Rangers-Penguins in Review

Longtime bonehead and frequent contributor Stranger Nation (SN) has taken the initiative and wrote a review of last night’s debacle.  I can only say that I’m glad I went to bed after the second period, although, I’m sure you guys felt even more sick than I did.

Pits 7 – NYR 2
 
1. After last season’s run to the Cup, the Dirty Birds have resumed their role as enemy #1b (Azzlanders always being #1a and Derbils recently irrelevant, but whatever) [Editor’s note: I hate the Flyers so much more than the Devils or Penguins] as the hated division rival.  Many use these games as measuring sticks to assess how your boys in blue stack up against one of the top teams as well as an emotional benchmark of desire and fortitude.  Well, suggest not using this game as such a benchmark let alone a barometer of anything of importance including emotional your emotional health.
 
2. The condensed NHL schedule had your boys in blue playing their 8th in 13 days, 9th in 15 days and 35th in 69 days.  With season schedule compromised by the World Cup, the league wide holiday break and the All Star week; the first half has NYR playing almost every day which is great for fans but not so great for game to game adjustments from coaching and players regaining their strength or even catching their collective breath.  There is one more game on this recent slate which has the blueshirts getting on a plane to Minny to face the red-hot Wild before the holiday break.  One of my favorite coaching axioms is not ‘Practice makes Perfect’, but ‘Perfect Practice makes Perfect’.  I wonder what No Practice makes?  Probably not perfect…
 
3. Layered on top of the jammed game calendar is a roster depleted of three top 9 Ranger forwards with Nash pulling or straining the other side of his groin, Zika still in a cast from his ghastly leg injury and Butch penning a new version of Brighton Beach memoirs while receiving secretive back massages and hot oil treatments in little Odessa.  But haven’t they been playing shorthanded for some time now?  Can’t the emergence of The Mighty Pimple and Wribbit make up for these absences?  Uh…no.  While those two were involved with scoring the first goal, a fourth line with Pirriwinkle centering those two top 6 wannabe’s is not the checking line you need against star forwards Cindy Crosby (no relation to Gerry), Malkenstein and Amanda Kessel from the Burg of Pits.
 
4. The recent stretch of solid play has featured the return to form of ‘King Henrik the First’ of Gotham City so surely his royal highness will stem the tide and serve as the backstop required to offset this depleted roster as fans have recently witnessed against the likes of Chitown Native Americans, The Dallas NorthStars and the Motor City Perps. Well…no.  AV decided to call upon some yuletide magic and have Rantaa Claus come to town to bring tidings of joy and goodwill to men in blue.  Well…he tried.  By no means was Rantaa Claus the Grinch for this beat down, in fact, he was probably their best player in a game where 7 goals were scored.  In the first period Rantaa Claus was facing danger not seen since the Winter Warlock almost prevented the Kringles from passing through the Mountain of Whispering Wind.  No magic corn for the beleaguered Defense was provided as Dancer Girardi was in full melt down mode during this entire affair.   Things were looking bleak as Rantaa called for other reindeer but no Nasher, definitely no Dasher maybe a Cupid (Zucc) and Blitzen (Haze), and Rudolph hanging out with Herbie the future Dentist.
 
5. On Wounded Knee; a new shot blocking technique has emerged which must be encouraged or, at least somewhat tolerated by staff as it is all the rage amongst the D corps.  The defender, usually D-man but forwards have been doing this as well, bends one leg in what can be described as a sideways curtsy which does little to nothing to block the shot and may only screen goalie.  Buek needs to keep these guys on his skates moving toward shooter with stick on puck.  Girardi is the worst offender/defender for this move, but not alone as Holdon, Shea Butter and Staalled practice the art as well.  Stop it.  Now. [Editor’s note: Fedor Tyutin used to do that a lot]
 
6. In the middle of the 2nd period, the league’s leading goal scorer and one of the faces of the NHL reverted to a career long tendency to lead the Dirty Birds in plays that cross the line.  The knee on knee is the most dangerous of plays in a league of many.  Why does Cindy revert to such plays?  Not sure, but if you didn’t like Sausage Lips because he plays for Pissburg, now you cannot stand him as a hockey player.  No mistake, it was against Grabber who was one of the few able to generate scoring chances.  Don’t worry, the fiery Captain McD immediately came over and gave Skidknees a mighty shove not seen since Derrick Brassard left for Ottawa.  Grabber already had two break-aways in the period and would eventually score in the 3rd.  He has scored 14 goals in 35 games with some dry stretches as he was removed from Haze/Miller line when Nash came back but he is such a crafty player and their best player in game.
 
7.  Isn’t that Special? For the first time in long time, the Special Teams do not come through after a torrid stretch featuring World Class goaltending and smart aggressive play on the puck.  Well, without the latter, you can barely survive on the former against an opponent this talented.  On the first PP, a 4 minute Ein Kleiner stick to ex-NYR Haggler has over 3 minutes killed when a PK forward tandem featuring Wribbit due to No Nash is on and Cole slaps a pass to Cindy who deflects into goal.  Good point by Valley Cat in game review to recognize Wribbit needing to get his stick in passing lane to prevent such a play.  Second period PK featured Holden on Wounded Knee, Coach shuffle boarding and Miller Time stiff legged as Amanda Kessel slowly looks for best shooting angle.  Rantaa Claus almost stops puck but it squirts through for another PP marker.  Third and final PP goal (and goal #6) from a rush around Done G and crease slam dunk by Hornskissed.
 
8.  One of the strongest lines in this recent stretch of solid D has been 2 Swedes and a Slov who was replaced with this Summer’s prize, Easy Peasy Jimmy Vesey.  VC has a good stick and great hockey instincts but will never be accused of being in the running for the Selke Award.  The bottom 6 has been in a state of flux and needs a veteran presence, ideally a solid defensive forward and PKer who weighs over 200 lbs and can cycle the puck.  This current iteration of the 4th line is the Land of Misfit Toys and if Pirri does not score on PP he is basically worthless as he cannot skate.  In the second, Oscar had some miscues that led to the goal by Malkinstein. First he let him fly through neutral zone and then lost him in Ozone.  Was it a savable shot?  Somewhat.  But it was a world-class one timer by an android manufactured in Eastern Siberia as part of the Russian sports experiments in the 70’s.
 
9.  Holden/Staal +1 might be the most interesting stat of the night.  They were on for the Amanda’s PP goal but Holdon made solid break out passes which result in a clean look by Grabber who lifts it above Murray the Cops shoulder to bring the game back to a one goal deficit at 3-2 in the beginning of the third period.  Staal has played a much, much steadier game and Holdon for a 4th rounder is becoming this season’s McD for Gomez/No Gomez.
 
10.  The fourth goal on a “shot” by Sergeant Shultz that deflected in off McD’s skate was a real back breaker after Grabber brought in back of one goal game.  Stepsoft skated toward Sergeant Shultz with the speed of a floating iceberg as McD was being jostled in front.  By the time the Capt Rogaine almost reached the puck, Sarge Shultz, while hearing nothing, saw a commotion in front and knew enough to shoot the puck on net, deflecting off McDummer’s skate and back to two down.  Not one of the young Captain’s games to remember, but carrying around Done G for 25 minutes, providing steady PK duty, trying to create Offense while playing against top lines is yeoman’s work and Yo Man, he did not get it done last night.  Another player who needs a break to rest his body and mind.
 
11.  Playing the Dirty Birds in their barn will lead to lots of penalties, mostly against your team.  While Kleiner’s penalty was somewhat legit, the Kreider penalty where he was pushed into the Murray the Cop while skating by the crease was a reputation call and Hazy Daze’s high stick should have been neutralized by an embellishment call against Kunitz for acting like he was shot from the rafters.
 
12. When teams get tired, players tend to revert to bad habits that are in less evidence when they are rested and ready.  Personal favorite JT Miller Time was just AWOL in this game. Salmon Joe mentioned he spent time with family the evening before.  Well, I hope he had fun because he was invisible in this affair finishing -1, no shots, 1 hit, 1 giveaway in over 16 mins.  Hazy Daze was back to his old tricks playing with himself, head down stick handling to his heart’s delight while his line mates floated around and defenders laughed.
 
13.  Finally in the second half of 3rd period, white flag was waving as Pissburg layered insult on to NYR injuries with a meaningless goal at the end with 10 seconds to go resulting from a Shea Butter miscue on a seemingly harmless play behind the net compounded by the Mighty Pimple’s inability to support his D and in a game like this, the biscuit ends up in the basket to heap more salt in this festering wound of a game.  Turn the page.  Spit happens.  This team needs to catch its breath and get healthy!  Upward and onward.
 
3 stars:
1.     Rantaa Claus
2.     St. Nick Holdon
3.     Grabber

132 thoughts on “Rangers-Penguins in Review”

  1. Repost

    Ev
    Small world. I got my masters from Webster U. I spent a ton of time @ Wash U and in U City because my girlfriend at the time was going to Wash U.

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  2. SN–Just what I needed this morning, a LOL filled review. Thanks. I concur with the Editor–I hate the Flyers more than the Tire Fires or the Jersey junior varsity. Speaking of which, did Taylor Hall get hosed or what? McDavid in, Edmonton respectable and he is toiling in beautiful Newark. He gets to play with Parenteau instead. If we are very lucky, Brandon Pirri will score a few more goals and be tradeable to a bubble team in the playoffs. Too bad there is not ore help available from the putrid Wolf Pack. Whatever happened to Tambellini? As of right now, that Klein for Del Zotto deal is not looking all that good.

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  3. I laughed the whole way through. And I especially enjoy having to ponder which name belongs to whom…not only does it provide additional laughter once I figure out who it’s referring to, but it extends the time required to read the review, which I never want to end.

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  4. What a bday present for my 26th! excellent job, SN. And once again in a pinch. Although I don’t buy into the schedule being a factor. If they played Arizona or some middle of the pack western conf team last night and won then it’s not even brought up in conversation. They’ve struggled to score lately and The injuries are obviously valid. We have Fast, Lindberg, Ribbit Puempel and they have Crosby Kessel Malkin and Hagelin. Pens still one of the best teams in the league and it shows when we play them. With any luck, our boys at full strength, good health and I guess ‘well rested’ they can atleast make a game out of it even if they lose every time they play them

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  5. why must so many posters go to DEFCON 1 after every loss? Can’t they just lose a game without each mistake being a harbinger of things to come and demanding changes for changes’ sake? Guess what, they will lose another 1500 games in your lifetimes…not all of them need to be dissected…suck it up.

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  6. The schedule is a lame excuse. They’ve played 8 games in 13 days. Pittsburgh played 7 in 12 days. Not a big difference and certainly not big enough to explain a 7-2 beatdown.

    Faux. I hear you. If I had watched the game I probably would have been a big more disgusted, but a loss is a loss whether it’s by 5 goals or 1. You move on to the next one and hope they recover from this.

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  7. Ah, but they do need to be dissected, FG. That’s what makes this blog interesting. If I came here, for example, and talked about how wonderful the two Ranger goals were and how our team is fine, Pittsburgh was just better, this would be a pretty boring place to be. Do you really think we can win a cup with what we’ve got? Many of us don’t. That’s why people discuss trade possibilities. This is all part of being a fan.

    As for sucking it up- the Rangers sucked big time last night.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was thinking- It might be interesting sometime to have some sort of poll to find out how many people who post here regard themselves as optimists and how many regard themselves as pessimists as far as the team goes. I don’t really know what it would prove, but it might be interesting.

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  9. Thanks heads, happy to provide some yuks to hopefully alleviate the sting of a bad loss. Apologies for my poor use of grammar in spots. Speed of finishing won out over form. Don’t know how Carp did it/does it.
    .
    Forgot to mention Pits was without 2 of their top 4 Dmen which would have been more evident had NYR been able to possess the puck in the Ozone more than 4 times during the game.
    .
    Doodie/RR2 – I concur on the Filth being in one of the top slots. Can a team have 5 mortal enemy franchises of equal weight?
    .
    Peace out

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  10. I’m at the other extreme, Corky. The pileup of cutesy nicknames made me want to give up altogether. But the writeup itself was so damn good I couldn’t stop. Yeoman work, Essen the Industrial Zone.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The difficult thing on the blog is if you say there needs to be improvement by the team or the roster needs to be better, you are rather swiftly and many times inaccurately branded a pessimist and panicky ledge dweller.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wicky,
    I see that you are still on the trade Stepan bandwagon. While I certainly cannot argue that Stepan has been good this year, the problem is you will have to get a center back in any trade of Stepan. They do not have good enough centers on the team or in Hartford that you would be able to absorb the loss.

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  13. And you are absolutely correct in thinking trade him before his NT kicks in. You just have to get the value back for him.

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  14. I know this is probably a little one sided towards the Rangers, but, would you do Stepan and Klein for Little and Trouba? I would be willing to put Skjei in if needed.

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  15. Well done SN. And unlike E3’s septic tank, the review was had no BS in it.
    And happy 26th James G. I turn 26 tomorrow as well, which is remarkable sine I remember being quite liquored up one happy June evening in 1994.

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  16. Whether November December March April you name it the rangers are not beating this current group of pens in playoff series. At end of the day it’s a new year same result in end.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good afternoon, boneheads!
    Ugh, I’m so behind.
    Happy 26th, JamesG!
    Feel better, Doodie.
    Great review, SN. As always.
    As for the game? I still think the one they lost to Pittsburgh last time was much worse because of the way they responded to their captain being harassed.
    Pittsburgh pressured their defense from the start to end, that requires hard work. NY looked lethargic. Bad game. Move on.

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  18. Wick, barrelling through eastern WA approaching the land of pessimistic, panicky ledge dwellers (aka MT) on the way to Dubois, WY. May or may catch the Jackets-Pens game. I still think the best Rangers upgrade is to get N, B and Z back, but if Gorton can improve it otherwise, good on him!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Eric, where were you last night? Others tried to fill the void, but there’s only one Eric. Could end being the best E-night of the season!

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  20. I want so much to see this team win a Stanley Cup! But I am convinced if I get too high the let down that is inevitable will be harder to take! If the 1980 USA Olympic team could beat the Russian we can beat the pens. It starts from the top down AV! Light a fire under their butts this is War!

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  21. Norm
    Safe trip and let me know where you might be to watch the game.

    Bdl
    I agree that you need to get a centre back, but I don’t think it has to be in the same deal. As far as the jets deal you brought up…two things I’d change, I’d want schierle (so?) instead of little and I’d also move a left D not a righty since we are lacking righty depth.

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  22. St Pete
    I like the 1980 analogy but that USA team didn’t go with the best players top to bottemm, it went with the best team (ie guys for specific roles) which is something this team does not have.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Speaking of D men…lots of work for gorton there. Too many lefties, not enough rightys. First guy I’d trade is staal except he has a nmc. Buying out Girardi is pretty important from an expansion protection aspect alone, but it leaves an already thin right side more thin. Need to add a couple rightys.

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  24. Wicky not as important regarding defense and protecting

    I think worst case is we lose raanta
    after that grabner or holden
    then lindberg or fast

    doubtful klein gets picked the way he’s playing and if he does at this point so what.

    I know you want to trade Staal but he’s played well. Yes his contract as are any we have north of $ 5 million with Nash the least problem since only one year after this. Every team has contracts they regret.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Good morning, boneheads!
    One day until Festivus.
    I find tinsel distracting.
    It was a good game between the Caps and Flyers last night. There is no reason the Rangers, when healthy, can’t beat either of these teams.

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  26. That Edmonton Arizona game was also very good. Rangers can’t compete with either one of those teams on an intestinal fortitude level 😉

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  27. Good morning Boneheads welcome to Thursday! ilb2001 they will find a reason to lose they always do! 1994 was an anomaly in the eternal scheme of things! Oh by the way I am an optimist unless it involves the Rangers. In the end I usually expect the worst because the worst usually happens usually! I guess that makes me an optimistic pessimistice Ranger fan!

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  28. Agree with Norm. Trading for a guy just because he’s right or left handed is short sited.

    Did you see uncle Larry’s column today? He says it’s time to bring up Tanner Glass. My head almost exploded.

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  29. yeah… even as someone disgusted by what happened with lundqvist getting run over, i can’t imagine tanner glass on this team helping in even the slightest bit. that’s a provocative column written just for the clicks and the banter that it will arise.

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  30. They might need a physical player (especially to satisfy a certain Bonehead), but he must be able to play hockey. Tanner Glass is not the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. What, the tabloid guy wants to appeal to his readership by suggesting the Rangers need to play dirtier? I’m shocked.

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  32. I absolutely agree in some systems that left or right D does not make a difference. The problem is av’s system is not one of those and av himself has stayed many times his preference to have left and right D men on their “correct” sides, problem is this team does not have enough quality righties to do that.

    Glass will only help fix one problem on the team and it is after the fact retaliation. Unless you are one of those people that believe NHL players when they say they play “bigger” or “tougher” when a guy like glass is in the line up.

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  33. That was not an endorsement in any way shape or form by me for glass in the lineup, I was just stating a fact.

    I want someone that has a multidimensional game like Roussel 😉

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  34. When it comes to being optimistic/pessimistic about the Rangers I’d say that I’m bi-polar. There are times when a lot of people are ragging on the team and I have the outlook that it isn’t as bad as it looks. Then there are other times when I say, “Yeah, they’re playing well, but…”

    Basically, I’m pretty much a basket case.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have to get the pole out of the crawl space. It’s made of aluminum. Very high strength to weight ratio.

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  36. Carp wrote: “Glass, McIlrath, Probert and Kocur … if any of them were on the ice, Eakin still runs over Lundqvist.”

    True point, but if Probert or Kocur were on the Rangers Eakin doesn’t make it off the ice without spitting out a couple of chiclets and leaving some DNA on the ice 🙂

    The dud they needed was Dale Purinton. I saw him come off the bench in a Rookie game at Rye Playland against the Hartford Whalers to destroy a Whalers tough guy who had jumped Ola Sandberg – a Rangers Euro d-man.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Wick, what in particular about AV’s system requires stick balance? The breakout, the in-zone coverage generally? The point play? And what systems are you talking about that don’t need the balance?

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  38. au contraire! You skate on a line with Probert, Kocur, Fotiu or any other of their ilk and you skate confident that intentional physical indiscretions effectuated in your direction will be immediately challenged. Immediately! You’re a family man!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Great pod cast Ricardo. However, I’m puzzled as to how John Muckler wasn’t your best coach or favorite coach didn’t get a shout out.

    That was an enjoyable listen.

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  40. As Larry Brooks wrote in his Tanner Glass article- “There isn’t a single player who forces the opposition to keep its collective head up, not a single player whose presence discourages opponents from taking liberties. More than that, not a single player who believes in payback.”

    I agree. And that’s why the Rangers don’t need Glass. There shouldn’t be one player that does all those things. Almost everyone should be doing them. It should be a collective team toughness, and that is something our boys are sorely missing.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. That is the only toughness that counts, in my book. Team toughness and togetherness. And how often did Glass have the opportunity to exact payback in his two years here? Not nearly enough to justify a lineup spot.

    Though he was ready to go with Simmonds if Simmonds turned down McIlrath. Even talked about it.

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  42. But the Rangers are NOT standing tall together. They turtle before they can actually turtle. Turn and look away. That’s their motto this year for the most part….

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Moreover, Pumpernickel and Pureee are not doing anything that Tanner Glass can’t do.

    Bring back Tanner
    Bring back Tanner.

    GMEN 34
    Eagles 0

    GWG JT Miller

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  44. Norm
    You’d have to ask AV why he prefers it. Personally, I think in a quick transition, counterpunch system, having d men on their natural sides make those “going the other way passes” quicker and more forceful as well as more accurate (since they aren’t coming from the backhand along the boards).

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  45. Boy, the fans in the building sure gate the physical play and the scrums. Brilliant move by Bettman to try to take physicality out of the league…I mean it is entertainment and the fans hate physicality.

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  46. Stranger, Tanks for laughs, needed that. In fact I just now stopped rolling so’se I could type. How bout that Tort’s team, & the fun in Jersey tonight. I WAS gonna watch Minny to prep for our next game. So much for that. Cindy getting spaghetti western shot is more entertaining.
    Happy Barfday Headzo & James.Are youse guys are now Carp’s age.
    Thanks as always Doodie, RR2.
    Happy Festivus Boneheads.

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  47. There’s such a yin & yang between the coaching styles of Torts & AV, Often I find myself yearning for the days of JT’s more physically accountable hockey. But, can that kind of system sustain a team (that’s not as heavy as LA, CHI.), thru June ?
    Whoa, check tha.t score. What’s good for the goose is good for the penguin.

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  48. Norm
    Thought I said it was in the explanation…maybe we are talking about two different posts. Clearly to av it is.

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  49. Three Panthers games at home this week. I have tickets to the bookends of the three. Jagr passes Messier in the middle one. Jagr is now officially my least favorite player.

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  50. The key is to be 4th in metro if leader in division has better record than Montreal. So it’s important to finish ahead of Philly.

    E3

    yes in December. Pittsburgh proved last spring how good they are and it doesn’t show vs the Rangers but they are missing 2 of their top defensemen.

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  51. Wick, you brought up the notion that some systems do not require stickside balance but others do, such as AV’s. Hockey nerd that I am, I was curious to know the difference, that’s all. I’ll assume for now there isn’t much of one.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Gints utterly done in by the refs tonight. Bad start, so it’s ultimately their own fault, but 5 yds. of penalties on the Iggles? Unreal.

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  53. Norm
    AV had stated from the get go here that he prefers leftys on left and rightys on right and tried diligently throughout his time here to maintain that due to the “system” he runs. I stated in my 8:00 why I thought it was important to the AV system, but as I also stated you’d have to ask him for the definitive answer (he is no longer speaking to me about strategy because I question his methods on the blog too frequently).

    I am curious why it seems to be so important to some to have all “speedy” forwards to play in this AV system but not to have D pairs the way the coach as repeatedly said he prefers them?

    As I stated before,for the most part I don’t think it’s that important in a “slower” system to have d men on their natural sides. I just point out that it’s what this current coach says he wants in his d pairs (lefty righty on their natural sides) for his “system” so why not try and accommodate him if the jackwagon is going to continue to be the coach.

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  54. Wick, sorry to have misunderstood that you had specific systems stuff in mind. No worries there, though you have miles to go to convince me that AV is anything other than one the best coaches in the NHL. Rangers are lucky to have him.

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  55. It seems like everyone in the league is on a winning streak. Who is losing all these games? Wild will be another tough opponent. And Sam and Joe will point out all the Staals in the building.

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  56. obviously the game against us took a lot out of the Penguins. BJs under Torts playing like 2011-2012 Rangers, except with offensive talent. No fear, believe that will impose their will. I look forward to the challenge when we’re healthy. If we ever get healthy

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Good morning Boneheads! Eric of the infamous Staals will probably get a hat trick! I have a feeling it will be another game to forget! Well it’s off to work for me catch youse guys later!

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  58. Norm
    No worries bro, we’ll just have to agree to disagree re av 😉

    The giants D got my championship fantasy football game off to a crap start :/

    Happy Festivus to all you wankers!

    Like

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