More review of the 0-2 start

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I certainly don’t want to make a big deal about the feisty edge the Rangers might have lost over the off-season. As I said earlier, a few times, I think the Rangers are going to be a little different this year. More speed. More high-end skill.

And as much as they want to remain who they were, they are reinventing themselves to a degree right now. That’s not why they lost either game. They lost both games because they weren’t good enough and didn’t initiate enough and didn’t defend very well, and lost discipline at times.

That reinvention process, though, might be part of the equation, and I’m not saying it is. I’m saying it might be. We’ll see.

Because although they lost a bunch of third- and fourth-line types (and a couple of guys who were solid second-liners when they were playing well), they lost some of that grittiness, some of that willingness, nastiness. They don’t have many guys on the top three lines who will drop the gloves anymore, and I can remember many, many games last year when the top three lines fought a lot.

Fighting aside, in Brandon Dubinsky, Brandon Prust, Ruslan Fedotenko, even Artem Anisimov and, yes, John Mitchell, what they lost were five guys who were good along the walls, good at getting the puck in deep and keeping it there, working the opposition defensemen, wearing them down. Even when those five weren’t doing much else at all, they were good along the walls.

That was a big part of the Rangers game, their identity, as much as the hits, the fights and the blocked shots.

Again, I’m not saying that Taylor Pyatt, Jeff Halpern and even Arron Asham can’t do those things. And I certainly suspect Rick Nash can and will, and Chris Kreider can and better. And Brian Boyle and Ryan Callahan just have to. But the other guys, do, too — Carl Hagelin, Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan. All of them.

So far, that hasn’t been much of a part of their game.

Of course, they have to be better defensively. They must.

As for the 0-2 start in more general terms: a lot of teams are off to slow starts. They’re all in the same boat re: short camps, no preseason games. But a lot of good to decent teams are off to bad starts. It happens. All the time.

Also yesterday there was the floating stat that no team had lost three in a row in the last 48-game season (1995) and still made the playoffs. Except that plenty of teams did, including the Rangers, who lost three in a row during their 1-4 start, and later lost seven in a row. Then the stat said no team began the season 0-3 and made the playoffs. Except that Philly started 0-3 and reached the Eastern Conference finals.

So let’s all climb back off the ledge for a couple more days.

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We’ll find out today if Chris Kreider was injured on that late-game, clean, high hit by Brooks Orpik. It appeared the kid ‘s haw was aching. The team didn’t skate yesterday, so there was no update. They practice at 11 today, so keep your eyes on the widget right over there ————> for the latest.

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We got the obligatory comment yesterday that John Tortorella will be fired by the end of next month. Which was one of the funniest things ever written on these pages.

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Wondering what happened after the Rangers scored the 5-on-3 goal the other night and the player (Brandon Sutter) who committed the second penalty, came out of the box?

Here’s my understanding.

Because Sutter’s penalty was the little-known faceoff violation infraction, the actual penalty time was the same as first (Despres) penalty. The official clock was reset. The 5-on-3 was actually 2:00, not 1:57 as showed on the scoreboard and the TV clocks. Technically, they happened at the same time. I imagine that Pittsburgh then had a choice which player came out of the box. It was explained to John Tortorella and he was fine with it.

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Finally, we’re planning a Live Chat between the Boston and Philadelphia back-to-backs, Thursday at noon. Be there. And follow me on Twitter: @RangersReport.

 

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447 Comments

  1. Stranger Nation on

    if you are not first, you’re last

    only change on top 6 is Nash for Artie and Gabby to LW from RW

    3rd line needs to get it going, though more of a scoring threat this season

    schedule makers were not kind in first week. win one of next two and get loafs at end of week.

  2. I agree with the comment from the other day that they should put back the Richards hags gabby line from last yr and put nash with step and cally, think putting gabby back at his comfy side and putting richards back with someone who it took a year to create chemistry with will be a good thing…Nash looks as if he can play with anyone…Stepan needs to get power skating lessons, guy can handle puck but skates like he is pulling an elephant…

  3. No team has ever finished 0-48 in a season either … but this dogs-breakfast-of-a-team will do it.

  4. Cross Check Charlie on

    The problem last year was that they would cycle the puck all game, but didn’t produce any scoring threats out of it. This year they have players that can put the puck in the net. If they can balance the two by working the cycle then passing to an open guy in the slot or the circle for a scoring chance then they might have something.

  5. It’s crucial to do the little things well, enjoy each others company and have a high battle level-but again that’s not why they lost in the playoffs, they lost because they didn’t score enough goals period-any team coached by Torts and captained by Ryan Callahan is not gonna lose because of effort night in night out, those two alone will make sure the effort is there-they are a much better offensive team with Nash, period-and there’s something about sticking up for team mates and then fighting for no effin reason-did this team really get as far as they did last yr because of fighting? Please

  6. I am not panicking. I am sure in three more games this team will be 3-2 or 2-3- or 2-2-1 or something along those lines of acceptability. The thing that is starting to scare me is the Defense. That is where we had no turnover. That is where we were strong. That was where we were deep. Fine, Bickel is learning. Fine, Del Zaster is young and will learn. But when Marc Stahl is beginning to worry me, that’s a problem. And the Defenses desire to go behind the opposing goalie’s net is a bit beyond me.

  7. Besides the obvious (that it’s 2 games in and therefore, it’s premature to think that the Rangers world is ending), I would argue that the Rangers style is likely one of the most difficult to get to given the fact that this weekend’s play was preceded by an extended 5 day practice session (because really that’s all that it was) which in turn was preceded by the majority of players endeavornig to keep in shape by scrimmaging.

    Guess what doesn’t occur in scrimmages?

    Shot blocking.
    Hard forechecking.
    Face-offs.
    Sound defensive play.
    Playing with discipline.

    In other words, almost everything the Rangers base their game on. I don’t for a second believe that with the addition of Nash and the subtraction of AA, Dubi and Prust, that gameplan cannot be executed.

    It will come, of that I’m confident (just hope it doesn’t take 15 games – that’s a 3rd of the season and could, obviously, really cripple the teams chances at vying for a top seed in the east).

    Another factor to consider: The Rangers rely on their goalie to be sharp as much as any team and Lundqvist, like it or not, was not sharp in either game. Yes, the team in front sucked, but we’ve seen the Rangers struggle before and the King saves their bacon.

    Well guess what else suffers in basing your hockey readiness on endless scrimmages?

    Goaltending.

    No practicing (to work on techniques), no one bumping you in the crease, no one screening, no one driving hard to the net, etc.

    I would argue that the best early goalies will be those who were in the AHL or played overseas.

    The King will come around (again hopefully in less than 15 games!).

  8. Which brings me back to my question from yesterday:

    Is it possible to get a list of our roster and what they were all doing in the offseason/lockout?

  9. Stranger Nation on

    move Kreider to second line LW, Gabby back to RW on line 2 and Cally to 3rd line. still have Cally on 1st pp unit but Kreider on line 3 is like a BMW playing with 2 Ford Broncos.

    the kid can score as seen in last years POs.

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

    Rangers need John muckler behind the bench. He is an excellent teacher, good with the kids, superb tactician, great with the media, and he is married to Marlo Thomas.

  11. Gravy, Bettman gets no on

    Just to play devil’s advocate, while last year’s team had trouble scoring, they did make it pretty far in the playoffs. And, the team that won the Cup had 32 *less* goals during the regular season than the Rangers.

    Granted, LA’s scoring did pick up in the playoffs.

  12. Not worried at all – its only 2 games, Nash looks like “the full package” as Torts says, and the other guys will pick it up soon enough after a few games.

    I’d sit Bickel in a heartbeat, he was atrocious in both games – maybe give Gilroy a chance.

  13. I agree that Bickel was atrocious. I just don’t think Gilroy will be any better. Personally, I wouldn’t pair Bickel with Del Zaster. Del Zaster likes to “join” the offense and that leaves Bickel in a bad place for a guy that isn’t a great skater. I would move Del Zaster up with Staal and then play Bickel with Strahlman. I think that would be a better, more rounded pairing.

  14. Good analysis Carp. I’m not at all optimistic about the Rangers chances not only for this year but for the future. With all the talk about the great job Gordie Clark has done the truth is that the Rangers don’t have a single top six forward prospect in their entire system unless you would consider Miller one. The two young Swedes playing in the SEL are decent prospects but who knows when and if they’ll be available and good they’ll be on the big stage. The three college kids have done nothing to provide hope.They don’t have a single Dman in the entire system that you would think could even be a third pair guy other than McIlrath and that’s a big if. They don’t have a single viable goalie prospect in the entire system. With all the contracts coming due in the next two years how can anyone be optimistic about the future.

    As far as this season goes, there will probably be injuries. Who are they going to call up? Newbury, Kolarik, Hrivik, Thomas, Bourke, Jean, McIlrath. Small wonder they have to play a guy like Bickel who manages to display significant ineptitude in his 5 minutes a night. Don’t believe the hype, the cupboard is bare. Hell, there’s hardly even a cupboard. I’m not overreacting to these two games: it seemed obvious to me even before the start that there was an excess of Kool-Aid being being passed around Rangerland. Sad to say that b4 too long we’ll be thinking: Rebuild.

  15. I think the re-defining is a good point, Carp. But is this team, and Torts, and the fans, ready to accept that maybe black and blue isn’t a real expectation of this team and that scoring goals and depending on Hank (or whatever the new team is) is a legitimate option. Can they let go of their reputation from last year, for which they were built last year, not this year?

  16. Lowell:

    You’re hilarious. The Rangers have a bunch of talent under 25 on their team — of course the cupboard is sort of bare, the players are on the ice.

  17. Am I the only one that thinks Hrivik would be up here at least as an extra forward if he wasn’t recently injured? He would have played over Segal for sure.

    I just want our third line to play their size. Is that so hard to ask?

  18. Stanger Nation on

    hmmm…”Orr caught him with Right hand!” – must have been a mystery punch. I guess the announcer wants to believe what he wants to believe.

    My view is Scott landed about 4 or 5 to Orr’s noggin to Orr landing 1 or 2 to Scott’s shoulder. That is four or five more than he landed all of last year wearing a blueshirt.

    Rangers are 1(Bicks)-1(Rupp)-1(Asham) in fights which we all know are critical to team performance.

  19. Every draft there will be players taken ahead of others that you can say should have been drafted later and vise versa. Can we wait until McIlrath has even played a little in the NHL before we kick him aside! I personally can’t wait because I think he’s the Rangers next Beukeboom… but it’s going to take time.

    The Trottier joke was histerical!

    Damien Brunner’s shoot out goal last night was sweet!

    Can’t believe how much doom and gloom there is out there already, but I shouldn’t be surprised!

    @@

  20. No one has to worry about the Masterton Trophy either since that is going straight to Josh Harding.

  21. The Mc-Wrath is going to be an awesome, back-checking, crease-clearing defenseman. Just what this team needs!

  22. I do not understand how we are down in players willing to fight compared to last year. We lost Dubinsky who only won a fight against Mike Richards and Prust who no doubt was willing but never actually won a fight. We added Rick Nash, Taylor Pyatt and Arron Asham, all who have fought before.

  23. Chris, I take it your talking about Hagelin…one goal in his last 21 games and Kreider 4 goals with the Whale. Or is it Step, MDZ or Bickel u had in mind. Talk about hilarious.

  24. I was really high on the Pyatt signing. I thought he was like Boyle but played his size a lot better. Maybe he could even teach Boyle to play like a huge person. But Pyatt so far has looked more like he’s regressing to Boyle-style rather than vice versa.

  25. Richards and Gaborik, for most of last season, didn’t work well at all. For those with short memories (like myself).

    I forget who said they are middle of the pack in size, speed and something else (too lazy to scroll through again). They actually are quite above average in size and I’d guess among the very top teams in the league in speed.

    Good morning, Sally!

  26. Gravy, Bettman gets no on

    Brunner’s shootout goal was OK, but he’s no Malik. Plus, it was against ex-Flyers goalie Bob Rovsky.

  27. another thing to keep in mind is back in 1995 they didn’t have the buttman 3 point game like they do today.

  28. Gravy, Bettman gets no on

    I think the 3 point games works as much in a team’s favor as against it. Either way, we shouldn’t be worrying about 3 point games 2 games into the season.

  29. The Rangers’ average age is 27.4 years. That includes 4th line of Asham (34), Halpern (36), and Rupp (33). Biron is 35. Most of those guys won’t be here in a year or two. The team that went to CF last year was even younger. I think it’s a bit premature to talk about rebuilt.

  30. Oh, wait, you mean in ’95. Right, they didn’t have a Bettman Bonus Point in ’95. I should try using glasses when I read.

  31. I don’t get crazy about the regualr season, just get in to the playoffs, it’s a crap shoot anyway.

  32. gravy

    completely disagree with you we should be hoping other conf games arent going into OT on a nightly basis at least until we know 24 game(half way) what teams we need to root for. when watching isles/tampa buff/toronto last night all i cared about was no OT. in my mind if that means having isles hold onto 4-3 lead late in game and not having tampa get a pt i would take it.

  33. I actually _like_ Bickel as a forward. He would just be a defensively responsible forward and he’s huge. So….great.

    Carp, any word on them calling someone up for Defense? I would assume that Bickel at forward is more than just “fun at practice” since he definitely needs practice on the actual Defensive end of things…

  34. well, even though I’m not a fan of Pierre Mcguire, he was on the wfan last year and said that the rangers had a deep system. I woulkd think Mcguire knows his hockey since that is his job.

  35. if the rangers finish 1st or 6th or even 8th this year with this sprint to finish season i dont care. just get into playoffs. 6th and 8th seeded teams can easily win a cup. just look to last year.

  36. also if stu bickel is playing d on wed night instead of eminger or gilroy torts is a complete moron.

    stu bickel is useless back there. i could see him perhaps on 4th line instead of asham for a game need be but his playing DEF on this team should be over

  37. Islanders know how to rebuild. They’ve been getting younger and younger over the last 15 years. Next step is to make the playoffs.

  38. I don’t know about _over_ , eric, but Bickel at forward is an intriguing idea to me. If he’s going to be playing Defense I would hope he would get a lot of practice at it because his positioning has been odd at best.

  39. it’s possible the reason why Bickel is in the lineup is because he will drop the gloves and fight, you do need some toughness in the line up, especially when you play the bruins.

  40. @KatieStrangESPN@ #NYR# Gaborik practicing on line with Richards and Nash. Bickel as fourth-line forward. Asham not out there

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

    I, for one, hate the idea of Gaborik-Richards-Nash on the same line. It’s too weak defensively and it thins our other lines out too much. I like spreading those guys out a bit.

  41. Stu Bickel on 4th line instead of Asham? Not happening. I havent been overly impressed with Halpern and we all know how good Stu is on faceoffs so maybe…..nah.

  42. Stanger Nation on

    to an earlier point – the older players on the 4th line will need rest – another set of back-to-backs against two good teams this week – like Bickel on 4th line – think he played forward in college at some point or juniors.

    He can always jump in the circle if Halpern thrown out to take the draw as well.

    Huge added bonus if he bloodies Collie Jr’s face again tomorrow!

  43. Maybe Eminger will be good as our 6th Defenseman. He has been playing in the NHL long enough to know where to stand when facing a 1-on-2.

  44. well, asham has a mild groin pull, that’s why Bickel is pratcing on the 4th line. These are the type of injuries that can happen when you don’t do a normal training camp with pre-season games.

  45. Doodie Machetto on

    “Because Sutter’s penalty was the little-known faceoff violation infraction, the actual penalty time was the same as first (Despres) penalty. The official clock was reset. The 5-on-3 was actually 2:00, not 1:57 as showed on the scoreboard and the TV clocks. Technically, they happened at the same time.”

    See, I think technically, they don’t happen at the same time. the clock starts as soon as the puck is dropped, not when somebody touches it. As soon as one second ticks off the clock, as it did before Sutter touched the puck, they are no longer at the same time. That’s some BS on top of this already BS rule.

  46. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Doodie – I dont do banking, but public accounting. Usually when we get clients refinancing we have to email them requested tax documents for support. Sorry i couldn’t help more.

  47. At risk of agreeing with Mannu, I still prefer Stevie Minger to Bickel or having to pair Gilroy with MDZ or Stralman. He’s not exactly Shea Weber, but he’s been capable of playing OK for something more than five minutes a game.

  48. It’s not about moving players between the lines and change positions. It’s all about conditioning right now. They are sloppy and moving Gabby from side to side or moving Kreider up would not change a bit. Give our Blueshirts some time, it’s only 2 games. I can easily see them going 0-4 and start long winning streak on Saturday vs Leafs. We have parts. Believe.

  49. _When the minor penalties of two players of the same team terminate at the same time, the Captain of that team shall designate to the Referee which of such players will return to the ice first and the Referee will instruct the Penalty Timekeeper accordingly_

    So just an excuse for the refs to get to speak to Sidney again, really.

  50. It’s obvious to anyone but electrified pigeons that Boyle should be centering Nash and Gaborik.

  51. It’s obvious to anyone but electrified pigenos that Boyle should be centering Nash and Gaborik.

  52. And as for the stupid situation against the Blackhawks last year, why the hell should the penalised team get to choose their own punishment?

  53. Eklund’s first 2013 updates:

    “Dubinsky was what put the magic in magic pan”. (e2)

    “One – two more losses this week will have Torts extremely stand off-ish with the media again” (e5)

    and this little tidbit:

    “The last time a team started 0-2 in a shortened season in any sport and it was followed by 12 fans of said team eating fast food in the following 72 hours BUT PRIOR to a snow fall totaling more that 7.5 inches in the local counties within 42 miles of the teams home venue there was a 61% chance that team would in fact rebound and make the playoffs. Of course that was only after .06675% of the teams fans won a total of $322.00 in state lottery prizes” (E3)-
    SO EVERYONE RUN OUT ON THEIR LUNCH BREAK FOR SCRATCH OFF TICKETS!

  54. LW3H – Exactly. Maybe Miami included the second post for our Spanish speaking bloggers? Otherwise, what’s a pigeno?

  55. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    I agree LW – since technically the other penalty happened first using EST, they should get out of the box first.

  56. I would take Avery back at a minimum contract. Happily. Guy would be a great addition to our team.

    That said, you think our players are out of shape? I bet Avery is WAY out of shape.

    Also, definitely not going to happen. That article is pure speculative garbage.

  57. lol obviously the latter was meant to precede the former … but I’m using a PC and not a Mac … so it becomes another unsolved mystery as to how that occured.

    Still, the bottom line remains that Boyle is grossly underrated and underutilized.

  58. OMG, avery. All I need to know about avery is when the raqgers got him from the kings, all I read was Avery was a cancer in the kings locker room, than I read the same thing when on the rangers and the same thing when he played for the stars. Does anybody see a pattern here, please, let it go.

  59. Gravy, Bettman gets no on

    eric January 22nd, 2013 at 11:35 am
    gravy

    completely disagree with you we should be hoping other conf games arent going into OT on a nightly basis at least until we know 24 game(half way) what teams we need to root for. when watching isles/tampa buff/toronto last night all i cared about was no OT. in my mind if that means having isles hold onto 4-3 lead late in game and not having tampa get a pt i would take it.

    eric, agreed…however, we should also hope the the Rangers do get into at least OT every game. that was more my point.

  60. Gravy, Bettman gets no on

    I think the blog this season and last season can be summed up as follows:

    2012 – Rangers winning, why is Torts changing lines?
    2013 – Rangers losing, why isn’t Torts changing lines?

  61. How did Wisniewski get changed into a ref uniform and into the stands so quickly for that pic?

  62. Eric, do you really think gilroy or eminger is a big upgrade for those six minutes … Or that most teams have a No,6 much better?

  63. Månnu

    He came out of the game in Edmonton, but due to injury. Otherwise, no. Biron wasn’t pulled in any starts either (even the aforementioned Blackhawks game, when he conceded four goals technically at the same time in the game clock).

  64. Last time Lundqvist was pulled due to performance was March of ’11.
    Am I the only one who thinks that the most important problem for the Rangers right now is the fact that they’ve shown only minor effort? By the time they were down by 2 or 3 to Pittsburgh, they looked like they didn’t give a Schultz and couldn’t wait for the game to be over.

  65. rangers look like a team who aren’t mentally and physically in regular season game shape. I think that will change as the season goes on.

  66. carp

    do i think they are an upgrade YES because they can skate. i know there def play will be just as poor as bickel but if the speed of gilroy will prevent vitale from going around him like he did to bickel maybe its an upgrade.
    listen gilroy eminger and bickel all arent the answer but of the three the guy who can skate is the one i want. bickel gets beat shift after shift by speed around him

  67. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Carl/carp
    You are both so very wise, great write up.

    Orr
    The other Orr went up to the press box and hit John Scott in the onions?

    I think cally dropping the gloves would go a long way

  68. Callahan is our Captain. People should fight on his behalf. He shouldn’t have to get punched in the face.

  69. Forget about hockey, anyone else still wondering why Serena Williams keeps getting entered into the women’s brackets?

  70. Latona shows up just when I was thinking about how badly I wanted *Evander Kane* to be on the Rangers. Interesting.

  71. So in the 5:30 he spent on the ice Bickel wasn’t effective enough? I see what you’re saying but I think the point is that what about the guys who weren’t effective enough and logged 20+ minutes of ice time? WShould they be on the hot seat for their performances? Richards made two eye ball burning blind passes that a dead guy without hockey talent wouldn’t have decided to make on Sunday night. Is there a center iceman that should be considered an upgrade over him?

    The answer to both those questions..NO…because 1- They need time to adjust and find their games and 2- They are entitled to a couple mistakes as long as they hold themselves accountable and aren’t satisfied with their performances…..Just like you could argue for a 2nd year player with potential this time of year…isn’t that what Bickel is??

  72. Agreed James. The passing (especially the blind passes thrown to the center of the ice) were beyond stupid.

  73. “Evander Kane”…sounds like a character on Super NES versions of Mortal Combat….or a villainous character in a boxing or kick boxing movie

  74. Avery has submitted a letter of understanding to Sather, copying Tortorella listing his on-ice sartorial demands before he will consider re-signing.

    Empire waist knitted cable knit cardigan sweater with gussets and lace tatting
    Floral Leaf Pattern Crinoline Bermuda shorts
    Joseph Abboud flannel legwarmers
    Cassini Chelsea Boots with snap on skate attachment
    Louis Vuitton pouch bag with velcro waist attachment
    Christian Dior Boiled wool bonnet
    Dolce@Gabbanna DG2027-B Aviator Sunglasses

  75. And Latona. Man. You guys know a lot about fashion. And here I am, heading to Jos. A Bank to pick up my suit pants I had to have let out…

  76. Manny – I like to hear that I’m not the only one constantly letting out suit pants…anyone else hope the government invents elastic band suits pants?

  77. Doodie Machetto on

    “Or that most teams have a No,6 much better?”

    Yes. They have a guy that the coach will put on the ice after the second period.

  78. Bickel did play 4:59 of the third in the last game, admittedly with a several goal deficit.

    CTB can do the zone start and Corsi stuff.

  79. Did Prust really say, as I read somewhere on a very questionable blog, that skating on a line with Avery was like skating with Sandusky? If so, I imagine he meant that Sean created a nasty, pugnacious growl among the opposing line and Brandon had to defend him.

  80. Doodie Machetto on

    Niederreiter looking to get traded from the Islanders. Can’t blame him. I can’t think of a prospect that has been more mismanaged than him. Islanders are a joke.

  81. Man. Prust rules. Is Avery really that bad? Most of his comments I find hysterical. Not suspension worthy.

  82. Read it again. The commenter quotes Prust, then adds the Sandusky comment following the quote. I dont give a rat’s aasen about Prust either way, just pointing that out.

  83. The Islanders are horrible but the Lightning looked worse. They had ZERO plan on offense and just horrendous defense. That game STUNK.

  84. CARP: How many games would the team have to lose (to begin the season) for Sather to consider firing Torts?

  85. Speaking of hats, I’m wondering they thought of something new other than the b’way hat for this season. I’m thinking that thing is pretty gross by this point.

  86. Yeah, since that’s not obviously happening, like EVER AGAIN. I guess it’ll remain a mystery.

  87. I think that’s the real reason they are without a win, CTB….Nobody wants to put that stinky thing on….

  88. speaking of the islanders. When your starting goalie retires and ownership hires him as the new GM, that tells you all you need to know about that organization, plus the fact they keep bad contracts so they can meet the cap floor.

  89. Barry Trotz: “Tonight’s was a man’s game. You had to put your *big-boy pants* on and go.”

    There’s your replacement for the Broadway Hat right there.

  90. Maybe that is what Dolan was consulting Avery on. Hey Sean, “what should we wear after we win a game?”

  91. this team will be fine once it’s had a chance to gel. its top forward had no training camp and there are new pieces that have had no exposure to the current system. give it time and it’ll get better. not going to buy the argument that losing Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky Brandon Prust, Ruslan Fedotenko and John Mitchell is anything but addition by subtraction. Chemistry is overrated.

  92. @AdamRotter@ Note: Taylor Pyatt’s Job Isn’t To Be The Rangers Top Forward

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

    It isn’t?

  93. this team will be fine once it’s had a chance to gel….Chemistry is overrated.

    Wait, what?

  94. Gel is gone! Avery took it all when he left the locker room for the last time, along with twelve Ralph Lauren underarm deodorant sticks.

  95. do you guys just not understand things or are you really ready to write the season off after two games

  96. The glue that kept us together in the prust is gone. Carp was right the play against the walls by prust Feds Mitch cant be forgotten asham halpern pyatt are two steps below that trio.

  97. if your team is held together by Brandon Prust, you’re not going to win a Stanley Cup ever

  98. so the rangers are dooemd because of no prust. i guess the canadiens should have a deep run in the playoffs because they have Prust!!!Want to bet on that 1??

    rangers have enough talent they should compete for the cup this year. they need staal to play like a good d man not a bum(first 2 games). they need gabby to show up, they need others to play the way they can and should nothing more…..

  99. Avery took the Gel. Prust took the Glue. These guys should be frisked when they’re let go.

  100. Cross Check Charlie on

    I think Dubinsky, Prust and Fedotenko did some good things last year that don’t show up on the stat sheet. Artie and Mitchell….um…not so much. Still, I can’t see where the losing these guys would make the differenence between winning and losing. Their replacements play a similar game.

  101. Other than on the PP, I really don’t like the idea of playing Gaborik-Richards-Nash on one line. That’s stacking the deck too much and making it easy to get the opposition’s best defensive pair out against our top line. That’s a real easy way to neutralize 3 of our top scorers. I don’t know if I even like the idea of it on the PP since Callahan is so good in front of the net, whereas Gaborik and Nash are snipers who can score from further out. If there was a Richards-Gaborik-Hagelin line with a Callahan-Stepan-Nash line, that could spread some of the talent out and create 2 scoring lines that would need to be respected. Then a Kreider-Boyle-Pyatt line with Kreider making guest appearances in the top 6 until he can establish his NHL game. The Rupp-Halpern-Asham line seems the default 4th line unless the Rangers make a move for someone or call up somebody more productive.

    If anyone is going to go from that line, I think it has to be Rupp, who sucks at hockey at this point in his career and is too old to fight anybody real huge. Asham is a tough customer more along the lines of Prust, instead of a one-dimensional lunkhead. Newbury had a great year in Hartford, maybe time to call the kid up?

  102. agree with most of what you said except I’d actually flip Hagelin and Kreider, at least for a little while to see what Kreider does when surrounded by better players. I think the ceiling is a lot lower for Hagelin than Kreider no matter how poor he looked in the AHL this year.

  103. Joe, I don’t think the top three guys on the same line will be permanent by any means, but I would imagine they will be together at various times during games … like Crosby and Malkin (on a much lower level, of course). And I think Nash with Richards is a lot more likely than Gaborik with Richards, which was hot and very cold when together last year.

  104. classic fans they whine about the players when they are on there team and then miss them when they get traded.

    this team has a ton of talent. staal, henrik, gabby, stepan, kreider, and others will play better. none of these guys are old and should be regressing in there performance yet.

    this is not a bunch of old guys hanging on. your eyes and the record the last 2 years are not lieing…

  105. newbury is a career ahl + player… he was on the redwings a lifetime ago…

    better off giving young guys a taste of things and see what happens…

  106. I like how Newbury punches really fast. Also, he is _REALLY_ good at faceoffs. I would totally be fine with him over Halpern who doesn’t really add much.

  107. Stanger Nation on

    I actually like Newbury and it may be easier for someone in AHL to step in as they have been playing half a season already. He can scrap, but usually is on the receiving end of the blows.

    throws the body and is good at faceoffs, just has trouble with ‘speed’ of NHL game.

  108. If they lose tomorrow I suspect a funeral home will look like the Time Square on New Year’s Eve comparing to this place….

  109. Rupp has trouble with the speed of the NHL game, too. He’s a big man who is a punching bag for other big men who are much younger and stronger. Smaller men won’t fight him, so it doesn’t do any good there. With Newbury being good on faceoffs, he could supplement Halpern’s ability on that end. I’m not saying Newbury is the answer to our prayers, but I think Rupp has been dead weight on this team for a while now. Newbury has been part of the organization for a while, he knows the system and can step in

  110. oh no doubt Rupp is dead weight – I think a case could be made that his contract is one of the worst ones they’ve signed in several years. wouldn’t have a problem with Newbury replacing him

  111. My joints ache when I watch Rupp skate. It’s like he’s made of cement and has molasses for blood.

  112. Mike Rupp has feet and hands of cement, pretty much his whole body is cement

    well, everything except his face

  113. Obviously Halpern isn’t exactly in the first flush of youth, but there might be a reason or two he’s played 850+ NHL games and Newbury has played about 70.

  114. I’m certainly not advocating for Newbury to replace Halpern. When you’ve got a guy who was 5th in the league in faceoffs, you don’t go into the AHL to find someone better. But I have a hard time believing Newbury isn’t a better option than Rupp.

  115. Halpern might well be done and I guess we’ll find out. But Newbury’s pretty unlikely at his age to be more than a temporary fill in.

  116. And replacing one fourth liner with another will help as much as me wearing a different jersey to the next game after loss

  117. Let the record show that I don’t want to replace Rupp. I think he’s good for this team and has a knack for goals in a big spot (IE the Classic last year and the game winner when he won that ‘misleading’ Stanley Cup)

  118. I didn’t, LLoyd…You are trying to read what wasn’t said, be my guest. I’m done “debating” with you long time ago. I much prefer to change my daughter’s diaper.

  119. ilb2001 January 22nd, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    And replacing one fourth liner with another will help as much as me wearing a different jersey to the next game after loss

    how shall I decode this cryptic cipher

  120. LOL! CT. “Today we work on conditioning drills. Tomorrow, how to get off the bench without needing plastic surgery afterwards

  121. I remember when Newbury was called up last time….Against Toronto. Mike Brown made him look very silly with a couple of punches. I don’t think he’s been up since, no?

  122. _Mike Brown made him look very silly with a couple of punches. I don’t think he’s been up since, no?_

    Think he coached the Lakers for a bit, but not sure what’s happened since.

  123. LOVE IT!!

    “ilb2001 January 22nd, 2013 at 5:43 pm
    And replacing one fourth liner with another will help as much as me wearing a different jersey to the next game after loss”

  124. btw,
    wasn’t able to watch pens game so i’ll hold off on opinion of Rupp
    but
    i liked a bit of what i saw from Halpern during the overall bad effort in boston
    i liked the Halpern signing
    he’s here to win faceoffs
    (Torts better use him for that!!)
    and provide some grit
    i liked him when he was with the caps

  125. Newbury, on the other hand, did very well against Salvador in NJ a few years ago….Go figure.

  126. I was hoping the rangers would have signed Konopka, good on face offs, can fight, good 4th line center.

  127. I was in favor of that, too, Tommy. Last year and this year. I don’t know what kind of money he ended up getting.

  128. there’s an entire game that takes place outside of the faceoff dot that Konopka is not very good at playing

  129. Wow. Well, he killed some penalties in the playoff series, and he killed them with the Isles (of course, you or I could make the Isles PK better).

    And he definitely snuffed out 20-25 seconds of some Rangers PPs just by winning the d-zone draw and having a teammate immediately fling it down the ice.

  130. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Newbury reminds me of a slightly (and I mean very slightly) better fighter than weise and Byers….and that isn’t good.

    I really don’t expect rupp to go anywhere until his contract is up. I think torts likes him and slats does as well.

    I wish they had kept the bahama bomba!!!

  131. Is killing Rangers PPs (even if they clicked at a higher rate in the playoffs than the reg season) that much of an accomplishment?

  132. not that I like the devils but i despise the philthy Phlyers. Hopefully they kill each other.

  133. Prust just went to locker room after making a hit in corner… Dropped to all fours after contact… Noticeable pain… Shoulder or Sternum…. As we all know well… He’ll be back.

    @@

  134. Matty"MonsterNash"Boy on

    I agree big time on the Konopka, too. Thought he had good size and presence and did some of the things role players do. What a steal for that price. Would rather have him, total package, compared to Halpern

  135. I see the flyers are on there game, out shooting the devils 9-3 but losing 2-0 thanks to there great goaltending.

  136. I knew that this stumpy season was going to favor the Debs…..Zajerk & Clarkson are making up for losing Zach…

  137. To answer my own question, the Phlyers _have_ started Bryzgalov in all three games so far and he has, to date, 2 losses.

  138. Kovalchuk scores on a penalty shot, don’t think that counts as a shot on goal, devils still have 3 shots on goal and 3 goals, funny stuff.

  139. Penalty shot goal by Kovy….I guess that a defenseman can’t even touch a guy who is coming in on a breakaway any more..

  140. Stranger Nation on

    if tomorrow night does not go well, could be battle of the defeated vs. the Filth on Thursday.

    Feds is not playing bad, flyers D sucks eggs

  141. flyers have another power play, devils have them right where they want them, another shorty, maybe?

  142. Jimbo – It is ridiculous what they now give penalty shots for. A penalty shot used to be a rarity.

  143. Like I said, sather stinks when it comes to signing free agents. sather never signs the right players.

  144. FYI – I have, on Time Warner, and my buddy has, on Verizon FiOs, a free, 10-day preview of Center Ice.

  145. Not really a way to give back, Manny… they do it every season at the beginning.

    so we are still just a bunch of schmucks.

  146. Manny, I have cablevision. I just checked the higher channels and i’m also getting center ice, didn’t realize it. I’m getting the jets vs. cap game and also the hurricanes game. if I remember correctly, they did the same thing last year in the beginning of the season.

  147. Carp –

    Absolutely, they should have. Believe it or not, Richards’ cap hit is the same as Kovalchuk’s.

    I 100% agree with your take from June 29, 2011:

    “As good as Richards is, he’s not a top-10 or even a top-20 player in the NHL. Not. Sorry. He isn’t. He’s very, very good. Right off the bat, he’s one of the Rangers’ three best players. But he’s not going to do things that other superstars in the NHL can do. And what the heck happens if his numbers start going down?”

  148. Tom, it sure is ridiculous – one used to need to completely haul down a guy from behind to get a penalty shot. Now, just a touch against the offensive player, and it’s the zebras pointing at center ice!

  149. Lots of Maaaarty love and fawning on NBCsports – and Doc & Chico aren’t even working tonight!

  150. Right on, CT. Totally different players and roles, can’t compare them as far as I’m concerned. Signing Kovalchuk wouldn’t have addressed the need at the time.

  151. The only way that this could be any more annoying is if Jacques-Strap Lemaire was still behind the Debbies bench…

  152. Gaborik is much closer to a top 5 winger in the league than Richards is to a top 5 center. Hell I think Richards is the 5th best center in the division.

  153. Easily the best Goalie coach on the team. Heck, I guess we need to put Rammer on that list as well!

  154. I saw some “highlights” from the Montreal game tonight, and Prust was running around like a nut, hitting everybody that moved on the Panthers..

  155. Caps vs. Jets on Game Channel 2, I believe. Kind of a crappy game since the Capitals are God awful. Probably due to the loss of Semin.

  156. Our games with the Habs are gonna be interesting, with Prustie running around like a madman..

  157. Oh, Thanks Manny – I had turned that one off – Caps decided not to put a goalie in net tonight, unlike when they play us…

  158. Don’t think so, Jimbo. He’ll be ready for Thursday I’m sure… Which should be another good one regardless of how the Rangers do tomorrow.

  159. As I sit here watching the hated Devils against the Cheesesteaks roll out four lines that consistently carry the play I wonder…….With my finger close but not yet on the panic button, and certainly understanding that our sample of two games is insufficient and came against two deep teams each a serious threat to emerge from the conference and play for the cup, my primary concern is whether or not the Blueshirts have enough players (especially forwards) who can play with both an acceptable level of SKILL AND JAM. So far, the answer is clearly we don’t. Most of our forwards who are considered skill players – Richards, Gaborik, Stepan, Hagelin and Kreider have shown minimal jam factor, while most of our jam players – Asham, Rupp, Boyle, Pyatt have shown minimal skill factor. little to up front lack the jam ………Other than Nash and Callaghan do we have enough combination players – players who possses skill and jam? Players whose effort is gritty, nasty, surly, …..players who are willing to sacrifice for each other…..players who fearlessly compete in the lunch pail areas of the ice……. players who fear not and thrive in the one one one and two on two battles for puck possession…. players who are difficult for opponents because they play determined and bring it on every shift……players who play bigger and stronger when the competition is greatest. …. I really do hate the Devils.

  160. I’m sure that you’re correct, ilb – he’ll be dressed on Thursday, for sure! Hmm…Simmonds & Clarkson. Didn’t expect them to go..

  161. I *really* despise the Devils – after last season’s playoff wipeout, it fortified my hate for them.

  162. Olga, can a team get a penalty for not having enough players on the ice? I feel like we’ve been short handed all season so far!

  163. There’s this one Devils acolyte that I know who only uses the word “smacked” to describe a Rangers defeat. For example: “Damn! Rangers got smacked!” Over. And over. And over again. It drives me mad. That’s what fortifies my hate for the Devils. Their fans, how precious few there may be, are repugnant.

  164. Isn’t that always the way it is, Latona? I swear, I was hoping that the Flys would beat the Devs tonight, just because it was the Devs they were playing. You don’t often see me wishing for a Flys team to win..

  165. Rinaldo was hurt (cut by skate) in Flyers game vs Buffalo so that is why he is probably not playing. Flyers are 0-3. They play us next game. I have a feeling that game will be very ugly.

  166. Eddie Money …. Former NYPD patrolman before hitting the big time. I think his name was Ed Mahoney.

  167. The only thing about that, Papa Bear, is that the Avalanche then wouldn’t have defeated them in the Finals, which is a great source of joy for me.

    Jimbo, the Devils are definitely the primary recipient of my hockey hatred. I dislike the Flyers, but enjoy watching them play (as long as they lose in most cases). I don’t even concern myself with disliking the Islandorks, what with their irrelevance and epic failures. Pittsburgh and Boston are the only other teams I truly dislike. If I weren’t a NYR fan, I would probably be a Red Wings fan.

    I vividly recall watching NYR lose to the Caps via Sergei Fedorov in Game 7 and being stricken with dejection. I channeled up to MSG+ to see the Canes tie and then claim the series against the Swamp Rats in the final two minutes. Talk about a mood swing – I was cackling maniacally and leaping for joy!

  168. I have all those memories too, Olga – but the Debs bad memories are a lot more recent and painful in their proximity to today.

  169. Look on the bright side Eddie Money. If you had stayed in the NYPD you would look bad and be poor.

  170. I hate that little sarcastic smirk on Marty’s face. You know deep down, he wishes he spent his career with the Blueshirts. But we have the last laugh because, we never wanted him anyway.

  171. Sergei Fedorov’s shot through Redden’s legs is one of the most vivid memories I have of the recent years.

  172. Hugo Folkyerself on

    Well, the Devils aren’t far behind in hatred for me, Jimbo. But the flyers make my skin crawl…

  173. I remember that night, Latona – that was one of the best Devils failures of all time – maybe the greatest of them all, even better than Messier & Matteau!

    I *really* despise them – and the Isles I still hate because they take such pleasure in beating the Rangers, not that it ever does them much good as far as season success goes..

  174. Yeah, Marty’s face is one that you just want to hit over and over again with a red-hot cast iron skillet……

  175. What works for me when I am feeling down about the way the Flyers pummeled us in the early 70s is to find video from the two beat downs Nicky Fotiu had against Paul Holmgren and Behn Wilson.

  176. I hear ya, Hugo – it may have something to do with who your “friends” are – if you have “friends” who are Debs and Fishstick fans, the hatred level really ramps up exponentially.

    I hate the Flyers and their entire ownership and organization, but I don’t have many Flyer fan-friends.

  177. Olga Folkyerself on

    I watch my videos of the 86 matchup Smurfs vs 1st place Flyers. That was a great upset.

  178. We do seem to always wind up getting players who have tormented us in the past – and then when we get them, they *continue* to torment us!

  179. Olga Folkyerself on

    That’s ’cause Sather gets them at the scratch and dent sales. He doesn’t seem to mind the obvious flaws.

  180. I didn’t even want Pat LaFontaine after he had been an Islandork for so long – and that wasn’t even Sather!

  181. I was annoyed at Verbeek, Driver, MacLean….they all pissed me off being in Ranger uniforms after being Devils for so long…

  182. I never hated Messier – I enjoyed the fact that he and his team finally ended the long nightmare of Islandorks winning the Cup for 4 years in a row….I liked Edmonton for knocking them into a swwon that they never really recovered from!

  183. He did hang on too long – he really didn’t have anything left in the tank those last few years.

  184. JimboWoodside:

    Prust was given credit for 4 hits. Perhaps only 4 guys played for the Panthers tonight, I dunno.

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