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April 29, 2007

Comments

Tsk Tsk Dubi no need to rush as we have been covering the game without you.

Of course we might not let you take any more road trips if you are going to be a jinx to both team and your kid's voice LOL

Keller, I never mentioned staying in the Adams Mark (although I did stay there) -- must have been Sam who said he took a cab to the arena from there. I walked back and forth every time, except after games when I got a lift with others to wherever we were the post-game get together was (not the hotel). But despite my denial of taking any cabs for the one-mile walk to the arena, you should have considered the weather before deciding whether taking a cab was warranted -- I had to time my walks over there for when it wasn't raining (and it was cold either way).

By the way, the mood in the Sabre locker room after the game today? The team that declared themselves Stanley Cup champs after beating the Rangers in Game 1 conceded the series to the Rangers, recognizing that they are unable to beat them except with the help of bad officiating and lucky bounces -- they only got one of those two items today and don't expect to get any again.

Dubi, take your time, you deserve it! Did anyone attend the brunch before the game in the Club restaurant? Rod Gilbert and Adam Graves were there and as sweet and personable as always. It's funny—I was SO nervous this morning before the game, but once there at MSG with "my people," all was well. And WOW what a game! After the euphoria and "Sweet Caroline" choruses being sung through the exits, some kid in the stairwell was exorting everyone to wear their same outfits on Tuesday. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!! Let's go Rangers and see you Tuesday!

Both teams got some breaks. I was surprised the War Room negated what would have been the 2-0 goal. And Roy's shot in the first OT was a half-inch away from hitting the inside of the post and staying in.

No one was going to get any lucky bounces: That ice was so bad it looked like a game from the 1970s, when the circus was there for weeks and weeks and they would have 8:30 starts to cram in extra performances.

While listening to the constant wailing about officiating drives me crazy (it's seemingly the one constant on hockey blogs centered on a specific team), I can't say the Rangers fared well today - not so much on what was called as what wasn't. One interesting thing, though: As in Devs-Sens, refs have shown a willingness to call penalties in OT - 5 today (3 to Buffalo), 4 (counting one at 20:00 of 3rd period) last night. Nice not to see Rollerball on Ice during OT as SOP.

Kudos to Blueshirts for winning a game they had to win. Now they have to do the same thing on Tuesday night - or else.

Sad that we have to spend so much time cleaning up our site from those who are in capable of engaging in talking hockey.

It is even sadder that a team that once was bankrupt moneywise
remains has fans who are bankrupt morally and emotionally.

I guess that when you live in a town that has a history not for winning but instead are linked with losing that you do not know how to act in a mature and adult manner.

One day maybe in that sad pathetic person's lifetime they might get to enjoy what it is like to see a team of their win a major championship.

Until then I wish to apologize to those of you who have to see this person's drivel. We can't be here 24/7 so the best way to deal with this is not to respond to these kinds of posts.

They do these kinds of posts for the reaction from you, that is their goal to get you to have a knee jerk response. It is not to talk about hockey or about how the games are going.

It is sad too because we do know that some fans of the Sabres can be mature enough to engage in a exchange.

It was amazing at MSG today. The energy, the tension, the exciting play on the ice (not always perfect, but certainly thrilling).
The Rangers did what they had to do today. And I expect them to do it again Tuesday.
100 minutes of tied or 1-goal hockey. This game was a milestone for their confidence and development as winning team. Bring on game 4.

What a great day!!! Rangers in 2OT: Rosie!!! Jagr screen! Then on to the local rink to play another two hours in goal. I am a blessed man. And more to come Tuesday night. It's been a long wait and hasn't always been worth it, but this team is resilient and overcomes obstacles. Great squad to root for. Thanks, Rangers, for a great day.

O Dubi laying down the law. I honestly am still in shock, but looking forward to tuesday.


LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is however sad news to report that the Wolfpack lost game 7 to the Providence Bruins 5-4.

I will leave the post game report to Mitch

I think my favorite moment from the game besides the goals is Dan Girardi knocking Vanek on his a$$, That was awesome.

LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It will be interesting to see if the Rangers may invite anyone up from Hartford to support the playoff run.
I believe it was Mitch who commented today only Dawes is NHL-ready.
I'd see the favorites as Dawes, Immonen, maybe Lampman or Montoya.
And Staal, if the Rangers outlast Sudbury (wouldn't that be nice, the Rangers still playing after May 10th)

Great win. It can only help them as a team.. Man there were some bad calls against the Rangers.. That was a goal....

Girardi is a lock down D man amazing how well he is playing and Callahan is playing like a madman..

great great game... Ranger fans deserve it after many years in the wilderness...

great post stuart about girardi and callahan.

Elsie

I think the Rangers will call up some of the kids partly so they can experience what the atmosphere is like under playoff conditions and also to have healthy bodies for practices.

Right now it is going to take a major miracle for any of the Hartford kids to see the lineup BUT IF I was to bring up some of the kids I would bring up Dawes, Immonen, Dubinsky, Liffton, and Lampman.

I think they might bring Hillier and Sanguinetti to watch Game 4 but I believe they will not let them practice "on the record" with the team. Neither are signed and I doubt the Rangers want to put them under contract until after the playoffs.

Honestly, I disagree with the Jagr comment and I'm surprised to hear it come from you Dubi. Jagr was a possessed demon yesterday afternoon and to say he dived is a bit unfair. I recall (mostly) all of the play and it just seemed to me like Jagr was tired and went down a little easier than normal. Jagr isn't a diving expert; he's no Petr Forsberg. I really doubt Jagr was thinking to himself, "Man, with all these penalties going against us, I'm going to attempt to dive and draw one, even though this would be my 4th penalty..."

I just feel like had Jagr truly dived, it would've been unbearably obvious to everyone, including our blue and gold striped referees.

Jess: I thought Saguinetti signed a 3 year, $2.75 million deal.

Yup, Jess, no one expects a kid to be inserted as a coach's decision.
On-hand depth is essential, because it is always possible to lose 2 or 3 players at once for a few games.

I left the game yesterday hoarse, emotionally and physically drained. Will someone please tell Mr. Dolan to turn the blowers on when it reaches 90 degrees in Section 404.

You know, there really is ANOTHER team playing in this series besides the Buffalo Sabres. The media and self anointed next Stanley Cup champions have had their hands full with this Rangers team, one that deserves better than to be down 2 games to 1.

I can't belive the hometown fans would boo Malik every time he touched the puck. What stupidity and ignorance in such an important game.

My brother, nephew and I were greeted by some Sabres fans with blue and yellow pom-poms on our way down to watch warm-ups behind the Ranger goal before the game. They actually stuck them out in the aisle and shook them in our faces. We said nothing but I said to my brother "they are going to do that to the wrong guy".

I thought it a little odd that even guys for Buffalo were shaking pom-poms. Left me shaking my head.....

It is tough to overcome all the Rangers had to in order to win this game. I payed a great deal of attention to Vanek away from the puck and he is very cute, like I found out watching many of the other Sabres, at using his stick and body to try upend Rangers, especially on his way to the bench.

I got home early last evening and watched all the newscasts, hockey stuff and the Canucks-Ducks game. Every person that had something to say, except for Brett Hull, said that should have been a goal and if it wasn't, why was there no penalty on the play?

Jagr was a beast yesterday. He dogged the puck and was all over the ice. A great performance.

Looking forward night's game.

I sprained my wrist yesterday in a play at the plate in my softball league in Rockland County yesterday so typing isn't the easiest thing right now.

I gave you guys a summary report on the previous thread. I talked to several players after the game and while there was sure to be some sadness they are all in good spirits and looking forward to working hard this summer and to a man they said they hope to be coming back to Hartford...as in the team should be there.

The one thing that I didn't mention was the attendance yesterday which was totally PATHETIC for a Game 7...2266. I don't ever want to hear another Whaler fan or hockey fan in Hartford say they should have an NHL franchise when for an AHL game 7 they can't even get 1/4 of the building full. If the Pack do move, which I think they are going to, I wouldn't be at all surprised. After losing control of the arena and this kind of attendance it makes sense. My guess is they may wind up in Glens Falls for a year and then move to Bridgeport. The Sound Tigers (Islander's team) only has one year left on their lease and they are losing their collective shirts there. They draw less than the WP do. I think in Fairfield County and so close to the train, less than a 5 minute walk, the Pack, or whatever they will call themselves there, would draw in the 6 -7 thousand range plus Dolan owns the cable rights from New Haven to Greenwich would be ideal for promoting the team and putting them on the map and Fairfield County is a major stronghold for Rangers fans so it would be great. I'd love it because it's ten minutes from my house.

As far as comments about bringing players up, don't count on any of them. I would think it would be along shot, but Dawes could get called up. There is not a chance at all of any of the others...I keep telling you people this and I'm sounding like a broken record and I hope I'm not pissing you off by saying it but it's true...THEY'RE NOT READY YET. Al Montoya absolutely needs another year in the minors. He had a very poor performance in Game 7. Liffiton will be an NHL guy IF he keeps developing but he isn't ready yet. Dubinsky is a GREAT young kid with HUGE upside but also needs more time in Hartford. As I said, with the game on the line yesterday at the end he wasn't even on the ice. I like Brandon a lot and think he is going to be an NHL player but he's just not got his game there yet. Folks, when he was brought up he was put in only limited minutes in a situations where he could excel and get a taste for the NHL and he did fine but he's just not there yet. BE PATIENT! I would say the same about Jarkko. He had a very good second half and was part of the WP's top line and when he Dawes and Bourret were on the ice magic was sure to happen. Incidentally, for those of you questioning him coming here for Dupuis, I have to tell you you're wrong about this kid. He's the real deal. He started off slowly as he tried to find his legs and shot, much as Dawes went through when he came back after not playing a lot for the Rangers, he was a demon out there. He LOVES to hit people. He is on the short side but just CRUSHES people and he has a tremendous shot, is lightning quick and has great vision and even better hands. He WILL be an NHL player. Here's a big statement for you, I think he's going to be a better player than Prucha.

Bryce Lampman is a really good kid who I like a tremendous amount but he is VERY injury prone. Hopefully this summer he will get healthier and stronger and will make a run at an NHL job, it just might not be here as he is a free agent as is his childhood pal, and also injury prone D-Man Jake Taylor.

My friends, there are some very talented young kids here and as you all know there are more on the horizon to follow, but you have to wait until they are ready. Lastly at this point where are you going to play all of these kids that you want to bring up and there is NO WAY ON PLANET EARTH that any of them are going to get on the ice against Buffalo or anyone else unless some sort of catastrophic injury plague hits this team and if it does the season is over anyway. As my parents used to love to say to me, "all in due time..."

And now due to pain beyond my control…I’ll catch you all later…

BTW, I will be there Tuesday night with you and expect to see cracks in the ceiling from the noise we'll all make for the Blueshirts...LET'S GO RANGERS!!!!!!

Oh, and at the play at the plate? He was OUT!!! :)

Just wanted to compliment you as you're possibly the only place in print that discussed the horrendous calls by the refs and Toronto. Would've been nice if some of the mainstream press had decided to weigh in on the obvious discrepancies on the ice.

Otherwise, I'd still love to know what happened on that penalty call with Tyutin during game 3. The ones where the refs went to center ice and discussed the call and actually overturned the penalty call. That a new policy or just a fluke occurrence?

I've only posted here once before, after JD left the booth. I have to chime in to say that the officiating has to be taken care of, or this amazing sport will never be given it's proper due by the public at large. The NHL should be ashamed of the performance of their zebras yesterday. The non-goal was the most glaring screw-up, but all the stuff that wasn't called was just as inexcusable.

I haven't been to a game like that since Game 7 (Devils) in '94. MSG is really a special place and we need to keep up the energy for Game 4. I think Buffalo should be nervous now. They have indeed been "exposed". But beware, Lindy will ream his guys a new one for all the turnovers in their own zone. Nonetheless, kudos for our boys for keeping up the full court press for almost 97 minutes..!!

Thanks to all the Garden faithful for making yesterday a great day to be a fan. My $124.50 ticket turns out to be $1.28 per minute of hockey yesterday. That's quite a bargain..!!

We can beat these guys. We know it now. LET'S GO RANGERS..!!

Phil Nix

Nice observation Lloyd....here's the call on that one.

The penalty was ruled invalid because the offside was whistled just prior to the penalty being called. Another example of the bad communication between the refs. Although in fairness, the place was crazy loud.

And as far as the media and the refs....

After watching the replay on MSG late last night, it was interesting to see all the NBC analysts taking the refs to task. Of course except for Brett Hull, who made such a fool of himself that he should never be allowed on TV again. What a buffoon..!! Nice call NBC for putting such an idiot in the center position of the broadcast desk at 30 Rock. Nice way to sell a sport. Are you intentionally trying to have the NHL come off as a bunch of morons..?? I wish Hull would keep his mouth shut cause he always ends up putting his foot in it..!!

Phil Nix

Sabres fan here---that was a good game (I only saw the second game - periods 3-2OT). I'm still not seeing the referee problem that you see. As Lindy Ruff says, you shouldn't put yourself in position to leave any doubt a penalty could be called.

Brett Hull is a moron---no doubt about that!

A win tomorrow and the pressure shifts to the Sabres in a BIG WAY. The Rangers controlled the first period of Game 1 and most of Games 2 and 3...pretty decisively at that.

Another observation: Vanek is an UNBELIEVABLE hockey player. Will be fun to watch his development (next year!).

Go Rangers!!!

Brett Hull said they should review plays as long as they have to in order to get it right -- one of the reporters who heard him say that suggested that eight years qualifies as "as long they have to", so they should go back an negate that goal from 1999 when he was in the crease and replay the game.

That's correct on the penalty reversal -- the play was offside. Kept the Rangers from getting another undeserved penalty, as Briere either tripped himself or dove.

Phil, the reporters have talked repeatedly with Jagr about diving. He refuses to dive -- he always says he'd rather try to keep going and not have a penalty than go down trying to get a call, which is great sportsmanship on his part, especially for someone who was mentored by that master diver, Mario (who has taught Sidney well). Maybe you're right, maybe he was tired and went down easily rather than on purpose. Seemed to me he went down too easily, though, and just long enough after the trip to make it seem on purpose.

The look on Ray Ferraro's face when Hull was speaking was priceless. I was hoping he'd reach over and punch Hull in the mouth.

Mitch:

I totally disagree with your pronouncement that we don't have anyone in Hartford ready to play in the NHL yet.

You were saying the same things about Girardi and Callahan before they were brought up. How did that work out? They are two of our most important players right now.

If it were up to you, they wouldn't be here, and the Rangers would be checking tee times for tomorrow morning.

Kids can bring an energy and optimism that you just don't get from the vets. Experience is only one factor to be considered.

I'd love to see Dawes, Dubinsky and Ortmeyer on the fourth line (replacing Betts and Isbister). That certainly would add a new scoring dimension to the fourth line, making us more potent - like Buffalo.

I'd love to see Pock or Liffiton
in place of Rachunek too. Nobody should be given the luxury of playing themselves into shape during the playoffs. Raccoon should have been sent to Hartford for conditioning before coming back to the lineup.

AOL users, sorry for the comments freeze-out, error has been corrected.

Just some statistical observations:

The Rangers are 5W-2L in post season or 71.4%. We have 3.29 goals per game for and 2.14 goals against. During the season our top 4 (68,92,14 & 82) produced 51.1% of the goals and 48.1 % of the points. In the playoffs they have produced 52.2% of the goals and 45.5% of the points. Not much of a change. However, our defense produced 13.3% of our goals and 22% of the points during the season. In the playoffs they produced 21.7% of the goals and 30.3% of the points. The team has become far more well balanced. Our current top 4 drops 82 and adds 3. Rozi is playing very well.

We have yet to be out-played in any game. May have had a lapse now and then (cost us a game, maybe), but we have controlled most of the play. Anybody have a stat on the amount of time we have had the puck in the attacking zone against BUF?

Just chiming in on the refs and the officiating. As much as the refs called penalties against the Rangers and not the Sabres (and it happened often--particularly that Shanahan "cross check"), it should be pointed out that the refs called the Rachunek thing a goal and it was overturned by Toronto.

Otherwise, the Rangers I hope are recuperating for what's going to be another hard fought game. They're playing physically and intelligently. If they can crack Miller one of these games for 4-5 goals (like tomorrow night) then their confidence will be flying high.

Dubi---you don't think Jagr dove on the Stafford call?

What shocks me is the somewhat lack of respect some of us Rangers fans had towards Ryan Miller going into this series. I was skeptical of all the talk about how Lundqvist is a step above Miller going into the series. This is the same Ryan Miller who won 11 playoff games last year and was voted ahead of Brodeur in this year's NHL All Star Game.

Granted I still believe Brodeur and Lundqvist are better then him, Miller still has the potential to be a top 5 NHL goalie, and it pains me to say he may challenge some of Mike Richter's records for a U.S. born goalie. He has been fantastic in this series and we shouldn't be expecting him letting up 4-5 goals in a game anytime soon.

Guys:

The kids in Hartford are ready to an extent, but if it's not broke..don't fix it. The newest of the Rangers is testament to the fact that management took too long to get the right mix of veterans and youngsters. The kids are talented AND hungry. The mix is about as good as you could expect right now. More of the kids right now would upset the delicate balance, but things look quite good for the future of this team.

Bill Clement was another one who was puzzled by Hull. Bill was doing a teaser for the Barbaro special coming up after the game and Hull was giggling like a schoolgirl. When Bill asked him what he was laughing about, Hull just said "I'll tell you later". I want to keep this post classy, but what a douchebag..!!

Yes...Vanek is amazing. Watch out for him in the future...not to mention NOW..!!

Keller: I have other "Sabres-friendly" guys I play pick up games with and they were shaking their heads at some of the NON-calls.. on both sides. The NHL will never sell this sport to a wider audience if the Refs have the ability to call things in the arbitrary way they do. Like I said, the non-calls are even more puzzling than the "wrong" calls. All of my Sabres friends were wondering what they were smoking up in Toronto in the war room..!!

I don't want to beat this to death, because for the most part Lindy is absolutely right and I'm sure in the end Renney will agree. Very often a team that is not on top of it's game will create an environment where they just keep putting themselves in the box. Game 1 is was good example of the Rangers being behind a step and having to "reach" too much to compensate. That being said, yesterday was a perfect case and point for exposing the flimsy methods the NHL uses for calling penalties. It's like a baseball game where one team has a much bigger strike zone than another. Either call it tight for both teams, or let them play and give them a little latitude.

I know the refs have a difficult job, but the inconsistency is just appalling. We'd like to think that these things even out over the course of a series, but will we be eliminated before equilibrium is established..??

Phil Nix

Keller -- I wrote in the main article that I believe he dove. About time, too, since he went to the box twice because of Sabre dives.

Godot -- you're right, the refs called Rachunek's goal good. They had also given the Ranges two of three power play calls up to that point. Then they talk to Toronto, Toronto overturns the goal, and the Sabres get the next six penalty calls over two and a half periods, with only Mara's two penalties bona fide calls, and maybe one of Jagr's three, and with the Sabres tying the game late in the third on a completely bogus call on Shanahan.

Hmmm. What am I trying to say here? I don't know. Maybe I'm just delusional.

I rarely agree with Dubi when it comes to a comment about refs being one-sided...but this game was pretty bad. That said, I thought the Shanahan penalty was one of those we *couldnt* argue.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter...no team wins a Stanley Cup without winning some games where you have to overcome unusual adversity. Sometimes its the refs...sometimes its the wrong call on a replay...sometimes it a goalie...sometimes its a fluky goal that ties the game up with under a minute to go.

Don't know who they named as 3 stars, but Rosival was outstanding at both ends of the ice yesterday. Still can't believe the Callahan/Cullen/Prucha line doesn't have a goal in this series yet with all the chances they have gotten. Loves to see Jed Ortmeyer getting back in the lineup and being fast, physical, and defensively responsible.

Godot.
This is second time I have to say: You absolutely right!
If Ryan Miller allow more than 3 goals, Sabres will be different team.
And this is going happened tomorrow!

I can't beleieve there is any league-wide conspiracy to give Buffalo the cup, but if there was, the video guys and refs wouldn't act much differently than they did yesterday.

We have been outplaying Buffalo, we can win this thing, but only if Lundqvist outperforms his rival for three more games. Henke hasn't been bad, but this is down to the final 8 and to win your goalie needs to be great. Miller has been the better goalie so far.

With all the talk about the Sabres' high-powered offense (and acknowledging that it is just that), I'm most impressed with their excellent goaltender and their play in their own zone. They are tenacious with their positioning and stickwork when the play is in their end. The Rangers have had to work to the max for every scoring chance they've had! Roszival's shot was one of the few that looked like it had a chance to get through. This is an excellently-coached team and a formidable squad to be sure, but we've gone toe-to-toe with them, and who can say which is the better team at this point? Personally, I think we've been more often than not. Let's go get them again on Tuesday!!!

I hope you're right, Kogan!!

Ron B

You are correct Sanguinetti did sign a contract and I forgot about it.

Thanks for the correction

Dubi,

How can you possible say that Lundquist had two bad periods in this series? In game one, ok, he wasn't as sharp as he usually is, and even still, the goals that he let in weren't weak goals by any means. In game two, the two goals that he let in during the third period were no way his fault. The first was completely impossible to stop. The shot was going wide and was deflected on net. The second goal was also a great set up that was possible to stop but you can't blame the goalie on. Mara didn't tie up his man on the play and Vanek got a perfect scoring opportunity and buried it top shelf. It wasn't Lundquist's best periods, but you can't call them bad either.

Baron,

Congratulations. You've confirmed for me yet again why I don't post that often anymore. You have no idea what you are talking about and you don't know m so to make such ridiculous accusations is out right foolish and thoughtless. I have NEVER said to anyone on planet Earth that I didn’t want Girardi or Callahan there. The absolute opposite is true. I have said a million times all season long that I wanted them here BUT when they were ready! In fact I told you and the rest of the readers here, BEFORE they came up exactly what THEY told me which was that they didn't feel their game was there yet but that they thought they were close. Once they got here they were worked into the rotation and have excelled. Part of that is a result of their own efforts, part of that success was due to the TIME and TRAININNG that they got in Hartford under Schoney and his staff and part was in how Coach Renney worked them in to things and didn't expose them in a way where they couldn't succeed. The team and the boys handled it perfectly and it's paying off great results.

Also, I have REPEATEDLY said that I love watching the young kids play (both in NY and in Hartford) and feel that when they are READY that they DO bring a lot of energy to the game and to the team and that it can be a big boost, so you are wrong there also.

But let me let you in on a little secret...

There are two schools of philosophy on how to develop and bring up the kids into the NHL.

1) Bring them up as fast as possible and then throw them to the wolves and see if they can make it or not. That can mean 4th line duties and limited minutes or it can mean a baptism of fire both have been done for years by a lot of NHL teams. There are examples all over the place where that has worked out and many where it hasn't i.e. Jaime Lundmark immediately comes to mind. It is NOT wrong to try it that way, but it is a FAR more risky approach both for the team and for the players themselves. The upside is when you strike gold you can get (fill in blank with the name of your favorite player that has come up that way).

2) If you have a good developmental system, which the Rangers clearly do, you take your time and really teach the kids the way the game is played professionally and at a higher level. You are patient and develop them slowly to the point where they are prepared and equip to play at the NHL level at which time they are brought up and stand a very high chance of making it. This philosophy is also NOT wrong. There are also numerous examples of this strategy paying dividends i.e. the two players you mentioned come to mind immediately. This approach is FAR LESS risky and offers the players that go through it the best chance at making an impact but it requires patience.

If you subscribe to one way of thinking that does not mean that you are universally correct. Some players do well in one system over the other and vise-versa.

What I object to, and is the reason for the tone of this posting, is your categorizing me and making statements that are totally wrong, completely untrue and BTW, I mean 100% wrong in what you are accusing me of, and then taking such an extremist point of view when you do.

First of all, how many of these players that you are mentioning have you seen play other than on a few television games in which they played well in their VERY limited and safe roles that they were put into?

Second, how many of them have you spoken to individually away from the media and so on where they will open up and tell you the truth THEMSELVES about their preparedness to go to battle at the next level?

In response to the first, I saw these players around 20 or so times live this season and also about 5-10 times on B2 internet TV broadcasts of their games that I couldn't get to in ADDITION to seeing the ones who were called up live in MSG.

As for the second point, I have known many of these guys away from the rink and had many private conversations with them where we've talked frankly and honestly about what they thought of where they were at and one of the real refreshing things is how honest these guys are when not under the scrutiny of lights and media. They're just regular good kids.

Third, if you've been reading all year long both in my column in the magazine and here that I am a GIANT proponent of bringing along the young guys. In fact I can't recall if it was with Dubi or Jess, one of the other members of the press corps that I was speaking to at the start of camp, but I said that I thought there might be as many as 8 rookies on this team this year. I was fortunate to have some of these folks be kind enough to take me aside and show me where I was wrong and explain to me more of the philosophy that was being employed and why. These scouts and other press guys who shared information and taught me a lot of things and I learned what it takes to get to that next level apart from potential.

As far as your blasting some of the other players like Blair Betts and Brad Isbister, both have held a role to play on this team and they are MORE experienced and more ready to play at this level than the people you mentioned. I will stand by this statement that right now the only player qualified to be in NY is Nigel Dawes. The rest all are either too young or not ready or have been too inconsistent to come up.

In the future, if you want to criticize me for an opinion I've shared and you don't agree with it, which you have every right in the world to do, please keep it to the facts and not just opinions and ESPECIALLY don't mischaracterize someone, especially me, when you do.


Volk, Henrik let up seven goals on 31 shots from the late second period of Game 1 through the end of Game 2, with five of those goals in the two periods I singled out. Sure, he had help from his error-prone defensemen, so I wouldn't say he was "bad" so much as he wasn't his usual error-erasing self that he needs to be during the playoffs. But that qualifies as bad in the playoffs -- witness Miller, who hasn't really been all that great, but has made the saves he had to make on quite a number of shots.

Mitch:

You're trying to spin my words now too - doing exactly what you accused me of doing to you. My dispute with you is not that you're against the kids, but who do you trust to decide that question.

You may be a proponent of the kids, but you are willing to trust Tom Renney to decide when they are ready. I'm not. I'd rather listen to Schoenfeld, who has stated a number of times that there are 4 or 5 players who were ready by mid-season, and are certainly ready right now. In my book, a coach who sees them play daily is an expert; not a coach in NY who has his own veteran pets that he doesn't want to sit down.

First of all, you're not "letting me in on a little secret". You're subscribing to a certain method of player development, which happens to agree with the Ranger agenda. I disagree with it.

I subscribe to the opposite view, where if a kid is ready, and you have a bunch of veterans who aren't pulling their weight (which was the case when the team was 12 points out of 8th place), you sit one of them and give the kid meaningful minutes to prove himself. Not sporadic 4th line duty. First or second line minutes.

Renney's refusal to do that, and his willingness to go down with the ship until Girardi and Callahan were forced on him due to injuries, shows me that he's not the developmental coach he's purported to be.

You constantly say that the kids themselves say they aren't ready. But maybe the kids aren't the best judge of whether they are ready or not. Maybe they don't want to sound cocky to the media, I don't know. All I know is that in the entire organization, I trust Schoenfeld's opinion more than anyone else's, including yours. And HE has said they are ready.

As for the "more experience" factor, to me it is no more than an excuse. If you have a kid who can provide more than the experienced player, you sit the experienced player. Betts and Isbister, besides playing hard, have given us nothing. Dubinsky or Dawes in their place may have chipped in a few goals. You'll never know, but you DO know that Isbister and Betts are not going to score.

You are welcome to post or not post, it doesn't bother me either way, but when I disagree with your opinions I will not hesitate to disagree. If somebody disagreeing with you causes you to stop posting, then maybe you are too thin skinned after all.

PaulF

"Miller has been the better goalie so far."

Until yesterday's game that is ... Henrik was better than him yesterday ...

Now it is beyond me why some people still like to think that they know what's best for the team and that our head coach doesn't ... it's really funny to me to read how the team and Renney specifically were FORCED to play Girardi and Callahan because of injuries instead of going through his supposed preferred method of using vets ... if Renney loved vets so much then he would've asked Glen to trade for vets instead of calling up those rookies ... it's really just almost comical, with the success that our team has had down the stretch and in the playoffs how some people still refuse to give Renney and his coaching staff any credit

Putting kids in. Depends whether your goal is to try to win or to try and get kids playoff experience. Malik - glaring turnovers notwithstanding - gives this team a better chance to win than ANYONE currently (or untiil recently) toiling in Hartford...and anyone looking to jump from juniors. Likewise, Tuytin, Girardi, Rachunek, Pock, Rosie, and Mara. Polk is the weak link there. That's not a knock on Pock, it's a statement of fact. Who you gonna swap in? Liffiton? Staal?

The same is true on the forward lines. Jagr, Nylander and Hossa are a lock. Avery, Straka and Shanny, too. Cullen, Prucha and Callahan, too. That leaves the fourth line, where you want Betts and Ortmeyer for their penalty killing skills (and they've been phenomenal), so who are you gonna plug in to that last spot?

Renney makes absolute sense when he talks about Isbister's ability to control the puck along the boards. Orr has improved greatly, but he's still a one-dimensional player. Hollweg gives energy and grit, but lacks hockey sense. Of the three, Isbister is CLEARLY the best option for the playoffs. I had thought it would be Hollweg - esp. for this series - but not at the expense of the added puck possession Isbister brings.

If you want to say, bring up Dawes to add an offensive spark to that line, I guess I won't argue too much, but it seems desperate and not really called for at this time.

Mitch great post in response to baron. You should post more often since a lot of people appreciate what you have to say. BTW - I would have gone to Hartford if the Rangers were not playing even from LI and was disappointed I could not see them.
It's took me long enough (also between assignments re work) but please provide the link again for subscriptions again.

Baron - after the trade deadline there were no conditioning assignments allowed for players coming back from injury.

Betts has been extremely effective in his role during the playoffs. He also had a lot of legs in the 2nd overtime. He is a very smart player for this time of year. This is not rotisserie hockey but rather fitting pieces of the puzzle with a lot of blood and guts mixed in.

Baron you should enjoy the ride. It's been a blast something we've all hoped for the last 10 years.

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