Rangers-Devils in review

329

First things first. Nobody won the contest. I mean, nobody had the right score, nobody had the GWG. I’ll have to chat with my official contest staff to decide whether to A) move onto the shots tiebreaker, B) scratch the whole thing and have another contest Thursday or C) give the tickets to Sally. I’m leaning toward B. Not sure if I want your opinions on this. But you might want to chime in.

Thoughts:

1) The disallowed goal at the end of the game. Dave Maloney hit it exactly right on the radio, and then on TV. That goal is disallowed every day this season. Every time it happens, it’s disallowed. Yes, Gaborik was pushed, and to me he sure made an attempt to avoid the contact. But Martin Brodeur was not given a chance to make the save. So best-case call, with the way the rules are, and the way that is called in today’s game, is incidental contact, no goal, no penalty. The Rangers still lose the game they deserved to lose.

2) I want to apologize for being snippy last night (again). I really can’t stand the whole “everybody stinks” thing every time the Rangers lose … or worse, every time they play half a bad period, or fall behind in a game. I just don’t get it. What really got me was the idea that the Rangers didn’t care or weren’t trying, because it would seem to me that if you’ve seen the last 132 games, you couldn’t really think that about this team.

3) That said, even if the Rangers didn’t try, didn’t care, even if they came right out and said, “Well, we have enough of a cushion in the standings on the Devils, so we really didn’t see the point in working hard in this game” after the way they’ve played all this year and most of last year, you’d really have no right to complain.

4) But what really ticks me off are a couple of people who come on here just to try and tick me off. I usually ignore them, sometimes ban then. Once in a while they get to me.

5) Synchronized fights are so stupid, and the two at the drop of the puck last night were useless, if not counterproductive. In fact, the Devils were all crowing about how it set the tone for them and fired them up and was a big part of their win.

6) If Mike Rupp can fight Janssen for no reason, you’d have a right to ask why he couldn’t fight Tom Sestito Sunday. Because there was a reason to fight Sestito, and none to fight Cam Janssen. Rupp should not be fighting with a bad hand. And Brandon Prust should never fight somebody as useless as Officer Joe Boulton unless he has a good reason to do so, unless something happens that warrants him to fight. Because Boulton and Prust in the box is a terrible trade for the Rangers.

7) And I want to be very clear here. I respect the hell out of the guys who do that stuff for a living, and it’s probably even tougher to do it when there’s no anger, when it’s staged like that. Remarkable, really. You just don’t need anybody getting hurt fighting without a reason.

8) Looks like the refs started calling the pansification penalties again. They had kind of stopped that around Festivus.

9) I know a lot of you will disagree with this, but the PP did actually have a couple of chances — shots with traffic and players arriving at the net as the puck arrived — Artem Anisimov had a great chance on one PP, and the disallowed goal on what was essentially a power play; and Brad Richards had one really good PP shift — but again wasn’t nearly good enough. Not nearly.

10) Last night I wrote this paragraph: “Also, remember, if there’s a fight tonight, it is now perfectly legal to pull hair or gouge out somebody’s stitches, to go along with other new rules we’ve learned this season such as, it’s OK to come off the bench during an altercation and join that altercation, and it’s acceptable to attempt to maim somebody from behind. Just don’t celebrate a goal too much. That’s a misconduct.” … I apologize, I forgot to add that slew-footing was also legalized.

11) Did you catch Al Trautwig’s post-game reaction? YouTube did.

***********************************
My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Brandon Prust.
2) Carl Hagelin.
3) Henrik Lundqvist.
***********************************

 AP photos, above.

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329 Comments

  1. I was disappointed in their play last night, Carp – especially after they got beat in the shootout by the Devs after that flukey “stanchion goal” last week. I thought that they would come out hard, looking to avenge that loss, and instead, they get shutout at home.

  2. Good morning all! Can’t really say too much cause I fell asleep and only caught part of the third period…sure wish the phone hadn’t rung. Oh well. On to Tampa.

  3. billybleedsblue on

    Mornin’ everybody!

    I get that Al Trautwig was upset with the “Brutal Call” but did he need to repeat it so many times? Once would have been enough Al, just sayin’. :)

    As for last night, ya can’t win ’em all — everybody take a deep breath please. There’s a lot of hockey left.

  4. Didn’t watch the postgame, switched directly to the “Rocky Saga” documentary on biography channel.

  5. The fights were ridiculous last night. If Boulton and Jansenn are on the ice, how does Torts not put Gabby-Stepan-Haglin out there. Zoom. Right by those thugs. Marty was NOT sharp early. He heated up as the game went on. For a team that likes to set the tone, the NYR were just plain STUPID last night. The fights were a friggin embarrassment.

    And the PP is poopoo. If the opponents know the NYR have ZERO on the PP, they will take liberties. It is amazing how the nYR still win games with such whacky special teams. The PK washes out the poor PP, but that isn’t gonna last forever.

  6. As far as the MSG crew goes, I think it is time to clean house. Sam Rosen included. He has ZERO chemistry with Sean Hannity (Michaletti), he gets the names wrong too often, and frankly he is not the same guy without the support of JD.

    Al is a disaster. Giannone stinks. Dugay isn’t any good.

    Keep Leetch and Maloney. Show everyone else the door.

  7. cw, agreed, Michaletti is horrible. the other three aren’t great either. I do like Sam though, but you’re right about him without JD. I’d be interested to see who you think might be better behind the mike? I doubt they’d move Kenny Albert from the radio, but I like him the best out of the likely names.

  8. This makes no sense. I think Dave Maloney needs to lay off the sauce. If Gaborik was trying to stop and got pushed into Brodeur by a Devil then the goal should count.

  9. You mentioned that Richards had one really good PP shift, probably that last PP of the game, but you fail to mention why they didn’t score on that shift.

    Brandon Dubinsky has 2 GOLDEN opportunities in front of the Devils net to score on that PP and whiffed badly on both of them.

    The guy has no right holding a stick on the ice of a professional hockey league.

  10. Rob l, I believe you are wrong. If Gaborik was pushed into Brodeur, which it looks like he clearly was, there should have been no penalty. But the goal should be disallowed because brudeur had no chance to make the play because of the contact. On the other hand, if brodeur took a dive to enhance the call, the goal should have counted.

  11. Carp.. I’m sure you can find a good kids charity that can use the tix.

    Devils have been bringing there A+++ game for a couple weeks now. That is a different team from the first half.

    Think the team needs a visit from Mr.Graves , to show them how to play infront.

  12. So if a player gets beat by an opposing attacker all he has to do is push him into the goalie?

  13. Stranger Nation on

    Debbies – 1 PP goal
    Rangers – 0 PP goal

    The Debbies D is not that good and we just turned and dumped all night with little puck possession.

    Dubi scored this month already, don’t expect another till March

    Putting Hags on 4th line is big mistake. Get him back with buckeye and Cally on the 2nd line to get them going 5v5.

  14. I was not happy with the first two periods, but they came out and dominated the third. CARP, you hit it on the head. We don’t need a great power play, just an AVERAGE one. Just one where we are not stating… THAT WAS PUTRID!

    Yes, Fatso had a good game, but I think he is old and fat and brittle.

    The Dev’s forwards are better than our forwards, but our D, 1-6 is better than theirs.

    It would be a WAR of a playoff series.

    They are now close to us in the standings, but we do have 2 games in hand.

    The trade deadline will be very interesting. How do you add a piece without mortgaging the future and/or affecting chemistry on a team that is TIGHT?

  15. BB,

    Those opportunities were not as GOLDEN as you make it out to be. Watch the replays again, he had at least two Devils wrapped around him on the 1st attempt and was reaching to get to the passed puck. Would have been great if he scored there but deflected to the left boards. The 2nd opportunity was passed into his skate, not such a great chance after that.

    I’m not a Dubi apologist but to say he doesn’t deserve to hold a stick in a pro hockey league is going a little far. You’re starting sound like that clown JJ on Gross’ blog.

  16. If Brodeur had no chance to stop it because of HIS TEAMMATE pushing someone into him, goal should have counted….just my opinion, but it makes no sense to hear “he had no chance” if his man didnt push Gabby he woud have…..in my opinion, that call was TERRIBLE…but, I agree, game should not have come down to that

  17. For me, Dubinsky continually shows what I’ve thought of him from the beginning (and his career stats, going as far back as his WHL days proves it):

    He’s a 3rd liner with complimentary 2nd line winger capabilities, provided the center and opposite winger are genuine top 6 forwards.

    There’s zero wrong with that of course, but because he’s getting 2nd line $$ he is both pressing too hard (at times) and annoying plenty of Ranger fans.

    What can you do?

    Bigger problems lay with the lack of experience with Stepan (that boy needs drilled into him to shoot more), and the start and stop maturity of AA. Both these guys get top line minutes; Stepan I believe has in him top 2 center ability, but he’s a season and 1/2 into his pro career – it could be another couple of seasons, at least, before he starts realizing his true potential.

    AA worries me – statistically he’s on pace for a fallback season, which is not good considering his youth, the team’s strong play and the top line minutes he often gets. Fast forward to next year and if it’s more of the same, the lustre is gonna start to come off.

    If he is part of a deal to fetch an established but not old top 2 line winger (for Brad Richards), I’ll be good with that.

    When is Chris Kreider coming??

  18. BTW, I thought MDZ had a very strong game – slowly but surely his offensive game is coming around, especially when it comes to joining the rush and finding the open ice to receive a pass.

    Watch closely and you can see the chemistry building between him and Gaborik, especially when Gabbie has the puck.

    He scored a goal that way against the Flyers on the weekend and then last night (on one of the PPs I think) he got open to receive a nice pass from Gabbie (and promptly fired the puck wide, unfortunately).

    Good thing he wasn’t traded!!!!

  19. Fat Guy in A Little Coat on

    I am changing my moniker here to Roberto Duran, because this squad has Hands of Stone…I know, I know, there are a couple of exceptions

  20. Stranger Nation on

    Artie has skated much harder and like his size and hands in front of goal on PP. He is young and learning, just like Step so the growing pains will be painful to watch at times, but hopefully reap benefits down the line.

    Hags had 4 scoring chances playing on 4th line. We do not have the luxury of offensive talent to have him playing with Rupper.

  21. Keep crashing the net boys! Don’t be dissuaded by the sad calls.

    Guess who still has the fewest losses in the NHL?

  22. Good morning, boneheads!

    Very fair assessment, Carp. The bottom line- they didn’t deserve the W last night. The Devils seemed to want it more, they came out hungry and took the game over. One third period of dominant play won’t cut it when every team is trying to get more points and you are first in EC. Can’t blame it on their effort, it was there. Brodeur was, imo, very good when needed to last night, give him a credit.

    That call is going to be made every time. From the ref’s point of view- there was some space between Gaborik and the d-man, the push wasn’t very obvious to him right there, he made the call. I believe ( I mentioned it last night) Gaborik’s elbow also came out and made contact with Marty, that possibly made his call easier.

    On that unnecessary stage fighting right after the faceoff. Look, if I’m Prust and Rupp and my coach, who has the right to choose his starting lineup at home, deploys me against their goons, what would I do? Of course I’d fight. I wonder what was Torts’ thinking process behind that move.

  23. I don’t believe the fights “set the tone” for anybody – the Devils wouldn’t have said that if they had gone 1-0 down.

    But with the relatively limited roles Prust and Rupp play, the trade off for a total scrub like Janssen and a slightly-less-scrubworthy Boulton is not a good one.

  24. I don’t see why we deserved to lose last night? It was 1-0. A good ten seconds turns that game around and we get at least a point.

  25. Dubinsky has no right holding a stick on the ice of a professional hockey league? Oh, boy….I prefer to abstain from commenting on this one…

    The only player I truly worry about at the moment is Richards. Everyone goes through ups and downs, but his is just a bit different. And he has flashes here and there during each game, but nothing sustained. Can’t really explain it at all. Injury? Then go on IR and do what needs to be done, the team has enough cushion above .500…

    McD keeps getting better and better. He made a few subtle plays against Parise last night that makes one wonder where his ceiling is. Untouchable at this point, imo…

  26. Richards hasnt played well since Olivia Munn dumped him and it was all over the media. If that’s his excuse, he shouldn’t be on this team.

  27. Watch the replay again….if you can, make believe there is no Devil behind Gaborik steering him ever so slightly …would he have stopped short of fatso? Note the snow coming off his skate….I believe he would have stopped short I mean we arent talking about Talbot here.

  28. It will be quite interesting to see the comments about Kreider if he follows a normal (see non-linear) growth curve that most non-superstar players follow in his first couple of seasons.

  29. Stepan had about a 1:3 goals to assists ratio at Wisconsin, so that leads me to believe he’s more suited as a set up man rather than a goal scorer. Considering his shooting pct in his NHL rookie season was higher than his NCAA shooting pct, I’m not suprised he’s gone back to being more of a passer than shooter.

  30. sorry to say but after this long a period of not doing anything, can we really expect richards to lead this team anywhere near a cup? no. need guys like duby, artoe, stepchild and others to take the team over now. what r they waiting for? stagnant production from young players is what drives sather to buy expensive mercenaries. all this great youth we have and not 1 of them most likely wil pass the 20 goal mark, besides cally.. theyve done excellent work away from the puck n pk, but its not enough. it sems like every goal duby scores its like he just won a cup. time to stay hungry duby. step is a good passer. hes got alot of assists cuz of gabby but he needs goals too. artie? i just dont know about him ever bein what we thought he could be, but will still help the team in other ways.. boyle had a fluke season and is again, great everywhere else but scoring. same with prust. richards is a passer. i was expecting 20 odd goals honestly, and hes on that pace. what he needs is adapt to torts style again. the only thing i dont get with him is the pp. hes gotta run that andscore on it. make plays. its lasting too long to be aslump. he desnt fit with these guys it seems sometimes. not physical enough, bad defensively. whatever. idk why him n gabby couldnt work with a little more practice but its very surprising if hes a tort guy. i was having a convo with a friend about the philly game and i said philly wins if we switch goalies with them. henrik needstheseguy to score and not fizzle out like every playoff hes gotten them to. its only 1 loss, but thats 3 shutouts since the all star break. and without the shootout, that is a tie.

  31. meant to say, we won one of those shutouts cuz of the skills comp. if theres no shootout, we most likely end up with a tie instead of a win.

  32. devils have been red hot. They beat the rangers 1-0. Every time the rangers this year lose a tough game they bounce back and reel a few off. I’m not worried until I see them start losing more frequently.

  33. richards needs to see a shrink. i just think he looks lost and a step behind. play with hagelin conssitently let the kid speed hopefully help richy get going. do it for more then a game maybe 5-10.

    the pp i am sorry yes did it move it better then most games last night i am sorry though when you are 1 for 35 it has to be about results now. you wont win games down the stretch without a pp goal every other game. the bruins survived last year we wont.

    this divison will be a dogfight the rest of the way. the devs will be there and just think heading into the all star break they lost three in a row and were 45 sec away last week from losing to us until the BOUNCE.

    that bounce may have saved there season. wins over mon phil pitt us twice watch out they wont go away.

    the schedule is brutal coming up we all know it. that tampa game on thurs is one of those you need the win kind of games with phil wash boston and chicago to follow. i get critcized for using MUST WIN so i will pass on that but thats two we need on thurs in this div race

  34. Are we that spoiled by technology that we can’t read Grabby’s post if it’s “long”? It’s only 318 words!

  35. You know what starting the season strong means? A couple of frustrating losses to the Devils and not much changed in the standings.

  36. all I know and posted on here in the off season, I didn’t want the rangers to sign Richards, especially to a long big contract. Richards is 31 and wasn’t going to get better, only worse, plus he was coming off a concussion. I’ve seen enough of Sather’s free agent signings that I was confident that this would be another disaster. Eight more years and it’s only going to get worse.

  37. to be honest, I didn’t want that signing either because gaborik had a history of injury problems.

  38. my concerns are basically the same they have been for a long time, just not enough scoring.

    my 2nd concern is Richards has been bad for a while.

    I think Dubi, AA, and other young guys will improve and are giving good effort… The D is solid and goaltending the same. The neutral zone work, attention to detail, and toughness is great. Just need more goals if that means a rationale trade, adding Kreider for addtl speed, or something they need to try to do 1 of these things before the deadline.

    Sauer coming back would help even more then they have 5 outstanding d men which almost no team can match.

  39. Alright lets take it easy with the whole “I didnt want to sign richards in the first place” All this is coming out now b/c he’s in a little slump but he’s still a huge asset to this team. We heard the same thing last year when gaborik only had 22 goals. “what a terrible signing” “he’s washed up” “Cant play anymore”… Lets not forget fella’s, we are in first place in the conference and 2nd in the league, THE WHOLE BYFUGLIEN LEAGUE. Going in to this season i thought that if we made it to the eastern conference finals it would be a successful season…

  40. unfortunately I think Weber is going to re-sign with Nashville. Weber is exactly what the rangers need for the PP. I think Suter will sign a free agent contract with the red wings.

  41. The fights were terrible. That made me so angry seeing that since it was useless. You could see Rupp didn’t even want to fight, if anything he wanted to fight Boulton (read his lips before the fight, he clearly dropped an f-bomb and looked at the ref).

    Also, the Rangers lost because they didn’t play well for the 1st 2 periods, not because of the last 4 seconds. Plus it was the CORRECT no goal call. The penalty was the wrong call, the no goal call was correct though. Incidental contact, no goal, that’s how the rules have been changed to protect the goalies.

    And I don’t get how people can hate on this team just because they lost. Did they play their best? No. But do you have some bad days at work? As long as over the long haul they are playing better more times than not, I’m OK with that. They are going to have ups and downs and aren’t going to win every game. I feel like they’ve spoiled everyone with their streaks earlier in the year. Watch them rebound next game and everything will be fine.

  42. The same Nashville PP that outside of this year has been below league average in conversion rate?

    Weber would be awesome, but him and Rinne are the faces of that franchise. Preds will still have his rights after this year so it will take a franchise altering move to get him.

  43. 100% agree with you Jonny D.. This team hasnt lost morw then 2 consecutive regulation games! I remember back in the dreaded late 90’s early 2000’s when in one season they didnt string together more then 2 consecutive wins! You know how hard that is to accomplish?!?!?! Under the definition of a winning streak, they went a full season with out one!

  44. Good morning, Carp! I vote for option C!

    Oo haven’t seen one of those grabbywaffle paragraphs in a while!

  45. I don’t usually read thru the “it’s go time” comments because I need to stream games from my computer most of the time now, but knock it off with the bs…I hate when I have to read a game recap and carps in a bad mood!

  46. And y’all can hate staged fights all you want, perfectly fine opinion, but when there’s two at the same time off the opening draw, how can you not get excited a bit that’s fun stuff

  47. while Richards signed a 9 year deal, given the breakdown of the contract it was really only a 6 year deal.

    How he plays down the stretch (and next season) will show whether this is a bust or not but I still believe the problem with Richards is the fact that he is playing with substandard linemates.

    Its hard to rack up assists playing with mostly 4th liners and rookies. Dubinsky (who i thought was the Rangers best player last night) having such a bad season isn’t helping either…

  48. For the fan who comes to see blood? Sure, exciting. From the fan that pays money to watch hockey and not a bunch of unskilled goons like Boulton and Janssen, it’s stupid. The only good thing about it was that it was at the start of the period and got it out of the way early instead of having it happen in the middle of a play.

    I don’t mind fights, I actually enjoy them, but those bore the hell out of me. Guys pretending like they are angry at each other and end up hugging and groping each other for 2 minutes. Unstaged fights are usually a couple big swings and it’s over, but at least you get entertainment. All I saw last night was two tango sessions going on simultaneously on opposite sides of the ice. Completely useless and to be honest, it got the Devils into the game because they already knew they were in the Rangers players’ heads.

  49. Oleo – definitely agree. You can see it in his decision making. He has no confidence in passing to the guys around him. Earlier in the year he didn’t mind holding onto the puck. Now? He’s just trying to get it deep since he isn’t sure if anyone is going to get one of his passes anyway.

  50. Jonny,

    I see your point for sure, but there’s no way im classified as the former in your assessment, but still enjoy a good fight early in a match, let alone two at once, to get fired up. In fact, especially if I am there and paid money bc the crowd gets into it. I watch way too many games every year to be able to just enjoy the hockey itself every time, the season is too long foe even 75% of games to actually be “good hockey”

  51. I will start to “panic” when they actually lose two games in a row (the last time which was Byfuglien Dec 13th and 15th by the way!). They are in 1st place because hard work, defense, and goaltending. As I’ve said before, that was the in their Devils hey-day.

    They generally score enough and know how to hold a lead a win a game, something that had been a problem in previous years. They were 4-0-1 before this loss. Step away from the ledge.

  52. Before they go on a panic rampage and start signing hi priced folks to whom they’ve got to give zillions of
    dollars for their possible worth, why not wait to see what Kreider has to offer…he might pull a Bobby Or and sign up and immediately become a star…….it’s possible.

  53. I am not going to Negative Nancy this one to death as others have….just a few tidbits:

    1) Where have you gone Brad Richards? Are you out of gas? Are you injured? You have flared out.

    2) The game last nights highlights to me that we will make a trade. Let me restate: If the NYR want to go deep into the playoffs and score more than 1 goal per playoff game, they’ll make a trade. If they are content to let this year be a learning year and growing year and they’re happy with one, maybe 2 rounds of the playoffs, they will do nothing.

    3) Do the boys realize that the playoffs have already started? I mean every team below them has. And since, for the nonce, we are still atop the conference, the team has to realize that everyone is gunning for them. The Devs, the Pens are both playing very well right now. The Rangers need to come out from the opening puck drop.

    4) Carp…you are the man. The blog is awesome. Your passion shines through it all. But really you are harping (Carping) on the PP showing signs of life. I am as diehard as they come. But a few shots on goal and we are excited about the PP? You are giving Brad Richards a free ride in that analysis. We got this guy to pick up the PP, among other things. I will give him a pass on 5 on 5 play, cuz I am a nice guy. But the PP is abominable. The only player who understands moving to a corner of the zone spreads the D out is Gaborik. Everyone else standing around like tripods. No one moves. And for Pete’s sake, we need someone with a big slapper or else the other team will let MDZ and Richards play catch at the blue line all day. Pathetic.

    5) Let’s see how this team responds tom’w night.

    Keep the faith…but the team needs a kick in the pants because everyone is playing their best when they come to meet the #1 in the conference.

  54. CT Blueshirt

    i’m assuming you are referring to his contract? While the cap hit stays the same over the duration of the contract, the actual money owed does not. After year 6 there is a tremendous drop off in money owed. 1 mil a year for the last 3 years so in the event he hasn’t retired by then

    Yes im sure you will be quick to point out he has a NMC but that wont stand in the way considering how far down the road it is…

  55. Gravy… I said more then 2 consecutive games in a row in regulation.. which has not happened

  56. Scoring a lot of goals is not what this team is about. one goal games are the expected , this one didn’t go their way. Devils are a hot team at the moment.
    Adding a one dimensional goal scorer will hurt not help.

  57. nyrmessier – I get it from a fans perspective because it makes them get rowdy and such, and it entertains them. But it took the Rangers out of their game.

    I’ve always had a big debate about how much impact fans actually have on a game. Personally, I don’t think there is any impact. I’ve played in championship soccer and hockey games in front of a couple thousand people, I only noticed the amount of fans before the game. During the game? I was so locked in I didn’t pay attention to any of that.

    So these guys being professionals playing in front of that atmosphere on a nightly basis, having a rowdy crowd doesn’t really matter IMO. Plus as I said, I think they showed the Devils that they were more focused on getting them back for last time rather than just playing. I felt Torts should’ve just thrown the top line out there or another line instead of answering back with Prust/Rupp. Would’ve shown DeBoer and his players that he doesn’t care about fighting or dealing with their BS, but rather winning the game.

  58. so in the event he hasn’t retired by then a 37 year old Brad Richards can be easily traded to a team that never comes close to the cap like Florida, Nashville, Columbus etc.

  59. oleo, I was referring to your Prospal comment.

    I know his contract had 3 dummy years tacked on the end of it.

  60. I figure Richards would just retire. Not too much you can do with $60M that you can’t with $57M.

  61. I said last night that Gaborik’s elbow came up when he made contact with Brodeur and that made the call automatic, whether it was right or wrong. I happen to think it was just a typical gesture on the part of the league to protect that fat pantload the same way they have for most of the past 17 years but whatever. It’s probably something that will be called even if it shouldn’t be.

    Also, re: the elbow, ilb or one of his clones (and I really can’t tell about 5 of you apart) jumped on me for pointing out the elbow last night. Now today he’s saying it’s part of why the penalty was called. Such a disingenuous tool.

  62. >>So if a player gets beat by an opposing attacker all he has to do is push him into the goalie?

    Sadly, that seems to be the case. This need to protect these goalies–who are wearing body armour– is quite ridiculous.

  63. Ah, well good for him for wanting to stick it out in Columbus. Not what I would have done but maybe Prospal finds that his tanning budget goes a lot further out there.

  64. stranger nation on

    What makes our PP seem so bad is when we watch the opposition PP generate quality scoring chances and that is against our great PK units. Having a forward up top works if you have a cannon like Kovalchoke or can make accurate quick passes to keep the D scrambling. Bucky Richards has neither. The lack of quality passing is a bit more confusing, but he seems to have very little zip on his shots or passes – frankly, it is weird to watch.

    Artie in front generated some chances, has frame to screen goalie and hands to poke in rebound. He just needs to get more of an edge to his game and start to use his size. Have noticed better fore-checking (call it the Hagelin affect) and going to the cage in the last few.

    Having Dubi on Line 2 is not working, seems like he can only play with his back to the cage. Last night he came strong with puck down the left wing and put on the brakes and played with back to goal along side boards – Huh? D men came up poked it out and away they went. Ugh…

    Gabby, Richards and hags on Line 1 – worth a shot, eh?

  65. I don’t think there’s anything really wrong with Richards apart from having no business playing the point. Pretty much the same could be said for anybody Tortorella’s put there – Rangers simply don’t have a point man and haven’t had one for years.

    And Dubinsky is showing what he is: a 40-point forward who gets a lot of people to overrate him when he decides to have 1 good game out of 10. The guy hasn’t played in such a way as to deserve a move up to top line.

  66. Doodie Machetto on

    Some guys behind me were seriously asking about Avery. I stood up and unloaded on them for like 30 seconds.

  67. Mister Delaware on

    I hope you mean words, Doodie.

    And Dubinsky was a 54 point forward in 77 games last year.

  68. Doodie Machetto on

    MD, no, I went the route of the Phillies fans and intentionally vomited on them.

    Yes, words only.

  69. contract-year performances from Dubinsky and Boyle (unless you believe Boyle is a 35-point forward, too).

  70. I’ve been saying it for months now, the window for the Rangers to win is here, and just like any true contender, they’re going to have to make a big move to shore up the blatant weakness. The NYR defense may be young, but they are certainly capable, and having Bickel, Woywitka (who was unremarkable but steady), Sauer and Eminger in the fold gives them substantial depth on the back end in addition to the obvious top 4. Goaltending is no issue at all. The Rangers biggest issue continues to be the terrible power play and lack of goal scoring. It’s an issue that must be addressed and corrected otherwise the playoffs could be shorter than we want. To get the player we need is going to take giving up a significant sum, but just as we mortgaged the future in 1994 by trading Doug Weight, the benefit could be enormous. As much as it sucked losing a great player, I doubt any of us would look back and say that was a bad deal.

    Just as has been mentioned, the Rangers are the ultimate team, and are greater than their sum of parts. If they make a move, they must do so carefully so as to not upset the chemistry the team has. They need to replace a hard working player with limited production with a hard working player with more production. For this reason, soft, skilled forwards are out. Players like Shane Doan and Jarome Iginla come to mind, as playoff gamers who empty the tank on every shift, and produce. If it took giving up a current player and a couple high picks, so be it.

  71. Wicky©Hate the BCATHE, Love the Rupp on

    THE MAYAN CALENDAR ENDED!!! THE WORLD IS ENDING!!!! TRADE EVERYONE!!!

  72. It’s too bad there’s been almost no indication that Doan and Iginla are even available.

    I’d also be wary that a gritty veteran near 35 is the magic elixir for a playoff team considering the top scorers in the playoffs these days are almost exlcusively guys that are 30 or younger (often younger).

  73. the problem is I don’t think any one player is going to get this team a Stanley Cup. they don’t have the chips to land a superstar (if one is even really available) and most of the league wants a top notch pointman. there just aren’t that many in existence. granted, the Rangers aren’t close to having one but it’s not going to be easy to find one, especially with what the Rangers have to trade. I honestly don’t see any significant moves being made – certainly nothing akin to what happened down the stretch in ’94. it’s probably best to sit tight and see what you can do in free agency.

  74. Joe in DE

    I agree to a certain extent. I would not trade JT Miller or Chris Kreider or any young player from our NHL team except for Dubi and Anisimov but I would give up anyone else. I also have no problem

    While I would not trade McIlrath for a rental I would certainly give him up if it meant bringing in someone like Bobby Ryan or Shea Weber who we would add to our core for years to come…

  75. This team, as it currently stands, can win a Stanley Cup. There is no reason to think, with Hank in goal, that they can’t win. This team has not lost more than two all season. Do the math – that gives them a great chance to win a series.

  76. me, too, CT. I will say this, with all the Weber nonsense. To me, they need a lot more help up front than on defense. I understand the PP component of a big shot … but they need a forward who can score 5-on-5 and on the PP more. Not that they can get one of those with the pile of garbage everybody’s willing to give up.

  77. I think what you saw last night is exactly what you’ll see from this team in the playoffs, and why, even if they end up first in the conference, they just don’t have the tools to win the whole thing. Lundqvist is great, and there’s no doubt he’s the best player on the team, but it’s a balance of scoring and goaltending that wins playoff series. You need games where you get lifts from your team offensively in order to complement great goaltending and I just don’t see enough guys on this roster who can do that, especially when you get into playoff rounds where all the teams you’ll encounter can play good defense. It’s just not viable to win a championship by pinning the puck against the boards all night long.

  78. ps, to be very simple: This team could possibly win a Cup, but it’s certainly a longshot. And it’s a longshot whether they add another player or not. If they added a healthy Sidney Crosby and Malkin for Wolski and Avery, they’d be more legit, but there is never a sure thing going into the playoffs anymore, and hasn’t been since Gretzky was in Edmonton. … and even those Oilers lost sometimes.

  79. Disappointed that vinny is off the market but good for him, seems like he is happy there in his leadership role. The gm of columbus did say that he will probably blow up the roster come trade deadline, so im actually starting to believe that Nash will be moved. Hey maybr Vinny can vouch for some of our youngsters and that will get it done :)

  80. Wicky©Hate the BCATHE, Love the Rupp on

    now that I got that out of the way

    Morning ILB and all!!

    I still think I should win the contest so I can tell carp to keep the tickets and donate them for another contest!!

    I’m glad prospal resigned with the jackets to hopefully stop that silly bring him back rumour

  81. Ditto Suter, btw….Our defense, while lacking any substantial offensive output is fine. Signing either Suter or Webber will increase our defense salaries by $7-8M. Not much will be left to resign our young defensemen. And I also believe that MDZ isn’t nearly of what he can be offensively yet. Nor is McD.

  82. Hank 4 Life, my post wasn’t directed at you or trying to correct yours…just aimed at the general naysayers who think a loss is the end of the world.

  83. I think a lot of things would have to break right for the Rangers to win. Along the lines of repeating the chain of events that happened in 94. The Pens top player is out of the picture, the East is really only competitive among two teams and the top teams out West get knocked out in upsets. An easy couple of early rounds (a sweep or 5 game series) allows them to rest up for two series of all out wars.

  84. Wicky©Hate the BCATHE, Love the Rupp on

    I think it would help this team a lot more if they added an Iggy, nash, or even a ruutu than if they added a suter or weber (if any of those players are even available at all) IMHO!

    I also had no problem with the scraps at the beginning of the game other than the game seemed flat as hell from a rough standpoint after that. Just didn’t seem to have the scrums or nastiness that I had hoped would follow.

    Prust for boulton is a very bad exchange from the rangers standpoint

  85. Adding the 25 goal 55 assist Brad Richards and the 25 goal 30 assist Brandon Dubinsky would help too.

  86. Only one team out of 30 is going to get all the breaks. It will be a very good team, not a bad team. But it will still need a lot of good fortune.

    Though in ’94, I’d argue the Rangers would have swept the Canucks if they hadn’t been so brutally wiped out by the Devils … and they still nearly swept the final, losing Game 1 on a fluke OT then winning 2, 3 and 4.

  87. I thought they had it in game 5, after coming back down from 3-0 to tie it. They had momentum on their side, but didn’t the Canucks get one back immediately after the Rangers tied it?

  88. Only one team out of 30 is going to get all the breaks. It will be a very good team, not a bad team. But it will still need a lot of good fortune.

    ***

    Kinda like a team that went to game 7 in 3 of the 4 series they played (ahem Boston).

  89. ALSO …..
    Thanks you to all who sent me birthday wishes on Sunday. And WOW, I got lots.
    And thank you to the NY Giants for making my birthday wish come true.
    Now, if I can only figure out a way to have another birthday in June & watch my NY Rangers get a Stanley Cup.

  90. Joe, the result in ’94 is obviously all that matters, but that’s not to say they would not have won the cup if they had only made 1 or 2 of the deals as opposed to the numerous ones they made over the course of the year. Who’s to say they would not have one multiple Cups by holding on to 2 or 3 of Turcotte, Amonte, Weight, Marchant, etc.?

    That said, knowing what I know now, I trade all the possible Cups for the 1 guaranteed every time.

  91. Agree with Lloyd and Carp. The offensive talent up front is not that good. Torts has talked about it all year. The Rangers have to play the way they did last night in order to win. The difference is that sometimes they’ll get goals, sometimes they won’t. They can’t rely on it.

    The Flyers on the other hand are loaded with offensive talent, guys like Giroux/JvR/Briere/Schenn and even Hartnell/Simmonds/Read. You can just see how comfortable they are with the puck on their stick. They try to go to the slot because they have the puckhandling ability to do so. Nobody on the Rangers outside of Arty and Dubi (he has decent hands in most areas except the slot) can stickhandle the puck all that well. I’d actually argue that the last good puckhandlers we had were Nylander, Dawes, Zherdev, and Korpikoski, guys where it looked like the puck was on a string.

    Issue is we have to win by playing along the boards, funneling traffic to the net and getting ugly goals. It’s worked all year, could work in the playoffs. One player isn’t going to automatically give Gaby/Stepan/Richards/Callahan and the rest of the team great hands and solid offensive instincts. It’s just not going to happen. So I don’t see the point in trading guys away to bring in one player who won’t really change that all that much when you can keep your assets this year, buy a player in FA that can do that and trade away your assets in the future for another addition.

  92. re: 94

    for as tired as they were, Rangers were a crossbar away from sweeping Vancouver. and that ’94 team (even after trading away Amonte and Weight) was a more talented group top to bottom than this squad.

  93. … and you could argue, Lloyd, that they still could have won the Cup with Amonte instead of Matteau and Noonan, and with Gartner instead of Anderson. I think the trade that made them favorites was the Larmer deal. And I would do the MacTavish deal again.

  94. Tiki XLII XLVI on

    Lloyd,

    What you have to realize about this team is, theyre not the most talented offensively, but theyre very talented defensively with a great goaltender, and playing without Sauer and Eminger. Every game against this year’s Rangers is a war for the opposition. So if we get to the playoffs, some team is going to have to win 4 out of 7 wars against us. A very difficult feat with a healthy defense and goalie.

  95. Carp:

    yeah a few of us were discussing that the other day. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Amonte and Weight were both better players than who they got back – and I can still recall being shocked at dumping Gartner for Glenn Anderson – but Smith seemed to think that the only way to win a championship was to load up the team with gritty two way players. The plan was obviously to bring in guys Keenan trusted and as many Oilers Cup winners as possible and it all worked out in the end so I can’t complain too much. That being said, I still think in landing Anderson, Larmer, Noonan, Matteau and MacTavish they brought in the kind of players that don’t really exist on this team – gritty players who can also put up at least 35 points. The majority of the so-called jam players on the current squad aren’t going to give you that kind of offense, nor are they as savvy as of any the guys Smith landed.

    Granted, the Rangers squad is very young, so perhaps it’s an unfair comparison – I just think Smith found the kind of guys who can win you a Championship, and I’m not sure those guys exist on the Rangers roster right now

    Also, spot-on about Larmer. That guy was a huge acquisition and such a vital component of the playoff squad. Unfortunately, players like Steve Larmer don’t really exist anymore.

  96. Ria( the silent bonehead) on

    Carp please no more ticket contest that involve the devils we’re 0-2 thank you very much!!!

  97. Actually 1-2, Ria.

    Lloyd, Keenan told Smith to get rid of Gartner. Didn’t care what they got back, said he wouldn’t play Gartner the rest of the way. Smith did well to get Anderson under those circumstances.

  98. Tiki:

    Very very hard to win in the playoffs when you don’t score goals, no matter how good your team is defensively. At some point you need players to step up in a significant way. Postseason hockey goes on for, what, eight or nine months now? and every team is going to be playing tight defense. When you can’t score goals consistently and are forcing your goaltender to bail you out of every game, it’s extremely difficult to survive the playoff grind. I think the Rangers have some nice players, and I don’t think the lack of a power play is as big of a deal as some people make it, but I don’t like the Rangers chances if they’re forced to play nothing but 2-1 games in the playoffs.

  99. Next time we do a Ticket Contest can it have its own thread so we don’t lose a day of intelligent, witty and sometimes sarcastic conversation?

  100. Richards is downright awful, almost to the point where I would send him to play with redden and avery to get his confidence back

  101. forgot just how to dominant Leetch and Zubov were in ’93-’94. they combined for 35 goals, 133 assists (168 points). based on the pace they’re at now, you’d have to combine the top three Rangers forwards (Gaborik, Callahan, Richards) to come up with the production you got from Leetch and Zubov.

  102. Stranger Nation on

    This team doesn’t have gritty players that will score 35 pts? Heck, save for Gabby that is our team. What we don’t have is 1 HOF center, 1 very good #2 center, 1 Norris Trophy winning offensive Defenseman, another excellent offensive defenseman…..

    This team can match up grit wise, it’s the talent part that is missing and Bucky Richards is fading fast…

  103. Did someone say talent? I know of a talented guy that plays in Hartford named ^Lord of the Rink a/k/a The Hobbit Wizard^

  104. Carp: Agreed that the Rangers could win the cup as the team is currently built (I mean, they are vying for 1st overall after all).

    However, it’s all about increasing your chances, which translates into filling holes for the Rangers, I maintain the biggest hole still lays with the top 6 forward skillset (or lack thereof to be more specific).

    Gaborik is, IMO, legitimate number 1 winger. Richards is a A-/B+ center. After that between Stepan, AA, Cally and whoever, there’s a significant drop-off in skill.

    How will Sather address that remains to be seen – until he does, however, I think the Rangers are outsiders looking in in terms of being a true Cup contender.

  105. Stranger:

    I’m talking about the guys who are looked at as role players: the Prusts, Boyles, Mitchells of the world. Fedotenko can put up a few points but he’s not a physical player. Then look at their counterparts on the 93-94 squad. Dubinsky is the only guy I’d say is a somewhat gritty player with more than 30-point potential and he’s a default top 6 forward on this team.

  106. Lloyd that’s amazing about leech and zubov. Just shows how great those guys were. Can leech still play?

  107. Manny February 8th, 2012 at 1:24 pm
    Did someone say talent? I know of a talented guy that plays in Hartford named Lord of the Rink a/k/a The Hobbit Wizard

    ^Frodo from Modo^

  108. Carp:

    Callahan is a top three forward and has moved himself into a different class from his boy Dubinsky this season; he’s not simply a role player. (He’s also a guy I happen to think would have fit beautifully into that 93-94 team.)

  109. Yergs:

    In the strike shortened season, Zubov was scoring at roughly a point per game pace. Dude had 10-26 in 38 games. The power play died when he left.

  110. with the way Zuccarello is playing down in HFD, he absolutely should get the call. Give Rupp a game off and go with a 3rd/4th line of Hagelin-Mitchell-Zuccarello

  111. wow, people really have soured on Richards, huh

    I didn’t like the size of the contract before the season, but I actually think he’s a pretty good player and a necessary piece of this squad. People need to ease up off him for a bit because he’s not the only guy on this team who isn’t hacking it right now.

  112. Just got back from Staff Lunch. As much as I *love* free food, I was really bummed to have missed out on the string of Pauly Shore comments.

    Weezin the ju-uice! Bud-dy!

  113. Never liked Richards…

    Was against the contract when he signed it…

    Said that he sucked from the minute he put on a Rangers jersey…

    He had some great moments as a Ranger…so what?

  114. Lloyd, I agree on Callahan completely … but was just pointing out that he wasn’t included in your gritty guys who have a chance to score more than 30 points.

  115. Yea the heck with Richards and his teeth! (he’s probably long term injured or something)

    Rupp – Mitchell – Zuccarello-ello-ello

  116. Ria( the silent bonehead) on

    Actually your right Carp , I may not always be right but i’m never wrong lol

  117. Richards still leads the team with GWG, that doesn’t include a game saver against Anaheim in Europe. I think it’s too early to say he is a bust.

  118. definitely not a bust yet. definitely needs to be a lot better than he’s been for quite a while now. and he’s making too much money for too many years for a good-not-great player. but he has to at least be good.

  119. He will have to be better if they are to go deep in the playoffs. Because the way it looks now, there will not be anything of substance available at deadline at the moment. Which probably is a good thing. Unless they plan on blowing this team up. And they don’t.

  120. Carp:

    I guess I was a bit unclear about what I meant. I was referring to guys like Noonan, Matteau, Anderson, MacTavish, who weren’t top forwards but could all play defense extremely well, adds grit and also kick in a decent number of goals. To me the only guy on this squad who’s (sometimes) comparable to that is Dubinsky.

  121. I understand. Wonder how many guys on this team could have played for that team, when you consider that Olczyk and Kypreos and Lidster and Hudson were regular scratches.

  122. Here’s to hoping that it is just a long acclimation process for Richards. I thought I saw flashes of what I was hoping for from Richards on the point of one of the power plays last night, when there was more space for him and his teammates. We know the Rangers limit space for opponents defensively, but perhaps part of that is that there is less space offensively too. If so, that does not benefit Richards. Still lots of hockey to go.

  123. I hope everyone realizes that Richards play started declined right around the time that Olivia ditched him. Wonder if that has anything to do with it…

  124. was just wondering that myself, actually. that 93-94 team had some crazy depth.

    Callahan obviously would slot right in there. But hmm…

    honestly, I’m not too sure after that. Girardi is pretty likely but I think he’s part of a bottom pairing. Staal, where he’s at right now, I have no idea, but I wouldn’t guarantee he’d play every night. McDonagh and Del Zotto, who knows. I don’t think people remember how good Beukeboom and Lowe were. Basically all the Rangers dmen right now would be vying for two spots.

    As for the forwards, it’s a crapshoot. Gaborik, I guess, but I don’t know who you’d pull out in favor of him. After that, I’m not sure if any of them could crack the lineup.

    And sorry but I’d take Richter over Lundqvist every day of the week.

  125. Lloyd, I might’ve said that 2 years ago about Richter, but after watching Henke and just how consistent he is, I don’t know if I can say that anymore. Richter was definitely more acrobatic, more of a Thomas style goalie. But Henke is just so damn consistent.

  126. Tim Thomas couldn’t carry Mike Richter’s jock

    And there hasn’t been a goaltender since who’s even approximated the athleticism Richter brought to the position. If anything, I’d say goaltending has regressed more in recent years with size becoming a bigger factor, and just taking up a lot of space. Most goalies now just let the puck hit them rather than challenging, and rely far more on considerably bigger players to take up a lot of space in front of them.

    I like Hank a lot but he’s going to have win a Stanley Cup before I can put him in front of Richter.

  127. Champs again baby! on

    In the poll to the right of the blog, why are people voting for defenseman to run the point on the PP?
    Do you forget what a bust McCabe was last year??

    It’s about chemistry. That’s why it has to be all 5 guys on the PP in sync.
    You can’t expect to acquire any reasonable PP point man – he needs help, in the form of whoever’s out there with him – let alone a skilled offensive defenseman, without giving up the farm.

  128. And there hasn’t been a goaltender since who’s even approximated the athleticism Richter brought to the position.

    ***

    Dominik Hasek says hi.

  129. Hasek is closer to Thomas in that he did a lot of nonsensical stuff that just sort of worked

  130. Well if you want to argue technique, Richter was definitely more of a classic style goaltender. But Hasek’s slinky spine let him contort his way to being one of the forerunners of the dead puck era.

  131. Certainly, given the teams in front of him in Buffalo, he was amazing. I think he could still be a force in today’s NHL.

  132. I mean Hasek of the 90s translated into today’s NHL. Not 40+ year old Hasek. He’s still probably better than the Flyers tandem though.

  133. also, Hasek is a guy I’d rank way ahead of Brodeur whose cracks were exposed when the Devils stopped being the best defensive team in hockey

  134. Right again Lloyd.

    The two Scotts provided the best combo of aggressiveness and positionally sound D anywhere in the league. Throw in a guy like Rafalski (whom I thought the Rangers should have pursued but he was only going home to Michigan) and that’s a top 3 D that I don’t think anybody in today’s league could match at the moment. Nashville would be close, but they lack that 3rd guy that’s really good at his craft.

  135. i don’t think there is worse fit for the Rangers than Alexander Semin. Completely the opposite of everything the Rangers are about…

  136. oleo:

    with this coach, no, not at all. I totally agree with you. he’d end up in Wolski country.

  137. CT:

    plus the Devil forwards were almost all extremely good defensive players. some of the most frustrating games I can remember were when watching just about any team play the Devils in the early 2000s.

  138. CT:

    Oh, absolutely putrid. My hatred for the Devils at that point probably exceeded my love of the Rangers. Also, the 5-game elimination of the Devils in ’97 when Marty let yet another playoff goal slide between his legs was extra sweet.

  139. Hasek was more dominant for a period of time than Brodeur or Roy. He might have been the best goalie of his entire era.

    Richter vs. Lundqvist is tough to call. But I’ll say this.

    1) Give Richter the big equipment and maybe it’s not a contest.

    2) Richter had three incredible runs … the ’94 Cup, when he could easily have won the Conn Smythe; the ’96 World Cup, in which he was MVP, and which was the highest level of hockey played that I’ve ever seen; and the ’97 playoffs, when he got that rag-tag, depleted team to the ECF, beating the Devils almost single-handedly. Hank’s had one, so far.

  140. That was a great series. Watching Gretzky pick apart the Devils D with his curl at the blueline and hit the trailer up the middle.

    If you remember Graves’ OT goal he’s blatantly holding Stevens stick as he rounds the net. But that was the least of the infractions that will now draw a penalty during those times.

  141. CT – that’s a play that I think this team is attempting to replicate. Callahan has been using the curl but the trailer is usually not in the right place. I would love to see that play more often because it leaves an extra offensive player up high to play defense.

  142. Carp:

    the ’96 World Cup, particularly the final, was as excited as I’ve been about any hockey played since ’94 (the ’97 playoff run would be third). Richter played at the level of a deity and I can still recall Bob Guerin telling Richter on the ice after the final, “You’re the best byfuglien goalie in the world.” Hank’s not done enough to put himself in that class yet. He’s certainly the best goalie the Rangers have had since Richter – for whatever that’s worth lol

    not sure if I’ve said this here before, but I think that ’97 playoff run was the best the Rangers have been since ’93-94, and could have legitimately competed for the Stanley Cup had they not been so badly decimated by injuries. I’m sure some will recall that the injury situation became so bad that Dallas Eakins was playing forward in the Philadelphia series.

  143. My issue with Brodeur is that while he was always one of the top goalie in the league (top 3 or 5) he wasn’t always *the top* goalie. And the lack of playoff success in the second half of his career dilutes some of his accomplishments. Also, in all the Devils Cup years he was never the Conn Smythe winner. In fact in 03 he lost out to the other team’s goalie.

  144. CT:

    Rangers took out two supposedly superior (defensive) teams in 5 games a piece, but were just so completely ground down by injuries by the time they played Philadelphia that it was impressive they could hang with them at all. Also, Richter was just unreal.

  145. CT:

    Well, to be fair to Chico Resch and Mike Emrick, Martin Brodeur was the greatest goalie to ever play the game from the moment he decided to suit up. Everything he did after that was just icing on the cake.

    In all seriousness, as a non-Devils fan who watched an inordinate amount of Martin Brodeur over the past 18 years, he is, to me, the hockey equivalent of the quarterback on any of those big-time system-oriented college football teams who are made to look considerably better than they are because of the system they operate within. You put Martin Brodeur on the Rangers from 1994 on and he doesn’t have a Stanley Cup.

  146. >>Why are they announcing this one so early?

    Because they need to start the hype early to ensure they can fill up the 500,000 seat stadium.

  147. He’s still probably the best puck handling goalie in the league though, that I’ll give him.

  148. hahah remember the glowing puck and that true stroke of brilliance that was putting a comet’s tail on a puck once it had been shot?

  149. totally agreed on the puck handling – he’s the primary reason why that trapezoid exists. but he’s also been one of the most pampered and glad-handed goalies in the league for over a decade and I’m ready to see his fat ass move on.

  150. Never mind Dallas Eakins. Remember when Pat Flatley got hurt? It was like the deathblow. That’s how bad it had gotten. Shane Churla had to return to the lineup with two posterior cruciate ligament tears that would need major surgery and pretty much end his career. Kovalev and Sundstrom were already down. I can’t remember who else.

  151. I recall Michelletti doing the games for them on the weekends. I distinctly remember not liking him then either.

  152. Manny:

    Everything FOX does with sports sucks, but their efforts to make hockey more mainstream were probably the most pathetic things they’ve done.

    And not surprisingly, those efforts failed, like every effort to make hockey a mainstream American sport.

  153. I don’t know if it was during the playoffs, I do recall one game where Flatley got absolutely dumped along the boards and after wobbling his way to the bench practically fell over once he got there.

  154. Lloyd – Agreed 100%. I do think that the worst thing they have ever done is the monster at the football games. That robot monster, especially when it’s playing guitar, is offensive.

  155. I remember Sundstrom got slew-footed, which, I think broke his leg/foot/ankle and ended the playoffs for him.

    Oh God, yeah, Patrick Flately. And Shane Churla. Pretty sure they combined for 0 points in the playoffs. But Dallas Eakins…a borderline sixth defenseman, the Rangers had to start him at forward against Philly.

  156. wow yeah that seems like such a long time ago. first some reason I was remembering Kirk Muller slew-footing someone in the Panthers series but I can’t remember who it was.

    Gretzky had 20 points in those playoffs. Mike Eastwood and Shane Churla played every game. good lord

  157. Is the boss flying Contest Winner Sally in for the game and putting her up in The Ritz Carlton? YES!

  158. Darren Langdon played 11 games. Ken Gernander was called up and got a concussion. Bill Berg got hurt. Eric Cairns played three games. Christian Dube played three. David Oliver played three. Peter Ferraro played two. Karpovtsev got hurt in the Flyers series. Russ Courtnall played in all 15 games.

  159. I hated Geoff Courtnall in 94. Not as much as that goon, and future Ranger, Sergio Momesso.

  160. undersized winger from I think Michigan who had a good start to the season and then faded quickly

  161. Courtnall was decent in the ’97 playoffs but he was part of that period where the Rangers just started bringing in all of these fading name players. Jarri Kurri’s 95-96 performance could be the worst I’ve ever seen from someone in a Ranger uniform.

  162. I think one of you Boneheads should volunteer to drive up to Buffalo and pick her up, then take her home after the game.

  163. Ugh, I hated JD trying to sell the Kurri trade.

    “You can’t buy the experience that Sundstrom is getting from Kurri”

    He’s definitely a guy that hung on for too long.

  164. If the Rangers want to do some damage int he playoffs, they need to figure out how to score on the PP. Bottom line. Now it doesn’t matter as much, but against better teams, the Rangers opportunities to score will be fewer and further in between. The PP will offer the opportunity to make the opposition pay not only immediately, but also serve as a deterrent for taking bad penalties throughout the game.

    I don’t think the Rangers need a “power play quarterback” as even the best d man can’t singlehandedly make plays to score without proper screens and puck support. The Rangers power play is predictable and lacks movement. They cause no confusion. Though the fact that there is no howizter shot to respect doesn’t help matters, it’s not insurmountable if there are 2 or 3 other guys with laser wrist shots to look out for. The problem is without movement, defenders get into the box and clog everything up. Without the big point shot, everyone can collapse low knowing there is no threat up top. There are too many players simply standing around, they need to get the defenders and goalie moving side to side

  165. Stranger Nation on

    McD and Staal could play on ’94 team unless your rose colored vintage 1994 memories remember the Jay Wells and Doug Lidster performances differently than the rest of the human race.

    Would put Gabby over Anderson or Esa Bagel any day.

  166. I agree that those guys and Callahan and Girardi could play on the ’94 team. Gaborik would be Messier’s first-line RW. McD, Staal and Girardi and even Del Zotto and Sauer, were better than the third pair. But none of them would be in the top 4. Of the bottom six on today’s team, Prust is better than Kypreos, but not close to MacTavish, Tikkanen, Nemchinov, Gilbert, Kocur, etc.

  167. I dunno if Gabby would mesh well with Messier and Graves playing stlye-wise. Would have loved to have seen Kovalev and Gabby on the same line though.

  168. And weren’t they using Kovalev at center at times during the playoffs? Kovalev-Gabby-Larmer (for defensive purposes).

  169. Joe – What i see in the Power Play is constant regression. It seems to be constantly getting worse. Sure, some practices will open with 40 minutes of PP practice and maybe the first half of their PP in the next game will look okay and then quickly regress until, by the end of that game, it’s worse than it was before. Regression, regression, regression. Try just putting a regular line out there and telling them to just play the way they do. How can it hurt?

  170. Kovalev played center and wing. Sometimes RW with Messier. Anderson played there, too. Amonte before the trades. Larmer a little bit. Even Kocur sometimes.

    Gaborik is so much better than Kovalev was. I think he would have been great with Messier and Graves.

  171. I just see Messier/Graves as being a power line. I could see Callahan fitting in on that line.

    Although Gaborik is very much a north-south player, not the all over the ice dangler that Kovalev was.

    The one guy from that era I would love to see paired with Gaborik is Fedorov.

  172. Gaborik is a good give-and-go guy, too, so that fits with Messier. He’s also a guy who is good at seeing the late guy coming, and that would definitely have fit with Messier, and with Leetch. I think he would have scored 50 with those guys.

    High marks for spelling Fedorov correctly. Not many people, even hockey people, do.

  173. And I wasn’t a huge Kovalev fan back then, very frustrating player. But if you paired him a sniper like Gaborik that could find his way into the space that Kovalev could create that would have been a devastating combo.

  174. Carp:

    Shocking, but we’re basically in full agreement. Let’s not forget how good Kovalev was in the playoffs that year, though. I do think if you’re going to swap any of the top forwards out, it’d be Kovalev for Gaborik but it’s not like Kovalev was chopped liver that season.

    Am I alone in thinking Richards probably wouldn’t play?

    Stranger:

    I said in my post that the current Ranger d-men would all be vying for a spot in the bottom pairing, but I think Girardi is probably the only automatic. The remaining guys would all be competing for one spot.

  175. Yeah well we’ve started to see with Del Zotto learning went to sneak down the boards after they’ve gained the zone, Leetch was good like that X’s 1000. Or Leetch going end to end and being able to hit the trailer after stretching out the D.

    One issue is that Gaborik scores a lot from getting to loose pucks around the net and banging them home. That’s Graves’ territory.

    Either way, these line combos will never happen :(

  176. Leetch also hit the net more than 1% of the time

    can’t really be critical of Del Zotto since he’s improved a lot is like 10 years old

  177. Leetch could also keep almost any puck in at the line and make a play with it ASAP.

    Zubov though had the better shot. Good at hitting the net and he had great control of aiming it for deflections.

  178. I’m not so sure they would’ve won it all without Kovalev that year….

    I can tell you for sure that I wouldn’t have any problems speling Fedorov, Carp….Having said that, it is an Amercan version of his last name. In Russian it’s pronounced Fyodorov….

  179. Kovalev did some damage in the early rounds that year (then again who didn’t, especially against the Isles), didn’t have a good series except for game 6 against the Devils but was an absolute force against Vancouver.

  180. Didn’t the Rangers only have like a handful of PPs last year in the playoffs? I don’t think it’s that important. I was up here watching Boston go -1 for 24 (they gave up a SHG against Montreal so I’ll consider that a -) and yet they still were able to go all the way. Their PP was pretty brutal too.

    I just think with the way the Rangers play, they don’t really draw too many penalties. Sure I’d like them to be better, but if they score 5-on-5, then it won’t matter much.

    Also, loving the David Oliver reference. Didn’t we get him for a pick from Edmonton?

  181. I agree that the PP isn’t that big of a deal, though you’d rather have a midpack PP than one that’s godawful like they’ve got now. I don’t think you win or lose a Stanley Cup based on having a great power play.

    the problem is that it’s a lot harder to score even strength goals in the playoffs, and I’m not convinced this team can score consistently enough to be successful in the postseason.

  182. The PP doesn’t have to be a BIG deal it just has to at least gain us momentum or minimally strike fear into the opponent. Right now I think teams are laughing at us. We are probably worse on the PP than we are regular strength. It’s a different level of confidence altogether.

  183. I think I saw Fatso laughing last night under his mask. Or his chest protector was rubbing up against one of his rolls funny.

  184. Hextall had as bad of a performance in that series as you’ll ever see from a goalie. McClennan ended up having to start one of those games, didn’t he?

    Then in the ’97 playoffs, when Garth Snow was wearing house shingles under his jersey, Hextall played a few games and ended up shutting the Rangers down. That was pretty depressing.

  185. Champs again baby! on

    On a different note, I enjoy Pierre Maguire’s knowledge and insight into the game. He made a point during the Sabre’s game that Torts was a power-play specialist as an assistant for the Sabres. If he’s such a great power-play mind, doesn’t he have to be held accountable for this travesty the Rangers call a power play? I mean, I always hear this team is what he wants, hard working, tough, checkers both ways. Has it dawned on him that you actually need skilled guys on the PP to create space, make sharp, crisp passes, and drill the net with one timers, and keep the defense on its heels, instead of them keeping us on our heels?

  186. and while I would contend there are better options for the power play on this roster than Brian Boyle and John Mitchell, where are those “skilled guys…to create space, make sharp, crisp passes, and drill the net with one timers” coming from on this roster?

  187. almost always the team that wins the cup has one of the best offensive teams. Obviously you need to be able to play sound defensively but in order to win rounds, its the offense that carries a team.

    This team is playing so well but this style is not championship hockey and eventually they are going to have to get away from it somewhat if they want to go all the way…

  188. 4generations 4 cups on

    Hey Carp,

    Not sure if you read EVERY comment in every thread but yeah, i thought it showed a lot of moxie of you to get upset at the people constantly jumping ship on the team they love. The whole joke of ‘TRADE EVERYBODY!!!’ really has to go. We really need to become a lot less harsh of a fanbase because our team isn’t really going to see any light from a boat load of negativity when the game is 1-0 and could have easily been tied.

    Rangers fans need to have a better attitude about life in general it seems, because when things are going bad, you cant just replace the things you have in your life that you love for other things you think will be better (the grass is always greener on the other side).

    Recently, with a motivation toward rebuilding, staying within the system, not trading top prospects or picks for players and only going for big names in an open market is the mentality of not just a good team but a good living human individual. Somebody who will stick to their guns and believe in themselves when things go wrong, somebody who is determined and steadfast.

    Idk, maybe this rant wont be heard at all, but in general, Rangers fans are way too quick to jump ship, not to another team maybe, but other players. Our players are good players, thats why they’re with us and in the NHL. Ups and downs, good and bad, you gotta love em just for who they are. Boyle has like 3 or 4 goals this season but works his damn tail off in his zone and on the ‘kill.

    Love the Rangers for who they are as a persona, because they’ve got one. Believe in your boys in blue.

    /end rant.

  189. was just looking at past Norris Trophy winners and had to go back to 83-84 to find a Norris winner who finished the season with fewer than 50 points – Rod Langway. In fact, 82-83 and 83-84, the two years Langway won, are the only years in recent history where a Norris winner wasn’t also a scorer. somewhat surprising is the fact that Paul Coffey was 40-86-126 with a plus 52 in 83-84 and 29-67-96 and a plus 52 in 82-83. perhaps more surprising is that Langway finished 2nd to Gretzky in the 83-84 MVP voting. I’m a bit too young to remember those years but can anyone here talk about Langway at that point?

  190. Carp, I think you can make the case of keeping Gartner instead of Anderson but Noonan who I thought was seriously underrated and Mattaeu was gold for the playoff run. A couple of other things, Richards has real good sense and does some nice things, struggling though. A little worn out with the Drury 2.0 overpayed and too long no doubt. Lastly MDZ is on the verge of greatness if he can keep it together off the ice. Skill, can fly, learning , sneaky strong and will hit. Nothing but good things watching him. He is brave on the ice in more ways than one.

  191. Langway was a poor mans Larry Robinson who he broke in with. Not flashy but no real weakness in his game, never seemed to be in the wrong place. He could kill penalties and be on the power play. Excellent leader played the right way.

  192. Carp
    I would be good on the wing with Graves and Mess, I guess I agree Gabby would be good too. Lol sorry I’m in a better mood today for some reason. Tough stretch coming our way, boys and girls.

  193. it’s interesting because all of the Norris trophy winners surrounding his two winning years were all much bigger offensive forces. why’d the NHL suddenly honor a 30-point defenseman and then quickly go back to lauding scorers?

  194. Ed Snider at it again. The Empire State Building is lit up orange tonight, ahead of Saturday afternoon’s game.

  195. Champs again baby! on

    That’s my point Lloyd. If this is the team and players Tortorella so wants, and he is a so-called PP specialist dating back to his Buffalo days, why is the PP so hideous?
    If Torts has his guys, he should be able to get this thing to work already.

    I’m not saying they need to score on every other PP. Thats ridiculous like some fans think they should.
    I’d rather they have a PP that is threatening instead of 2 more wasted minutes time after time. We are 51 games into the season. How many more 40 minute opening practices on the PP can they have with no results?

  196. Agreed on the 1996 World Cup, Carp. I’ve waited 16 years to see a higher level of hockey played anywhere. I’m still waiting.

    Also, the USA team was positively beastly. There isn’t even close to that overall level of US born talent in the NHL right now.

  197. *as well

    Wow! Some great hockey talk to today! Minimal g(j)ibberish…

    Love the Richter – Hank discussion…

    I think Hank is more of a natural at the position. His focus and determination is unmatched, IMO. He thinks the position better and it comes more naturally than #35.

    On the other hand…in terms of pure athleticism and flexibility, I think Richter has the edge. The guy was like a slinky.

  198. Amen, 4generations, amen…The grass is always greener on the other side is right. We don’t appreciate what we have sometimes. I’ll go a bit further and say that the common suggestion that “this team doesn’t have offensive talent, period”, or “this team doesn’t score enough goals” do not really reflect the reality. The Rangers are currently #13 in the league in GF/G. And that is with PP that is almost non-existent. Same time they are #2 in GA/G, and #2 GF/GA/G differential. Washington, with all their offensive threats couldn’t do much over the last couple of years. Flyers?
    I’ll take what we have. If they can add someone for the right price, I’m all for it. If not- stay put.

  199. That’s a great article, 4ever.

    I’d like to see ALL goalie interference calls reviewed inside the Toronto war room in real time. 1 challenge per team. Play is conditionally reviewed based on consensus of refs. What’s wrong with that?

    And, make goalie interference a double minor.

  200. Interesting, I haven’t noticed Volchenkov’s stick before….I don’t know about every goalie interference, NYR, but certainly when the goal scored is in question….

  201. Carp. At the game last night. Great Post Every point spot on. There is no way the Rangers can play ALL OUT game after game. They’re allowed an off night after the way they’ve played so far this season. Just as long as they don’t develop bad habits. My fear, at times, is that they may end up like the Bruins of yesteryear, who played rough, hard nosed hockey almost every night and had nothing left in the tank for the play-offs.

  202. True Blue Mike on

    Is anyone watching this Boston game? They just called off a goal for incidental contact with the goalie! He barley touched Miller… such a terrible call –> pansification at it’s very best…

  203. Ria( the silent bonehead) on

    Than you better gas up the car Billy and start driving to pick up your “date” lmao so you’ll both be back in time for the game , Buffalo is not right around the corner unless you live near Sally! ;-)

  204. I turned on the boston game when the bruins scored a goal and it was disallowed. Just when I thought the refs couldn’t get any worse I witness the worst call I’ve ever seen.

  205. Good evening all! Mama’s job sometime’s hartnell’s her over….tonight and the next few days are grand examples…..missing lots…but know that mama is always here, in spirit if nothing else …LGR!!!

  206. billybleedsblue on

    Ria, I’ve driven back and forth to Buffalo before… just not ever in the same day… Hahaha, I could see the boss on Monday morning all like, “Why do you look like complete Carcillo? What did YOU do over the weekend?”

    “Oh, I just drove to Buffalo and back…twice in one day.”

    “Holy carp, did you get any sleep?”

    “Yeah, I took a long nap…during a hockey game.”

    hahahaha, and what’s this about “date?” Carp’s unwittingly hosting Rangers Report Love Connection?

  207. Mickey, I think I was actually a little grumpier than that guy. But I’m better today. Even agreeing with Lloyd a lot. :)

    My suggestion for the goalie interference thing — GOD, NOT VIDEO! — is to have the linesman help with that call. The referee has to be off behind or to the side of the net to watch the puck as it comes toward the net. There are all sorts of things happening, especially in the final seconds where everybody gets away with everything … for example, if that had happened at the 10-minute mark, Volchenkov gets hooking or holding or tripping penalties at the very least. But the referee needs help there, and the linesman isn’t really doing much at that point. I don’t know why the referee has to make a split-second decision. Why not meet with the other officials and get it right?

  208. ps, I have tons of respect for McGuire’s vast hockey knowledge, and it is incredible what he knows. But he can’t be serious calling Tortorella a PP specialist. He just can’t be. I mean, even if the TB PP was great, and I don’t know that it was, he had a great point guy and all sorts of skill up front, including Brad Richards before he turned into Drury.

  209. I am all for anyone beating the stuffing out of Kaleta.

    Carp, grumpier than Phaneuff? Wow. Hope you got some sleep and that helped you out. I know it does for me.

  210. And Mama, I know exactly what you mean about the job. Somedays I wish I didn;t have to work at all.

  211. Anyone see Kerry Fraser’s take on the Anisimov non-goal last night at TSN ( http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=387268 ) ? This analysis is more to my liking than Dave Maloney’s. I apologize if this has already been discussed here…over 360 messages on the blog today…

    Gaborik and Goalie Interference

    Doug and Mike:
    No matter who you are cheering for, this missed call had a major impact on the game and reinforces my call for video review by the referee on contact with the goalkeeper where a goal results. (Notice I said by the referee, not the situation room!)

    I have maintained this position ever since I attended a Leafs-Panthers game (Oct. 2010) in the ACC. Late in that game with the score tied, Colton Orr came out of the corner and ran over the Panthers goalkeeper as the shot came from the point. All officiating eyes were focused on the puck at that point in time.

    To add insult to injury, the puck hit Orr’s skate as he sprawled over the goalkeeper and was given credit for the game-winning goal. The end result to this play was the recommendation by Florida GM Dale Tallon to institute a coach’s appeal.

    If a “coach’s appeal” is too radical, let’s make contact with the goalie a reviewable situation; at least where a goal results or is being waved off. I can tell you firsthand just how difficult it is, in real time and with traffic going to the net, to determine intent (deliberate or incidental) or if any action by a defending player caused the contact to result on the goalkeeper. If the referee happens to be on the opposite side to where contact was initiated (as referee Dan O’Rouke was in this case), it is often next to impossible to get an accurate read on the play.

    That is exactly what happened last night in Madison Square Garden in the dying seconds of the game with the Devils leading 1-0. As the Rangers attacked the net, Marian Gaborik attempted a full blown stop with snow flying in front of Martin Brodeur.

    Initially, it might appear that Gaborik just ran out of real estate and crashed into Brodeur, which would result in a goalie interference penalty. From referee O’Rourke’s position, a little bit behind the goal line on the near side to Gaborik, that is exactly how it would appear to the ref in real time.

    As I saw the reverse look of the play, I noticed Gaborik’s left skate break from his natural stopping motion and slide marginally to the left, causing an unnatural fall into Brodeur with Anton Volchenkov exerting backdoor pressure on Gaborik from the opposite side.

    Upon closer inspection (replays here folks), we see that Volchenkov places his stick between the legs of Gaborik and the pressure exerted causes the NY Ranger to fall and crash into Brodeur. The clear evidence is seen when the players attempt to untangle themselves in the crease. Vochenkov’s stick blade can be found stuck in the plastic blade holder of Gaborik’s left skate!

    If anyone didn’t think the contact from the back side was significant to put Gaborik into Brodeur, Volchenkov’s stick placement should provide the smoking gun!

    What does all this mean? The Rangers certainly lost at least one point last night. Beyond that, it should highlight for you what I have known for years, ever since we had to deal with the ridiculous toe-in-the-crease standard that was rewritten into Rule 69 – Interference on the Goalkeeper. The refs need help with this call.

    While the present standard is much more sensible than dealing with Brett Hull’s toe-in-the-crease, it hasn’t made it much easier to the referees to enforce. In cases such as last night, it is even more difficult for the referee to determine how contact results.

    Is this type of play something that we want to see eliminate a team from playoff competition or result in the presentation of the Stanley Cup? I think not.

    I know how hard it is to determine these plays in real time. Give the referees the same benefit that you and I have to slow it down and look for the smoking gun.

    Place a monitor at the timekeeper’s bench where they already have a communication device and give them a second or third look to determine the legitimate scoring of a goal.

    After last night, John Tortorella just might agree with me.

  212. ZzZz NYR ZzZz© " Don't stepan the logo!!!"...says Greg L. on

    We lost …..and we will come back strong and come up with a win our next game. This team leads the league in a lot of categories . We have a very good team here and quite frankly no teams are giving us a break. Teams play us hard and they get a rise outta beating the Rangers. Fact is , were a very good team and we have a shot at the cup. Yes Carp believe it or not , we have a shot…and it looks like a perty darn good one.

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