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February 26, 2009

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I am going to strongly disagree with Dan about the lines as being the strongest possible ones that the Rangers could ice.

No I believe these lines are set up to expose which players can not play the Tortorella system. One of the very rare times when a TSN announcer was right was when they pointed out that Naslund was behind plays not in them.

Speed and playing with smarts is what makes a forward on a Tortorella team. Blind passes will get you chewed on and I bet Gomez will be the person who freaks Torts out first.

Expect Callahan and Dawes to be reunited as the 2 have chemistry but lack a center who plays like they do.

And the best part of a TSN telecast is when it is over as no bunch of announcers/commentators are so blinded in their dislike of the Rangers that they will flat out use the wrong information if it makes their case.

I really liked the TSN telecast. So notably direct and unshilled. Maguire, who is a jerk on VS, was decent last night. Called out Gomez over and over. Dissected plays well and fingered the cuprits clearly.

And I loved the 2nd intermission where they just eviscerated Sather. We don't see those kind (any kind!) of assessments of the GM's performance coming from Sam and Joe now do we? Pointed out the awful 1st round track record and the awful record of free agent signings.

Thank you, TSN. Made me start thinking maybe we should not hesitate to package our first round pick for a Jay Bow or even Antropov. Why hang onto it since we more often than not pick players that are no going to see the NHL?

...and then there was the game...

Well, I was awake at the end, and entertained at least through two. A new experience for this year.

The couple of times the Rangers took possession and diddled around for 30 second to try to get out of their own zone (sometimes succeeding, sometimes coughing up the puck) were an interesting deja vu, since it happened I think maybe three times, as opposed to the Renney era endless circling in our own zone, slooowly, while then attempting a cross ice pass that would get intecepted or trying to break out as a group of 5 and allowing the entire NYGiants football team time to line up and set their defense against us...The quicker transitions, forcheck and time spent in the offensive zone were a wonderful breath of fresh air.

Still, this is a team that does not have a clue how to score and probably is as fragile as it still looks. But so far, so good.

Played the kids. On the PP no less!
Forechecked like crazy.
Played to win, not to not lose.
Ice time was not automatic.
Energy/passion on the bench.

Go Torts!

a little early to throw stones at this TEAM. Give the new coaches a chance to get it right. The players wil do it or get changed.

At least there was a little fire out there last night but the team simply ran out of gas as Tortorella said. Jess-- Dawes and Callahan should be together and I've been saying it all season and Drury should be their centre. Three Rangers who were dreadful last night: Gomez, Zherdev and Rozsival. Redden played a pretty good game.

I too thought they looked tired in the 3rd period. Well conditioned or not, I do not think they were used to skating that much through 2 periods. Although, I have to agree they also probably layed off the gas pedal in the 3rd as they're used to doing that with Renney.


Overall though, I was pretty impressed that Torts was able to implement his style this quickly. They definitely looked different last night (in a good way).


Anyone read the Renney article in the Post? He called out Drury and Gomez and said there was basically a failure of leadership. WOW! Then he finished it up by saying he was proud of what he did in NY with "people like Jags, Shanny, Marty Straka, Michael Nylander and Sean [Avery]." Not one current player named there. Pretty surprising from a guy who everyone seems to be going out of their way to call "classy" and "a great person."

Well I'm definitely glad you're gone now, Tom. Stay "classy"... Good riddance.

Either Torts did a great impersonation of Renney or Renney had a great Tortorella disguise! As Dubi points out, they played just like we have seen them play for the last 2 months!

Some nice changes:
1) It looked like they tried to keep one man deep in the attacking zone during halfboard scrums. They also looked like they played a 2-1-2 and once I saw a 3-2!
2) PP looked better. Mainly, they used the points to settle the play down, gain control and open up passing lanes. If the points didn't shoot, they passed quickly. GREAT!!!
3) During the 2nd period they passed and caught passes very well. I missed the 1st period, so I can't comment there. The PP goal was a result of quick passes after a very nice keep by Redden.

Not so good things:
1) Third period was back to their old ways. I thought they looked tired.
2) Dump and chase didn't do very well. Too slow getting their forwards in deep in combination with poorly executed dump ins.
3) Gomez was trying to hard to be "THE" guy, same with Zherdev. Both need to just simplfy their games.

Torts got to see the "real Rangers". He got a point out of it and tonight will be interesting, especially with regard to conditioning. Redden play OK, needs to continue at that level or higher.

I'll be very interested in how the Garden crowd greets Tortorella. This could be a big night for him. We heard all the right things from him so far. There won't be much time to change much from last night, he'll tinker more with the lines. He and Schoeny seem to work well together and the fire they bring will help.

Nasland, Zherdev, Redden, Rozsival and Drury's conditioning will be tested tonight. Torts likes to load up his goalies, so I expect Hank to be in the nets tonight.

The result was certainly the same...and the third period was certainly the same...and, as Dubi points out, the slightest whiff of success leads inevitably to the team taking its foot off the gas, but...

I did see a much more aggressive forecheck and more hitting throughout the lineup. I saw a MUCH better power play (on the first one, at least). Callahan and Staal stood out. Redden wasn't awful for a change (goal notwithstanding). Good to see Pruchs get a look (15+ minutes); not so great to see Korpikoski so limited (9+ minutes). Would love to see a couple of minutes shaved off Drury and Gomez and added to Lauri.

Gomez and Girardi struggled, although Girardi seemed to pick it up as the game went on (I'm sure he appreciates having Schoenfeld around). Gomez was just awful and it was obvious from the get go. I agree with whoever posted that HE will be the one to piss off Torts first. Whether it's the lacadaisical breakout from behind the net, the pointless rush to nowhere, the inability to consistently win one-on-ones on the boards, or the blind dump off when he crosses the blueline, there are far too many shortcuts in Gomez's game.

I tell ya, the coolest part of the game was the beginning of the first period. There was something wrong with the TSN feed. I had the video of the game, but no audio, just the sounds of the crowd, skates and players on the ice. It was GREAT for almost five minutes. Would love to see a stripped down telecast with all the sounds of the game, but no commentary or play-by-play. Jeez, I sound like Mushnik.

Glad we're right back at it tonight. Let's see 60 minutes, please.

Chris: I'd like to see the time shaved off of those guys and given to Dawes. Specifically, on the power play. In this case the stats don't lie. Dawes has more power play goals than any one other Ranger than Drury and Naslund in a small fraction of e time on the PP.(Not to mention 4 gamewinning goals, the highest total on this team based on minutes played.) Gosh, he was capable of playing on a World junior cup-winning team line with Mike Richards and Ryan Getzlaf, leading that line in points.) Hopefully Shoenfeld can point out to Torts which guys can finish and end the use of incompetent PP units--sooner rather than later.

Chris why did u for get to mention that Renney also said this

"I have a burning desire to win the Stanley Cup as a coach," Renney said. "I'm very proud of what we did in New York, and what people like Jags, Shanny, Marty Straka, Michael Nylander and Sean [Avery] did in helping to bring the franchise back, and I wish Torts, Glen and the team nothing but the best going forward.

and I wish Torts, Glen and the team nothing but the best going forward.

How is that not classy??? He would be an idiot if he wouldve put Gomez and Drury wuth the names he mentioned.They one of the main reasons hes not here.Those 2 DID NOT help briing the rangers back on the map hes 100% right for not putting any current rangers in there.(Maybe except for Henrik but everybody knows about Henrik).

And Dawes should ALWAYS be included in the shootout. Maybe they didn't score but to me they definitely played better and the whole team looked alive. All those announcers defending Renney makes me laugh. The lack of leadership came from him, not the players. The coach is the ULTIMATE leader of the team and Renney was about as inspiring as watching paint dry.

I'd certainly have no problem with Dawes getting more time...but I really think Korpikoski has top six potential. He uses his body and his speed very well. Hell, I'd love to see 'em both get more time...at Drury, Naslund and Gomez's expense.

@ things. First, Rozy is just horrible (HORRIBLE) and needs to be moved. The other thing, did anyone hear mcguire talking about how bad of a track record the rangers had with ex devils (DUH) and then went on to say except bruce driver, who went on to win a cup with the rangers in 94. UMM...no, no he didn't pierre.

That is 2 things not @ things. sorry folks only going on an hour of sleep!

Everything Renney said in that post article was dead on. Looks at the results and numbers (esp pp rankings before and after Nylander left). Jagr & Nylander made this team a contender. The Jagr, Gomez, Drury make up fielded a competitive team. Just Gomez and Drury can't do it alone, while Jagr and Nylander could, and this year's team has been exposed.

All this talk of Dawes. I thought he was a goner.

Gravey

Too bad the TSN crew used wrong information in trashing Sather. You can not used Sather signings like Ferraro did if you want to trash Sather, hang him for what he actually did.

Not to mention saying that Bruce Driver was a member of the 94 cup team and was the only Devil who played well for the Rangers.

Chris QCT

As Ant pointed out, Renney could have said a whole lot worse but what was unsaid was that Renney did not have the input on the players brought in as Sather claimed.

Let us not forget those same MSG talking heads who swear that Tortorella is the greatest coach for the Rangers basically sold Ranger fans a bill of goods with their "finally Renney had his kind of team" when it was clear that he did not.

Just cause we lost in the shootout doesnt mean we did the same thing we've done all year. We have not skated that hard for the first two periods of ANY game this season. THis was the furthest thing from "the same as every other game"

I think the biggest thing was that they played offense and were tired from playing hard offensively for 40 minutes straight. Also, we have Hank for a reason, Renney needed all 5 guys to sag in front of Hank, but when you have a goalie of this quality it's ok to leave him out to dry offensively if you are taking chances to score. I never understood why that was so hard for Renney to grasp.

We need a big win tonight, this is a big one...Lastly, on Renney's comments...Look, we all know that this is mostly Sather's fault, I don't need Tom to tell me that...What I didn't like is in what Tom could control (ice time, benchings, PP) he did a god awful job at. He should've known by the first Leafs game that he was coaching for his job, yet I never saw a fire, or anything different to try and keep it. And yes, listening to these so called "analysts" talk about Renney being so good is hysterical. Most of these morons on TV really have no clue about anything. At the end of the day, Sather is outdated and his track record of 1st round picks and Free agent signings are an absolute joke..So as someone wrote above, may as well package the 1st to get a deal done...We really need to trade Gomer\Naslund\Rosival, I think we should focus on shipping them out...

ESPN reporting that the Pens traded Whitney for Kunitz to help Sid the Boy. Don't see how that helps the team.

As for Bouwmeester, The Panthers need a quality center to distribute the puck. Horton and Booth are the big goal producers and they need that Gomez-type center. With Jay going to free agency in July I wonder if the Panthers can get him re-signed? A package of Gomez, Rozsival and maybe a draft pick might pry him loose. I just wonder if the two clubs want to trade with each other.

I will go out on a limb and say Florida does not to trade Bouwmeester for Gomez and Rosi's contracts.

There is 0 chance he re-signs with Florida.

Ducks getting Whitney has to ramp up the talk of dealing S. Niedermayer or Pronger. Odds are the Rangers don't have a chance because Anaheim isn't going to take Rozy or Redden.

Jess: "I believe these lines are set up to expose which players can not play the Tortorella system."

Agreed. I thought this when I saw the Roszival/Redden pairing. No more safety nets; no more defensive partners just to pick up slack.

I think the seeds of a turnaround are there. Do they sprout or do they just die? We'll see tonight.

Cutter

The way I see it, Tortorella is already sending Sather his own message by doing exactly that with Redden and Rosy.

Expose their shortcoming to force Sather to do something about them.

Oh and what has not been said here since the coaching change is that Tortorella and Renney just so happen to be long time friends.

Repost

"Too bad the TSN crew used wrong information in trashing Sather. You can not used Sather signings like Ferraro did if you want to trash Sather, hang him for what he actually did."

My bad this is what lack of sleep does.

It should have been:

Too bad the TSN crew used wrong information in trashing Sather. You can not use NEIL SMITH signings like Ferraro did if you want to trash Sather, hang him for what he actually did.

I like Sam and Joe (for the most part), but if I can't watch them I thoroughly enjoy TSN broadcasts. They are better than 95% of the current TV broadcasts. Then again, I don't believe in the conspiracy theory that the NHL hates the Rangers, so maybe I'm missing something.

Did anyone else have the audio problems with TSN last night? I swear, the first five minutes of the game there was no play-by-play and no commentary. It was great!

RangerBill- The key to the Whitney deal was not Kunitz but Eric Tangradi who is a very good prospect playing for the Belleville Bulls in the OHL. Two years ago Tangradi wasn't even listed by Central Scouting in their seven round listings. I posted on here that we should take him in a later round if he was still there but the Ducks scouts knowing their stuff took him in the second round. He's the guy the Pens will eventually put with Crosby. Toronto is looking to shop players and Rangers should look at Kaberle and Ponikarovsky. Maybe Burke would be interested in Gomez. I always like Dom Moore and watching last night I still wish he was a Ranger, but it just highlighted for me how dumc Slats is.

Ant - I did not say he should have included Gomez and Drury (you're making an assumption there). What I pointed out was that he did not mention one player on the current roster. Lundqvist was just as big a part of "helping to bring the franchise back." He's a bigger part than just about everyone he said except maybe Jagr. It was pretty significant to me that he left him out of that group.

Jess - Sure Renney could have said much worse. But so could have the players themselves about him. But everyone still with the team (up to and including Sam and Joe) took the high road and went out of their way not to be critical of Renney or his system. I'm sure Petr Prucha would have some real choice words about Renney and his beliefs.


I'm not disagreeing with what was said. It's just a little surprising from Renney especially after everyone is bending over backwards to avoid even the appearance of insulting him in the slightest way. It also would have been much better (and probably saved his season and his job) if he said some of this stuff 2 weeks ago.

Sour grapes, I guess...

Jive

I don't think FLA will make that move either. But I do think they will move Bouwmeester.

I don't think Sather will make any moves until after Friday's game so he can get a better input from Torts. Unless somethink he just can't pass up comes along, I think we will not make any big moves.

I said that right in my comment that the only 1 he shouldve mentioned was Hank. Besides Hank theres nobody on that roster is worth a mention with those greats.And Avery lol.

Chris,

I noticed the same thing and you're right -- it was awesome!

"Ahh...the sounds of hockey," I thought...right before Pierre came back.

Dubi-Since I'll be in a different seat I probably won't see you tonite, but I was wondering two things that I didn't hear from the post-game last nite: How did he pick the three in the SO? (and I hope they never get another shot again, including Z, who I have to say seems to be a better guy to set up plays than finish, so maybe they need to pair him with someone who can score, like ... well, there is no one. another dilemma)

second Q, for you: did you get a sense at all of who in particular he was calling out for that horrible third period where they reverted back to playing like Renney was still back there?

I'm still torn between hoping we start to win and secure a playoff position or just letting Torts blow this team up come the trading deadline and starting anew next season. Ok, Toronto has our number this year, and they have beaten NJ too recently, but "good" teams are supposed to win the majority of these games against the lower echelon teams and we're just not in a position to do that.

Jess,

Of course you are right about the TSN crew mangling the facts. I noticed it too and should have mentioned in my post. Guess I have just come to expect national broadcasts to get a lot of details wrong (in every sport). But their basic message--that Sather's drafting prowess and free agency signings have been, with a few exceptions, pretty awful.

I want to like our scouting staff (all except Shannon Sather--what are his qualifications, I wonder?), but it's kind of hard.

And I don't often say "I told you so" but I was one of the ones who was less than enamored when Drury and Gomez were signed. These were 60 point players getting 100 point $$ for SEVEN years. It was easy to see during this past summer we had no one the team to pick up the lost scoring slack. Certainly Tom saw it ...and overcompensated, I'd say.

There were not a lot of commenters on any blog resisting the center signings when they happened. This year: we all got the message. Not a lot of love for the Redden/Kalinen/Rozy mess this year. Guess we've caught on to Glennie, big time.

Be intersting to see what happens net year when Torts and Glen start butting heads.

I agree with Jess that Torts put the lineup together so that he could gauge the weaknessess he has on the team. Sure he wants to win and get into the Postseason but I'm certain he's not deluding himself into thinking that even with Henrik playing great that this collective bunch can go deep into the playoffs. So he's in evaluation mode ... I'm alright with that because I want our team to be strong for the long haul.

Bones,

Sather is not the only one as Moore bounced from our team to the Wild, to the Penguins and finally in Toronto(his 2nd season) is he playing very well ... I am all for criticizing Sather as its deserved but he's not the only one who didn't see Moore doing what he's doing now

Bones

Kaberle and Ponikarovsky from TOR; well Kaberle would be good, but I can't see Alexi working in Torts system. I don't like the guy to start with, think his highest point production was 45 and Burke is looking for a #1 pick? SORRY!!!

We need somebody to put the puck in the net. Zherdev isn't ready for that heavy weight yet and there is nobody else. I was hoping that Renney would bring some of the youngsters along so that by this point in the season their confidence would be high and ready to assume a bigger role. Dubinsky, Callahan, Dawes and Prucha were the ones I was looking toward. I fully expected them to finish the season as 20 goal scorers. Only Callahan got plenty of ice time all season, Dubinsky got a lot but Dawes and Prucha got so little that it actually hurt their confidence and therefore progress. Torts can ask them to step up and fill a void, but they may not be ready for it. We need a REAL SCORING THREAT. Say Kovalchuk or Heatly. I just don't see any way we can make that happen.

Man, everytime the 4th line is on the ice I feel like I hit slow motion on the remote. Funny what Voros replacing Sjostrom can do

Can't blame the coaches. The Rangers need a new team psychologist maybe. They have seriously outplayed Florida and Toronto for the first two periods of each game and should have put these teams out of reach. They just cannot score and team confidence is not going to increase with games like the past two. Strong Fire Sather chant.

Lundqvist had to be stronger on Floridas tying goal. I can't believe how many good scoring chances that we missed, but the good thing is at least they aren't sitting back...

Sather should be fired just for the mess he put this team in, but it WON'T happen as long as Dolan is the owner. I still think that Torts will get this team much further but I wish they made this move months ago. They have to do something at the deadline, but it will take some creative moves to open up cap space to do anything...

the rangers dominated and lost.

callahan not lifting the puck. on the horton goal 2 guys behind the net no one watching the slot.

the first goal Henrik should have had.

what more can you say they dominated but Dubinsky is a hands of stone...what can you say, they did almost everything right and LOST..

The team definitely looks better aside from the lack of scoring. One bad goal or defensive breakdown at this point leads to a loss.

These past two games have been extremely entertaining and they had more energy in tonight's 3rd period vs last night's BUT this team cannot expect to win when they can't even score 2 goals ... the margin for error for the D and the goalie is nearly non-existant ...

BUT I hope that these games give Torts the ammo that he will need if he plans to go to Sather and ask him to remove certain players from the lineup via trade or whatever .. Although Redden must really want to stay in town given how he's played in the last two games ... However look at tonight ... yeah Anderson played very very well but how many open nets did we not score on? How many times was he out of position and we FAILED time and time again to lift the puck over his glove hand or blocker side or even shot into him ??? Too many to count ... yeah I am sure they'll say that eventually it will come but they only have 19 games to go ... so yeah ...

BTW BUF lost but in a SO so we are 1 pt ahead of them ...

BTW The Islanders and Toronto are tied 4-4 ... yeah ...

It's all RangerBill 94's fault - he jinxed us with that post last week about how we're pretty good going into the 3rd period with the lead...

And of course 2 of the teams right behind us (BUF/CAR) have the dreaded 3 point game.

Denver Frank - assume we have a shot against the Av's?

Looks like Rangers will miss the playoffs. Back to the Dark Ages.

Gravey

"I want to like our scouting staff (all except Shannon Sather--what are his qualifications, I wonder?), but it's kind of hard."

Actually I happen to know Shannon Sather and he happens to be a very solid scout in his own right. Everything he does was earned not given by Daddy.

Shannon only scouts for the Rangers part time as he runs his own Oil Parts company in Alberta and does very well with it.

As for the Ranger scouting staff, I do like all of them that I have gotten to meet over the years. Let me rephrase that I like the AMATEUR scouts who have done a great job in finding talent for the Rangers.

All

I looked at the last 2 losses as wins because it showed me that (A) the Tortorella system CAN WORK, and (B) that goats under this system will be very easy to spot like Naslund and Gomez for not covering in the defensive zone.

However I think it is now fair to question Henrik's play in both games so far, he let in 2 very bad goals and in this system it is a major no-no.

That backhand was extremely weak to let go as was giving up too much space against the Leafs.

Oh and may I please thank you folks for being the clear exception when it comes to being "smart" fans.

To see the nonsense posted on the beat media blogs shows how too many Ranger fans do not think about what they think is the right moves to make for the Rangers.

Yes Tom Renney had his flaws but truth and reality is that most of the team's flaws were forced upon him by Glen Sather's decisions.

Something else to realize that fixing this franchise is going to take time and seeing some of the dumb trade rumors out there show that people are not watching or listening to what Tortorella is trying to do.

Tortorella is not a veteran's coach, he prefers developing his own players for the most part yet several "fans" are already trading draft picks and prospects for the instant fix.

When will people learn that the "instant fix" is why we missed the playoffs for 7 years?

Jess they are playing better hockey. Tororella will get the most out of this roster, and with a couple of changes they will get on a roll. They need to be peaking going into the playoffs. It will happen. Hopefully Schonefeld will be the GM an the end of this season. Sather needs to be pres or retire. He does not back up his coaches.

Sorry Jess I will always be on Henrik's side ... yes he should've had that 5-hole goal ... but when your goalie has a 1.94 GAA in the two games you lost he isn't the problem ...

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