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September 19, 2009

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Dubi what is the status of Owens and Locke?
They have been dressed up today.

Dubi - unless I have my numbers game wrong, dont see how Lisin can make the 3rd line as we have Avery, Higgins, Gaborik, Prospal, Callahan and Kotalik as our top 6 wingers, who does Lisin bump out? I guess if Anisimov doesnt make the team out of camp and Prospal moves to center them Lisin is in on one of the top 3 lines.

A lot of moving parts here upfront - who plays with who, what type of chemistry will develop, etc. In the words of Yogi Berra, "its like deja vu all over again"...

Numbers game. I'd like to keep Lisin and annisinov together on 3rd line, but realistically I don't see it happening. Could put Lisin on 4th line, but that's not a good spot for him as it. Just don't see him edging out higgins, Avery, cally, kotalik, prospal... Guess it's a good problem to have. More interesting cuts ahead especially on defensive. Unfortunately after first 9 MDZ will.be sent back to juniors.

"If Anisimov doesn't make the team out of camp..."

??? Marty from rfc: I haven't been able to see the preseason games live, I've depended on watching THE ARTEM ANISIMOV HIGHLIGHT REELS that have begun to pop up all over the web. Are you saying this guy may not make the team? Am I missing something? Sounds like the Rangers might actually have a GOOD problem: too many centers.

And I realize that it is still September, so I'm going to keep my enthusiasm in check, but, man, AA may just end up being the kind of player we all have heard he can be. That would be great to see.

Nice Willie Huber reference.

Marty -- I'm counting forwards, not wingers, since a couple of guys can move to center. It really boils down to Lisin as a winger vs. AA as center, and having read some of Torts's comments on AA, I'd amend my assessment to say that he probably has the edge right now. But in Torts's world, things change from period to period, let alone from day to day.

NC Steve - like you, I havent seen any of the games and I too have been checking the AA goals on youtube. My comment re: AA was only relative to the article above indicating that Lisin seemed to be a lock on 3rd line so I was trying to figure out who he would bump out. Dubi's subsequent post clarifies that point.

But for discussion's sakes, seems Lisin will ultimately not make the top 3 lines with the newest signing, Proposal, beating him out. Your thoughts? Is this a case of an aging veteran taking a spot from a young player (after all we did trade a decent asset who was getting 3rd line minutes, Lauri K for Lisin).

Cant see Proposal accepting a 4th line/ 12th player role. On the upside, the Proposal signing does give the Rangers more flexibilty/versatility up front. Maybe Lisin stays with the team as the spare forward and plays his way into Tort's up tempo/speed oriented system.

Guess thats a real long way of saying I think and hope that AA makes the team.

My sense of it is that Prospal's one year signing was to allow for a transitionary year and allow players like Lisin and AA to get some real NHl experience. There's no doubt that there will be injuries, so they will get their time.

My bigger concern is defense--Seminov looks like he's going to get a slot, and that seems wrong (unless it's to have a Russian presence for AA--is Seminov willing to be the 7th D?). I was particularly surprised by how nonchalant--or at least how unhungry--Redden and Rozi were in their first game (as a Roszival apologist, my calling him out should tell you something).

I think, now though you see lines shaping up that are quite exciting. And I'm okay with the big 4th line (though I expect Voros to eventually play himself to Hartford again).

G

Thanks, Marty. I've liked what I've seen of Lisin. Seems he has a bit more push in his game than Lauri K. Should set up some good competition for those few open spots.

I just saw Gilroy make a nice move up the boards from the point and around the net with a chance to score vs. Boston. Good stuff! And Del Zotto, too, making some good decisions on the PP before Kotalik's goal. Both those guys deserve a spot, seems to me

Of course, Joe and John don't mention MDZ getting manhandled behind the net. He needs some more girth and strength, perhaps.

Godot,

I generally tend to like Roszival better than Redden, the two of them together however are toxic but splitting them up them sinks someone else ... Roszival should just get it in his head to take the shot when it's there, instead of looking for the perfect shot and waiting that extra second that eventually leads to a turn over ... my biggest issue with Redden it's his overall disposition ... whether it is his personality or whatever it is he always seems to look like he doesn't care out there ... Renney last season said that we could "think he looks like he doesn't care but that isn't the case" and I am thinking "Perhaps he just doesn't care, perhaps he truly believes that with his price tag he is not only untradeable but won't be waived" who knows ...

As far as the kids MDZ has earn a shot but given the cap situation and his junior eligibility issues I think he will be sent down, as long as Torts is open and honest with him that if it weren't for the cap he would be on the club ... maybe they'll let him have his 10 NHL games ... who knows ... All I know is that I do not want him here as a 7th D, I think that's what Samsenov is for if he makes the club ...

Only reason I might see Lisin not making the club, and again I think the kid deserves to be up here, is that they don't want to sit him down or scratch him ... they want him to play so to start off the season they might send him to Hartford along with Grachev ... but I'd rather Lisin over Voros in the lineup ... but with the 4th line seeing little ice time that might hurt him

When all is said and done I don't think how certain players perform in the remaining games will matter much. In the end it is all going to come down to cap space. MDZ is going back to juniors because he can. Grachev will go to Hartford. Sadly Redden will be in NY taking up way too much cap space. No way Sather will give up on him yet.

Since Semenov in here on a tryout, what is he likely to sign for? Because by my math, the team has about $644k of cap space if they keep Lisin, Sangs and Gilroy.

Bobby Sangs looked real good saturday. I hope he gets a shot with the team, Del Zotto has looked better though that will be a tough decision to make either let sangs play in hartford and wait for a call up, or send del zotto back to juniors and let sangs play.

the person i am most impressed with so far even though its a position we don't need a starter at has been this johnson from U alaska anchorage. he has played great. one more year i think he is the back up for hank no question possible trade bait in 2 years if he plays really well getting us a decent return.

I agree with rich on this one, Redden at the very least gets half a season with the rangers unless he is absolutely piss poor. We are stuck with him for another year. if it all falls apart again maybe he goes out classy like naslund. Of course why would you when you are making 6.5 mil and all you have to do is show up.

Side note by the end of the year there is a very good chance if the youngsters play up to their potential drury is centering a very solid 3rd line with kotalik on a wing. It will be really great to see dubi and gabs out there together when both are ready to go. hopefully that will happen before the start of the season.

Higgins/Dubinsky/Gaborik
Lisin/Anisimov/Callahan
Avery/Drury/Kotalik
Brasher/Prospel/Voros

Redden/Rozsival
Staal/Girardi
Gilroy/Del Zotto

Lundqvist/Valiquette

Sanguiette/Boyle/Grachev

I don't think the cap will allow for a full 23 man roster, so I expect Grachev will get sent to Hartford to get plenty of ice time.

Well, one thing that is great to see... we definitely have a very good stable of young defensemen. Staal, Girardi are legit top-4 NHL d-men already. Gilroy, Sanguinetti, DelZotto, and Heikkinen look to be NHL-ready or very, very close to being so. Ryan McDounagh isn't even in camp only due to NCAA rules. And Potter, Sauer, Nigel Williams, and Tomas Kundratek are still projected to be NHL'ers. It took some time, but Sather and his staff have done a good job here.

I think this will be Redden's last season with the team and he may not even make it the whole year. Rozsival may not be too far behind. They've both been outplayed by the rookies up to this point. And after watching these games, I think the fans will be relentless on Wade Redden this season....and I mean Healthcare Town Hall-style angry with him. Barring a complete turnaround in his performance, I expect the fans to get ugly with him this season (starting with his opening night introduction). Redden will make the opening night roster, but I expect him to be waived at some point this season and most likely bought out at the end of the season. I also think there may be a deal before the season begins for a veteran d-man. I do not think Semenov is anyone's choice. He's only here because Kyle McLaren dropped out at the last minute. They do not look like they want rookies in the 5, 6, and 7 spot. But at the same time, the trio of Gilroy, Sanguinetti, and Del Zotto are out-playing Semenov by far. I think Torts wants a vet d-man in there somewhere, but not Semenov. Ironically, I think they should be pencilling in Redden and Rozsival as #6 and #7 with the way the preseason games have gone to this point.

Staal, Girardi, Gilroy, Sanguinetti, Del Zotto, Rozsival, and Redden. (Although my gut tells me DZ is going back to Junior, but after 8 NHL games)


Hopefully we get to see Gaborik tonight...

Big night tonight. Torts sees these 3 games as the ones that really count. The opening night team will be selected based on these games. Don't be too suprised if Redden makes the team but is an opening night scratch, assuming he just plays the Wade Redden role we are all too accustomed to. If that happens, it's a sign that Torts wanted to waive him, but Sather overruled him, which is the GM's right.

We should get a good look at what a Tortorella powerplay and penalty kill look like. I like the last two games against the Caps. They should be a solid test for this team. If Dubi gets in, I'd like to see what he can do with Gabby and Higgins.

Lisin a lock on third line?

Where is Avery going? the 4th? Callahan? Higgins? Prospal? 4th line material ?

Its a bit of a logjam on wing, i think you forgot about a few players...

I think Torts doesn't look at 1st, 2nd or 3rd lines. He has 3 lines and the most effective ones on any given night will get the most ice time. He also is not a big believer in rolling 4 lines. Same with the defense. I would expect his top D to get 24 minutes while the 2nd pair get 22 minutes and the third gets 14 or so. If Redden and Rozi play "pylon" hockey, look for the minutes to go up, say 27, 25 and 8 and you know who will get the 8.

This team is going to look very different from last year. Torts systems are very simple and should be picked up quickly by everybody. Positioning is everything. Remember last year he opened the separation between the forwards and the defense by just a foot or so. That let Redden have just a little more time to react to what was going on. Granted, that also created the problem of keeping the puck in the zone, but it was the lesser of two evils: that is, get out early or have a forward blow by your slow defenseman. It's those small things that need the work, the practice to get positioning down pat.

Question: Where has Schoeny been during these games? Anybody know if he has had any coaching time with the defense. I haven't seen any quotes from him.

What is the plan for Dubinsky now as far as Training Camp goes? Does he still do the 45 laps and all of the testing that everyone else went through? I'd imagine he does, but maybe not...

Chris,

I would think he would do that, or maybe already did since he had to be at the training center yesterday when the rest of the team didn't ... I guess when the beat writers report later today they'll let us know if he has already done it

RB94,

Sounds like they've had minimal practice time so we probably won't hear much from him in terms of sound bites. Agree that Redden and Rozy haven't looked like top defenseman and they're both killing the team in terms of cap space and that it would be in the best interest to waive one of them this year. Will see if that ever happens and I'm not holding my breath that it will happen. Seems like most Ranger coaches say something to that effect and then end up doing the same thing.

For the fourth line, I'd like to see Dane Byers stay instead of Voros. Voros can't fight, has bad balance (seemed to be falling all over the place in Boston) and the only benefit is size (and is a friend of Gaborik). I think Byers has a little more offensive upside and can do the other things Voros gives you.

WWWC9 - I agree kind of about Voros. Although I have to admit Byers was practically invisible during the preseason (I honestly cannot tell you the game(s) in which he played....if any). I have noticed Voros out there in the games, and that is everything this time of year. I'd like to see what Byers has to offer. But is the same breath, he has to show everyone what he has and he has not done nearly enough up to this point. Voros on the 4th line isn't so bad. The problem with Voros last season was Renney's infatuation with him. It was not his fault that Renney kept giving him good minutes and PP time over other players. There's no way Torts will give him any of that unless he earns it.

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