Rangers-Flyers in review

192

Another great night for the Rangers. A woeful loss to a bad team in Philadelphia, and all the teams around them in the playoff race – Islanders, Ottawa and Winnipeg – won. The good news, if there is any, is that the Rangers are still in eighth based on a game in hand on the Jets. The bad news … where to begin?

Thoughts:

1) If there is a snapshot of this Rangers team and this season it will be their inability to get shots at backup goalie Steve Mason, who was having leg cramps and flopping on the ice like a mackerel as the Rangers attempted and failed to get into the offensive zone.

2) Rick Nash. There’s a bunch of points to be made here. First, how the heck was he on the bench for the start of the power play late in the second, and another early in the third, with his team down two goals? There is only one acceptable reason and that is he’s hurt and can’t handle the puck very well — and he hasn’t for two games now. I recall him getting slashed on the hand in one of the Toronto games, and that might be the excuse. But if he’s healthy, he has to be on the first power play, if for no other reason than it shows the players that the coach isn’t sending messages at this stage of the season.

3) John Tortorella has done that before – remember Marian Gaborik not getting a chance in the shootout loss in Philadelphia, with Olli Jokinen failing on his way out the door, that ended their season a few years back?

4) That said, and I repeat, you don’t send messages at this point … Nash was awful. He was on Long Island, too. He even skated back on a late Philly 3-on-2 like Robinson Cano jogging to first base. Not acceptable.

5) The Rangers need a lot more from their No. 1 line (Nash, Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan) than they’re getting, even if it is made up of two second-liners and a streaky first-liner. They need a lot more from the second line, too, whichever line is actually the second line. To me, their roster looks more like a second line and two third lines.

6) Positives? OK. Mats Zuccarello played well, and scored on nice play by John Moore. The kid defenseman did a bunch of good things, including going back at Luke Schenn after Schenn knocked Ryan Callahan on his can. I like the way he competed start to finish. And Derick Brassard — he’s not soft, I’ll give him that, and he has some skills. But needs to be more involved offensively.

7) What irony that Brian Boyle – the fans’ No. 1 whipping boy – went down with a knee injury and suddenly everybody realized how important he is in his role. Especially on faceoffs and penalty kills …

8) And what irony that Tortorella – who himself had a bad game all around, and whose power play is headed south again – lifted Derek Stepan for a penalty kill faceoff and replaced him with Brad Richards, who immediately lost it cleanly to Claude Giroux for a dagger of a power-play goal that turned out to be the winner.

9) Richards. Ugh. How bad does it have to get before Tortorella stops sending him onto the ice for power plays, or at all? What do the guys who are playing their tails off think about that? And Richards’ game has slipped so far so quickly that maybe that compliance buyout comes this summer instead of next summer. Meanwhile, Scott Gomez (probably) and Wade Redden (definitely) are going to the playoffs. More irony.

10) And one more – the irony of Ruslan Fedotenko bowling over Taylor Pyatt (the man who was supposed to replace him) early in the game.

11) Arron Asham. My goodness, how tough is this guy? He landed a big one and ate a big one early and kept going in that slugfest with Rosehill. And speaking of Rosehill, the Flyers keep on collecting ‘em, don’t they?

12) Mike Milbury thinks Richards is still a top offensive player? Prepare much? Watch much?

13) While I’m second-guessing the Nash and Richards decisions, here’s a first guess: If Martin Biron gets a start before the Rangers clinch, that’s a really bad move.

****************************************
My Three Rangers Stars:

1. Mats Zuccarello.
2. John Moore.
3. Arron Asham.
****************************************
RangerJHW’s Three Rangers Stars:

Three Goats of the Game
1. Rick Nash-lousy effort…again
2. Ryane Clowe-nice penalty-are you still on West Coast time?
3. Brad Richards…congrats–I believe you are the most consistent Ranger.
HM-Torts-can’t manage to get the team going…again. Lack of hitting…passion…this group makes Gaborik look like Milan Lucic!
****************************************
Kenny Albert Rules!’ Three Rangers Stars:
1. Mats Zuccarello.
2. Derek Stepan.
3. Carl Hagelin.
****************************************
Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:

1. Mats Zuccarello (20.0%).
2, tie. Derek Stepan (16.36%).
2, tie. John Moore (16.36%).

Photos by Getty Images.

 

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192 Comments

  1. Between An Evrock And A Hard Place on

    Carp, I’ve gotta apologize. I really thought you’d come out in defense of Rick Nash’s play, maybe making excuses for his most recent play. I haven’t had the chance to read the blog much lately and as such, haven’t seen yours or anyone else’s viewpoint on the matter.
    I personally haven’t thought Nash has been good for a while, going back even further than the Toronto home-and-home including prior to the trade deadline.
    In the beginning of the season he seemed to have no problem stick handling through most of the opposing offense and defensemen like they were standing still. Unfortunately he still had a hard time finishing. These days the only thing he’s good for is the that turnaround shot that he’s only scored with once that I can remember.
    So if ultimately it’s not the slash he received against Toronto then what other reason could he have for such a declining (over this season) ability to stick handle? He needs to be much better, point per game total notwithstanding.
    The one other thing I’ve noticed this season is that all the crappy goaltenders always seem to bring their A-game when playing the Rangers. Markstrom, Mason, even Nabokov. It’s unbelievable. I’ve watched Markstrom for a long while now and his game against the Rangers was probably among the top 3 performances he’s had in his short career if not at the very top.
    On another note, I’ve come to realize that there’s a larger contingent of Ranger fans down here in South Florida than I originally thought and I wanted to see if a get-together could be arranged either for a watch party for the Panthers/Rangers at the Garden or even a before or after thing when the Rangers play down here next week. Since it’s difficult to be on the blog at the same time as all of these people (sounds like a lot more than there really is I’m sure. lol) I was wondering if you could make mention of it maybe as an afterthought on your post and give my email address to anyone who’s interested? Just thought I’d give it a shot. lol

  2. We didn’t think this team wd make it easy on the fans did we? That’d be way too simple and clean.

    This is the NYR we are talking about. We’ll be white knuckled til the last game, I’m pretty sure.

    If Boyle out, Kreider or Miller return?

  3. Between An Evrock And A Hard Place on

    Just when Boyle was becoming an integral part of this team again too.

  4. Tired of watching Torts shake his head every time there is a goal scored against this team.

  5. Between An Evrock And A Hard Place on

    I think this team was a lot better off with the crazy, fired-up, press-conference-hell-bringer Torts from last year. At least for the fans there was always something to look forward to after the game. lol

  6. Sorry Rangers, could only start watching during dinner in the second period, turned off game after the second period. ZA played with energy and deserved the goal, have been up on Moore since his arrival (think he is a key of the trade and covers up the defensive hole at #6) The team as a whole played like energetic zombies for the time I watched, and hardly tested Mason (made him look good!) Players will have nagging injuries by this time of year, particularly those with a target on their back, like Nash, or those who put their body on the line each night, like Callahan. But I disagree with some here. It’s the team play that’s lacking, not the individual efforts, and it’s the skating, which Philadelphia seemsk to have put a Tortorella game over on Torts with their strong skating and conditioning, at least through the second. If we squeek into the playoffs, it could be due to crossed fingers on this blog.

  7. Stranger Nation on

    Didnt think Nash played great but “point per game total notwithstanding”, he has been our best forward all season by a long shot and if he doesnt play his A game and score and create, this team cannot do much.

    Lets remember, the opponents know if they stop him, the Rangers wont score most likely.

    #9 – Richards – how is that not the No. 1 observation from this game and the whole freakin season!! Last night was the worst demonstration of what has been a professional joke of a player for the bargain price of $12MM. His inability to muster any positive contribution kills his linemates and the team’s ability to muster any consistent offense. Second line player – in your dreams…

  8. Des it even matter if this so-called team makes the playoffs? It’s a dogs-breakfast-of-a-squad that is as talentless as it’s gutless. An embarrassment on the ice of epic proportions.

  9. After all the mistakes Slather has made (gomez, holick et al.) can we puleeze just buy out richards and stop signing guys that were good 5 yrs ago? I will personally drive to any city and pick up Slather’s replacement and bring him to MSG while we are at it.

  10. Carp, I’m sorry but you are playing armchair now and kind of being a hypocrite. For months, you complained that the Rangers didn’t have the “gritty” players they did last year as one of the main reasons they are losing. The loss of Duby, Prust etc. So they made a smart deal and got some of those types of guys back (in some ways better players who have that grit). Now you are complaining that they don’t have enough “first line” talent. Cmon. You want both? Can everyone be Pittsburgh? No.

    You then go on to say coach shouldn’t be sending messages this late in the season and benching Nash. Then you complain that he hasn’t benched Richards.

    Rangers didn’t get enough shots in on Mason? What was it 40 to 20 on SOG?

    I have more faith in this team than that I did with the team from 2 weeks ago because they have gritty players with more upside. Their PP stinks but it has always stunk no matter who they have had.

    You are usually on point but in these cases you are just plain wrong.

  11. There is absolutely no reason that Rick Nash should be sitting on the bench when the powerplay starts, unless he was at the end of a shift.

    If you are going to sit Nash because you are unhappy with his back checking, then you at least roll him out for the power play.

    Besides, as you mentioned, Richards has been terrible almost the entire season yet the coach seems to give him a pass (save for one game where he stapled him to the bench). While I’m sure the other players are indeed pulling for him, there has to be some thought in the back of their minds about the coach playing favorites here. I am sure they are all good character guys, but there has to be some resentment (directed at the coach).

  12. Between An Evrock And A Hard Place on

    Sorry Stranger I think I didn’t describe what I’ve seen of Nash’s play quite the way I thought I did. Yes, he’s absolutely been our best forward all season. However his ability to use his big body to protect the puck and his outstanding stick handling ability are what puts him head and shoulders above the rest of the team as well as opposing players. However he hasn’t even been doing his “skate in backwards” thing that he was so good at earlier in the season. I just think he’s been knocked off the puck easier as of late and he doesn’t seem as confident with the puck as he once was. Maybe it’s just that playing a conference-only schedule has allowed opposing teams to see enough of him for him not to be the enigma he was originally, having played his entire career in the Western Conference.
    I think his confidence is key to his success. You only have to take a look at his recent shootout attempts to know he doesn’t have that same swagger as he did earlier in the season. And without Gabby around anymore…. he’s basically it. Opposing teams know that if you stop Nash, it suddenly becomes a hell of a lot easier to beat the Rangers. We probably won’t feel the full impact of Gabby’s trade until next season when we play a full 82 games and are starving for offense.
    Unfortunately Nash is a winger and not a center. And what I mean by that is that it’s much easier to make both players on your line better from the center position than the wing. This being said, he definitely has hugely contributed to Stepan raising his game to another level.

  13. Czechthemout!!! on

    7) blah blah blah!

    You dont seem to understand that most people, when they point out Boyle’s many shortcummings as a player are actually mocking coach buffoon for play him way too much and not playing him where he belongs and that is on the fourth line and the PK. I dont give a damn how good he is on faceoffs or the pk. When you score 2 goals ( one empty net ) and add 3 assists in 40 games, you have no buisness on the ice during the PP or getting 15 + minutes a night.

  14. Czechthemout!!! on

    Torts thinks that we had a lot of chances in the first period. I guess he really doesnt understand what a chance is if that is what he saw. That explains why he doesnt coach offense. Those comments are shades of Tom Reney.

  15. drove home 2 hours after that game in phil last night back to long island and just wondered when the brad ricahrds era comes to an end. the man is useless. his play on the pp is an utter disgrace and his one role on pk was to win a draw and couldnt do that.

    that ryan clowe trade = del zaster as well. way to give up three picks for a man who has zero speed and lack of finish.

    nash= awful last night looking like carp said cano on the 2nd goal.

    to be honest the best players last night were zucc and moore. if they lead the way its over

    I TOLD YOU ALL FOR MONTHS AS YOU KNOW WITH MY BET WITH CARP. WE ARE NOT MAKING THE PLAYOFFS.

    AFTER LAST NIGHT I AM MORE CONVINCED AS WE CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE WHILE TEAMS IN HUNT CONTINUE TO SURGE.

    last thing

    winnipeg 7-2 over florida
    isles 5-2 over florida

    what will the rangers do. my bet lose 2-1

  16. Stranger Nation on

    Ev – I hear ya – no worries – but if you look at the stats, he has been very, very good prior to these last two games. These other teams are focused on him, almost solely on him because of what else is out there. Rememer Nash is playing LW not his preferred RW..why? why does our best offensive player have to switch wings? Dont’ get it…

    Zucc – made a great play on the goal after an even better pass by Moore (more Moore please) but other than that he was pedestrian and missed what was the best set up of the night after Bros-hard made a GREAT play behind the net to get the puck with a pass on the tape to Zucc all flippin alone in front of the net and he rushed the shot, almost falling over (channeling Richards?) in the process.

    If you listen to the announcers NHL.com highlight of the goal (Flyers feed?), they say how Zucc is a prolific scorer on every level he has played, well except when he plays for Torts.

    Danny G on the PP – sorry but that is a big FAIL on the coach.

  17. Stranger Nation on

    Clowe-Step-Nash
    Zucc-Bros-hard-Cally
    Hags-Boyle-Asham (if no Boyle No-berries)
    Pie-hat-Powe-Haley

    Am I missing anyone?

    Didn’t think so…

  18. Evrock, I agree with that. I always thought it was easier for a skilled player to influence the flow of the game from the center ice position as opposed to the wing. The Rangers have lacked an elite center since, well… an old Gretzky? They thought they were getting that in Richards. Whoops. I guess the opposite is true too. When you’re as bad as Richards has been at center ice, you can really destroy the offensive flow of your team that easily.

  19. They didn’t show last night. One of those ‘fire the coach’ nights (subject to change). As Carp would say, how in holy hell do we not have some semblance of a power play by now? Its mind boggling. Who in holy hell thinks you can score a goal when you have 2 players by the boards on the goal line and one behind the net?

  20. The only person that can replace Boyle is Kris Newbury. He’s the only person that can kill penalties AND take faceoffs. So I guess he will be called up.

  21. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    It is awful waking up the morning after a loss like that. It shows how low team ability and morale is. Whatever the reason, making Mason, due to our lack of going hard to the net, precision, and finesse, look like a world class goalie (no, they DON’t play ‘better’ against us;we don’t have the ability to pepper them with evasive shots!) is sickening.

    We were softer than Philly and it showed. Aside from one staged fight, against a tough team we are undersized and can’t compete. We play scared. Where are the after the whistle scrums? Where is the retribution for the blue line cheap shot on Step that almost ended his season? When your lineup is full of Zucc’s, Hags, Richards, a whole small defense, and other less than average sized guys with no fire in their eyes, with limited strong checking ability, with Pyatt who just mucks along at a snails pace holding on to get his paycheck, so many other guys with no emotion….WHAT DO YOU EXPECT????

    Boyle is a loss. Those of you that don’t understand stats are not the end all don’t understand his contributions to this team. Face offs? PK? Size and some big checks lately? For fun, let’s let Richards take all the face offs from now on.

    It’s time to bring up whatever kids there are in this depleted organization. This team so needs an injection of youth. Hopefully, they still have the desire to play.

    Oh, in one year how the mighty have fallen. The management of this team from ALL angles has been pathetic. To think of where we were this time last year to where we are now. With so many new players. Don’t bother sewing the names to the back of their jerseys. They’ll likely be gone anyway.

    This is SO bad it is not just on the GM’s head. The whole front office, secretaries included, coach, everything should be fired. Even if they make the playoffs there is no hope.

    AND, what is better, is Mr. “I’m going to build with youth” has traded away all the meaningful draft picks, for essential two players. A star that is currently underperforming and a ‘rental’? Way to go. Just way to go.

    No hope for this year. None for the draft. Well done. Just well done

  22. The main problem last night was the inability of the Rangers to break out of their zone, and when they were lucky enough to get out, they couldn’t get through the neutral zone. It took them half the game to realize they should dump the puck and when they finally did they couldn’t compete and win puck battles.

    All that said, The Rangers were a “Stepan stick turned 3 degrees inward” away from tying it up and getting points.

  23. Stranger Nation on

    Nash underperforming as top point producer and leading scorer playing with 2nd line developing center and who Cally? Zucc? Hags?

    Put him back on his preferred wing and play with Clowe and Step. Be careful burrying Clowe as he is playing on the ‘pk line’ (5 on 4) all night with the Ghost of Richards Past

  24. Stranger Nation on

    Manny – very true – though Nash, when asked about their game strategy before the game, said “we need to get pucks deep” – that is a directive from Mr. Offense, Tarts, who is playing ‘safe is work’ strategy.

    This was also Philly’s complete line-up with a decent goalie, not the injury riddled group with Universe in net- different team, just ask the Habs.

  25. Wish I were more of a hockey expert. My impression the Rangers give up the puck voluntarily far too often … like entering the O-zone, they dump in … if they’re lucky they get control of it. Then they will rifle it to some far corner again, creating another 50/50 puck.

    To me this seems questionable. Do the Rangers do this more than most teams? It just seems so difficult for the Rangers to get good possessions going.

  26. Why is it that every time the Rangers lose or play badly somehow, someway the coaching factors into the analysis?

    It’s the talent level,it’s the inability to put the puck on the net let alone in the net.

    It’s having no PP QB.

    It’s having only one player of talent and scoring ability who would make anyone’s first line Nash!

    The Rangers have some nice players on both D & O but simply not enough discernible talent to be legitimate annual contenders for the Cup.

    Callahan, Hagelin and especially Stepan who has made a terrific leap this year are keepers plus character guys like Dorsett.

    On D Girardi, McDonagh and DelZotto are good not great D and Stralman is having a career year and I too like the Moore deal. Hopefully someone will eventually answer the question of do the Rangers actually employ a strength coach which Moore and others would benefit from.

    Clowe remains slow and based on early returns was a mistake,but the Columbus deal may still work out with Dorsett a solid third liner, Brassard if he ever has complimentary line mates and Moore who might be what Staal was supposed to be as a first rounder.

    The game plan must change in the off season but because our franchise is owned by the most incompetent owner in pro sports will not. Start with Sather and his team of over rated scouts and staff. The Sather reign of error must end as all it has really produced is a waste of money and a middle of the pack reputation.

    Prospects must be given a chance to show if they are NHL level, players especially McIllrath who might be a decent fit with Moore as the third pair. Kreider must stay and play and Miller who was rushed should be given the shot as at least a third line center not a wing.

    But for now what we have is average………….so cue the orchestra to Queen’s “We are the Champions” and change the lyrics to “We are Average”!

  27. iCCCP - Who Gives A Puck?! on

    Is today a day of long posts? Seems that way…

    Hey Carp…in your review, you forgot to mention that this team is not like the team from last year ;)

  28. I feel kind of guilty because when Boyle avoided the hip check (I thought) and plowed through I was all, “Way to go Boyle! Play your size!” and then he made that awful pass and I was like, “Typical Boyle. Great play followed by horrendous idiocy.” But then he was hurt. My bad.

  29. Even Affirmed may eventually have stopped responding if Steve Cauthen kept whipping him. I don’t know anymore – lack of talent is one thing, but constantly flat performances and not skating all-out on the backcheck is completely another

  30. Stranger Nation on

    No surprise Boyle was hurt trying to do something with puck. Doesn’t play ‘strong’ on the puck – lack of balance is his undoing.

    Hope he is not out as we need him as a checking wing as we don’t have a checking center now though Bros-hard can be adequate, not his primarily role and Richards cannot check a mite player now. Disgrace, utter disgrace.

    Was he crying in locker room? sit his assen now before it is too late!!!

  31. Newbury, Sioux. He’s the only guy that can handle PK and face offs. Who knows in reality, but that makes sense to me.

  32. Stranger Nation on

    Let’s also not pretend that Hank played well last night – 2 out of 3 should have been saved. If we are going to laud him when he plays well, need to call out the poor performances as well.

  33. It’s taken a while and not every team is good at it, but the word is out that all you need to do to beat us is pressure our remaining D-men, and hope the Henrik is off

  34. I blame that game on Tortorella’s coaching (the PP is just a joke at this point, can we decline penalties?) and that terrible call on the Fedotenko hit that led to the 3 – 1 PP goal. The refs gave Philly a gift on that one. But that’s hockey, a game the Rangers looked disinterested in playing for about 50 minutes.

  35. I was at the game. They made the Flyers look like the Cup winning Devils’ teams….there was absolutely no flow through the neutral zone. The power play was atrocious – a series of dump and chase plays. I was not impressed with Clowe – slow, and took a really stupid penalty. No way this guy deserves an 8 year contract. I am encouraged by Moore and Brassard, but Brassard gets a case of the Del Zottos a few too many times – decision making needs to improve.

    I actually feel bad for Richards right now. Perhaps he’s dealing with some significant personal issues…don’t know but maybe some information will come out in the offseason if that is the case.

    And I have a strong suspicion that Nash is playing hurt. It has to be his hand or something. His shot is just not there anymore, and the puck handling is erratic.

  36. Sioux-per-man on

    The Rangers wake up in 8th place today. They need a point with the one game in hand over the Jets. Even with the loss they still have the control.

    No big deal. We knew deep down that the Rangers wheren’t going to run the table and go undefeated down the stretch, they just are not that good. I thought 13 out of 16 with the schedule, not knowing if the loss was going to come against the Islanders, Flyers, or the Debbies.

    The first 2 goals had some really bad puck luck for Hank, a deflected shot right to the side of the net, and the lazer from the point that had maybe 2″ of space to get over his shoulder and under the crossbar. If only the Rangers would put more quality shots on net, instead of the “one more pass” that doesn’t end up getting there.

    Eric is going to lose more Hot Dogs that’s a given!!!

  37. NYR in last 83 games, dating back to March 1 of last year (including playoffs): 42 wins, 41 losses.

    This is what it feels like to root for a very mediocre team

  38. Comnsnse

    Why is it that every time the Rangers lose or play badly somehow, someway the coaching factors into the analysis?

    It’s the talent level,it’s the inability to put the puck on the net let alone in the net.

    It’s having no PP QB.

    Yes, i agree common, but torts made some stupid decisions last night. he obviously shouldve had stu bickel in the lineup just incase we needed a huge face off win. you know stu is 100% on faceoffs dont you? ;)

  39. Sioux-per-man on

    Carp – How is it that this team has so much Potential for greatness, but is stuck in the rut of mediocrity?

  40. remember that series saving goal in the caps series last year that richie scored with like 1 second left? and then staal won in ot? ohh man now i’m just being cruel. sorry guys

  41. Why is it that every time the Rangers lose, you guys give me no credit for my fearless prediction that this team is ultimate-bush-league?

  42. The loss is magnified by the shortened (aka Bettmanned) season and the closeness of the 5-9 seeds, plus it was a loss to hated (stupid, orange) enemy.

    Rip it up and start again!!

    Powerplay stinks again, teams seem to figure that if they break things up and force a dump in we have trouble retaining the puck, then when we do set-up we go 3 high and they can expand their box/diamond and play aggressive.

  43. Rob in Beantown on

    I hate, hate, HATE the idea of playing all those outdoor games, including the two at Yankee Stadium. But I’ll almost certainly come into town to go to at least one of them. What a sap I am.

  44. Let’s see if they have the courage to sit Richards against Florida, meaning NOT IN THE LINEUP. Really no choice at this point.

  45. Cross Check Charlie on

    A couple of days ago you said Torts put Boyle on the 2nd power play unit because it was working. So, why does he put Richards out there on the 1st power play unit when it’s definitely not working?

    Asham and Rosehill swung a lot, but most of those punches either didn’t connect or hit helmet. That’s why both put ice on their hands when they went to the penalty box. Instead of dropping gloves, fighters should remove the helmets.

  46. Rob in Beantown on

    I don’t know that the Rangers are a better team with Richards in street clothes. Cut his ice time sure, but if you scratch him who do you replace him with?

  47. Cross Check Charlie on

    One thing that I noticed in last night’s game. It may have been happening all along, but it was glaring last night. Too many times players passed up shots to pass the puck to Nash. Stepan did it a few times and other players did it too. They had other options including a wide open shot and instead passed or tried to pass to Nash. That has to stop.

    Did anybody else notice this?

  48. Adam Z. exactly, as I’ve been saying for years, average, middle of the pack franchise with the game’s biggest hack leading the parade!

    Check their all time average record as well, they may tease but rarely deliver.

    And adding insult to injury the MSG suits allow no media to ask the hard questions of Sather.

    I’m still waiting for an example of another “president” of a for profit business who keeps his job under similar circumstances.

    It’s the pictures I tell you!!! ;)

  49. Don’t agree on Biron. He’s an excellent goalie and these players need to feel some heat. Put him in. If the team doesn’t respond, they were never going to win a playoff series.

  50. Is it out of line to say this team/organization is just bad? Was sitting there with my buddy flipping back and forth between the Caps and Rangers games, and could count on one hand the number of times the Rangers strung three passes together.

    Why would I want to pay $75 to go watch the Rangers win a game 1-0? How boring. Who cares if they even win the game, the point of hockey is to score goals and offer some excitement to the fans who come watch. This team is dreadfully boring to watch and gets pushed around the ice like a JV team.

    Absolutely putrid front office and organization at this moment. A product like that would never make it in Edmonton or any other small market.

    The way this team plays shows zero respect for the hard working fans who pay good money to support their team. I’m ashamed to even be associated with this organization.

    Who cares, one year last year out of how many dreadful years in the last 15, ever since Messier and TGO left.

    Get a frieking farm system, get a coach who will hold players accountable, get some semblance of a system the players can step right into instead of this year-in and year out hodgepodge of talent that comes through the door. And get a GM who knows what the hell he is doing.

    If I am Henrik Lundqvist I am out of here unless some structural changes are made to this organization. And I would even look at trading Hank to get some decent assets in return and rebuild from a core of players.

    There is absolutely no consistency from this team night in and night out. There is no leadership on the ice. Their best/ highest paid players, aside from their goaltender do absolutely nothing on the ice. How depressing.

    Who shows any pride in their sweater? We can’t even throw a good bodycheck to send a message. Whatever. It’s the same story after every other game. It’s a waste of time.

  51. Rob in Beantown on

    Rangers are now do or die situation. Light a fire or no, if you lose a do or die game with your best player sitting on the bench that is stupid.

  52. Mannhy, Mac will simply get punchy sooner, check boxing and the newest uncivilized activity MMA!

    You are displaying an unusual level of blood lust for such a nice guy eh?

    BTW, Mac’s bout with another Flyer tough guy was no walk over. Where do the Flyers find these people?

  53. no surprise, I haven’t been impress with this team all year. It doesn’t matter anymore, can’t wait until hockey season is over. I’ve already chalked this season to a abnormal season. It will be very interesting to see what the rangers do in the off season.

  54. you know how limited a team and how it lacks depth when you would even mention a word related to Boyles injury.

    the guy is a 4th liner plain and simple.

    the rangers forward depth is embarrisingly bad, plain and simple…

    pyatt, powe, asham, boyle, have zero offensive skill. add Richards who is horrible and you have 7 forwards.. brassard never shoots, and there you have it 6 guys who can score EVER.

  55. Vogs, good post.

    Everyone should remember that as for the coach, his line ups, motivation and personality, that it’s very difficult to coach when there is a continuous turn over in personnel every year.

    It’s the chemistry thing!

  56. Sioux-per-man on

    #2 – I was wondering the same thing. How can NASH not be on the power play when we are behind??? Is this going to end up being like Gaby’s shoulder last year? We find out he’s injured after the season is done?

  57. Tommy, this season is only “abnormal” for it’s shortened schedule.

    Last year was the aberration…..average is always in season!

  58. unfortunately the one constant that won’t change is Sather as the GM. Until this buffoon is out of the ranger organization nothing will change.

  59. Sioux-per-man on

    Carp – The Rangers have played 42 games so far, and they only have 17 games won in regulation and overtime. Is this the year the Rangers make it into the playoffs on Bettman points. And if they do….. do they deserve to be there?

  60. Every other team deals with injuries. Its called a system and expectations and having NHL caliber players ready to step in at any time.

    When we have problems we look OUTSIDE the organization, what kind of message does that send to your young players?

    When was the last time we developed a bonafide superstar like a Giroux, Datsuk, Zetterberg, Weber, Lucic? Alex Kovalev? Hank developed in Europe and was already a star when he got here.

    This organization doesn’t develop top talent. And for that we are consistently mired mediocrity.

    Think about who our best players have been over the last 10 years – Jagr, Gaborik, Shanahan, Lindros, Hank. And I’ll stop there.

  61. vogs
    “When was the last time we developed a bonafide superstar like a Giroux, Datsuk, Zetterberg, Weber, Lucic? Alex Kovalev?”

    Brian Leetch would be my guess. Damn, that’s depressing…

  62. Here’s hoping for a Lou Lamoriello style move and getting turds replaced last minute.

  63. Repost
    loneranger

    Never should have sent the kids down to start with, Neither one kissed the Pope’s ring. Granted they made mistakes but they were fast and brought life to this very lackluster team. Clowe apparently is not going to help this team. Moore and Brassard will be fine pending any mind games with His Holy Highness.

    April 17th, 2013 at 1:27 AM loneranger

    Very interesting piece. Can’t say I don’t agree with a lot of it.

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/03/26/silverman-tortorella-may-be-next-coach-on-nhl-firing-line/

  64. I havent been around the past week or so and wont be for another week after this post (going to Israel in a few hours last minute for some unexpected issues). There is 0 excuse for Nash not being on the PP yesterday. Atrocious coaching. The period turned yesterday when the Flyers called timeout to break the Rangers *momentum*. You could see Kimmo Timmonen say “let’s go boys calm down” to his teammates once Laviollete stopped speaking. When’s the last time a Rangers timeout worked in our favor? Anyways my main point was about Brad Richards. It doesnt take a hockey expert to see that he has significantly regressed this year. But I personally feel sorry for him. By all accounts he was sitting postgame with his head in his hands long after the media was gone. I really dont think it’s because he isnt trying. That’s why im not jumping on him like so many are. It’s not lack of effort. See you all in a week with hopefully better news all around.

  65. Vogs, good points. Hank seems to be a New Yorker. But he could be tired of this crap. He’s one of the only guys that has competed hard the last 30 games. Must be an awful feeling.

    So, perhaps Sather’s hand will be forced. Perhaps he’ll have to trade him. Great! Two more 3rd liners and a 6 ‘d’ man. Where will we put ’em all????

  66. Oh ye one more thing: Clowe is working his way towards free agency very quickly. Asham ate a lot of fist last night but he landed a couple as well especially early. See youse.

  67. Lev, 11:11…..sorry but I strongly disagree on “it’s not lack of effort” . Watch richards play away from the puck, especially when the opponent has possession. It is extreme lack of effort.

  68. loneranger, I posted last night about a coaches shelf life. I am starting to sense that Tortorella’s coaching style has run it’s course. It will be interesting to see if the rangers don’t make the playoffs will sather pull the plug.

  69. Went to the game last night, here was the problem, maybe obvious. Our big $ players lost this one. Richie rich dreadful,one good shot from Nash then nothing & Hank lets a really really bad 2nd one in. That’s a whole lot of cash for nothing. BTW can we shoot the puck away from Mason’s glove? and how big is that thing? Also the Flyers stink. Bad game dust yourselves off.

  70. Clowe Horse is the Jose Molina of skaters. At least fight somebody already!
    Nash looks to be hurt in some way, but his back-checking looks like he is preparing to do a triple salchow. (Which would be a good name for a pizzaria.)
    I like Brassard and Moore a lot. Give Them Minutes! Looking forward to seeing Dorsset very soon. They need his energy badly.
    The Little Italian Mouse has been good.
    Richards played 17+ minutes. Bahahahahaha! I’m sure he cares, but he stinks and he, and everyone else, knows it. Take yourself out of the lineup and donate your salary that night to the people in Boston. It will be a win, win situation.
    I hope Boyle is not too badly hurt. He has had a rough couple of days. Carp, please extend my best wishes to him and tell him that we stand with the people of Boston.

  71. All coaches have a shelf life within a certain group but i think Torts’ style is hampered greatly by the shortened season. He usually gets them tuned in and building team spirit and style by the long hard drag of camp

  72. And one more comment on Richards.. He should hang his head in shame every time a paycheck arrives in his direct deposit account.

  73. Sioux-per-man on

    Food for thought Gaborik is a +7 in 7 games, has his team tied for 8th in points. CBJ are on the rise. What’s it going to feel like if he makes the difference on his team and gets them in, and if the Rangers stumble out without him??????

  74. Sioux-per-man on

    Step is now tied with Nash for point leader! Just think if he out scores Nash and Gaborik this year. Kind of sad when you look at Richards salary compaired to Steps.

  75. One final comment on Richards (for today). The fact that the Garden “Faithful” have not booed his every move on the ice is further evidence that the Ranger fan-base, especially those in attendance, has become corporate and transient.

  76. Stranger Nation on

    Rangers have stumbled without Gabby? Don’t think so – their record improved after he left. Just coming off an emotional loss to a hated rival, but let’s not confuse what Gabby was giving us – very little and what he is giving BJs – ‘more then he gave us’.

    Gabby performance is on Torts

    Trade in on Sather

    Joke is on us…

  77. Stranger Nation on

    Papa – truth to power – but in a PO push, wouldn’t want fans turning on anyone wearing a Blue sweater.
    If we stumble going forward and play at home with nothing on the line – fans should tear him a new one.
    Though I would have to see a grown man cry…especially a hockey player for goodness sake!

  78. Jeff in South Dakota on

    Still a die hard Rangers fan and always be one, but this year’s team AND COACH is making that hard. I do not think they make the play-offs or if they do they get bounced in the first round. They sure looked dis-interested last night. I’m still pulling for the Rangers — part of being a fan.

  79. As bad as they were last night, they really could have taken that game to OT. Stepan’s final deflection was VERY close.

  80. Rob in Beantown on

    My downstairs neighbors probably think I’m a crazy person after that 3 minute stretch where Mason was on his stomach and the Rangers couldn’t even get the puck out of their own zone, let alone a shot on goal.

  81. Sioux-per-man on

    This team needs a spark, change the plugs, rotate the lines, and the Power Play ….. I have no words how to fix it, but how could it get ANY WORSE than last night?

    They should spend the whole day on Nothing but the POWER PLAY!!!

  82. Torts loses the players ears as long as he throws Richards out there, especially in key situations. They’re not stupid, they can see the hypocricy, favoritism. Its odd because Torts brought accountability here which we were desperate for. Take Richards out and these guys would stand on their own each and every night. Amen.

  83. Wow! Two things to add that was not in the review:

    1. Their passing was atrocious!! I could imagine someone who has a lot of time on his hands to count the number of awful passes in the neutral zone. There were too many to count. Richards leads that list

    2. Overall a terrible performance. I know the game was a one goal game(minus the empty netter), but this game wasn’t even close. Where is the heart? They did not battle in this game, and deserved to lose!!!!!!!!!

  84. Actually, I think a large part of the PP problem is that they are listening too much to White Board Sully and his evil Master. Instead of using their talent and creativity, they have “paralysis by analysis”. If Nash, Stepan, Zucc, Brassard and McDonough showed up for a pick up game against 4 other guys what would they do? They would use their talent, skill and creativity and they would score freaking goals. They would not worry about how they are entering the zone, or who is supposed to be on the wall. They would just let their talent and hockey instincts take over. They would do what they have been incredibly successful at their whole hockey lives. That is what they need to do. That and sit Richards down on his fat wallet. He has no business ever being on another PP. His playing reminds me of the father who coaches his son, who sucks, yet plays more than anyone else. Torts you are that father! Tell your son to watch from the press box!

  85. Ash is 35, 8 years older, lighter, and half a foot shorter than the designated goon he fought, and he never quit and never stopped skating with the limited time he was given. Kudos. That Carp gave him the third star says something. That “something” is also an indictment on too many others.

  86. Guys coming to the Rangers under Torts think they’ll be wearing fur coats up and down Broadway with two bimbos on each arm – then they get here and see their behind barbed wire on Riker’s Island

  87. Cross Check Charlie on

    “up for a pick up game against 4 other guys what would they do? They would use their talent, skill and creativity and they would score freaking goals”

    You mean like Brassard and Clowe did before they were indoctrinated into the “system?” Kreider would also fit that description.

  88. If the Rangers had Sauer and Staal healthy and with the emergence of McD and the new kid, either Girardi and/or DelZ would be finally seen as the somewhat overrated talents that they actually are.

  89. Evrock in Boynton, Re: your “say hello and get acquainted” post for So.Florida Rangerites.

    Can’t make the game but might fit into my very busy retirement/posting schedule a lunch at City Place where we may regale attendees with our “war stories”.

    Let me know through the blog and I will respond asap since I’m leaving on 5-1.

    Will it be O.K. to “carry” since some of my views have been somewhat controversial in the past? ;)

  90. Tommy, coaches shelf lives are dependent on only one this W&L, all else is forgiven.

    The question then is why doesn’t this approach apply to G.M.’s?

  91. Boyle was definitely missed on the PK and face-offs – it really is pathetic just how bad this team is on face-offs and partially why I still think letting Jeff Halpern go was a poor move.

    That being said, this team’s horrific power play has nothing to do with Brian Boyle and everything to do with Brad Richards who basically doesn’t belong on the ice in any crucial situation. I don’t really blame Tortorella for pulling Stepan from that late face-off, but putting Richards out there just smacks of him using one of his boys rather than using his head. You send anyone *anyone* else out there to do something important right now.

  92. Lloyd, Steps was paltry on face-offs last night, but substituting Richards, as you said, is inane.

  93. “As bad as they were last night, they really could have taken that game to OT. Stepan’s final deflection was VERY close.”

    Also, don’t forget about Zucc’s chance 5 minutes into the 3rd. Brassard made a perfect pass to him, open in the slot, and Steve Mason made the save of his life…

  94. Rob in Beantown

    My downstairs neighbors probably think I’m a crazy person after that 3 minute stretch where Mason was on his stomach and the Rangers couldn’t even get the puck out of their own zone, let alone a shot on goal.
    April 17th, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Rob – mine too. My tenant’s boyfriend is visiting from Australia and for sure he thinks I’m a lunatic. Even my husband left the room during that time.

  95. If NY had pulled that one out with a couple of fortuitous bounces, and won 4-3 in OT, many would be calling them gritty and determined. Over the long haul, bounces go both ways, so in the end, you really are what your record says you are.

  96. iCCCP - Who Gives A Puck?! on

    If grandma had cojones she would be a grandpa…

    Almost doesn’t count.

  97. Sioux-per-man on

    Win and we are in!

    In Hank we Trust!

    Right now just get as many points as possible. It will be a whole new season once the playoffs start.

    Carp – any ideas on how to overhaul this Power Play?

  98. jpg's sister on

    I’m sure if he could figure it out ,he would be playing better, but do you think Brad Richards skills have dropped so much since last year or is it more of a struggle at gbeginning of the season for whatever reason that has now become a mentally crippling issue? He has lost confidence in his game

  99. Station Hamrlik back down ice in front of Henrik, play four on four and let McD, Moore play with Nash and Brassard. :)

  100. Stranger Nation on

    How bout Bros-hard on the face-off, thought he played an effective 2 way center last night – good enough to be #2 on this squad.

    Interesting FO stats:
    Brassard 57%
    Boyle – 56%
    Halpern – 55%
    Miller – 53%
    Newbury – 50%
    Richards – 50%
    Powe – 49%
    Stepan – 46%

    put Richards on wing – he ain’t setting any body up unless we count the opposing goalie who gets to casually make the save on his feeble shot…

  101. Doodie MaFezzik, unemployed in Greenland, 1.5 on

    @But Puck was Billy Shakespeare’s magnificent mischievous sprite.@

    All explanations of this team’s poor play are trite.

  102. iCCCP - Who Gives A Puck?! on

    _But Puck was Billy Shakespeare’s magnificent mischievous sprite._

    Don’t know… Never met him :D

  103. Sioux-per-man on

    Jets have to play tougher teams down the stretch. I don’t see them sweeping the Islanders, Capitals, and Canadians.

    Not sure we will catch Ottawa with a 4 point lead on us. But we could jump over the Islanders for the 7th spot.

    No need to look at the playoffs until we are in for sure.

  104. Keep the Fighting Sioux, the Seminoles, the Indians, Braves, Redskins, Blackhawks, Chiefs, Fighting Irish, Fighting Illini, and the all- Hebrew India cricket team, the Jewish Delhis.

  105. bull dog line on

    so we found the STAT for Boyle. its face off %. so lets let him take the face offs, and then skate off the ice and glue his ass to the bench.
    Torts is going to let this season slip away, just so he does not have to hurt Richards feelings. BENCH HIM ALREADY!

  106. Doodie MaFezzik, unemployed in Greenland, 1.5 on

    Sioux, it sounds like you are only at an 8 today, rather than your full blown 10.

    Speaking of which, has anyone heard from eric after his rant this morning? I think he may have finally jumped.

  107. Doodie MaFezzik, unemployed in Greenland, 1.5 on

    @BENCH HIM ALREADY!@

    Richards is slow and unsteady.

  108. Only reason I can see for playing Richie more than limited minutes is that Torts urged his signing and Sather concurred, leaving them both praying for a miracle and trying vainly to justify themselves.

  109. If they can prove this is the guy, send two joggers down to Home Depot and buy the rope.

  110. So with no tv and center ice blacked out for most of the Rangers’ games, I missed another. Is Boyle out for games or back for the next one? How bad was richards? Call up Miller or bring Lindberg over the moment his playoffs are over bad or they just have to suffer through this season, buy him out and make do bad?

    I still think, even if they miss the playoffs, that they should be a better/slightly better version of the Brandon power teamed team. They may not be a 100+ point team at the end of the season but should be a 6th to 4th place team. Then again, I think this team should be better than they are and they’re not. So what do I know?

  111. Kenny Albert Rules! on

    this wacko must live in Boston. If I did this, i would have booked a plane ticket out of their.

  112. I’m not a yell at the TV type but last night I was doing just that. Mostly at Richards who was even slower than usual if that is possible and was a automatic give the puck to philly machine….

    I thought Moore and Brassard played pretty well, i’d be giving Brassard more minutes at the expense of Richards

  113. Cross Check Charlie on

    “so we found the STAT for Boyle. its face off %”

    Doesn’t he also lead the team in hits?

  114. czechthemout!!! on

    The Kreider recalled. I hope he makes the most of the 4 minutes of ice time he gets tomorrow playin

  115. Coos, just saw your comment which I assume was humorous in intent and another of your occasional “ironic” posts.

    Should one conclude that you feel common sense and self defense do not go hand in hand?

  116. Everyone remember how we were half-joking about, “Haha, wait until Torts has a couple of practices with the new guys to beat the offense out of them”? It’s not nearly as funny anymore now that it’s true, huh?

    It couldn’t be more clear. If they open the game up, run and gun, crash the net, they score goals. They have an all-world goalie in net. Let him be an all-world goalie. Dump and chase and 5 shot blockers every shift DOES NOT WORK. Why can’t Tortorella see that?

    Being a fan of this team is a medical condition.

  117. Sioux-per-man on

    That’s Right Coos – but the NCAA only took the name away from one team, everyone else got to keep theirs.

    8 – is fair enough. Even thought I’m giving the first 2 goals against Hank do to puck luck. I feel the Rangers won the final 2 periods. But I’m not going to lie, once I seen Nash was not on the Power Play in the second period, I was a little pissed. So you can dock me a point for that. The second point, I’ll also concede that do to the fact that we couldn’t carry the puck into our ofensive zone with possession last night.

    We missed a point/win by inches when Stepan just missed the net with the tap in.

    Time to regroup, and gain some confidence at MSG, and lay the lumber on the Cats. No more Mr. Nice guy!!!

  118. Evrock Around The Clock Tonight on

    Welcome Back Kreider!

    On another note:

    IF ANYONE WHO IS IN SOUTH FLORIDA WHEN THE RANGERS PLAY THE PANTHERS, EITHER HERE OR AWAY, WANTS TO GET TOGETHER TO WATCH (THE AWAY GAME) OR MEET BEFORE AND/ OR AFTER THEY PLAY DOWN HERE EMAIL ME: scrappy1994@yahoo.com
    ( Geez, I hate giving out my email in blogs btw. Lol)

  119. czechthemout!!!
    Guauranteed he’ll get no more than 5 minutes but he he needs futher development according to our coaching genius. Like our whole team doesn’t need further development. Inexcusable losing last night. A team with passion and great character.

  120. Sioux-per-man on

    RELEASE THE KREIDER – for the 3rd time this year :)

    We need goals, he should also be an upgrade in speed. I just wish he could hit like Boyle.

    How long until we add Dorset? We need a pinch more NASTY on the team. Clowe needs to bring out his Club more often and beat someone to get the crowd/bench going!!!

  121. Sioux-per-man on

    Boyle was more of a banger. Newbury fits that role more and has 60+ points for the Whale this year. Funny they didn’t bring him up. He was looking good in the games he played the last call up.

  122. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Nash is better than gabby…period and I do think he isn’t a 100%.

    We lost to a dividional rival…and it was actually close so everyone chill out. It isn’t like we lost to Carolina 5-1

    Richards needs to see less ice time, I thought the clowe brassard Nash line was a keeper

    Like how Hartnell wouldn’t go with clowe after the mcdonut hit…chicken

    Wish we had a tough physical d man in the system like that kid from Denmark that the flyers brought up and played…oh wait

    This team hasn’t scored on the PP all season and wasn’t tough to play against the majority of the season as well. We have been mediocre all season. Gabby is gone and we are not any worse and we are now tougher to play against even if we are still mediocre.

    Gabby would have made zero difference last night. Chalk this up to the short season or coaching or whatever, but this team is better now than it was 4 weeks ago!!

  123. Cross Check Charlie on

    “Guauranteed he’ll get no more than 5 minutes but he he needs futher development according to our coaching genius.”

    Well you have to understand, he’s going through a process. He’s learning how to be a pro. He’s….um….got to learn to block shots….and…um…get better at his wall play ….and everything.

  124. Admiral Akbar on

    You know, it would probably be a nice help to this team to play Kreider.

    The key is to PLAY Kreider, not have him ride the bench for huge chunks of time. I hope he is learning or has learned what the coaching staff expects of him. I hope he is maturing – because i think that may be his issue. We were spoiled with guys like Stepan and DelZotto. If there ever was a time we could use a big, fast player who can shoot the puck, now would be that time.

    There is no direct replacement for Boyle, but asking people like Pyatt and Powe to step up seams much more difficult than having Kreider come back to the big leagues.

  125. I know we joke that Richards is like Chris Drury 2.0.

    But, the fact of the matter is, Drury had 2 solid seasons in NY and wasn’t done when he signed the contract. We all hear how much Richie cares. Drury also cared and actually made smart plays, even when playing with a bum knee…

  126. Sioux-per-man on

    Kreider will get 3rd line minutes, hopefully he can get a goal play some SOLID shifts.

    If not Torts will bring out the “Staley” and screw him to the bench.

  127. Brad Richards…knows…this is the end
    beautiful friend
    this is the end my only friend the end
    of our elaborate plans the end
    everything that stands the end
    no safety or surprise the end

  128. bull dog line on

    normally I would be excited that Kreider has been recalled, but I expect this to be more of the same. very little ice time, and benched at the drop of a hat.

  129. Stupid aside: Asham has strength, tenacity and the fastest hands on the team. Give him some face-off time in practice and see what’s what.

  130. This year’s Garden crowd is so corporate and non- NY sports savvy, they don’t even know enough to boo Richards. :)

  131. Asham tries to do something positive on every shift. Pyatt tries to go unnoticed. If Kreider impresses and Boyle comes back, you have to sit Pyatt. Some say Pyatt is a playoff type of performer, but I have yet to see anything of value added to the roster. If Kreider fails, then bring up Newbury.

  132. wouldn’t it be the ultimate ironic Rangers disaster if the Winnipeg Jets squeaked into the playoffs by winning a shootout with Olli Jokinen getting the deciding shot??

    Ouch, the memories.

  133. As much as I bust my Islander friends chops, at least even when that team really was low in the standings for years and years, they played hard and exciting HOCKEY. This Ranger team might be the worst team since the 1997-2004. No heart, passion, or display of skill on a consistent basis. Most Jekyll and Hyde team in the NHL.

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