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September 24, 2008

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Is it me, or did Redden once again look like he had concrete in his skates last night? I certainly hope he takes it seriously once the real season begins.

The Rangers' depth up-front has never seemed greater.
You could almost argue that the Rangers need to make room at NHL level for a couple kids (Korpikoski, Moore?) just so the next wave of prospects can get AHL ice-time.
If Korpikoski, Moore, Byers, Anisimov, Jamtin and Parenteau all go to Hartford, figure the next 2 lines (thanks to the AHL game-roster expansion to 18 skaters) mostly include non-rookie Ranger properties DuPont, Jessiman, Pyatt, Barnes and maybe skilled rookies Zaborsky and Weise. Leaving outside Skokan, Soryal, Hillier (not yet full strength), Ouellette, Owens, Demagin, and Taylor.
IMHO, I'd keep as my extras Ouellette and Soryal, unless someone else (Skokan?) earns it.
Expect rookies Taylor, Demagin and Hillier as most likely see time in Charlotte, probably Skokan and even Soryal too, altho his toughness may be needed. And Owens, if he doesn't crack the early season Hartford lineup/rotation.

Dubi- What is the status of Joe Barnes? Is he injured? Also, whatever happened to the other goalie, Brodeur?

Has Larry Brooks retracted his lazy player remark he labeled Zherdev with last week. I think it is fair to say that Brooks went a bit overboard with the lazy player remark.

Larry Brooks?...RETRACT...???? HAHAHAHA LOL

It's incredibly early but I'm a bit concerned about several areas all of which you nailed Dubi. We all knew Z would handle the puck a bit too much but he's really pushing it. There were several times where I wanted to scream "let go of the friggin' puck Alex...I mean Niki"

They'll keep working and get better but the chemistry is something that concerns me most for the first line. Obviously it’s something that can’t be gained necessarily from a drill so time will tell whether or not it can be achieved. It seemed like they were on to something when they played the scrubs in Ottawa but last night it really didn’t seem like they were on the same page. Like I said though it’s very early and I’m just being paranoid given that our defense has disappeared. I mean Kalinin gives me heart palpitations similar to the way Harry used to in playoff games...

The so-called sputtering offense with a flood of shots and with the appropriate production is a ghostly reminder of last season. How many times have the Rangers outshot their opponents by a wide margin and ended up losing the game last year? I recall there being many such occassions. Now we have a different cast of character, but the result is still the same: a plethora of bad angle and long distance shots that would have had a slight chance of going in even in the 80s. This tells me that there is something amiss from the management and/or coaching perspective. Either Slats keeps assembling players who make poor decisions with the puck or Renney has not addresses the attack tactics to the degree he should. Maybe, there is a little of both. Defense, with Redden and Kalinin looks suspect. Redden IS slow, which was demonstrated with abundance when Isbister made him look lost. This goes hand in hand with what has been said about why his effectiveness declined after the lockout when grabbing an opponent that is about to blow by you is much harder to get away with sans a penalty. Kalinin would looks bad almost every time he touches the puck. If this does not change, he should not be in the lineup. All in all, there are reasons for concern.

The so-called sputtering offense with a flood of shots and with the appropriate production is a ghostly reminder of last season. How many times have the Rangers outshot their opponents by a wide margin and ended up losing the game last year? I recall there being many such occassions. Now we have a different cast of character, but the result is still the same: a plethora of bad angle and long distance shots that would have had a slight chance of going in even in the 80s. This tells me that there is something amiss from the management and/or coaching perspective. Either Slats keeps assembling players who make poor decisions with the puck or Renney has not addresses the attack tactics to the degree he should. Maybe, there is a little of both. Defense, with Redden and Kalinin looks suspect. Redden IS slow, which was demonstrated with abundance when Isbister made him look lost. This goes hand in hand with what has been said about why his effectiveness declined after the lockout when grabbing an opponent that is about to blow by you is much harder to get away with sans a penalty. Kalinin looks bad almost every time he touches the puck. If this does not change, he should not be in the lineup. All in all, there are reasons for concern.

Who's playing tonight?

Oops, sorry, I missed the last entry by Dubi at BB minus... : )

Last year the Rangers had the worst record in the league when outshooting their opponents

There's still valuable information being posted at BB.com, including tonight's line-up.

=( Devils telecast.. sigh*

Anyone else missing Avery during this game tonight beside me?

Silly and Almost compleatly un-related question.

The biggest problem living here in Hawaii is the lack of Hockey.

No Center Ice package on cable... and last yeat the time delay's prevented me from getting the on-line package, since there wasn't a re-play feature... or at least not one that would have worked for me.

So my question is, did anyone here subscribe to the Center Ice Online service last year... can you confirm or deny the re-play feature...

Also, is there any update for this year... since there is no longer a link to Center Ice Online at NHL.com... Are they still going to stream the games at all?

Thanks for your help!

John

So, what is Renney thinking of Nedved now?

G

The game had no intensity, very slow, both teams just showed up but that's all. Pock didn't make a case for himself. To me, it looks like the 7th D'man is either Fahey or Potter and that scares me. Rozsival just seems way out of it. Hope the contract hasn't gone to his head. Well, it's still just split squads, so we still can't really tell anything. My barometer will be the two games in Bern. They should be our season starting rosters, for the most part. BTW, Del Zotto may just get a look in the first 10 NHL games, if these other D'men continue to show AHL skills. Then the Rangers will have to make a decision. Could be very interesting.

Mark -- Joe Barnes is indeed injured (again). Mike Brodeur is a mystery -- he was on the Traverse City and training camp rosters but never appeared at either, and a guy named Jack Jakaitis skated in net in training camp instead. One would think that suggests injury, but he wasn't on the list of injured players. He's not important enough for anyone to pursue his status.

Hi John,

I had Center Ice Online last year. There is a replay feature. However, it usually took them a couple of days to upload the games, so there is some delay. The NHL has rebranded Center Ice online into "NHL Gamecenter Live". Here is the link.

http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/index.html

Dubi- Thanks for the info. I'm just one of those anal-compulsives who keeps track of all the players in camp. Yeah, I know.

I just was curious because I thought that they had signed him to an NHL contract, but maybe it was an AHL. Too bad for Barnes. The guy ought to call it a career.

Bob

I think fatso missed avery. Yep, I missed him to answer your question and I think we will miss him a bit this season.

Everyone

I am pretty impressed with del zotto, right now I like the looks of him and denisov (only after one game, but atleast he hits and we need that badly) better than rozy and kalinin. potter and fahey look pretty decent as well. Mara will just not fight, but atleasr he gets his nose a little dirty. I am absolutely NOT impressed with prucha. All you hear about is what great shape he is in (didn't everyone say that about lucky luc each year when he showed up to camp with the rangers and he never performed to his ability here). nedved seems to be making a bit more of a case for himself than many (myself included) thought. If renney wants scoring from 4 lines, he might have a shot. I really thin dubi deserves an "A" this year.

I think gomer, dru, dawes, nazzy, nicky, dubi, cally, voros, and orr are safe for the big club. I would try sjo with dru and dawes or fritche and use the other on the 4th line wing with either betts (a def line) or nedved (an o line) as the center. giving byers, pru, jamtin, rismiller, and weise (doubtful) a shot as well. Course it all changes if shanny shows. I really do not want to talk about the d, it worries me beyond staal and girardi.

Thanks all!

oops, sorry add korpi to the list of very possible keepers on the big club.

The offence will surely improve when Sundin shows up, which is a coming attraction. The new guys(Redden, Zherdev etc) I cut some slack since there is always a period of adjustment to a new team and teammates.

The offense will surely improve when we put 3 NHL lines on the ice in the same game. The Devils game was the worst so far, no speed, no energy. The previous games we keep the puck in the attacking zone for long periods of time. Offensive pressure produces goals and a constant attack will net results. Sundin should be considered Dunedin, go away, get lost, go to Detroit or Toronto or anyplace but NY. Hey, how 'bout rooming in with Shanny? Watch Rangers games on MSG!

Tom Renney does not know how to coach offense. He constantly says that offense will come as long as they play defense first. He stifled the offense last year. He doesn't practice power plays. And now without most of our natural scorers from last year, the offense looks even worse.

apologies dubi, despite the great sites (BB and BB+) its just too bad you can't have BB and allow free flowing and open commenting there. the 2 site checking and logging in deal just kinda annoying, but hey that's just me whining a bit.

anyway, watching all the pre-season games and this whole split squad approach is very strange and a bit difficult to grasp. all this good and somewhat good players skating together in lines that seem pretty set for now. what about other line combos, when does that come, if ever? i'm sure certain players would shine a bit brighter if given the chance to skate with gomez, drury, naslund. and especially the drury dawes prucha line, if this the projected 2nd line then i have a lot of concern for this team going forward, i'm just not sure what prucha and dawes will produce! 20 - 25 goals each?

also, maloney did the slap down on avery talk last night, said sean has a 'short shelf life'! haha. good point dave, one team can only take him for a while before they decide despite all his rah-rah talk he's really a loose cannon. but dave, your point about misleading stats was all wrong...the rangers were a nastier, intense and better team most nights when sean took the ice and they will miss that, as we can already see this preseason. that said, someone needs to add the x factor to this rangers team and i know its not going to be a veteran, it has to come from one of the young players.

well, that's my rant. can't wait to rangers are one squad! and some these marginal guys are sent packing and we can really see how this team performs as an entire unit!

ps. wondering how long does sather/renney allow the powerplay to flounder this season without making some sort of coaching change??!!

I think Renney will bring 27 players to Europe.
They are: Gomez, Nasland, Zherdev, Drury, Dawes, Prucha, Dubinsky, Voros, Callahan, Betts, Orr, Sjostrom, Korpikosky, Nedved, Fritsche, Redden, Rozsival, Girardi, Staal, Mara, Kalinin, Pock, Fahey, Denisov, Lundqvist, Valiquette and Wiikman. Four will be sent packing. Wiikman and Denisov most likely, after that I'm not sure. That will depend on performance.

kc

Of Renney you said..."He stifled the offense last year." Well, maybe you didn't hear Dave Maloney last night. He didn't have too many nice things to say about Jagr. Basically he said Renney won't have to put up with Jagr's way to play the game! That's pretty strong. We are seeing a more N-S game, less E-W. We are seeing more player movement on a PP that they haven't even practiced that yet! Maybe it would be better if you hold back critism until we see 5-10 games played the way Renney wants it played.

joeymole

I don't agree with the "nastier" comment. Sean never was nasty, he was a complete ditraction; you want nasty go get Claude Lemeaux, now that was nasty. Avery was a pest and he may have contributed to a more intense game, but the point Dave was making is that there is far more speed and intensity on this team than last years. You didn't see it last night...everybody is wearing a bit thing based on this schedule and the two or three teams we seem to field each night. That's going to change soon. The coaching staff has seen what they need to, so now things will begin to fall into shape. BTW, 65 to 70 goals for the second line is not bad. I think Maloney said he expects 6 forwards on this team to break the 20 goal plateau this season.

Dave Maloney can be very insightful, but he is also employed by the Rangers. Rangers management needs to convince fans that Jagr, Avery and Shanahan were the problem. Fischler and other MSG commentators have to discredit all the old players (unless their name is Messier). I don't see Detroit or NJ getting rid of all their veterans in a down year, but what do they know? I'm not drinking the Rangers management's kool aid.

Dubi-

Nedved played better then Drury,Dawes,Prucha,Rosy and Staal. Please give credit where credit is due. Nedved has 3 points in two games. I dont think anyone on the top two lines even have a point.

I hope Shanny tells Sather to take his tryout and shove it up where the sun don't shine. To ask a 600 goal scorer who has been a Ranger for 2 years to try out for the team is criminal and not worthy of Shanny's effort. You're wanted elsewhere Brendan. Go sign with St Louis and have a great year.

Denver Frank-

Dude I hear you but lets be honest Shanny was a shell of himself for most of last season. I think Sather should only bring him in if he trades Prucha. There is no room on this team right now for him. However I just might be time to cut the cord also. I guess time will tell.

kc

You guys must be blind. Jagr and Shanny WERE the PP problem last year. Everybody jumps on Rozsival for always passing to JJ. Well, don't you think JJ should have said something to Rozi. Damn, he was the CAPTAIN, for crying out loud. Shanny would get set up out in front and everybody knew the pass was coming. Both of them liked being fed, they just didn't get the job done. To defend our PP all you needed to do was cover one of two guys. Kool Aid? Danako basically said the same thing, but he's on the Rangers payroll also as is E.J. Hradik or Don Lagreca (sp?). It's time to move on. I assume you don't think the PP looks better, eh? Look, I liked Jagr and Shanny. The Rangers and those two decided to go in different directions. The style Renney wants to play was not their style. They were great while they were here. If Renney builds this team the way he wants it and then it fails, fire him. But to claim that we had a down year last season is just over the top. The Devils got rid of Brelyn, Matvachuk and a few more. They waited too long on Danako, lost Scott N., Gomez and got nothing in return. I wouldn't look at the Devils as a model franchise. They still don't have ANYTHING in the pipeline to replace Marty. Doom and gloom over in Newark.

As I said before - Denisov should be our 7th D-man - he fights (badly, but he fights), hits, and has a nasty streak that's sorely missing in our d-men. For my money, he should already be ahead of kalinin. C'mon everyone, join me on the bandwagon - there's plenty of room.

Damn, Orr is vicious. lots of punches he got in.

Since July 1 the Rangers via their mouthpieces have been acting as if Renney was handcuffed because of Jagr, that Avery was a cancer in the locker room and that Shanny would be a burden unless he accepts a secondary role.

So here is my question then: Who was running the franchise then the players or the coach? Is Tom Renney that weak that he could not stand up to Jagr?

Sorry I do not buy any of the Ranger spin game here at all.

But at the same time the Rangers are now setting Tom Renney up to be fired if any of the conditions from last season return.

The Rangers have supposedly removed all of their problems so now this team has no choice but to be better right?

No doubt, Jess. We have no choice but to be better. Tell me, did last years team have a N-S game? Tell me, was Renney to bench Jagr and in the process create a "story" that would be talked all over the NY press? How do you think the team would have done with a feeding frenzy of NY media looking for "Jagr, the cancer in the locker room". That's not weakness on Renney's part, it's putting the team first, hoping Jagr would eventually work it out. Renney's use of Dubinsky seemed to meet with JJ's approval and they developed chemistry. Instead of demanding conformance and breaking the team appart, he chose to compromise for the good of the team. It was Jagr that said he was "saving himself" for the playoffs. It was Jagr that had an easy goal to meet and failed to do so. It was Jagr that played his heart out during the playoffs and carried the team, and in so doing, added fuel to the fire that he was saving himself. During the season, everybody knew Jagr was in a funk and it was chalked up to "chemistry". Two very good centers, used to a N-S game were not ready for an E-W, circle the wagons type offense. Shanahan was a mere shell of himself. In the playoffs, Shanny was no where to be seen. It's not Rangers spin, it is what can now be said when these players are not here, because it's the truth. This is a businss, not a lonely hearts club. The Rangers used to be the "retirement destination" of aging superstars, making their farwell tour through the league to the chears of fans paying homage to them. Well, Sather, Renney and others have decided that that should not be the role of this franchise. This years team will be faster, younger and more dangerous then last year. I believe we will have three offensively gifted lines and a 4th line that will put the puck in the net more often. I don't know about Avery, but for what ever reason the Rangers felt they could get along without him. Maybe the cap had something to do with it, maybe his release of private information during the arbitration hearing or maybe the Rangers simply felt that the league was just out to get Avery and they didn't want that to pop up during a playoff run.

We have yet to see the 2008-2009 NY Rangers. I don't care about last season. I look forward and what I see is good, so far. People are moving around in the offensive zone, not just standing around. More players are crashing the net unlike last year when Avery and Callahan were about the only two we could count on to do that. Instead of seeing the Rangers as "setting Tom Renney up to be fired if any of the conditions from last season return", I think they are setting him up for success. ACCOUNTABILITY, that is what every championship team needs. I think that is what Tom Renney wants. Sather has cleared the deck, so you are right; it's up to Renney and his staff. This is the deepest Rangers team I think I have ever seen. The final 2-3 cuts will be very difficult and Renney will be roasted for them, no matter who get cut. That's very good news.

With regard to tonights game. It seems to me that Prucha may be on the bubble. Korpikosky looks very ready. Pock didn't hurt himself in tonights game. Fritschie also played quite well. The Devils game line up may point to who's on the bubble. I think our first look at the real NY Rangers will come in Bern.

Sorry RB on this one we will have to agree to disagree.

Had the Rangers simply just said "thanks Jagr, thanks Avery" and moved on then I would agree with just looking ahead but they did not. Instead the Rangers took the low road and trashed both of them when there was no need to do that.


Dubi

I curious...are the Ranger scouts who are worried about Sanguinetti, the same ones who were worried about Korpikoski before last year? The same Korpikoski who's been one of the best Rangers in the pre-season so far? If so, I'm willing to be a little patience with Sanguinetti in his first year in professional hockey.

Jess the NYR would have been very upset of Jagr & Avery thrashed them.

DUBI what's the REAL Shanahan story, besides the fact that he's working out at the NYR practice center?

The Rangers should have traded Prucha when he was worth something. Looks like the third line should be Dubinsky-Fritshe-Korpikoski at this point. But Jess is right, jagr is out of there(he hated Renney's system and that was evident from his comments) so Renney has that young fast skating team he wants. It's his job to get the results. Will he? I won't bet the house on it.

I'm not saying Shanny should be on the team. I'm just pissed at the way Sather is handling the issue. Sure, he's older and not the player he was 3-4 years ago but you just don't treat him, or any player, like used toilet paper. It's Sather that needs to go though he'll probably die as Rangers GM. That's the damn pity.

Jess,
Jagr pretty much said that he dogged it first half of the season. I'd say they bent over backwards to make him happy by bringing in his countryman, etc..but the number one reason he was happy was he was the guy..the highest paid guy.
And that's why he sulked after the paydays Drury & Gomer got. And they fact that the wouldn't overpay Nylander. At the end of the day it WAS about the $$. Scotty Bowman, Al Arbour etc.. would have taken the "C" from him and rightly so. I think there is a lot more there than we'll ever know and I do believe JJ divided the lockeroom. I say this out of frustration because he was at times amazing to watch. A very unique player. I'm happy to have seen him play but am glad he's no longer in the way. Despite the fact that the NYR are in need of goal scoring.

Lowtide, Sorry, I think you give a bad rap to Jagr, who was our best player in the playoffs and who said that he was trying to keep gas in the tank, and that's him gauging his physical abilities. The only people saying he was pissy about Nylander or Gomez or Drury are people who dislike him. Nowhere was that reported. His tutelage of Dubi and others over his time at the Rangers just emphasizes what a good team player he was.

Granted his tutelage of Dubinsky was great and he did step up in the playoffs. But if you read on BB the comments his father made once he left regarding JJ inability to mesh with the centers they brought in and disliking playing a defensive style game, I would say it's rather safe to infer JJ wasn't happy with the d-first system. Couple that with JJ's comments about his lack of points in a defensive style and seems obvious. I liked him for the most part, but there was other aspects to him regarding 'team' that left much to be desired.IMHO

And yet, despite all that, he was only interested in remaining in the NHL as a Ranger, and he wanted a two year deal to stay a Ranger. That doesn't sound like somebody completely unhappy. He didn't mesh well with Gomez and Drury on the ice. We knew that. Is that his fault? Theirs? he meshed amazingly well with Dubinsky. Go figure. That's the funny thing about chemistry.

As for the defensive system stuff. I don't like my university's focus on teaching Gen Ed classes over specialty classes, but I still love teaching my students. Jagr did something for the Rangers he had never done in his career till he came here--played defensively sound hockey. And why? because he loved playing for this team.

G

That's funny. I recently read that he wanted a 3 year deal, which I thought was odd, because he also said he wanted to go and play for his dad's team in two years. Jaromir is a very bright guy, and I don't think the NYR threw him under the bus. I thought they mad a decision and waited it out until they had a politically sound spin to put out there.
At the same time JJ was putting out different info.
But I'm glad your remain warm and fuzzy about his play on the ice. He deserves the accolades.

Godot and Lowtide10

All your comments are understandable and right. The bottom line was Sather didn't want to be stuck with a multi-year contract, or so he says. Personally, I think Sather made the decision to put the Rangers on the cup track that was the original plan built over the lockout time frame. He felt he could just let JJ, Straka and Shanny walk, add a few parts such as Nasland and Redden as free agents and use the up and coming youth; positioning the team for a long term run at a cup. The Zherdev deal was icing on the cake and, in his mind, if it works out, nobody will remember Tyutin. So I think he NEVER had a desire to resign any of these guys, simply because he could see that it could dampen the development of the youngsters. Ironically, I think the rapid development of Dubinsky played a role here. I think he plans on having Anisimov, Del Zotto, Sags, Korpo, Byers in next years lineup, followed by AC, Weise & Grachev the next year.

We had to part with those high profile players at some point, now is just as good as later. As for trashing these guys, both sides have done it. The three have made good contibutions to the organization. Jagr played well, but not up to the expectations or goals set for him. Avery was everything we asked for. Shanny simply was not the same player after the Knuble thing. It's time to move on. The comments by NYR TV personnel will be measured by the effectiveness of the new PP. If we have a marked improvement, the Renney wins, if it stays in the tank, then Jagr & Shanny were not the problem. Time will tell. I am just happy that we now have no doubt that Renney is in charge. He has nobody to blame. This is his squad and it will be up to him to hold players accountable. If he fails, he is gone. If he succeeds, we all get to have a great season.

NEDVED.... noooooooo. lol

Weise playeed really good and so did Nedved if Renney wants more goals from 4th line he shouldve kept Nedved

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