Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rangers No Show for Wild

Rangers Woes Exposed by Wild. Eric Belanger scores 2nd goal for Wild
This team is going down a slippery slope. Torts led Fire Wagon Hockey is falling apart. The Rangers lost 3-2 to the Wild in a weak effort in Minnesota. Rangerland does not like what it's seeing.

Scotty Hockey:

That the game was telecast on the Armed Services Networks is even worse. The Rangers were not just embarrassed in Minnesota, but worldwide...

Not only is he [Brashear] inept with a hockey stick, he is a big, dumb coward who doesn't help his team in most any way. The Rangers lacked energy, the Wild dressed not one but two over-sized tough guys and yet Brash didn't dance with either...
The Dark Ranger:
Capt. Drury, Ryan Callahan, Sean Avery, Chris Higgins -- at their current point pace, they each will get to maybe 30 points. Scream about defensive inadequacies, scream about the goalies' propensity to give up some questionable goals, but look at these guys and realize that they are killing the team. Drury, Higgins & Avery -- apparently they were neutered during the offseason. All those fans who were crying about Dubinsky not being signed -- are you happy that your prayers were answered -- the guy has 9 points but he is invisible and looks like he learned his puck handling skills by watching the wrong tapes of Gomez's ventures as a Ranger? Callahan has lost a step or two since his flu. Meanwhile, Michael Del Zotto has 12 points. I need not say anymore...
Dubi Silverstein / Bleacher Report:
Among the minus players: Donald Brashear. There was a genius move by Sather, picking this guy up. Not only has he rarely fought, he has rarely even thrown a body check—even Enver Lisin hits more often than he does.

But he can handle the puck, we were told—as witnessed by his gorgeous turnover that led to the Wild's first goal late in the first after Lundqvist nearly brought the Rangers out of the period with a scoreless tie.

Drury was minus one for the fifth straight game, again caught a step behind the goal scorer, coasting, his signature move since he came to New York...
Rangers Review:
What angers me more than anything here is that it is the rookies, Dane Byers, PA Parenteau, and the other young players who are playing relatively well. Meanwhile guys like Donald Brashear, and Chris Drury, older veteran guys who have very specific roles, are playing like absolute crap...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rangers Flounder on Island

What the Halibut!

The Blueshirts reeled in a stinker last night at Uniondale, losing 3-1 to the Islanders. Everyone of our veteran stalwart heroes was skunked. Has this team become so finely tuned around Marian Gaborik that his absence throws everyone's game into the chum bucket?

This team needs to get some grit, ASAP.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Banged Up

FYI, Some Twitter updates on our keys to the kingdom.

Jim Cerny:

at Rangers practice: no Gaborik or Lundqvist on the ice, will tweet more info later...Voros takes Gabby's place on top line today

Torts says Gaborik got hurt in a collision last night, injury not related to previous groin/hip issues...not a serious injury

Gaborik will be evaluated tomorrow and will be game-time decision

To clarify, Gaborik's collision was on-ice last night, Lundqvist's was a one-car fender bender this AM...Henrik is fine, BTW
Steve Zipay:
Lundqvist, Gaborik not practicing

Gaborik, having treatment, was absent; Lundqvist was in fender-bender this AM, uninjured
Andrew Gross:
No Marian Gaborik or Henrik Lundqvist on the ice today for the NY Rangers

Henrik Lundqvist in a one-car fender bender, slid on rainy road, hit guard rail. He is said to be fine.

Tortorella evasive about Gaborik's availability for NYRangers game tomorrow night but said injury is not major and unrelated to hip/groin.

(h/t The NYR blog)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When that Shark Bites

Oh, the shark, babe, has such teeth, dear
And it shows them pearly white
Just a jackknife has old MacHeath, babe
And he keeps it … ah … out of sight.

Ya know when that shark bites, with his teeth, babe
Scarlet billows start to spread
Fancy gloves, though, wears old MacHeath, babe
So there’s nevah, nevah a trace of red.

Now on the sidewalk … uuh, huh … whoo … sunny mornin’ … uuh, huh
Lies a body just oozin' life … eeek!
And someone’s sneakin' ‘round the corner
Could that someone be Mack the Knife? ...

Sharks 7, Rangers 3

Natural Hat Trick:
I loved that Jed Ortmeyer scored tonight. Ignoring my attachment to the Coyotes and all things Prucha for the moment, Jed was a Ranger first and Jed was the ONLY thing to cheer about for a while - namely during the 03-04 season. His attitude and spunk was so vital to the fans during that time and he was a big favorite of mine. They loved and appreciated it and all he brought to the game, every single night. Ignoring the Rangers, and save Prucha doing well in Phoenix, nothing makes me happier than the fact that Jed is playing NHL hockey again.
Scotty Hockey:
So, Donald Brashear was added to protect his teammates and yet he did nothing to protect Avery. The team was flat and blews a 2-0 lead, where was he to have that big fight to get the pendulum to swing back to his team? Nowhere. As ludicrous as it is to say, it is time to dress Aaron Voros. At least he checks people...
Kotsy's Korner:
Sloppy play, penalties, and poor goaltending did the Rangers in tonight. The 3rd period was just basically going through the motions for both teams. The game was really over after the 2nd period...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rangers on a Roll

Ranger Nation is as positive as I've ever seen it. The Rangers have been hitting on all cylinders. This is an exciting team when all the parts are working, and even if some of the parts take the night off like last night, the team still wins.

Holy shmoly! How long can this good vibe last and how will the team handle the inevitable losing streak? Injuries of course are the nightmare scenario that will not be discussed, just to keep that negative mojo out of the mix.

The rest of the league, the media, and even the gamblers are taking note of the resurgent Rangers.

Some reactions from around the horn.

Sean Avery is keeping himself out of the box and on the ice, to the Rangers' benefit.

Sarah Kwak / Sports Illustrated:
Sean Avery's on his best behavior --
Three games in, and already it's apparent that there's something different about Sean Avery's head. This goes beyond the new helmet he was hawking after scoring two goals in the Rangers' 7-2 drubbing of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.

"I want to tell all the kids out there to definitely switch from their Bauer helmets to these Cascade helmets," he said.

"Your check's in the mail," a reporter wittily remarked...

Don't be mistaken. Avery's verbal game is still very much the same. "Some of the things he says [on the ice], you wouldn't believe," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle told reporters earlier this week. But for the first time in a long time, Avery seems to be using his head just as much as his mouth...

The most surprising twist to the Rangers' 6-1-0 start isn't necessarily the 4.00 goals they're averaging per game (tied with Atlanta at the top of the league). They saw a marked scoring increase (2.33 to 2.76) after Tortorella took over last February. It isn't really who's leading the charge. Marian Gaborik has averaged .59 goals per game over the last four years, behind only Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk. No, the biggest surprise is where the rest of the goals are coming from.
In seven games, Rangers defensemen have scored seven of the team's 28...
NY Rangers - - This Week: 1 . . . Last Week: 22
New York Rangers 5-1 A tremendous start for Marian Gaborik, who has nine points and a plus-7 rating in five games but, just as importantly, rookie defencemen Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy aren't looking out of place, which upgrades the blueline corps.
Key Injuries: None.
Dubi Silverstein for Blueshirt Bulletin / Bleacher Report:
New York Rangers: Reasons To Be Cheerful --
Reason No. 37—Why the Power Play Is So ImportantIt can help bail you out on a night where little else is clicking and the opposition is clocking you. It especially helps when it clicks early, and often (well, two power play goals counts as often in today's NHL).

That gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead that the Kings kept threatening to erase but could never completely overcome. Vinny Prospal scored his 200th career goal on the first advantage, and he got help from replay in getting credit for the second, the Rangers' second five-on-three goal in three tries (and the one failed attempt was just a few seconds long).

So make it 9-for-25 (36 percent) in the past five games. How refreshing! ...
Doc's Sports Service:
NHL Power Rankings --
3) New York Rangers (25/1) - The Rangers are playing well offensively and clicking on defense. Marian Gaborik is earning his massive contract so far, and likely will until he inevitably gets hurt. The team has always had the talent, but so far this year they are playing with what they have lacked - cohesiveness and determination.

A training video for the young'uns on firing the deceptive wrist BB.

Gaborik's goal last night

One of the King's popular fans shows his love on BlueshirtsUnited:

King Henrik will save it his way

Friday, October 09, 2009

Resilient Rangers Survive 3rd Period Lapses

Marian Gaborik #10 of the New York Rangers handles the puck against the Washington Capitals

Marian Gaborik scores two third period goals to lift Rangers over Caps, 4-3

Rolling four lines in the fourth period sounds like a good idea in theory, but the Rangers fourth line executed that theory (and almost the game) on the altar of stupid penalties (Voros & Brashear). So Gabby's two goals were like a solar eclipse that silenced the natives as they were screaming for the mighty Ovie to plunge his dagger into the chest of the prostrate visitors, for an Apocalypto sacrifice. But there was no ripping out the still beating Ranger heart, no severing of the head, and pitching it down the temple steps to be caught in a DC bureaucratic bailout basket. Instead the Broadway visitors jumped up, slapped the mighty high-scoring priests of D.C., and ran off into the jungle, to return home with two freshly picked points. Tasty fruit indeed, because it was snatched off the table of the mighty Ovie.

The Prince's stick sword, was another theory that almost executed the good guys. Redirecting to the corner, good idea, until the Prince's mis-guided stick almost skewered the team in the loin. Lundqvist should just keep using his head/helmet to redirect all shots. All the better to help him keep his eye focused on the puck. Good to hear Lundqvist acknowledge that he owes Gaborik a "nice" dinner for those two third period goals. Goats don't usually get off the altar for free.

Callahan, as usual, was a warrior. What was that talk that he might not play?

Best stat of the night: Total ice time: Del Zotto (14:05), Rozsival (8:22). This is the message we've been waiting to get sent. Torts to Michael "Big Contract" Rozsival: keep your weak stuff on the bench. I'm going to let the kid play.

The Resilient Rangers round-up:

Rangers Rants:
Rangers 4, Capitals 3: Postgame wrapup --
Lundqvist had absolutely no explanation for the 90-foot softie he allowed to Nicklas Backstrom.

Coach John Tortorella was thrilled that was not the story of the game.

“Hank’s been bailing us out of some messes along the way here for a while,” Tortorella said. “I’m glad the team hung in there and helped him out, it was good to see...
Stan Fischler / MSG:
'R' as in Rangers Resiliency --
Deflating Alex Ovechkin, Inc. is encouraging enough but it's the combination of goal-scoring when it counts, goaltending to preserve a lead and a machine that is moving into a higher gear as the anticipated Sean Avery return looms on Sunday afternoon at the Garden with the Anaheim Ducks waddling into Manhattan...
Steve Zipay / Newsday:
Gaborik's two goals give Rangers 4-3 win over Capitals --
This was the type of game the Rangers would have lost last season, and maybe the one before that. Give up a fluke goal to erase a one-goal lead. Allow a power-play goal to give the opponent the lead.

Two points flushed away.

Introducing Marian Gaborik: Difference-maker...
Steve Zipay / Blue Notes:
Midnight Wrapup: Rozsival, Gaborik, Lundqvist, stats --
Drury: "We're growing some guts and battling through things on the road. Tehre was a tricky bounce and it's tied up....We just stuck with it and battled back. All we talked about during the day was stay out of the box. We certainly didn't do that, but our penalty kill hung in there (8 for 9). We really gutted it out."
Chris Kotsopoulos / Kotsy's Corner:
This Team is Different! --
That’s the difference that I see so far with this Rangers squad. They do not sit back and lay down like dogs. They kept the pressure on the Caps and just continued to play their game. As a result, they were victorious in the hostile Washington arena. I saw a team tonight that cared for each other out there. They bailed out their star goalie by making sure the Voros penalty’s PP goal would not be the lasting impression of the night. That’s what the word “team” means and this win proves that. This Rangers squad is different in more ways than one. You have to like what you see so far! Over and out!
Notes: The Ranger Pundit, Mike Savino, goes into surgery today for a triple by-pass. Get well soon Mike, your Blueshirts are looking pretty good.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Things in My Crease — 10/8/09

Sean Avery gets more notice for not playing, than most players get for playing.

NY Post:
Rangers await Avery's return --
Come Sunday, John Tortorella will find himself in an envious situation.That's when he'll have to find someone on his roster to sit in favor of Sean Avery, who has set the home matinee against the Ducks as his anticipated return from a preseason knee sprain.But tonight in Washington, the Rangers will have to go without him -- which, three games into the season, has gone just fine.
Is Nikolai Zherdev, now of the KHL (Atlant Moscow Oblast), still owned by a bunch of NHL fantasy teams? Pay attention!
Even superstars get knocked on their keister.

Sid Crosby gets knocked down
NY Times:
N.H.L. Scores: Bankrupt Coyotes Shock the Champions --
Only two games on Wednesday, led by a clash of the high and the low — the glamorous Cup champion Penguins vs. the bankrupt, unfancied Coyotes. And what a surprising result it was. Home teams listed first:

Pittsburgh 0-3 Phoenix. A 24-save shutout for Ilya Bryzgalov as the lowly Desert Dogs rise to a perfect 3-0 start. “There’s no real excuse for it, we weren’t good at all, but we’ve got to move on,” says a shocked Sidney Crosby. Summary
Hockey Fights:
Rick Rypien Needs No Slingshot --
Rick Rypien had to reach up - way up - when he took on Hal Gill last night. With an eight-inch difference in height it’d probably be expected for Rypien to just want to survive, but he was on the offensive for a good portion of the fight. Rypien handled himself more than well, landing a few good shots with a little bit of bounce and magic...

Friday, October 02, 2009

Things in My Crease — 10/2/09

It's Hockey Time!!! NHL season number 92.

Steve Zipay:
Rangers will be on their bench for Pens' ceremony --

To ensure that their players stay focused, some coaches keep them in the locker room during lengthy pregame ceremonies in road arenas.

Friday, Rangers coach John Tortorella and his players won't duck the Stanley Cup banner-raising in the Igloo before the season opener. They will watch the half-hour ceremony from the visiting bench...
Just wondering: would MSG sell the road team's bench seats (if vacant) for a 30 minute ceremony?
Yes, a new blog that follows the hockey fight game.
More evidence that our MSG stat keepers are blind.

Behind The Net:
What's the matter with Madison Square Garden? --
when we look at the data recorded in each NHL rink, we do find "rink effects" - the bias of those watching the game and recording the stats for us. For several seasons, Madison Square Garden has had the shortest shot distance in the NHL (see Alan Ryder's "Product Recall for Shot Quality" for more details.) This is not by chance; there are systematic errors in recording shot location (both for and against) at MSG.
Avs Getting a New Mascot --
It’s anyone’s guess as to what we’ll see..
Is this a sneak peek of the new Avs mascot? Some kind of furry dog (St. Bernard)?
So the Gomez-Gionta-Cammalleri line is called the "Smurf Line"? And they're already clicking?
Canadiens prevail over Maple Leafs in OT
Chris Sprow / ESPN:
In the NHL, We're All Winners --
Forget the Ivy League, the NHL is the real king of grade inflation. And it's genius! Really...
And no Avery.

Andrew Gross /
Rangers gaga for Gaborik --
Tortorella said there was "no possibility" Sean Avery (sprained right knee) would play tonight. …

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