Rangers 4, Sharks 5 (OT)

HAV for clinching a playoff berth in a half-assed fashion. I’ve read a lot of Lundqvist apologists defending him because of the play in front of him, but let’s not mince facts here: the Lundqvist we have come to expect and the Lundqvist that has the highest cap hit in the league is supposed to do well even in the face of such adversity. This team is worlds better than some of the dreck that was in front of him in the latter Renney/early Torts years and he was just fine then.  He needs to be better or this team is not going to win as long as his cap hit is on the roster.

A positive thing for AV: He sure knows how to push Miller’s buttons.  If only he could figure out how to motivate the rest of his roster as well as he has Miller.

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255 thoughts on “Rangers 4, Sharks 5 (OT)”

  1. They scored 7 goals in 2 games and got one stinking point. I’m tired of cupless hank and even more tired of his apologists.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not me with Vecchione. I was going to post a link to Larry Brooks that has the Rangers among the finalists. Interestingly enough, Larry thinks that Vecchione would play this year and burn up one of his two years on his entry-level contract (that being one of the stipulations) as opposed to Lettieri and Pedrie who are going to Hartford and won’t burn up any time on their entry level contract.

    Signing these undrafted collegians doesn’t make up for all of the lost draft picks, but it does add some youthful depth. The problem is Hartford is not producing the way they should be. at the start of the year I expected they would have a good year and they have been horrible. It will be interesting to see if Gorton/Schoenfeld make any coaching changes – even though they supposedly like Ken Gernander.

    The other interesting part is what happens after next season in terms of where the Rangers AHL affiliate will be. The Rangers only signed a one year extension so it is possible they could be moving. Albany is losing their team (moving to Binghamton) so that could be a possibility. Not sure what Vegas is going to do, but I would guess they would want a team closer in proximity, but they might have to settle for a year.

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  3. I am not a Hank apologists by any stretch, but I do think you need to give him some time coming back from injury, before we decide to toss him aside.

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  4. There’s a shelf life for everything, from bread to athletes. Uber physical game like pro hockey, unless you are a freak of nature, your days are numbered quickly. When the slide begins, and injuries mount, hope for a rebound, but expect stagnation or further deterioration.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anthony,
    I think the Rangers had high hopes for the two Sweedes in Hartford this year. Neither has done much. Not sure if that’s on the coach, or if they overrated them. I have felt for a few seasons that they needed fresh eyes in Hartford.

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  6. Gostisbehere is friends and former teammates with the kid, ILB. The thought out of Philly is that he can be their full time 4th line center next season and add some offense to their bottom 6. I forget the name of the guy they’ll most likely lose in the expansion draft but that departure would create the opportunity.

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  7. If you watch the WJC or any college games then you are familiar with Dave Starman. He compares Vecchione to a more offensive Brendan Gallagher. Most people said Vecchione would go to Philly because of Shayne Gostisbehere – a fellow Union hocley player. If a team wants an inside track they should also his Union teammate RW Spence Foo a contract. Foo is a junior who might stay one more because his brother is going to attend Union. If starman is correct, the Rangers could use him because “he’s greasy” 🙂

    One name that was mentioned in Army goalie Parker Gahagen. I am a little surprised that the Rangers didn’t jump on him as opposed to Chris Nell.

    BTW, NCAA’s top goal scorer Zach Aston-Reese is already spoken for – he signed with Pittscburgh.

    To read Starman’s take on some of the undrafted collegians visit: https://www.nhl.com/news/best-college-nhl-free-agents/c-287429252

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  8. Friedge had this to say re: Vecchione:

    21. Decisions to come? There are a couple. Union’s Mike Vecchione, with 63 points in in 38 games, was scheduled to go through the process on Tuesday. His choice should be made in the next 24 hours. Teammate Nick DeSimone, a defenceman, was culling his list and is also close. Another Dutchman, Spencer Foo, an Edmonton-born winger, has told teams he will not play pro hockey this year. There’s no guarantee he’s going back for his senior season, but will take time to decide. There’s a lot of Canadian NHL interest in Foo, who lost Union’s scoring race to Vecchione by one point. Lowell’s C.J. Smith can also go back to school for another season, and as of Tuesday morning, was not committed to leaving.

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  9. Most of the goals in the last two games where not his fault and probably not any shots he can steal (as we’ve been accustomed to). But like most of the season, I thought he looked bad on some goals that in the past he would have stopped. The first goal was horrible – he spun around like a top instead of holding his position. And the goal in OT (I get it, I know it was Burns) looked like a shot he would have saved in the past especially since he was not screened.
    Let’s face it, except for some streaks of brilliance now and then, his best years are behind him and while he’s still a terrific goalie, he won’t be the difference maker night in and night out that his cap hit (and his history) would suggest.
    The game has changed. Hoping to win the cup with a good-but-not-great team by riding a hot goalie through the playoffs doesn’t work anymore. So I think in this cap era, the days of $8+ million goalies are over. You need a good one, no doubt, and he’s needs to get hot at the right time, but the cap dictates that it may no longer be where you tie up so much of your money.
    Lundqvist may the last of a dying breed.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I watched 3 Union games this season and the guy was the best player on the ice each game. How that translates to NHL game, who knows.. Definitely has an extra gear.
    5’`10″, 194 lbs
    A strong and speedy two-way transition winger who possesses good puck and passing skills, and is equally adept at finishing plays as he is creating them. All-in-all, an offensively minded two-way winger that can produce strong numbers due to his patience and responsibility in all three zones. (Curtis Joe, EP 2014)

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  11. Sign Spencer Foo for when Zook is gone. Sam: “The crowd’s not hollering Boo, Joe, they’re hollering Foo! Ranger fans in every city we visit are hollering Foo!”

    “And he’s such a good kid, Sam. I had a chance to sit down with…”

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  12. Mike Vecchione.. seen the kid player. He’s a gutsy competitor, he’d be a really nice addition to the team. soulful player. Hope he decides to become a ranger. Imagining have that choice and option. Yeah, I think I’ll join the Rangers.

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  13. Speaking of the Rangers as a ‘classy’ outfit, I just thought of a recent player, not a Ranger, can’t remember his name offhand, but he trusted no one, eschewed direct deposit, and personally picked up his check twice a month at the team HQ. Love it.

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  14. Ilb,
    It was me who mentioned Vecchionne….. I live in Albany so I’ve seen the kid play several times/met him as well a few months ago (he came to my TV Station to do an interview). Would love to see him in a blueshirt, but I think the Flyers have the inside track. We shall see….

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  15. Many bemoan plus/minus as an accurate metric of individual performance but it seems to be a fairly accurate measure of team performance in the Eastern Conf. https://www.nhl.com/standings
    1x-Washington 108/+76
    2x-Columbus 105/+63
    3x-Pittsburgh 103/+47
    4x-NY Rangers 97/+39
    5Montréal 95/+20
    6Ottawa 91/+2
    7Toronto 87/+9
    8Boston 86/+15
    9Tampa Bay 83/0
    10NY Islanders 82/-9
    11Carolina 82/-13
    12Philadelphia 80/-22
    13Florida 77/-19
    14Buffalo 76/-28
    15Detroit 74/-35
    16New Jersey 68/-50

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  16. Big Game Brass (and his book of stamps) had two more goals and two more assists than Zika in 24 fewer games, as of a couple of days ago. Zika has yet to mail in a playoff game. So we’ll see. BGB mailed in each of his last six.

    and I’m not saying Zibanejad has been good. Actually quite the opposite, especially on the defensive side of the puck. But still younger, stronger, more competitive.

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  17. Mika an upgrade from Brassard just for the faceoffs and contract ..similar stats and he also missed 20 games hurt

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  18. Brassard – on pace for 82 GP; 14-26-40, +13; his worst output since his days in Columbus at $5M cap hit.
    .
    Zibanejad has his lowest total in 3 years; projected at 56; 13-23-36 +9, but at $2.65M cap hit.
    .
    The POs will determine what the return is for Year 1.

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  19. Agreed, SN. I’d love to see what people would be saying had Brassard had a 13 goal, 37 point season in NY this year. The level headed people would probably say “let’s see what happens in the playoffs” which is what I’ll say for Zibanejad as well.

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  20. Power plays don’t count for individual plus-minus
    .
    Carp – is the individual plus-minus a stat recording goals scored when they were on the ice (for) and scored against? Isn’t goal differential for the team, the net difference between goals for and goals against?
    .
    sorry I am slow and need E3 for math but what am I missing?

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  21. Players on good even-strength teams should have good +/-, and vice versa. And players who play against top offensive lines might have worse +/- than those who don’t, just as players who face top defenders might …

    A player like Matt Puempel might have a better +/- than McDonagh. I don’t know if he does or not, nor do I care.

    but also, it’s useless to try to compare players from different teams for that reason. If Taylor Hall has a lousy +/- does that mean he’s a worse player than, say, Oscar Lindberg?

    and finally, it is absolutely not a defensive stat.

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  22. Mika is 12G 21A…not 13-23

    Postseason will definitely tell us all we need to know. So far Mika has just 2 goals in 16 career PO games.

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  23. My take is whether you played the games or not, the output is what it is. you were being paid whether watching or playing so your ‘value’ to the team is total output not output/game.

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  24. It is funny how Mac Truck gets run down as captain because the Rangers aren’t winning enough and aren’t playing well enough. Could you imagine the grief that would be going around if this were the Kings Report with captain Anze Kopitar having a career-worst season as L.A. appears set to miss the playoffs for the second time in three years?

    Granted, those two Stanley Cup wins sure help ease the pain.

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  25. McD is +19 and Pumps is -5; VC is team worst at -9.
    The other negatives with over 10 games are Puree and Ribbit.
    .
    McBeast was an even ‘0’. (hanging curve ball thrown…)

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  26. they should probably determine a new award for Defensive Dmen. The Norris is just an offensive award.
    Maybe call it the ‘Caber’

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  27. Doodie

    Carp likes to grill others when they focus only on the bad (Rangers’ losses) instead of the good… but he does the same thing and it’s cool 😛

    like, he keeps bringing up BGB mailed games but not the games where he basically carried us through the postseason.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. and even in last year’s postseason collapse, BGB still managed 4 POINTS IN 5 GAMES!… not bad for a mailman 😉

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  29. Doodie, I think Gorton’s priority was retaining assets after several years of the organization giving them up for a rental or a player that was going to improve things but ultimately wouldn’t put them over the top. This summer will tell us more about his capabilities than the deadline.

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  30. Rumor has it the Penguins have given up on winning the division. They’re all in for tanking so they don’t have to play Columbus or the Caps. That starts with a regulation loss to the Rangers Friday, but the Rangers are onto them.
    Lineup for Friday:

    Jensen Puempel Glass
    Hrivic Pirri

    Clendening Kamfer

    Helberg

    That’s it. That’s the whole lineup. Tank time Baby! (Good thing we only got one point last night. )

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  31. Seriously though, does Hank need to shake off the rust or is he still hurt?

    Not saying the rest of the team hasn’t been playing like it’s pick up hockey @ Playland on an Sunday morning. That’s exactly how they’ve been playing large chunks of these games.

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  32. Defensemen are risky business in this league. We are in an era where every player is crazy not just for money but term. Which means the minute you’re a blue liner with a deteriorating game you’re basically an albatross. Step one is the elimination of Current problematic contracts but the tougher part is finding the right replacements

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  33. I lobbied for Beuk to replace Ulf. Ends up, he may be even worse. I wanted Sully and his grease-pen gone. We could use him. I don’t see what AV does around here other than to juggle lines and D pairs in search of the unfindable. He said once that every coach has a shelf life and he, himself, might be getting dusty on a small bodega shelf next to the Scott 2 ply.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. True that, Coos. Speaks very loud about what type of A person he is.

    Unlike godly Zucc who runs to his lamborghini as soon as the game is over.

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  35. Coos, I think the moral of the story is that if you don’t have sufficient personnel it doesn’t matter if it’s Ulfie, Buek, Perry Pearn, Chris Chelios or Eddie Shore behind the bench. The blueline will not be changed significantly until certain players are eliminated from the roster.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Hawks red jersey is the best jersey in all major sports. I had to get a new one when they won the cup. My old one (ahem)”shrunk”.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. It looks like Fat birds from Pissburgh can kiss their SC good buy. Their, never reached puberty, whiner captain Sausagelips should drink his milk out of it one last time.

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  38. Yeah boy brass sucked, z pack isn’t performing, but opie is top shelf and gets a pass. Brass mailed it in vs pens, but letter wearing leader opie and his 8 mil per salary and 6.5 mil cap hit was phenomenal, carried the team through that pens series all the way to the cup!!!

    If brass was the mailman, opie was a mail truck, but yeah brass sucked and opie was great…JOKE.

    Compare their playoff ppg, their playoff points…it’s no wonder the sens wanted “older” terrible brass over stepan for z pack. So yeah brass mailed it in and stepan had to be helped off the ice in that series after every game…just stop ✋ f you can’t be realistic and honest about your comparisons.

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  39. I’ll never understand those religious diet restrictions. If God didn’t want you to eat Lobster why did he make it so delicious?

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  40. Nice to see a hockey game played by a couple of teams that realize the game isn’t played whistle to whistle.

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  41. #19 for Calgary is skating around tonight like the zebra’s will treat him as the 2nd coming of #87. He seems to know, intuitively , the NHL/NBCSN “family”will cover his youthful arrogance. I don’t like what I’ve seen in this kid.

    What’s it gonna take, for the Rangers to get him

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Carp
    We are friends! I also liked the brass for z pack deal, and still do. I just don’t get the brassard bashing and opie getting a pass. I’m not saying brass was stellar, he clearly wasn’t, but opie’s effort was not any more “energetic” than brassard’s and opie is a letter wearing “leader” on the team. While it seems “fun” do point out the brassard mail in, it seems to me the higher paid “leader” that was equally invisible should incur a bit more wrath, no?
    Just my opinion though.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Alright, Carp. Maybe I’m missing something, but all along you’ve been saying that the Rangers have nothing to play for. By saying that, you seem to be saying that you accept their lack of effort. Now you’re saying that you have a problem with guys that don’t try. On any given night lately, 3/4 of the team looks like they are coasting, i.e. not trying. Do you have a problem with the way this team is playing or don’t you?
    Coos- Regarding your coaching comment at 5:51: If you wanted Ulfie and Sullie gone, but now you question your own judgment, why do you think your judgment is any better when it comes to AV? Once he’s gone, maybe you’ll wish he was back, too.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. Been away for awhile. A couple of observations.
    Re: plus-minus. I think most hockey fans know that the stat is worthless except when they want to make a point for or against a certain player. Also, the team goal differential – doesn’t it make sense that the teams with the best records will have the best goal differential? After all, if they are outscoring teams on most nights then that stat will build up by the end of the season. It isn’t an indicator of anything more than the won-loss record.

    Re: Brass vs Stepan/Ziba – I think Brass and Ziba are similar players. Neither is a star and probably won’t become one. Stepan, on the other hand is seems to be one of those type of players that is a coach killer. He’s a good enough player where the fans would be upset if they got rid of him. He does some good things and shows flashes of having the ability to be a better player. However, he never becomes that better player and in the long run he eats up playing time and cap space while his play is just mediocre.

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  45. Good morning, boneheads!
    Pittsburgh lost 4 in a row. Too many injuries, it’s finally starting to show.
    This 19 year old Keith Tkachuk’s kid is already a piece of work.

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  46. So if gaol differential is the most important metric for won-loss which is the ultimate objective then the players who contribute most to that stat would be more valuable, no?
    My take is on a game by game basis plus/minus is a data point with a lot of ‘noise’, but when rolled up over the course of the season it becomes a very important lagging indicator of player contribution to team performance.
    .
    The NYR plus-minus stats do tell a story around individual value:
    leaders; Grabner, McD, Miller, Step, Haze, Shea
    laggards; VC, Puree, Pumps, Ribbit

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  47. VC is not 4th line. The others are just bad defensive forwards who didn’t score enough to offset their defensive liabilities.

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  48. All you have to know about plus/minus and its lack of meaning is the player who co-lead the NHL in plus/minus in 2003-04. Martin St. Louis was tied with Marek Malik at Plus-35
    (drops mic).

    Liked by 1 person

  49. @Cross Check Charlie I’m not sure that many would cry if Stepan was traded, really would depend upon what is coming back. More generally, I think the NYR mgt. has overpaid in $ and term a lot of the guys on the roster which of course factors into fan sentiments. A number of times I think they were just competing against themself, a few they just didn’t know when to walk. Sadly, the same mgt. has a penchant for being a little too penny wise with guys at the lower end of the scale and losing them. C’est la vie.

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  50. Explain how Malik was +35 and the other Canuck defenders were +14, +10, +8, +2, -10 and he was 5th among D-men in points on his team? Was he playing alone??

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  51. They might have also assumed the Cap would continue to go up, raising salaries and providing more room to sign other players.
    That, or Slats was a buffoon.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. The 03/04 Canucks were a first place team so it wasn’t as if Malik was putting up those numbers on a bad team. I can’t speak to his play or that or his defense partners, but I would guess that he was playing first pair on a first place team – which helped contribute to his numbers.

    Conversely, the 69-point playoff-less Rangers were paced by Matthew Barnaby (+15) and Chris Simon (+14). Gred deVries topped the d-men at +11 while Brian leetch was -5 before he was traded.

    FYI, NHL All-Star Anson Carter was -12 in 43 games before he was dealt to the Caps for some guy named Jagr (-1 in 31 games).

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  53. Wait, is this Hump Step Day or Hump Brass Day? I can never tell whose turn it is to be the worst Ranger to contribute his utter mediocrity to this awful run over the last five years.

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  54. So when will all these Penguins get healthy? Are they resting? Tanking?
    Restanking?

    Will Malkin, Guluezen, Hagelin, Kristopher Letang, etc. suddenly recover for the playoffs?

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  55. Talk about a vocally and rah-rah-challenged captaincy corps: Mac, Nash, Girardi, Staal, Step. This tells us something about something – but what exactly is it? Please insert musings and opinions below. I’m interested.

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  56. Anthony my question was Malik playing by himself on aD pair or with another Dman? Their plus minus so dramatically different? not by 1, 5 or 10 but by 20?
    .
    I understand the individual stat will correlate with team goal differential (my original point, thanks) but how to explain individual differences on the same team without realizing that player had performed well.
    Correlation but not causation.

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  57. SN, do you know how often he was playing with those various defensemen? Who the forwards were at the time? What competition he was playing against? How the Canucks were generally playing at the time he played with the various defensemen?

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  58. Eddie, I don’t accept it, but I attempt to understand/explain it. Human nature.

    Wick, you are not entitled to an opinion, and I hate you more than I hate Brass, McIlrath, Kreider, Miller, Jagr, LIE, et al.

    but again, I am not excusing Stepan’s performance when I come down on guys who didn’t need a shower after games.

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  59. Can’t discuss Brassard without it becoming an argument about how Stepan gets a pass. Especially with Wicky-You’ll be at it all night Carp 🙂

    I thought Brassard was part of a bad element here that half assed it too often to be successful and last year it overflowed into the post season and it was glaring since that’s the stage he had been really good on previously. This team would still have its problems had he stayed and Stepan gone.

    On the topic of Stepan, I’m not sure they’ll have many options left with him now that his no trade or no movement clause or whatever he has is going into effect I think best case scenario is he is a 3rd line center making 6 million a year in a year or two. Hockey trades aren’t totally out of the question but I can’t even begin to speculate as to what kind of return they’d get

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  60. Despite his offencive woes currently, he is like the majority of better than average offencive players…streaky

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  61. It wouldn’t even be about Vesey. In that scenari I see him simply relying on his outdated and to date unsuccessful approach when this team struggles: step one- eliminate the young players because they’re the ones who should sit when the team struggles. Step two- play the veterans he trusts -so what if they’ve proved time and again that they can’t take on more responsibility. Step 3- juggle back to the same stale but safe line combinations and hope to God they have some puck luck.
    But he knows how to push JT Millers buttons so…

    Liked by 1 person

  62. Streaky has never contributed to success. Teams just sometimes win in spite of it. I stand by my opinion on Stepan he’s been very important to this team at times including during the post season. But if this is the player they’ll have for the duration he isn’t worth 6 million dollars and he can’t be the main guy down the middle. Not if another Cup is coming before most of us are dead or senile in a home somewhere.

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  63. And Buchnevich is another one. He’s sitting right now when he should be playing his way out of his issues so he can regain some confidence for the post season. But that’s just a stupid fan approach. Really what you should do is get him out of the way because it’s an important time of the year. The time of the year where we need Girardi on the first pair, fast in the top 9, puempel finding his game and everyone getting their “looks”

    Liked by 1 person

  64. And Carp I have no real issue with how Tkachuk handled himself last night. His head was on a pivot all game. He didn’t pick his battles he didn’t have a WWE staged fight and disappear for the rest of the night. If Muzzin was in front of him he engaged, if Mcnabb was there he engaged. 19 year old kid or not I’d rather see that then some of the crap Simmonds or Shaw have pulled in the past.

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  65. Tkachuk was kind of punk-like in my eyes. Especially the over-the-top stuff with Doughty. Would I want him on my team? Yes.

    James, I think Buchnevich is going in for Veasy.

    RR2, should I hate Wicky on a whole other level than the LIE?

    I don’t really hate the LIE that much anymore since I never have to go there for a game.

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  66. Carp, bullet point 1, an error that you can easily fix:

    The Rangers have played opponent after opponent fighting for their playoff lives, or for important seeding position while having little for which to actually play themselves.

    That’s repeated twice back to back.

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  67. James,
    It looks to me that AV is loading up his top 2 lines (Miller will be up there come game one), and create a checking line out of the Hayes line. It’s not a bad idea, but I do think it takes away the offensive depth they have that some teams can’t match. You will get very little offense out of the new Hayes line because Fast has no offense in his game.

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  68. I should mention on Tkachuk, I won’t disagree with punk like but I guess I’m just glad to see a player be accountable in that situation. Too many clowns that cause issues and then hide these days

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  69. Rah-rah types as captains don’t impress me much because actions speak louder than words do. I still remember Game 2 1994 ECF when Mark Messier ran over Scott Stevens (could have been Kenny Daneyko, but I think it was Stevens) on the first shift of the game. I know that Messier is a big standard to measure anyone up against in terms of leadership, but I would rather see my captains lead by example.

    Sadly, the Rangers don’t really have either type – and I am not knocking this group – it is what it is. Doodie’s statement at 11:40am is correct – there really aren’t any rah-rah types that jump out at me. If I sat down and went team-by-team I could probably come up with a couple. I am not sure if it is a case of the game changing, the players changing or both.

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  70. AVs playoff lines to start.
    Kreider, Stepan, Zucc
    Nash, Zibanijad, Miller
    Grabner, Hayes, Fast. This would be AVs matchup line. If they played Montreal, this line would go against the Pacoretti line.
    Then you have Lindberg with anyone of Vesey, Glass, Buchnevich, and Puemple.

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  71. Puempel is the least of their trouble right now. Just don’t like the idea of sitting guys that have been a part of this the whole way. Throwing spare parts into the lineup cold isn’t the best strategy

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  72. My only thought on the captaincy with a team like this one would be not just have three A’s and not even assign a C. Since they committed to McD as the guy you stick with it.

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  73. A’s on this team seem chosen to legally discuss rules and interpretations with officials when McD is not on the ice. What else they accomplish is beyond me.

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  74. For it is better to observe ones self looking for looks but to not find ones self demanding action from the actionless look takers, coos-hopper.

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  75. Thanks for your response, Carp. I’m okay with that.

    Coos- Understood. I guess I was tired at that late hour.

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  76. Think AV has lots of flexibility with those lines in playoffs, 3rd especially. If he feels they are going to need break away type offense, keep Miller there. If he thinks they need a little more balance, move JT up. And don’t discount that at times both Vesey and Buch can end up on the 2nd line and Fast moves down to 4th. But I think the one thing that the two kid forwards need to realize is AV will curtail their play time if they get sloppy defensively and that’s as it should be. These aren’t experienced vets who you can count on fixing what ails them, they are newbs.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. So we got an attractive woman, wearing a bra, no top, walkin’ around in broad daylight. She’s flouting society’s conventions!
    She was flouting.
    That’s totally inappropriate. It’s lewd, lascivious, salacious, outrageous!

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  78. Nash’s biggest issue these days isn’t the production it’s getting through an 82 game schedule healthy. He missed 22 games last season. He went down again this year while playing his best hockey perhaps since his 40 goal season campaign (the only one where he came close to playing in all 82 games). He would probably be somewhere around 30-25-55 had he not missed time this year. I’d be fine with that kind of production from him at this point

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  79. If you’re talking about individuals and their production this year has been a pleasant surprise for the likes of Miller, Hayes and Kreider. They have all gone through slumps but their production potential was kind of a question mark coming into the year and I think they all have done well. Even Vesey with 15 markers for his rookie year was nice to see.
    If it weren’t for those guys and the surprising goal output from Grabner this year, the whole season could have played out like this past month has. Stepan, Zibanejad, Zucc were supposed to be the go to guys and none of the three have been good often enough.

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  80. Carp, the irony surrounding Nash is that he was their best forward in that series against the Pens last year and looked like he could have finally heated up offensively at the right time. If he was that player in a season where they went deep into the playoffs I think he could have shed his rep.

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  81. Isles getting shalacked. Tampa is gonna take the 8 spot draw Washington and get Stamkos back for game 1. That’s going to be fun

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  82. Islanders are done, put a fork in them, I don’t know why Traveras would want to resign with the Islanders after next season. If I was him I would want to go to a organization who has a clue and at least give himself a chance at a Stanely Cup and get out of Dodge.

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  83. For your entertainment.

    ———————————————————–
    New York Rangers’ Likelihood of Firing Alain Vigneault in the Offseason.

    Just because Alain Vigneault was given a contract extension mid-season doesn’t mean he is immune to being fired. If his team loses in the first round of the playoffs for the second year in a row, will the New York Rangers go back on their deal?

    When it comes to the topic of the longevity of Alain Vigneault’s tenure with the New York Rangers, the fan base is pretty divided. One-half of the fan base is completely fine with everything he does, cites his two conference final appearances and asks, “who are you gonna find that’s better to replace him?”

    The other half of the fan base is fed up with his constant line juggling, unfair treatment to rookies and young players alike, giving the minutes they deserve to older, past their prime favorites of his own.

    Regardless of where you stand on this polarizing topic, what happens in the next few weeks will be huge for Vigneault, as it might determine the bench he stands on over the course of the next 82-game season.

    The Extension Means Nothing

    http://www.sportsmedia101.com/newyorkrangers/2017/03/30/new-york-rangers%E2%80%99-likelihood-of-firing-alain-vigneault-in-the-offseason/

    Like

  84. I should just watch replays of the 1st round of the 1994 series. At least Hextal, Rich Pilon, Vukota, Keith Acton, etc. couldn’t beat us.

    Even then, I was freaking out about having to play the Islanders. It was the perfect way to start that playoff season.

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  85. James – The could have scored X goals/points if he played in those games is moot as he did not play in those games even though the team continued to pay his hefty salary cap. In a hard cap era, value is relative to productions/salary cap hit and he ain’t getting it done.

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  86. I think the “letter wearing” is underrated by fans. I also think it’s important for at least one letter wearing player to be a physical lead by example player….something the rangers clearly do not have.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. I’d take tkachuk on my roster any time. And doughty needs bring his purse to match his skirt next time, lost a lot of respect for him last night.

    Liked by 1 person

  88. Who wrote that story about Vigneault’s contract? … You think a GM gives a coach an extension like that for no reason? It’s gonna take a lot more than a first-round loss in a step-back season for him to get fired. Maybe if the crybabies stage another mutiny, but why would they mutiny a guy who is so easy on them?

    Not happening.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. Habs are finishing pretty strong -unlike our boys. If a lot of guys bring their C game to Montreal it could be ugly. AV is safe even if they lose a hard fought series. If they go out like last year he could be at risk. Torts left under similar circumstances.

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  90. Good morning Boneheads! Wick the stinkin pens top my list then the isles. Then devils, filth, lighting.

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  91. I think one of the reasons Torts got fired was because of his treatment of the media. When you think of the media interviews as a form of advertising for the team, well, he didn’t exactly make the team look good. It certainly wasn’t his record. They don’t have that problem with AV. The players aren’t going to revolt against him. He consistently gets the team in the playoffs and got them to the final. AV isn’t going anywhere.

    If we’re listing teams we hate – keep in mind I started to become a hockey fan around 1970 – the Flyers are on the top of that list. The Bruins are next. Then the Penguins. Since I didn’t live in the NYC area I don’t have a lot of hate for the Islanders or Devils.

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  92. @cccp: that “article” is pretty funny considering the half that are crying about how unfair he is to rooks, lineup changes, etc are the same that were crushed when they cut Torts lose – a coach far more guilty of crushing the young player and overplaying his trusted vets.

    @james: I don’t think people viewed Zib as the savior when they made that trade. We new we were getting a younger Brassard type player with a lot of potential on a relatively cheap contract. I would put him in the same expectation boat as Miller and Hayes. Had he not busted the leg, would his season have gone differently? Good chance, but what is done is done. Zib’s got to pick it up a notch now as does Opie (who perhaps has).

    Like

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