Quoth The Maven: The Playoff Push



“Quoth The Maven” is a weekly column where Stan Fischler touches on the three local teams plus other hot NHL items.

1. Don’t Worry Department: The Rangers loss on Tuesday night should be chalked up to the NHL Law of Averages; no more, no less.

2. There should be no knock against Cam (The Prince) Talbot, Rick Nash or any other Ranger by the Panic Platoon out there — especially with King Henrik Lundqvist looming on the horizon.

3. There are lots of things to like about the Rangers, but one that tickles me most is that manner in which the Blueshirts blunt an attack, and then launch one of the fastest counterattacks in the biz. Poof! Just like that they’re off with a three-on-two.

4. Although Marty St. Louis is heading for unrestricted free agency, I’m convinced that he’ll re-sign with the Blueshirts. MSL likes New York too much and Glen Sather knows a winner when he sees one.

5. The best way for Rangers and Islanders supporters to view their teams is by harking back to October 1. At that time, any follower of the Blueshirts or Nassaumen would be tickled to find their teams secured a playoff berth.

6. What Jack Capuano needs most of all through the homestretch is the re-discovery of second line scoring; nor would third and fourth-line help be rejected either.

7. If you’re Lou Lamoriello, would you try to engineer a deal for scoring-whiz-problem-child Phil (I’m A Phenom) Kessel? I would — but without giving up the store.

8. Figure it this way: Lou could straighten out Kessel the way nobody else can. My guess is that, at this point, Toronto likely would accept one young defenseman plus a draft pick.

9. Neither Adam (50 Percent Better) Larsson nor Damon (Jewel In The Rough) Severson would be – or should be – available.

10. Reader Noam Kogen makes an interesting comparison. He sees Mats (The Waterbug On Ice) Zuccarello as a latter-day version of Canadiens Hall of Famer Yvan (The Roadrunner) Cournoyer.

11. So far the difference is that Zucky is tougher, but Corny won 10 Stanley Cups.

12. This from Reader Joe (Joltin’) Dionisio of Southampton: “The long-term good news for the youthful Isles is that they need to get used to flying ABOVE the radar if they have genuine Cup aspirations.”

13. If the Senators somehow pull off the upset-of-all-upsets and make the playoffs, Andrew (Burger King) Hammond should be given the Heart Trophy since the Hart is out of reach.

14. What’s astonishing and annoying at the same time is that Ottawa’s coach Dave Cameron has been ridiculously overlooked for engineering a crazy franchise turnaround. Cameron has orchestrated a compelling melodrama with the Sens.

15. Marko (Me Down) Dano is no Ken Daneyko, but every time I hear the former’s name, I think of the latter.

16. I asked one of my favorite coaches, Jacques (I Love Stogies) Lemaire the key to winning the Cup. He said: “You need the goalie, the defense and you need the guy to score at the right time and change the game at a certain time. In the 1995 Final, Scott (Kid Lightning) Niedermayer did that for us (Devils) with his goal in Game 2 at Detroit.”

17. The Ruble may be taking a nosedive in Mother Russia – along with the KHL – but don’t expect Ilya (I Never Should Have Left New Jersey) Kovalchuk to make an NHL comeback until he’s ‘way-‘way over the hill.

18. The next Toronto Maple Leafs coach will have to be a disciplinarian-to-the-radical-50, and if John (Teach The Media A Lesson) Tortorella isn’t the man for that job, then I don’t know who is.

Vancouver Canucks new heach coach John Tortorella

19. One aspect of refereeing that drives me nuts is the big rush of Zebras to blow the whistle the half-second they lose sight of the puck. What’s the rush, Chaps, the plane won’t leave without you!

20. Not Exactly Shocking News Department: Boston University’s Jack (Eerily Good) Eichel is one of the finalists for the 2015 Hobey Baker Award.

21. Eichel knows that he’s the No. 2 North American skater in Central Scouting’s mid-season rankings for the 2015 NHL Draft. Ah, but does he know why Baker was considered America’s first superstar?

22. Unknown-But-Good-Hockey Player: Brandon (Not Manitoba) Pirri who’s keeping Florida in the Wild Card race.

23. Anyone who says that Sidney (I Don’t Whine Much Anymore) Crosby has lost even a little bit of his magic touch hasn’t consulted the scoring list lately.

24. Something we all should keep in mind about overly-touted Connor (Sure To Be Number One Draft Pick) McDavid, is that the Erie Otters center won’t be another Sidney Crosby until he proves that his press clippings are real.

25. Then again, I said the same thing about Sid (The No Longer A Kid) when he was a jumping’ junior.

26. If Hollywood is contemplating a re-make of “The Invisible Man,” then Phil (The Pill) Kessel should be first in line for an audition.

27. My one – and only – Rangers concern is the schedule that has them playing 11 games in 20 days.

28. As sage reader Gus Vic points out, “The case can be made that Henrik Lundqvist, Marty St. Louis and Kevin Klein all will get a few games back prior to the post-season.” The flip side is that more games mean more a chance for injuries.

29. Definition of the Sophomore Slump: Last year’s rookie-of-the-year, Nathan (Hot Dog) MacKinnon. The not-so-productive Calder Trophy winner is a good reason why Colorado is on the rocks.

30. If you’re looking for a Hollywood-scripted Comeback Kid story, check out the Jordin (All Aboard) Tootoo saga in New Jersey.