Two minutes for breathing

8

Good news, bad news for the Rangers:

The bad news is the snow storm in Buffalo has forced the Rangers to wait until tomorrow to head upstate, thus forcing them to play a game on a travel day.

The good news? One less night in Buffalo.

Anyway, as expected, much of the conversation at practice today focused on the tight officiating that dominated last night’s loss to the Penguins. The number being tossed around is that each team in the NHL averaged 14 minutes in penalties in Thursday night’s games, an alarmingly high number that seems to be directly impacting the outcomes of games.

It’s a tricky dilemma for the Rangers, and yet one that they have no choice but to deal with: As a team that seemed to lack any spark on Tuesday, it was a high energy level last night that seemed to lead directly to being called for more penalties.

Is there a medium in there somewhere? Probably. Let’s bear in mind that a lot of teams, including the Rangers, struggled with this very issue at the start of last season. But once they adjusted, they managed to use the new rules to their advantage.

Me? I like the new NHL. I like the emphasis on skill. I like that there is more speed and offense, and I like the fact that the indifferent fan might be reeled in by a sport that is fast and exciting and a long way from its thuggish reputation.

That said, hockey is best when it’s played physically, and that means throwing the body around with great effect. I’m all for giving skill players more space. But that can’t mean players being whistled every seven seconds.

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No word yet on whether the Rangers are going to start Weekes or Lundqvist in goal against the Sabres. Renney said he’s leaning one way but didn’t want to say who. My guess is he’s going to play Weekes, but wants to spare his No. 1 tender a day’s worth of headlines about how subpar play has earned Lundqvist a seat on the bench.

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8 Comments

  1. Sam,

    Your european correspondent is going to retire….

    Maybe it is the wrong place to write about it and no offense to you ( you are doing a pretty good job covering the Rangers with your blog) but sometimes frustration boils over as it happened last night. I have waited until to 1 am in the morning until the match would start and than links didn´t work, I wasn´t able to listen to the game, especially tough when you have to work the next day at 7.30 am…So you never know how to handle this if sleeping before or afterwards or you want to sleep before like last night and then you can´t…!!!!!

    And when you don´t have the chance to SEE the Rangers, you always depending on others to build your opinion, and you are not able to discuss player matters, like you guys over there, you are going to lose the interest. It´s just tough when you used to be an insider with Tennis and Soccer over here and you don´t have any access to live games. And even the service on http://www.nhl.com becoming more and more worse, the highlights don´t work or are skippy or even the radio coverage doesn´t work regularly like last night. I have emailed the Comissioner and his deputy or Phil Coffey from http://www.nhl..com about my question concerning live internet coverages for live games of the NHL but didn´t get any response. It´s seems to be that they are not interested to explore other markets….Last season we had one pay tv channel which covered two live games a week but this season they haven´t the rights any more so I won´t be able to watch any game of the NHL and you don´t have a feeling what is going on over there.

    Nothing is better than a visit at the Garden or regular live games on MSG as you correctly pointed out and even the best blog of the world can replace this….

    I followed the NHL for the last fifteen years made two big tours through the west and the east in 2000 and 2003 but right now slowly but surely I am quitting on it. I never favored to have this cap system ( despite Rangers were forced to get rid off all their overpriced veterans from 1997- 2004 !) because I don ´t like a league with 30 teams when big name players spread out all over the country just for the benefit to have 30 healthy teams. It is so difficult not to lose your overwiew with all those signings throughout the summer.If you would have a league with 24 teams in stable markets, that would be okay for me, but what a heck a Sergej Fedorov is looking in Columbus or a Paul Kariya playing in Nashville. I am just shaking my head when I see that a Martin Havlat was traded from hockey market like Ottawa to go to such a team like Chicago. Why did a Jason Arnott move to Nashville, I mean this is just ridiculous, for just the sake of the cap…All this talent will spread around and the level of plays is going down…!!!!

    Par example when you think about the Colorado Avalanche,my second favourite team, had lost such a number of big time players over the years and they fell down from powerhouses to just an averaged team….I had such a great time during my trips in 2000 and 2003 but those teams basically don´t existing any more because they were forced to deal their stars in order to be under the cap…!!!

    So I wish you guys a nice 2006-2007 season and a very successful campaign for the NEW York Rangers.

    Matthias of Eidengesäß/Germany

  2. Anthony (Abev) on

    Matthias I dont think you should “retire” completely. Perhaps maybe just take a break. Let the NHL sort out their international coverage, and maybe access will become simpler.

  3. Anthony (the other one) on

    Matthias – Don’t go! We’re going to miss your international insights. Perhaps we can help you figure out another way to see the games in Germany? Anybody have a Slingbox account that our man could log into to watch the games?

  4. Today I received an answer from Phil Coffey from http://www.nhl.com, editor of iceage@nhl.com….

    “I did some checking and have found out international streaming is a service the NHL is on the drawing board and could happen sometime this season. But no firm dates are available at this moment. I will keep you informed when I hear more.”

    Well there is obviously some light at the end of the tunnel….

  5. Anthony (Abev) on

    Thats weird Anthony(the other one). I was thinking about the Slingbox idea too.

    Perhaps Matthias, you could find others in Europe with the same interest and may possibly be able to lobby the NHL.

    I record every Rangers in 60; Any fast way to send Matthias 3.5 gigs?

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