Rangers-Islanders in review


Happy Festivus, everyone!

Tonight, with the Flyers in town, we will air grievances and have feats of strength. Get the pole.

Kruger, you couldn’t smooth a silk sheet if you had a date with a hot babe …

“I lost my train of thought.”

–Frank Costanza



1) I know that Brandon Dubinsky has been really up and down, mostly down, and that he hasn’t been able to stay with the second line for more than a few shifts here and there, and that even with that very Dubinsky-like goal,  John Tortorella noted that he made one of those gasp-inducing plays afterward. But just imagine how much better this team could be if he actually steps up the offense a little bit.

2) After the goal, somebody cracked that Dubinsky can only play on a line with Stu Bickel and Martin Biron (who had the assists). I think it might have been a Festivus Miracle! How about Biron at 7-1? Great guy, great teammate. Good for him.

3) Stu Bickel. Assists in each of his first two NHL games, a fight against a really good fighter (and he sure did eat a few punches), then maybe a bit over-aggressive in taking the penalty. But the kid sure earned some points, didn’t he? Tortorella said he had no problem with the extra minor he got. Let’s see how long it lasts, but if he plays as he has, and as tough, it’s going to be difficult  to get him out. The Rangers sure could use that edge on defense. As for the two-game point streak, 49 to go for the record.

4) Yeah, it wasn’t perfect. I thought the Rangers over-passed at times early — and that usually leads to trouble, almost as if it’s a sign of overlooking an opponent — and they sure got into a track meet at times. But when they played their game, down low, they dominated for stretches.

5) That there was some snarl in this game should make the Boxing Day rematch interesting Monday.

6) This wasn’t one for the highlight package for the Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan line. Did Richards forget to take off his skate guards?

7) Marian Gaborik with 20 goals. He had 22 last year and people wanted to run him out of town.

8) Michael Del Zotto=Beast. Not Bust. How many times did we hear this about Del Zotto: Trade him? Or Del Zaster? (we heard the second one enough where we now use it as a term of endearment).

9) Just like the first half of last year, the Rangers are scoring enough goals most nights. And their record when scoring three or more is 17-0-1. They’ll hit patches where they have to win 2-1 and 1-0, or lose. There will be times when they can’t buy one. But the way they score now, and the way they defend, makes a pretty complete package.

10) I’ve really lost interest in this Winter Classic thing. Play the damn game, already.

11) Meant to say this yesterday about “24/7″ Come on, are we really supposed to believe that Brandon Prust and Brian Boyle took a nap with the HBO cameras and camera men in their hotel room, and that Boyle, knowing that the camera men and cameras were in the room, slept naked? I thought the whole second episode strayed far too far away from the behind-the-scenes hockey stuff. Especially because the lockerroom-bench-ice mics and cameras have given us unbelievable stuff.

12) News: NHL cracking down on hits to head during concussion epidemic. News: Pittsburgh’s goon Deryk Engelland gets three games for hit to the head of Marcus Kruger (Festivus name!). Views: Give me a break. Three games? What a joke.


My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Martin Biron.
2) Michael Del Zotto.
3) Ryan McDonagh.


AP photos, above.


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  1. Happy Festivus!!!

    I thought Bickel pulled a “Deveaux” when he started that second fight. I thought Torts would pack the kid’s bags fpr him. Guess I was wrong. He is a mean sucker. I haven’t seen right hands that wild since Joey Kocur.

  2. I agree about episode two of 24/7…the whole thing felt like staged filler and it actually struck me for the first time that “24/7″ is just another form of “reality TV” and will get likely get worse and worse over the years.

  3. There was a time when this blog gave a better look “behind the scenes” into the locker room than 24/7 has done.

  4. Why would Torts pack his bags? We haven’t had a mean SOB on our back line for years. Bickel can also play simple, solid defense. It’s his 2nd NHL game, he’ll learn when is a good and bad time to fight.
    Good review, Carp. Boy, the Islanders stink! The goal scored by Dubinsky, while it was a good power forward effort, showed that they have very little concept of team defense. Every single one of them, including Streit seemed not to have any clue how to defend. Streit was awful on defense all night.
    I have a feeling Richards played ill last night. He was very slow on his skates and kept falling down way too easy. I hope they don’t have a virus going around the team. Speaking of viruses. Nabokov, at times seems to be a world beater. But sometimes he looks like the only thing he eve caught in his life was a virus.
    One of the most striking stars this year comparing to last? The Rangers are 9-3-1 at home.

    “That must’ve been some kind of a doll”. ” She was”

  5. ilb,
    I thought Bickel might have pissed Torts off by getting the extra minor at that point of the game. I thought it was really stupid on his part. I also believe that Bickel may have been playing for the 24/7 cameras. I think he filled in decently. And we could use his mean streak.

    Again, Torts usually has no patience for guys taking dumb penalties. (i.e. Avery, Deveaux)

    Otherwise, I have no problem with Stu…or any of the other stand-ins for that matter.

  6. Carp – are you saying that the Engelland hit deserved more than 3 games? I agree that the Engelland knock on Kruger was an egregious hit. Left his skate, primary point of contact was the head, blah blah blah. I think Engelland, surprisingly has never been suspended or penalized in his 7? year career. I am sure this suspension is just to get him on warning. I heard somewhere that Bettman wants huge penalties handed our and Shanaban wants to keep them reasonable. If you ask me, Engelland deserved about 6 considering Sutton got 8.

    I have one problem with the Bickel minor. Dude was taking his helmet off. Bickel should take his helmet off also. That was basically a sucker punch. Not Cool. I do like Bickel and I understand his excitement what with his family in attendance and already having had a pretty good showing against a tougher fighter and getting a point but….fight fair, man.

  7. Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reach for the last one they had – but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way!

    24/7 was about relationships this week and it was a bit cheesy for a hockey fan. We want more ON ICE stuff. But man, Girardi’s kid is amazing. He’s only 18 Months!? Taking 1-Timers?

  8. My oldest daughter is home from the Univ of Michigan (alma matter of former wolverine captain Carl Hagelin) and we are going to see the Rangers and Flyers at the Garden tonight with first place on the line.

    Now THAT is truly a FESTIVUS MIRACLE!


  9. Well….we play for first place tonight. As Torts would say, “this is a good test to see where we are.”

  10. What was with all that negativity against Bickel and Tortorella last night? One over aggressive penalty shouldn’t result in an automatic banishment to the pressbox or worse, the Whale.

    Tortorella knows his defense lacks snarl and Bickel brings some of that. Yes, at times you gotta suffer from dumb penalties, especially early on – this is Bickel’s 2nd game for crying out loud. What’s the precedent for Tortorella benching a rookie he really appears to like because of a mistake made in that rookie’s 6th period of NHL hockey, especially when it’s a mistake born out of something the kid brings to the game that Tortorella likes.

    No way.

    That’s not to say Tortorella will be shrugging it off – guaranteed Bickel heard about it. Also guaranteed if it happens again, especially if that occurs sooner rather than later, the coach won’t be as forgiving. Look at this team and how many young players are on it, coached solely in the NHL by Tortorella.

    Geesh, overreaction or what boys??

  11. And totally concur on the lousy call against that Penguin goon.

    Like I said a week or so ago, Brendan Can’t-ahan now – he’s been muzzled by Buttman and his crew for sure….

  12. Doodie Machetto on

    “The goal scored by Dubinsky, while it was a good power forward effort, showed that they have very little concept of team defense. Every single one of them, including Streit seemed not to have any clue how to defend.”

    Been saying it for the past two years. While everyone was jawing up the Islanders as a good sleeper because of their “talented forwards corps” (read: John Tavares and the SOBs who are lucky to play on his line), I was saying that the only reason their forwards look even half decent is because they don’t play any defense. That team is not only one of the five worst constructed teams in the league, but one of the two or three worst coached.

  13. Doodie Machetto on

    Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.

  14. Toot’n my horn.. Last month I said Bickle was a force w/ the Whale and should have gotten the call.

    Big Game tonight!!

  15. Also here is a funny thing about 24/7: With our team, I like to champion the “root for the jersey” not the guy thing. But with the teams that we are against on here, I end up liking some of these guys but hating their Jerseys. Not Danny Briere, mind you. I do like Wayne Simmonds though. A lot.

  16. I catch so much more watching these things a second and third and fourth time. Good thing I took the day off from work.

    I really am starting to like Bryzgalov. The guy is so cooky. I don’t want to hang out with him because it looks WAY awkward…but man is he fun to watch.

  17. Carp, I concur with your “give me a break” reaction to the 3 game ban on Freddie Kruger. 3 games? And the NHL wants to take hits to the head out of the game? Nonsense. And the fact that a player hasn’t been suspended in his 7-year career should not factor into the suspension. He leaves his feet, targets the “upper body”, and plasters the guy into the glass; 10 games!!!! Maybe more. The longer and more outrageous the suspension, the more players will think twice aboot delivering that sort of hit!!!!!!! Loved Shanny as a Ranger, don’t like him as the NHL warden!!!

  18. That’s exactly what I thought, Manny. Fun to watch, awkward to be around. You could feel the awkwardness in that seen where he was talking to Harry Zole-Ner-Chuk.

    And what the hell was he trying to tell him? He likes to get it on with huskies?

  19. I just watched that scene and rewound it and rewound it again. I have no idea where he was going. Out of nowhere he starts talking about his dog? Were they already talking about dogs? Is it rookie punishment to have to eat with him? I think he was saying, “Sole-nerd-chick” you better sleep with my dog, or else.

    Engelland can’t get more than 6 if Sutton got 8 with a record. Let’s be honest though, Engelland has a reputation here. But whatever. We will never be able to consistently suspend guys without ruining the game. Solution = remove the instigator penalty. Bring back self-policing hockey. Get rid of staged fights.

  20. Give Shanahan a break. Engelland will be hurting more from the very public criticism he has received from Mario and Sid, who are consistent in their crusade against such blatant headshots.

    Oh wait…

  21. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    What I like about Bickel, and any player breaking into the NHL, is that he is getting a lot of buzz here, mostly favorable, some objective in that he is at the beginning of a long, or short, we don’t know yet, learning curve.

    I mention this because some kids come up here and “disappear,” such as Mitchell, for instance. The first couple weeks here Mitchell and Hags were getting equal playing time and playing about on a par with eachother. Now Hags has stepped up, big time, and Mitchell is playing like a non-descript journeyman. I would like to see him get shipped out and see someone like JAM given a shot. Mitchell adds nothing of note to this team that I can see. Colorless and vanilla, too.

    Maybe some disagree, and that is fine, so that I would ask, what is the case for Mitchell sticking around? Kreider showing up, maybe in March, will surely put Mitchell down the depth chart a notch.

  22. I am with you there, Boom Boom. Mitchell is probably the next to go, assuming Christensen and Avery are done. I wonder what happens when Wonky Groin is back and ready to go. Mitchell is on the bubble and probably one of the guys that will end up going back to the Whale.

    You really think Kreider will be up in March?

  23. I hope somebody splices a video together of Torts ranting and the person he’s ranting at is Liam Trainer. That would be hilarious.

    “You gotta stomp on this rehabilitation. Stay stiff!”

  24. Manny, I’m with you 100% on Bryz & Simmonds. It still makes me feel dirty to say it, but it’s the truth.

    But everytime they show Hartnell’s stupid face I wanna throw things at the screen. Everytime.

  25. Yup. I do not like “Hartsy” at all, Sally! I also don’t like Briere. Which seems insane to me because he has such an interesting story with the single dad thing. But oh well.

  26. Carp, I’ve been having trouble loading/refreshing RR lately. The page will start to load, but then goes blank. Do you know what’s going on here? I know I’m a little early on the airing grievances, but I just can’t hold it in any longer.

  27. I give him props for being a single dad. But Briere also has a stupid face that makes me angry to look at.

  28. Yea. It’s something about his stupid face. Reminds me of that Step-Brothers scene when that guy tells Will Ferrell “I don’t know what it is about your face but I just want to deliver one of these right to your suck hole.”

  29. I thought 3 games for “Engy” was about right. It’s the same 3 they gave Bel Biv and Fristic. It’s easy to say “Hey 10 games for that hit” and then when there’s a hit that looks the same but the result is not as bad and they give nothing you are going to have major complaining from GM’s.

    Example 1: Engelland gets 3 for leaving his feet on Kruger and Kronwall gets nothing from turning his back and propelling himself onto Kesler.
    Example 2: Tootoo got two for trying to avoid Miller and Kane got nothing for blasting Montoya in the head making no attempt to slow down.

    Plus, if you 10 for a head hit which is still questionable to me what happens when a player really crosses a line like hitting another in the head with a stick. They get a season?

    Considering in the NFL, guys try to kill each other and owners, GM’s, Coaches and players ALL cry and whine when their player gets fined for it let alone suspended.

  30. Plus if you are going to start throwing the book at guys and I am coach and we playing a division opponent I would tell my team. “Hey if one of their better players throws a hit near the boards go head first into and play injured for as long as you can. Let’s see if we can get him out 10 games”

  31. HWirth – I have absolutely no problem with the Kronwall hit on Kessler. I know Ryan complained but that hit was shoulder to shoulder. I know he hit “up” but I don’t think he launched or left his feet.

  32. Manny – I don’t disagree. I think he left his feet on impact but you can see where GM’s and Coaches would start having a problem with split seconds meaning the difference between nothing and 10 GAMES! That’s a 1/8 of the season over a split second. 3 games is pretty fair.

  33. HWirth,
    I think it is time the players start paying attention to how the game is being called, and policed by Shanny. last night there was a play where Tavares was being slowed down by a Ranger and had his head down, Dubi skated up and turned away. he could have laid him out, but thought better of it. similar to the Staal on Staal hit.

  34. Plus Manny, let’s be honest with ourselves for a second, let’s say and Ovechkin or a Chara even better example throws a big nasty hit that unfortunately drills a guy in the head when he might not have done it purposely. Now, other players, like an Engelland have gotten 10 games and not 3, do you really think NHL is taking out their Norris Trophy Player for an 1/8th of the season? 3 games is less than a week sometimes. 8 to 10 games is like most of a month. It’s alot.

  35. Bull Dog – I remember the play which was as opposed to I think Martin laying MDZ out behind the net (i think i have the right guys). Here’s the problem for these guys. You don’t throw the hit and now the team comes up the ice and scores a goal. You are getting the minus and in some cases seeing the bench. Players are in a tough spot.

  36. Bull Dog: Hit submit too quickly. Players are in a tough spot which is why 2 – 3 games in most cases is fair. You start giving 10 gamers left and right there will no defense or contact of any sort on the ice and that was be a very boring brand of hockey.

  37. Yea I have no problem with the Engelland suspension. For me, the suspensions just have to be consistent which is next to impossible. I just think Engelland has a reputation and could get something like 4-6 since Sutton got 8. But I have no problem meaning I am not upset about it.

    I am way more concerned with open ice hits and collisions and ice size and instigator rules.

  38. Not sure I agree that GM’s & coaches are going to start having players fake injury by laying down after being blasted in the head!!! To a degree, there is certainly a policy where guys fain injury or snapping their heads back if an opponent’s stick comes close to their head, and staying down when drilled into the boards, but the ultimate point is to minimize (because the NHL will NEVER take the concussion out of the game) blows to the head. So, if players that leave their feet to deliver a blow to the head are only going to get 1, 2 or 3 game suspensions, it will continue to happen!!! All I’m saying. An yes, HWirth, if chara or Kovy of any other star player leaves his feet to deliver a hit to the head, 10-games for him. But NO SOUP FOR YOU!

  39. Guess he wasn’t cleared to play. A shame.

    thenyrangers New York Rangers
    Outdoor Alumni Game Breaking News: Mike Richter will join Mike Keenan behind the bench on December 31st when #NYR alum face the Flyers!

  40. I was able to get last-minute tickets in the 100s last night for around that many dollars worth — the renovations down there are unreal (same can be said for the beef brisket sandwich I mandelbaum’d down the gullet in about 12 seconds). If the 400s resemble anything remotely close to what they’ve down already, the Garden is going to be a seriously spectacular venue. Still not sold on the bridge idea but we’ll cross that when we get there?

  41. Artie – I appreciate what you are saying but the NHL is a business and in some of these markets they are not taking stars off the ice because of a suspension. It’s just a reality.

    Plus, if you don’t think there is diving in hockey. You know how many times I can name right now where a player threw a 5 min. boarding/charging etc. laid dead on the ice got the penalty and then by miracle appeared within the 2nd min of the extended PP. (Artie for 1 in the Ott game but he’s certainly not the only one)

  42. Cory – I have seats in the new 300’s behind the nets. The sightlines are terrific – 1000% times better than the old seats. Hopefully, same will be said when they finish going around the whole upper bowl.

  43. The best part of the conversation we are having the difference in the cultures between the NHL and NFL fans and even media. In the NHL, more people want bigger suspensions, less violence etc. and in the NFL everyone went crazy abt a simple 1 game suspension for a guy that was warned what 10 times already. Heck, the NFL did nothing about that player than cracking jokes on twitter mocking the NFL after the blackout issues in SF saying “If I can’t play no one can.” Can you imagine if Lucic tweeted something about Bettman after his one game suspension for the Rinaldo hit.

  44. HWirth — awesome to hear. That was the first time I wasn’t in the 300-400 level, so I was feeling very spoiled, but there is a reason why chants always work their way DOWN the arena ;^)

  45. Ah, HWirth! Our favorite discussion. How the NFL does nothing and the players act like jackwagons. If Lucic tweeted that he would have been suspended indefinitely.

  46. Yup. Doesn’t exist. Instead Harrison ROCKS McCoy in a clearly illegal hit. The Browns totally botch the concussion testing and let a young kid complaining of head pain and nausea to get back out there. Then Harrison says on twitter that it’s, “not a suspendible hit.” The NFL then takes 2 weeks to lay down the “harsh” 1-Game suspension after which Harrison complains and people just say football “isn’t tough anymore” and “that’s what happens” blah blah blah.

    All the while hockey is continually vilified and people are calling for all play to be halted until the game can be made safer.

    Troy Aikman = 8 Concussions (ended his career early)
    Troy Polamolu = 9 Concussions and counting

  47. And at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and you tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year.

  48. It’s absolutely ridiculous isn’t it, NYR? He had a pretty strong start to the year, I think something like 7 Assists in 5 games or something and then he fizzled out. Until…you guessed. NYRangers come to town.

    Have you seen NYR_MOZZ? Did you know that guy? He was weird.

  49. Johnny, that has an understated stupidity to it.

    Good morning, Sally! I know we’ve had that problem before. Some people found that other browsers work better. Other times we’ve found that certain pop-up ads cause that disappearing … and fortunately (maybe not for our accountants) those ads are short-term. Our hockley fan/tech guy left the company, so I’ll have to find somebody else to ask. Let me know if it persists.

    CTRanger, who?

  50. Sounds like there’ll be some activity once the trade freeze is lifted, think that’s the 27th.

    Once people get healthy we have housekeeping to do down below which could play into a bigger deal.

    Wow, Anaheim is a whopping 15 pts from a playoff spot. Calgary’s been better, 7 of 8 at home, but only .500 in December and still 3 pts out. LA’s 3 out and the GM’s feeling the heat. Devs want Bernier bad to take over for Brodeur.
    Can definitely see Lou making a splash. My guess is we’re about 3 weeks from seeing the first big move, but some dominos are definitely set to fall.

  51. Yeah, Manny. He only posts when he feels that more cheese is necessary to add to the discussion. Definitely a weird cat…

    Carp had me look up Dubi’s numbers in 2011 calendar year last night….this is combined totals for 2010-11 season and 2011-12 season since 1/1/11:

    70 GP 10 Goals

    He’s not off the hook yet. We didn’t pay that type of money to score 10 goals in 70 games…

    Hopefully, he can build on the goal last night. But, like Torts said and Carp alluded to, his game isn’t totally there yet…

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

    Morning ILB and all!!

    Nice seeing some actual grit on the blueline, hope torts keeps it there and available.

    Don’t like the lack of line rolling that is going on.

    Another 2 points “in the bank” for the boys….SWEET!!!

    Gabby with 20 (so far) is great, next year there will be many saying he should be traded because his whole career has been good year bad year, and this year was due for a good one.

    Michael busto looked like he took lessons from eminger along the boards last night, NICE!!

    I agree with HW about the engelland suspension, and the only thing he has a reputation for as far as I am aware of is knocking people the fugg out in fights!!!!

  53. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    MANNY –

    All I know about Kreider is that when his college career is finished in the spring he will be eligible for promotion to the Rangers, or they will put him in Hartford. Just don’t know what the club is thinking as regards what to do with him, but it would be great if we can all get to see Kreider and evaluate him on his NHL play this season.

    You never know, he could pump us up come playoff time, too. I think the club should bring him right up, especially as he would be here now had he not opted for another year of NCAA hockey.

  54. For those w/o the widget….

    NYDNRangers Pat Leonard
    “@davegisaac Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier are now day-to-day according to Holmgren. Briere day-to-day with bruised hand.”

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

    and btw, Have a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukah, a joyous Kwanza, a great solstice, a super long weekend (for whomever has one), and a beautiful Ramadan for everyone!!!

  56. Exactly Boom Boom (good to be on the same page again!). I would love to see Krieder come up and give this team some juice towards the end of the season. That would be great timing.

  57. NYDNRangers Pat Leonard
    #NYR defenseman Marc Staal will reassess with doctors beginning on Monday when he could be able to take contact in practice

    News moving in right direction but I still would look at All-Star game break after the 6 days off. Anything sooner is just gravy. Truthfully, him coming back this year is gravy at this point.

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

    I also think simmonds seems like a decent guy, and a few others, but I absolutely can not stand briere (one of the three dirtiest players in the league).

  59. Carp on fire. Analysis right on for me.

    I hate the over pass across the ice looking a for a picture perfect play nonsense.

    ON 1 of the PP, RIchards made a great incredible pass and I forget who 1 times it and the goalie made the save. Richards could have just taken the shot, and had his teammates look for a rebound… They play patty cake on the PP, have a ton of zone time but no shots…

    SImple is good. Stralman last night to me struggled regardless of his +3. MDZ had been very good most of theseason, maybe even better then mcdonagh. Erixon had a bad game, if he does not compete harder tonight that will be big trouble.

    EC waived after the new year when his twin WOlski comes back!!!

  60. Staal coming back would be huge, no idea how beneficial he would be to the team. girardi’s minutes go down, once Staal is back to him self Mcdonagh goes to the 2nd pair etc.

    I also think Bickell has been pretty good first 2 games… quick passes out of the zone and decisive for better or worse.

  61. i’d take briere on my team … and he’s not the dirtiest guy on the Flys. that little cheap-shot artist Talbot is worse.

  62. Staal – Girardi
    McBust – Del Zaster
    Strahlman – Bickel/Woywhatever

    Can you imagine when Sauer gets back? He would be on the third pair? That’s depth and a huge reduction in minutes for Danny Boy.

  63. I would put Sauer on the second pair, and not to slight MDZ in any way. Sauer and McDonut were just too good of a tandem. Del Z could then hoard PP time, and then the third pair could swallow even more minutes, reducing everyone’s totals.

  64. Staal – Girardi
    McBust – Del Zaster
    Sauer – Mrs. Eminger


    Don’t you guys just salivate looking at that Defensive lineup? Those are three legit pairings. Who needs Ryan Suter now?

  65. I’d take Briere too…. but the way things are shaping up, we’re more likely to end up with 39-yr old Ray Whitney.

  66. That’s a brilliant point there Latona. You’re right.

    Staal – Girardi
    Sauer – McBust
    Del Zaster – Mrs. Eminger

    You’re right that with Del Zaster eating up PP and PK minutes he could really keep his ice time up while sharing other’s ice time. That’s a nice, communist, way of thinking.

  67. I wouldn’t expect Staal to return and immediately go to the No. 1 pairing, logging his usual F/T minutes.

  68. Funny how most of fitting Eminger into the starting 6 when all are healthy again.

    Seems to me not so many weeks ago he was being lambasted on here for even hoping to get a start.


    Mind you, MDZ was all but run out of town by many last year and at the beginning of this year.

  69. Doodie Machetto on

    Before we get to the airing of grievances tonight, we should all remember the words of Ilya Bryzgalov:

    “It’s hockey. Is only game. Why you heff to be mad?”

  70. I love the positivity around here today (FINALLY!). Amazing what a Dubinsky goal and 3 straight wins especially against the locals will do for ya. This is not be negativity but more of a reality I guess, I am trying not to get hopes up for Staal and Sauer because I’ve given up figuring these concussions out. Giroux’s looked horrendous and he’s back while Skinner bumped into a teammate and he’s still out.

  71. I probably was, Latona. I am sorry for making such an insinuation. I was just referring to your even distribution of minutes for the Defenseman.

    I guess Rod is right. So we should probably, when Staal gets back, dress 7 D-Men. Just in case. That might give us some flexibility to use Del Zaster as a floater. Remember, Torts has said, on 24/7, that he thinks” Del-Z was our best defenseman out there, on offense and defense.” Kid is going to get some serious playing time.

  72. Fairly fun game to be at last night, not that nasty inside MSG all things considered. At this point I think a lot of Rangers fans don’t feel quite vitriol towards the Islanders because they’ve been so bad for so long. I went with my friend who’s an Isles fan and nary a word was said to him the whole night.

  73. HWirth – you might note that the positivity may simply be from the absence of a few special posters (negative Nancies)

  74. Hey, I’m not red either..That was one of the reasons I left…Not sure I like the name of a dead dictator too…So you both behave before I ask mama to use her newspaper collection on you :-)

  75. But ilb! It’s such a funny name. AND remember, it’s a bit of a joke because a bunch of people were getting all over you and calling you mean!

    I will try to think of a better nickname for you. like….. MC Ilb or something

  76. If we can’t get the Negative Nancies at least we can get eric to come around and have some manic post that begins complimenting the Rangers and ends by noting the imminent doom that will befall the team tonight.

  77. A few things:

    Dubi might be best when streaking down the right side and shooting to the far post. Similar type goal against Carolina I think. His interview post-game was sort of fruity. But at least he knows when he keeps his feet moving he is the most dangerous.

    Bickel is energy. I was saying to my brother last night, we have a D-man who can now drop the gloves. He’s not the best fighter, but he’s not afraid either.

    That kid Martin on the Isles is an animal, btw.

    Like this guy Stralman. He’s a good skater. Can stop and go on a dime. We have a great young crew of D-men who can skate and join the rush (MDZ, McD, and Strawman.) Like people said above, when Staal and Sauer come back, we are going to have a lot of D. Emminger out 8-10 wks at least.

    Mitchell in the right spot at the right time last night. Don’t kill me here guys but I wd not mind seeing Avery into the lineup over Mitchell tonight for the grit.

    Question for the blog: I am going to the Winter Classic. I am pretty sure I am bringing my 6 year old. I used to live in Philly. I went to Eagles’s games and have witnessed some deplorable sht from the Philly scumbags. (Eagles Packers game, some young kid and his dad walking to the stadium getting food thrown at them, etc.) Am I right to be concerned about bringing my 6 yr old? I have a small crew going with me. If it was just me and other guys, I’d not sweat a second. I am a little hesitant about bringing my boy. I think I am going to do it regardless, but what do you guys think?

  78. Good afternoon and Happy Festivus all!

    ilb, I haven’t recycled yet, so I have plenty if needed.

    I find all of your belief systems fascinating.

  79. LOL You guys are making me laugh. But seriously, I’m actually glad it’s the Flyers tonight because that day before Christmas break game is usually a 40/60 chance on either team showing up. At least, this is will force the intensity up. There are 11 games tonight, looked for either lots of 6-5 games or 1-0 games.

  80. Carp & Ilb, the problem definitely happens a lot in Firefox, but it happens in IE too. Less so in Chrome, but I’m not allowed to DL anything onto the work computer. It’s okay, I don’t have anything to do but sit here and wait for the page to reload…

  81. There is already a Vlasic in the league who is nicknamed “pickle” and it’s an incredible nickname.

  82. TSNBobMcKenzie Bob McKenzie
    PHX puts goalie Curtis McEhlinney on re-entry waivers.

    I think the Islanders should grab him. It’s been at least a day since one of their goalies got hurt. They are due.

  83. I will not kill you, Newman. I wouldn’t mind Mitchell taking a seat but I think the politics of Avery being the replacement are tough. I would like to see Bjork come up and get a taste or perhaps JT Miller!

  84. LOL, HWirth. They need to pick up more than one! Maybe they can trade the Devils for their fat goalie. Maybe the two can make a fat goalie swap?

  85. Good news for Torts..

    StanFischler Stan Fischler
    Jack Capuano stresses “attention to detail” and he’s right. #Islanders get a chance to go back on track tonight vs. Leafs. I’ll be there.

  86. First of all I would like say, much of the best to everyone here over the holiday. Another win, not a real impressive one, but I like them all. Another Ranger game tonight, another win would be a nice. They are going to be in tough though the flyers have been good lately.

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

    I think he is sooooo dirty because he does this little sneaky dirty crap and never really answers the bell. Much like boyle on the sharks! At least talbot will fight (not very well), but will fight.

    Happy Festivus to all BTW!!!

  88. Yeah, look out for Jagr tonight; don’t think he played last time they were in MSG.

    That means staying out of the box, which is going to be hard to do.

    There won’t be too much Xmas spirit out there.

  89. Duker, me too.

    Anybody else having trouble re-loading, re-freshing? Please let me know before the tech guys go home for the holiday … if they haven’t already.

  90. Carp – no issues refreshing. I am using Google Chrome Verzion 16.0.912.63 if that means anything to anyone.

    I am off to play Hoops. The only sport that everyone can be good at. If anyone can find my Rec-Specs please let me know. They have gone missing.

  91. Carp, it’s been reloading fine the past hour or so. Not sure if your guys fixed the problem or if it’s just the way the universe is rolling right now.

    Manny, as my Bubbe used to say, “Wear it in good health.” (Actually, she said “wear it in good healt” cause she never really got the hang of “th”. Whatever. I don’t know how this applies to a hockey game.)

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

    most would, I just can’t stand the guy!

    no worries, you are waaaaaayy to awesome and thanks from all the wicksters in advance!!

    I hope bickel flattens jagr (sorry everyone)!!

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

    My reloading is working fine (just ask the mrs…LOL)!

  94. Happy Festivus!!!!

    i hope i missed the airing of grievances
    after dealing with that yesterday
    i just want to jump in to the feats of strength!!
    (going right arm only this year due to slight tear of
    my left bicep)

  95. back to business now

    anyone complaining about Bickel
    i just have to say
    shaddupabout it

    he’s a tough customer
    and got into it during a scrum.
    yeah he jumped it a bit cause the isles guy
    wanted to take his helmet off but
    so be it.
    if the team would have done a better job on the pk
    like they should have last night (did isles score 1 or both goal on pp?)
    we’d just be laughing about it today

    i like that Torts stuck up for him in that situation

    it wasn’t as if it was a stupid lazy hooking call
    or some roughing call that was just selfish

  96. Manny

    “I am off to play Hoops. The only sport that everyone can be good at.”

    apparently he’s never watched me play.
    the only time i was decent was in grade school when we combined
    basketball with rugby and you had to get rid of the ball within 2 seconds
    or get tackled on the concrete gym floor.
    i was the Man!! then

  97. “Anybody else having trouble re-loading, re-freshing?”

    Artie: No trouble re-loading, only concern with causing another fracas.

    Tony: No problem, No problem, No problem

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

    working per the usual so happy festivus to all again and LGR and LGD!!!!

    later aasens!!

  99. I hope the fans give Jagr a good cheer. NYR didn’t win a Cup, but fugg, c’mon, he was the most exciting player in a while, and helped bring some respect back to this team.

    But, I wont be surprised if he gets booed. NYR fans are always boo happy.

  100. Noah-aal-olski-auer-inger, 28 on

    I got tickets to the first Rangers-Flyers game expecting to see Jagr and was ready to give him a standing O. I hope the Rangers fans there tonight follow suit.

    I echo everything ORR said about him above. He (along with Henrik) made the team respectable again. Even though he’s a Flyer, he deserves some recognition tonight (until he “pots” two goals…then he can get booed).

  101. 10) I’ve really lost interest in this Winter Classic thing. Play the damn game, already.

    My thoughts exactly.

    PS- 3 games for that hit on Kruger? Guess Bettman had Shanny’s bickel’s cut off when he gave him his new job…

  102. >>>Anybody else having trouble re-loading, re-freshing? Please let me know before the tech guys go home for the holiday … if they haven’t already.

    *Constantly*, Carp – it gets especially bad when there are more than around 100 posts in a thread – seems like the higher the number of posts, the more unstable the refresh process is.

  103. It’s gonna hurt seeing Jags on the MSG ice in a Flys uniform – not really looking forward to that.

  104. So ready for tonight’s game. Think of how high they’ll be riding if they actually pull off the win and how terrible it would be to lose tonight…Winter Classic not withstanding…

    ps- if it’s 67 degrees on January 2 are they going to move this game inside? : x

  105. >>>10) I’ve really lost interest in this Winter Classic thing. Play the damn game, already.

    My thoughts exactly.

    Mine, too! If the game were being played here in NYC, I’d probably be more interested, but in Philthy, humbug!

  106. Sally, me too.

    I’m having no trouble refreshing….maybe it’s the Interweb expressing it’s holiday grievances with you people.

  107. Mama, no you don’t. Really. Anyways your present is getting to have a pajama party with me! We can paint each others nails and talk about boys or something!

  108. Reminder….a boneheads fest is being held for the WC in NYC. Now’s your chance to meet the great and wonderful Sally! e-mail me at lbabs@aol.com if you’d like to join. If not, LGR anyway…..

  109. >>>And Mama I guess the internet just likes you more than it likes me…

    And me, too – it must HATE me….. :-(

  110. IMO It’s not about Sauer Dill Bickel being a rookie and learning that isn’t a smart penalty. It isn’t all that smart in the NHL, AHL or ECHL either.
    It’s about giving him some leeway because he’s a rookie and perhaps a bit overzealous in wanting to show he can provide something the Rangers need. Subtle difference.
    First impressions are important. We saw how many people got the wrong impression of Dan G in a situation where he acted smartly. Not exactly the same situation, I know, but that venom _is_ something you want from Bickel. So this time, in this situation you don’t make a big deal of it – down the line that might not be the case.
    And yeah I thought it was a little dillweedy not taking his helmet off while the other guy is.

  111. Boom Boom Bathgate - FOUR CUPS since 1926 on

    Tonight’s match-up shows Philly with the even strength advantage: they have a 62 % share of even strength goals in their games this month – mostly without Giroux, which is sensational. The Rangers have a 54 1/2 % share of E.S. goal scoring in their games this month.

    The Special Teams department is where the Rangers have the edge. Currently they are at 59% share in this category, while Philly is at 50 1/2 per cent.

    You discount for the fact that it is a Rangers home game, also for the Giroux back in good health factor, and this game looks like a tossup. Both Philly and the Rangers are listed at -110, making this an untouchable game from a betting standpoint.

    Just look for the Rangers to win the PP/PK battle and Philly to win the E.S. battle, with whichever unit is more dominant showing the way to victory, understanding that most of the time in the NHL the E.S. scoreboard will point the way to the game winning team.

  112. Boom Boom – FWIW

    Philly scores less on the Road, and on the road PP goals make up a higher percentage of their total goals

    PP goals as percentage of Tot Road goals 27.8 %
    PP goals as percentage of Tot Home goals 23.6 %

  113. BBB-

    Rangers also score about a half goal more per game at home, although their PP is a much bigger portion of their offense at home than on the road.

    My conclusion: Throw it all out the window, the team with the better -strategy- @motivation@ will win!

  114. billybleedsblue on

    dde I saw the BBB and I thought that meant me, which had me confused, because I normally don’t even post about hockey, but then I scrolled up and realized I am not the only ‘BBB’ … and wouldn’t I be ‘bbb’ anyways, on account of the no caps thing? Hmmm…anyways, whatever this chatter about getting rich is, please keep me in the loop. Ba Humbug.

  115. Been very quiet here today. Holiday weekend? Or is this what happens when certain negative forces can’t come on here and start trouble with a bunch of nonsense? Or maybe Carp needs the Coach to put that certain someone back in the line up to create more traffic? You decide. :)

  116. HageLinCalPruStepanlahan on

    HWirth, i think it’s your second scenario with a little bit of the 3rd tossed in lol

  117. Boom Boom Bathgate - FOUR CUPS since 1926 on

    Hey DD – Do you deilberately distort the postings of people here you feel competitive with here as a compulsive need for attention? I emphatically mentioned that I am discounting for the fact that it is a Rangers home game, so that, with that, you don’t have to tell me or any of us that Philly does this or doesn’t do that on the road.

    In the National Hockey League, this year and most years, the home team wins in the range of 54-55 per cent of the time. Were this a Philly home game, they would be decided favorites, tonight.

    Look, you post any handicapping or evaluation findings of your own and I am not going to take a cheap shot at what you share, here. I am going to respect your findings as valid, understanding that your methodology works for you, same as mine works for me, and while I post basic match-up differences in the major scoring categories I find, here, the mechanics and technical aspects of how I calculate my findings I will mostly spare burdening other people with.

    Hey, if, at a price of -110 on both teams tonight you have a betting recommendation, how about putting yourself out there and sharing that with us? As they say, Stud, put up or shut up. People who are all mouth and no wallet ( or: “All hat – no cattle” as they say in Texas) bore the hell out of me.

    Enjoy the game, whoever you are rooting for. lol.

  118. Not sure how much I will be here over the weekend so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone here. I have never met any of the regulars in person but you all feel like friends. Hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend with your families!

  119. the 3 game ban is not the biggest problem. the worst part is the fact that the refs did NOT even give Engelland a penalty on the play, and the Blackhawk player coming to the defense of his teammate got 17 mins, and the whole situation cost the Hawks the game. the refs in that one need to be suspended for 3 games without pay.

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