NYR/PHI Recap: Trade Deadline, Zucc, Special Teams, Faceoffs, WBB Party, MDZ & More

My pregame picture that I tweeted out

Welcome to another blog here on DOINOW.com. As always, thanks for your support and spreading the word. Don’t forget to tip your bartenders, try the soup at the Bold O’Donoghue’s, don’t cough & fart at the same time (Never pretty afterwards) and always, ALWAYS, use “IN CAM WE TRUST” as your personal motto.

This has been a great week for me. Having a week off from work in this weather isn’t the end of the world. While I’d rather the paycheck, I would rather not be out in these cold ass freezing temperatures. My other union construction buddy, the infamous JEFFREY, was also off all week. In turn, as you could tell by the last three blogs here (and don’t forget to check out the archives on the right hand of the site) JEFFREY & I attended every game in this past homestand. All three games were different.  The Rangers needed a shoot-out win to put away Columbus. The Rangers shut-out the Flames 1-0. The Rangers played sloppy, but came back to win to beat the Coyotes  with under 3 minutes left. While all the games were 1 goal wins, the Rangers found a different way to win each time.

Since JEFFREY and I took the LIRR on Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday night, our plan was to keep our non-consecutive day streak going and head to Hudson Station for the WeBleedBlue.com Rangers vs Flyers party. However, late Friday night, I got sick and it just got worse. As I write these words, I have to puke from coughing so much, have a runny nose and basically feel like Henrik Lundqvist after playing the Islanders this season. In other words, not good.
With the Islanders vs Hurricanes on at 5PM, the Rangers/Flyers at 8, I just grabbed out the Dayquil and got ready to see who would be in first place by the time Saturday Night Live came on. What a day of hockey.

Before getting into the meat and potatoes of this blog, and talking the game, I have to weigh in on the Zuccarello trade rumors.

ZUUUUUUUUUUUUC!

If you follow me on Twitter or on the facebook, you may have read me comment on this a bit. However, let me expand my points here. I’m a firm believer that the Rangers DO NOT have to trade Zucc. What we know right now is that Zuc is looking for $5M-$5.5M a year. The Rangers are offering $4.5M.

Couple of things:

Is this what the NHL wanted when they instituted the salary cap? Even when it’s not the trade deadline, all you read about on blogs, NHL.com, twitter, facebook, etc is about the cap and player contracts. There is more focus on what guys are getting paid and their value vs the cap than their production on the ice.

I get why there is a cap. Perhaps several franchises would’ve folded without it. But do you know what? Maybe be a sports owner isn’t for you. I know the cap will be going up next year, but it’s not going up enough. I wish we could go back to the days of no-cap. Sure it benefits the Rangers, but really, how many Cups did they win under Sather’s free spending ways? The answer – 0. Just because you spend money doesn’t mean you will win automatically. Look at baseball. Outside of 2009, the Yankees spend the most in baseball, but have only won 1 World Series in 15 years.

You gotta do something about this cap. Gary Bettman has been the worst commissioner in the history of sports, with 3 lockouts under his watch but the reason he keeps a job is because he works for the owners. The owners love the salary cap. However, you got more fans visiting Capgeek.com than NHL.com.

How I will feel if Slats trades Mats

The salary  cap also punishes teams for winning. A team like the Blackhawks, that have done everything right, especially at drafting and cultivating new talent, had to give up on Leddy & Hayes this year. Leddy is one of the huge reasons for the Islanders turnaround while Hayes is having a hell of a rookie campaign. Maybe they can change the cap and add a provision to increase cap room for homegrown talent? I don’t know. All I know is I hate the cap. I hate the cap in the NFL and hate it here.

I know the counter-argument, parity is great for the sport, small market, yadda, yadda, yadda, but I would love to see a dynasty. Why did everyone hate the Heat &  Lebron in the NBA? Because they won  Why did every non-Yankee fan despise the Yankees in the late 90’s? Because they won. Every good story has a good guy and a bad guy. Having 30 teams in a dreamworld of equality isn’t fun. I want to hate Crosby. I want to cheer for my team to beat his brains in.

The salary cap is the equivalent of little kids playing sports where they don’t keep score. Everyone is a winner. Fuck that. If you’re an owner that doesn’t want to spend money, then you don’t belong owning a team. If the NHL is worried about losing franchises, don’t worry, Kansas City, Seattle, Quebec, Las Vegas and even Portland are looking for teams.

The sparkplug of the NYR

There is no reason to trade Zuccarello right now, unless it’s out of spite. The Rangers are anywhere from $500,000-$1M off from what Zucc wants. Again, it goes back to Henrik Lundqvist. Hank says he wants to win at all costs, but threatens to leave, then gets the most money out of any goalie in the salary cap era. Now the Rangers are forced to penny pinch. Without the cap, Zucc is here and you would never hear me talk about Hank’s deal. I’m not the only one. All over the place do you just hear fans talk about contracts, just as much as the games themselves. It’s the league Bettman built.

If Hank took a fair market/hometown discount deal, Zucc is a slam dunk. Is Zucc worth $5M? Well when you see what the Rangers have been paying out their defensemen, with the top 3 averaging $6M a year and Dan Boyle getting $4.5M a year, then yea, Zucc has a right to ask for that. Especially since he took less this year to stay a Blueshirt. He’s not established like Hank or Boyle, who have had their big money paydays. This will be his first deal, where he’s hoping to build a legacy and bond with NY. I understand his viewpoint and I hope Sather is trying to publicly upstage Zucc by making it known he’s available for trade, but fuck, I hope Zucc signs that $4.5M deal and stays here.

If you’re Sather, what is the reason to trade Zucc? You’re mad that he didn’t take your first offer? Who are the Rangers really going to get instead of Zucc? A center? Ok, but who replaces Zucc on the wing? Another defenseman? Again, who takes Zucc’s spot on the Nash line, the most productive line the Rangers have? Why would you break up the chemistry on and off the ice? Zucc is not only one of the most beloved players by fans, he’s also loved in the locker room. That’s why he has a TV show with his teammates, instead of say a Henrik Lundqvist, who has a TV show by himself.

I just like posting this pic to piss people off! Where’s your sense of humor folks?

We will find out by Monday night if #36 remains a Ranger. It is funny, I bet if Zucc stays, you will see a surge of jersey sales because I know a lot of people who want to buy a Zucc jersey but don’t want to get “Del-Zotto’d” or “Dubinksied”.

 

There is no good argument to move Zucc. This is a Cup-contending team. Why break that up? This isn’t Cally for MSL. I don’t know if the Rangers make the Cup with Cally. MSL really pulled the Rangers out of that PIT series that Hank went down 3-1 to Fleury to. Yea the Rangers didn’t score, but dropping 3 games to Fleury is depressing. Plus in MSL, you got a guy who wants to finish here and will work with you on a deal.

 

For the Rangers, there is no one on the current market, unless something really breaks through, that makes sense to deal for Zucc for. Let him finish out his deal. All you’re going to do is deal for another rental most likely anyway.

 

Zucc may not have the best stats this season, but he does so many little things on the ice. If the Rangers are looking to improve, they should’ve known what everyone else knew in January and dumped Tanner Glass & bring up Anthony Duclair. Now you’re stuck with Tanner Glass, making $1.5M for his one assist all year.

Some people will whine about me dumping on Hank’s deal again. Do you know what? Talbot has proved that Hank is replaceable. You can say what you want about the GAA, but do you know what, the Rangers are scoring and winning games. You don’t need an $8.5 million goalie is my point. It was a great deal for Hank to sign that, but it hurts the team. If he wants to be a King, he needs a crown and he hurts himself by taking the king’s share of money. Spread that love to the guys getting you all these goals for. You want to complain about your help and “we need to skate better” after a loss? Then share the money. That’s all. We all know Hank is a great goalie, but in this cap era, he really needed to take less to help his team out, especially when he’s well paid and has endorsements already.

 

In closing on this subject, all I gotta say is WE WANT ZUCC!

—-

Michael Del Zaster

The Rangers had the Saturday night NBC game, their last of February. The Rangers came into this game with house money, as the Islanders dropped a game at home to the lowly Carolina Hurricanes. The Rangers, joining the Islanders in the L column tonight, remain 2 points out of first place, with three games in hand. While the Rangers lost a freebie game, what stung the most, was not they didn’t catch first place, but that it was that porn star stalker, Michael Del Zaster, scoring the GWG.

JEFFREY and JOHNNY!Check out this link to see John Amirante sing the National Anthem at the WBB party!:

http://t.co/K9XIlDxeiQ

While I was sick at home, JEFFREY was texting me pictures from the WeBleedBlue party. We were both amped for this game. After all, it was a freebie, with the Islanders losing to the ‘Canes. The game started off perfectly, with Stepan scoring a goal, 7 seconds into the game. However, the refs called Chris Kreider offside and took away the goal. I’ve never seen that before. If anything, a goal from the distance Stepan scored from should be worth 3 points. I don’t even think the refs reviewed it, they were hellbent on taking it back. That would be the goal that eventually cost the Rangers points in the standings. These NHL referees just do whatever they want, whenever they want.

If you are looking for a quick recap, this was a game once again made up of special teams and faceoffs. The Rangers got dominated on both. The powerplay had as much life as kid fighting cancer and aids at the same time. In the third period alone, the Rangers lost 15/20 faceoffs, which did them no favors when they were chasing a goal, because Michael Del Zotto scored a short-handed goal on them. A lot of the Rangers problems have been swept under the rug because they have been winning, and this being a house money game, it won’t be as blown up, but the faceoffs and the anemic powerplay will do them no favors come the playoffs.

Vermette was traded to the Blackhawks tonight, which is good news for Zucc

The Rangers, who should’ve had a 1-0 lead, had the momentum switch hands when Matt Read trickled one past Talbot. The Rangers couldn’t get a clear, and after a ton of chances, Read finally slipped one past Talbot. It was a bad goal, but the Rangers defense looked like they had bricks under their skates.

The goal was quickly erased when JT Miller backhanded one past Steve Mason, just 18 seconds later. 1-1 and the game went to the first intermission.

Talbot, who I thought played well tonight, has these games where he gives up one bad goal, then stops everything. Talbot shut down many breakaways and one timers after this, even robbing #28 in orange. Talbot bailed out McDonagh on a bad turnover in the first. You had to feel happy with Talbot’s performance.

If he gets $4.5M a year, Zucc should get $100M a year

Dan Boyle was a complete shit show tonight. Whether it was missing the net by a mile, seeing if he could make more turnovers than Geno Smith, missing stick checks, getting blown by or having the puck ripped off his stick, Boyle did it all. The Rangers have a Broadway Hat to celebrate the best player of the game. Boyle deserves to be thrown down the Rangers Broadway Portopotty after his shitty performance tonight. I mean, even fucking Tanner Glass, yes, that fucking Tanner Glass, got an assist tonight!

The Rangers took an early lead in the second period, after yes, TANNER GLASS, got his second point of the season, by assisting on a John Moore slapshot goal. The Flyers tying goal in the first was courtesy of Dan Boyle. Dan Boyle was ready. Boyle passed up an open look, after missing several shots by a country mile earlier in the game, turned over the puck and led to Read’s goal.

While John Moore would make the score 2-1, Raffl deflected in a pass by Coburn, making the score 2-2.

Again, Talbot would have a ferocious ending to the second period, but would stop all comers. It’s amazing how the Rangers can play night and day. As the game went on, the Rangers got tired and looked lifeless, outside of a late rush in the third.

The Rangers earned a powerplay heading into the the tied 2-2 third period. But Dan Boyle was there to make sure that score would change.

After another “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING BOYLE?” play, Del Zotto skated right by #22 for an open breakaway. This would be the breakaway goal that went in, as Talbot was beat, by self-admittedly, a nice shot by the porn star stalker, Michael Del Zaster. 3-2, early into the third.

Slumping?

Rick Nash, who has been having neck spasms, is on a several game goal scoring drought. Nash had many looks tonight, but is always in front of the net on the horrendous Rangers PP, which limits some good chances. He needs to be more wide open so he can make a move, rather than be forced to make a quick deflection. He seems wasted in the middle.

With 5 minutes to go, the Rangers made a huge rush on Mason and Mason put on a clinic. What was probably 3 saves, it felt like 50, as Mason stopped shots from all angles and depths. It won the game. Helping Mason’s cause were the Rangers going 0-3 on the PP, with 3 shots. The Rangers then got dominated in the third period, losing every possible faceoff and Hagelin getting busted with a high sticking penalty with three minutes to go. The Rangers, outside of the one rush that Mason played remarkably during, had no gas in the third period.

The sky isn’t falling because of this one loss, but the Rangers had one of their games where they didn’t play a full 60 minutes, had faceoff issues once again, a terrible showing during special teams and allowed the opposition way too many quality looks at the net. It came back to bite them tonight, as they weren’t able to outscore their mistakes.

MILLER TIME

The Miller/Hayes/Hags line looked good once again tonight. Surprisingly enough, Stempy/Glass/Moore showed some some spark as well. While Nash & Zucc had looks, they couldn’t it going. I don’t know if that helps Zucc going into the deadline. This one game means nothing, in the grand scheme of things. I don’t want to lose Zucc, even if other Ranger fans are screaming that the sky is falling after this loss.

Moving forward, the Rangers host the best team in the league, the Nashville Predators on Monday, then embark on a grueling 5 game roadtrip. These final 6 weeks will be a real test for the NYR, as many tough teams are on the docket. We will really see what this team is made of.

I’m sick as a dog, so it’s time to put a bow on this. I’ll be back Monday night with the NYR v NSH recap and hopefully talking about Zucc’s future with the NYR.

As always, LET’S GO RANGERS! IN CAM WE TRUST!

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter gimmick

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