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February 25, 2009


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Great work Dubi. Just got the latest issue today by dogsled, but haven't had a chance to pry it out of my wife's hand to read it yet. So I'm sure brooks is just happy as hell to see torts back, john g with msg is surely excited to see avery back (if he comes back). Who do the rangers need to bring in to give you an antagonist dubi...renney??

So what's the answer -- did Gomez win or lose to Tortorella and who was the goalie?

Everybody is pumped, that's great. But if we attack and our two "new" defensemen (Redden & Kalinin) are paired together, look out Henrik!!! I think the goal is to expose the weaknees of our team. It should take only 2-3 games for that to become obvious to Torts. We know what the weakness is, but Torts needs to find out for himself.

I think Tortorella will roll 3 lines, but to think that puts Betts on the bench may not be the case. Put Zherdev or Callahan on that line in place of Orr and you may actually have something. All three can pass and catch the puck, two are very fast, one is a good faceoff man, one has a great shot and all three will hit people and play with an edge. If some of the guys just keep playing like they have been, the bench may be populated by Drury, Nasland, Orr and Voros!

But the big problem will still remain...DEFENSE. We need Mara back in the lineup, that gives us 5 defensemen that can play NHL defense, with Rozi being the weakest link defensively. I would love to see Redden return to the pre-lockout form he played with, but I suspect that will not happen.

Rozi the weakest link defensively? I'm sorry, I don't see it and gotta disagree. I'd keep Rozi over Redden and Kalinin any day and I'm not even taking into account their respective salary, or offensive upside.

2003 the Devils won the cup (beating the lightning in round 2), Bulin wall was the goalie for tampa. 2004 tampa won the cup but did not beat NJ.

Side note Weekes was in carolina in the 2002 season that beat NJ in the first round. They went onto the stanley cup finals to play the red wings and lost 4-1. Best thing I have ever heard come out a coaches mouth was that night, when Scotty Bowman was asked what he was afraid of from the Hurricanes by the ESPN announcer. Scotty's response was a ... ummmm... speed. Carolina won that game but that was it. The Red Wings ran the table after that.

Apparently Gomez is being shopped too, send him to Florida with a first rounder (second if they would take that) for Jay Bo.

Trade deadline prediction is Sather makes a move and not a small one, my guess is Redden out or to the minors, Gomez traded. He will take a run at Vinny, not sure who else but hopefully someone not half way to the nursing home.

Phill, maybe I didn't make myself clear. Of the 5 defensemen (Mara, Staal, Girardi, Reitz & Rozsival), Rozi is the weakest, defensively. I think you have to agree with that. Yes, Redden and Kalinin need to go someplace. Kalinin is the better of the two unless Redden can somehow get back to his pre-lockout play. I looked at some video of Redden in the pre-lockout days, boy he sure liked to use the stick to hook people. With that now a penalty, his lack of reflex and speed totally exposes him. I sure wish Slats would have looked at some tape before signing him. He just isn't NHL material any longer.


Bouwmeester will be a UFA in July, so Gomez AND a first or second rounder may be too high a price to pay. I could see Gomez, Kalinin and a 3rd rounder or maybe Gomez and Prucha. Bouwmeester would be a solid addition to our backline. I just don't see Vinny coming this way, but you never know. I would like to see Kovalchuk coming this way. Say Drury, Zherdev and Rozsival. Maybe next season would be Anisimov between Grachev and Kovalchuk!

Rangerbill: Oh, sorry, I didn't interpret it that way. My mistake. I haven't seen enough of Reitz to say he's stronger at defense than Rozi, but I will agree with the other four.

I agree on Reitz. But from what I've seen so far; he hits, seems to know what to do with the puck BEFORE he gets it and, so far, hasn't made bonehead plays. Overall, I think Rozsival is a better defenseman, however. He seems to have the ability to "make-up" for his misques, something Redden doesn't have.

I love Reitz. Finally having someone on a regular shift who keeps opposing forwards heads up is great. Also, he seems like a guy who will stand up for his mates.
But have you guys watched him defensively? Sometimes he looks like he might fall down turning for the puck. He's not fast, and terribly out of shape.
Like I said, he's the type of guy you want around, but he's a marginal 6th defenseman at best.

1. Drury can't be MOVED - not to Hartford nor traded to any other NHL team.
2. Still it would be too much for Kovalchuk in this buyers market. And I wouldn't trade Zherdev just yet.

Can everyone stop with the Bouwmeester trade talk already! Florida is in the playoffs and the franchise is in desperate need off money. And even if they did, WHY in the world would they settle for Gomez (and his insane contract) and a 1st round pick. They could resign him for less than Gomez will cost. You want Bouwmeester, you better start with names like Staal or Dubinsky. Better yet, how about fans refrain from idiotic trade requests, since none of us really knows anything.

I've been pleasantly surprised with Reitz's ability to make a first pass. He seems very calm with the puck. I think Rozsi gets a bum rap, although he's clearly not had a very good year. I'm soooooooo looking forward to watching a team that doesn't turn away from hits.

Dubi - I am confused by your last sentence. And I am even more confused by the media's somewhat prevailing conclusion that Torts will not get anything more out of these guys than Renney could have.

In yesterday's posting here, you said, "add ten power play goals when they were really needed and we're talking first place, not coaching change." How can you say that and still "doubt anyone is going to get anything out of some of these underachieving veterans?"

That's the key to the last 21 games...the power play. I wrote that in my very first BB+ post in December. Fix the PP and everything else will take care of itself. Put all of the other questions aside. Whether or not this exact team can play his style or if they will crumble under the iron fist is irrelevant. IMO, if he fixes the PP over these next 21 games, we'll be just fine. The losing will be less frequent and the confidence will spill over to their 5-on-5 play and the rest of the team. It is also the easiest aspect of this transition to isolate and improve dramatically. A coach can pull apart and completely overhaul a PP strategy in a few games. And I believe this is exactly what Torts is going to do. He claimed it for himself yesterday. "I'll take the power play."

Go get 'em, John!!

ntb-Florida announced yesterday there is a good chance they'll move Bouwmeester..Also, wasn't Gomez contract front loaded? I thought he made like 10 last year and close to 18 this year, which means there is right about 30 million left over 5 years, which isn't awful..Not good tho ;)

I can't wait for Redden to go to Hartford..Look, either one of two things will happen...First is he goes to Hartford, or 2nd, his game improves and he plays like an NHL defenseman (not likely) Either way, he's either going to help us on the ice or he's going to free 6.5 mill from our cap and give us the ability to trade for bouwmeester AND a scorer and still be under the cap. Our cap situation isn't in bad shape if Redden is in the minors..With him it's in awful shape. Pretty simple solution!!!

Big game tonight, I'm excited to see some fire. I expect that this wont be a typical Renney game...7 good minutes to start, 40 bad minutes inbetween, then a strong close to the game cause we've been losing and ditched the system. Don't forget, our best offensive hockey has come in 3rd periods when Renney loostened the leash..Imagine Torts giving them the green light from the get go! Amazing!! And we wont be sitting on 1 goal leads anymore. I'm just so happy Renney is gone, this team becamse a doormat with him,, we were a joke to play against and everyone knew it. I really would be shocked if he gets another coaching position, he did such a horrendous job this year.

Last thing, lets face it, Rosival is an average hockey player. His indecisiveness is the biggest problem...His contract is bad, but I'm sure moveable. He's got 8 or 9 goals, and with 20 games left, thats solid for a dman, I'm sure some poorly run team like Columbus would be willing to take him based on numbers alone.

Chris, the statements aren't mutually exclusive -- I said a long time ago that Renney needed to get Zherdev, Staal, Cally, Korpi, and Dawes more power play time and stop relying on his underachieving veterans. Instead he gave Drury and Redden and Naslund MORE ice time, MORE power play time, and he was fired for the results. If Torts rides his vets the way Brooks thinks he will, as per his history, I'll have to tip my hat to him if he gets something out of them that Renney was unable to get.

Bouwmeester is probably not coming to NY, but Florida DID trade Luongo for a bag of pucks, so u never really know ;)

I agree about the potential opportunities that would open with redden's (and rozi's) salaries off the books. I think that our more physical d men right now actually in an ideal world need to be our "softer" d men if you will (I do not mean they are soft players at all). Staal, girardi, and mara all have offencive up side, add reitz to the mix as a #6, and bring in a big banger like volchenkov, gauthier (my favorite), or a rugged guy like witt or tollefsen. We have one spot left for who we couldn't dump between redden, rozy, or kalinin (unless we trade get rid of tham and get a morris or that guy from fla we can't talk about somehow) until DZ or sangs is ready from hart ford.

Now, my pleasant fiction about forwards. Crosby needs a winger, so let's trade them nazzy for something (staal or orpik would be awesome, but is pitt that desperate.....doubt it). Or send him back to vancouver for bieska and burrows. A must is Lappy from colorado, somehow someway, LAPPY. Neil from the sens would be a good fit in torts' system I think. Dru (No movement clause) would look good back in Colorado for smyth and lappy, not that a i really want to get rid of dru, he has been disappointing as captain, but I still like him alot as a player. Could you imagine the stats gomer and smyth would have together if they played on the same line, WOW! Pru to phx for carcillo. Doan would be great here also. Sather sends rozy and voros/pru to edmonton for cole. Pru and voros to stl for tkachuk.

Ok my little pipe dream rant is over, thanks for the time folks and LGR!!!!!!!!

Not expecting miracles but already the concepts coming out of the coach's mouth are most honest and insightful. Most everything Renney said struck me as BS and rationalization rather than honesty. If you think Redden is going to Hartford, you're sadly mistaken. The key for me will be to see if Tortorella keeps Rosy on the PP, where he shouldn't be. As far as Rosy goes, people will excuse him just like they did Malik, who was awful and played very conservatively so no one would notice how bad he was. You all like to beaty up on Redden, but I'll take him over Rosy any day because although he plays too timidly for my liking, at least he gets the puck moving quickly. I expect him to play a lot tougher under Torts.

TSN is reporting that the Rangers have claimed Mark Bell on reentry waivers from the Leafs.

This has to be a precursor to other moves.


Mark Bell's roller-coaster tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs has come to an end as the New York Rangers have claimed the winger on re-entry waivers.

The 28-year old Bell was originally acquired by the Leafs, along with goaltender Vesa Toskala from the San Jose Sharks for draft picks in 2007. After being acquired by Toronto, Bell served a month long suspension and was placed in stage two of the NHL's substance abuse program after a no-contest plea to drunk driving and hit-and-run charges from a 2006 arrest in California.

The St. Paul's, Ontario native played only 35 games for the Maple Leafs in the 2007-08 season, missing 31 games with an orbital fracture. Bell was assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL at the beginning of the current season. In 56 games he has 12 goals and 15 assists.

Bell has $2.5-million remaining on his contract, which will be split between the Rangers and Leafs. He will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Although he has been claimed by the Rangers, he will not be in the lineup tonight when the Blue shirts face the Maple Leafs on TSN.

Dubi - nice job of balancing the anticipation/hope/excitement of a new coach and the reality of the same old players.

My opinion here but the Rangers key to remainder of the season lies with Hank. Can hardly fault him given the poor play around him but perhaps this change will energize him. He likes being the man and if we go to a more up tempo style, he'll have to be the man for us to have a chance.

Will be interesting to see what type of accountability Totorella brings. Kind of tough to change the culture/mentality of a team in 20 games so perhaps he might actually have a longer term vision, ie. setting the stage for next year, his first full year as NYR coach, first full year making it "his" team.

what exactly does mark bell bring to the rangers?

Bell? Why?

Bones-Your comment is right on...And at the end of the day, they are both garbage. I have to admit, Rosival kind of reminded me of Tyuton..Both players in year 1 here were very good and showed potential, and then as each year passed they got worse and worse. After last season, I was SHOCKED that Sather would've given Rosival more than 2 or even 3 years, the guy was awful last season and wasn't even particularly good in 06-07. People here said it was 'market value'..Which was a joke, because the going rate for a mediocre dman who couldn't do anything but pass to Jagr wasn't 20 mill for 4 years.

Just think, Redden\Rosival\Kalinin, 3 players that if we didn't have would make us a better team, take up about 13-14 mill of our cap. The three of them are the equivlent to the following pairs of players:

Lecavalier\St. Louis-12-13 combined.

Zetterburgh\Datsyuk-About 13-14 combined

Briere\Gagne-About 10 combined

Alfredsson\Heatley-About 13 combined.

Point being is this would all be irrelevant if we just paid up on Chara with the 7 mill he makes, and then use the remaining big money on forwards. Most teams that invest this type of money do it on highly skilled players, not mediocre defenseman whose best years are behind them. I know we paid up on Drury\Gomer, but these guys are the furthest thing from any of the players listed above. Nobody can make a point these guys were #1 players ever, just look at their stats. Drury has ALWAYS been a 60 point scorer, anywhere from 20-35 goals (closer to 20) and Gomez had one moster scoring year, otherwise his numbers always looked like a #2 centerman. We'll see what happends, but Sather has work to do to remodel this roster, and to beat a dead horse, it starts with sending Redden to Hartford.


It's not what we think about Redden going to Hartford. What matters is what Redden thinks. His play in the next 3 games will be everything Tortorella needs to know. BTW, if Redden has 3 great games, then you better ask youself where was he all along. Is this the part-time player we want on the team? Don't blame Renney, except for continuing to play the guy.

I think Redden is just too slow and stupid to make a solid NHL defenseman. He can't read a play, which is why he is caught in deep so much. And he can't use his stick to hook a guy, slow him down, until poor old Wade can catch up! If he was producing big points, then you might have a case. I just don't see the points coming, no matter who the coach is. Do the Rangers have the guts to send him to Hartford? I don't know and neither do you. And as for playing timid, you're telling me that Redden is more agressive than Rozsival??? Talk about peddling Kool-Aid! The last two checks Redden made - missed the mark! Didn't want to hurt the guy! And what was he doing behind the oppositions net 2-3 games ago? Was that the new Renney forecheck system? And Nasland sees the dope back there, so he picks up Reddens point position, good play. As the puck comes up the half boards, Nasland decides to attack the puck, pure stupidity at work here, as Redden bumps into an opponent, stops to say "Pardon me!" and Girardi and Lundqvist are hung out to dry! Rozi isn't a top 2 defenseman, but he can withstand the minutes of a 2nd pair D'man and make far less mistakes then Redden and at the same time produce more goals.

Redden needs to be Ridden out of town. Pardon my spelling!

I'm guessing Mark Bell is an upgrade over Aaron Voros. I really do not see Voros being able to play the Tortorella style at all. Granted, I'm not too familiar with what Bell's skills are. But a quick glance at his stats looks like he is about the same size player, who can at least put up maybe 30 points at the NHL level.

Voros looked slow in Renney's sit-back-and-wait-until-everyone-falls-asleep style. I think he may get as much ice-time here as Rissmiller with Torts at the helm...

Bell is supposed to have hands, but zero speed.


If Redden plays to the level of his contract in the next 3 games (and threafter) then it's on Renney again for not getting it out of him. If Redden plays at the level we've seen this year then he's definitely going to Hartford - Sather wouldn't want to have one of his biggest mistakes on display for the next 5+ years.

Adam S,

Last summer Sathers intentions were to get 1st, 2nd and 3rd line D-men which corresponded to the $$$ he shelled out. He mis-calculated GREATLY with all three (maybe less with Rozival) but it doesn't change the fact that Rangers NEEDED these type of players.

Pretty good night for us last night, scoreboard-wise, with the 3 teams directly below us losing (although MTL and PHL did win).

Why Bell? Because our GM just can't seem to pass up a former #1/reclamation project. I'm surprised he didnt claim Stephon Marbury off waivers from the Knicks...

I think Bell is headed for Hartford. He will replace somebody who will be involved in a trade. Maybe Voros is headed out and this clears cap and body space. We currently have a 22 man roster and with Schoeny now involved, I can see some guys from Hartford getting a shot, especially after this 3 game set. Remember, we don't play again until after the trade deadline once this 3 games are done.

We never questioned conditioning before, but if Torts is going to have these guys attacking the puck all game long, we'll get to see if that was an issue that was "covered up" due to a more conservative, defense-first system that Renney played.

Looking forward to tonight, LGR!


That marbury line cracks me up!!


The reason the Panthers traded Luongo for basically nothing was because the diva basically told them he would not re-sign with them and they were out of the playoff race already so other teams knew that they had little bargaining power ... With Jay Bow. is different ... I live in South Florida so I am fully aware of what's going on .. the Panthers haven't been in the playoffs for about 10 years, they NEED to be in the playoffs to get those extra millions that a few playoff home games would bring ... They are willing to trade Jay BUT only if they get back players who can help them NOW more than they want draft picks ... and they are still trying to re-sign him because that's what they want but he's refusing to re-sign there

About Tonight,

It'll be interesting to see what happens tonight, how the team plays and looks ... how they handle the PP ... how many more defensive breakdowns Henrik will face because even in Renney's "defensive" system they weren't doing a stellar job of keep great scoring chances away from Henrik ...

I caught part of an interview with Renney on ESPN Radio today. If the interviewers were knowledgeable about hockey like most are here and asked appropriate follow-up questions, it could have been much more revealing. Kay (baseball) & LaGreca (ok, but not impressed with his insights) - blah. This is what we have for NY hockey coverage in NY, and that's why this site is so invaluable.

With that said, one of the things Renney said in defense of himself that was interesting was saying that he didn't have the same team as last year.

He said they started well because they had 2 more weeks of better preparation, and the teams play since that 12 game start is indicative of the talent they have. In other words, they started well because they were more prepared to start the season than the other teams, and the rest eventually caught up and the teams records is what it deserves to be. Interesting...

The two excepts I also found interesting was when he was saying he didn't have Jagr, Straka, Shanahan, and "a very effective Sean Avery" - he didn't have the personnel, but ultimately took the blame for not getting the job done.

He was all class as usual, but his reference to Avery was somewhat intriguing.
He obviously wanted to finish the year out and have Avery back.

The other point that was noteworthy was when he was asked what the team needed to be successful, and he said "strength up the middle and on defense."

Defense is obvious, but no mention of a scoring winger and strength up the middle seemed to be an indictment on Gomez and Drury. Just my inferences. I wish we could have interviewed him to get more.

I wish Renney well, a real class act, and look forward to a game tonight for a change.

a Sather interview on MSG, he must be alive

What happened to Sjostroms face?

Wow! See, it was all Renney's fault. Reddin with a 6.5 million shot and a Power Play Goal.

another 1 goal effort against a below average goalie. not an effort of a playoff team that's for sure

After watching that game I think Drury should lose the C immediately. Gomez and Rozsival were horrible as well. As much as I hate to say it, looks like Redden was one of the better players tonight. Should be an interesting game tomorrow!!!

gomez & rosi didnt look like they were in sync w/ the rest of the team. it was nice to see dubi & cally get decent min.... dubi leading fwds in min till the ot. the pk looked even better this game.

A few more games like tonight, and there will be nowhere for Slats to hide. The team is just not good enough.

One goal against the worst defense in the NHL?

FIRE TORTS! Not like its Sather's fault or anything.

I did like the improvement on offense and they were more creative and stronger on the puck. I'm not going to get crazy with this game, but tomorrow is going to be big. They need to keep getting points while they are adjusting to becoming a more offensive team. I liked what I saw tonight, they are a bit better, and look forward to tomorrow. They clearly need a goal scorer and someone to get their confidence up. a guy like Avery would help now and get the team more aggresive going to the net.

Redden looked better. Scary thought but still soft defensively..Rosival should be dealt..

I also thought his points about their centers pretty much being soft were strong words about Gomer and Drury. I think this is a good time to deal Scotty, still young, locked up and someone will take him.

3 goals in our last 14 shootout attempts, not so good...

BTW, I had to chuckle when I read the first line of the game recap at newyorkrangers.com, "There were many positives for the Rangers to build upon...". Gee, where have we heard that before?

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