Wilds at Rangers tonight


This seems like a slam dunk game, but it won’t be. It’ll be difficult for a few reasons, even though the Wilds lost to the Islanders last night. They’ll be all intent on playing good, hard road hockey, and that usually presents a problem for your heroes, who have enough trouble scoring and playing at home.

And there is a difference between a must game and a game a team has to win. The Rangers have to win games like this because there are only so many softies left on the schedule — softies being a relative term since no team is really a pushover anymore, especially when you have a hard time scoring more than twice.

But, again, this is a game the Rangers need to get. If they don’t, it’s still not the end of the world — though I’m quite sure and confident it will be treated as such here. They just need to beat teams like the Wilds and the Senators and the Islanders and Panthers and Thrashers down this stretch here.

Here are the pre-game notes, from the Rangers:

Thursday, Mar. 3, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden • New York, NY
Rangers: 33-28-4 (70 pts)
Wild: 33-24-6 (72 pts)
* All information through NHL games on Mar. 1

The Rangers will conclude their three-game homestand when they face-off against the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in the first game of a back-to-back set. The Blueshirts currently rank third in the Atlantic Division standings, and seventh in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 33-28-4 (70 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. The Wild have posted a record of 33-24-6 (72 pts) to rank 10th in the Western Conference entering their contest last night at Long Island, and have registered a point in four of their last six games (3-2-1). Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Ottawa Senators on Friday, Mar. 4, at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m.), in the second game of a back-to-back set.


  • TV: MSG Network

6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig and Mike Keenan

7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Wild

Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)

·         Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and newyorkrangers.com

6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show

7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Wild

Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)


  • All-Time: 8-4-0-0 overall (4-1-0-0 at home; 4-3-0-0 on the road)
  • 2010-11: Tonight’s contest marks their second and final meeting this season, and the first at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers own a 1-0-0 record thus far, following a 5-2 victory at Minnesota on Nov. 20.
  • Last Season: New York was 0-1-0 vs. the Wild, following a 3-2 loss at Minnesota on Oct. 30.
  • New York is tied for 24th with a 14-15-3 (31 pts) record at home; Minnesota ranks ninth with a 17-11-3 (37 pts) mark on the road
  • The Rangers are 4-2-0 vs. Northwest Division opponents; the Wild are 2-2-0 vs. Atlantic Division opponents
  • Henrik Lundqvist is 2-2-0 with a 2.87 goals against average in four career regular season appearances vs. Minnesota
  • Wojtek Wolski has tallied a team-high, 12 assists and 15 points in 29 career regular season contests vs. Minnesota; Dan Girardi has recorded three assists in four career regular season games vs. the Wild
  • New York lists two former Wild on their roster: Derek Boogaard (2005-06 – 2009-10); Marian Gaborik (2000-01 – 2008-09)
  • Minnesota lists one former Ranger on their roster: Matt Cullen (2006-07)

The Blueshirts have posted a plus-nine rating on special teams (PPG+SHG minus PPGA+SHGA) this season, which is tied for fifth in the league.

  • Power Play: The Rangers tallied one goal in three power play opportunities (4:34) on Tuesday vs. Buffalo, and are now 11-55 (20.0%) with the man advantage in their last 14 games. New York ranks 22nd overall (39-232, 16.8%) and 19th at home (22-121, 18.2%). The Rangers are 2-10 (8:17) in five-on-three situations (last – 2/22 at CAR), and 0-4 (5:41) when four-on-three (last – 3/1 vs. MIN). Shorthanded goals allowed (4): 11/20 at MIN (Cullen); 12/5 vs. OTT (Kelly); 1/2 at FLA (Weiss); 1/16 vs. PHI (Richards).
  • Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts surrendered two goals to the Sabres in three shorthanded situations (3:51) on Tuesday at MSG, and have allowed only nine power play goals against in the last 23 games (64-73, 87.7% over the span). New York is tied for ninth overall (183-219, 83.6%) and ranks 17th at home (83-100, 83.0%). The Rangers are 7-10 (7:21) in three-on-five situations (last – 2/27 vs. TBL), and 4-6 (2:41) when three-on-four (last – 11/15 at PIT). Shorthanded goals for (10): 10/9 at BUF (Dubinsky); 11/5 at NJD (Dubinsky); 11/15 at PIT (Staal); 11/24 at TBL (Boyle); 11/26 at FLA (Prust); 12/5 vs. OTT (Prust); 12/12 vs. WSH (Staal); 12/16 vs. PHX (Prust); 1/7 at DAL (Fedotenko); 2/27 vs. TBL (Prust).
  • Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (0:42) on Tuesday vs. Buffalo, and are now plus-three in 49, four-on-four situations (98:57). The Rangers are even in one, three-on-three situation (2:00) this season (2/17 vs. LAK). Four-on-four goals for (5): 10/18 vs. COL (Frolov); 11/11 vs. BUF (Anisimov); 11/15 at PIT (Callahan); 12/12 vs. WSH (Callahan); 1/5 vs. CAR (Zuccarello). Four-on-four goals allowed (2): 10/15 vs. TOR (Kessel); 1/1 at TBL (Thompson).

New York has posted a record of 10-5-0 in 15 games vs. Western Conference opponents this season. Their 10 wins rank first among Eastern Conference teams, while they are tied for first with a .667 winning percentage and second with 20 points vs. the West.

On Saturday, the Rangers acquired defenseman Bryan McCabe from Florida, in exchange for forward Tim Kennedy and a third round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. McCabe has eclipsed the 40-point plateau five times, including three seasons of 50 or more points, and was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 2004. The 15-year NHL veteran skated in his 1,000th career game on Nov. 6, 2009 vs. Washington, and was named Florida’s captain on Sept. 23, 2009. McCabe made his Rangers’ debut on Sunday vs. Tampa Bay, and recorded his first point as a Blueshirt with a power play assist on Tuesday vs. Buffalo.

The Rangers will begin their 15th of 18 back-to-back sets tonight vs. Minnesota. New York is 9-5-1 (3-1-0 at home, 6-4-1 on the road) in the first game of back-to-backs. The Blueshirts are 10-5-0 (4-2-0 at home, 6-3-0 on the road) in the second game this season, having out-scored their opponent, 39-25, in those games. Over the last two seasons, New York is 19-7-2 in the back-end of back-to-back sets, including an 8-3-1 mark at MSG and 11-4-1 on the road over the span.

New York has posted a record of 7-19-3 when trailing after the second period. The Rangers’ 17 points lead the league, while their seven wins are tied for first in the NHL and their .241 winning percentage ranks third. The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent, 162-89, in the third period of their last 14 games.

The Rangers have posted four more wins and four more points compared to last season through 65 games (29-28-8, 66 points in 2009-10), having tallied 12 more goals (181 this season, 169 last season) while allowing 17 fewer goals against (160 this season, 177 last season).  New York has also shown a five-goal improvement while shorthanded compared to 2009-10 (10 this season, five last season).

The Rangers lead the league in hits (1,846), are tied for first in shorthanded goals (10), second in blocked shots (1,028), rank fifth in road wins (19), seventh in goals against (160), is tied for ninth in penalty killing (83.6%), and rank eighth with a plus-21 goal differential.

The Blueshirts have skated in 33 one-goal games this season, which is tied for fourth most in the league, having posted a record of 17-12-4 in those contests. Their 17 wins are tied for sixth in the NHL. Twenty of the Rangers’ last 27 games have been decided by one goal, including 10 of their last 13 home games.

The Rangers have had 18 different players credited with at least one game winning goal this season, which is the most in the NHL.


  • Ryan Callahan has recorded 10 points (six goals, four assists) in the last 13 games, including eight points (four goals, four assists) in the last eight contests
  • Vinny Prospal has recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in the last nine contests
  • Wojtek Wolski has tallied a point in three of the last five contests (two goals, one assist over the span)
  • Brandon Prust has registered three points (two goals, one assist) in the last four games
  • Ryan McDonagh has tallied three assists in the last five games

200 WINS
Henrik Lundqvist posted his 200th career win in a 4-3 shootout win vs. Los Angeles on Feb. 17, becoming only the fifth goalie in franchise history to reach the 200-win mark. He currently ranks fourth on the Rangers’ all-time wins list (202).

The Rangers have the sixth youngest team in the league with an average age of 26 years and 210 days, and the youngest defensive corp in the league with an average age of 24 years and 328 days. *based on NHL rosters on Jan. 11


  • Steve Eminger: 1 game from 400 NHL career


  • Henrik Lundqvist: 200th career NHL win (2/17 vs. LAK)


·         Derek Boogaard (injured shoulder on Dec. 9) – 35

·         Alex Frolov (injured knee on Jan. 8, expected to be sidelined for the remainder of the season) – 22

·         Chris Drury (injured knee on Feb. 4, 6 weeks) – 11

·         Marian Gaborik (concussion-like symptoms) – 4

·         Marc Staal (knee strain on Feb. 22, day to day) – 3

·         Ruslan Fedotenko (injured shoulder on Feb. 25) – 2

·         Martin Biron (fractured collarbone on Feb. 28) – 1

Total Man-Games Lost: 253


·         Feb. 26: Acquired defenseman Bryan McCabe from Florida in exchange for forward Tim Kennedy and a third round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft

·         Feb. 26: Assigned defenseman Michael Del Zotto to Connecticut (AHL)

·         Feb. 28: Acquired forward John Mitchell from Toronto in exchange for a seventh round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft

·         Feb. 28: Recalled goaltender Cam Talbot from Greenville (ECHL)

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  1. lol @ Wilds

    The World’s Most Famous Arena, never get tired of hearing that. The history that MSG has, from sports to entertainment. Wow.

  2. guarantee loss. first, we’re home, second, minny is good on the road–third, dubi has clearly peaked three months ago, and noone else scores. im in full blown we stink mode like i was in march of last yr

  3. well i have been told by my six year old hockey loving son that he doesnt like to watch games with me unless the rangers are winning. He hates to see me upset. I think the family is staging an intervention. If they lose to Minny tonight, the three year old will chip in, i am sure.

  4. we have a good record home against them ..i watched a little of the game last night against the Isles ..and they werent playing well..

    lets hope we see the same type of play from Minny tonight …

  5. Hey Tiki!
    I’ve been pretty good–tired, but good. The OT at work will be ending soon, so once it does, I’ll post more often. How you doing?

  6. Glad that OT work is almost over for you and that you’ll be posting more! Im good, but I really miss NY. :)

  7. Rangers have the horses………..they just don’t play well.

    They play different hockey than most teams. It LOOKS
    like they know what they’re doing, but when it comes time for the finale…there’s almost nothing there.

    You watch them..they skate beautifully. They hit folks hard into the boards, they carry the puck cleverly, they make what looks like passes, but these passes often do not connect.

    They skate around their goal and avoid the other forecheckers..then they make an utterly stupid, (careless almost) play, and before you know it the opposition has scored…and you wonder how and why it happened. No one is to blame, but in fact just about everyone on the ice was to blame.

    And the sad part of it is, this situation is not something that rarely happens…it is becoming the norm. Then you start watching what other teams do, and you notice that they rarely do the clumsy things that Rangers do often. Even the teams that Rangers “should defeat”.

    Then you ask yourself. “Is it the coaching?” And you start watching the things that the bench coach does. Is he to blame?

    But immediately you drop that idea, for he’s not on the ice. He’s not the one making that ridiculous 80 yard pass through fore
    checkers, which arc about 20′ above the ice and lands somewhere between the intended receiver and a knot of opposition players ( who of course quickly corral it and start their own riposte..)

    Now who did that? Well it was one of the defense men deep in their zone trying to eyeball a moonshot pass to an unidentified forward somewhere up ahead of him. no – of course not. The other team has a vote here. Then suddenly one of your favorites breaks loose on a wonderful rush, avoids his checkers and closes in on the goal – here it IS! Agghhh! The shot goes a foot wide of the net………….one of the commonest phrases used by announcers watching a Ranger play. THE SHOT WAS WIDE OF THE NET ( or it’s sister complaint….the shot hit the post.

    And this tawdry exhibition repeats itself moment after moment, play after play, no matter which line is on the ice. Oh yes, every now and then they pull out a plum, and the goal is good.
    But the success is fleeting, for often they are caught up in the sheer joy of FINALLY having scored and they get caught up in the “right back goal” syndrome, and the puck is fished out of their own net.

    Yes – this team plays an odd style of hockey.

    They should find another one.

  8. lol not the end of the world. Carp at this point I almost want them to keep losing until youre finally like ‘if they dont win tonight theyre bufuglien’d”

  9. I miss NY too Tiki. Can’t wait to go back again. It’s the best. When you walk into MSG, you can just feel that atmosphere in there. It was the best feeling when I went to my first Rangers game.

  10. Therealmikeynj on

    It’s a must win, period. Obviously were not winning
    The cup, but making the playoffs to give our youth
    Experience is what needs to happen. Were just letting all these teams below us catch up. Time to nut up boys. Let’s go rangers.

  11. Stranger Nation on

    Good morning to you to Fran!!

    Let me take my Avery inspired blue tinted glasses off and step out on to the ledge with you. Funny it was empty out here after the Caps game.

    Yes this team is not great, they are a good team which lacks enough players to carry and create. Part of the reason Torts has them cycling in the o-zone instead of keeping players high in the slot.

    The answers are found in Kreider, McIlrath, Bourque, etc not Prospal, EC, Wolski. They are 3 to 4 players and 2 to 3 years away from contending for the Cup.

    One can bitch and moan how many shortcomings this team has or can realize that we are what are record says we are which is a middle tier team that can finish anywhere from 6th to 10th depending on March performance.

    There are no perfect teams out there and save for the Flyers and Bruins, I think the Rangers could take any of the remaining ones in a PO series.

  12. Wow Fran that was deep;) I`m gonna havta read it again after cafe#2 so as I may really let it soak in

  13. Carp – You nailed it today. Not a “must win” but certainly a game they NEED to have.

    Cautiously optimistic our boys in blue will make us smile….

  14. Lots of talk in RangerLand about eliminating the slow starts (kinda reminds me of the past few seasons where around this time of year there was so much talk about eliminating the inconsistent play during games).

    Well, tonight’s a good night to see if it’s just talk!

  15. BTW, I sure hope Tortorella slides the VERY ineffective Prospal to the 4th line. He’s been beyond invisible since his return.

  16. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Fran – there are many truths to your post. My indelible optimism is beginning to fade faster than a summer tan, sadly. My only hope is they just keep it simple. Move their feet, finish their checks, drive the net, no stupid penalties, clear their crease, and pray that Hank can stand on his head for the next month or so.

  17. Must win. Need to win. Should win. Could win. Might win. Would like to win. Hopeful about winning. etc.

    If the Rangers do not win this game and the game tomorrow night against the Senators I will probably enter PANIC mode.

  18. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Manfried – I know what you mean. It’s almost a kind if Charlie sheen panic. Winner. Duh. Scoobie doo. Koo koo ka choo. Winner. I also have tiger blood and my dace feels Luke it will melt if the rangers don’t start winning soon. Winner.

  19. Good morning all! That’s quite a fortune cookie Grabby :)
    I’ll be missing game tonight for painting school so that means we probably will win :)

  20. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    The rangers play, a game today, I have to say, on my knees we pray, that minny we’ll slay, like a bad beast, have our feast, the rest of the east, their wins will cease, gives me some peace, quiet from the storm, my blood be warm, hope their form, comes back strong, eat a dung-dong, tastes real good, if I could, I surely wood, be a hammer than a nail, bring the lunch pail, out of jail, made my bail, my boat I sail, remember Dale,,,,, Rolfe?

  21. Stranger Nation on

    Eddie the Old School Rapper – put a little back beat in there and you may have a career

  22. Manfred:

    Good point about the need to win both tonight and then against the Senators. This team is something like 4-9-1 in its last 14 games and as a result, the POs are slowly but surely slip-sliding away.

    2 losses here and we’ll be looking at the standings to assess how high the Rangers will be when it comes to the June draft. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that should this pace continue, the Rangers are looking at another 10th overall pick…

    The Devils are 10 points behind and coming on strong. Atlanta is 7, Toronto is 5, Barfalo 3, the Canes 1. Meanwhile, in the west, the Blues are 5 in arrears and Columbus 2.

    That means if all were to surpass the Rangers, they’d be selecting 6th overall! I realize that even if the Rangers continue to spin their wheels, it’s not likely all those teams would surge pass them, but I think it’s reasonable 4 of them could, putting them 20th overall in the league.

    That’s how precarious their position (and play) is….

  23. So, what’s the difference between a must win and a win they need to have. Sounds like the same thing to me.

    No, if they lose tonight it’s not the end of the world. It’s just the end of the world as we know it. :)

    And, Eddie….don’t quit your day job. lol

  24. BroadwayBlue in NJ on

    Carp & Fellow ‘heads: if our guys fail to make the playoffs it primary reason will be their abyssmal play at MSG. Going into last night, only Ottawa & Edmonton, the last place teams in each conference had lost more games at home than NYR (Colorado had the same 15 losses at home). NYR has won only 14 or 32 home games. Besides being frustrating, it’s puzzling. Any thoughts why MSG is anything but a garden of dreams for the Blue Shirts?

  25. Tiki & Julie-
    Sorry, but your predictions of “We will win tonight” don’t hold much water with me. Now, if you can get Mark Messier to say it again, I might believe it!

  26. Stranger Nation on

    Top 10 Reasons Rangers do not play well at home:

    10) Happy Hours at Warren

    9) Do not like skating in slush puddles

    8) Blinded by Torts’ ties

    7) Believe games start at 8pm

    6) Hank too busy looking for Bieber in stands

    5) Bad Bounces

    4) Refs don’t like us

    3) Girardi is on first D pairing

    2) Boogie not available to help offense

    1) the other team score more goals than we do!!!!!!!

  27. Eddie – you mean like when Charlie Sheen panics because he impregnated an underage stripper or when he panics because he might have taken “too much” of the “stuff.”

  28. Thanks Jim – I am just done saying “it’s not a must win.” I am not pointing the finger at others. I have been arguing with my Fiance daily when I assert that “the Rangers WILL make the playoffs. Once they’re in, anything can happen.” I am starting to feel like that statement is no longer a definite.

  29. Doodie Machetto on

    I said before the season that I didn’t know if this team would finish any better than the team last year, but they would be more entertaining. I stand by that sentiment. 9th place, here we come.

  30. Doodie Machetto on

    That’s what you get for going for a cheap hat trick, the third post declaration of a hat trick.

  31. Doodie Machetto on

    The only REAL hat tricks are three consecutive posts, not including the declaration of the hat trick.

  32. You’re right. It was cheap. I was first denied by the website for “posting too quickly” and then I was denied by you. All in all this was an embarrassing moment for me and will result in me shying away from hat tricks and all scoring opportunities in the future. My confidence has been reduced to that of Michael Del Zotto.

  33. Doodie Machetto on

    I don’t count my declaration as one, more like the fans throwing their hats.

  34. Cross-Check –

    A “Must Win” game is a game that needs to be won to have a shot at continuing. The close of last year saw us need to sweep the Flyers to get in. Overtime loss, etc wouldnt cut it and our only option was Win & In.

    A win they need to have is what we have tonight. We’ve played poorly of late, we are poised to slip in the standing, and to maintain even a modicum of a cushion, we need to get the 2 points tonight. We sure dont want to be clawing our way back in with our woeful offense ;-)

  35. Stranger Nation on

    Stats last 5 games for top 6 scores (no Gabby)

    Dubi; 0pts, -5, 20 min TOI (ave.)

    Cally: 3pts, -4, 22 min TOI

    Artie: 1pt., even, 18 min TOI

    Step: 3pts, +2, 17 min TOI

    Boyle: 3pts, +1, 15 min

    Someone said it in a post yesterday, but we do not have a top line, maybe spreading out the TOI will make players realize there are no givens and step up the urgency. That and Dubi you are giving us nothing!!

    WW: 3 pts, +4, 15 min

  36. Doodie Machetto on

    I’m a big fan of WW lately. The offensive zone penalties are tough, but he’s the only guy that has shown flashes of superior offensive talent.

  37. dudley, so what you’re saying is that they must win tonight or they’ll fall out of the playoff picture. Sounds like a must win to me.

    (don’t get ticked off, I’m just messing with ya)

  38. “Vinny Prospal has recorded six points (two goals, four assists) in the last nine contests”

    So he hasn’t been totally invisible. Better than Dubi and a few others.

  39. Ok Cross Check, I see your game… Let me draw this one out with a Crayon for ya…

    You are stuck on a desert island and you have no supplies. It’s day two.

    You MUST get water or face a pretty miserable death (no playoffs).

    You NEED to eat, because you are really hungry and starting to grow weak…. which could impede your ability to find water and cloud your judgement. However, ultimately, you know you have three more weeks to find food before perishing from that challenge.

    Funny, that analogy worked pretty damn well if I do say so myself. We arent lacking water just yet, but the vicious cycle is starting and the first step is finding a morsel such that we have an opportunity to take care of lifes bigger challenges, water/playoffs.

    Essentially, the Rangers are on a desert island…. starving. They need to put the women and children to bed and go looking for byfuglien dinner! (The Program anyone?) The WANT to win this game and eat, but when statistically we need to win out, thats a must win and a situation of hydration!

  40. Good morning, boneheads! Sunny day in Telluride, we had a couple of inches of snow up on the mountain peaks. Nothing at the base. Should be a good day for skiing, I hope.

    The team needs to enter the playoff mode. There is no easy game from now on, doesn’t matter who they play. Minnesota has more points than we do. Ottawa is playing for next season, and so on, so on..They need their coach and experienced guys to step in. MSG may just be too much pressure for their young guys this year. And please, don’t discard Prospal so fast. He’s shown before that he can play in high pressure situations and help. His injury slowed him down and he also made one bad play, but his intentions were good, his team was down 1 goal and he felt he could intercept the puck for breakaway. He could still prove to be of value, at least this year. They may also get Fedotenko and Staal back tonight. Must win in my book.

  41. ilb – Telluride? Well played Sir. Well played. Have a great day and rip some turns!

  42. Is the air very thin in here today? Rapping, poetry, rhymes, hat trick posts about hat tricks. Good thing its a game day.


  43. Have you been to Telluride? Great mountain for skiing. No lines. Almost empty slopes. I’ve tried most of the places out West. This one moved into second best mountain for skiing after Big Sky. Not for beginners, though. Most of the trails are advanced to experts, but plenty intermediate trails.

  44. ILB – Have indeed, love it. Despite the heavy snow, I’ve always been a Tahoe guy. Kirkwood and Alpine Meadows are my favorites (behind Jackson). I actually havent made it to Montana for turns yet…. its obviously high on the “to do” list.

    I could see Telluride being an amazing season-long winter destination… hopefully.

    Enjoy your time out there, you sure arent missing any epic snow back east.

  45. “Our coaches name is John Tortarella /
    Everyday for lunch he eats Portabella.
    And that is why our team is the best /
    Some teams in the leagues are good, tonight we play the rest.
    If we don’t win we wont make the playoffs /
    That would be sad, I’ll have to take a day off.”

  46. retirebradpark's#2 on

    Need some jam from the jump. Need to use their twigs to ladle the biscuit in the basket.

    The way they’re playing, no one is a “should beat” anymore.

    Carp, I admire your confidence in their ability to make the playoffs. I don’t have it right now.

  47. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    If this team misses the playoffs – for the second straight year – and the GM is returning in 2011-2012 for yet another interminable season at the helm, I hate to say it, but I think he will cave and break up the young nucleus, just to virtually guarantee making the playoffs next spring.

    Problem with that is that this team,as presently constructed with continued pipeline additions, could really be a solid contender, a year from now, possibly the best team in the division. So I think that making the playoffs this year would relieve some of the desperate pressure the GM would surely feel, otherwise, and hopefully temper his off-season shopping and swapping binge tendencies. Why play it desperately when the crop you have in place is coming to fruition?

  48. All this talk about another non-PO finish has me not only musing about where the Rangers might end up in terms of their drafting position, but looking at their prospect list.

    I’m wondering what the Rangers interest is in terms of signing Carl Hagelin. He just finished his collegiate hockey career, collecting 17 goals and 45 points in 36 games (and compiled an impressive +21 along the way). Lots of positive reviews on him over the past 2 years, too. I’ve never seen him play but he looks like he’s a legitimate 3rd/4th line prospect to me.

    In addition, lots of positive reviews this year on Christian Thomas (currently 8th in OHL scoring and 2nd in goals). Here’s a great story on him from THN: http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/37243-Prospect-Watch-Christian-Thomas.html#

  49. Hey Carp,

    I am an avid reader but post every once in a while. I am really interested on your opinion to why the Rangers have a bad home record (Not this year, but in year’s past). being a freakonomics reader, I always feel that statistics like this represent something that is institutionally going wrong. Since you have a lot of experience of going to the garden and observing the team, I feel that you have an insight to why they play so bad at home. Is it this fans? do they show up late? They too casual in the locker room? Do they smoke weed before the 2nd period (Always come out flat for the 2nd!)? Or is it a combination of these things.

    What do you think the coaches can do to make things better?

    FYI: personally, I hate to say this, but I think it is MSG. lower seats are always empty. Not imitating for rival fans to come to. Fans get down on the team really quickly. I hate hearing about how quiet it is in the garden! I feel like the fans don’t go as crazy as they used to!

  50. Plain and simple, after watching the Wild last night, we have to have 2 pts tonight…..Have to Win at Home to make playoffs.

  51. BroadwayBlue in NJ on

    Part of the reason the fans seem to be on the quiet side is that the team all too often gives up the 1st goal of the game & again, all too often, gives it up in the 1st five minutes. I remember something Herb Brooks said: don’t give up a goal in either the 1st five minutes or last five minutes of a period. Unfortunaely, our guys are guilty of doing that on numerous occasions. As a whole, NYR fans are frustrated & are conditioned to disappointment. We see former players always seeming to score against NYR, but not the reverse. We see many more pucks deflecting in off Blueshirts than vice-versa. We continually see opponents winning streaks continue againt the Rangers and their losing streaks broken, while just the opposite occurs for the Rangers- think about it.

  52. charlie sheen on

    Enzo? is that you? Anybody wanna bet Henrik pulled before 2nd period tonight? Got the vibes again

  53. inhankwetrust on

    I also think that since we’re in such a big market, there are always 1) tourists who come to see a game just because it’s something to do and 2) always fans of the opposing team who come out to see their team at an away game. Ever see the Garden when Toronto or Montreal is in town? Even the other night with Buffalo, there was a lets go buffalo chant that for a bit was louder than a lets go rangers chant. I think those factors definitely add to it. combine those with what broadway blue was saying and i think we have a pretty good synopsis of being a rangers fan at MSG….

  54. I think part of the reason is the whole (overrated) World’s Most Famous Arena thing. Teams get all jacked up to play here, even the bad teams. Then you have a home team that’s almost guaranteed not to score more than one goal early on, if that. And the bad ice that makes for terrible power plays. Then the mob crowd that hollers shoot the moment any Ranger gets the puck on the power play — and boos if they don’t immediately score.

    Mostly, this is a grinding team with no first line. Sometimes it’s easier to play a grinding game on the road when the pressure to perform is on the other team.

    And I blame all Rangers home losses on A) the Heritage Jerseys and B) that cheesy song they play when the teams come out for the second period.

  55. Noah-tenko-rury-aal-aborik, 28 on

    I blame Dancin’ Larry. He’s a HORRIBLE DANCER!

    (But it makes me feel better about my white guy dancing at weddings.)

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

    morning ILB and all!

    I think the best thing about big sky over to hell you ride is the people (wink wink)! It is great having empty slopes though, but not being much of a groomed guy (more of a back country poacher to be honest) I guess to me it wouldn’t matter!

    Oh boy, got to keep the mrs off the blog somehow today to avoid her reading the article you posted…..sad article though!

  57. Noah-tenko-rury-aal-aborik, 28 on

    What are the odds that Buffalo-Carolina will be a 3 point game tonight?

    I hate Bettman.

  58. part of the Rangers scoring woes have been the lack of offensive production from our d-men.

    McCabe should help change that but our defense has not provided any offense lately especially Girardi who has just 6 points (all assists in his last 29 games) and Matt Gilroy who has 3 points in his last 24 games (all assists).

  59. Manfried, you got a nice flow…

    Btw, Gillies has a face to face meeting with the NHL today. Per Darren Dregger, it’s probably going to be a minimum of a 5 game suspension…

    Staal is in tonight. Gabby is still out but skated again. Said he still feels off….

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

    Too many suits, not enough lunch pails in the stands.

    We always notice several arenas always sound really loud for the whole game and MSG always sounds pretty quiet for the most part throughout games even if they are winning.

    modeling again, lucky bastages!!!

  61. billybleedsblue on

    Fran you’ve made me a little sad. Reality bites I spose. I still believe though, I think they can make it. As for HOW they do it…the style of play…hmmm. Is it the coach? Is it the inexperience of the players? Ugh. I don’t know. Is it a combination of the two?

    All I know is that if the Rangers don’t have a comfortable lead in this game, I might have to shut it off so that I don’t drive myself too crazy. Their last game against Buffalo found me pacing in front of the TV. I couldn’t sit down. It stops being enjoyable at some point!

    Let’s Go Rangers!

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

    what did gilles do this time? Clip??
    I thought he was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY out of line and I would have thrown the book at him for taunting an injured player from the door way!

  63. Thanks NYR – I was surprised people weren’t respecting my science of flowology.

    It’s such good news to have Staal back. Girardi can be good again!

  64. Wick – He boarded Clutterbuck last night in retaliation…dirty play!! Sorry, I can’t acces youtube here at work, so don’t have a link…

    He should be out of hockey for good!!!! Bottom feeding piece of carcillo!! Jackwagon!

  65. From Zipay’s column in Newsday, Apparently it was Stepan shot that injured Biron

    “Martin Biron, with his left arm in a sling to protect his broken collarbone, said Derek Stepan’s 2-on-1 shot in practice Monday that felled him hit him in the right spot when his equipment slid a bit. “I felt it right away,” he said, and couldn’t strighten up when he skated to the corner. He will not even ride a bike for a week to ten days.”

  66. You think Girardi actually gives 10% of his pay to Staal? Like Staal is the waiter and Girardi is the busboy?

  67. Village People Gillies ran a guy from behind, after the guy had boarded one of his teammates (it was going to be a minor penalty). I’m not convinced that Gillies hit was completely from behind — looked like it was going to be shoulder to shoulder when the guy turned. But you’ve got to know better coming off a nine-gamer, right? On the other hand, think of what his job description is, and he’s right there when a teammate gets cheap-shotted. Isn’t he supposed to react there? Wouldn’t Rangers fans be all up in arms if one of their guys got slammed from behind and Boogaard or Brashear or any of their tough guys were on the ice and did nothing?

  68. Carp,

    Thanks for your response! thanks for your insight! This cheesy song you speak of before the 2nd: What song is it? Should we start an online protest to stop it?

  69. I don’t even know what the song is, and I can’t understand the words (though it sounds like he’s saying, “going down, down, down”) and it hurts my ears.

    Or as Patrick Roy would say, “my hears.”

  70. The music in general is atrocious at most sporting events. I doubt the players actually get psyched up by it. If the point of the music was to psych up the players then the Centers should submit their own pysch up music that can be played when they are taking a faceoff or something along the lines of player submissions.

  71. Wow, newly acquired John Mitchell had two points including the winning goal in last night ‘s Whale victory over Springfield. Wasn’t there a politician named John Mitchell in some earlier President’s administration?

  72. repeat from last night
    jpg March 3rd, 2011 at 2:50 am
    saw this on Hockey Rodent site in regards to
    MDZ Injured

    Thursday, 1:00 AM Mitch Beck reports that Michael Del Zotto left the Whale game Wednesday night in the second period after taking a slash to the forearm. He left the arena with a splint and will be evaluated Thursday.

    Zipay twets that he was having his hand looked at…

  73. no, it is what Gillies did in that Pitt game that should keep him out of the NHL. Carp, you simply cannot have a guy injure a player in a brawl, then stand over him and taunt him, then after the linesmen have to wrestle you to the gate, you still stand there for another 5 minutes screaming and taunting the injured player who is down and being helped by the trainer. that crap by Gillies is beyond inexcusable. he should be gone

  74. Carp, Gillies should defend his teammates, that’s his “job”. But, he went and got Clutterbuck in the head.

    It’s an unneccesary play, he should challenege Clutterbuck to drop the gloves or rough him or put him in a head-lock, and not hit him from behind in the head, like a coward…

  75. as far as Gillies
    the only angle i saw of incident
    showed him hitting the SIDE
    of the wild player.

    saw it on NHL Replay and the one guy was having a cow
    about him hitting from behind and then video
    footage was different.

    if there is footage of a hit from behind that wasn’t it.
    if anything, it looked as if he had his forearm to the guy’s head
    to make sure he’d remember not to board his teammate again.

    agree with Carp as terrible as that is, in the moment you want your team
    to react

  76. That poor kid. He will be doing heroine in an opium house in Saigon by the year’s end. I feel so badly for him.

  77. Jim, are you a Ranger fan? – True we are that close to the teams chasing us. But we are also only 5 pts 8pts and 11 pts out of 6th, 5th, and 4th spots as well. Is the glass half empty or half full?

    I am a Ranger Fan. We are due to go on a little tear here. Fedotenko and Stall back in the line up. We get hot for the last 10-12 games like last year and it’s a perfect brew. LGR!!!

  78. loneranger
    correct, there was a member of the nixon administration
    named John Mitchell.
    probably could have been our crease-clearing defenseman

  79. What I don’t get is how the Rangers were a good home team under Renney. And they were. The 06-07 season, I believe, had the Rangers in the top 5 to, say, maybe 8, in terms of best overall home record. Even the subsequent Renney days we were a good home team. But Tortorella came along and it just kinda.. stopped. That could always have something to do with the talent level but just an observation. Did Torts have a good home record with Tampa?

  80. the MAJOR problem with gillies hit
    is that he had his fists into clutterbuck’s
    THAT is the MAJOR problem with the hit

  81. Agree, jpg. Definitely not completely from behind, but it looked like a headshot to me…

  82. funny that Avery gets sent straightaway
    to anger management for some trash talk
    makes me wonder if
    gillies will be sent there as well.
    Avery rules?

    is this gillies related to former isles clark gillies?
    just wondering

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

    I agree, side and head. repeat offender=unpaid vacation

  84. NYR
    absolutely a headshot.
    that’s his MAJOR mistake

    i just don’t get it.
    watch very little football anymore
    but i always thought clipping penalties took
    place when it was a hit from behind
    or as the players were told, DON’T hit a player when you
    can see his number

    again, when did the definition of “hit from behind”
    NOT include the specificity of seeing the opposing player’s number

    by that definition, the hit by clutterbuck was clearly from behind
    but the one by gillies clearly was not.
    funny, that milbury always complains about the “pansification” of
    hockey yet in that segment there he just goes off on gillies.

    again, not a fan
    he did wrong by charging with a punch to the head.

    on a side note, it’s pretty darn hilarious to her milbury bring up Dale Purinton’s actions as a reason the Rangers got rid of him. don’t recall Dale doing anything remotely like this. he just wasn’t good enough as a dman, took penalties and wasn’t even much of a force as a fighter.

  85. Stranger Nation on

    Is Clutterbuck playing tonite? He brings a hitting game every night – need your head on a swivel when he is roaming the ice.

    As far as taunting an injured player – was the Pens player really injured or was it a convenient turtle? I’m not sure which Pen it was and if he was legitimately hurt, but if he wasn’t, does the league come down on him for diving/cowering/turtling? If he was and missed time, my bad.

    These hits from behind calls and 4 minute high stick calls should result for the ‘injured’ player leaving the ice and not allowed to partake in the resulting PP. Way too many borderline hits these days (see WW hit in Buf game) and there is no disincentive for players NOT to try and get a call.

  86. Noah: I don’t like the 3 points either, but how many of the Rangers points have been out of those types of games???

  87. GerryD: Yes indeed I am a Ranger fan – since the late 60s in fact. I have a right, therefore, to be realistic about this club – let’s be realistic, since the early 70s for every high point, there’s 3 or 4 low points.

    Besides, I’m wasn’t being negative – I was being realistic and more importantly, looking at the pluses of what might happen should (my) reality occur. Drafting 6th overall and watching 2 prospects mature/develop/gel is better than finishing 8th only to be eliminated in 4 games (IMO).

  88. the Pen injured was young F Eric Tangradi, and yes, he suffered a concussion, and has been out of the lineup and on injured reserve since that game.

  89. True Blue 23 on

    Jim: but with all these prospects over the years now, dont you want to see them play already? I mean all these high hopes for Dubinsky, Callahan, MDZ and many others… Im a HUGE fan of them all minus MDZ but you have to agree they all have one thing in common… all play hard but skill level is lacking… I still dont think we have a premier game breaker in the minors or the majors at this point… maybe Stepan one day

  90. True Blue 23 on

    I dont want anyone to get me wrong I do love the current team very much just feels like we have too much of the same :)))))

  91. wasn’t it Dubi who made the “gamebreaking” play in Pitt to setup Staal and win that game over the full strength Pens and beat their “gamebreakers” Crosby and Malkin?

    nobody ever intimated that the Ranger good young players were 90 pt players or even 70 pt players. but they also are what a lot of those 70 pt players are not, and that is 2 way players, who battle in the corners, kill penalties, defend, and give it their all. they are not perimeter floaters who get the big bucks and are less valuable to their team. give me Cally anyday over Brad Boyes and his ilk.

  92. the rangers organization has been stuck in this cycle for decades. That cycle is the rangers are always around the 8th spot in the conference and that is why they have no elite players on the team or in the minors. Look at philly, they tanked for two years, drafted high, drafted well and now philly is a contender to win the stanely cup. My point is I rather see the raqngers be bottom feeders for a few years, pick high in the draft and draft elite players than to fight every year for the eight spot.

  93. True Blue 23 on

    gh56: yes that was a great play 3 months ago :)))) totally agree with what you are saying in the 2nd paragraph… we just need additions to cally and dubie and the rest and I dont think another “prospect” will do…

  94. Hey Rangers fans

    do you remember not too long ago we missed playoffs for 8 straight seasons! That was the norm back then…remember?

    And then Jagr came and we made it in 3 straight times and then he left and the first season he left we barely made it in and then we didn’t make it in at all and now we are a low seed fighting for last two spots with 3 teams right behind us with a very real possibility of not making it in again!

    well… i guess – Let’s Go Rangers, eh!

  95. Doodie Machetto on

    jpg, the refs got the call wrong, but I didn’t hear the announcers say “hit from behind.” I heard them use the phrase “cheap shot,” which it certainly was.

  96. Ranger fans have patience even if we do not make the playoffs, we are playing much better as a team. The skill level has improved, the potential and performance of some of our younger players is still ascending, the coach is good, the drafting is better than good and we must hit a home run with our next “superstar” acquisition.

  97. True Blue: I totally agree with you. It’s why the organization has 4 gaping holes (number 1 center, power winger with skill, offensive d-man capable of top 4 play and bruising d-man capble of top 4 play).

    The biggest reason none of the guys you mention lack the top end skill of that nature is because of where the Rangers have drafted (not saying that’s THE only reason). Imagine if instead of chasing Dreary and Gomez the summer of 07, Sather, using a combination of insight and courage (I know, I’m asking for the moon here) had opted to trade away the likes of JJ and his posse in the late winter of that same year and let the team bottom out.

    Let’s see: First pick overall in 2007 was Pat Kane. First pick overall in 2008 was Steve Stamkos.

    Now imagine this club with those 2 forwards!!

    IMO, the only true blue chipper on this club is Marc Staal (I’m convinced he’ll be a Norris trophy candidate in the next few years). 1 level below is the King (who a couple of years was a true blue chipper, but I’m growing a tad impatient with the number of bad goals/games he keeps suffering from).

    Perhaps (PERHAPS) Stepan or MDZ can become stars, but the jury is out (especially on the latter).

    Things are tough in NY when it comes to blue chippers, due in large part to never bottoming out, not to mention questionable drafting in the early part of the 2000s. I could accept that if the team had something to show for it, but really it doesn’t. A few POs finishes (with relatively quick exits) doesn’t cut it for me.

  98. For all you hockey ites who also love baseball, and movies about baseball, here’s a couple of must sees. A League of Their Own ( lady ball players during WWII) Lots of stars a baseball guys were engaged in fighting overseas. Tyrone Power ( cargo pilot with the Marines)
    Lee Marvin Marine wounded on Saipan, Bob Feller Navy,Ted Williams Marine fighter pilot, Jimmy Stewart many B17 raids over Germany, Charles Durning an infantryman in Normandy, those gas had a great movie made about them. And for you Russian folks, “The Comrades of Summer” about a bunch of Russ got together and tried to learn American baseball, and an ex \American coach was hired to train them ( played by Joe Montegna) really good and humorous pic.

    Supposed to have been a real thing – but it’s not slurpy and hollywood crap that you normally see.

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