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February 14, 2009

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I personally cannot come up with a rationalization on how this team can be fixed without a major overhaul of the roster.

In my opinion firing Renney (which is what a heavy majority of rangers fans are suggesting as a solution) seems short-sighted as even Scotty Bowman probably couldn't get more than 1-2 goals a game with this lineup. Switching coaches this late in the season will lead to minimal positive results AT BEST. As for firing Renney after this season, I wouldn't be opposed. But we clearly are not a cup contender. Nothing is going to change that for '08-'09.

Forget about Contracts and Salaries for one second and you will see the reason Gomez, Drury and Naslund get the majority of power play minutes is because they have a history of being capable goal scorers and playmakers. One could even argue that they are proving that this year considering they are 2nd, 3rd and 4th on the team in points.

As much as we want to believe we have a bright future with Dawes and Cally and Korpi and Dubi and Sjo, it's increasingly apparent that NOT ONE OF THESE GUYS (save Dubinsky) have ceilings higher than an above-average 3rd line winger. Dawes and Cally probably aren't capable of averaging more than 30-40 points a season, Sjo and Korpi looks like 10-20. Dubinsky has 2nd line center potential (50-60 point range) if he can break out of this slump.

Take solace in the fact that Lundqvist is 26 yrs old and we will have an elite top-5 goalie for the next 6+ years. Hopefully we can build some talent around him in that time. Anisimov and Grachev look like keepers in the future. Perhaps Del Zotto or Sanguinetti or Potter may pan out as steady defensemen. Other than that our farm system appears grim for the near future.

Gomez, Drury, Rozsival and Redden are not going anywhere. Their contracts are long and immovable. Demanding that they be benched or waived or dangled in a deal will not magically fix their flaws or improve their capabilities. They are who they are. As bleak as this sounds the only thing we can do as rangers fans is to route them on and just hope they can improve their play.

Fans will look at this post and most likely label it as dreary and depressing and not something they want to hear. But it's the most logical and reasonable and likely answer.

Gosh, it's the same old garbage. Useless power play, inability to score goals, and the "we battled" crap from the Professor. Good thing Theodore stunk the other night or we would still be streaking backwards.

Dubi I can't post from my home comp.
Do you blocked it?

Well, Michelletti finally helped me understand why I am up to *here* with Renney. And that's sayin' a lot since old Joe is one of my least favorite Rangers color guys ever. Too much happy talk, although he has been getting a little more direct and honest as the year has gone on--how could he not comment on some of the garbage we see night in and night out?

But I digress. The point Joe made that opened my eyes is the following: Panthers traded Jokinen, their top scorer. Realizing they need scoring, coach Pete DeBoer goes to a heavy forechecking system with an emphasis on lots of points being generated from the blueliners.

Contrast this with Renney's Rangers. Everyone including the folks at Guiding Eyes for the Blind can see that the Rangers' lost a ton of scoring when Jagr, Shanny, et al, departed. Renney's approach, unlike DeBoer's, is to constantly emphasize that his team has little scoring ability and must win games 1-0, 2-1. Advocates defensive shell, five-in the-picture, third-man-high boring boring hockey.

Maybe it would bother me a little less, if A)He was not advocating the same brand of hockey when he had Jagr, Shanny, et al on the roster or B) I did not find myself regulalry falling asleep watching these games.

Sad things is that I'm an old-timer who enjoyed 2-0 and 2-1 games in the old days, who likes a good defensive battle and who hates the skills competetion that now creates the illusion we have a winning record because we have a world-class goalie who coveres night in and night out for a pedestrian team and a coach who is incapable of creative thought in a game whose beauty is in it's creativity.

I've gone from rooting for this team to rooting for a higher draft pick to rapidly working my way toward total indifference. Can't imagine there will be a night I will choose to watch Wash or Chi or some other up and coming team over my Rangers, but hey, ya never know, right?

The NYR need a change, the fans need a change. Start with a new coach, then get a new GM. Dolan can keep Sather & Renney upstairs until he sells the team for all I care. Let them play Hearts together forever. I call this management with eyes closed, going thru the mtions.

Dubi,

Got the last issue. Just wanted to say thanks and...the cover for the new issue is awesome. I love how the masthead steps aside for Graves' number. Excellent stuff.

So Glen Sather gave him lemons and Tom Renney stubbornly continues to INSIST on using them despite having others who could push them into being better than they have been ... Voros getting a lot of ice time and PP time while Prucha is scratched night after night after night ... Redden gets more PP time than anyone despite utterly failing at it ... and now he's even getting more ice time than Marc Staal?

WTH???!!! How am I supposed to now just lay the blame on Sather when Renney continues to do this? Even Andrew Gross posted that the Rangers seem completly out of sync when they enter the offensive zone ... they have no confidence or chemistry when they are there ... this is on the coaching staff ... since November they've allowed players to have subpar games and nothing happens to them instead they just get rewarded with more ice time and PP time ...

This team can't compete in the post season ... the fact that Renney thought last night they battled hard and did a good job just points to that ... at this point in the season he shouldn't be satisfied with that "effort" but then again when it is him making the choices of giving the ice time to the players that he does then what else is he going to say?

Matty I'm sure Renney and Sather blame the players. They need Avery back, and 1 or 2 changes, and they'd be winning big. But the coach cannot handle the job , especially in the playoffs. He's afraid of vets ever since Messier got him fired in Vancouver. He is clueless on offense , the PP, icetimes, and TRUE accountablity. They are not respecting him, but he's disrespecting many too. It's not a healthy situation. He has to go. He's reached his peak.He doesn't have what it takes to be a GREAT coach. He'll never lead them to the finals.

Gravey

You just don't get it. Renney simply doesn't have the SOLID defensemen that the Panthers have. They got those by TRADING Jokinen. We, on the other hand got Redden and Kalinin. Now do you want to turn over the offense to a 2-1-2 attack system with those guys being the KEY to our success???? Please, give me a break. Now, if you bring up Potter and continue to play Deitz, well that may be a different story. Rozi will still be there and he cost us a goal last night because he didn't know where anybody was. The right play was to tuck the puck against the boards, so he knows were it is when he doesn't know where the opposition is. We have a lot of players that do not have much hockey sense.

Personnel usage and accountability - the albatross that hangs around Renney's neck as he hangs on to his job. Will he get fired this year? I agree with Ted, probably not. Same old last night. I feel for Hank - he'll win a Vezina one of these years, maybe. With the cap the way it is, I don't see us moving to an elite team for him to get to the top.

With all due respect to BB, I know the last issue had a mid-season report card, but i thought of rating the team and seeing if anyone disagrees with any of the assessments - since most seem to be on the same page with opinions. It tells you really why they are where they are. I think it's pretty accurate. Leaving Hank out - A:

Centers:

Gomez - C-
Drury - C- (pun intended - that's for you Dubi)
Dubinsky - C
Betts - B / B+

Have to be strong down the middle to build a winner - Gomez & Drury big goats - who knew 2 years ago?

Left Wing:

Naslund - C-
Korpikoski - B-
Dawes - C
Voros - D-
Prucha - Incomplete (unfortunate and sad)

Right Wing:

Zherdev - C+ (needs more than 15 goals)
Callahan - B (should have more than 7 assists and 20 points to warrant a B+)
Sjostrom - C- (also needs to have more than 7 points)
Orr - B+

Defense:

Staal - A
Mara - A
Redden - F
Kalinin - F
Roszival - C
Girardi - C (so unfair to have him digress being paired with Redden - Boumeister is an UFA this year - wouldn't we have been better served to bring up Potter for a year and hope for a Girardi-type contribution and wait for B-Man?) How would he look on our blueline? Sather your an idiot.)

When you only have 3 out of 20 players with an A - obviously not good.

Sather moves, Renney personnel usage and coaching, and underachieving veterans - this is why we will be hanging desperately to even make the playoffs. I'd rather cut my losses and bring up the kids. Problem is who would want any of these veterans? Naslund and Roszival are the only two possibilities whom they should desperately be trying to move.

Anyone disagree with the ratings? Peace.

Sure glad I didn't drink Renney's "Cool Aid" the other night when he said something like the PP was 'heading in the right direction'.....it's more like 'no direction'. If it wasn't for Hank last night, this would have been a blowout. Oh by the way, anybody see captain 'clutch'.....if he had any leadership ability he would ask Renney for a shot in the shootout to get his club the extra point and give Hank a well deserved win. The label of Drury being a 'clutch' player is officially removed from my book.........we all know what he's cluthing and it's not his hockey stick.

Tough morning for scoreboard reviewing (4 teams in the playoff hunt gets 2pts) and NHL stat reviewing (we are now officially dead last in goals/game at 2.36).

Puluche - agree with Staal's rating, hes been terrific, particularly as a 2nd year pro. Was hoping to see a bit more offense from him but given the state of the Rangers defense corps, he has done the prudent (and unselfish) thing by continuing to focus on his defensive play.

I finally figured it out!

It took me a while to identify Renney's true system he has them playing. It's not a trap, it's not defensive, it's not even a 1-2-2. He plays the "caste" system.


I wish they did not get a point for losing. They do not deserve to have the sting lessened. In past seasons, they would hit their big rut somewhere around December. They had time to fix things. But it's too late now to rebound from a prolonged slump. Renney believes waaaaay to much that you have to have "courage in your convictions." He's to proud to change things now. He'll let the powerplay hand him his pink slip before he tries something different...

Rangerbill--

I take your point about Panthers vs Rangers D. And I'm happy to spread the responsibility for this mess around to Slats.

But let's compare the two sets of D. On paper we should stack up nicely. On paper.

They've got Boynton, Cullimore, McCabe, Boumeester, Skrastins, and...Ballard, I think. Why should that make me shake in my boots? These SOLID players are outscoring every other defense in the league. Other than Boumeester, who is a stud, Boynton and McCabe are known for having offensive capability, but McCabe is some ways past his prime.

Now us: Redden, Roszival, Staal, Girardi, Mara, Kalinen. We have 11 million tied up in Redden and Roszival, both of whom are supposed to be fine offensive players. I said *supposed to be*--don't blame me, I didn't sign em. Girardi showed some real potential from the point last year (before he regressed badly while partnering with Redden) and Mara has that slap shot. Everyone agrees Staal will develop as an offensive player if/when given the chance. That leaves Kalinen, who also came billed as having offensive capability. LOL.

I agree they've pretty much stunk as a group. Last night I saw attacking hockey from the Panthers and their D hustling back when they got caught out of position. From our guys, I see tentitative puck handling, forwards often getting lost on the backcheck and hanging the D out to dry, and a system where everyone is worried about mistakes and thus making a lot of them. Plus, in our group of D (and F for that matter) other than Mara and maybe Staal, there isn't exactly a lot of hitting going on.

Reitz seems OK as a 6 or 7 D-man and is working hard to try to bring something we don't have much of (hitting) so he can stay in the lineup. Maybe Potter is ready, maybe not. I don't think either of these guys would turn our group into the kind of SOLID D you are looking for. But I also don't see blinding talent on Florida's D either.

Bad signings, bad coaching choices. I'm reduced to comparing the Rangers D with Florida's D. Yeesh. And FL will be passing us in the standings momentarily--I have a feeling.

I am dreaming of a 2004-like purging. Of course we will have to eat most of those contracts to move these guys out (like everyone else, I'd give some body part or another to be rid of Drury, Gomer, Redden, Rozy and their contracts, or even part of their contracts) but with determination, it might be done, if Glennie can get himself into seller mode.

We don't have all that much coming up from the farm, but at least I could root for them without getting depressed.

Chris QCT- I guess Sather has fielded an entire team of "untouchables".....LOL! I guess that can explain why our team shies away from contact!

One thing I notice that is painfully clear. If Rozsival is skating the puck behind his net and an opposing forward pressures him, then either he coughs the puck up or makes a pass directly to an opposing player such as last night. He is no better than a 5th or 6th defenseman on any other team. You can't accuse him of not trying like a Redden, but his hockey sense is non existant and he is way too soft. On some goals he looks like he has the best seat in the house watching as they go in. I know others defend him on this site, but game in and game out he makes the same costly gaffes that hurt us in the end. Not sure anymore at this point how you can fix the D without getting rid of the obvious problems. Looking at the other side of the problem is that one bad goal given up shouldn't have condemned this team to lose. There isn't any line of ours that will throw fear into any opposing goalies IMHO and Renney's constant line juggling is hurting more than helping. We have too many bit players and no one who can take a team and carry it like Messier used to. I still think the team might make the playoffs, but they won't get past the 1st round if something doesn't change soon.

There is no question that Sather needs to go. He created this mess and the Rangers do not need any more of his "help." having said that, Tom Renney needs to go now! Renney needs to go before he retards any more players potential. This guy has coached "scared" (as in trying not to lose his job) all season. One could argue that he did that last season too.

Please, my kids squirt coach can see that Redden deserves a few games in the pressbox at a minimum, if not a permanent trip to Hartford. This guy has made many of us wish Malik was still on the roster instead of him.

For all of you folks who think that Voros will get a seat if Avery some how makes it to the NY roster, I think you're wrong. My fear is that Dawes will be the odd man out, because he'll still want Voros for his "size." I sure hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone ... no matter who you are spending it with :)

Also a hello from Andrea who, like Kogan, is having troubleing posting ....

I believe Renney should be replaced but my reasoning is because he has been stabbed in the back by the players AND Sather.

The players do not show support for their coach by following his instruction. The players swear they like their coach but if they really truly did then there were be no question about their efforts.

Sather gets blamed for those he has given to his coach as a roster. Nuff said.

However folks are making too much out of what Renney says to the media. I am not going to excuse what he says but I do realize the position Renney is in thanks to both the players and Sather.

What do you want him to say: Well we suck because I have players on this team who Sather signed and are failures. Bet Slats would love that.

We suck because I do not have a say in the roster and I have to play those losers mainly because Sather screwed us over by pissing away money.

Tell me something how many people here would be able to keep their job if they started trashing their team in the media?

None of us knows what is said behind close doors to the team and GM.

I wonder how people would feel if Renney started pointing the finger at the fans as well? Picture this:

"I am stuck with Drury and Gomez because Rangers fans wanted them, they begged for them so Sather signed both of these guys instead of letting continue with my pla"

And before anyone says a word about what they as individuals did or did not do; the majority of Ranger fans all over the web were screaming for Sather to sign Drury especially.

The majority of Rangers fans gave Sather props for being able to sign both like he did.

I used this as an example not to start a riot but in some ways Ranger fans do need to accept that in some ways they have their own share of blame as well.

Jess

Absolutely agree with you. That year dru and gomer were two of the best players out there and to be sure he got them slats overpaid for them. I am not really disappointed in their play overall (I think gomer needs to hit a bit more and the bad run of giving up shorties played hell with every body's plus/minus) because statistically and otherwise they are pretty much on par (maybe a bit lower) for their career stat avgs. Everybody was stoked (I was) to get them, all the experts said it was a coup! I do fault him for the redden and rozy contracts. Bad signings, if they both made kalinin money it would be easier to stomach (barely because their play sucks). If everyone wasn't so drunk on Prucha kool aid and on the anti-voros band wagon, they should be more up in arms about rozy and redden as opposed to any other guy on the roster in my opinion!

Hppy Val's day to you (and everyone else) Matty.

I disagree... I think this team could be very good with a coach and system that fits the players on the roster.. I supported Renney until a month or so ago because it is obvious to me that this team has quit on him. This team will go nowhere with him and Pearn behind the bench..Last year you had Shanny/JJ/Nylander and various other good players and the PP still stunk.. It has to be the system...And if it is the system and the coaches won't change it when it doesn't work (3 yrs and counting) then the players kind of give up. We need to either miss the plaoffs or get killed in the first round to expect any changes to occur.. And for all you Prucha bashers out there he had 52 goals in his first 2 years before he became too small and delicate.....Z

Jess, Renney will wind up fired no matter what he says. We all know that Sather will throw him under the bus in a heartbeat. Now if what you're really saying is that Renney is "taking one for the team" because he wants to work somewhere else some day and not be labeled as a "bad apple" say like Nolan, I'll buy that logic.

Wicky, It's not that the pro Prucha crowd (me included) are fooling ourselves as to what his overall talents are. All we are saying is that we believe that he is a better option than other players currently on the roster or in Hartford, not the second coming of Yvonne Cournoyer. I'm with you that the team needs a real "power" winger, but how are they going to get one? I can't imagine any team parting with a player like that for the players we'd all like to see in other uniforms (Kalinin, Redden, Rozival etal).

So as I have said before, I like prucha a whole lot, he is just not the solution to this team's problem, nor is voros the reason for the problems. Everyone talks about prucha's goal totals the first two years, well what about the third season where he had similar ATOI and had 7 total goals in 60 plus games. He had 30 goals in 68 games season one, 22 goals in 79 games, and then 7 in 62. He has never avg less than 11:30 a game in a season and never more than 13:45 a game in a season (12:15 a game this season in 21 games and 3....3 from the savior prucha, the offensive blitzkreig, the cure all prucha 3...THREE). I will repeat, I THINK HE SHOULD BE PLAYING JUST LIKE THE REST OF YOU, but to make such a HUGE DEAL over him not playing is RIDICULOUS. If Prucha had 28 goals in 21 games then YES Renney is the biggest idiot ever, he has THREE in 21, get a grip people.

The other problem I have with this Prucha thing is Voros, the guy is a career 3rd or 4th line guy. He has admitted he isn't the best skater and first thing he said when he got to the rangers was that he wasn't a very good fighter. He knows this about himself yet he goes out and challenges guys to fights that take liberties on other players and puts himself in harms way knowing he is out skilled in the fighting arts by 90% of the guys he is fighting. All I used to hear from ranger fans is how the old fat cat high paid ranger players that show no effort, well this guy makes less than most of the players (including prucha) and goes out and puts it on the line nightly and gives effort even if he is slower than most other players on the ice and puts forth the effort to stand up for teammates nightly. You would think that fans (especially ranger fans) would appreciate that, but NO because it just isn't good enough. I wonder if voros wasn't on the team and prucha still isn't playing (maybe the every year goal numbers declining indicate a flash in the pan player???) who would everyone have to hate on, my guess is Sjo because he is a home grown little ranger product or maybe orr if he wasn't averaging 5 fights a night. Maybe just maybe renney sees the goal numbers declining and something in pruchas game that just isn't that good, I mean renney really has NO EXPERIENCE in hockey so he possibly could not see something that we fans or a writer (I do not mean any writer here so please do not take offence) might miss or THINK we know. Voros is not the savior to this team, I am fine if he is traded or sits, I want prucha to play just as much as you guys I love his heart and effort, but voros shows just as much in a different way. Trade them both slats, do both of them and all of us a favor (please feel free to weed out the sarcasm wherever you folks deem necessary)!

Rich

I always try to imagine someone taking rozy and redden off our hands, It is a pleasant fiction for me, even if it would be for a bag of used pucks. We really do need a power winger.

oops, meant to type that Sjo "isn't" a home grown ranger product. Sorry folks my editor is feeding one of the kids!

You can't be mad at the contracts for Drury and Gomez. No Ranger fan really can...

At the time, Sather really did not have any centers. He was looking at Nylander asking him for a 5-year deal. I think his other option for his #1 center at the time was Matt Cullen before he left. Those deals for Dru and Gomer were very necessary at the time. No one even knew if Dubinsky was going to be ready for the NHL the next season. So those deals were excellent moves in my opinion. The option over those 2 was not have no NHL-level talent up the middle. That would have been much...MUCH...worse.

As for the deals themselves....Hey, you have to pay to play in the UFA game. Almost every talented UFA in any given season gets overpaid. That's the way it goes in today's NHL. A GM either gets in there and makes a play, or he sits on the sidelines and complains while the talent plays elsewhere (see NY Islanders).

Yes, Gomez is having a bad year. But I do not think he just sucks all of a sudden. He is a good enogh player to bounce back next season and beyond. Redden, on the other hand, is going to eventually go the way of Kasparitis.

Chris QTC,

You are, of course, correct in your reminder of our situation re: centers the year we signed Gomer and Drury. Not to say I told you so (except of course, I AM saying it, but only this once, I hope), but I was one of those who was strongly opposed. Both guys with career stats that came nowhere near to justifying the $$ they got -- nor ESPECIALLY the contract lengths -- which even at the time were obviously going to turn into albatrosses at some point.

Of course, the spin at the time was all about the brilliance of front-loading the contracts, the point being that if Drury's and Gomez's performance did not measure up to expectations, they would both be tradeable in the last half of their contracts--that was the spin, anyhow. If that was even halfway true, maybe they can be dumped in the next year or two -- a bargain for some other club.

I can live a heck of a lot better with the Kalinen-type one-year contracts than these long term killers.

And if 6-7- years is what it took to sign these guys at the time, maybe one year without a high-profile free-agent signing would be preferable while awaiting someone actually worth the $$ and time committment. It's the same old discussion--do NY fans have patience or are we demanding all the goodies every year and paying for that lack of pateince down the road over and over?

And 6 years/39 Mil for Redden while bidding against ourselves? Does Glen have a drinking problem?

I've always been in the patient, team-building camp. I like to watch youngsters learn the game and come into their own--or not. I don't know, maybe my birth cerificate is a lie and I was not really born in the Bronx. I'd rather be patient and grow something to be proud of instead of buying something to be ashamed of.

Plain and Simple- LET'S STOP KIDDING OURSELVES

THE RANGERS WILL NOT MAKE THE PLAYOFFS !!!


IT"S OVER !!!

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