According to Carp

Each week, long-time hockey beat writer Rick Carpiniello provides Rangers fans with the unique insight and access that the Blueshirt Faithful crave.
85 items

Rangers Have Chance to Reset at All-Star Break

The Rangers get a chance to catch their collective breath after a much-needed, and certainly imperfect win in San Jose salvaged an otherwise winless four-game road trip. That is, the Rangers other than Henrik Lundqvist, who has been overworked and will now face the additional stress of a three-on-three all-star tournament this weekend — and […]

Rangers Need To Salvage Road Trip

I was talking with Rick Nash last week about the Rangers’ four-game Western road trip. We discussed how, very often, this type of trek can be just what a team needs – to be together for a long stretch with nothing on the agenda but team-bonding and hockey. No distractions, no outside errands or tasks. […]

Rangers Season at a Crossroads

We saw Henrik Lundqvist, during the “Road to the Winter Classic” and just before the Christmas break, telling his Rangers teammates that they should know they haven’t been good enough and asking if they all agree. We saw Lundqvist Saturday, going down the bench and barking at his teammates after backup goalie Ondrej Pavelec was pulled […]

Handicapping Rangers Playoff Chances

With less than half a season remaining, the NHL’s Metropolitan Division will be a slugfest among eight teams for what will almost certainly be five playoff berths. The automatic bids will go to the division’s top-3 teams and the two Eastern Conference Wild Card berths will likely come out of the Metropolitan Division. This is […]

Rangers Displaying Character & Will

Hate to say “I told ya so.” Well, maybe I don’t really hate to say it, but I told ya so. The Rangers, once again, answered the bell in a character-test weekend, shaking off the cobwebs of their little 0-1-1 slump, which really wasn’t very good at all, and responding with a pair of impressive […]

Opportunity Knocks for Rangers

“Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” Okay, James Lane Allen’s famous quote might be a tad dramatic for this latest rough spot in the Rangers’ schedule. But seasons are patches of tests – failures and successes – and character is constantly tested. For most of the last half dozen years or so, the […]

Rangers Finding Their Balance

I keep hearing a lot about the standings, and how the Rangers, despite this run they’ve been on since Oct. 31, are still on the outside of the playoff picture heading into Monday’s game against Dallas. Well, yeah. But let’s be realistic. They’re sixth in the Metropolitan Division, but just two points out of third, […]

How Will Rangers Cope Without Zibanejad?

The Rangers might be able to survive a reasonably short stint without Mika Zibanejad as their No. 1 center. But can they make the power play go in his absence? The team announced Thursday that Zibanejad is suffering from concussion symptoms. There, of course, is no timetable for his return. [Watch Rangers-Hurricanes Friday on MSG […]

Find-A-Way Rangers Forging Identity

So here are the Rangers, 24 games into the season, and still forging an identity. Lately, that identity has been similar to that of the first two seasons under coach Alain Vigneault, which is to say, the “Find-A-Way” Rangers. In their last two games, they have most certainly been that: Slow starts, important third-period goals, […]

Rangers Quarter Mark Observations

Some thoughts as the Rangers near the one-quarter mark of their season: 1. Henrik Lundqvist will get his eighth consecutive start in goal against Columbus Friday two nights after his and the team’s six-game winning streak ended in Chicago. One thing coach Alain Vigneault didn’t do before this season was place a limit on the […]

Hayes Embracing Larger Role With Rangers

Kevin Hayes’ game changed on June 23. He always had the size and last season he added more speed. And he’s got tremendous hands, offensive skills and instincts. That much was obvious. But on June 23, more responsibility – especially in the defensive zone – was heaped on the center’s still young (25) shoulders. That […]

Young Rangers Ready to Shine?

Look, the Rangers knew coming into this season that there were some “ifs.” They knew that for things to turn right in the wake of losing No. 1 center Derek Stepan, long-time defenseman Dan Girardi — both of them alternate captains and team leaders – and to a lesser degree Oscar Lindberg and Kevin Klein, […]

Just Call Them The Power Rangers

Hey, more power to the Rangers. They have now crawled back to respectability (aka NHL-.500) with four straight wins, and though all is not perfect, the Rangers have a pulse and a purpose. Because, mostly, they are the Power Rangers. The Rangers’ three power-play goals in the third period Monday gave them a 5-3 win […]

Rangers Rev Up Compete Level in Tampa Bay

RANGERS 2, LIGHTNING 1 (OT) If you follow the Rangers and you’re level-headed, you don’t turn cartwheels over their efficient 2-1 overtime win in Tampa Thursday night. But, you might exhale a bit. The Blueshirts, who hadn’t played a nearly good-enough 60 minutes in a game this season, somehow hit their highs in compete level, defensive […]

All Eyes on Rangers Start … Again

It’s fairly obvious what everyone will be watching Tuesday at The Garden when the Rangers play the Vegas Golden Knights for the first time. The start. The start. The first few minutes. The first goal(s). The first period. Those were all nightmares for the Rangers on Saturday in Montreal, with a start that has become […]

Rangers Continue Quest for Solutions

The Rangers were right back at work Tuesday because, well, what other options are there? A 4-1 loss to San Jose the night before was still fresh in their minds, and their 2-6-2 record through 10 games hung above them like a dark cloud. “We’re 10 games in right now,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said […]

Rangers On Verge Of Breaking Out?

When Alain Vigneault took over the Rangers in 2013-14, they were, or became, arguably fastest team in the league, perhaps along with Montreal. Now, ironically, after shedding three of their slowest players – Derek Stepan, Dan Girardi and Kevin Klein – the 1-5-2 Rangers are no longer a fast team. Why? Well, for one thing, […]

Rangers Searching For Answers And Their Identity

That which doesn’t kill you? The Rangers know it’s early, and that 1-5 isn’t necessarily fatal. But they also know, and understand quite well, that game No. 7 on Tuesday (vs. the defending Stanley Cup champions no less) means it’s getting late. “When you win games and you’re on winning streaks, it’s easy,” Rangers alternate captain […]

AV Shuffles for Answers

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault chuckled when it was mentioned to him that he made a lot of lineup changes for Thursday’s practice before heading to Columbus for a game Friday. “Which day have I not so far?” he said… Yup, the Rangers, at 1-3 and still searching for a complete-game effort, will have a lot […]

10 Early Thoughts on Rangers

Three games into an 82-game season – even if some fans seem to think it’s an eight-game season – the Rangers are 1-2. They could be 2-1 or 3-0 or 0-3. And while all points gained — and all points lost — matter when they add them up at the end, the record is hardly […]

Lindy Ruff Reunites with Blueshirts

Lindy Ruff’s brief tenure as a Rangers defenseman was hardly memorable, his legs by then almost gone. But the way Ruff thought of the game made enough of an impression on then-Rangers coach Roger Neilson to start Ruff on a long coaching career. When Neilson was fired by the Rangers in 1992-93, he landed on […]

Position-By-Position Look At Current Rangers

Having passed all the significant and obvious dates for potential change – the Expansion Draft, the Entry Draft, the first days of free agency — Jeff Gorton’s alterations on the Rangers’ roster are ongoing. Take a look at the team as it stands right now, and you see significant changes. You also see potential upgrades […]

Rangers Flush With Cap Room After Huge Deal

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said he expected changes, and now here they come. Eight days after the team announced it would buy out blue-blood defenseman Dan Girardi, another alternate captain and core-group stalwart is gone. Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton, heading into the NHL Entry Draft in Chicago, dealt Derek Stepan, along with valuable backup goalie […]

Rangers Move On After Losing Oscar Lindberg

The NHL Expansion Draft probably could have worked out worse for the Rangers, who were always going to lose one of four players since the guidelines were set – Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast, Michael Grabner or Antti Raanta. The Vegas Golden Knights chose the 25-year-old Lindberg Wednesday as they submitted their first roster as an […]

Who Will the Rangers Lose in the Expansion Draft?

There were no surprises Sunday on the Rangers’ protected/exposed lists for the Vegas expansion draft. So now the wait until Wednesday night begins, the wait to see which one player Vegas GM George McPhee (nicknamed by the press GMGM) chooses from the Rangers roster. The Rangers protected: Forwards — Derek Stepan, Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello, […]

10 Thoughts on Rangers & NHL

As a riveting and wildly popular, and now tied Stanley Cup Final takes a breather – one game in the next five days – and the Rangers’ offseason about to get busy in the next week or so, some thoughts: 1. All this talk about Ilya Kovalchuk’s return from the KHL? First of all, to […]

Rangers Have Work To Do In Evolving NHL

Pat Riley, the former coach of the Knickerbockers among others, is credited with saying, “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.” There’s something to that, and it certainly applies to the NHL, where Nos. 1 through 30 (and soon 31) are separated by a relatively slim margin, where you can be riding high for […]

What Could Have Been for Rangers …

The longer this Eastern Conference Final goes – and it will only go one more game – the more you realize what an opportunity the Rangers let get away while they were losing their grip on two late leads in the second round against Ottawa. And if Ottawa wins Game 7 in Pittsburgh, then advances […]

What Comes Next For Rangers?

The Rangers’ roster that skated off the ice in Ottawa in stunned disbelief, then three nights later shook hands with the Senators who were gifted a series despite being outplayed for most of the first five games, is gonna change. The roster, the lineup, will have a new look when training camp opens in September, if […]

NYR-OTT: 26 Thoughts on Game 4

It’s a new ballgame. I predicted 2-2 after four games because, well, I always do. But I certainly didn’t expect it to get to 2-2 the way it did. So after the Rangers’ convincing 4-1 victory in Game 4 at The Garden Thursday, they go back to Ottawa tied. Thoughts: 1. I’m going to be […]

Rangers-Senators: 24 Thoughts on Game 3

Were you expecting something else? The Rangers won a game they really needed to have Tuesday night and their second-round playoff series with Ottawa now has a different complexion. [Rangers-Senators Post Game on MSG Networks] The 4-1 win was complete, start-to-finish and in virtually every aspect. But now they have to do it again Thursday […]

For the Rangers, It All Starts With One Win

“It’s a five-game series and we have to win four,” said nobody ever. The Rangers’ task is daunting if you look at it in that light. But they won’t, mostly because they can’t and partly because they shouldn’t. Trailing two games to none after Saturday’s loss in Ottawa, the Rangers have an extra day to rest […]

Rangers-Senators: 20 Thoughts on Game 1

Well, you had to know it would likely be a fluky goal that would win a game like Game 1. Right? So the Rangers are down 1-0 and the road warriors have a pretty important Game 2 Saturday afternoon outside Ottawa. [Rangers-Senators Post Game Coverage on MSG Networks] Thoughts: 1. Let’s discuss the game-deciding play. […]

Storylines, Challenges Aplenty for Rangers-Sens

The Rangers’ upcoming second-round playoff series against Ottawa, which starts Thursday, carries motivational and emotional side stories galore. Frankly, the best of those stories are on Ottawa’s side of the series. [RANGERS POST GAME COVERAGE ON MSG] The Rangers? Well, except for Mika Zibanejad playing his former team, and Mats Zuccarello going up against his […]

22 Thoughts As Rangers Oust Habs

I absolutely had my doubts about the Rangers coming into their first-round series against Montreal. There were all the “Ifs” as I wrote in my preview … if Henrik Lundqvist can reach his elite level again, if the Rangers can defend better around their own net, if they can take care of the puck and […]

21 Thoughts on NYR-MTL Game 2

So the Rangers leave Montreal tied 1-1 in their first-round series, which really should have been 2-0 in their favor. Thoughts: 1. This game got away and was given away, but that’s the Rangers’ M.O. Since this run of playoff “success” began in 2012, they are 2-14 in games after taking a series lead. Which […]

Round One Begins: Finesse vs. Force

If. If. If. If. A whole slew of “ifs” surround the success or failure of the Rangers as they begin the Stanley Cup playoffs tonight in Montreal. [HOW TO WATCH GAME 2 OF RANGERS-CANADIENS] If Henrik Lundqvist plays the way he has always played in the playoffs; if the Rangers can clean up their play […]

9 Observations As Playoffs Approach

1. It sure isn’t an easy closing three. The Rangers, who have had trouble manufacturing emotion and desperation recently, due to having their playoff seeding virtually locked up for weeks, will play three desperate opponents. Wednesday they’re in DC, where the Capitals are looking to lock down the Presidents’ Trophy and home-ice throughout the playoffs. […]

What’s Going on with the Rangers?

1. This March swoon, if you want to call it that (6-8-2 in the last 16 games) could reasonably be explained as human nature. Perhaps because for a while now, the Rangers have been pretty much locked into their fate – the first Wild Card in the East, and a crossover into the Atlantic playoff […]

Sky’s The Limit For Skjei

The subject was Brian Leetch, and Brady Skjei’s eyes were as big as saucers. Skjei has always admired Leetch’s legacy, even though Skjei was less than three months old when Leetch lifted the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Stanley Cup. The point was this – even the greatest offensive defensemen of all-time had to learn […]

No Place Like the Road for Rangers?

I’ve got to tell you, I’m not a big believer in blaming luck. And at the same time, good and back luck decide hockey games all the time. So the Rangers played the Islanders Wednesday at The Garden in a game that was, arguably, decided by some lucky bounces – lucky for the Islanders, unlucky […]

Rangers in Good Hands with Raanta

In football, the most important player is the quarterback. But depending on circumstances, the next most important player could be the backup quarterback. In hockey, the most important player is usually the goalie, and circumstances don’t have to change for the backup goalie to become important … if not critical. The Rangers, over these six […]

Lindberg is the Anchor of Solid Fourth Line Play

It’s no secret that when the Rangers have had success this season, it’s been built on a four-line attack. It’s no different now, as they carry a quickly-built two-game winning streak into Thursday’s game against Carolina after beginning a four-game trip with consecutive-night victories over Tampa Bay and Florida. While Tanner Glass has gotten – […]

Rangers Have Road Warrior Mentality

Click your heels together and repeat, “There’s no place like road, there’s no place like road …” The Rangers were in need of restoration of their identity, and a change of recent results, and the Big East basketball tournament did them an enormous favor: It chased them out of The Garden and onto the road […]

This Rangers Group Set to Battle

For every team, there comes a moment after the trade deadline where you exhale and say, “So this is the group with which we will go to do battle.” Sometimes that’s a gung-ho thought, that you are loaded and ready for the grueling two-month Stanley Cup tournament. Sometimes it’s a white towel, that we’ve sold […]

Lundqvist Playing like Lundqvist

The situation is interesting, inarguable, and unique when it comes to Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. If he doesn’t play up to his standards, the Rangers have almost no shot to consistently win. And if he does play up to his standards, the Rangers have a chance to win and win big. Hence the massive concern […]

Don’t Bet on a Blockbuster

To use one of Rangers coach Alain Vigneault’s favorite quotes – “If I were a betting man …” If I were a betting man (I’m not), I would put a small wager (I won’t) on the Rangers not looking a whole lot different after the March 1 trade deadline. I could be wrong. The Rangers, […]

Vigneault’s Rangers Record Speaks Volumes

Armed with his new contract extension, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault takes aim at his 600th NHL victory in Tuesday night’s game against Anaheim. Vigneault would become only the 15th coach in the league’s 100-year history to reach 600 wins, and only the second in the 90-year history of the Rangers to have gotten some […]