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November 30, 2006


so Falardeau is now in Charlotte, and Kozak in Memphis.
I think its Jessiman who should be told to work his way back from Memphis...
With Falardeu and Callahan away from Hartford, I guess Jessiman gets to dress this week
Well at least Hartford released Chris Ferraro. But they still have Isbister playing, Francis Lesard on the roster, and Purinton playing forward when they dress 7 D*.
I'd rather see Graham, Falardeau and Kozak in Hartford rather than those guys with little future...

*(most of the time they dress 7 'D', back when Kaspar was there and now that Baranka is healthy again - the regular 5 being Liffiton, Lampman, Giradi, Degon and Richter).

I live much closer to Rochester than most of you (in Utica about 2 hrs east), but I would like to say that I hope that Ryan C. plays tonight - I do think the significance of playing in Buffalo would make a bit of a difference, whether anyone wants to admit it or not. I wish him all the best and hope he nets the game winner; the Democrat and Chronicle would make it front page news.

guys i say this with all due respect because this is a great magazine and great website but the updates to the site lately are coming in so late in the day that we really are getting news from you like a day late. i know i check the bulletin every morning when i get to the office and throughout the day, but im just reading this nov30th entry now and its dec 1st. i know you are all very busy but its just a concern that i thought you might want to hear from one of your readers.


Dubi does all of the postings and I know that he really is busting his hump to get them available to all of us as early as his schedule permits. I've seen days when they are really early and others that are later. THank you for staying in touch and for the constructive comments.


As much as we have been complaining about the blueline coverage, it's interesting to me to see we aren't the only ones out there crying out about who is playing and who is not. This week's power ratings which were jsut released this morning from insidehockey.com include this piece about the Rangers...(BTW, the Devils rank 12th and the Isles rank 11th so go figure consider we're in front of both of them in the standings?)

13. New York Rangers (12): Underachieving blueliner Karel Rachunek (minus-three in Tuesday night’s loss to the Thrashers) is literally stealing ice time from the far more deserving Thomas Pöck, who has seen action in only six games this season.

I wonder if I sent this to Tom Renney if it might help? I know it wouldn't...

Mitch, I read InsideHockey's power rankings, as I do every week, and all this week's paragraph did was further solidify my opinion that they're not watching the Rangers with any regularity. Seriously, what that paragraph says to me is they happened to catch a highlight of Rachunek's own goal and saw the box score. Rachunek's not the one who's standing in Pock's way. There are at least two defensemen on the team who deserve a seat in the pressbox before he does. And for anyone who wants to harp on his +/- figure, I'll remind you that Marek Malik has the highest +/- rating of all the defenseman at +10, and is 4th on the team after only Jagr, Straka and Nylander. Leading goal scorer and all-around hero Brenden Shanahan is a -5.


I'm not a huge proponent of the plus/minus as a measuring stick of a players worth, i.e. Shanny being -5 to me is not a problem to me. Shanny plays everything except popcorn vendor, although I have seen him take a few shifts as beer guy and I have to say he's showing his age in getting me my Coors Light. All kidding aside, I could be mistaken, but I don't think that I am, the D-Duo that is most often paired with Shanny's line is Ozo and Rachunek. If I'm wrong, and other than picking wives I'm usually pretty good, I'll stand corrected. I can see you saying potentially Ozo should sit before Rachunek but other than Malik I can't see you suggesting anyone else and I think Rachunek has been far more of a liability defensively than Malik although both have been pretty bad. Personally, if it were my call I'd sit Ozo and Rachunek at this point and let Pock and Kasper get in a few games and see if that tightens things up a little. It'll also showcase whatever Kasper has left in the tank if anything and help determine if we release him or move him or if we play him. He could come out charged up and make a difference, who knows...but I do think that Inside Hockey makes a valid point.

As I posted before, all the "D" problems sit at the feet of Sather. When camp opened we had seven experienced NHL D's on the roster and that didn't include Pock, Richter, Lampman...all with NHL playing time. Then there was Staal and Baranka. Sather decided to keep all the experienced guys, but realized that he would loose Pock if he sent him down. Before camp broke we had indications that Malik could not keep up, Rachunik needed adjustment to the NHL, Kaspar was not ready. These guys needed to be waiver to Hartford of traded for something before the season started. Now Renney is stuck. Malik may be returning to last years form, however he is still, and never will be, a 1st line D'man. Rachunik has been given plenty of time and Kaspar just needs to be moved. Incerting 2-3 new D'men at this point in the season could be disastrous, but I think it would be best in the long run. Waive or trade Ruchunik (that will send a message) and play Pock. I think he will pair-up with Tyutin pretty well. Waive or trade Kaspar and bring up Baranka...that too will send a message.

I do not see how giving Pock a legit shot (in place of Rachunek) would hurt in any way. I question Rachunek's desire overall when he opted not to play for the NYR until they played well last year. I do not see how he gets this ice-time over Pock who has paid his dues and stuck with the organization.

The ONLY thing I can think of in situations like this is that they are trying to trade Rachunek and benching him won't help. They did the same thing with Kondratiev last year. Is that what's going on?

Shanny's -5 is a problem, though not necessarily with Shanahan himself. As I suggested yesterday, it indicates to me, in conjunction with my own observations, that it may be useful to reconfigure his line.

As for the defense, we discussed last year how they were a mediocre group who, under the right circumstances, were able to overachieve to some extent. I think the same holds true this season: when the forwards work hard at getting back and helping out, and when the forwards are able to maintain some offensive flow, the defensemen then find themselves in a more manageable situation. Individually, Tyutin has progressed steadily, Rozsival has improved dramatically of late, and even Malik's play has improved. Guys like Ozo. and Rachunek add a speed element that I think is important, particularly in dealing with rushes to the outside. The problem with each of them is their inconsistency in handling the puck, which certainly needs to be worked on. When the forwards aren't doing their job, the flaws on defense become magnified; when they're doing well, as they began to do on the west coast trip, things go better all around. Where that leaves me, ultimately, is with the opinion that it's somewhat unfair to single out a guy like Rachunek or Ozo., in that when things aren't going well in our end, it's often more indicative of a team-wide failure.

throwaway, "when things aren't going well in our end" is exactly the problem! We need defensemen that can make things better at that time. If the defense is capable of picking things up after a bad offensive mistake (instead of contributing to it) then we would not have a "team-wide failure".


I think you make some fine well thought out points, but I also think that RangerBill94 has hit it on the head. it also works well with your position. The problem is simple we have average to below average D-Men. Stated another way, with the exception of possibly Rozy, who might be a 2 and Tyutin and Ward who are a 3 or 4, the rest are basically 5 & 6 guys being forced to play over their heads to compete and there is no room for error. How often does a mistake that one of them makes wind up in our nets? Our forwards come back and help but that should make the team even tougher to score on, not just bring them to competitive balance which is all it really does. I think the point that RangerBill is making is valid in that they are sub-par defensively and compete at a respectable level only if helped out from up front. What this team is sorely needing D Wise is a real 1 & 2 pairing that they just don't have. They need a Leetch-Beukeboom-like pairing to throw out there and truth be told, a) we don't have it and b) that pair is not in the system and c) it ain't coming over in a trade with what we have to offer unless we empty the well again and over pay for it which I sincerely think that managment isn't about to go and do till the off-season when those type of D-Men will be available for purchase without losing our young players.

Tonight will be a huge test for this squad to see if they can finish what they have started against the best team in hockey right now. We've been close twice and faltered...can they rise above themselves right now and finish it...we'll see. Personally, I'd be thrilled if they did it but I'm not expecting them to. I just don't want to see them take a ass whipping again. If we keep it close and respectable and come out on the short end so be it, but a plastering at their hands might do a whole world of hurting to team morale...

The game didnt start yet but msg 2 already pissing me off with little squares voice dont match up to their mouth and blakc outs startin i think we should do a complaint or somwthing to cablevision about it

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