Storm clouds gathering….

37

I suppose there’s a metaphorical significance to that headline, but I was being literal. And that’s not good seeing how I left my rake outside…

Anyway, the Rangers are busy reintroducing themselves to their families today as they come off a seven-of-eight game stretch on the road. It ended on a sour note last night in D.C., but if you “read this space yesterday”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2006/11/11/what-to-watch-for-capital-edition/, you had a sense it was coming.

Now if only I can turn that sort of power of prognostication toward the stock market.

Meanwhile, it sounds like changes are in the works, from Nigel Dawes possibly being sent down to Hartford, to Darius Kasparaitis probably being called back up. Maybe the two can meet halfway at the Norwalk Aquarium and take in the dinosaur exhibit.

I’ll let you all know when and if I have something to report. Otherwise, we’ll talk tomorrow…

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37 Comments

  1. Doodie Machetto on

    I didn’t get to catch the game last night but I’ve read a few recaps (no pun intended). Seems like they were undisciplined and flat. And one report, I think it was espn.com’s, said Orr was “pummelled” by Brashear. Ouch.

    Dawes going back to Hartford sucks, because I think he earned some time on the big boy club. But, seeing as he never got it, heading down to the Pack is good for him. If I were him though, or anybody on the farm who was hoping to break through, I’d start looking into getting traded.

    I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about Rachunek taking penalties. I’m willing to forgive him on this. The refs have been enforcing the hooking rules 0X more strictly this season, to the point where if the stick even looks like it makes contact with the midsection for even half of a second, thats a penalty. Combine that with this being Rachunek’s first season under the new rules and he’s bound to pick up a lot of penalties. Lots of players had a hard time making adjustments last year, and he would have been one of them; it’s just a lot more obvious now because he is the only player left making them. Give him a chance, he can be a solid 2nd string guy.

  2. SAM: When is the press going to start asking Renney some hard questions? Here are some suggestions:

    1. Why is Hossa, who hasn’t had an assist since last Feb. 10th and is -25 during that period, still with this team, let alone on ice EVERY night.

    2. Why are Malikenstein and Ozo still dressing instead of Pock?

    3. Why aren’t you rolling 4 lines consistently on the second night of back-to-backers instead of continually exhausting your stars and exposing them to injury. Especially since 4 lines brought so much energy in Atlanta.

    4. Don’t you think you are diminishing Dawes and Pock’s confidence, let alone stoking resentment in those young players toward the Rangers? Or don’t you care?

    If the press thinks that these questions are not on the minds of frustrated true, veteran Ranger fans all over the net, then they’re wrong.

    Sure, Larry Brooks wrote a column last week questioning Renney’s overloading vets icetime in NOVEMBER. But what about confronting Renney on these points face-to-face?

  3. Just one day without Hossa’s name being mentioned…just one day…

    Chardkerm: I think the most viable and valuable question you brought up is number three. It’s something that I’ve never really understood about teams: you look at almost every game and the team with the most evenly distributed ice time is the winner almost nine out of ten times. And vice versa, the team with the most inbalanced icetime distribution the loser.

    As for the Pock-Dawes question, unless they’re selfish me players, I doubt you’ll see these guys ever be critical of their lack of icetime. From what I’ve read about both guys, they’re pretty stand-up characters that are just happy to be with the big club. Sure they want to play, but crying about not getting a chance is a sure-fire way to end up on a bus back to Hartford.

    There must be some moves brewing. I said this nearly two months ago and now it seems as though the trade tension is even greater. The most likely targets: the blueline. It would be nice to move two plus either Betts or Ward (or Immmonen for that matter) to secure a bonafide second-line center. Not sure if it can be done at this point.

    Ryan Callahan lighting the lamp in Hartford. Sounds like Koropkoski has found his groove too. It would be nice to see these guys up in the show, but I can wait.

  4. Speaking of storm clouds as I was typing a bolt of lighting lit up the window, the lights flickered and the thunder was loud and basically at the same time of the lighting. I almost fell out of my chair. Anyway I’m not happy that dawes couldn’t had a chance to play more often but at least now he will be able to play everyday and hopefully down the road will get a better chance to play with the rangers.

  5. tdchi: the Ranger management/coaches have a long tradition of treating young players like crap. Jerked them around. Ruined their development in favor of veterans. There was always a double-standard. Vets were given icetime, youngster had to earn it. Vets’ mistakes were overlooked, kids mistakes punished by benching or 2 minutes icetime. If I were Dawes and Pock and witnessed day after day that Hossa and Malik and Ozo were given a free pass no matter how badly they played, I would be disillusioned. We’re never gonna have the type of hockey team we deserve until the people who are running this charade are run out of town.

  6. Dawes absolutely needs to go to Hartford. Let him go down, get a bolt of confidence and when one of the vets goes down with an injury or sheer exhaustion, DAWES will be up and potentially on the right line. He does not belong, due to his lack of physicality on the bottom two lines.

    If Orr knew how to tie up his opponents he might actually be a decent fighter. Otherwise, it’s like rooting for the 6th grade nerd against the bully, you just hope he goes crazy or gets in the first shot. Hard to watch.

    Besides the team being tired. One thing was incredibly clear on their southern swing. The Caps and Thrashers played the rangers the same. Hard hitting, agressive, punishing. If the Rangers don’t score first in a game like that, they’re going to have a very hard time winning those games. And it seems, most teams around the league are starting to play them that way… let’s see if the Devils try the same thing.

  7. “you look at almost every game and the team with the most evenly distributed ice time is the winner almost nine out of ten times. And vice versa, the team with the most inbalanced icetime distribution the loser.”

    possible explanation (not that I agree with it) is when team is behind the coach tends to mostly play his scoring lines. I think it is wrong strategy, you have to maintain 4 lines full of energy and you will get your chances to score or draw penalties.

  8. Chardkerm — Hossa hasn’t had an assist since Nov. 24, 2005, and that occurred in Atlanta where he makes an effort so as not to embarrass himself in front of his brother. He has now gone 59 games without an assist, counting playoffs, which has to be an all-time record for a forward. He’s gone 21 games without a goal and the last seven games without a shot. Obviously he is the poster boy of our rebuilding effort.

    Say what you want about Hossa, but when a guy can’t make or take a pass for nearly a year you are crippling the entire line he is on. Partial players don’t belong in the NHL.

  9. While I think you are at fault for the loss Sam, with the JINX! ;-) … I would like to know if Renney would answer chardkerm’s third question …. Because it seems to me that when the team consistently plays 4 lines we get a more energetic, fast paced, physical type game … and it WORKS! So if it works then why tinker with it? He goes back to the winning goalie on a back to back night of games and yet he doesn’t stick with the game plan that works????

  10. Unfortunatley you called the Letdown Sam.
    As badly as we were being outplayed
    We had a chance to win and of course the bad turnover
    and we didnt take advantage of still only being down one
    goal after it.

  11. What guys say in the press is often not how they truly feel deep down. of course young players with little leverage mouth the company line by saying I’ll go down and work hard, yada,yada,etc.

    But, yes Chardkerm, you bet these young Ranger players see the unfairness of the situation. And particularly they remember the hollow words of Renney, Sather, Maloney etc. when those guys promise that the Rangers will give a youth rebuild a chance, and then do just the opposite. And the young guys also see the situation around the NHL where most other teams have no problem playing young guys in all situations.

    Pock has the biggest gripe, in my opinion, because he sees Bozo blunders costing the Rangers a game, he sees a Ma-leaky defense, and yet he must sit and watch these guys because he is “too young” at 25, “too inexperienced” even though he played 6 games on D for the Rangers 3 years ago and 8 last year.

  12. I have to admit that last year after the one year layoff because of the strike I liked what renney was doing and I liked him as a coach and I liked that the rangers had brought up and played regularly there toung players like hollweg, moore, ortmeyer, lundvist, tyutin. This year I’m not understanding what the heck renney is doing that is if he is the one making these decisions like resigning holsa and wanting to trade moore for hall and niminen for ozolish and signing rachunek. At first I didn’t totally agree with the bloggers who obvious are blaming this on renney but now I’m starting to second guess.

  13. don’t forget, TomG, that Lundy and Prucha only got a chance because of injuries to Weekes and Rucinsky. Renney said over and over again at the beginning of last season that Weekes was his #1, and Prucha was sent to hartford. Only injuries and fan reaction made it impossible for Renney to give them the “Pock treatment”. Same goes for Hollweg. Moore is traded, and Jed is 28.

    That is not a youth rebuild. That is a “injuries and fans forced me to play kids against my wishes” situation.

  14. you look at almost every game and the team with the most evenly distributed ice time is the winner almost nine out of ten times. And vice versa, the team with the most inbalanced icetime distribution the loser.�
    possible explanation (not that I agree with it) is when team is behind the coach tends to mostly play his scoring lines. I think it is wrong strategy, you have to maintain 4 lines full of energy and you will get your chances to score or draw penalties.

    Vinnie Pooh

    that’s been the problem,WIN or LOSE, this whole season. Renney plays lines like he’s losing all the time. In my opinion, the team senses this also. The team concept is not applied on the NY Rangers under Renney. This creates multiple problems. One, as a player, if you are on the 3d and 4th lines you begin to press every shift you get.Secondly,your defensemen get overworked because they go out as a five man unit on the first line. Third, it’s REALLY bad for team morale. Fourth, as a player, you play on your heels most of the night because you never get into a rythym. If JJ,has a big night all is great. If Hank saves the day, it all looks good. But when those things don’t happen, the team looks very tired and slow and incohiesive.

  15. Well, I have said this a few times on this blog but that is why the devils are in the playoffs every year and have a chance to win a cup because they draft well and develop there young players. If you look at the devils team this year most of there players are home grown.

  16. the Devils also have more Americans than any other team, and they play a north-south grinding, physical defensive game on a consistent basis. ALL of their lines play the same way. And grinder Jamie Langenbrunner gets more ice time (19:30) than Czech star Elias (18:36).

    But on the Rangers, one line has its own set of rules, its own style of play, total favoritism from mgmt., and then there’s everybody else. that is why the Rangers are a puzzling, inconsistent mish-mash.

  17. # Name +/- TOI SHIFTS AVG

    30 G LUNDQVIST, HENRIK 57:31
    80 G WEEKES, KEVIN 0:00

    3 D ROZSIVAL, MICHAL -1 22:54 30 :45
    4 D WARD, AARON -1 19:15 25 :46
    5 C CULLEN, MATT -1 19:02 27 :42

    8 D MALIK, MAREK -1 16:32 28 :35
    14 L SHANAHAN, BRENDAN -1 18:47 26 :43

    16 R WARD, JASON -1 9:48 16 :36

    18 R HALL, ADAM -1 11:39 17 :41
    19 C BETTS, BLAIR -2 11:39 18 :38

    23 D RACHUNEK, KAREL -1 18:14 24 :45

    4 D OZOLINSH, SANDIS -1 19:08 24 :47
    25 C PRUCHA, PETR -1 15:28 21 :44
    28 R ORR, COLTON E 2:18 6 :23
    44 C HOLLWEG, RYAN -2 5:27 10 :32
    51 D TYUTIN, FEDOR -1 19:50 26 :45
    68 R JAGR, JAROMIR E 23:03 23 1:00
    81 L HOSSA, MARCEL E 10:30 16 :39
    82 C STRAKA, MARTIN E 21:52 28 :46

    92 C NYLANDER, MICHAEL E 22:53 27 :50

    Point made.

    This is the shift chart from Saturdays game. How can Renney do this on the second game in two nights? How does this help a team play strong into the third period?

  18. Vinny: That’s definitly true. But having been on the otherside(albeit in beer-league hockey), it is extremely tough to demonstrate restraint in sending out the A-line in a game where you’re down a few goals and looking to generate offense.

    This said, I won’t give Renney a pass on this one because the results are evident. Now, part of the problem with this team is that they don’t have a fourth line that can roll with the other three. A line of Orr-Hollweg-Hossa -or Dawes for that matter -isn’t going to do much, especially seeing as though Orr is a liability on the ice, having marginal NHL skating ability.

    Something I’ve never understood is why third and fourth don’t get balanced, such as Hossa-Betts-Ward and Dawes-Hollweg-Hall. Those two lines would be sound enough to skate at least 12 minutes a piece, IMO. That would allow Shanny and Jagr to save energy for the PP where it’s needed.

    chardkerm: As for “fairness” I still don’t see how a guy like Dawes could feel wronged or slighted in the least. He’s 21 years old and skating in the NHL. He knows he’ll get a shot eventually. All it takes is one injury. Now in Pock’s case, I can somewhat understand. He’s approaching 25, has proven himself in the AHL and put up points everytime he’s skated in the NHL. He’s also log-jammed behind seven other defensemen who don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

    As for the past, when the Ranger management stiffled youth behind vets, I must say, many of those youthful players that even myself touted throughout the late 90s and up until the lockout haven’t done squat at the NHL level. Just to roll off some names that I can personally remember touting: Malhotra has become a serviceable third-line pivot, but nothing like the Messier-type leader that he was billed as on draft day. Same with Lundmark, who hasn’t become the second-comming of Steve Yzerman that he was dubbed. Then consider this list: Christian Dube, Daniel Goneau, Vladimir Vorobiev, Rico Fata, Chad Wiseman, Alexandre Giroux, Jason Doig, Mike Mottau, Layne Ulmer, Peter Smrek, Stan Neckar, Jozef Balej, Tomas Kloucek and Lawrence Nycholot. All of these guys are either marginal NHLers today, skating with an AHL afliate or have given up and headed to Europe. So it’s not exactly like there was a lot down there to stifle in the first place. And I find it hard to believe that the failure of these guys is solely resultant of the Ranger management’s not giving them a chance.

    Frankly, what I’d love to see is a whole line from Hartford promoted, after having developed the chemistry to dominate in the AHL.

  19. Name +/- TOI SHIFTS AVG
    30GLUNDQVIST, HENRIK 57:31
    80GWEEKES, KEVIN 0:00
    3DROZSIVAL, MICHAL -1 22:54 30 :45
    4DWARD, AARON – 1 19:15 25 :46
    5CCULLEN, MATT -1 19:02 27 :42
    8DMALIK, MAREK -1 16:32 28 :35
    14LSHANAHAN, BRENDAN -1 18:47 26 :43
    16RWARD, JASON -1 9:48 16 :36
    18RHALL, ADAM -1 11:39 17 :41
    19CBETTS, BLAIR -2 11:39 18 :38
    23DRACHUNEK, KAREL -1 18:14 24 :45
    4DOZOLINSH, SANDIS -1 19:08 24 :47
    25CPRUCHA, PETR -1 15:28 21 :44
    28RORR, COLTON E 2:18 6 :23
    44CHOLLWEG, RYAN -2 5:27 10 :32
    51DTYUTIN, FEDOR -1 19:50 26 :45
    68RJAGR, JAROMIR E 23:03 23 1:00
    81LHOSSA, MARCEL E 10:30 16 :39
    82CSTRAKA, MARTIN E 21:52 28 :46
    92CNYLANDER, MICHAEL E 22:53 27 :50

    lets try it again!!!

  20. there you go again. at least 4 of those guys you mentioned, Fata, Neckar, Doig, and Balej were not even drafted by the Rangers. another team had already given up on them.

    And we are now talking about the SATHER regime, not the Smith regime. Smith drafted poorly because he was too busy running around signing washed-up big name vets to outlandish contracts. They paid no attention to the draft because they could just open up the wallet and sign another over-the-hill bigshot.

    but there is now a cap, and there was the PROMISE from the Sather regime that they were beginning a youth rebuild in Feb.’04 when they traded Leetch and Kovalev etc. And incidentally, those were the 2 kids in ’94, Leetch and Kovalev, and Richter, all Ranger draftees who led them to the Stanley Cup. Leetch and kovalev didn’t spend years in the minors waiting “to dominate the AHL” . Leetch never spent a day in the minors, and Kovalev spent all of 13 games in the minors.

    So your analysis is just plain off the mark on all counts.

  21. I was at the game in DC last night (drove friggin 300 miles for THAT. ew.), and they didn’t announce Dawes as a scratch. And he wasn’t on the bench. So I called my friend who was at the game in Hartford. He asked around the rumor mill up there and it was said that Dawes was “on his way” to Hartford. He didn’t play today.

    Then I read elsewhere that Kaspar left Hartford immediately after the game with all his gear to head back to NY.

  22. I hope your info on Kasper is right, we need him up here! I am going to the Devs game on Tues, it would be nice to welcome him back! Come home Kaspar!!!

  23. If by home, you mean Lithuania, then yes, go there Kaspar.

    Waive Kaspar (or Malik) and hope someone picks up half of their bloated salaries.

  24. 4Rangers: read closer. I never said any of those guys were drafted by the Rangers. Rather, they were the “kids” everyone was bitching about not getting any icetime during the most dubious years of vets being overplayed.

    Dispute what I’m saying if you will. But the Rangers have no one in their system who’s dominating the AHL. Dawes and Immonen are about as close as they come, and you couldn’t consider their one season in Hartford as dominant. Kovalev quickly showed he was above the AHL level. Leetch was a top-10 pick who was dominant in international competition and was a proven comodity before he came to New York. As for Richter, he spend nearly 100 games blocking shots in the IHL before a short stop in Binghamton.

    Nevertheless, there are NO players in the Ranger organization who have even been billed as out-of-the-draft players for the organization. The ones closest to being ready are with the club now, save for Immonen. The others need time to mature.

    As for the “Sather Regime” as you put it, I refuse to buy the BS that so many are throwing out there about the team not rebuilding when the average age of the Pack has dropped into the low 20s and the average age of the Rangers themselves is 28 years old(figure that stat out for the pre-rebuild and get back to me). There’s marked differnce in the handling of this organization ever since the vets purge of ’04. If you can’t realize this, then you’re either not looking hard enough or you’re impatient.

    As I’ve mentioned here before, people would be screaming bloody hell if the Rangers skated in the Garden what is currently getting blown away in Hartford because by all accounts, they are a young, inexperienced team that needs time to develop.

    But I suppose it’s a lot easier to just say “Renney blows because he won’t skate the kids” and “Renney’s a moron because he skates Hossa and won’t give (insert name of prospect) a chance” or “nothing has changed with this organization,” which, might I retort, is an analysis that is about as far off the mark as they get.

  25. idov, chardkerm, why with the Hossa bashing…AGAIN take the heads out of the butts….yes…make it go POP. Hossa isnt out there to score, and dont blame all the fact that he dosnt have assists on HIM, come on now, its not liek his linemates are offensive machines waiting for a the right wingger so they can start scoreing..thats laughible. The REASON hossa is still on the team is because he paly a 4th line role, a few min a night, and the PK. He helps get the puck deep, and he blocks shots, deflecs passes, and keeps the other teams PP from scoring most of the time he is out there. THAT is why he is on the team…how much you score dosnt matter when you are asked to play that role. I bet however, you are the same ones who will say ” But DAwes dosnt score because of hios linemates, and the amount of icetime in offensive positions he was getting with the rangers” right…am I right?? But Hossa, he should overcome that, and get lots O points. You all are pathetic, you want Hossa out of the Lineup for WHO? I duno, shouldnt be Dawe, wrong line to play him on, and you want POCK in for one of the beter defenders over the last few games in OZO YES OZO has been really god, except for that STUPID pass, and Pock had a coule of those this season, so its not like he is the second comeing

  26. falling behind by 1 goal should not lead to skipping the 4th line at least until the 3rd period. When the team is down big late in the game I can’t stand seeing players like Jagr or Shanny out there (think Jagr in game 1 vs the Devils) nothing good can come out of it (also is when retaliation type plays happen).

    when the team plays 2 days in a row, (or 3 out of 4), or someone is pretty banged up – I think the guys sitting should get a chance. I remember in 94′ playoffs both Lowe and Zubov sat out at least 1 game each which helps especially with older players like many on the current team.

    If Malik is bothered by root canal issues put him on the DL, get it fixed – then Hartford for conditioning purposes. Then Kaspar or Pock can get a chance.

  27. I strongly belive that Renney should send Ozo to HFD on a conditioning stint right away and play Kaspar/Pöck in his place for 14 days.

    Ozo could get 1st PP time in HFD, work on his conditioning, get more involved offensivly ect. He would also be used as a nr 1 D, without any real pressure on him, he would be on the PP, without pressure.

    Kaspar would get one last chance to prove himself. If nothing else improve his tradevalue. Market himself. A Kaspar almost litterary playing with a knife on his throat will contribute. Pöck could also get some ice time.

    I think its a win-win situation. Kaspar gets a last chance. I am starting to feel that Ozolinsh is looking a bit worn out after the long trip.

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    Kaspar (Malik also) has no trade value. He is an older slower defenseman with an inflated contract. No one will trade for him. He does have potential to be plucked off of waivers, which would be best both for him and the Rangers.

  29. hockeymanrangers on

    Malik must go, Malik must go. How many of you saw him take his sweet old time coming out of the penalty box on Saturday night. He just took his sweet old time getting back into play. Disgracefull. Also how many time did Jagr put the puck in front of the net and fellow Rangers were standing there with thier sticks up in the air???????? They really do need a shake up, Malik and Hossa need to go.

  30. Hossa is the least of their troubles. He can’t score, so what? Neither can Orr, but at least Hossa can kill penalties. I’m more upset with the use of Adam Hall than I am with Hossa being on the ice. And the defensive situation, especially Malik, is a much larger concern than Hossa. He’s not there for offense, despite what his name might suggest. Think of it as Wayne and Keith (or Brent) Gretzky on a much smaller scale.

  31. No, in fact, it looks like he’s coming to play for the big boys club, and either OZO or Rachunek will sit.

  32. Wildcard
    November 13th, 2006 at 1:06 am
    “idov, chardkerm, why with the Hossa bashing…AGAIN take the heads out of the butts….yes…make it go POP. Hossa isnt out there to score, and dont blame all the fact that he dosnt have assists on HIM, come on now, its not liek his linemates are offensive machines waiting for a the right wingger so they can start scoreing..thats laughible.
    You all are pathetic, you want Hossa out of the Lineup for WHO? I duno, shouldnt be Dawe, wrong line to play him on, and you want POCK in for one of the beter defenders over the last few games in OZO YES OZO has been really god, except for that STUPID pass…”

    Nothing like a guy who talks trash AND has a intelligent command of the English language. Congratulations, Wildcard.
    Where do I start? “While I had my head up my butt” I read where Hossa is a -25 since last Feb. But he’s not there to score, he’s there to keep the puck out of the net.

    Also up my butt, I found that Ozo has been on ice for something like 75% of Rangers goals-against since his return. While adding one assist to the offense. ONE ASSIST.

    Back to square one for you, Wildcard.

  33. •MLENN on

    agree with DOODIE.

    HOSSA is a fourth line player. HOSSA sitting for DAWES makes no sense. Dawes is an offensive players that needs to play with skilled players of the first or second line caliber. As it stands there is just no room for him.

    Power play:
    I would love to see shanahan and rosival at the point. Hall parked infront of the net with jagr and nylander on the wing. shanhan has the hardest shot on the time and can get a lot on his shot for a one timer.

  34. “”””As for the “Sather Regimeâ€? as you put it, I refuse to buy the BS that so many are throwing out there about the team not rebuilding when the average age of the Pack has dropped into the low 20s and the average age of the Rangers themselves is 28 years old(figure that stat out for the pre-rebuild and get back to me). There’s marked differnce in the handling of this organization ever since the vets purge of ‘04.”””””

    ——————————————————–

    What a complete load of deceptive b.s. Look at the avg. minutes played vs. the ages and you’ll see that the TRUE avg . age of the Ranger RENNEY REGULARS is about 33. And NOT ONE NEW young player has gotten a regular playing role this year.

    hey chi, chi

    a simple question. It has been 3 years since Sather promised a youth rebuild. Do you consider what he did last year, adding old dogs like Straka, Malik, Rucchin, Rucinsky, Strudwick, Sykora and Bozo a youth rebuild? And do you consider what he did this year, not adding one single youth player in a regular role, a youth rebuild?

    You are such a Sather sycophant that you probably do.

    and don’t give us that they are in the pipeline b.s., or they have to dominate the AHL first crap. Ranger fans were PROMISED a youth rebuild, not in Hartford, but in NY, and after 3 years it has become nothing but empty rhetoric.

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