May
10

Rangers play 20 minutes of hockey as Ottawa sends them packing

May 10, 2017, by
henrik lundqvist

Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The New York Rangers faced elimination last night. They knew they had to come out firing on all cylinders. They knew they had to play with desperation. They knew they had to keep Ottawa on their heels. They did none of that through two periods of play. It wasn’t until the third period when they started to show that fire and that desire to win. But it was too little too late. Ottawa sent the Rangers packing with the 4-2 win.

Rick Nash was by far the best forward all game. He was the only Ranger who played a consistent 60 minutes, trying to create offense. But there was only so much he could do on his own. His teammates had flashes, and most of the club showed up in the third, but again it was too little too late.

On to the goals:

Sens 1, Rangers 0

Mike Hoffman got the goal here due to poor defense. Marc Staal chased to nowhere. Nick Holden ignored him in front. Erik Karlsson simply had to put the puck on Hoffman’s stick for the deflection. No chance for Lundqvist.

Sens 2, Rangers 0

Derek Stepan turned the puck over in the offensive zone, which led to an odd man rush against. Mark Stone roofed it over Hank with a beautiful shot short side.Β If there was one save you really need Hank to make, no matter how difficult –which this was– it is, this was it. I can’t fault him, but boy do you need that save.

Sens 2, Rangers 1

Mats Zuccarello made a great pass to Mika Zibanejad to spring him on the break. Zibanejad roofed it over Anderson to cut the lead in half.

Sens 3, Rangers 1

Just as the Rangers were gaining momentum, a stupid defensive play deflated them. Erik Karlsson’s speed started the zone entry, and Chris Kreider was able to stick with him as Bobby Ryan carried the puck behind the net. Bear in mind Ryan got so free because Brendan Smith appeared to give up on the play. For some reason, Kreider released Karlsson, who cut to the slot, to chase Ryan behind the net. Ryan made the pass to Karlsson, who put it over Hank before Brady Skjei could get there to put a stick on him. Another one where Hank had no chance.

Sens 3, Rangers 2

This was another set play to spring Kreider with his speed. Clarke MacArthur misplayed the flip, which sprung Kreider behind him and through Cody Ceci. He beat Craig Anderson stick side to cut the lead in half. But that was also the last goal of the season.

Sens 4, Rangers 2

Of course, if was JG Pageau who scored the empty netter.

Thank you all for joining us this season. There’s going to be a lot of content to come, with the offseason and the first expansion draft that we are able to cover. Stay tuned, there’s more to read on your Rangers. But for now, have at it in the comments. Keep it civil.

"Rangers play 20 minutes of hockey as Ottawa sends them packing", 5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.
Categories : Game Wrap-ups

220 comments

  1. RFKFREAK says:

    The level at which this team came out unprepared or uninspired fall’s squarely on AV. I think three lockerroom may have quit on him.

    • Rangers Rock says:

      Who are you! You sound like me.

    • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

      They didn’t ‘quit on him’…. they quit on themselves (and everyone who watches them).

      I don’t defend Alien Bingo but you CANNOT blame a suit who doesn’t …. suit up… for the utter disinterest exhibited by this team on a nightly basis whenever ‘winning’ is at stake

      They don’t (all) care!!!

      And many of the guys who care (5 & 18, specifically) have laid so much out there over the years that even they cannot play any damned more.

  2. Mark says:

    I agree. I think there is an issue in the room. Maybe it’s AV, maybe it’s McD’s leadership, maybe it’s Hank pointing fingers but they are not all on the same page. Not playing for each other. This team lacked heart (when is the last time they came back from 2-0 down in a game) and killer instinct, can’t hold a lead.

    • Johnny Red says:

      You guys are right but theses players are responsible to do the job. This group is mentally soft. People talk about how much playoff hockey they played theses past few years as if it were something to be proud of. Not really because they played all those games because they couldn’t put teams away. IE: Play 2 good games followed by 2 bad, can’t play 60 mins of hockey consistently. Playing consistently inconsistent.
      The lead head case is Krieder, with all his talent he should be a superstar, but he disappears for games. Stephan has to go, Love Mac but he’s not captain material, Do Hank a favor and trade him to a team who will get him a cup because he’s not getting it with these guys. Finally the defense is a mess after Mac and Skeij. Let’s hope Sather retires and Gorton runs it all.

    • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

      McD is not a vocal leader. If you need proof, look at what Keith Yandle wrote in last year’s player tribune.

      Not to say I blame him (as he didn’t call for it, clearly)…. I’ve always had a theory; teams where the goaltender appears to lead (such as Luongo in VAN) only have that happen because there is an utter void where there shouldn’t be.

      How do they fix this? No easy answer. Strip the C from McD? Doesn’t seem fair (even if it’s probably the right move theoretically), especially considering how well he’s played…

      The real issue is we need more guys who don’t need to be told what time of year it is. We see the ones we have; we saw some of the ones who are available (Radulov). Hopefully Gorton’s fish sticks & company can repair the ship before it sinks…

    • scrangersfan says:

      That is the best comment I have seen posted Mark, a team without heart. It sums up the whole series. Another season gone down the drain. F—ING shame.

  3. Richter1994 says:

    Too many no shows, from the coaches all the way down the roster. Kreider decides to play the last 10 minutes of this game (where was this all playoffs) which turned out to be better than Stepan who did not play at all, and was actually a liability most of the time turning it over like he was a baker with his mindless passes.

    Then Hayes, Miller, and the clusterf–k of a D corps that has no business even remotely coming back in tact.

    Based on their roles and importance to the team, my grades for the playoffs:

    Zuc and Nash get “A”s for their efforts these playoffs.
    King, McD, Skjei, Smith, Fast and Grabner get B+.
    Vesey, Lindberg and Zib get a B (because Zib really started playing the end of the Habs’ series).
    Girardi and Glass get C.
    Holden, Staal, Miller, Hayes, Kreider, coaches get D.
    Stepan gets a resounding F and possible trade as a result.

    Disgraceful that they lost this series. Changes a comin’.

    • Spozo says:

      I pretty much agree with all of this. I would lump the D and F grades together and just grade them as awful! I also think Smith had a pretty bad game last night, not that I would argue with your overall grade for him.

      I’m very curious to see if we hear of any injuries in the next few days. Not using that as an excuse but it always comes out that a few players were playing through injuries that normally would have sidelined them.

      This will be a very interesting offseason.

      • Richter1994 says:

        Yeah I agree about lumping D and F because of the impact those players have on the team, which for the most part was negative throughout the playoffs, so I would agree with your statement.

        Smith was great, overall, but I was extremely disappointed on how he played the 3rd goal. Let the guy go right by him and like Dave said seemed to give up on the play. Maybe he thought he had help? But he left Skjei and Henrik out to dry and it’s game over.

        If there are not 3 new D men in the top 6 next year then I will be shocked.

        • AZgene4240 says:

          Add in a player or two in the top 6. Gorton will try to keep Oscar L and promote him into the top 9 next year. Hayes, Miller and Stepan all to be discussed in trades..Think out West my friend…Going to dinner two weeks from now with someone from the Arizona Coyotes, I am going to pick him apart for anything he is hearing that have to do with future dealings with the Rangers and will keep you posted brother.

    • Gary says:

      Mostly agree with your grades. Hank is over rated for the POs and Stepan is Stepan. Agree he should be traded or exposed but no way was he an ‘F’. Hank was nothing at all special in this series but was special in round 1. He wilted here. B. I loved Rick Nash all POs. A real pro.

      Other thoughts: This Vesey really cranked it up at crunch time. McD is not an elite D, we’ve got to sign Smith, Girardi went above and beyond, which for him means he was pretty damn okay. Staal is all done, Holden is a train wreck and I want them to find a way to keep all of Fast, Lindberg and Grabby.

      All in all, this team was never going to win a cup due to the fatal flaws on D, but the no shows up front did them in in round 2.

      • Richter1994 says:

        The problem with the KIng is because of what we are used to, him being godlike. He was not in this series but that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t good.

        I love Vesey’s game and I thought that he should have gotten more of a chance on the PP than he did. Lindberg and Grabner too on the PP.

        • James says:

          They didnt need Hank to be “god-like”…They just needed a few timely saves. And in the past, or what seems like in every other series he’s every played in, he made those saves. This is the first time I can ever remember him not being able to come up with those saves at those critical moements.

          Hank won Round 1 vs Montreal…And in fairness to the team, they put him in a position where he didn’t have to be perfect in this series…but when you blow leads late, you are tempting fate. And in Game 6, it turned out, they needed Hank to be perfect and that was too much to ask.

          • Richter1994 says:

            lol, James, come on, Henrik made no less that 5 highlight reel saves in Game 5. Any of which could have been goals, easily. You and others seem to pass over that fact, like they were ordinary saves that he should make routinely.

            Do I agree that someone at his level and pay grade should be making those saves? 100% true. But, as I have said, you cannot simply look at the number of goals scored against and come to a conclusion of how well or badly he played.

            • Hockey Sittoo says:

              Well said. While he wasn’t superlative like he was against the Habs, Hank wasn’t the primary issue vs Ottawa. He had 3 games with over .950 sv% and 3 games under .880. The difference? The team played with structure and poise in front of him. In fact they played fairly structured in games 2 and 5 until the last few minutes when they looked like the clowns at the circus. Structure actually matters to even the best goalies. Without it you might steal a game, but you’re not going to win a series.

              • Richter1994 says:

                It was pretty evident in the first 10 minutes who the desperate team was and it wasn’t the team that needed to win.

                Kreider waited until the last 10 minutes of his playoffs to play.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                That game was a microcosm of Kreider’s career. Tease us with brilliant play, make us believe he’s figured it out. Play like an unstoppable beast for about a third of the time. But the rest of the time, miss on two glorious chances, botch a key defensive assignment, and generally be invisible otherwise.

                Kreider in a nutshell.

              • Richter1994 says:

                I’m not even talking about goals or points, he should have been shredding a bad Habs and Sens D all playoffs long.

                And then, 10 minutes to go in the season, the light switch goes on. Brutal.

            • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

              “You and others seem to pass over that fact, like they were ordinary saves that he should make routinely.”

              Yeah, crab people are gonna crab I guess

              • Richter1994 says:

                Hank is an easy target for lazy Ranger fans that don’t want to think past the goalie.

      • scrangersfan says:

        I disagree wit you on Nash, for 7.8 million a year you must be a dominating difference making goal scorer and he did not deliver. Carlson is not making near that amount and look what he does for his team. Nash should be a trading commodity during the off season.

        • Richter1994 says:

          Nash is a $4M player now, no question. But he was still easily one of the best Ranger forwards throughout the playoffs. Him and Zuc were pretty consistent.

          No one is taking Nash at this point. The only team I see taking him is Anaheim. Which is also a team that he may agree to be traded to, but I don’t see this happening.

    • Rich S. says:

      Excellent on the grades , agree totally with all…

      Nash and miller and vesey need a good center [NOT STEPAN] and I think they will put up big numbers next year…..
      Hayes needs a messier like coach to light a fire under him…..he could be so good….
      Kreider needs to be more consistant ….hopefully he learned from this disaster……

      AV with an F—- We need a real coach ……can understand the players getting down after the COACH single handedly BLEW TWO GAMES in one series!!!!! INEXCUSABLE, even for that moron!!!!!
      This series should have been over after game 5!!!!

      • Richter1994 says:

        Thanks Rich, unfortunately the coach will be here whether we like it or not. I don’t know if the forwards will get a big shakeup other than to used as trade chips to acquire D help.

    • Hatrick Swayze says:

      Zibby had 9 points in 12 playoff games…. to me, he got the job done. Biggest disappointments to me are Hayes, Miller and Kreider. Big performances from them would have punched our ticket to the Conference Finals.

      • JoeS. says:

        …and you’re satisfied with the play of Stepan?

      • Richter1994 says:

        Yeah Zib was a tough one for me because he didn’t do much at first but then turned it around towards the end of the Habs’ series. I could give a B+.

    • supermaz says:

      Agreed 100%

  4. Andy says:

    That performance in the first 2 periods was a team that was disinterested in the game in front of them. This may be their worst series lose in years since this was such a mismatch favoring us on paper and they put forth such a weak effort to lose it. another long summer ahead…

    • paulronty says:

      So ask yourself, why would a team approach an elimination game with disinterest?

      • Andy says:

        locker room problems, not happy with coaching decisions and deployments, no cohesive message with C and A’s and coach. I am sure it’s multiple things.
        And sorry but hearing AV say things like we were prepared for the PP but they did not execute. Seriously? great example of what is going wrong. If you see a problem that’s not getting better and pretend what your doing will fix it is working, you’re only fooling yourself.
        Our 4th line Fast, Lindberg, Grabner and Glass actually deserve a lot of credit.They rose above all of it. And candidly if it was not for the 4th line we probably would not have beaten Montreal. I also think Brady Skjei deserves a call out too. I think he had another good play off, when the coach didn’t lose him on the bench…
        Stepan, Hayes, Miller, Holden and Staal really should have had very limited ice time at all after the way these guys played. And they all deserved to sit as healthy scratches at some point for the way they played.

      • Rangers Rock says:

        Because the coach does not put the best players out to play.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Still continuing with that same tired nonsense. You are the one who keeps insisting that guys like Kreider, Hayes and Miller are “great” players. Did they ride the bench? Did they not play?

          Forget about great. If those guys were even GOOD players in the post-season,we’d likely be getting ready for the ECF. But sure, it’s the coach’s fault that our so-called stars turned out to be duds when it mattered most.

          • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

            E3, you could not be more wrong.

            Unless you still think 5 / 18 / 22 & 15 still (or, ever for one of those) ‘have it’?

            And please, we know, 76/42 were awful (in one of 12 playoff games).

            yes, trotting out (in crunch time, no less) guys like GLASS and STAAL…. YES, that’s the BINGO MAN’s fault.

            But, no, it’s not his fault that you’ll find more guts in a can of soup than in this group.

            • paulronty says:

              E3 specializes in being wrong, and then every so often he says something logical. Probably after sex, I figure πŸ™‚

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                OMG! Good one Paul! But I’m not going there! πŸ™‚

              • Sammy says:

                Paul specializes in being a douche and making no sense and then blaming the coach because he doesn’t know what else to say. He thinks he’s funny some how. He gets that from his idol Walt

        • Andy says:

          the coach did not deploy the right players, but the players he did deploy also did not live up to their contracts and did not perform as expected. That is only partially on the coach. But they guys not performing need to get a message from the coach. It’s actually a process and the coach is supposed to be the adult in the room to make those decisions.

  5. SalMerc says:

    AV can prep the team, but the players were on the ice. You had to know Ottawa was going to bring it last night. I did. The first 5 minutes were critical and we were flat. I don’t put that on the coach. I put that on our stars. Hank included.

    We fell behind and they trapped us to death. What we didn’t do is dump and overload. That is on AV.

    Interesting off season ahead.

    • Rangers Rock says:

      We got out coached.
      Didn’t adjust.
      Thought GlaSS WOULD SAVE US.
      Timeout issues.
      Plays his favorites.
      Loses players on the bench.
      His face looks like Fred Flintstones.
      Defensive issues.
      Offensive issues.
      Motivation Issues.
      Has spiritual followers that can’t see truth issues.
      Has Mole issues.
      Assistant coaches issues.
      Leopold issues.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Without Glass, we likely get swept by Montreal. Without Glass, we likely don’t turnaround the Ottawa series.

        But your blind hatred of player and coach won’t allow you to see the reality of what ACTUALLY happened.

        • Rangers Rock says:

          Bull!

        • Rangers Rock says:

          Your infatuation with the coach is alarming. A coach that can do no wrong when clearly he sabotaged the team with his mistakes.

        • Rangers Rock says:

          Without AV we would have won both teams! You put your faith in a loser. You may perhaps have the same attributes? Attributes like unable to know how to put the best player in and put a balanced line.

        • paulronty says:

          Huh??? You mean, of course, without Hank we likely get swept by Montreal.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Well, yeah, that too…obviously!

            My point is without Glass’s goal in Game 1 vs the Habs, we may very well have been down 0-3 in the series. And clearly, Glass gave the Rangers a huge lift in Games 3 and 4 vs Ottawa.

            Just trying to give some balance here….Glass is not the root of all evil on this team that some make him out to be.

        • Richter1994 says:

          E3, really? Without Glass they get swept?

          Correction, without Henrik they get swept.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            I may have overstated it. πŸ™‚

            Obviously, Hank was the key in that series. First and foremost.

            But my point was, do we in Game 1 without Glass? If we dont, are we down 0-3 and possibly get swept? More than plausible.

            Glass sparked the team twice in the post-season. Let’s give our human piΓ±ata his due. That’s all I ask. πŸ™‚

            • Richter1994 says:

              Glass didn’t hurt them, let’s put it that way. There is no situation where Glass plays instead of Buch. None. But playing Glass didn’t hurt the Rangers in the Habs’ series, but the same can’t be said for the Sens’ series.

              -3 in 12 minutes in Game 5, on for the tying and winning goals. Ouch!!

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Mixed bag in the Ottaw series. I think his presence really sparked the team in Games 3 and 4.

                Buch was not ready this year. He was a development project who had a bad back. This summer he will put on some muscle mass, he will have a year under his belt. Next year will be his time to shine.

              • Richter1994 says:

                Glass did not win Games 3 and 4. The whole team was in sync those games, inclusive of the coach. Glass had zero to do with the complete domination the Rangers displayed in those games. Those games represent the way the whole series should have went, or Rangers in 5.

  6. orangemike says:

    Something is clearly missing; if you want to tell me it’s the coach you are entitled to your opinion. I don’t share it, and it doesn’t matter what we think anyway, because he’s not going anywhere. If there are players in the locker room who can’t get up for an elimination game at MSG, it’s on them, not the coach. The GM needs to find those guys and eventually get replacements. If there are replacements for this fall, we’ll see if Gorton can find them in the salary cap era. Just MHO. In my opinion, the coach is not to blame. And I don’t really remember Hank pointing fingers; to me he’s the ultimate stand-up guy.

    I have one last thing to say before I head for the golf course. Rick Nash- 3 goals in 12 games this spring. Again. If you want to tell me he had a good series, I would agree, and he was good v. Montreal as well. In my mind there is a difference between being good, and being a difference-maker. Other teams have Evgeny Malkin, Alexander Ovechkin, or for that matter, Erik Karlsson. We have, well, we have Rick Nash. 3 goals in one month. $8 mil per year. Hmmm….

    I’ll leave it to the rest of you to jump off bridges; there are plenty of them around. This team got one series farther than many of you on this board expected a month ago; if you’re intellectually honest you have to admit that. Disappointed, sure. Distraught, not really. Need some new faces on the blue line; we know that. I would admit that to those of you who wanted Girardi and Staal gone, now might be the time. It wasn’t the time three years ago; I might be the time now. Las Vegas, anyone? The only problem is who you replace them with. Be careful what you wish for. If there is someone who is an expert on the defenders in Hartford, I’d be willing to listen. Trade? Maybe, but no team would give the Rangers a top defender for either of those guys. Anyway, it should be an interesting off-season. Stay tuned. Fore!!

    Have a nice summer, everyone. See you in October. Regards- orange

    • SalMerc says:

      Orange

      Mostly in agreement. Don’t think the defense lost this series. Not so sure AV lost this series, but he did continue to put the same guys on the ice late in the game trying to protect leads.

      As for the future, we built a speedy team that had a strong year, but have no minor league team to pull players from. We have a few very expensive players past their prime that we have to make decisions on. We, for the foreseeable future, won’t have the best player on the ice against most teams we face. That falls on the GM. It may just be the off-season to stick with a core of 7 forwards and 3 or 4 defenseman and go from there. A radical change is something MSG doesn’t do, but it might be time.

      Reality Check – AV will be our coach next year, at least one of the two (Girardi/Staal) will definitely still be on the club and they won’t give up on the enigma named Chris Kreider.

      • Rich S. says:

        Come on Salmerc…..

        Coach didn’t blow the series …..did you see how easy it was for ottowa to survive , not give up goal in last 2 minutes of the game?

        Why? Because their coach DID NOT leave karlsson and ryan etc on the bench and play the 4th liners….Did you see chris neil out there at the end? Of course not, onle the buffon AV would bench his fastest, quickest best defensive players [ incl nash!] and put our glass , stall girardi, holden!!!!!

        Teams cant come back from TWO BLOWN games…..very demoralizing when you have to outplay the opponent in 6 games to advance!!!! AV should be fired TODAY!!!!!

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Orange and Sal-

          I 100% agree with what you both are saying.

          Rich, I respect you, and sure, AV deserves some blame. Of course he does. But did you see Skjei and Smith yesterday? It wasn’t pretty. AV tried three different deployments late game and NONE of them worked. At what point do you conclude, hmmm? Maybe AV doesn’t have the players?

          As for leaving Karlsson on the bench, that’s just it. THAT would be fireable. We don’t have a Karlsson. We have no elite level talent. If we had Messier and Leetch and AV benched them, then yes, that’s fireable. We have a team of interchangeable relatively even players talent wise. The whole narrative of our team is supposedly “depth”. We don’t apparently need stars to win, according to some out there. So really, what difference does it make who’s out there when supposedly all our players are “good enough”?

          I’m obviously being a little extreme here, but my point is, there is NO ONE on this team that I trust with a lead. They just aren’t that good, sorry to say.

          I think your anger at AV is misdirected. You doubled down on how tremendous Kreider, Miller and Hayes are–and they trained out to be the “anti-Triplets”. In 2015, those young guys answered the bell and arguably were the reason we got beat. In 2017, our “anti-triplets” (Maybe my new name for them?), spilt the bit. Maybe it’s time to admit that perhaps, you overrated them?

          • Rangers Rock says:

            E3 is on an epic journey to clarify the recent history. How long can he support bad coaching and Blame everyone else? The coach had the tools in his hands to beat an inferior team. His decision making cost us 3 games and is unable to inspire the team to play for him again. Years and years of mistakes done and repeated by the coach and we have a cheerleader who is unable to admit correctly to where the blame goes.

          • Rich S. says:

            3E
            Yes, I do not like AV but to me HE blew it with his use /nonuse of personnel in those 3 last minute losses!!!! When your coach BLOWS two games ….Inexcusable! Firable offense!
            That being said all three you named had terrible playoffs!!!! Very Disappointing to me…..
            1.Miller, has a world of athletic talent but maybe needs to work on finishing skills! His regular season was outstanding!
            2. Kredier has both but needs to be more consistent ! Also his regular season outstanding!
            3. Hayes has some finishing , stick handling skills but needs to be more energetic on the ice!

            IMHO, in Millers case I would love to see him at
            his natural position he played in college and
            minors-Center…….he plays with the tenacity I love , high energy, puck carrier so I think his skill set translates best to center!!!!
            In the world cup games last fall, the coaches all said he was a better center than wing!
            My lines for next year hopefully….
            kredier-zib-zucc
            Vesey- [good veteran center]- nash
            Grabner-lindberg-buchnevich
            hayes-miller-fast
            What do you guys think?

            • Walt says:

              Any line up that doesn’t have Stepan in it is a winner!!!!

              I also would like to see Miller at center, as Doc Paul has called for the last two years.

        • SalMerc says:

          Coach plays who he has faith in. We needed a way to NOT get into that situation, and that is a combo of coaching and the players. It is very easy to throw everything at the coach, but the players need to be accountable too.

          For most of the Ottawa series Hayes, JT, Kreider, Stepan and Grabner were invisible. Is that the coaches fault too? Yes, he overplays guys and that is on him, but guys need to perform too.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      It might be the time to get rid of Staal and G. Are you serious? Both should’ve been gone a the start of the year.

      • Richter1994 says:

        They got “one more kick at the can.”

        It’s hard to believe, but I think Staal is now worse than G.

    • supermaz says:

      Orange, I disagree with every point, and every statement you make here. Lundqvist does point fingers, AV is a dumpster fire. And Nash was one of our best forwards, but he can’t always do it by himself, Stepan is not the center for him.

  7. pas44 says:

    Thank you very much Dave, all the writers, and the fans too, thanks for all the fun, sorry it ended for this season the way it did…

  8. craig says:

    Little killer instinct on this squad as has been the case for years, partial blame has to go on the coaching staff. The only players who have any killer instinct at all are Zucc., McD,, Glass, Hank, and Nash. Krieder is consistently inconsistent, some things never seem to change. Stepan amongst others, has to go!

    • pas44 says:

      I am going to stick up for the team and reference what burrows was quoted saying about his time under AV in Vancouver. He said AV makes his teams play whistle to whistle without letting any of the “heart” stuff happen…

      I think this quote says a lot about how some of the Ranger Players look out there…

      just my opinion…

      AV is like Tom Higgins, not a war time Consigliere if you catch my drift…

      • Richter1994 says:

        It’s an interesting take on AV because you would think that the “playoff” mentality should be a lot different than the “regular season” mentality.

        There’s more pushing and shoving in the playoffs, the intensity is much higher. You have to get “down and dirty” without being stupid about it.

      • jeff says:

        NYR fan forever as all here are. In MHO hope that Gorton IS a war time consigliere. Its very lonely at the head.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        There is truth to this but the quote from Burrows is somewhat taken out of context. While he agreed with Brooks’ question about not responding to the Bruins bully tactics was a fair one, Burrows also said…

        “We had the number one power play in the league, and AV believed that our best chance to win was to play whistle to whistle, not get involved in that extra stuff Boston was trying to drag us into and to make them pay with the power play.

        “But our PP went dry. You know, our team there was a lot like the Rangers now, really good depth and great goaltending. He knows how to coach. I think at the end of the day, AV still believes in whistle to whistle.”

        So as I read this, AV was faced with a choice. Abandon the characteristics that earned the best record in the league and got you all the way to the SCF. Or play to the team’s strength and stick with what works. Didn’t AV get taken to task out here for benching Buch and going with Tanner Glass–in effect saying “play to your strength…don’t play to theirs?”

        Given the choice there, given the talent on that 2011 Canucks team, It’s hard to find fault with the notion of making the Bruins pay for their transgressions with the league’s most potent PP. Unfortunately for AV, Tim Thomas stood on his head and Luongo was awful. If AV had changed strategies and THAT didn’t work, he would have been skewered for that.

        That’s coaching–damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

        • pas44 says:

          Good point. Also the point about the extra pushing in the playoffs too. I just think this statement shows something about AV that is reflected in the Rangers not having that spunk… that certain vinegar that a team needs… needs to protect leads late in games, to crush teams when you have them down, that thing that is missing from Hayes, Miller, and Kreider…

          I think a different coach would have had different sparks going this season and the others he coached the Rangers during…

          LGR!

          I am excited about the offseason… JG showed really good moves, I hope this offseason gets the team past these issues…

          Happy Summer All!

          the team got us to May 9th! past winter! BUT WINTER IS COMING!

        • Ray says:

          You pose the critical dilemma

          Abandon the characteristics that earned the best record in the league and got you all the way to the SCF. Or play to the team’s strength and stick with what works.

          The answer of course, as any SC-winning coach knows is “Abandon”. You don’t win the Cup by being the best team, you do it by beating four other teams. And if one of those four teams you have to face lines up well against your strengths, you either lose or adapt.

          I won’t say this is easy. You need to keep some of your standard features and add new ones that work well with your talent. One must resist grasping at straws like benching Brad Richards – but one cannot insist that what was good enough to win the President’s Trophy is good enough.

    • Paul says:

      A very interesting off season indeed! MY untouchables going forward are Fast, Zuc, Skjel, McD, Vesey, Buch and Zibanejad. Perhaps Oscar, Smith and Grabs should be added to that list. Although I love Nash who has shown more heart than anyone, he is an overpriced forward. JT and Hayes should be used as trade bait. The one dimensional north-south Kreider would be better off in the western conference….no hands, no hockey smarts. I thought Girardi played as well in the playoffs as he is capable yet it isn’t enough. Staal and Holden ARE train wrecks as another writer suggested.

      They also need a power play coach big time and someone to help Hank give up fewer short side goals.

      It’s tough to watch this team rack up 100 points and then fold like wet kleenex’s every year.

      I’m done ranting.

  9. Jerry says:

    I’ll start by saying I was wrong, twice, about the playoffs.
    First round I didn’t think we had the physical make-up to beat Montreal and I picked the Habs in 6. I was wrong. The Rangers did show up both skill wise and physically.
    Second round, I picked the Rangers in 5. Except for Karlsson, on paper we are, well, we were, a far superior team. Game is played on the ice not paper and I was wrong for a second time.
    I respectfully disagree with orange. This IS on AV. The players are not exempt from responsibility. But AV is the head coach. Krieder for one should be embarrassed by his performance. I was disappointed in Miller. Hayes was horrible. Please don’t start me on Holden. AV is a great coach. A great regular season coach. He may even win a Cup someday, but he will not with this team. The three behind the bench need to go. Unlike some here, one in particular who think that just because AV received an extension he’s safe is professing a false narrative. Coaches get fired even with extended contracts in place.
    This is a pivotal time for Gorton. He has to make some hard decisions, one is retaining AV, who is a great regular season coach, but someone who historically can’t get to the finish line. Some will say he “over achieved” with this squad, this season. I’ll even agree with that statement. He had a better regular season than anyone should have expected. BUT, he was given a gift. First wild card spot and thus facing two flawed teams in the playoffs. Also, although we led for inordinate amount of time throughout the second round, we continually gave up late goals. Once should have been enough for AV to alter his late third period deployments. Yet time and time again he went with what he perceived was the “safe” choices. Those choices were, obviously the wrong choices.
    The lack of urgency. Come on, this is the playoffs. Urgency and effort are not unique qualities only possessed by the super stars like Crosby, Ovie, Malkin, Karlsson and alike. Those are qualities that each and every player, regardless of talent level MUST have. It’s on the HEAD COACH, to get those qualities out of ALL the players.
    I agree with the grades my friend Richter has posted, although I think I’d personally give all three bench coaches an F.
    I’ll stop now and leave with two thoughts.
    As I’ve said numerous times:
    Note to Jeff, find a way to protect Lindberg and Fast. Sign Smith to a reasonable contract.
    That “can” some of you are so fond of. You know the one you insist on kicking down the road for “one” more time…….. it’s miserably evident that, that can is filled with cement.

  10. Walt says:

    The ugly start, which has been an issue all season long, is what killed us last night. Why can’t this group of players get themselves in gear from the gitty up? Why do we have to fall behind every game before they wake up, and realize they have a game to play?

    Issues to address this off season:

    Get a sniper, or two for the PP, worst in the entire NHL.

    Revamp the defense, get rid of the twins, and Kline, and if we get some decent players, include Holden in the group that has to go.

    Replace Mac Truck as the captain, good player, but he lacks leadership qualities.

    Get rid of Daisy Stepan, he is just terrible, no question about it.

    Last, but not least, let Marv go, he can’t win the big one. On too many occasions he makes the same mistake, and expects different results. Well show him the door, maybe he will wake up and win it for another team, I doubt it, but let the SOB go. Maybe he can go where they trade Dan, or Staal, so he could have his security blanket to cling to. Another thought give him a big pickle to choke along with his chicken!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Leatherneck says:

    Kreider made the right play on the third goal, you can’t leave an opposition player of Ryan’s caliber all alone behind the net. Hank was too deep. Yet again people are being generous to Lundqvist.
    AV is not a playoff coach and during his tenure I have never been more disappointed or as frustrated as I have been with his team. I point out yet again an inferior goalie beat our supposed superstar. Bang your head, Ground hog day what more can I say. Same sh_t different day.
    Funny how I thought Girardi was one of the better D-men out there during the playoffs.
    As people clamor for Stepan to Go, I feel the same way about Lundqvist. It’s time for him to go too.
    As a Ranger fan I want us to succeed but not as a 1 hit wonder but a consistent SC Championship teams. The time has come for a blow up of the team from coach to goalie. It is time to rebuild. Toronto is doing it and their fans have endured, so will ours if the rebuild is being done correctly.

    • Richter1994 says:

      Did Bobby Ryan play in this series? Didn’t seem like it.

      Yes, again, the answer to the Rangers’ Cup prayers are to replace Lundqvist.

      I will say that I do enjoy reading your posts, they’re fun.

      • MRichter35 says:

        Hey Mr Richter,
        I am really interested in hearing your thoughts about the changes in the Rangers roster this off-season. Have you posted your thoughts anywhere?

        • Richter1994 says:

          Hello my friend. It’s all about the D this offseason:

          Sign Shatty.
          Trade for a D man, whether it’s for Trouba (Miller?) or for Spurgeon (Stepan?).
          Re-sign Smith.
          Dump G, Staal, KK (buyouts/trades).
          Holden maybe stays.

          Getting Shatty is not enough as he isn’t really a top pair guy. Trouba or Spurgeon would certainly fill the part next to McD, putting Shatty to the right of Skjei.

          I was on the fence about trading Miller for Trouba but I think I do it now. Stepan is definitely at risk to be traded by July 1 and I assume it would be for a top pair D man. I think Gorton cleans house on the D corps.

          AV stays, unfortunately. They lose one of Raanta, Fast, or Lindberg in the expansion draft (I think they do a deal with Vegas to keep Raanta). I think they stay away from Grabner and go younger. Lindberg “should” be the pick IMO but who knows?

          • paulronty says:

            Sorry Anthony, trade Holden to SKA for an exercise bicycle.

            • Fotiu is God says:

              Holy One Flew over The CooCoo’s Nest, Doc Ronty.

              Why isn’t our Anthony/Richter shooting hoops with The Chief and Randle Patrick McMurphy?

              Richter: please, get in line. Nurse Ratched has your meds.

              • paulronty says:

                HAHAHA!! Hey, I showed that flick to one of my young offender “thinking management” groups(they picked the name). And then I asked them how Randle Patrick McMurphy & Nurse Ratched were the same. Man, that got them going!!!! Answer:Neither knew the limitations of their own power.

              • Richter1994 says:

                LOL, you’re like the Bob Dylan of the blog!!

            • Richter1994 says:

              You think SKA does that? Rangers might have to kick in a sweetner my friend, lol.

    • Spozo says:

      So it’s more important to cover Ryan behind the net then Karlsson in the slot? What a joke.

      • Spozo says:

        And even if that was the right play (which it wasn’t) Kreider failed because Ryan still made the pass.

      • paulronty says:

        So he’s supposed to cover two players at once. Rarely if ever is a goal the fault of one player. Where were his teammates who could have been covering Karlsson? As usual, you are the joke.

        • Spozo says:

          No he shouldn’t have covered two players. He should have stayed with Karlsson and let Ryan go.

        • Spozo says:

          Did I say it was solely Kreider fault? I just double checked and no I didn’t. I recommend you do too. It was a response to Leather who said Kreider made the right play. He didn’t. Based on this blog I’m not the only one who thinks so. Is Dave a joke as well for saying Kreider “for some reason left Karlsson to chase Ryan behind the net”?

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            It seems Paul sometimes has reading comprehension issues. Combine that with his undying love for the overrated Chris Kreider (whom he NEVER criticizes ever!) and you get the expected response. You can be sure if Stepan made the same mistake, he’s be all over him like white on rice.

            Of course Kreider should have stayed with Karlsson. A pee wee hockey coach would know that. Is it all on Kreider that the goal was scored? No. But was he a significant culprit there? Obviously.

            • Leatherneck says:

              You people have blinders on…oh soooo much so because you have to justify sh_t for your super hero…foolish way to think. I watched that goal numerous times…Kreider made the right play. If you really think he did not….then it clearly dictates bias. No mention of how deep Leaky was? How about that? No mention of that what so ever. Your hero has become a dud….
              Yet another so called inferior goalie out battled him. I hope he moves on and you Leaky fans switch teams with him.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                He won’t…and if he did none of us would. What would be best is if you moved on since you clearly have no appreciation for the greatest Rangers goaltender ever. We would have been SWEPT in the first round if not for Hank.

                Was he at his stellar best in this series? No. But to blame this series loss on him? Disgraceful.

              • Leatherneck says:

                Triple E….tomato, tumato, bubba…Mr I am always right. Pffft to you homeboy.
                Greatest Ranger ever is relative, n’est pa? I rate Richter higher than him, followed by EG. I also consider Talbot better than him.
                To chose your own. You go on defending Leaky, you are entitled to it, I will continue to state he is overrated.
                Remember triple E, point a finger you have 3 pointing back

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                No Eddie, what are you talking about? Clearly what we needed more of were ‘timely saves’!

                That’s the problem, so many of these people only watch the NYR…. as such, a few of them obviously have no idea what they’re talking about.

                Mike Milbury has this problem too. Blaming Nash before that third period started…… pretty obvious he wasn’t watching the game.

              • King Sieveqvist! King Sieveqvist! KIng Sieveqvist! says:

                3 E’s , how can you possibly say we wouldn’t have gotten into round 2 without Hank , maybe we could have gotten to rd 3 without him ! Did he make some great save,yup … were lots off his own doing ? Yup …. We’ll never know cause Raanta and Talbot ( whos having a pretty good first playoff showing ) sat !
                The other goalie Andy made huge saves as well and at perfect times … just sayin

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                hey sieve, what are you gonna do now with no 30 trolling to do?

              • paulronty says:

                E3 & Sposso biased? Heavens, these guys were pee wee coaches.

              • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

                Angry ….. It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it ,too many butt hurt people around hollering about pour Hanks biological clock is ticking and all …..

    • paulronty says:

      In 66 years of being a Ranger fan, this WAS probably the most frustrating season ever.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Of course, such a statement is subjective so it’s not my place to take you to task on this–even though it makes me shake my head in wonderment.

        This team, by most accounts, was supposed to be at best a borderline playoff team. At best! I don’t think too many people thought we’d be playing May hockey this year. So hard to call this the most frustrating season.

        I don’t go back 66 years, but in the 50 years I’ve been watching, I’d put this up there as one of the more unexpectedly surprising seasons. The ending was a dud and definitely a disappointment, but the journey was a ride I sure was not expecting.

        Far, far more frustrating seasons off the top of my head–

        1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975 (all years where we actuallly had elite HOF talent that we dont have today. Could have won the Cup but didn’t. THAT was frustrating!)

        1976– The unraveling of the franchise. Arguably the worst year ever.

        1980–Fell flat on their faces after an unexpected run to the SCF.

        1985– Just a brutal, brutal season.

        1987, 1988, 1989– Massively disappointing teams under Espo

        1990 and 1991–We win the division in 1990. Caps ruin our season both times. Brutal

        1992– A team good enough to win the Cup gets bounced int he second round

        1993– Collapse

        1995, 1996–Post Cup malaise..should have been better.

        1998-2004–Brutal, just brutal

        2009–The playoff collapse under Torts

        2010–NO PLAYOFFS!

        2012– Team had a clear path to the SCF and folded its tents against an inferior Devils team.

        Of the 50 seasons I’ve watched, this isn’t even in my bottom half of worst seasons. But, to each his own.

        • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

          No, but what eats at everyone is that there is no excuse for many of the things done by the bingo man (not gonna rehash it here). As such, it will leave open ended second guessing unless, by some miracle, they begin to care next year / the right moves are made.

        • Chris F says:

          Eddie and Paul,

          I don’t have the sort of fan tenure that you both do, having only been a fan of this team for about 25 years, but in that time, even I’ve seen a whole lot more heartbreak and frustration than this season.

          By any measure, things started off very well for me as a Rangers fan, with the Rangers winning the Cup while I was still a pretty young kid in only my second year rooting for the team. 1994 led me to believe that the Rangers could do anything and were playing with the sort of magic that legends were made of. Imagine being a 9 year old kid seeing your team do that, the expectations and confidence couldn’t have been higher.

          And then the 1995 playoffs arrives, and the Rangers squeak in as an 8th seed in a lockout shortened season. Still riding high from the ’94 Cup win, and after getting past the top seeded Nordiques in the first round, you better believe that I had visions of a second Cup dancing around in my head. Then I got my first taste of Rangers heartbreak, getting swept out of the second round by the Flyers, giving me my first gut-wrenching reason to hate that franchise.

          1996 seemed like a nice rebound season, with the Rangers rising up the standings and finishing in the top five in the League, Messier putting up 99 points, and Leetch and Verbeek right on his tail with 80+ points a piece. We go down 0-2 in the opening round against Montreal, before rattling off four straight wins and advancing. Yet again, I’m thinking this team is going to do something special, and yet again, they fall flat and get knocked out by Pittsburgh in five games for another bucket of cold water to the face.

          1996-97, I’m starting to better understand what it takes to win a Cup, and starting to better appreciate the talent around the League aside from the Rangers. Since my optimism and expectations are bit lowered heading into the season, the Rangers acquire Wayne Gretzy to give me a new reason to be wildly hopeful. And he doesn’t disappoint, putting up 97 points, with Messier, Leetch, and Graves putting up solid numbers as well. We breeze through the first two rounds, eliminating Florida and the top-seeded Devils in five games apiece. This is it. The Rangers are back in the Conference Finals, and we’re going to do it this year! But then we run into Eric Lindros, and again the Rangers break my heart, bowing out in five games to a Flyers team that gets swept in the Finals by Detroit. To be fair, there was probably no chance the Rangers were going to beat Detroit that season, they were an absolute champion team, battle-tested in consecutive trench war Conference Finals against the Avalanche, but try telling that to my 12 year old self.

          Anyway, after the sheer joy and magic of 1994, the Rangers break my heart three years in a row, shaking my belief in the team and propelling my interest into other sports. I started playing baseball around this time, and became an avid fan of the Oakland A’s (another team that would perennially break my heart in the early 2000s), and got wrapped up in the dominance of the Dallas Cowboys of the 90s, a real champion franchise who dominated an entire era.

          1998-2004 were less heartbreaking than anything I’d previously seen from the Rangers, but instead were just a frustrating haze of ineptitude and obscurity. This should have been my glory years as a young hockey fan, but instead the Rangers pushed me to the brink of writing off hockey altogether. Year after year, they toiled at the bottom and did little to nothing to attempt a genuine rebuild of an obviously failing organization.

          2005-06, my second year in college, following the lockout season, and I’m not even really paying attention to the Rangers anymore. But then suddenly something happens. Jaromir Jagr is a Ranger, and he dominates the League putting up 123 points, with a small, but productive, core around him in Nylander, Straka, and Ruzinsky, and a promising rookie Petr Prucha scoring 30 goals. Plus, we suddenly have a goalie again. Henrik’s first year, and he suddenly gives this organization a glimmer of hope again. The Rangers make the playoffs for the first time in nearly 10 years, and all the excitement and hope comes flooding back into me as if the previous 10 years had never happened. This is playoff hockey, and my Rangers are back in it! What a great feeling it was. But we weren’t ready. Nobody showed up, and the Rangers get swept out of the playoffs in a familiar fashion.

          2006-07, this one hurt. Jagr still dominates, but we’ve built a better core around him this season, with a lot more depth. Rangers have a solid season, and sweep the Thrashers in the first round in absolute dominant fashion. Then it’s time to face the President’s Trophy Sabres. Expectations weren’t exactly high, but despite going down 0-2, we win two straight (including a double OT winner) and end up in a 2-2 series tie heading into game 5. There’s now some cautious optimism. Game 5, we have a late 1-0 lead, and suddenly it looks like we may in fact bring this series back to NY with a chance to close it out and pull off a remarkable upset to advance onto the Conference Finals. With 7.7 seconds left in the third, Chris Drury picks up a bad angle rebound and buries it to send the game to OT, where Maxim Afinogenov finishes us off with a game-winning PP goal. We go on to lose game 6 at home. This one was so painful. Not because the expectations were ever really there that we’d beat Buffalo, but rather that we came so close and gave that series away in a year when I think we could have beaten the Senators to advance to the Finals.

          2007-08, we have a real solid team with a nice balance of big name players like Jagr and Shanahan, veterans like Drury and Gomez, and some great young talent in Callahan, Dubinsky, Prucha, Girardi, and Staal. We get our revenge against the Devils, soundly sending them home five games, to advance to the second round again, where we run into an incredible Pittsburgh team that we’re simply no match for.

          2008-09, despite an underwhelming season for just about everyone on the roster, the Rangers take a 3-1 series lead against a Capitals teams brimming with talent. After game 4, we chase Jose Theodore from the crease, and the Capitals pluck unknown goalie Semyon Varlamov off a bus in Mexico and fly him up for game 5. This seems like a last grasp of desperation, and I’m thinking this series is all but over. Instead, Varlamov plays out of his mind and the Capitals storm all the way back winning three straight, including a late game 7 tie-breaker by Sergei Fedorov to clinch the series for Washington. This is not a series the Rangers should have lost, and it hurt like hell.

          2009-10, what’s there to say? Despite four consecutive years of giving Rangers fans playoff hockey enjoyment –and heartbreak– again, the Rangers don’t even make the playoffs, losing out to 8th seed Philadelphia of all teams in a shootout loss on the last game of the year. You gotta be Jokinen.

          2010-11, we’re back, baby! Oh never mind, out in 5 against the damned Capitals again.

          2011-12, this was a magical run. It’s recent enough that I’m sure you all remember how much of a storybook affair this one was. With a team of lunch-pail players, the Black-and-Blueshirts (plus 40 goal scorer Marion Gaborik) somehow pull off the impossible and finish the season atop the Eastern Conference. We have an absolute war of a first round series against Ottawa, climbing back from down 3-2 to win the series in 7 in a nail-biter at the Garden. On to the second round where we face off against a familiar foe in the Washington Capitals. Game 3, series tied 1-1, the New York Rangers win a triple overtime off a goal by Marion Gaborik. Imagine that, triple OT, and the Rangers win, and they do so by getting a clutch goal from their top scorer! Remarkable. I almost died that night. Game 5, at home, down 2-1 with a less than a minute left. Joel Ward takes a bad, double-minor high-sticking penalty. There’s a palpable excitement because this team just finds way to win somehow, but still, there’s probably not enough time left. With the clock ticking down, the Rangers win an offensive zone face-off with 21 seconds remaining, and Callahan fires the puck wide, but Hagelin finds the puck and cycles it up the boards, where Girardi finds Del Zotto for a wrist-shot from the point. It too goes wide, but ricochets out to the side of the net where Callahan bangs it on goal, once, twice, and then with less than 8 seconds on the clock Brad Richards finds the loose puck and puts it home to tie the game! The Garden goes absolutely nuts, and the Rangers force OT still enjoying the second of the double-minor PP. Less than 2 minutes into OT, Marc Staal rips one home to win the game and send the Rangers off with a 3-2 series lead. They’d still need go 7, because of course, but the Rangers finally exorcise their demons, and are off to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 15 years against a much weaker underdog in the NJ Devils. This one was in the books, the Rangers were finally going back to the Cup. Except, they weren’t. The magic ran out, and the blue-collar work ethic had taken its toll on the Rangers, who simply ran out of gas and limp home in 6 after taking a 2-1 series lead.

          2012-13, the Rangers knew that the work ethic of the 2012 team could only take them so far, so they trade Anisimov and Dubinsky to Columbus bringing in Rick Nash to make for a potent 1-2 punch between Nash and Gaborik. However, by the trade deadline, it’s apparent that the depth down the middle was going to be a liability, so they deal off the struggling Gaborik to Columbus and bring back Brassard, Moore, and Dorsett, plus add Clowe from SJ. These make immediate impacts, and the Rangers are looking like pretty competitive team heading into the playoffs. They storm back from down 3-2 against the Capitals, with back-t-back shutouts (including a dominant 5-0 game 7 clincher) to advance back to the second round for yet another year. But it all implodes, and the Rangers fall in 5 games to the Bruins. The Torts era ends rather unceremoniously.

          2013-14, boy oh boy is this a strange year. The Rangers hire Alain Vigneault, get off to a terrible start, make a captain-for-captain swap sending Callahan to Tampa in exchange for Martin St Louis, see the fall of Martin Biron and the rise of Cam Talbot, and close out the season with a first round date against the Flyers. It never should have gone to 7, but the Rangers trade wins back-and-forth in a really entertaining series that we finally close out in another game 7 nail-biter at the Garden. Round two… Pittsburgh Penguins. Down 3-1 in the series, Martin St Louis’ mother passes away and he heads back to Canada, unlikely to play in game 5. The Rangers are going to get bounced again, it would seem. Game day, May 9th, Martin St Louis shows up in Pittsburgh ready to play despite it all. The Rangers rally around him and rattle off a convincing 5-1 win to stave off elimination. May 11th, Mother’s Day, back at the Garden, Martin St Louis opens the scoring 4 minutes into the first period and the place is absolutely electric. You can’t write this stuff. The Rangers win 3-1 and force a game 7, where just a wonderful display of commitment and compete send the Rangers off to the Eastern Conference Finals again with a 2-1 victory. That Montreal series was a tough one, as despite the loss of Price, Dustin Tokarski played a phenomenal series, but the Rangers finally close it out in less than 7 and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in exactly 20 years. The story-line was so perfect for this one, I just knew this was the year. This was the most confident and hopeful I’d ever been since I was a 9 year old kid. But then it happened. Heart-break after heart-break as the Rangers blew leads and lost OT thrillers to fall into a 0-3 series hole. We took game 4, but then lose game 5 –and the series in double OT. 5 games. 3 OTs. 2 double-OTs. I still feel this is the closest 5 game series I’ve ever seen. It was devastating. By far, the most difficult loss in my lifetime.

          2014-15, the Rangers do it again. Rick Nash scores 40 goals, and the Rangers take the President’s Trophy. After coming so close in 2014, and rebounding so strong in 2015, I was in full blown optimist mode. We crush Pittsburgh in the first round in 5 games. All is well. All is possible. But then it happens. We fall into another 3-1 series deficit against Washington. I’d been burned enough by the Rangers to know they wouldn’t pull off 3-1 series come backs in consecutive years. But that’s exactly what they did. They win three straight, all by 1 goal, including a game 7 OT victory off a goal by Derek Stepan. It’s completely unbelievable, but the NY Rangers are going back to the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in four years! But, they do so with no Zuccarello, and with all of our defensemen dealing with serious injuries aside from Dan Boyle. Both teams find offensive juice rattling off wins with 5 goals, 6 goals, 7 goals. It’s a bizarre affair, back-and-forth, but somehow the depleted Rangers claw themselves to a game 7 showdown. They’re battered, everyone seems hurt, but coming off a dominant 7-3 thumping in game 6, this looks to be in the Rangers favor. Game 7, at home, with Hank in net. What could go wrong? Heart-break, that’s what.

          So, while this year is frustrating in that the Rangers should have beaten Ottawa in at most 5, if not swept them, and they pretty much gave away every single loss, I can’t see how this one comes anywhere near the top 10 worst seasons of the last 25 years, much less the last 60 years.

          • paulronty says:

            The Rangers in the 50s perennially finished last. They were brutal in the post war years. But this was THE most frustrating season for me, maybe only me, in 66 years. Why? Because unlike Eddie I don’t think this year’s team was lacking because there is only one star(according to him). In fact, I think this team could have gone to the finals if they played anywhere near their potential. I think they are badly coached & led, & that is my conviction, which I don’t apologize for. I’m one of those guys who thinks the coach is a major factor in winning. A team must be led, just like an army.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            What a fantastic recap of the past 23 years! Well done!

            I’m still not over the 2007 loss to Buffalo, or Torts’ disastrous 2009 meltdown or the 2012 loss to the Devils. Should have won them all!

        • paulronty says:

          Eddie, don’t bother, I just skip the post because I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

        • Sammy says:

          Great job E3. Your right on with it

  12. Joe D says:

    I love the Rangers, but I the number of big games where they just don’s show up is staggering. Game 3 SC Final (home), Game 7 ECF (home), last year they met a buzzsaw, Game 6 (home) last night–with a 4 minute PP…

    What was the PP this playoffs 3 for 34?

    Not sure what it is, but the coach needs to be accountable and the Rangers need to find some new blood. Is hockey getting like basketball, where you need at least one superstar to succeed (aside from Hank)? If so, the Rangers don’t have that player and I’m not sure where he comes from.

    • Jerry says:

      Hey Joe,
      One suggestion as to where we might find a superstar, that is not used and over-the-proverbial-hill, might be that we start keeping our high draft choices, instead of wasting them, on the aforementioned over the hill “stars”.

    • paulronty says:

      One superstar does not a championship win because it’s a team game. Remember the Miracle On Ice? There are many superstars who have never lofted the Cup.

      • Joe D says:

        It was a miracle for a reason!

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Miracle on Ice? Seriously? That’s your example? So you’re saying that AV needed to perform a miracle here?

        Herb Brooks once famously said “If we played (the Soviets) ten times we’d probably lose nine times”. It was one game. It was a miracle. That’s WHY it’s called the “Miracle on Ice”.

        Steve Valiquette said it best last night on the Rangers post-game show. We have no elite 1C. We have no stud defensive pairing led by a superstar defensemen. There are issues with defensive depth. Teams that have won the Cup in recent years have the 1C, have the defensive stud, and have the defensive depth. Sure, we probably could and probably should have won this last series, but basically, this team has far, far too many flaws to be considered a high end contender.

        Miracle on Ice! That’s a good one!

        • Joe D says:

          Spot on E3!

        • Leatherneck says:

          One of the flaws is Leaky, let’s not forget

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            No let’s…because it’s absurd.

            • Rangers Rock says:

              I concur.
              1st is AV.
              2nd Hank
              3rd Defense
              4th AV
              5th Glass in the lineup
              6th Kreider
              7th AV
              8th #22
              9th Stahl
              etc. etc…

        • King Sieveqvist! King Sieveqvist! KIng Sieveqvist! says:

          Team is built wrong , cant pay the Sieve a pile of money , 4-6 mil max , then you have 3 stars that make the $$ but need to produce … now we wanna dump a pile of money at Shattenkirk !

          • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

            …. Do you (seriously) mean to imply that, not only if 30 made 2-3 million less, but that if Nash was better (despite being one of the few that tried), that we would have won this?

            Seriously? Does 2 + 2 have to be 22 for you as well?

            The Shattenkirk thing, though, we can agree about (unless it comes with the condition that one of 5/18 are sent out to pasture).
            Adding a defenseman (short of a Bobby Orr clone) isn’t going to ‘inspire’ them to collectively give a sh!t.

            • Richter1994 says:

              McD-Trouba
              Skjei-Shatty
              Graves/Brez/Pionk-Smith

              I can imagine it. I think the Rangers push hard for Trouba, especially since some of the forwards shit the bed these playoffs.

  13. JoeS. says:

    As most of you know here, I am ever the optimist. However, today the season is over. It was a lot of fun and, if we were all being honest, not many people on this site would have predicted this team make it to the second round at the beginning of the year. So, I say they over achieved this year. That’s a good thing! Fix the Blue line, tweak center, and make another run next year. Stepan was brutally disappointing this playoff. I have been a big AV fan, however that armor is starting show cracks, I admire loyalty, but…..he could have rotated all the Blue liners to keep them fresh, being that is our weakest area. I don’t think he is going anywhere so I will continue to support him. To everyone here on the blog…Thanks! it has been a great year, lot of back and forth, and many educated and enlightened opinions. Some not so much. I hope all those whom I disagreed with at times, know that it is all in fun and I never mean to be disparaging. Wish you all a wonderful summer and look forward to watching and discussing the changes with you. Today, I’m off to Paris for 10 days, so at least I don’t have to try to find places at 2 in the morning to watch the Rangers playoff games. TTYL

  14. Dan says:

    Thanks to BSB for all the coverage and work you guys do. One of the best parts of my day is coming to the site early in the morning and late afternoon to read about Rangers hockey and hear what fans, old and young, are saying since we don’t get it much on television and radio. It’s much appreciated.

    I, like all of you, are really frustrated and unhappy with how this series went down. We should of been at least getting ready to play Washington or Pittsburgh. I do have a longer post in me about being optimistic because sometimes reading through the comments before, during and after games can be pretty brutal. It’s all doom and gloom with some people. But I’ll save that for another day. Today is all about mourning this years team.

    I don’t believe the blame falls on just one person. It falls on many. AV’s management issues at the end of games 2 and 5 … JT and Hayes scoring zero goals .. Stepan not stepping up …. the atrocious PP ….

    But to me … if I had to choose one thing that pissed me off the most in this playoffs … it’s Chris Kreider. He was skating like wild banshee last night in the 3rd period. Where the hell was that in Montreal and games 1-5? If he is supposed to be our big, strong, fast skating power foward … well he went MIA for the first 11 2/3 games. We should be happy that we even got this far if our “best, young, strong” forward didn’t do crap.

    This really sucks. Although they’re playing great, I’m not ready for Yankees baseball this summer. I wanted at least one more week of Stanley cup hopes and dreams πŸ™

    One last thing, this year we fell to the Wild Card. Last year we didn’t. And a lot of us knew our team wasn’t great .. so we expected that loss to Pittsburgh. If we got the wild card last year and had to go through the Atlantic Division, would we have been able to get out of the first round? Just food for thought. I’m not sure where I’m going with this lol … but I guess what I’m trying to say is that, the beat down we took last year made our GM open his eyes about what we needed — young, fast, skilled players (so we got Zib, Vesey, Skej played a more prominent role this year). What does a loss like this tell him?

  15. JoeS. says:

    Also, thanks to all the writers here at BSB, especially, Dave. You provide us with wonderfully insightful dialogue day in and day out, without fail, all year long. It is greatly appreciated!

    By the way, did anyone else notice the huge smile on Stepan’s face at the end of the game? ear to ear, like he was happy to be going on vacation! He must go!

    • Fotiu is God says:

      Classy post, JoeS. Stick-tap.

      Yet another Great Fade. Another sad tap-out. Blame extends far, management to the bench boss to the farm.

      Straightaway, deal Kreider. Hopefully no GMs watched our playoffs because that detached, self effected Millennial reduced his trade value to zero.

      I doubt Winnipeg takes him in any Trouba deal. Who would? What an effin’ waste.

      Deal Hayes, too. All dangle; no heart. Stepan’s contract? Our next albatross. Untouchable.

      McD’s not captain material. You could see the agony, the defeat, the welling anguish in his face midway through Game Six. It should be Zucc’s club.

      Oscar Lindberg’s on the ascent. Build a second or third line around him and The Austrian Rocket.

      In sum, E3s been talking this talk all year: it’s a very average group. They simply couldn’t seize the moment. Overachieve. Self-motivate.

      Though my hyper voluble colleague wouldn’t countenance, E3s summation extends to the brain trust: they’re equally average to spectacularly mediocre. No imagination. No fire.

      How does Laviolette get it done? He saw Phil Housley get it done, winning Gold with our US World Junior club. A great assistant coach, PP whisperer.

      One glance at AV last night behind the bench said it all. He wasn’t even present. I got the sense he was with the Mrs. Window shopping back home in Quebec. Looking at Gucci handbags.

      And yes, the disaster that was our PP extends from the coaches to the GM. How do you not develop from within if we can’t secure a PP/QB from without?

      Please no Shattenkirk, Richter. Look elsewhere. Or develop a kid from the system. It should’ve been done six months ago. Had we even a Michael Del Zotto, any decent puck mover on the back line today’s narrative is flipped.

      All the best to you, Dave, for your smart stage craft, the patience you exhibit with some of the Usual Suspects.

      To Coach Walt, Dr. Paul, E3, Bobby B./The Hitman, Swarty, Original Rob, Chris F. (the moral compass of BSB), JoeS, Steven my fellow hammerhead, Johnny Red the gentleman, all the best to you all.

      My bleeding Blue heart to yours, respectfully.

      It’s been a stone gas.

      • Chris F says:

        Enjoy the off-season, Fotiu.

        I hope it’s a good one for you and yours. I’m fortunate enough to have a really interesting and exciting 5 months ahead of me which should help keep my head off of this loss, but right about when the season is starting up again life should be back to normal for me, so pretty perfect timing.

        With this forward depth, and some big changes on the backend, Hank shouldn’t need to carry the team next year. Pretty exciting prospect. Should be a productive off-season.

        I won’t be around here that much for awhile –I don’t think– but I hope to “see” you around when I do stop by.

        LGR!

        • Fotiu is God says:

          Thanks, Chris. You’re one of The Good Ones.

          All the best to you, your family as well.

          Hopefully I’ll sell this docu-investigative series this summer, a build out of two documentary feature films I wrote/co-produced (here’s the teaser):

          password: range

          It’s set here in the California low desert; more specifically, in and around a US Navy bombing and gunnery range which leads a double life as the engine of an extreme underground economy.

          • Chris F says:

            First of all, this looks fascinating. I’ve never actually been on the ground of a munitions test range, so I hadn’t really considered how much money is actually just laying around for the taking.

            However, coincidently, this is tangentially related to what I’ll be doing the next 5 months, and in California it just so happens.

            Best of luck with the project, let us know if the full thing is ever available.

            • Fotiu is God says:

              Here’s one of the films I wrote, Chris. Sold and aired in Russia, Eastern Europe:

              (Keep the kids from the room, though; more F-bombs than a Rangers-Isles tilt from the 80s)–

              of bombs and men (Documentary Feature Film)
              Password: tar248

              Act 1-2:

              Act 3:

              I think you’ll dig Snakeman, my life coach…

              • Chris F says:

                Thanks, man.

                I will certainly check these out now that I have so much free time on my hands πŸ™

              • paulronty says:

                Hey, I loved snakeman!!!! Here’s a guy who says Mother Nature is sacroanct & bigger than all of us. It was a great documentary BTW, watched the whole thing, Mikey. Good luck selling it!

      • Walt says:

        Nicky boy, hope that you, and yours have a wonderful summer, and that when we meet again on this site, we will have a completely new line up with hungry kids, new coach, and a damn working PP. Now is that too much to ask for??????? Take care paisan!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Fotiu is God says:

          Right back at you, paisan. All the best this summer.

          You headed to Italia?

          My son, Nicky, who lives ‘nor east of Oshawa with his Mom wants to see his first Broadway show for his 10th birthday.

          Come August, we’ll base out of Throggs Neck, across the expressway from Villa Barone, with my cousins, The Vizzini’s (40-year Blue Seaters).

          The equipment manager, or trainer (?) Dave Ramsey used to live a few stoops away.

          Let me know when or if you, or Bobby B. are BBQ-ing.

          michaeldigregorio.com

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Stick taps to you Fotiu! You are the best blogger. Don’t be a stranger!!!

            • Fotiu is God says:

              Thank you for the grace, E3.

              Tipped my Stetson to you earlier.

              • Richter1994 says:

                Where you going? You need to serenade us with poetry as suffer the misery that is the Rangers’ offseason without another Cup.

          • Walt says:

            Nick

            The only time I’m near the city is when I go visit my son, his wife, and the grandchildren in Brooklyn, it would be great just the same.

            Maria, and I will return again to the father land, September, and will incorporate southern Spain on this trip. This will mark our 10th year in a row going to Italy, and have always enjoyed it immensely. We both have family there, but we also enjoy seeing the country side, and have been from the Alps, to Sicily.

            If your travels bring you in, and around the Harrisburg, Hershey area, let me know, we can get together and break bread, and have a few adult beverages. Til then, travel safe, and enjoy your trip home!!!!!!!

    • Walt says:

      Joe

      For once you, and I are on the same page!!!!!! Daisy Stepan probably wants out of here in a big way, so he could go back to Minnesota, where there is no pressure, no bright lights, and no BSB to expose his lack of gonads, that twat!!!!!!!!!! I hope to never see him in Ranger blue for the rest of his career……

  16. Bloomer says:

    The Rangers played well in Game 3 and 4 but couldn’t keep it going in Game 5 and 6, The teams were fairly even in the standings and we shouldn’t be too surprised by the result. I don’t believe Gorton should blow this team up in the offseason and start the rebuild. He does have to address some of the clubs weakness and doesn’t have a lot of cap space to do so. Inserting some young talented players into the lineup as opposed to signing some big name players with herty salaries

  17. amy says:

    good morning well it is day one of the summer of discontent for the boys as Ottawa is back in Ottawa waiting to see who they will face but for the boys it will be time for changes it is time to get grittier and faster and younger I do see Stefan going he had a bad series you think we traded the wrong center we should have kept brass oh well have a great summer

  18. jerry maley says:

    TOO MANNY TOP 9 FORWARDS…EXCEPT STEPHAN WHO BELONGS WITH THE WOLFPACK…..

    • Walt says:

      WTF??????????? Daisy is the first one who should be shown the door first………..

  19. 43 says:

    Look, with that defense, this team clearly overachieved.

    Frankly, they surpassed my expectations. I’m happy we got as far as we did, and while it stings that we really could’ve won this series 4-1, I’m not bummed.

    Here’s to next year.

  20. paulronty says:

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall when these players have their exit interviews. I’ll bet there will be some grumbling.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      So let me get this straight. When we discussed why Torts was let go, you insisted that it had nothing at all to do with what was said in the exit interviews (even though it was strongly rumored that is exactly what happened). But now, you’re banking on that very same thing that you believe didn’t happen before to happen in this case? Sure. Makes perfect sense.

      There always wil be some grumbling when a team loses. That’s the nature of the beast. But I suspect that most of the players will put this squarely on their own shoulders. This is a stand-up group for the most part. They know it was 90-95% on them.

      • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

        Alien Bingo still considers crunch time STAAL to be a good thing.

        Doesn’t matter though, there’s very few of them I wouldn’t trade. When they lost to the kings in 2014, I remember Doughty saying something along the lines of how the kings ‘wanted it more’.

        Understatement of that guy’s career.

        Another year, same story. Lundqvist unable to bail out a bunch of clowns who show up for 10 minutes in an elimination game.

  21. Peter says:

    I am not at all for the dismantling that my frustrated fellow fans are talking about this morning. They got beat by a team that is a good that may have less talent but played better than the Rangers. So it goes.

    No one gets an A today. They lost, so no A grades.

    I would give Fast, Zucc, Grabner, Nash and Oscar B+ grades for the playoffs.

    I’d give Zibanejad, McDonough, Smith, Vesey, Skjei and Glass all a grade of B

    Yes, Hank was very good sometimes but was inconsistent throughout the playoffs, so he gets a B – Not quite good enough for a B grade. I almost gave

    Kreider gets a C+ because he was not the force he can be often enough.

    AV gets a C- No, they didn’t lose because of him, but they didn’t win the thing so, he can’t get a full C either. Dan Girardi gets a C- too because he sometimes was not too bad, but sometimes was pretty bad.

    Hayes and Miller should have been better. Stepan should have been better. They get D’s. Hayes and Miller are still young projects. Stepan will never be any better than he is now.

    Buch gets an incomplete. I expect good things from him in the future.

    If your name wasn’t called you got an F.

    • flatbush says:

      Hank is an A . He makes 2 saves in a period that should be in the back of the net. If not for him we would have never made round 2

      • Peter says:

        Hank was very good vintage Hank at times. But he was not consistent. Yes, without him they would probably have not made it they the first round, though Antti Raanta might have gotten them there if he was at his best.

        No matter, they didn’t lose to Ottawa because of Hank that is for sure, but he couldn’t bail them out being miraculous. It’s not on Hank, but he was not consistently at his best.

    • Rangers Rock says:

      What is the reason we lost?

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Miller–Kreider–Hayes—Stink, stank, stunk. That’s the primary reason.

        And Stepan too.

        • Walt says:

          Well I’ll be damned, E3 you finally saw what Daisy is all about??? As for the other three, you can also include some of the defense, and how about the guy behind the bench, you know the gum chewing Buddha??????????? No we can’t go down that road, AV is HOF material, right? No way Jose…………

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Hey, I call it as I see it. Stepan wasn’t good. He had a medicore season. His NMC kicks in. It’s more than fair to look at other alternatives.

            But as I said in a prior post, you cant just say “get rid of the bums (AV included) without considering if you can make the team better by doing so. If you make the wrong moves, you can easily set yourself back.

            So the question is not whether Stepan, AV, the “Anti-Triplets” or anyone else for that matter should be kept around or not. The REAL question is, are there better alternatives out there that will improve the team? If the answer is yes, then any move, including firing the coach, the GM, the trainer, or trading or releasing ANY player, MUST be considered, and I would be 100% in favor of it.

            • paulronty says:

              When you are a winner, you don’t worry about making WRONG moves, you contemplate making RIGHT moves. There are lots of good coaches out there, you think AV is God???OH shite, you do have Stockholm Syndrome!!!!!!

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                I hardly think AV is God. It seems to me that, in the reverse, you think Torts and Keenan are God.

                Facts are facts. AV is a good coach. He’s done a real good job in his time in NY with a good but not great team. He dramatically improved the team’s fortunes over the previous coach.

                He’s clearly one of the best in the business. Why? Because his record says he is. Is he THE best? No. But he’s in the top tier.

                How do I have Stockholm Syndrome when I just said yes, he can be fired, IF a better option is out there? The fact is, and likely the reason he got the raise and extension, is because knowing who would be available, Gorton and Sather concluded that an upgrade at the coaching position would be highly improbable in the foreseeable future. Based on what’s out there now, I would concur.

                Again Paul, reading comprehension. Try it sometime. It’s will serve you well. πŸ™‚

            • Walt says:

              E3

              Move Miller to the center position, along with Z, Oscar, Hayes, and bingo we have the position covered, at 1/4 the cost.

              In return we could go trade for a d-man, who can skate, and defend, something that’s been lacking on our blue line for three, or four years, or so. In the process we get tougher, Stepan is jello at best, cheaper by a mile by getting rid of him, along with the twins, and we could start winning again, when it counts!!!!!

              See, I came up with a solution, but you won’t dare agree because it means we won’t have your boys, the twins to fall back upon, and will be stuck defending Marv alone, now that’s a shame??????/

        • Richter1994 says:

          Bro, your boy was directly responsible for 3 playoff losses, at least. You forgot him.

      • King Sieveqvist! King Sieveqvist! KIng Sieveqvist! says:

        They scored more goals then us ?

  22. paulronty says:

    β€œWe came out slow,” McDonagh said. β€œIt’s as simple as that. We can’t put ourselves in a hole, but we did and I don’t know why.

    The WHY, ah, there’s the rub. Unless Gorton can wrap his head around the WHY with clear vision, success will be illusive.

    “Head coach Alain Vigneault was often outfoxed by his counterpart on the Ottawa bench, Guy Boucher, and frequently made head-scratching defensive deployments in late-game situations”–Sean Hartnett

    Neurosis is defined by the repetition compulsion, the enduring tendency to ignore the outcomes of your actions & persist in maladaptive behaviour. This is very much a facet of AVs personality structure. It promotes rigidity and undermines the ability for solution-focused thinking.

    • Rangers Rock says:

      Neurosis is also the definition of E3. A tendency to ignore the outcomes of the actions of the coach.

      • Fotiu is God says:

        (Or) Stockholm Syndrome. ^

        E3 is clearly, ineffably, held captive by AV.

        No other explanation.

        Gabba gabba hey.

      • paulronty says:

        As he said in his once self disclosing post, E3 likes to play Devil’s Advocate & pull certain people’s chains(Moi, Richter, You, etc). His garrulous posts are designed to put one into trance, engage you in interminable debate, until you feel like you are suffering from constipation of the brain, the result of his diarrhea of the mouth. Takes up too much time & effort to countenance.

      • Walt says:

        or our propagandist in chief!!!!!

        • Chris F says:

          You guys should really lighten up. It’s fine to disagree, but you guys trash Eddie non-stop simply because you don’t agree with his conclusions and assessments. He’s never rude or insulting, and is actually quite civil and thoughtful considering you guys just continue to mock him, deride him, and bash on him.

          It’s really gotten quite old.

          Debate if you’d like, or ignore, but ripping on the guy like this is getting way out of line, in my opinion.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            It’s ok Chris. It’s Paul’s way to attack and tear people down when he actually doesn’t have a way to respond. It’s his pattern.

            Seriously, we all come at this from different perspectives. And yes, Paul is right. When I feel there is an imbalance in a conversation, it’s my nature to double down on the opposite side to create some needed balance. Not so much to push buttons (although that can be fun!), but more to balance out what I feel at times is a one sided conversation. Wouldn’t it be boring if we ALL agreed on every point?

            We have limited information to work with here. None of us have any idea what’s really going on, what management thinks of certain players, the relationship between AV and Gorton, etc. But what you can do is connect the dots. And that’s what I attempt to do.

            Did AV have a series that leaves him open to significant criticism? Absolutely. Does that mean he should be fired? After more playoff series wins as Rangers coach than anyone else other than Lester Patrick? In my view, no. The piling on AV receives out here is just way over the top. Same for Stepan. He was bad this series, no doubt. But he’s been a good Ranger and it was solid investment to make at the time. Again, some balance would be nice. I can count on one hand how many times we’ve seen a negative comment or article out here on Miller, Hayes or Kreider. Yet in the playoffs, their failure was THE story. But few want to go there.

            So yes, Paul is right. When I see an unfair swing in comments that IMO doesnt square with reality, it’s my nature to go to that player/coach’s defense, or attack that player/coach if they are receiving undue praise.

            The world is not so black and white as Paul and others make it out to be. Stepan doesnt suck. AV isn’t clueless. And Miller/Hayes/Kreider aren’t players above reproach.

            That’s all I’ve ever said. But if you dare go against anything Paul says…it’s kill the messenger time!

            Anyway, as I said, I like having spirited debates with anyone. It’s rarely if ever personal.

            Thanks for the kind words though! πŸ™‚

            • paulronty says:

              Me black & white? Good thing you’re a journalist & not a psychologist. Did you know I once hypnotized a lady with a snake phobia & took her inside the brain of a snake & demonstrated for her how terrified the snake was of HER!!! It was not black & white, it was ihn Cinemascope. LOL!

          • paulronty says:

            He reminds me of AV, so I have to rip him. Hey, he rips me too(you didn’t know it). Hey, when you dish it out, you got to take it too. Relax Chris, we are all grown men. Capisce?

        • Fotiu is God says:

          Yea, but I gotta tip my grey felt Stetson to Eddie.

          I mean, c’mon Walt, Doc Paul: notwithstanding Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Kim Il-Sung and that colorful meth head here on the side Highway 62, who can belt out a 15,000-word abstract before 9:00 a.m.?

          My hangover hasn’t even waned; yet Eddie’s already posted another 10,000-word treatise. And you know he’s cocked and locked with a 7500-word counterpoint to anyone of us who chooses to target his earlier salvos.

          It’s almost Kerouac-like.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            You are amazing Fotiu! I just looked up your site. Very impressive. You’d be the kind of writer I would really enjoy getting to know one day.

            Continued success my friend!

            • paulronty says:

              Ya, he is amazing!!! Such wit has rarely been seen on a sports blog.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                On that, we are in complete agreement! I was never a print writer. TV/Radio. My writing skills are nowhere near as good as his. Very, very impressive.

              • Fotiu is God says:

                Grazie, Paul. I’m humbled.

                But how come you only have your Facebook profile, but no accompanying presence?

                You worried Christy Canyon and Ginger Lynn are gonna’ stalk you?

              • Chris F says:

                Hey Fotiu, I also checked out the link. Really eclectic mix of work you got there.

                Couldn’t help but notice you may have some experience in exploring the greater Las Vegas area. I’ll be moving there in November, and would love your recommendations sometime!

          • paulronty says:

            Reminds me of Marcel Proust.

  23. paulronty says:

    Lundqvist always takes an inward look at what he could have done better to get this team over the hump, but all of these postseason exits have never been his fault. He has given everything in his body and soul for this franchise. Once again, his teammates owed him better and failed to hold up their end of the bargain.

    This isn’t on you, Hank.—Sean Hartnett

    Amen to that Mr. Hartnett!
    To say this team overachieved is abject folly. They were capable of oh so much more.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      On the Hank part we are in complete agreement. On whether this team overachieved or underachieved, you are as usual overrating our good but not great talent.

      Heck, I would have settled for at least a “good” performance here from some of our so-called stars. I know you think that the coach is the root of all evil here, but seriously, don’t you think the players have a significant culpability here?

    • Ray says:

      Every player gave his all.

      • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

        …… said no one ever (up until now)

        Sorry, Ray, we don’t agree one bit on that

  24. upstatetom says:

    “CONGRADULATIONS” , Ottawa, you deserve to be where you are now. good luck in your next two series. hope most of the ranger players and management have a lousy summer because “A LOT” of them deserve that !!!!! complete lack of effort from some high paid players !!

  25. flatbush says:

    Alot of good points but there are alot of knee jerk reactions and we want to get that one sniper or lock down D man etc etc. There are those who will pull out the useless charts and stats and some want to get rid of this guy or that guy. None of that will teach a team how to persevere and hold of a barrage or a team that will get that goal in the last minute instead of giving it up. What is missing is building a team that knows how to hold the lead or how to come back. That is what we needed most; not a sniper or lock down D men. Of course you cant have 50% of the players being inconsistent. So the question is how do you build a team that knows how to dial it up or protect a lead? Here is what AV built
    AV relied on experience. Flawed when that experience never won anything
    AV puts the same experience on the ice no matter how crappy they play.
    AV rarely trust the new guys yet some like Hayes, who was horrible, get on the PP and PK ?????????
    AV is not a leader and defers to the “group” of experience. We saw how that was logical. Thats his style and after a whole season it wasn’t going to change in the playoffs.
    AV is not the right coach for this group which needed from day one to be held accountable. The veterans are too comfortable and no one going to take their spot. The new guys are left alone to figure it out. So Kreider makes the same dumb mistakes and he is one of our least responsible defensively, Nice season but it gets tougher in the playoffs but he got softer. Did he lose any ice ? Did anyone talk to him? Miller plays hard but he makes alot of turnovers. Hayes is the biggest failure; yet he is out there in critical situations. Theses are examples of how AV does not develop the new guys. He allows same poor play to go uncontested. He does that for everyone. So how can we expect anyone to have that internal fortitude to run with the lead and win in OT. We didn’t invest in tough love, accountability and communicating one on one during the season. If AV did talk they didn’t listen. We certainly had the tools to get pass Montreal and Ottawa but they didn’t know how to finish or hold off. Like I said AV coached the same way and thats his MO> Rely on the group and don’t develop new guys. Of course its on the players who don’t perform but the coach gets paid to coach, plan develop players make adjustments on the fly, kick some one in the ass when needed, put his arm around someone when needed. All I heard is cliches, play fast and in our structure. WTF does that really mean. Doesn’t every team want to do that? look we beat Montreal because the king stood tall but we dished out as many hits and broken sticks as the other guy. We had Ottawa on the ropes because we hit Carlson and Turis every chance we got. In game 5 we stopped that mindset and let them off the hook. WHY???

    • paulronty says:

      Bravo! Imagine getting up and dancing like a freakazoid to a Perry Como ballad. That’s what an AV pep talk would be like. Like taking a bottle of Somminex.

  26. lv says:

    Lots of comments from above are true. I agree that Staal needs to go. Glass needs to go and probably Stepan too. Hayes could bring in some good value in a trade. We do need a couple of players like Glass but ones that can score and skate. Klein is already gone. Holden is okay as a 3rd pair defenseman. We probably need a different coach. I think we should sign Smith. Very true that this team needs more heart and sole players. Rangers should have beaten Ottawa for sure but too many blunders from the coach down. Buch seems like a a future star. Unfortunately we likely will lose Fast, Grabner of Lindberg in the expansion. Giradi has given a lot to the Rangers over the years and fans should be thankful. Sather handed him more years and contract than he should have (Staal too) and Gorton is handcuffed because of it, but freeing up from Nash salary will help. Lundquist is no longer the best goalie, but still in the top 10. He just faces way too many shots, so something is broke here.

  27. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    First of all, I want to personally thank Dave and his tremendous team at BSB. I’m sure I speak for many of us out here–your site is a lifeline for so many of us Rangers fans who want so much more than the mainstream hockey media can give us (I can’t believe I’m saying this since I am a part of the mainstream media–but it’s true!). While I live in the State of Hockey, the Rangers are not exactly front and center of most discussions here. And given how much I travel, well, again, you guys are my hockey lifeline.

    Same for each and every one of you out here. We may wholeheartedly agree or vehemently disgreee. But I love the insights you each bring and the debates out here are often fabulous! So thanks to all of you–my extended hockey “family”, for making my hockey experience that much better!

    It’s obviously sad when it all ends. Especially when it ends a little more prematurely than we all believe it should have. That’s always hard to swallow. We will have plenty to discuss and examine in the days and weeks ahead. Just a few thoughts….

    1) Unexpected playoff losses happen in hockey all the time. We’ve been spoiled under AV, because he’s pretty much achieved or exceeded playoff expectations each season he’s been here until this year. 2014–unexpected run to the SCF. 2015–gets to within 20 minutes of a rare return trip despite no Zuc and a defense that was physically wiped out. 2016–Lost to a juggernaut Pens team that was far better than them and went on to win it all.

    But this time was different. This was a team that seemed beatable. Every coach is entitled to have a clunker. This was clearly NOT his best moment. Should he be fired because of it? Please. That’s silly talk. But, does it create a chink in AV’s coaching armor? Absolutely. You are what your record says you are. AV’s record has been very, very good here, but this playoff loss is part of the record now too. It needs to be an aberration and not a trend going forward.

    2) I also think we are all guilty of underestimating the competition and overrating our talent. Ottawa finished four points back of us. They are a good team with arguably the best defenseman in the world. He was hands down the best player on the ice in that series. We have NO ONE who is even close in talent. The fact that he did what he did with two fractures in his foot…wow! The guy is a true superstar. Just like in 1972, when it was said “the difference was they had Bobby Orr and we didn’t”, this is kind of a similar feeling.

    In the end of the day, these two teams were pretty even talent wise. Their players stepped up. Our players didn’t. End of story.

    Fun (or not so fun) fact–Stepan, Miller and Hayes combined for ONE playoff goal when a goalie was in nets. ONE. That kind of says it all, and sorry, that’s NOT on AV.

    Another fun (or not so fun) fact. From mid-February to the end of the season, the Rangers were 11-10-5. In the playoffs, we were 6-6. After our hot start to the season, we regressed into exactly what most thought we would be–a .500 hockey team that would struggle to make the playoffs. That’s who we are folks. Again, less about the coach and more about the overrated personnel.

    Indeed, if it wasn’t for the fact that Hank was lights out at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, and the hot start we had this year, you can make the case we were very fortunate to make the playoffs at all these last two seasons. We just haven’t been the same team since Richards and MSL retired. That void hasn’t been filled yet.

    3) This is the worst playoff loss under AV, and probably the only loss worse in the post-lockout era was the loss to the Devils in 2012. Kind of feels the same. We were the better team than too, but fell short because our best players didnt come through and their best players did. Very much the same deal. Torts was gone a year later. AV will survive this right now as he should. But a year from now? Depending on what kind of roster he has to work with, AV very well could be on the hot seat, and I would have no problem with that.

    4) But the reality this year? We chose to get rid of our best big game center in Brassard to get younger. We didn’t sign any veterans. At the deadline, we didnt make our usual “all in moves”. The coach got a massive raise and extension. Connect the dots and what does that tell you? This was NOT an all in year. The team is rebuilding on the fly, and I think basically Gorton convinced AV to stick around and be party of this “rebuild on the fly”.

    The ONLY way AV gets canned now is IF something dramatic has happened in the room, or between Gorton and AV, since January. Possible? Sure. But highly, highly unlikely.

    5) The off-season will be fascinating. I’m actually pretty pumped and not down at all. Even if we had gotten past Ottawa, we would have likely been smoked by either Washington or Pittsburgh. We just aren’t that good. I expect the rebuild on the fly to continue, and this summer in a very significant and bold way. The defense needs to be re-tooled. Girardi and/or Staal need to go. The question is how to do that without killing ourselves cap-wise. Klein is a goner. Clendo will move on to his seventh team where everyone can complain about his usage, although I would hardly be shocked if he’s playing in Europe next year. Decisions have to be made about Smith, Shatty, Trouba, etc. It could be that the only guys returning on defense next year will be McDonagh and Skjei. The latter has a bright, bright future.

    6) While the defense will be job one to fix, I think Gorton really has to take a good hard look at what he has upfront. Stepan gets unfairly beaten up out here relative to some others on the team, but clearly, with his NMC kicking in, they need to think seriously about moving him. To me, the bigger question is with our “Anti-Triplets” of Kreider, Miller and Hayes. What are they? I have no idea. Are they future core guys you can really build around? All three had solid regular seasons–the best of their careers. But all three faded down the stretch of the season and with it so did the Rangers fortunes.

    It’s getting harder and harder to say that Kreider will ever be more than what he is, since he really isn’t a kid anymore. Miller still can grow. Maybe Hayes. But Miller has played 40 playoff games in his career. He has ONE goal. Hayes has played 34. He has 2 goals. Are these guys going to be elite forwards that can lead us to the Cup? That is the huge question Gorton needs to answer. This might be the time to move on from one or more.

    7) In all the moves to be considered, it’s not as simple as saying “get rid of the bum”. The question is, if you do get rid of Player A, can Player B be a better option? Sure, we may want certain guys out of here, but this isn’t a department store where we can choose whomever we want. You want Stepan gone? Great. Tell me who replaces him that makes us better. I’m sick and tired of the overblown hype on the “Anti-Triplets”. But the better option is…..????? To be determined.

    8) Not that AV can or should be fired, but it’s the same analysis there too. Only in a George Steinbrenner “off with their heads” world do you react angrily and fire a good coach. You do it because you can upgrade. Torts was canned for a lot of reasons, but the biggest was that AV was available and Sather/Gorton saw that as an upgrade (and the record shows it clearly has been). For all those who want AV gone…I’d say, show me the upgrade?

    Most “reactionary” coaching moves backfire. Steinbrenner learned that the hard way in the 80s. Recently in the NHL, Florida went backwards. Vancouver probably wishes they still had a coach who can get them deep into the playoffs. It all unraveled once AV was canned. Yeo was canned in Minny. No real effect to the end result. Coach Hitch in StL. Same. Montreal and Boston didnt seem to benefit at all from the moves they made (and AV somehow outcoached that SC genius Julien). Sure, there are exceptions, like Sully last year. But for the most part, smart organizations want continuity and consistency. AV gets AT LEAST another year and rightfully so.

    More to come from all of us in the days and weeks ahead!

  28. Ray says:

    The Rangers outshot Ottawa 39-25, but Ottawa had the better goaltender last night. Lundqvist gave up no bad goals, but he could have stopped two out of three (not the first). They would have been very good saves, but goalies make great saves all the time and Anderson made plenty last night.

    Lundqvist did not have a good series. As I said before, he was shaken by the second goal in Game 1. The team played so well in Games 3 and 4 they didn’t really need a goalie — and that was fortunate in Game 3 when Hank was atrocious. [The Rangers lose the series 4-2 with Hellberg in goal.]

    The Rangers have good skaters and should have beaten Ottawa anyway. As I said previously, the Rangers were going to need to carry Lundqvist in Game 6 (to be rewarded down the road) and they could not do it. Actually, I was not entirely correct. I really believe that, if not for the disheartening first goal, Hank might have pitched a shutout.

    But my real point is this. The Rangers have an excellent group of skaters. They may not be quite good enough to get to the promised land, but they are very good. Improving them will not be easy. Hence drastic moves are dangerous. I am not saying Gorton should stand pat. I am just saying that he has a real chance to do harm if his moves are not well thought out.

  29. Peter says:

    Kreider: Great size and speed, his hands are not great, but working on his shot has helped. He sometimes plays inspired hockey, at other times he can seem invisible.

    JT Miller might be the most talented young forward they have, but will he realize his potential?

    Hayes at times makes incredible and creative passes like Zucc, but can also seem invisible at times.

    I am not ready to give up on them, but:

    Kreider should play more like Michael Grabner, always alert, always looking for that opportunity to steal the puck and to break away with his speed.

    JT should play more like Jesper Fast: come to play every night and take defensive responsibility seriously. With his hands he could score in bunches.

    Hayes should play more like Zuccarello: battle along the boards, badger the other sides’ players to make them cough up the puck and get it to your linemates or shoot it yourself.

    All three had good regular seasons but faded down the stretch and were not nearly as effective in the playoffs as they should have been.

    • paulronty says:

      Three guys who I’ll bet(conjecture) can’t relate in the least to their coach. So much talent there, but it was no where to be seen in the POs.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        And yet, in the Players’ Journal just a few weeks ago, in his own words, Hayes praised AV and said Brian Boyle, leaving the team at the time, recommended playing for the Rangers and this coach. And it was Hayes who recommended the Rangers and AV to Vesey. And all those young guys keep wanting to sign here.

        So, connecting the dots anyway says your conjecture is likely NOT correct.

        • paulronty says:

          They really put out for him, didn’t they? When you love & respect somebody wh might lose his job over it, you break your ass. See Espo quote before.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            Well, that’s fair. After a defeat like this, everyone is subject to scrutiny here…AV included. He deserves to take a hit. But so do the players…and especially so do our supposed stars. If even ONE of them had stepped up, we likely win the series.

            Reality is, even at our best, we would have needed to play virtually perfect to have any chance against the Caps or Pens. So that’s why I’m not so upset here. The roadblock in the next round would likely have been too much for them, especially with the mediocre defense we had this year.

  30. craig says:

    Hey all,
    In the beginning of the year, many said, the Rangers wouldn’t make the playoffs. We got over 100 points, and advanced to the second round. It was a year somewhat beyond expectations. Next year hopefully some changes for the better and our young players maturing. Besides, the Rangers being eliminated saved us the aggravation of getting our heads handed to us in the next round. Everyone have a blessed summer!

  31. T. R. says:

    AV is not a sound coach, has he ever won a cup? Vancouver can attest to that, good during the year, but fails miserably in the playoff’s. Why did the Rangers extend this guy? He is a very bad playoff coach, he chokes!

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Six playoff series wins in four seasons, more than any other Rangers coach in 80 years, would suggest otherwise.

      • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

        You’re giving him an irrational amount of credit there. Invoking the Rangers historical badness (as evidence of relative success via AV) is a fallacy in of itself.

        The other is you’re saying that the only reason the team managed said aforementioned wins was due to him. Sorry but, if Torts took a (as, you put it) talented team to the ECF, and if a guy who throws out TANNER GLASS in crunch-time can also do the aforementioned…. then it strongly implies that the players, rather than the coach, are truly responsible for what has happened here.

        Makes more sense that way, IMO (and no, the last sentence in the prior paragraph is not an implicit endorsement of ALIEN BINGO).

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          Again, where does it say that AV gets ALL the credit. This is a good but not great team, just as it was under Torts. They’ve had some playoff success. Some years have been better than others. But by and large, this team has done well given the lack of “a” list talent.

          Take a look at this article in “The Hockey News”. Kind of says it all….

          http://www.thehockeynews.com/news/article/rangers-blew-golden-opportunity-and-now-are-bound-for-nhl-purgatory

          • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

            I never said that. I said you’re giving him an irrational amount of credit (relative to what he actually deserves).

            No, the reason for *any success* the Rangers have had over the past decade is simple – Lundqvist. Look at what Yost has done on TSN (I’m sure you’re familiar with what I’m talking about).

            Per his data (he’s not the only one either, crab people that may be reading this), number 30 wins about 5 games per year more than a *replacement level* guy would.

            In other words, subtract 10 points or so from each playoff team the Rangers have had since Lundqvist. Then, for the few series we still would have qualified to even play in, add in the extra goals that the aforementioned replacement goalie would have during any given playoff series.

            Do you know what you would have?

            Something similar to the body of work put up by say, the Islanders (or the Sabres), in the past ten years.

            And yes, the article has good points, but it seriously (at the end) suggests EXPOSING DEREK STEPAN to LVK at the DRAFT (to protect Raanta…. lol)!!!!!

            Cmon Eddie, you can do better than that.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              Well of course ULTIMATELY it’s about Hank. Without Hank, we are a lottery team most of the past decade. No debate there.

              My point is the coach, with the limited talent he’s had to work with, has been a succesful playoff coach in NY. Maybe not ultimately succesful, but certainly succesful enough to not warrant being fired.

              Now, if he had a roster like the Caps have had and you had a coach like Barry Trotz who has NEVER made it out of the second round despite being one of the winningest active coaches, well, then that’s a whole different discussion.

              As for Stepan/Raanta, why is that so crazy? Depending on other moves made, losing Stepan in the draft may be a good idea. Not so much to keep Raanta per se, but to be able to then trade him to a team in need of a good goalie.

              • ANGRY WIENER DOG STAMPEDE says:

                Limited talent? I thought tort’s team (and that 2014 AV squad) were supposed to be relatively decent (or however you previously put it).

                Never mind that, though.

                “As for Stepan/Raanta, why is that so crazy? Depending on other moves made, losing Stepan in the draft may be a good idea. Not so much to keep Raanta per se, but to be able to then trade him to a team in need of a good goalie.”

                It’s crazy because you’re conflating a player who is (IMO) criminally underrated with a guy whose value is probably less than the ‘haul’ Talbot fetched us.

                Did I mention that a Stepan auction would easily bring in (despite the caveats created by the looming draft) a 1st round pick (at the absolute minimum)?

                Come on Eddie, you’re killing me here

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Wiener, you’re killing me!!!! (Although I’m enjoying the debate!)

                I have never said that we have had anything more than limited talent in any of these runs the past decade. Renney, Torts, AV all did well with a team of mostly good but not great players. AV simply has done more.

                As for Stepan, I agree, he’s underrated out here. I have no idea what his return would be. If you are saying that Stepan fetches a number one, then obviously, of course you don’t expose him. I’ll just say we have a tendency to overrate just about EVREYONE on our team. Talbot was supposed to bring back a number one as well. Turned out there was little interest.

                I’m not an expert on what a player is worth on the trade market. I’m simply reporting that two reliable and knowledgeable sources seem to think that exposing Stepan MIGHT be a possibility.

                Beyond that, I will have to defer to you and others as to whether this is actually something that the Rangers would entertain.