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January 23, 2006


once again your post summarizes the game with insight and precision. Instead of repeating let me digress for one important point. Do you remember a few years ago the Rangers had a hard hitting rookie[I believe his name was Scott]. He hit and was very aggressive until one day he got into a fight with Eric Cairns, the result was a severe concussion and he has not played hockey since then. Looking at the pasting Holloweg got last night in his fight reminded me of the potential for another disater. I love Holloweg,he is needed on the ice for his aggressiveness. He is not a fighter and is much more valuable playing than sitting in the penalty box.Holloweg is needed on the HMO line and should play regularly. As for fighting and protecting our players someone else is needed. I blame Don Maloney and Ranger management for not providing this type of player.Sure we all want Clark Gillies or Brndan Shanahan who are all star players and all star phsical players. Untill we get a Shanahan it is managements responsibility to protect the players.We have guys like Orr,Weller,Grenier etc. who can perform this role today. Did you Ranger fans really enjoy the pasting Hooloweg got or the rough treatment of Prucha and Straka by the Bruins?Play Orr untill you find someone better. Would you not prefer to see Orr in the penalty box than Holloweg in the box. Playing someone like Orr sends a message you can not push the Rangers around and it keeps the better players out of the box.

Any word on jagrs knee? Did any of the papers say anything about it?

The difference with Scott is that he already had a long history of concussion -- I believe he had missed the entire season before that with head injuries. But your point remains valid, BT. To some extent, Hollweg being a North American player will want to back up his physical approach to the game with a willingness to fight. But the coach has to find a way to keep him away from the other teams' heavyweights -- Janssen's goal was to fire up his team, and he went after the best candidate in blue. That should not be Hollweg's role.

Tino, no word on Jagr's knee in the papers. In fact, no one asked him or the coach about it after the game, which means they didn't even notice it. I didn't notice either it while at the game -- I only found out in skimming through a recording of the game afterwards. Seems that Jags came back strong after emerging from the locker room, so it must not have been bad.

As you guys may know as usally I wasn´t able to see last nights game ( As I mentioned yesterday I didn´t hear it as well) I got used to read your comments about the Rangers performances. But this time it is really kind of confusing par exemple the disscussion between Jess and throwaway in contrast with Dubi´s summary :

"Throwaway ....Good News, Good News!
You see, that's the kind of spirited, consistent, positionally-solid, TEAM effort I've been talking about."

"Jess, However sorry Throwaway I wonder which game you were watching as the positioning was neither consistent or solid. What tonight's win was led by was one great effort by Henrik."

"Throwaway :The game I was watching, Jess, was one where the Rangers' defensemen, after losing Kasper in the 1st few minutes, rallied and played solid in their own end, stepping up to make plays at the blueline, keeping the puck to the side of the net, breaking out of the zone with smart passing. The forwards hustled back, and cut down on the turnovers they've been making. The HMO line gave the team some energy, and they fed off it. Yes, Lundvist was superb, but it was so much more than that; if you couldn't see that Jess, then I question not only "what" you were watching, but why you even bother watching it in the 1st place."

"Jess :Throwaway how you can say that the defense played a good game after DK got ejected boggles the mind.
Maybe it was because they played the "Wave as they go by" defense to perfection.
Maybe it was because the Debbies were able to keep the puck in the Ranger defensive zone for so long that you got used to it.
No sir the game was Lundqvist plain and simple, he made repeatedly the big plays in every key situation and covered up for the all too regular defensive breakdowns." (This is mind boggling for me as well as different it is :):)

"Dubi : Last night the Rangers rode their future stars, their new core of youth, to a big win over the streaking Devils by going back to the disciplined energetic style of play that allowed them to roar out of the gate at the start of the season. And just in the nick of time, as they enter the stretch run facing pressure from teams coming up the rear, led by these self-same Devils."`But you don´t want kidding me, right, eh ????

Hm folks, I do not know what to think about that because usally I rely what you are saying and can count on that building up my opinion on your statements , so I suppose you guys haven´t seen a different game ???? :):):)

If I wouldn´t be funny I could probably annoyed about it.... !!!!

Pardon me for presuming to speak for anyone else -- I'm sure the other will chime in with their own take, especially if I'm wrong, but Mattias, there is no confusion really, just different priorities among different fans. Jess is solely interested in the long-term future of the team and doesn't want any of it jeopardized by an ill-conceived attempt to achieve success now -- we've been down that road and know all too well how destructive it can be.

Throwaway on the other hand is, like all Ranger fans, committed to the long term success of the team, but is also enjoying the positive results have come so quickly -- trying to walk the fine line between the two.

Me, I trying to report both sides of the coin -- what is happening right now, with the team surprisingly finding itself in a position to have a successful season, but still building a long-term future around a core of youth. That's why this game was so huge for me -- that very core was most responsible for the big win.

Personally, I'm as concerned as Jess is about the proclivity of this management team to go for broke, but I don't think it will happen for two reasons: a) I believe the salary cap will provide a natural braking effect on any potential silliness -- the Rangers have one more big "win now" trade deadline move left this season, or maybe two little ones; and b) I have come to trust Tom Renney and his position of strength within the Ranger brain trust, and I know he will not allow any important long term assets to be given away in any long-shot attempt to win it all this season.

So while I wouldn't be surprised to see a draft pick or depth prospect traded for a playoff rental or two I'd be shocked beyond belief to see the Rangers trade away Lundqvist, Prucha, Tyutin, Montoya, Jessiman, or any of a half dozen or so other top prospects.

Jagr's knee injury has apparently moved north. This is from Ira Podell’s AP article, picked up from SLAM http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Games/2006/01/22/1406749-ap.html

"Scott Gomez's drive was stopped by Lundqvist, and Jagr - who injured a finger moments before - corralled the puck deep in his own zone. With his head up as he skated toward the blue-line, he paused before wiring a perfect feed to Nylander and hitting him in stride as he crossed into the Devils end. ..."

Dubi you can be sure I do not want to rip anyone because I know all you guys all to well but it was just funny for me to read that discussion over a beautiful win over the Debbies and especially over Brodeur...pardon I really like his qualities as a top goaltender (Brodeur, Hasek, and Roy!!) in the league but I could have killed him last december in Switzerland in grinning about me and the Rangers.:):):)

But when you are saying "I believe the salary cap will provide a natural braking effect on any potential silliness -- " that is as much as mind boggling that it could be. Why in the world you need a cap just to realize as a general manager how this season has worked out so far with sucess, the Rangers never had before the last six or seven years without renting some other over the top veterans for short term sucess.. The organzisation just can build slowly step by step with guys like those players you mentioned. There is no way for any official inside of the organization to leave this way just to make a big shot for the cup.... !!!!

And just allow me another idea about the cap: The cap is just an interference on a free market place, where good teams good managers deserve to spend more money than in opposite to others...How boring is it to steal away the opportunity to build a real core group for a good team..If you don´t do a good job as a manager in wasting money for the wrong core group of players you need to get fired...( yes my friend Daniel the PENGUINS !!!) So what the heck for me as a fan of the sport of hockey I wanna see a Kariya in Nashville or Fedorov in Columbus just for financial reasons or the move of Peter Forsberg to the Flyers. The AVS, Wings, or Leafs didn´t loose any money of their 80 million plus payroll, because they are good, and they just still good afterwards as well with the exception of the leafs... Why do you want to go with thirty franchises if you would have even have a better level of play with just 24 ?????

For me as a fanatic hockeyfan overall when I had over to the Northamerica I´d like to the best with the best....!!!!
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT !!!!!!!!!!

Yeah you deleted the post of me couple of days but the only thing which disturbs me about the Rangers sucess is the thought , that it is obviously or mainly forced by this cap to change the philosophy instead that it was the Rangers own volition... !!!!!

Blame it on this as you wish but when you saying "I have come to trust Tom Renney and his position of strength within the Ranger brain trust, and I know he will not allow any important long term assets to be given away in any long-shot attempt to win it all this season" you have obviously the same impression....

Dubi and Brooklyn

First Brooklyn: Your concern for Hollweg has some very legit reasoning behind it and in this case I am going to disagree with the boss here. For starters Hollweg does have his own case history with concussions as they came very close to costing Hollweg his career before he even got out of the WHL.

In the 2002-03 season Hollweg only played 4 games the entire season after suffering a series of concussions. Most people feared that his career was over and quite frankly as much as I like the kid I hold my breath every time he drops the gloves against the big boys. I admire his willingness to defend his teammates BUT I wish someone else would do the job.

Sorry Dubi but I don't want Hollweg fighting as his career will end sooner than later if he keeps going after heavyweights.

You are though right about where my mindset truly is. I don't believe this team is going to make the playoffs as it is currently constructed. There are way too many flaws defensively for this team to be able to hold on to a playoff spot.

I also seem to have a new concern which is wondering if Renney is going to run Lundqvist out there until he drops? I understand most here don't like Weekes but given all the factors (including Lundqvist's own admission of being tired) I worry that Renney is risking serious injury by running him out there just to show the critics that he knows Lundqvist is the starter.

He has got to spot Weekes and keep Lundqvist fresh down the stretch.

You pretty much summed up my position as well, Dubi. In fact, after reading your references to the Rangers "going back to the disciplined energetic style of play," and how Tyutin led the defensive corps in making "great plays in front of Lundqvist rather than creating errors for him to erase," I really don't see how anything I wrote was any different than your take. My difference was with Jess, in that I actually enjoyed the TEAM's success last night and took some satisfaction out of it, instead of dismissing it as just another Lundqvist win. Bob Merchant and I have discussed on here the Rangers lack of sharpness recently; he aptly described one recent game as worthy of fast-forwarding through. Well, last night wasn't a "fast-forward" game -- it was, for me, an absolute pleasure to watch.

Of course I'm concerned about the team's future; I even agree with Jess' point above about being careful not to overuse Lundqvist. And I read with interest his write-ups on the guys in the minors. But nothing about last night's win suggests to me that it was done at the expense of the team's future. In fact, just the opposite: it was another positive step in this team's development, and, as Dubi noted, the development of several young players. Yeah, I'm enjoying this season. And for that, I make no apologies.

Let me jump in, Brooklyn Toni, amen to that about Hollweg and fighting.
Jess and Throwaway, I need to get you two together for a cup of coffee and an arm wrestle.
Personally, I thought we played a superlative game. I'll say anytime you can hold the Devils to just one goal when it seems like you are shorthanded for huge stretches of the game, the team D did a good job and Hank is part of the defensive effort.
Throwaway, your right about enjoying the game, I wish I taped it so I could watch it again. This time in slow-mo not fast forward like the Pens game.
All in all I enjoyed the recap and everyone's input. Lets all agree that we are happy with the win.

I don't believe this team is going to make the playoffs as it is currently constructed. There are way too many flaws defensively for this team to be able to hold on to a playoff spot.

Jess, I want to disagree... ! I am more than happy with the Rangers performance this season because they are playing right now as a unit obviously in contrast to the previous seven years. And why shouldn´t the Rangers be optimistic if they would maybe able to beat the Sabres and Flyers and get confidence about in their own abilities even for the hard stretch of the remaining 30 games plus the Olympic Break with the amount of Rangers players taking part. Hopefully there will be no injuries to those in Turin,

The Rangers were much too long the laughinstock of the league and they are not any more...

That is the most positive thing in the whole story....

The whole concern I have right now that some people in management might start to spin around and doing some very stupid things for the short time sucess....

Please slowly step by step and even if the Rangers would really miss the playoffs it is so much better right now than in the past.....

P.S. Jess and throwaway do not take my comments about your controversy of the Rangers too seriously...:):):)

Jess, we all agree that Hollweg should not be fighting. I forgot about his concussion, but there still is a difference between him and Scott, whom everyone knew was one hit away from retirement. But that's not really the point -- the point is, and we're all on the same page -- that the Rangers need someone else to handle that role.

This is not lost on Renney -- the last time Hollweg fought, it came up in his postgame interview and he was emphatic that he did not want Hollweg filling that role, that he didn't see that as his role. The blame for a lack of enforcer must be placed on the shoulders of management (Maloney) for not getting a bona fide player to fill that role (please, don't bother mentioning Colton Orr, I said bona fide player).

Funny that Renney should now be taking heat for overplaying Lundqvist -- he was the last person in all of Rangerland to award the #1 job to him, and his was the only vote that counted. My problem with Renney on the goaltending decisions has not been with giving Weekes the starts that he and the team needs, it's choosing him to play the better teams (until Columbus, when he finally made the right choice, and still Weekes blew it). Right now, he has a different decision to make -- either find a way to make Weekes an effective spot starter, or demand that management get him a worthwhile backup keeper.

As for the other stuff, you guys can certainly speak for yourself. The distinction I was trying to make for Mattias, to ease his perception of contradiction, which you all verified it for me, is the difference between being happy about a particular win or loss (this particular win) when it may or may not further the long-range plan.

Dubi !!!!!!!

MATTHIAS not Mattias:):):)

Let's think about this. We are Ranger fans. Rangers win. Ergo, we should be happy.

Yeah, I understand the building for the future, but the point of that is to build a winning team. That doesn't mean winning now is bad or that we should not try to win now.
We have a ton of solid mid-level prospects, way more than we can ever actually put on the roster at one time. I think a couple might be sacrificed for a piece to help us now, but I don't think any of the core prospects will be traded this year.

Dubi we are all on the same page about Holloweg not fighting but who is the solution. Renney said he likes the team chemistry and does not want to change it. So what to do? My suggesstion is choose from what we have [Orr, Liffton,Grenier and Weller]. My first choice is Weller. He is big,tough and at the Ahl level has shown he can play. He almost made the team in training camp and I beleive he is big improvement over Jason Strudwick who has not shown anything[ie. given Holloweg past concussions as outlined by Jess,why did Strudwig not try to protect Holloweg} . At least Orr would have protected him and the other Rangers. You do not want to hear Colton Orr then find someone else. You hate Orr so much but watch McGratton protecting all those guys on Ottowa. Please Dubi do not tell me that McGratton is such a better player than Orr. But he does his job, I watched ottowa play Philly and Boston and McGratton was patrolling the ice looking to stop anyone who might take advantage of his guys. So Dubi stop putting down Orr and come up with ssomeone. I am not in love with Orr but who else is on the big team today,for tonights game?

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