Rangers-Senators matchups … as I see ’em

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FORWARDS:
Ottawa’s known as a skill and finesse team, and that is certainly true of its first line. Jason Spezza scored 34-50-84, Milan Michalek had 35-25-60, and captain Daniel Alfredsson (who has scored more points — 1,082 —  than any active player who hasn’t won the Stanley Cup, according to the Sporting News) had 27-32-59. But that doesn’t mean the Senators play a soft game. They certainly have plenty of grit in forwards like Nick Foligno, aggravating Chris Neil, Zack Smith and, if he plays, Zenon Konopka — who has fought Brandon Prust about 1,000 times.
The Rangers’ No. 1 line was really good in March and carried the offense as the team drove to the No. 1 seed in the East. Brad Richards (25-41-66) and Marian Gaborik (41-35-76) were each signed for moments such as these, and to make the power play go (more on that later). They play with speedy rookie Carl Hagelin, and they will get the attention of the Senators’ checkers, just as the Spezza line will see plenty of Brian Boyle with some combination of Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko, Brandon Prust or others. Boyle probably deserves consideration for the Selke (best defensive forward) Trophy. The Rangers will need secondary scoring, and hope that can come from Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan and captain Ryan Callahan (29-25-54). Richards and Callahan each had nine game-winners, Gaborik seven and Stepan four. Ottawa is more top-heavy. The Rangers should be deeper.
Edge: Rangers.
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DEFENSEMEN:
The Rangers’ top six is inexperienced and young, but boy did they (and others, as the unit fought injuries all year) get it done. Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh will get the shut-down assignment. Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto sometimes play together, but often anchor the second and third pairs with Anton Stralman and Stu Bickel, who both improved as the season went on. It’s a very solid, sturdy and workmanlike corps. Staal’s performance will be critical.
Ottawa’s is built differently, with Norris Trophy favorite and budding superstar Erik Karlsson (19-59-78), former Norris candidate Sergei Gonchar (5-32-37) and puck-movers like Filip Kuba and ex-Ranger Matt Gilroy, along with veteran Chris Phillips, the most solid of the group. They can pass it, they can skate and they can shoot it. Their fortitude will be tested by the Rangers forwards, but their explosiveness is dangerous.
Edge: Even.

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GOALIES:
Henrik Lundqvist, unless the NHL’s GMs mess it up, will be a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, if not the favorite, in a wonderful season (39-18-5, eight shutouts, 1.97 goals-against, 930 save percentage). Craig Anderson allowed nearly a goal more per game while going 33-22-6, three shutouts, 2.84 GAA, .914 save pct.).
Edge: Rangers.

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SPECIAL TEAMS:
There’s little doubt that with Karlsson, Gonchar and Gilroy on the points, and the Spezza line up front, Ottawa’s power play was much better than the Rangers’ all season long. But the Rangers PP came on late, with Stepan and Del Zotto manning the points and Richards moving up to the half boards, and the puck/feet movement improving dramatically in the final weeks. It will have to be at least decent.
The Rangers penalty killers are excellent because they play the same way at even strength — blocking shots, aggressive, sticks in passing lanes, and smart. They will be tested. They will have to be good, too.
Edge: Senators.

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COACHES, SYSTEMS, EXPERIENCE:
John Tortorella won a Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay, and has been as responsible as anybody for what the Rangers have become. They play a straight-ahead, no-nonsense, all-for-one style that would seem suited for the playoffs. And now they have a lot of players who’ve at least been in the playoffs, plus Richards and Fedotenko, who won with Tampa, and Mike Rupp, who won with Fedotenko in Pittsburgh.
Paul MacLean won plenty as an assistant to Mike Babcock in Detroit for six years, including a Cup and another Cup final, and reached the final as an assistant in Anaheim before that. But whether MacLean can get this Senators team to play with the requisite grit to survive the playoff grind remains to be seen.
Edge: Rangers.

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How the Rangers could win this series:
By doing what they do, and have done, all season … playing a business-like, straight-ahead, battle-for-every-inch game that is simple but requires full buy-in. They’ve essentially been playing playoff style hockey for two seasons. And, of course, by Lundqvist simply outplaying Anderson.

How the Senators could win this series:
If the Rangers take a lot of penalties — as they occasionally have done — and give Ottawa’s power play chances, they will be hurt. Also, the Rangers have had a few (few being the operative word) games where the Rangers didn’t take care of the puck, or allowed teams to overwhelm them with odd-man rushes. Ottawa, Buffalo, Montreal and Chicago all did it at times.

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PREDICTION: Rangers in five.

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525 Comments

  1. My playoff predictions (I know, nobody cares):

    First round winners: Rangers vs. Devils, Bruins vs. Penguins, Canucks vs. Sharks, Coyotes vs. Predators.
    Conference Finals: Rangers vs. Bruins, Predators vs. Sharks
    Stanley Cup Final: Predators beat Rangers

  2. reminder i have an extra pair that my buddy trying to get rid of for game 5 sat april 21st 7pm few rows ahead of me. section 330.

    150 per tix 300 for pair. face is 109 this is what hes asking for. prices more on stubhub.

    email me baum27@aol.com if interested

  3. Izzy Mandlebaum on

    It’s a shame that one of Pit-Phi series has to win.

    Doesn’t mean that the winner can’t limp away from the series though….

  4. Do the Flyers have goalie problems?

    BANJ, yeah, it was Dennis. He was an absolute legend, and all the people behind the scenes loved him. That’s why it says that in the trainer’s room. Wow. His son Bernie still works the home team penalty box at the Garden, you see him on TV all the time.

    Quick story, I can’t remember who the players were, or maybe it was the coaches, going at it between the benches in Buffalo. Chief Ryan stepped in and I think it was Jeanerette on TV who said they were separated by “some guy the size of the Statue of Liberty.” We called him Lady Liberty for a while, but quickly stopped because he didn’t like it. Awesome guy.

  5. Is anyone else getting some crap on NBCSN about the ’72 Summit Series instead of the Pens/Flyers?

  6. lol Carp. well if the Flyers play like this it will be over in 4. btw CNBC is channel 24 on cablevision for me here in Brooklyn.

  7. Bryzgalov was too worried about the alignment of the stars to see the puck whiz by him like a comet

  8. Is it really 2-0 already? I just came home. Holy carcillo! Is Universe showing why he was worth a 9 year deal yet?

  9. czechthemout!!!! on

    Carp

    Kreider!

    Just wanted to make sure you saw enough of his last name just in case you feel you didn’t. By the way, how did he look at practice? I wasn’t able to participate in the chat this afternoon.

  10. I don’t understand how you get into a scrum and realize you’re mug-to-mug with that piece of carcillo Cooke and you don’t at least give him a face full of smelly glove palm.

  11. joe in de

    prob blacked out for you due to flyer country. check comcast prob on with local guys

  12. he didn’t look out of place, czech. Excellent skater as we know. Big kid. Polite, smart, a little nervous. Hard to tell much during drills, though.

  13. I’m sensing yet another Cup for the great city of Pittsburgh… home of the great Stanley Cup parade.

  14. czechthemout!!!! on

    Flyers really laying the body on the penguins the last two or three shifts.

  15. Woah, I think that NBC just put their commercials on hold to show a scrum. Carp, have you been talking to anyone?

  16. Izzy Mandlebaum on

    Does the Quibids girl have a big mouth, or what? She looks like the Joker…

  17. It’s like I told Coach Tortorella the other day: that mouth will cost you a lot, chum.

    It’s like that for the Flyers, who’ve been popping off their pie holes all week.

    Tsk tsk.

  18. LW, isn’t it 2 am in your Europansy land? You better be fresh for tomorrow’s tilt.

  19. wow we should be honored that crosbyisgod is on this blog during a series that has nothing to do with us!

  20. That was a great anecdote Carp. To me he looked like a guy you shouldn’t mess with. I bet he had a heart of gold though.

  21. P.S. That’s appropriate, as it’s a power company the building’s named after…

  22. Ref’s don’t have to make any calls against Philly at this point. They’ll bank them for when they need them. Game is not close. No need to waste them.

  23. And the Kid does it again — what a set-up!

    I love these announcers by the way… fair and unbiased as always.

  24. Comcast doesn’t even know how to air the games. Seems like they blacked out the national broadcast on NBCSN everywhere. And they own the Flyers! Jackwagons.

  25. czechthemout!!!! on

    Well, its April and the stars are not in their proper alighnment . No goalie, no chance.

  26. Yes, 3-0 and obviously, it’s only because the Pens have been gifted all the calls, right?

  27. Welcome, Lord Crosby — welcome to the number one Pens board on the ‘net!

    “Lord Crosby” eh? Obviously great minds think alike.

  28. you asshats better have your fun now, because I’m going to be giving you the trapdoor in a little bit. But thanks for driving the traffic here at the world’s best hockey blog. too bad there are no blogs in Pittsburgh. Guess they’d have to be able to read. and have teeth.

  29. You are welcome CrosbyisGod.

    It is a beautiful night for hockey.

    All smiles in these parts.

  30. czechthemout!!!! on

    Wow! Two puss…er Penguin fans, (sorry Carp) trolling around Looking for a rise out of Ra.gets fans. Should you clowns be trolling flyers blogs? Or could it be that you think you are on a Flyer blog?

  31. There’s a Pens fan not paying any attention to their team playing a game? When did I get transported back to 2004?

  32. You know LordCrosby, I love these kinds of games when we’re up so big, I can watch the game AND watch the computer, too!

  33. The idiot is talking to himself on two different devices. I think we should leave him do just that….

  34. I like these games as well.

    A game like this keeps the team fresh for a deep playoff run.

  35. Top 4 Reasons Nashville Should Not Be Allowed to Win the NHL Championship:

    Reason #4: It’s a music, not a hockey town

    Reason #3: You can’t win a championship with a ‘Pekka Rinee’

    Reason #2: They look like a bunch of baffled bumble bees in those stupid black and yellow uniforms

    ……and….

    Reason #1: You can’t win a championship with a coach that looks like a box of cereal with an apple head on top.

  36. Claude Giroux gets suspended for the rest of the playoffs and all of next year. Flyers have to give all of their picks fpr the next 2 years to Pissburgh…..Brendan Shanahan.

  37. Briere scored before Orpik could chop his legs out from under him. Fleury looked like Bryzgalov on that one.

  38. Go Flyers!

    Still doesn’t feel right saying that..

    I like both the Wings and the Preds, so that series won’t bother me either way.

  39. Clearly offsides on the goal.

    Now where is that Rangers fan ref complaining crew? Strangely nowhere to be found or outraged right now.

  40. No worries, LordCrosby — obviously should still be 3-0. They can only score on blown calls.

  41. still pissed the rangers blew a 3-0 in pitt in game 1 of conf semis few years back. the league gave the pens a pp win 2 min left in reg malkin scored.

  42. Or as Coach Tort would say “Pittsburgh gets ALL the calls.”

    Wait a minute — whoops!

  43. For me if it cant be the Rangers i want it to be Detroit. I want Lidstrom to get one more cup. Datsyuk too.

  44. Yeah, it was a trip on Crosby. Looked like a borderline dive.

    Jagr hit the post in the final seconds. I remember it like it was yesterday. Frustrating series. Then in game two, down by one, Straka scored, but the goal was waived off. BS call. Then of course game three, I think they were down 2-0, then came back, until Hollywood Hollweg screw them with a boarding penalty.

  45. I remember that, eric. It was one of the softest hooking calls I’ve seen on one of my favorite Rangers, Marty Straka.

    I wish we kept him around in some capacity. I love that man. Anyone remember the PK shift where he blocked three shots in a row? And the Chara slapshot?

  46. Izzy Mandlebaum on

    Crosbyites- make yourselves useful and go lick the pigeon crap off the Lemieux statue.

  47. staal missed then net on a 2 on 1 early in ot in game 5 moments before hossa scored. we in that no doubt it would go 7

  48. Yeah, he was offside on that goal.

    I really miss Straka though. What a player and guy. Not saying he would be of any use on the ice now, but I just loved everything about him. I think he owns the team he plays for in the Czech league.

  49. Sooooo now we’re pissed at Rinaldo for taking penalties?? Come on we need a 7-1 game so he starts taking knees out. Hope He keeps up the good work

  50. When asked about Philly’s illegally-allowed goal, Coach Tort stuck both fingers in his ears and chanted “la la la la, I can’t hear you, la la la la!”

  51. I loved Straka. I also loved how, every time someone would thank him for the interview, he would say “yeah”. LOL!

    Eric, I think Stahl tried to pass on that play. I don’t think he tried to shoot. I could be wrong though.

  52. Thanks for those not-exactly-necessary-but-nonetheless-appreciated words of comfort, LordCrosby. It’s so good you could be here with me on our blog message board.

  53. Not enough hitting to my liking…On both parts. They need to take it up a notch….Whoever wins should be well conditioned to face the Bruins.

  54. LW, remember that Straka played for the Penguins in the same time period that these Pittsburgh fans are from.

  55. if this is strictly a hockey series the flyers have no shot. they need mean nasty edgy blood

  56. Crosby only missed the net by 1’3″…. That should count as a good goal!.. What is the matter with these refs?

  57. Izzy Mandlebaum on

    Need more hitting. I wanna see the word “TILT” in Cindy’s eyes before this series is over.

  58. Anyone drink any of that Times square Stanley cup water? And if so are you reading this from the head?

  59. LW, like most Pissy fans, they don’t remember the past. After all, they didn’t support the team when they were last place 3 years in a row, either.

  60. All right, LW3H, as you seem sincere, I’ll deign to respond. Without a doubt it’s the steal off Gonchar that dumped the rotten Capitals out of the playoffs like so much garbage.

  61. boxcareddiehospodar on

    Philly defense is too slow afraid to punch in.

    Penguins defense can be exposed.

    How about Sauer for Vorachek

  62. LordCrosby I am reminded of an old hockey saying: “there are two kinds of people in the world — Penguins fans, and those that wish they were.”

  63. Is Super Mario still borrowing money from the league to pay the electric bills because Penguins fans only show up when the team has tanked for years to get a few good players?

  64. eric, end of second not very good for me … gotta be writing at that point … could jump out to say Hi, but won’t be able to talk you down.

  65. Eric, that’s because they are the cleanest team out there. That trip on Talbot? Well, he actually got in the way of Adams stick. How dare he?

  66. No Carp, but word is Super Mario WILL be hosting a telethon to pay all of Coach Tort’s future fines for his outrageously wrongheaded comments.

  67. Do not get sucked into the fray CrosbyisGod.

    Super Mario demands respect from his organization and his fans.

  68. No LordCrosby, actually I devised that saying — though I take no credit for stating the obvious.

  69. No Carp, but word is Super Mario WILL be hosting a telethon to pay all of Coach Tort’s future fines for his outrageously wrongheaded comments.

    At least try to be a little funny

  70. I give you credit CrosbyisGod. A perfect saying from a perfect fan for a perfect organization.

  71. I like the way the Flyers are skating. This is a series. They could win a game or two. I just wish they’d check more and harder.

  72. PRESS RELEASE: The Penguins have just been declared the last place team. They will be taking the first round draft pick from the Edmonton Oilers. Effective immediately.

  73. Mario was one of the top 10 or 12 players I’ve seen in the past 20 years. And the whiniest until his sausage-lipped protege and house guest showed up.

    Coach Torts spoke the truth.

  74. JimboWoodside on

    Just got home – damned meetings! – looks like I missed a lot – Flys goaltending is letting them down again, though?

  75. All I’m rooting for is a triple overtime game. That’s all. Don’t care who wins. Flyers have proven they can beat this team already.

  76. YorktownRanger on

    All I know is that the sausage lip virtual twins are proof of how bush-league (apologies to Miami) Pens fans really are. I know I’d have better things to be doing while the Rangers are playing.

    Don’t know Lord-God Sausage lips, might be time for a little sweat…

  77. @CrosbyisGod….I know your hands were quivering when you typed that one! Yea, try to sound confident, buddy. Your team just blew a 3 goal lead….at home!!! Be confident.

  78. LOL at Suter casually skating off the ice with his head turn after making that breakaway pass to Kostitsyn.

  79. any way you look at it the Flyers got into their head. That makes for a fun series. A win in OT is a bonus. If they lose, they still got to them.

  80. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    I wonder if Babcock will be fined for his in game interview commets on the refs.

  81. Strange that all 3 are good teams, but the Rangers own the Flyers, the Flyers own the Pens, and the Pens (at least lately) own the Rangers.

  82. not admitting the Penns ‘own’ the Rangers. We used our back up and also played without our captain one game, backup the other. not convinced there, JB

  83. boxcareddiehospodar on

    Letang and the Pen defense stinks.

    They treat the puck like a hand grenade in their own zone.

    If Andre doesn’t play over his head the flyers score at least 6 goals in regulation

  84. Pierre McGuire should be put on suicide watch after this one. And I’m only half kidding! Maybe Bettman as well…

    Love it!

  85. Mattyboy, I think Tyler Kennedy would win the ugly contest every year. No real challengers.

  86. I’m not feeling the Rangers get beaten by any of these teams. They might find these ugly yellow and black uniforms distracting, but the could still beat them.

  87. Holy hartnell! Have to catch up with thread later….but omg! Great night with Tony and Rose from AZ…..bunch of crybaby fans in town tonight. Hahahaha. Oh, I hate that my life has been lowered to being glad for filth….

  88. Gotta give the asshats credit for sticking around even after the loss.

    Letang was brutal in this game, Malkin was a no-show, and you’re right Chris F, that is a play Marc would also make.

  89. JimboWoodside on

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen one player simply shove another player’s head into the glass like that. As a result of a hit, yes, but not just a “grab & smash” play!

  90. And the US national anthem in Vancouver has been sponsored by the NHL’s “You can play” initiative

  91. Gotta love the Flyers coming back against the Pens. Loved seeing all those moron Pens fans looking so sad after the OT winner. After their team blew a 3-0 lead.

    Now we KNOW Pierre is crying about how his great Penguins could possibly blow a game like this. We KNOW Bettman is upset about it. His beloved Pens coughing up a huge lead.

    What is gonna be HYSTERICAL is how we are all gonna hear the Pens fans whining and crying over the next 48 hours about how Briere’s goal should have been off-side and that’s the only reason they lost the game.

    How the refs screwed THEM!

    As a Rangers fan, that was fun to watch. :-)

    And yeah, it is funny when you think about the Rangers, Pens and Flyers. Three of the top teams in the league…and the Pens own us, we own the Flyers and the Flyers own the Pens.

    Kinda funny when you think about it.

    All right…can’t wait for tomorrow. Pumped for playoff hockey!!!

  92. Go Kings!

    Have to admit that the Canadian national anthem in Vancouver is pretty cool. Wish Americans could sing it like that…

  93. But don’t you see, CJP, this game totally blows all the conspiracy-theory garbage the haters have leaned on all these years? You know, the one that goes, the NHL is out to see the Pens (and Crosby) win, so they’ll always get the benefit of the calls come playoffs time. Boy did THAT little conspiracy fantasy get flushed down the toilet tonight!

    You see, by losing thanks to an illegally allowed goal, it shows there is no such thing as “the Pens getting all the calls, all the time.” Clearly the refs went against the Pens — something you haters claim is impossible. It was just like the guy here who predicted “no doubt pens get late pp” towards the end of the game — but funny, no Pens pp ever happened.

    So in gloating, you’re actually losing — as it shows the Pens DID win all those games all these years without the help of some alleged “conspiracy” by the NHL. Because there never HAS been some conspiracy in the first place.

    You see — and I love it, ha ha! — you’ve won the battle tonight, but lost the war. Tonight, every big Penguins win has been legitimized!

  94. And to suggest the entire game would have played out exactly the same if the offside had been whistled is ludicrous.

  95. How did the Sedins end up on the same team? And are they both playing or is one still scrambled?

  96. He’s stuck around, Jimbo, so we might as well.

    And saying “DFTT” legitimizes his presence just as much as responding to him does.

  97. So hold your head high, LordCrosby, for tonight the conspiracy-theory hogwash has been laid to rest forever! Yes, the haters’ attempts to explain away every big Pens’ win with the standard “the NHL wants them to win” have been discredited forever. For tonight, the Penguins have been robbed. And if the Pens can be robbed in a playoff game, then the NHL clearly is not — not ever has been — out to give the Pens extra help. If anything, clearly the league “wanted” the Flyers to win tonight.

    Far from whining about the blown-call fueled loss however, I for one am celebrating! Dead is the conspiracy theory forever! Long live the Pens’ and their many (now proven!) legitimate wins! And sorry haters, tin-foil hat time is over.

  98. There never was any conspiracy.

    Conspiracy theorists are nutcases.

    I would not take conspiracy theorists seriously CrosbyisGod.

  99. Hahahahahaha! This is the best time of year!

    I was kinda shocked, as were the AZ pals, at how few penalties were called …. Hmmm…..

  100. But don’t you see what a watershed moment this is tonight, LordCrosby? For years the haters have claimed that the NHL “wants” the Pens to win. Well what do they say now? Because if the league truly DID want the Pens to win, they sure have a strange way of showing it.

    So what’s up now, all you guys here who claim the league “wants” the Pens to win? What do you have to say now?

  101. Huge win for Philly. Love to see the Malk-Andre Crosby’s choke in game 1. Hopefully that gives Philly some momentum and get them game 2 as well although I’d still be shocked if the Flyers win this series.

    btw Weber better be suspended for that. I don’t care that he is a star player, it would be a travesty if he is playing in game 2….

    My guess is that since Zetterberg wasn’t injured, Weber doesn’t get suspended…

  102. oleo,

    It doesn’t really have anything to do with Zetterberg’s injury. The NHL is a joke, so Weber doesn’t get suspended.

  103. CrosbyisGod

    you seem to be forgetting how you got Crosby in the first place. Granted, us New Yorkers were gifted Ewing in the same “fair” lottery, but everyone knows that Ewing was given the Knicks and that Crosby was given to Mario to keep your team in Pittsburgh…

  104. CrosbyisGod —

    Tonight does nothing to shed any such notion.

    Theorists are always going to see what they want to see so that their theories remain intact.

  105. Oh puhleeze…..enough of your nonsense :) I have the world’s creepiest guy sitting near me on train…shudder!!!!! LGR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  106. i lost a lot of respect for Weber on that play. wth was he thinking? Zetterberg didnt look hurt, so that’s good.

  107. What do I have to say?

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    Go whine somewhere else. Wah, wah, Wah, the NHL doesn’t love us anymore, Briere was offsides.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    Way to blow a three goal lead! Now I hope you guys beat them in the next game. And that it takes you, oh, 3 over times to do it. In fact, I don’t even care which of you two miserable wretched scum sucking teams comes out of it alive, or if neither of you do. I just hope it goes seven triple overtime games and when you’re done, if we get by Ottawa, we get to face new jersey and the winner of your series will get to play the Stanley cup champion bruins next.

    Philly and Pittsburgh cannot lose enough or badly enough to please me. Except now, when I hope all of their games are excruciatingly well contested!!!!

  108. oleo — you said it all with “Granted, us New Yorkers were gifted Ewing in the same “fair” lottery…” No need to go on any further.

    But what I’m asking is for the whole “NHL wants Pittsburgh to win” crowd to explain tonight’s game. I mean, if that were true, do they really allow such a blatant offsides goal? Well, if the NHL is so on the Penguins’ side, then how do you explain tonight?

    Kind of turns your whole world upside down, huh?

  109. Wtf? Don’t these rednecks from Pissburgh have nowhere else to go to scratch their fecal tongues? BEAT IT!

    GO FLYS!

  110. ThisYearsModel on

    Great start. Pittsburgh loses at home as the Flyers get a goal that is 2 feet offsides, then tie the game on a penalty afyer an Orpik cheap shot. Who will Bettman fine for this disaster?

  111. Who brought the manure into the blog?? Someone clean it up. PRONTO!

    GO FLYERS!!

    (Ok, I threw up a little saying that, but still!)

    Been busy all day so I missed everything on the blog, but I am sure you were all awesome :)

  112. CrosbyisGod

    well you need to understand that is part of the reason why everyone hates Crosby. He is the best player since Gretzky and he was unfairly given to one team. Not only that but you got a once in a decade player in Malkin the year before. A lot of it is jealously that you lucked into those picks, but another part of it is that Crosby dives and whines (or at least he did up to his injury) and for a team that stacked, its even more annoying to see him falling down when he barely gets touched or running to the refs after every stoppage. Granted, the whining is not as bad as it used to be, but he still hasn’t stopped diving.

    Now the NHL absolutely wants Pittsburgh to advance as far as possible. All pro sports teams want their best players in the finals. Although what my fellow Rangers fans, fail to grasp is that the NHL wants the Rangers there just as bad (if not more). The NHL would love nothing more than a rematch of 94 or at least an original six finals.

    Referees COULD CARE LESS WHO WINS. Fans think they get orders from the league to do things but that’s ridiculous. However, I truly believe that in the winter classic, the referees subconsciously wanted that game to go into overtime b/c of the special event and it caused them to unintentionally slant the game to Philly in the last 5 minutes. Same with the linesman in game 7 of 94. Its human nature and it happens.

  113. Ria, home safe…thanks…I’ve been around the block a few times….no worries…..: but seriously! ewwwwww….he had a wedding ring on too….lord help whoever said yes….

  114. by the way, isn’t it a bit, um, unmanly to use names like crosbyisgod and lord crosby?

    besides, I thought Avery was god.

  115. MickeyM —-

    You asked who brought the manure into the blog.

    Who brought you into the blog?

  116. Brain Hayward sounds a lot like Micheletti.

    A little birdie told me that we would be seeing Doc/Chico…I mean Pierre… at the Bruins/Caps game tomorrow. No Beninati?!

  117. iWicky "Rupp yours" on

    Can’t stand the pansificatipn in the nucks game! And I really hate it if you snow the goalie and it is a penalty. No way the Kessler or kassian penalties should have been called IMHO.

    How about the blown briere offsides in the pens game?

    Weber suspension anyone?

    So we are watching the nucks game and during the Canadian anthem mrs wicky asks if the guy singing only gets half a paycheck because the crowd sings half the anthem for him!! LMFAO!

  118. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    Been around the block a few times myself Mama LOL & I always made it home safe!!!

  119. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    WTG Carpy was it the backdoor or the trapdoor ? Doesn’t matter just so long as it hit them in the assasn on the way out really hard ♥ for you Carp

  120. Ok, much as I’d like to hang for the 3rd and OT, I have way too much work to do tomorrow. Night gang. See you for the game!

  121. ria, do you know what that is by any chance? I noticed it on the program listing but I hadn’t heard anything about it.

  122. JimboWoodside on

    Is it my imagination, or are these announcers kissing Luongo’s assen in extreme excess!?

  123. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    Latona I think it might be something along the line of what they did for the Rangers home opener this season. Probably have past players & celebrities that we never see at the games.

  124. Niters all….ah, byfuglien hartnelling nhl….(but yay weber)….sorry….ack! I hate this all! LGR!!!!!!!

  125. JimboWoodside on

    Hate those “slashing the stick” penalties – pansification of the game, due to weak construction of these new sticks..

  126. JimboWoodside on

    Lev, it’s like they’re trying to “pump him up” for some reason – I don’t know why, though.

    Let’s see if the Kings can hold on now.

  127. JimboWoodside on

    Let’s see if there’s an obligatory “save the Canadian team” penalty before the game ends…

  128. Flyers win! I gotta admit, I’ve only ever rooted for then when they play the Devils or Islanders before. Sometimes I’ve even rooted for the Islanders to beat them. But here, they have my blessing to do the Flyers dirty!

  129. Jimbo, Nucks arent going anywhere with Luongo in goal….if they were smart they’d make Schneider their #1.

  130. Anyone else notice the blue collars on the linesmen? I’d never noticed that before.

  131. JimboWoodside on

    They can’t, Lev – they have too much invested in Luongo…

    OK, DJK – that’s what I thought!

  132. JimboWoodside on

    It would be very cool if the Kings eliminate the Canucks, and the NYRs eliminate the Sens – those homers up north will be crying in their Molsons…

  133. LGR !!!
    I’m soooo excited for tonights game.
    Our first playoff game at MSG since 1981

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