Monday, April 2, 2012

Beware of Boston

OK well I will get this out in the beginning and say that lasts night performance was not a terrible one as we only lost 2-1, but I can definitely say that it was not nearly good enough. With the exception of two separate 5 minutes stretches, I thought we looked lethargic, Slow, old, and many other words I will refrain from using.. We came out early in the game like we were shot out of a cannon, skating hard, hitting, getting good shots off, and even scored an early goal albeit off a lucky bounce, not to take away from the finish. I thought we ended the game on a great pace as well, had amazing urgency and determination, the ice definitely flipped to the Boston end for the last 5, with the exception of the last 40 seconds when we could not assert ourselves to get a last chance to tie it up.. I hate to say it but I have to agree with the Hockey Rodent who said on Twitter post game, " All the Hustle, all the Scrambling that we saw NYR do at the end.... where was that hustle in P2 and P3? SHAMEFUL EFFORT." I dont' always, in fact really never agree with the way the Rodent sees the game as he is very negative, but I have to agree here..

Just a little bit on some of the players. I thought Mac played a sub par game, he made a few pinches that really put some of his forwards in bad spots, and really didn't do much on the back end. Dan G is showing some serious signs of wear, both physical and more importantly mental. I know what he was trying to do on the play that lead to Bergeron's goal, but during a PK, you just can't afford to do that unless you are 100% sure.. I hope torts gives him a night or two off leading up to the playoffs assuming we clinch here in the next game or Pitt helps us out.. Artie has to bury that shot that TT saved late in the game, he has to lift that up. Mitchell had a few great chances and wasn't able to convert, BR played a bit slower then he has all month, and Hags is basically insignificant lately, scoring 1 point in his last 7 games and 2 goals in the last 15 games... Simply put, not good enough to be on the first line...

I want to throw something out there that I think should be thought about come playoff time.. I know the lines have been doing fairly well  as of late with the exception of last night, but I think we need to look further into who plays with who starting either the 11th or 12th... Here is what I think need to happen..

Cally-Gabby-BR ---- I think that gabby and BR need a bit of grit on this line to help them down low and be there for some physical play in case that happens, and we know it will in the playoffs.. Cally skill level has improved on a nightly basis it seems and I think he would be an awesome fit with those two...

Step-Dubi-Hags----  Hags would bring some much needed speed to that lineup, a guy who can be creative and get to open areas for shots.. With Dubi really improving and playing better nightly, he Step and Hags could be a great combo..

Boyle-Prust-AA---- Makes this line tough with Boyle and Prust and somewhat skilled with AA... I think this is the ideal 3rd line, two centermen just in case one gets kicked out, AA has really become a solid two way player, and we know what wee get out of the other two..

Mitchell(or anyone else)-Rupp-Feds-- Don't really need to say much about this line, it would be nice if they chip in with something here and there... I think Torts has a man crush or a bromance with John Mitchell..

So boys, lets take care of business on Tuesday night against Philly and call it a division... I think we will all find out if as they all say they don't care about the standings or pay attention to it, if that is in fact true. If we clinch do we sit a few guys to get them as close to 100% as possible? Or do we go for the president's trophy as if we win out its ours?? Those are the questions...

The magic number now is 16... That's the number we need to focus on, win one and then we lower that number... GO NYR......

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Twin City Two

I know I haven't been around in quite some time and that is basically because I am writing this and no one is reading it so like anything else, I gave up.. With that said, I wanted to briefly write about last nights game.. I thought that was a lethargic game, for the most part we let Minn set the tone, yes we had more hits and won more faceoffs and basically controlled the stats, but if you watched the game, we did not look near at the top of our game. That said, we found a way to win a game like that which has been part of the late season mini slump, which is a great thing heading into the playoffs.. I thought dubi was good as well as the Top line when they were together. Boyle was solid all night, Prust made a few nice plays, and overall the team played OK, but won and that's all that matters.. The Isles gave us a gift and now we have a three point lead with 6 games to go.. Here are the schedules for both us and Pitts..


@Winn- 2 Points
Mon- 2 Points( Only because its at home)
Boston- 1 Point
@Philly- 2 Points
@Pitt- 1 Point
Caps- 2 Points

Total= 10 Points and 113 Points for the season


@ Isles- 2 Points
@Sabres- 2 Point
Flyers- 2 Points
@ Bruins- 1 Point
NYR- 2 Points
Flyers- 1 Point

Total= 10 Points and 110 Points for the season...

So my take is, we take care of our business the way we should, we will get the division and home ice throughout, we will take on either Ottawa or buffalo in the first round and go from there... Time for Hank to get hot again, the first line to continue to produce, the second line to step(no pun intended) it up and the rest of the team do what they do best.... here is to another big two points tonight... Lets GO NYR.....

Monday, March 19, 2012


NJD tonight. We should come out fired up, hit them all over the rink and score some goals.. Two points are needed for sure, lets get back on track....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A True Test for the Blueshirts Tonight

So its now 11am and within the last 10 minutes off the twitter wire I just saw that we will not have Ryan Callahan nor MDZ int he lineup tonight. Also noted there will be no lineup changes from the Carolina game, and torts has yet to declare who will start in goal for the Rangers. So with that said, does this now become a game where we have to fight to not make it embarrassing or do we still have a shot at winning? All eyes in the hockey world will be on the worlds most famous arena because of the return of the kid, but I think the return of Letang is bigger then that of the Kid.. Granted they have been winning without both in the lineup, but that's because Geno is not human, when he feels like playing to his ability, not so sure anyone is better int he league, he is a freak. The problem for the Pens is that when Sid is around and the focal point of the offense, Geno tends to lose interest a bit and become truly second fiddle and not produce as well. I don't have the stats to back it up because I am not tied into all those statistical companies, but I can assure you that his numbers without Sid are ten fold better then with.. With all that stated, here are my keys to the game...

1. Control Center Ice and Sid and Geno getting the puck there. If you stop Geno and Sid from getting the puck and slithering up the ice with it, then you have a better chance of containing them all night long. Go after Sid, hit him hard and often and get under his skin. The same goes for Geno who really doesn't like contact even though he is a big guy. He tends to take retaliation penalties when he gets beat up in a game often.. So control neutral zone play and control the amount of time Sid and Geno have on the puck in the neutral zone.

2. Continued production from the BLING line, and some additional production from the others. The BLING line coming off a 9 point +11 outing against Carolina should look to improve on that with their skating, passing and finishing skills of late. BR and Gabby need to keep on the streaks they are on and Hags needs to keep skating and creating... We definitely need more production from the 2nd and 3rd lines and a good steady game from the 4th line. If and when we get PP chances, execute and score goals, it will be crucial..

3. DO NOT take to many penalties. With the return of Sid and Letang to add to Malkin, Neal, Stall, etc, that equals scary in PP scenarios.. So to keep this one short and sweet, stay out of the box..

Here is to a great game tonight, its to bad we won't have a full squad, but I still think we can put a scare into the Pens. Even if we lose, make them aware of where they came to play, make them understand that come playoff time, we are ready to make their lives miserable, and make them aware that the greatest arena in sports belongs to the NYR... GO NYR....

E-No Out....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On the Eve of the Battle of the Year- First Take care of Business Tonight

Carolina comes into the garden tonight for the 2nd game in a 7 game home stand for the rangers. The Rangers come into this contest riding somewhat high off a come from behind victory over the islanders in OT on Sunday evening and the canes come in off a 2-0 loss at the hands of the Florida Panthers. With Carolina all but eliminated from playoff contention, they will relish playing the role of spoilers for sure and will come out playing hard. The Rangers need to continue their fine play of the PP, coming off three PP goals including the game winner on Sunday night. They must continue to be physical, but also know when to pick their spots and play a skill game as well...

Keys to the game:

1. Contain Stall and Skinner. Don't let Marc Stall get to many shots off and keep him out of the dirty areas with physical play. Do not let Jeff Skinner get his wheels going, the figure skater turned hockey star will embarrass people with his dazzling moves on the ice..

2. Need to continue the great performance on the PP. Keep MZA out there as he adds another dimension that teams have to think about. Get someone in front of the goalie and let BR control the play in the Zone..

3. Continued solid play defensively and solid goal-tending. Even though the Isles got 3 goals, two of them were fluke goals off strange bounces and the one was off a bad pass that was deflected... D played well, Hank played well and they need to continue that trend..

Here is to a victory tonight, staying focused and not looking past Carolina to Pittsburgh. Thursday nights game is arguably the biggest of the season to set a tone and let the rest of the league know whether or not we are contenders or pretenders. This team always talks about staying focused on the present and not getting to far ahead of themselves and tonight is the perfect test for that with a tough game lingering a few days down the road... Let's see what our boys are made of... Go out and get the two points and send a message tonight.....

E-NO Out...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gabby and BR to the Rescue- Hank Big in OT

Sorry this got up so late folks, but I have some stuff to take care of around the and out of the house.. With the Wife 4 months pregnant, I basically have to do everything around the house and it sucks, but those are the breaks. So on to last nights win, we all breathe a sigh of relief on that one for sure.. I know games with the isles are always tough, but man those late in the season games, all I wanted was a blow out win so I could relax a bit.. They certainly made it interesting.. Here are a few major points that I liked and would like to continue to see happen..

- Love to see Gabby and BR together, they were both flying all night long, doing exactly what we pay them for. Gabby game winner was a thing of beauty, but BR's patience was what made the whole play happen.

- Love seeing MZA open up the PP, he seemed to give us another option and therefore scare the isles a bit, he was on the ice for all three PP goals.. Would have loved to see him get some more 5-5 time, but we all know how torts is. If he wants to use his as a specialist and he continues to help the PP, then so be it. Everyone is saying where does he slot in when Cally comes back, I say lose Mitchell, put Dubi back to his natural position in the center and have Rupp, MZA and Dubi on a line.. That would make two 3rd lines and two 1st lines if you really think about it, torts could roll four and keep them fresh for a playoff rush.. Thoughts???

- Hank looked much better last night even though he gave up 3 goals. The first one was tough as Dan G made what otherwise would have been a great play, but Tavares was in the right place( goal scorers and stars always put themselves in those areas). The second goal came off the back boards and I must admit, Moulson made a great play, the guy has 29 goals, he got lucky with the bounce, but to bang it in off hank is a bit of skill for sure.. The 3rd goal is one Hank would tell you he wants back. Even though it was a break a way, he should have stopped McDonald who is a D-man and beat Hank like he was a 2nd string AHL goalie... Hank was plain surprised by the timing and placement of the shot... I have to say that the save he made in OT was vintage Hank, he came up huge there for sure and we all know what that lead to..

-  Seriously no need for John Scott anymore unless Bick isn't in the lineup... With Rupp, Pruster, and Bick, that is plenty of toughness even for the likes of the Bruins, Flyers, etc.. We need to keep the skill of MZA in the lineup and keep Scott and Mitchell in case of injuries... Seriously folks you with me on this one???

- So that start of the 7 game home stand starts with a good solid victory and two points. We remain 4 points adrift of the second place Pens with a huge showdown looming on Thursday night. Now let's not look past the Canes as they have been playing much better of late, lets get the two points, go into the game against the pens with at least a 4 point lead and then focus on taking it to them and stretching the lead.... Here is to another two points tomorrow, a good win last night and all in between...

- Oh yeah, quickly on John Tavares, WOW... The guy looks to me to be a better version of Rick Nash. He is fairly big, can take a hit and dish one out, has a sick set of paws, and his skating has gotten progressively better.. He is a star now and has been for a few years, for his sake I hope the Isles get better so the fringe fans can see how good a player he is.. Here is to hoping Chris Krieder is 75% of the player John Tavares is....

E-NO Out...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Re-cap of Hawks Games and Look ahead at Isles tonight

      All those connected to the team, all the bloggers, reporters, commentators, etc will tell you that the rangers played an excellent 40 minutes and basically a poor 10 minutes out of the 3rd period. I am not so sure I can see it that way as I guess with this team I am seeing things half empty..
      The start of the game against the Hawks looked like a replay of the game a few weeks back when Hossa scored really early, and in this game he had another chance 15 seconds into the game and Hank came up really big up high.. Continuing in the period, Gabby had some great chance early, Boyle had a chance from the slot and neither could convert. Hank looked much better in the first then he had in previous games. We had a PP late which I thought looked very good, but we couldn't convert which is a shocker.. AA scored late in the period off a good play by he and Mitchell defensively and we ended up the period 1-0.
         The second started with some good end to end action from both teams. Hank made a super play off the boards after a wild shot bounced off the back boards and Hank made an over the shoulder catch, one that the New York Mets could use in center field. Rangers had another PP and it did not look at good as the one int he first. Chicago I thought took it to us in parts of the second, beating us at our game, grinding, fore-checking, etc... which eventually lead to a goal from the point, it was deflected so I guess we will give Hank a pass.  Hank played really well again in the second and again it looked like he had gotten over the last three performances which were suspect at best. On to the third.
      The third period starts with some similar play like the second, end to end with excellent speed and creativity. A really nice play from prust and the crew in the o zone and Mac takes a shots from the point and Pruster buries it. 2-1 Rangers, we feel good, we can lock it down and take the two points to the house right? Wrong.. A give a way from Cally and Boyle leads to a beautiful passing play from Kane to Hossa to Sharp for a world class goal, nothing Hank could have done.. The one that Hank will want back is the 3rd goal which happened 60 seconds later on a  nice move from Johnny Oduya at the point, he then takes a big slap shot and beats Hank over the pads and under the glove, the seven hole which he will tell yo he should have stopped, no deflection, no screen, just slapper against the goalie.. We pulled Hank with 2 minutes to go which is shocking from Torts who usually does not do anything like that, and this time we would say it didn't pay off. Chicago scored an empty netter with 45 seconds to go to secure the game. BR scored a goal a few seconds later to make the final 35 seconds interesting, but it did not help

- 3rd Straight loss in regulation
-Hank had given up 14 goals in last 4 starts
- Pens four points out of 1st place and Thursday night against the Pens will be huge..
- We have Isles tonight and Carolina on Tuesday, we need to get all four points, bottom line. Shall we give up any points and Pittsburgh continues to do its thing and Sid comes back, then we are in serious trouble.
- Bottom line is we must take the two points from tonight, Isles games are always tough, but we need to fight through it and win.
- I am sick of all the players saying that we need to do this and we need to do that, play our games, etc. SHUT UP AND PLAY AND WIN HOCKEY GAMES..  We know you are trying hard and are in a funk, so do what you have to to get out of that funk and stop talking until you do....
- Early signs this Sunday morning is that Delz is not on the ice at the morning skate and therefore will not be playing tonight, however Dubi is and I would assume he will be playing. It also appeared that Cally was out of the morning skate. I have to agree with the masses, if ever there were a time to give Erixson and MZA a shot to get some playing time with the big club, get some confidence while some of the top players are injured it would be right now.. The isles and canes are not overly physical teams and we don't need the three goons( Rupp, Bickell, and Scott) in the lineup at the same time. We know the isles are talented and the canes can be when fully healthy so players like Erixson and MZA with a little bit more talent and skill than Scott and either Bickell or Eminger... Give them a shot...