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December 30, 2008

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Prucha did indeed inject some much needed life into the roster. Got to love his energy on every shift. I hope he can stay in the lineup and can continue to play like that.

My question is this: How much worse does Kalinin have to play before he is gone?

Kalinin is as bad as Rauchenek. Unsaid is how Rozival has been playing much better and redeeming himself. Perhaps his hip has finally healed just like Jagr's shoulder took him around this time to recover 2 years ago.

I agree about Rosival, he threw a nice hipcheck last night and played as well as any of the D

Paul L

Not too much worse, I hope. I can't deal with more of his ineptitude.

I don't like to dogpile on particular players, but "inept" is really the only word for Kalinin.

I just don't understand what has happened to Kalinin. The rap on him was lazy, inconsistant and seeming like he wasn't interested in playing. But this kind of play is clearly below ANY NHL standard. There seems to be no skill set at all. Every once and a while he does something good, but most of the time he can't seem to make a sound decision. Potter should be playing up here. It was interesting to hear Jones say that Staal was the best Rangers D'man at 21 years of age and Kalinin, @28, should be taking lessons from Staal. We need to stabilize the defense and the two new additions just are not cutting it. When is Sather going to try to help this team and admit he made a mistake with those two signings. We fans will all gain respect for him if, somehow, he can move these guys off the roster and add somebody to play with Potter. Not to say what that would do for the players!

I have to say it was one of the better efforts I've seen in many a game, not QUITE 60 minutes, but close. If this team had actual defensive players instead of impostors, they would have had little trouble last night.

There were so many good things last night, made all the better by Prucha lighting the comeback lamp. Even Rosy was getting a little physical. I think he threw more hits last night than in the first 20 games combined, and he's actually shooting the puck. (Unless he's on the PP...) Gomez was actually moving, though him and Z need some 'what color jerseys is our team wearing tonight' classes before the games... They still like to cough up and pass to the other team too much.

Why did Drury try to skate into the ref on the first goal? Kalinin left his man and went into the corner for the puck. With all the shouting on the ice, I heard nothing from Drury as he skated around behind the net to let Kalinin know he was coming. Drury should have taken a hard left and come out to cover the slot or should have screamed Kalinin off the chase of the puck. Instead he skates right into the ref as Kalinin is knocked off the puck into them both... Bonehead play that... pure bonehead. You have to give credit to the Isles though for seeing it and taking advantage... Hunter I think it was... The rest of the night was vintage Kalinin, single handedly playing Santa with the puck for the rest of the night. Redden... he was just Redden. I wonder how Sather sleeps at night sometimes.

The rest of the goals against were gaffes in the defensive end that would have been averted had the Isles been playing any other team.

Even got a couple good scraps in there. Orr actually looked like the fighter he's supposed to be. Nigel had a decent bout, but should be scolded for leaving the shield on. I admire the step up, but shields really ought to be an honorable no-no. It did make for the oddest uppercut I think I've ever seen.

Still remains to be seen if it was a one hit wonder or the start of something big, but it was a nice break from all the dead men skating of the past few weeks... ?B)

ATTENTION: TOM RENNEY

We don't play again until Saturday. How 'bout trying to "practice the powerplay"? By any chance, did you notice how fast the puck was moved around the ice on the first goal. That is a hint!

Hey on Grachev's blog he says that his dream is to play hockey until he's 40 and to wear his favorite number, 19 ...

Quick, trade Gomez!

;)

Ant II, Kalinin was carrying the puck not chasing it when he got checked into Drury in the corner, which caused him to cough up the puck and led to the first goal.

Which brings me to this point, the Rangers set breakout play always starts with the D-man standing behind the net holding the puck and having the center circle behind the net (always in the counter-clockwise direction) to pick up the puck. Sometimes the center leaves the puck and the D-man starts the breakout going in the opposite direction after the center gets past the goal line. While this is a classic breakout, the Rangers never seem to vary it. The centers never approach the net from the other side skating clockwise. How predicable is this breakout? Well an amateur like me has figured it out so I'm sure the other teams have figured it out as well. Hell, why not have the center curl in front of the net (another variation of the classic breakout) and have the d-man skate a couple of strides before making the outlet pass (if it's available)?

RB what's to practice, they have it almost perfect for the opposing PK ;-) And just think they are sending Potter down to save cap space, he gets about $550 a year compared to Kminus' $2.1. I think I found $1.5 + right there. Trade Prucha another $1.6 pro rated off the books. There goes the brainrusts' excuse for sending Potter down.

Qustions:

1. What is Renny's problem with Prucha. This may be a dumb question, but I can't figure it out.

2. How responsible is Perry Pearn for our abysmal power play?

3. If Kalinin is tentative with the puck, what would the adjective for Redden be? ( disinterested, soft, chicken?)

I am going to repeat what I said at Prospect Park, the odds of Cherepanov cheating and getting away with it were almost impossible.

Between the CHL (IIHF version), the Russian Hockey Federation and the IIHF all conducting their own testings then Cherepanov would have had to discover the ultimate way to defeat drug testing.

I dislike Avangard but there is no way that franchise would have risked their status in the KHL or CHL by turning a blind eye to any sort of cheating.

Not to mention that Jagr himself would not let his protege cheat like that.

As for the Rangers, if you need a heart transplant to defeat the islanders then your problems are just beginning. Sorry, a win against the Islanders should be expected not a band-aid for all that ails you.

Talk to us about things getting better when you defeat the very same team that just embarrassed you on your own home ice come Saturday.

Rich--godd observation. Remember when Mess dissed Neilson because he only had one breakout play and the other teams knew just what was coming. Renney is the second coming of Neilson. I wasn't impressed watching the Rangers last night. Not at all. Don't know how you can say Dubinsky had a good game. he didn't. Rozsival played much better but he still holds on to the puck too long. The Dawes line is the best one we have like I knew they would be.

Joe T: to your questions:

1. Renney is jealous 'cause the Garden faithful never chants his name.
2. Perry Pearn's initials are the same as power play, thats about the only connection...
3. Redden is so subtle with the puck that novices like you and I cant appreciate his subtleness

BTW, was it just me or was the crew from VS. chatting/making small talk on all of the Ranger goals?

Anyone think that with the psuedo layoff that some sort of deal (I have no idea what it would be) might be in the works?? Anyone heard any juicy (or not so uicy) rumors??

Thanks

juicy not uicy, sorry!

please no more voros..prucha can skate, shoot and will go to the same areas of the ice that voros will, plus hell put the occasional puck in the net or can extend the play with a highlight reel move. prucha can be physical and proved once again he can take a hit (a monster hit that it was). voros looks lost on the ice, bumps into his own players, never really gets a good clean hard hit and he can not skate. we need all the speed in the lineup we can get.

o and voros' edge that renney always speaks so highly is absent until after a whistle. He's a tough guy who can't skate or fight = useless.

I don't get all the trade Prucha talk here. He's the energizer bunny. He has heart. He has talent. He never complains about anything. He hits...He draws penalties...He's great in the SO...He's defensivly responsible...If he was 6'4 220 lbs he would be the best player in the NHL...There are MANY other players I would try to trade before # 25...He's got 2 goals in 10 games and with a regular spot and a little PP time that would translate to 25 or so goals... How many will Voros/Fritche/Sjostrom/Korpikowski score?????Z

While I realize its a bit early in the year to be scoreboard watching, it will be interesting to see where the Rangers stand in the division/conference when they hit the ice in Washington on Sat pm as the four teams directly behind them in the conference standings will have played a combined total of 10 games since the Rangers win vs. the Isles.

@Rich: ...'Ant II, Kalinin was carrying the puck not chasing it'...

Firstly: Kalinin is ALWAYS chasing the puck, even when he 'has' it. He never seems to be in control of it. Every game is an adventure in art of 'hot potato'.

Secondly: It still does not excuse Drury for skating into the ref around behind him. The set (in stone) breakout is from behind the net, not the D-man skating into the corner like the Islanders had guns... Drury should have recognized there was something wrong (Kalinin with the puck should have been enough) and gone to the open ice where the two opposing fishermen were waiting, there by cutting them off at the fore check, allowing Kalinin a chance to breath and to send the puck up the boards and out of the zone. Instead Drury played hide the captain behind the ref. With Drury out of position, there was nothing/nobody to stop the Isles from turning Kalinin into stick bait...

Thirdly, as said by many others, our breakout play is so well known it's in braille on the top of all the dashers... Which is really sad considering the team that has the biggest problem with it is us.

Renny's complaint about Prucha is his inconsistency form game to game. Unfortunately, Prucha is the ONLY player Renny actually holds accountable for that...

I guess the press box is only so big... ?BD

Of course you take the two points from the Islanders and get ready for the next game....this game was no simple task for the Rangers against a woeful Islander team. This is what we have seen now for the last two months....nothing has really changed since November. The Rangers close out December with a 6-5-1 record compared to a November record of 7-6-1. Similar record for both months...and the play has been similar also. To sum it up....terrible power play, limited offense, adequate at times but an error prone defense, excellent penalty killing, and for the most part good goaltending (which was taken a bit of a ding due to poor defense). It is clear that some changes need to happen to 'better' this team other wise we are probably looking at the same results going forward. How long can this coaching staff and upper management watch this defense and the lack of a consistent power play...it's time to pin point the players (or lack of) and make some changes. The New Year brings a tough first month...3 games against the Pens, 2 against the Devils, the Habs, Ducks, Caps & Sharks to mention a few.....this could be a 'make or break' month for a 'fragile' team. Happy New Year to All !!

JESS I really believe the problem with the NYR is their style and system of play. They are not playing what was promised, Red Wing up tempo hockey, and I believe it's because the coach only wants D first hockey. That's why there is a lack of heart, they are not having fun playing his boring over - complicated system. He wants them to take on his persona.

Anyone else see Renney's comments in Newsday re: Prucha?

"I'm not sure why he hasn't been able to sustain it," Renney said, "but that's why he hasn't been able to stay in the lineup."

Sure Tom...because everyone else on this team has been consistent! Does he expect Prucha to score every game he's in? Then stop giving him 3rd/4th line minutes! It's absurd to hold him up to such a high standard but hold everyone else to such a low one.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/rangers/ny-sprang315982649dec31,0,1341843.story

One would think that Prucha is an all-star who is inexplicably benched. He scored 7 goals all last year, and is scoring this year at roughly the same pace as Blair Betts, who is a defensive specialist. Before yesterday, Prucha had one point in 11 games, while Dan Fritsche has 4 points in 15 games.

One can overlook his constantly getting knocked on his rear end if he produces points -- then the flaws in his game are part of the charm. But if he isn't a defensive standout, not strong on his skates and also not scoring -- then it's not hard to imagine why any coach would not play him.

On the other hand, I was willing to give Kalinin an extended period to let him adjust to the team, but for the life of me, I can't see why he plays. Redden is not the star he is getting paid to be, but to say he approaches the level of Kalinin is folly.

We actually have three defensemen on pace for 35 points and a fourth on pace for 25. That is, relatively speaking, a lot of points from the back.

Sather needs to order Renney to keep Prucha in the lineup or trade him. The problem is Prucha does not play how Renney wants his TEAM to play. Not matter what he says, he wants defense first.

paulf why hasn't Sather traded Prucha if he's so bad? Why waste cap space? Get him off the TEAM. Then you and all can see if he's a flash in the pan or just can't succeed with this system. Sather knows, that's why he's still here.

paulf

Both comments hit the mark dead center. I really like Prucha, but what you say is the truth, even if it hurts a bit. Kalinin is the worst defenseman I think we have ever had. Malik looks like a 1st pair guy when compaired to him. Backman was better and Strudwick was head & shoulders better. I'm ready to play with 5 D'men if Slats will not allow Potter to suit up.

i

You should think through what you say. If Renney is so insistant on "defense first", then why is he strapped with only 6 D'men, 1 who shouldn't be in the NHL and the other paid like a 1st pair guy but playing as a 7th D'man? He has to play "defense first" because he needs all the defense he can get from the forwards to cover the "Oh, Sh*t's" committed by the defense. Prucha is an asset, either as trade value or as a roster spot. The fix required is on the defensive side of the puck. The "system" requires a lot of "dirty work" and that is usually not fun. The "up tempo" game will come, but only when the defense is fixed. That is the job of Sather, so even if you don't like Renney, spit your venom at Slats first. If the defense is repaired somehow, then go after Renney if things remain the same. I believe that Renney wants to have a Red Wings style system, but this team is not there yet. The Kalinin and Redden signings just have not worked out and I suspect that most of the league will not want to trade with us to make us better. We are already at the top of our division, everybody can see the problem and nobody wants to trade to improve us unless they get something big in return. And I don't see Sather giving away young assets with the cap issues we have. So I think we are stuck with the hand we have been dealt. The only thing I could see is Prucha, Fritsche and Kalinin for Exelby, but I doubt Atlanta would go for that. There has been talk of Sather's interest in Kaberle from Toronto. But again, we have to shed salary that TOR may not want to take on.

Hey Ant II, I'm sorry that bit about Kalinin carrying the puck wasn't meant to come off as "you idiot, he was carrying the puck" I was just pointing out that in theory he was in control of the puck. :)

Your point about Drury being out of position is spot on.

In his rookie year when Prucha scored 30 goals, he had 20 on the PP if I recall or 10 at even strength, his second year he had 22 goals with about half of them coming on the PP and last year he had 7 goals with reduced minutes and virtually no PP time. I can draw two conclusions from this 1) he's not nearly as good as many of us think he is or 2)he should be getting some major PP time since that's where he excels coupled with the fact that this teams PP is awful.

rb Renney wants to play 2-1 hockey, he says his TEAM is offensively challenged. He claims he wants more offense from his 4th line. The venom is for both of them, they picked this roster & D corp, and it's their D first system. It's what they are teaching at Hardford supposedly. Guys like Dawes and Prucha have been sat because they are not D enough forwards. You can give Renney &/or Sather the benefit of the doubt, I choose not to. I've seen enough over 3 1/2 years of trying to stifle offense. Without Lundqvist on top of his game, the system gets exposed. I'll take a whole new management team, but I'll settle with Renney getting reassigned and someone new coming in. He's a nice man who thinks he's an intellectual, so he should go to the library and do hockey research. You can love him. And please don't give me the dark years theory of sunlight......... Have a Happy New Year one & all!

Marty,
I know the games in hand look bad for us, but if you look only at the losses it really isn't so lopsided. The teams with games in hand would have to win almost all of them to pass us. Unfortunately, the friggin Devils just might do that.
How much do you hate Holik?

Joe T - agree and at the end of the day, our teams needs to be worrying about just one team and thats themselves. Kind of ironic how Renney went on and on after the Devils game about how the team just cant gets its head around the fact that they going to have win their games 2-1 and then they come out and score 5 goals.
And yes, never cared for Holik at any time...

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