It’s Go Time! … Rangers at Canucks

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Game 4 of this 15-game trip. The preseason ends tomorrow in Las Vegas against the Kings.

As you know, tonight the “traded” coaches face off against one another.canucks logo

And unless you’ve been under Mount Vancouver, you’ve heard by now that Derek Stepan today signed a two-year, $6.15 million contract. He will fly to NY tonight, have a physical and fitness tests Friday, skate Saturday and join the team for practice on Sunday, meaning he will have missed all of camp and the preseason.

Henrik Lundqvist starts in goal and is expected to play the entire game tonight against his former cuddly coach. Alain Vigneault will likely be warmly received in Vancouver, where he said, “fans don’t come to see a coach” and where he wanted to thank a lot of support people and friends he’d never thanked after being fired.

Vigneault will use his top six defensemen tonight, and forwards Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello, Brian Boyle, Benoit Pouliot, Taylor Pyatt, Jesper Fast, Derek Dorsett, J.T. Miller, Dominic Moore, and Darroll Powe.

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279 Comments

  1. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Brassard will get a hat trick tonight. Richards will surprise everyone with 20 minutes of ice time yet won’t touch the puck once (how is that possible?)

  2. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I still have the byfuglien Bruins jets game on NHL channel – going to OT – rangers to follow..

  3. THE Kreider better be on every line. He deserves to play 60 minutes a game. He is out-of-this-planet good. The anti-amateur-hour.

  4. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I hope cally is completely healed before going in the lineup. No need to be penny wise pound foolish..,

  5. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Got to give Ritchie rocket credit… He’s touched the puck a few times and it’s still the first period.

  6. well, refs in mid season form, other team can steam roll lundqvist but if a ranger player breaths on the opposing goalie it’s a penalty.

  7. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    MacD and Staal could have an interesting year. They both seem ready to move up the iced.

  8. Not the greatest character development but I can see torts as one of the painted faced furies who ultimately gets his butt kicked and his bat stolen trying to bully the righteous warrior returning to kings county. Good to see he got his guys firmly on the counterattack already

  9. Anybody know why game is blacked out on NHL network? I live near Philly and can’t even get MSG. No clue why this is so and am pissed. They are showing the 1994 cup game 7

  10. This team is unstoppable. A tour-de-force in the hockey world. Hand them Stanley already, it’s over.

  11. Seriously, if Rangers win more than 2 on the opening road trip, I’ll be very surprised!. This team sucks.

  12. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    NyR fan – that was pretty funny / no longer PC to tout Ritchie rocket as anything but a stiff.

  13. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Joe, I get what you are saying. The Rangers may have been the better team in first 12 minutes. Do they have finishing talent, though? They were around the net. Granted.

  14. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Preseason is no big deal. The Gmen did squat during the exhibition games and look at them once the games count… We are in good shape…

  15. I think Nash is overrated, felt that way when trade rumors to rangers were brewing and still think he is overrated. It could be that nice 7.8 mil cap hit that makes me think that way. Nash is a nice player but not elite. This team will still struggle to score but with a different wide open system will give up more goals. It’s going to be a long season.

  16. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Pyatt has major jump in his step – agreed my brutha – brassard looks good in the nucks end – not so in his own tho

  17. All I can say is that Tort really didn’t coach the Rangers like they had any talent. Guess that’s pretty telling about out boys.

  18. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    I know you guys will think I’m crazy, but we controlled the ice most of the period. 17 shots. Henrik got interfered with on one and let in a soft one, the second. Aside from us taking 2 penalties, I thought 5 on 5 it was a good period.

    We are generating shots on goal. Will we develop finishers? Let’s not forget we have 4 key top players out this game.

    Not worried, yet.

  19. Nash did not play tough in playoffs, but he scored 21 goals in 44 games last season and basically carried them offensively in the first 20 games

    Still has a lot to prove and needs to play hard on the puck (like Johnson) but he is by far the most talented player on the team and with Step back will get the puck in spots and will score

  20. Agree, Matty. But honestly I’m more interested in the Canucks under our old coach. I think it’s really telling about our squad’s ceiling.

  21. prediction…. lundqvist goal against average will be the highest average in the 2013/14 season in his career.

  22. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    iManny, that is SUCH a smart comment. He had no top talent, just third (and up) liners. He coached them that way.

    Now, AV comes in used to a quality lineup.

    Should be interesting. When you see our boys doing snow angels and blocking shots AGAIN, you’ll at least know why!!

    It’s the GM, folks. Everything else has been changed many times over the last 13 years.

  23. This coaching change is an utter mistake. Torts has his flaws but I know the rangers won’t get results from av then torts did.

  24. matty, your probably right, it’s to early and as usual I’m probably over reacting but than again this is the dolan/sather ny rangers that where talking about.

  25. I’m trying to look on the bright side. It could take the rangers a while to play AV’s system but by the time they play the system well it might be to late to make the playoffs.

  26. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Eric, I agree. Players like Nash need a keg of dynamite up his butt. Not so sure AV does that.

    Tommy, agreed, too. Notice the quality of finishers the Canucks have. We have NONE of that. We can get the shots to the net, then the puck sits there. Sedins goal? Albeit was interference, but Torts now has finishers. He didn’t in NYC.

    Good luck, AV!

  27. well, finally got to watch the Blueshirts play
    and
    ……ummmmmmmm, there were moving their feet and
    around the puck

  28. I liked our speed in first period. Henry got mugged, one lazy stick penalty, weight thrown in corners, energy.

  29. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Its also unfortunate Gabby wanted out. That was all Torts. He hated Torts. I have to say I thought the Nash deal was going to work for us. Not giving up on him yet, but he just seems not to be able to raise his level AS YET.

    Let’s give him some time this year to find himself, though. Last year was a strange, shortened year. Let’s see what he’s got the first half of this year. Gotta give him that.

  30. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Torts wouldn’t do squat with this ranger team. That horse left the barn. Scotty Bowman couldn’t win with this team…

  31. tort’s wasn’t the problem. Unfortunately he must of pissed off old slatipus in there breakup meeting and that was it.

  32. Losing stinks. Especially when you give up 4 or 5 goals and can’t score more than 2.

    This is the post Francis pre Shero – Brooks era team again.

    That was the pits.

  33. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Tommy, there are so many people saying it’s a no brainer to resign Hank for whatever. I hate to give Sather any leeway, but it’s a tough decision. On the one hand, kills the cap. On the other, he’s probably best in the world. But if you’re gonna sign him and have Nash, you have to get rid of The Rocket, sad to say.

  34. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Torts had one good year as coach and even though they lost in the ECF, that was one helllava year – I’ll give him that –

  35. I think we need, and needed last year, scramble in front of the net shooting drills, not slapper drills.

  36. matty, you can go back to all the old post, didn’t want nash, thought he was overrated. I think my name at that time was tomg. I was against the nash trade. To me a great player make players around him good but other bloggers said he had no talent around him, not to mention his cap hit was like he was a elite player which nash isn’t IMO.

  37. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    He ‘fools’ Henrik Lundqvist? The shot was end over end crap. Wazzup with Hank’s eyes?

  38. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Papa – that 76-77 ranger team was one of the best ever. They could have won the cup had they made the playoffs.

  39. I really hope Richards doesn’t get hurt because they need to buy him out or else the rangers will be done.

  40. “Just dreadful coverage by the Rangers…with their top defensive pair on the ice” – Former Ranger Ray Ferraro

  41. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    AV has that look like…….”Holy S*$(#)!! I had no idea how void of talent this team is. Why didn’t anyone tell me??”

  42. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    The rangers need to stay close to a playoff spot / come trade deadline / I predict : Boyle, Powe, Pyatt, MDZ for Sharp, Bickel, and Seabrook

  43. AV between periods 2-3 ” if you guys could just go back to blocking a ton of shots, that would be great”

  44. Year after year, this organization NEVER FULLY addresses their dire need. THEY NEED GOAL SCORERS AND LEGIT OFFENSIVE THREATS! THEY NEVER HAVE THE PUCK!

    so instead, NYR go out and trade Marian Gaborik for underachieving 1st rounders and sign Dominic Moore

  45. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Craig, you trade one of them for a crease clearer. Bring in a power play point man with a strong booming shot with another and you have a real defense. As individuals, these guys are very good. As a unit, they are lacking.

    Once again, that’s on the GM.

  46. There was an episode of Breaking Bad once called “Gliding All Over”. Or was it gliding over All? Mor was that the title for this years Rangers? Especially Nash

    Richards is no better than last year, still just awful.

    Could they score any fewer goals? At least with Tortorella they could play defense.

    Matty was right it is the gm.

  47. Sestito is getting some serious time with Torts behind the bench. Bad news for him, this is as much as he’s going play for the rest of the season.

  48. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Nyrfan – you can’t have it both ways re: torts and gabby. Pick the one you like and stick with it…they weren’t meant to co-exist.

  49. I could get behind these guys if they just were giving it some oomph. Maybe things take on a different tone when we get our Captain and emotion back on the ice.

  50. Let’s remember that step, cally and hags – 3 of their best puck handlers are not in the line-up

  51. good point, every time cally gets hurt, doesn’t matter who is on the team, the rangers don’t play well.

  52. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    JM: “The Rangers are missing 3 of their top 6 forwards”.

    Ok, so now, which of these 4 is not a top 6?

    Step, Callie, Hags, The Kreider ?

  53. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Carpy, seems that decision (to get rid of Torts) was a last minute move by our GM, no? As in well after the Gabby trade was made and he watched the team for the last few weeks, and especially in the Boston Massacre Playoff Series, no?

  54. They weren’t meant to co-exist? Can’t have it both ways? We don’t have either anymore…

    Well, I’d pick Gaborik in that case…because Torts can’t score 40 goals or triple-OT game winners in the playoffs

  55. funny thing is my niece got a new job and moved to Columbus ohio. I told her about the ex-rangers now on the bluejackets. I’m sure she will go to a few games.

  56. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Tommy, I think they had been hoping The Kreider plays on top 2 lines. Perhaps he’ll improve.

  57. If I were coach, I would gather all the forwards in the slot area.. I would then have an assistant wire the perimeter of the slot so that anyone who tried to leave would get zapped.

  58. Yes, absolutely, it was a 180, Matty. But I’m saying that, if you traded Gaborik because of the coach, then you should have kept the coach. I don’t believe it was all Torts in that trade. And, yes, it was in part Gaborik’s salary … and at that time they were planning on buying out Richards, too.

    Just a silly series of decisions, IMO.

  59. I let down my guard, tommyG, and for a short while believed what I was hearing about how his lieutenants — very smart hockey guys — were now running things.

  60. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Sounds fair, Carp. The flood gates of bad decisions opened.

    Other GM’s might have handled it differently and been….uh..more decisive.

    (how’s that for diplomatic? man, it is so hard to watch this guy mess up the franchise)

  61. also, not saying Tortorella should or shouldn’t have been fired, but that it’s increasingly ridiculous if two of the voices who might have influenced the decision to fire him were Brad Richards and Aaron Asham.

  62. yea, I’m sure they were until Darth Sather took the reigns back over, traded for nash, signed Richards and traded Gaborik.

  63. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    So, if you’re an NHL goalie and you see Pyatt released for a breakaway, tell me you’re not thinking “I should have this one”.

  64. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Torts: “OMG, I totally forgot what it feels like to have professional finishers!”

    AV: “OMG. This team really does suck.”

  65. You guys really think Lundqvist wants to sign a long term deal under Sather? LOL…he is probably looking at houses in Vancouver after the game…

  66. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Torts took the rangers are as he could. Sather is simply a very ineffective GM. Let’s hope things get better. The Richards decision is the elephant in the room.

  67. IMO no forward on our bottom 6 six should weigh less than 190 – we have too many of the same player – short, stick handlers easily knocked off puck

  68. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    It will be very interesting to see how Hank plays in the real season without guys dropping for shots AND with an offensive system.

  69. I won’t be happy when sather signs lundqvist to a 8 year 8+ million contract. This new system is going to make lundqvist look like a average goalie.

  70. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    AV: “Mark, Dan, Michael, Ryan…..ok to drop down to block them now. We’re using plan B.”

  71. Joe M is an effin tool – cannot believe another season with this dumb oaf.

    kenny/Dave on the radio it is

  72. Another good period…just some unlucky bounces, right?

    Kreider looks great out there…What would the score look like without him?

  73. Soooo maybe tortles had it right with this team playing a defense first system…. Because in the words of Herb Kurt Russell Brooks…. “Gentlemen… You don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone…”

  74. Canuck player Kesler says Torts system is a bit more aggressive than AV.

    Weren’t we being sold a different story here?

  75. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Torts implied that many times, Craig. And he was frustrated by the lack of talent.

    He obviously is letting this new team play a bit, isn’t he? (of course, it is just a preseason game). It’s not the entirely restrictive style he harnessed our boys with. There’s a reason.

    If only Torts could get on a megaphone and tell the work how much the team put before him in NY sucked.

    AND, that’s why what he did with them 2 years ago in the playoffs was one of the best coaching jobs EVER for our team and many others.

  76. Count to ten… relax. Life is too short to blow a gasket on a meaningless (other than pride) preseason game.

  77. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Papa, Torts evaluates his talent and sets up a system that he thinks will work with what he has.

  78. Matty "CLEANSLATE=FIRESATHER"Boy on

    Does our team have any ‘jam’? Are they hard to play against?

    Perhaps that will happen in the regular season. Oops, kind of forgot that element…..

  79. So, our best in the League (world)goalkeeper and one of the best in NHL Defensive Corp. are looking good today against helpless Vancouver team…
    Tired from all this before season negativity?

  80. Ya think Stepan is watching the game
    and thinking
    “I coulda got ALL my contract demands
    after tonight!!”

  81. Luongo had an easy time of it, the Rangers have no killer instinct at all, one has to wonder what it’s like to be their coach.

  82. AV is right…clean slate…Richards just has to forget about his last -season- -game- -period- shift…

  83. What an embarrassment. Seriously. Could it be that this team just doesn’t have the personnel to score goals?

  84. Every time someone comes near him, Richie gives up the puck to whomever, wherever. Once in a great while, one of our guys gets it and Micheletti says, ‘nice pass by Richards.’

  85. Doesn’t sound good for The Kreider does it? The way it sounds to me is that Asham, Powe and Miller will be in there and possibly Fast subbing in for Hags.

    Carp, you really think Cally will play next Friday?

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