Never discount the importance of psychology


Compare the Rangers to an 11-year-old baseball player. He’s just spent the better part of two weeks flailing at everything thrown his way. But when his old man lobs a few in for him to finally connect bat with ball, he suddenly doesn’t feel so useless.

My point, loyal readers, is not to pile up tired old sports analogies on top of one another, but to say that last night’s laugher in Phoenix might have been just what the Rangers needed. Never mind that the Coyotes looked like they’d have a tough time beating Boston College these days. More important is that the Rangers finally got something — anything – that resembled positive reinforcement.


Is that all it takes? Are the Rangers now going to sweep through the rest of their West Coast trip? Will there be another Stanley Cup parade through the Canyon of Heroes this spring? And if so, what exactly does one wear to a parade?

Easy. I think we all know this team is still on shaky footing. But at least last night provided a reminder of what it’s capable of.

They’ve already connected bat with ball. Now it’s a question of how they fare against someone throwing a little more heat.

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  1. They’ve already connected bat with ball. Now it’s a question of how they fare against someone throwing a little more heat.

    Awesome analogy, and totally agree.

  2. Thanks, Inferno.
    Guys, please note the links listed to the right on this site. It not only includes all The Journal News blogs — almost all of which are very well done — but some Rangers-related ones as well. The latest addition is our friend Inferno’s impressive Rangers Review.

  3. Hi Sam,

    I was a little worried when the Rangers gave up that first goal last night, but alas it was worth staying up late last night to see the Rangers beat TGO’s ‘Yotes. How about that pass from Nylander to Straka alone in front for that early goal – amazing! Hopefully, this line is starting to heat up. I think Lundqvist is slowly, but surely, getting his game back.

    Hey Sam, have you heard any trade rumors about the Rangers and their glut of defensemen? I have heard some things on other sites saying that sometime during this roadtrip, regardless of the outcome, the Rangers will make at least one move concerning their defense. Being their beat writer, I wondered if you may have heard anything?

    Gretzky and Sather are great friends and now that their only meeting of the season is over (and the Yotes are struggling), I wonder if a deal could go down with them soon. I heard that the Yotes want to get rid of Nick Boyton (who had a good fight with Hollweg last night) and his contract. I would love to get Boynton on our blueline! Maybe Ozo and another defenseman or forward goes the other way. Any thoughts?

    Anyway, I wanted to thank you, Sam, for your great Rangers coverage on this blog and in the Journal News. I have been reading The Journal News’ coverage of the Rangers for almost 15 years now and I enjoy your coverage and insight the most. Also, I am addicted to this blog now and check it everday for your insights. Keep up the good work and LET’S GO RANGERS!

    Take care,


  4. Well I’m pretty sure any top college team would have smoked the Coyos last night. The Rangers were handed a huge gift on a golden platter and they took advantage.

    But do not be fooled, this team is just as likely to tank the rest of this trip once it hits some real competition. In a way the laughter is a bad sign, it sends a signal that things are better when in fact they are just the same.

    Moron Renney is still playing Betts as a 2nd line center, pathetic. And enough with friggin Hossa already, the guy is a minus-7 and has ZERO points… ZERO points and a MINUS-7…. and this guy is playing over Dawes??? This is a FARCE, I don’t care how much promise he shows, or that he might be a good grinding winger…. well you know what? Grinding wingers who score ZERO points while accumulating a MINUS-7 in 10 games DO NOT HAVE JOBS ON OTHER TEAMS…….

    And the defense still looked like crap last night. Did no one notice Sjostrom undress both Rozsival and Ozolinsh on two occasions, one for a highlight goal?

    If the Coyos even had just an off game they Rangers lose this one in a 8-7 blowout.

    If they can beat a good team playing well, like the ones they face on the rest of this trip then I’ll get excited.

  5. Screw psychology, how about hypnotizing players into playing more physical and with more confidence. Maybe if they hypnotize Blair Betts into thinking he is Adam Oates he will finally get an assist, then we can throw him a parade.

  6. Sam-
    You should put a link to your articles on the side bar also… Unless, its already there and I am blind.

  7. Sam,

    Great anaology. It seems so many fans want to tear down the Rangers win last night because it was against the lowly Coyotes. The Rangers, however, need to build confidence. That’s what last night’s game could provide. *crosses fingers*

  8. Sam,
    Its a pleasure to finally make my first blog post, having been a steady reader of yours. I’m still concerned by this defense, change that, very concerned. The Rangers still allowed 3 goals on 26 shots…not that impressive recovery for a team trying to heal its defensive wounds. While there were only 5 giveaways this game(vs. the 27 against Florida), they still continued to look shakey (i.e. Rozsival & Malik), who both made very risky plays trying to clear the puck. In the new NHL where speed matters, having 2 defensemen who refuse to take the body and where any stick remotely touching a jersey is a penalty, their positional play is all that’s left. Having watched them these first 10 games, I’m not convinced they are the right defensemen at this time (nor is Rozsival the right man for the point on the PP, ever…but thats’s a whole other discussion).

  9. If they put Kaspar on waivers it’s a mistake. Sure, he’s not in peak form, but name another defenseman who has his grit? Ward and Tyutin try, but everyone else are like pillows. Goosedown.

  10. >>>It seems so many fans want to tear down the Rangers win last night because it was against the lowly Coyotes. The Rangers, however, need to build confidence. That’s what last night’s game could provide.

  11. hmmm … I was responding to your post Jen … what I mean to say was that you were right … had the Rangers lost to the Coyotes then you would think it was the worst thing to happen and ever and how DARE the Rangers lose to the Coyotes, but since they actually won some fans are hellbent on just harping over the negatives … it’s like damn if they do, and damn if they don’t .. some people love to be negative I guess

  12. Guys —

    Thanks for the comments, and welcome aboard to some of you.

    I touch a little on the defense in my latest post, but let me get to the question about Kaparaitis for now.

    No doubt, Kaspar’s grit is needed on this team, and he was a big part of why the Rangers were a success last season. The problem is grit doesn’t help much if a guy can’t move. When you look at what has made Kasparaitis so effective, it’s his ability to run around and wreak havoc with other teams. But what we’ve seen a couple times already this year is a guy who can’t keep up with the guys he’s trying to hit, and then ends up taking a penalty for using his stick.

    Is it just a matter of him getting into better shape? I honestly don’t know. If it is, then the Rangers need to give him more time. Otherwise, as difficult as it might be to swallow, they might need to think about other options.

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