Meanwhile, on the farm…


Wolf Pack 4, Portland 3

If nothing else, the Rangers organization will get one win tonight, and given the dismal state of the team’s AHL affiliate these days, that’s saying something.

Meanwhile, there’s a report out of New York that says the Rangers are looking to pack out of Hartford and move their farm team to Brooklyn. I’m sure the dozens of fans here will be disappointed.

Actually, that’s a cheap shot, especially to the kind Wolf Pack people who escorted me around the Civic Center like a lost puppy. You know the guy who pulls over for directions and is so far off course you don’t even know where to start? That was me in Hartford today. If I don’t have a follow-up blog tomorrow, it’s because I could never find my way home…

Anyway, some quick impressions:

  • I spent the game sitting next to Rangers pro scout Frank Effinger and assistant GM Don Maloney, so it was enlightening to hear some of their thoughts. That said, if there was something really enlightening either wanted to discuss, they purposely leaned into one another so I couldn’t hear them. Man, the media gets a bad rap. It’s not like I have a forum to pass along any gossip…
  • Before the game I spent some time talking to Brandon Dubinsky and asked him whether he thinks some of the Wolf Pack deserve a better look from the Rangers. Dubinksy, with his team 1-6 at the time, provided a logical response. “It’s not like any of us are lighting it up here,” he said. True enough, it would be one thing if there were players at the AHL level nipping at veterans’ heels. But with the Wolf Pack struggling even more than the Rangers — and no one filling the net with any consistency — there isn’t anyone making too strong a case. Yet.
  • That said, a couple of impressive individual performances. I’ve always liked Dubinsky even if he was sluggish at times tonight, perhaps because of a lingering wrist injury; and Lauri Korpikoski looks like he may be a year away from being an effective checking forward at the NHL level. But believe it or not, the best player on the ice was Ryan Callahan, a rookie from Rochester who had a miserable training camp with the Rangers, but who had 52 goals last year in juniors. Callahan had two goals tonight, but me being the sharp-eyed scout that I am, I noticed him well before that. Both Maloney and Effinger were impressed as well.
  • Then there was Darius Kasparaitis. Despite his disappointment at being here, the defenseman had a spirited game, with a number of crunching hits, and even a breakaway. That’s right, the Rangers sent Kasparaitis down to Hartford so he could reinvent himself into a puck-moving point man in the Brian Leetch mold. I’m kidding, of course. And yes, Kasparaitis missed the breakaway. Seriously, it still looks like Kasparaitis needs to pick up a step, but at least here you got a sense of what his worth to the Rangers could be once he’s healthy.
  • Maloney lended little credence to the idea that the Rangers are shopping around Petr Prucha, and said his conversation with anyone from Chicago last night consisted of little more than hello.

    OK, the puck’s about to drop on the West Coast. More tomorrow…

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    1. “But believe it or not, the best player on the ice was Ryan Callahan”

      Kovy should love this!! LOL!!

    2. “Man, the media gets a bad rap. It’s not like I have a forum to pass along any gossip…”

      LOL, any word on putting Hyena to sleep?


    4. that stinks kaspar missed on the breakaway… sam were you able to talk to him after the game? does he have to live in hartford or can he stay in the city? that would stink if he had to move there for a little while.

    5. Interesting period, I thought the rangers looked a lot more energetic, and defensively responsible than in previous games. the defense was setup right on the goal against, except toots gave up too much seperation between himself and selanne, but you gotta respect selannes speed, so im not sure if stepping up a bit would have helped much, selanne woulda just blown by him then.

    6. Sam–I’m BEGGING you to ask Renney why he continues to trot Rozsival out on the first power play unit over Ozolinsh. As ive said ad nauseum, it didnt work last year, and it hasnt worked this year. Ozo looks plenty comfortable, and i dont buy that spiel about needed to ‘ease him in’–if there’s one place Ozo is and always WILL be comfortable, its the power play point. That’s his talent. We might want to use it some time!

    7. lol. when the opposing team gets behind the Rangers, it means that the coach must call a time out and chew out his players.

    8. doodiemachetto on

      Every time they take a shot at Weekes, I cringe. I would seriously feel more confident with a shooter-tutor. Imagine the cap room that would save!

    9. doodiemachetto on

      And kudos to Marek Malik for turnovers on consecutive shifts leading to unassisted goals. Ten bucks says he’ll finish the season with more assists on goals by the other team than he does for the Rangers.

    10. You gotta be kidden me, did anybody tell Marek Malik that he plays for the rangers and not the ducks. It took this big dope about two minutes to setup two different ducks for goals, this guy has to go and I don’t care how they do it, please just do it. Wayne Gretzky couldn’t have made better passes to set up a goal.

    11. doodiemachetto on

      Hey Rangers! see how O’Brien started a fight after someone hit the superstar?? See how Hollweg got his ass-kicked?? maybe we can find a guy who will fight for our star players, and more importantly, not take a beating (like Orr or Hollweg do every time they fight).

    12. doodle are you nuts? Hollweg got his ass kicked? Hollweg was the only one who landed a punch. That fight accomplished nothing except hurt the Ducks.

    13. doodiemachetto on

      OK, the only punch I saw landed was the one that dropped Hollweg on his ass, just like the ones he was taking the other night and should’ve gone down because he was just embarassing himself.

    14. Hollweg did his job exactly. He got a PP for his team. and he landed a good left at the beginning.

      He has to be careful about being hit because he had a blood clot on his brain a few years back.

    15. I saw Hollweg land a big puch to the other guy’s side of the face, then that guy looked woozy and then Hollweg tried to duck a punch and lost his footing and fell. If he didn’t, fall he would have destroyed that guy.

    16. doodiemachetto on

      Get real. Hollweg couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag. Funny that in his return to CA he got his ass kicked twice in front of his family.

    17. My 2nd period thoughts from my blog (

      DUMP THE PUCK!!!! Sheesh!! I can not for the life of me figure out why every team in the league just doesnt do what the Ducks did in that period. Just stack the blueline and dare the Rangers to dump the puck in. They wont, they will try fruitlessly for 90 seconds to penetrate the zone with fancy stick handeling and fancy passing, then finally someone will just throw the puck in, and the Rangers can then start their 30 second powerplay. Seriously, the Rangers have had 12 minutes of powerplay time through 2 periods, though one of them was abbreviated. And about 9 minutes of that have been spent in the neutral zone trying fruitlessly to dazzle the Ducks into a stupor hoping their dropped jaws caused by witnessing such a majestic display of puck handeling and passing will allow the Rangers penetration into their zone.. It is beyond frustrating because the refs are practically begging us to win this game. The reffing is most definately one sided in this game, and for once, it is in our favor!!! You dont piss away games like these. The Rangers need to salvage a point tonight, I know that sounds hypocritical from a guy predicting a 10-0 trouncing, but it is true. The Rangers are playing pretty well, they are getting decent goaltending, and the refs are on their side. You HAVE to win games like these.


    18. yep it was one of the most silliest and pathetic things I ever seen in hockey. Good coaches easily outcoach Hyena and make him look like a fool that he is.

      BTW that hit on Selanne was delicious, I want more of that. I can’t believe Selanne was not hurt.

      Hopefully we lose and Renney gets canned.

    19. doodiemachetto on

      I don’t think Renney is to blame here. I think Slats has him on a very short leash, not allowing him to do what he wants. I think Slats is making Renney play the lineup he built because he doesn’t want to look like an idiot for giving out such big contracts to guys like Malik. I think Kaspar being sent down to Hartford is a good sign for the direction Renney wants to go. I’ll render my decision when I see what happens with Malik. If he isn’t benched or at least dropped to third string, then I’ll join the fire Renney squad.

      PS, good to see Prucha scoring.

    20. doodiemachetto on

      For all of those who hate the Euro-Jagr style of play- here’s a direct quote from Joe Michelletti “I just don’t think you can play a left-right game against the ducks”

    21. doodiemachetto on

      Dolan let’s the GMs run the show and leaves the coaches to deal with their shittiness. Just look at the Knicks. Slats is in complete control.

      PS, can we trade Weekes for that fan who caught the puck?

    22. “PS, can we trade Weekes for that fan who caught the puck?”

      lol, might as well bring a sumo wrestler like Wang always wanted.

    23. doodiemachetto on

      How sad is it that Wang’s Isles are ahead of us in the standings? I’m glad to see Dunham doing well there, I always thought he was a good goalie who got a raw deal here because of how bad the team was in front of him. I’d LOVE for him to be our backup instead of Weekes.

    24. doodiemachetto on

      I just saw a closeup of Shanny, his lips are all white like a crack addict. He looks like Tyrone Biggum

    25. doodiemachetto on

      Good win. Just before the powerplay I thought of the game against Philly last January where Jagr ended it with a PP goal in OT. That was like a replay.

      Well, we’re on schedule to lose tomorrow.

    26. Rachunek is a solid defenseman, was +1. I think he is better than Ozo, Malik and Rozsival.

      Great to see Dawes get less that 4 minutes, Hyena you rock.

      Prucha is still getting too little icetime.

    27. It’d be nice if some of you malcontents could find *something* good to say about a team that just beat the second best team in the league.

    28. “I just saw a closeup of Shanny, his lips are all white like a crack addict. He looks like Tyrone Biggum”

      You should see Jagr’s chin, Jay Leno would be jelous.

    29. Why can’t Dawes be used on special teams? The guy is playing great, too bad we got Hyena.

    30. they played well. It helped to have guys playing where they belong, such as Betts on the 3rd, Hollweg on the wing.

    31. I predicted that Dawes would get 4 minutes, he played 3 mins. 45 secs. Shanny 25 mins. again, he will be worn out by Christmas.

    32. Rachunek stinks…… Ozolish played good again…

      They should play Pock manana instead of Rachunek and keep the the rest of the lineup the same except switch goalies…

    33. a demotion of a veteran defenseman has the effect of waking up a lot of guys. They think they could be next. I think that had a big effect on this performance. They tend to focus a lot better when they see their job is on the line for real, not just with phony, hollow threats.

    34. First star of the game should be the Refs, they practically gave us the game. Its good to FINALLY say they refs gave us a win rather than the refs stole a win from us.

    35. I thought Ozo played a solid game. And I think Weekes played really well for a guy who gets such rare game time and knows if he blinks wrong everyone will be all over him and calling for his head. Sure as heck wasn’t worse than the golatending “The King” has managed so far(sadly).

      Malik must go. Anywhere.

      Who cares if Hollweg gets his ass kicked every time — at least he’s in there scrapping.

      Hopefully that last goal shows there’s some truth in Jagr being more hesitant than truly broken…

      Sort of funny that Malik and Prucha — two guys rumoured to be on the block, both dropped to the ice with possible injuries. That’s one way to scare off interest from teams you don’t want to join.

    36. Prucha should not be moved, period, I dont care what anyone says, this team can not afford to lose a kid like Prucha, not just because of his value, but for what it does to the morale for every kid in our minors. You can put up 30 goals, play your butt off every single shift, and still be traded. I wouldnt do it.

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