Rangers-Capitals in review


Temper the giddiness over the six goals for a moment, because, well, you have to realistically say that some of that was on Michal Neuvirth and some of that was on a Washington team that wasn’t great in its own end.

But the truth is, the Rangers had the puck more and did more with it when they had it because they were able to get “there” in time more often then they had been in a while. They were getting on pucks, and on opponents with the puck, or opponents who just moved the puck, and in all three zones. They were physical, they won draws, they looked a step faster (couldn’t have just been Carl Hagelin).

So, before we turn our attention to the Flys at the Garden this afternoon …


1) As well as it turned out, I thought the first period — much better than the previous six, more rugged, more pressure — still featured a lot of dumb stuff. And they survived it.

2) For example, how, with all this emphasis on pucks to the net, does Michael Del Zotto make that extra pass on the 3-on-1 that results in no shot? How?

3) And, with the team in a bit of a fragile state, how different might this game have looked if the Caps had jumped up 1-0 or 2-0? So Henrik Lundqvist, once again, deserves kudos for not allowing them to lose. He was terrific in the first period. Remarkable a couple of times, actually.

4) On one of his magnificent saves, the goal judge flipped the light on and the place went bonkers. Well, isn’t that a useless practice now. I mean, what purpose does a goal judge still serve? What authority does he have? None. The referee makes the call on the puck going in, and if there’s any question, it goes to replay. So most teams, if not all, have moved the goal judge from the best seat in the house behind the net to somewhere else in the building, just so that somebody can turn the red light on. Ridiculous. That light should never go on any more until the referee points that the puck is in the net.

5) Ovechkin=Occasional Monster. He gets cranked up when he sees the Rangers. But teams have figured him out, and he appears too stubborn to change anything at this point. He can and should be great again, as he showed in spurts. But not if he’s going to be that thick-headed. He’ll get the coach fired first, though. That couldn’t have been a good game for Humpty Dumpty’s future.

6) Actually saw a couple of good 2-on-1 passes get through in this one. The one by Derek Stepan was off-the-charts good. Again.

7) I thought Steve Eminger sure had some difficult shifts, didn’t he? But he rebounded nicely as the game went on.

8) Another facial gash for Dan (Block Ness Monster) Girardi. Also, I admire that he went to look after Gaborik after the Ovechkin hit, but he kind of opened up the whole front of the net for that bad goal by the Caps.

9) Did Ruslan Fedotenko say “thank you” after his first goal? Seriously, he deserved one for a while now.

10) I liked what Hagelin brought, and not just speed but hockey sense, too. Lots of guys can fly (Enver Lisin, Rico Fata, Scott Fraser, etc.) I don’t know if he’ll stay long, but he’s already done more than Erik Christensen has all season.

11) This little Dmitry Orlov fella has a chance to be pretty annoying, Kid delivers some big hits.


My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Ryan Callahan.
2) Derek Stepan.
3) Henrik Lundqvist.


AP photos, above.

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  1. Great write up as usual Carp. Just some additional thoughts:
    2) And in the first we always took to the outside of the defenders. Gaborik didn’t do that his first year, then he faked outside, went inside and unleashed his big shot and scored. Maybe it’s a confidence thing, don’t know, but you have to challenge the defenders by doing it more. And it came more in the second = more shots = more goals. Strange.

    7) Agreed, but Woywhatever looked pretty good throughout, time for Ms Emigrate to get prucha’d for Strålman soon…

    10) That point can’t be made strong enough, Hagelin looked way better than Erica has all season. If he continues like this there’s no reason for him to go back. Will be interesting to see if he can repeat his performance today…

  2. Caaaaaarrrrrrrlllllll!!!!!

    Yes I’m a Hagelin fan, but I really think he set the tone for the Rangers early, his first shift got in fast on the forecheck. He’s not a one dimensional speedster, as anyone who has watched him knows. Last season at Michigan, led the team in scoring and was named CCHL defensive player of the year. He and Mitchell also got Boyle going; that looked like the Boyle from last year.

  3. Making my Garden debut today! PSYCHED!! Hoping for some good fights in the stands and a visit to the press box. I figure if Carp isn’t there I can at least bust Russ Cohen’s chops : D

  4. Agreed Dubi. I said it a couple times yesterday- I don’t think it’s a coincidence that He and Mitchell come out playing hard and the guys that have been slumping step up their game. Great energy. Hope we see more of it today

  5. Today is going to be a nasty one. I didn’t see the preseason game but I heard it was pretty brutal.

  6. Seeing McD live makes you appreciate him much more. The subtle moves in traffic to free himself to make a pass to get out of the zone are terrific.
    Was glad Boyle got a goal, but he had a rough start – weak pass to the point that led to 3 on 1 and changed momementum in the first, then a tripping penalty on the power play. The team needs him to be closer to last year than the year before, and he is not there yet. Hopefully getting there.

  7. Good win, but a soft two periods for Caps. Agree with Carp that could have been very different game if Hank wasn’t great in the first. Del zotto and Emminger take a step forward and then two back. Would like to see Erixon back then Stralman.

    Second big game of the year today.. LGR!

  8. Carp,
    glad to see you gave Stepan the number 2 star. he was great again.
    would be interesting to see Haglin speed on the left of Stepan and Gabby. his and Gabby speed would really back the D up, and leave a lot of room for Steapn.

  9. carp,

    great recap…as always! is stepan so good because he doesn’t flinch? not that there’s anything wrong with that! also making my garden debut today…spent a little extra to see if i now can fit into the seats in the lower bowl…i’d be shocked if i have room to keep my legs straight…would love to celebrate a goal without getting wedged in by the cupholders! we need another sharp start by the king this afternoon….briere and giroux must not see roy-witka and eminger! dubi…take a look at the rafters-especially at the mcguire banner and know greatness is not only attainable…it is required! as for all the !!!’s-it was elaine’s recommendation!

  10. Stranger Nation on

    The game featured two skilled hockey goals on the step-gabby 2-1 and Cally threading the pass to B Rich who directed it in. Two big league plays by their money players.

    Loved the line combos as Torts finally realized EC was not getting it done. Feds, cally and Richards were flying around the ice. Feds is underapprexiated, does many things that do not show up in the box score.

    Dubi still making bad decisions but his TOI is shrinking so less time to make these mistakes.

    Hopefully uncle mo is with them today, though flyers played and won yesterday as well.

  11. >>…Hoping for some good fights in the stands …

    Seriously??? Will you be banging on the glass too? I guess there are a lot of things about hockey fans I’ll never understand.

  12. I’ll never understand why a guy like Girardi doesn’t wear a shield. It’s pretty well established that you can (emphasis) play hockey with a shield.

    How many times has he gotten cut already this season or any other? I understand the personal preference side of the argument, some guys are bigger or don’t get down and dirty much to worry about getting hit in the face. Girardi obviously isn’t one of them. He’s one bad bounce away from being 27, earning +$3m for the next 5-8 years to retired…..it’s stupid.

  13. I hope that by the end of the Season, Hagelin and Tim Erixon are regulars. I think both will be significant contkributors to the NYR’s. If we get a health Staal back, our D will be awesome. What team has given up the least goals in the NHL?

  14. I am not making my first Dubinsky rant of the day but I do question the fact that they guy has been relegated to 4th line duties and there is no mention of it?

    1 goal, 19 games=$4.2 million per

  15. Section 331 row M will b in blue Avery jersey wit Rangers fitted and uncle will have white Messier jersey….anybody goin come say hi…..and Carp, I kno I asked but forgot wat thread it was and didnt see ur response…..r u attendin?

  16. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    I have seen some “power rankings” listing Chicago on top, some with San Jose on top (tsn.ca), but guess what? Philadelphia is easily the best team in the league, so far, with San Jose second, Boston third, then Detroit, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh and Chicago round out the league’s elite teams so far this year.

    Regular season game or not, this Philadelphia match-up for the Rangers has enormous significance where it comes to evaluating just what this Ranger team has to offer, this season. Big win = a top three standing in the league, at this time; a big loss = top-10 team with first round playoff victory hopes, at best.

  17. Most of this season I haven’t actively missed Stall, they’ve gotten by fine with Girardi and McMonster. But when Ovie scored that goal, I couldn’t help but think Stall would have flattened Ovie at the blue line instead of Girardi backing off and letting him get a perfect screened shot on Henrik. Let’s hope this fire spreads to the Philly game!

  18. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    LOWELL – Can’t agree that the plus-minus stat is “ridiculous,” although, yes, it could be improved. Starting with NOT tabulating pluses and minuses when one net is empty. Also, you get a plus if you are on the ice when an even-strength goal scored makes the socre 5-0. You also get a plus when you are on the ice for an even-strength goal that ties the game or breaks a tie. So that all pluses and minuses are not equal.

    We can’t really take plus-minus ratings at face value, but can’t really throw them out, either.

  19. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    STRONGER NATION: Give me a break on the merits of Fedo. Players who are lauded as “Mentors” or as bringing “intangibles” to the game, lack the most important quality: scoring ability.

    Last night Fedo scored his first two even-strength goals of the season, and not even in the clutch, both times when he scored the Rangers were already leading by two goals. This guy is INVISIBLE when scoring could mean something. For this we keep the Hagelin’s of the world in the minors? Time for the GM (and the coach) to evaluate who is contributing and who is a bust, and act accordingly. This team is too close to being a force in this league to tolerate mediocre to poor play from guys who are either faking it or who just can’t deliver the goods.

  20. The new lower bowl seating at the Garden is a DISGRACE!
    Zero leg room if you’re bigger than 5-6! Really not worth the discomfort of sitting there.

    And contrary to what I’d been hoping for – and what’s needed – hearing no big deals on the horizon, despite teams like Calgary ready to have a fire sale.

    Don’t get fooled by having beaten a mess of a Caps group, this Ranger team continues (as in every year since Sather’s been here) to have an anemic PP and, way more often than he should be, the coach is a tool.

    He’s not seeing much in Christensen’s game? As opposed to what?! He’s played like that for two years! Meanwhile Zuc languishes in Hartford.
    Hagelin gave us a different look?! Duh! Shoulda been here from the start of the year.
    And why was Stralman scratched?

    Rangers aren’t nearly good enough to beat top teams consistently, and it’s a shame because they have considerable upside, but they’re missing some major parts.

  21. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Carp –

    A player who is a top-nine skater who cannot score can only be, at best, a ONE-DIMENSIONAL player, if he does everything else well. You need offense as well as defense from your top line players. This guy is a journeyman, maybe with heart, maybe with some other skills, but like a .240 hitter in baseball with a good glove, he is a liability in at least 50% of what he brings to the game and represents a deficit, where the opposition has no such pothole to overcome, at his position.

    It’s about winning, nothing more, and the more multi-talented players a team brings to the arena, night after night, the better its chances of coming out on top in the long run because of this wealth and depth of talent. We move this Fedo guy out, chances are we put someone better in his place, so that he would not even be missed. I don’t detest Fedo, but I do think we have better down on the farm deserving the chance to show more all-around skills and ability.

    Obviously I hope Hagelin is here to stay, but not counting on it, even if he starts popping the net in this brief trial, here.

  22. so, you’d rather have, say, Zherdev than Fedotenko?

    Or Christensen, for that matter?

    The guy’s a good hockey player. He scores some. He somehow got the two goals in the Cup-clinching game once upon a time. He was their best player down the stretch and in the playoffs last year. Yeah, he needs to score more than once in the first 18 games. Who doesn’t? But, geez, Fedotenko’s been really good, and the type of player who allows the Rangers to compete night in and night out when they aren’t scoring.

  23. Paul in Sunrise on

    I see a difference in Stepan’s game – its his willingness and battle level. He has an edge to his game that gives hiom more space. Another with edge this year is Gabby. He has been more engaged physically, and I really think it helps them.

  24. this is exactly what angers me about so many hockey fans. if they see a guy doesnt score, he’s automatically a bust. guess what, aside from Gaborik and Stepan, Feds has probably been the best Rangers forward this year. ye, that’s right. if you dont see the other sides of hockey other than the offensive side, please dont call yourself a fan Boom, youre just embarrassing the rest of us.

  25. Good morning, boneheads!

    So, we are firing Fedotenko now? Geez….He’s been of a few steady players this year. Id like to see how long he would last on waivers at $1.4M, let alone on re-entry. In fact, this is exactly the type of a player that cup contenders will be looking to add at the deadline to complete their team.

  26. One of a few….*

    Hagelin ads speed, but it’ll take him time to learn the positional play required in NHL…I like his game, and, with so few players with wheels as of now, his future here looks good. But he isn’t ready to replace Fedotenko-type of a player yet.

  27. It’ll be interesting to see Hagelin in this back to back. Hopefully he can keep things up from yesterday, but I think we’ll learn something about his character today…

  28. As for sitting Dubinsky. Torts did the right thing, he put him on the fourth, let him get out of this slump. You can see by how much he misses the net, his confidence is shut. There is no lack of effort. Sitting him won’t do any good.

  29. “There is no lack of effort. ”

    True, ilb. I never thought the problem was his effort. Or, if he cared. I think he tries too hard and cares too much sometimes, if that makes any sense. Also, his skill level isn’t among the best so, he has to play confidently to score consistently….


    I said it last night….Carl Hagelin = He-Man …He has the Power!!

  30. Maybe no lack of effort, but there’s a lack of skating a little bit to often… maybe taking the pressure (ice time) away will help him find his game.

  31. Wicky©"the NHL should penalize and suspend players that place themselves in vulnerable positions along the boards" on

    Morning ILB and all!!
    no way feds should go anywhere. i’d actually re sign him for a year or two at the end of the season. Invaluable player.

    I’ve been saying it since day one with woywitka—>, he makes great first passes and doesn’t panic with the puck in his own zone (the anti-Michael Busto if you will…AMB??)

    I have to work today, so LGR and LGD!!!!

    agree on all of your points, especially #11. Thanks for the review!

  32. Whomever was asking who could play if Dubi sat, I think we saw some young guys last night that I’d rather see play every day.

  33. Carp, sorry to hear that…..hope to catch u next time…..bte got here early and got autographs from mcmonster artie party sour power beer-on hagelin and GABBY and saw richards avery stepan callahan girardi and fedotenko…..AWESOME START TO THE DAY!!!

  34. LGR! LGR!! Let us put our draft pick quest aside to beat the team from the cesspool known as Philadelphia. Totally uncivilised city.

    Liberty Bell Bob

  35. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Well, I am being mis-characterized here, what else is new? Back up a little bit. All I am saying is that a player who can score AND play a good checking game is better than a guy who is all-world defensively but who rarely scores, and almost never scores when it really counts. For taking this position I am what, a clutz, or something?

    What is the Rangers biggest problem this year? Scoring, right? Dunce power play, right? And we have people here who can’t get enough of Fedotenko? “This case is closed, on King, mush you huskies!”

  36. Hey Guys here’s a 24/7 link….long and pretty cool!!


    I see everyone is still upset with who should be in and who should be out. Well you have no one to blame except Sather. Sather has listened to the fans!! That’s what everyone said when he started drafting young players, and probably listening to his scouts for once. Well the problem there is that every friggin team in the league has been doing it for years!!! Wake up Sather is more of what the headlines should have read. Now we have the youth but he hasn’t kept some good veterans. I just don’t understand why (this is just my favorite) but why didn’t we bring Jagr back. He’s well respected and scores goals. It’s all about and like someone already mentioned we haven’t had a good PP for years. I know one thing Jagr would have addressed a lot of the scoring problems. I don’t want to ramble but with the money the Rangers throw around why is it that we haven’t won a cup since ’94!! Sather sucks and just doesn’t know how to correctly address a proper roster of both youth and veterans. Plus we still have one of the highest payrolls WTF!! That’s what everyone should be saying. I guess when you have the idiot Dolan running the show we are stuck, because that dope just let’s Sather do whatever he wants.

  37. Wicky©"the NHL should penalize and suspend players that place themselves in vulnerable positions along the boards" on

    LMAO @ liberty bell bob!!

  38. Mister Delaware on

    Until plus/minus factors in quality of opposing line and the other 5 (or 4) guys on the ice at the time, it’s pretty useless.

  39. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Agreed that the Rangers are seven players away from winning the Stanley Cup…

    Kreider, Hagelin, Bourque, a healthy Staal, Erixon, MZA, and Thomas.

    Thank you.

  40. also…Hagelin scored 2 goals in the Big Chill at the Big House last year, so he has to stick around at least until the Winter Classic

  41. Is Semin to much of a typical lazy player?? He would make an interesting acquisition. Of course not giving much to get him.

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