Rangers-Mighty Ducks in review



1) Yay! Skills competition. Pretty serious lack of skills in this one. Brad Richards lost the puck at center ice, and the winning goal was a complete whiff.

2) The Rangers shouldn’t fight the opponent’s goons unless it’s absolutely necessary. So far they have had two staged fights, and each was against the opposition knucklehead. There’s no need for it, it serves no purpose, has no effect on the game, and since the Rangers don’t have a heavyweight, why bother? You’re only begging for a needless injury.

3) Look at the bright side. In the Bettman Hockey League where there are no ties and losses aren’t all losses, the Rangers are undefeated.

4) Dan (Block Ness) Girardi was mostly fabulous in the two games in Stockholm, taking major minutes against some really good opposing forwards.

5) Good gosh were these games awful to watch. Actually not bad 5-on-5, but so little of it was 5-on-5. The Rangers need to quickly make sure more of the game is 5-on-5 by not taking the repeated, mindless penalties. And it would be nice if the referees stopped calling the love-tap stuff. Geez, it is hockey. Isn’t it?

6) The Rangers should have gone to Western Canada first, then to Europe, so when they came home they’d be used to the bad ice.

7) Whenever the Rangers put their second pair of point man out for the second half of a PP, it makes me appreciate Brian Leetch even more (if that’s possible). For years he played every second of every power play, and didn’t miss his next shift.

8) Erik Christensen. Some nights it’s almost too bad that somebody has to waste time washing his uniform. Early third, 2-on-1, they give him the shot and he passes into traffic. This is a guy who can touch the puck just once in a game and score because of that wrist shot that’s kept him in the NHL (if barely), and he passes. And that’s why he’ll be prucha’d more often than not.

9) Two games against two teams with more skill, and overall, I thought the Rangers played very well defensively and on the PK, especially considering no Marc Staal, a rookie (Tim Erixon) making his NHL debut, Michael Del Zotto still trying to find his confidence, the necessary breaking up of Ryan McMonster-Mike Sauer, and using No. 7 D-man Steve Eminger. Two Rangers D-men (Eminger and Erixon) behind the net on the Ducks goal. Gee, that never happens.

10) Offensively and on the PP? Uh, not so much.

11) Desperately needing a goal in the third period, the Rangers managed three shots on goal.

12) McDonagh had a very strong bounce-back from his bad penalty in the first game. Shows what this kid has inside him. Cornerstone.

13) Based on yesterday, the Rangers need to find more minutes for Derek Stepan. Start by getting him away from Mats Zuccarello and Christensen (or Wolski).

14) The No. 1 line has showed up for how many periods out of six and a half so far? I appreciate that when it’s not working, John Tortorella changes it up. But in the long haul, Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik has to work, whether it’s Brandon Dubinsky on the left or somebody else. It just has to work.

15) I wish Jan Erixon had made it through ’93-94 as a Ranger. He would have been a great fit on a championship team.

16) I picked the Mighty Ducks to go to the Stanley Cup final, and didn’t see anything to change my mind.

My Three Rangers Stars: 1. Henrik Lundqvist,  2. RyanMcMonster, 3. Brad Richards.


AP photo, above.

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  1. Sabres had no problems beating both Kings and Ducks.

    Most of the Rangers roster remained intact and they added an a top playmaker who is also a PP quarterback.

    The problem is the coach whose idea of coaching is bag skates and shuffling lines and that there is no need for a 2nd assistant coach because the players are already being overcoached (I Zelepukin you not).

    We had at least 2 lines that had great chemistry from last season: Fedotenko-Boyle-Prust and Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan and the idiot decides to break them both up. Line chemistry is such an important and fragile part of the offense and this coach totally ignores it.

  2. Carp, IMO the game vs the Kings was 5 times more entertaining than this one.

    your point #12 doesn’t really make a lot of sense, how many players don’t bounce back after a bad penalty?

    Wolski and Zuccarello also need more icetime to score.

    Our defense looked good, but could have looked even better without Eminger who cost us that goal by deciding to hit the same guy that Erixon was already checking.

    Richards’ arrogance on the penalty shot was disgusting.

  3. bull dog line on

    the Rangers need to find if Wolski is a number 2 winger. if he is not a productive player for them they have a big hole on the left side. after Dubi( career high 24 goals), they have no scoring left wingers.
    Stepan needs to center the number 2 line, sooner rather than later. AA does not create for anyone else, and is moved off the puck easily.
    the second line should be WW, Stepan, and Cally.

  4. bull dog line on

    I agree with you about line chemistry. they need to set some lines, and stick with them. as far as Dubi, AA, and Cally go, AA has been carried on that line by Dubi, and Cally. that line had a big hole in the middle.

  5. Chemistry takes time and patience , Torts has neither.
    Avery looks better every game Christensen plays

  6. I realized it’s only 2 games but from what I’ve seen so far nothing has changed. Torterella shuffling lines, power play stinks and they can’t score goals. Unless this changes this team will be battling for eight place again at the end of the year.

  7. Good morning, boneheads!

    Funny, before he scored his goal Ricahards wasn’t on the ice for 3-4 shifts. VS started to say that he is probably injured. Not sure what was the real reason he wasn’t playing ( could it be that Torts was already sending the “message” :-); or could it be that he was trying to confuse Carlyle’s coverage). Whatever the reason was, when he came back, Anaheim totally forgot to cover him in front of the net.

    I’m starting to think that it may not be as important to find that elusive first line L winger as it is to have a solid, threatening second line intact. Dubinsky should go back, imo..Try different people. Stepan does need more offensive minutes….So does MZA. EC, fwiw, was solid backchecking in our zone, that has never been his forte…

    Bob, which part of Richards’ move on SO was arrogant?

  8. bull dog line on

    how do you suggest that Stepan, and MZA get those offensive minutes? MZA, right now, does not have a role on this team. Stepan needs to be the number 2 center.

  9. Your three stars overlooked Girardi who in my opinion kept a semblance of professionalism to this
    group last night. And yes the ice was notably bad……..for both teams.For some strange reason, commentators who seem to be always having their pronouncements taken as holy writ, constantly
    refer to the “greatness” of Tortorello.

    The only thing I can add to that is that at LEAST he;s no Renney.

    As ole Casey would have said…”Isn’t there
    who can play this game”?

  10. MZA should be used on the second PP play unit, he is the second best passer on the team. Stepan should be tried on the L with Richards. I wouldn’t touch the second line at the moment. AA is better on defensive side and on faceoffs than Stepan. Torts deploys him against the opposition’s first line.

    Take a look at Brooks’ NY Post article from this am. Torts and Richards couldn’t wait to get out of Europe. I don’t want to post the link because it’ll be a mobile version.

  11. mza is useless. he is too small and if hes not scoring in shootout i think he needs to be scratched.

    play stepan on wing with rich and gabby

    move dubi back down with aa and cally

    bench and limit rupp minutes man cant skate

  12. billybleedsblue on

    I missed most of both games and am surprised to gather that MZA is not on the PP… he moves the puck good, I thought this was a no-brainer. *shrugs*

  13. If there is anything absolutely positive I can see so far during the first two games, is Hank’s glove. Both LA and Anaheim diligently tried to hit the net high on his glove side’ and every time he showed that it could be a big improvement this year.

  14. “Bob, which part of Richards’ move on SO was arrogant?”

    the way he skated towards the puck from a strange angle and not even looking at it, almost missed it.

  15. “Chemistry takes time and patience , Torts has neither.”

    but point is we already had chemistry from last year, but the alchemist coach decided to re-invent the wheel.

  16. billybleedsblue on

    Anyone else see Stan Fischler and his crystal ball yesterday? He’s so funny, and I’m glad he didn’t pick the Rangers in his top 5… that means we have a chance!

  17. seems like the broken down defense allows for less time with the puck and therefore no offense… as well as the fact we start taking more penalties…. i am not trying to take anything away from Girardi, he is amazing, but if we cant control the puck more, we wont be scoring more… thought i would state the obvious

  18. Anyone see Chris Neil fight Luke Schenn of all people last night? Then Konopka with Brown. Orr had no one to fight! He was jawing at the bench with Konopka telling him he was next but nothing happened. And he had a goal didn’t he?

    Kind of miss his him here…


  19. The White Plains Batman on

    First off the lines are ridiculous. Breaking up both the Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan line and Prust-Boyle-Feds has made the lines all watered down.

    Give Wolski a chance on the first line, reunite the other two, and get Stepan more time.

    Also, yes, shame a bout Jan Erixon; he’s one of the handful of guys (Gartner, Weigh, Amonte, Patrick, Turcotte, Beezer, and Greschner) that just barely missed the Cup that we all rooted for.

  20. billybleedsblue on

    Batman, you are so right about Erixon. He was a key role player on the team for years and deserving of a run to the cup with the Blueshirts…

    Bob, I was making humorous commentary about how last season The Hockey Maven and self-proclaimed hockey historian Stan Fischler picked the Rangers as his Dark-Horse team from the East in the playoffs. I’m 99% sure we all know what then happened.

  21. I agree with ilb, re: MZA. Too much talent not to be playing heavy minutes….He needs to be tried to the left of Richards and the Pack Line should be reunited. Dubi is at his best when he plays with Callahan…

    I’m also not sold on breaking up Sauer/McD. Why not make them the 1st pairing until Sthaul is healthy?

    I can’t stand the Torts bashing…do you people have anything else to contribute to the conversation?

  22. Sather Must Go on

    So obvious, that they lack an offensive presence on the back line… Del Zotto is not good enough.. Staal is not the answer for a dman who can move the puck. Girardi and McM have been very good on D.. Most notably (see 5 on 3), they lack a big shot from the point, but this has been the case since Sather’s Reign of Terror begun.

    On the fowards, MZA seems to create alittle, give him a shot for a bit, better than EC… First two games, it seems that the any chemistry/production with Richards has been with Dubi on the ice.

    On a side note, the Kings and Ducks are very good (and BIG) teams

  23. I prefer a coach who is willing to change lines in an attempt to find the right combo…

    Stepan could also alternate with MZA in that top LW spot…that’s the ideal situation in my eyes…both guys would get enough quality minutes but it would be manageable for both of them…say 15 mins a night each

    And, remember, the Wolski-Stepan-MZA line was pretty good for the Rangers for a stretch last year…

    Wolski is a guy who needs to step up or ship out

  24. Paul in Sunrise on

    The thing I noticed about the Kings and Ducks, while noticeably more physical (aside from Cally) and bigger, was they are lightning quick. Rangers looked slow skating and in decisions. I am hoping it was just fatigue from the european schedule. Think they played one too many european exhibition games and definitely four in five nights was crazy.

    A week at home with a “home” game before the west coast swing should hopefully right the ship.

  25. Paul in Sunrise on

    And…I was a fan fo the Rupp signing when it happened, but he is not an 82 game a year player. At this point I would prefer a speedy hungry youngster like Borque or Hagelin who could both provide energy and help with PK duties. They can develop on the team just as Stepan did last year.

  26. Paul in Sunrise on

    Finally, Erixon looked much better and was more physical. The goal agaonst was not his fault and he played his man into the wall. Development on the fly is tough as a defenseman, but he looked like he belonged much better yesterday. That being said, MCZ could find himself in Hartford again.

  27. When you describe somebody messing up a SO attempt slightly as “disgustingly arrogant”, it’s fairly clear you pretty much won’t take a moderate view on anything, so I’ll take the lazy Fire Torts rhetoric with a ton of salt too.

  28. When you describe a brutal Shootout attempt as a “slighltly messed up” I have to question your credibility.

  29. If Wolski again was going to spend a season on the 4th line then they should have bought him out.

  30. “The thing I noticed about the Kings and Ducks, while noticeably more physical (aside from Cally) and bigger, was they are lightning quick. Rangers looked slow skating and in decisions. I am hoping it was just fatigue from the european schedule. Think they played one too many european exhibition games and definitely four in five nights was crazy.”

    maybe they looked quicker because they are better coached and knew what to do and where to go most of the times, while Rangers didn’t have any flow, bad passes, poorly coached, etc. The only times we looked good is on the PK

  31. MZA can’t play heavy minutes because your right wings are Gabby, Cally, and Prust. he just going to see scraps. there is no reason to keep him on the team right now. call up somebody who makes sense as a 4th liner. Newbury maybe.

  32. ok Carp, what would you call it if not arogance? Carelessness? Negligence? You are the fricking writer you come up with a better word. But all you managed to see was that he lost the puck at center ice! He never even had the puck, how could he lose it when he almost entirely missed it?

  33. Prust is an enery guy, no reason he should get more than 12 minutes. And Zuccarello I am sure can play both wings.

  34. Bob,
    I agree with you on Wolski as well. he either has to be a 1st or 2nd line left winger, or there is no point to him. and if he is not one of those two things, then they are going to need to address left wing. because after Dubi, there is no scoring on the left wing.

  35. I don’t disagree with you on Prust. me, I think he is a 4th liner, but he is not seeing 4th line minutes. MZA was tried on LW last season, said is is more comfortable on the right side.

  36. Leetchhalloffame on

    Memo to cigarpuss – please, please, please dump EC. If my 7 year old nephew knows he stinks, why don’t you?

  37. MZA is another guy who needs to be on top 2 lines, or he needs to be Whaled.MZA playing on the 3rd or 4th line makes no sense. Stepan should be the number 2 center. the second line right now has a big hole in the middle.

  38. “Memo to cigarpuss – please, please, please dump EC. If my 7 year old nephew knows he stinks, why don’t you?”

    I think he tried to get rid of the coach’s pet, but Tort threw a hissy fit and poof Avery is gone.

  39. No matter what you say the Rangers looked tired. It’s been a long long road trip to say the least. Plus the fact that the whole pre season was played on bigger rinks.

    That all being said the biggest complaint last year was that the coaching staff was over coaching and just wouldn’t let the team be a team. So it is that Tortarella hasn’t changed he looks to juggle lines and we are only 2 games in. I can see maybe if he was trying to confuse converage with Richards and get him out there against inferrior defenseman. But I doubt Tort’s derserves that much credit. I’m not jumping on the fire the coach band wagon, but I just don’t understand the juggling.

    Maybe someday he will be pressed by the pressed to explain it, but until then we have to watch and wait for the chemistry.

  40. I saw shootout attempts from Stamkos (fell over and span into the corner like a beached whale) and Kovalchuk (Drury-like dump in) that were equally unfortunate, careless, whatever. Never occurred to me that either were symptomatic of intolerable levels of individual arrogance, since my degree in armchair psychology from the University of Carcillo never arrived in the mail.

    And Bobby Ryan was thisclose to whiffing on his attempt. Lucky he saved Randy Carlyle’s job there.

  41. FWIW, juggling the lines put Richards against their weaker defensemen, they totally lost him and he tied the game….

  42. “Can someone provide a list of the NHL coaches who just roll out four unchanged lines, game after game?”

    Watson: Wow Sherlock that means all coaches are equal?

  43. No one rolls out the same 4 lines, but most, if not all, have a top line, and 2nd line, that stay intact almost all year long.

    If you have never seen that then you haven’t been watching hockey. Changes are made during games, but not on a regualr basis like team Torterella.

  44. “LOL. Two one-point games and now everybody knows more than the Ranger coaches on who to play where. I think I’d rather read the jibberish.”

    Considering Christensen and Eminger are still on the roster I don’t have a lot of faith in the knowledge of our coaches.

  45. Czechthemout!!! on

    Erixon impressed me with his play in both games. He looks better in these games than in the pre season. I would keep him here until he has 3-4 tough games in a row. Right now, he looks ready.

    I thought MDZ did not play that badly when compared to last season. That said, I don’t think he is the answer as ” the offensive ” dman on this team. That is why I was so hoping for Fowler last year. There were at least 5-6 instances where he took the puck by himself out of the zone while getting around a couple of our forecheckers. He also looked good distributing the puck from his point position on the pp. The one thing he should do more is unleash his heavy shot more often. I still believe he will be the next Scott Neidermeyer.

    Oh yeah. Eminger absolutely sucks! His fault and his alone on that Ducks first goal. Of course MSG blamed Stepan. Unreal!

    As for Rupp, after two games he looks like the third bust in our never ending attempt to bring in a goon who can play. Very disappointing. He can’t even skate nor has he one one fight so far in his time here. I think he has had three so far. Avery so seems to be the better option there.

  46. “No one rolls out the same 4 lines, but most, if not all, have a top line, and 2nd line, that stay intact almost all year long.

    If you have never seen that then you haven’t been watching hockey. Changes are made during games, but not on a regualr basis like team Torterella.”

    watch for a whitty “ignoring” comment from Carp.

  47. How can some of you guys still talk about Avery. Torterella never liked the guy he was never given a chance to make the team, and he finally got him buried in the AHL.

    He’s gone and ain’t coming back. I liked him to but move on.

  48. Why do we always get a goon that can play when he is close to the end of his career and costs twice more than he should?

    If you want a goon that can play get them while they are young and wild and hungry and cheap.

  49. Czechthemout!!! on

    By the way, it still is only two games so let’s not flip out yet.

    As for Christensen, I am now starting to believe that he may have some unflattering pictures of Torts and Sather because that is the only way I can rationalize why he still has a job on this team. Unreal!

  50. “How can some of you guys still talk about Avery. Torterella never liked the guy he was never given a chance to make the team, and he finally got him buried in the AHL.

    He’s gone and ain’t coming back. I liked him to but move on.”

    Same thing should be done with Tort, get rid of him and move on. He is as much if not more a cancer than Avery ever was.

  51. Ignore or not I enjoy talking whether they listen or not. The Rangers are my favorite team in my favorite sport and talking about them, (even if no ones listening) is just fun.

    Besides I KNOW my wife ignores me so I might as well talk to someone. LOL

  52. Thanks for advising me that teams don’t fix four lines all year. Making extreme points to support a pre-conceived argument doesn’t work after all, eh?

    I’d still contend that most teams don’t fix a top six either without some flexibility, Cynar.

    We’re talking about a few changes in a game where no offense was being created anyway. And if that is a sign that the coach just can’t ever leave alone and create chemistry, then why are people claiming in the same breath that two lines last year were settled? Did he allow chemistry to develop last year then?

  53. if MDZ and Erixon don’t provide/create the offense then is there a real point to them? I think our big 4 Girardi, Staal, Sauer and McDonagh make better and more accurate passes and shots.

  54. “Thanks for advising me that teams don’t fix four lines all year. Making extreme points to support a pre-conceived argument doesn’t work after all, eh?”

    It would work if there are no trades, injuries, free agencies, etc.

  55. LW a few changes come along in a game from time to time, but to think that Tort’s took Richards out, and then put him in there to get that goal is just plain not right. He got lucky. If you look at the Stanley Cup teams for the last good portion of a decade you will see that they all had a top line, and usually had a heck of a 2nd line.

    No one denies changes are made along the way, but if you can’t even make a 1st line, and give it time to develop then there is either a problem with the coach, or a deeper problem of the coach doesn’t like who he has, and is trying to make a statement to the GM. Then you are talking internal problems and somewhat political problems for a lack of better term.

  56. Those coaches who stick with a No. 1 line, and a No. 2 line most of the season … for the most part … have a legit No. 1 line.

  57. … the point being, the Rangers do not have a No. 1 LW, just got their No. 1 center (who is not a superstar by any stretch of the imagination) and have a No. 1 RW who disappears.

  58. All in all I think chemistry of the 1st line has been a problem since Tort’s came here, and he hasn’t found a way to fix it. I think it defines him as a coach, and is his baby. He’s the one that hasn’t given it a chance and constantly changes it.

    Either way it’s a sticking point with this team, and everyone has their own thoughts about it, and how to fix it. That’s pretty much why everyone talks here. Hash somethings out, maybe even make a friend here. It’s just fun.

  59. LW intolerable, C unbearable, RW unendurable

    Hold on, let’s change it up – insufferable is in at RW

  60. So Carp if Gaborik disappears to often then maybe he needs to be part of the 2nd line. Either way Tort’s failure to at least make a 1st line and stick with it is a problem period. He can’t simple put out a line, any line, and allow it to develop.

    You don’t see that as a problem?

  61. I see the problem being — again, year after year, a lack of top-level skill. If Gaborik and Richards don’t work together, scoring is again going to be a huge problem for this team.

    Scotty Bowman couldn’t change that.

  62. He can’t even come out with a checking line without changing that.

    We all remember the checking line from our NJ neighbors, but he can’t even do that.

  63. We keep saying let’s stick with the youth. Well unless we have a Crosby some where in our system it’s not going to happen.

    At some point we are going to have to sacrifice some youth (not all) to get our hands on that top flight talent, because we don’t throw away a season, just to get the number one pick.

  64. if you remember, I wondered on July 1, when Richards was entertaining all of these enormous offers, if he might not turn out to be Drury 2.0.

    I think he’s a very good player, a definite upgrade and a No. 1 center they didn’t have. But he’s not one of the best players in the NHL even though he’s paid as such. That’s why the comp to Drury. More money can’t make him more productive.

    That said, Richards and Gaborik MUST work, because the Rangers don’t have a No. 1 line otherwise.

  65. Hey Carp are you like at Giants Stadium on a laptop talking to us right now? Just wondering what your doing on your Sunday.

  66. I think your right Carp, but this is what Tort’s has been given, and to not even be able to come up with the 1st line left wing is a problem. The guy has already seperated Richards and Gaborik! Were 2 games in and he has broken up the 1st line!! If it MUST work, then give them time, and put a LW wing out there, and give him time to!

  67. I gotta go to, been fun everyone!! Although unless I scare people it looks like it’s just me and you Carp.

    Maybe I just talk to much, my wife says the same thing. LOL

  68. lol LW no, you’re not intolerable and only incredible in the good sense – I had you Prucha’d in this lineup

  69. This ”Prolific bob” (hope he will not proliferate) obsessive – compulsive theme of “Torts – an idiot”, pulled by ears in every post, become even more annoying and idiotic in repetitiveness than Olga’s “Fire Sather”, which at least, could be considerate as a habitual lame joke, something like ritual “Hail Hitler” in the 3rd Reich. Mentioned once or twice it is still just an opinion, taken to consideration, do it more and it becomes preposterous, shows author’s mental sickness and inferiority and totally devalued anything else, even legitimate points,( if such exist, of course) expressed by this person, making all other participants just skip his posts in disgust. Oh, and btw, it has nothing to do with hockey per se. I’m sure, if Rangers will win the Cup, bob will insist Torts have nothing to do with that and they win despite of him.

  70. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    Morning ILB and all!

    If ww isn’t in the top six, then why bother? If it makes no sense (which it doesn’t) to have Avery on the fourth line at almost 2 mil, then why ww?

  71. Hey one quick thing, we should have spent the money on Jagr and I believed that as soon as he said he was coming back to the NHL.

    The guy is good for at the very least 20 goals, probably more, and could have helped with the young guys, which he did when he was here the 1st time.

    See you all!!!

  72. JimboWoodside on

    G’Day, ORR – NHL Network is carrying the Jets-Habs game at 5 PM, according to my cable schedule.

  73. JimboWoodside on

    Center Ice and the NHL Network are indeed two totally different entities, ORR – on my cable system here in Queens (Time-Warner Cable), the NHL Network is on Channel 458, and the Center Ice channels run between channel 431 and 442 or so…..

  74. ORR,

    The NHL Network channel comes with my Center Ice Subscription, I think. I don’t recall ever having to pay any additional fees for it. What cable provider do you use?

  75. Richards was not a wrong guy to sign, nor is he getting paid like Ovechkins, nor is he Drury 2.0. Drury was paid more while never being a really big point producer.

    Some teams get top line players by actually developing their prospects. Take Perry and Getzlaf for example, neither was a top 18 pick even. You just need to develop them right, not be afraid to give them more icetime and responsibility, not freak out when they make mistakes.

  76. >>…Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik has to work…

    That combination will never work as long as Gaborik continues to have no clue as to where to go when he doesn’t have the puck.

  77. JimboWoodside on

    You’re welcome, ORR!

    Latona, on my cable system, the NHL Network comes free with the Center Ice package, but if you don’t have a Center Ice subscription, you can still get NHL Network on the “Sports Tier”, for an additional 5 bucks a month or thereabouts.

  78. JimboWoodside on

    Good deal, ORR – call your individual system or check it out on their website – I find that the NHL Network channel is certainly *worth* having – and like this evening, they often carry games that you won’t find on Center Ice *OR* the NBC/Versus national feeds…..

  79. JimboWoodside on

    Latona, I found out that the deli I was describing last night wasn’t in Ridgewood, but is actually in Glen Rock – Kosher Delight is its name. Have you ever been there?

  80. Can somebody tell me what type of system Tortorella uses, because I don’t really see anything fundamental. Just a team that works hurd(for the most part) but other than that I don’t see what our system is.

  81. bull dog, I agree about MZA. But he can play LW on the line with Richards, as can Stepan…they need to be top 6 players…but, I’m not sure either one of them can handle the responsibility full time yet…

    Like Carp said, the Rangers need all the skill they can get, because Gaborik+Richards marriage can’t be the only story on offense about this team…

    I am a proponent of keeping the Dubi-Artie-Cally Pack line in tact…

  82. Yeah, Orr….I feel like then, everything else falls in place…

    MZA – Richards – Gaborik
    Dubi – Artie – Cally
    Wolski – Stepan – Rupp
    Feds – Boyle – Prust

  83. Somehow, after first 2 games and despite of a little bit bitter aftertaste from team’s kind of unpronounced system or even lack thereof, I still like our supposed key players: Hank – unfreakinbelievable good and totally prepared mentally so far, Gabby, IMO – angrier and more willing than last season, moving fast, more aggressive and visibly will work on plays without puck with BR – it’s matter of time, like two grossmasters should, BR himself is very good under circumstances in a new team and already could see, is worth signing as a playmaker, scoring like yesterday – huge bonus. Cally firmly speaks excellence in every game, regardless of outcome, AA and Duby, both become a little bit stronger and aggressive. MZA, no doubt is much, much better in any aspect, except his height.
    My always suspect – MDZ is just simple dumb, unfortunately and I’m afraid there is very little that could be done for it. Other than that, defense has a problems, but not lethal, as it appears against ones of the best offensive lines in NHL in this 2 teams. Team is still mediocre at best, but if tuned right could do a splash this season…or not. Anyway, let’s be prepared for a long ride, with plenty of +/- emotions.

  84. Richards is way more talented than Drury, but I understand the comparison from a financial perspective…along with Richards not being the A-1 steak sauce #1 center. Dubi is lost playing with elite players like Richards and Gabby because he defers too much…Get him back with Callie…Stepan to the top line where he belongs…he will be a better ancillary player to the two stars.

    third line should be Boyle-Prust-Feds…that is a pretty tough line to play against IMO. Byfuglien the fourth line!

  85. bull dog line on

    were doing lines, ok, here are mine.
    Dubi, Richards, Gabby.
    Wolski, Stepan, Cally.
    AA, Boyle, Fedotenko.
    Rupp, Newbury, Prust.
    2 scoring lines, a checking line, and a true 4th line.

  86. NYR-FAN,
    Honestly, as much as I like MZA, I doubt that he could play LW effectively, besides it will be too soft trio, despite his kind of added fearsomeness (he is still no Theo Fleury). I believe that he, as an excellent playmaker, will be more useful, separate from BR.
    Other than that, all is agreeable. Not sure, thou, Tort necessarily share this sentiment. lol.

  87. Carp October 9th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I see the problem being—again, year after year, a lack of top-level skill. If Gaborik and Richards don’t work together, scoring is again going to be a huge problem for this team.

    Scotty Bowman couldn’t change that.

    I posted the same sentiment several times last year on this blog. The bottom line is the rangers don’t have top talent and will be battling to make the playoffs year after year. It’s great that the organization finally decided to do it right by drafting and building from within but what do they have in there organization, not much, Sather’s drafting hasn’t been very good. I thought Gordie Clarke would change that but from what I’ve seen so far it’s not much better.

  88. wicky©(Positionally sound=soft in NHL speak!!) on

    WOW…I don’t even know where to start with this thread, so I won’t!

  89. tomg,
    agreeing with you I have to say, that unfortunately, talents by definition are rare species, you can’t grow them using fertilizers for better results and with so many restrictions to obtain them and so many hungry collective mouths, it’s become increasingly taunting task and game of luck. Even money is not a decisive factor, as we well know now.

  90. JimboWoodside on

    C3, thank you very much!!

    I have yet to hit Adelmans or Jay & Lloyd’s in Brooklyn – but I’m closing in on them! I’ve been to Mill Basin Deli (also Brooklyn) a few times, and I like their pastrami and knishes, but need to hit Adelmans, for sure!

  91. JimboWoodside on

    >>>agreeing with you I have to say, that unfortunately, talents by definition are rare species, you can’t grow them using fertilizers for better results and with so many restrictions to obtain them and so many hungry collective mouths, it’s become increasingly taunting task and game of luck. Even money is not a decisive factor, as we well know now.

    It takes drafting skill, as well – I was reminded yesterday that The Mighty Ducks (their name at the time) drafted Getzlaf and Perry in the 2003 draft in the first round, but on later picks, not at the top – and the Ducks were certainly not cellar-dwellers at the time!

    How do these teams get such great prospects? They draft *wisely*!

  92. “Honestly, as much as I like MZA, I doubt that he could play LW effectively, besides it will be too soft trio, despite his kind of added fearsomeness (he is still no Theo Fleury). I believe that he, as an excellent playmaker, will be more useful, separate from BR.”

    As long as top line scores off the rush, on PP, etc. it doesn’t matter if they are soft, they don’t need to play the boars as much if they use their skill to set each other up. And Gaborik is displaying that he isn’t soft at all, I already knew that Zuccarrello isn’t soft, and Richards is not that soft. So I think they should be fine.

    I would rotate Wolski and Zuccarello on that line or stick with whoever looks much better there.

  93. Brad Richards will probably be ok despite his overpriced salary, but the Rangers problems are far bigger than anything one center can correct. I think Gaborik’s still a talented player and I hope Tortorella and injuries haven’t ruined him). But as it stands right now, they’ve got two thirds of a first line and maybe two thirds of a second line with scoring potential. Hopefully, Stepan can develop but he’s still a ways off. Anisimov has some skills but he’s a 15-goal scorer at best. After that, there’s literally nothing. Additionally, as has been the case since forever, there isn’t a legit PP quarterback, nor is there a bonafide defensive scoring threat.

    This Rangers team boils down to Henrik Lundqvist and hoping you get just enough goals to get to a shootout.

  94. Sorry, Jimbo, had a soccer game.

    The name doesn’t sound familiar, but Glen Rock is close by. I’ll have to try it some day soon!

  95. Jimbo,
    So called Draft Skills are indeed over signified IMO. Existing Draft system was created as a deliberate team structuring, “social” engineering, to spread widely/commonly recognized incoming talent on market, to equalize as much as possible, team’s talent level, constantly distributing highest to a worse team and so on. For the pool of team around the middle it become really more of a luck or guess work because they are dealing with an obviously much larger group of more equally, but less pronounced players, where choice is not so obvious just by level of talent alone, and criteria by drafters is just team’s nearest future necessity. On this path, nobody (almost) can predict even 80% not to 100% what it’s going to be, considering they are dealing with a human factor and countless uncertainties affecting players. That’s why I’m talking about luck in that group and process, admittedly considering professional skills and talent of scouting/management as granted.

  96. Good afternoon all!

    Sigh, happy yet very sad to be home. Had such an awesome time! More on that later.

    As to Carp’s numbers:
    5: After what seemed like the 30th whistle, someone in the crowd near us shouted ‘Let them play!’
    9: All things considered, agreed. Could have been much worse. Were the games great/perfect…no way, but I’ll take the 2 points.
    14: Agreed again. Found it interesting that when it came to clutch time (hah) Richards scored his goal without his supposed usual suspects.
    15: Double triple agreed. Wish I knew where he was sitting last night. Met him a million years ago, would have liked to repeat the experience.

    17: (my add) Credit should go to Sauer for his jam during that moment in the first. He lost his helmet but totally stayed in the play, hard, and for quite a bit. He was right in front of us (Krisy got awesome seats!) and we were going nuts over him….but I kept yelling, watch your head!

  97. Also….was grand meeting overseas boneheads….beyond grand in fact. Carp, the honor goes to you for connecting us all in the first place. RangerSwede, LW and new kiwi (who promised me he’d post more!) what a fabulous experience it was having fun with you all!

    mama is going to treasure this trip for a long, long time.

    Heads, starting saving for the next time, cause it is sooooo worth it!

    and thanks to all who saw mama on the tube! and mostly to C3 for making me global! (fyi, Krisy watched that game home and I made it on TV in Norway too! WTB!

  98. Oilers scouts definitely are not more skilled than let say Detroit(what draft # overall was Datsyuk?), or Chicago(who btw, sucked big time and long before they got Kane and Toews). Or are they?

  99. I don’t think we can get on the team that much for these two games in Europe, lots of excuses that can be made but bottom line is they came close to beating both teams. And I think we all can agree both the Kings and Ducks are a lot better teams than the Rangers. Most agree these are 2 of the best teams in West (Best) conference. Let’s not get too crazy here….

  100. LW, I had no idea! You quiet schemer, you!

    Jshim, agreed. But no excuses right? Hey, we got 2 points and I had a great time. Krisy also scored several autographs on her Dubi jersey. Let’s focus on the important stuff huh?

    ha….I need food and sleep. It’s 11:30 p.m. my body time…..ta!

  101. JimboWoodside on

    Oh, thanks, Orr – yeah, that’s a buzzkill for those fans – they were really hyped up, for understandable reasons…

    Welcome Home Mama, you international TV star, you! ;-D

  102. Kings and Ducks are really on about same level as Rangers.

    Kings are a bit better than Ducks, and Carp is the only one that thinks Ducks will win a Cup.

  103. I thought Carp picked the Pens to win the Cup?

    The Flyers were 8th place, and they went to the Cup Final. The Oilers were 8th place, and they made it to the Cup final. If the Ducks make it to the playoffs, they have just as much of a shot to make it to the Final.

  104. JimboWoodside on

    Latona, OK on the soccer game – I should get up off my fat posterior and play some outdoor sports, too!

    OK on the deli in Glen Rock – it was pretty good, not “transcendent”, but good, worth going to again, IMO….

  105. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    I just don’t see a reason to keep wolski if he isn’t a top six fwd. He doesnt bring enough other things to the table to be bottom six especially at almost 4mil!

    Just my opinion though

  106. JimboWoodside on

    Well, Wolski seems to be dogged by that recurrent groin injury – whether it is the reason he’s been so ineffective is anyone’s guess, but he hasn’t shown squat so far.

  107. I think he’s worth keeping around for now, Wick. But, I don’t think I’d re-sign him, if I were Slats.

    I don’t know who the notable free agents are, but I’m sure there could be better options, just in case certain prospects are not ready to go.

  108. Jimbo,

    I wasn’t exactly playing. Coaching is more like it – I couldn’t last in a full soccer game! But I wrote down the name of the deli, I’ll check it out some time.

  109. JimboWoodside on

    Yeah, Big Buff isn’t exactly lighting it up out there……..

    OK on the coaching, Latona – it still is more than I’ve been doing!

    OK on the deli -it’s been a couple of years since I was there, so they may have gone downhill since then, but it was good, for a pastrami sandwich and a knish, anyway!

  110. Why the hell was he skating backwards half the time Plekanec was carrying the puck down ice? Claude Noel will probably swap him out for the next game. At least I would.

  111. Probably, ORR. It would also make him racist against the Tamil peoples of India, for no particular reason.

  112. JimboWoodside on

    Tamils, too!? Is he part Tamil? Can’t tell these players without a scorecard and a genealogy chart nowadays! ;-D

  113. “Michael Del Zotto still trying to find his confidence”

    Three year later.

    Who can discount Del Zotto’s play in his own zone, drawing two attackers and laying the puck to draw a whistle?!


  114. Rangers did not get a good break out of the box for any number of reasons. I;ve been watching other teams and the impression I got is that most are more advanced at this stage than Rangers. Perhaps they will have a longer time to collect themselves….but it may take patience and
    realistic expectations…so far they do not seem to measure up to the rest of the league;

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