Rangers-Flyers in review


Flyers 4, Rangers 3 (OT)

Click here for the official game summary.
Click here for the official event summary.
Click here for Alain Vigneault’s post-game press conference video.


1) The best thing you can say about these preseason games is that there are only two more of them.

2) I hadn’t been to the Arena that Changes Names Every Five Minutes in a while (probably two or three names ago). Hadn’t been there since the Olli Jokinen game (and a Torts pre-game meltdown). Before that, last time I was there, Bryan Trottier was the coach.

3) Always love the Lauren Hart anthems.

4) And some things haven’t changed in 50 years of Flyers hockey. No matter who is or isn’t in the lineup (Zac Rinaldo long gone, Wayne Simmonds scratched … I saw him in the pressbox). Though most of the Flyers no longer play that way. Hardly any, in fact.

5) But Radko Gudas, made Teflon by the NHL Department of Not Giving a Flying You-Know-What About Head Injuries (NHLDONGAFYKWAHI), will maim somebody some day. He will. You know, the guy who blasted and concussed Viktor Stalberg last season, and who blasted Mika Zibanejad in the head in Ottawa last season. And who escaped punishment more times than I can count.

6) Gudas is among the filthiest players in the game, and that hit on Jimmy Vesey in the first period was absolutely as filthy as it gets, right in the numbers, dangerous and vulnerable distance from the boards, and you could argue a head shot to boot. He certainly drove Vesey’s face into the glass. He’s a repeat offender because of the Zibanejad hit and suspension. He’ll probably get three games, two in the preseason. I won’t be surprised, based on history, if he gets less. Or none. What a joke.

vesey-goal-gi7) Meanwhile, what was that about the Rangers needing a guy like Dylan McIlrath to prevent stuff like that? Um. No. Same with Matt Beleskey when he broke Derek Stepan’s ribs last Black Friday. McIlrath was on the ice for both. Not blaming him whatsoever. Just saying, with few exceptions, he cannot deter the dirty stuff by being on the ice.

8) Now, if you want revenge, that’s another story. So McIlrath goes after Gudas immediately – good for him. I completely applaud that. Jakub Voracek tackles McIlrath, who gets two for instigating, five for fighting and a misconduct … even though there WAS NO FIGHT! Gudas also got a fighting major. And if our fine, fine NHL officials deemed that to be a fight, then Voracek has to get a third-man-in, no? I mean, that’s the very definition of third-man-in … if that was a fight. Asinine.

9) Vesey had words with the Flyers bench on his way off the ice, and returned in the second. Good for him. Said he was fine, other than a sore nose. Didn’t go through concussion protocol. Only would say that he thought the right call was made.

10) Alain Vigneault said, “I’ve seen that hit many times before, from that player. I’ll just leave it at that.”

11) Henrik Lundqvist. Saw some shots, in terms of numbers, but really didn’t face any of the mayhem and uncontested chances he saw the last time he was on the ice in that uniform.

12) Meant to mention this yesterday. In practice, you can just tell that Lundqvist is different, and obviously better, than the other goalies. He is more competitive on each shot than any of the others. It’s do-or-die on every puck that comes his way. And of course he stops more of those practice shots than the others, too.

13) “Everybody knows the quality of the goaltender that Hank is, the example that he is as far as the preparation and the work he likes to do,” Vigneault said about having him back. “So obviously it’s a benefit to our whole group; it’s a benefit to our young goaltenders to see a goaltender like that and what he does to be at the top of his game. So from that standpoint, I think it’s going to be beneficial to our whole group to have him around.”

14) Maxim Lapierre took a hooking penalty (only his third minor in four games), because he couldn’t keep up, the Flyers got a sixth skater onto the ice, and Jordan Weal scored the first goal of the in the second period before the whistle blew.

lundqvist-getty15) Then Vesey took a questionable penalty, and J.T. Miller, on the penalty kill, earned a double-minor with a stick to Voracek’s face, and the Flyers cashed both ends of the two-man power play, one squirting through MacKenzie Skapski’s pads, the other off his skate after he was forced to flail on the ice by a very 2015-16-ish penalty kill.

16) If the PK doesn’t scare you yet – if you’re waiting for the full lineups to panic – you’re forgiven,  because it’s difficult to draw conclusions with the mixed personnel they are using right now. But if you are scared already, that’s OK too.

17) Ryan Graves, trying to make an impression, scored through Marek Hrivik’s screen to cut it to 3-1.

18) Brandon Pirri sniped another one, off the Kostka by Samuel Morin. He was brought here to shoot it and he has shot it, and he has scored four times in three games. So put him on the opening roster, and probably in the opening-night lineup. …

19) … But “there’s no doubt that he’s got a knack to find the net and score,” Vigneault said. “Tonight he scored a big goal for us. But there’s other areas where I need to be sure he’s going to be able to make the play – get the puck out, be strong on the wall, and tonight in certain areas he needed to make a better play. But there’s no doubt offensively that he’s got good hands and he can find the back of the net.”

20) Then Derek Stepan, in his preseason debut, picked off a terrible pass by Steve Mason, tried to throw it in front, hit Michael Del Zotto’s skate and came right back to Stepan, who set up Vesey cutting to the net for his first goal of the preseason … and probably clinching the Lars-Erik Sjoberg award.

21) Though, I think Mackenzie Skapski deserves some consideration for the way he’s played in his three appearances.

22) Another one is Marek Hrivik, who actually might turn out to be the fourth-line center.

23) Anyway, away they went to the 3-on-3 OT firedrill, which is what it is. And yeah, that’s a great play by Voracek, but Ryan McDonagh’s got to be stronger on him all over that shift. I mean, it’s tough for Rick Nash or Derek Stepan to leave their man to help on Voracek. It’s man-to-man. McDonagh got beat. I thought he had some moments in his preseason debut. One time he tried to catch a Flyers shot with the palm of his glove. Which I’m gonna guess is probably not a good idea.

24) Rick Nash. Hit a crossbar. Drew two penalties driving to the net. Took a penalty in the third. Was on the ice for the winner.

25) I thought Nick Holden was just fine on the right side. Not sure how the heck this is all going to shake out, and what the top six is actually going to look like on opening night.

26) Miller had a bit more jump than he did in Newark.

27) Kevin Hayes to Pavel Buchnevich 2-on-1 early. The pass was telegraphed a bit, and Steve Mason was able to get across. Would have gone a long way for Buchnevich to bury that one, IMO. Buchnevich was robbed by Mason in the third.

28) Today is the 25th anniversary of the Mark Messier trade. He was done, they said, at age 30. He only played ‘til he was 43.

29) Is that Ice-T?


ICYMI, the Rangers made some cuts last night, and might make more today. Calle Andersson, Chris Brown, Steven Fogarty, Ryan Gropp, Tommy Hughes, Philip McRae, Michael Paliotta, and Adam Tambellini were all assigned to Hartford (AHL).

pirriRemaining roster:
Forwards (23): Pavel Buchnevich, Jesper Fast, Gabriel Fontaine, Nathan Gerbe, Tanner Glass, Michael Grabner, Kevin Hayes, Marek Hrivik, Nicklas Jensen, Josh Jooris, Robin Kovacs, Chris Kreider, Maxim Lapierre, Oscar Lindberg, J.T. Miller, Rick Nash, Cristoval Nieves, Brandon Pirri, Derek Stepan, Malte Stromwall, Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zuccarello
Defensemen (12): Mat Bodie, Adam Clendening, John Gilmour, Dan Girardi, Ryan Graves, Nick Holden, Kevin Klein, Ryan McDonagh, Dylan McIlrath, Brady Skjei, Marc Staal, Chris Summers
Goaltenders (4): Magnus Hellberg, Henrik Lundqvist, Antti Raanta, Mackenzie Skapski

My Three Rangers Stars:
1. Jimmy Vesey.
2. Dylan McIlrath.
3. Brandon Pirri.

Photos by Getty Images.

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  1. Scottsdale Ranger on

    Flyers still a bunch of jackwagons. Maybe that’s why they haven’t won the cup in over 15,100 days…

  2. Not first time not long time on

    I believe you are right, brother in Scottsdale. Howzeviz, i would’ve preferred to see more out of that Zabadanaadoo kid. Forgot his name, he’s that Iranian dude. Mcdonough and girardi are done. They called it even he first started here. They said he’ll be washed up by 27 if he keeps blocking so many shots. I guess the coach back then was a problem. Wit no defense, we got nothin. I’m hearing people tell me the window is closing fast. Why day sayin dat?

  3. #15: That was more than just a questionable penalty. Vesey’s stick was being held, waist high, by a flyer, while another flyer’s stick committed the actual penalty. I sure hope the officiating from this game doesn’t spillover into the regular season. Smh
    It’s lemonade, man. Read the sign!

  4. Great review again Carp!
    I’m thinking Pirri is getting plenty of opportunity to make this roster and so far is coming up with the goods at the business end. Not sure how that shakes out the lines in the end, or if its going to force a trade.
    So far (as well as Pirri) the Graves kid seems to be having the best audition on ‘D’

  5. scottsdale dad on

    watch a lot of flyer games out here and can’t believe goon gudas has only been suspended once in his career. Guess the NHL Department of Condoning Brain Rattling Hits From Behind (NHLDCBRHFB) feels its part of the charm of the Flyers 40 year culture. Sorry,Carp…had to go there with the abbrev.

  6. Another way to punish the teams that have these types of players on the team is this,
    When a Gudas commits the type of penalty he committed last night, he serves the 5, but the opposing team gets to chose who gets the game misconduct. Gudas gets 5, and the Rangers decide Giroux gets the game misconduct.

  7. Great job Carp. The next 48 hours should start to answer some of our questions.
    Was Miller’s high stick on Voracek revenge for Gudas’ ridiculous cheap shot?
    If the PK doesn’t get fixed by December, start picking out coaches to hire mid-season. Zucc’s Team Europe coach Krueger?

  8. AV has a very tough decision up front. Buchnevich is getting better every game. He was very good last night. Vesey is an NHLer. And Pirri can score. I think you make Pirri the 4th line center, and PP specialist, but I doubt they go that way. I saw someone mention this the other day, and at the time I did not think much of it, but maybe you make Miller the 4th line center for a little while. Then you let the other guys sort themselves out.

  9. Something like this.
    Vesey, Stepan, Nash
    Kreider, Zika, Buchnevich
    Pirri, Hayes, Zucc
    Grabner, Miller, Fast.
    You could also flip Miller, and Pirri.

  10. boxcareddiehospodar on


    One vicious beating by McIlrath on Gudas will certainly have Gudas thinking twice before running another Ranger.
    The problem is the officials always jump in prior to McIlrath issuing a beating.
    Another weak statement by AV. I’ve seen that hit before. WEAK!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. The rangers are at 23 forwards right now. Need to get to 13, or 14.
    Fontaine, Kovacs, Stromwall, and Neives are getting cut, so now you are down to 19. Gerbe, Jooris, and Lapierre, gets you to 16. Here is where it gets tough. If you keep 14, do you keep Jensen, and Hrivek. And waive Glass? Lindberg is one of the 23, so he will start on IR. Jensen has been okay, but Hrivek has been a little better, and can play center. So if you keep Glass, then Jensen gets waived. I would throw up my hands in disgust if they send Buchnevich down.

  12. The D is at 12, getting to 8 is easy. Gilmour, Bodie, Graves, and Summers. I think Wickey is going to end up being right, Skjei is going to get sent down, unless they decide to keep 8. That’s doubtful.
    Your 7 would be, McD, Staal, Girardi, Klein, Holden, Clendenning, and McIlrath. Maybe they move on from McIlrath, figuring he is not going to get enough games to prevent him from becoming an UFA after the season. Get a draft pick while you can. Or despite Clendenning playing well, they waive him. I think the most logical move is Skjei to Hartford.

  13. Only in the NHL hands out suspensions for preseason games…probably the dumbest thing ever and thats saying a lot in this league. Hoping Gudas gets nothing and dresses next game so McIlrath beats the snot out of him

  14. Stranger Nation on

    Pirri, Hayes, Zucc; the defense rests your honor
    Holden looks good. Good with puck and away.
    Carp arguing with himself about deterrence. Nobody said Diesel is a deterrent, but an answer to those who cross the line. Wish he would have kept his skates when Vorachick jumped him to give a beat down.
    Step-soft gave Goudass two soft shoves in the back. Now that’s a Capt!
    PP has looked bad since Step has come back. Coincidence??

  15. But “there’s no doubt that he’s got a knack to find the net and score,” Vigneault said. “Tonight he scored a big goal for us. But there’s other areas where I need to be sure he’s going to be able to make the play – get the puck out, be strong on the wall, and tonight in certain areas he needed to make a better play. But there’s no doubt offensively that he’s got good hands and he can find the back of the net.”

    Translation: “he’s no Yesper Fast”

  16. Gudas is no different than Matt Cooke or Raffi Torres. These dirtbags were/are bad for the game.
    I agree with BobbyO. Give him nothing and let him face the Wrath.

  17. I think Jensen is going to be traded very soon. No way he makes this roster, no way he clears waivers.

  18. Cross Check Charlie on

    I think that you have to have a player or two that is a scorer even if they aren’t all that great defensively. You can’t get by with 13 Bob Gainey’s on your roster. Somebody has to put it in the net.

  19. Cross Check Charlie on

    That’s right, Carp. We need more Bob Gainey’s in the front office………of other teams.

  20. Anybody impressed by Buchnevich yet? I knew the guy was going to disappoint and was way overhyped.

    “Another one is Marek Hrivik, who actually might turn out to be the fourth-line center.” or winger. He is certainly a better option than Lapierre, Gerbe, Jensen, Glass. Etc. Maybe Jooris is better, but he got hurt, same goes for Nieves.

    “I think Jensen is going to be traded very soon. No way he makes this roster, no way he clears waivers.” – our GM is usually too lazy and too timid to make such trades. That would require some extra work, extra phone calls, why bother for some 5th round pick.

  21. Matty"DropThePuckAlready"Boy on

    Funny thing, Cross Check. Up until late last season, other teams were saying “we don’t want Sather to retire”.

    Gainey? Sather? Ok, one won The Cup a half century ago. They both sucked.

  22. get used to those “i can’t keep” penalties from Lapierre if he makes this squad. Steep price to pay for faceoff wins if the PK isn’t effective

  23. Matty"DropThePuckAlready"Boy on

    This and next season is all about the ‘go for it mentality’ with a team that wasn’t good enough to be ‘meant for it’ by Sather. First rounders, second rounders, and up against the cap with some ridiculous salaries.

    Good luck to Mr. Gorton, who, I believe, has already shown he is going to be a good modern day GM.

  24. Pablo- I have to admit that I doubted Hrivik and he’s been impressive, but I still don’t think he makes the team. I just don’t believe there’s that much upside there, but I could be wrong. Maybe he’s a late bloomer and he does have some size.
    On our GM- the guy has had a good summer. Based on July 1, Brassard for Zibinijad and Vesey, I fully expect him to do something in the next week, however minor it might be. And I also expect he’ll do what’s best for the team. .

  25. Cross Check Charlie on

    “Steep price to pay for faceoff wins if the PK isn’t effective”
    The team was terrible at faceoffs the year they went to the Stanley Cup Finals. They were a little better last year. I’d take the losses at the dot for somebody that can play.

  26. Doodie Machetto on

    Given how the league treats those kinds of hits where a player turns towards the boards just prior to contact, I didn’t think it was worthy of supplemental discipline ::ducks::

  27. I would keep defs like this:

    McTrack – Clendenning
    Staal – Klein
    Skjei – Undertaker

    keep Holden and G for 7 and 8 th spot,

    There is nothing to do for Skjei in AHL, he need to develop, this year is not going to be cup run, use it for developing youth.

  28. Surprised the zebras didn’t give The Undertaker another five minutes for the NFL horse-collar when he forcefully dragged Gudas out of the scrum. Fighting? What fight? More like delay of game.

  29. Breathtaking review carp

    It was me about miller and 4th line centre.

    Agree that carp is arguing with himself about deterrence (no disrespect intended, but I don’t remember anyone even saying deterrent in quite a while).

    NHL is a joke protecting the perp again and agree with carp and others, voracek was 3rd in according to “rules”.

    Stepan is an embarrassment.

  30. I’ll tell you what was most impressive is that McIlrath flew in there at high speed, yanked Gudas from the crowd, got 3-4 punches in and it took 2 men and a ref to stop him. Fair play kid, stick taps to you.

    And yet again the Player “Safety” department fails their mandate

  31. Hrivik does not need a great upside, he is already a good 4th liner that can play 3rd line if needed and can kill penalties. He obviously has scoring ability as well.

  32. As far as others than miller as 4th line centre…not sold on hrivik, pirri is a non starter and doesn’t belong there imho…Lapierre is the best bet at this point (to borrow from doodle-ducks-). It wouldn’t surprise me to see him offered a contract, also wouldn’t surprise me to see him cut and miller at 4th line centre to start. A lot of the miller at that spot has to do with other players slotting in at best fit positions like pirri and buchy.

  33. As always, thanks for your insights, Carp…best on the web! How do they let players like Goudas stay in the league….perhaps rename him Limbergers and he will be sent to the Swiss League? I see some of the same weaknesses as last year, but hard to ell, as you note, with the mix-and-match lineups. I think the talent level has improved, now let’s see what AV can do with it…

  34. Doodie Machetto on

    I had the same thought re: third man in. That’s the textbook definition of it, provided that the refs called that a fight.

  35. Doodie Machetto on

    No way do they put Miller on the 4th line rather than a retread. That would be one of the worst possible decisions they could make.

  36. Stranger Nation on

    One of the gaps on O was finishers. Pirri can finish or at least against half squads of Metro competition. Zika is a shooter. VC likes to finish as well. Nash is another shoot first player.
    THE – Zika – Nashed Potato
    MillerTime – Stepsoft – Zuccerfella
    Pirriwinkle – Hazy – VC
    Grabber – Ribbit – Yessir Fast (oscar to pivot when healthy)
    13th – Gas
    Butch to Hartford for ‘seasoning’ when Pirri gets 10-15 games to make his mark
    don’t think Pirri is a 4th line player, unless we are reverting back to the Erika Christmastime days of yore.

  37. Pablo – Where is this obvious scoring ability from Hrivik? The guy has never hit 20 goals at the AHL level? If he makes the team it as the fourth line center and as penalty killer.
    Glad to see Gudas didn’t get suspended. I hope Hakstol has the stones to play him Thursday night. If he does play, the Rangers should find every available knuckle-dragger and dress them. Forget the Stu Bickel line brawl – I am thinking more like the ending of Slapshot! :-)

  38. To play the 12 best forwards. That’s why. I would put Pirri on the 4th line. Some like SN, want to send Buchnevich down so Hrivek can be the 4th line center. Obviously Buchnevich has a lot more going for him than Hrivek, so maybe you slot other guys in different spots to make it work. Some of you are stuck on the idea of a traditional 4th line center. The rangers have some much forward depth, the best thing for them do would be to play the 12 best forwards, and slot them as needed. You don’t need Hrivek, LaPierre, or Jooris for that matter.

  39. I know some are going to hate him no matter what, but Stepan isn’t a fighter- what do some of you want from him? He’s usually the one getting his jaw or his ribs or his ankle broken by the opposition. Not many third man in pim’s coming his way. Same can be said for most the team. to single out one of the only 50-60 point guys= pointless. Stepan trying to grab Gudas isn’t what I would call any kind of deterrent. He’s not a rat like Lapierre. But at least he can skate, right?

  40. think thats 4 straight ejections for Gudas without a suspension…so much for repeat offenders…he must have pictures of Quintal or something….praying he dresses next game at the garden and big Mac says hello

  41. Big Orange Trumpkin on

    I was there, happened right down in front of me bad/cheap hit on Vesey. Relieved to see him back on the ice for the 2nd. Dude looks like the real deal. Of course the Wells Farto Faithful all claimed it was a clean hit.

    Nonsensical quote of the night from the guy behind me:
    “I hate that dooshbag Ryan McDonaugh”…sure there’s lots of guys you could “hate” and even some who are “dooshbags”…but Ryan McDonaugh? It just shows the mentality I guess…

  42. Just catching up and reading all the comments. I agree with you, James. While I wasn’t happy that Step did basically nothing, to expect anything tough out of him is just foolish. He’s not that kind of player and never will be. In fact, I wouldn’t even want him to even engage because he’s too valuable to the team to risk another injury. McIlrath was on the ice and did exactly what he was supposed to do. He answered for it, so the team answered for it. Picking on another guy for not throwing a pointless jab to the back of Gudas’ head doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Players have roles. Step has played his better than most for the last several years. McIlrath played his perfectly last night.

  43. Doodie Machetto on

    BDL, yes, play the 12 best forwards, but what does that have to do with Miller being on the 4th line? Even if you’re playing the 12 best, there’s no way he should ever be there.

    I think Buch should start the season in Hartford. Just a few weeks to get some more games on the North American ice before playing meaningful NHL games.

    I absolutely think Pirri should make the team. If anything, he’s acquitted himself well enough that he will get a job somewhere in the NHL this year. I also think he should be playing on the 4th line and should really focus and learn how to kill penalties.

  44. It’s only going to get more complicated when Jooris and Lindberg are healthy. Especially if the later is ready to go for the opener

  45. A couple of things….
    Believe it or not I really don’t care if Lapierre makes the roster or not (yes, I like his previous NHL style of play and I think there is value in that to a team AT TIMES, but am indifferent whether he makes the roster or not). That being said, I want the rangers to have an NHL 4th line centre, not an out of position top 9 player as a 4th line centre (which is why I’m not stoked about any other option at this point). If the rangers traded for a Lowry from the jets or a player like that I be the first man ne to say send Lapierre packing. As I e said all along, Lapierre is the best NHL 4th line centre option the rangers havé currently.

    No one is saying miller stays there forever, just to start until lindberg is 100% then the deck chairs shuffle.

    Re stepan…no one, least of all me is expecting stepan to fight but come on he wears a letter do something a bit more assertive than what he did. No one expects him to do what known pugilist voracek did (that is dripping sarcasm btw)…actually yeah, grab a guy in the scrum, grab voracek after he was 3rd man in. Some of you talk about stepan like he’s falkng Gretzky. Heaven forbid he break a nail on those 50-60 pt hands…lmmfao!!!!

  46. Pirri is my 4th line center for now, too. It’s far from ideal but he needs to be on the team. He’s a huge weapon on the PP, but the rest of his game needs work, so limiting his TOI while being on the 4th makes sense. By the time Lindberg gets back, we’ll all have a better idea on some of the fringe guys and where they should be slotted.

  47. If you send Buchnevich down, you are not playing the 12 best forwards. As far as Miller goes, think outside the box. Yes he would center Fast, and Grabner on the 4th line ( I would prefer Pirri to do this), but he is also going to play PP, and bump up on the wing where needed. He would still get his 16 or so minutes a game. He would center the 4th line, but he would not be a 4th liner.

  48. Look what Gary’s favorite franchise is up to now – what a joke! – PPG announced that it has reached an agreement with the Pittsburgh Penguins to immediately assume naming rights for Pittsburgh’s multipurpose arena. Previously known as “CONSOL Energy Center,” the facility now will be named “PPG PAINTS Arena.” PPG also becomes the official paint supplier of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

  49. I would not use the 12 best forwards concept, 10 or 11 best, absolutely. 4th line centre is a rare bird, that position needs the player that is the best fit. I’d sure as hell use moops or Lapierre as 4th line centre over zucc, buchy, vc, even though all three are better players than the other two.

  50. If you have a good 4th line center, I am kind of with you, but the Rangers don’t have a good 4th line center on the roster. So you play the 12 best, and slot them where needed.

  51. Let me put this a different way, I want the best team in a team sport. The best players do not always translate into the best team. There are roles to be filled and sometimes a certain skill set is better for a role than other skill sets. I think it was herb brooks who said I’m not looking for the best players, I’m looking for the best team (paraphrasing).

  52. You want to play a guy because he is a 4th line center. It doesn’t matter that he’s not any good, he is a 4th line center. Well I want to play good players. Players who can help the team win in many different ways. I don’t see what Lapierre adds, other than, he is a 4th line center.

  53. Stranger Nation on

    I can name the 4th line center on last year’s SC Champ. Usually 4th line center is lead PKer as he can win dzone draws. Not sure how the PK shakes out with Pirri in as PP specialist/sniper.
    Prob forces Zika and Step to play PK all game. Zika/Grabber and Step/Nash may pot a few SHGs. But also may tire them out for 5v5 if lots of PK time.
    What is the 3rd pair? Glass/Fast and ??
    Agree Stepsoft should have grabbed Vorachick to allow Diesel to go pound on Goonass.

  54. Bdl
    I am in no way shape or form saying Lapierre is the second coming of Joel Otto or a not overpaid Paul gaustad or even bran bole, but when you look objectively at the legitimate candidates and the importance of D zone and pk draws alone, he is the best fit at this point.

  55. Nobody expects $tepan to pull Gudas out of the pile and go toe to toe with him … (That’d be real ugly for Ranger fans) but, as mentioned, be like Vorachek and do SOMETHING… crosscheck that POS in the neck ..
    I mean even $tep’s crosschecks last night, he made sure he kept maximum distance from that thug …
    I don’t want him stripped of his “A”, but teammates have to stick together and cover each other’s back. Like I mentioned earlier, it is relatively safe in a big scrum as compared to facing down a guy who has fought hundreds of times against a guy who can count on one hand his total fights.
    not sure why so many here don’t recognize Quickie as a keeper.. and I get it that it depends who he pushes out of the line-up.. but that guy has NHL level “game” and skills… A faster player is not necessarily a :”better” player. Being a 3 zone player is still important.. bad defense trumps good offense.. no coach these days is going to abandon that philosophy… the games and the playoff spots are just to precious to gamble much…
    Coming back hard is usually a matter of effort…
    The first year, it was in the play offs, when Torts gave McDonagh the full green light to rush the biscuit, he was really good at it… he picked his spots and he picked them well.. he played strong defense first…
    the past two seasons, he has tried to rush through too many opposing players, pinched in bad places, often risking 2 or 3 on 1’s… I almost wish they never gave him the “C”…
    I hope he gets that straightened out this season .. Hopefully Buke will help in that regard…
    It’s a good sign that Hayes dropped some poundage, But I remain skeptical on him…
    Overall, this team will need 10-20 reg season games to really know where they stand …Hank may be the savior again early, this squad is going to need time to gel…
    Returning players need to excel … Nash, Step, JT, Zuch, Kid Keider, Hayes up front along with McDonagh, Kleiner, Staal, G-man on the D and of course Hank …. They all need to play well early and look to be better this year..

  56. Doodie Machetto on

    If you’re going by the “12 best” philosophy, part and parcel of that is making sure that your best players are playing the most high leverage minutes. Putting Miller on the 4th line is counter to that. He is no worse than our 8th best forward. If you’re doing “12 best forwards” and you think Buchnevich is one of them, he’s in the bottom 3, and HE should be on the 4th line.

    That all said, right now, I don’t think he is one of the 12 best. He will be, and soon. But for now, the game is still just too fast for him when he doesn’t have the puck.

  57. So you want to play him, just because. Wicky, he is not any good anymore. If he were to make the team, he would last less time that Stoll did last year. He was done too.

  58. in the end, AV will deploy 3 scoring lines and a defensive fourth line. No matter our opinions, pre season performances or analysis…

  59. Bole was a quality 4th line center who could forecheck, win faceoffs, and contribute the occasional goal.

  60. Stranger Nation on

    Oscar, Oscar, Oscar already skating with non-contact jersey so say he is back by mid/late Nov and misses 18/20 games. Once again need a 4C +55% FO PKer that Moops and Stoll were not last season.
    Jooris getting hurt as interim pivot places a strain on that 4C role. Ribbit could be short term approach.

  61. Buchnevich would be 9. We saw Fast in the top 9 last year, we know he doesn’t belong there. Grabner is a 4th line PKer.
    Again Doodie,
    I would prefer Pirri as the 4th line center, not Miller. You guys are still stuck on the traditional 4th line center. A guy like Miller could center the 4th line, and still pump in 20 or more goals because he will play the PP, and be the swing forward. He would still get plenty of important ice time. The Rangers do not have a GOOD 4th line center on the roster. You have to think outside the box.

  62. Bodie, Summers, Brown, Hughes on waivers. Lapierre released from tryout.

    If anybody takes Bodie they will have to keep him on the NHL roster or waive him. So …

  63. Doodie Machetto on

    BDL, I’ve got no problem with a non-Moore/Boyle/Stoll, etc. type on the 4th line C. I’m just saying that it makes no sense to put a much better player there.

    You’re dreaming if you think Miller would score 20 goals while playing 4th line at even strength, even if he played every second of every PP.

    You’re saying Buchnevich would be 9 but I disagree. From what I’ve seen of our new players, I’d say he’s currently behind both Pirri and Vesey. And that’s not a bad thing, at all. So even taking out guys like Fast and Grabner, That puts him at 10. Not in order: Nash, Kreider, Stepan, Zuke, Miller, Hayes, Pirri, Vesey, Zika. Buchnevich, to me, is behind all of those guys. And while he’s certainly more talented than Grabner and Fast, they are certainly more complete players. That’s why I say start him in Hartford so he can round out his game just a little bit before coming back up. He’s a disaster away from the puck and he’s still getting adjusted to how much less time he has when he’s in possession of it. That doesn’t mean he won’t figure it out, just that he hasn’t yet.

    At the same time, I’d be perfectly happy with Pirri on the 4th line centering Grabner and Fast, with Buch taking his place in the top 9 – even though I think Pirri is the better player. As an example:

    I’m not married to those combinations at all, but it’s just to give you an idea of how to slot Buch and Pirri in.

  64. Doodie Machetto on

    Lapierre released. He was only here to help our veteran minimums and now he’s gone. Pour one out for Wicky.

  65. No specific recommendation for the JT move, but I agree with BDL that there is too little innovation in hockey. Few have the nerve.

  66. Doodie,
    I think we are agreeing,,while disagreeing.
    While I agree that Pirri has earned himself a spot in the line up, I am not convinced he will keep it.

  67. Jeff in South Dakota on

    If Step would have done any more than what he did vis-a-vis Gudas, we would all be commenting today on how Step’s a Killer! Step’s a mess!

  68. Cross Check Charlie on

    One way to alleviate the glut of forwards – trade Hayes. Sure, he’s 20 pounds lighter, but he doesn’t look to be any better to me. Vesey might get upset over it, but that’s life.

  69. If there weren’t a dust-up after the Gudas hit, he would have probably been given a two minute minor by these nitwit refs.

  70. History would indicate, as BDL said, Pirri is not a long term, (like by mid-season), solution.

  71. Doodie Machetto on

    I totally agree about Pirri being temporary. Basically, once Lindberg gets back, it will be very hard for Pirri to get into the lineup, provided nobody else is flaming out.

  72. Blame the victim. It’s Vesey’s fault.
    Further evidence, as if we needed more, that the league does not care, despite their words (worthless), about player safety.
    I’d like to see the Comish lace up and take one from behind. Just the thought gives me the warm fuzzies.

  73. Speaking of D…graves has looked better than skjel and girardi (despite losing his man last night on one of the flyer goals) and every bit as good as staal mcilrath clendening. Holden has looked the best of the bunch and Klein and mcdonut have been solid (despite mcdonut looking very pedestrian on the voracek play).

  74. The NHL is as clueless in terms of the likes of Gudas and his hits as the NFL is terms of headshots and what is/isn’t a catch. Nothing is going to get done until someone, God forbid, drops dead.
    You can debate whether or not Vesey put himself into a dangerous position but, as Carp pointed out, that doesn’t mean Gudas has to try and run him through the boards.
    I think the NHL has to look into giving more thought into allowing the “legal hold” (for lack of a better term). I’m not sure who was the first person to suggest it but the rule would allow Gudas to “steer” Vesey into the boards without trying to knock him into the middle of tomorrow. I am sure one of the boneheads might be able to explain it better than I did.
    I know it might lead to debates/arguments over penalties called and not called but i beats watching some player lying on the ice comatose – or worse.
    BTW, I did not expect or want Stepan to get into a fight with Gudas. However, a nice crosscheck to the back would have been warranted :-)

  75. So if by whatever ridiculous methods the NHLDPS determines that the Gudas hit wasn’t worthy additional discipline, perhaps it’s time to start penalizing this guy as a preventitive measure since it’s probably his 63rd play that’s been called into question. You know…only if you actually care about the players, though.

  76. Doodie Machetto on

    Still better than Buchnevich’s. And unlike Buchnevich, Pirri is scoring goals.

  77. Now that Lapierre is out of the equation, who has the best face off % out of the remaining candidates? Hrivik, pirri, gerbe, miller…? Someone else I’m missing?

  78. Agree doodie buchnevich needs time in Hartford. Just saying 4 goals let’s all relax though. Watch pirri along walls beat consistently.

  79. Wicky – It wasn’t easy but I came across faceoff stats on Fox sports. Here is how the remaining candidates stack up.
    Brandon Pirri 50% (6 of 12)
    Nathan Gerbe 50% (6 of 12)
    Josh Jooris 50% (1 of 2)
    Marek Hrivik 45.5% (15 of 33)
    J.T. Miller 70% (7 of 10)
    Maxim Lapierre 51.8% (29 or 56)
    For ships and giggles: Zibanejad 52.5% (21 of 40), Hayes 50% (19 of 38), Stepan 50% (9 of 18), Philip McRae 41.7% (5 of 12)

  80. Buchnevich should be on the team. Has gotten better every game. He and Miller were the two best forwards in the 3rd last night. Though I will say this, when it come to these kind of decisions, AV always takes the easy way out. So it would not shock me to see Buchnevich sent down.

  81. Step has no business taking important draws…he was bad enough that double bubble picked brassard over him towards the end of last season for defensive draws.

    Thanks…so I guess my miller idea to start the season seems the most logical based on those stats

  82. Doodie Machetto on

    Or least logical because it’s a small sample size in meaningless exhibition games against who knows what kind of competition and oh yeah why would you ever want to take one of your better players and play him less minutes?

  83. Saying Step might lose a draw is pretty obvious, no? Though, when/if he does, he’s still the most defensively responsible center on the team and will be trusted in those spots by the coach, so…

  84. So we are counting goals in meaningless pre season games, against who knows what kind of competition, but not face off percentage?

  85. For a quick faceoff comparison, last year Oscar Lindberg won 48.4% of his faceoffs (about 280 total).
    Quirky pre-season stat: I am not a big fan of Plus/Minus, but it is “interesting” that Buchnevich leads the team with a Plus-3 – for whatever that is worth.
    I stumbled across a couple of familiar names that cleared waivers yesterday: Tim Erison and Stefan Matteau. I kind of get the feeling that Stephane’s kid got screwed because the Devils rushed him.

  86. And you keep saying less minutes for Miller, and that is just not true. AV likes to roll 4 lines. Miller plays the PP, and Miller can bump up to any line, at any time. Is it ideal? No not really, but it’s not as bad as you are making it out to be.

  87. Looks like two teams have given up on Stefane Matteau now. Ranger selected Skjei right before he was picked, IIRC. Glad we didn’t take him.

  88. No one said, least of all me, that this was permanent for miller. There are A LOT of circumstances involved here…when is lindberg back, who actually makes the final roster at forward and what positions do they normally play, can they effectively take (and win) draws?

    I certainly see no reason why, to start the season, miller can’t play some 4th line centre (again hugely contingent on the above mentioned factors).

  89. Just a couple few years ago, Devils’ brilliant TV talking heads were intimating that Matteau might be the next best thing to sliced bread.

  90. The whole fourth line center’s battle comes down to just how long Oscar Lindberg will be out. If he is closer than we all though a couple of weeks ago, I would never consider the suggestion of Miller as the fourth line center because it forces/gives AV an excuse to tinker early.
    If Lindberg were going to need another month or so then I might under the condition of the Rangers rolling four lines on a consistent basis. Even then i would move Miller up late in games and drop Pirri down to the fourth line and give them spot duty.
    Buchnevich has complicated things a bit. If he had been lights out in pre-season then the Rangers would find a way to keep him and give him top minutes. If he were completely outmatched they could rationalize sending him down to adjust to all things North America (style, rinks and culture).
    I haven’t watched the games religiously – which has me concerned for a whole other set of reasons – so I can’t speak as an authority. I haven’t noticed him in a bad way so i guess that is good – given the aforementioned adjustments he is making

  91. Rod Seiling's Twilight Zone on

    The question of whether Buch should make the opening night line-up or start the season in Hartford is a great example of the limits of being an arm-chair coach/GM. Unlike the second-guessers who know little and are so quick to judge Buch based on just a few exhibition games or to judge AV or Gorton’s judgment (AV “taking the easy way out”), the decision will be based primarily on things none of us ever see — how is he handling himself in the locker room, his interactions with the other players, how he looks in practice, and the instinctive feel for whether he’s ready.

  92. Set the lines and stick with them, barring total ineffectiveness. or injury. Players need to know and anticipate their linemates’ speed, tendencies, and quirks. Can’t get that from constant juggling.

  93. Totally agree there, Coos. At least AV is better than Torts with that. Torts’ patience rarely ever wandered past 7-9 minutes before changing up lines.

  94. Kreider: “I’m reading a new Brazilian author.”

    Hayes: “How much is a brazilllion?”

  95. The 3 meanest, bad azz dudes to wear the Ranger Sweater?

    1. Tai, I throw left handed bombs, Domi
    2. Nick, I can go all night, Foe-tee-oh
    3. Derek, the enforcer, Stepan

  96. Stepan was smart in not engaging. He’s waiting. As I can read lips, during a stoppage, Step went to the flyer bench and mouthed “I want Simmonds.” Soon enough, he’ll get his revenge.

  97. If the coaches feel he needs it, by all means start buch in the ahl. But just delaying a decision as to where him and Pirri permanently slot that has to be made sooner or later (barring injuries) because at some unknown point in time Buch has to be on the NHL roster or he will likely go back to the Khl (which the Rangers won’t let happen) and that’s even if Pirri is lights out. So if they think Buch is ready or close it’s better to play him in the NHL now and be creative in finding ways to get Pirri in the lineup. Buch’s debelopment is more important than playing Pirri on a regular basis in my opinion.

    Agree Graves looked good, glad to see it. Brady hasn’t looked as good as he did in the playoffs so I could see them starting him down in the ahl. Bigger issue is what they do with Girardi, Dylan and clendening

  98. Anyone see Eli Manning last night? Talk about toughness. His favorite receiver last night was the ground. He couldn’t get rid of it quick enough.

  99. Since he had no one in the backfield to block, I think the ‘brain-trust’ ordered him to get rid of the ball with alacrity. His receivers didn’t even have time to run downfield and trailing 14 with 3 minutes left, he looked repeatedly for the 5 yard pass. Dismal, all around.

    eddie, eddie, eddie Posts: A sight for sore eyes!

  100. There’s something about Pirri that screams untrustworthy. But I think he makes the roster as the 13th F. Needs to prove he can be counted upon for anything other than a god-given ability to shoot a puck. as quickly as you may be impressed with him, you ask yourself so why isn’t he an NHL regular?

    Best news out of camp is how strong Staal looks and all the reports that echo it. Worst news of camp is that none of the young D hopefuls have impressed. (Gilmour aside)

    Disagree with those saying Buchnevich looks like he can’t play in the NHL yet. He should flip in/out with Pirri

  101. Doodie Machetto on

    Cialis with an article on the Gudas hit. To be honest, if they start suspending players for that kind of hit, I think it results in MORE hits like that than less. Guys will turn to try and draw the contact on purpose because hockey players are stupid and will do anything within the rules to win.

  102. Ironically, Staal plays his best when the game gets physical. Leave him alone and he’ll leave you alone.

  103. If every hit like Gudas’ got 5 games and 16% of your salary, this would end real quick(ly).. Or would it?

  104. Even baseball would have had a major team brouhaha with a guy like Gudas. Ironically, hockey no.

  105. Stepan might not have been the toughest guy on the playground back in the day, but if you dropped his azz in a random 6th grade class in anywhere USA he’d totally hold his own.

  106. Doodie – If they start spending more players for the Gudas-like hits it won’t matter what an offensive player does. Gudas could very well have bumped Vesey or pushed him into the boards. Instead, Gudas drove him into the boards. Players have to realize that their actions carry consequences. If a player blatantly turns at the very last second to draw a penalty (which Vesey didn’t) then don’t call a penalty on the hit. Heck, you could call an unsportsmanlike penalty on the player much like divers get penalized.
    I know there are going to be missed calls and some abuses, but I would rather err on the side of caution then have some player carted off the ice.

  107. Rangers may have forwards out the whazzo, but they still dont have anyone who can score a goal, take a regular shift, and has the intention to target/wear down opposing teams’ best players. That’s the modern day deterrant. Have a guy is good enough, strong enough, and mean enough to hammer and pester and annoy other teams best players to the point, those players tell their teammates to quit their own antics bc they are tired of paying for it.

    JT miller could be that guy but he’s more concerned with offense. Little does he seem to realize that he would have more time/space/opportunities if he played that way.

  108. Doodie Machetto on

    “I know there are going to be missed calls and some abuses, but I would rather err on the side of caution then have some player carted off the ice.”

    But that;s what I’m saying. If it’s more likely to get calls and suspensions, offensive players are more likely to do it.

  109. I have zero issue with Stepan, he cross-checked the guy a couple of times and I don’t expect him to do anything more. Last thing we should all want to see is Stepan get injured in a meaningless pre-season game fight. McIlrath took care of the issue, that’s part of the reason he’s there.

    Agree with Carp about Skapski, he seems to have found his game again after a difficult year. he didn’t face a lot of rubber last night, but it was quality rubber. Coming in cold to a 5-4, then quickly 5-3 with the way our PK played it was a lot to ask of anyone.

  110. Everything in the preseason is meaningless (apparently). Now I understand why gudas didn’t get suspended, the hit was meaningless.

    I agree with doodie about the hits increasing with automatic suspension. It’s. Den talked about on here in the past and I’ve even brought it up that you should penalize the player that turns into the boards. In the vc case, it was just a dirty hit by gudas, end of story. In a lot of cases though it is the guy turning into the boards deliberately to draw a penalty. I would make it an unsportsmanlike penalty and similar to embellishment increase the fine/suspensions with occurrences.

  111. Good afternoon, boneheads!
    Sorry, late to the discussion, but I think what’s missing on Gudas hit is that Vesey would’ve been drilled regardless whether he turns or not. Look at the angle Gudas is coming at Vesey. It isn’t from the front, Vesey is already slightly turned, enough for Gudas to see his number. If Gudas hits him with the same force, Vesey is slammed with the side of his head anyway. Whether it’s better to hit your nose against the glass/board, or a side of your head is debatable.

  112. Seems like to start the season they may not have all of their top choices on the big club. Sending some folks who can clear waivers down so they can make a trade or two without having to lose a player to waivers seems like smart management of assets. No?

  113. As far as the 4th line center. I think Hrivik deserves it more than anyone else at this point. I’m sure it kills AV that he is having hard time finding a spot for Pirri. I also think we are discounting Gerbe a little too early. I’m sure this one makes Wicky very happy :-)

  114. If you all think you’re so tough–try taking my Zumba class! Then we’ll see who’ tough, you bunch of jerks.

  115. Stepan's younger cousin on

    I kicked Derek’s behind every day from the time I was in 1st grade thru high school. And I’m a girl.

  116. Stepan played with a broken jaw and came back early from broken ribs.
    Did he look lame last night? Yup. As someone said last night, it was as painful to watch as Girardi standing by as Carcillo attacked Gaborik.
    You’d like to see him throw a cross-check or at least tie up Gudas. But as was the case with McDonough-Simmonds, the slightest act by Stepan would probably be used by the perp to justify concussing our 1C. It’s a lose-lose for Stepan and the Rangers .

  117. Derek Stepan action figure on

    Why am I always put in with the Barbie dolls? I’m an action figure. I want to play with Ken.

  118. Fire up a fatty Boneheads .. and have a cold one too ..
    It just kinda hit me .. that all the discussion about the spare/extra forwards (and D-men decisions too) may come down to Uncle Glenn.. he still has that office next to Mr Dolan… He’s still on the NYR payroll and when Jeff G. decides whose getting cut loose and sent down etc, I just think Slats will be involved and that Mr. Dolan will require Slats to bless those kinds of moves…
    I also think AV will be under pressure from the same people (Slats/Dolan) to field the most exciting and competitive team in terms of the speed game, the 4 line approach etc
    in other words, AV will have less latitude about keeping “safe” (Fastie) or “rough” (Glass) players around via his old school mentality… which by the way Iv’e supported AV on .. so far..
    Just not so sure this year..
    The Penguins CUP win via lots of hard work, non-stop hustle and playing the basics very very well (along with solid goal tending) has enlightened me to feel AV must give guys like Buch and Vesey a real chance especially early this year because these kinds of young talented kids could have a big upside…
    I expect most of the team is already decided but as you guys have been conjecturing, those last couple of spots at forward and defense may well be decided by Slats while he reviews tape and the CAP machinations etc while chomping on a cigar.
    And of course what he says won’t be automatic.. NOO …just a little expression of his opinion to the rookie GM .. an e-mail written to Jeff G … w/ Jimmy Dolan on copy…
    Once again we should consider who can get waived that will not be likely to be picked up and who can get waived that we don’t mind if they get picked up and who can get sent to the Wolf Pack without any waiver exposure (Skjei & Vesey) etc when it comes time to meet the reg season roster and Cap confinement/s. Is Buch exempt from waivers ? Yes .. I think .. I know he has the KHL out if things go crappy but it doesn’t mean he goes back to Russia immediately if NYR asks him to head to the Wolf Pack for a few weeks..
    I guess my whole idea is that several new veteran players are probably worth trying in real games before deciding who goes where …
    23 man roster limit is three over the normal roster .. Right? 12F + 6D + 2G = 20;
    So.. it’s likely 1 spare D and 2 Spare F in the stands initially?
    Danny Girardi .. Like Rodney in Caddy Shack : Ooohh my arm .. I mean Ughh my knee

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