The Cup challenge will only get more difficult

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Here’s my story from The Journal News and LoHud.com today:

By Rick Carpiniello

Where the Rangers were on Friday night — in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final, a goal away from Game 7, in Game 20 of these playoffs, after winning more games (61) than any other NHL team in the regular season and playoffs combined — was remarkable.

It was remarkable considering the youth and inexperience of the Rangers, considering the difficulty they’ve had scoring goals, considering where they would realistically have been projected to finish.

This Rangers team, building toward something that should last a long time, and doing it the right way with a philosophy that emphasizes mostly home-grown talent, probably arrived a year or two earlier than expected. Certainly, the 51 regular-season wins, the No. 1 seed in the East, and being in the hunt for the Presidents’ Trophy on the final weekend of the season were surprises.

All of that was organizational nutrition — seed and fertilizer and water.

But then comes some slap, cold as the Winter Classic.

The reality of the Rangers’ ultimate fall, after surviving two difficult seven-game series and being outplayed, out-executed, by a surging Devils team for most of the third round, is this:

It will be more difficult to do it again. It will be considerably less likely that the Rangers can duplicate their regular season, and quite a formidable challenge to reach the third round of the playoffs again, never mind win it and then win one more round.

That’s not to say the Rangers couldn’t finish in the fifth or sixth seed next year and still have the same success, just as it certainly isn’t impossible for them to be first-round victims — as the Presidents’ Trophy Vancouver Canucks, the defending champion Boston Bruins, and the odds-on favorite Pittsburgh Penguins all found out in 2012.

There are no guarantees based on what happened from October in Europe through late May in Newark. None.

Doing it again is an enormous gauntlet.

That all said, the Rangers sure did loads of great things in 2011-12, and the experience will be invaluable.

“We played 20 playoff games,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said. “We played a couple of Game 7s. We’ve been in situations where we’ve had to scramble to win a series. Me personally, I’ve found — I thought there were some really good things, with some players and how they handled themselves, and I think there were some struggles with some other ones. And these are the evaluations you go through as you gain experience. We’re still a young club. And we still have quite a bit to learn as far as the desperation when you get to this third round.

“I just don’t want us — and you hear it so much and I won’t accept it — you won a couple of rounds, you get into the third round. That isn’t good enough. We still have to find a way to win another round, to get there. I just don’t want this organization to sit still and say, because (previously acceptable) was barely getting in the playoffs, losing in the first round, maybe getting to the second round. We have to change our mind-set to continue trying to be the best, and learn that there’s a lot more hockey to play after you go through a couple.”

So the postseason evaluations begin. What to make of Marian Gaborik’s single goal in the series? Is Carl Hagelin, who had zero points, a first-line player? What about the inconsistency of Michael Del Zotto and Derek Stepan? Do the third and fourth lines need more guys who can chip in, like the Devils’ bottom six forwards did? What to make of the year-long struggle on the power play? What to make of Brad Richards’ up-and-down year? Is Chris Kreider enough of a sure thing that they don’t have to spend crazy money on a Zach Parise or Rick Nash?

“It wasn’t five games,” Tortorella said. “We played a lot of playoff hockey. It was a lot of momentum swings, surges, and the best thing is you need to experience those. We didn’t finish the way we wanted to. But some guys handled it very well, some guys didn’t. I’ll be very honest with you, some guys didn’t. And those are the things we have to talk about as an organization if we’re going to continue to try to get better.

“Some really good stuff, but there’s also some things that worry me, and I’m just being totally honest with you.”

They were so close. Starting Saturday, they were so far.

 

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218 Comments

  1. Feds is slow… i’d rather go for a guy like Chris Kelly from Boston… not a winger but a great 3rd line center who can give you 17+ goals and 35+ points AND is over 50% on faceoffs.

  2. CARPED

    The way we use our third/fourth lines, I would rather see Prust and his energy on the third line getting double-digit minutes than on the fourth. Boyle/Fedotenko could go either way for me.

    The Devils just showed you could go through three Atlantic (Patrick) Division (Conference) teams to make the Final. Has any team ever gone through three division foes like that under this format?

  3. Spiderpig, three? They beat us and Philly from the Atlantic Division. Florida is in the Southeast Division.

  4. Imo the Rangers did overachieve, but idk if i would say its going to be not as possible to do next yr. you really can’t say that without even knowing the team and chemistry it will have.

    Also i think the league needs to really look at itself here, and im not saying the rangers arent guilty, but its turning into the way hockey used to be in the 90’s with the lockout. clutching and grabbing and interference.

    Why do you think the devils are going to the finals. They branded this type of game.

  5. I love all this talk about how Kovalchuk is proving his critics wrong. How exactly? Glide glide glide….one timer score…glide glide glide. I wonder what these same people will be saying when LA shuts him down. They’ll probably blame it on the LA crowd being very hostile since Kovalchuck didnt sign there.

  6. It may or may not be as difficult, hard to say at this point. Hopefully, we are in the same situation as the 95 Redwings that got swept in Cup Finals by Devils. That team went on to lose 96 WCF to Cup winner Colorado and then win a pair of Cups in 97 and 98. If that were to happen here, I know I can take that!

  7. Good stuff, Carp. The thing is, it wasn’t easy this year, but they did it. It won’t be easy next year, but this team is built to go forward. Torts sounds like he wouldn’t be opposed to getting some players off the roster next year, eh…Or am I reading into what he said too much?

  8. Carp – great articles. You asked the questions and here are my humble opinions: Hagelin is not a first line player now and I don’t believe he ever will be. I would suggest they first school him on the penalty kill. Perhaps a second power play unit down the road. Right now his upside to me is 3rd line – 20 goals / 40-50 points. Maybe in 3 years he develops, but don’t count on anything more for the foreseeable future. Stepan, this is a tough one – but has been a major disappointment and has not advanced much at all in two years. Nice hands, good passer, good vision on the ice, decent shot but lacks hockey quickness and is a below average skater. More suited offensively for the PP than Hagelin but slow on the PK. His value on the trade front may be as high as it will ever get. Certainly not untouchable as the were saying around the trade deadline. Kreider is a keeper. I hope his shows a little more physicality in his game as he settles in nexta year. Probably a top 6 forward on most teams and eventually should settle their with the Blue Shirts. MDZ – He needs to improve his skating. Gets beat to much laterally. Has good vision but deafensively weak in his position. he needs a Buekaboom type partner to steady his game (hopefully Sauer returns to be that guy). I would try to hold on to him but would pull the trigger if the right deal presents. Build the bottom 6 forwards in the mold of the Devils- good skaters,physically presence, hard on the forecheck, capable of contributing offensively. There are these types of players available in FA, waivers and through low tier trades. Ideally,the bottom 6 should handle the PK as well so you keep the minutes of your top 6 manageable. Improve overall depth – it would actually be great if they could push their 2nd and 3rd lines down to 3rd and 4th by adding 3 more top 6 forwards. Callahan, Dubinsky and AA or Boyle would make an excellent 3rd line for any team.

  9. Very good overview, Papa Bear. Adding three more top 6 is not realistic, however. And a player who scored 29 goals and more than 50 points is not a third line player. Not when there is a salary cap.

  10. JimboWoodside on

    Good stuff, Carp – I know I was sounding like a NN the other night when we lost, but it has been my experience being a Ranger fan that every team in ensuing seasons is different, and has different challenges and issues – and what happened in the prior season gets forgotten as the new challenges need to be met.

    We are definitely not going to just “pick up where we left off” on the night of May 25th – our team personnel will be different (somewhat), our division will be different, the conference will be different, and so will the entire league. And everyone knows how we play now – there will be no surprises, unless we incorporate some changes and features to our style of play, like a much better PP, just to cite one example – and our breakout pattern from our end, to name another.

  11. E3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my freinds on

    Great article Ricardo – I wonder if Step, Hags, rupper, Mitchell, and gabby are among those that “didn’t”

  12. E3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my freinds on

    Regarding the PP – way too much lollygagging around – the tempo was way to slow – it was often as though they were killing time

  13. Thanks lib. If Kreider lands in top 6 they do have some flexibility salary wise and only need to acquire 2 more players from inside (prospects) or outside (trade- FA ?) the organization. But your right! can’t have 2 players at $4m in the bottom 6 ( Dubinsky & Cally) unless another young player emerges from their talent pool. Cally can definitely handle top six – so I would not be opposed if he ends up their – but he needs to be on the PK and that is a lot of ice time. If we learned from this year, a better distribution of IT will keep everyone fresher for the play-offs.

  14. JimboWoodside on

    E3, I do think that Torts was referring to those players, but without mentioning their names, of course – I think he was surprised how they didn’t “step up” and play even as well as they did during the regular season. Prust might be added to the list too, save for his goal in game 5…

  15. Send Gabby to the Ice Capades where he can spin around in circles and star on their first line. The Rangers needed speed and offense and Torts sat Kreider most of the game, worrying about his defense. Therein lies a crooked tale.

  16. JimboWoodside on

    And Rupp really looked “done” – whatever he was supposed to bring to the table in the playoffs just never happened – thinking that he was going to have some special significance being an ex-NJ player totally didn’t work out or help us at all.

  17. JimboWoodside on

    Gave Marty a chance to show his “Rockettes” form, and drew a penalty!

  18. JimboWoodside on

    The NHL is *schizophrenic*, anyway – during the regular season, teams brawl and fight, so you need to have players that can play that way, then when you get into the playoffs, the game changes completely – there are no fights at all (unless you have Chris Neil on your team), the clutching and interference that gets called during the regular season is ignored (especially if you play for NJ), and a team has to play a completely different game.

    It’s nuts!

  19. What if we had Avery in this series? What would the outcome be then?

    I bet Fatso and Kovalschmuck would spend more than half the energy trying to deal with Avery.

    But i guess we will never know now…would we? ;)

  20. Hi. First time / long time here. I’m not sure why you and many others seem to think that it’s practically a fait accompli that it’ll be tougher for the Rangers to match this year’s performance next year. It’s not like EVERYTHING broke their way this year, or that they had a bunch of guys with career years that are unlikely to be replicated. Their best defenseman was out the first half of the season, another top 4 defenseman missed the last 2/3 of the year and was never really replaced, one of their best scorers over the prior few seasons had a terrible offensive year, and their first line center in his first year here had a very up and down year. And one could even argue that one of their best scorers played most of the year at BC!

    COULD the team take a step back next year? Of course. But anything COULD happen. Hey, if you believe the Mayans, the world COULD end on 12/21, in which case their whole season, barring a lockout, would be a little over two months long. But on a more realistic note, any team could take a step back. It might be tempting to say that Pittsburgh will fulfill their potential and finish first in the league next year and then win the Cup. But who’s to say that Crosby’s concussion problems don’t come back? That certainly wouldn’t be an unusual scenario. Who’s to say James Neal doesn’t come back down to earth? The point is, you can probably come up with a scenario in which ANY team will find it harder to succeed next year. But I don’t see any reason why the Rangers should be particularly vulnerable to that effect. Not to mention, it’s not like they have key UFA’s heading into the off-season.

    PS. Unless you mean for a more abstract reason such as “every team will be gunning for them next year.” I’m not sure how much I believe in that kind of thing. All of these teams are filled with professionals, and everything is always gunning for everyone else. Just because Vancouver, for example, lost in the first round this year, do you really not think that teams will be gunning for them, or looking at games against them as a measuring stick?

  21. JimboWoodside on

    C3, the outcome probably wouldn’t have been much different, but I have to admit, I would have enjoyed seeing Sean doing his best trying to get under their skins – if we were going to lose anyway, the entertainment value of that would have been fun!

  22. ThisYearsModel on

    CARP– agree completely with your excellent recap. The problem with getting to 6 games away from the cup and choking is that it is so difficult to get that far again. What happens if Sausage Lips, Igor Malkin and the Smelly Flower get their collective acts together for the next few years? What if Boston does? Forget Philly, they are cursed despite Bettman’s and the Empire State Building’s love for them. What if the Crapitals ever figure out how to reploy their ample talent? We could very well not make it to the semifinals for the next 5 years. If that happens, it will make this series’ failure hurt even worse than it has to date. We were on the upswing in this series and found a way to lose it. There needs to be some significant upgrades to the roster. Hagelin? If he fulfills his potential, I see him as a Michael Samuelsson tht has wheels. Not a first line guy. Gaborik? I like him a lot. I just don’t think the Rangers style and system fits him very well. The fact that he scored 40 twice in spite of the Torts system is a credit to him and his skill. I would look to see if we can get value in a trade for him. We need a scorer to replace him, ehich I would love to be Parise. He would fit in beautifully. Kreider should be good for 30 goals in a couple years, so long as he is able to fulfill the Torts system and not end up with his arse on the bench. We need a couple defensemen. Erixon is one, I hope. Schultz would be a great get for the other. Anisimov and Stepan? We should keep one or the other and move the second for some help on the wing. Rupp is useless. If he is such a locker room need, make him an assiatant coach but we need an upgrade on the ice. Dubi? His value is at its low. We will have to keep him for now or give him away for very little. Anyway, lots of work to do to take the next step. I hope sather does not blow it and have this turn into 1979……a great run with nothing behind it for 14 years.

  23. wow, JS, reading way too much into it. it’s just the way it is, always. it’s hard to do it once, harder to do it twice.

    and there are no guarantees.

    could they win the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup next year? Sure. Could they finish sixth and lose in the first round? Ask Vancouver, Boston and Pittsburgh.

  24. TYM 1979 is a good comparison. Great chemistry, a team that was seen as close but lacking that one big thing. They went and traded 5 players the next year for Barry Beck. Many criticized the move in retrospect but the truth is those Ranger teams of the early 80s were formidable and had at least one cup in them if not for it being the Islander dynasty. It was the right move.

    Point being they should do the same thing and trade assets for a different behemoth, Rick Nash. It doesn’t guaranty anything, but it gives them best shot to build on where they are.

  25. JimboWoodside on

    Yeah, using the word “choking” is unfair – they certainly didn’t choke – they were worn out, and understaffed as far as scoring goes. Choking is a term that a Debs (idiot) fan would use.

  26. Carp,

    Yes, I know there are no guarantees. As I said, it’s perfectly possible that they do take a step back. I just don’t see a particularly strong REASON why they should (and I’m not sure how I’m reading too much into a headline that states “challenge WILL only get more difficult” — to me, it’s more of a “could” then a “will”).

    If a hockey season were a completely random event, such as winning the lottery, then yes, it would be extremely improbable that the same scenario plays out two times in a row. But considering that most teams finish where they do for a reason, I guess that my thinking is that if they were good enough to do what they did this year, unless there’s a strong reason why that might change, it certainly might not change. You point out Pittsburgh, but I could also point out that a few years ago they lost to Detroit in the Finals, and then beat them the next year. Boston? Well, they had a goalie who got very hot one playoff season, and then not so much the next playoff season (or at least compared to the opposing goalie — Holtby). Whereas I don’t think one can claim that the Rangers only got to the ECF’s this year because Lundqvist was hot. Hope that makes sense.

  27. JimboWoodside on

    I still can’t believe that we lost out to sad-sack DaBore’s team. Oh, the fates are cruel!!

  28. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Hey, if you believe the Mayans, the world COULD end on 12/21, in which case their whole season, barring a lockout, would be a little over two months long.

    …………….

    Interestingly, recent findings of a Mayan “astronomy lab” has proven that this wasn’t even a Mayan theory to begin with, just bad science. Archaeologists uncovered predictions for post-2012 Mayan events.

    FYI.

  29. Carp, always love your ‘jam’ here, but not sure if this post is anything more then, afterr an obvious statement that it never gets any easier and giving half the post to Tort’s very realistic assesment of the playoffs, you essentially opened the Bonehead floodgates to anything is possible comments. That in itself is genius.
    The only thing you ‘threw out’ at this time is Hagelin. I am assuming you were questioning 1st line time because he IS A KEEPER. Anything less is sheer nonsense for a smart, speedy 1st year player who has a pretty good upside left.

    As for me, I side with Hank (where I hope there are no questions of his place on da team, right boneheads?) Let’s take a deep breath, let the pain of this loss run it’s course and then assess and learn from this. Much too early to be charting the future of this team while it is still raw.

  30. True Blue Mike (At least most of you can remember 1994) on

    I said it during the season. I am not sure Hagelin will not be just another Pascal Dupuis, possibly a little better. He is streaky and young so maybe that can change but the kid just doesn’t have the scoring touch. He is a third line player and should be used as one.

  31. True Blue Mike (At least most of you can remember 1994) on

    Rick Nash or Bobby Ryan? If he becomes available at any point which is likely, the Rangers should go after Correy Perry. Both players will be about 2 Mil cheaper than Nash and Parise and in a salary cap league that cannot be over looked.

  32. JimboWoodside on

    I just have a feeling that Parise will not sign with the Rangers – whether it be out of loyalty to his former team, or a desire not to be put on the “hot seat” in New York (it’s a lot different playing in the ghetto of Newark/the swamps of Jersey than being in the constant media spotlight of the “Big Apple”) Not sure if will want to give up his captaincy to former “enemies”, either.

    I could be wrong, it may all just be for the bucks, but I perceive him as a different kind of player – I think he has personal integrity, and that might make him decide against coming here.

  33. Lloyd Braun on

    Matteau:

    Ok, so you’re saying Dubinsky is gone. You want Gaborik out and Nash and Whitney in. So, now you’re replacing two forwards with two forwards. Who else are you going after?

  34. Minnesota, Rangers, or Detroit….my opinion, have the best chances to land Zach

    I think the Devils are out of it, they should have signed him last year….and I don’t think he’s going to Canada!

  35. JimboWoodside on

    Can the Debs afford to sign him, with the Kovy contract as it is, and their need to sign a major-league goaltender sometime soon? Cap issues and their bankruptcy issues considered?

  36. Lloyd Braun on

    Jimbo:

    I don’t really see how they can sign Parise without him taking considerably less than he’ll get elsewhere. Say what you will about loyalty, but loyalty these days only extends as far as a team’s willingness to offer “fair” compensation.

  37. I’m pretty sure Parise would have preferred not going to arbitration last year….and I’m pretty sure Lou had no choice….

  38. JimboWoodside on

    Agreed, Lloyd – when I mentioned loyalty, I meant that he would probably rather *not* leave his current team (and GM) to go to their sworn enemy, if the dollars were the same. If the Debs tried to “low-ball” him because of his inherent loyalty, I think that would backfire on them and he would go elsewhere – but still, not necessarily to New York.

  39. JimboWoodside on

    Maybe Montreal would give him a go? After all, they like American players – and they have his ex-teammate, smurf Gionta1 on the roster!

    Can Zach speak French!?

  40. JimboWoodside on

    After the fol-de-rol that Fudd pulled to get Kovy signed, I think the league might actually stop Lou from doing the same kind of thing again..

  41. JimboWoodside on

    I think Sykora is gone – Gionta2 can probably be had cheap, same with Carter and Harrold. Don’t know if Fatso will be playing next season, and have no idea about Poni..

  42. Lloyd Braun on

    Jimbo:

    If the Devils are in such dire financial straits, it’s going to be awfully difficult for them to sign Parise and fill the other nine or so holes they’re likely to face because of free agency. They’re going to have to make a decision about Brodeur who I’d bet however much money he’s making this year will decide to come back for his 79th season…and you know he’s going to have to be compensated adequately.

    Also, I had no idea the Devils are still paying Colin White $1 million per year and will be paying Trent Hunter $667k per until 2015.

  43. Some dopey GM’s might actually be willing to cough up some extra dough to lure those magical 4th line midgets out of Jersey.

    Next summer, Zajak, Elias, and Clarkson are UFA’s. More guys for them to worry aboot.

  44. JimboWoodside on

    I also think that Fatso will be back, just out of hubris – he’ll probably take less money, or a 1 year deal to stay on..

  45. Lloyd Braun on

    Jimbo:

    Hell, the Devils will still have Jay Pandolfo on the books until the summer.

    But yeah, why Trent Hunter is owed money until 2015 is one for the ages.

  46. JimboWoodside on

    Well, they’d better find a deep=pocketed owner to buy the team, then, ORR!

  47. JimboWoodside on

    Pandolfo!!! OMG!!! They were paying him to “play” for the Fishsticks!? Incredible!

  48. What would you guys think about throwing an offer sheet at Evander Kane? Totally out of left field, just trying to think of some other ideas.

  49. JimboWoodside on

    I hate the bastage, but he made a lot of good deals to keep his boring, dull team in contention – signing all those nobody smurfs that wound up doing us in was pretty slick.

  50. JimboWoodside on

    That means compensation, then? Don’t know what we’d have to give WPG to get him.

  51. i clearly think our demise is when sather did nothing come dead line day. no depth on d why not oduya kubina grossman. oduya and grossman were solid fits on both hawks and flyers. kubina not so much but he still be upgrade over bickel/eminger. no depth on forward with some scoring punch.
    all these people for 3rd round picks and we make a move for john scott who is a waste of time and space and salary cap.

    we may not have needed nash but we needed some more punch up front. bottom six forwards prust feds boyle mitchell rupp dont clearly contribute enough punch.

    chris kelly could be nice pickup a little more punch then say a mitchell and feds.

  52. >>I am NOT losing first round draft picks for Evander Kane.

    Even though he knocked out Matt Cooke? That alone should be worth a second rounder.

  53. ThisYearsModel on

    CARP—choking is strong. Sorry. These guys do not deserve to be lumped in with the 1973-74 team. Now THAT was a monumental choke. In fact, I remember Steve Vickers explaining the Game 7 loss to the Flyers with those famous words, “we choked.” Of course, he was one of the guys that stood around while Schultz pounded Dale Rolfe. But remember the Islanders dynasty? The Rangers could have won a couple then, but could not get past them. Could happen again with a few of the teams in our division.

  54. eric,

    I dunno how you could give credit to any Flyers defenseman other than Kimmo Timonen whatsoever.

  55. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Kane will cost us a 1st and 3rd rounder. Simply not worth it.
    ……………

    2011 Compensation – from ProHockeyTalk at NBC Sports and Craig Custance of The Sporting News

    $1,034,249 or below: No compensation
    $1,034,250 – $1,567,043: A 3rd round draft pick.
    $1,567,044 – $3,134,088: A 2nd round draft pick.
    $3,134,089 – $4,701,131: A 1st and 3rd round draft pick.
    $4,701,132 – $6,268,175: A 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round draft pick.
    $6,268,176 – $7,835,219: Two 1st’s, a 2nd and a 3rd round draft pick.
    Over $7,835,219: Four 1st round draft picks.

  56. >>i clearly think our demise is when sather did nothing come dead line day.

    I’m not one to second-guess professionals at their job, but I must admit, I was puzzled by that no-move move.

  57. Boo-Ka-Boom on

    Maybe sather and messier can get stevie Y drunk this summer and trade mitchell and rupp for Vinny lecavalier

  58. bull dog line on

    Aaron Rome would be a perfect fit, as would Matt Carkner.
    don’t understand some Ranger fans. for many years wanted a homegrown team. play the kids build from within. want a tough physical team, and a coach who holds his players accountable. now you have all of those things, and because they fell 2 games short of the finals you want to trade pieces of the young nucleus. do they need a top 5 D, yes, would I trade 1 of the core for the right Dman? yes. but to trade 3 or 4 of the core for a scorer? no way. not after making this much progress this season. sign Parise, or be patient and see if Kreider becomes the scorer they are lacking.

  59. Boo-Ka-Boom on

    Puck would be dropping right now….damn..think ill have a beer to ease the pan :)

  60. bull dog line on

    I agree Orr, was thinking the same thing. that is actually the kind of move a team like the Rangers can afford to make. they have a lot of good young talent, the can afford to give up draft picks for a guy like Kane.

  61. Boo-Ka-Boom on

    You never know, maybe jt miller or christian thomas or my fellow alum casey wellman make the team out of camp next year and contribute. One can dream cant he?

  62. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Claude Giroux was the 22nd overall draft pick.

    He’s easily a top-5 player across the league, in my opinion he’s been a top-3 with only Malkin and Stamkos being better the past year or two.

  63. Someone just posted this on Twitter. I will sign up for it, ha. #WinterClassic curse or omen? PIT in 08 WC, won Cup in 09. CHI 09 WC, won Cup in 2010. BOS 2010 WC, won Cup in 2011. #NYR 2012 WC, 2013 Cup?

  64. bull dog line on

    yes he is, true blue.
    is there a giroux in this years draft? can he contribute this season? or will it take him 2 years to get here? Kane would help right now. giving up picks would be worth it.

  65. Henrik Lundqvist was picked 205th, True Blue. You never know what you’re going to get with ANY draft pick. I would gladly forfeit those picks if we got Kane at somewhere around $4.5-5 million; he’s much more of a proven commodity whose style would appear to fit in with the system, and I’ve never heard anything about him being a bad teammate.

    And besides, this is enough to convince me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xW9Sp-WndwA

  66. Yeah, you can’t go into every draft thinking you’re going to draft the next big thing. It hasn’t happened for this team yet. A lot of good, but nobody like Giroux.

    Kane’s gotten better each season. Once he starts to develop some man muscle, he could be a real force.

    That being said, I wouldn’t expect it to happen.

  67. JimboWoodside on

    I wouldn’t mind having him on the team – but I think WPG will want to keep him – he’s one of their “name” players..

  68. JimboWoodside on

    Hey Nasty – was it the WC *winner* that went on to win the cup the next season? If not, it could also mean Pfilthy….?

  69. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    He’s much more proven? Compared to what? who? when? You sure this is E. Kane?
    He’s had ONE 30 goal season, with a second career best of 19 and the next being 14.

    Semin, Parise, Doan, Stoll, Gagner, and Oshie (although I believe Gagner and Oshie are RFA’s) available for hire for either less or no draft picks, and you still want Kane that badly?

    Sorry, don’t see it.

  70. Was what I listed above all winners? I don’t remember the winners of all of them. Did Detroit or Chicago win it in 09?

  71. Semin?? HAHA, I could just see it now. I can see him doing something soft and Torts snapping a stick over his knee and impaling Semin with it.

  72. let’s just hope the jackwagons over at the league office don’t get their way in regards to realignment.

    That will hurt us tremendously going forward…

  73. JimboWoodside on

    I don’t remember myself! That’s why I was asking – I forget a lot more important things than WC winners these days! ;-D

  74. Much more proven compared to anyone in the draft, considering they are all unproven, True Blue, and I never said that I wanted him badly. Just said I would take him for a 1st and 3rd for a reasonable salary.

  75. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Nasty,
    If you can get Semin to sign a 1-yr 3.5-40 million deal that would be a steal. He comes out like thunder and maybe nets 35-45? I don’t know, but its worth a shot and it only cost you money which this team has and has never hesitated to spend.

    One day the team won’t be able to re-sign all of Hank, MacD, Staal, Girardi, Kreider, Callahan, AND the biggest name on the market at the time (because of lack of cap space) and if you’re not pumping some cheap prospects into the system then you end up like the 97-04 Rangers.

  76. “He’s much more proven? Compared to what? who?”

    Compared to the undrafted potential Giroux’s, perhaps??

    Only knock on Kane, he seems to get injured a lot. He hasn’t played a full season yet.

  77. Boo-Ka-Boom on

    Winter Classic–related playoff trends
    Since the inception of the NHL’s Winter Classic outdoor game starting during the 2007–08 NHL season, the away team in each instance has gone on to the Stanley Cup Finals only to lose that series. The 2007–2008 Pittsburgh Penguins were the visiting team against the 2007–2008 Buffalo Sabres, only to lose to the Detroit Red Wings in the 2008 Finals. The 2008–2009 Detroit Red Wings visited the 2008–2009 Chicago Blackhawks, only to lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2009 Finals. The 2009–2010 Philadelphia Flyers visited the 2009–2010 Boston Bruins, only to go on to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010 Finals. The Washington Capitals would break this trend, losing in the 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals.
    Also of note, though, one of the teams in the Winter Classic games (more specifically, the team wearing the dark jersey) has gone on to win the Stanley Cup in the subsequent season, starting with the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals after their 2008 Winter Classic victory, and the Chicago Blackhawks winning the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals after their loss in the 2009 Winter Classic. The Boston Bruins, winners of the 2010 Winter Classic, later won the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. The Pittsburgh Penguins would break this trend, losing in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

  78. offer sheets are so rare that it’s almost ridiculous to even mention it.

  79. The only players on that list you presented I’d go after are Parise and Oshie, and there’s no way JD lets Oshie out of St. Louis. They’re much more capable of winning in the near future than Winnipeg, and they just got a new owner, so I’m sure that they’ll spend to ensure he remains there.

  80. The Wings won, so there goes that theory. You were right. It could be filthy. But I don’t think they have as humongous big a chance as we do.

  81. JimboWoodside on

    OK, Nasty – I wasn’t being “picky”, I honestly didn’t know! BOO on Philly winning it next year – BOO!!

  82. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I don’t know guys, I just can’t wrap my brain around throwing a 1st and 3rd draft at a guy (E. Kane) whose barely proven anything. The drafts aren’t proven either, of course you’re right, but every once in awhile one of those guys turn into something special and they are dirt CHEAP players the first 4 years.

  83. I understand where you’re coming from, True Fans, but I think with the projected standings the next few seasons and the solid pipeline we already have established, we could sacrifice two of those picks.

  84. You can look at it 11 ways till Tuesday but the bottom line is that this year they simply were not playing well enough to win the Cup. That they won even two rounds with their obvious level of mental and physical fatigue having really been pushed into playing their best hockey much earlier in the season ( I think they were very galvanized by the early road trip and the Winter Classic which was right around when they peaked. – tough to peak twice).

    When you look back at 1997, you don’t think of it as a lost opportunity or a waste, you remember how much fun it was for our team to win a few rounds. Unlike that year, this years team is on it’s way up. Of course there are no guarantees, there are no guarantees with anything. I think this team will win a Cup, but more importantly, they will be in the conversation for a long time down the road and could wind up winning more than one. And if they don’t, what am I gonna do, look across the river and be jealous? That’s not my team and that’s not most people’s team in this area. Most of us were raised to root for the Rangers, not to root for whoever wins. This is my team. I couldn’t be prouder mostly because they respect that sweater more than any team I can recall in a long time, and that’s what matters to me.

  85. JimboWoodside on

    Well, we need size and scoring – Kane definitely has one, and he’s shown a flair at the other, though it is true, he’s injured a lot.

  86. JimboWoodside on

    Debs could win a dozen cups (God forbid) and I will still remain a Ranger fan, until I draw my last breath of life on this earth!

  87. Blogmama Go Tony! on

    Good evening all! Wish I were watching us tonight and having a heart attack….been reading (awesome Carp!) just still sad…..takes me a while, what can I say :)

    mama love

  88. To ThisYearsModel – Vickers may have had his intensity questioned when he was with the Rangers but he is most certainly not guilty of not jumping in on the Rolfe/Schultz fight. GAG line was on the ice- so Hadfield was the most likely person to jump in (though he would most certainly have been tossed from the game)- management obviously laid the blame there (despite the excuse of having bad thumbs) they dealt their 50 goal scoring captain to the Penguins in the off season for a non entity named Nick Beverly – just to get the taste out of their mouth. The fight and the game are seared into my memory. Also, it may seem less of a “choke” when you consider Flyers disposed of Bruins (with Orr) in six games to win cup and create a low point in hockey history. ( Of course, winning the next year established an even lower point- which is why many people my age have a fondness for the Canadien team that finally took them to the woodshed.)

  89. JimboWoodside on

    Right, Latona – these colors don’t run! Ranger red, white and *BLUE*!

  90. Anyone advocating bringing Semin to the Rangers has clearly never seen him play hockey.

  91. Quote by Zach Parise posted by Rich Chere: “People are starting to come out and be supportive. They weren’t there in December.”

    Hmmm, sounds like a jab at the fan base.

  92. JimboWoodside on

    I had forgotten that Philthy defeated the Bruins (with Orr!) to win that first cup – pretty amazing – that Bruins team was certainly a formidable one. Yes, a very low point for the NHL…

  93. Boo-Ka-Boom on

    Good thoughts peter.

    Sometimes its all when you peak, especially in the SC playoffs. I think the 07 team was on such a roll, they would have had a good chance had drury not scored that goal for the sabres with .07 left. And when i think of this team compared to that team, i just smile because this team would destroy that team in a heartbeat

  94. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    21, 28, 40, 34, 26, 38 … in 6 NHL seasons.

    If that’s not worth a $3.5million 1-year “try-out” contract, then I have no idea what is.

  95. Guys, don’t get your hopes up about any offer sheets coming from the Rangers … very, very, very, very doubtful. (Normally, I’d say no chance, but I guess it’s remotely possible; I’d be floored).

  96. I think that solidifies ORR’s stance on Mr. Kane, NYR.

    Love that quote, Nasty. Thanks for sharing.

    BLUE blood forever, Jimbo!

  97. Blogmama Go Tony! on

    Nasty, what fan base?

    if you start to come out by the ECF, then hartnell you…..ergh…..gotta run….

  98. Wicky© RUPP SMASH!!! on

    Anyone have NHL insider? there is an article up there now about what the rangers could now offer up for nash..just curious what they think it is now!

    I agree with orr on trading the first rounder…not like it is going to be a top 3 pick or anything anytime soon (hopefully).

  99. Wicky© RUPP SMASH!!! on

    Also, there is a show on Cspan2 in about 5 minutes that I would encourage everyone to watch about Marcus Luttrell and his Iraq and Afghanistan and Operation Redwing….Worth a watch for sure

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

    WHEWWW Carp , I did it…not like Messier’s time but not too shabby , Bonehead Marathoner. Sweet , we got one fur sure.

  101. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    The last time Hasek had a working PP he was playing with guys like stu Barnes and Jp dumont.

  102. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “Coach sutter, as the intrinsic problematic demands, your thoughts?”

    Coach D. Sutter – ” ahhh, goba dabba wubba woo”

    JR – ” the actual nature is hypotenuse”

    Coach D sutter – “habba doooba mubbbba toooba”

  103. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    i dont even like driving 26 miles, much less running…

  104. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “coach sutter – “if the synthesis is essential, what about circulation?”

    Coach D sutter – “disba rubba wibby subba zoom”

    JR – “in other words, transparency is distrubuted vicariously?”

    Coach Sutter – “pooba nooba cabba mabba”

  105. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “coach, in game 1, is the retractable somewhat interpreted?”

    Coach sutter – “yubba dubba fubba rubba”

    JR – “in terms of concrete?”

    Coach sutter – “pabba rabba wabba do”

  106. Wicky© RUPP SMASH!!! on

    I’m still not sure about waiting until 01 JUL to “maybe” get a shot at a guy that “might” be available for a salary that “will be” just as high or higher than someone we could trade for and who is not head and shoulders above some of the trade options out there IMHO!!!

  107. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “Coach Dabore – can you defeatable the kings in extinuation?”

    Coach dabore – “let me ask larry robinson, he makes the call”

    JR – “but if therefore should it happen?”

    Coach dabore – “let me ask larry, hang on”

  108. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “let me ask the both of two of you, how do you expectant any situation?”

    Coach sutter ” tubba wubba wubba tubba dubba”

    Coach da Bore – “let see what larry thinks”

  109. JimboWoodside on

    There ya go!! That’s probably how it would go – Has anybody considered the possibility that Da Bore is merely a ventriloquist’s puppet, with Robinson’s hand up his aasen?

  110. JimboWoodside on

    Even if he isn’t a puppet, Da Bore might like that anyway…(not that there’s anything wrong with that…) ;-D

  111. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “again this question is for both of either of you – any activity surrounds the natural?”

    Coach sutter – “pabba mabba fabba tooba”

    Coach dabore – “larry thinks perhaps”

  112. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “as the cup finalists, toward onward deomographically?”

    Coach Sutter ” whabba tabba rubba wibba”

    Coach dabore – “what?”

  113. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “i guess what i meant….. is the thrombosic all to familiar?”

    Coach sutter “tibby wibby hubba hooba”

    Coach dabore – “larry said sometimes”

  114. Evening gang. See we’ve had some lively discussions here since I was out.

    Going back to the Nash discussions.. IF Howson is still the GM, I don;t think Nash gets moved at all. Howson wants the sun, moon AND the stars for Nash and no GM would ever pay that much for one player. At least I don;t think they will..

    I could see Parise signing with the Wings, in all honesty. They have cap room and if Lidstrom comes back, signing Parise would make the strong contenders for one last hurrah for Nicky L.

  115. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “but seriously, how do you compound actualization?”

    Coach suttter – “eeny meanie minnie moe”

    Coach dabore – “lou said to ask larry”

  116. Wait a second – are somevof you wannabe GM’s actually saying that the Dynasty Islanders were the only thing that stopped those early ’80s Ranger teams from winning not just one Cup, but I think at least one guy said MULTIPLE Cups? Are youse on some nutty extended bender since OT Friday? Those Ranger teams sukked, except theiriracle playoff runs fueled by fairy dust

  117. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “whoever wins game 1 fractuates the series, or are there other waxations?”

    Coach sutter – “zoom zoom, room room”

    coach dabore “i couldnt hear you, larry was talking, ….what was the question?”

    JR – ” i was asking the potential of mitigatedness”

    Coach dabore “hang on lou is screaming in my ear to let larry respond”

  118. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    JR – “there you had it, my severated interview with the 2 both coaches in the finals…..both of each coaches really defined the extent of the colorization that masks the tactical steepness”

  119. JimboWoodside on

    Excellent, E3 – you should write for JR – ummm..maybe you already do!?

  120. e3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my friends on

    jimbo – great stuff eh…….hello mickey mouse

  121. JimboWoodside on

    Yes, E3 – and very accurate! Two boobs are SC final coaches – I hope the league is happy! Well, at least they’re both loyal Canadian boys..

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

    Thanks alot Carp , means alot. I think you need to train a bit more and one day you will do it. Try sleeping for 12 hours then build to 17 ..ect… With a good sleepy head I know ya could do it!!!

  123. It was wonderful Jimbo. Nice and laidback and a lot of fun and good times. I’d missed stuff like that. How was your weekend, Jimbo?

  124. JimboWoodside on

    Congrats, Greg! Glad you got out alive! ;-)

    My weekend has been depressing, Mickey – for obvious reasons… :-(

  125. Hey Latona!

    And Greg! You survived!!

    Yeah, I get that Jimbo. I would say I had the same reaction, but my weekend was so nice that I’m ok now.

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

    Thanks alot Jimbo !!! At the 17 mile mark my left calf was doing some sort of funky chicken cramping but I got over it and thank goodness that the training is all over and I can go back to fun running.

    Mickey , survived !!!!! Super cool!!! Only thing was the Rangers game seven tonight , it was my marathon after party game. it still hurts.

  127. Awesome work, Greg!

    Hey Mickey! Glad to be back in New York?

    Hey eddie. Thanks for reading JR’s blog and quoting it here.

  128. E3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my freinds on

    JR – “can the kings stipulate the consideration?”

    Coach sutter – “tic tac toe, 3 in a row”

    JR – “can quick robberate the series”

    Coach sutter -” gubba lubba subba zoo”

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

    Thank a bunch Latona !!! I heard you were at the game…brutal .

  130. Greg, as much as it hurts, I’m kinda glad there wasn;t a game 7 tonight since I wouldn’t have been home to see it and would have been grumpy at the party I was at.

    Latona, being back in NY is wonderful!

  131. Game 5 did hurt, Greg. It was a long train ride back home for me. But the tying goal and the ensuing “MAAAARTY!” chants were moments I’ll gladly cherish in consolation.

    Hope more wonderful comes your way, Mickey!

  132. E3 (pimp's angel) stay thirsty my freinds on

    JR – “who do you need to rise above the evaporation if you expect to win this next new series?”

    Coach sutter – “fuzzy wuzzy was a buzzy”

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

    Aww Micky, thats a awful thing to say!!! I wanted one really really bad and I know what ya mean . It would of been painfull to not see it.

  134. JimboWoodside on

    Mickey, if there was a game 7, I have the feeling that you would have stayed at home to watch it!

    Greg, my hat’s off to you – you must be in *fantastic* shape!

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

    Taker ‘er easy guys im off to bed ZzZz , E3 stay thirsty too my friend.

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

    Jimbo , apparently I am now which is good . I trained for 8 months straight . I basicly started from scratch . I was really out of shape. Not really heavy but ate too much snacks and chips and pop. Now I don’t and found out that the Ranger report tshirt ilbs sent me now fits!!!

  137. JimboWoodside on

    Very good, Greg!! So, the Dr. prescribed a shirt, and it helped you get in shape! Maybe I should ask him to send me one – I’m a blob!

    Goodnight, Pal!

  138. Blogmama Go Tony! on

    Sigh…slowly getting back….just fully read Carp’s story….don’t know whether to yay or cry…maybe both….

  139. JimboWoodside on

    Yeah, it’s a sad story, in my mind – so close – it took since 1997 to get this far…

  140. ah, my eddie. So, My wife is asleep and I have the old Mac in bed. She’s a stickler for ‘quiet’ in bed when she’s sleeping. All of us in my family know it’s punishable by death.

    So, I start reading Eddie’s triple quote statements, one by one, JR, Sutter, DeBorer, and start snickering to myself. After a bit, I’m laughing out loud. Next think I know I get hit.

    I’m quiet now!!!

    Thanks, E3!!! Great levity!!!!

  141. JimboWoodside on

    Well, Matty – WFAN is the Devils broadcast outlet, so that might not be such a surprise, right?

  142. JimboWoodside on

    Hahaha! Sorry, Matty – I was encouraging Eddie to get Da Bore in on the quotes – sorry if that helped to get you belted!

  143. Joekuh - Want some waffle with that board? on

    matty, sounds like you’ll be talking like e3’s sutter quotes in a little bit if you dont stop snickering!

  144. Just got home from my wife’s coworker’s wedding – which I was planninig on blowing off for a game 7. She talked me into going – said it would be an interesting evening and that I needed to get out, forget about my stupid Rangers and get drunk. I concurred and off we went!! Any way , she was dead on about interesting!! Talk about strange bedfellows ….. Brides family -Irish / Catholic off the boat…. Grooms Family – Russian / Orthodox Jewish off the boat. Three scotches later, I couldn’t make out whether I was talking to a member of the Irish family or Russian family! What a trip! What I learned – not much difference between the Russians and the Irish. Each can drink, curse, dance and party like there’s no tomorrow!!! I was doing good until the DJ played the song that I’ve heard at the Garden before the Rangers hit the ice ” Got a feeling…. Tonites gonna be a good nite”. Yeah, it could’ve been a great nite….oh well.

  145. JimboWoodside on

    Jesus! You get Irish and Russians together, you had better not try to get into a drinking contest with them – alcohol poisoning will be the result! What a combination of imbibers!

  146. JimboWoodside on

    I didn’t think Orthodox Jews drank very much, but I guess if they’re from Russia, they do!

  147. Jimbo – Admittadly, I am not that wordly when it comes to religion, so you are probably right. Probably not orthodox (no beards or curls) but they sure could drink!!! I have about a 3 day detox ahead.

  148. kreider, st croix, christian thomas,jt miller, fasth, yogan , any of these guys going to be 25+ goal guys? if kreider and another 1 of the youngsters steps up it will help a ton.

    can AA, stepan, dubi, or anyone become a 25 + guy consistently???

    these options just do not seem like enough. they need to package some defensive asetts to get a forward or 2……who to trade for whom I have no idea….

    they need more scoring if that is 7 20 goal guys or an addtl 40 goal guy, it does not matter they need to move up in scoring and get more production from there 3rd and 4th lines, consistently…..

  149. Fat guy either your memory is poor or you could benefit from a history lesson. Let me know which and I’ll be glad to explain/remind you about the early 80s Rangers, particularly 81-82.

  150. Sather needs to see what it would take to get Getzlaf from Ducks. He is the type of guy the team needs to get them to the next level. A proven leader and scorer with size and bite. Then i would look for a PP quarterback since Richards performed like Mark Sanchez did this year in that role. i would kick the tires on Kessel too. a righty sniper.

  151. 1. We are living dangerously playing the style we play. Very high risk. Lucky no one got seriously injured. It is not a Cup winning style. Torts’ Cup winner in Tampa played gritty, with an edge, but also had guys who could light it up. We need more balance to go all the way.
    2. We need a blueliner who can consistently shoot slappers on goal from the point. The wristers we shoot 90% of the time are soft and usually off target. Jason Garrison of Panthers is a UFA with 16 Goals, 17 A. He’s 27 and is cheaper than Ryan Suter by a few mil. Suter would be great but probably can’t afford him and a Parise or a Nash and scoring upgrade is highest priority.
    3. Anisimov and Dubie could be packaged in a trade. AA is soft, inconsistent and has a low ceiling. Dubie will never be an elite scorer.
    4. We need help up the middle. AA no better than 3rd line center and see above. Stepan may be answer but got to be worried about how he disappeared last two months. Stoll, Hudler, and Kelly should all be high on our list.

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