Sabres-Rangers in review


John Tortorella was not happy after this one, and who could blame him?

Because while the effort wasn’t good enough, as he put it, for Game 77, neither was the concentration.

I mean, there’s a kid goalie thrown in under emergency circumstances, and yet the Rangers insisted on passing up chances to shoot, waiting to shoot, failing to shoot, or passing instead of shooting. Or missing the net? Again and again. And again. Not that they had that many chances. I thought Brandon Dubinsky had the two best, and one hit the post, the other the shaft of a Buffalo D-man’s stick.


1) A lot of you want to run Marian Gaborik out of town, and I know that he needs bottom line: goals, rather than chances. But he did create chances. Lots of them. I thought he was pretty darn good in this game.

2) The Rangers, right down the line — as I said in the third paragraph — weren’t good with the puck and while it’s always hard to criticize this one guy, Ryan Callahan really struggled with the puck all night. Really. And two other normally reliables — Brandon Prust and Ruslan Fedotenko — had a tough night, too.

3) I thought Prust got hurt on the PK when he lost his stick just before the Brian Boyle turnover and the Dan Girardi deflection turned into the Connolly PPG and the only goal of the game. He missed a bunch of shifts. But it’s just pain.

4) I don’t want to blame Dan Girardi for the goal. And I’m not. But when you put your stick out like that — straight out at the shooter — and the puck hits it, it’s going to go up most of the time. And with a goalie who plays on his knees as much as Henrik Lundqvist does, that’s a dangerous proposition. It’s not something you can think about in that situation, but sometimes you’d probably be better off having the goalie stop the shot cleanly. Great shot by Connolly made better by the deflection.

(*Correction: After the game, Lundqvist said the shot did not deflect, and called it “a bomb.”)

5) The officials made the correct call on the disallowed goal by Artem Anisimov. Sorry.

6) Imagine if that puck Lundqvist took off the kneecap really had done damage? Then what?

7) The Rangers’ effort was questionable, certainly not their best of the season, not their worst, either, but not good enough. And the hitting they did do, I thought, wasn’t as hard or ferocious as usual. Maybe that has to do with Callahan being so dinged up, and Prust being ready for a body cast. Maybe.

8) MSG kept updating us on Knicks-Nets and Islanders-Devils, and not Carolina-Montreal. I don’t get that. People who care about Knicks-Nets were watching that. People who care about Islanders-Devils were watching that. And people who care about both were switching over to the other game between periods when we were getting the highlights. But a huge majority of people watching Rangers-Baby Buffaloes care most, or only, about Carolina-Montreal.

9) Today is baseball season, and I find it terribly disappointing, and shockingly telling about the state of the game, that hockey didn’t spend even five seconds of baseball’s off-season in the spotlight. Well, except maybe for the Winter Classic. Used to be that hockey would get back pages in the city during the time between the Super Bowl and Opening Day. Not this year. Not anymore.

10) Probably the best news for the Rangers as they crank it up again tonight against the Islanders, in a game worth two points as valuable as the two they lost last night, is that most of the time this season when they played less than stellar, they rebounded very strongly the next time out. See Anaheim-San Jose. See Ottawa-Boston.

11) Did Christensen or Wolski contribute even one single positive thing to this game? So I think Sean Avery stays in — and deserves it. And, paging Mats Zuccarello.


AP photo of an unknown goalie who shut out your boys, above.


I’m trekking out to Nassau Mausoleum this afternoon. God help me.

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  1. Good morning, boneheads!

    Trade everybody?

    And who won the Negative Nancy Award last night?

  2. Good morning ilb and Carp!
    Ugh about last night. Didn’t see the game–I guess I’m glad I didn’t. Do we still have a playoff spot after Carolina and Buffalo won?

  3. Morning, ilb and Carp!

    Second for the first time ever, I reckon.

    Good wrap-up. I agree with your points, as I oft do.

  4. That was truly not play-off caliber effort – and that happens from time to time. I agree with most of your review Carp – but the effort for Gabby was good, but not real good. He is beginning to look like some other former Rangers who kind of ciricle around aimlessly, seemly detached from the play. Couple good rushes up and two good shots – but at 7 mil, he better start making those – he has had all season and has not.

    Analysis: A, he is hurt, and has been all season. But is he is hurt lower body, his shot would still be deadly – and it is not. Quick release, but poor strength i think from comparison of last year. or – B, upper body injury, which would mean that he should be skating like no tomorrow – dont really see that either. Or, its C, he has become an elite member of the countless other Rangers who come to MSG and suddenly forget that are at the NHL level and re-live their youth hockey days, struggling to stay in position, move their feet, and score goals.

    I am perplexed – paging Redden

  5. onecupin71yearsandcounting on

    Maybe it’s not that the Rangers played poorly but Buffalo out played NY.

    I thought Connolly’s was a clean shot not deflected , I don’t remember Sam and Joe pointing it out ..hank’s has been victimized all season by deflections.

  6. Good morning all.

    What a stinker last night! They moved their feet and little else. Not nearly enough sustained hitting or grinding. I also kept thinking of Fran while watching this game. He’s continually pointed out how poor their passing is. How many passes last night were off their mark or bouncing off sticks when they did hit the tape? So many unforced turnovers limited our puck possession time or led to a quick counter attack by Buffalo from the neutral zone? Prospal and McCabe looked old and slow last night and EC was invisible.

  7. Seems the Rangers are better than a savings account. Looks like they might have just saved me $3,300 in playoff tickets.

  8. As I mentioned in prior string, ..out skated, out passed out hustled, and outplayed, and in my opinion the best man out there last night was Avery. It seems incredible that they are actually on the brink after having led for so long. Role reversal this season, but with identical results? Could be…could easily be.

  9. You know…it’s almost funny, but the very first posting I made in this blog at the commencement of this season was a very ( at the time) facetious remark…I wrote..”.Is this the year that Buffalo wins the cup?” I mentioned this because I’d been taken by the number of young fast movers and players on the team, and how far ahead of many of the great teams they appeared. Then when they went into their hibernation that lasted almost the entire season, I had a chuckle with myself for being so foolish. Oooh yeah.

  10. callahan was never good with the puck, he is a grinder and can’t stick handle. I’ve come a while ago to the realization that the rangers young players are average players. Yea, it’s better that the rangers organization (Sather and his idiots) have finally gone towards youth and developing there own, lets be honest here, there youth is nothing special. The rangers still show every year that there drafting leaves allot to be desired. I’ve been saying all along since the all star break that this team will finish ninth and I still feel strongly about it that they will finish ninth. The reality is as long as sather and his bunch of idiots run the rangers this team will always battle to make the playoffs and miss most of the time and will continue there mediocre drafting.

  11. Stranger Nation on

    Carp – nice summary on #4 with Damn Girardi – I am not sure if puck hit stick or it was just great shot, much bigger issue is Girardi not playing blue line. It was a very slowly developing 3 on 2 with Connolly ahead of the play and the trailer on the far side trying to catch up. If he stands him up at blue line and takes him to the boards that play does not happen. He NEVER does that, as in NEVER. He should watch tape of his partner, McD, Sauer, and Em who do it regularly.

    While that goal may have technically been interference, it seemed like the BBBs D were getting away with a lot of off puck interference on our fore-check. A couple of times our forwards were picked off. If this represents playoff hockey officiating where non-grinding teams are allowed to do that, we are cooked. Our success if predicated on hustle, grind and grit. Did anyone hit Connolly all night? That poser gets hit once and he disappears.

    Gabby needs to figure out a better move when he comes down the right wing. three times he took it wide and ended up doing nothing with it. Use the D as a screen and let her rip – nothing to lose.

    Outside of Artie, that line looked off last night – both Dubi and Callyman were a step slow the whole game and it only got worse at the end when Torts kept them out there for the last 5 mins.

    Bring back MZA, bench EZ

    Em really looks good when he is out there – needs to play more minutes.

  12. I don’t know if any of you boneheads thought this but when they told us how Miller was a scratch and this back-up stepped in at the last minute, did you all think, “Uh-oh!! Unknown goalie gonna shut us down”!!! Yet, in the third period, down 1-0, I still had hope. That’s how this team differs from other versions of our boys. They are always in it and never give up. Buffalo outplayed them and they need credit more than the Rangers deserve blame. Unknown goalie or not. EC should be Black Aced!!!

  13. Stranger Nation on

    ToMG – “there youth is nothing special.”

    Step, McD and Sour Power have played well this season. What’s on the farm is to be determined. At least we still have the guys we drafted in the first 2 rounds unlike recent history with Slatapus.

    It reminds me of the Mets and Yankees youngsters – always over hyped and never play well on the big stage. The good ones are brought up right away (Jeter, Rivera, Wright, Reyes) because if the youngsters can produce at the pro level, the ROI ($$) is the best deal for the org. I am wary of the guys who are 2 or 3 years away when they are 20 or so.

  14. Not sure I agree about Girardi. He may just be inconsistent rather than useless, as some of youse guys think. I saw him take an oncoming forward to the boards and out of the play last night so I disagree with Stranger Nation. There’s really no need for us to bad mouth our regulars after a loss. C’mon!!!

  15. RE: #9 – Agreed. I am a die-hard baseball guy but I cannot wait until Hockey gets the attention that it deserves. It’s sad that I have an NBA and NFL lockout to look forward to for the mere fact that it will propel Hockey into the spotlight.

    Last night. What can I say. It was miserable. This team is terrible, and I mean terrible, at Second Periods. I don’t understand why they just never put forth an effort in that period.

    I think Christiansen looked useless last night. Avery skated hard. Bring back Zuccarello and get Christiansen on the bench, or Wolski. Cally had a tough night but he was trying, which was more than I can say for most of these guys.


  16. If were going to sit here and dissect every players play last night how come no mention to how many times Dubinsky skates into the corner with the puck only to circle back towards the point and finally lose possession?

    He crated 0 chances. And besides hitting the post and sticking up for Callahan at the 20:00 of the 3rd he did relatively nothing last night.

  17. HockeymanRangers on

    My thoughts, we are a below average team when Gabby is not there to score for us. And if that continues we will be gone in the first round. Gabby, here is Hockeyman’s tip of the day, “don’t hold your stick so tight, lighten up a little bit” A lot of our other goals, Duby’s, Cally’s, Prust and Boyle,s and are all hard working goals that don’t come so easily. Some where we need to find scoring on a regular basis. I guess this is not news to anyone but hardworking goals are hard to come by we need some skill goals. Yea last night game was very depressing, to know when they NEED to win they can’t. And tonights game is NOT going to be a gimmie either. But I have a postive attitude ” THEY CAN DO THIS”

  18. Stranger Nation on

    Artie-Art – spot-on with the back up goalie playing. Bad karma riding on that train

  19. Stranger Nation on

    Artie-Art – did not say Damn Girardi was useless but the body of work over the course of the season/career shows some consistent flaws. He regularly gives up the blue line and then tries to block the shot from the wing. 9 times out of 10 he will not stand the man up – you saw that one in ten.

    If he is going to play over 25 mins a game then he has to play his position better. Is that being critical? yes – does that mean I do not want him and the team to succeed? no

    This is a fan blog, not the MSG Ranger Fan Zone.

  20. Stranger Nation on

    Hank really needed to waffle board that Connolly slapper to the corner for another 50/50 loose puck

  21. Stranger Nation on

    Maybe not an empty net hattie, but I think the goalie was skating to the bench


  22. Heave (and Fran) – yup. This team cannot pass. What were they doing all night with these drop passes to NO ONE?!? The Sabres were swarming all over them and they are doing little fancy drop passes. Sheesh!

    Anything else they try to pass is just horrible. Except McCabe. That guy is slow and fat and a liability in his own end but he can pass.

  23. Let’s make a point about Girardi – ON THE ICE w/ Staal = No Goals given up. Staal in the box = Goal.

  24. The point is that when Girardi does not have Staal he cannot play. It’s uncanny. Staal takes a pentaly, Girardi ends up on the PK for some crazy reason and he doesn’t take the man out of the play and he plays passive for the block and gives up a goal.

    If Staal was on the ice that would never happen. Can Girardi just serve all of Staal’s penalties from now on?

    I made this point a couple of games ago – Girardi has a particular style of play that is covered up when Staal is on the ice because he takes the man and Girardi can play an “in between” position. When he is out there with anyone else he just looks lost and his “in between” style of play is completely exposed. Not that he cost us the game. Just an overall observation by a guy who probably doesn’t know enough to make that observation (me).

  25. Stranger Nation on

    Vinny is a decent passer, Step OK,

    How about Artie’s spinarama move and pass to Dubi who proceeded to miss the net or hit the goalie in the belly

  26. ToMG March: callahan was never good with the puck, he is a grinder and can’t stick handle.

    Grinders don’t score over 20 goals a season & that’s WITH missing six weeks.

  27. IMO, a significant reason hockey remains on the backpages in the US is becuase it’s perceived by too many as a bush league sport frought with violence and people with low IQs.

    Until the NHL cleans up its act and removes from the game players like Matt Cooke, things ain’t gonna change much.

  28. Buffalo took away the middle very well last night. Jonas Brother Enroth was leaving juicy rebounds in the slot but no one was there to pounce. Not their greatest effort by any means but Buffalo played a pretty tightened up game in their own end. Obviously the Rangers should have worn them out a bit more because they played the night before. I think having these extra days off at this point can sometimes be a momentum killer for the skaters (although I’m sure it helps Lundqvist rest).

    Carolina still has to nearly win out to pass the Rangers.

    How would people feel if they won 1-0 last night but lost 1-0 in Boston?

  29. CT – I get your point. The game in Boston was a huge win. But last night was a more important game in my opinion because it was against a team that is fighting you for a playoff spot. Each game is more important than the last and this team has to play like today is the most important game of their lives.

    Even tonight.

  30. Manny,

    I suppose that winning last night would have helped in terms of tiebreakers with the Sabres, but this has been the Rangers MO most of the season. They have winning records for the Caps and Pens but played .500 against the Sens, Canes and Panthers. They’ve beaten the Canucks, Kings, Sharks and Blackhawks but have looked flat against the Wild, Blue Jackets along with getting trounced by the Avs. They’re a fairly accurate personification of “you win some, you lose some”.

  31. making my way over to the coliseum.

    guarnateed to leave ready to explode on someone.

    we lose tonight we miss the playoffs PERIOD.

    i feel a collapse happening

  32. CT – You are totally right. I just want an attitude instilled in these guys – a playoff attitude. “Today is the most important day of the season.” That kind of thing.

    We need Miami to hate hard today.

  33. I just want an attitude instilled in these guys – a playoff attitude. “Today is the most important day of the season.” That kind of thing.

    We need Miami to hate hard today.


    Of course it’s nice to see, but uh, there was another team with even more at stake last night playing on the other side of the ice. Sometimes they have to win as well.

  34. True. They played like something was at stake. They also played like they didn’t play a really tough game last night. And they won.

    I was just pulling for our guys.

  35. Do not be upset so much in one loss, it is just a game. May be Rangers want to make playoff race more interesting? Also they have excuse, after blocked so many shots most of the players have bruises all around their body.
    For who is very disappointing in Rangers hockey, switch (double) to a baseball. Baseball is a best sport in the world, because you can talk during the game, eat, sleep and missed nothing.

  36. Man, one loss and you would think the rangers dropped out of the race with the way the chatter is on the boards here. Buffalo was a desperate team playing desperate hockey and great defense. We had chances but we couldn’t bury them, no point in looking back on this game with 5 left and such a tight race.

    I agree the call on the Anisimov goal was probably right, but when they showed the overhead camera you saw callahan change his path significantly in order to not bump the goaltender. It is annoying how often you see a goal disallowed or an interference penalty for your team when your player in front of the net gets pushed/leveled into the goalie. We see it so often yet its called so terribly in this league i think they should try and rework it somehow.

    Prust is such an honest player. I was actually not surprised at all when he leapfrogged the goalie after that whistle, but it was funny as hell to watch.

  37. avery is garbage on

    As much as i dislike avery, he has played harder since being benched, and he has actually been trying in the defensive zone! He should stay in the lineup. In the 2nd period last night i saw christensen and couldnt remember seeing him at all in the first. He needs to sit, bring in the hobbit. As far as Girardi goes, I just don’t see why everyone rips the guy all the time. I also don’t think he deflected that shot, on the replay it didnt look like it even fluttered, just a rocket to the top corner. It used to be people here would say that they liked Girardi and Staal separated. I for one, liked it when he was paired with Del Zotto, I thought he played better. Now he’s useless without Staal? Really?

  38. Myers played well last night. Lindy Ruff made sure that he plays against Dubinsky specifically. and Myers essentially rendered Dubinsky ineffective last night. he took away his strength around the boards. Buffalo played similar game the Rangers played against Boston, and it worked. Move on.

    TheDude, IMO, the baseball is the best sport in the world because you can afford not to follow it at all, and still miss nothing :-)

  39. mmmm, i smell fish for dinner tonight. security line at the airport this morning was ridiculous. i did get the extra special treatment though

  40. Avery – I didn’t say Girardi was Useless without Staal (did I?). I just think his weaknesses are exposed.

  41. TheREALMikeyNJ on

    I agree Calad, Jesus some of you whine more than my little sister.

    Aren’t we 7-2-1 over the last 10 games?

    Aren’t there 5 game left in the season?

    Aren’t we IN a playoff position as of today rather than fighting from behind to try to GET IN?

    We lost ONE game, by ONE goal.

    Thank God none of you are actually on the rangers, because you’d just cry after a loss and refuse to play the next night.

    Man up everybody and stop your compalining or I’m gonna get a Costco size bottle of Cranberry juice for all of you to drink.

    Look at it this way Rangers, Buff and Carolina all have 5 games left in the season.

    Carolina HAS to win 5 in a row to get to 94 points
    Buffalo has to win 3 and 1/2 games to get to 94 points
    Rangers have to win 3 and 1/2 games to get to 94 points

    But we ARE making the playoffs.

    And I have no illusions of us winning the cup this year. I jsut want all of our rookies to get the playoff experience. and hey if we can upset some team in the first round, great, but this whole year ia about building a cup team of the future who will be competetive for several years

    So have some faith people.

    And TOMG, our youth is average? Yeah Ok.
    Stepan – 20 goal rookie season so far.
    MCD AND SAUER both palying over 15 min a night as the second pair D unit, yeah they suck. Dubi, Cally,Artie, Henrik, Zuccarello, all homegrown.
    Stall & Girardi top D pair, homegrown.

    Yeah there terrible, trade them all

  42. The Hobbit Wizard better play tonight!!! Enough is enough!!

    Avery was ok, he should stay in the lineup. Let’s not go overboard…he still needs to be more involved…

    Wolski…how did this guy become this invisible in a only a few months? He looked pretty good when we first got him…what an enimga…

    I don’t want to even talk about Fredo…

    Girardi is way too overrated by Rangers fans. He’s OK but nothing special. Do I want to trade him? I don’t know. The guy is not a legit 1st pair d-man on a good team. Sorry. I’d rather see Sauer with Stahl…

    I guarantee tonight will NOT be a 1-0 game…

  43. NYR – That’s the way Mon!

    Hobbit Wizard tonight! Pointy ears and hairy feet. Bring it. The Quest Continues. He will bring the “+7 stick of haunted scoring.” Roll that D-20.

  44. When I hear the word “enigma” I think of the song by that group

    Shaaaa….dimwah….boo boo beeep doooo

  45. Rangers need to reunite the Wolski-Stepan-Zuccarello line as our 3rd line has been absolutely useless since then then move Fedotenko up with Prospal and Gaborik and scratch Christensen.

  46. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    Message to my current favorite hockey coach….play your guys, trust your bench, everyone will play better if you roll your lines…there is usually enough special teams minutes to get your top guys some extra ice, some games more, some games less

    Please…regardless of who the healthy scratches are, play all your dressed guys…this ain’t high school, everyone will benefit. Your top guys will have more energy and your bottom guys will surprisingly (or not surprisingly) contribute

  47. The sky is still up there…I still think the Rangers will make the playoffs…

    I think it will help if we can figure out a way to score more goals during the games…Just sayin…I love this team but we need guys to score more goals…And, I don’t mean Girardi deflecing it past Lundqvist, again…

    The Rangers need to up the forechecking, they can’t play defense all game and look for transition chances…they don’t have enough weapons to play like that…they need to grind it out to win games…yesterday they were chasing their tails in their own zone for most of the game.

  48. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    This team is going to make the playoffs and win their first rd. That said, I am looking at prospective 2nd rd. matchups. Get on board the Eddie train as I have 3, nearly empty, cars that are waiting to go choooooo choooooo chugggggggga chugggggggggga

  49. CCCP – I totally had that thought immediately upon conclusion of the game. My bad guys.

  50. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Did Crosby poop this morning? Is there an update on how much bran he is eating? Prust sayin.

  51. Gonna be honest, not concerned. It was a big two points but I’m confident that will give us the edge in tonights game and given our schedule is significantly easier than Buff’s moving forward, we’ll lock 7 and leave Buff/Car to hack it out at a later date.

    Giddy Up! LETS GO HANK, PRUST, STAAL, CALLY…. carry the team!

  52. The isle to be most concerned with will be P.A. Parenteau. He loves to score against us since leaving.

  53. Good morning, Sally! Did you see Dubinsky? Did you go to the game?

    Man, there are some extreme NNs (Negative Nancys) here. Ridiculous. But not surprising.

    Was just told that Lundqvist insisted the shot was not deflected. Called it a “bomb.”

    Beat the Islanders and everything’s just fine, right? Even for the NNs.

  54. I am not a Negative Nancy – More of a Concerned Cathy. I get kind of this pit in my stomach thinking about last year and thinking about how much it would hurt to not see this team get into the playoffs. So I am a bit of an Anxious Annie or a Jittery Jane.

  55. Carp, if I had gone to the game the Rangers would have won. Didn’t see Dubinsky either. SIGH.

    Looking forward to the game tonight! LGR!

  56. Therealmikeynj on

    And ec or wolski need to sit tonight. Did they do anything last night to warrant being in the line up tonight? no

  57. Carp, I just want the Rangers to score some goals and forecheck (stick to the formula that works and not count on Hank to bail us out every night). I also want to see MZA play…I don’t think that is asking a lot…I don’t think that makes me a NN…

    Fact: (Butt-Chin) Gabby was skating very well last night and made some good plays/passes. However, he was not shooting the puck well at all.

  58. Hank doesn’t throw his teammates under the bus…that is why he didn’t admit that Girardi deflected it (even though the replay showed it did)

    No one takes NYR losses harder than him…he takes the blame…

  59. There have been a lot of freakish, weird goals that deflected off a Ranger and went in on Hank. Remember that goal that bounced off Artie-Partie’s back?

  60. Count me in as a Concerned Connie. It’s not simply that we lost last night, it’s the sub par game our boys played that’s put a small knot in my stomach. This was the second game in a back to back for the BBB’s and we hadn’t played since Sunday afternoon. If we had played with the mindset to outwork and outhit them from the beginning I’ll bet the result would have been two important points in our column. And by losing last night we give the Islanders even more motivation to get up for this game. A victory by them tonight would be especially painful for us and they know it. I expect a very tough game in their house.

  61. I don’t see how we miss the playoffs since we should finish at least 2-3 in the next 5 games meaning Carolina would need to go at least 3-1-1 (all wins in reg/ot) for them to pass us.
    Considering how resilient this team has been all season and Lundqvist is playing the best hockey of his career, I just don’t see it happening…

    btw as predicted, Brian Boyle has come back to earth just 3 goals in his last 25 games…

  62. speaking of Boyle… he thinks he’s Pavel Bure, shooting the puck every time he gets it on his stick! No Brian, you’re not Bure…OK? :)

  63. and regardless if Boyle has only 3 goals in last 25… most of his goals were meaningful… unlike the floating sniper that we have.

  64. Yup…that was a weird one too, Manny

    All is good in Rangerland but, these 1-0 games kind of are boring, no?

    …I just want to watch some entertaining NYR hockey for Prust’s sake!!!

    Oleo, Boyle still had a terrific season…

  65. Stranger Nation on

    Replay on MSG for those who want to get all worked up all over again

    just showed Step missing off a very nice Gabby feed from behind.

    Oh yeah – new lines – all is scrambled

  66. Maybe we should select a new player to cheer about all day. Prust did not work yesterday. What if we pick someone new….McMonster? Callahan?

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

    I’m certainly an Anxious Annie but I am by no means ready to start drafting a eulogy.


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

    How about we not focus on any one player today? I love you all but it gave me a headache (and also led to one of Prust’s worst games of the year).

    Remember…I’m superstitious!

  69. The responses today, based off of Carp’s lead, are mostly priceless. The over-analysis, and nit-picking of player performance in this single game is palpable, and somewhat understandable considering the time of year. But it’s almost as though we forget there’s another team who is competing just as hard, with similar talent and that it is ice hockey, the most confounding sport to make rational sense of because fluky thing can and do happen.

    Unfortunately, for whatever the ‘reasons’ are, our boys are in a position where every game is make or break and the magnifying glass in on full-time for every shift. I just wish we can sit back and enjoy the rest of the season, as Carp has stated previously, regardless of the outcome, because this has been the most entertaining, likeable Ranger team in a long time. To throw them under the bus at this point would be a mistake because what they have shown all year is that they are capable of making good things happen.

    The only logic that makes sense to me is that the Rangers are, over this full season (the only way they should be judged), wildly inconsistent. There have been streaks on both sides of the ledger. There have been great stretches where we have played undermanned only to get back everyone back only to under perform for an interminable period. I’ve given up wondering each game what team will show up and what bounces, calls and fluky crap is going to work for or against us. I do know that as a team this year they have shown an inner confidence to come back from adversity and bad games and I will take that with me through the end of this season.

    The biggest positive we have going now is the KING. Unfortunately any bad game from this point to the end of the season will be considered unacceptable, but that comes with the territory and he’s a big boy.

    As far as who dresses or not, not sure if it really matters, but here’s my two cents. I would make Avs part of the permanent team (he’s shown enough the entire year that his presence makes a difference for the better) and then rotate between MZA, WW and EC based on previous game effort and not bother with the match-ups.

    One comment on the last game played dissection that I will allow myself to fall into- If you want to pick apart Cally’s and Dubi’s game last night, be my guest, but don’t give Artie a free ride. For that line to be successful ALL THREE need to grind and of all three I thought Artie was the least effective.

    As I watch tonight’s game I will attempt to channel the one and only Killer Karlsen? from Slapshot and carry on his mantra (something to this effect) . . . . “All is Good, One with the universe, . . . . . .” and let the boys play this one and the rest of the season out.

  70. I know Noah – We take full blame for Prust’s game. Maybe we should do reverse psychology with Christiansen or Wolski.

  71. Uh, guys we aren’t going to lose tonight. The Mausoleum will be filled with Ranger fans. Big bounce back effort. I see a 5-2 or 6-2 result. Hank might let in a late one. LGR all the way. Rangers are going to go 3-1-1 down the stretch so it wont matter what the canes do. Once in, i dont care who we play because none of washington, philly or boston wants to play a goalie as hot as hank right now.

  72. Boyle had a fantastic first 40 games games but has tailed off considerably since then. That said, there is nothing wrong with being a 30-35 point, physical and defensively capable 3rd/4th line center.

  73. Another positive for us is that Miller is day-to-day and could be out for a few games. Enroth may not play that well every day – at least other teams, the really good ones they are about to face, will give him more trouble than our boys did.

  74. Stranger – According to Puckdaddy – (also note that King Henry is Enroth’s hero)

    *No. 1 Star: Jhonas Enroth, Buffalo Sabres*

    Pressing into duty after *Ryan Miller was scratched (and is day-to-day with an upper body injury*) Enroth made some key stops in back of a stout defensive performance by the Sabres in their 1-0 win over the New York Rangers. It was his first start in 17 days, playing in front of his parents for the first time in two years and against his idol Henrik Lundqvist. Tim Connolly had the lone goal in the second period on the power play.

  75. Bless my soul, you want really go to the Mausoleum ??? Are you depressed ?:)

    I heard they call it the retirement home for hockey zombies, where even fans get paid to attend games, so they would get over 5000 a game :)

  76. I wouldn’t fault Girardi on the goal nearly as much as I fault Boyle. You cannot turn the puck over on the PK when you have two men in deep. If you are not sure your going to get the pass through you HAVE to take the shot.

  77. at least the Isls management doesn’t rob their true fans blind! You can get like 5 isls games package for less than $40 bucks! lol

    the problem is that nobody wants those tickets, even for free… but still

  78. supposively wolski sitting and zuc in. i rather sit christensen but I assume torts wants him because he is a center.

    regardless need some energy from zuc. stepan was very visible last night.

  79. The answer to point #11 above is that Christensen was only noticeable when he turned the puck over. Wolski played better. He was never noticeable.

  80. Oh God – Sens!? That poor little bastard got just what he deserved. Shunning the Rangers….what a bum!

  81. eddie eddie eddie on

    The key for tonights’s game: the rangers must score more goals than the islanders.

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

    Morning ILB and all!!

    Great write up!

    Relax they will make the playoffs!

    We still have ec? He should have been gone long ago!

    I’m going to say what everyone is thinking (or maybe they aren’t), but McCabe played better d than girardian on man last night! Every time a saber came into the zone man up on McCabe, he put a hand in his chest, effectively closing off time and space….girardi feebly poke checks or continually backs up, giving too much time and space. Maybe it’s an experience thing or confidence. Either way OPG needs to fix it (really hope we trade him this offseason)!


  83. “Well Eddie that is only one of the Keys to the game. The other key is that the Rangers have to allow less goals than the Islanders.”

  84. eddie eddie eddie on

    on the revolving line changes…why not Avery centering Hank and McD, gabby and MZA on D, girardi in the nets…

  85. Eddie this is a great back and forth – we should take over for Rosen and Micheletti

  86. eddie eddie eddie on

    i went upstairs and had a smoke, somebody spoke, and i went into a dream, ahahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  87. eddie eddie eddie on

    Manny – another key, to score at least one more goal than the islanders, if so, there is a good chanve, they can possibly get the win

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

    anyone here play NHL11?

    I thought kreider was on the rangers prospect roster (with mcilrath, werek etc), but after my last roster update he isn’t there any more. Was he ever?


  89. “That’s a great point Pepper (eddie). The Rangers are really going to want to score at least one more point than the Islanders. If they can do that they have a good chance of walking away with a win.”

  90. eddie eddie eddie on

    it really doesnt matter if i am wrong or right, worng or right…i am fixing my room in a colorful way, where will my mind go?…..and it really doesnt matter if i am wrong or right, belong allright…fixing a hole where the rain gets in…

  91. avery is garbage on

    nyr fan – what replay did you see that clearly showed it deflected off girardis stick? the one i saw showed the puck not fluttering one bit, which would lead me to believe it wasnt deflected.

    i agree that it was partly boyles fault, and he has noticeably fallen off the second half of the season. I like him as a 3rd liner, but hes not particularly good with the puck, and is not a great passer. I could overlook these things if he would take the body more, like a 6’7″ giant should. I would not mind seeing him go if his salary demands are out of line.

    wicky – girardi is going nowhere.

  92. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – by scoring 1 less goal than the rangers, the islanders will likely be losing at some point throughout the game…..if that trend continues, the rangers might get the win..

  93. I have no problem with Boyle. Even if he’s not scoring as much.

    I hate how flip-floppy NYR fans are. Boyle elects to pass, and it pretty much costs us a goal, and now everybody is on his case, all of a sudden.

    What aboot Stahl? In game 5 of the Semis in 08, he has a chance to shoot on a 3 on 2, but he passes, and a minute later, Hossa sends NYR golfing. Nobody gave him any crap. What’s the difference?

    Get over it!

  94. I am INTO Boyle. I like him. Think about how much he has improved. We were just talking (yesterday) about Boyle getting the award for Most Improved. He is still improving and if he gets better next year it might show itself in more consistency.

  95. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – correct me if i am wrong, but if the rangers are able to score the first goal, it would seem as tho they would take a 1-0 lead….could someone check the stats on that?…i do think, yes, here it is, 100% of the time, the team that does score first, is able to take a 1-0 lead….wasnt sure..but it is true…

  96. eddie eddie eddie on

    popeye boyle was great in the french connection….or was that ricky martin, that handsome womanly dancer that sings love songs?

  97. You know eddie – I am looking it up also and getting the same result. Definitely if the Rangers score first they will lead 1-0. If they can maintain that percentage and that score they should win the game…can you check those stats for me? If a team is leading 1-0 at the conclusion of regulation what is the percentage chance that they win that game? Don? Martha? Somebody look that up.

  98. wicky – Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but Kreider remains Ranger property until July after his senior year…but…because he’s in the NCAA, and college players can’t be under contract, he’ll remain property of the Rangers and not signed, unless he forgoes college. If EA did a roster update with him, my guess is either the college, Kreider’s agent, the NCAA or all three complained, considering the last thing they want is the impression that he’s getting money from anyone. Although on that note, there is speculation that he could end up signing soon. BC was eliminated from the NCAA tournament and at least two of the team’s top forwards(Atkinson and Hayes) just signed professional contracts. Kreeds, its rumored, could be the next to go pro…so keep checking those updates!

  99. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – not so fast,,,i recall a game last year where a team did score first and failed to take a 1-0 lead…..remember there is no such thing as always…that is always a fact…..if they score first…it simply means that there is a GOOD chance they will take the 1-0 lead…i am not even sure if it ends 1-0, that rangers will walk away with the 2 pts, even if they score that first goal…can i get some help here?……

  100. Orr, when you say semis, you mean the first round, right? Because I don’t remember the Rangers in the semis since ’97.

  101. Yea Eddie – Don? Martha? Can one of you get on this please? What do we pay you for? You’re a God Darn Intern. Now get on finding those stats for us.

    Eddie clearly remembers a game where this happened. It’s a good point – always is the only always. It isn’t always. Always doesn’t always mean always. Sometimes always can mean most times. In fact most times means always because always cannot always mean always.

    Martha? Can you get on that for me? Do you have a dictionary? Can you read? Come on Martha!

  102. eddie eddie eddie on

    the rangers really need to come and play hockey tonight…..i mean, i would hate for them to show up and think it was a volleyball game…..however, that volleyball scene in top gun still lights my fire…..imagine seeing hank all oiled up and about to spike that ball….somebody get me a fan…its warm in here….

  103. Carp, Orr means the Conference Semis. For example, when I label DVDs, I label first round games, Conference Quarterfinals, and 2nd round games, Conference Semis. The Sabres were the Conf. Semis in 08

  104. More wisdom Eddie – The Rangers cannot show up tonight thinking they are here to practice or see a concert or maybe attend a craft fair. They have to KNOW that they are playing Hockey. No matter if they are watching oiled up men playing volleyball on the bus to the arena. I mean you can think about volleyball or men while playing but you have to KNOW you are playing hockey. You can’t tell someone they are going to clean bathrooms and then put them on the ice to play hockey. Knowledge is power.

  105. eddie eddie eddie on

    martha – why you are at it, where is my glossy men’s running magazine?….i just love love looking at those pictutes in between periods…..what, manny, my mic is on?..what?….i said what?….oh no, i didnt mean i like to look at those pictutes, i meant i have to order some running clothes…

  106. Eddie don’t worry about the mic – this is the islanders – no one is watching or listening anyways. Now I might know where that magazine is because I believe I had it at breakfast. Now I remember getting coffee on it and asking Martha to clean it off.

    Martha – can you get the damn magazine please? I mean – eddie can’t just sit here without his magazine – he needs to see running men and women (which look the same).

  107. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – yes, excellent point……i also think by winning this game, then they would have scored more than the islanders…..but i seem to remember a game where the team that scored more goals, actually lost the game…..that said, the rangers have to have their legs….it really is hard to skate, much less win the game, without one’s legs….

  108. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – looks like like gabby’s groin is bothering him……those big strong muscular legs really are impressive…..someone get me my binoculars….

  109. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – if the rangers are to make the playoffs, it would make sense that they finish 1 thru 8….while 9th place could earn them a spot…probably safer to aim for at least 8th…

  110. You know eddie – he has muscles on top of muscles – i was watching him in the locker room and boy oh boy he has muscles everywhere.

    Now I hope the Rangers brought their hands because they are going to have to use those sticks. I am trying to think of a time when someone won a hockey game or at least scored a goal without a stick. Can you throw the puck into the net? like a water polo game? gosh I love water polo. What a pure sport. Treading water, shirtless – throwing the ball. No one can see below the water you know.


  111. Eddie – regarding the playoffs I am not convinced that the Rangers want to go to the playoffs. If you don’t want it then the league will just give it to another team. You have to want it.

  112. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – interesting point about the sticks, your analysis is simply spot on tonight…….wow, look at gabby skate…those muscles are amazing……i need a backrub…

  113. “From NYR morning skate on LI:Wolski, Gilroy & Chad Johnson will skate. Rest of team will meet off ice. So expect Zuccarello to return vs NYI”

    Soooo….If Wolski is with Johnson and Gilroy(scratches)does this really mean EZ is going to get another shot? Carp – Can you please tell me what this team sees in that hack?

  114. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – i was just thinking that….also, the rangers need to play for the whole 60 minutes… playing less than 60 minutes, there is a chance they wont play the entire game….on another note, if they score the first 2 goals, is it absolutely certain they will be ahead 2-0?

  115. You know eddie – I think 1+1 might equal 2 – we already proved though that always does not mean always so they could score two goals and lead 1-0 or perhaps they give a goal to the Islanders and they are tied with them. They have to make sure that both goals are scored by putting that rubber thing into the Islanders net and not their own. That’s crucial.

    If they don’t play 60 minutes they could be forced to forfeit the game. Got to be careful with that.

  116. True Blue Mike on

    We need 8 points. That means without relying on Carolina and Buffalo, we need to beat the Isles, Thrashers and Devils. And then get 2 points out of Philli and Boston… Thats what i am hoping for.

  117. Ya know stranger – another good point. The Rangers have to stay away from Horse racing. It’s very easy to get trampled down there if you end up too close to the horses. Be careful. Especially the little guys – they might end up becoming jockeys.

  118. Da Costa’s cap hit is rumored to be $3.5 mil! Wow! That would have been tough to squeeze for the NYR with all our RFAs!

    Good job by the Sens…they needed to do something….

    Manny & Eddie – Are youse 2 mocking me? :P

  119. Gosh I am having so much fun I almost forgot about that horrendous loss last night.

  120. eddie eddie eddie on

    NYR-fan – dude, you are one of us – a valued friend and co-hort ….we are not mocking you…but spoofing on cliche ridden announcers….

  121. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – dude – good humor….i love laughing…tho, most here probbly think we are too-pid :)

  122. LOL! I know guys! I was kidding myself!! I’d much rather hear you two analyze and make absurd cliches than Sam & Joe!!

  123. LinCalPrustBoylahan on

    You guys are out of freakin control! And if they come out like gangbusters and kick the Cooke carcillo out of the islanders, you will all be back on the bandwagon! Sheesh!!!
    They had an off night, they WILL bounce back tonight!!


  124. eddie eddie eddie on

    nyr -fan….why would you think we were mocking you anyway???….not possible…trust me…

  125. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – i think you would agree with me after 20 minutes of play, the period will end…

  126. Therealmikeynj on

    Canberra juice. My girlfriend drinks it when she’s got her period. What? Do you got your period? :)

  127. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – another brilliant piece of analysis – you are really on top of your game with the clarity of your thoughts tonight….i can barely keep up….

  128. True Blue Mike on

    If the Rangers don’t make the playoffs this year, will it be worse than not making it last year? Hmmmm

  129. Eddie- don’t you dare do this. Not in front of everybody. You promised back in Houston that you wouldn’t do this.

    Where is Martha with my freaking fair trade organic coffee!?

  130. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – by winning tonight, the rangers will have scored more goals than the islanders…however, by the islanders scoring less, does that mean the rangers will have also scored more?…is that a 4 or 6 pt. swing?…math is confusing

  131. Oh man Carp, I dont get it that you dont like the tennis :)

    Here you sit in this old dark barn on the Island called the Mausoleum watch a couple of dozen old grumpy guys all covered up in their uniforms battling each other in mostly cold conditions in a mostly heated atmosphere and on the other side you sit up in the box in this beautiful new centre court in sunny southern Florida at Tennis Center at Brandon Park watching those two beautiful sexy attractive tennis girl vying for a place at the Final in Key Biscayne….

    Oh what a beauty that sports can be so different :)

  132. You know eddie I think if the Rangers win tonight they get 6 points and if the Islanders lose they get 1.8 points but then the rangers take the cosign of the Islanders score and subtract it from their season differential +/-. You have to remember that the square root of the season’s GAA will really go a long way when it is added back in minus the body checks and penalty minutes.

  133. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – when we are sitting this close to each other in the booth….it reminds me about the time we had to share that hotel room in denver…remember, they offered us 2 “queen” beds…and we both snickered…..

  134. Stranger Nation on

    Sam Nosen and Joe Missaplenty are probably two of the better hockey announcers. Proving that TV hockey announcing is not highly valued. Switch over Ranger radio and TV announcing teams for easy solution to painful problem.

    It was reported Cindy started morning skate, bu no full participation in practice.

    When this is first mentioned on tonight’s telecast:

    a) Pre-game
    b) During 1st period
    c) between 1st and 2nd periods
    d) After start of 2nd period
    e) All of the above

    My guess – e

  135. oh eddie – i will never forget the twinkle in your eyes the next day as we cleaned up the room, threw out that hooker’s body and tried to steam the smell of curried goat from the drapes. What a night that was. Now back to this game – I heard that Cindy Crosby skated today but did not take full participation in practice.

  136. I would really like to see the Rangers make the Petkodance after the game because that would mean that they have crashed the Islanders….:)

  137. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – i almost couldnt sleep last night thinking about crosby… thing is almost certain…he will either play this season, or he wont……i dont think there is a third possibility….if he plays, then it means he didnt not play…but if he doesnt not play, does that mean he didnt play?

  138. That’s right Eddie – he will either play or he won’t play. I guess he could play but not play effectively. He could also not play but be effective. Maybe if Martha would get back here with that coffee I could focus and look this stat up.

    You know I spoke with Cindy last night and he told me that he was thinking of playing…or not playing.

  139. Ya know eddie- I am checking out some stats here. It looks like from Year 0 – 2005 Cindy did NOT play. From 2005 until now he has played. Really it’s a toss up from here. He has played and he has not played. I really thought these stats would lead us somewhere. I guess he spent more years not playing so maybe he won’t play. But he might play.

  140. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – one is thing is certain…an update would be nice… thinking about playing or not playing, the affects of the concussion are obviously lessening…..on the other hand, if he is unwilling or unable to poop, and there has been nothing forthcoming from the pens’ training staff, would you say in that case…it could be a blowout once it does happen?…talk about dumping the puck….

  141. Eddie agreed – his ability to think about playing and possibly play while thinking are really signs that he has recovered from his concussions. I know you gave me a concussion once when we were trying to train-hop across the country. I did not recover.

  142. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – wow that stat is revealing…are you saying that when he played, he didnt not play?…and all of those years he didnt not play, he actually played?……this needs a further look…are there other players for which the same can be said?

  143. I don’t know eddie – i don’t think any player has had the same life as cindy. I think his life has been unique but when he was not playing he was not not playing and when he was playing he was certainly not not not playing. those things are not for not sure.

  144. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    It’s a must win, for the rangers tonight manny,,, I guess you could also say, it’s a must not Lise game… There really are 2 sides of a coin … Heads and not heads…

  145. Right – Which makes tonight a Win-Win situation. You could also call that a “Not Lose – Not Lose” situation.

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

    oh cmon, can’t we trade OPG for someone??

    thanks orr and everyone about kreider, I must have been off my rocker when I thought I saw him!!

  147. Manny

    The Islander that Rangers must fear the most is not Grabner, but Moulson….Grabner has lightning breakaway speed, but Moulson is a Cobra. He can lurk around the goal area, dart in suddenly and his hands are so quick he can put the puck where he wants it without even looking. He amazes me sometimes at the goals he scores, where it doesn’t even look as though he has a legitimate shot, but he apparently sees the situation thru different eyes than most of us because he is uncanny.

  148. I really don’t believe I’ve seen any better rookie on the ice than this Skinner kid on the Canes. He is a marvelous talent especially from one so young. I’ll be quite surprised if he’s not rookie of the year.

  149. Skinner is a marvelous talent. He’s going to be scary good. I was beyond impressed when I saw him play at MSG in October and score 2 goals against the Rangers…now he is even better…

  150. Fun with Dubinsky

    The Dubinsky Brothers (Doobie Brothers)

    Roll Away the Dubin-sky (roll away the dub-bey)

    The Big Dubinsky (the big lebowski)

  151. not happy with gaborik, and him being pleasant to a reporter in the elevator should not make that reporter hold back on real deserved criticism of the perimeter pisspoor play of Gaborik. tell the truth about him. don’t give us he is getting chances bs. he is a huge failure this season.

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