Friday, December 24, 2010

Rangers v. Bolts 12/23/10

I haven't blogged in a while because I was away for the weekend and only saw the 3rd period of the game against the Coyotes.

So last night - I don't have that much to say about it.  They played one of their best games in a while, but Ellis was ridiculous and the smallest mistakes led to goals for the other team. 

I wish Prusty was able to get a stick on that loose puck when they were shorthanded.  It probably would have turned the game around right there.

If EC teaches the rest of the guys some shootout moves, can they teach him a little more consistency than he has?

Clutch rookie is clutch and perfect rookie is perfect. The Calder committee had better take a good look at Derek Stepan or they're idiots.

Zuke had a great debut, but I understand if he doesn't come back up right away.  If he can't play top 6 minutes, then let him play max time in Hartford.  The kid seems to really get that too, he just wants to play.  I also think Todd White belongs in the press box or in Hartford or anywhere but on the ice and Aves deserves more minutes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Call Ups

It seems like every fan is saying bring up Zuccarello.  I could not disagree with this more.  I absolutely think that MZA should stay in Hartford.  One week ago Torts said he wasn't ready...the kid JUST started surging in Hartford a couple of weeks ago, that doesn't mean he's suddenly ready for the big leagues. (see Torts' comment here: http://twitter.com/JimCerny/status/13671383535980544)

There is not a single player in Hartford who can replace the loss of heart on the ice.  No one has Cally's passion and no one gives 110% every minute they are on the ice the way that Ryan Callahan does.  Bringing up someone who needs minutes to grow is only going to hinder the growth of the prospect.

Deny it all you want, but when it comes to talent...Drury and Callahan are very similar.  As much as we all love Cally, even he admits that he's not the most skilled player, it's his heart and passion that make up for it.  Drury can kill penalties, play on the power play, score at clutch moments, block shots, and throw hits.  If he practices on the wing with Artie and Dubi, he can probably develop some chemistry with them too.  I am not saying Dru can replace Cally in any sense, but he has the experience to play the minutes and from what he showed last night, he is ready for the challenge.

If anyone gets called up, it's someone who would not be harmed by playing 4th line minutes.  It would have to be a physical player who can also create offense.  Whoever it is would be playing less than 10 minutes a game.  It would be a WASTE to bring up one of the kids who is trying to grow to make the team full time next year.

One more thing - if MZA does get called up and proves that he's not ready, the entire fanbase is going to turn on him.  More reason for him to stay in Hartford for now.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rangers v. Pens 12/15/10

Anyone who knows me at all knows where this post will start.

The heart and soul of the team.  The identity of the team.  The one man who personifies everything that the Rangers want to be.  The 2nd leading scorer.  He's now sidelined for about 6 weeks.  I'm sure we've all gotten used to Sam and Joe saying "Callahan looks hurt" and then a few minutes later, Cally's back on the ice blocking shots like a beast and connecting with Dubi on some kind of play where it seems almost impossible that they'd find each other.  Not this time.  Slapshot to the hand, broken bone, out 6 weeks.  This team has to make up for a lot more than Cally's hits, play making, and shot blocking...they have to make up for Cally's heart.  Ironic almost that the real captain comes back from a broken finger just for the "acting captain" to go out with a broken hand.  Is Drury a jinx? Maybe...last time he came back from an injury (and got hurt again) Gabs got hurt too.  Torts looked like he could cry during the postgame, that's how important Ryan Callahan is to this team.

Now onto the game -- it looked like it was going to stay 1-0...they were playing great in their own zone except for a small defense lapse which was more both Marc and Danny buying into a fake shot by Crosby and giving Malkin the opening.

I'm down on Christensen a lot, but this isn't his first time being clutch.  I guess we have some more time with him now that Cally's out for him to prove his worth.  Then Fro...that was a great shot, where's it been all season?  Maybe now he'll keep playing like that last 10 minutes.

Brian Boyle can never be praised enough.  I guess he's my favorite active player now?  He'll never replace Cally as my favorite, but he's just been consistent and hard working.  Apparently he was too tired to try to make a play on his goal, so he shot it...guess it worked. Sexy shot too.  Aside from that....he took so many hits and he covered Crosby and Malkin whenever Staal wasn't right there...he dished out hits when necessary and did whatever he could to stay in the game.

I was not expecting a comeback like that at all and I wish they could play the way they play 3rd period on the road in every period of every game.  Leading the league in road wins and shorthanded goals are two things they should be proud of...get some wins at the Garden, and this team is even more of a contender.

As for the disallowed goal...Hank said he couldn't move because Dupuis was on him...Rozi was there too, so I guess it could be a questionable call...but Hank's been interfered with so many times and the goals have counted that it's bound to be called in his favor eventually.

I was impressed with Drury...he was 2-1 on faceoffs, I believe and he started a 2-on-1 rush on the PK even though Dubi couldn't finish.  I still say Welcome Back, Captain Clutch.

I hope they dedicated that 3rd period and that win to Cally....and that they play that way for the next 6 weeks without him and throughout the season with him.

Welcome Back, Captain Clutch

I've seen a lot of talk about people who either don't care about Dru coming back or don't want him to come back.  I, like pretty much every Ranger fan, do not like Chris Drury's contract...he makes a lot more money than he's worth.  HOWEVER, he is still the captain.  We may all see Ryan Callahan as the heart, soul, leader, and identity of the team...and all of this is true, but there's more that we, as fans, can't see.  I'm sure if there wasn't something about Dru in the locker room that exuded what the Rangers want to be, then he would be stripped of the C.

Torts even said that he's the captain, of course everyone is welcoming him back.  The Rangers are also currently 29th in the league in faceoffs...cue Chris Drury...he'll take some of the more important faceoffs and maybe get some wins.  Our PK has been pretty solid and he'll add to that, especially against the Pens.  While the two teams are currently very close in PP%, the Pens also get more PPs than the Rangers.

Also, having their captain back is going to give the boys energy.  They're going to want to go out there guns blazing tonight and I think Dru will only help that.  He didn't displace anyone on the team who the fans find important...and Torts said that it would be either White or EC...although tonight it's White, when Boogey's better and we're playing a team with a tough guy, I wouldn't mind if EC starts seeing some time in the press box to make room for someone who is key in the most clutch situations.

So say what you wish, I'm happy about the return of Captain Clutch AS LONG AS the identity of the team does not change.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rangers v. Caps 12/13/10

The people sitting next to me at the Garden last night said "how can a team lose 3-1 to Columbus then come back and do this against the Caps"...my answer? They played for each other last night.  Hank admitted that he was killing himself over that goal and he needed to prove that he's better than that.  The true fans know that he is (while others still believe that he's not the best goalie because he lets in softies) and last night there were many moments that I thought the shutout would end.  Then the last 2 minutes, the rest of the team didn't care about the blow out, they didn't want more goals, they wanted to give Hank the shutout.  While EC's penalty was stupid (on his part) at the same time, it helped because they didn't have to worry about icing the puck, they could just shoot it and get it away from Hank.

The work in the neutral zone was amongst the most impressive.  The Rangers completely owned the neutral zone, between hits and poke checks, the Caps couldn't hold onto the pucks.  We do have to realize that the Caps were not playing their best game and I have no idea why Varlamov was not pulled 5 minutes into the second.  Artie's and Dubi's goals probably could have been stopped.

I've always referred to Cally as the heart and soul of the team...but he's not the only one anymore.  Brandon Prust plays with so much heart, that every time he scores or his line scores, his smile lights up the entire place.  He loves being out there and being part of that team and there's nothing I'd rather see in a player.

Dubi.  He had a bit of a drought, now he's getting his scoring touch back.  After he took down Ovi (that fight will definitely live on for a while), I texted a friend saying "he needs an assist," but at the same time, I was thinking "oh, they're not gonna score again...they scored 4 times already."  He did it though...2nd career Gordie Howe...but this time he won the fight.

Artie's slump is over.  I love that Russian and it was great to see a goal and assist..whatever Torts said to him on Friday worked and I hope this sticks.

Marc Staal has become something else.  He was attached to Ovi last night, just like he was to Nash for the majority of Saturday night.  He's scored in 3 of the last 4 game, I think? He's worth every cent of that contract he signed this summer.  I just need to buy an A to put on my jersey because I don't think Prospal's getting it back when he returns.

now onto Dru's return...I love our captain, maybe not his contract...but Dru's clutch when he needs to be.  What I don't get is why people are actually questioning who is out of the line up right now...if Boogey's out, obviously Todd White is gone. He's gonna go to Hartford or get shopped...he played more minutes last night than he usually does, so it's possible.  Drury should fit on a line with EC and Fro, but we'll see what Torts does.  If Boyle and Prust get separated though, I'll be PISSED.  Against Pittsburgh AT Pittsburgh, we're going to need Dru on our PK.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rangers v. Blue Jackets 12/11/10

Should I go with the herd and blame Hank?  Marc fell on the rush and lost Nash who somehow got a bad angle shot in the net.  Hank could have hugged the post more? I don't know, I've never been a goalie so I don't know if there's a way to eliminate that.  For an elite goaltender like Hank that should have been an easy save, I assume..but he missed it.  The team tried to rally back and didn't...

As for the rally...why the fuck did Torts put that PP team out in desperation?  Frolov has done shit, Torts has called him out for his bad play, in times of desperation, don't fuck around.  Put out the top PP team, the guys who have scored on the power play.  I'm not blaming the team as much here as I am Torts...he knows who strives under pressure and who has been folding all season.  Had he put the special team that produces out there, they might have been able to tie the game back up.

There were some great shots on goal tonight, each one stopped by Mason.  He dove out of the net to stop some shots.  Dubi, Cally, Steps, Gaby, and Boyle all had some great shots...none got past Mason.

Gilroy is making a case for himself as to why he belongs in the line up. 

I'm not going to say that the team did nothing wrong...but as I've said before, if you say things like "typical crap" and "this team sucks" then you're not a fan and if I follow you on twitter, you'll meet my favorite button...unfollow.  I just don't get it....what does being so down and negative on a team you supposedly support  do for you?  How does hating something you love get out frustration - go punch a fucking wall.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rangers v. Sens 12/9/10

Imagine if they played every game for 60 minutes like it was the 3rd period on the road?  While the 3rd period was still sloppy, it was much better than the first 2....which has become quite the theme.

Now that we've seen that shot from Sauer, I want to see more of it.  He used his PP time better than some of the other guys.  He might have made the biggest mistake on his first PK shift and yeah, from the second he threw the puck we all knew it was going in...but he made up for it and we got the win.

Why can't the Calder be decided based on overall play...the committee most likely is just going to look at the numbers and guys like Logan Couture and Jordan Eberle.  Too bad because Stepan sees the ice better than a lot of veterans.  The kid knows where his linemates are AND where they're going to be.  I guess we can just hope Torts keeps him with Gaby because the two of them work.  He's gotten points in almost every game where he's been on that top line.  As for Feds on that line, I didn't think I would like it...but I did because that trio worked, so way to go Torts?

So glad Dubi finally ended his goal drought...empty netter or not, it still had to feel good.  Did Gonchar get an assist on that?  Also, I was thrilled to see Dubi standing up for his boyfriend after that nasty hit...no one hits Cally like that and gets away with it (and of course Cally, being the beast he is, didn't miss a beat).

The 2nd goal for the Sens was such bullshit...one of their guys pushes Marc onto Hank then stays there so they can't get up...yeah...sucked.

Mr. Carrie Underwood's almost goal was pretty damn impressive...crossbar, post, post, out...didn't cross the line at all.  Wow.

As for the "blood flicking" incident...yeah, it's gross and unsanitary, but I don't think it's suspendable.  I saw a lot of comparisons to the Wiz blowjob incident...I think the biggest difference is that Wiz's action was on television and inappropriate for children during a day time game.  I know it doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal, but the NHL was covering their asses from law suits from parents about allowing that kind of behavior.

The two points against Columbus tomorrow are as important as the 2 points against Ottawa were last night.  After Columbus we're playing 4 hot teams - the Caps (though they've had a few bad losses lately), the Pens (in Pittsburgh, draw your own conclusions), the Yotes, and the Flyers.  It's gonna be a difficult week for our boys so let's hope they up their came to consistent hard work.

ETA: I left out my opinion on DZ.  I think that he needed a night in the press box and I've been saying it for a while.  He's had more than one horrible game, sure he's had some good games too...but he's not putting up numbers in any columns except giveaways and losing the zone.  We all know that he's a lot better than that, so hopefully sitting out will light a fire under him.  Gilroy's been good in every game he played and it's sucked that he's spent more time in the press box than on the ice.  I guess that's one positive if Emmy's still hurt tomorrow (which I'm not happy about at all...besides him getting hurt on the play, the way he was taken down should've been a coincidental minor against Foligno), both Gilroy and DZ will be in the line up.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rangers v. Sens 12/5/10

I wish people would start selling their tickets for what they feel the team is worth.  Seriously, I would LOVE to get Rangers tickets for under $30 from these people who hate the team so much that they have nothing positive to say about them ever.

Yes, that first period was a mess and they did not show up.  I'm not going to say that they looked like they were trying hard and working hard because that would be a lie.  Hank was there, luckily...without him that first period could have been an absolute disaster.

I understand that they are professional athletes and they are paid to go out there and play the best hockey they possibly can...but that does not make it any easier for them to be under pressure and have guys on them and shoot at the exact perfect angle.  We can make jokes about DZ shooting wide...but that's not what I'm talking about.  I mean when there are players in front of the net and they miss -- I would like to see every fan who bashes them for that get out there and try it themselves.  A lot of the problems tonight were from not elevating the puck on LeClaire...or lifting them too high and having them go over the net.

That kind of leads me to the odd man rushes -- they got a couple of them and some of the shots were nice and on point, but LeClaire covered them and didn't even let a rebound out. 

Being frustrated is one thing...bashing a team you supposedly support is another.

They know what to expect from this team on Thursday, so we can hope they come out with more energy.

Good things? I think that Steps is showing a lot of improvement quarterbacking the PP and Torts agrees with that.  Yeah, he let the shorthanded breakaway get away from him, but first off there should have been a penalty call when Gaby got tripped, then second he's got tripped up chasing him down...it happens.
Sauer is impressing me more every game.  I want to see the player he becomes when he gets more NHL experience.  He's leading the league in +/- for a rookie and is tied with John Carlson of Washington.
Feds seemed to be gaining the offensive zone more than anyone else...that's saying something about the rest of the team.
There were definitely shifts where they had really good, sustained pressure, they just didn't finish.

Also - just a "fun" fact: during pre-season, Chris Kelly scored a hat trick against the Rangers which included both a shorthanded goal and an empty netter.

I think I'm too frustrated with Ranger "fans" to write a legit recap, so I'm gonna stop here.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Rangers v. Isles 12/3/10

The game was boring. I was drunk and it was still boring....so my notes are gonna be short.

First...why is Jon Sim breathing? He touched the King TWICE and no one went after him...remember when Cally had that borderline dirty elbow...he got challenged immediately.  The fight was lame, but Cally prob would have gotten his ass kicked if he tried to throw punches.  But seriously, I was incredibly disappointed that no one beat the shit out of him at least after the 2nd time .

Where the fuck did that Marc Staal slapshot come from?  That was one of the sexiest goals that I have ever seen. Nothing else needs to be said.

The King is now 2nd in shut outs to Tim Thomas and tied with Carey Price...however, it was an "easier" shutout...only 17 saves.  However, 28 games into the season, he has as many shutouts as last year and only had more in 2 seasons (5 in '06-'07 and 10 in '07-'08).  Regardless of his struggles this season, he's still the king.

Brian scored on the empty net. I told him that he scores whenever I get his autograph before the game. He told me to keep it up.

Friday, December 3, 2010


And to everyone who has issues with the Vote for Avery campaign, I just want to remind you that the voting is only for the top 3 forwards.  The rest of the team is chosen by the NHL and they can choose whoever they want regardless of voting...therefore Dubi can still be the Ranger chosen to be in the game because we all sure as hell know that Aves will not b chosen by the NHL for anything.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Rangers v. Isles 12/2/10

I'm gonna be all over the place for this post -- it will kind of fit the pace of the game.

The first period was a full, strong effort by the Rangers, but that goal at the end?  It was moving so slow, I'm not sure how Marty let himself lose sight of it.  I was disappointed; granted, I have never been a goalie, so maybe it was a harder stop than I thought it was.  I'm a 24 year old who doesn't even know how to ice skate, I'm not going to sit here and say what should have been done differently or what would work because that's not what fans should do. 

Sean Avery.  I got into a few arguments in the last 2 days as to whether or not Sean Avery should be playing on the top line with Gaborik.  The past few games, he has been playing amazingly...he creates a forecheck, he can puck handle like no other, and he knows how to pass to the right places.  I think he proved all of those things tonight assisting on Christensen's goal and 2 of Gaby's.  He might be the biggest pest and one of the most hated people in the NHL, but he's one hell of a hockey player when he puts himself into it.  I don't know what the fuck was up with the refs following him around because I saw people starting with him and him not letting himself get engaged.  He had his best game of the season and I'm not sure if it was because of the rivalry or because of playing with Gaborik, but I don't care, he was phenomenal.

Marian Gaborik scored his 12th career hat trick which also was his 3rd as a Ranger and 2nd of the season where he has only played 14 games.  Did you see anything about this on nhl.com? Neither did I.  Gaby is proving why he's our superstar and while I wouldn't mind him getting hat tricks any time he scores, I wanna see goal in more games...and I think we will. (for those of you who don't know, 6 out of his 8 goals came in 2 games)

Dan Girardi and Brandon Prust are beasts.  Seriously, those two are in constant pain, yet they play through it every night.  They're not going to get much time off for a while and hopefully they don't do anything permanent because I don't want either of them to go anywhere.

Where was Dubi?  He just wasn't the same aggressive force that he has been lately.  Hopefully his comeback is soon....I wanted a 30 goal season out of him...I still have some home...that's 18 more in the next 45? games.

Ryan Callahan deserves a C on his sweater.  Especially if Dru's being prolonged.

Sauer is continuing to grow on me...but come free agency, I don't know if he's going to make the cut.  With his success so far, I wouldn't even be surprised to see him traded for a left sided veteran defenseman or maybe even a center...but I liked the top 2 lines tonight and I thought that they worked, but I guess we'll see when we play a better team.