Rangers-Devils in review

349

Thoughts:

1) Sixteen regulation losses in 65 games. So please don’t go Full Chicken Little today. Though I’m sure some of you will, and some of you, in the back of your warped little minds, are finding some “told you so” satisfaction of the first regulation loss in six games, because, yeah, the Rangers have been slipping a bit lately.  And because some of you still have an axe to grind with the coach. Hey, it’s a sick world in which some sports fans live.

2) Brandon Dubinsky. Give the kid credit for showing some onions. Maybe not a lot of brains. Or maybe he didn’t know how that Ryan Carter guy can throw them. But why he’s fighting anybody when John Scott, Mike Rupp and Stu Bickel are on the ice is way beyond my comprehension. And now he’s hurt, too. And his nightmare season continues.

3) John Scott. He practically had to beg Cam Janssen to fight him, because Office Joe Boulton literally ran away from him when challenged, and because you knew David Clarkson wasn’t going near him. Finally, Scott shoved Janssen into the goalpost behind the play and dropped a glove and grabbed him, and finally Janssen had to oblige. And by tying up the big guy’s right arm, Janssen did just fine. Scott played a little D, too, after Dan Girardi found some bench time in the third.

4) Girardi. His game has slipped a bit, too. The Block Ness Monster gets full marks for toughness in the real sense, and he wasn’t going to let that hideous arm injury force him out for even a single game. Not sure if the injury is what’s hampering him. But he’s reverted a little bit to chasing the puck and sliding out of the play once in a while, and stick checking … all the stuff for which we chided him last year at times. Maybe he’s just exhausted. He should be.

5) His old partner, Marc Staal, is getting better. He, too, still chases the puck wide sometimes, and relies on the stick check too often, IMO. But he’s gotten a lot better lately. The strength of the Rangers D was how it clogged the front, the scoring areas, this season. I think that has gotten loose lately.

6) That said, the area that was really bad the last two games were those crazy-bad passes. Against Boston, it was the up-the-middle D-zone pass. Against the Devils it was the neutral-zone passes and turnovers (duh! that’s been happening against the Devils since, oh, 1993). And the first one, by Marian Gaborik in the first minute, was bad all around — during a change, in the neutral zone, Derek Stepan skatting past it as it bounced, Ryan McDonagh falling down and — of all people — Ilya Kovalchuk on the puck.

7) Kovalchuk=Monster when he wants to be. I still think he’s the one the Rangers let get away. Let’s put it this way, he’s way better than Rick Nash. And better than Brad Richards. And better than future Ranger Zach Parise.

8) I think you have to like the way the Rangers have been really angry with themselves after their rare regulation losses this season. They have set an impossibly high bar for themselves, and embrace that the team with 16 losses is the team they should be. Only better.

9) Hard to say Henrik Lundqvist played well in a 4-1 loss (one of those an empty-netter). But he did. He got beat by Kovalchuk on a breakaway, on a shot that was going far side and ended up caroming off Kelly Clarkson’s leg and into the near side, and on a short-range shot by Carter, and had the Rangers only 1-0 down after one, and tied 1-1 after two. The two PP saves he made on Kovalchuk in the final five seconds of the first were sensational.

10) I imagine John Mitchell gets back into the lineup now, and if Dubinsky is out — and I would think it’s fairly serious since he didn’t return for the final 57 minutes — I wonder if a callup is coming. Scott doesn’t really fit into the lineup against a team like Ottawa (tomorrow), though I imagine he’ll play vs. his former team in Chicago Friday and maybe against the Islanders Sunday.

11) Looking for a positive? How about the way the two young first-liners have been shooting the puck lately? Derek Stepan buried another rocket up under the crossbar, and Artem Anisimov’s been firing away, too. Good sign. They both are needed as goal-scorers, not just playmakers.

12) I know that a lot of you will say that the Hall of Fame goalie down the other end is only good because he’s six feet wide. But he sure was really good last night. (takes cover for barrage of feedback).

*****************************************
My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Marc Staal.
2) Derek Stepan.
3) Carl Hagelin.
*****************************************
cmjohnis’ Three Rangers Stars:
1) Derek Stepan.
2) Henrik Lundqvist.
3) Ryan Callahan.
*****************************************

AP photos, above.

(I may need a volunteer to do a review on the Chicago game Friday. My “other” job is in one of my really busy periods of the year for the next few weeks, and I may not see Friday’s game live. If interested, e-mail me at rcarpini@lohud.com)

 

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349 Comments

  1. First game I’ve been able to watch for some time (last one in january) due to the soccerpansy work i have.

    Must say it was a let down in terms of the Rangers intensity or lack thereof, less hitting, more gliding (except for the most part of the 2nd). As you said Carp, Girardi looked like the Girardi of last season a little bit to often. D looked a bit soft yesterday, but glad to see Staal pretty much looking like the Staal of last season…

    Richards has some nifty stick work going for him, but it took me a period to realize he played in this one.

    If this is as bad this team gets this season, we should be happy. Hopefully we’ll see a good bounce back against the Sens!

    @LGR!@

  2. Third!

    16 regular season losses.. Amazing.

    Well, this one was a stinker, but I have full faith and confidence in this bunch that they will take this one to heart and get back to playing 2011-12 Ranger hockey.

    If you don’t have confidence in this team to do just that; not sure what you have been watching (or smoking) this year. ;-)

  3. argh! I don’t know what to feel about last night’s game. thought we played really well in second and sucked in 1 and 3. Does Steve Cangalosi have a speech problem? he kept saying Fedetenka and Del Zotta, even once called DZ DelGotta,,….lol. Fool!
    Staal definitely seems to be getting better which is great. Kovi is absolutely one that got away! he was dominant. NJD beat us 3 times now, no one else has been able to do that so far. We are tired and banged up. been that way for a bit now. Torts needs to find a way to get them rejuvenated. Call ups? Too soon to think about giving some guys a rest?

  4. http://blogs.northjersey.com/blogs/rangerrants/

    Boy, I really hope we get a chance to see Chris before the end of the regular season. Step, Mac Truck and Hags all came from top notch college programs (like BC) and have thrived. I think Chris will thrive as well and could really give a boost to the team. Young blood and enthusiasm is contagious. This is a long hard slog this month prior to the playoffs…

  5. You know somethings wrong when Boyle,Scott and Rupp are skating better than the other lines.Good for them.Bad for the Rangers.Boyle was right,Devs wanted this one more but Lundquist was also right.Way too many mistakes.On D,Bickel actually played better than everybody except Staal,not good.Maybe Torts has burned some of these guys out.Hate to see them lose but if they can turn it back around come playoffs,I will be happy.

  6. Carp – I have to respectfully disagree with you. Onions or not, that was no time, place, or opponent to go after for Dubinky. He may have an onion for a brain right about now, that’s it as far as onions go.
    Can the Ranger’s please try and lean on or manage something else to spark them beside a fight, especially a pre-meditated fight?
    The Rangers don’t seem to ever be fully charged up unless they 1) fight and risk injury or 2) the opponent scores a goal.
    I’m not trying to analyze their psyche here, but doesn’t that seem a little strange to you when they have such a hard nosed, in your face, supposedly motivational coach?

  7. I dunno…maybe it’s me. But why does it seem that all the teams who they come up against, have better passing games than they do. OK…maybe it’s just an optical illusion, but they do not know how to pass the puck at a major league level. And it’s gonna be their down fall. What do these coaches work on? Can’t they see this? Or are they the real problem here? You could probably bring the Wasted Nose Guards in from the Barf League and they’d out pass the Rangers. It’s maddening to watch..game after game ( which they’ve been very lucky to win some of by the way) and there they go. Zippedy Doo Dah here and Ballicka Doo La
    there and they’ve pulled another win out of their magic tricks bag…but it ain’t smart hockey.

  8. Onecupin72yearsandcounting on

    I think the season is beginning to takes it toll on some of the players..aka fatigue.
    Dubinski knows he has Torts target on his back.. if he can’t score he’ll do what the big boys do. fight.

  9. The Devils were a desperate team last night. They have been slipping in the last two weeks. The NYR were ripe for a loss. The NYR came right back and beat the Devils last time we saw this movie. And in 7 games I will take the Rangers with my $$$.

    Dubi is a dopey bastard. He is not Brandon PRUST (although Prust wasn’t too bright fighting Lucic). Leave it to Scott. Not Rupp (he is useless in ALL indoor games).

  10. Hard one to watch. Right after I committed to the playoff tix and renewed for next year. Maybe I jinxed them. On a brighter point, I registered my first point last night since not playing goalie anymore and moving to forward. I assisted on goal #2 in a 3-2 comeback win against the #1 team.

  11. What is more disturbing to me than this one loss is the fact that Sidney Crosby might be coming back to the Pens…..

    If Crosby is healthy this time, as good as the Rangers have been, I do not see them beating the Pens in a 7 game series….

  12. Staal Wart and the Overachievers on

    Morning Heads back from Vail CO.
    Caught some of the game last night.
    Good to see Cally back!
    Dubi needs to stop fighting…he sucks at it.

  13. you can’t be a chicken little but you can sense that this team hasn’t played as well in a bit now. among some other things, they’re having more trouble scoring — at least it seems to me — and lundy has had to be better. no need to panic but it would be nice if a few people (richards, cough, cough) stepped up.

    i’m also a little confused as to why torts has fallen in love with sending out guys like scott. i haven’t looked at ice time but whatever it was he had too much. if players fought him it would be great but they rarely do. he can’t skate and he has no puck control.

  14. Sioux-per-man on

    Yev – hockey east is a good conference but it is no WCHA. That said if Dubi is hurt. It looked like he cut his wrist. That would leave the door wide open for Kreider. Which I’m almost certain would be a much needed infusion of speed. I wouldn’t mind seeing Zucc for a couple of games. He is scoring a point per game in the AHL.

    The 2nd period was fine last night, but the first and third were not Ranger Hockey.

  15. Torts had to use Scott to see what he was delt. Scott won’t play any more than 2 or 3 more games tops.

  16. stranger nation on

    that third period was the first time the team looked tired, evident on PK the whole game – debbies did not score, but were getting chance after scoring chance.

    March schedule is a bear for us, but also for others. Curious to see how they bounce back against Sens who for some reason are a bad match up with us IMO. If they win, this game is just a footnote, if not the Dancing Nancies will be out in force!

    Too many neutral zone turn overs leading to mini-breaks; against the Debbies D you need to wind and grind.

    Off puck interference not being called will kill us on the fore-check. Multiple times last night Cally or Prust or Hags or Artie were being interfered with allowing them to break out more cleanly.

  17. stranger nation on

    Dubi was very effective blocking fists with his nose. His season has gone from bad to worse.

    thankfully he carefully laid his combatant to the ice, so as to not hurt him at the end of a scrum. Wouldn’t want that to happen…

  18. czechthemout!!!! on

    16 losses in 65 games unbelievable! I just don’t want see it grow to 25 losses in 82 games. Also agree on Girardi. His game has been slipping a bit latley. Probably because he is worn out.

  19. I was at the game last night, and I will tell you this, the Devils looked good, angry, and flat out took it to us. I was talking to a lot of Rangers and Devils fans last night, and neither want to play each other in the first round. Fans of both teams agreed that they would rather face each other in the Eastern Conference Finals rather than either of the previous first two rounds. I have to say I am for that also. We really do match up very well with each other, and having home ice in the playoffs may very well be the beneficial deciding factor in a series against them.

    All that aside, MSG South was packed with blue last night, and I loved it. Didn’t love the outcome, but I loved how I felt like I was at a home game, even if our boys didn’t play like it.

    How about St. Louis huh? 4 losses at home all year and tied with us in points even though they have played two more games. They could be a sleeper for sure in the playoffs, though I am not even sure anymore if they are a sleeper. They are the real deal, and a Rangers/Blues cup final would be an absolute WAR!

  20. Good morning, boneheads!

    They are in the midst of your typical bad stretch which every team goes through every single season. It may not be obvious because they keep gaining points ( Hank and their resilience are responsible for that), but there is no denying it’s NNs delight at the moment. It’s been a couple if weeks, can’t remember when it started. But the first thing that is usually obvious is that they lose one-on-one battles against the boards. Then they seemingly can’t find an outlet pass to clear, or don’t provide any puck support. Brain cramps. The first periods have been like that for awhile. And it takes a goal against to wake up. Sometimes it works, last night it didn’t.
    Not sure whether it’s they find it difficult to concentrate because of amount of points they’ve accumulated, fatigue, injuries or combination of all. I tend to believe it’s a mental fatigue more than anything else.
    Tough to predict when they are going to snap out of this, but this team has given us enough reasons to believe they will. Sooner rather than later. The coach has to find a way to give them some mental and physical rest.

    The next two are against the teams they do not match up well. Let’s see how they respond.

  21. I thought “Marty’s better” chant last night was hilarious. Do they know their face-to-face record?
    Even Brodeur has conceded that Hank is the one to beat in the area. The Devils’ main issue is on their defense, you neutralize their rushes and keep them in their zone, and you can beat them. They let 176 goals in this year, while scoring 184. And adding Zidlicky didn’t solve that issue by any means.

  22. Lots of after game dressing talk by the Rangers about how they stunk last night and how they haven’t been playing well lately.

    The usual rhetoric, in other words, which is fine.

    However, let’s put words into action please, boys are you’re gonna get embarassed in Ottawa – the Sens are quick, skilled and can play physical if required.

    Beware of the Penguins – a few more games like last night’s and the Rangers divisional lead will be down to 4 points….

  23. stranger nation on

    They obviously missed Stralman (can this guy get a nickname?) and the frmr AG.

    Debbies have two lines that can put pressure on D and the match ups at their place are an advantage for them.

    What John (paul, george, ringo) Scott has to do is bang defenseman into the boards. Thought he looked OK, actually had a mini break but no one to pass it to.

  24. It looks to me that Girardi and McD are getting tired. I fully expected this, as Torts has been playing them so many minutes a night. But my hope was that with Staal back and was hoping Sauer would be back, that the minutes would be cut back some. Well that hasn’t happened, and my fear is that by the time the playoffs roll around and EVERY game is like last night, but the time they get late in a series, they will be burned out. And it looks like it’s starting already.

    Dubi shouldn’t be the one fighting when he’s playing with Rupp and Scott (and Bickel on D). Brave yea, stupid, HELL yea. And now he got seriously hurt.

    Bickel is a waste. I KNEW that Torts would choose him over Stralman, even thought Stralman had ONE bad game. He’s slow, and he doesn’t have puck movement instincts.

    Scott does not impress me. The man is big, I give you that, but if his only role is staged fights against the other team’s goon, then who needs him, we already have guys like that.

    And if I’m Torts, I’m telling Prust to cool it on the fights. He’s too valuable to be spending time in the box. There are bigger guys on the team now who are there to fight. Let them do it, they are probably more valuable off the ice anyway.

  25. No Panic. Since when have we lost two-regulation-games-in-a-row? Been a long time. So let’s just take care of business on Thursday and we will be back in great shape.

    I see some new names which usually means panic. Also, people seem to be upset about the teams lackluster play in the last few games. As I said after the Boston win: the encouraging thing about this team is that if you look at the wins against Boston you have three different types of games, two in which the Rangers were flat out completely outplayed and they would be up 3-0 in that series.

  26. I agree with CARP and all the above as to why was Dubi fighting on that line? Boy can he take a punch. He absorbed at least 5 shots to the face. I am worried that he broke his hand. If no surgery…then at least 5 weeks. If surgery…CYA. Not too bright eh? And when the linesman asked him if he had enough…Dubi said “I want more punches to the face”. I sure hope Prust rests that bad hand. And I sure hope Kreider can play.

  27. Stranger,

    The Stralman Shield?

    John Scott, keeping with the Beatles theme: The Walrus (Just not as fast as an actual walrus).

  28. Unbelievable that the “fans” here are so down on a first place team.
    Biatching about players that have given their all so far this year is beyond ignorant.
    Thought there were more intelligent “fans” on this blog, guess not.

  29. Respectfully disagree on Bickel, steveknj. He is not a waste. I think he is a very serviceable 6/7 defenseman who knows how to play it simple and has a sense on when to join the rush. He can also pass well in the offensive zone. And he can drop the gloves and plays mean.

  30. Don’t worry if guys are tired. They will find their second wind. That is what happens in a long season. You get tired and then you find another gear and you power through the playoffs.

  31. Look guys – Dubinsky was just about to turn it on. I think 5 weeks of rest will do him well. Clear his head and come back with low expectations. (That’s the silver lining)

    Plus we get to call someone up using LTIR for Dubinsky. Paging ^hobbit wizard^

  32. u guys need to stop with the negative nancy crap. too sensitive. your all over us before we even post. some of us do not like to be grouped in with the 2 or 3 people that are exceedingly over the top with the way they handle a few bad games. i think i should be able to critique them after a bad performance with people getting emotional over it. unless i missed some controversy here last night during the game, when i wasnt here. didnt read every comment.

  33. I suspect a lot of this fear mongering is due to Rangerfanitis – we’ve been mislead in multiple different ways so many times over the years that we are finding it hard to truly believe and therefore, waiting for the inevitable other shoe to drop (at least that’s how I sometimes feel).

    Couple that with the fact that this club backed into the POs last year and yes got stronger over the summer with the signing of Brad Richards (and the promotion of Carl Hagelin in the fall) but not THAT much stronger (ie 1st place overall) and it’s no wonder there’s some trepidation…..

  34. Stranger Nation on

    Johnnyboy – as a more than casual observer of this team, the remarks are what we saw, not what we believe. With some strange exeptions, most on this blog are very excited by the reg season performance and cautiously optimistic about the POs.

    This team has flaws as most do, but do not mistake player performance observations as harsh criticism, but constructive feedback.

    IMO they are still 2 years away, but am ready to be surprised in the second season. They have heart, guts, and jam, plus a pretty good backstop.

  35. Fat Guy in A Little Coat on

    As enjoyable as it’s been, this won’t be our Cup year. Pens, Western powers, maybe even Devs, their skill guys are also big and can skate. We have played great, but proved time after time that we can’t consistently beat teams with that combo. UNTIL NEXT YEAR WHEN WE HAVE OUR OWN!!!! A few tweaks and rookies and we’ll get it for sure by 2014.

  36. No way, NYR. My Birthday is Saturday. We are only a mere three (3) days apart! So if we can have a joint birthday present…it would be…… ^lord of the rink^

  37. happy b days friends!! tell your boss itsyour b day maybe he’ll let u take it easy at work. show up a few min. late like i do. ad take a longer lunch. its your day! enjoy it. and i want a piece of cake. the one with the most icing and flowery frosting . carvel ice cream cakes not those stupid non ice cream bush league old people cakes. i want chocolate crunchies on the bottom ok? thanks

  38. im a cancer. that means we arent compatible nyrfan and manny. i hate you guys right now!!! dont talk to me ever again. im shy and introverted according to astrology, and i have stomach problms. wats your guys deal?

  39. Fat Guy in A Little Coat on

    Grabby – I still think we have enough to make it to the conference finals, but it’ll be sticky. Does anyone here really want to face the Caps, Sens or even Jets in Round 1? That will take alot out of us. Now, don;t get me wrong, those teams shouldn’t want to face us either. I’m not confident we can hold down the Pens in the Conf. Finals if they get any goaltending.

  40. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    The rangers will either win the cup or miss the playoffs. In this digital age, everything is binary. Now is the time to recall Avery. We need the body and he adds to the chemistry. The other alternative is trade Avery for Nash or kovalchuck. Girardi has to have heavy legs given his average TOI of 50 plus minutes per game. If ec was still here, he would the team on his back and bring home lord stanley.

  41. I have stomach problems too, Grabby. But I also hate you. I can’t believe I ever acknowledged you! Stupid Cancer!

    *Pisces*: Pisces are adventurous, ambitious, impulsive, enthusiastic and full of energy. The Pisces are pioneers both in thought and action, very open to new ideas and a lover of freedom. People born in this period often go back on their promises, especially on questions of money. These people are also more mentally ambitious than otherwise. They are inclined to brood and become melancholy, or to imagine all the world is against them and that they are being made martyrs of. Many artists, musicians and literary people are born m this period. These people are very devoted to their friends or to any cause they take up, provided they feel they are trusted or looked up to. In business matters they are really good in dealing with shipping and trade with foreign countries. Sea captains, sailors of all kinds, also travelers, are often born under this sign. Such people have a curiously mystical side to their nature as well as the practical. They are often classed as superstitious, the occult in all its forms appealing to them in one way or another. They love to search out or investigate the unknown, the philosophical, or the mysterious. They will lie to save your feelings, or just to stake out a little privacy for themselves. They don’t like to be alone too much, just a little, to get the peace back. They can get addicted to booze, pills, or crackerjacks, so they really have to watch it.

    That is a *brief* description. It does describe me well. I am a sea capt. in my spare time.

  42. The Sens will be a good challenge up next. Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza are top offensive players thatch we have to frustrate and/or out produce to win the game.

  43. Like I posted last week. The only thing that concerns me about the rangers is certain players getting burnt out especially with this months schedule. The most important thing to me is injuries. If the rangers go into the playoffs healthy and that is a big if considering the injuries are starting to happen, than I feel they can make it to the conference finals. Unfortunately I don’t see the rangers beating the Pens in a seven game series. I have a feeling the pens are going to win the cup this year.

  44. Sorry Hockey fans to use a Baseketball reference, but I have to in order to get my point across.. Carp, 16 Regulation losses to date is great, but as I stated above, here is my point, The San Antonio Spurs went 61-21 last NBA season and got bounced in the 1st round. Regualr season record is overrated in my view, yes it means home ice advantage, playing in front of crazy crowds, but being in good form is what its about. The questions I want to run by you all are:

    Did we peak to early?
    By not making moves for another scorer, did we make a mistake?
    Are Hank, Dan G, and BR going to get their games back in time for the playoff run?

    I could go on with more, but let’s see what you all have to say about this for now… Thanks for the time…

  45. True Blue Mike (Del Zotto's Swagger) on

    E no, did you just say is Hank going to get his game back before the playoffs? *Blasphemy*

  46. Carp, the word “exhausted” when describing Girardi (and anybody else on this team for that matter) doesn’t exactly put a good feeling in my stomach. I say maybe rest him for a few games? Because there’s only one trophy I want, and it doesn’t start with a “P”.

  47. True blue

    Have you watched the last three games? He has been fighting the puck for the most part. He played well last night, I will give him that, but the hank earlier in the season stops the Sykora Wrister off the calf of clarkson, and the Hank of late is struggling to find the puck. He is beatable upstairs again, glove and stick side high which was his weakness in previous years.. 10 goals in 3 games, not good enough for this team, period….

  48. dubinsky and brains never should be mentioned in the same sentence.

    the rangers as Carp stated have a tough team but DUbi thinks he is Lucic. If he is out for a while that would be a shame. the guy shoots when he should pass, passes when he should shoot, he just has no clue.

    what a dope……

  49. Not time to panic, but time to start worrying a little bit. Even when they won, it wasn’t pretty. They keep saying they know they have to play better, but haven’t done it in at least the last 5-10 games, which leads me to believe they are a bit tired out. I’m hoping once they get out of this stretch, they get a few days off and can get ready for the playoffs.

  50. Lay off Dubinsky guys. Everyone was all mad when he had his “hugging” bouts and couldn’t draw anything more than a 4-Minute-Major to save his life. Now he at least got some punches in and took some and had a REAL fight.

  51. Also I hope Dubi doesn’t have a concussion. I know he got clocked on the nose, but he didn’t look too good when he went off the ice.

  52. True Blue Mike (Del Zotto's Swagger) on

    E No, Hank is not struggling. The team just has not been playing up to par lately. There is no need to worry. Now I do agree that Girardi is doing somethings that he wouldn’t have done early in the season but look at the game they played. It was like their 5th game in 6 or 7 days against a devils team that wants to beat us more than anything. Come playoff time that all changes. We are still first in the league with games in hand. Hell we can go on a 5 game losing streak and still be in first place at this rate.

  53. True Blue Mike (Del Zotto's Swagger) on

    If Dubi is hurt, we have more than enough talent in the Redden/Avery Blackhole to keep us going. IMO Zuccarello would be an upgrade over Dubinsky right now. (Assuming Dubinsky isn’t at 100%)

  54. True blue-

    I guess we agree to disagree on this one.. Just watch Hank a bit closer and you will see that he is fighting the puck a bit. I am not saying that he is a bad goalie, he is just struggling a bit of late and 10 goals in 3 games in not going to cut it come playoff time.. This team doesn’t score enough to give up that much… Pittsburgh is chomping at our heels right now so we need to be careful, they are only 8 points out and playing really well of late.. Just saying we better pick it up or else…

  55. stranger nation on

    don’t the other playoff teams want to beat us more than anything…prust saying

    Burnin down the House!

  56. True Blue Mike (Del Zotto's Swagger) on

    Or else we don’t get the President’s trophy? Or else we won’t win the East? None of that matters. The only thing that matters is how this team plays in big games against good teams in April and beyond and they have proven time and time again that they can not only do it but do it well. Therefore I will not let this little “struggle” 5-3-2 in their last 10 games bother me or worry me in anyway. If they go down 3-0 in the first round then I will worry until then I am going to enjoy this awesome season we are blessed to have.

  57. The only good part about us slipping now is that the Bruins have been slipping as well. Their defense is nowhere near as strong as it was earlier this season.

  58. John Scott has been useless so far. Still not convinced he’s worth it on this team — one that needs to feel it’s constantly under threat to play their nastiest. His presence better not dilute the “ill humor.”

    And, yeah, Dubi’s an idiot.

  59. Jimi Hendrix once lit his guitar on fire. Jerry Lee Lewis once lit a piano on fire (and then married his underage second-cousin).

  60. stranger nation on

    bum bum bum…bum bum be bum

    bum bum bum…be bum bum

    Smoke on the Water

    FIRE in the sky!

  61. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    All we are saying is give avery a chance. All we are saying is give Avery a chance

  62. stranger nation on

    Avery last seen interrogating the waitstaff at the Residence Inn outside of Hartford about their policy on orange juice refills…

  63. Bruins aren’t the team to worry about, pens are 8 points behind the rangers and after tonight 6 points, prust saying.

  64. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Manny – the original floor is still there at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, home if the 1967 pop festival and you can still see the burn marks from hendrix’s guitar.

    She wore bells on her fingers and rings in her shoes.

    She was too packed to open and too full to close.

  65. ThisYearsModel on

    Don’t really get why the Rangers feel the need to dress a goon squad. The funniest thing about the Scott-Boyle-Rupp line is that the other two make Boyle actually look fast. The Rangers have had a tremendous season and deserve all the credit in the world for their results, but they are nowhere close to the most talented team in the conference, and talent rises to the top late in the season and in the playoffs. Pittsburgh is a very real threat to pass them and/or knock them out of the playoffs.

  66. Amen Elvis Costello. It’s kind of ridiculous. Remember how the Phlyers thought Goons were the way to deal with us? How did that work? I believe they are 0-5 against us and Sestito is on the shelf for 8 weeks. Nice job.

  67. Doodie Machetto on

    I’m not going to kill the team over last night’s loss, but has anyone else noticed that the Rangers haven’t really controlled a season series over any team currently seeded 6-12 other than the Jets and Sabres?

    Devils: 1-3-1
    Sens: 1-1-1
    Jets: 3-0-0
    Caps: 2-1-0
    Lightning: 2-0-2
    Sabres: 3-0-0 (although Buffalo is 0-1-2 against us)
    Toronto: 0-1-2

    Total record: 12-6-6.

    The one seed will be our bane. Especially in the second round against the Penguins.

  68. True Blue

    If you are content with having a great regular season and getting beat in the post season then perhaps you need to look deeper at you level of fanaticism. If we don’t win the Presidents trophy we could be in trouble in the long run, but one certainty that I feel is if we lose the Eastern conference lead we are bound to see a 1st or 2nd round exit… I agree we have stepped up in big games, but our record against skilled teams like the NJD, PItts, Ottawa, etc is rough for sure… Shall be an interesting final month of the season for sure… I am out now so I can’t respond back if you come back with some other nonsense… Till the next time..

    Check out my Blog

    http://www.Ericnyr.blogspot.com

  69. As teams tighten up going down the stretch and approach a style that behooves itself to playoff hockey we’re really going to see if the Rangers can score enough to win games. They’ve already struggled to put the puck in the net this year at times but expect a lot more games like the one we saw last night. The Rangers are not a particularly gifted team when it comes to offense, as we all know. They have to win with grit. Can they do it down the stretch with all the injuries and fatigue? We shall see. Maybe bringing up Zucc and sitting one of the 6’7 giants they have would do some good? With people like Dubi fighting and getting hurt, I don’t even see the point of giving minutes to a Scott or a Bickel.

  70. Forget Avery – he was essentially released by the Rangers yesterday. Told he will not be on the post season roster and that he’s no longer needed in Hartford and was sent home. I liked Avery when he was here but he’s gone now.

  71. Does that mean we can finally find out what happened in Buffalo that made everyone _really_ hate Avery?

  72. True Blue Mike (Del Zotto's Swagger) on

    You are all a bunch of chicken littles, it’s ridiculous I can’t take it.

  73. Carp:

    I think they will figure it out but your #6 has me the most concerned. The Bruins and Devils took away the passes along the boards and forced the Rangers to pass inside. Those bad passes through the middle led to 4 goals against in 2 games (2 in each game).

  74. ThisYearsModel:

    Totally agreed, and this recent trend of Tortorella trying to have the Rangers play the role of bullies by sending goons out there to chase around whomever doesn’t work when you’ve only got a marginally talented roster. When you’ve got a superb top six, those thugs play the role of both protecting the stars and demoralizing the team by beating them up when the stars are getting a breather. But to have goons out there to protect Brandon Prust, who on his absolute best day is barely more than a 4th liner himself, is just silly. On a team built like a penalty kill unit, you don’t really need more protection.

    And yeah, 16 losses, blah blah blah. But what I’m seeing now is exactly why I didn’t have faith in this team’s ability to make a playoff run earlier in the season. Like other people, I got tricked for a while by all the wins despite the gaping holes and felt they’d be able to just grind their way by other teams. The truth is that I don’t see this style and this lineup working once they’ve got to play superior lineups in a 7 game series.

  75. Well Avery supporters. Seems like this is the end of the road for your boy. I doubt a team will pick him up on an NHL level contract. Maybe he plays for an AHL team somewhere. I guess it’s time to look for Sean on the Fashion Runways instead of the ice.

  76. The sad truth is that the deficiencies the Rangers have, they’ve been able to get away with during the regular season. Once the playoffs start everyone will be saying, “Well we’ve known that all along, but…”. But what? They have trouble scoring. There defense tends to be a little soft. Their PP not only is broken and practically incapable of scoring but it actually takes momentum AWAY. The blocked shots are bound to catch up to them. The guys who play tons of minutes are getting tired. Etc, etc, and so on.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like this team a lot. I think they are almost there with regard to making a legitimate run. But when you see teams like the Penguins and Devils out-skate, out-shoot, and out-hit them, it kind of makes you wonder about how far they can go. Not to mention how well they’d fare against teams like the Red Wings, the Blackhawks, and the Canucks on a regular basis.

  77. Is it ironic that #16 got sent home, for good, the day after we suffered loss #16?

  78. Brodeur didn’t have to be good since the Rangers gave him a night off… sucks to lose to the Devils! I hate them with passion! Its hard to be down on the Rangers, though…they’ll bounce back…. they have to!

  79. Tony F.

    The way the Devils passed the puck last night, especially on the power play…I haven’t seen the Rangers pass the puck like that in over a decade. And the Devils aren’t exactly world-beaters either.

    It’s those moments where you see how deficient this team is offensively. And while defense is important, you usually don’t win playoff series’ when your forte is pinning the puck to the boards.

    To others,

    The blind ripping on Brodeur needs to stop, at least for one night. He played well enough last night and made some good saves.

  80. As mentioned above, the Avery experiment is officially over. Someday soon we will know the whole stoiry, but clearly he was a cancer in the clubhouse even in Hartford. Waiting for the X RAY results on Dubi. He knew something really bad happened to his hand.

  81. “a cancer in the clubhouse even in Hartford”

    expert assessment right there. the guy didn’t want to play for the organization after he got shafted and I can’t really blame him. based on the dicking around he got from Tortorella and whatever concocted scenario the coach used to get rid of him the second time around, I’m surprised he even reported to Connecticut in the first place.

  82. Hahaha. Lloyd – you amaze me. Still on Sean’s side. Despite the treatment he has gotten from every single team he has ever played for. For The CT Whale to not want Sean on their playoff roster he was obviously a problem.

    He makes over a $1M to play a GAME. He couldn’t even do that without whining. Boo Hoo.

  83. look I don’t know what went on in the Buffalo incident that’s somehow turned into a reenactment of the Iran-Contra scandal, but I do know that Tortorella’s official explanation for why he needed to play Erik Christensen over Avery was a total crock of carcillo. I heard some similar nonsense a few nights ago when he defended scratching Mike Eminger in favor of Jeff Woywitka, a guy who clearly played himself off the team.

    but, like, I’m just doubting the “proof” of whatever happened in Buffalo is going to be anything significant.

  84. I like the Iran-Contra joke. I am going to keep using that for the Buffalo incident.

    Sean has a history of destroying his relationships with his teammates (particularly the management). It is clearly a problem and effects more than just the on-ice stuff since people are willing to sit him down over it. Repeatedly.

  85. You’re just speculating and until someone says something definitive, we can’t really say what happened behind the scenes.

    I do know his on-ice performance doesn’t support how things turned out this time around, so clearly, something is missing here.

  86. anyway, getting back to the actual team, I really hope the scratching Mitchell in favor of John Scott experiment is over.

  87. Good morning, Sally!

    I’m not going to even bother with some of the dumb stuff today. Especially the underlying Avery-love/Tortorella-hate.

  88. Besides, the Rangers like Avery more than the other 29 teams. None of them wanted anything to do with him. Still don’t.

  89. thanks for that insight, Carp.

    what did you find out about John Mitchell not playing last night?

  90. I think Torts just wanted to see what he had in Scott. It’s not like the team has had many practices to assess him. I think you’ll see him scratched more often than not as the season winds down, as long as the team remains somewhat healthy.

    Having said that, I think the Rangers should rest Girardi and some others when there is an opportunity to do so (one guy one game, another guy the next). There’s a lot of hockey to be played in March and these guys are all obviously running on fumes.

  91. Starting Scott over a healthy Mitchell was a dumb move, I was shocked, but it had little to no impact on the outcome of the game, imo.

  92. I actually think it did since not having an actual forward to use when moron hurt his hand couldn’t have helped an already tired team.

  93. I would say “running on fumes” is a bit of an exaggeration. Though they didn’t play great against Boston, there were two terrible passes that made that a game at all, and IMO there didn’t appear to be any fatigue whatsoever in that game — their third in three-plus days.

  94. Instead they had a goon to put out when the Rangers conceded the first period and then to run out garbage time in the third. Great.

  95. Doodie shows how the rangers have done versus the lower playoff teams. how about against the bruins, flyers etc..

    stas you can make them say or show whatever you want.

    finish first, get healthy, rest Lundqvist a reasonable amount that is the goal thru end of the season.

  96. Besides, the Rangers like Avery more than the other 29 teams. None of them wanted anything to do with him. Still don’t.

    —————————

    not true, Carp. According to some reports (and we all heard about it) some teams were interested in Avery only Sather wouldn’t place Avery on waivers.

  97. I get your point, I said it had an impact just not much. Having another forward would not have stopped all the ridiculous turnovers.

  98. Maybe it’s mental fatigue more than physical? They haven’t made many mistakes all year but the last few games it seems like they’ve been slipping… mentally. Rest helps both.

  99. Carp,

    Look, in theory, having some monster out there seems like it’ll help but as I stated earlier, I think it helps better offensive teams than the Rangers. And perhaps more importantly, we’ve seen that other guys aren’t going to fight him anyway. Smaller players are still having fights so what protection is the guy according?

  100. yeah, so we heard. But if any of them had offered even a fifth-round pick, there’s no doubt that Sather would have made the deal. Why should he give away Avery for nothing when his cap hit was completly off the books and his contract was expiring? Should a GM “help” other teams out of kindness? And they all passed on him twice during the season. All of them. At half price.

  101. the rangers gave up a 7ht for Scott. Obviously they are not expecting much from him.

    Torts who I love shows his stubborness on occasion and by sitting Mitchell over Scott last night he did his usual.

    Zucc should get a sniff, not looking for a world beater just a smidge more offense. The behemoth kick ass line is a waste except against filthy.

    mitchell is not great but is a good 4th liner not a PP guy Torts………..If dubi is out it hurts the PK, forecheck, and overall speed of the team….

  102. I’m not a huge fan of John Mitchell but he’s clearly about 20 times the player John Scott is.

  103. stranger nation on

    scott has to bang to be effective – hit the Dmen when he can locate them skating between his legs

  104. Lloyd, that’s been my argument for a long time. Guys who just fight are useless, guys who only fight other goons, and guys who can’t even get somebody to fight are even more useless.

    That’s why I like a Prust and a Bickel way more than a Scott. Not saying either one is going to the Hall of Fame. But they can play and they can play tough, and you do need to have some of that element in your lineup.

    Tony, there definitely could be some mental fatigue. Or just some attention to detail slipping a bit.

  105. stranger nation on

    It is not John Scott v. Mitchell; it’s more size on 4th line for puck handling center.

    Should give Prust a breather (not that he would ask for it) March schedule is a killer and since we won Oct – Feb; we don’t need to ‘win’ March also.

  106. That’s why the ^hobbit wizard^ should come up here. Then you can have Scott and the ^hobbit wizard^ to give everybody a night off here and there. You also have the extra D-Man to rotate those guys out. Just keep a cushion and keep on keeping on.

  107. Carp,

    We’re in total agreement on all of that. You know I’m not a Prust guy, but a lot of that stems from this perception that he’s anything more than you just said he is. I don’t have a problem with having those guys on the team, and I’d certainly rather see Prust out there than a guy who can barely skate like Scott. But Prust is a guy who should be protecting players, not having goons out there to cover his butt.

    And for what it’s worth, I barely see evidence that Mike Rupp is any better than John Scott – maybe he’s still dealing with the injury or whatever but he just looks like an extremely limited player.

  108. so Sather still saw value in Avery but not enough to play him over EC or any other legion of stone cold hands guys like Mitchell or Scott?

  109. Maybe Scott just LOOKS like he’s going really slow because he’s so BIG? Okay… maybe not.

  110. just a reminder,

    Erik Christensen has not registered a point since the night Tortorella decided Avery’s level had slipped and Erik Christensen was the spark the Rangers needed. Unfortunately that spark only lasted one period of one game.

  111. Carp you should implement some sort of filtration system that automatically bounces any post with “Avery” in it……including this one.

  112. I believe this team is in a really, really good shape if we think John Scott vs Mitchell is our main issue….

  113. Rangers are 8 points up in the division, but do have two games left against Pittsburgh and a crap load of games to play in a short span of time. I think they’re pretty safe at this point but I’m not sure it’s going to be quite the runaway it looked like a few weeks ago.

  114. One thing is for damn sure – we need to stop pondering their possible demise when they haven’t even lost 2 in a row (lately and hardly ever this year).

  115. ilb – I agree. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is our main issue.

    Wow, the Devils must be loving the bonus point this year. With 10 shootout wins, it sure has kept them afloat. Talk about role reversals; Rangers thriving on defense and goaltending & the Devils with a playoff berth thanks to the shootout.

  116. I can’t believe some of you guys are still hung up on Avery…wow…

    My real-world understanding is that Avery’s behavior off the ice is why he isn’t with the Rangers anymore. He actually played OK when he got recalled and got his final (sloppy?) “second” chance. So, this is not necessarily only about his hockey ability.

    It’s about how he failed to follow the rules like the rest of his teammates. It’s about how he just can’t be part of something, like a 1st place team. It always has to be about him and only him.

  117. Let’s not hand the rangers the Div yet. 17 games still plenty can happen. If we go 9-8 the pens would have to go 13-3-1 and thats on top of there 6 game streak there on right now. Play 500 hockey and we should be ok.

  118. 5-3-2 in the last 10, not great, not terrible either. getting 12 out of 20 points is pretty good and I think worst-case scenario they’re 6-4-2 in the last 12 by this time Saturday. I do see some evidence that they’re tiring a bit, though I wouldn’t say they’re on fumes. The last stretch has looked a whole lot tougher than games did a bit earlier in the season, and I think some of that is attributable to fatigue.

  119. It won’t be, Lloyd, but it will take a Miami-like epic fail to surrender the division. And winning the Atlantic may not be imperative, but will be important. The way it looks now, #1, 4, 5, and 6 will belong to Atlantic teams. 4 vs 5 will be a war with some casualties. I’m going to assume that number 6 will be able to win against #3, should be the weakest out of all top 6. So it looks like whoever wins the Division will see number 6 in the second round, as opposed to Boston or Pittsburgh…At least the way it looks now.

  120. Miami, more importantly, what do YOU think? And didn’t you predict a win yesterday. SHAME ON YOU!

  121. Hey – can someone explain to me why the Bruins had to waive Turco? I don’t get the process.

  122. This will be the only time I will post about avery. When the rangers got Avery from the LA Kings, I read a few articles coming out of LA that Avery was a cancer and the players couldn’t stand him. Yes, he did well the first year with the rangers because probably avery knew he needed to be on his best behavior knowing he was due for a contract. When he signed with the stars, after they waived him, I read players couldn’t stand him. The second time around, I think it was last year when the rangers won a game in over time, the bench stood up and celebrated and than went on the ice while Avery was at the end of the bench away from the players and didn’t move a muscle or had no emotion. Avery is about avery, wanting attention. He is a piece of garbage, end of story, there is no defending him, period.

  123. They didn’t waive him, Manny. He has to go through waivers before he plays for them even though he is signed. His contract is guaranteed even is someone else picks him up.

  124. you’re 100 percent right there, Tony F. But I imagine this place will be total Armageddon if they lose tomorrow. Ridiculous.

    And this idea that winning the president’s trophy or the east can in any way be a bad thing is nonsense.

    Any team in the playoffs can beat any other team in the playoffs, as it’s been proven year after year after year since the dynasties era ended in the 70s and 80s. There is no correlation between being the first seed and winning the Cup or the eighth seed and getting to the finals. The Rangers are going to try to be the best they can be until the last day of the season, or perhaps the last week if everything gets clinched by then. They aren’t going to let up so they will be better in the playoffs, because there’s no proof that works. And they aren’t going to do anything crazy to try to win the Presidents’ Trophy because there’s no proof that works. And they aren’t going to tank because the Presidents’ Trophy is bad luck.

    They also aren’t going to try to determine their first-round matchup, because that doesn’t work,either, especially when 6-7-8 are going to be undecided until the last days of the season, and the same probably for 3-4-5.

  125. ilb:

    I’m sorry for being a bit short with you last night. My injury was acting up on me a bit and I was in a lousy mood.

    As far as where they’re going to finish, yeah, it would take a monumental collapse for them to not surrender the division and the conference. I may be in the minority, but I don’t like Washington as a first round match-up. Not crazy about playing Tampa and or Buffalo either, but they’d both be preferable to Washington. I think Winnipeg (or Florida) is the team you want for so many reasons), but for both of them to get in means Washington doesn’t go on some run here and misses the playoffs entirely, and I just don’t see that happening.

  126. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Avery can carry this team on his back. He is the straw that stirs the drink, the glue holding these team together, the banana in the cereal, the peanut in the butter, the rock in the roll, and the yester in the day.

    Recall avery or trade him for Nash !!!!!

  127. OH! Thanks Ilb. I thought they signed him and immediately waived him. This makes WAY more sense!

  128. I won’t even dispute the Avery locker room stuff. I don’t know anything about the Rangers team dynamic. I’m sure there are plenty of relationships that are a lot of more tenuous than what was depicted on 24/7. My issue is with this notion that Avery played himself off the team because that’s the crock of carcillo Tortorella used to justify running him out of town. If there was some massive falling out behind the scenes, so be it. But if Avery’s performance on the ice was the reason he was dumped – as some of you have stated with a total straight face – then I could point to about 4 other guys on this roster who should have been shipped to Connecticut with him, including that dope who injured himself being a punching bag last night.

  129. The Devils scare me. Only because losing to them would be so monumentally painful.

  130. Carp, I think playing Penguins or Flyers ( if you’re number 4 or 5 ) as opposed to Jets ( if you’re number 1) does make a difference. If not for that round, but more in terms of what ( and who) you have left for the next one.

  131. Doodie Machetto on

    Scott, we won’t be playing the Flyers or Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. That’s why I posted it.

  132. Lloyd,

    your missing the point about Avery, it had nothing to do with his performance on the ice. It had to do with him being on the team and in the locker room. Remember, the word cancer. torts has even said how close a group this ranger team is but Avery is not a team player. It’s as simple as that but if you think Torts is going to tell the media this, that isn’t happening since what goes on in the locker room stays in the locker room.

  133. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Rangers will win the cup especially if they can get Avery back on the team

  134. Of the teams currently in the playoffs, Boston, Pittsburgh and Jersey are all problematic match-ups. Philadelphia? I don’t know. What we’ve seen in the regular season doesn’t suggest they will be a problem and their goaltending stinks (as usual) but there are some pretty talented players on the team. Of the teams on the outside of the bubble, Washington worries me the most. Tampa and Buffalo to a lesser extent but they’re both beatable.

  135. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    There is no I, in Sean Avery. There are however an e and an a with is one half of team

  136. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    We could still sneak in the 8th spot especially if carolina loses their last game

  137. stranger nation on

    http://stralman.com/biography/ – quote from website: In school, he studied nursing with an emphasis on gaining the skills to become perhaps a firefighter or emergency medical technician. But when he wasn’t hitting the books, Strålman was honing his hockey sense and learning to read the game.

    Nurse Stralman??

  138. Doodie Machetto on

    Tampa just got a lot worse since Garon tore his groin. Rolosson has been nothing but terrible this season.

  139. That’s awesome, Stranger. Good to know that we have an extra trainer on the bench just in-case Rammer goes down.

  140. Tiki XLII XLVI on

    Never as far I can remember has a talentless, self centered athlete been more bandied about by the fanbase of the athlete’s team of employ than Sean Avery.

  141. My point is, it doesn’t matter to the point where they should care who they play. They can beat any team in the East in a best-of-seven. Any team in the East could beat them in a best-of-seven. We’ve seen it time after time. They could beat Pittsburgh and lose to Winnipeg (doubt it).

    It’s more a matter of how they play, and how their goalie plays, and how the opponent plays and how the opponent’s goalie plays. There is no correlation between where they finish and their ultimate success or lack thereof. And eventually, if not immediately, they will have to play the best Eastern team in the playoffs. And we don’t know who that is yet, and we won’t know until the playoffs are over. Example: How many thought Boston was the best team in the East last year before their run? How many thought Philadelphia was the best team in the East the year before (answer: nobody outside of Philly, Mr. Snider, Gary Bettman, the Empire State Building, Comcast, NBC and that piece of cooke Clarke)?

    How many thought the New York Football Giants were the best team in the NFL this year, before the playoffs? Exactly. Now people are saying they could be a dynasty (just like in 2007).

  142. stranger nation on

    Manny –

    Nurse Stralman seemed very concerned last night from the pressbox when Dubi was bleeding.

    Relieved when he saw the blood was not gushing from Dubi’s nose after that donnybrook.

  143. Tiki XLII XLVI on

    Speaking of the Giants, I always felt we had the most talent in the NFL, on both sides of the ball. That’s what makes it so disturbing when we underachieve and play down to our competition.

    My line all year amongst anyone that knows me, “If Bill Belichick had our defense to go along with our offense or their offense, he’d be Super Bowl Champion every year.”

    I was wrong about Tom Coughlin. In a career filled with choke jobs and regular season collapses, he won 2 of the greatest Super Bowls in history over perhaps the best coach/QB tandem.

  144. Tiki XLII XLVI on

    Most talent on both sides of the ball, meaning combined, balanced talent. Not most on each side of the ball, respectively.

  145. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Carp I knew the gmen would win the SB back in August and it turns out I was correct.
    Avery seemed so far away, Oh I believe in Avery. Suddenly, I am not half the man of Avery, why she left – I don’t know, he wouldn’t say – something wrong I don’t know….

  146. Carp:

    Rangers have won one championship in the last 18 years and two in the last 72. The last time they made a deep playoff run was 15 years ago.

    So, like, it’s going to require something a bit more than just having a good season for people to get legitimately excited.

  147. ThisYearsModel on

    I vote yes for the Rangers Report “Avery filter.” Make it so Number One……Um, I mean, CARP!

    Soon to follow will be the “Zuccarello filter” when Dubi goes on IR and Torts does not call him up.

  148. Avery got dicked around?

    Gotta concur, but not by the Rangers or Tortorella or Detroit or LA or even the Whale. Nope, he did it to himself.

    That man has serious issues – he needs, I think, professional help that goes way beyond what I believe were those NHL mandated angry management counselling sessions he had.

    He’s self-destructive, bigtime…

  149. Tiki XLII XLVI on

    Lloyd, it’s not just about a good season. It’s about the way they play, their style of playing. Theyre committed to playing defense, they have the best goalie in the world, they have some scoring talent as well. It’s also about the organization, which has made some very wise moves, and also curtailed their not so good moves like Bad Richards.

  150. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Tiki – add to that arguably one of the greatest pure goal scores the game has ever seen (and I am talking Sean Avery) and this team is poised for a cup run

  151. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Slats need to file an appeal so that an Avery recall allows him to play during the playoffs

  152. Avery should get his own *new post* to drive up traffic. What is good for the goose (Carp) is good for the gander (boneheads).

  153. Why do people seem to think we don’t score enough goals? Look at the stats:

    Rangers score 2.72 GPG (that’s 11th in the league) and only give up 2.03 GPG (that’s 2nd in the league (St. Louis just passed us this week).

    That .69 per game difference is 3rd in the league behind Boston (.84) and Detroit (.69).

    Just this past week alone they put up 3 against Tampa and 4 against Boston. How many more do you want them to score?

  154. Seems like good news for Dubi. No broken hand. Nose ans sinus problems. He took several to the face. Day to day and on the Ottawa trip…whew!!!

  155. Jonny, probably because in 11 of their 16 regulation losses they’ve scored one goal or none. And probably because every slump they’ve had the last three years (and more, no doubt) has been attributed to their inability to score and their lack of top-line skill (and that includes each of their two playoff losses the last three years).

    and because it manifests itself in the PP.

  156. Lloyd, that’s also what I call the Steinbrenner-ization of sports. Pre-Steinbrenner, fans would be absolutely thrilled to have a season like this one, no matter what happens in the playoffs. I mean, from October through March, you could not ask more from a team than what you’ve gotten. But if they lose in the crapshoot that is the Cup playoffs, people are going to think “epic fail.”

    Too bad. Because this season is so, so, so much better than any that preceded it, maybe ever.

  157. Amen, Carp. I don’t think this season can be considered a failure unless they fail to make the playoffs right now with some epic, epic collapse. They have accomplished *so* much already and it’s really been an absolute pleasure to watch.

  158. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, it’s all about expectations. People have their hopes up now. Personally, I think the season is a failure if and only if they don’t have a competitive second round. Anything beyond that is gravy. But we took the team we had last year and ostensibly made it better by adding Richards and by having our young players get a year older, so the expectation has to be a better performance than last year.

  159. That’s all well and good Carp, but you aren’t going to score 2+ goals every game. Every team gets shut out. Hell, Henrik has 8 shutouts by himself and Biron has 2. That’s 10 times we’ve shutout a team vs. the 5 times we’ve been shut out.

    If you go 11 times scoring 1 goal or less (I know there were a few 1-0 wins we’ve had), out of 65 games, that is not bad at all. Just look at some of the other teams out there?

    And putting it in perspective, they’ve still scored more goals per game than 2/3rds of the league.

    The PP is an issue, but I think it’s actually more impressive that they’ve still scored enough goals to be that high in the league despite it.

  160. Doodie Machetto on

    It’s why Ron Wilson just lost his job. Before the season, everyone expected Toronto to be a bubble team. But since they flirted with first in the conference for a little while (while Kessel was a goal machine), it got everyone’s hopes up. Now, everybody is losing their minds over how they aren’t in the playoffs, even though this is exactly what you expected of them before the season.

    THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!

  161. I was a little disappointed last night, but I’ll get over it starting tomorrow.
    I’m loving this team & I think we’ll be fine down the stretch

    After watching Dubi get smacked in the nose I couldn’t help think of Sally – hahaha

  162. we should add Avery to our RR vocabulary… avery – someone who’s looking for attention.

    Rod is such a avery wh*re!

    what you guys think?

  163. Tony, I’m not so much upset at the Rangers LOSS, as I am about a Devils WIN. I hate it when they’re happy, you know?

    And yeah. Poor Lil Man’s face :(

  164. I guess I know who my real blog friends are…you only turn 26 once a year…

    Manny, Linda, ilb…

    The rest of you are a dime-a-dozen….

  165. NYR_FAN, it’s your bday? Happy 26th!!!!!!!

    And Happy 26th to the lovely Mrs Tony!!!

  166. NYR you are a fifty-cent-piece a baker’s dozen. I got your back brother. I will buy you a birthday drink before you turn 27. Don’t worry

  167. Carp:

    The Steinbrenner argument makes sense in the case of a franchise like the Yankees who’ve won 27 championships and had decades where they dominated the sport. Some guy called Tubbo Francesa’s show the other day and pointed out something I couldn’t believe until I looked it up myself. Beginning in 1926, the Yankees had a winning record every single season up until 1965. And during that time, the Yankees finished no worse than 2nd all but 6 times.

    When Steinbrenner bought the team, the Yankees had just gone through their worst period in the modern era and had their second worst period on his watch. The guy went out of his mind to try to make sure his team lived up to their well-deserved reputation. I don’t like what he did, and I have difficulty rooting for my favorite baseball team now because of it, but on some level, it’s entirely justified.

    The Rangers, on the other hand, have won four championships, and two in the last 72 years. Their most “successful” period was from the middle 60s to the middle 70s where they had 9 consecutive winning seasons. They had one Stanley Cup finals appearance (1971-72) in that time and lost to the Bruins. They’ve been to the Finals a grand total of 2 times in the 40 years since. (but hey, at least they’re .500 in that respect.) The Rangers have finished 1st 6 times in the history of the franchise. That’s 6 first place finishes in 86 years.

    So yeah, this is a nice season, and it’s great that they may very well finish first in the conference. Given how few times it’s happened, that’s a big deal. But by the same token, it’s also time to win a championship.

  168. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    Happy B-Day NYR_ Many more are wished for you BTW we have a winner for the ticket contest so PLEASE no more contest for the rest of the year!

  169. *GM of the Chicken Little Farm (club) summary*
    OK, it is about the time to:
    FIRE SATHER!
    FIRE and TORTURE TORTS!
    FIRE MSG! and SPIT in Dolan’s coffee!
    AVERY for this season team’s VIP and “C”aptaincy!
    Call Redden as a 1st line LW.
    Oh, yeah and
    TRADE HANK this summer to Red Wings for 3rd pick.

  170. tampas season was already over. Yzerman has been very smart. he knew they were not a playoff team so made moves. he also thought if they were a playoff team(longshot) they were not a legit contender so he made moves looking at the long term.

    Carp.. This is the best ranger season since 94 already. The rangers have been fairyl good since the lockout, missing the playoffs only once. But they are always a 7th or 8th type, scrounging to make the playoffs. This season they have been good for basically the whole season since game 3… They are young, hard working, basically homegrown, could ask for nothing more.

    I just hope they play like they have all year in the playoffs and if they do I a msatisfied. They can make it to the cup or lose in the 2nd round. If they do not win a round in the playoffs I will be bummed. This again is the low water mark for this core group of players. Next 3 to 5 years look real good as long as the King does not get hurt………

  171. Tampa has a slim chance, with Garon in net, and Stamkos on fire. With Roloson in net, it’s not happening. He filled in for Garon last night, gave up five. I’d play the AHL starter. Can’t be any worse.

  172. NYR,
    with my distinctive pleasure – Happy 26 Birthday! May you always and only, be surrounded by the things you really love, hockey theme and bunch of dime-a-dozen boneheaded dirtbags included! You deserved it, for better or for worse…Stay healthy and optimistic, buddy!

  173. Oh, NYR,
    …And almost forgot; *don’t you ever buy insurance from Lloyd…*

  174. Doodie Machetto on

    You know this is a different season than last year when the team can crap the bed against the Devils in March and there are only 250 comments at 3 PM the day after.

  175. Carp: Your views can be surprisingly insightful at times – that Steinbrenner observation is quite brilliant!

    And correct.

    Your other comment about the Rangers top end skill limitations is bang-on, too and you’re right part of the PP problem is just that.

    It’s why Nash was (and still is) so alluring.

  176. aawwee look…everyone wants to be NYR_FAN’s friends now! wishing him a happy birthday! He called you all a dime-a-dozen! remember?! :P LOL

    {i’m in a devilish mood}

  177. Wicky©Not giving Dolan another dime, getting rid of my season tickets NOW!!! on

    Morning/afternoon ILB and all!!

    Happy 26th NYR and mrs tony!

    I love this blog, Iran Contra was brought up in a hockey discussion…LOVE IT!!!

    The thing that bothers me about the rangers overall (not in a negative nancy sense in the least bit) and has bothered me for quite a bit is their lack of size and “edge” on the top 2 lines. I watch these games and see guys like clarkson, lucic, hartnell, etc give our d men fits and think wow, must be nice to have a big winger in the top couple of lines (I know some play centre at times, you see my point though) give some other teams d men fits.

    I suppose kreider has size and is a HOFer (according to some reports), but what if he plays like peter popovic with his size?

  178. There are some things about the Rangers fans
    ( especially the ones who are vocal in print,) that castigate a new guy before he’s actually had an opportunity to do anything except appear, and they did the same thing with Boyle…. At least this new guy can skate, not so with the early Boyle, and he has had moments where he’s shown some puck control, but those moments were so fleeting that it is no basis for the deluge of contempt.

    Patience, one can see is not a characteristic with many of the bonesters now. I can recall how long they carried Malik, ( you all recall ” The Sentinel)” as I dubbed him for his acct of moving over to the deep part of the defensive corner and stand there watching the activity. He was here for quite a while…but that pose of his to me is unforgettable.

    This new kid that they are constantly mooning over Kreider? And if he doesn’t become an overnight Messier, he’ll no doubt get the same treatment.

  179. NYR – you didn’t thank me and I offered to buy you a drink. I finished crying about it. But not completely.

  180. Wicky©Not giving Dolan another dime, getting rid of my season tickets NOW!!! on

    manny
    you never offered me a drink and I still haven’t had my interview, but just keep being an avery face (thanks CCCP)! ;0

  181. wicky – Clarkson is not a top 6 winger for the Devils. He’s more of a 3rd line guy. Similar to Avery. Can jump in there as a 2nd liner, but really isn’t.

  182. Wicky – I got the word from my boss that your phone interview was pretty god-awful. Sorry about that.

    I will mail you a drink. How’s Monster Energy + Red Bull – Vodka sound?

  183. Wicky©Not giving Dolan another dime, getting rid of my season tickets NOW!!! on

    manny
    you didn’t tell me he didn’t speak French! I had a feeling that might be a problem!
    Just mail the monster energy and red bull, I have the vodka!

    Jonny
    I thought he was playing on their 2nd line, my bad then if he isn’t!

  184. That’s the way I put it out there Wicky: Monster Energy *plus* Red Bull *minus* Vodka

  185. bull dog line on

    it would take Avery 3 seasons to get 25 goals. Avery is not in Clarkson’s league.

  186. Wicky©Not giving Dolan another dime, getting rid of my season tickets NOW!!! on

    manny
    well fugg, so you did…my bad!!

  187. Happy 26th, NYR!

    And Mrs. Tony, too? If so, Happy 26th!

    Why, thank you, Jim. Blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while, I guess.

    By Steinbrenner-ization, btw, I mean that anything less than a championship is unacceptable. If you have a wonderful season and your team makes you happy for six months, and it doesn’t end in a parade, does that mean you didn’t get all that joy?

  188. Soo the other day, I turned on the Rangers/Carolina game just in time to hear Sam say, “they’re just 9 points out of the playoffs.” I started to sigh but just as quickly realized that this year HE WASN’T TALKING ABOUT THE RANGERS!!!!!!!!!

  189. stranger nation – At first, I thought your 10:29 am post was about our lineup, Hank getting toasted and the wrath of Torts.

  190. Manny, your offer could have been Monster Energy *plus* Red Bull *hyphen* Vodka. Prust sayin…

    Wicky???

  191. Wicky©Not giving Dolan another dime, getting rid of my season tickets NOW!!! on

    sally??

    manny
    leave her alone!!

  192. Oh, and not to laugh at someone’s injury, but I just need to appreciate this for a minute:

    “Brandon Dubinsky (nose)”

  193. Sally: I would warn you *not* to push my buttons. As you know I am a man of the law and I will be quick to declare *kangaroo kourt* on this forum. Don’t make me do it, Sally.

  194. “Asked whether he scratched Mitchell because he wanted players such as Scott in for a physical advantage, Tortorella said Wednesday: “There were a number of things (reasons) why John Mitchell didn’t play.”

    Asked whether he felt Mitchell had been struggling prior, Tortorella said: “(He) fought it, yeah. Fought it.””

    what

  195. Lloyd – that is called “not throwing your player under the bus” It’s why the players love Torts.

  196. Hi Boneheads, my name is Rose and I am from Arizona. I sleep with Tony from AZ.
    Thank you for the Birthday wishes on this day, my 26th Birthday
    Lets go Rangers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Does this make me an Official Bonehead ?

  197. wait, so you’re saying Mitchell has looked terrible lately – despite having been put on the power play – and Tortorella had to bench him?

  198. Manny: OOoooOo I’m shaking in my sassy boots! Hahahaha! Don’t you know by now that I have legal immunity in Carp Country? If you’re gonna come after me, your “law” will do you no good.

  199. Clarkson averaged 10 goals a year the last couple of season. His 26 are way above his career high. He also has 7 PP goals, the most of his career. He’s definitely haven’t a great scoring year, but he’s more suited to be a 3rd line player. Just look at Petr Prucha or Brian Boyle…

  200. Rose, absolutely…but only if you do that systematically, not periodically.
    In anyway, Happy, 26 B-Day and warmest Welcome, officially, of course!

  201. If you don’t count siblings (jpg and jpg’s sister) I think you are Tony!

  202. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    Happy 26 B-Day Rose and many more . You have a lovely looking family I might add!

  203. Manny, I don’t remember what we’re arguing about.

    Ria Tanzania, *carrier pigeon, smoke signals*

  204. Hi Rose, and Happy 26th! Glad to have met you at MSG.

    And, I’m fairly sure … and very happy … that you are the only Bonehead who can make that claim.

  205. Rose, you share a birthday with a great man. Happy 26th!

    Thanks guys!

    Thanks, Manny. Thanks.

  206. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    No Sally just stepped out to see if the sky was still above. Have to mull over some of those name changes though. And still NO E-MAIL!!! (-;

  207. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    Actually I like fart jokes and my little granddaughter just luvs to announce when she passes one in public LMAO!!!

  208. Good afternoon all!

    Rose!!!!!!! LMAO!!!!! Happy 26th babe!!!! Can’t wait to see you next month!!!

    And happy 26th to NYR!!!

    What a glorious day in bonehead land!!! Except, Manny, are you taking on Sally? Bad move…she has Prust gloves you know…..

    Rangers still rule!!! Carcillo happens! Keep the faith!

    why am I using so many exclamation points!!???

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

    Question for all the manny types (lawyers) here

    Didn’t the term kangaroo court come from the breaker morant trial? Great movie btw!!

  210. Mama!!!!!!! We worked it out, no worries!!!!! And Buffalo was just asking when you’re coming to visit!!!!!!!

  211. stranger nation on

    Dubi was very gentlemanly in his donnybrook; carefully laying his combatant to the ice to ensure the poor chap’s hands would not get chafed or cold.

    Talk about turning the other cheek…

    Dubi on line with Scott and Rupp, but he has to get into a fight AND get his assen kicked against some pup on the debbies – oy vey…

  212. Sally, I was just thinking about Buffalo the other day, swear….soon I hope! But aren’t you coming here for Tony and Rose? (fingers and toes crossed)…

    Staal, double LMAO for the double reference in one pic/screen name

    tiki….it is a good life :) LGR now pal!!!

  213. OK, been fun catching up with you all today (kinda….) but gotta run….politicians are for carcillo, so LGR v Senators!!!

  214. Awww…(hartnell, a wicky) thought you could :( well, you’ve done your travel so it’s my turn….soon as I can, Princess Dubinsky Wobbles, here I come!!!

  215. *Kangaroo Court*: A kangaroo court is “a mock court in which the principles of law and justice are disregarded or perverted”. The term kangaroo court may have been popularized during the California Gold Rush of 1849. The first recorded use is from 1853 in a Texas context. It comes from the notion of justice proceeding “by leaps”, like a kangaroo. The phrase is considered an Americanism.

  216. Rangers West on

    Why not bring up MZA? He may have different weaknesses and strengths than Scott but is he going to be any less effective (Overall)? Even if he only has one, two, three good games before the adrenaline wears off and he crash back to Earth, that extra offense could be a difference maker in those few games. Then again, I heard that the Avery guy people talk about is looking for work. I’ve heard he’s like the second coming of Gretzky (Paulina).

  217. True Blue Mike (Del Zotto's Swagger) on

    On my fantasy team I just made three trades: I acquired Eberle, Getzlaf, Erikkson for Lundqvist and Wideman. Then I got MDZ and Ryan Miller for Gaborik, Emery and Neuvrith. Then i traded Zetterberg and Carter for Phil Kessel.

    What do you guys think?

  218. guest bloggers stink on

    Not only is the Ranger season falling apart but there will be a guest blogger on Friday. Say it ain’t so.

  219. Manny Astronomo on

    Mike – that made my head spin. I can only manage 2 or three players in each trade.

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