Friday, March 01, 2013

Hail Nash, The Gang's All Here!

Hail! Hail! The Gang's All Here
You remember that song, "Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here"? So maybe you don't, so what. Last night the Rangers became whole, almost, and scored a 4-1 win over a disappointing and slumping Tampa Bay Lightning who have now lost 6 of nine and are now only four points out of last place in the Eastern Conference. Rick Nash came back with a vengeance, Ryan McDonagh came back with a purpose and Michael Del Zotto came back.

To say that Nash did it all is probably an exaggeration. After all he only got 12 shots of the Rangers total 42 and he only got one of the four goals, but man, he put on quite a show. In a sense he was also involved in Tamp Bays only goal failing to pick up St. Louis who redirected a point shot, or was it a pass? But lets not be picky. Nash was great in 19:15 of ice time. He also got an assist.

Ryan McDonagh put in 25:34 of solid ice time picking up two big assists. Steve Eminger who logged 20:32 last game was knocked down to 4:20 and Stu Bickel got all of 3:18. One of my boys, Chris Kreider got a bus ticket to Hartford. Got to teach that kid how to play defense even if it kills him. Trade him to another team and watch him sparkle.

The next game is against Buffalo, another bottom feeder. These are the must win games before we hit the tough competition like the Flyers and the Islanders. It's a long and weary road ahead. Will all the gang show up? Stay tuned for more exciting episodes in the life of Ranger fans.

Henrik Lundqvist on "This is SportsCenter"

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  • jeanine1994 said...

    One thing always stays consistant in the life of a ranger fan and that is, you never know what you're going to get. But man, it sure felt good to see the boys play up to their capabilities last night. I actually enjoyed watching the game. Nash was a force as he powered up the ice and making his way to the net. He was so fun to watch. Everyone played very well because they took control of their own destiny for once. They dictated the game from the aggressive start to the end of the more defensive 3rd. That is what this team is capable of when they are allowed some freedoms. I don't know if torts was desperate for a win or he just likes to look good to his old club but when we play Tampa it feels like we are allowed to let the horses out of the barn and let them run free! Of course Tampa was awful, I mean really awful so that helps but the guys really put in a great effort to keep Tampa at awful level. So many times when we win I'm thinking, ok we won, that's good but my feelings are so even keeled its like, whatever. But last nights game was fun, aggressive, and I still feel good from it. We have 2 days off now to enjoy the feeling before boring buffalo comes in and sucks the life out the building, so let's enjoy it.
    Oh forget to say; what a shot from Hags!!! I love that guy!

  • Jen9400 said...

    The Rangers got what they needed last night. They got a struggling team that they could take advantage of and they did just that. They came out flying, showcasing their talent and shooting the puck. Nash was incredible for a guy who missed time and hasn't skated much, it was like he didn't miss a beat! We even managed to force a power play goal in the last seconds of a PP. I don't care how it went in as long as it did. Henrik was Henrik and wound up making some huge saves when the team went into defense mode and even though the score was close for a little while we still came away with 4 goals. It was so nice to see them play and having Mike Keenan on the broadcast made it that much better. So nice to listen to a coach talk for a change. The man's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but his philosophy and his stye would be perfect for this current group of players. After the first period when the Rangers were out shooting them 20-3 he said "I would have my team push and push the pace" and then he used his famous line he used to say in 94 "play with authority." After the second period where the Rangers out shot Tampa again this time by a narrower margin of 15-8 as we were gradually slipping into protect the lead mode, Keenan said that he had been watching from ice side and Tampa has been a step behind the Rangers all night and he really doesn't see how they could get into this game. Well it was subtle but he was saying there's no reason to stop now. Tampa was a mess last night so they didn't score any more than the one goal but they managed to make it interesting and they out shot us in the 3rd 14-7. We were dominating and we let up. I can't stand how we take the foot off the gas. I'm sure Torts sidekick Mike Sullivan doesn't agree since he said before the 3rd period started "we can't take our foot off the gas. we have to play well defenisly and if we play the right way we'll score off of that." The guy is so clueless he doesn't even know he completely contradicted himself. Sorry Mike but the term "foot on the gas" does not refer to retreating into your own zone and shot blocking. It refers to Offense. What's that you say? OF-FENSE. Yes, that's part of hockey too :)

  • jb said...

    I also enjoyed last night's game, one of the few this season that had me upbeat. Nash, Lundqvist, Hags, the "core" played great.

    The flip side of Nash's dominant play was Richards (1A) being pretty invisible during his 21:36 of ice time (including 5:28 of PP). He was 0-for-February in goals. Micheletti did make a good point about Stephan having to pick up all the slack that Richards is leaving. How many more games with 20+ minutes of ice time, plus all the PP time, is Brad owed before Torts has to demote him? If Richards could just get back to last year's level the future would be much brighter.

    Feasting on so-called bottom feeders feels good, but it's not that nutritious.

  • Jen9400 said...

    JB - I was going to say something about Brad but I decided not to because I was happy with the game and I didn't want to ruin my mood. I don't wish to complain too much about Richards bc I do believe he is a great player and we will see him on top of his game again, but the fact is that he is just not playing well at all. I was madder than hell that Gaborik was dropped to the 3rd line as a result of Nash's return and Nash was moved to the wing to accommodate Brad as number one center. So our leading scorer is now on the third line AND seeing limited time on the second unit of the PP mainly bc the coach is in love with Brad and not so in love with Gaby. Gaby should be on the first line with Nash. Fine if all 3 are up there but Gaby is a top line player who most normal coaches in their right minds would build their offense around. People are always saying that this coach plays players who are playing well but not players who aren't. Why do they think he does this? Because that's what the coach tells them to think and they believe it. But that is certainly not what he does. It makes me sick how he treats Gaborik. That is NOT how you handle a star player. Keenan and Dave Maloney were talking about it on the post game. Dave said that he doesn't know that Gaborik will ever be this coaches type of player and Keenan said that he has the experience of coaching against Gaby and Gaby is a tremendous talent who is hard to coach against and that Torts kind of treatment gets old in a hurry. He said when you have those kinds of players you have to make it fun for them to come to the rink. I couldn't agree more.
    Scotty Hockey wrote about Eminger and how he had a really good game vs Jets, got 20:33 of ice time and then last night he gets 4 mins of ice so coach can wear out the top 4- and for what? Tampa sucked! No need to ride these guys until they drop. I remember on one particular night last season (I forget who we played) Eminger had a big night with a lot of minutes and coach said he was great. Called him a warrior then sent him to the press box the next game and several games after that. Matter of fact when coach praised Eminger after the Jets game Jeanine told me "uh oh, Eminger will be lucky if he dresses in the next game" - next game 4 mins, how did she predict that? This guy is ridiculous with his favorites list and his guys to kick around list and man if your on the latter list, you are screwed!

  • jb said...


    Scotty, made a very good point about Richards that I had ignored, namely:

    "he dominated at the dot all night. Final count? Seventeen of 20 faceoffs. Wow."

    But, paying him $6.76M a year this year and for the next 7 to be a face-off specialist doesn't work for me. I'm sorry.

    You're right praise from Torts does seem like the kiss of death. Maybe when he starts saying lots of good things about Richards (like his face off winning percentage) that will be the sign that he's getting ready to throw Brad under the bus.

  • Jen9400 said...

    JB after I posted about Brad I thought about how good he was on faceoffs too and I do think he plays well with Nash.

    On Gaby, I just told Jeanine yesterday that I think Torts is looking at Nash and he's thinking that he doesn't need Gaby anymore and that's why he's treating Gaby like this. He's trying to push him out just as he does to all the players he doesn't like by setting him up to underachieve. Then today I find out that Bruce Garrioch wrote this in the Ottawa Sun
    "Rangers GM Glen Sather isn't the least bit pleased with his club's inconsistency. Sources say the Rangers are trying to do "something" to shake the club out of the doldrums since it would appear coach John Tortorella isn't going anywhere. Since the Rangers have skill, they'd like to bring in more grit. The talk amongst NHL executives is the Rangers have floated the idea of moving RW Marian Gaborik. He has a cap hit of $7.5 million through 2013-15 and will be a UFA at the end. It's believed the Rangers are sniffing around to see what kind of value he has on the market" - Rangers fans are going crazy because the Sun does have a reputation for starting rumors but a lot of times where there is smoke there is fire. A fellow fan told Jeanine that he thinks Gaby's trade value is low to which I replied, oh yeah like a rebuilding team like Det.... just as it dawned on me that the Rangers had scouts at the Detroit - Kings game the other day. I'm telling you I have this guy figured out and if Sather is dumb enough to stick with this coach then this guy is going to rip what we built apart faster than we built it.