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February 27, 2006

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Just got back from a week in Fla., and figured I'd breeze through Dubi's posts to catch up on the week's events; well, this is the 1st one i look at, and it's like the length of War and Peace!

Interesting write-up, Ron, on Hartford. I only saw that one game on television a couple weeks back, but my impression of Jessiman was the opposite of yours -- ie. i didn't think his skating was very quick, but he was good with the puck, particularly with his passing. I guess this only underscores the need to see more games. Other than Baranka, who you mentioned, I didn't see anyone ready for prime time.
As for the Olympics, aside from Henrik's triumph, the bonus is that the Flyer goalie isn't coming back with the Gold, though he did have a good stretch. I read that Gagne was a little banged up, and I don't imagine that Forsberg is any better for having played in some of the games, so maybe Philly suffers a bit from this week.

Our boy Ville was active in several games. I have a gut feeling he may be an important contributor come playoff time. I suspect Renney believes that as well, which is probably why he's tolerated the excessive penalties til now. A while back, Alan predicted a couple of big goals from Betts in the playoffs; my vote goes to Nieminen as an unlikely source to contribute in crunch time.

Anyway, I join Bob in looking forward to resuming the NHL schedule.

"Anyway, I join Bob in looking forward to resuming the NHL schedule."

Right back at you Throwaway. It is not so much that I don't like Olympics. I find them much more entertaining than Summer Olympics. I am just anti-NHL participation.
I love seeing the "real" kids play as in the Miracle team of 1980.

I fear the injuries, which have happened. I fear the loss of focus and the Olympic hangover. I fear that people like Kaspar will be a marked man for his hit on Gagne. I fear the players from the Olympic squad will be exhausted and out of gas while the rest of the non participants have acquired weeks of rust. I look for a sloppy game in Philly and can only hope for an uninspired game from the orange menace.

Like the Nashville coach said, "All roads in NY victory travel on highway 68." Well he said something like that, you get the drift. I am just left wondering how banged up Jagr will be upon his return.

Anyone have a Prucha update?

I'm sure that it's just a coincidence that Throwaway chose this week to go away, right?

I read that Ville and Kaspar were going at it pretty good, did anyone catch that? I was also thinking that the Flyers would go after Kaspar. Good news is that the Flyers play Wednesday night in Jersey, so our boys will be laying in wait for them.

They reported on Sports Desk that Prucha is still skating on his own. And no, I haven't heard a thing about Jagr.

Ok first off before people freak out Montoya was called up but do not read anything into it as he is there to give Henrik some rest after the Olympics. Montoya NOR Weekes is tradebait despite the constant rumors you will start hearing.

First off how much trade value does Weekes really have? He is a UFA after this season and yes while goalies are hard to come by there are several who will attract attention first.

Second the biggest concern right now isn't Jagr's always weak groin but rather how rusty the Rangers are going to be as a team? The worst thing a hot team doesn't want to have happen is a break like this. I for one expect some very ugly hockey by both teams come Thurs.

Third now the concern should be Jagr's various injuries from his groin to his hip to his head. Lose Jagr and watch how fast people run from this team.

Fourth this schedule is as moronic as I have ever seen. How hard would it have been to extend the regular season by a week or 2? In March the Rangers have to play 16 games in 30 days, that is not peaking for the playoffs that is trying to stay alive.

Sorry but the NHL front office has not one excuse for allowing this to happen. They knew what they were getting into with the Olympics and now they are going to give us fans exhausted hockey. For the Rangers when you add in those who played in the Olympics you are asking way too much.

I presume Purinton's absence from the Hartford roster means he's still injured?

Not having an experienced defenceman warming up in the bullpen to step in if the one of regular defencemen go down looks to me to be the one chink in the Ranger armor.

I am not as worried about the Rangers being rusty as I am about them being fatigued. Half the team was playing in the Olympics and those guys will surely be sharp and not need a game or two to get their "timing" back. The Czechs and Russians (Tyutin and Kasper) last played on Saturday so they have 4 days of "rest" with a big travel day included.

Lundqvist and Neimenin played Sunday so they only have three days and a big travel day. Neimenen didn't get 20 minutes of ice time for team Finland and only gets less than 12 minutes a game for the Rangers so I don't think he will be bothered.

IMO the Rangers, as a team, as long as their Olympians are not drained from the mental and physical wars in Torino, should be sharper than many of the other teams who did not have a large presence at the Olympics.

I am sure Renny and his crew will have the boys prepared to play and this is Ranger team that really wants to win.

That is a big difference from teams in years gone by.

Basically we play every other day so the schedule will be grueling. The saving grace is that every other team in the league will be doing the same thing with some teams in the conference having 25 and 26 games left to the Rangers 24.

Looking forward to the rest of the season and the playoffs.

Thowaway, I also noticed Ville in a number of the Finland games and I can only hope he comes back and plays as well and with as much confidence as he did in the Olympics. It seemed like he was always out there doing great things when it mattered most.

As for him and Kaspar going at it, yes they did have a pretty good battle during one of the games. It started with Kaspar laying a big hit on Nemo in the corner, and then Nemo followed up by laying Kaspar out with a cross-check in front of the next. Kaspar got up looking at the ref for a penalty, but got nothing. JD commented on the exchange, saying something like "those two are fierce competitors and go at it like that in practice every day" (or something similar.)

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