Musings: The Playoff and Penguin Edition

March 15, 2012, by

Good morning Thursday people. Apparently this is the morning where you’ve woken up to the biggest game of the season. Some media darling is skating into the garden today, he’s quite good apparently. Whatever.

Here’s a statistic for you: (I bragged about it earlier this year when I was in New York with Dave, the Suit and co.) Sidney Crosby is winless in Penguins games that I have attended. I say, long may that continue. I was there in November for the 4-3 victory over Sidney and his boys and I saw him twice in his rookie year in Canada. 0 and 3 Sidney, and don’t you forget it.

I’m going to stop lavishing praise on Carl Hagelin soon. It’s becoming boring and predictable.

The Gaborik – Richards – Hagelin line; the performance (as a line) against the Canes was both impressive and promising. I’ve a pretty good memory and for me, that was the most dominant one game performance by a Rangers line since the Jagr days during his 54 goal season. Any other alternatives you want to suggest?

Reasons we love Ryan Callahan: He had no qualms about going on the radio the other day and insisting the Rangers would go straight at Crosby. You know he’ll back his words up too. If he plays.

Back to the November Pens victory at the Garden: The Rangers dominated that game in the faceoff circle and was surely a key to the success. Richards was 13-3, Boyle 11-4, Dubinsky 11-5 and even Stepan was 5-3. The Blueshirts will likely need to win the faceoff battle again tonight.

Something I asked on Twitter the other day; is the current edition of Gaborik the best ever (so far)??

I am hard on him but I would love to see a quality performance from Anisimov tonight. He’s surely due. For the record; I am only hard on him because he’s so talented but we don’t see it enough. Just like his shot.

Kudos Time: Brian Boyle has been very impressive recently. Starting to find a rhythm offensively, playing the body more (even if it could be even more), defensively he’s been his usual excellent self and his penalty killing has been a joy to watch. If Boyle is on form heading in to the playoffs that gives the Rangers another dimension.

If the Rangers win tonight and conclude the home stand with at least 5 of 7 as victories, I’m resting Dan Girardi for a game or two.

Same goes for Prust and I’m also careful with Callahan.  It would also give an opportunity to give Zuccarello more ice time. Audition time Hobbit.

If the Rangers do the unthinkable and lose tonight, does that make the Avalanche game a crucial-win? The Devils, Red Wings and a suddenly surging (and still desperate) Sabres team follow tonight. That’s quite the threesome up next.

If you’re a Rangers fan you’re cheering for Buffalo and Washington right now, by the way. You’d much rather them in the first round than Ottawa or the Devils who are far more awkward opponents.

Question Time:

  • If you had to choose: Boston or Ottawa as 1st round opponent?
  • More points this season: McDonagh or Dubinsky?
  • If you could only retain one: Fedotenko or Mitchell?
  • If you could only retain one part 2: Bickel or Eminger?

Game day, folks. Get your game faces on, avoid happiness in work. Don’t be fazed by happy people, Knicks fans or anyone from Pennsylvania. If you see a Penguins fan hip check them in to the side walk. (Dave, can I promote violence on the blog? No?) OK, scratch that last one folks….

My prediction: Rangers win 3-2 in OT. Sidney’s futile run against his arch nemesis (me) continues.



  1. Pete says:

    Boston, McDonagh, Mitchell, and Bickel.

    • Chris says:

      Same here. Despite being more talented, I’d rather face Boston and Bickel has more likelihood to stick with the Rangers than Eminger, long term.

    • Chuck A. says:

      yup. BTW, wonder how motivated the NYR locker room is now with the media swirl around The Kid and The Pens coming to a 1st place team’s building to be worshipped…

  2. Eric says:


    Love the blog.

    Ottawa, McDonagh, Mitchell, Bickel.

    I love a few weeks ago Boyle was getting killed because he wasn’t scoring. Now you are praising him. Last year 20 plus goals was a career year and Gabby couldn’t put the puck in the ocean let alone the goal. Boyle is the center on this team that will take most key draws and play against the opposing teams best line. He is great checking line center.

    I am looking forward to seeing Dubi-Steph-Cally together when cally gets healthy. I think this could be very strong combination. If this combination works, i think Arty is on his way out.

  3. jerry says:


    • Walt says:

      Same here!

      Cindy is going to get bloodied tonight, and the boys will be flying big time. Dubi is going to have a big game, as will McD.

      Please, someone kick the living crap out of Cooke, PLEASE!!!!!

  4. Dave says:

    How about this: If you could only retain one, who would it be? Bickel or Sauer?

  5. sean says:

    If anyone wants to play Ottawa in the first round they want the rangers to exit early or have a first round 7 game series which us bad. We don’t much up well with them or the pens.
    McDonough, Mitchell, bickell

  6. VinceR says:

    Um, no Cally, no DZ, Biron first goalie off ice in practice, and they say same lineup.

    Time to panic yet? Trying not to….

    • Jackson says:

      Have faith my friend.

    • becky says:

      Panicking over a regular season game in which we’re up 6 points will only lead to frazzled play. The boys will do just fine.

      • VinceR says:

        Ha, I’m not worried about THEM worrying…those guys are pros. It’s ME I’m worried about Becky!

        But I’m not all that worried…I was more concerned about Cally and DZ not being back yet…especially Cally because I feel that he would play through just about anything.

        But now that it’s not morning and I’ve been able to have all of my needed coffee, I’m thinking this is more about being 100% for the final push.

        I do, however, think this game matters much more than most of them lately…we are up 6, but they have a game in hand and are red hot. Lose this and it’s 4 with and they have a game in hand with one more game left to play against them.

        • becky says:

          I agree, you want to go into the playoffs confident, kicking ass and taking names, but I’d rather Cally and MDZ are out completely allowing their bodies to heal than pressure them. I’m glad you got your coffee Vince, much better comment 😉

  7. wwpd says:

    and there will be slewfoots and obvious dives for Cindy and all his henchmen.

    refs tonight are going to be protecting this guy this guy like he’s made of tissue paper

  8. Bobby Tux says:

    Boston McD Bickel Mitchell

    Rangers need to bring the body all game. Forechecking and keeping the puck in the offensive zone will be a premium