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January 30, 2006


SO much for the "arrival" of the Rangers. The truth is that it is the arrival of Lundqvist not the Rangers. IF not for King Henrik the Rangers do not even earn a point tonight.

It's a team effort, Jess. The goalie is part of it, the skaters are part of it, and neither succeeds independent of the other. Yes, they relied heavily on Lundqvist tonight. But the skaters also worked hard, and did much that was positive. Perhaps they have not "arrived" in the sense that they haven't yet figured a way to put together a consistent 60 minutes against the upper-level teams like Philly -- that, to me, is their biggest failing at this point.

Straka makes a couple of awful passes early, then picks up his game and is the dominant forward for a period of time. Jagr, too, picks up his game, and virtually carries the forwards on his back for the 2nd half of the game; but he is on the ice for over a minute beginning the OT and is barely able to move toward the bench as the game-winner is scored. Jason Ward wins a big faceoff and wills the puck into the zone, leading to the 2nd Ranger goal; he then fails to clear the puck in a sequence leading to a late Flyer goal.

Moore and Ortmeyer make huge plays to kill a late powerplay, and it feels like the Rangers will prevail on a night where the Garden feels electric. Ultimately, though, they can't close it out, and the loss is disheartening. The Rangers are not a perfect team -- but who the hell is. It's a long season, and this team is still a work-in-progress; but even a loss like this, Jess, is part of the growing process. A team doesn't just "arrive" overnight. I know we don't see eye-to-eye on this, and maybe others don't see it as I do either, but even after a tough loss like this I'm still optimistic and still enjoying the ride.



has he done ANYTHING this season at all??????

Throwaway no offense but they don't put together a 60 minute effort unless it is the Pens.

Which is more important to you the supposed rebuilding of this franchise or making the playoffs this season?

Which is more important to you long term winning or pretending to be a contender?

Look at your own words and realize just how sad they sound:

"Straka makes a couple of awful passes early, then picks up his game and is the dominant forward for a period of time."

A period of time is unacceptable for someone on the first line sorry no excuses are acceptable here. First liners are supposed to be be the best on the team not play half way for part of the game.

(About Jagr)

"is barely able to move toward the bench as the game-winner is scored."

Again that is unacceptable for someone who is supposed to be a leader on this team. You do not give away points in your own building and the Rangers now have done this twice to top teams in a week.

This one makes me ROFLMFAO:

"It's a long season, and this team is still a work-in-progress; but even a loss like this, Jess, is part of the growing process. "

Wait a second this was game number 52 (which means they have finished 63% of their schedule) and you want to call this part of the "growing process"??????????

This was the 2nd time that the plyers walked out of MSG with 2 points so please give me a effing break already with this "growing process" nonsense

A growing process for a supposedly rebuilding team is getting the younger players involved more and more as the season progresses and that has not happened with the Rangers.

Your 2nd best goal scorer (heck 2nd best offensive weapon period) Petr Prucha who is 12th in the NHL in goals gets all of 12 shifts for 10:18 of icetime?????????? But wait we got to get Nieminen some ice time so he can develop right?

Who is growing here Straka, Rucchin, Rucinsky or Jagr? Why aren't Moore, Ortmeyer, Hollweg (who does not belong in the press box), Prucha the major part of the growing process?

No instead there is Jagr out of gas crawling to the bench so once again he can watch the Rangers lose in OT to the plyers on home ice.

Quote Glen Sather: "Younger players get better, older players just get older"

So Throwaway is making a 4 and out appearance in the playoffs also part of your growing process?

Couple more questions for you and that is when does this growing process stop and winning becomes expected?

When are you going to realize that this entire season is not about rebuilding but rather putting an end to the lack of playoffs.

Which is more important to you, making the playoffs now or developing for the future so we fans never have to go though 7 straight years without the playoffs?

Really enough with this "growing process" nonsense it is totally untrue when you look at what the Rangers are really doing.

That is getting 2 home games in the playoffs so they can jack the prices back up at MSG.

So what are they supposed to do -- get rid of Jagr and everyone else over 30 and just fill the roster with kids? That's ludicrous. What makes this team different than recent editions is not just Lundqvist; it's the work ethic, the commitment to team defense, and the scoring ability of guys like Jagr. All of these elements are needed; take any one out, and the team regresses badly.

This is a good team, a much better team than you give them credit for. If you're at the Garden, you can see and feel the difference almost every night.

Again, I grant you they're flawed. The biggest flaw, to my thinking, is the lack of consistency. What happened against the Pens was not killer instinct; it was beating up on a bad team. "Killer instinct" would have been scoring a goal to go up 3-0 last night. It didn't happen, and instead we got a couple of breakdowns. But for me, that doesn't undo all the good that preceded it. The Rangers have shown this season an ability to play at a high level, in a way we haven't seen with this organization in a long time. If you really care so much for the future, surely you can give them more than 50 games to develop, to learn what it takes to play a full 60 minutes.

I, too, disagree with several of Renney's decisions, starting with Hollweg -- there is no excuse for not having him in the lineup. Even though Rucinsky scored, I thought he was ineffective most of the night and would rather have Hollweg in his spot. I thought Rucchin played better last night than Tino thought, but the game often seems to be passing him by, and I'm prepared to move him out of the lineup as well.

And yet this is still a damn good team, and there's a lot to feel good about 50 games in. You seem awfully hard and impatient with them, demanding a level of perfection that's just not realistic. When the team can't meet your ridiculously high standards, you use that as an argument to gut the team and build for the future. Well, I'm all for being mindful of the future; but while your busy LYAO at this team, I'm enjoying the present as well.

gentelmen this was a depleted Philly team that has been struggling because of injuries. This is not the juggernaut Philly team with Forsberg, they are still a good team and they beat the Rangers with their physical play. Once again a team came into the Garden and were able to overcome their deficiencies by playing physical. Got to side with Jess big time on this. Throaway we are well past the midpoint and time for growing this year is over. The great deficiency of the Rangers is their inability to answer the physical play. Philly played hard and clean and the best line on the ice was Brashear. That should not happen. Rucchin, Niemenan and Strudwick once again were very average.The Choezk players are fine as are HMO and Ward. Rangers need help on defense, especially a bigger tougher guy who can handle the bigger players in the league[hope Guenin and Flatt develope quickly].

throaway i do not want to get down on you because you are a passionate and thoughtful contributor. My main feeling now is to analyze the team to find weaknesses and then move forward trying to find solutions to those weaknesses. The team has much going for it in players like Jagr, Straka, Prucha, Sykora etc. The greatest strength is King Henriq,I say this because when he Lundquist does not play look at the results. Last night on OLN the announcers kept talking how playing physical was the key to beating the Rangers. I also believe this to be true[ie.watch again last night and also watch last weeks Bruins game]. So my solution is to add more of a physical[not fighting] game especially on defense yo balance out the already skilled offensive threats on the team. We need solutions to improve the team going forward this year and years to come. Suggetions anyone?

Last night was an extremely disappointing loss, but it's not something to panic about. This is a good team, and one worth rooting for.

Of course they need to get better - no one is saying they don't. But I haven't been this proud of the team in a long time, and I'm really going to enjoy the playoffs.

Jess, you're negativity is tiresome and your expectations are extremely unrealistic. Even if they do get swept in the first round, that is ABSOLUTELY part of the growing process. Do you think they'll win the Cup the first time they make the playoffs following the drought? That's absurd! Learning how to win takes time, and making the playoffs will only accelerate the process.

Lighten up.

Don't worry about "getting down on me," Toni -- you've got something to say in disagreement with me, bring it on. Meanwhile, I'm going to continue to enjoy this season, and, from the looks of the post above from Lurker Kev, apparently I've got some company.

throaway the Rangers are flawed but it is not their consistency it is the makeup of the team. Management should be commended for putting several very talented offensive players together, a structured system and a great goaltender. The great flaw is their lack of physical toughness. Opponents, anouncers, and skeptics have figured it out, to beat the Rangers play very physical. Not living in NY, I am forced to watch the opponents telecasts for most games. Night after night the opposing announcers are careful to make this point on how to play the Rangers. Being an Ostrich will not change this fact. Adding a few more physical players is the solution. I am proud of the effort given by the Rangers this year. I want to see it continue and I want a few adjustments in the makeup of the team to make them less predictable and harder to play against. I do blame Maloney for not giving Renney the option of bigger tougher players to add to the mix of very good skilled players that they have assembled. Not changing the mix I believe will result not only in a fast exit from the playoffs this year but also in years to come.

Not living in New York, Toni? I know there was talk of Staten Island seceding, but Brooklyn?

There is much sense in what you suggest, and we're only in partial disagreement. But enough on that for now.


"Jess, you're negativity is tiresome"

Ah having a different opinion that you disagree with is tiresome, bad news too bad don't read me.

"and your expectations are extremely unrealistic."

Wait it is unrealistic to expect Prucha to be used in important situations like when a team needs a goal?

It is unrealistic to expect that after 50+ games for the HMO to be given greater responsibility?

What is unrealistic expecting a supposed rebuilding team to actually rebuild or being misled while the Rangers make a foolish deal for Keith T?

At least Throwawy offers a decent arguement for his views while all you do is label.

Jess, if the label fits...

I'm with you that Prucha needs to be used as much as possible. He's earned it. However, he hasn't exactly been riding the pine, either, so it's not like they've buried him.

But I disagree about the HMO line needing to be given greater responsibility. They get a regular shift, they're frequently charged with shutting down the opposition's top line, and Moore and Ortmeyer are our top PK tandem: How much more responsibility can they be given? I love the defense and energy they bring to the team, but let's face it - they can't score. I think Renney is deploying them EXACTLY as much as they need to remain effective.

And who the hell said anything about making a foolish deal for Keith the Schmuck? I certainly didn't, and I think that would be the dumbest move we could possibly make.

As for rebuilding, the Rangers are doing just that. When your regular lineup over the course of a half-season includes Orts, Moore, Hollweg, Hossa, Prucha, Ward, Betts, Tyutin, Kondratiev, Pock and Lundqvist, I'd say they've injected a ton of youth. Combine them with our veterans who still have something left to give and you've got a team that strikes a nice balance.

You can't go with ALL youth. Would you rather be like the Penguins, who dress 3-4 washed up veterans alongside Crybaby Crosby and their entire Wilkes-Barre AHL squad? I wouldn't.

The Rangers are flawed, yes, but extremely competitive. Combine that with the prospects we have in Hartford and juniors and we have something to build on for the future.

Again, lighten up.

My one disagreement with you, Lurker Kev, is regarding the HMO line. Obviously I can't back this up with numbers because it's somewhat speculative, but I do sense that given more ice time, the line would start generating more scoring. I've seen some progress suggesting they could do more if given the opportunity. Moore is terrific with the puck along the wall, and has a quick shot on the fly; he needs some work with his shooting off the pass, however. Ortmeyer seems to have improved his accuracy -- he's at least hitting the net now. Hollweg has the style to be effective as a crash-the-net type. No, they'll never be a major goal-contributor, but they may be able to chip in a goal or two to complement the scorers. Meanwhile, as I suggested the other day, even when they don't score they create momentum, draw penalties, and cause icings -- so I don't really see a downside to playing them slightly more.

Oh, and I believe the complete phrase is: "Lighten up, Francis."

I like how HMO has been handled so far, but you make a good argument, throwaway. Those are three young players, so there's always the chance they could produce more offensively if given the chance. Ya' never know, right?

While I'm somewhat skeptical about their offensive skills, I definitely agree that there isn't really a downside to playing them more.

I was going to write "Lighten up, Francis," but I wasn't sure how many would get it. Obviously I was mistaken!

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