Game Wrap-upsPlayoffs

Costly turnovers put Rangers on the brink

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The theme of last night’s game was turnovers. The Rangers committed a lot of them, and the Penguins converted on enough of them to put the Rangers on the brink of elimination. The first three Penguins goals were the direct result of turnovers, with the back-breaking fourth the result of one of the worst defensive breakdowns I’ve seen in the playoffs. The Rangers managed just 14 shots on goal, while Henrik Lundqvist was hung out to dry, stopping 23 shots.

On the bright side, the Rangers managed to snap Marc-Andre Fleury’s shutout streak at 145:30 (!!!!!!!!) when Carl Hagelin broke down the seam and beat Flower glove side. They even managed to score a second, a typical FLOLeury goal by Mats Zuccarello. But yet, they still managed just 14 shots on goal, despite Pittsburgh playing with just five defensemen. Other numbers of note: The Rangers won just 39% of their face offs. Sigh.

On to the goals:

Pens 1, Rangers 0


Anton Stralman’s outlet pass was intercepted by Malkin in the neutral zone, leading to a rush by the Penguins. Malkin hit Sidney Crosby on the weak side cutting in, then Crosby tried to feed Malkin on the give-and-go. Stralman slid and got a bit of the pass, but it slid under him, and caromed off Marc Staal’s skate to Malkin, who spun, dove, and backhanded it past Hank.

Rangers 1, Pens 1


Hey, at least they didn’t get shut out. Ryan McDonagh hit Hagelin at the red line, and at that point Matt Niskanen cheated to Martin St. Louis at the blue line. With Niskanen cheating, the seam opened for Hagelin, and he used his speed to split the defense, come in on Fleury, and beat him for the first goal for the Rangers in 145 minutes.

Pens 2, Rangers 1


Brian Gibbons forced Rick Nash into a neutral zone turnover on the powerplay. Nash’s pass was intercepted by Kris Letang, who sprung Gibbons on a breakaway. The initial shot was stopped by Hank, but McDonagh’s controller appeared to unplug, as his backcheck was less than enthusiastic, allowing Brandon Sutter to roof the rebound.

Pens 3, Rangers 1

No picture on this one. Sorry.

Staal’s shot at the point was blocked, causing the initial break out of the zone for the Penguins. Jussi Jokinen did the work here, using his body to get puck possession, then spinning at the side and throwing it at the net. The puck ricocheted off Staal, who had a rough game, and past Hank.

Rangers 2, Pens 3


Fleury gave them a chance. Zucc got the puck from Stralman, skated around the Pens to the far side goal line, and took a backhander that Fleury flubbed. That’s why you shoot on Fleury.

Pens 4, Rangers 2

Four guys, 1 puck. Zero Kunitz.
Four guys, 1 puck. Zero Kunitz.

Yea, this picture pretty much explains this goal.

Fenwick Chart

Courtesy of ExtraSkater
Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Yea. The Pens dominated this.

Usually I end these with optimism. But I’ll level with you all, and this is coming from an extreme optimist. This current squad simply does not have “it.” I don’t know what “it” is necessarily, since I don’t believe in momentum or killer instinct or any of those fancy journalism words. I believe they were doomed in Game Three by bad luck. But I believe they mailed it in for Games Two and Four. Perhaps it’s the compete level? Maybe the Pens are just that much faster? Fresher? Both? I don’t know. They looked depressed on the bench. There’s no room for depression in this game.

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  • Game wrap-up! Finally reality! The offensive and pretty juggernaut perpetuated by the MSG media has been exposed when it counts. Like previous years, we got as far as we could with the team we put on the ice. The hard reality is this type of team is not any better than the Torts model. It just looks different because we were sold a bill of goods that offensive, pretty plays are better. We just don’t have the best of both worlds. We were knocked around by a finesse team. We looked tired or we lacked a purposeful effort. Face it, half the league makes the playoffs. We finished just a head of the Flyers and far away from a Boston or Pittsburgh. We are a good team just not good enough to be in the top eight. The wake begins after Friday- thats the wrap up.

    • PS Forgot to comment on how everyone made a big deal anticipating the return of our savior Kreider. Think we put this guy that has tons of potential in a position of expectation that was not remotely a reality. A guy who hadn’t played in a game, let alone a playoff game, in weeks was gonna make a difference for two guys, Stephan and Nash, who showed nothing. If that was the weak minded thinking we were doomed before the puck was dropped. I knew I was right to think both Stephan and Nash never deserved to be in the Olympics. Nice for their resume I guess. One more annoying comment, the PP worst than Torts PP. Same players on it both years. AHH Ha

    • Your right, and look at the idiots who gave you a thumbs down. They can’t, or won’t, accept the facts as presented. This team is over rated, the press gave us a line of crap about how wonderful we are, and we have been exposed. Come to think of it, we get the same old, same old every year from the media, and these dumb yo yos buy into it hook, line, and sinker!! It’s time for the old trash to be put out on the curve, including Sather, BR, MSL, Nash!!!!! Pure bull crap!!!

      • Walt,

        I appreciate what you have to say on this site, you are a true blue Rangers fan, this is apparent, but you are so hot and cold with this team, who’s the yo yo?

        They win, everything is grand, they are well on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

        They lose, and everyone must go.

        I appreciate the passion, but your assessment of the team changes daily.

        • Wow, I have been consistant on MSL, BR, Nash, Sather. Please read my posts on these guys, and show me where I said very good things, and or any good things about these guys!!!!!

          The point I was trying to make is that many people on this site can’t see the forrest in front of them, just a tree. No matter how poorly they play, it’s not so in their minds. When the team plays well, I state that in no certain terms, but when they stink up the place, well I call them out as well. You see my friend, I wear clear glasses, no rose tint on them!!

          But then again, that is what you may think, and so be it!! Nothing personal.

          • Absolutely correct. Hope and frustrations are in the fans bill of rights. Its a roller coaster and the swings along the way allow us to have optimism and criticism on “our” team. Everyone has an analysis of whats wrong or who we need- hey that’s all we have and that’s the fun of it! The point here is media BS by MSG to sell this season because of the coaching change. Sather and media came up with a whole knew concept speed, letting the D loose, too much shot blocking and oh yes, we’re going to practice the power play. Who were the speed merchants we acquired? Or the offensive defense men etc etc

  • Look, the playoffs are about the top teams in the league showing off their talent and when the top talent shows everyone else why they are considered the cream. Clearly, no one on the NYR stepped up in this series to show why they are here. MSL and Richards were not only invisible, they were detrimental. Nash, (nothing else to say). Hank stepped up, but NcD and Girardi did not. Stralman showed some life, but that quickly faded along with the chance that Stall was once again a top 3 defenseman.

    Now I have the NFL draft and watching the Yankees and Mets lose games night after night.

    The future – maybe it is in the minors, but clearly only about 5 guys on this roster have the ability to step up their game when it is necessary.

    Lastly, while I hate Crosby, he and Malkin were terrorizing us all night. Kinda like top players need to be come playoff time.

  • It’s not all doom and gloom. We probably won’t win the cup this year, be we still have a solid defensive core, Hank is still playing like Hank, and our bottom 6 is the best it’s been since I can remember.

    We do need Nash to step up in the future, and MSL I think will continue to return to his old consistency with more time and training with this squad. We know our power play is a problem, and we now have time (and the inevitable Richards cap space) to fix that. This is a team that really only needs some tweaks and a bit of chemistry to be a legitimate contender. If they had played with the extra urgency that’s expected in the playoffs I think this series would look a lot different right now, and I think a lot of that has to do with how many times we have managed to shoot ourselves in the foot and kill our own momentum with an embarrassingly bad power play.

    It’s easy to shit all over the team when they’re underperforming, but this is still a talented team that we have all seen play better hockey than they have been lately.

    • I have to commend you for the positive outlook at a time where even Dave has lost his.

      I’m with you for the most part, but there are some core issues here that I’m glad I’m not in charge of fixing. No simple solution like “get rid of Nash, Richards, MSL”.

    • I like your outlook. We have a good team. And I think we need more than a tweak to be a great one. But we aren’t trash, as a number of “fans” are saying. We should enjoy the rest of the ride and be thankful we aren’t Maple Leaf fans. Or Sharks fans. Or Blues fans. Or Vancouver, Calgary, Buffalo or Edmonton fans.

    • Please with the 4th line bottom 6 stuff,please.Our bottom 6 is better than last yr. but last yrs. bottom 6 sucked.It’s not a great bottom 6 just better than what we had and everyone said yes the Cup.We are not getting beat by Sid or Malkin but Sutter,Stempniak and the Jokinen of the world.Pittsburgh’s bottom 6 has outplayed our bottom 6.Oh yes our top line hasn’t done their job no question.Against top teams our bottom 6 isn’t a threat to score.

  • Say good-bye to Richards. If they keep him I am burning all my Ranger paraphernalia. For the money he gets paid it is ridiculous to keep him. WE NEED REAL POWER FORWARDS WITH GRIT!
    Sorry for the caps but this team get me frustrated.

    • Look north. Two of those sandpaper, go-to-the-wall forwards have proven integral to Montreal’s playoff push: Dale Wiese and Brandon Prust. Former Rangers both.

  • You cannot blame the refs in this one.

    3015 shots on goal, 36% at the face off dot and 25-8 giveaways says it all.

    There is obviously something else going on here that we are not aware of. MacDonough is playing hurt, and is a liability. The whole team sits on the bench and doesn’t talk to eachother at the beginning of the 3rd period, which tells me that they mentally quit.

    There is no leadership, specifically leading by example.

    If you go down, at least go down with a fight, what else do you have to lose, except pride.

  • Did MSL just play the worst game of his career in a pivotal playoff game 4 at home with an opportunity to tie the series?

    Yes. I believe he just did.

  • Richards is not the problem. This team has disappointed me more than most and there is a lack of a killer instinct. The problem here is coaching. AV is a good coach, a really nice guy, but you’ll never get the Cup with him. He reminds me of Roger Neilson a lot. We go from a fiery over the top coach to the Perry Como of coaches, so mellow you wonder if he’s toking up before press conferences. Teams mirror their coaches and AV seems to emphasize defensive hockey as much as Torts did. I think this is a very good team but you can’t win if you can’t score. It’s academic now but I still wish Mess had been hired. I have zero faith in Sather. He is an overrated fool. As long as he’s GM, we’ll never see another Ranger cup.

  • The team is too vanilla. Too many so called “good-guys.” Need to import some real grit and sandpaper type players. Not goons, but guys that won’t veer off to the boards and not go to the net. Some Defensemen that actually hit people; and more importantly a true, bona fide, #1 center. Not some guy put into that position with hopes that he grows into it. Richards, MSL, Brasard, Boyle, Staal, Nash(unbeleivebly!) should all be candidates for departure; but we know most of them will still be here. At the very least, somehow, get a true offensive force on the blueline. McDonagh, as of right now, can’t be that guy. Its gonna’ be tough to turn this around. I don’t see where the help is going to come from unless we break it all down again. Basically, just a disaster for the whole organization.

    • You make some good points, but I certainly wouldn’t call it an organizational disaster. That’s hyperbole. That’s game 4 talking.

      • A disaster, in the sense that they look no better than how they did when they lost to Boston. New coach, new system, same results. The idea is to get better. In that way, IMO, it is a disaster.

        • To see such a great amount of turnover over just 1 calendar year, the fact that they have gotten exactly as far as they did last year (mustering 1 win in Round 2) isn’t exactly horrible.

          They’re fixing and adjusting on the run which isn’t easy. Sure, its nothing to be happy about….but so many other franchises would be on the outside looking in after moving so many parts in just 12 months.

          Some highlights worth noting:
          D. Moore dominated in his homecoming (for his role). Zucarello blossomed. Pouliot worked out very well for the most part. We gained an elite talent in MSL who will be coming back next year. And despite his forgettable and sometimes horrendous showing to close out this year, those hometown boos will only ensure that he comes back in tremendous fashion next year. He will lead all current roster players in points next year. Bank it.

          • Just too rosie anassesment, I won’t settle for just good enough, I want it all. Afte what 15 years of the dip stick in charge, Sather is over the hill, and should be run out of town. Bring in JD, look at the two clubs he worked with as a GM, Bluejacktes, and Blues. Those are teams, now a bunch of retreads, ala MSL. How can you call him elite, man that term is over used on this web site. MSL, Nash, BR, McD, Hank, and the list goes on, all considered elite. What the hell?????

          • It starts with expectations. If those are too high, disappointment is inevitable. After the regime change, it would be next to impossible to win the cup the following year. My window for judgement will fall between a 2 and 4 year time frame.

            This is year 1, my friend.

          • That’s cool, except Sather has been here some 15 years, and are we to wait another 15 years for us to win? I have followed this team for my entire life, dating back to the 50’s, and have been rewarded with one cup, 1994. I’m not a Chicago Cub fan, I want another cup before I die. Let’s face it, 20 years since the last one, we have got to make demands from the ownership that we won’t except anything but excellence, and that means a cup!!!!

      • Unfortunately, it is game 4 talking and that is the point. We finally saw the team with the heat turned all the way up and it wilted.

        That was very disappointing and I have been behind this team every step of the way. I am surprised at the lack of response here. They were beaten in their minds before they got beat on the ice.

        Dubie, Prust, Artie… Dubie, Prust, Artie… Throw in Cally, though I agree he had to go. But the one thing Torts did right was stress identity, a home grown identity. We are seeing what happens in a crucial game 4 when there is no firm identity.

    • Joe

      If you listen to the media, all the kids we drafted have wonderful potential. As we see, there really isn’t anything worth while to bring along, the system is broken, Sather is a retard and should be sent out to the pastures, and we should start the rebuild this draft. I don’t care if we have a loosing season, or two, but draft some nice big young kids, and ride them to glory. We will never get there with the pus*ies currently in the line up!!!!!!!

      • Edmonton has all the kids in the world…. they’ve been riding that plan out for what, 5 years now? How’s that going for them?

        Rebuild is NOT a foolproff plan and usually should only be considered if your organization is at or near rock bottom with a thin prospect pool. I’d say neither is true for the Rangers.

        • I don’t use them as my model. Look at the Hawks, and Pens, as a good example of what I’m talking about. Hell the Pens did it twice, when Mario le wimp was coming up! Bottom line, as Albert Einstein said, “If you keep doing the same thing, and expect different results, your insane”. I took some liberties there, but you get the point. Just to qualify for the play offs, and get bounced out to me is not a successful season!

          • Fact is and add Boston to that mix all of these teams had a few draft lottery days. We have to build from within. and it may mean a few poor seasons to have the viable picks to do so, however we have a chance to get a few viable pics even in the lottery range by trading a few of our players that we do have. Pointing to Boston and Seguin/Rask

          • Boston is the textbook organization (along with CHI and LA) right now.

            No other organization could trade away 2 of the top 6 players in the league in goals AND points (Kessel and Seguin) and still win the Presidents trophy. They really are something special….and it really pains me to say that

  • Great write-up Dave, and I agree with you. This team looks better on paper than it does on the ice. On the plus side, there is clearly some talent to work with, but it seems obvious that changes need to be made in order for the Rangers to be able to compete with the best in the East.

  • Would anyone from Columbus trade Dubinsky straight up for Nash right now? This point was raised in the NY Post this morning.

    • WhereverNash would be traded to right now, the Rangers would have to take salary back.

      A far cry from the Dubinsky/Anisimov/Erixon/1st round pick package that Nash cost this organization.

      The one bright spot is the draft pick the Rangers received with Nash was used to draft Buchenevich and he is projecting to be a qaulity goal scoring forward. It may be 2-3 more years before this is realized but he will be a solid NHL scoring forward.

      • AD

        The only problem is the kid is Russian, and will he come over here??? Your right he is a talent, but with the way things are going with the KHL, and politics in Russia, he may want to stay at home!!!!!!

        • very true….there is that risk.

          btw, couldn’t agree more with your posts. Sometimes I feel like the last guy at the store to have bought non-tinted glasses 🙂

    • NY Post must have read my post A WEEK AGO about Dubinky terorizing/nutralizing Gretzky.

      Dubinsky, a leader by example, like Callahan and a constant post game person MSG to analyze the game is also a super threat at faceoffs.

      Like I said, only a crazy man would give up a Dubinsky for big, soft player like Nash. Sather would have to sweeten the pot by adding a Hagelin and maybe a Kreider to get Dubinsky now.

      Sather in the last 3 years has given up a #2 for Clowe, 2#2s for Erixon, a #1, Dubinsky, Anisimov, & Erixon for Nash and at least a #1 & #2 for St Louis.

      Sather just cannot evaluate talent.

  • So what is the state of the team compared to two years ago?

    – we score less goals
    – we give up more goals
    – we have comparable power play issues
    – we are softer; and
    – we are older

    Get ready for Roster Restructuring Version 10.3….the media minions will jump on the MSG message of “we’re going to get AV the horses he needs” and next year’s hype will be about the new players, a settled coach and system players are familiar with; we’re going to start off strong!

    And, in the end, it will be the same result because, once again folks, we have a mediocre GM leading this hockey club.

    Aside from any free-agent signing; player trade; or draft pick, first and foremost all Rangers fans should hope for the retirement of Glen Sather. Until this happens, all else is meaningless. The club will waste another year of Hank’s career, and we’ll be wondering if our next captain, Ryan McDonagh, will ever carry the Cup in MSG or have his career wasted under poor leadership as well.

    • AD

      Agree with everyting you said!! At least someone else realizes that all the bunk from the media is over blown hype!!!!!

  • Pittsburgh’s superstars came to play last night, plain and simple. You could always tell when Malkin and Crosby were on the ice. Leave it at that.

    Our “superstars” (Nash, St. Louis, Stepan, Richards) were invisible. We will never win anything until our superstars step up. We cannot rely on Dominic Moore, Zucc, Brassard and Pouliout to take us far. They are very good depth players but our top 6 needs to bring it, in order to be successful.

    And they haven’t the past several games, it’s brutal to watch because the compete level is not there with the guys who make the most money and have the most skill. I’ve hated watching them during these playoffs.

  • I would hate to be Hank right now. What does this guy have to do to catch a break.

    Nash to Carolina for the Stahl brothers…

  • Justin…Malkin’s goal…softie by Hank? Joikinen’s goal…poor positioning on Hank?

    Hank is a good goalie but he has a few major flaws which make him beatable. He is a rebound machine and not handling the puck are the major flaws to his game. he also needs to start thinking about staying deep in net as a flaw as well. The skill set in the NHL will find solutions to flaws and turn them into major weaknesses. Hank is simply beatable and next year he needs to course correct his game.

    There was one shift in the 1st period where the Rangers for two consecutive shifts hit ever penguin on sight, result was an excited crowd, scoring chances and a shift in energy, then it stopped. That surge was created by the Brassard line who in my opinion has been our best line all year. When I say all year it shows that our top six have a long way to go.

    On defense no one gets punished and I have to agree with Pierre that McDonagh must be playing hurt. He has been awful all playoff long. If this is the case then he should sit and let another player take the ice time. The Girardi and McDonagh tandem have been on ice for the majority of the goals against.

    AV…I would give him another year as he has inherited the Roster. Let’s see what the changes the Rangers make which I would assume to be what AV requests in the off season.

    One thing is for sure The Rangers need to make big moves in the off season to the Top 6 forwards, at least 2 defensemen and bringing in grit.

    If I were Sather I would knock on Edmonton’s door and see if a Nash for Eberle and the 1st round pick can be had. I would trade St Louis for two players and a 1st round pick. Toronto might be a possibility. Get Biggs and a defenseman and a 1st round pick for him. Buy out Richards and sign Stastny. Marc Staal should be traded if he does not sign a contract in the off season prior to the draft. Rangers need to know where they stand with Staal.

    Clayton Stoner, Marcus Foligno and Devin Setoguchi should be looked at for free agency.

    Lastly another destination for Nash could be Winnipeg, he fits a big name player for Winnipeg and in a return we get a 1st round pick, Zach Bogasian, Austin Brassard and Alex Burmistov…it is doable…and for you nae sayers….We traded 2 high pics and Cally for St Louis,,,,so it can be done

    • Just talking to the first point: I think that Malkin goal was a bit of a softie, but it was a great play by Malkin to get that on net. I thought Hank’s pad should’ve been on the ice, but backhanders are really tough to read, especially from that close.

    • Nash for Eberle and their 1st round pick?

      On what universe would this trade ever take place?

      If Nash is traded, we are getting a 2nd line forward and overpaid veteran near retirement with a big contract that leaves us taking salary back.

      • Yeah. Rule of thumb for trade proposals. If you were the other team, would you make that trade? Nash isn’t fetching a first rounder.

        • Well other than St. Louis was traded when he was on top of his game while bringing a very reasonable cap hit, neither of which can be said about Nash right now. I thought the Rangers gave up too much for him myself – said it at the time – but the comparison is apples and oranges.

  • Well, it’s become abundantly clear that the Rangers moves this off-season should have included replacing Sather with Davidson, rather than letting Columbus swoop in and grab him, and putting Messier behind the bench. I like AV, and if he had a handful of 30 and 40 goal scorers on his roster, I’m sure he’d be a better fit, but as talented as this team is, they need passion and effort to hang with the elite in the League and AV doesn’t exactly imbue passion. He’s too calm and passive to get this team playing at the level they should be. But, that’s irrelevant at this point as he performed well enough not to get the 1-and-done Tortorella treatment.

    So, this summer is very important in trying to get this team back on track before Lundqvist begins the inevitable decline.

    Step 1: Fire Sather, please!

    Step 2A: Buyout Brad Richards, who has had a decent year, but is clearly aging, definitely not worth the cap-hit he brings for the next 6 years, and hasn’t led by example or shown much in the way of leadership.

    Step 2B: Replace Richards, as Stepan has demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that he’s a square peg in a round hole. He’s no #1 C. The options aren’t all that appealing at C this summer: Paul Stastny, David Legwand, Ollie Jokinen. Stastny more than replaces Richards production, and is 6 years younger. He’s not going to come any cheaper than Richards, but he had a good year, and a great playoff, and he’d really work nicely with Nash and Kreider, I believe. It’s the best option out there.

    Step 3: Go after Matt Mouslon to add some net-presence on the top-9.

    Step 4: Trade Hagelin and Dorsett for Johnny Boychuk. I’m still on the fence about Hagelin. I love the kid’s speed and energy, but his overall production isn’t going anywhere special. The Rangers need someone on the top-9 besides Krieder who goes to the net and plays physical, so replacing Hagelin with Moulson seems like it could be a good idea. I’d keep Hags if we had somewhere to put him, but cnat break up that Brassard line, so he’s the odd man out (unless they flip MSL, which they wont do after losing a captain and 2 picks for him).

    Step 5: Let Stralman walk.

    Moulson-Stepan-St. Louis


    • Agree with many, many of your points, Chris F.

      After the Richards buyout (which 1000% NEEDS to happen) here is what I am predicting, not advocating, will be Sather’s fix:

      He will work out a trade with SJ to obtain Joe Thorton for the following reasons:
      -SJ needs to make changes and Thorton will probably be one of them
      -We need a true #1 center and Thorton has been that for many many years in this league. Additionally, Sather will be lured by his chemistry with Nash in the 2010 olympics.
      -Sather has proven that he is not averse to hiring aging veterans. Therefore Joe’s age of 34 years and cap hit of 6.75 taking him to 37 will not be a deterrent.

      Again, this would not be my fix, but the price to acquire Big Joe will probably be lower than a few guys in their prime and I have an inkling Sather will chase the opportunity. I love your Moulson idea and agree that we should let Stralman walk. He’s been solid but we need snarl back there.

      • Joe Thorton would be a terrible option for this team! But, I agree, I could see Sather thinking that is some sort if brilliant acquisition.

    • thats an outstanding example of positive moves to move the team closer to Cup contention.

      I think the 1st Step is a homerun!

  • Nash maybe for Lecavalier of Phila in a salary dump?

    Richards bought out

    St Louis sent down to Hartford if he refuses to waive his no trade clause.

    Sather goes to a nursing home.


      Hagelin cheap, a top even strength player during the season, playoffs. Hagelin would score more, but Rangers forwards with the exception of Brassard, Kreider,Moore have average or no speed.
      Rangers forwards just cant keep up with Hagelin.

      Fasth & Miller, on the horizon, have OK speed, but
      don’t know about AVs commitment to younger players.

      Niskanen a Ranger next season & Staal on the way out?

      Niskanen solves any need for an offensive defenseman over the next 5-6 years.

      • I don’t think Pitt will let him go…

        Niskanen and Claton Stoner would be a nice tandem

        Nash for Eberle and a 1st is very very doable
        Stastny for Richards is also a certainty
        St Louis can be traded for Player and a pick plus another player or pick

        Staal can get a decent fetch…if he is not staying

        Rookies who should get a look are Allen and McIlrath, Kristo and Lindberg

        If Fast gets on the Roster then Hagelin becomes redundant. Dorsett should be replaced internally by Kyle Beach

        So Hagelin and Dorsett are assets to sweeten the pot.

        Bottom line is the dead wood must go

        Nash and St Louis were just not fits on this team…Sather can sell that

        Sather must retire with Messier, Leetch and Graves in the Leadership role along with Groton. That keeps AV on his toes. Give Gordie some work to do

        We will not win the cup with this group…
        We have players to make the changes needed, easily

        • Whooo waaah, Leatherneck. You’re on point, per usual.

          But if I’m not mistaken, the 29 other GMs in the NHL have either cable or stream our playoff games. Thus interest in Nash come July will be nil.

          Yes, Jordan Eberle’s a gem. Moreover he plays with twice the responsibility and smarts as teammates Hall and RN-H.

          We gutted our forward depth for Nash, who was beginning to decline. (JD saw that.) Eberle’s career arc, conversely, continues its ascent. First Edmonton doesn’t trade a cornerstone; two, we don’t have the assets.

          I’m also on board with regards to Clayton Stoner. (Believe we both posted about him mid-season.) He, or Dallas’s young D-man Dillon would’ve made a sound, physical add on our backline.

          But Stoner’s had a monster series against The Blackhawks, plastering both their skilled waterbugs and big forwards. He’s brought it. Reflexively his stock’s improved to where Minnesota would be loathe to move him.

          Dale Wiese and Brandon Prust will take Montreal to the next round. Good on ’em. Dubi almost took CBJ past Pittsburgh. The kid was a stud. Bled blue. Should’ve been a Ranger captain.

          Let’s see McCarthy, Haggerty, Beach, Conor Allen, Skjei and Kristo compete next year.

          Let’s hope we compete at Console, even if we bow out. That would be a small consolation.

    • You are aware that sending MSL to Hartford clears less than $1 million in cap space, right? Or am I assuming you’re as per usual, making stuff up?

  • I disagree with the consensus postmortem, except of course that like everyone else, I make what happened fit with the notions I had going in.

    A month ago, I thought the Rangers could win the Cup. They had two goalies, seven defensemen, and fourteen forwards of quality. They had three first line defensemen and several marquee forwards. They had a Norris level defensemen. They were capable of beating anyone if they stayed healthy. In fact, they could even survive some injuries if there were not too many. They could even survive the injury to a very good player. IMO, there was only one single player the Rangers absolutely needed and that player was Ryan McDonagh. [I imagine most of you would also put Hank in this category, but that doesn’t matter presently.]

    We were delighted when McDonagh came back, but he really didn’t of course. He is obviously still hurt and is playing at roughly the same level as Diaz or Moore. So he may as well not be there. We knew the Rangers couldn’t win without him.

    At this point, I’d shut him down for the rest of the series (likely one more game). If he needs surgery, don’t risk the future for this level of performance. If he doesn’t, give him a chance to recover for the next round – in case a miracle happens.

    • Last 4 playoffs have taught us the Rangers do not have playoff preformers. Give me a guy who scores 5 goals in the season but gives me 10 in the playoffs anytime over a player that scores 30 to 50 in the regular season but disappears in the playoffs.

      I don’t want a Presidents trophy and players in Vegas for awards ceremony, I want a team with heart and intimidates its way to winning the Stanley Cup

      • In other words, ex Rangers Wiese and Prust.

        Heart ‘n soul types.

        Bangers who bag maybe five over 80. Then, almost inevitably, even preternaturally, become playoff gods. Despite blowing his coverage on a couple opposition goals, Car-bomb certainly could’ve been That Dude.

        • You do realize that an extremely large amount of Bickel’s success stems from playing either on the same line as Toews/Kane/Hossa/Sharp or against weaker competition because of Toews/Kane/Hossa/Sharp….and thus, is able to produce as such.

          I agree, he is a playoff monster…but put him on our roster and his production immediately declines.

          • I was responding to Leathernecks remark, give me a marginal player during the season, but becomes hell on wheels in the play offs, when it’s for all the marbels.

            I suspect you won’t agree, but Bickel would be the same monster on any tem during the play offs!!!!!

    • Respectfully disagree about McD. Can’t win if you don’t score. Our so called top 2 lines did nothing as well as the PP. Also # 27 may have been hurt in the shoulder but he got beat in the feet. Even at that, to say we need him to win indicts the rest of the team. How come Pitt can lose Letang and other top end guys for extended periods and finish where they did?

      • Scoring at his regular season pace, McDonagh would have two goals and four assists. He actually has one assist. Probably one of those five goals lost happened anyway, but the Rangers are out four goals, which would certainly have helped.

        What makes McDonagh so much more valuable than Girardi and Staal is his offensive ability.

        Winning the Cup is hard and it is incredibly hard without your best player. The team did beat the Flyers, so it’s not like they’re nothing without McD.

  • The Rangers were beaten solidly last night, but I don’t think the metrics describe the puck possession situation. I thought the game was played as much in the Penguins zone as in the Rangers zone. The Rangers somehow just didn’t get shots. The real difference in the game was not puck possession, but golden opportunities. Take out a handful of plays and the game was relatively even.

  • When all is said and done, BSB, when the Rangers make their inevitable playoff exit, and when the disappointment has began to dull a bit, can you do another of your off-season proposals?

    I’m curious to read your thoughts on roster changes and how they fit with the team’s cap, specifically:

    1) Replacing Richards with a #1 C (Stastny);
    2) Additional UFA targets (e.g., Moulson);
    3) The question of Stralman;
    4) Filling the 2nd pair RH slot (Boychuk?);
    5) The future of Hagelin;
    6) The possibility of trading Nash or MSL;
    7) What it would take to theoretically trade for Tavares.*

    *On that last point, this could be an interesting exercise. J.T. is signed through 2017 at an outrageous bargain of $5.5m per. I have reason to believe that he is adamant about not re-signing with the Islanders. If he’s made his views known within the organization, they’d obviously be open to trading him as they couldn’t possibly be happy with letting their franchise player walk at the end of his contract. Would the Rangers want someone like JT? What might they have to give up to acquire him, with 3 years left on his contract?

  • I do not ever want another Ranger team like last night on the bench early 3rd period with quit and bewilderment, silent and dumbfounded wearing the blue.
    It indicated there was no leader present. I want a team animated and engaged at all times but especially when the chips are down. I was embarrassed to watch that display. The Ranger Jersey to me is like The Marine Corps flag. I represent and I will give you a fight you will not like.

  • Dale Weise doing well in layoffs for Montreal.
    When playing for Vancouver, Weise was the fastest player on the team.

    Weise is an RFA at end of season and makes as much as John Moore of Rangers, also a RFA.

    Weise would look good in a Ranger uniform; fast, excellent bodychecker, responsible defensively, only an average fighter, takes VERY few PM for a guy real physical. Good 4th liner. He’s an RFA

    problem for the Rangers leaders like Callahan, Dubinsky, Weise are not respected by idiots like Sather.

    • From one Italo-American/Blueshirt diehard to another, Gospel my man. (By the by, my cousin Vizzy is buried at Saint Raymond’s in The Bronx in his Vanbiesbrouck home white jersey.)

      If you’re a Ranger who plays with gusto you’re shown the door: see Nick Fotiu, Ian “Lappy” Laperierre, Kris King, David Karpa, Dubi, Cally, Dale Wiese, Brandon Prust…


      • You left out Tie Domi who led all league in sheer guts.

        If I’m going down an alley and meeta bunch of thugs, it’s even money whether I choose Tie Domi or John Wayne watching my back.

        • Yup. You, me, even longtime Ranger follower Walter Cronkite were all big fans of Domi. Inasmuch, you still have to see it as nothing less than an ugly sucker-punch that Domi crushed Ulfie with.

          And, like Ulf Samuelsson, Tie joins Vic Hadfield, Dave Maloney, Rich Pilon, Troy Mallette, Knuckles Nilan, et al, all Rangers with heart who were shown the door.

          • I still have my Vic Hatfield jersey, loved the man!! He is the reason the GAG line worked, he had what Nash lacks, guts!!!!!

      • Dubi had a terrible year before being traded, Cally wanted too much/too long for the type of player he is (even as a captain), and Prust is simply not worth the amount of money Montreal offered him.

        • Actually he didn’t have a terrible year. What he didn’t do was score goals. However, he was a good two way player. He mostly played on the third line and killed penalties and faced the opposition’s best players – part of the reason the 2011-12 Rangers were a very good team.

  • This is the ugliest game I’ve seen the Rangers play this year. I still have hope, but it’s a very small amount.

    Dave, I’m confused of how you don’t believe in momentum or a killer instinct, yet you believe in bad luck?! Care to explain for me?

  • Ability is what you’re capable of doing.
    Motivation determines what you do.
    Attitude determines how well you do it.

  • The Rangers are a good road trip team and are capable of beating the Penquins tomorrow. But they got to bare down, put their purses away and play balls out.

  • Unfortunately, unlike the 2012 Rangers, this team has no confidence in themselves.

    When the Black and Blueshirts were down a goal late in a game, they found ways to win. They were the comeback kings and we believed. This year, I have no faith in a comeback late in a game. Even less, down 3-1 in a series.

    With that said, hopefully they’re embarrassed. Hopefully they feel they need to prove something tomorrow. Maybe they do prove some thing. If they do, they get a chance to tie it back at home. And, well, if that happens, it’s a one game series.

  • Walt, it would be nice to see another cup before I die but I would like to see our guys leave it on the ice. The Pittsburgh series shows no leadership just nice soundbites

    • That takes us back to the bull crap that the organization, and media puts out there everyday.

      Look, I want to win, and should there be a miracle, I’ll be the happiest SOB on earth. Let’s see an effert, especially from the so called “Superstars”. Now that’s a joke, and there I was trying to be serious!!!!!

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