The New York Rangers (8-8-0) defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets (5-10-0) by the score of 4-2, tonight. For a box score, go to Yahoo! Sports.
...and this team is officially rolling Rangers fans!!!! To be able to beat up on the Pens and then turn right around on the road to beat a desperate Blue Jackets team is quite impressive. The team looked gassed in the third period but what an effort to dig down deep, fight through it and hold on to the lead.
...is it me or did that seem like two teams who have been division rival for years? Assuming the crossover of players had a lot to do with it, but there was a lot of emotion, hitting and post whistle scrums for two teams that had been in different conferences until this season's re-alignment. Real fun game to watch. Well at least until the third when they likely broke the record for most faceoffs in a period.
...is there anything better than watching Callahan work the front of the net on a power play? Fearless.
...i wondered about AV's decision not to come right back with Lundqvist tonight, but this Talbot kid is proving time and again he has what it takes to beat any team in the NHL. Before the season AV had indicated he wanted his backup goaltender to get 20 starts, I think he should absolutely feel confident bumping that number up to at least 25 now. Will only make Lundqvist that much better if the Rangers are lucky enough to get into the post season.
...i know we all wanted Pyatt out of the lineup, but that's not the way I wanted it to happen. Gutless play by Tyutin.
...McDonagh looks like a guy who has been quarterbacking power plays his entire career not the last five games. Eating some major crow with the Arniel hire as he's absolutely turned around the fortunes of the Rangers power play.
...no idea how Kreider-Stepan-Zuccarello line didn't get on the board as they were absolutely flying all night.
...my jaw is still on the floor after that tic-tac-toe goal by Hagelin. Still not used to the Rangers being a fast, north-south team that has the ability to perform a highlight reel goal at any moment.
...someone needs to slap me as I'm starting to think the Rangers might not want to buyout Richards this summer. Looks like last year was a complete fluke.
...when Miller plays with some snarl, he can be a real effective player for the Rangers. Although I'm sure AV might have something to say to him about his defense (or lack of it) on the Murray goal.
...man Gaborik looked like the guy the Rangers couldn't wait to get rid of last year. A real lack of explosiveness and very tentative. Dubinsky on the other hand, that's a guy who can play on my team any day.
...no video or recognition for ex-Blue Jackets during the game? Ouch.
...the Rangers defense has now allowed two goals or less in the last nine games. Man that 9-2 thrashing to the Sharks seems like a long time ago.
...btw, what's up with the Kreider kiss on Talbot's helmet post game? (via Kerith B.)...
...i still feel that the Rangers get pushed around too much. Hoping with Mashinter likely being re-inserted into the line-up for the injured Pyatt that will change.
...a couple of days off then the lowly Panthers come into MSG on Sunday.
Post game interviews...
First big assist guy, then team tough guy and a team team leading 4 block shots last night . Zuccarello, Imagine if he was big.
I don't know if I am getting short changed here but with the way the Rangers are playing, skating fast, moving the puck up ice quickly, crisp passing , tic tac toe plays in the zone. lots of shots and the feeling they could score at anytime, the game feels like it is over in no time. I am so use to long drawn out games, never knowing if they were going to win, score or even shoot. I know they would bock a lot of shots. I am confused are they playing the same 20 minute periods.
I thought road game after the Pitts game there's no way NYR would win. Nothing left in their tanks.. I'm impressed! Still needs improvement but I said give it a month til they gel and they are gelling..
Who was talking to Hags behind the bench after the goal? It looked like he was trying to tell him something and Hags gave it that "yeah, but I scored, right?" look. Sort of like when a guy runs past the stop sign at third but scores anyway.
It will never happen, but I say when Nash comes back put him on the 3rd line and make him earn a spot on the top two lines. Make this thing a true meritocracy. That said, I would love to see them trade him. Great talent, skill, blah, blah, blah....the guy's head is now made out of paper-mache. Sad but true. He is one hit from crippling the Rangers for years. Let someone else take the risk. ...on a personal note, if I were the guy I would retire. Ask Tony Dorsett, or Wayne Crebet if they have any regrets about playing after multiple head injuries.
A couple quick thoughts:
When (or if) Nash gets healthy and is put back in the line-up, where does he go? Right now our top 2 lines are showing good chemsitry and creating a lot of chances.
Now that we're at .500 and in 3rd in the Metro Division, playoffs are a long way off, but how do seedings work? After the 2 wild card teams are determined, is it just based on points, or are the two wild cards automatically 7th and 8th?
Lastly, just saw the Panthers fired their entire coaching staff this morning. Wonder what kind of shape they'll be in on Sunday...
Nice win in back to backs for sure! Starting to gel. Will be interesting to see how they rebound from a loss or 2. Brassard looked like he was trying WAY too hard to score against his old team, Moore too.
Soapbox time. I'm not a big fan of Pyatt (like most here), but for him to get injured like that on a day when Tony Dorsett came out and said he was diagnosed with CTE needs to be a big wake-up call for the NHL. Sure, Tyutin's not a dirty player and the hit was likely accidentally to the head, but Pyatt was gone for the game and likely longer, while Tyutin got a 2 minute minor. ANY hit to the head needs to be a minimum of a 5 minute major and a game misconduct and an automatic review by the league. Accidental hits should get no suspension (i.e. player that was hit lowered their head or skated into it, etc.). Careless hits should be at least a 5 game suspension, and blatant hits should be a minimum of 15-20 games Each time it happens, the punishment doubles for the offender from the previous time. I guarantee you'll see players change their behavior if they start getting those types of punishments. It's just ridiculous at this point. Players are going down daily with head shot injuries and there is no need for it to continue happening.
Loved the effort, and excited about the win--but I still say we have to have players back each other up and stick up for each other. Where was the pushback when Tyutin took that headshot? Go watch the Blues highlights. Tim Jackman takes a run at a Blues player, and Barrett Jackman drops his mitts. That he won the fight is irrelevant....just his willingness to drop the mitts to protect a teammate brings that team closer together. I count 5 headshots without retribution already. Nash, Stepan x 3, Pyatt,
that line with Kreider, Step and Zuc has been really impressive...torts would break them up once they have one bad shift, but I think AV is smarter than that
The Kreider kiss was because he played with Talbot in the minors.....well that and he likes sweaty men.
@DaveFL and this is why I've loved Zucc from day 1. Is he too old to take growth hormones??
@Say my Name Couldn't you say that guys like Crosby are skating on the same thin ice as Nash is when he comes back? Do you think the Pens are looking to move him in fears of his "paper-mache head crippling them for years? Should he retire? also Marc Staal? I use to kickbox and I've had PCS twice. the reality is once you get PCS once (it was my 4th concussion when it happened to me), especially for over 2 months you are not the same no matter how many concussions you've had and you are vulnerable, and Nash has only had 3 that we know about - the extra concern with Nash over guys like Crosby if there are any is that he's had 2 back to back which would be a good argument for him to sit out this season regardless of his status but these guys are competitors who love the game. As soon as he's cleared you can bet he'll be skating. When he does come back you can pretty much bet he'll be on one of the top lines - Zucc will probably be the guy demoted.
@Say my Name "He is one hit from crippling the Rangers for years. Let someone else take the risk."
That's not true. He does not have a "Richards" contract that would cripple the teams cap. This from Andrew Gross:
Assuming Nash's healthy after this season, using the team's final compliance buyout on him makes little sense since, despite his $7.8 million annual salary cap hit, the cap recapture penalty in case he retires is only $200,000. Rather, the Rangers would have to put him on long-term injured reserve to avoid the cap hit. -
So the guy is the best player on the team then gets hurt and he has to earn his way to a top 6 spot? I dont think so. He has earned that spot with his play in the past and he would be inserted right to the top line where he belongs the day he comes back. As far as trading him- I get what your saying but you wouldn't get anything for him at this point because every other team would be thinking the same thing
@johnnyb3910 I actually thought about this last night .. And would put Nash on line with Brassard and Pouliot. I don't buy into this #1 or #3 line for 2 simple facts:
1. Of the top 3 lines, whichever one is going best in that game, plays the most minutes.
2. Assuming Nash in for Miller then 4th line would be Dorsett - Moore - Boyle. This in essence would be still be a good checking line opposite another team's top line. AV recently has recently mixed up line combos for this sole purpose.
@johnnyb3910 Playoffs: Top seed in each division plays wild card teams (based on points). Then 2nd & 3rd team in each division play each other. Winner of 1st place/wild card plays winner of 2nd/3rd within the same division. Confused yet?
@gravey94 absolutely spot on Gravey. Ridiculous. Also what about upgrading head gear which hasn't had any major improvements since the 60s. increasing ice surface, monitering what hits are legal etc. etc. It's so insane, and as is usually the case with this primitive species known as the human being money becomes the deciding factor over health. I've had PCS twice myself and let me tell you it is one effin' miserable condition, downright scary and you never think you will get better. They've been talking for years about this problem in hockey and nothing gets done. LaFontaine - then the loss of Lindros who was the beast amongst beasts before the concussion, the "next one" who then finally came back as a docile shell of his former self (whom of course the Rangers inherited). before he faded and retired, and his brother Brett. Come on morons! Get it done!!!
@gravey94 We will learn a lot about the NHL over the next few years. As the evidence mounts (and it is already established) that continual SUB concussive hits cause permanent brain damage, contact sports will soon be at a crossroads. The NHL is one of the few that can not only make rule changes in terms of types of contact but ALSO easily change the playing surface (larger) to an already accepted standard within the sport. A larger ice surface will further reduce all hits and when added to the new rules will help tremendously. It will also keep stars on the ice, which keeps more fringe fans interested. The NHL will have to weight that against their short-sighted reluctance to lose the price of the LAST couple of rows in each arena. (The first rows obviously will always be there)
@FireSather Well, at least they used protection (Cam's helmet)
@Betweentheworlds @Say my Name That's a good point about Crosby, and Staal, too. But keep in mind that when Crosby had his battles with two conussions in 1 calendar year, he was at the tail end of a contract, and that was in the last CBA before all these compliance buyouts were an option.
That being said, the next offseason after he finally "recovered" the Pens signed him to a 12 year deal worth $104 million. If he gets a career ending concussion in the next 5 years or so, the Penguins Fans will be debating the same thing we are.
@1NYN8V @Say my Name It's true that its not as much of a burden as Richads' deal because of the length and the age he was when it was signed. But if Nash continues to go through this excercise of getting a concussion, battling back, playing two months, getting another, etc, than his contract is still crippling in the sense that the Rangers never know when, or how much, of that money they can spend, even if they do place him on LTIR.
Say the Rangers trade some draft picks to Edmonton for Hemsky and take on his $5 million dollar cap hit, pushing them over the cap, so they put Nash on LTIR to get the relief. That's fine for now, but as soon as Nash says he's ready to play and the medical staff agrees, the Rangers are back to being over. It could be a very dangerous spiral, both for the Nash's health and the Rangers ability to compete, if he continues to have these open-ended timetables. If he says "I'm going to sit out the year" then the Rangers can react, but if he's going to try to come back, then the Rangers basically just have to put a team out on the ice that costs $7.8 million dollars less than everyone else.
@JBianco Yeah...like I said, it wouldn't happen and you seem to think like most. I have seen Nash as supremely overrated since the beginning. He can score when the rink is open, but he doesn't fight for the tough ice, disappears when the rink gets "small" in high intensity games (and playoffs) the result of the same thing, rarely uses his size to his advantage and allows himself to himself and his line mates to be pushed around despite being a giant. He is a skilled player that is 6'3'" 225 who plays like Mike Gartner. Bad judgment on behalf of Rangers to go for him. And as for best player on the team? When has his performance ever justified that statement? You are speaking of reputation based on a history (almost entirely not with Rangers) of accumulating low pressure goals. There is a hell of a lot more than that to make someone the best player on a team.
@TruBluEsp @johnnyb3910 I like that 4th line. AV should have enough confidence in those 3 to put them out in defensive situations and let them log decent minutes. Probably won't score much, but thats to be expected.
I completely agree with your whole 1,2,3 thing. On good teams, theres no 1,2,3, its 3 lines and the line having the best games gets the most minutes.
@Betweentheworlds @gravey94 The issue of headgear is tough. Remember when they touted LaFontaine's new helmet that was built like a bicycle helmet, suspending his head within the shell? That evolved to the helmet that Messier helped to develop - the M11 Mission helmet. Problem with all these new helmets is that they offer only little improvement, and still don't really do much to protect against high speed impacts, which cause concussions. They've done numerous studies, and basically came to the same conclusion, that any impact to the head over a certain force/speed is going to cause a concussion, no matter what type of protection you have on your head.
As one of the researchers in a major study said, "Making the shell stronger will still scramble the yolk"
@Say my Name @gravey94 @EHBIGAPPLE yeah, very true and I've said many of the same things myself above. It's a shame that they will not increase the ice surface to the European rink. It is such an obvious solution to pretty much everything that ails pro hockey today (reducing head injuries being the primary concern), but you know, humans are basically dumb creatures and when they get into a position of power and you wave dollar bills in their faces they become absolutely idiotic.
@Say my Name @gravey94 Absolutely true. I had a conversation with an ex-NHLer about the bigger surface and he said it would be great for the sport, but will never happen because of the capital that owners would have to lay out to retro-fit their arenas. Let's face it, it will take someone dying on the ice from a hit to the head for anything to change dramatically. So sad that money comes before humanism.
@Say my Name @shoot_the_goalie @johnnyb3910 @Betweentheworlds I'm not convinced Hank is the best goalie in the world. top 5? def. top 3? probably. I would sign him for 5-6 years but no more. I'd rather have a goalie who lets in an average of 1 more goal then Hank every 5- 10 games behind a complete, cup competitive team than Hank backstopping a team with gaping holes. Yes we're better now but don't be fooled. we're not there yet. there are plenty of holes to fill as the later portion of the season will reveal, when teams we play against get more physical - unless we make some moves ahead of time and/or get some unexpected rookie surprises.
@shoot_the_goalie @johnnyb3910 @Say my Name @Betweentheworlds Agree with all the points, none of which refute the fact that it would be a terrible idea to resign Hank. They would be: losing the excellent player(s) they would get at the deadline, payroll to improve other areas, and would be getting a player for 8 years at 32 years old who is playing a position where arguably ANY decline in reaction, or agility is more significant than ANY other position! Wow....seems like a no brainer.
As I've said one hundred times, if Hank is the best goalie in the world it only shows that you don't need the best goalie in the world to win the cup. Why in the world would you want to hamstring a team like that?
@johnnyb3910 @Say my Name @Betweentheworlds Great point about the Red Sox. They are very good at marketing themselves as ordinary, lunch pail, blue collar guys ("bunch of idiots", "cowboy up", long beards), but they are just as much a high priced big money organization as the Yankees. Difference is NYY wear suits all the time, clean shaven, look like elitists. It's all about image.
@Say my Name @johnnyb3910 @Betweentheworlds First, careful with the Sox. Yeah, they traded away a lot of money, and it was a good move because of personalities they shed. But they still finished 2013 with the 4th highest payroll. They didn't voluntarily become the Tampa Bay Rays.
Second, tell Hank's mask it's not a contact sport. I cringe every time he puts his forehead in front of a shot. Wasn't Ramsey there when Mike Richter was bleeding from the ears? Can't he tell Hank to STOP!?!?!
Third, "Dangerous Ground" is relative. Look at our spending pre-cap. Dolan will spend whatever it takes to be competitive enough to fill seats. Just like in baseball, the teams that could afford to keep filling holes would stay competitive.
Every contract in every sport, except for football, is a recipe for disaster, because the money is guaranteed. Very, very, very rarely in any sport, does a player ever seem equal to the value of his contract, except for maybe in Basketball when one individual can put a team on his shoulders. But in team sports like hockey, football, and baseball, there will always be more misses than hits.
@johnnyb3910 @Betweentheworlds @Say my Name It seems obvious to me that in most sports with a cap and even those without (MLB) that you are on dangerous ground when you put a great many eggs in one basket - and for many years. Doubly so in contact sports where youth and durability is even more important. But consider MLB, with no cap and no contact - the Yankees are certainly lamenting the fact that they have Texiera, A-Rod, and even Sabathia's contract looming over their heads for years as assuredly NONE will measure up to the dollars. Then the Sox - show that if they purge stars like Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett and replace with just solid gritty players you have the recipe for success. And that again is in a non-contact sport.
Paying Nash (and even Hank long term) is a recipe for disaster in a contact sport with a hard cap. (Hank less for contact than it is for the fact that he will NOT be worth what you are paying in dollars and lost flexibility in the final 4 years of an 8 year deal)
@johnnyb3910 @1NYN8V @Say my Name @Hotfreak - any contract can blow up in your face. Them's the risks. Some people believe one guy is going to make or break you. In Hockey, and any sport for that matter (except maybe basketball where only 5 guys are on the court) it simply ain't true. Hockey especially is so dependent upon depth and chemistry. Many would say that that Ovechkin is the best player in the league (or one of the top 3) and look at the Caps. Need I say more! Slats has a history of trying to get 1 superstar to save the ship. That's one of the many reasons he sucks (IMHO). It almost worked with Jagr but that was only because of how well Nylander clicked with him. Again, it takes depth and chemistry. Slats, I'm sure would take credit for Nyl as well and the chemistry they formed with Jags and Straka except the asshole let him walk to sign the vastly over rated Gomez. Unreal that he is still our GM.
Yeah but this concussion cycle is not sustainable enough to add up to significant financial risk. (Edit: in reply to Johnny's 1st point)
@johnnyb3910 @1NYN8V @Say my Name True. I was just replying to the narrow statement that he was one hit to crippling the Rangers for years, which isn't really true. LTIR or a career ending injury leading to retirement would not do that.
Given his recent penchant for concussions, can't think of anyone willing to trade and take the risk on him at such a high price or the Rangers using the last compliance buyout on anyone but Richards since BR's contract is far more crippling in the long-term.
@Betweentheworlds @EHBIGAPPLE @Say my Name @JBianco I think it is very telling to examine closely how teams handle their "40 goal scorers." Do they keep them?........quickly sign them to extensions?......do they allow them to test the free market while pretending to offer them "a fair deal." From my perspective market /team reaction to Gartner, to Gabby, to Nash (why did CBJ even trade him?) Is very telling, indeed. They are not viewed as essential pieces to win The Cup.
Everyone is trying to build a Cup winner from the net out where defense supercedes offense
@EHBIGAPPLE @Say my Name @JBiancoHonestly I've never seen Gartner carry the puck with such authority, take on 3 guys and rip one past the goalie. It's a tough comparison because they are such different types of players. Nash can be tough and I've seen it. He drives to the net with the puck as well as anyone and his strength makes it hard to defend against. I think AV was going to try to get him to drive to the net without the puck more and set up in front more, which I would agree is a deficiency in his game. You have to check and take the body of course but I'd rather see the skill guys concentrate on scoring goals than crunching bodies to reduce the risk of injuries - not that it has helped Nash. I would also say that you can win the cup without a superstar, and without a guy even as good as Gabby or Nashty if the team is solid with good chemistry and depth like the '12 Bruins. I may be mistaken but I don't think they even had a 40 goal scorer that year.
@Say my Name @JBianco Honestly, you are judging Nash post Lucic-knock into boards. Before that he was tearing it up on the grand stage, cutting across the ice with the puck holding off defenders and then ripping off a snipe. I remember a span of like 3-5 games where he did that repeatedly last season. Then he got hurt and never was the same when he came back, both in the regular season as well as the playoffs. Unfortunately, he was did in by his injury last season, and I am afraid what is going to happen to him when he comes back this season; hopefully a full season will give him enough time to get back to full form. But I do not agree that you can call him overrated; he was exactly the type of power forward scorer we needed at the time with Torts (I think Gaborik would have thrived here with AV).
@Say my Name @JBianco"He is a skilled player that is 6'3'" 225 who plays like Mike Gartner."....... Thank you for saying this. It is so on the money. You don't ever win Cups with Nash or Gaborik or Gartner as your best player!
Gaborik will "travel"out of of Columbus at the end of his contract for the same reasons.
@Say my Name @shoot_the_goalie @Betweentheworlds @gravey94 It is now confirmed that repeated lesser impacts to the head is linked to CTE. I use to kick box, have had 5 concussions I know about. PCS twice. and numerous head impacts. I'm 55 now - do you think I get a little edgy every time I have brain fog? Like in the case of tobacco this has been known for quite some time
@shoot_the_goalie @Betweentheworlds @gravey94 yeah and Pat got knocked out by his own player. This guy never should have donned skates that year with his history. The only blessing is that he got taken out by a soft blow. A major one would have caused brain damage, or worse. Yeah that helmet didn't help much did it. And I do remember the M 11. Good points Shoot
@shoot_the_goalie @Betweentheworlds @gravey94 sigh....it is really much worse than is being reported. I am connected at a high level to many of the teaching hospitals on the eastern seaboard and have watched this issue closely. The helmets are essentially meaningless in respect to concussion. Second, and much more disturbing, is that they are finding that impacts that occur at much, much lesser levels are causing the type of brain injury associated with CTE.
There are still people who claim that the correlation is not proven (between lesser impacts and CTE) and these people are still making decisions based on money. These are the SAME people who over the years have claimed that tobacco was not proven dangerous, climate change, etc...
The NHL is one of the few sports that can get ahead of this and for the cost of millions save billions. Sometimes I think that the brain injuries associated with impact sports extends from the players on the field straight up to the corporate offices. Dolts.