Live chat at noon today … Possible clincher tonight in Newark

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We’re going to do a last-minute, long-overdue, last-week-of-the-regular-season Live Chat today at noon. Be there.

In case you missed it, the Rangers got no help from the mail-it-in Islanders and Sabres last night, who were destroyed by Columbus and Philadelphia, respectively (not respectfully).

The Rangers, who blew a chance to clinch Saturday, still will tie down a playoff berth with the next point they get OR with any point New Jersey fails to get. The Devils host Calgary tonight, and if they fail to win the game, the Rangers clinch. The Rangers can also clinch with a point vs. Carolina tomorrow. Then Buffalo comes in Thursday, and the Rangers close the season in Montreal Saturday.

As for the more important race — since a playoff berth is virtually inevitable — third-place Philly and fourth-place Columbus both picked up a pair of points on the Rangers (and Devils) Sunday, and each burned one of their two games in hand.

So as of this morning, the Rangers have 91 points and three games left, plus the tiebreaker on both Columbus and Philly. The Flyers have 89 points and the Jackets 87, each with a game in hand. The tiebreaker (regulation/OT wins), if the Rangers can hang onto it, means both teams need to beat out, not tie, the Rangers. So the Rangers’ lead on Philly is, in effect, three points, and five on Columbus.

If the Rangers win two more games, they avoid the wild card and a first-round meeting with Pittsburgh or Boston, and instead clinch the 2-3 seed series. If they win all three, they are assured of finishing second and having home-ice in the first round.

I maintain that the home-ice advantage isn’t really an advantage, especially in the first round, and that the Rangers might indeed be better off starting on the road given their sub-actual .500 record at MSG.

******************************************

Did you happen to see the cheap-shot, leaping head-shot that got Zac Rinaldo a match penalty against Buffalo Sunday night? He will no doubt have a hearing today and likely face a suspension. And he was not deterred by Buffalo having the biggest goon in hockey in the lineup, was he? Of course not.

Has anybody heard when Chris Neil’s hearing is? Oh, sorry, I forgot, Chris Neil doesn’t have hearings. And he doesn’t get penalties.

Photo by Getty Images.

 

 

 

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169 Comments

  1. Rinaldo should get 5 games for that – was dangerous, he targeted the head and left his feet too.

    Chris Neil, if he was a Rangers player he’d be the most penalized in the league. The hit was late, but how does Staal get 4 and Neil get 2? So you shove a guy and get 4 but you punch a guy on the floor twice and get 2?

    Kudos to the “de-facto no.1 line” for defending their team-mate

  2. Imagine if the Flters had to play the next five with 11 forwards or 5 D. I bet Rinaldo wouldn’t go head hunting if there was a consequence to the team.

  3. SeeD,I think the offending player should sit out the length of time the injured player is out…perhaps, next time, they will identify more with the player they may injure. But any constructive step in the right direction would be ok with me. The current system is unsustainable.

  4. Agreed, Philly is my least favorite team…don’t understand why, but all Philly teams seem Phylthie. Could it be the greasy Cheesesteak sandwiches? I used to think of Boston Garden fans the same way…

  5. Good observation, Carp…former Sather tough guy John Scott isn’t going to stop this…perhaps they need a player who is also a clinical psychologist on the side.

  6. You know, like a hockey equivalent of detective James Goren from Law & Order CI?

  7. I thought the Devils played Calgary? Whoever it is I hope they lose just like I hope they lose everynight.

    LGR!

  8. I hope Kreider is drinking lots of milk and eating his greens……….

    this team is not very deep………….

  9. from LB

    Vigneault had no update on top-six winger Chris Kreider, who underwent surgery on March 28 to repair a left-hand injury and is out indefinitely.

    “It’d be wrong for me to give you an answer,” Vigneault said. “I haven’t asked anybody.”

    They arent gonna say anything…..

    I am guessing 6 weeks

  10. The league won’t change how they deal, or more appropriately don’t deal, with dangerous hits to the head until a player dies or is turned into a jelly donut in front of a national TV audience and the overwhelming bad press forces their hand.

    BTW, IMHO, a player leaving their feet in the process of delivering a check may actually help to mitigate the force of the hit as opposed to going straight into the player. Leaving their feet should be considered dangerous only when it directs the impact point to the head or neck of the opposing player. See Orpik’s hit to Toews as an example. If Orpik had not left his feet that hit would have been even worse for Toews.

  11. Carp

    Really Carolina. The devils play Calgary. Come on I love you but don’t be turning into gross and Leonard and not have a clue. Your better then that.

  12. Just had a bagel and coffee with John amirante and our local store. He says in conversation with Kreider possibly late in 1st round series. This as of Saturday night.

    I see amirante every morning around 7. Great guy.

  13. Change coaches, change captains, change players at every deadline…always fighting the last week of the season to figure out the playoff positioning/qualification..couldn’t possibly have to do w the gm or his grand plan

  14. NHL radio expect jets put Kane on trade block,

    Paging sather. 4.5 cap hit.

    I will pick up manny and drive to get him

  15. Good morning, boneheads!

    Attempt to injure? More like attempt to decapitate. Don’t fool yourself, folks. The league won’t do anything to fully eliminate those type of hits. So long as we, the fans, want to see fights, bone crushing hits, bench brawls, retributions, etc., it will remain the same. Young adolescents ont he ice will oblige. Call it a gladiator mentality substantiated by high salary.

    By the way, have you seen Rinaldo’s size? He’s listed 5-11 and 169 lbs. Could that be true?

  16. Rob in Beantown on

    Just saw the Rinaldo hit. He’s a clown. However many games he gets probably won’t be enough.

  17. A player that is following through on a shot is about as vulnerable a position as you can be in.

  18. Stranger Nation on

    SeeDubb – agree with your penalty. Until team is impacted by penalty, they will continue to roll out another Rinaldo type player. Playing with a shortened bench will also force them to sit another goon as they need a hockey player to actually…play hockey with one less skater on the bench.
    Will never happen because it makes too much sense…

  19. Brassard is 3 pts away from having a career year. Will he break 47pts?

    At 26, what is his next contract going to look like?

  20. Perfect situation to make Rinaldo an example. Repeat offender, unnecessary player always but especially come playoff time, and the PA might be less inclined to fight because if he gets 12 games, would he lose money beyond the 4 remaining in the regular season?

    Either way, he’s a PoS and I wish he’d just end his own career before someone else’s.

  21. I think the rule with Brassard is once he hits a benchmark, you set up another benchmark further down the road so you can still be disappointed.

  22. Rangers have a number of RFA to sign this year. They have to bring back THE KREIDER, Zucc, Brassard, J MOORE, Kristo. Falk?

    Not sure about the 6 in the AHL? I’m sure they don’t cost much if they are on a 2-way contract.

  23. Also, huge yes on Kane. The biggest yes ever. And get Kadri while we’re targeting huge upside young talents their teams are seemingly tiring of.

  24. Doc – but if Brassard hit 50pts, as a 26 yr old, that’s a decent benchmark. Don’t you think?

  25. *UFA*
    Boyle ($1.7MM) – Yes
    Pouliot ($1.3MM) – No
    D. Moore ($1.0MM) – Yes
    Stralman ($1.7MM) – No
    Diaz ($1.225MM) – Yes

    *RFA*
    Brassard ($3.2MM) – Yes
    Zuccarello ($1.15MM) – Yes
    Kreider ($0.8MM) – Yes
    Falk ($0.975MM) – No
    J. Moore ($0.84MM) – Yes

  26. Sioux, I think the analysis of Brassard needs to be based on usage and not just raw count. If he does or doesn’t hit 50 doesn’t matter a ton to me.

  27. Who wants a fun stat? Everyone!

    Brad Richards has drawn *7* penalties all season. He trails J.T. Miller by 1.

  28. Columbus plays Frattin, Islanders have Nelson in all year, Calgary plays Knight and he scores a goal, when will the Rangers give Kristo a shot. All of his line mates have NHL games, and have scored.

    And as the Wolf Pack leader in goals, you would think he would have more playmaking ability than Boyle skating with St. Louis & Richie Rich.

    Or is it just me, when I see Boyle skate in on a breakaway he’s going to throw a brick or miss the net?

  29. Rob in Beantown on

    New York Rangers @NYRangers
    #NYR have recalled forward Jesper Fast from @WolfPackAHL. pic.twitter.com/iJdTMuXtfZ

  30. Doc – you better add Kristo to the yes!

    You can’t let one of your top prospects leave without getting a shot at varsity.

  31. Totally, Sioux. Can’t imagine what this team is doing not recalling the 103rd leading scorer in the AHL.

  32. I give up.

    The one thing that could have made my day, and FAST gets the call. Grrrrrr.

  33. Rob – I’m guessing Boyle on the “2’nd” line.

    Fast gets the call, yet he had 8 games already with 0 pts, and a -5.

    I give up. I’m getting to the point I could care less if they win another game this year.

  34. Especially when Boyle looked out of place with Richie Rich & St. Louis. I thought Kristo’s speed and playmaking ability, along with his wrist shot, would help that line 10x more than Boyles size in front of the net. Which didn’t happen once during the loss to Ottawa.

    Fast gets the call. I’m sure he will get that spot.

  35. He’s 17-17 in 48 games, with 8 pp goals. I get it. I was just *hoping* THE MONTE would get a chance to light it up.

  36. Frattin got the call this weekend with Columbus, and he gets an assist. Nice to see another Sioux get an NHL shot, after the trade.

  37. Fast – Teeth – MSL will pummel the opposition into submission. It’s gonna be brutal.

  38. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    Out of all the hits some have been clamouring about lately, that Rinaldo hit is actually the only dirty/cheap one. It was crap. Scott should have went all Goddard on him.

  39. Got a letter today from State Farm that says our premium has been paid in full by “an anonymous friend.”

  40. I can’t imagine he was called up to sit around. Are there any injuries we don’t know about?

  41. Remember when Step got his first game, and got a hat trick? Miller had a 2 goal game his first time out?

    I was just hoping he would get a chance at a game. If he had a shot on St. Louis’s line, it could be exciting to watch. Who know maybe Fast is that guy, he had a better camp and got the call at the start of the year.

  42. @Aportzline #CBJ injuries beginning to mount again, w top 9 forwards Nathan Horton, Nick Foligno and possibly R.J. Umberger out for Tuesday vs #Coyotes

  43. Manny – maybe that’s why Frattin got the call for them. Still makes them a little more interesting to watch. They better jump up to the 1’st wild card spot, I think they could beat Pittsburgh, but not Boston.

  44. ‘Vengeance is mine,’ sayeth the Lord. We need a nasty defenseman named Derek Lord.

  45. Does “possibly R.J. Umberger” mean he might miss the game or he might count as top 9?

  46. I still think there should be an exception to the leaving the bench suspension if the player you attack gets suspended for his hit. Make it zero sum.

  47. As per Brooks, ‘Richards does not have a five-on-four POINT since March 1, a drought of 18 games. Martin St. Louis has not been on the ice for a single five-on-four goal as a Ranger.’

  48. Anyone going tomorrow.

    Will be at flying puck by 5pm.

    I fully expect devs to beat flames so hopefully tomorrow is clincher.

  49. AV re: Kreider – “I didn’t ask.” Some indecipherable innuendo in there, or is he just clueless? Like having a cookout with your kid in the hospital and when asked how he’s doing, you say ‘I have other things on my mind right now, like grilling up these dogs.’

  50. Logic re: Theory that muscle on ice wouldn’t do any good with cheap shot artists – Rinaldo and ilk are not hampered from on-ice mayhem by the league office, either. So, should we chuck Shanahan and his position? He seems to be no effective deterrent either.

  51. @stevezipay St. Louis skating with Nash and Stepan. Fast with Richards and Hagelin at #NYR practice

  52. Nice to read that St. Louis is with Nash and Step.

    Just getting him off the 3rd line with Richards, has to help right?

  53. AV – should call up Lindberg to center them. The Swede line, what do we call that line the meatballs :)

  54. Manny – the two fastest players – with the slowest. What’s the thought process there, pass the puck quick?

  55. Rob in Beantown on

    I heard that if every Crow who laid with a woman were beheaded, the Wall would be manned by headless men.

  56. Absent Cally and The K, who went to the net, we are in danger of being a perimeter team, and that must be corrected.

  57. Stranger Nation on

    _If you scroll down, you can see that Jon Snow, who knows nothing, is a Maple Leaves fan_

    I never liked that bast@rd. Should be a Wolfpack fan

  58. I have swayed back and forth all season on what I thought the NYR were going to do with Broadway Brad. He had a nice bounce back season compared to last year, but his play has slipped as of late and he has had zero chemistry with MSL aside from their first shift together in his first game with us. I think they have to buy him out this summer. I know many of you think that is already the forgone conclusion, but with this team you really never know.

  59. Stranger Nation on

    coos; the -third- first line goes to the net; Bros, MZA, Pull; the fourth line goes to the net, Hags will go to the net.
    The only guys who won’t go the net are Stephanie, Nashed Potato, Richie Rocket and Dispirited St Louis, in other words…our supposed top 6
    Alas, woe is me.
    When will Lady Byng come and serenade us with tales of heroism and bravery?

  60. _Theory that muscle on ice wouldn’t do any good with cheap shot artists – Rinaldo and ilk are not hampered from on-ice mayhem by the league office, either. So, should we chuck Shanahan and his position? He seems to be no effective deterrent either._

    Its going to come down to the PA forcing tougher penalties. Protecting paychecks over lives/careers is stupid/awful/counterintuitive/etc.

  61. Talkin’ about going to the net and staying there, taking the punishment to screen or tip.

  62. Don’t read anything into AV’s comment regarding THE. Until AV gets the word from the medical staff that he’s close to returning or ready to return there’s nothing to talk about.

  63. _the third first line goes to the net; Bros, MZA, Pull; the fourth line goes to the net, Hags will go to the net.
    The only guys who won’t go the net are Stephanie, Nashed Potato, Richie Rocket and Dispirited St Louis, in other words…our supposed top 6_

    Rangers forwards by avg shot distance …

    Ryan Callahan: 23.3 ft.
    Derek Dorsett: 23.7 ft.
    Chris Kreider: 24.1 ft.
    Carl Hagelin: 24.3 ft.
    Benoit Pouliot: 25.0 ft.
    Mats Zuccarello: 25.3 ft.
    Martin St. Louis: 25.3 ft.
    Derick Brassard: 26.3 ft.
    Daniel Carcillo: 27.8 ft.
    Brian Boyle: 28.1 ft.
    J.T. Miller: 28.6 ft.
    Dominic Moore: 28.7 ft.
    Taylor Pyatt: 29.5 ft.
    Jesper Fast: 30.7 ft.
    Rick Nash: 31.1 ft.
    Derek Stepan: 31.3 ft.
    Brad Richards: 36.8 ft.

  64. Richards has to be bought out. $6.67M CAP hit forever, would hurt this team way more than he could ever help it. Besides they’ve paid him the bulk of his contract anyway.

    Lindberg or Miller will be ready by next year, or they bring someone in over the summer.

  65. If Maurice isn’t fired in the Peg, then Kane is definitely available. IMO, you don’t come back after comments like that are made.

  66. Kane is still very young and has a boatload of talent. He is definitely a total package type player. Sure his defensive game can be better, but he is a guy that any team would want. I am sure every team in the league will pursue a trade for him should he become available and I am sure the NYR will do whatever they can to get him. Just have to wonder what it would take to land him. The conversation most likely starts with a Stepan or Kreider.

  67. I bet the Flyers will give up too much to get him and it’ll still make me really sad.

  68. Anyone, no matter how ‘talented’ who won’t at least middlingly battle and backcheck is anathema in the long run, IMO.

  69. Maurice just got there mid season, so he will be back for at least 2-3 years. His team is close.

    They need defense & Centers. Stepan & a 1st rounder would be my guess.

  70. _Anyone, no matter how ‘talented’ who won’t at least middlingly battle and backcheck is anathema in the long run, IMO._

    “Whaaat if that person already has a ring?” – Brad R., NYC

  71. Just for fun … Kane would be 2nd on the team in shots and 1st among forwards in hits if he were a Ranger.

  72. _Great site if you like boring, useless and boring advanced stats you mean_

    Right, that’s what I mean. I love watching the game, but if I want to remember what I saw, I’d much rather rely on my memory than a factual count.

  73. I should have added, during the chat, that Teddy Roosevelt’s Senators are as much an underachiever as the Fraud Capitals.

  74. Everytime I see Teddy Roosevelt in print, I think of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ and picture Paul MacLean running up a flight of stairs hollering ‘CHARGE!”

  75. Carp, listening as I type. Admire Jeter, but these year-long farewell tours are a bit much. I guess this is the future.

  76. Now that jar has been opened, every star player will now get the farewell tour. Will get old very quickly.

  77. Must be fun to be a linesman in the Bravest/Finest Charity Tilt and pocket $150 for your troubles. They should all be ashamed.

  78. I have an novel idea for an off-day discussion. Let’s talk about how much Richards sucks and how we need to buy out his contract next year. Anyone?

  79. Carp, yes, I do think Richards should be bought out. And you can count on me to continue to ridicule the scapegoating. Nothing makes me crazier than ignorant group-think — as though your number three scorer and number one minutes man, one of four guys to play every game this season, is holding his team back.

  80. “ignorant group-think?” That’s why you never get invited to the after-choir cookouts.

  81. If he were getting even 3 million, I would toss him, then get a REAL $7 million dollar talent.

  82. Norm, I agree with the scapegoating thing. I don’t think Richards got nearly enough credit early in the season, and I think he’s been awful lately, and mediocre a lot. But fans always scapegoat, whether it’s Willie Huber or Colin Campbell or Chris Drury or John Tortorella.

  83. This is the ONE AND ONLY guy on this team who does not hustle, does not skate, does not contest the puck, does not hit, has NEVER all season come out of a corner with the puck, yaps about Cally being “too young and too non-vocal” to the Captain, has the balls to tell the coach about MSL: ‘I can straighten him out,’ and is oblivious to all of it. That’s who we’re talking about.

  84. cooscoos,
    Regrettably, you are:
    prejudicial, preconceived, factional, biased, foregone, one-eyed, bigoted, partial and narrow-minded toward Mr. Richards and his genuinely objective backers, which startlingly contradicts with your exquisite personal originality and image of an out of “mob rules” individual.

  85. I don’t understand. All I can figure out is that you called me a one-eyed Cyclops. Are there two-eyed Cyclopses? :)

  86. Sorry to hear about your portfolio, coos, truly, but that’s why we have Norm to kick around. Here’s one to get your blood boiling and forget about all those silly dollars and cents: Richards “pure” +/- is +27. (I assume you’re OK with AV not using him on the PK.) Zook & McD, the only legit MVPs other than maybe Lundqvist, are +31 and +12 respectively. McD has been on the ice for 93 goals. In second place, Richie with 81. Once again, I agree he is not the best Ranger forward. That’s Zook by a mile. And once again I suggest that to say he’s a negative is absurd. His is not a style you enjoy (I suspect you are not a fan of the non-hustling Cano either?) but it’s a style that has worked, or AV (who wants to win games) would not include it. The playoffs, though, are where we’ll see which cream rises.

  87. Robinson Cano? The guy with a .310 lifetime BA, .990 lifetime fielding % and a .390 BA at Seattle so far? That Cano?

    And Richie is a lifetime minus. Whatever “pure + 27″ means, I have no clue.

  88. ‘Sometimes I feel a little mad
    But don’t you know that no one alive
    Can always be an angel?
    When things go wrong I seem to be bad
    But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good;
    Oh Norm, please don’t let me be misunderstood.’ :)

  89. I will spell it oot for you (in Canadian): Richards has been oot on the ice for 27 more goals scored than goals against, eh?

    (Glad to hear you like Robby — he does not hustle, though.)

  90. For anyone who may be loitering around this post, saddle up and move on up to the newer post.

  91. I hereby terminate all discussion in this thread. Only the LOGGING thread can be used in such a fashion.

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