”

    Why can’t it be “It ain’t easy to play wearing Marian Gaborik”?

  26. Jagr was a dog, and a selfish player. Good thing for him that his days in NY are long-gone now. He wouldn?t survive a day on this new team.


    You couldn’t be more wrong about Jags. One of the biggest mistakes Sather ever made was letting him walk. Unlike Gaborik, Jagr is a hall of famer, leader, and dynamic personality. Jagr would instantly make us (or any team) a better team…

    Are you sure that you don’t mean Drury?

  27. ThisYears, thank you. It’s company wide. And not the first time.

    oldcoach, I didn’t think he embellished, or would embellish. But the clowns on TV sure did, and I’m sure the Penguins did, and others. And if there ever was a spot to embellish, that would have been it.

    Hey, guys, you’re not getting a quality point man for any of the piles of garbage you propose. So, unless you want to give up young kids, prospects and draft picks, forget it. And what happened to “we’ll live with the kids?” Failing on some power plays during the season with Del Zotto learning will pay off, because IMO, he will be the point man for years to come. And a very good one. And what player coming here, other than a Stamkos or a Crosby, is turning this into a Cup winner?

  28. billybleedsblue on

    NYR_FAN, I guess we’re gonna have to disagree about this. Jagr skated hard when he felt like it, and didn’t participate in the shootout. How many -‘s did Shanny get because of Jagr floating back to the bench on a change at his own pace? Hall of fame? Yes. Leader…debatable. Dynamic personality? If by that you mean selfish and spoiled, then, yes.

    Haha, I could go on about how he could only win a Cup with Mary-O, but, I think I’m just gonna stop now. I’m just so glad he’s gone.

  29. danae, I think there’s something wrong with your keyboard. It just made you type that you’d take Beninati over Rosen, and that can’t possibly be what you intended. right?

  30. WoWo-ekuh - Its Just Pain on

    Carp, emailed you about the 2 game opening.

    We stopped skating after the 2nd goal. Need to learn to keep the pressure on. But, we got a point. Every point helps.

  31. Alright… Jagr bashing! Jagr knew he sucked at SO and cared way too much for the team to be taking an opportunity away from someone else who had better chance scoring in the SO.

    Unlike Gaborik, who ain’t fooling anyone with his one trick, where he goes a bit wide and then shoots low…he does it EVERY time!

  32. Ha, I wish I could afford to buy one for everyone on the blog, lol. Too bad his career was cut short by injury, because Neely was, IMO, one of, if not the best power forward to ever play the game.

    Carp, I don’t want to rid the organization of Del Zotto, I just don’t think he needs to be up here right now. I think he will be a great player down the road for us, but he really has been brutal in his decision making and just in general this year. He should just finish the year with the Whale.

  33. Where Del Zotto plays is a really tough call. He is so up and down. Last night he assisted on the goal but then (and maybe it wasn’t avoidable) he lost his man in front of the net and cost us a goal. Little stuff.

    I think if Del Zotto is up here he has to learn to play the point on the PP and really move and shoot. Hard shots.

    If he isn’t going to have that role then he might as well hang out in Connecticut and be a Whale.

  34. Very well put Carp

    I see that you are joining my clarion call for heaping scorn on the totally unprofessional aspect of Versus as a provider of TV coverage for hockey games. The camera men are slow following the pace of the games, and often just linger on an isolated shot when action is going on elsewhere.

    Bettman is totally oblivious to all this. That’s because he has no clue about the pattern and flow of the game himself. He’s a neophyte who has learned zilch over the years when he has been involved with the game – he should stick to basketball and tennis.

    I don’t believe that Prust over reacted on that cheap shot
    largely because he never saw it coming and he reacted instantly to the force of it.

    Now as for , ahem, Der Koenig…………….Lundqvist/ Neither of those two later goals would have gone in had he just been standing on his feet and facing the shooter
    and a few feet out from the goal ( like Fleury does it…and most other goalies also.) But no – he was once again on his knees…and that is so maddening, for he must know by now that shooters are not going to come low on him…at least most of the time. This game should never have gone to overtime.

  35. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Can’t believe we have a vote, above to acquire Souray and trade Girardi. Look, we went through the growing pains with Girardi, now let’s reap the benefit of a rapidly maturing and nearly finished product. Souray was great three years ago? Really? How wonderful, and Jaromir was great six years ago. You know it does come to an end, not suddenly, but measurably with a sharp downhill slide, exactly where Souray is at this point in his career. So this business of dumping today for yesterday’s smelly fish wrapped in an old newspaper doesn’t cut it for any organization which actually wants to win a Cup, not just make the round of 16 every year. Can we graduate beyond Hockey For Beginners please?

  36. Del Zotto had Rupp within arm’s length and failed to tie up his stick, pretty elementary play. However the Rangers had a pretty slow moving line change that let Talbot skate more than half the ice uncontested in the first place. Only the Zuccs-Stepan-Cally line put on consistent forecheck pressure and they caused numerous turnovers, a couple of icings and a delay of game penalty. The rest of the team should have followed suit.

  37. Billy bleeds

    The major problem with Jagr was not that he was a hog, but the effect he had on the other players on the team
    ( who held him in God like awe, ( the younger ones at least), and he was a serious presence in the attacking zone, when he was able to control the puck for extended periods while setting up the perfect shot. A one man band so to speak, and most of the kids dropped into the habit of watching him, and looking for him to DO IT, and as a result failing to develop their own game. To this day old Roszival still has the pattern of looking for the great man, and seeming almost lost without him.

    This condition continued all the time under Renney, but I doubt that Tortorella would allow that to continue.
    He is a total team action coach who demands that everyone contribute, and as he benched Gaborik, I believe he’d have done the same to Jagr, if he were here now and performing as he did under Renney.

  38. “Unwatchable. Oh, and then a game that is sold as such a big event, and the moment it ends, off we go. No interviews. No post-game wrap. Nothing”

    Do you understand they had to get to the second doubleheader game that was already in progress? Would you have done post-game interviews and a wrap that would have cut into the majority of the first in SJ-PHO game?

  39. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Jagr was outstanding but with one flaw, he coughed-up the puck several times a game. Some of this was his trying to do too much, some of it was D-specialists collaborating and double-teaming him, in effect. Got to like JJ at his peak a lot more than anything we have gotten from Gaborik. Gaborik, Drury, and Prospal, need to ship out, they are beyond shaping up.

  40. Prust = Monster

    I hate to see him go toe-toe with Engelland and agree with Carp that we need to protect such a valuable resource on the team.

    Love watching him play and was stoked to have Callahan, Dubi, and Girardi back in the lineup. Hank looked great per the usual and I for one am cautiously optimistic that we are about to break open on offense soon.

  41. Noah-ospal-tenko, 28 on

    Carp, the only one I’d put on Henrik is the tying goal. He HAS to control that rebound…it wasn’t even a hard shot. It reminded me of Drury’s shot against Varlamov in Game 4 of the series against the Caps a few years ago.

  42. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    If “Jagr was a dog,” Anson Carter, for whom Jagr was acquired, was dog-meat. One of the greatest and most one-sided trades in the history of the National Hockey League and Sather pulled it off, beating about 10 other GM’s to the punch. OK? Damn, some people are hard to please.

  43. Bathgate,

    Jagr at his peak was one of the top 20 players, definitely top 10 wingers to ever play the game. He was Ovechkin before there was Ovechkin and then some and then some more on top of that. He put up points that no one in this league puts up now in a clutch and grab era. So Gaborik doesn’t compare, neither does anyone else playing right now for that matter.

    Gaborik was part of like 25% of last year’s offense and at various points of last season his share of his team’s offense was #1 in the league. That’s the definition of carrying the load.

    No one is taking Prospal when he hasn’t played 1 game this year. His contract is up at the end of the year so he’s not handcuffing the team in any way. Drury has a full no movement clause and right now they’re using him a half step above a healthy scratch which may happen when a few more people return and a buyout of his last year is a very distinct possibility.

  44. I also think half the reason Prust fought Engelland was because he leveled Gaborik earlier in the period. Do the Pens have the most fighting majors in the league still?


    Benanati is so awful, i cant believe that a) they believe hes great and/or b) this is all they can get as the national tv home in the US. been saying it for years. its unwatchable. i try to choose my games based on being on vs to go to myself

  46. I think it’s time for Mr. Del Zotto to go back to HFD…

    Surprised there hasn’t been more talk about the iditiotic penalty Newbury took when he barreled into Fleury. Not sure he got another shift after that…

  47. As a former goalie, I don’t blame goalies for rebounds. Sometimes you just have to make the save and trust your teammates to take care of that.

  48. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    CT Blueshirt – We are on the same page as regards Jagr and Gaborik. The overriding question to my mind is how much, if at all, we actually are forced to play Drury and Prospal? Drury is a net-minus on his play, and a passive, introverted demoralizer to the entire organization. Best guess is that Prospal will be running on fumes and memories from here to season’s end. Must be a creative way of down-grading their roles, understanding that no other organization will go the brainless route of acquiring them.

  49. what is Hartford going to accomplish for Del Zotto, in addition to further sapping his confidence, making him even more tentative when he gets back, and leaving the Rangers with zero PP point men?

    I think he will end up back there, but I wonder if that’s the best thing for him at this point. I think the tactic they took last year and the beginning of this year — live with the growing pains — will best serve him and the team at this point.

  50. Bathgate,

    I think they ease Prospal into a role the next few games. They really don’t know what they have in him, he hasn’t played a real game in almost 10 months.

    As I said, they really can’t use Drury much less than he’s being used now. I think he might see some time in the players suite when a few more guys return. The offseason will be interesting as to whether they cut ties with him via buyout or talk about his retirement (I doubt they do that).

  51. Exactly – Del Zotto has to stay up here and play point!

    Carp – if Del Zotto stays up – What happens to Eminger?

    I will add that it is pretty clean that McDonagh has got to stay.

  52. At what point will it be acknowledged by a figurehead that the Garden Ice is affecting the games. I get that both teams are playing on the same ice, but it adds a variable that really shouldn’t be a factor. At some point the NHL needs to get involved. If nothing else, it is seriously drags down the quality of play for the fan, which the NHL seems so focused on improving. The Garden has begun renovations, what are the chances they don’t touch the ice? Keep in mind, this is during the middle of an especially cold winter. What happens if this team makes it a round or two in the playoffs and they have late spring to contend with.

  53. Good post, Carp, as always.

    Give Pens some credit, they played the way they had to without their main guns- simple, physical and in your face. The way the Rangers played without their important players. Letang is very, very good. Orpik=Monster.

    The Rangers really looked rusty, especially Dubinsky for some reason. MDZ has no reason to go back. He is the only one who gives our PP any pulse. AA was our best forward in both ends, Callahan was great too. They will get their timing together.

    If you want a good laugh, go back and look at the blog after the SO was finished. Comedy gold! We were trading everybody for anybody. It’s a good thing none of us is running the team.

  54. Good morning, Sally! … or afternoon!

    Man, is it the end of the world if Eminger is your seventh? Who is a bigger piece of the future?

    Guys, when you email me please include your screen name … i can’t keep track of who’s who.

  55. MDZ has the raw skills to be a very good offensive defenseman, but I don’t think he “gets it” yet. He probably needs a full year in the A to develop his all-around game. He’s still a mess on the defensive side of the puck. I’ve also heard that he’s not receptive to criticism and he’s thinks he’s better than he is… that won’t flush with Torts if it doesn’t change.

  56. So Carp, you’ll obviously on the side of stay the course.

    I think we all should remember that lost in this season’s relatively unexpected success (which has been great to witness of course) is that there are 4 significant holes organizationally that I think will hold this team back from making the next big step (to legitimate cup contender) no matter where they finish this year:

    1) True number 1 center (I think Stepan has the makings of addressing this gap, but it could take 2 to 5 years)

    2) Bruising d-man capable of top 4 minutes (McIrath may be the answer, but he’s probably further away than Stepan)

    3) Power forward (Grachev may be the answer, but like the first 2 kids, huge question marks in terms of capabilities and readiness)

    4) Legitimate offensive d-man (MDZ has all the markings and of the 4 kids here, the closest to realizing his potential)

    So, perhaps the Rangers best course of action is to continue as is (ie no trades) and in the off-season pursue Brad Richards and if successfully signed, package excess guys like Girardi and AA (with Richards and Stepan, AA becomes redundant) to address holes 2 and/or 3.

  57. No. Not the end of the world. I was just curious if you thought he had some value in a trade or if he would just play when someone inevitably gets injured.

  58. or Jim,
    AA becomes your power forward (on the wing) if they sign Richards. wouldn’t that make a little more sense that giving up on a 22 year old talented player.

  59. Agreed that you cannot blame Lundqvist solely on the Rupp goal. That rebound was atrocious, but it happens sometimes and IMO, MDZ simply wasn’t focused. Watch the replay and he using does (and this isn’t a criticism; quite to contrary I like the fact that he’s vocal out there and communicating to his mates), he’s directing defensive traffic.

    It looks to me while he knew Rupp was his man and that Rupp was going to the net, his action was primarily on the puck, rather than on Rupp, which is where it should have been because his partner’s responsibility was on the puck carrier. Rupp didn’t out-muscle MDZ for the rebound – MDZ lost the angle on Rupp because his attention wasn’t on him.

    Chalk that up to a youthful mistake. No doubt, he’ll be watching that video more than once today – let’s hope it doesn’t become a recurring mistake. I find his weakness to be keeping guys to the outside – he seems to lack strength and positioning when it comes to those plays.

    The Rupp goal had nothing do to with either.

  60. Bull dog- amen! Not only he is talented and will get much more involved offensively, he probably is already one of our better two-way forwards. Put him on the wing. Not to mention, Dubinsky is already developing into your power forward. Pavel Valentenko is much closer than McIlrath. He is your potential bruiser who loves to hit, is already 6-2 and 220, and has a cannon from the point. Stay the course, doesn’t matter whether they sign Richards or not.

  61. bull: Perhaps, but right now I don’t see power forward in AA’s repetiore. And believe me, I like AA’s skillset (I thought he was the best Ranger forward last night, along with Stepan) and there are games where I see flashes of brilliance (although I worry that eventually we will be discussing how badly concussed AA is – he’s a little like Prucha in that he oftentimes doesn’t seem capable of not exposing himself to thundering hits).

    So there is actually a 3rd option: Stay the course completely and wait (hope) the likes of Stepan, AA, McDonagh, Staal, MDZ, MZA, Cally, Dubi, McIrath, et al become the players they can be.

    If so, the Rangers had better seriously consider drafting a legitimate goalie prospect this summer (2 2nd rounders – one should be used on a goalie) cuz this could take a while!

  62. Have to agree about the ice. At some points it looked as if they were playing with a spauldeen hi-bounce instead of a puck. Can figure out why it was so bad after a week of down time.

  63. Why is there such a rush to trade AA? Did the Pens trade Jordan Staal because they have Crosby and Malkin? There’s not a lot of sense in trading guys with talent just because you’re bringing in someone else with talent. At least try to make it work for a while (at least the 60 or so games of a season before the trading deadline, if not a complete season) before making the deal.

  64. I guess V-tank gained a few pounds, lol, he is now listed at 225.
    This is from Hockey’s Future:

    “Valentenko has a big shot — one that earned him hardest AHL shot honors in the 2007-08 season. He combines that with a physical game that borders on, but never crosses into, dirty play. Valentenko’s been described as one of the most-hated players in the AHL and combines an ability to get under opponent’s skin with the willingness to back it up.”

  65. I mean look how long it took Boyle to become the player he is now. And I think AA is athletically more advanced than Boyle. He’s a smoother skater that’s for sure. Give AA a deal like Dubi is finishing out now, if he hasn’t made much progress beyond what he is now then you can consider trading him toward the end of that deal if there’s other players (I’m thinking Kreider) that have shown they deserve a top 6 spot more.

  66. By the way- the point was important. We gained one point on both Atlanta and Carolina. On of those two will most likely end in 9th spot. I think Atlanta.

    Do you think Torts knows his team? They were up 1-0 and he was fuming! Good, I hope he gets them ready for the Devils. Won’t be an easy one.

  67. Carp-
    Sorry to hear you won’t be doing the two reviews next week. I REALLY, REALLY look forward to your reviews after each game. You do a great job!

  68. Atlanta is having the same problems Tampa was having, the can’t keep the puck out of the net. They’re top half in the East in GF but last in GA. Very tough to survive on a negative goal differential that I believe has gotten worse as the season has worn on. Tampa can at least score enough to make sure they score as much as they give up. Byfuglien has just one point in the new year, they missed Evander Kane and Bogosian is having a tough year.

  69. Thanks, Eddie. That’s probably my favorite part of the blog. But it will be in the hands of two capable Boneheads next week. Then I’ll be back.

    great point about Torts, ilb.

  70. LOL Carp!

    Dont waste your money NASTY! And dont be drawn in by the dark side! Cam Neely on any other team would be Nigel Dawes! :)

    I love all the Jagr defenders!!!! JAROMIR! JAROMIR! JAROMIR!

    Jaro wouldn’t fit on this current team??? Jaro would fit on any team! Jaro makes any team better! And Jaro didn’t have to do the shootouts with us……He did everything else with us! Jaro was the Prust before Prust was the Prust, Jaro even played goal along with Henrik, Weekes, and Vally!

    JA-JA-JA-JA-JA-JA-JA-JA-JA-JA for life!!!!

  71. Folks, don’t look now, but I think mrs ilb is starting to get into hockey. It only took about 10 years. She joined me last night at the end of the game and was commenting on how, perhaps, they should try something different and stop trying to squeeze the puck through 5th hole in SO. She goes to MSG with me every no and again, but she really has no clue. Maybe it’s starting to change…I just txted her:”Should I get more tickets?” She answered:”Maybe” Shhhhh…..

  72. Tiki, you do realize the Rangers were able to get Jagr because the Caps couldn’t ship him out of town fast enough. I respect his talent and his accomplishments, but he had an ugly divorce from the Pens and really mailed it in playing for Caps.

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

    morning ILB and all!

    If orpik isn’t the best shutdown d man in the league now, not sure who it?

    Great list, certainly the holes on the roster!

    I do not think that souray is a good idea with vtank in the system. I mean why spend 2.whatever mil for him when vtank can do the same things with a smaller salary albeit with less experience obviously.

    I am not that fond of gilly or mcdonut. While they are doing decent for young players and may indeed improve over time, they just do nothing that the team needs (ie booming point shot or physicality) and see no reason for either playing over vtank.

    I would not trade AA unless it was a knock your socks off deal. I would trade mdz for erik johnson straight up though….just saying!

  74. CTB – Oh, God. Im gettin’ this feeling that you’re anti-Tiki! This is me, Tiki. I type with my dewclaw and sneeze with my snout!



    Yes, I know about Jaromir’s past. I don’t care about Jaromir’s past. Sometimes, great players need the brightest stage to shine on. Sometimes, the greatest players need the brightest stage to inspire them.

    Just remember, Mario LePieux never won a damn thing without Jaromir, folks! JA-JA!

  75. And Gaborik did play a good game last night, but even though he played well, he still couldn’t carry the team on his back. Jaromir carried the team on his back nearly every night while playing at 50% – being injured or conserving his energy for the playoffs.

  76. wicky,

    I’d go with Pronger, Chara and Lidstrom before Orpik. He’s a fierce hitter I’ll give you that, but those other 3 also short circuit an opposing team’s attack and transition the puck much better.

  77. the rangers holes are minor. this team has 5 d men that are all improvong. MDZ is playing good, the rupp goal was henriks fault plain and simple.

    the ranges need ti improve the PP especially point play and they have 4 young d men who will get better.

    the rangers need to get better on faceoffs, and time and experience will help there also.

    they need another sniper and they have potential snipers on the way but that is a minimum of 2 years from happening.

    i stay the course and let this team grow and improve. stepan is a legit 1st line center in 2 years. if they get richards in the offseason they just increase the talent level and they will trade the likes of christenson, prospal will retire, and maybe drury will be bought out.

    all is good in ranger land… last night the d had a ;20 yr old a 21, yr old, 23 yr old, a 24 yr old and girardi and gilroy were the old men at 26…..they have mcilrath and valetenk in the system also…

    forwards are just as young, the glass is half full all.

  78. newsflash. jagr is a once in a lifetime talent. he was great with the rangers and if playing today like that he would be the best forward in the nhl, so comparing gabby to him is a joke..

    gabby is a ver ygood 40 goal scorer, not a elite once in a generation physical stud. jagr could cycle down low with 2 guys crosschecking him all night long…

  79. this is a lunch pale team big time; cally, dubi, prust, stepan, boyle, aa, all forwards that are good 2 way players. all 6 of those guys are under 26 years old and are legit 2 way 15 + goal scorer type of players….

    they need werek, grachev, or kreider, or another young forward to be the 30+ goal scorer. btw grachev is 20 so giving up on him is not a good idea.. guys need time..

  80. CTBlue: I don’t see anyone rushing to trade AA. I brought it up because I believe if the Rangers pursue and sign Richards this summer, one of Stepan and AA becomes redundant.

    Furthermore, you gotta give to get – it’s silliness to think that addressing one of the organizations big 4 holes will happen by packaging the likes of Feds and Christensen (not saying you specifically did, just saying in general).

    The bottom line is this organization lacks top end skill. They are solid in net and I really like Marc Staal. After that we have Gaborik who is struggling without someone of his skillset to play with.

    Look at the cup contenders: They all have 4 to 5 high end players (ie Toews, Kane, Hossa, Seabrooke and Keith, or Malkin, Staal, Crosby and Fleury, etc etc). The Rangers have some ground to make up.

    The big question is this: Does their organization have those top of players now (and it’s only a matter of development time)? If you think so, you obviously stay the course while they mature. If you don’t think so, I think it’s time to start looking at ways to upgrade without going the UFA route (which they cannot do financially due to the cap, plus there simply aren’t many top end players coming available now anyways).

    What do you think? More importantly, what does Sather think?

  81. totally disagree with you Carp on Gaborik. he is NOT living up to his salary. he is NOT an elite player by any stretch. he is NOT working as hard as he did last season, and he is NOT clutch in important games. he is a stat-padder against weak patsies like Edm and Tor. big deal.

    I am not saying he is garbage, he has talent. but he is Not a leader by any stretch, he is not clutch at all. in fact, the biggest goal he scored recently was a total accident and he did not even know he scored it after it hit him and bounced up in the air.

    and other players in the league call him a fast skater, but we have seldom seen it. he seems to be only willing to use his speed if no one is in front of him. iow, he is soft and fragile, as the Minny fans know all too well.

  82. Stuart, I appreciate your passion for Jagr. You certainly know hockey.

    As far as Jagr, in his last season as a Ranger he had 15 points in 10 playoff games in the 2008 playoffs, after a sub-Jagr season. Only Crosby had as many points in the playoffs at that time. Jagr is a NHL legend and will forever stay in Ranger lure with his 54 goal season in 2005-06 and got hosed out of the Hart trophpy. Jagr brought respect back to NYR hockey. It was a monumental mistake in allowing him to sign in Russia and leave the NHL.

    A lot of credit for post-lockout NYR success goes to Renney. Without Jagr, Renney would certainly not have had as much success. He was a decent coach for the NYR (very good for Canada) but had the luxury of one of the best players to ever play in the NHL be his captain. Nuff said.

  83. Sorry, but I don’t get this JJ pining. He was great in year 1, very good in year 2 and on his way out in year 3. I enjoyed about 1/2 of his tenure, but sure wasn’t sorry to see him go.

    He now nearly 39 and not coming back. And if he did, he’d be pouting about 5 minutes into his first game because Tortorella wouldn’t bend over to his even whim like Renney did (which was fine 6 years but would do nothing but bludgeon the cool chemistry we are finally seeing with this organization).

    He’s history, in other words.

  84. I think Gaborik is basically the same as Alex Rodriguez in the stat-padding category (world series playoff run excluded).

    However, I have seen a LOT of good work out of Gaborik lately. I like his more physical play as of late.

  85. agree on Gaborik. he is not a leader at all. also, I did not like the rebound that Henrik left for that 2nd goal last night, that was all on him. he allowed a soft shot to just get away from him and lay there for an easy rebound. that handed the Pens a tie game.But at least henrik has been good overall this season.

  86. So Gaborik was padding his stats last year when he would be the only player to make things happen offensively?

  87. Jaromir pining? Some people appreciated his greatness…

    Even at 39, he’d be better than Gaborik is with us.

    Notice a trend in your year by year analysis of Jagr. New NHL Rules year = 54 goals. 2nd year = less production. 3rd year = less production.

    Use your thinking caps, the NHL cut down on their enforcement of ticky tack penalties (against us, after seeing how dominant Jaro was with us) after year 1 and then opposing players started draping themselves all over Jagr. They started hooking and slashing and grabbing Jagr and actually became a part of his uniform.

  88. I would limit my comment to THIS year – meaning that he had a bunch of goals against not so great teams.

    Like when, ironically, A-Rod hits 4 home runs off of the Blue Jays.

  89. Carp,
    Always look forward to your after game reviews – nice job as always.

    I know it’s beating a dead horse when it comes to how bad versus is – forget the zero replays, bad camara angles, missed action – is there really nobody else available to do the play by play then Beninati? This guy is the absolute worst. The guy puts more thought into his bad catch phrases then actually giving the play by play. Anyone else catch that he never mentioned the Rangers on a penalty kill until 90 seconds passed by – I thought he was never going to mention it until the teams were back at even strength. Even an amateur would of mentioned it coming back from the break. The best play by play guys can make you visualize the game if you closed your eyes – like most good radio announcers. I actually find it harder to follow the game with this clown talking! Here’s a thought – why don’t they just use the home teams announcers do each game. Most people only watch the games on versus because their team is on. Let’s face it Sam is really good (although not great), Dave Maloney should be our regular anaylist, and Micheletti is horrible – but at least he’s a million times better then Beninati.

    ilb2001 – Totally agree on the rust some of the players showed. Lack of timing was very noticable thoughout the game – it will come.

  90. 11k, you are not allowed to disagree with me. Just kidding.

    I do think he’s elite, and I do think he played pretty well last night, creating the one goal, nearly scoring or help set up a few others (by Anisimov and Stepan, or with Anisimov and Stepan). He had that one play where he crashed into the side of the net. That, to me, says he was sure trying. Took a few big hits.

    Is he a top-4, top-5 talent? No. I’ve said that before. He’s not on the Ovechkin-Stamkos-Crosby level. Is he clutch? No, he hasn’t shown he’s clutch at all. Is he a leader? Nope. But to say he doesn’t care or isn’t trying is inaccurate, too. And he does have some wheels. Fragile? Absolutely. What he did last year was the ceiling of what you could and should expect from him.

  91. Let’s leave Alex Rodriguez out of this. He’s no stat-padder. Alex is a born winner and leader. Alex is a great man and a great humanitarian. He even saved a little 6 year old red sox fan girl from being hit by a bus in Boston. Seriously. That’s the kind of selfless man he is.

    And before I hear the Alex backlash, every fault of Alex’ should be blamed on Scott Boras with a minority of blame on Derek Jeter.

  92. HAHAHA….

    He also has naked paintings of himself in his own house. But this is a space to discuss Hockey. I apologize for bringing up the Lightning Rod.

  93. if the rangers sign richards as a FA, why trade wither AA or Stepan. they have 3 good centers and one is 20 and one is 23..

    1 star center(Richards) else why sign him and 2 young guys who are good and getting better.

  94. Here you go again, Tiki, confusing athletic ability with being a good person. He is not a good person. He is selfish, a steroid-cheater, not a good teammate, and before (and since) that one season a choke-artist.

  95. For those curious, I am not saying Jagr is a better or worse hockey player now than Gaborik. They are both great and unique talents.

    My point is that Jags in a class of his own. No one can ever replace Jagr what brought to the NHL. He is certainly more of a leader and personality than Gaborik.

    Gaborik will be fine in time. Unfortunately, Rangers fans are impatient. I know I am.

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

    I would still trade gabby straight up for iggy (course I would have traded jagr straight up for iggy also, sorry tiki)!

  97. LOL Manfried!! So what, I have naked paintings of Alex in my house too. Alex is a centaur! Now you’ve gotten me started in an Alex Praising mood! I love Alex! I love everything about the guy.

    He’s like Sean Avery, with more talent. He’s misunderstood. He’s a great man. He made himself after being abandoned by his father.

    CTB – Your stats prove my point. Less power plays each season. And more hooking, clutching, grabbing, draping of Jagr went on in years 2 and 3 post-lockout.

    Your League Average stat doesn’t signify anything.

  98. Carp, I agree most of the time with you as do most of the posters, but LQ has to control that rebound it’s bad of being a great goalie, the goal was his fault. and it was a big one very good in the SO but the other guy was better it happens. No reason we should win against a banged up pens squad. The simply wanted it more and banged us around in our house. BAD

  99. Carp – you forgot to add … a choke-artist that “couldn’t catch a pop fly.”

    Let’s remember that Drew Rosenhaus saved a boy from drowning. Doesn’t make him a good person. Remember how he said he, “always wanted to be a hero.”

  100. Tiki – did you read his autobiography or did you write it? How do you know so much about his personal life?

    Also – can you believe he is dating Cameron Diaz? She hasn’t looked good sine “The Mask.” But he has also never, ever looked good (I am told).

    He actually might be similar to Sean Avery (personally)….that is like some Twilight Zone Stuff.

  101. Uh, it shows that the Rangers were getting more calls than the league average as opposed to the year that Jagr had his franchise best year. His production went down because he was getting older and his shoulder injuries from the Olympics and the playoffs robbed him of his lethal shot.

  102. hedberg, I’m just saying, sometimes for whatever reason — maybe you weren’t expecting a shot from a certain spot, or maybe you were expecting a high shot and got a low one, or maybe a redirection — you just have to worry about the first save. Sometimes you can’t control rebounds. If you could always control them, there would never be any. So why can’t his D-men or forwards take care of the rebound? And the guy has been sensational for several weeks now, up to and including last night.

  103. Carp – I know you have strong feelings about this kind of stuff. I’ll try to explain the best I can.

    Im not going to stand by and let Alex be insulted. He was a selfish person because he surrounded himself with a dirtpile like Scott Boras and other bad people like his cousin Yuri.

    Since his gracious steroid admission, he has turned his life around.

    He struggled to be a good teammate because he so badly wanted to fit in and be loved and prove himself to everyone, that it just made it more difficult for him to do so.

    Derek Jeter could have taken Alex under his wing upon Alex’s arrival in New York, but Derek the Captain had an ego and wouldn’t forgive Alex for past disputes.

    It was only when Alex admitted his drug usage and became comfortable in his own skin that he became a truly magnificent person and teammate.

    What’s your excuse this time? Alex never drove drunk, had multiple offspring out of wedlock, etc.


    That’s a great person.


  104. the team did not even make the playoffs in his first year here.. I like the team identity that they have developed this year, a gritty grinding style that has everyone contributing . he does not fit the current team style, and if he is not scoring big goals vs good teams, then he is not much help

    and if he is not fighting thru tough d like Orpik to score, then he is soft as described.

  105. I don’t post on here too often but I just wanted to comment on the Gaborik discussion. Obviously, the guy is not having a great year like he did last year but let’s not kill the guy here. Comparing him to Jagr is not fair IMO because Jagr was an all time player. So he is not Jagr, well 99.999999% of the players in NHL history are not Jagr! The Rangers need more elite talent like him, so when some people say that they cannot win with him makes no sense to me. People said A-Rod could never perform in the playoffs/win a World Series. People said Peyton Manning could never win a Super Bowl. People said Phil Mickelson would never win a major. How did those three turn out? The Rangers CAN win with Gaborik on the team.

  106. CTB – We were getting more calls than the league average because our overall team was better. Jaromir and the teams were receiving less overall calls, because the referees wanted to stick it to us.

  107. Tiki – Sadly I agree with you in general. Before the admission I decided to believe in him as a player and after the World Series…wow. He is pretty good.

    However –

    Alex seems a bit selfish. Maybe it’s those horrible Miami suits he wears or those horrid Miami highlights he has in his hair. I think he desperately tries to be liked. He just isn’t. People do not like him – why? Probably because he makes $35M a year in salary not counting everything other way he makes money.

    Regarding the Steroids – it’s baseball. I am sure about 75% or more of the players are juicing. That is basically a given. Few players are clean and have been their entire career. I am not going to kill him for injecting bull-ball juice into his ass. I will however forever be against letting him in the Hall. Just like I will be against letting any steroid user into the Hall. Even if he played on my team and won me a beautiful trophy.

    Guys like Cervelli are infinitely more likable. JUST LIKE THIS RANGERS TEAM. [TRUE] GRIT AND DETERMINATION.

  108. Im tired of getting into these discussions/spats. Im just really tired of it.

    Cant you people just respect my opinions re: the Alex’s Steinbrenner’s Jaromir’s Avery’s Edward’s Namath’s Taylor’s of the world?

    I say the same things every time, and it never sinks in with any of you.

    Who here hasn’t ever cheated in life?

    Who here hasn’t experimented with drugs?

    Who here has been perfect their entire life?

    It’s just tiresome to have to continue to defend NY athletes – ones that should be beloved. Instead, they are ridiculed and by defense, I am ridiculed.

  109. JJ was truly one of the most talented players ever to play the game. But, for certain he wasn’t always great – he was great only when he wanted to be.

    Let’s not forget that he quit on 2 different coaches and 2 different sets of teammates and in both cases, especially in Washington, he was making ridiculous amounts of money.

    Disgraceful in my books, no matter how skilled he was.

  110. Manfried – I love Cervelli’s enthusiasm, but the guy shows no desire to get any better. His main reason for being with us is his defense, and yet his defense got worse as 2010 progressed. He couldnt block balls in the dirt and was lazy. When Cervelli is actually efforting, his enthusiasm for the game is infectious. But if he can’t bother to get his body in front of balls or play defense, he serves no purpose on the Yankees, even as a backup catcher.

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

    Out of respect for tiki, I’m not going to get into this, but Jim’s last post is pretty accurate! Jagr was a great offencive player without a doubt…….

  112. joel g.

    That “gritty grinding, style” etc. is not going to win a team a Cup. You need elite players to win the Cup. Gaborik is not a guy that Rangers fans should throw under the bus. He had 86 points in 76 games last year. Those “gritty grinding” players like Callahan, Prust, Boyle, etc are easy for fans to root for but they are not the top players on a contending team. Guys who have the talent that Gaborik does are. You don’t give up on players like that!

  113. joel,

    Yes the team didn’t make the playoffs, but I’d say more of that blame falls on a lot of the other guys who needed to provide the secondary scoring that they lacked throughout most of the year. I can’t remember the exact split, but he scored more goals against teams that made the playoffs than non-playoff teams. It’s a team game and even the best players are on the ice 20-25 minutes a game. And winning teams aren’t just full of grinders. The finalists from the past few years all have highly talented players.

    This year the Rangers have a better team that withstand an off year from their best talent.

  114. Agreed – Cervelli did NOT improve. At all. He looks good in a white linen suit in November though. Can’t say that for all of us.

  115. wicky, where does it say the Kings are trying to get Parise? That link was Ovie’s hit on Subban, which was lovely.

  116. hey adam and CT, you better get your story straight. which is it, they need the secondary guys to score, or you can’t win with the gritty guys?? hah.

    preposterous. I seem to remember a cup win by those same Penguins where in game 7 Crosby was hurt, and Max (grinder) Talbot stepped up and scored the 2 goals to win the game and the cup for them. it is just the opposite of your contention, you MUST have the gritty grinding players to even get into the playoffs, and to win them you REALLY need the gritty grinding giuys to be the difference makers.

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

    don’t remember where on twitter I saw it, but someone that covers the kings tweeted earlier this morning that the kings may be getting ready to add top six forward help for kopitar, then later on tweeted “parise?”.

    I didn’t post the links due to not being sure the legitimacy of them, i was asking the question to see if any of you guys had heard of anything on the subject.

  118. Who the bybuglien is Cervelli?

    Has it occurred to you that if we didn’t have Gaborik, someone else would be wearing Orpik last night instead?

  119. joel,

    You need all of the above. You can’t win with just gritty guys. You can’t win if it’s only your top guys scoring (Rangers last year). Obviously playoff heroes aren’t always the star players. In the context of the Rangers, Matteau is a great example. But the Rangers would have never sniffed the Cup if it wasn’t for Brian Leetch. Just as the Pens would never have made it to the finals without Crosby and Malkin both putting up twice as many points as the anyone else on that team. Talbot might have won them game 7, but those other two guys had a lot to do with them even getting to a game 7.

  120. Cervelli is an Italian born, Venezuelan raised Baseball player. He is the backup catcher for the New York Yankees.

    Interesting background…kind of like…Mats Zuccarello-Aasen

  121. And if Parise becomes available, I’d offer anyone else not named Lundqvist or Staal. Will never happen. If Lou is pressed to trade him, he will not trade him to NY.

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

    Here is the thing, you have to score to win and we all know this. The playoffs are a different bird than the regular season. Whistles get swallowed a lot more by the officials and physicality increases quite a bit.

    Your chances of winning with “grinders” increases in the playoffs over the regular season (not to mention the stupid skills competition goes away). Those players become more valuable.

    Great scorers/offencive players are still important obviously, but the ones that really stand out in the playoffs are the ones that can (and will) operate in the tough areas with the tighter physical play of playoff hockey.

  123. No ilb, Brooks Orpik only exists to shadow Marian Gaborik. He’s Gaborik’s boogeyman.

  124. Good post CT. I was basically going to say the same thing. joel, Talbot may have won that game but as CT said if they did not have the elite players in Crosby and Malkin they would have not been in that scenario of having a game 7.

  125. look at Pitt. they had Crosby, Malkin, and then Staal out last night, and they still win the game, and who did it? their gritty grinders of course, that’s who

    case closed

  126. Tiki, I don’t know why I bother. But A-Rod is not a good person. He cheated on his pregnant wife, for one thing, and he is a drug cheat. And I’m not going to say anything further, except that if the players union had allowed him to go to Boston, which he wanted to do, instead of the Yankees, you’d be telling us what a dirtball he is.

  127. nyrblue,

    And the rest of their wins this season have nothing to do with having the leading scorer in the league on their team?

  128. gritty grinders can win games in the regular season for a short while. over the long haul, skill always matters.

    carp with the diss of arod. shocking he is no bigger a jerk then most of the players. imagine arods biggest fault is he tries to hard or is phony!!Whatever that means. as far as effort and bieng in shape etc, arod has no peers…

  129. I actually think we have done better against the Pens when they Have Cindy. Is this in my head? I am not looking at stats right now.

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

    I honestly like the makeup of the pens team. 2 heavyweights and a middleweight who can fight (and can play a regular shift), an agitator on the edge, a big hitting physical crease clearing d man and another really physical d man who can hit and fight, a couple vanilla d men, and a couple of offencive d men, not to mention a couple of grinders with scoring potential and a couple of superstars, a very good goalie and capable back up and a coach who will roll 4 lines and 3 pairs.

  131. carp, LQ has be sensationial the last couple of weeks your right, but last night he was only very good, the other guy was better when it counted. I hate to say that because I’m not fond of MAF. And i’m not saying they lost because of LQ. The players didn’t match the snarl that the hurt pens have, usually our strength… this yr.

  132. billybleedsblue on

    Carp! I couldn’t have said it better!!! Thanks for saving me from myself!!! Now I don’t have to type it!!!

    “Here you go again, Tiki, confusing athletic ability with being a good person. He is not a good person. He is selfish, a steroid-cheater, not a good teammate, and before (and since) that one season a choke-artist.”

    AMEN. Cheating bag of Carcillo that A-Roids is.

    Anyways, getting back to this Jagr bashing…anyone really interested in taking a look for themselves, go check out his stats with and without Mary-O…it says a lot of his abilities…and inabilities.

  133. If the Rangers played the best of 7 against the same lineup the Pens had last night, I’d bet for 4-2 (if not 4-1) Rangers.

  134. billybleedsblue on


    Yea, WTB!? This is a HOCKEY BLOG. LOL, now you know better. Nothing like a good A-Rod trashing though…and that’s coming from a Yankees fan!

  135. I prefer hitting “refresh” a few times than talking about A-Rod. Would that work, Carp? :-)

  136. Noah-ospal-tenko, 28 on

    I would absolutely love to see Parise donning a Blueshirt. He is pretty much the only Devil I like and root for (when not playing the Rangers of course).

    Even though we have much more of a need at center, I’d rather have Parise than Richards. Parise would have no problem fitting in with the Torts system, that’s for sure.

  137. If Lou is forced to trade Parise, he may not stay as their GM much longer. Parise has become as important to them as Brodeur ever was.

  138. I think Lou would swan dive off the GW if he lost Parise to the Rangers.


    Along with Travis Zajack…

  139. Parise played very well in Red White and BLUE during the Olympics…..Would love to see him in the Garden.

  140. It’s a tough choice, Parise will take up most of their available cap space. They’re going to have to sell a few guys (Elias, White) and get very little in return. Marty waiving his NTC for them would be like Drury retiring for the Rangers.

  141. But Lou is adamant they’re not trading Marty. It’s beginning to look like the Baltimore Orioles with Cal Ripken or the Vikings with Brett Favre, allowing the legacy of a faded star to dictate the overall direction of the franchise.

  142. Andrew Gross tweeting that Prospal is in tomorrow…playing apparently with Stepan and Gaborik.

    Will Prospal be Gabbie’s missing link?

    Who will sit? Gotta be Newbury, I guess.

  143. Carp, I dont know why I bother either. I thought there might come a time when you might begin respecting my opinions and not attacking every player – that I admire – that’s ever had a personal issue.

    You’re right. If the Alex to Boston trade went through, Id be crying a different tune. So what…

    And NO, Alex never cheated on his pregnant wife. That NEVER happened. Sincerely, Id like a link to that…

    Thanks in advance.

  144. About Wolsky and Zuke both trying to go 5 hole on Fleury instead of throwing some of their usual moves: Iwas also a little surprised when both of them tried it but my son, who has played a lot of hockey on a pretty high level, suggested that Fleury bated them into it by showing a big hole knowing he was ready to close it right up. A good shooter has his head up andtries to find a place to pput it into the net and even so Wolsky almost beat Fleury through the 5 hole. Fleury watched the tapes of the past Ranger shootouts and saw what those 2 guys did with their moves. If, in fact, he did invite them to try the 5 hole and won, more power to him. He’s a fine goalie even if the guy in the section next to me thinks he sucks, as he yelled about a dozen times. I’m sure his bellowing from the blue seats got Fleary right off his game.

  145. old coach, I think you are spot on. Fleury enticed both Zuke and Wolski into taking the shot rather than try a deke.

  146. billybleeds – You must feel proud….as a Yankees fan…to trash a guy who rakes in more dough in one minute than you ever will in a lifetime :) Wanna bash someone, bash David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez or Tom Brady or Larry Bird, or Kevin Garnett for insulting cancer patients, or Kevin McHale for cheating the game of basketball. Until then, your opinion means nothing to me!

    Back to hockey, we need to have a strong game against the Devils!

  147. Im frustrated with MDZ. Still don’t know why Eminger was prucha’d. Frustrated that WW and MZA didn’t bother with dekes last night and cost us a point.

  148. What’s really frustrating about MZA’s shoot-out attempt is that he hardly even shot the puck. I think Fleury was expecting a deke because he didn’t stop the shot cleanly and in fact, it slipped through his pads and stopped a couple of inches behind him.

    So if MZA had actually put some mustard on his shot, he’d have scored.

    The worse attempt was Dubinsky’s – he looked foolish getting pokechecked before he really even started doing what ever it was he intended to do.

  149. Very true, Jim. He just flipped it at the 5 hole. With WW, he took away any angle he had by coming from the left as he did.

  150. sheesh!!!

    nearly 200 posts and it’s not even 5 p.m.!!!

    not enough time to go through ’em all right now
    starting at the beginning in regards to Tiki

    Gabby was supposed to be the big scorer we didn’t have after Jagr and the team around him broke down — first his shoulder than the lack of scoring giving the ability for him to be shadowed mercilessly.

    he was supposed to score goals. still wonder if there’s something wrong with the shoulder and they’re not telling us and they’re being too dunderheaded to actually have him get whatever procedure needs done because they think he’ll “break out of it”
    maybe Prospal will get him out of his funk because they developed a chemistry
    and having someone dangerous on his line should give Gabby a little more room to operate.
    that has not happened throughout 2010 season.

    as far as pp: really, is Sullivan running it?!?!??! cause that’s just waaaaaaaaaaaaaay
    again, simple adjustments need to be made, some of them mental,
    keep the puck away from the boards — too much sending it back and forth and wasting time
    and allowing opponents an easy kill
    people in front of the net
    (if Boogard was around, why not put him up front. who’s going to move him other than carkner?)
    yes a booming shot from the point is nice but not all teams have that
    and work the puck around quickly
    and find success.
    we’re too busy making decisions than taking action.

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

    feds out another 3 to 4 weeks with appendix removal

  152. Tiki:

    Agreed the NJ game is important – let’s remember that the Devil team their facing tomorrow is quite different from the one they last played – their win over Ottawa last night has them 7 and 1 over their past 8.

    If they lose that one, it’s quite possible that they’ll wake up Tuesday morning mired in a 5 game losing streak and possibly be sitting in 9th spot overall in the east.

    All that said, given the way they’ve played this season overall, it’s quite possible they’ll nab at least 4 points over the next 3 games, which is fine by me!

  153. Tiki – I wondered the same thing. I think that Zuccarello thinks that people might have him figured out and he thought that the quick shot might fool Flower. Wolski obviously thought the same thing.

    Honestly – watching Flower during that skillz competition was pretty incredible. He never leaves the crease and never moves first and made some incredible leg saves.

    I don’t know how you beat him in that situation. I guess shooting over his stick shoulder would make the most sense.

  154. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Much as I liked Jagr and was saddened at his departure, I have to agree with the philosophy of the greatest GM in baseball history, Branch Rickey, who said: “It is better to get rid of a player a year too soon than a year too late.” Lots of wisdom and foresight, there.

    The toughest case of that to swallow, in my many years as a Ranger fan, is the case of Rod Gilbert, whom that putz John Ferguson sent packing into retirement TWO YEARS before he would have been done. Don’t get me started on my intense hatred for the late, not so great Mr. Ferguson.

  155. DJK, he’s more of a hybrid of the two:

    Bondra: GP 1081, G 503 (goals per game .47), A 389 (assists per game .36)
    Elias: GP 929, G 327 (.35), A 465 (.50)
    Gaborik: GP 617, G 277 (.45), A 278 (.45)

    More of goal scorer than Elias, more of a playmaker than Bondra

  156. TheREALMikeyNJ on

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again

    put SAUER on one of the points.

    Seriously, out of all our defensmen, including Del Z, Sauer has that low hard accurate shot needed to get deflections and garbage goals.

    Staal is decent and getting better, but doesnt have the blast
    Del Z has the blast but is either afraid to use it and hasnt been in the line-up full time and prob wont be the rest of the season
    Girardi, Eminger, McD, Gilroy – all No

    So Put Sauer at one of the points and create two new PP units

    Hell Drury is willing to sacrifice himself and his body so stick him ont he 1st unit and jstu have him screen the whole time. HE cant do much worse than anyone else out there the last 20 games.

    My units woudl be:

    1st –
    Pointmen – Sauer & Zucc, Avery Drury, Cally

    Pointmen – Staal & Prospal, Dubi, Cally, Gabby

    why not right, EVERYTHING & EVERYONE ALL SEASON they have tried hasnt worked, and the year before that, and the year before that, etc etc etc.

  157. billybleedsblue on

    Tiki, or whatever your moniker is, or was — “You must feel proud….as a Yankees fan…to trash a guy who rakes in more dough in one minute than you ever will in a lifetime…”

    LOL, I can’t resist responding to this…although I risk egging you on so you continue the abnormally frequent and fluid Carcillo evacuations from your mouth (well, your fingertips actually)…

    I don’t trash Aroids…he trashes himself! And so what he makes more money than everyone that reads this blog combined? You know, the fact that you put things in those terms says a lot about what you value.

    And so what Aroids saved a kid from getting hit by a bus…any American (and human being for that matter) in that situation should have done the same thing. That’s what you should expect from a human in a civilized world. You herald him as some sort of god for demonstrating a basic humane act, something he should do naturally? Hahaha, what a joke.

  158. so on the first power play unit we have a defensive D man on a point, and 2 forwards who have a grand total of 2 goals this season. what the heck, lets give it a try.

  159. TheRealMikeyNJ

    Drury might get confused on the pp and
    just hurt himself blocking a shot from one of his

  160. as far as shootout
    to repeat my comments from last night

    i didn’t mind MZA not doing the usual deke
    but it looked like a shot with nothing on it.
    if he would have put something on it
    it would have gone into the net.
    already went through 5 hole
    far as Wolski
    he didn’t deke or anything
    came towards fleury at an angle
    advantageous to the goalie and shot it
    still shaking my head on that one.

    expect more from him
    and less so from Cally or Dubi (but a poke check, really?!?!?!)

  161. Vinny Prospal deserves a letter on his jersey a lot more than Chris Drury. Just read via twitter that Staal is keeping the A and Prospal will *not* wear a letter…

  162. there is no possible combination of players that will make our powerplay significantly better. The only way to get better on the PP is to either acquire top line players or wait until our young players become top line players themselves.

    I have no issue with with waiting but that might take anywhere from 1-4 years…

  163. oleo

    if you read my previous way too long post an hour or so ago
    i mentioned that they think too much and don’t act quick enough

    they talk about doing video work, i would hope that
    Sullivan would one of these days show ’em video of
    power plays that work. because it doesn’t look like they’re inspired
    by anything out there
    and show
    NO sense of urgency.

  164. oleosmirf:

    1 year isn’t long to wait, but 4 is. Hear/read the noise in here after a shoot-out loss – imagine the volume if it’s still going in in 2 years, let alone 4?


    Not that I don’t get it – we all want to win now, don’t we?! Tough for management to adhere to a plan that will take that long, especially if the progress is as gradual as 4 years.

    Personally, I don’t think it will take that long if the likes of Stepan, AA, MDZ, McDonagh etc are the real deal.

    That’s a significant IF, however (and I don’t say that because I don’t believe – just being realistic).

  165. jpg: I concur that the coaches share some blame for the pathetic PP, but I believe PP success is more hinged on overall talent and therefore, plenty of it cannot be taught (ie you cannot teach a guy to lazer a puck in the top corner, like Gaborik did so frequently last year).

    There are a few fundamentals that can be pounded in via over and over execution, but in the end so much comes down to skill level. I find the Rangers biggest problem to be 2fold: Inability to set things up and then once they do, the maddenly reluctance to move. Watch when they do set-up and time after time there’s only 1 guy in truly in motion. It’s worse with the pointmen – only MDZ seems to have grasped the concept the pointmen become threats if they move in from the opposite side when the puck’s being controlled along the far boards.

    Watch a team like the Wings – literally 3 to 4 guys are in motion simultaneously. That makes it extremely difficult for the defending team to manage – they end getting jumbled and a man ultimately becomes free. That, however, is where the talent comes in – someone has to have the ability to put the puck on the free man’s stick and that free man has to be able to snap the puck off quickly and preferably accurately.

    Why the Rangers continually freeze up once they’ve established control of the puck is beyond me….

  166. jpg

    I’ve been sounding like a broken record for the past 3 years RE the coaching or (lack of it) and what they do practice in their practices.

    What are the most blatant items in the Rangers most significant aspects of the team’s modus operandi, that has gone on for the past several years hmm? Could it be:

    The lack of a single individual who is consistently confident enough with his slap shot, to utilize the slap and or one timer from the blue line…like most of the other teams have?

    The refusal to post a single crease dog, who plants himself in front and does not allow himself to be moved, while every one shoots wristers from the acute angles rather than from the center of the zone.

    The incessant over passing looking for the IDEAL shot, while other teams simply pump drives from all over the ice one after another, and overloads the goaltender and does this as a routine matter of course. This also eats up PP minutes, and causes the team to regularly await, THE GREAT PLAY!

    They give so much away to opponents that they need not do, but it always comes down to that feature. And it Never Changes.

    Many criticize Avery, but who is the poor shnook that takes a knuckle and elbow sandwich behind the opposing nets night after night, just trying to get the puck to someone in a critical position to score, and gets little for his sacrifice but contempt?

    I maintain that until something is done about addressing these features of their game performance….they’ll knock on the door…but it will only be by someone other team’s collapse that they’re gonna get in.

  167. agree Jim

    i believe i mentioned about the need for movement.
    no matter.
    glad to see someone else mention it.

    grind and jam are good things, especially when teams are at even
    strength but they don’t seem to grasp
    that movement is necessary during the pp

    maybe they are very slow learners because
    one positive i can think of in the past several (?)
    games is
    that they have been more consistent with leaving their zone
    via passes to each other rather than sending the puck
    to a spot and hoping a Blueshirt gets to it
    or simply sending it out of the zone
    the opposing team just retrieves and comes right back at ’em.

    damn i write too long!!!

  168. billybleeds – You’re not going to rile me up. Im never going to convince any of you, so I think it’s best if I leave those topics of conversation alone. And Im not going to get into a back and forth pissing match with you. It’s just not worth it. When I put things in financial terms re: Alex, I was implying that you were just jealous, because anyone that trashes Alex is just jealous! Occam’s Razor – The simplest explanation is generally the right one.

  169. fran

    probably someone with access to the minute stats can verify this
    but i don’t think we have had much of a power play since
    the post-lockout year when Jagr was on fire and should have been awarded
    then we started overpassing and trying to get it to Jags with his bum shoulder

    as for now
    it’s been bad for awhile. got better with Gabby, who i still question about his shoulder,
    i know the mental aspect is a major deal
    but the team has shown the ability to move around
    to keep the puck away from the boards
    to tire out the pk unit
    and then they return to bad habits the next time.

    as far as not having someone stationed in front of the net, maybe that’s something
    Carp could dare ask prior to a game
    it almost seems after the Avery Rule we haven’t done that.

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