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April 29, 2008


Folks, I have to go play a game of my own and expect some trolling tonight from both sides of the aisle, so I've gone back to moderation. Those of you who want to comment, please do so with that in mind -- I'll probably do approvals well after midnight. Otherwise, take a breather and we'll be back live later on or tomorrow.

so let's play a game...it's called

"If the Rangers win this series I'll..."

If the Rangers win this series I'll purchase and send Sidney Crosby scuba gear for his off-season diving

Well upside is i feel we completely outplayed them in even strength

1942 toronto maple leafs, 1975 ny islanders, 2008 ny rangers, really it's all in the numbers, 33 years in between, gotta believe, let's go rangers .. ...

JJ and Gomez were the only guys to really show up tonight. Too many guys willing to let the other guy do all the work. On 'D' next year only Stall is untouchable...Disappointing effort after they tied it up on a lot of really hard work. Just too many no shows...Z

Well , Well , all you people thinking that we are done , I DON'T !!!!!!

I DVR'ed the game. I turned it off after Callys double minor and the subsequent goal. Then I came here and read the play by play comments. Im glad I didnt watch the rest of the game. Ive been having some heart trouble and dont think I could have dealt with watching the stupidity of Hollweg. Im not sure if I will watch the rest of it later. Sounds like Jagr was inspired. He sure looked to be in the period that I saw.

I am looking forward to next year. I dont have any faith in the PP and feel that Pearn should go. I hope to see some changes next year in the form of many people not returning. I am excited about that opportunity for change. I believe strongly in the signing of Drury and Gomez and feel that they, with Hank and some young D coming along, will really help cement this team as a force for some time to come.

Game four? A possible sweep? I gotta tell you that I dont really care anymore at this point. I havent since games 1 & 2 were decided by acts of bad sportmanship. The Devils series was great. That was just good sports to watch.

Im holding back ranting about seeing the door hit some players on their asses after they eventually clean out there lockers.

wow Dubi. I agree with all the things you said, but "Lundqvist let in some weak goals"??? ... what game were you watching? Are you sure? I saw some great screen shots, deflections, and point black shots in the slot get put in behind Hank. Absolutely nothing you can even consider his fault. If there's one player you can't blame in ANY of the Ranger's losses this post-season it's Lundqvist. The guy had no chance tonight & has been fantastic all playoffs long for us.

Ros, Five goals on 15 shots. You want to defend that? Blame the defense -- they limited Pitt to nine first period shots, and there were in the net. Two more goals on the next six shots. How many times did you hear the fans chant "Henrik" tonight? Zero times, that's how many. How many Stanley Cups do you think you can win if your goalie gives up a goal just about every time they have a good scoring chance -- and they were not all good scoring chances.

I don't care if they were screened, deflected, or what -- they could've been five breakaways. In the playoffs, you gotta stop at least one of those shots. Hossa's shot was a great shot, but from that angle, if it goes in the net, it's the goalie's fault. Laraque's shot -- that's a guy you don't give the top of the net to. The last goal, it hardly moved -- Hank's gotta stop that one at least.

He did not make one single game-saving save in this game.

Agreed. I think almost any other coach would have pulled Henrik after the 3 or 4th goals (especially the 4th one by Malkin). That one was a straight shot that he should have saved. Henrik WAS not on his game tonight and it was really bad to watch. You can't blame the loss on the goalie, but he HAS to make a few of those saves.

Man does Shanny look old, am I imagining this or is he looking terrible? They need some size upfront next yr...

if shanny goes bye bye and straka(he is not a top 6 forward on a real good team) would Jagr give it one more yr.? WIthout Malik and Roszi? They conceievably can lose and probably will lose all 5 of those guys, that is a bunch of smarts and alot of dinero..$17 mill more or less.. They need to really give Prucha a chance next yr. but they need some size upfront and will need at least 1 vet d man minimum...

I agree Henrik was not very good tonight but I blame the 'D' and the PK for tonights loss. The PK especially 9in all 3 games played lousy. No pressure on Pitts shooters, just a slow collapse allowing the point men to control the PP until someone is open. And our 'D' finally showed why the skeptics believed our 'D' would be our undoing. Like I said Staal is the only untouchable on 'D'. Z

I disagree. The shots don't always tell the story. It could have been 5 goals on 5 shots. It doesn't matter. It obviously wasn't his best game, but all the goals were either high scoring chances in the slot OR screened shots or deflections. There were no "straight shots" as Jeff suggested (4th Malkin goal was a screen). What does "you don't give the top of the net" to Laraque mean exactly? Laraque ripped a perfect laser into the top corner standing 4 feet from Hank. He looked like Malkin on the one. Hank didn't get any bounces tonight. Everything seemed to find it's way in. It's not what you want to see ofcourse. But there were no true "soft" goals... just too many of them, unfortunately.

I was at the game last night and it was quite obvious to the fans that Henrik's head was not in the game. He should have been pulled when it was tied 3-3 or even 4-3. Some dynamic needed to change last night to get this team to understand the gravity of the situation. The 3rd period was one of the worst Ranger periods I have seen all season.

Time to clean house. Give the team over to more of the Hartford guys (no one on the team over 30 or 35). We have to get younger, faster and stronger. We may be able to sneak into the playoffs year after year but we are simply not built for the rigors of 2008 and beyond NHL playoff hockey.

And I am not sure if Renney is the guy who can lead that younger team to the promised land of Lord Stanley. I like Renney - he seems like a very decent man, but I am not sure if that is enough.

ugh. . . . . that was a tough one. Hollweg killed what was really inspiring hockey. Jarko Ruttu is a scumbag, but he is ten times the player Hollweg is. Sather better consider some more players of that ilk next season. Give Pitt some props. They got Hossa and Gill for the playoff run. They are gonna be hard to beat once let alone 4 times. . .

Disheartening loss. I'm sure the league is happy, 'tho. If Bing and the Pens win the cup, I am cancelling my annual subscription to Center Ice. I will not contribute to Bettman's theatrical productions!

I thought Henrik should have been pulled after the first period, he was not sharp, and it might have shaken up the team. Valiquette has done a good job in those situations before. Our power play is awful, everyone defers to Jagr, and it seems like that PP never gets going. While I think the officiating has been terrible (again) in this series, and Pittsburgh has been the beneficiary of most of the calls, I can't use that as an excuse. The Pens have beaten the Rangers to every loose puck, and have had an answer for everything the Rangers threw at them. Pens are up 3-0 because they've played better, plain and simple

Absolutely correct.

Turning point of the game was Hollweg's signature boarding call, the same one he has taken time and time again. Just an awful play by Hollweg.

You can't win if you don't get the big saves from your goaltender. Hank didn't make one.

This team is still suffering the same ailments its had since it came back from the lock-out: It needs a couple of bona fide snipers and a power play quarterback. We have been near the bottom of the league for a while now in goals for. That in and of itself puts too much pressure on the defense and goaltender.

There is nobody at Hartford capable of coming up and scoring 30 to 40 goals. Sanguinetti will need a year or two to hopefully help the power play. Cherepanov is at least one year away. There ain't much happening on the free agent front.

And you wonder why Renney is commited to team defense?

Jagr is a monster and if he had a sniper on the left side he would have had 100 points this season. Straka should not be resigned and please coach Renney, when Jagr is on the ice, Rozsival should be on the bench and vice-versa. Rozy always defers to Jagr, its as predictable as the upcoming ticket price increase at the Garden.

The Rangers better open up their wallet for Jagr because we are in deep doo-doo if he doesn't come back.

Hey Guys, lets be real and give credit to the Pens. They are executed their plays and taking advantage of their opportunites.
Who cares about statistics, they are for losers. If you can't score on your PP how can you expect to win the Stanley Cup.
The Pens are playing better than us,I hope we win a couple to save face, but our players are over matched in this series.
The Pens have many early first round picks that are playing well for them. The talent level is higher for them and right now they are executing. This team is playing well let's give them some credit. I hope the rangers can win a few games before it's over.
each other

Two words...

ive played goal for 16 years and continue to play.AT least 3 of those goals were Hanks fault. He was way to deep in the net for both of malkins and Malones tip in goal. theyve talked about this for the last 2 games on CBC.(I get it because i live in the Plattsburgh NY area).He needs to adjust his game some. he looked real weak last night.

I also can't blame Lundy. Every Pens goal was a missed defensive assignment. It's been the story this series. While our offensive is putting on great pressure on defense if you give these Pens an inch they score and too often one of our defenders is off in La-La land.

The moment I read that Hollweg was going to play I immediately regurgitated my meal. I am not a Ryan Hollweg fan and no one was more pleased than me to see him sit out games while Freddie took his spot. To say that Ryan Hollweg took a stupid penalty is an understatement. Hollweg took away the momentum of the game after Jagr played so valiantly and tied the game. Then as Hollweg leaves the ice his only comment is "I was playing my game". The only problem is that his game is not hockey. And for Renney to try to smooth it over that Hollweg feels bad is a lame excuse for such a stupid penalty to take. How many times has Hollweg done this in the past??? I can remeber vividly those games in which he has done the same thing. Is this guy ever going to learn. Maloney made it clear that Hollweg should know by now and I agree. And to think that Hollweg has another year on his contract. I was hoping he would have gotten traded but I am sure there are no teams looking for a limited "player" like Hollweg.

Henrik was dismal and I am being kind; he made no important saves. I think Valiquette would have performed better. Jagr plays his heart out and almost everyone else went to sleep. I continue to be impressed with Gomez and how much heart he has. Shanahan needs to retire, he's done.

Hollweg was the change and the difference in this game--for the Pens

And yes, the powerless play also made a difference but the Rangers 5 on 5 should have been able to get a win.

I am a Prucha fan and I believe that Renney has given him the shaft. He plays Hollweg more ( I don't care about his hits,either) and plays Prucha a few minutes or sits him down. In my opinion, Renney has not proven himself to be a good playoff coach.

There is always next season.....

Well, now I can get back to non-stressful evenings.

The problem wasn't Hank. It is the season long issue of "average defense that will get us into the playoffs" and a very poor powerplay. We have played all season with those two issues. Sather decided not to trade the future for a top D'man, a very sound decision from my point of view and the coaching staff simply could not find the formula for success on the PP. If the PP came to life, I think the series could be 2-1 Rangers. Coulda, shoulda, woulda; but that's not what happened. We are simply looking at the team we REALLY have, we all saw it, so this should not be a shock. Yes, we all hoped the defense would step up and the PP would catch fire. Not to be. Tomorrow night should be interesting. Stay tuned!

I've been a real big supporter of Ryan Hollweg when people here have bashed him, but his penalty was a backbreaker. We had all the momentum. He was a part of Dawes and Cally cycling the puck great and I was actually like wow Hollweg isn't doing a half bad job centering this line with Drury and Betts both in the dressing room. Then he takes that penalty. Not only did it kill all our momentum. Our two best penalty killers were in the locker room. Horrible timing. And we still almost killed it. That's gotta be what was so draining about that Malkin goal. Cally was on for the entire 2 minutes, Straka over a minute. The defense was on for probably the entire powerplay too. We managed to put two in the net even after not scoring on those two 5 on 3's. That in itself really gave this team hope. You saw how pumped Jagr and co. was when that 3rd goal was scored. We wanted this bad. And that penalty and unsuccessful kill was the dagger in the Rangers hearts. The dagger in all our hearts. I felt sick to my stomach after that goal. You could sense the garden go silent just watching.

Amazingly dissapointed and depressed. The comeback was amazing. Can you imagine if Gomez had scored instead of hitting the post. The penalty was SO BAD and at SUCH A BAD TIME as to be surreal. You knew Pit was going to score, the penalty killers were so tired they could barely move.

What is really frustrating is that Crosby and Malkin are SO YOUNG. Fleury (a #1 overall pick) is so Young. Jordan Staal is so young! These guys are going to be around FOREVER. I love our young guys. But, the brutal honest truth is that we have no one on the team now and no one in the system who comes close to the skill level of Crosby and Malkin. That is what is bumming me out. It appears that Pitt could be a roadblock to a Rangers cup for MANY years to come.

Dubi, Game On! has exclusive video of the Hockey Night Live crew looking ahead to Game 4, and the announcers breaking down what went wrong from their perspective.

The way I see it, it's going to be hard, maybe even impossible for the team to win four in a row if play like they did last night.

I watched the game and then watched it on DVR and I have to agree with Dubi, Hank has kept us in the first two games with some tremendous goaltending but last night he had to make those saves on the last two goals (especially the final one...you gotta knock that down instead of trying to catch it between your side and arm)...but he gets a pass because he has been on all series till then and every goalie has a bad night. The real culprit is the absolutely inept PP unit. This has been a problem all season and the team kept preaching patience with the unit and it never came to fruition. If they don't sign Hossa or a true PP quarterback( which Roszival and Backman definitely are not) in the offseason then the powers that be are totally in denial!!! JAGR was flying again last night and looks more like a CAPTAIN then he has at any point during his tenure, I really hope the disappointment of this series (should we not be able to come back...NEVER GIVE UP!!!!) gives him a desire to return next season. I am so impressed by the way he has taken it to another level this poastseason and I only wish that some others who have been all but inviosible in this series would join him (Shanny, Dawes and Roszival)...Jagr and Cally have been our best players, Hank has his moments along with Gomez and Drury and Straka always gives 110% but looks like he may be winding down his career..it looks like we just ran into the younger stronger team this time and need to make some tough decisions over the next few months to get back to this position next year in better shape.

Rangers lost this game because of (in this order)
a. Power play woes (see below)
b. Weak game by Lundqvist. He should have been pulled out after the 3rd goal - this wasn't his game.
c. Hollweg momentum killing penalty. I don't think anyone was SURPRISED when Hollweg crosscheck in the offensive zone when there was absolutely no need for such play. This actually goes back to the end of last season. Ortmeyer should have been kept instead.

Ranger lost this series (abcent a miracle) because of
a. Power play woes

That's it. And the blame for power play that includs Jagr, Gomez and Drury should be on Sather and Renney for not bringing someone better to be on the blue line (including designing a better scheme then what was used). And while Pens are a better (in terms of talent) team with better powerplay this series would be far from over.

That said, call me crazy but I'm still hoping for a miracle.

Honest assessment in this article I read today.


I was at the game last night unfortunately. If you dont know what a clusterf**k is- last night was a perfect illustration. (get scored on a minute in, climb back from a 2 goal deficit.... then blow it!)

Every time the Rangers were awarded a power play - a few of us kept chanting "Decline it".

It pains me to think that we are stuck with Hollywood hollweg and Wally Backman for another season.

Jeff agreed he has to come up with the big stops. Thats the difference maker in winning a series. With that said Lundqvist really didnt let in any weak goals. However he needed to come up with the big saves on the what 15 shots the Pens took. Unfortunately 5 of the goals scored 4 of 5 of them were stoppable. Not weak goals, but in a game where the series is on the line you gotta stop them. But I dont blame Lundqvist because despite not stopping those goals. The power play and having 2 5 on 3's for at least a minute and not scoring on any of the PP's, coupled with Hollwegs penalty (momentum killer) and subsequent Pens goal killed the game for the Rangers.

The Rangers played with their hearts on their sleeves last night. They fed off the crowd, you could see the anger, the drive, the passion. Something similiar to what the fans were going through. You'd think I was at the game last night. Yelling at my tv, sitting on the edge of my couch. I could feel the electricity through my TV set. But its been killing us all year and it did again last night. The power play. How can you not score 1 goal on 2 5 on 3's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's play a game called: Do you re-sign them?

Brendan Shanahan
Jaromir Jagr
Martin Straka
Sean Avery
Paul Mara
Marek Malik
Michal Rozsival
Jason Strudwick
Stephen Valiquette

Nigel Dawes
Fredrik Sjostrom

Game on!

the goalie with 3 consecutive vezina nominations should have stopped 3 of those goals, hossa'a, BGL's (puuuuhleeeese hank), and malkin's first from the high slot. can straka hit the ocean from the beach? hollweg should know better whether sykora turned to the boards or not. and the PP... i'll stop there. if jagr's play is not truly inspiring to the rest of this team then they don't deserve to be in the same zipcode with him. he beleives, there is no reason the rest of them shouldn't. drury's got guts. where is shanahan?

I havent had time to watch the complete Rangers in 60 yet --- but it seemed to me that Straka missed a WIDE OPEN NET at the beginning of the game. Was his shot deflected? or did he just shank it as usual?

I have to chime in...

Henrik had a couple of 'soft ones' pass. Remember, we have NO BLUELINE.


Couple of comments about last night.

Powerplay was terrible, its been terrible all year, not addressed at the trading deadline and must be in the off-season or we will be a 2nd round and out team at best. Special teams wins playoffs (and regular season for that matter).

Henrik was ordinary at best, Avery was mostly invisible as was Shanny who may be tiring. The Pens looked faster, tougher and more motivated. Their first goal set the tone for the game and they were simply the better team. Refs were a non-factor and you could even complain that the Rangers got the good calls last night.

You may not see this on TV but Crosby spends a lot of time talking to the refs, not sure why, but I noticed it alot last night even when he wasn't going to be on the next shift.

I know its not over yet but while we have some good young players and three strong centers I worry about the defense (we really need both a star offensive and stay at home d-man) and scoring if Jagr, Avery, Shanny, Straka don't return. With the Malkins, Crosby's and Ovechkins in the Eastern conference I am not sure we match up.

Jason -- we are going to have all summer to play this game.... but since I am depressed and bored, lets give it a whirl!

Brendan Shanahan - NOPE, C'YA!
Jaromir Jagr - 1 yr $6m or 2 yr $11m - he's our only shot at being respectable next season
Martin Straka - PEACE OUT HOLMES!
Sean Avery - 4 yrs - $12.75 million - anything more and Sather should be shot
Paul Mara - NO THANKS
Michal Rozsival - I DIDNT KNOW HE WAS STILL PLAYING FOR US? WTF has he been since Mid-season? INVISIBLE
Jason Strudwick - NOPE
Stephen Valiquette - Let's see what the kid from the Hossa trade can do.... SEE YA!

Nigel Dawes - Yes
Fredrik Sjostrom - Yes

Game on!

David - you are 100% correct - in between EVERY whistle - Cindy would skate over to the refs and butter them up - at one point - he actually held up the ref dropping the puck for a few seconds

Jason, save that game for when the season is over.


Guys, let as concentrate on the next game.
I am strongly believed Rangers should go to the defense mode.

Guys, let as concentrate on the next game.
I am strongly believed Rangers should go to the defense mode.

I agree with PJ ... it is only going to get worse for the Rangers ... Penguins have young studs that will only get better ... even Philly has a brighter future right now then the Rangers ...

Renney, though not the reason for them being behind, is not the solution either....

I've never seen anything useful from Ryan Hollweg. Never. The guy throws a few big hits and then takes a horrible penalty--every single game. It never ends with this guy. That was the series, right there, folks. Hollweg's most memorable contribution to the Rangers will be that moment! F**K him and his stupid mustache...

if Betts is unable to go tomorrow...

prucha - dubi - jagr
avery - gomez - callahan
dawes - drury - shanahan
sjostrom - straka - strudwick

staal - roszival
tyutin - girardi
mara - backman

IMO, Hollweg never plays for the NYR again. He threw the whole season down the drain with a selfish penalty at the absolute worst time of the season. He saw nothing but Sykora's back the whole way into that hit. He could have held up and he should have held up. The is NO excuse for his hit. We just tied it, we had them pinned in their zone, the crowd is going crazy, and he pulls that crap?!?!?!?!? It was bad enough in the infamous Montreal game. But...


comments... People guys like Malkin and Crosby do not grow on trees. they were pick # 1 and #2.. Good teams do not get those picks.. The pens are young but not on D; Letang is young but the rest of there d is 26 and older with GOnchar, gill, and others in there 30's.. Fleury was also the 1st pick.

the rangers are not that far off.. they need exactly what everyone says they need; a PP D man, no one on the big club has the skill to do this, a big tough D man stay at home style would help, and 2 big forwards that can score 25 goals, how they do that is another story. on the FA front; Shanny is toast(sorry), malik(adios), straka(adios, good player but not top 6 forward, no way, he did miss the net last night on the Jagr feed it was not tipped or deflected), I do keep Mara if it is 2 yrs at very reasonable $ else adios, Roszival is not a top top D man, I like him but if he wants $5 mill a yr. no way, Avery I take back at 2 yrs and very reasonable $ if he wants more adios.. The guy is 28 plays a style that destroys your body and is small therefore I am not paying him in his 30's big money..

Dawes and Sjustrom you take back...If they can keep Jagr they can be even better next yr. replace Straka with a better, younger, and bigger forward. Replace Shannny with the same, replace Roszival with either the big bruiser or the point guy and count on either; snaguinetti, potter, on the d or ansimov, cherapanov, byers, etc on the forward to improve the 4th line.

they need 3 players and that is a ton espeially 2 25+ goal scorers and a legit D man...The good news is they will have a ton of moolah to spend..

since they probably will not get the big forward scorer or sorers they need they need to make the 4th line a legit capable 4th line that means; giving Prucha a real oppty. to play, playing him with guys that can score 10 to 15 goals like SJustrom etc.. Betts is so bad with the puck if they can find a more skilled 4 th liner and eliminate the Orr holleweggtalent they will be better off. Play Orr against Philly etc and that is it. When you have a anemic offensive and your 4th line is a TOTAL zero that makes things even harder. if this team today had a better 4th line they could win, rolling 4 legit lines makes a ton of difference

Sean Avery cardiac arrest this morning and rush to hospital. Wasn't breathing...ESPN's "First Take" just reported...thats it for right now.

I am a pens fan, born and rasied pittsburgh, and i believe everyone has a right to there own opinion whether i, or anyone else for that matter, agrees with it or not. with that being said here's my opinion:

Michal Rozsival - is the rangers cancer on defense. get rid of him and your problems will disappear. you should be very blessed to have marc staal on your team. mark my words, he will be captin one day.

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