"After fighting eight times in the season’s first five games, the Rangers have fought only once since."
The Rangers last fight was against the Islanders on February 14th when Arron Asham fought Eric Boulton.
Their nine fighting majors is tied for 18th in the NHL.
...no wonder these recent games are so boring. Remember how much more fun games were last year when the Rangers did this...
...i'm not saying if the Rangers start gooning it up "Slap Shot" style they'll automatically start winning more consistently, but, wow, a fight here or there could really be used to spark this uninspired team.
...plus, did you hear that noise in the background of the video? It was a raucous MSG. Something that has been far and few in between this year. Like it or not, when a team is struggling, a well timed brew-ha-ha can energize a crowd just as much as big goal.
...can you say Dylan McIlrath? You know McIlrath, the guy who does this when one of his teammates is flattened...
...all reports out of Connecticut say he's not ready, but how much worse than Bickel or Eminger can he be?
It does not even have to be a fight, but I want a team that is always on the edge, always ready to start a scrum. always ready to get in a nasty face scrub with your nasty stinky glove! I want a team that does not just react but evens goes and starts shit just to start it! THAT is what I want from my RANGERS! @
Its not the size of the lion in the fight, its the size of the fight in the lion. At this rate they are small kitties!
That McIlrath fight was awesom, thats the reason why he should be up in the NHL. He would most likely put some life back in the rangers who have been playing like zombies lately.
There was one another player lookin to go after Fitzgerald. Apparently the Whale are still in 2012 NYR mode.
If Bickel plays forward tonight I will once again question Torts and his lineup decisions. You want to add some toughness with a player who is actually a forward and hits hard??? You have a guy named Haley playing for the Whale. Play him at forward before you play Bickel at forward and if they don't get more out of Mashinter, send him back down to keep developing and let Haley replace him.
If you want to goon it up I'm sure you could sign Donald Brashear to a 1 day / $25 contract. That way he could get a soda/hot dog special at MSG after the game.
"...but, wow, a fight here or there could really be used to spark this uninspired team." Absolutely. Question: Why in the world pick up a "tough guy" that has ties to every other organization in your division? We're the last team to the dance with this guy, you think he's going to pummel guys he's shared a locker room with for years because of a hard hit on a guy he's played about a dozen games with (has he even played that many out of our 17)? I like his skill, and I think be brings a bit of that to the 4th line, but he needs to step-up and punch someone in the mind when they run our goalie, or rough up Gabi and Nash. Lucic should have been challenged after the hit on Nash. Ash was in the lineup. And I believe we were still up 3-0 or 3-1 when it happened.
with the new penalties, no one wants to take the instigator, putting the team down a man, and go deeper into torts doghouse.
Nash back on the ice this morning
@boogiepicker SIGNS OF LIFE.... PRAISE THE HOCKEY GODS
@slapshot13j Looks like he won't be ready for the game tonight, and he sidestepped questions about whether or not he suffered a concussion with the reply, "I'm not a doctor." Not the most confident response, but at least he's on the ice again.
@boogiepicker @slapshot13j He's not a doctor...but he is being paid millions to play in NY, surrounded by the best doctors on planet Earth. You think that none of them were able to give him a diagnosis? Laughable. It's admission by deflection. He and the team know exactly what is wrong with him, and while it could certainly be a number of nagging issues, the fact that it was SO hush hush, and that they were so careful with him certainly leads you to believe, they were thinking he was suffering from symptoms of concussion. Remember, he'd been skating up to and including the afternoon prior to the Icedancer game that he sat out...so I doubt it was groin related.
That's only one fewer fighting major than the Blackhawks and Penguins have. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that the Rangers don't need to step it up physically, because that would be a lie. But there's no direct correlation between fighting and winning. I'm much, much more concerned about the forecheck and being persistent pests in the slot.
@Herman_NYRBlog I agree. Don't let anyone push you around, but any sensible, useful payer on the the opposing team is going to want to dance with a benchwarmer like Bickel. 4th line grinder vs. 4th line grinder fights can get things going, but aren't necessary. The team can be grittier, faster, and more tenacious without fighting majors.
That being said, the Rangers aren't fighting when they need to, and are fighting when they don't need to this season. Something they need to figure out.
@coontzbloontz Agreed. I think that fights in the heat of the moment can absolutely change the course and momentum of a game, but a scrap a pre-meditated scrap between two fourth line plugs 7 minutes into a game is really not going to make a difference.
@TheNYRBlog daily reader of your blog, but question... You've never actually PLAYED any kind of real organized hockey right?
Mcilrath will not be coming up this year unless a majority of our defense gets hurt. You are right he is better than Bickel and Eminger, but that is not the point. They want him to be great, he is at a certain point in his development, and they do not want to rush that. He has all the physical skills, but he is not at the technical level, yet, where he is ready to play in Torts system. But do not worry his time will come, very soon.
As for the fighting, I have been calling for it since the second week of the season, but if you look at the team we just do not have any fighters. There is asham who has dropped the gloves a couple of times, but Bickel is rarely dressed and Brian Boyle is a waste of space. After that guys like halpern and Powe dont drop the gloves, and Mashinter does not want to make any mistakes at this point in his career. Last year we had a ton of fighters; Fedotenko, Prust, Mitchell, Rupp, Bickel (who actually played). Just not the same team this year, but that being said wouldnt mind if Kreider or Mashinter dropped the gloves once in a while they can definitely handle themselves.
On another note anyone see the new conference realignment. Looks like we will be seeing a lot more of Arty and Dubinsky. But man they just made our route to the playoffs even harder now we got Washington and Carolina, easily the hardest division in the NHL.
@slapshot13j Since when were Feds and Mitchell fighters? Are you high? I think this shit season is starting to affect some of our memories...
@slapshot13j Also, the reason Fedotenko had to fight was because he had just boarded someone on the Islanders. He dropped the gloves with some dude named Dylan Rease.
@slapshot13j Been wanting to do post on re-aligment but damn Ranger problems keep getting in the way.
@KevinDeLury But i mean doesnt the NHL look at the strength of conference? We already had the best division.... looks like we are going to have easily the toughest conference. And the two western ones look like a complete joke in comparison to the two east....
@slapshot13j @KevinDeLury It's too shortsighted to change things based on how good or bad a team currently is, though I agree it's going to be a crazy conference. They couldn't satisfy both Columbus and Detroit's wish to be in the East by just switching Winnipeg to the West and keeping the six divisions, so they went with the four conference look. That was what they deemed most important in this realignment. Also pens up expansion opportunities for Houston/Kansas City/Seattle/Saskatoon/wherever else to fill in two West spots and make 4 even conferences.
@KevinDeLury and the new playoff system just seems weird with wild cards and everything, I don't know what was wrong with it now, and why it needed to be changed...
Last year we were tough to play against and stuck up for the team, this year we watch and do nothing and dont fight and look what happens... Lost prust and that os a ton of heart right there! Trade richards for prust!
Sometimes going the slap shot style works..lol
Look at the Maple Leafs...started the season playing a speed and finesse style....and they didn't get off to a good start. Totally switched around their game...now they're the Charlestown Chiefs. 22 fighting majors on the season....and throwing big body check after big body check.....and their winning.
I wish the Rangers would play that kind of physical hockey...but for now...I'm going to hope the Rangers start sticking up for their teammates. That's a start in the right direction....
@TheNYRBlog fighting is not gonna change the fact that they cant score and thats why y NYR r losing, a million fights wont change that
@EDJENNINGS808 In the right spot they help build momentum which could jump start this uninspired team. The return of Nash could also help.
@TheNYRBlog and I dont blame Nash I blame playmaking I dont think I have seen him set up for a scoring chance with a good pass all year
@TheNYRBlog I agree they can change the momentum of a game but they can make people who cant score put a puck in the net
@EDJENNINGS808 @TheNYRBlog Not looking back, just identifying what this #nyr team is lacking. Hopefully Powe plays, he brings some jam
@DaddysWrath @TheNYRBlog agree with u, but that ship has sailed, we gotta stop looking back at them and figure how to win with what we have
@EDJENNINGS808 @TheNYRBlog i.e. dubbi, feds, prust.. #nyr lack that GRIND now. That wins you the close games
@EDJENNINGS808 @TheNYRBlog the #nyr lost most of their role players/grinders. The guys who check and forecheck and get a good cycle going
Bringing McIlrath up to fight would be an absurd idea. This kid is supposed to be the Rangers' version of Brooks Oprik and you want to interrupt his development so they have someone to fight. I thought that was Bickel's job, yet he's played 16 minutes in the past 2 games where the Rangers could have used a jolt and he hasn't even sniffed picking a fight with anyone. He is of absolutely no use if he's not going to fight. Same for Mashinter, 3 games, 1 shot on goal, no PIM. And I don't want to hear anyone say Torts is neutering them because that's a load of crap! He's said time and time again when players take penalties to defend teammates or provide a jolt that the team just needs to kill it off, not that the players made dumb plays. This is up to Bickel, Asham (when back), and Mashinter to take upon themselves. If they don't, the get rid of them and bring in people that will. Hell, even Newbury understood that!
There's a lot more to it than just the players taking it upon themselves. Coaching plays a big role in what happens......
From my experience playing...these were the options following a hard hit/ dirty hit on one of our skilled players.....I'm not counting the players on the ice at the time doing anything...because sticking up for your teammates is supposed to be a given.
Option #1....Coach would immediately put out the fourth line to start the next shift. i played defense and was occasionally put out there with the fourth line in cases like this. By doing this, Coach was sending a message...but if the other Coach put out his fourth line...the message was technically received....but the guilty player did not receive retribution. You would just have fourth line players going at it.....
Option # 2...Coach would mix up the lines. If the offending player..lets say his number was 14...played on the 1st line....Coach would take one of our fourth line players and add him to the 1st line. That fourth line player knew exactly what to do. Go after #14.
Option # 3...I call this one Coach's Call. Coach would keep all lines and D pairing the same after hit. He's bide his time for a while....and using me as an example....right before my next shift...he'd tap me on the shoulder and say something like..."payback time"...or.."pick a winner". The message was clear....I was to pick anyone I wanted..and I was to give them the business. If I got them on the boards, I'd go in high with the stick or elbow. Or I'd step to the puck carrier coming into our zone...or a nasty hip check if the timing was right.
Option # 4...The Free-For All. Coach would be so mad after a hit on one of our guy's that he would scream like a maniac telling us to look to rip their head's off for the rest of the game....lol
@McPhee21 Kevin, I wasn't talking about the Pacioretty hit on McDonagh. Bickel and Mashinter have done nothing in the way of trying to spark, and they've both had ample opportunity to do so. Not even fight, but just finishing checks and playing with energy.
McPhee, yes, I understand sending messages, but the Rangers were down 1-0 and going on a PP. Not exactly the best time for a message. Perhaps if it were not a 48-game season where every point is precious, Torts would have sent Bickel or Mashinter out to hammer Pacioretty, but honestly I don't think either one of them would be effective at it because they probably couldn't catch him. I think Asham or Eminger would have done it, but the Rangers just didn't have the "send a message" personnel in the line-up. To me, if Bickel and Mashinter want to be effective in this league, they need to realize that they are only there to use their bodies to wear down opponents, nothing else. They are not currently doing that.
I'm not saying that players on the ice at the time had to drop the gloves right then and there. You're right..we were going on the PP and we were down a goal. But right after the hit, the Rangers players on the ice should have surrounded Pacioretty....yapped at him all the way to the box...especially Richards since he wears an "A".
There was ample time for a message to be sent.....it was the entire third period. And it didn't have to be Pacioretty....it could have been any one of the Canadian skilled players. The third period should have open season on all Canadians...open ice hits...high sticks or elbows on the boards...a vicious cross check. A message needed to be sent...you take out one of ours...we are going to take out one of yours. That message was not sent at all. The blame falls on Torts for that.
As for Mashinster and Bickel. I think Bickel has taken the body well and has skated pretty well for the most part the last couple of games.. With Mashinster, you can tell....he's trying to be careful...trying not to make a mistake. Can't play like that...Coach has to "free his mind" a little....
@gravey94 I agree on McIlrath not being ready.
@gravey94 Torts didn't put Mashinter or Bickel on the ice with Pacioretty once after the McD incident. How are they supposed to do anything from the bench?