Track meet with Philly ends in familiar fashion

February 19, 2018, by

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Rangers and Flyers put on a show for us yesterday afternoon, scoring six times in the first and another three times in the second in a very back and forth game. Add in the three fights in the first period, and it was one of the more entertaining games we’ve had in a while.

That said, the Rangers were on the familiar losing side of another game. Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t given much help, but also looked totally gassed and allowed at least one that he probably should have had. He needs a break. He was supposed to get one this weekend, but that went to the wayside when Alex Georgiev came down with the flu. Why he was still in the game in the third when it was 7-4, I do not know.

On to the goals:

Rangers 1, Flyers 0

Kevin Hayes with the nice deflection off the Ryan Sproul shot.

Flyers 1, Rangers 1

JT Miller couldn’t get the puck out of the zone, which was a problem. Then Peter Holland went to the puck carrier instead of noticing Jori Lehtera cutting to the slot behind him. The pass actually didn’t connect, but Hank was looking for the deflection, so the lack thereof confused him and beat him.

Rangers 2, Flyers 1

Rick Nash got position on Sean Couturier in front, which is rare because Couturier is very good. He used his big body to shield the rebound off the Brady Skjei shot to go around Neuvirth.

Flyers 2, Rangers 2

Scott Laughton was in between both Sproul and John Gilmour, neither took the body. It left him open for the deflection on the Ivan Provorov shot. No chance for Hank.

Flyers 3, Rangers 2

This was a standard 2-on-2 with a back checker taking out the trailer. The problem is that no one picked up Brandon Manning, who was the fourth man in. He had so much time that he got the pass at the top of the circle and was able to walk in past the hash marks before beating Hank.

Rangers 3, Flyers 3

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A shot wide springs a 2 on 1 the other way. This time Holland found Mats Zuccarello who buried it high.

Flyers 4, Rangers 3

Nolan Patrick is pretty good at this hockey thing. He got through the defense to get the initial deflection. Because he was free for the deflection, he was free to get behind them to roof the rebound as well.

Rangers 4, Flyers 4

This was an interesting goal. It’s amazing what a shot from the point that actually gets through with traffic in front can do. The entire fourth line was in front on this one before Holland was able to get the loose puck through to tie it.

Flyers 5, Rangers 4

This shot by Travis Konecny is probably one that Hank wants back. It’s a good shot stick side, but it hits off his blocker and goes in. I don’t necessarily consider this a soft goal, but it’s certainly one that can be, and probably should be, stopped.

Flyers 6, Rangers 4   

Another turnover winds up in the back of the net. This time Konecny turned it with Claude Giroux. Nick Holden was pinching, leaving Tony DeAngelo to defend that 2-on-1. He did not stop the pass from getting across, and Giroux roofed it.

Flyers 7, Rangers 4

Another 2 on 1, but Hank gets this one. But then Holland whiffed on the clear, the puck went right to Lehtera. His shot went off Holland’s stick and through Hank’s legs.

This game was a train wreck. I’ve never seen so many 2-on-1s in my life. It was an embarrassment, to be honest. I’m amazed AV didn’t pull Hank, but I guess after that death stare on Saturday, it should’ve been expected. On to the next.

"Track meet with Philly ends in familiar fashion", 5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings.
Categories : Game Wrap-ups


  1. Agentsmith says:

    This group has hit its shelf life (players and coaches). Time to start restocking the shelves. Start with the vets and then IMHO miller. Should be an interesting week.

  2. Richter1994 says:

    Awful hockey game but great result. 19 games and we could be in the top 3 for drafting.

    The only negative is that Henrik has to go through this. Get rid of all the coaches now because they are anti-tank and will run Henrik into the ground. Back to backs now? LOL.

    Put Schoenfeld and Drury behind the bench with 19 games left as they will embrace the young players and keep Henrik from getting hurt.

    It’s over, embrace the tank.

    • Rich S says:

      Now that I have ”come back off the ledge”……I believe you have the right take on things……..
      A top 3 pick would be great and along with andersson, chytil, ronning?, day and whomever we get back by trading some vets….but not grabner…..we will be better…….
      Can live with hank giving up all these soft goals NOW , but what about going forward, we cant win with him playing like this and Igor is 2 years away…..

      • Richter1994 says:

        Rich, I love ya, but give the King a break. He single handedly won them games from the end of Oct until recently.

        THIS is basically the way the Rangers have played as a team, maybe not this bad, but close, and this is what it really looks like when the King does not bail them out.

        Henrik is shell shocked now. Deflections, open shots on goal, etc. They’re all coming now.

        Playoffs next year. You can quote me (barring there are no rash of injuries).

        • Hockey Sittoo says:

          Totally agree. He is a beaten, exhausted man right now. Sit him down for a week. Let him regain his equilibrium. This is a new norm for him and will take some getting used to. Very little structure and lots of bad puck luck leads to him overcompensating and letting in softies. At least the offense has come alive! If Hank can be “solid” as he said they might win a few more games.

          • Richter1994 says:

            You need to get rid of this coaching staff because they will continue to ride him to try and (cough, cough) make the playoffs.

        • Mintgecko says:

          There’s a group who always play suspect to Hanks problem. JT when he’s a center falls under this group but Mika, DD, Vesey ( no matter what line he’s on) and unfortunately Skjei. We also overrate someone like Fasttwo-way when he’s out here on the 5 on 5.

          Rumors are coming out from yesterday that they plan to gear up for multiple cup runs in the next 1-3 years. That sounds like Hank’s window to me so if they’re trying to get into the playoffs this year then it isn’t so surprising to me. I agree that he’s played one to many games but it might be a result of him throwing chairs around to express how bad he wants to play instead of putting his 10+ years around the league in some AHLgoalie.

          • Richter1994 says:

            Oh they are not tanking next year. No way. Nash, Grabner, Kovy, all could be on the team next year. That doesn’t sound like tanking.

            And if Tavares some how makes FA then Rangers will be all over him.

            PS, Miller hates AV. Confirmed.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              Hey buddy!

              You know I respect your sources, but if that is in fact so, I wonder why? Is it becasue Miller has been so invisible during this time when his teammates need him the most, and instead of elevating his game he’s back to making more of his egregious mistakes? Maybe he’s the kind of player that needs someone to blame for his shortfalls. I mean, this is a guy with a history of maturity issues, that two NHL coaches had issues with (Torts as well). At what point do Miller’s shortcomings actually become Miller’s responsibilities as opposed to the coach’s?

              Maybe it’s coaching. Maybe a new coach unlocks the riddle that is Miller. Or maybe, just maybe, Miller isn’t actually that good. And maybe management has had enough of him and chooses to move on.

              Will be interesting to see.

              • Spozo says:

                Wasn’t Vesey quoted as saying J.T. Miller was one of the Rangers who was actively recruiting him to pick New York? “Listen Jimmy, you’re gonna love it here. It’s great. Except for the person who has the single most control about your hockey experience here. I hate him. But you should totally come to the Rangers.”

                Sounds a little funny right?

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Yep! And Hayes, who supposedly also “hates” AV, was instrumental in getting Vesey here.

                All these young guys choosing to play for a coach who supposedly is among the worst in the league in terms of trusting and developing young players. Hmmmmm….

                Obviously, something doesn’t add up. What might that be? Maybe the whole narrative that AV “hates” the kids…that would be my vote!

                Doesn’t mean that Richter’s sources are wrong though. I would just say that anything JT Miller has to say I would take with an enormous grain of salt.

              • Richter1994 says:

                Hey bro!!

                Admittedly, I have also heard that Miller is a pain in the butt, very stubborn, and very opinionated. The likelihood is that you have 2 immovable forces clashing with each other.

                So the trading of Miller is 50/50. One side says that he’s playing like crap, like you said, and another is, maybe a new coach will get him to play well again, like you also said.

                So, agreed on your take of Miller, both sides. I think it’s one of those where “if the right deal comes along” that he will go. But they’re not giving him away just to trade him.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Totally fair perspective my friend!

              • Richter1994 says:

                I think it’s so dam cute when the 2 of you stick up for the coach.

                But here’s the thing, things change, you know? I have heard that Miller and Kreider, them specifically are not enamored with the coach. Which makes sense to me considering how invisible both were for large parts of this season.

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                When the end of any coaching tenure approaches, their tends to be unnecessary piling on by the fans. That’s more what I respond to.

                But you are absolutely right. Things change and most coaches lose their room eventually. I am not at all against a change here. It just can’t be change for change sake. And, fact is, if all it is just two players griping, that actually would be pretty remarkable.

                Someone out here (I forget who) said on the recent road trip, a buddy of his was able to talk with Hayes and another player and they both apparently said they LOVE AV and do not believe he’s going anywhere. Does that mean anything? Probably not. But we are only getting parts of these stories and incomplete leaks IMO. I think if there was something REALLY there, with the fact that everyone in the business knows the Rangers are rebuilding and AV is vulnerable, dont you think Brooks, Carp (now with the Athletic), or the national guys like McKenize, Friedman, Dreger, etc, would be all over this and would want to be the one to say “I’m hearing the Rangers lockerrom is fractured and AV no longer has the ear of player x, y and z”?

                Again, not saying what you are hearing is wrong, but as a journalist myself, this just strikes me as being a somewhat incomplete picture of what the mood of the team really is.

              • Spozo says:

                90% of the AV bashing around here is opinion. I tend to respond with fact. You say you have a source. You were right on Smith I will give you that. But personally I never believe a random commenter with “a source close to the situation”. And that’s not a knock on you, I’m sure you would feel the same way if I said I “knew a guy”. So I presented the FACT that Vesey was quoted that Miller was one do the guy trying to get him to pick the Rangers. That’s a fact, you can’t argue that. I just don’t understand how a player can hate the person running the show here and still try and sell another player on why he should pick this team over 29 others. But hey I’ve been wrong before.

                Ps, I know the overnight janitor for MSG. He told me he found a Valentine’s Day card on AVs desk. It read “to my favorite coach, from your favorite winger/center, JT. So that solves the debate. Miller loves AV.

              • Richter1994 says:

                LOL, I get it Spozo. I am not one that needs to “show off.” I try to share info I have. Which are 2 sources of info. If both say basically the same thing, independent of each other, then I know it’s legit.

                I knew that Vesey and Shatty were signing here months before it happened.

                I hear things and try to share it here for discussion purposes and it’s fun to see if it happens. Because things are talked about that end up not happening, for one reason or another.

                For example, Nash was all but traded to the Ducks during the 2016 draft. But the Ducks were trying to trade up and did not want to give up their first rounder, trying to trade with the Oilers. Didn’t happen but the Ducks backed out. But it was real that Nash was going to be traded. That would not make me wrong.

      • Pas44 says:

        It’s clear Rich has not thought about the level of focus needed to play as an Elite NHL goalie.

    • Rod Seiling's Twilight Zone says:

      Okay. I’ve updated and amplified the Tank Standings since yesterday. Needless to say, this should be taken with a huge grain of salt, especially since I chose my college based on the fact it had no math requirement, but…..oh hell, if we’re not going to dream about the playoffs we might as well fantasize about the draft:

      Draft order as of 2/19 (based on win %):
      9th: NYR – .492
      8th: Det – .491
      7th: Chi – .491
      6th: Edm – .448
      5th: Ott – .447
      4th: Van – .441
      3d: Mont – .440
      2d: Buff – .381
      1st: Az – .373

      Record since 1/1 (based on win %):
      1st: (best): Az – .583
      2d: Det – .500
      3d: Ott – .475
      4th: Buff – .404
      5th: Mont – .394
      5th: Edm – .394
      7th: Chi – .380
      8th: Van – .375
      9th: NYR – .318

      Projected draft order (projected points based on win % since 1/1)
      9th: Det – 81
      8th: Chi – 76
      7th: Ott – 75
      6th: NYR – 73
      5th: Edm – 71
      5th: Az – 71
      3d: Mont – 70
      2d: Van – 69
      1st: Buff – 63

      And, since we expect to trade Nash & Grabner (at the very least), the win % should be even lower than the .318 since 1/1.

      Be the tank!

    • Mintgecko says:

      Buch also cost 2 goals yesterday

      • Richter1994 says:

        You cannot evaluate individual players with this mess my friend.

        • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

          I’m not sure I fully agree. If a player is truly a “stud” player, like I keep hearing everyone say Buch is, then the cream should be able to rise to the top. His team needs him. How about he shows us he can be that guy we all imagine he could be that so far, he’s only been in spurts?

          Now in fairness, he is coming off of a concussion, so that has to be taken into account as well here when evaluating him. But after watching him for parts of two seasons, I’m not nearly as impressed with him as you and others seem to be. Next season will be year three. Time for the young man to show he’s a legit star and not another one of our faux stars.

          • Walt says:


            That’s what we get for giving away our #1 picks for four years in a row. I’ll beat that drum forever, we never got a shot at real quality players in the 150th round!!!!!!

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

              I can’t argue with you Walt. There was a price to pay for being in “go for it” mode. But where we differ is that EVERY franchise in the modern NHL does pretty much the same thing. When you’re close, you go for it. When you’re not, you sell and load up on futures. One could argue that the Rangers may have overplayed their hand the last two years when they traded for Eric Staal and then Brendan Smith. But the rest of the moves were definitely the correct ones, and I suspect that virtually every NHL GM, given the same set of circumstances in 2014 and 2015, would have done much the same as Sather did.

              Where we fell short was not because of the trades. It was, as I’ve said over and over, that we failed to land studs players from 1998-2005 and then again in 2010 when we had favorable draft position. If we hit on even one of them (Tarasenko as opposed to McIlrath let’s say), the Rangers probably have a Cup by now.

              This team isn’t winning a thing if the next set of “saviors” are more Cally/Dubi types. Those players are nice players, but they can’t be your stars if the goal is to win a Cup.

              Let’s hope Gorton and his staff make the right trades and draft smartly. And like the Devils experienced last year, may the ping pong balls bounce our way! 🙂

              • Walt says:

                How about the exposure of Girardi by the Kings, and the way he was deployed by your HOF coach?

                As for the history of this organization, they have never really embraced the value of those picks, until recently, thank goodness for that!!!!!!

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Well, that has nothing to do with drafting, so I’m not following you.

                But while we are on that, Girardi was terrific in the first three rounds. Yet that is somehow forgotten. The team that year was the team. Did Girardi get exposed by the Kings? Sure. What better options were there? You borrow from Peter to pay Paul and eventually you are going to get burned. End of the day, that’s not why we lost. We lost becasue our “elite beasts” pulled a Gene Carr and couldn’t put the puck in an ocean if they were shooting off a pier. And for the most part, that’s why we often came up short in post-season the past decade.

              • Rich S says:

                Very Unfair 3E……
                1. hayes and vesey were not on the team……
                2. Anton Strallman was THE BEST defenseman by a country mile!!!! Which makes the decision to let him go to tampa even more unbelievable….
                3. What cost us were two things—
                —Hank lost 3rd period leads in ? 3or 4 games!! and
                —nash trade cost us two big centers who could have played against kopitar- dubinsky and anisimov!!!!

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

                Captain H—

                I am not following your convoluted logic here at all.

                1) What does Hayes and Vesey have to do with the discussion involving 2014?

                2) Stralman was very good. And I agree they should have found a way to keep him. But at the time, if you go back to the articles that were out there, Stralman was considered an unproven commodity. Girardi was, by far, the most desirable defenseman that would have been on the market. Clearly, in hindsight, that was a mistake.

                3a) Yeah right. It was Hank’s fault. Unbelievable. The guy pretty much stood on his head. In all but one game, he faced 40+ shots three times and in the final game, 51 shots! The ice was tilted by a team that was far, far better than we were, and our putt-putt offense (other than MSL, who you have no use for and was actually the only forward who showed up!) failed to deliver. But right, any sane individual would blame it on Hank. You probably blamed the loss in 1979 on JD! Incredible.

                3b) Was Nash all that we hoped he would be? No. But the under Torts, the Rangers couldn’t score goals if their lives depended on it. Nash was considered one of the best players in the league. And if they hadn’t made that deal, then there’s pretty much no way they would have dealt Gaborik, which means no Brassard. So are you sure we would have been a better team?

                You are overrating Dubi. Love his grit, but other than a couple of seasons, he was another in a long line of good but not great players. Packaging him to get Nash was something I suspect 90% of all GMs would have done.

              • Walt says:

                responding to your comment about winning a cup that’s all………..

              • Rich S says:

                1. I was responding to your, “elite beasts” comment as to a reason we didnt win in the finals…..I previously referred to them as that…..along with miller and kreider….
                2. Strallman was our BEST dman that post season….not debatable………IMHO….
                3. leads going into final period in what 3/4 games and we lose them all????Needed to come up big once or twice and we win a cup!!! Whose fault was it, he was the goalie….
                4. Hindsight is 20/20 but again IMHO had we traded stepan instead ”’maybe”’ different outcome……we needed size , physicality and grinder to play kopitar.
                5. I wish kreider, miller and hayes would be more like dubi!!!!![attitude]

            • Rich S says:

              Although you are correct that we usually draft nearer the back end of the first round than the front end…..we do have a fair amount of #1’s in the lineup…..grabner, nash, kreider, miller , Zib, sjkei, shatty, deangelo and you must include vesey and hayes….
              Thats 10 first round draft picks in the lineup!!!!!
              POINT is remember how bad the penguins were before they replaced their coach with mike sullivan????
              First post season move….Fire Av !!!!!
              [If you think this current regime is bad, look at emile francis picks in the 60’s and 70’s….mostly horrible!!!]

              • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:


                That’s absurd. And if anything, you are proving the reverse point here. What was Mike Johnston before he came to the Pens? A guy with a reputation developing good young talent in the WHL. He came to the Pens and was totally overmatched. So those who keep thinking the answer is waiting in the minors, all I can say is, be careful what you wish for.

                As for Sully, please stop! You do understand that NO team wanted to hire this guy. No one. The only reason he got the Wilkes-Barre job was because the Pens had a need after Hynes was hired to be the Devils coach.

                Did Sully do a good job? Of course! But let’s get real. With that lineup, you could have taken probably any of the top ten coaches in the league and the results are the same. Crosby and Malkin at long last were healthy. They added Kessel. The difference was not so much the coach. It was the utterly brilliant job Rutherford did.

                To compare what the Rangers have talent wise to the Pens is more of your Captain Hyperbole blather. Your point is that the Rangers and Pens BOTH have former number one picks, and ONLY difference in coaching is why we haven’t won? So I assume you felt the same in the late 70s early 80s when the Rangers had number one picks on the roster like Dave Maloney, Wayne Dillon, Don Murdoch, Lucien DeBlois, Ron Duguay, and Doug Sulliman, while the Islanders had Denis Potvin, Clark Gillies, MIke Bossy, Duane and Brent Sutter, Pat Flatley and Pat LaFonatine.

                But according to your logic, we all had number one picks—but they had Al Arbour and we didn’t? That’s the difference?

                None of our number ones are even considered among the top players in the league, let alone future HOFers. But why should that matter….is all about the coaching, and if we can only just swap AV for Sully, it would be the Rangers winning Cups and the Pens would be pretenders!

                Captain Hyperbole strikes again!!!!!

              • nolito says:

                Don’t forget McD and Staal and peter holland

          • Ray says:

            I think that Kreider, Miller, Vesey, Buchnevich, Hayes are all very different players and I don’t think you can lump them all together. Hayes is developing onto a fine two way player and may ultimately be the best of the lot, though he will not be star. In terms of dominating players, the most talented are clearly Kreider and Buchnevich, though again they are very different from each other in talents.

            Buch is still young, has potential superstar talent, but I have two concerns. One is that he reminds a bit of young Alex Kovalev – flashes of wonder but other times not knowing what he is doing. Hopefully, he will grow out of that as Kovalev did. The second is the injury issue. I don’t mean missed games. My question is how effective can he be when he is 85% physically. Yes, he can be great when he is 100%, but sadly hockey players seem always to be a bit banged up and the really good players win when they are banged up.

            Last year, he looked really good when healthy, yet when he wasn’t 100% in the playoffs, he rightfully lost his job to Tanner Glass of all people.

            • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:


              I think this is a very astute analysis that I largely agree with. The only quibble I have is with your characterization of Kovalev. The only reason IMO that he finally “grew out of it” was becasue he was on the same team with Lemieux and Jagr. It’s a lot easier to figure things out with elite players around you. Then he bounced around the league like a ping pong ball. A good player….at times great. But to me, a big underachiever considering the expectations for a player once dubbed “The Russian Gretzky”.

              If that’s the way Buch “grows out of it”, I would say that would be a major fail. He needs to prove HE can be a legit star, and not just another in a long line of role players here.

          • craig says:

            At the beginning of the year, I said Bush hasn’t proven he is the elite NHL player everyone thinks he is. He disappears, seems intimidated physically, and is injury prone. I even said, “he will probably be a dud, mark my words”. I hope I am wrong next year. He is still young and may mature more and get stronger. I would give him another year to prove himself, so far, not a big fan. Come to think of it, I remember posting the same about Miller when he first came up. I would definitely package him for the right deal. I have to admit, I am beginning to like the way Hayes is maturing. I was wrong about him. Two out of three ain’t bad.

  3. Kurtenbach says:

    Couldn’t agree more Agent. Let’s get some young blood in here.

  4. Monty says:

    “I’m amazed AV didn’t pull Hank, but I guess after that death stare on Saturday, it should’ve been expected.” – i think i missed something.. what is this referring to? What happened on Saturday?:)

  5. Buch Nieves says:

    The AV-Hank relationship certainly seems shot. At this point, the question is where Quenneville will Coach next year. We certainly have a chance at him. I’d guess Montreal would go after him, too.

    • Richter1994 says:

      “The AV-Hank relationship certainly seems shot. ”

      If anyone doubts the coach’s fate then read this quote from Buch Nieves.

    • tanto says:

      We need someone younger, more adaptable and creative. Q wouldn’t be the right coach for this team, at least not the team I’m envisioning next year.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        “We need someone younger”.

        Sounds like a pretty “ageist” statement to make. Why does the next coach have to be young? The Chicago Cubs hired one of the oldest manager in baseball, and by the way one who had never won it all, to lead their young players to the promised land. Joe Maddon won because he related well to his young players, and suddenly became a genius because he had GREAT young talent, as opposed to a team of “B list” list players.

        Remember when Torts was canned in NY? The rumor was that one of the candidates was Dallas Eakins, then the up and coming, young flexible, open minded coach of the Toronto Marlies. The Rangers wisely passed, he then went to Edmonton where it quickly became evident he was in his over his head, and now he’s back in the AHL, seemingly no longer a viable NHL coaching option.

        I keep hearing that Sheldon Keefe of those same Marlies is the so-called next emerging genius. Maybe he is. Just because Eakins failed doesn’t mean Keefe will as well. And everybody needs to have their first time—I get that. But just becasue a coach is young and promising in the AHL doesn’t mean he will ever be succesful as an NHL coach, or in fact would be the right guy for a rebuild. A veteran coach could well be the better choice.

        So to me, age has little to do with it.

        • tanto says:

          It’s a figure of speech, let’s not get our panties all twisted. 😉 I want someone modern, I want someone emerging, I want someone with fresh ideas … that’s all.

    • Pas44 says:

      Maybe it has to do with AV’s contract and this is effecting the overall decision to pull the plug and when to do so.

  6. Gilles says:

    Hank has had it – he says all the right things but the man is at the end and needs to go to a contender…being a pro myself I understand. You can only care so much but after a while, you tell the team in front of you – please win one for me. I know how one can feel being responsible for “stealing” games but after seasons of doing this, you really should be in your glory years. Read between the lines – he wants out.

    • tanto says:

      I love Hank but let’s not go overboard. He’s done his job in the past very very well, great in fact; he’s been the backbone of this team for over a decade, but let’s not act like he hasn’t had some damn good players in front of him that contributed greatly to this decade long stretch of winning. Let’s be honest here, Hank needs to share/shoulder some of the blame for playoff losses over the last decade plus, so this idea that he needs to go to a contender now after years of frustration … well sorry, we’ve been a contender for a long time and on a few occasions when we needed Hank to be Hank he didn’t exactly shine.

      • wwpd says:

        Systems and coaching had a lot to do with it. Under renney he broke in and we could all see the special talent. Under tortorella almost immediately statistical performance improved to match the elite skill level. Got a little older and maybe lost a split second off the reflex towards to end of tortorella regime but still performed like an all star. Under AV once the busted defensive regime that couldnt be executed was fully under way, on-ice results slipped dramatically.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        “damn good players”??? Such as?

        They’ve had some good players. The problem is they’ve had no real great players in their prime. Hank has shouldered the lion’s share of the burden for over a decade now.

        • tanto says:

          Nash 40+ goals, Gaborik, McD, Jagr Girardi and Staal in their prime … I mean what’s your definition of a damn good player? Besides, how many GREAT players do you want on a team that very rarely gets a chance to draft in the top 10? You want great players then suffer through 3-4 years of crap that way you can get 3-4 top 5 picks and maybe luck out with a generational player. This is just nonsense, the idea that Hank has done this all by himself in the last 12 years … nonsense.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:


            The problem with our debate is that it is impossible to define what a “damn good player” is. It means different things to each of us. And to be clear, I’ve never said or even implied that Hank has “done this all by himself”.

            What I’ve said consistently that IMO, there has never been an elite NY athlete that has had to do more with less around him than Hank. The only other guy in that conversation would be Patrick Ewing.

            If the Rangers had somehow won the Cup in 2012, 2014 or 2015, I have no doubt that those Rangers teams would easily be rated as among the weakest SC Champions in the post-lockout era, or perhaps even ever. As you mentioned, there were certainly some talented players other than Hank. Just not enough great ones. And to win a Cup, you NEED more than just one great player. You just do.

            Did you happen to see the article in today’s Blueshirt Banter by Tom Urtz? He presented some fascinating stats.

            “ (In the playoffs), the Rangers have scored only 2.39 goals per game for Lundqvist while sporting a .922 save percentage and a 2.28 goals-against average.” Translation—he had to perform with virtually no margin of error to work with more often than not.

            “Lundqvist’s career regular GSAA, goals saved above average is 162.09. Corsica tracks the stat as far back as 2007 which excludes only two of Lundqvist’s seasons. He’s No. 1 overall, with Corey Crawford behind him in second place with a GSAA of 68.21.”

            All this pretty much supports my position. It is not ALL about Hank. But Hank’s been the primary reason by far that this team has even been in the SC conversation all these years.

            The problem Tanto…..we have had too many “Tantos” on the team and not enough “Lone Rangers” needed to win a championship. Plain and simple.

  7. Mancunian Candidate says:

    Starting to wonder if Gorton has directed Vigneault to pull a Montreal-style fast one on Hank. Feeling like they’re trying to force Hank into pulling a Patrick Roy and demanding a trade after being consistently blown off the ice due to noncompetitive play from the bums in front of him.

    • Hockey Sittoo says:

      It’s possible, especially since Hank put them on notice with the Brooks article that he wasn’t going anywhere. Forcing his hand is a distinct possibility. Kouleas and Johnson said this morning there would be a lot of suitors for the King if the Rangers retain some salary. I think they might be right.

      • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

        Flyers might be looking for a goalie but the backup guy that makes like $15.00/hr played pretty good yesterday 😉 so maybe not …. lol

  8. lv says:

    Gorton has always seemed out of sync with AV on trades,callups, playing time etc.
    It’s embarrassing to watch this team while Vegas heads to the best record. Seems like we declined even more after Stepan/Raanta trade. Some say Stepan was a salary dump but we paid a long term deal on Smith and we could have traded off Nash instead to save the money. Losing Raanta put Lundquist in way too many games. A lot of things have left us in this mess.

  9. Pas44 says:

    The team needs a new coach, I would say wait until after the season, why stain a new staff with the bloody mess that the team is and will go through until the end of the season.

    I love Zucc. but if it meant keeping Grabner I would cheer him on wearing another jersey. Except for Boston, Montreal, Philly, or the Islanders.


  10. SalMerc says:

    Can we say it’s over? No spirit, no intensity and even less talent.

    Get the broom, time to clean house.

  11. Larry says:

    Good question why AV left Hank in there after 7:4? Hank almost cried in the post game interview, it was bad.

  12. Reenavipul says:

    The Konecny goal seemed like Hank was trying to redirect the shot into space by the half wall, but whiffed.

    Shit happens.

  13. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    What a brutal, brutal week. With what happened in Florida, I’ve just been too distracted and saddened to even think much about hockey, let alone post.

    What I did see hockey wise is all to predictable. The Rangers at their best and healthiest were never likely going to be more than a borderline bubble playoff team to begin with. The injuries have been simply too much to overcome. And our supposed “elite beasts untouchables” such as Miller and Mika are proving to be more in a long line of faux stars that we overrate, kill the coach for not playing more, and then when they are asked to step up, they prove largely incapable of doing so. Mika I am willing to give a pass to. We have no idea if he is still not quite 100% following the concussion. But Miller? I am just about done with him. He’s a solid player. Probably would do fine on a line with legit stars. But he’s proving that he is most definitely NOT a star in his own right. His time is runnng out to prove if he ever will be. Hayes has been ok, and given the lack of talent at center, we frankly need him right now.

    The kid call ups have had their moments, but none of them are screaming “future stars” to build your team around. The other day I saw a graphic that said I think it was Pionk and Gilmour got points in their NHL debut, first time that has happened for two Rangers defensemen in the same game since Tom Laidlaw and Andre Dore. I covered both of those guys and remember how Rangers fans were so excited about our future defensive “studs”. Ummmm…neither became anything more than marginal NHL players. It remains to be seen what we have here, but the idea that ANY of these guys would have made ANY difference to this season if only we had a different coach who would be willing to play borderline NHL talent is truly laughable. Time will tell with both, but so far, my reaction has been…”meh”. Same with ADA. Some moments but he’s also proving he would have made little difference and the club was right to demote him back in October.

    I feel for Hank. That’s the hardest part of all this, watching a sure fire HOFer like Hank have to try and prop up this talentless team. I’m not quite as sold on the idea that there is a rift between AV and Hank. I suppose it is possible, but I think we tend to read too much into body language. I’ll say this….if Hank were that upset and if AV had truly lost the room, the coach would have been gone a few weeks ago once the rebuild was announced. Why keep a coach that supposedly hates young players and has alienated his franchise goaltender that the front office allegedly believes is not on the same page with them? Sorry, this narrative does not make much sense to me.

    Sure, things could spiral and AV could be fired tomorrow. Quite possible. But also quite possible is that AV might well be back to start next season. Not saying that should hapeen, but I think that decision will come down to what comes out in the exit interviews with the players, who is out there that represents a coaching upgrade (as opposed to change for change sake, which usually backfires big time) and also, as I said before, what does AV want? Does he really want to keep trying to win a Cup with a collection of B level players with no sign of A level players in sight? I go back to what Gorton said on the Michael Kay Show a few weeks back (paraphrasing) “we need to sit down after the season and see what AV is thinking as well.” I would not be surprised if AV drives his exit even more so than Gorton.

    I have no problem with AV playing Hank right now. Hank wants to play. He does not want to sit. Credit to him for wanting to soldier on. Yes, he probably needs a mental break here, but essentially, AV is correct. The Rangers are a Hank hot streak away from making a remote playoff push possible. There certainly isn’t anyone else capable of making that happen. I think they will keep pushing as hard as they can for at least another week. Once the trade deadline is complete, and we see what we get back, then I could see Hank’s time get dialed back—possibly. I think Benny and Hank largely make the calls anyway on when and if Hank should play. So I wouldn’t overthink this.

    Speking of the deadline, our GM is clearly on the clock. We have been thoroughly out-GMed ever since Richards left and MSL retired. The team has gotten progressively weaker and our GM, whether by design or not, has not given his head coach players that make the team better. Nor have the young guys really proven they are capable of filling the void left when veterans leave. The delicate balance that made the Rangers contenders despite really no elite talent has withered away year by year. So here we are. I’m hopeful that Gorton will make the right decisions here in terms of the assets he deals and the assets he gets back. But I have no reason to be confident he will. I’d feel a lot more confident if we had a Rutherford, Shero, Yzerman or Lou L making these calls. Biggest week in Gorton’s career coming up to prove he is the category with the other GM “big boys”. Because if he blows this, it makes no difference who the next coach is—the results will likely be the same or worse.

    • Hickey Sittoo says:

      Great points E3 and I agree with most of it. I didn’t take AV’s comment about “hot goaltending” as badly as some. He basically said they don’t have a chance without Hank carrying the team. My only disagreement is he needs a break now. Doesn’t really matter what he wants at this point. Sit him for a week and let him regain his equilibrium. Not good for him or the team, especially the young guys, to be so defeated/dejected.

    • Larry says:

      AV will bring a Stanley Cup championship to you soon, maybe even this year. You need to follow the process like AV said, sit tight and wait.

    • odielicious says:

      Nice post eddie.

      Only point I disagree with is having Hank pushing through. This is not good for him and he has never been all that mentally strong. Yesterday’s game and his post interview prove that. He is destroyed. His reaction to the question of how this losing streak is making him feel is “terrible”. That post game interview sums it up. He is done and needs to regain his focus. If he sits for a week or 2 that might help him remember why he plays this game.

      But the only thing I see coming for Hank is an injury. And for what? Games the team is tanking? Even in the snow angel era the defense never looked this bad. We could always beat philly. Yet here we are standing 2-8 in the month of febuary …with a goal differential of 40 against and 20 for. I mean we are averaging 4 goals against and 2 for. Not even close. I mean the islanders shut us out. The effing islanders. They are the worst defensive team in the league.

      Looks to me like the full tank is on and of course hank is going to say he wants to play, but isn’t it wiser to see how the kids react to playing on the big stage and get a taste of the talent level they would face up here. Isn’t that the best option at this stage. Would it not help them either realize they have a long way to go or they just need to learn the consistency it takes to stay in the NHL? You are going to lose no matter what. Might as well play the kids and see how they react. Can’t shelter them forever and god knows this franchise tries.

      Guess my overall point is the tank is on with or without Hank and might as well use the kids since we drafted them. Nothing is gained from Hank getting shelled every night. All it can do is hurt him. Why do that?

      • odielicious says:

        p.s. as far as the rookie defense …it takes time to adapt to the defensive system of AV. And it is a 5 man effort in AV’s system and lets be honest on who is actually coming back to play defense vs who is hanging out on the blue line waiting for the breakaway lead.

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        Thanks Odie, but I 10000000% disagree with you on the notion that Hank has never been “mentally strong”. I’m sorry, that’s just absurd. His Game 7 record alone totally disproves that. And I made a post above showing data that largely suggests that if anything, he may be the most mentally strong goalie in the league, given the lack of support he’s had to deal with over the years.

        Now, your point about how much he should play now is fair. But, really, that depends on what management’s expectation is of AV, is it not? Have they said to him, “AV, winning games no longer matter. Just play the kids. We don’t really care if we make the playoffs or not”? Or have they said to him, “AV, as we announced, we are selling off whatever assets we can in order to build for the future. That being said, we are still in striking distance of a playoff spot. We want you to play the best lineup possible and keep us in it if you can.”?

        I suspect that the latter is more likely the message from Gorton and Sather. And if so, then it is more than reasonable for AV to play Hank while they are still breathing. The players in that room still believe they can win. Hank is their best player. Georgiev is an AHLer. And he had the flu. To give the team the best chance to win, you play Hank as much as he can handle (which admittedly, this weekend, he looked spent and defeated, no doubt) until all hopes are officially extinguished.

        • Ray says:

          You want to judge a player who has played close to a thousand games by seven of them. Come on. Mental toughness is not getting up for a handful of games, it just isn’t.

          I actually don’t think the issue is toughness though. Hank, like most people, doesn’t do enough when he is trying to do too much.

          • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

            No Ray, I am hardly judging a player based on a handful of Game 7s, and nor will the voters who will elect him to the HOF. To repeat what I posted earlier….

            Did you happen to see the article in today’s Blueshirt Banter by Tom Urtz? He presented some fascinating stats.

            “ (In the playoffs), the Rangers have scored only 2.39 goals per game for Lundqvist while sporting a .922 save percentage and a 2.28 goals-against average.” Translation—he had to perform with virtually no margin of error to work with more often than not.

            “Lundqvist’s career regular GSAA, goals saved above average is 162.09. Corsica tracks the stat as far back as 2007 which excludes only two of Lundqvist’s seasons. He’s No. 1 overall, with Corey Crawford behind him in second place with a GSAA of 68.21.”

            This is a guy with a substantial body of work that has shown over more than a decade that he can carry a team for a lengthy stretch of time, even when the team in front of him is not that good.

            So to your other post about Georgiev (PLEASE STOP!!!!!), he is a AHL player who has about as good a chance of carrying the Rangers to the playoffs as Steve Valiquette does. We already saw, in a two and half month stretch this season, with a badly flawed team in front of him, that if ANYONE is to be entrusted with an improbable run to the playoffs, of course it would be Hank.

            The only question is, can he get his second wind here given the lack of talent in front of him right now.

            • Ray says:

              I like the 162.09 figure. It comes down to basically 1/4 goal per game or 16 goals a year. Last year that was the difference between the Rangers and San Jose.

              Yes, a good goalie, but not the difference between a good team and a bad team. And of course, career stats over a cherry-picked interval are misleading. Guys like Crawford and Schneider have played less because they are younger and who knows how their career numbers will stack up. Weaker than Hank maybe, but a lot closer than the numbers appear now.

              The truth about Lundvist is that he is very good and, until this year, consistent. He has also played a number of isolated great games. However, he is not one tenth the goalie that people here insist — and he has never really had an extended great run.

              If you chose to rate goaltenders (absurdly) by their best 15 or 20 game run, which by the way is ideal for winning a Cup, one would have to acknowledge that Hank takes a back seat to Andrew Hammond, JS Giguere, Tim Thomas.

              And dammit, Georgiev was on a great run at Hartford and hot is better than good.

              • Bloomer says:

                Lets see how Georgsieve plays against the big boys before we crown him the new King.

              • Ray says:

                Bloomer, let me be clear. Hank was better than Georgiev a year ago, he was better than Georgiev two months ago, I expect he will be better than Georgiev a year from now, and probably even a month from now.

                All the evidence however was that Georgiev was better at the time of his call-up. Moreover, and this is key, seeing the Rangers win without him would do wonders for Hank. It would help him believe in his teammates and play at his best.

    • Ray says:

      Mostly agree, but I take issue with two points. First, I don’t think the exit interviews matter. This is not 2013. In 2013, Sather thought the team was close. He liked his players. The players, a fairly cohesive groups under Callahan’s leadership I think, told him that Tortorella was not the man to lead them to the promised land and Torts was gone.

      But in 2018, the players are clearly not good enough. There will be a house cleaning. Many of those that stay are too young to really know what makes good coach. If I’m Jeff Gorton, I make my own decision. If he decides he want to keep AV (which I very very much doubt), and Brady Skjei tells him he just can’t stand the guy, it’s bye bye Brady.

      Point 2: I disagree totally on Hank (of course!). The Rangers aren’t a Hank hot streak away from a playoff spot. They are a goalie hot streak away. Yes, Hank is better than Georgiev, but Georgiev is hot and Hank is cold. Before the injuries befell the organization, Georgiev was in the process of getting Hartford into the playoffs — and they were a much longer shot than the Rangers.

      I really believe that Hank can either try to play well or try to win. When he tries to play well, he is a really fine goalie. But when he tries to win, he second guesses himself on every goal. Unfortunately, almost every goal could have been avoided if only the goalie had positioned himself where the puck was going. However, sometimes that means that the only goalies who stop a shot are playing it wrong. And if a goalie regrets a goal he SHOULD HAVE ALLOWED, he starts to position himself incorrectly.

      Right now, rightly or wrongly, Hank does not believe in his team and thinks he has to do it all. With that attitude, Hank can will an occasional victory, but mostly he is not very good. He needs to believe in his teammates and trust them to do their job. And how does that happen. The Rangers win three in a row with Georgiev in net. “Oh, they don’t need me. Wonder how could they could be with me in top form?”

      • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

        I already answered the Hank part of this. You raise a good point about how this is different than five years ago. Very fair. Still, I do think that the veterans will have their say here—unless it has already been decided that AV is gone regardless. But if so, why keep him now if the organization is done with him? Would you trust a coach you no longer believe in with giving young players the development time they need? I surely wouldn’t.

        I still think it is undecided, leaning towards a firing.

        Factors that will decide AV’s future, in no particular order…

        1) How the team finishes
        2) What the veteran players have to say
        3) Most importantly……who is out there that would be considered an upgrade.

    • Richter1994 says:

      No question, these next 6 months will define Gorton as a GM and whether he is a good business man or not.

    • King Sieveqvist ! King Sieveqvist ! says:

      The Florida stuff is only 5 miles away,sad indeed.The day after was crazy down here with threats galore and a cop accidently shooting himself in the leg at a private school a mile from the house which is about 6 miles from the Parkland incident.

  14. odielicious says:

    Til everyone is traded …this is the effort we as fans can expect. I personally have stopped watching. That effort we saw the first 2 nights after the memo is gone and back came the cancer. I have no idea what or who it is …far as I can tell it is a different player each night that just isn’t playing up to par. This last game against philly…according to the highlights looked like Holden just couldn’t or wouldnt play defense. He is on the block. Same as nash, Grabner, and basically everyone. So this is how I am now judging players. Anyone who tanks is garbage and anyone who is consistently trying I respect. But Hank has tanked a few, mika, zuc, nash, jt.

    Hayes seems to be the only one not doing it. And just forget the defense on this list. The kids are trying but most these guys won’t be on this team next year or any team for that matter. They are all garbage. To small to be regular NHL defensemen. ADA is the only real shot at playing maybe 2nd or 3rd pair defense but only time will tell. Just have to say what a trade Gorton. You got one hell of a return for a legit # 1 goalie and suspect # 1 center. LMAO…on to the next amazing set of trades the Rangers make and get deminishing returns on.

    You know the more I think about this …the more I just want draft picks. Atleast with picks even if you mess up you still can have a player prove you wrong. There is still time for him to evolve into something.

  15. Tony says:


    As mentioned on previous boards, here as well AV has lost this team entirely. I think more so Sather is the one to blame as well. Obviously all the trades that hurt the Rangers turned them from being a considerable cup contender to a mediocre playoff bound team. Sather lost speed, reliable defense for old aging players and draft picks for the Rangers. Come to think of it, seems to me any trade the Rangers make, that team they are making a trade with holds all the cards. They can up the price, terms, etc, and Rangers over pay and regress.

    I remember Keenan coaching and that he wanted more vets and proven winners. Keenan changed the mentality of the team, lit a fire under their asses, benched players, etc. Why is AV laid back? There is no difference in his tone, approach or anything. To him its as if he saying we will get them next time. How many more years is Sather going to impact Gorton? Get that bum ass Sather and AV out of here. Rid us of Sather once and for all. I know i am just venting, LOL!!!

    But in all honesty players that should be traded: Nash, Holden, McDonagh (right package) Zucc (sad to see him go) and Grabner.

    I think we some new players the Rangers can have something of a bright future. The new coach has to have some balls and change the Rangers team thinking, mentality, and the team’s morals. Oh yeah my biggest question is how do the Rangers quickly get a good backup for Henrik. Gotta believe that mentality and morally Henrik is shot completely. They have to bring in a good reliable backup, someone that can take the pressure of Henrik next season. Henrik should only start 52 games next year, no more. There must be a goalie out there like Talbot, Raanta, etc that can take the work load as well.

    PS- I hope the Rangers do it right and get some players that can help the Rangers in the future. I have faith they can still rebound. Time will tell.

  16. odielicious says:

    I hate this notion that AV has lost the team.

    They are professional athletes and a coach is only there to guide them and to get them to play within a team structure.

    What can a coach do if a player goes Ryan Leaf on him?

    What can a coach do if a player goes to 7 weddings after signing a big contract?

    What can a coach do if a player decides to play hurt since the start of season?

    What can a coach do if his best defensive player is playing hurt the whole season?

    What can a coach do if his number 1 center and backup goalie got traded for the 7th overall pick and a career AHL defender?

    What can a coach do if those previous two players traded got replaced by a guy no other team wanted or was willing to take a gamble on and a goalie a franchise just had as their number 1 but sucked so bad he spent most of the season in the AHL?

    This could literally be a endless list of all the things that have gone wrong this season for this coach. And I for one am leaning more in the direction that the Rangers should be grateful if AV decided to come back next year and not shop his ability.

    AND YES I CANT STAND HIS CHEWING GUM AND HIS PROCESS SPEECHES AND HIS STUPID LOOKING TAN. they drive me up a wall also, but this flop of a season has been in the making for 4 years now and it has probably very little to do with the coach and mostly to do with SATHER AND GORTON, but cause everyone knows they are not going anywhere lets just blame the coach. It is just stupid. Don’t look at the man pulling the strings but blame the little guy who we see every night and his stupid gum chewing which annoys me.

    Sather is a horrible GM and president and we have suffered since his arrival. You want to say so and so lost the team then say it was Sather and Gorton for their lack of evaluating their own players trade value.

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      I largely agree with this. The coach matters obviously. But in the end of the day, where the Rangers are right now and where they are heading from here is 100% on the GM. As I said before, Sather/Gorton have NOT built a championship caliber team, and that’s not on AV.

      That needs to start changing beginning next week.

  17. Bloomer says:

    The game was loosy goody for sure. Was kindof like an exhibition game. Sure the Rangers prospects are niffy and quick…but they are getting outmuscled and pushed off the puck. Hard to picture any of them becoming regular NHL players unless they get paired up with a more physical defense partner. And I not talking Holden.

    Lundqvist has lost his mojo. He had a good run this season but hasn’t been the same since the Allstar break.

    The untouchables up top has become a popgun offense. Not enough scoring depth and easy to play against.

    This team is in disarray. And while I never been a huge AV fan, I believe this mess is on the GM.

    • Agentsmith says:

      Exactly. An offense that relies on fancy passing is a road to inconsistency. Get RID of the fancy passers. More hard nosed straight ahead offense. More shots from the point. Its not rocket science.