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December 22, 2008

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He's either invisible or bad.

For this to have any context, you'd have to map out the play of every other defenseman for both teams and compare it. And you have to say something about his assignments in light of the team's system. For example, if he goes in deep and a 2-1 develops the other way (as in first period 9:59 to 10:31), it's not necessarily a "bad" play. There is nothing wrong with a defenseman playing aggressively, just because something bad results doesn't mean he made a "mistake." People say Renney's system is boring, well, if defensemen join the rush, you have to accept that the results are not always good and forwards are responsible to take not and adjust their game.

I watched the first two periods against SJ and in my eye, Marc Staal had an unusually bad game, just based on the number of times he misplayed the puck and/or turned it over. I noticed that a lot more than I noticed Redden.

Great re-cap.

The sum of everything is simply a poor defensive player. I think his hockey sense is on the offensive side of the puck. I believe he was a better defensman prior to the lockout because he could use his stick to "catch up" to the play.

Nobody can tell me that Renney doesn't see what we see. The problem is simply that Sather can not and will not admit such a huge blunder. That's why we still don't have a 7th defenseman on the roster. Yes, a Potter could simply replace Kalinin, but everybody would still see Redden and the poor choices he seems to make regularly. If he was making $2MM we, maybe, could look the other way. Need to keep him off the PK. Come on Glen, you did the right thing not signing Sundin. Now you need to fix the defense. Part of that is bringing up Potter and reducing both Redden and Kalinin's ice time. And give some thought to Exelby!

Dubi,

That was one heckuva an article. Redden has "disaster signing" written all over him. Like other fans I presume, I was hoping the new environment would have a positive effect on Redden. But it seems that I was just fooling myself. His play has declined since the lockout and change of style of play.

Three things that stand out to me, which have all season:

1- He doesn't hit. Give me a Buekaboom (sp?) or a Stevens any day of the week. They may not be the flashiest, the fasted or most talented... but they DO have your attention. Second thoughts going into the zone, unforced errors and the psychological edge are worth more to me than the occasional flash of offensive brilliance.

2- He hasn't made all those breakouts he was so highly touted for, although I feel this has as much to do with the system as with Redden himself. This is a seriously less offensive minded team that has extreme difficulty with the concept 'go to the open ice'. Redden always had a guy skating to open ice, and he was good at picking him up and getting him the puck. NYR is good at chasing people around. You can't find the open man if he isn't open.

3- The look he gave Girardi. Maybe you missed it... it was awhile back when the troubles were just starting to show. Redden is skating off, Girardi is saying something to him about picking this guy up and watching for things, like a good defensive player should. Maybe it was the fact that Girardi was speaking a little authoritatively, but the look on Redden's face was unmistakable. It was that 'who the he** do you think you are?' look. That 'You weren't even drafted and I make 6.5 mil per and you're going to tell me what to do?' look. That 'yeah right, why don't you go f yourself' look. We'll never know for sure, but it sure wasn't the 'we're a team and I'll do what I can so we can win' look. Now, for sure I really don't know if Girardi has it in him to lead gas out of his own rectum. I'm not on the ice and I'm not in the locker room but it sure looked like disrespect to me. Like the guy or not, he's a team mate trying to communicate in a game environment about game related things. As a professional, you should accept that. Debate it, ask the coach about it, question it whatever, but respect your team mate, you don't blow him off because he's not you.

I have to say I am not impressed so far with him at all. Should NYR wake up and start finding open ice maybe he begins to look a little better, but I think you could put Orr in there for him and not notice any difference but the name being called on the play. ?B)

Ant(the other one),

I think I know what you're referencing. I saw that and shrugged it off at the time. MSG was showing guys on the bench and Girardi's a talker so he's constantly communicating with his D partner, whomever he might be, and I thought it a bit odd that he was animatedly talking to Redden who had this stoic look on his face and wasn't even acknowledging that he was listening to him. Girardi kept talking though so I didnt think anything of it and really it's hard for me to sit here and say well "this is what he was thinking" although it looked that way .... but I dont like doing that because people did it to Jagr all the time and misunderstood him a lot just because of a look on his face or whatever, so I hope he was being receptive and that's just the way he acts during games.

Say what you will but you cannot defend Redden and the way he is playing for the NYR. All I see is someone who got his money and doesn't give a shot about anything else. Maybe we could get Tom Coughlan to come in and explain a few things to the slackers that think we fans don't know anything.... Congrats to the NY Giants for a job well done and an effort that was pure determination... I think the Rangers could learn from that... Dubi and Dawes are starting to come around..If we can get some scoring from them maybe things will improve some...Maybe if we trade Reddin things will improve a whole lot. Sorry but trade for Avery and save 14 million then put Avery on long term injury or buy himout and save that much more... Better yet trade him for something useful (even a 4th or 5th round pick) but get rid of him...Maybe Kalinin could go with him but Reddin has to go...Z

What burns me the most about all this is that with the releasing of Jags, Avery, and Straka, we had an opportunity to use the extra cash and make a major improvement in two obvious areas: the PP, and d-man size. Well not only do we have quite possibly the softest d-man corp in the league, we have one of the worst PPs too, and Redden is completely useless on the PP (the sole reason we're paying him). We can win all the regular season games we want but without a PP and some defensive zone hits, we're going nowhere.

Call me crazy, but if Redden plays like he is supposed to, both the D-man problem and the PP problems should be solved. The problem is that he has no confidence in his game. The Rangers still need a pure no. 1 d-man, or at least somebody who could share the load with Redden.

This kind of article REALLY needs to be seen by the general public...not just us subscribers. It's brilliant.

Good job, Dubi. Your analysys of the failures of Redden and Kalinin, with the data and proof, is outstanding. You think anyone at 4 Penn Plaza realizes how detrimental they have been to the cause?

What choice do we have? Banish him to the minors and eat his salary? It's been done before, but what about future free agents and how they would then view Sather? The threat of a minor league demotion made Boyle waive his no-trade, does Sather have the balls to threaten Redden? Can we eat part of his salary in a trade? Something obviously needs to be done. I'm glad I don't have to make the decisions, but I probably would not have signed Leaden, I mean Redden, anyway. I hope that they can continue to make up for his sub-standard efforts and play as they just did on the west coast LET'S GO RANGERS!

bsalaman

"...if Redden plays like he is supposed to..."

Well, I'm sorry, but this is not a case of confidence or any lack thereof. When you can't read a play, that's not confidence. Notice when he gets close to the offensive side of the game his play picks up, even though it is only marginal. His instincts are not on the defensive side of the puck. That's why he makes mistakes at his blueline or at his own blueline when a player splits the defense with a long outlet pass. He simply CAN'T "read" it. To be effective he needs to be paired with a solid defensive defenseman. But the Rangers don't have that guy, so Girardi gets hung out, only because he's the closest thing we have. This is a case of a player simply not fitting the team he is on. For that reason, he can not command the salary he's getting. Waive him, pay the guy off and then see who comes knocking. NOBODY!

paulf, in general I'd agree with you that context is needed, but Redden's play is clearly mediocre at best even in the absolute. I'm not about to go through and see what Girardi did in all that time, but I can tell you that the stats say he threw three hits and attempted more shots than Redden. I can also tell you that all those times I saw Redden leave his man unchecked in front of Lundqvist, it was clear that it was his man that was left open because Girardi was covering his man.

That's why I love NYR fans.if u look back at comments betweeb end of season and july 1st see how many people said they want Redden here and now everybody is against him.

Dubi I love what you do and this website is my 1st website to check in the morning but this post is not one of the nest thongs you ever did.while i appreciate what you did you just made Reddens life a lot o worse for 1 simple reason.It takes 1 idiot to boo to get the rest of 18000 to do the same thing and with this post I think there will be 1 whol boo.If you do this to every player on a team they all will look like that.don't jus single Redden out.Sather did what he and all of us thought was right to do get a pp qb so far it failed bu give it ore time its only been 30 games.
If sather wouldn't pick redden up or boyle or cakpbell everybody here wouldve been furious for not signing any one of them..

Ant (you two pick which one), what people are complaining about is Redden's poor play to date. This guy is a former all-star player. What I've seen so far makes me think that Chara was really the all-star and Redden just came along for the ride. Just for the record, I wasn't one of the folks clamoring for Redden last summer. All I wanted the team to do was sign a solid defenseman. As for the pp, Brian Leetch would have trouble making this half-a**ed system work.

@ Matty: I want to say it was a game where Girardi was miked... they weren't on the bench, but skating and I believe Redden was going there. It was not one of those looks that was really hard to decipher. I think Redden put more effort into that look than he did the whole game that day. He actually made a face and everything, one of the reasons it stood out to me so much. It wasn't like he ignored him or turned away, it was a definitive who the **** are you kind of look. Reminded me of Avery in a way. He used to make those kinds of faces alot.

@Rich: Totally agree on the Chara remark. A true 'defenseman' who made it possible for Redden to stay on the offensive.

@ 'ant', the comment at 6:02: In July I was hoping to hear we went after and got Orpik... ?B)

obviously Sather got sloppy Redden. Too bad the coaches don't think so on him nor Kalikin. So Potter will probably get sent back down. But who can argue, everthing is fine look at the standings. It ain't broke. Or so many like to spin. They are getting away with lots of mistakes, that's called good luck. Renney is not blind, just a little stubborn. Hopefully that works in the long run. But without an upgrade, the playoffs won't be many rounds.

Oh well, Potter was sent back down. That should tell most what Renney is doing, along with Sather & his cap problems.

Dubi - thanks for the in-depth chronicle. Do you have Sather's email address to send it to him? lol

I hated the signed of Redden (when it happened) as well as Rosival (obviously) and Kalinin (a waste). You can't panic and mismanage your cap to what it has become today. I said when he signed that Redden could be a whipping boy for the next 6 years, which may be the case. This article won't entice it; we all have eyes, knowledge, and passion for the team and game.

But Sather is the one who deserves the blame. You bring defensemen up from the system and don't waste cap money on them unless they are a stud. They missed out on Chara. They should have been patient with the kids like they nurtured Staal (Sanguinetti and Del Zotto) and played Potter.

Anyhow, nice to see 4 out of 6 points on the trip. Doing it with Hank in front of a lot of mirrors. They'll have their hands full tomorrow with the best player in the game AO.

Thanks for the post Dubi.

Well, perhaps the addition of Chara to this discussion is instructive. One thing we don't have on this team is a stay at home rugged defenseman, even Leetch had one of those when he was at his best.

The fact is Redden is an offensive defenseman (and his play has sometimes been offensive, too), but who has he been paired with--what's the tandem that compliment his play? It's not Kalinin. It's not Staal (who's best play is with Roszi)... Mara? Gerardi?

What the signing of Redden does (and the signings of a bunch of other signings on this team) is emphasize the importance of chemistry, of considering how players mesh, etc. This is why, by the way, I was against bringing Sundin in.

Right now, the team has no personality, no "face"--it just has random pieces, which is why, by the way, they rarely come out great early on: they don't have a singular identity the way they did after the lockout (the underdogs).

Maybe it's just me but I find it hard to recall the excitement of NYR Fans when Wade Redden was signed on July 1st ... and why was that? Because just before he was signed Roszival was re-signed to a 4 year deal and the LAST thing that *I* (can't speak for other fans) expected was Sather signing another "offensive" D who wasn't physical or very good in his own end ... I was completely thrown for a loop ...

About Orpik, do not blame Sather about not getting Orpik ... because it has been reported that the Rangers went after him before Redden but that he turned more money from them to stay with the Penguins BUT you CAN blame Sather for not going after what the team needed ... our team has needed for 2-3 seasons now a shutdown defensive defenseman ... I get the interest with a mobile puck mover and PP QB but we don't have that now even though nearly $11 million is being spent on two D who were supposed to fill those roles

Matty I'm not sure what the GM & the coach are looking for. It seems they want offensive guys to play a defensive system. and play two way hockey. But the emphasis is on the defensive 5 in the picture hockey. They have me confused at this point. Guys that are more offensively talented probably shouldn't come here unless they are willing to play defense first, and counterattack with 5 guys, but don't get caught in the offensive zone. I think they have copied the devils too much, and Detroit not enough. But now it's throughout their teams from the NHL down. To change it would take a lot of time, and probably a different coach & GM.

RB--you're thanking The Genius for not signing Sundin? Too funny. Slats would have signed him in a minute. I'd love to be a fly on the wall and hear what Sundin said about the Rangers to his agent. This analysis of Redden is one man's opinion but I'll venture to say that if you did the other D it may not be much better. I recall remarking about how poorly Staal played against Toronto but that doesn't mean I want to give him away. Personally, criticize the players all you want but to me its on Renney. His handling of players sucks, and since his boss comment has Dubi's game gone down. You bet. I remember in the dark days constant criticism of Leetch and Richter as well. Do you see a TEAM mentality out there or do you see a lot of freelancers? The criticism a player takes is likely commensurate with his salary.

Just for the record I watched the Sharks broadcast and they commented on the Job that Redden was doing in the third period when the Rangers were living in the Sharks zone. they were saying how smooth and effortlessly he plays that it sometimes looks like he isn't trying but with his experience he knows what to do. and sometimes the support the Forwards give the D-men is conducive to how the D-men look if a forward is not back checking like he should a defensiveman can become outnumbered in front of the net and look bad even though there should have been support there.

Bsalamon

Even if redden was playing the "way he should", he still would not address the team need on D, which is a physical banger. We do not need rozy and redden both (and didn't) and still don't. We need physical D. If orpik wanted to stay in pitt, great for him and pitt, just shows you how valuable of a player he is (mara showed me alot taking less to stay and man I am glad he did). I still think the rangers are determined to find the next leetch, and overload the team (and farm system) with puck moving offencive d men.

All

Exelby would be a decent acquisition, so would a volchenkov/neal package from the sens, hell at this point I'd take a carcillo/jovo package from the coyotes. Freddie Sjo is like betts to me, a little to valuable of a "glue" guy to trade unless it is an absolute stud coming back this way!

W229 - perhaps I'm oversimplifying here but I'd suggest the Rangers need on D is not a banger but simply to have defenseman who turn the puck over less. Redden and Kalinen (and to a lesser extent Rozival) are hurting us because of how frequently they turn over the puck in their own end, leading to all types of chaos in our own zone. Would be great to have a big banger who was steady on the puck as well but perhaps in todays game, the proto-type D man are the Giradi's and Staal's - guys who are big enough to take a hit but also skillful enough to make a play while taking the hit. I'd say the reality in todays game (ie. no obstruction/holding of the on-coming forecheckers) is that D man that can take a hit and make a play are as valuable as those who can give out the big hits.

If 50% of our D didnt play so poorly in our zone, perhaps the forwards would be freed up to concentrate on the offense/scoring a few more goals, an area where we are sorely lacking.

Ant (that was not happy)

So what exactly are we supposed to do when we see Redden play?

Hold his hand?

Say kind compassionate things to sooth his hurt feelings while he runs to the bank and cashes those checks?

Pretend that his game is not royally on the decline as we all see that it is?

Sorry yes you can blame Sather for signing who he did but trust me people are equally quick to trash Sather and now Renney for the performances we are getting out of the defense.

Potter is back in Hartford instead of being given a real look as the stopper the Ranger need.

And how soon we forget the days when a kid saw his path to the NHL blocked by an overpaid under-performing player.

Give me a team of players who show up every night working their butts off like I watched from the Giants.

Ward and Jacobs had their numbers because the guys in the background that rarely get their names mentioned made the plays.

I don't think any Ranger fan would ever boo a player who was out there busting his tail on every shift.

Jess what can Sather do now? He's trying to save face, and use the Renney patience way. To not keep Potter up & push the other 6 or better yet, give guys a rest is extremely questionable. Maybe Prucha & Fritsche didn't want to sit with him, they played D in practice ;-)

Dubi,

Excellent work. However, I would like to see a breakdown of every Ranger D-man from that game before before I cruxify Redden. I'm not defending Redden or saying it was a good signing, but I do think that if you breakdown the tape for our D-men, you will find they all, with the expection of Staal, are fairly weak.

Great post Dubi....now that's reporting....can you do Kalinin next? Probably could use most of the same verbiage, change a few numbers and come up with the analysis. You know, it's the things you see during the game, that you have pointed out in detail, that drive you crazy but you just can't put into words...great job !!

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