Rangers begin 3 game West Coast trip against old friends the LA Kings Tonight

Hola! James G here to spew a few thoughts. I figured we could use a new post to start the weekend as the boys prepare for the first game of the Cali trip against another “desperate” team. Everyone’s desperate in this league when it comes time to play the Rangers apparently. Anyone notice that? Anyhow, to me this is a make or break road trip. It’s time to throw on the big boy pants and play with “onions” as our good friend Carp would say.      I feel like this trip is happening pretty late in the season this year but for a team that couldn’t beat the 1992-93 Senators at home right now, it probably works in their favor. This team needs to turn in efforts that are nothing short of 60 minutes and yes, they need a little puck luck as well. They’ll get a boost  with Lundqvist set to return for 2 of the 3 games.

We’ll get to see how much rust Hank has to work off in the final eight games of the regular season on this trip which is nothing short of tough. Playoff bound or not, the Kings are always a formidable opponent while the other two teams they face- Anaheim and San Jose- are  currently tied for first place in the Pacific with the Ducks picking up the pace and the Sharks struggling and trying to right the ship. I doubt any of this works in the Rangers’ favor. They get no relief once they’re back on the East coast either with Pittsburgh next Friday. So here we go boys and girls. Good, bad and ugly all a possibility over the final 8 games. No telling what will happen! All I have to say is “Inigo…I hope we win..”

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308 thoughts on “Rangers begin 3 game West Coast trip against old friends the LA Kings Tonight”

  1. Alright, thanks, JamesG.
    Doodie is back.
    Well, it’s time for them to pick some pace going into playoffs. The playoffs picture is pretty clear. Barring a miracle, it’s either Montreal or Ottawa. Time to settle with the line combos. If by April 12th Fast is their everyday 4th liner, they’re in good shape.

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  2. Cccp
    LOL re last thread!

    I think one of the larger warts this team has (every team has them) is it lacks intangibles. I know this is going to drive the chart people nuts (good), but I think it’s a significant issue. They just lack those intangibles like the ability to win a vital draw, the ability to put their collective feet on an opponents throat and put them away, to make a key save at a key time, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We have neglected to improve our faceoff efficacy especially in our own end, and barring a radical and sudden rejuvenation by happenstance, we will pay for that.

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  4. Our faceoffers, lacking prowess therein, would be well coached to at least create a stymie by whatever means necessary, and instruct the wing (e.g.: Nash) to swoop in and pick up the garbage.

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  5. You’re not officially “JamesG ‘d” until our playoff match is over tomorrow night 😉

    ILB- I can’t win with this guy. It’s either “I have no time for my blog” or “hey I’m back I don’t need your help!”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Actually, what happened was I hadn’t refreshed from yesterday and didn’t see your new post until after I published this, Doodie. Sorry bout that

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  7. I know right, James? Doodie is back and now he’s like, ok guys…outta my way! I think face to face conversation is in order here.

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  8. Snowboarding with a chest cold probably not the brightest move yesterday, but after seeing how many masshole and tony plates were in the lot can only imagine the hell out on the snow today. Now I just need to figure out how to say awake for this game tonight. Probably not Olga’s shrooms, though they might make the game way more interesting to watch! Not loving but not hating the new lines either. Glad to see #3 back together and if can’t have KZB then the Nash line is ok.

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  9. I’d like to see the Rangers re-educate themselves in their on-ice & bench communication & awareness. It seems to me the last few months, sometimes the right hand’s not listening to the left, Turnovers, too many men penalties, offside, both called & not called, clearing the zone etc.. IMO that’s been one reason for the poor play lately.
    And stop fearing the Icing calls. Clear with authority, when applicable.
    On a positive note, if the Rangers stay healthy, tighten up the PK, get some calls their way, and a little puck luck, they can beat any team in a series. I know that’s asking a lot, but as many have pointed out, the 2016/17 team has been an overachieving team.

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  10. Im really looking forward to this west coast trip. Ive had it marked down as the start of the playoff push for me. 🙂 The rangers have always used this west coast trip as a springboard into a groove bc they know they have to compete their azzes off against these teams.

    battle by battle, shift by shift, period by period, game by game.

    Let’s go Boyssss. Im back in.

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  11. I know AV’s system is formul-matic and lets the overall skill level win out and over other teams. But from what ive seen and read and heard, they need to go out there in games and look to beat out the player they’re up against, in every way. There used to be an emphasis put on out competing the players they are up against in every way. Get back to that alittle bit and it will serve them well from here on out.

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  12. Flyers-Columbus, pretty intense. I guess there is still a glimpse of hope for the Flyers. And Columbus haven’t lost 3 in a row all year long.

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  13. I hear rangers say ‘we need to make it hard on them’, they used to say ‘we need to give them nothing’…
    ones subjective, ones objective

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  14. I believe this team can go as far as it wants most of them have been here before. It’s time to earn their salaries and do what it takes to win the prize. They can do this the question is will they. As negative as I can be at times I still root for them to turn it on for the payoffs. Hank doesn’t have much time left let’s hope he rises to the top of his game and brings the cup to Ranger land!

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  15. We stink. I aints watching these clowns waste a good goalies game and I definitely aints puttin any more $tacks for them to win nothin.

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  16. Good advice on the shrooms Olga, better to be sure of a win and a good trip. God imagine reading this blog while having a bad trip? Could be deadly!

    NYR 4-2 gwg to Jesper ‘how did that hit my stick’ Fast, eng to JT

    Liked by 1 person

  17. May have to mail it in tonight with such a late start so…
    My pithy game time comments in advance.

    LGR!

    Good start

    Why does Step look like he still has his skate guards on?

    Great Day in the Morning !
    Step! Always liked him.

    They call that ? Pansification.

    Fudge

    And so on.

    We win and tomorrow we can all enjoy some sweet, sweet Papa Johns!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for the cymbal crash one liners of Redd & Rodney. Back in the mid eighties LV , we usually had Rodney at Caesers & Redd at The Hacienda. You could cruise the Strip in 5 to 10 minutes on a Friday night.
    What’s the differance between a pickpocket & a peeping tom?
    A pickpocket snatches watches. Redd Foxx

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  19. valliquiette is quite right. in your space, and in your face. how the rangers used to play.. and its a mindset. its not a system. AV can coach his system and still hammer it home. “in their space, in their face”

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  20. I’m up for this one ILB. Wife and dog are already down for the night so it’s just volume management and I should be in the clear 🙂

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  21. A blind man with a Seeing Eye dog walks into a Department store. He walks to the middle of the store, picks up the dog by the back legs, and starts swinging the dog around in circles over his head.

    The store manager, who has seen all this, rushes up to the blind man swinging the dog and says, “Pardon me. Can I help you with something?”

    “The blind man says, “No thanks. I’m just looking around.”

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  22. This game in slow motion. They should have drank coffee before game too. I’d rather Sam and Albert. Next time leave Salmon Joe home.

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  23. Somebody go wake up Carp! And where’s Mamma? Was counting on that promised chocolate cake to keep my interest going..

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  24. that leg injury really messed up zibajenad’s season huh. started really strong. tampered off, got it going again and then got hurt. Looks like he’s been trying to be play catch up all season and bc of it, he’s not really locked in with anyone or anything. Might be a good thing for him to play against his old team in the playoffs. Would be a nice test to see what kind of moxie the kid has. for someone with such a natural shot, why does he wind up as much as he does?

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  25. Man oh man oh man. Would I love to watch the Caps have to beat the lightning in the 1st Rd. Caps/lightning. Penguins/bluejackets. Wow. Tough matchups for both teams. Columbus almost beat pitt a couple years ago and are much much better. And the caps being forced to face another team with playoff confidence and moxie. Would love it.

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  26. bruins would be a tougher out than the isles. Isles are a fold-up table. Tavares has to be licking his chops at the leafs. top 3 scorers are their matthews/marner/nylander. kadri a 30 goal season and breaking 60 points. if i were the leafs I might give up a package to arizona to try and land OEL.

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  27. Headzo – my main go to can needs to be snaked. About a year ago or so I dropped a 6 ft black mamba and it’s never been the same..

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  28. E3- I heard they sent a National Geographic film crew out with the plumbers to document the exorcism of that beast.

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  29. the one thing about Quick that has always had me having a soft spot for him. He reminds me of Richter in net. If it werent for that, I think I would have hated him durig the SCFs

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  30. Hey I’m awake now! Damn west coast… Nash on streak since I asked if he would ever score again. So..will BeepBeep score again or has the Coyote finally got him?

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  31. Raanta’s a different dude then he was a couple weeks before last years’ trading deadline. Good for him. Looked like Hank out there tonight.

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  32. its been real boneheads… see youse on the flip side. Carp, I expect a game in review tomorrow morning. 26 bullet points 2000 words. just kidding bud, enjoy the fact you dont have to 🙂

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  33. Good morning Boneheads. I was at my sister-in-laws birthday party all day yesterday got home gassed and missed the game. Seems they win whenever I’m not watching. Hmm!

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  34. After that first period, even the spirit wasn’t willing.

    Just watched the game, nice win.

    I don’t want to see dead people but ….

    seeedubbb says:
    March 25, 2017 at 8:00 PM
    May have to mail it in tonight with such a late start so…
    My pithy game time comments in advance.

    LGR!

    Good start

    Why does Step look like he still has his skate guards on?

    Great Day in the Morning !
    Step! Always liked him.

    They call that ? Pansification.

    Fudge

    And so on.

    We win and tomorrow we can all enjoy some sweet, sweet Papa Johns!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Liked by 1 person

  35. C Dubb – Rinse wash repeat…
    .
    Best win of the year, IMHO; a desperate team playing at home with a nasty physical game.
    .
    How long before Wicky posts they can’t do that in a 7 game series (I keed, I keed…)
    .
    Zika had a nice edge to his game last night and VC has been skating his arse off. When you skate hard….good things are bound to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Carpe I think the start well past bedtime reduced the negativity. NYR two biggest problems to me are a) take better advantage of scoring ops – never seen a team that can consistently miss the net from point blank the way they do and b) stop screwing around with the fancy boy passes deep in their own end and just get the puck out. Too often they get possession, screw around and then suddenly get their pockets picked.

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  37. Morning Boneheads!

    Does AV get Klein in there tonight or does he wait for the Sharks game?

    I think you want to get Hank off on the right foot so I could see the same lineup tonight.

    If these are going to be the playoff pairings, (if everyone is healthy), you want to give these pairs a chance to play together, but I could also see AV taking turns resting some of the defensemen.

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  38. My maintenance day did the trick. Woke up this am to see that they shutout LA and judging by the stats it was a solid effort. Did see Kid K’ s name on the sheet a lot and not in a good way. McD has been very good lately even if he does try to do too much occasionally. Hope he keeps it up in the playoffs. Grabner regressing to the norm.

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  39. Doesn’t help his Corsi either. That’s why you have to watch the games. Saw the goaltender interference call too. We should just call that a “Kreider” now since he gets called for it when no one else does.

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  40. Now comes the defensive pickle. If Klein is in then who is out? I’d assume the top 4 from last night stays together and Klein plays with Staal? Holden odd man out in that situation. I’d really like to see the blueline with Smith and a healthy Klein both in the lineup but I don’t know if that’s your best 6..

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  41. Good morning, boneheads!
    Solid effort. Raanta was their best player.
    Best 6, JamesG? Was it last night? Maybe. Except 5 out of 6 were lefties. That’s why we rarely saw a solid shot from the R even if they were able to keep it in the zone.

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  42. Bdl yes it is a good thing Kreider screening the goalie definitely a necessary aspect of his game. But the Rangers need him scoring goals. I just don’t think that will enough paired with Opie!

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  43. Good late morning all! I’m sorry. I love my boys. But unless we’re talking playoffs, mama ain’t leaving the lights on at 1:30 am anymore. Glad to read it was such a great night though on the least funny blof on the internets. LGR!

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Antii Raanta
    16-8-2
    GAA 2.26
    SV% .922
    Rangers-96 points

    Eddie Lack
    7-5 -2
    GAA 2.48
    SV% .906
    Carolina – 79 points

    Where would this team be without a solid backup like Raanta?

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  45. It’s not there best lineup, ilb. The lineup with Fast, and Grabner as the 4th line wingers is there best lineup.

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  46. ILB, I think when they acquired Smith they committed to the lefty on the right side scenario. I know Klein is a righty but the coach seems to be looking for the best 6 guys..I guess we’ll see.

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  47. James,
    If AV does the right thing, Klein will be the 7th Dman. If he takes the easy way out, which is what I think he IS going to do, then Skjei is the 7th Dman

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  48. BDL – I know AV has made younger players sit, like Hated, the Machine, Buch and others.

    Plus, Skjei has defensive issues. I still think AV plays Skjei in the playoffs,(as he should).

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  49. BDL, “default to my familiar veterans”…That’s AV’s philosophy. That’s why Girardi played on a cracked knee cap with a concussion in the post season last year, that’s why Buch and Vesey rotate into the fourth line LW spot and it’s why Klein will play top 6 if he is physically capable. I hope I’m wrong, and I know there’s more to it than how I’m summing it up but that’s how it pans out at the end of the day. Maybe he can use the situation to rest G and Staal a bit before the post season but when the first round begins it’s going to be more complicated

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  50. Ohh, that’s the thing, when it comes to Skeji I think AV considers him too effective within his system to sit him down. Defensive issues aside he’s one of the best skaters on defense. That’s where the gray area of “effective dman” comes into conversation so I’ll leave it at that.

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  51. Keith Yandle
    5 goals
    32 assists
    plus/minus =0

    Skjei is a different player, but he’s essentially replaced Yandle for a small fraction of the cost. Plus, he’s got a ton more upside.

    And for all the warts our D have shown at times this year, none of them is named Dan Boyle.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. And that’s just it. I get that Skjei has had his struggles but this isn’t a 34 year old veteran whose best days are behind him getting top 4 minutes that he’s not earning. While we all want to see this team do as well as possible, it is in fact a transitional year to an extent and we have ONE guy who is in his early 20s and making 800k dollars. He’s going to be an important part of this team for a long time. Obviously he’s got critics and that’ll never go away, but I am a believer in letting him play and learn his way out of his flaws even if it’s ugly sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  53. Lol wait for it…”Everyone thinks Skjei is better than he is. he’s 23 he doesn’t have any more learning or developing to do. You can’t say anything about him without getting attacked. He’s never going to be more than he is right now etc etc etc etc”

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  54. “En route to Anaheim shortly. AV briefing 4 pm Cali time. Expecting some lineup changes tonight in B2B as NYR visit Ducks”
    -Steve Zipay

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  55. I never said Kreider sucks Carp said he just needs to score. And IMO he needs to be separated from Opie! But what do I know? I’m down here in St Pete having my brain fried from the heat.

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  56. Technically we don’t know if that’s the best lineup because we haven’t seen Buchnevich on that third line all year even with Grabner out or struggling. We also never got to see what Zibanejad in between Kreider and Buchnevich could do if reunited. “default to my familiar veterans”..

    Liked by 1 person

  57. 59° funny James right now it’s 80° soon to be the beginning of the end of good weather. 96° with 100% humidity!

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  58. CCCP, I’d put one up but then I’d get reprimanded again ; )

    Eli, I’m so sorry about your humidity. I’ll remember that while I’m waiting for my heat to come on in the car at 5am so I can get feeling in my toes on the way to work 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  59. Good afternoon Boneheads.

    I see alot of worrying that Skjei is going to come out of the lineup. Is that genuine, or you guy just messing around about how that would be an AV thing to do. Cuz….

    There is no way Skjei is coming out of the line-up. He’s one of their most talented players and earned the right to get a shot to show what kind of playoff/big game player he is.

    mcd
    staal
    skjei

    find the best fits on the other side.

    mcd-smith/girardi
    staal-holden/klein
    skjei-girardi/smith/klein

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  60. You know what i’ve come to appreciate better now that im not as into it as past years. How f’ing awesome Ryan McDonagh is. What an unbelievable player. he really is like Scott Neidermeyer. such a thoroughbred competitor.

    Him and Stepan really do set a great tone.
    And they got it from G/Staal/Callahan/Dubi
    and equally if not more so influentual…… TORTS.

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  61. Zucc, Nash, JT, Fast have since learned it. Fast all the time, JT alot of the time (unmistakenable, when he is), Zucc and Nash at times

    TONE SETTERS

    I see it in Vesey. I see it developing in Hayes. I wonder if Skjei has it (I think he might and not even know it yet) Need to see some of it from Zibajenad if anyone wants to confidently believe he will become the type of player he would be if he played that way.
    Dont see it consistently enough from Kreider, still. Our begrudged Power Forward. Still love the guy though. He doesnt seem to like or enjoy actually playing the hockey games, but he trys to do his job and play the way he and the teams needs to him to, for his paycheck, his teams, and the fans. That’s why i like and respect him. He’s an interesting fellow

    Like

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