For some reason the Rangers refused to play physical with the undersized Canadiens who should have been a pushover last night, especially with them playing on the second night of back-to-backs.
What makes it worse is that based on Michael Del Zotto's post game remarks it was actually their game plan going in...
"They're coming off the back-to-back. We should have been able to tire them out down low. That is the strength of our game. We felt like we could exploit them down there. We didn't do a good enough job."
...it absolutely baffles me that this team knows it needs a hard forecheck to be effective and they refuse to do it sometimes. There wasn't a more perfect night to go balls to wall and smash defenders faces into the glass. And would it kill someone to actually drive to the net? With Nash out of the line-up, other than Cally, I'm not sure there's anyone who can.
...i'm sick of looking back on last year's team, but more often than not the hardness that defined them just isn't there right now. While Asham has displayed more skill than I anticipated he has fallen flat in the energy department. Thought he'd be able to provide more of a spark out there. Especially last night.
...and how about rolling four lines Torts? You've got a tired team in front of you and the fourth line barely gets a sniff? Hate when Torts gets too top heavy. Should have used that physical line to create energy and get the rest of the team going. I mean why even call-up Mashinter? Might as well have just put Bickel at forward if he wasn't going to play the kid. Missed opportunity by Torts.
Mike Sullivan's job is to run the power play which has been dreadful. Most NHL teams employ three bench coaches. The NYR use two. Suggestion, if no one offers Lindy Ruff a head coach position.............please call him.
DZ is terrible! Staal nit mucb better, but most importantly this team has no heart with the exception of Callahan
@trueblue47 I actually don't want MDZ to go anywhere. I just don't think he is being used correctly. Are we to believe that all the twenty year old kids playing in the NHL don't make mistakes? One of the major problems with playing under Torts is when a player has lost a little confidence that player plays scared. MDZ is no exception. Its a double whammy with playing under Torts and playing at the garden. A lot of pressure put on these very talented kids to play a "certain" way. The same thing goes for the veterans. They are EXPECTED to play his way. Its very tough to mold a guy like Gaborik into the player Torts needs him to be. Bottom line......Gaborik is a sniper! he is an offensive-minded 40+ goal scorer that will make some mistakes in the neutral and defensive zones.
Nash not joining teammates on trip to Ottawa: http://www.nyrangersblog.com/2013-articles/february/nash-will-not-make-trip-to-ottawa.html
As well as Nash, no Asham at practice. Wonder if that is just a maintenance day, but doesnt really matter seeing as the 4th line get less than 5 minutes of ice time.
@slapshot13j Nash isn't traveling to Ottawa with the team. May travel to Montreal, hasn't been decided. Asham, even if he's out, gets his five minutes replaced by Bickel on the 4th line, though it leaves no healthy scratches with Eminger still down on his conditioning stint.
Everyone makes great points...we all see what's wrong with this team but does the team see it...we need to roll off a streak like of ,unbeaten in 10 ....right now we're not even in a playoff spot...unacceptable
@Dudeinski if we get a long win streak, not just like 3 or 4 games, it will definitely help this teams confidence. I also think winning a game without Nash, seeing as he probably will not be playing tomorrow would be a huge motivator for the team
@slapshot13j Nash is out again tomorrow night?
@Dudeinski we have ottawa first which will be a tough game, they have a couple wins in a row. Got to think Hank gets both of these games.
@slapshot13j Montreal will b a fired up team on Saturday Night in front of their home crowd........they will play differently than they did last night
@Dudeinski but you know what happens when you assume...
@Dudeinski not practicing today, so I would assume so.
The Rangers could not forecheck because Montreal's game plan was to continually ice the puck. Biron should have played and negated many of the icings and press the puck up the ice to help establish the forecheck. Hindsight is a bitch sometimes.
I truly believe the biggest problem the Rangers have is they are constantly being over- coached.
We have the following:
One of the greatest goalies in the world.
A very solid defense that any of the top 5 can be relied on with 25+ minutes.
We have eight guys that can be a top-six forward on any given night.
This is what I would like to see a little bit more of…….
Let’s not just send 5 guys out on a power-play that looks like the best on paper.
Please stop with Richards….he is at his best at even strength. Please stop with Del Zotto…..he is not at his best in the half-ice offensive scheme. You know who should be manning the points on the powerplay????? Stall and Stralman….you know why? Because they know their roles. Keep the puck in at the point and get it to the net….Plain and simple! You want to get the best out of Boyle? Tell him to stand in front of the net on the PP! If he doesn’t do that than bench him.
If we don’t score a beautiful PP goal then we don’t want to score at all. We rarely get the puck to the net and CRASH!!!!
Why did we go out and get Halpern? We all know why…..to win face-offs and forecheck. Give him a five game trial and put him in important position to win a big face-off…..give him ten to twelve minutes a game against the opposing teams top line.
Why did we go out and get Asham? To provide toughness (like Prust…right?) Asham has some talent….we all know this….he is a middle weight who can drop anyone if he needs to. The best part of his game is that he knows when he needs to drop them. He can give you ten to twelve minutes a game.
@RangerGuy99 Completely agree. Torts is a great coach And I think anyone saying to fire Torts should look at what we had before he got here and what is available now before bashing him. That being said, this isn't a peewee team where the coaches need to be teach fundamentals of the game. These are grown men who get paid a lot of money to play a game they love. There should be very little coaching going on, more directing than coaching is necessary at this level of any sport. I think Torts is frustrated with what is going on and is over compensating for it by over coaching which is a shame but definitely understandable. The accountability and willingness to win needs to come from within the dressing room and not the coaches office, that is the biggest difference between this year and last year in my opinion.
@RyanMC I am not calling for Torts' head but every time the camera is on him he looks pissed......Last night we were controlling the game. It was eerily similar to when we play the Devils. The Devils will always beat us because Lou Lamorello's teams are something that we are not.....Patient. Last night the Canadiens waited and waited for us to make a mistake. We all knew it was coming. Bad pass to Stall.....Three on one...Cally only forward to make it back and BAM...big mistake. Torts needs to realize that this team is VERY talented. We need to be the hunter not the hunted. Don't adjust your game to combat the Canadiens. We should have just taken it to them. Role the lines and stop over coaching.!!!!
On a side note.....last night was one of the rare games i have seen not only this year but over the course of the last few years where the Rangers could not connect on a pass. Either they were too far, in the skates or totally not on the same planet.
@RangerGuy99 Torts was pissed because although it was a close game, we looked awful. He said it in the post game, there were two awful teams out there and we were just the worse team last night. I'd be furious with a performance like that as a coach even if we ended up on the other side of it. Another reason he always looks so angry is because he DOES realize how talented this team is and they aren't doing what they should be. He had a hand in building it so he obviously knows what he has.
@RangerGuy99 Agree with everything. The powerplay for the Rangers has always been pass...pass....pass... turnover. Instead it should be pass...shoot... pass.... shoot. They need to get he puck to the net, and let Cally put it home. Halpern and Asham should be given a shot to play. From what I have seen Halpern has been great, but doesnt get any time on the ice. He should be on the 3rd line if thats the case because it looks like he is our hardest working player. The main problem is the 4th line gets no ice time. I keep asking myself why. They looked good with powe, and I thought did a solid job last night (on their 4 shifts). We won't go anywhere with 9 skaters.
MDZ should not be on the Power Play. End of Story.
Found this little tidbit on espn involving the Habs first goal.
"Defenseman Michael Del Zotto said he and two other players on the ice for Max Pacioretty's tying goal heard one linesman signal an impending icing call. However, that call was never made. Without a whistle being blown, Pacioretty went on to notch the equalizer at 18:45 of the second period, sparking some confusion on the Rangers' bench.
"I asked and he said he called no icing," Del Zotto explained. "I told him more than one of us heard it."
Coach John Tortorella said he received a more elaborate explanation on the bench after the play.
"They were yelling to Michael 'no icing' because they said he was shielding the player with his back to the puck," Tortorella said."
Funny. Looking at the replay, I think the reason for that goal is that three Rangers were in front of the net while the other two were dicking off on one side while leaving the whole other side empty. Anyone can score a goal in that situation, especially when our own guys are screening Hank.
@JoshKaye They do it all the time...everyone on 1 side ...team's not very well coached IMO
@JoshKaye All MDZ has are excuses. They definitely had chances to get the puck out of the zone after the controversial icing, but before the goal. Don't blame the game on the refs, the refs were not the ones that only scored 1 goal. The refs were not the ones that got out skated by a team that played the night before at MSG.
No Rick Nash at practice... Doubt he plays tomorrow. Guess we are in for another gutless hockey game unless one of the other "SUPERSTARS" wants to show up for us. With the money they are making Richards and Gaborik better check in to this team. Right now I would almost rather them be healthy scratches until they decide to put some effort into the game.
You know who is one of our better forecheckers on the team? Jeff Halpern! You know where he was most of the game? On the bench. We played our best hockey...or...well...we played...decent...hockey...last night when we went with all four lines. Once Torts decided to stop that, shit blew up in our faces.
As for individual players, I feel more comfortable with Del Zotto on the penalty kill than I do the power play. That shouldn't be the case. And that's more because of how solid our penalty kill has been. Richie, I really hope it's a conditioning problem. And this may be me but I feel like this wans't one of Cally's strongest games, if not for the second Habs goal alone. On the second goal we gave up, the play started as a 2 on 1 since Cally did a solid job back checking, but he got a little overaggressive and took himself out of the play leaving Stralman on an island with 3 Habs. That was a play that never should have happened.
his bad pinch (and falling down) directly led to the go ahead goal...if that were DZ, Gilroy Strahlman or any of the other kids the would have been benched
I'm not sure Torts would ever do it because of their time together in Tampa, but it seems like it's time for Richards' 'A' to be given to Girardi. Permanently.
I also just don't see how they don't buy Richards out in June 2014. Unless it's a conditioning problem and with a real offseason and training camp he comes back next year looking like a completely different player, his contract just can't be justified at his cap hit with his NMC.
@jtf1218 They will never take an A away from a guy that is going to be here for 7 more years. But you dont have to have a letter on your chest to be a leader.
@RyanMC @jtf1218 @nick__i would love to see Gaborik and Richards get a game in the press box. Think it would do wonders for them if torts sent them that kind of message, and maybe jump start the team.
@nick__i @slapshot13j He did have a good year last year, but if he plays 2013-2014 the way he's played this year, they'd have to take a good hard look at a buyout. Continuing to play like this means significant decline, not just poor conditioning in the short season, and next summer would be the last chance to get rid of a contract that he'd no longer be worth. If he turns it around before next summer, they should definitely hang on to him.
@jtf1218 I think its purely a conditioning thing with him. Its easy to get on his case now, and rightfully so, but I really do believe he'll find his game soon enough. We too often forget all of the clutch plays and goals he made last year. I'm confident he'll be playing much better down the stretch.
Oh, Staal was absolutely horrible too. Just seeing that Del Zotto made the quote makes his horrible play stand out more lol.
What is Richards' deal? he has been invisible all season. Since game one he has been nothing short of lazy and reckless with the puck. At least four or five goals against us in the first few games were directly caused because of his blind passes. He has completely lost the concept of back checking. The second Montreal goal last night he didn't even try to keep up with the play when it came out of their zone. He took a few "hard" strides and then pretty much coasted through the neutral zone with his stick in the air while a 3 on 1 went into our zone. He's just been flat all season, yes the rest of the team has been flat too but he has a letter on his chest, he should be a top contributor making plays and putting pucks in the net, not watching the play go into our end and then try to back check when 2 or 3 passes go through Hanks doorstep. Yes he has had a few good moments and that is when he has gotten points but thats it. He's a good player but hasn't showed in consistently from shift to shift never mind game to game. c
@RyanMC I completely agree. He should be leading by example like Callahan and I would say Staal (has looked great this year in my opinion) do every night. He turns the puck over in the offensive zone and the defensive zone. I get hat every player goes through slumps, but it has been a third of the season, and there has been nothing from Richards game that has made me think he will turn it around. And don't tell me he won a faceoff on the powerplay against Washington because the Rangers paid him all that money to make plays, not just win faceoffs. Every night I go in thinking he has got to turn it around, but nothing. Honestly, I thought his best game was when he was paired with Miller and Kreider. I would him back with the kids, it seems to make him play harder...
@slapshot13j Completely agree I think him with Kreider/MIller forces him to at least try to keep up with their speed.
Maybe the Rangers were better off not knowing the Habs wee on the tail end of a back to back. Maybe the Rangers, knowing that, didn't push on the gas hard enough. It seems like this team really lacks the accountability that made them so successful last year. They need to start feeding off of one another. I know Boyle is struggling but at least he's showing some life out there by hitting everything that moves. I wish guys would buy into that right now and really show some grit. Hags was getting tossed around so much in that first period and not one guy took exception.
Nothing seems to be able to spark this team during a game right now, and to me that is extremely worrisome. We may have lost some of the heart and soul guys from last year, and I agree with you Kev, looking back to last years team is getting tiresome, but the blueprint for success is there for these guys, its just a matter of execution at this point, and they haven't executed consistently.
@nick__i I couldn't believe the lack of response to Hagelin getting beat up around the net last night. First behind the net he gets cross checked in the back and not a soul responded and then in the same shift he gets shoved down and everyone skates away. The fact that Cally who is 5'11' has gotten in more players faces after the whistle than anyone else combined is a joke. I'm not going go give my thoughts on the Prust trade and I think the Rupp for Powe trade was great, but last year those were two players you knew were going out on their next shift looking for blood when guys got pushed around like Hagelin did last night. The Enforcer role isn't there and that is going to be a huge problem down the road if nobody steps up.
@RyanMC Well its hard to blame Prust for leaving for all that $$, but I agree with you that there really isn't an enforcer right now. I mean, if that bottom forward is only going to get 4 minutes a night, why not just dress Bickel so he can throw some punches?
@nick__i @RyanMC I don't blame Prust for leaving and i also don't think his salary is so far from reality. Prust does the little things that not many guys will do. He is not BIG but sure plays BIG. He is logging a little more than 12 minutes a game. Leads his team in PIM and i guarantee you he gets his money worth those minutes. He seems very coachable and is the consummate teammate. He might even where an A in the future. Last night he played over 16 minutes and was +3.
@nick__i Thats why I said I'm not getting into Prust leaving haha I'd have left for that money as well. Mashinter can fight just as well if not better than Bickel, he just didn't get the ice time last night.