Game Wrap-ups

Best case scenario as Rangers play well, but lose to Islanders


A lot of folks wanted the Rangers to throw last night’s game. In reality, the best case scenario was a well played game, win or lose. The Rangers played a very strong game, controlling the majority of the game and limiting the Isles at even strength. However it all changed in six minutes in the second period, when the Islanders scored three goals to really put the game away and chase Henrik Lundqvist.

The scoreboard will show domination by the Isles, but it was the exact opposite. The Rangers spent most of the time in the offensive zone, but couldn’t solve Thomas Greiss, who played exceptionally well making 36 saves. After a flukey goal hit off Dan Boyle, Greiss made a fantastic stop on Miller, and the Isles quickly turned the momentum and a blown read into a 2-0 lead. A bad penalty kill read made it 3-0, and it was all she wrote there.

As always, you can view the full videos on our video page here. All GIFs are on nyrgifs.comfiltered under the date of the game. On to the goals:

Isles 1, Rangers 0

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Marek Zidlicky took an innocent slap shot from the point that was going wide, but it hit Dan Boyle on the way to the net. Shane Prince got credit for the goal, but it doesn’t look like he touched it. Definitely hit Boyle though.

Isles 2, Rangers 0

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Three Rangers (Marc Staal, Dylan McIlrath, Kevin Hayes) watched Prince carry the puck wide, and no one covered Casey Cizikas trailing. This was the first real bad breakdown this game. Hayes tilted his head back, he probably didn’t see Cizikas. Either way, that’s his man.

Isles 3, Rangers 0

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Frans Nielsen was just left all alone by the Rangers on the penalty kill. All four Rangers were on John Tavares. Tavares got the puck across. Easy goal for Nielsen.

Rangers 1, Isles 3

The Rangers finally broke through with another strong offensive shift. This time Kevin Klein’s shot from the point hit off Steve Bernier in front and past Greiss. The Rangers had a lot of shifts like this all game. Greiss played well.

Isles 4, Rangers 1

Empty netter for John Tavares.

Shot Attempts


The Rangers played a strong game. The third period has a bunch of score effects, but that doesn’t take away from the way the Rangers controlled the play for the game. But controlling the play only gets you so far. They failed in executing their DZ and PK schemes, and it burned them in quick succession.

Scoring Chances


This is a defensive clinic for the most part. Nine scoring chances for the Isles is brilliant. But then again, two (one a bit flukey) wound up in the net. The second was a dagger. But this is still promising to see.

Individual Corsi

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This is consistent with what we see above.

Shot Locations

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As is this. But those goals allowed by the Rangers are in bad locations.

Shift Chart


Klein and Keith Yandle were the top pairing, as expected, and drew the Tavares line. Marc Staal and Dylan McIlrath were the second pairing, leaving Skjei and Boyle as the third pairing. Worth noting going forward, in case the Rangers are without both Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi long term.

Watching this game, the best case scenario for the Rangers was to play well and have better process. Wins and losses don’t matter at this point in the season. yes, the Atlantic route is easier, but you want to see them play well. They made a pair of mistakes in the second that cost them, but the overall puck possession process was better. They will need that in the playoffs. Hopefully it’s not a fluke.

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  • I do not think the offense played well at all. They looked sluggish and while had a high quantity of shots, the quality was not there.

    • I agree with the shot quality, but half the battle is controlling play, which they did.

      If they control the puck like they did in this game consistently going forward, I’d be happy. Problem is consistency has been the Rangers’ nemesis all season.

          • Except it’s a little more complicated than that.

            Corsi events per 60 this season at 5v5:

            Top 6 teams, only half are in the playoffs.
            Top 10, only half are in the playoffs.
            Top 16, only half are in the playoffs.
            Half the teams in bottom 10 are playoff teams.

            Corsi per 60 score adjusted:
            Top 6: 2 are in, 1 on bubble
            Top 10. 3 are in, 2 on the bubble
            Top 16, 8 in, 1 on the bubble

            Top 6 all in
            Top 10, top 8 in, 1 on the bubble
            Top 16, 10 in, 2 on the bubble

            Score adjusted CF
            Top 10, 9 in 1 on bubble
            Top 16, 12 in, 1 on the bubble
            Bottom 10, 1 in(and that’s Washington)

            Goals against 5v5:
            Top 6, all in
            Top 10, all in
            Top 16, 14 in

            Goal diff 5v5:
            Top 6, all in
            Top 10, all in
            Top 16, 14 in

            Goals for 5v5:
            Top 6: 5 in, 1 on the bubble
            Top 10: 8 in, 1 on the bubble
            Top 16: 11 in, 1 on the bubble

          • The thing I will mention here is that goals area lot harder to predict, and CF doesn’t necessarily mean the team has a good CA. You have to look at differentials or percentages to know whether a team is good. Some bad teams are high event teams that have large CF but even larger CA

          • “Corsi events” just means fast paced play. Doesn’t mean they are positive or negative. Need to look at CF% or SCF% (scoring chances) and use the score adjusted numbers.

        • True, but didn’t you constantly say when we were winning games with bad process that all that counts is how we’re playing, not ether we were winning? And since the scoreboard (and by extension the standings) are all that counts, then this season of 99 pts with one to go coming off the last two represents yet another good year…scoreboard and standings speaking that is.

          Clearly, come next week, the only thing that matters will be results, not style points.

    • I did not think the quality looked all that bad, will have to check the HDCF/A figures but I thought they looked pretty solid.

  • I don’t like the way AV has the Rangers playing with a lead. Seems like they’re always dominated in puck possession when leading. Does AV look at the stats up to the point the Rangers scored and took a lead? Because it seems they back off and bleed shot attempts against.
    When they play from behind they tend to play better possession hockey. The defenseman hold the O-zone better and carry the puck up ice cleaner. I understand the opposition might be laying back themselves but the D seem to play more controlled hockey when they have a lead. Why is that? In 13/14 the Rangers kept it fairly simple and rode their speed and depth to an Eastern Conference championship but it’s been downhill since as far as possession goes. If AV looks at the numbers and I’m sure he does, wouldn’t he see the trend and want to alter something to get his team on the right track? At least in the playoffs. The regular season is about done. The Rangers aren’t getting back to 50% in a single game but game 1 of the 1st round is the 1st game of the rest of the Rangers playoff lives. Shouldn’t they try to at least be positive at even strength?

  • we came out flat this wasn’t the same team that beat Columbus and Tampa Bay maybe they will come out flying on Saturday

    • Play-off opponents aside, I do not think you want to learn bad habits as week before the playoffs. Coming out slow and “unprepared” is getting too much the norm.

      • Agreed. I just don’t think the Rangers played a bad game last night. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t playoff strong, and I get the human element of taking the foot off the pedal when there’s isn’t much on the line, but I think for a loss, there really wasn’t a whole lot to be upset about.

        If there’s a way to be encouraged while losing a game, I think the Rangers did that.

  • For those who want to the Rangers in the WC1 spot (myself included), the Rangers aren’t out of the woods yet. A loss tomorrow against a desperate Detroit team would most likely seal the deal.

    However, if they win, the Islanders have to take 3 points in their next two games, as the Rangers hold the Regulation/Overtime wins tie-breaker. The Islanders play Buffalo and Philly. Philly may be playing for their playoff lives on that last day of the season.

  • AV saw that with Lundqvist he could get away with having the D play a certain way, which allowed the F to play a certain way, that meant the team would have lower possession numbers, yet still excel.

    Now, the team D doesn’t fit that model, as well as it did but AV is having a hard time adapting tactics to the talent at hand; or the other theory is that he won’t change his tactics and is pounding square pegs into round holes.

    Either way possession numbers are inversed and get worse with score effects which suggests that once Hank slips to merely human this team will plummet in the standings.

    • He’s already slipped to merely human. That second goal last night? He bit on a fake that he would never have bit on in the past. 7 pulls this year at almost a million a pull. His contract will,end up being an albatross.

      He’s still great! Just not all world anymore.

      • I can’t agree with your take on the second goal. Hank likely overplayed the shot because he saw Cizikas was outnumbered 3-1 on his crease drive. Hank assumed that Cizikas was a non factor in the play and that a drag back pass would be as good as a turnover.

        Blame the terrible coverage, Hayes and MacIlrath fell asleep on that one, for the second goal not Hank.

        • Well done, Chris. I’m with you on that one….

          For god sakes, scroll up half a page and look at that terrible line of 3 blue jerseys. One of the most brutal coverage fails I’ve seen in a while. It honestly reminds me of my beer league team.

          Complete and utter irresponsibility at times in the d zone. Complacent, lackadaisical, undisciplined…… 3 best adjectives I can come up with to categorize what the rangers are guilty of far too often this year.

          The game last night overall was a solid effort. Those breakdowns will doom you, no matter how well you play the rest of the game. Can’t be giving the other guys freebees like that….

          • My thoughts exactly, which is why this team makes me very nervous come playoff time. Too many lapses all season long.

            I was encouraged overall from last night’s game from a control/possession aspect, but the ugly even strength/PK lapses reared their heads again. It’s a real problem, and most likely the team’s fatal flaw.

          • Yup… and no reason other than blind faith to think it’ll change starting next week.

            My track record will indicate that faith is not my preferred standard of approval.

        • McIlrath plays defense and he was in the right position on that play. Possibly do a better job preventing the pass.
          Haze is just covering air. What is he going there? Dude is a complete waste of hockey talent.

  • Henk played like crap. looked more like Hardy Astrom in net. If he wanted the night off he should of let his coach know ahead of time.

    • Man, you really hate Hank don’t you? Was it his best game? Probably not. Did you see the game vs TB? The guy was unbelievable.

      Why did the writers vote Hank MVP? Because, he’s been real good, despite the fact the Rangers have certainly allowed far more quality scoring chances this season than in the past.

      Like the rest of the team, it’s been a bit of an uneve season for sure for Hank. But he’s been mentioned in the Vezina conversation because he’s been terrific 5×5. Arguably one of the best in the league.

      Like it or not, Hank is the man. He’s been the overwhelming reason why a very good, but hardly great team, has even made these playoff runs these past few seasons. He is no question going to go down as the greatest goaltender in franchise history. And he will easily make the HOF. What more could you want?

      • Yeah, Hank bashing makes no sense. Expected goals indicate that if Hank were a league-average goalie, he would have let in something like 25 extra goals at even strength. That is the difference between us being a wild card team and having a realistic shot of winning one of the top-4 lottery picks this year. He has been this team for years, and this year that is truer than ever before.

        • Perfectly said Ben! Over the ten years he’s been here, we aren’t likely even a playoff team most of those seasons. You can make the case he’s meant more to his team’s success than any other single player of the past decade.

  • Last night was the same old problem of forwards coming back into the D-zone & being brain dead on coverage. Dave is right about that second goal. Just look at where Hayes is. He’s completely out of position on that play & Czikas has an unobstructed path to the net. Rangers forwards are so often unaware of what is happening behind them or around them, everybody with eyes glued to the puck.

    • Right on Paul!

      You know I’ve been saying this very same thing all year, but most on here are so quick to blame it on the Defenseman.

      Yes the Ranger Defense is no where as good as it has been in recent years but that’s mostly on the Forwards inability to miss assignments in the D zone and not as much on the Defenseman.

      You brought this veru same thing in one pf your posts I read yesterday, but life happened and couldn’t respond.

      Also, on the other hand, the Forwards have had an issue with being in the right place to help the Defenseman on outlets as well, which obviously was touched on a great deal yesterday.

      How we are all of a sudden gonna fix this going forward into the playoffs scares the heck out of me.

  • The first goal is a good illustration of how hockey can work. Lundqvist is in perfect position. Boyle is nicely placed to contest any rebound. Can’t ask for more – then a goal.

    On the PK goal, cut the ice in half and all four Rangers are on the same side. Is this supposed to be a common occurrence. It surely has been the pattern on so many PP goals against this year.

    • Yes, the Rangers play an overload PK in-zone. The idea is that the pressure from all 4 PKers should be enough to prevent cross ice passes to the backdoor. For whatever reason, that tactic hasn’t worked all that well this season.

  • So another 3-goals against breakdown (OK, one of them was a bit fluky – deflection off an Islander and then Boyle) in a matter of a few minutes near the end of a period equates to playing well?

    Not being able to solve a backup goalie despite a lopsided possession edge equates to “playing well”?

    Not buying it. The game is note decided on spreadsheets or by subjective evaluations of the “process”. Its decided on the score board. Like it or not that’s the bottom line. The Rangers were last night, as they have been on many nights this season, like a football team piling up yardage between the 20 yard lines but failing in the red zone nearly every time. That may impress statisticians but it doesn’t win games.

    • You can play a good game and still make mistakes. The Rangers need to clean up their defensive zone lapses (can they?), but the actual flow of the game and overall scoring chances favored the Rangers.

      I get what you’re saying, but in order to give yourself a consistent chance at winning (I believe) you need to have a good process. It’s not just words, all coaches use that term. If you’re playing “your game” you are controlling play and giving yourself the best chance to win.

      I will say, and have been saying, that the defensive zone coverage is the biggest issue with this team, both in terms of executing clean breakouts and avoiding defensive lapses. I’ll feel much better about this team if they can at least clean up the PK.

      • The problem with the concepts of “structure” & “process”, as I see it, are thaqt they denote static factors in a read & react game with constantly shifting landscapes & momentum shifts. If you have limited process & structure then you are limited in your response potential. As Henrik often points out, the crucial factor is decision making & awareness, which are mostly mental processes. I recall Dave King, Canadian Olympic coach once commenting that there are people who skate better, shoot better, play tougher than Gretzky, but no one “thinks” the game better than him. To make those decisions in miliseconds requires a great deal of confidence in your ability “to know what to do before you know that you know what to do.” It’s subconscious processing that counts not consciously trying to do something like Kreider was doing. That slows your game down & leaves you behind the play. Experience is important there as well. I remember a trainee complaining that she was overwhelmed in a therapy session watching me because I was “too fast.” If you limit structure & process variables, you get a Mark Messier complaining that about a Roger Neilson having only one breakout play. Limited choices invariably leads to failure. So you need structures & processes that are fluid, and change with the opponent & more importantly within the game itself. Nobody did that better than Mike Keenan, and not to be spuriously confused with his personality structure which is white noise in the equation.

        • These are great points, but I don’t think you can say Keenan’s personality structure (i would say “flaws”) are “white noise”. Part of being a successful leader is the ability to get people to follow you. No matter how brilliant a hockey mind, Keenan’s personality flaws made it very difficult for players to want to buy in, certainly over the long haul. If “nobody did that better” than Keenan, and that was all it takes to be a great coach, he would have won more than one Cup, would not have flamed out in short order everywhere he went, and would still be at the top of every GM’s speed dial. He still apparently wants another shot, yet no one seems to want him. That’s not the definition of greatness.

          • If what you say was true then Scotty Bowman would never have won anything either as many of his players loathed him but they performed nevertheless. Keenan lost twice in the finals because he was playing a loaded Oilers team and he won with the Rangers. YOU are the one that hates him and thinks somehow that’s relevant.

          • Actually, I don’t hate Keenan at all. I feel sorry for him that he squandered his obvious abilities as a coach because he didn’t understand how to manage players or deal with management. There’s a reason why he got fired in short order everywhere he went. There’s a reason why, in addition to his playoff successes, he had epic failures where much was expected and his team’s either got bounced early or didn’t make the playoffs at all. There’s a reason why, after he left the Rangers, that he epically failed as a coach everywhere he went in the NHL. His act wore thinner and thinner…until he became a sideshow act and apparently, now totally unhirable.

            So why is this on me? Why aren’t you complaining to the 30 GMs who haven’t hired him in almost a decade now. These guys want to win, right? So if he’s that great a coach, then why hasn’t he been hired? Amazing how you pass over that simple point.

            I don’t know why you always enjoy killing the messenger. Say anything negative about Keenan…kill the messenger. Torts? Kill the messenger. These are complex personalities Paul, neither all good or all bad. Keenan’s legacy is a mixed bag. Some great, some not so great. To compare him to Bowman, in terms of accomplishment and even temperment…wow! I think Bowman would hardly appreciate the comparison. Bowman was no choir boy, but he never went to the extremes where he would wear out the room, at least not that quickly. And as a side note, while Keenan was Bowman’s protege to an extent, it’s been widely reported that Bowman grew tired of Keenan very quickly and was hardly a fan. While I agree they share some traits, Keenan was basically Bowman on massive steroids it seems to me, with nowhere near the results.

            I’ve never met Keenan. I have no axe to grind. But virtually to a man, his former players do….

            Brian Leetch on Keenan (from an interview done earlier this year)….

            “My thoughts (on Keenan) would turn bad as the season went along.”

            “He would trade players who had been there for awhile and acquire players he was comfortable with. I know he was trying to move me out of there for a good portion of the early year, and I stopped wanting to win for Mike at that point. It was for my teammates. I wasn’t the only player that felt that way. There were others that felt that too.”

            In 2014, the Record looked back on the 20th Anniversary of the Cup team, comparing it to this one.

            “Unlike Keenan, Vigneault has been a calming influence after 4½ stormy seasons of John Tortorella. And, unlike Keenan, odds are Vigneault will be behind the Rangers bench next season.

            Keenan bolted to become general manager/coach of the St. Louis Blues shortly after the Rangers’ Cup parade after reports surfaced during the playoffs he had negotiated with the Detroit Red Wings.

            Keenan certainly had a memorable one season with the Rangers. In Game 4 against the Devils in the conference final, he pulled Richter for Healy and wound up benching Messier, Leetch, Kevin Lowe, Sergei Zubov and Brian Noonan for stretches of that game.

            “We had our tough times through the year,” Healy said. “We were Keenan-ized on a couple of occasions. It took a lot to keep it together.”

            “We won in spite of Mike,” Olczyk said, more bluntly. “For someone who always preached team and us and everything, he really showed his true colors. He’s lucky we had a strong enough leadership group we were able to overcome a lot of the shenanigans. Imagine any coach doing that right now, with the way social media is now? He’d get annihilated. That engine could have gone off the rails pretty quick.”

            Chris Pronger on Keenan….

            “”That first year was very difficult. I was the whipping boy,” Pronger said. “I was in his office after every period, before and after every practice. I was beaten down. I think between getting booed every night and getting abused by him, I had no confidence whatsoever. … I got to a point where I saw a sports psychologist.”

            More from 1994, from the book written about the season…

            “The trapping Devils patiently stalked and beat the Rangers back to back to take a 3-2 series lead and put the Rangers on the brink of elimination. By this time Mike Keenan and Neil Smith weren’t even talking. The players were pretty fed up too. After an incident involving a pre-game meal which was a result of a misunderstanding between the two, Joey Kocur approached his old buddy Neil from their Detroit days and said “Why don’t you fire the $&@%.

            “In game 4, Keenan sat Leetch for over 15 minutes. He pulled Richter after only 2-0 and benched Messier as well. What the hell was he doing? Teaching a lesson in the Eastern Conference Finals? This was a Ranger nightmare.

            “The players were so despondent after the game 5 loss, Messier knew he had to do something. So he told his team that he would talk to Keenan and get their message across. Mess appealed to his stubborn head coach, ‘We’ve got a great opportunity here, we’re so close. We just have to win this series and we’ll win the Cup. You need to give us every chance to win.’ According to the Captain, the message was well received. However, the Rangers were down and needed a lift. They got it the day of game 6 when they saw the headline “WE’LL WIN TONIGHT”.

            NY Daily News….1997…

            “Messier was not just Keenan’s star and captain, he was also his muscle in the locker room, mostly because Messier was one of the few Rangers who didn’t think Keenan was a complete nut job. When Keenan started to act like Captain Queeg during the Rangers-Devils series in 1994, Messier always covered for him, no matter which players Keenan had benched the night before, no matter what kind or rambling monologue he offered for the writers covering the team. When the stories about Keenan wanting to go to the Detroit Red Wings began to surface, Messier refused to let them become an issue in the locker room. He covered for Keenan, no matter what.”

            And those are just a few.

            Look, clearly, he did a lot of things that were positive. No doubt. His speech prior to Game 7 was apparently one of the greatest ever. But what is virtually indisputable is that he nearly blew the wheels off the bus in the midst of the Devils series, and it was Messier that literally had to reel him back in. And, there is little doubt whatsoever, that Keenan was negotiating with the Wings in the midst of the SC Finals. You think it was all made up. It’s pretty well documented. And in fact, Bettman issued fines to all parties involved for tampering…including the Wings. So if it never happened, then why were their fines? It most definitely happened and everyone involved knows that it did. It was unprecedented and reprehensible. And that’s why, despite the fact he brought the Rangers the Cup, I don’t respect him as a person. And wouldn’t ever want someone like that leading my team.

          • As usual, you left out the most important thing. Keenan was told that even if the Rangers were to win the Cup, Smith was going to fire him. What would you do? He started negotiating for next year’s job saying F it! Interesting you say Mess covered for him. Why? Mess ran Neilson out of town, a really nice guy, nicer than AV even. Because Mess knew how good a coach he was. And Leetch can complain if he wants to but fact is he had the best season of his career and won the Conn Smythe. There was a guy in college basketball, worse than Keenan. Said he wanted “he was honest & kissed no one’s ass.” Won many championships, lost his career after punching one of his players. Name was Bobby Knight. Ever see the movie Whiplash? Great movie but it makes you wrestle with the conundrum, what is the best way to turn out a champion? It takes a certain kind of rapproachment between teacher & student, but sometimes you can only get brilliance out of a person by pushing him to prove his brilliance. That’s what happened to Leetch, it was coaching brilliance. BTW, my best friend hated Whiplash because he hated the teacher & like you confabulated his feelings abt the character without taking into consideration the outcome. My daughter is a teacher & when she finally saw the movie after my urging she tweeted “FN awesome!” Just another tidbit, I had a guy over to do work & when he saw my Rangers jersey he smiled and told me his uncle Red Sullivan played for the Rangers. He also told me Mike Keenan boarded at his place as a young man. Said he was very quiet & very intelligent. Keenan was like Dave Schultz, quiet off the ice but put him in a hockey game & he was a warrior. Nice guys don’t often finish last but they often do because they’d rather be liked than challenge their players to be the best they can be.

          • Some really good, valid insight here Paul. Too late for me to respond tonight but if you will be good enough to check back tomorrow, I will have a few additional thoughts on this.

          • Paul, you make some very valid points, and in truth, much of what you say is eye opening. I don’t want to belabor this so I will try and be as brief as I can.

            You do have a few points though that are not factually accurate….

            1) No question, Keenan probably felt as if he was out regardless. Smith wanted him out. But you are making Keenan out to be the victim here when in fact it was exactly the opposite. Do you know that it was Smith that pushed for Keenan to be hired? Gutkowski said to him…”Are you sure? He’s like a hurricane. When he hits shore, damage occurs.” Smith said “I can deal with the devil as long as he wins.”

            Gutkowski made it clear to Keenan that he was being hired as the coach and not GM. Keenan said he had no interest in that and simply wanted to coach. Then, as soon as he was hired, he distanced himself as much as he could from Smith, and regularly did end arounds, bypassing his boss to go to Garden management. You can deny it if you want, but it’s EXACTLY what he did in Philly and in Chicago. He back stabbed Smith and clearly wanted to be in charge of all hockey matters….which is exactly what he got when he bolted to he Blues. So yes, by the end, after being back stabbed, Smith certainly did want Keenan out. Wouldn’t you?

            2) Keenan had no reason whatsoever to be concerned, despite what Smith wanted. The Garden was being sold, and the board made it clear there was no way they were going to allow either Keenan or Smith to leave while the sale was pending. Gutkowski and Jaffe made it clear to Smith and Keenan that neither were going anywhere. Not to mention, Keenan had a five year deal. He was set regardless. He had no reason to negotiate an exit strategy. It was arguably the most reprehensible, unprecedented conduct any coach ever perpetrated on a franchise.

            3) While the unintended consequence may have been that Keenan’s threats motivated Leetch (he would certainly argue that approach with him was not necessary), that was not Keenan’s goal at that moment. In early October, after just a handful of games, it was reported and confirmed that Keenan wanted Smith to trade Richter and Leetch for Chelios and Belfour. He also wanted Kovalev dealt. He even suggested dealing Zubov, who he initially did not like, for Stu Grissom!

            I know you don’t believe it to be be true, but it’s highly probable that it is. There are reliable sources confirming it. And, just look at what happened when Keenan had full control in St. Louis. He proceeded in much the same way he wanted to proceed with the Rangers and it wrecked the franchise.

            As I said before, I don’t totally fault him. I mean, at that point, he had no history with any of those guys. Chelios for Leetch might have been an equal trade in his eyes. Richter had accomplished little to that point, and Belfour had taken Keenan’s Hawks deep. Smith said no. Then he did an end around and Gutkowski and Jaffe said no…and at that point both started realizing Keenan’s judgement was unstable, and could never be considered a GM candidate.

            4) on the Bobby Knight point, it is very valid and indeed, it is a very fine line. How far will you go to win? I would say, in this day and age, Knight could not survive, win or not. And if you are going to take that approach, well, you had BETTER win. Winning….you are Knight. Losing…you are Mike Rice and can bring an entire program down. Most ADs or GMs have concluded that kind of coach is just not worth the risk anymore.

            Most coaches today, temperamentally, are much more like AV then they are like Keenan.

            But very good points and a fascinating discussion for sure.

      • “You can play a good game and still make mistakes. ”

        Of course you can. But that’s not what happened last night.

    • Road,

      Trust me, I, and many on here didn’t need this mornings “Fancy Stats” to realize we played a proper, good game last night, as most were convinced via the “eye test” that the Rangers played well.

      Also, it’s not like we’re trying to paint a rosy picture about it either, because we were evaluating this team in the opposite way pretty much all season as well. Remember all those games we were winning all season, but we all knew how bad we actually were playing but yet, still winning?….. Well, this is the other side of the coin now.

  • Dave, that cartoon graphic almost made me spill my OJ this morning, I was laughing so hard. Brilliantly done!

    Today, I’m at a loss. I just don’t even know where to go or what I feel. Furious we got swept by the Isles? Yes. Happy we played well, despite not winning? Yes. Concerned we are stumbling into the playoffs with little consistency? Yes. Worried about how we get by without McDonagh and Girardi, if it comes to that? Yes. Happy we are likley going to play the Panthers as opposed to the Pens…Hell Yes!

    This team feels like what they’ve been all season…..kind of like in extended pre-season mode. Just play well enough to get in, then it’s all in time. Are they fooling themselves? Fooling us? Whistling past the graveyard? Or is there indeed another gear they have to give?

    For whatever it’s worth, check out Pat Leonard’s column in the NY Daily News today. He spoke to a scout, and there is a general agreement among the playoff teams that no one wants to play is the Rangers…largely due to Lundqvist, and the fact that their playoff pedigree suggests they are more than capable of going deep yet again….if they are healthy. Interesting.

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