NYR/NYI 2/16 Review: No Halak, No Problem, Lundqvist Still Can’t Win at Barclays, Alain Vigneault’s Huge Problem & The Cupcake Media That Ignores It, Trying To Figure Out What’s Worse – Micheletti or the Ice at Barclays & More From a Battle of NY Game that the Islanders Wanted More

I know I used this picture recently, but you can only work with what you’re given!

Note: The “F” word may appear in this blog.

What’s up everyone and blah blah blah. You know the deal. I’m fuming right now and because time is of the essence here, let’s get right into it.

The Rangers had their 6 game win streak snapped by their biggest rival, the NY Islanders, on Thursday night. The game, played in the worst arena in the NHL, saw the Rangers lose to their cross-town rivals, with a final of 4-2. For the Rangers, it was a bad loss because it was one of the few games this season where the other team wanted it more. In a game like this, against the homeless & broke Islanders, it’s just unacceptable.

The Islanders, who are a team without a home and have been shown the door from two arenas in the last three years, showed the Rangers how hungry they were for a playoff spot. For the Rangers, it was a pathetic effort, which to me, falls on the doorstep of Rangers coach, Alain Vigneault.

If you are an optimist, this loss “is ok”, because it keeps the dream of the Rangers playing the Atlantic division in the first two rounds of the playoffs alive. However, if the Rangers play like this in the playoffs, they will have the same fate as last year – hitting golf balls at Eisenhower Park as Tanaka throws his first pitch for the New York Yankees.

I don’t want to oversell this loss too dramatically, but some games you gotta win. This was one of them.

For Hank Lundswiss, he still can’t buy a win at Barclays, dropping to a 0-3-1 record. He’s also given up 10 goals to the Islanders in his last 3 games. Once again, another Metropolitan division rival & another playoff team (as a result of the win) were able to defeat the highest paid goalie in the league. KING!

While you can’t pin this loss solely on the Swedish meatball, he didn’t do anything to prevent the loss either. The first goal was solely on him. Playing a team known as the “Fishsticks”, it was Lundswiss flopping like a fish out of water for most of the night. While Lundswiss made some key saves in the game, including a vintage breakaway save, he once again showed that he was overpaid and overrated in 2017. The word “vintage” isn’t a compliment either. For the most money in the league, fans expect near perfection every night. Instead, he’s been borderline average all season and had a decent showing tonight. However, he wasn’t great enough and Thomas Greiss had the better night (except for when his own teammates were pushing Rangers into him!)

It will be hilarious when the Rangers start Antii Raanta against the best team in the league on Sunday, against the first place & reigning & defending President Trophy champions, the Washington Capitals. But hey, Hank beat last place Colorado for 400!

There are two things that drove me insane tonight. One was Coach Alain Vigneault. The other was Lundqvist’s press conference.

Here is what Hank said after the 4-2 loss, from SNYRangers:

  • On their intensity in the second, “WE had a stretch in the second where they came hard and WE made it hard on ourselves with a couple of turnovers that cost us. Overall it’s a good game, I feel that the third one is a killer, it’s our PP and sometimes when you have an extra man you might rely on someone else to do the job and I think that is what happened. WE didn’t communicate enough in front of the net, WE had the guys back but we didn’t sort it out. That was the difference. Overall it was a good game, WE worked hard and had some chances but when WE gave that one up it was a tough hill to climb.”
  • How close were you to covering up the puck, “it was right there, he kept hacking and whacking and the puck kept bouncing. It was right there and when it ended up behind I thought WE had the coverage. WE had 4 guys back but WE didn’t sort it out and it cost us. In a game like this where WE had some good looks 5 on 5, special teams can decide the game and it did.”

This diva egomaniac is out of fucking control. Not only does the Ranger media fluff his balls, like their name is Joe Micheletti, but most fans give him a pass. HE IS THE HIGHEST PAID GOALIE IN THE LEAGUE AND IF HE COULD STAY IN THE NET, THE RANGERS, AT THE VERY LEAST, GO INTO OT, TONIGHT. When Lundqvist won his 400th career game, it was all “I, I, I, I, I” but after a loss tonight, he says the word “WE” 10 times in 30 seconds! You have to be nuts if you think you’re winning a Cup with this guy in net. Lundswiss has no problems throwing the word “We” after a loss, just as he has no problems using  the word “I” and wearing his silly Broadway hat after beating a last place team. But hey, massage that ego Ranger fans, because for many of you, it’s about the back of the jersey, and not the front.

We all know that I have preached, ranted and raved that the best bet for the Rangers is to get Hank’s contract off this team. We all know it won’t happen, because after all, what team would be that stupid to pay an aging & regressing goalie that much money? The fact is, Raanta is better than Hank this season and just like Talbot before him, Ranger fans will leave the playoffs wondering, “What if the back-up goalie got the starts?”

How much “Big League Chew” does AV need to realize his power play sucks?

The diva goalie aside, another factor in the Rangers loss tonight is Alain Vigneault’s refusal to play Michael Grabner on the PP. I have talked about this for several games now. The Rangers powerplay is abysmal. It is a bigger joke than the Barclay’s hosting a hockey club. It is pathetic. It is atrocious. Wretched. Decrepit. Garbage. Melting shit on a concrete slab on a hot and humid day. You get the point.

However, for whatever reason, AV ignores the best goal scorer on the club and the third best goal scorer in the NHL, on every fucking PP. I know Grabner is a speed guy, but the Rangers spend so much time in their defensive zone (they even gave up a SHG tonight) that maybe Grabner’s speed would help! The Rangers even had a 4 vs 3 PP tonight, with a ton of open ice, but went to the same old squad. The PP tonight seemed content with skating around and letting McDonagh blast a shot from the point, and if it hit the net, then that was a bonus!

Not one member of the media nor one member of the MSG networks has talked about Grabner’s omission from the PP. Listen, if the PP was working, I get it. However, the PP sucks more braggiole than Mrs. Gump trying to get her son an education! It’s time to shake it up. Give the Austrian some time on the PP. What’s the worst that can happen – the Rangers don’t score and give up a SHG? That’s what happened tonight without Grabner!

The Rangers even started the third period on a four minute PP, that went absolutely no where. Sure, the Rangers scored with 5 seconds left on the PP, on a fluke goal, but this was after they gave up a SHG. It meant the Rangers were on ice without their best goal scorer for four minutes too.

You can say I’m overselling Grabner here, and maybe I am, but really – how does it hurt to give this guy some PP time? The Rangers PP is a fucking tire fire. Can someone in the media with access to AV challenge him to speak out on why Grabner gets no looks? How many times must we watch Nash get pushed away from the net, Zucc make an extra pass that goes nowhere and Stepan trying to feed McDonagh for a 90 foot shot? RI FUCKING DIC FUCKING ULOUS!

I don’t want the shit that “the PP doesn’t fit Grabner’s skill set.” How would you know? He gets no time. You know what has worked for the Rangers the last two years? Nash on the PK. That wasn’t an AV idea. That was a Mike Babcock idea, who coached Team Canada in the Olympics. Here’s a Sean McCaffrey idea that AV should steal: PUT GRABNER ON THE FUCKING PP AND I’LL BUY YOU A FUCKING PACK OF WINTERFRESH GUM! As I said, the Rangers have nothing to lose. Plus, Grabner has drawn a few penalties, so reward the guy. Watching the Rangers shit the bed like a heroin addict on every PP, has become a tiresome chore.

Watching this Rangers PP has me feeling like ALF here!

Let’s get to the official box score from ESPN.com, as we move along here:

1st Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail NYR NYI
6:23
Nick Holden (9)
Assists: Brady Skjei, Mats Zuccarello
1 0
Time Team Penalty Detail
0:46
Marc Staal: 2 Minutes for Tripping Josh Bailey
4:15
Nick Holden: 2 Minutes for Hooking Andrew Ladd

2nd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail NYR NYI
2:43
Anders Lee (22)
Assists: Josh Bailey, John Tavares
1 1
6:24
Andrew Ladd (13)
Assist: Stephen Gionta
1 2
Time Team Penalty Detail
10:49
Nick Leddy: 2 Minutes for Roughing Marc Staal
14:17
Rick Nash: 2 Minutes for Interference of Thomas Greiss
14:17
Thomas Hickey: 2 Minutes for Cross checking Rick Nash
15:02
Josh Bailey: 2 Minutes for Hooking Mats Zuccarello
19:51
Josh Bailey: 4 Minute Double Minor for High sticking Ryan McDonagh

3rd Period Summary

Time Team Scoring Detail NYR NYI
3:03
Nikolay Kulemin (10) (Shorthanded)
Assist: John Tavares
1 3
3:46
Jimmy Vesey (14) (Power Play)
Assists: Rick Nash, Brady Skjei
2 3
18:50
Andrew Ladd (14) (Empty Net)
Assist: Jason Chimera
2 4
Time Team Penalty Detail
No penalties this period

Goaltending Summary

New York Rangers Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
H. Lundqvist 0 0 0 .000 0:00 0

New York Islanders Goaltending

Player SA GA Saves SV% TOI PIM
T. Greiss 0 0 0 .000 0:00 0

Halak or Greiss, it doesn’t matter, both have no problems beating the highest paid goalie in the league.

If you’re a hockey fan, this was a great game to watch. If you’re solely a Rangers fan, this game gave you a rash.


For the first time ever, my computer crapped out. I had 6000 words here and my computer decided to shut down without saving. Sorry guys, I can’t retype 4000 more words here. What a waste of an hour for me.

Bottom line, if you’re looking to people to blame for this game, blame Lundqvist for the first goal and AV for not adjusting his PP unit.

Sorry, I just don’t have the time to retype everything again. Fucking computers, I want to punch this thing like it’s the Rangers PP.

See ya Sunday.

As always,

Let’s Go Rangers

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter.

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