Game day, and Happy Anniversary!

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On April 13, 1940, Bryan Hextall scored at 2:07 of overtime to beat the Toronto Maple Leaves 3-2 and give the Rangers their third Stanley Cup.

I don’t know how many they’ve won since then, but I’ll try to research it.

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Here’s my column on Henrik Lundqvist, from The Journal News and LoHud.com today.

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Before I forget, if you still want to join the predictions contest, see the contest thread and post your picks there. Scroll down a few to find it. You can also join the playoff beard contest until Friday (details also below).

And while you’re at it, you know, since you’re not shaving anyway, why not join the Rangers’ Beard-O-Thon to benefit The Garden of Dreams. Here’s the info, from the NYR:

THE RANGERS BEARD-A-THON® IS BACK
Blueshirt Fans Invited to Grow One to Support the Garden of Dreams Foundation

New York, April 12, 2011- The NHL playoffs are like nothing else; the passion, the excitement, and, yes, the playoff beards.  In keeping with a great hockey tradition and supporting local charities, the Rangers again invite their fans to “grow one for the team” this playoff season. The Rangers Beard-a-thon® is an opportunity for fans to grow their own playoff beard and raise money for a great cause. All proceeds from the 2011 Rangers Beard-a-thon will benefit the Garden of Dreams Foundation, which makes dreams come true for kids facing obstacles.

This year, several Rangers players will get into the action and grow their own playoff facial hair. Boomer Esiason, host of WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show on MSG Network and Rangers alumni Adam Graves, Rod Gilbert and Dave Maloney will also participate this year.

Participants in the Rangers Beard-a-thon invite family, friends, and business associates to pledge their playoff beards.  By joining the Rangers Beard-a-thon, fans pledge to maintain their beard as long as the Rangers remain in the playoffs. Fans who are unwilling, or unable, to grow playoffs beards, can also pledge their friends or favorite Rangers player or alumni.  As an added incentive, the Rangers fan that raises the most money will win exclusive Rangers prizes. All donations to the Rangers Beard-a-thon are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

For more information, or to enroll in the Rangers Beard-a-thon, please log onto www.beardathon.com/rangers.

———————

A few things to remember as we head into the playoffs, though I know some of you won’t believe me. Kevin Lowe taught me this in 1994, and I’ve watched hundreds of series since then and found that it’s absolutely true:

There is NO MOMENTUM from game to game in a playoff series. None. Zero. NONE! I cannot emphasize this enough, and this is where you should be worried with a young team, because it’s a lesson best learned right away. If you lose Game 1, it doesn’t matter going into Game 2. Or vice versa. If you win Game 1, it means nothing going into Game 2. The only time there’s momentum, perhaps, is when a series is 3-0 and the team with 0 is obviously overmatched. The team that wins Game 5 to go ahead 3-2 always seems to have a stranglehold on the series. Yeah, and the team that lost that Game 5 very, very often wins Game 6. I’m just telling you this ahead of time, even though I know the between-games hysteria is what will drive our traffic here, especially in this series, where there is one game in five days in middle of the series.

Also, there is no such thing as home-ice advantage in the playoffs. Last year, home teams were 46-43. And remember that the better team plays more home games. So it’s no advantage whatsoever. I used to think it was an advantage only if a series got to a Game 7. But last year home teams were 0-3 in Game 7s.

And the dumbest thing that you’ll read and hear throughout the playoffs is that Team A stole home-ice advantage with a road win. Or that Team B regained home-ice advantage with a road win. Idiotic stuff. But everybody on TV and a lot of peabrains who type for a living will say it. What are you playing for here? To win four games out of seven, or to be the last team with a home game? It’s ridiculous. In fact, it’s harder and much less likely for the team that hosts Games 1 and 2 to come away 2-0 than it is for the road team to “steal home-ice advantage” by going home with a 1-1 split. And it’s just as hard and less likely for that team to then hold the “home-ice advantage” it stole by winning its two home games.

It’s just difficult to win at home. Teams have the whole, simple, “road game” philosophy down to a science, where they play in your face, take crowds out of games, and put all the pressure on the home team — which in Games 1 and 2 is already the team with the pressure on it, and the idea of a choke in the back of its collective brain.

And because of all of that, I put no credence at all in the idea that winning Game 1 sets any kind of tone in a series. Very often, the underdog wins Game 1 and then goes down in five or six. Game 2 is the far more important game. Stats bear that out, though I don’t have them with me at the moment.

———————-

Be back later. I have some Stanley Cup odds to give you. I will also have the pre-game notes from the Rangers, and some other stuff before “It’s Go Time!”

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246 Comments

  1. bull dog line on

    hey CCCP,
    I saw that you were not happy with a few people picking the Caps. I picked the Caps, but I would not be surprised at all to see the Rangers win. I think it is possible for the Rangers to play better against the Caps then they played 2 seasons ago, and win less games. this Ranger team is better than that Ranger team, but I think eventually the Caps are going to break through and go to the Finals. the 1 team I did not want the Rangers to face in the first round was the Caps.

  2. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, despite your stats to the contrary, I think game 1 will decide this series. If the Caps win, it will be a short series in their favor. If the Rangers win, it will be a long series in their favor.

  3. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    Right Carp…I don’t quite understand that.

    Also like your riffs on the token playoff reactions from the media. I would say, with the exception of possibly baseball, hockey is the sport with the least home advantage. I’d honestly think the Rangers would have a better chance in this series if every game was played in DC!

  4. Ranger are not great at home. We said it all year. I am fine playing in Washington. Bring it. Better ice at least. The MSG ice is junk.

  5. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Carp – I must disagree,,,home ice allows the final change..that has to benefit any home team as far as matchups are concerned i.e ovie/staal… Don’t ya think?

  6. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    Carp, great article on Henrik. I wonder how many goals Dubi has actually scored on him in practice.

  7. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    I mean, one must look no further than this year’s home/road splits to see that home ice advantage, at least for the Rangers, isn’t much of an advantage.

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

    ok, maybe plus one or two more!!

    Morning ILB and all!!

    LGR and LGT!!

  9. 4generations 4 cups on

    Is there any report of the rangers being underdogs or is there just reports of Ovechkin, Ovechkin, Ovechkin, Semin, and some more Ovechkin reports because he’s the only bona-fide superstar in the league. They really should report on something else than one single solitary thing

  10. Doodie, friendly wager that the series is 1-1 after two games and not 2-0?

    Eddie, a coach would have to be an idiot to not be able to get the matchups he wants most of the time. And these coaches aren’t idiots. Yes, that is a slight advantage in strategy. It does not bear out in terms of Ws and Ls.

  11. bull dog line

    Of course i am not happy with fans who bet against their own team! Maybe that is the problem, maybe the Rangers never succeed much is because of the negative fan base. Can’t say that I’ve always been positive, no…not at all…but regular season is long, postseason is short… we need to stick together now. It’s your right/choice/want to do whatever, but right now it’s all about sending positive vibes and good thoughts towards the Rangers! The rest will take care of itself.

    Caps can break through and go to the Finals all they want! But not this year, not on our expense!

    I will meditate and focus on good rather than bad, for all of you! :P

  12. We all seem to have forgotten this bit of good news. Only 4-7 more games before Matt Cooke is eligible to return.

  13. Caps record vs playoff teams:
    13 regulation wins, 4 wins in OT, 2 wins in SO, 12 regulation losses, 0 losses in OT, 4 loss in SO

    Caps record vs non-playoff teams:
    20 WReg, 5 WOT , 3 WSO, 11 RegL, 1 OTL, 2 SOL

    Rangers vs playoff teams:
    13 WReg, 2 WOT, 6 WSO, 16 RegL, 1 OTL, 2 SOL

    Rangers vs non-playoff teams:
    19 WReg, 1 WOT, 3 WSO, 17 RegL, 1 OTL, 1 SOL

  14. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    I doubt the Rangers’ successes or failures have anything to do with how fans react. If a professional athlete allows that to happen, then he’s in the wrong business.

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

    woohoo chelsea is out!!

    Developing youth is great and everythng, but bottom line is this team needs to be in the playoffs…this is awesome!!

  16. Hope I’m not going to skew the playoff predictions contest with this news: Miami Pimp picked the Rangers in 5. That’s bush-league.

  17. He did!? MIAMI!

    At least it’s a ridiculous prediction. Maybe his thing is just being ridiculous – like SOOO ironic that he picked the Rangers in 5.

  18. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Real home advantage would be ALL games in a playoff series being held in one venue. That would give teams more incentive for winning in the regular season. Of course the ultimate advantage, long abandoned by all sports, professional and collegiate, would be to accept only league, divisional, conference, etc. WINNERS into the post season. So that if the NHL had four divisions, we would have the four division winners, exclusively, in the post-season. How I would love to see that, then teams would have to build toward a .600+ winning percentage, not just build for mediocrity and making the round of 16. Making the playoffs would really mean something to management, players, and fans, if that were the case.

    Anyone realize that Connecticul, recent winner of the NCAA men’s BB tournament, finished NINTH in the Big East Conference in the regular season? NINTH! There was a time when you had to WIN your conference to get into the NCAA tournament, or be a highly rated independent team to get an invitation. Television sure has profaned the concept of legitimately becoming a championship team.

  19. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Carp:

    Have to disagree with Kevin Lowe’s Iron Law of No Playoff Momentum. It would only be true if hockey players were mindless robots. Yes, they’re not all rocket scientists. But, all of them are thinking, feeling beings.

    Case in point: A capable or even very accomplished goaltender lets in terrible goals and/or gets obviously outplayed by the guy at the other end (think Theodore in the last Rangers/Caps series). He loses confidence. It affects his play. His team loses confidence. It affects their play. So, the head coach, sensing this, gambles on playing the rookie backup who may or may not be able to restore his team’s confidence.

    Lowe’s Law is a silly semantic dodge (perhaps uttered in hope’s of denying a switch in momentum!). Substitute “confidence” for his “momentum”, and his Law proves utterly false.

    LGR! Establish momentum!

  20. I cant believe the playoff start today already. Seems like yesterday when Stepan got his hat trick.

    I hope I don’t get too nervous watching this game tonight, but it would have to be another 7-0 laugher to avoid that I suppose. I think the Rangers take this in six games.\

    tonight? 5-2 Rangers

  21. Developing youth is great and everythng, but bottom line is this team needs to be in the playoffs…this is awesome!!

    ***

    Developing youth is how you make sure that the team has a chance to go beyond just making the playoffs and actually making a run for the Cup.

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

    Some great and interesting predictions in that thread!

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

    carp
    man, that really is bush league

  24. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    CTBlueshirt, you have the Caps game total at 77 games for the regular season, and of course you need a total of 82. Not to be critical, first time I tried the same math here, I posted the Rangers as having played 81 regular season games.

    Greater point is that none of us should have to tabulate these columns, it just proves how insanely complicated the system is. Man, does this garbage system need to be fixed!

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

    ok, I should explain…the why not post of mine was for what I thought was going to be a hattie, but then CCCP posted in between them and …well my post just didn’t seem quite right after his

  26. Let’s Go Rangers!! (clap clap clap clap clap) Let’s Go Rangers!! (Clap Clap Clap CLap Clap).

  27. RIR,

    The Caps dominated nearly every game in that series. It just so happened that Lundqvist played unbelievably well in the first 4 games and then basically the dam burst in games 5 and 6. I attribute a small amount of the Cap turnaround to switching goalies, it was only a matter of time before putting up 40 or so shots a game began to bear fruit. The Rangers offense that year was terrible and scoring only 11 goals in 7 games against the 20th ranked D in the league reflects that as well.

  28. bull dog line on

    beside Hank, and Gabby, the Ranger I think that needs to step up in this series is Wolski. the Rangers can’t match the overall skill the Caps have, so the Rangers that have the high skill (like Wolski) need to really produce. also, I would lean towards Zuccarello in this series more than Avery. you have to get as much skill in the line up as possible. they have plenty of grinders.

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

    CCCP
    I love the footy!! Glasgow Rangers fan!!

  30. NYR_FAN says "The time has come!" on

    Carp, I agree that it is hard for a team to carry momentum from game to game. Especially since there is so much time off between games.

    There certainly are stronger surges and swings of momentum within playoff games as opposed to reg season though. I think the Rangers have been great at keeping the momemtum on their side when they have a lead…

    29-0 when leading after 2…’nuff said

    Let’s keep it going!

    #BeatTheCraps

  31. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, I’ll make our friendly wager with one caveat in order to keep with my prediction: The series will not be 1-1 if the Capitals win game 1. If the Rangers win game 1, then I will not be surprised at all for a 1-1 series after 2.

    Caps in 5 if they win game 1, Rangers in 7 if the Rangers win game 1.

  32. Rangers have to jump out to an early lead tonight. The Caps are talking a lot of junk. If the Rangers go up 2-0 in the first I think they can hold that lead. That makes Rangers 1-0 and Ranger in 6 holds true.

  33. wicky

    your “why not” post right i said “bite me” seems a little… how should i put it…well, yeah… lol

  34. bull dog line on

    the first game in a series is easier to win for the road team in the playoffs. by game 2 the home team settles down and plays there game.

  35. Bathage, thanks for catching that error, must have started on the wrong row.

    Caps vs PO teams:
    14 RegW, 4 OTW, 2 SOW, 12 RegL, 4 OTL, 4 SOL

    Caps vs non-PO teams:
    20 RegW, 5 OTW, 3 SOW, 11 RegL, 1 OTL, 2 SOL

    Rangers vs PO teams:
    13 RegW, 2 OTW, 6 SOW, 16 RegL, 1 OTL, 2 SOL

    Rangers vs non-PO teams:
    19 RegW, 1 OTW, 3 SOW, 17 RegL, 1 OTL, 1 SOL

  36. Doodie Machetto on

    I’m 1-1 at playoff games, but 0-1 at home.

    Win: Game 1 in 2008 at the Pebble
    Loss: Game 3 in 2009 at the World’s Most Infamous Arena

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

    off to work, later assens!!!

    LGR!!

  38. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    That Game 3 against the Caps in 2009 was probably the most brutal sporting event I’ve ever been to. Crowd was all jacked up being up 2-0 with a rookie goalie facing off against Henrik and the Rangers just laid a complete egg. Miserable.

  39. Carp, what aboot Richter’s center ice fan in the Igloo? Everyone back then said that was a series changer? I forget what game that was.

  40. Now the Rangers had more playoff teams in their division, thus they get 6 more games vs playoff teams than the Caps. 4 of the Rangers 6 SOW vs playoff teams came against Western teams, which I think is a good sign when it comes to playing in the Eastern playoffs.

  41. Sorry, R.I.R. but I have watched it and watched and watched and watched. There is no correlation between winning one game to the next, or losing one game to the next. If there is a rotten goalie, that’s a totally different issue.

    Watch closely what happens in this series, and the other seven series, and pay attention to all the hysteria and euphoria between games, after games, before games … and how often the opposite happens in the next game. How often a team that looks bad in one loss rebounds to win the next game. Seriously.

    Doodie, that’s quite a bit of hedging. I’ll tell you what, I’ll bet you a seltzer that the team that wins Game 2 will win this series, no matter what. I will also remind youse that from the middle of the 1994 playoffs, through 1997 the Rangers lost nine consecutive Game 1s. And also lost Game 1 when they returned to the playoffs in 2006.

  42. I have a mediocre record in the playoffs:

    W in the Caps series in 1994
    W in game 4 of ATL series in 2007
    W in game 1 of NJD series in 2008
    L (in OT) in game 3 of NJD series in 2008
    L in game 3 of PIT series in 2008
    L in game 6 of WSH series in 2009

  43. I know that tonight’s an important game and everything, but I hope MSG finds time to give us a Sid the Skid update.

  44. Carp, if I recall, Rangers won game 2 of every series in 1994 and lost 2 of the game 1’s which were the semis and finals.

  45. All these stats, observations and numbers go out the window during each specific series. That’s the beauty of playoffs. Nobody really knows.

  46. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    I have blocked out any memories of the 2006 series against the Devils. What happened there?

  47. Or, using Seinfeld reference:” I don’t know how official any of these rankings really are…”

  48. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, I am making no guarantees about game 2. How about this:

    I bet that the team that wins game 1 wins the series. You bet the team that wins game 2 wins the series. If one team wins both, it’s a push.

  49. Hey is there a game tonight? Who are the Rangers? What is this sport called hockey? I AM LOSING IT….is it go time yet?

  50. Doodie Machetto on

    “I have a mediocre record in the playoffs:”

    So do the Rangers! ZING!

    As for momentum, tell me that after watching game 3 of the 2007 Atlanta series that you thought Atlanta had any shot in hell of winning game 4.

  51. tomb April 13th, 2011 at 11:28 am
    I cant believe the playoff start today already. Seems like yesterday when Stepan got his hat trick.

    They grow up so fast!!!

  52. Doodie, you’re on. And I hope I don’t get in trouble for promoting gambling.

    Noah, as I recall:
    Game 1: Loss.
    Game 2: Loss.
    Game 3: Loss.
    Game 4: Loss.

    Somewhere in there Jagr threw the first punch of his career at Clown Gomez and nearly killed himself in the process. He must have gotten beat up at many a bus stop.

  53. Also, whoever was talking about the ’94 Rangers not having playoff beards (sorry I have a terrible memory)… According to the wikipedia article on playoff beards, their great revival didn’t occur until 1995 with the Devils. Rangers totally should have gotten on that soon.

  54. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Carp – while these coaches are indeed not idiots, the advantage of last line change, however SLIGHT it is, is a benefit… Even if it is just one faceoff-one play- one 15 second time span before the other team gets their “guys” on… It is an advantage worth having…to say otherwise is silly.

  55. WASEKA is saying: AGrossRecord Confirmed: Zuccarello and Gilroy in; Avery, Eminger out.

    Hobbit Wizard. Poor Mrs. Eminger. I like it though. Like it.

  56. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, strangely, I don’t think too many people were trying to beat up the 6’2 210 pound kid in Kladno.

  57. LB makes usually makes preseason predictions. I haven’t seen any this year. Has anyone? He is usually wrong too. Last time I remember he predicted Devils in 6. Right before the series where Avery’s rule was created. We all know how tat one went.

  58. Anyone here have FIOS? My friend does and he checked tonites line up, no MSG/MSG + Ranger coverage at all. Is that true? He needs to DVR it and couldn’t.

  59. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Carp – one need look no further than the last ranger habs game when the habs had their 4th line on and torts immediately double shifted gabby ‘s line resulting in the gabby goal in the first period… Prust saying

  60. NYR_FAN says "The time has come!" on

    Waseka just brought a huge smile to my face with the lineup news!

    I can’t wait!!!

    Me too, Tony!! Thank you Vinny and Marty!!!

  61. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    I was being sarcastic. Of course I remember that 2006 series against the Devils (I was at 3 of the 4 games!).

    I thought the Devils were going to march towards the Cup that year because of how good they looked. But then I realized that they beat a team: (1) without Jagr essentially; (2) with an exhausted and hurt Lundqvist; and (3) with Malik getting tons of ice time.

    Carp, betting a seltzer (or is it salsa) is essentially betting your commission on one comment on the site. That’s pennies!

  62. I never said I didn’t believe in momentum. I tend to think there are underlying and empirical reasons to explain how most of these games and series go, although small sample sizes like a Best of 7 series lend themselves to less than likely outcomes.

    As far as 2007, Rangers weren’t that much worse than Atlanta. In fact if you account for the fact that the Rangers played in what was strongest division in the East that year they probably should have been the higher seed. I’d advocate for modifying the seeding rules so that division winners still qualify for the playoffs but they are seeded based on points.

  63. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    I think it’s a lock that Avery is in the Game 2 lineup if we lose tonight.

    And I still believe Eminger provides more in a series like this than Gilroy. I hope I’m wrong though.

  64. Doodie Machetto on

    Does the Garden even have Seltzer? I know in the food court area by my seats (the good one where you get the Prime Rib sandwich), they don’t have sodas anymore, just bottles.

  65. Re: playoff beards. I want to say Zubov and Anderson were the only ones that had it in 94 and I don’t know if Zubov kept his the whole time.

  66. Doodie Machetto on

    CTB, but games 1 and 2 were very close games. Entering game 3, you thought either team could win it. But entering game 4, there was NO WAY Atlanta was going to win. None.

  67. Atlanta wasn’t going to win after they lost Nylander on the ice within 32 seconds of game 3.

  68. Doodie Machetto on

    I’m not surprised Torts is rolling with what he went with in the season finale.

  69. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    This ranger team has already proved it is capable of being tight… Winning game 1 sure removes some tightness going into game 2 … Losing game 1, while obviously doesn’t end the series, sure makes it that much tougher for a young team that doesn’t often score a lot of goals and is afraid to make mistakes..

  70. After a 7-0 drubbing? Definitely didn’t think that way before the game. But ATL did have the lead, twice I think so I had my doubts during the game. Then when Cullen’s goal overturned the non-goal call on the ice I think everyone knew the game was theirs.

  71. Doodie Machetto on

    It wasn’t just that it was 7-0, it was HOW it was 7-0. Atlanta looked like it became unraveled, especially when Kovalchuk fought Avery.

    I just had no thought for a second that Atlanta would win game 4 after that,

  72. Rangers are on MSG+ tonight with Game Night at 7 pm and a post game show. Thank God I don’t have to suffer through a Vs. broadcast tonight.

    Can you imagine how many Crosby updates they’ll have? Or how depressed the announcers will be if the Rangers get out to an early lead?

    Let’s Go Rangers! Can’t wait to get out of work, get my jersey on and enjoy some playoff hockey!

  73. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    LOVE Torts’ quote:

    “We respect the Capitals, but in no way do we fear them.”

    (Per Waseka)

  74. First week of the playoffs falls around my birthday. I was at Peter Luger’s for game 3 of the ATL series. We had an early-ish reservation so we were hoping to catch maybe the 3rd period afterwards. I kept on checking the score right around when we got sat and I don’t think we were even served the tomato and onion salad before that game was out of hand.

  75. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Bottom line – I could care less if the rangers Lise the first 3 as long as they win game 7.

  76. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Rangers have been pushed off of versus… After the red wings game, the ranger game will be joined in progress…

  77. Mister Delaware on

    Sort of a side note here: The book Scorecasting showed that home ice (and field and whatever other venue) advantage actually does exist, but not because of crowds or any sort of goofy intangible like that. Referees/umpires are shown, across all leagues in all sports, to show bias towards home teams in discretionary calls which is why, across all leagues in all sports, the home team wins more than the away team. Basically, best case for us tonight is refs who swallow their whistles from start to finish.

  78. Tonight’s game on Direct TV :
    Channel 635 – MSG+
    Channel 770 – Center Ice – Caps feed
    Channel 771 – Center Ice – NYR feed
    Channel 603 – Versus – But in AZ showing Yotes game & end of NYR game

  79. Not surprised by lineup, but I would have chosen Emminger and Avery over Zuc and Gilroy.

    Let’s go Rangers!

  80. Been a fan for 30 years, but I’ve only ever been to 4 playoff games:

    Games 3 & 4 of the Devils series in ’06. I’ll never forget the roar from the crowd when the scratches were announced and they realized Jagr would be playing.

    But that quickly went to hell as I believe the Rangers coughed up a goal on the opening shift.

    Game 4 was only nice to be at to see the ovation the Rangers got as the game wound down. The MSG crowd appreciating them finally MAKING the playoffs.

    I attended Game 3 of the Atlanta series but was a little late thanks to a work conference. As I ran into the building I could hear the crowd erupt and when I finally made it up to my seat I felt like I was at a rock concert, having just missed Nylander potting home the first goal in what I believe was a 7-0 shutout.

    Last playoff game was the Game 3 Double OT game with Rosi’s game-winner. I always wondered what playoff overtime would be like live, and now I know. STRESSFUL!!

    I got into a few arguments with some Sabres’ fans that day. Also got a first-hand look at how Buffalo was Buttman’s favored team that year in regards to the officials calling the game.

    And that’s it.

    So I’m 2-2…but on a two game winning streak! And hoping my brother can score some tix for Game 3 or 4

    Pumped for tonight. Hope the Rangers can get into the Caps’ heads early. Would love to see Humpty Dumpty start panicking behind the bench.

  81. Mister Delaware on

    Wait, the game isn’t televised outside of the local area? Like the Center Ice package is turned off? This can’t be.

  82. Doodie Machetto on

    My only playoff game at MSG was the infamous thundersticks giveaway. I did not open or use mine.

  83. Dear everyone that doesn’t live in NYC – please move back home. So far today I have not seen *1* of Rangers Gear on anyone (save for when I look in the mirror).

  84. Noah-allahan-iron, 28 on

    That standing ovation at the end of Game 4 of the Devils series was a great moment. And Jed Ortmeyer scored the first goal of that game!

    Miss Jed.

  85. I’m getting the butterflies to Eddie! I’m at work, but can’t concentrate on my job at all. Can’t wait to get out of here for some Rangers playoff hockey!!!

  86. time is going so slow!

    great quote by Torts! Love it!

    “We respect the Capitals, but in no way do we fear them.”

    LET’S GO RANGERS! please :)

  87. Me too Julie – I made a haircut appointment for 5PM so I could leave early and start prepping….

  88. i just laugh when Rangers fans mention that some other team is Bettman or the league’s favorite. If there were some conspiracy theory, the Rangers would certainly have done much better over the last 15 years since the Rangers get more national coverage than probably any other team. The idea that the league would prefer the Sabres over the Rangers is really funny actually..

    Im sure after every loss, many here will complain about the refs cheating and how the league wants whoever were playing to win over us but last time I checked its the Rangers, not the Capitals, Flyers, Bruins, Lightning, Penguins playing on Versus and NBC on a weekly basis…

  89. CCCP: In the words of Mick Jagger…..

    “time……is on my side……yes it is!”

  90. Eddie – I cannot believe you are a professor. It makes perfect sense really….I guess….

  91. I wish I could lecture in Rangers’ white, eddie…won’t fly well here.

    Julie, make sure the kitchen is nice and clean.
    Marji too care of her nails yesterday.
    GregL, I’m sure, is so pumped up he can’t even spell…
    Orr hasn’t woken up yet..
    Izzy is waiting until Go Time to show up
    Olga is debating whether we should make any drastic changes in our management on a verge of playoffs
    Lind will show up just before the game..
    Where in the world is Mako?

  92. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    manny – just gave a round of midterms..differential equations, second semester calculus, and an algebra class… I have grading out my byfuglien assen… No more quizzes this week… Ok, off to office hours… See youse in 20 minutes or so…

  93. CARP, everyone:

    Rangers in 5 … what?!

    I pick CAPS in 3.

    Our amateur-hour, two-bit clowns will stink up the joint and will forfeit the series out of sheer embarrassment at their own bush-league play.

  94. Manny, that is exactly the song Kevin Lowe was singing before he told me of the “no momentum theory” which has since been proven correct.

    Doodie, ilb bought me a seltzer at MSG once.

    Noah, I imagine seltzers sold in the Garden cost four or five comments.

    Eddie, not saying it’s not an advantage worth having… I’m saying it doesn’t translate into more victories by home teams in the playoffs.

    Makes sense for Versus to bail on Rangers game … if it has .. because two large markets will be watching the game on their local/regional cable channels (and probably be blacked out on Versus in those markets).

    Seems to me you guys are starting to get a little excited. It’ll be official when ZzZz checks in.

  95. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Ilb – I dress quite casually, gave up the tweed coat years ago… Jeans and sweatshirts mostly…

  96. Playoff games i attended.

    Game 3 Montreal against Boston in 1994 That was the patrick roy 60 save effort after he just got out of the hospital. Thought i’d throw that one in there. It was the old forum, unbelievable atmosphere. I remember thinking i hoped the bruins would knock off the habs because icouldnt think of a team we’d have more trouble with in the eastern finals than them. Was totally overlooking the devils.

    Game 4 against Quebec in 1995. That was the kovalev penalty (where they blew the whistle after sakic’s goal that would have made the game 3-0). Larmer scored the game winner

    Game 1 against the habs in 1996. Vincent damphousse overtime winner sent us drunks home to the LIRR in a foul mood.

    Game 4 against the devils in 1997. That 3-0 shut out precipitated Gravey’s OT win in the swamp in game 5.

    Game 4 against the devils in 2006. I remember being part of that ovation despite the result. 4-2 for the debbies if i recall.

    Havent been to one since. Could change this year if they make it to the second round

    Oh yeah, i went to all the garden vision games against vancouver in 1994. The conga lines after the goals were awesome. Plus we got to hear sam scream “SAVE BY RICHTER!!!!”

  97. We better start planning. Who’s making the Boneheads Banner for the Parade in June. What corner is every Bonehead going to stand on to see the Parade?

  98. Marji – we need to find someone who has great seats inside a building and high up on the route

  99. Marji, we should rent one of the buildings in the Canyon for Boneheads only. And Tony won’t be up for the parade in June. It’ll be too cold for him.

  100. Tony, before you nap can you please refresh and find me the FIOS channel number the game is on?

  101. Tony – Great point. THANK YOU TAMPA BAY, your friends in NY are pulling for you up until you meet the mighty Rangers.

    Go smoke Pittsburgh.

  102. I think it’s ok. Hobbit Wizard brings skill to the lineup. Avery brings fire – which will be more useful if we lose a game.

  103. Carp, tell Josh (26) to save the date. He’s invited to the Bonehead Extravaganza on Parade Day.

  104. Mister Delaware on

    I’d much rather see Avery dressed for tonight, not held back in as an “in case of 2-0 deficit, break glass for grit” contingency.

  105. Good afternoon all! Carp = best hockey writer on the planet

    My tummy’s all a flutter.

  106. The Doctor (MD) – I totally understand and agree. Honestly I would go Zucc in , Christensen out, Aves in.

  107. Mister Delaware on

    Oh, hey guys, thought you might want to know there actually is no game tonight. I know we all thought the Rangers had Game 1 but, after 10 minutes on hold, an RCN rep told me the reason its not scheduled to air is because there is no game. Hope this doesn’t mess up anyone’s plans!

  108. Olga Folkyerself on

    Let’s Go Rangers!

    Let’s Go Black Hawks!

    I’ll deal with the Finals when they get there.

    FIRE SATHER! His mistakes have been holding us back for 11 years…

  109. oleo

    are you seriously saying that NHL doesn’t play favorites? Sure… and the Penguins won the cup all by themselves!

    and if you think that Penguins will get less calls in their favor with Cindy out then you’re wrong again! I bet they’ll get favorable calls even more now since the poor Penguins playing w/o baby Godzilla (Malkin) and Cindy and then the whole league will say “Look at the Penguins and how far they got w/o Cindy! what a team!” I bet ORR’s left nut on it! :P

  110. eddie eddie eddie on

    oh brother – i am all-a-flutter……ILB – i imagine you could see eric’s heart beating right through his clothes

  111. ilb-you know where I’m going to be for most of the game! LOL I can’t help myself. Sometimes I get all flustered that I can’t watch! There will be a lot of pacing tonight, especially if it’s a close game.

  112. eddie eddie eddie on

    i posted this at the end of the previous page, but i think it bears repeating….

    My astrologer correctly put the rangers in the playoffs…. And since the rangers’ rising sign is libra, and Pluto is in their 4th house, and boogaard’s moon is as large as Jupiter… It virtually spells victory for tonight…. The stars are aligned… Her prediction, and she is never wrong, rangers 23 craps 1

  113. ilb

    i cant work i cant sleep all i know is we are 16 wins away from the most precious trophy in all of sports.

    all we have to do is go 16-12 and we are cup champs.

  114. Olga

    nobody, of course! lol

    Usually when ORR bets on his remaining left nut, he’s usually right! so… it’s a lucky left nut! Good thing i don’t have to rub it for luck ;)

  115. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – ms. cleo is a fraud….my girl is always spot on,,,,and astrology is as close to an exact science as there is……

  116. eddie – i never, ever know what to think about your seriousness or your joking…….it makes the exchanges all the more fun.

    Derek Smalls: We’re lucky.
    David St. Hubbins: Yeah.
    Derek Smalls: I mean, people should be envying us, you know.
    David St. Hubbins: I envy us.
    Derek Smalls: Yeah.
    David St. Hubbins: I do.
    Derek Smalls: Me too.

  117. NYR_FAN says "The time has come!" on

    This is the lineup that I wanted the Rangers to go with. I really have no problem with Avery being scratched…

  118. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – i am always serious and kidding…if i wasnt as heavily sedated, i might feel differently…

  119. eddie eddie eddie on

    bobbi fleckman – that’s right Ian, you put a girl on all 4’s, greased up with a dog collar on, and a hand in her face to sniff a glove, and you say that isnt sexist?…this isnt the 60’s anymore

  120. carp

    i may not survive the first period tonight. in all seriousness thank you tampa for making these next 10-14 days possible.

    it definitely would have been tough watching tonight all depressed still

  121. eddie eddie eddie on

    ian – i cannot help it if one of the creative members of this band cannot tell the difference between feet and inches

    David – you’re not as confused as nigel now are you, its not your job to be as confused as nigel

  122. David St. Hubbins: I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human than someone who doesn’t believe anything.

  123. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Hartford Whalerpack:

    “How can I disagree with Kevin Lowe’s playoff slant” (or Carp’s)?

    Easy. Winning 6 Cup rings or running the best Rangers blog doesn’t make one a brilliant psychologist. If Kevin Lowe claims the sun rises in the west, he’s still wrong.

    Confidence boosts performance. Successful performance boosts confidence. Rinse and repeat.

    Everyone here (even Carp) who has followed hockey or played it competitively knows momentum in playoff series is real. We’ve observed it. We’ve lived it. It comports with everything we know about our human psyche.

    Denying the existence of momentum (ie. players are simply robots with no short, middle or long-term memory) may have served Lowe’s interest at the time he claimed it. Or, he may have genuinely convinced himself of it as part of the cult of mechanical “professionalism.” But, he’s obviously wrong because experience shows us… over and over.

    Playoff momentum is real. We all hope the Rangers develop some!!!

  124. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – the heavily sedated line is when david is interviewed backstage after nigel leaves the band…

  125. can’t sit Zuccarello. the kid played what 10 minutes last game and still managed to pick up an assist. He’s valuable on the PP, not a liability in his own end and any added bonus he adds to the Rangers playoff push is much more important than playing in HFD for an extra week or two.

  126. Right eddie – I know you are not personally heavily sedated. I am sure we both enjoy the occasional sedation ….just not at work.

  127. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – what is the end?….so the question i have for you, what is the end?…if the universe is indeed infinite, then what is behind it stopping it?

  128. C3

    Can you tell me what team led the NHL in minor penalties and penalty minutes this season?

  129. why not avery over EC. Drury is a center and will be taking all the meaningful draws anyway. Zucc can fly what does EC bring to the table when everyone hits in the playoffs.

  130. eddie eddie eddie on

    Rhode Island – i have to agree with you….the human condtion and its fraility are often quite intertwined with the mood and psychology with the vibe around it……win – feel good – win more…..

  131. eddie eddie eddie on

    david – there is someone already in the organization that can help

    ian – excuse me?…do you mean HER? you dont mean her do you?..i refuse to co-manage this band with her or anyone else for that matter…especially with someone that dresses like an Austrailian’s nightmare… I QUIT

  132. eddie eddie eddie on

    rhode island – probably same dynamic with just about anything when you get right down to it….

  133. OH eddie: For our sedation:

    Derek Smalls: That’s not to say I haven’t had my visionary moments. I’ve taken acid seventy… five, seventy-six times.
    Marty DiBergi: 76?
    Derek Smalls: Yeah, so I’ve had my moments in the sky.

  134. Is anybody besides me worried about Torts losing it at an away game? Fans in other cities are going to try to rile him, IMO. If he gets suspended for a game, I think it is going to unnerve our young guys.

    Carp, any thoughts on this?

  135. Posted this already on the Prediction blog, but thought it was a worthy read.
    BEST time of the year, bar none.
    Here’s to HOCKEY IN SHORTS

    Dick’s Picks:

    Rangers vs. Caps:
    Captain Clutch Chris Drury channels Bobby Sheehan (’79) and George McPhee (early 80’s) to become 2011 Playoff Messiah. Dubinsky deflects winning goal in 7th game off his backside earning new nickname “DuButtski” Ranger bottle Caps in 7

    Lightning vs. Penguins:
    Bolts too tired after emotional win over Canes. No incentive to p;lay now that Dolan has deposited ‘extra’ playoff money directly into acount and has given them all free Cablevision for life including Playboy premium channel. Crosby returns to bench, well actually behind it, with a thcik helmet on. Penguins jolt Bolts in 6.

    Habs vs. Bruins:
    Little French smurfs run around Chara and tie him up like in ‘Gullivers Travels”. Habs smartly turn down all invitations to fight. Subban invites Jay-Z to deliver pre-game pep talk. Habs cage Bruins in 6

    Sabres vs. Flyers:
    Doc Halladay drops first puck and prompts slips on ice breaking left arm. Fans boo Flyers through the entire series. Flyers, who play better on the road, use this to focus their game. Hartnell gains prominence as his hair grows through the series. Flyers slice Sabres in 7 in spite of sieve goaltending.

    Canucks Vs. Black Hawks:
    All the trappings of another upset, until call up the heretofore unknown Sedin Triplet, Sammy. Bys make like Hansen brothers and promote ‘old-time’ hockey. Black Hawk bus breaks down on the way to rink for 3rd game forcing players to take cabs. Uh-oh, AWOL Kane not bailed out until it’s too late. Canucks scalp Hawks in 5.

    Coyotes vs. Red Wings:
    Down 3-1, Wings dress Gordie Howe. On his first shift he goes into the corner with Michael Rozival. As the play goes up ice, Rozy is left dazed and his pant wet. Howe sits rest of series but damage is done. Wings muzzle Yotes in 7

    Kings vs. Sharks:
    Too bad, Without Kopitar and Johnson there is no chance for Le Rois, unless Justine Beiber dresses and the Sharks are too busy asking for autographs. Sharks crown Kings in 5.

    Ducks vs. Predators:
    Two teams I hardly know anything aboot. Rooting for Preds so I can get more glimpses of that alien BIG Head, Barry Trotts. Preds in 6

  136. Sorry Mama! I started it today. I blew it.

    Here lies David St. Hubbins… and why not?

  137. I don’t think we’ll have an issue with Torts this time around in regards to fans behind the glass.

    That being said, I’m sure both the Rangers and the NHL has already given word to the Capitals about their responsibilities ie: security near the benches.

    At least, I HOPE there isn’t any problem with Torts. He seems to be taking the right tack this year where all the pressure is on the Caps.

    5 1/2 hours to go….Can’t wait…

  138. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, let’s hope that when I collect my seltzer from you it will be in Game 3/4 of the 2nd round, not game 15 or so of the regular season (home game 1) in late October/early November.

  139. The transformation of Torts from an egotistical, bullying hot-head to the patient mentor he at least shows the public is as big a reason for the improvement and likeability of this team than any other. Never would have thunk it was possible. Like the Warden said in Shawshank “It’s a miracle”

    If we get beat it won’t be because of ‘born again’ Torts

  140. Doodie Machetto on

    People in my section will have to worry about me wielding a bottle when I’m at the game.

  141. Doodie Machetto on

    Or I should say, they will have to worry about my wielding several bottles BEFORE the game.

  142. Mister Delaware on

    “Everyone here (even Carp) who has followed hockey or played it competitively knows momentum in playoff series is real.”

    Then how do teams ever turn momentum? Yankees had all the momentum in the 2004 Series versus the Red Sox until they didn’t and the Red Sox did. Arizona did in 2001 until they didn’t but then they did again. Rangers had it in the 2009 series against the Caps and then they didn’t. People who believe momentum dictates upcoming results never seem to explain how that momentum gets stopped and turned on a dime. Unless momentum only really exists in hindsight, after the hypothesis is confirmed. “Oh, Team X had momentum, I knew they wouldn’t lose that game.”

  143. Listening to Joe Micheletti on Mike Francesa WFAN show right now. Francesa really knows NOTHING about hockey. He just asked Joe, “Who is the best player on the Rangers?”

    Really? REALLY?

  144. Atta boy Doodie! I will be there at Game 6 (if necessary) and I will be wielding many, many dangerous objects.

  145. Oh terrific. New question is, “Joe, who’s the best player in the league right now?”

  146. Yea – Francesa is an idiot when it comes to Hockey. It’s embarrassing. It also highlights the fact that the mainstream sports world does not care about the NHL….so you know what Francesa? No NBA and no NFL for you! You will be forced to learn about hockey!

  147. I just put it on – thanks for the tip Roe – this is HILARIOUS. He asks a question like that and then immediately makes a statement like “If Ovechkin wants to be big time he better learn to win.”

    Really Mike? Really….

  148. I see a lot of crazy things that can potentially happen during this series. Torts paying attention to any stupid fan in Washington *isn’t* one of them.

  149. well at least Francesa admits he knows nothing about hockey instead of guys like Joe and Evan who really arent very knowledgeable about the Rangers or hockey in general.

  150. Joe & Evan are SO annoying…….can they talk about the Islanders a BIT more without knowing anything about anything else in the hockey world?

  151. Anyone know of a site where I can watch a full replay of the game? I won’t be able to watch it tonight.

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