Rangers-Islanders in review



1) Martin Biron. Let’s talk about fairness here. Because it isn’t fair if every time this guy plays and the Rangers don’t win, that it’s his fault, or the fault of the decision to play him. He’s not going to go 8-0 or 10-0 or whatever. He’s 1-0-1. Three points in two starts. You can dice it any way you want, but he’s probably the best backup in the league, or at the very least, gives the Rangers the best tandem in the league.

2) And to take it a step further (or is it farther?). It’s incredibly unfair for the knowledgeable, sophisticated fans to be chanting “Henrik, Henrik” whenever he allows a goal or two. Ridiculous. Plus I thought he was really solid in the second half of regulation and OT, maybe got the Rangers their Bettman Bonus Point.

3) Carl Hagelin. His speed and work created the first goal. His speed and drive to the net and second effort scored the second. He was the Rangers’ best player, and has played – I’ve lost count how many – consecutive really good games, including the “dumbness” game. Makes you wonder, if he’d had this kind of confidence and game in the playoffs last year …

4) Also, I’ve said over and over, the Rangers’ depth was not going to be a problem if Hagelin and Chris Kreider could play top nine minutes, and one of  them would have to play top six. And so far, Hagelin is holding up his end of that bargain after a bit of a slow start.

5) The BCATHGE (breakaway contest after the hockey game ends). I sure saw about 14,000 long faces leaving the Garden for some reason, despite what, in effect, was getting one point for a tie. Hmm. I thought fans loved the shootout, loved not having ties. I am not going to whine and gripe about this again, because it seems to offend some fans who were born since the 1990s. Bit it’s a stupid way to determine games, playoff seeds and ultimately jobs. The Rangers got their first Bettman Bonus Point (for a loss) this season. And they are 6-2-1 in their last nine. That’s a pretty good clip, regardless of how ugly it’s been.

6) That start: The Rangers gave the Islanders absolutely nothing until the Matt Martin breakaway almost 14 minutes in. Wasn’t just a fluke that the shots were 10-0. But they have to find a way to withstand the moments the game turns, because every game, even against a lost franchise like the Islanders, will turn at some point.

7) Brad Richards. I’m going to give him credit for two things. One, his play is not effort-related. Two, he knows he’s been bad and accepts the responsibility for it. And, I’ll even go to a third, he cares greatly and wants to help his team. That all said, I have no idea what’s wrong with him, if he’s not in good condition, if he was really set back by that flu he had during camp, if he’s just got some tired, heavy legs, or what. He said part of his power play struggle last night was from trying too hard, and I believe that.

8) That said, John Tortorella finally did the right thing and put him on the bench, and even more importantly, took him off the power play. I know the PP scored a goal – when a Gaborik dump-in hit an Islander and went to Hagelin in front, and Hagelin kicked it on goal, then got his stick on it and nudged it over the line, and video replay had to confirm it. The last power-play goal was a breakaway by J.T. Miller. Maybe it’s time to do a Billy Martin and just put five different guys out there, maybe go with whichever line and defense pair is due up next, and tell them to play it like 5-on-5. Why not?

9) Remember everybody saying Tortorella was trying to fix what wasn’t broken by putting Brian Boyle back into the lineup? Well, Boyle was pretty darn good. He needs to be better still. And now Tortorella has to find a way to get Chris Kreider back in and contributing, and decide if it’s best for Miller to stay here or go back to the AHL for a little while (because he will be back). The Rangers’ lineup is speedier and more dangerous if he can get them both playing well, and it sure looks slower, lacking depth, and bottom-heavy without them.

10) I just don’t know who comes out if they both are in. It’s not a simple answer.

11) Marian Gaborik did what he does. He scored a goal, had an assist. I didn’t think he was great in this game, but he sure wasn’t bad, and if that’s what he does and he pops one, you live with it.

12) I thought it was funny when those knowledgeable, sophisticated MSG fans began loudly chanting “Shoot the puck, shoot the puck” on that power play, and on a play where they didn’t actually shoot it, they scored the PPG.

13) Derek Stepan had another very strong game except for faceoffs. Oy. That he had to be replaced by Jeff Halpern on D-zone draws is troublesome. Even in OT. The Rangers won 44 and lost 32. Stepan, after an 0-for-6 start (I think it was that, might have been worse) finished 8-of-21. Halpern was 11-of-14, Boyle 9-of-16, Richards 9-of-17. The wingers won 7-of-8.

14) Does John Tavares actually turn invisible? Or is it possible that the one guy on that team who can actually kill you by himself really gets so open so often? Kid’s a beast.

15) I guess we’re going to see more and more of Marc Staal back with Dan Girardi, and Ryan McDonagh with Michael Del Zotto or Anton Stralman. Personally, I think Staal and Girardi are both better separated.

My Three Rangers Stars:
1. Carl Hagelin.
2. Derek Stepan.
3. Rick Nash.

The real Kenny Albert’s Three Rangers Stars:
1. Carl Hagelin.
2. Marian Gaborik.
3. Jeff Halpern.

Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:
1. Carl Hagelin (29.52 %).
2. Brian Boyle (14.29 %).
3. Marian Gaborik (11.43 %).

Photos by Getty Images.

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  1. Good to read your stuff, Rick. On the shootout and loser points, it is what it is, and all the teams are in the same boat. If you think it’s unfair to give up loser points, then don’t lose one-goal games in regulation. The shootout itself is a skills contest, yes, but a high-level one and again … every team has the same chance at the 2 points or the 1. And I was born WELL before 1990 — heck, man, I was in attendance the night they garbage-showered Ed Giacomin in the old Garden, a 3-3 tie with Boston in November 1966, the very last game before he started becoming great. I saw Boston carry the Cup around, was at the Stemkowski game, etc., etc. A geezer. I see your point (heh, heh) but I’m more miffed at the bushel-basket goalie gloves than the OT setup.

  2. Hah. Great topic for another day. Been thinking about this a lot lately. In hockey’s offensive hey-dey, the Oilers, the Islanders, the Canadiens, Mario, Gretzky, Hull, etc. … why was offense so dominant? Maybe the trap and defensive coaches weren’t as prevalent — though Montreal used the left-wing lock … but those guys, Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier, Hull, Robitaille, Bossy, all the big scorers, they had to fight through hooks and holds and slashes, and defensemen held up forwards when the puck was dumped in, and all of those non-calls favored the defense. Yet offense ruled.

    And I have the one solution you just mentioned. The equipment. The ridiculous body armor goalies wear under XXXXXXL shirts, the triple-extra-wide shorts, and the glove which is roughly twice the size of an old glove.

    I’d venture to say John Davidson, 6-4, probably a good 200 pounds, has eaten sandwiches bigger than Henrik Lundqvist, yet JD looked half Lundqvist’s side in pads.

  3. right on… torts job is to get Kreider and Miller integrated into the team. With them playing fairly well this team is quite talented and deep, with them not this team is 2 lines and drecck on the last line. they cannot win every game 2 to 1, torts do your job…

    on who to sit, i rotate the lieks of powe, halpern, pyatt, and asham and the young guys once in a while if they start to falter, why not? the devils sit guys all the time for years…

    if they are playing a philly maybe you suit up asham, when they are playing the canadiens no need for a tough guy but need speed, etc.. again kreider and miller integrated the team is bigger and faster and better. you cannot out muck the other team to the cup…hagelin the last 5 games more or less has been great. stepan not quite as good but more then acceptable, need more of the young guys to pull there weight.

    your evalaution of gaborik was spot on, the guy has 2 points tonight but played OK. He domanted 1 game this year his hatty against the bruins. he scores in bunches or not at all, but he is not a dominating player..nash- he has a lot of sizzle but to me he takes to long to release, is too unselfish, and does not play with urgency enough of the time…sure he is their best forward and I am the tallest person in my family and I am under 6 ft 2, so what I am not that tall and he has not been that good he has inrelative terms but that is it….

    mdz is still not consisstently been good enough, he had a 3 game burst of being good but overall not sure when he will get it.. he loves the homerun pass, just goes there to often….misses the net to much on his shot and the other d men are not effective enough offenively. why not give gilroy more PP time and more minutes in general…stalman does not bring it like staal, girardi, and mcdonagh game in and game out so he is a nice 3rd pair d man…bickel is useless, asham is basically useless, and halpern and powe are hard working little guys with no goal scoring capabilities. the rest of the team should be able to score on oaccassion and show some skill.

    suprised they have not been better defensively but the nature of the schedule and practice probably has not helped…

  4. Czechthemout!!! on

    As I posted earlier, Torts stupid personel decision took a very well balanced fast agressive four line team and made them a slower plodding along 2 line team. Should have scratched Halpern instead of Kreider and kept the third line together. Too bad and good night all!

  5. I can’t believe Tortorella is so calm. Another blown lead, to an inferior team who was slumping.

    I guess the old ‘just have to qualify for the playoffs’ adage applies here but that performance was pretty unimpressive for most the team. I can’t really fault the coach for benching Richards. I don’t have any other ideas except PED’s maybe. No PP time, no penalty shots either.

    someone suggested Cally, Stepan and Hags for the shootout. I don’t have a lot of confidence in Gaborik for that for some reason.

  6. Was great seeing Prust again last night when the Canadiens came to town. For those that thought he wouldn’t be as good in Montreal’s system as he was In the Rangers’, he looked damn good grinding it out and created some great chances in front of Theodore.

    Rangers didn’t give the isles any respect after the first period. That’s where they lost this game. No sense of urgency until the third. The first goal was on Staal. He blindly tried to clear it behind the net and put it right on isles player’s stick and then went to the front of the net and couldn’t get good stick on the pass in front or cover the man in front.
    Second goal, great shot. But Biron’s positioning helped lead to it. The third goal was all on Biron. He has a tendency to cheat too much to the short side leaving himself vulnerable to any decently placed shots on the other side. He also left a gaping five hole on the first shootout attempt that zdeno chara could have fit through. That being said, this loss was far from his fault. The Rangers need to finally start playing hard from the opening faceoff to the final horn instead of taking large chunks of time off throughout. That’s how the 2nd period lost us the game.
    There were numerous times when MDZ had the puck in the Rangers zone and almost gave the puck up multiple times when looking for an outlet pass with an Islander right in his face and not paying attention to him.
    It’s about time Richards finally got his aasen stuck to the bench. He helped set up an islander goal when his horrible attempt at getting back to play D was pathetic and he just watched the islander player skate right by him without even attempting to stop him. Mostly because he was busy expending all his energy to catchup without actually taking a nanosecond to take stock of how easily the offensive player was busy speeding past him with the puck.
    A point is a point, but for some reason that motto doesn’t seem to assuage my thoughts of their pathetic 2nd period play…

  7. onecupin73yearsandcounting on

    Its all about averages…during a regular 82 game season All teams lose games like last night’s.

    It seems more glaring when the season is shorter and its the team you’re rooting for that’s giving away the hen house.
    But its ok to win the games when other teams choke ?
    So the team with the higher average goes farther ( or is it further Carp )?

  8. Agree that Staal and G are better separated.
    My picks for SO were Hags, Nash and Cally. But even if Hags were in there and scored guess it would have made no difference.
    I hate mornings after a loss, especially at home and against the fishsticks. We had them down, we should have crushed them.

  9. Carp,

    I thought you took it pretty easy on the Rangers here. Except for the first 10 minutes, it was a dreadful performance, pretty much from top to bottom. The power plays were abominations. Hags goal technically was a “power play” goal, but everything else about the PP was awful.

  10. Really agree with you on #12 Carp. Power Play is not going to get better by shooting. I’m thinking they should put all 5 guys on the blue line. Really rub it into those fans faces for demanding shots.

  11. I don’t know how you guys can say the PP won’t get better by shooting. It certainly won’t get better by (a) cycling in the corner, (b) moving the puck across the point over and over, or (c) attempting the cross-crease pass to the weakside winger in front through 4 players that gets deflected every time. Because that’s what they have been doing and it clearly isn’t working.

    The PP needs to start MOVING. And by that I mean the players, as well as the puck. Once the players start moving too, defenders have to move with them. That opens up shooting/passing lanes for shots from the point (where there needs to be a Ranger parked in front to distract and pick up garbage), or high percentage shots from the slot. Shanahan was a champion at this. Dude would park himself about 15-20 feet out in the slot on the PP, and he’d just crush 1-timers top shelf. Stamkos does the same thing from in a closer and from the side. So does Kovalchuk. It works. Seriously, this isn’t rocket science.

    Also about last night, did anyone else notice they kept putting Grabner against Richards? That dude is lightning fast, and Richards was stuck in molasses. It almost ended the game in OT.

  12. Another nice writeup, Carp. Isles looked out of their league in the first period, then the Rangers seemed to get complacent, as though victory was in the bag. The Nash-Hagelin duo has great chemistry, and the Nash deal is looking like a steal at the moment. I only hope that Richards finds his stride in the playoffs, if the Rangers make the playoffs…they should. I’ve been following Ranger hockey since the 50s…interesting discussion here about the merits of the shootout. I’m still undecided, but will go with your analysis. OTOH, it seems to sell hockey games…is it only a perception? The NHL could pay one of those shyster telephone marketing firms to perform a survey of all ticketholders while they are busy at work or at dinner(while watching hockey on TV) to confirm their basis for adopting the BCATHGE

  13. It’s about the only thing you can defend Richards for at the moment, but can’t really blame him for looking slow against Grabner. Not even Hagelin is catching him.

    Tort is now too soft on the players when they lose to go with him being too hard on them when they win, I see.

  14. Hate the shoot out and always have. Individualizing a team game. 4 on 4 for 5 mins then 3 on 3 until someone wins. That would be exciting more so than the skills competition.

    Not blaming Marty think he is a great backup but man my 11 year old knows to shoot 5 hole on him. Why cant they fix that?

    Multiple reasons why scoring is down. Bigger players, bigger pads, same size rinks, goalie technique is different and the rules of the games have changed. They changed them BECAUSE of those oiler teams. Bring back more 3 on 3’s, enlarge the rinks by at least 10 feet and either make the nets bigger or the pads smaller.

  15. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    despite it all, if MDZ doesn’t pull a Mikko Lenionen on that perfect set-up in late OT, we get our second point anyway.

  16. Oh and PP needs some movement…why 5 guys cannot rotate more and pass quicker I just dont get it…

  17. Carp

    The reason why fans were chanting Lundqvist was not because he gave up goals, but because of how terrible he looked on the 2nd and 3rd goals.

    Biron is great backup, but he looked like he was in the Mighty Ducks movies where the goalies dive wrong the wrong way and let the puck in.

    His attempts to stop the puck on those two goals were just embarrassing

  18. 2 reasons 3 on 3 – at least its more than a one on one and I would love it to be 5 on 5 but that just doesnt make sense as far as how long the game is played. Can’t have a 4 period OT game in the regular season. I think the odds of someone scoring 3 on 3 rise. I would rather have a 4 on 4 full period and like football if no one scores then its a tie but apparantly ties are evil.

  19. stranger nation on

    That may be the highlight of the Ice Mets season – turn the page

    B Rich and JT on the bench on 3rd leaves the team light down the middle. Boyle played good, bu thad some positioning issues in first 2 periods that would be a scoring chance against better teams.

    Realize it is a short season, but may be too early for Torts to ride the whip – the reg season goes until end of April. Is this the MO of most coaches this season?

  20. stranger nation on

    PP movement is the key especially starting the rush – seems like a coffee clutch behind net prior to moseying up the ice. (MDZ…ahem)

    First 2 pps they were moving, then not so much

  21. Not to nitpick on #1 but……

    I said the same thing to my wife last night. That Biron was the best backup in the league. Then I remembered a little team called the Vancouver Canucks. Schneider and Luongo, who are both having good, solid seasons, and who split the work much more evenly. I think they are really the best.

    But the Rangers ain’t “far behind” (as Candlebox said)

  22. Carp, I’m very interested in more of your pov on Richards. To me, he frequently looks slow, weak and uninspired. Of course my pov is from the couch so I’ll defer to your opinion.

    Also, when will this team stop relaxing when they have a team on their heels? Great teams know how to finish the kill after a great start like last night and the game in Boston.

  23. I’m perfectly happy with ties too, but I’ve seen a lot more penalty shots during regular play than I ever have 3-on-3.

  24. Brad Teetchards only played 15 Minutes last night. That’s pretty much the same time that Brian Big Rig Boyle got. Tells you that the coach is noticing.

  25. I have to disagree about Biron looking bad on the second goal. I still do not understand why teams defend two-on-ones by having the goalie take the shooter and the defender take the other attacker. I have played both goal and defense and always preferred the defender to shade the shooter and force the pass because more things have to go right for a team to score. By forcing the pass you add another layer of options the attacking team faces.

  26. It is classic to check a box score and see “John Tavares (Insert Goal #)” with no one else getting an assist. So many unassisted goals.

  27. Shoot-outs are a goofy way to decide a hockey game …. but anyway, glad Richards got benched. I really wonder what is up with him.

  28. Biron is very good. And I hate to say bad things about a guy who will play maybe 5 -7 games this season, assuming the Rangers don’t clinch the conf. with 1/4 to go or something, but….he keeps getting beat on players driving strong side and shooting weak side, across his body, and over his shoulder. It looked to me, on the goals, that he had some pretty bad positioning on those goals. Kind of lazy, cheating toward the shooter a bit.

    He’s great though. And his helmet is way nicer than Hanks. He just got absolute undressed in that stupid extra point, MTV Rock n’ Jock style competition at the end.

  29. Rob in Beantown on

    I think my post got stuck in the language filter, so I’ll restate:

    If Torts didn’t notice that Richards stinks this season, we would have far far bigger problems than Richards stinking. But I’m glad his minutes are starting to reflect it.

  30. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    Biron has played great for us over time, but in the skills competiton at the end, I’d rather see Garth Algar in net

  31. I hate the “fans” who chanted “Henrik, Henrik” after the 3rd goal. Carp, I couldn’t agree with you more.

  32. I hate the skills competition. It’s beyond moronic and not exciting. But since that point counts, and since the majority of the time we have that stone wall, Hank in net…I think it would be great if our guys, e.g. Gaborik, could score one in a while.

  33. Im’ sorry, Biron is not one of the top two or three back-ups in the league. He is not better than Vokoun in Pitt, not better than Bernier in LA, not better than Emery (or Crawford) in Chicago, not better than Ellis in Carolina and certainly not better than Schneider in Vancouver (assuming he still the back-up), doubtful he is better than Hedberg in NJ. Biron is adequate, at best. Further, once we got to the shootout, we were done-especially given Biron’s present technical issues.

  34. Gaborik should NOT be in the shootout. Same with Richards (who thankfully was left out last night). Maybe sign Malik and just use him there?

  35. The same fans who were chanting “Henrik” when Biron let in goal #3 were the same ones chanting “Marty” during overtime. They do all intelligent Rangers fans a disservice. We really have some of “the best fans in the world” at the newly transformed Garden…

  36. stranger nation on

    Re Beer-on – can’t fault him for first 2 goals – 1st was bang-bang play in front with Stawlsy missing the puck, 2nd was Tavares from prime space, 3rd however he was in position and guessed wrong if you look at replay – that was the one he wanted back IMO.

    Needed to play McD and Dan G against Tavares line – seemed like that wasn’t the case all the time.

    Did Delzaster play last night other than the whiff on Nasher’s set up and ineptitude on pp, didn’t notice him much.

  37. Good morning, boneheads!
    Great review, Carp!
    Watched it very late yesterday, woke up in am still feeling very disappointed. I’m usually a positive kind of fan, but can’t get too many positives out of this one. They clearly looked like a superior team during the first period, by far. Got a little too complacent and comfortable, the Islanders elevated their game, and too teams looked very even thereafter. Long way to go still. There were 2 points for them to take, got 1 only. Move on. Hope it’s a lesson

    Surprised no one named Callahan as their star. I thought he was their best player after first period.

    PS. Some good g(j)ibberish last night on the blog.

  38. Since you asked (in #2), here’s your answer, Carp. It’s further. Farther is used when referring to physical distance (I walked farther than you), which in this context you are not.

    You’re welcome. :)

  39. czechthemout!!! on

    Mdz mostly is noticed for his bonehead plays more often then he does for his good plays becsuse he make so many more of them.

  40. two minus from last night that bother me today is.

    1. the back to back games of blown 2 or more goal leads. this trend has to stop now.
    2. after isles cut lead to 2-1 the rangers DISGRACE of a pp 5-3 yet again fails to stabilize the game and go up 3-1 instead stralman late pinch on 5 on 4 leads to tavers goal and the game was lost there.

    biron looked shakey on the goals but made some big saves in 3rd so to me its a wash on his game and ot performance EXCEPT IN SHOOTOUT.

    the 5 hole is a constant problem for him in skills competition. once game went to shootout it was over with nielson automatic.

    something to consider late in year when pts are at a premium if biron has to start a game would torts go to hank cold for a shootout. biron gives us zero chance come shootout time

  41. stranger nation on

    Manny February 15th, 2013 at 10:05 am
    Del Zaster played almost 21 Minutes last night. He had 1 SOG in 26 Shifts.

    that says it all

  42. stranger nation on

    Torts talked about how they track +/- for 3 zones and Nash was first with +31 and Hags was 2nd with +29 prior to last nights game.

    Wonder what Richard’s was coming in at -31???

  43. Rob in Beantown on

    As much as you want to see Hank in net for the shootout instead of Biron, there is zero chance of a BCATHGE substitution unless the Rangers’ season depends on it, in which case Biron wouldn’t be playing anyway.

  44. Carp, I agree with your comments on Biron. He probably did get them the bonus point. He is not good on shootouts. You can beat him often through the 5 hole.

    Can DZ please hit the net after that great pass from Nash?

  45. The only goal I fault Biron on was the 3rd goal by Boyes. He just played the angle wrong and got beat. Not a good goal. The first goal Biron got no help and was a fitting end to a sequence of turnovers in the neutral zone and defensive zone by the Rangers, and lost puck battles on the boards. The second goal was an odd man break with one of the best scorers in the game.

    But seriously, the PP was really responsible for that second goal. The PP was so bad, so deflating, it swung all the momentum of the game back to the Isles. That PP and ensuing goal by Tavares was the turning point of the game. If the Rangers score there to go up 3-1, this game is put away clean. Seriously, whoever is responsible for the PP needs to be fired. And if it’s Torts, then someone needs to be hired to handle this aspect of the game specifically. It’s horrendous

  46. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Good writeup as always, Carp.

    Isles game 7, still got a point, so it is what it is. Also, the same fans chanting “Henrik, Henrik” (#2) were chanting “Marty, Marty” in the 3rd period and OT. Like you said, knowledgable and sophisticated.

  47. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Joe, agreed on the Boyes goal (and your other points), even though the guy can shoot. It’s from the circle, but Biron didn’t get his arm tight to his body. That said, he made quite a few really good to great saves throughout.

  48. czechthemout!!! on


    MDZ is better than Buff. You didn’t get the memo. My favorite posts were about how slow Buff is. Its remarkable how people make statements out of their assen without ever watching him play more than a game if that much. I urge anyone who thinks he is slow to go on YouTube and find a video of him scoring a goal on Hank iin 2010 and tell me how slow he skates after watching it. Oh by the way, his slap shot was clocked at the all-star game at 102mph, almost as good as MdZ. I guess we cant use that on this team

  49. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    And some people ignore the $5.2M cap hit for the next 2 years for only incremental production. So, not only are you trading MDZ, and whoever else, but you might have to decide between McDonough, Stepan, etc. next year.


    I mean really, this team has the lousiest passing game that I’ve seen yet. The nuttiest thing
    that I recall was in the Ranger’s left lane an Islander came skating toward the Rangers goal from the left ( this was at the 10 minute mark, second period, and a Ranger was checking him.) All of a sudden the Ranger checking the puck carrier leaves the puck carrier alone and goes over to the other side where the rest of the team was handling the Islanders on that side ( got lonesome I guess), but it was such a bizarre sight, and that the goal was actually scored from the scrum on the right, but that’s an immaterial point given the nature of the game.

    Why do they make such a production out of shooting at the goal and playing with intensity. i the opponent’s end? I was waiting to see if the Islander goalie was gonna open up a magazine and start reading it.

  51. Let’s trade all the players we think are bad for other players that we think are good because surely other GMs don’t know how bad the Rangers players are. And before anyone cites the Nash and Gomez trades notice that both those GMs that got fleeced are no longer GMs.

  52. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    Imagine the Rangers had an All-Star team and were exempt from the salary cap. I’d bet they’d be pretty good.

  53. czechthemout!!! on


    Incremental production? Are you serious? He has averaged 16 goals and 50 points roughly in the last 3 seasons.

  54. I only say that about Tavares because Richards isn’t even in the same universe as far as being a threat on the ice….

  55. Gravy, You Know You Want Some Marty on

    czech, I think we all understand the Byfuglien would be a better player, today, than MDZ.

    Who are you wiling to trade for him, and then who are you willing to not resign in the future?

  56. NYR,

    It’s one thing to go through lean years in order to draft a guy like Tavares, then collect a few more cornerstone players and build something (i.e. Pens, Hawks and even if their window as a contender has started to close the Caps were a good team for a few years) it’s another to just be perpetually bad (Isles, Oilers and Avs). The double edged sword with the Rangers vast resources is that even when they’re bad they tend to put out just enough of a team to not be the worst.

  57. Gravy,

    They already traded that valuable chip when they traded Rupp. Guess they’ll have to bite the bullet and trade Newbury with DZ.

  58. czechthemout!!! on

    No, lets keep a player who has shown virtually zero growth from his first season and except his short comings because we have had such a succesfull Pp with him as its QB. Because thats going to win us the cup.

  59. czechthemout!!! on

    No you trade Boyle and DZ. Thats about 4.3 million. And we are still 2.5 under the CAP. But of course Boyle cant be traded. Cant win a cup without him.

  60. How about a 1st round pick, wait no that’s in Columbus.

    NHL ready or near ready forward, wait that’s basically JT Miller and essentially nobody else.

    NHL ready or near ready D, uh…..

    Top notch goaltending prospect, um….

  61. OK, so then you say to yourself, why would Winnipeg trade us Byfuglien (assuming he could fit out of their door) for Boyle and Del Zotto?

  62. Stranger Nation on

    MDZ no growth? Thought he played responsible D last season and became more of a full service Dman.

    He and the team are still young and need help in middle from either current or future players.

    Growing pains are painful…

  63. Is Buff really that out of shape?

    Regarding his speed. I agree with CTO, he is not slow at all. In fact he is pretty mobile for a big guy. I recall him scoring an OT goal on Hank a few years back where he just blew by Gaborik….But if he is really out of shape, it’s different. I also do not think MDZ+ Boyle would cut it anyway…

  64. CTB,

    Agreed. Not a question in my mind that Islanders do almost everything wrong, despite having great draft choices. Case in point: Nino Niederreiter.

    It’s a good point. And, the LA Kings another example of team that drafted core guys in the first round (Brown, Kopitar, Doughty) and added vets to create a champion…

    And, for the record, I don’t think the Rangers are bad this year. There is so much parity in the NHL…It will be a battle to make the playoffs for them and everyone else….They will be in the hunt to make it…and, all you have to do is make it…

    Chicago is the class of the League right now….

  65. Oh, he can definitely skate, and he can shoot it, and he’s physical on the back end. But what if he can’t last a 30-second shift?

  66. and for the record, I’d take him in a heartbeat; love the guy, think he’s a beast … but he’s not coming cheaply and his lack of conditioning is an issue.

  67. Complicated answer. I think Tortorella would love to have a weapon like that; I think Tortorella would have a big issue with his conditioning.

  68. NYR,

    Yeah LA did pretty well for themselves. A top line center, top line winger, top pair D and a franchise goalie all coming via the draft. They also used a number of their draftees to package in trades (Simmonds, Schenn) and fill in a good amount of their secondary and tertiary roles (Voynov, Martinez, King, Nolan).

    Boston is another team that’s found the right mix of homegrown guys and smart signings/trades to build a solid foundation.

  69. Haha, Rob. I agree.

    By the way, is there any indication anywhere that Winnipeg is trying to move him? Any reason to believe there then wouldn’t be a number of teams interested, and thus any reason to even dream he could be had for Del Zotto and anything less than a top, top prospect or young player?

  70. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    This has to be the most hated stretch of 3-out-of-4-possible-points in the history of the NHL

  71. Carp – well, Torts finally listened to you on taking 19 off the point of the pp – you know what I theory is that Richards had much more than the flu. You could see it in his legs – no jump. And I am not talking just trying to catch Grabner. Not sure what – but he is definitely not fleet of skate, so to speak.

    I really want your opinion (Carp – etc) on the Cooke play on Karlson – What do You really think Carp? WHEN will the NHL deal with this crap from Cooke and others? Ok – gave away my position – but seriously, I have looked at this play probably 5 different times. I just dont get the NHL – and I feel tons for the young defenseman – that could change his career

    CARP – what say you?

  72. Whoa whoa Carp, you’re saying that players have to be made available by other teams in order for Rangers fans fantasy trades to go through.

    I think you just ruined a lot of peoples’ day, nice going.

  73. Stranger Nation on

    Re Tavares – JT would be well served watching his off puck movement during games. Very alert, skates always moving, making uni-brow Molson bank, the Ice Mets do not deserve him.

  74. Not interested in that trade Carp.

    Kreider, Miller = untouchables (because of potential and cost and age)

  75. Stranger Nation on

    Ass-ham did admirably against heavy Michael Bolton last night, more of a draw. Ruff-ruff would eaten a couple of those bombs where ass-ham blocked with his helmet. Guy can skate and hit.

  76. czechthemout!!! on


    I posted last week that I had what I thought was a decent source who does buisness with the team . He told me that the Rangers were looking at him. The reason I thought it was a decent source is that he also told me about a year ago at this time that we were trying to find out what it would cost to get Nash. I also posted that as well last year. This guy is a fan of the team and heard MDZ for sure but also speculated about Boyle or Stepan. This maybe nothing or like last year with Nash it maybe something.Who knows. But it would be great to get him if the price is right. As for his conditioning, I am sure that can be fixed by Torts if it even is an issue.

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

    Can’t wait until slats adds parros at some point (you know he is going to add a heavy)

    Still think iggy should be the target.

    I’m trying to honestly think who our youth depth is at forward beyond JT and Kreider? I mean isn’t thomas a bit smallish and the same could be said for bjork.

    I really don’t get gilroy on the roster at all. I’d rather see bickel or mcilrath get 4 minutes a night. Not a big problem obviously, just stating an opinion.

  78. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Moreover, the U.S. Geological Administration has issued a Dire alert if Big Buff is traded…. There is 120% chance of severe flooding on the eastern seaboard with Buff, Chris Christie and Brodeur all located in such close proximity. The inland regions would sink to over 500 ft below sea level.

    This was announced on twitter – hash tag – huge fat dudes

  79. If Byfuglien really wanted to play in NY, he would have attended at least one dog walk during the hiatus.

  80. Can’t wait for all the “Sather was asleep at the wheel again” comments when Ryan O’Reilly doesn’t end up a Ranger because they simply can’t sign him as an RFA (unless Howser MD magically returns to Columbus and gifts the first round pick back) and don’t have the assets or desperation that plenty of other teams can offer.

    (Not defending Sather in general here, by any means.)

  81. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    On the other hand, if Buff is traded here, assuming there is some not yet invented means of transport to haul that cargo, the ranger could play a 4 forward 1 D man unit with Buff standing tall on the blue line. Berlin Wall Defense.

  82. How about we stop talking about making moves and just let this team develop some chemistry? Even with MDZ’s defensive lapses at times, the Rangers have the best D corps in the NHL. Seriously. Look top to bottom, who’s got a better line up? When it comes to actually defending, the Rangers are tops. So if the defense is good, let’s concern ourselves with fixing what is actually busted. The PP, for instance, might be a good place to start. Frankly, I don’t understand why MDZ doesn’t get more looks on the point. If the Rangers could square away their special teams issues, they’d be knocking teams senseless.

  83. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Garden ice will be tested if Big Buff lands here…..Penn Station will need a remodel.

  84. When you have a kid 6’5 and 300 lbs. why would you call him Dustin? He should be called Zeke or Rocco. Or Enzo, or Patton, or Barbario.

  85. Would be quite a feat for Howser to return the Rangers 1st round pick this year considering he’s no longer the Columbus GM.

    Maybe they can get Tikkanen to come and negotiate with their new Finnish fellow.

  86. getting to today’s read late. I whole-heartedly agree with ilb2001 that the most overlooked performance was given by Ryan Callahan. That was the best O-fensive game Captain Cally has played in years. Extremely strong with the puck in the Icelanders end. Not only puck possession but putting himself in a ‘heads-up’ position to actually do something damaging with the puck. It always amazes me when a smaller guy can do what he did last night and it really jumped out at least on TV. It’s easy to see how Marvin hags can do it with his speed and athleticism, but then i remember the game is played on ice and you have to factor in balance, experience and smarts.
    Cally also made Boyle look better which could jump start overcoming any confidence issues. Looks like this could be the start of longer-term partnership. One problem potentially solved while another (Richards the Tired) raises it’s ugly head. Have fun Torts trying to hold this team together without your main center playing up to minimal expectations.

  87. Czech, I understand. But I don’t think Buff is available, and I am sure it would take more than Del Zotto and Boyle, and I was told that (while there is nothing to this rumor, if it is that) the Rangers would NOT include Stepan in a deal like that. So it’s not happening.

    Coach, I said yesterday that I didn’t think Cooke intentionally sliced his achilles … but to me it was one of those sneaky, dirty, dirtball plays for which Cooke is famous. And there’s not a chance Shanahan touches him, especially considering the team for which he plays.

  88. Joe, I agree. This team is going to be fine. The next month’s schedule is soft, the team has improved from the early weeks, so many guys haven’t even touched their peaks yet. And there was a significant turnover of guys who played important roles — just roles, and replacable — but important roles nonetheless. But there is no patience here from goal to goal, period to period.

  89. Blue jean Byfuglien, L.A. Byfuglien, Byfuglien for the band
    Pretty Byfuglien, pirate Byfuglien, you’ll marry another Byfuglien
    Ballerina, you must have seen her, Byfuglien in the sand
    And now she’s Byfuglien, always Byfuglien Tiny Byfuglienin my hand

  90. To be clear. I don’t want Byfuglien. At all. Come on boys. We have a good team. No need to dismantle it to get someone that might work.

  91. Carp, might you at some point “suggest” that Richards is another in a long line of Sather follies.

    He’s slow,not a true goal scorer,only fair on faceoffs and oft times overpasses the puck. In addition he is marginal on defense.

    Conclusion? If he’s worth 7mm. per Travis Zajac is worth 10mm.!

    This is a middle of the pack team and organization with one Cup in 72 years.

    With a great promotional department and fans who enjoy wasting their money!

  92. Krieder and Miller are certainly not untouchable.

    I wouldn’t give them away for a rental or a short term fix, but there is no such thing as untouchable.

    And even if you want to use that phrase, I can list a handful of guys I would trade both of them for, let alone by themselves…

  93. You always say that, Oleo. But there are certain guys, like HANK, that, if we traded them we would immediately be awful.

  94. @KatieStrangESPN@ #NYR Chris Kreider has been sent back to AHL. Will play tonight for CT Whale. Team wants him to play rather than sit and watch

  95. I would like to see Kreider play with more fire and emotion. For such a big guy, he needs to assert himself…

    The AHL would be a great league for Kreider to learn how to become a little meaner…

  96. Anyone else think the energy in The Garden was terrible all night until about the last five minutes in the third ? Wasn’t loud or electric at all even after the first two goals. Is it the new building ? The crowd ?

  97. Manny

    If Wayne Gretzky can be traded in his prime, how can anyone be considered untouchable, even Lundqvist.

    I’m sure I can come up with a trade that would make me wanna trade Hank. How about all those young guys on the Oilers and Dubnyk for Hank. I’d do that in heartbeat…

  98. Dubnyk is a completely unproven commodity. That’s a joke.

    Do we want to win a cup or just be good for a while?

  99. “I would like to see Kreider play with more fire and emotion. For such a big guy, he needs to assert himself”

    He’s never going to be an assertive player. He has a very low key, quiet and assuming personality and he plays the game the same way which is why I’ve never been as high on him as most people have.

  100. Stanger Nation on

    NYR FAN – amen – Kreider needs to arrive swiftly with ill humor, this isn’t some BC-Lowell game

  101. Rob in Beantown on

    I wouldn’t trade Hank for anybody, but then again I’m not a GM and I’d probably be a pretty bad one

  102. Doodie Machetto on

    Have to admit the Kreider to AHL instead of Miller surprises me. Given how rough of a go Miller has had for the past 3 games, I thought that if someone was getting sent back down, it would be him, especially in light of that 6th game being triggered.

  103. I still find it difficult to believe that Rangers can continue game after game with no real attacking system at all.

    What on earth do they practice and plan for during their practices, and with the coaches during practices, seeing as they are like lost kitties when they find themselves on the other side of the opponent’s blue line and the goalie staring them in their respective faces. Oh sure they pot one now and then, but they’re really not scary in the oppositions ice once they get there.

  104. Even the old Yankee Stadium was ironically quieter during the World Series than a de rigueur home game mid season because the infield was loaded with corporate suits and the ticket prices became choke on it. Guessing that’s MSG’s problem, where now they’ve priced themselves into oblivion and the good old Ed Nortons can’t afford to go much.??

  105. buff n kane for Boyle Steph n MDZ…. I really dont want to trade MDZ love his upside. Gotta give something up. Probably not enough from the NYR though

  106. I agree, Doodie. But, thinking logically, Miller might have struggled but at least he wasn’t scratched. Miller has seemed like more of a playmaker than Kreider who is more of a finisher.

  107. Miller, on the other hand, loves to hit and play physical. I think he had like 8 hits against Boston, although he struggled with coverages…

  108. Rob in Beantown on

    Lundqvist is the core of this team that everything else is built around. No way we would have done as well last year or gotten as far if we had a league average goaltender. He’s way at the top of my no-trade list. Not for any combination of anybody

  109. If you could still essentially trade cash for players then there would be a lot more players on the move.

  110. Manny

    So you wouldn’t trade Lundqvist for Yakupov, Schultz, Eberle, Hall, Dubnyk etc. then package Dubnyk and some of those young players to Vancouver for Schneider or another team with 2 goalies like St. Louis

    Of course you would, which is why Lundqvist is not untouchable.

    Of course, that also a completely fantasy land scenario. But still negates an “untouchable” argument.

  111. I’d say the big issue I have with Miller throwing so many hits means that when he’s on the ice the Rangers don’t have the puck enough.

  112. Doodie Machetto on

    I thought scratching Kreider instead of Miller last night was to give Miller a final audition before making a decision on which one would get sent down. Given that Miller didn’t have a good game and was glued to the bench after the second, I thought he would be the guy to go down.

  113. Jason M. MSG has been like that for a while now. The building has priced a lot of people out. Hockey games at MSG are now becoming like basketball games, more focused on who is in the stands and “entertainment value” than the product on the ice/court.

  114. Doodie Machetto on

    Nobody is untradeable, but practically speaking, it is impossible to trade Lundqvist because you will never get appropriate value unless the other team overpays, and chances are, they won’t, and even if they did, it would be a salary cap nightmare for the Rangers.

  115. Leetch was low key, quiet and unassuming, yet he played with a beautiful, creative abandon. You can learn, yeah, but sometimes I think either you got it or you don’t.

  116. Rob in Beantown on

    I don’t think fantasy land scenarios are that illustrative of anything, since by their definition they’ll never happen. It doesn’t really disprove the point that Lundqvist is untouchable

  117. St. Louis doesn’t really have 2 goalies now. Halak’s got a wonky groin and Brian Elliot realized he’s Brian Elliot.

  118. Why would you be able to get Schneider (who isn’t as good as Hank) when the Canucks are trying to move Luongo to make Schneider their #1? Neither Halak nor Elliott are nearly the goaltender that Hank is. Elliott had *ONE* good season. The last one. He wouldn’t even have gotten a chance if Halak wasn’t injury prone.

    And no, I wouldn’t. Trading Lundqvist is stupid. I don’t want to be a great offensive team with no goalie. That was the Capitals.

    You have negated nothing. In fact, you stand alone as the only person who would trade Hank. For anything.

  119. Rob in Beantown on

    Doodie is right, to even begin to create a package that value-wise can compare to LQ you are setting up a trade that logistically can’t happen cause of salary cap

  120. Doodie Machetto on

    CTO, I just thought of something. When you chose your handle for the blog, there were 7 Czech players on the team. Now for the second straight year there are 0.

  121. Tortorella give clues several weeks ago that Kreider wouldn’t last with this team if he didn’t play very well, and he continued to drop little hints along the way – pretty sure his mind was made up about Kreider a long time ago.

    that said, I think he completely mismanaged the situation and I have no idea why he was demoted so quickly

  122. No Wonky Groins, CT!

    Hank is possible THE BEST goaltender in the NHL. The best. Best. The Best. As in, no one is better when all factors are taken into account.

  123. Doodie Machetto on

    Rob, the logistics don’t make him untouchable, just incredibly unlikely to be moved. But if the right team came with the right offer, he is definitely not untouchable.

  124. Rob in Beantown on

    Also, Braden Holtby is the second coming of Dominik Hasek, remember? We should trade Hank for him.

  125. Is Brian Elliott last in GAA yet? He’s been very Brian Elliott like and not very Brian Elliott the one-time all-star like.

  126. czechthemout!!! on


    This is true. But I figured since that is how people identify or know me, I shouldnt change my handle.

  127. I just looked it up. Two goaltenders are worse than Elliott so far.

    Jonas Hiller and *BRADEN HOLTBY* Mr. Second Coming, as Rob mentioned.

  128. Doodie Machetto on

    CTO, I agree, don’t change it. Was just pointing out the incredible amount of turnover.

  129. Carp. IMO, as currently constructed, we are not strong enough at the center position to be a true contender (especially in the both the offensive and neutral zones.) Competitive – yes. Cup Contender – no. Also, I mentioned last night, We have to be one of the most challenged teams in making plays at the offensive blue line to gain the zone ( other than Nash and maybe Callaghan. Like to know if you agree/disagree.

  130. Dominik Hasek is the best netminder I’ve ever seen, period. Career wise he doesn’t equate to Roy or Fatso, but I think he was more technically (in his own unorthodox way) gifted than either of them.

  131. I want Torts to tell me that the team he put on the ice during the three game winning streak was not as good/balanced as the one he had out there against the Islanders…
    If he can say that with a straight face, then I can see the reason for moving Boyle in and ultimately shipping Kreider to CT…
    He loves Boyle for whatever reason…Like so many others of that ilk from the past several seasons…
    This team is built around fast, skilled forwards – Gaborik, Nash, Kreider, Richards, Stepan, Callahan and Hagelin…and now Miller…But the coach wants to play a grind it out style…
    Instead of the players being on a short leash, maybe it’s time for ownership to put the coaching staff on a short leash…
    Mike Keenan anyone?

  132. Fat Guy Duberstein on

    I met Hubert Birkenmeier once, in the Woodbridge Mall. He was a pretty good goaltender, wasn’t he?

  133. czechthemout!!! on

    I should clarify. Dumb move on top of yesterday’s dumb move scratching Kreider instead of Halpern. Than mixing up the lines except for Step’s line. The team was playing very well. Even with the blown lead to Boston. That was some bad luck, a non call on an ibvious hand pass, and the coaches for sitting on a lead.

  134. no doubt Miller will get sent down if he doesn’t have an explosive game the next time he gets to play

    this is a team averaging 2.2 goals per game, so sending your best offensive prospects down, particularly after an almost negligible sample size, obviously makes a lot of sense

  135. obviously Tortorella feels he’s got all of his piece in place now that Brian Boyle came back and did whatever it is he did so the organization’s two best prospects are expendable

  136. Doodie Machetto on

    I agree Kreider shouldn’t have been sent down.

    Honestly, Id like to see Boyle centering Miller and Kreider. Sit Asham.

  137. Doodie Machetto on


  138. the problem is that Tortorella had his mind made up about Kreider before the season started, so that he was unable to set the world on fire in the few games he played meant that he’d be going back to Connecticut at the first available opportunity. it’s the same reason why I had been saying for days that he would be the first one scratched as soon as Tortorella felt the need to dress Boyle again.

  139. Doodie Machetto on

    Even better: instead of sending Kreider down, they should’ve scratched Richards in their next game and gone with


    Just noticed that my other line combos had Pyatt on 4th line twice. One of those should be Powe.

  140. Actually, I should say, Hockey Maven, it’s great to have you around. Please post more often and please feel free to tell us off (cleanly) whenever you want.

    Doodie – I thought the idea was to move Boyle to the wing (LW) and get him going offensively again? He just doesn’t use the middle of the ice enough. I like that line, I just want Miller centreing it.

    Love the double Pyatts on the 4th line. Who are we giving up to get Tom?

  141. Doodie Machetto on

    Lloyd, how do you figure he made his mind up about Kreider before the season? This is the guy that pushed Kreider into the lineup playing big minutes in the middle of the playoffs!

  142. also they might as well just send Miller down and bring up Ferreriro or whomever rather than burning year of eligibility

  143. Do they give out broadway hats for shootout losses? Me thinks it should go to Mr. Brian Boyle after his IMPRESSIVE -1, 3 hits, and 3 blocked shots. I think we would have lost by even more in regulation had Boyle not suited up last night.

  144. Doodie, Tortorella made comments about guys in Hartford who looked really bad in the games he saw them play, guys he felt had regressed and didn’t look ready. Seemed pretty obvious to me that Kreider was the only guy he could have been talking about. Then a couple of weeks back, while Kreider was hurt, he stated that it wasn’t a lock Kreider would play when he returned from injury anyway.

  145. To expound, as I have said before, we are in a cup window. I call it the HANK window. Becuase our goalies are not getting better after him. Therefore we have like 3 years (maybe more if we sign him after and before he gets old) to win. I don’t care about ELC. Because 5 years from now it might not matter. Let’s win in the window and make me happy.

  146. this team does not look like a Stanley Cup contender right now. this Ranger group looks like they’ll make the playoffs, not score any goals, and require Lundqvist to stand on his head until they get bounced. of course it’s still early days and all of that can change.

  147. czechthemout!!! on

    Yesterday, we became a two line team again. The three games before, we were a four line team.

    Torts wamts to grind it out with a bunch of players who are not suited for that type of game. maybe we should just trade Nash back to CBJ, Kreider to the Habs for Prust to even the score for MCD, and JT Millerto the flyers forFeds. This way Torts can play his grind it out game. We can enjoy the thrill of watching every forward and dman flop to the ice and only block shots. Play ring around the boardie with the puck. And hope to win every game by a 1-0 score. Yup, thats the ticket.

  148. czech:

    and the problem is that really only one of those two lines looked any good when the game was on the line. but you are right about the grind it out crap. I don’t think this team is built for that any more but the coach is hell-bent on proving it is.

  149. I like the part where we get Prust back, Czech. (also, don’t change your handle without a transition. It’s too hard to keep up with who is who)

  150. Doodie Machetto on

    Lloyd, just answer me this honestly, and ignore who else is playing and whether Kreider should have been demoted, etc.: Has Kreider, aside from that first game with JT Miller, looked good in any game this season?

    I’m not saying that he shouldn’t be in the lineup because of his incredible upside we saw in the playoffs last year. But you can’t sit there and say with a straight face that Kreider has done anything at all this season to have earned himself ice time.

  151. speaking of Richards and his “effort,” which Islander was it that skated by him like he wasn’t there in the 2nd period to set up that shorthanded 2-on-1?

  152. Doodie:

    There are numerous players on this team you could attach the same statement to, most of whom are a lot older, and some of whom have far less upside.

    And none of that negates the issue that if the coach had predetermined Kreider didn’t belong here, he was playing on a very short leash.

  153. Doodie Machetto on

    Lloyd, like I said, it’s not like he shouldn’t be in the lineup, but he hasn’t exactly earned anything, either. So while we’re all up in arms about what a travesty this is, let’s not forget this: Kreider, both in the NHL and AHL this year, has not been good.

  154. pretty sure it was Josh Bailey who smoked Richards last night on one of the many shifts he’s played this season while comatose

  155. Rob in Beantown on

    Haha Cory. I was watching one of the games with my fiancee a few nights ago and she wanted to know why in an empty net situation the goaltender didn’t just skate back onto the ice whenever the other team got the puck. I tried to explain it would be a too many men penalty, but then I started thinking it would be funny if teams actually tried to do that by making a fast change.

    Anyway, reminds me of that video

  156. czechthemout!!! on


    I will take a stab at it. He played hurt the first three games and shouldnt have played at all. He played really well in NJ and fairly well the rest of the games. Did he do anything to warrent a benching or worse, a demotion? Hell no! I am a bottom line tyoe of guy and from what I have seen since his return from injury is that they are a better team with him in the lineup than without him. In fact they are a better team with him in than with Boyle. Even though Boyle played ok yesterday.

  157. Krieder 6,3″ 230? Plays small along with the resident mook Boyle.

    Size helps,heart helps more see Brad Marchand.

    Does this team have a strength coach,they have to be one of the weakest teams in the league both on skates and especially upper body strength! They get bounced around like ten pins!

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