Rangers-Flyers in Review

As you may or may not be aware, I forgot to record this game while I was doing yard work. I did listen to it on the radio, but that’s not good enough to come up with a review, especially since I wasn’t taking notes while listening. Fortunately for us, E3 stepped up on very short notice to volunteer to write a review. I have to say, after reading it, that Kenny and Dave painted a very different picture of this game. In any event, without further ado, here is E3’s review:

When we last left our heroes, they were heading off the ice, shoulders slumped, embarrassed after getting mauled on the scoreboard by bitter rivals the Penguins. We watched as Sid Crosby, a featherweight if there ever was one, tossed our Captain to the ice like a rag doll. Worse, McD’s teammates also watched as their Captain was shoved to the ground like a rag doll. The Rangers watched and did nothing. Soft as last week’s cheese cake, they couldn’t have been less proud of their lack of snarl as they headed off the ice Wednesday night.

Even worse, the Rangers played with little energy and no passion. The Penguins toyed with the Rangers and my recording of the game was erased within seconds of the final horn. Larry Brooks wrote an excellent article hoping that this rout wouldn’t be a precursor to what followed after last season’s rout to Montreal after the Rangers excellent start. That being a season where it was obvious to many that Hank’s stellar play carried the team and there were warning signs that the Rangers impressive record was nothing more than a house of cards built on terribly shaky ground.

What would the response be against a heavier hitting team than the Penguins, and perhaps bigger rival, the Filthy Flyers?

1) What a difference a day makes. Well, make that two days. The Rangers, from the start, played a gritty, physical, and largely clean hitting game, pounding the flyers whenever possible. Ranger’s D cleared Hank’s crease whenever the flyers got too close and the scrums after the whistle had a playoff feel to them. Thank you boys, Thank you.

2) Hank was a monster. Huge save after save after save. Easily, his best game of the season. There are many words that describe the King, but fierce competitor certainly ranks among them. His positioning was superb and he was almost psychic in reading the play in front of him. Stymying the Flyers several times by accurately reading pass or shot, He was fantastic. He was. Incredible net minding.

3) We also saw the first fight of the season. Brandon Pirri, hardly a heavyweight, was our first brawler of the season, a quarter of the way in, as a result of a hard hit he laid deep in the offensive zone. It would have been two minutes for Pirri but Travis Konecny did what no Ranger did last game and that was to come to a teammate’s aid. Konecny got 2, 5, and 10 for his act of loyalty.

4) 17 seconds in, the Rangers got a 4 minute PP after Dale Weise high sticked Nick Holden cutting his lip open. Holden went off for repairs and the Rangers did nothing with this golden opportunity. Maybe 2 SOG. They set up once and really had no scoring chances. Spending most of the time chasing the iced puck, the Flyer crowd was energized.

5) As mentioned, the Rangers were a much different team in Filthy. Hard hits, coming to each other’s aid, and playing as a team, all that went wrong Wednesday night was rectified against the Flyers. It was nice to see.

6) With a little under seven minutes in a scoreless first, after Hank flat out robbed a wide open Read on his doorstep with the save of the game, the Rangers headed the other way. JT Miller made a soft Gretzky like pass from behind Mason’s left to a wide open Stepan who buried it. Rangers lead 1-0. You could almost here JT yell to Step who snuck unchecked right out in front, took the pass and snapped it in for his 4th goal of the season. Miller, still the team points leader, is playing real good hockey. I’m so happy for him. He is getting it done offensively and his wall play reminds me of a young Don Maloney. Playing primarily with Hazy and Grabby, this line has been the Rangers best all season. I hope AV keeps them together once everyone is healthy.

7) That compliment on JT’s play comes with a caveat. Again, he was guilty of a bad cross ice pass in his own end that was intercepted at the Blue line, a horrible turnover, but Hank made a the save and the Rangers were not hurt on the scoreboard. He needs to be more mindful of that.

8) And not just JT either. Shay was guilty last game of the same thing and his turnover directly led to a Penguins goal. Better to chip the puck up the wall. Much safer play. Hard to find much fault this game with their play in their own end in the first two periods but this cross ice passes need to stop. Many are guilty of this – not just JT and Shay.

9) About 90 seconds after taking the lead, Matt Pumpernickel, playing his first game as a Ranger, took a lovely pass from VC as the Rangers broke in on a 2 on 2, they became a 2-1 once deeper in the zone as Pumpernickel showed some wheels. He took a rolling puck and snapped it under Mason’s right shoulder for a 2-0 lead. Jooris started the play with a nice block and VC was off and running. His pass was over the Flyer’s stick covering him, and it evaded the man covering Pumpernickel. VC is a kid with nice touch and soft hands. Good skilled player.

10) It was nice to see a Ranger playing in his first game get a goal for a change. It seems every opposition skater or goalie playing in THEIR first game against our boys, has amazing results. Wonderful for the tables to be turned. I really like rye, but pumpernickel is now a favorite as well.

11) The Rangers were outshot 11-7 in the first. However, the boys in blue (yes the Rangers wore blue in this game) (Editor’s note: this confused my son quite a bit, who only learned this week about home/away teams and their jersey coloring) continued their insanely high shooting percentage getting two goals on their seven shots.

12) I like seeing the home team in their white jerseys. I came of age when the Rangers wore their whites at MSG and I wish they’d go back to home whites and road blues. Others might feel differently and that’s ok. (Editor’s note: I think both teams should wear colors unless they are the same color, then the away team should wear white)

13) With two seconds left in the first, THE Kreider dropped the gloves and danced with Brandon Manning. Eddie O had mentioned several times that these two had more than just words on more than one occasion behind the play. As THE checked Manning in the boards and skated away, Manning must have said “let’s go” because THE turned and dropped them and it was on. Kreider is one strong mutha as he was close to ripping Manning’s head off his shoulders in an attempt to remove Manning’s helmet. THE threw an overhand right and several powerful right uppercuts and it was Down Goes Manning, Down Goes Manning. While not close to a TKO, Manning did drop like a bag of rocks after THE’s last uppercut.

14) It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that in this era of the shield, it’s the uppercut that is the go to punch. Otherwise it’s a cut, or worse broken, hand.

15) The second period was another intense battle. Up and down the ice both teams were playing some damn good hockey. Hank made several huge saves and there were hardly any rebounds as the Rangers did an outstanding job clearing the puck away to the corners or out of harm’s way.

16) With about seven and a half minutes left, Nick Holden received a present from Mark Streit who shot/passed it toward net and Hazy tipped it from far out in front of Mason, who had no chance, as it deflected above his left shoulder at about a 120 degree angle. Nice hands.

17) Many of us were extremely disappointed in Haze’s play last year. But that sophomore slump is now turning into a career junior year. (Editor’s note: Promising rookie year, sophomore slump, excellent junior year; sounds like Flyers’ healthy scratch Michael Del Zotto) He might just be the leagues most improved player and I’m sure glad he’s one of ours. He, JT, and Grabner are a dangerous trio.

18) The Flyers scored early in the third, ruining Hank’s shutout and worse, they were coming hard. (Editor’s note: E3 said coming hard) The Rangers began to settle back allowing the play to come to them and it was reminiscent of so many games last year when my brutha from anutha mutha Ricardo Carputha, called it punting on first down. Last year it burned them time and time again. This year the Rangers have had large leads often by 3 or more goals, so it hasn’t haunted them as much. Hank was brilliant down the stretch but the flyers scored with Mason pulled with a few ticks more than 2 minutes on the clock. And then it got crazy. The Flyers nearly tied it at least 5 times as the puck slid thru the crease, each time, from Hank’s right to left. Narrowly missing the post. The Flyers were pouring it on and the Rangers couldn’t get a clear or a change. Intense pressure. It ended with a mad scramble and pile up in Hank’s crease. Game over 3-2.

19) An outstanding team effort. The ship needed righting and it was – till the next time at least. Our boys played a hard chippy strong game taking no nonsense from the Flyers. I’m happy and I’m sure all of you are too.

20) It’s on to MSG and let’s win there Sunday night.

My three stars :

The King
D. Stepan
N. Holden (but many others could be named as it was a great team effort)

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105 thoughts on “Rangers-Flyers in Review”

  1. Well done once again E3. You may have to add a pulitzer prize to go along with your fields medal. This was the first review I’ve ever read to Mrs Headzo. She can’t believe that this quality of work comes from the can either, especially the editors notes. That being said I was happy to see the boys have some resilience in response to some adversity. And I’m not sure if I’d rather dance with THE or go into your can after one of your writing episodes. Big up & a large Christmas bonus to your plumber!

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  2. Headzo – mi holla my brutha. You must come with Mrs Headzo to visit the E3’s crib some day.

    Doodie, what exactly did Kenny and Dave say in their broadcast? They didn’t describe an exciting game in which Hank came up huge? They didn’t see a Ranger team be opportunistic? Scoring 2 goals on 7 shots? They didn’t see the Flyers outshoot the Rangers every period? They didn’t see the Ranngers play with serious snarl? I’m rather curious. Because if not, then we sure did see different games.

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  3. Sure the Rangers had serious snarl, but they were outplayed for 3 periods by a team MUCH worse than them. Hits are deceiving as you can only hit someone with the puck and the Flyers had the puck all game. This game was so reminiscent of last year. Hank stood on his head and stole a win. Too many fancy boy plays, too much passing instead of shooting. Too much trying to force the puck into the zone rather than dump it. Snarl is nice, having the puck is better. Against a better goaltender, we lose this game. Mason is average at best and it showed. To me, that’s two in a row they didn’t play well. Luckily they have some weak teams coming up.

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  4. 5th game in 7.5 days. I thought it was a gutty performance considering. I have been holding off on going after Fast, as most know he is not my favorite player, but man has he been awful. When all are are healthy, he is the 12th best forward on the team. And most nights he has performed as the 12th best forward on the team

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  5. Hayes last year 14 goals 32 points in 79 games. He’s got 10 goals and 19 points in 21 so far. I’m loving it. Hope we are still seeing it in late February

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  6. They made it sound like the Rangers were getting beat in all three zones in the 2nd and 3rd periods. That the Rangers were being heavily out chanced. That if the Flyers goaltending was any good or Lundqvist wasn’t spectacular, the Rangers would have been in serious trouble.

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  7. Good morning, boneheads!
    Eddie you’ve done a stellar job stepping in this season. Kudos!
    And I agree, gutty performance. You could see from the first scrum near Hank they were not going to back off physically. Three Rangers were pushing two Flyers away from Hank 2 minutes into the game. They must’ve had a long talk about it.
    Funny thing is, the Flyers played a very good game. One of the better performances by them. I watched them play many times this year. Still lost. It’s a combination of NY being a deeper team, with better defense, and with a far superior goaltending.
    I though Holden played his best game of the year. What a steal!

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  8. I saw it exactly how Kenny and Dave did. Hank saved their bacon, and unfortunately, I’m starting to see signs of last year creeping in. I do think they miss Zabinejad and his faceoffs wins and speed. I think players like Pirri have come down to earth.

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  9. One of the more exciting games of the year. Rangers held on against a determined team playing at home. Hank was huge. First game all season that you could say he stole Comparing the effort we saw against the Pens with that of yesterday, I’m pleased as punch. Five games in a bit more than 7 days and there’s this much complaining? I’ll take a game like that every so often and run like a thief.

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  10. If this, if that, if this, if that. Blah blah blah. There’s always an excuse to describe failure. Their last 3 games – 2 against the defending cup champs and one against bitter rivals, the Flyers and its 4/6 points.

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  11. Mason had no chance on Stepan’s goal or Haze’s tip. Pumpernickel ‘S was hardly a soft goal. Can’t say Mason sucked and a better goalie wins that game. Rangers had the much better chances in the first.

    It was a well played game and an exciting one to watch.

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  12. Amen, Eddie. What’s not to like? They showed they can win games like that. When the opponent is determined, playing well, and trying to push them around. They will definitely play more games like that. People will complain. Not to mention, they’re two top 6 forwards short.

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  13. Ilb – not to mention how young the rangers are. JT, hazy, VC, pumpernickel, Shay, Pirri, Boosh, Zman….all very young – good core group.

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  14. This is a much better team than last year team. Younger, bigger, faster, more skilled, and deeper. Yesterday there 4th was scattered among the top 6 because of injury, and they were still deep enough, and skilled enough to win. Some may not agree, but they were also gritty enough.

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  15. Kenny and Dave were right about this game. Rangers were outplayed, period. Rangers rarely had the puck, which is one reason why they outhit the Flyers. If the other player has the puck, you can hit him. If you have the puck (which is preferable), they can hit you. The Rangers were outshot in this game. The only thing that saved the Rangers is their insanely high shooting percentage. The shooting % will come back down to earth eventually, which spells trouble for a team that rarely possesses the puck.

    It’s Deja Vu all over again.

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  16. They get outhit- not good. They outhit their opponent- they didn’t have the puck enough. Got outplayed, but still scored 3 goals. Turned out to be enough to get 2 points in regulation. How they are first in Metro and the second in the league is really a miracle.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. By the way, BDL, the way Holden played yesterday, I’m starting to think they need to sit tight and look for a depth D-man at deadline. For a middle round draft pick. And I agree with Doodie, Skjei needs more minutes.

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  18. It seems that the if if if if if if crowd is out today. If the Rangers caught a nano bit of luck in 2014, they win the cup. If doesn’t get you didly squat. The Rangers were up 3-0 in the middle of the second. Sure they did step off the gas pedal. And hockey being the great game it is will more often than not have the desperate team fight much more and pushing harder. There was never any doubt they were going to lose that game until an insane push in the last 40 or so seconds – when Hank kept it 3-2. Hells Bell, the flyers scored to make it 3-2 with 2:02 left in the game. I stand by my review. That was a hell of an exciting game and our boys showed some much needed and necessary pushback. I’m not saying the Rangers dominated – if you read it – I’m saying it was damn good hockey from both teams and Hank was huge and the Rangers earned they’re 3 goals and the two points.

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  19. Much like SCOTUS, it seems like we might need to incorporate dissenting reviews. I’ll be either Hugo Black, William Brennan, or William O Douglas. That is, the left leaning justices….

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  20. Have to agree w/ earlier mentioned sentiment that a bit of last year’s play has creeped back into things this past week or so – way too much passing and heavy turtling in the 3rd. Best D is still playing in the other end and that wasn’t happening enough. Also, was there some kind of record for flubbed shots and passes in this game, by both teams? Ugh. Re X-ice passes – in the case of Skjei, the kid has such a soft touch on his passes he seems to forget that sometimes you need to put some bite on them, that is what got him in trouble the other night, you could count how long it took that puck to get from one side to the other.

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  21. Gritty win on the road …team has a lot more talent and depth than last year. Think Gorton will get another defenseman but no need to rush

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  22. Atta boy, E3!

    Indeed, Tikkanen was the author of Chinese Fireplace.

    I thought ya boys were outplayed, but I didn’t think it was terribly lopsided. And they’re a rush-happy team. They won’t dominate possession. But when they do decide to roll up the sleeves and forecheck and cycle, they are a decidedly better and more difficult opponent.

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  23. I don’t think Buch is top 6 yet so I can’t agree that we’re missing 2 top 6. Pretty good balance and if and when all are healthy guys playing 3rd and even someone on 4th line would be as good as a so called top 6.

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  24. Excellent review E3. Thanks.

    I saw that Pittsburgh got spanked 6-2 by Minnesota last night. It happens.

    This was a good win. I didn’t watch the third period, so mayge I am not as jaded, but I thought we played pretty well. I gog my sister-in-law in Alaska to watch the game. After his fight, Kreider became her new favorite….after shampoo boy of course.

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  25. Let us face facts:

    Girardi, in his current incarnation, is uber expensive and hardly more than ordinary.

    Staal is allergic to anything other than shuffleboarding and stick checking from the third row.

    Klein, who over-produced for seasons, is now paid what he’s worth, which is middling.

    Shay can skate and move the puck upstream, but is definitively challenged in his end.

    The remainder of the D is nothing to write home about.
    McDonagh is axed to do too much.

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  26. 10th in Goals Allowed (out of 16) in Leastern, guess that is all the fowards’ and goalies’ fault…
    .
    Old Habits creep back in and Girardi’s Nov TOI went from 5th amongst NYR D to 2nd. Coincidence, I am sure….
    .
    E3 – great review – no predictions on Sunday’s game? Somebody’s coming back!

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  27. And yet, coos, and yet… Name a better blue line six. And Staal (my third star) and Holden skated more minutes than McD yesterday.

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  28. Norm – McD’s minutes were lower, I imagine, because he took a nice shot to ankle/instep from the Ghost in the first period. He continued on but was limited.

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  29. Yes Hank saved their bacon… I agree with Kenny and Dave.

    But I would also say this — it’s not unreasonable to rely on your goaltender to be the best player on the team every once in a while — especially if your goaltender IS the best player on the team and certainly the highest paid.

    The Rangers with all their success on offence this season, with all the resurgence of their defensive game, with the incredible development of players such as JT and Purple and Shay, resurgence of The Captain, Girardi, Zucc, Nash, with the absolute steals who are GRABNER, Holden, Auntie, even Pirri, with the emergence of Vesey and Buch, will every now and then have to rely on Henrik Lundqvist to “save their bacon.”

    I have no complaints. Just hope it isn’t a pattern at this point in the season. But a game here and there, yeah let Hank “steal one.”

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  30. BDL, MN has great goaltending and a good top 4,5 D-corps. NYR has not had great goaltending yet, and while it could fall apart, it’s been unusual that they’ve been giving full game minutes to six guys every game. There may be a better six–I just don’t know who has it.

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  31. Question… Hypothetically speaking, if Girardi was to be bought out by the Rangers then the team would be totally free of him and his contract in regards to protecting him for the expansion draft?

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  32. I don’t understand why it is such a travesty to some of you for other posters to talk about improving the team or a position on the team. Just because a poster brings up a possible move doesn’t mean they hate the team or the player, maybe they just want to make the team better or more solid.

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  33. EG…I like brassard but the trade for z pack was a good one. I liked Prust but don’t think he should have been signed for the $$$ Montreal gave him…etc etc.

    It’s ok to like a player and think they could move him for an upgrade or cap flexibility.

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  34. I think Holden is being underrated by many here and skjel is being overrated at this point.

    I still think the right side needs help and it may come at the cost of the left side…just not sure how they get it done.

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  35. I’m sure Gorton looks to improve via trade 24/7, it being his job and all. All I’m saying is that the Rangers are a very well-put-together team and that’s there’s no rush to fix something that’s not broken. They may keep improving, they may regress, hard to predict.

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  36. Wicky – agreed. Once everyone gets healthy, stays healthy (not an easy task btw), and settles in, we will have a better vantage point as to how good our sexy boys will be. I can’t wait to tangle with Monteal, Chicago, Minny, and Washington (again). I like what I’ve seen so far especially the pushback against the flyers. I wasn’t sure if the Rangers remembered how to face wash anyone in Hank’s grill….Nice to see that yesterday

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  37. I agree about Holden, disagree about Skjei. Also agree about the right side. While Girardi has been much better this year, does he hold up? And Klein has been a little shaky this year.

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  38. Meanwhile, at the World Chess championship, on Thanksgiving Day, Champion GM Carlsen, in the white uniforms, pulled his goalie, went empty net, and scored a huge goal late in game 10, tying the score at 1-1. The 12 12 game match has been dull in their choice of opening and passive, positional play. Game 11 is underway with Carlsen, as black, poised to make his 18th move. He’s been on a 20 minute think….positions looks =.

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  39. I’d be a bit surprised if Girardi holds up. I’d still buy Girardi out unless you can get him (or staal) to waive their clause.

    Also, since it has recently come to light that Nash must be protected, does that all but assure him be traded (for landeskog perhaps)?

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  40. Best shot-tipper on the team, Fast, and just about always busts it. Not a bad cog, and inexpensive, in his 2nd full season. An odd choice for whipping boy, though we must of course have one.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Anthony – if Neil gets abrasive with Pumpernickel, and it’s only a matter of time until he does, new Ranger enforcer, #21, D-Rack Step-on-your-face, will bust Neil up. Once Neil sees the shine off of Step’s chrome Dome, he’ll be blinded and Step will hammer azz a new one.

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  42. That should be Guy Douche above. I love my LBTGB friends….

    Norm – I know you like to play the contrarian but Fast does virtually nothing that anyone else in skates and a pulse couldn’t do. He’s just not that good.

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  43. Hey everyone I didn’t get to see the game yesterday had to work, but I did DVR it. Watch it today Hank saved our bacon, good for him. He needs to be that good more often going forward for this group to go deep in the playoffs. I do like the young core Gorton’s done good and I am believing he has a good plan for our boys! There are going to be ups and downs and we will probably be disappointed in the end. But maybe this year! Maybe this year!

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  44. Ricardo / this year I’ve noticed that Fast falls down at least two times per shift.

    And clearly, I know way more than AV. For starters, I’d have kept The Wrath, former Ranger, future Norris winner

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  45. Pumpernickel too often shows himself to be a loafer and is full of baloney if he thinks he has the mustard to slice into the lineup and get on a roll on our current menu.

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  46. So Prust, who apparently was holding out for a contract (HA!) is leaving to go play in Germany!

    Well… Auf Wiedersehen! If possible, take Brand Bole with you!

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  47. Some Jesper Fast convo yesterday. Fast is playing the same as last year, like a boarder line NHL player. The reason it is being noticed more this year, is there is more skill and talent on the team. It exposes Fast, and how little skill he has.

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  48. Guys like Fast, Machine, Pimple are placeholders for Z-bad and Butch.

    It’s a great situation, not only does AV get a chance to plug serviceable players into the lineup, but the placeholders (Black Aces) have internal competition to stay in the lineup.

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  49. Pimple was sure quick to shoot off his mouth after scoring one goal. I can see Ottawa management not liking it, but, why should the team care? Does Neil love Boucher that much? He didn’t say anything against any of the players.

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  50. Good morning, boneheads!
    I didn’t like Puempel’s comment either. He’s 23 and hasn’t done anything in this league. Especially for a first rounder. Show what you can do on the ice instead

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  51. Pump better figure it out soon. AV might be the guy to point out that he has just (unintentionally) broken trust with his new organization–What are are you going to have to say about Rangers mgmt. when you leave here, son? If not AV, a senior player should teach him it’s unprofessional. Players give boring quotes for good reason, and Brooks got him good there.

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  52. LOL Pumpernickel has barely unpacked in NY and already he’s praising AV. (“They let you play here. They let you play to your strengths.”) He’ll likely be in for a rude awakening.

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  53. Lol…puemper thinks AV lets him play…until it’s down to him and fast for a line up spot..then puemper is in the pressbox

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  54. Yessir back in top 6!
    Only time before Elaine went into his old bag of tricks; playing Done G big minutes; Quickie gets top 6 and, dare I say, the name one must not speak is playing 1st line in Hartford…

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  55. Must Win. No question about it. Has to be done. We lose, we’re through. Do or Die. Finished. Turn out the lights. The party’s over. The world as we know it will be forever changed. On, brave knights! For God and Country. To the ramparts!

    Like

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