Playing hurt


Actually, I’m not referring to anyone on the Rangers, but to myself. Let’s just say there was an incident in a late-night skate a few nights back and I’m still feeling the effects.

But you don’t hear me complaining, do you? Actually, you do hear me complaining. And if you were my wife over the last few days, then you DEFINITELY heard me complaining. Still, there’s a job to do, and if I wasn’t here….well, if I wasn’t here, you’d probably just click somewhere else and not think twice about it.

But I digress. Here’s the news: after flirting with putting Thomas Pock into the lineup last night in Pittsburgh, Tom Renney is finally pulling the trigger tonight against Tampa Bay. Pock will skate at forward in place of Colton Orr, while Darius Kasparaitis will be scratched for the fourth straight game since being recalled from Hartford.

A radical move? Not necessarily. Given the egg the Rangers laid last night in Pittsburgh, the team needed some sort of jump start. And since Pock spent most of his life at forward before switching to defense in college, Renney figured it wouldn’t hurt to give the 24-year-old Austrian the chance while keeping his defensive pairings intact.

“I’d like to see him use his speed. He’s a good skater and because he’s relatively familiar with the forward position, I think he understands what a forecheck looks like. I think he knows how to go to the net. He can shoot the puck. He can pass the puck,” Renney said. “I don’t dispute for a second that he can play defense, but right now we just happen to have six guys who are in a bit of synch. And if there are errors to be made by a young player, better it be on the front end where it is somewhat camouflaged and you can recover from it, as opposed to the back end.”

Wait a second. As a lifetime forward, let me just throw in that I take exception to the idea that any clown off the street can come in and play the position without any preparation….even if it happens to be true. And the other part to consider is that Pock did play forward as recently as last year at Hartford and in multiple stints with the Austrian national team.

“Look at what they want from me,” Pock said of his spot at center between Adam Hall and Ryan Hollweg. “I don’t think they see me scoring hat tricks. They want me to play defensively. So a defensive forward from a defenseman isn’t that big of a deal. And on the other end, let’s see what happens.”

Fair enough. In other news:

  • Henrik Lundqvist gets his second straight start a night after making 25 saves in the loss to the Pens.
  • After strongly hinting he was going to play Kasparaitis tonight, Renney backed off, again most likely because he’s fairly happy with what he’s seeing from his defensive pairings.

    “He just needs to hang in which is not an easy thing to do for a veteran player,” Renney said.

    OK, more later…

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    1. Good to know pock is FINALLY playing, though im not sure how beneficial it will be to the team absorbing colton orrs monster 2 minutes of game play time.


    2. since Renney has turned Pock into a utility scrub, I suggest a new role for Renney as well….Renney would do quite well as a manure salesman, which would be little change from what he does now.

    3. Ah, replacing Orr with Pock. There’s the spark the teams needs after laying that egg. When faced with that kind of egg the only solution is tinkering with 2 minutes worth of ice time.

    4. What’s everyone’s opinion on that goal? I’m glad it was called the way it was called, but I think the stick was probably high. Also, am I crazy, or is Hossa doing okay out there tonight?

    5. Hossa, for the most part, has been playing very solid lately … however, if what the fans that boo him expect of him is to be an offensive machine, or even a 15-20 goal a year guy then I can certainly see why people get down on him and boo …

      To me, when he is being lazy and playing uninterested and without emotion he deserves the criticism … but he is a checking forward, he is out there tonight, doing his job and for the most part playing in Tampa’s defensive end .. He is taking the body and his line is keeping Tampa’s big line out of sync … so he is doing what is asked to do …

    6. Doodie Machetto on

      I have never seen a coach ejected from a hockey game! Two first time things for me!

      PS, the assistant coach looks like he was about to soil himself in fear.

    7. Hahah… this is crazy, the coach is out!! But I agree that goal was kicked in. I do think the Rangers’ 2nd goal should have been disallowed, but this kicked-in goal was correctly taken away from Tampa Bay.

    8. Tortorella is mad at the wrong guys. The final decisions on both of those calls were made in Toronto.

    9. Nylanders goal shouldnt have been a goal, not because of the review, but because the ref clearly saw it being deflected w/ a high stick by shanahan. as soon as nylander touched it the play should have been blown dead.

      the tampa goal though was the right call, looked to me like a distinct kicking motion.

    10. Renney has to learn the hard way that matching lines is a must. Too many times before tonight the Rangers were scored on because he didn’t have his defensive line against the opponent’s scorers. Joe Mich. said in the most benign, couched-criticism way that he could, that Renney finally woke up to that fact.

    11. Doodie Machetto on

      How about giving Pock at least 1 minute of the final two, now that the shutout is gone and the win is in the bag?

    12. Doodie Machetto on

      Just put your stick on the puck and don’t get down on your luck, it’s the Rangers victory song…

    13. we should all pool our money together and buy the refs a giftbasket for this game. 2 goals, both huge, as a direct result of poor officiating.

    14. btw, rachunek and bozo had just a miserable game all night long. anyone else notice it? they were just awful with their giveaways and own zone play.

    15. Inferno,

      Im not exactly sure how the high-stick rule is written, but I know that for a goal to be disallowed, the stick needs to hit the puck above the crossbar and go directly in. So you’re right and the review staff was right that it was “unreviewable,” because Nylander deflected it last.

      The question of whether it should be whistled dead because of the high-stick right when Nylander touched it is a different story. I think that the puck needs to be touched above the player’s shoulder. Although it looked like that may have been the case from some of the overhead views. The camera view closer to ice level showed that Shanny touched it well below his own shoulder level. TRUST ME, the refs would have called it if it was a high-stick, that’s one of the easiest calls a ref can make.

      Bottom line is, both high-stick rules are gauged differently, one at crossbar, one at player’s shoulder level. At least this is my interpretation of the rule. Please correct me anybody if I’m wrong.

    16. I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve been saying this for a while. This isn’t anything new with those two guys.

    17. “Someone just laid out Jagr? any retribution? Nope.”

      For what? Playing clean hockey. It was a perfectly clean hit. There’s no reason to go after a guy for hitting Jagr. If it was a dirty hit, then thats a different story. Jagr is a big boy; I’m sure he’s not crying in the locker room about it so why are you?

    18. I’ve noticed it, and posted about it, but since Renney refuses to see it, it will just continue on and on.

    19. Drew, the play cant be reviewed because of the fact that Nylander put it in with a legal redirection. But my complaint, or argument, or whatever you want to call it is that the play was CLEARLY hit with a high stick by Shanahan. The refs must have saw it right?

      I know I sure saw it.

      SO if it was hit with a high stick there were only 2 possible outcomes (based on the positioning of the players) that could have happened. Either Nylander touched it and it went in, in which case it should have immediately been waived off for being touched with a high stick. Or it would have went in clean off of Shanahans redirection in which case it should have been also waived off for being put in with a high stick.

      Either way, the play was illegal, the only thing you can say is the ref just missed the high stick.

    20. Pock had 9 shifts for a grand total of 4 min., 46 sec.

      I would hate to see how little ice he gets in a close game.

    21. Shanny 20:14, including 3:09 on PK, in the second game of back-to-back nights. Renney will wear him out before Jan.

    22. What is there to say? The 2006 Rangers are a 500 team so far. Just as good as the Penguins. One good game(tonight) and then a bad one so far. Hence the very close to 500 record. Did you see Betts miss the open net tonight?? Betts gets all chances with limited results. One line generates 9 points tonight. Last night,the same line didn’t have it vs the Pens. Why?? because they aren’t playing with the same intensity,intelligence ,and passion every night. Why doesn’t the Number one line play like they did Sunday vs Tampa every night? Well the new Flavor of the week cliche is “when Jagr goes, the Rangers go”. I guess as a Rnger fan, I have to live with that cliche for now. I just don’t remember as many off nights on Messiers watch. Mess had 600 goals plus also. So, he is comparable to Jagr. I just don’t remember too many 4 point nights and then no points, 3 penalties,and a minus game the next game when Mess was the resident 600 goal man at MSG. I just remember a full 100 per cent effort at both ends of the ice all the time. That’s all.

    23. who’s the ninth?

      on tonight’s broadcast there was mention of other 600-goal scorers that have played for the Rangers. I got eight. Who’s the 9th?

      Jagr, Shanahan; the Oiler trio, Mess, Gretz, and Kurri; the old timers, Espo, Lefleur?, and Dionne, and Brian Mullen?? (alright, just kiddin, needed a NY kid on the list)

    24. Doodie Machetto on

      “I just don’t remember too many 4 point nights and then no points, 3 penalties,and a minus game the next game when Mess was the resident 600 goal man at MSG”

      Yeah, but I remember a lot more losses and missing the playoffs every year.

    25. onetimer – Mike Gardner (sp?) also had 600 + goals

      John M – hard to compare Jagr to Messier (one of the greatest in terms of intensity for almost his whole career if you want to say it faded a bit at the end)

      good game by Hossa & co in checking vs Tampa’s top line

      I though booing Malik at end of game was uncalled for – in a game like that the team needs positive reinforcement (or at least not hearing the boobirds)

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