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October 25, 2006

Comments

Renney said Ozo would play on the west coast trip. I think its between Kaspar, Rachunek and Malik and one of those three goes to Hartford soon. We will see who plays like garbage tonight.

I'm sorry to see that Ozo isn't playing tonight; that statement, in itself, tells you something about the current state of affairs.

So I see today that Renney is starting to wonder whether the team misses Dominic Moore. Imagine that. Yet again, we have management reacting late to something several of us here perceived months earlier. I still don't think they have a true grasp of what made this team so good last season.

How much different is this team with Ortmeyer, Moore, and HMO re-united???

Defensively, they'd be alot better with one solid line to stabilize the team and hustle their butts off, not to mention Orts and Moore's PK specialties.

First, I want to address the Moore issue. If a fourth line center is THE reason we won last year, then I admit I know nothing about hockey. Was he an asset, yes. Was he part of our long term strategy, NO. Players are going to come and go. When Moore attains second line status, then I may change my mind. HMO was great and did provide the model for hard work. But, there are others that can fill that role.
Now, on to Renney. Since when does any coach select his line-up based on crowd reaction? Ozo should use this as a springboard, an "I'll show them attitude" that should elevate his game. If the coach can't instill that in him, then we have a high priced, part-time player. Get ride of him if he can't step up (and I don't care what his problems are/may have been). Renney now has had enough time to see all his defensemen in action, yet he seems to rely on his veterans. He talks about what Moore's value may have been, yet doesn't realize that it was his youth and desire to play at the major league level that was the main contributor to his value! Play Pock and the younger players. Give Dawes more ice time, along with Prucha. Look at the Devils or the PENS. Yes, they may make more mistakes, but we are building toward a perenial cup contender and Malik or Rachunik or Rozsaval are not the ones to get us there. It takes courage to play youngsters, but that is where our future success lies. Tom Renney may not have realized what impact the preseason predictions had on the team last year. They were, to some extent, an Oakland Raiders type team. Some castoffs that were out to prove the their previous teams made a mistake to trade them. I'm not for relocating Hartford to NYC, but Renney needs to make the players accountable...and the best way to do that is to move some vets and promote a few youngsters. One thing we need is a real enforcer, not and Orr. I have no idea who could be obtaind, but he should be a 3rd-4th line player who can skate, be capable of producing 20-30 points over the season and be able to take on a Tucker when a goon like that shows his true colors again (and he will). Trade some of our defensemen and Hossa for that kind of player). Now starts the real season and Tom Renney must take some positive action. I don't think he needed to do that last year, so he got a pass simply because of the nature of the team and players he had. West Point contributed more then he may realize also. It's amazing what happens when you get a bunch of guys who have been told that they are useless and then do great teambuilding. Not so this year, now you have to coach. Sorry for the long post!

Rangerbill,
Great points. Especially about Renney. Lundqvist's, Jagr's, and Prucha's success last year putting Renney into a smooth-sailing position as a coach...until the last 10-15 games of the season and when they lost 10 straight (counting the post-season). Alot of people excused that as injuries or the Devils hot-streak, giving Renney an excuse. But, there are no excuses for what the record showed - 10 straight losses. Renney has some major flaws that date back a few months - and sooner or later the success of a few individuals will no longer cover those up. I hope Renney learns better, but if he doesn't we fans and our team are in big trouble.

Nobody expected Moore to be the "long-term strategy." He was just another "blue-collar" guy on a "blue-collar team" (a phrase Jagr used last year) who went out and was reliable - he wasn't going to be a minus for the night. Its funny, maybe I haven't seen enough media coverage but I don't here this team refer to themselves as "hard-working, hard-nosed, blue collar guys" anymore. Renney says it, but he's not on the ice. And to that cause, who else this season has worked their butt off as hard as Ortmeyer and Moore did for an entire game, every game? Maybe Jagr gets a pass for his injury, and legitimate guys who make that list would be Shanny, Hollweg, Prucha, and maybe Straka who's been better of late...and my list stops there. Nearly everyone else should be on the Chateau de Bow-wow list.

...I think its fair to assume Renney's comment towards players who are no longer Rangers affecting this team, he probably meant the often un-song pillar of Strudwick. Wasn't great, just reliable - could play forward, and dropped the gloves to protect Jagr a number of times last year.

Speaking of Jagr, I'm getting tired of listening to him, too. Two weeks ago when the Rangers are 2-0, he's talking about how great this year's team is, now that there is scoring from all four lines. Today I read how he's suddenly not as confident in this season's edition because of a lack of team defense. Hmmmm. An elite-level player, to be sure; not so sure about his qualifications as captain or team spokesman.

Having said that, it may well be that this team does come together in the next few weeks and reestablishes some of the work ethic discussed in the previous couple of posts. This mixing-and-matching with the lines might have been effective as an impetus the other night, but it's time to get things squared away for the purpose of continuity. And I agree with the comment re. Ozo: play him at MSG and see what he's made of. I liked his quickness the other night, so we might as well try to build on that instead of running scared.

Renney probably also meant Rucchin, Moore, and possibly Rucinsky. And let's not forget Orts, who while still technically a Ranger, is "not here" this season.

The Rangers have a fine roster of forwards who need to apply themselves better. They also have to be deployed more effectively by Renney.

After watching Hossa play the other night, I kind of like the idea of having him play 4th line and PK time. The more I watch him play the more I think he has a confidence problem and has since day one. I use to think it was laziness and now I'm not so sure. I also think he is slowly working out this confidence problem. I'm content to let him play 4th line all year and maybe he will develop into the player everyone thinks he could be.

Actually, Jagr still says that this team is better than last year's team but that they have yet to play like it and until they do then everything is on shaky ground ... He said that last year he was confident that once they got 3 goals that they would win because they could shutdown the other team, but this year it seems that they need 6 goals ... that's what he said so I don't see him going back and forth in his comments ...

Also with Renney, I will wait to see if he does what he says ... if the veterans aren't playing well regardless of how successful these next 5 games are(tonight's home game and the upcoming 4 game west coast road trip)I want to see if he REALLY does demote someone or a couple of someones ... Because saying that he will and then not doing it doesn't really send any kind of positive message at all ...

I liked Larry Brooks article, while the Rangers don't have to have an enforcer, why didn't Renney put Ryan Hollweg out there when Tucker was out there? I hope that when he said that he wanted to get more time for lines 3 and 4 that he will get them more ice time ... Not every team now carries players like Janssen or Tucker(although Tucker is small in comparison to Janssen) ... it's not about dropping the gloves necessarily, but stick up for your teammates, don't just stand around when the other team is taking liberties, give a big hit to their superstars if they do it to ours ... That's what I want to see done ... There's no reason why it shouldn't happen if the people that they have on the team that can do that are put on the ice when that crap is happening ...

A couple of comments:

1. I think Jason Ward needs to be on True Fan Bleeds post. The guy has been an overachiever. He was one of our best players last year at this time as well ( I think he was third in stars of the game at one point, behind Jagr and Lundquist).

2. I loved the HMO line. I loved Dominc Moore. That said, Hall is the type of player we need, he just needs to be utilized better. He's big, hard to knock off the puck and can rip the puck a lot harder than Moore. I also don't think that Moore would have been traded if the brass knew that Orts was going to be out. If they had to remove one player from the three on that line, I would have reluctantly chosen Moore as Hollweg and Orts are just too important.

3. Off-season moves. Cullen, although he hasn't been that productive, is without a doubt an upgrade over Rucchin. He has speed and he works hard and he has more offensive upside than Rucchin. I first saw Cullen's ability at a coaches conference in Wisconsin. His dad, Terry, presented a video on stickhandling featuring his high school aged son, Matt. The kid was unreal. Rucchin was a good lockerroom guy, but was hardly a second line center. A. Ward is an upgrade over Poti and Shanahan is an upgrade over Rucinsky. Sykora was a rental and nothing more. How many of these moves did we disagree with over the summer?

4. Why we are starting off so slow: A) Lundquist has been ordinary. B) Jagr doesn't have the strength or his shot yet. And he's still leading the league in assists. Wait until he gets going. C) Ortmeyer not playing. BB honored him this summer and the reasons he was honored are why we miss him so much. D) Inability to stay out of the box and ineffective penalty killing (read: Lundquist). E) Bonus reason: People whine about the loss of Nieminen, but he was widely criticized by everyone (Penalties, etc) almost up until he was traded. Then everyone finally realized we didn't have anyone to replace him.

5. Why we shouldn't panic: How much good did it do us to start the season blazing last year? I don't know about you, but I'd rather finish the year like teams that struggled early last year (NJ, Buffalo, PITT, etc.). Detroit didn't face any adversity all year, and Ottawa dominated early. Neither have their name inscribed on the cup this year, do they. Lundquist will get better. He's shown flashes of brilliance. Ortmeyer will be back. Jagr is going to get stronger and he will start shooting. I like that he wasn't just standing in the same place on the PowerPlay (after first period action) tonight. I think we are too easy to jump all over Renney. My beefs are that he hasn't played Pock at all and that he refuses to bench certain vets (Malik, Rozy and Rakhunek-although, honestly, how many teams in the NHL have benched high priced regulars? Nedved doesn't count, as he was a 4th liner.). I don't even count Hossa as someone he should bench. The much maligned Marcel has been fine as a fourth line guy who works hard and hasn't hurt us one bit with his 4-6 minutes of icetime. I'd rather him (he's 25) be in that spot then a guy like Greg Moore who is having trouble scoring at the AHL level.

Anyway, I've coached teams for years. My best teams are ones that faced adversity and came through strong in the end. I have faith that the Rangers will weather the storm.

One more thing,

A good captain holds his team accountable. Mess was praised for that, how come Jags gets criticized? Euro-Prejudice? I haven't heard him bad mouth individuals or make excuses for himself. He is critical of himself and doesn't think that the team is performing as they should be.

I am sick and tired of seeing our guys shrug and skate away when a cheap shot is taken. Jagr gets hit, no response. Ward gets clocked twice tonight, no response. I really don't care about the New NHL not needing retaliation. At least get in their face and crunch the next guy you see (like Tucker did to Jagr after Tyutin embarrassed him.)

Mark

The lack of a response when the Rangers gets run has been a trait of the Renney era sad to say. To me it is a sign of a team that is not truly together as a unit as my own experience has been that a true team doesn't even think about it, they just react to seeing one of their own run. I am talking about the closest teammate protecting his teammate on the ice and the bench all standing up upset. You do not see that with this team.

Anyone who cares:

In the game I watched tonight I saw too many individuals trying to make plays not a team. I am shocked that Joey M actually had honest criticism of the team tonight. I might have to rethink my view on him as it was refreshing to see honest legit criticism. I enjoyed seeing him talking about the lack of screens and his comments on Rosy were dead smack on.

Roszival did everything but clear the road on the Kittie's third goal. It was a stupid play trying to go across the middle with Kolnik right on his right shoulder so there was no excuse to make such a sloppy play.

The Rangers will start winning when it is lines working together not players trying to win games all by themselves. Sure Straka's goal was a great individual effort but how many of those individual efforts were turned away.

Maybe Renney should show them tapes of teams like the Sharks and Wild as they are exactly how a well oiled TEAM plays as a UNIT.

Only three positives for me tonight, each with a negative lining:
1. Pruch off the scneid (but still struggled)
2. Straka's goal with a great pass from Ward (I know what you're saying , Jess, but that play had some teamwork in it) (but left two pucks right on the goal line, broken sticks on shots, and goal mouth passes jumping over sticks- breaks that went for us last year, like Moore's last second tying goal).
3. Nylander. I know people like to rag on him, but the guy had at least 4 takeaways and created offense whenever he was on the ice. He was the only effective Ranger tonight(except for maybe Hossa, who played well). Even Shanny wasn't impressive.

Worst players:
1. Roszival
2. Rachunek
3. Malik
4. Kasparitis
5. Tyutin
6. Prucha (despite the goal)
7. Lundquist
8. Everyone else except:

Best
1. Nylander
2. Hossa
3. A. Ward

Marcel Hossa???? He was -3 during 10 minutes of icetime.

Michelleti???? He said this during 2nd period: Y'know, Hossa has really looked good. Maybe Tom Renney wants to give him some more icetime to get him untracked.

Great idea. Give him 20 minutes so he can untrack a -6.

Dump Hossa, Malik and Rachunek. Bring in Pock and Baranka. Stop the insanity of Betts as 2nd line center. But foremost...FIRE RENNEY! He is a non-coach b.s. machine who rode three players to undeserved fame last season. The Emporer has no clothes.

Colorado Mark, you were moments away from being named my new favorite Blueshirt Bulletin poster (sorry throwaway) until I read your last post. What did Prucha do to be named amongst the worst players on the ice? Goal aside, he drew 2 penalties (it might have been 3?), was extremely responsible in his own zone (notice how many times he banged the puck up the boards rather than taking the risky pass clearing the zone? Obvious he learned from Saturday's mistake) and despite the stat sheet saying differently, I watched him throw 2 nice hits. Granted, I was at the game, and you always get a different perspective when you watch a game in person vs. on TV, but before Prucha even scored my husband and I were commenting on how it looked like Renney's 1-on-1 talk with Prucha (at least) seemed to have had an effect. Maybe we missed something... I'd love to know what it is, since your observations are so completely different from what I saw!

Then there's A. Ward on the list of "best"? Sorry, not a single defenseman belongs on that list, Ward included. One or two nice checks don't make up for giveaways or getting beat and taking a holding penalty because you're a step slow. He may have been the best of the defensemen, but that's not saying much.

And on a completely different note I know Roszival is going to get (and deserves) crap for the giveaway that lead to the goal, but waching from up in my seat, I saw it coming miles away. There was absolutely zero puck support on that play. It was clear as day from above, there wasn't a single player in position to accept a pass. True, the smarter play in that situation is to bang it up along the boards, but the fact that his teammates left him out to dry is indicative of the far larger problem with this team than any individuals' play.

It's late Im tired so I'll make it very short... Lundquist is becoming the rebound king ... Ranger 'D' is no where to be found ... Dawes needs more ice time ... Let's get some hungry kids up here for a while and let some of these veterans start to sweat ... Idon't know the in's and out's of all the cap moves but certainly Karel can go down or be picked off waivers or traded or or made to wash towels or something, run the Zamboni, take out the garbage, time to go to bed Z

Here is a kid I hope the Rangers draft in the summer of '07----


5. Nick Petrecki, D, 6-3 215, Omaha USHL
Petrecki been a brute force early in the season starting with a rousing performance at the Buc-Bowl. Not a franchise prospect, but Petrecki is going to be a feared physical presence in the NHL some day. A great skater for a big man who has a mean streak like no other, but Petrecki will never be an offensive defenseman. He has to work on his defensive game, and he could have the potential of a shut-down type defensive defenseman.

I sat thru that awful display last night and there is nothing to write home about any Ranger player on the ice.

Ward and Dawes both took nasty forearm shivers to the face with nary a team mate giving the transgressor so much as a dirty look. I'm sorry, but Ward is laying in the corner with his bell rung and even if it was a CLEAN hit somebody on the ice has to do something....words....a bump....drop the gloves, whatever. All this highly publicized BS about the team building exercises in Lake George looks to have accomplished zippo.

Renney has made turn the other cheek into an art form for the Rangers. I have said it before and I will say it again: Why have Colton Orr taking up a roster spot? When he finally manages to get in a game he gets 2 and a half minutes of ice time? Does the coaching staff really think he is going to develop into a "player"?

We have absolutely no offense added from any of our defenseman.
I have a hard time believing Rosival and Malik are the best PP combination available. There is no defenseman able to rush the puck....Kasparaitis can't even complete or receieve a pass and kills any offensive chances he joins.....some shot he has....and this is having an dramatic effect on this team. Ozolinsh could possibly provide some help on the rush and power play but after his much heralded problems last season I think Renney and the staff are doing the right thing breaking him in on the road.

I would hope the coaching staff would give Pock a 20 game tryout to see how he performs while rotating bench time to Malik, Kasparaitis and Rachunek. How could Pock possibly play any worse than those three? At least with a young kid like Pock or Tyutin you could expect the mistakes as they develop.
Right now you are getting those same mistakes from the veterans so why not let Pock play?

Even when the score went to 3-2 in the third there was only a half hearted response in the blues on the Straka goal, the feeling in our section that it was too little too late and we would give it back momentarily....which of course we did.

Bill Chadwick had a great line when the opposition would score a very short time after a Ranger found the net: "The Rangers can't stand prosperity". They couldn't stand it twice last night and it has been a problem for a while now.

I can live with the mistakes of young, developing players.

I can't live with those same mistakes by veterans.

The next 4 games out west should give us a preview of how the rest of the season might go.

Ron, Renney has more or less stated that Pock's job is safe, and that he's using this time to determine which vet is going to lose his job. I assumed the fight was between Kaspar, Malik and Rachunek, but in today's daily news, Renney is quoted as saying he's going to give Rachunek more time to see if he can adjust his game to the NHL. (See link: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/rangers/story/465387p-391616c.html) My guess is that Pock will continue to hang in the press box for the duration of the west coast trip, while Renney makes his decision. Once the decision is made, I expect we'll see more of Pock.

I can't believe that this team spent any time in practice on defense over the last couple of days. Craigz said the Rangers defense was no where to be seen and that says it all! Laurie, the Rozsival give away for the third goal had nothing to do with puck support. In fact, he had a teammate coming down the halfwall behind him. The right play is to reverse the puck back toward the blueline or just dump it hard behind the goal. He did the only thing a defensemen should not do. A backhand, cross ice pass, in front of your own goal is what you see in youth hockey. What the heck did the coaches work on in practice? That play alone should be cause for a benching. Malik was pitiful. Last year the two them had their heads on a swivel, knew where each other was, read the play well and generally made good choices. We all knew that they were not #1 D's, but after last night, they looked like AHL journeyman. Renney,you better start getting Pock into a responsible position...we are going to need to know if this guy is part of our future or not. What is the current status of Bryce Lampman? Malik, Roz, Ozo and Kaspar are not part of our strategic plan. Lets see if a few of "future" prospects are actually ready. And I second all the discussion regarding the sad lack of standing up for your teammates!

Laurie- Agreed partially on Prucha. He's still one of my favorite Rangers, and I think he played well at times, but I still see him making mistakes on a regular basis which makes me think he is pressing a bit too much. I thought he would have gotten his confidence back, but I think that is a team problem. My list was more out of frustration, and I originally only had defensemen on the list, so I just thought about who I thought still had room to get better.

On Ward, I thought he played pretty well, and was superior to every other defenseman. His pass to Straka and his physical play earns him a pass on that night, anyway.

Rozy- I agree with RangerBill. That play was all Rozy. If you don't have a pass, then you eat the puck. My youth hockey kids no better, but everyone makes mistakes. It just seems that most of our mistakes are costly.

RangerBill and Colorado Mark, don't get me wrong, Roszival made the wrong decision on that play. But RangerBill, the guy who was *supposed* to be coming down the half boards behind him (I think it was Jason Ward) stopped skating at the Ranger blueline rather than following him into the zone. Instead of coming back into the defensive zone, he hung at the blueline waiting for the offensive rush. That is part of the larger problem I see with the team. Again, I'm not letting Roszival off the hook by any means... but you could put some of the top defensemen in the league out on the ice with this team right now, and the results wouldn't be too dramatically different.

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