Islanders-Rangers in review; and it’s being reviewed by the NHL

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Apparently there is a chance the Rangers can recoup those two points from last night. The NHL is investigating whether the Islanders used an illegal lineup in the game, and it could result in a forfeit of the two points … though I’m not sure if the two points would be just removed from the Islanders’ ledger of if they’d also be added to the Rangers’ standings.

What happened was that Jack Capuano, the Islanders coach, submitted a lineup that included Michael Grabner, who missed the game for the birth of his child, and did not include Trevor “Village People” Gillies.

And the Isles played the entire game without Grabner and with Gillies. So we’ll see. It’s in the hands of NHL HQ today.

Aside from that, thoughts:

1) I have chided the Negative Nancys all along, fully confident that this Rangers team was going to make the playoffs — and have felt that way since training camp broke — and mocked the Sky Is Falling crowd and the Trade Everybody group. And I maintain that there are a few of youse who have been in those camps to a ridiculous degree throughout the year. But right now, as of today and last night, I have doubts for the first time. I really don’t know if they will have enough mental toughness to get through these last four games.

2) What might save them is that Carolina still has to make up three points. And I don’t know if the former Whalers can do that. And I wonder if the Islanders will play the same way against the Canes Saturday as they did last night, or if they lie down like dogs.

3) I also find it ironic that last season, the biggest game of the year was the Rangers’ matinee in Philly. This year, now, it is the Rangers’ matinee in Philly Sunday. Last year, in Game 82, very few Rangers showed up. It will be interesting to see how many show up Sunday, because, let’s face it, if they win that game, they’re going to be in very good shape, regardless of the two stinkers in 27 hours they just played (or didn’t play).

4) To fuel the Negative Nancy-ism, and Sky-is-Falling-ism, this is what is most disturbing: You can complain about Marian Gaborik, who I thought was good in Buffalo and lousy in the Island. You can put blame on the invisible Erik Christensens and the confidence-less Mats Zuccarellos and even the broad-side-of-a-barn Sean Averys. But you know who let the Rangers down the most these last two nights? Their young core guys, that’s who. The entire Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan line, the shutdown defense pair of Staal and Girardi. That’s who. All is lost if those guys go south, and they have. Can they make it right for the next four games?

5) The Rangers weren’t too happy with Village People and that Haley kid and that clown Konopka and all the rough stuff at the end of the game.  Tortorella was having words with the Islanders’ bench, and Dubinsky was yapping at Village People Gillies from the bench. Yeah, well, you know what? Too bad. Don’t let it get to 6-1 and that stuff doesn’t happen. You know the Islanders play it rough and tumble when they’re ahead by a lot or behind by a lot. Don’t let them get ahead by a lot. I’ll say this about Haley: That kid’s going to be a legend on the Island for his mayhem against the Penguins, for beating the crap out of that piece of cooke Carcillo, and for bloodying Avery, even if Haley kind of jumped him. Also, I think this game last night and the one against the Penguins that got Mario all weepy, that will be the Islanders’ entire highlight film for 2010-11.

6) With all these passengers now, I wonder if the Rangers would be better off bringing up Kris Newbury and Dale Weise. It won’t happen, I don’t think, but they’re really getting zilch from Christensen, Wolski and now Zuccarello.

7) It’s a stretch to try to find a positive in a game like that. But I found one. I thought Bryan McCabe played his best defensive game as a Ranger.

8) That 5-on-3? Ooof. I understand that Gaborik was off the ice — the call was correct, it was a minor boarding penalty and nothing more — and McCabe was in the box, somehow, for trying to stop Konopka from skating halfway across the rink with his gloves off to get at Gaborik. So that’s two key PP guys unavailable. But Zuccarello was awful on the point, the Rangers lost a draw, the puck came out of the zone twice, and Christensen missed the net by half a county. None of that stuff can happen during a 5-on-3.

9) I asked this question last season, was asked it in the middle of this season, and I’ll ask it again now. Which group of young forwards would you rather have, the Islanders’ or the Rangers’?

10) This is in honor of our negative friend, Miami: That game was bush league. Or amateur hour. Take your pick.

11) I told Sam Rosen before Tortorella’s press conference, “I don’t think you’ll even have to ask a question tonight.” And I was right. I don’t blame Tortorella for the way that went. He was surely as angry as ever underneath, but he knew that this was not a time to run down his team publicly, in the media, on TV. That’s why he referenced the incident with Larry Brooks during Tampa Bay’s playoffs that became infamous on YouTube. It was the same situation. His team stunk it up, and it was not the right time to say what he really thought, so he decided to say nothing. And I think that was the absolute correct way to go on this night.

————–

AP photo, above.

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275 Comments

  1. Good morning, boneheads!

    So, Cam Ward is out for the season, eh? Carolina might be done anyway, after all.

  2. Good morning ilb and Carp! Didn’t know Cam Ward was out for the season. Maybe a blessing in disguise for us?

  3. I sadly missed the whole thing last night. So, can anyone update me on Crosby?

    On #2 – they will lie down like dogs, obviously.

  4. gregm_section403 on

    “Islanders’ entire highlight film for 2010-11″?

    That’s going to be a short flick.

  5. I`m starting to get the feeling that the Rangers and the Mets have the same writer for their end of season story FOLD and Choke

  6. Well carp, I never stated the sky is falling or trade everybody but since the all star break I have posted more than several times this team isn’t making the playoffs. The reason being not because I am negative just my observation of this team. i don’t think the rangers young core is elite or anything special. The rangers are what they are and that is a mediocre team that is a 8-11 seed inn there conference.

  7. onecupin71yearsandcounting on

    Doesn’t the “sky fall” on the rangers every year ?
    Watching the game last night , the Ilse’s venue reminded me of a minor league game. I mean from the guy sporting a mohawk and earing acting as security behind the rangers bench talking to teenage girls ..to Dubi yapping with fans while in the box.again where’s the security ,where’s the professionalism, and the NHL lets this go on .
    Wang runs a carnival.
    But the damage is the rangers not showing up ..Gaborik’s lack of scoring when you need a goal is a killer. I’ll say it, if they could unload him they should Consider it.

  8. I rather have the rangers be bottom feeders for a few years, draft high, get some elite players instead of sather going out and trying to buy elite players. I know that is a pipe dream but one can at least dream. that is the way to build a cup pretender. that is the way chicago, flyers, caps, pens have done it.

  9. onecupin71yearsandcounting,
    if i was the rangers brass i would definitely dangle gaborik. I’m sure sather can get a good return, preferably some young talent but I have negative zero faith in Sather’s ability.

  10. 9) islanders clearly have a better forward group then the rangers. They were skating through and past ranger players.all. Night. Long.
    Garth freegin Snow has drafted and built a team better then Slatapus. Other then the ridiculous dipietro contract he’s done a great job. Sickening.

    No offense, again. No one on this team goes to the net with any consistency. No creativity at all.

    I’ve never been a tortorella fan and he hasn’t changed my mind. Bullying tactics work for only so long IMO.

    Illegal lineup? That’d be freegin hilarious if the islanders have to forfeit the game. That dough-boy car-salesman-dressing-coach over there is a meatball. Ha ha!

  11. ToMG

    It’s not how the Flyers have done it at all. They bottomed out for one year and picked up van Riemsdyk, who’s not a major contributor to the team right now.

    I’m not in favour of praising the Flyers, but I have more respect for the way they have built a team than the repeated tank jobs committed by the Penguins in particular.

  12. Agreed ToMG I think the Gaborik experiment should end When we got him there was a question with his durability now to me its a question of him showing up. I would have faith in Stoggie smoker on the trade front and if we cant sell high so be it

  13. Sorry, Julie.. I was ashamed typing it. It’s as true as Carp’s idea of us possibly recouping two points. Or Rodent’s website being taken over by FBI, as it showed early this morning…

  14. In the whole scheme of things it probably won’t matter because as long as sather is the GM this crap will go on.

  15. Top 6 forwards, yeah I’d probably give the edge to the Isles. Rangers can obviously afford to supplement a better bottom 6. The chasm exists in the defense and goaltending as the Isles have consistently been a bottom 10 if not bottom 3 team in goals against since the lockout. Last night was their Stanley Cup final they played like it and the Rangers played like it was a preseason game. It’s not even worth trying to dissect individual performances because a result last night is an indictment on the entire team.

    Obviously you can’t be happy with the effort when all the players said before the game they new what to expect but I still think they’ve shown enough this season to not feel sorry for themselves when things get rough. They’re going to have to do it the harder way now, but it’s not like if they make the playoffs things will suddenly get easier.

    Last night showed though why I don’t think it matters whether EC, Avery, Wolski or Zuccs is playing. As Carp said when the core guys don’t show up or play hard then it really doesnt matter what the marginal players do.

    And Carp I kind of disagree about the Rangers not being allowed to get a little bent out of shape about the Isles antics at the end of the game. They dont face each other anymore the rest of the year the Isles didn’t result to such thuggery in the blowout games at MSG (December and a few weeks ago). It’s convenient for them to pull the tough guy act when they won’t have to answer for it for another 6 months. The circus affair against the Pens was different, they were addressing previous grievances.

  16. Ps. I’m not exactly “negative” … more “realistic”.

    When I see a bunch of clowns running around in a circus-like fashion, I call it out.

  17. Gaborik = no trade clause

    Also 3 years left at a $7.5mn cap hit. With his durability issues there are going to be very few takers at that price not to mention there are very few teams that can absorb a cap hit that large for that long. There have only been a handful of players with that many years left on their deal at that hit get traded. One was Gomez, and I don’t know if there’s another Gainey out there to get fleeced. The other was Heatley who forced a trade out of Ottawa. Other large hits that got moved were for deadline rentals.

  18. That game last night showed again that I am right with my opinion..

    Fewer teams and fewer games make for a better product on the ice….Reduce the back-to-back games you will have a league with more credibility….You have better teams as they need to get their jobs in 24 teams instead of 30…

    Usually there is no way that the Rangers lost to the Islanders 6-2 or the Blues beat the Wings 10-3…This is just ridiculus..As soon as they trail by three or four, they giving up thinking on the next game, but the fan paid for the whole game ….

    Tell me guys want to have an oppent like Nashville, Florida, Columbus, Atlanta,Islanders forget about those…

  19. It was a team lost but one thing you didn’t mention Carp was Lundqvist’s play. Not to harp on him as he is definitely upper echelon but the guy has to make the save on the second goal, shot above the circle w/ no screen. Lundqvist has a huge cap hit, it’s essentially a playoff type game against a lowly team – he’s got to make the easy saves.

    On point 11, I couldn’t disagree with you more. Obviously Tortorella would never ever waste his time talking to the media after a game if he had his druthers. However, it’s mandated by the NHL and part of his job description. I’m surprised you’re giving him a free pass.

    Tortorella has gotten this team to overachieve and he deserves credit for it but that said it bothers me when he reverts back to being unprofessional. It reminds me of his stock ‘I don’t know him’ answers when he first started, totally unprofessional. And don’t forget, his antics on the bench and with Avery lost the Washington playoff series a few years. So while you say “absolutely correct way”, I see the potential for him to derail the team with a handful of games left.

  20. The problem with going lean and hoping for lottery picks is you leave yourself exposed to the cyclicality of drafts. The drafts from 03-08 were very strong but the well was rather dry from the mid 90s until 03. As good as Tavares looks like he might become is he as good as Stamkos or Kane let alone Crosby or Ovechkin? And let’s be honest, MSG will never willingly put a last place team out there. That’s not a Sather decision that’s a Dolan decision.

  21. onecupin71yearsandcounting on

    After reading Carps article, Sather woke bettman up demanding the 2 points

  22. The ironic thing about Tortorella is he changed the system he originally was trying to implement because he realized it wasn’t going to work because the rangers don’t have the quality players to be successful in his system. Tortorella changed the system to a more defensive oriented system and a more dumping the puck in the opposing teams zone and grind it out in the corners because that is the only way these group of players can be somewhat successful.

  23. CTBlueshirt,
    I agree with you 100%, The big fat moron Dolan would never let that happen. That could why Sather spends the money just to get some playoff games at the garden and make Dolan happy.

  24. Great win by the Rangers last night…

    NHL is a joke if we get two points for getting beat like a drum. What is this, high school hockey?

  25. I honestly think that Gaborik has overstayed his welcome and will be traded in the offseason.

  26. Great review, Carp!

    Well, to answer your question, the Isles have more goal scoring prowess than the NYR do in their young core of players…They have had better draft picks…they are going to be a very good young team in a few years (maybe as soon as next year)…That’s why I hope they move out of Long Island soon and we don’t have to deal with them!!

  27. Stranger Nation on

    JJP – McCabe and an Islander were screening Hank on the Martinek’s blast for the circle on the 2nd goal. I was more bothered Girardi didn’t save the 1st goal – has GAA is going up…

    All night it seemed there were loose pucks on rebounds in the slot, but we have 3 forward below the goal line so no one there to punch it home.

    Avery should have lifted the puck out of the zone on the first goal, but he was one of their better forwards last night. Moving his feet and not just hanging on the boards like others.

    The Isles defense is pathetic, cannot believe we didnt’ put up 4 or 5 on them. Against a D like that you do not have to constantly play behind the net grind game.

    Net-Net: we have chances on PP to bury them in 1st period, but could not and that was the game.

    Turn the page……………………………

  28. It looked to me like all the core players are just too worn out. As Spector pointed out, Staal played a whole lot of minutes last night, with something like 7 in the third, why? Dubi, Cally, Prust and Boyle looked ready to drop during that game too. Too many minutes, too many injuries and a difficult style of play to sustain all season. Even if they make it I’m not sure they can play like that for a couple more months.

    Hey – everybody said they’d take the losses and missing the playoffs to develop this team. We have a good group to build on, and ya never know if they somehow hold on.

    Only the Isles could come out of a 6-2 game looking like losers – they have some skill but their games seem more like something Vince McMahon is running.

  29. I asked the question the other day on twitter, “Who’s final 5 game schedule would you rather have?” I was kind of laughed at and told that it didn’t really matter, and I can see some people’s points, but I think, for sure, that the Rangers by far have the toughest schedule. Not even because of Philly and Boston, but because of the games against Islanders-see last night for my reason why, Atlanta-just beat Flyers and are playing spoilers, and the final game of the season against NJ-who would love nothing more than to be the reason we don’t make the postseason. I, like Carp, have a very bad feeling about our chances now. And I agree with Carp, the game of the season, for us, might be the Canes/Isles game. BARF. I hope I am wrong, I really do, but I have a bad feeling. We were winning close games, but not scoring goals. Our PP sucks. Plain and simple. Two problems that a team going in to the playoffs SHOULD NOT HAVE. Instead of playing some good smart hockey, we carcilloed the bed, and now it is likely to come to a shootout against the Devils in a afternoon game, but this time it won’t be for 5th or 6th place in the leastern conference, it will be to make the playoffs or not. Last night’s game, and the point lost to Ottawa the other night. To me, that may very well be our season. I know I haven’t been on much this year, and I hate to come on and post this negative crap, but, IMO, the sky IS starting to fall a bit. Either that or I got a little taller.

  30. Oh yeah – Rangers highlight of the night was Rammer taping up the arena LMAO – what a place

  31. Damn it, it’s April’s Fools!

    NYRangers, however, fooled us all season … it’s 2010-2011 Season’s Fools

  32. how about the fact that torts the moron has zuccarello and ec play the point of extended 5 on 3 pp.

    those 2 guys couldnt run a pp for there life.

    i know gabby and mcabe were in the box but

    put 2 freaking d out there

  33. Stranger Nation – There is no screen what so ever. Watch it again on NHL.com. I thought the same thing when I first saw it but when they showed multiple replays (particularly the one right behind Martinek) you can see better. He has to make that save.

  34. Lol, Miami….You are amateur hour gullible….Last year Carp pulled the AC generator BC in Florida and a few people fall for it….

  35. Eric – good point with regards to the PP…. Zuccarello scratched the last couple of games and benched for many 3rd periods lately then promoted to 1st PP line at the tough point positions…..also I know torts is in love with Prospal but once you are 0-2, 0-3 why not change it up a lil bit…. put Dubi out there on the 5-3…ugh its never easy with this team-so frustrating to love this team and this happens but i mean the sky has not fallen just yet-we are still in OK shape, lets get some help tomorrow night and lets take care of business in philly and at home

  36. Stranger Nation on

    JJP – you are right, no screen – just went back and watched but an uncontested slapper from the slot 20 ft away is a tough save. I will give that goal to Artie who was too far over and not covering the weak side. Yes, Hank drops to his knees every time, but that goal was not a softy.

    All flipping night the team was unbalanced on the ice – Offense and Defense. Attribute that too fatigue. Back to Back games in the last 10 days of season is bush league. That is why they try to schedule PO games on every other day.

    The reason Staal did not play much in third is the game was effectively over and he has been banged up.

  37. Stranger – I thought Staal could have basically taken a seat in the third – thought he played too many minutes for the reasons you stated – what’s the point?

  38. Do I really want this team to make the playoffs because of an “illegal lineup?” I mean it would be hilarious after the way the Islanders played last night – ready to kill. It would justify the Rangers – phone it in attitude – just assume something will happen.

    I am still a Concerned Cathy and not a Negative Nancy – I will remain Concerned Cathy but I am leaning towards a Horrified Henrietta. Things are getting VERY scary. These guys do not like to make things easy.

    Let’s root for some big time losses tonight! Always the way you want to hope your team charges into the playoffs…..

  39. DJK April 1st, 2011 at 8:22 am
    I honestly think that Gaborik has overstayed his welcome and will be traded in the offseason.

    ***

    I’ll repeat, No Trade Clause. To my knowledge there have been 2 players with his cap hit and similar remaining years on their deal that have been moved in the salary cap era. One was Gomez and Gainey isn’t the GM anymore. The other was Heatley he requested a trade (that worked out pretty awful for the Sens) out of Ottawa.

    This isn’t even about trying to defend him this year, because I can’t argue that he’s been good, worth his contract, scoring against teams other than lower level competition, etc. He simply hasn’t done any of those things.

    But large deals such as his are virtually impossible to move. If he had one year left, then maybe you’d find a team that thinks he’s a vital missing piece. Due to the youth movement and the expiring deals after next year, the Rangers are one of the few teams that can carry his cap hit without sacrificing retaining RFAs and eventually adding UFAs.

  40. Re: #8
    Yup. That call on Gaborik was really excessive. Second, Zuccarello was hideous on the point. I am sorry I begged for him to get back in the lineup. He brought nothing to that game that Wolski wouldn’t have. McCabe should have been on the ice. It is insane that he gets a penalty.

    The league is clearly going to try and ref these games tough because of the Islanders propensity to flip out and cause all hell to break loose on the ice.

  41. Stranger Nation on

    Manny – McCabe in box on 5v3.

    Should have put any of their top D out there. MZA has not blast from point so you are allowing forward to stay low and not come out and challenge.

  42. ilB – i want everybody to lose. Every night. Tonight nothing helps us. Tomorrow night I have to root for these stinkin’ Islanders and the flippin’ Caps.

  43. Stranger – Right. McCabe was in the box. On a BS call. Thus, he should have been on the ice. Sorry that wasn’t clear. I actually think the penalty was absurd. He was saving a life.

  44. McCabe shouldn’t have been in the box and why did Gaborik get the extra 2 for roughing? Shouldn’t the Isles have realistically gotten an instigator penalty? Let alone the missed slash call on Feds that led to the Isles 3rd goal.

    Not that any of this really matters when the Rangers PP was dreadful last night.

  45. Stranger Nation on

    IMHO that was the turning point in the game as we take a minor and Icelanders give us a PP and we do nothing with it.

    Tever…

  46. Exactly CT

    One of their goals was offsides and another one was off a missed (blatant) slashing penalty. Not that those two goals would have mattered……..

  47. Not so sure, SN. To me it looked like, despite knowing all along what to expect from the Islanders, they looked very unsure if themselves, very nervous…Maybe being a young team has something to do with it. It’s a different kind of pressure, not too many gamed to make up.

  48. Doodie Machetto on

    Bad news folks, I’ve got tickets to the Boston and Atlanta home games. So they have only two other possible wins on the ledger.

  49. Doodie Machetto on

    I thought Christensen made some good passes in the offensive zone, but was otherwise terrible.

  50. The Situation on

    is the illegal lineup card some kind of sick April fools joke by carp b/c i’m telling people about this and could be starting rumors!!!

  51. Yo Sitch – Don’t tell Ron because he might flip out and break everything. Does he play for the Islanders?

  52. When you miss the net more than you hit the net, you do not score many goals. Is it just me, or did Staal think he was Bobby Orr Jr last night? I have not problem rushing the puck into the zone, but after you lose it or pass it off at least make an attempt to get back to the blueline where you belong.

  53. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    John tavaras – come get your Stanley cup… BAAAAAAARRRERFFFF

    this team will make the playoffs…. Let’s go rangers

  54. Do any of you really think that MZA playing the point on the 5-3 helped us lose? Give me a byfuglien break…should we trade him now? He’s too tiny anyway, right? Hobbits can’t play hockey anyway…

    Carp is 100% correct: “The entire Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan line, the shutdown defense pair of Staal and Girardi….All is lost if those guys go south, and they have.”

    Dubi…damn, he has sucked terribly…I really could care less if the Rangers don’t bring him back in the offseason…no way is he ready for a letter (‘A’)…I thought he turned the page this year, I was wrong….I hope he proves me wrong again….

    Girardi…sigh….

  55. Dubinsky was not good. The said he has the flu? Why is he on the ice at all if he has the flu? Don’t we have a discussion daily about who to scratch?

    I don’t think Hobbit-Wizard lost the game but he looked like Del Zotto out there. Standing in one place frantically looking around. I love the guy….and i mean love. I just expected a huge effort out of him.

  56. By the way, Carp, the interview with Dave Maloney was great. I really enjoyed it. You’re a cool guy, Carp. I love the shoutout Dave gave to the blog. “Lots of interesting stuff” It makes me think he reads! LOL!

  57. Carp – I am still with you on this point – Bring up Kris Newbury. Win some faceoffs. It is killing our PP to lose so many flippin’ faceoffs. Could have used his jam last night to pound on some dudes too.

  58. Rhode Island Ranger on

    IF the Rangers are going to rediscover their A game over the next few and squeak into the playoffs, the blowout last night might turn out to be better for them than a one- or two-goal sleeper loss.

    Sather, Torts and the players can’t continue to maintain any comfortable fictions after this eye-opener. The truths about this team are out in the open. They were mentally and physically weak after the disappointment in Buffalo, a game Calli called the biggest of the season. They didn’t have the legs or will or talent to withstand the Isles kamikaze assault.

    They’re going to have to defend like the Devs, trust in LQ, generate a couple goals from sheer static electricity and try less nifty, but stronger, people on the PP. They’ve got to be boring bastards.

    This refocus SHOULD be easier after the cathartic smashing of illusions last night. Comfort is the enemy from here on out. LGR.

  59. Yeah, the Rangers will try to bring him back…and most likely will. I think there is a decent chance he holds out again…and if he does, NYR shouldn’t hesistate to cut ties…they don’t need to overpay for his production… (5 empty net goals)

    I like his heart, toughness, and grit (he’s got some skill), but we need goal scorers and 1st line talent…

  60. You’re right NYR – you can’t win with role players – especially when they don’t consistently play their role!

  61. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Ct -good one… You think the red wings win it this year? I would have said the nucks before their rash of injuries…. Hard to say who wins…the sharks could do it too….SJ/DET/VAN – the escaping the west unless winning the west become exhaustive. It will be a great 2nd season, let’s hope the NYR get in..

  62. Manny, it’s just the nature of the beast, Dubi is a good player but he’s not a 40 goal scorer…IMO, it’s silly to expect him to carry the offense like he did in the beginning of the season…

  63. Hey Eddie – interestingly the Rangers did jump out to a 1-0 lead but somehow that turned into a 6-2 loss. Now, correct me if I am wrong, I was under the impression, based on statistics compiled by Martha that when a team scores a goal and leads 1-0 they win. I haven’t looked up scoring 2 goals but it seems to me the Rangers should have won that game…..

  64. I totally agree. He has a hot start (padded by a ton of empty netters) as did Boyle. They have tapered off and goals are not coming from anywhere….we need an elite scorer. Maybe two of them. REALLY elite – guys that can get down low and forcefully make stuff happen.

    I think Artie-Partie has that potential but he has got to put on some weight.

  65. Disagree on McCabe, or the suggestion that it was a good game. He’s simply not as good defensively as the top 4 and is not bringing it offensively. He consistently makes poor decisions in the offensive zone, namely just blindly blasting the puck regardless of its chance to get through, traffic, etc.

  66. onecupin71yearsandcounting on

    I think the Rangers will make the playoffs.. once they get in maybe the pressure will be off and they could go more than one round .

    if they don’t make the playoffs.. someone or sometwo or three from torts on up should pay for it .

    I don’t think they’ll trade gaborik.. he’s not a good fit for a defensive minded team..

  67. Artie and Callahan are defintely a big part of the future and will be speicial players for the NYR, as will Stahl…

    Dubi and Girardi, I’m not as convinced…

  68. If the Islanders had to forfeit the game wouldn’t the 2 points go to the Rangers? How could you have the game wipped off the slate and neither gets any points?

    But hopefully we are not banking on this fluke to make the playoffs. Can’t believe Rangers are in this position after where they were on Saturday.

  69. Girardi can be part of the future if he learns to be more aggressive as a D-Man. In my humble opinion I don’t think he takes the man enough. He is always backing up. Backing up. Backing up. Giving people too much room to shoot.

    Dubinsky I will give another shot because he had a serious injury this year and I remember how upset I was when he got hurt (thinking we were in real trouble). So he gets another chance in my eyes.

  70. I think there’s a better chance that Drury regains his 30+ goal form than the Rangers giving up Dubinsky while they still retain his rights.

  71. Manny, you are right on about Girardi, he ought to learn from his partner how you play the man. Not that Staal is the best at it but at least he does it on a somewhat regular basis. Even McCabe was a lot better defensively than DG last night. And how many times did he give the puck away, or almost give it away in front of our goal?

    Anyway, if we can pull out a win on Sunday, all will be right with the world.

  72. Disagree on Staal. No, he isn’t Bobby Orr. But it was very mature on his part to do what he tried last night. Ne sensed that his team couldn’t generate anything offensively, so he decided to use his skating and stick handling to at least try something new a few times. I’m sure Torts was happy to see it too.

  73. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    I don’t understand the dumping on the Dubinsky line, given that this team has amassed 10-15 extra points in the standings this year because of their extensive contribution. Who the hell among professional athletes, in this day and age of 18 back-to-back games on the schedule, can be at his best, every game? I heard an NBA player complaining recently about his team having to play 14 games in 20 nights. It is INSANE, this brutal scheduling monster. We fans get so many ragged games we are paying top dollar to attend, so we lose out here, too.

    Look, the boys will make the playoffs this year, or they will miss the playoffs. Bottom line is this organization has made tremendous strides this season. Next season it is not hard to see this team in serious contention to be the best team in the conference. So that this time next year we will be talking about the team’s chances of actually, really winning the Cup, not just making the round of 16 and getting bounced in five games.

    Take it for what it’s worth – The short-term picture is clouded and murky, the long-term picture is bright and promising.

  74. Doodie Machetto on

    “Next season it is not hard to see this team in serious contention to be the best team in the conference.”

    I have to disagree. I just do not see enough talent on this roster. We have a lot of good 2nd line players, our top defensemen are still just the bottom tier of top guys, and our goaltender is very streaky.

  75. CCCP – 1 loss and we put ourselves in the unenviable position of not controlling our own destiny. (is that math correct?)

  76. i’d take Dubi and Callie over any two Islanders…these kids are so much fun to watch. They are both highly talented and have tons of heart. They say and do the right things always. I love them both. That is all! It’s a good time to be a Rangers’ fan with such high character players. Win or lose I love these guys, and the season has been great fun to watch….and THEY WILL make the playoffs, sons! Do you feel me?

    If they don’t make the playoffs, I will join Olga in saying FIRE SATHER, AND i will root for the Knicks to win as opposed to hoping they lose every game by 20+ points with the hopes that Tiki would be angered. That isn’t very nice of me, but it is what it is.

  77. CT

    so every time we win we get 8 points?

    If we win all 4 remaining games that would…uuumm.. 4 x 8 = 32! Wow…Presidents’ Trophy here we come!! :P

  78. I think after next season is the crucial point for whether they can elevate themselves to contender status.

    They’ll certainly have the cap room to add players unless they go after Richards in the summer.

    Staal is a 1st pair D on most teams in the league, nobody else right now is.

  79. I give Torts a lot of credit for not blowing up on tv last night. I’m sure it took every ounce of will in his body not too.

  80. CCCP,

    Er.. not quite. Would it be easier if I expressed it in terms of “threes”.

  81. A couple of twenty goal scorers turn into 30 goal scorers next year, Gaborik is back to 40 goal pace. Our defense matures by one year and MDZ is back playing well. Do you see it now, Doodie? Mind you, I haven’t added anybody named Richards to that proposition because I’m not convinced it’s the right move.

  82. ilb – those are a lot of “ifs” but if that happens and people play to their potential this team is very dangerous. I think they will be better next year. They still need a pure scorer. You can’t rely on always getting dirty goals. That is how you end up in slumps.

  83. don’t forget that Richards is coming! Richards + Gaborik = less Negative Nancys?

    ***

    Or the potential for another name for people to say they want to trade. Maybe even combos like trade Richorik or Gabards.

  84. You got me last year with the flooded rink- not this year with illegal line-up…

    We suck- but, careful what you wish for- this is a re-building year/phase regardless.

    Poor Hank.

  85. I totally agree with you ilb. They are not unreasonable. Not at all. The only question mark is injuries. We lost a lot of folks this year to a lot of odd broken things. That makes me hesitant to assume all the pieces will come together.

  86. The D doesn’t exactly need to improve by leaps and bounds, they’re 5th in the league in goals against and they’ve managed 11 shutouts. That alone should give them a chance to win every night.

    The goal scoring is a bigger issue, mostly the consistency. But another 10-15 from Gaborik, Callahan gets closer to 30 if he stays healthy as does Dubinsky. Anisimov breaks 20. However, you also might have to allow for a regression for Stepan and Boyle. But certainly even this year an extra 15-20 goals from up and down the lineup would have this team in a different place.

  87. Doodie Machetto on

    “A couple of twenty goal scorers turn into 30 goal scorers next year, Gaborik is back to 40 goal pace. Our defense matures by one year and MDZ is back playing well. Do you see it now, Doodie?”

    Those are some pretty big ifs. Who gets up to 30? MAYBE Callahan and Dubinsky? And Gaborik going back to 40? Usually players over 30 that slump don’t bounce back, especially those who have injury plagued careers.

    Here is an equally plausible set of possibilities:

    Gaborik slides even further or gets injured again, Stepan, McDonagh, and Sauer all have sophomore slumps, MDZ doesn’t really get his game back, Callahan and Dubinsky take a small step back as they did last year following their career years two years ago, Boyle comes back to earth as a fourth liner, etc.

  88. TheMessiah94 on

    Anybody think that Gaborik could be suspended for a game? He did board the player and there was obviously a head injury. I think it’s possible that he gets 2 games. Which could really be bad news.

  89. I don’t think Gaborik receives anything supplemental. It was a brutal hit for sure, but I think the NHL’s two tiered system of justice says he already served his time with the penalty.

  90. It’s probably somewhere in the middle. McDonagh, Sauer, Staal all continue to progress, Girardi stays his usual hot and cold self, they sign an experienced veteran defenseman, maybe MDZ pans out and maybe not…Dubinsky, Callahan, and Anisimov are not likely to become more than the outstanding second line tyhey now are, but maybe they will be a bit more consistent…Boyle will net 15 goals, Stepan will be solid, and the lack of anyone with elite talent aside from Gabby will continue to fluster this team. Right now there are just too many role players not playing their roles while the core guys flounder. Just like everyone is saying, Zucc, Wolski, Fedotenko, Avery, EC – these guys really are not getting it done either.

  91. Possible. But I doubt he will get a suspension. I think that the penalty given was too severe as it is. It was certainly a boarding penalty but in that situation the player with the puck has got to keep his head up. Here he put his head down and turned (with the puck) to put his back to Gaborik. Even Duguay said “you gotta keep your head up. Come on.”

  92. Could not agree more Peter. Role players not playing their roles. It’s a recipe for frustration and streaky play.

  93. Stranger Nation on

    talk about a laying a Doodie on the blog –

    If we get blown out Sunday, it will Suicide Cindies here. Miami will seem like Susie Sunshine.

    The Arite/Dubi/Callyman line was exhausted last night. But Artie has to hit people. Every time he was fore-checking and he skated to the D to force pass, dman got rid of the puck, he just floated on by. Cmon – use that size and give the guy a taste of the boards.

    McCabe is our best Dman and we give up 6 goals – do the math…

    I really hate EZ, it is beyond mere dislike at this point. Did anyone see his post game interview after Buffalo game? He has this stupid smirk on his face like he does not give a rats arse.

  94. Before I read the rest of the review or any of the comments, I’ll say there’s probably an April 1st joke/stunt in there.

    All right, let me go finish my reading.

  95. Stranger Nation on

    Gabby’s hit represents the challenge the league finds itself in with the head issues.

    A small forward is prone on the boards and turns his back to the play to face the boards in mid-ice. Sorry you have to be ready to get hit there. I also have a problem with the player who is hurt bouncing back onto the ice for that same PP. You can see alot of acting in the POs to draw those out.

    This was Gabby hitting him, right? How did the Islander who jumped him not get a game misconduct?

  96. MZA sent down – good – too early in his career to sit in the pressbox or get 5 minutes of icetime a game.

  97. Doodie Machetto on

    Stranger, I’m not saying that those things happen, but just to assume that everything goes great and wonderful is ludicrous. Everyone thought MDZ was going to be great this year, and look what happened. Ditto for Gaborik. And while nobody was expecting a major contribution from Drury, surely no one foresaw slightly more than 20 games with 0 goals and 4 assists.

    And there have been pleasant surprises as well, Boyle, Stepan, Prust, McDonagh, and Sauer to name a few. But there have been just as many disappointments as well, like Gaborik, MDZ, EC, Avery, Wolski, etc.

    But the real issue for this team is consistency. Every player on this team is just so damn streaky. The only players that have not had a string of consistently bad games this year were Staal and McDonagh (provided you ignore McDonagh’s first couple of games where he was still getting his feet wet).

    But name me one player on this team that hasn’t gone 4 or 5 games in a row as either completely invisible or a detriment to the team. The problem right now is that everybody decided to disappear at the same time except Lundqvist, although I think 21 consecutive starts is officially his maximum.

  98. Sweet, now I can watch him dominate for Norway in the Worlds…instead of getting valuable playoff experience…wow…we wouldn’t even be in playoff contention if it wasn’t for that guy..

    What a dumb move…sorry, I love Hobbits…

  99. zucc was horrible last night. had no clue what to do on a 5 on 3. the guy is suppose to be a scorer, the idea is to get the puck to thenet with more of your guys there then the other teaqm.. is that a complicated concept???

    the rangers are still moving in the right direction but they have no immediate fix for there scoring issues. adding and overpaying for richards doesn’t do much. they need to stay the course build from within and stop drafting so many d men………

    hopefully 2 guys from the minors or previous draft picks will make the team as forwards and add addtl speed and skill, and they can sign a 3rd liner with speed and continue the evolution of the team. i say goodbye vinny and feds. not bad players but older and not the answer….

  100. manny, thnx buddy! …I’m not proud of wishing anguish upon anyone, and I’m going to try not to do any longer. I would be telling a lie if I didn’t say it gave me great pleasure to constantly bring up the dismal 2-for-18 effort by J. Starks that cost the Knicks a championship they most assuredly should have one. But I want be doing that any more.

    -the Mao formerly known as Mao Starks 2-for-18 Game 7 vs Houston Rockets-

  101. flyers, bruins, thrashers and devils left…
    wow, missing playoffs is a reality right now the way the team has been playing…
    I see the rangers closing out the season 2-1-1. I hope that is good enough….

  102. Sorry Tony! It’s on a MacBook only I think?

    I am off to the most important job interview of my life. Wish me luck dudes.

  103. good with mza going down. sick of looking at him. he has no shot and these pressure filled game are too big for him.

  104. 2-1-1 gives the Rangers 92 points.

    Carolina has to go 4-2-0, 2-0-4 or 3-1-2 to get 92.

  105. Doodie Machetto on

    Wow, Carolina gets to play an 83rd game?

    I kid. They only have 5 games remaining, not 6.

  106. Whoops, I was using the wrong date on my spreadsheet, forgot to update it since Wed.

  107. rangers lose out just like 92-93 when they lost to the isles at end of the year then two days later lost to the whalers who were one of worst teams in league and lost every game from there.

    anyone remember that

  108. As for MZA, he was definitely getting a little overmatched. I know people like the little guy playing against bigger players and he had some awesome shootout moves but his overall game was definitely slipping. And I’ve read a lot of arguments that he had the natural skills, particularly with his stick to make things happen. Which is basically the same that can be said for EC.

  109. Doodie Machetto on

    yes eric, except the Isles went to the Conference finals that year and weren’t the cellar dwellers that they are this year.

  110. 92-93 was a much bigger collapse given that the team was the President’s Trophy winner the year before and had much more developed talent.

  111. CTB, you have a spreadsheet?

    ***

    Yes, I downloaded the team schedules from hockey-reference into an excel sheet. Makes it easier to figure out how teams have done against their remaining schedule as well as season long trends.

  112. I honestly feel that we will lose out. i dont think this teams embraces the pressure. i feel they will get strangled by it and play tight and see us losing big in phil on sunday and then from there never regrouping.

    when you have won one cup in 70 yrs and 2 playoff series in 11 years with sather its time for panic

  113. billybleedsblue on

    I’m still recovering from watching the loss last night. I dare not call it a hockey game. It was more like a display of ineptitude. I haven’t given up yet, but man, last night hurt. Also, nice try on the April Fools joke there Carp. Good stuff.

  114. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, if the Rangers miss the playoffs, what do you think of the chances Torts or Sather gets canned? Sather I will give a 5% chance that he just drops the GM title and stays on as president, with Messier to be his figurehead GM (like Doug Armstrong in St. Louis). Torts I’d say is 75% as a fall guy for Sather’s incompetence.

  115. Stranger Nation on

    MZA is likable, but size really plays against him in tighter checking games. Is not fast enough to warrant ice time. bring up Newbury, sit EZ.

  116. CTB- let’s not lock Buffalo in as yet. Their schedule isn’t that great either. Not to mention Carolina plays against Buffalo once. One of them will have to lose at least one point.

  117. Good morning, Sally!

    eric, you’ve felt that way since opening night.

    Think I got a few folks from NHL HQ in Toronto to bite on the Islanders’ lineup controversy. Hahaha.

    Good to see Nasty and Ranger Joe and a bunch of others who haven’t been around much. Gee, I hope it doesn’t take such disasters as last night’s to get you guys to come back more regularly.

    If the Rangers beat Philly — a big if — I think everything will be cool with this team.

  118. MZA plays inspired hockey, with guts and heart. He plays physical. His stick/puck skills are world class. He can improve his strength and skating. Playoff experience would have been beneficial for him…

    EC is a gutless dork. He plays so uninspired. There’s your difference, CTB.

  119. Are you serious, Carp? Well, I never had an impression that NHL HQ had any sense of humor. Or any sense for that matter.

  120. Doodie Machetto on

    I think MZA, aside from completely losing all of his confidence is also a poor matchup for the remaining games. Philly and Boston are just too big and strong for him, and ATL has a lot of size in their defense.

  121. Doodie Machetto on

    ilb: let’s just pray that it’s not the dreaded 3 point game. The worst possible outcome: Carolina wins over Buffalo in OT/SO.

  122. Doodie Machetto on

    April fool’s hat trick. It’s nice that everyone gets to be a fool today instead of just me everyday.

  123. carp

    your right i love this team with a passion but i NEVER have any faith they will respond.

  124. Eric- I think we need to talk to your wife. You’ve been changing too many diapers lately :-)

  125. Dr. Ogrodnick on

    Soo, I gather we should trade everybody before the sky falls on them?

    Rangers need to come out of this weekend 3 points up on Carolina still, either with 2 Carolina losses or a win in Philly and a split for the Canes. If they go into Monday night only 1 point up or in 9th, I see them blowing it in the final 3 games at home.

  126. NYR_FAN,

    All that inspired hockey got him 3 goals in about 30 games. He’s not big or strong enough to make much of an impact on players he gives up 5-8 inches and 40-50 lbs against.

    This isn’t to promote EC, because he’s been pretty lousy most of the season but a few things.

    1) They have the option to send MZA down without waivers
    2) If he does figure into longer term plans, playing him top 6 minutes instead of 8 mins a night is still a better option
    3) MZA is a winger, so again his competition is really Avery/Wolski
    4) The strength and speed will have to come in the offseason regardless

  127. is there anyone out there still that sees the glass half full? tomorrow the 6-7-9 seeds are all on the road -hopefully we can get some help there…montreal is not off the hook yet either…we could use some help tomorrow obviously -hopefully WARD AND MILLER ARE OUT….lets try to keep a lil faith!, 8-3-1 over the last 12!

  128. Carp, you should have posted a “Rangers Fire Torterella” thread, in honor of April Fools Day.

    I would love to see the Torts haters get excited, only to find out that it’s a prank. Bwana!

    Torts = Cool Monster

    He hasn’t lost the team, and the team isn’t done. Just a mini-cold streak at a bad time. Put some points together, and we’re good to go.

    That being said, I worry aboot Hank. Definitely wont do much in the playoffs if he has multiple injuries.

  129. Doodie Machetto on

    I think that while EC was mostly useless last night that he did make some good passes in the offensive zone, including a great feed to Dubinsky on the PP that Dubinsky flubbed and then put into Montoya’s chest. That is more of a contribution that MZA had, which was just being the worst PP point man I’ve ever seen.

  130. Whoever said it about Gaborik’s hit last night is right- NHL is in difficult spot in that situation. Nielsen is just very small. I was thinking to myself last night:”Gee, Gaborik couldn’t even KO my Yorkie”

  131. Doodie Machetto on

    Seth, I can play with numbers too: 1-2-1 over the last 4, 5 goals in last 5 games. 4 if you take away Prust’s goal with 14 second left last night. PP is now 0 for its last 17.

  132. doodie, I had started to get really turned off by the NBA leading into that season, and I was once a Knicks fan, but turned on them that season.

  133. I can’t believe Gillies scored last night. on his first shift when he got the puck, he looked scared cookeless. He didn’t seem to know what to do with that small round thing….

  134. Doodie, I don’t think there’s any chance either gets fired. And I think the coach is handling this very well. Seriously.

    ilb, the Gaborik hit was a boarding penalty. It was nothing more. The kid turned. Gaborik hit him from the side. Didn’t hit him in the head. Case closed.

    By the way, Orr, you have been the voice of reason lately. Not sure if there’s a punchline in there.

  135. CT, I am not going to debate size of players becuase they are plenty of other tiny players making a strong offensive impact at the NHL level…but you have a point about his strength..he certainly needs to get stronger to make more of an impact at this level

    He’s a rookie and had limited minutes…his confidence is shot…that said, the AHL and WCs will be helpful…

    Yet, he should have gotten top-6 minutes from the first time he was called up to the NYR…and it should have stayed that way…this year should be about developing our young players…not scratching them when healthy and playing them 5 minutes a night….playoffs look like a bonus at this point…

    I couldn’t agree more on #2. He better figure into long term plans…

    Why does Stepan get top-6 minutes now? He had long stretches of poor point production himself…

  136. sick of the defending and deflecting away from stinkin Gab-bore-ik. yes, the young core was awful, but they are still learning and developing, and they are not getting paid a $35 mill contract.

    Gab-bore-ik sux, and no amount of pleasantries in the elevator is going to cover up that truth.

    when the immortal nobody Ty Wishart can easily shut you down and easily get in front of you and take the puck away like candy from a $35 mill baby, then you know that the lazy bum is not giving any decent effort. and of course his stupid boarding of Nielsen, which sent the game on its downward spiral. if Avery had done the same thing, he would be rightly roasted by the blog, so no diff for the minny stiff

  137. Doodie Machetto on

    “Why does Stepan get top-6 minutes now? He had long stretches of poor point production himself…”

    Which Rangers forward hasn’t?

  138. Doodie Machetto on

    “I’ve been a true leader, just like #23″

    Just like him, eh? Do me a favor and lead a driver to my job with a pizza.

  139. Doodie Machetto on

    “which sent the game on its downward spiral. if Avery had done the same thing, he would be rightly roasted by the blog, so no diff for the minny stiff”

    In fairness, that boarding penalty really didn’t have an effect on the game. The Rangers maintained their PP and even eventually had a 5 on 3 opportunity. It shouldn’t take Gaborik to score on a 5 on 3.

  140. No way MZA should have gotten top 6 minutes when he got called up. Maybe because of injuries he was getting more ice time, but he’s not getting minutes over AA-Dubi-Cally or Gaborik and Prospal and whichever center they’re using.

    Stepan gets those minutes because he’s a center and the team is short on center as compared to wingers.

  141. Doodie,

    I hear ya-the PP has been brutal….they dont Keep it Simple and they do not get enough pucks to the net but they lost two games in a row not four not five not six…..they lose two more in a row and yes we can talk about a collapse-after two loses I think Larry Brooks and Company are being a lil harsh but that is just my opinions…lets see how the positioning looks tomorrow at 930pm

  142. As far as smaller sized players, yeah you’ve got Marty St. Louis, Patrick Kane and Phil Kessel, but MZA doesn’t have nearly the speed as any of those guys. And they’re not out there trying to run people into glass without having much effect. They’re total finesse players.

  143. Now comes this great news, and this is not an April Fools joke: Bill McCreary’s final game will be Saturday, Buffalo-Washington. Yikes.

  144. eddie eddie eddie on

    I think the Canes schedule gives them 4 pts max….backing in is still in…..once we are in….its onward and upward…

  145. Doodie Machetto on

    Seth, it’s not that they’ve lost two in a row, it’s how they lost those 2 and how they’ve played overall in their last 5. The Boston game aside, they have played four completely listless games, both offensively and defensively (in Boston, they did show up defensively, especially in the third period). It’s bad when the season is clearly hanging in the balance and the team repeatedly comes out flat. It’s especially bad against Buffalo since they are a team we are battling for a playoff spot. It’s not like we are playing hard and coming out on the short end of the stick. There’s just been nothing positive to take away from any of these games, the 3rd period of the Boston game notwithstanding.

    It’s been 4 games out of the last 5 where the coach and the entire team has been saying how we need to play better and we need to have more energy and we need to forget and focus on the next game. They are running out of games for that to actually happen.

  146. When MZA was given more ice-time, he was succeeding, as he got pushed down in the line-up (through no fault of his own, just players returning from injury), his play started to detoriorate and he lost confidence…it is that simple…

    I think he has what it takes to be a very good player in the NHL. We’ll have to see how he turns out…

  147. Firing Torts would be a horrible mistake, no matter what happens this year. And will likely take this team into downward spiral again. He is one of the reasons, if not the most important reason, this team is finally heading into right direction.

  148. Thanks Carp for that news. Goodbye, Bill. Dont let the door hit ya on the way out …

    By the way, I have a confession. I am really a boston fan and have been attempting to troll all of you since Day 1.

  149. eddie eddie eddie on

    eddie shore is still dead and is tied with our C in goals scored…..dig him up, he could win a faceoff by falling on top of the opposing center…

  150. No question Doodie, they need to play better. Even if they luck out and back into the playoffs, they can’t be playing like they have been and expect to do anything against one of the top seeds. If it’s a matter of them getting tight about having to play big games, well the playoffs might not be for them.

  151. I agree with the pro-Torts sentiments. He has turned the Rangers around and has us headed where we want to go. A few bad games here and there with a young team doesn’t negate the progress he has made.

  152. Doodie Machetto on

    CTB, Kessel is 6’0 190 and Kane is 5’10 175. Not that small.

    To me, when I think of successful small players, I think of St. Louis and Gionta, both of whom are giants compared to MZA. Gionta is 5’7″. St. Louis is listed at 5’9, but he’s closer to 5’7. MZA is listed as 5’7, but he’s closer to 5’5″.

  153. Definitely. The Torts haters are just clueless. Just keep bringing in a coach, and once we hit a bad stretch, at what ever time in the year, then it’s time to fire him.

    Like I said last night, if NYR fans ran this team, we’d go through a boatload of coaches, and players.

    NYR = Overachievers

  154. Tiki, I knew it. I knew it. You have Celtics underwear and Red Sox pajamas and a Patriots comforter on your bed.

    And while I don’t usually agree with you on referees, and I know you’re pulling back on your feelings for them, I second that motion: Good riddance, Bill McCreary.

  155. Doodie Machetto on

    “he could win a faceoff by falling on top of the opposing center…”

    I’m not so sure, that method wasn’t really working for Drury either.

  156. eddie eddie eddie on

    …an important faceoff in the flyers zone…..eddie shore’s corpse on to take the draw for the rangers….the puck is dropped and Shore falls on richards crushing him in a pile of dust….Prust, shoots and SCoOOoOoOOOORES….rangers win rangers win

  157. Doodie Machetto on

    Just to be clear, I wasn’t advocating dumping Torts. I think he’s been doing a pretty good job. I don’t think he’s been the best coach by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s certainly been superior to anyone we’ve had since Colin Campbell. I know that’s a bit of damning with faint praise, but it really is intended to be a compliment.

  158. I know it’s a long season but I was stunned at the uninspired and poor effort given the amount of time off between games the last two, three weeks. For the most part, Avery was the only player who looked like he played with energy for the entire sixty minutes. All the players are aware of the standings and what’s needed to secure a post season berth yet collectively as a team this effort was an embarrassment. I’d love to know what was said to the team during the two intermissions which generated no response from this “hard working” team. Makes me question how effective Torts is in lighting a fire in his team.

  159. Doodie Machetto on

    eddie, I think we would get a delay of game penalty for Shore’s corpse dust like when fans throw rubber rats or octopi on the ice.

    And god forbid he fell on a Penguin!

  160. When MZA was given more ice-time, he was succeeding, as he got pushed down in the line-up (through no fault of his own, just players returning from injury), his play started to detoriorate and he lost confidence…it is that simple…

    ***

    He didn’t really start losing ice time until after the Anaheim game. He had a few decent games in that span, but a lot of unproductive ones as well.

    http://www.hockey-reference.com/players/z/zuccama01/gamelog/2011/

  161. Doodie Machetto on

    “Makes me question how effective Torts is in lighting a fire in his team.”

    That is probably my major qualm with him. Too many flat games and even more flat starts. He does get bonus points though for mental toughness because of their relatively strong record of come from behind wins and being 27-0-0 when entering the 3rd period with a lead. So it’s a little bit of a wash.

    Other than that, I’d say the PP is the other glaring problem.

  162. I always thought Kessel was smaller. Maybe because he plays that way?

    I’d take an inch or two off of Kane too, he’s a pretty slight guy.

    Regardless though, they don’t try to take on bigger players, they try to evade them or they’re simply a step quicker.

  163. eddie eddie eddie on

    doodie – AGREED…its the PP that is ruining this team…..i dont get…watching other teams possess the puck, it looks so simple….rangers cant win draws…..cant keep control…..make stupid passes…and fritter away a lot of time…..

    however, we will make the playoffs…

  164. Doodie Machetto on

    “Regardless though, they don’t try to take on bigger players, they try to evade them or they’re simply a step quicker.”

    Point taken. There aren’t too many Pat Verbeeks or Theo Fleuries who, despite diminutive statures, would try and go through their opponents.

  165. You probably wouldn’t believe this about me, but I actually have the entire 2002, 2004, and 2005 complete super bowl patriots regular seasons and playoffs on DVD. Also, the 04 and 07 red sox, and the 08 celtics. I claim to not be a fan of the actual sports themselves, yet I even keep those.

    Seriously. That’s not an April Fool’s.

  166. Ted Williams tattoo, Larry Bird portraits on the walls, Bobby Orr bobblehead, winning bid on eBay for a lock of Tom Brady’s hair.

  167. Torts has been the main advocate for the switchover to emphasis on young players, and a real rebuild with homegrown players. He needs to stay, but Sather must be kicked upstairs, since he will never be fired by Dolan.

  168. Doodie Machetto on

    Interesting Verbeek fact: He is the only player in NHL history with 500+ goals and 2500+ PIMs. Shanahan was 11 PIMs shy of becoming the 2nd and the 1st with 650+ goals and 2500 PIMs.

    No active player is close.

  169. eddie eddie eddie on

    CT – kane, kessler, et al are a lot nore than a step quicker….those cats can fly…MZA not close in terms in foot speed…i know you agree… ;)

  170. Little Ball of Hate, one of the most underrated players of his era. Too bad he had to spend all that time in New Jersey and Hartford.

  171. The Little Ball of Hate is a unique physical specimen, Doodie…They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

  172. TLBOH. Most little guys aren’t built or programmed the way he was. Most big guys, neither, for that matter.

  173. Doodie Machetto on

    The most impressive thing about his PIMs? He only had 47 career fights. That’s less than 1/10 of his minutes.

  174. McCreary has been one of the worst refs in the NHL and an obvious Ranger hater. Even though he’s retiring as an active ref, wonder if the NHL will keep him on as a supervisor of refs. Just what the league needs– more McCreary losers.

  175. Maybe, I’m giving the guy too much credit. I happen to think he is one of few guys in the organization with elite vision and hockey smarts. His passing and playmaking ability was very impressive to me all season, despite some bad games. I thought he was the complete (small) package…like a Callahan-lite with sick hands…At least, that’s how he was playing when he had confidence and ice.

    Maybe I am drinking Norwegian Kool-Aid? Maybe, but that’s what I really think…

  176. Doodie Machetto on

    NYR Fan, I think you probably are giving him a little too much credit. Nothing wrong with wanting a player to be great, but I think he has a long way to go before he can be consistently relied upon at the NHL level. He needs to get much stronger to compensate for his stature.

  177. Carp – Maybe they (NHL HQ) will offer you a job – I would make YOU the com’s right hand man on discipline – Coly C. can find a job with – the Islanders.

    We should start a over/under here with the Rangers making the playoffs or not – by so many points – perhaps we use some tix for next year as reward? Any takers? I am sure someone would be willing to give up some Rangers/Islander game tix

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

    Morning ILB and all!!!

    Glad most of you missed the late night rant here from siberia, but I will add this one last time according to you guys we got beat by a bunch of minor leaguers…LMFAO!!!

    NYR
    I agree with you 1000% on this….Dubi and Girardi, I’m not as convinced…

    Loved the little ball of hate, when he was on a line with mess and graves, probably my all time favorite ranger line!

    Rangers need to go to the front of the net more, PERIOD!!!

    Forgot McCabe came all the way across the ice to get konopka, wisely discarding his gloves along the way (a must for all you kids out there, drop your gloves in scrums to make sure you can hold onto the opposing player, even petr nedved knew that!)…

    McCabe is NO OPG!!!

    I would rather see a richards/iggy combo on the rangers next season (yes, trading gabby for iggy would be a huge plus IMHO).

    That beiing said, I like gabby. I just think a guy like iggy fits the mold of this team more than a dipsy doo guy does.

    For a dipsy doo guy, gabby plays fairly physical at times….

    I think MZA and Wolski need ice time to be successful, I thought they were both playing better when they were getting minutes..If torts would consistently roll 4 lines (which he did when we were scoring and winning and had left those lines the same even after a hiccup or two), we would be doing better….I think.

    Sorry, I liked colin campbell as a coach!

  179. NYR_FAN,

    I don’t disagree with your take on MZA. I think he’s an entertaining player, he’s got some nice raw skills. The problem is that I think he tried to overcompensate about the questions on his size in the NHL. As we discussed with some of the other smaller players earlier, they don’t go running at guys that are much bigger. They try to beat them with their first stride or cut quickly to get them out of position. He’s going to have to work on getting faster and developing a better shot (which is why he shouldn’t be on the point on the PP) in order to improve. I think he can have success in the NHL, not necessarily superstar success but a 50 or so point player is possible.

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

    MZA down=mistake

    EC still on roster=mistake

    I think wolski should play the opposite wing from gabby! Just pair them with the d pair of sauer or eminger not the “1st” pair with girardi on it….we can only have so many defencive liabilities on the ice at once!!

    Nice pranks carp and ILB!!

  181. MZA has had his confidence shaken. I think he will be fine. He has the talent, but you can see him flopping around and not hanging on to the puck like he was…sure sign of confidence being shaken.

    eddie, i won my bet today…im good to go for the NYRangers bet now.

  182. Those are good points, CT. He has to be more evasive and also improve his strength, skating and shot. Agree on all points.

    CT, always a pleasure to debate with you and hear your thoughts.

    I hope your right, Orr. I want to see him that Philly game…

  183. Stranger Nation on

    Slats can move upstairs into the Dolan Suite and join his new roomie – Isiah Thomas. We need a real GM who wants to earn his $$ not just smoke cigars and live the high life in NYC. Preferably someone who has some track record of success during this century.

    This is a young schizophrenic team which plays up and down to its comp. They almost take on the mirror image of who they play. In the first half of season they came out playing grind hockey and surprised some teams. The second half, everyone except for Filthy and Caps is playing grind hockey so element of surprise is no longer there. Let us hope this trend continues Sun/Mon and they come to play big.

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

    FWIW, I thought the officials did a very good job on calls and non calls in last nights game. Also with the end of the game!!

  185. I think Rangers are OK they just start to prepare for next season. Like some of the guys mentioned Rangers repeat season 92-93. It is a plan, instead of waste of time, energy and be hurt physically and mentally start to think about future. Future is get Cup in season 13-14 exactly 20 years anniversary from last Cup. We have to calm down and be patient.
    And who is very nervous may switch to baseball the best sport in the world after cockroach race, because cockroach race not involved steroids and always in home run. Also bedbug race is so popular in New York this year.

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