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.