Post-game musings


A quarter-century of hockey experience has gone into my latest assessment of the Rangers:

Jagr good, Rangers good.

Jagr bad, Rangers bad.

Take a moment to let that sink in.

I know, it’s actually more complicated than that. But when you try to explain this weekend set — one awful loss, one inspired win — that might well do the trick.

A few other thoughts:

  • That was the most matching lines that Tom Renney has done all year, and it looks like he picked the right time. After the work Blair Betts, Jason Ward, and Marcel Hossa did on Tampa Bay’s top unit of Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, and Nikita Alexeev, you can probably expect more of the same.
  • Meanwhile, how about John Tortorella’s outburst? I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t asking the officials about their plans for Thanksgiving. Seriously, a tough sequence of events for the Lightning, and it could have changed the game. Again, it takes an expert to say things like that.
  • To be clear, the video review of the Michael Nylander goal was over whether they should review it at all. At issue was whether Nylander touched the puck, which, upon realizing he did, negated any further debate about whether Brendan Shanahan’s stick was too high. Confused? Welcome to my world.
  • Here were are debating ad nauseum who should be on the fourth line, and when Thomas Pock gets in, he plays a grand total of 4:46. I’ve got news for you: At 4:46 a game, I’m pretty sure I’d make about as big an impact as Pock. To his credit, Renney said he didn’t use Pock enough, and I’d imagine we’ll see an encore Tuesday against the Hurricanes.

    That’s all I’ve got for you now, folks. I’m out of here…

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    1. I think it’s funny that the MSG guys kept talking about how many 600 goal scorers have played for the Rangers. I wonder how many goals those players, on average, scored before becoming Rangers? 560? And then they arrive, play okay, and we get to see how they scored all those other hundreds in different uniforms. Not that I’m knocking Jagr or Shanny or Mess or Gretzky, but it would be nice if the Rangers could build a player who scored the first 500 in our uniform (although preferably not in the 3rd uni).

      Anyone else notice that Prucha’s skating seems slow, like his stride is too short or his feet are encased in concrete?

      But, man, what a better game.

    2. with the Blueshirts being in a good mood due to the win, i was wondering if Sam or anyone else noticed the antics between Jaromir and Kevin.
      any inside scoop as to what was up? they were laughing A LOT!! so much so that they almost missed the Salute, and then continued as they were getting off the ice.

    3. I am a little ticked that Pock gets his first chance in a long time…and its at forward. Now before you all chime in with the obvious, I know he played forward alot in his career. But regardless of his familiarity with the position, he would have gotten alot more ice time playing as part of a defensive pairing than he did on the 4th offensive line. Also, I am not sure, but I dont think they tried to utilize him on the point during the power play either, which I would love to see. Anyhow, I hope he gets more ice time in the next game (if indeed he playes another game) because he might just be the spark that generates scoring on the 4th line. Holleweg needs a point already!

    4. Sam wise, Are the 3 stars of the game based on popularity?
      1. Jagr
      2. Lundqvist
      3. Shannahan

      1st star: I understand…3 point night, career goal. nuff said
      2nd star: almost shutout…but still gave up 1 goal, 2 posts, and 1 almost goal.
      3rd star: 2 points (Goal, Assist) pretty good, but…

      Straka & Nylander both had 3 point nights (a Goal and 2 Assists a piece)
      Wheres the love? I thought all 3 stars would have gone to the 1st line.

      It seems that whenever the Rangers win a game with Lundqvist in net, he gets a star, even if he didn’t play that well (which i admit he did) or if other players outshined him (which i think they did). and Shannahan? well I admit im a sucker for Shannahan,…but he has been getting all the acolades so far this year, and Straka & Nylander had more points. I say 2nd and 3rd Stars should have gone to Jagrs mates instead.

    5. my latest assessment of the Rangers:

      play undisciplined taking 12 penalties on the road= BAD

      play smart, simple and agressive disciplined hockey- GOOD

      A well played game except for the 2 minutes near the end when they got shloppy.

      our assesments are actually pretty close considering Jagr doesnt play the PK

    6. SAM: even though Pock was only used for about 5 min, I noticed him on MOST of his shifts…unlike Dawes (who i do like) if he had 5 min of ice time he was nearly invisible, thats why it was good he was snet down. I really hope that 4th line stays together, Pock uses his speed and defensive knowlge very well, and drew a penalty, no matter how weak the call was by using that speed. With a big guy, Hall who can also score, on one wing and a grindder line Hollweg on the other, I image that line will help keep up the tempo AND maybe drop a couple on the net behind the opposing goalie, ALSO I would hope Renney would use Hall and Pock on teh 2nd PP unit to get them more time, since Pock could paly the point, and Hall could sit in front, if they play on a line together 5 on 5 they will work better on the PP together…at least I think so… ;) do me a favore…suggest that to Renney, and if he likes it, tell him Im willing to go to work for him :P

    7. Sam,

      This isn’t something really on your beat, but whatever happened to the MSG network’s in-goal camera? That was a cool angle and I don’t think I remember seeing it lately.

    8. Plebeian on Pock, i imagine he will get some PP time after a few games…Renney has shown that he likes to get guys palying a few games before putting them out on the PK or PP. Also, I think Pock looked better in his 5 min tonight on teh 4th line than he has in any of him games on D. I think he dose a good job on D, but he seems like a defensive forward to me, and a PP point man. Maybe THAT is what he will end up being for the Rangers, it also gives the team teh option of not having to carry an extra defender, since Pock can paly both wing and D, and than they jsut have to carry and extra wingger (orr) for an injury fill in. 3 STARS: I dont think Nylander ad Straka have as good a game withough Jagr playing so well…so thats why I think he gets the star from that line. Shanny gets it for his work Defensivly and on the PK …Lundqvist, well if he didnt play as well as he did, yes two posts got hit, but teh second was a nick to the outside of teh post, so its not really like it beat him…he aslso saw some really great scoreing chances that he made saves on, and the guy who scored DID make a nice move to freez King. I think the 3 stars are warented, but I think Betts also could have gotten one, he palyed really well against the TB top guys and had some chances.

    9. John: Saw the JJ Weaks exchange myself…was that snow from the ice he was rubing on his head?? The team seems to love the backup netminder…might be part of the reason you dont hear about him in trade rumors….other than he fills in nicely in games here and there.

    10. Doodie Machetto on

      I was Pock’s number one supporter for more ice time, but now he has to prove something to me. That penalty he drew sure looked like a dive. Credit to Joe M. and the terrible Rosen replacement for trying to come up with excuses as to why he went down, but it was a dive that if someone on a different team tried, we all would have been livid. I don’t like diving, from anyone. I’d rather have useless Orr out there than having Pock take dives.

      PS – did anyone else notice that Malik had a really solid game? Perhaps Pock being in the lineup scared him.

    11. What a feel good win for the Garden, finally a complete effort at home. The ejection of Tortorella was priceless, nobody I know could recall ever witnessing an ejection of a coach before. Malik is doing better, but he still takes dumb penalties, in my mind he ruined Henry’s SO. I’m glad Renney made the right decscion in putting Henry back in, because I don’t think Saturday night’s loss was his fault. I definitely thought Nylander or Straka could have received a star, but its hard to argue that they were better than Shanny, when Shanny plays a very complete game and did a great job on the penalty kill, one of the Rangers strengths in last nights game. You can really see his lacross background come out with how many pucks he pulls or bats out of the air, his hand-eye coordination is impeccable.

      Thanks for the post Sam, your blog is the best.
      GO RANGERS!!!!!

    12. Doodie,
      Absolutely noticed Malik’s better play, but what I really noticed is Rosival’s increased level of intensity that is translating into much better play…
      I said doodie.

    13. Was it just me or did Aaron Ward look completely confused last night?

      Wildcard- I agree with you about Pock. While he didn’t play a lot, I noticed him every single time he was on the ice. He drew a penalty (who cares if it was a weak call, it was his hustle that created the situation in the first place). I just hope he gets some more playing time to really prove himself.

    14. Long time Ranger fan on

      Sam, do you know where the Ranger “twins” stay during the game? I mean, most of the Rangers MUST have a twin that plays every so often ’cause they aren’t quite as gifted or as motivated as the ones that played at the Garden last night. The way this team plays makes me a proponent of one year contracts. Shannahan seems to have no problem as he shows up to play every game.
      Someone made the comment that he would rather see the Rangers put out an effort and lose rather than to see the way they play sometime and seemingly not care if they win or lose! And the constant giveaways…arrrrgh!

    15. Mike Ashmore,
      Its not that Im really pissed about it or anything, I just think the 3 Stars of the game are a good source of motivation. I like to see other players aside from “the Usuals” get recognition sometimes,… for their confidence.
      P.S. I am happy they won.

    16. Doodie,
      I honestly dont think it was a dive…hear me out.
      I dont think he even felt a tug to be honest. To me it looked like he fell down of his own volition. I rewound it on Tivo a bunch of times because like you, I hate diving and could not stomach the thought of him doing that on purpose on his first game back. What I saw after reviewing it was that the pass was a little bit behind him, and he had to twist and slow down to get the puck on his tape,…this screwed up his stride and caused him to fall on his knees. I dont think he was trying to draw a penalty, I just think he was trying to not give up on the play.

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