Boxing Day … and then the rest of the season


Just want to throw this out there for discussion, because I’m a little curious.

Now, I know — or have been taught — that you guys can kinda go hot and cold about your team, game to game, period to period, shot to shot. And cold was the prevailing temperature during the disaster portion of the nine-game homestand.

But, to me (and probably not to all of you), the Rangers played pretty decent hockey in four of the last five games. Yeah, yeah, I get it that they had a hideous, sloppy, brain-frozen loss in the Islanders’ Stanley Cup final Game 7 in the middle of those five. And, yeah, I get it that two of their wins were in the Breakaway Contest After The Hockey Game Ends, as was one of their losses.

But they did go 3-1-1 in the last five, with consecutive wins to closeout the homestand. They did get back to NHL .500, which is two games under .500 in reality, but is indeed .500 if you count Bettman Bonus Points for losing. They are tied with the Philthy Flys for the third, and probably final, playoff spot in the Lesstropolitan Division, with the dregs of New Jersey, Columbus, Carolina and the Elite Fishsticks in the rear-view mirror.

And by the way, the “superior” Atlantic Division boasts a fifth-place Toronto team that we saw the other night, just three points up on the Rangers, who have a game in hand. So maybe that division isn’t guaranteed to house both wild cards in the East.

Even though the Rangers blew up a beaut of an opportunity to do damage on the homestand, the roughest part of the schedule is behind them — having played five of their six against the California powers, two of their three against the Big Bad Bruins. They have already survived, sort of, a nine-game trip and a five-game trip.

Now they play five more on the road, which will take them into 2014 and into the second half of the season. They might be getting Marc Staal back, and Ryan Callahan is only another two or three weeks away, probably.

So, I’m just wondering. Are they the left-for-dead team they were in your eyes a week ago? Or is the worst over? Have they turned a little bit of a corner? Are they going to have a decent run in them and make the playoffs?

I still think the latter. This team isn’t winning any silverware at the end, but I am also not expecting it to be in a position to sell assets at the trade deadline.

What do youse think?

Photo by Getty Images.



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  1. Good morning, boneheads!

    For the record, I don’t go hot and cold…And I agree with you, they’ve been playing much better, even though they still lost a couple. Very similar to when they started to play lousy hockey after Thanksgiving, but they were still winning. You knew they would hit a rough patch. Well, now I think it’s opposite. They might be ready to string a few wins together. In terms of what their record may look like come April? I’d say it depends whether Hank gets his game back.

    Get well soon, Grabby!

  2. depending on any additions they make, I think they have a playoff run in them. the team as is, is one round an out team. defense is where they need help. I think they need two stay at home types, and I would move MDZ, and Girardi for them. I also think they need a true LW for the 3rd or 4th line, and I would move either Boyle or Dom Moore for it.

  3. As Sir Walter Scott said, [write your own team name in here, he penned “women” ] are as variable as the shade of the quaking aspen be…ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

    I think the team is a big unknown this year heading into the playoffs. Any first year coach will have a tough time with a new team…I wish they had kept Tortorella, despite his personal flaws.

  4. I think this is what it is showing, a .500 team. They can play well and when Hank figures out his issue we should be better than a .500 team. Any moves that need to be made have to start with looking at our salary cap and FA’s for next year and who fits into AV’s style of play.

  5. Onecupin74yearsandcounting on

    “you are what your record says you are ” so goes the saying.
    They will struggle to make the playoffs in a weak division.
    So the SAFE bet is that they will make the playoffs and maybe win a round or even two ,
    so it’s another successful year for dolan and sather.. same old S…T

  6. Have to agree, they did look better in the last few games. Hoping that trend continues. Do they go with Cam tomorrow ? Is he a factor in their improvement? Don’t think they are a cup team but still think if they can play to their capabilities, they can squeak in.

    I think I said back in October , “the quest for the eighth seed begins tonight.” Seems like that’s the course we’re on.

    Feel better Grabster.

  7. Stranger Nation on

    when this team hustles and skates hard for 3 periods, they can be fun to watch. Very inconsistent in their ability to do so which is disturbing.
    Cally out left a big void because he is a great leader by example while the other forwards wearing the ‘letters’ are the oppositte.

    Ironic their three biggest disappointments are their 3 highest paid? of the three:
    Henk – system goalie? Really hope not, because this is no system for goalies who are not playing their A+ game
    Nash – hope Nashed potatoes is not totally baked from the head shots and can come back stronger
    Richards – came out bucking in first 15 – 20 games, but has slowed in last 10 – 15. Needs to be put out to pasture

  8. Paul in sunrise on

    Except for a period of time during the year they made it to the conference finals where they had multiple winning streaks the team is a .500 team. Nothing more. So for that to change some personnel has to change. Not enough elite talent if any. Unfortunately I think that means in playoffs or not there will be changes at the deadline.

  9. I’ve been hotter on this team than most of the folks here because I watch them play like they did the last few games and a few other games this season, and I KNOW they can play that way over the course of a season. The question is, WILL they? They need to generate effort every game. That’s up to the coach. And when they are on, they are really fun to watch. One stat I’d like to see is their record when they win the face off battle and when they lose. I REALLY think there’s a correlation between the two. I have noticed that when they lose more than they win, they tend to get beaten. Winning that faceoff sets so much up for this team.

  10. I think the players have no faith in themselves or the system…whatever this system is. Did Sather give AV the players he wants? No. But AV has to coach the players he HAS not the ones he wants. Coaching is easy with the Sedins, Louongo, Kessler, et al. These players lost their identity to Vancouver last summer and haven’t found a new one (unless misguided crappy team is an identity). In 82 games you will win a few. A few in a row even. But this group has lost cohesion, identity, and direction. It will be a while before it comes back.

  11. Zuppa di Pesce on

    I’m definitely a cock eyed optimist esp with the toughest part of schedule over, new coach more familiar with team, players more familiar with system, and the fact that they’re in a weak division. Here are some reasons why they may have a decent run in them… What do you all think is the likelihood of these things happening in the second half?

    Nash gets over doubts from noggin blow, realizes he may not make Olympics… Plays more motivated.
    King refocuses, battles through (what is his problem, anyway: smaller pads, new system, contract pressure (lack thereof, then a big one)?)… Plays like he’s always played before this season.
    Callahan plays a risky style but cannot possibly continue this injury run… Plays more.
    Zuke, the Kreider, even JT Miller prove they’re ready / deserve important roles… Continue to play.
    Stepan always takes a while to get his legs…plays better in second half.
    A trade of middling player/s that need change/s of scenery provides some spark/s.

  12. We’ll exit the play off in 2 round. That’s good in a transition year. There will be no major trades until summer, since we will not get a acceptable return for DZ. A lot of the *fa’s will walk this summer, making room for the young ones and some new. A boring season. A season in line with our last couple of seasons.
    BUT i love how we play when we play good under AV. The players will learn to live up to the responsibilty / freedom they are given by AV. Our stars will begin to deliver. Then we are a contender to the cup.

  13. Retire Brad Park's #2 on

    How about a little bit of both….they continue to disappoint yet still make the playoffs to be someone’s first round sacrificial lamb.

    When the team is being carried by Zuccarello, Kreider, and (yikes!) Pouliot, that’s not a recipe for long term success.

    Nash is Nash, the defense has been awful, and Hank needs a shrink.

    I hope for the best, but…..

  14. Lukewarm to cold…I’m sick of mediocre hockey year after year…and a moronic GM, who blows up the team for “shiny new toys”. I want to see the gritty team from a few years ago that gave every opponent a hard time…cause this team as currently constructed is as soft as the Stay Puffed Marshmellow man and gets destroyed in the first round.
    Making the playoffs means nothing…

  15. You can’t underestimate the terrible affect a goalie giving up soft goals does to a team and it’s confidence and motivation.

    Take the Columbus game, when your goalie gives up a softie within 20 seconds it is a killer.

    If Hank was playing like an average NHL goalie they are safely in a playoff spot now and nobody is focusing as much about Nash or whomever.

    I’m not saying that Hank can’t regain his game. I just think it is the underlying reason for their current record.

    Even with the good Hank they are mediocre at best and not competitive with Boston or Pittsburgh and certainly not with the best of the West.

  16. Hank is *not* a system goaltender. The guy was exceptional in one on one and two on one situations prior to this season. That is the thing that is most scary to me. He’s lost all *focus* and his positioning is much different than we have seen in the past. He has to be able to get it back. He *has to*

  17. Does anyone have a link to the *World Juniors* USA vs. Czech game today? I would like to watch it at work rather than catching the *replay* tonight. I figured it would be available on NHL Gamecenter since the NHL Network is carrying it but, of course, it’s not.

  18. I miss Torts. He was the greatest!

    Yes, Vancouver is having a good season under Torts…but so they were under AV too… talent makes all the difference.

    Now, put Torts on the Islanders and see how his greatness holds.

  19. This team is a del zaster. If they can move del zaster and Girardi for picks then do it. I think the flyers will finish 3rd. The caps are a good enough regular season team to finish 2nd. I still believe both wild cards come from Atlantic.

    Sell sell sell.

  20. I feel exactly how I did after break up day back in spring before the Torts firing or any of that. The organization made some bad personnel decisions and now have to run in place for a season or three until they can shuffle some things around to become a team that can compete for real. The positive side? guys like Kreider, Hagelin, even Mcilrath and Fast etc get time to develop more and become more important parts of the future. The negative? Well, guys like Lundqvist are a year older, guys like Stepan, Nash and Girardi are having tough years and guys like Callahan and Staal are becoming more and more injury prone and overall things like that have to make you wonder.
    As I said the other day I think there’s at least 5- 7 players that are on this years roster who are clearly not part of the future or the “process” as we’ve known it. With or without Torts at the helm this team is doing all it can do with the players contractually bound for right now.

    ps- Lundqvist is the last one I’m worried about. All great goalies have an off year at some point. It’s just more in the spot light because A- the contract extension and B- some of you are insanely paranoid/mellow dramatic.

  21. The Rangers aren’t dead on arrival yet but that homestead wasted is going to hurt. Losing consistently to backup goalies and fourth lines is always going to leave a bad taste in your mouth. I wouldn’t expect any miracles when Callahan and Staal come back either.

    This team is going to hinge on Lundqvist for the next seven years. If he’s playing like he is now, we can expect this level of success. Cam Talbot should keep his suitcase packed, he’s one of the only valuable assets and with the suicidal but necessary Lundqvist contract he’s gone.

  22. This team *always* loses to 4th lines. Every year in the playoffs a team with a *tougher* and *Grittier* 4th line knocks us out and sends us home.

  23. Stranger Nation on

    Zucc can be an effective offensive forward in the reg season – he will have to prove he can skate and and handle the puck with reduced space in the POs.
    Pleasant surprise, but is a defensive zone liability and we have too many of those. If he were the only one, it wouldn’t be so bad.
    good bang for the reg season buck

  24. Hey, if Zucc can be allowed to be an effective point player on the PP, as a puck distributor and not a shooter, he can be on my playoff roster any day of the playoffs.

  25. Manny RE: Zucc- I know he can succeed in the NHL, but I stand by my original view of him which is that if he’s a top 3 player or even top 6 player on this team then there’s something wrong in terms of depth. meaning other guys aren’t playing the way we need them to. On a solid contending team he’s a 3rd liner even as good as he’s been. We need the kind of talent up front that doesn’t make a guy like that as crucial as he’s been

  26. I agree that he can be a solid 3rd liner because of his shocking ability on the walls despite his *minimal* size.

    I think we can all agree that this team lacks top line talent, and bottom line talent really. Too many 3rd line players stuck in 4th line and top line roles.

  27. 5 forwards that do not classify as consistent top line or 4th liners: Richards, Pyatt, Moore, Pouliot, Brassard. All have their moments. none consistent enough. though I’ll give Moore a bit of a pass since he didn’t play last year and Richards IS better than he was last season. but then again it would be hard to be worse

  28. Theoretically they could make a run. Look at some of the teams that have managed to get to the finals in the post lockout era. The 06 Oilers, the 2010 Flyers, the 2012 Devils. Then again if you look at the other 13 teams that have made it to the finals the Rangers don’t stack up favorably by any means.

    As you’ve said in the past, the Rangers will do everything they can to try to get into the playoffs every year. Even if that runs in direct opposition to the idea of a long term plan.

    They’re somewhere in the middle of the playoff pack, what I used to call a “6 through 10 seed” under the previous playoff format. Good enough to just make it in, bad enough to just not make it. Not good enough to win it all without some serious help. Like 1993 Canadiens winning the Cup because the Isles took out the potential 3-peat Pens along with winning an absurd amount of OT games that year.

    The bigger questions will come up after this year given the amount of free agents they have on the immediate horizon.

  29. CT, not that I’m saying it’s impossible but all three of those teams you mentioned found guys to score some goals during those runs. Even with Brassard putting up points last season we just don’t ever seem to have offense going in the post season. The toughness factor I can see them stepping around unless they play a Boston type team. but you need scoring.

  30. If No. 30 doesn’t find his game again, they will finish just ahead of the Islanders.

    Other Big Ifs:
    -Will Nash shake free of the sandbags at his feet and start scoring?
    -Will Stepan start playing like a No. 1 NYR center? (which is the equivalent of a No. 3 center on other teams)
    -Will AV get pissed off once in a while or continue treading carefully so as not to disrupt the players’ beauty sleep schedule?
    -Will Del Zaster get traded for another team’s version of Del Zaster?

  31. Carp, good review and thoughts.
    I think they have turned the corner and are gaining confidence. However, I am NOT high on getting Staal back. I feel that he is not the same player, has limited vision and avoids contact that he did not avoid in the past. Del Zotto and Moore are coming along nicely and are both very effective in joining the rush which is pivotal in AV’s system.
    I am looking forward to seeing the Captain back on the ice and hope that he can avoid further injury.

    Nash has to start to use that big body. If he continues to dipsy doodle and dangle he is useless.

    Having said all this, the Rangers do need more toughness and grinding. This will be critical if they are to have any playoff success at all.


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

    _Btw, I have no doubt Hank will get his game back. So the question is not whether, but when._

    When he plays in the Olympics.

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

    Dominik Hasek > Martin Brodeur > everyone else > Hanka Hanka

  34. I’m a half empty guy, with this team. It comes down to talent and we are seriously short on it along with depth and grit. Bad combo. Staal and Cally are damaged, hopefully Cally this yr only. Staal ain’t coming back to where he was. Girardi is quickly sliding down the wrong side, move him while you can. McD is very very good. I know I’m crazy but I would keep MDZ, I believe still a up side and some grit. I like J.Moore keeper. Rest of the D ??? The bigger problem is the offense. Pull out, Boyle, Richards, Dom Moore, pyatt, Nash are all having a bad yr or more realistic …they are bad. Stepan I would think about moving. We all like the speed of Hags and Kreider and hustle of Zuc so that’s at least ok to watch, but are these three leading us into the playoffs? Brassard has talent and will be good for 2 weeks and then ghostly for 3. Love to package some of our past favs for Big Buff & Evander Kane. It solves some grit, scoring and back line toughness all at once. Maybe Step, Giardi n Dom Moore plus a pick? Or add from our garbage pile. Not a playoff team in my eyes as constructed.

  35. I like this positive food for thought Carp. You might be on to something. I think it’s all about Hank being Hank, and the defense sharpening up. If those two things happen (plus the addition of an asset), we could see a playoff berth. It’s all about getting hot at the right time!

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

    NHL fourth liners > AHL fourth liners > QMJHL fourth liners > WHL fourth liners > Charlie Conway > Brian Boyle

  37. The real question is what happens in the off season as including BR they only have 9 players under contract for next year. A world of work and juggling to be done by the GM for life.

  38. Stepan has been getting increasingly better year by year and this season he missed training camp and hasn’t been as productive and you’d keep him over Brassard? the modern day Alex Daigle? I think they should walk away from Brassard and buyout Richards in one swift motion and not look back.

  39. Cap Geeked, I look forward to the offseason because I think it gives them a chance to right the ship a bit with addition by subtraction. esp on D

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

    _Anyone watching Juniors?_

    BriBrows does not play until tomorrow night.

  41. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Rangers will finish third. Make the playoffs. Depending on the draw, could even win a series. Most interesting to me is the King vs Tam situation. Tam should be playing 4-5 in a row and Hank gets the mop up role so long as the season stays true to form.

    Whatever teams avoid major injuries certainly have the better chance to make a deep run. April and May are a long way away and much can happen in between.

    My prediction: rangers lose in 7 to the Bruins in the second round.

  42. When The Zook — all power to him — is your best forward, you are mediocre. When players such as Nash, Stepan, Kreider, maybe even Hagelin and Richards, step up to make him their sixth-best player, they’ll have something.

    The defense has not been terrible all the time, and they are young enough that they could get better. Four are highly rated by the rest of the league… oh, hell, who am I kidding, Staal’s not coming back, and they’re just not that good.

    It’s possible that they’ll have two excellent goalies at some point.

    They are mediocre, but other teams may end up being at least as mediocre.

  43. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Hank’s no trade doesn’t kick in till July 1,,,,,,

    Hank, Pyatt, miller, and Stall for Sharp, Seabrook, Shaw, and Bickel

  44. I think if Hank rights the ship, this team can surprise. I love Zuc’s game. He reminds me of hockey’s version of Pedroia. He’s really a little sparkplug. And he’s getting close to a point/game. We’re not even at the halfway mark and the toughest part of our schedule is behind us. Nobody has the faceoff stat?

    Here’s the problem with being in that 6-10 standings position. You’re just good enough to get in, and not bad enough to get a top three pick. Part of the problem when the Rangers were bad before the first lockout is that they were never BAD enough to take advantage of it. Pittsburgh, Washington, Chicago were ALL horrendous for a few years, and what happens? Pittsburgh gets Fleury, Malkin, Crosby, Washington gets Ovie, Chicago gets Toews and Kane. Makes a HUGE difference to have a homegrown superstar that can be taught your system from day one. The Rangers? A bunch of 10-15 spot 1st round picks, meaning they are less likely to be sure things (and obviously they aren’t).

  45. Even if this team gets in more then likely they play the caps either win or lose in 7 games. If they survive they get blown out by pens in 2nd round 4 or 5 games.

  46. When you compare our D-men to the rest of the league we are in the ballpark.

    When comparing forwards to the top teams not even close.

    Goaltending hard to say now.

  47. Good afternoon ‘heads. Hope everybody is having a nice holiday season.
    Watching world juniors at work thanks to Santa & his delivery of Slingbox. Of course they just showed the Matteau goal from 94…sigh!

  48. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    How are the playoffs seeded? In the least 1-8: top 3 in each then next best 2….how are they placed? Too lazy to look it up

  49. Eddie

    2 vs 3 in each div. Top team in each div plays two wild card teams with best rec playing lowest wild card team

  50. 1st 2 rounds in your div however if ranger were wild card team and played boston they would stay in that div and play 2vs 3 winner in Atlantic div.

  51. Skjei looks solid. Nice wheels. Good first pass out of the zone. Also looks a bit bigger than I thought.

  52. Manny if this team can buy into the system completely and play hard every night, this team could be a lot better than everyone thinks. Do we have enough top end talent? No, but is there enough guys on the team that could step up and play like top talent? Yes. To me, right now the only player who’s a top talent and playing like it is McD. Hank is top talent, but has to start playing like it. Nash could be as well, as can Step. The rest are good enough to be decent players. Not great but decent. Sometimes decent and a hot goalie is all you need.

  53. I expect to see a continuation of the same- wild inconsistency. That is what this season is and will be about. I’m getting tired of crawling out on the ledge, only to have to crawl back in. I’m a loyal fan, though. I’ll never jump.

  54. I say the chances of these no-talentos making the playoffs are the saem as POULET outscoring Nash in the second half of the season. So pretty good.

  55. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Happy Boxing Day everyone!

    Sheesh, you couldn’t have asked this question yesterday when I had nothing going on, now you ask on Boxing Day when I’m busy as hell?

    Wtb :)

  56. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    I’m not at work, it’s Boxing Day so I’m off, but it’s Boxing Day so I’m busy!!

  57. Found it. Thanks.

    Wicky I liked the Matteau kid until he pulled a MILLER and DE-committed from the Sioux.

    I tell ya, you get drafted in the 1’st round, and all of a sudden you think you can skip the NCAA route to the NHL.

  58. They should have this tournament in the Ralph again.

    EVERY game is was sold out. 12,000+

    All kinds of fans came down from Cananda to watch there team.

    It was the hardest ticket to find, for any game. Even the “friendly” games they had before the tournament.

    Now you watch, it’s like no one is in the building.


  59. I haven’t had time to even to peak at the game. I’ll have to watch tonight on DVR.

    Who looks good?

  60. 2014 World Juniors ?@2014IIHFWJC 1m
    Players of the game – USA vs CZE:

    USA: S. Matteau (NJD)
    CZE: D. Simon

  61. @chrismpeters USA Standouts from Game 1 for me: Matteau-Copp-Fasching line, Barber, Grzelcyk, Santini, Skjei, Gillies, Eichel, Hinostroza.

  62. ThisYearsModel on

    CARP–I think you make good points. Can they make the playoffs? Sure. They will unless they suck to epic proportions. However, I am too old to be satisfied with that. They have shown me nothing that says they could beat Pittsburgh, which they would need to do to get to the semis, nor are they close to Boston, who they would need to best to get to the finals. Then there are the CA teams, St. Louis, etc. Why are these teams where they are vs. where the Rangers are? Competent management. Something we have not had for at least 13 years. I am interested in having a contender for the cup. The Sather era is 13 years old and we have not come close, nor are we close now.

  63. I know, ThisYears. Believe me, I know. But there’s no magic bullet that’s going to make this team a contender any time soon.

  64. you trade for one big player to put yourself over the top. not to correct a team riddled with issues. Once upon a time I recall a fan saying “well, they just acquired Boris Mironov let’s see if this rights the ship a bit”…true story

  65. Looks like Pavel Buchnevich made the Russian team, and had 2 assits in their 1’st game blowout over NORWAY.

    Any other players to watch besides Skjei?

  66. @NYP_Brooksie Staal skated on own today, scheduled to travel with Rangers on trip that begins tomorrow in DC. Callahan also will travel with club.

  67. Step should be on the block not because he isn’t a ok player it’s because you can get something for him. And they NEED something. Giardi should be again you can something but for a different reason, he’s fading. Hank on the block only if you want to blow the whole thing up. Some people think it’s the only way to someday contend. Nash if there are western takers.

  68. Manny, Crosby would come here for every young player and draft pick the Rangers have, get hit in the head and be an 18-goal scorer for the next six years.

    James, I remember that. I also remember asking Slats at some point shortly thereafter if he wanted to make a trade just to shake things up. And he huffed, “I just made a trade.”

  69. Carp – there are too many Pyatt’s & Pullouts on this team to move up the ranks.

    Until Nash, Richards, & Stepen, can score consistently they are going to remain at .500, but not a whole lot better.

    It would have been nice to see Kristo for a couple of games, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

  70. 38 games played, almost half way through the season, and over half the roster hasn’t scored 10 points.

    Pullout leads the bunch with 11 pts in 36 games.
    And there are good players on this list.
    Del Zotto
    Moore & Moore

    And you can’t call the Grinders, because this team doesn’t grind very well.

  71. Carp – do you think Talbot should get more starts?

    His numbers are far better than Lundqvist.

  72. And if he doesn’t I hope he gave the Rangers a list of teams he would waive that NMC and accept a trade to…

  73. Talbot should have had a shut out the last outing.

    When your *that* hot, shouldn’t you get the *next* game out?

    The Kings are riding Jones for 8 straight wins.

    Why shouldn’t the Rangers???

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

    Ok, a break from the Boxing Day festivities…

    I know I am in the minority here, but I don’t see scoring as a major problem, to me it’s physical intimidation and overall size/toughness, it has to be playable toughness.

    We score goals in games we are not being pysically intimidated in (against non-big teams) and don’t score as many against bigger teams. Now whether that is due to a lot of the better teams are physically intimidating and bigger (should tell us something right there) or our main “scoring guys” are easily intimidated by the bigger teams and our 8.5 mil per year starting goalie doesn’t play as well against bigger teams and defencively we are not as strong against them (again, should tell us something).

    I do think this team is a 6-8 playoff team in the east, but the way the roster is currently set up, a first round exit more than likely.

    I play talbot until he can’t hold his arms up any more. This team wins with him for whatever reason (at least more than they do with hank), and the name of the game is winning, sorry hank but I sit you until talbot proves to me he loses more than 2 games in a row.

    I agree with many here, I trade OPG and the mad bomber ASAP. You do have to get D back in one of those deals (or trade staal if healthy to carolina for gleason). But this team needs top six playable toughness in a major way, so you may need to give up a miller (like the way he has played since the most recent call up) or a stepan or a brassard (I don’t think they will both be here next year) to get that.

    Bottom six needs help too as some have already stated! Needs to get bigger, tougher, and less redundant.

    I’m not sure if I trade hank before his no movement kicks in, but I sure as hell look at it. I’m in no way shape or form saying turn the team over to talbot, but going with talbot and “proven” 1B starter may not be such a bad thing especially if you address a couple of the above mentioned issues in the deal…right??

    As far as hot and cold fandom…I will always be a rangers fan and always root for this team (and this blog). Hell, the prior to the deadline 03-04 rangers team was one of my favorites to watch, so winning obviously isn’t an indicator for my level of support for the rangers. If they are playing badly or very inconsistently I don’t start rooting for the blackhawks (no offence to olga and his fam) or the Bruins because they are the good team of bandwagoness at the moment. I’m a rangers fan through and through!

  75. Nice Book WickY!


    Forever a fan of the Rangers!!!

    But don’t forget about the *Fighting Sioux* :)

  76. Anyone watching the 24/7 this year on HBO.

    Nothing like watching both teams on a losing streak.

    There’s more F bombs in last nights episode than all of last years Rangers/Flyers.

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

    Tolstoy said he was busy, so I had to step it up!

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

    I’m watching it, haven’t watched the 2nd episode though, on DVR

  79. I didn’t know that his NMC kicked in next season, I assumed that started immediately. If that’s the case I look into moving that contract ASAP. Also, Girardi and whatever can go. This team needs a serious reboot and if they are going to play this style all *D-Men* must either be *fast* or know how to *hit*

    Wicky is of course *correct* that this team needs top 6 playable toughness in the *worst way*

  80. When Cally (bless him) is your biggest hitter, you know you have an ill-designed playoff roster.

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

    how about some “HIT DAMNED ANYTHING” practice

  82. Is Cam going to start tomorrow ?

    Can we afford Hank to ” figure it out” on our dime?

    Tough one, love to make it three in a row. Who gives us the better shot?

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

    see dub
    that is just it IMHO, we can’t afford to let hank figure it out, Talbot just wins so to me it’s a no brainer he starts and continues to start!

  84. If MTL would do that deal, Hank for Budaj and Pacioretty I would do it. That’s a legit, young power forward signed for a long time at a reasonable number and a goalie with serious potential.

  85. Poor Cally – He plays his heart out, is oft injured, leads by example, but will his ‘intangibles’ translate into the big bucks he will seek? He’ll want $5+ mil and long term. Richie should be gone, but Hank, Nash, McD and Cally add up to large numbers when you have to sign others, including Kreider and Steps soon to large bucks.

  86. Ironically, teams may want Cam more than Henrik if Talbot continues on a path to excellence. Lundqvist is BIG bucks and long term.

  87. I think Hank’s track record makes him a #1 starter on any team. Even with his recent struggles he’s still arguably the best in the world. It’s just that he’s struggling.

    My questions about trading him or keeping him are more related to his salary and the length of it and the Rangers needs in so many other areas.

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

    Seems to me that just like secretariat, this off season prior to free agency is decision time with hank (theoretically) as well. If you don’t move them by this free agency period, you are stuck with them!

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

    Watch slats trade hank at the draft for the first overall pick

  90. i see the Wolfpack signed
    Klassen to a PTO
    don’t know if that means
    not very good things in regards
    to McIlrath or not.
    hope it means that Klassen has improved.

  91. Positive about the core players and younger players still cutting their teeth in this league, yes. Positive about Cam Talbot, yes. Puzzled by Hank’s struggles, yes.

    Negative as regards the front office bumping along re the dregs list of Pyatt, D. Moore, Pulliot (whose recent resurgence came too late, for my money), and Stralman. These roster-fillers are not going to be part of this team, next year, and should not be taking playing time away from the J.T. Miller’s of the world, this year.

    Then you have the Richards-Nash-Girardi-Staal-MDZ special head cases, no pun intended in the case of Mark. These players, too, are of little or no value to this team going forward, and being stuck with some of them for the long haul is one heavy albatross. Cally could be added to this list, but given his leadership and his sacrificial, team-first attitude he deserves every positive consideration, even with his physical set-backs.

    Sather is a gutless “just make the playoffs” level G.M., every year, rather than a one-step backwards this year, 3-5 steps forward next year type G.M. Really tired of his bland act. He is so burned out and such a “knee-jerk” Hartford Shuttle tormentor of kid players he has become a caricature of himself. Major forward progress for this organization and team begins with Sather’s being replaced by a truly capable and vigorous man.

  92. Manny, I don’t get, under any cirumstances, how trading away your best player helps you.

    Now, if you’re getting Tavares or Crosby back, that’s a different story.

  93. I fully expect Pouliot to resume being Pouliot and being the odd guy out if everybody else is healthy when Callahan comes back.

  94. Carp, the problem is this team can make the playoffs, but can’t do damage in them. They are far from a Cup Contender and further away than they have been in a few years. They have some speed, but need more skill and they clearly need size. Overall I think they will play better over the coming weeks, but it will be interesting to see what they do at the deadline. Boyle and Del Zotto are 2 players that don’t seem to be in their future plans. Richards too. But they really don’t have any future stars on the way. Is that old adage that sometimes you have to hit the bottom and get the top picks to have a shot to make it back to the top.

  95. Still an *outside* chance to see the all American line of Kirsto – Stepan – Kreider line.

    Until then I’m NOT going to get too excited. Kristo is the only player we haven’t seen that could give this team a spark.

    Unless you count Talbot. He has been a breath of fresh air this season.

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

    I’m ok with that deal. Quite honestly I’d like to see a bit more come back, but I would probably do it.

    On a bit of a different note, I know players waive NMCs a lot, so it might not be unheard of if Hank did that in the future (especially if the rangers are just terrible), but I think his list of destinations he would go to would be very limited…Montreal, Toronto, LA maybe…???

  97. CTR, I know. I know. … but they won’t have a firesale at the deadline if they’re in it, and they will be in it, at least mathematically. They’re looking to trade Del Zotto now, but want something good in return.

    Richards is untradeable.

  98. That’s definitely fair, Carp. I think some of us are probably panicking a little bit here. I really think the team needs a serious reboot and trading Hank might get you the most return. Who knows….

  99. It’s probably not a solution but Hank is signed for a *LONG* time at a lot of money. Even at his best, that’s a scary contract. Not as horrifying as Richards but horrifying nonetheless.

    I guess it’s a question of whether you want to pay a goalie that much for that long or not.

  100. It seems like a good solution for winning is a 60/40 split of your goaltending capabilities and if you could have Budaj and Talbot and rise the hot goaltender you might be better off (given this new insane system they want to play).

  101. I would trade lundqvist. I think Talbot is a better goalie as of right now. Talbot is 26, can handle the puck, hasn’t shown any weaknesses. Hasn’t given up any softies that I can remember. Plus you can get a good package for lundqvist now that he is signed long term. Plus you get rid of that ridiculous contract. I would also trade Nash. If the rangers had the right GM in place they could turn this team around and become contenders trading lundqvist and Nash plus girardi and Callahan. Unfortunately the GM is incompetent.

  102. Call me crazy carp but I think Talbot is good. I like the way he handles the puck, has a calm presence about him and haven’t seen any weak spots. I don’t need to see a lot of games to see the kid is good. The rangers should be spending there cap on goal scorers, not goaltending. I never wanted Nash so if they can trade Nash for some good young talent and a 1st I would do it in a heart beat, same goes with lundqvist. The rangers will go very far with those 2 players.

  103. Carp maybe it’s *Sather’s Kiss of Death* contract?

    Right after he signs a player to BIG Contract ….. they seem to go down the path of Redden,Drury,Gomez path.

    You almost have to put Richards on that path don’t you?

    Hard to imagine Hank’s career has peeked, but maybe his best Years are “Torts” years. Too soon to tell, but not too soon to wonder.

  104. I also would trade Callahan and Girardi and get prospects and/or picks. The problem with all this is Sather is the GM so I realize that nothing will change with this organization and it will still be the same song and dance routine. The New York Mediocre rangers. I can’t get excited anymore watching this team squeak into the playoffs knowing they will get knocked out in the first or second round.

  105. Manny I say ride the hot glove! If Talbots winning keep him in there. If Hank is Hot, let him keep winning.

    If you lose a game, next game to the rested goalie.


  106. Funny, I wonder if sather will actually be thinking to keep Richards and buy out Nash, primarily because of the concussions nash has gotten in the past year. I put nothing pass Darth Sather.

  107. Trading Hank again? I’d like to see this place when he starts playing like he can, and become their best player again. Because he will. And if Talbot *proves* that he is that good, they’ll have 2 real assets to trade. At the moment trading Hank wouldn’t be that smart anyway because he isn’t playing great, your return is low. Also, it’s time to stop referring to cap issues. There is very little to worry about in that regard.

  108. The team does not give up a lot of shots or scoring chances most nights when Talbot’s in net. I would have to see him rob the Pens or another high scoring team of a win (More than once) before I would think of trading Hank. Then again goalies like Howard, Crawford Niemi have been good for their teams. Is it a stretch to say that Talbot might be as good as any of those fellows?

    The idea of trading Hank is exciting wondering what the Rangers might get in return. But it’s mostly terrifying to think about.

  109. How do you NOT buy Richards contract out?

    I’m not sure Wilber’s teeth will last as long as his contract.

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

    Teams will trade away their best player, and be better in the long run, in an attempt to rebuild. The Sharks traded for Joe Thornton during his age 27 season. The Bruins went on to win the Stanley Cup 5 years later.

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

    _At the moment trading Hank wouldn’t be that smart anyway because he isn’t playing great, your return is low._

    A team would look at the body of Hanka Hanka’s career, age, health status, cap hit and likelihood to continue career success if it were interested in trading for Hanka Hanka. It would not be placing much value on a 30 game sample.

    _Also, it’s time to stop referring to cap issues. There is very little to worry about in that regard_

    You are a capologist for the Rangers, yes?

  112. Thornton was traded in 2006. It took Boston 5 years to win the Cup, and not a single player they got in return for Thornton was on the Cup winning team.

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

    _not a single player they got in return for Thornton was on the Cup winning team._

    That is not the point. The franchise-altering trade started a chain reaction that eventually led to the construction of a deep, balanced, skilled and *tough* team that annually contends, winning in 2011 and coming within 2 wins in 2013.

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

    *Teams will trade away their best player, and be better in the long run, in an attempt to rebuild*

  115. _That is not the point. The franchise-altering trade started a chain reaction…_

    Carp asked me nicely not to mock trolls when they’re talking out of their hat… :-)

  116. They aren’t trading Lundqvist, and they aren’t rebuilding, no matter what some anti-Lundqvist fan who roots against the Rangers thinks.

  117. I mean, he’s going to have to go on a downward spiral for a lot more than 20-something games before they even consider it … unless Tavares or Crosby is coming back.

    and his contract, in terms of dollars, really isn’t that bad.

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

    The franchise-altering trade started a chain reaction of transactions that led to the organization becoming annual contenders. Is that difficult for you to comprehend?

    They are not trading Hanka Hanka. They are not rebuilding. They would rather be mediocre pretenders than build capable contenders.

  119. Rob in Beantown on

    Sather just went out of his way to sign Lundqvist to a seven year deal. What would make anybody think that now two weeks later he wants to trade him?

  120. Rob in Beantown on

    I think Lundqvist will be fine. Hopefully he will be fine soon before the season gets out of hand.

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

    Mediocre pretenders that qualify for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, getting the owner a few more gates.

    Management would not have signed Hanka Hanka to that reasonable extension if it had any doubts about his future performance or thoughts about trading him. The idea of trading Hanka Hanka was posed by another Rangers fan.

  122. Even Sather isn’t dumb enough to think differently about an elite player because of a little slump … just as Sather isn’t dumb enough to think a kid with 10 NHL games is going to replace an elite player at that position.

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

    _replace an elite player at that position_

    The only reason to do so would be as part of a rebuilding effort.

  124. Carp, would it count as rebuilding if they bought out Richards allowed Brassard Pyatt Moore Asham Powe Pouliot, Del Zotto Stralman to walk and found a steady top 2 dman to play with McD on the regular?

  125. Evening all,

    The LQ trade talk is nuts, man.

    Former Isles GM Bill Torrey – one of the all-time greats, had it right.

    You build from the goal, out.

    Look at the “Dynasty” teams of the past – Montreal Canadiens of the 70’s with Ken Dryden. Isles of the 80’s with Billy Smith. Oilers of the 80’s with Fuhr (Moog, too).

    Hey – even Fatso hoisted the Silverware 3 times. Painful as it was to watch.

    Ya gotta have the go-to guy between the pipes to be a long-standing contender. The King is more than capable of winning a Cup or two. He has more than enough skill and competitiveness to get it done. Now if only The Cigar Chomper can fill in the rest of the blanks, you’d all be off the ledge.

    Oh and by the way, nice to see no trolls around here for a change.

  126. ThisYearsModel on

    If Sather made a MDZ/Pick for Camallieri deal he would get fried from coast to coast. He is not that stupid. It would be like trading Gabby for Brassard, Moore and Dorsett. Oh….wait……

  127. I think the Rangers have the personnel to make the playoffs and maybe win a round but that’s it.

    This team has no depth. We have no identity. If the vision of the franchise is to be a offensive powerhouse then there needs to be a rebuild. If the vision of the franchise is to be a perennial middle of the pack team that will get eliminated before the second round then they have succeeded.

    The biggest problem right now is that the coaching staff is amateur hour, at best. AV is clearly in over his head. What the hell is Scott Arniel doing behind the bench here? Auditioning for the head coaching job in -Long Island- Brooklyn?

  128. MDZ for Cammalleri makes no sense.

    Trade a D get one back (with equal or greater value if they’re lucky enough), especially in the Rangers case with Staal such a question mark and Girardi having a subpar season.

  129. It sucks because I was so high on this team when both Torts and Gaborik were here. Those two did more for this franchise than anybody on the team not named Lundqvist. I still want to like this team and be optimistic but it’s not easy.

  130. When I think of people who did something valuable for this franchise in a long long time, I think of this one guy named Jaromir Jagr before I think of Torts, let alone Gaborik.

  131. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Sometimes an established player, a good productive player, like a Wally Pipp, gets hurt or whatever, and is replaced by young inexperienced player with a name like like Lou Gerhig. After 10 games people say, “he seems ok, this new kid *but it’s only been 10 games*” then, *almost three thousand games later* those same people say – “well well he turned out to be pretty good after all”

    Now is The Tam equal to the iron horse? Who knows? But I think he’s pretty effing good so far and I’m willing to roll the dice….the king would fetch a potential ransom in return – I say trade him now…

  132. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Tam looks more calm, steady, and confident in goal right now. Moreover he moves the puck better in his first ten games than Hank has in 8 years….by orders of magnitude…

  133. You’re funny, Carp ;)

    Get back to me when there’s “Gaborik” rule….know what I’m sayin’? ;)

  134. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Every other year Gabby scores 40……but that streak long since ended. Now, we should debate whether or not gabby can even play 40 games every other season….

  135. By that, you mean a rule where one team has him and the other 29 say “no thanks.”

    I think they already have that rule, though it’s unwritten.

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

    I don’t think hanks contract is horrible especially with the cap going up…I just think it is a bit too much for *ANY* goalie on a team with several other significant holes on its roster.

    That being said, an important thing to remember is *IF* those pieces to fill said holes are available in free agency to pay (overpay) to get and use non goalie money for. I’m not sure they will be, so that is where the trading of said goalie to get a couple of those assets might be the way to go.

    Hank isn’t a bad goalie, I think he is tradeable, and at the draft may be the best time if at all.

  137. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I think there are a few rangers that every other team in the league would say “no thanks” too and one of them wears an “A”.

  138. Rob in Beantown on

    This is academic but can Hank even be traded, since he signed a contract with the New York Rangers that *starts next year*. How does that work?

  139. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Rob – Nash would interest several/many
    teams – but the other two you mentioned probably not…

  140. @Herman_NYRBlog: Wolfpack win 3-1. First win in like forever. Goals & assist each for Allen and Lindberg. First goal in #NYR organization for Fast.

  141. Don’t mean to stirrup controversy or tell tails out of school, but the mane thing is that the last time Native Dancer picked up a check was when he took him Mom out for Mother’s Day, 2002.

  142. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Spectacular Bid never won the triple crown, but at least he ran hard… Our thoroughbred trots even when getting the whip…


  143. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    To be clear, it’s an insult to secretariat and slew when we compare #19 to either of them….those stallions had more heart than our Brad has shown over the last 2 seasons…

  144. Just because 29 teams said “no thanks”, that does not diminish how valuable Avery was for this franchise.

    Avery > Gaborik

  145. cooscoos
    Richie’s Geico commercial – 15 goals against in 15 seconds.

    December 26th, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Oh, Bravo. Bravo indeed.

  146. Avery’s “value” to the franchise was diminished when they waived him. Then diminished further when they sent him home rather than allow him to remain around their youngsters throughout the Calder Cup Finals.

  147. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    He makes more money than he should

    Linesmen can out skate him

    His shot would never scare William tell

    Stay thirsty my friends

  148. Sabres – ‘The Slugs’ – More about their logo looking more like a slug than a Buffalo. Though their sluggishness varies from year to year, ‘The Slug’ will always be with us.

  149. This is my Mom Darryl and my Pop Darryl, and that’s Uncle Darryl over there taking off the pudgy guy’s shorts.’

  150. Even in their wins, it was rare to see glimpses of perfection…or at least a glimpse of a winning attitude. This lineup from top to bottom is a wreck. Forget Cally’s injury, where has he been all season. I don’t care who they have up for Nash, but again, where is that 30 goal scorer? Lundqvist…anyone? Lundqvist…anyone…anyone…anyone? He has been one of the worst backstops in the league. Broduer, 40 years old had more gumption and finesse. Stepan, the holdout, want worth the fight in hindsight. Once again proving (happened with Dubinsky) that big NY money is the root of all evils. MDZ? What’s to say here. He comes back up from the minors and has a couple decent seasons, not perfect, but hopeful, to play weekend warrior hockey? Dan G…wtf man? Went from one of the best stay at home D men to this out of position, puck giving up, lost defensemen. Kreider…I’m still not sold on this kid yet. I see this kid skating down the sideboard with the puck, he takes the easy to see wrister. How many times have we seen this? I get it, take the shot and see what happens…ell take a better shot than how I shoot the puck.

    Zucc, signed for one year, has been the most consistent and best player on this team.

    I liked AV’s style at first but it’s draining on me now. I always liked Tort’s and at this point am missing him immensely.

    I don’t even see a wild card in their future. I hope they prove me wrong.

    Oh, don’t forget, the huge 2 week interruption coming in 2 months. Yeah, that won’t screw with this teams psyche. I hate the Olympics. And I especially hate pro’s taking time off to play in those games.

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