AK27: Is this the end for Alexei Kovalev in the NHL?

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The reports yesterday had Alexei Kovalev going to the KHL for the next two years (click here for the story from NHL.com), probably ending his NHL career.

And if so, then there are no players left from the ’94 champions.

Hard to believe Kovalev’s 38. Hard to believe it’s been all these years since he arrived. Hard, for me, to believe that he didn’t accomplish more.

I’m interested in what you guys really think of the career he had: 428 goals, 1,024 points. I am sure a lot of you will always think of him fondly, some of you will argue that he was always a big-game player (I’d argue that he had some unbelievable big games, but that he also disappeared at times; I’d also argue with those who say he was the best player in the Messier Guarantee game … I thought Richter, Leetch and, obviously, Messier, were better).

A lot of us will say he was under-appreciated. Some will say he was overrated.

I will say he was the most gifted player the Rangers have had in all my years watching the team play (Gretzky and Jagr were better players for their careers, but neither was in his prime when he got here). Only those two and Mario Lemieux had the kind of hands and vision and ability to dance with the puck, and hold onto it. Kovalev was so strong on the puck, had a devastating shot.

But, of course, for a lot of his NHL time, he looked too interested in playing keepaway, and not nearly interested enough in actually, you know, scoring.

He could do stuff like flip the puck over the rafters in the ceiling of the practice rink and catch it on the blade of his stick. Or hit the crossbar multiple times, standing by the net down the other end of the ice.

And he wasn’t just gifted at hockey. He played golf left-handed, yet there’s the story about how he was playing with Sal Messina and wanted to try Messina’s new right-handed driver. And belted it 300 yards down the middle. He was a musical genius, from what I’ve heard. And a pilot. The kid could pretty much do anything (I also recall the story of him getting so terribly lost his first week in the U.S., being unable to speak English, driving a rented car over bridges, to and from New Jersey, and crying, while trying to find the practice rink in Westchester).

He was a likeable young man — and his teammates absolutely loved him.

I just think it’s a shame that he only accomplished what he did, because I think, with the gifts he had, he could have been an all-time great, a no-doubt Hall of Famer. But he wasn’t an all-time great, and he’s a very borderline HOF candidate, if that.

—————-

AP Photo, above.

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332 Comments

  1. He never really put it all together. He was always great to watch. I always thought he would be better than he turned out but he was no slouch. His numbers are very similar to my favorite Ranger Rod Gilbert. I think he is deserving of the hall.

  2. Europansy? OMG. Just OMG, how does anyone say that?

    Alexei Kovalev may have taken more abuse than any player I’ve seen save Tomas Sandstrom, and Kovalev kept going. He may have kept going in circles, LOL, but he kept going and was an absolute horse.

    I’ll break radio silence because Carp poses an interesting question on AK, does he belong in the HHOF? Hmm.

    Interesting comparison on the stats, which of course never tell the whole story.

    Rod Gilbert: 406 goals, 1021 pts in 1065 games.
    A. Kovalev: 428 goals, 1024 pts in 1302 games.

    Naturally Gilbert is in the HHOF and amassed his points in about 3 seasons less.
    Then again Alexei won a Cup, and – best player or not in game 6 – was HUGE when it counted.

    He scored one of the most awesome and important goals in Rangers history, a gorgeous roofer off a quick little Leetch feed in one of those pivotal games in Vancouver, think it may have been Game 3.

    Found this, which I’d never realized: “When I won the Stanley Cup, I never had a chance to take it home because of the lockout, so I never really saw the Cup, except holding it on the ice,” he said

    You could go on & on about AK’s career, there’s something for everyone.
    Probably just short of the Hall IMO, but I sure am glad we had him, and as frustrating as he could be, Ill always have a soft spot for him.

    Which brings to mind another question; what would’ve happened instead in the post-cup years had we traded Alexei for ANY of the names he was seriously linked to, like Brendan Shanahan and Jason Arnott, both of whom were prime time players at the time?

  3. AK had all the skills to be one of the greatest he was limited but what was going on between his ears!

  4. The other thing on Kovalev that always stuck out in my mind, which goes directly to management, was they never truly tried the one thing with him to maximize his production, which was play him, play him, play him.

    Kovalev was such a moose, he needed to get 25+ minutes every night to be at his best.
    Neil Smith and John Muckler never quite saw it that way but Pittsburgh sure did, which is why they and not us got the best season of Alexei’s career: 79-44-51-95.

    Playing him that much meant living with his mistakes too, and those Ranger teams had a margin for error that was less than zero. So it wasn’t pretty to watch after 94.

  5. My take on Kovalev is that he’s a great player, but short of the hall. The guy only scored over 30 goals four times in his career and over 40 once. That’s not to diminish from what was a great career overall that was only diminished by the Rangers’ ineptitude in both playing him(as Rod alludes) and trading him.

    I still vividly remember when he was dealt and I simply couldn’t make sense of the deal. He’s a kid who was an immensely talented 25-year-old, who rose to the level of superstardom during the cup finals to be an integral part of the championship, and he’s getting dealt for a similar enigma, plus a couple of minor league toilers? It made no sense then and it makes even less sense now. I think about what Kovalev might have done with another year of Gretzky or on a line with a young Marc Savard; or perhaps even Mike York, and I get angry. I never minded Nedved, but he was never even half the player Kovalev turned out to be.

    The second part of my anger comes to when the Rangers decided to part ways with him the second time. Though I understood the trade that brought Balej and the draft pick that landed Bruce Graham(both busts incidentally), I never could understand why the Rangers wouldn’t try to land Kovalev in 2005. The team was in such flux at the time and Kovalev floated around on the UFA market until August. I know Sather was trying to surround Jagr with his favorites, but some of Kovalev’s most successful seasons were on a team with Jagr and a centerman by the name of Straka. I always wondered what the Rangers would have looked like with Jagr-Kovalev as a one-two punch on the wing.

    In fact, the only time I would have passed on bringing Kovalev back to the Rangers was after his deal with the Canadiens expired. But before then, I never really came to terms with why he wasn’t a Ranger.

  6. Everything what could be said about Alex was said already during his controversial and long HNL career. I only can add, that IMO, he epitomize people motion that “good” is not good enough.(his statistic alone could satisfy any pickiest coach). He showed unbelievable level of talent, which generated expectation for permanent performance, which should be nothing short of excellent.
    I think, like many extremely gifted people, he don’t particular likes routine and easily get bored on a lot of regular games, unless scenario turns in his interesting way. I like him very much and wish the best of luck with anything he decides to do. This way or other, formally HOF or not, it is undoubtedly – this guy sign his name forever (4ever) in a NHL and Rangers history, not to mention SC.

  7. Good morning boneheads,
    Good morning Carp,
    Good morning ilb.,
    Good morning sweet Sally! …
    …and all lovely people of great RR state.
    Today is my Big 26 and I just want to say, this blog is one of the real gifts in my life – “My Moveable Feast”! Always with me…or near.

  8. Marc Weissman on

    Funny you should mention “play him, play him play him” b/c Iron Mike Keenan often tells the funny story of how Alex once decided to belligerently take an extended shift despite Mike calling him back to the bench for a change. So, in Keenan’s infinite wisdom, when Alex finally decided HIMSELF to come off the ice, Mike just kept waving him back to stay on, shift after shift after shift. This went on for a good 3 minutes or so, until Alex was so utterly spent, he could barely breath let alone stand up. That’ll teach him. :) Plus, it was Iron Mike who publicly threatened that Neil Smith should consider trading Alex after he received 2 irresponsible stick suspensions during the ’94 regular season. Don’t mess with Mike, that’s for sure. Lesson learned. :)

    As for AK’s career, the fact is that he certainly had immense raw talent that was never truly tapped for his entire time in the NHL either because of Alex himself or because of the teams/coaches he played for. I still recall watching him on either an Olympic or WJC broadcast before he ever played a single NHL game. His incredible talent showed even at that early age, but so did his propensity to dipsy-doodle endlessly in the corners by himself. And, while, yes, he certainly had the skill set to be an elite NHL player, he hugely benefited from coming to a NYR team that was flat-out stacked with talent, motivation, Cup-winning experience and quite simply destined to end the 54 year curse. But that being said, Alex played a pivotal role in key ’94 games, like that magical saucer pass to Matteau vs. the Caps when JD kept shouting that Alex was “only 21 yrs old”, and in Game 6 vs. NJD getting the late 2nd period goal that gave us life so The Messiah could perform his magic – thanks to two amazing assists from Alex, BTW – and the PP roofer mentioned above vs. VAN and lastly, the pivotal assist on Adam Graves’ 2-0 goal in Game 7 of the Finals. I do recall, though, that Alex was held off the score sheet for Games 1 – 5 vs. NJD in ’94, but luckily, it all went out the window when, despite being viciously cross-checked in the neck by Bernie Nicholls, Alexei came through for Mark and his teammates in Game 6 and throughout the Finals. Even that one so-called “meaningless” goal agst VAN when he absolutely undressed Kirk McLean to make it 5-1 was impressive despite its context.

    As for his career as a whole, yes AK’s stats may be comparable to Gilbert. But there’s no way Alex is worthy of the HHOF, not even borderline. He was certainly a great player, but that shrine is home to Orr, Dryden, Sawchuk, Howe, Gretz, Mess, etc. I just don’t see him anywhere close to that “league” of players. You could make a case re: guys like Gilbert or even Giacomin, who despite being Cup-less was elected quite simply because of what happened on 11/2/75, but that was a very unique situation. Alex just doesn’t seem to fit the bill HHOF-wise, as I see it anyway.

    Regardless, if we have, in fact, seen the last of Alexei Kovalev in the NHL, I say “Congratulations!” and “Thank you, Alex, so much for all that you did for us in NY!” Now, about that lucky troll… :)

  9. yeah i know thats the legendary petr nedved to kovalev’s right but the other guy escapes me

  10. always thought AK would be all-time great too. like it was already said, not much between the ears. but otherwise all-world talent

  11. On Alex. I’m biased, I admit. Because I knew him personally, for years. His wife and his boys. He is my son’s favorite NHL player all-time. I don’t care if he goes to HOF, and I don’t think Alex does either. He’s had a great NHL career and also did a lot of other things in his life that he enjoyed. Carp mentioned him being a pilot, a great musician (sax and piano), but Alex is also very well read. I am not sad he is leaving the NHL because it would have happened anyway at some point. I am happy for him because he is going back to his native Russsia where he has many things to look forward, including participating in many charities for children he has established there, and, of course, playing hockey.

  12. Kovalev’s definitely not a HOF player…if only because his talents SHOULD have made him an absolute elite superstar in the league.

    I think for Kovy, his maturity was a huge problem. Remember his troll doll in ’94? He was a big, tough kid with otherworldly skills but needed someone to shepherd him along.

    I, for one, still believe he was one of the best players we had going in the ’94 playoffs. Whatever it was, he GOT IT. For that short amount of time he understood what needed to be done. Messier loved the kid to no end.

    It’s unfortunate he never achieved his potential, because to this day I’ll remember when he first came to the Rangers and started showing his moves. It was like “WHOA!”. But then you’d realize he was still making those moves and had missed a chance to put puck on net.

    My funniest Kovy moment was when it was mentioned he might have to drop the gloves one day and finally decided to do it against someone on the Dallas Stars (can’t remember who) where Kovy politely removed his helmet before the fight.

    Kovy could hold onto the puck with one hand and toss a defender aside with the other. Kid had unimaginable strength and skill.

    Listen to me. Calling him a kid and he’s my age. LOL

  13. It had to be incredibly frustrating for Kovalev playing in the hook-n-hold days.

    It was so bad back then, and he’s just the kind of player that EVERYONE had to hook n hold.

    A young Kovalev today might reach his potential, or get much closer to it.

  14. WTF? Rucinsky was a pretty terrific pro, gave the Rangers some real good years.

    Every Euro is a woosy to you LW?

    You’d probably cry like a little girl the first time you got slashed LOL

    These guys took it every night for 20 years and they’re pansies?

    Ok.

  15. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    A second-tier, support type player you need, and many of them, for the top-tier players to bring home one or more championships. AK represented a minor strength, he was not a weakness or a hole in the lineup. Teams with massive strengths, but also with glaring weaknesses rarely if ever go all the way because your weaknesses will drag you down and be exploited by the solid but unspectacular teams. Not a HOF player, by any means, because of vastly unrealized potential for individual greatness, but just as Mike Keenan suggested to the players before they went out and won the Cup – that in doing so they would be linked with eachother for life, we as fans of that Cup winning team are linked with all the players and the management of that glorious time, too and after Messier, Leetch, and Richter, AK along with Matteau and Boom Boom on defense, are the first to come to mind as the outstanding supporting cast members.

    Alexei will always have that place in our hearts for having been a catalyst to the organization’s reaching the pinnacle, and our own ultimate success as fans on that joyride.

  16. Alex was always one of my favorite players, and won’t repeat much of the praise and criticism about holding on to the puck that has been pointed out here…but also remember him as a sort of “boy who cried wolf” that the refs never seemed to forgive for his dive that saved a goal in the 1994 final. They seemed to hold it against him for much of his career whenever the calls were borderline, and it seemed to make a difference in his effectiveness.

  17. thanks LW, dont think Im staying too long.

    So what, Ovechkin is some kind of useless hockey player to you?

  18. *LW3H & Rod*,
    Please, guys don’t fight, if for nothing valuable else, do it for my Birthday. Love both of you, however, Euro Pansies closer to me by origin, North American Pansies – socially. So, stop geo class warfare!

  19. Rod- LW3H was born and raised and still lives in Europe. Hence, he is European. He is kidding. As in not seriuos. KIDDING. *KIDDING*. -SERIOUS-. @KIDDING@.

  20. Great read, Carp.

    Alex was my favo(u)rite player as a kid. I have fond memories of a Rangers Clinic for kids that was held in Flushing in the fall after the Rangers won the Cup. Graves, Kovy, Beuke, Lidster, Bourque, & Hartman were there. I was 11 at the time.

    Alex was there, full skills on display when I arrived on the ice. Taking slap shots from the red line and roofing them top shelf, dangling the puck between kids on the ice playfully trying anything they could to take the puck from him. I got his autograph and he was smiling the whole time talking to me and all my friends…great hockey player, even better person…

    I just wish the Rangers never got rid of him in the 90s. Yeah, he was frustrating to watch at times. But, he was so much better than the dogs that came after him. Probably one of the greatest first round picks the Rangers ever made…considering how many years he played and his talent….

    I would have no problem putting him in the Hall. But, he may never get there because many people see him as a loafer. His ’94 playoff campaign was unreal…

  21. Oh, guys, Rod & LW,
    I saw on Broadway and 32 St., (you know, this numerous perfume joints, you can find everything) useful things for you guys.
    For LW – for just $2.99 – 8oz. flacon with “Attitude Softener” and for Rod – $3.95 bucket of “Sense of Humor”.
    Kids, lets all be a friends!

  22. My first sighting of AK came a few years before he served his required time in the Russian army. He was here in preseason camp (maybe 1990), and it was his first visit to NY. He was only about 17, but there was already a lot of talk about his fantastic puck skills.

    It was a preseason game against the Islanders. Kovalev took the puck behind his own net and literally went through the entire Isles team, undressed every player with his stick moves and left 2 or 3 Isles on their backsides with their legs in the air as he deked them. He then calmly faked the goalie out of his jock and roofed the puck. I had never seen such a display of stickhandling and skating combined. Needless to say, the Garden went wild.

    It was a long 2 years until Kovalev finally returned to NY and joined the Rangers. I kept telling all my friends that there was a Russian kid who will blow their minds when he gets here.

    During his long career, Kovalev had his problems with consistency and with coaches, but he did some wonderful things for the team. I wouldn’t put him in the HOF, but I would say that he was probably in the top 2 or 3 skilled players who ever played in the NHL. Of course, that also means that he was an underachiever. As many Russian players, he was an enigma. I wish him all the best going forward and I’ll always have that end-to-end rush by a 17 year old kid burned into my memory.

  23. I came after Kovalev was a Ranger, so I don’t have much attachment over the guy as most NYR fans here.

    When I came in, he was making life a living hell for us every time we played him. Most notably his game tying goal in the 5-0 comeback, and a shootout game winning goal, and so on.

    Damn him! Talented player though.

  24. I forgot! Everything’s a joke here!

    There’s the other smartass bitchboy CCCP!

    Say the same thing I said Day 1.

    Circle Jerk.

  25. Good morning, ‘heads. I remember being awed by Kovy’s skill as a Ranger and scared to death to play against him at the times he played on other teams. I wish him all the best! Maybe he’ll follow in Jagr’s footsteps and come back to the NHL for a farewell season.

  26. It’s interesting to note that Habs fans still love guy, too. He was their Captain, after all. I thought it was a good fit for him up there. Obviously, Gainey knew better…like making moves for the Smurfs of the NHL instead…

  27. No attitude at all coming from here, I assure you. Apologies if it came across that way. Hardly thought it needed spelling out that I wasn’t serious, unless Rico Fata’s Hall of Fame candidacy really did pass me by.

    For what little it’s worth, Kovalev’s first tenure as a Ranger was mostly before I became a fan, so I offer my customary nothing. Disappointing as the second go around was, given the spectacular numbers he put up in Picksburgh, I wouldn’t blame anyone for failing in that train wreck of a Rangers era.

    Did the guy maximise his talent at every point of his career? Clearly not. But a Cup win, 400 goals and 1,000 points isn’t an unfulfilled career by any stretch. He’s not a Zherdev or a Yashin, as much as parts of the North American hockey media would like to characterise every Russian (of Ukrainian) as a lazy, self-centred diver.

  28. The irony is, I truthfully find Rod’s all too infrequent appearances here the funniest things on here by a mile.

  29. LW,
    Agree wholeheartedly, and I was joking about your “attitude” and sorry to put you on the same page with URod, – its turns out – one angry and mean intellectual dwarf.

  30. bull dog line on

    Marc Weissman,
    the long shift you are speaking of happened in a game against the Bruins. the Rangers lost the game 4 to 1. the one goal was scored by Kovalev on the end of the shift you are speaking of.

  31. bull dog line on

    the worst thing that happened to Kovalev was Keenan leaving. Campbell hated him, benched him during games constantly. he was Campbells whipping boy. most forget that in the 94 season Kovalev moved to center at the trade deadline. he stayed there right up unti the first period of game 6 against the Devs, and moved back there in game 7 of Vancouver series. he did score 4 goals in the finals in 94.

  32. Have nothing bad to say about Kovalev. One of my all time favorite players. Always great to watch. Met him few times, great guy to talk to. I agree with ilb, i am happy for him that he’s going back home to Russia. Those Russian fans deserve to see him play, even at this stage of his career.

    Good luck, Alexei.

  33. bull dog line on

    Kovalev, and Leetch, were the best non goalies on the ice for the Rangers in game 6 against the Devs. the Devils have said that it was Kovalev who turned that game around. Messier got the glory (deserved) but it was Kovalev who was the guy in that game.

  34. Thanks for greetings, it’s really touching.
    but, guys, I get to go to start preparing for a big Birthday Party. All my kids and grandkids are coming and trust me – they are wild bunch. Floor hockey in Rangers uniform will be part of attractions, or actions, could be hits, bruises and brawls. The only hockey game, where grownups can have a hard drinks in intermissions. Winners get a Deda’s B,-Day Cup, full of cruchon (fruit-punch). So long and behave yourself, please.

  35. gotta love the guy as a person yes, though he could be infuriating as a player. And those videos of him playing with the puck are epic.

    You KNEW he could do whatever he wanted. The problem is that he did not want that much.

    Call it Alexander Daigle syndrom. He was too rounded a human. Perhaps too smart to be a hockey player. He was distracted by all life had to offer him (especially being a multi-millionaire). And who can blame him.

    I’m sure he’s happier then most hockey players.

  36. Kovalev has had the longest and most successful NHL career ever of any player who only showed up to play 50% of the time.

    I always thought we could have gotten a real superstar in their prime had Neil Smith let go of his stupid obsession with Kovalev.

    The story goes that the Avs were willing to trade Joe Sakic to the Rangers in 1997 for Kovalev and Sundstrom (who was Forsberg’s LW on the Swedish National Team), but Neil Smith refused, telling the Avs that they’ll take our draft picks and like them because he knew they couldn’t match an offer sheet. Then Air Force One came out, and we all know what happened next. 9 years of no playoffs.

  37. Oh look, a new twat!

    Or – more likely – an old one hiding behind a new name.

    See, and I was trying to get out on a hockey note.

    But it’s just not possible here.

  38. Noah, Associate Assistant Alternative Captain on

    Off topic, but Parise one-year deal, eh?

    If Parise comes to the Rangers…(hyperventilating).

  39. Oh, ok, how do I say it in hebrew, CCCP?

    and where do you get off telling anybody to watch anything, you maggot?

  40. Was hands down my favorite Ranger and will always have a place in my heart, a class act as well. Best of luck to him.

  41. AK was responsible for one of my greatest NYR memories. The game when Keenan woiuldn’t let him off the ice in order to teach him a “lesson” about selfishness. He played four minute shifts, tried to change and them shooed him away. He had the most puzzled look on his face, but it was clear he didn’t understand the lesson as he was having the time of his life. It was hilarious…seeing his coach pushing him back on the ice when he tried to get off. Great moment. That said, I don’t think he learned much from that lesson….and that is why he never was the player he could have been.

  42. Good Luck to Kovie over in Russia! Loved him and was maddend by him at the same time, but one thing about him.. NEVER BORING!! Sure, ya wondered where his head was sometimes, but that guy just had skill! And a well rounded human also!

  43. He was fun to watch when he was on top of his game. And bull dog, I remember that game!! My daughter and I were laughing because he just wasn’t getting it!

  44. Alright folks, cut it out…Let Carp have a quiet day without needing to ban anyone. This is getting look like a kindergarten…

  45. My comment disappeared, so I apologize if I repeat myself and they both show up …

    Rod, it’s a joke man. Somebody was ripping into Europansies in the playoffs, and so we started jokingly calling Chara and Datsyuk and all the other guys Europansies … guys who were anything but. It’s a joke.

    Happy 26th, 4ever!

    The third Europansy in the photo is indeed Rucinsky.

    The reason I don’t say Kovalev absolutely isn’t a HOF, is that Clark Gillies is in. Geez.

    ilb nailed it at 9:07.

  46. This is not right to do to Carp (who raised a worthy subject most had ignored),
    so I shall bow out.

  47. Rod, please don’t make me do this whole banning thing again. do not use words like that here. go somewhere else and do it.

  48. always right on

    no consistency in leadership. time to give the C to someone else. ban once, stay banned

  49. Good afternoon all! Oy geez, really, so early on a Saturday???

    Carp, ilb and CalLin nailed it for me, so I’ll just say, agreed.

    Happy 26th 4ever!!! Have a great day with the family…LGB!!!

  50. Carp please refrain from name-calling.

    I don’t want to have to do the whole banning thing again.

  51. Not for nothin Carp, but Jagr was pretty damn gifted in 05-06 so im gonna have to disagree with you there

  52. well, on a technicality, Calad … I didn’t really see much of the 05-06 season, until the playoffs. and you may have noticed, I’m not a big fan of 68.

  53. and yes, when i first saw WR, i thought, what does wide receiver have to do with this lol!! Oy!

  54. pardon the interruption, just back home from a morning of fishing (caught a nice pike!)

    kovalev will always have a special place in my rangers heart, mostly from 94. and who can forget the 2 and a half minute shift from keenan as punishment but alex just kept skating and enjoying himself.

  55. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    Morning ILB and all!!

    4ever
    happy birthday day and LW was just kidding and I don’t think rod was getting it!!

    LW
    LMFAO x 100…you are killing me bro

    I think AK27 was as enigmatic as they come, that being said because he knew the greatest human being ever (our own most interesting man in the world), the sky is the limit for him!!

  56. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    DJK
    respectfully, I disagree. I think jagr had a more (statistically speaking) successful career with only giving effort around 50% of the time.

  57. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    Isn’t there a blog called defending the core where you can use language like that??

  58. Happy birthday, 4ever!

    I agree with ilb’s comment on Kovalev. He never really seemed to be bothered too much by others’ opinions of himself, and good riddance. Sure, he could be enigmatic and disappear for stretches, but he had a career most NHL players dream of. His skills were out of this world, and he was crucial in ’94. Good luck, Alex.

  59. hows the weather up there today guys?
    freakin raining here… we actually need it, but on Saturday.. sheesh!

  60. It poured last night, I actually had a tornado warning! It’s sunny and around 90 in Bergen County (Northeast NJ), so I’m sure the city is just about the same.

  61. October 19th Carpy!! Gotta email you!!!

    Latona, we have a weather radio, and when that thing goes off at 2 in the morning, it’s the scariest freakin thing! I think it says Malkin or Hartnell on it somewhere!

  62. Lol. Good one, Lin. My aunt down in Florida has one too (also a Rangers fan) and she says it scares her as well.

  63. as terrifying as it is to hear that thing screaming at 2 am, it does save lives. too bad my building doesnt have a storm shelter.. we have to go into a closet or the half bath on the first floor.

    I have a hockey question.. who’s going to run the power play this season? LOL!!

  64. Kovalev introduced me to the term “enigmatic Russian forward.” He may have been the very first one to get that term, if memory serves. However, I always loved his game. I always wished he would shoot more. He would have been HOF easily if he was more focused. However, I ALWAYS loved watching him play. Never any lack of entertainment.

  65. Dantherangerfan on

    Good one today carp.well written..have to agree. He could have been so much more.

  66. Dantherangerfan on

    Id have to say id lump bure in that jagr the great one pack for players that played for rangers. Bure would have broken many records in this league if he hadnt gotten hurt. The guy had so much potential. This kovy talk made me think of him. so sad

  67. billybleedsblue on

    LW3H July 30th, 2011 at 11:56 am
    Reliably Overreacts, Departs.

    LOL.

    I too am a fan of the AK27 but like most, could never figure him out. He is a world class talent for sure, but as Carp suggested, he may fall short of the HOF.

  68. billybleedsblue on

    Jagr is a dog and I can’t wait to see the Rangers shut him and the Flyers down this season!

  69. Here’s my thing with Kovalev. He’s a great guy and was a good Ranger that will forever be a part of our history. but he was one of the most frustrating players to watch. I used to say that if you put his talent into a kid his size who was born and raised in Minnesota you’d have a consistent 50 goal scorer who was a shoe in for the hall of fame. Yes he put up very good numbers for his NHL career. I’ll leave it at that. I know a few people that know him personally and he seems like far too good of a person to rip apart with the “what could have been if he had more dedication and effort” we can go around and around forever on it. I wish him luck with his post NHL career.

  70. Fact or fiction? : Jagr is going to score more goals than Richards this season…

  71. Darn, JamesG….You just made me think what I would have turned into had I been born in Minnesota :-)

  72. Dan, Bure was here, what, five minutes?

    James, imagine if Adam Graves had Kovalev’s hand skills? Just that. Or Ryan Callahan.

  73. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    he might have tried 60% of the time, but that is a stretch for me

    Wait, ILB is from minnesota?? Isn’t that the southern most canadian province?

  74. It’s a shame Mother Nature will never reach her potential. Some nights she provides us with spectacular sunsets and other nights meh, she just dipsy doodles or coasts.

    Mother Nature ≠ HOF

  75. “LW3H was born and raised and *still lives in Europe*.”

    Yeah, but only because he can’t find a safe continent that will accept him.

  76. I know i shouldn’t get myself into this conversation again but…

    Jagr is a dog? That is very insulting.

    Jagr did everything for this franchise to be recognized again… even though he is not on this team any longer, it is because of Jagr we expect the NYR to make playoffs every year since the lockout.

    And don’t give me this BS about how much Craps couldn’t wait to get rid of Jagr. 201 points in 190 games for the Craps! All while Playing on the team with 35 year old Bondar and 70 year old Oates! Why would anyone want to get rid of a player like that?! Must be more to that story than just “bad” Jagr.

    He was nothing but a superstar in New York and a GOOD leader! Led by example and never shied away from saying how it is!

    Maybe he didn’t leave up to Washington’s expectations…and who gives a fugg?!

    He did live up to New York Rangers expectations…and that’s all that should matter! So where is this hate for Jagr coming from? I just don’t get it…

  77. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    cccp
    just let it go bro. Save your energy, just agree to disagree on some things!!

  78. Canada doesn’t have any southernmost provinces, wicky. Only northernleast ones. Hockey doesn’t belong in the south.

    And I think even Milbury would credit Jagr with trying at least 75% of the time.

  79. Not wanting to feel the wrath of Old Hagelindahan but this caught my eye:

    Cally scored:

    10 goals in 11 Sunday games
    13 goals in 49 games on all other days of the week

    Even If you remove Cally’s 4 goal game against the Flyers, he’d still have 6 goals in 10 Sunday games.
    That’s still more than double the goals per game than in non-Sunday games.

    I’m trying to rationalize this. Thoughts?

  80. The Rangers are usually horrible on weekend (especially afternoon) games, so Cally figured he needed to step up and be a leader!

    Captain!

  81. cccp- I believe Oates was actually 77 when he retired…and I don’t mean his number

  82. Oh and Jagr didn’t participate in the shootouts! TRADE HIM!….to Philly!….for Jeff Carter!….oh wait…

  83. His other Sunday goals were:

    1 Pens
    2 Pens
    2 Caps
    1 Devs

    Sort of Avery like, getting up for the ‘select’ games.

    But maybe a leader shouldn’t be -5 in three away games against a “gimme 2 points” Islanders team.
    Maybe a leader needs to bring it every night.

    (Waits with garbage can lid for the rotten fruit and veggies)

  84. Trade Hall AND Oates?! Manny you’re a rich guy. and you’ve gone too far cause you know it don’t matter anyway!

  85. Dantherangerfan on

    carp I know bure played very few games for the rangers..but that doesent mean he wasent one of the most talented players to put on the uniform. My point was he had so much potential if he had the longevity that kovy had he would have been one of the greats. Kovy didnt put up what he should have given his talent.

  86. Dantherangerfan on

    I aslo dont understand this jagr bashing. Rangers fans are to funny sometimes.. we love to bash players. you can thank jagr for teaching dubinsky how to control the puck. Dubi would be a bust if jagr didnt take him under his wing

  87. Happy birthday 4ever!
    Kovalev is a great talent, but he used to drive me crazy the way he used to just circle around with the puck and not pass it. So frustrating. He had a great NHL career. Good luck to him in Russia!

  88. That’s SPOT ON James!!!!

    Kovalev’s gone…he’s gone…oh I….I better learn how to play….He’s gone!

  89. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    LW

    LW3H July 30th, 2011 at 5:46 pm
    I’d go to Antarctica, dde, but I hate Penguins.

    But you like OPG?? He slides on his belly more than penguins do!!

  90. bull dog line on

    JamesG,
    answer to your fact or fiction question, is, fiction.
    Richards is going to play with that great passer Avery. so he is going to score 50. now if Jagr had Avery, then it would be fact.

  91. How do you figure Dubi would be a bust if Jagr didn’t “take him under his wing”

    He would probably be the same player.

  92. Doesn’t Spector put all his Rangers stuff on @NYDNRangers anyway? Don’t think he intends his personal account to be all that hockey related.

  93. Carp, can you add Perez Hilton to Bridget the Twidget?

    Let’s see how much these bonehead pansies can take.

  94. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    so what did we name weekes—>?

  95. Doodie, working on that … asked the Tech guys Thursday or Friday and got no response …

    dde, who?

    Torts hasn’t announced that Callahan is captain yet. Hence Torts hates Callahan.

  96. Hah. An ad just popped up on my e-mail account … “Risk: A game of global domination.”

    Ukraine weak.

  97. Carp- Have you ever had a coach ask you to write something about a player (positive or negative) for motivational purposes?

  98. No. And I never would.

    But there are times when a coach just puts it out there, without asking, and you write it because it’s the best story. You know, Keenan ripping somebody a new one to light a fire, or maybe Neilson telling you how good such-and-such has been, or even Torts giving it to Lundqvist or Gaborik when they’re off.

    Or Muckler not remembering who he’s talking about, or calling Quintal Lefebvre, or vice versa, or something. Oh, wait, that last one is a bad example.

  99. Hello gang.

    AK27 is one of my all time favorite players, but frustrating at the same time. Ooodles of talent, but never seemed to put everything in the toolbox at the same time. I wish him nothing but luck in Russia.

    Team’s all set, can we just start the season already?

  100. Linda- Being the Callifan that you are, any thoughts on my 5:44 pm. Just an anomanomaly?

    What do think Mickster? and howdy.

  101. BTW – I think Carp keeps clipping me. I swear I posted it earlier. My post about Cally was to emphasize how people can generally find what they are looking to see. I love Cally and goal scoring is typically not an indication of whether a player is bringing it or not.

  102. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    us jimbo, she dumped us!!

  103. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    nyr
    did you see we lost nmandi??

  104. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Happy birthday 4ever…

    I will say that the one player that belongs in the HOF is Bruce Driver. That guy may have been the best D man the game has ever seen.

  105. JimboWoodside on

    That’s right, Wicky – I forgot that sad detail about how she did us wrong!

  106. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    speaking of driver, i thought we didn’t want former devils on the rangers?

    look mickey, the love tryst is all here!

  107. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    jimbo
    former cornerback for the raiders, now an eagle!

  108. Hey dde and Jimbo!

    As for your question about Cally scoring on Sunday’s a lot.. maybe he’s Catholic and since he can’t make it to church with a day game, scoring is his way of praying?

    I’m kidding of course. I have no idea.

  109. JimboWoodside on

    Thanks, Wicky – I don’t follow football, so I never heard of him – he must have never been arrested, which is unusual for an American football player… ;)

    Hey, Mickey…..how’s things down there? Did you ever check out any of those delis?

  110. JimboWoodside on

    Several churches in Manhattan have 7 o’clock masses now, Mickey – so that’s not an excuse for him! :)

  111. Associate assistant eddie eddie eddie on

    hello Mickey, has St. Louis melted yet?……jimbo – always pray for me….

  112. Sadly, I have not yet, Jimbo. I have been hiding inside with the air conditioning, since it’s been so brutal weather-wise. Once the weather gets better, I will.

  113. Callahan only scores on Sundays? Easy- first day of the week, he runs out of gas after…Trade him while his value is still high….

    Bruce Driver was the best D man ever? I think Dave Karpa has something to say about it…..

  114. Wick- Saw that about Nmandi. But, I’m a Giants fan. It’s still bad because the Eagles got him!!

    Eddie- You should see what I have right now ;)

  115. JimboWoodside on

    OK, eddie3 – even though you stole Mickey away from Wicky and me….who’s gonna pray for me, though!?

    OK on the delis and the weather – can’t say I blame you Mickey…it has been lousy up here, too, but not as bad as the midwest and south…..

    Yes, the Sunday night masses are good……churches up here need air conditioning, though….

  116. Associate assistant eddie eddie eddie on

    my brutha – i had some cake with vanilla frosting earller….you do remember the cake dont you?

  117. Associate assistant eddie eddie eddie on

    jimbo – mickey is my reflection….our existence is the essence of what is and isn’t. The complicated simplicity is the mere reality of the dual impostors separated by the boundaries to which….uh-huh

  118. Associate assistant eddie eddie eddie on

    Nmick – this cake is not normal cake…but happy to share…

  119. Associate assistant eddie eddie eddie on

    oh I am sure Neddie has been the name of horse…..btw, i was watching a lot of footage of seattle slew the other day….what a beautiful horse….

  120. Jimbdo, oui, c’est Nmoi!

    Ok, I missed the NM thing? huh? Hurry cause I am tired :(

  121. Associate assistant eddie eddie eddie on

    N -NYR fan – i loved that horse….what a fighter….

  122. JimboWoodside on

    Jimbo: “Who’s Nmandi?”

    Wicky: “jimbo – former cornerback for the raiders, now an eagle!”

  123. Looking quickly, a lot of the Sunday games where Cally did well were 12:30 and 3:00. Maybe he didn’t have the time to allow himself to get too pumped up. We can totally dismiss it but maybe there is something to be learned. Prust sayin’

  124. Associate assistant eddie eddie eddie on

    i havent paid too much attention to the horses lately…but sometimes i will catch replays of the big races…

  125. Ah Jimbo! J’comprend maintenant. Je suis une fou! LOL

    AAE3, you are just jealous!

  126. Associate assistant eddie eddie eddie on

    Dde – you should say THE PRUST sayin…..he is that worthy…

  127. Je t’aime tous cretins! Tou est meilleur Jimbo et wicky :)

    ha ha, this was fun for me for a while! bon soir mes amis! LGR

  128. Jimbo, j’taime!

    Yet….am I right, the whole Nm thing was about a football player! NmGeez! See, je n’ais pas stupide mais, mon dieu!!!!

    et blech! :)

  129. JimboWoodside on

    J’taime beaucoup, Maman!

    Yes, a football player – and not even one on a “New York” team! Go figure!

  130. mes chats dorment, et heure pour moi…..au revoir mes amis!

    In Ranger speak – cats are down and I need to join them in sleepyville. Love to all. TA!

  131. Jimbo, merci pour le Français :)

    But time to say Ta and go sommeil for real…..Ta all til demain (tomorrow)

    J: I was asking who the football player was, said I didn’t know except for Google. Sorry for bad French! I don’t cheat! :)

    Comprend?

  132. They say the brain in the most complex structure in the universe. AK’s got an especially complex one.

  133. Wow Carp – nice read! Never knew all that about Kovi – to me makes it even sadder that he could be great at times, but never was consistently great. I found him very frustrating to watch at times.

    Also pretty depressing that the kid on the cup team is too old to play now – jeez I’m feeling ancient.

    You work too much for someone on vacation! Hope its a good one for you.

  134. JimboWoodside on

    Je comprend!

    Some guy named Nmandi – I never heard of him – name looks African, though….

    Cheat? What’s that!? ;)

    Goodnight!

  135. JimboWoodside on

    Mickey, we could have all had quite a party together! HoHoHo!!! (en Francais!)

  136. lmao Mama! I did my best Pepé Le Pew into google translate so take it easy on my “bad head”

  137. OK, gang. It was lovely hanging out with you all, but I think I’m going to put the computer away now and put on a movie until I fall asleep.

    Good night, guys!

  138. Woulda been fun, eh, Jimbo? Y’all need to come to STL, or I need to go back to NY.

  139. If you don’t like hockey, know a little about baseball and enjoy fighting confusion, STOP HERE.
    At least CTB is still with me. I hope.
    Approx 66% of the population are right-eyed dominant.
    In hitting a baseball it is considered advantageous to have the dominant eye forward.
    So in most cases that would mean batting “left handed.”
    (For euro pansies a “left handed” batter would have their right shoulder facing pitcher, right hand on butt end off bat and their (generally) dominant right eye forward.
    Think LW
    However, without numbers to back it up (I’d bet Carps salary though) I’d say most kids are tought to bat right handed (contrary to best approach)
    (For euro pansies a “right handed” batter has their left shoulder facing pitcher, left hand on butt end of bat and their (generally) *non-dominant left eye* forward.
    Think RW
    Bear with me because I may actually get somewhere.

    The proclivity to teach “right handed” batting also puts the *non-dominant (left hand)* on the bottom/butt end of bat. (Approx 90-95% are right hand dominant)

    I think what we teach wrong in our national pastime may hurt us in hockey as well. 64% of NHLers shoot lefty. (Right, typically hand dominant hand on top.)

    In hockey it seems to be better to have your dominant hand being the ‘conducter’ /top hand.

    As a kid, I remember going to wherever you could find hockey sticks come Christmas time and finding nothing but *lefty* Koho or Sirius? sticks.

    *Europansies ;) step forward if you can give insight as to how the left vs right decision is made in your silly country.*

    BTW I’m going Euro with the Pilsner Urquell and pansy with the Mikes Hard Limeade.

  140. Note: “The Impact Of The Hand That You Shoot With” from the SNYRangersblog was the impetus of the above piece of Art
    “64% of NHLers shoot lefty.” was from said article :)

  141. JimboWoodside on

    I never heard of a “dominant eye”….dominant hand, for sure, but not the eye……

  142. ddeb, non! et quoi???? LOL…leave me alone all, I need to go zzzzzzzzz. here it is, for real….TA!

    Bon soir! Au revoir! A demain!

  143. Really Jimbo? Never did that hold the the thumb up at arms distance blocking view of something then alternately close each eye to see it move or not move.

  144. JimboWoodside on

    ‘Nite, Mama!

    No, ddeb……..I’ll have to try that………so, the dominant eye is which one, in that test?

  145. JimboWoodside on

    And which hand/arm do you hold up to block the distant object? That makes a difference…..

  146. The eye that is open when your thumb doesn’t move is your dominant eye.
    or if you prefer:

    L’œil qui est ouvert lorsque votre pouce ne bouge pas est votre œil dominant.

  147. JimboWoodside on

    Well, I wear corrective lenses so that may complicate the issue – but when I hold my right hand up, and I focus on a distant object, I can sorta “see through” my thumb unless I close one eye….how distant does the object need to be, I wonder?

  148. JimboWoodside on

    All I know is that I’m undoubtedly right-handed, but for some reason, I always felt much more comfortable batting “lefty” – right shoulder towards the pitcher. I don’t know why I learned that way, but my father was left-handed, so maybe I learned by looking at him….?

    I hold a hockey stick the same way – right hand on the butt-end….

  149. JimboWoodside on

    Yo, C3 – any more houses of ill repute get busted down your way lately!? ;)

  150. Mama, je vous chatouiller, parce que j’ai un bug dans mon oeil et un navet dans mon oreille

  151. I hope all is well with the Folkyerself’s, long time no hear. Check in Jackwagons.

  152. BTW I have a ‘Save Darfur’ bumper sticker on my car and get emails every day that I readily ignore

  153. dde

    Totally unscientific, but I reckon a higher proportion of British born and trained players shoot right than in North America because people associate the game with field hockey, where you can’t play with a left-handed stick and perhaps the misconception that if you are right-handed, you should shoot right.

    Cricket has the most obvious parallels to batting in baseball. The majority of players bat right-handed, but I suspect the proportion that bat left-handed is higher than the proportion of left-handed people in the population. There are many players who would throw or bowl the ball right-handed but bat left-handed too (and vice-versa). Brian Lara being a famous example.

    I’m sure there’ll be research on these numbers relating to cricket out there somewhere.

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