Girardi not skating; Lundqvist team MVP; Fast the Player’s Player

April 7, 2016, by


Per Steve Zipay, Henrik Lundqvist has been named Team MVP, as voted on by the media. This comes as no surprise, as without Lundqvist this team might not even be in the playoffs this season. This was honestly a no-brainer.

Jesper Fast was named the Player’s Player, voted on by his teammates. I think this means a lot more than people realize. It shows Fast is respected on the ice for the roles he’s been given, and he’s likely a positive influence in the locker room. Not bad for a sixth round pick, acquired by the Rangers for a busted first round pick in Bobby Sanguinetti.

Fun fact: Sanguinetti was turned into 2nd (2011) and 6th (2010) round picks. The 6th was used on Fast. The 2nd used in the trade to get Tim Erixon, who was a key piece in the Rick Nash deal. They may have whiffed on Sangs, but boy did Slats recoup value.

Dan Girardi was also not skating today for the morning skate. This doesn’t tell us much about his status, since it could just be a precautionary move. But it could be something more serious. Either way, more rest for Girardi is a good thing.

One other lineup note: Kevin Hayes is back in for Oscar Lindberg. Tanner Glass is playing.


  1. Roger Domal says:

    And another key piece…Buchnevich will be an Erixon legacy too.

  2. Peter says:

    Fast is always on top of it defensively and that it quite valuable. His passing ain’t bad and he rarely seems to be out of position. If he had better hands he’d be almost a star. In any event, he seems like a good guy to have on your team because he can play many roles.

    • Fotiu is God says:

      Yes, Jesper is a poor man’s Esa Tikkanen. Albeit sans the nonstop trash talk and penchant for big goals.

      He’s a foot soldier, nonetheless, and plays with admirable selflessness.

      A compact, salient post, David. Thank you.

      Forasmuch, with regards to that high drama crapshoot called The Draft, the subtext carries a truck bomb worth of anguished, “what could have been”:

      First, Sanguinetti whom you contextualized; an Italo-American (New Jersey, right?) kid who washes out.

      Then there’s The Del Zotto Experience, another Italian kid–though with big league skills–who’s rundown and ultimately run out by an Italo coach and management.

      Anyone up for Jessiman? Do we need to reflect on who was drafted after Hugh? Ugh.

      And of course, Cherepanov, who passes tragically before we get to see him don a Blueshirt.

      Imagine our depth had one, or perhaps two of those four draftees been developed, or handled presciently. Obviously, akin to any lifelong Ranger fan–four decades now–I spend too much time in lament mode.

      “Make mine a double, Walt.”

      “What are you drinking, Bobby B.?

      • Chris A says:

        Don’t forget poor Michael Sauer. Although it looks like you are only focused on 1st rounders.

        And it’s a damn shame about Jessiman. If only his ankle didn’t explode during his junior year at Dartmouth he would have been a fantastic NHL forward. He simply couldn’t make up all the speed that devastating injury sapped from him.

        • Fotiu is God says:

          Yes, trying to maintain thematic fidelity, Chris: the riff being The Draft and First Rounders gone to ground.

          But no, man: I’m one of a very few here who references Michael Sauer, another American kid. (Yea, I’m a hockey nationalist.)

          His professional demise was an X-factor, if one that too quickly became out of sight/out of mind.

          Sauer’s drop was nothing less than an existential hit to our blue line. Going forward, it’s as if we’re a blue water navy sans a true battleship, trying to project power with cruisers and a couple destroyers who are close to being mothballed.

          • Chris A says:

            You could make a compelling argument that all of the Rangers’ current issues go back to that Sauer injury. If Sauer continued his career and the development curve he was on, Girardi would have likely been traded away along with Callahan, two trade deadlines ago.

            Maybe Girardi would have netted the team one more scorer and that could have been the difference between winning and losing the Cup in 2014.

            Basically, F! Dion Phanuef is what I’m trying to say.

            • Fotiu is God says:


              But, beyond Mr Phaneuf an equal amount of guilt is on both The NHL and the equipment manufacturers.

              With regards to the concussion issue, I believe Mark Messier is the sole voice in the wilderness here advocating for a long needed ramp up in helmet construction R&D.

              In essence, your average Nike-CCM-Bauer-KoHo hockey helmet hasn’t changed since I was in PeeWee. Plastic over foam.

              • Alec says:

                Hockey helmets are not designed to prevent concussion, they’re designed to prevent skull fracture. If someone is skating at you at 25mph and he puts his mass/force into your head, you’re getting a concussion whether it’s Mark Pavelich or John Scott hitting you. You can’t fix it with technology unless you go with the great gazoo look to remove whiplash.

              • Chris A says:

                Nothing can stop concussions. Due to the way the brain and skull are designed, the brain will always be vulnerable to concussion no matter what kind of helmet/neck stabilizer humans create.

                Like Alec says below, helmets only protect the outside of the skull. Concussions happen because the body rapidly changes speed and the brain slams against the inside of the skull.

                Think of holding an egg in your hand while riding in a car, and then letting go of the egg as the driver slams the brakes. The egg is your brain, and the splattering all over the inside of the windshield is a concussion.

          • Alec says:

            The Sauer thing was always a ticking time bomb, there really seems to be a genetic component because you can see it happen in some family lines(happened to all the Sauer bros. and their Dad; Bros. Lindros) and not others. The research is so threadbare, would need to do a longitudinal study to get better answers.

            • Chris A says:

              So true. Both Sauer brothers were knocked out of the NHL via concussions and I think there was a third Sauer brother, or a cousin that had to cut short his NFL career thanks to concussions.

              • Fotiu is God says:

                Okay, Chris.

                In sum, ‘yeah, well, the helmet is built to perform or address the most minimal contingency’. Then bail on the issue.

                Dude, I got this great fixer-upper for sale on the edge of Love Canal… just don’t look out at the backyard.

                Why is that only Mark Messier talks this talk: about The NHL not prioritizing an enhanced helmet, akin to the state-of-the-art NFL type with inflatable bladders to minimize brain slosh?

                We’re on the verge of a tragic wave of CTE (Traumatic Encephalopathy) and MTBI in The NHL.

              • Alec says:

                Because unless you deploy airbags into their pads, turn it into floor hockey or bandy, the essential aspects of the sport mean that collisions will happen, bad collisions will happen and concussions will happen.

                Luckily, unlike football, the only time every player on the surface of play there is involved in violence is in a line brawl.

                You can try to minimize instances of it by eliminating checking to the head, checking from behind and checking an engaged player, but as long as the head is attached to the human body, masses colliding at speed will cause problems.

                Just ask Messier about how that worked with Mike Modano.

      • Peter says:

        Essa T was one of my faves. Fun to watch, and of course extremely articulate! 😄

  3. Andy says:

    On Girardi being out it’s not a bad thing for the team. McIlrath has been solid for the limited time he has had on the ice. It forces the coach to play him and rest Girardi. Both are good things for the team.

    • Jerry says:

      Giardi being out is a bad thing for the team, in as much as it puts Boyle back in the line-up!

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Yes, what a disaster to have one of our two leading goal scorers on defense back in the lineup.

        • Jerry says:

          Boyle ‘givith’ in scoring and he ‘givith’ it up in his D. What’s his plus/minus?
          I honestly have no idea but I’ll bet the ranch he’s a minus. I also haven’t seen him win one corner battle all season, much less clear the crease. He was brought here to be a power play wiz and he has failed miserably.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            His plus/minus is zero. Two reasons it’s not better. 1) because of injuries on defense, he’s had to play way more than expected. 2) it’s hardly unusual for an offensive defenseman to not be strong in the relatively meaningless stat of plus/minus. Boyle’s career plus/minus is -5. So he’s better this year, at age 39, than his career average.

            McDonagh, Boyle and Klein have combined for 26 goals. No trio in the Eastern Conference has done better.

            Btw, Yandle is a -4. Maybe we should bench him too.

          • Ray says:

            +/- for Ranger defense is real simple. McDonagh is plus +26. The team is pretty close to even when McDonagh is not on the ice. Girardi and Klein have decent scores because they share playing with McD. The rest are close to even.

      • Andy says:

        Boyle would have been back with or without Girardi…they play different roles on the D…McIlrath is more the Girardi role.

  4. Matt says:

    Yay. Tanner Glass is playing. As always, AV is rewarding great decisions and smart play.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Yes he is, because the 4th line has been one of the most effective lines since Stalberg was moved there.

      • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

        I’m pulling a Dave, but this link is worth a re-read. Good Tanner Glass vs. Oscar Lindberg analysis.


        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          It’s an interesting analysis, but while I enjoy the advanced metrics and acknowledge they have value and merit, it is an imperfect science. Hockey is the ultimate team game. It is the ultimate human chemistry experiment. You don’t just line up your players, line them up in order of talent, and say I’ll assemble my lines that way. You look for chemistry and fit.

          If we could go back in time, I wonder what the advanced metrics would say about guys like Greg Gilbert (a -3 btw on a great team), a Jay Wells, a Nick Kypreos (-8) a Joey Kocur (-9). I realize the game has changed, but again, I just find the discussion about debating the 12F vs 13F amusing. I’m not sure there would really be any more of a difference in terms of results. Didn’t we have the exact same discussion about James Sheppard last year, now playing in the Swiss League? In the end, does that lineup decision really matter all that much? Would it have mattered if Keenan played Kypreos over Kocur, or Karpovstev over Wells? Probably still the same outcome. So comfort zone with a player, and assessing the effect on the linemates probably takes precedence with most coaches over simply the advanced metrics.

          Just my humble opinion. I couldn’t care less if Glass plays or not, or whether Lindberg is in or not. I judge the coach on the record and how deep he can take us. That’s my only criteria.

      • Ben says:

        Because of Stalberg and in spite of Glass. Lindberg and Fast would both make that line better.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Maybe, but the line is working, is it not? Other than his brief stint on the “Staal-berg” Line, Lindberg hasn’t been a very effective player since the calendar turned to the 2016. He takes penalties at a higher rate than just about any other player on the team.

          There is a learning curve that players have to go through. It simply may not be his time right now.

  5. ranger17 says:

    Fast / Sralberg / Lindberg can not happen fsat enough . But will have to wait till next year for it to happen

  6. Bloomer says:

    Lundqvist the MVP, looking very mediore right now as the Rangers stagger to the finish line. I would like to see Oscar in the lineup against Detroit to add some enthusiam. Nash hasn’t impressed me maybe he needs a time out. Eric Staal still looks like a player going though the motions and I agree with the previous comment why would you pair up Mciirath and Skjei? Seriously coach wake up.

    This Ranger squad reminds me of the Canuck team that lost 4 straight under AV before he got his walking papers.

  7. amy says:

    congrats Hank on winning the MVP and Jesper on the player’s player see you guys tomorrow have a good day