Rangers-Maple Leaves in review

298

Thoughts:

1) It is beyond stupid to think this team was going to stink  it up all season. I don’t think they are where they need to be, and they still need to get more from the guys who play on the second line, or who are supposed to play on the second line. They will be better defensively. Their goalie will eventually steal some games. Their record, when all is said and done, might look nothing like last season’s record. But in a 48-game season, you just need to be in the top eight. They will be, handily.

2) You know what struck me as funny? When a team struggles defensively, you hear about how the forwards aren’t coming back to help the defensemen. But when it struggles offensively, you don’t usually hear about the D-men not helping the forwards up ice. And the Rangers’ struggling offense really has had very little help from the D so far, until that tying goal. And honestly, the Rangers’ top three D-men haven’t been great in their own end, either, until the last two periods last night.

3) Rick Nash=Beast.

4) Marc Staal had a brain-cramp, or just was guilty of bad awareness, on the second Leaves goal. But from that point on, the guy was a monster. Easily his best game of the season.

5) You could say the same for a number of guys, including Brad Richards, Brian Boyle (7 hits, 12-8 on draws), even Ryan Callahan (after the early dumb penalty) and Carl Hagelin.

6) This was adversity, even though it was just the Leaves. Because the Rangers had their best start of the season and were down 2-0 because of lousy goals allowed by, first, the Dan Girardi-Ryan McDonagh pair, and then by Staal. Girardi looks like he’s too committed to blocking every shot and pass, and spending way too much time on the ice and not nearly enough on his skates. He was like that a couple of years ago. Last year, when he still blocked a ton of shots, he knew when to stay on his skates and he became an all-star. Just an observation.

7) The power play, which took the collar again, still looked better with Richards off the point. Again, he played well, won someimportant draws (though lost 14 of 26), etc. But he hasn’t looked good on that point.

8) Boy,  it seemed last year when guys fought (Brandon Prust) the Rangers responded positively. This year, it seems, the opponent has responded and the Rangers have not after every fight. So how about this? Cut it out. Fighting for fighting’s sake. Idiotic. Plus, if you’re scoring at home, the Rangers haven’t won many.

9) I didn’t mind Benn Ferriero at all. I don’t  know where he plays, or if he plays, when Jason Arnott arrives and Chris Kreider heals. But the kid looked fine.

10) They say you kill good penalties and never kill the bad ones, and that too-many-men penalty was a really bad one.

11) If you want to hang your hat on something, check out how many of the NHL’s better teams are struggling.

12) The Rangers still lost some battles they would have won last season.

13) Wait, did I not even mention Marian Gaborik yet? How good has he been? Where are those people who had his name and “compliance buyout” in the same sentence before the season started?

14) Michael Del Zotto — on ice for all four Rangers goals until the empty-netter.

15) Wait, did I also not mention the goalkeeper? Henrik Lundqvist didn’t have to steal this one, but he was pretty solid, too.

***************************************
My Three Rangers Stars:
1. Marc Staal.
2. Marian Gaborik.
3. Rick Nash.
***************************************
John Milewski’s Rangers Stars:
1. Marian Gaborik — flying all night.
2. Michael Del Zotto — finding ways to join the rush and (surprise) hitting the net with his shots!
3. Rick Nash — big boy was a big presence and created space for Gabby.
Honorable Mention: Marc Staal — big recovery after a slow start.
***************************************
Your poll vote for the Three Rangers Stars:
1. Marian Gaborik (28.14 %).
2. Rick Nash (19.01 %).
3. Marc Staal (17.87 %).
****************************************

Photos by Getty Images.

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298 Comments

  1. First!
    Finally a 60-minut effort! Great game for Nash and Gaborik. Nice to see defencemen to get on the board as well.

  2. usual good analysis. Ferrero deserves another game. speed helps long term who knows. day by day.

    why not give Gilroy a start or 2.. emminger played like 7 minutes see if Gilroy can contribute.

    what does rupp bring to this team??

    hagelin no goals in over 30 games….he looked good tonight but needs to score once in a while…

  3. Anyone else think Ferreirio looked exactly like MZA out there…sure they both wear the 36 but but same body type, speed, hustle, etc.

  4. Also, not sure if its just the early season doldrums, the transformed MSG or what, but MSG was DEAD tonight…no energy at all in the arena at all…

  5. Top 5 :)

    Nice to see old time Ranger hockey!

    Yes they beat a team they were suppose to beat!

    Still a nice comeback in the 3rd period!!!

    If the Rangers pressure their opponent like they did tonight – they won’t lose too many games this year.

    I like Ben Ferriero’s speed he looked good with Hagelin and Boyle. By then again Hagelin’s speed helps every line look faster.

    LET’S GO RANGERS!!!

  6. “Also, not sure if its just the early season doldrums, the transformed MSG or what, but MSG was DEAD tonight…no energy at all in the arena at all…”

    Save for the playoffs, but MSG gets a little quieter every year. Kinda sad.

  7. Typical 2-1 down, I fall asleep to wake up and miss a 4 goal period!

    I thought that was their most consistent effort across 60 mins save for a couple of missed coverages which were the only 2 chances they gave up early on. I think DelZ and Staal provided the offense the support they needed to keep the Leafs in their zone and wear them down. Gaby and Nash is one big 2-headed monster, I’ve been amazed by Nash’s work ethic, strength and passing ability and Gaby just has that 6th sense and such great hands. Hopefully Arnott is going to stabilise the lines a bit, because at one point I thought Torts was just picking numbers out of a hat, although it did work this time

  8. _They say you kill good penalties and never kill the bad ones, and that too-many-men penalty was a really bad one._

    Who says that?

    Do you have any factual evidence to corroborate that nonsense?

  9. Every time I post or repost this a new thread is started so I get no feedback. So here I go again:

    Hey Carp, when the Panthers successfully kill off a penalty the p.a. system plays a loud “ch-ching” and occasionally announces the end of the kill. I know home ice advantage means certain things, but how can it be legal to help notify the players that way? Your thoughts? (or anyone else’s who feels like jumping in)

  10. Nice write up, Carp. Went to bed happy for a change after watching the Blueshirts on TV. Will put skates on this morning…next win Phly…

  11. Nobody wanted Nash at the deadline because Columbus wanted McDonagh, Del Zotto, and or Stepan and a 1st. Gave up much less for waiting.

  12. You have to think that Halpern is gone when/if Arnott gets in. I saw him one time during last nights game, when he ran the wrong guy over and got his team into truble.

    Pyatt can’t skate, but is fa..eh, big
    Nasham ehhhh

    Good signings

  13. Lordy Lordy

    And to think that we moaned all thru the lockout, only to be faced with this. I tell you, this team has one lousy passing game and has had it for some time. Isn’t it about time that they learned positional play and passing properly. ? And really…how bad was it? I actually fell asleep in the middle of the 3rd period.

    One instance was when one Ranger passed the puck behind his back without looking and instead of it hitting a team mate it landed right on the stick of a Leaf player who was right there.

    Can the Whalers be any worse?

  14. And why put Gilroy in there? He’ll only dump him periodically at left defense, when his natural position is right Defense.

  15. Evrockriser

    I know announcement of penalties expiring over the PA is compulsory under IIHF rules, but not sure about NHL (can’t remember teams announcing that, but might be wrong).

    I’d guess if the announcement is OK, the sound effect is too, if a bit bush-league.

  16. Funny game. Did the coach tell DZ and Staal, “listen, if you get a chance here, I want you both to join the rush”?

  17. Hmmm.always thought Arnott would be a great addition to the team….but this thought dates back to the last century..so I hope the wait was worth it…..btw…good to see the boys starting to gel…i expect a few more hiccups….but feel we are on track…nice to have a little sh#t on the team instead of the oppositions roster!

  18. I’m in the hospital at the moment and I’m not sure if its the morphine, but is the 10th bullet point missing?

  19. Yes I think the coach said join the rush. That has been missing this yr. Maybe afraid to make a mistake. That is where we are the best in the league, push the D. We might get caught once in awhile, but it is soooo worth it for 2 reasons. 1. We don’t get caught n when we do that’s where Hank excels. 2. more importantly that is the only way we score, plain n simple. Our long stretches of no goals are when the D is flat footed, no?

  20. Cross Check Charlie on

    Didn’t see the first period so when I got home and saw the Rangers down 2-0 I decided to watch the game from the ledge.

    The power play is still terrible, but they totally dominated the second period. I can’t think of a decent chance Toronto had in that period and it continued into the third. Finally, the team got the payoff.

    It’ll be interesting to see where Arnott fits in.

  21. Obviously, the 3rd period was the best this team has played all year. Most of the play was in Toronto zone, they cycled and maintained good puck possession, used the points in the offense well, won battles along the side and end boards, went to the net and generally dominated in the battle areas of the ice. Great effort and finish to game they needed to win. Let’s hope there is some carry over on Tuesday.

    Carp, whether its 48 games or 82, you always need to finish in the top 8 so I’m not sure what you mean there. The problem with a 48 game schedule is it becomes much more difficult to recover from a prolonged poor start and climb back into contention.

  22. Eminger actually played under 5 Minutes, Stuart. Crazy, right? Shocked that Gilroy doesn’t get the nod over that. At least he’s a right handed shot. And a good one.

    Really hoping Ferrari gets a bunch of games up here. Really liked what I saw from him. Even centering the second line with Callahan and Hagelin on the wings. Also, saying it again, liked what Stepan brought to the RW on the third line. Thought we had some actual depth there even with al our big time scoring guys on one line.

  23. I thought Boyle and Hagelin played games that were similar to how they played last year, which is a good thing. And Ferriero has a bit of Prust in him with his tenacity. I definitely wouldn’t mind him playing over the likes of Rupp and Asham when Kreider is healthy and they figure out whether Arnott is Halpern’s replacement. I do know how much he’s got left in the tank, he looked pretty much done 2 years ago when he returned to the swamp and was traded ifs their spare parts firesale.

  24. my guess is Arnott is not Halpern’s replacement, but Kreder’s replacement. I think the Rangers are going to have Arnott be the 2nd line center, and move Stepan to wing. making the need for Kreider less.

  25. It means you could finish 1st or eighth it doesn’t matter when the playoffs start ..
    After two games people where acting like they wouldn’t make the playoffs

  26. I would rather have Ferrari Centre the second line than Arnott. The guy is really old. I don’t think he can play top 6 minutes even if the season is “shortened.” I would like to see Halpern and Arnott play swapsies every few games on that 4th line position and maybe have Arnott win some faceoffs (if he can once he puts on a Rangers Sweater) and then skate to the bench.

    Do like Stepan on RW. Thought he looked good over there.

  27. CT,
    agree on Hagelin. thought he played better last night. he had been playing out of control. skating real fast with no purpose.

  28. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    CT, I agree with you. Boyler and Hags were more like they were last year. Boyle’s goal was credited to him, but a bit of a fluke. Neither is a big scorer but they can do other helpful things on ice. Both could score more.

    Hags had some room and showed some speed last night. He also had some gritty corner/board play. Nice to see.

  29. Hey, Boyle can get as many of those as he can. When he actually uses that big body to screen the goalie good things happen. Guess he learned from JVR.

  30. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    Gabby has been Gabby. He’s got a nose for scoring. That deflection was a thing of beauty. It was arguably headed for the post or outside (typical Staal point shot) and he just plucked it slightly. Only real goal scorers intentionally do stuff like that.

  31. I do not think Stepan has played bad, but it is time for him to produce more. I see the same guy from when he was a rookie. nice player, but his skating has not really improved, and his shot is still very average. and to me, as a center he does not seem to make the players on his line better.

  32. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    The size this team begins to have now. Add in another huge man in Arnott. So nice not to be pushed around like we were in the 80’s and smurfsville 70’s

  33. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    Agreed Bull. I like his temperament. But at some point, his utility is worthless if he can’t create or score.

  34. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    Nash is such a solid player. His size is such a virtue. He’s got excellent hands. When he hemmed in 2, even 3 TO players in their zone for 20 seconds with puck against the wall, there was nothing they could do. That was OUR star player doing that!! Geez.

    Then he had a few solid body checks. Then he’s putting in good time on the PK (not so sure I like him wasted there as a steady diet).

    It will come, but he seems so used to having to do everything that he will try to go 1 on 4 at an important time of the game. Or take an unnecessary shot instead of passing. Kovalchuk had the same thing coming from Atlanta. He seems to be learning to trust your teammates. After years of playing with nothing (like Kessel and Phaneuf now) it must be hard to change. When he does……WATCH OUT!!!

  35. Stepan never stood out as being a player that would wow you with any of his athletic or physical skills. Doesn’t really have “plus” anything such as speed or shot, but had high hockey IQ. It’s not the worst thing if he tops out as a 50 or so point/2nd line center. If the Rangers had a guy that could produce that much at center AND win faceoffs then I’d definitely consider moving Stepan permanently to the wing.

  36. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    Oh, and Carpy, THANKS FOR A GREAT REVIEW!!!! More than anything, during lockout, missed your synopsis of games and what’s going on in hockey. You think outside the box. You evaluate things that are missed by others and isolate them and report. You do a great job. Thanks!!!!!

  37. That was OUR star player doing that!! Geez.

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

    Well put Matty. I keep having that thought during games. It’s so awesome.

  38. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    CCCP, the other team didn’t get many shots. They had 4 in the first, or so? Just two really dumb plays by out ‘d’ and that’s it. This was not a “sit and hold your breath wonder if Henrik will make the save” type game. The ice was pretty tilted. That kind of makes for a bit less edge of your seat.

    At MSG, it’s always quiet, our team down by 2. Since the early ’90’s, the fans aren’t as spontaneous. Part of that may be all the piped in chants that stopped our own home grown ones. Smothered them. So now, it’s artificial. And it is quieter.

    The garden was pretty quite through the first 5 minutes of the 3rd.

  39. I understand that Arnott was signed to fill a need but our track record with importing Devils is abysmal- Once a Derpil always a Derpil. The only one I could think of that ever did anything good for us was Shanahan, but he’s a first ballot HoF’er.

  40. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    Manny, I know they are different types of players. But his grit with everything else makes him similar (and I am not comparing) to the grit of a Messier. The leadership is there. Not comparing the players.

    Gabby is showing, in his own way, some grit, too. Torts has taught him to play a more well rounded game.

    The only one of our ‘stars’ I can’t get my arms around is Richards. He seems to be more peripheral when you need a guy to muck it up. He never seems to have a temper about things. He’s rarely ‘in the middle’ of a team situation.

    It must be me. I must have a bias. He must be REALLY good in the room, so to speak. But, remembering Mess’s percentage as a TRUE center. Remembering Mess’s great passes and leadership. This guy is brought in as a center and supposed to be ‘something special’. I just don’t see it.

    At this point.

  41. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    DJK, very true. The only thing about Arnott is that he has proven to be ok in other systems. Many of the Derbil players we got that were awful came from their ‘system’ directly, so they looked better as players, if that makes sense. Shanahahahahan also cam from another system, not directly from the Derbils. Arnott has been around enough to evaluate that. But he is old.

  42. It’s true. Pretty much all of what you’re saying.

    I will say this about Richards. When the NHLPA wanted a guy to head up the PA in the CBA discussions, they chose Brad Richards. He was there standing next to Don Fehr at every conference. He was there early and leaving late. I think the guy actually _is_ a leader, we just can’t see it from our perspective as fans. But he celebrates with the team. He went straight to Nash after that goal. The guy is a consumate professional and quietly puts up terrific numbers despite what we say about him.

  43. I thought any questions of Gabby’s grit were settled when it was revealed he played most of the playoffs with one shoulder.

  44. Greetings from 72 degree Florida, gang
    Nice to see these guys responded to the storm so to speak. From what I saw there are definitely some Guys starting to find their game.
    I want to like the Arnott move but since it isn’t 2002, I’m a bit skeptical especially where speed and endurance is concerned. He adds size and I’ll say he’s a better option than Halpern only bc I’ve yet to notice Halpern on the ice.

    Ps- Since Stepan has been on this team he has been the definition of secondary scoring. He’s got to get himself producing sooner or later and once he does there’s going to be other people who fall into place. (I’m a broken record w that)

    Pps- I think that other teams have responded more after fights bc teams aren’t intimidated anymore now that Prust is gone. Rarely did guys want a piece of him..what goon in the league (especially the East) hasn’t tangled with Asham or cares about throwing down w Rupp these days?

  45. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    So, James G, you are calling our ‘fighters’ has been’s?? We got a couple of ‘has beens’ fighting for us????

    I agree. No one fears them.

    Funny thing, Prust rarely won a decision. But his fights weren’t always staged or choreographed so they caught the other team off guard. The difference?

  46. IMO, the reason the Rangers responded positively to fights last year and not so much this is because last year they won most of their fights. This they are losing most.

    The problem with Rupp and Asham isn’t their abilities to play on the bottom 6 – they would both play on most teams bottom 6. Hell they both have for several teams (and lots of bottom 6 players move around – Dom Moore who most on here pine for regularly has played on something liike 6 teams since leaving the Rangers).

    The problem with these dudes are their mediocre fighting abilities. Rupp is the team’s heavyweight – he’s at the bottom of the barrel in that class. When did he last win a heavyweight bout? He’s lost all of them this season.

    Asham is the team’s middleweight and like Rupp he’s at the bottom of that class.

    Prust was the team’s middleweight answer last year and without a doubt he’s Asham’s opposite: He’s the champ for that division. He’s so good in fact, that he can take on and handle some of the middleweights.

    This I think is a significant problem for the Rangers. Like it or not fights can effect the flow of a game. Win a rousing bout and you energize your team. Lose 2 early in the game and it can spell trouble. I realize the Rangers outshot the Leafs in the first but after those fights the Leafs clearly played with swagger.

    That’s ok against the Leafs because the Ranger out talent them. Its not ok against the Bruins and the Flyers.

    It needs to be addressed IMO. If it means stop the staged fights, I’m good with that.

    If it means bringing that new kid up from the Whale (who sure looks like he can throw them), I’m for trying that, too.

    I’m not a big fan of either Rupp or Asham, but I sure don’t like it when they start fighting right off the bat and get beat up. You can see the Ranger bench sag….

  47. I don’t like the idea of moving Stepan to the wing. he does not have a good enough shot to play the wing, and he needs to become more of a goal scorer on the wing. not sure he is capable of that. I think that is where he is going when Arnott is ready though.

  48. Jim

    Winning and losing fights is probably the least important thing affecting this team. If it was that important they could have kept John Scott, who I don’t think has ever lost a fight in his hockey career…

    The reason why the Rangers have struggled is The Gaborik-Richards-Nash line and Pyatt have been the only players putting the puck in the net. Callahan, Stepan, Hagelin, Kreider, Boyle, Asham, Rupp, Halpern, Ferry-O, Segal, Newbury and Bickel have all played forward this season and the Rangers have gotten pretty much nothing out of any of them. As Carp mentioned early, the Rangers defense hadn’t done anything either until last night.

    Stepan has a few assists, Callahan has a PP goal and Boyle got hit with a Del Zotto shot that went in the net. Those guys are going to have to produce eventually as one line can’t carry them.

    I know its hard to criticize Callahan since his cojones are the size of the building, but he has been a big disappointment offensively so far. 7 SOG in 5 games is unacceptable for a guy who almost had 30 goals last season.

  49. Gilroy deserves a chance because he can skate and possibly score. if there 6th d man is getting less then 7 minutes a game, why not.

    on ferrerio or however you spell his name, 1 step at a time. like the speed but we will see…..

    if stepan is a 50 point guy who win near 50% of his faceoffs that is fine…so far the faceoff issue is a big problem. PK and PP winning faceoffs is huge…

  50. Great fun watching the Rangers win last night. They really had the leaves streached out thin most of the game. Lately all you here about is the lack of goaltending from the press in Toronto. They have a lot more problems than the goalie issue.
    Nash, they gave up a lot for him, but boy does he do a ton of things for a team. Gaborik also, he’s been real good, nice to see that. It was a good game overall for the Rangers. They pretty much dominated the entire game, but they still had to comeback from being down a couple. Last but not least I have to give Ferrerio his do, he held his own. He didn’t do a lot, but he didn’t screw up either. You can’t ask for more than that from a guy that got tossed into the mix like that.

  51. I don’t see how making changes to the 6th dman or 4th line wingers makes this team better or worse.

  52. A slightly pedantic point, DJK, but Shanahan isn’t a first ballot Hall of Famer because he was eligible this year and didn’t get in.

  53. oleosmirf
    I agree with you on the winning or losing fights not making much differance to the Rangers. I also am not a fan of staged fights. I think they are beyond stupid. On the John Scott not losing any fights, if I remember correctly Colton Orr dropped big John last week with a hard one to the guts. The big man went to his knees that was it. I am not 100% sure, but I think it was John Scott.

  54. You don’t have to knock someone out to win fights or win on points on ice or off. You just have to be game. Prust won few, but he forechecked and banged, which you need to be effective in hockey if you’re not a natural scorer. The toughest guy I knew growing up didn’t win most fights, but he was always game and the tougher guys gave him a wide berth.

  55. Even if Toronto is a bottom-feeder as usual, good teams beat the teams they’re supposed to beat. Last night was a good win and comeback from down 2.

  56. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Carp
    Great write up, thanks!

    Re #6. That sliding on the ice two seasons ago is what garnered him the OPG moniker from me. He quit the penguin routine last season and was girardi, I hope he doesn’t go back to OPG

  57. Stranger Nation on

    Arnot may be old, but he had 17 goals last season which would put tim tied for 4th on this team last year.

    would be mistake IMO to move Step from center – would rather move Boil to wing and play with Aren’t and Pie Hat. Give Aren’t PP time on second unit is a must.

    Biggest change last night which cannot be forgotten is getting B Rich off the point on the pp.

    Yes MDZ was on the ice for all goals but with that line Bickel would have been +4 last night

    Leafs conceded neutral zone to the top line and paid the consequences.

    Nash started to throw his weight around with great results.

  58. Not sure Bickel would’ve made the play on Staal’s goal that MDZ did. He would’ve opened the bench door with greater efficiency though.

  59. Del Zotto was pretty darn good, though, Stranger. Was a big part of some of those goals … also made the touchdown pass to Nash for the breakaway on which he was robbed, if I’m not mistaken.

    DZ was physical, too. More than the other three guys back there.

  60. DJK, I’d have to say FFVII was the best one, and perhaps the best game of all time. FFVI was also excellent. Other than Maybe I’m a Lion in FFVIII, it sucked, as did the rest of the games from that point on.

  61. I still think you should make the bad power play an item after every game until it starts turning itself around. It’s been 4-5 years of the same mess.

  62. MDZ was awful at the start of the game, and had been awful every game previous. played better in 2nd and 3rd last night.

  63. Come on… Come PO time the 4th line will not be the one we are seeing now. Plus Torts will only run 3.

  64. MDZ has been pitiful, saved himself in the 3rd. Would much rather see what Gilly can bring.

  65. The train I was on broke down on the way to the game and I was worried it was a sign of what was to come and I had to sit next to an annoying girl who wouldn’t shut up and kept yapping away. Luckily we got another train in Newark soon after and were on our way. The game started off lousy giving up the early goals and took the crowd right out of it, but boy did we stick with it. My brother and I now have a 6-0 recorded when going to games together in the last three years. I had my Staal Heritage jersey on last night and was proud to be wearing it. Good night at the Garden. I am all for this Arnott signing. 17 goals and 17 assists last year. I don’t view him as another former devils bust at all. The guy is a warrior and definitely a Torts type of player.

  66. Stranger Nation on

    Bickel may be pushing it but MDZ had impact on Stole goal but had little to do Richards and Gabby’s first which was all Nash who for all intent and purposes is playing center on that line in RichRds “absence” – creati g pops for others

    Pairing MDZ & Stall with the top line limits their Dzone time against teams with weak checking lines like Loafs but against more disciplined teams the entire units Defense can be exposed.

    Jeff Halpern we hardly knew ya

  67. Del Zaster was pretty darn good. That’s why he led the team in ice time last night. Also +4 (even though that stat is stupid).

  68. The rangers as a whole have not been good, except for nash and Gaborik, everybody else, not so good.

  69. Cross Check Charlie on

    Isn’t it amazing how two people can watch the same thing and come to totally opposite conclusions?

  70. Serious question: Can anyone properly explain their level of distaste for Del Zotto?

    I can understand some degree of (unrealistic) disappointment that he’s not putting up Brian Leetch numbers as a first round pick or that he’s not hugely physical. But you can pretty much gregentree that if he plays great, good, OK or average in a game, somebody will say he was dreadful, awful, dire etc.

    I get there are players that any individual just won’t like, but it’s just oddly extreme with him.

  71. Stranger Nation on

    re MDZ – last year his Hockey IQ was incredible, thought he reigned in the bad decisions with puck, became a little more physical around crease and limited the homerun pass which resulted in more icings than breakaways by a long shot. his development along with McD and Girardi staying on skates was reason for the teams success.

    IMO his pairing with Staal is ill advised because both tend to resort to get lazy watching puck in their own zone. his decision making has regressed a little as being paired with first line provides opps he didnt see much before and defensive zone play is less physical than last year.

    its not personal, just business…

  72. Anyone who thinks that del Zotto is not playing well, has no idea how tough it is to play defense in the NHL. The kid is good, he makes the odd mistake, but the mishaps are less frequent as he grows. He really came into his own after he came back from his visit in Hartford. DZ has loads of talent. Gilroy on the other hand has talent but his defense is shakey, and he’s up the ice a lot.

  73. is it aloud around here to think someone (MDZ) has not played well this season? he was very good last night for the last 2 periods. the 1st period was much like his season, sloppy. he was very good last season, and very good in the playoffs. we don’t have to view every player through Ranger colored glasses.

  74. LW, thanks for being the only one to respond to my question after posting it 3 times. lol. At least someone finally answered. It was much appreciated. Maybe I’ll just inbox Carp about it next.

  75. Gilroy and MDZ aren’t in the same league. The talent MDZ brings to this team is incredible. So we get pissed off once in a while with his bonehead defensive miscues. He keeps on playing better. Just wish his great shot from the point would be on net more than 50%

  76. Hey, Evrock, sorry I hadn’t seen that question … and I don’t know how to answer it except that the NHL doesn’t seem to care whatsoever about the conduct by each arena … likewise, many arenas turn on spotlights as soon as a goal is scored and very often (it happened on one goal already this season that I recall) the spotlight is turned on when it appeared a goal was scored but the puck actually didn’t enter the net. How is that allowed? Wouldn’t that be distracting to both teams and perhaps cause both teams to stop playing, even if momentarily, and couldn’t that affect the outcome of the play, not to mention the game?

    The league is very, very lax in this department. And in many others.

  77. Ooh la la was ’80’s again not 70’s sorry bout that. I had a program one year way back that said Ron Greschner on the threshold of greatness. I do believe it with MDZ if he keeps his head in the big city

  78. Agree with some points on Asham/Rupp, they are losing the fights. I feel bad for Rupper when he has to take on Thornton/Orr/Other heavyweights. I just hope he hold on and can at least get a draw, but he doesn’t fight well and gets rocked here and there. Like when Shelley got him last year then did the salute. Rupp is good when he jumps non-fights like Kopecky and puts a beat-down on them.

    But to be honest, why do both Asham and Rupp need to play? Except for some games against the Bruins? The Flyers hardly fight like they used to, the Devils here and there but not a ton. The game has changed. With Bickel back there too I think there’s no point in all 3 in the lineup, you know they won’t be in the playoffs. We have some big boys who can take a hit, we aren’t being bullied. Nash is a monster, Pyatt, Boyle, Arnott are big guys, no one is going to be bullying them. Except for Carkner maybe ha

  79. Not that my opinion matters but I think the hit was not dirty. It was hard and slightly high but thats an open ice hit on a puck carrier who has his head down while crossing the blue line. Have to make the luck carrier responsible for protecting himself.

    Further, it was settled on the ice. The way it should be. Dirtiest part was Stuart’s dumb visor (which O’byrne ripped off before pounding his head).

  80. MDZ is just going to be one of those guys that frustrates you on some nights then makes great plays the other. I think people just have to accept that. There are not a lot of defensemen in the league with his offensive instincts and he still is young, so just deal with it.

  81. Bull Dog

    To answer your question, of course not. Personally, I’m not especially pro or anti-MDZ and I wouldn’t argue he’s been good so far this year (though he’s obviously far from alone in that). Just that, like I said, the degree of negativity he gets generally just seems oddly disproportionate.

  82. I didn’t think it was dirty, Carp. That’s hockey, as far as I’m concerned. I hope Landeskog is okay.

  83. Joel Ward ties it up. 1-1.

    This game is ugly. The Caps entire offensive and defensive theory is based around attempting to get breakaways.

  84. SufferingSince79 on

    MDZ won’t even be 23 until this summer. This year’s defensive whipping boy. Patrick, Poti, Malek, Rozival. How we love to complain. Guy is our #1 scoring defenseman last year and Gilroy is the recommended replacement?

  85. Still think it’s stupid to give an extra penalty to a visor-wearer instigating a fight when the guy he’s fighting is also wearing one.

  86. That is stupid LW. They should refine the rule. Personally I would vote that they just give a penalty for wearing a visor in the first place.

  87. Just to be entirely hypocritical, I had no problem with Tom Poti Pourri being booed mercilessly.

    (LW ♥ Mike York)

  88. SufferingSince79 on

    As far as Arnott goes…17 goals last year would have tied him for 4th in goals scored. 34 points was tied for 8th. Pretty much 3rd line center numbers (at least 3rd line NYRS centers). At 38 I wouldn’t expect more than that but at least he’s an upgrade over what we’ve got now. Anyone know why there’s no official announcement from the team?

  89. I don’t think there’s any way Arnott can play top six minutes…not even third line minutes. Truthfully, he may have a tough time with fourth line minutes, only time will tell. However, if he can play 4th line minutes he will be a great pick-up. It would be interesting to see him center a 4th line with some combination of Yogan, Mashinter, Miller, Pyatt, Ferriero, Hags or Kreider. I know some of these guys are centers but time on the wing with a good veteran player might be a good experience for them if playing 4th line minutes in the NHL as opposed to top six or nine minutes isn’t detrimental to their development. It would give us some more speed and youth. The down side is that with the exception of (Maybe) Mashinter we would not have a single person on the team capable of standing up to players like, Neil, Orr, Lucic, etc when it comes to dropping the gloves. Does that matter? We could still have a lot players who take the body and be physical just no fighters.

  90. There were two rangers Sassoon commercials. First one in 1978. Sequel in 1980. Wow Neil smith has a bad plastic surgeon

  91. I think it will become offical after Arnott passes a physical. I guess that would be if he passes.

  92. I’m strangely amused to learn that the intermission stats on the Sabres broadcast are brought to you/me/us by the Veins Treatment Center at veinsveinsveins.com.

  93. Back in NY!

    Watched the game late, they played well enough to beat an inferior team..Baby steps, but they are getting there. They are yet to find a reliable second line combo that can help with scoring….Much more important than figuring out who’s playing 5 min per game, and who fights whom….

    My take on MDZ- he hasn’t played well in 4 games. But neither did 80% of the team. But during the last two periods last night he did what exactly you expect your offensive D-man to do- joined the play and had 2 primary assists, especially on Staal’s goal when it felt they would never be able to tie it up…

    Bull dog- I hope you are wrong on Arnott replacing Stepan as our 2nd line center. That defeats the purpose of developing him, but also Arnott is unlikely to be able to do it. Arnott is a big guy, who is tough and can score here and there. But he was never very fast on his skates, and during the last 2 years he is even slower. He better fits as a 4th line center replacing Halpern who’s been a disappointment. If Jason Arnott is our 2nd line center, this season will feel much longer than 48 games…

  94. LW,
    I am a fan of MDZ. just don’t think he had played well until last night. you are right though. there always seems to be a undeserving whipping boy here. Gabby is another example of that. no matter what he does, it will never be enough.

  95. ilb,
    my feeling is Arnott is going to replace Kreider on the roster. I don’t believe they signed him to the 4th line center. so it makes sense (i guess) that he would slot into the number 2 spot. if that is the case, Stepan would have to become a winger. I like him better at center myself.

  96. Lindy Ruff, does anyone know how long he’s been coaching the Sabers. Its got to be a record. He said that he likely would have lost his job a few times, if it weren’t for owner changes.

  97. Sorry but there is no chance Arnott does anything other than play 4th line (primarily). I assume he replaces, or splits time with, Halpern. He is not handling top 6 duties

  98. I agree ilb,
    probably will not see it right away, as he works his way into game shape. but I do think he is there to push Stepan. I like the signing. it helps the Rangers with there depth problem. if Stepan does not pick up his game, Arnott will be there to take the number 2 center spot. the Rangers are going for it this season, they are not going to wait for guys to get going. do it, or lose it.

  99. I’m rooting for Buffalo today, too! Keep the Craps from winning a game for as long as is possible!
    Anyway, Buff gave Monster John Scott a job – I’m rooting for him to smash somebody!

  100. Manny,
    Arnott has never been a 4th line player. thinking about it a little, maybe the thought with him is to use him like they used Christensen. 4th line, play power play, and move up when someone is struggling. this makes more sense than what I was saying before.

  101. SufferingSince79 on

    bdl – I haven’t heard it directed at MDZ from what I can tell on the broadcasts. Only been to a couple of games since I moved. I think it eventually got to those other guys hearing it all the time. I’ve always been a situational “booer” for our guys myself. Feel like a you’ve got to deserve it at the time as opposed to just for being born. Hope people cut him a little more slack until he really goes south. Not like we got him in a bad trade or he’s some overpaid free agent.

  102. 15th season, 16 years in the league of lockouts.

    Can’t believe Ruff will get to 16/17 if they miss the playoffs again, but then again, Regier just got extended.

  103. You get extra lunch points since I failed to refresh. I’ll give you two! Which means you’re still narrowly in the lead over a combination of Jimbo, duckbill, and NYR.

  104. I can’t believe I’m still near the top! I haven’t competed in the Lunch-Points Derby for like a million years!

    I like that Wendy’s redhead!!

  105. 15 years wow nobody’s kept a coaching job in the NHL longer than that, have they? No one ever will go that long again I bet.

  106. Bull dog: that’s a better description of what I was going for. Move up when people are struggling and some PP time

  107. Lindy Ruff reminds me of Emile Francis somewhat, in that he always has a pretty good team that competes well, but his teams NEVER win the big prize! They always fall short at one point or the other.

  108. That makes more sense, bull dog…He is a complementary player, he can help in different situation. But his primarily role should be a 4th line center, playing PP occasionally, he still has a heavy shot. He is also not a pushover, although he doesn’t drop the gloves as often as he used to. I like the signing too, but was a bit surprised considering he and Sather has a history going back to Edmonton.

  109. Ya Lindy got some bad breaks, I think it was Brett Hull that scored the goal that knocked them out of the finals, that at the time was illegal because his foot was in the paint. At the time that was not legal.

  110. Stranger Nation on

    Just to sum up the blog today:
    Gil’s over MDZ
    Are-not over Step

    And this is after a win…image if their goalie stole the game

  111. Arnott’s always been a gritty SOB – if he has anything left, I don’t see the big problem with having him on the roster. Especially since we don’t have any kids burning up the AHL, just begging to be brought up. The “little carcillo” might be good to keep here for a look-see, but he isn’t going to turn the league upside-down while he’s up, I don’t think.

  112. I hate when hockey announcers say a goalie “had no chance”. As far as I’m concerned, a goalie always had a chance. It’s called “better positioning”.

  113. I went back and read the post right after the Nash trade was finalized. Glad to see that everyone was in support of it at the price. Well mostly everyone. The ladies werent as excited but I think Sally is coming around :).

  114. Part of me still wishes we could have gotten Perry or Ryan in a trade but Nash is a monster and it’s great to see him in a Rangers uniform. So I’m not going to complain.

  115. If you can, find Chico’s post-goal analysis of a play a couple of days ago. He was gushing about a pass Josefson made to Popcorn Fart Jr, at the same time the replay was clearly showing it was an opponent who put the pick on his stick.

  116. 2-0 Montreal. Both teams look like playing defense is optional in this league. I think the number 1.76 just went up a notch. Wonder what Cico thinks.

  117. _Part of me still wishes we could have gotten Perry or Ryan in a trade but Nash is a monster and it’s great to see him in a Rangers uniform. So I’m not going to complain._

    i think you just did.

  118. Carp

    are you gonna be at the game on Thursday? I wanna meet you and show you a few new coat-check moves :P

  119. “Well, Marty obviously had something in his eye on the bus from the hotel earlier… it’s obvious it’s still affecting his performance, but hey he’s won playoff games with an eye patch and missing fingers so I’m sure he can pull this one out” –Chico

    @@

  120. SufferingSince79 on

    Please ignore all prior Arnott comments outside of the “if he passes his physical” question.

  121. Ha! That explains why they never officially announced it. He had a knee surgery during summer.

  122. He’ll probably rehab it, sign with another team in our division, and beat our brains out in the shortened season..if all goes as things usually do.

  123. i was kinda looking forward to Arnott in lineup
    in the hope that we’d actually have 4 lines
    you know
    like a strong successful team

  124. i’m counting down the days
    when Kolarik scores
    the winning goal against us
    while in a pens
    uniform
    on a line with Dupuis

  125. We have plan C. He’s in the lineup. FERRARI.

    I bet his performance had plenty to do with Arnott, not passing his physical…

  126. Thanks, jpg – believe me, it hurts to think this way, but it almost always happens that way – Kolarik, yes – he will live to torment us, I’m sure…

  127. Jimbo

    some call it being negative or pessimistic
    i call it prophetic reality’s
    gonna smack me in the face
    again

  128. Yes they do, Latona – I swear, Lou Lam sold his toady little soul to Satan, and NOT Miroslav…

  129. i wasn’t able to watch the 1st period and most of 2nd yesterday
    what’s the word on
    Ferrari?
    the good/bad

  130. heard broadcaster talking about Redden having 4% body fat
    i hear that after eating supper
    can’t decide if i hate him
    or hate myself

  131. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    Heard a San Jose announcer saying Gomez looked good in his first game,too.

    Looks like Sather DID make good signings a few years ago. Problem is both of them were, perhaps, a bit misplaced. Perhaps if they have a team around them both are good. When they have to do all the creating and are the focus, no. Here in Rangerland, both Gomez and Redden were signed expecting them to be the best at their position on the team. Might have been a case of expecting too much from them. Now, for a lesser salary, they are not the focal point so they can have a chance of prospering.

  132. YAY! Can MTL score with one minute left? I doubt it. Swamp Rats will probably score a shorthanded goal.

    And Chico trying to argue this call is absurd.

  133. So Chico essentially just said that Cole wasn’t being held by Greene, and then interfered with Salvador on the GWG.

  134. Carp. Come one. You’re getting Carp’d and Manny’d. You want to get Tort’d as well!?

    *NEW FLIPPING POST*

  135. Matty, I’m going to guess that Redden has something left and something to prove, and he’s got a new lease on his career. He will be fine with lower expectations and lower salary. Might even play a few more years.

    As for Gomez, he was pretty lousy in Montreal last year. I don’t expect a lot of him. I could be wrong.

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