Did the Owner Derail the New York Rangers’ Rebuilding Efforts?

The New York Rangers and their fanbase have always been pleased that the owner had generally kept his hands off the operations of the hockey team. That all changed last week when the owner not only decided to call for the firing of a top NHL official publically, he fired the President and General Manager.

Why? Because the rebuild was not going fast enough.

This impatient person has now interfered in a way that has had him widely panned across the NBA for the way he handles the Knicks. The impatient owner fired John Davidson and Jeff Gorton because a team with the second-youngest roster in the NHL did not make the playoffs. In a pandemic shortened season, no less. Almost all pre-season pundits genuinely believe that this would not be the year that the young Blueshirts make the playoffs.

The good news is that at least the owner had the sense to hire Chris Drury as the replacement, who will also get a helping hand from Glen Sather.

But at this point, that might be good news/bad news as it now seems likely that this owner will know run constant interference as the Rangers strive toward the goal of making the playoffs next season.

As the Rangers talk with the media for a final time today, Ryan Strome mentioned this in his Zoom conference. “That’s the goal. I think that message has been sent and received,” Strome said.

It will also be determined soon what the team’s makeup will look like next season, including whether or not head coach David Quinn will be allowed to continue with the rebuilding process.

The New York Rangers owner did not help with the public relations of the organization.

While many around the league rallied around the Rangers after the Tom Wilson incident, that was not the case for the organization’s public message on the NHL and the alleged Department of Player Safety.

It was very nice to read our own Fireside Rangers Twitter page and see all of the supporting comments concerning what happened to Pavel Buchnevich and Artemi Panarin at the hands of Wilson. It also somewhat validated what Ranger fans believed should happen when many Devils and Islander fans also called for a suspension.

Realistically, an overwhelming number of knowledgable hockey people outside of the Nation’s capital knew that Wilson should have been suspended.

The owner did not need to make that statement. He already had so much support around the league from the NHL community and the media.

Now the Rangers have to hope that any player they want to bring him to help this young and talented team will not look past them due to the past and possible future actions of this owner.

Yes, the Rangers rebuild effort has been temporarily derailed. It is now up to Chris Drury to get the rebuild back on track and keep it there.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Rangers lose to the Washington Capitals in a penalty filled game

The secondary story of Wednesday night is that the New York Rangers fell to the Washington Capitals by a score of 4-2.

The main story is the aftermath of the Tom Wilson incident from Monday night. If the NHL was hoping that nothing would happen after just fining Wilson for his actions Monday night, they were sadly mistaken.

The action started right from the face-off as Colin Blackwell, Phil Di Guiseppe, and Kevin Rooney all square off with the Capital’s starting forwards. Brendan Smith later took on Wilson when skated for his first shift. The sides combined for six fights and 72 penalty minutes just over four minutes into the heated contest.

Wilson did not return after the first period. The Capitals reported that Wilson had suffered an upper-body injury.

After all was said and done, both teams racked up 141 penalty minutes.

The New York Rangers fall in a penalty-filled game

Lost in all of the Wilson business is that the Capitals T.J. Oshie returned to play after the passing of his father. Oshie responded by getting a hat-trick in the contest.

Morgan Barron scored his first NHL goal to close the gap to 4-2 after Oshie’s empty netter. Alexis Lafreniere scored the Ranger’s first goal.

Probably due to the high level of emotions that came with this game, the Rangers took quite a few non-fighting penalties.

Pavel Buchnevich received a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct for a cross-check to the head of Anthony Mantha. This came in the second period after Buchnevich took a slashing penalty against Wilson and a high-sticking call against Zdeno Chara late in the first period.

Ryan Strome received a 10-minute misconduct penalty after taking a tripping call.

The Rangers go right back into action on Thursday night when they travel to Boston to take on the Bruins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New York Rangers-Tom Wilson Fiasco will not go away Silently

In a normal season, the New York Rangers may not have to see Tom Wilson and the Washington Capitals for a little while after just playing them on Monday night. However, in the pandemic-adjusted NHL schedule, the Rangers will get to see Mr. Wilson again on Wednesday night.

Of course, this is just more than a team trying to win a game. This contest will come off the heels of a second-period melee that earned Wilson four minutes for roughing, a 10-minute misconduct, and sent Artemi Panarin to the dressing room for the rest of the game. It started with Wilson pinning Pavel Buchnevich to the ice with his stick and punching him in the head a couple of times.

The NHL did not do much about this incident, recently releasing a statement saying that Wilson was fined $5000 for the incident. This appears to be the extent of his punishment.

The whole situation did not sit well in Ranger nation, and the fine folks running the Capital’s social media account added fuel to fire by posting this on Twitter:

The Capitals deleted the post after about 30 minutes, telling members of the Washington media that the post did not meet the team’s social media standards.

Even though it could be more of a coach standing up for his player, the Capitals head coach’s comment after the game did not help either.

“I thought it was just a scrum, like a physical play,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. “There was something going on originally with the goalie and they’re jamming at the goalie and a bunch of players jump in there. It happens a lot.”

Those who watch a lot of hockey are scratching their heads at this comment.

The New York Rangers have a genuine concern about player safety

Head coach David Quinn had a different take on the situation. “There are lines that can’t be crossed in this game. There’s just zero respect for the game in general. You got one of the star players in this league now that could have gotten seriously, seriously hurt in that incident.”

This statement was not without exaggeration, as veteran Ranger’s beat writer Larry Brooks of the New York Post re-tweeted a slow-motion video of the incident.

Unfortunately, the small fine seems to be the only punishment Wilson will receive for this.

This brings into question, how serious the NHL about the safety of their players, especially as everyone has learned about the serious effects surrounding people who suffer concussions.

Wilson is no stranger to suspensions. Earlier this season, he was suspended seven games for an illegal check to the head of Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. In his career, Wilson has received a total of 30 games in suspensions and forfeited nearly $1.3 million in salary for his actions.

Despite the video showing what he did to Panarin, the people who run the NHL Department of public safety stated they didn’t find any compelling evidence that Wilson threw Panarin to the ice by pulling on his hair.

So Wednesday night’s game has just added some more intrigue to the contest. There is no truth to the rumor that the Rangers will call Ogie Ogilthorpe out of retirement.

 

 

New York Rangers Cannot Solve the Shorthanded Washington Capitals

The New York Rangers could not take advantage of the Washington Capitals missing a handful of players, including one of the best in the NHL. The Capitals trailed by one late in the second period but rallied to defeat the Blueshirts 6-3.

With Boston winning earlier, the Rangers have been eliminated from the playoffs.

The Capitals were missing a few players, including Alex Ovechkin, who only skated one shift in the first period before leaving the ice. Washington later announced that he would not return due to a lower-body injury.

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov also missed Monday’s game for disciplinary reasons while T.J. Oshie was out for a personal family matter.

Mika Zibanejad scored twice for the Rangers while Kappo Kakko added their third goal. Artemi Panarin had assists on Zibanejad’s goals.

The New York Rangers have a scrum with the Capitals Tom Wilson

Things got interesting in the second period when Capitals forward Tom Wilson was handed three penalties in the second quarter. One of the penalties was a 10-minute penalty for misconduct, after roughing Artemi Panarin and going after Pavel Buchnevich in the crease after play had stopped. This included a few punches in the back of the head while Buchnevich was face down.

Panarin had a cut above the eye and appeared to have hit his head on the ice in the scuffle. He did not return at the start of the third period.

After the game, Zibanedjad had this to say about the Wilson incident: “You should have more respect for the game and the players. I honestly don’t know where to start. It’s just horrible, zero respect.”

Head coach David Quinn also shared his thoughts on the incident in his post-game Zoom conference. “There are lines that can’t be crossed in this game. It’s just zero respect for the game. You have one of the star players in this game who could have been seriously, seriously hurt. It’s totally unnecessary.”

The two teams will play again on Wednesday at MSG.

 

 

 

New York Islanders: Should Ross Johnston Play in Game 2?

ross johnston, New York Islanders

The identity of the New York Islanders is a tough, physical, defensive team. Who’s the first player that comes to your mind that’s on the Islanders who’s tough, physical, and defensive? Most people would say Cal Clutterbuck, or Casey Cizikas, possibly even Matt Martin.

Then there are the few people who say, Ross Johnston. Ross Johnston is a goon. He’s the enforcer, the head hunter, the brawler. This series vs. the Capitals is a brawler series. I mean, the Capitals have Tom Wilson, Radko Gudas, and Garnet Hathaway.

Many fans are calling for Ross Johnston to come in and replace Leo Komarov on the 3rd line so that the Islanders can fire back. Is this a smart move for the Islanders, though?

Why Ross Johnston Shouldn’t Start

As previously stated, Ross Johnston is a goon. You cannot go into playoff hockey with undisciplined players. Islanders fans saw their team take seven penalties in game one alone. The Islanders have a bad penalty kill, and the Capitals have Alex Ovechkin. Why risk losing a game because you want your goon to hurt Tom Wilson.

The playoffs are for teams who can win the Stanley Cup, not for teams who would rather fight other players. Also, what else does Johnston offer for this team? Leo Komarov at least can play on the penalty kill. Tom Kuhnhackl is great on the forecheck. Andrew Ladd offers veteran leadership and a winning mentality. Michael Dal Colle exists, I guess. Johnston just delivers hits. There’s no reason for Johnston to play unless he can show that he can bring more to this team, such as forechecking or good skating.

Conclusion

I don’t believe there’s a reason for Johnston to play for the rest of the playoffs. The Islanders are here to win the cup, not to injure other players.