Odd man out


As promised, I went into further detail on Thomas Pock “in my story today”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061108/SPORTS01/611080366/1046/SPORTS.

A few thoughts:

  • There have been a few questions about whether Pock would ever return to forward, which he played growing up and for most of his career at UMass. I asked Pock about it yesterday and he said, “I’m not going to argue if they want to put me there.” That might sound fairly open-ended, but the other part is that he’s pretty sure the Rangers see him as only a defenseman. Furthermore, given the Rangers depth at forward — both in New York and in Hartford — it’s not going to happen anytime soon.
  • Unlike with “the prospect Greg Moore, who hails from the University of Maine”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2006/09/25/welcome-back/, I harbor no personal resentment toward Pock despite playing four years at another Hockey East school (this, of course, goes back to my allegiance to my beloved alma mater, the University of New Hampshire). The difference? C’mon, it’s UMass. I almost forgot they had a hockey team.
  • No word yet on the starting goalie for tonight but I’ll be sure to pass it along when I have it. Here’s some insight, though: it’ll be either Lundqvist or Weekes — one of those two, for sure. Or maybe someone else. You never know. Seriously, I have to think Tom Renney was just being coy when he didn’t name a starter yesterday, and that he’s leaning toward Lundqvist. Of course, I said that last time, too, and “look where that got me”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2006/11/05/henrik-who/.

    OK, back later…

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    1. HockeybasedNYC on

      I think we are nearing a point here when Pock has to get in a game… ANY game in ANY way.

      The Rangers’ brass always preaches that the young guys have to see time to develop and get that important experience under them… but they continue to stall (pun intended) the growth of Pock and Dawes by continually sitting them and playing mindgames.

      I know its early in the year, d-men might be playing for their jobs… but the general answer from Renney as to why these guys sits its almost always “theres parts of his game he needs to improve on” or to that effect.

      How will they improve on the bench?! and how can you overlook the fact that the very players they are sitting for have glaring problems themselves?

      Well see if its the right choice down the road.

      Interesting to see how the Panthers come out tonight… they ar eplaying on 5 days rest. Watch for the Rangers to come out flying early, unless they have some other genious tactic.

      Im thinking Lundqvist.

    2. DoodieMachetto on

      I’m thinking Lundqvist too because Renney is too chicken to give Weekes 4 starts in a row, especially with a loss in the last game. I still think Weekes has been the better goalie so far (minus the 7 goal rust game in Buffalo). That said, I would start Lundqvist to see if Weekes’ good play has given him a spark. If not, I’d go right back to Weekes. Everyone forgets that Lundqvist is a young guy, so he still has a lot of time to develop, and if last year turns out to be a fluke, we still have an A-list quality goaltending prospect in Montoya.

    3. DoodieMachetto on

      With the Rangers getting as close as they are to the cap, the more and more it makes sense to waive Kasparaitis or Malik and recover half of their salaries. And we all know Malik isn’t going anywhere.

    4. You don’t evaluate players by what they do against minor league competition. You evaluate them by what they do at the NHL level. I have pointed out several times that the Sharks have not had great success at the AHL level, either teamwise or individually. Yet, a lot of those same kids have become excellent NHL players, and put the Sharks among the better teams in the league. Why? Because the Sharks BELIEVE IN THEIR KIDS! they play them, even at 19 years old. they give them 20 minutes a game, playing in all situations. And they do it at the NHL level. Here are the ages of the Sharks defense–19, 22, 22, 24, 27, 29. and the 2 reserve Dmen are 26, 26.

      By comparison, the Ranger defense is 34, 34, 33, 31, 28,27, 23, and in reserve, that youngster Pock, who is a month short of 25. That’s right, Pock is older than almost all the Shark Dmen, and 2 years older than Tyutin. But in NY, he is considered too young, too inexperienced to play regularly, while kids 6 years younger than him, with NO pro experience, are playing in all situations in SJ.

      training camp showed me plenty. AHL stats are useless. It comes down to what the individual kid does at the highest level competition, i.e., the NHL. Some of the Ranger kids showed they were capable of playing in the NHL, and some didn’t. But, we’ll never know, because they will be forced to toil in the minors, serving more of a punishment than an apprenticeship. When you outplay someone in training camp, but then HE gets the job for political reasons or seniority, well then you have the makings, for understandable reasons, of a discouraged, disappointed, disillusioned young player.

      It is sure suspicious that it can work in San Jose, it can work in Buff., etc., but it can’t work in NY, only because of the ATTITUDES of the guys who run the franchise.

    5. Thanks, but it is too bad that Dolan, Sather, Maloney, and Renney don’t feel the same way.

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