Sunday, April 07, 2013

Lundqvist "Saves" Rangers!

The Ranger formula for protecting a lead, in effect hanging on for dear life, the old 'rope-a-dope', barely made it last night. Save for the efforts of one Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers wouldn't look so good in the standings this morning. Henrik was his usual magnificent self, though he seemed a tad tired last night against a struggling Carolina team, 1-10-1 in their last 12. The Rangers riding the strength of Lundqvist's 48 saves vaulted into a seventh place tie with the Islanders, two points behind sixth place Ottawa and four behind fifth place Toronto with an away and a home date coming up next week against the Leafs.

The Canes launched 89 shots at Lundqvist. Eighteen missed and twenty-two were blocked. That's a lot of rubber. Could of used it during World War II. A tired Ranger team gave up 21 shots on goal in the third period. Girardi logged 27:48 and new kid John Moore got all of 7:17. Boy that honeymoon didn't last long. Even Lundqvist admitted to being tired. The coach was effusive in his praise for his franchise player: "That's the best I've seen him play since I've been here." Really! Where have you been coach? This goes on every night the guy puts on the pads and the mask. But keep overplaying some players and see how that pans out.

It was the same trio that racked up the goals. Stepan, Callahan and Nash. Boyle scored a useless empty netter at the buzzer. What else is new? The media is singing the party line that the atmosphere in locker room has changed dramatically. Has the coach changed? No! Even Lundqvist stated that, "It's a different attitude in the room... It's just a lot better feeling in here." See what getting rid of a 40 goal scorer can do to a puppet driven team. How's that for loyalty. But hang on to your mask and pads Henrik the next time you let in a softie and lose one. Then you'll really find out that nothing has changed . The more things change the more they stay the same.


Jesse Spector / Sporting News:
Off the block

One of the complaints about using blocked shots to measure defense is that a team with a lot of blocks tends to not have the puck very much. The Toronto Maple Leafs, for instance, lead the NHL with 621 blocked shots this season, but also is the second-worst possession team in the league.

So, how about blocked shots as a percentage of opponents’ shot attempts? The Philadelphia Flyers allow 54.9 shot attempts per game and block 16.3 — their rate of 29.7 percent opponent shot attempts blocked is tops in the league. Considering that the Flyers have allowed the sixth-most goals in the NHL, such a figure would suggest a lack of correlation between blocking shots and quality of defense, regardless of issues surrounding the quality of goaltending in Philadelphia.

There still is value in blocking shots, but it should probably only be part of a team’s strategy. Ron Hainsey leads the league with 99...

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  • Jen9400 said...

    Love that excerpt from Jesse Spector. Its exactly what we keep saying on here. There IS value in blocking shots but it should be PART of your strategy. Callahan is the most amazing to me. He'll risk any body part, break any bone, rack up infinite amount of bruises for this coach and coach loves it. Keep throwing yourself in harms way. No problem. Its unreal.

    The idea that there is a better feeling around the room now that Gaborik was traded supports my theory about the divide that was developing in the room. Clearly Gaby could no longer subject himself to the coaches nonsense and I give him credit for sucking it up as long as he did. The Rangers did what they had to do to keep the coach, they got rid of the natural talent and brought in the muckers and grinders who can fit the unadaptable coaches game plan. Gaby's gone, Kreiders in CT and JT Miller is soon to join him. They keep talking about how Miller is nursing this wrist but that's not the reason he's not playing. He's been nursing it for weeks and coach has been playing him through it. Coach doesn't want to play the rookies for fear of defensive errors. End of story. The wrist story just sounds better. After all who is more up front about injuries than the Rangers right? Right. Kreider and Miller must go back to CT until they are no longer creative. They will be returned when they learn to "play it straight" and do it "the right way" - when they fit the Tortorella mold.
    Going back to Gaborik, Jeanine and I watched the game with our long time NYR fan friend last night and Jeanine made an excellent point when we spoke about the trade. The trade was supposed to be made for "depth" and grit right? It wasn't. Because when you look at the depth part you have to say that Brassard takes Gaby's roster spot (OMG a 17 goal scorer for a 41 goal scorer) then you have John Moore- he's a defenseman so he doesn't count toward forward depth even though we are looking for a D-man. Even still, if he's going to play 7 mins a night and maybe none at all when Staal returns, do you want to trade Gaborik for that? No. So when you look at the forwards, we have Brassard in Gaby's spot (so to speak) and Dorsett becomes the "depth" you gain in the trade- a fighter, tough guy, 4th line type- isn't that why we have Asham? So when you really look at the trade what did we accomplish? We brought in Clowe for the grit before the trade which givs us the dimension we needed. Trading Gaborik was just dumb. Dumping our rookies in CT who are supposed to be developing into future stars is just dumb. All because we have a one trick pony for a coach and and old tired mule for a general manager. Yeah the dynamic in the room is bound to change when you bring in 4 new players who have not played for disagreeable yet. They are excited to be somewhere new but how long does this adrenaline last? Already since the first game our new guys have one assist between them and like the pundit said, the offense is still coming from the same trio as it has been all season. Last night was back to the old Henrik Lundqvist show as per usual. Back to riding Henrik's coat tails to success. Backwards march.

  • Andy said...

    Seriously, what the hell is Lundqvist saying that for? Him and Callahan need to, like, think about what they're saying before they say it. Cally's BS tool response to Avery...Lundqvist's BS tool response to a question about how the locker room is since Gabby left...why don't you just text Marian and tell him how peachy it is since he's gone....When guys like Lundqvist have been brainwashed by this pathetic coach you know you're in big trouble...So, keep the robotic slander down King, you never know when you'll lose your crown....

  • jb said...

    This idea that the Rangers got better because of the subtraction of Gaborik and the addition of "Brass" (as Tortorella calls him) is ridiculous. Tortorella just like any petty tyrant, who is afraid of his own shadow, conducted a purge. He simply wants to surround himself with sycophants and players, who will kowtow to him to get a few extra minutes. How else do you explain giving Brian Boyle (19:18) 5 more minutes of ice time than Nash (14:17)?

    We are stuck in middling mediocre-ville with an ego maniac. Who, by the way, had better keep praying every night that Lundqvist stays healthy.

  • Andy said...


    Agree completely. Very well said

  • Jen9400 said...

    This is Henrik's exact quote as per Andrew Gross:
    “It’s a different atmosphere in the room,” said Lundqvist, who has allowed two or fewer goals in his past 10 starts. “Not only did we get some really skilled players, it changed the dynamic in the room where you get the new guys and it’s a lot better feeling in here. It looks like the lines are working better together. We’re going to need it.”

    Henrik is just happy to be winning. He is always trying to stay positive even when things are really bad. It has been reported many nights this season that the atmosphere in the Rangers locker room is tense and very different from last season. As I said in my post above, when you bring in 4 new players, 5 if you add Zucc, then you are going to have a different feeling in the room. 5 new forwards is a lot of forwards to change out and that doesn't include the forwards we have who were not here last season like Nash, Pyatt, Powe, Asham. Asham hasn't played much this season as he was injured, then not dressed for a few games so in a way he's a 6th new player in the past few weeks. If you add all the players I mentioned and subtract Dorsett because he's injured that means 8 forwards are new blood. 9 when Dorsett returns. Its like hitting the reset button and getting a whole new group of forwards, so of course they are going to play for their new coach. Rangers essentially cleaned house. Ripped apart the team they built. Gaborik cannot be replaced so easily and there's no question in my mind Henrik knows that. Plus Gaby is one of Henrik's best friends. I don't really think Henrik meant it as a dis on Gaby but more as an answer to a question from reporters who are looking for a good quote. He's so competitive wins and losses dictate his moods and after he stood on his head last night he was in a really good mood and he complimented his new teammates. Plus, there are many times Henrik paints a rosy picture after a win. I can't get on Henrik for a comment because he just means so much to us. If it makes you feel any better he also opened the questions by telling the media that he's so exhausted, he doesn't even know what he's saying, so let's give him a free pass on this one.

  • Johnny D said...

    To quote my favorite blacklisted spark plug "Fire that clown!" Fire Fonzie! Fire Fonzie! Fire Fonzie!

  • Andy said...

    Johnny D,


    Hope everything is cool in pundit land. Look forward to a new post tomorrow!