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November 30, 2008

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I don't believe that fighting should ever be taken out of the game. I don't know why he doesn't get all up in arms about the NHL insistance of allowing the refs to call the most marginal of calls and yet turns a blind eye to dangerous hits ...

This game today can be very good or seriously ugly(win or lose) given our team's current trend of playing down to the level of their competition.

If we have PP's today, despite Roszie's improved play as he's still not taking shots from the point, I will continue to shake my head at Renney for continuing to send guys to the point who can't or won't shoot. He's the coach, he needs to fix it and stop talking about the changes that he will implement if they don't start shooting. Stop talking and make it happen!

Kalinin hasn't been as bad as expected...only because the expectations were so low.

As for fighting, it will never be banned (at least not anytime soon). Brooks may dislike it, but there are plenty of fans who love it and does the NHL really want to piss off some of the more loyal fans? I think the NHL is moving in the right direction. If you look at NHL rosters, there are fewer and fewer pure goons. And the teams that do have them, don't play them very much. The emphasis on skating and speed has really hurt the goons. Just look at Orr, he has had to improve his skating dramatically just to remain in the line-up. This is a good thing.

The fact that Kalinin completes a trifecta of crappy dmen along with Rozsival, and Redden shouldn't let management off the hook for saddling this team with a monstrous cap hit for years to come. Kalinin we can kiss goodbye next year I believe, but not so with the other two. I think Commodore and Hainsey would have been much better for much cheaper, but what do I know? Both Redden and Rozsival give the puck up WAY too much regardless of who they are playing with. Adding that they are two of the softest dmen around does not help matters any. Watching Redden rush the puck is frustrating as well, and to even bring up the power play gets my blood boiling. Hank is the only reason that our record is as good as it is, make no mistake about that. The only hope that I see is if Del Zotto makes great progress or someone magically falls into our laps. This team has some of the tools to go a long way, but fixing the D last summer should have been a no-brainer IMHO. That being said I hope the best for this team, but when my blood pressure goes sky high watching the Rangers I find myself watching the London Knights alot lately to take the edge off...

Funny how JoeM went out of his way to mention that the Rangers 12-1 record when Z scores shouldn't be attributed to one player that it's a team effort and yet all last season all the talk was about how the Rangers winning Record with Avery in the lineup was all about him ... which I always thought was giving him WAY too much credit since all those wins with him in the lineup could be pointed to Henrik and Jagr having fantastic games ... I just had to roll my eyes at his comment

Great article on Kalinin Dubi. As far as fighting goes, I was watching the HNIC wrap up show last night and they said that fighting has been steadily increasing over the last three years, and that is a good thing in my opinion. They need to let players police the game themselves and that will be safer. (imagine if orr, fritsche, mara, or dubi were able to get to ruutu right after his shot, the place would have just erupted and it would have been awesome. Even though it was a "legal" shot). Oh well, I can dream, back to the D, I agree that 3 of our d men are roughly the same and make a bit too much money, so here's hoping glennie does something to correct this at some point. One last thing, fighting in hockey is like big accidents in NASCAR (no, Im one of the few that actually does NOT watch nascar), it is what gets the fringe fan or "non" fans attention to the sport like it or not. NASCAR was smart enough to capitalize on the attention that the crashes brought and now look how big it is. Maybe hockey should be playing on the fighting a little more to get hockey a bit more exposure I mean the MMA, UFC number 653 or something, cmon it is just how society his. The true fans of hockey will always know its part in the game, but why not take advantage of the casual fan and promote the game a bit more with an obviously popular part of the game with that casual fan!

I can't help but noticing that Kalinin wasn't on the ice for the first 3 Florida goals! The first one Staal blew a tire, but the other two? You look, I'll whistle!

Hank sure looks pissed on the bench (and I doubt he is pissed at himself this time). Cant say this game surprises me - Panthers knew they were the better team in FLA so they pretty much are playing the same game.

I know Renney is loathe to do this but he's probably going to have tinker, once again, with our lines. We cant keep going game in, game out creating no offense at even strength. You have to wonder if there are ANY possible combinations among our 18 forwards that can some create some danger at even strength on a consistent basis?

Heres hoping for another 3rd period comeback...

Great piece on Kalinin, Dubi. Well I got around to reading Brook's column about fighting and the only part I agree with is the staged fight between enforcers. Fighting has been and always should be part of the game. What aggravates me is when a roster spot is taken up by a player (and I use the term loosely) whose greatest contribution on the ice is his ability to fight.

The other night Blair Betts was breaking in on a 2 on 1 in the Florida zone. You could see him look to his right to make a pass, but didn't when he saw Colton Orr was the winger who was with him. Yes Orr was open and Betts could easily gotten the puck to him. I'm sorry, I don't care how much Orr has improved his skating ability over the passed two seasons, he will never be a complete hockey player. I'd much rather see Petr Prucha, who scored more goals in his first two seasons than Orr will score in a lifetime on that line. For those of you who will say that Prucha is a defensive liability, fine then place Rissmiller or Dane Byers on that line instead.

So of course no sooner do I post this than the four D other than Kalinin and his partner Mara each go -2 for a total of -8. But with his giveaways in the Ranger zone, Kalinin could easily be -2 by this time too.

This just one of those games when the hockey gods are against you. Don't blame anybody...just burn the tape. We have some tough games coming up, so we need to get it together.

Not saying your wrong about Kalinin, Dubi but at least his salary won't be handcuffing us for years. Bad D looks like it is taking a back seat to lack of interest with todays game though. This team needs to get motivated, and if coaching isn't doing it then what next?

rb are you kidding? They are suppose to learn from their mistakes, and there were plenty. But if you think sweeping that garbage under the carpet is the answer, I strongly disagree. They should have to give a refund today.

While this is true Rangerbill our team once again shot themselves in the foot ... as hard as the Panthers worked for their breaks our team gave the game away as well ... the way they played today was just pathetically uninspired ... the entire game nearly like this ...

The only thing I have to look forward to is that as the schedule gets tougher hopefully our team can stop thinking that all they need to do is show up on the ice and the other team will just hand them the win and actually work hard from the beginning of the game until the end ... The Rangers have played top opposition very well ... just like last season

Hey is reality no matter what kind of spin you want to try to put on this game:

Panthers 4
Rangers 0


I am so sick about hearing about uninspired efforts, I am sick of excuses from players and coaches.

Stop talking

Start fixing

That's the problem Jess ...

Our team is all talk talk talk and yet despite talking and acknowledging what's wrong they don't do anything to change what is leading to these non-efforts ...

I mean if they were to lose a game that they gave 100% effort I would be annoyed but you know what? It happens ... but the majority of the losses that they do have, with all due respect to the team's they lost to, is because they just didn't care as much as their opponents about working hard and winning the game ...

A loss like the one in Detroit I will take because they hustled and busted their butts, yet came up short ... yes I love our record but our team is seriously lacking in the grit and passion department and you wouldn't think so but they are and I'm concerned because despite our goaltending and PK if we continue to play like this it will catch up to us big time just like it did to OTT last season

PowerPlay is fine, nothing to see here...please move along and pay the toll to Perry Pearn

I think the question may be "can it be fixed"? There are quite a few things that need fixing and right now the resources are limited. The lack of effort is one thing and that must be addressed immediately by the coaching staff.

But is the bigger problem the personnel? Lets face it, without Hank this a mediocre group of talent. There is no "true" top line with consistent scorers like most of the better teams in league have, the second and third lines are just that, and the fourth line plays hard but can't score. The defense has some big names, gets paid a lot of money, error prone at times, and are playing no better than average. While the Rangers have depth (in numbers) at the forward positions, the talent is that of mostly third line players. The Power Play is terrible and shows no signs of getting any better. We have seen the lines changed numerous times and what works one night may not work the next night. The defense pairings have changed but the glaring errors keep showing up among some of same players regardless of which pairing. With the exception of the Penalty Killing there are a lot of things that need fixing.

How much can Renney do with this group? It's not like he's not trying? You have to work with what you got.

The Rangers come out of November with a 7-6-1 record for the month. Of the seven wins, only two (Devils & Bruins) were against playoff caliber hockey teams. Yes, you have to beat the weaker teams also, but December brings a lot tougher opponents starting this week with the Pens & Habs.

Trust me, I am not trying to be all negative and bashing 'my team' but when you keep seeing the way the team is playing night after night you have to ask the tough questions. I certainly hope my observations will be proven wrong and I'll be the first one to 'eat crow'. Fasten your seat belts as this could be a very interesting month ahead.

Guess we could say this was a "trap" game. I think even Gomer said we have some big games coming up this week. I do not think that should be an excuse, not really an excuse for that type of game, but Im sur that's what happened. I do like what Renney said about guys trying to go out there towards the end and mix it up, but they did not have any takers.

Maybe the biggest problem is that we do see a winning record and that makes us all hesitant to speak up about what is wrong with the Rangers.

If the record was 500 or less then there is no question we would all be up in arms.

The majority of the Ranger wins have been built upon beating the cellar dwellers of the NHL.

We keep seeing what is wrong as it is the same mistakes over and over.

We keep hearing the same words out of the players and coaching staff.

Yes the Rangers had a 3 game win streak but when you look closely at it then it really was 1 win and 2 ties if not for the shootout.

Paul you are right, you have to beat the weaker teams in the NHL but if you bring this kind of effort against the better teams in the NHL then we won't we worrying about this winning record it will be a thing of the past

I was at the game, and Roszival was booed a lot. By the end of the game, people were booing Redden, who has been pretty crappy also.

Power play is god awful. No chances in front, no rebounds, no one going to the net.

well they all deserved the boos yesterday.

Jess,

its true that if the team was merely .500 they would be criticized more but imo as you said they need to stop talking and take action because pretty soon, unless they start playing hard, our record will vanish and we wont be at the top of the conference

with only 3 regulation wins in the last 14 games, they are over dependent on the SO.a record of 17-7-2 would be 11-7- 8 if no SO.

if they were a .500 team; over dependent on the SO; can it be fixed; once again shot themselves in the foot.

We have 4 streaks of 3 or more consecutive wins, 2 streaks of two loses in a row without getting any points. This game was one of those games EVERY team has throughout a season. Nobody was playing at the top of their game. Were they looking ahead? Were they taking the Panthers for granted? Were they not ready for a Saturday afternoon matinee? If we win 3 out of every 5 games, that's about 98 points by season end. A complete lack of effort simply happens sometimes. If I'm the coach I can use this as a building block, but lets not harp on it as some awful sign. The only time I would be upset with this kind of performance, that is a "mail it in" type game, is during the playoffs. EVERY GAME in the playoffs is very important and you can never afford to give one away.

We are playing at a 100+ point clip right now. That can not be maintained because this team, as currently structured, just isn't that good. If, by some chance, the PP gets up in the 20 percent range, well that's another story.

What everyone is complaining about? This is how this team is build - superstar goalie who's going to win plenty of games by himself. Two second lines who would do what second lines are supposed to do - complement with ocassionally won games (sometimes even helping to put on a winning streak), and two fourth lines who thanks to defense first system are going to keep it close most of the time.

With this roster Rangers are going to make play-offs and realistically will exist in the first two rounds. If Lundqvist is going to go nuts and get to another level (I don't even know if that level exists) they might even go a little deeper though it's doubtful because there are plenty of quality goalies in the league this year.

Unless there is another trade like Zherdev's that brought quality for quantity it's unfair to this group of players to expect anything more.

The Rangers are walking a "tight line" with these narrow victories, especially against the weaker teams. If you look at November it was one game better than .500...that's the worrisome thing coming into games with some tougher opponents. The deficiencies in any team always come back to haunt you, and usually they will eventually show up in your record. Right now the Rangers record doesn't show the deficiencies, but we all know they are there staring this team in the face. As things stand now, in my humble opinion, the November record of a .500 hockey team is probably a better indicator than the overall record reflects....even with Henrik standing on his head most nights. Very Very interesting month ahead.......

PP time vs. Fla:

Girardi 4:55
Redden 4:40
Rozsival 3:11
Mara 2:56
Kalinin 0:43
Staal 0:05

Orr 0:15

I'm sorry but I don't care about the defiencies of this team when it comes to the offensive talent they have(or don't have for that matter) ... the problem with this team is their lack of effort and hard work which they NEED in order to win consistently.

If they were losing because they were simply not good enough even though they gave it 100% effort it would suck but they tried their best. Their losses and most of the close SO win games have happened because they have simply not worked harder than the other team. That is a trend that they have going and it has to stop now.

kovazub94

The goal is to have 3 #2 lines. Prucha or Dawes simply have not produced as they were expected to. Three #2 lines and a solid 4th line could get us much deeper into the playoffs then previous years. It's not another big time scored that we need. It's a Prucha or Dawes that MUST produce. Given plenty of time to produce, I guess that we now know that the third line is just another energy line. If we trade, we need to include somebody that will get about 20 goals on the third line.

paulinflorida

My projection for December is something just under .500. We will play a bunch of tough games and they should be a good test. I still think the biggest problem facing the Rangers is the PP. We get that fixed and we should be in good shape. However, lets not fool ourselves. This is NOT a Stanley Cup team, even if the PP gets fixed and we find that 3rd line player who can get 20 goals or more. The defense still is a problem. In todays NHL it seems that most goals are scored when the other team makes a mistake. Our defense makes too many mistakes to carry us through a long playoff run. Boy, I sure wish we could have landed Boyle, but that just wasn't going to happen. And I don't think you'll see a Bouwmeester in a Ranger sweater anytime soon. Maybe something with Nashville will happen, they have a glut of D'men and need a forward or two.

Hey RangerBill...Yep, the power play is a killer. Can it be 'fixed' with what Renney has to work with ? I am not so sure anymore...with what we have to work with even getting to that around 20% is a major challenge. Agree, this is not a championship team by any means and with this personnel as it stands now it's just not in the cards. The Rangers have some big bucks tied up in some key players and that's going to be a problem beyond this year....only exception for certain is Henrik as he is worth every penny !

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