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October 21, 2008

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DUBI that sounds like a lot of spin from those 3. They might all need to get sharper mentally. They were not with it except for excuses.

sounded like a tired and disdainful gomer there, but i didn't see him saying those words to you, dubi, so i'll take your word for it.

not to totally complain, but what is this team? it reminds me of last year's in that respect, great one moment, barely having a presence on the ice the next. the only constant, really, between the two teams? the coaching staff. and renney, unlike last year, has a sort of exasperated tone nine games into the season, and his body language behind the bench is kind of like a whiny kid, again, after showing not much of any emotion last year. those two second periods in prague, the first period in philly, and the middle of the game in detroit is what i hoped i would see this year as renney promised. the knack we have as a team of helping other teams get over losing streaks or jump start (potentially) a season is really disconcerting (last nite and detroit to name two).

one good thing-rissmiller is waived and i hope to never see his sorry ass on the ice here again. i kept telling people around me at the game last nite to watch #12 and see if he does anything to involve himself in the play. what did sather see with that guy?

random thoughts: glad to see gomer and his new linemates having immediate success. hope that continues. why wasn't voros on the ice at the end? we've been the most successful getting his body in front of the net and when we need a goal he's not there? sort of like betts and orr taking regular shifts too when the game's on the line.

drury? wow. the leetch as captain syndrome coming back at us again, when gravey should have been the captain and maybe the new gravey (brandon dubinsky) should be our new captain??
i want to see korpi, fritsche and sjostrom as a line. i just got a hunch about those three. but i won't hold my breath.

gomer, cally & dawes
dubi, voros & Z
dru, naslund &
betts, orr &

two spots open for right now four forwards (prucha the other). renney needs to set them in place and let them play whoever they are for a number of games and see who works with whom.

Rosival? If management is working on the deal with the excess forwards he needs to be included. we should agree to pay some of his salary since we're the idiots that agreed to it in the first place. when will he break his habit of holding on to the puck for that extra second or so where he gives the other team a chance to clog the lane, block his shot and/or a pass?? might be the jagr hangover of still looking for him on the ice but it's driving me crazy every game. he does some other things well. but i can't take four more years. i'd rather see potter up here.

and hank needs to make a great save. the best saves this year have all been made by our minor league goalie.

i need to get back to work.

Alan, he was just kidding around -- he wasn't being insulting or disdainful. I laughed along with everyone else, especially since it was not the first time he made a comment about what I was wearing -- once when I was wearing my Alaska shirt, he complimented me on it and joked that it was worth me getting an exclusive interview.

Give Dallas some credit, Dave Tippett is a great coach in my books. As for Rosy, couldn't agree more. Move him out and bring in Sundin(sorry Bill!) because it's just what this team needs. I'm gonna get crucified but here are my lines with the above hypothetical scenario: Naslund-Sundin-Dubinsky(yes, on the wing); Voros-Gomez-Z; Dawes-Drury-Callahan; Korpikoski/Fritsche-Betts-Sjostrom. Never going to happen with Renney but those lines would make ME very happy.

Sundin in place of Rozi? Never saw Mats play defense but at his age I guess anything is possible. This loss came right off Hank's stick. He couldn't have made a better centering pass to Modano if he tried.

I think there may be a communications problem here. Renney talks about a 1-4 trap and "chipping" the puck in and Gomez and Drury are talking about getting it "deep" when they see a 1-4 defense. Most Rangers, when they tried to get the puck in, shot it hard around. Well, that's one way for sure. But the other is to pop it off the boards and let the puck end up deep in the corner, soft enough to it stays out of the goalies reach. I would have to see a replay, but it seemed to me we did the hard around OK but the little chip seemed to end up with more Stars around the puck then Rangers. It was as if the guy doing the "chipping" was also the guy getting the puck. And most times he was "slightly" interfered with and the other Star went for the puck. The little "chip in" needs to have at least 2 going in, one just behind the dump but on his horse, going flat out so he beats the other defenseman to the puck. Didn't see much of that, except for Gomer. Three days off, good. Friday we need to get it going, again.

Glad to see the log jam broken. Rissmiller didn't show much more to keep him. It seems that Slats couldn't find a trading partner or the price was too high. It may be time for that 7th defenseman? And I don't mean Subdin.

I don't usually like to post lines and it is early in the season but I would love to see Korpi with Nas and Drury. Is it me or does Redden look just ordinary out there. Z

Bones I don't think its wise to move a d-man for a forward, and why wold you break up a line that is working so well?

Z, I was thinking the same thing re: Korpi.

G

At this point, I don't think Potter could be any worse than Roszival; we'd lose offensively but gain defensively. That 5 mil has to go to get Sundin, and maybe we could pick up a lower cost D in a trade as well, especially if we include Prucha.

Forget about Roszival going anywhere at this point of the season, especially with a 5mill/4year contract and you are not going to replace him with a forward....not going to happen. Lets face it face...Rosy is Rosy. While his play sometimes is not up to 'our' (the fans) standards, he is still probably a top ten defensemen in this league. The defense (18 goals against in nine games)is not the lurking problem right now....it's the inconsistency of the offense and two key players, Drury & Naslund, not producing the points they were counted on for. Even Naslund's goal the other night doesn't take him off the hook...his goal was a 'tap in' of a shot that missed the net and he was fortunate to get a 'juicy' bounce off the boards. Those two guys must produce...plain & simple. I don't think the plan for this season was to have Voros & Dubinsky leading the team in points and if that's still the case deeper into the season that's a big trouble. Not being able to beat the nuetral zone trap in both of the loses this young season must be addressed. I am sure the guys scouting the Rangers are reporting that's the way to beat the Rangers. Renney & his staff have their work cut out for them, but the players must step it up to have continued success and not take this good start for granted.

Is it just me or are the D-men being allowed to interfere with forwards going into forecheck more this season? I've seen a handful of non-Ranger games in addition to the Ranger ones and it seems like a trend. Has anyone else noticed this or are my "Please God, no! Don't let the NHL revert to a trap happy league again!" goggles on overdrive.

Bones

"we'd lose offensively but gain defensively"...Now tell me you're serious. The Rangers are having trouble scoring goals and you want to weaken the team offensively and make it stronger defensively. OK! Next?

ntb

I've noticed that too. It's just very subtle. I wonder if any of the GM's have noticed. The GM meetings start today, I think. Maybe something will be said.

paul in fla

Just my opinion here but not sure that qouting stats (ie. 18 GAA in 9 games) is the best measurement of the team defense the Rangers have played so far this year. Not trying to be sarcastic or combative here but instead of looking at stats, lets look at what we've seen on the ice. I've seen a team defense that has been quite good at times: forwards coming back strong, defense winning pucks and quick first passes up the ice. However, I've also seen long stretches where the Rangers defensemen look befuddled and unsure with the puck in their own and where the forwards have been woefully out place or missed key checks. Lots of running around and way too many good chances for the opposition. Frankly I think we've benefited from playing some teams that have been struggling and that has helped keep our GAA average down. We've certainly shown at times that we can play complete team defense so heres to hoping thats what we see Friday pm in CMH.

Thank you Marty, you just ably summarized what bill has overlooked, the sloppy D in our own end and how fortunate we have been to
in not having more goals scored against us. Rosy is not going to solve the offensive problems but deleting him and adding Sundin will, I assure you. Slats, get on the phone and do your job!

Dubi:

The new issue just made it to the Jersey shore. And thank god, because the wife and kids are all out and about this evening, and there isn't a Ranger game on.

Maybe I'll watch The Avery Show against Fatso and the Debbies...

Fellow fans...I am not saying that the Rangers defense is perfect by any means, nor am I saying that Rozy's play has been stellar. Despite some poor stretches of defensive play, the "D" has a habit of "hanging in there" and keeping a game close...sometime it's not very pretty...I agree 100%. My point was that I don't think the Rangers will tinker with the current defense (including moving Rozy) in an effort to resolve the offensive issues that are at the heart of the problem right now. Last year was very similar...the offense had trouble scoring and the defense (including Hank of course) was able to keep them in tight low scoring games. Who knows...Slats may have something up his sleeve in looking at an offensive player, but I doubt it will be at the expense of the defense.

paulinflorida

The sound of reason! The defense has not been as bad as some make it out to be. One-third of the defense is new to the Renney system. Drury, Zherdov and Naslund have not scored goals like they should be. The Rangers have won 13 of the 20 points available. That's about 107 points over the season. Yes, it's early and using stats at this time may not mean anything. But obsevation says we are playing a pretty good defense and we have 2 seasoned vets not producing and one youngster that has yet to find his game.

Bones, the issue of Sundin is TOTALLY a CAP issue. If you think the Rangers are going to trade Rozsival and NOT get back another quality defenseman, they you must have loved last years team. If a quality D'man comes our way, then a high priced forward needs to go. So, if you really think about it, getting Sundin will breakup the chemistry and teambuilding we have established to date. So you are proposing to start the season all over again. The only way this can make any sense is that you simply dislike Rozi and love Sundin. And, dispite your claims that this move would make all the difference, the fact is you have no idea what the result will be. Better to go with the team you know instead of the hope team you wish for.

Rozy is here to stay. I don't foresee him being traded or anything else. One thing I did notice is Rozy's hesitation on the two sides of the ice. Offensively on the pp, opposition are aggressive on putting pressure on the blue line and at times, Rozy has trouble either making decisions with the puck or passing. Defensively, breakdowns on coverage or taking the bodies (whole team is fault as well).

I hope as a team, it's fatigue more than anything else. Hope the results will fare better for Fridays game.

Rangerbill, it seems to me that you think that if Rosy is traded, somehow the defense will be compromised and we'll go downhill. I disagree wholeheartedly. Rosy is Rosy, an OK D whose faults are obvious to all, judging from what I read here. The problem with Rosy is that at 5 mil, he eats up too much cap space for what he gives the team. If the Rangers can survive without JJ and Avery, they will survive without Rosy and Prucha who both need to be shipped elsewhere if possible. Sundin is getting a physical in Toronto and then is going to L.A. to train and get into game shape. He'll be ready to go in about a month and Slats needs to be ready to sign him when the time comes. Although you are a skeptic, you are going to love what he brings to our team and I'm confident you'll be the first one to say so. Trade Rosy, sign Sundin, bring up Potter!

Bones

If Rozi is such a problem at $5MM, what makes you think anybody want's him? Your assessment of Rozsival is just wrong. We can agree to disgree on that, but Rozsival is here to stay unless some really big trade was proposed. He's 2nd among defensemen in team scoring, 7th overall on the Rangers and tied in 6th (with a lot of others) among NHL defensemen. I never said Sundin wouldn't hepl the Rangers, I just said we con't need him.

Sidenote, when was the last time a BB was sent out in the mail? I feel like I haven't received one since the end of the summer..

Actually I meant Start of the summer, not end..

Roszival being up there in scoring just shows how weak we are up front.

Bill
Who knows if anyone would want Rosy, but his inflated salary suggests that other teams were willing to fork out to get him as a free agent. Sather was a meathead for giving him this much money and should have let him walk. Perhaps he is immovable but it wouldn't hurt to try and peddle him to teams that have cap room like the Leafs who have Sundin's 6 mil dollar salary seemingly available.

@Marcus,

I received the latest BB on Tuesday (for a geographical reference point, I'm in Central Illinois).

I guess I'll have to retract my Rosy to the Leafs scenario today in view of what their coach Ron Wilson said and I quote: " I don't like defencemen skating the puck 150 ft. and slowing the play down and then making a pass when they run out of real estate. It shortens your offence, and slows your team down." He goes on to characterize this approach as pre-lockout style and maladaptive in the new high speed game. Sounds just like Rosy to me. Headmaning the puck is the name of the game. It's also why Gomez needs high speed wingers.

@Marcus,

I have not received mine.... but it usually takes 2-3 weeks to make it out here to Honolulu. Just FYI.

John in Hawaii

mine hasnt gotten to me yet in PA, but last month it took three weeks to get here. being in the middle of Cryers country prolly dont help either.

this usual renny flipping lines around again sucks. he should have left voros-dubi-nz together. they've been gelling since being put together, being young guys they had the good chance of being a decent force for most of the year. i hope he flips them back soon

paul in fla

sorry if I was too harsh in jumping on your GAA comment; agree with your point that our D does have a way of "hanging in there" and as RB94 points out, we got some new guys learning the system. lets hope the good, cohesive team defense efforts continue to outweigh the poor ones.

njaco1215

agree that I hate to see the Dubi/Z/Voros line broken up as its been fun to watch them produce with enthusiasm. On the other hand, Renney had to do something. Seems clear we're not going to have a top-flight, #1 goal scoring line so he's got to find a way of getting all top 9 forwards producing in a meaningful way night in, night out; however Z seems like an odd choice to put with two struggling forwards as, in the past, he has tended to try to do much so this might be a bit of a trap for him. Who knows, maybe the chemistry will click and Drury will set him up with some slick passes and he can blast that wicked one-timer we saw on all those Blue Jacket highlight clips...

marty & njaco1215

"Seems clear we're not going to have a top-flight, #1 goal scoring line" Absolutly right!!! The goal was and is to have 3 good lines. That's why Sather let JJ, Straka and Shanny walk. This is still a "work in progress". Zherdov was the big question mark. The top 9 forwards were Drury, Gomez, Naslund, Zherdov, Dubinsky, Callahan, Prucha, Voros and Dawes. Right now we have Dawes, Prucha and Drury just not getting the job done. It's not because they aren't any good, they're just in a funk. The jury is still out on Zherdov. So what we are dealing with is simply one entire line that's not producing. Last year we were built around two players, Jagr and Shanny. If they didn't produce, we were lost. Toward the end last year Dubinsky got the Jagr line working, but nothing got Shanny going. Result: a one line team. To have gotten off to such a good start with only 2 lines working is great. Moving guys around to find some combination that will get all three lines going is the task at hand. So don't get overly excited with all this. This is a great problem to have.

RB94 - well put and agree all around except did you overlook Naslund on your list of forwards not getting it done or do you think he's been productive so far?

i see Naslund being this years Shanny. getting some points throughout the year but not really meshing with anyone

marty

You're right, Naslund isn't getting it done either. Lets all remember, these signings were based on players having a "so-so" year (Redden, Naslund and Zherdov) and the hope they would be able to return to form with a change of scenery. I guess I didn't include Naslund is because Naslund is 4th in Rangers scoring, so he's somewhat productive. To see Dawes and Drury with one point and Prucha with no points is where I'm coming from.

RB94 - agree we certainly need production from the guys you mention; particularly looking for Drury to pick it up.

Frankly, I thought he seemed kind of out of it for most of last year and he seems to have up where he left off: too many passes not on the tape, pucks jumping over his stick, too many missed checks, shots missing the net; he just does not seem menatlly sharp/engaged for a player of his caliber. Perhaps last year he adjusting to a new team/new role and this year is adjusting to the new players/wearing the C.

good thing is that overall the team has been working pretty hard, just need to start converting on the chances.


Marty

I think Dru will breakout of this funk. Lets remember that he is Mr. Clutch and the first 3-4 months of the season simply isn't "clutch time". In March & April we play Boston twice, Philly 4 times (I'm not counting them out, yet), Montreal twice and New Jersey, Pitt and Buffalo once. That's when I want Mr. Clutch to perform. Now the others I mentioned need to get going or they need to be moved.

Marty..your comments regarding the GAA were not harsh at all, actually spoken like a true gentlemen.
RangerBill...I agree, this is a work-in-progress and I still believe that it will take 15-20 games to see what this team is all about. The great start has been a bonus and the next 10 games will be very important ones and a better barometer in what to expect going forward. Based on those reults it may be decision time on making some moves or we will all be smiling and drinking Sather's "Kool-Aid". Going into tonights game it still makes me shake my head that Zherdev is being moved to the Drury/Naslund line in an effort to get them going. Essentially, a "kid" to get two "veterans" going in the right direction..lets see how that works out.

You want to get Drury going--get the power play on track. Here's some interesting numbers throughout Drury's career:

----------- %ppg ---- %ppa ---- %ppp
Career -- 0.3853 -- 0.4131 -- 0.4015

I should clarify, the above numbers are the percentage of goals, assists, and points that Drury scored on power play. So, PPG/Total Goals, PPA/Total Assists, PPP/Total Points. Basically, Drury scores a bunch on the powerplay.

Dubi,

Just finished reading the latest issue. I really enjoyed it. I guess hockey players don't read books much. : ) I hope our prospects in NCAA do, at least.

In bio section Voros was listed at 6'3", 178. That's a misprint, right?

How about creating a regular section for "letters/comments from the readers"?

Dubi,

Just finished reading the latest issue. I really enjoyed it. I guess hockey players don't read books much. : ) I hope our prospects in NCAA do, at least.

In bio section Voros was listed at 6'3", 178. That's a misprint, right?

How about creating a regular section for "letters/comments from the readers"?

Well, paulinflorida, I guess you got your answer to how Drury/Naslund/Zherdev will work out! Next game they could play lioke crap, that's what hockey is all about. It is also why Renney wants 3 good lines. All you need is for one line to play out of their heads and the other two play well and you send a coach like Hitchcock into orbit trying to figure out the line matches.

Like the Detroit game, tonights game will be an improtant test of our team and it's system.

RB94 - indeed good to see Z spark that line a bit; maybe a bit more room to move tonight against the Pens so hopefully they can keep in going.

Paul in FLA - good call in your previous post about the Rangers D "hanging in there" cause that pretty much sums up the 3rd period (although I still think they once again gave up too many good chances - thanks goodness Tyutin's shot accuarcy hasnt improved).

Maybe we see things the way we want as fans but I can't say enough about Marc Staal. His poise for a 2nd year pro is terrific. When the puck gets dumped in to the Rangers end, I think he does the best job of all our D-men of getting to the puck and possessing or at least neutralizing the opposing forward. And he's showing a bit of an edge too recently, some nice big open ice hits (although 1 or 2 have been a wee bit late). Wouldn't mind seeing him throw a few of those (late or not) tonight.

RangerBill...the result of the Zherdev/Drury/Naslund experiment was a success....Drury +2 Naslund +2 and Zherdev 3 points. Now if we can get the score sheet to look like Drury 2 goals, Naslund 2 goals and Zherdev + 2 or something like that on a consistent basis, then the experiment was a real success.
Marty...yup, the "D" does have this habit of "hanging in there" eventhough it's not so pretty sometimes..they just get the job done and Hank takes care of the rest.

paulinflorida

Now lets not go crazy! % goals a game from one line? That would put the GAG line into the Hall of Shame. Your thoughts are great, but...

I don't know where the 96 came from, I ment 5 goals per game.

RB94

Actually, the Rangers have taken 17 out of a possible 22 points, and they are on a pace for 127 points. Keep getting the points early; less points will be needed in the 2nd half of the season.

And, Rozsival is the player most likely to be moved at season's end. He doesn't have an NMC/NTC. And, D-men's value is always inflated in the off-season. Besides, I would expect the Rangers to attempt to ink both Dubinsky and Zherdev to extensions to shortly after Jan 1, 2009. They will end up having to create cap space somehow.

"RangerBill...the result of the Zherdev/Drury/Naslund experiment was a success....Drury +2 Naslund +2 and Zherdev 3 points."

Actually, Naslund scored both of his goals on the PP, with Gomez as his center. And, Zherdev scored last night when Dubinsky was on the ice, not Drury. At this point, Drury becomes an expensive 3rd line center, and Naslund should play next to Gomez, while Zherdev should go back to flanking Dubinsky. The Rangers have four players - Gomez, Naslund, Dubinsky and Zherdev - playing and producing like top six forwards. They need a RW to play on the line with Gomez and Naslund.

jas

At this point they have demonstrated that they don't need anything! In past years it would have been the Rangers with the 2-0 lead, getting the game tied in the closing seconds and loosing it in OT or the SO. But this team is now finding ways to win and they are doing it with 8-9 forwards and 3 defensemen. No body is going anyplace. As far as who plays with who...it sems to me that it doesn't matter very much.

If I have any concerns, it's with our performance over the next 5 games. All are against very poor teams, so we simply can't that a day or two off. This could be 8-10 more points if we stay focused.

Just so you know Dubi, I received my copy on Friday here in Denver. I think the Postman must be an Islanders fan or something, because the cover looks like it was used as shin pads in a street hockey game. All pages are intact and legible though!

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