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Kristo, Haggerty and Tony DDDDDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.


Speed kills.

4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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In the end sport is a unique form of entertainment that has the ability to create strong emotional relationships between the product and the consumer. 


Regardless of the outcome, man did we get our money's worth this year.


The frowns quickly turn to smiles at the thought of Sydney in the hand shake line and sending that organization into a tailspin.


Montreal, a team that has always been an enigma to us, brought to their knees. 


The Flyers? They bored us, thats why it went 7.


There truly is nothing as rewarding as watching a teams character gel right before your eyes and thats what we were treated to in this post season run. For all the AV bashers (your allowed), he inherited a team of misfits and made them fit, somehow, all the way to last night. 


There will be big changes, thats for sure. And the blueprint has never been clearer. The type of players coming up are AV types, speed and scoring. We will need to address our defense somewhat. I personally hope the days of having a forward, any forward, on the point are over. A defenseman just has a much better set of skills in puck handling on the blue line and firing shots. And that is what we need to address...a couple of slapshots on the point.


I, for one, think John Moore will only get better and i like his game a lot. #27 is our god right now. Stall is still serviceable (though the head injuries are worrisome) and none of us know what to make of Dan G's game dropping off a cliff. 


The Kings are a mature team that has been there before. We, fairly young and still learning the ropes with half our roster. The freeing up of Richards salary will only improve this team. Im not worried about a leadership vacuum. 


Would love to see Ryan Haggerty develop quickly and get paired up with MSL...


I hope we keep Boyle but i think Boston will be all over him for bigger bucks than we can shake up. He is all character. Pouliot, for all his flaws, is one of our lone pure physical forwards who may even improve from here. 


Almost the entire Kings team is back next year. Crazy.


Thanks Kevin. From the Philippines where 8 am Ranger games are the norm

1 month, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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@Dante8496 I read it. It helps that i live in Southeast Asia and its 2 58 pm here but still i get where your trying to go with this. I agree and i want us to punch back hard. As i said after game 1, the Kings don't like being bumped and can be rattled. Quick, while barely nudged by Nash (Given this series i am surprised we didn't get called for Goalie Interference.....) tried to stick him then rub him with his gloves all along giving him the jawbone treatment. Someone pumped a little spear in one of the scrums...etc etc..


Also i really wish i could have seen a slow motion replay of Zuc's first period near goal...i know it wasn't in (as Zuc was right there, had the best view, and didn't bitch) but damn...


In the finals it's all about exposing the little or big chinks in the armor. Richards is ours. Nash is as well. He is trying his best but it just isn't good enough. If he were occupying 2.5 on the salary cap it would be acceptable but at his (and Richie's ) level, we could have so much more bang for our buck.


It's funny how emotionally we all feel pretty much the same. I saw more than enough in LA to think that we could go back there 2-2...now we have one more shot. It is the most important game now...and all we can do is play one period at a time and try to gain a little momentum and confidence. The problem with the vengeance side of the fan base (all of us to some extent) is that we risk penalties via retribution. It's a fine line, hard hitting. Again. I want to see the passion when someone tries to screen Hank, or after the whistle. 


The good news is this. Either way, there is going to be a big open camp in a couple of months (already) and our feeder system isn't as bleak as some see. I personally will give Stepan one more year to refine his scoring game but his lack of edge disturbs me. We have some edgy kids in the wings waiting for a shot. Personally, i can't wait to see what "shoot first" Ryan Haggerty brings to the NHL. The kid is special and the best elixir for your King hangover is to watch his scoring reel from RPI last year.


Anyway as i said, one period at a time. If we pull it out wednesday we know we can play there...and suddenly game 5 will have significant meaning...Momentum can be lost in an instant and never regained...

1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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The St. Louis goal was one of the most difficult shots i have ever seen pulled off. That puck was almost on his right front leading skate as it was being released. Try standing still and shooting a puck from that position, it is next to impossible to get much zip on it whatsoever let alone while moving. A phenomenal play by a phenomenal player.


His shifts might not be as long, but he is still super quick and possesses a deadly shot. No matter what happens in this SCF (and i, like others, don't have the worst feeling going forward in this series) the target of the offseason will be a line mate for Marty next year.


The other point (i won't get into the officiating that even in the first two periods was awful as rangers were being hooked and held all over the place) is while it's not in our general nature (i hope the Undertaker matures) Dwight King need to be held accountable for running our goalie. Every time out players go near Quick we are getting crosschecked on the arms or in the back after the whistle ( a good hockey practice ) and we need to reciprocate. 


As i said yesterday, the Kings don't like being hit back.  As opposed to their other series, they are in the favorites role now. They have yet to experience what its like to lose momentum in that role. Some say they haven't played their best hockey. I think yesterday the first period was their best (hitting everything that moved) and they came out on the wrong end of a 2-0 score. As the game moved on they became less physical and we becomes the controlling  factor. 


They say you can lose your golf swing on the way to the water cooler. If the Kings lose their momentum, they could fold like a house of cards. Mark my words.


1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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@Say my Name @McPhee37 All year long i have been critical of the physicality of certain players on this squad. I wouldn't put it on AV's shoulders, he is pretty much playing with the deck he has been dealt. 


Game one was far from the hitting blowout (and shot blowout) that the stats speak to. For one, i can't remember a softer 40 plus shot performance. most came from the rim and were easily handled (Every Penguin game felt far more threatening than this..). On the other hand the Kings gave up gobs of odd man rushes and they are playing a very dangerous game defensively.

Give them credit though, they were opportunistic when it counted, we weren't. 


I don't think we need to "out hit" the Kings to beat them. There certainly were not Rangers getting blown up all over the ice hit after hit. Much like the stats, soft shots, soft hits. The big hit of the game came from Stralman laying out Clifford as we all know.


I don't think the Rangers need to play "perfect" hockey either to win. Do i think the Rangers are the better hockey club? No, in fact they are a bit of a misfit squad but i believe they have balance, something others have suggested they do not. The depth of scoring and defending shows that. They lack the Thornton factor, yes, but in this years playoff they have been a very good "team" (except for the two awful Pitt games). 


The Kings did show a few chinks in their armor. For one, they go on emotional tilt fairly easily. Quick doesn't like getting bumped whatsoever and barks whenever it happens. Clifford was looking to blast anything that moved after getting leveled. Doughty obviously doesn't take well to a little face rub. We are not going to out hit this team, few teams if any ever do. But we can selectively level them. quality hits. Sure quantity can wear down an opponent, but quality does damage. We are capable of banging these guys up. 


Skill matters as well, just ask the Kings last year who out hit the crap out of the Blackhawks and in turn, got smoked in 5 games. Those soft Blackhawks. Gobs of skill, the fewest hits in the league the past few years. 


The Kings didn't bring their A game in game one, and neither did the Rangers. Game 2 will be quite a different affair.


Vegas only has a -150 number on this game for a reason.  And it's not because a bunch of new yorkers are pounding the Rangers at the windows. They are a live team  tomorrow.  





1 month, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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@Pakifan1 Need to continue to exploit the speed difference with deeper dumps to tire their back line. Lost our wheels in the 3rd and I'm not sure why. Did the ice look soft and slow live? seemed the puck would rarely lay flat..?

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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One note that NBC failed to pick up on was the Los Angeles ice condition seemed brutal today. It was visually slow ice, and the puck was bouncing all over the place. No excuse as both teams had to play on the same pond, but it just looked awful. Don Shula watering the field to slow the faster team....?...nah...


For having 40 whatever shots, the Kings seemed, through two periods, to never look threatening. Even in the more dominant 3rd period, outside of a couple of real nice saves, most the shots were from the rim and easily tracked by Hank. 


Hope Moore's hand isn't broken. It is going to be sore as hell that is for sure.


As far as Nash is concerned i think he is doing the best he can with a post concussed brain that no longer processes at NHL speed. He is still dangerous if given time but his ability to read a play has appeared sluggish since the last head injury. Almost reminds me of Lindros drop off in form (although EL had other physical problems hindering him as well).


Still, we got this far with a Rick Nash on 3 wheels so there is no reason we can't continue to find success with him out there.


Kenny Albert is just not a good hockey announcer. Will be glad to get Doc back.


Played good enough to win, lost, thats hockey. It can turn on Saturday. We are in this series.



1 month, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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If JT can't go tomorrow i think it would be a kick to dress Kristo seeing that the Habs dropped him on us. I know there is no chance of it happening but it wouldn't be the worst gut feeling move ever.

2 months ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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Maybe the best back checking game i have seen the Rangers play in a long time. Nothing more frustrating to an opponent than getting stick checked from behind, breaking up a 3-2 or whatever rush. Every single time the puck changed direction there was at least one guy, head down, skating his heart out to get back on the back check. That is how you win hockey games. Lets hope it continues. 

2 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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Rick Nash showed his hand. He likely didn't realize it but at one point in the third (i believe) period he took the puck from the ranger zone and blazed past both benches with a burst of speed we had yet to witness from the guy.  It was eye opening acceleration. He has it. His body is capable. 


This told us all we need to know, and somewhat already knew. Nash is not a 100% effort guy.  He is certainly not dangerous along with Richards, who are our top two paid players. I don't blame AV, the blame has to fall on the top brass. Doling out that kind of dough on guys who just are average production wise and soft physical wise. I still think RN's brain isn't right after his last concussion. 


I wouldn't bust on MSL or his lack of production. It was obvious that the symbiotic relationship between him and Stamkos was vital to both of their success (more so the the older MSL). He is still physically very well fit and just needs a dangerous player on the ice with him. And therein lies the rub, we are void, 4 lines deep, of a true dangerous scoring type. It haunted us all year long and chinks in the armor get exposed big time come playoff time. 


Brian Boyle brings it on a nightly basis. His hockey heart makes up for certain deficiencies and i only hope he gets re signed. 


If i were the Ranger equipment manager (read skate sharpener) i would be worried for my job as just about every Ranger blew a tire at some point in the game.


Hank sure looked like he wanted to go give Nash an earful after the giveaway...


Marc Staal continues to look like a shell of his former self. He isn't that quick, he isn't that strong, his offense is weak and he too has a little post concussion glaze to his glance. 


Finally Stepan. Remember that hat trick in his first game? Neither do i now...this is a guy who avoids contact at all cost. He doesn't have a nasty bone in his body. At least throw a check. 


Almost every single "digger" battle was lost and the puck would come out of the muck perfectly to the awaiting penguin who would immediately start a break out.


Listen, like the rest of us, i know this isn't a cup winning squad. But all we ask for, as fans, is effort. 2nd and 4th games of this series have been so devoid of the extra effort it takes to beat a better team. At least Carcillo looks like he cares.


In the end, there is no on ice leadership No "C". MSL was too late to the party to wear it i guess...but the three "A" thing was stupid from the get go, especially given that Staal (do you ever see him directing anyone on the ice?) and Richards are two of the three. Girardi is gritty enough and deserves it. Boyle should have one of the letters as well.


We need 3 game 1,3 efforts in a row and hope for some luck and puck bounces. Not impossible but we will know in the first ten minutes of game 5 if we have a chance or not.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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I think we roll this team tomorrow night. We simply have more mobility and just need to bring a 4 line grind. The goals will happen. We had as many if not more quality chances tonight. 

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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@JoeyKocur @mdspwt  I don't think it was as much a function of him not knowing it as it was of a 4th line never really coming together out of guys like Pyatt, a green Krieder, Haley and Newbury at one point, Ashem etc. 


I think JT is a great hockey coach but his act, and the other strong arm chew out the locker room full of adults every period style that went along with him wears thin regardless. Peter Lav in Phily was the same thing. Pros start to tune out the screamers after a while. Plus JT played some head games. 


As bad as Richards played during the Boston series, there were games where Pyatt was logging more ice time and that is insane. 


I think he would be best in a D-I program somewhere....

2 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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Watching Hal Gill out there reminded me why little quiet moves like the acquisition of Rafael Diaz (and Klein to some extent)  can make or break a team come playoff time.


Still one more to go but if our 4th line keeps playing as well as they have this year, the freshness of our players come  3rd period will be a difference maker, especially the deeper we go in these playoffs. You cannot underestimate the massive positive of having an effective, and dangerous 4th line. Just look at Boston from a couple of years ago. 


Dominic Moore and Brain Boyle are playing the best hockey of their lives at just the right time. Every hockey fan has to feel for Moore and smile for his success after what he and his family has been through. Undoubtedly he is drawing the passion we are seeing in his game night in and out from his family.

2 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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Fairly surprised the Rangers have payed as physically as they have (all year) and won many of the battles. A funny thing has happened to the Ranger-Flyer rivalry and it is called the Penguins. Pittsburgh now garners the majority of Flyer passion and hate (rightfully so) and there is a good chance the majority of F fans will be on board with us if we go through.


Boyle has been the most consistent and is a vital cog in this teams current form. He hustles every shift and the development of our 4th line this year is a huge difference maker in our 3rd period success. Get him signed back regardless of how the year turns out.


Another note is the Rangers are changing lines efficiently and short shifting a ton. It seemed like Carcillo was on the ice every other shift and stats show he only had 8 plus minutes. 30-45 second shifts do that. You are involved the whole game even at reduced total minutes. 


Mason may not be the answer as a goalie coming back from injury in the middle of an NHL playoff series is less than desirable. You can see Ryan Mcd is still not up to full speed and there is a good chance they are sending Mason in a little sooner than they wish.


NHL classic moment celebration. Etched in all our minds (and theirs) for eternity. Even better the flinching ref who called a great hustling back check a penalty.





3 months ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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Its only one game but Diaz made as good a case as any to be first line PP on the point instead of Richards....I have said all along i hate forwards on the point...i want two blue liners back there with big shots who are used to handling the puck on the blue line. A quiet little trade at deadline time could pay massive dividends to this team...

4 months ago on Conversation @ http://nyrangersblog.com/

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This is still a team in search of an identity, poorly constructed from a chemistry standpoint, which is vital to success in the NHL. Quite honestly, Rick Nash is a shell of his former self, choosing to try to poke check at the puck in vital battles as he protects his head and his career. I don't think i have ever seen Stepan angry in a game. Lots of skill, certainly. Lots of character, hardly. The shake up has to come in the off season as big time decisions need to be made about people like Nash, Richards, Staal (not the same player following head injury much like Nash), and a few others. Night in and night out Zuc, Hagelin (the goals will come...), Mcdonagh and even Boyle put out 100% and really seem to care and show emotion while others play hockey, yes, and cash a check. No Chemistry right now and no leader to rally around. Someone needs the "C" out there. F it..pin it on MSL's jersey tomorrow as, while he isn't clicking right now, we know he cares.

4 months, 1 week ago on Sharks 1, Rangers 0

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I was at the game.  A few observations.
Very strong fan base in NC. It was like being at a devil or islander away game...that many ranger jerseys there.
MZ - is becoming a true star. A standout on the ice live, and he plays strong. He is obviously a physically strong guy as he isn't being thrown around whatsoever by bigger players. Cuts on a dime like few can do.
Nash - As hard as MZ plays, Nash doesn't. He reaches for the puck half the time instead of skating that extra stride to get on it. He looks somewhat lazy. I know he scored and all but up to that point there was little to write home about....
Boyle - Honorable mention for the hard work award. Was skating his hard off the entire game. Hard hard worker. He cares.
DC #13 - Has no power in his legs. Come playoff time chances are healthy scratch...
MSL - Its all between the ears. He knows the game inside and out and what he lacks in speed now (he still has the burst but....) he more than makes up with sliding into sniping slots. He knows how to find space and is always ready to pull the trigger. Almost scored on a deflection in the 3rd from high in the slot. He directs the PP when he is off the puck. 
Hags - So much speed, yet his strength is as a digger. Man, is he a dirty player! Always slashing....i believe he stands the most to gain from MSL who seems a teacher.
Stepan - I so wish he played with a little chip on his shoulder. He is strong and he buried the goal, but i would love to see him play angry....
Henrik - On the penalty shot (i was 3rd row next to canes bench so i looked straight at hank and Skinner skating in on him) he gave Skinner a good 1/3 of the net on the short side..i could only think he was trying to bait him or else his bearings were way way off...the opening was that large. and Skinner buried it. I have no idea what he was thinking..other than that super solid.
One Carolina side note. Defenseman Ryan Murphy (20 years old) is a star in the making. A standout on the ice tonight.

4 months, 2 weeks ago on Rangers 4, Rangers 2

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 Of all sports, hockey is all about heart. Its all about carrying a little (or large) chip on your shoulder. Its about that little extra effort that makes all the difference. This, my fellow Ranger fans, is about as heartless as it gets. You get a chance to BURY your rivals (and that should be the attitude coming into tonights game, BURY them) and the cardboard players that make up a good chunk of our rosters play like, well, cardboard.  Lets start with the "big" 3, Stepan, Richards and Nash. Sounds like a great package deal to me. Forget about getting value for Del Zotto. Kunitz nicks Hank (albeit not really that intentional of a move) and behind the net he is surrounded by Nash and Stepan. Boy, shaking in his skates was he. Dorsett? i remember some kind of hype about him being a player....ECHL maybe....Avery was 5 times the player despite the baggage...Falk? Why? I don't put any blame on AV, he inherited this bunch and he wants desperately to change it. On the plus side we know and see those with an edge excel, Zuc especially. The fact that our smallest guy throws himself around like their is no tomorrow. Mcd and Moore, no issues....anyway the good news is that there will be TRADES over the next week..... 

7 months, 1 week ago on Rangers vs. Penguins (Game 35)

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What a difference a year makes. Last year with the "abbreviated" 50 game schedule every game was contentious and from fans perspective highly entertaining. Back to 80+ games. Ugh. Not only that, as we all know, 9 road games in a row to start, and then 11 of the final 17 on the road as well. We close with 10 big contests like phx,calg,edm,vanc, col, otw, buf, mnt with only 2 division games being PHL and CAR.

Of course they get the revenue from the tickets and the concessions etc but man, this league could really have learned from a great year game wise in 2012-2013.....oh how i wish it were only 50, mostly in conference....

9 months, 3 weeks ago on Coyotes 4, Rangers 1

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There was a ton going on behind the curtain in this one. The Haley/Newbury activations certainly seemed to hint at one side (JT) or the other (GS) getting his way and the losing side getting upset. In either case we have lots to work with over the next few months but we must take a completely different approach to building the 2013-2014 version of this team. To win in this NHL you need size and strength, something this squad lacked. Gone are the days when Kelly Kisio types could skate around in circles...Keys to 2013-2014

GET BIGGER.

In truth, rostering one or two smaller forwards should be the max. We have a plethora of small (or small playing) forwards. Hags, Cally, Zuc, Derek D, Brassard, Richards, Powe..not even to mention basically every single guy we call up from Hartford. 

Cally sticks that is obvious. Brassard is an automatic too (listed at 6-1, 202??). Hagelin is a monster on the boards but we need a guy to dig out the puck and head to the net, where he has been very weak physically. Quite honestly, Hags, Zuc, DD, Richards and Powe could all be upgraded with size.

GET BIG SLAPSHOTS

Enough with forwards playing the blue line on Power Plays. They are not natural back there, they don't have instinct back there and god knows we dont have the right forward even if we were to continue to bang our heads against the wall with that strategy. We need big shots back there. If it is at the expense of some speed, so be it. The kind of guys that when they wind up all the players in the way really wince knowing one is coming their way. MDZ cant shoot, Stralman cant shoot, Emminger cant shoot, Staal, (i hate to say it) may never be the same an is only and isnt really a gun from back there. The only guy really looking to rip has been Moore and Danny G on occasion. We need 2 guns. Even though Stralman was key at skating us out of our zone, he and Emminger could go. MDZ could still flourish in a more offensive system. Again, at least get one Missle for the back line. Our power play has never been the same since Zubov left (the best we ever had running the show on the PP with BL).

UPGRADE MARTY B

Hank needed a break the final few weeks of the regular season and got none. Marty wasnt quite the guy he was the year before in his appearences. We are kind of stuck with him but eating that smaller contract might not be the worst thing. Let Talbot come up and tutor under Hank.

SOLUTIONS

Spend cap money obviously on Mcdonagh and Steppan. Let the offers come in for Hags and Zuc and let them walk for comp. Put their money to use by building some more size up front. A more offensive minded system will free up our talent and replace Hags and Zuc's production. Play 2 D on the PP. Find the back line gun. Anywhere, UFA, RFA, Euro, Wolfpack, i dont care. Bring up Talbot.

Now that was easy....in writing.

1 year, 1 month ago on Who Are The Initial Candidates To Replace John Tortorella?

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@McPhee37 @AnnoyingJoe This is exactly correct. Abrasive guys who shout and scream in the locker room are effective short term to wake a team up for a year or so...then it gets real old....Read about Scotty Bowman and his success...if you rant and rave every period it loses its effectivness. This team has a lot of pieces to really build something. We finally got out of the rut of buying ex great players who were on the downside of their careers...and developed youth...now we can move that model forward in what will be a very critical 2013-2014...with the right guy in place...lets hope they go the right way and get a real tactical pro back there and not another hot head.

1 year, 1 month ago on Who Are The Initial Candidates To Replace John Tortorella?

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Number 1 star this game, and the guy who gets busted on more often than not, is Torts for drilling into his teams brains not to take dumb retaliatory penalties. The Caps just seemed more interested in stirring it up in this game than scoring.....there were a few moments as there are in every game, but the head butt? come on....The Ovi crush on Mcdonagh would have put half the players in this league out for two months with a concussion. 5 minutes and a few stiches later right back at it and never looking for revenge. No one retaliated. They followed the plan to a T. Great coaching.

The closest it came was Cally's late clearing of the crease area. Still, no doubt after Boyles slash last game that JT read the riot act to these guys about retaliating. They saved and played their most disciplined game for last. 

Brassard. What can we say that we have not said already. Vision, speed, super fast hands...who knew. Throw in John Moore. Lets face it. We are not facing Boston, or maybe even in the playoffs, with Marion. 

A Penguin fan buddy told me when we got Asham...."you know, he can shoot the puck...." 2 HUGE goals for AA this series. HUGE.

While Nash may not have been on the score sheet, he has created room for others as they focus on him. He was more involved tonite and played a far better game. Maybe he is starting to learn about this playoff stuff.

Since game 1 the momentum in this series has been swinging...the Rangers got stronger game by game. By game 4 they looked the better team. In the end they were the better team. Faster, better passing, more mobile D, better in the nets. 

This team can build off of this. I think they are coming together and are becoming dangerous. Watch out.



1 year, 2 months ago on Rangers 5, Capitals 0

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Good to get a win obviously but there is a lot of work to be done defensively. The center ice zone was wide open for the Caps to skate through just about all night long. Seemed the forwards were getting over and over again and then having to work hard on the backcheck just to keep things from being 4-2, 3-2......at least no 2-1's all game that i remember and you noticed far less pinching until the end so no doubt that was a topic of discussion before this game.

Are we even in this series with Gaborik? No. Brassard's vision on the Ashem goal was great and while it's still early, John Moore???? You just dont get guys like that in deals in the NHL READY TO PLAY. 

Still we got killed on the board battles all night long. The second period was especially grueling to watch. One component of torts system that drives me nuts is how we collapse in on D and every team in the league knows if they get possession they dont even have to look, just dump it back to the wide open points....then it becomes a shot lottery. 

Ashem, who always has had a good shot, makes that play....Richards.....?

Anyway need to get a whole lot better in center ice and on the boards. If we do this is a better team than Washington that should win this series.

1 year, 2 months ago on Rangers 4, Capitals 3

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