Rangers-Capitals Game 1 in review

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Thoughts:

1) I don’t know why I always feel this way, maybe because I’ve seen so many series go this way, but I still expect it to be 1-1 after two games.

2) Game 1 probably didn’t seem as close as it really was, but it was. The Capitals didn’t get a lot of chances, but we saw what they can do with their chances on the goal they got, and the pipes they hit, and some of the saves Henrik Lundqvist had to make. It was yet another game — what is that, seven in a row for the Rangers? — that could have gone either way. I think the Rangers were the better team, but not by a landslide, and the Capitals sure didn’t give them much, either.

3) Chris Kreider. You hate to make a judgement after so few minutes in so few games, but man does this kid look like the deal. And you know that when John Tortorella talks about how he’s earned his ice time, as every player on his team must, it sure makes you believe the coach thinks he’s the deal, too. Has shown some physical play, some lights-out speed, some touch in close, some savvy along the wall, some defensive responsibility, some ability to pass, some nose for pucks near the net, some good hockey instincts and now two different shots — wrister and slapper. Both for GWGs in the last three games. Wow. Didn’t look too bad with the hat, either. Does anybody still think Glen Sather should have included him (and other top young players and a No. 1 pick) in the offer for Rick Nash? (ps, another pretty cool pass from Derek Stepan on this GWG.)

4) It was pretty clever of the crowd doing the 8:08 countdown and Ovechkin chant like the Alfredsson chant. Also thought this crowd, even though it was quiet at times, really understood what was going on. I mean, they cheered broken-up passes, good forechecks, clears, penalty kills … a lot of subtle stuff. Like the old days.

5) Sometimes when I see him carry the puck, pass it, shoot it, I think that Marc Staal would be a really good forward. And, seriously, I don’t mean he’s not good on D. I just think his puck skills are underrated. And that maybe Tortorella’s right. Maybe he will add more offense to his game. He’s been good in a bunch of games in a row now.

6) Which brings us to the No. 1 pair, of which Staal was a member pre-concussion. Yes, Dan Girardi got trapped late in the period for the 1-1 goal with 3.5 seconds left, and that shouldn’t happen. I’m not sure what else occurred on that play. Nevertheless, Girardi was a beast again, and Ryan McMonster was amazing. How about the play where he pick-pocketed Alexander Ovechkin and drew the penalty. Not much better than that. Made some really good plays in the offensive zone, too.

7) Dale Hunter’s team plays more boring hockey than the Rangers, for those who think the Rangers are boring (if you’re bored by winning). A lot different than the Capitals teams we’ve seen in playoffs past. That said, I’m not sure the Capitals can outplay the Rangers at the Rangers’ game for seven games. I just don’t know if they get the same buy-in up and down the lineup. And I think that tilts even more toward the Rangers if Brian Boyle and/or Brandon Dubinsky get back into the lineup

8) Speaking of Hunter, did Brooks Laich’s late cheapshot from behind on Brad Richards after Richards scored the clinching goal remind you just a little bit of Hunter’s all-time cheapshot on Pierre Turgeon?

9) Richards was really strong again. Gotta say, the guy is clutch (almost hate to use that word for obvious reasons).

10) Speaking of reminding, and I know we discussed this yesterday, how about Artem Anisimov scoring that wraparound, which was nearly identical to the Stephane Matteau goal, moments after they showed Matteau, flashing his ring, on the big board? And don’t forget, Anisimov was in that spot only because Boyle and Dubinsky were out. Just as Ruslan Fedotenko might have been on that 5-on-3 kill because Boyle and Dubinsky were out.

11) The Rangers, to me, are so good 4-on-4 and so bad sometimes 5-on-4. Maybe they should just leave a player in the defensive zone to retrieve it when the penalty killers clear it and play 4-on-4 in the offensive zone. OK, that’s silly. But I still don’t get how they plan to have four guys above the circles sometimes on the power play. Or even three. The really good PPs in the NHL don’t do that.

12) I’m sure Capitals fans are ready to go into panic mode on Braden Holtby, who gave up some questionable goals while making 11 saves. He wasn’t terrible, and he could easily be very good in Game 2 and beyond. But now that Michael Neuvirth is healthy enough to be the backup, the controversy would be natural. And if Holtby does get knocked out, I’m not sure that benefits the Rangers, who went from Jose Theodore to Semyon Varlamov in ’09 and lost, then to Neuvirth in ’11 and lost.

13) Ryan Callahan, still playing with a bad hand/finger (probably a break) looked like he was playing Bugs Bunny hockey in the first period. Like there were three or four Callahans out there at a time.

14) Even with Laich, one of the really good faceoff men in the league on one side, and no Boyle or Dubinsky on the other, the Rangers were 26-24 on draws. Go figure.

****************************************
My Three Rangers Stars:
1) Chris Kreider.
2) Ruslan Fedotenko.
3) Ryan McDonagh.
****************************************
Sioux-per-man’s Three Rangers Stars:
1) Chris Kreider.
2) Brad Richards.
3) Artem Anisimov.
****************************************

AP photos, above.

Here is my story from The Journal News and LoHud.com today.

Here is the sidebar on McDonagh and Girardi, by Josh Thomson, 26.

And here is Josh’s notebook

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133 Comments

  1. "Fragile" Frankie Merman on

    Silver.

    Love how these recaps are posted right after I wake up in the morning.

    Chris Kreider > Manny Malhotra, Pavel Brendl, Jamie Lundmark, Lauri Korpikoski, Hugh Jessiman… even after a handful of games.

  2. Tweezers!

    Actually happy to wake up early just to read this.

    Now back to sleep for a little while.

  3. A couple of days ago, I posted that with Kreider in the lineup now, our top 6 forwards are set for a few years now,

    Someone jumped on me for anointing Kreider into the top 6 so fast.

    I’m now trying to figure out what took me so long. (using the Shaq joke finger)

  4. True fans bleed rw&b on

    I was a huge proponent of making the trade of kreider for Nash and I will happily admit that I was most likely wrong.

    Wow, this kid looks good. I can’t remember another kid this impressive out of the gate, especially in the playoffs.

  5. True fans bleed rw&b on

    I realize that’s not true…

    Carp,
    Do you think this is akin to Tyler Seguin last year? I think Seguin had played some regular season and then was scratched or demoted. When he came back during the playoffs he was something else concerning the speed, smooth play on the puck, and finish.

  6. I love the smell of a CARP review in the morning!

    Don’t think the Rangers had their A game, and they still found a way to win.

    “Found a way to win”…. Trying to think how many times I have seen CARP write that since I started coming to the blog this year?

    This Rangers organization has done a FANTASTIC job drafting, scouting, developing.( Post-lockout)

    Having paid for season tickets during the dark years between 97 and the lock-out… THIS IS THE TYPE OF TEAM AND ORGANIZATION I DREAMED ABOUT THE RANGERS BEING!

  7. True that Seguin broke out in the playoffs last year, but he basically played the whole regular season with the Bruins before that, if with limited minutes.

    Kreider does have a few years on Seguin though, even if less pro experience.

  8. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    bull dog line April 29th, 2012 at 6:43 am
    does anybody still think Glen Sather signed Kreider just to practice?
    ………

    Why would they need Woywitka AND Kreider? :)

  9. The interesting thing to me is that Kreider is much more dangerous on the Rangers than he was for BC. I watched enough of his BC games to see that he didn’t have the impact shift-to-shift that he is developing now. Sometimes he would just kind of watch the game in BC. Now he is becoming a person who is forcing things to happen.

    I always thought this kid was going to be good, but judging by what I saw in BC, I thought it would take a season or two for him to really develop. It seems like the intensity of the playoffs seems to have brought out Kreider’s best. Maybe the college game wasn’t as challenging and he didn’t always have his foot on the gas. Maybe he didn’t have the talent around him to engage his creativity. Who knows?

    This version of Kreider is showing up much earlier than I expected. Kreider, Hagelin, McDonough, Stepan: That is a crazy group of first and second year players. They are already vital to the success of this team. Maybe we should petition for a Gordie Clarke holiday.

  10. I thought it was a close game also …two of those that hit pipes hit twine instead we might be feeling bad today.
    Both teams will probably be better next game meaning more shots on goal.. advantage Rangers.
    How many of the readers here that were supporting the fire Sather rallies and chanted it at games
    Feel differently about him ?

  11. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Wow, you’re right LDub. I didn’t realize he played THAT much reg season time. Here’s his line:
    2010-11: GP 74, G 11, A 11, Pts 22, -4

    Ok, different story line… this, perhaps, being an even better one (cross your fingers).

    Have a good day, boneheads.

  12. There is NO WAY that Sather offered the rumored package for NASH. Sather is the same guy who got Jagr for Anson Carter AND got Washington to pay $4 mill of his contract per year!!! If you looked at Howson’s face at the interview after the deadline, you could clearly see the frustration. THE

  13. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    Good review, but I am not feeling the series going to 1-1…I am feeling the Rangers not losing to the Caps at home.
    Staal is just now in “mid-season” condition and level of play. Now we have 3 Great defensemen that we would want to play 25-29 minutes per game
    I do not know if the stats back this up…but from the time Zucs came back and ignited what was the leagues worst PP, even with him getting hurt, the PP has looked so much improved
    I think Gabby is doing a lot of good other things while he is mired in this goal scoring slump (physical body checks, defensive plays)
    Every game , every dressed player is playing well or great. No one seems to have a game to be called out on…..

  14. …THERE IS NO WAY THAT HOWSON WOULD HAVE REFUSED THE NYR OFFER…if it were true. Sather’s offer was nowhere close. Nash forced the CBJ hand to the NYR. I bet Sather’s offer was AA/Dubi and picks/middling prospects. Either way, Howson was getting fired so he had to keep Nash. Until June when he or new GM has to trade him for peanuts a la Thornton, Jagr, Gretzky, et al.

  15. I was thinking last night that if Holtby loses the next one, the Craps would opt for whoever else is healthy, which made me recall how this has not worked for us in the past. But this is a different team and this is a different year.

    I love how Stepan has stepped up after struggling. Someone called the Cally-Step-Kreider line the Roaring 20’s yesterday…I like it.

    When the Craps tied it with what could have been a deflating goal, I still knew that we were going to win. Despite the low number of shots, it looked to me like the Rangers are just a better team. Torts talks about this team being tight and playing for each other, and that is what we are seeing in the way they “find ways to win it.”

  16. A couple of points:
    1. Mike Rupp – like the guy, I really do, but if he’s going to get 4-5 minutes a night and take a dumb penalty (or put himself in position to get a bad call), then he needs to sit. You can’t play 4 minutes a night and put your team down a man. He definitely is not the same player he was for the Pens / Devils. Perhaps he had better linemates with them?

    2. Gaborik – I do think he is hustling out there. He needs to start trusting his stuff and shooting the puck. He’s aggressively forechecking and I’ve seen him hustle on the backcheck. He’s just not pulling the trigger on shots. Once he starts doing that, we’ll all breathe a little easier.

    3. Get to the net! – Several times in yesterdays game, we cycled very well in the offensive zone. So well, in fact, that we wound up with the puck all alone in the corner. With all that cycling, someone has to go to the net for either a pass/shot or stuff in attempt of a rebound. We had quite a bit of time in their end of the rink, below the hashmarks, with nothing to show for it but killing clock.

  17. Gabby was awesome during the regular season which does actually count, and he did have an assist yesterday, and you have no idea how much ice his mere presence opens up for everyone else through the coverage he draws.

  18. And the dream season plows ahead. Boy, do I enjoy McDonagh play defense! to think this is only his first full season.

  19. I was on a mountain in a wilderness area of the Catskills yesterday afternoon (wouldn’t have checked in on my cell, even if I could get reception, which I probably could not) so didn’t hear about this until I turuned on the car radio at the end of the day and didn’t see any of the action until I browsed to NHL.com….wow! What’s amazing, is that the Rangers have been able to come up with an effective young substitute every time one of their regulars is felled by an injury or questionable hit. This has been happening all year long. This is a testament to the coaching and staff’s role in the Rangers’ successs. Nice writeup, Carp, but I think they win in MSG on Monday. The Rangers are playing like they WANT that Stanley Cup this year, and they are showing that when the series are on the line.

  20. I can’t understand the displeasure with Gaborik, I know we need him to score, but, he’s flying around the rink, he’s defensively responsible and he is getting opportunities. Hagelin is fun to watch and all but I am not sure he is THE top 3/6 forward that should be with Richards & Gabby. But u can’t argue against success or the coaching.

  21. Thanks for another great article Carp. Rangers Report is always my first read of the morning.
    I thought Feds was very deserving of one of the 3 stars of the game. He has stepped up his game from the regular season.
    In regards to Rupp, I believe he got 10-11 minutes per game on Cindy’s, much more than he gets from Tortarella.

  22. Gravy, Swedish Meatballs with Noodles and on

    I could see it being 1-1 after 2 as well. The Caps had some positives to build on. The Rangers made very few mistakes and played a very good game, but they didn’t dominate.

    However, the Caps came nowhere close to matching the Rangers physically. The same was true about Ottawa in game 1. The only thing that happened was the crosscheck on Richards. Otherwise, they looked very timid.

  23. LOL @ Callahan playing Bugs Bunny hockey!! Ohh that image is gonna stay with me a while….:-P

  24. Morning all,

    Carp – thanks for the review. Tremendous as always.

    Two of the most remarkable things about the Rangers are their resiliency and adaptability.

    Both were on display yesterday.

    Less than 48 hours after defeating an extremely tough Senators team in a grueling game 7 – their second elimination game of the play-ons thus far, the Rangers won game 1 against a Caps team that plays a drastically more conservative style than Ottawa.

    Credit to the coaching staff and players for their preparation and their focus. These have been trademarks of this team all season long.

  25. Leetchhalloffame on

    What’s with Boyle & Dubi? A little concussion – a leg injury? This is the playoffs! Suck it up and get out there.

  26. Stranger Nation on

    Hags is not the right forward for Gabby and B Rich…hmmm… Do I take the bait or just be positive after an impressive Game 1 victory?

    While I have not done the crosi analysis, my spidey sense tells me Hags has increased their 5v5 productivity at a significant rate.

    Loved Hags, Kreider, and Step as PP unit – great passing – put Stralman and McD on that unit and the puck will look like a pinball with their crisp tape to tape passing.

    Please no more Dan G on PP, that is a prevent PP, more Staal and even Bickel over Dan G.

    Does MDZ realize the purpose of the SOG for PP is scoring a goal, getting a rebound or getting a tip-in? Shots wide (and high) of goal pretty much eliminate those three alternatives.

  27. #8: *YES*

    I was really surprised because Brooks Laich is a guy that I like (pardon the annoying pun).

  28. I think the big differences, and why the rangers wil prevail,

    1) The caps don’t cheat like the sens in the face-off circle, thereby the rangers will win 50% of draws instead of below 30%. They’ll have the puck and thereby score more goals.

    2) Defense of the caps is no where near the Sens.

  29. I completely agree Matt L about noone in front of the net. Cycle all you want behind the net but it doesn’t allow scoring until you get it in front. Get in the slot. Or at least in front of the goalie to shoot. And for gods sake, shoot on the PP. Pass, pass, pass, pass, etc. Get a shot on net with guys in front. Might Get a deflection, goal, rebound, etc. But get it on net, or play ala Sen’s boards and shoot wide so it bounces off the boards in front of the goalie. But please stop passing looking for the perfect opportunity.

  30. I can’t believe the shot statistics from the game. Man the Caps are a different team when they block shots…

  31. Carpy, awesome review, and DEAD on.

    The Ovie chant rates up there as one of the most ingenious, innovative chants I have heard in 26 years of seasons!! Bless Ranger fans!! We are THE BEST!! (It caught me by surprise in the first period, I’ll tell ya!!!)

    Also, the intensity and hockey sense of the crowd WAS better than game 7 on Thursday night! I agree!!! We had 19k ref’s, linesmen, fans. The too many men on the Craps was a fan call. The linesmen went for it.

    The crowd noise and “LGR” chants were more confident than on Thursday night. Louder, too.

    You are so right when you say “It was like the old days”. I get it and I am 1000% in agreement. Great point!!!!

  32. Ha

    Once again, you guys are blinded by the score.

    This game was total domination by the Caps.

    It’s clear to me that the Rangers are going to sink in 5.

  33. HageLinDerMcCalPruBoylahan WE ALL LOVE TONY!!!! on

    HAPPY VICTORIOUS MORNING BETWEEN GAME DAYS ‘HEADS!!!!!

    soooo glorious when they win, it really is!

    Thanks for the happy recap Carp!! Always a great way to start the day.

    I was thinking Ricochet Rabbit for Cally, but Bugs is good too!

    WWDD??

  34. And The Kreider has a few lucky games and you guys think he’s the second coming.

    Beginner’s luck.

  35. I feel a 2-0 nyr series lead coming on but it was a tight game. Gabby can be streaky but once he puts one in the net, he’ll be fine

  36. cw, I didn’t say that was the offer … but that’s what Howson wanted. And still some people here thought Sather should have given up whatever necessary to get Nash, especially when they had some trouble scoring in the middle of the Ottawa series. I agree with you, Nash would be here for that package.

    Good morning, Sally!

  37. I thought Gaborik was more involved in Game 1 than in Games 6 and 7, and he had a couple of really good chances. Look, he’s never going to look like a great player when he’s not scoring. That’s just the nature of the type of player he is. If he plays that exact same game and scores twice, he’s the No.1 star.

  38. Carp, your stars are right on. Feds as number 2 may have slipped under the radar. Excellent game, see why torts trust him. BTW nobody better than Torts.

  39. Joekuh - 12 more..GBT! on

    i already called this to go 7, and the Caps hit iron a couple times. Semin’s wrist shot is scary when he gets time to pick a corner…

    i can see us going to dc tied 1-1. the caps may not all buy in to d first hockey, but those who arent will sit when they have a lead.

  40. On Kreider, it is really early to be judging him. BUT, there are subtle hints to his game as you mentioned. I am not convinced this is a 50 goal scorer. I am not too sure a better goalie could have had any of our 3 goals including his slapper. Who knows what happens when the league gets used to him and develops a book on him?

    That being said, OMG!!! His hockey sense, his speed to the puck, wrist shot, slapper, getting to spots, to defensive areas, knowledge of positioning, lifting up oppositions stick quickly so he can get the puck, combined with the fact that Torts, by playing time IS convinced!!!. There were points yesterday he skated around his line mates to get the puck along the boards!!! OMG. There are, to me, just too many things he does, adding to that, his size, hands, …… I hate to say this…but I am really going for this guy hook, line, and sinker. Remembering other guys, like even Step (remember his first regular season game, a hat trick?), Sundstrom, etc., it’s the total hockey sense issue that has me stunned. I know it’s a mistake with any Ranger rookie, but I must admit I am already sold. I thin this is a serious, serious player.

    Add to this that he was just inserted to the line up. He has not had any training. He has not played a year with the team. He was thrown into a ridiculous spot when the team was in a fight for their life in the playoffs.

    I don’t buy too many jerseys. Hate to say it I just ordered a Kreider one. Hate to say it!

  41. People are saying Kovie may be playing hurt. Could Gabby be the same?

    He was more involved but shying away a bit. He had a couple spot on shots…but right into this kids bread basket. That’s not our Gabby.

  42. Believe it or not Gabby has been just fine in these playoffs, he will come up big and he puts the D on their heels every time he hits the ice. He’s flying just a matter of time

  43. Amen. Fedotenko was terrific last night. Mrs. Manny was very impressed with the Russians last night.

  44. The Feds proved his worth. He was phenomenal all game yesterday. A truly unsung hero.

    That one shift he had on the 5 on 3, then 5 on 4 is one for the text books for any kid trying to learn the game. It was one for the ages.

    Remarkable!!! And what was great was that these fans yesterday saw it and appreciated it and gave him a standing ovation!!!!

  45. I thought Gaborik continued to be pretty physical last night. That impressed me. He’s not putting the cookies in the jar but he’s really turning it up in other areas.

  46. I buy kreider as well for the little things. I think his danger is the big city….. Middleton, Murdock,Savard. But that is why torts is the right guy for this kid.

  47. Carpy, Callie, bad hand and all, clanged one, too. Yes, Washington had 3 of them. They were close. They are snipers. Semin is one of the sneakiest snipers ever with an amazing wrist shot.
    Too bad he can’t control the stupid penalties.

    Two games ago you talked of how what matters is who finishes, that these games are so close. Look who we have in our net. Even if the teams in front of the goalies play relatively similarly, you could go through a whole season. I’d rather have our guy than anyone else.

    No doubt, we ‘finished’ and they clanged, but did not. We won the game. It was close.

  48. Chris Kreider on

    Fo’ shnizzle, NYC biznitches are off the hizzook compared to the BC sorority girls I usually get after scoring game winners

  49. I thought the best crowd moment of the season was the standing ovation during the 5 on 3 kill. Not only was the noise overwhelming (so much that Doc “I don’t shut up” Emrick remained silent for ten-fifteen seconds), but the coordinated towel waving was the best I’ve seen from Rangers fans during the playoffs.

  50. If Nash could be had for Miller, this year’s first, Dubi and Erixon I say that’s pretty tempting. I’ve always been against including Kreider, but not because I thought he’d have this sort of impact this soon, but because from everything I’d read and seen (seen includes 2 WJCs), I thought the potential to do what he’s doing was there.

    What I ponder is the supposedly counter-offer (MDZ instead of Erixon). Still very tempting to add to the roster a player of Nash’s ability, IMO. Size and skill galore….

    The biggest concern if that deal is still possible over the summer is the hit the team’s depth takes, especially from a feeder system perspective.

  51. To point 9 about Richards, he had a better game. His delay in close and finding 5 hole was impressive. He was much better on face-offs.

    He still did some uncharacteristic things for such a veteran. One drive down ice he was 1 on 4. He gains the zone and did not put the puck deep. Does a 360 and loses the puck. Plays like that defy logic. Luckily, nothing negative transpired.

    Also, he seems to be the one on the PP to gain the zone. Some of his decisions there have been suspect.

    All in all, he did show a good deal leadership, just does some stupid things out there. Mess rarely did the stupid things. It is wonderful to see him between shifts talking to these very young players. I can only imagine how great he is in practice and in the locker room.

  52. Carp,
    Hockey News has same excact stars as you. Are they stealing from you or you from them. BTW great job on them and the wrap up

  53. It was Gaborik’s presence in front of the net that allowed Richards to score that goal. Gabs had a much better game yesterday.

    It seems this team might have just kicked in another gear. They have now won three in a row and they look like they have much of their jump back in their game.

    The team knowing who they have in net must create a level of confidence that can’t be addressed enough.

  54. Matt: Kreider was selected in a draft overseen by Clark. I believe he started directing the draft the year Cherepanov was taken (2007), but perhaps not, although it was in late May that Maloney landed the Phoenix GM role.

    Not sure of the transition from Maloney to Clark – it may not have occurred in time for that draft, but I believe for sure he oversaw the 08 draft, when MDZ was selected (and Stepan in the 2nd round).

  55. Amazed and excited by what we’re seeing from Kreider.

    As a member of the get-Nash crew my point always was- and still is- we will never know what the final deal could have been because Sather’s offer was a lowball. So Howser had no choice but to stay at his ridiculous demand in order not to undercut the value of his primary asset.

    Had Sather’s offer been more serious rather than arrogantly assuming Howser would cave, Howser may well have settled on a Kreider-less deal. We’ll never know.

    I believe ultimately Howser would have pulled the trigger if Sather would have included MDZ along with Dubi, Erixon, a non-Kreider prospect, and a no 1. Much as I like MDZ’s overall game in these playoffs, we would have been better off doing that deal.

    The truth is no one knows what ultimately could have gotten done, I suspect not even Sather because he never allowed it to get there.

    Doesn’t matter I’m beyond thrilled and delighted with what we have in these guys and yes I do give Ranger mgmt credit in giving the team as is a chance to see what it can do.

  56. LaTONYa, how true! The MSG crowds are learning what to do. Sadly, there are a lot of corporate seats now what with the prices so damn high. The true fans that would know what to do have been moved up or out. It is beyond unfortunate.

    Sadly, with about 5 minutes to go, there were empty seats popping up in the real expensive seats behind the benches. That’s where the celebs sit, CEO’s. Sorry, if you sell out to these folks, it does make a lot of money for the Dolan’s, but they are NOT the heart and soul fans.

    Give them a rally towel they need to be told what to do. It is ‘uncouth’ for them to chant, “Let’s Go Rangers”. It’s a different breed down there.

  57. yesterday afternoon was probably the single best game I’ve been at all season, and because of Kreider’s performance, the most wholly exciting game in a very long time. I completely lost my voice from screaming at Kreider and then Richards shortly after.

    for the most part, the crowd was great. too many Rangers fan still think everything that happens to a Ranger is a penalty and that nothing a Ranger does (like when Rupp ran over Holtby) is actually a penalty. but the response to Kreider was fantastic, and spoke to a level of excitement in a young player that I haven’t heard at the Garden since I don’t know one.

  58. Manny,

    In his interviews, he seems pretty reticent. I don’t know how he fits in but I would find it hard to believe he disrupts anything at all.

  59. Agreed, Matteau. Kreider changes everything. I think you need to see another year or two from MDZ, too. He is also a kid and if he can put on some muscle in the off season, he can be quite different. He has improved exponentially this year. What if he continues his meteoric rise?

  60. I don’t put a lot of stock in the posts Caps hit because the way the game was going it felt the Rangers had another gear they could have gone to, they just seemed in control. So if Caps scored, Rangers would have scored again.

  61. Reticent? Sounds like a dressing room cancer. I would go right ahead and trade Kreider while we still can.

  62. Amen, Lloyd. This feels very, very different. It has the feeling of an organization really going in a great direction. Even in ’92-’93-’94, when Kovalev and Leetchie arrived, there wasn’t this much young talent. The core here is talented and SO young. I don’t remember seeing this. ever.

  63. What happened on the play that made it 1-1 at the end of the second was they missed the net from the point 3 straight times. We all know what happened to us this year when they’ve missed the net and chances went the other way.

  64. Matty MDZ may well get better, in fact I’m sure he will. If so good for him and good for CBJ. We would still have had Nash which I think would have improved the team chances in this run. We may still win anyway but it’s all about maximizing the odds. As for the future, we could have filled MDZ’s spot with Suter or Wideman in the Summer.

  65. They wil work on that, Calad. Ottowa couldn’t score lightning fast like Washington can. They’ll adjust. This is the semi’s. They are a really talented team.

    That being said about the opportunity, Henrik might tell you it was 5 hole and he would like to have another crack at that. Might have been a bit soft, if you can call anything he does soft.

    But, if he stopped it, it’s just another rush, know what I mean?

    What IS important is how they came out in the third and didn’t let it bother them!!

  66. On a serious note: I consider Del Zaster an untouchable. The kid has an infinitely high ceiling. Unless we bring in a Suter, Weber or Non-Nashville Defensive type, I think Del Zaster HAS to remain on the team. Isn’t he still 13?

  67. Blogmama Go Tony!!!! on

    Good morning all! Love the bugs reference, but I like Tasmanian Devil better :)

    Carp, hope you are proved very wrong on point 1.

  68. I get your point, Matteau. I think the cap hit issue is real for us. MDZ costs so little. Any of these guys brings in another $5-6M salary, which, aside from Callie and Dubi in the $4M range, you have 3 top end guys now. Add another one, that’s 4. I would expect that’s as much the concern as anything else.

    In the meantime, watching your young players blossom is not the worst thing to do.

    But, I do get it.

  69. MDZ is def likely to improve, but infinitely high ceiling? Will be interesting to see what mgmt thinks when he becomes a restricted free agrent this summer.

  70. the thing is, if the Capitals keep playing this system they’ve been playing, I think they’re tailor made for the Rangers. what we saw from Washington yesterday is the kind of game the Rangers lick their chops over. I’m not sure how much will change tomorrow apart from some bold talk about how much more physical Washington plans to be, but I do think if they go down 2-0, there will be a decision to let Washington’s skill players do what they did the last few years when they ate the Rangers alive in the playoffs.

  71. The RFA point is a really good one. Del Zaster could command a high price tag. This is one reason I am not that into the idea of maxing out our roster with regards to cap space (ahem, Mr. Nash). We have a lot of guys that are going to require some serious ca$h money to keep them around.

    Just to name a few, McBust, Del Zaster, Girardi, Stepan, Kreider, Hagelin, etc…

  72. Lloyd, did the whole Ottowa series, game by game, seem so much harder than yesterday? To me, finishing aside, the toughness of Ottowa made all the difference. And they do match up well.

    Washington, if they have the guns, should do what Ottowa did. They need to be chippy, mean, and fight. If they let us play our game and don’t try to get us off our game, they are making a big mistake.

  73. mattyboy! ssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    ^you don’t know who could be reading this blog. Maybe Dale Hunter is here looking for better strategy!^

  74. matty:

    I totally agree with that. I don’t feel Washington played especially tough yesterday and instead tried to out-Ranger the Rangers. I don’t see how that works at all in a 7-game series. At one point late in the third, there were 30 total shots in the game. I’m sure the Rangers are absolutely fine witht that. And yeah, having Washington hit a lot more will help. But when you’ve got Ovechkin, Green, Semin and Backstrom, you have to wonder if making those guys play like Jay Pandolfo is the best the way to beat this Ranger team.

  75. Mattyboy – was it you who said the other day that the salary cap was the greatest thing to ever happen to the Rangers? My wife, Mrs. Manny, said that during the game last night as well. She agrees.

  76. I agree with Carp and all of youse about Gabby, that he’s flying around and playing hard-but bottom line if you’re a legit sniper you gotta score and it’s as simple as that -I can remember hockey games since the early 80s and there is one consistent the rangers always lack and that is a true stud goal scorer-

  77. It doesn’t matter what NBC thinks when putting together the playoff schedule. Noon,12:30,1:00,3:00,7:30 or even 8:30 est. The best playoff sport to see live and the second best to watch on HDTV.Even better when the Rangers are in it and playing this well. You just keeping wanting more and more and more. But in this series more is less . Rangers take game two on Monday and give the Crappers there due ”payback”. Its a “bitch” and they know it.

  78. Hi all, I try to read this blog as much as I can but it has been hard with teaching and taking grad classes. I don’t even get to watch the entire games :(

    Three years later I still wonder how the heck we got rid of the Scott Gomez contract AND got back a player the caliber of McDonagh. Usually when you dump a contract like that you get nothing in return player wise. What an absolute steal by Sather…and the money they freed by trading Gomez they used to sign Gaborik. Thank you Bob Gainey!

    Keep up the good work Carp!

  79. Can we stop any mention of hitting the iron. They don’t count any more than a non reaction save that would have beaten Hank except it hit 2 inches inside the edge of his pads…on another note did i hear Emrick refer to the goal line as the icing line….or was that imagination? is this a nod to the national audience who usually doesnt watch hockey? Spare me the tutorial. Hey Manny the kids V8 boat won going away….

  80. After watching seven games of the Sens-Rangers series, game one of the Caps-Rangers series almost looked like a different sport. The Rangers had so much more time & space on the ice, at some points in the first period, they didn’t know what to do with it. The Rangers seemed to slow a bit in the 2nd period, down to the Caps speed, but it was never a contest as to which team was the dominant one, despite the shots.

    I think the Caps will turn up the speed some–and they will try & exploit odd man rushes by stretching the Rangers, hanging forwards in center ice whenever they can– but NY is a much deeper, more talented team & will be even more so with the returns of Boyle & hopefully Dubinsky.

    As the saying goes, if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. From where I sit, Ottawa has hardened the Rangers into a most formidable Playoff team.

  81. Jim – hate talking about next year but I brought this up the other day when the Nash and Parise conversation came up. Where do you play Nash on this team? Top 2 lines 62-19-10 and 20-21-24 look set for at least a few years. Why trade 3 or 4 players plus picks for a player that has no spot on the top 2 lines? Offensive/PP point D-man is the biggest need.

  82. Eddie eddie Eddie on

    With hindsight, for Nash, I would have traded KREIDER, mcd, MZA, dubi, Stepan, haglin, #1, and #2.

    If that wouldn’t do the trick, then Avery for Nash straight up.

  83. I mean, technically the goal line is part of the icing line, so I dunno how wrong Doc was there.

  84. Yea Doc is almost always correct. Most of the times a puck actuall is knifed, waffleboarded, burrowed or slapped back on out.

  85. A friend of mine from Boston was texting me during the game. He asked who #24 was. I told him. He texted me “he’s great”. Carp, played Maple Moore with K.O. Fusco this AM.

  86. JPG I agree 100% about Ottawa . . .I think having such a hard series to start the playoffs will help the team . . .I think it made them want it more, I think it unified them ,and the best bonus the whole team already got the experience of an elimination game (or two) out of the way. Now they have confidence going into elimination games that they can do it! . . .That being said I think this series goes six and I think the Rangers win it! I will be surprised if the Capitals don’t change things up next game like Ottawa did in game two! .

  87. EFF Rick Nash and EFF Parise. Let’s get Iginla. Something like that makes more sense for this team. I don’t want Richards and another person from now until infinity.

  88. Let’s just hope that his next broadcast doesn’t chizzle where it should chazzle, Manny.

  89. Yahooooo!! Since you guys are speaking of the Doc, did anyone notice when the Semin shot hit the crossbar (after Henrik saved it with his head) Doc had to repeat 3 times that the crowd was cheering the crossbar, bitterly trying to take away credit from Henrik.

  90. Two things:

    For the people ripping on Rupp, the guy is playing on a bum knee that still isn’t healthy.

    The 1-1 goal was because Staal and Girardi didn’t hit the net and the puck came wrapping around on the end of their shift. If they didn’t have the lane, they should’ve chopped it deep and changed. Can’t complain as that was one of the few mistakes made.

  91. Manny I’m actually with you on Iginla as first choice over the other two. Always thought he was the perfect fit on this team. But I expect price to be as high as Nash, especially because he only has one year left on the contract.

  92. YES! Matteau + Manny = Vibin’

    I like the Iginla Contract status. It’s short and he wants to win so badly. Couldn’t believe we didn’t try to get him this year.

  93. I think at the deadline, the Flames were only a few points out. They should do the right thing and trade him. I wouldn’t mind a guy like that, if the price is right. Not going to trade a lot for him! He’d be great for the young guys on this team. Great leader.

  94. Ryan Mcdonagh’s hockey skills are off the chart. I think that he has a major upside to his offensive game. He has shown flashes of it this year. He is a great skater, puck handler and passer.

    WHY HE IS NOT PLAYING THE POINT ON THE FIRST UNIT PP IS BEYOND ME???

  95. Manny I think we would have gone for him but at the deadline Calgary was close to a PO spot and decided to be buyers (Camilleri etc) rather than sellers.

    I think in today’s cap environment the Iginla contract is very valuable because it provides the buyer flexibility. So he won’t come cheap, no way.

  96. Matty, ha, just caught your other comment. I posted on that earlier, I found it pretty freaky that Artie scored that goal right after the big board appearance and Matteau flashing the ring.

  97. Rupp has to be careful on the penalties but in his limited time he, together with his linemates, do a decent job keeping pressure on the defense along the end boards. He doesn’t make bad plays for a big man in his role. He’s fine. But Lloyd thinks I’m an idiot for wanting the Flyers to have to play the Devils rather than Florida so what do I know.

  98. Gravy, Swedish Meatballs with Noodles and on

    Lloyd, are there any players on the Rangers that you consider above average and any players on other teams you consider below average?

  99. I ve been talking up Kreider for over two years now. The last time I saw a guy that I said WOW was Lundquvist. Before his first game was over I knew he was gonna be our goaltender for years. Same with Kreider. He will be a big star for us and everyone will know it before the playoffs are over.
    I was at the game yesterday,between periods they did a countdown of the 5 biggest goals in Rangers playoff history. Matteau’s rap around was #1,DUH. Anyway,the very first shift after the brake Anisimov scores on a rap around. That was weird almost the exact same play.

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