Rangers at Lightnings tonight (7 p.m.) … pre-game notes


Pre-game notes courtesy of the NYR:

Sunday, Dec. 29, 7:00 p.m. ET
Tampa Bay Times Forum – Tampa, FL
Rangers: 18-19-2 (38 pts)
Lightning: 23-11-3 (49 pts)

The Rangers will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning  (7:00p.m. — TV: MSG Network; Radio: ESPN 98.7), as they continue a five-game road trip. The Blueshirts rank fifth in the Metropolitan Division standings, and 10th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 18-19-2 (38 pts). The Rangers enter the contest having been defeated by the Washington Capitals, 3-2, on Friday to begin a five-game road trip. The Blueshirts are tied for fifth in the conference in ROW (16). The Lightning has posted a record of 23-11-4 (50 pts) to rank third in the Eastern Conference, and lost a five-game winning streak with a shootout loss to Montreal Saturday. Following the contest, the Rangers will return to action against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at BB&T Center (5:00 p.m.)

All-Time: 42-30-5-7 overall (24-13-2-4 at home; 18-17-3-3 on the road)
2013-14: Tonight is the second of three meetings this season, and the second and final meeting at Tampa Bay Times Forum. New York is 0-1-0 (0-0-0 at home; 0-1-0 on the road), following a 5-0 loss on Nov. 25 at Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Rangers out-shot the Lightning, 37-25, while their penalty kill was 3-3 (100.0%) in the contest. Henrik Lundqvist (loss) stopped 18 of 22 shots through two periods, while Cam Talbot turned aside two of three shots in the third.
Last Season: New York was 3-0-0 overall (2-0-0 mark at home; 1-0-0 mark on the road). The Rangers out-scored the Lightning, 12-4, in the series, including a 4-1 advantage in the first period and a 5-1 advantage in the third. The Blueshirts also out-shot the Lightning, 104-77, in three games, with a 46-17 shot advantage in the first period. Carl Hagelin led all skaters in scoring with four goals and six points in the series, while Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh each tallied a series-high three assists apiece. Henrik Lundqvist was 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .956 Sv% in two games.
The Rangers have registered a point in 16 of their last 20 games against the Lightning (12-4-4 over the span), dating back to a 2-1 win at Tampa Bay on Oct. 4, 2008, and have won four of their last six meetings.
Seven of the last 11 meetings between the Rangers and Lightning have been decided by one goal, including five that required extra time and two that went into the shootout.
Henrik Lundqvist has started 30 of the Rangers’ last 32 contests against Tampa Bay, posting a record of 16-8-6 with a 2.17 GAA, .922 Sv% and two shutouts over the span.
New York is 10-9-0 on the road; Tampa Bay is 14-3-1 at home.
New York is 7-4-0 vs. Atlantic Division opponents; Tampa Bay is 5-5-1 vs. Metropolitan Division opponents.
New York lists three former Lightning on its roster: Dominic Moore (2010-11 – 2011-12); Benoit Pouliot (2012-13); Brad Richards (2000-01 – 2007-08).
Tampa Bay lists no former Rangers on its roster.
Lightning forward Tom Pyatt was drafted by the Rangers in 2005 (4th round/107th overall)

Henrik Lundqvist – 30 GP, 16-8-6, 2 SO, 2.17 GAA
Rick Nash – 14 GP, 6-6–12
Brad Richards – 11 GP, 3-9–12
Derek Stepan – 12 GP, 6-5–11
Dan Girardi – 26 GP, 1-7–8

The Rangers’ power play is 11-50 (22.0%) in the last 15 games, including five goals on the man advantage in the last five contests (5-20, 25.0% over the span) … Have tallied two or more power play goals in five games this season
Is tied for third in the league with three goals in 5-on-3 situations… The Blueshirts’ penalty kill has held opponents scoreless in 15 of the last 22 games (53-60, 88.3% over the span).
Power Play: The Rangers were 1-3 (4:39) on Friday at Washington. New York is tied for 11th in the NHL overall (25-132, 18.9%), and ranks fourth on the road (14-60, 23.3%). The Rangers are 3-12 (5:58) in five-on-three situations (last – 12/23 vs. TOR), and 0-3 (3:55) when four-on-three (last – 12/20 vs. NYI). Shorthanded goals allowed (5): 10/8 at SJS (Vlasic); 10/24 at PHI (Read); 11/19 vs. BOS (Paille); 12/20 vs. NYI (Clutterbuck, PS); 12/20 vs. NYI (Grabner).
Penalty Killing: The Blueshirts were 3-4 (7:46) and tallied a shorthanded goal on Friday at Washington. New York is tied for sixth in the NHL overall (103-121, 85.1%), and ranks seventh on the road (54-63, 85.7%). The Rangers are 2-4 (3:25) in three-on-five situations (last – 12/20 vs. NYI), and 4-6 (4:29) when three-on-four (last – 12/15 vs. CGY). Shorthanded goals for (2): 10/7 at LAK (McDonagh); 12/27 at WSH (Hagelin).
Four-on-Four: New York yielded one goal in one four-on-four situation (2:00) on Friday at Washington, and are now -2 in 45 four-on-four situations (70:39) this season. Four-on-four goals for (4): 10/16 at WSH (J. Moore); 10/26 at DET (Brassard); 12/12 vs. CBJ (Girardi); 12/18 vs. PIT (Hagelin). Four-on-four goals allowed (6): 10/3 at PHX (Vrbata); 10/7 at LAK (Muzzin); 10/12 at STL (Backes); 12/8 vs. WSH (Grabovski, PS); 12/18 vs. PIT (Sutter); 12/27 at WSH (Fehr).

SHOOTING GALLERY: The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent in seven of the last eight games (tied on shots in the eighth game), and hold a 270-211 shot advantage over their opponents during the stretch. New York has registered 40 or more shots five times this season, including in each of the last two games, and have posted 30 or more shots in nine of the last 12 games.

RINGMASTERS: The Rangers have won 381-722 faceoffs (52.8%) through 12 games in the month of December, including a season-high, 41 faceoff wins (41-64, 64%), in a 3-1 victory on Dec. 5 at Buffalo. Derek Stepan has won a team-high, 121 faceoffs over the span, while Dominic Moore (72-110, 65.5%), Brad Richards (69-132, 52.3%), Derick Brassard (51-100, 51.0%), and Brian Boyle (50-85, 58.8%) have each won better than 51% of their faceoffs taken during the month.

WESTERN SHOOTOUT: The Rangers have required the shootout in three of their last six games after being the only team in the NHL to not participate in a shootout in their first 33 contests of the season. The Blueshirts’ 4-3 shootout victory against the Calgary Flames on Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden ended a stretch of 41 regular season games without a shootout, with their last shootout being on Apr. 10, 2013 vs. Toronto (3-2 SO win). New York tallied four shootout goals in seven rounds in their win against Calgary, tying a franchise record for most goals in a single shootout (3-2 SO win on Nov. 25, 2005 vs. Washington – 15 rounds; 3-2 SO win on Jan. 2, 2007 at New Jersey – eight rounds). Lundqvist is now 46-31 all-time in shootouts, ranking second in the NHL all-time in shootout wins (Ryan Miller, 47 shootout wins).

Derick Brassard – 1 point from 200th NHL career

INJURIES (75 Man-Games Lost):
Marc Staal (IR – concussion on 12/7, out indefinitely) – 9
Ryan Callahan (IR – sprained MCL on 12/10, 4 weeks) – 7
Anton Stralman (injured on 12/27, day-to-day)

Dec. 27 – Recalled Conor Allen from Hartford (AHL)
Dec. 19 – Recalled J.T. Miller from Hartford (AHL), and assigned Arron Asham and Dylan McIlrath to Hartford

Photo by the Associated Press.


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  1. The sky is falling!!! Even still, I really cant see Philly, NJ, Columbus, Carolina, or the Islanders, finishing ahead of the Rangers in the standings.

  2. these guys need a strong outing from Hank.

    Nash and Richards should be benched.

    THE Kreider should play the entire OT.

  3. I agree ShoreRanger. At least they removed MDZ milestone in sight, which four games ago was “9 assists away from 100” and which today, remains the same.

  4. Anton, Anton, Anton, Anton guess what day it is? It’s NO Strahlman Sunday, a late Festivus gift for Manny.

  5. I think that AV has not motivated the troops for reasons I do not understand…his reign will be short-lived if this keeps up. Ulfie will become interim coach (as I noted early on) and the Rangers will be sellers at the deadline, unless their top players pick it up. I think that Gnash and Thoroughbred are hoping that rookie Kreider will make up for their mistakes while they coast, as the senior members of the line. Let the rookie pick up the slack!;>(( Put a vet on that line (like French Poodle) to wake them up.

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

    _I think that AV has not motivated the troops for reasons I do not understand_

    Lost in this *motivation* nonsense in the discussion of Torts and Vigneault is if the players lack motivation, they have significant issues.

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


    A good coach does what he has to do to motivate. If that includes benching a number of guys, making roster moves, he does it. This is business, not a ‘happy farm’.

    Have sit downs, have video reviews, special one on one practices….instead, we are seeing optional everything. Why not just give them all a bag of pot and hallucinogenics and do a little zen with them?

    Sure, Torts was tough. The flowery AV may not be the answer for this bunch, too.

    Peace, love, and Woodstock, man.

  8. I wouldn’t give a broken penny of 1944 that they will win tonight and call off Carp’s bet that Rangers will hold 3rd place in division at the end of season. However, it is just a wonderful game with the non-stop actions, intrigue and endless stories behind (imitating and mimicking real life)which generates baseless hopes and make it pleasure (and not) to watch and follow.

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


    Professional hockey players do not need to be motivated. They do not achieve that level of success by relying on a coach for motivation. They all play for the same goals. The Stanley Cup and financial security.

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

    The lack of motivation is systemic. It’s an illness.

    It’s the coaches job to turn that around.

    However, the REASON for the lack of motivation can be multi-layered. Some reasons why:

    1. poor player selection–talent, size, character, mix
    2. lack of balance
    3. sense by some players, especially finesse players, they will not
    be protected. This is a HUGE problem here. Players like Step, Boyle,
    Nash, Hank, Hags, Kreider, go on and on, that aren’t ‘gritty/tough’
    are walking around scared. It’s too bad they don’t have any protection on this poorly put together team. The ‘mix’ of this team is all wrong.

    Think that works to unmotivated players?

    I’d hold that there was a point earlier in the season these guys felt better about themselves as a group. Didn’t realize how open to assaults from opponents they were. Then, after a few non-answered hits that caused injuries, team psyche dropped. What you see is what you get.

    Poor GM work. Poor coaching. Ill-conceived team.

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

    Of course, they also realize they don’t have a great talent level, either.

  12. I was just watching the 24/7 episode with the Artie “snipe”

    Prust: You were shooting at the goalie, Artie?

    Artie: No, just reload my weapon, you know?

    Man, I loved that team so much. So fun! What a perfect year to be featured on 24/7. They caught this team at the perfect time.

    Then it all went to hell…

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

    Conor Allen. He may not be the answer, and it is ironic that he is undrafted. BUT, at least he is 6’2″ and 210.

    Enough of these midgets. He, by no means, a giant, is more likely to be a little harder to play against just by virtue of having some height (not much, but some) and some weight( perhaps he can put on 5-10 more).

    Yet, when each member of your d is undersized and collectively so, what are you thinking? How about one Beuke? Two Beukes?

    Wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. I quit watching legs snap in half at sporting events the day LT snapped Joe Theismans leg like a dry twig.

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

    Talent is overrated. You have to believe! Believe in the talents gifted to you. Not someone else’s.

    If you think talent is what wins, you don’t know the power of pozy energy!

    Go look at old tapes of the first Ravens Super Bowl win and tell me of Trent Dilfer was the most talented QB in the league, let alone the game. Nope, he was not. He did, however have positive thoughts.

    I wanna see cheers! This is vital! The season will turn tonight! We will get the chance to choose where it turns!


    I mean, what will it cost you?

  16. Papa, you know the quote from the classic movie The Red Shoes…”You cannot have it both ways. A [dancer] who relies upon the doubtful comforts of human love can never be a great [dancer]. Never.” Perhaps that’s Henrik’s downfall, and Coach “Boris Lermontov” Tortorella knew that…just (a)musing…could apply to hockey, as well, even though it was fictional representation of a tyrannical general manager of the ballet.

  17. Wild places I never saw The Red Shoes but I do recall the classic ‘The Slut in Red Shoes’ …..though, not much dialogue worth repeating here.

  18. Only matter of time for flyers to separate themselves from the rest of the pack for 3rd.

    March 5th trade deadline day rangers will be hot team all reporters talk about

  19. Papa, since Alex and Marian have left the team, not much intellectual fire power left in Madison Square Garden…so that would be the appropriate genre…

  20. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Dirk Diggler – “are you hungry?”

    Jesse st. Vincent – “starving”

    Dirk Diggler – “feast on this”

  21. The day the rangers organization starts to head in the right direction is the day Sather is no longer employed by the rangers and the rangers have a new GM who will clean house and start to build a contender, not a pretender.

  22. No doubt we’ll get Lucic someday and he’ll be in the same stage of his career as ken Hodge was when we got him -washed up. And we’ll trade away a Middleton type prospect to get him.

  23. Middleton is the worst Ranger trade ever. a very close second was Ridley and Miller for Carpenter.

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

    I’m pretty sure this was the worst trade.

    “After letting goaltender Eddie Giacomin go on waivers to the Detroit Red Wings, the Rangers followed that disaster by trading classy center Jean Ratelle and defenseman Brad Park along with defenseman Joe Zanussi to the archrival Boston Bruins for high-scoring Phil Esposito and defenseman Carol Vadnais.

    The jaw-dropping trade turned out to be brilliant for the Bruins and a disaster for the Rangers. Ratelle and Park would have many great years for the Bruins, while Esposito never had the same success on Broadway that he did in Boston.

    The Rangers not only strengthened the Bruins with the deal, they weakened their own on-ice performance”

  25. disagree Za’rat. Espo had some very good seasons for the Rangers, and Vadnaise did as well. Boston may have ended up with a slight advantage, but hardly a bad trade.

  26. the Zubov trade is right up there ( thank you Colin Campbell). Kjell Sameulson for Bob Froesse is up there as well.

  27. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    The Zubov trade was seriously depressing and made no sense…..I think there was something “personal” with that one

  28. There definitely was, with both him and Nedved … and it was made far worse by Robitaille spitting the bit in NY. And how about Pitt dealing him to Dallas for Kevin Hatcher?

  29. Lundqvist will be geared up. itching to start a game and playing against a team that previously lit him up this year. Should interesting.

  30. @stevezipay: Looks as if D Conor Allen will make debut. Stralman still on ice with scratches


    Best day of my life!

  31. Whatever the issues were with Zubov he sure overcame them in Dallas as he had many more successful years.

  32. That miller ridley trade made no sense at all. The rangers were flying and espo makes that trade for a retread and the rangers went downhill from there while the caps with ridley and miller became a very good team for years.

  33. Espo had a lot of Slats in him … liked the big names, even if they were well-done. And never seemed to have a plan of any kind.

  34. Espo was the rare TV color man who would be critical of team. Of course he was lobbying for job which he got. He was a real adventure when he coached.

  35. by the way, rangers getting Esposito wasn’t all that bad. The rangers did go to the stanely cup finals in 1979 beating the islanders on there way only to lose to the Canadiens. If Davidson didn’t hurt his knee in the Stanely cup finals against the canadiens the rangers might have won the cup in 1979.

  36. well, espo said he hated the rangers and didn’t want to play for them when he got traded. I guess he decided to ruin the rangers from the inside.

  37. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    That could have been a great young core….Duguay, don Maloney, Murdoch, Middleton – add in Ulfie Nilsson, and Anders, plus the established vets….Could’ve been special

  38. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Rangers won game 1 in Montreal, up 2-0 in game 2, then the wheels fell off….If they could have won the OT game – series tied up at 2…..but that Canadian team was stacked…

  39. Carp have you guys seen much of Sather aside from the Lundqvist presser this season? or has he just vanished again?

  40. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Ken Hodge was washed up 5 years earlier…..there was something horribly wrong – whatever rumors were going round about Middleton liking the nightlife – we’re put to rest by his play on the ice….

  41. No, he’s around a lot, James. He’s at the practices, morning skates, in the pressbox at road games, around the lockerrooms after home games. He just doesn’t sit around and chat a lot.

  42. Didn’t read that story/rumor, Manny. Why would they trade Kadri? And would you trade McDonagh to get him? I doubt Del Zotto and Boyle and Pyatt will get it done.

  43. I wasn’t around and don’t know if Middleton liked the nightlife … but they sure kept a lot of guys who loved it just as much or more on that team, didn’t they? (including Espo).

  44. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Exactly, ooh la la Sassoon and studio 54…….and look no further than Doc Murdoch. Perhaps the greatest sniper they’ve ever had….remember the game in Minny when he scored 5 goals???

  45. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I met Murdoch at Charlie O’s the night of the playoff game at the garden when Duguay had a hat trick. Real nice guy. Sat with him about 15-20 minutes…..felt bad as a bunch of jack wagons kept yelling out “spooooooon”. I thought the world of his play….

  46. Other than when Rangers won cup that era 79-80 was most interest in Rangers and hockey in NY. Rangers and Isles in ’79. Rangers Sassoon and 1980 Olympics.

  47. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Cap geek – agreed. That was a great time for NY Hockey….Good Ranger teams….Exciting atmosphere…

  48. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Vickers scored in the crease inside the first minute vs Russians then the rangers were destroyed. But the Russians against filthy was a hilarious game – Russians skated off in a huff…

  49. I think they would move him because of the Bozak contract. Just a guess. Kadri is awesome but their fans are all over him (not like that would change here). But yes, we would be talking about moving a Stepan or brassard amd Girardi. A large package

  50. Among the worst trades in Rangers history you have to point the finger here –

    March 14, 1996

    Rangers trade Ray Ferraro, Mattias Norstrom, Ian Laperriere and Nathan Lafayette (he of the post shot in Game 7 of the Cup Finals)
    to Los Angeles Kings for:
    Jari Kurri, Marty McSorley and Shane Churla

    The 95-96 Rangers were a dangerous, tough hockey team bolstered by Messier and Pay Verbeek both gunning for 50 goal seasons (injuries prevented it) and looking every bit like a Stanley Cup contender with Mike Richter looking even better than he did in ’94.

    So, they trade a blue chip defenseman and their #2 center to bring in a completely shot Jari Kurri, a useless Marty McSorley and bruiser Shane Churla (who ended up being the best part of the trade for the Rangers)

    Those who remember that playoff year remember the stunning comeback against Montreal after dropping the first two at home and then watching as the Penguins completely and totally annihilated the Rangers with the blueshirts attempting to goon it up while the Pens (with Nedved and Zubov) skated circles around us.

    Colin Campbell’s infamous quote after that series: “Good luck to anyone who tries to stop Mario and Jagr” and then the Florida Panthers went and did just that.

    We had a good, talented team that year and it was blown up for no good reason other than to bring in the few Oilers players who hadn’t yet worn a Rangers jersey. You had Colin Campbell who, I am convinced, had a bias against Russian/European players.

    I just remember at the time thinking “WHY?” when the trade was made. And it turned out to be a disaster.

  51. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Must win games coming up. I want the Caps in the first round. Rangers win that series….

  52. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Back to Middleton for Hodge….the league should have stepped in and blocked that one…..Why wasn’t it Middleton for the Bruins best beer vendor?

  53. Either way, all this crap started piling up, which soon meant Messier out, then Campbell out, then Muckler in, then Smith out, then Checketts out … to the wonderful stewardship of the organization you have today.

  54. Carp, I was gonna ask for confirmation on that. I believe at the time the word was that Messier had alot to do with it.

    Just didn’t make sense to me at the time and still doesn’t.

    One thing I also remember, maybe you can confirm perhaps, is that when Sergei Nemchinov and Brian Noonan were traded in ’97 to Vancouver for Esa Tikkanen and Russ Courtnall…was Messier upset with that move?

    I thought I remember reading somewhere that Messier held Nemchinov in very high regard and didn’t approve of him being traded.

    As for me, Sergei Nemchinov remains one of my all-time fave Rangers. Guy just came to play every night.

  55. Messier absolutely hated Ferraro, wanted McSorley and Kurri. Nobody cared about giving up Norstrom in the win-now fiasco that team had become.

    He loved Nemchinov. Cried when that trade was announced.

  56. John Muckler – Now THAT was possibly the single worst head coach the Rangers have ever had.

    My “fondest” memory as a Rangers fan that year was walking around MSG during the 6-0 loss to Detroit (after they had beaten us 8-2 in Detroit the game prior) somewhere around the second period and the place was half empty with nothing but unbridled hatred at the team on the ice, the coach and the GM.

    Sadly, I don’t think Rangers fans at MSG could ever mount that kind of vitriol to call for a coach or GM’s head anymore. The passion, at least at MSG, has been highly diluted over the last several years. Apathy reigns supreme on most nights

  57. The only time he didn’t cry, I lost a $10 bet … the first game after 9/11 when they honored the first responders and he wore the fireman’s hat, he didn’t cry. I would have bet a lot more. Glad I didn’t.

  58. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Esa Tik was one of my favorite players. Avery reminded me a lot of him. Esa was clutch come playoff time…

  59. Not only was he a bad coach, but Muckler derailed the whole “rebuilding” thing, ruined Malhotra, did that stupid, stupid, ill-conceived Leetch-wing-lock thing, got Smith (and himself) fired, and that led to you-know-who.

  60. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Muckler would have been better had he not died in 1958. Not so easy coaching a team when you’re stuffed and hanging on a wall…

    Extend sather

  61. Trottier was a worse coach, but his hiring was inconsequential at that point. The franchise was already speeding toward the iceberg.

  62. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Titanic was the ultimate Greek tragedy. Had any one of twenty or so things not happened, the ship doesn’t sink and 1500 people don’t die. Two weeks after the sinking, a rescue boat went to the North Atlantic to retrieve bodies still floating in the water….there bobbed John Jacob Astor, bobbing up and down, $2000 cash in his pockets and a brilliant gold watch on his wrist…

  63. Think about that move, Eddie.
    1) The Rangers had one line that could score, the Czechmates. 2) Leetch was by far BY FAR their best player. 3) Since Florida would put out Bure whenever the Czechs were on the ice, that meant Hlavac had to get off so Leetch could get on, and that their only offensive threat had to defend instead, minus their best defenseman, because he was up front. To that end, the Rangers were inviting a shutout, which they got. 4) Hlavac jumped off late one time and Bure scored the GWG before Leetch could get on. 5) They hatched this nincompoop plan without a practice (implemented it at the morning skate), and in a road game, in which Florida had the last change. 6) Muckler crowed that he thought it worked perfectly, yet a week later, at the Garden, with a chance to practice it the day before and with the last change, Muckler declined to try it again against Bure.

    Lunacy. Idiocy.

  64. Astor was at the bar when they hit the iceberg and said to the bartender, “I asked more more ice, but this is ridiculous!”

  65. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Ricardo – sometimes genius cannot be explained. It was creative, albeit insanely stupid, and that is the mind of an artist…

    Muckler and his corpse are first ballot HoF’ers

  66. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I remember watching, seeing Leetch on the wing, and rubbing my eyes as if I was seeing something wrong. I don’t remember Sam or JD’s comments…..

  67. Braunschweiger on

    On last nights 24/7 the Toronto Ast. coach asked the team if they were a friend or enemy of complaceny. Kadri answered friend, so I guess he’d fit right in with this team.

  68. I always wanted to look up whether that was Muck’s last year, which would have meant Torts was an assistant … then wanted to ask Torts about it. Never did.

  69. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    John Jacob Astor to his credit went down with the ship and refused to buy his way to safety.

  70. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Yeah, I don’t think the move was degraded by JD or Sam on air – but it looked interesting – I thought it more of a 2-3 zone defense with 3 D men

  71. Also, keep in mind, the season was in the toilet and the Leetch-wing-lock thing gave them something to discuss. Sort of a “what the hell; why not try something different” thought.

  72. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    JR when asked if he was a friend of complacency responded “what team does he play for?”

  73. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Even when JR says something in English, I find myself laughing. That guy really cracks me up…

  74. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    And Engblom does the same. If I could have a dinner party, and invite any three guests :

    1. Ricardo
    2. JR
    3. Engblom

    I might die of laughter -as we busted balls

  75. JR: ‘When you’re between a lock and a hard case, it’s not easy to find the combination.’

  76. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Alright kiddie cats, I’ll see y’all on the upside. Heading out of Dodge and back to the compound…

  77. I remember reading Carp’s book about the abomination that was the ’99-’00 Rangers (Sather’s first year as GM) and mentioning several of the major problems Muckler caused as coach.

    Told flat out “Lose, we don’t care. But let the kids play and let them grow.” He ignored this edict.

    Carp also mentioned he told the team he would pay for a meal one night and then promptly charged the organization.

    And at some point, I forget if it was pre-season or during the season, Muckler’s only concern was getting up to Edmonton for some nostalgia reunions.

    Carp, I recommend your book HIGHLY to anyone who wants a clue into just why the New York Rangers under Glen Sather have been so bad for so long. In Glen Sather, we have an egomaniac who still believes in his own myth-making. Despite the fact he earned it on the backs of the most talented group of players the league has ever seen.

    Sather’s ego, his non-hockey sense (signed Vladimir Malakhov to a 4 year contract and immediately called him the Rangers’ best defenseman. With BRIAN LEETCH on the team) and his belief that everyone around him is less intelligent than him (being asleep at the wheel when the Caps got their hands on Jaromir Jagr for nothing)

    I can’t help but believe, in some timey wimey wibbly wobbly way, that Glen Sather is the price we have to pay for that Stanley Cup in 1994. To set the universe right again, we are made to suffer.

  78. Jlone2Bubblehead on

    Rick Nash = Keyser Soze
    He is just waiting for the most opportune time to stop limping and lead his army.

  79. I will tell you where the lack of motivation on the part of so many athletes – across the entire professional sports spectrum comes from… It comes from LONG TERM CONTRACTS, which have destroyed the basic incentives athletes used to have to be in top mental and physical shape at all times.

    There was a time (before parasitic agents and coercive unions took over the planet) when all professional athletes were under contract from year-to-year, and were always fighting to keep their job, from game-to-game, and certainly, in spring training as regards baseball; and in the summer football and fall hockey and basketball camps established players were always competing with ambitious rookies and newcomers acquired by trade, to keep their tenuous career, in so many cases, going.

    Further exacerbating the malaise of professional athletes today are “guaranteed contracts,” with lavish buy-out and no-trade clauses. With continual drubbings from the courts and the unions and the agents who just continue to “pile on” the owners of major sports franchises – using the leverage of punitive court rulings and strikes and “work stoppages,” the owners caved long ago – because they can afford to, so lucrative are their TV deals, advertising revenue, concession revenue usury, season ticket plans, and “luxury box” windfalls.

    How do you motivate a multi-millionaire professional athlete who is already financially secure for life, to sacrifice his body beyond the minimum required to hold his job? I don’t know, but then again, I am not Brad Richards or Andrew Bynum, two of the most egregious of the professional athlete shirkers of the day, so I cannot even conjecture what is going through their heads that they think they owe next to nothing to their team and their supportive fans, in return for all they have been generously given.

    To me all this spoiled, bratty, self-centered pouting and lassitude on the part of so many of today’s athletes suggests breach of trust and borderline thievery.

  80. Eddie –

    If John Jacob Astor had known death would come to him in the water via a smokestack from the Titanic falling on his head, I dare say he would have bought the entire White Star Line, right then and there.

    Too bad we mortals do not have a crystal ball. I mean, when Mr. Astor bought the first class tickets for his lady friend and her airedale terrier, you just know he wasn’t thinking about winding up dead in “the drink.” He was probably thinking about playing poker and sipping cognac with is wealthy cohorts, more than anything else. Sometimes the day can get away from you, in unexpected ways.

  81. Good afternoon all! Belated Merry Christmas, happy Festivus, happy 26th birthday to the G man, and holy hartnell this team is making me parched, forget thirsty!

    Been busy all week with mama’s mama….what’s happening? AV is driving me crazy….

  82. You know what is the killer about the Rick Middleton trade disaster? It’s unbelievable, Middleton was 23 and Ken Hodge was 33, at the time! I have said it before but it bears repeating, because so many G.M.’s don’t get it – athletes are ~depreciating assets.~ Like your manufactured for obsolescence five-year old General Motors car that is depreciating from wear and tear, athletes, too, suffer break-downs as they age.

    So I have to agree, obtaining the 30+ goals the team got from Ken Hodge, in exchange for the 300+ goals Boston got from Rick Middleton is as bad as it gets. And without Middleton in 1979, the Rangers still made a really fine, hot run at the Cup. With Middleton in 1979, well, now that would have been a really fun Stanley Cup Finals down to the seventh game wire to savor.

  83. Rob in Beantown on

    Giants are poised to make a deep run I think. Coughlin will have them playing in late into January. They are right where he wants them to be

  84. Carp 2 questions- 1- why did Messier have a problem with Ferraro? I’ll never forget that trade. Wretched horrible sickening. I liked Ferraro and what he did here that season. He wasn’t making Unlucky Luc any better but he was rather productive..

    and 2- why do you think Robitaille was so awful outside of his western conf career? Sorry but I could talk about all those mid 90s horror trades for hours on end.

  85. “The bad news is “The Titanic is sinking.”

    “The good news is – All drinks with a water-back are on the house!”
    “The bad news is The Titanic is sinking.”

    “The good news is – you gentlemen can pretend you really would like to step into the life boats with your wives.”

    “The Bad news is the Titanic is sinking.”

    The good news is that, back home, tomorrow will not be a slow news day.”

    “The bad news is the Titanic is sinking.”

    “The good news is: the lookouts have apologized and promise to do a better job for the remainder of the voyage.”

    “The bad news is the titanic is sinking.”

    “The good news is that those German U-Boats out there are ignoring us, and waiting for the Lusitania to sail by.”

  86. “The bad news is the Titanic is sinking.”

    “The good news is – Hey! Now we can take a dip in 28-degree water without having to pay dues to the Polar Bear Club.!”

  87. “The bad new is the Titanic is sinking.”

    The good news is – those nuts down in Steerage Class doing those Irish Jigs all night, will no longer be bothering the rest of the passengers.”

  88. Does anybody remember the Zubov fight? He fought some Dave Manson type of player and I thought about closing my eyes. Zubov took 2 or 3 shots that I thought would tear his head off, then Zubov “Flipped the switch” and went of to knock the guy down/out. Who did he fight? Peluso? Tinordi?

  89. “The bad news is the Titanic is sinking.”

    The good news is we are getting an influx of fresh money into the “floating crap game.”

  90. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    I remember malakhov beating the crap out of Nathan Horton and after the game messier saying something to the effect of you don’t want to fight malakhov ever!!!

  91. He got rag-dolled by Kevin Stevens, RW … according to hockeyfights.com he fought Craig Berube in the playoffs. Yikes.

    wick, Malakhov was actually not bad for a while. But for Sather to say “he’s the best defenseman we have” while Leetch was on the team, well, that just says it all.

  92. speaking of Messier and fights against Islanders do you guys remember when he nearly choked out Jason Blake towards then end of his career?

  93. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    That was when Chris Simon was clobbering the whole fishes team by himself. Asham and barnaby fight was what set it off I think…

    I loved that 03-04 team…until the trade deadline :(

  94. *vibin*, wick. Simon was a pretty tough Ranger while being productive. would fit into that “playable toughness” category you mentioned the other day. Barnaby not so much but boy was he ever an Islander killer while wearing blue

  95. Nash will have a big game tonight because he always steps it up for games against teams that don’t matter. He destroyed the Lightning last year.

  96. Carp, before we became pals, I asked you to sign the Mess book as a present for my brother…Oh I was so impressed with you!!!

    If he doesn’t still have it, I will be so hartnelling mad

    I am still impressed by you!!

  97. Jonny D, i sure hope you’re right! He needs to earn that december check either tonight or tuesday.

  98. @PaigeLewisFL: #Habs tie it up, 1-1 just 2:56 into the 2nd period. *Brandon Prust* gets the goal.

  99. JRG i have two emails for you lol, which is the current? any of mine you still have are active haaaa! and CONGRATS BROTHER!!! she’s a beautiful lady

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