Islanders at Rangers tonight


Pre-game notes, courtesy of the NYR:

Thursday, Dec. 22, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden – New York, New York
Rangers: 19-8-4 (42 pts)
Islanders: 11-14-6 (28 pts)

* All information through NHL games on Dec. 20

The Rangers will face-off against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to open a back-to-back home set against Atlantic Division opponents. The Blueshirts currently rank second in the Atlantic Division standings, and fourth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 19-8-4 (42 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the New Jersey Devils, 4-1, on Tuesday at Prudential Center for their second straight win, and are 4-2-0 in their last six games. The Blueshirts have now registered at least one point in 18 of their last 23 games (16-5-2). The Islanders enter the contest with an 11-14-6 (28 pts) record to rank 14th in the Eastern Conference, and have won their last two games in the shootout. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers tomorrow, Dec. 23, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to close out their back-to-back home set.

* TV: MSG Network

6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show with Al Trautwig and Mike Keenan
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Islanders
Broadcasters: Sam Rosen (Play-By-Play), Joe Micheletti (Analyst), John Giannone (In-Game Reporter)
* Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio and
6:30 p.m. – Rangers Pre-Game Show
7:00 p.m. – Rangers vs. Islanders
Broadcasters: Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Dave Maloney (Analyst)

* All-Time: 113-99-19-5 overall (65-37-11-4 at home; 48-62-8-1 on the road)
* 2011-12: Tonight is the third of six meetings this season, and the first of three at home. The Rangers are 1-1-0 following a 4-2 win on Nov. 15 at Long Island. Ryan Callahan and Brad Richards have each tallied one goal and one assist apiece, and Brandon Dubinsky has recorded a team-high two assists. Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 1-1-0 mark with a 2.53 GAA and .924 Sv% in the season series.
* Last Season: New York was 4-2-0 overall, including a 1-2-0 mark on the road. The Rangers averaged 4.5 goals per contest, and converted 9-28 on the power play for a 32.1% success rate in the season series. Marian Gaborik led all skaters with six goals and 10 points in six games, while Brandon Dubinsky tallied a team-high six assists in the season series.
* New York ranks 19th with an 8-3-2 (18 pts) record at home; Long Island ranks 24th with a 5-6-3 (13 pts) mark on the road
* The Rangers have posted a 4-1-0 record vs. Atlantic Division opponents; the Islanders are 2-5-2 vs. the Atlantic Division
* Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 22-11-5 record with a 2.22 GAA and three shutouts in 39 career regular season contests vs. Long Island; Martin Biron is 20-4-1-0 with a 2.00 GAA and two shutouts in 26 career regular season games vs. the Islanders
* Brad Richards leads the Rangers with 19 assists and 30 points in 32 career regular season contests vs. Long Island; Marian Gaborik has tallied a team-high 15 goals (27 points) in 23 games vs. the Islanders
* New York lists two former Islanders on their roster: Martin Biron (2009-10); Ruslan Fedotenko (2007-08)
* Long Island lists two former Rangers on their roster: Mike Mottau (2000-01 – 2001-02); P.A. Parenteau (2009-10)

The Rangers are 11-48 (22.9%) with the man advantage in the last 13 games. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held their opponent scoreless in six of their last seven games (21-22, 95.5% over the span), while tallying four shorthanded goals during the stretch, and is 31-34 (91.2%) in their last 12 games. New York is tied for third in the NHL with five shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 13-1-2 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 13-3-2 when holding their opponent scoreless on the power play.
* Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in one power play attempt (2:00) on Tuesday at New Jersey. New York ranks 19th overall (20-122, 16.4%) and sixth at home (13-60, 21.7%). The Rangers are 2-11 (8:16) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/17 at PHX), and 0-4 (3:46) when four-on-three (last – 11/3 vs. ANA). Shorthanded goals allowed (3): 12/5 vs. TOR (Steckel); 12/8 vs. TBL (Moore); 12/17 at PHX (Korpikoski).
* Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts held the Devils scoreless in three shorthanded situations (6:00) and tallied one shorthanded goal on Tuesday at New Jersey. New York ranks fifth overall (98-113, 86.7%) and third at home (40-44, 90.9%). The Rangers are 5-6 (3:26) in three-on-five situations (last – 12/17 at PHX), and 0-1 (1:17) when three-on-four (last – 10/7 at LAK). Shorthanded goals for (5): 10/20 at CGY (Prust); 12/8 vs. TBL (Anisimov); 12/10 at BUF (Hagelin); 12/10 at BUF (Callahan); 12/20 at NJD (Hagelin).
* Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (2:00) on Tuesday at New Jersey. The Rangers are plus-three in 33 four-on-four situations (60:21), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (3): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).

The Rangers will begin their fifth of 14 back-to-back sets this season when they face-off against the Islanders tomorrow at Madison Square Garden. New York has posted a record of 3-0-1 (1-0-0 at home, 2-0-1 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 3-0-1 (3-0-0 at home, 0-0-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 24-8-3 in the second game of back-to-back sets, with a 12-3-1 mark at MSG and 12-5-2 on the road over the span. Henrik Lundqvist has started on consecutive days 56 times in his career, posting a record of 35-14-7 with a 1.82 GAA, .935 Sv% and six shutouts in the second game. The Rangers will close out the set on Friday, Dec. 23 vs. Philadelphia at MSG.

New York has seen 10 new faces in their lineup during the 2011-12 season – Tim Erixon* (10/7 at LAK), Brad Richards (10/7 at LAK, one assist), Mike Rupp (10/7 at LAK), Jeff Woywitka (10/15 at NYI), Brendan Bell (10/22 at EDM), Andre Deveaux (10/31 vs. SJS), Anton Stralman (11/23 at FLA), Carl Hagelin* (11/25 at WSH, one assist), John Mitchell (11/25 at WSH, one assist), and Stu Bickel* (12/20 at NJD, one assist). *NHL debut

* The Rangers rank third in the NHL with a .677 win%, and their eight regulation losses are tied for the fewest in the league
* New York has registered a point in 18 of their last 23 games (16-5-2), and has out-scored their opponent, 75-50, during the stretch
* The Blueshirts are tied for second in the league in fewest goals against (65) and rank third in GAA (2.10)
* The Rangers rank fifth in the NHL in hits (821)
* New York is 5-1-1 when leading after the first period and 11-0-2 when leading after the second
* The Blueshirts rank fourth in the NHL in team plus/minus rating (plus-20) and goal differential (plus-23)
* The Rangers rank 10th in the league in goals scored per game (2.90)
* The Blueshirts lead the league with an .833 win% when out-shooting their opponent (10-2-0)
* The Rangers are 7-0-0 all-time in games when Brandon Prust is assessed a fighting major in the opening two minutes
* The Blueshirts rank second in the NHL when scoring first, posting a 14-1-1 mark (.875 win%) in those contests, and their 14 wins are tied for fourth in the league
* Rangers’ prospects Christian Thomas (Canada), J.T. Miller (USA) and Peter Ceresnak (Slovakia) have been invited to participate in their respective National Junior Team’s selection camp for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship

* Henrik Lundqvist has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 15 games this season, and is 11-4-1 with a 1.86 GAA, .937 Sv% and one shutout in his last 16 games
* Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in five of his seven starts this season
* Marian Gaborik has tallied 26 points (15 G, 11 A) in the last 24 games, with 13 points (9 G, 4A) in the last 11
* Gaborik leads the team with eight multi-point games
* Derek Stepan has tallied 23 points (7 G, 16 A) in the last 23 contests, with 12 points (3 G, 9 A) in the last 10
* Artem Anisimov has tallied nine points (5 G, 4 A) in his last nine games
* Michael Del Zotto has tallied 10 points (1 G, 9 A) in the last 12 games
* Ryan Callahan has tallied 12 points (4 G, 8 A) in the last 13 games
* Brad Richards has tallied 21 points (11 G, 10 A) in the last 23 games, with 13 points (6 G, 7 A) in the last 13

* Marian Gaborik: 1 assist from 300th NHL career
* Dan Girardi: 4 assists from 100th NHL career

* Marian Gaborik: 300th career NHL goal (12/17 at PHX)
* Marian Gaborik: 600th career NHL point (12/20 at NJD)
* Stu Bickel: 1st career NHL game & 1st career NHL assist/point (12/20 at NJD)

* Marc Staal (concussion, IR on 10/5) – 31
* Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) – 20
* Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) – 7
* Steve Eminger (shoulder, 12/17) – 1
* Jeff Woywitka (ankle, 12/17) – 1
Total Man-Games Lost: 92

* Dec. 18 – Recalled defenseman Stu Bickel from Connecticut (AHL)
* Dec. 19 – Recalled defenseman Tim Erixon from Connecticut (AHL)


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  1. Carp, can i ask you a question concerning Martin Brodeur !

    I dont know why it happens right now, but I recall a day in 2004 I met Brodeur in a hotel lobby
    in Berne Switzerland during lockout smiling at me, when I told him that I am a Rangers fan and at these days he always dominated the Rangers….

    Do you really think his form has dipped since in the last one or two years also because of injuries :)

    I would really hear your plain assesment

  2. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    “It’s just pain” med, check

    crackers … check

    off to work on Festivus Eve…damn short one ETO day

    Have a great day everyone!

  3. Good morning, Carp!

    Happy 1st Hanukkah to Dubinsky! (I hope this means he scores EIGHT goals tonight)—>

    And Happy Festivus Eve to everyone else!

  4. Wife and I are going to our first Rangers game together (her first ever, my 3rd?)

    Came back to NY for the holidays from Indiana, figured “why not”

    Meaning the Blueshirts better score a bucketfull of goals tonight!

    (Any place we can go to see the players enter the Garden?)

  5. Biron in net tonight.

    AGrossRecord Andrew Gross
    Marty Biron first goalie off at #NYR optional morning skate. Makes sense with Flyers in tomorrow night.

  6. Good morning all! Hanukkah, Festivus and Christmas all in a row! It’s a holiday hattie!!

    Anyone catch the presidential debate here last night after 24/7 :)

  7. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Not crazy about scheduling which has the Rangers playing divisional rivals on two straight nights, especially considering the Philadelphia is off tonight and will be rested for the Rangers tomorrow night.

    That stinks. But at least it’s a shade better than the Nutty Basketball Association which has the
    Atlanta Hawks playing nine games in the first 12 days of the season, including one stretch of games on three consecutive nights. The fans as well as teams with skeds like that are getting royally screwed. But TV loves it, of course.

    I don’t understand why these winter sports leagues can’t just schedule three games per week for all teams with no back-to-back games? What is so difficult about that?

  8. Ok, phew. Seems back to normal.

    Is Nabokov playing goal for the Islanders? Who do they even have to play goal these days? Montoya concussed by Kane. DiPietro concussed by cheese fries.

  9. I agree with you Boom Boom. The scheduling is pits. I am sure it was organized by HBO. Giroux will be back also and he had quite a night last night.

  10. Boom boom, keep in mind though the the Phlyers did travle to Colorado and then Denver before coming to NY.

    So there may be a little lag there…

  11. Good morning, boneheads!

    Happy Festivus Eve!

    Carp, you have to tell your maintainance crue to fix that sewer…The smell is getting unbearable….

  12. For those that didn’t see it. JT Miller made Team USA for the WJHC. Even more reason to watch my favorite tournament. NHL Network will show all of Team USA games and I believe most if not all of Canadas as well.

  13. Anybody see the hit that Kronwall laid upon Kessler? Kessler is whining like a baby about it to. I mean, Krownall left his feet for sure but he hit him in the shoulder and Kessler was being an idiot and skating HEAD DOWN in a spot you KNOW you’re going to get hit. Wicky and I would like to see Kessler take a penalty there.

  14. Oh no! It’s Kim Jong Ilb! He’s back! So mean…watch out guys he might suggest a charity for you to donate to! OH NO. SHEESH.

    Hope you have an “Attack free” day around here, ilb.

    Amen, HWirth. That tournament rules and JT Miller rules. Can’t wait for that kid.

  15. First time, long time!

    It stinks in here!

    HW, great news about JT Miller! Following in the footsteps of Stepan, Kreider, and Bourque (Bjork)!

  16. Oh Hey! NYR_Mozzarella! A new poster! That’s so exciting. He must be a long time reader to pick up on “Bjork” so quickly

  17. Manny – Since you asked before

    StapeNewsday Arthur Staple
    Evgeni Nabokov starting in goal for #Isles tonight, Anders Nilsson backing up. Micheal Haley in the lineup.

  18. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Has anyone else noticed two episodes into HBO’s “all-access” 24/7 that we’ve heard plenty of Torts’ trademark motivational barking but not a single syllable of what we might call “hockey strategy”? Strange.

    Now, maybe his systems are so ingenious and sensitive to sabotage that absolute radio silence about forechecks, power plays, PKs, defensive zone coverages, individual shadowing, etc. must be maintained to prevent disaster. Even once-a-year game plans for St. Louis and Phoenix must be guarded like state secrets.

    But, the other logical possibility is that there just isn’t much strategizing going on besides jam, balls, shorten the bench, stiff, stiffer, shuffle the lines.

    So, which is it?

  19. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    How do you travel to Colorado, and then Denver? Where is Denver, in Montana? lol.

    Hey, my point is that Philly is off tonight and the Rangers are playing a divisional rival tonight, and they play eachother tomorrow night. That statement has to be modified and qualified? The facts are the facts, however you twist them.

  20. RIR – Did you miss the video session? That’s when the Coaches talk strategy. Which part of his St. Louis wasn’t about the system? This is not football where they are calling plays. In fact, the players don’t like to be X’d and O’D to death (see guy boucher in TB). The coach is there for motivation during the games. I’m sorry but eventually all you Torts haters are going to have to face it that the players enjoy playing for him and most people that cover this thing for a living think he’s a terrific coach.

  21. Rhode Island Ranger on


    Watch both episodes again. No strategy. No forwards do this or defense do that. Nothing.

    Likewise, the brief home movies scene was about “good boy, MDZ” and “great effort, Emmy despite your ugly skills”. Motivational? Sure. Strategic? Not.

    As for players supposedly not liking Xs and Os, that’s silly. Adult players (and players of all ages) don’t like being screamed at… even when it’s necessary.

    I’m curious where Torts ranks as a genuine hockey strategist. Does he prep and read games well and make adjustments in approach or simply motivate harder.

    Obviously, the answer to this question will be especially important come playoff time when each series becomes personal and everyone is motivated.

  22. Rhode Island Ranger, see the previous thread.

    HWirth & I got into a tangle in the corners late last night about this.

    My point still stands;

    HBO has now covered 4 teams on 24/7 (Pens/Caps & Flyers/NYR).

    They’ve shown the inner workings of management for 3 of the teams.

    Guess which one hasn’t been shown….

  23. Come on, I am in the mood to rip into someone ! What about you Manny ?

    I still think about a good reason :)

  24. Damn, I just realized that. So sorry.

    They traveled to Texas and the Dallas is what I meant to say ;)

  25. So over at, Rotter just confirmed that the 2014 Winter Classic will be the Rangers and the Bruins at Yankee Stadium.

    Is there any truth to that?

  26. Silly? Like how more than one person that actually gets paid to cover the NHL has said that Martin St. Louis (who is as respected a guy as there is the NHL) has complained that Boucher over coaches in TB and that he’s not allowing them to just play.

    You can hate Torts all you want, but you are in the minority. There is no conspiracy! There is no MSG executive doctoring the HBO footage when the players like MDZ and Cally compliment Torts. There is no secret meeting where Torts tells Sully “Watch me screw 16.” You are just going to have to get over it.

  27. I haven’t seen the second episode of 24/7 yet, but from memory, the only bit of coaching Laviolette was seen to do was to tell his players he wasn’t going to skate them or do any video that day.

    I can only infer from that evidence that the guy’s trademark is laziness and a desire to be popular with his players at all costs.

    If I was pre-disposed to viewing everything about the guy in a negatively twisted way, of course…

  28. No Barry, because the Comissoners is still mulling about the idea to play the next Winter Classic in Greenland for promotional reasons….

  29. also RIR

    we’re receiving an extreme cliffs notes
    version of coaching strategy.
    who knows how long the video session went that day
    and how much he pointed out about where players should
    go and what they should do?

    it’s edited waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down to a single
    dramatic moment

    the whole thing is set up as one big drama to promote the
    Winter Classic
    still is fun seeing what little we get.

    as i mentioned last night it would be FANTASTIC if hbo put out the
    series with LOTS of extra footage that didn’t make it into each
    57 minute segment

  30. HWirth, Im not going over it again.

    It’s all at the end of the last thread if anyone cares to understand it.

    It’s a matter of denying access, not who cuts the footage.
    If you can’t shoot it, you can’t edit it. Duh.

    BTW, Shoot the Puck Barry, saw you said you wished you could see a 24/7 all season.
    I’m sure most would agree. I did see where the Pens were seeking to keep it going by producing their own series this year, though I haven’t had a chance to track it down.

    But again, that goes back to what HWirth & I were battling over.

    Self-censorship & controlling information.

  31. Forget it, this is like convincing people the moon landing actually took place. Rod, James Dolan, who probably hasn’t even watched either episode, really cares what HBO showed and didn’t while he was probably out trying to book better concerts and big events for MSG and dealing with his cable business, his real money maker.

  32. Rhode Island Ranger on


    I didn’t have time to read the thread from last night.

    But apart from any Sather/Torts convos., the other conspicuously missing element in the “all-access” approach is any glimpse of player leadership. Does Cally or Richards or Hank or anyone else say anything meaningful or substantive to the team between periods before Torts busts in demanding more jam? How come Torts doesn’t have to interrupt the players’ own candid self analysis? We only see heads down in silence waiting for the big personality to fill the vacuum.

    Torts’ energy and in-your-face motivational approach may be effective, but in the long run it is no substitute for real strategy. Maybe there’s plenty of Xs and Os censored out. But, I’m guessing not.

  33. RIR – Again how you ever been in an NHL locker room during an intermission to even make that statement? Secondly, it’s edited into mili seconds from 18 minutes of intermission. Enough people! You hate Torts, we get it! Sorry, but the team and the majority of people in the NHL disagree.

  34. Next I’m going to hear that JR gave the players cue cards on what to say when asked about their coach.

  35. yeah, those 30 seconds on 24/7 is all the coaching/teaching he does. in fact, before HBO got there, he didn’t coach/teach at all. he just swore at everybody and figured out ways to screw Avery.

  36. Rhode Island Ranger on


    Why so angry?

    The question concerning Torts as old fashioned motivator vs. sophisticated strategist ain’t a personal issue. It’s hockey talk.

    Lighten up.

  37. HWirth,

    If Dolan doesn’t care, why is his organization the model for hoarding information & access?

    If you can’t see that after Sather logged the worst executive tenure in NY sports history for 8 years and got away by hiding (and is still hiding and still getting away with it),
    you’re blind as a bat!

    I really can’t do this today, busy. But this back from when the show was announced;

    “HBO will have nine crew members and three cameras with the Rangers for 30 days, which started Dec. 5 and runs just beyond their game in Philadelphia played at Citizen’s Bank Park. Teams will not have the chance to look at the final copy of the show, but while the cameras are shooting they can tell producers that certain shots are “off limits.”

    Plus, Sather & Torts can just sneak off and have their little meetings and not tell HBO.

    And the Rangers remain the only team of the 4 from which management was not seen.

    You keep ignoring this essential fact.

  38. Carp – I apologize to you for dragging this topic through the mud, but I really get annoyed when people who are not around these guys EVER make blanket statements about broadcasters and their knowledge and how the organization tells them what to say like they are some puppet. These guys have either played or coached or both the game and have their own brains about the game and worked damn hard at it talking to players, coaches and scouts and I can’t stand when the armchair analysts act like they could do better.

  39. HWirth,

    “Next I’m going to hear that JR gave the players cue cards on what to say when asked about their coach.”

    Didn’t the Jets try that with Mark Sanchez (with disasterous results)?

    So it’s not exactly without precedence.

    Neither is the idea of teams coaching their personnel on media strategy.

    Gotta go guys, enjoy your day.

  40. Tony – I apologize. I’ll drop it. But, I’ve been around the majority of the TV people in the NHL and consider a lot of them personal friends. When people act like they are some puppets with no brains it’s really annoying. Sounds really easy at home to find enough information for two and half hours. Try talking to your mirror for two and half hours about a topic and see how it works.

  41. Rhode Island Ranger on


    We don’t have to rely solely on the edited and restricted coverage of the team culture from HBO. We have the coach’s reputation from his Tampa seasons and his commentating on TSN as well.

    No question that many of his former players appreciate his brutally direct assessment of their play. Cally has said so. But, it does raise the interesting question then of whether the bitter medicine approach is somehow in short supply in the NHL right now.

    But, Torts does not have the reputation of being one of the league’s great or above-average strategists. Motivator? Certainly.

    If Torts is, in fact, one of the better strategic planners and mid-game adjusters in the NHL, what’s the evidence? Don’t say wins this year or even a Cup in Tampa. That might only indicate success at motivating good groups. What’s the evidence he’s outhinking his peers on game night?

  42. well, RIR … and I’m really not interested in continuing a topic I’ve discussed at length so many times, nor do I really have time today … I’d say an indication might be how good a third-period team the Rangers have been these last two seasons, probably among the best in the NHL. I’d say that might have something to do with mid-game adjustments.

    and I think his strategic planning gets lost because A) he doesn’t share it and B) his persona forces it into the background.

    Bottom line: The guy can flat-out coach. Might be the best coach they’ve had since I’ve been covering the team, and that goes back to Fog Shero.

  43. Rhode Island Ranger on



    I hope we agree that the playoffs this year (!) will provide a better test of how Torts measures up with his rivals. As the Bruins of the late ’70s and ’80s discovered to their chagrin, everybody ups their jam level to the max in a seven game series. Then, talent and strategy have their way.

  44. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Thanks for your propping up the coach, Carp. He deserves our appreciation for his in-game coaching ability, and we can speculate positiveley as regards his input with the G.M. where the youth movement is concerned, and now looking so impressive. This team was truly just spinning its wheels before Torts got here. I just knew we could do better than the rut we were in with Renney.

  45. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    I would also nominate CBS, for its botched ownership of the Yankees, for consideration as the worst sports tenure in New York. Not that I minded, lol. Where have you gone Mike Burke? (Well I think I know.)

    And don’t forget that former Detroit Pistons guard, I. Thomas, who shot down the Knicks like winning is a crime around here, when he wasn’t screwing around with staff on the side. Not the happiest chapter in team history.

  46. So this is what we have learned about the Rangers and the Flyers from 24/7: not everyone speaks English, but everyone knows the F word.


    Am I the only one who feels like HBO is giving us too much soft story (Girardi’s kid, the other kid) and not enough behind the scenes hockey detail? The refs talking amongst themselves was way more fascinating than Girardi’s goodbye or Jonny Mac’s guitar playing.

  47. agreed, RIR. Though I think, even the last two playoff seasons, their jam level wasn’t what hurt them in the playoffs. It was the talent level. Or lack thereof.

  48. You’re not the only one Chris!

    See the prior thread and earlier on this one!

    Just look out for HWirth.

    Integrity or not, they’re his friends;

    so he gets very sensitive LOL

  49. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    And speaking of Mike Burke, was firing Mel Allen really necessary? (“Hello everybody, this is Mel Allen, how about that!”)

  50. Yup, Boom Boom, there’ve been some beauties. Leon Hess. The Wilpons. Some of the Garden’s owners pre-Cup. The Islanders have had one disaster after another, including some criminals.

  51. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    RIR – I really like your observation that sound strategy beats “motivation,” because you are right about that.

  52. HW, I believe Frank Isola of the Daily News would disagree with your assessment of Dolan’s media policies.

  53. Rhode Island Ranger on


    Since HBO has shown none of this so far, I wonder whether you and the guys who cover the team have inferred what the between periods locker room culture is like before Torts gives his motivational talk?

    Is this a very animated, self-critical group, doing a lot of its own coaching? Or is it (by the accident of its personality mix and/or the coach’s dominant character) a relatively passive collection that NEEDS amping up by the specialist?

    I ask because, as a player and coach myself, I’ve found that the very best teams are essentially self motivating and only require the coach to guide strategy. Long term, if the coach remains the strongest voice and personality in the room that can stunt growth.

  54. RIR, I could only guess. Obviously I’m not in there, and I don’t have the type of relationship with, or the access to, the players that I had in the old days.

  55. You could add Marv Albert to this club. I believe Marv called it Dolan’s “Theater of the absurd”

  56. Carp, how was your relationship with Roger Neilson? Were you given better access in the late 80’s early 90’s?

  57. Rhode Island Ranger on

    Boom Boom:


    I’m not a huge fan of Torts’ style (as I’ve seen it), but if they get better and better under his tutelage and win a Cup then I’m for him.

    Short of that blessed event, questioning the strengths and weaknesses of his approach seems perfectly appropriate blog fair to me.

  58. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Toughest part of my longtime history as a Rangers fan, and I think many from my generation share this, is the reality that not one of the many great teams Emile The Cat put together was able to win it all. And they could have copped one anytime from 1968-1975. We know Boston and Philadelphia also had special teams in those days, but still, we should have sneaked in there, at least one time.

    Especially painful are 1968, when one Gilles Marotte turned that semi-final series around almost by himself Also 1970, when a healthy Jack Egers could have put us over the top vs. Boston, and my all-time Rangers lament, 1971, when the damn NHL gave Chicago the home advantage vs. us in the semi-finals when we had the better record and the league schedule was completely balanced, and they won the game, 4-3. Put that game in MSG, where it should have been, and we would have won the Stanley Cup, that year.

    Then, to make it even worse, Chicago went and blew the Cup finals they all but had sewed up vs. Montreal, that year, losing a 3-2 games lead, and losing a 2-0 score lead in game seven at home. The Rangers would not have choked against that Montreal team and were the better team, by far.

    One more that comes to mind is the one-goal loss in game seven in the semis to Philly in 1974, the game wherein Captain Vic Hadfield completely lost his focus in the final minute of the game, taking a stupid penalty and then laughing about it with the timekeeper in the penalty box, which got Vic subsequently banished to Pittsburgh. That was a rock-bottom day in the lives of Ranger fans we will never forget. I will never forget my shock over witnessing that scene on TV. It was unreal.

  59. Thanks for the news HWirth. Guess Nabokov got healthy just in time! bring it on.

    NYR_MOZZ – that name is SUPER cheesy!

  60. Master motivator or master strategist? Doesn’t really matter if the results are there, and they are!

  61. Thanks for the insight to Torts’ coaching strategy. What a jerk he is, eh? Seems like he spends more time motivating disabled kids than motivating this team! Glad HBO exposed Torts for what he is.

  62. Love the HBO show. I think Torts has a Man Crush on DelZotto this year. ;-)

    “I have a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re going to hear about it!”


  63. Where is the jam of the person that writes for this website? Why does he or she never break stories?

  64. Hey all! Going to the rangers game tonight! I am going with my dad, both or us r big ranger fans! Any recommendations on local dining? Reward for good advice and for those going to the winter classic: I live in philly and would be willing to be a tour guide for anyone coming down for the winter classic! Also, my place can be crashed at as long as you can deal with my roommate’s flyers gear. Thanks!

  65. REPOST
    cause based on griping about 24/7
    not many if any read my post on what it’s about

    we’re receiving an extreme cliffs notes
    version of coaching strategy.
    who knows how long the video session went that day
    and how much he pointed out about where players should
    go and what they should do?

    it’s edited waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down to a single
    dramatic moment

    the whole thing is set up as one big drama to promote the
    Winter Classic
    still is fun seeing what little we get.

    as i mentioned last night it would be FANTASTIC if hbo put out the
    series with LOTS of extra footage that didn’t make it into each
    57 minute segment

  66. Orr, I am stiff my entire life until now, so I am qualified as a good player for the New York Rangers ?:)

  67. “Has anyone else noticed two episodes into HBO’s “all-access” 24/7 that we’ve heard plenty of Torts’ trademark motivational barking but not a single syllable of what we might call “hockey strategy”? Strange.”

    They go over their gameplan before the game and right before the game. It’s pretty obvious the Rangers play a hardnosed aggressive forechecking game, cycle with defenders pinching and jumping in. You don’t change your strategy for every single team but you have to adjust for things like speed or a plethora of superstars.

    I’ve seen Tortorella give more hockey strategy in 2 episodes than Bordeau in 4 FWIW.

    I wouldn’t call it strange because I do realize that those little sound bytes HBO gives us are not tantamount to Tortorella’s gameplan.

  68. Why is everyone so cranky this morning? I didn’t see the second episode yet, but I think we are analyzing it from a point of view of hockey fans. I doubt that was HBO’s goal. I think for entertainment purposes, mentioning any kind of strategy would be boring for a casual fan. I thought the first episode was very well designed to entertain both regular and casual fans. My wife, who doesn’t know much about hockey, promised to watch it with me. I’ll let you know.

  69. Yea jpg. HBO 24/7 is really cool. My only wish is that they would release the DVD with extras including the entire Winter Classic game with audio from the players/coaches/refs they have mic’d. Just play the game with that audio. No frills. No editing.

  70. 24/7 isn’t made for major hockey fans
    it’s made for hockey fans
    as well as
    sports fans
    and the general public

    it’s offering an insight into the game we love
    the Winter Classic

    i know people count f-bombs
    but someone count the number of times
    the Winter Classic is referenced in the program.

    i haven’t watched many of the episodes but
    i would gather that the Oil Change series
    on NHL Network going behind the scenes of
    the edmonton oilers should offer more strategy
    as well as the background stuff

  71. They have no strategy, folks! They go out and just wing it. That’s why they are only 11 games over .500. If Torts started to teach them any strategy, they would already have a SC while the rest of the league would be still playing….

  72. Kim Jong ILB! He strikes again. Beware Trolls!

    Stick it to ’em, ilb. Please. Bring the sanity back to this blog.

  73. RIR- out of curiosity, without being in the room, or on the bench all the time, what evidence would you consider to be convincing that the coach indeed is one of the better strategic planners and mid-game adjusters in the NHL, since you mentioned that the winning record and SC isn’t enough?

  74. You are alive, ilb. You are Kim Jong Ilb – the dictator that shall free us from the dreaded Trolls!

  75. Nah, Manny, the good news about trolls is that they become lonely once they realize no one is responding and either go away or self destruct.

  76. as much as i appreciate 24/7 it doesn’t have the grand, articulate feel i thought it had last season. and i dislike the caps and penguins more than i dislike philly (odd how things change).

    it feels like last season they covered many different, unique nuances of the game in a flowing manner. this season they are spending too much time on this or that and flying all over the place like they are shoehorning predetermined ideas THEY had into the show as soon as they get some footage from the players. “hey let’s wait for them to play a practical joke and put it after this scene that hasn’t happened yet” or “this would be a perfect to show an angry tortorella!” They need to just let the game come to them!

    they are doing too much of the boring stuff which i thought they got out of the way in the first episode. let’s show the black guy and have him comment on how the NHL isn’t racist [x]. all the charity stuff–we get it the NHL gives back but please enough is enough [x]. let’s show what a sweet mama’s boy Captain Callahan is [x] and not show why he’s such a special player 5 tool player.

    They could explain what makes a true power forward and why with the speed of the game now it’s a dying breed. Van Riemsdyk = the modern power forward?

    how about Gaborik WHO IS A SNIPER just waiting for the puck to touch his stick so he can score and his epic comeback? would a montage of his goals kill the season?
    Hartnell’s grinding and working hard in front of the net for garbage goals.

    Dubinsky’s frustrations and struggles (and a good fight to show for next episode) after holding out of training camp and signing a big contract. There was some great commentating in the booth during the Clarkson fight they could use.

    Girardi who lead the league in blocked shots last year–that’s an important part of the game even non-fans can appreciate. How tough NY is to play in and how questions of his toughness (Philly-Gaborik) have made him take his game to the next level?

    Then go into the importance of enforcers and protecting your superstars (Prust, albeit probably a staged fight). Avery goes after people who don’t respect the kidzz

    Some Avery soundclips? I thought for sure they’d abuse him being back but wow. Nothing! Did Tortorella place a gag order on him for the show?

    No let’s cover Giroux’s concussion and all the other injuries for half the show! This show needs to get its priorities straight because so far I’ve been disappointed.

  77. oh wow that was long. sorry.

    cliff notes: i’m frustrated with the show! but will still watch. next one should be a good one

  78. Rhode Island Ranger on


    Simple. There’s a white board in every locker room scene. Does Torts use it? Besides ordering more stiff jam against the Blues, for instance, did he show the players what St. Louis was doing and how to counter it? Or conversely, which part of the Rangers plan they were failing at?

    All coaches motivate and all coaches strategize before, during and after games. So far, though, we’ve seen zero evidence of his strategic approach. Maybe he has a Napoleonic ability to adapt to the challenges of the moment and for whatever reason it has been kept out of the show.

    As for winning, I’m all for it. More, please. But Don Cherry won tons of regular season games with the Bruins through superior motivation, but always fell short in the strategic game come the late rounds of the playoffs. So, we still don’t know if Torts is a Don Cherry or a Fred Shero type coach.

  79. Hey, Manny, I think some of my fantasy luck was given to you in that trade. Two goals for Couture last night! You might actually win!! And you have Sanford in net tonight!

    I know your record is bad, but you can turn it around. You just have to stiffen up! But, I’ll tell you right now, if you don’t get stiff, you’re not gonna win!

  80. noonan

    again, it’s more drama than strategy
    and there’s lots of drama in this one.

    concussions are a big topic of discussion
    in the nhl and sports.
    i found it interesting to see what type of tests the player
    goes through, how it affects the team as well as
    the dark humor that’s used to diffuse the situation.

    i didn’t watch (couldn’t stomach) watching all of last
    but what i do remember wasn’t that strategy-oriented.
    if there was a strategy session, i just recall all the
    boudreau f-bombs.
    they might have showed more of that because the caps
    were trying to get out of a lengthy losing streak.

  81. Oh, so that’s why the winning record doesn’t count? Nor does the SC ring? Because HBO decided to, perhaps, avoid showing the white board and nuances of coach’s strategy in order to avoid boring a casual fan? Listen, my junior attending did a marvelous job overnight and saved a very sick child. I’m gonna go now and ask him whether he knows how to intubate a patient and whether he has a knowledge and strategy on how to set up the ventilator. Otherwise I should just assume that he did it by motivating the residents and nursing staff.

  82. billybleedsblue on

    “yeah, those 30 seconds on 24/7 is all the coaching/teaching he does. in fact, before HBO got there, he didn’t coach/teach at all. he just swore at everybody and figured out ways to screw Avery.”


  83. Rhode Island Ranger on


    Torts does not have the reputation of being one of the league’s top strategists. A motivator? Certainly.

    But as history teaches (and you understand) motivation is a wash come playoff time. Everybody brings the jam.

    Is he an above average strategist who will outmaneuver the rivals who prep for his team in a seven-game series? The HBO series doesn’t suggest it. And his admitted lack of interest in coaching offense (as if plenty of the forwards don’t need tutoring!) suggests the formula is heavy stiffness and lite on the creativity.

    Is that good enough for regular season success with this particular crew? Might very well be. Does his SC ring trump Bylsma’s or Julien’s or Quenneville’s thinking? We shall see.

  84. no ilb
    you should assume that Avery came in
    and saved the child’s life

    (no offense meant to Sean
    just the over-the-top Avery Lovers or ALs)

  85. RIR- I hope you realize that whatever you just posted is presumptuous at best. Is it safe to assume that you are currently not, or have never been, a professional coach at the NHL level? The analogy I’d give is that: A. The mother of the above mentioned child is very unlikely to question this particular dictor’s knowledge and strategy. And B. How pathetic would it look if people from the street tried to discuss and question this doctor’s strategy and approach to this patient?

  86. HBO hasn’t shown a second of Julien or Quenneville strategising over a white board, as far as I know. So I can only assume they have no strategy.

  87. Rhode Island Ranger on


    Everything we amateurs post here “is presumptuous at best.” So why cop the attitude with me? I’ve never gone ad hominem on you. That’s the specialty of other characters around here.

    I’m asking legit questions about what kind of coach we have here (motivator and/or strategist). If you don’t want to play or “presume” fine. Just keep it civil. It’s only sports!

  88. RIR, I have noticed you can expect an attitude if you don’t agree with some of the regulars around here.

  89. Given that the shelf life of the majority of the NHL coaches is a handful of seasons, mainstays such as Ruff and Trotz being the exceptions, the anti-Torts crowd (with a high probability that it overlaps the pro-Avery crowd 100%) eventually will get their wish.

  90. Rhode Island Ranger on


    Sadly, the tendency towards enforced groupthink characterizes most blogs on most subjects. For all our loud lip service to “freedom”, we Americans have been conditioned to resent it and punish it. More and more of us seem to prefer the Soviet or ChiCom approach.

  91. Rhode Island did you not know that ibl is a general manager and so are the rest of the tools that occupy the website?

  92. Can you draw us a Venn diagram of that, CTB? Maybe use the whiteboard in the away dressing room in St. Louis. There’s nothing in it.

  93. RIR- sorry, I don’t believe any of my posts had anything offending you at all and it certainly wasn’t my intention. If you feel it did, I apologize.

    Also, if you disregard for a moment his SC and 400+ wins, there remains very little evidence that he has any ability to motivate either, let alone create any type of cohesive strategy.

  94. Rhode Island Ranger on


    I had difficulty deciphering your last post. Does this mean you think Torts is an above-average strategist or just a good motivator?

    I’m genuinely interested in what you think and why. And I won’t dismiss you with any stupid labels either.

  95. Can I nominate “Slight disagreement about worth of hockey coach = evidence of ‘enforced groupthink’ and infiltration of communism” as most unexpected RR analogy of the year?

  96. Rhode Island Ranger on


    No problem.

    As the Don Cherry example and countless others show, simple, rah-rah or bleep-bleep motivators can win lots of games and even the occasional championship with the right thoroughbreds. So it’s not enough to count wins.

    The 24/7 series has not included a single second of strategy (other than the quick, abortive “Pull Hank?” exchange between Torts and Sully). Either they’re missing a lot, missing very little or it’s so sensitive that it has been left out by agreement. Which do you think it is?

  97. You guys crack me up. Seriously. Especially those who presume somebody is or isn’t this or that behind the scenes. And, if you don’t like somebody, challenge everybody else to prove that somebody is or isn’t this or that, as if that’s possible.

    and as if, even if such proof were offered, or even if somebody who knows things you don’t know offered it, you might suddenly change your mind on said person.

    fill in the blanks.

  98. RIR, there’s an axiom that exists in evey sport that coaches are hired to be fired. The revolving door of NHL coaches before Christmas supports this (with Buffalo and Nashville as the major exceptions in the league).

    My point is that some day, in most likely the not so distant future Torts will be relieved of his coaching duties, Sullivan too unless upper management finds humor in dysfunctional power plays. But additionally, the people that tend to dismiss Torts’ work as head coach are almost exclusively those that want Avery permanently in the lineup.

  99. Rhode Island Ranger on


    Does this mean you think Torts is an above-average strategist among NHL coaches? Or just a relatively effective motivator?

    Given his rep. and what HBO has shown (or been allowed to show), these are reasonable questions.

  100. This place just gets crazier by the minute.

    Rhode Island Plantation – 24/7 isn’t a LITERAL title. It’s more like HBO 4 minutes.

  101. Rhode Island Ranger on


    As I made very clear in this thread, I think the coach should be judged on his results. So far, so good.

    Do I agree with all his personnel decisions? Absolutely not.

    Is he an above-average strategist? Open question. Your power play example suggests not. HBO’s limited “all access” look suggests not.

    Can this team get into and beyond the second round of the playoffs with a strategy-lite motivator. I don’t think so.

  102. jpg-

    i get it concussions are NOW a big topic because Crysob got injured and is turning in to the next Eric Lindros. and now Progner and because it’s superstars the NHL wants to change it.

    drama indeed. do HBO subscribers care about this more than i do? not likely.

    i’m interested to see the tests too which they spent a whopping 1 minute on in two 1 hour episodes. would i like to see more of the tests? of course.

    just wait until the next time a significant player dies due to a fight in an NHL game. they are going to ban staged fights and then probably fighting by suspension (if you’re in a fight you get a suspension next game no matter what). it’s not a matter of if it’s only a matter of when in this day and age. pansification.

    but please don’t talk down to me like i’m some peon. i know you didn’t mean to but save it; i’m aware of what HBO is trying to accomplish. the second season of 24/7 has been disappointing to say the least.

  103. And for the record, I think that “don’t Carcillo your pants over Kessel” is a very sound strategy, Jack Adams worthy no doubt.

  104. Noonan – Marek v. Wyshynski podcast (Puck Daddy) had a great interview with Brooks Laich yesterday where he opened up about how the teams are treating concussions and how he thinks they should be treated. Very good stuff.

    Speaking of – I can’t believe Brooksie Laich isn’t the Capt. of that team. I would take him on my team any day of the week.

  105. RIR:

    Aside from the Penguins evaluating their players after games in season 1, 24/7 has hardly shown any coaching strategy in its length so far. I was actually impressed at the bits they showed of Tortorella for what little they’ve done in that sense. So why are you harping on what HBO shows now?

    I get it you’re a troll, probably an Ice Mets fan, and a very bad one at that. At least be creative, brah ;)

  106. RIR

    To turn it around, who would you say are the best strategists (with and without the “right thoroughbreds”) in the league, and based on what evidence?

    Feel free to add your “Why I wouldn’t have fired Claude Julien after consecutive playoff failures” narrative too, if you like.

  107. Rhode Island When Tortorella won the Stanley Cup with the Lightning, he did so with only one scoring line. A person has to have some strategy to win four rounds of playoff hockey in the same postseason with one scoring line. Which could be the reason why so many of you are attached to Boyle, Prust, Rupp, because you think the Rangers can duplicate the Lightning under Tortorella.

  108. Feel free to add your “Why I wouldn’t have fired Claude Julien after consecutive playoff failures” narrative too, if you like.



  109. noonan

    i have no idea what’s making you think i was
    talking down to you.
    i even looked back at my post
    i wasn’t
    i was pointing out (for the 3rd term today)
    how i view HBO’s goals (for lack of a better term)
    with its 24/7
    based on what you and others said
    i didn’t think that you understood that

    maybe if HBO was following one team there would be more
    information on strategy and concussion testing, etc etc etc

  110. Orr – I’m avoiding the topic, so all I’ll say what do you want them to do? Talk about the progress of MDZ or how Derek Stepan is turning into a Rangers star. Why do that? They are not as important as the 5th line.

  111. Stepan really is turning into a star. It’s so nice to see and talk about!

    The progression of Del Zaster is so interesting. Good year. Horrendous year. Sent down. Tweets about underage drinking. Shut down from Twitter. Becomes a legit D-Man.

    Did we sign Yandle yet?

  112. Can we also talk about this new “pop-up” ad that covers the comment box everytime I “refresh, refresh, refresh”?

  113. I think there is nothing to complain about with 24/7. It’s supposed to bring in fans to hockey. Not counting On Demand and DVR the first episode, in the first week, was viewed 1.3M times. That’s huge. Considering that multiple people probably sat and watched it together.

    Remember the “RIVAL” game of the Wild vs. Jets only had 240K viewers.

    This could be good for hockey. If you already like hockey, enjoy what you get to see that you didn’t already know about and move on.

  114. Marty Brodeur is apparently going to get his wish partially granted next year. He is to appear in HBO’s 7/11: Road to the Frosted Donut, an “all access” behind the scenes look at the inner workings of a convenience store in Newark and its tempestuous relationship with one prominent member of the New Jersey Devils.

  115. Manny we all understand that 24/7 turns casual hockey fans and even non-fans on to the sport.

    This is a very small market that is being catered to and when it comes down to it it’s the HBO viewers. How it transfers to the actual game will probably never be seen but it certainly isn’t hurting.

    I think 24/7 did a great job last season–it was arguably the best documentary ever. How they explained all the small things that matter in the sport: from crazy traditions and the importance of the equipment guys to the team chemistry off-ice, their personal relationships, etc.

    But they didn’t forget to show the progression of game, what leads up to the big plays, hard battles/fights, and how intense those 60 mintues are. The mystique about the rules (written and unwritten) to the non-fan should be the driving factor behind their interest. Why did that guy fight that other guy? Why is it wrong to challenge a player at the end of his shift? Why did the coach call a timeout after that icing? They may not know exactly, but they will want to learn more!

    Too much time spent this season beating a dead horse, going into too much depth or not enough when called for, and not enough focus on the actual game. They didn’t do that last season and it was an epic success. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!!!

    I’m grateful for what us hockey fans get but you’re forgetting that I watch hockey for entertainment. The true sport is entertaining! Potential fans will think so too!

  116. Yowza. You all know that Festivus isn’t until tomorrow, right? Are we airing grievances already? Let’s rumble!

  117. noonan !!!

    we agree on some things

    there are small details that i wish 24/7
    did bring up

    barely anything on Broadway Hat
    NOTHING on Rangers’ trip to Europe
    and slow start

    i think we may have got something on flyers off-season moves

    maybe the shows should be longer
    or more than just 4 episodes to get it all in.

    my wish/hope is that a dvd set with lots of extras comes out.

  118. now this I can agree on jpg…”maybe the shows should be longer
    or more than just 4 episodes to get it all in.”

  119. Amen, CT.

    Also, a certain somebody here who continually beats the same drum just to aggravate people, and has questioned my professionalism, will soon be considered a harrassing figure, in which case he shall get a vacation from RR. … because I am not welcoming.

    and because I have in the past sufferered such harrassment far too long before weilding the hammer.

    and because I can.

  120. Torts is a good coach.
    Avery should be playing.
    24/7 is superficial, but worth watching anyway.

    That is all.

  121. ya 4 episodes is not enough. i mean if they are going to cover how every team is so charitable every season why not go into the same things the trainers and equipment team have to endure? BECAUSE I FOUND THAT MUCH MORE INTERESTING!!

    ok im dunzo talking about 247 until next episode officially! LGRs

  122. Wielding an internet hammer sounds like fun. Is the “man” wielding the internet hammer a hotshot tough guy behind a keyboard and a pussycat away from the keyboard?

  123. I wouldn’t call it a smartest move on your part, catch….Not that most of previous moves or posts were…

  124. All I know is that the Fishsticks are going down. Hard. And I think it’s time Rupp “talked” to Martin….

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