Practice, practice, practice

160

You know, the Rangers were good when they were playing a lot (14 games from Jan. 1-25). But I have this theory about stretches like that. Things kind of get lost a little bit because a team isn’t able to practice due to the games, the travel and the need for rest. So sometimes, at the end of a busy stretch like that, a team might go into a bit of a tailspin … like the Rangers did.

I’m not blaming the workload, or the lack of practice, totally, for a couple of reasons. 1) The Rangers were also very banged up at the end of that stretch. And 2) I thought the Rangers played better at the beginning of their bad streak than they’re playing at the moment.

Whatever, today will be the end of a nine-day stretch in which the Rangers have played only twice — so-so games in Atlanta (a loss) and against Pittsburgh (a win). It has given them a chance to catch their breath, to take a breather, and to practice as they head into the final 24 games of the season (with three in the next four days).

“The past two weeks it’s kind of the same situation — we have the three (consecutive off) days,” John Tortorella said. “It’s good that we can give them a day off and then we come back in and it’s kind of like a double-session thing (yesterday), 5-on-5  and the power play. (Today) we’ll do some 5-on-3, 4-on-3 and then some defensive-zone coverage stuff. So, at this time of year, the past two weeks have been good for us because we get them rest, but we also have two good work days. To get practice time, that’s a key thing when it’s there, to use it, but also to give them some rest when you have an opportunity.”

I asked him about the correlation between the heavy schedule and the slump that followed.

“Yeah, could be,” he said. “I thought we got sloppy, and all teams do. We got sloppy in certain areas and it gives us a chance — we zero in on things here the past couple of weeks to really focus on. We’ve got a great tape here for a half hour after practice (yesterday). So, yeah, from a coach’s point of view, you can see things slipping away, but it’s hard to get them on the ice because the most important thing is finding them rest at this time of year. So we’re always looking for those type of points we can work on when we have practice time.”

————–

Jeff Klein from The Times was asking Tortorella about smaller players in today’s game, using two he’s had — Martin St. Louis and Mats Zuccarello — as examples. Tortorella praised the courage of both players.

When Klein said that St. Louis is listed at 5-foot-9, Tortorella quickly said, “He’s full of (carcillo). This is an argument we’ve had for many years, him and I. We used to go back-to-back, as far as seeing who’s taller. I’m taller than Martin St. Louis and I’m not (byfuglien) 5-9. And you can tell him that if you talk to him.”

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160 Comments

  1. I’d really like to see some stats on the number of games that go to OT/SO after the All-Star break vs pre-All Star break. Seems like so many games award the charity point the last third/quarter of the year.

  2. Oh my goodness.

    They did it.

    The much maligned often sneered at, and totally without
    a raison d’etre, the abominable fishsticks totally dismasted the Senators, and made a point of order that they are a pretty good little hockey team. they skated hard and fast
    They took the body, their passing was terriffic, and they had a young Lochinvar from out of the east to give them victory…again!

    One of the more notable factors about their play ( as opposed to the style of Rangers) is that they had no hesitation about throwing hard slap shots from almost anywhere on ice ( particularly from the points), and their bombardiers often either missed target or forced a spectacular save by the goaltender….or went into the net. No worry about rebounds…. and let the Devil take the hindmost.

    And the saga of Grabner is almost as electrifying as his on ice performances. Talk about GMs who should be handed their papers!

    The Senators gave them a good scare though, and poor old Kovalev, dragging his weary bones thru one more
    ( and perhaps final) season. Sure I have pity..but Audace! Toujours L’audace!

  3. And a 2nd round pick yields Chris Kelly in the trade market. Maybe the scenario of having two division rivals in the deal raise the price a little but this is what happens when so many teams think they have a shot of getting into the playoffs.

    Imagine what Richards would have commanded had he really been on the market.

  4. So granber is considered a rookie right? having only played 20 games last year at the nhl level? If so i think he should be well in the mix for the calder, especially being on a team lacking, as fran puts it, “a raison d’etre”

  5. CTB- which is why the sellers have so much “hand” right now (to paraphrase George Costanza).

    I’d say that a premium price was paid for all the guys who were dealt in the last 2 weeks. Sather will wait until the deadline to peruse his favorite shopping channels: The Old Boys Network and the Scratch ‘N Dent Pile. At that point, the returns will be much more reasonable.

  6. DJK,

    Certainly the acquiring teams get their player for a longer portion of the season so there’s a premium built into that. Also many of those guys are not rentals and that’s a bit of a different market.

    Still, Kelly isn’t even a point every other game player and he cost a draft pick in a round where the Rangers have picked up the likes of Dubinsky, Anisimov and Stepan. Any player that’s pegged at a top 6 forward or top 4 D, even as a rental is going to cost a hefty sum.

  7. Hey, do any of youse know the photographer who takes pictures of the fans in the stands at Rangers games? We had our picture taken on Sunday, but I lost the card with their name on it.

  8. I’ll say it…. I am really starting to dig Torts! I most certainly am starting to believe he’s the man to take us through the big dance.

    LGR! I want to be concerned with what seed we get, not if we get our ticket punched!

  9. Grabner has been hot lately, with 10 goals in his last 6 games and 16 in his last 15. Otherwise, he has had a pretty mundane season.

    His current stat line is 25 goals, 10 assists, plus 2 rating.

    Before those 15 games, he was 9 goals, 4 assists, minus 14. If you add a 16th, it would be 3 assists, minus 15.

    It’s a very hot month, no question, but even Marcel Hossa has had a hot month in his career.

  10. Grabner was still a decent pick up. They got him off waivers and he’s shown he can potentially be productive in the future. Maybe he’s Enver Lisin part 2, but at least he doesn’t get knocked out on the first punch or tear up his knee on his home ice.

  11. “Before those 15 games, he was 9 goals, 4 assists, minus 14. If you add a 16th, it would be 3 assists, minus 15.”

    Very true but just to play the devils advocate before this montht the isles were also beyond pathetic (not saying they arent still basement bottom feeders) but the team as awhole has played a bit better and its showed mostly through grabners numbers, now had the team played with even the slightest bit of chemistry from the get go whose to say his numbers wouldnt be even better

  12. JT, the Islanders have been the same team they have been all season: They skate hard and make you actually try to beat them. In very few games have they just completely rolled over. Most of their wins (the Pittsburgh debacle aside), have come when teams didn’t look like they were taking the Islanders seriously, and the Islanders make those teams pay by outworking them.

  13. Good day before game day morning fellow Boneheads.

    fran, you crack me up. Your posts are very entertaining to read. Thank you.

    Ok, I have to get back to work.

  14. Did someone say Todd White? I wasnt even on the blog, all of a sudden my skin started to itch. Kinda embarrassing in front of the students :-)

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

    morning ILB and all!!

    hey bubblehead, how’s it going?

    Have a great day guys!!

    later assens!

  16. I wonder what kind of bush-league trade we’ll make … perhaps MZ, 1st rounder, and Dubinsky for a bag of pucks?

  17. just got my first iPhone app rip-off! “Funny Call” app…if you see it, walk away! Free to install, but not free to talk…bought $5 worth of minutes and calls drop after 2 seconds! Plus, the other person hears nothing but noise! lol

    Thanks you, Apple!

  18. Hey Carpy,

    I haven’t been able to watch many games for the past several weeks, so I’m kinda out of the loop regarding the team’s status.

    From what I can gather, it seems like Callahan, Dubinsky, Prospal, and Christensen are all back from being injured, is that right? Boogaard is the only player still out, no?

    If this is so, the Rangers need to start adding points to the standings. Although they seem to be much improved from previous years, I am still unimpressed with their 30-24-4 record. They have never been too far removed from a .500 winning percentage at any time this season.

    Also it seems that Eminger has found his way to Torts’ Chateau Bow-Wow, as JD would say. The trade deadline is Feb. 28th this year, so we’ll see what happens.

  19. Did you know that MSG is the longest tenured home for an NHL franchise, starting in 1968? The Mauseoleum is next, starting in 1972, the Joe and Rexall Place (74), the Saddledome (83), and then not another arena since before 1993 (Anaheim and San Jose).

    And somehow, they have decided that terrible renovations was a better choice than a new Arena.

  20. It's Just Sally on

    Good morning, Carp! I love that Torts story :)

    Princess Dubinsky wants to wish everyone a happy hump day. Or I think that’s what she’s trying to say through all the purring and drooling.

  21. It's Just Sally on

    Happy 26th birthday, Miami Pimp!

    ilb, she is one happy & healthy kitten :) aaand she just tried to eat my cursor and drooled all over the screen… she’s smart too!

  22. LOL Sally.

    Gab – I cant believe that you shared something yesterday so personal……and in hindsight, i cant believe I went on about NY and that other city. Im sorry.

    I want you to know that I truly do admire you and absolutely adore you. We’re all lucky to know you.

  23. lol thanks guys … (it’s 29 not 26:)

    they better not bush-league, amateur-hour, or mickey-mouse the match … or i’ll wreak havoc to the Verizon Center

  24. Happy berfday Miami!! Enjoy it!

    And happy day before game day everyone! It looks like a beautiful day outside. I’m stuck at work (booo), but I DO get to leave for a few hours for a dentist appointment (glad I get to leave work for a little), so at least I’ll be able to see some of the sunshine outside!

  25. Happy 26th, Miami. Hope it’s not bush league.

    Good afternoon, Sally! Got your e-mail. Should I share it?

    iWanna, no, Drury, Fedotenko, Frolov and Boogaard are all out. And Wolski is banged up.

  26. Carp,when did we lose Frolov? I thought he’s been out there and just playing to his usual standards..

  27. Loafy has been gone for awhile James, a few weeks at least. Needed surgery for his MCL and ACL on his knee. Done for the season.

  28. lol I know Lauren it had just been a while since I took a dig at his lack of production in his very short tenure as a Ranger.

  29. Bobby Holik is another jerk. he is on nhl live right now making excuses for mario L and Cooke and saying he fully supports mario’s statement. Don L then asked him, why doesn’t mario attend board meetings, and he was stumbling to find an answer. he is a joke

  30. MZA on the point is dumb. he is not good back there. Girardi should be there, he gets his shot on net and looks for guys screening and tipins. Torts is stubborn, he did not learn from last game.

  31. Ian White is being traded by the Canes. he is being held out of tonight’s game pending the trade.

  32. Reminder for soccer fans on here (not that many of you here, i know)

    Two great matches today at 2:30 EST

    Arsenal FC (ENG) v FC Barcelona (ESP)

    and

    AS Roma (ITA) v FC Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)

    GO SHAKHTAR! GO BARCA!

  33. t49k7

    To be fair, MZA is our most dynamic passer and probably sees the ice better than anyone else on the team. He should be given another look back there. Torts apparently liked what he saw in practice…

    Girardi has a decent wrist shot but he is not as good a passer or playmaker than MZA. You are not going to score all your power play goals from the point. That said, you need a guy who can move the puck, shoot it, and also be a set up man.

  34. I am not talking about scoring from the point. I am talking about getting the shot to the net so that Boyle and Dubi etc can tip them in, just like they did sun. also, they need a right hand shot back there. using nothing but lefties has not worked previously for the rangers this season.

  35. Wick – from last night’s posts:

    Agree that Bogosian would be the perfect addition to this D. That guy is exactly what we need on D. He would be that ‘fear-instilling” d-man that you crave but he also has good puck skills. Plus, he’s an American!

    Bod McKenzie has said Atlanta is listening to offers but had no intention ofmoving him. The latest is that Bogosian wants out by next season.

  36. Bogosian is good with the puck. he just needs some work with an old dman like Schoeny to school him on the coverage techniques in front of his net and positioning in his own zone. he is upset with Ramsay for scratching him from games.

  37. nyr fan

    You anticipated me on this observation about MZA,
    .

    Do not think that this little guy cannot fire the puck. And his passing is far superior to most of the regular D men, and his quickness allows him to reverse course and retain his position. He rolls pretty good when hit, and he now and then dishes out a mini slam.

    Believe me …this team has more to concern themselves about than MZ on the point.

  38. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Re: “Albert Pujois is going to be a Yankee, next year,” I say fine, he and A-Rod can celebrate their 45th birthdays making 100 million per month, in pinstripes. To go with the captain and SS, aka “God Almighty,” being down to a fielding range of about 2 square inches in the next couple years. (Licking my anti-Yankee chops.)

  39. Yeah, her job was made more even obsolete after they started using TV screens for the letters.

  40. lol Boom Boom it’s amazing. As soon as news broke that St. Louis wasn’t going to get a deal done with Pujols every Yankee fan I know started making predictions. Laughable.

    And I say sign Michael Jai White. Who’s going to mess with us if we have Spawn on the Point?

  41. Hockey day in USA on Sunday has one hitch in it. Ranger fans who don’t live in the NY area will have to watch the Ranger game online on the nbcsports website. the game is being telecast only regionally.

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  43. Wolski Out- Kris Nobody In for Tomorrow MDZ will Play also !

    I will be at the Game !

    Tonight Live at 8 PM on Blueshirt Banter Radio : Dave Maloney wants Fighting banned, Mario’s comments to the league, Are The Rangers playoff bound ? Plus a bloggers round table. Plus Your Phone calls !

    http://www.blueshirtbanter.com

  44. Rondell RonDL White CCCP! :)

    As for Yankees fans making predictions, every Red Sox fan was talking about wanting Pujols for the outfield, YES, the Outfield, about 6 weeks ago. So mention that.

    Pujols has played 3rd base in his lifetime, and he probably has more range and better fielding at first base than Teixeira. Pujols is excellent defensively. Just sayin’

    Jeter had an extraordinary year defensively in 2009, was not very good in 2010. In the 2007-2008 offseason, Jeter worked with my close friend in Tampa to get better defensively, and it paid off in 2009. Jeet probably’s got only 2 more years left at SS anyway.

  45. Dave Maloney is full of baloney. funny that ultimate fighting etc are all popular but NHL has to become poosies all of a sudden. watching nhl hockey will become like watching flag football. or the allstar game which sux

  46. Pujols, as most right handed batters, is a better fit for Fenway than Yankee Stadium. Sox spent a lot though on Crawford and on AGonz. But Pujols as a DH when they bid farewell to Papi???

  47. I expected Arsenal sssssssss to match up well with Barca this time around. A lucky first goal and a perfect splendid 2nd goal. Still probably going to need another goal at Camp Nou.

    Pujols isn’t getting paid $30 million a year to be a DH at his age and with his superb defensive skills.

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

    We have a guy named white on this team??

    oh, that white, the one that has 1 more goal than mcdonut in basically the same number of games and 1 more goal than sauer in less games (this last statement was posted solely for the benefit of ILB)

  49. Orr,
    A GM that is unloading salary and admittedly is rebuilding. Chris Neil would be a HUGE pickup for the NYR. I was screaming for them to sign Neil when his deal was up.

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

    didn’t we offer neil a deal, but he took the hometown discount to stay in ott? Same thing that orpik did with us I think.

  51. Neil has two more years after this at a cap hit of $2m. While he’s been one of the more servicable tough guys over the years, now? No thanks.

  52. Orpik woulda been really nice. Imagine the NYR with Neil and Orpik? Prust and Neil on the third line? Holy Carcillo.

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

    NYR
    thanks and gotta respect that loyalty even though we didn’t get them.

    Hey tiki

    back to work, later assens!

  54. why would we want to trade for Chris Neil. The last thing we need is another gritty 3rd/4th line player…

  55. CT

    only one CL result is “shocking” Barca v Arsenal…

    Arsenal is a pretty good club but Barca is better and i expect them to come out swinging in the second leg. I wish that 2018 WC in Russia was played now while guys like Arshavin, Kerzhakov, Pavlyuchenko and such are still young, but…

    and Shakhtar Donetsk is a great young team with loads of talent! They won UEFA Cup two years ago and will definitely make a lot of noise this time around.

    Btw, Donetsk, has some of the most beautiful women in the world! True story!

  56. The Rangers haven’t been winning lately b/c Boyle and Prust are finally coming back to earth. The fact that the two have them have been so good, this long is a mini-miracle in itself and something the Rangers cannot rely on going forward.

  57. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Phillies are remiss for not getting the Pujols-Howard deal done a year ago. Surely cost them another title. Now it’s too late. And who gives an EIGHT year deal to anyone? Used to be all athletes got a one year deal. Sure do miss those days when ballplayers were motivated every year, not just in the contract year. What a joke.

  58. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    The Rangers, unless Slats screws it up in the next 11 days, have a young roster composition reminiscent of the Black Hawks roster just two years ago. Could Krieder be the final piece in the puzzle? Our Blues are getting scarily close to taking over this league but some trade and some FA signing restraint will be necessary to close the deal.

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