Post-game notes

228

Courtesy of the Rangers:

NEW YORK RANGERS POST-GAME NOTES
February 5, 2013 (Game 9, Away Game 4)
Prudential Center – Newark, NJ
Devils 3, Rangers 1

Team Notes:

– The Rangers were defeated by the New Jersey Devils, 3-1, tonight at Prudential Center.

– The Blueshirts are now 4-5-0 overall, including a 1-3-0 mark on the road this season.

– The Rangers and Devils have been separated by two goals or less in 14 of their last 18 meetings.

– The Rangers won 32-58 faceoffs (55%) in the contest, led by Brad Richards (11-20, 55%) and Derek Stepan (10-18, 56%).

– The Blueshirts have now had eight new players on their roster this season, with Darroll Powe and J.T. Miller both making their Rangers debut in tonight’s contest.

Player Notes:

– Chris Kreider notched his first career NHL regular season point with the Rangers’ lone goal, while making his return to the lineup after missing the previous five games (last four due to injury). Kreider tallied three goals and four points in six playoff contests against the Devils last season.

– Brad Richards tallied an assist, registered three shots on goal and won a game-high, 11-20 faceoffs (55%) in 21:18 of ice time. He has now recorded an assist in each of the last two games, and leads the team in assists (six) and is tied for first in points (eight) this season.

– J.T. Miller registered two shots on goal and posted a plus-one rating in 14:25 of ice time while making his NHL debut. Miller was originally selected by the Rangers as a first round choice, 15th overall, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

– Darroll Powe was credited with two hits in 8:33 of ice time while making his Rangers debut. Powe was acquired by the Rangers from Minnesota yesterday, along with Nick Palmieri, in exchange for Mike Rupp.

– Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves and is 3-5-0 overall, including an 0-3-0 mark on the road this season. He has now faced-off against Martin Brodeur in 35 career regular season games (23-7-5).

Team Schedule:

– The Blueshirts’ practice schedule for tomorrow, Feb. 6, is 12:00 p.m. at MSG Training Center.

– The Rangers will return to action when they face-off against the New York Islanders on Thursday, Feb. 7, at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m. – TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), in an Atlantic Division matchup.

 

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228 Comments

  1. “Brad Richards tallied an assist, registered three shots on goal and won a game-high, 11-20 faceoffs (55%) in 21:18 of ice time. He has now recorded an assist in each of the last two games, and leads the team in assists (six) and is tied for first in points (eight) this season.”

    Buy him out.

  2. I didnt blame it on Nash, Richards, or Gabby, bull dog. I said.. with that talent, there’s no excuse for failure. That’s on the coaching. And if MDZ isnt doing his job as PP QB, then either he’s not capable of succeeding in that role, or the coaches aren’t doing their jobs. Seeing as how this has gone on for seasons, it’s not the lack of talent, it’s the coaching.

  3. Repost:

    Yes, this team is just a cut above mediocre. I think (I hope) this year’s squad is a “transitional” team – the way the 92-93 team was a transitional team between the 1991-92 President’s Trophy team and the 93-94 Stanley Cup team. The 92-93 team missed the playoffs entirely I believe and was one of the worst under-acheving Ranger teams ever. Despite having Messier, Leetch, Richter, et al.

  4. REPOST: And I have to say, I always thought last years team overachieved. I don’t think the D was as good as they played, but a lot of that had to do with their system. I don’t think they are as bad as they seem to have been this year, but they aren’t getting that same help from the forwards.

    Fact is all of the teams that have won the cup recently have had depth. The Kings didn’t have any real superstars up top outside of Kopitar and they won it. The Bruins didn’t have a true superstar offensive player, they got contributions from all four lines. Even when the Hawks/Pens/Wings won, they had key contributions from their depth players like Samuelsson, Talbot, and Versteeg.

    The Rangers had that depth and they blew it up to get more offensive scoring. Maybe they’ll turn it around or maybe next year it’ll pay off, but it’s been made clear that this is not the same hard nosed team that didn’t lose 3 straight all last year until the last series.

  5. Tiki – I agree 100%, and I am a huge fan of Torts, but I put the PP failure blame on Torts and his staff. Sather has provided more than enough talent for a lethal power play.

  6. “Sather has provided more than enough talent for a lethal power play.”

    Can’t say I agree. We still haven’t replaced Brian Leetch.

  7. DelZ’s problems tonight weren’t just on the PP. Young OK, but let’s go! And I think Asham has pretty much given them what they expected, enthusiasm, toughness, will, and more ice speed than was thought. The kids looked pretty good, and Nash, Asham, Pyatt, Cally, and McDonagh, among a couple others, shouldn’t be mentioned negatively. Plenty of other places to look.

  8. you can blame Torts all you want. the key to most good power plays is the QB. MDZ has not done a good job in this role. maybe you can blame him for sticking with MDZ, but you can’t blame him for his performance.

  9. NYR_FAN

    Who could possibly replace Brian Leetch? There hasnt been such a player since he retired.

    cooscoos

    Boyle is supposed to provide some toughness and grit and I just havent seen that from him.

  10. Jonny D – Thank you for putting much clearer the long winded point I was trying to make.

    I totally agree with you. The Bruins were the team I was referring to.

    If you had a prue talent draft of BOS and NYR forwards. Our top line would probably be the 1st 3 picks and the next 7 of 8 or so would be Bruins (Cally of course being the 1 NYR) and that’s the point.

  11. Besides a high education it is nice to have at least average thinking ability and, as a minimum, basic “savoir vivre”, a.k.a. manners. Saying that – what a bunch of freaken idiots…

  12. And there won’t be any long “west coast trips” this year which have been said to help the teammates to “bond” with each other. From now until the end of the season, it’s just a game every other day when they’re not playing back-to-backs….a grind!

  13. I like the PP best with MDZ and Girardi on the backline.

    I do NOT like Richards as QB.

    The team as a whole is and has been too deliberate on the PP. They need a Mark Streit.

  14. I don’t blame Torts. If he’s not coaching the PP, then its failure isn’t on him. It is, though, his responsibility to find the proper coach for the PP given the talent he has.

  15. I agree. I do not like having a forward on the point. Stepan on the point makes no sense. he does not have the shot to score from there, and his passing is limited from the point.

  16. The slop runs uphill… Eventually, the coach has to shoulder full responsibility for the performance of this power play. Its been like this since Jagr left. Its the head coach’s job to press buttons, shuffle bodies around, teach, or hire other coaches who could get the most out of the talent he has. Tortorella has been given a lot of offensive talent to work with. Its on Torts in the end.

  17. I grew up watching Leetch – and looking back at old video of him playing, all I can say is I was one spolied brat! Leetch is my favorite player of all time.

  18. When they have starts like this, I keep looking for Sandy McCarthy, Ales Pisa, Dale Purinton and Pavel Bure on the ice. I’m sure this team will improve but it’s hard not to think back to those Rangers’ teams that refused to make the playoffs under any circumstance.

  19. Leetch had not only super, god given ability, he had a supreme quiet confidence on the ice which allowed him to see peripherally, and to imagine cerebral possibilities in the heat of battle that few even dream of – a rare athletic gift. Nash has some of that. Gabby, but not often enough. We need a point with Leetch’s gifts -hard to find. Someday McDonagh might become a class B or C Leetch (which is still good stuff) on the PP if they develop him. Tired of seeing Mike Sullivan with his lame Ross Perot magic marker charts during late time outs.

  20. I’m not saying Brian Leetches are common. I’m just saying a great puck moving d-man can be a huge catalyst to having a Cup contender and we haven’t had that since Leetch. And, Leetch was on plenty of teams with awful powerplays…just sayin’

  21. Carp – Tiki this is a copy cat league. How difficult is it to study the Power Plays of other teams?

    Look at the Sharks, Lighting, Hawks, & Penguins. We have all the talent that they have, and then some.

    Some of this HAS to go on Torts. They need to switch something up. It can’t be this difficult.

    Can it????

  22. I didn’t get to see the game. With the time difference I know the score, most games, before I watch it and just couldn’t watch a loss to the Devils. What were the line combos? Sounds like Miller had a good game.

  23. The Bruins won a cup with one of the worst PPs in the league. The Kings PP was pretty bad last year too until the second half of the year. If you can score 5-on-5 (which most of the game is played at), you don’t need a great PP. Having a great PP is actually one of the more overrated aspects of hockey since on average, it’s only about 15% of game time.

  24. To focus on a positive of tonight’s game, Kreider looked much better I thought. The speed was there and obviously the shot, so hopefully his ankle stays healthy.

  25. Super Sioux – I agree with you – this power play eventually falls on Tortorella.

    I know you guys are gonna jump on me for this but, I think Crosby reminds me of Leetch in terms of athleticism, strength, and ability to ‘see ahead’. Gretzky also, but more Crosby.

    If no Leetch, I’ll take Zubov. Any chance he would un-retire?? ;)

  26. The Bruins power play was awful. I dont remember exactly, but I believe the Bruins didnt score a PP goal the first 3 rounds of the playoffs, and then had success in the Finals. Even so, that Bruins team is the exception, not the rule.

  27. That was the best part of Wade’s game. Actually it’s the only part of his game now since he took so many hits over all those years.

    Also, the Rangers didn’t lose tonight because of their PP. it sure didn’t help that they went 0-5, but in their own end, most of the guys except Halpern and Hagelin were spinning around and pick watching. Plus they didn’t get anywhere near the crease in the offensive end. Lack of traffic and options = lack of scoring. Credit to the Devils for pushing the Rangers to the outside, but with the size advantage the Rangers are supposed to have, it should’ve been a bit easier to push through to the slot.

  28. Ovi is still a great player, even if he never again scores more than 30 goals. However, what we need are Brandons. Miller, Kreider, and Powe might give us some of that. In the playoffs Kreider started taking the body pretty well. There’s a lot of speed on this team. They should be backing teams up with Hags, Gaby, Nash, Kreider, Miller and McDonagh. Even Cally, Pyatt and Staal have decent speed. If we aren’t going to use team toughness at least use the speed.

  29. Czechthemout!!! on

    Was at the game tonight. Very frustrating. We dominated this game and GAVE the Devils the first two and even the third goal. Fatso stood on his fathead tonight, thats a big reason for why we lost. But there is more.

    The PP is a joke! They continue to attempt to do the same thing over and over again expecting diffrent results. The very definition of insanity. This has been going on for the fourth season under this regime. It is a momemtum killer for them. To only get 3 shots on goal in 8 minutes of PP time is unacceptable! They pass up shot after shot, many from good shooting positions and angles. MDZ IS NOT A PP QB! Never was, never will be. He was beyond dreadfull tonight in every ascpect of the game. He is the most overrated underperfoming player on the team. He has one or two good games where he actually looks like a legit player and then he plays like crap the next six games. This kid will never be anything more than a number five dman. The only dman that can actually shoot the puck, rarley see any PP time and thats Stralman. Why is Nash playing on the side boards? He is more than willing to go in front of the net and yet they make him play to the outside. Sully has no buisness coaching the PP! He has been an utter failure in that capacity.

    MDZ,Gabby,Richards,Boyle were beyond bad tonight. Bickel is not an NHL defenseman. Sorry. This team needs to really work on their offensive game. They only go to the corners and behind the net with the puck. No one ever goes to the net, and no one every passes the puck to the front of the net or the slot. Torts has to change that. Gabby and Richards should have been benched tonight. Torts is way too nice to these guys. He is becoming John Tortarenney. Yell at and throw the young guys under the bus ( Hagelin, Kreider )but coddle Gabby and Richards.

    On the plus side, I was very impressed with JT Miller. He was real good! Kreider got very little ice time te first two periods but rightfully, saw alot of action in the third. When a kid has a shot like that, you let him play out of what ever is bothering him. In Kreider’s case, It was an injury.

    The top line should have been broken up by te middle of the first period. He fibaly did it but t was too little, too late. The lines did click in the third. Also, Torts sounded like he was fed up with some of the players and that lineup chanes will be made. All in all, a frustrating evening.

  30. Johnny D

    I think the PP is a huge part of the game. Even though it is only 15% of a game time, a team playing against another team with a ‘lethal’ power play would have to adjust its game plan in terms of aggressiveness in particular. You dont want to have to defend against a lethal power play – so you limit your penalties by limiting your aggressiveness, which naturally would compromise your game plan.

    So the power play may be only 15% of game time, but the THREAT of a power play against when playing a team with a great power play would have ramifications throughout the entire game.

  31. CCCP – it falls on the coach. And I love the job this coach has done, but his power play has been failing and its on him.

  32. It could be, CCCP. But Tort and Henrik are unassailable on here, and any questioning of either brings about ad hominem attacks.

  33. It’s the personnel. “Richards sucks.” How many times was that said in the game thread? He losses key faceoffs and puck battles. He doesn’t see the ice like he used to. He hogs the puck and does little with it.

  34. I don’t understand this notion that Torts is supposed to magically fix this PP. Unless he’s going to morph into one of Erik Karlsson, Alex Petroangelo, Mark Streit, Ducan Keith(I can do this all day) it won’t matter.

    Jack Adams being assisted by Toe Blake and Scotty Bowman couldn’t improve a PP that is not really a man advantage. See when the other 29 teams don’t respect any player we put on the point because not one of them can shoot it and reach the net there is no reason to guard him at the point and therefore it really becomes 3 on 4 down low and that’s why we get pushed to the corners. There is no open space normally created by having a forward go out to the point to guard the shot.

  35. Tiki – out of the final four teams last year, NJ had the best PP and they were 14th. The rest were in the bottom half (LA was 17th, NYR was 23rd, and PHX was 29th).

    It’s overrated. The key to the final four teams? Not giving up goals at 5-on-5 or 5-on-4. At 5-on-5, they all ranked in the top half with NJ being the worst at 14th and the other three being in the top 7. At 5-on-4, all four teams were in the top 6 in GA and had some of the best PKs in the league.

    So I’d argue defending against the PP or not giving up penalties is more important than scoring on the PP.

  36. Right. Like in basketball, if you have a deadly 3 point shooter, you can break the zone. If you don’t have a deadly 3 point shooter…you succumb to the defense.

  37. Jonny, interesting stat. Thank you. I would, though, like to know about final four teams from other years, not just last year.

  38. I dont claim to be a hockey expert of anything but this team is more skillful now, supposedly, than last years team…so why are we still playing behind the net and along the boards in the offensive zone so much?

  39. Czechthemout!!! on

    A good power play is overrated? So than why even accept one? Just decline it and move on. It’s amazing the depths that some on here will go to to try and deflect blame where it is warranted. I was and still am a big Torts supporter. But you have to call a spade a spade. The PP has been an utter failure under his watch and that needs to change.

    Oh by the way, tell the 1994 team that scored a record amount of PP goals how overrated a PP is.
    What non sense!

  40. The top line gave up both goals tonight. Both were flukes, Gabby left his guy in front of the net for a second as Henrik was pointing it out, and Nash lost the puck in his feet.

    Yes we lost. Not fun losing any game to the Devils. But they had the puck luck tonight.

    I was impressed with the speed and scoring of Kreider, and Millers defensive responsibilities. He didn’t make any mistakes. But the energy he brought, and putting him with Kreider in the beginning and giving him extra shifts. Who know maybe Kreider and Miller can help the power play with their energy, at least their feet were moving.

  41. Stranger Nation on

    Season Summary – at this point in time:

    we are not as good as Pitt, NJ, or Boston though the margin is slim for the last school

    we are a little better than Philly

    we are better than TB and Toronto

    this season is about the conference and if we will be one of the top 8 after 48 games. we wont know until game 20 whether where we are.

    everything else is white noise…

  42. who do the devils have as a pp qb? salvadore? their pp seem to be pretty decent… explain that to me, plz.

  43. ’94 Rangers – Leetch plus fearless netbangers (Graves, Kovalev, Tikkanen, Kypreos. Leetch, at D, has as many points as Graves (79)

  44. Stranger Nation on

    we are not playing well down the middle. this is why Miller Time is here.

    Torts said in his presser that people can be replaced…

  45. Nash has a great shot too, as far as i know… have yet to see them set him up for a one-timer on PP or in general…

  46. Power Play/Penalty kill is a huge part of the game, and it’s success or potential success, determines how the game is played. Of the two, a great penalty kill is probably more important, but a great power play can win close games..

  47. 93 rangers missed playoffs and were last in the division… In 93, the islanders went to the conference finals…

  48. Sure Tiki. I’ll get more years tomorrow and list them, but just to show for 2011, it’s true 3 of the 4 had lethal PPs (top 7 I believe, BOS was 20th). However, they also didn’t give up many goals. Other than TBL which was more of an outlier at 18th, BOS/VAN/SJ were the top three teams in GA at 5-on-5, and at 5-on-4, three of the four were top half (TB was 9th, VAN 10th, BOS 13th), with SJ the worst at 23.

    So I’d argue that TB is the lone team where the PP truly carried them. However when they ran up against Boston (a team that didn’t give up much 5-on-5) they ran out of steam, which makes sense when you consider that 2 less penalties are called per team on average in the playoffs.

    Czech – I’m not making an excuse because it is terrible. But it’s not why they are losing. Last years PP was just as bad and they were 1st in the east. And looking at 94s numbers are completely irrelevant since the game is so much different now. More goals were scored overall back then (not sure was the average GF/G is but I’m sure it was almost 1 more per game), so that stat about the 94 PP doesn’t surprise me.

  49. Stranger Nation on

    have yet to see Nash get passed the puck in he slot with time and space. everything he gets he creates on his own. he is special

  50. “The Bruins had Chara, therefore they won the Cup.”

    This is a joke, right? I don’t want to seriously respond to a joke.

  51. they defer too much to Richard the play maker. he is just not that good, he is not claude giroux.

    checHthemout is right on gabby, mdz, richards, and i think nash accept for a 7 minute burst were plain bad..boyle did not even play tonight.

    how about this concept. throw everything to the net!!!!try it you may like it…………

    btw this team will be fine, will make the playoffs, and will go on a run….right now they just are horrible.. debbies are not that good…forecheck them and make there d have to make plays……

  52. RangersWest – Did you mean to put a comma after God, or do you mean we need BOTH God AND DeLillo ? :-)

  53. Someone just posted this on facebook… not much has changed, eh?

    “Sparked by this embarrassment of an offense, I did a little research and came up with the following statistical comparison between Renney and Tortorella

    Disclaimer: I am not stating Renney should have kept his job. This post is simply to prove that things HAVE NOT changed since Renney’s firing.

    Renney: 307 Games Coached: 159-106-42 Record; 11-13 Playoff Record
    Tortorella: 276 Games Coached: 149-102-25 Record; 14-18 Playoff Record

    Renney: 864 Goals For, 802 Goals Against=2.8 Goals per game; 2.6 GAA
    Torts: 739 Goals For, 649 Goals Against =2. 7 Goals per game; 2.4 GAA

    You could argue Torts’ defensive system has yielded a lower GAA due to Lundqvist’s improvement in net. However, for everyone who complained about Renney’s teams not producing enough offense, the numbers do not lie. Torts’ system is worse than Renney’s. We’ve been watching the same garbage offense with the exception of the first year post-lockout (average of 3.2 goals per).”

    Discuss.

  54. Stranger Nation on

    those two goals in the first are on Gabby and mdz. Both did not play well. but the debbies goal was to pin that line in and press the D, and it worked!

    Refs gave them opps and their pp dribbled down their leg and into Fatsos pads.

  55. Sorry, 2 less penalties per game, not per team.

    CCCP – teams PKs are overloading to Nash’s side since him and Gaby are both left handed. So they are forcing it to the other side and taking away Nash’s one timer. If he moves to the Left side, that’s the only time he gets the puck since he can’t one time it and he has to catch a pass, giving time for the PK to setup.

    If you get a chance to watch when he’s on the PK, look for that. If they had a righty one timer threat, then Nash would get the luck more.

  56. Nash plays with a creative energy while staying under control. He has that Leetch, Gretsky quality. Dare I include Nash with Leetch and Gretz?

  57. Renney never did as well, relative to division, as Torts has. That’s the simple answer. Point and win thresholds from year to year vary, Renney never led a team to 2nd, let along 1st.

  58. Jonny, I wasnt asking you to look it up. I dont wanna make you go out of your way. But I appreciate your effort and the information.

  59. For all this Torts should be fired because he can’t fix the PP garbage. You realize when he won the CUP in TB he had a pretty good PP. Must have been a better coach then. OR Maybe he had guys that could shoot from the point like Pavel Kubina who scored 17 (8 on the PP) goals that year and Dan Boyle who had 8 (3 on the PP) goals.

    And then in 06-07 got a combined 35 goals from Boyle and Kuba.

    Helps to have the players that can do the job.

  60. Am I the only one that doesn’t have any of the confidence that Hank can steal a game anymore or even keep them in game that I had last year? He had a few great saves tonight but he was covering the bottom half of the net on the first goal while leaning the upper half vacant. Last year’s Lundqvist would’ve covered more of the net in that situation.
    Fatty was really on tonight. Ugh. Hate to admit that one but it’s true.
    This was one of those games where the puck never bounced our way. Stepan missed an empty net because he couldn’t settle the puck. Marc Stall threw a weak shot right into Fatty’s pads. The puck bounced over sticks. When you have that type of game you have to be very attentive while being technically sound. This team didn’t have that. When they got down by two they stooped playing so hard. After three third goal you could see the difference. They played well for around a 5 or 6 minute span in the third. When they took Hank out they really looked like a steaming pile of dog terd… just like their powerplay. We let the devils take more shots, and quality ones at that, than we had. That’s pitiful.
    One good thing: this wasn’t the worst game they played. Up to now it’s seemed like every win was their best game up till then and the losses, the worst. In my eyes, that’s progress.

  61. bfore you consider nash to leetch and others maybe he can win a playoff game or dominate for more then 1 period..

    boyle has 1 point in 9 games……he has been dreadful.. his contract is a gift…prust at 40 pounds less is a better player…sad but true…..

    they have talent on this team..need to deemphasize richard a little he is not the dominating playmaker.. give stepan and others a little more time.

    i play mcdonagh and staal on the PP point.. mdz has had enough chance, i seriously think about taking some PP time from him…they have 3 PP goals, cally 2 and pyatt 1 all from right in front, does that give the rest of the clowns any ideas what to do???

  62. im not saying Torts should be fired…all im saying is that at this point Torts should not be getting so much free pass from the fans.

  63. Czechthemout!!! on

    Cccp

    I agree with alot of what you say but Tom Renney and John Tortorella shouldnt even be mentioned in the same sentence. Renney was an awfull coach. Will always be an awful coach.

    If the point you are making is that the offense needs to be the shackles need to be unleashed, I am with you . We have a very talented team. At least as talented as any team in the Eastern conference. Including the Pens. In fact, I would argue that we as a group, have moremtalent than Pittsburgh. They are very top heavy. What makes a good coach great is to adapt to the players he has. The last two years, they were not mature and inexpierienced. Torts made the right call to play a tight checking style that relied on grinding and Hank. This year, we have alot of talent and very few grinding type players. He needs to remove the reins and unleash ” safe is death”

  64. Stranger Nation on

    Torts – Sam Nosen preser tonite was classic.

    Torts pretty much told him to shut the front door.

    Sam then let it hit him in the assen on the way out.

  65. Torts was giving McD a bit more leeway on the rush, not tonight. Absence of Girardi might have been the reason.

  66. i sit bickell and boyle or asham or halpern next game if cally and girardi come back..

    really dissapointed with mdz game tonight.

    i know gabby does not show up 1/2 the nights so i expect that but mdz was slow and stupid tonight.

    nash, so far looks spectactualr at times but results very underwhelming…defensively he has had at least 3 faux paus that have cost them.

    thought stralman could add more on PP do not see that either…

    this team has not scored since Jagr had 52….it is a on going story for years…..secondary scoring and d scoring not there…

  67. Stranger Nation on

    Czech – agree but need strong play down middle to do that, B Rich and Step are holding them back

  68. Unbelievable how most of the Press whispers in Tortorella’s presence, even Sam. It’s like he’s the Pope and they try not to get him meshuga.

  69. Czech – I respectfully disagree. The Pens are extremely deep. Up top they are clearly better with Malkin, Crosby, Neal, and Kunitz, but their depth players are better IMO too. Dupuis, Vitale, Sutter, Glass, Adams, Cooke, and Kennedy are better than Asham, Pyatt, Powe, and probably even Boyle at this point too. They get scoring from their depth players, a decent amount too. Plus they are younger and faster IMO.

  70. Wicky©Carp jinxed my macbook and bought his from bettman! on

    This will probably not be a popular post here, but chemistry is a factor with this team. The rangers have lost too many players (including rupp) that played together well last season. It is going to take a while for them to learn the subtle nuances of each other’s game.

    Four new forwards at the start of the season without a training camp and that was before the recent injuries/moves. There is a flyers fan (BOOOOO!!!) that I work with and he asked me before the start of the season what I thought the rangers record would be after 10 games and I said 5-5. I am not shocked at all by their current start or record.

    The silver lining to this (barring injury set backs) is that they will probably (PROBABLY) be peaking/gelling at the right time at the end of the shortened regular season and start of the playoffs…as long as they are in the top 8, it’s all that matters.

    Some other observations

    last years team would have had a scrap or two when it started going south on the scoreboard (I miss that)

    The PP is still substandard, it seems the PK is too now

    Hank needs to steal a game or two here or there

    Nash is really good, despite his contribution on one of the devils goals

    I think hagelin is the guy that gets traded for a guy like iginla (if that sort of trade happens) just a hunch

    Someone needs to clear the damn crease…our d men wander from the front far far too frequently

  71. so yeah the difference tonight? Henrik Lundqvist – who, as has been the case for most of this season, was not very special. The argument could be made that the best goaltending performance the Rangers got this season came from Biron.

    and then there’s Brodeur, god bless him, who’s built a career on making routine saves look spectacular.

  72. Czechthemout!!! on

    Stranger Nation

    I actually think that might make them play better by opening up the ice. I also dont think Stepan has been nearly as bed as some on here think. Do I think he can do better? Of course. But he started off slowly, they all did. But he played fairly well tonight hence his ice time was good. Richards has been terrible all season. In fact, he has maybe played one good game all year. Maybe he is done, i dont know. Miller was great tonight. He played all three forward positions. Kreider looked like THE KREIDER again.

  73. Wicky©Carp jinxed my macbook and bought his from bettman! on

    there is no reason gilroy is on this roster…NONE

    MDZ looked like michael busto tonight

  74. And I love how people are blaming Richards and Step when they’ve put up a combined 13 points this year by themselves and have two of the better +/- on the team.

    I think they can be a bit better in puck possession, but they aren’t the problem.

  75. I promised God that if he sent us a defenseman who could clear the crease and another one who could captain the powerplay, and if we won the Cup, I would donate 35% gross to the church of his choice. I would like to point out that NO one donates 35% gross.

  76. Kreider looked better as the game went on; he didn’t look good at all early but seem to find his stride. Miller looked overwhelmed his first couple of shifts and then pretty quickly looked like he belonged. Hope they both get a boost in playing time – they definitely earned it.

    thought none of the other players on the team were particularly good tonight but the most obvious problem is the same thing it’s been for, like, 18 years: this team desperately needs a point shot. these power plays are a joke in large part because the guys who play the point don’t have a shot worth a you-know-what. and then you get a guy like Del Zotto who is somewhat remarkable for his talent of never being ready to shoot. I don’t know where the point shot is going to come from but it’s sorely needed.

  77. Lloyd – I’m probably the last person on earth to defend Henke (I’m usually critical of him), but he didn’t lose this game. The lack of help from the wingers allowing the opposing teams third man or D-men (Timonen goal for example) is killing them defensively. So Henke is being left out to dry.

    That goes along with my point about last years D-pairings being a bit overrated because of the help the forwards gave them. This year has been almost the exact opposite. Some of that is due to lack of practice time, so they’ll improve on that as the season progresses, but it’s also a lack of effort. Lots of guys spinning in the d-zone and puck watching instead of worrying about being in position.

    That’s signs #1 and 2 that guys haven’t practiced the system enough.

  78. it’s not just the goals – although I thought two of those shouldn’t have happened. positionally, he looks out of sorts. I see him overcomitting a lot and his movement seems rushed and unsure. I don’t think he’s played that well yet this season and I’ve not seen a lot of confidence radiating from him. I do think he’ll get better and I certainly don’t blame the Rangers struggles solely on him, but I don’t think he’s really won them any games either. we both know that for this team to succeed, Henrik Lundqvist needs to start standing on his head.

  79. Czechthemout!!! on

    Johnny

    I also respectfully disagree with you. The Rangers are a deeper team than Pittsburgh sans Malkin and Crosby. Kunitz is ok. Dupuis is a decent player. I would argue that our top six is better than theirs as a group.

    What separates them from us is the fact that they have a true number one defenseman in Letang. He runs a great PP as well.

  80. Stranger Nation on

    Johnny – your first and second line centers having 13 pts in 9 games in nothing to brag about. My guess is half of those are secondary assists.

    my problem with them is more three zone play with Step def playing better than B Rich up to this point

  81. Kreider squeezed one in, but also did a lot of standing around. He’s still a little lost out there, but he seems to have the will, so things should get better with ice time and coaching.

  82. Czech – Kunitz essentially plays the same spot on the Rangers as Callahan. He’s a 60 point guy who nets 25 a year. He’s better than just OK for a second line winger IMO.

  83. Stranger Nation on

    not for mothing but Hank has to STOP grabbing pucks going 3 ft wide of net and forcing Dzone draws. may build up the save stats but puts D in bind as our break out absolutely SUCKS

  84. Brad Richards has more or less been a nonentity this year. I don’t care if he’s got 8 points or not. the guy has been virtually invisible in these games. Stepan needs some time in the weight room.

  85. just comes back to what I said about Lundqvist overplaying. feels like he’s been chasing a lot rather than letting pucks come to him.

  86. I will not watch Brad’s ‘Beginnings.’ He’s been around too long to envision any more upside.

  87. Stranger – I agree it’s not great, but it’s not the problem. The issue is these guys need more time to mesh, but when you have the D all back from last year who know the system and they expect the forwards to be in position to help them and they aren’t, that’s when you give up not only goals, but more importantly puck possession. So they can’t get their offense going. Once these guys get more practice in and learn the defensive system, the rest of their games should follow suit.

    They don’t have time for that in a short season unfortunately.

  88. rangers are eeper and younger then the pens. you can look up ages.. the rangers do not have a d man over 28 and thy have 5 forwards 30 or older and asham and Halpern are 2 of them and gabby is 30..

    the rangers do not have 2 players as good as cindy and malkin but there forwards should be comprable and the rangers have a few young forwards who have nice upside.

    bottom line they have just played really bad so far. I hope if guys do not deserve to play they do not play them period…

    not sure why all the hate for stepan and hagelin. stepan has 5 points, has the puck on his stick a lot…the guy is 22..hagelin, energy forward.. he should be a 3rd liner on a really good team..

  89. Stranger Nation on

    coos – justbwatching Beer-on handle puck was revelation. Hank is constantly misplaying puck or stopping play at unnecessary times.

  90. Stranger Nation on

    stuart – no hate on Step or Hags – u r correct, they are young and learning, growing pains are painful

  91. cally is 28, kunitz is 33 +… rangers have a better d then the cindies and goalie. they should be as good if not better.

    PP, PK, and big stars are not doing there job, not real complicated……

  92. Jonny, you’re critical of Henrik? Didn’t you get the memo, you’re not allowed to be critical of Henrik on here. He’s won the Rangers 6 straight Stanley Cups.

  93. cooscoos:

    nah, not supposed to be, but I think they frequently do give goalies credit for saves on pretty much everything they touch that’s around the vicinity of the net

  94. hags job is to forecheck, chase down pucks, etc. he is not a big time scorer.

    step is a passer, etc. sure stepan needs to get stronger, faster, and work on faceoffs, he can be a very good 2nd line center…he is not Crosby….

  95. To expand, if you notice, most of the goals this year that they’ve given up have been because the forwards are puck watching and lose their assignment or drift from the area of the ice that they are responsible for.

    The D last year was allowed to play close to the crease and clear the puck out because the wingers dropped low and covered the slot, letting the puck go to the point where, as we know, the wingers skated out and would usually block the shot. This actually helped Henke since he didn’t have to worry as much since he knew where the shots were going to come from and be could position himself accordingly.

    This year, the wingers are higher but the D are still deep in the zone, so it’s easier for opposing teams to get it to the slot or drift a player from the off boards for a rebound.

    That’s just a lack of practice for a bunch of new players who haven’t played in a system. In an 82 game season, its not a big deal.

  96. Czechthemout!!! on

    Kunitz plays with Crosby or Malikin all the time. If Cally played with either of them he would score 40 goals. Has scored 29 back to back without that type of support.

    Nash is better than Neal.

    Gabby is a bonafide 40 goal scorer

    Hags is a better player than Dupuis.

    Stepan is a much better player than Sutter despite some of the people on this blog. Sutter is overrated because of his last name.

    Vitale is a dime a dozen player. Powe is no worse or better than him.

    Pyatt is a better role player than anyone one role player on the Penguins except maybe Kennedy.

    So no I dont at all agree with you.

  97. Lloyd – don’t say that about Hags! People might get mad! I agree 100%. I thought the same thing last year. He just happened to chase down pucks better than anyone on the roster so he ended up on the 1st line.

  98. cooscoos:

    like you’ll see Brodeur frequently make glove “saves” that if you drew a line from the puck to where he caught it where very clearly sailing wide of the net if he didn’t catch it. but he’ll be given credit for a save.

  99. Jonny:

    I like Hagelin’s skating but he’s got jello between his ears and mediocre hands. I think for a lower line and/or PK, he’s a good presence, but he’s also the kind of guy I’d deal immediately if some time was willing to overpay for him.

  100. Czech – Nash is supposed to be our Malkin, not our Neal. But if you want to compare them, Neal had 80+ points last year, something Nash has never done.

    Either way, combined Gaby/Nash/Richards is not better than Malkin/Crosby/Neal.

  101. Czechthemout!!! on

    Not to mention the fact that the Pens have no one close to the type of prospects/players in their system like Kreider and as you saw tonight, JT Miller. These two guys will put the Rangers over the top if used correctly.

    Oh and Hags was very good tonight. He went to the Net in the third on that Nash set up like he should. He battle and many many times along the boards. He is a good player who will only get better.

  102. also, I can’t even imagine how much I’d loathe Micheletti if I was a Devils or Islanders fan and was forced to endure his hysteria whenever my team played the Rangers. this new thing he’s added with being short of breath when a Ranger does something that he believes is incredible is verging on Resch levels of irritating. before the game tonight he called Nash’s goal against Tampa one of the best goals he’d seen in years. I just don’t even know what to say to that.

  103. Still hard to believe Torts said some of his boys are “afraid.” I could see him saying they played “a little soft,” or “tense,” or whatever, but he left it there, and it was worse than last week’s “dumb, stupid” stuff w/Hags. Maybe there’s a method to his madness, be he’s walking on thin ice.

  104. he’s right, though. Stepan looks scared to death. would think he’s got Gaborik in that category as well judging by the lack of ice time he saw tonight. Brian Boyle is 7’5″ 525 and plays like Cammie Granato. Del Zotto and Staal are frequently chasing their own tails. It’s not been a pretty season thus far.

  105. Jonny, if you want to maintain respectful discussions, dont be critical of Lord Henrik, the Stanley Cup Champion and Conn Smythe winner.

  106. He also makes glove saves where, if you drew a line from the puck to where he caught it, the line is straight, but upon comparison with the actual location of his glove post-save, it is wildly different due to his flopping about like a beached whale or his reaching for a doughnut he envisions above his head.

  107. Czechthemout!!! on

    Johnny

    Neal played with Crosby and Malkin last year, hence his 80 points. He put up good numbers in Dallas playing some good players their as well. Nash has never had any support ever and put up real good numbers. Here he has been snake bitten for some reason and not just with the goals but also with assists as his teammates are not finishing his many set ups. Case in point Hags tonight and Gabby on what should have been two tap in goals.

    If Nash played with Crosby or Malkin, he would score 50 plus goals with his eyes closed.
    As for Nash being our Malkin, don’t be silly. Their is no one in the league better than Malkin or Crosby. Including Nash.

  108. valid point, Latona.

    I wanted to smash his face in with a shovel after that relatively routine glove save he made in the 3rd and stared at his glove like he held the meaning of life within.

  109. Stranger Nation on

    Lloyd – I wouldnt know, absolutely refuse to have the sound on anymore with those 2. Sam thinks he is doing a national broadcast and extols the opponents to no end and Joe is just horrible, no oher word describes it better.

  110. Nosen is still the best in the business. I do think he fluffs the players a bit more than he should but I’ll love that man forever.

    Micheletti is in the elite class of the Reschs and Erreys

  111. ” Brian Boyle is 7’5” 525 and plays like Cammie Granato.”

    Hahaha!! No!! She was tougher!!

  112. Tiki – noted. I’ve been away for awhile so I forgot the rules here.

    Czech – obviously not, but if you are looking at a depth chart, that is who Nash is supposed to be. Big body, protects the puck, scores lots of goals, and is essentially the focal point on offense. If our best player is being compared to Pittsburgh’s THIRD best player, than how can we be considered better than them?

  113. Not to be discouraged; a lot of good came out of this game. First the negatives Marty played God. We could have had several more goals. Henik is still off his game and that disturbs me as he needs to steal games like he did last year. Rebounds galore always in frontof the net. Gaborik, Boyle & DZ did not show up. How important is Giradi to this team. Hello. Also a bunch of guys playing for the first time. Must firm up special teams, this is where Dubi, Anisimov, Prust & fedo paid dividends. J. T. (just tough) Miller played extremely well as did Kreider. Richards works well between them. Powe, Boyle & Asham need to shape up on the PK or we’re in real trouble. Cally will help in another week or so. What I like is that we became younger and faster. Nash is very talented & fun to watch but he has his moments. The big three really had trouble in the defensive zone before they were broken up. Five on five we were super. Here are the lines I would go with down the road.

    Kreider Richards JT Milertime
    Haglan Stepon Nash
    Gaborik Boyle Cally
    Pyatt Powe Asham

    Not to shabby if they start playing the coach’s system.

  114. Don’t think Torts’ job is in any jeopardy, of course, but coaches/managers start to get a little scared, too, when they see their illustrious careers threatened by nonchalance. Maybe that’s what he’s trying to transfer to them. I shouldn’t say, ‘maybe.’ I think it’s facto. Hard to do with big earners with long term contracts unless they are afraid of being dealt to Columbus.

  115. hey look I still think that my statement from the beginning of the season that if this team is at or around .500 after they’ve played 10 games, they’ll be fine still holds. they beat the Islanders on Thursday night and they’re 5-5, with 10 points in 10 games. not particularly good, but good enough to keep them close. I don’t think they’ve looked good in most of these games, nor do I think Lundqvist has played well. so as long as they get this thing righted, they’ll be ok.

  116. It’s galling that they won again tonight – their *one* superstar didn’t even score on us, but Henrique and Clarkson (twice!) got us….flabbergasting!

  117. have to say this:

    Avery is/was every bit the player Clarkson is. Two differences:

    1. Avery is a lunatic
    2. Clarkson doesn’t have a head coach actively trying to bury his career

  118. Gabs is the speediest and most talented every other day “floater” that I can remember. Wouldn’t mind if he actually found the open ice he seeks, especially with Nash hitting his stick.

  119. have to say this:

    Avery is/was every bit the player Clarkson is. Two differences:

    1. Avery is a lunatic
    2. Clarkson doesn’t have a head coach actively trying to bury his career

    ————————–

    paging avery haters! paging avery haters! …any minute now!

    avery was good at what he did but he could never score…

  120. You would have thought that Sean….well, I can’t even say what I was thinking here – but the over-reaction to that dumb comment he made was incredible. His NHL days were numbered after that.

  121. And jumping around in front of Fatso during the playoffs didn’t help his career’s longevity, either..

  122. Avery had 130 points (45 goals, 85 assists) and 601 penalty minutes as a Ranger. He was bypassed for a guy who put up 5 points and the Rangers apparently could live without until he was shipped off to Minnesota for a 4th liner and a minor leaguer.

  123. couldn’t live without…

    so yeah, I’m going to blame Avery’s downfall squarely on Tortorella

    on the plus side, he finally realized Rupp was an albatross

  124. yeah I don’t think he’s ready for line 1 time. but I’d put him on line 2 ahead of Hagelin in a heartbeat.

  125. LLoyd, don’t you think that the league had had their fill of Avery? He was a penalty-magnet because the refs must have all been instructed to take him off the ice (and therefore hurt his team) whenever he was put out there…

  126. And the guy acted like a nutcase quite often, too. I liked him, but I think the NHL had their fill of his antics…

  127. Clarkson scored 30 last year and has already outscore Gaborik and Nash put together this year… Avery’s career was mostly killed by Avery himself and when he met Torts, Torts helped to nail the last nail in the coffin

  128. yeah he was definitely a marked guy but Tortorella didn’t really go to bat for him either. Tortorella seemed to have his mind made up from way back when and I’m convinced he was biding his time until he could be rid of him permanently. the manner in which he decided to scratch him in favor of Erik Christensen – after the team went 12-3-1 subsequent to Avery joining the team – saying that he thought Avery’s play had leveled off and he liked what Christensen gave them, well, that’s just the kind of disingenuous Tortorella b.s. we’ve come to know and love. I’ve spewed all my theories about Tortorella loving company men and Avery being anything but and blah blah blah, I just don’t think Avery was ever going to get a fair shake on a John Tortorella coached team.

  129. CCCP:

    Yep. Right this second David Clarkson would lead the Rangers in goals and points, be tied for second in assists and be tied for second in PIMs.

  130. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    I don’t know guys, I think you are taking this loss badly. The key this season is learning as you go and staying healthy. I may be rose colored glasses man, but I seem to be pleased watching JT and The Kreider play. Pretty cool we have some young talent, not that Sather had anything to do with drafting either.

    Really, let these guys learn each others moves for half a season. There has been a lot of turnover. Let Hank play like Hank, the ‘d’ tighten up, and the PK and PP get better.

    We’re fine. I keep telling myself. We’re fine.

  131. Ever see ‘Slap Shot?’ What was comedy fiction, Avery made come true. I liked his energy, but it can’t work the way he worked it. Even if he were employed in fashion, with Diane Von Furstenberg, they’d have to let him go when he started to cost them wins and bad pub.

  132. wait, Avery is every bit the player Clarkson is? Holy shishkebob! Hope you’re not driving after drinking that much.

  133. Avery certainly made his own bed, but Torts did him no favors. Torts can be a belligerent tyrant, far worse than how people view Jim Harbaugh.

  134. have to love so-called experts who probably never said a positive word about David Clarkson before last year and are now singing the guy’s praises

    I wonder if those same experts would admit that if David Clarkson was playing for John Tortorella the past few seasons he probably wouldn’t even be on the team anymore

  135. I’m no expert, and boy do I wish I was so I could have an intelligent conversation with some of you who are, but I think Tortorella would love Clarkson.

  136. Tiki:

    Basically seems like if you’re one of his boys, you’re set and if not, well, you’re living on borrowed time. Those guys are part of his core group have to work to play themselves out of the lineup while the other guys are given a much shorter leash and have to earn their way in on a nightly basis. Maybe all other coaches do exactly the same thing and it just seems more obvious with Tortorella because he’s such a wannabe tough guy but some of his moves just appear a lot more personal than I’ve seen with other coaches.

  137. and, all due respect, Lloyd, but before the Avery comments, I thought you made a whole boatload of very good and IMO accurate points on a lot of topics about this team. I say that sincerely.

  138. Lloyd, using the Avery situation, it was probably just a clash of personalities. Torts preaches discipline, team concept, one for all, all for one. Avery was a “me” guy with no discipline. And Torts probably didnt even want Avery here to begin with when the front office claimed him for his 2nd stint here.

  139. Yes, Tortorella didn’t want Avery here in the first place. He made it clear on TV when he was between jobs what he felt about Avery. Tortorella wasn’t the only guy on the team who wanted Avery out of here, and Avery ultimately got himself out of here.

  140. Torts kinda boxed himself into a corner with Avery – remember when Avery said the “sloppy” remark, Torts was not coaching, but was an “expert” for TSN, I think it was – and he blasted Avery (as everyone who worked in any Canadian hockey-related media had to!) and then, just a short time later, he was coaching the Rangers, and Avery was on his team!

    A *very weird* situation – which didn’t end well.

  141. Tiki:

    I agree, and I do think Avery’s personality had plenty to do with him not being in the NHL anymore. That being said, I do believe the guy had/has a lot of talent and was a much better player than Tortorella made him out to be. Avery did have issues with discipline and is just built (mentally) a lot different than other hockey players. But I watched the guy closely enough to realize there were a lot of skills there, and certainly more than a ham-and-egger like Mike Rupp (keep in mind that Avery, while being utterly marginalized by Tortorella, only scored 1 fewer goal in 15 games than Rupp did in 68 games as a Ranger). T

    Tortorella and Avery was a match that was never going to work. But do I believe Avery would have played another 10 years in the NHL if he and Tortorella never crossed paths? Nah. I’m sure Avery would have found a way to self-destruct eventually; that’s part of his charm.

  142. Anybody else notice that in the majority of the games played so far there’s been at least one instance where two Rangers knock each other over or both go to check an opponent and miss and hit each other instead?

  143. evrockriser:

    have noticed that. they do look like a pretty poorly coached team, right now – just have to put that out there.

  144. and, despite what I personally feel about Avery, he was a better player than a whole bunch of guys who were on the team ahead of him — Christensen, Wolski, etc. … then Rupp. now Asham. But he couldn’t play on this team any more, especially after his own personal crash and burn in Buffalo.

  145. Here’s an optimistic fact: The Rangers have gone 2 consecutive games without a too many men on the ice penalty!

  146. Avery was his own worst enemy – wasn’t the first person I’ve seen who did that to themselves, and not just in hockey. Self-destructive and self-defeating behavior.

  147. Agreed entirely. Difference between Mike Rupp and Avery is Rupp probably shows respect for the coach and his teammates, while Avery shows no respect for anybody. A team can’t, or shouldnt, have a “me me me” guy on its roster if they’re aspiring to win unless the guy is a superstar talent. Those players are like cancers.

  148. Carp, can you start a new post so I don’t have to keep spending 10 minutes just scrolling to the bottom of the comments on my phone? lol

  149. don’t really know if that’s entirely true about Avery – a fair share of players seemed to like him, particularly guys who were the top players on the team so he must have had some friends. I’m sure a lot of guys didn’t like him because Avery more or less existed to poke fun at guys who took themselves too seriously for being hockey players. I think the league needs more of that, personally. far too many guys in this league all look and sound exactly the same.

    Rupp has “company man” practically branded on his forehead, but I guess when you’re going to put up 5 points in 68 games you kinda have to.

  150. he definitely had some friends on the team, no doubt. and a few important ones.

    but he treated a lot of them very badly, especially the younger guys. and was a bad influence on a few others. and had no respect for anybody.

  151. There is not a single Russian player on the Rangers this season! Have to go all the way back to 1990-1991 season last time this franchise didn’t have any Russian players on the roster. Wow…

  152. Lloyd, I didnt say nobody liked him. Im sure some guys liked him, Henrik has a restaurant with him. It’s a matter of respect, following the same rules. When you’re on a team, you cant be marching to the beat of your own drum.

  153. hmm, interesting. did he ever call any of them dumb during a post-game press conference?

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