Game Wrap-upsUncategorized

GIF Recap: Rangers drop a stinker to the Devils

The Rangers played very poorly last night. To put it bluntly, they stunk up the joint so bad, I’m smelling it across the Hudson. Let’s check in on how the team is doing right now:

The game was, as usual, a total cluster and yet in some ways, totally predictable. The Rangers played roughly 1/3 of this game, perhaps thinking this is still practice? But maybe this is just how they’re coached at this point, since they had a habit of doing this last year as well, except they managed to win these games that they’re losing in 2017.

This mess of a game began when it was announced that, for some reason, in October, the Rangers would play 11 forwards and 7 defensemen, which totally doesn’t scream desperate so don’t worry at all, Alain. There’s nothing worse than shortening your bench, which he’s done not once, but twice so far in this very short season.

Shortly thereafter, we come to find that it doesn’t matter what lines were being presented during warmups because evidently, lines and defense pairings are being picked out of a hat, on the fly. Certainly a way to a) promote chemistry and b) establish what works, except that you can’t do either of those things. But what do I know, I’m not a professional hockey coach. Do you even play the game?

Now, the first period was good. The Rangers outshot the Devils 14-3, and although it was 0-0, you could overlook the score in favor of the possession and pressure. Sure, nobody knows what the heck is going on with the lines, but that’s okay. Keep calm, right? Goals will happen.

And, sure as the rains down in Africa, one did. Rick Nash hit the back of the net on a beauty of a pass by David Desharnais, and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

Sadly, that was the end of the good vibes for last night.

I’m not sure if everyone’s brains left their bodies after that goal, or if they all just got wasted off of the “water” in their Gatorade bottles, or if everyone just decided that one goal was all they felt like doing for the night. The Rangers quite literally disappeared from the ice. For half — seriously, one half — of the game, the Rangers had 5 shots. FIVE. Like, how many fingers you have on one of your hands. How many days are in a basic work week. The number of stages of grief you’re likely feeling watching this team.


If you have a pulse, and you cheer for the Rangers, and you tell me that any of those thirty-four minutes was enjoyable to watch, you’re a liar. Period.

During this time, the Devils score three unanswered goals to set the table for the eventual loss. For some reason, the MSG broadcast team was chatting away, indicating that Ondrej Pavelec was in some way the issue. It was about this time I zoned out and started scrolling my Instagram feed and prayed to the higher merciful powers for this game to be over.

Apparently, during my phase-out, I missed that Jimmy Vesey was benched, shortening the forwards to only ten (because that’s how you score two goals, am I right?), and again was forced to question the tactics of the coach who has led us to such successful playoffs.

In the end, with Pavelec pulled, third-pair Kevin Shattenkirk scored his first at the Garden, but it wasn’t enough. The Rangers lost yet another one, and we’re all sitting here like Michael Scott, just waiting for the tide to turn. Or the entire team to be fired.


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  • I’m going to take a different approach here as opposed to the usual “it’s all the coach’s fault” rant:

    Period #1 – Rangers out shoot the Devs 14-3. Looks great doesn’t it? The fact is the Devs were playing their 3rd game in 4 nights, and on a back to back, as were the Rangers (meaning the back to back). But the point is that we “choose” to think the Rangers were that good as opposed to the Devs were that flat. I was at the game, I choose the latter for reality purposes.

    BTW, revelation during the first period, and here is why you take dinosaurs like Staal out of the lineup: 8:25 left in the first period (I checked the scoreboard), DeAngelo was skating backwards while the Devs were on the rush, stumbled, but INSTANTLY recovered and took his man. THAT’s why you have guys like DeAngelo in the line up, to work out their mistakes over time to become productive players. Back to my thoughts on the game last night.

    Period #2 – After the Nash goal, the Devs start to “get their legs” and become the fresher team. Once this happened, the Rangers could not keep up. Butcher slips a beautiful pass past a sleeping Marc Staal for Stafford’s equally beautiful goal. At that point, it was obvious that the game was going to turn.

    I won’t even get into the 3rd period. Point is, after a while, you can’t say that the opposing goalie is the reason why you score 2 or less goals every game. Kincaid was good, but where was the spectacular saves you usually see when a team gets out shot 14-3? In comparison to the King making no less than 5 spectacular saves against the Leafs and still giving up 5 goals. See the difference? “Maybe” one or two? I don’t see it. The Rangers shoot twice at my end of the ice. I saw a lot of shots that went into Kincaid’s bread basket, meaning shot right into him. I can stop those shots if I’m positioned well enough. And, again, for the millionth time, nary any 2nd chance shots.

    With the decline of Nash, there is no “elite” forward any more on this team. No 30-40 goal scorers on this team. Their best chance for scoring goals is to have a mobile defense that can transition quickly and score bunches on the PP. 5 on 5 scoring will be scare, it appears.

    So it’s not all on the coach, for sure. But where the coach gets blame is their basic lack of preparedness to start games (unless you face a team that has played 3 in 4 nights), generally sloppy play, no chemistry as he doesn’t give anything more than 2 periods to work itself out, bad line ups, bad deployment, bad pairings, etc.

    I mean, in what world does Desharnais, the owner of a 14 (that’s FOURTEEN) point season last year getting more PP time than almost any other forward on the Rangers? “Decisions” like this tell me that the coach is pushing the buttons of the GM and trying his patience, to see how far he can push without getting fired.

    With this said, anyone thinking that 6 games a season makes or is a time for knee-jerk reactions, is wrong. But it’s getting late soon, with 25% of their home games being played to start the season, having a record that is way under .500 will destroy the season. I know, they had the best road record last year. But if you come out losing at home to start this season, then confidence is shattered and that carries over into every game.

    P.S. They better figure it our soon. You can’t win the Cup in October, but you can certainly lose it, especially with losing all these home games to start. Not good.

  • I said it from the beginning that the Rangers will struggle to score goals this year. Guys like Vesey, Bush (who I still say may very well be a bust because he hasn’t really proven a thing in the NHL), Hayes, Carey, and Fast, just to name a few, are so far not real skilled goal scorers which is needed. Losing Stepan and Lindberg, who was starting to really mature, whether we want to believe it or not, was a bit hit. Gordon side swiped the center issue and lack of forward depth problem by thinking teen aged rookies from Europe were possibly going to be the solution, ridicules’! He gets a poor grade for that decision, but a good grade for improving the Power- Play with Shattenkirk. Even though it’s early. this team is definitely not championship material as is. There needs to be some shaking up in roster changes or through some trades. Maybe even considering a coaching change if this mess continues, will bring some new chemistry, Looks like another first or second-round ousting from the playoffs, if indeed we make the Playoffs.

    • Well said craig,
      I dont know why there are 5 thumbs down…..what did you say that isnt true??
      Losing Lindberg…..that 4 th line was instrumental for us in the playoffs……
      I would have rather let stepan go , since anderson is a maybe and a couple of years away and not expected to be a top 6 anyway…….and since av will look for every opportunity to bench deangelo….and we got rid of raanta as well….
      A 4th line of lindberg-fast -letteri would have been better ……
      I also want to see av stick with set lines and leave them alone for a while…..
      Until nash, kredier , hayes, miller zucc and buch start scoring regularly we are in trouble…

  • wow … kinda tough on this well oiled machine …. its gonna turn around Tuesday night against Pitts and we’ll have a 6-1 streak going (hey 1 can dream)

  • So AV finally gets Tony D in the game and he is directly responsible for two goals against.

    • Actually he had a hand in all 3. He didn’t pick up Henrique on the first goal. He made a lazy turnover to open ice in his own zone that eventually led to the deflection. And he took the penalty that led to the game winning PP.

      It kind of makes sense to why a first round pick was traded 2 years after he was drafted for a 2nd round pick, to only be traded again a year later.

      But maybe we should stop this kind of talk. It doesn’t feed in to the narrative that he should be playing every day because ya know, he’s a kid.

      • By all means, let’s replace DeAngelo with Kampfer. Kampfer is this year’s reclamation project from the genius of Vigneault, even though he isn’t French Canadian like Pouliot or Desharnais or Daniel Paille. Or maybe the coach can dress 8 defensemen next game. This team was LIFELESS against a bitter rival. Not a good sign for coach or team.

        How bout saying this: DeAngelo sucked last night, and so did the coach. One has been bad in every game this year, while one is 21 years old. Can you guess which one is which?

        • Replace ADA with Kampfor? They dressed 7 defenseman. ADA should not have played. He hasn’t shown anything but that he’s an offensive defenseman that can’t play defense. We already have one of those on this team.

        • Ah, now thinly veiled slap against French Canadians. Good one. Pouliot was a huge find and a difference maker on our best season since 1994. I don’t get your point.

        • Rangers in the last 4 years have been “lifeless” against all the rivals within the division, that has always been a problem. Girardi, Stepan, Glass and Oscar were never apart of that emotional wave so at the end of the day this was nothing new. Some said the same thing when Cally was still captain of this team but imo that edge has been missing ever since he was traded to Tampa.

          I wouldn’t be shocked if DeAngelo gets traded later into the season or maybe during the deadline. I thought that he looked good with the puck in all 3 zones.

        • Actually, you are wrong Man.

          Kampfer was Jeff Gorton’s “reclamation” project when he was acquired in the McIlrath deal. I doubt AV had any idea who he was. That deal was ALL Gorton. Just like this badly flawed, overrated roster is ALL Gorton.

          I’m not going to come down to hard on JG at the moment, because I think he’s trying to thread a needle here doing the “rebuild on the fly” thing. But he lets go of our 1C, gets nothing in return that helps us now, the rest of the team is a bunch of wanna be pretend “stars” that have never been that and probably never will be that, and somehow this mess is first and foremost on the coach?

          It’s hilarious to me that so many out here see JG as the White Knight doing all the right things and probably rolling his eyes at what is going on down on the ice, while AV is the SINGULAR reason why we are struggling, despite the fact he has guided a very flawed roster to a great deal of success the last few seasons.

          AV, JG, ADA. One of these guys actually has a TRACK RECORD of success that will possibly land him in the HOF one day. Can you guess which one is which?

          • Great last paragraph. Philosophically, I think you and I are not that close; the fact that we seem to be agreeing all the time of late is an indicator of how far off the rails so many at BSB have gone.

            JG did not think last year’s team was good enough to win a Cup, even with tinkering. He said as much. He then essentially trades Stepan and Raanta for DeAngelo and Andersson, two first round draft choice kids. On top of this, he replaces Stepan and Lindberg with Desharnais, leaving the team a forward short. Seriously, is this a guy who is all in for the 2018 Cup or a guy looking to the future?

            However, there is the narrative of the Lundqvist window and so JG must be trying to win this year. So we have to fit the facts to fit the narrative. Everyone knew that Andersson, Bereglazov, Pionk, DeAngelo had to be good enough to play now because we can’t win if they are not and surely Gorton knows that.

            Just maybe, Gorton looked at the team he had and the salary cap and just saw a 2018 Cup as unrealistic. Time to look to the future. If things gel unexpectedly quickly, maybe it will happen, but don’t hold your breath.

            And the reclamation project this year is not Kampfer. It is DeAngelo, a super talented kid with major head issues. Is he immature or irredeemable? Don’t know yet. None of us here has any idea of how well AV is handling the challenge. Perhaps there is the record of similar challenges to look at. BUT what we have right now is a very talented crap defenseman. The object is not to get the most out of his current ability, but to actually harness his talent. and I doubt a single one of us knows how to do this. I can outline the process though

            1. Get him to understand what a successful defenseman achieves.
            2. Get him to understand how he needs to play to accomplish this.
            3. Train him to execute.

            Obviously, step 3 requires that he actually play, but that is step 3 and we don’t know 1 and 2 are done — in fact we pretty much know they aren’t. But how much playing should occur in steps 1 and 2 depends on the subject, the technique. I don’t have any particular confidence that AV can pull this off, but I do know that he can’t be distracted by the best interests of the Rangers in a particular game.

            DeAngelo, Andersson, Chityl were first round draftees and presumably superb talents. You want to make that trio the best players they can be. Don’t let the futile dream of a 2018 Cup get in the way. [If the Rangers do this – and in addition continue the development of Skjei, Buch, Vesey – and train Shatty to play defense, this will be a great season even if the Rangers only win 30 games.]

          • I actually think that, other than our positions and perspectives on Hank, that you and I agree quite a bit.

            And that continues here. I think this is another one of your extremely well thought out perspectives that I 99% agree with.

          • Didn’t mean it as such, sorry if it came off that way. Meant more that AV likes his Quebec-born players (Max Lapierre, Desharnais, Pouliot)–and the reclamation thing for me goes back to Alex Burrows in Vancouver with him, where he helped develop Burrows’ marginal talent into a legit top 6 winger.

  • you forgot:

    “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”

    —Wayne Gretzky

    —Michael Scott

  • Time to hit the phones Gorton. I say everyone with the exception of Zucc, Zibinajed, and Skjei are available, including the coach.

  • Not only did Tony D royally crap the bed in his stint paired with Truck (gifs missing, find them elsewhere), he also played a very soft game, shrinking from contact several times.

    So, to sum up: Gorton trades our “no 1 C” plus our excellent backup goalie for a future and this gem.

    But, the coach, waaah

    • …says the guy defending the coach who dressed 11 F/7 D while in the middle of an offensive slump. I think it’s fair to say both the team and the coach suck right now. I think it’s also fair to say you & Vigneault share the same confirmation bias regarding DeAngelo. He’s more athletic than Kampfer or Holden and will bounce back if given the shot. You’ll probably be an Islander fan by then though.

      • Your personal animus, displayed here and moreso in earlier posts, is not appropriate. Do you think it is ok to insult those with whom you disagree? I have been a Rangers fan for 50 years, you? However, “confirmation bias” is precisely what is driving your posts and those of others. I’d much rather talk about the game than spend every moment defending against your preexisting conclusion to which all arguments must be shaped. Why not look at the gifs? I’m not so sure ducking contact and taking stupid penalties is curable, no matter how much PT he gets. Why did two other teams give up on him? Hmm.

      • Also, was it dumb to dress 7 d when Cooper did it to win games 6 and 7 of the ECF against us? Which of our noble 4th liners that JG so ably gifted us with was going to score the goal that made the difference?

        Another non argument that sounds like an argument. But hey, its personal with you, right?

        • Yea, having Cracknell or Carey in the lineup and therefore taking some time away from the top lines really would have helped the offensive juggernaut get out of its slump.

      • Man-

        You are WAY off base here. As Spozo said, what “star” player did AV sit here that could have possibly made any difference? Carey? Cracknell? AV also indicated pre-game that some guys were “banged up”, and that may well have been a factor.

        I’m not a fan of the 11/7 approach, but you are totally overreacting. As I said yesterday, I think part of this is AV’s subconscious screaming “I don’t have the talent or the forward depth I had last year. Want me to play 12 forwards? Then Gorton’s get me some NHL talent please!!!!”

        As for ADA, you can make the case (although this is obviously overstated as well) that he pretty much siglehandedly cost us the game last night. Horrible clearing attempt on the first goal. Absolutely stupid, unnecessary and selfish cross checking penalty when it was a 4 on 4 that led to another. This kid is an undisciplined hot head that two other organizations quickly gave up on. We are now seeing why first hand. The Rangers are desperate to win games and your ok with playing him? I’d call him into my office Monday morning and either demote him immediately, or tell him he will be sitting in the press box for at least a week. Next time in, play like that again, and you’re on your way to Hartford. Two other organizations quickly moved on from you. Don’t make us your third. Because you might not get any more chances. Understand young man?

        Right now, I will take Holden ANY day over ADA. All day any day.

        Also, why do I sense a huge double standard here? If Holden, Staal, Kampfer, or in the past Girardi or Boyle, had made mistakes like that, you’d be alll over them. ADA? Sure, he can crap the bed with impunity because he has “potential”.

        • Good coaches don’t give up on shaky young players with high development ceilings within 5 games of an 82-game schedule. Players have to play & receive a fair shake from the coach. But he’d rather play guys who owe him their jobs, evidently–guys like Carey, Cracknell, Paille, Glass, etc.

          • No one is suggesting that he should “give up” on ADA. That’s the flaw in the “play the kids no matter what” argument that many of you espouse. You all assume that allowing a young player to learn, either in the minors or as a “black ace”, is somehow akin to some coaching heresy. Torts did the same thing when he was here. Coach Babs just commented the other day that it is a bad idea to rush young players that are not ready.

            You are right. Good coaches don’t give up on young players with talent. But the best coaches know that sometimes, young players, especially head case types like ADA, might need several good swift kicks in the butt in order to succeed down the road. Tough love coaching works more often than not.

      • While I don’t entirely disagree with you, I would like to say that the coach cannot score from behind the bench. Only the team on the ice can and instead they make even the opposing backup goalies look like Vezina trophy candidates. IMO the GM is the one bears the biggest responsibility for putting this team together. We have a bunch of MUKERS and not one snipers.

    • Rannta was a throw in, it seemed to me that DeAngelo and that pick were a package deal so Stepan’s value alone couldn’t get that. Let’s be fair here because I believe AV was all about trading Stepan if you’re looking back to what he was saying about Hayes.

      • Gorton makes the trades here, not AV. This was a cap necessitated move, plain and simple. No chance Stepan is moved if he didn’t have that NMC about to kick in.

        • Eh you can go by your own theory but seeing how Hayes was brought up by both the coach and GM for moving up in the lineup tells me a different story. Facts are that the two of those guys have a recent record of saying they wouldn’t have moved Stepan if they didn’t think Hayes was ready.

          • That’s how YOU felt about the situation but obviously Hayes was never a option due to what JG/AV have said.

  • Av won’t make it past the end of October.

    The system he is deploying sucks. Why? It’s too complex for a team with turnover.

    He has young kids that he can’t deploy in his system.

    you know who’s good with young players Lindsay Ruff. A coach that molds his coaching style to what he has available vs AV and his my system will win games only if you are 26+.

    Let’s face it. Av is great at matchups and using fancy stats. He has a hands off approach to the team which is great for veteran lineups. But he is tactically stubborn and handles youth in a way that does not promote development. It’s great for old players. Young ones not so much. Now I know you will say jt miller or vesey was coached by him and they are ok. I say imagine what they could be without him coaching them.

    • Do we actually know anything about Ruff’s hiring? Is he JG’s guy or AV’s guy, or a guy both were excited about?

      !n 1987, when Cub general manager Dallas Green fired manager Jim Frey, third base coach Don Zimmer went into the office next. On his way in, Frey congratulated Zimmer for getting the manager’s job (the promotion obvious to him). As it turns out, Zimmer was also fired.

      Ruff might be a head coach in waiting, but he may also be part of AV’s team, to be purged with AV, should that time come.

      • By all accounts, reported by several sources, Scott Arniel, who has known Ruff well for years, made the suggestion to AV that he would be the right guy for the job (once AV presumably concluded that Beuke was in over his head). Then AV, who knew Ruff well, went to meet with him. They exchanged ideas, and then it was AV that went to Gorton to say the Rangers should hire him. It is highly improbable that this was JG sending AV a message just six months after giving AV a mega raise and extension.

  • When you watch the Rangers opponents especially teams like CbJ what they do very well is support the puck carrier. The Ranger do not support one another on the ice. This forces the puck carrier to make low percentage passes. Thus turn overs. The other glaring weakness is the Rangers play along the boards. They have too many perimeter players not willing to battle hard for the puck. Good hockey is the result of hard work and team work. I don’t see it so far this season and time is running out.

  • I am still telling myself it is early because it actually happens to be true. My problem is the anticipation waiting to get to hockey season apparently is still not over when it comes to our boys in Blue. I will NOT call out no one this early BUT it may be time to discuss hockey 101 things like shot selection and playing a full sixty for starters. I have heard Joe (yeah I know it is just Joe) say how the goalies keep stealing game against us AND he actually said in Bob was not in net we would’ve won that one. Now I have to ask what he meant by that did he mean a different goalie or was he saying if we played them with out a goalie – because we may have won in a 60 minute empty net game. I mean comments like “what a save” when the goalie didn’t move and it hits him center mass are becomming prevalent. Even last night the goalie was lauded for a save that the replay clearly shows it went off the post and then under him. Can’t score though the goalie although got to admit that was some shot when Kreider knocked the stick out of their goalies hands. BUT we are gonna eventually need some of these to start going in. The comment someone made that the practices are with lines that don’t actually happen is also disturbing if true this early in the season.

  • Dave Tippett is available…he’s an experienced coach that knows how to get the most from his players. Sign him up Gorton before the season is lost.

    • Dave Tippett? When did he last make the playoffs? Before HD TV’s were in existence? Sorry Bloomer, I doubt there is anyone in the NHL community that would see that move as an upgrade.

      • Tippett is a good coach & would be a solid choice to replace Vigneault. Among other distinctions, he’s had 3 50-win seasons and managed to lead the lowly Coyotes to their best seasons ever. Oh, and he’s a Jack Adams award winner for coach of the year in the NHL. Not exactly bupkis on the resumé, y’know?

        • Sounds like AV, just not as good. But then again the anti-AV crowd would crown anyone as a worthy successor. Be careful what you wish for….

  • It is easy to ridicule 11F 7D but it actually provides more flexibility, not less. You can bench a bad defenseman or a bad forward (don’t have four lines anyway) with impunity. And it is not like the fourth line is scoring.

    As noted above, it is not at all clear that the Rangers have twelve forwards. In fact, I suspect that the best player not named Lundqvist who didn’t play was Kampfer (and I suspect some here think he is better than DD).

    • I’ve had that happen. Check for something that may possibly resemble an inappropriate word (Coach Babs and Coach Hitch comes to mind). Also, Dave told me that sometimes lengthy posts get flagged. Or ones with an attachment or link. And, I’ve learned that if you edit a post during that five minute window, then it automatically sends it to moderation. What i do if I want to make a correction is copy the text, then delete the post altogether, then copy and make the correction…then post.

      • I’ve edited a number of times without moderation, so I don’t think that is an issue. I’ve also had comments moderated, one I thought I understood and withdrew, the other for no apparent reason.

        I would suspect though that the moderators are Dave and company and if you get flagged for moderation when nobody is around (this is a hobby, not a job after all), it will take a while to resolve.

        • I actually wasn’t questioning the timing of the release of my post (though I did say that), I was more wondering why i was flagged to begin with. Nothing in that post was remotely offensive, either in content or verbiage.

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