Coyotes at Rangers tonight


Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers:

Tuesday, Jan. 10, 7:00 p.m.
Madison Square Garden – New York, NY
Rangers: 26-9-4 (56 pts)
Coyotes: 20-17-5 (45 pts)

* All information through NHL games on Jan. 8

The Rangers will face-off against the Phoenix Coyotes at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.; TV: MSG; Radio: 1050 ESPN Radio), to begin a stretch of four games in six days. The Blueshirts currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, and rank first in the league overall, with a record of 26-9-4 (56 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-1, on Friday at CONSOL Energy Center to extend their winning streak to four games, and have won nine of their last 10 games. New York has posted a record of 23-6-2 since Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark. The Coyotes enter the contest with a 20-17-5 (45 pts) record to rank 11th in the Western Conference, and have lost six of their last eight games. Following the contest, the Rangers will face-off against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, Jan. 12, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), to mark the mid-way point of their regular season schedule.


·   All-Time: 37-24-6-0 overall (21-10-2-0 at home; 16-14-4-0 on the road)

·   2011-12: Tonight is the second and final meeting this season, and the first at Madison Square Garden. New York is 1-0-0 overall following a 3-2 win on Dec. 17 at Arena. Marian Gaborik notched two goals and Brad Richards tallied the game-winner with 0.1 second remaining in regulation. Martin Biron made 21 saves.

·   Last Season: New York was 1-0-0 overall, having won their only meeting, 4-3, in a shootout on Dec. 16 at MSG. Dan Girardi led the Rangers with two points (one goal, one assist). Derek Stepan and Brandon Prust also tallied one goal apiece, while Erik Christensen notched the game-deciding goal in the shootout. Martin Biron made 30 saves and stopped 3-3 in the shootout.

·   New York enters the contest with a two-game winning streak against Phoenix, dating back to a 4-3 shootout victory on Dec. 16, 2010

·   The Rangers have won seven of their last nine games against the Coyotes, including four of the last five meetings at MSG

·   New York ranks 12th with a 12-3-2 (26 pts) record at home; Phoenix ranks fourth with a 12-9-2 (26 pts) mark on the road

·   The Rangers have posted a 3-1-2 record vs. Pacific Division opponents; the Coyotes are 2-3-0 vs. the Atlantic Division

·   Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 3-0-0 record with a 2.00 GAA in three career regular season contests vs. Phoenix; Martin Biron is 5-4-0-1 with a 2.38 GAA and one shutout in 11 career regular season games vs. the Coyotes

·   Marian Gaborik leads the Rangers with 20 goals and 28 points in 28 career regular season contests vs. Phoenix; Brad Richards has tallied a team-high, 13 assists in 26 career regular season games vs. the Coyotes

·   New York lists three former Coyotes on their roster: Brandon Prust (2008-09); Mike Rupp (2003-04 – 2005-06); Wojtek Wolski (2009-10 – 2010-11)

·   Phoenix lists four former Rangers on their roster: Lauri Korpikoski (2008-09); Jason LaBarbera (2000-01 – 2003-04); Derek Morris (2008-09); Michal Rozsival (2005-06 – 2010-11)

The Rangers are tied for fifth in the NHL with a plus-seven rating on special teams [(PPG+SHG)-(PPGA+SHGA)]. New York is 13-70 (18.6%) with the man advantage in the last 21 games. The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held their opponent scoreless in six straight games (16-16, 100.0%), and are 41-45 (91.1%) with five shorthanded goals in the last 15 contests. The Rangers rank third in the NHL with six shorthanded goals. The Blueshirts have posted a record of 15-1-2 in games when tallying a power play goal, and are 18-4-2 when holding their opponent scoreless on the power play.

·   Power Play: The Rangers did not tally a goal in two power play attempts (2:23) on Friday at Pittsburgh. New York ranks 20th overall (22-144, 15.3%) and 11th at home (15-73, 20.6%). The Rangers are 2-12 (8:51) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/23 vs. PHI), 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 Penguins scoreless in four shorthanded situations (4:31) and notched a shorthanded goal on Friday at Pittsburgh. New York ranks sixth overall (118-136, 86.8%) and sixth at home (48-55, 87.3%). 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 (6): 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); 1/6 at PIT (Dubinsky).

·   Four-on-Four: New York did not tally/yield a goal in one four-on-four situation (1:37) on Friday at Pittsburgh. The Rangers are plus-four in 40 four-on-four situations (70:59), and even in one three-on-three situation (0:01). Four-on-four goals for (4): 10/18 at VAN (Gaborik); 10/20 at CGY (McDonagh); 10/27 vs. TOR (Girardi); 1/2 vs. FLA (Gaborik). Four-on-four goals allowed (0).

The Rangers completed their sixth of 14 back-to-back sets this season with a 3-1 win on Friday at Pittsburgh. New York has posted a record of 5-0-1 (3-0-0 at home, 2-0-1 on the road) in the first game of the set, and are 5-0-1 (4-0-0 at home, 1-0-1 on the road) in the second game. Since 2009-10, New York is 26-8-3 in the second game of back-to-back sets, with a 13-3-1 mark at MSG and 13-5-2 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 next back-to-back set is Jan. 14-15 at Toronto and Montreal.

The Rangers’ .718 winning percentage (26-9-4) is the team’s fourth best start through 39 games in franchise history, and their best since the 1993-94 Stanley Cup Championship season (27-9-3, .731 win%). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau

The Rangers rank among the league leaders in several statistical categories, including…

·   1st in points (56)

·   1st in win% (.718)

·   T-1st in wins (26)

·   T-1st in regulation/overtime wins (25)

·   1st in fewest regulation losses (nine)

·   2nd in fewest goals against (79)

·   2nd in GAA (2.03)

·   2nd in hits (1,095)

·   T-5th in blocked shots (637)

·   3rd in +/- rating (plus-32)

·   4th in goal differential (plus-34)


·   This is the latest the Rangers have been in first place of the Eastern Conference standings since the 1995-96 season, when New York held the top position through games played on Mar. 15, 1996 (NYR game #68). *courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau

·   New York has registered at least one point in 25 of their last 31 games (23-6-2), dating back to Oct. 29, after beginning the season with a 3-3-2 mark; The Rangers have out-scored their opponent, 100-64, during the stretch

·   The Blueshirts’ 12-3-2 (26 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 17 games since 1995-96 (13-2-2, 28 pts)

·   The Rangers have won three straight road games, and are 9-2-0 in their last 11 games away from MSG

·   New York is 7-1-1 when leading after the first period and 16-0-2 when leading after the second

·   The Rangers are tied for the league lead with a .300 win% when trailing after two periods (3-6-1), and their three third period comeback victories are tied for sixth in the NHL; New York has trailed entering the third period in 10 games this season, the fewest in the league

·   New York leads the NHL with an .800 win% when out-shooting their opponent (12-3-0)

·   The Rangers lead the league when scoring first, posting an 18-1-1 mark (.900 win%) in those contests; Their 18 wins rank third in the NHL


·   Henrik Lundqvist enters the contest with a six-game winning streak, posting a 1.17 GAA, .964 Sv% and one shutout over the span

·   Lundqvist has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 20 games this season, and is 16-4-1 with a 1.70 GAA, .944 Sv% and two shutouts since Nov. 3 (21 games)

·   Martin Biron has held opponents to two or fewer goals in seven of his 10 starts this season

·   Michael Del Zotto has tallied 17 points (three goals, 14 assists) in the last 20 games, including seven points (two goals, five assists) in the last eight contests

·   Ryan Callahan enters the contest with a seven-game point streak (two goals, six assists over the span), and has recorded 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in the last 21 games

·   Brandon Dubinsky has tallied eight points (four goals, four assists) in the last eight games

·   Brad Richards enters the contest with a four-game point streak (three goals, two assists over the span)

·   Marian Gaborik has tallied nine points (eight goals, one assist) and a plus-eight rating in the last 10 games

·   Anton Stralman has tallied five points (one goal, four assists) in the last eight games, has posted a plus-10 rating in the last nine and has logged 20:00+ of ice time in seven of the last 11 contests

·   Head Coach John Tortorella has clinched an All-Star Game berth, becoming the first Rangers Head Coach in franchise history to coach in the All-Star Game


·   Marian Gaborik: 1 assist from 300th NHL career

·   Dan Girardi: 1 assist from 100th NHL career


·   Brandon Dubinsky: 200th career NHL point (1/6 at PIT)


·   Wojtek Wolski (groin, 11/3) – 28

·   Michael Sauer (concussion, 12/5) – 15

·   Steve Eminger (shoulder, 12/17) – 9

Total Man-Games Lost: 124

About Author


  1. More likely to see Road Runner in Phoenix wouldnt we? Meep!Meep!
    My prediction: Rangers 3 Yotes 1

  2. Carp, Keenan and Torts also both won Calder Cups, with same AHL team, the rochester americans. Great stuff about the baseball HOF…lets go rangers, im counting doen to the baby bruin game.

  3. Good morning all! Hope I can stay awake for game tonight.

    jpg, so sorry
    to hear about your uncle
    condolences to you,
    your sister and whole family.

  4. Seems like Sauer-Pauer is symptom free. Looks like Bickel and Strahlman are going to have to audition for that 6th spot. I would say fight it out but then Bickel would just pound Strahlsy.


    @AdamRotter@ Read: Michael Sauer Is Symptom Free

  5. Hey PIMP – that article you posted – obviously I am proud for you. Interestingly, it was written by “Michael Sauter” – if you remove the T from that name we can understand that it was really written by Michael Sauer and now we know what he’s been doing since being concussed. Dude’s a scholar.

  6. Nice #3 placing for Newark too. The piece notes that “By May 2011, the annual homicide rate had increased by a stunning 65%.”

    So the Devils’ poor attendance figures are because most of the population has been killed?

  7. Western Comferencr game might be a chance to showcase WW and EC in place of Feds and Rupper.

    Rangers need to move these guys for a true Bottom 6 Torts-style player (also have Zucarello to trade). All are free agents and the only place the Rangers do not have insurance is Bottom 6. ( Clearly a raft of defensemen and Hagelin is very capable on Top 6). So letting these guys play in order to set up a trade for a bottom 6 scrapper like Dominic Moore or if anybody here has some other names

  8. LW,

    I bet none of those people were in the food service industry in and around the Prudential Center. Marty probably has those people protected better than POTUS.

  9. No, LW, the homicide rate is up in Newark because of diminished access to food in the area since Marty moved up there from Continental Arena.

    Miami lives in the city that belongs in Guatemalan poorest suburbs. And run by a Bush-League government. How fitting!

  10. Tuxedo,

    I’m not necessarily a huge believer in the concept of showcasing a player these days. Particularly players that have a body of work of a few hundred games in the NHL. I’m sure scouts know what those guys are already and have a good idea as to why they haven’t been inserted into the lineup.

    I’d imagine you’d get preditcably poor results from one player that hasn’t played in live action in about 2 months and another that hasn’t been in a game in several weeks. Furthermore, it’s not like Torts would give either of those guys meaningful ice time just to show off what they can/can’t do.

  11. new Van Halen song out , album to hit Feb say what u want, im glad thier out thier makin music

  12. How does the homicide rate increase by 65%? Does that make it in the 80% now? Does that mean that 80% of the population is killed annually?

  13. Alec, you have a great John Housman name. Have you finished your homework, Mr. Berg?

    Tuxedo, who would want WW or EC? You might be able to move them for a late draft pick, but I doubt it.

  14. Marty’s wife du jour does the weekly grocery shopping with a tractor trailer and a fork lift.

  15. Could be a 65% year on year change.

    Say 10% the previous year, it’s now 16.5%.

    Or they take the rate in January, annualize it and then compare it to its comparable number in May.

  16. Van Halen, Manny. Minus Michael Anthony and including Eddie’s son Wolfie.
    New stuff is actually old stuff; they re-worked a bunch of demos from the 70’s.

    Iginla said yesterday he plans to play (effectively) till he’s 40, said that was always his goal.
    Said his body feels great. That’s not some insider exclusive, it was on TSN radio.

    Because I can hear that ingrate Wirth out there, sniffing.
    That’s why I’m not posting the going rate on Iggy.
    Let Wirth tell you since he’s so wired in and sees fit to slander me.

    HWirth January 9th, 2012 at 12:19 am
    Real jock sniffer I am.

  17. stranger nation on

    Hags has been playing bottom 6 since WC with Dubi moving up with B Rich and Capt Cally. He should get some top 6 minutes.

    Artie needs to continue to develop. Has the size and hands, but that line has too many ‘short’ possessions in the zone. Not suggesting at all we trade Artie, but potentially throw Hags up on that line for an audition to stretch the D and create more room for Gabby. That would be some serious speed on the wings with he and Gabby.

    Gabby’s productivity is nothing short of amazing when you consider his line mates are barely shaving. Step is coming on and we need Artie to begin to make similar strides if we are going to play into late April (and beyond).

  18. Even strength production (points):

    Player A 25 (3:36 PP ATOI)
    Player B 21 (3:42)
    Player C 20 (3:14)
    Players D/E 19 (D 4:13, E 1:44)
    Player F 18 (2:07)

  19. Saue Pauer’s return will be like so humaingous big he make the ice shake. You know?

    Fuggin’ Catalina Wine Mixer! Pow!

  20. stranger nation on

    Keep Bickel up and put Stralman on the black aces. Been impressed with his outlet passes, willingness to bang and Capt Caveman fighting technique.

    Stralman has played well, but can be pushed around in his own zone and we can move Sauer with MDZ and leave Bickel with Staal as he gets his skating legs back in game shape.

  21. Yeah, try to read his cap savings explanation, Manny. You’ll need an IV line for dehydration. There is no need to complicate it that much…

  22. He goes through way too many words to describe a team’s Pythagorean record and the concept of GvT (Goals vs Threshold).

  23. UK,

    Been a while since I took a stab at calculus. But I believe the correct expression would be something akin to a continuous function as the upper limit approaches infinity.

  24. CT – is it our boys you mean?

    If so i’m guessing?

    A. Gaborik
    B Callahan
    C ?
    D Richards
    E Anisimov
    F Dubinsky or Stepan

  25. And I should have clarified, the number *not* in parenthesis is the player’s even strength point totals. The numbers in parenthesis is the player’s PP ice time per game.

  26. stranger nation on

    ES/SH Goals all have played 39 games except 1
    18 – Gabby
    12 – Bucky
    7 – Hags (21 games)
    7 – Cally
    7 – Step
    5 – Artie
    5 – Dubi
    4 – Feds

  27. I did it based on points – from the Yahoo site (total pts – (pp + sh)) – cant seem to find a site with PP ATOI.

    Anyone ?

  28. So…

    When the discussions come up about who to move up and down the lineup (or trade discussions), Anisimov’s name tends to get mentioned more than most. Like any player, he could certainly stand to pot a few more goals, but given that he sees substantially less PP time, if you look at his even strength production it’s right up there with the other scorers on the team with the exception of Gaborik.

  29. One of the guys who turned in a blank ballot covers the Flyers. What is it with hockey writers?

    The part that really confuses me is some guys covet getting that vote.. so you work your whole career to get the opportunity to make your mark on the game and what do you do with it? Abstain. Only vote for Bill Mueller. Only vote for Don Mattingly. Only use your ballot as some sorry excuse to make a statement that flys in the face of what that vote should stand for.

    If you cover the NFL or NBA or NHL more than you cover baseball…..then you shouldn’t be voting. There are guys like Joel Sherman that take it seriously…….but they really need to get rid of the clowns for the integrity of the process

  30. Chris- since you care about baseball that much, perhaps you should voice your ipinion on the *BASEBALL* blog. We talk hockey here. And Snineboxes. Have you heard of an good, old, wooden @SHINEBOX@ ?

  31. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    CHRIS –

    You make a good point, however, there is another side to all this voting nonsense. And that is that even some full-time baseball writers have an axe to grind with the balloting, and not just HOF balloting, but MVP balloting, too.

    Such as in 1957 when two craggy-faced rummy Boston writers left Ted Williams completeley off the MVP ballot, so that Mickey Mantle got the award. Williams out-homered Mantle 38-34 that year, in 100 fewer at bats, while also hitting .388, much higher than Mantle.

    It is bad enough that this conspiracy against Ted was not rectified by the Commissioner / Coward Ford Frick, but also, it stinks that Mantle didn’t display the class to step forward and refuse to accept the award that rightfully belonged to Ted Williams, when it was public knowledge that the fix was in.

    My point is that politics, payoffs, and “popularity” have as much to do with awards voting, from the Oscars, to baseball, to hockey, you name it, as has merit. I estimate that at least 50 per cent of the time, major awards are fouled up. So that hockey writers are not alone in this respect – thay have an entire planet full of (bad) company.

  32. Nice one, thanks CT.

    If you look at Hags stats too, they are in the same league as those guys (9 ES points in 21 games compared to Dubi 18 in 39)

  33. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Chris – Thanks for your cogent input and don’t mind the resident clowns, here. They get their hour outside under close watch in the yard a little later in the day.

  34. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    UK Ranger –

    I just started last week doing PP TOI for Ranger players. Up to now, since December 1st, I have been focusing on E.S. points production, relative to E.S. T.O.I. And I just use goals and primary assists, discarding secondary assist information, entirely. Also, I factor in the score at the time each goal is scored, to give heavier “weight” to the more important goals.

    Here is the ranking order, to date – this is points accumulated divided by E.S. minutes played…

    Prust – 5.18
    Dubinsky – 3.74
    Rupp – 3.20
    AA – 2.72
    Cally – 2.52

    Hageline – 2.45
    Gaborik – 1.98
    Stepan – 1.71
    Richards – 1.71
    Fedo. – 0.86

    Mitchell – .000
    Boyle -.000

    For the D’s it is…

    Bickel – 3.33
    MDZ – 1.13
    Stralman – 0.25
    McD – 0.13

    Girardi – .000
    Staal – .000

    Oh, yes, in his time here Woytowich was at 3.13.


  35. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Interesting “Freudian” in that I called Woywitka “Woytowich.” In fact Bob Woytowich did play briefly on D for the Rangers in the early expansion era.

  36. Carp – just saw your post about HOF voting. Not to open a can of worms and I understand why you wouldn’t want to vote for juicers, but my stance is that there is no way to prove that juicing actually helped these guys since they were probably going up against juiced pitchers. Sure McGwire might’ve hit 70 while juicing, but how do we know the pitchers he faced weren’t also all roided up?

    I just think it’s something where they should be voted in (especially Bonds who one 3 MVPs before it is assumed that he started juicing), but seperate them. I’ve actually been saying that since we can say pre-Jackie Robinson, all of those players might’ve not been the best in the MLB if they allowed black players in baseball. Then there is the time period where the mound was raised and pitching stats went through the roof.

    They should just seperate the Baseball HOF into time periods since there was a variety of different factors that caused different eras of baseball to have different statistics. Plus it’ll finally get baseball past the “Steroid Era”, where in my opinion both the MLB and the journalists of the sport turned the other way since it was saving baseball, which makes them just as guilty as the players who juiced.

  37. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    UK Ranger –

    Just an old horse player, you could say the “numbers” do have a way of getting into your bloodstream.

  38. Doodie Machetto on

    I heard a great conspiracy theory about realignment going down in flames being all part of Gary Bettman’s plan to keep everything the same. Anyone interested in hearing it?

  39. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Yes, Doodie, and if you are serious, I will be inclined to believe your take.

  40. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Sure would be nice to see Girardi get career assist #100 on an even-strength goal as a primary assist, because that is exactly what he has NOT been contributing since NOVEMBER.

    This man needs fewer minutes playing time, for his own sanity, and because he is no Brian Leetch, up there in the blue line clouds.

  41. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Hey, got some “painting by the numbers” Little Picasso’s, here today. lol.

  42. One note on the baseball ‘roid thing:

    Pitchers may have been juicing, but it’s not like a whole generation of them suddenly had stats that shamed historical record. Seems to me that’s a pretty good indication juicing, which involves strength, was way more of a factor at the plate.

    Also, Yotes 4th in NHL on the road. Blueshirts better come out sharp.

  43. We talk hockey here? I talk hockey.

    I recently chatted with The Cat and he thinks that the Rangers will win the Stanley Cup this year.

  44. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Chris –

    I wish I knew The Cat. One time his secretary offered to show me into his office to meet him,but I got cold feet and just left. I just know he would have been kind and courteous to me. I regret my shyness, back then, so much.

    I have met a few hockey people and they are the best at social relations and skills. Talking Bobby Hull, Tim Horton, Wayne Cashman, and the old referee Red Storey. Wonderful, unassuming gentlemen, all of them.

  45. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Red Storey told a funny Eddie Shack story from his childhood, at the sports banquet in Canada I attended.

    It seems that Eddie, his brother and their parents went to a restaurant for Sunday brunch. Eddie’s father asked Eddie’s brother what he wanted from the menu. Eddie’s brother said: “I want some of them God Damn eggs”. SMACK! Eddie’s father belted the kid a good one.

    Came Eddie’s turn to order, when his father asked him what he wanted, Eddie said: “I don’t know, but I know I don’t want none of them God Damn eggs.”

  46. Chris F. – we did have a bunch of pitchers extending their careers or putting up lights out numbers when they should’ve been on the decline. Look at Roger Clemens. He was fading fast in Boston, then goes to Toronto and completely rejuvinated his career.

  47. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Clemens added, what, 40 pounds or so, and some flab, not all muscle. He is a disgrace to the game.

  48. Glad Torts gave them a wake-up call yesterday because I’ve got a sneaky feeling that tonight may have “Severe Letdown” written all over it.

    With the Winter Classic done, the time off between games, and a few days of reading how good they are this year…it’s probably natural to have a let down against a non-conference team.

    And with the ‘Yotes’ road record…could be a recipe for disaster.

    Other than that, nothing but good feelings as a Rangers fan right now.

    Although I really wish Torts would do something about a PP that, in the playoffs, can likely be key to going forward.

  49. Rangers are 20th in the league, and they were terrible to start the year, so it means they have improved. It could definitely be better, but I think it scores enough to be effective.

  50. down in charleston south carolina for work trying to find a bar that has the rangers game. not going well. anyone have links for computer

  51. Boom Boom

    Not doubting the accuracy of your numbers, but a sample size of one month’s data is pretty miniscule to be making judgements about how “productive” a player is. I’m not giving Prust and Bickel 20 minutes of ES TOI a game based on two or three assists each, put it that way.

  52. That’s such an Avery stat. Producing when playing less time doesn’t take into account the strength of the line that the opponent has on the ice at the time. It’s cool to see, but you can’t put too much value into it.

  53. I try to sent you another link, eric, but by some reason it can’t get though (secure coded site?). Don’t know your e-mail – could send you …

  54. Doodie Machetto on

    Boom Boom,

    The key thing to keep in mind is this: when have you ever seen Gary Bettman take one in the “loss” column, especially without kicking and screaming, especially when it comes to the NHLPA?

    Now, back to the top.

    The current schedule and playoff format works for the league as a whole. There are divisional rivalries during the regular season, lots of teams are still in the playoff picture late in the season, and great playoff rivalries still form in the playoffs, even if non-traditional rivals. Vancouver-Chicago, San Jose-Detroit, etc. Hell, the Vancouver-Boston game was ridiculous. Anyway, the point is, this current format works and it was Bettman’s idea originally to have it formatted this way.

    This proposed alignment wasn’t his idea. A few people on the board of governors come to him complaining about realignment. And he’s got these supposed promises to Mike Ilitch (Detroit) and the late Bill Wirtz (Chicago). The promise to Detroit was that they could come back east/not have to travel as far west. The promise to Chicago was that they would always be in a division with Detroit.

    So the league puts this whole thing together without the NHLPA and it passes the Board of Governors. Then it gives the NHLPA a deadline to give approval. The NHLPA withholds said approval. The most the NHLPA’s withholding of approval can do is force the issue into arbitration. But the NHL isn’t taking it to arbitration. The NHL just said, “ok, no problem, we will wait and figure it out later.”

    Meanwhile, Bettman can go back to Detroit and say, “sorry Mike, I tried my best but that damn player’s association shut it down.” Plus he scores points ahead of the looming CBA war: the NHLPA unreasonably shot down our realignment plan, but in the interest of cooperation, we didn’t challenge their rejection.

    Now, I ask again- when have you ever seen Bettman just give up on something? He took a whole year’s lockout for a salary cap. Phoenix is still in Phoenix! But the NHLPA says no on the realignment and he just throws his hands in the air?

    Realignment was a hoax from the start so Bettman could keep the current format but still keep good on his promise to Mike Ilitch.

  55. Can’t see how realignment as a concept can ever have been a hoax, Doodie. Winnipeg in the SE isn’t ever going to be a realistic long term proposition, so there has to have been _some_ intention for change.

  56. billybleedsblue on

    jpg — hang in there!

    4ever, how dare you try to insert some hockey around here!

    Doodie — tl; dr

  57. Doodie Machetto on

    billy, I totally understand. That’s why before I even put that out there, I asked if anyone wanted to see it. Boom boom said yes, so I did.

    LW, yes, there can be realignment, but it will be much less (like a swap of Winnipeg and Nashville), and Bettman will still get to say to Ilitch, it’s that damn NHLPA!

  58. In my humble and worthless opinion I think the NHL would be better off just having two Conferences. Then we don’t have teams getting higher seeds and possessing less points than other teams just because that worse team leads a division.

  59. I don’t doubt the league is using this to score points on the NHLPA, but just seems a bit far-fetched to suggest that this was the plan all along.

  60. billybleedsblue on

    Wait, Doodie, so the “tl; dr” is just – realignment is just a hoax perpetrated by Mr. Bettman ??

  61. >>new Van Halen song out…

    I heard a little bit of it this morning; nothing spectacular. I’m glad that Diamond Dave is back though.

  62. billybleedsblue on

    lol 4ever, I probably wouldn’t have seen that video of The Prust otherwise, thanks for the link!

    Doodie, I guess your theory is POSSIBLE… I dunno though

  63. Doodie Machetto on

    LW, like I said, it’s just a conspiracy theory. But having observed how Bettman has acted as commissioner, how he fights to the death over the things that are his idea or things that he wants, it is definitely a bit odd that he is just totally giving up on this. Classic Bettman would have been to have the scheduling people make two schedules, one with realignment, one without, meanwhile taking the issue to arbitration and fighting to get what he wants.

  64. I agree with Doodie. I mean, I am not a conspiracy theorist but that sounds pretty plausible. Realignment is stupid and the current format is working. Great playoff setup. Detroit is powerful and therefore Butt-Man has to at least present like he is making good on his promise to them. Butt-Man also dodged the question of “does the NHLPA need to approve realignment for it to take place” when he did his press conference. Because he knew!

  65. Doodie Machetto on

    And if he wins, great, realignment schedule is already done. If loses, no problem, we have a schedule for next season plus a draft of what a realignment schedule would look like so we can try and work it out with the NHLPA. Oh by the way, we are going to appeal the arbitration decision in court.

  66. Actually in East Orange NJ Manny. Don’t ask…..I wonder though, can you grow, um, stuff with municipal NJ dirt?

  67. Interestingly, Mama, I read that the most fertile land in all of America was in New Jersey. Now it has obviously been built on and polluted but at one point it was America’s best farmland.

  68. My mom’s dad grew up on a Toms River farm. This guy wasn’t looking to fertilize tomatoes, I don’t think.

  69. If somebody would ask me my impression of Rangers team this season, I’d say that I get tired to keep my eyebrows elevated. Now, being spoiled already, I demand another 2+2 points against Phoenix birds and corrupt senators to celebrate half way to Lord Stanley apartment. After that, some necessary lose games would be allowed, after meticulous reviews. That’s all.

  70. thanks for the condolences for the loss of jpg’s and my Uncle. Sadly, another funeral mass to sing for on Thursday.

    Let’s win tonight for Uncle Jerry! Even if he was more of a football fan than hockey

  71. billybleedsblue on

    Blogmama, maybe the dirt guy was just trying to get his indoor ‘victory garden’ going? Jersey is pretty famous for her tomatoes…

    Wait, is this some investigative report mission that you’re on?! How exciting! Do tell us more! :D

  72. The realignment is most likely to come up again during negotiations this summer, so I don’t think it’s forgotten issue…

  73. Doodie Machetto on

    ilb, you’re right, it will come up. But they will do something far less drastic, and Bettman can still say to Mike Ilitch that he did his best to keep his promise, but the NHLPA wouldn’t let him.

  74. 90% of reporting is being in the right place at the right time. You psychically put yourself in the right place before the right time. Kudos.

  75. billybleedsblue on

    HA! Doodie, your idea was totally plausible before reading the Puck Daddy piece… I still lean towards it’s more of a conspiracy than I would like to imagine, but then again, I have no clue how much politics and manipulation are involved with the league at that level. Probably more than I would think? Heh, nice job man!

  76. Interesting stats, CTB…so the Rangers are unlikely to significantly cool off. Good to know. I think it would’ve been a different picture altogether had they used the Fibonacci numbers though…:-)

  77. Doodie Machetto on

    I’ve met Bettman a couple of times. Such a tiny, tiny man. Was very nice to me in answering my question about fighting.

  78. Good afternoon, Carp!

    Turkey sandwich on ciabatta bread with lettuce, tomatoes, pepperjack, and chipotle bacon mayo. BAM!

  79. Did you rain blows upon him during a discussion on re-alignment and suddenly think to yourself, “there has to be a better way”?

  80. billybleedsblue on

    Sally, that sure beats my can of sardines and cardamom spiced black coffee… although, the coffee was GREAT :D

  81. Doodie Machetto on

    I’m stuck with Time Warner because of my neighborhood. I managed to negotiate a one-time credit of $20. If you have Time Warner, I suggest you try and do the same. Ask for the retention department. Tell them how you thought it was originally going to be a short time without MSG but now it looks like it will be a drawn out fight. Then complain about how you are paying the same amount of money for less channels. Tell them you want to stay with Time Warner but they have to give you a reason to stick it out while MSG is off the air. If they talk about their sports package channels, just tell them how it’s complete BullHartnell that not only do I get less for the same amount of money, but they have the nerve to suggest I pay more for premium services to compensate? And the worst part is all of the local games, which is what I’d be interested in, would be blacked out unless they were a national broadcast, which I would get without an additional charge anyway on NBC Sports. Mention how soccer season starts in March and you’ll be missing the Red Bulls also. If they keep giving you a hard time, just say, OK, so it’s clear you don’t care about keeping me as a customer, so I am just going to look for a different service. Eventually you’ll get something, maybe even more than I did. I just couldn’t stay on the phone any longer.

  82. Doodie- I feel sorry for you that you don’t have FiOS in your building. And do not think for a second TWC doesn’t know you have limited options. When I called and told them I was switching to FiOS, they were ready to cut my bill by $40. I told them I wasn’t going to wait for months this time.

  83. I am in the same boat as you Doodie. I was so excited to get FiOs and then I found out I can’t have it in my building. It’s horrible.

  84. Billy, I am definitely ready for a 2nd coffee right now. Mmm.

    Aw I wish I was going to the game tonight! Korpikoski!

  85. Doodie Machetto on

    Not just my building, my entire neighborhood is unavailable for FiOS.

    But I’m stuck with TW because my building specifically doesn’t allow satellite dishes. Otherwise I’d have DirectTV.

  86. Ria( the silent bonehead) on

    jpg & jpg’s sister so sorry to hear about your Uncle may he rest in peace always

  87. billybleedsblue on

    Sally, I dunno if you are a ‘spice’ girl, but all i did was lightly toast some cardamom seeds and crush them in a mortar/pestle and put them over the tops of the grounds in my coffee maker. Wow, now this is a foodie blog lol

    Seriously though, It’s so delicious… I think I need to make more coffee now :D

    Let’s Go Rangers?

  88. Manny knows what I’m talkin aboot.

    Billy, I am definitely a Spice Girl. Also, I love cardamom coffee.

  89. fyi, organist at churches are SO territorial. I don’t want their job, I just want to sing at my Uncle’s funeral in the correct key and temp

  90. Doodie Machetto on

    they just want to get paid. Slip the organist 20 bucks to let you do one thing by yourself.

  91. Latona, I think you’re missing the point. Which is that I ate CHIPOTLE BACON MAYO. Who cares if it came with some turkey?

    Also, I’ve been eating turkey cause that’s what I bought for lunch this week. I am also sick of it. But this sandwich today came from the place I used to work at and it was *delicious*!

  92. There are more references to the Rangers in the comments under the Parise article than the one you linked actually about the Rangers, CT. Obsessed much, Devils fans?

  93. Cardadad is a town that is very close to Isalamabad in Pakistan. Thus the coffee is coffee that comes from farms in and around those towns. Very heavy in poppy seed flavo(u)r.

  94. Has it been mentioned that Hank is #1 goalie in the league according to TSN player rankings…only goalie on list above a 90…Tim Thomas is 2nd at somewhere around an 89 I think it was. Probably should have copied link but I am feeling too lazy at this point in my day.

    And once again…sorry by me for like not posting much lately.

    For those with time Warner and extra money in the bank can always order the center ice package. And call TW and tell them to lower your bill…it’s been known to work in the past. You’re welcome.

  95. Joke – I thought, based on All Star balloting, that James Reimer was the best goalie….weird.

  96. LW,

    I like how they mention all the Rangers FA busts and act like the Devils have never signed a FA that didn’t work out or havevn’t put a mediocre team on the ice that stretches near the cap limit. And they seem to leave out that both of their nearly 40 year old goalies are UFAs next year without anything close to a tested replacement in the farm system.

  97. Manny, they will black game out only when it’s on versus or NHL network. Which sucks if it’s on NHL, because NHL then gets blacked out because it should be on MSG. Those are only games I won’t get in at least standard def on center ice. Center ice has about 7 HD channels now but they rarely use them to air the game listed.

    We called TW before black out and asked if they could help us with bill and they said they would take off $30 a month but didn’t say for how long.

  98. Sally,

    I may have to rescind all your lunch points if you don’t understand my absolutely horrific joke.

  99. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, don’t fret: you can spend $35 for a hot dog with no mustard in about 2 hours.

  100. I guess you’re at the game, Carp. Warmups? Same place. A couple of boneheads may meet you…

  101. same spot ilb … but I might not be able to stay long. My sports editor is coming to the game tonight, though he’ll probably be too late for warmups.

  102. It should be Cardabad (not cardadad)- this imaginary, non-existent city, Manny. As an avid coffee lover I did my meticulous research. I’m stunned with a genius idea of bioengineered new coffee beverage – poppy coffee. How clever! And, BTW, you’re The Author and can name it at you wish. …and I thought I tried them all. Lol. Sally, “bon boire!”

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