Rangers-Senators in review; Live chat at 1:30

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First things first: We will have a Live Chat today at 1:30, so pretend to be working and sneak over here with questions/comments. Please enter a user name when you ask or comment. Makes it easier for me. Thanks. Be there.

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Shocker. Rangers get shut out, bunch of you break your ankles jumping off the bandwagon; many demanding a scorer be added (and some demanding the coach be fired … for real).

Think about it, though. The Rangers have really squeaked out a lot of wins lately — the goal with 0.1 left in Phoenix; the comeback and the late penalty shot-stop in the Winter Classic; the OT win over the Panthers last week; the shootout win against the Coyotes Tuesday. In those games they barely scored enough. Last night, it’s 1-0, and they didn’t score enough. Or at all. That it ended up 3-0, I think, is meaningless. And four of their 10 regulation losses have now come via shutout.

Still, best mid-season records in 40 years. So it really is ridiculous to complain. Beyond ridiculous.

Thoughts:

1) Granted, the Rangers could sure use a top-six forward — preferably a first-line scoring winger. But you’re not getting a first-line scoring winger (scoring winger meaning somebody capable of scoring more than 25 or 30 playing with Marian Gaborik) without giving up a ton of talent/prospects/picks. And then you have to fit him under the cap (and do you really want to squeeze somebody in when J.P. Parise’s kid might be available July 1?) And then there’s this: Most of those good-hands legit scorers aren’t meant to play the way the Rangers play; don’t have the jam. So he’d better do some serious scoring. Or it’s going to be a big problem. I don’t see it happening.

2) Not jumping from one thought to another, because I don’t think Wojtek Wolski is the answer to any of the questions. And I’m not judging him based on one game, where he had to jump aboard a speeding train. Let’s see what he can be, if he gets the opportunity. Maybe he fits on one of the third or fourth lines ultimately. Maybe he doesn’t. But he’d better compete, or he’ll be playing with Avery, Christensen and Redden.

3) Funny how much they missed Brandon Dubinsky in a game like this. Not that they would have won, or even scored. But you didn’t get the waves of forecheck, and part of that was Dubinsky not being there.

4) The PP stunk early again, the Rangers committed at least four icings in the first period, and still dominated that period. Craig Anderson did his Mike Smith impression.

5) The PP has now failed to score a goal in seven of the last eight games, and 11 of 14. And they’ve survived without it. But, boy, would it help to even have a mediocre PP.

6) Henrik Lundqvist lost a seven-game winning streak. He deserved better.

7) Agreed with John Tortorella that the first two lines didn’t do much (trying to remember, did he use the word “squat?” … I think he did). And that Artem Anisimov hasn’t done anything of note lately (it was his turnover that led to the first goal). And that Brian Boyle’s line and John Mitchell’s line were pretty good (and that Boyle sure got unlucky when his shot hit the shaft of Spezza’s stick, even while Spezza wasn’t looking or trying to block it).

8) There’s a buzz in the building any time Carl Hagelin skates with the puck, or even more so when he chases it. Pretty cool. Kid’s been good.

9) The Rangers have to be the only team that plays in the Winter Classic and then plays on worse ice when it goes back indoors.

10) Took a tour of the concourse before the game. Lot of the new food places are open now. Expensive, but they look pretty decent. I’ll have to branch out ¬†from the chicken and fries.

11) I joked that this was the Battle of the All-Stars, Ottawa having four ballot-stuffed stars voted in, the Rangers having three players and the coach get there the hard way, by earning it. But that Ottawa team’s got a lot of talent. The Turris kid was outstanding, start to finish.

12) Did  you see that the Danbury Whalers signed Don Maloney Jr.?

13) Marc Staal is getting there. It might take a little while, but he’s starting to look like himself again.

14) Anybody got a count on how many times Brandon Prust has fought Zenon Konopka? Gotta be about a dozen, right?

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My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Brian Boyle.
2) Carl Hagelin.
3) Brandon Prust.

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AP photos, above.

 

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146 Comments

  1. And I agree with CARP. I would NOT give up a ton of talent to get a scoring winger. I would rather them lose in the playoffs and develop as a young squad this year then get rid of the young talent. Personally, I am probably one of the few people here who has seen Chris Kreider play live. (as well as seeing Carl Hagelin play at the Yost arena in Ann Arbor!) I think Chris Kreider is going to be that power forward in a couple of years that you will all drool over. He as well as JT miller are two more excellent prospects in the pipeline. Add that to a great free agent signing like JP’s kid and this team WILL win a couple of cups.

  2. I hate it when we lose, especially to a bunch of ballot-stuffing “all-stars”, but as long as they pick themselves up, realise the importance of that forecheck to the way the team plays and get back to winning ways in the next game then its just a blip.

    I can see how we should be able to get Parise under the cap, but having to fully account for Redden’s salary during the summer too might make it harder. I know we will lose Christy, Wolski and probably Feds, plus the Drury buyout is $2m less next year – but DelZ will be due a raise and we will have approx $16m to sign him plus resign Prust, #5 & 6 d-men, backup goalie and another 4th liner. If we use McIlrath, Erixon or Kreider their contracts are $1.7m, $1.7m and $1.3m respectively.

    Not to mention he would have to want to cross the river and hope he doesnt “do a Gomer” otherwise the fans will turn on him quick-smart.

  3. Yeah it had to happen sooner or later. The combination of bad passing, sloppy shooting and lousy ice ( which was lousy for both teams). and the Senators made the Rangers look …very ordinary.

  4. It happens. The NYR are not gonna win every game. I wonder how Torts treated them between periods… I believe the team has completely bought in to the system and that they believe in their coach. I wonder if Torts kept yelling, or pulled his foot off of the gas. As much as I like Torts, I believe that over time the team will tune him out. Just like it did in Tampa. I read a book about Mike Keenan, and he seemed to have a knack of knowing when to let up on his team (except for his insane benching of Leetch during the ’94 run). There is a certain madness that a coach needs to succeed. I hope Torts finds a balance with that.

  5. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Wanting to see this team FULLY utilize its assets is NOT complaining. I have long maintained that how you deploy your available personnel is more important than the collective ability level of talent you have.

    You can burn out your talent, reducing, in effect your talent and ability level. You can use the wrong people in the wrong situations, we see this in all sports, all the time. You can keep talented kids who are ready, on the farm too long. You can keep mediocre to poor veterans around too long. You can play people out of position until the cows come home. You can make short-term patching trades “to make the playoffs,” or to solidify your status as the third-best team in the league – at the enormous cost to and sacrifice of your future championship chances.

    Efficiency and effectiveness with the talent pool you have on hand is far more important than just having a bunch of talented players who don’t mesh well and who are asked to do what they cannot do well, and not asked to do what they can do well.

    Hags got 1 1/2 minutes PP time, last night. If this is the beginning of the conferring of more responsibility and opportunity for him in this area, I would say that there is one hell of a silver lining to the cloud of last night’s defeat.

  6. Stranger Nation on

    Picture of Wolski is hilarious. Looks like he needs to take a pee. Torts likes north south, that guy is east west.

  7. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    At this time, and this is always in a state of flux, of course, the Rangers do grade third-best in the National Hockey League. Boston shows a 66% composite (E.S. + Special Teams, for and against) goal-scoring share; Vancouver is at 60%; with the Rangers next at 57%, overall.

    Not bad, but obviously there is work to be done. It could be as simple, or as complicated as Hags going full time PP duties; Kreider coming in here and making a big impact; Sauer checking out ok upon his return; the continued progress of Staal; Biron continuing to impress and keep Hank relatively fresh; Girardi being allowed to catch his breath; and the rest of the team remaining relatively healthy.

    Most of these variables falling into place bodes extremely well for this team’s chances of post-season success – as well as any other team’s chances.

  8. so Carp,
    you feel this team should wait another year before it can compete for the Cup. wait for Parise, wait for Kreider, wait for Miller. why pass up a chance at going for it now? how far away is this team? one real good scoring winger , at whatever the price may be, may just be what gets on the run to the cup. nah, never mind, lets just wait till next year.

  9. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Hey, this team IS competing for the Cup THIS YEAR. Who says it isn’t? Still it should not mortgage a significant part of its future – a future that will arrive in full force as soon as next season – for an outside shot, this year. Beating both Boston and Vancouver this year is not impossible, but I would handicap it as about an 8-1 shot, but what a sag if it doesn’t happen at the cost of a couple blue-chip futures kids for an Iginla-type “rental.”

    Some say go for it, their opionion is to be respected, and we might win it. Some say we have the look of a team that is a year away, and an expensive “rental” will not greatly alter that fact.

    I happen to be in the conservative, patient camp, but I will be the first to admit that by rolling the dice for a one-shot, 1994 did turn out rather well. What we will never know is whether the Amonte’s and the Weight’s of the world, had they been retained, would have led us to two Cups, not just the one Cup we won, in succeeding years?

    Hindsight is perfect but none of us is blessed with it before the fact. I say, unlike in previous years, we are holding a strong hand, right now, and have no need to play the game desperately, like this year is this team’s only shot at glory. Let’s go for a couple of Cups over the next 5-7 years, we are on that threshold.

  10. Stranger Nation on

    The best reason for moving Hags up to line 1 is his board work. For all his speed and hustle, the guy is very adept along the glass and would complement Gabby.

    Not sure if the stat is kept, but my guess is he is one of the team leaders for ES SOG. The kid continues to impress. Also makes one think about pre season in Michigan where he played well, but so did others and how quickly help may be on the way.

  11. This team … I tell ya … rather be forced to watch Cannonball 2 than to watch these bunch of abysmal clowns.

  12. I’m not a praying man Lord, but please take mercy on my team and buy a bus ticket to Hartford for #86. There are more deserving servants who will give their all for this team!

  13. Stranger Nation on

    The Miami hex! Starting talking nicebabout the team and WHAM, the complacency sets in and we get smacked.

  14. Hey we lost. 10-2, 5-1, etc. Point is, any way you slice it we are having an amazing season.

    Imitation is the highest form of flattery and man oh man did the Senators (all-stars) do their best Rangers impression last night. Those guys were everywhere. Seemed like they had 10 guys on the ice at all times. No one could get free. Hard on the puck, hard on the forecheck, strong at the blueline, etc. They were outshot and still managed to win.

  15. stranger nation on

    Another item from last night – if Sens are pressing/attacking the puck carrier, sometimes with 2 or even 3 guys when down low, it is reasonable to believe that someone might be open. Moving without puck and looking for the pass are two activities in short supply last night.

  16. Morning All,

    I agree with Carp regarding the fact that the Rangers should not mortgage the future for a scorer.

    Perhaps Doan at or before the deadline – and the offer should be draft picks and a Whale or two. No front line players.

    Otherwise, you wait for Kreider, JT Miller, Thomas, St. Croix and company to come through the pipeline.

    We have a world-class goal in his prime – one of the best young groups of d-men in the league and a solid core up front.

    Let’s keep adding to it – without taking too much away.

    And remember, the Rangers will have a lot of room under the cap come July 1 – and if Zach Parise gets to July 1 – chances of him moving to the Blueshirts is pretty good.

    One more thing…

    Don’t get hung up on last night’s loss – keep in mind how great the Rangers have been in back to backs since Torts arrived.

    You didn’t think they’d lose only 9 games this year – did ya?

    Onto Toronto and Montreal – Hockey Night in Canada.
    No long losing streaks for this team.

  17. Ben – all that scares me about this particular road trip is that we have had the majority of our losses against Canadian teams.

  18. Not gonna let one bad game ruin my image of this team…I keep feeling like they were due for a bad game. Maybe this was it?

    Anisimov has the talent, but you can see how many nights he’s stuck in neutral. Maybe a maturity problem?

    These Rangers have bounced back after tough losses all year long. I’m looking forward to seeing how they react in Toronto. And then I’d like to see them beat the stuffing out of the Canadiens (although Hank’s record there is somewhat abysmal)

    The LAST team in the NHL to finally hit double digits in losses. That’s okay by me.

    Lots of room to improve on this team, but not worth blowing it all up. We’ve got too much young talent to do that.

  19. Manny,

    This team is so resilient – with great leadership in the room.

    I just don’t see any prolonged losing streaks here.

    You read their post-game quotes – these players expect to win every night now – and they’re made as Hartnell when they don’t.

    They are their own worst critics – and have totally bought into the Torts way of playing.

    So look for two strong efforts this weekend – wouldn’t be surprised if we put 4 more points in the bank.

  20. Oh I agree. We haven’t lost more than two in a row. And when we did everyone here was Panicking! Hilarious.

    10 Losses to date. 10! It’s unbelievable how well this team is playing.

  21. Agree Manny.

    They have been through so much this season already – with the European vacation – HBO – and The Winter Classic.

    Anyone who thinks they’re gonna let a mid-January loss to Ottawa derail them really doesn’t understand the makeup of this team.

    Every game cannot be a Picasso.

    Way too much overanalyzing here.

    Its the entire body of work that counts – and it has been quite impressive thus far.

  22. If at the start of the season, you’d have said we’d be without Sauer and Staal for most of the first half, most fans would have been happy with a team in a playoff place – but here we are with one of, if not the best. Now lets go show Canada we mean business!!

  23. stranger, I’m with you. This loss was all Miami’s fault for that bush-league comment he made yesterday. FIRE MIAMI!!!

  24. Six games left before the All-Star break, this w/e being the only back to back.

    What do you think… LQ in Toronto and Marty in Montreal?

  25. based on carps analysis maybe they will have to win playoff games 2 to 1 and stay the course until kreider and another forward(maybe Parise) can be added.

    Scoring depth is my only concern with this team.

    BTW, having shoulder surgery today. Willl be out of commission for a while. will be reading the blog but posting may be difficult.

    hagelin can play. he is a better Gene Carr a name from the past……

  26. Oh man. Good luck Stuart! Enjoy those pain killers. You will be back to major league pitcher status in no time!

  27. stranger nation on

    Sally – pretty obvious isn’t it – Miami Pimp went Bizarro World on us and started to talk nice about the squad. Last time that happens this year I hope.

  28. @ Boom Boom: Exactly. Don’t panic, stay pat and see what happens. We’re still second overall with the team we’ve got. Maybe Kreider comes on board when his season ends, and he may be just the scoring winger that we need. Then next year we get 2 or 3 more talented kids on the roster and the sky’s the limit. Patience, not panic.

  29. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Stuart A –

    Good luck with your surgery and I know everyone joins me in wishing you a speedy and complete recovery. Watch some hockey on TV – beats taking a med, every time.

  30. Glad to see they caught the upstanding Philthy fan from the WC fight. Nice mug shot.
    This is only one loss and I think the team will bounce back as they have after previous losses.

    Carp, AA gives the puck away, a goal against is scored, and he is benched. Rupper did the same thing with no notice or even a mention of it by the coach. What’s with that.

    Dubi was missed as much as Avery was last game.

  31. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    rocketnyr –

    I’m thinking Sather will be patient, BUT, if he is packing it in after this season – win or lose – he might pull the trigger on a short-term patching / rental deal. In fact, if he does, I am going to surmise we will be done with him, this summer.

  32. I say at this point let’s stay patient with the forward need.

    kreider, thomas, st croix, whomever have to be a smarter way to do things then to mortgage the future…

    if they make a trade it would have to be some excess D for a forward..

    thanks all for the good wishes. hopefully sports on the couch all weekend if I can make it…

  33. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Stuart A –

    Maybe you remember Jack Egers, who was Gene Carr with an on-net bullet shot. He got concussed and vanished just as quickly as he exploded on the scene.

    He almost put us over the top in our series with the Bruins, just prior to their winning the Cup in 1970. Hags, to me, is more reminiscent of Egers than of Carr. Egers was a heavyweight version of Carr.

  34. I agree, be patient. It would be foolish for the rangers to mortgage the future for a top 6 forward. I feel Kreider will be a top 6 forward. I can see sather making a small trade at the deadline.

  35. do not remember Egers. I have been a ranger fan for a long long time. But I have lived in California for many years and obviously cable and the net were not around.

    I went to the ranger/king game at the Fabulous FOrum a lifetime ago when both benches emptied and all hell broke loose.

    My favorite player when he was patrolling the blueline was ROn Greschner. Remember Sassoon jeans and the ranger commercials??

    Hagelin seems to have speed and skill and a strong hockey sense………………….

    Kreider can leave school after the season and I would definitely try him out and see what you get. He has a mans body already….

  36. Shoot the puck, Barry on

    Boy, we’ve gotten spoiled with all this winning– I agree it makes the loss even harder to take, but you kinda had a feeling it was going to happen.

    And, when I heard Wolski was playing instead of Dubi, I just thought this was the game where they would lose. All in all, Wolski wasn’t awful, and like Carp said you have to give him somewhat of a pass, but you Prucha him when Dubi is ready to go. (Carp, any sense on if he’ll be back the next game, or might this be a few games?)

    I really don’t think Ottawa is all that good, but they did look like us out there with playing us tight. They did cover Gabby like a blanket; if teams try and replicate that, we have to be able to counter with the open ice it might leave.

    I think they’ll come out hard this weekend– and angry. By the way, one guy who doesn’t get a lot of mentions around here is Mitchell. If Torts starts switching up the lines a bit, I’d like to see him get a shot occasionally on a better line. Also, why doesn’t Torts go back to the Boyle-Mitchell-Hagelin line?

  37. Good morning, Sally!

    Much luck, Stuart.

    Matty, I think the difference between Anisimov and Rupp is that Anisimov’s really been doing nothing for a while now.

  38. Good point, Barry. The blanket coverage of Gaborik is intense. That might be a situation where you pop Richards out there for a shift or two with Gaborik and try to create a little mayhem for them to cover. Get two guys out there that they want to blanket and certainly someone will be open and Richards can create and take quick shots. Both would be useful there.

    Their goalie (Anderson) played out of his mind too. That didn’t help us. Headbutting? They look EXACTLY like the Rangers!

  39. Also, Rupp and Artie are pretty different players. Artie is out there to create and make things happen and become an offensive force. Rupp is there to fight, grind and score big time goals.

  40. This team seems to need to play a real stinker every few games to reboot their mindset that they are not invincible (the games against MTL and WAS come to mind). They have shown a real propensity to bounce back from games like this. Always like to head on the road with a W, but they will get TOR coming off a game tonight.

    Funny how the standings tighten up after just one loss.

  41. We will have to address the fact of Boyle, Prust and Feds being offensive zeroes. You can’t have 3 forwards getting big minutes when they can’t put the puck in the ocean… they are all good defensively but all they do is waste time until the guys who can score have rested. At least they popped in a few last season. Boyle is a joke this season.

  42. stranger nation on

    Agree they need offensive production out of the bottom 6.

    Respectfully disagree about Boyle. While his season goal production is negligible and he has the Manos de Piedra – he might have had the best scoring chances last night – even had a nice Eddie Shore backhand in one rush. He has many flaws in his game, which is why he is a checking center – good at faceoffs, shutting off his man, taking the body – and he is still developing his game.

    For many shifts they have the Sens’ top line stuffed in the zone playing D for the whole shift – much of that was great board work by all 3. Of the GWG, if Artie does not try the touch pass, we are probably looking OT/SO – it was that type of game – who ever scored first was going to win.

    Like putting Mitch with Feds and Hags – that could be another offensive line and put Boyle between Rupper and Prust for a true banger/checking line.

  43. Boyle is a joke? Really? Seems like he is kind of an important member of this team. Oh wait, are we not counting character, effort and integrity as important? I thought this team had to be a _team_ to win.

    Also, Boyle had an uncharacteristic big first half last season. Who’s to say he won’t have a big second half this year?

  44. Manny, Also, Rupp and Artie are pretty different players. Artie is out there to create and make things happen and become an offensive force. Rupp is there to fight, grind and score big time goals.

    I agree, which is why Rupp should not be making fancy drop passes to the other team and stay within his game. I have a hard time seeing the coach as being consistent in his treatment of all of the players. I’m also not in the locker room, so I may not have the full picture. As long as the team keeps winning is all that really matters.

  45. Carp,

    There are many here among us who do no understand the importance of intangibles like chemistry in the room.

    Players such as Boyle, Prust and Rupp not only provide the “glue” that the coach talks about on a continual basis – they are the foot soldiers that all teams need to win the battle of attrition that is the Stanley Cup playoffs.

    Besides, the big money guys don’t always score the double and triple OT goals – the grunts get lots of those. You can look it up.

    Geez.

  46. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Rocketnyr –

    Mitchell, too, is an offensive ZERO. Not one goal nor primary assist in the 10 games since Bickel arrived. I know, we have players whose primary responsibility is grinding, but a case can be made that we have one or two too many of this type player on the roster.

    This is why Kreider is doubly critical to this team’s success, this year – he will replace a “grinder.” Sure would like to see JAM or Miller or Newbury get a shot this year, too. Miller can score, Newbury can grind and/or score, at least he has the size, and Jam adds speed and scoring potential, at least. Not saying all of them will make it, but chances are at least one of them will stake a solid claim, given the chance.

  47. Manny – Boyle is a joke offensively, yes. It doesn’t matter how many chances you get if you can’t bury them to save your life. He’s good defensively and blocks a lot of shots, but hockey is a two-way game.

    Last night in the 3rd period little Eric Karlsson who is 8 inches shorter and 80 lbs lighter checked Boyle into the boards, took the puck away and left Boyle in a heap. Boyle has what they call a “high center of gravity”. I know Torts loves his size, but he plays like a much smaller man offensively.

  48. Egers had a great comb-over. I was at the last game of the season in 1970 when the Rangers
    scored 9 goals against the hung-over Red Wings to sneak into the playoffs over the Habs. Egers
    got two if I remember right. Then he went to St. Louis?

    Gene Carr could fly. But less scoring/playmaking ability than can be imagined. Giacomin had a
    better nose for the opposition net.

  49. Authorben

    Chemistry plays a role in success. The Rangers can not afford to go with 6 offensive zeroes on the rest of the way, and no power play. Boyle, Prust, and Rupp are a good 4th line. Upgrades from the system or at the trade deadline are needed to replace Mitchell and Fedotenko, with a healthy Dubinsky replacing Wolski.

  50. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Authorben –

    You must really be happy that Tort’s has ordered every player under 30 to seek out Rupp in the locker room for a pat on the back and a wisened “quip” before every game. In fact, they have been instructed to watch the big guy put the uniform on, so that they can reverberate more pride in their game be more in awe of their surroundings and the intangible chemisty flowing through the molecules, in there.

    jajajajajajaja

  51. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Chris –

    You just added THE BEST succinct analysis of the situation with this team I have seen all season. I thank you.

  52. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Manny –

    You are right and promotions for kids, other than Kreider are truly wishful thinking on my part.

  53. Chris/Boom Boom

    How quickly we forget – The Winter Classic

    Rangers down 2 – 0

    Doesn’t look so good on the frozen pond in Philly

    So who steps up?

    Mike Rupp – two goals
    Brandon Prust – two assits
    Brian Boyle – heavy hits in all three zones

    This is the type of clutch performances you will see down the stretch

    And what makes you think Kreider is just going to step in and light it up – especially within the cauldron of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

    When the games count the most – the grinders get the goals – you will see

  54. Boom Boom – I would LOVE to see Krieder and JT Miller up here. That would make me really happy. I am just swallowing my hopes right now.

    Turris was kind of a monster last night. A “Lupul-like” performance, if you will.

  55. Boom Boom

    You are welcome. The Rangers are going to look for upgrades. They have the best team in the league, but they are flawed, and they know that. They are not going to be naive like some here and ignore their flaws.

  56. And…

    John Mitchell is an excellent down-low player with great skating ability who knows how to protect the puck…

    Are you guys watching the same games that I am?

  57. Mike Rupp = 1 Cup, 1 Cup Clinching Game 7 Goal.
    Fedotenko = 2 Cups, 1 Cup Clinching Goal

    Rip on them all you will folks. They win.

  58. czechthemout!!!! on

    You are not going to win or score many goals if Bryan Boyle and feds get almost 20 minutes of ice time. Hagelin made that line effective with his ability to open up space for himself. Hagelin is being wasted plYing with two grinders who have zero offensive ability. Hagelin was open many times last night and both Boyle and feds failed to see him. Hagelin needs to be given powerplay time and second line play.

    And whoever said.it, you are right. If they are not going to trade for outside scoring help than they need to give both Kreider and JT Miller a shot late in the year and see what they can do. But make no mistake, there is no way you can win the Stanley Cup when five of you twelve forwards are fourth liners. Sorry!

  59. Chris – we aren’t being “naive” as you say. We are just protecting the core of our team so we can win in the future. We don’t want to bring in a rental and give up our youth in an effort to do so.

  60. They have flaws that will be addressed over the course of time with players that fit into the hard-working winning culture that is being built with this team

  61. Authorben

    You can not depend on uncharacteristic performances to become the norm. Rupp, Prust, and Boyle comprise a good 4th line.

  62. Am I the only one that thinks seeing Kreider in our starting line-up this year is somewhat of a long shot?

    Will he leave in the middle of the BC season? Miss the frozen four? Is there precedence of this happening? Otherwise he isn’t available until the first round of our playoffs. Not a given Tort’s would put an untested kid in that spot.

    I’m seriously asking, if I am missing something someone please enlighten me.

  63. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Hospodar –

    Funny you should mention Egers hair style (not really a “comb-over” I do think it was his own hair). Circa 1975 I was at a Kings – Rangers game at the Forum, sitting downstairs right behind one of the nets.

    The Rangers had a player, in this pre-helmet era, I didn’t recognize. He had long, just about hippie-length hair. Turns out, I found out after the game it was Egers whom they had just re-acquired.

    Man, I liked Egers so much, I felt terribly cheated that I saw him close-up every shift he was on the ice, yet didn’t know it was he. He came up with a short-cropped hair style and went out looking like a Neanderthal Man, you could say.

  64. Manny

    You have to give up value to get value, and the Rangers AHL depth has value. Are you suggesting that Fedotenko, Rupp, Mitchell, Prust, Boyle are the core of the team?

  65. it all depends on who and what there contract is but if there is a top 6 winger out there that makes sense and we had to give up a player from the roster i wouldnt been hesistant about saying NO if arty name came up. not saying i want to trade him but if the deal makes sense i would move arty.

  66. Leetchhalloffame on

    I thought they really missed Dubi last night, especially the way he’s been playing lately. He could have made the difference in what was really a one bounce of the puck game most of the night. Wolski is a total waste. Why he’s on the roster right now I’ll never know. Finally, if we really want to contend for the ultimate prize this spring Slats needs to wake up and upgrade at the trading deadline or before.

  67. Carp,

    Agreed about the lack of scoring lately… it’s been an issue and they’ve found ways to win despite it (thanks M.A. Fleury for leaving that puck for Gabby)…

    So, I’m curious as to what the solution is since you don’t think they can get a winger that fits, or they’re too expensive (either giving up too much or cap wise). Personally, I don’t think Parise will be available and IF he is, there will be plenty of teams in on it, driving the price way up.

    I don’t think we can wait and hope for Kreider to be a superstar. It may not happen (at all) for years.

    What to do?

  68. Chris,

    Boyle, Prust, Rupp and Feds are strong complimentary players that absolutely will provide key goals down the stretch and into the playoffs.

    Plus, they are players that the coach trusts – and that should tell you a lot. You know, the coach who won a Stanley Cup in 2004 with grinders like Tim Taylor, Chris Dingman Martin Cibek,
    Dmitry Afanasenkov – and none other than Ruslan Fedotenko – who by the way – scored both goals in game 7 – which the lightning won 2-1.

  69. You have to think about how all the parts fit together

    Torts does an outstanding job of making that happen

    The guy can flat out freakin’ coach

  70. Wow, it’s not too bad around here considering the Rangers lost only their 2nd game in 12 games. I thought everyone would act like the sky is falling haha.

    They didn’t play that well last night. Top 2 lines didn’t show up. Yes the scoring has dropped off a bit, but they’ve had their scoring ups and downs. I still think they were playing better than they should’ve been before, and I don’t think we’ll hit a huge slump, but they won’t be playing as well as they should for a little while. We’re a 4-6 place team IMO (which is what I’ve said here all season). Much better position than last year and a much deeper team than last year.

    As for WW, I didn’t think he was that bad last night. He sure doesn’t play with the “jam” that Torts speaks of, but he’s extremely quick on the puck in his thinking, almost too quick sometimes. Early in the game he had a few chances that were good and even setup Cally who just wasn’t expecting the puck when WW tipped a dump in right in front of the net. I thought he did it by accident but on replay you could see he knew Cally was there and tried to get it to him.

    Can’t judge him on one game though. Just like we can’t get worked up on one loss in the last 6 games and 2 in the last 12. We definitely missed Dubi’s skating ability though last night since Ottawa is a fast team.

  71. Authorben – agreed. Plus people need to realize that not everyone can be a scorer. Would be nice, but you need guys to fill other roles too. Ideally I’d like to see them with 3 solid scoring lines, but until Kreider/Thomas come up, it’s not likely to happen just yet and no team other than Boston really has that.

  72. 1940: Krieder this year is a big long shot. ESPECIALLY if this team is playing really well. Maybe if we were out of it, might be fun to give him a look but without a serious injury I don’t think we will see much of Krieder, Bjork, etc.

    Chris: The Core of this team is more the Youth and terrific Goaltending. Dare I say the Defensive core is really the true “core” right now. I would more speak in terms of guys I would refuse to Trade. So here is a list of guys, in no particular order, I don’t want to see leave the team (by no means are guys like Richards or Gaborik the CORE of this team. The core of this team is the HEART):

    Gaborik
    Stepan
    Callahan
    Richards
    Hagelin
    Lundqvist
    Del Zaster
    Staal
    Girardi
    Sauer
    McBust

  73. That’s a great point there, Ben – Players that Torts TRUSTS. That’s a huge part of this team. Boyle was singled out at every single meeting on 24/7 and he took it in stride and used it as fuel. That’s a rare quality. Why he doesn’t play his size, I have no idea. But he will help us down the stretch

  74. Boom Boom Bathgate / "Sloppy Firsts" on

    Authorben –

    Can we just bring in 12 grinders and let it go at that, to make their fans who come out of the woodwork, when they score two times per year, happy as a flock of feeding pigeons on The Boardwalk?

    Seriously – it is BALANCE, also referred to as “The Golden Mean” that this and every team should strive for, and we seem to have a quorum and a consensus here that this team is much too heavily-weighted down toward the grinder side, at the expense of scoring.

    With balance this organization really has the talent to win it all. Two more scorers up front, those are looking like the final two pieces in the championship puzzle. So that, whatever they did in the past, whatever they did in Philadelphia on January 2nd, a couple of these grunts need to butt out.

  75. Right, Boom Boom – it’s about BALANCE. Unfortunately, people are starting to pick on one side of that balance because we lost our 10th game of the season.

  76. Authorben

    Maxime Talbot scored both goals in Game 7 3 years ago.

    The 2003-04 Lightning team is completely different from this team. They had 1 90 point player, 2 80 point players, another 30 goal scorer and another 20 goal scorer. They also acquired another 30 goal scorer mid season. They also received 20 goals from Fedotenko and defenceman Kubina.

  77. Thanks, I agree Manny. However listening to some people here, they talk as if it is a given that he will be here and I just don’t see it that way. So I was wondering if I was missing something.

  78. Good afternoon all! Good luck Stuart!

    Slept through the game, 3rd day off and 3rd day sick in a row. Hartnell!!! But probably a good thing I missed the loss, since we’re apparently on track to blow the entire rest of the season :) Oh, you all…..

  79. Some quotes about Fedotenko:

    “He went on to tally 14 points in 24 post-season games with the Penguins in 2009, capturing his *second* career Stanley Cup as Pittsburgh defeated the Detroit Red Wings in seven games.”

    “In 2004, Fedotenko won his first Stanley Cup, scoring the *championship-winning goal in game seven* of the finals against the Calgary Flames.”

  80. I think most people agree we need at least one more offensive threat. I guess the real question is who/if anyone, are we willing to give up? I don’t know about you guys but I’m not willing to give up much at this point. I am however, in favor of seeing guys like Zucc and JAM get a look.

  81. The only guy I want to see as a Ranger this season, who isn’t one already, is Zuccarello.

    He is actually the type of guy who can help this team. And, he has a chance to be a part of the core, too.

  82. NYR – I was just thinking about you because I wrote about our favorite ^hobbit wizard^ above. I was wondering what your opinion was about the trade talks and his asking for a trade if he isn’t going to play at the NHL level. That sounds like something that Torts would specifically *not* like and specifically *not* want around the team. What do you think? I would love to see him up here in place of Wolski.

  83. eddie eddie eddie on

    rangers dont need to make any big moves…..they just have to move without the puck on the PP…..fix that one area and its a Bos/NYR CF……a great series…..

  84. I don’t think he’s ever specifically asked for a trade. There were some articles that came out of Norway that said he had asked for one but it was really his agent doing the talking. He is remaining faithful to his contract. He wants to be in the NHL as a Ranger.

    Of course, I’d love him up here. It’s a shame that the Rangers got off to a bad start or else I think he’d be with the team and racking up points.

    He has had an All-Star season in the AHL this year and CT has said more than once that he is ready for the call-up.

    When he’s healthy, call his aasen up!

  85. eddie eddie eddie on

    mama – try black elderberry syrup……it cures everything….its expensive….but worth it….

  86. Cool. Thank you for your response, friend.

    I am really upset that he has been injured thrice in the AHL and never in the NHL.

  87. stranger nation on

    this team should respond this weekend, though the Leafs have played them tough and then going into the Molson Center playing against the Habs and the refs.

    At a high level, this team will be more challenged in the second ‘third’ of the season; 1st half, 2nd half, POs when other teams begin to buckle down and play a similar defense first style. Transition mistakes are killers as last night showed.

    Can Artie play ‘big’ and improve his board work and decision making in O zone?
    Can Dubi get back to career level production level and bury some of those chances?
    Will Biron get his 10 starts during the second half (montreal would be a good start this weekend, eh?)
    Will Hags and Step continue to emerge and not wear down as the season progresses?
    Will the D stay injury free and begin to dominate? (thought Bickel played great last night)

    It will be fun to watch – lookign forward to the weeknd!!

  88. iWicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    Morning ILB, live chat, Kathryn tappen, and all!!!

    It doesn’t really seem like the d corps misses sauer a lot (I could be wrong), and I would rather see him playing instead of Stralman.

    That being said, I would have no problem moving him and dubi for iggy.

    I think iggy in dubi’s spot and kreider in Mitchell’s top 12 spot would be about perfect!

    Musing….

  89. I keep seeing the name of Krieder and Kreider
    appearing in these posts and I don;t know which is the correct spelling

    It matters. It’s a German name and in that language the dipthong ie, and ei are both seen often. If the i precedes the e, then it is pronounced Kreeder, but if the e precedes the i, then it is pronounced Kryder.

    Example…Kreider = ” Kryder” / Krieder = “Kreeder”

    Why not get it right? Announcers should be alerted to this because they make the most mistakes with names.
    K

  90. All I know is that I don’t cheer for every player on the Rangers to score, I cheer for the team to win and winning is what they’ve been doing. Last year, the scoring was more balanced across all 4 lines; how did that work out? I’ll take this year’s “anemic scoring” team thank you very much!

  91. Shoot the puck, Barry on

    Beware “typical Montreal” (credit to Lavator-iolette)…

    I say they take 1 out of 2 this weekend. Can’t decide which one they get and which one they don’t…

  92. Hey Carp, I love this site! Personally though, I dont believe Sather will nor should go after Parise… Right now as I’m writing this the Rangers have only two right handed forwards on the roster (Gaborik & Callahan) and with their top right handed prospects (Christian Thomas, Jasper Fasth, Michael St.Croix, Shane McColgan, & Steven Fogarty, all being at least a year or two away from competing for a roster spot… I see Slats going after a RW instead of Parise or another left hander. Especially with left handed prospects Krieder, Miller, Yogan, Bourque, Lindberg-?, Zuccarello, etc, being much closer to the pro level. I have not yet seen a list of the 2012 right handed UFA’s, but I do believe Sather will sign one in the offseason or trade for a RW before the deadline if he could get it done for a player like Wolski, Christensen, Zuccarello, etc.

  93. Zucc has pretty much proven he isn’t big enough or fast enough to be a consistent scorer in the league. He’s creative for sure, but he’s not going to answer any scoring problems. That being said, I would like to see him get a shot to see if he’s matured at all from last season in regards to playing on the NA ice.

    Also about Feds, is there a more consistent player in the NHL? Every year, 30-40 points based on an 82 game season. He just seems to always do the same thing every year. I always thought he was overrated before, but after watching him and what he does since he’s been with the Rangers, I can see why he’s so well respected.

  94. eddie eddie eddie on

    jonny D – agree re:zucc……he isnt big…isnt fast….and he is unsteady on his skates…..i dont get the love affair with him….career minor leaguer

  95. eddie eddie eddie on

    i hope stu b. stays up…..what a great D the rangers have……it wasnt all that long ago, it was a major area of concern

  96. eddie eddie eddie on

    any good grocery store with an RX section…….in the health food section…have been taking it for a long time…and we ever get sick….

  97. eddie eddie eddie on

    jonathan E – Preach on, my brutha…….the congregation, not segregation, is the indication, on my play station, avery leads the nation, in the eradication, of our education, and the repudiation, of the indignation, that is my constipation…..

    boyeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  98. For anyone talking about JT Miller, I do not think you will see him this year. He is NOT ready. Still needs to get stronger and fill out. I don’t think he is a Del Zoto type that you will see here at a very young age.

    On the other hand, I think kreider is NHL ready! I think his tools and his game will translate very well to the NHL level. His skating is world class!

  99. Jonny D – when Zucc was playing last year he had one of the best points per TOI on the team. In my opinion he was demoted because of his small stature, not his production. Torts likes big players and sometimes that clouds his judgement. Zucc can really help some team and I hope he gets a chance if the Rangers don’t want him here.

  100. I think everyone gets the idea. Both French and other European names are mis pronounced routinely.

    I served with a guy whose name was Charleboix.

    They should rightly have called him Sharlebwah..

    They called him Charlie Boy…and that stuck. He was from bayou country in Louisiana

    But the real grabber was a guy whose name was Serejenkov……………the best that they could do for him was call him Sir jerk off.

  101. I like your thinking Carp!

    It would be nice to have JP’s kid on this team. Zach is a true NHL talent, skill, hands, jam, and is one of THE best people you could ever meet and talk with.

    Still to this day one of my favorite Fighting Sioux players. If only we would have drafted him instead of Jessiman. Now we have a chance to sign him in July……. it could happen.

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