Guest blogger: Authorben … Rangers at the quarter pole

353

First and foremost, thanks to Carp for giving me a spot in the lineup. Most appreciated.

Here we are, folks. A dozen games in the books already. Twenty-five percent of the schedule done, just like that.

Sure, a truncated 48-game season is better than no season at all.  But it hasn’t started out the way most of Ranger Nation thought it would. A team that came within six wins of capturing the Stanley Cup last season shouldn’t have stumbled out of the gate, right?

Well…

When you don’t play together as a team for nearly eight months, there’s going to be some rust.

When you don’t go through Camp Tortorella, setting the foundation for the season, there’s going to be some mistakes. And in some cases, plenty of them.

We’ve seen a little bit of everything from the Rangers over these first 12 tilts. Things that make you pull for them with all your heart. Things that make you pull your hair out — like Tuesday night’s third-period meltdown in Beantown.

They sit with a 7-5 record after the 0-2 start that probably had many of you teetering on the ledge.

So what to make of it all?

Without any further adieu, here are a few of my observations (in no particular order):

1. 61-derful — Up until the Rangers acquired him in last July’s mega-deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Rick Nash was a polarizing figure amongst the Blueshirt faithful, with the contributors to this blog being no exception. However, the big guy has been nothing less than a powerful, energizing figure from game one. Granted, he only has three goals. But his play in all three zones in nothing short of outstanding. He makes all the prototypical power moves. He’s hard to take off the puck because of his body position. He’s got a pretty good set of wheels. The coach loves him. And that deke he put on Rask in the shootout was amazing. Great move getting Mr. Nash.

2. Not so special teams – Perhaps the NHL should adopt a rule enabling teams to decline penalties, just like they do in the NFL. That way, the Rangers wouldn’t have to put themselves and their fans through the pain of watching their powerless play go to work. What is especially alarming is their ineptitude with the 5 on 3. It’s already cost them valuable points in the standings. And the penalty killing (middle of the pack right now) certainly hasn’t been up to its usual standards. The absences of Brandon Prust, Brandon Dubinsky and Ruslan Fedotenko certainly have something to do with that.

3. Filling the need for more speed — As you go up and down the lineup, you see the Rangers certainly have some players who can wheel and deal. Hagelin, Kreider, Gaborik, Nash, J.T. Miller, Powe, Halpern, McMonster. All can really move. And the way the game is played today, you need that speed. Rupp couldn’t keep up, now he’s in Minny. That’s how it goes.

4. Rounding into royal form — It took nearly a month for Henrik Lundqvist to start playing like Henrik Lundqvist. But that’s what happens when a world-class athlete doesn’t have world-class competition, or any competition for that matter, for eight months. The King thrives on plenty of work. And it has taken him a quarter of the campaign to regain his Vezina Trophy winning form. As he goes, so go the Rangers. It’s that simple.

5. Changing their depth perception — The Rangers were certainly a top-heavy team for most of the first dozen games, with the Richards-Nash-Gaborik line being the focal point of their offense. But a couple of moves have taken the Rangers out of the depths with more depth. Ridding themselves of Mike Rupp and adding Darroll Powe gave them a player who could work third or fourth-line minutes with speed, snarl and penalty killing ability. Plus J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider have given the Rangers a solid third line along with Captain Callahan. Arron Asham and Jeff Halpern have looked good recently as well. Teams that roll four lines can make a lot of noise in the spring. Remember what the Devils fourth line did to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals last season? ‘Nuff said.

6. Sometimes Brad, sometimes bad – Brad Richards will never fulfill the expectations of his lofty contract. But, he is a seasoned veteran with a season on Broadway under his belt. He should be adjusted. He should be more consistent. He should be putting more points on the board. Being a mentor to the kids is one thing. But that won’t get the Rangers to the top of Mount Stanley. And get him off the point on the powerless play, please!

7. Less than full Boyle — Brian Boyle has been a big disappointment thus far this season. Counted on in previous campaigns for solid third-line minutes and strong penalty killing duties, No. 22 has provided neither so far. Subsequently, he’s in the coach’s dog house and will hopefully learn from watching his teammates from the press box. This is a character player who can play at a much higher level than he’s shown.  Not sure when he’ll get back into the lineup, though.

8. Stral stands tall -- When you have Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto as your top four guys on the blue line, you know where the majority of the minutes are going to go. But Anton Stralman has been super solid again this year. A sound positional player with deceptive speed and a pretty good shot, No. 6 has become a mainstay on the Blueshirt backline. Perhaps he should man the right point on the powerless play.

9. Too many men, too many times — Twelve games. Six penalties for too many men on the ice. WTB? Change is supposed to be good for you.

10. Trying to find the grind — Last season, the Rangers imposed their will of plenty of their opponents, as they played a shutdown style that preserved many a lead. It was a part of their DNA. Their identity. That has been noticeably absent for much of the first dozen tilts. The only time we’ve really seen it was the third period last Sunday at the Garden against the Lightning. Certainly didn’t happen in the third period in Boston. To take another team’s will away is both a physical and mental thing. It’s how teams go deep in the play-ons. The Rangers need to get back to that. Fast.

 

 

 

 

 

About Author

353 Comments

  1. Very good write-up Authorben. kudos

    I agree that change is supposed to be good. We have had a fair amount of change compared to teams like Boston and Pittsburgh. I think that is part of the reason for the slow start.

    I missed the familiar names of last years grinders but am pretty excited about the recent moves on the bottom two lines. If they keep performing, and Torts keeps rolling four lines, the Rangers could get on a roll.

  2. Nash could go down in Rangers history.

    He is that good.

    I knew he was good, but come on, that guy is awesome at times.

  3. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Declining the power play is a idea if they giving up too many shorties……..otherwise, just move those feet and make good passes. Get Tge forwards off the point. They are not used to keeping the puck in and it wastes time getting back onside. Also win a face off once in a while… I bet that alone will improve pp.

    One last point. This ain’t last year’s team. Players are different. Coach needs to change his style to fit the team’s strength not vice versa. Torts strikes me as a smart hockey guy – he’ll figure it out.

    Good write up Ben

  4. You don’t understand the new defensive plan Torts has.

    We are resting our penalty killers during the power play.

    just no shorties.

  5. Boyle will never see the third line again. He has little offensive skill and tends to drag down line mates. He definitely would slow the current third line down also.

    If he gets real nasty (he kind of did last year), he can be an effective fourth line center. I have a feeling it will take an injury, loss or something drastic to get him back in the lineup. I hope he makes the most of his chance. With a $1.7 million cap hit he is a pretty expensive fourth line center. I hope his passport is up to date.

  6. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Tomb – well said. Interesting how our whipping boy changes week to week. Boyle catching mucho wrath. That’s Spanish for a whole bunch of wrath…

  7. we can pick on Brad Richards.

    you look at capgeek and see that $6,666,666 going off the edge of the page and all you can think of is compliance buyout.

    that or somebody named Satan, and he doesn’t skate for the sabres.

  8. At the quarter pole it’s Chicago, Jersey, Pittsburgh, & Boston! Moving up from the rear it is a Ranger! Picking up speed at the turn . . .

    This year is a horse race. Plenty of healthy stallions on this team, and for some it is there first real race. The winner never comes out of the gate and leads the whole way.

    . . . And down the stretch they come!!!

    It is a RANGER!

    Keep the faith! Bleed blue! In Torts we Trust! This team will be there in the end! It is going to be a Nashty Year!!

    Have a SIOUXper Day!

    Eat a fish stick!!! 4-0

  9. hey, coos coos are you asleep ? Come on, join the fray, it’s fun fun fun, the eddie 3 is still here and jamming hard.

  10. Great recap of the first quarter. The only thing I’d add with emphasis is that in addition to the effects of no camp, turning over a big chunk of the lineup takes time to gel. It’s happening and the best is yet to come… at least that’s what I think and hope.

  11. let me throw a little cold water on the Nash love, if I may.
    Nash is not some 3rd liner who has chipped in 3 goals, and should be praised for it. he is supposed to be a top line stud. right now those 3 goals are as much of a reason for the teams struggles as any other. he is a player who plays an individual game. he does not make any player on his line better. he’s like an NBA player playing 1 on 1, except he is going against 5. is Nash a great talent? no question. but Nash needs to put that talent into scoring more goals, and playing more of a team game. you know a little give and go never hurt anybody.

  12. I’m just scared were too soft and girardi/mcd/ staal will be burnt at the end of this SHort season. This season just dosent have the character or buzz last year did. But imagine how Nash would have played with the group last year. The guy is an absolute beast

  13. Annd for all the Richards bandwagon bashers It’s a shortened season so alot of players are off. Remember how clutch he was down the stretch and in the playoffs last year?

  14. Excellent write up!

    And I disagree with people who are critical of Nash because he only has 3 goals. He has been the Rangers best player by far!

  15. stranger nation on

    No one would love to see Richards play better than the ‘heads on this blog but up to now he has been subpar. This is not a second pair D man the coach can reduce his time or an up and coming young forward that can play in less critical situations. I could give a rats behind what he makes, but where he plays, ya gots to play better; hopefully better things in the last 3/4 of season.When you’re #1 center is not playing well, you are in a heep of ‘do-do’.

    If Nash was not here, it would be even more evident. Anyone who thinks Nash is slowing this team must really love Dubi and Artie because he should have twice as many assists if this team had better finishers and rarely if ever gets set up with time in a good place – everything he gets he creates himself and to watch it is worth the price of admission – something you cannot say about too many players in this league.

  16. Outstanding evaluation w/ a healthy dose of wit by an aptly named contributor.

    Boyle may be a great teammate in the locker room but he’ll be packing his bags like Rupper if he doesn’t start using his size to full advantage. This team is faster, younger and more talented and will not have the same exact identity as last year. Under Torts this team will continue to learn how to play together but it will take a bit more time.

  17. the only part of your comment I agree with stranger is, “everything he gets he creates himself”. which is exactly my point on him. he is to much of an individual player. he needs to use his teammates, then maybe he would not have to create as much for himself.
    I bet ilb is laughing his as off at reading that I love Artie to much and thats why I am getting on Nash.

  18. Czechthemout!!! on

    Bull dog

    Get off of the anti Nash stuff already. As I recall, you were dead set against getting him. Tp say that he doesnt play a team game is total nonsense. While it is true that he only has 3 goals, he has made anyone who has played with so far better. Just look how Hags and Step have played since he joined that line and look how Gabby and Richards have played since he left their line. Making the players around you better is the true definition of a star and Nash is certainly that.

    As for the goals, they will come. He has had some bad luck hitting several posts and getting robbed many times by goalies. He is a career 13.8% shooter. This year he is at around a 6% clip so its only a matter of time before he starts scoring in bunches revert to his average. He has also set numerous scoring chances for others who promptly failed to bury them.

    One more thing, who leads the team in scoring?

  19. Czech,
    not true! and you are overreacting just a bit as to what I am saying. I am not anti Nash, just think some of the praise he gets here is not warranted yet.

  20. Czechthemout!!! on

    Bull dog

    Didnt mean to offend, hope I didnt. I think that he has been the best palyer by far on the team. He leads the team in assists as well i believe. Doesnt that show that he has played within the context of team? Be fair.

  21. Ryan O’Reily wants $5 million coming off ELC. Slats doesnt likey.

    Colorado wants a roster player plus a pick we don’t have.

    but……..stranger things have happened.

  22. happy bday to my son whose 2 today. all he wants for his birthday is 2 pts tonight.

    cooke up to his old tricks again? didnt look intent but who knows with that clown

  23. Cooke lifted his foot and stepped on Karlsson’s leg. It wouldn’t happen accidentally in 100 years.

    The action was 100% intentional. (not the tendon cut) more cheap stuff from him.

    Something has to give.

  24. OK OK you guys are both right.

    Nash is used to carrying his team. He is used to get clobbered playin on that expansion team.
    Night in and night out Nash was getting sick of it and desided to do it all on his own. He can be a one man show. He had too . Now hes on a team team. He still has flashes of ” do it all myself” and maybe at times he should. Nash is a power horse and you need to let him do what he wants. He should be Captain . He is that big a presence. Him and Gaborik ( and Boogaard ) could take you out of your seat …he is our biggest asset beside Lunqvist.

    Our team needs a guy to take over and lead the way . Cally does it with his hits and some timely PP goals . He should strip off the “C” and give it to our superstar . That would be the best thing hes done as Captain. He was given it when we were searching for a leader. Now we have one , his name is Rick Nash. Only Ranger besides Hank who will always be at the all-star game.

  25. No serious Kenny , when all said and done , facts are facts. It is what it is. Half the season Cally will be on the injury list. He SHOULD NOT block shots the way he does. It courageous but is not smart. You NEED your captain every game and with Cally playin Roller-hockey ..he wont last long. Mark my words.

  26. Czech,
    neutral zone and in the defensive zone, Nash plays the team game. in the offensive zone he plays individually a lot. his numbers will go up, and the numbers of his line mates will go up when he includes them in his game. I think it is a matter of trust and comfort. he is not as good now as he is going to be.

  27. Nash has always played this way. that was his m.o. before Columbus. It is in his scouting report.

    He did win an Olympic gold medal in 2010.

    I think he will improve even more as the year progresses. But I don’t expect him to turn into Wayne Gretzky. I think most people are OK with that.

  28. 22 other guys also won the gold in 2010. just because he has always played that way, does not make it the right way to play.

  29. If he plays that way , The Rangers WILL win the Cup .just say’n. Its the right way if we wanna win . We NEED a guy to take it himself ( not Gaborik) and not lose the puck. Like Nash.

  30. I think that pass he made to Hagelin while falling down qualifies as including his teammates. But you’re correct, bull dog, to an extend. He is used to playing an individual game as he rarely had anyone to pass to, or to get a pass from in Columbus. But you can’t deny that he wants to win, and is buying into Torts’ system. It’ll come.

  31. stranger nation on

    Nash won the Gold and played on top performing Canadian lines with a total game. Rangers O is not too far from Columbus O – don’t fool yourselves. Save for the Gabby Ghost, who are the proven finishers on the team?

    TO NOTE:
    Nash captured his first gold medal with Team Canada at the 2007 World Championship in a 4–2 victory over Finland in Moscow. Scoring two goals in the gold medal game against Finland and 11 points total, Nash was *named to the tournament All-Star Team and earned MVP honors*.

    Nash appeared in his third World Championship in 2008, but failed to repeat earning silver. *Nash was named to the tournament All-Star Team for the second consecutive year, finishing with 13 points*.

    Nash was selected to play for Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and was *named Best Forward*. Nash earned his first Olympic medal in the tournament as Team Canada went on to win gold

    Name the other World Class players on the team on offense save for the Gabby Ghost?

    that’s what I thought…

  32. Having said that, I think, with his skills and size, don’t you want him to make the play himself? It could, very often, be the best play.

  33. you guys are getting way to offended on my Nash comments. I know he is a world class player. I know he wants to win. I know he is committed in the D zone. my point was, and still is, that he plays an individual game in the offensive zone. I think if he gave the puck up once in a while, he may very well get the puck back in a better spot. i’m not looking for him to become a big assist guy, I want him to score goals. moving the puck gets you there.

  34. ilb,
    when needed, sure. its great to have a player who can make a play by himself. just don’t need to do it every time he touches the puck.

  35. If I was one of Nash’s teamates I’d say after the game. ” hey , why did you pass it to me? I did n’t want it!!”

    but yes bulldog the give and go should be used more to give Nash more space.

  36. I think I have been up too long. Nobody is making sense to me.

    Is this going to be JT’s final game with the big club? I don’t see how.

  37. it should not be, but I think it will.they will send him down to play in the AHL, and bring him back before playoffs.

  38. Miller should’ve gotten a hat trick last time vs the Isles, but selfish McDonagh wanted to move up the US Olympic depth chart from unknown scrub to 200th best American D.

  39. I would bring Boyle in for Halpern. I know most disagree, but I think they need Boyle. Halpern doesn’t have to sit forever, but to get Boyle back in right now he makes sense to sit.

  40. Rob in Beantown on

    I’d rather see Nash take the puck to the net himself if he thinks he has the opening. We have precious few guys who can do it so effectively and are willing to, why ask Nash to cough it up to somebody who is just going to lose it on the boards? We need more pucks to get to net, not fewer. I don’t think Nash’s play has been selfish, I think he’s uniquely capable of creating scoring opportunities on this team, I don’t want to deter him from doing that.

  41. I agree and posted on here not to long ago. GET RICHARDS OFF THE POINT ASAP!!!! I also think stralman should be at the point on the power play.

  42. I’m with you on that one bull dog. Doesn’t make sense to have Boyle rot in the players suite if the idea was to help light a fire under his butt. It’s not as if Halpern has played exceedingly well to cement a spot.

  43. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    When I think of the 2 greatest players to have ever worn a jersey….. 2 names scream out

    Rick Nash
    Tom Poti

  44. Islanders will be very committed tonight knowing there season is slipping away. The rangers better bring there A game and not let the islanders dictate the paste of the game. Islanders have guys who can score. The rangers need to get the puck deep and work on the Islanders weakness. Goaltending and defence.

  45. Great post.

    Re (6)1: The quarter point seems like the right time to call someone out for their pre-trade lukewarmness (at best) on Nash, right? While you may or may not have been right at the deadline (depending on whether Miller was really offered), you completely misjudged Nash’s talent and the impact he can have on the game. I know you loved Dubinsky but, c’mon, Dubinsky isn’t the type of guy you think twice about when Rick Nash is in play. And for all your whining about the cap, there’s now an easy, cash only, solution with the amnesty buyout. So, really, you’d be an idiot to do anything but admit that you were dead wrong and that Nash is awesome. You suck, Mister D.

  46. LMGO, MisterD! Admittedly, I don’t remember you being against Nash trade, but if you were- it takes a man to say it!

  47. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    I hope Torts, I mean, Bossonova, takes notes on all the game strategy we post here. He and his experienced NHL coaching staff would never be able to think of this stuff themselves.

  48. its all mental right now. they fail so much on the pp that theyre afraid to make mistakes. too many passes and never is anyone open for one timers. u ever notice how when they pass to each other they have to take a second to settle the puck down? theyre all nervous to make a bad play. richards needs to get his ase to to the blh blah blah dooodooo weeeee

  49. Good summary – thanks.

    Good to see the R’s continue to integrate their own young players into the team …. It will be good when Richards & Gaborick get something going. NHL hockey is a game for young men, mostly.

    I worry about grinding down our top D with heavy & rugged minutes. Maybe they can handle it. But I wonder.

    Funny they have so much trouble with the line changes.

  50. I was againt the nash trade because of the ranger players rumored that were involved. It turned out that none of the rumored players were involved and the actuall trade was a no brainer. I was also skeptical of Nash’s 7.8 mil but after watching him play he is worth every dime. Well, at least for now, down the road, that remains to be seen.

  51. You guys saw Brian mcgrattan’s tweet that he of course soon deleted? It said: Everyone in hockey wants to get rid of the enforcer so guys like matt cooke can run around and hurt 7 million dollar players!!! well done!!

  52. _LMGO, MisterD! Admittedly, I don’t remember you being against Nash trade, but if you were- it takes a man to say it!_

    Adamantly. Hated the rumored players (was ok with the actual package) and hated the cap hit. Thought he was a B level star not capable of being a good team’s best forward. Was very, very wrong.

  53. czechthemout!!! on

    Mister D

    Good job! He really is a great player but I am also glad that Miller wss not part of that trade at the deadline. If he was, it was worth it to wait.

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

    Really enjoyed the write-up. Always appreciate hearing other points of view, especially when I agree with them!!

  55. Lev – not a fan of his, but Neil can play is not ‘solely’ a goon playing 4 mins a game as a 4th liner waiting for a staged goon brawl.

    3rd and 4th line bangers who can skate and throw it down are needed in the league and they will take care of the piece of Cooke. It may be an eye for an eye with a strategically placed elbow or worse to Cooke or more likely LeTang or god forbid Cindy…

    Pens allowing that guy to play will come back to bite them in the ass

  56. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    I’m sorry if I’m getting a bit emotional today, but it’s Valentine’s Day, so we should all pay homage to this Led Zep classic:

    Your custard pie, yeah, sweet and nice
    When you cut it, mama, save me a slice
    Your custard pie, I declare, it’s sweet and nice
    I Like your custard pie
    When you cut it, mama… mama, please save me a slice.

    I’d sure like a piece of your custard pie
    I’d sure like a piece of your custard pie
    I’d sure like a piece of your custard pie
    I’d sure like a piece of your custard pie

  57. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Brian Boyle, 1 pt in 9 games…. Not too shabby… Over 81 games, 9 pts.

    Can that win the scoring title? Should be close.

  58. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    However, Boyle goes ape in game 82…. Scoring 58 goals and 69 assists to win the scoring race with 128 pts.

  59. Ahem….may I quote John Tortorella : QUOTE: “Looking at the tapes, he (Nash) makes some passes where we would like him to shoot. He’s had opportunities on top of the circles and he’s trying to make the extra pass.”

    Doesn’t sound too much like a guy who doesn’t spread it around, but more like a guy who the coach thinks spreads it around too much, a guy he wants to shoot MORE., not less.

  60. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    FGD, I’m a little more partial to:

    Squeeze my lemon,
    Till the juice runs down my leg.

  61. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Also, I think Jim Morrison, hopeful romantic that he was, really knew how to woo the women:

    I’m a backdoor man
    I’m a back-door man.
    The men don’t know, but the little girls understand.

  62. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Though on this day some are singing – Weee are never ever ever getting back together. Sorry to those people.

  63. good idea to sit kreider today, after all the rangers have a surplus of speed, skill, and size!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!not..
    torts in love with older plumbers.. halpern, powe, boyle, and pyatt over Kreider better be for 1 game…

    ridiculous…….

  64. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    Let’s not forget this Hallmark-ready, tear jerker line from my personal favorite, Two Live Crew:

    Splackin’ every day, always wearin’ the glove

  65. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Halpern 12 G, 0 G, 0 A, 0 Pts, and most importantly 0% shooting percentage.

  66. stupid move by the tinkerer but Torts has a unusual affinity for plumber like asham and powe…

    I have watched Kreider he has been responsible on d and he can have a good scoring oppty. in about 3 strides something boyle could not do if he was alone on the ice…

  67. cooke is everything that is wrong with hockey. he is a animal, no other way to say it..

    did he do it on purpose? no idea but I would not doubt it again he is an animal….

  68. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Have to admit I am not a fan of subbing Boyle for Kreider (assuming he’s a healthy scratch).

  69. boyle can play the PK and take draws why not sit halpern or powe???

    riidculous.

    btw if you have not scored your shooting % will be 0 so thanks for that insightful post…..

  70. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    It’s a reverse lock – 2G and 1A for Boyle tonight…one on a loose pp rebound

    retired Rangers and other NHLers skated at Wollman rink last night with KHL president

  71. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    As “invisible” as Richards and Gaborik have been , they have 9 points each (vs. 10 for Nash).

  72. Kreider looks (right now) somewhat lost and tentative. I expect Boyle to be an effective and physical presence this eve. I expect Kreider to be that, too someday. But, sometimes somedays never come. I think his will.

  73. Rob in Beantown on

    I dont understand Biron in goal tonight. Lundqvist hasn’t exactly been overworked and the Isles are a division opponent. Give LQ the night off next week instead.

  74. @NYR@ lines: Gaborik-Richards-Callahan/Hagelin-Stepan-Nash/Miller-Boyle-Pyatt Asham-Halpern-Powe. Kreider out; on D appears Bickel scratched

    Guess Kreider is the victim.

  75. Doodie Machetto on

    Don’t understand Biron over Lundqvist or Boyle over Kreider. I mean, I get Boyle back in, but would rather see one of Halpern, Asham, or even Brad Richards come out instead. Maybe especially Richards to wake his aasen up as well.

  76. What I don’t get is Nash listed as 6’4 and 218, and Kreider as 6’3, 226. Kinda obvious Chris looks like a boy standing next to Nash. Useless trivia, I know, but strange.

  77. I don’t mind Kreider sitting. I was hoping that Boyle would come back and play Wing though. Wasn’t that the plan to get him going again? I just feel like that 3rd line became way less of a scoring threat. But whatever. Keep winning.

  78. @KatieStrangESPN@ #NYR Boyle will play tonight vs. Isles. Excited to be back in the lineup, wants to create more offense, play sharper on PK

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

    Oh I guess he’s looking to create. Maybe he watched Nash and realized that he could actually use his gigantic size and above average skating to actually get to the middle of the ice? Maybe he will even Shoot!

  79. In the legal system, there is something called ‘involuntary’ manslaughter, or reckless endangerment.

  80. That’s such BS, guys. If that isn’t Karlsson (Best Defsenseman in Hockey) and Matt Cooke (long time jackwagon and cheap shot artist) then no one mentions it as anything other than unlucky.

    Cooke isn’t even looking at his ankle. He’s looking right at the puck the whole time.

  81. Boyle is there to shadow/shut down Taveres – shut him down the and Ice Mets have little else.

  82. Doodie Machetto on

    It probably was an accident. He still is a piece of cooke. And it’s just funny to stoke the flames.

  83. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    Our Ottawa playoff series last year really was great…a real barnburner … classic … nailbiter … humdinger

  84. Yea. I get that, Doodie. It’s pretty fun. It really sucks for Karlsson and the Senators and the NHL in general since the guy is the best defenseman in the league.

    Is that real, Coos? You’re a PI lawyer? No way. Too many attorneys on here.

  85. Though little boys throw rocks at frogs in sport, frogs do not die in sport, but rather in earnest. Who cares? Ernest Hemingway? There is an importance to being Earnest, at least according to Oscar Wilde. (I try to keep these playful comments to after midnight posts- sorry.)

  86. Cooke did it on purpose – there is NO other explanation – watch the whole play and you can see all the weight on his right skate and a distinct kicking motion down with his left skate on the back of the leg. there is a reason you never see this play, because players are taught to keep their skates on the ice for balance and leverage, especially against the wall. Inadvertent, accidental, unintentional. The two players involved have to factor in as you have a noted dirty players against the other teams’ bast player.

    If you look closely at crowd shot, you will see Roger McDowell in the first row

  87. No you didn’t Duberstein!? Really? I was a barbri Rep in law school. So basically, I am responsible for you getting laid for life. So, you’re welcome.

    Maybe we should get a separate chat space for all the attorneys on here.

    Speaking of Attorneys…where’s Noah been?

  88. No, Manny. :-) An attorney begins his career giving out $10,000 worth of advice for $200.00 and ends his career giving out $200.00 worth of advice for $10,000. Wouldn’t want to be a part of that.

  89. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    On the Pens’ next road trip, his own teammates should give him a 2am blanket party

    GET OFF MY OBSTACLE, PYLE!!!

  90. Defendant who has just been sentenced to ten years looks at his attorney and says: “What do we do now?” Attorney says, “Well, you go to jail and I go back to the office.”

  91. Don’t mind biron getting in but don’t see tonight as a game. Team won three straight and Hank is in zone at moment. Would have given Hank next three home games spaced out then go Marty in Ottawa next Thursday.

  92. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    To be honest Eric i thought out of the next 3 games, tonight was the most logical. The Caps and Habs always play them well and Marty did fairly well against the Isles last yr.

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

    Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup,
    They slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe.
    Pools of sorrow waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind,
    Possessing and caressing me.

    Jai guru deva om
    Nothing’s gonna change my world
    Nothing’s gonna change my world.
    Nothing’s gonna change my world
    Nothing’s gonna change my world.

  94. Does cooke not have any control of his legs or something? He knew exactly where his leg was and pressed down on it tearing Karlssons achilles.

    I called biron in net 2 days ago. Was pretty obvious that was going to happen. Just a regularly scheduled day off for hank.

    Kreider benched for boyle. Not a big deal as kreider hasnt been a difference maker at all yet. Looks lost at times. Cant take asham out for toughness and cant take powe out for PK.

    Someone posted halperna stats this year. If youre expecting him to score you may wait a while.

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

    Im the kind of guy, who never used to cry ………….but then kreider got scratched for boyle….now i am in misery

  96. The Capitals SUCK. We cannot lose that game. We need Hank in there. That’s a must-win because it’s a freebie.

    Habs on the other hand, that’s going to be a grinder. They have been good. Price has been all-world. Prust will have to fight Asham. I want Hank for that one. Although, doesn’t Hank have a horrendous record against the Habs or is it only at the Bell Centre?

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

    i will set you free….go with him…..anna……girl, before you go now,,,,i want you to know now….

  98. Obvious, Lev, that Kreider has looked lost at times. Not a good omen considering he played all through the lockout, albeit AHL.

  99. BrandonPrust8 profile

    BrandonPrust8 @MichaelDelZotto u too! Thanks for the flowers :) u shouldn’t have 2 hours ago · reply · retweet · favorite
    MichaelDelZotto profile

    MichaelDelZotto @BrandonPrust8 happy valentines day Brandon!

  100. eddie eddie eddie on

    rumor has it that boyle was slipping something into kreider’s unlimited OJ….causing him to look lost….and it worked

  101. That’s completely ridiculous, Lev. There is no chance that he did that on purpose. Could you imagine how hard it would be to actually do that? Borderline impossible at game speed. Especially while looking the other way.

  102. eddie eddie eddie on

    chains….torts has got kreider locked up in chains….these chains of love wont let kreider be…..

  103. eddie eddie eddie on

    texas?….let them exit the union……Senator Cruz????……what a turd he is…..that state could implode and we all would be better off….

  104. I dont know Manny, for some reason thousands of NHL players have been able to avoid stepping on each others achilles but Matt Cooke just so happened to do it to the best defenseman in the NHL.

    It looks pretty bad and sounds even worse. I really hope his skating wont be affected in the future. Sounds like 4 months recovery at the very least.

  105. eddie eddie eddie on

    i dont mind paying taxes….i like police, firemen, libraries, teachers, roads with no potholes, and besides….something has gots to be stimulatin the conomy

  106. eddie eddie eddie on

    CA passed a monster proposition…prop 30…..money, ideally, that will all go to schools….so we be educating all the childs

  107. eddie eddie eddie on

    boyle on a pace to almost have double digit points over 82 game season……….why in the lord’s name was he scratched????

  108. I agree with you, Lev. The circumstances are horrendous surrounding Karlssons injury. Circumstantial evidence is pretty condemning. I just can’t believe that it was on purpose.

  109. eddie eddie eddie on

    last night i said these words to my boyle
    i know you never even try boyle
    come on, come on, come on, and please please us ranger fans

  110. MichaelDelZotto Big happy birthday shout out to @MGaborik10. #geezer

    Gaborik birthday + gaborik dominance against Isles = going to be a good night

  111. eddie eddie eddie on

    manny – my woman saw the play….she said it was intentional and she doesnt know matt cooke from Alastair Cook

  112. Automobile accidents are rarely on purpose. Driving 80mph through a school zone facilitates. Especially with a documented history of reckless driving. Just playing devil’s advocate. That said, it’s still a sport, different rules. Cooke, unless he is a psychopath, wouldn’t do that, methinks.

  113. eddie eddie eddie on

    it doesnt matter what they say….i know i am gonna love boyle any ole way………boyle its you

  114. YOu folks who have mentioned that leg job by Cooke of Penguins, and isn’t it unfortunate luck for the Pens who happen to have folks on their team who are prone to dishing out these unfortunate, “accidents” but which usually, somehow, really injure other players. What an unlucky team.Perhaps there is really a place for some “frontier justice” to be dealt out toward key Penguin players, much as I hate to consider the concept, but there is where it stands.

  115. Well spoken! The Bell Jar. I like Ann Sexton’s poetry better than Plath’s. ‘The Awful Rowing Toward God.’

  116. And how many of your inveterate followers of other of the teams games in the league happened to see that move by the Wings goaltender when a skater moved in on him, and he came about 6 feet out from the net, with an opponent cruising in on him who casually stepped to one side and slid the puck into the abandoned cage. I’ve never seen Lundqvist make THAT kind of mistake.

  117. My old golf partner used to say to me after I three putted sixteen: “Could you possibly pick up an oar?”

  118. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    Gaborik moving back to left wing at least to start. 3-0 in the last 3 with him at right wing. Dont agree with the lines at all.

  119. Fran, Lundqvist is awesome at his best. If I had one complaint, it would be he spends a lot of time down on the ice. I think he covers a lot of pucks because he knows he’s vulnerable to roofed rebounds. But, what do I know?

  120. eddie eddie eddie on

    also the king could dish out less rebounds out in front….but that’s just nitpicking, isnt it?

  121. What Cooke did was NO WAY on purpose. He was getting position on the boards. At first I thought it was a missed slew-foot, but after watching again its only for positioning. Watch tonight’s game and I gauruntee you will see that move. I believe it was Suban that did the same thing to Staal’s foot.
    He is dirty , but that was not.

  122. eddie eddie eddie on

    kooz…if you ghost write with me…..im telling you…we would make $$$$….and it will be critically acclaimed….

    NYTimes: “kooz and the eddies have done it this this time..BRIlliant…a masterpiece…”

    Chicago tribune: “the pulitzer will go to kooz and the eddies…..powerful!!!!!

  123. eddie eddie eddie on

    Henry james “I am deader than a doornail…but kooz and eddie three times have written the definitive novel….id give it two thumbs up…but my bones are ashes…”

  124. Did I tell you I wrote a Seinfeld episode some years back that was optioned by Castle Rock, but never produced or aired? No? Well I just did.

  125. Hi Guys – actually when i looked at the video of the cooke hit – it looks like he IS lifting his leg – but i think it is more to drive karlsson a little harder with the knee. dont see him having it in his dumb head to maim the guy with his blade.

  126. eddie eddie eddie on

    Wallace Stegner ” the angle of repose has nothing on these poetic words…stunning…..i couldnt put it down…..after 4 hrs, i did call my doctor”

  127. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Kooz – the American and Washington Square – Genius

    The only problem I have with James is that I have to look up 5 words on every page… Insane vocabulary…

    Tho The awkward age was a tough read

  128. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Kooz – u didn’t / but congrats / I’m telling ya – we could write a Herculean effort together. I am brilliant and funny… And you can type :)

  129. czechthemout!!! on

    Dumb move scrstching Kreider for Boyle. So we now become slower, less of a threat on offense because we now become a two line team again with two fourth lines.if he wanted Boyle in the lineup he should have scratched Halpern. Torts once again trying to fit a 3 pound piece of meat into a two pound bag. Boyle is a fourth line player on this team and therefore should have come in for Halpern.hopefully, they are showcasing him to the Avs for Ryan O’Reilly.

  130. so the Rangers score 12 goals in their last 3 games and now Tortorella decides to change everything up?

    At first I hated the idea, but if our third line be productive like it was with Callahan on it, then having Callahan on the top line with Gaborik and Richards should help both of them out…

  131. Rumor is that part of the reasoning behind the moves was to take stock of Miller’s play on the wing…So, let’s put him alongside Boyle and Pyatt…Sounds fair to me…This is the way of creating the excuse to send the kid back to the Whale…If it’s not broke, you don’t fix it – someone please send Torts a plaque with that written on it.

  132. For all you WIRE fans (The show not the Band) I just spotted Wee-Bey-Brice at my local eatery. Valentines Day is Complete.

  133. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Replace Cooke with Hags, and he’d have been thrown out of the league.

  134. Greetings ‘heads! – It’s a great day for Rangers hockey

    This is a Nashtastic writeup AuthorBen…you must be a Carp protege ala Kenny Banya (gold!!!)

    LGR!!!!

  135. Miller might play center on that line. Boyle was playing LW when he last played. And, actually, it makes sense to me to have the kid play with two responsible players to see what he can do, rather than on a line that’s going to be a home run or a triple play.

    and of course, you guys all thought it was broke for the last 12 minutes of the third period, and if Callahan doesn’t score in the BCATHGE you’re all complaining about the makeup of that lineup in Boston, how there wasn’t enough grind and how the second line stinks and how they weren’t able to defend the lead.

    Not saying it’s all on Kreider, not at all. But both he and Miller struggled. I personally would have gone Boyle for Halpern, Powe or Pyatt, though.

  136. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Steve Zipay ?@stevezipay
    Biron is 21-4-1 lifetime vs Isles with a 2.03 GAA and .930 save percentage

  137. Stanger Nation on

    Like the idea of Miller playing pivot with a responsible Cally and a defensive minded (hopefully motivated) Boyle. They will be matched up against Tavares line so must clamp down in D zone, clog up neutral zone and possess puck in O zone.

    The Kreider’s lack of jam and grit is keeping him back – follow though on checks and win the wall battles and torts will play him top 6 minutes.

  138. Sometimes I wonder if we all remember that there is a reason why we don’t do what Tortorella does to make a living.

  139. Kreider out? Is he injured? Is he being sent down? Is his career over? Is the chat live now?? is…? is…? IS…?!

    (HEAD EXPLODES VIOLENTLY)

  140. He’s being showcased/waived/developmentally ruined/singled out/sent a message/put in the doghouse/hiding some vague injury

  141. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    CT and CCCP – the Kreider is the only Ranger celebrating Valentine’s Day – he has a hot date

  142. Glad Boyle’s back in. I’m not hopping on the anti-Flavah bandwagon after a couple of games. I’d rather have Kreider in than Halpern though.

    Gotta feel bad for the Sens. Spezza missing most of the season, if not all, and Karlsson done for the season. Two best players on that team. Scary thought, if it happened to NYR!

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

    Nice write up Ben.

    Somewhere on woywitka—> there was a quote the islanders felt physically pushed around last game…this could be ugly. I think last time they made a statement like that was before the pens rematch with the VPG incident.

    Well at least we have a heavyweight to counter boulton or carkner so we…oh wait, nevermind.

    Of all the forwards on the roster, Kreider was playing the worst IMHO, so he seems to me the most reasonable to sit.

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

    I have no problem what neil did..still think he would be great on the rangers

  145. Manny, COME ON. Youre kidding right? Wish the refs allowed Neil to continue pounding that little 5letterword into the ice. If that was done to McDonagh we’d want his head ripped off. Sens only found out how bad Karlsson was hurt towards the end of the game. Imagine how they felt on the bench. Major credit to Neil for getting in there. Wish he did more.

  146. wow, not agreeing with scratching kreider and playing biron. I would have scratched asham instead and played lundqvist. I guess Tortarella didn’t want to break up the 4th line. At this point what are the rangers going to do, swap back and forth kreider and boyle. Obviously there needs to be a decision on who to keep up with the rangers and who to send down to the ahl team.

  147. There wont be any back and forth scratching of Boyle and Kreider i think. This is Boyles shot to get to where he was before. If he cant do it he will be traded for depth. No brainer that Kreider is more in future plans than Boyle. But right now Boyle has a spot to lose.

  148. cooke is the biggest cheap shot artist in hockey. I’m not saying he intended to cut carlson achilles tendon but where there is smoke there is fire.

  149. Neil beating up Cooke after he accidentally hurt a star shows that the Rangers need a player like Carkner to stop players like Lucic hurting their stars, even though Lucic beat up Carkner. Or something…

  150. I’m curious to know if Cooke apologized to Karlsson. Not saying it makes it forgivable, but wondering if he at least made the token apology call….that kind of injury deserves a call. ‘Hey, sorry I ruined your season.’

  151. Good afternoon all! Author! Author! Great job Ben….liked the writing and kept saying out loud agreed, agreed….

    I’m looking for some love from the boys and some Fishsticks for dinner on this lovely Hallmark holiday.

    Mama love to all….mostly :)

  152. P.s. I wish I could be a big enough person to feel bad about Karlsson, but um……ok, I’ll go hell now….so be it

  153. right, Lev … and going forward for these last 35 games, they will need both Boyle and Kreider playing the way they can and should play.

  154. They should have a Punch Bowl Day after the Super Bowl and throw all the goons into the ring. Sponsored by…suggestions?

  155. Boyle is more in their future plans than Halpern though…Torts wants to give him a shot while trying to get some points….

  156. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    290 comments on a Thursday afternoon?

    *Carpsy is getting a raise this weekend, boyz!*

  157. keep in mind chris neil was almost a ranger until ottawa matched his the offer. not this contract now his previous.

    i love the type of player neil is. can be dirty at times but not a cooke or jarko ruutu type guy.

  158. I would totally take Chris Neil. Totally.

    He’s scored a lot of goals this year too. Like 3 so far?

  159. Neil does as many dirty hits as most, but he’s viewed as more “honourable” because he fights too, even though he’s got a rep for fighting below his weight class.

  160. fugg neil, he is just another punk. I will admit though that he knows how to play the game of hockey. Neil has some hockey skills. I would love to have him on my tream. I would say he is at least a step up from Prust.

  161. ilb2001,
    excellent point. it goes to show you that Neal is a loyal guy and plays for his country and city. Good hearted guy you want on your team.

  162. had to say I told you so but I called Boyle in-Kreider out the night Boyle was a healthy scratch for the first time

    Tortorella is nothing if not predictable

  163. stranger nation on

    Neil goes after Cooke and Cooke dives on ice like he always does refuses to answer the bell – that is definition of a wuss.

    Hope someone runs LeTang hard when Sens play Pissburgh next.

  164. hate to, not had to

    and it’s a lie anyway since I don’t really hate calling Tortorella’s shots in advance

    also the Cooke thing, I dunno, I’ve watched it a lot – and I was one of the people pointing out last night that what he did with his leg is how you’re taught to pin a player when going into the boards that way – and maybe it was just bad luck that his leg went into Karlsson rather than down on the ice where it normally would, but I’d put nothing past Matt Cooke. the guy has made a career on trying to end the careers of opponents, and has done so without any remorse. if there was one guy in the league who take a routine situation and turn it into a season-ending injury, it’s Matt Cooke.

  165. yes i believe neil got 2 years and 2.2 total from ottawa a few years back and rangers offered 2 yrs at 2.8

  166. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    That seals it, Carp. Asham will play the game of his life tonight…two homers, including an inside the parker

  167. What the F is wrong with Torts. Why mess with a winning combination. If I sit anyone it’s Gaborik who has totally disappeared and has no interest in playing. He always does this crap. “If it Ain’t broke don’t fix it”

  168. I don’t want Boyle in the lineup either

    but to be fair, this “winning combination” was lucky to get a win the other night after completely collapsing the 3rd period. they got 2 points because of the bogus skills competition that doesn’t belong in the sport. when the Rangers have a total meltdown like that, Tortorella is going to make a change.

  169. Torts has to find a place to play Boyle or give up on him. He ain’t giving up quite yet. Ergo, someone has to sit. Kreider drew the short straw by being relatively ineffectual.

  170. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    Hey, it’s Valentine’s Day. How many of you bozos are going to heartlessly send your girls on the walk of shame tomorrow morning – you know, wearing the same clothes to work tomorrow that they wore today?

  171. well considering I’m married and my wife lives the same place I do, it’d be a bit odd if she didn’t bother changing her clothes

  172. i dont like the tinkering as well for tonight especially kreider out. i would be ok boyle for halpern but to me i am more bothered by biron tonight not because i dont trust him i just see these 3 home games with time in between to play hank and start marty in ottawa next thurs

    isles
    wash
    montreal

    at minimum i want 4 of 6 pts has to be a given. i want 5 of 6 pts

  173. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    wives like mine and yours hang their heads in the walk of shame when they come HOME to the house, not when they leave

  174. If my wife had a job, I wouldn’t need any clothes, just pajamas. Hey, dig the cat’s pajamas!

  175. It’s one player. If we are going to win or lose based on The Kreider or Boyle then we have a serious problem. Kind of like that playoff series against the Devils.

  176. my sons 2nd birthday today so valentines day for us is after thought. i probably start watching on dvr at 8:00 so i will catch up to you guys

  177. you’re lucky you’ll get to watch at all, eric

    I certainly won’t be seeing any of this game

  178. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    look at the birght side – it’s not an awful thing that we and Bossonova have an overabudnace of interchangeable parts to debate over

  179. Not really a matter of Boyle for Kreider. More a matter of tinkering with a line-up that is riding a 3 game winning streak. If Torts wants to sit a deserving player then it should be Gaborik or Richards. That for sure will get a message across.

  180. Happy Birthday Eric’s son! I hope you grow up to be as nice as your dad but much, much more positive!

  181. Taking Richards or Gaborik out of the game entirely is a bit excessive while the team is winning. If you lose a game with Gaborik or Richards in the press box, an actual argument can be made that you could have won if that player was in the lineup. Those guys are game-changers when they are at their best. The Kreider is not there yet. Boyle is not there yet. Remember the playoffs? When our only scoring forward was The Kreider and Boyle was Concussed?

  182. Anybody want to trade Eminger or Gilroy to Ottawa for something useful? They kind of need a defenseman.

  183. Chico Resch has interchangeable parts on his wigs. Sometimes the part is on the left, sometimes it’s…

  184. that he moved Miller to the wing with Boyle centering and Pyatt on the other wing is what pisses me off the most

    you might get Ben Bishop’s toothbrush for Eminger

  185. THAT I agree with, Lloyd. I don’t get Boyle centreing that line since before Boyle got benched there was a lot of talk about how, “moving Boyle to the wing would help him regain his offensive game.”

    My hope is that Boyle watched Nash, realized he was similarly humungous, and plays like it.

  186. I would pay- per- view to watch you guys do a visiting Press night after game question/answer period with Torts. “Why don’t you sit Gaborik and Richards? Huh? Why? Answer the question!”

  187. Not specifically talking about Boyle for Kreider, but it is possible for there to be a line-up change that is just, you know, a line-up change, not some sort of message-sending, mistreatment of young player, favouritism, coach stubbornness etc?

  188. Remember when Gaborik took a shot in the Shootout in Boston? That was depressing because he had that crappy 5-hole move. It made me think though, I wish he got a chance instead of Olli Jokkinen against the Phlyers. Even if Gaborik blows it I think I can live with it more. I guess Tort protected him there.

  189. Well, just assuming they desperately need some Defense right now. And he’s cheap now? And they just lost their best offensive D-threat (probably their best Offensive threat really) and Gilroy semi-fits that role.

  190. 85% trolling Lloyd, but maybe the first line of my post kinda suggests I wasn’t referring to any specific comments…

    The other 15% of me is fully aware every line-up change (and Erik Karlsson getting injured) has some sort of connection to Avery.

  191. Lloys of London is insuring the contract of ARod. If they’re also insuring Richie Rich’s, short the stock.

Leave A Reply