Zuccarello Whaled; and some bonus thoughts for our April Fools


1) Mats Zuccarello is Whaled. I hope the kid just had the jitters after being scratched for a few games, but I don’t get how he can be demoted so quickly after a bad game. But I did think to myself during the game, he looks like he’s playing as if he’s mad at being benched. I hope not, and I doubt it. Maybe his confidence is just shot, and his confidence is a huge part of his game because of his size. I just don’t know, though, if demoting him at this point is good for him.

2) During the game last night, Nassau Coliseum was promoting its upcoming concerts constantly just below the scoreboard and game clock at center ice. So every time you looked at the board you’d see Islanders 3, Rangers 1 Lady Gaga. Or Islanders 4, Rangers 1 Rihanna. Or Islanders 5, Rangers 1 Britney Spears. And I couldn’t help but think that Gaga, Rihanna and Britney could have killed off that 5-on-3.

3) Gaborik won’t be suspended. This is news? Why would anybody think he’d be suspended. He hit the kid Neilsen from the side. Neilsen turned toward the boards. Gaborik didn’t hit him anywhere near the head. It was a boarding penalty, a minor, pure and simple and correct. And if Neilsen didn’t turn — an attempt to draw the call perhaps? — it wouldn’t have even been a penalty. And there’s no way Gaborik could have been suspended, while Todd Bertuzzi’s flying elbow and Zdeno Chara’s smack into the turnbuckle went unpunished. No way.

4) If the Rangers go 2-2 in their last four, Carolina will need to get seven of 10 remaining points. And since Carolina has to play Buffalo, the Sabres aren’t out of the woods yet, either. I guess the question is, can the Rangers go 2-2 or better? And how’s that all going to look if they don’t beat the Flyers Sunday?

5) For those who suggested trading Gaborik … please. First, he has a no-trade. Second, who is going to take an injury-plagued guy making $7.5M per for the next three years, especially one coming off his worst NHL season? Third, there’s a much better chance Gaborik rebounds with a good year next year than there is a chance of getting a viable first-line replacement for him. And let’s not forget, the guy practically got the Rangers into the playoffs by himself — well, with Lundqvist — last season.

6) The Rangers haven’t announced the Zuccarello demotion yet. So I’m wondering … maybe it’s just a paper transaction (don’t know why it would be, but I don’t know a lot of stuff about technicalities regarding demotions and recalls). And wondering if it’s temporary and he’ll be back up after getting a game in Hartford. And wondering if another player is coming up for Philly or if they’re going to live and die with Wolski at this point.

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

    thanks again carp, just like the old days!!!

    repost….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!!

    I guess I think that trading gabby isn’t a bad idea, if it is somehow possible. I wouldn’t be upset if we kept him (especially if richards is here) either!

  2. I like that name better, Orr. Also like my name for you. And loved the old “Orr, what is it good for.”

    wicky, I think the officials have been pretty darn good on the whole down this homestretch.

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

    I think the name should be ORR=VoR

    I agree, they have done quite well!!

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

    never mind, i was orr’d

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

    now the empty netter??

  6. Where did Dubi go? He has 6 goals in the last 26 games. Has not had a 2 goal game since November.

    Stahl has not been the same since he hurt his knee and has not been hitting as much.

    Lundquist is banged up. But I still feel the Rangers will make the playoffs. But they need a win Sunday in Philly.

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

    In the next game, you will find out which players on this roster actually want to lead!

  8. Stranger Nation on

    If someone would take Gabby, we need to make that deal yesterday. The Kings are loaded with young talent. Please make that deal!!!

    MZA lost his confidence? Who would know? Now we are shrinks. He has looked slower the last week on the fore-check where we need him to be fly in the D’s ointment, the pebble in their shoe, the sun in their eyes, the stick in their spokes…ah… ya get the picture

    If you’re going through hell, keep going. (Churchill)

  9. Stranger Nation on

    CTRanger – agree on Dubi – he is not smoking out there like earlier in year, he has to stem these issues and stick to what he does best – play knee hockey in the corner with the puck and mess up 2 on 1s.

  10. Stranger Nation on

    Staal gets a pass because his partners is a liability and he is playing injured..

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

    I did not know dubi had 5 EN goals, great stat!

  12. Ahem, Carp:

    CTBlueshirt April 1st, 2011 at 8:00 am
    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.

  13. The Whale play three games in three nights this weekend so they might be sending MZA down to get some big-time playing time. I am surprised they didn’t send Chad Johnson down to play a game or two. The only problem is I believe that NHL rules mandate the teams keep two goalies around so the Rangers would have to recall a goalie from somewhere.

  14. Stranger,

    Kings don’t have the cap room for Gaborik once they back the truck up for Doughty’s extension. They have a ton of players who are getting raises as RFAs or roster spots they need to fill via UFA. And they aren’t trading Brayden Schenn. If anything the injury to Kopitar underscores how much they need another top line center since they’re pretty thin at that position after Kopi.

  15. onecupin71yearsandcounting on

    Who would take gaborik coming off his worst season ?
    C’mon that’s a can of corn.. Why Slats would !!

    I was hoping that zuccarella stuck..I keep seeing him as a penguin one day ..

  16. So what do you do after you trade Gaborik for young talent? Look for another pure goal scorer? Those really come in bunches every year.

  17. onecupin71yearsandcounting on

    Gaborik may rebound next year..why wouldn’t he ? But I doubt his durability and I doubt he’ll ever come close to putting up Jagr like numbers.

  18. He doesn’t need to, onecup. If he keeps scoring around 40, we will be in a very good shape.

  19. What is it with these supposedly tough hockey players and fragile confidence? Instead of no-trade clauses, perhaps Sather should start including a personal shrink in the next big contracts.

  20. Players I’d trade Gaborik for:

    – Stamkos
    – Kopitar
    – Kessler
    – Toews
    – whichever one of the Sedin twins is the center
    – Getzlaf
    – Duchene
    – Stastny

    But most importantly a top end center. Pretty much guys that aren’t available.

  21. There’s a difference between just losing and looking pathetic while losing. They looked pathetic last night and didn’t look a whole lot better the night before. How you can look that bad with so much on the line is beyond me. In other words, the thing that is so disgusting isn’t the loss, but the way they lost.

    Anybody wanting Gaborik traded is not being realistic and Carp’s #5 hits the nail on the head. Your team can’t score and you want to jettison the only guy on the team with a history of being a big-time scorer?

    If they have to live and die with Wolski, guess which one is more likely to happen? Thank goodness for getting rid of Rozi, but like they always say about trades you have to give something up to get something in return. In this one, the Rangers gave up garbage and received garbage in return.

  22. Stranger Nation on

    CTB – I would expand that list by about 40 players. Having a goal scorer who does not score goals every other year does not help at $7.5M/year. Yes he has a NTC, but so do most big $$ players. We may have to package a younger (cheaper) player with Gabby to get something in return. Value for value.

  23. CTB, I thought I’d read that somewhere. LOL.

    I don’t know if it’s five ENGs for Dubinsky or not … but he had a few enormous goals (and assists — like in Pittsburgh) with the goalie in there, too. More than a few. And all those points count as much as the points against the Isles would have counted.

  24. 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.

  25. Stranger,

    Well here’s a couple of ways to look at it. Like Sather said when they got Wolski, something to the effect of “whenever you can get a 24 year old there’s always going to be questions attached to it”.

    So with Gaborik, “whenever you can get a 40 goal scorer as a free agent, there’s going to be questions attached to it”. Concerns about his health was obviously the big question and this year they’ve certainly been validated.

    That being said, when Sather duped Gainey into taking Gomez, I was almost 100% sure that was a move to set up a trade for Heatley. Now, looking back, the option of signing Gaborik and keeping the assets from the scuttled Heatley trade (rumored to include Dubinsky) was probably the right move for the organization. Look at Heatley’s numbers but also consider that Heatley plays with Thornton. Whatever shortcomings Gaborik might have, I’d still take him and Dubinsky rather than having just Heatley.

  26. I’m not going to lie but it’s garbage that Gaborik was not suspended. Don’t try to act like that wasn’t an extremely dangerous hit. I know he didn’t mean to do it but he did. If the NHL wants to clean up plays like this he deserves five games. Campbell’s bias is unbelievable.

  27. Alex T (idfalk on HS) on

    Gabby is a ranger. He was stellar last year, and has had some injuries this year, but he is still top end talent who deserves both a top line and some lattitude (as well as some hounding, which he has got).

    What is more important is to note that this team has actually been more consistent that last years. And this team has alot more balance. And this team is younger. And this team has more salary cap space. And this team has’nt given up prospects or picks. And this team has got rid of the worst free agent of all times, as well as Rozsival. And this team actually competes with the best when playing at full potential, which they have done this year. And this team has a proven all-star goalie who actually is getting better (with this young defense). And this team buys into the system. And this team plays for each other. And this team is playing for among the toughest, most ruthless crowd in hockey while being in a rebuild.

    Yesterday was awful. Just horrible. And the last few games has been kind of the same, but this might be growing pains, might be inexperience, might be alot of things that are not just a personell based issue. If you go long term and you want to be good for a while; this is the ONLY way. In a way it is surprising that this rebuild has been so strong from the git-go instead of tanking like most teams do.

    Have faith, love and trust in our club.

  28. czechthemout!!!! on

    So what if he has 5 empty net goals. If he had missed any of them and the other team came down and scored to tie any of those games, all the howling on this blog would be deafening!
    The Dubi detractors make me laugh.

  29. As far as bringing someone up to replace Zuccarello goes, I thought the Rangers were out of recalls for the season unless Connecticut is eliminated from the playoffs or a member of the pro roster gets hurt.

  30. Alex T (idfalk on HS) on

    About suspension debate. I agree with you Carp that any talk of suspending Gabby is of course nullified by the fact that Chara and Bertuzzi (and others) did not get suspensions. However, that doesnt mean that it is right in a broader sense not suspending Gaborik. As Chris said, that is a dangerous hit.

    Like you said carp, either you get back to ol’ time hockey with mongos on the top line or you punish what is dangerous.

    One more point a should say – might seem a bit weird – is that while Gabby made the hit, it is actually fairly reasonable to argue that the danger is not caused by Gabby. I mean, everybody should know by now that you have to be aware when being at that distance from the boards, both checker and checkee (?). Maybe they should both been suspended. Hah!

  31. Lloyd, you’re correct about that. MZA is down unless there’s an injury emergency.

  32. Alex T (idfalk on HS) on

    Lloyd. You are right. Zuc is done for until whale gets eliminated or emergency callup. Which means that he is probably done for.

    I think he is worn out. 74 games this year, in NA hockey? His max in Sweden was 55. He is worn out.

  33. Yeah, so that means we’re stuck with Wolski, unless Tortorella decides to dress a 7th defensemen. Honestly, I’d rather have Boogaard out there than Wolski at this point.

  34. Alex T (idfalk on HS) on

    I can gurantee you that Boogie wont play come playoff time, even if he is healthy.

  35. Zuc is def going to go play for Norway in the Worlds…no way he gets recalled to NYR this season…

    It is wishful thinking…I think the organization screwed up with him and MDZ this season…just my opinion…their development is more important than making the playoffs this season…


  36. It will be beneficial for him…it’s better than playing 5 minutes a night for NYR with his confidence shot…

    And, I sure hope he wasn’t purposely playing mad, like Carp suggested. In that case, he should grow up and I would understand Torts demoting him…

  37. bull dog line on

    sending Zuccarello down was the right thing to do. he is not a 4th liner, and that is the role he was playing. I disagree with all on Wolski. I know he has not played well, but I would move him to the top line with Gabby and Stepan. he has to much skill to play 4th line or be a scratch. it is time for Torts to let him play. I would put Prospal with Boyle and Fedotenko, and Prust with Avery, and Christensen. Ideally I would like to have Newbury in that spot for a true 4th line. I think this would balance out the lines, and all players would be playing there proper roles.

  38. Good afternoon, Carp!

    Just got through putting up with all my coworkers giving me cooke about the Rangers all day. Whatever, when the Sabres win the Cup, then they can talk…

    At least here’s some good news… I JUST heard that I got a job! It’s part time, unfortch, but it’s something.

  39. bull dog, i agree with you..just hard to put two defensive liabilities like that together with gabby and WW.

  40. Also, this is awesome:

    “And I couldn’t help but think that Gaga, Rihanna and Britney could have killed off that 5-on-3.”

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

    bull dog
    you are not disagreeing with all on wolski, that is what I posted earlier

    czech makes me laugh!!

  42. One of the Isles top lines has a #1 overall pick that seems to be getting it done while playing with a pair of 9th round picks (Moulson,PAP). Our top forward seemingly needs to play with two #1 picks to have a chance at success. :P

    Comparison of homegrown lines:

    Dubi #60 2004, Anisimov #54 2006, Callahan #127 2004 = 175 Goals 214 Assists

    Comeau #47 2004, Nielsen, #87 2002, Okposo #7 2006 = 135 Goals 217 Assists

    The Rangers line has been more productive, was drafted lower overall, and is a wee bit younger.

    Dubi 25 in Apr
    Anisimov 23 in May
    Cally turned 26 in Mar

    Comeau turned 25 in Feb
    Nielsen 27 in Apr
    Okposo 23 in Apr

    I see a common theme on how their parents spend their summers.

  43. listen im not saying they have not played poorly the last couple of games but you cannot expect a team to continue winning after going 8-1-1-yes they looked horrible last night and its a game you just have to forget about and move on over the course of 82 games this is going to happen-you are going to play loose teams down the stretch that would like nothimg more than to ruin your chances after taking 4 in row against them…you are going to have those games where you want to burn the tape IMMEDIATELY….to be honest in buffalo they did not play that poorly dont get me wrong they were not good but they played a team that was a lil hungrier that night just as desperate for the points …IMO if they miss the playoffs it wont be because of these two past road games it will be from the bad losses at home (see ATLANTA, MINNESOTA, FLORIDA, OTTAWA 2X, COLORADO)…..anyway i still have hope i think they will get some help tomorrow night

  44. Bull dog- agree, if Wolski has any chance to succeed, he needs to play L wing with Gaborik. The issue is, that puts too much defensive pressure on a 20 year old rookie.

    Miller is questionable for the weekend.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but a loss by NJ mathematically eliminates them from the playoffs.

  45. Hey, Sally!. Good luck and congrats! Now I know who is buying the beer next time at W77 :-)

  46. Wolski’s a dog who will never perform well under Tortorella. He’s far too soft and too much of a one-way player to excel in this system. On a team with more depth, he’d probably look a whole better. On a team where there top forward is Brandon Dubinsky, a guy like Wolski is just going to be a glaring detriment.

  47. jpg's sister on

    Sally, Congrats on the job!
    If you don’t mind me asking, in what field is the job? Anything to do with school?

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