Post-game notes, quotes


Courtesy of the NYR:

February 12, 2012 (Game 54, Home Game 26)
Madison Square Garden — New York, NY

                                                 1st   2nd   3rd   OT   Final

Washington Capitals             0      1        1       –      2

New York Rangers                 1      1        1       –      3

Team Notes:

–       The Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals, 3-2, today at Madison Square Garden for their seventh win in nine games, and are now 19-5-1 in their last 25 games.

–       New York has posted a record of 36-13-5 (77 pts) on the season, including an 18-6-2 mark at home.  The Blueshirts opened up a seven-point gap over Boston for first place in the Eastern Conference, and own a one-point lead over Detroit for first in the league overall.  Detroit is in action later today vs. Philadelphia.

–       The Rangers have won five of their last six meetings with the Capitals, having out-scored Washington, 25-10, over the span.

–       The Blueshirts improved to 12-2-1 against Southeast Division opponents this season.

–       The Rangers’ .713 win% through 54 games is the team’s best start in 39 years, when the 1972-73 Blueshirts began the season with a 37-13-4 record (.722 win%), and is tied as the second best start in franchise history.

–       The Blueshirts’ 18-6-2 (38 pts) mark at MSG is their best start at home through 26 games since 1995-96 (19-2-5, 43 pts).

–       New York improved to 7-1-1 in the second game of back-to-back sets this season, including a 5-0-0 mark at home.  Since 2009-10, the Blueshirts are 28-9-3 in the second game of back-to-backs, with a 14-3-1 mark at MSG.  The Rangers have posted a record of 14-1-3 combined in back-to-back games this season.

–       The Blueshirts’ penalty kill held the Capitals scoreless in two shorthanded situations (4:00), while tallying one shorthanded goal, and finished the back-to-back weekend set 6-6 on the penalty kill.  The Rangers improved to 26-6-2 when not allowing a power play goal, and are currently tied for third in the league with seven shorthanded goals on the season.

–       The Rangers out-hit the Capitals, 37-20, and were credited with 25 blocked shots in the contest.  Entering today’s game, New York led the league in hits and ranked fifth in blocked shots.

–       Head Coach John Tortorella registered his 130th win with the Rangers, and is now one win shy of Herb Brooks for sixth on the Rangers’ all-time coaching wins list.  His .584 win% currently ranks second on the Rangers’ all-time coaching win% list.

Player Notes:

–       Ryan McDonagh notched a goal, was credited with a game-high, five blocked shots, and led the Rangers with 25:23 of ice time to earn first star honors.  He registered 10 blocked shots in the Rangers’ back-to-back weekend set, and he now ranks second in the NHL with 139 blocked shots on the season.

–       Ryan Callahan tallied the game’s opening goal at 11:01 of the first period to extend his goal streak to three games, registering five goals over the span.  He is now one goal shy of his career-high for most goals in a season, and is two goals shy of 100 career NHL goals.  Callahan also registered four shots and two blocked shots, and was credited with a game-high, six hits in 18:57 of ice time in the contest.

–       Brandon Prust notched the game-winning goal, while shorthanded, at 6:26 of the third period, was credited with two blocked shots and posted a plus-two rating to earn second star honors.  Two of Prust’s three goals this season have been tallied while shorthanded, and he has now registered seven shorthanded goals in the last two seasons.

–       Brandon Dubinsky tallied two assists, including the primary assist on the shorthanded, game-winning goal, was credited with four hits and posted a plus-two rating in 18:56 of ice time.  The Rangers improved to 14-2-2 when he records a point.

–       Henrik Lundqvist made 24 saves to improve to 26-11-4 overall, including a 13-6-2 mark at home.  He is now 6-1-0 with a 1.26 GAA, .954 Sv% and two shutouts in his last seven games.  Lundqvist, who posted a 31-save effort in a 5-2 win at Philadelphia yesterday, has now started on consecutive days 57 times in his career, registering a 36-14-7 record with a 1.82 GAA, .935 Sv% and six shutouts in the second game.

–       Marc Staal recorded his first point of the season with a shorthanded assist, was credited with four hits and three blocked shots, and logged 19:36 of ice time.

–       Brian Boyle tallied an assist, four shots on goal, was credited with three blocked shots and won a game-high, 13-21 faceoffs (65%) in 17:55 of ice time.  He has now recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in the last eight games.

–       Brad Richards registered an assist and won 7-11 faceoffs (64%) in 18:08 of ice time, to extend his point streak to three games (one goal, four assists over the span).  He has now tallied six points (one goal, five assists) in the last five games.

–       Anton Stralman recorded the primary assist on Callahan’s first period goal, and has now tallied two assists in the last three games.

Post-Game Quotes:

–       John Tortorella on today’s game… “You look at the New Jersey game, the 1-0 game. This is how it happens when you get to 25-30 games left.  We’ve been in a lot of close games and I thought we handled ourselves well today.  I was really concerned about the energy level after having the real emotional week of playing some hard hockey, and coming back and playing a 12:30 game, but I thought we played well.”

–       Henrik Lundqvist on today’s game… “We talked about not having any excuses going into this game even though it was less than 20 hours from the last game and the try to set the tone right away, so to get the first goal was big for us.”

–       Brandon Prust on the back-to-back weekend set… “They were huge games for us, and we talked about that before the weekend.  We knew it was going to be long and grueling, and two hard-fought battles back-to-back.  We battled hard though; it shows the character of this team.”

Team Schedule:

–       Please note the Blueshirts have a scheduled day off tomorrow, Feb. 13.

–       The Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at TD Garden (7:00 p.m.), in their third game in four days.  The game will be televised live on MSG Network and can be heard on 970 The Apple.

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  1. just watched game on dvr. my son had his first bday party today his real bday is tues on valentines day.

    i had to hold my breath when mac went down. thought he tore is acl.

    huge weekend and huge 4 points. for once i have nothing to complain about.

    go wings and lightning tonight

  2. Jeff Carter, sorry Carp. They mentioned him 2/3 times during the “broadcast”. Also you forgot Jimmy Carter…”Whos Cartwright? Im Cartwright”

  3. vogz

    They traded McDonagh because after two years they felt he wasnt going to be the player they thought when they drafted him 12th overall. Clearly, they were wrong…

  4. Afternoon all,

    Said it before and I’ll say it again – the grunts get the goals.
    Brandon Prust means so much more to this team than people who post here regularly realize.

    Not only is he a “glue” guy in the room – but a productive player who takes on the opponent’s tough guys, blocks a ton of shots and is absolutely superb at killing penalties. A shorty for him today was really icing on the cake.

    Do not be surprised if he nets an OT winner or two this Spring.

  5. Blaze,

    I was referring to the playoffs – where I’m sure #8 will see considerable playing time, especially if games go into OT.

    And we’re bound to see a few of those.

  6. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    As regards a “rental” trade of a high draft choice and some young talent, don’t forget, last season the Rangers had the 18th(!) best total points record in the NHL. So that, at the moment, having the best record in the league, they have leaped from 18 to #1 in under a full season, and barring a stunning collapse will place right there at the finish with Boston, Detroit and Vancouver, in the top four.

    So that, having assembled a talented group of kids and letting them develop at their own pace. Plus signing Richards who is a net plus but just a small part of the improvement since last season, it seems to me that to disrupt this dramatic upswing in team fortunes to pick up a differential of, what, five goals or so, would be to take a giant step backwards.

    If a team can upgrade from #18 to top-4 in the league, seems to me it is in perfect position to take the next step to Stanley Cup champagne, just on its own upward momentum and ability. Hell, to me, rental veteran’s rank right there with food stamps as in they might help a little bit but you’re not moving into Bel Aire or Sutton Place because you got them.

    And some of these rental dogs don’t give it much effort, and get much results, knowing they are gone before they completely move in. Think about that. We have been had this way, before. Morris, the Joker, Antropov, plus a horrid deadline real trade for Backman – the idiot penalty machine. Ouch! I say stay away from the poison pills.

  7. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    “Get Carter” June Carter Cash Jimmy Carter the lightweight boxing champion who was around before Jimmy “The Peanut Farmer” Carter. lol.

  8. Boom Boom Bathgate

    how is replacing someone like John Mitchell or Ruslan Fedotenko with a Ryan Smyth or Ray Whitney have any effect on the growth of our farm system?

    Sure the Rangers wont benefit much in the regular season from a rental but the playoffs is where that matters. Trading your late 1st round selection for a rental player might be the difference between winning a series or going home. Although without Bryan McCabe, chances are the Rangers don’t make the playoffs…

  9. Alec, I knew who you were talking about. But I call him “10-foot-Pole Carter.”

    I’d take any of the other Carters first. Vin-sanity!

    Cartwright? You’re not Cartwright. Of course I’m not Cartwright! … I actually thought of that when this whole Carter thing started.

  10. if the Rangers never made that move for McCabe they don’t make the playoffs last year. Although that’s really irrelevant to the ridiculous idea that replacing one veteran with another somehow has any impact on the growth of younger players in juniors or the NCAA???

    I fail to see how adding a rental and only giving up a draft pick hurts the development of the prospects we have now…

  11. I’m in favor of a rental. But it has to be somebody who fits the identity, who is going to play the way this team plays. Not a slug who can’t skate, not a fancy 20-goal scorer. I mean, if the guy is going to be more skill than will, it better be a 30+ goal type. And he’d better score when he gets here. The Rangers have plenty of chips they can afford to deal.

  12. I think VL and Martin St. Louis have much more to do with the Rangers making the playoffs last year than McCabe.

    Tampa is 2-0 up in Pittsburg on two back-to-back goals by Downie.

  13. Well, if the Flyers win, the Rangers remain on top of the league with two games in hand on Detroit. NAH! Let’s go, Wings!

  14. McCabe scored a goal in Philadelphia, and didn’t skate ever. That’s about all I remember him doing here.

    Although, the humor he has provided us with have been invaluable.

  15. that goal against Philly that just beat the buzzer. Noone else could have scored like that and while the PP didnt improve that much, the extra few goals got the Rangers into the 8th spot.

    Washington made him look terrible but he did get us into the playoffs…

  16. >>We have built quite a decent lead in the Conference, eh?

    I’d like to see it reach double digit.

  17. the tampa bay lightning who had nothing to play for got us into the playoffs after we lost control after losing 3-0 at home to atlanta two days earlier

  18. eric

    sure but without McCabe the Rangers don’t have the points to make that game meaningful…

  19. It’s not like if McCabe wasn’t with NYR, we would have lost that game. It would have been a totally different game.

    Wolski did more to get NYR into the playoffs. Big shootout goals, specifically in that game against the Canes which was a must win, and turned out to be a huge loss for the Canes. Also those two assists against the Bruins, when we were down 3-0.

    But, the Bolts are the real heroes!

  20. Carp, I love when Torts answers your questions & then says your name. I’m always expecting him to say, ” That was for your blog”.

  21. Carp: You’ve made your dislike of Jeff Carter obvious (and forgive me if I’ve already asked you this): Is this based on some inside knowledge you have or are you basing your opinion on rumours and other stuff that us ‘outsiders’ have to go by?

    If it’s the latter, why are you so opposed?

  22. I thought Lundqvist was the worst goalie handling the puck with his goalie stick until tonight when I realize there is a worse goalie, McDonald for the red wings. Both flyers goals were due to him handling the puck with his goalie stick as he passed the puck to Schenn on both flyer goals.

  23. So what’s Rick Nash worth to us? He’s basically a bigger Callahan with better offensive numbers (except this year).

  24. How bout them wings! I’m not sure I understand how Philly is still near the top of the standings with their goaltending

  25. No Knick game today and no finality on AJ. I know its a long shot but today seems like as good a day all season to get it.

  26. I’m kinda enjoying them, Manny. Let’s see. The first guy was Bruce Springsteen. Later on there was a group called the Beach Boys. Then this sir Paul McCartney fella. Stevie Wonder. They had a tape of the late Whitney Houston signing (RIP). I know these are all the new-fangled names of today’s music. I thought you followed.

    Seriously, though Adele is awesome, Cold Play did a duet with Rihanna that was amazing. Bruno Mars did a remarkable tribute to James Brown.

    What’s not to like, bro?

  27. Oh, right. Good one Carp. I liked all the people I have actually heard of. BET has a good Whitney marathon on today which has been pretty cool.

    I think I am just old (26) and bitter. Mostly because I am a failure at music.

  28. Thanks Carp. Would be really nice for this team to finally get noticed by more than those who follow them every day.

    Can’t say I have any interest in the grammy’s. Flyers-Wings is highly entertaining.

  29. loved everything you mentioned there Carp except for Bruno Mars. cant wait for Adele. Beach Boys and Paul were awesome.

  30. Personally I abhor Adele. I think it’s because I really like Amy Winehouse and I see them somehow in competition? Man this place is really becoming my therapy tonight!

  31. >>I don’t mean to sound old but the Grammy’s are horrendous. Who are these people?

    I wish I could tell you; I’m not watching. I’m not missing hockey for that nonsense.

  32. Paul McCartney was in another band besides Wings? I suppose the next thing you will tell me is Mark Messier was on another team before the Rangers!

  33. lots of performances tonight, not too many awards. Manny, I think Adele’s voice is (was?) so much better than Amy’s ever was. It just hits notes that I forgot can be hit.

  34. >>Seriously, though Adele is awesome…

    She won’t be awesome for long if she continues to destroy her voice with all that smoking she does.

  35. Paul McCartney is going to do some songs from his other band soon. And this new guy, Tony Bennett is going to sing, too. Must be some gangsta.

  36. The Red Wings home winning streak, while impressive is not as impressive as the streaks in the pre-skills competition days.

  37. ORR – two things. Is the blonde his GF? If so, then nice job Pruster. Way to celebrate your goal! Second – does he have hockey-skate laces as the drawstring on this sweats?

  38. Stranger Nation on

    JD and the straight shot busy getting Lin an apt in NY.

    Paul McCartney needs to play some of the rutles music next time out

    Singer, singer, singer, commercial, commercial, singer, award…

  39. “Paul McCartney needs to play some of the rutles music next time out”

    yea, I’m sure Lennon will be rolling in his grave when that happens.

  40. I read that two scouts for the Columbus blue jackets were at the past two ranger games? OH!!!! Please Sather, don’t do something stupid, please.

  41. Wow, it takes a lot to offend me, but holy crap I’m beyond offended by that crapshow of a ‘performance’

  42. That so far over the edge, that “singer” couldn’t even SEE the edge. About a million times worse than Madonna ever did, imho.

  43. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    The problem with a “rental” is that the talent (and draft choice) you send the other way is NOT a rental for them, is gone from the Rangers, forever. If you could reverse the rental deal after the season, we would all be o.k. with that, say Dubi and Erixon plus a number one for Nash, until July 1st when we lose Nash but get Dubi, Erixon and the number one draft pick back.

    So what happens, the Rangers do not win the Stanley Cup, Dubi reverts to goal-scoring form, Erixon becomes a solid top-2 D man for 12 years, and the number one draft choice pans out, as well. This is a trade? This is a “rental?” No, this is what any team with myopic vision and a desperation philosophy deserves to get.

    Put me down as not being a “rental” whore.

  44. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    I think what is lost in the discussion here, are the merits of an organization building to win THREE Cups, not one Cup every blue moon. Some just want to win one Cup to shut up “One Cup In A Million Years” types and to spit on Islander fans = well enough, but I want a lot more than a fluke Cup earned because the team got lucky and hot at the right time. I want a friggin dynasty, the New York Rangers as the undisputed class of the National Hockey League for three straight Stanley Cup championships and a couple more over the course of a decade. Sort of the old-time Montreal Canadiens for 30+ years.

    One-shot Cup advocates have the right to raise their ceiling to greater heights, if they want to. Hopefully our GM is not psychologically among the lower-ceiling beggars.

  45. Stranger Nation on

    Nash is signed for a while, more like 4 year rental. Erixson is going to be challenged for PT with our young back line and Dubi for Nash is a no brainer.

  46. Yes, That’s why I don’t want Nash because he isn’t worth that contract and that contract is a cap killer.

  47. BoomBoom Im not sure you understand the meaning of a rental……Nash would not be a rental…..Prospal would be a rental until he signed that extension.

  48. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    If Columbus has “scouts” they must be in the lookout post on the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. lol.

  49. Erixon has the potential to be much better than Stralman/Eminger who are both FAs after this year. He has more offensive upside than Sauer, he could basically be the next McD.

  50. you have the opportunity to do Erixon, Duby, and a 1st for Nash you do it, run away, and laugh for a good 5 days. that’s a STEAL. and something Columbus wont even dare consider.

  51. OMG, you people who want to trade young assets for a guy who is not worth the 7.8 mils for 6 more years are out of your mind.

  52. ye we know tomg, because kreider has the next 5 cups sitting in his pickup truck just waiting to be rolled in

  53. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Lev, thanks, Nash is the example here, Iginla would be more of a “rental” type.

    Regardless of rental deal or not, I am adamantly opposed to even discussing parting with the Kreider’s, the AA’s, the Erixon’s and even the McIlrath’s of the world, and stripping this club of future depth and talent, in the bargain.

    Dubi is a real Ranger in spirit, but is, sadly, headed down career-journeyman alley, at this juncture. Dubi, along with the WW’s, Fedo’s and Eminger’s of the world, sure, I would dump in a minute for an old spoon and a “one size fits all” New Jersey “Football” Giants baseball cap. lol.

  54. Rochester’s own Nick and the nice guys. The grammys have always come up short in displaying the best in music, but its usually a good show and this one was very good.
    Just call them “ten-foot-pole bluejackets” because whoever ends up paying for Nash will loose on the deal

  55. Im hesitant to trade Kreider for Nash (and him and ryan are the only guys available that id consider trading him for) but after that Id say all of the youngsters not on the NHL roster are fair game. Off the roster Id be willing to give up Dubinsky, Anisimov, Sauer (in that order).

  56. Did you know that the goal Richards scored against Tampa in OT was just his second career regular season OT goal?? His first in 11 years! Wow!

  57. C3, did you see me waving to you?

    tomg, I think that was somebody else (M.I.A.) who flipped the bird at the Super Bowl. this was much worse.

  58. lol CT

    I know that trade makes ZERO sense! Apparently that trade rumor came across Eklunds phone lol
    If NJ could afford 7.8 mill they would give that dough to Zach.

  59. Re: Kreider being included in any deals.

    Remember while he’s NYR property, he isn’t under any contract. There’s always the chance he could pull an Erixon and refuse to sign with a team like CBJ. So he might not be a lock to any “supposed” deal.

  60. Dubi, WW, MZA, Erixon, a first rounder. This would be worth Nash–but I don’t think Howson’s drug habit is bad enough that he would make this trade. Also, the cap hit could prohibit a trade like this. The Nash’s cap hit is not too bad–but still puts the team at risk for not being able to keep a solid core in tact because we still have Gabster for two more seasons. Ryan’s contract would be a lot friendlier to NYC but I think–trade wise–he is out of our price range. How good will Thomas, Krieder, Miller, Fasth, St. Croix and these other prospects be and how soon? Will we have the pieces to be a legit cup contender in the next few years for a few years without any big trades? Maybe–maybe not. Tough call.

  61. I don’t think we can get anything we’d want for what we’re willing to give up. A realistic trade for Nash would be: Dubi, Staal and Step…maybe a 1st round pick or some comparable package. Just doesn’t seem worth it.

  62. Stranger Nation on

    Wolski should be enjoying the idea of stu Bickel taking his place at forward! Bickel played OK and Wolski is conditioning his wonky groin in Hartford…

  63. Nash, Ryan, any player at that level who might be available is going to sting in terms of what the other team would demand in a trade. We may not be a sure thing to win it all but we have a good core and some, potentially, good talent waiting in the wings. Just doesn’t seem like any of these high end players are worth it unless Sather can make a deal that will make every GM in the NHL scratch their heads and collectively yell, “WTF?”

  64. No team is a sure thing, the Pens when they got Hossa and the Devils when they got Kovalchuk can tell you that.

  65. If we can get Parise July 1…that’s a no brainer. I would take Parise over Nash any day of the week.

  66. Well if we don’t want Nash because of his future cap hit then shouldn’t that pertain to Parise too?

  67. It really comes down to the mismatch between the aging/productivity curves of players and when they hit UFA status. Gaborik turned out to be worth the risk despite his health concerns because his deal was only for 5 yrs. otherwise had he been a guy that was playing 75 games a year consistently he probably would have gotten a Hossa type deal.

  68. Could Parise sign a contract where the first two years are worth less and when Gborik’s contract is gone, Parise’s contract increases for the remainder? Not that Sather is returning my calls.

  69. For the first few years Orr he very well could be but players don’t start to get better after 30. And you’re back to a situation where you’re paying him 40 G 80 pt money and he’s giving you 30 G 65 pt production

  70. Yeah, that’s a good point, but he’s worth the risk. With the way this team is playing, if you add Parise into the mix, then that could be the last piece of the puzzle. Expensive, but worth the risk, unless we never win the Cup.

  71. It really is tricky. The young guys I’m not as concerned about, except the nagging fear that Staal takes most of next year to round into form. But three of the top guys (Gaborik, Richards, Lundqvist) on the team are reaching the stage where they’ve probably maxed their potential and it becomes more of a case of hoping they don’t start to rapidly decline. Still, I don’t think the Rangers can offer top dollar for Parise anyway.

  72. If everyone wants Nash/Ryan/weber etc so badly you should get him on NHL 12. Lots of people live under delusions that other teams will take our trash or spare parts for a star. 1) does anyone actually think Columbus would trade their best player when they’re in such dire shape? 2) we don’t need to part with any prospects until we know what we have. What if Kreider blossoms into a star while we have a thirty goal scorer with a near 8 mil cap hit. 3) with his position, what line would Nash play on? 4) if Parise did become available to us wouldn’t it seem stupid to have Nash (who I think is a lesser player) who we sacrificed depth for, instead of Parise who only cost us cash? 5) if we are cup contenders is Nash alone going to make or break that? Guy has played in only four (losing) playoff games. What are the odds he’s gonna step in and win the Conn Smythe? It’s easy to play wish list thinking of what different names would look like on the back of a Rangers sweater. How awesome did that turn out for us in the past? After years of complaining about how we need to build from the draft, once we have real success people want to unload potentially (very) good assets for a star who has proven nothing beyond the regular season. We don’t need Nash, and would likely be worse in the long run due to the steep price he would demand.

  73. Well, if Nash asks for a trade, then the Jackets wont be able to do much aboot it. If they had any respect for Nash, they’d trade him. Let the guy play for a real team, and have a real shot at winning. The Jackets will never win the Cup.

  74. It would be interesting to see Nash on the Rangers, Bruins or Wings…just to see if he would put the team over the top or if he’d show that Columbus messed up building a team around him. I haven’t see a lot of Blue Jackets’ games.

  75. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Rangers West –

    This St. Croix kid is putting up outstanding numbers. He and the other prospects you mention should not be palmed off too soon for a steep cap hit – soon to be downside, overrated “quick Cup fix” solution. Rangers prospects, as a group, look extremely promising.

  76. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Interesting take, saying that Iginla is not a rental deal because he is signed through 2013. In fact, if you trade Kreider, and/or Erixon and a first round draft choice for him, you are, in effect, getting an extremely short-term return for a lot of potential blue chip cost. And Iginla, at 35, next year, will be of questionable value, present-term, let alone beyond that.

    No thanks to short-term patching trades, however the length of the acquired contract situation shakes down.

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