Rangers at Islanders … It’s Go Time!

Game 26 (Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final for the Islanders)

Rangers at Islanders – 7:00 PM MSG2. Makes sense. Two teams from the network playing each other, yup that is definitely C channel material.

The Rangers continue to slump.  Despite stealing some games, they have not been playing well, by any metric. The Rangers better come out with some jump or the Islanders will bury them early.

I had to drive to Albany and back for work today and I just got home. I’m in a pretty foul mood and I expect the review tomorrow to reflect that.  Additionally, I still need a volunteer for Thursday (my birthday).  Clearly, this is an HAV.

Tonight’s probable lineup for the Rangers (16-8-1) via Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis):

Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey-Kevin Hayes-Rick Nash

J.T. Miller-Oscar Lindberg-Jesper Fast

Matt Puempel-Marek Hrivik-Brandon Pirri

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Adam Clendening

The big news, of course, is that Michael Grabner is out of tonight’s game because he went to Austria for his grandmother’s funeral.  That’s a pretty big gesture for the Rangers to allow him to go.  In his place is Hartford call up Marek Hrivik, who has put up good numbers in Hartford.  Barring a deal with the Rangers before July 1, Hrivik will be a Group VI UFA in July, so he should be very motivated. Josh Jooris is prucha’d to make room for Hrivik.

The rest of the forward group got shuffled again. JT Miller returns to the wing, and Jesper Fast is out of the top six. BDL must be thrilled.

The defense remains the same as it has for most of the season.

Lundqvist gets the start tonight. Buchnevich has started skated on his own, but is not yet ready to return.

For the Islanders (9-10-5), it is a complete disaster of a season.  There was a brief period when everyone around the NHL was praising Garth Snow.  Not me.  He is the worst GM in hockey, by a lot.  Capuano is a bad coach, no doubt, but the problem with this current version of the Islanders is one of construction, not of coaching.  Tavares says h’s committed to the Islanders, but I can’t help but wonder whether he will still feel that way by the time his contract is up.  Just an absolute tire fire, including their tire fire building, which I also said from the start would be the worst hockey arena in the league since it was the only one designed without any consideration for a hockey team.  In any event, we know this is their game seven and it will be a solid test for the Rangers, despite the disparity in the standings.

Don’t forget to tell everyone you know and to follow me on Twitter @rangersreport2. And don’t forget to vote for your three stars after the game!

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359 thoughts on “Rangers at Islanders … It’s Go Time!”

  1. In 40 plus years a Ranger fan, I think I’ve uttered/begged/screamed these words more than any others: Shoot the puck!!!

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  2. Can’t even compose my thoughts while watching him. Flashes of awful more often than flashes of brilliance these days

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  3. That is shameful… Game is over – no joke. I don’t believe in coming back in this particular game. Plainly psychologically.

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  4. Hank is off tonight. Now it will have to be one of his give-up-two, then lights-out games. Rangers doing everything but score at the other end, need better goaltending.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pirri just needs to shoot the puck when he has it. Even if he doesn’t score his shot is good enough that is creates chances more times than not

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  6. Norm, Hank is off this season. Period. And I’ve defended him and always had faith in him have not killed him previously. He’s trying my patience now

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  7. Obviously not all him there’s some suspect defense in this game so far (and as usual) but you just can’t give up a free bee every game. Or most games. This is the NHL can’t happen

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  8. Last thing I would like to do is to trash Hank, but it become a real problem with his inconsistence – we start losing games just because an opposition have a better goalie in particular given game. Long hopeless season than…

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  9. R youse guys a bunch of whiny misfits? How many road games have we come back from 0-2? You have the memories of goldfish.

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  10. Hank keeps it at two, Rangers win, all is forgiven. But it’s not likely, and I agree it’s getting tiresome watching him grow into games like he’s a rookie. Isles have not done enough to be up 2, that’s for sure.

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  11. I hear you Norm. Getting tired of hearing about how this is the Isles’ game 7 too (no offense Carp) meaning that there’s no excuse to not be up for a divisional game in December. Especially when it comes to your $8 million starting goalie who’s been playing in this league a long time

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  12. So these performances are acceptable, FG? I guess I should accept that they’re acceptable. After all, this team isn’t a contender they’re just designed to keep the fans interested enough to keep watching while they retool towards contention for a year or two.

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  13. Hey we forechuck and buzzed all period. Lots of shots and pressure. Six good pp minutes. Snot like we were outplayed

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  14. I don’t accept that I’m expected to accept this unacceptable play expect for the fact that it’s to be excepted since this team is somewhat acceptable except for when they play like this…which I’ve come to expect

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  15. You won’t get any Hank-bashing out of me–Hall of Fame goalie who’s made the Rangers worth watching for several years–but I thought both those goals were on him. Some help from his friends, yes, but when he’s on his game, those aren’t goals.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Is this the lohud Yankee blog? This is hockey so grab your schwantzes and be men. Stop extrapolating the next ten Rangers season from one friggin Road period in December.

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  17. Pirri golden slipper is missing
    .
    Def miss Zika on PP
    .
    Shea needs to use his arse for positioning around the crease against the big boys
    .
    Henk – Wake the F up!
    .
    Thought they outplayed Azzlanders, Zucc needs to bury at least one of those 4 shots…
    .
    Step moves too slow on PP

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  18. Not taking anything away from the man’s legacy. But right now In a season and in a game where they’re trying to win I’m not worried about his retirement ceremony I’m worried about his sharpening up and playing like we’ve seen him play in the past

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  19. This team still may win, but has no fight, no sparkplug. When Nash is your most electric skater, you ain’t got much electricity. Now Nash in the locker room. Bring back Carcillo.

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  20. D needs to be involved; need all 5. McD is exhausted already this period, pressing in Ozone and playing with Girardi in Dzone.

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  21. Isles doing what they have to, 2-3 penalties a shift, defying the refs to call everything. Rangers actually playing a strong game, would be up if not for 3 goaltending errors and a bit of bad luck in front of the net. Will be interesting to see if they have anything left for the third after chasing the game from almost the start.

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  22. Part of the blame for injuries is on officiating – a lot of obvious not calls, letting Isledorks playing dirtier and dirtier without being penalized.

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  23. Got a tutoring gig, must miss the third, but I just went over to “popkey” to get a preview of SN’s upcoming GIFs so I don’t miss those 🙂 LGR!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I think it was about this time last year that, you know who, made his return to the lineup.

    He’s running around yelling
    “I’m back baby!”

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  25. There are no signs, that Rangers could not lose this game. No desire, no passion, or lack of skills, plan, structure, physicality, etc., etc. …and it is just 3:2. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Yeah, but after those 3 goals in, Hank can stand on his head and have a HOF hat, it is really doesn’t matter. At least in this game.

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  27. Playing without Zibanejad, Buchnevich, Nash, and Grabner is asking a lot even against a last place team.

    Not making excuses, but health or the lack thereof on behalf of the Rangers is a factor in the outcome of this game.

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  28. Tavares with NO hesitation in a small window of opportunity, unlike our heroes. That’s what make great player…Talk about he wasn’t mentioned too often in the game.

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  29. Well, this proves if you take 5 offensive players off the depth chart, including 2 of the teams highest scorers, we can lose to a slightly above average, but currently last place team. I’m not worried.

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  30. sort of bs call on Pirriwrinkle, who has done nothing in November.
    .
    Henk can’t spot the opponent 2 goals. Outplayed by Alot, I mean, Halak

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  31. That was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen! Give the damn puck away! 2 times they took shots that resulted in the puck back in their zone! Just stupid! Why play any more intelligently now when they haven’t the rest of the game…

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  32. Looking forward to AV telling us Nash has some kind of a lower body injury, that he hasn’t checked with the trainer or spoken to Nash. If Nash were to be interviewed, he most certainly say he is ‘good’.

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  33. Cue the December collapse….. And Henrik sucks. Enjoyed the mirage the first 15 games…. But, let’s face the fact that we are a one trick pony, other teams figured out how to play us…. and our damn elite goalie is a soft goal waiting to happen. Speaking of soft, what a bunch of pansies we are. This team is softer than baby crap. Sorry, but make no mistake…. we’re not the Penguins of last year. Injuries or not, even when healthy we’re still a 1st round out once it becomes tight checking hockey along the boards. So disgusted… mostly with shampoo boy lundqvist. What a headcase….

    Liked by 1 person

  34. This team is a one trick pony…soft as soft can be, zippo push back

    I voted ein kleiner, hated, and know when to Holden…in no particular order.

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  35. Gotta expect Hank can turn it up. That said, there used to be a question if he or Price was the best goalie in the league. Now? Not so much.

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  36. I have a favor to ask of anyone who thinks he is up to it: could somebody post a glossary of all the Ranger nicknames that appear on this blog (e.g. Hated, Couch). In many cases if you weren’t on the blog the week the names were coined, you have no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Aren’t they tired of being punched around by the friggin TIRE FIRES?????

    I’m so sick of this team game after game against these friggin FishSticks who are playing game 7. Team played pretty well, but couldn’t execute on the pp. Missed Zpack, Buch, GRABNER, and then Nash. But yes this loss is completely on shampoo boy. Hanka Hanka Hanka hanka hanka …..

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  38. Team is crushed by injuries right now but not a single one on defense or in net. These aren’t kids learning the game these are veteran Dmen- Staal, Girardi, McD, Holden, Klein. These guys are supposed to dig in deep as part of the leadership factor on the ice. And Lundqvist who has been the heart and soul of just about anything positive they’ve done over the last 10 years is looking like a passenger more times than not. I won’t give him a pass anymore for games like this one. This team can’t get going for a December game against a division rival? Cmon Tired of hearing about the Isles and their game 7. They’ll probably get destroyed by the Blues in their next game when they’re “back down to earth”. Maybe they should play Raanta for a couple straight just to shake things up.

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  39. Norm, I’ll start it:
    THE – Kreider (also Enigma).
    Hated One – Miller.
    Couch – Fast.
    Beat Wide (used in the Post today) – Skjei.
    Shampoo Boy – Lundqvist.
    Topo Gigio – Zuccarello.
    TRS – Third Row Staal.
    Opie the Victim – Stepan.
    Zika – Zibanejad.
    Auntie – Raanta.
    Marshmallow – Nash.
    Bazooka Joe — AV.

    anybody care to chime in with a few more?

    … I miss the old days with Beast Mode Dime-a-Dozen Brian Boyle, et al., not to mention the Whipping Boy Meter (c).

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Not even going to waste my time commenting on a game when only one team bothered showing up.

    However, thanks to Carp for kicking off the nickname tutorial. Perhaps, our Fearless Leader can put up an FAQ that lists the nicknames and other pertinent information.

    Question for the back-to-back with Winnipeg and Chicago: which goalie plays against which team?

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  41. The good one for Nash.

    Review coming in the afternoon. I didn’t have time to write it last night and I’m swamped this morning.

    Short version: Lundqvist has been legitimately bad this season, Skjei is pretty bad at defending, Miller is a beast, Nash injury is pretty devastating, and this team is a disaster at even strength.

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  42. Hank is becoming an issue. Through a third of the season he has been average at best. Maybe Shampoo Boy is becoming Mr. Softee. Let Ranta play more and have Hank work with Allaire. Alliare knows him and can tell management if he has really lost a step. With the injuries up front they need to with D and goaltending which is no longer their strength. December could be a brutal month until the forwards start to get healthy.

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  43. 1 cup since 1940 and no hope in sight It’s tough being a Ranger fan! Well I’m not going to let it ruin my Christmas!

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  44. That might’ve been the saddest 6-on-3 I could have ever imagined.

    If we weren’t missing a first-line’s worth of forwards, I’d probably say that Jeanette Pirri could use a game to get his head on straight. Though at this point I’m probably painting the porch while the house is on fire.

    If we’re heading out west, I’m guessing a callup or two at forward is on the docket. It might be Nik Jensen time! I’d love to see what Kovacs can do, but he’s not exactly lighting it up down there and could use more time. If I were a betting man…at least Jensen is coming up. If a second forward for road-trip insurance purposes…Justin Fontaine as well?

    Also, did you guys see that Gomez and the Rangers agreed to an $11.5M deal? Reinforcements are coming!

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  45. Jensen, Fontaine? Isn’t ther another no skill crappy forward (defensively responsible) they can bring up from Hartford?

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  46. The cupboard is bare, BDL. Chris Brown isn’t having a terrible year stats-wise and he’s a banger, that’s on option. And there’s always Boo Nieves. But legit prospects like Kovacs and Tambellini don’t look remotely ready (same with Fogarty if you want to put him in that bucket as well). I hate to say it, but the one guy who could come up and step in with the least amount of question marks would be Tanner Glass.

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  47. CCCP – NEVER would’ve even been a thought under Sather (and it wasn’t). From what I’ve seen of Gorton, he might’ve entertained the notion, but probably not seriously. And as much as I think Jimmy Dolan stays out of the hockey side of things in lieu of getting his basketball jollies, he has one mandate: “Fill the seats and at least make it to the playoffs.” As much as trading Lundqvist might’ve been a savvy business decision long-term, Dolan would view us shopping our one legitimate superstar as running contrary to the first part of his mandate.

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  48. The PP didn’t convert or that would have been a 6-3 win. Zucc needed to bury a couple early, plenty of chances.
    .
    Holden looked better, Girardi cannot be found in neutral zone, back to dropping back to protect lack of speed
    .
    Henk loyalists are saying he was screened on all goals. jeez.
    .
    Pimple was popped in face x-check; at least he was trying to hit someone. Nobody to his defense. sad.

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  49. BDL – Unfortunately if we want to bring up someone from the farm who’s defensively-responsible, has no aspirations to get on the score sheet, and will just go out and safely eat up minutes…Hrivik might be the best we have. We’re VERY thin at forward in the system. Buch is already here, Gropp is in juniors, and the next best would be Kovacs (who probably won’t be ready for prime-time until the season after next). Between Jensen and Tambellini, at least Jensen has some positive stats and more pro experience.
    Otherwise, injuries will force us to either bring up a guy like Glass, or we’d need to make a minor swap…maybe trading one of our depth minor league D for a super-retread winger.

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  50. SN – the Semin Bongos is still second place to me – first place being when Max Talbot tried to delicately swat Avery away.

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  51. Stupid me decided go watch that train wreck of a pp in person last night. Game was over after chimera goal.

    Barclays center is awful. Lighting is bad. Fans annoying.

    Another game Hank gets outplayed by halak.

    13-4 start and most of you singing their praise. It’s the same old team with the same old ending ahead.

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  52. Big difference from last year though Eric. This team showed that when they’re on (and healthy), they have an extra gear and can flat-out dominate. Last year’s squad? All they showed is that even when they were winning, they never had an “on.”

    Gut-check time for this team. Are they going to make injury excuses? Or can they go out and make sure their hot start doesn’t get equalized. And honestly it starts with Hank. We need him to be a superstar right now while the forwards try to figure out life without a huge chunk of the top-6.

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  53. If they can play 500 for the rest of the month that will be quite an achievement given the injuries that have piled up and the schedule they face. It’s a challenge for the coaching staff and team leaders to pull together and get them through this. This could be make or break for the season. They are going to have to win some 2 to 1 games and maybe a shootout or two. No more 6-0 games for a while- at least on the plus side. Hopefully as the weather gets colder, Mr. Softee will go away until the summer.

    Like

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