Rangers-Jets in review



1) OK, so it’s 105 points with five games left, and while the Penguins have a game in hand, the Rangers have clinched the tiebreaker over the Pens. So if the Rangers go 2-3 for 109 points, Pittsburgh needs 10 out of a possible 12 points. If the Rangers go 3-2, the Penguins need to go 6-0. And now the Presidents’ Trophy is in play, which would mean home-ice (for what it’s worth) in the finals. With 49 wins and 105 points, the Rangers still have a shot at the franchise records of 52 and 112, both set in 1993-94. (somebody check my math). Oh, and not a bad three-game trip for this unraveling, downward-spiraling, disaster-waiting-to-happen team that is 5-1 in its last six.

2) Ryan Callahan took over the game, no doubt about it, starting with the play on the Michael Del Zotto short-handed goal … which was enormous because if the Jets score on the PP there, it’s over. But I have to say this, and you sure almost never say this about the captain, I think it was his man who scored the 2-0 goal, and whether it was or not, he went into glide mode for a moment that allowed that goal to happen. He did.

3) But because he’s who he is, Callahan, if it’s possible, got even more determined after that 2-0 goal … and other than that moment, he was pretty spectacular for all the other moments he played in this game.

4) And let’s not forget this. The Rangers’ special teams won this game, but on a couple of those early PKs, the guy who killed off the penalties was the goaltender. We expect Henrik Lundqvist to allow 1 or zero every night. Well, he gave up two in under a minute in this one, neither of which was his fault even a little bit, and he gave up zilch otherwise, including those three kills, one of them a long 5-on-3. Guy’s a warrior.

5) Brian Boyle had another one of those games where he gets hurt a couple of times and keeps on going. Lost a tooth, limped off one time, won a big draw before his goal, killed penalties, knocked people around. He’s probably not going to win the Steven McDonald Award, because it’s going to go to the Captain or Dan Girardi, I imagine, but he should be in the conversation.

6) That penalty called on Boyle … pansification.

7) I know it’s an absolutely dumb penalty by  Brandon Dubinsky, but somebody explain why slashing an opponent’s stick is a penalty.

8) I’m going to tell you, I prefer Dan Girardi and Marc Staal to Anton Stralman on the point, and if Stralman’s not going to play the PP, I’m not sure there’s a spot for him in the lineup. Both Staal and Girardi keep it simple and get pucks to the net, and I don’t see why not just go with those guys, at least on the second unit. Or, for that matter, Ryan McDonagh.

9) I’m still seeing too much running around and time on the knees by the Rangers’ D-men, and that wasn’t happening during the first 60 games plus. I know. That’s a nitpick.

10) You know, they talk all the time about pucks and bodies to the net, especially for a team that doesn’t have a ton of pure skill. Well, the first three goals in this game — one short-handed, one on the PP, one at even strength — were all completely dirty plays. The puck got to the net and somehow got knocked into the net. Seems so simple, right?

11) That’s a tough building in which to play. Ya boys sure handled it well, especially so with the 2-0 hole.

12) And for once, the Rangers tacked on that goal for a two-goal lead. Good bounce-back game by Derek Stepan, and by Marc Staal. Maybe those battles with Evander Kane mean Staal’s going to be back to the type of D-man he was pre-concussion.

My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Ryan Callahan.
2) Michael Del Zotto.
3) Brian Boyle.
RangerJHW’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Ryan Callahan.
2) Brian Boyle.
3) Dan Girardi.

AP photos, above.

(Still need one more Three Stars selector for the season finale against Washington. Anybody? If so, e-mail me at rcarpini@lohud.com).


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



  2. GREAT WIN! Really happy with the comeback aspect of it.

    There are times when Staal starts to look like the player he was and times I shake my head and say, who is that guy? If he plays at the level he did when he was good in this game, he can be a dominant shut down D man.. Hope he gets it together..

    F the Pens! Am I allowed to say that here? ;-)

  3. Does anyone know why Richards was boo’d by the fans last night?

    Gotta love Cally!! Best Captain in the league:)

  4. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    The captain has the heart if 2 lions. He reminds me a lot of ec. Tremendous drive, energy, and focus.

  5. Now THAT was a win!!

    Great game in a nasty atmosphere.(for visitors) Is there ever a goal that is Hanks fault in your mind Carp?
    Habs … then a HUGE WEEK!!

  6. I thought about this so much during the season but I am so happy I have a captain that I can root for unlike that snooze fest last year with Dreary, um, I mean Drury. Staal had some snarl to his game last night. PP and PK were both awesome. It’s a great day to be a Rangers fan. LGR!!

  7. Great effort from the Rangers last night. I am so proud of them. First overall!! Oh, and ilb, I took a couple trips to the kitchen last night when they were down 2-0. ( : It worked!

  8. The “slashing” is starting to bother me also it looked like our boys were getting hacked all night and Stepans stick broke from one but then they go call it on Dubinsky. The leauge has got to make up its mind on “slashing”. And again McD gets boarded and theres no call..what if he got injured from it, would there have been a fine. Really hope that bozo crew doesnt call any playoff games.

  9. Great review, Carp!

    Winnipeg has a confidence of Eric Christensen when he was scratched. Once the Captain willed his team into a short handed goal ( MDZ was a force all night on the PP especially, btw ), the team was done. It did require the Rangers to go back to the way they played midseason, and I thought they did just that. Assertive, grinding it out, minimizing the mistakes. And Hank was great all night, especially on 5 on 3. Good character win.

    It’s becoming a tennis match with Pittsburgh. We held our service game, now you serve!

    Julie- keep that kitchen clean, girl! :-)

    Where is duckbill/Mao/bob the builder? I hope his father is OK

  10. Wow, Cally picked up his team, put it on his back and led the way. No words, no nasty looks, just a pure Will to Win!

    Boyle also has that same determination to do whatever it takes to get the win.

    Carp, unbelievable, but the catcher can’t reach out and pull the bat out of the hitter’s hands either!

    Can someone explain why Bickel accepts the invitation to fight after we swing the momentum our way?

  11. Carp, your reviews, like you NHL updates from the late 70’s/early’80’s in the Standard Star, are spot on!!! I was screaming at the TV, pansification, when they gave Boiler that boarding penalty on Kane. Isn’t hockey a physical game and he hits the guy, who eventually goes into the boards, and it’s a penalty? Why, because he stayed down? How ‘boot when Kane came out for the power play later? Bogus!!! Anyway, thanks again for the reviews; I look forward to them every game day/next day!!!

  12. I’m expecting a few questions this morning about why would Callahan block two-three shots from the point in a row when the game is 4-2 and is essentially over… And the game means much more for Winnipeg than for NY. Why wouldn’t Torts tell him to stop doing that and avoid getting injured before the playoffs? The answer is simple: it doesn’t matter what Torts tells him, Callahan doesn’t know how to play differently. And Torts knows it.

  13. Great win for the boys last night! Going to be hard to not give Cally the extra effort award, though many deserve consideration. I am in total agreement with Heave Ho!, somebody needs to tell Bickel that’s not the time to have a fight. And if you’re going to do it, you at least need to win!!

  14. Tiki XLII XLVI on

    Jimbo, I went back, looked, and you are correct. You referred to their performance as disgraceful, not the team. I still have to vehemently disagree with you. Every team occasionally has a bad performance, and fans shouldnt resort to calling their performances disgraceful. Shoddy, yes. Tired, yes. Maybe it’s all just semantics. But nothing this team has done this season has been disgraceful. And when the Rangers get called for 5 penalties to the other team’s 0, I think the people responsible for calling those 5 penalties should be referred to as disgraceful, shameful, and any other negative word u can find in a dictionary. For trying to start an argument w you, I apologize. Mama says Jimbo is an awesome guy, so Jimbo must be an awesome guy….bc Mama is always right!

  15. Is there anyone in the NHL more underpaid than Callahan? Don’t think so. I hate to say these words but LETS GO ICELANDERS! I expect the Birds to come out angry but maybe the toxic atmosphere in the newly named ASBESTOS MAUSELEUM will take it’s toll.

  16. I hope Boyle donated his tooth to the Garden of Dreams. I bet you can get a dime-a-dozen for his pearly whites.

  17. Also…let the Flower watch begin. And I am not talking about some Orchid Show. I am talking about seeing if that embellishing pig, Marc Andre-Fleury (a/k/a Flower) starts in goal tonight against the Islandorks.

  18. Good review.Was Cally’s man but then he turned it up like a great captain should.Dirty goals are what will advance us.We need to go to the net more consistently.Our “d” looks tired from too,too many minutes throughout the season.Not like we haven’t been saying anything all year about Tort’s and his “top 4 and top 6”.

  19. I have the opening bell of the mkt to contend with shortly so I just have a brief thing or two right now:

    1) Cally….Animal. Period.

    2) Ryan McDonagh for Scott Blowmez…..hahahahahahaha. The antithesis of the Redden, Drury, or Gomez original pickup/deal. Finally we got one heavily skewed in our favor. Props to someone.

    I’ll be back.

  20. C’mon Carp on #7….. you really don’t know why slashing a stick is a penalty?

    You must not have ever taken a two-handed chop on the hands or wrist and immediately wondered if some idiot just broke them. Open season on swinging the lumber around will just lead to more injuries.

    As it stands most stick slashes aren’t called at all anyway – only the really egregious ones. You either have to bash the stick out of someone’s hands or break it to get the call and at that point it would appear that the refs have been instructed to evaluate those plays along these lines – ‘if you’re slashing hard enough to break the stick, you’re swinging hard enough to hurt someone…penalty’.

  21. I was more surprised that it was 0-0 after the 1st than them being down 2-0 considering the game the night before, the late flight, and being in desolate PEG.

    I agree that it took them awhile to get their legs going, but the effort was not disgraceful. And Hank was there once again while the team needed 30 minutes to get going. That’s why this team has as good a chance as any to go somewhere in the playoffs.

  22. Stranger Nation on

    Boyle’s penalty was due to the fact it was late as the puck had already vacated the general vicinity. Boyle finishes his checks, sometimes late and this time they called it. Very surprised if they call that in POs.

    The ‘stick-slashing’ penalty is frustrating. Understand the need to keep sticks in control, but these new sticks break easily it seems. The bigger problem with Dubi’s penalty is it happened at center ice and the player was not a threat. The fact Dubi just got smacked into the boards a little late just before probably had something to do with his actions.

  23. Rob C,
    According to some Winnipeg fans on the tsn website, they pick one player each game to boo..usually a top player. Apparently, they like to come up with clever chants, like “Jordan’s better” when Eric Staal was in town. (Sam and Joe must have told them that Jordan and Eric are related…)

  24. Good Morning Carp – I have to disagree on your assessment of Staal. I still dont see that he is better than Stralsy at this point – he still of course is not back to where he was pre-concussion – nobody expects that I think. However, I just dont see him ‘engaged’ enough – in other words, no snarl, no grit, no mano on mano. He has that tendency to always resort to the stick rather than lay someone out – and he has been bailed out a number of times by the MVP and Cap of this team in net.

    Does anyone see same? I know in MSG eyes he could never make a mistake – its almost like watching Crybaby with Pitt announcers – even on the bench he is ‘marvelous drinkg the water and gatorade combination… other players cant even get the bottle that high, how does he do it…” crap

    I like the kid, really do. I just dont see that level of play yet – anyone else????

  25. Some encouraging numbers, courtesy of Hockey Rodent:
    With last night’s win, the Rangers eliminated the possibility of Boston winning the East. Boston can still tie in record, but we win on ROW tiebreaker. We also established that Pitt must surpass our season point total, not tie it, to win the east. Our magic number is 7! Go NY Rangers! Impressive bounce-back these past 2 games!

  26. I am waiting for the day (which is never going to come, but I am still waiting ) when the team awards the Broadway Hat to Tortorella and he has to don the post-game press conference while wearing it!

    Also, I loved Torts’s response to the hoser who asked him why there was only one assistant coach in the bench. I wonder if Larry Brooks put that guy up to it! In all my life, I never thought I would see Torts speechless but last night was probably as close as I will ever get.

  27. Hey Carp-

    I agree with you about Staal and Girardi on the points for the PP. With this PP, I would rather see D-men back there anyway. I think Richards does a better job up front. Plus D-men are better at keeping the puck in at the line.
    With the way the PP struggles, I always wonder why they don’t just approach it the way that they play 5 on 5. They can control the play down low at even strength…they should be able to dominate it when up a man. PP goals don’t have to be pretty goals!

    Also, on Boyle’s penalty, doesn’t the player have to actually hit the boards for it to be called boarding?

  28. Yeah the Winnipeg fans taunted Ryan Miller with “Silver Medal” chants a few weeks ago. I’ll give them some credit for their inventive sense of humor.

  29. My thoughts:

    1) What can you say about Captain Cally that wasn’t said on here last night and via Carp? Great captain- the best lead by example and he sure does. I also think he goes somewhat under-appreciated in terms of skillset. I believe he’s a complimentary top 2 line winger, but that’s not to say he doesn’t deserve a spot in the top 6. Of course he does. His shot is under-rated (he didn’t score 50+ goals in junior via a fluke – or via a bunch of puck-on-a-stick moves).

    2) Will the real Marc Staal please stand up? Night and day in terms of effectiveness last night compared to 2 nights ago.

    3) Interesting in that Tortorella from time to time lately puts out Staal and Girardi together – I believe he’s hoping for the pairing of last year to emerge (and most of that lays on Staal’s shoulders.) I suspect Torts is hoping they rediscover their effectiveness, which means he can move McDonagh with another D, thereby (in theory) giving him 2 solid pairings.

    4) Girardi’s steadiness is another aspect of this team that goes under-appreciated at times. First Staal and now McDonagh have blossomed playing alongside of him and tend to get the accolades first, ,which I doubt bothers him at all (especially considering he got all-star recognition this year).

    5) Staal/Girardi and McDonagh/MDZ. Have the latter 2 played together previously? I cannot recall…

    6) BB, when he’s playing physical and with an edge, must be scary to play against

    7) I stand by my thoughts on the King giving MDZ crap on the ice last night – stop it – you’re not the coach – you’re a peer (unless you’re willing to accept being similarly berated when you let in a bad goal).

    8) Blake Wheeler, I thought, was the best Jet last night – wouldn’t he look good on the Rangers top 6???

  30. Morning all,

    Two things:

    1) Anyone who doubted the Rangers resiliency only needed to watch last night’s game to be clued-in. Down in the hole by a pair in the second game of back-to-backs in one of the toughest arenas in the league for visitors – and they absolutely took the game over. And of course the Captain led the way. Oh – and with Sausage Lips and the Divers breathing down their necks, they proceeded to wilt and whither by going 5-1 in their last six.

    2) As I’ve stated here many times before – the grunts get the goals. First, it was Fedotenko potting the game-winner on Tuesday night. Then last night, Mr. Boyle gets the clincher. These are the players who always turn out to be the heroes when the play-ons commence. Do not be surprised to see both of these players – and #8 as well – pitch in with a couple of OT goals.

  31. Coach,
    Agreeing on your general observation of culture of “honeystreaming” about popular players, which are in fans nature, and leaving alone different business of uncontrollable continuation of Crosby promotion by NHL, I have to disagree on Staal. Common sense that he is far from his before “brotherly collision” self is obvious and annoying nevertheless for “result now” oriented and demanding public, including myself, but what Carp is talking about (and I’m totally agree with him here), is gradient or trend of his improvement. It’s going painfully slow, but there is encouraging signs of that in last game – he made less mistakes and, what is more important (for his psyche anyway) is more direct body on body hits and checks in his old forwards stopping style he demonstrated in this game. As a coach, you should see his microscopic, but sure progress, sometimes 1 step back, but still 2 steps ahead. Hope, he will be totally self-confident comes PO, and his skill set is always there, he just has to use it properly. BTW, I would never accuse Carp with non-objective characterization of players, regardless of their popularity or opposite, he is Just. Even in this post – in 2), despite of (well deserved) tremendous praise wave here about Cally, he notice, albeit carefully, Cally’s responsibility for man, scored 2nd goal on us. And it is absolutely “medical” fact.

  32. @kausatoday@ Montreal Canadiens fire GM Pierre Gauthier. No replacement immediately named.



  33. No replacement immediatealy found? They screen their language abilities first. Hockey knowledge is secondary….

  34. Stranger Nation on

    While Dan Girardi has exceeded most everyones expectations, McD is on his way for a amazing career with a skill set Girardi can not match. Dman Dan is tough as nails, plays the body, blocks the shot, has a tricky wrester from side boards, and is a funny mother byfugleiner.

    But McD has the potential to be the greatest Ranger Dman in his own zone. If he can get his offensive game in sync with his skating ability, watch out!

    Re Staal – many players cannot exercise when they are recovering from concussion. Wonder I’d timing is hurt by time off and strength and conditioning. He seems to fall down more easily and makes bad decisions with puck. Outside of board battles, his biggest challenges seems to be getting the puck cleared, often throwing back to his D partner who is not expecting it.

  35. The Kaberle trade I think was made by Gauthier. It appears that the trade sather made with Montreal was the start of the canadiens franchise’s down fall.

  36. I’m not 100% sure but I think Gainey either stepped down from pressure from his bosses or got fired and than Gauthier was hired. Either way, the combination of those two GM’s has made the Canadiens a bottom feeder.

  37. bull dog line on

    Crosby has been back for 7 games from his concussion, and he has 11 pts. Staal has been back for 42 games, and he still can’t find his game. maybe it is time to stop using the concussion as an excuse for his average (at best) play.

  38. Staal’s game was excellent last year. He was smart, was making fast, and appropriate decisions with the puck, and was physical when needed to. But his game was never flawless. This year, he is less willing to engage physically. I don’t expect him to regain his full form this year, it will take time to not be mentally afraid of physical contact after such a prolonged concussion. But he still is a very effective, top 4 defenseman. He will be fine.

  39. The Kaberle trade was made 100% by Gauthier. My point was that this is an ongoing problem up there. It doesn’t really matter who is in the driver’s seat.

    As ilb pointed out – language proficiency is more important than Hockey IQ. The Canadiens are a cultural relic – not a sports franchise.

  40. bull dog line on

    he better be fine sooner, rather than later. he is going to be needed in the playoffs, and the way he is playing now is not going to cut it.

  41. People recover differently from a serious brain injury. Even the same player might have different recovery rates of his physical skills from each unique concussion.

  42. When forward plays and is able to avoid the physical contact it doesn’t affect his game as much as it does the defenseman’s who has to rely on physical contact as an integral part of his game, bull dog…..What was your point on calling his play average at best, anyway? What does that name change?

  43. bull dog line on

    I was generously calling his play average, ilb. to say Staal has to rely on physical contact as part of his game is a bit of a stretch. he could play a game with an egg in his pocket, and be in no danger of ever breaking it.

  44. that’s because when staal was the rangers’s number 1 d-man, it was more because the rangers didn’t have good d-mem. Nobody thought Girardi was going to play like he has this year and of course now the rangers have McDonagh. I never thought Staal was anything great. Doesn’t have a offensive game but is a decent d-men, more stay home d-men.

  45. Always felt the same way tomg. I felt staal is just a name brand, was definitely a pedigree draft pick. Doesn’t have talent as jordan, Eric. Good player, but not great.

  46. Remember when Artie-Partie was on the first line. He was a star of the GAS line. Now he’s a 4th liner playing 6 minutes.

  47. Actually…how much must it suck to be Jared Staal? All three of your bro’s are first round draft picks.

  48. i was recently in an argument where i was defending Staal…someone said he’s the worst Staal brother blah blah and i was like he’s been out with a concussion, etc… but when you really think about it, like tomg said, he has absolutely zero offensive game. he just does not take shots from the point…. his only game is Defense and if he does not do that well, then he’s really not that useful.

  49. AA played a total of 8:54 minutes, 1:04 seconds on the PP, 56 seconds PK and 6:54 seconds even strength.

  50. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    According to Zipay tomorrow night is the Steven McDonald award. LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Stranger Nation on

    Artie has trouble playing the wind-and – grind game along boards. Seems to shy away from contact. Has great size, still young, very good skater, and tricky wrister but he needs to add 20 lbs and get some snarl in his game. With his skating ability and size, he should be plastering opponents along boards.

  52. bull dog line on

    I have never been the biggest Marc Staal fan, but last season I thought he was real good. I, like everybody else here, was giving him the benefit if the doubt for his play earlier in the season. it is now 40 games since he has been back. excuses should be gone. its time for him to step up and play like they are going to need him to.

  53. Bet they have to do it tomorrow because the other two home games are NBC Sports games. Washington definitely is. I don’t know about Boston.

  54. but excuses aren’t gone, bull dog. if he’s not playing like himself, there must be a reason … and it’s pretty obvious that at least part of the reason, if not all of it, is the layoff, his conditioning, his recovery, maybe even his easing back into physical parts of the game.

  55. bull dog line on

    in fairness to Anisimov, he has proven to be a versatile player this season. my problem with him is that he been given many chances to be a top 6 forward and he has failed. if he is a checker who can pop in a few goals, than use him that way and get somebody to be the top 6 player they keep trying to make Anisimov. I think Anisimov will score in the teens no matter who he plays with, you don’t need him in the top 6.

  56. well, we heard a peep about six weeks ago when he started to skate again and thought he was getting closer and then suffered symptoms again. so he’s a mile away from returning, even if he were to suddenly be symptom free. what should we be hearing?

  57. Tiki(the agitating bonehead) on

    Nice rebuttal, BFF. I forgot about layoff and conditioning. All players work out in offseason and keep in shape, staal was unable to. I can live w the occasional lazy poke check if he gets his game back to last year

  58. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    I hope Torts tell Steven McDonald not to mention the “Silver Chalice” in his speech.

  59. Carp,

    Just illustrating that concussions are pretty debilitating. The fact that Staal was able to come back and play is a feat in and of itself. Crosby might be a rare case that he can come back and perform at a top level. I’d guess that isn’t the case with a lot of players.

  60. Stranger Nation on

    Bickel is a poor mans Sauer and has been inconsistent with his play, but has a decent shot from point and clears the crease. Stralman has a lot, and let me emphasize, a lot of trouble around the net in all aspects of playing defense and unless he adds some offensive play, he makes you wish for Woywhatever

  61. bull dog line on

    about Staal. if all that is true. what do you do with him at playoff time. because the other team is not going to care that Staal conditioning is not there, or that he is shying away from the physical part.

  62. On Staal. maybe — and this is just a theory — he doesn’t look as good anymore because everyone around him is better or has gotten better and his weaknesses are more apparent. McD has the highest ceiling (i he got PP minutes he would probably lead the NHL in ice time). Del Zotto has become a better players, and Girardi was always as good or better.

  63. Stranger Nation on

    Sean Avery, Wayne Redden and John Scott are all nominated for this year’s Ronald McDonald Award

  64. and with staal, it’s not just that he’s shying away from physical contact, but that he’s running around in his zone and often makes bad decisions when it comes to pinching. he’s also make ill-advised, undisciplined passes and clears.

  65. Do you guys remember when Espo took over as coach and he spent almost an entire game on the bench calling Ron Hextall “Ronald McDonald”?

    bull dog, you have no choice but to play him, because even as he is, he’s their fourth best defenseman. it’s not even close.

    fchamps has a point, too, and also that the Rangers’ D-men don’t play that over-aggressive, chase-the-puck, down on the knees style anymore. Or at least, they didn’t for the first 60 games or so. So when Staal does it — which has always been his style — it creates a little havoc in their own end.

  66. biggest concern with the Rangers is simply offensive depth. They face any injuries to their top 9 forwards and they are screwed. other top teams lose a playe ror 2 and they are fine but the rangers skill level up front is so limited if; stepan, gabby, cally, AA, richards, even Dubi go down that would really hurt.

    zucc’s injury actually hurts this team, that is how limited they are up front offenisvely..

    the first 25 minutes more or less last night the Rangers looked horrible nad then something clicked.

    mitchell and rupp are useless and add nothing. this team is playing with 10 forwards. rupp is so slow and in the playoffs dropping the gloves means jack………..

  67. Bickel is a journeyman at best. dumb penalties, to much risk taking. sauer is twice the player bickel is, not even close. the rangers have had defensive injuries but have enough depth to overcome them offensively is another story.

    stralman, bickel, woywitka, emminger, they are all 3rd pair d men that should be used in limited fashion.erixon will be a top 4 d man, but he is 21 and probably not ready yet strength wise.

    sauer is a 2nd pair d man, who makes good decisions, he is a much better player then the guys listed above.

  68. good point by carp. a lot of what makes D effective is positioning. it’s the forwards that are aggressive. that’s what allows someone like bickel to work here. anyone who buys in, has some talent and discipline can do well. maybe staal doesn’t fit in, maybe he will. but right now, it’s a little scary with him out there. he’s got to play though, because, talent-wise, he still has upside. but honestly: if you had a choice of putting someone out there to shut down the other teams best line with 2 minutes left to play, would you put out bickel before staal? i would.

  69. Agree with most of yyour observation on Staal – playoffs are coming and how many mine do u give him? Its not just the lack of engagement its poor play all over zones. And if it were dubi he would have been benched after the Jersey got over his head. As I said I likethe kid but he clearly gets a pass for some poor play at times

  70. Coach, he gets a pass on TV. He’s their fourth best defenseman, even as he is playing now. He would be a top-four on just about any team in the playoffs, even as he is playing now. He’s had some horrible games, and we’ve pointed them out over and over again.

    He’s an alternate captain and an important guy on this team, and he has a ton more upside than any of the D-men not named McDonagh, Del Zotto, Girardi.

    If you guys want to complain about the way he’s played, that’s fair. But to suggest he shouldn’t play is crazy.

  71. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    I suffered a cerebral concussion over 25 years ago & till this day I still suffer from terrible headaches.

  72. Since Staal is still playing several fewer minutes a game than last year, either the coach recognises he hasn’t played well enough to regain top-pair status or he is still not back to where he was physically.

    So either he has some excuse or he isn’t getting a free pass.

  73. i agree — because they’re prejudiced by a host of other pressures. i think staal is far far more talented and important to this team’s future than bickel, who might not even be on the Rangers next year. but the fact is, over the past 20+ games, bickel almost always makes the safest and most effective play available to him. he almost always puts a heavy body on players in front of the net and almost always clear the puck without doing something stupid. staal doesn’t. if we looked at them play with fresh eyes we wouldn’t value staal more right now. with that said, staal can get a lot better and that matters.

  74. And not sure why last night out of all recent games would be the best indication of his “lack of engagement”. He stood up (and stood up to) Evander Kane more than once.

  75. All this convo about Staal , IMO, comes to a simple question: are Stralman, Woywitka, Eminger, Valentenko, Bell, better consistently and more trustworthy (in PO in particular) than Staal now? Anyone else worth in system, I forgot to mention? I, personally, don’t think so. Coaches and scouts observers obviously do not either. So, end of fruitless discussion, unless someone calls for Avery-savior to replace him. Mark will be fine, not desirably fine, but recovery is very individual.
    As for his lack of offensive now, it definitely needs extreme confidence, besides natural ability, in Defensemen and we will see it coming gradually with winning his struggles in defense. Remember, his strongest side, commonly admired by fans before, was ability to “close” strongest opponents physically and positional in defensive zone.

  76. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    Carp I was out for more than 12 hours in the E.R. & all I could remember back then was my husband telling me not to go to sleep when all I really wanted to do was go to sleep, got up the next morning & had to sub teach for my daughter’s class thats all I remember.

  77. bickel versus staal is alaughable comparison. bickel stinks. staal is better on his worse days.

    to even compare the 2 is laughable. bickel is a high wire act that can crash at any moment.

  78. torts should play his top 4 25 minutes + per game in playoffs and use the 3rd pair very sapringly about 8 to 11 minutes per game dependent on situations.

    if they had sauer then they could have really played 5 d men but that is not happening……..

  79. the nbc crew makes me hate watching hockey — and that’s something unique. having that arrogant jackass milbury lecture the audience on hockey is like having tiger woods lecture us on monogamy or michael brown lecture us on disaster relief. pierre is just dumb. i don’t say that because of his opinions; i say it because i’m positive his actual IQ puts him in the functional-but-“learning-impaired” territory. he’s not bright. doc is just hopelessly biased (and i’m not one of those everyone-hates-the-ranger types.) his excitement level for the rangers doesn’t come close to his excitement for the other team. the nhl could find a ton of talent out there that would offer viewers something worthwhile and smart. honestly, kevin weekes on the nhl offers something ten-fold smarter than pierre. he is unbearable. it just makes the whole league look bush-league.

  80. I actually am souring (no pun intended) on Bickel. It seems like most people don’t agree. If that is really the case I hope you are all correct but man, he has made some stupid mistakes.

  81. He is what he is. You have to accept that he’s going to give you the toughness and physical play, and that he’s going to make mistakes. He’s fine as a third-pair guy. I mean, defensively he’s better than Caber.

    The thing you should like about Bickel, aside from his toughness, is that he’s willing to learn, willing to be taught and coached, and that there’s a chance he continues to improve.

  82. Imagine Milbury as a GM and JR as a coach in Montreal? Stand up comedy within Eastern Conference! Plus 8 points in the pocket every year.

  83. I don’t need Mega Millions, Lev. I get 25 cents a comment.

    ilb, maybe the Rangers could then make a blockbuster: Redden for a top prospect or two.

  84. Fair point, Carp. I can get on board with that. I just get scared when he makes a mistake and then it gets blamed on everyone else. I think he joins the rush far too often for his skating ability.

  85. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    I’m in Lev if either of us win I say we buy cablevision so we can put the Rangers on msg & put the other teams on the overflow stations!!!

  86. Johnny LaRue on

    Carp, do you really think hiring Milbury would be fun or are you just saying it would be fun?

  87. I respect Henrik Lundquist as much as anyone but please save the word “warrior” for those who make war to protect the rest of us.

  88. Tiki(the agitating bonehead) on

    I’ve already committed my 19.2 million for the first year of my mega millions winnings….

    2 million for mom
    1 million for each of my 3 brothers
    1 million each for 2 Florida friends
    1 million each for ilbs, carp, Linzo, Wegians
    4 million for Fozzy family
    5 million or me and mama to travel world!!!

  89. Don’t give the money to ilb! He will just donate it to some really good cause and then you will feel badly about yourself for not doing the same.

  90. Tiki(the agitating bonehead) on

    Manny gets a mil. And me and mama only get 3 mil. Off w calculations in previous post

  91. Tiki(the agitating bonehead) on

    No tony. I forgot, I had u in there when I was discussing this yesterday w mama. 1 for u and 1 for mom of tiny tony. So now me and mama are down to 1 mil. Lol

  92. Sioux-per-man on

    Great come back win. Keep us posted on the points race, just keep winning and Penguins will be out of sight before we know it. I would love to see a Flyers vs Penguin 1st round playoff match. Let them beat the Hell out of each other. Never know the Flyers might nock them out….. it could happen :)

  93. You guys realize there is a hefty game show tax on that money right? I think you lose about 60% of it up front.

    Makes it almost not worth it……

  94. Warrior (plural warriors)

    1) A person who is actively engaged in battle, conflict or warfare; a soldier or combatant

    2) (Figuratively) A person who is aggressively, courageously, or energetically involved in an activity, such as *athletics*

  95. Pens V. Flyers 1st round would be a BLOODBATH and that would be a good thing for us. The winner would be very beat up no doubt!

    Of course, we would have to take care of our own business…

  96. Fantasy Hockey 911 confirms that Flower is in goal. Let’s assume they aren’t mishandling a concussion for a star player yet again.

  97. Carp – I am not saying that he should’t play – I am simply pointing out that, as we have said, he is not the player he was last year – not sure if that will change this season. That is fair – its also fair to say that he gets a pass sometimes because of who he is. I am simply pointing out that our top scorer from last year was re-signed to 4 year deal. This year he is in a slump = that equals his head on the chopping block twice, as well as being benched for lacing up his skates or wraping his twig in the wrong direction.

    Its the consistency – it Torts, who constantly saying that everyone is accountable and everyone has to play his way – then you cant have it both ways with not holding everyone to the same standard. If Staal is not ready – I have no problem with that, Let him develop and condition more. But dont sugar coat it and give him a pass and not give that same consideration to a player like Dubi – who carried this team on his back last year.

  98. Sioux-per-man on

    Carp – For once I was up early enough to be first on the blog :)

    Small distraction with the neighbors house on fire 3 doors down. Long day today . . . . I wish nothing but a safe and happy household for all of you Boneheads. Be thankful for everything you have . . . you don’t need a winning lottery ticket to have everything you need.

    That said I will buy a Suite for all of us, and all the Prime Rib that Carp can EAT. Chances are I will only make a few games in NYC anyways :)

  99. Souix – I saw a fan wearing a Rangers WC jersey behind the bench during the Wild game.
    goatee and glasses?

  100. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    Morning ILB and all!!

    I hope they hire Roy as HC in MTL if (when) they fire the non French speaker currently coaching!

    I don’t think bickel makes horrible plays a lot, the one thing he does do is pinch and miss a bit too much for my liking, but like carp says he is willing to learn and be coached and the “will” is there. I feel better with him out there defencively than michael busto.

    About sauer, I think his future with the organization depends a lot on mcilrath…I would give mcilrath every opportunity to play next season with bickel (I think someone before said a poor mans sauer) as a stop gap replacement until then. If erixon is a keeper, then I have no problem with mcdonut, opg, staal, michael busto, erixon, mcilrath, bickel being the top 7. If one or two of those guys aren’t ready (mcilrath/erixon) for normal shifts or one or two of them are traded for someone in the offseason, then the story is a lot different.

    speaking of a trade, could someone please help me with something here? Why do people (hockey rumour folks) keep saying the market for nash will be greater when the season is over? I mean is there a clause in his contract or after the season that states he has no leverage? If he has a full NMC, and he gets to dictate where he wants to go, why would the market be bigger for him? If he only wants to go to the Wings or the Kings, does someone think all of a sudden he is going to pick the devils?? It doesn’t make sense to me!!

    Also, can someone explain to me how this happens AFTER the trade DEADLINE…

    March 21, 2012 Recalled F Trent Whitfield from Providence (AHL). Assigned F Max Sauve to Providence. Traded D Yury Alexandrov to the N.Y. Islanders for future considerations.


  101. Wicky©No pears, No apples, Where's my pineapple?! on

    thanks for the review!

    Is anyone else still upset over all the blogging cally does??

    I think the mrs and I both voted Prust for the mcdonald extra effort award (I know I did, and pretty sure she did)

  102. I used to get Migraines as a kid, and they proceeded til my late 30;s and haven’t had one since. Everyone has different situations with the headaches, so what works for one does not necessarily work for anyone else. My mother used to put cold compresses on hers, while I only found relief if someone put extreme pressure on the locality of the painful area. I knew it was gonna be real bad when I developed nausea along with it and had to run to the latrine. Whomever has them now, I wish you the best at relief.

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