Rangers 4, Predators 3.

Almost let that one get away from us, eh?

Here’s a link to Carp’s story yesterday on the Hated One.

http://www.msgnetworks.com/2017/02/09/j-t-s-response-to-avs-message-of-tough-love/

Thanks again to CCCP for handling the post last night.

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167 thoughts on “Rangers 4, Predators 3.”

  1. Great story by the former Blogfather on whipping boy turned superstar in the making Jay-Teeeeeeeee!
    Also good to see Jay Teeeee, Hay-zer and THE Kreider leading this team – if this team can get more than one or two lines firing on all cylinders then the rest of the league are TOAST!

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  2. Nashville’s D sure moves the puck. If the Rangers can find a way to improve there, they are a threat. Still, getting through Pittsburgh and Washington is a very tall order. They did look a lot better last night then they did against Anaheim because they actually forechecked and played in the offensive zone some.

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  3. If we play a little defense goalie-out, it’s starting to appear that we MIGHT be able to play with, and possibly beat, anyone they send after us in the playoffs.

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  4. hundreds of thousands of Iranians celebrating today the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. It became an official party when the chants broke out “Death to the USA, death to Israel”. Never miss an opportunity. Like the Potvin chant. Which will last longer?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ‘180 were challenged by Travis to die
    By a line that he drew with his sword as the battle drew nigh –
    A man that crossed over the line was for glory
    And he that was left better fly –
    And over the line crossed 179’

    Now that’s my kind of team!

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  6. Thanks Doodie – i’m banking on Backstrom cooling down, (and hoping Bergeron can make up for his loss) but if not that’ll be a nice boost for your assists & PPP

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  7. Good morning, boneheads!
    Nice story, Carp. Read it last night. I guess he’s turning into a very good NHL player.
    Pretty good win last night while not playing their best. Aside from his hiccup on the Nashville goal ( along with a couple of other players ) I thought Clendenning was better defensively in general
    Why in holy hell is Buchnevich playing on the 4th line?

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  8. the Hayes line is the first line. i’m not fooled by some of the bigger names on other lines.

    regarding expansion protection maybe one of the other 2 centers gets traded after the season but before the expansion for a much needed top 4 righty defenseman. then buy out giardi. this will help protection and defense issues. there are teams that have extra defenseman that have their own protection issues.

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  9. Nice new post notification aasenholes…

    Bdl
    Yes on McQuaid, but I’ve always liked him. I think he’d be a whipping boy in no time here. (All the speed only guys would be all over him…he’s more mobile than many think).
    –
    If the price was low enough, I’d definitely take a flyer on the other Hayes from Boston (and it should be low enough)
    –
    Watch the rangers trade a good prospect and a high draft pick for Boyle from Tampa lol (just kidding btw)

    I’d rather face the pens than caps or jackets.

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  10. So they have won three games that they could have easily lost with less puck luck or mediocre goaltending. It puts games like the loss to Philly in perspective. Grabner reminds me a little of Gaborik when he had the good seasons with the Rangers. The speed gives him lots of great chances and he is burying them. His all around game is much better than Gaborik’s. He could play for Torts. Can a team expose a 40 goal scorer who also does a lot of the little things to the expansion draft? That seems to be where he is heading.

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  11. The rangers need to figure out a way how they can tank enough in the regular to qualify for the playoffs in the WESTERN Conference – especially the Pacific Division πŸ™‚

    I know Grabner deserves all the love he is getting this year, but let’s remember that he only scored 17 goals the last two years combined. The question Jeff Gorton has to ask, and answer, which is the aberration – this year or the last couple of years.

    Luckily, Gorton does not have to worry about until some time next year in terms of a new contract. he does have to decide in terms of protecting him. Rangers should look to extend Pirri another year so that they can make him the designated expansion sacrificial lamb.

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  12. Grabs netted 34 in ’11 and 16 in 45 games in ’13. Not like he hasn’t been a factor up to now. Strange up and down career. There is a reason somewhere, but where, and what?

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  13. Anthony it’s not just the goals for Grabner. His world class speed is desperately needed. We saw that last year when Hags left how much we missed him and how much he helped the Pens.

    He is far exceeding his cap hit.

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  14. Anthony they have to expose 2 forwards meeting games played criteria who are on existing contract. I don’t see that being a problem as they can extend fast and lindberg.

    the problem is they need to protect 8 f and can only do 7 barring a trade after the season of a f in package for a top 4 righty dman.

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  15. Losing Holden or Klein is not as bad as losing the 8th forward (zucc/grabner). losing the forward or Raanta is worse than losing the defenseman. losing the forward is also worse than losing Raanta.

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  16. But if you add that legit RHD, Klein becomes pretty expendable, not that he isn’t already with how he’s played. And even though Holden had that great month, the pool of defensemen that should be available to Vegas is going to be far deeper than the forwards.

    What it boils down to is that unless they move Grabner, he will be claimed by Vegas. So if they can move him for that defenseman, it’s like trading Holden for the defenseman since Grabner was a goner either way.

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  17. RR2

    not if they manage the cap better. There is no valid reason to leave Grabner exposed. Not when Zucc at same age makes close to $ 3 million more. Losing Grabner means they did not learn their lesson in losing Hags.

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  18. Vegas is going to be spoiled for choice for goaltending. Raanta probably isn’t even top 5 of the choices available to them. Multiple 1A-type goaltenders are going to be available. Not to mention the predraft UFA period they will have, in which a lot of goaltenders who will be “exposed” (Ben Bishop, for example) who are UFAs can be signed and will count to the expansion draft quota. So, bottom line, I’d be shocked if Raanta is claimed.

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  19. Alex, Grabner is shooting 10% over his career shooting percentage prior to this season. when he finishes next season with 13 goals and 13 assists, while Zuccarello puts in his consistent 60 points, don’t talk to me about the lesson with Hags.

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  20. Carp
    My wife saw a pic of that guy and said he was the most handsome guy she’d ever seen…I was just trying to score points with her πŸ˜‰

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  21. So if Vegas picks one player from each team who is signed for next year most of these guys will have one way contracts. That’s ~30 players and they can only keep 23. So does that mean they have to keep them and send them to the AHL? They have valid contracts. Someone has to pay them. That doesn’t even account for FA and draft picks making the team. They will have a hell of a payroll on that AHL team.

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  22. RR2

    That’s why i preface by comparing to Hags Even at 1/2 of his goals Grabner with that speed and cap hit is desperately needed. We saw how much we missed Hags. Lets not repeat the same mistake. He helps a ton on the pk as did Hags. His low cap hit can not be minimized.

    I don’t want to lose Grabner that is clear. I’d be pretty shocked if i were the only one.

    If other options like trading Zib or Stepan for a high end righty dman of comparable age and salary (the new Zib salary) I’d be all for it.

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  23. ORF

    they can trade some of players they pick. I don’t believe they will have their own ahl team for a year or 2 but they can make arrangements to share a roster with another team.

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  24. I think you need to look at who was around Grabner and how he was used on those down years. Clearly he fits into what AV wants to do and has at least two linemates (probably more) who can get the most out of his skills. Value is not just absolute, it is relative too. If you don’t have the other parts to make use of Grabner, he probably does not carry much value.

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  25. Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Michael Grabner. What do they have in common? Answer, the teams that signed them caught lightning in a bottle in there first seasons. The Jets believed what they saw that first season was real, despite Fitzpatrick track record saying otherwise. Will the Rangers make the same mistake with Grabner?

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  26. Hold on, “down years?” These are “up years.”

    As for his low cap hit; yeah, it’s low…for next year. Then he’s a UFA and could simply choose to chase the money.

    By contrast, Zuccarello is locked in for another two years at only 4.5 million and he’s a 60 point player. That’s an incredible value.

    Now, if you want to talk to me about trading Stepan, then I’d listen.

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  27. Fact is, they are very likely to lose a forward, more so than a D. But they won’t hurt this year’s roster just to avoid losing Grabner. They won’t trade Grabner for that reason. … now if they could trade him or another forward and improve the team for this season, that’s a different story. But they will still have to leave an eligible forward unprotected (Lindberg, Fast, etc.) and I’m not 100 percent certain if they must protect Nash.

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  28. RR2

    only 4.5 ? Worst case they can resign Grabner for only 4.5 after next year.

    I agree about exploring other forwards to be traded for much needed cap room and much needed defense. Notably Stepan and Zib for comparable age/salary (in zibs case what he will get)

    Carp

    any moves I’m proposing are for after the season. Nash unfortunately has to be protected due to no move.

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  29. I saw this on on Facebook from the Michael Kay Show’s twitter feed –> MSG chairman and owner of the Knicks, James Dolan, will be in studio and on The Michael Kay Show at 4 pm on ESPN NY 98.7 FM and YES.

    Ya think he will get any Rangers questions?!?

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  30. MSG has banned Charles Oakley for life as per the NY Post. Michael Kay broke the story about 30 minutes ago according to the Post. Oakley will not be allowed in “even if he buys a ticket”.

    Mike Francesa has to be fuming that his bro Dolan is going on with Kay.

    For the first time in a long time tonight’s Knicks is must-watch TV just to listen to the crowd.

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  31. Dolan sounds sincere but who knows if its all the truth. Strange that no other nearby fan has stepped forward to report what they heard. McEnroe is suddenly quiet? Yellow envelopes anyone?

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  32. No to Stephan or Zib trade –you would just be switching problems and get weaker down the middle…This is strongest they have been at center position for some time. Would not mind Brian Boyle back though for 4th line and PK duty though

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  33. Boyle might be available but could you imagine the speed only folks every time he was on the ice? I don’t think he is a bad skater at all for his size, but he makes tanner glass look like beep beep

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  34. I would not trade z pack either, but if you realistically look at the rangers and step’s ntc kicks in this summer. Do you really want to be paying your potential 3rd line centre 6.5 mil per? I don’t in a hard cap era.

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  35. Wicky – right on about Girardi and I don’t just say that because he was one of my wife’s favorites. Sadly, that is the business we have chosen. The salary cap forces teams to make difficult choices. Ironically, it is the hard cap that began the Rangers turnaround because Slats could not spend like a drunken sailor any more.

    I still wish the NHL would implement a “designated player” where said player’s salary would not count against the cap. It would only be used for drafted players (like LQ) or undrafted players who never played for another team (like Girardi).

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  36. Anthony i don’t like that idea at all. Would favor the Crosby, AO, McDavid, Tavares types way over anything we have. Just benefits the tanking teams even more.

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  37. I just watched the Dolan interview with Kay and LaGreca. At the end, LaGreca brought up the Rangers and Dolan’s interaction. Dolan said “That Glen and I (pause) and Jeff meet”. Dolan’s last comment was that “Glen has the final say in all matters Rangers.”

    If those two statements don’t frighten Rangers fans nothing ever will.

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  38. It’s a matter of perspective, boys. While I still can’t believe Grabner is going to have a 30 goal season this year I don’t buy that he’s an annual 25-30+ goal scorer for the rest of his career. Therefore, I don’t think all too many GMs are thinking it either. In a way it benefits us if he comes in next year and scores 13 goals 13 assists because the odds of losing him to a 4 million dollar contract somewhere lessens. With that said he’s still here strengthening the team with other attributes. Even if you disagree with what I’m saying look at the reality of the bigger picture:
    This team isn’t trading its leading goal scorer at the deadline when they think they can compete for a Cup. Maybe some people here think it’s a smart strategy in light of the expansion draft but it’s just not happening.

    If I am right, then it comes down to who can they/will they move for a RHD I still think Michael Stone is the better option at the deadline. No way do they trade for an expiring Shattenkirk contract after the Yandle situaiton.
    I think you can move Zucc in a deal for Stone and not have to part with a first rounder in a package scenario. The contracts cancel each other out. Otherwise maybe there’s a scenario where they move Stepan and dodge the NTC in his contract and save 2 million bucks in the process of aquiring a RHD. Zibanejad and Hayes as your top 2 centers with Lindberg as your 4C isnt a bad situation. you can replace Stepan’s production for less money and probably strengthen your faceoff #s in the process.

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  39. There are still a lot of things I’d love to see happen this season but one of those things is to see Toronto beat MTL at home in 6

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  40. I agree with most of what JamesG said about Beep. Two seasons he played on rock bottom teams, another he was hurt at least a portion. Now he is on a team with guys that have the skills and smarts to use him effectively. Even if he “fails” and only puts in say.. 18 or 20 over 82, the rest of his game helps the entire team. However, I would not at all be surprised to see him pushing 30 goals again. At 3.5 per or so (Carp thinks higher, lets see) its not a Rick Nash type of cap risk, even though the rest of Nash’s game is still good.

    You have to think that Vesey or Buch is going to be the Zuc of the (near) future which is another reason to consider parting ways with our adorable hobbit (for the right price). That means they are looking for a good 4th liner, an easy task.

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  41. Exactly Beezle.
    I’m just trying to see it from a bigger picture stand point and right now the issue isn’t Grabner. There’s time left to see how his situation plays out and right now the guy is about 5x the player you thought you’d have. And who knows, maybe by this time next season it’s a whole different scenario with him and the alternative options you have if he’s not going to be worth keeping.

    At this point in time, you’ve got to assume that the next “problem” to deal with – the contract that’s going to hurt this team financially is Stepan’s. You’d assume Girardi must be bought out and you only have one more year of Nash at his big hit but let’s face it- 4 more years of Stepan at 6 mill per with a NTC could be disastrous as the need arises to lock up the present day core of forwards that they’re not going to want to lose (Hayes Miller Buchnevich Zibanejad -who I suspect will sign a bridge deal this summer- etc). Losing any of those guys for nothing would hurt far worse than losing Grabner.
    Maybe the best option for the team right now is sacraficing Stepan for that RHD.

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  42. Stepan’s contract is not the problem that Girardi’s is. Despite his detractors here, the price tag is not that out of line with others of similar skills. If left unprotected would Vegas pick him? What about Girrardi? Stepan’s contract will expire when he is about 32 which will probably include his most productive years. If they trade him for a top four D will the replacement cap hit be much lower? His next contract is the one to be concerned about. That one would be Girardi-like and hamstring them capwise. No contract’s longer than 4 years and no contract that goes past the age of about 32. Those are the ones that get you in trouble. Just have to learn to let people walk and let others pay them for past performance. Otherwise you will always be buying them out and carrying dead cap space.

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  43. I for one would hate to trade the Hobbit unless it’s for an excellent return! Step is the guy to move I just don’t think Gorton will pull the trigger! It would have to be quality RD man! Than maybe Zucc can return a good 3rd line center plus a pick! But if this team has any chance of a playoff run they must upgrade the Defense, for that to happen one of our forwards has to go!

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  44. Respectfully disagree ORF. Fair assessment but more fitting for Marc Staal. G is no longer a top 2 dman you could raise a debate of whether he’s even top 4. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Gorton chooses to buy him out in order to clear some space to bring in a more effective top pairing guy. Exposing him in the draft is much more complicated and much more of a gamble. Besides, Mcphee has said that he wants to avoid taking on “other teams’ problems”
    Stepan much like Brassard, is an effective player but one whose position could be upgraded to a wiser choice. With Zibanejad and Hayes having the seasons they’re having, the time to move him is now. He’s statistically the 3rd guy on the depth chart and the most expensive. If you can move him in a hockey trade, I really feel like it’s gotta be done

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Former core of this team: G, Staal,Nash, Stepan, Zucc, Klein…Current/future core: Hayes, Miller, Kreider, Vesey, Buchnevich, Zibanejad. The money going to those first five will eventually have to go towards keeping the others and bringing in a permanent partner for McD.

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  46. One report had AZ asking Montreal for McCarron plus a first rounder and a conditional for Martin Hanzal. If they get anything close to that for Hanzal you’d have to assume there’s a buyer for Stepan out there.

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  47. I’m not against trading Stepan, but for the right reason, and players. The reasons I’m reading now are flawed. Do you really think Hayes can carry the responsibilities Stepan does? My gosh, is there a more underrated player here than Stepan. And if you trade him, you better darn well get a center back. I don’t want to hear the nonsense that you are moving the leading scorer to 3rd line center.

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  48. If people don’t stop not believing carp, he’s going to switch back to his sgt schultz avatar lol.

    Carp
    Will you be travelling to any of the games this year?

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  49. Carp, the easy answer to your question is to upgrade the defense. I’m not talking about selling Stepan off. I’m talking about a trade scenario for a a top RHD.
    And Bulldog, I do not undervalue Stepan. But let’s face it, something has to give. Hayes’ performance this year gives the team some options regardless of him not being Stepan’s equal. Do you want to be 3 centers deep with Girardi on the top D pairing or have balanced scoring with a legit top 2 defensive pairing? There really isn’t enough to go around in order to have both those things.
    Obviously, if they choose to go after a depth guy like Stone that’s a different scenario all together.
    But if they were to make room for a Shattenkirk on July 1 or be in on a trade for a guy like Trouba or Vatenen, then there has to be a deduction up front.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. BDL, Apologizes btw. re-reading my posts from earlier I wasn’t making myself clear and could see how it would be interpreted as just wanting to get rid of Stepan to get out from under his contract. That wasn’t my intent. It’s about shuffling the deck and getting that top D man while still having some room over the next two seasons to lock up the younger forwards long term.

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  51. James,
    Like I said, I am not against trading him, and the thought process of Hayes possibly making Stepan expendable is valid. But you MUST get a center back. As far as addressing the D, the guy that makes the most sense to trade is Zucc. I know the thought of that makes people uncomfortable, but the wing is where there is true depth. Not center.

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  52. If Grabner were to end up on some crap team like Vegas (or the Islanders or Maple Leafs) I doubt he’d hit 30 again. On a good team like the Rangers, though, he’s a force. I’d ride that horse til it shows signs of slowing down. No signs yet.

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  53. Will the Rangers continue the recent trend of starting home games hard, or will they spot the Avs a couple before they wake up?

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  54. I read the comment about Stepan as a complaint he is overpaid. That was what I disagreed with. The problem with trading him for a D is that the D becomes a rental because you can’t protect him. You wind up with nothing in return for him. Worse than the Yandle trade. I don’t see them doing more than picking up a Depth D because of the expansion draft

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  55. Stepan should be paid about $75,000. That’s all he needs. Duguay should get about $6 mil, as that’s what he needs. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. JGT you can’t go based off the assumption that whoever they trade for would be taken in the expansion draft. But in the end you’re correct, the reality is they’ll only be able to acquire a depth guy. I hear Stone could probably be had for a couple of second rounders.

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  57. There are two scenarios that I wouldn’t have an issue with trading stepan…like bdl said for another centre (duchene perhaps).

    Or for a top D man of the right variety. As long as the D man is under contract or can be signed (staal, mcdonut, d man x protected).

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Fwiw, I think stepan is overpaid, but not egregiously so (basing this on my simplistic formula of every 10 NHL points nets you $1 mil in contract dollars).

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  59. So is it true that the Rangers can trade a draft pick to Las Vegas in exchange for agreement that they will not select a certain player on the roster? Sorry if this was already discussed.

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  60. James – Just because Arizona is asking for McCarron and #1 for Hanzal for the Habs doesn’t mean they are going to get that either, Also, remember that Hanzal is a rental and might be more enticing to a team making a run than Stepan because he has four more years after this plus the NTC that kicks in.

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  61. Big, bad Avs coming in at 209 lbs./skater to push the babybottom-soft Rangers (204.5) around, hit ’em right out of MSG. Too, too scary, but at least HL is coming in hot: 4 wins at 1.97/0.947.

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  62. Bad avs is right…so who is everyone’s pick tonight to get lit up by zadorov? You’d think opie, but I’m guessing fast.

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