Benched or not, Rangers need more from Gaborik, others

162

Going to practice this morning. Will have audio and whatever news from there later.

***********************************************

Here’s my unedited column from The Journal News and LoHud.com today. Apologies for typos, etc.:

By Rick Carpiniello

On the day after, John Tortorella spoke. Not in mono-syllabic answers, either.
Here’s the gist: The Rangers weren’t very good in Wednesday night’s Game 2 of their playoff series with the Devils, a 3-2 loss in which they led 2-1 late in the second period and were tied 2-2 in the third.
And: Marian Gaborik might not have been benched.
Um, OK, that’s semantics. The coach doesn’t like the word “benched,” apparently, and prefers to say he’s “trying to find a way to win a hockey game, and we make decisions accordingly.”
Gaborik failed to clear a puck, then didn’t give himself up to block a shot, as his teammates always do, and the Devils scored a huge goal. The coach made the decision, accordingly, that Gaborik wouldn’t play the rest of the second period, or the first eight-plus minutes of the third, which included a power play with the Rangers down by a goal, or the last couple of minutes of the third with goalie Henrik Lundqvist pulled for an extra attacker.
That sounds, looks, smells, like a benching to me. Whatever.
Tortorella has said that you don’t send messages in the playoffs, but Gaborik obviously thought there was a message being sent, and that he was benched. Again, it doesn’t matter why, but might it not have been a good idea to have your best goal-scorer on the ice while trying to tie the game and maybe make it a 2-0 series instead of 1-1? Wouldn’t some harsh words between periods have sufficed?
Again, the coach knows better than I and we.
That all said, Gaborik didn’t do nearly enough in Game 2. He was robbed by Martin Brodeur on a couple of early chances, one on a break-in, one on a rebound, but he wasn’t sturdy enough near the net or along the walls — and, an aside, don’t be surprised if he has a big Game 3 Saturday afternoon in Newark.
Gaborik wasn’t alone, though. The Rangers, almost 1-through-18, weren’t good enough in the dirty areas. Part of that is that the Devils, as they did late in the season against the Rangers, and as a few other opponents did against the Rangers, took away the walls as an outlet for the Rangers’ bang-it-out style.
You know, there’s an opponent here that’s pretty good at that game, too.
“It’s a challenge against the Rangers,” said Devils captain Zach Parise, “because that’s what they’ve been know for this year — outworking their opponents and kind of owning pucks down low and along the boards. I think we have to do a really good job of doing that if we want to beat these guys this series.”
Then he added, “At the same time, when we’re playing well, that’s what we’re doing really well.”
Tortorella was asked if, a day later, after viewing film, he found any positives from Game 2.
“To be honest with you, not many,” he said. “I thought we played some minutes in the second period, found a way to score some power-play goals. But other than that, we didn’t play enough minutes.”
The Rangers’ won the Eastern Conference’s regular-season title, nearly won the Presidents’ Trophy, and gained the No. 1 seed in the East with their consistency.
Though the opponents certainly are due some credit, the Rangers’ consistency has waned. It has seemed the case during these playoffs that they play their best after poor performances — as they did during the season — but unlike the season, they have more luke-warm to poor outings after wins. When their opponent has been more desperate for a win, the Rangers haven’t, for the most part, matched that desire in a particular game.
They’ve lost two in a row just once in 16 playoff games, but they’ve followed wins with losses six times.
For that reason, in Game 3 we should probably expect that Gaborik and the Rangers’ forwards get back to what got them here. But one of these days, if the Rangers continue to tempt fate, a loss is going to turn into another, and they might run out of second chances.

*************************************************
AP photo, above.

About Author

162 Comments

  1. Nice carp. I think from march through now the level of opposition has been tougher and the stakes have been higher. Unlike the first 60 games where we saw teams consistently fail to meet the rangers compete level, that hasn’t been the case since the aforementioned benchmark. With that said the rangers are three wins away from the cup finals. Which I expect them to reach. They will come out flying on Saturday and will do whatever they have to do to win.

  2. In the airport about to go to ny to see my Mama!! Will be watching game saturday with Tony and Mama!

  3. onecupin72yearsandcounting on

    with the up and down play of the NYR, sooner or later they’ll lose the 2 or three in a row that will end it. They have to get hot and stop giving games away.

  4. Nice one Carp. Gotta agree completely that if they keep allowing all of these great opportunities to seize control to pass them by they will pay for it and that may end up being the truly hard lesson learned here. There are an awful lot of young players on this team, most of whom in the back of their minds are now thinking they will be in the position they are now year after year. I would beg those people to go talk to Mike Rupp or Brad Richards.

  5. Or brad Richards could put the team on his back score a miracle goal or something.

  6. Carp, you make good points. I do get the feeling that one of these times, as they get more tired and beat up, as the competition gets tougher, one of these times, you try but just can’t muster it. This is a competition of so many skill sets — size, speed, strength, style, strategy, exhaustion level, injury. At some point, there’s only two then one team standing.

    As the article seems to imply, tomorrow’s game shows us a lot. The Rangers have rebounded each time they have needed to, so far, in the playoffs. They can’t afford to lose two in NJ. They know that.
    Will they rebound tomorrow? Can they? They will show the world if they still have the strength, muster, drive, and ability to do so against a very good opponent that’s trying to shut them down.

    We know the Rangers want to turn this around. Can they?

  7. I was sitting right by the now ‘too much talked about’ Gaborik misplays on goal 2. Doing the bird is one thing, I could almost get that (and I believe he is hurting like so many other guys on this team at this point, as well) because he is an elite finesse player.

    The lack of taking the body on the keep in prior to that was inexcusable. I got to see it up close. His face. The anguish in the Devils D-man’s face. Someone came up the boards also. Gabby, sorry, Gabby just kind of went through the motions and used his stick and swatted at the puck. If he took the body, and he HAS at other points in the playoffs, that goal doesn’t happen. Period.

    I agree with Torts being pissed. It was an amateurish, gliding, europansy, disinterested, uncaring, selfish, non-team, non-Ranger-like play.

    At the time it seemed like just another play and a lost opportunity. Then a minute later when it became their second goal with the point man shooting through him to the side of the net, it gets worse.

    His loose play arguably cost the team that goal, which arguably gave the Debbies momentum into the 3rd, which they scored with, which won game 2 of 7. Had the Rangers turned it around there and won, had Gabby shown some leadership and took the body and played like his teammates play, had he toughened up, had he taken one for the team, had he done what is expected of all Ranger players, you could argue they might have won the game.

    Torts should be pissed. His teammates should be pissed, too. This long-time season ticket holder and fan is still pissed.

  8. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Gabby don’t get it. Game 98 and somehow he hadn’t gotten the memo yet.

    WBMason showed up For him with a stack of memo pads. Bring it Saturday and this all means nothing.

    LGR

  9. Good morning all!

    When they have lost, I just can’t wait for the next game with the hope that a win will wash away the bitter taste of defeat. But, considering everything, another day off of some rest is good for this team in the long run.

    I am interested to see how Gaborik responds. I think he is a very proud athlete and I think he has really matured in terms of his game. There were always knocks on his defense; yet he embraced the system this year and was defensively responsible. He will not sulk! I believe that he will come out on Saturday and have his best game.

    This game is key, not a must win of course, but I did think they were badly outplayed on Saturday and it will be important to send the Devils a message that this is NOT the Flyers that they are playing. This is not a team with a fragile psyche that will roll over and give up as the Flyers did. (in my humble opinion)

    I really hope that there are a TON of Rangers fans in the building on Saturday!

    SHIFT BY SHIFT….

    PERIOD BY PERIOD…

    GAME BY GAME…

    RANGERS IN 6!!!

  10. I’ll tell you, as I watched Kopitar last night and have these playoffs, now there’s a guy with high skill that plays back, too. I’d take him in a sec.

    I don’t mean to get too down on Gabby. He is what he is, but show some heart and drive. Play like the team wants you to.

    I forget who here said, we are playing on house money. This has been a year of over achieving. Now that we are this close, human nature is that you want more. This teem has surpassed every expectation of them and they are not fully built and are so lacking depth. This run has been long and hard. These guys deserve to be tire from the first 82 and the next 16, so far.

    What the hell took Sather this long to get it to this point, some 13 years later, I don’t get. But we are here, have pretty good talent, but just no depth. The Dev’s have ‘rebuilt’ in a year or two and have 7 defenseman they can rely on. We have 5. The Dev’s can roll 4. Our coach doesn’t have the confidence in but 3.

    Eventually that gets you. Eventually the fact that the coach has done such an amazing job with the above average crew he was given at the beginning of the season, gets you, eventually, they can’t perform miracles. Had we a better GM, we’d be like Lou’s team and deep.

    Eventually, like playing the trap was for a less-than-championship-level roster that won three championships was for the Devils, our shot blocking system elevates your thoughts of the quality of the team. Ultimately, this roster is above average, not championship level. The system and the coaching has gotten us this far.

    However, when you’re playing on house money, you have to watch all this with a little grin on your face.

    LETS GO RANGERS!!! YOU BOYS MAKE US PROUD!!!

  11. MattyBoy @ 7:37AM. Thanks for getting up early and hitting us with some nice analysis!

  12. While I do agree that we need more from Gaborik, I’m not sure why he became everyone’s new whipping boy. Just remember, he is still our most dangerous offensive weapon and requires the best defensive players to be deployed against him. And while his second year here was altered by injury, he did exactly what he was brought in to do- scored more goals than anyone else on the team. And played more games per season than he played before. We need more from everyone else, our secondary scoring has been very limited.

  13. I think the point is that, with the open ice in this series, Gaborik should be more productive. This isn’t the Senators series where a guy like Boyle has a chance to dominate on the scoresheet. Gaborik should be taking advantage of this open ice and maybe beating a few guys?

    I am sure the “benching” of Gaborik was just as much a message to the other guys as it was to Gaborik himself.

  14. It can all be summed up by what Torts was yelling at Gaborik during the Caps series, “MAKE A DIFFERENCE.”

    Gaborik needs to adjust and dominate in a series where the ice is as open as it is here.

  15. You really see an open ice in this series, Manny? Maybe I need glasses, but NJ forwards has given very little open ice to our attackers so far.

  16. Are we back to arguing again, ilb!?

    I think this series is more open than the Caps series or the Senators series. Especially in that the Devils are throwing all three forwards behind the net and that leaves a ton of open ice for breakaways, odd man rushes, and a situation where Gaborik actually beats somebody with either physicality or speed or skill.

  17. Lol, Manny, it took me some time to figure out that you haven’t had your morning coffee yet….

  18. Actually, ilb. Interesting you bring it up. I got my morning coffee and then headed to my office where I took the elevator up and attempted to hold the door for someone. The door bounced back pretty hard and I tried to block it (so it didn’t hit the other person) and it hit my coffee arm and, as a result, I am WEARING most of my morning coffee!

  19. I agree matty that we are playing with house money. All year long, as they surpassed my expectations, I have said they need to win a couple of rounds with this young team and then it will be a great season.

    But, they are so close I can taste it!

    And, while they are young, anything can happen in the playoffs and you can get knocked out in the first round by a low seed. Look at the Defending champs. They lost a game 7 in OT to a #7 seed.

    so while this is indeed house money, WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO BREAK THE BANK AND WIN THIS THING!

  20. Well, at least you blocked that door from hitting someone, Manny. Your blocking prowess is already better than Gaborik’s. Now, go get another coffee because I can smell a long day for everyone here on the blog.

  21. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Ilb,
    I have to agree with Manny. The Devils defensive coverage (beyond the PK) is laxer and the game has been a bit more wide open compared to Wash and Ott. There’s no reason Gaborik shouldn’t be burying 1-2 goals/game every couple games. Marty is not Anderson or Holtby by any stretch either. Good Forehand wrist shots will beat him.

  22. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    I agree that our best players have to be our best players, especially in round 3, but we cannot forget what got us to this point. Cycles down low, great offensive pressure, and teammates having fun out their. I really thought that if the Caps had beat us last round, they would have been a tough out for NJ and maybe even beat them.

    Through the first two games of this series, we havent had great 5 v 5 play where you can honestly say wow those were some great shifts by back to back lines. Our pp has stepped up big to this point, but its time to put the pedal to the metal. BTW, Del Zotto is fourth on the team in total shots for the playoffs!

  23. Not really. I could never get mad at you boneheads.

    I will go Tranny up my Fanny as it were.

  24. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I figured I EggFaced you over the pre-WCF series, we might as well tag team this thing here out.

    LGR bud! Good day, Heads!!

  25. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Yea you two have been dominating the last half hour!! I guess im just an average Kenny!

  26. Torts gets the big picture. This is the 2nd youngest team in the league. This will not be the NYR last rodeo. This team is gonna be for real for a long time to come. Torts knows it.

  27. …the Gaborik “benching” is just another chapter in what I believe will be a very special story in the near future.

  28. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    OHH BABY! – btw, im trying to decide what is better cinnamon toast crunch, froot loops, or lucky charms?

  29. Manny & TB – no offense, but because of your guts and Manny’s fro, I’d say more like Afa and Sika

  30. TONY from AZ on

    Looking forward to watching the game with the Boneheads at the hospital. All welcome. Huge party in the family room. Please be warned that I have no pants on.
    (from tony typed by Jen ;)

  31. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    I hope everyone agrees that the NYR issue thus far has been scoring goals – our Goals against per game is 1.81 which is insane. Our Goals for is 2.12 which can explain our 9-7 postseasons record so far. I do believe that if we struggle in the first tomorrow afternoon torts should move Stepan up with gabby and Arty and Richie with Cally and Hags or Kreider. Torts has said that it doesnt matter who plays with who as the concept is still the same. I think that having speed on that third line with Boyle could be a factor.

  32. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    that would be sweet Manny – but i do not think that torts would have Anisimov with Callahan and Fedotenko.

  33. I thought we were benching Callahan(d) because his hand was hurt? Cam Talbot at forward?

    Joking: Yea I doubt that line would happen until late in a game but it would be pretty fun to watch.

  34. Gaborik becomes the whipping boy. Nice. First Richards, now Gaborik. Cant blame Richards because he made all of you that were crying 2 months ago eat crow. Now Gaborik. Some fans. Btw Gaborik has the 2nd most points on the team in the playoffs. Behind, you guessed it, Richards. Let’s have Gaborik diving across the ice blocking shots. Then he gets hurt and you all are crying again calling him soft. He scores a goal tomorrow and you all are riding him and calling him a first-star. Some fans.

  35. TONY from AZ on

    My kids are here today. Getting ready for the big break out on Monday. LGR!!!!!

  36. I kind of look at it this way: The Rangers have been essentially skating two lines for 16 games. Maybe even more, if you count the regular season. Is it wrong to punish Gaborik for being lazy? No. But I’m not certain it’s laziness that’s the issue. I kind of think minutes might be the issue. This is a short bench that grew even shorter in Game 2. If Torts doesn’t start giving some of these other guys some more minutes when the game isn’t on the line, he’s not going to have the ponies to race when it is.

    Not to sound redundant, but any word on Zuccarello or Dubinsky? The latter would be an incredible addition to the team at this point.

  37. Manny – by the way, sorry about the shirt – next time remember that no good deed goes unpunished

  38. Oh right, Stepan was a Badger. Good thing I am not in Pierre McGuire’s position!

  39. It’s also funny how disgusted, even offended, you are when the team gets booed off the ice at times. I guess it’s okay though to basically boo Gaborik off the ice.Your 2nd most effective player in the playoffs.

  40. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    I agree Phil. Even though our 3rd and 4th lines havent produced in terms of goal scoring – They have been pretty good so far and have given the team great shifts. Line 4 in game 2 was very good i thought.

  41. I am *not* in favor of screaming at Gaborik for not hitting the ice to block a shot at the blue line. I think he was in a fine position to block it standing up which is WAY more effective for him since he might score on a breakaway.

    He has looked much less physical than he was early on in the Caps series. Also, I think he usually responds well to this critique.

    And benching him is as much a message to Rupp and Mitchell and co. as it is to Gaborik.

  42. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Dubinsky would be a huge addition right now with his speed and forechecking ability. He would be big on the PK too as him and Cally form a great combo.

  43. LA is crushing it. Why? Their best players are all showing up. On the ice, on the score card.

  44. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Dubi would be able to keep Gabby’s bench spot warm the rare times he’s not on it.

  45. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Per Dave Maloney, getting back into the fold (10 days later) for Boyle was not easy.

  46. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Manny, he would replace Bickel on defense – not like we are using 6 dmen anyway

  47. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Chris F – Duby didnt suck all year. He would be a huge fit. Prust Saying.

  48. Manny, been meaning to say this for a while, I really enjoy your posts and look forward to conversing with you here daily.

  49. Hey Carp,

    what about the lack of production from Hagelin and particularly Callahan? He’s been nothing short of bad in the playoffs. Rangers need production from all their top forwards. Richards and Kreider seem to be the only forwards who are reliable at this point and Kreider is only a rookie. What does that say for the rest of the team?

  50. I don’t get it – this Gaborik mob “lynching”. Admittedly, it wasn’t his best game. So? Every goal is a result of someone’s mistake in particular and presented 6(5,4) on ice collectively. As soon I realize Gabby is benched, I was absolutely pissed of, shout “oh, not again” and had a firm feeling we will lose this game Why?
    1. Gabby is hardened professional and smart player, he understood immediately his flub and I’m pretty sure didn’t need any “massages” to come back on ice after that with a triple efforts and higher level of adrenalin. That’s what good players do, and he is good.
    2. Gabby is opportunistic player/sniper and does HIS job by using scoring chances, which others in this team can’t. But to DO that, he needs OPPORTUNITIES. You don’t do any good for a team reducing his time. Look at Kovy, for example, who is permanently by far much more liable and mistakes prone Debbies player, but instead of benching him, coaches gives him enormous amount of time, knowing his unique ability to score, giving him opportunity to compensate and he does, going like possessed after that.
    3. I’m sure Debbies were licking their chops, because benching Gabby not only took most scoring threat off the ice, but also freed their best D men from hard duties and let them participate more to pinch and lock Rangers in our D zone, not to mention, that his unexpected absents created kind of chaos in shuffling lines and players (which was pretty successful before and had for sure game plan), losing important game rhythm and pace. All this (not some single mistakes) ultimately contributed to the loss and I’m afraid will haunt us. Hope, I’m totally wrong, but for me it was again not a calculated(how it supposed to be in a such important games) decision to “make a team play better” bull-carsillo, but rather emotion based, lack of self-control, needless gesture from Torts.

  51. kausatoday NHL Network is going to broadcast Memorial Cup starting May 18.

    For those of us who enjoy watching ranger prospects, our mid level pick, Michael St Croix (who lit up the WHL this year) is in the memorial cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings.

    Another interesting pick by my hero, Gorde Clark.

  52. Truth be told, Gabby as well as the whole team didn’t play well the past two games, however, we only lost one game, and the media is going crazy as though the Devils are in the driver’s seat right now. But let’s put things in perspective here…..they are tired, contrary to what Torts says, and if they squeaked a 3-2 win instead of losing 3-2, the conversation here would be much different. We lost one game by ONE goal. THEY won one game by one goal. Everyone relax. Win tomorrow and everyone’s BP will go down a bit. And dare I dream take both in NJ?!!

  53. Is this rumor that the Islanders might play in Brooklyn true? Does it have ANY legs at all?

  54. Is this rumor that the Rangers are bush-league and amateur-hour true? Does it have ANY legs at all?

  55. If the Isles do move to Crooklyn, do they change their name to the Flatbushes or the Whaddyulookinats?

  56. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Per the link i sent above, Dubinsky on the ice skating with the team.

  57. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    If he does play this series it would be game 6 or 7 if it goes that far. IMO, i would take Mitchell out.

  58. Holik on Sirius NHL channel all but burying the NYR’s chances. Too tired, too much stress
    from consecutive 7-game series. Blah blah blah ….. Always amazing how quickly the
    suppositions change from game to game. “Home free!” “Aggh, they’re toast!” “Home free (again!)”
    “Aggh, they’re totally toast!”

  59. Excuse me, but HOLIK is a complete clown. He should be taken out back for his complete trash-league play during his time with the NYR.

  60. ANNOUCEMENT:

    I just ordered a NYRangers jersey with “THE KREIDER” on the back!

  61. if the NY NJ series goes a full 7 and the Kings sweep Phoenix, does the NHL at least give the Eastern team a 2-3 day rest? kind of unfair to give them just one day, right?

  62. czechthemout!!!! on

    So I read this morning that the Torts line generator wheel is being spun again to create another bizzare line.
    How can Mike the useless Rupp get any sniff neat a third line? For god’s sake, the man can’t skate. He looks like he’s standing still when he skates against the Devil players. I would rather play Prust on that line with Boyle and AA. Hell,at this point, I would rather see JT Miller. He won’t look out of place any more than Rupp has. And who knows, the kid may actually do something. He has great hands is a decent slated and has some jam to his game.

    I would be a better option and I would do it for free. I skate faster than Rupp of that I am sure even at the age of 45 .

  63. Winston Zeddemore: “Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say “YES”!”

  64. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Yes it is True.

    Practice Lines were as follows:
    Hagelin-Richards-Gaborik
    Kreider-Stepan-Callahan
    Rupp-Anismov-Boyle
    Fedotenko-Mitchell-Prust

    Same Def Pairings.

  65. See and I was criticized for just suggestion they put Boyle and Rupp on the PP to stand in front of the net…Torts is the man. Rupp has scored some big goals in his career and though not fleet of foot maybe just maybe he can steal a win with a big goal.

  66. Artie, Boyler, Rumpelstiltskin. Big line. I don’t mind the promotion for Rupper. Rupper, Feds, Mitchell, Prust. It’s all the same at the end of the day.

    Lev, so you think Butt-Chin shouldn’t block shots at all, because he might get injured?

  67. Guys, look at those lines. How in the heck did we even make it this far with these forwards?

    Hagelin = first line, ROOKIE
    The Kreider = second line, SUPER ROOKIE
    Stepan = second year
    Anisimov = defensive disaster
    Boyle = stone hands
    Rupp = pilon
    Fedotenko = can’t ever score
    Mitchell = Mitchell

    Amazing.

  68. I am fine with Rupp starting on that line. Torts obviously wants to increase the size on the third line. It’s not like it’s going to last for the entire 60 minutes.

  69. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    In other news, Tajikistan is banning the movie The Dictator claiming it unsuitable for viewers.

  70. Hospodar May 18th, 2012 at 12:28 pm
    Holik on Sirius NHL channel all but burying the NYR’s chances. Too tired, too much stress
    from consecutive 7-game series. Blah blah blah ….. Always amazing how quickly the
    suppositions change from game to game. “Home free!” “Aggh, they’re toast!” “Home free (again!)”
    “Aggh, they’re totally toast!”

    Just go to his site and listen to his podcast “Holik on Hockey”. He has been picking against them in EVERY SERIES! Gives them no chance at all. HATES the way they play.

    Bobby Holik of the NEUTRAL ZONE TRAP Devils had the CHUTZPAH to complain about how boring the Rangers style of hockey is and how it is “BAD FOR THE GAME”!

    I kid you not. It is so clear that he is a Devil at heart and still roots for them. Enough to make one barf. He won his cups with them and then came to us for his payday and didn’t give us our moneys worth.

    I can’t wait for the Rangers to beat the Devils. Just wait! I will have some choice words for Mr. Holik on his blog.

  71. I wish our government would protect me from those anti-smoking commercials where they show the insides of peoples’ diseased bodies.

  72. Could someone tell me why this fire and ice (DEVILS) twitter person is on a Rangers’ site? I’m here for the Rangers, not devils. Tough to scan without seeing his stuff.

  73. Lines are wrong, IMO. With players still injured/returning from injuries, Torts needs to maximize effectiveness of the lines. First line s/b intact, even though I would play Artie there instead of Hags because Artie has some potential to finish off a pass from Richie. Gaby ain’t and Hags can’t. At least right now. Then move Hags to play with Kreids and Step. Or if you keep Hags on the first line, then Artie with Kreids and Step. Cally HAS to come off that line now. He’s inhibiting their ability to make plays. Cally should be playing with Prust and Feds for a checking line, as that’s all they’re able to accomplish at this point. They ain’t putting the puck in the net but would be/should be a very effective line to shut down whoever the NJD put on the ice. Lastly, Boyle with Rupp and Mitchell. Boyle is to my eyes not the same player since Neil destroyed him with that check (Neil btw is rooting for the Rangers). He should be playing 4th line minutes. And one change on D: Bickel has to come out. I like him, I think he’s effective WHEN he plays, but he’s not learning the playoff game by playing 5 minutes or less. He’s a huge liability when he comes on the ice for his few shifts not having a feel for the game as he’s been sitting on the bench for long stretches. I’d play Erixon right now. He’s had the playoff experience this year, albeit in the AHL, but from what I’ve heard he was terrific. He needs a taste of the NHL playoff game now.

  74. Miami – Gotta disagree with the first serious post I’ve seen from you. Artie is terrific defensively. It’s his offense and his not being hard on the puck is the problem.

  75. All this Gabby talk….I heard something recently (this AM) that is disturbing:

    Apprently during 2nd intermission Wed, Gabby and Torts had a MASSIVE face-to-face blowout that got super heated.

    I won’t divulge the exact phrases I heard….but it wasn’t pretty. Torts told Gabby he might as well stay in the locker room cuz he wasn’t going to see the ice in the 3rd. Gabby called Torts that name you don’t call umpires (ref: Bull Durham) and said that he didn’t know everything, never played the game, etc.

    Seems like there is some sentiment around that Torts is riding these guys too hard and badgering them to a point where the whipped dog might start rebelling and not running faster.

    Take this with a grain of salt but my source is pretty close to the action and has been right on a lot before. He was inaccurate in saying Boyle would not return til Round 2…but he was right in saying that Boyler wouldn’t be back to normal for a while.

  76. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    Its a toss up between Katie Strang & Gulotti who make me want to toss my cookies right now . It really is hard to read the twitter with them on it. I wonder is Rangers Report on their twiiter feed? Oops they probably don’t have one. First we have to deal with the “combo” post game now these 2 asshats!!!UUGGHH

  77. Ria(the silent bonehead) on

    Newman take that “grain of salt” & put it on a hamburger! Much better use of it.

  78. NHL on XM\Sirrius = most of them dont want the Rangers to win…They are pushing the blocked shots should be banned crap

  79. I agree with Alan, Artie is good defensively. Definitely not the stereotypical Russian.

    I also agree that Cally should be dropped down a line. He hasn’t been bad, but it seems obvious there’s something wrong with his hand. I’d switch him with Artie, personally.

  80. Dubi HAS sucked all year. He’s been fine on the PK, but mostly he’s been invisible everywhere else. Certainly he’s been a major disappointment on offense.

    I’d love to see him come back and add a spark, but I wouldn’t expect it. Not that replacing Rupp or Mitchell (or, sadly, Boyle) can do much harm. I sure as hell wouldn’t sit Kracken.

  81. “I think your source is related my source. Is his last name Imagination?”

    whoa!! this is weird! that is exactly who my source is too!! that fugging imagination source is running wild!{BAAAAM! HEAD EXPLODED!}

  82. Is cally’s hand still broken? Isn’t that why he’s stunk it up on O? I thought he was operating with only one mitt.

  83. Expecting a big Game 3 from Gaborik is just wishful thinking. As long as the games continue to be tight checking, he will continue to be very small out there.

  84. Knuckles Nilan on

    I think NJ wins game 3, but then we take 4,5, and 6! It’s NEVER easy, but we have the system and will to get it done. The secondary scoring will come. Prust, Hags, Boyler, Feds, Rupper, even Cally are all DUE! Lets go NYR!

  85. >>…Michael St Croix (who lit up the WHL this year) is in the memorial cup with the Edmonton Oil
    >>Kings.

    Well then, Let’s Go Kings!

  86. JB-The “small” Gaborik has 4 goals, as many as the big Parise. And he has had a few gigantic ones. So to contradict what I said above, he can and will continue to score, even in these tight checking games. Great players manage to do that.

  87. Orr,

    I hear ya, but I think Boyler’s has had significantly less impact since that concussion. To be honest, I’m not sure I’d put Dubi in over anyone. Maybe Rupp, though I keep hoping he’s have one game during the playoffs that mirrors his Winter Classic. But that was probably his lightning in a bottle moment.

  88. Knuckles Nilan on

    If Dubi comes back, torts might as well sit bickel and roll 5 defensmen and rotate the extra forward in depending on situation…He wont sit rupp or fedscause of their intagibles and experience. And Mitchell hasnt been bad on draws and can grind the walls well.

  89. Knuckles Nilan on

    How about these lines?….

    Gabby – Artie – Cally
    Hags – Richards- Kreider
    prust – stepan – mitchell
    Rupp – Boyle – feds

  90. Orr, no….. I dont think Gaborik should be blocking shots because that is not his game and it’s not fair to expect him to do it. I said if he blocked those shots and got hurt on that play everyone would be saying why the byfuglien is Gabby blocking shots with the kind of injury history he’s had blah blah blah.

  91. What Lev said blah blah blah.

    Gaborik needs to block shots in an upright position so he can get a breakaway with the blocked shot.

    Did you guys see where the slapper was taken from? Why would Gaborik lay down at the BLUE LINE to block a shot? How about some responsibility for our guys letting the Devils 4th line get great positioning for a deflection?

  92. Knuckles – good lines except Cally on first line will not accomplish anything. He can check but that’s it. I’d switch Cally and Step and I would have no problem with those, except Feds is better on the forecheck than Mitch. I guess I still like mine better (see above). I love that 2nd line, though.

  93. Boyler might not be playing as well as he did before the concussion, but he’s still a reliable guy. I think I’d rather see MZA over Dublowsky. MZA’s last goal was actually against the Devils! That’s a sign right there!!

  94. Afternoon all,

    I see we have lots of coaching going on here.

    Lots of solutions to the Rangers problems (note the 26 other teams playing golf right now that wish they had such problems).

    There’s one thing that the current coach of the Rangers has that all of you will never have; the Stanley Cup ring.

    What other coach could have gotten 60 wins to date out of this team?

    This season is already a tremendous success – regardless of what happens going forward.

    And the cupboard is filled with great prospects – and there’s always July 1st for the right pickup.

    Let the coach do the coaching, folks. Stick to your day jobs.

  95. Shoot the puck, Barry on

    Going back to the earlier comment (Matty’s) about Sather and our D, I think we had a pretty deep group to start, and it’s pretty amazing we’ve held up this far. Imagine if we had Sauer– he was a Top 4 guy this year. Even Eminger was playing well when he got hurt. Stralman and Bickel did a nice job since they’ve joined, but they probably don’t sniff the playoffs if we’re completely healthy (maybe Stralman for his O.)

    I’m very curious to see if Dubi will be ready at some point during this series. You have to think that he’s at least 1 week away, possibly 2. That could put him in play towards the end of the series, but the question’s going to be the rust, whether he’d be better than we have, etc. One thing, though, he’s a big boy who can skate, hit and play PK.

  96. Manny, it wasn’t just the issue of the blocked shot. If you watch the sequence leading up to it, Gabby had a play on the high wall that he didn’t make and just wasn’t strong positionally on that entire shift. That’s what makes Torts go friggin’ nuts.

    You’re right about the deflections. Devs have done that to us a zillion times over the years and you’d think we’d be able to defend that, but it’s pretty tough. Just as likely a deflection goes into the net behind the goal as it is into the goal.

  97. Funny…I’m sure, if Gabby scores in the next game, everybody will say that Torts move to bench him was genius. Been there…heard that…Byfuglien ridiculous!
    Don’t get me wrong. I do believe Torts did and is doing tremendous job this season to somehow motivate and force this bunch of underskilled and, usually, mostly underachieving players (save few) to overperform amazingly, which sometimes looks unreal, unbelievable and unexplainable. This alone makes him a very good coach, already, by default. However, his emotional instability and lack of self-control, (selectively with players and constantly with press corp.) is very annoying and bothers me and IMHO, preclude him from become a really Great Coach.

  98. Knuckles Nilan on

    I think torts is doing an incredible job…I trust him completely. he will lead us into the finals…after that who knows…the kings are amazing right now. World class goalie thats just as good, if not better, then hank, and all 4 lines are clicking well.

Leave A Reply