Well the boys have reverted back to getting pushed around embarrassed. The second period got really going when Dan Carcillo went after Marian Gaborik from behind him. Gaborik was just trying to push him back and defend himself but ended up having to drop the gloves and get the living shit kicked out of him by the Flyers' best fighter... hysterical. Gaborik didn't throw a punch but got 5 for fighting and the Flyers wound up with a power play somehow.

Joe Micheletti was going crazy that the Rangers will respond... my question was with who? Donald Brashear played two games and fought so he's out for a month. Sean Avery dropped the gloves with Scott Hartnell and his visor... Avery demolished in 3 punches.

Sam Rosen made the game almost unwatchable as he went on about how it's a one goal game with a division rival... this being a reason the Rangers should not go after Carcillo... and Joe SOMEHOW AGREED with him. Absolutely unbelievable. We all know Sam doesn't condone fighting but as a team can you stand there and do nothing when MARIAN GABORIK is getting killed by their best fighter? Dan Girardi could watch it and ought to be embarrassed. Sean Avery could not and thankfully he was not listening to Sam or Joe.

Right after the fight, Gaborik tried to stick check Mike Richards but that's not allowed anymore. Though the league knows these sticks break when accepting passes, if it breaks when another stick touches it, it's an automatic penalty. And of course, Richards scored with 2.5 left off of Marc Staal's Skate. You can't make this stuff up. Hope you enjoyed the 2 games of goals. Now watch them go get pushed around some more in the third... wouldn't want to go after anyone and take a penalty with this "important" game so close.

It's 2-0 Flyers but it might as well be 12-0. They showed support for each other and won... seems they forgot about that and are just afraid.

Let's fight..

Something may be happening with this team. Though we had no reason to think this was coming... the Rangers are scoring goals. They scored 8 goals for the first time since 2002 when they beat the Boston Bruins 8-4. The Tampa Bay Lightning were annihilated 8-2 at the Garden, which came on the heels of a 6-2 demolition of the Montreal Canadiens. And the outburst has nothing to do with Marian Gaborik scoring... well not goals anyway.

Gaborik tied a career high with 4 assists the other night but Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Vinny Prospal and even Chris Drury are all heating up. 8 goals from 8 different scorers the other night. This team needs everyone to be involved and that may be starting to happen. Of course they could come out in Philly tonight and score 1 goal again... but there's always hope and cautious optimism. More goals equals less pressure for Henrik Lundqvist, who continues to be stellar.

Anyone else find it interesting that since they started defending themselves and each other they started playing harder scoring? Anyone surprised Donald Brashear has NOTHING to do with it? I'm not. Aaron Voros dropped the gloves :10 in with Zenon Konopka and although he lost, the building was still electric. Voros, who has been good, was rewarded with some power play time late in the game and converted a beautiful feed from Brian Boyle. Ryan Malone kicked the shit out of him later but that's ok. Brandon Dubinsky also dropped em' with Jeff Halpern with under two minutes to go.

Bottom line and memo to Gary Bettman... Fighting works.

The Rangers suffered their most embarrassing loss to the Flyers in the Garden 6-0 last time they faced each other... Gaborik has a goal and 6 assists in the last two... Dubinsky has 3 goals and 3 assists in the last 2.


Signs of Life...

The Rangers are reading and listening to the Blueshirt Beat. Two days after flipping out about how this team doesn't care about each other... they come out hitting and fighting for one another. They ended up blowing out the Montreal Canadiens 6-2 in the Garden Sunday. The Garden was packed and as juiced as it has been all year.

Sean Avery has been fired up and playing closer to himself lately. He went at it with Josh Gorges and knocked him down in the end... did a good job getting Gorges' face shield off before blasting him a few times in the face. The Garden exploded when Avery raised his hands on his way to the box.

How about Wade Redden? He was singled out by me the other day and all of the sudden he's ready to drop the gloves. He fought a much bigger Benoit Pouliot and what happened? The Garden went bananas especially because it was Redden stepping in for teammates.

The Blueshirts finally stepped up and defended one another. The building rewarded them and they rolled. Maybe there is a little life in this team but they need to build on it. As for the game Ryan Callahan was fantastic with 2 goals and 2 assists, including a great individual effort on Brandon Dubinsky's second period short-handed goal that tied the game at 2. Dubinsky added another goal and had an assist. Of course Marian Gaborik scored again, and added 2 assists.

Rumors are starting to fly again about Vinny Lecavalier tonight with the Rangers facing the Lightning tonight. The Ottawa Sun recently had the Rangers sending Matt Gilroy, Wade Redden, and either Ryan Callahan or Brandon Dubinsky for Lecavalier. Tampa GM Brian Lawton called the rumors "complete B.S.".


Cassee Was Angry 2day...

Rangers got embarrassed on home ice by the Ottawa Senators 2-0 and here's why...



Vinny Prospal returned for the Rangers and the offense exploded on the Devils with a season high 51 shots. Unfortunately, Martin Brodeur was standing in front of them and nothing got by. I guess you can give them an "A" for effort though as they do salvage a point (9-1-3 in last 13).

Henrik Lundqvist and Brodeur were fantastic in this game. It was about as exciting as a 1-0 game could be. Back and forth action and spectacular saves at both ends. Brodeur was just better stopping every shot he faced all night and adding to his constantly growing NHL record of 107 career shutouts.

The difference for the Blueshirts this year is the shootout has become a weakness and is losing them games. You can almost feel every player sawing his stick off in his hand skating in. Erik Christensen, who is supposed to very good at it, didn't even get a shot off. I've never seen a team that doesn't get shots off in a shootout as much as this one (see Kotalik and Callahan the other day against Atlanta). John Tortorella continues to trot Marian Gaborik out there but he's been awful in his career and this year going 1 for 5 so far. But really who else can he send out there?

The problem remains scoring and where is it going to come from? Prospal played 21:14 in this one and Gaborik was good... but no goals. When will someone else step up for this team? It just can't be that they're running into a hot goaltender every time out... it just can't.

The Rangers have lost 6 straight overtime/shootout games since beating Florida in a shootout November 25th... Fans chanting "Marrrr-ttyyyyy" before the shootout apparently didn't bother him.


Prospal returns...

Vinny Prospal will be back in the lineup against the Devils tonight. He's been out since December 26th when he injured his right knee in the loss to the Islanders. The Rangers went 4-3 in his absence.

The interesting question now is what happens to Erik Christensen? He's had 3 goals and 4 assists in 6 games playing with Marian Gaborik since Prospal went down. I don't see why you couldn't have a line of Gaborik-Christensen-Prospal so we'll see how it plays out.

The Devils come in 31-11-1 this year. One reason is because they're consistent but another one is they can score goals... into the opposition's net and everything. They're led by Zach Parise's 20 goals and 26 assists but they also have 5 other players with over 10 goals. The Rangers have two... TWO GUYS with 10 goals or more and Ryan Callahan just got to that number.

Hopefully Prospal's return can help the Rangers but it's not as if they were scoring a lot before he went down. I have no reason to believe the scoring is going to heat up any time soon.


Hanging Chad...

Only the Rangers could lose to a team that hadn't won in 9 games. Rookie goalie Chad Johnson was spectacular trying to keep his team in it and had a shutout going into the third. Sean Avery returned to Mr. Invisible and Marian Gaborik didn't score so... yeah 1 goal seems about right.

Marc Staal got it started taking the puck from Johnson behind his net and flying up right side of the ice. He pulled up just inside Atlanta's blue line before he whistled a perfect pass to Enver Lisin who tipped in his 5th of the season. That should have been enough right?

A bad line change by Chris Drury left Brian Boyle defenseless to stop Jim Slater who walked in alone and beat Johnson through the legs on a nice backhand move. Drury was otherwise stellar blocking and injuring himself on several shots.

The shootout doomed the Rangers as 3 of the 5 participants (Del Zotto, Kotalik, Callahan) couldn't even muster a shot on goal... amazing. Slava Kozlov and Bryan Little beat Johnson through the legs while Marian Gaborik did the same to Johan Hedberg in the shootout. The Rangers fell 2-1 but still managed to get a loser's point.


New Podcast as promised...

Cassee Was Angry That Day....

Wake Up Call

The wake up call Sean Avery needed arrived last night in the form of the Dallas Stars and the Rangers won back-to-back games at the Garden for the first time in over 2 months. Number 16 was simply awesome with a goal and 3 assists, but he was all over the ice and in everyone's face.

Avery's old teammates weren't too happy to see him. “I would have loved to have seen that delinquent do that for us last year,” Stars goalie Marty Turco said. The Stars threw Avery away 23 games into a four-year $15.5 million contract after comments about an ex-girlfriend among other things. Sweet revenge for Avery who also received the most ridiculous 10-minute misconduct I may have ever seen. More on that later.

Avery popped into third-person... which is always great, “It was the way that Sean Avery needs to play. I’ve been thinking about it a lot... I’ve got to stay consistent". That's the thing I don't get with him. He is fast, explosive in his stride, has a good shot and is a pretty good passer. You'd think he could put up 40 points every year in his sleep but that consistency has never been there. The most he ever had was 39 for the LA Kings in 2005-06.

The Blueshirts got goals from Marian Gaborik (tied for league lead with Patrick Marleau at 28), Ales Kotalik (second in 2 games), Chris Drury and an empty-netter from Ryan Callahan. Marc Staal was amazing again and Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves.

Special new podcast called "Cassee Was Angry That Day..." coming later. I'll give you a hint of what's angered me...The idiots wearing referee uniforms.


A Garden win?

Somehow the Rangers won a game at MSG tonight beating the Boston Bruins 3-2. They did what they could to lose it though, including another 5-on-3 featuring Marian Gaborik and Ales Kotalik lined up incorrectly. The Blueshirts entered the third with a 2-0 lead but it unraveled quickly as Matt Hunwick and Blake Wheeler scored 1:26 apart to tie it.

A first period blast on the power play by Ales Kotalik put the Blueshirts up 1-0. It was Kotalik's first since November 5th which is not a bad stretch. Erik Christensen doubled the lead in the second on a beautiful backhand through the legs of Tuuka Rask off a brilliant breakout. Brandon Dubinsky assisted on both goals.

With 1:29 left, the last guy on the ice you thought would score did. Christopher Higgins caught Rask leaning and put the puck in on the backhand from the side of the net. It was Higgins' first goal at the Garden all year and proved to be the winner. This had all the makings of another home loss and you were just waiting for it to happen. Maybe a win like this can turn the tide at home.

Watching Donald Brashear tonight in his 5:51 of ice time I realized he hasn't made one productive play all year. I could do what he does for $1.4 million a year. This guy even had the nerve to turn down Dan Carcillo who was challenging him in the 6-0 blowout to the Flyers last week. Brashear skated away as if he NEEDS to be on the ice for offense or something other than fighting, which he's also not very good at any more. I never thought I'd say this but Aaron Voros deserves to be out there more. What a joke... Rangers outshot the Bruins 35-28... Eric Christensen has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 3 games.


Rangers-Canes home-and-home wrap...

The Rangers responded with a 2-1 win in Carolina on New Year's Eve only to come back to the Garden, and fail to score again. Here's some thoughts on both games:

Rangers-Canes wrap

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