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Senators 3, Rangers 2 (Sens Win 4-2)

Obviously it doesn’t make much sense for me to rehash the highlights as I’m assuming no one wants to re-live that disaster, so I’m just going to pass along a couple of thoughts.

– You’d think after all these years I’d know better. All the disappointments. All the letdowns. Maybe I’d learn. But once again I drank the Kool Aid. I got confident. Borderline cocky. As soon as Ottawa clinched their spot as the Rangers second round opponent, I had the Blueshirts in the Eastern Conference Final. I even got myself thinking that if the Pens and Capitals beat each other up enough, the Rangers might have a chance for another run at the Cup.

– This may be the first time in the Rangers run of 11 trips to the playoffs in the last 12 years that they lost to a team I truly expected them to beat. Maybe the Devils in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, but other than that, despite never making it easy on their fans, they always took care of lesser opponents.

– The path to the Eastern Conference Final was laid out perfectly for the Rangers, so for them to stumble, the blame has to fall at the feet of the head coach. Personnel decisions have never been AV’s strong suit, but his deployment late in Games 2 & 5 are fireable offenses. Not to mention the Rangers lackluster start to an elimination Game 6. While I’ve never been someone to pile on AV, he deserves to take a big hit here. I still think he makes it through the summer, but this failure should have him on the hottest of the hot seats to start  next season.

– I hate to be that guy, but I’m starting to think the Rangers parting ways with Lundqvist might be beneficial to both parties. Lundqvist will continue to keep the Rangers in contention every season while simultaneously masking the issues that ultimately undermine them. Until they move on from Lundqvist, I’m not sure they’ll be able to stop this vicious cycle.

– You can only count on secondary players for offense for so long. Eventually, your big dogs have to show up. They didn’t for the Rangers this postseason.

– Still waiting for that signature moment from Rick Nash in the postseason.

– Hey, at least the Rangers didn’t blow another lead tonight.

– On another positive note, my wife will finally start having sex with me again after I shave my playoff beard.

– Kreider’s third period performance was too little too late.

– While I still think Girardi should be bought out this offseason, you couldn’t have asked for a better postseason from him.

– Gorton needs to overhaul defense the way he did with the forwards last season.

– After the game, it was interesting to hear Valiquette indicate that maybe the Rangers look to expose Stepan in the expansion draft as a way to open up some cap space this offseason. Can you say Shattenkirk? Stepan had a brutal postseason, and while he’s a borderline #1 center, the Rangers are deep up the middle and he’s replaceable.

– It’s hard enough to win a series when you’re not blowing two goal leads. Or going 2-for-24 on the power play. Or having Stepan, Miller & Hayes combine for one goal against a goaltender. But to have all three happen? It’s not too hard to figure out why the Rangers are going home.

– Chris Neil better not be the reason the Rangers stopped hitting Karlsson the final two games.

– Not the best time for Smith/Skjei to have their worst game of the series.

– While the Rangers absolutely overachieved this season, I’m sick to my stomach that they won’t be going to the Eastern Conference Final. It would have been easier for me to accept a first round defeat to the Canadiens than the disappointment of losing to the inferior Senators. Crushed.

– Finally, I just want to thank everyone for accepting me back into the Rangers blogosphere after my two year sabbatical. Your readership and support means the world to me and was a big reason for my comeback. I’ll be addressing what my plans are for the blog this offseason shortly. Stay tuned.

Remember to follow me on TwitterFacebook & Instagram or e-mail me at nyrfan94@yahoo.com.

43 thoughts on “Senators 3, Rangers 2 (Sens Win 4-2)

  1. Kevin it’s been a joy reading your blog and I love that you take the time to reply to our comments. I pretty much agree with what you wrote except the part about moving on from Hank. He deserves a shot playing behind a decent defense and I think Gorton will make some welcome changes this summer. Let’s face it – they beat Montreal because Hank was in God mode and it made us giddy. But it was not sustainable especially since our “top” players were definitely not performing that way. And I’m not just talking about Step, Kreider, Miller etc. What was up with the Captain? He legitimately had 3 horrible games in this series. With Hank playing well in only 3 out of the 6 games, it just wasn’t gonna cut it. The total lack of a killer instinct and the incredible level of ineptitude at closing out Games 2 and 5 was astounding. That falls on AV as much as the players. Anyway, I hope that Gorton makes some much-needed moves and that Hank has a last (and successful) kick at the proverbial can.


  2. power play? who runs it? has it changed? he still has a job?
    lol @ beard comment. jesus, you look so young with it! youre gonna get carded for booze without it.
    thanks kevin. great comeback and write-ups were great.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly, I keep hearing trades for stepan, but with the third most points on the team during the regular season and tied for third in the playoffs, and the fact that it doesn’t seem like the other centers are hot on his tail, I’d say stepan is worth keeping, at least for now.

    Girardi proved to me that he is a serviceable Dman, as long as he gets 3rd pairing minutes. He’s a shutdown defenseman that just past his prime, we can’t expect anything more or less.

    Staal on the other hand proved to me that he needs to be cut loose. For a supposedly “offensive” defensman, the only thing offensive in his game was his defensive capability. I mean it was awful and he manages to sit alone as the sole ranger with 0 points in 11 playoff games. Shit even Klein got an assist in the ONE game he played. I really was rooting for #18, but he’s just another case of a good player that got plagued by injury and just couldn’t live up.

    I’m starting to save up for my Smith jersey. If we keep him, which we should, it won’t be long before I buy it. Reminds me of a Sauer in some way. I guess it’s that I never really hear about him unless he’s doing something defensively responsible or taking a shot.

    Before I fire AV, which I still need to mull over whether I want him gone or not is questionable, I’d much prefer to fire BA, who managed to take a solid penalty kill, make it worse and boast the 2nd worst pp. Always good. And with a team that scored the 4th most goals in the league, that’s either sad, impressive, or both. We need someone that can turn our pp into a threat, and Allaire just isn’t doing it.

    Other than that, most of the team was pretty serviceable. Despite it all, that was one of the most enjoyable seasons to watch. I’d say this line-up was the closet we’ve ever come to having a legit cup winning team in some time. I just hope the staff gets their heads straight and really pulls it all together before the magic goes away.

    Kevin and Neill, thanks for keeping the blog alive for another season. It’s been through a lot, but hopefully it’ll remain. You guys rock and I’d buy you each a cold one if I could.

    Goodnight everyone. And for now, Go Caps!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Benoit Allaire is the Goaltending coach. I think you mean fire Scott Arniel. And yes, the power play is a joke and they should fire Scott Arniel.


      1. And have you seen Hank’s PP numbers? He’s on the ice every minute and 0 shots on goal, and like 3 assists for the whole season. He’s total garbage on the PP and needs to be taken off. (Yea, I effed up, sorry aboot that Allaire)


    2. I am/was a Stepan fan. But his NMC kicks in on July 1st. His cap hit will be 6.5 m I believe. I think the team will sign shattenkirk but need to make room. He has not done anything worth his cap hit. Agree on girardi and staal. Both are bad. I was really routing for girardi until he cost the rangers a game by going down to one knee (again). They’re both liabilities. Coaching choices were suspect. Scott Arneil need some to be given a ticket out of town.

      DISsapointing end but not surprising.
      HAve Hayes and Miller been out of town?


    3. To be honest, this team really only needs a few tweeks to the defense and they should be contenders once again. But is the organization ready to cut ties to Girardi or Staal or will they look to make a big move by jettisoning Stepan or Nash.


    4. I’ve been defending Step a lot over the past 2 seasons but his average play and lack of compete this post season makes me think it would be better to part ways. His “3rd highest” only include 2 goals I believer one empty net and mainly secondary assists


  4. This Ranger team been trying to win without a #1 center, an aging and beat up defense,with Highest paid player being the goaltender, a stubborn coach who does not in game adjust and likes teams that lack grit players. And as we have all said in the past this team goes as far as Henrik takes us and let’s face it except for a few games in Montreal series was less than Kingly all year. Just look at OT goal in Ottawa game 5. Never saw him look worse on that goal. The no trade contracts for Staal Girardi Henrik Stepan Nash now coming back to haunt the organization and they just extended AV for 3 more years. Now are you waiting to hear the good news? Well there isn’t any as this organization which I have been watching fir 54 years never can seem to get out of there own way. They put spit and glue on it to competeevery year but never get themselves in position to get the Crosby McDavid Matthews type player to build around. They got lucky with Henrik on the 220 pick and they go after other teams players after most of there best years have been used. There most recent trick is to give away draft picks and make up for it by signing the young free agents who don’t want to play for the drafted teams. While that trick keeps them competing it’s not a formula for the cup. The teams that win are built around star players and that star player other than Marty has not been the goaltender. Rangers have none of those but a bunch of good players which will make them compete but now needs to be overhauled. Start by trying to find new homes for all the above mentioned no trade clauses players mentioned above even though my favorite one right now Nash is on the list. He is the best all around player on the team but it still doesn’t match what they are paying him. Any fan that thinks this team built as it is is close to the cup is dillusional


  5. And to Dante. They lost how many last minute leads and OT games? You think the magic is still with them? This team peaked the year they lost to Tampa when they were clearly a better team than the cup to LA loss year but were Just too beat up to get past the lightning.


    1. I never said we had the ability to finish. But seriously look at the lineup for this year compared to 2011 or 2014 and tell me this team is distinctly worse? Yeah, we didn’t make it as far, but an inability to finish or beat down a worse team has plagued the rangers through all of those, so it’s a wash. The 2011 didn’t have a single player score over 30 goals, but had like half of the team with 25+ points. Same with 2014, we had depth coming out of our asses

      The point I was making was that this rangers roster (and coaching staff) had beautiful moments of being a great team that could win a cup. I just think that we’re closer with the roster choices we’ve made.


  6. I M O …we under performed & it was our undoing…
    CANt not close out games with leads….
    usual reasons for the loss last nite …
    #1 goalie Anderson beat HANK …
    as usual all will be overly critical of A V’s deployment & other wise ..notmystyle,
    I E Zucc standing right next to Hoffman BUT looking other way when tip deflect play GOAL …
    Stones goal was a back breaker & D missed the play to make…
    D last nite was the weakest of the series : OTTs found sum game
    we missed our plays ….Ryans down the left side was a nothing play we let grow into a GOAL…
    O K off season… Probably the most important off season since last expansion draft ..gonna change the profiles of all the teams …
    Our biggest need is atop center we can get
    Exposure for NYR must be guys like NAsh Hank Stepon unless contractually written to must protect….
    Buy outs ,trades ,F A ,s all are in play to have another successful off season
    like last ,we didnt know what to expect this year and were pleasantly surprised …. I see a strong off season for NYR and a promising future..L G R
    if not traded so if picked we have the cap space & personnel to replace…

    Kev thanx for picking up the puck when we needed ..hope to bring back the old guard for next season and really have some debates and discussions…L G R

    Liked by 1 person

  7. First of all, welcome back to blogging Kevin, I never saw your first run at this medium, but you’re easily one of, if not the best in Rangerworld.

    We all know professional sports are viewed differently by fans, athletes and owners. It’s time for us fans to take a sip from the owner’s cup and understand how the business side affects us as much as them.

    Hank. The fanbase is all over the world on this one player. The reality is, he will not improve as he ages. Short of cybernetic implants in the offseason, his reaction time and overall athleticism will fade each year. It’s facts, it’s understandable, BUT he still carries an $8.5M cap hit each of the next three years. The better goalie in this series makes around $4M iirc, Hanks back-up gets what, $1.5M. Is Hank really 5x better than Raanta? That can be argued vehemently on both sides, but the reality is that the money tied up in Hanks contract is JUST as damaging to the team as the money currently wasted on Staal and Girardi. It’s money that can’t be used to bring in a Shattenkirk or an Ovechkin-class sniper.

    If you want to win the cup, sacrifice your sentimentality.

    I wholeheartedly agree that Girardi gave us his best in this offseason, and tbh I think that sets the stage for him to retire gracefully and proud rather than be denigrated and chased out of the building.

    Kreider. I want to love this kid, but the erratic swings of “KREIDER!” and “Ohhhh Chris” moments make me wonder if the way Torts treated him has given him some sort of hockey PTSD. Is it him, is it the coaching? I don’t know. He has the potential to be our Ovi, the size, the speed, if only he could be turned ON for a solid 20 mins every game, but alas such has not yet been the case.

    AV. He has to go. I give him kudos for the Glass move in games 3 and 4, but will crucify him for keeping him in there in 5 and 6. I said the other day, Ottawa counters Glass with Neil and while we keep him (Glass) in there, we stop playing physical and snotting Karlsson every chance we get ALL WHILE NEIL IS IN THE BOX FOR 12 F-ING MINUTES!!!!!! Lump the assistant coaches in there too, how we can be more dangerous in 4v5 situations than 5v4 and then look like blind paraplegics when faced with a 6v5 situation …what in the fuck man? Buek needs less time slicking his hair back and more time paying attention to the D-pairs he’s using in crunch time.

    Ignoring games 3 and 4 where Ottawa seemed to just mail it in themselves, Stepan simply went invisible, Hayes equally so. Miller took the series off. Kreider and Zibanejad peeked in a few times. Vesey had a bad night last night, but I’d have to say that overall, he and Lindberg were the two most consistently solid forwards for the series. That’s a problem.

    Mid season we’d have all said we’d be happily surprised with a second round birth, but once we got here, the kool-aid was soooo tasty. The team needs some shakeups, if Dolan et al learn nothing from this, then we are doomed to repeat this again and again.

    Last but not least, hats off to Ottawa who simply didn’t listen to the rest of the world who said they stood no chance. They showed up each night (maybe not quite as enthusiastically for games 3 and 4) and played all 60 minutes of regulation and every minute of OT to come away with a rightfully earned entrance to the EC Finals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Hank’s contract is an albatross take is irrelevant. He EARNED his contract because he was one of the best (if not the best) goalies in the league over several years. He is still an elite goaltender as he just proved in these very playoffs tending net with some questionable defense in front of him. He basically stole the Montreal series and in 4 of the 6 games vs Ottawa (1,3,4,6) he had a combined sv% of .939 and a GAA of 1.75. In the 2 overtime games where they had a team wide meltdown (emphasis on team) he gave up 11 goals and posted an .845. Those numbers would have looked drastically different if the TEAM had been able to close out those games in regulation. He was certainly not blameless in those losses (or in the other two for that matter) but to suggest that finishing 2 rounds of the playoffs with a .927 sv% and a 2.25 GAA was somehow not enough is expecting way too much. But that is par for the course with respect to Hank’s critics who think he should singlehandedly win the Rangers a Cup. Fix the defense by giving up a good forward (Stepan?) and buying out either Girardi or Staal. That gives Hank a chance at a Cup in the city he loves …


      1. The reason why a lot of fans want Lundqvist gone because he just is not worth 8.5mil. Is it an albatross contract? i dont think so. I dont believe he earned his contract, he was great for the years but I wouldnt go out and say he was flat out the BEST. Its just a horrible management move to give him 8.5mil for a goalie. Its honestly just mind boggling. The reason most fans are upset is because if Raanta was in net for the playoffs the results most likely would have been the same. Raanta in the net for the regular season, same thing. So why pay 8.5 mil when someone can do it for 4-5mil. I would take a karlsson or a keith over Lundqvist any day. Lundqvist stock is up right now and might be the last time in his career, they need to trade him. Its time to face the fact, Lundqvist will never bring NY a cup.


  8. Very disappointing indeed. What it comes down to is that some players play with heart and character and others do not and in realigning this team the GM needs to know character players win or lose championships, which aren’t necessarily the ones with the highest stats. No need to name names, we all have a pretty good idea of who is lacking heart on this roster, and of those lacking in I testinal fortitude which player in particular doesn’t play at 101% despite being well paid after 2 hold outs no less which really says a lot about a player’s character and team commitment. As well Nash became invisible again after a good first round, but then again he played on the line with said player who’s not to be named so it may not be his fault. Vesey was excellent and falls high under the category of our character players, what a great pick up and would have had more than 1 goal if he was not on the same line as player to not be named. Also it was nice to see what Kreider can do even if it was limited to October , then one period last night. If only he could get his Brain wired right he’d be a dominant force out there. Then there was one other center who’s nickname rhymes with lazy who I’d love to see moved for someone with character. Then there’s Hank jawing at his players everytime he gives up a goal instead of staying focused as his GAA started waning .. and unnamed player telling him to calm down… this did not seem like a happy team in a sport where team chemistry is king. You’d think they’d pull it together facing elimination but instead only played desperate in the 3rd. Girardi though Limited has heart and character and would love to see him stay around while unnamed player gets bought out or exposed. Just some tweaks to fix center position and get a few more character players in here and we may be in contention next season. We’ll see.

    The blog has been fun and thank you Kevin for doing it!! .


    1. I get what you’re saying, IF AV is let go. I don’t trust AV to move G to the third line and rest him occasionally. In that case, I’d rather he goes into the sunset now with a modicum of grace and with his head held high. I think he has more than earned that. Staal simply has not been the same since the puck2eye injury and tbh understandably so.


  9. Kevin – Great to have you back. As I mentioned last year, I am a Rangers fan living in South Jersey. I get nothing in my news media about the Rangers, so I really turn to you to get the info I can’t see watching highlights or the Score App.

    I agree with your observations. Staal has to go. As previously stated, not the same after taking one to the eye. it would be great to leave Stepan open to LV, but why would they take him?
    Love the youth movement. AV needs to trust them more. Game 2 and 5 were on AV. Unacceptable to give up two late goals with the goalie pulled (three if you count MTL). How can the PP still be broken?


    1. howdy craptin! whats new? i too feel nothing. nothing shocking occurred. they went about as far as they could. some players totally disappeared, but i think thats part of being a younger player. I’m tired of the the same old goats but we all knew that this was how it was going to be for quite some time. had lots of fun watching what i could in the regular season though and it was great to watch zucc and the kids play, peppered with some nash sightings.
      all the best to you and yours!


  10. Yes this one stings as Ottawa was so beatable. If you’re an opponent, who on the Rangers do you hate to see on the ice ? In crunch time who will the coach double shift to make sure important business is being taken care of ? I don’t think there is anyone. Karlsson, with his hairline fractures was better than anyone on our team. Power Play 2/24 was also our undoing. A 4 minute PP last night could have turned things positive for us. Didn’t happen. Bottom line, on paper we were good enough to beat the Senators but the game is played on ice and the Rangers left their heart in the locker room. Looking forward to what hopefully will be an eventful summer. Sept will be here soon enough.


  11. Although I agree that the PP stinks, it hasn’t been good since the Jagr days. When you score 4 or 5 goals in a game and have Henrik in the net you would like to think you could get the job done. But not win any of them? Most of that blame goes on the D but your forwards need to play better 2 way hockey.
    AV style is quick out of their end and look for the long pass which means forwards are not full committing to D in their end.That and Hank being less Kingly is the Key reason for their failure.
    AND THEY DON”T HAVE A NUMBER 1 CENTER. How many years we been saying that now.
    This year their #1 didn’t even play like a # 3 especially in playoffs. Anyone remember when 20+ games Stepan went without a goal? The one year they went to cup finals they lost to a team that was better down the middle.


  12. Well, I recall, after last year’s pens beat down, most of us were resigned to this being a terrible year. Gorts pulled a few stellar moves and while it didn’t play out like the promise of the first couple weeks of high scoring offense, it was a fun year. I’m sure people that shelled out the big bucks for season tickets got tired of showing up for uninspired home losses, but watching this team on the road was a blast. Who can forget that comeback in Columbus punctuated by Grab’s breakaway backhand winner?
    Big, hard decisions to be made this offseason. I am not qualified to make such moves so I will let the FO do it and I will root for whomever they put out there in Ranger jerseys.
    Kevin, thanks for coming back! The blog posts are better than ever. Get the comments section back to what it was and you will be nominated for Blog HOF. Oh yeah, thanks to Neill too for keeping it on life support.


  13. Major disappointment is what i feel, ottawa team was really inferior team but they played their hearts out there. The problems are definitely in our yard, starting with awfull defence, lack of at least one superstar that can lit the lamp at will and of course, coaching decisions that killed us. Unfortunately in this NHL where every team has a legit chance for the win you have to have some players that will be the differnece in the playoffs. After i watched the movie about Rangers stanley cup win in ’94 i realized this team doesn’t have true leadership. Without it thing happend like yesterday, team shows up flat at elimination game.
    I think we need major personel changes. We really need to get rid of Girardi, Staal, Glass, Nash and Stepan. Sorry but he is not a 1st line center on team that hopes to win a stanley cup.
    I just don’t see this team winn it all without superstar elite centerman and norris trophy candidate defenseman. If Gorton doesn’t do something this summer i hope he will be fired along with Vigneault.
    Better luck next year, right?


  14. Pretty sure last off-season everyone realized that it was going to be really difficult to fix what was wrong with the defense and still have cap room. That issue, seems to me, is more a function of past management than it is current management. Time will still be needed to rectify these issues.

    Maybe it’s just me but the players involved here are not the problem…. again, the problem is that the GM’s hands are tied.

    I’m a long-time fan of the NYR… I really don’t care for the insults that are thrown at some of these guys. I hated Wade Redden… was it his fault he was a Ranger? I think we know the answer to that. Mark Staal and Dan Girardi were once the EARLY building blocks of the run the Rangers have had. They’ve been through the wars and you can easily see the impact.

    If Henrik was 25 instead of 35… bla bla bla. He isn’t… and he’s not going to be that again. Time to start grooming the kids. Raanta’s a good backup, but he’s not the future for this team.

    Did someone suggest firing Gorton? He just got his ass in the chair…

    This team had a much better year than I expected. They need to stay the course and keep bringing in young talent and some veteran leadership and skill.

    The coach is another issue.



    1. I think they have a real chance to upgrade the defense this summer. Buyout Girardi or Staal and if more cap space it needed, potentially move Stepan. Then sign Shattenkirk and re-sign Smith. To me, that’s enough to make the Rangers a legit contender next year.


  15. Kevin,

    Here are my thoughts:

    -We all drank the kool aid-and like the folks that made that statement popular-we died from it!l

    – they always took care of lesser opponents. Let us say Amen1z

    – The path to the Eastern Conference Final was laid out perfectly for the Rangers-heck we were cheering loses down the so we wouldn’t catch Pitt or Columbus!

    – First playoff series I couldnt say Hank has no blame here…yet we have been blessed with his presence.

    –We only have secondary players-contrary to what their contracts say.

    – Nash had his signature moment-you just didn’t realize it. I still like the guy-just at half that paycheck.

    – On another positive note, my wife will finally start having sex with me again after I shave my playoff beard. Your wife is praying you keep the beard!!!

    – Kreider’s third period performance was too little too late. I thought his highpoint was siding into Karlsson…shame he only did it once…I am talking only legal hits here!

    – Girardi was their 3rd best defensemen-solid play-a true warrior—#4-6 sucked..Dan Boyle would have ranked betterq

    – Gorton needs to overhaul defense the way he did with the forwards last season.I think he need to overhaul the goaltending (Talbot-we miss ya), defense and forward lines,

    – Stepan has got to g0

    – Chris Neil better not be the reason the Rangers stopped hitting Karlsson the final two games. If thats the case-Glass has got to drop the gloves.

    – Not the best time for Smith/Skjei to have their worst game of the series.

    –I am sick about the loss,as well-but I want to wish Craig Anderson the best–his wife is battling cancer…I have to wish him the best. Also -in the game he was pulled at the garden-he was chatting with a young Ranger fan- from the bench-that is why hockey is a great sport-the people whi play ito play it!

    – Finally, I just want to thank everyone for accepting me back into the Rangers blogosphere after my two year sabbatical. You were gone?


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  17. Gee Trisha….here’s a few thoughts:

    Why didn’t you and your co-worker just take the same job. Are there unlimited positions available?
    I would jump at the opportunity, but I’m awaiting a call to becoming me the new Director of the FBI
    Was this a $25,000 condo she paid $557,000 for? If so,I can also sell her mine.
    Is she also going to buy the Rangers?


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