It was another ugly one tonight in Yankee Stadium, but the Rangers found a way through the bouncy ice and a sub zero wind chill for a 2-1 win against the Islanders, sweeping the Stadium Series and further cementing themselves in second place in the Metro Division heading into the Olympic break.
The first period was primarily a feeling out process mainly for the Islanders, who at times dominated with the puck, keeping the Rangers pinned in their end and never let the Rangers establish their forecheck. A ton of whistles early on didn't help things either.
Henrik Lundqvist was by far the best player on the ice for both teams. The second period began with the Rangers showing defensive lapses that have gotten them into trouble in the past and led to a few good scoring chances for the Isles, but Lundqvist was focused and sharp and played infinitely better tonight compared to Sunday.
As with past outdoor experiences the Rangers have had, the opposition scored first. During an Isles rush up ice, a couple gratuitous bounces in the Ranger end led to Matt Donovan's no look, through the legs pass to a wide open Brock Nelson who potted one behind Lundqvist at 18:33.
Luckily for the Rangers it took all of 40 seconds to respond and tie the game at 1 heading into the second intermission. A shot from the high slot by Zuccarello sailed wide, but Brassard fetched the rebound and quickly found Pouliot at the top of the crease and roofed one over a badly down and out Nabokov for the equalizer.
Say what you want about Carcillo, but there were two separate points, both intentional and unintentional where his presence turned the tide for the Rangers. Carcillo took a borderline high-sticking penalty midway through the second. The resulting successful PK generated momentum as they began establishing their forecheck on a more consistent basis and never really let the Isles dictate the pace or flow of the game for the duration of the second and a vast majority of the third.
The game winner came at 4:36 of the third period that was generated by another open ice hit, this time by Boyle at center ice. The resulting turnover led to a give and go between Carcillo and Dominic Moore. Moore's initial shot was blocked down by Nabokov, but a big rebound came right out to Carcillo for the winner.
I was concerned heading into this game that with the trade rumors beginning to swirl over some of the bigger names on the Rangers roster, it was going to create distractions and lead to un-necessary losses against teams they should be able to beat on most nights. Games such as these aren't great measuring sticks to show where the team is mentally, but with the Rangers being able to persevere through falling behind on the scoreboard and not letting a game spiral out of control, can mean only positive signs moving forward. It wasn't all that long ago where falling behind 1-0 turned into an auto loss for this team.
The Rangers have 4 games left with 3 of them at home heading into the break and that starts Friday with another game against the Islanders at MSG, their last meeting of the season.
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"It wasn't all that long ago where falling behind 1-0 turned into an auto loss for this team."
Random Thought about the Rangers being the "away" team: Watching the post game video, the visitors locker room looks more like a "hockey" room. Players closer together, stalls all in a row, easier to talk to, interact. Last night they showed a couple shots of the Yankees locker room, including one during Capuano's pre-game talk. At some angles you couldn't even see the players he was talking too, so far away and so spread out. The Yankee players look like they have their own offices in that room, which apparently is 3,750 SF! That's bigger than most houses! Just wonder if that made it harder for the Devils and Islanders to stay focused and energized through the intermissions.
I was at the game last night and it was amazing. I've been going to Rangers games for 20 years and this has to be my top three Rangers experience. Wish there was one more outdoor game!
Now before anyone goes apeshit on this comment ... by no means am I saying he can repalce Cally but here's a thought. Anyone here believes that maybe Sather is willing to trade Cally if they don't agree on a deal b/c he believes Dorsett can fill his role on the 3rd line?
I think Rangers had the big advantage playing outdoors since they are use to the crappy ice at MSG.
I think if Rangers do ever trade Callahan they should make Zuccarello the captain and if they want move Girardi they should just find a bigger version of Kevin Klein for about 3 million plus.
I don't really see anybody giving this guy credit so I'll say it again this coach with what he working with has them playing pretty consistent hockey for about 2 months and the type hockey that is for first time in long time enjoyable to watch. Hats off again AV. Also as I said last time as a fan i reserve the right to be a asshole and change my mind.
On different note did the NHL hire the entertainment director from the Hard Rock Casino?
kevin: you mean, you never know when he might snap ? he just seems to be under more control of himself. maybe he realizes he's only got so many chances left. i surely don't think he's hurting the team @ this point.
i think if the Rangers re-sign Cally which i expect to happen in all reality. If you look at what he is asking for, he's asking for the exact average of every captains contract currently in the NHL, not in the top tier (Crosby,Weber,Ovechkin) and not in the lower tier (Ladd,Salvador,Ference) but right in the middle. The league average contract for a team captain is exactly 6.5 years and a smidge above $6m per year. With that said and what he brings to the table, Sather right now is just trying to bring down the dollar amount as much as possible as every .5 million matters this offseason because that will be the difference between having a guy like BP on the 3rd line and a guy like Carcillo playing 3rd line minutes. Now with that said, once Girardi and Cally are re-signed, it's inevitable and the true essence of a cap casuality that Richards will get bought out. If the Rangers re-sign everyone for next year that will bring them right up to the cap and leave Stralman out who will probably cost around $3.5m, option 1 is let Stralman walk, keep Richards, bring up Conor Alan but that option leaves the Rangers with ZERO wiggle room in case of injury, attrition, etc. Sather will never do that, nor should he. If the Rangers buy out Richards and re-sign everyone else including Stralman, that leaves them with $3million (give or take a few) under the cap. It doesn't put them in the running for top tier FA's but the Rangers will expect Brassard to continue to progress as he has and they'll need to find a Center for the 3rd line, that shouldn't be difficult for $3m, especially if Oscar Lindberg is ready, he could project to be more than we hope for on that 3rd line and leave us with $3million under the cap to play with. Needless to say, keeping Richards leaves you with alot of gaping holes, you need to find a top 4 D and you'll have to let a few guys walk you'd like to re-sign and might not have the same depth as this year. Buying out Richards, inevitably leaves Sather with a)flexibility and b) more options. Unfortunately, there's no other way to crumble the cookie and have both.
all this talk about grinders reminds me of 94' when all the edmonton guys showed up but until our trades for the 3 blackhawks (guys who went into the corners and came out with the pucks) then the team gelled and the rest was history
Dorsett who? Sucks for him. As for this Richards not being bought out... I have said it a hundred times. This team will not win a Stanley cup as long as he is on the team and there is a salary cap in the NHL. He makes more money than John Tavares and couldn't hold his jock strap.
have any of the contract rumors been correct so far ? they are not trading the captain in the first season with a new coach right when this team seems to be gelling and gaining some consistency. they will sign ryan callahan. i am broke this week so if anyone wants to take wagers on that fact let me know.
I know there are a lot of Richards detractors out there, but you can't argue that the guys has great vision and stick control. Did you see the pass he made in the 3rd from the defensive zone, off the boards to Hags who missed on the breakaway? With the 4th line staring to generate some goals would love the see the Richards/Hags/Cally line doing the same.
Just watched wolfpack highlights from last night. Kristo big night and maybe the reason they are hardballing cally is Kristo looks ready. makes a sweet move for his 1st goal.
It was good to be on the blog a little bit last night but my participation was distracted by friends and family. I guess that's a good problem to have. Nevertheless, glad to share the Rangers good news with all of the good fans here.
Just read a story on Cally. He is not taking a home town discount and feels strongly he can get 6+million and 7 yrs away by multiple teams. whether thats hard bargaining by his agent or not it really looks like he is gone. also says sather will not match those numbers and the 7 yrs is the bigger problem than the money. also sounded like he wasnt buying richards or nash out. for all the Cally fans this sounded grimm. was on bleacher report
Love the way they are playing. Great win. Still, they have the air of a team that looks fast and fun UNTIL they get punched in the mouth. Now I'm not a fan of the "enforcer" b/c it is hard to warrant a lineup spot for someone who doesn't contribute enough otherwise, but the alternative is that you have to have a team which has enough simple grit throughout the lineup to be able to respond to a team that wants to simply "crush" you. Because at this point the NYR don't seem to have that I think a bonafide heavyweight bruiser is needed if this team has any ambition of playing deep into the playoffs.
no, Dorsett is a completely different player offensively. Dorsett never scored more than 12 goals in the NHL and only once has scored more than 5. If you lose Cally and buyout Richards you return to the 1st half of last season where you have zero depth on your back 6. This system cannot operate with 2 lines and 2 checking lines. While Dorsett is sound defensively, you'd need to bring back an NHL ready 2nd liner for Callahan and picks to make it worthwhile. I don't hate the thought though, the defensive and emotional style is similiar but Cally gets more pull in the locker room because he can put the puck in the net. It's tough to find a 25 goal scorer who's good defensively, plays PP and PK as well, those guys don't exist and it's why his value is so high.
@upstate tomCarcillo = Avery.
Why is it concrete that Richards is NOT being bought out? I don't get it....no one knows and it's all rumor or speculation. .... my guess would be from a business point of view u absolutely buy him out for fear of getting stuck with that cap hit if he gets hurt and can't play.... that's one reason. .. another is age and money....that can be invested more wisely on a younger more durable player
AGREED THAT HE IS WAY OVER PAID, EVEN MORE SO THEN THE MONEY IS THE YEARS. HOWEVER TO SAY HE CAN'T HOLD TAVARES JOCK STRAP IS SILLY. HE'S A VETERAN WITH A CON SMYTHE AND A STANLEY CUP UNDER HIS BELT AND HIS CAREER NUMBERS ARE ABOUT AS SOLID AS ANY GUY IN THE LEAGUE POINTS WISE. RESPECT THE GUY A LITTLE BIT.
But if you're broke, how would you pay up if you lost ;-)
Richards can have all the vision and passing but the contract kills us going forward....u can't be ontl the hook with him if he gets hurt....wether we sign Cally or not
If Cally doesn't sign, I don't think Richards gets bought out. The UFA market is pretty slim pickins this summer, so having that $12M to spend doesn't do Sather much good. Plus, the contracts are only getting bigger and Richards' $6.7M, while not ideal by any stretch, is not as bad as it looked this time last year.
Kristo had not scored in about 10 games before last night. He is a good talent... But replacing him with cally is laughable
@Say my NameI think size and forecheck are more important than having a guy who can fight. I loves me a good heavyweight brawl, but I don't think it's necessarily a key cog to a Cup. This team has size, can forecheck, and definitely has skill. It's an interesting point to ponder...who has the advantage in a 7 game series, a bruising team or a fast skill team? Who would you pick in a series, the Broad Street Bullies or the Gretzky-led Oilers? I think the way the Rangers are constituted now, they can defeat a team like the Bruins, as long as they have a forecheck going. It's definitely a delicate balance.
i'm sure you are among those who've pointed out before how we lost so many of our grinders in the last few years. a work in progress ...
@NYRBlueBlog@TruBluEsp Yeah ... It was just a thought that came to me last night watching the game. 3rd line minutes, no more PP time and on the PK. When I think of that description, I think of Dorsett. I'm not saying it should be done. Was just curious to see if anyone believes that maybe this is Sather's thinking. Also, could be look to replace Cally with McGinn. Don't know anything about him though.
we need some players like that and the bonus was Larmer could score too and for a soft player (not my words) he was very effective
The problem is your right he should be bought out but then sather has to admit how wrong he was to give him that obscene contract, if this was the nfl where he could restructure it to help with the cap i would say keep him but the economics of it say use the buyout
I don't gotta respect a guy that his accomplishments have happened over a decade ago and for another team. .....at one time was he a good player yes..... is he now. No. He is at best average in decline....and no he can't hold Tavares jock strap....the joke is thinking that he could.....
Tara is on a whole other level. Even Richards in his prime...
First off I respect the Brad Richards from a decade ago that won the conn smythe and cup.... But the Richards now is a completely different player... You can't go based off of past experiences and this guy has not even been close to what we paid for. And yea at this point in his career Richards couldn't hold Tavares' jock strap, and if you think he could than you don't know hockey.
As much as I love Cally and think a long term high cap hit is a mistake I would absolutely pay him big $$$ before I ever considered keeping Ritchie. Ritchie isn't a bad player and does have an upside at half his price and for a 1-3yr deal NOT with his current contract and the fear of a neighbor picking him up is minor! Keeping him on his existing contract would be ludicrous to say the least! Whatever the cap moves to up or down depending on reports Ritchie MUST go!
thats exactly what I wrote earlier on what I read on b/r makes alot of sense. Unless they need cap room in a major deal I dont see him bot out if cally goes
While I agree he has bounced back he has not come close to living up to his contract - I have believe that buying Ritchie out is still a must! Shoring up the middle of the lineup will bring a better return. He is no where near dominating at center and isn't going to get any faster or more effective as he ages. His contributions this season stand out because of how atrocious he was last year and how the team as a whole has underperformed this season.
I did not say he is replacing him, i said if they cant come to an agreement (which it looks like if cally stands pat they wont) they can bring up kristo
If you're going to go with speed your passing has to be quick and accurate, especially on the breakout and transition. That's how you keep slower more physical teams on their heels and out of your face, but in those nights the passing isn't clicking you got to be able to hold your own with toughness and forecheck against the tight checking tougher teams. . Still more often than not balance is the key and where I don't think an enforcer is the answer a couple additions of big hard grinders would be very helpful right about now and in playoffs
He was additional leadership.... look back on that team and see there was a core but a great amount of leadership also besides the core. ... everyone knew their roles. ...
Here is my point...... going forward...make no mistake when u have the option to dump Richards.... what would u rather have a buyout...under ur belt... or the guy gets hurt and ur stuck paying for him... and the cap hit...
business wise. Smart thing to do is a buyout.... and move on.. would suck either of those situations but even worst how bout he turns even more into Drury or gomez for the remainder of deal...
its not his fault that teams were willing to pay him that much
SAY WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT HIM BUT HES STILL LEADING THIS TEAM THAT YOU ROOT FOR IN POINTS. YES HE IS OVERPAID BUT HES NO BUM. AND YES TAVARES IS GREAT, BUT TO SAY THAT HE IS BETTER THAN RICHARDS IN HIS PRIME? RICHARDS PUT UP 91 POINTS TWICE IN HIS CAREER WITH TWO SEPARATE TEAMS, HAS WON A CON SMYTHEE AND A CUP. ITS A BIT SHORT SIDED TO SAY THAT ALREADY. I DO THINK TAVARES WILL END UP BEING ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS OF HIS GENERATION AND PROBABLY SURPASS A CAREER LIKE RICHARDS BUT THE GUY IS A PRETTY GOOD HOCKEY PLAYER.
IF HE WAS PAID LIKE A SECOND LINER ID TAKE HIM ALL DAY. HE STILL HAS TOP GRADE VISION AND PASSING ABILITY. CLEARLY JOHN TAVARES IS WAY BETTER THEN HIM BUT IF YOU THINK THAT TAVARES WON'T GET PAID HIS MONEY, AND THAT IT WON'T BE MORE THAN WHAT RICHARDS MAKES THEN YOU DON'T KNOW BUSINESS. THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE SHOULDN'T BE ARGUING. BECAUSE IT IS GLENN SATHER THAT DOESN'T UNDERSTAND BUSINESS. RICHARDS IS A GOOD PLAYER WHO WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO CUT BECAUSE HE IS BEING PAID LIKE A SUPERSTAR
Totally agree.... the risk fo being stuck with contract and cap hit for that production is insane... We can use that money On 2 players if need be
Oh, I don't disagree. I'm just not sure Rangers management sees it that way and I think they would be concerned to see him go to a team like the Islanders and come back to haunt them.
I would LOVE a coupe of hard grinders, but that seems even harder to find (skilled, tough, fast players). If only... So I totally agree. An enforcer would be the less appealing alternative would they not be able to get those skilled/tough/fast player(s)...