Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lundqvist Beats Brodeur, Again

Martin Brodeur is a Hall Of Fame goalie, so where does that leave Henrik Lundqvist, who beat the great Brodeur for the 19th time in 26 showdowns? Lundqvist came up with 43 saves as the Rangers won their NHL high 13th road game. Their 3-1 win put them at 3-0 against the Devils this year.

The Devils outplayed the Rangers but couldn't outscore them. Rozsival's game winner went off of Devil defenseman Andy Greene past Brodeur and Jon Arnott had Lundqvist dead but shot over the net. But that is how things go when you are on a roll as the Rangers are now. The numbers are staggering. The Rangers are 16-0-0 when taking a lead into the third period. Their 22 wins are tied for the second most in the Eastern Conference and they are now 6th in the Eastern Conference.

They continue their holiday road trip with two games against the Florida franchises. It could be a very Happy New Year. Christensen may be out for a while with a sprained knee but this shouldn't be a problem. The more the so called stars get hurt the more the grinders pick it up.

So have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year and vote for Sean Avery and pray for Jake Feldman and Fran Pizzani.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rangers Roll Over Roloson

No 41 year old man should have to endure what Dwayne Roloson had to put up with last night. The Rangers put 52 shots on the Islander goalie and 7 made it to the back of the net in a 7-2 Ranger rout. The Islanders came in a little cocky with a 4-0-1 run and Roloson had given up only three goals in the last three games. However, the Islander defense was porous, to say the least.

Before the game, coach Jack Capuano had stated that he wanted to get his defense to become more offensive minded. Jack, just a word of advice. Get your defense to play defense. After taking a 2-1 lead in the opening period the Islander defense played Pee-Wee hockey and allowed six straight Ranger goals.

Matt Gilroy had two big goals and his trade value just went up a few notches. Dallas anyone? The Long Islander, who grew up in the shadows of the Coliseum, turned in his best performance of his Ranger career and will surely be mentioned in any trade rumors. Other than that it was business as ususal for the Rangers. Avery had six minutes of ice time after two periods and Rozsival had too much ice time.

Vote for Avery for the All-Star game!

Pray for Jake Feldman and Fran Pizzani!


One of many interesting storm stories.

Fire and Ice:
Elias and Zajac spend night stuck on Route 280 West --
Devils teammates Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac are neighbors, so they are close enough that they decided to drive together to Sunday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Prudential Center.

They are even closer now after their ride home in the snow.

After leaving Prudential Center at approximately 10:45 p.m., Elias and Zajac got stuck with several other cars heading west on Route 280 between exits 10 and 11. They ended up spending the night sleeping in Elias’ car before being woken up int the morning by policemen, who helped them back up to the previous exit .They did not get home until 7:30 a.m...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Tampa Bay

The Rangers were in a holiday festive mood and Michal Rozsival and Dan Girardi played Santa Claus to the kids from Tampa Bay. What wonderful giveaways to St. Louis and Stamkos for the Lightnings first two goals. But this is the season for giving and why not. It is surprising that Rozsival still has to give. You would think he would be dry by now. But no sweat he has a large sack. However, unlike Santa who only gives around Christmas, Rozsival gives all year long. He is an equal opportunity give away artist.

The loss, though not unexpected marred the fine performance of two young stars, Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello. With a name like that Mats can't miss. Stepan scored the game tying goal that gave the Rangers a point. Mats scored the shootout tying goal but it was to no avail as Tampa Bay won the shootout in the eleventh round. Zuccarello was rewarded for his hard work by being returned to Hartford. Rozsival will be rewarded with another 20 plus minutes of ice time the next game.

Christmas may only come once a year but when Michal Rozsival is on the ice it's Christmas every day, for the other team.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.


Kevin D. over at The NY Rangers blog does a great job keeping us updated on the Vote Avery into the All-Star Game campaign and all things Avery. Keep it up Kevin and Sean will come and crash your 80th birthday party. So here's a A-very Merry Christmas.

NY Rangers Blog:
NHL Promoting Avery Write-in Campaign --

Could it be that the NHL in some crazy way is excited about the possibility of the exposure an Avery All Star bid would bring to the game? Nah...
NY Rangers Blog:
We Need A Little Avery Right This Very Minute --
As part of Puck Daddy's NHL Holiday Card/Song Art Contest, comes these two Sean Avery inspired Christmas songs...
NY Rangers Blog:
All I Want for Christmas Is Avery in the All Star Game --
... we can really take advantage of the Christmas weekend as voting is sure to be way down. As long as we keep voting, Avery is sure to make a big comeback...
NY Rangers Blog:
Avery Continues Climb & Cuts Into Lead for All Star Game -- released the latest All Star Game balloting numbers and Sean Avery continued his climb up the rankings to #16 jumping Johan Franzen and Eric Staal with 129,580 votes...
NY Rangers Blog:
A Young Avery on 'The Season' --
With HBO's 24/7 all the rage, From the Rink gives us every episode of ESPN's The Season covering the Detroit Red Wings' 2002-2003 season. One episode included a large segment on a brash rookie named Sean Avery (2 minute mark)...
Could not agree more with the coaching craziness and "mistreatment" regarding Sean's playing time. Why in God's name would 3 D-men: Rozsival, Staal, and especially Matt Gilroy get shootout chances ahead of Sean Avery? Gilroy has not scored a goal this year. Torts has some serious issues regarding Sean Avery. Why sacrifice a chance at a shootout win by not using him ahead of Gilroy?  This is ridiculous.

The Rangers Tribune:
Avery Being Mistreated by Coaches --
It has gotten to the point where I have no choice but to address the issue. Sean Avery is being mistreated by the coaching staff and the fact that the pesky forward did not get an attempt in last night’s 11-round shootout against the Tampa Bay Lightning was the final straw...

And then last night, in an eleven round shootout, many fans were calling for Avery to be put out there. I would know since I was in attendance among the Garden crowd. But when players like Michal Rozsival were coming over the boards, we all collectively realized that whatever Tortorella has against Avery was getting in the way of him getting a chance, and that there would be no Sean Avery in the shootout...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sean Avery Crashes The Ranger Pundit's Birthday Bash

Sean Avery (right) crashes Mike Savino's 80th birthday party to wish him well.
Mike Savino and Sean Avery at the Ranger Pundit's
80th Birthday Party

Sean Avery (right) talks with Mike Savino at the Ranger Pundit's 80th birthday party
Mike and Sean talk hockey at the Ranger Pundit's 80th birthday party. Celebrated at the Il Mulino wine cellar
The funniest things happen on an off day .....

The family threw a surprise 80th birthday party for me this Sunday at Il Mulino in Roslyn, LI, NY. Appropriately it was held in the wine cellar, courtesy of my daughter-in-law, who like me, loves the vino !!! They were all there, family and friends, all twenty-five of them, and the big surprise guest who was introduced by number two son. Of course the whole party was a big surprise.

There were long time friends from Washington state and a long time co-worker from Mountain View, California. Those were big surprises. There were number two sons boyhood pals who were like sons to me, they were called the Three Amigos, and that was quite a surprise.

All four children, all three grandchildren and my next door neighbors, another wonderful surprise. My friend, the great Duke fan, who presented me with a Duke cap which I shall have to wear, despite the fact that I am a North Carolina Tar Heel fan. And of course jb was there. And then the surprise guest. In the middle of number two son's intro in walked............ Sean Avery. Yes, "the" Sean Avery.

Surprise to end all surprises. Needless to say he was engulfed by my family and friends. This rough, tough, take no prisoners hockey player picked up a new legion of fans which hopefully will vote for him for the All-Star game. He was gracious and spent plenty of time to pose for pictures, sign autographs, answer all types of questions and talk hockey with the Pundit. For a guy with the rep of being a tough guy, the bad boy of hockey, he was nothing but friendly and open to all. How many professional athletes on their off day would take the time to go to "Islander country" to wish Happy Birthday to The Pundit? He stayed a little over an hour because he had to go to a charity event in Manhattan. I don't believe there was one person in the party that doesn't have a picture of him or her with Sean Avery. He did admit that my site gets more hits than his site. Of course he gets the hits where they count, on the ice.

The Ranger Pundit has been blessed over the years with a wonderful wife and a great family and equally wonderful friends. They say if you have one friend you are rich. Well in that case I am a wealthy man. As you all know I have been a Ranger fan for 73 years now and in that time there has been much suffering and gnashing of teeth. But there have been good times too. The beauty of the Rangers is not so much the team as it is the fans. It is the fans that have kept the tradition going, more than it has been because of the team winning. Two cups in my 73 years of watching, so not much a tradition of winning.

Over the years it has been poor management, poor coaching and poor public relations. But tell me, what team in the New York area has a more loyal base? The Yankees? It's easy to root for the Yankees, they are winners. But there is something about the Rangers that you fall in love with. It's the prodigal son. It's the bad boy gone good. It's Sean Avery who is our Huckleberry Finn. I have had the privilege over the years of meeting some of the Rangers and talking with them.

Adam Graves, Jeff Buekeboom, Rod Gilbert, Gump Worsley and now Sean Avery. All winners and all class individuals. Thanks for the memories guys. Thanks for the party family and friends. For you out there in Ranger Pundit land thanks and vote for Sean Avery in the All-Star game and say a pray for Jake Feldman and Fran Pizzani.

God bless you all!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Zorro Zaps Rangers

They usually come back to haunt you. It's amazing how these guys do it. There was Nikolai Zherdev, persona non grata at MSG, leading the Philadelphia Flyers over our heroes with two goals as the Flyers creamed the Rangers, again, 4-1. I'm always amazed how guys who were ripped into on a nightly basis go to another team and star. Zherdev now has 13 goals, but can he play defense? I've said for a long time that if Gretzky had come up through the Ranger system he never would have achieved the records he did. Poor defense.

This game showed how far behind the Rangers are to challenging for the top spot. The Flyers had control of the game from the start of Rozsival's giveaway to Richards. Fortunately Lundqvist saved that one. However we will continue to see that waste get 20 plus minutes a night. What did Avery get? Ten minutes?

Anyhow, The Dark Ranger keeps getting darker with each Flyer-Ranger game, but there is hope. We 'only' have four more games with them. You think we could use Zorro now with this team? Naw. Too soft on defense.

So, keep voting for Sean Avery for the all-star game.


Torts postgame remarks:


Scotty Hockey
adds some more insight on the Rosey problem:
[the Rangers] have a good excuse for losing.

... The continued employment of Michal Rozsival and Michael Del Zotto. The pairing was nothing short of atrocious, directly accountable for the first three Philly goals. They both step up at inopportune times to add nothing to the play in the other end, they both abandon their positions and coverages and they both aren't physically strong enough to matter in the Ranger zone. That Torts keeps this pair of offensive defensemen (dual meaning completely intended) together is shocking considering how well both Eminger and Sauer have been through much of this season...
How does a 3 goal loss against a team that dominated the play constitute a "narrow miss"? The Rangers PR guy, Jim Cerny, puts a crazy spin on the Philly game with this ill-conceived title:
Rangers narrowly miss a dream sweep

Apology To My Blueshirt Heaven

On my last post I used the title "In Prust We Trust". Unknown to me this title was previously used by My Blue Heaven on a previous post. I apologize for the use or misuse of the same title. Despite the fact that My Blue Heaven is linked on The Ranger Pundit it failed to get my attention. So many posts, so many titles. Unfortunately I do not get to read them all. In the future I will carefully scan all blogs so as not to repeat the error. The Pundit has posted over 800 blogs and this is the first one that we cross posted.

So one more time to my friends at My Blue Heaven. I apologize.

The Ranger Pundit

Friday, December 17, 2010

In Prust We Trust

When the Rangers signed Brandon Prust they were looking for a mucker. Fourth liner. Get into the corners and protect your team mates. What a surprise. What they got was a spark plug. With the disappearance of Marian Gaborik and the deterioration of Chris Drury the team must turn to grit and determination to win games. Who is grittier and more determined then Prust?

Last night he turned the game around with a short handed goal as Coyote goalie Jason LaBarbera totally misplayed a Ranger clearing pass. The goal, with six seconds left in the second period cut the Ranger deficit to one goal and led the way to the third period comeback. It was Prust's fifth goal of the year, his third shorthanded and the Rangers eighth shorthanded goal of the year, tops in the NHL.

The win, in the shootout, was the third straight for the Blueshirts, and they are now even at home, 8-8-1. The Rangers with 41 points are now fifth in the Eastern Conference and have more points than Montreal and Washington, who are leading their respective Divisions. The other goal scorers last night were Girardi and Stepan.

Its obvious that the Rangers aren't going to have any big goal scorers this year but it might be the year of the non scorer. For the Rangers it has to be the year of grit and determination. For this the Rangers are well armed. Avery, Callahan, Dubinsky, Prust and an ever improving Boyle are a formidable force. With this group and a rock solid Lundqvist in the nets the Rangers may indeed be the surprise many of you out there think they will be.

In Prust we trust!

ICINGS: Game highlights.

The NY Rangers Blog:
Thank You, Now Get Back to Voting --
I just wanted to give a quick thank you to everyone who participated in "Vote for Avery Day" yesterday.

From the overwhelming response I received, I can definitely tell you we made a huge dent in the 125,000 vote deficit.

One thing that actually angered me last night at the Rangers game. During a stoppage, the P.A. announcer asked Ranger fans to make sure they voted for the Rangers three All Star candidates Marian Gaborik, Marc Staal and Henrik Lundqvist. While I have no problem with them pumping up those players, how do they not acknowledge Sean Avery? He has the best chance of any Ranger to get voted into the game and nothing. Hey Rangers, Sean Avery is on your team!!!...
Torts postgame.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

You Just Gotta Believe

Okay so Brent Johnson is not the best backup goalie in the world but you have to like the way the Rangers blitzed him and the Pens in the third period. The Rangers have now won two impressive victories over the two top teams in the Eastern Conference. Their third period outburst of four unanswered goals was their most productive period in ages.

The win was the second this year at the Pens new arena. And while the four goal period was unusual there was nothing unusual about the defensive play and Lundqvist's netminding. In two games against two explosive teams Lundqvist gave up one goal.

The bad news, and why must there always be bad news with the Rangers, was the loss of Ryan Callahan to a broken hand. Drury returns from a broken finger and Callahan goes out with a broken hand. Not a good trade. Callahan is one two in hits and blocked shots in the NHL. To say this guy will be missed is a vast understatement.

However, the dream and the belief that this team is a lot better than the sum of all its parts continues to live on. Grit and determination can overcome individual skill anytime and that is what is happening here. So it's the 'Yotes tonight and let's see if we can win a home game against a team not rated as highly as the Pens and the Caps.

You just gotta believe.


Today is Vote Avery Day. Vote early and often.

The NY Rangers Blog:
Happy Vote for Avery Day!!!! --

With Avery 125,000 votes behind Steve Stamkos for the third and final spot, today's event is neccesary for getting him in. So please get your 100+ votes in then start spreading the word to family, friends and co-workers via Twitter, Facebook and e-mail.

As I said yesterday, we'll probably need 1,250 Rangers fans voting for Avery 100+ times to make a dent into the hole we're in.

"Vote for Avery Day" got off to a great start yesterday as Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy dedicated a five minute segment on today's event which you can listen to here (5:58 mark).

update note: If you want to cast your 100 Avery speed votes online, 1st type his name in as a write-in vote. His name and picture then appear on the forwards picture board. You can continue just voting for him and no one else to speed up your voting. Once you have written him in, he'll stay up on the board. Or you can send text msgs ("Avery" to 81812).

Letang, Avery, LaRose benefitting from text voting --

The New York Rangers' Sean Avery ranks 18th in voting among forwards thanks almost entirely to text voting. Of his 93,600 votes, almost half -- 45,812, second among all players -- have come from text voting. It's enabled Avery to rank ahead of Jeff Carter, Nicklas Backstrom, Patrick Sharp and Alexander Semin in the overall voting among forwards...
Oilers rookie Linus Omark will turn the shootout into a figure skating contest. Next time down he will be doing a toe loop followed by a wrister.

For reference, here is Dean Youngblood:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Their Finest Hour

Santa Claus came early for the Rangers and their fans last night. They were wonderful. Artem Anisimov played like Jean Ratelle, Marc Staal made like Brian Leetch with a beautiful short handed goal and Brandon Dubinsky made like Gordie Howe with a goal, an assist and a fight. And who did he fight? None other than the great Ovechkin. To top it off there was Henrik Lundqvist making like, er....Henrik Lundqvist with another shutout.

Did Christmas come early? No. It was the Rangers playing their most complete game in years, dismantling the Washington Caps, 7-0. The Rangers are now 7-8-1 at home and hopefully this wasn't a one shot deal. Hopefully they will build on this one. Despite some injuries the Caps are a formidable foe and this has to be a confidence builder.

Maybe this could start a home ice run of wins to match the road record. Who knows maybe the lines will stay together for a while. However, that means Avery stays glued to the 4th line. I believe he got into a brawl to get off the ice and the bench for a while. I may be wrong, but if he could, the coach would jettison Avery the first chance he gets. Maybe wrong, but I don't think so.


The Rangers also racked up a fighting hat trick with 3 out of 3 wins.
Alexander Ovechkin vs Brandon Dubinsky -- Who won?

Brandon Dubinsky -- 70.8%
Alexander Ovechkin -- 14.9%
Draw -- 14.3%
(171 votes / 5.1 rating)
Matt Hendricks vs Michael Sauer -- Who won?
Michael Sauer -- 45.2%
Draw -- 39.7%
Matt Hendricks -- 15.1%
(73 votes / 3.8 rating)
Matt Hendricks vs Sean Avery -- Who won?
Sean Avery -- 83.7%
Matt Hendricks -- 10.2%
Draw -- 6.1%
(98 votes / 5.6 rating)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Road Magic Goes Poof

The Rangers road magic ended with a thud last night when their rock, Henrik Lundqvist, cracked and let in a soft goal by Rick Nash in a devastating loss, 3-1, to the Columbus Blue Jackets. This was a game that the Rangers should have won as Columbus was reeling with a 1-5-1 record but as we have seen before, the Rangers couldn't capitalize on the opportunity.

While it is easy to blame Lundqvist for letting in a soft goal, where was the offense? With Gaborik struggling to score there doesn't seem to be anyone to pick up the slack. The only goal scored last night was by Marc Staal. The Rangers put 32 snots on goal but were 1-5 on the power play. I guess when you are struggling 20% on the power play is pretty good. Of course it would probably help if the lines stayed together for a whole game.

So tonight it's the Caps at the Garden, where the Rangers are 6-8-1. Can't make the playoffs with a losing home record and can't make the playoffs relying on one guy to score, especially when he is in a scoring slump. The Rangers have the grit and the determination. What they need now is some scoring help before it's too late.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Another Stinking Home Loss

I have been saying for a long time that this Ranger team lacks consistency. Last night they proved me wrong. Last night they were consistent. Consistenly bad. They started slow and in the end they came to a stop as they watched Chris Kelly score the second of his three goals enroute to a 3-1 Ranger loss.

Usually there is some good in a loss. Not last night. Bad enough the top line was on when the winning goal was scored. Bad enough that the Rangers were on a power play when Kelly scored his first goal. Bad enough that the Kelly goal was the first goal for Ottawa in over 200 minutes. Bad enough that the Rangers didn't show up.

In the last three home games the Rangers have scored just four goals and one was an empty netter. After the game the coach thought that the power play looked good. The Rangers were 0-4 on the power play, got a total of three shots, all on the last PP, and the coach says they looked good. Looked good? Does that mean they were clean shaven? They keep on looking that good and we may never win another game.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Scratching Coin

Brooksie makes makes some poignant observations about the shoddy management of the Rangers' roster by our one and only Stealth GM. But no one cares about the man hiding behind the curtain when the team pokes its head above the .500 level. When mediocrity is the benchmark, shooting for better is a pipe dream.

Larry Brooks / NY Post:
Rangers' spare parts prevent them from getting Stars' Richards --

When the Rangers meet the Senators at the Garden tonight, winger Todd White and defenseman Matt Gilroy are likely to resume their positions as healthy scratches.

This means, as is customary when the remaining 17 skaters are healthy, the Blueshirts will have players taking up $4.125 million of cap space in civilian clothes.

This comes at a cost beyond dollars.

For the longer general manager Glen Sather keeps such expensive spares on the roster, the more difficult it will become to deal for the Stars’ Brad Richards once the financially distressed franchise yields to reality and seeks to move the impending free agent blue-chip center.

The more difficult, in fact, it will become to acquire any substantial player as long as the Blueshirts, $1.544 million under the cap, carry this type of excess at the approximate price of $22,500 per day for their scratches...
Is Sean Avery promoting the The Avery Look?

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Maybe it was crossing the East River that did it. Maybe it was the sight of a capacity crowd. Whatever it was the kids from Long Island and Manhattan decide to atone for all their defensive lapses and play a tight game at the Garden. The end result was the same however with another Ranger win. This one, a 2-0 shutout with an empty netter by Brian Boyle with less than 3 seconds remaining in the game sewing it up.

The Rangers first goal was scored by Marc Staal on a power play. The Isles were 0-2 on the PP and their frustration on the PP has now reached 0-32 in ten games. Lundqvist recorded his 4th shutout of the season, the 28th of his career and the 5th against the Islanders. He never had an easier shutout and except for one crossbar hit he was really never tested.

You could say the Rangers are rolling right now. This was their 6th win in the last 8 games. They are 7-0-0 in the second game of back to back games. They are 9-2-1 in one goal games and are 13-0-0 when leading after 2 periods. In the last 17 games at the Garden against the Islanders the Rangers are 13-1-3. You could say it but I won't. Right now they are 5th in the Eastern Conference.

Reader Kid Dynamite credits this resurgence to the grinders, Avery, Callahan, Dubinsky and Prust. He may be right. Reader, Section 335, sees the glass half full for almost the same reason. So let's stay optimistic and maybe The Four Grinders will carry us through to the playoffs and beyond. Don't they say that a New Year will bring changes (ouch). We are almost to that New Year so hope springs eternal.


Here's one way to show the NHL and Gary Bettman who's boss. Avery has shown he can be a first line player and he's one of our All-Stars.

Rangers Tribune:
Rangers Supporting Vote for Avery Campaign -- 

The New York Rangers have finally come around and started to support the "Vote for Avery" campaign, which began on Ranger blogs like this one about a month ago. In an effort to get Sean Avery into the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, we have been asking fans to continuously vote for him in the fan balloting. So far it has worked great because Avery is currently 23rd among forwards in the balloting, ahead of players like Joe Thornton and Ilya Kovalchuk. You guys have done a spectacular job of supporting our campaign.

Now that the Rangers have jumped on board, we really believe that we can make this happen. In order to get fans to vote for Sean, they created the banner below, which can be found on their official Facebook page:
I voted Sean Avery for the NHL 2011 All-Star Game poster
... Please continue to vote for Sean at or by texting his name to 81812 ...

Friday, December 03, 2010

Pond Hockey At The Coliseum

The game they played at the Coliseum last night is the same kind of game I see when I go to The Rinx in Hauppage and watch the Pee Wees play. I would have to admit that my Grandson Nicholas and his cohorts play a better brand of defense then the two teams played last night. The three goalies were left out to dry. Everyone wanted the puck and everyone wanted to score. And score they did.

The Islanders scored five goals, for only the second time this year, and both times against the Rangers. The Rangers countered with six, led by Marian Gaborik's hat trick. It was Gabby's second hat trick of the season. His linemates, Christensen and Avery also prospered. Christensen with a goal and an assist and Avery with three assists. The line put up the best performance of any Ranger line this year. However, don't get too excited as there is no guarantee with this coach that the line will stay together that long.

Surely they will be together at the start of tonights encore game. After that all bets are off and their longevety will be determined by their play or the whims of the coach. While Gaborik seems to be regaining his scoring touch and Avery continues to play a solid all around game the inconsistency that surrounds the team continues to be the big factor in their performance. The biggest inconsistency however lies with the coaching staff and their constant shuffling and insistence that certain players get ice time despite poor performances. Ice time seems to rely more on reputation and salaries than it does on performance. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

See you at The Rinx tonight!

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