Rangers can’t continue to play with fire against Philly … Live Chat today


First, we’re not going to be able to do the Live Chat with Dave Maloney today, so we will have our regular, usual Live Chat with me today after practice at the Garden, around 1:30 p.m. And we will shoot for a Live Chat with Dave later, maybe on Monday. Stay tuned.

Here is my column on the Rangers’ lack of discipline in Game 3, and how that can’t continue, from The Journal News and lohud.com:

By Rick Carpiniello

Henrik Lundqvist said the Rangers were “playing with fire” in Game 3 of the Rangers-Philadelphia Flyers series Tuesday night. He didn’t have to say that they did it right next to the open kerosene tank.

Having frittered away Game 2 with an effort that wasn’t terrible but wasn’t nearly good enough, the Rangers took four offensive-zone penalties, two of them negating power plays, one of them resulting in a Flyers goal in Game 3.

Lundqvist and the selfless shot-blocking penalty killers doused the flames and got out of town – literally, the Rangers boarded an Amtrak and returned to New York to sleep in their own beds between games – with a 4-1 victory and a 2-1 series lead.

It’s pretty obvious what Job 1 will be for Game 4 Friday night. Well, the discipline theme and, of course, being better, as each game in any given series demands.

Since the Rangers went up 3-1 on Washington in 2009 – a series in which they would then lose in seven – they have been a game up in a playoff series eight times, including this series, and have lost the next game every time.

And, unless you don’t pay attention, or have never seen Stanley Cup playoffs before, you know that what happens in one game means zilch about what happens in the next.

The Rangers will go into Game 4 with the road-ice advantage (they are 24-8-3 on the road since starting the season 2-6 on that opening trip; and road teams in the East were 8-5 in these playoffs before Wednesday), but not with anything momentum-wise that will help them.

They will face a new goaltender (Steve Mason ready to return from his upper-body concussion) and face Matt Read, whom the NHL for some reason felt didn’t need a suspension or a fine for a blatant head-shot against ex-Flyer Dan Carcillo in Game 3. They will face a Flyers team that ghostly captain Claude Giroux promised “will tie up this series.”

Carcillo, who played a significant and noticeable role after joining the lineup for Game 3, also took  what he himself said was a “bad penalty” against Giroux in the offensive zone. Derek Dorsett took one. And Benoit Pouliot took a pair, both on the power play, one of which ended up a Flyers 4-on-4 goal.

Alain Vigneault gave Pouliot – who took a bunch of offensive-zone penalties early in the season – the benefit of the doubt. And didn’t give him the hook.

“He felt that the player (Andrew) MacDonald had taken a dive on both those occasions,” Vigneault said. “He felt he didn’t get a fair shake. Sometimes a situation might be that you need to sit down your player and address it and give him a couple of shifts off, and sometimes you’ve got to let your players work their way through it.”

Vigneault, who surely, but probably calmly, read the riot act between the second and third periods, knew that sitting Pouliot could be counterproductive. After the game he said Pouliot “needs to rein it in a little bit.”

Mike Keenan famously sat down Brian Leetch in the ’94 Eastern finals for a perceived lack of something, but the message he sent to his team was that his ego was more important than the game and/or the series. John Tortorella didn’t like Marian Gaborik’s game in Game 82 one year, and so he let Olli Jokinen lose the shootout in Philly that kept the Rangers out of the playoffs.

To Vigneault, you try to win the battles and the war. But the Rangers will make it harder on themselves if they continue the parade to the box. There are too many variables in winning and losing playoff hockey games already.

You can’t let something in your control burn out of control.

Twitter: @RangersReport

Photo by Getty Images.


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  1. Well said Carp…couldnt agree more, it frustrated the heck out of me the other night, especially the two needless Pouliot ones negating powerplays (i’d have pi$$ed in his Poutine if i was a team-mate).
    Luckily our PKers put up a wall all night and probably went home with a few welts, no thanks to Benoit “he didnt really take a dive, you were just stoopid” Pouliot.

    Move the boy up on the WBM Gravy!!

  2. Accurate write up, Carp…thanks for posting! I have remembered a number those play when French Poodle was a member of the opposing team and the Rangers took advantage of his mistakes in pressure situations to pull out a miraculous win. Not sure why, perhaps he is an trying too hard to be the difference maker?

  3. Rousing victory last night by the CBJs…always nice to see the Pens go down to a frontier town team. The Blue Jackets are giving them a run for the money. I turned off after the 2nd period and hoped the BJs would win…they played like they wanted it more than the Pens and deserved the victory. Seems like Pittsburgh felt they could counter attack a few times with their star goal scorers and pull out the victory. Fleury seems to have a thing in the playoffs, one way or another.

  4. think mason lets in a few softies tomorrow and this gets pretty ugly pretty quickly. skate with your heads up boys.

  5. Admiral Akbar on

    The Script says Mason will make a “miraculous recovery” and pull out a stellar game tomorrow night.

    You guys know that’s how it happens with the Rangers, right?

  6. Flyers?
    I thought you said PLIERS.
    Damn it, I’ll be right back. Don’t drink my beer

  7. Good morning, boneheads!

    Agree, Carp. They’re playing with fire. I like what AV did with Pouliot. Benoît, also, has been a very good soldier for this team after having a rough start. I attribute that to AV’s coaching and motivational skills.

    The Rangers also have to readjust their game because Steve Mason is a different goaltender. For one, he is a very good puck handler. And they need to score on their PP more often.

  8. MAF was at his best last night. What’s with this guy and playoffs? Don’t they have a few decent sport psychologists in Pittsburgh? It’s been an interesting series. 4 games, all 4 come from behind wins. Every game ended 4-3. Can Pittsburgh pull this one off? I think so. Unless Bobrovsky stands on his head.

  9. Stranger Nation on

    Dubi starting his contract drive early. Dude has a compete level Nash can only dream about.
    Eats Onion & Jam Sandwiches on burnt toast every morning.

  10. Stranger Nation on

    BOB the knob not exactly playing lights out. Seems to be very aggressive playing angles and coming out too high.

  11. I think there actually is what is truly called “onion jam” as a topping at Daily Burger in the MSG concourses.

  12. Sioux-per-man on

    Flyers are going to be a desperate team on Friday, but I don’t think Mason can save their ship from sinking. He didn’t look all that sharp the last time he played the Rangers.

    Here’s hoping we can go up 3-1 on Friday!

  13. Sioux-per-man on

    MAF gave the game away in the last minute last night. How do they not pull him?

    Columbus could surprise them. What a series that would be :)

  14. Last three game 4 up 2-1 in series all losses Ottawa Washington devils all in same year

  15. Pens offense will be enough to get them past jackets even with fleury and defensive issues right now.

    As vulnerable as pens finally look still good enough beat jackets and rangers.

  16. Stranger Nation on

    LeTang is very off, similar to McD in how pedestrian they look when compared to prior performance

  17. “Carp is Lit’rally *the* best journalist in the entire world” – Chris Trager

  18. Everyone loves Dubinsky but he’s had a ton of chances in that series and only was able to score into an open net. If he did that while he was here he’d be getting killed.

  19. Dubinsky, however, is one of the main reasons why Crosby has been ineffective so far, Ty. Somoene else needs to score in Columbus. Something they may not have enough.

  20. “I have run 10 miles a day, every day, for 18 years. That’s 65 thousand miles. A third of the way to the moon. My goal is to run to the moon.” – Chris Traeger

  21. I can’t help but watch the Foligno goal over and over again.

    It was, literally, one of the most pathetic game winning goals ever given up.

  22. The Dubinsky goal is exhibit A as to why Hank should just stay in the net at all times. Nothing good comes of him trying to handle the puck.

  23. Hank is lit’rally horrible at handling the puck. But I don’t think he would have the issue that Fleury had who, for some reason, lit’rally fell to butterfly position about 4 feet wide left of his net.

    Not making fun of you, Carp! Lit’rally is a thing from the show “Parks & Rec”

  24. _It was, literally, one of the most pathetic game winning goals ever given up._

    Seriously, multiply ease of save (clean look from blue line) with game situation (playoff OT, series evens up) and that may be the literal worst goal in NHL history. Atleast since I’ve been watching.

  25. Stranger Nation on

    Let’s not just use one column in the stat sheet to assess performance unless you want to use goals, then look at Cindy Crosby who Dubi is up against.

    How many goals/pts does Skid-knee have? 4
    4 games, 12 shots, 0 goals, 4 assists (all secondary) -3

  26. 40.9 FF% for Crosby last night, 60.9 for Dubinsky. Shut down performance before you even look at the points. Totally the kind of guy every fanbase would love -to run out of town because one time he didn’t happily sign for the amount offered by management-.

  27. Gravy, the Francis goal is the first thing I thought of last night. Brought back painful memories

  28. Nice to see Flower on true playoff form last night!! Jackets might just win that series if he plays like that

  29. Ty, it’s the first one I think of whenever someone mentions bad playoff goals. I generally agree with Carp on momentum, but that goal just turned the series around.

  30. Empire State Building, Part II:

    Former Flyers and members of the team’s front office will ring the closing bell at the Nasdaq Stock Market today in Times Square

  31. Gravy, it sure did. If I remember correctly Francis had a hat trick in that game including the game winner in OT. Just an awful loss.

  32. Stranger Nation on

    Felt like that Francis goal was from the other blue line…
    just a horrible, horrible goal

  33. But its the NASDAQ, not the NYSE, Carp. They’re playing right into second class citizen status.

  34. CARP, stop pulling our legs.

    Next thing you’re going to tell us is that they’re hosting a Flyers viewing party at MSG on Friday night.

  35. Remember when CARP went on the radio and said “THE Kreider”?

    That was classic. The hosts didn’t notice.

  36. Rob in Beantown on

    Exactly, Mister D. I didn’t even know the NASDAQ had a closing bell ceremony.

  37. Terrible loss, and then missed the playoffs completely the next year.

    Different era, but the 91-92 team had five 30 goal scorers, and they averaged 4 GF and 3 GA that season.

  38. Gentlemen, CARP:

    Can you IMAGINE if THE Kreider had played on Messier’s wing?

    Even more unstoppable than he is today.

  39. Doodie Machetto on

    Pimp, I’m sure Messier goes to bed every night cursing and screaming that he had to settle for Graves instead of being afforded the privilege to play with THE Kreider.

  40. They way AV speaks of him, it sounds like there is no shot of Kreider seeing this series.

    Beyond that seems pretty doubtful too.

  41. You guys always underestimate the power of THE.

    He’s coming back in Game 7 and scoring the winning goal.

    Book it.

  42. Not quite as Fat Guy on

    Only desperate players make predictions about first round games

    Reverse lock that we win by two

  43. The NYRangers wouldn’t want to be fresh for the next round, would they?

    Hence, Game 7.

  44. Rob in Beantown on

    I call shenanigans on that map. How are Queens and Long Island Yankee territory?

  45. I read somewhere that if NYR at Pitt face off next round, Game 1 is May 3rd, Game 2 is May 10th, Game 3 is May 17th and Games 4-7 are the 18th though 21st.

  46. Rob in Beantown on

    You guys probably talked about this last night, but Michael Pineda is aware there are high definition video cameras on him the whole time he is on the mound, right?

  47. My idea on suspensions is to have the team play with a lineup that plays with a man less for the entire time of said players suspension . If player is suspended for 5 games team plays 5 games with only 19 players available to dress for these games and i would think owners and the coach would put a stop to a lot of the crab that goes on now . You need to have set games lost for what ever the player does on the ice . Repeat offence would add games to repeat offender .

  48. And also that pitchers, including Jon Lester, have been not really hiding it forever now and no one cares. Especially the hitters, who don’t want to get hit in the face because a pitcher’s fingertips are cold. Should be interesting to see where this goes.

  49. I like that in theory, 17, but I bet that would lead to even fewer suspensions with Player “Safety” not wanting to shorthand teams.

  50. You guys probably talked about this last night, but Fleury is aware there is a game going on the whole time he is on the ice, right?

  51. Rob in Beantown on

    I understand, Mister D. But it’s just laziness though that he put it on his neck in a clearly visible spot.

  52. Doodie Machetto on

    I’m not a baseball fan, by any means, but everyone says it would be ok for him to cheat by hiding it better.

    So why would it not be OK for players to cheat with steroids, provided they don’t get caught?

  53. Stranger Nation on

    _Pimp, I’m sure Messier goes to bed every night cursing and screaming that he had to settle for Graves instead of being afforded the privilege to play with THE Kreider_

    WWAGD – No better role model on the ice or off for THE to emulate. THE has more physical tools but does he have the Onion Jam and mental fortitude to take a pounding in front of the net, deliver the big hit and stick up for the team.

    WWAGD – say no more…

  54. I read that AJ Pierzynksi said that their manager didn’t even want to bring it to the umps because he knows Lester and Buchholz do it all the time so it would invite further scrutiny on them.

    It’s just that he had to do becasuse Pineda is such a schmo for making it that obvious.

  55. Stranger Nation on

    can College kids fight? Haven’t seen much of that in the NHL, seems they miss that finishing school up north.

  56. Doodie Machetto on

    Yeah, but a lot of guys who are enforcers in the NHL weren’t big fighters in junior, either.

  57. I don’t mind the 2 days off 2x in series when this is the only series that has 3 in 4 days and back to back to end series.

  58. How come Dubinsky shuts down Crosby, but when it comes to the Rangers and the opposition’s best player, it’s always McDonagh’s job? Seems like some forwards on our team are being left off the hook, wot?

  59. The one legitimate award that #19 should be considered for is the Byng. Who is more kind to the opposition?

  60. No chance Malkin and Crosby go goalless in 4 games vs rangers. As long as those two are down the middle we don’t match up well with our group of forwards.

    Columbus top 2 centers better then our top two.

  61. Well, here’s the thing about this Rangers team. if they played well enough to win then they’re fine with their efforts. I don’t see them coming out any smarter then they did. This series is most likely going back to MSG 2-2

  62. If nothing else changed but Boyle got a Selke nomination, everyone would suddenly be ok with paying him.

  63. Stranger Nation on

    The center marks the other center which is why Dubi is on Crosby
    In our series, D Moore is in Jah Rue’s face while Girardi is against hartsmell and McD on Vorachek.

  64. _Nash drilled in ankle with shot skates it off. Hold ya breathe_

    Who the hell missed the net by 35 feet???

  65. Going to be a really interesting conversation among the Phlyers fans if they lose this series. The whole goaltender issue pops up again but they get around it by claiming Mason was injured.

  66. Fun Fact: only four non-centers have won the Selke Trophy – Bob Gainey (won the first 4), Craig Ramsey, Dirk Graham, and Jere Lehtinen (3 times).

  67. iWicky "Where's my C"? on

    Carp is by far and away the best blog article poster on this intraweb site today!!

  68. Doodie Machetto on

    “The whole goaltender issue pops up again but they get around it by claiming Mason was injured.”

    Only if Mason isn’t terrible over the remainder of the series.

  69. iWicky "Where's my C"? on

    I have an idea. You should do a live chat during the playoffs with a former player.

  70. iWicky "Where's my C"? on

    Do any of you know if there is just one or two or how many sure fire can’t miss prospects at the top of this years draft?

  71. Prediction: A Flyers D, probably Schenn, will throw a Ranger into Mason, reinjuring Mason. The Flyers will spend the rest of the series avenging the injury they caused.

  72. Fully expect to be 2-2 after Tom night. Two years ago run to conf finals lost all game 4 on road after winning game three on road prior and taking 2-1 series lead

  73. Matty"FromVienna!!"Boy on

    Prust sayin’, I am a long distance fan at the moment, but is STEVE MASON the next MESSIAH?????

    I mean he is the best Flyers goalie since……….…….but he will fold like a house of cards….mark my words.

  74. Matty"FromVienna!!"Boy on

    Can we all just imagine for a moment if THE KREIDER could play in goal? What a string of shutouts he would have!

  75. Matty"FromVienna!!"Boy on

    Wickster, it is awesome! Weather aside (which has been great), Vienna is a sophisticated town. Great sights, shopping, and the food is on another level. If the Rangers played here, I’d move!

  76. iWicky "Where's my C"? on

    I’ll be at work then, but as always it isn’t about me, so go for it!!!

    Will it be live? :)

  77. From ‘The Third Man’:

    In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

  78. iWicky "Where's my C"? on

    Did youse guys see this?

    The Rangers have called up the following players to serve as the taxi squad for this year’s playoff run:

    Defensemen: Conor Allen, Tommy Hughes, Dylan McIlrath, Danny Syvret
    Forwards: Ryan Bourque, Marek Hrivik, Danny Kristo, Oscar Lindberg, Darroll Powe
    Goalie: David Leneveu
    These players will likely not see any action, but are with the team for practices.

  79. So McIlrath is in the playoffs while Bjugstad sits at home? Yeah, Sather toootally messed that one up.

  80. Must be weird for Powe as a (former) real hockey player getting a practice-only callup.

  81. We’re quickly approaching the joke/truth line in terms of you caring more about Stu Bickel than Stu Bickel cares about Stu Bickel. We’re not there, perhaps, but its in sight.

  82. Nice to see Dubi finally getting credit from Ranger fans. Guy took tons of abuse for struggling 1 season while here. Always played second fiddle to Cally in NYR fans eyes. Cally could seem to do no wrong (until his $$$ demands recently) while Dubi could do no right on most nights for the garden faithful. Talk about a heart and soul guy, one of the few who truly wears it on his sleeve or crest in this case. He does everything (maybe less goals then we would like), but gives everything on the ice. How many times has the guy dropped the gloves for his teamates (like Graves always did) while taking a beating (except maybe against Richards). And now we sit watching him (applauding him) while he helps lead his current team as if they were the 2011-2012 Rangers.
    Nice to see the Columbus FANS appreciate him for all he does.
    Honestly, don’t want to face the Jackets (more so Dubi) in the next round. Except for 27 & 36, we don’t have anyone that plays with that kind of heart and determination left on the Rangers.
    Guy should still be a Ranger and wearing the C.

  83. Real Happy about Dubi. Wish we still had him. Does anybody have an ETA on the Kreider???

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