Clean Slate, HAV at It.

I just noticed that the Bell Centre’s event list already has game 1 of the playoffs scheduled for Wednesday, April 12.  Make sure to check your calendars and be available.

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135 thoughts on “Clean Slate, HAV at It.”

  1. If they had a sense of humor up there in Montreal they’d have the theme song to Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses playing when the Rangers skate out for warm ups.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. looks like montreal has an event the saturday so wed – fri up there makes sense. unless they went thurs – sunday.

    league tries to balance games per night so partly could be based on when other teams can play in other series.

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  3. [I shall not be Carped] I know, no politics, but I hereby nominate myself as Vice President of the Bonehead Pollyanna Caucus. Our platform consists of rooting faithfully, mindlessly if necessary, for the home team, which last time I checked is the Rangers, apologies to Olga. We will serve Bonehead Nation by extolling the virtues of each and every Ranger, rather than carp on his faults (I said “carp”), and with our sheer optimism we will strive to lift each one up when and if he falls. If elected, my first act will be to renounce any previous negativity attached to my previous commentary concerning one Tanner Glass. If he ends up playing for some reason, I will blog-have his back. And when this overachieving team beats expectations and we see Mr. McDonagh skating around the rink with the Cup before handing it over to Henrik, our Pollyannish cheers will be full-throated, those of pure joy, untarnished by the guilt suffered by our opposition party, the half-heartedly cheering Told-Ya-So’s, whom I shall now proceed to demonize. Goes with the job, you understand.

    The Told-Ya-So’s are tearing this Nation apart with their incessant carping (again!) and their way of life is transparent: to play it safe. If the Rangers lose (they won’t) we faithful will be crushed, having put all our Posie Eggs into one basket. We will be exposed, subject to ridicule by those who have warned us all year long that this team was a mirage, a one-trick pony, Charmin-soft, that its centers were third-rate, its defense a disaster, that it was at best a regular-season roster and not a very good one at that. On the night of the Rangers’ elimination, should it come (it won’t), they will cry out in all their glory, Yea, Verily, We Were Right All Along, I TOLD YOU SO! Then it’s out onto the ledge for celebratory cocktails and the loud excoriation of AV, Gorton, and any player whose stats come in under Gretzky level. And Sather, unless he’s gone. The gritty sound of new ones being ripped will echo down the canyons–the Rangers, who never had their own teammates’ backs, will have lost, and the Told-Ya-So’s will have won.

    But we must fight the Told-Ya’s, and we must go on to the end. We shall fight them on the HAV, we shall fight them on Twitter if any of us know how to do that. We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength with each comment, we shall defend our Pollyannish island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight with sarcasm, we shall fight with mixed metaphors, we shall fight with straw horses and with cherry-picked stats, and we shall fight with the dreaded advanced hockey metrics if necessary; we shall never surrender.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Also, regarding team USA hockey in the Olympics- their chances (sadly) may improve by not having NHL caliber player participate in the Olympics

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  5. Jagr had no chance to catch him in points, but had a very real chance to catch him in goals if he didn’t go to Russia for three years.

    He has a significant chance of eliminating one Gretzky milestone (not really a record), namely, that Gretzky has more assists than any player has points. Jagr only needs another 53 points to end that.

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  6. Let’s say he averaged 20 goals a year for those three years. That’s another 60 goals. That would put him at 825 right now. 70 more goals spread out over 5 years (if he is intent on playing until 50)? Not likely, but possible.

    Ovechkin is the last player that I think will have the chance to approach Gretzky’s goal totals.

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  7. Norm count me in for any office in the “Never Say Die Blueshirts Fan Club!” Pollyanna has nothing on me when it comes to rose-colored glasses, especially where Hank is concerned. I don’t care about his admittedly crappy season and I really don’t care about his career numbers against the Habs. It’s the playoffs and I expect him to be ready and focused. If the defense can at least be average I say we have a shot against anyone. President Sittoo has a nice ring to it….

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  8. Madame President, do we take a vote, or simply appoint ourselves? And will any other Posies come out of the woodwork, do you think? It takes a certain sort of depraved courage. Several cabinet positions coming open, though, such as Secretary of Mixology.

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  9. Norm, I think we should go down the Putin path and name ourselves whatever we want. Coming up with the Cabinet could prove extremely entertaining…

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  10. I recuse myself from any position as being out of State should disqualify me. But then again I was born in Manhattan!

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  11. I don’t know. It’s a classic count your eggs before your chickens scenario. The regular season isn’t even over yet and so much could still happen by then.

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  12. Our first disagreement in the new administration. You’re the boss, but I advise high-profile interviews with office seekers, on line–see if their gibberish is up to snuff.

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  13. These were the forward lines from practice today, with Nash, Fast, and Zuccarello all taking maintenance days.

    20-21-89
    73-93-26
    40-13-10
    15-24-12

    To me, that would indicate that Buchnevich, Pirri, and Puempel are the three intended scratches, with Fast returning to the fourth line.

    Grabner’s goal drought has hit a point where I think it’s time to put him back on the 4th line, where he was intended to be before the season began, and get Buchnevich back in a top 9 role.

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  14. Should have been done a while ago RR2. Grabner and Fast on the 4th line, and Vesey and Buchnevich in the top 9 is the best Ranger lineup.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Because Grabner and Hayes have scored so many goals lately? Hayes with only 5 goals since 12/1. 2-4-6 for March (15gp). Grabner only 1-2-3 in last 19 gp. Why are we keeping them together?

    And Buch has hardly ever been given a top 9 role since returning from his back injury.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. when they play together they are still getting chances. i said keep the 3 of them together not just hayes and grabner. april is not the time to throw buch into the deep end barring injuries to others.

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  17. Sign me up Norm! Secretary of Da Fence. (I’d rather the boneheads were on the Fence than on the Ledge.)
    Do I get to FIRE SATHER?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. the line still gets their chances when they play together. the 3 of them have slumped far less often than stepan and nash among others.

    buch has given no indication he deserves top 9 when all are healthy THIS YEAR

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  19. Olga, I’ll need to check with POTUS, but I think Dafence is yours if you want it (though you may want to submit some dafensive gibberish). And consider Sather fired. What’s he, anyway, president of something? Nothing in comparison with President Sittoo.

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  20. It will be interesting to see the bottom forwards’ approach to the last three games. Vesey, Buch, Glass and Puempel all have assets and liabilities and all four can be fit in (Pirri is probably done getting looks) but each must be thinking he needs to show AV a little something. It could be that auditions are over, though, we’ll see. Same goes for the #7 D auditions.

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  21. As Secretary of state my 1st resolution will be to negotiate an agreement with the azzlanders and debbie’s that they will no longer approach games with the Rangers as game 7’s. Henceforth they will be treated as meaningless games!

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  22. Alex,
    You want to play your 12 best forwards, and you want those forwards put in the best possible position succeed. Buchnevich or Vesey on The 4th line is not best for them or the team. The other option is one of them sits, and Tanner Glass plays.

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  23. Ovechkin has been saying that he’s going to the olympics for a few years now…it’s hardly news today.

    can’t wait to see how embarrassed the NHL will be when a lot of the players, especially the European ones, join their national teams for the Olympics showing Gary the Weasel Bettman middle finger.

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  24. Wed and Friday next week game 1 and 2. Bell center concert Saturday night. Also no way league schedules Montreal and Toronto playing same night for hockey night in Canada. If Ottawa gets 3rd and Bruins 2nd wild card expect caps Bruins as NBC afternoon games.

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  25. I always figured this would be the year the NHL would pull out. It would never have worked for Vancouver or Sochi. I do feel like the World Cup weakens the USA roster more than the Canadian roster with Team North America.

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  26. Eric, the Bell Centre has rescheduled concerts in the past. That being said, I am pretty confident in Toronto being on HNIC over Montreal. That goes double if they play the Sens in the first round.

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  27. Ummm… what’s going on here?! Why am I seeing Japanese hieroglyph instead of a star?! Anybody else sees this? I checked and it only shows that way on.my chrome mobile… wtf?

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  28. Be interesting to see if

    Caps/senators
    Pens/jackets
    Rangers/Montreal
    Leafs/Bruins

    Which of these series if any NBC shows on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. 3 Canadian teams in diff series plus jackets won’t draw eyeballs.

    I would think hawks be all over afternoon vs preds or blues.

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  29. Norm as for my title I prefer PODUNK (President of Da United “Never-say-die” Knuckleheads). Olga, da fence is yours but you are going to have to stop fraternizing with the enemy!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. So much hegemony exists in the world these days that various countries will sub rosa pay their top pro’s large cash “honorariums” to compete in the Olympics, if they’re not doing it already.

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  31. BDL

    best position to succeed? you mean like hayes miller grabner did for large chunks of season. not based on the hope/hype of buch.

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  32. Like it or not (AND I DO NOT LIKE IT) AV will pull the same crap he pulled last season in the playoffs. They’ll be facing elimination in game 5 and he’ll have Fast on the third line and Buchnevich scratched for Glass/Clendening playing top 6. Even if they can get on a little bit of a hot (more like luke warm) streak over the final 3 games with the two young guys playing well I’m guessing it’s not going to make any difference to the coach.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Thanks for saying “I said Wood”, Carp. At least nobody else will say “Carp said Wood.”

    Starting now.

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  34. After norm did a re-post of his “I’m never wrong” post, I feel it necessary to re-post my cliff notes version of it…

    Norm basically saying when this team loses because of the reasons he has said all season they won’t lose because of…he still wants to be right even though he was wrong.

    LGR

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Going to be pretty hard for any bobblehead to live up to the mark twain one from Hartford…just saying

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  36. So will Brad “The Mohel” Marchand be suspended for his last procedure, or will he get the Skidney treatment from the NHL Department of Player Excuses?

    Liked by 2 people

  37. I still think you will at most see one of Vesey/Buch in the line up each game in the playoffs. Both have had good moments and bad moments the last part of the regular season and don’t think AV (or any coach) wants to risk in game meltdown started by a rookie. I think Buch is going to be better after a full offseason of conditioning with the team and it may even be better for him to see limited time (and chances to screw up).

    Remain a believer in the 3rd line, Grabner especially still getting excellent chances and once one goes in the dam will break. Regardless, it keeps the other team on their toes. JT I have a feeling is going to bounce around a bit between 3rd and the Nash line.

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  38. I’d imagine Ovechkin is so sure he’s going to the Olympics he’s already ordered his tracksuit, booked his flights and ordered his RUSADA doping package…..

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  39. So the March/April records of the last 5 Stanley Cup winners (sorry, didn’t look farther back than that)….

    LA 11-4-3
    CHI 19-7-2
    LA 14-6
    CHI 11-7-1
    PIT 16-5

    This seasons rangers…7-5-4

    Maybe the games aren’t meaningless regardless of standings

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  40. If I remember correctly, LA was fighting to just finish 8th. Also Pitt last season fired there coach, and then went on a run. Not every march and April are created equal.

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  41. ICYMI, while I was BANJing … I have a story on Conor McDonald, Steven’s son, about the emotions of the first Extra Effort award since his dad’s passing, tomorrow on MSGNetworks.com.

    Might have been the best interview of my career, no credit to me.

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  42. Henrik Lundqvist will get the start for the Blueshirts, and despite it being nearly impossible for the Rangers to move up in the standings, the netminder is calling the final week of the season an important one for New York.

    “It’s a big week for us to work on everything that’s been helping us so far throughout the year,” he said. “A lot of detail in our own end, the way we forecheck. Personally, the way you move, the way you read the game, everything. You try to go over it right now. You try to take it game-by-game. Obviously tomorrow is a pretty tough test for us against the best team in the League right now and try to get some points.”

    Wednesday night will mark Lundqvist’s fourth game since returning from a hip injury that cost him about three weeks in March. He’s 1-1-2, but said he’s feeling more confident with each start.

    https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/four-out-for-wednesdays-tilt-with-the-capitals/c-288419516?tid=282343256

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  43. I’d be curious to see what the rangers March/April record was the year they went to the Cup finals against LA and last season.

    The year we lost to Tampa in the ECF March/April was 15-5-1

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  44. Washington is going to have fun with the Bruins first round. I think it’ll be more physical than a matchup w Tampa. But it’s gotta make you appreciate our “lackluster” 100 point season when you look at the intensity and fighting for that 8 spot. Which I might add involves teams with some pretty good players.
    Montreal in 5 anyhow

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  45. Eric, It’s absolutely now or never for this version of the Capitals. They’re going to lose Alzner (100%), Oshie (75%), Williams (50%) as UFAs, not to mention their deadline addition, Shattenkirk.

    Although, if they buy out Orpik, it might give them the money to pay Oshie or Williams. But Alzner is going to be the best UFA defenseman after Shattenkirk and he’s coming in off of a short money deal. He is going to get PAID.

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  46. I love how all those people thought shattenkirk was going to take orpik’s spot on the caps blueline…lol

    When are you nuggets going to learn there is a lot more to this game than speed?

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  47. the rangers should be really excited. They are in a great spot. Best spot anyone could possibly hope for. healthy, fresh. Locked into an opponent.

    Compare it to last year when the team was exhausted and running on fumes with a 1000lb monkey on their back called ‘intense internal an external pressure to win’. They had to watch themselves walk into a 1st round matchup with the hottest team in the league with a rejuvenated best player on the planet, while watching the Isles handed an invitation to the Conference Final (which even they screwed up)

    Instead the rangers have been locked into the Atlantic Bracket for the last month and are fresh and relatively healthy. IMO, the rangers are better than Montreal, boston, toronto, and ottawa and Im sure the rangers deep down feel the same way. So there’s every reason to believe the rangers can get 4 wins against any of those Atlantic teams in a 7 game series.

    Forget about the metro for now. it doesn’t matter who’s playing how right now, bc by the time the rangers will have to play one of those teams, the teams will be different. Injuries happen, players/teams get on rolls, players/teams get beat up and fatigued. Other teams get figured out So forget about the metro and how things stack up right now.

    The rangers are in a great position and should be really amped and excited. Its the best time of year in hockey and the rangers have everything lined up in their favor. Its all in front of them and up to them.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. I watched the craps game last night and shattenkirk is not a good defensemen, big deal so he has some offensive talent. I hope the rangers stay away from signing him to a big contract that the rangers will regret in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Rebuilding the Rangers will be like knocking over a Coke machine. You can’t do it in one push; you gotta rock it back and forth a few times and then it goes over.

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  50. @jpp: just remember, the “best” team does not always win…unless they play like it too when it counts. We all can probably count on one hand, at most two, how many of the last 79 games the NYR have played a full 60 minutes of hockey. Mailing in periods at a time will not cut it in the playoffs.

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  51. Catching up:
    Henrik -“A lot of detail in our own end, the way we forecheck. Personally, the way you move, the way you read the game, everything.”
    Translation: “Those guys playing in front of me better get their sh*t together.”
    ——–
    Carp – Orpik. He’d be behind Kampfer, ahead of Clendening, on the Rangers
    Yeah, but Wicky would want him to start because his physical play.
    ——–
    fivefinns – after you tip over that machine, I’ll take a Diet Coke. Thank you.
    ——–
    I agree 66.327% with what jpp said. Uh….what’d he say?

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  52. I just purchased an Orpik Twin Pack Tartar and Plaque Removal Oral Rechageable Irrigator and I find it 73% playable but with an annoying tendency to be beaten wide.

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  53. Drilling down a bit on the end-of-season stats, the last Cup winners’ final ten games went as follows:
    Pens: 5-2-3
    Hawks: 4-6
    Kings: 4-3-3
    Hawks: 5-0-5
    Kings: 4-2-4
    Bruins: 6-3-1
    Hawks: 5-4-1
    Pens: 7-2-1
    Rangers: 2-2-3 with three to go, resting 3 key forwards, 3 key defenders. AV auditioning bottom players, getting healthy, giving Lundqvist a shooting gallery to help him gear up.

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