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November 24, 2008

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What's myopic about skepticism based on seeing the same things two years running despite a sea change in personnel? And, it isn't like last year after a weak start the team came around...it was Jagr elevating his game that made all the difference.

I agree with most of what you said, Dubi. I made the same claim last season, when it appeared that Renney had lost his team. However, to his credit, he got it back and went on to have a good run. I hope Renney hasn't lost the confidence of the team, because if he did it doesn't what he did, could do or will do. That coach/team relarionship is EVERYTHING. And, I agree that a coaching change can only shake the team up for a while.

If I were the owner of the Rangers, at the end of the game I would have gone into the lockerroom and said this. "Before the next practice , each of you are to form a line outside Coach Renney's office and turn into Coach Renney a slip of paper with two things on it. First, you name; second, what team you WANT to play for. After the practice Coach Renney & I will get together and make every effort to place you with the team you would rather play for. Sorry for the interuption, coach, I just had to get this off my chest. Have a good day, gentlemen."

To me, the thing we keep seeing despite sea changes in personnel is this team repeatedly going to the playoffs. Too many players changed over those years to pin that accomplishment solely on personnel. Renney turned this team around, so I'm not about to stick a knife in his spine just yet.

It's up to Sather to sit tight or do something. But 3 years of a PP that has underperformed should be enough to get Pearn out of that job. It's the corporate culture of MSG that is showing it's head. Turn it on in March and make the playoffs , to exit by the 2nd round and raise ticket prices for the next season. That is not 'in search of excellence'.

If you wanna give Renney a pass for the problems with this team I can buy it. However there has to be some sort of accountability. If we're giving Renney a break for doing his best with the hand he's dealt then we must hold accountable the one dealing the cards, Glen Sather. nhlnumbers.com (great site) has Rozival, Redden, Gomez and Drury making $5, $6.5, $7.05 and $7.35 million respectively. That's $25.9 million, over 45%, of $55.6 on 4 players! Henrik is in the $6.5 range and is worth every cent but those 5 compose half of the cap. I'm not sure what the total cap is but the Rangers are right up against it. In the short term, the roster has no 7th defenseman. Long term which of the top 3 centers would be moved to see what a player like Arminov has at the NHL level without being relegated to a 4th line defensive role?. What's gunna happen if a team torpedos the Rangers if Dubinsky becomes a RFA alla Edmonton with Vanek 2 years ago? Don't get me wrong, Gomez and Drury are excellent players but which of those 4 could steal a playoff series single handedly the way Jagr or Hossa have the potential to? Which of those 4 do teams fear going into MSG? Clearly they overpaid for Gomez and Drury 2 years ago. I feel the Rangers' best team was 2 years ago when they lost to Buffalo. If you brought back Nylander say to Naslund's current deal (2 years $4 million) and signed either Gomez or Drury you'd have right now A) a more potent offense with Jagr Nylander and let's assume Straka, B) a super 1A line centered by Gomez or Drury and C) a still nice mix of a while developing young core on the NHL roster (Dawes Dubinsky Cally) learning like sponges for 2 years instead of 1. One can already see how Dubinsky positions his body shielding off defenders with his ass like his mentor Jaromir. Try and extrapulate that another season with tid bits here and there. I'll omit the moves of the likes of Shanny, Avery, Voros and Zererdev cause it is tough to project those secondary moves over 2 seasons. Sather has done nothing to increase to upgrade the D as well. We go from Poti to Rachunek & Arron Ward to Backman & Malik to Rozival & Redden crippling this defensive minded team. These 'offensive' defenseman really make Ranger fans appreciate how super 2-way defensemen Brian Leetch and Sergi Zubov were when they were Rangers. Coming out of the lock out, one could make the case the Rangers became good on accident, 1- super line, a Czech soaked team to keep Jagr happy and a border line NHL starter backed up by a no-name from Sweden. I understand if you want to spare Renney the guillotine but if so then tighten that nuse on Sather.

Tom Renney has to be the most patient coach that I've ever seen. The changes that the coaching staff has made to the power play have been minor and have just covered up one problem with another.

"And then," said Jets running back Thomas Jones, "there comes a time when all the talk and understanding in the world gets you nowhere. There comes that time that you actually have to do it. That's what this was all about. Man, you just have to go play."

Well, Rangers...nobody could say it any better!

I find myself to be an extremely patient and optimistic fan ... but over the past few weeks the play of this team, save for the consistency of Henrik(until the Canucks game) was it's main saving grace ... yes the players themselves have to get the job done ... changing the coach doesn't change the players however I reached a crossroads with Renney when he said, in the papers, that the players weren't playing as they(the coaching staff) was instructing them to play ...

So tell me ... if the coaches are telling the team to play the PP and Even Strength a certain way and yet the players aren't listening to them what is wrong with that picture? How does Renney and his coaches turn it around? This team has the youth, goaltending and experience to help them compete and win more games than they are supposed to lose as long as they OUTWORK the other team night in and out ... when has that consistently happened in the last few weeks? How can he not get them to hustle and play with passion and grit? Our team isn't big and physical, that's a given but there is no excuse for the way that they have played in the last two games and given how they had been playing previously it wasn't a big shock just how badly they played and lost ...

I am not an unrational fan who goes ballistic after every loss and who wants a complete shake-up of the team while they are still one of the top 5 teams in the League standings wise ... However if they continue playing so uninspired and not listening to their coaches then what is left to do? I HOPE they win their next 4-5 games against these lower teams and that Renney proves us wrong ... but make no mistake Dubi ... I haven't given up on my team or lost faith in my team ... I have just lost faith in the coach ...

Renney goes from tinkerig with lines every game and then leaves it unchanged in combinations that clearly don't work in the long run. Example # 1, defense combinations that I was shocked that they remainded unchanged for Saturday's game. Example # 2, Voros should not be on the 2nd line anymore (is he this year's Hossa?). Again, top 6 forwards should be on the first two lines. Top 5 don't change and Callahan is the one who EARNED to be a part of this mix.

I'm getting annoyed with Renney too but asking for his replacement is a type of kneejerk reaction that could do more damage than good.

Question about practice:

Dubi, do you know how the Ranger practice the powerplay? It's obvious how the league is defending against it. So, do the Rangers practice PKers emulate that style? Or do the Rangers practice against a passive box/diamond?

ntb

Good question. If they practice against our PK and Hank, no wonder our PP doesn't work very well. I would expect that exercise would be very frustrating. When I coached kids, we never had a goalie in the net. We practiced quick passing, movement and slipping into scoring positions. The only instruction I gave was any shot on goal was directed at the four corners. Sometimes we even put a piece of plywood in front of the goal with a 6"x6" square opening in each corner. Like you, ntb, I'd love to hear how they practice the PP.

Hey Dubi - I was talking to a couple of Rangers fans at the Minnesota/Denver game last Saturday and told them about Blueshirt Bulletin. They hadn't heard of it but seemed genuinely interested in subscribing. I told them I'd bring the latest issue to the Air Force/Denver game this Saturday. I'm sure that once they look it over we'll have 2 new subscribers. Happy Thanksgiving to you and to all Rangers fans everywhere.

Dubi:

Thanks for the article, it is right on. I am continually frustrated by idiot so-called "Ranger fans" that are calling for the Professor's head after every loss. fact is, he has gotten a lot out of these players, and they are #2 in the conference. I believe it is his style that people dislike. he is NOT Keenan, or Burns, or Phil Watson (for you oldtimers). He is a thinking man's coach. So far, his style has resulted in significant improvement in the record. He is the most successful coach sather has hired. If the team falls apart......he is accountable. As long as they continue to win at the current clip with the imperfect components he has........settle down and enjoy the ride.

RB94, just to expand on what you said it's much larger scope where some of the scoring problems should be attributable to frustration of not being able to get an easy goal through one in a while in practice against Lundqvist. PP is just one area where it's exaggerated.

Finally get to see Daniel Carcillo who might finally be ripe for the taking. Obviously, need this win badly tonight. With Gomer back, that should help. Go boys.

FEAR...that's what is at work in this game. The Rangers bring the puck in, then it's our 3 forwards against their 5 guys. We will never get anything going like that. Coyotes get the puck in deep, the defensemen play in off their blueline more, help support puck possession. Renney is afraid to have our D'men pinch in because the Coyotes come out of their zone with everybody. They play a reckless game, wide open and our defense can't handle the pressure. This could be another long night.

DUBI I assume you closed the comments so people might sign up. It should say that instead of comments closed. Advertise until the freebies get the message.

After yet another slow start(which thankfully only lasted about half the 1st period, if that) the 'Yotes 1-0 lead seemed to wake up the Rangers and they finally started playing more forcefully and dictating tempo ... I just do not understand why they do not get prepared to do this from the onset of the game ... they all say they are aware of their slow starts and yet it continues .. Very happy with the win against a team like this which they should've won anyway so I'm glad they did ... once again Henrik was excellent when the team wasn't so his Star was well deserved ... the line of Z/Dubi/Naslund looked good but hopefully they will not be split up at the first sign of trouble ...

Let's see how the team performs in the Florida trip which hasn't been a good trip over the last couple of seasons ...

Today I got my print BB and wow! I've only skimmed it so far, but Dubi, I'm SO impressed with both Steve Zipay's literary intro to his piece on Nik Zherdev as well as Paul Mara's fantastic quote about Marc Staal that Andrew Gross got. THIS kind of writing and reporting is rarely seen in Rangers coverage. Great content. Nice work by all of you who work so hard. Can't wait to devour the rest of the issue.

(If comments on the BB get opened, I'll post this there, too.)

Plus, woo-hooooo. A win :-)

Look. After reading all these posts about Renney's head there is one thing that YOU as a Ranger fan have to remember, and that is what this team was in the 7 years before Renney took over. A fact that seems lost in all these comments is the one where we didn't make the playoffs for 7 years in a row. Tom Renney may be take a lot of heat under the hot lights of New York City, but three consecutive years with 94+ points and hopefully, probably, a fourth straight this year is more than enough for me. Go Tom and go Rangers.

Wasn't lost on me, Chris.

I remember the Bad Old Days far too well, and I prefer Playoffs.

Wow, I had to post my complaint yesterday and just like that Renney fixed the long overdue line up issues I thought Rangers had on offense (of course Gomez return helps too) and defense.

No crying over Prucha and Dawes losing their spots either.

And we have to learn to leave with our mostly average d-men. Thanks to Lundqvist and Renney's system most of their mistakes on most nights will be covered...

Sure Renney is a good coach and he's done a good job, but he's not an elite coach by any stretch of the imagination. This team has some real potential in my view but Renney is NEVER going to take us to the promised land. Some of you seem content with being an OK team. Not me, I want that damn Stanley Cup again but I have no faith that Renney can get us there. Personally, I would have been happier if we had fallen right to the bottom and obtained those elite players at the draft, than the retread job Sather did that made us respectable but not great. It would take courage to dump Renney at this point, the kind of courage Sather lacks. Watched the OHL-Russia game last night and Grachev is an imposing specimen out there. Definitely no Jessiman. The most impressive thing though was watching Del Zotto literally muscle a Russian to the ice in the third. I had no idea Del Zotto was that strong. The way he did it tells me he possesses superior upper body strength.

Offense certainly looked better last night. To kovazub94's point, maybe the top two lines will now settle in a bit. Zherdev is some passer, seems like on a few occasions Naslund was surprised by how quickly/cleanly Nik got him the puck. Good to see Dubi break through as well. Good night for his confidence.

Still think the defense played a bit loose with the puck/coverage in our own end. A better finishing team may have made us pay for it (or perhaps the difference is Hank getting quickly back to form).

One last thought: anyone think it might be Voros' turn to sit out in FLA? He looks lost out there. The Korpi/Fritsche/Dawes line looked pretty good against the Sens so perhaps they get another go?

Great win last night. Not having Gomez for the past 5 games, helped me to remember what a good player is. He is tremendous on the forecheck.... He gets the puck deep, chases it down, and somehow avoids getting caught up in a check by the defenseman and gets the puck most of the time to make a play.

Our team just looked so much more potent last night with him in the lineup. I like Voros on the 3rd or 4th line, and maybe a healthy scratch here or there. He just does not have the offensive potential for the first 2 lines...

I would like to see Prucha get another shot... Hopefully Korpo is in the lineup for good... I think he has a ton of upside....

Gotta agree with BB mike gartner's post early in this thread. I do not understand how Renney takes so much heat while Sather seems to get a pass from so many posters.

Earth to fans: this is not a Stanley Cup team. And that's not Renney's fault --it's Sather's. Considering the lack of scoring talent on this team, I think Renney's system is making the best of a not-so-hot situation.

Real offensive talent is a hard thing to find and Sather and his braintrust have definitely not found it. Under Sather, the only real offensive talent we have ever had were players who had seen better days--that includes Jagr, Nasland, Messier II,etc.

BB mike gartner is right-- we are paying 4 players some 26 million dollars and maybe one of them qualifies as a top line offensive player (Gomez). Drury is a 2nd liner and our two highly paid defensmen are (or should be) our 2nd pair.

Now, I love seeing the kids and I get as excited as anyone to see them come play in NY and as crabby as many when I fear we'll trade them before we know what we have. But it seems to me that we had one top offensive prospect in our system and he tragically died this year.

Eventually some of the young'uns are gonna have to be traded in the search for top line offensive talent (I don't see how we will get the cap room to sign these kind of players as free agents.)

Meanwhile, the team is what it is. I'd suggest the Renney bashers consider the Rangers maybe actually be playing right to their talent level.

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