What to watch for: Phoenix edition

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Actually, it’s Glendale, but that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it?

Anyway, the Rangers are moments away from officially kicking off their West Coast trip against the Coyotes, and here’s a couple of things to look out for (if, in fact, you are still awake):

  • Marek Malik and Darius Kasparaitis. With their partner in mediocrity Karel Rachunek watching from the press box, the focus will shift to these two, both of whom could be deemed expendable by the Rangers upper management before long. One decent game might not be able to change that, but put it another way: a bad game just might seal it.
  • Jaromir Jagr: Fourteen points in nine games isn’t shabby, but with the Rangers’ star winger’s shoulder still recovering, only two of those points are goals. With Jagr’s shot not nearly at 100 percent, it puts pressure on his linemates (one of whom will again be Michael Nylander), both of whom are pass first players by nature.
  • Attitude: I know, that’s sort of vague. But with the Rangers looking petrified of making mistakes against the Florida Panthers, they ended up making even more in a dispiriting loss. There’s a thin line between playing carelessly and playing free. At 4-5, the Rangers can’t afford the former, but they need to rediscover something about the latter.

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    15 Comments

    1. Hey, Vinny, Is that the type of “WoW” pass from Nylander you’re looking for?

      Power Play showed something, even though they couldn’t finish.

      Pretty aggressive period. I don’t want to hear about Phoenix being a crappy team. They are in a similar situation as we are, and I think they woke during their win against Edmonton.

      Buffalo finally lost.

      Who was it who gave the buddy pass to Prucha? Ward or Hall or a D Man.

      First goal was actually Ozo’s fault, not Kaspar’s. Why was Ozo in the same corner? Yeah, Darius gave a blind pass, but any partner who he had played with was probably ready for that.

      Crispino is the worst commentator ever. “That COULD have been a goal!” No Sh*t, Sherlock!

      Lundquist is still dipping his left leg instead of doing a complete butterfly. He’s playing well, but that is still my concern about him technically.

      Let’s see what team shows up next period!

    2. Adam Hall is completely useless. Do the Rangers scout any players before they decide to acquire them?

    3. whether you want to hear about it or not, Phoenix is atrocious. they are slower than the Rangers. when a washed up Roenick is your first line center, you’ve got problems.

    4. Crispinoisms: “That could have been a third Ranger goal!”
      Also, I hope he tells me Scathard is a former Islander again, as He only said it three times so far. I might forget.

      Gee, Straka and Betts sure do suck.

    5. Sam–any reason Ozo isnt on the first PP unit? Makes no sense to me. Roszival was bad there last year and hasnt been any better this year. I dont buy the whole ‘lets get a few games under his feet first’…if ANYTHING, Ozo is much more comfortable on the power play than even strength, and thats the one thing he brings to any team–PP QB skill. Just baffling. Thankfully Jagr looks great and we’re rolling so it doesnt matter tonight, but those PP goals will be of utmost importance against Anaheim and San Jose.

    6. Chinstrap —

      If you’ve got Straka on the point on the power play, then there’s only one true defenseman, which might not be the ideal role for Ozo — at least not yet. Granted, Rozsival has been a little shaky there as well, but for now — even on the power play — the thinking might be that Ozolinsh needs to be backed up by another d-man.

    7. gretzky’s biggest problem is cronyism. His agent is the GM.

      that’s like putting Jagr’s agent in charge of a team.

    8. Boy, I sure hope the team keeps this up. Phoenix may look terrible, but so does Florida and that didnt stop the Rangers from losing.

      The only thing better than the Rangers winning 5-1 after two is them not blowing the lead or playing in a way that ruins their confidence heading into LA. And the only thing better than that is the Flyers getting absolutely thrashed at home by Pittsburgh.

      Didn’t that Scatchard guy play for the Islanders?

    9. The only thing worth adding… after watching the sabres/thrashers game, this game looks like an exhibition match. So much slower, so much more room out there. Are we sure they aren’t playing on an olympic size rink? The big bright side here is that Mike Barnett is not the Rangers GM. By far and away the very very worst GM in hockey. I’m surprised Wang didn’t hire him. Owen Nolan??? He couldn’t win a race against John McLean.

    10. Yes, a North-American player has never given the puck away. Never. Not even Dale Purinton or Tom Poti. Never.

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