Rangers-Islanders in review

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I’ll link later to my game story … which was about how there’s always these goofy swings in Rangers-Isles games, and how the Rangers survived the lows by going back to basics — down low, straight-ahead play. They do it after bad periods. They do it after bad games (see: California trip last week).

It is another one of those characteristics of this Rangers team. They are low in top-end skill, their best offensive player is having a bad year, their goalie hasn’t had his best season by any stretch, they’ve had a lot more injuries than they’ve had in years, they are learning on the go with a very, very young defense. And yet they impress.

And I think, and have thought, that they’re going to make the playoffs, but whether they do or not, it’s been pretty cool to see this bunch do these things almost all season.

Thoughts:

1) I was just starting to wonder about Bryan McCabe. I get it that he’s a good team guy, that it never hurts to have a veteran back there, that he’s got a little edge and a lot of experience. But they brought him here to get booming shots on the net, and before last night, he had 13 shots on goal in seven games as a Ranger and six of those had come in one game. And I understood that in some of those games, the Rangers didn’t get a lot of PPs. But still … then he goes and fires all those big shots last night, and makes a good defensive play in a big spot.

2) I love that wheel play, or rotation play, or whatever they call it, that they used on the power play goal by Christensen, and have used a few times this season with success: Where Staal on the left point moves the puck across the ice and goes to the net, and a forward rotates to replace him on the point and gets it back for a shot with traffic. Of course, it still took a great pass from Zuccarello and a good shot by Christensen and you can’t do it on every power play or teams will simply take it away. Plus, the whole thing goes in the toilet if you lose the draw, and Dubinsky won it.

3) Speaking of which, Dubinsky had another interesting game. Some really good things. Some pretty lousy things. The two plays where he gave up the puck at center then lost his man in the slot for an Islanders goal was particularly bad. But he played a hard game, won that big faceoff, did some cycling, stood up for teammates. The usual good stuff. He needs to erase some of the bad to get back to where he was in the first half. But his line, especially Anisimov, and Callahan were integral in the Rangers getting untracked after the two Islanders goals.

4) Michael Sauer=Monster.

5) Henrik Lundqvist seems to be thriving on the work, doesn’t he? He was so much better than Montoya last night … and he should be. He’s been very, very good lately. A great sign.

6) Of all the MSG faithful’s Islanders taunts: “Season’s over,” “We want Fishsticks,” “1983,” even some of the old, old Potvin chants, my personal favorite is still when they do the mock Nassau Coliseum “Woooo” thing after a Rangers goal.

7) Speaking of which, read an interesting blog item from Andrew Gross that I missed yesterday. Seems Ryan McDonagh, who was born a decade after Denis Potvin took out Ulf Nilsson’s knee, thought the “Potvin Sucks” chant was aimed at “the goalie” … meaning Felix Potvin.

8) Marian Gaborik is flying in the two games since being reunited with Erik Christensen and Vinny Prospal, and so are they. Sometimes you can’t explain chemistry. Christensen sometimes is a fourth-liner, or a healthy scratch, and yet at times — several times the last two seasons — he’s absolutely clicked with those two, and they with him.

9) On the McCabe goal, Derek Stepan lost the draw and battled to immediately get it back. That’s a good lesson for all the Rangers’ centers. You don’t give up on a faceoff. Especially during a 5-on-3 or 5-on-4 where you outman the opponent. If Stepan gives up there, the Islanders clear the zone, which should almost never happen with a two-man advantage, and McCabe doesn’t get that 5-2 goal

10) Sean Avery sure aggravated the Islanders, and he was thisclose to being the Avery of old. That’s why I thought Avery should play this game. And then he aggravated John Tortorella, rightfully so. And what he did, especially late in the game with an undisciplined penalty, is why he shouldn’t play against Montreal. The Habs can kill them on the PP. Wolski should be back in.

11) I’ve said it before, the Rangers don’t need a goon who simply fights the opponent’s goon. But the Rangers could sure use another guy who can play and who would and could fight a guy like the Islanders’ Matt Martin — other than Brandon Prust — in certain games. Maybe a Kris Newbury type.

12) Brandon Prust went from nearly, maybe, being scratched for overall body injuries to — along with linemates Brian Boyle and Ruslan Fedotenko — being a catalyst for a crucial strong start to this game. And of course he took a beating to score that short-handed goal. It’s Just Pain.

—————-

AP photo, above.

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225 Comments

  1. bull dog line on

    Carp,
    agree about Avery. I think he completely took Healy, Konopka, and DiBenidetto out of there game. if you have watched the Isles lately, those 3 really go after teams hard and they spent there whole game going after Avery. 2 of his penalties were just awful, but I do not mind the goalie interference at all. Hank has been run all season, Avery gets that penalty and puts the refs on look out for it the rest of the game.

  2. bull dog line on

    Girardi was awful again last night. and I am not sure if his play is effecting Staal, or it is his knee, but Staal has not been good either for a while now(San Jose he was very good).
    McDonagh struggle for about 10 minutes in the second, but recovered. Sauer was Sauer, but he has to know his value and can’t waste time fighting a Matt Martin.

  3. Good morning all!

    So many games this season provide evidence that this team is going in the right direction. AA had a decent game last night and I love seeing the kid’s spunk! He’s already got good hands so he should concentrate. like Boyle, on improving his skating as well as bulking up in the off season. A mere 10 lbs. of muscle (hopefully more like 15) would make him more monster like.

    Gotta get to work. Enjoy your day!

  4. EC (Mr. Softy the Backsabber) played well. He has talent. His problem is that he lacks the guts it takes to be an effective NHLer. If he had one of Prust’s nuts he would be the next Marc Savard. Watch any interview with EC and it seems like the guy is gonna fall asleep. He is the most disengaged player I have ever seen.

  5. 7) Speaking of which, read an interesting blog item from Andrew Gross that I missed yesterday. Seems Ryan McDonagh, who was born a decade after Denis Potvin took out Ulf Nilsson’s knee, thought the “Potvin Sucks” chant was aimed at “the goalie” … meaning Felix Potvin

    Hilarious. As a young child i started going to games in 1992. I thought that for a few years as well until it was explained to me

  6. Hi Guys,

    Somehow I am even unable to register myself for newsday.com in order to read Zips full article might the Rangers open next season in Sweden !!!!

    Is there any one, posting me a link in order to read the full article ????

    Thanks,

  7. Truth to be told I dont understand the reason why Torts elected to play Avery instead of Wolski especially in the game against the Islanders when he exspected a tough and heated rivalry game with a lot of fisticuffs…He must have known beforehand, that Avery would lost his temper sometimes obviously…-I haven´t seen the game :)

    If he doesn´t like the way Avery tries to agitate in the game he shouldn´t set him up…
    Isn´t it a contradiction at all ????

  8. I definitely did a few Woo’s myself during the 2nd. Nice to have an easy-ish game against a team that has given them tough games when they’re least expecting it. Very few Isles fans compared to other games I’ve been to in recent years.

    Goals of every variety you want to see, Prust’s do whatever it takes, Cally’s tap in after a good cycle, vintage Gaborik snipes and McCabe as a long range threat.

    They had a bit of a “foot off the pedal” moment in the 2nd that allowed the game to get tied but instead of getting dazed and confused they regained their focus. Would love to see them slay the dragon that’s been the Habs this season on Friday.

  9. Good morning, boneheads!

    Great review, Carp.

    Hank is back, that’s the best news we can get. Along with Gaborik’s wrister.
    Trading chances will not get them too far, not with this roster at least. And they will be destroyed if they try it on Friday against the Habs.

    Avery was doing exactly what he was brought into the game for. I didn’t mind his first two penalties. Neither, seemingly, did Torts. That’s why he kept playing him. Tge last penalty was a ticket to sit on Friday.

    The best line, IMO, was Dubinsky-AA-Callahan. Dubinsky made a mistake on their first goal, true. 4 on 4, the forward is responsible for the D-man. Dubinsky collapsed too low and left the slot open. But other than that, he keep impressing. He is almost impossible to knock off the puck, and can take over the whole shift down low. The third goal started with AA winning the battle at tge far boards, while he was knocked down and had to reach the puck with his hands. Dubinsky took over, and Callahan was open on the weak side fir tap in because Dubinsky tied up two defensemen in front. I’m not sure AA intended to pass the way he did, but it worked.

    LMAO @ 7. One of those situations when that chant should be dead for long, long time, except no one wants to attend the funeral.

  10. ilb good point on Avery. He is at his best when he gets thisclose to crossing the line (i.e. the first two penalties). The problem is when he ends up crossing the line like he did with the last penalty. I didn’t think it was going to cost the Rangers the game, but it forces them to have to kill a penalty late in a game that the Fishsticks basically were ready to check out on. The last thing we needed to see was someone get hurt blocking a hot killing a needless penalty.

    Rangers are going to have to tighten up the defensive coverage issues they had last night. They got away with it last night, but the Habs will light us with their speed if we give Montreal as much room as we gave the Fishsticks.

    Prust=Monster (and next Alternate Captain when Cally assumes Drury’s “C”).

  11. Good morning, All. I cannot get to the second page of Carp’s game story on LoHud.

    Heave ho, three in a row.

  12. Good morning! Fun game to be at last night. We had a ton of Islanders fans in our section, but that only made it better.

    I promised that I’d share my engagement pictures from Madison Square Garden with you guys! It was a truly memorable night and a once in a lifetime experience. Enjoy!

    http://thestudiophotographers.com/?p=2826

  13. great recap carp, as usual. is it me or doesnt it seem like we should be higher up in the standings with more than 78 points this year? i guess its cuz we only have 4 ot losses compared to other teams that have more. we have 37 wins and other teams with less have equal or more points like calgary because of that extra point. they gotta change that and i know it makes more competitive but alot of teams, us included just play safe if its tied and dont try for a win late this season just because of the garaunteed point. i know we have some great SO players especially our goalie, and without it, we would have something like 60 something points if all those wins were just ties orlosses. at teh same time, imagine if we were tied for 8th but lost the tiebreaker because the team were tied with has less shootout wins/?? i think its a good incentive to get teams playing for the win before ot but if u thought last years painful end of teh season, just imagine us losing to a tiebreaker cuz of buttmans sideshow. imo they should play one more game between teh 2 tied teams. whoever wins goes to the PO. ok, i could go on forever with this, but do you see them changing ot to a 3 on 3, 10 minute ot, or making a 3 point system? also, going without teh shootout so much, teams wouldnt have to give their fans heartattacks all teh time.

  14. im still worried about gabby ilb. yes he got 2 nice goals, but he really couldve and shouldve had 4 at least with the chances. i know im nitpicking here, but hes gotta work on some things becauyse in tight games against much better d men and goalies, hes gotta buy those early chances hes had. the breakaway and the open net wide on the pp shot. he did skate much better but he still only does it against bad teams. more than 1/4 of his goals are against the isles. it wa montoya too. now if he can score at least every other game from here on out and be a force out there i’ll be satisfied with a bad season. i still think hes hurt and the other thing is if we do go deep in the playoffs ina the next year or 2, is he gonna be able to last a full season and playoffs? we havent seen him in teh playoff yet and hopefully if we make it we see him step up to another level liek jagr did., dont see him carrying us but even if he could just play like last years gabby, then we could really do some damage. u notice his shot was real quick last night, his skating was great, so and gotta wonder if hes doing the same thing jagr did in pacing himself for the playoffs.

  15. Thanks ilb!

    Grabachev- I thought he got his stride back last night. Yes, I wanted to kill him when he missed that open net, but then he made up for it with the quick shot and timely goal. I hope you are right about him pacing himself… or it could simply be that he was hurt and he’s finally getting back to form. Either way, I hope he keeps these 2 goal nights up, because we need him to put the puck in the net down the stretch.

  16. Mike, Gaborik will not be as good this year as he was last year, but he’s been getting there lately. And he could very well be a difference maker in the playoffs. I believe he is still avoiding some contacts (head or shoulder?), but his shot is better. And the opposing teams will have to take that into consideration- more room for others to score.

    The Rangers sre set to sign Carl Hagelin:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/rangers/rangers_set_to_sign_michigan_winger_QaXWTvtcJHR2wOcSZGefjO

  17. Stranger Nation on

    great post –

    flippin love Sauer’s game. Know he shoudln’t be duking it out, but team toughness is an absolutely a critical attribute.

    Vinny is playing much better over last 6 games and has done a impressive job along end boards which allows EC and Gabby to get open in shooting position. Gabby has looked much stronger on his skates. while he did ‘t bury every chance, he is in position and when he starts cranking it up, the Rangers can even by ‘dangerous’ on offense.

    Stepan has seemed to get lost in the shuffle as he effectively on the 4th line. Not the worst issue, as less pressure on him to perform and room for development.

    Girardi has officially become their biggest challenge with all the ice time he logs. He looked good at times, particularly with some outlet passes, but does not seem to have the lateral movement once teh pace packs up in the zone and starts to hand out by the cage watching Staal running around chasing two men. He may want to start dropping the gloves to add more value.

  18. Heave Ho! My earlier “Heave Ho, three in a row” was a battle cry to win the next game; not meant as a comment to you. Sorry ’bout that!

    How about LGR instead?

  19. I was nervous through the first half of that game. The Rangers gave up way too much and Hank had to be outstanding early…Like Torts said, we need to tighten up a little and play a full 60 minute effort…

    EC was impressive again. He’s been one of our best forwards of late. That shot of his is ridiculous…If he could harness that shot and make it consistently, he would be one the most deadly weapons in the East…No reason he can’t be a 30-40 goal scorer with a shot like that….

    Michael Sauer is going to be an All-Star in this League. Mark my words. He will be Staal’s partner for years to come. This kid has not stopped impressing me since training camp…

    Carp, I agree that Dubi needs to play a full 60 and return to the MVP monster form he was in earlier in the season. He’s close, but once he turns that page, the Rangers may very well be on their way to a special run to the post-season and beyond…

    Girardi is regressing and it does not surprise me. The guy has been asked to do too much all season and it is obviously wearing on him…He’s a decent d-man, but I don’t think is that valuable to this team…and he has no idea how to play a 2 on 1…McCabe does…

    The Devils are now have more wins than regulation losses…simply amazing.

  20. Girardi’s game started to go downhilll after he picked up that upper body injury in ATL.

    McCabe obviously gives them another featured shooter on the PP, but wow is he slooooow.

    Staal is still their best overall D-man, but there are certainly nights lately that the pairing of Sauer and McD look like their best over Staal-Girardi.

    Stepan is going through the ebb and flow of a long season, he still plays hard even if the production isn’t there right now. Anisimov has become a lot more assertive of late. I think we’ll really be impressed when he fills out his lanky frame.

  21. CT, totally agree about Artie. Recently, he has been playing with more assertion and with a bit of an edge. It’s been great to watch…

    I’ve said it enough, once he gains puts muscle on that frame of his, he will be become a Hockey God. (And I don’t mean Avery!)

  22. The first two goals by the Rangers were direct Avery effect.

    You know how we like to talk about “IF’s” in hockey, so IF Avery doesn’t board Haley, Prust doesn’t score the SG

    If Avery doesn’t board Haley, Haley doesn’t take retaliation boarding on Dubi, EC doesn’t score PPG and EC doesn’t become a hero for today.

    …I’m just saying

  23. Good morning all! Roe, those pics are awesome! What an amazing experience!
    C3, sometimes you can be very wise. I’m just saying…..

  24. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Avery deserves credit for going to the net aggressively all night. His occasional dumb penalties seem worth it since he riles up opponents, provokes retaliation and ultimately forces his more mild-mannered mates to play a meaner, more emotionally involved game. He forces them to be tougher.

    Torts simply doesn’t understand what Fred Shero figured out back in the mid ’70s: in the moral economy of this sport it’s much better to give than to receive. Psychologically, it’s better to be the hunter than the hunted. Particularly for a team like the Rangers with a dearth of world-class talent up front, a nasty game is better. That makes penalties and penalty killing inevitable. How many PKs were the Flyers and Bruins of the ’70s willing to take on?

    Since the Rangers are good at the PK, Torts shouldn’t throw a hissy fit when Avery’s anti-social approach leads him to the box, particularly with the game well in hand late in the third. The same in-your-face infraction by Avery in a one- or two-goal late-game situation would be a problem.

    In my mind, the blown coverages in the slot by Dubi and all the others mesmerized by the eskimo pie behind the net are FAR worse than Avery’s aggressive penalties. These lazy lapses lead directly to goals against and deliver no psychological benefits. Dubi’s inexplicable stroll to the empty corner hoping for a breakout pass as the eventual Islander goalscorer raced up the slot led directly to a goal… in a tightening second period.

    Was this not worse than Avery’s garbage-time nastiness? Will Dubi be benched? Of course not, but neither should Avery. Both can be better, but the team needs both.

  25. It’s amazing! Avery can still have a direct impact on a goal when he’s in the penalty box! It’s a miracle. With God, anything is possible…

    LOL, C3. Just saying!

  26. ^^^^ Well said and agreed.

    Great game to be at last night, haven’t had that much fun at a game in awhile.

    Competitive for a bit and then just plain enjoyable.

  27. Thanks Mama! I can’t say enough about the people from the garden… it was a pretty incredible experience.

  28. I think it’s awesome that they accommodated you like that….and hysterical that your photog is a Debbie fan :)

    Happy Birthday to Prust!!!!!

  29. Rhode Island Ranger on

    I’m afraid Torts will bench Avery on Friday and the softer Rangers lineup will once again fall into the trap of trying to beat the Canadiens in a speed/finesse game. They can’t.

    Wolski and a more satisfied, comfortable EC can’t lift the Rangers skill level to the point where they’re dependably competitive with Montreal. A feistier Ranger side has a better chance (particularly with the last change at home) of establishing a style of game that better suits them.

    This depends, of course, on the PK and PP clicking. But, they both looked good last night, so Torts should surf the confidence and maintain the nastier lineup and mindset. Don’t try to be something you’re not!

  30. You can absolutely bank on Avery being benched for the Montreal game!!!! Torts doesn’t like Avery, never has and has been “putting up” with him all along. Like most players, Avery has his good games and his bad games. Don’t know how much he does to effect the Habs if he’s in the line-up ’cause Torts will play him 5 minutes for the game. Plays with an edge, and he often takes penalties, altho that boarding call was bogus as the Isle def turned his back as Avery came into the body check. And did anyone hear Goring on MSG 2 last night? Holy cow, what a whiner. He sounded like an Isle fan, saying how they don’t get respect and how the Rangers got lucky, blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine!! SO surprised to hear the homer status, esp. since he had such good insights on Hockey Night Live

  31. Even though I’m a big Avery fan, I still think you have to sit him against Montreal where hopefully Wolski steps up due to his spot on the team being in jeopardy.

  32. Saw this on Rangers Rants Blog: thought it was so crazy that i needed to post it here

    “avery has better puck control than most of the league… probably one of the best players in the league behind the net.”

    What was this guy thinking when he wrote this?

  33. >>Of all the MSG faithful’s Islanders taunts: “Season’s over,” “We want Fishsticks,” “1983,”

    Speaking of 1983, here’s the song I’d love to hear at MSG when Islanders are in town.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjyKRRJQEpU

    Eighties, I’m living in the eighties
    Eighties, I have to push, I have to struggle
    Eighties, get out of my way, I’m not for sale no more
    Eighties, let’s kamikaze ’til we get there

    Eighties, I’m living
    Eighties, eighties, I’m living
    Eighties, I’m living in the eighties, I push
    Eighties, push, push, struggle

  34. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Artie, I heard Goring as well. He sounds bush league. Somehow, I think I’d enjoy his silly Isles homerism more if he was required to wear his old dog-chewed leather helmet on the set!

    Oleo, why do you think sitting Avery is a must? Was his late-3rd penalty worse than the stupid blown coverages that allowed the Islanders their two goals and multiple golden scoring chances against Henrik? What’s the point of good penalty killing if it doesn’t free you up to be the aggressor? Nastiness ain’t free, it requires taking some penalties.

  35. The Rangers have not been beaten by the Habs because they failed to establish their grit. They just haven’t been able to score on them (3 goals in 3 games). They also are putting themselves at risk if they put Montreal on the PP. And let’s be honest, the player that is most likely to take a penalty is the guy that leads the team in PIMs with a fair amount of those being non-major calls.

  36. >>What was this guy thinking when he wrote this?

    A couple of free drinks at Warren 77, perhaps?

  37. Buenos Dias Cabezas!

    Apologies for the lateness today. I had to cover a stupid deposition this morning.

    Last night was a much needed win against a team that really showed how “good” it is.

  38. Ha! No Roe, someone I know posted it on FB….but I guess it’s a warning to stay near dry land!

  39. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Hank has played great of late. As far as this not being his “best season by any stretch.”

    Hank has actually only had 1 season with a better SV %, and it was his rookie year and the SV % was better by .001 (.921 vs. .922)

    In the NHL, only 5 goalies have a better SV% and GAA average. Of those, only 1 has played the same or more games. And, obviously, Hank leads the NHL in shutouts.

    …Not a shabby season. Actually, it’s been his best season in 5 years.

  40. Rhode Island Ranger

    has little to do with the penalties and has everything to do with Wolski being a better player. Its easy how people forget that Wolski had a monster season just last year. At 23 years of age he put up 23 goals and 44 assists and had 4 goals in the first round series against Detroit.

    I’m a big Avery fan but Wolski, although inconsistent, is one of our top 5 best offensive players and needs to be on the ice vs. Montreal as he has the type of talent to score anytime the puck is on his stick. His importance in the shootout is just an added bonus…

  41. Rhode Island Ranger on

    CTBlueshirt, I hear what you’re saying. But, isn’t Ranger scoring more likely to emanate from the establishment of a gritty, nasty game? If not, what’s the alternative? The Rangers aren’t as skilled or as quick up front as Montreal.

    We’ve seen too many nights this season of endless cycling down low that leads to nothing. We need agressive, mean-spirited net presence to score dirty goals. Avery helps do that when he hasn’t been browbeaten by Torts into submission.

    At this point, I like the Ranger PK’s chances against Montreal’s PP if it means a tougher, more emotional approach from Avery and the entire line up. Grit=goals right now.

  42. Wolski was GREAT last night! Just kidding. Erik Christensen is really on some kind of hot streak.

  43. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Rhode Island Ranger – brilliant thoughts, my friend. Indeed, nastiness isn’t free. Your point regarding the old flyers/bruins is spot on. I sure like this type of gritty in your face play than the Pansy-skirt wearing of ranger lore and recent past. The only problem with Avery’s late 3rd period penalty is that it could happen again in a close game. I agree – whoopy do – the game was already over – no harm no foul. It was ave’s FIRST penalty in 12 games. Perhaps Avery was just busting pool balls with the silly/stupid final penalty. It will be interesting to see who sits Friday. I don’t care who sits as long as they win. Let’s go rangers.

  44. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    By sitting Avery on Friday for being hyper agressive, does that send a message to the rest of the team to play more carefully? Stupid penalties like hooking and holding I agree need to end, but gritty old-school flyer like tactics I have no problem with truth be told…. Hat trick earlier…btw

  45. True Fans Bleed RW&B:

    Hank leads the league in Shutouts and Prust leads the league in Short Handed goals. Sometimes stats do not tell the whole story.

  46. RIR,

    I think the Rangers cycle the puck well enough no matter who’s in the lineup (Prust, Dubi, Callahan, Boyle, Feds even MZA can handle that type of work). It’s the finishing off part that they’ve lacked for long stretches in the 2nd half. And I agree with Oleo, Wolski provides the better alternative in that respect. The guys that are getting paid to make plays on offense and score goals are starting to do that now.

    I also agree with a response that Carp made yesterday or maybe the day before where Avery has been in the lineup for all but one game this year. Has he gotten major minutes every game, no, but I don’t think he necessarily always deserves major minutes. He’s not a goal scorer, particularly this season and even though he’s like 2nd or 3rd on the team in assists that gets him to like 160th-something in the league. I understand he has good raw skills, but after nearly a decade in the NHL he isn’t going to suddenly turn into something new. It’s his modest hockey IQ that has held him back from being a better player.

  47. Thanks Carp! The big day is next Saturday… right in the middle of the Rangers Boston game :0. I’m glad it’s not a home game or my family wouldn’t have been happy with me lol

  48. Full disclosure — I actually wrote this after Game 9 this season:

    1) I really wonder if there is a better duo in all the NHL at down-low wall play, cycling as they call it, than Sean Avery and Ruslan Fedotenko. And also wonder if they shouldn’t be the second PP unit. They could really dominate against only four opponents—as they do against five—while their center and two pointmen skate to open ice.

  49. I don’t think having Avery in the lineup or on the bench will have any impact on the game. The Islanders maybe one of a couple of teams in the league that still pays attention to his antics. Montreal isn’t on that list. Their game is speed, flow and shots on goal. The Rangers will need to brake their flow by breaking it in the neutral zone and standing them up at the blueline. And be very dilligent with the puck in their own end. None of those qualities can be attributed to Avery. Or Wolski, for that matter. WW has a better chance to score, but that’s about it.

  50. ilb,

    The Habs utilize their good skating team more to contain the other team than to create offense on their own. The Rangers have outscored them over the course of the entire season. It just seems the Rangers love to Cooke their pants whenever they play them, especially in Montreal.

    They can be effective on the counterattack, Gionta and Cammalleri in particular but if the Rangers play a strong puck possession and cycling game they can nullify the skating game.

  51. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Just heard Colie Campbell on NHL Live confessing (mumbling) that he had to fine Torts 10 grand for complaining about two boarding calls in the Flyers game that sure didn’t look like boarding to him (CC). So, why kill the messenger? The coach isn’t bringing the game into disrepute by pointing out the obvious. Fine the lousy officials instead.

  52. bull dog line on

    True Fans,
    Hanks STATS may say one thing, but watching him play this season says another. if Hank had played up to standard this season the Rangers are comfortably in the playoffs right now. but they are not, because he has allowed many soft goals at the worst times of the game. he just came through a stretch were he allowed 3 or more goals in a game in 12 of 15. he is playing much better right now, and they are going to need him to continue that. but don’t be fooled with STATS.

  53. Agreed Bull Dog! Stats tell a different story than what we have seen with our own eyes this season.

  54. Carp, I’ll have your dinner wrapped up and delivered! It’s gotta be better than your press box meals.

  55. I think Sauer has been outstanding over the last few games. The Martin fight included!

    And, yes, it showed respect and class the way they both took their helmets off. Not enough of that anymore in the NHL.

  56. Hank has not had his best season, for sure. And he is the first to admit that. On the other hand, if it wasn’t for him, we would be most likely competing with Islanders for high pick this June.

  57. Totally – throwing the helmets down and squaring off like men is a lost art in this world. From bar room scraps (where two people just windmill-slap and then wrestle) to Hockey where it’s a struggle to get the other persons face exposed.

  58. bull dog,

    How about that 20 game stretch from Jan 1 through Feb 13th where the Rangers scored less than 3 regulation goals 17 times. Maybe if their offense didn’t go AWOL during that time they’d also be comfortably in the playoffs.

  59. Hank will always give up “bad goals” on deflections as it is a product of playing deep in the net. The deeper you play, the less net you take up so deflections have a better chance of getting in.

    On the plus side, playing deep in the net allows him to pretty much take away anything low especially from the crease area and the low slot as well as move side to side very quickly.

  60. bull dog line on

    CT,
    thats fair, but, this team is built in a way that there goalie is the most important player on the team. so if they are only scoring 2, Hank can’t give up 3.

  61. Got to say I really don’t get this lovefest some have for Avery. I’ve said more than once that if the Rangers need Sean Avery to play to be successful, they are in trouble.

    For crying out loud, the guy was never more than a 3rd liner (and that’s stretching things, IMO)but now with his limited scoring touch evaporating, he’s nothing more than a 4th liner, with the stats to prove it.

    He should consider himself blessed that an NHL team is still willing to employ him and that some idiots in Dallas gave him a stupid $4,000,000/per year contract.

  62. flip side on Lundqvist, where would they be without those shootout wins? Because he is absolutely fabulous in those games.

  63. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Lundqvist. I love having him around in Shootouts. Point taken Carp.

    But I also remember last year when we needed him in a shootout to keep our season alive against Philly?

  64. Well, nobody can win every shootout … and how many goals did the Rangers get in that shootout? And who shot the fateful last shot? And who got them to that shootout in a must-win game in which a lot of guys didn’t bother showing up?

  65. Tony – I don’t blame Olli. I blame TORTS for putting his dumb assen on the freakin’ ice! I was yelling “NO NO NO NO PLEASE NO NO NO” as my season ended leading to me taking a sick day at work.

  66. I guess being a goalie is a tough spot because the spotlight really shines brightly on you. Even when it’s not your fault you end up taking the blame from some people. Goals are what count in the end so the other things get forgotten.

  67. You were only sick for one day after that debacle, Manfried? You are a very healthy individual!

  68. I only took one sick day. I only threw a few things out the window. I only stared at the floor in disbelief for a few hours.

  69. Sour Power! Love the guy!

    Jokinen was really good in the shootout with the Flames.

    It’s like a team trading for MZA, or Wolski, and not putting him in the shootout. It was the right move. Can’t blame Torts for that! Sometimes you score, sometimes you don’t. That’s just the way it goes.

  70. bulldog,

    I think the Rangers are actually trying to build a team to rely on Lundqvist less. That’s why you’re seeing young D with considerable upside given tons of minutes and young forwards who haven’t found a consistent scoring touch in the NHL receiving a similar treatment. Out of circumstance Lundqvist is their best player. Gaborik has the skill to be, but this season hasn’t been working as well for him. Staal could be as well, but he’s still maturing and for long stretches of the 2nd half has had to cover for a declining Girardi.

    Has he let in some bad goals at bad times? Yes, just like every goalie does. But getting paltry goal support for 25% of the season shouldn’t mean that he has to wear the collar for every 1 goal loss.

  71. I have a few things to say about Christensen.

    Some of you folks are always ready to deep six a guy if he operates outside of the template that is traditional with Ranger players. Christensen is one of these. He will never be a dragon slayer,and he doesn’t march to the same tempo as most of the other guys. The Gaboriks, the Kovalchuks, the other dynamic
    killers are in their spot, and they are of a like kind. Christensen is different. He is low key, and reserved, never makes waves, but he is a quiet assassin. He puts the puck in the net with all the fanfare of a guy who has just shoveled the last bit of earth into the grave. Sure you can drum him off the team for not falling into the mold, but from my perspective you’d be doing yourselves an unfortunate disservice. He has acquired a niche on this team, and it would be good to not only recognize it, but to applaud it. Not everyone is a fire breather. It takes a few undertakers now and then to complete the circuit. My suggestion?

    Accept him into the fold, and now that he’s getting more ice time, his performance is improving by small but steady degrees.

    I know that I’d rather have him with us than against us.

  72. ORR!! I understand what you’re saying. Nobody was going to score. I just was not a huge fan of Olli Jokinen and was upset that the Ragners had to rely on aging talent to save their season. I would rather go down with one of our own guys.

  73. bull dog line on

    CT,
    the league has changed from having your goalie be the best and most important player on the team. now it all about skill up front. unfortunately for the Rangers they do not have the skill (yet) up front to be one of those teams. so Hank is still the most important player, and the 1 goal losses should be put on him. 6mill a year he needs to make a big save when it counts.

  74. Great Post Carp spot on on very point. We really have to feel good about how the youth on this team is developing. Picked up McCabe at the right time. Needed on the PP. Hopefully we’re peaking at the right time. Just think maybe Kreider next year. Wow, what a different feeling from last year at this time.

  75. I think Erik Christensen is really streaky. Given the new format of hockey with the Skillz Competition being so important (especially to this team) Christensen has to stay in your lineup (along with Wolski and Zuccarello) as much as possible. He will have some incredible hot streaks and he seems to be in one right now. We will just have to ride out the tough spots because of his value in that shootout.

    Until a 3 point system is devised, Erik Christensen in the shootout can be worth 1 point which is as much as the entire team for the game. Therefore, his abilities are certainly valuable.

  76. So when Dubinsky or Anisimov or Gaborik miss open nets that’s Lundqvist’s fault?

    It’s a team game, so for myself I tend not to propagate the failures of a team on one particular player. Especially when those failures can be highly attributed to an aspect of a game that a goalie rarely participates in, scoring goals.

  77. fran – I agree. I find his skillset to be extraordinary. He just can’t make it click consistently. Over the last few games, he shown the type of player I know he is. I just want him to keep it up. I want him to be the quiet assasin in evry game he plays. He has the god-given tools to do it…

    IMO, he is very frustrating to watch when he isn’t producing.

  78. I wasn’t a fan of him either. But, statistically Torts had to go with what worked. We didn’t have anyone to rely on in the shootout.

    I hate last years team. Ugh. So depressing!

    This years team is pretty awesome.

    I was looking at this article on SI of all the NHL players who’s careers ended due to concussions. It makes me think that Booger has retirement as an option. Especially being a goon.

  79. Leetchhalloffame on

    As much as I love Cally and think he should be wearing the “C” I just voted for Prust to get the Steven MacDonald Award this year. He should be rewarded by fans for his overachieving, never-give-up season.

  80. Now a few words about McCabe……………..

    I find it refreshing to see the manner in which he has established himself in the mix of these youngsters, and providing a laid back, but steady authority on the blue line, and has made immense contributions that simply did not exist when it was a steady diet of Roszival and Girardi back there. (I’ll not mention any of the other misfits that graced that position for far too long….I hate to walk around shuddering for about 15 minutes as I recall them. Suddenly you are seeing a steady barrage of hard directed slap shots from the point or the opposite side which he makes fluidly, and the shots are effortless, and natural, and the cameraderie that is developing between him and the young D stalwarts is wonderful to behold. I recall him as a younger D man with Toronto, and that memorable playoffs when Leetch was assigned to the Leafs and McCabe was the young tyro breaking in – and his words of praise for Leetch and in that short time frame the technique that he was taught by Leetch. He has nothing but the highest praise for Brian Leetch..if you doubt it…have someone ask him what he thinks of Leetch. At long last…regardless how this team does for the remainder of this season…I am beginning to see the development of a very sound Ranger ice team, which I have not even seen on the distant horizon for some years now. We are growing a contender (unless some idiotic moves from the front office, ruin things,)it will be wonderful to see over these next few seasons. Watch for it.

  81. bull dog line on

    CT,
    don’t misunderstand me. I like Hank, and would rather have no one else playing goal for the Rangers. his role on this team is a big one. they are not going anywhere without him, but he has had a very inconsistent season. the margin for error in most games is very slim, and if Hank lets in a softy it tough for the Rangers to bounce back from. so yes when they miss an empty net, Hank needs to step up and make it not so big a miss.

  82. McCabe offers them a different look from the other point, particularly on the 5 on 3. I recall a 5 on 3 earlier this year where they basically deferred to Gaborik the entire time. So he definitely fills a role reasonably well. As for his in zone play, he doesn’t necessarily make mistakes but as I said earlier, he’s pretty slow back there.

  83. You guys are spot on about McCabe. The PP changed 180 degrees when he got here. It’s absolutely unbelievable to me what ONE player can do. Just move a bit and shoot through lanes.

  84. bull dog

    It really is asinine to say “if they are only scoring 2, Hank can’t give up 3.”. So a goalie (in theory) with a GAA under 2.00 and SV% of .930 behind a team that scores two a game (which the goalie has no control over) is worse than someone with Grant Fuhr numbers who happens to be lucky enough to play behind a team scoring three-plus a game?

    A shot is a shot is a shot. Why should a shot become more stoppable in a tied game than a blowout?

  85. the mere threat of McCabe’s shot alters how the opponents play on the PK. They have to keep a guy high to protect the shot which makes in much easier for the Rangers to establish themselves down low.

    Regardless of whether he gets SOG, McCabe’s presence alone makes the PP that much more effective.

  86. Fran: Quiet assassin? Sure, but that’s only when he isn’t sleeping. Check out his professional history – it’s unimpressive at best. He’s never scored more than 18 goals in an NHL season, has a total of 61 goals in 327 games, which is 1 every 5 games and most definitely averages out to a very un-assassin figure of 16 goals in 82 games.

    I will agree he’s got more talent than those totals suggest, but as we all know talent alone can and usually does leave a fan/coach/manager/other players wanting. Where is this man’s heart? Where is this man’s drive?

    IMO, he deserves most of the criticisms he gets and he deserves the frequently reduced icetime (and pressboxing) he gets. What I find particularly frustrating about this dude is that for whatever reason, he seems unable or unwilling to grasp the notion that his current situation is one he probably hasn’t been in previously and likely never will be: Number 1 center with a top line proven winger who, when he’s on, he gels with.

    Get on with it man!!!!

  87. I think Dubi was more of a monster performance than you gave him credit for. he dominated with the puck in the corners, he won a key faceoff, he made the key pass to spring McDonagh to the net, and he went to the net and screened out the goalie on a couple goals as well. his negative moments were far less than his monster moments.

  88. bull dog line on

    Fran,
    your last line, that they are a growing contender, I could not agree more.
    the Rangers have positioned themselves to be very good for a lot of years. a skilled center, and a rugged Dman and they are right there.

  89. Personally, I like the way McCabe plays. Nice shot as many are alluding to, plus not bad in his own end and he often plays with an edge. Regarding the latter, I suspect he’ll be quite conscious of his recently broken jaw.

  90. Carp, I cannot get to “page 2″ of the article on LoHud that you wrote for last night’s game. (the link you were going to provide)

  91. bull dog line on

    LW3H,
    you only took part of what I said, but I will answer this way. a goalie job is to give up less that the other team. Fuhr, by the way, was a great goalie. because he was so good it allowed Edmonton to play the way they did. they knew more times than not he would be there in the big spot.

  92. TSN is reporting that the Fishsticks have activated Rick “Body of Glass” DiPietro from IR. Okay, what is the over/under before he gets hurt again?

    My guess is that some teammate pats him on the back and DP falls to the ground in spasms and goes back on the IR before ever suiting back up :-)

  93. The job of a goalie is to concede less goals than his team scores.

    When Henrik shuts out a team 7-0, it bothers me. It bothers me because there’s less pressure to stop shots with your team being up 7-0, therefore Henrik is able play loose, stop shots, and maintain the shutout.

    But in a 1-0 game, there’s pressure, and he oft times folds under the pressure.

    JMO

  94. bull dog

    I’d say a goalie’s job was to save as many shots as he can. He has no influence on how many the team in front of him scores, just like a pitcher can’t be blamed for his run support.

  95. Stranger Nation on

    AFter the last stretch of games, one could believe the rangers to being a cup contender than what we saw in February.

    Need #1: 1st line center – do we wait for Artie (love the scrum in front last night) or make a deal for one or do a UFA signing (Richard$$$)

    Need #2: Top 4 dman – need to move Girardi off top 4 (maybe on 3rd pairing with McCabe) and get someone to play with Staal.

    Need #3: Heavyweight 3rd line banger – not a goon, but someone who will drop them if need be. Two way player going to give you 10-15 goals and bag opponents throughthe boards. Prust and Avery are middle weights and Feds, Boyle, and MZA cannot fulfill that roll.

    Need #4: Power Forward: wait for Kreider? These are not easy to find or sign. Would put it higher, but just not realistic to land one.

    then again another bad stretch and the whole team could be traded including torts.

    suggest people go back and read the game blog – very funny stuff after isles tied it – bipolar behavior at its best

  96. McCabe is going to be like Rip Hamilton and play with his jaw protector for the rest of his career.

  97. Also, a shot is a shot is a shot in the “SHOTS” column on nhl.com

    But everyone knows that a shot against up 7-0 is different than a shot against up 2-1.

    A breakaway shot is different from a bad angle shot is different from a shot in the slot.

    Everyone knows that when a team is up 7-0, there is less pressure from the goalie to stop the shot, there is less motivation from the team trailing 7-0 to score, and finally, there are probably lesser players on the ice when a team is losing 7-0 than if a team was losing 2-1. A team may have their version of Boogaard on the ice when trailing 7-0 rather than Crosby.

  98. Marji, sorry. don’t know what’s up there … suffice it to say, the story wasn’t that good and whatever quotes or observations were on the second page were also up on the blog overnight.

    what nice, civilized, almost-all-hockey banter today. Is it all because of the return of CTB, the soother? Or have the real Boneheads been kidnapped by aliens.

    Whatever, I like that we’re all playing nice.

  99. bull dog line on

    if the Mets score 1 run, it is the job of Santana and Krod to give up 0 runs. if the Rangers can only score 1 goal, then Hank needs to shut out the opposition. the standings do not show how many saves your teams goalie made, only wins and losses.

  100. speaking of the regulars (and i consider myself a regular since i read several times a day but dont post often), anyone know where Nasty 1 has been? havent read much from him recently. and also, Linda was back and is she gone now again?

  101. Tough to compare Baseball (here a quality start is defined as 3 or fewer runs over 6 innings) and Hockey where a quality start is what….2 goals in 3 periods?

  102. Carp was the Garden full last night? and on a level of 1-10 how would you rank the crowd?

  103. Great hockey posts today, ‘heads. Fran is at his best, as always.

    I like bull dog’s post from 1:49 pm. A lot. He has a great ability to clarify things. People may not always agree on everything, but debates with him never go over the line. I also commend you for admitting when proven wrong. I remember you chewing Staal’s MZA up at the beginning of the year and then, when he improved, you voted for him as the best player, or most improved player…Takes a man…

  104. Carp, in all honesty, I had doubts they could pull it off when they were up 2-0! The Islanders were flying through the first period and a half. Hank came up huge and bailed us out in that 1st…

  105. I try to stay out of the Blog during the games. I am too emotional and my neural filter slows down quite a bit and I just spew from the mouth. I do this to save you all from my misgivings.

  106. Jim

    Your first words…his professional history……..my point exactly. His professional history is emblematic of his style of play. It doesn’t change that much because his personality doesn’t change that much. You can slough him off, and drop him into oblivion, and then await the next one to take his place ( presumably in our life time), and stumble from person to person until you get the IDEAL. This is in microcosm a picture of the Ranger history..stumbling from one inadequate ( by the standards of the template) or you can advance, by breaking from the mold. Funny how the same teams season after season, mount very good teams of people that they develop,or acquire,or hire and train, or dig out of the hinterlands, while certain others seem to go through ups and downs and never have a pattern of continuing success. Look at Detroit. How often have they been not a factor in one way or another in the playoffs. They go for decades and their biggest concern is not making the playoffs but not winning the cup. It’s not luck.
    It’s thinking and conducting moves outside the box so to speak.

    You can have it any way you want, but I personally have a mind to let things settle a bit and really take a good long look at who we have, and what the prospects are of putting someone better in their place without dismantling another part of our team.

    Sometimes a players “history” simply means that someone simply hasn’t been giving him enough time to develop his craft.
    When Nolan Ryan came up with the Mets, he had that blazing fastball,but he was a wild as an Orang Utan without an orange.

    The Mets, in their impatience, traded him away for a guy who didn’t last hardly a season, and now Nolan is one of the Hall of Famers in respectable retirement. I know that preaching patience is sometimes lost on the young…but it’s all I have to offer.

  107. Preaching patience is a very, very tough job. Especially in this town. The Yankees have a very “win now” mentality and it seems to rub off on other teams. Not in a good way I might add. The Knicks moves under Mr. Isaiah Thomas were horrible. But they were made, arguably, with a win now mentality. The same with the Mets. They make big-time moves to win now and then end up strapped with long contracts that they can’t afford to get out of.

    Seeing the Rangers develop youngsters to prep for a long haul run at being contenders yearly, is a very beautiful sight. If these kids develop they can plug holes every season with some rentals and become a perennial factor in the Stanley Cup Finals!

  108. Manfried – That win first mentality has really changed in recent years. There is a commitment to the youth and a commitment towards a balance between free agent signings, minor-league youth, and trades

  109. By the way, Nolan Ryan no longer wanted to be in New York. Ryan wanted out of NY. Had nothing to do with Mets’ impatience.

  110. Noah-rury, 28 on

    That’s what it’s like after a win.

    Just wait until the Devils are within 4 points of the Rangers. I may have to put on a helmet to be here.

  111. Indeed it is, Manny. As we have said here so many times, this season is not about winning it all right now. We are building the foundation for the team that willl contend for Lord Stanley’s Cup year after year. The dream is becoming a reality. Patience is a virtue and those who are will be rewarded…

  112. Mama – I hope you’re gettin’ the job done today! All of NY better watch out, Reporter Mama is on the prowl!! :)

    To continue the lovefest, ♥ you all.

  113. I saw Todd White just yesterday. He was bagging my groceries in the local Shoprite when he abruptly got called for a cleanup on aisle 5. ;)

    Have a great day, ‘heads!

  114. wolski has made some VITAL plays for the Rangers since hes got here.. will he hasnt been consistent theres a good chance they would be in 9th without him.. thats all carry on..

  115. No fuggin way!!!!! The Devils have maybe 2 easy games in that sched. NYI and OTT. No way they make the playoffs. They’re dead and buried!

  116. Tiki, it’s a tough schedule, but the only team on that list that you can argue is playing better than them, are the Craps, who just won their 9th in a row.

    It’s more than possible, and seems pretty fuggin realistic, sadly.

    I would be so pissed if they made it. Ugh! I’m losing my appetite just thinking aboot it.

  117. Noah-rury-(if Devils make the playoffs)-Noah, 28 on

    I was in Vegas this past weekend and was tempted to put $10 on the Devils to win the Cup.

    As much as I like money…there’s no price to put on bleeding blue.

    (And if they do win, I’ll just be doubly PO’ed.)

  118. I just got on the computer so I don’t know if anyone noticed this.

    I was on hockeybuzz for some laughs, and I read an article from a Devils blogger. The exact quote is “If the Rangers continue to play boring defense and give Henrik Lundqvist a shootout opportunity, my money is on the big over-sized mattress pads.”

    How on earth does ANY Devils fan have the right to say that?

    WTB!

  119. He must be a newb Debs fan.

    They’re such dorks.

    When I was a kid, I once told a Devils fan that I hated him because he was a Devils fan. My dad didn’t know whether to smack me, or hug me. It didn’t help that it was his boss :P

    I hated Hockey at that time though. I was more into my Power Rangers than the New York Rangers. But, my dad liked them so much, so I thought I’d defend him.

  120. BORING Defense? um……..That has to be a joke guys. The Devils are literally the most boring team ever. They are the reason the neutral zone trap is illegal in 48 states!

  121. Lev, the place was pretty full. I’d rate the crowd a 7 or 8.

    I can’t keep track anymore of who’s here, who’s taking a break, who’s back, who’s changed their screen name, etc. I wish I could, I wish everybody stayed and never took a break. But I fully understand that people do, even if I do get my feelings hurt sometimes. Seriously.

    And other than those knuckleheaded asshats who have been banned, everybody knows very well that they are welcome to come back at any time.

  122. Yeah MSG was pretty full in the 300s and 400s. Usual empty seats in the 100s. Not as many Isles fans as I’d seen at games in recent years. The crowd had a lot to cheer about that’s for sure, but I’ve definitely been to Rangers-Isles games that have been boring and the crowd was dead. I think there was only 1 or 2 skirmishes in the stands.

  123. Did you mean jackwagons, Carp?

    There is no Devils fans anymore. Prust removed them from earth crust by staring all 50 of them down last time they played at the Pebble.

  124. Another Devils “fan” I know was in the city last night and was complaining about “so many stupid Rangers fans outside MSG.”

    Key word there is “so many.” Even with our sub-par attendance, we still destroy the Swamp Rats.

    Dirty Devils. I hate them.

  125. I would suggest painting those horrible burgundy seats though. Besides the fact that they’re hideous, in other arenas, the attendance looks much better because they’re all black and don’t stand out.

  126. Carp, you owe Tony a new computer. Bet you his F5 button isn’t functioning anymore

  127. So many Rangers fans outside MSG? They do realize it’s the home arena. Maybe they’d prefer them around the Pebble like usual?

  128. Noah-rury-(if Devils make the playoffs)-Noah, 28 on

    Nothing would be sweeter than the Devils just missing the playoffs and all their hard work resulting in the worst possible non-playoff draft pick.

    But I think they’re making it. I really do.

  129. bull dog line on

    Stranger Nation,
    I was just going back and reading some posts and yours caught my attention. you nailed every one of the Ranger needs, and I think in priority order. power forwards are difficult to find, so I think they are going to wait on Kreider. also agree on Girardi, they need to have him as a 5 or 6, not a 2.
    ilb, thank you for your kind words.

  130. Yeah, speaking of people on breaks…..where’s LinCPB? Goals for Gab? Haven’t seen them in a while…

  131. bull dog line on

    also I would like to extend my hand to CCCP. I have always liked arguing with you and I think things go a little silly between us.

  132. Where is Goals for Gab?!

    And Id like to extend my hand to bull dog line. I butt my nose into a situation that didn’t involve me. Guess Ill never learn my lesson. Your posts do have much value, and I agree with bull dog re: LQ.

  133. Tony, if you’re naked in the jacuzzi, tell me the place and name the time, you fiery hot stud! ;)

  134. Does this remind youse guys of the Seinfeld episode “the apology”
    “Instead of an apology, he was be-boppin’ and scattin’ all over me.”

  135. Stranger Nation on

    Bull dog – thanks for shout out.

    Carp – could really hear crowd during broadcast. Sounded pumped up. Was at filthy game and could hear a pin drop and we were smoking the flyers. Sunday matinees are weak.

  136. Noah-rury-(if Devils make the playoffs)-Noah, 28 on

    F5 refreshes the page, Carp. C’mon…this is 2011!

    I’m waiting for ORR to finally lift the “Dublowsky” moniker. When does it happen again? If they make the playoffs? Or if he signs over the summer?

  137. Best crowd that I saw this year was the Vancouver game. Last night was pretty good, but again I think it’s because the Rangers actually gave the fans something to cheer about.

  138. Stranger Nation on

    Save for uneven performance against Ducks – I will blame golf outing, time zone change, and sun stroke – the team with a full healthy line-up has played very well.

  139. Noah-rury-(if Devils make the playoffs)-Noah, 28 on

    Stranger,

    I have to disagree. I was at the Flyers matinee game and the crowd was pretty energized I thought. And, after watching the replay on NBC’s web site, I thought it came across that way as well.

  140. I agree, CT. I was at that game too. Best atmosphere all year by far…and there were quite a few Canucks fans there…

  141. Stranger Nation on

    wish I was sitting in your section. yes people were cheering during goals but save for dubi smack down, no ongoing ‘buzz’ from crowd. The cotton candy and popcorn sales were very high however…

  142. Noah-rury-(if Devils make the playoffs)-Noah, 28 on

    Maybe it was because I was in the 400’s that Sunday. Who knows.

    Either way, we need MSG to provide an actual home ice advantage down the stretch. Friday night should be rocking.

  143. Where am I???

    Newspapers to anyone who hurts Carp’s feelings!

    ilb, what do all the other f’s do (no pun intended, I swear)….I never use them, but always wondered :)

  144. Noah-rury-(if Devils make the playoffs)-Noah, 28 on

    Ahh okay…thanks for clarifying.

    If Crosby retires, then that option’s off the table!

  145. Stranger Nation on

    Noah – up in blue heaven I am sure it was rocking. Down in the 100s there were lots of kids and flyer fans. Would have rather been upstairsfor that game.

  146. jpg's sister on

    Steve McDonald extra Effort Award

    I just got the email about voting, but I can’t participate since I don’t live in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut Eventhough I am a diehard fan.

    Anyway, my vote would go for Brandon Prust, so to those of you who can vote. I’m campaigning for Prust.

    What do you thinka?

  147. bull dog line

    also I would like to extend my hand to CCCP. I have always liked arguing with you and I think things go a little silly between us.

    —————————

    oh so you’re arguing with me but debating with everyone else?! :P

    we’re cool, man

    just don’t let me catch you with your extended hand in my refrigerator!

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