Let’s get ready to rumble?


I realize it sounds pretty silly to be using the word “urgency” when talking about the third game of an 82-game season. It’s October. It’s 75 degrees and sunny outside. Should the Rangers somehow lay an egg this evening, most Rangers fans are still going to get out of bed in the morning.

But suppose you are the Flyers, winless so far in 2006-07, and at least contemplating the possibility of dropping two straight to your dreaded rivals to the north. Now maybe there is urgency. And now maybe you’re already thinking about ways to shake things up.

That at least is what Tom Renney is thinking heading into tonight’s rematch at the Garden. Sensing that the Flyers might skate their resident enforcer Riley Cote as a way to throw the home team out of sync, the Rangers coach is preparing to counter with Colton Orr on the fourth line. The emphasis here is on the word “preparing”. Renney said Orr will skate in warm-ups, and should Flyers’ coach Ken Hitchcock pencil in Cote into his lineup, then Renney would likely replace Jason Ward with Orr. If Cote is not a go, then Orr will likely sit again.

I suppose you can ask what is gained by skating a player like Orr in today’s up-tempo NHL, but the other question to ask is what do you risk losing if you don’t? You obviously don’t want a player like Cote taking a run at the likes of Jagr and Nylander, nor do you want to have someone like Ryan Hollweg forced to fight when he’s actually a valuable commodity on the ice.

Maybe it does sound fairly backward. The reality right now, though, is there’s no way around it.

In other news:

— Aaron Ward’s groin has recovered enough for the defenseman to play tonight, meaning Darius Kasparaitis will again be a scratch. Renney said Kasparaitis was going to play if Ward if didn’t, but now there isn’t the same urgency (there’s that word again). When I was leaving the rink, Kaspar was being put through a series of on-ice tests by Rangers assistant Mike Pelino. No word yet on how he did, but that might be enough to clear him on Thursday.

— At least based on how the team was practicing this morning, it looks like Marcel Hossa and Nigel Dawes have swapped places, meaning Hossa will skate on the third line with Blair Betts and Adam Hall, while Dawes will play with Hollweg and either Orr or Ward. It just shows that you get rewarded when you score a game-winning goal.

OK, I’m off to mow my lawn. I’ll have more from the Garden…

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  1. Sam, do you have some news for us if the team put some focus on the powerplay for tonight ? Did you see some new combos ???? They play the pp with five forwards, Jagr, Shanahan, Nylander, Straka and Prucha or did they have some one different manning the points ???

  2. One thing I’m a little worried about is when Kaspar gets healthy and Ward is now healthy, who is the odd man out on our defense when they’re both back in the lineup?

    I’d like to see Kaspar out there tonight to agitate Forsberg. Maybe Kaspar would be the one to even up the score for him running Henrik all game.

  3. Hi Sam,

    I am huge fan of the New York Rangers..

    I am sorry that this question ist ouf context but I have heard that you are regularly at the Garden for home games of the New York Rangers !

    Once I heard that it is possible to make a ride with a zamboni during home games at Madison Square Garden. I heard about stories of fans that they did it in the past. I have checked the Rangers website but wasn´t unable to find out something about it. Are you realizing during intermissions of games that they doing this or is it only during special events at the Garden ????



  4. A couple of quick responses:

    European correspondent: no, I don’t think we’ll see new combinations as much as we’ll see more units. Renney talked about going to a second unit and maybe even a third unit as a way to create some urgency with each group. I think one of the problems with the first line is that it’s always looking for the perfect play as opposed to just firing the puck on net. Maybe knowing they only get 30 seconds or so will kick them in the pants.

    Diane, my guess on the odd man out would be Pock since Kasparaitis had been paired with Rachunek through the early going.

    And Koala, I think Dave is correct about it being only for young kids, but I’ll look into it further.

  5. Thank you guys, I am not asking for myself of course, but so that would be fine with me:)

    Go Rangers !!!!

  6. Diane – I don´t think that Peter Forsberg will be going after Henrik Lundqvist all night, despite I have heard he made some attempts on Saturday..He will be too busy to create some trouble with his linemates Simone Gagne and Mike Knuble. I know that will bring me some critics but I like Forsberg as maybe one of the best players in the NHL almost creating such a perfect powerplay with his unparalled abilities to find a shooter open almost every time. I once was at the Pepsi Center a couple of years ago I saw him on a line with Super Joe Sakic and Milan Hejduk and as a hockey gourmet that was quite an experience :)

    Sam- As much as guys like Marty Straka, Michael Nylander and Jaromir Jagr tend to overpass the puck, Shanny is known as a shooter and for his quick realease…
    Let´s hope they will find the net tonight more frequently…:)

    Oh man you guys are so fortunate to have it 2.35 pm instead of 8.35pm ! I still don´t know to have a wake up for 1 am or insteadt being on the computer or TV until to 1 am and to sleep afterwards.:) There is no way that I am going to miss the game tonight !!!!

  7. The game is on TV in Europe? NASN? They’re schedule doesn’t list this game. But then again you can also watch it over the internet…

  8. Tom


    WHERE ???????????????????????????

    I have the quickest connection into the net to make sure to have the best quality !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My friends:) from China covering Tennis, soccer, basketball, beachsoccer, fishing, volleyball well hopefully I haven´t forgotten something:)

    I usually go to http://www.nhl.com and click on listen live with the two guys from the Rangers and once in a while there is guy called Sam (very big smile) who provides me with some updates !!!!

  9. Hey Matthias, at least you get to see the games, I’m lucky if I can catch 7 or 8 Ranger games a year up in Canada.

  10. Pierre are you kidding me :)

    Last season we had a paytvchannel over here providing live games twice a week. So I had a chance to see the Rangers maybe three or four times in the regular season prefering to show games with german players, what a silly attitude-stupid and ridicoulous-that is ! For this season they haven´t the rights any more so I have cancelled my subscription after a big discussion from my side:):)but they just counting their tvrates, trying to focus on the internet, as I have told that I have downloaded a software from china which covers big sportevents from all around the word ( but no NHL but they have sometimes games from NBA or NFL but no NHL )

    But Pierre I can remember to be in Canada and they show so much NHL over there with TSN or others channels you should be more lucky than me :) I once can remember to see the Rangers live in Anaheim late at night via TSN in Montreal the night before I attended the game between the Canadiens and the Leafs at hockey night in Canada !

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