Rangers-Sharks in review


I don’t know which game was the Rangers’ second best of the season, but it wasn’t even close to this one. And not just because of the score … if they played the exact same game and, say, lost in a shootout, this still was their best of the year by miles.


1) … and boy did they need it. If you heard the post-game audio I posted, I talked to a bunch of players about how this was the way they played last year when they were successful. Hard on the puck, relentless, everybody doing his part … and for almost the whole 60. Because, honestly, most games, it had been about 30. Or fewer.

2) You could see Ryan Callahan coming on for a while. You could see Derek Stepan was getting closer. And Michael Del Zotto. But now you see Brandon Dubinsky playing very strong in all three zones, and Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust. This team’s not good enough to win with three or four guys. But it’s plenty good enough when the whole group goes together. And, as I’ve said before, a lot of stuff won’t matter if they don’t get offense from the top two lines.

3) I thought Andre (Bell Biv) Deveaux (The Bahama Bomba) was pretty good in his role, and I didn’t know that he played for John Tortorella in Tampa. He looked decent in the preseason, too. So given that, and given that the two non-contributors (Erik Christensen and Wojtek Wolski) both contributed in this game, and given that NHL coaches rarely change lineups after a solid win … it’s going to be very interesting to see what happens to No. 16 tomorrow in practice and Thursday against Anaheim.

4) In my opinion, though, the smart thing to do is to play him immediately, avoid all the nonsense that will surround him not playing, and all the pressure that will be put upon him and the team (and the coach) if they wait until after a loss for Sean Avery to get a uniform. You scratch one of the above mentioned. They’ll get over it.

5) Ya boy Dan (Block Ness) Girardi sure rebounded after a rough game. This guy might be MVP through 10. Actually, replace “might be” with “is.” And lately he’s been putting up points like Leetch.

6) There was a minor flap yesterday because Artem Anisimov said he was briefly unconscious Saturday when clobbered by Zenon Konopka. The flap, of course, is that unconsciousness signals concussion. But the team and the coach insist that Anisimov’s language barrier caused a misunderstanding of the question, and that he never was unconscious. So here’s a primer for Anisimov. The definition of unconscious is that back-hander up under the water bottle. That’s unconscious.

7) The penalty call against Boyle? The tripping call vs. Del Zotto? Pansification. How the hell is Avery going to play with all these new rules?

8) How about Martin (2-0) Biron?

9) Some Halloween stuff, because, man NYC can be a crazy place on Oct. 31. First, I’ve told youse this story before, but for those who haven’t heard it … The team always had/has a Halloween party. One year, after the Rangers signed Edmonton’s Scott Frasier to a ridiculous contract (he was another one of those Rico Fata/Enver Lisin guys), he showed up at the team Halloween party with a bandit’s mask and a sack. Asked what he was supposed to be, Frasier said, “My agent.”

10) There were also a lot of fans dressed as seats last night. Especially the Yankee Stadium seats near the glass. Attendance is always down early in the season. But you have to wonder if the renovated Garden will be the new Yankee Stadium, minus the moat, where the best seats are too expensive to be filled. Seriously a puck flipped over the glass into the first row, and it became a race between a guy from the fourth row and a guy 15 empty seats away in the first row, The guy from the fourth row wound up face down in the aisle, the guy from 15 empty seats away got the puck.

11) Whenever I see the Sharks, I remember that night in San Jose when Eric Lindros suffered his first concussion as a Ranger, and Theo Fleury punched out the mascot to begin the road trip to hell.

12) Joe Thornton thinks the Rangers are soft. Those would be the Rangers who are 2-0 against San Jose the last two seasons. Really, Joe? Wait ’til Avery gets here.

13) He won’t get a star on this night, but Marian Gaborik was a horse again.

14) That one shift, I thought the Sharks were going to run out the clock.


My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Ryan Callahan.
2) Dan Girardi.
3) Brandon Dubinsky.


AP photos, above.



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  1. Bob the builder on

    Even the worst bear markets have vicious bounces resulting in crushed hopes. One win and many of you are giving way to thoughts of sugar plums . This team is more helloween than it is dark Christmas. Use this opportunity of weakness to move ur underachieving players.

    Bob the net seller

  2. Great win. Saw the highlights this morning – maybe the threat of Avery returning has put a rocket up Christy & Wolski’s butts as they would be most likley to miss out in favour of #16 (if he doesnt get claimed in the next 6-7 hours!

  3. Bob the builder on

    The most egregious offenders are those seeing ray of light in woteck wooski. The dog skater has fleas not even the best tick collar can save that dog from the catcher!


  4. Bob the builder on

    This team could use a Mary Shelley,(PHI)figure for the locker room to offer some protection and locker room spirit. Still a lower five team tho.


  5. Good morning, boneheads!

    Great review, Carp!

    LMAO @ unconscious!

    Carp, there were plenty of empty seats in 300s and even higher last night…
    I thought Richards was good last night too.
    I should definitely go with my son more often, I don’t think they lost a game when he was there yet.
    Got to run, later!

  6. Stranger Nation on

    Some of the empties might also have to do with the fact that over 1 mil in area without power. In my next life I return as a generator salesman.

  7. So Uncle Larry reckons the Isles could scupper the plans to bring back Avery. Would he even report there?
    Would Garth Snow make the claim, knowing that Avery probably wont want to play, and try to squeeze something out of Slats to get him back?

    Personally this whole recall waivers thing needs to join the trapezoid and skills competition in the “nhl’s dumb ideas bin”

  8. Good morning. Great win last night. This team needs to understand that it’s 100% necessary for them to play a full 60 minutes. It makes a world of difference.

    Carp, speaking of empty seats, did you happen to see Giannone’s 150 last night? They showed the Panthers game (vs. the Jets I believe) and I’m pretty sure there were more people at my grade school basketball game. No joke. It was pathetic.

  9. One more item: it really almost goes without saying at this point, but McMonster was solid again last night. Even if a miracle happens and we get Staal back soon, I’d leave him and Girardi together. They are very impressive.

  10. Stranger Nation on

    #3 – on the flip side – contributions from EZ and Wuss is further evidence of how bad the Sharks D was last night. We should not expect that porous a back line every night and contributions from those two any night.

    Sauer (+4) return has solidified two pairs on our back line and with MDZ (+7) taking his smart pills and not trying to make the crazy break out pass or leave his zone too early, that pair is relatively solid (pending MDZ’s further development.)

    Our third pair is just flat out atrocious. There are shifts in the 2nd period on the long change that are epic in a bad kind of way. Woywhatever and Auntie Em can flat out stink up the joint on some shifts.

    3 pts in 3 games on this stand – was counting on 4 pts now with last night being a loss.

    Ducks – tie or loss
    Habs – win pr tie
    Jets – win or tie

    Need 5 pts in next 3 to make it a good stand

  11. Projected number of comments about a solid win: 30

    Projected number of comments about how the egomaniacal ratface has already suggested He Who Shall Not Be Claimed might not crack the line-up on Thursday: 800

  12. “So here’s a primer for Anisimov. The definition of unconscious is that back-hander up under the water bottle. That’s unconscious.”


  13. Good morning all! Glad you finally got a win LW!

    I shall not totally breathe easy until noon. Later all!

  14. LinCalPrustBoylahan on

    Morning ‘Heads! 23 days until Thanksgiving, 54 days until Christmas
    2 days until the next Rangers win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  15. Morning all!

    Looks like I have to spend more nights watching hockey if they only play this well when I’m watching…

    Good recap as always Carp!

  16. “The definition of unconscious is that back-hander up under the water bottle. That’s unconscious.”

    You owe me a new monitor. Mine has coffee all over it now. LMAO

    It makes you wonder why they haven’t been able to play that way until now.

    SN -“Woywhatever and Auntie Em can flat out stink up the joint on some shifts.”

    Well, that’s why they’re a 3rd pairing and not a first. How many 5th and 6th d-men in the league are consistently good?

    Despite his two assists Christensen still stinks. The pass to Callahan was lucky that it got by a d-man, the goalie, went between the other d-man’s legs to Cally. Come on. It was a fling the puck and see what happens. If it was that skilled it would happen more often, wouldn’t it?

    I kept an eye on Gaborik a few times when he didn’t have the puck. He does a decent job backchecking. He does a good job behind the other team’s goal line. Torts is turning him into a well rounded player.

    Brad Richards is worth whatever they are paying him and then some. Just watch the guy play. He’s so much more hockey intelligent than 95% of the players out there. He’s definitely a guy to build around.

    Yes, I was impressed with Wolski last night. He was much more engaged. Now, if he can do that two games in a row I’ll really be impressed.

    I hate Sather as much as the next guy, but you have to admit that picking up Marty Biron was a darn good acquisition. If Henrik gets injured the team won’t be in panic mode.

  17. Carp- this may be what you were suggesting but after watching Christensen and Wolski contribute I have a feeling that Avery will spend his first game back Prucha’d. I can’t even imagine how much fervor that will produce.

  18. MDZ is a +7. Needless to say, being paired with Sauer is a big part of that and one of the few upsides of having Staal out – necessity is the mother of invention and all that.

    I am assuming if Staal was playing, MDZ would be on the 3rd pairing alongside Eminger, who is hardly Michael Sauer.

    What I am hoping is that as MDZ’s solid defensive play continues, his confidence grows and he starts to rediscover his offensive game.

  19. What if Avery isn’t in the lineup and Christensen makes a boneheaded play. Or Woslki takes a bad offensive zone penalty. What if they lose and the 4th line is a -2 or -3!?

  20. mdz needs to get stronger. he has a hard time knocking guys off the puck. hes like scrappy doo out there. has played pretty decent most of the time lately though. he was a 1st round pick, just like woywitka! theres some hope for ya. meanwhile girardi never drafted. sauer was a 3rd? 4th rounder? but eminger, woywitka, both were 1st rounders and are 3rd pair time fillers waiting for some kid to take their place. a least we didnt draft them.

  21. What if Avery bumps a guy and is called for one of those Konopka phantom major/game misconducts, and Anaheim scores several during the PP?

    What if Avery scores two and has a Gordie Howe?

  22. I have to admit when I am wrong. I really don’t like Del Zotto’s game and I think his on ice instincts are not very good. But, having watched him for three straight games in person now, he has improved since the last time I saw him in person. He still gets caught out of position too many times, but he’s attempting to be more physical and be responsible in his own zone. In my eyes, he’s been upgraded to a 6-7 which for me is saying alot considering I didn’t even understand how he was making in the AHL.

  23. What if Avery plays 12 minutes, with no shots, fights or goals, but plenty of forechecking, gets a couple of hits and gets the opposition defence & goalie would up so much he draws 2 or 3 powerplays, offset by maybe a phantom trip? Ammunition for the pro and con Avery crowd?

    All i’m hoping is that he shows up and gives 100% unlike one or two others who like to take a few shifts(or entire games) off. 3.5 hours till waiver deadline.

  24. What if Avery shows up to the game but can’t play due to a suspender malfunction earlier in the day? Then he spends the game in the press box but can’t see the action because his glasses are too tinted for the lighting in the new arena.

  25. Carpinello's Grocer on

    Have to give Grocery Boy his props calling out phony Rag sellouts, he might lose his free Dolan happy meal for it if he keeps reporting it so that’s like taking Gary Coleman from ME-$$-I-ER.

  26. Dunno about Avery, but I’ll tell you *WHAT* will happen *IF* Woywitka remains their number 6. 10th. place. *IF*they are lucky. Could be ninth.

  27. What is this smell all of a sudden? The place I work at should really look into cleaning their sewer. Oh, wait, it’s tge blog….

  28. Grabby….Sauer was a 2nd rounder…they picked him right after Stahl….

    I really like MDZ’s game. He’s playing well as far as I’m concerned.

    Oh fun! Here’s one: What if the Islanders claim Avery?

  29. Carpinello's Grocer on

    Sparky the Dragon needs some help as the Isles mascot, good time to claim Avery so they can cheer up the kids. Either that or Tortorella can change meds and say Avery does not belong in the league after he’s fired.

    Micheal Haley needs to work the punching bag some more, he can come up and beat Avery’s face in some more.

    What a shock Biron outplayed Flukeqvist again….NOT. Better get his bus out and throw Biron under it like Valiquette.

    Better get some more virtual signage to stuff in Flukeqvist billboard pads.

    Cheer up Raggies, Dolan, Avery, Isiah and Leetch can sing Fix the Rags to fill all those empty seats. Daddy Doug ME-$$-I-er wants half for his son to appear and cry.

  30. Eddie eddie Eddie on

    Carp – not sure what your grocer is squawking about, but your prose is quite lovely. You have a wonderful sense of style. Your grocer should feel fortunate he isn’t Chris christie’s bag bit because that would be some major hernia operations twice a week.

  31. I think Avery can slip in for the Bahama Bomba…

    Btw, did anyone else think that Prust was overmatched against Clowe? I mean, Prust handled himself well but Clowe is at least a head taller and is bigger…

    THE PRUST backs down from no man….

  32. Doodie Machetto on


    My whole section was dressed as seats except the new SUPER annoying guy behind me that was dressed as a beer bottle.

  33. Eddie eddie Eddie on

    All we are saying is give Avery a chance…. All we are saying is give Avery a chance.

  34. Doodie Machetto on

    Some non-hockey observations:

    1) A decent number of Sharks fans in the house, especially considering how far CA is. It’s not like Toronto or Montreal either that are just notorious for having large amounts of fans travel with the team. They all must’ve felt at home with the black and teal seats.

    2) Best costume I saw at the game last night were two guys dressed as the Hanson brothers. It wasn’t just how they were dressed, either. They genuinely looked like them. But they were missing a third.

    3) Some terrible, terrible jersey fouls last night. One guy had a jersey with no number that had arching across the back “N.Y.I & N.J.D SUCK.” One guy had an Avery liberty jersey, which means that he went and had Avery added to his blank liberty jersey, since Avery has never worn that jersey. Someone was wearing a heritage jersey with Messier on it, which I think is lame (since he never wore it… might as well be Gilbert), but that was then topped by someone else who had a Leetch heritage jersey with the C! But the biggest foul of the night was someone wearing a Gartner jersey with a C. Seriously? A Gartner captain jersey? Idiot.

  35. Eddie eddie Eddie on

    Chris Christie giant ball is atop times square as the countdown to noon continues. Billions if people have taken the streets to witness history…. One Chinese man Long Hung Dong when asked about the event said “I leary like him he my fav langer”

  36. Doodie Machetto on

    Some hockey observations:

    1) Does that game count towards the “Avery Record?”

    2) What a game for Eric Christensen! Not just the assists, either. He was skating hard, shooting the puck, winning faceoffs. I haven’t seen him play that good of a game since we first got him and set him up with Gaborik and Prospal.

    3) Wolski played really well also. Gonna be hard to sit either of them for Avery after that. That goes double for Wolski who was pretty good at times against Ottawa.

    4) Dubi had by far his best game of the season. The move he made on Stepan’s goal was fantastic.

    5) Pretty much good games for everyone all around. I’d say the guys that impressed me the least were Fedotenko, Eminger, and Deveaux.

    6) Speaking of Deveaux, I think he should be the guy that sits for Avery. I thought he was pretty invisible out there until the last minute of the game when he was on the PP. It’s also just the easiest way to get Avery in the lineup and in a spot where he would be more effective than a guy like Zuccarello.

  37. Doodie Machetto on

    One more thing. I don’t give plus/minus too much credence, but MDZ quietly has become a plus 7 to lead the team.

  38. “Best costume I saw at the game last night were two guys dressed as the Hanson brothers.”

    I saw those guys too. Very good costumes!

    “Some terrible, terrible jersey fouls last night.”

    Maybe it was because of Halloween but, I saw some chick with an Avery jersey and she crossed out the name and it read “ZOMBIE”. LOL!

  39. bob The Builder (potential Mensa member) on

    all we are saying is give Avery a chance???? Again, this eddie amazes me!! such a simply saying, yet incredibly catching!!! Who is this eddie???? I love it!!


  40. jim November 1st, 2011 at 8:31 am

    So the sky isn’t falling after all!


    no, not today.

  41. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Is anyone else having problems posting? I am getting error message “your post may be too short”… that and it’s slower than rupp on skates

  42. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Roll up, it’s The Avery mystical tour, roll up, it’s the Avery mystical tour…. Waiting to take you away, waiting to take you away….laaaaaaaaaaa

  43. my oh my the trolls are running around the woods today. must be in heat.

    Carp- great write up. This was the 2nd game of the season I was actually able to watch. Looks like some of these guys are getting their game back. As for Avery- the most interesting ‘what if’ is simply – What if he comes in and plays and the team isn’t any better/worse when he plays? It’ll be interesting to see where people point their finger next (aside from Torts of course)

    Christensen and Wolski are only consistent at being inconsistent. Idc what they did last night or if they do something good next game on top of it. It’s not going to last and those of us with brains know it.

    Glad to have my laptop back!!

  44. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    There seems to be a serious conflict between eddies the upper case and Eddies the lower case regarding the Avery affair. Lowercase eddies want avery to play 20 minutes a game. Uppercase Eddies want last year’s average of only 6 minutes. It’s a mute point. We will see what we see when we see it.

  45. James G: The exact same can be said of Dubinsky, yet you don’t call him out at all. Any reason for the double standard?

  46. If I may speak for James, Dubinsky’s a completely different animal than the Mannequins. He’s inconsistent, yes, but he’s done it before, he has lots of upside still, he plays with passion, sticks up for teammates … and he’s an important cornerstone. Maddening? OK. But not a soft, emotionless lump, either.

  47. Yup. I was making my comment in response to the two players quoted above as being “the non contributors”

    Maybe you aren’t familiar with my posts here but Dubinsky has never gotten a pass from me.
    In fact he’s probably where the finger gets pointed next when nothing gets better or worse with Avery back.

  48. bob The Builder (potential Mensa member) on

    james Gee,

    I doth protest!! …i think you’ve given Brenden Dubinskee a pass! Weren’t you a hall monitor at his high school??


    Bob ‘Henny’ Youngman

  49. bob The Builder (potential Mensa member) on

    Just as greece is giving it to Europe in the Aasen in the hopes of making the german population pay for 100days a year vacation while the greeks eat seaweed wrapped olives, so too shall this Rangers’ team make it difficult for its patrons to be seated.

    Santorini Bob

    Where is manny???

    Full Disclosure: Long ARCO

  50. I was in my first year of college when he was a freshman Bob. But had you been trolling here back in March/April you’d know I was saying that it was time for him to show some A game in the playoffs or maybe it was time to part ways due to the inconsistency.

  51. Not jersey related, but there were two women in my section wearing Mario and Luigi costumes. Fine, but they didn’t have any facial hair, fake or otherwise. So, fail.

  52. Hah, Scott Fraser! Excellent blast-from-the-past reference, Carp. I remember his signing very well. He was supposed to be the perfect winger for Gretzky. Oops.
    It seems like we have a sordid history with Dartmouth players…

  53. I want to see AA play with Gabby. Boy’s got skills, maybe he shouldn’t be saddled with all the grinders.

    But how long til Richards is back with Gabby? Even if they keep winning?

    Good to see Thornton doing something other than failing to win the Stanley Cup.

  54. This was a damn good win but we really need to see a similar effort in the next few games before getting too excited.

  55. Steve Zipay
    RT @StapeNewsday: Nothing official from #Isles yet, but no shot they put in a claim for Sean Avery, from what I’ve heard.

  56. ThisYearsModel on

    Great post Carp. Thornton saying the Rangers are soft………this from a guy that plays for a team that has a mascot that was punched out by a drunk Theo Fleury.

  57. My boy Dubi making a comeback….. dubi & mcdonagh my fave rangers now…McD with such pretty skating…. maybe Avery will come to the team committed to hockey again where he can be a useful player again… eddie is right as always: give the guy a chance


  58. let the sean avery watch begin. i wont care if he gets claimed as long as its not a divisional team.

  59. carp

    will stop by media booth saturday. my seats are now next to you. i could bother you all year.

    michael del zaster and his plus 7 means squat. the kid stinks.

  60. eddie eddie eddie on

    close your eyes, have no fear, the monster’s gone he’s on the run and your daddy’s here…beautiful beautiful boy, before you go to sleep, say a little prayer, every day in every way, is getting better and better,,,,beautiful beautiful, boy…..out on the ocean, sailing away, i can hardly wait, to see you come of age, but i guess we are both going to have tohave patience……..before you cross the street, take my hand, life is what happens when you are busy making other plans….beautifil beautiful boy…

    I just wrote this little ditty for THE AVERY

  61. People didnt want him 3 years ago when he was on waivers and still had some upside. No one’s going to take him now either…Though I coulda told you there would be Avery to the Isles rumors at any point that he was brought back up.

  62. Very nice game by Rangers, especially PP which was missed for a long time (knock on puck), but it is too early to be happy.
    Sharks were look tired and slow after long trip.

  63. Is anyone playing their bugle right now because I hear the bugles playing and I see flags waving as our hero rides into town atop his white horse.

  64. Doodie Machetto on

    Avery at 950k is passed on by 29 NHL teams; Avery-lovers think he should be on the 1st line. Someone is clearly wrong.

  65. if the Woywitka – Eminger pairing is on the ice against the Ryan, Perry, Getzlaf line Thursday night, I believe the Ducks WILL run out the clock………..or just score at will.

  66. avery would have no bearing on our record rihgt now. yes he brings energy but that energy is gone after his first stupid penalty.

    lets not get excited over a 4th line guy who takes rupp place.


    on deveaux he played well besides last min on pp. has nice size and board play was fine. think he deserves a few games here.

  67. Just when I thought the Yankees LH Blog was good – this Ranger one is gonna be a GREAT outlet for me this year. Let the bashing and the lack of hockey perspective BEGIN!

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