Rangers-Capitals in review



1) I know you guys don’t want to hear the glass-half-full stuff, so I’ll just blurt it out and get it over with. I didn’t think the Rangers were outplayed at all, especially at 5-on-5, in this game. I thought they defended pretty well and a lot of guys had decent games, some better than decent. There. I said it.NHL: Rangers v Capitals

2) Now, these games become more disconcerting as they pile up because so very many times it is the Rangers’ best players who don’t give them nearly enough, sometimes nothing at all, and sometimes they’re downright detrimental. You know who I’m talking about. Rick Nash. Brad Richards. Derek Stepan. Derick Brassard. On this night, Dan Girardi was not on that list, nor was Henrik Lundqvist. But, really, their second-tier guys are doing fine for the most part. They’re just not skilled enough to make a difference very often.

3) So, let’s start with Nash. Again. What a dreadful shift he had early on. Nash, who was circling the perimeter during a decent forecheck by his linemates, did a poor job of covering for Girardi, who had pinched, dived for a puck that he had very little chance of keeping in instead of skating back to defend the ensuing, inevitable rush, then took the careless, needless penalty against the best power play in the league. Other than that it wasn’t so bad. And probably not his worst of the season. Of course, the Capitals scored on that power play. Nash was in the box for that goal, and on the ice for the other two by the Caps.NHL: Rangers v Capitals

4) And to repeat what I’ve been saying, if he’s struggling because of the concussions, that’s frightening. If the concussion is not an issue, that’s worse. He’s playing the way he did in the playoffs last year. Ugh.

5) I thought, and have thought most of the season, that Richards was pretty good on the power play. I think he’s made a big difference between last year’s ineptitude and this year’s relative success. I still don’t like him at the point and prefer him on the half wall, but he’s been good on the 5-on-4. At even strength, that’s just another story altogether.

6) And so, I understand Alain Vigneault going with his most experienced, most proven scorers in the late stages of a game needing a goal, and in overtime. But when those guys are out there and nothing good is happening, then Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider (who has struggled since getting clobbered by Tom Wilson early on the homestand) are not out there. Same as the OT the other night.

7) The Rangers sure took enough dumb penalties against the threat of the league’s best PP. Carl Hagelin took a lazy offensive-zone hook. Then there was the too many men snafu. Then J.T. Miller took one behind the net in the offensive zone. Maybe they were actually lucky to be in the game.NHL: Rangers v Capitals

8) The Rangers finally got a call on a goal/no goal replay situation. A Festivus Miracle.

9) Cam Talbot. I had no problem with the decision to play him. Henrik Lundqvist sure can use some practices with Benoit Allaire, and the team was just off for three days. And I thought Talbot gave them a chance most of the night. But he wants the second one, by Nick Backstrom, back. It was a bit of a breakdown after Ryan McDonagh lost a bouncing  puck. But the Rangers need that save after dominating the period. Then he really had to stop the game-winner by Eric Fehr.

10) The Anton Stralman injury. Yeah, most of you guys think he’s pretty replaceable. Problem is, in this organization, he isn’t. Because with Marc Staal out, Stralman is their third best defenseman. So when he goes out, not only do they have to play with five D, but No. 4, 5 and 6 (in this case Michael Del Zotto — who has stabilized lately, struggling John Moore and Justin Falk) have to play more minutes. McDonagh and Girardi are already over-taxed in a matching game with Alex Ovechkin. And now the organization’s eighth or ninth defenseman, Conor Allen, is coming up to probably play Sunday, with Dylan McIlrath injured again. So, yeah, they’ll miss Stralman if he’s out

11) McDonagh was a McMonster again against Ovechkin, who is also a monster, but who has gone nine games including playoffs without a goal against the Rangers. McDonagh had the bad hop on the 2-1 goal late in the second period. Had the assist with the lob-wedge pass on the Carl Hagelin shorty after a big hit by Girardi, who stayed on his skates and was much better.New York Rangers v Washington Capitals

12) Hagelin’s really played well again lately. He has been the constant in the two little decent streaks the Rangers have had this season. Well, he and Talbot. He scored the shorty — and the Rangers’ only other SHG this season was the 180-foot fluke McDonagh scored on Quick in L.A. the first week of the season. But, he took that penalty and, after Girardi hit the pipe during the late 4-on-4, Hagelin was doing his one-man forechecking job, playing with Brad Richards. He threw the puck in front to nobody, trapping himself and Richards below the icing line. Still, that’s a 2-on-2 break. John Moore didn’t play it great, nor did he mess up as badly as it was made out on TV. Talbot has to stop that shot.

13) Some of these soft Rangers forwards should feel ashamed when they see Zuccarello compete like that. Though as he has become the Rangers’ best forward, maybe they can’t afford him to be in the penalty box, even if it creates a 4-on-4.

14) Benoit Pouliot. He’s playing very well. But can anybody really expect it to continue, based on Pouliot’s career?

15) The Caps have more skill, are bigger and more physical. They have better offensive defensemen. Why are they not better than the Rangers? They really are not.

*************************************NHL: Rangers v Capitals
My Three Rangers Stars:
1. Ryan McDonagh.
2. Carl Hagelin.
3. Benoit Pouliot.
Your poll vote for Three Rangers Stars:
1. tie, Benoit Pouliot and Carl Hagelin.
3. tie, Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller.

Photos by Getty Images.

Twitter: @rangersreport.


About Author


  1. Sorry, but this team has turned me off to hockey again…as you point out in your always super writeup, Carp, their top players are not playing like top players. Perhaps its the bright lights or distractions of NYC, or the money in the bank, I can’t figure it out. Back to my cave for the winter hibernation…this will not sell blackberries, I mean hockey tickets. My prediction: the NHL will be giving away tickets to the Yankee Stadium games, so why buy them now?;>()

  2. Stranger Nation on

    Just read Richards’ quote on third goal and now feel like this guy not only sucks, but is a sackless cancer of a leader. Blames the game loss on Talbot and 3 rd goal. Was it a stoppable shot? Yes, but when you are a capt and paid to put the puck in the net and your team cant score 5v5, just shut the front door and take some accountability.

  3. I hate to do this every time Carp,
    but what are you seeing to say Kreider struggled (all over the place on the forecheck) and MDZ has stabilized (can’t get a shot off blindly throwing the puck to nobody, knocked off the puck all night)? the Backstrom goal was caused by MDZ. yes the puck went over McD stick, but right before that MDZ had the puck with no pressure and just aimlessly gave it away. he was just brutal last night brutal!

  4. IMO, describing The Kreider’s as “struggling” is like saying Nash has played Good. .

    Struggling? more like he’s playing on a line with 2 lazy stiffs.

    On his line, he is more times than not first in on the forecheck AND the first back on the backcheck. He plays physical and doesnt pass on opportunities to hit an opponent (unlike linemates Stepan and Nash). When he doesn’t have the puck he is either going to open ice for a pass, challenging the opposition or going to the front of the net.

    Try The Kreider on a line with Miller and Zuccarello.

  5. RangerSwedigian on

    I actually thought this was a pretty good game by our boys. If, as Carp pointed out, we could get something from Nash (like a hit at least) and a little bit less coasting from that expensive hors, then we probably would’ve won this one.

    Did anyone see that Richie actually hustled back that onetime at the end and it looked like he was kind of fast? Think he overtook McD…? It was probably an optical illusion, but if that’s what he can do – I would be on his behind every time I see him glide – and that’s a lot.

    Still, get 1-2 guys that can hit, upfront, 1-2 not Snow angels on D and this team can probably make a decent playoff run (if Hanka stops tanka)

  6. BTW, Nash really does suck.

    Please get him off this team……….I have seen enough of his on-the-perimeter spin-o-ramas-to-nowhere to last a life time.

    If, as the crack NBC announcers and studio crew have been saying, he is still in the conversation for the Canadian Olympic Team, there must be a cup-contending GM who would be willing to trade for him..

  7. Stranger Nation on

    Struggling John Moore had 7 shots on goal and stabilized MEZ had 1 shot on goal. I guess El Zotto was really playing like crapola.

  8. Carp – Great write up again, thanks. You make some good observations about the penalties the Rangers take; lazy penalties at that. Nash, Miller, Hags were all lazy, undisciplined, hooking or tripping calls.

    Player won’t miss a shift though after a lazy penalty. Heck Nash was right back out there.

    I disagree with your last point. The Caps are a better team, night in and night out, than the Rangers. They can essentially score at will, and were ahead all night, while the Rangers have to pour 40 shots on net just to try and keep up.

    Caps might not be better than Pittsburgh or Boston, but they are in the top three, whereas the Rangers are not. The Caps have a solid foundation of players who have been in their organization or on the roster for years; the team has chemistry and know one another.

    Don’t get me wrong. I thought the Rangers outplayed the Caps last night. But outplaying the other team only counts when you score more goals.

    I do think the Rangers could be a better team with the right trades. I think they need some muscle and size.

  9. I want to make myself clear when it comes to my Stralman hatred. Yes, I agree that he’s one of the better Dmen on this team and yes it makes me sick.
    It’s the same concept as Zuccarello being a top 6 forward here. It means there’s a lack of depth. A few years back we seemingly had some blueline depth in the system. It’s either all flopped or departed now. Stralman one of the best Dmen on this team? How many teams can he play on where that would be the case? To me that says problem. It also says that it’s time to clear house a bit free up some money and bring up/bring in some better players. And by better I really mean more physical/capable of defending. do you want to resign Stralman for 1.5 mill? or find another “middle of the pack” guy for around the same price who will also have his flaws but can at least do more than stand there and observe when the other team is scoring a goal or crashing the net?

  10. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Bickles pickle – I wanted the rangers to get a scorer. But I never wanted to trade Dubi. If it had been Artie and Erixon for Nash, there would be little complaining…..

  11. Retire Brad Park's #2 on

    The glass is half full — of doody.

    Why do we have a knack for turning every shiny new acquisition into the second coming of Dean Talafous?

  12. And before anyone responds- no it isn’t all about being physical. that’s only part of it. Obviously there’s some serious work to be done with the “top 6 forwards” on this team. And I’m sticking to that opinion whether they win the next 10 or go 5-5 or 4-5-1 etc. It’s one thing if 1 or maybe even 2 of your “top 6” lay an egg here and there. But we’re at the point where 4 out of 6 most nights are struggling and or injured. It’s a problem and it needs to be addressed. You can’t give Brassard another contract AND have Nash through 2018 AND have Callahan here and getting injured every 13 games or so, AND have Richards doing what he’s doing for 6.6 million after this year. It’s insane. And it’s why you have to worry about things like Pouliot being inconsistent or Zucc not being big enough. Those guys aren’t the guys that need to get as much done as often.

  13. oh and with all that said I agree that last night’s game was there for the taking. Bewildering to me that with all the top end offensive talent Washington has and has had that we’re so evenly matched. No thanks to our “top guys”

  14. Your observations, Carp, are always so revealing and spot on. Love this because in the Journal News, I don’t think you can list 15 observations in your articles. I will disagree on THE Kreider assessment; whereas, he may have been laid out during the homestand (don’t remember that) it doesn’t look like to me that he’s afraid of contact or like Nash, avoiding contact. He is using his speed and physicality nightly. Didn’t get many shots on goal but played a spirited game I thought. Nash, well, that’s another story. Sad really because when the NYR got him, I was overjoyed!! I miss Dubi’s “sticking-up-for-teammates” attitude but Dubi was maddening to watch. He never developed into what you thought he would, esp. after holding out for more money. But now, Nash has become a perimeter player, was knocked off the puck all night last night and didn’t bring any physical play to his McNasty game like last year. I feel you are right in that the concussion is in his head, figuratively, and he’s afraid to engage physically. And that is just a disaster for this player because if he plays like this for the next 40 games, he should be on the third line

  15. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    As constructed, this team will win games and lose games at an even pace. They’ll beat good teams on occasion and lose to bad teams as often. Pretty safe bet that Callahan, assuming he’d even be healthy come spring, won’t be hoisting the cup….

  16. even if you clean house a bit you have Stepan, Kreider, Miller, Nash, Callahan and Zuccarello up front and Mcdonagh, Staal, Faulk, Girardi on the back end next year. If you can’t take that group and add a couple kids and a couple ufas and drastically improve things then there’s a big problem.

  17. Bickels: There were a lot people (me included) who wanted no part of Nash before and after that deal. They need to see if TML will take him off their hands prior to the deadline so they can be rid of his and Richie’s contracts at the end of the year

  18. I think we need a new drinking game for watching the Ranger games ….

    So that you don’t get tooooo drunk, everyone picks 3-5 players. Each time that player makes a soft play — take a drink.

    If that player actually throws a real bodycheck – you get to tell one of the other people to drink.

    I think that softness alone will get everyone hammered by the 3rd period.

    ugh .. did you see Hagline shy away from that hit that led to a penalty?

  19. Everyone seems to be blaming Talbot for the loss but I cant see how. Stepan scored the first goal for Caps, then Backstrom converted on a turnover and Fehr made a great shot. Every goalie will say he would like to have that one back on every goal against him. Too bad our top guys cant shoot like Fehr….

  20. Completely agree on the Nash assessment, although I truly believe that some lucky/flukey goal at some point will turn things around for the guy. Very, very frustrating. In regards to DelZotto, not sure why this guy gets a nightly pass on these game reviews. Absolutely pitiful.

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

    _Everyone seems to be blaming Talbot for the loss but I cant see how._

    They are blaming Talbot because his name is not Hanka Hanka. If this were a Hanka Hanka loss, they would manufacture every excuse in the book for each goal.

  22. Where is the law that’s says if things don’t pan out, you aren’t permitted to complain. When they give me the money, authority and responsibility to acquire or remove players from the roster, I’ll expect to be Monday morning QB’d on every move I make. it comes with the territory. As fans who invest time and money in the team, it’s our right to do so.

    Sissyman came billed as the missing superstar first line player who was going to put this team over the top.

    I watched Nash play maybe 10 games before he became a Ranger (mostly from the Olympics). i thought we were getting that Nash, the Olympic Nash. I had no idea we were getting another loafer in the mold of Richards. I’m supposed to be ok with that?

    And I don’t want to hear about his concussion. If he isn’t healthy, *DON’T LET HIM PLAY.*

  23. Major changes need to be done. I wouldn’t resign Callahan and Girardi. Major changes need to be done. Unfortunately Sather is still GM so I have no faith this franchise will turn it around. Dark ages are back.

  24. This is a solid .500 team (well, of course we’re not counting those losses in the far right column). Big thanks to our friend up in Toronto..Rob Ford…with a first star of the game night by actually getting the call correct…I am sure he celebrated accordingly….which is the same way he celebrates incorrect calls…with a credit card…a rolled looney…and so on!

  25. I’m not sure how you can say The Kreider is struggling.

    However, I do agree with you in that this was a glass-half-full loss. I thought the Rangers (except for the #Goalbuster and a few of the top guys) played really well. The Caps are NOT that good, and we dominated them this game! Unfortunately, we just can’t put the puck in the net, and maybe that’s reflective of our top guys not performing. For the first time in a few weeks, I’m not mad about this loss. Disappointed of course, but not mad. We played well, and maybe we can get a couple of wins in the Sunshine State.

  26. Traveled to DC for the game. Rangers best period was by far the 2nd and they blew it with the late goal. Nash and Step were atrocious. Why did Nash ever get promoted to the first line with Step and Krieder? Better yet, why did Zuc get demoted? Thought that line really clicked for a while. Also, this verizon center crowd was surprisingly very quiet – almost reminded me of the garden for a sunday night 7pm game. They did give Boyle and Nash a hard time calling them all kinds of names related to female body parts – knowing those guys and the way they play, I had no ammunition to fire back with and just had to shake my head :(

  27. From NY Post today:

    “Chris Kreider, who had a forceful opening two periods, got 2 shifts over the final 10:56”

    AV, that’s ridiculous.

  28. I don’t get it either, Papa. People can say what they want about Torts, but one of the things I liked about him was that he held EVERY player accountable no matter what their salary was. The fact that Nash and Step are playing top line minutes while Zuuc and Kreider are glued to the bench is ridiculous.

    Don’t forget, AV also let a goalie controversy fester in Vancouver. I have a feeling something similar might happen here as well.

  29. My point with Kreider isn’t in his try. Do you understand that he got nailed to the bench in the third period again? I know it’s not all his fault. He’s still a young and very raw player trying to find his way at this level. And I’m telling you, people in the organization think he’s been tentative since Wilson clobbered him high and hard.

    Personally, I think he’s been a lot better than several players who never ever get benched.

    Not even going to attempt to try to sway people’s opinions of Del Zotto, nor do I think he deserves praise.

  30. Is it just coincidence or does AV play games with his goalies? THE Kreider doesn’t see OT time or 3rd period time because he’s tentative?

  31. Yergs, after Nash’s double boner (bad pass followed by the trip), Caps score on ensuing PP. I’m pretty sure Nash left the penalty box and was on for the cener ice face-off following the goal.

    Meanwhile, game before, Kreider gets benched against the Leafs during the 4 on 4 OT period for inadvertently flipping the puck over the glass in a clearing attempt.

    I don’t get it.

  32. If Richie has a definitive value, it is on the PP wall, period. Other than that, he sets a bad example for everyone else, especially when he’s wearing an “A.”

    #19’s semi- reverential treatment by the coaching staff and the Press (Carp excluded) makes others (especially Nash) think that soft play is acceptable so long as you are a scoring ‘threat.’ They compound the problem by giving Nash an ‘A,’ further confusing the issue.

    Giving the ‘A’s’ to the deserving (say Zucc, Dorsett, or McD) will not happen because it’s an admission by management that their ‘leaderhip’ evaluation has been, and is, skewered.

  33. But why do they think he’s playing tentative, Carp? I don’t see it. Maybe I’m missing something.

    Accountability is a big issue here, me thinks.

  34. Cross Check Charlie on

    ” And to repeat what I’ve been saying, if he’s struggling because of the concussions, that’s frightening. If the concussion is not an issue, that’s worse.”

    I think the last concussion made him scared of contact. If he had the puck anywhere inside the offensive zone he would go to the net with it. Now, he just takes a long wrist shot that has no chance of going in. He even would try that move where he backs into the defenseman and tries a spin move to get a shot on. When was the last time he tried to do that? He’s playing scared and if it keeps up, he’s worthless.

    Of course, we don’t know what goes on in the locker room and at practice, but if we can see that he’s playing scared, shouldn’t the coaches see it and do something about it?

  35. Carp,

    Kreider might be young and raw, but arguably he has the most presence on the ice of any Ranger forward.

    Kreider’s lack of utilization/ ice time in the 3rd period and OT is being attributed by some in the organization to his being tentative? Those people need to get there eyes examined.

    If they are going to label players as tentative, they should start the list with Nash and Richards and work from there.

  36. Anticipating loud disagreement, I understand that Dorsett is just a ten-minute guy, but if you want to send a message to the myriad softies,…

  37. Me neither P Bear. Maybe AV thinks the only way to get these guys going is to have them play through whatever funk they’re going through. If that’s the case, that’s unfair for guys like Zuuc, Kreider, Hags, and hell, even Miller (who I thought played decent last night).

    And going along with what couscous just said, Nash might only be out there because he’s simply a “scoring threat” and D-men have to treat him as such. However, if Nash doesn’t actually start scoring, that benefit of the doubt will go away.

  38. Maybe they need a coach who barks at them, holds them accountable, forces them to play a team game, a game that emphasizes battle level and compete level.

    Oh, wait … that guy would be too tough for them.

  39. @7BOOMERESIASON: Meta-world peace says he’s an alien believe him and JR Smith is his spawn. #KnickKnuts

  40. Some people thought the previous coach was being a jerk when he held Gaborik accountable. When Gaborik was non-competitive in games and he didn’t play thereafter.

    This coach? Doesn’t seem to matter who competes.

  41. Is there a player in the league who has played a mistake free game?

    McDonuts, great Defensman that he is, allows both a bouncing puck and player past him at the blue line and next thing, puck is in the net. Mistake leads to goal.

    Kreider appears to get branded by his ‘mistakes’ while other players not so much.

  42. AV makes some goofy moves for sure. How Zuccarello is not on the ice during 4 on 4’s is baffling. Same with Kreider. Still, I am happy with the progress Kreider has made this season. Would like to see that extra edge to his game we saw for awhile earlier in the year. Otherwise, it is clear that AV will continue to trot Nash, Richards, Brassard, et al out there regardless of their results. I would love to see the Rangers trade Nash to Toronto for James van Riemsdyk. Local Middletown kid, grew up at the Garden, again, won’t happen.

  43. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Torts didn’t exactly hold every player accountable either. Richards sucked waaaaaaay more last year and it wasnt until the Bruins series that he finally got benched…..AV is no Saint in this regard no doubt.

  44. Rob in Beantown on

    PPG for Canada ties Czech Republic 1-1 in the 1st period. Is this game even live? I have no idea.

  45. I have not, and *will not* purchase a Jersey! Ever. I buy most of my NYR stuff from fan sites or just wear Violent Gentlemen stuff with my old NYR hats. That was actually a way to stop supporting the NHL but it applies to Dolan and Sather as well.

  46. Coos, agree with Dorset.

    He has gone to war with some big heavyweights in defense of teammates and clearly, it has not resonated with the coach or management.

    Maybe it hasn’t resonated with the ‘superstars’ either.

  47. Never happen, but I have now decided I want Torts back. AV seems like a quality gentleman, but one who seems to think he’s pretty much off the hook because he inherited an oddly put-together team. That’s a self-defeating approach.

  48. Vigneault wants a team that plays the complete opposite of the style of hockey that I prefer. He treats players the opposite of how I think they should be treated. He speaks _French_

  49. Torts went waaay too far with Richards, but finally saw the light. I think Sather wants him played 20 minutes (still) just in the hope beyond hope that he can somehow justify his erroneous judgement.

  50. Still can’t get over how Torts had the nerve (and good judgement) to challenge Gabby, yet never questioned Richie until the very end. Think it’s a combination of Sather’s kibitzing plus the Florida Richie Cup bromance.

  51. It is clear to me that Sather wants Richards on the PP point. There is no way two NHL coaches can keep him there for this long.

  52. I think Vigneault just thinks these guys are who they used to be … and you find that a lot with Canadian writers, broadcasters, coaches. Richards is still the TBL Richards. Nash is still the 35-goal scorer.

    Kinda like Brian Burke thinking Chris Drury was still Chris Drury when he picked him for the US Olympic team.

  53. Sather always thinks guys are who they used to be … hence the acquisitions of Lindros, Bure, Malahkov, Redden, Gomez, Drury, Brashear, Boogaard, Richards, Nash, and on and on and on.

    The only one who proved to be exactly what he should have been was Gaborik — a guy who was inconsistent, soft and brittle, but who produced in two of his four seasons.

  54. Which reminds me, how about Anson Carter talking about Pouliot’s sweet hands, and how you don’t become an early first-round pick without some mad skills … completely ignoring what the guy has been during his five different stops in five years. (or is it six in six?).

  55. Like the Mets playing Jason Bay, the Larchmont Lancelot, until far beyond his usefulness in trying to justify his enormous direct deposits. I will say that Bay tried, hustled, etc., but it was over way before they admitted it.

  56. Hate floaters, but if anyone, Gabby was probably the one guy that I would let float. And he floated a LOT less than Richie. He would actually fight you for the puck.

  57. You can accept softness if a guy produces. I wonder if Gaborik would have been exactly what Richards is if he had played for Vigneault instead of Torts.

  58. Carp, hopefully among that group of Canadiens, they’ll be a couple or three coaches and GM’s who still view Nash as a 35 Goal man come the trade deadline. A 35 goal man who can fill a need and get their teams closer to the Cup.

    Though, Sather probably doesn’t have the onions to trade Nash of its there’s for him to do.

  59. Anson Carter, along with Dugie, is a major disappointment. Maybe he’s nervous and will improve, but I doubt it. Where’s Maloney, the quality of the bunch?

  60. Rob in Beantown on

    New York Rangers @nyrangers
    #NYR Injury Update: Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello out with the flu today…Anton Stralman listed as day to day with undisclosed injury

  61. Gabby scored a lot of his goals in and around the crease area, he would go to the danger areas unlike Richards who scores from the high slot or from crazy/impossible angles or Nash who, well that’s not happening right now anyway.

  62. Paul in sunrise on

    I would trade Nash but you have to get couture hertl and little joe pavelski and maybe demers. I don’t know. But San Jose is the only place Nash would agree to go I think.

  63. AV plays like he wants his D men to be mike green, PK slew foot or Torrey krug. Under torts, besides mactruck and staal, they are all stay at home D men, not playing behind the net or along the half boards. The personnel doesn’t fit his system.

    Telling sign :in the final minute or so, Rick Nash went down in front of caps ‘all star’ goalie covered his head w both hands when there was a pileup. He’s playing preventative hockey, scared hockey, no contact hockey, try tennis if you don’t want concussions.

  64. CARP–Right you are. I love watching Zucc. Pretty large heart in such a small guy. Didn’t Neil Smith say that he was directed to bring in stars instead of rebuilding? Nash needs to play on one of these huge, physical teams in the west where nobody will care that he actively flees from contact.

  65. Paul, when the fans start booing him consistently, he’ll agree to go to any Cup contender.

    Ranger fans don’t seem to boo players like the used to.

  66. Twice upon a time in the valley of the tears
    The auctioneer is bidding for a box of fading years
    And the elephants are dancing on the graves of squealing mice.
    *Anyone for tennis*, wouldn’t that be nice?

  67. So…if Dubinsky and Comeau are fighting at CBJ practice can we get them to trade Dubinsky back to us?

  68. Paul in sunrise on

    Tampa may like the cap hit with the floor going up and remaining dollars much less than AAV

    Meanwhile pens have their whole ahl team in the bigs and keep winning. Rangers have stars Nash and Richards sting like they belong in the ahl

  69. Pretty great papa bear, sometimes people and other cars get in the way but nothing a little American muscle can’t solve. Now they just flee the streets when they see me.

  70. re: flu shots … the way it was told to me is that the players all get flu shots, but that those shots don’t cover the hundreds of different strains to which these guys are exposed with all the travel and all.

    Paul, I agree. I’d keep both Callahan and Girardi, unless they are part of a trade that brings back something better … you don’t get rid of guys like that for good riddance or draft picks.

  71. Those are two quality guys, IMO. Despite some errors, neither could ever be called soft or disinterested.

  72. Paul in sunrise on

    I am totally arm chair coaching today. But easy to second guess the goalie selection. Believe that hank should have played last night based on history. If he lost you come back to talbot in Tampa. But you have to play hank after a week off. Talbot is no hank. He is nice and will be a nice back up. But that’s what he is. Hank still has to be the best player on this team for I to succeed as currently constructed. Especially with Nash sucking.

  73. Agree. Nothing to do with Cam’s two softies, but by all rights, Henrik should have played last night.

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

    _you don’t get rid of guys like that_

    Guys like Girardi. A D that will be 30 years of age, had one great season, is already declining, and will be seeking a huge payday?

  75. Paul in sunrise on

    I want j Moore to be a better player. Maybe he will develop. I think if he can improve maybe staal gets moved. I heard he has a brother in the nhl that he can play with.

  76. Plutnar is rocking these World Juniors. Second game he scored a goal in. Czech Republic *leading* Team Canada.

  77. *Buzz: Who The Rangers Want From Ottawa For A Michael Del Zotto Trade*

    December 28th, 2013 1:15 pm

    Michael Del ZottoThe Rangers are believed to be “demanding” Marc Methot from the Ottawa Senators in any potential deal for Michael Del Zotto. (Ottawa Sun)

    The Rangers won’t get Methot but may be able to get Patrick Wiercicoch. Weircioch has been a scratch lately but has “upside potential. (Ottawa Sun)

    The Leafs, Sharks and Avs are interested in Del Zotto but the Rangers may have to change their asking price. (Ottawa Sun)

    A league executive says that Del Zotto’s value has gone down and that he isn’t worth what he was earlier in the year. (Ottawa Sun)

  78. Paul in sunrise on

    Girardi gets a raise but will likely opt for term and not huge dollars. My guess it’s more reasonable extension than you think and will be less $ more term than mcd

  79. AV, though he says he puts the best players on the ice to win, has some strange ‘message’ priorities when those priorities fall on Lundqvist.

  80. Problem with the clown coach AV is he needs to understand this isn’t the damn Canucks. Stop having your players work through things on this team. His lack of fire is just repulsive. Why Kreider isn’t seeing shifts in tie game late in 3rd is atrocious.

    As far last night the loss is in talbot period. Need to make last two saves and throw in the fact that Nash is a complete useless piece of crap.

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

    _you don’t get rid of guys like that for good riddance or draft picks._

    I read the whole sentence, bub. If the Rangers can attain a 2nd and 3rd round pick for Girardi, they should sell him in a New York minute. (:

  82. We all get on hank but talbot was awful on the game winner.

    When rest of the div is getting pts last night we blow it late. Sickening

  83. There’s a slim-to-none chance that a second or third-round pick will ever turn into a player as good as Girardi, especially picked by this GM, and even if he did, it would take 2-4 years.

  84. Paul in sunrise on

    All this MDZ talk at some point you have to take what you can and move on. The trade talks are likely playing with his head and confidence. The one thing I always said about del zotto was his skating and I still feel that way. Why j Moore seems better is the more fluid skating. No clue who weircoch is and if he is worth taking a flyer. But would exact with increasing interest out west. That’s where MDZ ends up.

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

    _When rest of the div is getting pts last night we blow it late. Sickening_

    Why is it sickening? They have been and will continue to be mediocre pretenders unless the front office philosophy is altered.

  86. But I think Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, LA, Anaheim, St. Louis and San Jose (and obviouly Vancouver) would want him and he’d play, at worst, second pair.

  87. Saw a travelogue recently about Banff, with moose wandering the downtown streets. Reminiscent of Northern Exposure.

  88. leetchhalloffame on

    Boyle is someone who could be moved out West (LeBrun)

    Boyle is a UFA at the end of the season and is a player that Glen Sather said in August that he gets calls about but isn’t anxious to move.

    His cap hit if $1.7 million.

    Boyle has one goal, 7 assists and is averaging 13:39 per game for the Rangers. He averaged 2:08 per game on the PK.

    According to this Boyle (& his 1 goal) is apparently such a great asset? FIRE SATHER.

  89. Still get a laugh out of Kristo apocryphally saying to Miller on the Banff golf course: “Who’s the old guy with the cigar and the funny hat?”

  90. Enjoy seeing all the talent in Olympics hockey, but still think this should be an amateur venue, despite the rest of the world cheating.

  91. Paul in sunrise on

    I would want those two bangers in LA. Nolan and king. Think those guys would be great in the lesstropolitan division. Type of guys the flyers or pens end up getting somehow.

  92. I remember when everybody was praising Neil Smith for the Bernie Nichols trade, Craig told me off the record that it was a brutal trade for the Rangers. Boy was he right, even if Smith got away with it when he flipped Nichols in the Messier deal.

  93. MotZ mishandles at least three or four passes a game.

    Watching Boyle get rocked by Ovechkin was really sad. Why can’t he do that to an opponent now and then?

  94. I saw Ovi alone in the circle a LOT, with the Dman between him and the net doing little but blocking Cam’s view.

  95. Too many players on this team, instead of working to freeze the puck along the boards and see to it that it eventually ends up out of harms way, blindly fling the thing wherever to avoid the scrum, or try to force the puck to a close- by mate who is covered and totally handcuffed. Boyle, and (yes) Pyatt will never do this.

  96. Here you go *Rob*

    @USAbesthockey: Number of seconds the US didn’t lead the Czechs by at least two goals: 122. Number of seconds Canada didn’t lead the Czechs at all: 3,900

  97. Paul in sunrise on

    Let’s review
    Fire sather
    Hire Patrick
    Trade everyone

    Just another day in ranger report fandom

  98. leetchhalloffame on

    JD should have been the GM here for the last 10 years. Built a nice team in St. Louis, no?

  99. When I saw a glassy-eyed JD slide down a bar stool in Rye, I never imagined he would have such a bright future in management. :) Guess it’s called sowing the oats.

  100. Belaboring the point, here, but how the hell does such a prolific goal scorer, three months into the season, still not have one even-strength primary assist? I mean, Ovie must have 700+ minutes logged at even-strength, by now this season.

    And what do Ovie’s linemates think of this, although, I suppose they notch enough points assisting on HIS even-strength goals not to complain about it, as bizarre and unprecedented as it must be, although what statistics service monitors this “invisible” dubious distinction?

  101. Paul in sunrise on

    Allen plays solid in Tampa. MDZ gets traded within 30 minutes game goes final.

  102. Çraig Patrick can make the trades, no? We’ll let him be GM for a short, uncritical period. If he doesn’t produce, we’ll throw him the hell out, too. :)

  103. Paul in sunrise on

    Sauer is not better than Girardi. He was a nice story. He would be a welcome addition to this team as maybe a #4 or #6 d-man but not better than girardi.

  104. Thought they might bring up Kristo. Even if it’s just for a game or two to give the kid some perspective. They could use offense. Is it really that much of a gamble to take Pouliot out for a game or two?

  105. DelZ is probably #3 here right now. Unlikely he’ll be traded except for, at very least, adequate D recompense.

  106. Paul in sunrise on

    Sure we should make the guy with a 6 game point streak be a healthy scratch. There are other candidates my friend.

  107. Also, the d is scary. I really thought they had one of the best d in the nhl but with Staal’s career in question, MDZ and Moore not taking a step forward, Moore seems to be regressing, and Girardi off his game this d is scary. With Stralman out the Rangers are in serious trouble defensively. McIlrath isn’t ready and we’ll find out soon about Allen, but I’m assuming he is not NHL ready either but who knows?

  108. At least Vinny Prospal, in 2013-2014, is still what he used to be, right Slats? Can we just bring him back for Miller and Kreider and win The Cup, now?

  109. Carp nice pun on the new coach. Have been wondering your feelings on him as compared to Torts along with that of the rest of the beat writers. I know you guys aren’t Rangers fans but it can’t possibly seem better to have lost the Torts attitude for this guy’s on ice product.

    And Coos- make no mistake if Torts was coaching this year guys like Nash and Stepan would be nailed to the bench and you WOULD see a guy like Dorsett playing on a line with Zucc and Miller/Kreider if those were the best players.

    But oh I forgot Torts didn’t hold Richards accountable despite holding the rest of the team accountable so it was good that he was fired and now there’s a coach who doesn’t hold ANYONE accountable. Makes sense..

    BTW- Are you from Larchmont, Coos? I worked there and frequented the cellar for many years. Curious if we’ve run into each other before..

  110. Look at the free agent pool in this upcoming year and you’ll see that most of the guys who “used to be” are either way too expensive or way too old to be considered. Would I take a Doug Murray over a Stralman? yes I would. Would I take a guy like Dan Cleary instead of Dom Moore? maybe. But would I buy out Richards to bring in a Heatley? no way in hell.

  111. Here are some names of some Dmen. Fedor Tyutin. Mike Sauer, Derek Morris, Marc Staal, There’s 4 guys that would be a solid upgrade over most of the D if they weren’t A) traded, B) injured or C) not resigned over the last 5 years. Some of it’s bad luck some of it’s the GM. Either way the blue line cannot just be Ryan Mcdonagh Dan Girardi and medicore back fill for the foreseeable future.

  112. Rangers West –

    How many kids making their NHL debut are actually “ready?” Probably not many. The real question has more to do with does the kid have the tools, i.e. the physical ability and the basic aptitude to grow into his role and handle his responsibility, over time?

    This G.M., for some preposterous reason, holds kids to a standard of needing to come up here and immediately demonstrate nearly career-peak polish and production, when even the best players in the game go through the learning curve, at first.

    I don’t expect much from Allen, either, adjusting to this chaotic on and off-ice environment, as he must. I just look for him to get dispatched, back to obscurity, soon as the journeyman D who never had an upside to his career, can again skate 10 feet in a straight line at half-speed.

  113. Per @Aportzline, Dubinsky fought Comeau at practice. Practice fights happen every now + then.

    In Ranger-related news, AV managed to win his fight and chewed through a hardened piece of Hubba Bubba at practice today…

  114. Pidto, in his never-ending quest for the unvarnished truth, prompted AV to disclose that he chews sugarless Dentyne, no Hubba Bubba.

  115. I see at Wikipedia, that on this date in 1944, Maurice Richard became the first NHL player to record eight points in a game; although the blip goes on to say that they subsequently reviewed his tallies and flipped one goal to Toe Blake, reducing Richard’s total goals for his career by one goal, as well.

  116. I think you may overrate Girardi just a bit Carp. he is a nice 2nd pair Dman. should be playing about 18 minutes a game on a good D team. I would move him, not resign him.

  117. If the writer took a point away from Bobby Bonilla, he would show him the “ghetto.” Since Bonilla lived in Greewich, Ct., one presumes he meant down by Long Island Sound somewhere.

  118. McD Sauer would have supplanted Staal Girardi had injuries not been in play, and it would have happened in 2011, imho…

  119. “McD Sauer would have supplanted Staal Girardi had injuries not been in play, and it would have happened in 2011, imho…”

    Don’t think it would have been 2011 but do think it would have happened.

  120. That Ekblad kid looked great today even scoring a well times goal on a pinch. Maybe we should intentionally lose out so we can get him.

  121. Onecupin74yearsandcounting on

    Watching dave maloney after lasts nights loss , maloney looked frustrated and and had to break the game down into itty bitty pieces.. I got the feeling that Maloney knows whats wrong but just can’t say it publicly..
    Give him the gm job or wait until JD’s contract is done .

    nice to see zuccs flourishing under av instead of twisting in the wind under torts.

  122. Sounds like MDZ may have more value to this team if he stays put, as opposed to if he gets traded.
    I would definitely try to resign Girardi to a reasonable contract rather than letting him go.
    I, actually, didn’t mind Talbot starting last night. He showed what he probably would end up being in the NHL- a very good back up goalie, or a starter on a team without any goaltender depth.

  123. McD and Girardi are a nice pair and understand each others’ tendencies, though I thought Girardi would have been better this season. Besides, I really like both their fathers!

  124. seriously ilb? any one of a number a guys could play better than he is. he has already been scratched a bunch of times for Falk. if Staal were healthy he probably would not be playing now.

  125. the Rangers should take what they can get for MDZ. if Toronto has really offered Gardiner, the Rangers should jump all over that.

  126. If DZ brings back Methot or Franson then Yippeeeee. But if he doesn’t then he should remain on the third pair and they should trade someone else.

  127. The point is, Staal isn’t playing. Stralman is injured. And he is better than Falk. So getting someone wo isn’t better than MDZ , and doesn’t know the system isn’t a very good move.

  128. Women’s hockey qualifiers are on NBC Sports right now. Some of these girls have more grit than the Rangers.

  129. i’m sorry ilb, but I do not agree with that at all. and if they were to get someone who doesn’t know the system, within a week he would know the system better than MDZ.

  130. It is what it is, bull dog. We don’t have to agree. But if they decided to trade him, and it surely looks that way, you don’t trade him when his value is low.

  131. Let me put it this way: I see Vigneault trying to get the team to play a _style_ of hockey, i.e. Up tempo / offensive hockey. I don’t yet see a _system_ for the team. They swap their on ice fundamentals and formations a lot which is shocking for a team that rarely practices and, when they do hold practice, make it optional.

  132. Jake Gardiner, btw, is MDZ’s twin brother. And right after he learns the system ( in a week? ), the World Most Transformed Arena would be booing him mercilessly.

  133. I don’t entirely get it. If AV wants Up-Tempo rather than D integrity, isn’t someone like DelZ his little dream come true?

  134. what is MDZ like? he is a average skater with poor judgment on D, and no ability to get shot through.

  135. sorry to get (waaay) off subject
    but just letting youse know
    the jpg extended family took another body blow
    today with the death of my aunt earlier today
    for those with stats/keeping score
    was the wife of Uncle Dom who passed just before
    and mother of Toni who was the victim of a hit-and-run
    two weeks ago.
    i can’t wait for 2013 to end

  136. to tell you the truth
    stuff like hockey (and sports)
    are needed to help you forget about reality
    for a little bit
    it’s too bad that this team
    as currently happening
    isn’t doing it for me.
    oh well…..at least there are other games to watch.

  137. as far as Rangers
    i don’t know
    whatever actually makes the team better
    it’s too bad it’s not working better as currently constituted
    as far as
    i think he’s gun shy due to concussions
    as far as Hank
    i wonder if his physical problem earlier this year
    has something to do with his should or rotator cuff
    and it’s still not healed
    which may be why he’s even worse on glove side
    and isn’t playing as comfortable as he has in the past.

    there….some hockey for you
    (back to our regularly scheduled programming)

  138. Stranger Nation on

    mdz sucks. In an up tempo system, he should be flying all over the ice, but truth be told…he is a terrible skater and has very, very poor judgement.

    Struggling John Moore with 7 shots last night. if only our other D (save for McJesus) could struggle like that.

  139. guess jpg mentioned what’s been going on with our family.

    IS it 2014 yet? better days for our immediate and extended families, Rangers and us, the Rangers Report family

  140. Stranger Nation on

    Carp – I hear ya; kids still young, has great wheels and offensive upside. Both he and MEZ need a stable vet on the right side to show them the ropes, clean up any mess and play hard in the corners. The back line can sorely need someone with the presence, a shot, physical in front, good in the corners

    you know who….*CABER*

  141. Thanks for the review Carp. Didn’t see the game but between the review and the game day post, I’ve got a pretty strong grasp of what happened.

    Jpg and Sis, condolences for your loss.

  142. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Jpg and sis : the hits just keep coming eh? I hope 2014 brings as much pleasure as 2013 brought pain….

  143. thanks eddie 3x what a nice sentiment

    thanks, carp, imanny and everyone for the condolences what an ending to the year, eh?

  144. here is my positive take on the Ranger

    remember all the years NYR would be number one going into holiday break, then they would disappear and barely make the playoffs?

    maybe this year it will be the opposite and they will win most of their games in the new year.

    I can think positive

  145. Za'rat "TheOtherGuy'sGreed" Jones on

    @jpg’s sister

    YES! Finally! Someone with a pozy hat on! Positive thoughts! POZY POZY POZY! :))))

    All this doom and gloom attitude here is hurting our boys on the ice. Let’s again turn it around.

  146. carp, have you heard anything, is Nash still not over hi injury?

    sometimes he seems like he is playing away from getting hit

    there has to be something, he was playing pretty well for a period before injury

  147. Za'rat "TheOtherGuy'sGreed" Jones on

    Rick Nash is feeling all the negative energy people are sending towards him. If people start cheering him, I know he will play better. I already proved it here. But at the first sign of dismay, negative energy was produced here. Everyone needs to be stronger. Cheer! Cheer! Cheer! Never Boo Boo Boo!

  148. Paul in sunrise on

    Cannot trade Girardi to boston unless they back up the player/prospect/picks bus. It would have to be an unbelievable deal.

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

    _It would have to be an unbelievable deal_

    By unbelievable deal, you mean a draft pick or two, or a draft pick and prospect, yes? Bear in mind he is Dan Girardi and a UFA following the season.

  150. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Zarat – I admire and appreciate your positive vibrations. As a sociopath, I find it refreshing.

  151. Paul in sunrise on

    If you only get a Pick and prospect it has to be first rounder and you must resign him on first day of free agency.

  152. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Just kidding about the sociopath. I am insane. But then so aren’t we all?

    Rangers vs Caps: Round 1. Rangers in 6. Series winning goal: # 16, Derek Brassard.

  153. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Jpg – you are quite welcome…..I hope we all have an excellent new year….from start to finish…

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

    I do not think Girardi as an impending UFA nets a 1st rounder.

    Zuccarello fills the Avery role of many years ago, with more skill and lesser dumb penalties.

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

    Iginl and Jagr are both Hall of Fame players that still produce quantifiably.

  156. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I can’t see anyone giving up a first for Girardi. I’d rather have a player comeback as The pick would get wasted. What would it take to get Kane and Buff? Step and Girardi? I’d make that trade.

  157. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    GNash needs someone like Kane riding shotgun. And the message must be clear: “you go near #61, and Kane will bash your brains in”

  158. Bickel could handle that job better than Kane. Kane is awesome but he ain’t an enforcer. Simmonds can fight better.

  159. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Simmonds is fine by me. My trades stock left wing…but

    Marchand – Brassard – Lucic
    Kane – Kreider – Hags
    Richards – miller – Step
    Boyle – Moore – Dorsett

    McD – Buff
    MDZ – Moore
    Connor – Falk

  160. I know. I like him too. But not as a first line center and not at $4M+ If he wants to play first line he needs to be much better at defense.

  161. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Late to the chat here…

    Jpg and sis
    Sorry for your tough run this, my condolences and I hope it gets better soon

    I like Boyle, but I would trade him for lapierre in a heartbeat.

    I’d add something along with the mad bomber to get methot.

    I absolutely think Nash is in preservation mode. He has to have a physical player on his line to play better.

    No way to mario Maloney as GM, you think this team is soft now, it would be waaaay worse IMHO.

    I think OPG is a first pair d man on some teams and a 2nd pair guy on others. He is a 2nd pair guy on this team in this system.

    I’d rather have Gleason and methot than Staal and the mad bomber.

    I agree with James G, having NATW in your top 4 and the hobbit in your top 6 is NOT a good sign.

  162. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    I also think you can get a first for OPG. I’d rather get a roster player for him and unless you add D in another deal, it has to be a top 4 D coming back.

  163. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    The Oilers are paying Bryzgalov $27,637 tonight to keep the puck out of the net….The Flyers are paying him $20,034, hoping he let’s it in
    Retweeted by Pat Leonard


  164. Matty"We'reAbunchOfCreamPuffs!!"Boy on

    Please don’t tell me this team can’t survive an injury to Stralman. If we are that bone thin in the system, it speaks to one man and one man only.

    Realize where we would be, as with the Knicks if the moron owner just picks the right management and lets them fly. JD would have been great here. Patrick, real good. Instead we have this antique-haven’t-won-in-2-decades-louse that is bludgeoning our entire organization right before our very eyes.

    There was some bad luck with Sauer, Staal, Cherpanov…but if you draft, trade, and FA smartly, you’ll be ok anyway.

  165. Matty"We'reAbunchOfCreamPuffs!!"Boy on

    Mark my words, Girardi has still got ability. He’s a solid 3/4 on most teams. Just, as usual, because of the lack of balance and team composition he is misplaced.

    Send him, even MDZ to a real team, they play up a good deal.

    Where is the crease clearing defenseman or 2 already? Where is the defenseman that is a true PP point man? Why has it taken 13 years to accomplish some semblance of an NHL defense??

    The formula’s not difficult. Use real teams like LA, Chicago, Bruins defenses as a template. The all have it the same.

    When will Sather begin to understand the game? When he’s 90????

  166. Matty"We'reAbunchOfCreamPuffs!!"Boy on

    Take a look at the division and conference standings. In a putrid division we are now tied for 4-6th. In our conference, we are tied for 10-12th.

    Well done, to everyone involved. Hope you had a nice restful holiday and congratulations on your mutual achievement.

    From the overpriced, quiet and mystifying newly transformed MSG, to the wonderful, well put together and executed on-ice product. Impressive work.

    Happy New Year to one and all!!!

Leave A Reply