Rangers have hardly turned the corner … yet; Live Chat Friday at noon


Thinking about another noon-time Live Chat Friday. Plan on it. I will let you know if we have to bail. Be there.

My column from The Journal News and Lohud.com:

By Rick Carpiniello

New York being what it is, and bandwagons being what they are, there sure was a lot of noise around here that the Rangers turned some sort of corner in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final when they beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1.

That they now might actually pull off something that’s only happened once, and not in the last 72 years.

Whoa. Whoa. Not so fast.

The Rangers accomplished one thing on Wednesday night, and it’s the same thing they need to accomplish in Game 5 Friday — survive.

“There’s so much work to be done here, we’re just looking at the next game as a great challenge for us,” Henrik Lundqvist said.

It is all the Rangers can do in a series that has been so fabulous to watch — unless you root for one of the teams; then it’s been fabulous only if you enjoy hearing and feeling your heart thump.

It’s been a series that’s difficult to explain; where Los Angeles won two games in which it never led; where you could argue that the worse team won a few of the games; and a series that might set the unofficial Stanley Cup record for “puck luck.” The series could be tied 2-2, and either team could be up 3-1. The Kings are.

The Rangers’ 2-1 win was probably their worst game of the series, at least the second half of it was. At best, it wasn’t their best. Nor was it L.A.’s best, and the Kings sure threatened to win it, with a 15-1 shots advantage in the third period, with a shot off the crossbar and two pucks that miraculously stopped in the accumulated snow on the goal line.

“In (Game 3) we outshot them two-to-one and we lost the game,” said Martin St. Louis, who scored his eighth goal of the playoffs, the game winner, on Wednesday. “(In Game 4) they outshoot us two-to-one and they lose the game. It’s about finding ways, and we did that. We keep the series alive, and we’ll travel to L.A. for Game 5 and bring it back here. That’s our goal.

“We didn’t play a perfect game, but we found a way.”

The Rangers arrived in Los Angeles late Thursday and practiced in the evening. They have a lot to fix, still, and not a lot of time to fix it; and not many player moves they could possibly make. Coach Alain Vigneault, who juggled three of his lines, normally doesn’t change much after wins, anyway.

“It’s about competing,” Lundqvist, who is 11-2 with a 1.30 goals-against average and .959 save percentage in his last 13 elimination games, said. “When everything is on the line, you just have to challenge yourself the right way, I guess, as a team and personally. You have to go out there and leave everything out there and be extremely focused.

“One mistake and the season is over. You’re definitely aware of that. When you go out to these type of games where, you know, you know everything can be over after this period or after the next two periods, you try even harder to be focused and making the right decisions out there. It’s exciting, though.”

Defenseman Dan Girardi was thrilled to get out of Game 4 for a few reasons. He broke his stick and was beaten for Los Angeles’ only goal, on a breakaway by Dustin Brown, and has just had some of the worst luck and, to be fair, has committed some terrible turnovers in the series, including the game loser in overtime in Game 1.

“I’ve never been so happy to have a long flight and a time change,” Girardi said.

That’s all they got Wednesday. They need to be sure that they have another game remaining after the next long flight and the next time change.

Then, maybe after Game 6, they can start to think about the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, the only team in Cup Final history to come back from 0-3.



The Rangers flew across the continent, then held a full evening practice in Los Angeles Thursday, and from appearances, coach Alain Vigneault will stick to his practice of not making lineup changes after a victory.

That means Brad Richards is still in the lineup for Friday night’s Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, and on left wing on the fourth line.

“Brad’s a team-first guy,” Vigneault said. “I mean, as a coach — and especially at this time of the year when you don’t get a lot of these opportunities — sometimes you’ve got to make decisions that might be a little tough to make on a personal aspect. But on a team aspect, you have to. I just felt that certain guys were playing a little bit better than Brad. You know, that’s the way it is.”

Richards told reporters after practice: “Game 2 was rough. I don’t know what happened. I couldn’t get out of my own way.”

He also said, about being told of his demotion prior to Game 4: “You go try to win a game. When you’re down 3-0, something has got to change.”

Déjà vu: The Kings won the Cup in 2012, by beating the Devils in the final … a series in which they won the first two games in overtime, won the third by shutout, then lost Game 4. Sound familiar? The ’12 Kings also lost Game 5, before winning the Cup in Game 6.

Most players and coaches who have been through the ups and downs of playoff series, and most who have won Cups, agree that momentum from game to game doesn’t exist.

Kings coach Darryl Sutter is one.

“I know it’s usually media-created,” Sutter said. “There’s momentum during games and momentum with penalties, momentum with scoring chances, things like that. But if it was always about momentum from game to game, then most series would be over in four and it wouldn’t be called four out of seven; it would be the team that won the first game must have the momentum, and the team that won the last game must have all the momentum.

“I don’t think you get to that point ever, quite honestly. I’ve never been a believer in that because it bears itself out.”

This and that: Martin St. Louis’ goal in Game 4 was his third game winner in these playoffs, and the 11th of his career. … The Rangers lead the playoffs in first-period goal differential at plus-14 (26-12). … The Stanley Cup record for games played is 26 (Philadelphia in 1987, Calgary in 2004). Game 5 will be Los Angeles’ 26th and the Rangers’ club-record 25th. It will also be the 93rd game of these playoffs, breaking the record of 92 set in 1991. … The Rangers are the 27th team in Stanley Cup Final history to face a 3-0 series deficit since the NHL adopted the best-of-seven format in 1939, but just the seventh to avoid a four-game sweep.

Series schedule

Wednesday: Los Angeles 3, Rangers 2, OT

Saturday: Los Angeles 5, Rangers 4, 2OT

Monday: Los Angeles 3, Rangers 0

Wednesday: Rangers 2, Los Angeles 1

Friday: at Los Angeles, 8 p.m., NBC

x-Monday: at Rangers, 8 p.m., NBC

x-Wednesday: at Los Angeles, 8 p.m., NBC

x-if necessary

Photo by the Associated Press.

Twitter: @RangersReport



About Author


  1. Stanley Cup Finals- prime time- Friday Night- you don’t like that…you don’t like ise cream (as the man used to say).

  2. …if prime time is 1am!!
    Going to do my best to stay awake and make it, but if it goes to OT – im screwed!!

  3. Will be interesting to see what the Rangers have in their tank, and whether they can still use team speed to their advantage tonight. If they do, I say it goes 7…

  4. Traveling on business to Amsterdam Sunday night. Hoping to be up at 2 am Monday night (Tuesday morning) watching game 6 of the SCFs. Not to get too far ahead of myself, plan will call for a 10 pm bedtime and a 2:15 wake up call.


  5. As the Macho Man (may his memory be a blessing) used to say:

    OH YEEEAAH – the Rangers are about to step into a Slim Jim

  6. Seems like this is the only place that mentions the fact that the better team has lost tree of the last faw in this series. All the rest of hockey media only talks about Ramgers luck in winning Wednesday.

    Kings don’t get lucky bounces all just talent bounces. Rangers don’t have talent, just luck I guess@$!@$!?

  7. Good morning, boneheads!

    Nice column, Carp.

    June 13th, the Rangers are still playing hockey. Fighting for their lives? Absolutely! The fans are about to be on a verge of having another heart attack? Totally. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Boiler, LA is a better team. It doesn’t mean that the Rangers couldn’t be up 3-1. And it doesn’t mean that thing will not change. Somebody said it well, in hockey when you get that far, any team has a chance. NY should feel comfortable about going into any game so long as they have Lundqvist.

  8. Boiler, it is all part of the Bettman Southern Strategy. The idea is to denigrate the Original 6 and Canadian teams. You know; the traditional heart and soul of hockey. The plan is to force the sport into venues where there is no hockey tradition and where very few people actually play or care for the sport.
    Then you blackmail the other teams to prop up the southern teams that are bleeding cash and play in front of arenas filled to 70% capacity.

    Any real hockey fan does NOT want our sport to become more popular. More money = more labor disputes, more commercials, more stoppages and TV time outs, expanded video review a la the NFL and the inevitable entry of “social” issues into the league.

    Bettman – a second-rate NBA virus injected into the bloodstream of the NHL.

  9. You guys think the Kings will have an extra bucket of snow for Quick to pile up on his goal line?

  10. Agree with Carp. Like I said yesterday, they have to win the second game before you can really start thinking about a comeback. Then they will come home with a chance to tie the series.

    The Kings, although they seem to take everything in stride, may get a little more tight. Even more so if Lundqvist plays out of his mind again.

  11. These guys are done. Toast. You heard it here first.

    Unless THE Kreider unleashes.

  12. Good point JD. I think the Flying Puck has more hockey atmosphere than most Arena’s in the “Bettman Southern Strategy”.

    Also with the more popularity maybe the more increase in the flopping and referee’s deciding games like in the the World’s most popular sport Fútbol/Fußball.

  13. “Midnight City”, which I associate with the 2011-12 team, just came on the radio and now I’m going to go outside and run through a wall. BRB.

  14. Rob in Beantown on

    I associate Good Feeling by *Flo Rida* with the 2012 team. We heard that song a lot that year.

  15. If they win tonight, I start to lose my mind with “what ifs”. Until then, I’m cool.

  16. One shift one period one game. We can start to believe around 11:00 tonight should we win. This is going to be real daunting.

  17. Team speed, aggressive checking in the offensive & neutral zones. A full court press. Giradi got to get his crap together. Again, Henrik has to play the best game of his life. Don’t change your prom date, they must play the speed game offensively or they’ll be skating backwards all night

  18. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Today’s *METAL* selection comes to us from Chicago’s *The Atlas Moth*. Although they haven’t released an album in a few years, these guys have been hard at work creating this masterpiece for Profound Lore records, based out of Kitchener, Ontario.

    The album, complete with a water activated holographic cover, is a real gem conjuring emotions of sorrow, longing and confusion.


  19. I’ve been watching in Spain since game two and fell asleep right before game four. Awake for two loses and asleep for our only win. Tonight is quite a quandary for me.

    Random thoughts:
    Hope that the Rangers can get back to their game as they’ve looked a bit out of control. Looks like they’re battling the poor officiating with all the subtle and not so subtle interference the Princes (they’re not Kings yet) are permitted to get away with.

    NHL needs to find a broadcast partner that cares about the game. Two days between games 3,000 miles apart and then two days off? Commentators are fair at best and the directors clearly don’t know the game or the players. I’ll be looking at getting the CBC broadcast next year as NBC isn’t even an AHL worthy broadcaster.

    I’ve been a Stralman fan all year and delighted he has steadily improved. Rangers must re-sign him!

    The hockey Gods still owe us one game and tonight’s the night. Enjoy the game everyone!

  20. Stranger Nation on

    Rangers lose their 7th Dman for tonite’s game…Garden Slush. Replaced by LA Mush (bowl full of??)

    Marc Staal, paging, Marc Staal…please report to the Stanley Cup Finals…your team is waiting for you.

    Rich Nash – feel free to score tonite. Put together a 3 game stretch of magnificence and the fans will love you forever

  21. Heave Ho. absolutely correct regarding the officiating. Fact is, the Princes are NOT a faster team than the Rangers and are resorting to Jacques Lemaire hockey – clutching, grabbing, neutral-zone trap – to slow down New York. Shame on the refs for allowing that to go on.


  22. Prediction – Nash goes into Beast Mode tonight and the next 2 games. Solidifies his Ranger legacy forever!

  23. Predictions:

    Nash does NOT score.

    Richards collapses from exhaustion during his first shift.

    THE Kreider scores a hat trick and the NYR win 3-2.

  24. Lot’s of “what-ifs” in this series.

    The Rangers could just as easily be up 3-1, with how the first two games started out.

    The 4th win is the toughest to get.

    IF Hank steals this game on the road, the Kings will start to feel the pressure.

    No Mistakes!


  25. Nash with a Hat-Trick. Maybe he can pretend he’s playing against Columbus tonight :)

  26. Vibin’, Stranger. NASH can redeem himself and be the subject of puckmaiden songs for many ages to come.

  27. Brassard zucc Hagelin Kreider. Those 4 with there speed need there A games tonight. Speed will win this.

  28. On a plane RIGHT NOW with my son heading down to Los Angeles to catch the New York Rangers vs. the Los Angeles Kings.

    In the words of Bart Scott: CAN’T WAIT!!!!

  29. I noticed all the stoppage during the Faceoffs, and was wondering why the Kings weren’t putting their stick down. The Rangers stopped putting their’s down, and the refs wouldn’t drop the puck.

    I wonder how it will be tonight?

  30. Yes, now that the Rangers are the road team, they will make sure to enforce the faceoff rules.

  31. The young legs need to come forth tonight and going forward. Can’t imagine what such a long intense season on ice feels like for those older legs.

  32. liblueman thanks for the link to faceoff cheaters. Visiting team must put stick on ice first. Never enforced Wednesday night. I don’t see AV as being a sly trickster and trying that tact in return tonight. Even if he did, certain the refs would not allow similar shenanigans to the NHL Queens.

  33. “Perhaps to accompany the more somber subject material, the *Atlas Moth* drift deeper into the *shoegaze* interests that have previously been only dalliances.

  34. Rob in Beantown on

    It is the distant future
    The year 2000
    We are robots
    The world is quite different ever since the robotic uprising of the late 90s.
    There is no more unhappiness.
    We no longer say ‘yes’. Instead we say ‘affirmative’.
    Yes – Err – Affirmative.

  35. Do you smell what the Zucc is cookin’?

    You know somethin’, Mean Gene, LA’s in real trouble tonight brother. Whatchugonnado when Zuccamania runs wild on YOU, Doubty?

  36. What did I see? Can I believe that what I saw that night was real and not just fantasy?

  37. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Mexico plays like the Rangers. Lots of passing, disallowed goals and missed opportunities.

  38. Who would have thought that the NYR would have more guys named Diaz than the Mexico World Cup team?

  39. Is there anything more irritating than hearing Benigno and his little partner ‘singing’ that puerile theme song?

  40. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    If the Nazi’s were still in charge of Germany their national music would be Electronic Garbage stuff.

  41. I don’t like the music you hear in the Dentist office while he’s preparing your mouth for an imminent root canal.

  42. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Could the Mexican players spend more time writhing on the ground?

  43. You’ve lost that Muzzin feelin’
    Whoa, that Muzzin feelin’
    You’ve lost that Mizzo’ feelin’
    Now it’s gone…gone…gone…woaaaah.

  44. I do. Nine Inch Nails, Ministry. Also, Rammstein, though that’s considered Neue Deutsche Härte.

  45. Et-o-o-o-o with two extra rolls. No embellishment in soccer, only extra-super-embellishment.

  46. I enjoy a musical piece where a harmonic or monophonic note or chord is continuously sounded throughout most or all of a piece. Most pleasing to my ear is a synthesized keyboard pedaling a droned Dmaj or Em.

  47. Hard to watch soccer players lay on the ground, “he kicked me”, ….. when Steps playing with a broken jaw.

    I’m sure I’ll watch a game or two, but it’s just not my game, unless my kid is playing in it :)

  48. This is pretty impossible to believe but it’s true. Swearsies.

    The National > Electronic Music.

  49. Hen-rik Hen-rik Hen-rik needs to steal this game tonight.

    I’m thinking he serves up a donut tonight.

    I believe we win.

    Then the PRESSURE will be on the KINGS at MSG!

    It WILL happen!

  50. Stranger Nation on

    Charp at Noon pacific?

    Lance Pugmire ? @latimespugmire
    Both Kings, Rangers benefited from trades involving Marian Gaborik
    (everyone except Bjs)

  51. I would have it another way.

    The Rangers would have swept the Kings and there would not be a game tonight.

  52. I would have it another way.

    The rangers would have swept their way through playoffs and there would not be a game for a while now.

  53. sounding very optimistic over here today… i like it!

    gotta play tonight like it’s game 7, give it everything… we’ve got two days before game 6, plenty of time to recover.

    win tonight and all the pressure is on them.

  54. ***Staal Wart*** on

    If anyone needs to see a game of embellishment…watch any World Cup game… It’s actually really funny.

  55. I don’t know about tonight, but maybe they could trade Nash for Kadri and Franson and *cap space* this *offseason*.

  56. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    I’m here CCCP. And Electronic Music still sucks. Also, your avatar is a rip off of a NYC tourism plan.

  57. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    I didn’t bash anything. I just said it was a rip off. I guess I could be wrong about that if NYC stole that logo from Ukraine. But we all know Ukraine is weak.

  58. Best Sports Sobriquets:

    The Big Hurt – Frank Thomas
    Sweet Music – Frank Viola
    The Mailman – Karl Malone
    Broadway Joe – Namath
    The Refrigerator – William Perry
    Donnie Baseball – Mattingly
    Hick from French Lick – Larry Byrd
    Sweetness – Walter Payton
    His Airness – Jordan
    The Good One – Rick Nash

  59. In-Room refrigerator choices at Carp’s Bus Motel:

    4 ounce chilled Ripple
    miniature chunky bars
    imported Chernobyl bottled water
    watermelon flavored Pop Rocks

  60. Dont be jealous, Manny… maybe one day you can too find “I heart borderline 4th liner gentleman” avatar thingy… just be patient.

  61. Today’s *other* Metal selection comes to you from *Sweden*. This year marks the bands 25th anniversary of melting faces with their *brutal* brand of extreme progressive *Metal*.

    *M E S H U G G A H* has become best known for their complex, polymetered song structure and innovative rhythms. The song I picked for your wicked souls is off their 2007 album titled, *Obzen*. The track is Electric Red.

    You’re about attend a *Black* *Mass*. Allow yourself to be slayed.


  62. “In-Room refrigerator choices at Carp’s Bus Motel:

    4 ounce chilled Ripple
    miniature chunky bars
    imported Chernobyl bottled water
    watermelon flavored Pop Rocks”

    Half-eaten roast beef sandwich smothered with Gold’s horseradish sauce

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