Rangers-Leaves, and the NHL’s realignment plan, in review

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First I want to thank the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors for giving me this topic of conversation, because last night’s Rangers-Leaves game was pretty dull and not worthy of much of a review.

So I’m going to do this in two parts. First, a quick review of the game. Second, a few questions for what I see as a needless, senseless, change to the entire league and its playoff system.

Thoughts:

1) The Rangers were not very physical in the first half of this game, and that allowed the Leaves to use their speed. You could say that speed teams have given the Rangers problems (Leaves twice, Canadiens, Panthers). But the Rangers have handled some speedy teams, too. I don’t think speed itself was the problem, but the way the Rangers allowed the Leaves to use it was.

2) I’m assuming Michael Sauer has a concussion, or at least, that he’s being treated as if he may have a concussion. I don’t think he reinjured his shoulder. And by the way, I know that helmets don’t always prevent concussions, that often it’s the brain rattling inside the skull that does the damage. But I’ve complained about this from the beginning of time. Why does the league not insist on players wearing better chinstraps, and wearing them tight to their, you know, chins? Helmets shouldn’t pop off like that.

3) The Dion Phaneuf hit was clean and devastating, and people say his start to this season has just been remarkably good.

4) Before that, though, this was a game with not much anger — even if Brandon Prust tried to manufacture some — and the Rangers generally aren’t good in those games.

5) Brad Richards sure does some clever stuff on the PP.

—————-

OK, now a few questions … I probably could come up with several dozen … about this realignment plan — if you haven’t seen it, it includes four conferences, currently named A, B, C, D, with the top four teams in each “conference” making the playoffs, then having their own first two rounds (a la the old Patrick Division semifinals, Patrick Division finals). Scroll down a few threads to see the alignment plan. Or go to NHL.com to see the plan and how the commissioner defends it.

It all makes no sense to me whatsoever because:

1) The NHL finally had a playoff system that worked just fine, and by the way, provided one of the greatest all-time playoff years just last spring. It developed conference rivalries, not just division rivalries, because of the conference format in the playoffs and because regular-season conference games bore as much weight as division games.

2) There will undoubtedly be, probably almost every year, a weaker third- or fourth-place team in the playoffs from one “conference” and a stronger fifth- or sixth-place team out of the playoffs from another “conference.” Then who wants to hear the crying?

3) They’d better come up with better names than A, B, C and D. Maybe Patrick, Adams, Smythe, and Norris?

More questions:

First and foremost, is this whole freakin’ overhaul of the entire NHL caused by Atlanta’s inability, for a second time, to support an NHL franchise? Should we be surprised by this? Would we be doing this if the Trashers hadn’t moved to Winnipeg? Do you really throw the whole freakin’ league into a blender because of that?

So who plays in the third round of the playoffs. I mean, if it isn’t simply East-West as it has been for so long, is it always A vs. B and C vs. D in what used to be the conference finals? Or will the team with the best record of the final four play the team with the worst? Or what?

Does NBC Sports (soon to be formerly Versus) really want fewer games that mean something? Because that’s what it will get. It used to be every game among the 15 teams in the conference had a bearing on the playoffs. Now it will be every game among the seven or eight teams in a conference. That’s certainly not good for network TV.

Do Florida and Tampa Bay really belong in a conference with teams in the northern-most Northeast and Canada, instead of teams in Carolina and D.C.?

Isn’t this plan going to mean a lot more travel across the board? And isn’t that going to cost the teams a lot more money? And are those teams going to be crying poverty when the next CBA war breaks out? Aren’t the Coyotes and Islanders and so many other teams already in debt? So now they’re going to have smaller chance to make the playoffs on top of that?

How is it better for the Rangers, for example, to play more games against Columbus, Dallas and Phoenix and fewer against Boston, Montreal and Toronto? And that the games against the BJs, Stars and Yotes mean just as much, or as little, as those against the B’s, Habs and Leaves?

And who wants to be in the Crosby-Ovechkin NHL Darling Conference? In other words, the conference with two other playoff berths available?

Imagine how great the all-star game will be, with the added incentive of bragging rights when A-B meets C-D.

And why the hell couldn’t they call them divisions instead of conferences? That might be the dumbest part of this whole asinine plan.

Who conceived this idea, and how did they get it past the league’s GMs and Governors? Was there alcohol involved?

—————-

My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Artem Anisimov.
2) Brandon Prust.
3) Ruslan Fedotenko.

—————-

AP photos, above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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270 Comments

  1. onecupin72yearsandcounting on

    maybe Bettman wants to spread the the good markt teams with the so so attendance teams .

    The rangers always had a need for toughness , last night it showed.

  2. Carp, whatever they Change the NHL has way too many Teams anyway to bring an Even better
    Product on ICE. There are quite Some Teams with a Superstar and the Rest is only Average.
    I Know you Guys Want to See Hockey almost every night but then you have to Accept that a Team is simplying stop playing when Trailiing by two or Three entering the Final Period….

  3. essentially the rangers/devils will be fighting for 4th every year. pens flyers caps all locks.

  4. This could be seen coming. The continued sloppy puck handling and ridiculous passing on a constant basis from behind their net to beyond the red line, ( hoping) I suppose it wouldn’t be intercepted……………it continually was. When will they learn the value of skating it in and then completing the attack with shorter range passes not so easily intercepted…hmmmm?

  5. Carp if the realignment makes it harder for already financially failing teams, can we expect the league to shrink or lose teams?
    Will those teams move and cause another realignment?
    I read Bettmans defense and the whole thing seems dumb… Two conferences with 7 teams and two with 8? WTC is that????!!!!!

  6. AND if you have 7 teams in 2 conferences and 8 teams in 2 conferences is the league expanding with 2 new teams or shrinking by 2 teams? Cause the teams in the 8 team conferences have a smaller chance to make the playoffs…

  7. Stranger Nation on

    Thought game was fun to watch, frustrating but exciting. Leafs showed incredible speed and Kessel had some 1 on 1 moves that were special. Not enough pucks on net and we need to get Step off the point on the PP. And Mitchell on the PP, really?

    If Artie continues to assert himself, he could finish with 25 goals playing with Gabby.

    In a 2 minute stretch at the end of the game, we almost lost our 2nd pair of D which would have been disastrous.

    Buttman is a joke. Cannot believe he is still commish. What a clown.

  8. Re Concussions:

    The hits that result in concussions-from what i’ve seen-occur when a player is hit with his head down or rather does not see it coming. I.e. Crosby, stall and perhaps now sauer to name a few. IMO opinion players need to identify the potential for injury that can be caused to the other player and pull-up. The play to me is the equivalent to being sucker punched at a bar-cowardly and malicious.

    Go ahead and call me a pansy.

  9. I am now officially spoiled. couldn’t believe that they didn’t come back and win that game. I expect them to win every night. When they don’t I am bummed out! Uh oh, this team has me hooked. Now they will affect my mood. This is not good!

    NO SOUP FOR YOU!

  10. Wow what a Press Conference After the Game from the Coach :) its Not easy to Talk to Torts After a loss i Know it Belongs to a coaches Job when you just consider its also for the paying Customer or fan….

  11. Good morning all. Carp how do you really feel…lol. I agree the realignment talk has a few holes in it.

  12. I guess since there is more attention paid to concussions in sports these days, you notice these hits more & more. The hits where a player has his head down, either searching for the puck at his feet or admiring a pass he just made. It doesn’t seem too long ago that when a player did that, he was always blasted to the ice!!! And it was always considered a big hit. Dirty, maybe but a big hit nonetheless and it was a positive assertion of physicality. Look at highlight reels of all Scott Stevens’ hits; just about every one of them has Stevens tagging a guy who has his head down, not expecting the hit. Especially since, if you watch the highlight packages of Stevens’ big hits, he comes across to his defense partners side of the ice and catches the player unaware!! Most of the time, he even leaves his skates to deliver the hit. Back then, Stevens was just considered a hard hitting defenseman. Most guys were knocked out but there was never a 10 month or 18 month period before that player came back. The NHL I guess are paying more attention to this injury and rightly so. I’m just wondering how all those players that are out of hockey are doing because back then, it was simply getting “my bell rung” and they would come back and play the next game.

  13. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Imbalanced schedule problems, of course, stem foremost from the over-expansion monster.

    I do appreciate someone at http://www.tsn.ca pointing out that last year, when Vancouver won the President’s Cup, they did it, primarily, by playing Boston once, while playing Minny, Edmonton, Calgary, and Denver six times each.

    Is contraction on the docket? I doubt it, although last spring, when this new alignment rumblings started to surface, the whisperings were along the lines of the league contracting two teams in conjunction with implementing this new structure. Phoenix could go, Nashville, Columbus, who needs them, even if they were solvent? Not confident two weak-sister teams are headed for the exit but it certainly would be nice.

  14. I, for one, am not that upset at our boys for last night. I think, after the way they played in the first period, the score should have been _much_ more lopsided in favor of the Make Believes. That our boys battled back in the second and really _almost_ tied it up a few times in the last ten seconds, what can I say? Just that this game reminded me of last year a little bit.

    I was upset when our entire defense attempted to get themselves concussed in the span of 15 seconds. Kudos to Stepan for taking a run at Phanuef even if he can’t do much damage. He tried.

    Lupul = Beast.

    Anisimov = Slightly smaller Beast

  15. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    The league is consulting all GM’s now re the re-seeding format following the first round of the playoffs. Stay tuned, announcement forthcoming.

  16. First! – Both of our guys who got hurt had their heads down or were not entirely aware of the ice situation around them.

    I am absolutely 100% with wicky on this one that you need to start penalizing players who put themselves in ridiculously vulnerable players more than the players that are hitting them.

    THIS IS HOCKEY and as long as the UFC and other viciously violent sports exist, we need to stop europansifying hockey. This is the way we play. These guys all sign up for it and I am sure sign waivers along with their contracts. Let ‘em play!

  17. WTH isn’t Winnipeg in the “division” with other western teams. You could easily swap Colorado and Winnipeg.

    Ohhhh that elusive 2500th win!!

  18. Also, come on. If Sauer-Pauer hits Phaenuf (that hit in reverse) everyone is screaming that Phanuef put himself in a vulnerable position blah blah blah.

    12-3 in our last 15.

  19. Artie-Art,
    I agree with you on the hits. And since the league is headed down this path…
    I watch games today and think at some point every player is going to be concussed.
    The league’s response is laughable really. If they want to eliminate headshots, the suspensions should start at 15-20 games.

  20. I can’t believe you are all taking Carps lead here and talking abut realignment instead of the game! Let’s worry about that later. We were completely manhandled on home ice last night and lost another important Dman to a concussion, who cares about realignment right now.

    Manny, I don’t think you should use the words Anisimov and Beast in the same sentence. The guy continually gets knocked on his ass. He is the furthest thing from a beast.

  21. I will continue to use Anisimov and Beast in the same sentence! The guy is an entirely different player now. I know that he gets moved off the puck in open ice but around the net he was flying last night. He was a mini Lupul. Lupul is unreal by the way.

    Thanks Grabachev.

    Staal! 15-20 games!? Why not just ELIMINATE CHECKING!? Honestly guys. Come on. This is hockey. We love big hits and fights and hard nosed hockey. We are pig-headed Americans.

  22. Does anyone know if last night was the official first night that HBO was filming or have they been in there before? I thought they were in there when we beat the Flyers, no?

  23. Good morning, boneheads!

    I’m going to play devils (no pun ) advocate and say that even though it is difficult to accept changes, the realignment may be a positive thing for the league. For one, every team is playing everyone. Before that, it was like some teams didn’t exist in the league. The division rivalries has been mentioned before, so I’ll skip that. What it also does is eliminates possible mismatch in the finals. How exciting was it to watch SC finals in ’95, ’96, 97′, and ’98? 4-0 four years in a row…
    Yes, there will be teams that make playoffs with less points than teams that do not in other divisions (conferences? give me a break). But do you think #3 spot now truly belongs at #3 with current alignment?
    As for the Rangers. I’ll throw this around. Statistically, their chance of making playoffs as it stands now is 53%. With the new alignment- it’s 57%. And in terms of who is in their “conference”: A. I truly believe that the way they are being built, they should be just fine within that group; B. If they can’t get in one of four spots against Philly, Pittsburgh, Washington, Carolina, NJ, NYI- they shouldn’t be in the playoffs.

  24. ilb2001

    you can fix that by simply going to 2 divisions in each conference. This re-alignment plan probably hurts the Rangers more than any other team and I hope the players do everything in their power to stop it

  25. i missed u guys. i tried breaking my RR addiction, i relapsed. im back. more gibberish for everyone!!

  26. This re-alignment plan probably hurts the Rangers more than any other team and I hope the players do everything in their power to stop it

    ***

    How does it hurt the Rangers more than any other team? How about the two Florida teams that are now in a conference with the Northeast or Carolina moving into a tougher division?

  27. I’m the last one to defend any hits that may lead to head injuries, but the one last night was a clean hit. I said it on the thread right after it happened. That’s when the player should be aware of what’s around. The head was never targeted, his shoulder hit his chin, but the most damage was done when his helmet came off and his head hit the board on the way down. Why wear a helmet if it comes off that easy? Phaneuf did not sneak up on him from a side (or didn’t come off the bench) for Sauer not to expect him. You eliminate that type of hits, we have figure skating.

  28. saues alwaysgtting hurt.jez i guess its time for erixon to get a 2nd chance. anbody know if hes still injured in hartford?

  29. Hey, Mike! Where have you been, bro? We need more gibberish!

    Where are all the haters this morning? They lost, remember? Except that last year, or two years ago, it would be a blow out. They didn’t give up and were very close to at least getting one point. And I’ll take my chances in best of 7 against Toronto any day…

  30. On the hit-my only problem with hits like this are when they come completely out of position to lay the lumber. If I recall, there were multiple Leafs in the vicinity already and Sauer is playing the puck. DP comes completely out of position to lay him out. I am sure Sauer is thinking to win the battle against the 1-2 players there already…not expecting the freight train is a comin’. Very much the Captain McCluskey move on young Mike Corleone….

    Give me the Patrick, Norris, Smythe and Adams……

  31. i guess its a good thing we didnt trade for ryan and part with girardi. or another guy like mcdonagh. imagine our d with both sauer and girtardi out? and of course staal?

  32. This game shows the Rangers will have difficulty winning by coming from behind, because they score by committee, they are not like these other teams who have All Stars upfront who the coach can tap on the shoulder and can go put the puck in the net.

    The hit on Sauer was clean. God bless Michael Sauer for attempting to keep the puck in the zone. That was a huge collision from two big men. Not a fan of guys getting hit while their head is down, but I didn’t think Phaneuf took advantage of an unsuspecting player. Plus Phaneuf was gliding, not a charge.

    In the end, I don’t look at this as a bad loss. I look at this game as a benchmark to see where we are. Obviously TO is having a great season, as are the Rangers. Florida kicked the snot out of the Caps, even if the Caps made a late rally, Boston hasn’t missed a beat, Pittsburgh… But the Rangers are right there.

    I think they’ll see what moves they can make. And I think these types of games points out where their weaknesses are. So I see it as a learing process for the front office and coach, regardless of what Larry “Mr. BiPolar” Brooks says. One week he’s praising the coach, the next he’s a critic.

  33. The new league structure is all about equality to me. It makes sure every team travels roughly the same amount and to make sure that every team plays everyone else. As a fan I would rather see detroit or Los Angeles at the garden twice than have 2 games against the bruins or leaves. I also think it will be a fairer test for all the teams having to play everyone else at least twice. Formerly some teams could get in the playoffs on the backs of weaker teams. Now thy have to play every other team twice and with more teams in the divisions they can’t do what Vancouver did last year and pound 4 weak teams since there likely won’t be 4 weak teams in a division anymore. Bit to mention if there are weak teams in a division the other couple of good teams in that division will feast on them as well. Overall I think it will make for better hockey in the regular season and make it mean more too. I’m still not sure about the playoffs since I am too young to remember ore 1994 division playoffs but I’ll give it a chance. If it doesn’t work they can always alter it.

  34. ive actually been here everyday ilb. i just hadnt posted. and it wasnt because there was nothing to complain about either :) i cant watch games and be here at the same time, so i usually just end up chatting with the guys on hockystreams site. ive been trying to catch up with so many posts, that by the time i do, im blogged out man. im alwys here though, i leave my browser on all day so when i get off work, i can catch up with all the posts and of course, the mighty waseka. that thing is a godsend,i mean averysend

  35. Lol, Mike…We do miss you gibberish though…

    I’m actually glad they lost because, had they won, I’d expect a couple of posts this morning of this content: “They’re winning too much too early! The coach made them peak waaay too early! FIRE TORTS!” :-)

  36. We had some good chances to come back last night. These last two games remind me of the stinkers against Florida and MTL when we got away from our tough grinding physical game and lost two in a row. Even Dugay called us soft against Tampa. Only difference between these last two games is we were able to get the win against Tampa. I think we will regroup and come out playing our game against Tampa on Thursday night.

  37. haha, oh boy, i watched about half the game last night due to lots of distractions if u know what i mean. i thought we looked terrible in the first. didnt see the 2nd. not much of the 3rd. im happy we aleast came back to within 1. we have gabby who is flying and richards. ok, we los a game we werent that good in. it is probably a good thing as we need to have some adversity in order to keep us on our game. im sure they will come out better next game. u could see in tampa we shouldnt have won, hank bailed us out. it caught up to us tonight. we are human, an get complacent, just like hockey players. i am worried about sauerthough. erixon will get a shot though. hope hes ready and can fil in or else were gonna have staalman in there. not enough jam for me. although he could help the peepee. which is doing ok latey. . we need sauer andhis gritty and tough play.

  38. Both Stepan and Anisimov are progressing nicely, perhaps even at a higher rate than most of us expected. And that may not necessarily be reflected on their stats, but it will eventually. MDZ keeps getting better too, especially with his decision making and physical play. Got to love that. I think it’s time to extract Dubinsky from the fourth line, he isn’t going to start scoring much playing there.

  39. They played a high scoring team with one of the best lines in hockey right now (who was shredding whatever line the Rangers matched against them in the first two periods). They made adjustments, took control of the game after falling behind but Gustavsson playing above and beyond what you’d expect kept them from making a full comeback.

    Like ilb said, I’d easily take my chances against them in a best of 7. They sort of remind me of last year’s Lightning. Succeeding despite an overall neutral/negative goal differential, a fine tuned PP and they can score enough to make up for subpar goaltending.

  40. I’m more confused then anything about the re alignment. One team moved and now were changing the whole league?? I don’t get it.

    Dion’s hit just looked like hockey to me….not sure I see why were making a big deal out of it. We may loose a player but it looked fine to me.

    Rangers can be a tough grinder type team, but they aren’t a tough team……does that make sense?

    Speed helps beat speed and the two youngsters weren’t even mentioned in a single article today. Hope this doesn’t mean they have leveled off.

    Carp, I REALLY NEED YOU TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION: At what point is Larry Brooks over stepping his bounds on reporting when he writes an article like he did today?? Does the league need to step in and do something here or does the NY Post need to say something? We know the two don’t get along, but it appears to have become personal, and I know I don’t have to read the article but it just doesn’t seem right anyway. Tort’s is a good coach, and yes he’s abrasive with the reporters but there are other coaches just like him, and I don’t think he deserves this type of treatment.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/rangers/leaf_em_hangin_mULBAbGp3wqRUr7i6WTCXL

  41. Larry Brooks is a punk.

    Cynar – good point about Hagelin and our speed. I think he did what was asked of him again. It more comes down to whether our lines that are getting the “minus” are scoring enough to make up for their lack of defensive ability. Maybe try Hagelin on the top line, or …..dum dum dum…..AVERY..to get a skater up there who can get back and play Defense.

  42. Manny is it me, or did it seem Brooks was just trying to get after Tort’s??

    Yeah there were some times I thought we lacked enough speed last night. We can grind, but sometimes you need the speed to get into the zone, and then grind.

  43. It’s not you, Cynar. He is getting after Torts. Brooks is a punk. I mean it. He is constantly trying to rile up Torts and get him to swear and freak out because Brooks makes his entire living by annoying Torts and being another “character” in the room. No offense to Carp and other GOOD reporters but I think reporters should keep their personality and persona out of the articles they are writing and just REPORT>

  44. yeah that’s pretty much my point, and frankly if I were the Rangers I would consider keeping the NY Post and their reporters away from the Rangers if they persist with BullS*** aritcles.

  45. Why should a coach even have to consider worrying about what a reporter is going to write? The coach has no obligation to talk to anyone, and if it even enters Tort’s brain to remotely worry about Brooks, then it has to stop.

  46. so now you want the league to intervene because the guy wrote an article critical of the coach’s moves in a game? what exactly did he say in that article that was so wildly inaccurate? you people are downright scary with some of this stuff.

  47. great non-answer!

    but you’re right we should allow a private organization to dictate what reporters can say. maybe next we can get Pravda to cover games.

  48. Lloyd – here is an answer. I don’t necessarily know if the LEAGUE should step in because anything that is controversial is good for the league because it generates words-per-page that are about Hockey and not another sport.

    I do, however, agree that maybe the Rangers should threaten Brooks. I don’t know the logistics of banning Brooks from these conferences. He is the Tsar of the New York Hockey Writer’s Association, right? He just gets on my nerves and I would like to see his salacious writing style removed from the arena.

  49. What did Brooks say about Tortorella that is so controversial?

    That Tortorella should have played the Aver-Dubinsky-Prust line more than he did last night?

    Wow, you guys are sensitive………

  50. I’m reposting this from last night this it was at 1:00 AM.
    As a Rangers fan, I dislike the new conference alignments because as you all said less games vs. Mtl, Bos, Tor. But as an NHL fan and a follower of the entire sport not just the Rangers it’s the right thing to do. Imagine being a Red Wing fan over the last decade and over 20 times a year being to stay up to 1 in the morning for your team’s games when you work at 8 or 9 AM. Same with CBJ, Dall, Chicago. This was a very good thing for the Central Time Zone Teams. The one thing I do like is the divisional playoffs. Much more heat for a PHI-NYR PITT-WASH first two rounds than NYR-OTT or TB- BUFF. As for some 5th team not getting in. What’s the difference in the East. The 3rd seed is almost always the SE team and some lousy second SE team has always hung around the 8th seed because ATL and FLA sucked for 8 years. That will even itself out.

  51. Jeez – thats a lot more complicated than a simple Nashville or Detroit for Winipeg swap. Why the need to reinvent the wheel? 30 goes much better into 6 than it does into 4.

    It sounds like they want to stick with some of the previous promises made to GM’s:
    Not to split up Philly & Pitt rivalry
    Not to split up Chicago & Detroit
    More games in own time zones
    Only promise not kept is moving Detroit to the East but it looks like they will have less travel
    If Phx > Hamilton they will move to C or D presumably?

    The one positive is that everyone plays everyone at least twice, so you get to see all 29 teams in your own building each year.

    When do we find out names? After its ratified by the NHLPA? or is there another meeting for that?

    I would bet on something dull? Pacific, Atlantic, East, West? In fact where is my bookies phone number…?

  52. Point being that Tort’s and the Rangers have no obligation to any newspapers except the NHL. That being said if Tort’s in anyway whatsoever is bothered by Brooks and his ramblings, then it’s out of line.

    Tort’s is a good coach, and if he even remotely has to think about Brooks then it’s inappropriate. The Jet’s and Giants coaches don’t have to worry about a reporter and his attempts to make them look bad. Although Ryan goes about looking bad all by himself.

    It’s that a single reporter is attempting to make him look bad, and he has millions of readers. Just doesn’t seem fair.

  53. Ohh here we go: Torts vs. Brooks. Oh wait, look at that, the 24/7 cameras are starting to roll. Gee, this came early. I thought they would wait to a little later in the show to start with the bickering on camera.

  54. Cyner

    I’m pretty sure that what you are suggesting violates the United States Constitution. Censorship is never a good thing…

  55. p.s. great hit by Sloppy Seconds – shame it was on Sauer and not Christensen, Stralman or Wolski (ie players we wont miss)

  56. I’m lost as far as the re alignment. Why change everything when you only changed the location of 1 team??

  57. Wolski’s wonky groin would have exploded on that hit. Kind of like how Sauer-Pauer’s helmet flew off.

  58. The rules for media and coaches and players is simple. Once the game ends, the players are allowed a 10 minute cool down period before the media MUST be let in the lockerroom. Usually during that time, the coach does his thing with the media. I don’t know what the exact dollar amount is anymore but it used to be 25K for not allowing media in lockerroom within a reasonable amount of time. The players are somewhat required to talk, doesn’t mean everyone but a fair amount of guys have to be made available.

  59. Atlanta is the only team that moved right?? I know they wanted to change Detroit, but why change the whole thing?

    I’m with Carp on this one, although we didn’t see much Rangers action in the playoffs last year I thought they were great for hockey. Why change that?

    Bettman just doesn’t know how to leave it alone. He makes changes just for the sake of change. I guess his mommy never said leave a good thing alone.

  60. Cynar – The reason for all the changes even though only one team move is that the Central Division teams especially have been complaining for the last few years about their travel and time zone issues. The Winnipeg move finally forced the issue to move.

  61. To borrow from Miami Pimp, they could act bush league like Garth Snow/Charles Wang and pull his credentials.

    That article is far from the most contentious point Larry has tried to make. Again, he might have pointed out the lack of ice time for the 4th line in the 3rd period, but considering any one of Gaborik, Richards or Callahan has as many goals as the 3rd and 4th lines do combined, I don’t have a problem with the coach trying to ride his big horses to tie the game. And Brooks should know already that Torts is primarily a 3-line coach as most would be down a goal with an extra day off in between games.

  62. Just imagine living in NY and having to watch our boys play at 10:00 Pm between 15 and 20 times a year and staying up during long playoff games till 1:30 – 2:00 in the morning when most people work by 8 or 9. That was a Red Wings Fans life.

  63. Cynar i would really like Reading Brooks’ article but i Cant Open your Link because i am writing here from an iPad that requires me to Download their post app which wont make Sense to me
    I Read once in a While the NY Post. Would it Be possible with the permission from Carp to copy it to post it here ?

  64. By the way, for the Rangers this way is better than the simple plan which was to put Detroit in South and Jets in Central. Would have meant 7 teams for the 14 spots like it will be now because Det. would dominate that lousy division.

  65. First, a little disappointed that we are spending anytime talking about supposition on top of brainfart regarding the realignment. Who cares? The Rangers will play 82 games and 41 will be at MSG. Like I give a crap if they are playing in Long Island or Hawaii?

    Now that I got that off my chest, let’s talk hockey:

    The Blueshirts of recent yesteryear would have folded at 3-0. That is a notable difference. What our heroes forgot is that hockey is a 60 minute game, not a 30 minute game. They kind of ran out of clock to win. But they did not quit.

    I am surprised no one except Stepan went after Phaneuf AFTER he leveled Sauer. It was a clean hit though. Sauer had his head down. And how come no one took a real shot at Schenn?

    Stepan continues to impress all over the place.

    In a 7-game series, the Leafs don’t scare me.

  66. Cynar – freedom of the press, free speech…. i think we’re all intelligent enough to read a certain amount of bias given their personal relationship.
    I dont think Brooks will ever get a job at Newsday in the near future though!

    In terms of conferences, i would have preferred Boston or Montreal to Carolina – but good to have Philly, Pitt, NJ, Isles and DC in there – we’re going to be seeing more of Ovy and a little less Crybaby.

  67. Yeah of course I would do that, and yes it was not just this one article. It’s becoming an issue, at least in my mind, and like I said if Tort’s even remotely is bothered by it then it’s an issue.

    Of course no one can speak for Tort’s but why should he have to put up with Brooks BS?

  68. I think the Rangers didn’t respond to Pheanuf because of the time of the game. Late in the game down 1, to take a penalty there wouldn’t have done any good. I think they will have the license plate of that truck for their appearance though. Plus it was a clean hit.

  69. Stepan is an animal, although not a huge one, but by far appears to be the real deal, and what is great is we get to see him grow!!!

  70. I showed my son the pass Stepan made to Gaborik for the one time goal. The one were he saucered it to him. Unbelievable, me and my son talked about that for days!!!

  71. I didn’t watch the game last night so I went onto youtube and saw the hit. The next time the rangers play the leafs somebody on the rangers need to blast Pheanuf when he isn’t looking. It pisses me off more after reading the post on youtube how the leaf fans are laughing.

  72. What’s funny to me about the Leafs is that they played so physical on our boys last night but when they play the Bruins they shiver in the corner. Although, if anyone saw the highlights of the B’s vs. Crosby’s last night, the Bruins knocked all over the ice. Marchand slewfooted a guy, Malkin got crushed in the face. And then Kunitz missed a hit and actually went knee to knee with Cindy.

  73. Yeah I think the main issue everyone talks about is how A and B can have 8 teams, while C and D can have 7. And top 4 teams make the playoffs.

    Really just need to concede the Coyotes and Blue Jackets, then things would be better.

  74. Jshim – The two 8 team conferences are in the old western conference as a give back to the East who didn’t benefit from the changes while the West did significantly.

  75. HWirth, oh ok guess that makes sense. I’m sure they’ll see how it goes next year and make changes if needed.

  76. UKRanger – What Puck Daddy forgets to say openly, or doesn’t want to, this new realignment actually knocks down the Gary Bettman sun belt teams. It will be much harder for the no one know cares about TB, FLA and CAR to make the playoffs and sorry but that’s a good thing. Car and TB have recent CUPS on years when there divisions sucked and they cruised through the regular season and were fresher in the playoffs.

  77. Just to continue that thought. In 04 when Torts won the CUP with BRich in TB, they were the only SE Team in Playoffs with 106 pts. The 2nd place ATL had 78 pts which was 7 pts less than the last place in the NorthEast division which was Buff with 85.

    In 06 when Car won, they easily make playoffs with 112 pts to TB 92 who beat out TOR by 2 pts (think TOR gets those point if they played ATL, WASH or FLA more that year) for the 8th seed.

  78. Last night’s game, in the whole scheme of NHL-dom, takes a back seat to 1) The impending realignment fiasco and 2) the NY Times Derek Boogard / fighting triquel.
    I totally agree with Carp, but want to add cannibis and other more severe mind-altering substances into the mix. It’s not the best analogy but the NHL is about to screw up a wet dream. There are no easy answers but the one agreed to sets the NHL back to the 1950. So much for Bettman and his cronies attempting to market the game nationally world-wide, or, for that matter, nationally. The regionalizes the game where the world becomes your Division. The 2 games per team is somewhat hypocritical when they become meaningless games as they do in this setup where ‘division’ means everything. They Feudal Hockey League.

    As I said before there are no easy answers. Too many teams is the biggest problem. I would offer that the only thing that works is a continuation of the three 5-team divisions per conference (East-West?) NO MATTER HOW THE TEAMS ARE ALIGNED.

    I would play the ‘other’ conference’s team a base of once per year and one division from the East play one dision from the West a second game (that would make it a home and home for that year) on a rotating divisional basis totaling 20 games against the other conference.

    Within the Conference I would have each division play each other 3 times a year (30 games total) and within the division play the remaining 32 games or 8 times a year.

    The playoff structure would have secure spots for the first 2 teams in each division (1st place seeded 1 thru 3, 2nd place teams seeded 4-6) and then 2 wild cards from the remaining 9 fighting for the 7th and 8th seeds. If strong team and weak teams are not equally distribute amongst the division I’m sure there will still be issues, but just trying to think outside the very small box the NHL expects us to eat.

    There are variations on playing balances within the division and/or other conference depending on overall priorities (travel economics, playoff anomolies, marketing??? the NHL brand).

    I’m sorry I can’t think of anything better at this point, but there has got to be something out there other than this crap the NHL expects the fans to live with for the foreseeable future.

    Fighting??, some other time. I am so steamed right now with the realignment booby prize I, I, I could bash in a few skulls.

  79. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    NHL needs more teams…. 48 conferences, 512 divisions, 8192 teams. Everyone makes the playoffs.

  80. Carp,

    Did not see the game last night. Any merit to Brooks’ claim that Torts should have played Dubi-Prust-Avery more in the 3rd?

    Don’t like the realignment at all.

    1) The teams should be seeded for the playoffs by point totals the way it is now. Can’t stand the old divisional playoffs with the same matchups every year.

    2) Rangers will only play Boston and Montreal twice! And 6 times against the teams in your division is too much.

    3) The good thing is they turning up the rivalries, but at the same time trying to take contact out of the league. Not a good mix.

  81. Realignment is stupid. Maybe the NHL just wants to compete with the NBA and MLB by re-aligning and having a lockout. Seems to be en vogue (to borrow a term from Sean Favery).

  82. HW – true, no more cruising through in an easy division – plus the sunbelt teams will see more of the original six, possibly improving their attendance.

  83. CTB – How exactly is more intensity between Rangers – Flyers or Bos vs. Tor a bad thing? You mean to tell me a 1st round matchup of Rangers vs. Panthers is better than or has the same intensity of Rangers vs. Devils. Look at the intensity on this board alone before that Rangers/Pens game over Saturday’s game vs. TB. It was night and day.

    As for the point total thing, why? It’s been so fair in the past when the sun belt teams were guaranteed a spot in the SouthEast with teams that couldn’t compete with the other 5 conferences.

  84. Shoot the puck, Barry on

    The Boogard pieces were all great– everyone should read them…

    I don’t feel strongly about the realignment plan, other than to say that on the surface it looks like our conference will be strong and a real battle for the playoff spots. You would have to think our conference and the Boston conference would then battle it out in the semifinals (the “East”) and then meet the winner from the “West” divisions.

    Loved the fight our boys showed last night. Does Sauer officially have a concussion? MDZ looked dazed, too. Looked like we got a little banged up– not good.

  85. Didn’t Vancouver cruise through an easy division last year?

    Was the Atlantic really that strong in the early 2000’s when Philly and the Devils usually had their way with the Rangers/Islanders/Tank-guins? I bet there were plenty of years the Red Wings went into cruise control by February before the rebirth of the Blackhawks.

  86. Look at the year we swept Atl. They were the 3 seed and didn’t even belong on the same ice with our boys and we weren’t even that great that year compared to the top of the conference. They should have been the 5th ranked team that year and instead got home ice over a team that had 8 more points than them in a better division.

  87. Ok CT (sorry CTB) than that proves my other point. That over 10 years, the fact that a 5th team will lose out over another 4th team that isn’t as good will even itself out and that’s a good enough reason to force fans in Detroit, Columbus and Dallas to continue to wait till 1 in the morning on most road games. If we were in that position, there would loads of complaining on this board about it.

  88. For me I wouldn’t mind going back to a 2 conference, 2 division format where the first two rounds of the playoffs are the division semis and finals. I understand the importance of showcasing talent as evenly as possible (based on the current schedule’s distribution) but rivalries are such an important part of the sport. Right now teams play more non-division/intra-conference games (40) than they play intra-division games (24).

    The big problem is that with 30 teams you’d be stuck with an 8 and 7 team division in each conference. I’d imagine that most long time hockey fans would vote for contraction if offered in order to get the number of teams down to 28 or even 24.

  89. Remember this is also a CBA year where there is going have to be more compromise. I could easily see NHL saying to PA “we will add 2 more teams to make it 32. That adds 40+ more NHL jobs. It will even out this realignment plan and all that. But you will need to take a 12% rollback on your salaries”

    That creates a nightmare scenario for PA. The high priced guys vs. guys like John Mitchell who would become full time NHLers in that deal. Should Ovie dropping from 9 mil to like 7 mil cause Mitchell to lose out on maybe a 800K salary over his prorated AHL deal.

    Look now for 2 more teams and not 2 less teams.

  90. I usually agree with Larry Brooks, but this realignment is because of the new 10 year TV deal. His argument that they shouldn’t have locked into NBC for 10 years was short sighted. Now with guaranteed TV money no matter what, Bettman no longer has to protect his sun belt teams that draw no attention, attendance or buzz. No one finds it ironic, ATL moves the yr. they get the TV deal. Now Fla and TB are finally put with real opponents. This realignment allows PHX to move anywhere because if they go to Quebec it becomes a 8 team Conference and 15 and 15 again. If they go to KC they go central CBJ comes to our conference. It is very obvious Gary will no longer protect these post TGO era teams that can’t hack it.

  91. HWirth

    But as a Ranger fan why would you want to fight for playoff spot with the Pens, Caps and Flyers almost assured of getting in every year when most likely the Rangers will have more points than 2 of the teams getting in from the next division. That is just wrong!

    Any why should a team with the most points in the conference play a team that has the 4th or 5th most points in the first round when it should be playing a team with the eighth most points in the first round.

    A team should be rewarded for having more wins and more points by playing a team with less points. I know there is no guarantee they will win, but they should be granted a better chance because of their record.

    And I don’t know why we need 6 games against your diviision. That mean more than 1/3 of your games are against your own division.

  92. CT – If you are not going to play at least 6 games in divisions why have them? That’s the whole point of divisions. That’s like saying in the NFL for the Giants to not play home and home with Dallas but Dallas and NYG fight for that division title and automatic playoff spot.

  93. By the way, I give credit to guys like Brain Burke who admitted this wasn’t great for their organization because of added reg. season travel but it was more important to make it fair for everyone which it now is. On the RARE occasion, the NHL BOG and GM’s did something to help benefit the whole. The West had it completely unfair.

    “The Red Wings and Blue Jackets currently play 16 regular-season games in the Mountain or Pacific time zones. Under the plan passed Monday, that number will be cut in half.” This from the NHL press release.

  94. Good morning all! This realignment plan is making me thirsty. And the Boogeyman stories just made me so sad. I’m moving past last night.

  95. Grabby!

    Nasty, HBO’s been around, and had a lot of access in the Rangers-Flys game. But as of last night, HBO is embedded — full access to lockerrooms and behind the scenes, etc.

    Just so you guys are clear, I’m not really in favor of the realignment.

    Good morning, Sally!

  96. I was under the impression that the realignment wasn’t that obviously stupid or bad for the league, glad to see some people agree. Again, it’s striking that it was approved within an hour by 26 to 4 vote.

    As for LB article. he is entitled to his opinion, and he is allowed to say what he thinks. It doesn’t mean everyone agrees with him. I think it’s preposterous to say what he said about last night’s being Torts fault. But most importantly, I think we are overreacting. Because I highly doubt Torts gives a rat’s MZA about what Brooks says anyway.

  97. I’ve seen a lot more inflammatory stuff from Brooks than that. And, no, Cynar, the league has no recourse, nor should it, for Brooks’ or any other writer’s opinions. I believe the Post backs him 100 percent, since he’s been there longer than I’ve been where I am. Hahaha.

    and, IMO, the Rangers are as good a come-from-behind team as there is in the NHL. They were way up in the league when it came to come-from-behind points last year.

  98. Phaneufs hit wasn’t actually clean. I mean in the old days, yes. But IMO he broke rule 48 as his shoulder hit Sauer in the head. I don’t think he’ll be suspended, possibly fined though. Note that I’m not saying I agree with it, but based on the rule, thats the course of action.

    The realignment won’t be anywhere near as bad as you guys think. Plus the rivalries will be there. Plus we will be able to see any team in the SCF (which is good and bad). So you might see an East/East SCF or a West/West one, which to me is cool.

    Plus it’s not like they didn’t have it aligned like this years ago. They only started with East/West in the 90s and had some teams in weird divisions before. I actually think it’s going to work out pretty well.

  99. That’s my fave, as you know, CTB. I was hoping that at the end of the hockey game they would have one of those breakaway contests after the hockey game ended. But this time the hockey game ended and they didn’t have one of those breakaway contests after the hockey game ended.

  100. So, I have a question;

    IF!!! this realignment goes into affect for next season (they never said when it would happen) what happens to Phoenix if and when they move? Because if I remember correctly, they were basically on their way out if it wasn’t for the city of Phoenix extending them a loan of $25 million to keep the team there for this season.

    And arent the Panthers on their way out of Miami real soon too?

  101. Eddie I’m with you. More teams. More divisions. More goal scoring too. I think goalies should only wear one leg pad and anything that currently counts as a shot on goal should count as a goal. The ‘casual’ fan doesn’t care about what’s in the net. Of course that makes the one leg pad thing kind of pointless, but I think it’ll be a better look. Lets give them what they want. 247 goal scorers with 397 assists.This isn’t your grandfather’s NHL!

  102. Carp – I understand not liking the playoff setup for this new realignment. But don’t you have to admit, if we were living in Detroit, Columbus, Dallas, even St. Louis and Chicago we’d be thinking differently knowing we’d have to stay up past midnight regularly to watch road games?

  103. And somewhere in his cave that’s insulated from the sound of fans protests, Bettman shed a tear. The two most valuable franchises in the sport robbing him of his gimmick.

  104. It goes into effect next year. If PHX moves to Quebec City, they easily make that an 8 team conf.
    If they go to KC, then Columbus moves into the Rangers conference and that becomes an 8 team conf.
    This system actually allowed them that freedom. The old way would have caused more realignment.

  105. The hit on Sauer was clean – Carp’s observation is accurate. The shoulder went into the chest. Things were made a whole lot worse because Sauer was wearing a helmet without strapping it on (which everybody does but is still dangerous) and smacked his head on the boards on the way down. If you suspend or even fine a guy for putting a shoulder into another player with the puck, you might as well take contact out of the sport entirely.

  106. Spot on about this realignment costing teams more. It’ll cause GMs to cry broke and bring us a few steps closer to another lock out. Oh and If expansion talk starts up again I’m gonna need Xanax. The existing teams can’t survive but we want to add more teams. Brilliant. Someone should follow Bettman around and with a monkey and a grinder when he’s out in public.

  107. I know this is off topic but: my friend is selling his wife’s barely used WiFi enabled, 1st Gen, iPad. He wants like $300 for it. Anyone interested?

  108. HWirth, thanks for clarifying that.

    But one question, you mentioned that, “PHX moves to Quebec City, they easily make that an 8 team conf. If they go to KC, then Columbus moves into the Rangers conference and that becomes an 8 team conf.”

    “This system actually allowed them that freedom. The old way would have caused more realignment”.

    Isnt that still more realignment though?

  109. Someone made a great point above that the NHL, through Butt-Man, has been trying to market more internationally/nationally and this realignment totally destroys that idea. Why not just make 2 conferences and keep the playoff format we have. Simply just realign by dropping the divisions and moving whatever teams you need to into and east/west scenario.

  110. JeffMarek Jeff Marek
    Sounds like TB, FLA, MTL + PIT aren’t thrilled w/realignment. We’ll discuss why on the #MvsW podcast this aft.

    Ok TB and FLA I could see being upset. They are no longer sheltered in that weak Southeast division and gained more travel. But boo ohh no one cares about you two teams anyway. You are not hockey markets and need road teams to fill your building.

    MTL – Are you kidding? Yes you lose Phily, NY, Pitt twice, but seriously the Canadiens complaining about competitive balance is like the Yankees complaining about salaries considering for years before the draft they basically signed every local French Canadian star.

    Pittsburgh – I think they whine when the sun comes out in the morning. They kept PHI, NY and gained Washington. The League has done everything in the World to help them. They whined over head shots and then took it back when Cindy hit Foligno in the head.

  111. and on that Dion and the Belmonts hit being clean or dirty- whatever..The clear concern is that our blueline corps have done a pretty damn good job to this point and the one thing they had to avoid was losing another of their top 4 guys. Mission failed. And now they’re going to have to move Eminger up and try to bring up a guy like Bickel or Erixon? oh wait we have Stralman now. Which is good. Now people have the Erixon/Stralman to moan and groan about when they’re looking for the “-insert player here- should have played more” rants

  112. Barry – Yes it is more realignment but it’s a simple move. Had they made the DET – WPG switch and then PHX needed to move to Quebec what do they do then? They’d have to go to 6 teams in that division or move Boston or Buffalo out to where?

  113. What happens when Phoenix moves to Quebec and the Islanders move to Kansas City? Do we have another alignment then?

    I heard they are gonna name the conferences Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine.

  114. What happens when Europe gets a team? That’s why they’ve been hosting those games over there to start the season for right? Transatlantic expansion!

  115. If Avery had played more they definitely would have won. Especially the time when Avery got a pass and an open net and missed it…

  116. and it’s no longer called the “Off-Season”, the NHL has now decided to call the months of no hockey “The Summer of George”.

  117. yeah you’re right, Avery, the 50-goal scorer should bury those. it’s like when Dubinsky, the borderline 4th liner scores 1 in two months and you wonder how he doesn’t have 25-30 by now.

  118. Dubisnky looked bad last night all around actually. He was gliding. Not good. His confidence must be gone.

  119. Oh also, Lloyd I was just making up a possible scenario if Avery was on the ice. But you’re right, it did actually happen last night. The puck did roll on him a bit.

    The entire Rangers squad needed to move the puck faster last night. Shoot faster. Pass faster. There are only a few guys that can play that type of game and they had to be on the ice for maximum time for us to even have a chance.

  120. Dubinsky has been crap the entire season. I’ve never thought he was better than a 2nd (probably 3rd line) forward, but so far this season he doesn’t deserve to be higher than line 4. One instance where Tortorella has done the right thing.

  121. OK last night’s game was a warning….bring your A team face every night or eat ice.

    They came out and tried to get by with sloppy hockey and it burned them. Lesson learned? Hope so. It’s not
    worth shedding a tear over, unless they don';t learn from it.

  122. If you haven’t read it, you should. Part 3 of Boogard story in NY Times. A lot of things that we all suspected, but didn’t know. Interesting medical part too, I thought. And some interesting questions about what kind of medical care he received in general, and more questions about how strong the NHL /NHL Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health Program really is:

    http://tinyurl.com/7xdl74s

  123. Stranger Nation on

    One thought for Torts is moving Dubi between Mitch and Hags in the 3rd to get more offense (insert joke here about Dubi goal scoring)

    Boyle does a lot of things well and even drew the penalty, but me thinks Dubi could do a better job setting up Hags or vice-versa.

    Sauer play reminiscent of Staal with Dman taking a risk. Good thing it wasn’t Eric Staal hitting him. The pic above has sauer with a “where the byfuglein did you come from look”.

    3 divisions eastern, central, western top 5 and 1 WC make it but gets no home PO games
    Eastern – bos, nyr, njd, nyi, wash, filthy, habs, fla, car, tb
    Central – det, pit, buf, chi, st.L, Nash, ott, min, tor
    Western – dal, sj, Ana, cal, edm, la, phoe., van, col, win

    Gives more flexibility for contraction (phoe., tb/fla) but breaks up rivalries bos/habs can be replaced by bos/nyr

  124. They are not contracting teams when there are multiple cities (Quebec, Souther Tor, KC, even Las Vegas) that all want teams.

  125. Let’s save up and get Manny a Festivus gift. A new HDTV to replace the 3″ grainy black ‘n white he used to watch last night’s game. Your trademark sarcasm aside, Avery had no shot at the wide open net and Dubinsky was one of the better skaters last nite (I know that might not mean very much considering the team’s overall sluggishness) and Torts rewarded him for it with more ice time.

  126. Contraction isn’t going to happen. The reason WC has 16 teams is because if(when) Phoenix moves, it’ll go back to 15 teams even.

  127. I can’t wait to see the “talent pool” created by that list. Voros and Redden will be back in the NHL!

  128. I think the Boneheads team should start practice right now. If they go to 40 teams, the talent on this blog will be good to go. Hey, we sure have a lot of GMs! And don’t get me started on coaches….

  129. Manny: Imagine those rickety airplanes having to make trans-atlantic treks? Yikes, wouldn’t stay at 40 teams very long, I suspect. *SHUDDER*

  130. My whole thing about the realignment is the fact that Carp brought up. The playoffs were good last year, and the system appears to be working with placement, and facing what teams.

    Now why go and blow that whole thing up?? I just don’t understand. Don’t quote me but didn’t hockey enjoy one of the most money making playoffs they EVER had last year? Now go change it!! Sounds like stupidity.

  131. Great point Jim. I can’t imagine those planes over the ocean! Argh!

    Also, what about the Jet Lag? People will need 5 days to acclimate and 5 days to re-acclimate between games.

  132. BTW thanks for answering Carp. I knew Brooks has a large following, and the paper loves the guy, but I just think he is full of himself both in real life, and his writings.

  133. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    Morning ILB and all!!

    So last day of crappy work schedule and then a couple of days off….

    We looked soft last night. I admire our never say die attitude, but I thought the most telling subtle thing from last nights game was after dion leveled sauer (as ILB said, absolute CLEAN hockey hit) dion is looking around like he is going to be challenged and no ranger responded…where is the bahama bomba when you need him? (course we couldn’t have him taking any of mitchell’s 7:34 of ice time /sarcasm)

    As far as the realignment goes, what happens to the divisions/conferences when there is a team in QC in another year or two? or a second team around toronto? or in KC? I mean do we do it all over again, just shake up the alignment every time a team/teams move?

    not sure if anyone saw this yet..
    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nhl/story/_/id/7321038/report-new-york-rangers-derek-boogaard-had-brain-ailment

  134. *CTBlueshirt* December 6th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    1st gen? Does she also use lamps lit by oil derived from whale blubber?

    *********************

    hahaha. Good one. I can’t believe I missed that. The strains of fatherhood have not dulled your wit!

  135. Wicky©"suspend the hittee..LW compliant version" on

    BTW, two games for tootoo is too much!! I honestly thought he was trying to avoid hitting miller from the short clip I saw, knee jerk because it is buffalo IMHO!!!

  136. I agree wicky. I agreed with you earlier about players in vulnerable opinions.

    TooToo was definitely trying to avoid a hit. Which is why the whole “leaving your feet” argument is tough because pulling up involves flinching and going UP thus, leaving your feet to try and stop. So it could look like he was going UP but he was just trying to avoid. Which he had NO chance of doing.

  137. Carp – just rewatched and you were right. Phaneuf hit him in the chest, Sauers head snapped forward so that’s why when I caught it yesterday (from kind of far away mind you), it looked like it was a head shot. Clean hit 100%.

  138. patrick Division on

    it passed, 26-4, so apparently most teams are happy with it. it has been unfair for many years that some eastern teams have been able to just play locally, with very little travel or time zone inconvenience. for instance, what have the crappy NY Icelanders done for the league in the past 20 years to warrrant getting such a favorable travel schedule that they have enjoyed compared to Det or SJ etc?

  139. Doodie Machetto on

    Two things: One, Carp nailed it on the divisions.

    Two, who saw the 5 on 3 goal? That’s what I’ve been saying for them to do for years. Two quick passes. One from high to low and then on across the ice=slam dunk goal.

  140. As i said yesterday… this team sucks! They can’t even win 6 straight! ;)

    And just one “Fire Torts” for the entire thread? UNACCEPTABLE!

  141. NYR_FAN "Step-on the GAS!" on

    Oh yeah!

    Texas only has 1 team! They could use 3 or 4 more…

    And, how about San Francisco? And Oakland? And Portland? and Seattle?

  142. Carp, thank you for the response earlier. I am glad that last night wasn’t the first time the HBO crew was around. This team has been playing so well, and I would hate to have last night’s loss be the introduction to the team.

  143. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    I wonder if this is a Dubinsky let-down because he didn’t get the captaincy? A team player would pick himself up after that disappointment and gut it out. Trouble with dumping him off in a trade now is that his market value is practically bottom dollar. This puts this organization between a rock and a hard place.

    Maybe we should have kept Sangs and put him at forward, where he always belonged, given his scoring 23 goals as a D (with no defense) in the OHL. Gilroy was a scoring forward, too, we insisted on playing out of position. They are not in abundant supply and we cannot have too many of them, that is for sure. So we let Sangs and Gilroy go and kept some other forwards who couldn’t score on a breakaway in a shinny game into an empty net.

  144. Tony – I don’t agree with that. If it’s a clean hit, deal with it. If it’s a cheap shot or something, then go attack him. I hate seeing fights/brawls happen because someone hits someone clean then gets attacked by the opposing teammates for doing his job. That’s when you see stupid injuries occur or cheap shots. Makes no sense.

    You want to get the guy back? Line him up when he has the puck and crush him. No need to go brawl him because he threw a clean hit.

  145. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Expansion is sick when you have 6-10 teams who desperately need to relocate. More sick, fringe expansion franchises is apparently the answer to addressing the sick franchises you already have to deal with.

    At least Atlanta relocated before Winnipeg was given an expansion team. Should be more of that, or do we need to hold on to the cancerous Phoenix franchises of the world for dear life so we can get to a nice round number like 40 and Gary will have his HOF-rationale “legacy.” He is going into the HOF as a “builder,” you know.

  146. Carp – that’s why Avery shouldn’t be the one going to hit him. I just find it funny that if a Ranger gets attacked after throwing a clean hit, people complain it was uncalled for, but if it’s the other way around they want someone to do something about it. Just play hockey. If you get the chance to hit him, make him pay that way. No need to pick up extra PIMs and give Toronto a PP chance because you want to defend your teammate over a clean hit.

  147. agree, Jonny.

    Nothing wrong with somebody letting Phaneuf know they weren’t happy, but you don’t go instigate a fight after a clean hit.

    Now, if he hits Gaborik like that, or Lundqvist, or your captain, maybe there’s a double-standard in my thinking.

    Boyle had to fight the other night after a clean hit on the figure skater.

  148. I just don’t think it’s fair to make the players judge what was or was not a clean hit on someone on the ice. They are focused on other things and they don’t take much into account. It’s like this…

    You’re in a bar with your friend who bumps into someone and causes a fight. You don’t see the initiation, only your friends getting punched. Do you let him get beaten or do you step in?

  149. I do not think they have enough fire power to challenge Phaneuf. But it shouldn’t matter. You defend your teammate now, you think later. It’s a long season, and it goes a long way guys know they have their backs. Win or lose. I bet you Torts would have no problem if someone challenged Phaneuf. And it’s been done before without triggering the instigator. They lost anyway…

  150. The puck was right there though. Stepan was focused on the play so he would’ve seen it. You usually know when someone throws a clean hit on your teammate or not. I could see if the puck had moved and it was a little behind the play, then sure someone would probably go after him because it wasn’t really seen. But in this case, it was right in the middle of play, puck was right there, so no need for the excess crap.

    I think the reason why someone would step in is due to the injury to Sauer and his helmet flying off, but that has moreso to do with Sauer not keeping his chin strap on tight like it’s supposed to be, which I never understood why the league doesn’t force players to wear helmets/chin straps that fit them. That plays a very large part in concussions/head injuries.

  151. But the team is also down a goal and Stepan, as a top line scorer, is trying to either score or set up Gaborik. I was glad that he was focused on scoring. And in his defense he did throw some body at Phaneuf later. It’s what ilb said – we don’t have fire power to take him out. The guy is a force.

  152. RE: Last night’s game…. that’s the kind of loss you want to see if anything. Slippery start and they righted the ship and were never out of the game…it was anyone’s game last night, we put up a real fight and you can’t win them all.

    I hope Sauer is alright but I think we all know there’s trouble there.

  153. clean hit. concussion because of the equipment. the shoulder pads on these guys are to big.
    ilb,
    I agree with what you said earlier about Dubi. not that he has earned it, but he needs to go back up to one of the top 3 lines. last night, with the exception of the big hit he threw, was very difficult to watch if you are a Dubi fan(I am). he was just awful.

  154. clean hit. concussion because of the failure of Sauer himself to properly wear his chin strap tight so that his helmet would not pop off when any collision occurs. he hit the back of his head on the boards solely because his helmet came off first. unfortunately, he may be out long term. btw, his brother, who played D for Phoenix, has been out over 2 years with a serious concussion, so it is further bad news.

  155. After reading that Times series on Boogey, the mere mention of concussions with these guys makes my stomach turn (or boudreau, or phaneuf)….I forget which player said it, but the comment about scar tissues falling off knuckles also made for a good diet plan.

  156. Not trying to be mean, mama. Just pointing out that it’s such a good idea it was already suggested!

  157. Manny, nice recovery :) I didn’t think you were being mean anyway…and you’re right, now I recall phaneuf being used here, but I guess it fell out of fashion…time to bring it back!

    (p.s. I still claim credit for boudreau :)

  158. Carp, how much did you drool over what the Times reporter had the time and chance to do…(or maybe not), but wow, eh?

  159. Carp, it was a highly unveiled comment about it almost being 2012, and my current calendar is drawing to a close :)

  160. Manny:

    Cool, it’s actually not for me but a close friend who’s been trying to get one. I mentioned your post to him after I saw it this morning and he got all excited. Is it ok if I pass along your email addy to him?

  161. C3, as usual, you make me laugh out loud and shake my head at the same time :) By the way, I asked Eva to freeze some meat sauce for me :)

  162. Manny:

    Well, if you think iPads are a total waste of time, then we’re in exactly the same position. :-)

    But yeah, he seems to think it’s essential to his success in grad school so I just gave up trying to dissuade him.

  163. re: iPad, I’m still learning it’s pros and cons…went back and forth between that and a laptop…I think I’m not regretting my decision though…it’s only been 3 days, and for my purposes, it’s sure easy breezy to tote around….

    on a hockey note: so agreeing on the helmet/strap issue. Sauer’s popped off faster than candy snaps out of a Pez.

  164. well, since Santa gave it to me early, I can’t really complain….no sweat off my wallet at least :)

    Gotta run all…..later!

  165. I hate Crosby but in 1/3 of the season, he’d be tied for second on the Rangers in assists and tied for seventh in scoring. unreal.

    also, Dubinsky.

  166. I had the afternoon to rethink this whole realignment/expansion stuff. Gotta say I’m pretty psyched. In fact I’m willing to wager those sham wows again that tv ratings will soar once the South Dakota Stable meets up with the Kansas City Riblets (formerly the NY Islanders of the Crosby87Awesome Conference). Place your bets ladies and gentlemen and Eddie (ziiiiiing!)

  167. I agree with Mama – that story (or two) about Boogey was heart-rending and very disturbing – it reminds me of the movie, “The Harder They Fall” (with Humphrey Bogart) made back in the 1950’s about the dirty aspects of professional boxing. I’m not a “bleeding heart” by any means, in fact, I’m just the opposite, – but a few more stories or series of articles like that Times piece can turn hockey into the next “cause celebre” for do-gooders to try to get banned or changed into a no-contact sport.

  168. I do not like the realignment plan at all – but I’m always resistant to change…….

  169. Jimbo Bettman’s gonna help you embrace change like never before. I can see you 4 years from now in your Arkansas Avengers jersey. All pumped up for their game against the Las Vegas Lap Dancers. History will be made.

  170. James, you just sent a cold chill up my spine with that message – does this mean that I will be moving to Arkansas? Or that our NYR will be relocating there? Frightening prospects! The best part of your post was about the *Lap Dancers*, but not about a hockey team named after them.. ;-D

  171. Johnny, how about now? Am I being funny now?

    Mama, I mentioned last night that I haven’t seen nor heard of calendars yet. Hope they didn’t hand them out at a game I missed … But I don’t think they did. I’m on the lookout the next few home games.

  172. Carp that would have been hard core if you banned Johnny and then posted that.

    Jimbo- in “Bettman’s NHL” you dont have to have your team relocated there OR live there. They’ll just be such an impressive product on and off the ice that you’ll give them your full blown support. I can see you post now! “AVENGERS SPANK THE LAP DANCERS! WOOOOOO!”

  173. Oh, I see what you’re getting at, James! Sorta like Olga and the Blackhawks now, eh!? :-D

    (Sorry, Olga – I couldn’t resist it!)

  174. Di Pietro actually just suffered a torn hamstring during the Islanders pregame show. Must have been a rough interview.

  175. Well no one is going to want to attend the home games in Las Vegas. See, as part of the gimmick they’re gonna force you to buy a 20oz bottle of water for $23.00 to get into the arena.

  176. Poor old Ricky! Must have been the hard questions he was trying to field – one was headed for the upper right hand corner of the net, and he had his leg fly totally off while trying to make the save.

    Isles have him listed as “day-to-day”…

  177. I strongly felt that Salt Lake City and Fairbanks should have NHL teams….

    Then I screwed my head on straight….

    More teams = more parity = more complaining = more misery….

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