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October 30, 2006

Comments

I think we're somewhat fortunate to play the two struggling teams first during this road trip. Tonight's game is a definitely MUST win. Also, I suggest our defencemen pay very close attention to that nineteen year old Anze Kopitar.

Since I go first let me state the obvious; we need a 2nd line playmaking center, a PP point specialist, and an ass kicker that can skate. I'll let you guys fill in the blanks... Z

Oh, me! Me! Pick me! Brian Leetch.

Has the Rangers inconsistent start spooked everyone THAT much? Why is everyone afraid of Anaheim and San Jose? We're not talking about all-time powerhouse teams here - they're beatable. Let's show some confidence in the Rangers for once.

I know those are two good teams, but if the Rangers want to be a Cup contender this year (and rest assured, management definitely thinks they are contenders) they have to get points on the road against good teams.

I'm not guaranteeing anything. In fact, if they lose one or both against the Ducks and Sharks I won't say I'm surprised because those are tough games. But at the same time, I'm not writing off getting a win or even two in those two buildings.

Craig:

I second your assessment and would add one other. We need a number one D-Man which we clearly don't have.

Ed:

Nobody, other than you, loves Leetchie more than me not just as a player, but he's a great human being and has shown me great kindnesses on many an occassion especially to my sons, and I will tell you unequivocally that he is the wrong choice for this team. Emotionally and sentimentally I would say without a doubt yes, but from a hockey perspective it's a bad idea. He is clearly not the player that he once was and he hasn't even skated much, so take my word for it, he's not coming back. That's the reason that I haven't made official the sale of some of my tickets to people that have bought them because I think his banner is getting raised at some point this year and I don't want to miss it.

Craig (part Deux)
In adding to the answer to the comment though Craig, we already have the PP specialist on the roster. The problem is for some reason he is sitting in the press box and not on the ice when we have more stiff's than Herman Munster's employer skating every night.

It's time to send Malik, Kasper and Rachunek to Hartford if they clear waivers. Nobody is goign to trade anything more than a bag of pucks for any of them. I think if Kasper is willing to hang them up though, he should be offered a position in the organization much like Gravy but he shouldn't be out there anymore.

To me, I don't have a problem with Rosy as a 3rd line D man but anything more than that is insane. I want to see Pock, Baranka and Girardi on the blueline and as for the second line Center, I would love to see either Immonen or Dubinsky get that job. I think both are fine. If we went that way you would probably have to rule out the play-offs for this year but we wouldn be REALLY solid for next year. As far as a punishing skater, I kind of get the feeling every time Hossa is out there that in some way I'm being punished for some past indescretion but I don't think that's the kind of thing you meant. Truthfully I don't think there is anyone in house or in Hartford that can fill that role and we'll have to get someone like that elsewhere.

Anyhow, that's how I see it...BTW, tonight is not a "Must" win but I would say it's an IMPORTANT game because I would be highly surprised if we came away with a voctory in either of the next two games. A .500 road trip after the way they have started would be something to build on.

I have an update on Marc-Andre Cliche who missed yeaterday's game as it was reported that he took an awkward fall in the previous game and they sat him out as a precaution

Have you guys read at all on TSN that Simon Gagne is on the trading block?

There is NO CHANCE on the face of this Earth that Philly would trade with the Rangers, but wouldn't you be willing to give up say, Pock, Immonen and Dawes for him? How great would it look to have the lines look like this:

Straka - Gagne - Jagr
Shanahan - Nylander - Prucha
Betts - Cullen - J. Ward
Hall - Hollweg - Orts (when he's healthy)

It's fun to dream...

I screwed up, it's Sportsnet....here's the article in case you haven't read it.

Flyer fire sale starting with Gagne?

Could sniper Simon Gagne be the next Flyer shipped out of Philly?

According to the Chicago Daily Herald Times, Gagne's name has been floated around the league as possible trade bait, as Philadelphia tries to salvage its floundering season.

New GM Paul Holmgren is looking to make a blockbuster trade and it looks like nobody is safe from bsing traded.

It’s believed the Hawks have offered the Flyers defenseman Jassen Cullimore, who according to a report in the Ottawa Sun also has been shopped to the Boston Bruins.

Mitch - thanks for the words, it's always good to discuss this anyways.

By the way, as you all know I'm the Leetch proponent of this site; what you may not know is that I have been looking to get a Rangers home (blue) jersey for a while (obviously have had the Leetch white for many years), and I wanted to get it authentic...but I saw the price of them and I'm very picky about how they look, and I thought maybe a game-worn sweater is a better option...so as of last week, I own...

A Blair Betts Game-Worn Jersey

I have to be one of a very scarce quantity who was his nameplate on their back...I have to say after Leetch left there was a big positive - that I felt myself caring more about the Team then the Player...and I thought it would be no better way to show that than to have a jersey of their 3rd line centre (and often most reviled player on these boards). So now I have a soft spot for Blair, I have to say.

Plus, the jersey was shipped to me for $270...authentic customized are $299 usually...

Let's Go Rangers tonight -

Excuse me, I meant to capitalize that:

A BLAIR BETTS GAME WORN JERSEY

the Rangers have a PP point man. He is Matt Cullen. He played the point for the Stanley Cup winning Canes last season, and thru the playoffs. He scored 10 (8 reg-2 playoff) goals on the PP last season, more than Straka (4-0) and Rosival (3-0) combined.

Renney won't use him at the point because he wants to placate Jagr. Jagr wants Roszival and Straka at the points because they will constantly pass the puck to Jagr at the side boards rather than shoot. Cullen will shoot, as he should, but Jagr doesn't want that. he wants the puck. Thus, Renney is not only a puppet of Sather, but also a puppet of Jagr.

4-Rangers, that's a stellar point!!!

Notice, Pock and Ozolinsh would make good additions to the PP on the point - - and I too wonder whether they've been boycotted because of Sather or Jagr.

True Fans, that's right. the bad old days of the Rangers bowing to star power are still here. rather than building a homegrown, young, teamwork-conscious squad, the Rangers are still massaging the egos of vet big names, to the detriment of the team as a whole, and to the future blue.

Actually the Rangers do have a power play point specialist only Renney doesn't realize it. Nigel Dawes QBed the Kootenay Ice PP from the point and was flat out awesome with his passing and shooting skills.

I also want to get on the old SHOUTING BOX and offer Blueshirt Bulletin congrats to Michigan Tech for being ranked for the first time ever in school history as the USA Today poll came out today and there they were ranked at number 15. In the CSTV poll MT was ranked 18th.

Mitch, maybe a 3 way can bring Gagne to broadway in the same way Dom Moore found his way to the Pens. We'd have to give up some young guns for sure to land that deal though. I can not even come up with a combo of names that would have to sent out in a deal like that but I'm sure to the dismay of many, names like Staal, Dubinski and Sanguinetti would be in the mix. The question of how much are you willing to give up for a sure fire proven young scorer? I hate to be the guy in the hot seat orchestrating a deal like that.

This is disgusting. After the first 10 minutes im going to shut this off and have nightmares of the Ranger defense. How many times is Kopitar going to blow by Malik. After he took the lazy hooking call, that led to a power play goal, Renney runs him right out there. Malik looks like that fat old guy at an open skate that no one wants on their team but everyone kinda feels bad for him. So you let him play and take it easy on the old timer. Well now one takes it easy in the NHL.

Difference between Saturday and Tonight: Phoenix decided to give a free out and trap in center ice instead of applying pressure on the fragile Ranger D. L.A. has had a relentless forcheck forcing the Ranger D to turnover the puck and take holding and hooking penalties because of their lack of speed. If not for Lundqvist it could be 4 or 5 nothing.

Welcome Rangers of 97-2004, i wondered where ya went. Its good to see players getting ice time due to contract size and name only!! I love this rebuild. Honestly Jess, stop the write ups about all our prospects, we'll never get see any of them anyway.

p.s. Malik just gave the puck away twice in a 20 second span. Good Grief!! Ya know what im going to stay up so i can hear how Renney "the spinmaster" will turn this into a positive experience. Or maybe discuss how he's letting certain players play thier way off the team. BULL! Give Pock a chance, and i dont mean a three game try out. Let the kid play. Im sure he'll make mistakes but let him learn on the job. Every other organization allows their prospects to develop on the job. Don't hang a timetable over the kids head, let him play.

Houston, we have a problem. No D. Poor goaltending, poor backchecking. 21 shots on goal to this team is insane. It's time to read the riot act to some of these guys and let JJ know that his way is not working right now. This game is terrible so far. I'm embarrassed Z

Everyone of the regular readers knows I am not the overly dramatic and panic button type, but christ, I haven't seen that much crap in one place since that last Taco Bell dinner. It was nice to see that Renney blew a gasket and then the same guys right back out there. Where is the accountability that we've been hearing so much about? Jagr must have given the puck away at least 3-5 times by my count. I just read that Marek Malik actually changed his name because he's related to David Cone. My sources told me his birth name was "Traffic Cone." He's certainly playing like one...acutally with all the holding and hooking he's more like a turnstile that needs greasing. Other than Lundqvist, there isn't a player on the ice that is giving even a slight effort...To all of you guys out there saying the team was back...give me a break...this is just painful to watch...

First off sorry but can I say "TOLD YOU SO" after what is now a 3-0 game.

Excuse me for a second as I want to rant and I think I am going to burn some ears on this third goal: WHAT KIND OF XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXX XXXX Stupid bunch of XXXXXXXX players allow someone to hang on to the puck and NOBODY EFFING touches him?

All three forwards caught skating up ice on this play.

They are making the Kings look like the Ducks and Sharks for christ sake. This is so freaking disgusting that (answer to Vio) I am glad I get to spend most of my time covering the kids (money is nice too Vio) otherwise I would be disgusted by Rangerworld especially on nights like this.

Memo to Lurker still think the Rangers have a shot on Wed and Thurs?

Mitch

No truth to that rumor Malik was known as Traffic Cone as Traffic Cones work harder and move faster than Malik does

This game can be summed up in one word...EMBARRASSING!

Shanahan is out there skating totally alone. He is the only player on this team that gives a non-stop effort shift after shift and can actually produce. Hollweg is skating around hitting people like a chicken with his head cut off and why is Colton Orr in the line-up? Also, Michelletti must have said at least 3 times that a particular shift was Orr's first. as muc has this one is going to hurt, Blair Betts has been totally awful. I think if we see this same effort in the next two games then the fire sale should begin and bring up the WP guys, they can't score but at least they try.

You all know how much I like Tom Renney. I think he's lost this team. The defense is atrocious, the power pla has about as much life as Jimmy Hoffa, Lndqvist has been giving it up like Paris Hilton (in other words to anyone who comes a knocking) and if I see the Shanahan/Bobby Granger commercial one more time I'm going to kick him in the groin next time I see him...and I like Bobby.

I will make this one statement, if Pock AND Dawes BOTH don't play in the next two games then as much as I hate to say this, then Tom Renney should be fired.

If I wanted a dinosaur on the blueline I'd rather have Purinton. At least he fights. Giving JJ the C was a mistake. Should be by committee like last year. Coaching has to take some responsibility for this crap. Nothing new 5 around the boards on the PP and shoot from 50 ft out. I'm going back on the road for a couple of weeks so if you don't see my words of wisdom I did not commit suicide. This is very sad. I'm not a fan of Weekes by any stretch but Henrik isn't getting the job done. 4.00 GAA is okay for late night open hockey but not the NHL. How long are they going to let this crap go on before some changes are made, including coaching changes... Z

With all the griping, thanks to the efforts of the Hollweg/Orr/Hossa line, the Rangers seemed on the verge of getting back into the game. In period 2, that line drew two penalties and a couple of offensive faceoffs, allowing the other lines a chance to build on their work. Finally, Shanahan capitalizes with a goal, and what does Renney do to build on the flow we've finally developed? With a little over a period still remaining (ie. plenty of time), he now decides, in his infinite wisdom, to skip Hollweg's line, and comes back with Jagr's line, then Shanahan's line with little rest. Gee, Tom, you must have been terribly surprised to see them give up the backbreaking 4th goal. Didn't you learn anything from what was happening that period? What a waste.

I feel so sorry for those of you in the east who are staying up and watching this nonsense. Halloween started a night early for you.

You can even see that the Maven doesn't believe his own words when he tries to sell us on a possible comeback.

Mitch Renney may deserve the pink slip but so would his assistants so who replaces him? I for one know who I would love to see as a Renney replacement (His initials are KH) but there is no way Sather dares fire him at this point in time. Junior will not support it out of fear it would be equal to the Ranger's waving a white flag of surrender.

In many ways this is perhaps Renney's acid test as he has to make some very badly needed changes but will he have the support of the management? I say no he does not so I wonder who gets to be the scapegoat in this case?.

Psst Joey the coaching staff needs to be more than disappointed and should be royally pissed off. You and Sam can try all you want to soft pedal this effort but the truth is very clear to those of us watching. This team is all messed up in every area.

Not wishing to ruin his efforts but KUDOS GO TO BRODIE DUPONT OF CALGARY. With an assist tonight, young Mr. Dupont now has an 11 game point streak.

Congrats Brodie

JJ was the worst player on the ice. Maybe (and this is a stretch) everybody realises how badly they played tonight and they show some pride and come back strong. I'm not holding my breath...One of the worst games I have ever watched, and what's up with the miked boards. L.A. Announcers were boring... Z

kEN hITCHCOCK??? NO WAY

It's funny that you should metnion that Jess because I was thinking about this mess in between cursing at my television. This was the Phoenix game in reverse. I think that if I were Sather I would move Renney back as VP of Player Development because he's outstanding at finding good players...he jsut can't seem to want to use them. I would send either Pearn or Pellino to Hartford to run the team there since Schoney really would rather not be behind the bench and I would make the other coach who doesn't go to hartford in charge of scouting or something like that. They all should stay in the organization because they are all smart and know their stuff. I might even leave one of them on the new staff as a means of some sort of continuity. But I think Hitch is the person who should come here. I was in favor of him coming here before Renney was hired. The man may be a little crazy but he produces winners.

This was a shameful perfomrance tonight. Maybe tomorrow instead of a bike ride they'll go for a nice brisk walk in the park and perhaps sample some cheese at Disneyland since they played like mice tonight, why not treat them that way...

Good night all

Oh man how about that dive by Avery? The wife was walking by when they showed the replay and even Mrs "I know little about the game" said DIVER as she walked by.

One could say that the Ranger game as a whole could be called for diving.

Seriously this was a game that they should have walked in and out with 2 points as the Kings are a team even more messed up than the Rangers.

Instead you folks will wake up to a Dubi rant about how poor this entire team effort was.

I suppose there will not be a team bike ride on Wed eh?

How about Mike Whats his name... Didn't he win a Stanley Cup in N.Y. once upon a time???? Z

I thought I would take one more trip back before going to bed...Craig, You can't think Keenan. As Thomas Wolfe once said, "you can't go home again." You guys that are out there complaining that young guys aren't going to get playing time would love a guy who doesn't want to play anyone less than 40. Plus I wouldn't take him back after the crap he pulled in 95. It's nice to see him back as a guest but I don't want him back as a coach...

BTW, if any of you think this team isn't screwed up enough look at the mintues played tonight and the plus minus. Ozo and Kasper both -2. They've got to go. Here's the link if you can handle this you can handle anything...

http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20062007/ES020166.HTM

As awesome as the Rangers looked in Phoenix is as terrible as they looked in L.A. Flat, flat, flat. What can you say? It was an embarassing display.

Something needs to be done, and by that I do not mean firing Renney, which in my opinion would be a totally stupid panic move. I mentioned a couple of days ago (I'm certainly not the first to do so) that some combination of Malik, Rachunek, Rozsival and Kasparitis need to sit to give Pock, Baranka, etc. an extended chance to see if they're NHL worthy. Maybe tonight is the impetus Renney/Sather/Maloney needs to make those changes. Dawes should also be given an extended look, along with perhaps Dubinsky or Immonen. I doubt ALL of those things will happen, but I wouldn't be surprised to see at least Dawes and Pock in the lineup on Wednesday. They definitely should be. (I'll add as an aside that I wouldn't mind seeing Marc Staal given a shot with the big boys, because the D is really what needs major repairs, but I realize it's extremely unlikely management feels the same way.)

Jess, I hate to disappoint you, but yes, I still think the Rangers have a chance to get points in Anaheim and San Jose. What, do they just hang up their skates because of a horrible loss? No freakin' way! Of course they need to play much, MUCH better than they did against L.A., but I'm not going to bail on the team after 11 games. I still believe the majority of the team has enough heart and pride to get things straightened out. Flame away at me for still believing - I can take it.

One last thing: On my way home from work tonight I randomly ran into Peter Nedved on 14th St. in Manhattan. I said, "Peter, are you coming back to the Rangers?" He smiled and threw up his hands as if to say, "Who knows?" I would vomit if they brought Nedved back, but I continued on my way without saying anything more because I didn't want to hurt his feelings! :)

I do agree that the old, overpriced, ineffective defense corps is a major problem, as is mishandling of the PP point.
But I think a major reason the Rangers play so badly is that they have too few centers....
Betts is a #4 center and Cullen, Ward and Hollweg are not consistently effective NHL centers. I'd bring up Immonen and another full-time center, maybe Dubinsky, immediately. Shannny with Immonen, Dubi with Hall, and use Prucha and Cullen on those lines, leaving Betts and Ward with Hollweg.
Regarding the D, I'd consider putting all of Kaspar, Ozo, Malik and Rachunek on waivers - with Pock, Baranka and Lampman in their place, or even Purinton or Richter, the team can't be much worse. Philly was right to stop the bleeding early.

I think a line that would instantly work would be Hollweg centering Prucha and either Dawes/Hall...everyone on that line is hungry and fiesty...any thoughts? I think it could even be 2nd line worthy.

As bad as they played, the Rangers were still in the game when the Kings started the 2nd period parade to the box. Then the JJ powerplay took over and did nothing. I swear we are the only team in the NHL that doesn't take point shots and we have several players that can do it which is the ironic thing. Lundquist is not right. I don't know what's wrong with him but I suspect it has to do with the headache problem and whatever they are treating it with. I think now that Lundquist was the secret to our defense last year.

The effort I saw tonight was similar to the Phoenix game so unfortunately I saw this coming.

They absolutely were still in the game, Matt, and here's the reason why: it finally dawned on Renney that the way to slow down a team that is flying like the Kings were is to get the puck deep and pound them with clean, aggressive hitting. Renney started the 2nd period with the 4th line, gave them a regular shift, and it immediately paid dividends. I thought Hollweg and Orr worked well together, perhaps the best the 4th line has looked all season, and I wouldn't be so quick to break them up after what I saw. I know that I'm in the minority in placing such importance on the 4th line, as I did last season with HMO. But I still maintain that you can't look at the performance of say, the Jagr line, in a vacuum. Each line builds on what comes before it, and when you get an energetic shift from the 4th line that puts the opposition back on its heels, then the Jagr line (or even the Shanahan line this year) is in an optimum position to do its thing and capitalize on the momentum. Ultimately, I don't think we need to move to the dismantling stage yet. Learn from what worked last night, and move forward.

WOW DID WE SUCK YESTERDAY WHAT THE HELL IS THIS WE WERE PLAYING LIKE SH*T KINGS GOT SAME RECORD AS COYOTES HOW DO WE MENAGE NOT TO SCORE ON 10 PP EMBARACING

Great post, ant. Thanks.

Absolutely the worst I have seen the Rangers play since the days of Bruce Driver and Igor Ulanov. I however do not equate just age and ability. I'll know the oldest guys on the team like Shanny, JJ, Straka and Nylander are the highest point producers. I mean look at Hossa, he's young.

Would Leetch be worse than what's out there now?

Pock and Dawes need to be in the lineup tonight. However, unless someone can prove otherwise, it's not like the guys in Hartford have done anything to warrant being brought up right now. Malik DEFINITELY needs to be benched. But, so do Rzosival and Kasparitis. Plus, I like betts, but he HAS to placed at 4th line center. And, Jason Ward is not a center either, and should be falnking Betts on the 4th line. In reality, Cullen should centering the the 3rd line with Dawes and Hall. This team is missing two-thirds of a 2nd line - a center and a RW (Shanahan should be at his natural LW.)

Pock and Dawes need to be in the lineup tonight. However, unless someone can prove otherwise, it's not like the guys in Hartford have done anything to warrant being brought up right now. Malik DEFINITELY needs to be benched. But, so do Rozsival and Kasparitis. Plus, I like betts, but he HAS to placed at 4th line center. And, Jason Ward is not a center either, and should be falnking Betts on the 4th line. In reality, Cullen should centering the the 3rd line with Dawes and Hall. This team is missing two-thirds of a 2nd line - a center and a RW (Shanahan should be at his natural LW.)

IMNOT HATING ON RANGERS BUT WHEN THEY DO SOMETHING HORRIBLE AS THEY DID YEST IM NOT GONNA SIT AROUND AND SAY O ITS OK ITS STILL TO EARLY BT THE TIME RANGERS GONNA WAKE UP ITS GOING TO BE TO LATE AND THEN THERES ALWAYS NEXT SEASON LINE GONNA COME SO THEY GOTTA START PLAYING NOW I WISG WE GET GAGNE GIVE HALF OF THE TEAM AWAY WE NEED NEW D MEN LEETCH IS NOT GONNA HELP US AS OF RIGHT NOW AND YES I MAKE LONG SENTENCES CUZ IM TO LAZY POINT PERIODS EVERYWHERE

This club isn't very good. Got kind of lucky last season but its not happening this season. Going to be a long year with Hossa doing nothing and the worlds softest D out there.

Here is what the Rangers lost to last night...


Kings hadn't won since October 19th (also the last time they scored more than 2 goals in a game) and hadn't won at home since October 10th

Lurker

Should I point out that you said "earn points" instead of winning against the Ducks and Sharks. However if the Rangers can look so bad against one of the worst in the NHL please explain how (other than wishful thinking) where the Rangers can play with both those teams. Sure we can hope that the Ducks or Sharks do "a Ranger" and not show up with their typical hard working efforts.

Ant

Do us a favor and please do not post with all caps in the future. Understandable to be angry but that still is viewed as rude behavior.

Jess, how can the Rangers look so bad against one of the worst teams in the NHL and then expect to beat better teams than that? It's called hockey. Unless you think the Rangers are so terrible that they can't even compete with an upper tier team on any given night. Maybe you believe that, but I definitely don't.

The Rangers are wildly inconsistent right now, and that's what inconsistent clubs do; they look bad in one game, and then they look good in another game. It's frustrating, but that's where they're at.

Sure, I'm more optimistic than most fans, but what's the alternative? Do you just assume the Rangers aren't ever going to win another game the rest of the year? If so, why even bother watching? It's too early to panic.

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