Rangers-Devils in review



1) I really wonder who John Tortorella’s tentative, scared guys are. Marian Gaborik? Michael Del Zotto (he doesn’t look tentative to me, but he made some woeful mistakes)? Brad Richards, who was demoted off the No. 1 line and terrible on the power play? Brian Boyle, who except for a game or two, hasn’t been nearly the player he was last year?

2) And I really wonder how anybody’s going to take anybody’s jobs if the Rangers only have 12 forwards until Ryan Callahan gets back.

3) I will say this, you can’t imagine not having Dan Girardi’s 29 minutes until you don’t have them. Same for Ryan Callahan. Girardi is a guy who missed two games in his career, with a ribcage injury just before an all-star break, and he missed those two kicking and screaming that he wanted to play. So this “banged up” injury, or injuries, he has must be pretty bad.

4) The four-minute PP could have been a game-changer, and how many of the five losses might have been different already if one of those important power plays (3 for 35) had been cashed in? The only line that did anything during the four minutes was the kids, J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider, with Taylor Pyatt, and Marc Staal and Anton Stralman at the points. The big guys did zilch. And Richards back at the point, and Stepan for that matter, were awful.

5) The big line was pretty awful on both Devils goals in the first, even if Michael Del Zotto’s cough-up was the one that really caused the first one. It followed a Gaborik giveaway that created a scrambly D-zone situation.

6) Props to Arron Asham for his six minutes worth of PP drawn.

7) Very impressed with J.T. Miller. Was involved, laughed about getting decked on his first shift, had a great deflection that Martin Brodeur ate up (thought you’d like that). Confident.

8) Equally impressed with Chris Kreider’s speed and shot … again. That goal was a laser. And, just to be fair, it was a pretty cool pass from Richards.

9) It’s fair and easy to blame Nash for the David Clarkson goal. It was his fault, no doubt about it. But if you’ve ever lost a puck in your skates, you know how helpless a feeling that can be. Not making an excuse. Just stating …

10) I also didn’t mind Darroll Powe at all. Kid’s a bundle of energy. Kind of like Benn Ferreiro was his first couple of games. I think Powe’s got enough track record to be better and more consistently so. Could be a good one.

11) 0-1 minus Mike Rupp.

12) The Devils still block lanes with sticks and skates. I remember other Rangers coaches saying it isn’t just their neutral-zone trap or their goalie. They clog the center of the defensive zone with sticks. Passes don’t get through. Shots don’t get through. Their defensemen stay around the front of the net, and their forwards collapse down low. And they DON’T slide on the ice trying to block passes or faraway shots.

13) Brodeur was pretty damn good. That save on Carl Hagelin from Nash was vintage. I know, it hurts you when I write that. Sorry. How bad would it have been if he scored an empty-netter, too?

14) The Rangers, who spent time working on faceoffs Monday — working on wingers and defensemen helping out the center when there’s a “tie” off a faceoff — won 32 and lost 26. So there’s that.

15) Unrelated, but did you see that Brandon Dubinsky fought Mike Richards again. That’s hockey.

My Three Rangers Stars:
1. Chris Kreider.
2. J.T. Miller.
3. Anton Stralman.

Freedom Prime’s Three Rangers Stars:
1. Chris Kreider.
2. J.T. Miller.
3. Michael Del Zotto.

Sioux-per-man’s Three Rangers Stars:
1. Chris Kreider – first goal – even if his eyes where closed.
2. J.T. Miller –  I want to see more of this. I don’t care who’s job he takes.
3. Brad Richards – Maybe he should center the two above, why not learn from one of the best.
Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:
1. Chris Kreider (25.83 %).
2. J.T. Miller (25.42 %).
3. Carl Hagelin (7.5 %).

Photos by Getty Images.




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  1. REPOST:

    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…

  2. 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.

  3. REPOST – you made a lot of shekels with today’s loss and following commentary, Carp!

  4. remember after the game the other night when Brian Boyle was a dynamo on the wing. bloom sure came off that rose in a hurry, didn’t it

    one thing I noticed about the Devils marvelous defensive play: they hold, and get away with holding, a whole hell of a lot. they’re constantly grabbing arms, bumping guys, hooking and all sorts of things that are penalties according to the way the game is officiated now. I saw multiple Devils players pick Rangers on those PKs tonight and saw few guys flat out grab a free arm and more or less swing Rangers out of the way while pursuing the puck. reminds me a bit of what the Patriots were able to get away with a few years back when their defense looked amazing until people realized all they did was hold constantly.

  5. Not ever a Byelorussian!! Call the league office!! We want to lodge a discrimination complaint!

  6. Lloyd, good comparison. Thats how they always stopped Petyon Manning, by holding the receivers, illegal contacting them. Now that it’s being done to them in the playoffs with regularity, they dont like it. At least Bobby Kraft still has his 12 year old girlfriend to snuggle up to at night.

  7. so this Buffalo incident for which everyone has taken a vow of secrecy:

    would anyone other than Avery have been booted off the team for it?

  8. I cant wait for the day Kraft croaks. He’s one of the people I want to drop dead before me. I’d love to dance a jig at his funeral!

  9. I was watching the HNIC feed the other night, and 2 or 3 times during the broadcast, they were touting their hockey play-by-play in Punjabi, with 3 guys in turbans and long beards sitting at the desk and yapping with each other. I thought it was something out of an old SCTV episode!

    Did anyone else see that!? Has Canada been purchased by Punjabis recently!?

  10. I honestly thought it was a joke – why Punjabis? Why not Chinese – or Indonesians?

  11. Cindy got hit in the face with a puck! Woohoo! He came back to play later in the game. Booooo!

  12. because frankly the whole Buffalo thing feels like one big steaming pile of Tortorella b.s.

  13. There shouldn’t be so many complaints about Rosen and Micheletti when I had to endure Cheeto Retched.

  14. Ev, Sam & Joe were sounding a LOT like Chico tonight – *way* too much Fatso love….

  15. did Tortorella skip Gaborik for a few shifts in the 3rd? I remember he had some skating with Halpern and Pyatt at one point and put him on the second power play unit and Micheletti said something about Gaborik not seeing the ice in a while but I’m skeptical of anything that clown says

  16. and Brian Boyle, who Tortorella spoke about like he was the greatest thing thing since sliced bread on Saturday night, played about 2 minutes in the 3rd period.

  17. I came to a realization recently. It saddened me. As I get older, I wont be able to outlive (assuming a probable lifespan of a maximum 10 more years) some of the boston figures & fans that I despise. Like Rajon Rondo. Ill be dead long before him. :(

  18. My God, Tiki – of all the things there are to fret about, that surely shouldn’t be one of them!!

  19. I’d roll these lines next time out:


    Boyle and Halpern could be flipped concievably but I think Halpern’s actually a better skater than Boyle. Nash goes on two because he’s better support for the soft Stepan and can actually playmake. Hagelin and Pyatt play on the third line because that’s where they belong.

    what do you guys think?

  20. well that was not great. Rangers have to find a way to win these kind of games. I expect they will get better. It wasn’t the blowout that some people are reporting.

    I have watched quite a few Whale games, JT looked like he belonged and doesn’t want to go back, better than I expected. Of course it is a lot harder to do it every day, but an encouraging start.

    Not having Girardi or Callahan is a good excuse, even if you don’t use it.

    I agree that some of the team isn’t impressing yet. It feels like last year.

  21. Yeah, haven’t seen a lot of quality hits so far. They’re usually hits made just for the sake of hitting (which causes then to wind up out of position and running around like recently headless fowl) or missing their hits and winding up hitting their own teammates. Pathetic. It’s like the 3 stooges on skates. A veritable comedy of errors. At least have the decency too put on a good show for the fans (of your team, not your opponent’s). They don’t look hungry enough.
    A debbies-Rags game without a fight or any decent scrums? When’s the last time that happened? They really could have used a fight in this one to get them back into it.
    Am I the only one that’s noticed that tort(s) has been extremely conservative when it comes to timeouts so far? There have been a couple of games where the team could have used a breather or a yelling at by Tort(s) to get them back into the game that last year’s Tort(s) would’ve called without hesitation.

  22. Detroit Red Wings – they seem to be doing quite good w/o “meanness” because they are… ahem…wait for it…wait for it… WELL COACHED! aha aha… i said it :)

    Talent wise, they are not that different from our team…

  23. cant comment too much on last night missed most of it however 0-4 pp in 1st period was the game enough said.

    its getting late around here only 39 to go and we sit in 11th this morning.

  24. when Cally comes back I see the lines this way.
    Kreider, Richards, Nash.
    Miller, Stepan, Gabby.
    Hagelin/pyatt, Boyle, Cally.
    Hagelin/Pyatt, Powe, Asham.
    I know I have said Cally is not a 3rd liner, but I think this balances, and tightens up the lines.

  25. I liked Richards with Kreider. Richards seem to look for him. got him the puck once for a goal, and just missed him later on.

  26. Missed the entire game and had to take it on the chin via text message from my brother in law while in class the entire time.

    Idk what they have to do to get it together (and by together I mean be better than .500)

    James is getting upset!!

  27. Bull, I think the two go hand in hand. Let Gaborik play the right side with Stepan like he has the majority of the last two seasons and put Richards with Krieder. Not really understanding Tortorella on this. He’s usually the first to juggle lines when players struggled. He’s kept this “big line” together way too long. I know he likes using his top guys but even the TB squad would be shuffled if the big 3 struggled..

  28. And the Red Wings have 9 points from 9 games, are in 10th and have lost to Calgary, Columbus and Dallas (as well as 6-0 to St. Louis), if we’re wishing for their superb start…

  29. I have often mentioned “King” Henry’s goal style in goal tending when he is called Henry the great. I never truly understood all this acclaim because while he does make some colorful and spectacular saves now and then, he is also prone to some ghastly giveaways. Over rated? I believe so. Very good at times? of course, but not more so than most regular league goal tenders. Well, let this bide fort now, but keep in mind that …heh heh…..it’s a laaaawng season, Non?

  30. Bummer of a game. The reason I was so upset was that the PP continues to smell up the joint. With that much talent up front, it is puzzling how we can’t score with 8 minutes of PP time in the first period.

    Love Nash! But, he has to start burying those chances.

    The good news? That shot by Kreider was impressive. His release is so quick and that wrist shot was blazing. He needs to use that speed and shoot more. He is going to be a good one. Also, JT miller looked like he belonged. I think he will be a good one too. God Bless Gordie Clarke. Best hire by the Rangers in a long time!

  31. stranger nation on

    If they lose this game at home, a different story. You are going lose to very good teams (Pitt) at home and good teams on the road (Bos, NJ) as long as you beat those same good teams on at home (Bos).

    If we start losing to Car, Mon, Buf, Win, Fla, NYI, TB, Tor, Was at home that will be a problem.

    1 pt out of the 8th spot and 5 pts out of first –

    perspective please…

  32. stranger nation on

    Re Nash – Fatso took away they wrap around move by coming out – Nash has to have him head up to see that – good play by FAtso.

    Stahl may have worst hands on team, Step has to bury those chances and Hags is looking for like Jan Erixon – great skater, horrible hands – may have softest shot in league.

    We played OK – they buried some chances – Debs D was not that impressive, but they do move the puck out on the break out well.

  33. stranger nation on

    We are LAST in GF in the Conf – Byfuglein LAST

    Fav quote from last night was missing toughness with Prust, Dubi and AA – really?, really? artie – must be referring to shooting prowess.

  34. Gotta say I don’t get putting the big 3 together. Remember last year when Tortorella early in the season, tried Gabbie with Richards and quickly abandoned it because the chemistry seemed to be lacking (and many us lamented his impatience)?

    Then (cannot quite remember when) he finally went back to it and viola, for whatever reason the chemistry was immediately evident. They stayed together for the remainder of the year, including throughout the POs. Beside them oftentimes was Hagelin.

    At the same time, we all kept pining for another top offensive player to play alongside Stepan, thereby giving the Rangers 2 legitimate offensive lines.

    So why the hell isn’t Nash with Stepan on the 2nd line (with Callahan)?

    I get the allure of the big 3 together, but this team is 4 and 5 and on too many nights either that top line is doing okay, but there’s zero secondary scoring or worse, they are totally ineffective.

    I really don’t understand. Isn’t putting out 2 lines of Gabbie/Richards/Hagelin and Nash/Stepan/Callahan (or Kreider or Miller or Pyatt) worth at least a looksee for a few games

    Doesn’t this kinda make sense given the 4 and 5 start???

  35. breaking them up makes a lot of sense, jim. having them together make them easier to defend, not harder. put your number d pair out there against them, or your checking line. break them up, and somebody is going to get to play against a 2nd pair d.

  36. Pretty sure we had enough play from our depth last night to defeat the Devils if Farty-Marty doesn’t stand on his fat head all night making really astonishing saves.

    Our PP is horrendous. That’s true. If Asham is going to be playing what I think was 3rd line minutes, and using his jam and skating to actually draw 6 Minutes worth of PP, we have to put one of those in the net.

    Can you guys imagine if JT Miller or The Kreider or some alternating plan of them can actually play on a top line with Richards and Nash? The depth on this team goes through the roof.

  37. @RealKyper@ #Bluejackets *Brandon Dubinsky* will have supplementary discipline hearing 2day with #NHL for his hit on #Kings defenceman Rob Scuderi.


    Kid’s putting together a real suspension history now.

  38. stranger nation on

    Dubi’s hit was borderline – thought he squeezed the D man into boards more so a Lucic type ‘drill between the numbers on his back’ hit.

    If D gets up uninjured, it’s just a roughing penalty. These D are figuring its better off turning the other cheek to get a pp, tough to establish forecheck for teams.

  39. I have to agree with you, Stranger. That’s really not fair. Scuderi is not even facing the wall as much as winding up to throw the puck, backhanded, around the boards. Therefore, he’s skating parallel to the boards. I don’t even think it’s a boarding issue. Scuderi decided to bend down for some idiotic reason and that put his head at hip level and Dubinsky just rode him into the boards.

  40. Capt. Callahan-Richards-Monster Nash
    The Kreider-Boyle-JT Miller
    Pyatt-Dr. Halpern-POW!/Asham

    Team gets pretty deep, eh? For starters, there are no defenseman playing Forward.

    Those lines are just for giggles since it will obviously change rapidly throughout the game.

  41. Mixed results
    Terrible PP
    Rotating cast of bottom six forwards
    Coach not being accountable for his outcoachedness
    Islanders “emerging”
    Scoring slumps
    Endlessly rehashing discussions about Avery

    It really _is_ the same as the start of last season…

  42. stranger nation on

    Manny – like the lines would exchange Hags for The Kreider – and put JT in middle of Boyle and Hags – Boyle’s hands of stone are preventing any offense these days (that and the new puck repellent tape on his stick) and I could see Miller and Hags using their legs to create some scoring opps.

  43. Totally, Stranger. I know Hagelin is glued to Stepan right now so I was just throwing them together.

    Personally I would LOVE to see JT Miller or The Kreider be able to take over 1st line Wing duties. Maybe Miller could Centre a top line. Just anything to break up those big three and add some depth to this squad.

    Am I the only one that wasn’t very impressed with POW! last night? I thought he spent a lot of time on his butt in the neutral zone.

  44. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Manny – driving home from the game in Newark last night, i passed a Manny’s Restaurant BBQ and Deli.

    Thought you’d like that!

  45. Brian Leetch.
    Assistant Coach, NY Rangers.
    PP coach.

    We suck on the PP. Even the games we played like crap could have been won with a PP goal at the right time. This has been the case for the past few years.
    Change it, fix it or get the F out of the way.

  46. Capt. Callahan-Richards-Monster Nash
    The Kreider-Stepan-Gaborik
    HaGOONlin-JT Miller-Boyle
    Pyatt-Dr. Halpern-POW!/Asham

    More like that, Stranger?

  47. Cool, Kenny. I should probably buy that place, unless I already own it! Bwahahahahahahahaha.

    Just kidding. But maybe I should have a Birthday Bonehead part at Manny’s!

  48. Czechthemout!!! on


    I agree with you. He couldnt stay on his feet. Kept flopping around on the ice. Maybe first game jitters?

    I am more concerned about how MDZ and Gabby was last night. You can add Richards to that as well. Staal too.

  49. Czechthemout!!! on

    When asked about the poor PP last night and the last in the league percentage, Torts said” I am concerned about the percentages” huh? A very Renneyesque response. Keep it up John and you might be soon know as John TortaRenney.

  50. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    We finished in the money last year, but the B’s, Pens and now Devs have certainly made us look like we’re just part of the field this year

  51. Rob in Beantown on

    I’m less concerned about the “percentages” than I am about how generally bad the power play looks. Obviously they aren’t going to score goals when they can’t gain the zone, can’t keep it in the zone, don’t shoot, etc. If they fix those things the “percentages” will go up…

  52. What is Freedom Prime smoking? Del Zotto one of the three stars????

    He was one of the Devils 3 stars.

  53. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Pro: The kids played well in all 3 zones and were consistently the best players on the team last night.

    Con: The kids played well in all 3 zones and were consistently the best players on the team last night.

  54. Good morning, boneheads!

    Curious, what did we think their record would be after 9 games?

    Girardi was missed last night, the whole defense looked lost and out of position. McD was able to negate Kovalchuk, but that’s about it. Gillroy isn’t convincing anyone he belongs in NHL.
    Otherwise the effort was there, they kept the puck in NJ zone for stretches, but looked like a bunch of put together players who are still learning each other. Brodeur was very good last night, NJ was able to bury a few chances they were given. They’ll get better, let’s not overreact.
    Kreider looked like he was skating better, sounds like he’s had that injury for a while. JT looked like he belonged. Only one game though, a lot of adrenaline. Let’s see if he is able to sustain the same level of play for a few games before we pronounce him NHL bound.

  55. The reason Richards was put back on the point was because MDZ wasn’t able to do much back there. Maybe give McD that opportunity instead. He has a better vision, it seems. Could be the time he’s given more offensive assignments, we all know he can defend.

  56. stranger nation on

    bull dog line February 6th, 2013 at 7:01 am
    also have to move Gabby back to the right side. has not played well on the left

    amen to that – no break out for him on that side – also having a Left D on right side is a challenge along boards – see MDZ in own zone last night.

  57. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    Is Gabby better or worse than Mike Gartner at his peak? It takes the perfect storm for Gabby to get a scoring chance. Gartner was able to his speed, too, but then had the ability to just blast away from 40 feet.

  58. stranger nation on

    more McD anywhere –

    more Stralman on pp, more Gilly on pp, less Stall and not as much MDZ

    Best shot on team may be The Kreider – Torts would never do it but he may be answer on pt – great shot and vision with time/space and could chase down any forward to prevent SHG

    The Kreider had a great pass on pp to Stawl he aborted the shot into Fatso’s gut.

  59. Couple of things from last night and overall.

    1) Once the Devils went up 2-0 after the first period the game was over. You could tell by the second period the Devils were in lock down mode. Game-Set-Match.
    2) The Rangers do NOT have an identity this season. We could be in for a long one. Hovering over and under .500 all season long.
    3) As good as Rick Nash can be it looks like he brought his Columbus experience with him to New York.
    4) J.T. Miller looked good.
    5) Kreider looked like the Kreider we know.
    6) Unless these two kids start playing serious minutes and contributing this season is lost.
    7) As flawed as last year’s team was, I would rather watch them any day of the week than the 2012-2013 NYR.

  60. Carp – point 12 is exactly what I talked about in the previous post. The Rangers did that last year. Their forwards dropped down deep and forced the opposing team to push the puck to the point. The D-men were able to stay low in the zone and cover the crease, Henke knew where the shots were coming from, and the wingers would fly out to the wings and block those shots from 70 feet away rather than 35.

    This year’s team has the d-men staying low still, but the wingers are playing higher than would be expected, leaving the slot open for a pass or for the high guy/back side d-man to drop in low for a rebound. As I said, that has a lot to do with the puck watching that is going on, which to me show signs of being uncomfortable in the system (not much practice time). Once they get to work on it more, they should be better in their own end, which should in turn create more puck possession time for them.

  61. Del Zaster was flat out horrible last night. He just kept falling over. Even after he had his skate looked at.

  62. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    I think Staal was decent at the point. He and Stralman have the best shots of the D-men, so I think at least one should be out on each unit. MDZ can create when he’s going, so I think you can keep him and Staal on the 1st unit, Stralman and McDonut on the 2nd. The 4 forwards thing hasn’t worked for the past few years, so they need to simplify the PP. Three forwards down low, 2 D-men up high, shoot the puck, jam the net.

    I have never liked Stepan at the point, and as I said last night, would even rather have Richards than him.

  63. And Carp, on that second goal, Nash was in a terrible position to begin with. His job as that side winger is to cover the slot. He poked at Gionta when McDonagh and DZ already had him covered. It was unfortunate that the puck got caught in his skates, but if he wasn’t over committing to that side, he wouldn’t have been in that position anyway.

  64. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    I do not like Step at the point
    I would not like him with a joint
    He really tends to disappoint
    Who’s the next we should annoint?

  65. Doodie Machetto on

    Brutal. Some of the worst hockey from start to finish I have seen any team play this season.

    Our special teams are a disaster. Forget the PP for a second. Our PK is in shambles. And don’t give me the “they lost Dubinsky, Prust, Fedotenko, Anismov” BS. We’ve lost multiple PK forwards in one offseason before. This is the worst our PK has ever looked. Seriously.

    Also, Lundqvist has been very average this year. For years, we have wondered how the team would do without Lundqvist. Well, now we know: hovering near .500.

  66. stranger nation on

    Gravy – I believe those are the current PP D units – MDZ/Staal – McD/Stral

    more of the same?

  67. The PP has been horrible for what…..EVER? I mean, at least a while. Certainly feels like forever.

    Del Zaster and Richards CANNOT play the point. Del Zaster has a fine shot so he can be on one squad but please put Strahlman on the other unit (or Gilroy). Just come on. People need to move their feet and move the puck.

    Also, on our 4 minutes of “Power” Play, the last 1:15 I watched The Kreider skate to open areas of the ice with his stick in a ready position and then watched the puck carrier skate directly at him, as if to hand him the puck, and then either bump into him or, worse, attempt to pass the puck high. What? What the hell kind of brain freeze does it take to do that?

  68. Doodie Machetto on

    I’d take a 10% PP, 90% PK over a 25% PP, 75% PK any day of the week. Unfortunately, we have both, the 10% PP and the 75% PK.

  69. Doodie – it’s not that we lost those guys, it’s who we replaced them with. Dubi, Prust, and Feds blocked everything. They collapsed when they needed to and knew how to jump out to the point and force a shot.

    The new guys on the PK aren’t doing that and it shows that guys don’t exactly know where to be on the ice since the box they usually play is becoming almost a straight line. It’s just a mess in all areas of the game.

  70. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Stranger, they started with Stepan at the point, and Richards has been in and out since the beginning of the season. There are no great options at this point, so I thin they need to go with the KISS options.

  71. They don’t need a good PP to win games. The stats I showed last night proved it. They need to play better defensive hockey 5-on-5 and 5-on-4, and most of that means just getting more possession of the puck, something they haven’t done consistently all year.

  72. Doodie Machetto on

    Jonny, it’s not just the new guys. Some of the worst offenders are the old guys. Remember McD chasing some guy against Tampa instead of staying with Stamkos in front of the goal?

    Torts has them playing an active box in order to generate shorthanded chances, but it’s just ending up with pucks in our net. Time to go back to what works: passive box, sticks in passing lanes, going down in front of shots.

  73. Doodie – I agree. But I think a lot of that has to do with the old guys scrambling and being out of position because the new guys aren’t in spots where they should be. It’s really on everyone, but I think guys are trying too hard to over commit because of the unfamiliarity of playing with each other.

  74. stranger nation on

    (yesterday) Callahan on his status: “I had no limitations today, it felt good again. Yesterday was a positive, last night and this morning, it didn’t hurt at all from yesterday’s skate. Today, I was doing slap shots, not holding back at all.”

  75. Doodie Machetto on

    Jonny, I disagree. I think it’s a systems issue, not a personnel one. Girardi has been running out and flopping in front of anyone with the puck. He’s like a caricature of himself. Fortunately for him, he was not to blame last night.

    Carp, where did Biron finish in the 3 stars voting? Had to be a top 5 finish given how poor the team was.

  76. I agree it’s a systems issue, but I think it’s because they didn’t have time to implement it in the offseason. The new guys coming in had what, a week to learn the system? It’s going to take longer than that to practice it and get used to where you teammates play. So that’s why I think you are seeing the old guys over committing and getting out of position because they feel they have to do more.

    Plus this team puck watches like crazy, especially the wingers. That just shows me that they aren’t sure where to be on the ice in certain situations.

  77. Doodie Machetto on

    Jonny, but I don’t think it’s because it’s new guys learning the Rangers’ old system, I think it’s because the Rangers have changed their system so even the old guys need to relearn it. And more fundamentally, I don’t like the new system. Why fix what wasn’t broken?

  78. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    You don’t _need_ a good PP to win games…last year’s team proved that. However, it gives leeway to other areas of the game when you can make teams pay for penalties. It also makes them less likely to take penalties, which in theory, should increase your even strength opportunities.

  79. Good morning, Sally!

    hey, i know you guys tend to overreact and i understand that you, ahem, dislike the Devils, but that was not the worst of the five losses. not even close. Two horrible early goals & an awful PP & a good game by Brodeur. A number of guys played well and a lot of them competed throughout.

    it was nothing like the losses to Philly or Pitt.

  80. I think the NYR should add a 3rd coach to address the poor special teams play specifically. A new voice with some experience (successful I would hope). The NYR need a complete overhaul of the PP.

  81. I don’t think ranger fans realize how losing callahan affects this team. I remember when he got hurt in the last game of the year against the bruins and the rangers got swept by the devils in the playoffs. The rangers are a different team without callahan. Than you add all the new players playing for this team and with all the changes, no camp and a short season, all adds up to a team that isn’t a team right now. They need time to practice and get fimiliar with each other. Unfortunately there isn’t much time to gel because of the shortened season. I still think the rangers can get the 7th or 8th spot. If they do they could be dangerous because by than they should be a team.

  82. The astute coach’s on this site have the 19 year old rookie with 1 game under his belt on the first or 2nd line and Kreider who has played 5 or 6 regular season games on the 2nd line. I am sure if they go thru 6 game pointless streaks our patient fandom will not gripe or whine..

    I am all for young blood but relax….intra game the young guys play well give them more minutes but a little too optimistic on things.

    nash has not been that good so far, a few spectactular plays and that is it. again be repsonsable for 3 goals against and gabby the same. gabby loves to go south in his own zone and on occassion that leads to the first goal against..

    i was shocked that MDZ looked so bad last night, seemed slow, in love with the home rune pass(shocker) and could not get or try to get a point shot on net……..

    hagelin, kreider,miller, hagelin, stepan played well, that is not going to be enough. need something from the so called stars.. …

    the magic # is 3. somehow someway the rangers need to score 3 goals a game……………

  83. You’re right, Stuart. Everybody wants the “young guys” to play; and implied is that they will live with the kids’ mistakes and hiccups. But then Del Zotto has a bad game, or Stepan or Hagelin has a bad start to the season, or God forbid Bickel takes a penalty, and all of a sudden they all suck and “please get him out of here” becomes the cry. And any loss is completely unacceptable, no matter how much or how little the kids play.

  84. Carp, the problem in my mind in not yesterday’s game in particular. As you mentioned they have played much worse games. The problem is that this team is up and down, up and down. There is no consistency and they just can’t seem to put it together for any prolonged period of time. I can’t see any kind of success without consistency. I think that is their problem. Also, lack of identity is contributing to lack of consistency.

  85. if the PP was just league avg. they would have 4 more points. they are under 8% that is not bad that is historic bad…

    8 straight games giving up a PP goal, who would have thought that could occur also. BTW the last few games they have received very few penalties. Last night I think 2 or 3.. Tampa i think they gave up 1 or 2 PP..

    5 on 5 there stats are porbably fairly decent…..

    on missing callahan that is probably true they really miss him and that is a problem. he is not a superstar, not even close and a good team has to be able to absorb an injury here and there…….

  86. Wow. I packed it in at 1 AM, and today I see Carp joined the fray in the wee small hours, rejuvenating the faithful until almost 4 AM!

    I think ilb may be correct about letting McD get more involved on the PP and the rush, but he’s just 23 and he’s so valuable defensively maybe they don’t want to gamble right now with screwing him up?

    Mediocre as play has been, if we had netted the odd goal here and there during this 4-5 start, the record might be mucho better. Sometimes fate does that to you, and then the ones that didn’t go in start to, on a roll. PP, though is a legitimate concern.

    22 penalty minutes total among 7 of the 8 defensemen speaks to discipline, but also speaks to a lack of physicality in front of the net. no?

  87. And, man are they ever lucky with the Cally injury, which if he is to believed, is a non-issue.

  88. It’s not physicality at the net as much as it is determination. The NYR are not determined to go there. Sans Cally anyway.

    We have the players. Nash-Brad-Gabby is enough to be a top PP line no matter who is at the point. The problem is the system. They are not being coached properly on the PP. That has been on Torts since he got here. Suck it up, add another coach, and develop a new PP strategy. We have the players.

  89. Carp – agreed that the Pittsburgh loss was much worse and in reality, they’ve lost to some of the best teams in the league. But last year, they win a lot of the games they lost so far because of how tough the team was.

    Doodie – that might be true as well. I personally don’t think it is, but it could be since they did talk about playing more “offensive” with the new personnel. And “if it’s not broke, why fix it” is exactly why I didn’t want them to blow up the team for Nash. Not that Nash has been the problem, he hasn’t and has surprised me with how overall consistent he’s been, but his contract has forced this team to be top heavy and forced the offense on the top 2 lines, one of which was a bunch of unproven young players.

    Losing that depth is just a recipe for disaster, unless they thing some of the young guys in the AHL will be ready to step up next year and fill in those roles.

  90. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, you don’t hear me complaining about Stepan, Hagelin, Kreider, Del Zotto, et al. But don’t lump Bickel in with those guys. He’s not some young prospect with promise. He sucks. I have no idea why he is still on the team.

    While I would agree that the effort against both Pittsburgh and Philly was worse, I would argue that our play in our own defensive zone was even sloppier that those two games, even if the team as a whole was putting in more effort into the game.

  91. I sort of like Bickel as a 4:00, 12th forward. I really don’t like Bickel as a rotation defenseman. Last night’s lineup made it look like it was simply easier to scratch Eminger than one of the veteran forwards.

  92. You can blame the coach all you want on the PP. You can tell your players to move their feet all day long, there isn’t much you can do if they don’t. Except cut their ice time. But then you have Stu Bickel as the only option left…

  93. Whoever is responsible for the power play is not doing their job. Remember last year the few times they had some success Marc Staal and/or Brian Boyle played in the slot. Now go back and watch those videos and do it again. I am getting nauseous watching the Rangers attempt at a power play. The failures are costing the team points big time.

  94. Doodie- agree on their own zone. As much as it’s difficult to admit, one word- Girardi. They were all out of position last night. Different parings, different assignments. As much as Torts changed his forwards last year, he also kept his D-pairing together all year long.

  95. Mister D – those stats are a bit misleading. They had more puck possession in the offensive zone last year, but it is funny that their hits and blocked shots are up and people are saying they don’t block shots anymore haha

  96. Doodie Machetto on

    Jonny, I’d trade 2013 Nash, Gaborik, and Richards for 2004 St. Louis, Lecavalier, and Richards in a heartbeat. But beyond that, they had Dan Boyle to QB it, career years for Cory Stillman and Pavel Kubina, and the all time NHL leader in PP goals in Dave Andreychuk.

  97. Jonny, agreed, I imagine they’re blocking more because they’re allowing more shot attempts and hitting more because they have the puck less, I just wanted to counter the whole “this team doesn’t resemble last year’s team” comments. Some of which I think I’ve previously made.

  98. Doodie Machetto on

    And speaking of Del Zotto, he had a Del Zaster last night. He’s had some really good play this year and some really poor play this year. Hopefully he can find some consistency (and it being in the good play, not the bad).

    Stepan needs to show more. He had that great game against Tampa but has really been struggling otherwise. I was hoping for much more from him.

    Hagelin I thought was actually good later in the game. He was robbed by Brodeur on that 2 on 1.

    Nash just has no puck luck. The puck in the skates that ended up in the net. The move to start the third that went across the face of the open goal. The puck that crossed the line after his body took the net off the moorings. Just no luck.

  99. LOL Dennis Rodman on WFAN discussing his 5th authored book. He says, “this books that I have…”

  100. It’s a good counter, but they still aren’t last years team. Defensively last year, the guys knew where to be on the ice. This year it looks like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off (Mighty Ducks reference).

    It’s just really disjointed hockey, which is frustrating when you go from watching a team that definitely overachieved, but did so because of consistent and noticable hard work. They didn’t make it easy on themselves last year, especially in the playoffs, but they got the job done and were just as good as the Devils were in that last series.

  101. I’m repeating myself, but I do not think all the player playing poorly are going to stay that way. I like the looks of the team they put on the ice last night. add Cally to that and you are in business. I think they are going to be fine.

  102. Doodie Machetto on

    This is unrelated, but does anyone work anywhere (preferably a hospital) that is hiring nurses, especially if they are hiring inexperienced nurses? My wife needs a job.

  103. Doodie Machetto on

    bull dog, you can’t be happy with the defensive zone play. It was some of the sloppiest play in their zone I have seen in some time.

  104. no, not happy with it at all doodie. kind of look like they are confused a bit. I think that has to do with new players, and not trusting each other as to where they should be. guys are trying to do to much. it will get better.

  105. Doodie, I can tell you that pretty much every hospital is hiring nurses….She needs to decide the location and cal HR, they’ll tell her what’s available and direct her to a nurse recruiter.

  106. E3 pimp's angel on

    Dave Maloney said that after 2 periods down 2-0, it was the first time this season that they were trailing but should have been winning. He Went on to say that there were many positives to be taken away especially regarding the kids.

    Also, that Nash just guessed wrong when the puck was in his skates… He went left and the puck went right, or vice versa.

    Re: Avery – As an obvious outsider, from my couch, I really liked his on ice performance, his passion, his energy, his forechecking, and frankly his game. Clearly, off ice, too much drama that I am unaware of took its toll. I liken Avery to John McEnroe only Avery had several orders of magnitude less talent. Mac was a genius with that left hand, but utterly insane at times during a match. I loved his outbursts. It was fantastic comedy. Avery, the same. One difference, however, is that Mac was always contrite and remorseful thereafter…. Until the next meltdown. Avery must not have been so regretful inside the room. He clearly is not the type of player or person that Torts will tolerate. Too bad because I think he was a good player.

  107. and I think they need to add a defensive defenseman in the worst way. someone who can play tough for about 12 to 15 minutes a night. right now this 5 defensemen thing is not working.

  108. Rob in Beantown on

    I missed the first two periods (business school classes in the evenings twice a week). Why should they have been winning after two? Soft goals by LQ or something else?

  109. Rob in Beantown on

    Rangers tweet says Callahan isn’t wearing the yellow non-contact jersey at practice. Good sign?

  110. Doodie,
    who would you put in for Bickel? Gilroy? Eminger? I’m not sure they are any better…
    Plus they can’t take faceoffs.
    This team IMO destroyed part of the core by getting rid of Anisimov and Dubinsky, then letting Prust go…
    Though I never was on the Nash bandwagon to get him here, I do like him, however, I think this team could have been better served holding on to Dubi and Anisimov, then allowing Hags and Kreider to grow into the core. I think this team would have have picked up where they left off last season had they not lost 5 forwards over the summer…just sayin’

    Boyle looks lost without his best friend.
    Asham…is a sham
    Pyatt…a good pickup for sure…
    Nash…great player but sheesh…how many stupid penalties.
    As a team…penalties are absolutely killing us…
    As a team…power play is absolutely killing us…
    nuff said…

  111. Game #10 last year was against SJ, after that famous remark by Jumbo Shrimp they never looked back. They struggled pretty much before that. Game #10 tomorrow against the Islanders. The team that plays against them like it’s 7th game of SC finals every time. And more often than not, the Rangers take them lightly. Hope that changes tomorrow. Well’ I’ll be at the game with my son, hope it helps :-)

  112. can’t keep a guy who wants to go (Prust). of all the guys that are no longer here, the 2 they miss the most are Dubi, and Fedotenko.

  113. Doodie Machetto on

    bull dog, I agree on Dubi, but I’d say Prust over Fedotenko. I’d say Anisimov over Fedotenko, as well.

  114. I picked Fedotenko because he seemed to be a calming influence for them in big spots. Torts always tapped him on the shoulder in tight games.

  115. if Prust wanted to stay, he would have taken less money. I don’t blame him for taking as much as he could get. there careers are not that long.

  116. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Yes, they miss Dubinsky and his zero goals. He would be getting killed here if he was still with the team, regardless of how he played on the PK.

  117. E3 pimp's angel on

    Stall wart – last year’s team was not going to last over the long haul. That grinding, blocking shot style just cannot be sustained without expecting serious injuries at some point. I don’t think Chara breaking Cally’s ankle was all that unusual. How long could Prust keep that his “thing” going? The rangers had major problems scoring last year. It seemed to be feast or famine. Too many high scoring games followed by woeful offensive output. The Nash trade had to be made. In time, this team should figure out how to win. Not sure last year’s style is suited for this year’s team. We have some race horses this year….let them run.

  118. john mitchell had what 4 goals in 50 games. if halpern can win faceoffs he is a upgrade. 35, 1 yr deal, rangers have bigger issues..

  119. Certainly no reason to hold Kreider back. He needs to play minutes in top 2 lines. You can’t expect him to use his speed ala Hagelin in order to win against the board battles and defend. Hagelin doesn’t have what he has- a lethal shot. Marty may start having nightmares because this isn’t the first time Kreider beat him with his shot, he did it in the playoffs too. Last night Marty didn’t give him much, that was just an impressive shot.

  120. A Death Sonnet for Pruster by Walt Whitman

    From far Montreal canyons
    Lands of the wild ravine, the, dusty Sioux, the lone-
    some stretch, the silence,
    Happily today, a mournful wail, happily a trumpet
    note for heroes…
    The cavalry companies fighting to the last – in sternest.
    coolest heroism.
    The fall of Pruster, and all his officers and men.

  121. agree ilb. I think if Kreider is top 6 it gives them better balance. has to play well to to get it, and then keep it.

  122. 4generations 4 cups on

    I honestly dont know what to say for the Rangers anymore. I really thought that they’d pull it together and win this game.

  123. Seems like with their schedule this week they’d be able to have a mandatory skate the day after a lackluster loss

  124. >>…Brandon Dubinsky fought Mike Richards again. That’s hockey.

    He’ll be having another fight today with Shanahanigan.

  125. >>Anyone know why the practice is only optional today?

    To give players the opportunity to watch all those FIFA friendlies?

  126. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    could have been worse – we could have woken up this morning, looked in the mirror, and realized we were Ryan Braun or Francisco Cervelli

  127. E3 pimp's angel on

    Bull dog – given your longstanding knowledge of our boys, glad you agree. To be honest, when we play the bruins (or any team that boasts a huge shot form the point) and Chara starts his windup -EVERY SINGLE TIME, no joke, my heart skips a beat. It is utterly insane to for anyone other than Hank to stop that shot IMO. Give hank a clear view and get out if the way.

  128. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    Of course, the flip side is-
    I can only imagine Ryan Braun’s reaction if he woke up, looked into the mirror and saw ME staring back at him

  129. coming back to why the lack of a power play point shot is such a big deal…

    yeah, I think overall special teams in the NHL are overrated. at the same time, you do need to have at least a decent power play and penalty kill. when the Rangers are consistently terrible with a man advantage they succeed at running time off the clock and giving momentum to the opponent. at this point it’s a foregone conclusion that whenever the Rangers gain a man advantage the score will be exactly the same two (or more) minutes later. there’s no fear put in the opposing team by losing a man against the Rangers. you know they don’t have anything to threaten you with and their inability to move the puck well consistently isn’t even going to tire you out. if anything your best bet is to wait for them to press a bit to hard, make a mistake, and break out on your own.

    so do I think you need to be the best in the league on special teams? no, not at all. but you can’t be at the bottom of the pile either.

  130. stranger nation on

    E3 – better yet – get out of the way and tie up your man so no defections or rebounds! Sometimes too many wanna be goalies on back line

  131. still curious to know how you guys feel about these lines for Thursday night:


    Boyle and Halpern could be flipped concievably but I think Halpern’s actually a better skater than Boyle. Nash goes on two because he’s better support for the soft Stepan and can actually playmake. Hagelin and Pyatt play on the third line because that’s where they belong.

  132. stranger nation on

    Lloyd – would switch Miller and Pyatt w/ Nash on RW w/ 2nd line – like to play off wing. Also put Miller at center – need an agressive 2 way center who can carry the puck – boyle just can’t

  133. Lloyd, but Boyle took skating lessons one offseason and has the skating ability of figure skater Jeff Skinner! ;)

  134. Rob in Beantown on

    Play Lundqvist against division rivals. I think they need to let him get comfortable and get some confidence, so I’d say play him against Tampa too.

  135. czechthemout!!! on


    Like the lines but would rather have Boyle play on the third line.

    Nash ‘ s comment on the right to Katie Strang are dead on. They are too deliberate skating into the zone on the PP. They are even more delberate when they skate back down to retrieve the puck after it has been cleared.

    I agree with Maloney. They were much better than NJ at even strengh. Thats why its so frustrating. And dont forget, several of the players played horribly last night. They will mesh and when Cally and DannyG come back will be a scary team to play against. Torts needs to loosen the reins a little and they will be fine.

  136. Llyod,
    switch Gabby and Nash, and Boyle on 3rd line. add Cally to 3rd line, bench Haplern and your done.

  137. It’s really amazing how this blog has grown since it’s onset, and spread internationally for pete’s sake. I recall when I first came aboard and the originals …… who were they now, Pentti Lund, Blogmama, the family,and then when I posted everyone got jealous because I was so good looking. But you all have learned that modesty is one of my most striking features.

    I try not to get too serious in my posts, but …..sometimes I falter. Now Jimbo…there is a name. You just known he’s a Creole, because that bayou accent cannot be overlooked. I think my keeper is coming …bye now.

  138. Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before
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