Game Review Rangers lose 7-6, WTF once more

Byline E3:

Rangers took the ice 3 nights after that debacle in Montreal and my expectations for this game were high. Our sexy boys, minus Marc Staal, were healthier than they’ve been all year. The king surely worked with Ben Wah to correct whatever it was that was ailing him and Ranger fans everywhere were hoping for a strong effort. Well, so much for that. I blame this loss entirely on the Rangers’ offense. If your goalie and defense can hold a team to a measly seven goals, your forwards need to be able to score a minimum of eight. This isn’t rocket science. Unless of course, your talking about Apollo 1 or Apollo 13. Onto the game:

1. Rangers jumped out of the gate. Scoring a goal in the first minute was definitely a sea change. Far too often lately, it’s been the opposition scoring on their first shot. Seems the Stars suffer the same malady. Nice play by THE, Zucc, and Stepan. Niemmi expected Stepan to continue around the net to his left but Stepan instead faked him out by coming back around to Niemmi’s right and tucked it in to an uncovered net. Rangers lead 1-0.

2. That was the highlight of the first period. That is if you forgive THE Kreider for bowling over Niemmi allowing Catcher to score into a wide open net. Bad on THE, but it’s hard to blame him. He was barrelling down the he crease slightly behind Zucc and Stepan and with Niemmi off to the left of his net. THE went full on Corey Price but how was he supposed to stop? Goal disallowed. Two minutes for goalie interference.

3. The King is dead. Long live the king! If I busted out my old Bauer Supremes, I’m pretty sure I could score on a breakaway beating Hank. Probably beat him with my wrist shot too. My 45 mph slapper? It’d beat Hank glove side, stick side, five-hole, name your side, every side. Hank has no confidence. None. It’s painful to watch. Sad really. This is like Wilkie Mays, as a Met, falling down in the batters’ box. Your heart goes out to him. He’s done so much for this franchise but he’s in a 10 foot rut right now. Ben Wah has his work cut out for him.

4. I’d start the kid next game. Raanta won’t be back for awhile. Let the kid play. Hank needs to practice and figure out what the holy heck is going on.

5. As bad as Hank was, his defensemen share in the glory. As a group, the three pairs were awful. Each one worse than the other. McD? Yuck! Girardi? Double yuck! Shay? He’s been bad the whole season. Ein Klein? Take my eyes but not Ein Klein. Gerund? Maybe the best of the 6 tonight which isn’t saying much! The Catcher? Good lord. While Holden is in the talks for Norris, he didn’t do himself any favors tonight. Did you his play on the Stars’ second goal? Clean whiff. Poor attempt to retrieve his swing and miss. Even poorer effort getting back to cover Patrick Sharp cutting to the goal. Holden misplayed the pass, didn’t take the body, gave Hank no protection.

6. When your goals e can’t stop a floating beach ball, it’s encumbent on his three pairs to provide some help. Any help. Out of position, lack of hustle, brain dead playing. Something has to give. It can’t go on like this. And Not to sound like a broken record, but can anyone explain to me how exactly The Wrath couldn’t crack these 6? Oh Please! The Wrath was treated unfairly. The other D do so much wrong every game going back months.

7. Good news? Zman is back. Buch is back. The Rangers might need to win games 19-18 going forward. So be it. Is the season lost? No! Will they make the playoffs? Yes. Will they be gone in the first round? I wouldn’t bet on them.

8. The third period was exciting. They didn’t throw in the towel, so there’s that. But AV and his team really need to take a long look in the mirror. They are failing themselves and they’re failing each other.

That’s all I got. Discuss.

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296 thoughts on “Game Review Rangers lose 7-6, WTF once more”

  1. Many of us and the experts were saying the metro would get 5 teams. With philly and rangers slumping maybe it’s the atlantic that gets the 5 teams.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, maybe no one wants to listen to Dave Maloney about our timidity, but even Duguay tonight chimed in that we need some toughness. I wouldn’t buy their watercolors, but y’all can’t deny that they have for multiple decades lived and breathed hockey.

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  3. Rangers’ D is so bad they might be better off playing 5 forwards. The other team will score and our boys will get their share….id lobe 14-11 games.

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  4. E3

    Well no move precludes some. The first 2, due to contract especially years left, others would pass on if the 2 were allowed to be put on waivers and were in fact put on waivers.

    Ability wise Staal would not be passed on if ignored contract. McIlrath was passed at very favorable cap hit.

    I think Klein is hurt but with only 1 year left on contract he might be claimed if was waived. Won’t be waived anyway and certainly has potential to get healthy and revert to previous self. Plus need him to be made available with expansion rules.

    Clendening has been and will be healthy scratch on many occasions.

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  5. Defense is a team game too. So all 6 on the ice are culpable. Yes some forwards are better in their own end like Nash but others like Zucc are contributing to the mess in our own zone.

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  6. Alex – if Vito Don Girardi’s cap hit was 2M, all 29 pass on him. At 4 M, they’d all pass on Staal. At 2.5M, Klein, injury or not, wild be a tough sell. McD is the only one of the 6 that would even make every team. The 5 others belong in the AHL.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. E3

    The point is the decision would be based on salary and years left. In Mcilraths case it was ability based as perceived by all 29 teams. So to think he’s the answer is something that all 30 teams would not agree with.

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  8. McIlrath and/or Glass certainly, as you say, is/are not the answer to the big picture, but both are the answer to a smaller, but important picture: our pride and camaraderie, both players and fans.

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  9. Alex – I understand what you’re saying. My point is that The Wrath is no worse than Staal, Girardi, and Klein regardless of years and/or salary. I’d much prefer the Wrath get the experience you’re ok with giving Shay. Shay can skate. Big deal. So could Brian Boitano. Shay is not a good hockey player.

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  10. Our Rangers aren’t willing to stand up for one another. Recipe for disaster. Ever watch Stepan in a scrum? He is the least willing in the league to engage at any level. This is not a game for the weak. These are men. Big bad men. If you’re not tough, you’re a weak.

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  11. moderation? Then let me put it this way: Richard Button for Beuk’s job.
    Amazing that you can’t use that word but you can give all our military secrets to our enemies and get a Get Out Of Jail Free card from the Pres.

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  12. E3

    I think (and I believe the rest of the league believes) that McIlrath is in fact worse than the others. If any of the others had his contract in dollars and terms they would have been claimed.

    I understand that you like a certain style of play. The big hit and the fight like he did with Simmonds and the Bruin who hurt Stepan. It’s entertainment but again the rest of the league passed on him at barely above minimum contract. That says a lot too.

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  13. Alex – call me a bad GM but I’d take him on my team if Girardi, Klein, and Staal are also on my team. And it’s not just the fights. He hits. He moves people. He clears the crease. Hard shot. Low accurate shot. Sure, he gets beat. Especially wide. But you are watching all 6 get beat regularly lately, yes?

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  14. E3

    then why wasn’t 1 or more teams interested in him essentially for free. They have scouts.

    Clearing the crease is dicey. Can’t do it if puck is not there. Totally different game than when Beuk played. Guys who made their living in front of net as a forward rarely were productive after a certain age. Look at Graves and his back issues.

    Most of the rest of the d have often played high teens or low twenties minutes. I don’t think any team in nhl would trust McIlrath for those minutes unless they were making a play for top pick in the draft. Him playing say 8 minutes a game would force others to be overplayed.

    If he were like a Norstrom who we foolishly dumped in a trade for fossils back in the day, I’d be right there with you yelling about mistreatment. But he’s not.

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  15. Alex – we see things differently. Nothing wrong with that. Subjectivity claims many winners. Like I said, call me a bad GM. I’d keep and play the wrath over Shay. Over Girardi. Probably over Ein Klein too.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Allow me to also say that the only game in last year’s first round that the Rangers won against the fast, quick, and highly skilled penguins was the one the # 6 played in….

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  17. Henrik: “I dont think theyre all my goals.”

    I cant believe this guy. This is what bothers me about him. He should be accepting sole responsibility. Whether it’s his fault or not.

    Derek Jeter, Tom Brady, Mariano Rivera… real leaders take full responsibility. And the way he did it, so passive aggressive.

    A small piece of me actually wonders if the team plays harder for Raanta or in this 3rd period, Hellberg, than they do for Henrik because he is always so willing to throw them under the bus.

    There are stats that actually show the Rangers play much better in front of Raanta.

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  18. this team has no leadership from its star player. Never willing to put team above him. While his ego must be in shambles, a little humility would go a long way in the room.
    .
    Your never as bad as you look in your losses, just like you are never as good in your wins. Team still needs to find itself.
    .
    with all forwards back, surprised they didnt look to possess the puck more against a weak D and shaky goalie. Disagree with playing dump and chase when you have skill to make plays.
    .
    playing Puree over Oscar was a big mistake. Not a fan of the Misfit Toys 4th line. Puree is not needed with all the forwards back and The Miracle Met playing PP point.
    .
    Be interesting to see if these lines remain as is though Offense should not be a problem

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  19. Why are we talking about McIlrath this team is in deep trouble right now and he ain’t even here! The problem begins with the head AV coach this group is out of sync and has no confidence in Dunqvist! And the coach has no answer! They can’t keep playing pond hockey with this D and a declining goalie!

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  20. Holden doing a nice impression of the pointless Girardi snow angel for one of the goals – but Hank is defintely not on his game right now. Not panic time, but a concern nonetheless

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  21. Alex,
    What is your obsession with McIrath?
    Didn’t something similar happen to Luongo when he was in Vancouver with AV?

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  22. Get back to defending first. Everything else will fix itself. Granted Hank was a dog’s breakfast last night, but the team defense was the lunch, dinner and dessert. Woof.

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  23. Hank ain’t no:
    Jeter, Messier, Ewing, david Wright, Piazza, Mariano, Mattingly, Eli…

    I am grateful for what the Rangers have accomplished with him, and for the body of work he has brought here, but as the team leader and its best player, he needs to take responisibility fully for what’s been happening with himself with season.

    I’ve never seen nor heard of Derek Jeter (5 time World Champion) ever laying blame on teammates in his 2 decades worth of baseball.

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  24. Hank should be spending less time with his Head & Shoulders and Justin Beiber and start making adjustments to extend his career. He’s getting older–time for adjustments. All great athletes do it as they move on in their careers.

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  25. AV really starting to pissed me off. Every other Coach shows emotion when officiating isn’t what they feel it should be. Meanwhile AV is stoic when our players are hacked & given 2 minutes.

    I think it was Sharp breaking his stick on Clendenning, the punching him. Both players get 2 minutes. AV fine with it, chew, chew, chew, Double Bubble

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  26. Last night the Rangers chased Eakin around all night. Hit when they could, and Kreider dropped the gloves with him. So I ask you this, what did that accomplish?

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  27. In a small sample size, Butch is 2nd in the NHL in pts/60. Crosby 1st, Stamkos 3rd,
    Zika 19th, Kreider 21st. Might be the first line there…
    .
    Shea’s last 10 games; 0-2-2 / -3
    .
    Like Nash’s game and passion. His open ice hip check covering for D is a rare sight
    .
    While Staal is steadier than Shea, his last 13 games prior to injury; 0-0-0 +1
    .
    Clendening, while no Larry Robinson, is #9 among NHL D-men in pts/60. Was even last night an assist

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  28. McIlrath? Wasn’t he a healthy scratch for something like the first 16 games after the Panthers traded for him? I think I’d rather have the corpse of Chelios over McIlrath.

    As for Hank, I think he should give back half of his salary. He sure isn’t earning it.

    And, what would be the harm in starting Hellberg? If he gives up 5 goals it’s an improvement!

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  29. Given the way the team is playing defense i wouldnt give Hellberg even a sniff …they need to get their heads together individually and collectively and figure out what they’re lacking. Some of the net coverage has been shocking the past two games – to the point i’m shouting at the D as you see them turn away from their man to chase a puck behind the net. This is OK if the forward then takes the man but he’s 8-10 feet away and probably thinking the same as me!! NOOOOOOO!! DEFEND THE NET!!

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  30. Good morning, boneheads!
    I gather you didn’t like the game 😀
    Good review, Eddie. I disagree on one thing, I would continue playing Hank non-stop until he either figures it out, or shows he can’t. Because if he can’t get out of this slump, nothing else will matter. The defense has been slumping like that before, but Hank would cover their deficiencies. It’s rare that both he and the whole defense are in this state.

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  31. The first two periods were as bad as the SJ game last year and Dallas is a bad team as they showed in the third when they turtled and barley held on to win. Horrible D zone coverage and lots of 50 to 100 foot passes intercepted in the neutral zone. Pond hockey is just not going to cut it. Listening to Hank after the game it is not clear if he wants to play in Toronto. His confidence is shot. To give you an idea how bad the contracts are, if all the guys with NMCs waived them Nash is the only one Vegas would even consider taking.

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  32. Absolutely agree – he’s a veteran, he’s had struggles before, he needs to work his way through it by getting minutes on the ice. He always says he likes to compete, time to do a Youngblood and not hide on the bench
    Presuming its not an injury..?

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  33. Not sure that even a “defense first” style would help given the WTF’s being given up by HL on a regular basis now. That doesn’t mean you don’t try to correct some of the glaring errors, including those of the forwards. Also have to ask WTF Beukeboom is doing? Though given the “talent” of the natural defenders, I’m not so sure that our best defense is all out offense. Every minute in the other end is a goal HL does not give up (ducks).

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  34. Would I be completely wrong if I said that Hank’s troubles began after that total none response by the team after the hit by Eakin? Seems to me that Hank has lost all the trust in his teammates.

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  35. Interesting. Is it possible that the earlier Dallas game irreversibly changed the dynamic and relationship between Hank and his mates? He is all too willing to throw them under the bus…maybe it was going on long before that but we didn’t notice and that’s what led to the non-response to begin with. Like letting Serpico get shot? Am I reading into this too much?

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  36. When did Lundqvist throw his teammates under the bus? Where was that reported? I missed it, would like to read the article, see the tape, whatever it was. Doesn’t sound like a good situation.

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  37. Hank was playing like crap well before the Eakin hit. This is going on a season and half now.
    Hang is certainly not standing with the press and saying it’s his fault.

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  38. How does the Eakin hit affect him giving up goals? Are you saying that Lundqvist is giving up goals on purpose because they didn’t beat the crap out of Eakin?

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  39. I get the frustration that leads to all the McIlrathish, don’t-have-each-other’s-backs stuff, but they are losing these games by making far too many JV mistakes, and by Lundqvist not being able to clean them up. Whacking opponents over the head won’t fix either problem.

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  40. Ruff is a good coach, he came prepared. How many times their long passes were intercepted by an anticipating Dallas’ player? No adjustment by AV, there were still trying it in the 3rd.

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  41. We should not net the “almost comeback” of the rangers against a pretty bad Dallas team, cloud our vision of what happened…coach not nearly good enough, D men not nearly good enough, team D not nearly good enough, 8.5 mil per goalie….not nearly good enough.

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  42. I don’t know who I would hire if they fired AV, but something needs to happen. AV either needs to make adjustments to his system, or somebody else will.

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  43. I will say this, their is a huge double standard out there by av and some of the fans regarding skjel and mcilrath…2 entirely different D men that being 2 entirely different aspects to a team. Skjel is allowed “growing pains” by av and some fans and mcilrath just “sucked”…talk about hypocrisy by av and some fans, wow.

    I’m just pointing out the facts on this issue, not advocating anything.

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  44. Hey! I was just sayin’!

    I mean, you got these people that you’re with so close for so long, then a goon picks you outta the crowd and beats the poop outta you while everyone just stand and watch. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to be around those people much…bit that’s just me.

    The goals Hank let’s in…the way he reacts to them ….he used to get frustrated and heated but now he just sort of like “oh well, another goal.”

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  45. The Wrath, as horrible, terrible, useless, no good, worst ever as he was/is, was in the lineup that won its only game in last year’s first round won and done. My eyes saw a guy that played with more passion and desire than almost every other player. And it’s not just because he drops the gloves protecting his mates….he shot from the point was the best of all the Dmen. Low, hard, and accurate. BDL – sorry for the rant and rewind on #6.

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  46. Let’s talk about the coach…3 leftys and 3 rightys in line up, instead of putting each guy in his natural position, he pairs 2 leftys on one pair and 2 rightys in another. He then puts everyone in their natural position for the 3rd period, too late asshat. The guy is in panic mode as a coach, has based his D pairings in his system on l/r pairs forever, but this year is all over the board…asshat.

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  47. ilb, exactly right on Lundqvist needing to play through this. and play. and play.

    and those who think Lundqvist is avoiding self-blame are hearing only what they want to hear. He has said it every time out. He needs to be better. He’s frustrated and embarrassed. what the hell more does he need to say?

    McIlrath. LMAO. Can’t even play for Florida, which has a worse defense than the Rangers. Much worse.

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  48. E3,
    McIlrath was certainly not given the opportunity that Skjei has been given. Skjei has been up and down ( more down than up) this season. But McIlrath is gone, and there is no sense in discussing him.

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  49. It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, skjel is overrated, especially in the D zone (which should be the most important skill set in a young D MAN). He will be a good NHL D man, he’s not close to that yet, he just isn’t.

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  50. I am a Skjei fan, but I don’t understand why he is treated like he is on scholarship. Sending him to Hartford, and giving Graves a look wouldn’t kill Skjei or the Rangers.

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  51. Where others would be in a cab before the Press even got downstairs, Hank stands up and answers the hard questions. Kudos. He admits that he has stunk, but also intimates that the D could use some brains and vigor. Who can argue with that?

    Liked by 4 people

  52. Skjei has been horrible, and McIlrath would probably be no worse than Girardi, Klein, the Miracle Met, Holden and, yes, the captain (who has been a terrible captain the last three games). The problem is the Rangers need those guys to play somewhere around the top of their ability and they have not.

    We have seen the top of McIlrath’s ability.

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  53. Interesting read on ESPN today, a roundtable discussion on Lundqvist’s woes. To me, the most interesting part was that the league has mandated that all goaltenders switch to the slimmer pants by February 4 and Lundqvist still has not switched. This is going to get worse before it gets better.

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  54. Ulfie and Beuk cannot be so brain-dead as to not direct the D to protect Hank in front, period and to get the puck out, period. All else comes after that. That everything is so discombobulated tells me that they both defer to AV to a fault.

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  55. How did we see the best of McBeast coming off an injury? Not saying he is the answer but would take him over Done G in heart beat who has reached Reddeneque proportions.

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  56. Carp and doodie,
    Could you two be a little less of a couple of drama queens…

    “Everyone wants to play the kids until they play.”

    “Bingo, RR2.”

    I mean puhleese, I don’t see a ton of people griping about buch, or vesey. I also remember a certain blogfather mentioning several times last season about a certain D man not getting a fair shake from av.

    It’s about whether the “kid” could use more time developing his game in the minors or doesn’t need that because he is as good as he’s developmentally going to be. Skjel needs time in the minors to learn how to play D. I’m reasonably sure if we had laine or Mathews or tkachuk, not too many here (some would I’m sure) would have issues with a “kid” playing because not much else developmentally they need as players.

    So stop with the overreacting drama queen stuff 😉

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  57. Skjei could use time in Hartford, IMO. Had a nice stretch right around the time I was fired (I was writing about him when I got the call, that’s how I remember).. But obviously nobody down there is ready to replace him.

    Drama queen or not, I agree with RR2 on that.

    and Vesey apparently is hitting the college rookie wall. He has even hinted at it.

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  58. Peewee coaches put their best skaters/passers on D so they can get the damn puck moving down ice. From the time a kid is 6 years old, he never learns to play effective defense.

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  59. I thought Skjei started the season very strongly and has been poor lately. He’s trying to do too much. Holden, btw, has turned back into the pumpkin of the 3rd pairing defenseman that I’ve maintained he is.

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  60. And Vesey has been threatened, verbally assaulted and pushed around since he got here with little or no response (from him or from anyone else.) Therein lies a story in itself.

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  61. The part that gets ignored: The Rangers’ forwards won’t do the work needed in the offensive zone, to keep the puck in that end, until it’s hopeless. Last night when they started to forecheck, you saw what happened in the third period. Puts less strain on the defensemen, who obviously can’t handle it right now.

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  62. Part of being an effective defender is making the clever play to ease the pressure, too many times they’ve done the boneheaded or easy play to try and shortcut the pressure and start the rush the other way, leading to more pressure and a general meltdown in coverage. Time to put in some hard work and stop looking for the instant homerun.

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  63. I have been too busy to comment recently, but Carp I’m with you 100%. Everything is still off the rush.

    I’m surprised Hellberg made the saves he made (especially on Seguin). His prior NHL performances indicated that of the four shots he faced last night, one would go in. His AHL numbers this year are pretty bad, too.

    BTW, our goaltender of the future, if he’s currently in the Rangers’ system, isn’t Halverson, Shestorkin, or Skapski (probably won’t be with the team when his contract expires). It’s Adam Huska.

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  64. Carp you hit the nail on the head. For the life of me I can’t figure why a team that has good speed throughout the forward corps does not forecheck more. Not only is it going to alleviate the pressure in the Rangers d-zone it is going to help juice up the offense even more. Of course, that would require the forwards to play a 200-foot game – something not all the forwards always want to do.

    Another thing is the Rangers need to REALLY play man-to-man defense in their own zone. Double-Bubble can call it a man-to-man but when your forwards are clogging the shooting lanes and playing a spot on the ice, that is not a zone.

    Just watch the Rangers coverage and notice how far off the forwards are playing in respect to the men at the point. This is a big reason why the Rangers get pinned in their zone so much. Any time an opposing forward is in trouble down low they know they have an open outlet to their own d-men at the point. Things go haywire when the rangers forwards start chasing the puck which inevitably leads to a couple of players being left alone.

    Of course, it would help if The King would stop playing like The Court Jester. He is really fighting the puck and seems to be “chasing” the puck. when he is on his game, Lundqvist is letting the puck come to him. Now it seems like he overplaying every pass and every deke and is flat out fighting every shot.

    Not sure if it is just me, but it seems like he is dropping to the butterfly earlier than he ever has and he seems to be staying down longer rather than getting back up and getting re-set. I noticed this last year as well and I am wondering if there is some health issue(s) that is causing it or am I trying to find an answer when there is one to be found.

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  65. Brooks made a great point today that right off the opening draw last night that big defenseman shot from 90 feet, with teams knowing Lundqvist is shaky early. … and that while Lundqvist stopped it, he didn’t look very comfortable doing so. and that his teammates weren’t sure he stopped it, and neither were we (or Salmon Joe).

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  66. for the hank stuff, i agree that at this point he needs to try and play his way out of this… he’s either going to get better or he’s not… have to find out.

    at the risk of going way back (and getting killed for hindsight), i still stand by my feeling from years ago that they should not have resigned lundqvist to that huge contract and they should have went with talbot. granted it was a small sample size at the time with talbot and you would have had an immediate falloff from hank to talbot in the next two seasons, but over the course of the contract, it would have made more sense.

    hank’s deal has been onerous for the last few years since he’s taking so much cap space up but now if he’s going to be pedestrian or worse… it’s really going to be a killer that the team can’t live with.

    i also have to agree that hank while taking ownership that he needs to be better, never fails to mention that the team lost it’s structure or needs some help. he needs to cut that stuff out. he’s the team’s best player, he’s paid to be the best player, worry about stopping the puck, don’t worry about the fact that the D and structure has been a mess.

    As for AV… i think one rant that will get me killed here is enough for now 🙂

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  67. In the 3rd they controlled play when they controlled the puck. Dump and chase forechecking is not a viable strategy when you have highly skilled forwards who can create. Dallas went into prevent D and NYR started moving the puck more quickly in the Ozone and jamming the crease.
    .
    Butch is very talented. We have only seen him scratch the surface. His play away from the puck is hard to teach. Hope his back holds up.
    .
    Hold on! had a major gaffe which was compounded by Shea’s inexcusable belly flop which did not prevent the pass for a slam dunk after Hold on! doubled down and didn’t get back to tie up his man.

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  68. When Holden did that snow angel i was shouting thinking it was Girardi – if you’re going to learn a trick from the G Unit, learn how to block shots and sacrifice your body, not how to do snow angels and hang your goalie out to dry!

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  69. In any team sport, you don’t approach excellence unless and until you have both innate talent and also a thorough understanding of your partners’ abilities and tendencies and you are able to anticipate those abilities and tendencies and incorporate them into your regimen.

    That Hank can no longer anticipate anything at all from this D bunch except chinese fireplaces, snow-angeling, shuffleboarding and ice-fishing must make him crazy. I sympathize.

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  70. I don’t think Vesey’s problem is the wall. (If it is, get Mexico to pay for it!) I think Vesey’s problem is playing with guys like Lindberg and Fast who have a limited amount of offensive talent.

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  71. It takes like what, 6 years to become a rocket scientist but a lifetime isn’t enough sometimes to learn how to play defense in hockey.

    Go figure.

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  72. play hank until he asks to com out. he doesn’t figure it out their is no hope. lets be honest there is no hope anyway with this core group.

    IS AV STILL HERE.

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  73. I think with skjel the criticism is justified and the kid needs more time in htfd. I would also bring graves up to see what he can do for a stint.

    Carp
    You’re 11:37 is spot on imho. Not the way this coach usually seems to like things done, forecheck the opposition into submission. If this team did that regularly, it would win more games and as you said help cover other team inadequacy.

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  74. Anthony – ” he seems to be staying down longer rather than getting back up and getting re-set. I noticed this last year as well and I am wondering if there is some health issue(s)”

    Yeah, the health issues are known as “getting older.” I know from experience.

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  75. A perfect example of the forecheck and its effect is the Roussel goal, body before puck (separate man from puck), get puck, score.

    Fancy boy stuff and shuffleboard is unnecessary;)

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  76. CCCP, you laugh, but Shestorkin is a small goaltender (by present day NHL standards) that plays in a league without restrictions on equipment size. Not to mention he has by far the league’s best team in front of him. Hard to trust any of those numbers. Huska is a bigger goaltender who is putting up pretty damn good numbers in his first year in the NCAA, not to mention solid performances at the WJC.

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  77. Another post re: The Wrath. Feel free to ignore.

    Alex – going back to last year’s first round, the amount of TOI given #6 in not the issue as much as the fact that HE was in uniform and somebody else wasn’t. That’s enough. The games Wrath didn’t dress, the Rangers lost.,Not to say they’d have won otherwise but still. Wrath in win; Wrath out lose. And to be overly redundant, the fact that someone played was subtraction by addition. Sorry for the rant.

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  78. Defensive breakdown breakdown:

    1.) Not terrible, actually: got outnumbered on a PK rebound. Two D in the slot momentarily gave the shooter too much time, but good recovery, just got beat.
    2.) Tripleheader: Holden loses puck, Skjei snow-angels, Holden loses man in front. Horror-show defending.
    3.) Doing someone else’s job: McD pokes to the right at his blue line–no need as his partner has that lane covered–and loses Benn behind him left.
    4.) Raped: Skjei takes it behind his own net so he can get sandwiched, STAYS behind net watching as his guy goes out and scores.
    5.) Keystone Kops: Lundqvist follows Niemi’s lead on the early Step goal and decides to leave the net unguarded. Meanwhile, his only hope, Clendening, is staring at the high slot, where there are two Rangers forwards, looking to find a man. Both L & C staring in the wrong direction as Sharp places the puck in the net. Rushed his shot a little, had more time.
    6. Whiff I: Lundqvist beaten high on the short side. Good shot, but it’s 2-on-1, got to trust your D to cut off the pass–even if it is Skjei (who did have it covered)–and cut the angle better.
    7. Whiff II: Girardi being responsible in the crease, but completely fans on the clearance.

    They are making so many in-zone mistakes, AV might be thinking about NOT showing them the video, which at this point may come across as a training manual rather than an admonition. The alternative, showing the D video of plays they are executing correctly, may not have enough examples.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. If Hank doesn’t figure it out by the time Rannta is healthy we will start talking about Hank waiving his NMC so that they can protect Raanta. Going forward never sign a player to along long term contract that ends after he is about 31. Every one of those contracts becomes a problem and it will be easier to find a replacement player than deal with the contract in a cap world.

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  80. If Pumps comes in for Fast to create a 4th line of VC – Puree – Pumps then all hope is lost with this coach. Oscar needs to play the pivot.
    .
    This lineup is not built to dump and chase forecheck save for 3rd line. sorry but it is not.

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  81. Much rather see Hank on the bench. The camera shots that catch him in profile are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. That hair is just too much.

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  82. SN, it it not built that way by design, and they want to be a rush-happy fancy-boy attack. Which is fine until somebody takes away the neutral zone, or doesn’t allow the D to make the quick outlets. On those occasions, you’d better get it in and go to work — and the Rangers have proven to be plenty capable of doing that at many times this year and last — or you’re going to be fishing pucks out of your own net (which they do pretty well, given all the practice).

    and even if it’s not completely necessary, there are times when you’re just better off spending some time down low if for no other reason than to keep it out of your end for a little while.

    Liked by 2 people

  83. Ricardo re: Fla brass and not playing the Wrath – hard to say much of anything they are doing down there makes any sense, yes?

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  84. My point is the lineup is not built to play the traditional dump and chase forecheck, heck they have no 4th line let alone a bottom 6 and when they played at their best, they were generating turnovers in the neutral zone using their speed and converting chances with superior decisions with puck.
    .
    They seem stuck in the middle now, playing soft in the neutral zone to support D but creating more problems as teams dump it in from mid-ice and each rush starts from their own goal line if at all.
    .
    Me thinks they have the plenty of speed to press on forecheck and create turnovers but not be a dump and chase wall banging type outfit, except for Fast of course.

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  85. Not good news on Fast. Good leader by example–unclear who will take on his role of three-zone responsibility and high work-rate.

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  86. Carp, to “there are times when you’re just better off spending some time down low if for no other reason than to keep it out of your end for a little while,” amen. And you wear down the opponent in the process. Forechecking is hard work, but it lifts the spirit, just as chasing an effective forecheck is draining. Last night’s Buchnevich goal was a off a forecheck they’d be hard-pressed ever to repeat. And I wanted to kill Girardi last night, again in the second period, when he decided to shoot long, into nothing, right in the middle of a full-zone cycle in which his teammates were putting the puck behind the net over and over and over. Dallas had stopped skating, and his unwitting response was to give them a free clearance.

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  87. E3

    Zero cause and effect for him playing minimum minutes (9) and a win. Remember Zatkoff played for Pittsburgh.

    Why is it that every team passed on him for free. Certainly wasn’t the contract. Is every team in the nhl clueless?

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  88. Read the comments about Hank throwing his teammates under the bus and not taking responsibility. Imagine my surprise when I watched the post game press conference where he called his play “embarrassing, frustrating, and disappointing.” Hmmm. Went on to say “I’m not good enough” “I need to find another level” “My lack of confidence is causing the team problems” etc etc etc. Then he said the game “lacked structure and there were a lot of chances right in front which made it difficult for him.” Was this not true? How is that throwing his guys under the bus? Criticize Hank’s play all you want because he has been terrible – but stop the nonsensical narrative that he doesn’t own his mistakes and his poor play.

    Liked by 2 people

  89. “It’s a fast game, things happen, it’s my job to clean them up”
    Translation,
    These guys keep making mistakes. It’s there fault, and,they are making me look bad.

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  90. That’s truth, BDL, not finger-pointing. Do you think the Rangers played well defensively these last two games?

    Lundqvist’s play is by far the biggest and most critical problem here. But it sure isn’t the only one. If he doesn’t figure it out, they’re done. But if he does figure it out, and they continue to play this way, it will be last spring all over again.

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  91. I think Hanks poor play is leading to the poor play by the D. As soon as that first soft goal happens, you see the shoulders slump, and the confusion start.

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  92. I agree the D is bad. Where I don’t agree is that even if the D had Robinson, Stevens, Lowe, Langway, LaPointe, and Leetch on it, that that would make any difference. Hank has been that bad.

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  93. Alex – I hear you. But I’m convinced The Wrath could play a 5-6 role. Call me crazy / it’s ok. Your points are valid. I’m loyal to a fault…. He needed playing time, good coaching, and nurturing…,

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  94. I guess i could have chosen, Huber, Petit, Moeller, Shaw, Hospodar, and Bloomberg, but those guys fall just short of the other guys.

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  95. Alex is just funny sometimes (to himself).

    So beuk is bad, ulfie was bad…has nothing to do with the one contant head coach variable…nothing at all.

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  96. The Rangers speed gives the option of being a different kind of dump and chase team. They have the skating ability to win battles with speed rather than having to always be physical on the puck. The added bonus for the Rangers is that they have guys who can play both the speed and physical aspects of dump and chase rather than the 1970s Neanderthal version.

    As Carp pointed out, there are times when that is a must – especially against teams that are going to clog the neutral zone. Easiest way to beat any kind of trap is to pin your opponent in their end. The easiest way to alleviate some of the pressure on a beleaguered defense is to pin your opponent in their end. The easiest way to build your goalie’s fragile confidence is to pin your opponent in their end – or get him some new hair care products 🙂

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  97. A chippy team smart enough to not take penalties has, and always has had, an edge over a similarly talented team who play like gentlemen. That everyone doesn’t understand that (or doesn’t want to understand that) boggles the mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  98. Carp, and anyone else with an entry, who would you say is your all-time great chippy, rugged, disciplined, talented player? I’m guessing it’s not Gretzky.

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  99. Honest question, were there as many long term injuries to players when torts was coach?

    I was always taught you get injured less being the hitter than you do the hittee. It seems to play out with guys like ovi, more aggressive players vs victim mentality players (ie non initiators).

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  100. I think this roster has some guys at forward that can play both a grinding/forechecking torts style game or an AV style 61, 10, 20, 24 immediately come to mind.

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  101. McIlrath = Jessiman. I said it when he was drafted, no reason to change now. A severe waste of 1st round “project” picks when there were other talented players available. Tarasenko, Parise for example…
    Poor drafting, poor talent evaluation. It’s the Sather Way. The effects are still with us.

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  102. Yes, Henrik often says he needs to be better. But he frequently pins blame on others. Not what leaders do. According to e3, he stares down teammates after goals allowed.

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  103. When did he put blame on others not speaking in third person? And I want a quote, which should be easy to find since he does it frequently.

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  104. I guess when he points out that the team is playing poorly he’s a finger-pointer, not accountable, and a terrible leader. But when he’s winning games by himself and the team is playing poorly he’s a good leader. Such nonsense.

    Same with McDonagh as captain. And Leetch.

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  105. Of course it’s absurd to you, Carp. Anything u dont agree with is absurd.

    “They’re not all my goals.”

    When he’s winning games, he is no better or less a leader. Has nothing to do with it.

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  106. THAT’S your quote? Seriously? That’s your frequently-throws-under-the-bus stinger? I mean, fine, you’re not a journalist, so all is forgiven, but this might be my favorite unsubstantiated Bonehead narrative-starter yet. It’s what makes this site the fantastic place it is. Out of nothing, we have Lundqvist turning on his teammates because they didn’t beat up the guy who hit him, that he stares them down like a petulant brat when he gets scored on, that he throws them under the bus at press conferences. And, of course, that he can’t play goalie well because he’s good-looking and has great hair. And too much money. I swear to God, Herb.

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  107. There are plenty more postgame quotes in which he’s talked about his teammates’ failures. But I’m not going to waste my time going through blu rays of past games to find them. You asked for 1 quote, I gave u 1 quote.

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  108. I have complained about Henrik’s failure to accept sole responsibility for defeat for many years.

    You know what’s really absurd? That you didn’t get axed from TJN sooner. 🙂

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  109. I don’t equate chippy and dirty as the same thing. Cooke was dirty, Avery was chippy, briere was a punk (sorry, got carried away on the last one).

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  110. I happen to know the story of IRod and his steroid use. It started before he became a Major Leaguer. His entire career is a fraud. Not just parts of it like some other guys.

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  111. I was in Montreal on business way back in the day, decided to catch some BP and a couple of innings of Expos-Padres before my flight out, and so got to see Dawson and Winfield having a throwing contest from the right field corner to home plate. No hops, not that much arc. Breathtaking. And a truly crap baseball stadium.

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  112. Norm, visited that stadium in the day. I think I remember the roof being stuck half way and they ran out of money and the original architect ran off with the plans and schematics because he couldn’t get paid.

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  113. If they get him in, they’ll never get him out. I can picture him sitting in there on a reinforced, carbon-fiber folding chair, eating hot dogs and signing autographs that are actually betting slips.
    Helluva baseball player, but…

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  114. Might have been ok for the Olympics, but baseball? Amazing they played there as long as they did. Came close but never made it to Jarry Park when I was a boy.

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  115. Wicky

    missed games and played many games injured and should have missed more. Hockey players are tough and will play through many things, though not necessarily effective. So those become cumulative and some are still paying the price several years later. Exhibit A Dan Girardi. Exhibit B Ryan Callahan although we dodged that bullet.

    On this years team I don’t think Zibanejad, Buchnevich or Nash were the result of being hit (the victim thing you talk about).

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  116. I was coached a bit like Wicky, though it was less a question of hitting rather than getting hit–if you can’t take a hard hit and mutter “nice one” to an opponent (while getting his number) you’re in the wrong sport. It was more about going hard into the corners, accelerating rather than pulling up, that you’d have a better chance of coming out with the puck AND avoiding injury if you did so. But that was high school. In the bigs, any player can get injured doing anything.

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  117. In 1976, on a whim, four of us went up to the Olympics. We were very young & pretty broke (sleeping in the 2 cars we took). It was toward the end of the Games but, we scored some tix for the soccer semis, or finals. I do remember it was Poland vs W, or E Germany. So, I guess I don’t totally remember.
    It was a pretty good game, for SOCCER. But the one thing that stands out was how high the nosebleed seats were. If we had not met these young, equally broke, from somewhere in Europe, girls to chat with, we would have surely left earlier to avoid the altitude sickness.
    Then, I think the next day, we got to cheer Frank Shorter from outside the stadium.
    Fun times.

    Liked by 2 people

  118. Btw Panthers fans have been clamoring for Rowe to play McIlrath (as well as to be fired). Unlike the Rangers in the past, the Panthers could probably use him. If you think the Rangers are bad, you should see Kindl. His nickname is traffic cone.

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  119. Re: Montreal Olympic Stadium – Saw Pink Floyd on 7/6/77. Animals tour. Did all of animals, wish you were here and half of dark side. Amazing show.

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  120. Gaborik was a monster when healthy, which only happened for five seasons in sixteen. 40 goals only three times.

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  121. HOF is a popularity contest. You have to be nice to the BBWA members to get in. Bagwell in and Jeff Kent with similar number is at 15%. Is it guilt by association because he had his best years playing with Barry?

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  122. Good morning Boneheads welcome to Thursday! E3 saw Pink Floyd in 1976 at the Cow Palace in San Jose it was amazing! Hoping our boys show up tonight ready to Rock N Roll!

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  123. Carp, if you’re out there I have a question about Lundqvist/Price.
    I saw this morning that Price let in 4 goals last night. I knew he’s been struggling so checked his last 5 games. He and Hank have pretty similar stat lines over their last 5 games. Price is 1-4 with a 4.0GAA and .855. Hank is 2-3 with a 4.4 and .842. Horrible numbers for arguably 2 of the best goalies in the league. The difference is nobody is saying there is a goalie crisis in Montreal, the fans are not booing and jeering him, and everyone is saying he must be injured. Why doesn’t Hank get the same benefit of the doubt?

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  124. Carp, re the above question, I didn’t mean to suggest you aren’t giving Hank the benefit of the doubt. More curious as to why you think so many people are unwilling to do so…

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  125. Wicky is that really the reason? Because I don’t think there is a serious argument that highly paid athletes are not allowed to go through slumps. They do. Just like everyone else. And this is the first time in more than a decade that Hank has had a prolonged slump. So if it’s just because he is the highest paid player on the team (by virtue of him being the most valuable player on the team for 11 years) that seems really strange to me.

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  126. Saw a rumour on spectors hockey that Doan was seriously considering waiving his clause to go to a contender and the rangers were high on the list. Fortunately Spector shot it down.

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  127. Hockey
    I was just curious, I wasn’t using that as a basis for anything. I was too lazy to look it up myself. I will say that in the hard cap era I wouldnt pay ANY goalie over 6 mil per (rather stay around 5 mil per).

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  128. Wicky, he’s at $6.5. His next contract will be a monster. But your question made me look at his stats over his career. The interesting thing is that from the time he came into the league and starting playing regularly he had 3 or 4 “average seasons” with numbers that are not close to what Henrik posted in his first several years. He really took off in 2012-2013 and has been a beast when not injured ever since. The difference between the 2 imo is Hank’s unparalleled consistency from the time he entered the league. Maybe this slump is so shocking because Hank just hasn’t lost it to this degree for any length of time since 2005.

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  129. Gabby; the stats tell a different story…
    Last 6 seasons min. 4000 minutes; Pts./60 5v5 –
    (1.18/60) Gabby is slotted between Carl Hagelin and Louis Erikson – #58 among NHL Forwards.
    Goals/60 5v5 – #18 (Nash #2)
    Top 5 Pts/60 5v5 >4000 TOI:
    1- Skidknees
    2 – J Benn
    3 – Malkinstein
    4 – Kane
    5 – Stamkos
    .
    10 – Nash
    41 – Step
    56 – OV (seriously; one shot wonder)
    78 – Victor Stalberg (crazy)

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  130. Sittoo Price is 29 and probably not on the decline most likely having a slump. With Lundqvist at almost 35 the question is? Is it a slump or is it decline! Hopefully Hank pulls it together, if not NYR are done!

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  131. SN, why would any athlete, especially one as elite as Hank, take multi-million dollar hometown discounts? These guys have really short work lives to make a lot of many and their careers could end at any moment due to injury. I’m pretty sure I read that Sather indicated Lundqvist could have made more by leaving so that seems like a discount to me although probably not a big one. Still don’t get the correlation between size of contract and slumps other than the fact that people get more angry about it….

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  132. Eli that’s a great point but one that would make me think people should be a little more gracious about it and not Bronx cheering the guy!

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  133. This isn’t a dig at av’s system (it really isn’t), but I think hank would have better numbers longevity in a different system (think fatso…I mean brodeur in the devils system for the amount of time he was)

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  134. I will also say that I have 100% admiration for the job hank has done here. He singlehandedly put this organization back on the respectability map (not renney, not have) after the lockout. All that being said, I’d have kept talbot over hank at the $$$$ they both currently make.

    Like

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