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January 25, 2006

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Terrible, just Terrible.

Rangers played horrible tonight. Malik needs to be benched and Kondratiev called up...oh wait...thats right we dont have him anymore, ok Pock...Oh wait..thats right, he is horrible in his own zone....ok Lampman...Oh wait...he is a journeymen NHLer who will never be more then #6 dman and has no real future with the Rangers anyway.....can we recall Staal from Sudbury?..maybe he can teach Malik and Roszvile how to play some defense.

If you want to make the playoffs then you have to win games like this one. You do not allow 2 points to leave your own building and go to a division rival let alone one who you are jockeying for position with.

Dubi has to be the nice guy I don't so let me ask the blunt questions for people to ponder:

What kind of team that has any kind of playoff hopes doesn't show up in the first period against a conference rival at HOME?

Where was the team leaders at this time? They are the ones who are expected to set the tone and the tempo for the team.

If you don't want to be the captain then take the damm letter off your uniform, leaders don't have to wear letters but if you do accept one then set the example (and no being sick with a cold is not an acceptable excuse)

Why doesn't Renney bench those who didn't show up to play right on the spot? It is interesting as the Sabre Coach Ruff has no problems making an example out of anyone who he feels is not giving an effort.

And perhaps the biggest question one has to ask of them all:

Why is it so hard for Renney to reward those who are working their butts off?

Hollweg 8:20, Moore 11:32, and Ortmeyer 10:28 were the only line to show up ready to play a full 60. Other teams will reward hard workers with increased PT DURING THE GAME but no not Renney. He never rewards these kids with increased PT. Tonight they were the only consistent line the Rangers had and yet they were the bottom of the deck.

The Rangers may know how to give sound bytes but until they learn that playoff contenders have to play hard for 60 minutes every night then they will turn that corner. Until then call them playoff pretenders.

You will not make the playoffs beating just the Pens and Fishies, you got to beat teams like the Sabres, Plyers and Sens.

I am also not willing to accept that playing 4 games in 6 nights will wear you out. So what get used to this as after the Olympics this is the kind of schedule the ENTIRE NHL will be playing. For the Rangers this was their first time playing such a schedule but just about every other team has. DEAL WITH IT AND SHOW UP READY TO PLAY.

Dubi,
Anyone ask Renney whether he is going to retool the powerplay? And if so, is he?

"Why is it so hard for Renney to reward those who are working their butts off?"

The only guess that I have on this one Jess, the HMO line have probably been one of the best lines in the league at mucking grinding and keeping puck possession. They just have a hard time scoring. We all know that this team needs the HMO line. We saw the results of teams in our past with no such muckers. Last night we needed a goal or two in a big way. The whole line has 15 goals combined this season. I'm just trying to read the mind of the coach as to why they were not out there more. I'm not defending the position, just trying to figure it out.

I sensed from the first minute that we were not going to have success last night.
I am willing to cut Jagr a little slack due to his health. Look at that picture above, that speaks volumes and despite that he got the only goal.
Hank was just super once again and when the game ended, I felt that the score should have been around 18-1. No way that game even felt close last night.
Kaspar is the only other guy that may have been prepared to play. His hits as of late are nothing less than teeth jarring.
All in all, it was just an awful game and I feel for the lunch bucket fans that spent their hard earned dollars to see a Ranger team that was not ready for the talented Sabres.

Yeah, Bob, it was pretty obvious from the start that this was going to be a lackluster performance. To be sure, it was disheartening to watch, yet the team has repeatedly bounced back this season, and I expect them to do so again. No, the consistency isn't where it needs to be -- you're right about that Jess -- but I'm not prepared to write-off their playoff chances just yet.

I agree that HMO must get more time -- aside from the energy they bring, I suspect their goal output would increase if given more ice time. Even when they don't score, they often draw penalties or cause icings.

Quick question relating to the previous thread. How do people react to Kasparitis' decision to avoid a fight with Grier? Smart move -- ie. he drew a penalty? Cowardly for backing down? I suspect most will conclude he was smart under the circumstances. So where do you draw the line between that decsion and, say, Hollweg's situation vs. the Devils the other day? If Hollweg had decided not to fight the guy because he's more valuable on the ice, is he deemed a coward? Wouldn't it have been better for him to ignore the guy, and continue to play his normanl, high-energy aggressive game? Still debating this myself, and throwing it out there for discussion.

Throwaway, Kasper should not have fought Grier under any circumstances. He is not a fighter. His hit was clean and the Sabres need to accept its part of the game. Reading their comments, they have gone bonkers calling him "gutless" and "dirty" and that it was a cheap shot etc. Grier though is the same guy that smashed Kasper's face against the glass earlier in the year busting him up pretty good. There was no call.The league said he should have had a five minute major and a game misconduct. Ruff is the same guy who sent out Verada some years back to cheap shot Gretzky. How about Ruff loving the fact that a gritty Peca used to hurt people all the time. What goes around comes around.

As for Hollweg he probably will fight from time to time. he just needs to avoid the heavyweights. The other night he would not have been a coward to avoid Janssens who was trying to wake up his club. Heck even Brashear avoids fights , in order not to give the other team a chance to get back into the game emotionally.

throaway raises a great question about fighting. My take is situational,ie. if you are winning a game 3 to 0 and the other teams tough guy wants to fight to inspire his club, then you should not fight. If the gamr is late in the 2nd or early third and it is tight game, you do not want to put your team down a man. If it is early in the game and the other team is taking liberties[elbows,slewfoots etc.] with guys like Prucha,Sykora or Straka aomeone must step up before these guys get hurt.If the game is going bad early and you want to fire up your team you might want to fight then. The tricky part is when there is a close game and the other team does something dirty to one of your top players[ie. stick to the head, hard hit from behind etc.] Of course you want to stick up for your teammate but you also do not want to lose the game,so then it becomes a judgement call[wait until a later game or take matters into your hands then and there. Kasper hits hard but is not really a fighter. Hard clean hits do not require anyone to prove their manhood by fighting. If you throw hard dirty hits then you shoud be prepared to fight at any time. These are only a fewe situations and I am sure Throaway you and the other contributors can think of many more cases, each with it's own proper response. Good question throaway as many times I have thought about this conundrum.

jess thanks for the insight on the Ahl defensemen. Since I would like to grow and rebuild from within your evaluation was very bad news.So Jess and anyone else who have seen these young guys[Sauer,Guenin, Taylor Flatt and Paimont] what is their progress. Defense is a glaring weakness. Jess shows that our Ahl guys are not NHL quality leaving the aformentioned guys to evaluate. Staal looks fantastic but in the coming years we will need more.

Interesting responses on the fighting issue. One of the reasons I raised it is that I thought I heard the Ranger announcers mention the other day that some guy from another team just got cut after backing down from a fight. Now, that context may have been completely different, so I wouldn't rush to draw too many conclusions from it. My concern is that I'd like it to be understood that Hollweg could ignore a guy like Janssen in that situation, continue to play his game, and not have anyone who matters give him any flak for it. Same holds true for most of the fights he's been involved in, which usually seem to be at the request of the opponent. Why should the opposition dictate when he fights? Grier looked like an idiot chasing Kaspar around, and that's how it should be. And if we're in agreement on that point, then shouldn't Renney specifically take Hollweg aside and tell him to take that approach? Dubi, I don't know if you have access to such info., but I would be curious to know what Renney's take is on this, and if hasn't done so already, whether he's considered telling Hollweg not to get drawn into these useless (for us) fights.

Throwaway, I was already to respond to the Kaspar fighting or not question. TonyM got there first and my answer would have been the same. Don't fight unless you're a fighter. If you do, you will look like a fool as someone beats you into submission. Right now Struds looks like the only guy that can handle himself out there.

We all know that the Rangers, like many teams, have some deficiencies. One of them is they are not a physically tough team. "Tough" only occasionally equates with fighting. More often, it involves simply punishing an opponent physically. Unfortunately, there are too few Rangers who relish the opportunity to do so. Some can't be expected to, and some don't have the constitution. Even the HMO line, for all their pesty hard work and success, don't make opponents utilize their health insurance enough. The other North Americans can't or won't fulfill this necessity, nor are they scoring lots of goals.

BTW, while I recognize that Hollweg is not a heavyweight in any sense of the word, and should be commended for his play this year, a quick roster check reveals that Cam Janssen is exactly the same size! 5'10" 210, 5'11" 205. Guess which is which? And let me further add that I have stood next to Janssen in Albany bars and he is not 5'11", and probably not 205 either, though I'm sure that the same could be said of Hollweg. Janssen is simply the better fighter, though not a better player.

Bob

"I'm not defending the position, just trying to figure it out."

Helpful advice if you want to pretend you are the Ranger's coach then first run headfirst into a wall and THEN answer questions.

"I am willing to cut Jagr a little slack due to his health."

Sorry but this is hockey and he gets no slack for having a cold sorry.

Throwaway

"Even when they don't score, they often draw penalties or cause icings."

Exactly the reasoning why you increase their ice time DURING the game. Not to mention that IF you get them to sustain pressure inside the offensive zone you can then rotate a true scorer into the zone after the HMO has pressured the defense for 30 or more seconds. Typically anytime you can hold pressure in a zone for 30 or more seconds then you either draw a penalty or you score.

"How do people react to Kasparitis' decision to avoid a fight with Grier? "

Mine will be different as I looked at his decision as the correct one as had he fought it would have (in the strange way hockey operates) sent the wrong message that DK thought his hit was dirty. It was clean and you don't fight to defend a clean hit.


Any idea why Prucha only played a little over 9 minutes? Found that to be a little strange.

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