The New York Rangers (17-18-2) defeated the Minnesota Wild (20-13-5) by the score of 4-1, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...it's no secret that the Rangers aren't going to win games by out-muscling their opponents. The only way they're getting out of this malaise is by using their speed to make plays and force teams into mistakes like they did tonight. While it was great to see them put it all together in what was one of their most complete games of the season, I'm not getting overly excited until I see this kind of effort on a consistent basis.
...i'm absolutely not blaming Lundqvist, but it's amazing how much tighter the Rangers are on defense when Talbot's in goal. I'm not sure if it's his calm demeanor, his superior puck handling skills or the team feels they can't rely on him the way they do with Hank. I get that AV was trying to get Lundqvist on a role during the homestand, but he needs to take notice of the difference and get Talbot more starts.
...it took 37 games, but the Rangers finally decided to forecheck. It might have been the first time all season the Rangers forwards actually body checked an opponent's defenseman.
...if Nash had half the determination of Zuccarello he'd be unstoppable.
...if Poopsalot continues to play like this I might have to start calling him by his real name again. It's not about skill with him. It's about consistent effort.
...it doesn't happen often on this blog but I thought Del Zotto was real solid tonight. His outlet pass from the defensive zone was on point leading to a solid transition game for the Rangers. He was also very physical defensively as he separated Wild players from the puck numerous times using his body.
...man, Hagelin is dangerous when using his speed to produce offense. Three goals in the last four games.
...Kreider should be forced to give back that goal. Although, after everything he went through last year, he probably deserved it. Tonight, we witnessed a stark difference in the way AV handles his personnel compared to Torts, as Kreider would likely not have been given another chance to prove himself under his old coach.
...it may not seem like a lot now, but the Rangers have fought back from deficits in each of the last four games collecting five out of a possible eight point. I've been critical of the Blueshirts being outworked this season but I think they're finally starting to display some fight and resiliency that winning teams need to be successful. Again, this is a very small sample size, but it's very encouraging nonetheless.
...no time to enjoy this victory as the Maple Leafs come to MSG tomorrow.
Post game talk...
bottom line is were winning when talbots in net.. i think u should give him a stretch of games to prove wether or not thats a fluke.... i think something is up tho cuz at the beginning of the season hank wasnt sure if he was gonna be a ranger for life.. then as soon as talbot comes in and plays well hank all of the sudden signs a huge contract... u have to figure out if this talbot thing is a fluke id hate to have the next best thing sitting on the bench... although i think hank will recover at some point cuz no matter what neone says hes not playing well thats a fact
Guys IMO. Hank has got change the way he plays in net. Other teams are wise to the fact that he plays so deep. As a result there is more of the net to shoot at especially from in close. Most of the goals other teams are scoring are from within 3 feet or closer of the crease. Hank has to challenge those shots more aggressively thus cutting down the shooting angle.
I like the way we have been playing. hags has stepped it up which is essential to the teams success. Zucc has been sick this year. DZ played a great game, I was glad to see that for a change. Benny p actually looks like he knows how to play hockey. Gotta love how Kreider is now tied for the team lead in goals while playing 7 less games than richie. I really like his game this season and is going to be a big part of the rangers success (if they have any) in the coming years.
Winning battles and playing defense a novel concept that would equal winning, I wish they thought of that a couple of weeks ago.
I say trade Nash now if they can and just get a decent right handed d and some toughness up front with little talent and/or picks since they didn't really need him last night. If they play like did last night half of time they probably could come in second in this crappy division. With Richards gone at the end of year they could start rebuilding this organization .......wait wtf am i thinking with Sather and company running things, sorry just dreaming.
On building winners I wonder if the NY Times hockey guys were taking a shot at Sather and Dolan by profiling Ray Shero and the depth and strength of that organization.
I think it is unbelievable that some of you Ranger Fans will never ever criticize or knock Lundqdick. I am a die hard Ranger fan and i'm sorry, for a guy to be paid more than ANY OTHER GOALIE IN THE LEAGUE is an absolute joke. He has never won anything. I DO NO CARE ABOUT HIS DUMB GOLD MEDAL OR HIS VEZINA. (Jim Carrey won a Vezina as well, do any of you remember him?) The point is this guy has never come up big in a BIG BIG spot. You hae to wonder why the Rangers looked so calm and cool and played like a team yesterday when he's not in net. Don't say i'ts because Minnesota sucks because last game we played the worst team in hockey and we got smoked by the isles.
@TheNYRBlog Sure has played like a back up
Enough with the BS already about how Hank is not liked because the team SEEMS to play better in front Talbot. It's just utter nonsense!! The ONLY likely thing at work here is the law of averages and probably some pride. Talbot has 11 games under his belt. 8 of those games came after the team lost the previous game. 6 of those games came after the team had a losing record in the previous 5 games. The likely reason for the team playing better in front of Talbot is because they realize they probably stunk up the joint in the previous game or block of games, enough so that they got their all-world goalie benched as a result of their awful play. It's not about Talbot being more well-liked than Hank. Hank's struggling, no doubt, but to even suggest that his teammates don't play as hard for him as they do for Talbot is absurd. Perhaps there's a little something to the fact that they don't feel as comfortable with Talbot so they play better defense, but I think it has a lot more to do with the fact that they have normally played like crap in games before Talbot's started.
Interesting comments from AV, saying we've been doing a real good job the past few weeks of being responsible defensively and limiting scoring changes better than most teams. Sounds like another shot at Hank not playing up to par. Could have just said "Our D is holding other teams to 4 or 5 quality chances, but our goalie is letting every single one in."
Regardless of the salary Hank is making, if Talbot outplays him he has to start, no questions asked.
LOL...some of these Hankterbators are so funny. It's a results business folks. No one gives a crap what he did in the past and the truth is YOU don't either. You're not shelling out 15 bucks to go watch Roger Moore as James Bond are you?? No one is THAT kind of dumb. Hank is overpaid and overrated. You can have your own opinion, but you can't have your own facts.
@TheNYRBlog Yeah he's pooping the bed lately. But you know what? How bout the team steps up n playsD and scores and carry him thru this!
@TheNYRBlog Hanks carried this team 4 how many yrs now?Now that's he's struggling yer all calling him out? "Man of the people"?imeanReally.
@TheNYRBlog Do you think the Rangers start their #2 Goalie Lundquist tonite?
@TheNYRBlog Kevin my jaw dropped and u hit it on head! Use the speed you have!
I think Talbot's calm demeanor is a big part of it. Not only in net between the whistles, but I think all the time, at practice, in the lockerroom, in the hotel, etc. The whole Ghostbusters thing I think is a small glimpse of a kid who's probably a relatively goofy, laid back person all the time.
And you can see it during games, guys approach him more, tap him on the pads after a save, kiss his helmet after a win (Kreider). No one goes near Hank. I'm sure they appreciate his intensity, but if Hank is talking to you after a whistle, it's probably because you screwed something up.
I wouldn't be surprised if, to some of the younger guys, espeically like Kreider, Miller, J Moore, etc, that Hank is such a god that he's almost un-approachable. Like "Oh, you guys are going to grab a case of beer and go play xbox after practice? Sorry, I've got to check in on my restuarant, drop my daughter off at day care and then go to a GQ photo shoot"...
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters. Rangers attacked and the youth core played beautifully, passing skating and making plays.Hagelin, Zuccarello, Brassard- outstanding.
Making saves is obviously what makes a good goalie, but it was great seeing the way Talbot can handle the puck. It greatly helps the team to have a goalie who knows how to move the puck. Lundqvist is absolutely useless in that area and it often exposes a big problem.
Kreider should give back that goal? BULLSHIT! He has been robbed and devoid of good bounces in the past. One of the dumbest things I heard you say Kevin.
Anyone who thinks the Rangers may be turning the corner because they won a game.... have I got a car for you! So, go ahead, drink some more of the kool-aide. Everyone will be back on the rant Tues. morning. This team is what it is...discombobulated.
I've said numerous times on this blog, starting last year. DelZaster's few decent games last year ( this may have been his first this year) have ALL been those few games where he's played with an edge. When he's a bit nasty he's not thinking. When you're thinking you're not playing. ARE YOU READING MICHAEL!!! You give AV far more credit than me Kev. Talbot had 1 bad game after numerous good ones then Hank started the next 8. I don't think trying to get Hank going at home even got through his gum chewing brain. He doesn't trust rookies. He doesn't give them a fair chance. If that Co tinues he won't be back next year. Got to take smart risks or you lose.. Hank will find his game. Nash is playing scared and if that continues he will not. We'll see about Cally when he gets back. You can't play scared in this league. Good win. LGR
At the game tonight, and my observations:
-the loudest the Garden got was during the "race to the Garden game" where you "cheer" the car in a race to beat the computer car. Really? WTF?
-someone lit a fire under Pouliot's ass. Guy's playing good hockey.
-Zucc and Brass were flying tonight. Brass playing with confidence now, which is a good thing. Time to set him up with Nash, cause Brass is really the only center the NYR have that has the talent to open up ice.
-really liked the Girardi stadium series "Rangerstown" commercial. Pretty funny.
-Parise still looks like a Devil to me.
Just when I think I understand this game the Rangers come up with an inspired effort. Was this a fluke? Was that really Pouliot actually checking people and flying around the ice? Who lit a fire under Hagelin? John Moore actually stuck up for Zucc. And this all occurred after watching the first 10 minutes of the crappy Rangers who can't get the puck out of their end. Also, what is AV's beef with Kreider? His minutes are way down. Confusing.
@gravey94Talbot or Hank....the Rangers have average goaltending and an average team playing in front. They SHOULD clean house, but as Sather is at the wheel that would likely just result in more of the same. Unless Sather just blindly stumbles into some winning combination it will be YEARS before the NYR are a top tier team.
@Say my NameUnless you are using statistics, "rating" a player is very subjective. Given that Hank's stats for the past few years have put him in the top echelon of goalies, it would suggest that he is rated pretty highly. Also, since his contract does not begin until next season, we have no idea if it is a good or bad deal. If he wins 5 Cups, he's probably underpaid. Hence, your "overrated" and "overpaid" comments seem to be based on opinion rather than fact. Just thought I would point that out ;-)
It's amazing. Before the season half the board was proclaiming Hank as the best goalie in the world. Now we're ready to throw him under the bus. Even I'm not that naive but he is a great goalie. He will get it back. I remember 1 year where Hasek was stopping nothing for 2/3 of the season. Some argue he was the best ever and one of his best seasons was at age 38. Slumps happen. And when you slump you think instead of play and downward spiral. It's the coaching staffs job to help him through it. Now if this is still going on in Feb. I'll be worried but now I think he will be fine and return to his top 5 form.
I think that this brings us all back to his contract renewal. If he had signed a reasonable contract (in length and dollars more favorable to future rangers success) he would have been much more appreciated. And no one could tell me that had Sather presented a contract with those terms, he would have walked away. Hank would not have left the glamour and lifestyle of NY for Edmonton or Winnipeg or anywhere. Just another example of what a bad GM Sather is.
You may even be giving the benefit of the doubt. What you describe as a God could easily be described as aloof and out of touch. Hey...8-10 yrs difference can be a lifetime. Think Dorn in the movie Major League as opposed to Ricky Vaughn and Willie Mays Hayes. I don't like to speculate bc we really don't know crap, but I don't think it is a HUGE leap to say that by all appearances, Hank does NOT seem to be a "man of the people."
@lennynyrC'mon lennynyr, you've been around this blog long enough to know I was joking.
Can we rephrase that to the wild/backstrom probably want that goal back? Also, Kreider now tied with Richards for team lead in goals I think!
@BetweentheworldsTo your point AV has a D coach.....does he inspired? What does Ulf do exactly?
I was there as well. Agree on all points. Man was Nash non existent. I pointed this out on another news story but i love the fire john Moore brings, he doesn't turn down from anyone and defends his teammates. Hell even hagelin was in there tonight pushing people around.
Pouliot has some sneaky size. He's not going to become some kind of force out on the ice, but every once in a while you see him finish a check away from the play and he sends the guy flying. Maybe they just don't expect it, so they don't brace like they would for a bigger player, but he can throw the body around.
He also seems to be showing some decent chemistry with Miller.
I almost went in that direction before but didn't want to belabor the point. Yeah, A) the money could set him apart from the other guys in the room. But B), he's not an idiot, he wanted the money and he wanted to responsibility of being the "guy". He can't score goals, his job is to stop them. We can't afford another Rick Nash to bring our GPG up into the 3.5-4 range, so the responsibility follows the money, Sather opted to pay the goalie, build from the back out, which means Hank needs to make our GAA lower than our GPG, and he simply hasn't done that this year.
Its probably also not far fetched to draw some parallels between the goalie that is having success and the mentality of the coach that they are succeeding under. Torts appreciated Hank's intensity, his workmanlike approach and challenged the rest of the team to compete the way Hank competes. I don't know what AV says in the locker room between periods (if anything), but I doubt its anything along the lines of "you need to all play more like Hank".
Richard an Kreider tied at 9. Almost Christmas and hardly anyone is on pace for a 20 goal year...
Well, this car really doesn't have all these things, but if you get inside and dream that it does, I can let you have it for the cost of a Rangers season ticket.