Rangers-Senators in review … by guest blogger afrey94


Another solid effort from the good guys.  It’s amazing how much rosier a win makes a game look because I don’t think they played much better than they have in the last few games.  But, it helps to get a few bounces here and there, to score when you have a wide open net, and of course to play the worst team in the Eastern Conference. All good things.

Some thoughts on the game, the team and the NHL in general:

1) The Rangers finally finished chances tonight which should bring a hearty smile to anyone visiting this blog.  But let’s be honest: Craig Anderson was traded for a reason.  The Prospal goal was the type that normally compels otherwise rational individuals to suggest that Lundqvist is not a top goalie and needs to go.  The Zuccarello goal came after a huge rebound and, on both his goal and Anisimov’s, the goalie got completely owned.  I’m not saying he should have stopped either one on one because they were certainly great moves, but ask yourself this: if the man behind the mask is Miller or Fleury in that situation, aren’t they at least in the picture?  Maybe they’re not making the save, but they’re definitely making it tougher to finish.  Anisimov could have gotten down on one knee and shot the puck in billards-style with all that room.

2) Speaking of goaltending, I remember a 2007 MSG interview with Brian Leetch where he was talking about how much he loved Lundqvist and how in those dark pre-lockout days it always seemed like they never had their goaltending solidified.  As much as we get on Lundqvist for bad angle goals and seemingly coming up one save short all too often, games like this remind you of just how lucky the Rangers are to have him.  Steady with a few unbelievable saves thrown in.  In my opinion, the difference between an elite goalie and a marginal one isn’t necessarily an incredible game or save.  Every NHL goalie will have these here and there, which explains phenomena such as Jim Carey or Roman Cechmanek.  The real measuring stick is consistency, and you have to admire that our goalie is always, even in off years, in the discussion for the league’s best.  Plus, I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be complaining that my superstar goalie shouldn’t let in soft goals than debating the merits of Mike Dunham or Guy Hebert as a #1.

3) What happened to the Senators?  They’re like the Flyers in reverse; Stanley Cup Finals in ’07 and now tucked away in the cellar, with two first round losses to the Pens and a season sans playoffs in between.  Interestingly, though the franchises trajectory has been the opposite of Philly’s, they share the common theme of never having that definitive netminder.  Philadelphia got away with it because they have great forward depth (kudos to Bobby Clarke for resisting the temptation of drafting Hugh Jessiman instead of Jeff Carter), but you have to have someone in there your team has faith in.  I’m not saying it necessarily has to be an top tier guy, as Detroit and Chicago have proven, but it’s also can’t be Brian Elliot.  And being held hostage by arguably your best player (Heatley) and receiving what in retrospect appears to be a terrible return definitely hurts too.

4) One week into his Rangers tenure, I think I’ve seen McCabe stop the puck from exiting the offensive zone more times than I saw from Rozsival in five years.  The puck would be heading towards the blue line and Rozi would act as if he was out on a leisurely stroll and might try to keep the puck in if he got around to it.  With McCabe, there’s a palpable sense of urgency when the other team’s trying to clear it past him.  The final minute of the Tampa game comes to mind when he went goalie style in a scrum to keep the puck in (or, as my brother observed, “he turned  himself into a rock”).  Little things like that are what win games.

5) I’ve been waiting to get a new Ranger jersey for a couple years now because I wanted to get a young player on there that I could grow with; no Gaborik, no Drury, etc.  I was close to getting Lundqvist, Dubinsky and Staal at various times.  But at 9:24 tonight, or more specifically at 2:26 of the third period, I officially decided that Derek Stepan is the man.  Time will only tell how high his ceiling will be, but he looks like a future all-star to me.  And his hockey IQ is off the charts.

6) Speaking of Wisconsin alumnu (impressive segue I know), I hope fellow Badger Ryan McDonagh comes back quickly because he’s quickly become one of the team’s most reliable defensemen.  It reminds me of when Girardi stepped up on ’07 and played simple, steady hockey for the second half of the season and playoffs.  But McD also has a much higher upside than Girardi and could be an all star one day.  The Jagr deal may be Sather’s magnum opus, but Scott Gomez for Ryan McDonagh, the cap room to sign Marian Gaborik, and a trade piece that allowed us to get Prust is a close second.

7) I thought Eminger filled in admirably and, if this team makes the playoffs, they should put him in instead of Gilroy.  With McCabe proving to be a very competent power play QB, the only reason for playing Gilroy would be to get him playoff experience, but if they’re not planning on re-signing him this summer I think it makes to have a more reliable, physical presence on the backline.  So, you’d have Staal-Girardi as your shut down first pairing, Sauer-McD as your steady second unit, and McCabe-Eminger as a mean spirited third tandem.  Suddenly the defense, which at the beginning of the year looked like our Achilles’ Heel, looks great top to bottom.

8) While we’re on the subject of lineup decisions, who do you send down when Gaborik comes back?  I’m hoping it’s Christensen or Wolski but I’m afraid it’s going to be the Hobbit.  And I hope Drury and Boogaard are not wearing a jersey for the rest of the season unless they pick one up at their local sporting goods store.

9) How is it that Sean Avery routinely gets the least ice time on the team?  I understand that he doesn’t play special teams but he’s still an energetic physical player at worst and can be a difference maker when he gets going.  It’s been a rough year for him but it’s also sort of a chicken and egg conundrum; is he getting low ice time because of his rough year, or is he having trouble getting in a groove because of his limited ice time?  I’m going to give the savior of the ’07 season the benefit of the doubt and say that Torts needs to find a way to get him some more time out there.  As much as I love guys like Prust, he can’t create plays the same way that Avery does.

10) Here I was, getting this piece ready to go during the third and in the middle of writing a bullet point about how Dubinsky was better with not overthinking things this game.  And then, another 2 on 1 where he looks for the tough pass instead of a quick shot.  I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that if it was a tie game he would’ve shot there and that he went for the unselfish play because it was already out of reach.  But I’m not too confident about it.

11) Speaking of Dubi, did anyone catch his postgame interview last night?  He looked so disappointed talking about how he needs to step up and score a big goal when they need one.  He’s like the guy in a relationship who tries too hard and ends up doing more harm than good when a step back is the best play.  When he’s rolling and letting the game come to him he has a gear where he can take over a game, like the instant classic Pittsburgh comeback from November.  The problem is consistency, and that he goes into prolonged slumps when he overthinks things.  Quick story: two years ago I was out at a Maryland bar with Mike Green and Nick Backstrom.  After some general small talk and a few rounds of shots, I brought up the Rangers and asked them what they thought of our guys (who, incidentally, they would face in the playoffs a few months later).  Predictably they said Lundqvist was a beast, Avery was a dirtbag, etc.  The most interesting part to me was when I asked them who they really respected on the Rangers.  Green thought about it for a few seconds and then said “Dubinsky.  He’s young but that kid’s got some serious skills.”  I’ve heard all the prognostications that Dubinsky’s ceiling is 60 points and a mid level second liner.  I’m not buying it.  Look at what happened to Boyle this year, or St Louis a few years back.  Some players just take more time to put it all together, and I think Dubinsky will blossom into a 70-80 point player and, along with Cally, a perennial Team USA representative.

12) I’m glad to see Anisimov scoring at a more consistent rate recently because I was ready to ship him off to Dallas with a pick for Richards if they would’ve taken it.  He’s been solid but they’re going to need him to be more dynamic if they’re going to make noise in the playoffs.  He shows flashes but too often I watch entire games without noticing him.  And yes, I’m aware it’s only his second year and he already has 15 goals.  But I also know that Nigel Dawes had 15 goals as a rookie, Petr Prucha had 30 and Mike York had 26.  I hope he has another gear in him because unfortunately these once promising rookies apparently did not.

13) The Rangers’ recent slide is a lot like the Andrea Doria; seems catastrophic on first glance, but once you look at the big picture you realize it’s really not so bad.  They’re still in the playoffs and in better position than they have been at this point in any post lockout year besides ‘06 and possibly ‘08.  They’ve needed big runs to make it in past years or, in the case of last season, to barely miss, so the fact that they just need to play slightly better than their pace thus far is fine.  Despite the worries of many Chicken Littles out there, including my dear father and brother, I think this is a playoff  team.  They’ve lost a few close ones recently but it looks like the worst is behind them.  Remember, they got a bunch of players back from injury all at once; when a quarter of your lineup is playing their first NHL games in over a month, there’s bound to be some hiccups. They’re gritty, they work hard, they have a goalie that can steal games, and perhaps most importantly they’ve proven to be a great road team.  These are the exact ingredients of a playoff team no one wants to face.

14) What Silvio was to the Sopranos, Mike Sauer is to the Rangers.  He may not be second in command but he’s quietly effective, imposing and fiercely loyal. I still hate the Leetch trade but Sauer does at least somewhat redeem it.

15) Even though they went 0-3 on that homestand, I think the Rangers seem to play better without Gaborik.  I know it may seem strange to suggest the team is better off without their most talented player and leader in points per game, but to me it doesn’t really feel like he’s part of the team, but rather that he’s a great player who just so happens to play on the Rangers.  It’s like buying a brand new 3D TV when all you have is basic cable and a VCR.  Obviously having a top of the line television is great but if you don’t have digital cable or a blu-ray player it won’t really add that much value.  Now that’s no knock on the Blueshirts; basic cable and a VCR is still much better than your neighbor’s bunny ears and Betamax (Islanders) or having a great looking new DVD player that doesn’t actually work (Rangers 2001-2004).  But sometimes the improvement you get on paper is nowhere near what actually translates on the ice.  I’ve loved watching this years team compete hard (almost) every night and grow as a team.  I just wish Gaborik fit in better.

16) I hope, hope, hope that no cataclysmic event occurs in 2012, and I’m not talking about solar storms or magnetic pole reversal.  The CBA expires after next season and there’s already some grumbling about both sides wanting significant changes to the current system.  I’m not a religious man but let’s pray that the negotiations are swift and that no games are lost, not just because we as hockey fans deserve better, but also because the looming uncertainty in the NBA presents a tremendous opportunity to showcase the game and potentially attract a lot of new fans.

17) Does anyone remember the motive for instituting the charity point in 1999?  Overtimes were becoming absolutely brutal to watch because more often then not, both teams would be extremely cautious so as not to lose their point in the standings.  To add some excitement, the NHL switched OT to 4 on 4 (after testing in the AHL) and gave the loser a point so each team would have added incentive to go for the win rather than sitting back.  Fair enough; an imperfect solution but it made for a much more entertaining product so I was all for it.  However, with the addition of the shootout there’s now no chance of a tie, so what’s the purpose of the charity point aside from artificially making the playoff races appear closer?  The solution in my opinion is not to switch to a 3-2-1 soccer style system, but to switch to a baseball style wins, losses and games behind system.  Clean, easy to read, and way more logical.

18) Duguay’s wink at the end of that Hockey Night Live commercial was an interesting artistic choice by the director.  It didn’t do anything to convince me to watch the show, but it did convince me that if I ever have a daughter, I’m keeping her the hell away from Ron Duguay.

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  1. bull dog line on

    they lost 3 straight 1 goal at home, and you think they are better without there best goal scorer Gaborik. granted he is having an off year, but to think there better without the only player they have who change a game in an eye blink is silly.

  2. Great post Carp, you are certainly on your game today. The Ron Duguay thing cracked me up. I have a daughter and I totally agree.

  3. Great job afrey. Two comments –

    1. Don’t forget Valentenko in thw Gomez trade, that kid could also easily have the goods.
    2. Disgaree about Gaborik – if he were having an even decent year this team is in fourth place. IMO, what they really lack is elite scoring. Maybe Dubinsky/Stepan/Gabby will ultimately be that first line and maybe they should have been playing together al year and by now they’d be a first line. But as I’ve said before I think Gabby’s return plus one more elite scorer plus another year of experience makes this team a contender.

  4. Nice write up. On the goalie thing though I’ll say this- we couldn’t figure out Craig Anderson in either game against him this year when he was with Colorado. He completely shut down our offense and that was back when our forwards were rolling pretty well and getting things done. Say what you want about his overall season but for the Rangers to actually solve a goalie they’ve had trouble with more than once in a season is a real good thing. Especialy since he’s been pretty good since the trade to the Sens.

    And on Lundqvist I always agree with what you’re saying- He wouldn’t be under scrutiny for the softies if the team in front of him could score 3 or 4 or 5 goals a game. There aren’t many in the NHL that are better than him overall.
    I’ve said it a couple times and I’ll say it again- If you want to go talk to Philly fans about how important goaltending is goi right ahead. But I for one would rather have Lundqvist- softies and all rather than the likes of anyone in this league not named Luongo

  5. McCabe has really settled in quickly btw. I think a modest extension wouldn’t be a bad thing going into training camp next year he’d still have to compete for a job obviously but I’d be fine with him “stealing a spot from a kid” if he can play effectively and with intangibles that the younger guys could learn from through the course of an entire season.

    Dubinsky is a paradox to me at this point. Mental? Physical? It’s definitely something because he has the skill. The alarming part? The last Ranger I said that about was Alex Kovalev…nuff said.

  6. Great post! I loved the Silvio reference and your perspective on Ron Dugay is priceless.

    It felt good to have a win last night, after a few disappointing games. It was somewhat difficult at the beginning of the season, with a nine year old son named Sean, to convince him that Sean Avery wasn’t the best and favorite Ranger. At this point, Stepan has convinced him otherwise. Its exciting to think about his potential and what he will mean to the Rangers in the future.

  7. Speaking of bunnies, house bunny with Anna ferris is a must watch for da mens of the blog.

  8. Orr, how come you posting here so late last night? When I was your age I would have been out already and just coming home now. I’m worried about you little bro.

  9. Stranger Nation on

    Em plays and they win. What is McMonster status?

    That is a very long “glass half full” report before first cup o Joe. Curious if a loss would changed the tone. Gotta love the PO run when teams and players go from goat to heroes after beating a bad team.

    If they beat the filth and get some mojo going for quick west coast swing, everyone will be dancing in the streets and want to extend slats, er, maybe not that happy.

  10. bull dog line on

    just look a the top 2 teams in the East. do they have an ELITE goalie? skill wins in the NHL today, you do not need an ELITE goalie to win anymore. just a good one. and what has Luongo ever won?

  11. Are they crazy just trying to bring gabby back so quickly from being symptom free? I would sit gabby for remainder of season and playoffs. No point in ruining his life or career. I wish him full recovery.

  12. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    Great great post ! Well done.

    I disagree about Gaborik. You sound like one of these guys that says that now, but did not feel that way when he was a 40 goal scorer for us. (42)
    Even in a bad unhealthy year, his two year total will average over 30 per year. On a team that struggles almost every game for a goal, we need a healthy goal scoing Gabby. When he returns it should be Prust or EC that gets scratched, not Zucs (I hope anyway). Based on the minutes played, it could be Avery.

    “road trip !”

  13. Thanks for the feedback guys. A few quick points:

    1) I did love Gaborik last year, but something is definitely not right this season and I think part of the reason he’s having a rough year is because he’s not meshing well with this group. When he’s in the lineup Torts is trying too hard to accommodate him and get him going. Maybe they still have a better chance to win with him in the lineup than without, but I think the players around him don’t play as well when he’s there; maybe it’s just the contrast in styles. And I certainly hope they don’t rush him back in the lineup; they’re not winning the cup this year but if all goes according to plan they should be a contender for the next few seasons, a la Chicago minus gross cap mismangement.
    2) If McCabe keeps up his solid play and is willing to sign for something like two years at 2-2.5 million per, I wouldn’t object to bringing him back next year. Remember, he said he’d only waive his NTC for the Rangers so a discount is not out of the question.
    3) I don’t think a loss would’ve changed my perspective as I’ve felt they’ve been playing solid hockey for the last few games. They just came up a goal short against a few hot goalies in Buffalo and Minnesota, and got victimized on a brutal penalty call followed by an accidental over the glass to give Tampa a 5 on 3 for the win Sunday. One break here or there and they could’ve easily won any of those three.
    4) I didn’t say you need an elite goalie to win; Chicago and Detroit proved that. But you need to have someone who’s solid back there, and an elite goalie certainly doesn’t hurt.
    5) I hope Dubinsky nor Anisimov nor anyone on the Rangers becomes Kovalev, because they’re not nearly as talented so to see them underachieve to the same degree would be truly painful. He might go down as the most disappointing 1,000 point scorer in hockey history. But I also think Dubi is much tougher mentally than Kovalev so I do see him putting it together. Anisimov I’m not so sure.

  14. Didn’t see the game but saw the highlights – nice to see a trio who at this point represent the future of the Ranger offense (AA, Stepan and MZA) all score goals. The big question is are they for real? Can Stepan mature into a number 1 center and AA a number 2? Can MZA become a top 6 winger? Difficult to say, but if you believe yes, then it’s simple to me: You don’t sign Richards.

  15. Weather is great, gonna be 80 today.
    Up early because I’m shooting 20 high school basketball teams this morning.
    Not complaining, all business is good business !!

  16. GLWT (good luck with that!) I still haven’t figured out what FFS is. I think it’s FFS.

  17. Bulldog- it really doesn’t mean anything to you that with all the development and growing process going on up front that we have a legit goalie? I wasn’t praising Luongo I was simply saying that I don’t think there are too many goalies with more talent than Lundqvist.
    Brodeur is 70, Cam Ward is awesome but also has more talent in front of him. Would you want Halak, Price, Lehtonen, Howard or Tim Thomas over Lundqvist? If you do that’s your problem.
    Yeah skill wins. Ask those skilled guys if they’re ok with going into the playoffs with their goalie if he’s simply playing “good” hockey.

  18. Afrey you getting paid by the word? Holy carp!

    I thought 13 bullets was the established limit.

    Like the 3D TV – VCR – Betemax references, but we need a player like Gaborik at his best and creating some space on the ice and keeping a threat in opposing d-men’s thoughts.

    “The picture is still better with the higher end TV.”

    Scratch the Italian Hobbit when Gaborik is ready to go.

  19. James – I dont know…about Henrik. Haven’t we all been praising our defensemen this year? Staal = Monster. McMonster. Sauer = Monster and so on. When our team scores 4, he gives up 5. When our team scores 2, he gives up 3, and so on. I love Henrik, but I am growing tired of him.

  20. bull dog line on

    was not knocking Hank, although I do feel he has had a average season. what I was saying is that skill wins. if your goalie is your best player chances are you do not have enough skill to win. the Rangers have relied on Hank to make that one big save, and he has not. they have lost a lot of one goal games this season, and I would rather have some guys who can score that goal, that a goalie who may or may not make the big save.

  21. TIKI!!!!! how goes it little bro? Don’t be tired of Henrik. Having a guy like him in playoffs that is a rock is what counts. People are forgetting one thing: the playoffs are a whole different breed of hockey. A team like the Rangers could get real lucky and do some damage if Henrik starts standing on his head. PLus his old Swedish league jersey is among the best of all time… that is all!

  22. Bull dog when you put it like that I have to agree with you. He’s had his weakest season this year for sure. I wouldn’t want a different goalie though. But we’re walking that thin line between waiting for some guys to come into their own and trying to choose who is worth acquiring that could help make a difference.

  23. I would sit Fedotenko since he looks sluggish but eventually have Fedotenko replace Christensen.

  24. I would sit Fedotenko since he looks sluggish but eventually have Fedotenko replace Christensen.

  25. bull dog line on

    the flyers argument about failing because of goaltending does not hold water to me. since 1994 the flyers have been as far conference finals 4 times, plus they have been the Stanley Cup finals twice. 6 times to the conference finals or better. I would take that for the Rangers any time.

  26. bull dog line on

    Avery will be sitting when, and if Gabby comes back and there are no other injuries.

  27. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Bull dog – in theory you are correct re: gabby… But in practice, they do seem to play better without gabby… For one, he doesn’t score goals; two, he doesn’t ground; third, he is not physical. If gabby is able to regain his scoring touch the he is an incredible asset… But if not, he is nearly useless. Btw, I aplogized for my spelling remark the other day… I was just po’ed..

  28. bull dog line on

    and I say that not because I think he deserves to, but because of the roles the other options play. Prust is a penalty killer, Fedotenko kills penalties and is trusted in all situations, and Christensen plays the power play and is someone who Torts likes when the O is struggling.

  29. Stranger Nation on

    Like MZA and he has room to grow – sorry – but do not see top 6 forward talent. If you look at the three young goal scorers from last night, it proved they can outperform ahl talent.

    We really need AA to move to the next level of performance. We can live with two second line centers, but not 3 (AA, Boyle, EC)

  30. bull dog line on

    no problem, I am sorry about my eddie giacomin remark. did not mean it, just that he kept me from seeing my favorite goalie in person.

  31. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Great post!

    Gaborik had a brief tenure here as an “A” player and producer in a non-playoff year. Now he plays like a banged-up, reticent 35 year old, can’t wait to see him go. But yes, the front end of the Gomez trade to Montreal looks like one of the biggest NHL steals of the next 10 years.

    A team is getting deep when it has to start demoting really good players to make room for even better players. So that while it is never an easy decision, it certainly is a positive indicator of depth and talent being assembled.

  32. I would start Johnson tomorrow b/c were not going to win anyway and who knows maybe he can be like Steve Valliquette and only play well against Philly.

  33. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    If the rangers can play like rock stars from mars… The flyers’ faces will melt… Duh .. Winning.

  34. Carp let your guest bloggers know that this shouldnt be an essay posting website lolol…short and simple is the way to go…this guy lost me at point # 2..

  35. TheMessiah94 on

    Great writeup, afrey! I agree with most of your points. It really is amazing how just potting a couple of goals can make them play more relaxed and confident.

    I think the Rangers could be very dangerous in the playoffs. The only concern is getting there! But I am of the opinon that they make it. I think it could also be a very good thing that they will be the road team for 4 games in a series. The comments in yesterday’s blogs were interesting aboot the crowd at MSG. We really need a more lively crowd at home that supports the team. Of course it goes both ways, as the Rangers play didn’t really give them much reason to cheer.

    Love your analysis of McCabe and Rozi!! It is so true what you wrote. McCabe brings a sense of urgency and purpose to his play, whereas Rozi always looked kind of confused as to what he should be doing.

  36. 1- Call me what you want.. we are not making the playoffs
    2- McD has a Looong way to go.
    3- Prust and McCabe make Sather sorta decent
    4- Gabby should be dumped while he’s still worth something

  37. Re: MSG

    I’ve only been to MSG twice. The first time that I went I couldn’t believe how quiet it was. I kept looking around for Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson because it was more like being at a golf match than a hockey game. Then some guy makes a remark about a guy that used to play 30 years ago. How that’s supposed to urge on the team or get them fired up is beyond me especially since they weren’t playing against that guy’s former team. He might as yell out “the weather sucks’ for all the good it does. I tried getting a Let’s Go Rangers chant going, but the people next to me gave me a look like they were about to tell me to just sit there and shut up. It was clearly not what I expected.

  38. CCC – You’re right. The crowd at the World’s Most Famous Arena is stinky, to say the most. It’s an indictment on Rangers fans, New York fans, and all of us.

  39. LinCalPrustBoylahan on

    Happy day after 2 points in regulation night ‘Heads!!

    afrey, VERY WELL DONE!

    If I went bullet for bullet, my comment would be as long as your post, but your McCabe, Dubi and Duguay ones were great.

    again, way too many one goal loses, we need the leprechaun back at 100% and be the difference maker he can be!

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

    morning ILB and all!

    I think dubi is a head case!! And for the most part I have liked the way he has played this season!

    nice write up and thanks for taking the time to do it!

  41. thanks tiki for the trade! btw i proposed a new one on our other league!! i owe you one next season if youre in the playoffs! i will help u out bud.

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

    grabby and tiki=collusion!!!

  43. I’m not sure why, but I am overly concerned with Orr today. He never goes out, and doesn’t seem to have a girlfriend… he may need some older brotherly guidance from the Mao. This darn internet makes these young kids into MTV zombies. You need to experience life away from the internets. Balance, young buddy, balance. Off to the MOMA….enjoy your day all!

  44. avery is garbage on

    loved the post. certainly did not mind the depth and length of it. i disagree about the prust/avery comparison though. prust has shown he can make some nice passes on occasion. about as often as avery will. prust certainly has his share of turnovers and poorly aimed passes, but not nearly as many as avery. the man is a turnover machine. he infuriates me because he can make a beautiful pass, and then turn what should be a routine short pass into a turnover. ill never get the love affair with him, but to each their own. how could any of you want to sit the hobbit when gabby comes back? 17 points in 32 games is no good for a rookie? he is explosive in the offensive zone, making d-men look slow when they cant keep up with his change of direction. he plays on the power play, and he is responsible in his own zone. He is only 23, and its possible he could develop into a 2nd line player. how does it make sense to sit a guy who could be a part of the youth movement for a 30 year old avery? and the notion that prust should sit is just plain nutty.

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

    I never worry about orr, he seems to be the most lucid person here!!!!!

  46. lmao wicky wickster!

    grabbywaffles – I don’t see any other trades proposed to me.

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

    I have said it before, MSG really sucks as far as the fans being loud and making it hellish environment for opposing players to play in.

    Imagine if it was as loud as montreal and the fans were that vocal and passionate, we would have a better home record without a doubt!

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

    So much going on lately we have not looked at either of our teams in porta potty’s league, but I guess we are both in the playoffs.

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

    hat trick with the opposing team scoring into their own empty net!

  50. Versteeg 1, Miller 0.

    It’s interesting that almost every NHL team now has a goal song that sounds similar to the Rangers’.

  51. Nice guest blog afrey. Henrik has not been as excellent as usual this year but he still faces way to many shots. The defense collapses too soon and too close to him. We have been praising the defense but their not gritty enough or experienced enough. Flyers would love to have Henrik and we could match them offensively if we traded him for a trio of good forwards but we would be just like them goaltenderwise.

  52. Good afternoon, ‘heads!
    Boarding our aircraft soon, time to go home.

    Good post, afrey94.

    They did what they should’ve done last night- beat a bad team. Hopefully, it’ll give them some confidence.

  53. Have a safe flight, ilb. And grace us with your presence when you return, to let us know you arrived back home safely.

  54. Starting tomorrow, I’m back full-time on the blog. Until then- refresh, refresh, refresh! :-)

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

    safe journey!

    Good thing is, if we make the playoffs (we should and better) we will NOT have home ice advantage and as long as we don’t play the flyers in the first round (or montreal) we could make it to the second round!

  56. Did they change the upper limit on carry on sizes? Because some of those bags people are trying to get on the plane are bigger than my wife. Surely weigh more, lol

  57. People are pigs, ilb.

    Noah and Orr, that had to be painful. But it’s only pain.

    Rooting for those pieces of carcillo, including that piece of cooke carcillo. Ugh.

  58. Let’s go Flyers! :happy as can be: Fozzy Family & Friends are Fervent Flyers fans!

    Delta is 45 total inches. W x L x D Transamerica is 55 total inches. W x L x D That’s all I know, from my recent NY trip.

    Ive heard that before! I once told Mama to let me know when she returned safely from Maine, and she said the same thing: You sound like my mother! :)

  59. I never saw Carp’s 2:07 post when I made my post about the Flyers.

    Im an overpacker. I overpacked, including a bunch of gifts I had with me, for the trip to NY. Delta and their 45 inches weren’t enough, so I had to check the bag in while on the plane. Less stuff on the return flight coupled with TransAmerica’s 55 inches allowed my bag to fit easily.

  60. All Philly needed was me cheering them to play like the Rangers and blow a 2 goal lead, haha!

    Grabby – Looks like you’ve gotten me into trouble in the fantasy league because I accepted your trade. :)

  61. Noah-Donagh-rury, 28 on


    (More projectile vomiting after seeing the original vomit on the ground)

  62. I have two tickets to the game tomorrow if anyone is interested. Section 426 Row C right off the aisle. Face value for my fellow heads. I have a Paypal account and can email the tickets right away. I also have these on the ticket exchange so let me know asap so I can take them down before they sell. Ajp9977@msn.com

  63. It looks like the rangers will be battling the canes, devils and Toronto for the eight spot.

  64. JimboWoodside on

    Unbelievable that the Debbies even have an outside chance of making it….as long as the other teams above them play around .500, I can’t see them overtaking anyone already in a playoff spot.

  65. should have known that Philthy would not help out the Rangers. take it out on them tomorrow.

    great post. but no way they change the point system, with the tight races it creates, and interest, they won’t change it. look at the west, you can’t get a better race.

    look at Ottawa for example, or Colo.,, you think anyone cares right now about their games?

  66. We’ve got very special bonehead family that are Flyers fans, let’s not hate ’em too much! :)

  67. Umm, yeah. Fugg ’em? Those Fozzy family Flyers fans wore Rangers jerseys to support their sister. Not cool, Orr.

  68. lol Tony. You’re probably right. :) How’s the knee?

    Just Byfugliaboutit, Orr. :)

  69. Carp, is tomorrow an NBC game, and will you be at the game? Also, are you covering March Madness this year?

  70. Knee is terrible. I’m getting the ACL surgery but I keep putting it off.
    The Mrs. is doing great, thanks for asking.
    And why is the Mrs more important then me ??

  71. Afret94

    Masterful treatise.. goes to show that you can get your points across without all the scatological innuendos, ( or worse)……………….

    I salute you.

  72. Just in the East Ryan Miller & Cam Ward are better. Thomas who I wouldn’t trade for (age) seems to be better this year and atleast a previous year even though I don’t care for him. Price is Hank’s equal and MAF is right their as well. So we have a very good goalie, like all goalies needs and wants more goals in front of him. The thing is will he break our hearts when we build just a little more or will he be a NY hero. I think the former, but hope i’m wrong. BTW he never improves on the things he bad @. That’s a concern. Please just don’t stickhandle it all and we would be better. And the dropping early and wide angle goals, headscratching.

  73. Buffalo played a good hard physical game against philthy, we need the first two goals tomorrow and fast. Like right now. No not now, right now.

  74. Tho we’ve had little rest, philly gas had less, so we need the first two. We’ve been good lately at getting the first but only last night and against Washington have we gotten the second and so on.. and that dates back to early Feb. So I hope we can start making that the norm again.

  75. Plus, philly is overrated at the blue line and they r slow. We need to forecheck them all day and make sure we are spotless in our own end. Lastly. Hank needs to limit philly to 2 goals because if they get any more they will sit back and let us make the mistakes because they seem to score on every opportunity we give them. And for byfuglien sakes don’t turn Ur back on giroux or briere on the pk. That was a disaster last game.

  76. JimboWoodside on

    We won’t see Bobrovsky tomorrow, either. We’ll get our nemesis, Boucher.

  77. I think I would rather see prust get sent down before christensen if gaborik comes back. EC has been pretty solid for us in our recent wins and prust is a little banged up, feds could be another option but.I think he’s more valuable and what if we go to the SO.. we will.miss him then. I guess my point is, prust is banged up and for a player that generates everything from banging bodies, he’s becoming less effective. U can go back and tell me he scored to tie the game 4 nights ago, but EC has won us games and lately he’s been one of our more effective players. What do u think?

  78. I also think we should be going with our most skilled guys at this time of r, cuz if we get an opportunity, we have to bury it. Someone mentioned avery but he’s also been more productive when the chips r down. I couldn’t move avery, right now its prust. And I think Mza was mentioned too. Hrs been generating lately and I just hibk it goes with my earlier.statement of how we need skilled guys this time of yr to put picks in the fuggin net!

  79. JimboWoodside on

    I must admit that I don’t see why there’s all the dislike for EC……he has skills, and can score.

    True, he doesn’t seem to produce in every game he plays, but when he’s on, he’s good.

  80. JimboWoodside on

    I’ve gotta agree with you there, Olga – seeing The Golden Jet swoop in on net wearing that classy Hawks sweater was fearsome – and I’m sure that Eddie Giacomin would agree with me on that one!

  81. Olga Folkyerself on

    I finally broke down and bought a Black Hawks Black third jersey. Bit it had to be the old style CCM not any of that Reebok crap. It replaces my old Tony Esposito #35 red jersey that I recently retired.

  82. JimboWoodside on

    Naw!!! Gotta have the red – that’s the classic!

    Being a lifelong Ranger fan, I don’t think I could put on another team’s jersey – but I do like the Hawks sweater.

  83. Olga Folkyerself on

    I had to retire it, I got it in the 80’s when Esposito was playing. It was a medium, and so was I at the time. I love the Rangers jersey too, I’d get another blue one, but I’m not giving another dime to Dolan as long as Sather is still there.

  84. Olga Folkyerself on

    Chicago wins it 5-3. That’s 8 straight. At least I’ll have someone to root for in the playoffs.

  85. JimboWoodside on

    Hahaha!! Yeah, I hear ya about having the size-change – happened here, too!

    I love the Ranger jersey, too – and it is still pretty faithful to the “original” Ranger Jersey. The Hawks jerseys of long, long ago were abominable.

  86. JimboWoodside on

    And the Ranger jerseys of the Ferguson era were abominable, too! I HATED when he changed our original design.

  87. Wicky (trying to go as fast as ILB on this thing) on

    Biron is playing basketball?

    You know what this team really needs for the playoff run is hard hitting physical crease clearing d man or two!!!!

  88. Olga Folkyerself on

    Ferguson was the worst thing to happen to NY other than Sather. Those jerseys were awful.

  89. Olga Folkyerself on

    I have a white liberty jersey. I got it as a present when I was leaving the group I was working with. Bless their hearts…. I also have a blue Rangers jersey with NEW YORK running diagonally down the front. I think it was 1986 or so.

  90. JimboWoodside on

    Maybe Biron is coaching the basketball players on how to play the one-on-one, like he does in the shootouts!

  91. Olga Folkyerself on

    Thx Tiki. You know I love the Rangers, it’s Sather I can’t stomach anymore…

  92. Olga – I don’t blame you. This team is so far away from actually competing, it’s comical. The only players on our team currently with above average scoring is Gaborik, and that’s a guy you cant count on, on a game-by-game basis. The only Ranger with a future points title possibility or top 10 points in the league guy is Stepan. And Staal is our franchise defenseman, with a little offensive skill.

    No power play, no scoring consistency, no goalie consistency, Henrik, Stepan, Staal = more years of failure.

  93. Olga Folkyerself on

    I love the young guys on the Rangers, maybe the drafting is turning around some. Sather just can’t put the whole package together. He’s atrocious on free agents, his trades just generally fix the other mistakes he’s made. It’s just a revolving door with no end in sight.

  94. Olga Folkyerself on

    I mean, look at Chicago… Old man Wirtz runs the team into the ground for years. Then he drops dead, his son takes over and with the right management and staff (and drafting) wins the Stanley Cup in 3 years. It CAN be done. And they might be contenders for years now. Sather can’t get past a second playoff round in 10 years.

    It’s just sad.

  95. JimboWoodside on

    The draft situation has improved, but we still can’t pick up on a proven “stud” scorer. I guess you have to really draft at the top of the list to get one of those players, *if* they can score in the pros like they did in juniors.

    What is even more maddening is how a team like the Isles can literally stumble into signing guys that become 30 goal scorers….Jeez, even Parenteau has 20 goals, and we threw him away.

  96. I know most people will never be satisfied no matter what the direction of the team, but what more do you want them to do? They have a ton of homegrown talent on the team, addressed the messy contract situations, and had a player (Jagr already said was 2nd line ready) loaded with talent pass away. We all wanted the youngsters. We got em. We also got upside surprises in Boyle, Prust, Sauer and Mcdonaugh. More promising youngsters in the system. Not sure what many of you expect to happen. BOth coach and GM expressed repeatedly before the trading deadline about sticking with youth movement and not trading important core pieces, yet many ignored that as well. Barring a series of injuries or lack of development from key players this team is on the precipice of a multi-year return to the top of the league. The player that disappoints me the most is MDZ, and its not because of his poor play this year. I just dont think he is fast enough for him to be the player we were all hoping for.

  97. Slatsko Folkyerself on

    Sather isn’t good enough to be bad enough to get a good draft pick. He’s always sitting somewhere between 6th and 11th in the division. Not good enough to get home ice and not bad enough to even get into the draft lottery. I think as long as he makes the playoffs and gets a couple more home dates, then Dolan says “Good Boy” pats him on the head and then looks at the Knicks status.

  98. Olga, the reason the rangers drafting is turning around is when Sather brought in Gordie Clarke. Clarke was the one who worked for the islanders and was the guy who drafted spezza, chara, luongo and other good players for the islanders but can’t remember the names right now.

  99. The problem with many of you is that you get too excited for the team on hot streaks, and overdo the doom and gloom when they struggle. It’s very similar to trading. Many traders get bullish on upticks and bearish on downticks. Influenced by the short term action only… indicative of our 5 minute society/140 character society. It does, however, create opportunity for those with a touch of a more resolute patience.

  100. JimboWoodside on

    Losing Cherepanov was a disaster…he could have really made a difference. Sad.

  101. Slatsko Folkyerself on

    ToMG- I gave some grudging credit to the latest drafting- Clarke is doing OK. I just think Sather has had 10 years to do something and we are still at least 3 years from contending for anything, if THAT close… We are better off without Sather than with him… Bring on the next guy!

  102. Cherepanov *might* have been able to make a difference. You never know.

    I’m actually very happy we’ll sit in 7th or 8th for two reasons

    1) We get to verse the best teams in the East, which is a real test

    2) No home ice.

    I hate home ice these days.

  103. Stranger Nation on

    Do you mean all the isles milbury got rid of? What an assen-olio that meathead is!

    Reality check – very hard to forecast offensive talent. Sort of like starting pitching. They can have all the tools and not be able to perform at the next level. That or get injured…

  104. Hugo Folkyerself on

    Let’s at least get clear on one thing- Rangers are not contenders. What’s a Contender? I think if a team reaches the semi-finals, they are a contender. I think if a team gets over 100 points during the regular season, they are a contender. I think if a team gets home field advantage at least once in the playoffs, they may be a contender.

    Sather has not had a contender any time in the ten years he was in charge of the Rangers. He sucks. He has got to go.


  105. JimboWoodside on

    It’s amazing to see Milbury sitting on the panel of “Satellite Hotstove” on HNIC….when in the hell did he become an authority on anything!? Is the talent pool so diluted that they consider his opinions on anything worth hearing?

  106. Hugo Folkyerself on

    I was sorry to see Milbury go as GM of the islanders. As long as he was GM, Sather was not the worst one…

  107. cherapanovs death was devastating to the rangers from a hockey perspective. he would have been the top end talent they needed he was already doing great at the KHL at 19 or so.

    he would be on the firsat or 2nd line now for sure.. the ygot a 2nd round pick for him but add the cherapano pick to jessiman and montoya nad you got nothing from 3 first rounders over like a 7 year span.

    now the yare drafting much much better…….

  108. Hugo Folkyerself on

    Yes they were entertaining. But I had no real expectations of them getting even to the semi-finals. I know there are underdogs that make a run at the Cup. But there was no… sparkle? No expectation.. No hope beyond desire that they pull off a miracle.

  109. wicky, too bad you didn’t suggest that, about the hard-hitting, crease-clearing d-man, before the trade deadline.

  110. U Otto Folkyerself on

    Just as I have no expectations for this years team, other than they might gain some experience for next year. IF they make the playoffs, they will be in 7-8th place and cannon fodder for Philly Boston or Tampa Bay…

  111. just got back from hoops quadruple-header with my hoop-lovin’ buddy Martin Biron.

    I see it was another bad day for youse guys, with Buffalo, Atlanta and Montreal all winning. At least Toronto lost.

  112. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    I write music, mostly country, and I am now writing a song inspired by Sather called: “I Ain’t That Bad, Once You Get To Hate Me.”

  113. JimboWoodside on

    How many d-men can really clear the crease anymore? The rule changes have made it very hard to clear the crease without getting penalized.

  114. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Interesting, so many feel the Black Hawks uniform design/logo is the best in the league, because I feel it would be if they replaced “Geronimo” or whoever the hell that is, with the Tomahawk C. Now THAT is a sensational logo, but they keep subordinating it to the crud-looking, in my opinion, logo that looks like an ink blotter spilled on center ice.

  115. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Right, re Parenteau. Great shootout scorer and did enough, with some upside, on the forward line. Not as bad as dumping Savard, but still an unnecessary canning of a young player with some skill and potential. This is where bringing in the Prospal’s and Drury’s of the world, at the expense of having patience with kids, or even giving them a chance, boils my oil.

  116. Juwanna Folkyerself on

    Them’s fightin’ words, Boom Boom! That logo is the best in all sports…

  117. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Olga – Yes, John Ferguson was the worst thing to happen to the Rangers, because he was also the worst thing to happen to the human race, in his day. He makes Sather look like Megan Fox in heat, to me.

  118. Olga Folkyerself on

    OK Boom Boom, I take back half the things I said about you. ;) Ferguson was such a disaster. He was the SOB that traded Middleton…

  119. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Juwanna – You like that Chicago logo so much, could you at least fix that wooden indian’s broken, grotesque-looking nose as a favor to me? Thank you.

  120. Olga Folkyerself on

    HAHAHAHA! All their noses look that way! If it ain’t broken, you ain’t tough!

  121. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    OK, meet you halfway, why cannot the Black Hawks use the Tomahawk C jersey as their Third jersey! I mean what could be more obvious and yet they NEVER see it right in front of their broken noses.

  122. Olga Folkyerself on

    I just love the shoulder patches. Yes! It would make a wonderful third jersey. Much better than the one they use now. I was never a fan of those old retro jerseys.

  123. Totally concur in 07 and 08 the Rangers were pretenders. Totally.

    Problem is that idiot Sather thought the opposite and instead of trading off JJ and his posse, thereby accumulating picks and prospects and getting a legitimate chance at the number 1 pick (and a chance to draft the likes of Pat Kane and Steve Stamkos), he chased after and gave A UFA money to a pair of B UFAs, also insuring his team finished in the middle of the pack overall.

    Sather lacks foresight and courage as a GM – his dubious record of winning basically nothing since the late 80s is not a coincidence.

  124. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Ok, here’s the deal. I just bought the Chicago, NHL, franchise, both parties just signed the paperwork, via fax machine. I have called a press conference for Noon, tomorrow, Central Time, to announce the ownership transfer, and inform the media and public that the official new name of the team is “Chicago Tomahawks,” and effective immediately the Tomahawk C is now our logo, while marketing rights to the formerly used Chief Hawk Ear logo are on the market for 50 cents. You heard it here first, and you can take it to the bank.

  125. Olga Folkyerself on

    That’s a long way from the Tomahawk being on the third jersey, Boom Boom.

    I’ll buy the old logo for 50 cents, and wait for the City of Chicago to clamor for it’s return. Which I will re-sell to them for $1.00 thus doubling my money.

  126. JimboWoodside on

    It’s not just the Indian Head logo – it’s the overall color scheme, with the bright red and black. Just great colors, and yeah, the tomahawk and the Indian head are nice and colorful, too….

  127. Hugo Folkyerself on

    I’m Sold, Jimbo! Best in the world. #1 jersey… And Stanley Cup Champions to Boot!

    Let’s Go Black Hawks! (Just practicing for the playoffs)

  128. JimboWoodside on

    I’ve always felt kinda bad for the Chicago fans. Their team back in the late 60’s and early 70’s came pretty close to winning it all – they were a Ranger nemesis back then, but they always got bested later on in the playoffs.

    I feel the same way about the Toronto fans – they’ve suffered for a real long time without having a contending team. And Toronto is the heart of hockey in Canada, for goodness sakes!

  129. JimboWoodside on

    But of course, *NO* fans have had to suffer as long as us Ranger fans have.

    Sometimes I wonder if the “curse” put on the Rangers by Red Dutton of the Americans isn’t still in effect somehow – that only some strange cosmic anomaly back in 1994 caused the curse to be suspended for a short time. We almost blew it in 94, too!

  130. JimboWoodside on

    Megan Fox in heat and sitting here in my room is the vision I’d like to contemplate!

  131. >>Milbury….when in the hell did he become an authority on anything!?

    He’s probably more of an authority than Dugay, Trautwig, Daneyko, and Goring, combined. You may not like the guy, but he sometimes make some valid points.

  132. Olga Folkyerself on

    I felt the frustration too for Chicago. Wirtz was one of the worst owners ever. It’s really sad that you have to pray that an owner drops dead to get things to change. Yet here we are in NY waiting for Dolan to sell the team (or drop dead) before things change.

    I guess Toronto fans have to feel worse than Ranger fans. I like the Original Six teams, except Montreal ( they have enough Cups for cripes sake). I like Toronto’s jerseys too, Only with the old leaf logo, it also has some class to it.

  133. JimboWoodside on

    “He’s probably more of an authority than Dugay, Trautwig, Daneyko, and Goring, combined. You may not like the guy, but he sometimes make some valid points.”

    I can’t disagree with you about the value of the goofballs that you’ve mentioned – and yeah, maybe once in a great while Milbury might make a good point – but he’s such a tool! I can never forget his tenure with the Isles – what a sphincter!

  134. Olga Folkyerself on

    Milbury is an idiot, Of course so is Dugay, Trautwig, Daneyko, and Goring. But Milbury was the worst GM in hockey as far back as I can remember. Whatever he has to say, believe the opposite.

  135. JimboWoodside on

    But Dolan isn’t the only bad owner we’ve had – back in the Paramount/Gulf & Western days the Ranger ownership knew squat about hockey, too.

  136. Olga Folkyerself on

    Jimbo- Well yeah… But Dolan runs things now and he blows Chunks.

    I wish I had a picture of him blowing Chunks. I bet I could blackmail him into giving up the Rangers…

  137. JimboWoodside on

    I think Sather has those pictures, Olga – that’s how he’s hung around so long here.

    I wish that Dolan would show some interest in the team that he owns…we all know he’s a hoops fan, and he knows nothing about hockey and doesn’t care to learn anything – but I don’t think a team can be successful if the owner doesn’t really care about winning!

  138. Olga Folkyerself on

    Jimbo- You’re a scholar and a gentleman. :) Dolan doesn’t give a carcillo about the Rangers and never will. That’s why I follow the Black Hawks now and will not support NY until his regime (and Sather’s) is replaced. It’s sad really, to wait for some asswipe to retire or drop dead before the Rangers can become real contenders

  139. Bulldog- It wouldn’t bother you if the Rangers made it to the conf and Cup finals only to lose every time because the other teams goalie out played theirs?

  140. JimboWoodside on

    Thank you, Olga. I wish we had an owner like Steinbrenner was. He cared about *WINNING* and not much else. I’m no Yankee fan, but nobody can dispute the fact that he did everything to bring the fans of his team a winner.

  141. Sioux-per-man on

    Simply one of the best guest blogger reviews I’ve ever read.

    Well done Afrey94.

    I have never posted here before, I do enjoy reading the “top 10” / 18. I will be back!!!

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