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January 30, 2007

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Prucha goes to the net...SCORES!, Rozsoval goes to the net...SCORES! Prucha crashes the net...SCORES! Nylander crashes the net...SCORES! Gee, do you'll think there might be something to that?

Great win but I had to miss it (playing ol' man hockey myself)! And it wasn't on MSG so no Rangers in 60. Dang. We'll try again tomorrow with the Leafs. Go Rangers!

1. Ortmeyer has been the best ranger skater since he returned, and by far. No surprise that he's kickstarting this team.

2. Hopefully Rosival's leg is bad enough that he misses some games, and Renney is forced to put someone on the PP point who will shoot the puck.

3. Hopefully (and i highly doubt it) Malik is playing and Pock is sitting because Malik is being showcased.

Yeah, I can see teams just knocking down Sather's door after last night's "Showcase". If a GM makes a trade for Malik because the actually "want" Malik, they must be on crack.

Renney is off his meds. He belongs in player destruction, not player development.

Malik plays and Pock sits. Time for Weinman and others to call him on this!!

Haha it's funny to hear the Bruins complain about 2 blatant penalties, especially considering the game was out of hand at the time. The penalty on Malik was about as obvious of an interference call as I've ever seen. The penalty shot should have probably been a 2 minute minor, but again it was an obvious slash/hook by 2 players.

Boston is a team that the boys in blue will not have to worry about for the rest of the year. When a team complains about the officiating when the game is already 4-1 and 5-1, they're going nowhere. Especially since their were infractions on both.

If I am Tom Renney, then last nights performance should be good enough to demote Prucha back to the 4th line and try Shanny with Ortmeyer and Cullen, right?


Sadly, I could see that happening....

You Know the Prucha-Cullen-Ortmeyer Line will never exist again. Now the Rangers have "chemistry" on two lines and that can't happen because that would be exactly what is required to win, and Glen Sather must think that if the Rangers win he will lose his job, seeing as there has only been one winning season during his tenure as GM.

Another short blurb on Callahan from the Democrat & Chronicle, noting that the Hockey Hall of Fame has asked for the stick he used to score the game winner last night.

http://rochesterdandc.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070129/SPORTS02/70129032/1007/SPORTS

On Friday, the Rangers were being roasted for putting together these ridiculous lines -- now after two wins including a 6-1 blowout, they're being roasted for breaking them apart, something that hasn't even happened. What's next, blaming Jagr for demanding that the lines be broken up?

The Versus analysts contrasted Cullen's play with the Canes last year VS. ( no pun) with the Rangers this year.
One key point they made was his significant contribution to the Canes power play by playing the point.
Does eny one here have a theory on why Renney hasn't tried him there, especially since our first unit continues to be bad?
No one goes to the net and there is no blistering shot from the point.

TonyM:

"Does eny one here have a theory on why Renney hasn't tried him there, especially since our first unit continues to be bad?"

Sure. Jagr wants his hand-picked posse to stay together. Malik & Roszival know that they shouldn't shoot from the point - just get the puck to JJ.

What Jagr may not understand is that he's effectively taking those two skaters totally out of the offense on the power play. All they are doing is trying to keep the puck in and pass it to JJ. Instead of a 5 on 4 advantage, it's like a 3 on 4 disadvantage.

If Cullen plays the point, he'll disrupt the whole unit by actually getting off some shots. We can't have that, now, can we?

All kidding aside, Cullen should, at the very least, be on the point for the 2nd unit.

Dubi

"On Friday, the Rangers were being roasted for putting together these ridiculous lines -- now after two wins including a 6-1 blowout, they're being roasted for breaking them apart,"

You're surprised by the schizophrenic nature of the Ranger fanbase? BTW, don't count me as one of those criticisng putting Cullen and Prucha on the 3rd line. I've been asking for it all year. I never saw Prucha or Cullen as a good fit for Shanahan. However, I will say I'm surprised at how good Jed looks on that line...and not because of his effort. Someone else mentioned this, but, Jed looks more skilled this year.

How did Jagr play? 6 RAngers goal, and Jagr did not even got an assist. I am a bit concerned about our captain.

Schizophrenic teams have schizophrenic fans! I'm not seeing anyhing different, BTW. We got a goal kicked in the them, a defelcted puck to Prucha and a pass to a totally uncovered Rozsoval, Cullen uncovered in a shorthanded situation right out in front...it looked to me like we were playing the NY Rangers! Yes, we finally took advantage of the other guy. Yes, we held on against the Philly. But against this level of compitition, that's what we're supposed to do. Two big games...TOR and TB...keep up the speed, energy and sit Malik; play Pock. Then lets evaluate.

I noticed one thing here and Dubi i agree with you theres always complains.

Renney accually got smarter he didnt play 1st line in the 3rd periods last 10 15 mins.

He wont move Cullen and orts back to shanny just because Cullen Pru or Orts way faster players thats they dont click together.Shanny wont get that many goals by being with Betts and Hossa yes but if the rest of the team can play like that i dont give a F*** that Shanny wont get a goal

i think if the rangers strike out on forsberg they shoul go out and ty to get zherdev

We need a center but with brad Boyes possibly avalable, he might be a solid pick up. Not doing well this year But I understand that Lweis was impressed by Malik (sic).

A big lack for the Rangers all year was that they didn't have a two-way third line and after half a year none was being developed. The reason was that Hossa was there. Wherever he goes, you don't get chemistry, and you don't get production. He's all right on the fourth line because you're not looking for offence from there, but Renney won't keep him down where he belongs. Anyway kicking Hossa upstairs to the second line enabled a third line to be born. Now Shanahan has the albatross around his neck but the other team doesn't know it so they'll waste good checkers on them. A bonus of having Hossa warehoused on the second line is you might get a bonus now and then from the fourth line, which they did with Krog's goal. If they want a second line that threatens beyond Shanahan's shot, Ward has to be brought into play or even Callahan.

Dubi: Today's thread is the absolute epitome of everything I've been commenting on recently. It's maddening sometimes.

And as for everyone who has complained about "hanging on" against Philly and only beating a bad Boston team, I just have to shake my head. The Rangers dominated both games, and if it weren't for the posts and Esche, the Philly game would have been just as lopsided on the scoreboard.

Lurker Kev, and if we beat NJ and/or Detroit next week you will see posts that it was only because we got "lucky"

*Baron*, even if what you speculate is true ... that Jagr does not want Cullen on his PP unit what's to stop Renney from using Cullen on the point on the 2nd PP unit? Because that's the unit Matt plays in and he doesn't play the point there either ...

Matty:

"*Baron*, even if what you speculate is true ... that Jagr does not want Cullen on his PP unit what's to stop Renney from using Cullen on the point on the 2nd PP unit? Because that's the unit Matt plays in and he doesn't play the point there either ..."

That's exactly what I suggested in my last post. You can blame that one totally on Renney - he's an absolute horror on misusing his players.

Somebody like Nolan or Ruff would have tried all these line combos early in the season, and by now he would have made his choices and settled in with them. You wouldn't have different lines for every game. "Professor Tom" gets visions from the ether before each game, and decides his line combos only then.

Another point - I guarantee Jagr wouldn't be running the team with Nolan or Ruff as coach.

Jagr: "Coach Ruff, I want Rozie and Malikenstein playing with me on the first PP unit."

Ruff: "Bwaahahahahahaa!!! Rozsival and Malik? That's a good one! Wow, good one, JJ - very funny... no, you'll have Cullen and Tyutin on the points, along with Prucha and Straka on your unit. The second unit will be Shanny, Nylander and Orts, with Straka and Ward on the points. And the PP time will be split 50-50. Any more questions, JJ?"

Jagr: "No, I guess not."

Ruff: "Good. Now tell Malik and Hossa that I want to see them in my office..."

amen, Baron.

Baron: 1. Malik doesn't play on the power play. 2. Buffalo's power play is worse than the Rangers' even after the Rangers' recent 0-for-27 slump and even with Jagr's playmates on the points. 3. If Lindy Ruff coached a team for Ranger fans, he would've been fired five years ago.

Dubi

"If Lindy Ruff coached a team for Ranger fans, he would've been fired five years ago."

Not if we have the same players Ruff has now.

BTW, thanks for removing my typo riddled post, that's one I'm glad you removed. :))))

What about the players Ruff had in his third year, when his Cup finalist team barely made the playoffs and then limped out in the first round in five games? That was a team that was getting less than a point a game from its leading scorer, Miro Satan, so they brought in 36 year old Doug Gilmour (who ended up as their leading scorer, also with less than a point per game) and Chris Gratton at the trade deadline, treating rookies Maxim Afinogenov and Brian Campbell (now their top power play defenseman) like rookies, with Campbell playing only 12 games while James Patrick (36) played regularly.

Ok Dubi, let me turn it on you. Do you think Renney would be as successful as Ruff if he were coaching this year's Buffalo team?

Wait a minute- Can Renney take Sather and Dolan with him to Buffalo? We'll take Regier and Golisano...

Why not? Renney was as successful to this point with his own team last year as Ruff is this year.

Let me put it this way, to keep the analogy going -- if Renney had bombed with that 1999-2000 Buffalo team and was still allowed to keep his job and patiently rebuild the team into a contender six-seven years later working in tandem with his management team, yes, he'd probably be as successful with this Buffalo team as Ruff is. And if Ruff brought the entire Buffalo roster with him to New York and had to work under Dolan and Sather and in front of Ranger fans, the pressure might cause him to make some silly, desperate moves too.

What is it you think that Ruff has that Renney doesn't? How much do you really know about Ruff as a coach? I hardly know anything about him, just by what I see four times a year with the Rangers, the rest of it media hype. There is a confluence of events that makes a team come together the way Buffalo did in the first half this season, just as the Rangers did last season.

But no trophies are handed out on January 1st -- and the Sabres are 4-7-1 since New Year's Day. They have scored more than three goals only once this those dozen games while giving up more than three goals five times. In those eleven games, the Sabres have had 57 power plays and have allowed 57 power plays -- they have scored 8 PPG, a mediocre 14% success rate, and have allowed 16, an awful 72% kill rate. How can a coach allow that kind of special teams play go on without doing something about it, for crying out loud? Is Lindy Ruff suddenly an idiot? He doesn't even have an injured and tired team like Renney had after the Olympics last year.

The Sabres are now 33-14-4, a .686 point percentage -- at their peak last season, the Rangers were 36-15-8, a .678 point percentage. If the Sabres continue to crash this season and get off to a rocky start next season, will Ruff suddenly be an idiot who should be fired?

Dubi:

As a preface, I'm one of those fans who disliked Renney last season too. I thought he did a lousy job after the Olympics, and got blown away tactically by almost every coach he faced. So I didn't change my tune now that things have gone south.

You obviously lay all the blame for the Rangers' problems with Sather. Now, I'm sure that if we saw the day-in and day-out moves that Sather makes, we'd be inclined to give him a greater portion of the blame.

But all we have to go on is what we see on a daily basis: Renney's lousy personnel management (before and during games) and his ridiculous doublespeak when trying to rationalize his many blunders.

For those players not among "his guys", he never rewards those who play hard, in fact he sometimes punishes them (Pock, Immonen, Prucha, Hollweg).

But time after time he rewards lazy uninspired or just plain bad play from his group of favorites (Hossa, Ward, Betts, Malik, Hall, Krog). Jagr and his buddies are exempt from ALL criticism.

He claims to be a developmental coach, but he hasn't developed a single player this season. His pet project, Hossa, has turned out to be no more than a fourth liner. Renney is just too stubborn to admit it.

Immonen was a perfect kid to work with, he has all the tools, is smart and good positionally - but Renney conjured up a reason to send him back to Hartford, even though the team was winning while he centered the 2nd line. By now, Immo could have been clicking on all cylinders with Shanahan and Prucha.

He's screwed around with Pock all season, despite the fact that he has done no worse, and mostly better, than the guys getting big minutes.

If he had his way, he'd have Weekes in net too. The only thing stopping him from that is the fact that he'd be strung up by the fans.

You have a blind spot when it comes to Renney's faults. Maybe his persona is difficult to dislike... but we see things a bit more objectively from afar.

Renney is not now (and with his you-can't tell-me-anything attitude) will never be a good NHL coach. You have to be willing to learn to be a good coach. Renney already knows it all.

Well, Baron -- that's a far better critique than the previous one (where it was Jagr's fault for banning Cullen from the point). I even agree with some of it, though not all of it (for example, "if he had his way, he'd have Weekes in net too" -- there is nothing standing in his way if that's what he wanted, but he wants to go with the best goalie, and be fair, because you know that's true).

My own criticisms are on record -- I'd argue that I don't have any blind spot from being too close. I'd also argue that I go to great pains -- paying reporters and spending hours transcribing tapes -- to get you folks the actual quotes about what these people say, the actual fruit of my being this close to the key players, and when it comes to Renney and Jagr, I might as well not even bother. Shanahan can say anything and remain immune to criticism, but Renney can be crucified for moves that he hasn't even made -- I haven't once come in here and defended Renney for his moves, because I am as vexed by some of them as anyone else. But where some of these criticisms come from vex me just as much.

My primary position on the coach remains pretty much as I've said all along: 1. The jury is out on this season -- how the team does in the spring is where the final grade is determined, not how it does in winter. Right now, it could go either way. 2. Renney's record over the two years pretty much matches the hand he has been dealt -- he could be doing better, but that's not grounds for dismissal. 3. There is no way we get anyone better as long as the same management team chooses the next coach -- in fact, we probably lose ground in the process as a new coach comes in with his own favorites and goats.

But you know what? The question is as moot as it gets. When the question of Renney's status was put to Maloney last week, he was caught by surprise that it was even asked -- he said the issue has not come up, and that there is zero chance for it to be taken up. Renney is here to stay, just like Sather and Dolan. I once advised Ranger fans to be patient -- we were here long before these guys, and we'll be here after they're long gone. Now I'm not so sure, no matter whom you want to point the finger at.

"When the question of Renney's status was put to Maloney last week, he was caught by surprise that it was even asked."

And that is exactly the problem. These guys (Renney, Maloney, Sather, Dolan) are living inside a bubble where they either have no idea what's going on outside, or simply don't care. Dubi, if you think the jury is out this season on Renney, I'm as shocked as Maloney was with the previous question. And if Sather is imposing his will (read: stupidity, arrogance) on Renney's decision-making, then Renney is ball-less. If you're gonna lose games, you should lose them because YOU lost them, not because some senile old stogie-chewer who still thinks he's in Edmonton in the 80's.

Comparison of Lindy Ruff and Tom Renney: Ruff doesn't suffer fools. Renney IS a fool.

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