Rangers-Panthers in review


Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah!

Thoughts:New York Rangers v Florida Panthers

1) Alain Vigneault made an off-the-cuff remark about the old saying, “You never critique a victory.” Mike Keenan said that all the time … but they will then dissect it, because they must, because that’s what they do. And because coaches, good coaches, know that you can’t let things slip. The Rangers are 3-1 on this trip. They won two games that could have gone the other way, and lost one that they deserved to lose. And, not to be Negative Nancy, but the other thing good coaches will say is that a losing streak often starts with a couple of wins that, maybe, you shouldn’t have won. In other words, it starts to slip the wrong way and the wins or the goals mask it, and boom, before you know it you’re losing a few in a row. So Boston tomorrow will be an interesting watch.

2) Because this win in Sunrise was not good in so many ways. The Rangers, at 5-on-5, were not good in so many ways.

3) So the pattern is, the better team outshoots, out-possessions, out-plays the worse team, and the worse team wins? Happens a lot, no?

4) Trying to keep track, sorry … are we trading Henrik Lundqvist for draft picks or re-signing him for max money today? Lundqvist was really good early on when the Rangers had some ugly long shifts in their own end, and when they coughed up pucks in the neutral zone resulting in odd-man breaks, and throughout a hideous second period. He gave up a goal from the slot, high glove again, and he really needed to stop the short-side, bad-angle softie that made it 3-2. Anyway, he got back up on the horse, got a win, and he gets another shot in Boston.New York Rangers v Florida Panthers

5) The Michael Del Zotto decision. I won’t say he hasn’t been bad this season, because he has. I will say this. Justin Falk has given them a couple of nice games, but he is what he is. What I mean is, if the Rangers are trading Del Zotto — and I think this latest scratch means, yeah, they are — they’d better be getting a top-six defenseman back, preferably a right-handed D-man, or they’d better be getting one somewhere. I don’t think you want to go through the last two-thirds of the season with Falk in the top six.

6) Vigneault also mentioned that Benoit Pouliot is at a crossroads of his career. Very interesting. Wonder if Derek Dorsett plays tomorrow if Pouliot comes out and Taylor Pyatt stays in.

7) There was a lot of stick-checking around the net on that early, crazy-bad shift, with the shutdown pair and the fourth line on the ice.

8) That said, the fourth line — Brian Boyle, Pyatt and Dom Moore — ebbed the tide somewhat, then drew the penalty that led to the 1-0 goal, with some good forecheck. Because the Rangers were getting nothing before that.New York Rangers v Florida Panthers

9) Mats Zuccarello had an interesting game. Loved him annoying Krys Barch in front. And that power-play passing sequence, in which he set up Derick Brassard’s deflection, was very cool, though people would have been screaming Zuccarello should have shot if that doesn’t go in. Zuccarello then had the bad cough-up in the slot that allowed the Panthers to stay in the game when it should have been an easy close-out with a 3-0 lead in the third, but he atoned with the power-play goal that made it 4-2.

10) Another guy who had a game like that was Carl Hagelin, who caused the turnover, then drove to the net on the Rick Nash goal, and turned it over at center ice on the second Florida goal, then sped up ice for the empty-netter.

11) Another thing that happened on that first PPG, which featured the “second unit” — though I maintain that Zuccarello is their best power play passer — is that Brassard won the draw to start it. There’s no way to overstate how important that is. (though ya boys struggled in the circle again, going 24-37).New York Rangers v Florida Panthers

12) Overall, the Derek Stepan-Zuccarello-Chris Kreider line had some frightening shifts in their own end, and did some really good things on the power play.

13) Ryan McDonagh, other than that long first-period shift, was really good again, after what I thought was a bad game in Tampa.

14) It is remarkable how many of those seeing-eye shots Richards gets to go in, while so many other guys can’t buy a goal no matter what they do. But that’s hockey sense. Richards saw commotion in front of Tim Thomas and understood that any kind of shot on goal there would be a good shot. And it was. Nash’s goal was, obviously, a better shot — the kind of shot not many other Rangers, if any, possess.

15) Sure were a lot of nice seats down there at the Arena That Changes Names Every Five Minutes in South Florida. They can yak all they want about the young talent on the Panthers. They won’t make the playoffs until the next realignment, if they haven’t folded. Also, it happens in most of these hockey hotbeds, where the goal horn sounds when the puck hasn’t actually entered the net. That should be a penalty to the home team. Should never happen. Players might stop playing.

My Three Rangers Stars:New York Rangers v Florida Panthers
1. Derick Brassard.
2. Ryan McDonagh.
3. Mats Zuccarello.
Kenny Albert’s Three Rangers Stars:
1. Henrik Lundqvist.
2. Ryan McDonagh.
3. Mats Zuccarello.
Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:
1. Henrik Lundqvist.
2. Rick Nash.
3. Mats Zuccarello.

Photos by Getty Images.

Twitter: @rangersreport.


About Author


  1. Rob in Beantown on

    First! Happy Thanksgiving boneheads. I’m thankful that this is such an awesome group to watch games and talk j(g)ibberish with. Everybody be safe today.


  2. Happy Thanksgiving. I’m sure the Rangers are thinking that when they wake up this morning…nice write-up, Carp. We have that to be thankful for! BTW, I think Dom Moore had a nice game on the 4th line (they all did, as noted).

  3. Happy thanksgiving everyone.

    Good win, can’t imagine AV is a guy who follows the “its a win, fugghedabboudit” method of coaching.
    Also good to see that we’re not trying to score the perfect goal all the time but working hard and taking chances and being in the right place on the ice (ie. around the net!)

  4. Reading the rumour of a DZ / Jake Gardiner swap with the Leaves. Can’t imagine this is a fit as its a like for like swap. If we are going to trade DZ it needs to be for a righty D or for scoring help and promote McIlrath to play 3rd pair right side.

  5. Happy Turducken Day Boys!

    Family Football & Friends! Here’s wishing each and everyone of you the very best on this holiday!

    Now make sure to dry the wish bone you boneheads. That way you get a nice clean break – and may all your wishes come true!

  6. Good morning, boneheads!

    Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hannukah! Enjoy spending time with your friends and family.

    Great review, Carp. I hope you’re wrong on your assessment, but I, too, feel that the last few they have been getting away from what was becoming their new identity.

    Funny, during that awful second period Hank didn’t have to make too many spectacular saves because the Rangers, while they spent most of it in their zone, didn’t give up too much in front. And, yet, in the third, one bad giveaway and one miscalculated positional play- and it’s a close game all of a sudden.

    I like Chris Kreider’s game. He was shaky in his own zone, they all were, but he retrieved loose pucks twice each time on both PP goals. Scoring will come.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!!

    Thankful today for my many blessings and thankful to be part of Bonehead Nation.

    God Bless

    LGR !!!

  8. ilb,
    its funny how some people watch the game. there was a comment last night that Kreider was missing. I’m watching the game, and like you, I see Kreider winning the puck on the power play. making it possible for them to set up.

  9. Carp,
    on MDZ. he has been bad, and the team would be much better if he were the MDZ of 2 yrs ago. problem is, he was bad last year too. Falk adds something different to the D. they need a player like him back there, if not two.

  10. ‘Mornin’ Good game …bad game…good period ….bad period……good shift….bad shift….Guess we should all be thankful for this win.

    Happy thanksgiving all. Hope you enjoy all that you have and don’t eat too much!

  11. one more thought on MDZ.
    there is a long history of the Rangers giving up on Dmen to soon. to name a few, Mattias Norstrom, Sergei Zubov, Terry Carkner, Mark Tinordi, and Kjell Sameuleson. is MDZ going to be another? it is a really tough call. as Carp said, if they move him, they better get a legit top 6 Dman back. preferably young.

  12. Stranger Nation on

    on the PP goal, there were five hard tape to tape passes in that sequence featuring only Step who was on the team at the beginning of last season.

    Richards goal was not a strategic shot. Its what he does now in the offensive zone on 5v5. Was more impressed with breakout on Nash goal.

  13. Happy thanksgiving everyone, and especially Carp. Probably my only post today. Got a busy day ahead.
    Not a great game, but a good win. Miami what’s happening to The Kreider?

  14. Happy Thanksgiving ‘Heads! Thanks for taking the time, Carp.

    I am certainly thankful for this place!

  15. Re no. 4….re-sign Hank…Inconsistent so far but it’s early in season….still one of top goalies in league …and key to to any team success

  16. Good morning ‘heads. Happy Thanksgiving to Youse all.
    Nice write up as usual Carp.
    Imagine if our boys had the energy that the kitty cats had last night? That would be a nice combo eh?
    Stay safe all & enjoy the day!

  17. While I concur that moving MDZ leaves a hole on the backline, moving him for another top 6 D doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, unless it’s a move that involves swapping 2 struggling d-men (which of course, has merit and certainly wouldn’t be the first time such a deal occurs).

    However, from where I sit, the GM’s mandate should be to address the anemic offense plaguing the club.

    I think it’s reasonable to argue the organization’s strength is it’s backline so to me, you leverage that in an effort to bolster the front lines (basically, try to add a legitimate top 6 scoring forward).

    Of course, that’s far easier said than done.

    I am fully expecting a multiple player deal if/when something goes down that will indeed bring back a top 6 D-man and a top 6 forward. Obviously, it won’t come cheap, so don’t be surprised to see something like MDZ, Brassard/Hagelin and Miller/first go the other way.

  18. Agreed re the Rangers giving up on young D-men too soon, except that those, especially the Zubov deal,were trades looking for a short-term upgrade and the addition of some blue line muscle (acquiring Ulfie), with the knowledge that long-term they would come out on the short end.

    The tough part of the Zubov trade was that the team traded youth and finesse for age and muscle. Not really a smart idea at the time, or in hindsight.

  19. Jim – the only way we don’t get a #6 D-man in return is if they are willing to promote McIlrath to play right side with J.Moore.
    Focus has to be on scoring (even though we scored 5 last night). If Pacioretty is available he would be a great addition on LW but would probably require us to include someone like Hagelin as a piece in the deal.

    All-in-all i’d be surprised if there’s no movement in the next week based on the amount of rumours circling and the number of “experts” saying how many teams are talking to the Rangers.

  20. White Thanksgiving, up here in the North Country of upstate NY, and really frigid. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

  21. Matty"NashIsBack!!"Boy on

    Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hannukah!!

    Yes, I am thankful for this place. Thanks for providing it Carp and for being here, everyone!

  22. Matty"NashIsBack!!"Boy on

    Carpy, great, spot on review!! Better as the season goes!

    MDZ sure seems he is the odd man out. I would like to see him on his natural side, but realize that’s quite a project. He doesn’t have the size or speed to be a 1, 2, or 3, in retrospect, but just seems he has to be better than what he is. If he is traded, yes, gotta get some ‘balance’ on the blue line, as I have been preaching for quite a while. Right handed, point presence, crease clearing ‘d’. That implies some size. No, not Caber.

  23. Matty"NashIsBack!!"Boy on

    Agreed, Falk is not the answer long-term, BUT isn’t it interesting that THIS coach is saying what those of us who have been watching for a long time have been saying….that TYPE of player is desperately needed. The drafting here is just like Edmonton. Get whatever you can. Don’t worry if it fits into a team style. And, throw them on the ice!!

    The few games Falk has played, the balance is better. Actually, they could use 2 like him, style-wise, but better. Then we have a real ‘d’.

  24. Matty"NashIsBack!!"Boy on

    Hank made some good saves. He also let in that near end of game ‘clinker’. He had pretty good vision most of the game. I keep on wondering if he needs MORE play to get sharper?

    Boston is always a test. If they’re awake, they will be charging after a not so good loss. They love beating us, too. So Hank better be on his game.

    Let’s see how the $8M+ goalie plays. He has shut them down almost singlehandedly before.

  25. Rob in Beantown on

    I dont mind the drafting philosophy that says draft whoever is the best talent available regardless of current needs. By the time they are ready to play you don’t know what your needs will be. If you just draft talented prospects you can always trade them for other prospects or players that you do need. That’s just my opinion, though.

  26. Matty"NashIsBack!!"Boy on

    At what point does Nash free himself or Rocket Richards and play with real line mates? He is castrated by Richards.

    At what point does Cally get to play without Pullout?

    When will the failed experiment with Pullout be done already? He is useless and taking up wasted space like Rocket?

    What are they doing to JT Miller’s psyche?

  27. Matty"NashIsBack!!"Boy on

    That’s fine, Rob. At some point you need to assess what you have and balance it all out by trades or, hopefully better, other drafts. This ‘d’ has had some above average players on it for 3-4 years, but clearly lacking in all dimensions.

  28. Matty"NashIsBack!!"Boy on

    And, Staal is really worrying me with the trouble he is having when the puck is down below his head. To me, he struggles getting control. While you always hear Sam and Joe lauding his effort, he doesn’t seem to me to be where he was last year or the year before yet. Hope he gets back to it.

  29. Stranger Nation on

    Matty – werd bro. need to switch Nash away from Bucky.
    Kreider – Step – Cally
    MZA – Brass – Nash
    Hags – Richards – Dorsett
    Pylon – Moore – Boyle

  30. The sweetest little girl in the world just faced-timed and said “thanks for being the best Poppy ever” . Wow. Granddaughters rule! Nothing else compares.

    Happy Thanksgiving Boneheads! – You guys rule too!

  31. Back to Hockey: watched last night’s game on the DVR.

    I’m Thankful we have Stralsie playing for us!!!!!

  32. Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah everyone! Thankful for a lot of things today…family, friends, this blog, and the Rangers somehow at 2nd place in the Metropolitan when they’d be tied for last in the Central division. Good stuff.

  33. Veen-yo seems happy with what he’s seeing with Nash/Richards in terms of creating scoring chances so i’d expect them to stay together for the foreseeable future.

  34. #4) It’s hard to imagine any scenario where the Rangers trade Lundqvist while they’re still a playoff team. This will never be a ‘rebuilding’ team while Sather/Dolan run the show. The only way I see a trade happening is if Lundqvist’s agent tells the Rangers that the only contract he’ll sign is 10 years with a full no trade clause, which is unlikely. Lundqvist needs the Rangers in the mix as they are overwhelmingly the natural highest bidder.

    That said, there’s plenty to be said about whether such a contact is wise and if a team can be assembled around the highest paid goalie in a salary cap world that can legitimately compete for the cup. But we’ll probably have that discussion ad nauseum for the next year.

  35. Matty"NashIsBack!!"Boy on

    would love to see Nash and ‘The new Kreider’ play together. Both LW’s, so which one gets ‘DelZotto-ed’?

  36. Matty @ 10:29, word up. I was thinking the same about Cally and what a non factor he was 5 on 5 last night. I was feeling the same about hags the previous two games. The common denominator seems to be Pouliot, a third of the way in, enough is enough.

  37. I just wanted to take a second from rigging my Thanksgiving to wish Carp and all of you a very Happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Undo your top pant button and stuff your face. Enjoy all.

  38. Matty"NashIsBack!!"Boy on

    E3, my man, heading on over to my California-born and raised BF’s house where it’s all about fine wines for our traditional Turkey Toast before we split up for family dinners. Each year he surprises me with different, more exotic boutique bottles. Sometimes bigger stuff like Diamond or Caymus etc., Looking forward to this year’s selection. Anything really special will report back.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

  39. Evrockin' In The USA on

    At the game last night I screamed “how about a shot!” and Richards scored immediately after. Then I screamed it again in the 3rd and Nash score right after. I didn’t shout it again because I didn’t want to jinx it and 2 for 2 ain’t half bad. lol
    Carp, the Panthers aren’t moving anywhere for a long time. They’ve got an owner with deep pockets who, at least prior to buying the team, was the patriarch of a family of Ranger fans. They’re dedicated to staying and making it work with this team. Plus there are plans to make the ever-name-changing-but-currently BB&T Center into a casino complex. They’ll be there for a while.

  40. Great review, Carp. Very accurate description of how they played.

    Great first hockey experience in South Florida. Man, that place was so funny last night with “Chanukkah On Ice” theme. It was filled with NY’ers cheering on the Rangers. “Potvin sucks” and “Let’s GO Rangers” chants were heard all night. It’s actually a very nice arena and there were also plenty of Cats fans.

    The Cats cheerleaders are all hot.

    When the Cats scored those two quick goals, it got very loud in there. And, all Rangers fans in the building were disgusted and nervous about overtime. But, the Rangers put an end to the frustration with Zuccarello goal.

    Speaking of Zuccarello, that pass to Brassard on the PP goal was an absolute thing of beauty.

    As far as the future of the Cats in South Florida, I honestly think if the product on the ice was better more people would come out to see them. Fans won’t keep coming back if the team is a perennial loser.

  41. Whatever we do with MDZ, I hope we don’t trade him in a package for Dany Heatley. He’s finished.

  42. Evrockin' In The USA on

    NYR, the problem with the Panthers fans is that they’re a lot like most of the fans of the other teams in the area; If the team is good they go (see Miami Heat) and if the team is bad they don’t (see Dolphins, Marlins and Panthers). Most of the tickets are sold they’re just not going to the games. At least 30% of the season ticket holders aren’t coming to games and around 60% of the other tickets sold are to people who also aren’t attending the games.

  43. Evrockin' In The USA on

    Also a lot of those Ranger fans that were there last night actually live in the area. lmao

  44. Ode to Michael DZ

    ‘There’s talk on the street,
    It’s there to remind you
    That it doesn’t really matter
    What side you’re on.
    You’re walking away
    And they’re talking behind you
    They will never forget you
    ’til somebody else comes along.’

  45. I think French Poodle is more of a problem then DZ…the poodle doesn’t seem to have any fight or game smarts. I was one of the few to question his signing last year, simply because he always seemed to make a stupid error that gave us a victory against his team in past years. MDZ is only 23 and a work in progress…but rumor has it…

  46. Macy’s Day Parade sucks. Nothing but a multi-hour advertisement. Who has the roast beef sandwich concession?

  47. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    In about an hour, my compound will be full of people. Hope everyone is having a great day….

  48. Wife: “Can’t believe you are on that computer. The Mayor’s in the other room from and people from off and off-off-Broadway.”

    Husband: “People on RR say we need a right handed, gritty Defenseman.”

  49. I agree, wildplaces. MDZ’s talent is evident and is still young enough to be considered a work in progress…it’s all upstairs and between the ears with him.

    And, he was definitely one of the better d-men (top 4) on the team in 2011-12. 10 goals and was as physical as anyone on defense…

  50. Wicky©No one screens the goalie, no one gets to rebounds!!! on

    First of all, Happy Turkey Day to all and hope you enjoy a wonderful safe one with your families!!

    Next, was dorsett a healthy scratch or was it an injury?

    I also heard that haley was a healthy scratch in HTFD, that true? Could Haley and MDZ go to the sens for Neil?

    Just trying to catch up and TYIA!!

  51. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Kooz – ain’t that the truth….I just carry the iPad around while watching football….

  52. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Wish the rangers had a healthy Ryane Clowe circa 2008. Poor Clowe still out with a noodle bruise.

  53. I’m surprised people aren’t more concerned about Marc Staal’s play. To me, he hasn’t been close to the Marc Staal we know from seasons ago…

  54. Wicky©No one screens the goalie, no one gets to rebounds!!! on

    agree re clowe

    I’ve said it before, I would ship staal to the canes for either gleason or ruutu depending on other “moves”.

    salaries going both ways would be fairly close I think.

    or send staal to the sabres if meyers were avail…

  55. Wicky©No one screens the goalie, no one gets to rebounds!!! on

    I love musing about trades here and then pulling them off in NHL14

  56. NYR – I been questioning Staal’s level of play the last few days here but no one went for the bait.

    To many unforced turnovers, out of position in the d zone way too much for a veteran, gets caught in no mans land on the pinch too often. He was an All-Star once, but hasn’t played like one since his big bro kaboomed him.

    He’s lucky to be playing with Stralman, who bails his arse out often.

    Though, If you listen to Sam, you would think the guy was the perpetual Star of the Game. “Great play by Staal” after he turned it over 5 seconds earlier or failed to clear the zone.

  57. Maria the Maid: “I like Michael Del Zotto.”

    AV: “I do, sweetheart, but don’t try to coach.”

  58. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Papa – Salmon Joe don’t even watch the games anymore….they just talk among themselves while the play goes on…

  59. Two very nice guys, I think, but this is not their field. They should get all their extraneous yakking done over breakfast. ‘Wonderful, wonderful orange juice, Sam.’

  60. MDZ: “Could you see your way into loaning me One Large ’til next Friday?”

    MZA: “I’m a little short.”

  61. And then, SalmonJoe go to to Maloney and try to drag him, too, into inane stories instead of letting him talk hockey.

  62. “Duck, John, ho ho ho.”

    “Careful of those flying pucks, John.”

    “John Giannone is a master at ducking pucks, Sam.”

    “And it’s a Power Play goal!”

    “Who scored that, Sam?”

  63. I think many thought Staal was going to be a lock for Canada in Sochi 2+ years ago (before the Eric hit)…and he even had flashes of great play after before taking the puck to the eye…

    Not so much now…

  64. Nonthing’s happening to THE Kreider … he’s playing with no-talent clowns who can’t give him the puck , so he looks a lot off.

    But that’s the sole fault of the turkeys who play with him.

  65. “Fans won’t keep coming back if the team is a perennial loser.”

    Don’t be so sure, NYR. We all do..

  66. Wicky©No one screens the goalie, no one gets to rebounds!!! on

    sorry, I’m not religious and have no idea of all the religious hokidays so my apologies and…Happy Hanukkah to everyone who observes!!

  67. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Jerry doing standup – “one day it’s not a holiday, the next? It’s a holiday!!! What’s the deal with that?”

  68. Isn’t tonight the anniversary of that god awful loss to Atlanta back when heatley was the man?
    “thanksgiving day massacre”

  69. Kenneth at clinchers of '89Flames '94Rangers '96Avs on

    Don’t worry, bro. The Cowgirls will be lucky to reach the playoffs, let alone make it out of the first round.

  70. Torts goes berzerk on Hanson for lack of backchecking on one play while he watched Richards do the same a thousand times for two seasons and no comments.

  71. Richter > Neely = Rangers win


    Stralsie with the the natural hat trick, all goals unassisted.

    LGR !!!

Leave A Reply