Rangers-Senators Game 4 in review



1) Well, there goes my Rangers in 5 prediction. Back to Kanata Monday. Yee-freakin-hah!

2) This has been an odd series, IMO, in that I thought Ottawa’s best game start to finish was Game 3, a game the Senators lost, and one of those many, many games this season that could have gone either way and went the Rangers way.

3) That said, the Rangers — and every other team that plays playoff hockey — sing the mantra about how “we expect that they will get better each game, and so we have to get better, too.” And I think, though that hasn’t proven to be completely true in this series, that Ottawa has gotten better as the series has gone on, and the Rangers haven’t gotten much better, if at all. I don’t think they’ve played, except for the first part of Game 1, anywhere near their best yet. They’d better hurry now.

4) The Senators are 2-0 in games Matt Carkner plays. Just proves how usesless stats are. Carkner nearly cost them Game 2 by himself, and the Senators ended up winning despite him, and long after he had been kicked out of the game. And he had a huge hand in the Game 4 win with that assist out of the penalty box. And he made a smart play by delaying coming out of the box, though I’m not sure why he did it, so that he hopped out just as the puck was arriving, and in stride. I still say he stepped in carcillo and was extremely lucky there, because he had taken a dreadful penalty in the first place and Marc Staal nearly put the game away on the power play just before Carkner was released. He also made a nice pass. So credit where it’s due. I think he was a complete non-factor otherwise.

5) Now, about Zenon Konopka. I still say Paul MacLean messed up big-time in not using Konopka or Carkner in Game 1 and trying to beat the Rangers with a soft lineup, it it still might end up costing the Senators the series. But since Konopka was re-inserted, he and Chris Neil have created havoc around Henrik Lundqvist and along the walls. I think the Rangers have handled them well, but they have had to pay them a lot 0f attention, and expend a lot of energy doing it.

6) That sure was a shocking start for the power play, wasn’t it? The Rangers were 25-2-4 when they scored PPGs during the season. They are 0-2 when they score PPGs in the playoffs.

7) A lot of times I’ve noticed Marian Gaborik taking off, and then noticed that he’s playing against the fastest defenseman in the league in Erik Karlsson. I think that has hampered Gaborik some, and so has Filip Kuba, and so has not having Carl Hagelin for the last two games (and Game 5). So last night the GAS line was reunited, as was the Brandon Dubinsky-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan line.

8) John Tortorella kind of piled it on Artem Anisimov for taking that penalty that led to the Senators’ first goal. Not defending Anisimov, but if they do a better chance around the net on the shot by Sergei Gonchar, maybe we don’t even remember the Anisimov penalty. And he wasn’t the only guy to take one.

9) That Marc Staal hit on Jason Spezza … I’m not sure what part of Staal’s arm or shoulder hot Spezza, and it sure wasn’t a high hit, because Spezza’s head was low and going lower. But the fact is, the point of contact was the head, and so I’m not sure he won’t be hearing from Brendan Shanahan today. Then again, I’m not sure anymore at all what is a penalty, what isn’t, what’s deserving supplemental discipline, what isn’t.

10) Chris Kreider, in his very few shifts, sure showed off his wheels in this game, didn’t he? Used them like Hagelin, in a defensive way, and in a way to force a play by the Senators. And he had another really good scoring chance. That said, I don’t know if he plays beyond Game 5, after which Hagelin comes back.

11) The Senators finally contained Brian Boyle.

12) Speaking of dumb penalties, how stupid was the slew foot by Nick Foligno against Ryan Callahan at that stage of the game?

13) Sometimes I believe stuff just happens and that you don’t draw conclusions. The fact that Henrik Lundqvist has lost seven straight OT games in the playoffs is one of those. IMO, it doesn’t way anything negative about Lundqvist other than maybe he’s been in an unusual, maybe inexplicable bad-luck streak. But I think if it goes on much longer, it could be a problem.

14) What was more unbelievable last nght? That Philly allowed 10 goals? Or that the game didn’t deteriorate into another fight-fest? Also, does anybody think it’s not possible for Pittsburgh and/or Vancouver to come back from 0-3? Two years ago, Philly came back from 0-3 and won a series. Last year two teams — Chicago and Detroit — fell behind 0-3 and ended up forcing a Game 7. The Blackhawks lost  Game 7 to Vancouver in OT, the Red Wings lost Game 7 to San Jose 3-2.

My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Brad Richards.
2) Marc Staal.
3) Dan Girardi.
rangerJHW’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Dan Girardi.
2) Ryan McDonagh.
3) Brad Richards — maybe he should take every faceoff!
AP photos, above.



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  1. carp, did you block comments on this post because you didn’t want anyone going off the ledge?

  2. Wheeee…… (jumping off ledge)

    Hope they forecheck better in Game 5 instead of playing prevent D!

  3. anyone see the new mission impossible? thought it was awesome. when ae they coming out with the next bond movie? its been awhile.

  4. Stranger – “Girardi is back by the goal when the forward is entering the zone – especially on game winning goal”

    “Stralman is playing way above his season performance level”

    Umm, that was Stralman on the GWG.

  5. Paging Derek Stepan….are you playing?

    Also, we can’t keep passing the puck side to side on the PP. The first two PPs were great because we shot the puck. The last handful we saw dozens of lateral passes at the blueline between MDZ and Stralman. Shoot the %&#(%$ puck.

    3 lines is not going to work in these grinding, grueling series. I thought the 4th line played well. Rupp looked great, Mitchell OK too. Let them skate a little Torts. Come on.

    Kreider looked a bit out of it. I think told him to concentrate more on finishing his checks and being more physical but that took him out of his game, IMHO.

    Not that worried at this stage. But scoring early and losing late is not a good feeling.

  6. eric did declare this game a must-win (obviously) and quite early in the morning. Someone better start calling around to different hospitals.

  7. If anyone is wondering why Girardi and McD didn’t look too great last night, it should be noted that they played way over their season averages.

    Girardi: 31:17 (avg 26:14)
    McDonagh: 28:14 (avg 24:44)

    That’s a lot of extra time to be playing. Not that they haven’t done it before. But already in the playoffs DG is averaging 28:31 and McD is at 26:20.

    Most of the other guys that are up there played length OTs. Both Rangers OTs lasted what, 2 minutes?

  8. Lev, love is never having to say you’re sorry :)

    I have no idea WTF happened this morning … I only know I finished working at about 2:30 a.m. and slept until 10:30 and found out about this emergency and our tech guys fixed it. Holy hell. what a day for that to happen.

  9. glad i made u laugh ilbzo! i am still a little drunk from last night, so im a little slap happy. but i did lose my job 2 days ago, so i better get off my arse soon n start poundin the pavement

  10. i agree Jonny….they are being overplayed. but to be honest id rather overplay them than have bickel take those minutes. but again im in the pro eminger anti bickel camp.

  11. Carped (sort of)-

    Grabby, I agree with all of that. However, they will have zero chance against faster teams if they stay stationary. I thought they did well in the first and third. I was watching the game with my son, and I am one of his coaches. The second period was a clinic on what not to do when playing 5v5. The entire period, with and without penalties, looked like a PP. There was just so much standing there waiting for the Senators to make a move. You don’t wait, your force moves, which produces mistakes, which leads to chances. They were doing that in the 1st and 3rd.

    I know speedy teams cause them problems. They cause everybody problems. They were letting Ottowa dictate the game in the second, and that is what cost them.

    I was really happy to see Staal play like that last night. Seemed like a different player. My only gripe with him is when he passed up that one chance to shoot while he was pinching in the middle and threw a pass to the side. They scored two goals by rebound last night. He had the better shooting angle. Put it on net and collect the garbage if you don’t beat the goalie. When the Rangers are willing to put real shots on net, good things are happening. Even though the Rangers won game three, there were times I was pulling my hair out watching Anisimov and Stepan over pass instead of putting a solid shot on net and getting dirty going for rebounds.

    This is why Stepan seems to disappear during the playoffs. He is still playing regular season hockey instead of going to the hard areas to get the job done. Same reason why Boyle is looking like John LeClaire at times. He gets it.

  12. what happene yesterday lev? did u use bad language or were u seduced by the darkside of the shwartz( negative nancy) u must know it is not too late to redeem yourself. me and darth eric are too far gone. dont give in to your hatred for losing! embrace it own it! make it your bi@$!!

  13. Lev – I agree that Eminger is better, but he’s not healthy yet. Also, without Bickel, this series would be 3-1 Sens right now.

  14. I got a bit personal with one other bonehead and continuously disagreed with Carp about Carkner. Moving on…..

  15. Although in reality, the Rangers should’ve won game 2. So I guess it would still be 2-2, but the Sens were the better team in game 3. Henrik just stood on his head.

  16. Really? Guess i have to go back and read stuff. Great job Lev! Loyalty.

    “Yes, always Godfather.”

  17. the only issue with the series i am suprised by is zone time. i think on many occassions the rangers have gotten pinned in their own zone for extended periods of time. the snes quality of shots has not been alarming and the rangers have blocked a ton of shots but the need to play more in Ottawa’s zone. they need th not have the high forward on karlssons side back in, he needs to stay up high on Karlsson.

    i think torts made a mistake not playing kreider and others a few more minutes in game 4. kredier got about 4 minutes in game 3 he got 11. I am fine with 11. in his 6 shifts he was near the puck and was close to opptys. more then once.

    stepan has not done much, dubi has had the same problem he has had all year in finishing.

    forecheck like the way they can in game 5 and they will be fine… again i think the rangers have had better quality scoring chances……

    they also need ot stay out of the box…

  18. at least we’ll die together waffles! theres nobody id rather get blown to byron bitz with than u guys

  19. i can’t believe some of the headlines about the Staal hit on Spezza…

    what are they watching? spezza is leaned over, his head is at chest level(staals). staal checked the guy and hit his head and body. that is not a head shot… the guy was bent over minimum 1 foot…….

    staal did not use an elbow, did not jump, it was a clean hit caused mainly because spezza either stumbled o was just hunched over…….

  20. Mzev – go to ESPNZone at Disney Boardwalk. I saw the Rangers bounce the Devils out of the playoffs there a few years ago. The place was so full of Ranger fans that they had the game on the big screen.

  21. Sioux-per-man on

    So the Yesterdays Hat trick? Rangers, Flyers, Kings WIN!!!

    No Hat Trick…. I guess I’ll have to keep the hat.

    There is good news however!!!!

  22. Carp, shouldnt have apologized for the tech glitch…should havew went with the out on a ledge storyline….
    if step has another game like last night, gotta think about sitting him….it was like have two kreiders out there…timid nervous, not skating…a mess….

  23. Stranger Nation on

    dde – thanks for pointing that out – I saw a D-man on his knees in the praying position and assumed it was Girardi – to be fair, the lack of back check was the killer on that goal – the D man can’t cover two guys coming hard on his wing.

    Stralman has played above expectations in this series IMO. That first PP goal and his PP play in general has been great.

    MDZ needs to get a “check up from the neck up”. Looks half asleep out there. he and Dubi must be busy planning a double date or something like that.

  24. I sweat there was two different teams that the Rangers iced last night on the PP. One was quick, mobile and decisive with the puck, and they scored 2 goals. The other team was virtually stationary and could hardly enter the offensive zone, and when they did, passed the puck until a Senator broke the play up and cleared the zone. They killed their own momentum.

    Hockeyrodent made a good point today. Dubinsky and Prust have been playing passively, allowing the game to and puck to come to them. Not good. The amount of pursuit and fight from those 2 especially has been poor, and so has Stepan’s. They’ve been virtually invisible. Compare that with Fedetenko’s game where there is relentless pusuit of the puck. The Rangers have another gear, and they need to shift into it if they want to win this series.

  25. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Carp – After i mentioned maybe giving Kreider pp time due to it struggling – you made it very clear that you wouldnt take off Gabby or Richards. Kudos to you as both contributed to our first and only 2 goals of the game.

  26. Series is pretty much tracking the Rangers record last part of season and would suggest this is going 7 games. They win if they have the gas left to raise their intensity, play like they are the 8th seed- relentless, in your face, as they had all year, and as Ottawa has played from Game 2 on.

  27. Stranger Nation on

    stuart a – excellent point – that happens a ton – player is leaning over with his head 3 feet off the ice and gets drilled in the noggin. No Shyte Sherlock – skating full speed, leading with your head will lead to getting drilled in your head!!!

    that was easily my favorite play of the game given the two players involved – Staal showing he is rounding into form and spezza dropping like a sack of potatoes after the hit.

  28. Something I’d like to see Torts change course on is that for most of this series and particularly in response to Carkner, Rangers have played like they are above it all. I’d like to see Game 5 start with Carkner, Neil and Konopka getting confronted, win or lose. Those who think this is “staged” don’t get it. And also probably don’t understand why Ottawa has had overall psychological momentum ever since the Carkner attack.

  29. Yep… I’m a chicken little today- Like you said Carp, the Sens have gotten better throughout the series and were not matching their intensity. They’re wearing us down and were stuck in our zone more often than not. Makes me think we lose this series in 7 ;(. Never had a good feeling matching up against the sens… Felt the same way about the Pens and the Caps. Oh well, maybe they’ll surprise me…

  30. stuart a, I was thinking the same thing regarding Tortorella shortening the bench. The guys taking regular shifts must be exhausted as it is, since he did this consistently during the regular season. I feel like it’s gotten even worse for them in this series, particularly since Ottawa seems to have the puck in the Rangers’ zone for over half the game.

    By only playing Bickel and Kreider 3.5 minutes each, it’s like he’s playing the series with 11 forwards and 5 defensemen. Against a physical team. That has to take its toll at some point.

    I can understand handling Kreider with kid gloves (but still agree with you that he should be getting closer to 11 minutes), but the non-use of Bickel baffles me. I don’t feel he’s looked overmatched out there at all. If Carkner can play 12 minutes like he did last night, why can’t Bickel? It’s not like any of the Rangers’ other defensemen are doing such a wonderful job of clearing the front of the net and getting the puck out of the zone.

  31. Also I want to note that the Rangers blocked 30 shots. While this sounds like a good number, it means they didn’t have the puck enough. The Sens blocked only 8. Now while the NHL doesn’t take offensive TOP (which they should), we can only look at total attempts to see who the more dominant offensive team has been.

    So if you take into account total attempts (including blocked and missed shots), Rangers had 49 and the Sens had 85. If you want to see it by game:

    Game 1: NYR 59, OTT 64
    Game 2: NYR 49, OTT 74
    Game 3: NYR 48, OTT 76
    Game 4: NYR 49, OTT 85

    For those counting at home, that’s a series total of NYR 205 and OTT 299. The only game that was close was game 1, which the Rangers did dominate for the most part.

    Not to add fuel to the fire for the doubters, but that should be extremely concerning that the Sens have pretty much dominated the attempts/chances on goal in the last 3 games. If you want to flip that, you can say that game 3 they dominated but the Rangers still snuck one by and pulled out the win.

  32. Still alive my son kept me from jumping. The only diff in these teams is the 1 and 8 besides there names. Again inability to win draws leads to chasing the puck all night. 5 on 5 play has been terrible. Pp is a disgrace when you need the timely goal. Anderson on staal we will remember all summer long. I may break the ceiling above me on sat night.

  33. Joekuh - 16 More... on

    I’m still wondering what’s the big deal on the Staal hit. It was open ice and Spezza was hunched over. Point of contact was the chest/shoulder, IMO. In fact, I think Staal had a pretty good game last night, all things considered. If you’re gonna get on Staal for not burying his chance, get on Phillips for not burying his chance late in the 3rd for the Sens. It was great goaltending last night.

  34. Sioux-per-man on

    Carp – I ALMOST didn’t go to poker night last night – do to the game. Thought I’d would get distracted to easily. Haven’t missed but one game all year, and I DVR’s that one.

    EVERYONE is giving me a bad time about “MY” team.

    Christ sakes they want to watch baseball. Are you KIDDING me? Baseball?

    They put baseball on, I said I’ll have to go before we even start. HA. I was serious.

    So they put the Rangers on for me.

    Long story short – 6 hours later – I WIN!!! I was told that was the last time we watch hockey!!! LOL.

    Funny stuff.

    Yes it sucks our team lost last night… but I learned a new lesson in life.

    CASH cures most things :)

  35. Stranger- It sounds like you became a bit more willing “to be fair” when you found out it wasn’t Girardi. Prust sayin’

  36. Wicky© I say Frontier Justice is the ONLY way to go!!! LGT!!! on

    I need a show of hands here, who thinks carkner is a better D man than bickel??

    MY hand is NOT raised!

  37. Sioux-per-man on

    So we have a best of 3 match. Win 2 out of 3 and we move on.

    Not to worry. The Rangers should have won both overtime games. We didn’t. We are still the best team out of the two. We need to win 2 more games. We WILL. They can win one more I don’t care. They are not going to get by Hank 2 out of 3 games.

    No jumping off the ledge today. Life is good today.

    Make the most with what you have of it!!!!!

  38. Doodie Machetto, Get well Tony on

    Wicky, I don’t think either of them are particularly any good. Watching Bickel just underscores how much the team misses Sauer.

  39. I take back the stuff I said about Heinierik. Still think he was surprised by that final shot. Everyone seems so happy here today, not sure why, but Im extremely nervous, and we’ve gotta wait another 55 or so til our next game. Our crowd better be lively, and if I hear one Potvin sucks chant, Im gonna go bat carcillo crazy.

  40. jay reimenschneider on

    The Rangers are playing timid, overly conservative defensive hockey and it’s costing them big time. They’re being outhit and out hustled the majority of the time and if it doesn’t change saturday they’re done for the season. The officiating has been such an inconsistant mess that none of the players know what or what isn’t a penalty at this point and I think Torts has the players too scared of making a mistake that they’re generating little to nothing dangerous on the rush. And when was the last time the Rangers scored a goal like Ottawa’s in overtime? A sharp shot off a rush? Every goal every night can’t be a garbage goal off a rebound or a lucky bounce. The skilled players have to find a way to beat the goalie with a shot for a change.

  41. Stranger Nation on

    dde – sorry if you took offense for your favorite all star. let’s just say he has a ton of heart and desire, but the skill aspect is covered up by McD most of the time…

  42. Stranger Nation on

    Wicky – not sure why Bicks doesn’t get more run – put him at 4th line banger and sit Step if you are only playing him 3 mins at D.

  43. Guys the Sens are a better offensive team, we are a better defensive team. That’s been the trend all year.

    We just need to bend, not break on D. I think at times we broke yesterday. But this series so far highlights to me still the need for a big, crease clearing D-man to complete us. Sauer no-show, Stall not that physical both hurting us. Neil and Konopka have camped out in the blue box. We have no answer to that line with Foligno. We just don’t.

    But telling me that Ottawa launched more shots is meaningless. I did not expect the Rangers to outshoot them. That said, I also hate when we fire the puck into Anderson’s belly as much, but not more than, I despise the constant lateral passes made at the point instead of just hammering the puck to the goal. Why does this team look to stickhandle the puck across the goal line. Shoot the damn puck Barry!

    Saturday is like 2 years away.

  44. We just have to *not lost back-to-back* games. Then we win in *7*. For my prediction of Rangers in Six! we need to win back-to-back games. We are capable. We can do it.

    We just have to play more consistently and man-oh-man do we need Hagelin back.

  45. Let’s start from the get go.

    When Callahan scored that goal and they went up 2-0, I had this feeling in my stomach that told me … I’ve seen this before during the regular season, they’re going to lose this game. Ottawa is going to steady their D, and chip away at the lead. I couldn’t wait for the first period to end because I felt like we began slipping and Ottawa could have easily scored toward the end of the first period.

    The rational me says, listen Ottawa is good team. We do not match up well against them. We did not play well against them in the regular season. This was not going to be an easy series. It’s a best out of 3 and we have home ice.

    The irrational me looks at the shot difference and notices that the trend in this series is not favoring us and that if things keep going the way they’re going we’re not going to pull this one out. Ottawa has outplayed us the whole series. Anderson is good goalie. At time he has looked as good as Hank if not better.

    So I step back and try to reason the above logic and what I hold on to at the end of the day is that this team has battled adversity all season and were able to respond. We have two days off. Let’s take a step back. Take a deep break and come out like gangbusters on Saturday. Game 5 is a must win. Let’s win it and see what happens in game 6. Always look at the positive knowing the negative might very well happen.

  46. Sioux – I beg to differ that we should’ve won the OT games. Ottawa was the better team in OT both times.

    Plus if you look at the stats I posted, they’ve dominate the chances this series outside of the first game. They have the puck a hell of a lot more.

  47. Tiki – like I said, he was surprised because he didn’t see it. Turris dragged the puck and used Stralman as a screen. If you’ve ever played goalie, you know that you don’t pick that puck up until late and you don’t even get to see where the shooter is aiming because you can’t really see the puck or his stick. So your reaction time is naturally slower.

  48. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    One thing is for sure, we need to be in their zone more and in our zone less…

  49. Newman – I didn’t and don’t expect the Rangers to out-shoot Ottawa or out-chance them. However I don’t expect them to get out chanced by the wide margin that they did in games 2-4. I’d expect it to be within 10.

    To be out-chanced by no less than 25 each game isn’t a recipe for success though, even if they are blocking 30 a game. You are playing on thin ice if you don’t get that number down under the 10-15 range.

  50. haven’t posted in awhile but a couple things that annoy me.

    if torts isn’ goin to skate kreider dress someone else (I get he’s young and all but as mentioned above, puts more pressure on others to pick up slack)

    gaborik is invisible once again in playoffs. something in the offseason needs to change because your 2nd most expensive fwd (or whatever) cannot disappear in the playoffs

    give stepan a break. kid is young and he’ll get it. torts has him backwards with his linemates.

    once again rangers make a mediocre goalie look amazing.

    need to bring it and bring it for 60. not 20 with flashes.

  51. Our defense has got to tighten up. Less space. Maybe I am wrong, because I don’t watch the games and have never watched hockey, but it seems that when Karlsson or some other huge shooting threat has the puck someone needs to attack them. Cut down that space like a goalie and deflect the puck while on your feet. If not you at least force him to make a snap decision. We are leaving way too much time and space for the player moving the puck.

  52. Ok, Jonny.

    Youre absolutely right Manny. Their puck handlers are given far too much space to operate. We’re just standing back and getting in shooting/passing lanes.

  53. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    We win the odd number games… This trend continues and win the cup going 7 every round. Buckle up gang as the ride is going to be long and bumpy.

  54. Manny – you can’t really do that with Karlsson. He’s too fast. You can close space, sure, but if you overcommit he’s going to burn you. Spezza same thing. You want to contain those guys but slowly limit their space. If you pressure them and get burned, you get yourself out of position and someone else ends up being open for a few seconds. That’s why he’s so dangerous.

    Trust me, if it was as easy as just attacking Karlsson and the other guys, every team would be doing it and shutting them down, but it’s not.

    They’ve given him and Spezza way too much space though it seems.

  55. Wicky© Where have all the NOOGIES gone?? LGT!!! on


    the reason I ask is carkner plays over 12 minutes last night and bickel plays like 3. now carkner is only averaging 6 minutes but that is due to one of his two games only having like 30 seconds due to the game misconduct.

    Is torts getting out coached?? I mean seriously? I’m not knocking torts at all, just asking a serious question. I think Matteau is on to something about the carkner situation. I’m not saying it is the only reason, but it may be a reason. I mean, where have all the noogies gone?

    I guess my point is I remember numerous times over my life of watching NHL hockey (I know it isn’t as long as some of you , no offence) that I have heard coaches or players say they play “bigger” with a certain player in the line up (usually it is a physically intimidating guy, enforcer, goon, fighter, or what ever you want to call them). Were they not telling the truth?

    If there is credence to that (and that guys DO play bigger when certain people are in the line up), then the carkner point that matteau brought up earlier in this thread absolutely has to have some validation to it because the Rangers have never answered carkner with a physical beating or by controlling the series with him being subtraction by addition to the sens lineup (according to many here).

    In the end, perhaps too many here would like to think (or actually do think) that the physical contact impact game that we love has moved past the most basic levels of physical confrontation and that skill triumphs over will and that goonish behavior has zero impact on the game anymore.

    The reality may actually be the game really hasn’t advanced as far as we would like to think it has in that respect!

    Just musing here folks!

  56. Good point, Jonny. I would like to see those guys get less space – maybe when they don’t have the puck. I just see too many guys just setting up and looking around and then the Senators are set up as if it was a PP when it’s 5-on-5.

  57. All we need to do is go out there on Saturday night with Bruins uniforms on, and surely the Senators will die against us as theyve done against the Bruins their entire existence.

  58. Doodie Machetto, Get well Tony on

    I think Torts is overcoaching, to be honest with you. The Rangers seem to be so concerned with stymying Karlsson and the Ottawa offense that they are getting away from playing their game. As soon as Ottawa has the puck, they seem to collapse into a defensive shell to take away the neutral zone or prevent clean shots from getting through. This team wins when it plays an aggresive forechecking game. The best possessions we had last night were when, of all lines, Rupp and Mitchell (Kreider was the third man but didn’t add much to the forecheck, but he did almost score) were grinding a good forecheck, and then later Dubi and Cally worked one together as well that Richards should have scored twice on. He looked as flustered when the puck was on his stick as Kreider did, and this is supposed to be our grizzled playoff vet.

  59. Prust saying but Gaborik has been putting up points, has a goal, and really is not the problem. How can you excuse Stepan and pile on on Gaborik? Last game Richards and Gaborik basically played so as not to expose Kreider, that’s tough in and of itself. You want to point a finger at people that have not put on points and people that you cant tell if theyre even playing then point at Stepan, Dubinsky, Anisimov (to a much smaller extent compared to the first two). Prust has not really done anything at all either, Feds cant miss those 2 on 1s he had a game ago, and Stralman cannot be your best offensive d-man.

  60. Jonny, I disagree. They are a young team, force them into mistakes. Run at them, take away their space, create opportunites the other way for us offensively.

  61. stranger – Nope, not my ‘favorite all star.’ Just looking for a little fairness and consistency, with the expectation that if someone is going to call a player out they at the least get the player right.

  62. Doodie Machetto, Get well Tony on

    BTW, I didn’t get a chance to say it last night, but, Nick Foligno: Ranger killer.

  63. Doodie Machetto, Get well Tony on

    Stralman is this year’s Gilroy. And just like Gilroy, I think he’s gone at the end of the year.

  64. Wicky© Where have all the NOOGIES gone?? LGT!!! on

    I think the d men on the overtime winner should have come out and challenged a bit more

    We need more bodies in anderson’s grill!

    More noogies is a must, get back to that “edge” that we played with in game 1.

    I still say we win in 6!

    LGT and LGR!!!

  65. If Winchester had been injured earlier–we have won in regulation..we had our chances–so I am sure Torts will have them ready for Sat. Ottawa is tough..and their tough guys are performing…in on the attack…and picking up points! Our top line has disappeared before-so Shannagins 3 game decision is hurting us more that Alfredson being out for them–especially since they are using his loss to up their game. We are not backing down-but we are not instilling any fear in them either–I don’t believe, even with two goals last night–that they fear our power play. Stephan and Anisimov are both MIA…but the one that really burns me is Dubi…I figured the post-season would be his time to shine…so if he has any thoughts of remaining in NY…now would be a good time to find himself!!! Loved Pruster last night—even Rupp decided to join the action. Kreider–I haven’t seen anything…and I have no (realistic) expectations, but I would sure love some hits and some shots. I hesitated to give Staal a star last night..great move to take the shot on the PP…but then get back in position and stop hanging out in nowhereland watching the action…especially with the penalty winding down…so while is was good to see your game elevated…that one play just sucked!!! All the comment above on being out shot…amen!

  66. What Doodie said @ 12:24PM is essentially what I am saying at 12:13PM. We keep dropping back into a “Prevent” style defense and allowing the Senators too much time to set up and rip shots.

  67. So we lost last night. We all know how the Rangers play after a loss. They’ll be back on Saturday. Don’t worry! Keep the faith!

  68. Doodie Machetto, Get well Tony on

    Stepan should have stayed on to make that 2 on 2 a 2 on 3. I don’t think it changes the outcome, but it could have.

  69. Doodie – definitely agree and I actually said the same thing yesterday about that 4th line. So I agree 100%

    Tiki – on their younger 3rd and 4th liners? Sure, because they will likely cough up the puck and you create doubt in their minds about them trying to skate into that free space. But with Karlsson and Spezza and even Foligno or Michalek? You can’t do that. They will eat you alive. The one time Boyle tried to over-commit to Karlsson, he pivoted, faked a bit and then had a huge lane to the net because of how smooth he skates. He didn’t have all those points this year for no reason.

  70. Thanks Scott. I’ve been there before during 97 playoffs. Only problem was the line out the door! Had to wait quite a while to get a seat… Will try though

  71. Im 99% certain that Doodie is Nick Foligno’s family member, because Nick Foligno hasnt done anything. The guy is a loser.

  72. Wicky© Where have all the NOOGIES gone?? LGT!!! on

    great great point about step, while i was watching the dvr’d game late last night I was like NOOOOOOOOOOO bad choice

  73. Doodie Machetto, Get well Tony on

    Manny, I just read your earlier post. I think you’re right. I understand the fear of getting burned in the neutral zone, which I have said for months was the achilles heel of this team, but at some point, you have to trust your roster to just be better than theirs and be able to wear them down over a 7 game series. By letting them control the possession, you are just hoping for the Rangers to convert on their fewer chances. Well, this team scores by getting a volume of chances, not by waiting for the best ones. Blue Collar, dirty goals, not finesse ones, are what got this team to where it is.

  74. czechthemout!!!! on


    From yesterday, I said that I though Konopka and Neil have outplayed Gabby and Richards in this series. I said it and I stand by it. Because in totality, they have. If they didn’t play in this series, we would be celebrating a sweep this morning. That is it.

  75. And I’m not saying just give them open space and free reign to do what they want in the offensive zone, but don’t over commit. Slowly guide them to the corners so that they have less space to maneuver and don’t have as much of a lane to get to the net.

    When Karlsson has the puck at the point, try to force him wide (which Boyle did do) because you have support down low and it limits where he can pass. Instead of being in the middle and having the option of going to either side and it only being a 10-20 foot pass, he now is stuck on one side and if he wants to move the puck to the other side, he either has to dump it all the way around or risk a 50 ft cross ice pass (which is extremely risky since if it gets picked off it’s a breakaway/odd-man rush the other way).

    Mind you, I make it sound like it’s so easy, but it’s obviously much easier said than done.

  76. Totally, Doodie – neutral zone turnovers and losing faceoffs in your own end kill this team. Kill.

  77. Foligno’s two third period penalties certainly killed the Rangers.

    I can see the arguments about playing some players more, but I still don’t see Girardi playing 31 minutes and McDonagh 28 minutes as anything outrageous. If you don’t play your best players lots in the playoffs, what exactly are you saving them for?

  78. Wicky© Where have all the NOOGIES gone?? LGT!!! on

    DEATH KNELL type of kill manny, Death Knell!!!!

  79. Wicky© Where have all the NOOGIES gone?? LGT!!! on

    to coat tail what LW said, they also have two off days instead of one….so that has to be taken into the minute account!

    still would like to see a bit more even distribution though IMHO, at least a bit more minutes for the end of the bench

  80. Doodie Machetto, Get well Tony on

    BTW, that game last night was so poorly officiated. Pansification.

    Also, I can’t believe people are talking about the Staal hit on Spezza. It was a clean hit, and Spezza tried to milk it for a major by staying down and then going to the locker room.

  81. iWicky "Rupp yours". LGT on

    Clearly the trick to getting any sort of response on here today regarding a post is to keep it one line and not have the name wicky in it anywhere….sheesh

    I’m going to work, later aasens!!

    LGT and LGR!!!

  82. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – i may be wrong, but if the rangers win game 5, a great possibility that they take a potential commanding 3-2 lead in the series….

  83. Carp, I have a small suggestion. I know that, as a journalist, you must keep your objectivity. But, since this blog is dedicated to the Rangers, I think we’d prefer that you put up pictures of the Rangers, rather than of the opposition celebrating their victory. It feels like rubbing it in our faces.

  84. Stranger Nation on

    Re issue of puck possession – IMO the team is losing too many 50/50 battles for the puck in corner. too often the sens have us pinned and we redirect along boards to weak side, they pinch and begin another battle usually setting up one of our forward to get drilled (Artie).

    On three separate occasions lat night, Dubi has puck possession above the circles and tries to stick handle around the Dman and puck gets knocked back into zone for more scrambling around. This must drive Torts NUTS. He is 10 ft from blue line and cannot advance the puck out of the zone. The fundamentals are not part of his game.

  85. Doodie Machetto, Get well Tony on

    JBytes, I like the picture Carp chose. It tells the story of the game.

    Wick, I was picking up what you were putting down.

  86. eddie eddie eddie on

    doodie – he certainly used his body well and shielded the puck…but his skating just seems slower to me…

  87. The Hockey Rodent has it right … this series is now a coin-toss.

    Rangers lose on both heads and tails.

  88. I hate to bring more rain to the party….but some of the pessimistic Ranger fan has crept back into me over the past two games….I just don’t see us pulling this out in the end. Even with our win on Monday, I didn’t feel as though the team that I was watching could actually be raising the Cup this June. They look like a major piece is missing and they look timid. They are not intimidating these Sens as they should be as the first seed (I know parity blah blah blah) I think if we don’t win Saturday night at MSG it is a wrap in Ottawa. Part of this is because Hagelin is missing and Richards and Gaborik can’t develop as much without his contributions.

  89. CARP

    Send the blog photo to Torts and tell him to put it up in the locker room.

    But nooo, he thinks we “played well”. Was he watching the same game as the rest of us.

    The clowns were horrific. Ottawa took it to them for most of the game.

    Torts is dillusional.

  90. Plus, Lundqvist needs to outplay Anderson and so far he hasn’t been “lights out.”

  91. Even my mom, who doesn’t know hockey from water polo mentioned that the “other team” seemed to be “attacking all the time”.

    What’s Torts going to say after we get eliminated by an 8th seed? “We played well enought to win the series, but some of us didn’t show up”.

    Get this clown a pair of golf clubs and get him out of here.

  92. Sioux-per-man on

    I had Rangers in 6 and I still think that is the way it is going to go, if it’s 7 – fine.

    Carp – How was Kanata?

  93. eddie eddie eddie on

    pimp – tell my wife that the lakers are playing the yankees and its in the 3 period and she will nod……however, that said, she also thinks the sens are the more aggressive team with the beter chances…

  94. “… but you’re not gonna get me to say there were a lot of bad things that went on with our game,” coach John Tortorella said.

    Circus clown.

  95. Fat Guy in A Little Coat on

    We would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for those meddling kids

  96. Sioux-per-man on

    Carp – I was thinking to myself. Self…. perhaps the Comments were off to avoid all the Debbie Downers today?

    Sorry no time for chit chat today. Must get back to work.

  97. eddie eddie eddie on

    i predict a game 5 shutout for THE HANK….mixing up speeds, changing direction, good curve ball, good slider…..fastballs up and in……good pitching always beats good hitting…except of course if you are in Pennsylvania.

  98. Fat Guy in A Little Coat on

    Pimp – When you say “disaster”, do you mean Hindenberg, or more like Towering Inferno?

  99. JBytes – seriously bro? Can’t handle a loss? The pics are fine.

    Doodie – he looked great, but he hasn’t skated as well in recent weeks. His knee looks like it’s still bothering him.

  100. Sioux-per-man on

    Eddie its the pitches that are up and out on the inside corner that bother me :)

  101. Fat Guy in A Little Coat

    I mean the Hindenberg causing the Towering Inferno … with a Titanic thrown in the mix somewhere in there.

  102. Fat Guy in A Little Coat on

    Should we expect McDammit to jump into the play more to try to put more biscuits in the basket? To wrinke the twine? To put it on the shelf where momma hides the peanut butter?

  103. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – as we reply to each other…we are out of phase…..i am late to you…and you are late to me….

    manny – e3 outta phase vibin

  104. for Game 5, I predicted that Torts will say that we played well (no matter what the outcome).

  105. Eddie – I heard that this series i going to be 7 games long. Does that mean that the teams have to play 7 games even if one team has already won the deciding 4th victory? I am unclear on these rules.

    Phase me.

  106. Stepan was on the ice for over a minute, IMO he should have changed when the puck was semi frozen in the corner. Getting himself caught on D after an extended shift would have been the worst of options IMO.

  107. Fat Guy in A Little Coat on

    Hey, if you think Torts’ post game shite shows are bad, you should try listening to Joe Girardi’s. Now that is pure toothpicks-in-your-eardrums pain.

  108. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – i believe best of 7 means, the rangers pick the best game of the 7 they play and choose that to represent the series…

    I choose game 3…..on to the second rd.

  109. Fat Guy in A Little Coat on

    Let me ask you guys something – would you swap our Defensemen right now for Greschner, Laidlaw, Beck, Ruotsalainen, Maloney and Patrick?

  110. Oh I forgot, the Portuguese speaking contest was 2 weeks ago. In that case:

    “The series is over”

  111. eddie eddie eddie on

    we are still in control of our destiny….the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…..a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush…….cream rises to the top…….

  112. eddie eddie eddie on

    tiki – my brutha……..*2 more games, fellas, and we are out of the first round…believe it and it will happen….*

  113. Ottawa is tied 2-2 in the series and haven’t played a single minute with the lead. (/r/hockey)

  114. Miami Pimp April 19th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush-league


    est un avis en dextra quam quantum merior

  115. eddie eddie eddie on

    allright kitty cats…..the e3 needs to go and do my thang…see youse on the upside

  116. Fat Guy in A Little Coat on

    Read a rumor on SI.com that Morganna the Kissing Bandit is planning to scale the boards during a Rangers pp to smother Anderson with love.

  117. Is it me or does Foligno come across as a whining little crybaby every time he gets a penalty? Reminds me of Cindy a little bit…

  118. He is. Sens fans have mixed feelings on him because he had loads of talent, then he takes a dumb slew foot penalty for no reason. He’s kind of like how we felt about Zherdev, just slightly less talented and much more of a whiner.

  119. Onecupin72yearsandcounting on

    Neil out muscled Richards on the tying goal ..
    I think what bothers long time fans is that the rangers seem predictable in these games..you know the other shoe is about to drop.

  120. Wow, the doom and gloom has returned!

    Sorry, not or me. I think Ottawa has been lucky and I think last game was dictated by the poor officiating which led to a game made up entirely of special teams.

    The Rangers have had a tough time with the Sens all season, but they’re not playing a seven game series anymore, it’s now a three game series.

    They need to engage the Sens and stop being so passive. I think they have taken this “don’t respond or get distracted” nonsense too far. Sometimes, especially in your own building, one needs to respond.

    If they continue to play the same style and do not make adjustments at home, then they deserve to lose.

  121. I don’t think Gabby is the problem. They key on him and he gets chances. It’s the 2nd line that needs to produce.

    By the way they are hitting Gabby hard at every opportunity– the way we should be hitting Karlsson but have not been doing since the Carkner beat down. Karlsson feels way too comfortable out there Gabby does not. Game within the game, they’re beating us at it.

  122. Franklin Kistner on

    We fly tomorrow night to NYC. Still no tickets. $160 cheapest I can find. Poor old man and woman. Any Help?

    Let’s Go RANGERS!!!!

  123. Vogs, completely agree, and posted on it earlier. Torts has them playing like they’re above engaging in the kind of street fight that Ottawa has made this series. Neil, Konopka, and frankly all their forwards feel way too comfortable in Hank’s space. Karlsson too comfortable overall. Rangers key players Hank and Gabby are facing constant physical pressure. What was the point of all that brawling against the Devils and Boston and others this year? Game 5 needs to be different, need to se some assertive action, take the thought out of the Sens’ heads that they have the Rangers backed off.

  124. I hate making excuses, but the Sens got away with a double minor *right* before that game tying goal. That pisses me off more than the game winner.

    I’m still confident NYR will get the job done, as long as they don’t go to OT!

  125. Cryin' in the Wild on

    This is straight to Carp’s thoughts, without reading
    responses yet. Sorry if repeating anybody else’s stuff:-).

    1. If the Rangers find a new energy source (the extra day?)
    and win the next two, don’t think anyone who chose Rangers
    in five should worry about blowback!

    2. Well said.

    3. As my cousin said early this AM, Sens MIGHT be getting
    edge from just from being tied in series most commenters seemed
    to think would be formful win for Rangers.
    No coincidence Rangers best was at start of first game. Think
    the Laws of Energy Dispersal have caught them. Can’t prove it,
    don’t have tapes, but they look much better at START of most periods
    than at end, as opposed to Dec/Jan, when they were a bunch of little
    energizer bunnies start to finish, even in back-to-backs, while the opposition
    was draggin’. Lately, they be the dragsters. They’ve gotta find a glycogen spring.
    Isaac Newton and his damned laws suggest it will be a tough search.
    4. Mac (his game stayed high-level steady while the team’s
    deteriorated in late Feb/March, best D-man by far that stretch) has gone back
    to an in-and-out, up-and-down effort, Three dangerous non-clears in game 3,
    one right after Rangers took lead, two as game frantic near end. He’s runnin’
    on fumes, the guess here. He had chance to do what Kid Karlsson did to Feds
    on a 2-on-1 the other night, and didn’t (with John Mitchell lagging on his charge).
    Carkner as key one more reason I never predict series, or even game outcomes,
    except in most general terms. Gambler’s nightmare!
    5. Excellent stuff, especially about energy drain. Sens have more jump, as predicted
    by dozens in wintertime, when Rangers were only team playin’ with playoff intensity
    most games. The edge in jump for the bad guys was one of the few certainties.
    6 and 7. No doubt.
    8. Agreed. Think it’s part of the so-far failed “Artie Project.” But many thought
    Torts was failin’ with BB, until the amazin’ last few weeks.
    9. Talk about odd. I’m hard on head hits no matter who gives them. But Spezza
    seems (haven’t seen a replay) to sorta pile-drive a little, his head in Marc’s sternum.
    Hard to see how the Ranger coulda done anything else to disentangle.
    And the General State of Doubt created by Shananigans is flat-out dangerous.
    10. Some predicted he would be essentially a non-factor. So far, they get points.
    Maybe he’ll get more comfortable on home ice?
    11. They sure did; and I think they will notice that, in doing so, they won.
    12. Yup.
    13. Yes and no. Three games, four? Maybe valid. Seven? Supposedly world-
    class? Not so much. Think this is hard for Ranger fans ’cause Hank has simply not been
    a great playoff goalie (not to deny he has, even this year, had great games). Body of
    work is good to very-good – but not playoff great. If it were, he woulda stolen at least
    one, maybe two or three. (He was NOT AT ALL responsible for last night’s loss, say the
    Coots. Great shot by the young marksman – the kind of player Glen’s guys can’t/won’t

  126. Torts preaching momentum again, and I agree..
    . Anyone else think a Time Out would have been a good thing about half way through the 2nd??
    You could tell they needed to catch their breath, physically and mentally.

  127. Yes Wicky it is a mistake to ignore the phsyches of these guys when it comes to the physical aspect. Does it mean you win? Of course not. But if you don’t start showing something it’s a factor.

  128. czechthemout!!!! on

    Hey , just wanted to post about how big a game it is on Saturday. I don’t recall where I read it but I believe that in six or seven game series, the team that wins game five goes on to win the series 80%+ of the time. If someone has a chance to verify those numbers, I would appreciate it.

  129. Just a thought, but if they are going to play Kreider sub 5 minutes a game, should they dress Scott instead and play a little more physical?

    I do think Ottawa is a little too comfortable out there.

  130. Matt… Game was called so tight, Scott would ve gotten a gamer in his first shift and watched in the locker room

  131. Cryin' in the Wild about Madeline Kahn on

    Got to the rest of the posts. Some nice back-n-forth.

    To condense: about two dozen complaints about quality of play, implying bad coaching, bad thinking, bad ethics, bad catechisms, bad muscling, bad dancing, bad breath.
    Basic answer: Madeline Kahn, in Blazing Saddles. Caught in a confluence of tough demands, she describes them, “Coming and going, and going and coming…” – this and that and that and this:
    it’s too much for little me, so, “I’m Tired!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Tired, tired, tired. Rangers are tired, as predicted; Rangers have limited talent, especially up front, but not nearly as great as advertised in back; coach has nothing but Hobsons’ choices unless, some miraculous how (a private, overnight
    jet to Lourdes?), they get Un-Tired. Capisce???? Maybe the extra day gives them just enough extra juice to get by a short while. No bets…

    Johnny D: you’re fundamentally right about pressing talented guys too much. Manny and Doodie are fundamentally right about the comfort zones given not only Ottawa, but just about everyone all season. But, their rectitude is compromised by the lack of Rangers talent. Torts has made a lotta less-than-optimal choices, forced to do so by the limits of the roster. He’s not allowed teams to set up camp and take an iced-tea break at the point because that’s a brilliant strategy. He’s done it ’cause he doesn’t have the guys to do anything better. And that poor choice has often worked better than any poor choice should.
    BUT: if, in present circumstances, I’m forced to change that, by virtue of size of Ottawa shot dominance (anyone payin’ attention to the absolutely “irrelevant” regular season woulda seen an advantage; just, as you say, not one so scary big:-) it’s Doodie (who has done another unwarranted hatchet job on a player or coach,
    this time Stralman – added to vicious hit on Isles coach, silly hit on David Krejci a while back –
    Dood is one mean Dood, like Raffi Torres mean) with an excellent take at 12;31, embracing Manny’s good stuff –
    you’re facin’ a 50 calibre gun; it’s tearin’ up your terrain; you got two awful choices: first is to stay in the rapidly disappearing cover – 50-cal is a de-vegetator – and so far (Rangers are #1 seed after all) that has worked. Chances it will continue to work before bad guy’s ammo runs out? The platoon mathematician says about 1 in 20. Second awful choice is get your spine straight, toss off your offal pants, join your brothers, and charge the gunner. Odds: the guess is 1 in 10 one of us survives long enough to get him. Die like cornered rats with an extra minute or two of this grand and scintillatin’ life? Die like wild-men screamin’ like banshees? Choice is clear, even without the great statistical comfort that chargin’ is only half the failure guarantee that stayin’ is.
    JonnyD has my vote on all the technicals so well expressed.
    Manny and Mean Dood have my vote on the real life need to assert whatever limited odds a changed strategy affords you (I am surprised Kid Karlsson does not have his phone with him, and sometimes makes calls to his honey in Sweden while enjoying his time in the 20-foot diameter
    Absolute Circle of Protection, where a Torts without any good choices fears to let his Rangers go.)

    The FUNDAMENTAL fact of this series so far: Rangers are too often jumpless. No surprise.

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