Sticks and stones…

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It’s hard to believe we’ve spent all this time talking about whether Jaromir Jagr’s shoulder is completely healed — not to mention whether the Rangers are doing enough to protect him — and it turns out what the team really needs to do is make sure no one hurts his feelings.

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I’m not sure I’m entirely kidding. How else do you explain the Rangers’ captain playing to little effect when he was booed incessantly in Pittsburgh, and yet flying up and down to cheers last night at the Garden? Is that all it takes? And if so, where’s Dr. Phil when you need him?

Amazing. Jagr gets half his teeth knocked out in a game a few weeks back, and he doesn’t miss a beat. And yet give an insurance salesman a few too many beers in Section 39, and he can render the right wing useless. You tell me which is worse.

Still, “an impressive effort last night at the Garden”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061120/SPORTS01/611200351/1034/SPORTS, further maddening the Rangers faithful who can’t make sense of this team from one night to the next. I wish I had an answer for you. I know “I joked last night that this team seems to take its lead from Jagr”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/wp-admin/edit.php, and to a great extent, I still think that’s true. But there are other factors in there that I can’t place my finger on.

The good news is the team can skate with any team in the league. The bad news is they can look hapless against any of them as well.

At least it makes my job interesting.

Anyway, a few other responses on what is actually an off day for the Rangers:

  • Reader Plebeian had a question about the voting on the game’s three stars, which is sadly not the scientific process you might expect it to be. For me at least, it goes something like this: At the start of the third period, an arena employee hands us the ballot. Since I’m on deadline at that point, I ignore it almost the entire period, until he taps on my shoulder with about five minutes left, at which point I hastily write down three names that are barely legible, and throw it back at him. Again, not that scientific. As for my personal criteria, it’s often difficult to avoid a player like Shanahan and Jagr who has a big point night, or someone like Henrik Lundqvist who is stellar in net. But I try to identify at least one player who had a good game but who maybe didn’t show up on the score sheet. For instance, one night I picked Jason Ward. Another it was Fedor Tyutin. I know some of my colleagues on the beat have expressed their concerns with the whole process, mostly because they, like me, don’t feel like it’s given quite the thought it probably deserves. I wish there was a way for the fans to get involved, but I’m not sure how that would work.
  • Reader Wildcard pointed out that Thomas Pock was at least noticeable in his limited ice time last night, and I agree. And I also agree that that contrasts sharply with Nigel Dawes, who could never quite going in the amount of time he was given. Therein lies the reason that Dawes is in Hartford while Pock is here. Since Pock’s role last night was to play a more defensive-minded physical game, it didn’t take much for him to get out there and throw his body around. Dawes, meanwhile, relies more on skill, and really needs a regular shift to be at all effective. Here’s hoping Dawes gets that chance in New York soon, and that in the meantime, Pock can continue to make some headway with Tom Renney.
  • Reader Chris asked about what happened to the in-goal camera, which I agree was pretty cool. I don’t have an answer, but when I next see Joe Whelan, who is the producer for the MSG broadcasts, I’ll ask him about it. I’m sure it had something to do with money. When in doubt, that’s usually the case.
  • The reader known as “Long Time Ranger Fan” posed this question: “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.” Exactly LTRF, and welcome to the New York Rangers 2006-07. As I said earlier, you never know which team you’re going to get from one night to the next, and you’re right, maybe this Rangers team is an argument for one-year contracts. I’m not sure you can boil it all down to complacency because there has to be more to it than that. But look at it this way: this team was comprised of players who had a lot more to prove a year ago. Not coincidentally, it was a team that rarely seemed to take a night off.

    OK, that’s all for now. One last thing: Congratulations to my big brother Josh (himself a former center man), who ran the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday in an impressive 4:00:22. Alas, it could have been better, but word is that nature called one too many times, costing him precious time on the clock. The sports writer side of me says I don’t want to hear his excuses. The little brother knows better…

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    78 Comments

    1. If the in-goal cam was a victim of budget cuts…

      Couldn’t we have just lost Al Trautwig instead?
      Ok, that’s a joke, I actually like Al.

    2. sam,
      Jagr was well known in Pittsburg and especially in Washington to take nights off. I mentioned this earlier in one of your blogs. This year jagr has taken off nights and the rangers struggle. I see the rangers as a one dimensional team and that dimension is jagr. I know what people are thinking, what about last year. Last year it was jagr’s first full season with the rangers and he was motivated partly because of that and partly because all the hockey experts said the rangers were one of the worst teams in hockey. That comment motivated Jagr. This year Jagr doesn’t appear to be motivated. I also had said in an earlier blog that Jagr is not captain material because he is not a leader and he is a baby at times and because he is a baby he takes nights off. The captain should have been Shanahan. Shanahan
      is captain material, just look how mad he was in the locker room after the effort in Pittsburg. I would say that was Messier-ish and that is captain material.

    3. I agree, Jagr is a great player, not a great leader. Everything I read about him, his personal life, comments in general whether they’re in Czech from over the summer or during the season, he reminds me of people I have played hockey with over the years. I thought Shanahan should’ve been named captain also. But I also know those letters only mean so much, the real leaders will become the de-facto leaders, although with the multi-nationalism and language bariers, it may take time. But given enough games, practices, character shows through even to us dumb hockey players

    4. Tom —
      A part of me thinks you’re right in that Shanahan fits more in the captain mold: he says all the right things, he plays at both ends, he does a lot of the little things behind the scenes.

      Here’s the rebuttal: one, Shanny is able to do a lot of those things because he’s not THE guy. As was the case in Detroit, he relishes the No. 2 role because he can do certain things without expectations, and still be supportive of the team’s captain.

      The second part is that Jagr bridges the gap in what is still a very diverse locker room. Jagr has as good a relationship with Prucha and Straka that he has with Weekes and Aaron Ward. That goes a long way.

      And the last part is, simple: Jagr is the team’s best player, hands down. That’s not a prerequsite for being a captain, but as we saw in the playoffs, this is not the same team without him.

      I agree that Jagr absolutely has to fight through those games when he’s not feeling it. But like it or not, this is his team.

    5. Tom-

      Honestly, you are making yourself look bad. Just stop with the hatorade already w/ Jagr. It is very annoying and inaccurate.

      All around, Shanny is better C material. But it really doesn’t matter. Because they both bring different types of leadership. Are you trying to tell me that since Shanny doesn’t have the C, he is any less of a leader? shanny is doing his thing and is awesome. Jagr is doing his thing and is playing great.

      If 32 pts in 21 games after 5 months of being able to do nothing is not motivated, god knows. Last year jagr took a great leadership role. Especially in his work ethic. Who goes to the rink on off days to train and at nights? jagr.

    6. SAM: You mentioned that Dawes relies on skill, rather than physical play. In the limited icetime Dawes accumulated, 53 minutes, he had 3 hits. Jason Ward’s got 14 hits in 2:36, Cullen: 18 hits in 3:60, Nylander: 2 hits in 4:38. If Dawes had Ward or Cullen’s icetime, his hits would be on par with those guys. How about 7 hits in 3:59 for 6’5″ 220 plus Malik? Unreal. 18 hits in 3:40 for Rachunek.

      In the limited icetime Coach Teflon gave Dawes, I saw some pretty aggressive play. Esp. from a young guy who was not given the benefit of consistent icetime by the Rangers double-standard coaching staff.

      Still, under these conditions, Dawes was able to score a goal and exhibit speed and a quick release. Yes, he fumbled the puck a bit, but that came from the inconsistency of his icetime.

      In the meantime, in 21 games, Betts has 3 goals, Hall 2, Ward 2, Cullen 4, Hossa, Hall and Orr zero.

      Just another day in Rangerland.

    7. I don’t think Jagr has ever “taken a night off” as a Ranger. Does he have off nights? Sure. But what player doesn’t? The difference between Jagr and most other players is that any night he doesn’t pick up a point is considered an “off night”.

      That said, I think Sam makes a very good point about Jagr’s psyche. After reading his autobiography it became fairly obvious that his single handicap is a lack of emotional maturity, which no doubt is a result of his “all hockey, all the time” upbringing. We’re talking about a kid who from the age of 4 was playing in 3-4 leagues at a time, against kids 2-4 years older than him. He was sheltered from just about anything that wasn’t hockey, including his schoolwork. It seems to have left him somewhat mentally fragile, and prone to being thrown off his game by things like fans in Pittsburgh booing him, which he admitted in quotes in the papers this morning.

      Now, the tough guys amongst us will respond to that with “wahh, tell him to quit his whining, grow up and play hockey” but keep in mind, the words above aren’t Jagr whining, but my opions based on what I’ve read. Either way, the book certainly makes for an interesting read… The title is “Jagr: An Autobiography” and was written by Jagr and Jan Smid (I think) for those who might be interested. It’s out of print, so you’ll have to find it used or at a library.

      On a totally different subject… speaking of marathons, did anyone notice that Adam Graves ran the NYC marathon earlier this month? It was mentioned in an interview done with him for one of the recent episodes of Inside the Rangers. Good to know he’s keeping fit and involved in NY. Too bad his wife finished ahead of him. ;)

    8. Chardkerm,

      It isn’t that easy for D to get hits. There’s some bumping behind the net, but every time down the ice doesn’t create a hipper at the blue line. Forwards on a forecheck have a lot more freedom to take out a guy and tie them up. While I’m indifferent on Malik, even Kasparitis in the days before he was a healty scratch all the time didn’t rack up that many hits and he’d always beed derided for poorly timed hits anyway (i.e. laying a guy out at the blue line on a 3-1 isn’t a good play when it leave a 2-0 the rest of the way in.)

      Anyway, Sammy and Renny have both repeatedly said that Dawes as a more offensive player would be wasting away on the 3rd or 4th lines. There’s a certain amount of experience one gets from “being around”, but if it means they’re going to lose their game legs and skills, is it worth it. If Dawes can light up Hartford and get in a groove with the guys there, great, to some extent the guys there will be something of the future of the organization and thus linemates. The guys on the 4th line? Probably not so much.

      I’m sure being up on the Rangers is great, and if given the opportunity I’d take it too, even if just sitting on the bench. But this is a kid who has some skills that the Rangers want and who has a future of more than 1 year in the league, I don’t have either. Sitting on the bench will eventually wear on him, and not to the improvement of his game.

    9. Doodie Machetto on

      “In the meantime, in 21 games, Betts has 3 goals, Hall 2, Ward 2, Cullen 4, Hossa, Hall and Orr zero”

      First off, Cullen has 6 assists to go along with his 4 goals. You don’t need a goal scoring center when the league’s leading goal scorer is on the wing. He is also center, and Dawes a winger, so the comparison is moot.

      Second, Dawes is an OFFENSIVE player, while that entire list doesn’t have two good hands between them. Of course their scoring is going to be low. That’s not what they are paid to do. Meanwhile, scoring is EXACTLY what Dawes is paid to do. So this comparison is moot as well.

      RE: Shanahan as captain – Nevermind all of the “Jagr is a good leader in his own way/Shanahan is happy as an alternate” talk (not that it isn’t important, just put it aside for a minute). This team rose from the basement last season on Jagr’s shoulders, eventually crushing one. It was HIS team. You don’t just sign Shanahan and hand over the captaincy. When Gretzky came to NY, Mess stayed captain because it was HIS team. When Mess came to NY after Vancouver, Leetch handed over the captaincy because the Rangers were still Mess’ team. Shanahan was, and for the most part still is, a stranger to the team. I like that he was given an “A”, but no unless Mark Messier himself came to the Rangers this season, no one should have been given the “C” except Jags. Nobody.

    10. Correct, Doodie, and let me just throw out one other angle to the whole debate: we know Shanahan can handle being second fiddle to Jagr. Do you know for sure that Jagr could handle being second fiddle to Shanahan — especially seeing how this is Shanny’s first season in New York.

    11. Purinton had 2 goals in his first game at forward for the Pack….

      Just what the Rangers need, a physical guy that can score.

      Call him up Renney!!

      Of course I’m being sarcastic, but the Rangers are never going to be better than a .500 team without any form of scoring from their bottom two lines.

    12. EB: It isn’t that easy for D to get hits.

      Ward’s got 49 hits. Tyutin 47. Roszival 43. Vishneski leads d-men with 62 hits. 7 out of 20 top hitters in NHL are d-men.

      EB: If Dawes can light up Hartford and get in a groove with the guys there…

      Dawes already lit up at Hartford last season for 35 goals, 32 assists. Playoffs: 6 goals 6 assists in 13 games. Unless he combusts, I don’t see how much more he can light it up. Hossa, on the other hand…

    13. DOODY:First off, Cullen has 6 assists to go along with his 4 goals. You don’t need a goal scoring center when the league’s leading goal scorer is on the wing. He is also center, and Dawes a winger, so the comparison is moot.

      Second off, Cullen is playing with Shanahan and Prucha and all he has is 6 assists? Is the comparison to Hossa moot? And how do you recommend breaking in a young player? First line, second line? Guy Lafleur and Joe Thornton were even brought along slowly, only playing in specific situations. Speaking of specific situations…Cullen played the point on the pp in Carolina last year with great success. So who does Coach Teflon have on the points: scoring machine Roszival and occasionally Straka, who doesn’t exactly have a blistering shot. Last night, while he had Pock dressed for a change Teflon could have used him on the pp point, seeing that he has twice the shot any of our offensively challenged d-men.

      DOODY: Second, Dawes is an OFFENSIVE player, while that entire list doesn’t have two good hands between them.

      So you’re saying we have two lines worth of players with stone hands and Dawes, a natural scorer. And there’s no room for Dawes? Hall was supposed to be the guy to bring offense to the bottom two lines. Where is it? And MY points are moot?

    14. >> I wish there was a way for the fans to get involved, but >> I’m not sure how that would work.

      Sam, MSG does a fan voting thingie when they do that nightly trivia, but the problem with that is that I don’t think there’s enough time to get all votes in and counted in time to announce the 3 stars specially in a tight game that perhaps is won in OT or a late in the third or in the SO and that person might be one of the Stars of the game …

      As far as the Shanny for Captain debate(BTW I think that Shanny is the only Ranger who hasn’t had his “Twin” skate out there this season) I don’t believe that there should be ANY debate and I am certain that Shanahan would shake his head at all this talk … as DM’s post brought up … This is Jagr’s team, it was his team last year and without him we wouldn’t gotten as far as we did in the improvement department, he deserved this C … his teammates like him, he plays hard for him and he for them … when the team has bad nights, almost ALL of them collectively have bad nights and I do not think it’s lack of motivation or laziness ….

      Shanny has been GREAT for us and will continue to be great for us and HE IS a leader but I am certain that he’s the last person who would want to engage in any talks of him “deserving” the C over Jags because as great as Shanny has been he is new to this team and Jagr brought it ALL of last season, he played with a SEVERELY dislocated shoulder in the playoffs and risked permanent damage to help this team win …. this is why I laugh when people question his heart …

      Yeah, did he have a bad rep in PIT and WAS when those situations became less than ideal for him and he was no longer happy there? Yes, but when has he not played with heart for OUR team? Who the hell cares how he acted in those cities?

    15. I personally wonder if Cullen is a 2nd line center. He may be but he may not be and so far I’m certainly not convinced. 6 assists with Shanahan and Prucha is not very impressive. He is a good player with speed and some skill but a guy who you can count on to produce, I just don’t know yet.

    16. chardkerm I agree your points are MORE than pointless. You seem to mis compleatly the point fo teh rangers botom two lines. If hall was told to go for it offensivly he would have more gaols, more points. The 3rd and 4th lines are for STOPPING the other team…who cares about last year with Dawes..it was his rookie season, he could have no more of those, i HIGHLY doubt it, but he is still VERY young. He is NOT capiple of handling the defensive game the way it needs to be played…Prucha worked last year because the D was better overall. I was the one who Pointed out yesterday that DAWES didnt look as good in his ice time as POCK…and yes Dawes had SOME aggressive play, but he would have 5 or 6 shifts, and I would notice him for about half of 1, Pock did alot of skateing, good D, and skated. Dawes always looked a bt behind the play. I really dont care if the 3rd and 4th line score irght now, they are stopping the other team…thats is just as if not more important than getting goals. The rangers are scoreing fine, and if a top line palyer gets hurt, well the Rangerts can call a dawes up and he will do fine on the offensive side of the puck and help out.

    17. Wildcard: Yes, the third line is for stopping the opposition’s top line. But who says the fourth line is for stopping the other team? With the icetime they get, who are they gonna stop? The fourth line is for infusing energy and/or putting up a few goals to take the pressure off lines 1 and 2. There are no rules covering a fourth line’s duty. As I pointed out before in my “pointless” post, the fourth line can be used to break in young talent. For instance…a young talent like DAWES.

    18. Finally some common sense from Matty…

      Also Sam, I live in Westchester and get your paper daily…It seems you have a slight bias against Jagr for some reason…I really don’t know why.

      Can he handle being second fiddle to Shanny? From what they display on the ice, they seem to get along rather well. Jagr wanted help and even reportedly asked for Shanny when the talks started during the Summer.

      Also, As Shanny has 16 goals, Jagr 9….And with Shanny winning that fluff “Messier Leadership Award” he is certainly getting a lot of credit and rightly so. And I don’t see Jagr going off the deep end.

      If anything puts him off the deep end, it would be from fans expected him to score 3 points a night, nightly and from reporters always trying to make beef between Shanny and Jagr when there is nothing but good will between them

    19. Doodie Machetto on

      “the fourth line can be used to break in young talent.”

      5 minutes a night doesn’t even break a sweat, let alone a prospect into the league. Dawes is much better served in Hartford for another season if the choice is between 5 minutes of NHL every 7 or 8 games and top line AHL duties.

      tsalad: As I have said before, I believe Cullen was originally signed as an upgrade for Dominic Moore (imagine Cullen on an energy line – AMAZING) in the hopes that Immonen would take a step up and fill in that 2nd line center role like he did for part of last season when Rucchin was out. The fact that his game disappeared during the offseason and is yet to be found has forced Cullen into that 2nd line role, especially when you consider the Rangers’ other options at center.

    20. Doodie-

      I have to say Cullen was definitely bought here to fill in for Rucchin, although ideally Cullen is a 3rd line center

    21. let’s look at Jagr’s history. great player,yes. When he is happy, look out.

      But there is a reason that he was traded by first Pitt. and then Wash., and in both cases he brought very little in return. And there is a reason that the fans boo him in his old stomping grounds. And that is because he basically sulked his way out of town, besides the financial reasons of course.

      He has a very fragile psyche, and Sather and Renney know that, and that is why they surround him with his Czech buddies and cronies. I’m ok with him getting the C, because as Sam pointed out, you know Shanny handles the #2 spot the right way, better than Jagr probably would.

      But Jagr gets bothered by fan reaction too easily. Booing in a road arena should spark more determination, not less. Jagr, as captain needs to say “I’ll show ‘em” to booing fans, not “oh poor me, they’ve got my goat”.

      Let’s hope that there are a lot more nights like last night, and very few like Sat. in Pitt.

    22. Doodie Machetto on

      Bauer: Ideally, so was Rucchin, but what makes you so sure that Cullen was meant for the 2nd line? Ever wonder why Ward, and to a lesser extent Hollweg, who are not natural centers, have been playing in the middle this year? I think the staff was expecting Immonen to play in the role that he did when Rucchin hurt his foot. Why else would they lose two centers (Rucchin and Moore) and bring in only one (Cullen), other than the hope to promote one of the kids from the farm?

    23. Doodie Machetto
      November 20th, 2006 at 7:48 pm
      “the fourth line can be used to break in young talent.�

      5 minutes a night doesn’t even break a sweat, let alone a prospect into the league. Dawes is much better served in Hartford for another season if the choice is between 5 minutes of NHL every 7 or 8 games and top line AHL duties.

      And then what, Doodie? He comes back to training camp with no NHL experience and is passed over for another vet like Hall or Hossa? You have to start somewhere. And if it’s 5 minutes per night until someone is injured or playing lousy then that’s what you do. But on this effed up team, a vets like Hossa and Malik can play lousy every game and not worry about being replaced by a kid.

      tsalad: As I have said before, I believe Cullen was originally signed as an upgrade for Dominic Moore (imagine Cullen on an energy line – AMAZING) in the hopes that Immonen would take a step up and fill in that 2nd line center role like he did for part of last season when Rucchin was out. The fact that his game disappeared during the offseason and is yet to be found has forced Cullen into that 2nd line role, especially when you consider the Rangers’ other options at center.

      IMMONEN’S game “disappeared during the off season”? During the exhibition season, Immo had 3 pts. in 4 games. Only four Rangers had more Shanny, Prucha, Hall and DAWES. You remember Dawes? I come up with facts and Doodie pulls statements outta his butt. Good job, Doodie. You have ZERO credibility.

    24. Doodie Machetto: Couldn’t agree with you more about Shanny. The only way he walks onto the ice and takes the “C” from Jaromir is Jagr is packing his bags for another city.

      Bauer: kudos to a voice of reason. In recent years -2005-2006 excluded -32 points would equal the offensive total of both the Rangers’ highest scoring players. Jagr is presently on pace to equal, if not best his last year’s totals. Just because they don’t have the record of last year doesn’t necesarily make this HIS fault(re: defense, a slow start for Lundqvist, less reliable defensive forwards). Yeah, he’ll have his off days. And no, he’s never going to single-handedly power an uninspired team to the cup, which is seems that some people (and maybe players) feel he should be able to do.He’s built like a tank and has more talent than anyone in the league at this point, so there’s an air of expectation with him. But to do it all himself? That’s asinine. Even Wayne Gretzky had his Mark Messier had Messier his Adam Graves, so that when one’s not hot the other is. Hopefully later in the season, Jagr will have his Shanahan.

      chardkerm: Your expectations for Dawes aren’t unfounded but are quite unreasonable. He’s 21 years old, dude. He’s fought tooth and nail to get where he is to begin with and, I’ll say for certain, he’ll make a fine NHLer one of these days. But to stick him on a top line at that level and expect he’s going to put up serious numbers is a bit much. Not entirely impossible, but fairly unlikely. He demonstrated good poise with his one goal, but it wasn’t like he broke in on his own, juked two defenders then deked the goalie with a backhand. He was in the right place at the right time and buried a pretty pass from Nylander, the king of passing on this team. Frankly, I’d be more up at arms at the handling of Pock, who’s repeatedly earned his icetime, but remains log-jammed behind stiffs who should likely be the bench with Sam and Valerie(no offense Sam) during the midnight skate.

      Sam – I feel your pain. Thanks to an unheralded spate of blocking shots on the blueline, I’m now sporting a golfball on my knee, bone bruise on the left heel and a new bruise above my big toe. God, I love this sport.

    25. Doodie Machetto on

      “Good job, Doodie. You have ZERO credibility.”

      Funny, up and down this forum everyone is agreeing with me. I’d say that lends to credibility.

      Getting points in preseason means nothing. It was his overall quality of play and work ethic in practice that were lacking. Scoring 3 points against some team’s 3rd string doesn’t mean anything. There’s a reason that most of the guys who get a lot of ice time in preseason go down to the minors. The coaches just want to take a look at how they are progressing and see if they are ready to compete consistently at this level. They aren’t looking for them to put up a few points, they are looking for their ethic and attitude. IMO put up 3 points but Nylander and Straka didn’t put up any. Does this mean that he is better? Not at all. Just because he managed to score 3 points against the 3rd strings from teams that barely have a 1st string (islanders, bruins). His 3 points didnt even win him the Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award, which went to Dawes and Dubinsky, who lo and behold only went 2-0-2! Like I said, not about points, Immonen’s camp was thoroughly disappointing. By the way, he is currently 1-6-7 in 15 games in Hartford.

      Sam and Tdchi: I am still sporting a popsicle stick splint on my toe.

    26. tdchi: When did I say he should be on a top line? I said break him in on the 4th line. Wow.

      BTW, Dom Moore is having a nice first period tonight. A goal and an assist. This gives him 4-4 8pts in 18+ games and a -1. Projected 32+pts this season compared to 18 last season. On the other hand, Adam Hall’s got 2-3-5pts in 21 games. After 14-15-29pts last season, he’s projected to be a 20 pts this season. Add to it that Moore was also a youthful leader on a team that use a couple of those. I know it’s early, but it looks like Sather and co. made another beauty.

    27. “Getting points in preseason means nothing. It was his overall quality of play and work ethic in practice that were lacking.”

      And you know this how? Were you covering the team? My take is that Hossa for some reason owns Renney and that’s why Immomen was sent down. And tell me about Hossa’s work ethic last season? Go ahead, Doodie, I’ll wait.

      With your disregard of facts and regard for fantasy, you’re shaping up as the Jason Blair of this website.

    28. THE MOORE TRADE. I have mentioned about that trade on this blog before and it wasn’t after the fact. Moore centering ortmeyer and hollweg was our energy line that got msg fans going and the team going. That line could even score once in a while. I have said this before and I will keep saying it, that was a bad trade. I don’t want to hear that he was bad at faceoffs because those things you learn with experience. chalk up another sather move. I still like to know what hall does so great and I don’t want to here he gets in front of the net to screen the goalie, please, enough. I could see if the guy was like asham on the islanders where he might score 15 goals and can fight when need be but he can’t even do that so what can he do, another Hossa.

    29. Doodie Machetto on

      chadkerm: I can’t disagree Moore (get the pun?). First, pace means nothing. Shanny is on pace for 59 goals. Earlier in the season it was 80. Do I wish he’ll score 59? Of course. Will he? Probably not (I figure 45, tops).

      Second, your stats are misleading. I’m not familiar with the Pittsburgh lineup, but they have been playing Malkin, Crosby, and Staal on the same line. The Penguins website lists only three more centers, Moore being the best of the three and average the most icetime, 15:22 a game. This suggests that he might be their 2nd line center. Hall is getting 13:15 on a checking line, so that points discrepancy isn’t a big deal.

      Third, and most important, I reiterate what I have said many times: Hall for Moore was about clearing up some space in the middle while getting a big winger in the process. Granted, Hall hasn’t lived up to expectations, but the real reason the trade is a bust is that Immo didn’t fill the hole that was created, leaving us with Cullen, who would be a huge improvement over Moore, playing in that 2nd line role. PS, not exactly a huge loss on Moore in terms of playing ability, Betts and Ward are about as good. His heart and work ethic are the only things I miss.

    30. >>> And then what, Doodie? He comes back to training camp >>> with no NHL experience and is passed over for another >>> vet like Hall or Hossa?

      I am sorry, I didn’t realize that Hall/Hossa who are both 26 are “old” veteran players … you make it sound like they are over 30 and past their prime …

      I am watching that PIT game with Dom, and I don’t believe that you can compare the points totals that he might set this year and compare them to Hall’s and say that the Sather let one get away based on the point production because unless you have been watching Pens games, as I have since they are fun to watch, Dom gets PP time and sometimes is on the Ice with Crosby(as he was tonight when Crosby made an great spin-o-rama pass to him for the score) and he is often on the Ice with Staal, he is being given more playing time and more offensive responsibility …

      What was his role with the Rangers? 4th line checking center and he played almost exclusively with Hollweg and Ortmeyer … so you cannot compare those teammates, as great guys as they are, to the talents of Crosby, Malkin and Staal and Moore getting to play a lot of minutes and situations with those guys …

      Hall, who is he playing with? Right now he’s on the 4th line … before that he was on the third line .. still he isn’t getting the benefit of playing with Shanny, Jags, Nylander, or Straka on any consistent basis nor does he get out on the top PP unit much as sometimes Moore does with PIT …

      I have a gripe with Hall about him being so big and needing to be more physical, because I defenitely believe that he can be and should be but not about his lack of scoring due to what he’s given to work with …

    31. Doodie Machetto on

      Tom G: we’ve exchanged comments on the Moore trade in other threads, and as I recall, you agreed that if Cullen was Moore’s replacement, it would have been a large improvement. Hall being a bust doesn’t change my idea that the trade wasn’t made to bring in Hall, but to make room for Immo. Hall being good would have just been gravy.

      “Hossa for some reason owns Renney”

      What does that mean? That’s a pretty ridiculous statement. And Hossa didn’t play every game last season, especially when his ethic was crap. There was a reason why Renney guaranteed his roster spot in camp: (cheap) hard work.

    32. Matty,
      that is my problem with hall. I’m not comparing there points. “I have a gripe with Hall about him being so big and needing to be more physical, because I defenitely believe that he can be and should be but not about his lack of scoring due to what he’s given to work with” if I was going to trade moore that would have been the type of player I wanted. Like a Arron asham type who plays for the islanders. god only knows the rangers need a bit more grit.

      Doodie machetto: I do remember you saying that so if you look at it that way than missing moore isn’t that big of deal. I just feel sather could have done better.

    33. Doodie Machetto on

      Tom G: Maybe, maybe not. Getting someone who had the potential to mature into a decent power forward wasn’t a bad idea. But that’s the thing with potential: it doesn’t always pan out. But, he’s only been here for a quarter of a season. Let’s see if maybe his play improves as has most of the team’s (see Roszival, Malik, Lundqvist). If not, maybe we would have been better off keeping Moore or swapping Hall for a pick like Nashville did with Moore.

    34. Doodie, lol we sort of did say the same thing didn’t we?

      Tom G … Well the Rangers knew that Hall had a rep for not using his body as well as he should for being so big … However, on this team, with a guy like Shanny(and even Jagr who isn’t a power forward, although he hilariously joked that that was his next goal in life, he is big and strong and when he has that puck no one can knock him off it) Hall will learn and come to realize that he has to get dirty, he has to be willing to take the hits and drive to the front of the net and park his big body there and get the “garbage” goals … Again, he just turned 26 this past August, he’s a young kid who is still learning and I am hopeful that he does become better … Maybe he does, and maybe he doesn’t but I won’t write him off so early yet …

    35. Doodie Machetto on

      CHICAGO DAILY HERALD: Tim Sassone reports Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon had to shoot down another trade rumor involving Seabrook. This one had the second-year defenseman going to the Canucks for center Brendan Morrison. “Seabrook is one of the guys we’re going forward with,� Tallon said. “Why would I trade him?�

      That is also the death of any Prucha-Seabrook rumors that were swirling around here a week or two ago.

    36. I think what chardkern is pointing out is entirely legitimate. The point is that this team, as we’ve said many times on this board, went from “rebuilding” last year to “win now” this year. And if you really look at the players on this roster, especially the defensive corps, it becomes relatively clear that this team is not all that likely to compete for the Stanley Cup. So while I’m not suggesting we “waste” the opportunity of having the NHL’s best player by surrounding him with a bunch of rookies, I think it would make sense for the Rangers to try bringing along a few rookies along the way each year. All the best teams in the league do this. Every year, Detroit has some kid playing top line minutes and lighting it up. Every year, the Devils add one or two reasonably good rookie defenseman or work guys into their top 3 lines. Do these kids always “beat out” whatever vets they are playing against in camp and in practice? Maybe, maybe not. But there comes a point at which a coach has to look at a kid and say “hey, this guy has the potential to really develop into a major scorer” and plays him.

      The Rangers do not do this. They sign enough vets to fill out their entire roster in the off-season and then these kids are not given a chance. Prucha was given a shot last year only because Rucinsky got hurt. Now maybe Straka gets hurt this year or Shanny needs to sit a few games and Dawes gets his shot. Who knows? And I cannot profess to know how he’ll play. But I do know this: in his limited playing time, he scored more goals than Hossa (who by the way I think is actually looking pretty good as of late), and he is a kid who has such amazing hands, he is a threat to score every time he’s on the ice, at this level. On the one hand people say “hes a scorer you cant play him anywhere but top six” on the other “hes too young and inexperienced to be a top six” – which basically guarantees he’ll never crack the lineup. And so I submit the following: if the Ranger put together a fourth line of say Dawes, Hollweg and Hossa, and rolled them the way they did the HMO line, I guarantee you Nigel would have 3-4 goals by now and be on his way to scoring 15 or so. And it would become clear that he can score, and then when someone goes down, then he’s really ready to step into that top line position.

      Now Pock, I’ll admit, hes never impressed me as even an NHL defenseman. Although Id rather see what he turns into than watch the misadventures of Sandis and Malik. I will also add though that I think Tyutin is fast becoming the #2 we always hoped he’d be, and I do in fact like what I’ve seen from Rachunek and Rozsival. And until Staal and Sauer and Sanguinetti and Baranka are ready, there’s not much to do. But the key will be once they are ready, will we still be watching Ozo and Malik?

    37. I really think the Ranger management is out of touch with the Rangers fan. I only hear,read, and believe that the Rangers should be playing many more prospects from their draft picks every night on the NHL level and let these prospects develop in the new NHL environment which truly lends itself to younger,cheaper, players. With a salary cap league wide. I really feel that the window of opportunity to play these darft picks is now. As a life long hockey fan, and most importantly, life long Rangers fan, I do not need to see JAGR,Shanahan, Straka etc. on a Ranger team that is building a new nucleus. It does not matter if I pay what I pay for MSG Network and my Ranger Tickets. I do not need to see these stars. I want to watch potential future stars grown from scratch.
      Don Maloney,Tom Renney, and Glen Sather. Please listen to your fans. Build a team and save your jobs. Instead of trying to import used talent to try to save your jobs.

    38. Doodie Machetto on

      Three problems that are related, I’ll start specific and then get more broad: “and he is a kid who has such amazing hands”

      Let’s get this clear. Dawes isn’t that good! He will in his career, at most, be a 2nd line winger good for 20-30 goals a year. That is the HEIGHT of his potential. Since when was he this blue-chip prospect that would be the future of the team?

      “Now Pock, I’ll admit, hes never impressed me as even an NHL defenseman.”

      I think Pock has done an good job on defense and at the moment is the only REAL nhl ready prospect in the entire Rangers minor league system. He could easily slide into the lineup as an offensive defenseman, making Sandis Ozolinsh the best choice to sit. But Ozolinsh has such a large upside if he plays well that Renney wants to give him a chance because of the “win now” philosophy. I think if the team truly wants to rebuild, they need to work Pock in this year, because Staal and Baranka both might be ready next year.

      Third, “Every year, Detroit has some kid playing top line minutes and lighting it up. Every year, the Devils add one or two reasonably good rookie defenseman or work guys into their top 3 lines.” That isn’t a coaching problem, that’s a problem with drafting. The Rangers don’t draft good players, while Detroit and NJ do a great job every year. NJ is playing a lot of youngsters this year because they can’t afford to do anything else because of how close to the cap they are. And just because there aren’t any rookies on the ice doesn’t mean the team isn’t laden with youth. The following players all have been in the league for 5 seasons or less: Prucha, Tyutin, Lundqvist, Hall, Hossa, Betts, Orr, and Ortmeyer when/if he returns (Jason Ward has played in 6, but for the first two he played in 32 and 12 games, respectively). I’d say that makes them a rebuilding team, even if they still are relying heavily on their veterans for wins.

    39. John M, halleluiah, I have tried and state this myself before but I guess I don’t explain my opinions correctly but you have just said it. I thank you. I said also that as long as Jagr is on this team this will not happen. This is why the rangers will not go with youth because they are building a veteran team for and around jagr to win now. The question is to win what, a playoff game or maybe a round, big deal. This is the new NHL that focises on youth and speed. i wish the rangers would get with the times.

    40. I never knew a second line winger who scores 20-30 goals was so easy to come by. Most first-line wingers aren’t scoring more than 20-30 goals. And I still seee no reason why Dawes shouldn’t on the fourth line. I dont see how he has so much to gain in Hartford. And nowhere did I say he was “this blue chip prospect who was the future of our team.” But I suppose you have plenty of other guys in mind that the Rangers have in juniors or the minors who are even of second line caliber? The only catch would be if you looks at Hossa or Hall or Betts, Ward, etc and see second line players who will score 20-30 goals. Otherwise, nobody is being groomed to play top line minutes.

      I did say I’d be happy to see Pock play over Ozolinsh. But I think we’re saying the same thing about him right now, Doodie.

      as far as drafting, no excuses, the Rangers draft poorly. The Devils have played rookies every year and drafted and developed guys that fit into their system, the cap issues are new this year. The Rangers have wasted many a pick, 2 high first round picks on goalies and another on jessiman.

    41. Peter, I’ve said the same thing in prior blogs. Look across the river, the devils are in the playoffs every year and have a shot at the stanely cup, why, because lou the gm knows how to draft period. I just don’t understand all this nonsense by ranger fans defending this crap. Yhe rangers didn’t make the playoffs for seven years and big deal, they make for the first time last year under sather, are you kidding me, it’s a joke.
      Sather and maloney are clueless and as long as he is the GM it wil be like this always.

    42. “Let’s get this clear. Dawes isn’t that good! He will in his career, at most, be a 2nd line winger good for 20-30 goals a year.”

      Doodie, I’ll say this about you, you’re a pisser. Even it’s unintentional.

    43. Question: How many goals is Hossa good for? Betts? Ward? Orr? Hall? They would sell their grandmothers to the beelzebub for a 20-30 goal season.

    44. Doodie Machetto on

      Peter – “I never knew a second line winger who scores 20-30 goals was so easy to come by” They are. We had one last year (Prucha) and would have had 2 if Rucinsky didn’t miss so much ice time with injuries and 3 if Sykora had been in NY all season or if you combine his numbers with his time in Anaheim. We have two this year. I would venture to say that pretty much every team that made the playoffs last year had at least one, if not two. I could go fishing around NHL.com for the numbers to support me, but I know I’m right, so if you want to prove me wrong, you do the math.

      “But I suppose you have plenty of other guys in mind that the Rangers have in juniors or the minors who are even of second line caliber?”

      Callahan, Korpikoski, Dubinsky, and by a longshot Jessiman and possily even Moore. That’s not even including Immonen or Dawes.

      “Otherwise, nobody is being groomed to play top line minutes”

      Prucha is. Others will in time, but truth be told, the Rangers don’t have any true first line prospects, so they are developing what they have a lot of prospective talent in – 3rd and 4th line forwards. Next year, with any luck, they will start working on that defense and maybe also see where Montoya fits in the overall scheme of things. With any luck, we’ll have a “problem” like the Sharks, Sabres, or Ducks.

      as far as drafting, no excuses, the Rangers draft poorly.

      Agreed

      The Rangers have wasted many a pick, 2 high first round picks on goalies and another on jessiman.

      I wouldn’t call either of the goalie picks a waste. Bottom line is if Blackburn didn’t get hurt, he would have been a good goaltender. Montoya can serve as a strong 2nd goalie in a 2 goalie system or even as a solid backup. The guy has legitimate number 1 potential, so what I’m expecting of him isn’t unrealistic in any sense. But you’re right about Jessiman. And about the Rangers drafting in general. Just not the two goaltenders.

    45. You all are blind and crazy..well not all…The Rangers HAD TO SIGN enough vets to fill out the roster…NO ROOKIES were ready..I think that they really did expect Immonen to take teh 2nd line center spot, or at least be good enough to force the 3rd line spot than move up to 2nd as the season went along, in true Renney fasion, he dosnt like to rush things, but in any case, no other rookies comeing out of last season looked ready…I know how well Dawes did in the AHL, but lets not forget, he was a rookie there, and I never expectined him to last so long with teh Rangers…Other than that, the D I know is a mess, but I think the Rangers figued that 1 or 2 of their top 6 would be asked for in trade soon after teh season started, since tehy did so well last year, the tradeing is cool right now, but one or two defender can be moved soonn if need be, and I tihnk that was a play of sorts as well…also last year, other than Jagr being injured, the rangers took some injuries on the blueline and didnt have readily availible fill ins, so I tihnk they want to keep a couple spares around, and I dont mind seeing POCK on wing, its not like he is going to demand a trade just so he can try to play D on another team, he seems like the kind of guy who is just happy to play hocky, be it in the NHL or at the YMCA. But the Rangers are growing a great crop of kids, and are not rushing them, next year more kids will be ready, and they will have more behind them…I wil say however, If the rangers dont have 2 or 3 rookies in the linup next season, I will be upset, and I odnt think all will be on the 3rd and 4th lines…I tihnk 1 on the top 6 and 2 on the botom six and one defender…but thats just me..

    46. Doodie Machetto on

      How many goals is Hossa good for? Betts? Ward? Orr? Hall? They would sell their grandmothers to the beelzebub for a 20-30 goal season.

      Aside from Hall, those guys will never score, or ever be expected to score 20 goals. Your expectation of them to do so shows your fundamental lack of understanding of their purpose.

      Hall could score 20 goals. The coaching staff and environment on this team isn’t exaclty the best for him to develop his skills, as they don’t seem to really know how to teach him to crash the net and pick up the garbage. Regardless, Hall still isn’t much beyond a 3rd liner. His totals so far have been 16, 13, and 14, which is about what you would want for an offensive 3rd line winger. I think he’ll crack 20 once or twice in his career. Probably not this year though.

    47. Doodie Machetto on

      “The Rangers HAD TO SIGN enough vets to fill out the roster…NO ROOKIES were ready..I think that they really did expect Immonen to take teh 2nd line center spot, or at least be good enough to force the 3rd line spot than move up to 2nd as the season went along…I wil say however, If the rangers dont have 2 or 3 rookies in the linup next season, I will be upset, and I odnt think all will be on the 3rd and 4th lines…I tihnk 1 on the top 6 and 2 on the botom six and one defender…but thats just me..”

      It’s not just you- I totally agree.

    48. Quick point on the three stars thing…

      I recently was able to take a vacation to Canada to see Canadiens and Maple Leafs games. Both teams award the Molson Cup, a monthly award based on “star points” on each game’s announcement of the three stars.

      This is the only example I have seen of the three stars being used as any sort of motivational tool. I honestly don’t think the players care all that much about it.

      I guess a question to Sam would be – I’ve covered a grand total of 5 AHL games, so I was never on a regular beat and was never able to do a feature on something such as the significance of the three stars. Do players actually care about who gets named at the end of the game?

    49. How many goals is Hossa good for? Betts? Ward? Orr? Hall? They would sell their grandmothers to the beelzebub for a 20-30 goal season.

      Aside from Hall, those guys will never score, or ever be expected to score 20 goals. Your expectation of them to do so shows your fundamental lack of understanding of their purpose.

      Doody, when did I say I expected those guys to score 20-30 goals? Revising history does not make for good discussion/debate, Doody. Once or twice, I give you the benefit of the doubt. But it seems you pathologically twist what posters say to fit your argument. And so…you’re dead ta me, Doody.

    50. Doodie Machetto on

      How many goals is Hossa good for? Betts? Ward? Orr? Hall? They would sell their grandmothers to the beelzebub for a 20-30 goal season.

      When you are making the argument that a 20-30 goal winger is hard to come by, a statement like “How many goals is Hossa good for? Betts? Ward? Orr? Hall? They would sell their grandmothers to the beelzebub for a 20-30 goal season.” implies that you think that you are upset because these guys who won’t score 20-30 goals are playing in favor of someone who might. It further implies that if Dawes were in the lineup for one of these guys, he would score 20-30 goals and you are upset because these guys never will, thus, you expect them to score 20-30 goals to justify Dawes’ exclusion from the lineup.

      I’m sick of arguing with you. You have yet to make any point that has demonstrated any understanding of the totality of the game of hockey. All you seem to know is that the more goal scorers in the lineup, the better, which is plainly wrong.

    51. Dawes might very well be good for 15-20 goals as a fourth line winger.

      And just to clarify, last year we would not have had 2 20-30 goal scoring second line wingers because Prucha would have spent the year in Hartford if Rucinsky hadn’t been hurt. And these guys all had tons of PP time with Jagr. How about looking back a little further?

      In 2003-04, the Rangers had 2 players with more than 20 goals. One was Jagr who was with Washington most of the year.

      In 2002-03, the Rangers had 3 players with more than 20 goals, 2 of whom were Kovalev and Carter, who spent almost the entire season with other teams.

      In 2001-02, the Rangers had 4 players with 20 or more goals, one of whom was Pavel Bure, who was again with another team most of the year.

      So historically speaking, yes, I wouold say that for the New York Rangers, a winger – or any player, for that matter – who can score 20 goals would be hard to come by.

      I just dont get it. Why do you agree with not even bothering to try playing a kid from within the organization who led Hartford in scoring last year and made the team out of camp? You wont play him on the second line because hes inexperienced, but you wont give him any experience because as far as you can tell, he’s not that good, he’ll only be a 20-30 goal scorer, of which in the 3 years leading up to the lockout the Rangers had 9, 5 of whom spent most of those seasons with other teams.

    52. Doodie Machetto on

      Peter- If Rucinsky didn’t go down then he would’ve been a 20 goal scorer, giving us one, regardless of whether Prucha had his chance. Sykora scored 16 goals in 40 games with NY which is 20-30 quality, regardless of whether the full 20-30 actually came in NY.

      Your illustration of past 20-30 goal scorers in NY only further proves my point. Without 20-30 goal scoring 2nd line wingers, you miss the playoffs.

      Putting Dawes on the 3rd or 4th line is bad for more reasons than not developing him in a proper environment. Dawes is TINY. 5’8″ 190 lbs, making him one of the smallest guys on the team. You don’t put a guy that small on your checking lines when its big problem is a lack of physicality. And With 5 mins a night, Dawes would not even come close to 15-20 goals. And I still stick by my position: Right now, he’s just not that good!

      I’m not against putting young guys on the team. It’s just a matter of having spots in the right places. The Rangers are pretty solid offensively in the top two lines (with the possible exception of Cullen, and before camp I was all for Immo being the 2nd line center). Dawes will get his chance, he is only 21. Let him develop his hands, vision, and body for another year at a level where he doesn’t risk injury from guys who like to headhunt tiny players (how many times has Prucha just been CRUSHED this year?).

      The bottom 6 forwards are all young guys as I mentioned above. Dawes doesn’t fit in here, he’s too small and is a liability defensively. Defensive liabilities are what you try and avoid in your 3rd and 4th lines.

      The defense could use an injection of youth, and I would love to see Pock get regular shifts as I think he is ready. But again, he is the only prospect defensively that IS ready, which is why I am happy to see Staal, Baranka and others take another year developing.

    53. I have to wonder if some of you are on drugs or something.

      First of all, Tom G…Just stop. By far the worst. You are lowering my IQ level by the minute. Whining about Jagr like a broken record, and meanwhile the guy have been great for us for 2 years. Are you still living in the early 2000’s? Seriously? Um, get over it.

      You think it is Jagr’s fault that the team has not turned to youth? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….

      Alright, skippy, here is some common sense. Most of the youth simply is not ready. Assuming Dawes is ready, which he showed flashes- Shanny and Prucha are in spots that would be perfect for him (minutes-wise). Where are you bitching about them? They don’t deserve to be whined about, but neither does Jagr.

      Out of all of Pack, the only guys who you could make a great point for are Baranka who got shafted big time and that is defense. Dubinsky (Although a year in HF would do him well). And Greg Moore, simply because he would fit into a roll where he doesn’t play many minutes.

      Meanwhile, you want the vets off this team to make room for kids who aren’t ready? I don’t know how long you have watched hockey, but that usually doesn’t work out too grandly. And you constantly whined and moaned that this is Jagr’s fault? Nope, the answer is that the kids are not ready and those that have shown they are ready are shafted by management. Jagr is one bright spot of this team. Nylander and Straka are nothing without him and neither is the team (As great as Shanny has been).

      Honestly, just don’t comment until you get a clue.

    54. BTW Tom G- Taking nights off for Jagr? He had a bad night in Pittsburgh. There is a difference between not being on your game and not trying.

      BTW- I didn’t want to bring this up, but as to the BS with this main discussion started by Sam (which was a great read), the whole theory kind of goes out the window when you look at the November 12th game last season in Pittsburgh where he was boo’d to hell and still scored a hattrick.

    55. Hey Bauer, I think you need to get over it, seriously. It sounds to me that you skippy have a problem. I didn’t realize you had something going with Jagr. Sorry to offend you bro. I think it’s time for you to come to reality.

    56. Doodie Machetto on

      Bauer: While I agree with some of what you said, I certainly disagree with your tone. Let’s try and keep it a little more civil please.

      I also agree that Jagr is entitled to a bad game every now and then, but don’t insult Sam. He’s the reason you have a place to voice your opinion so if you want to disagree, do so politely.

      And while Jagr is a bright spot on the team, he is certainly not the only one (Shanahan, Lundqvist, Prucha for the future). Furthermore, you mentioned that Nylander and Straka are nothing without Jagr, but I’d like to point out that last season, Straka put up about his average points production (with the exception of 2003-2004 when it was very low), and Nylander lived up to his expectations of a point per game player. It’s not like it was a Thornton-Cheechoo connection.

      Also, while I agree with the reason why the kids don’t play (see above where I explained my position more thoroughly) I think your assessment of the talent pool is inaccurate. Baranka is not ready, Moore is at least 2 years away, and Dubinsky needed a year in the Pack as well. You also forgot to mention Pock, who should be seeing icetime right now.

      Bottom line, just be more civil, no matter how much you disagree with someone.

    57. “Your illustration of past 20-30 goal scorers in NY only further proves my point. Without 20-30 goal scoring 2nd line wingers, you miss the playoffs”

      Actually, that was not your point. Your point was that 20-30 goal scorers are easy to come by. My point was that not only aren’t they easy to come by, but if you can grow a few of your own and keep them around they can be an essential part of your team. Not to mention while Dawes may be short, he’s fairly stocky and plays a different game than Prucha. Last year during the preseason I commented that a line of Prucha/Immonen/Dawes looked like one that would be a great #2 line in the Rangers’ future. While this year may not be the right time, I certainly think that some variation of that (with Prucha on second line of course) would be great as a fourth line this year. I say this because it is not clear to me how much more time Dawes and Immonen need to spend at the AHL level. How many NHL players who contribute regularly spent 2 + years in the AHL? You can flip that around and say “exactly, these guys aren’t NHL caliber,” but I beg to differ. Our braintrust has opted not to make room for them. I mean really, what would be so wrong with a third line of Betts/Hossa/Ward and a fourth line of Dawes/Hollweg and eithe Hall, Orr or Immonen taking a regular shift for this team? I think all of those players have more to gain by doing that than by playing more time in Hartford. Its te same thing as Staal – the guy doesnt need to play junior hockey anymore – unfortunately he isnt NHL ready and cant play in Hartford, but if you think he has the goods, you wouldn’t stick him in juniors if Hartford was an option just because Hartford lacks the roster space. You make it for him.

    58. Doodie Machetto on

      Oh Goddamnit. I just wrote a huge response and it didn’t post and was deleted. Here is a much shorter version:

      My 20-30 goal scorer point was two fold: they are easy to come by because 16 teams (the amount that are in the playoffs) have at least 1 or 2 and that to make the playoffs you have to have one or two as evidenced by all of the teams in the playoffs having them.

      Second, we are developing one of those wingers at this point in Prucha.

      Third, there are several players who benefitted from an extra year in the AHL, a few that I can remember from the list I compiled are:

      Cheechoo
      Briere
      Spezza (Split duty in his rookie year between AHL and NHL, had a disappointing full year at NHL level, spent lockout in AHL and came back great)
      Staal (bad rookie year, spent lockout in AHL, came out great)

      Here is a list of blue chip prospects that took several years, sometime 6-8, of NHL time to develop who probably could have benefitted from some time on the farm:

      Marleau
      Naslund
      Bertuzzi
      Justin Williams
      Maxim Afinogenov
      Sedin Twins
      And to a lesser extent:
      Joe Thornton
      Vinny Lecavalier (not that their numbers were ever low, but look how much higher they got after about 5 years of being in the league)

      Third, the reason why you make room for Staal in the AHL and not for Dawes in the NHL is three-fold. First, Staal is a blue-chip prospect and Dawes is not. Second, the increase in competition from juniors to AHL is much larger than AHL to NHL (which, while I don’t feel like reasoning out again, I’m sure I will be questioned about it). Third, the farm is all about developing prospects, so if you have a better one, you make room for him. At the NHL level it is important to develop young talent to be successful every year, but the bottom line is winning. It is a business that the owner’s want to make money off of from winning, especially in NY, which creates a pressure on management which is not nearly as large in the AHL level, thus allowing you to play as many prospects as you want.

    59. Doodie- I apologize for my tone. But I cannot fanthom how people cannot be pleased with the Jagr we have seen in the NYR jersey.

      I definitely agree there are quite a few bright spots on the team. Shanny probably the brightest. As well as the guys you mentioned, Tyutin is having a hell of a season. With Nylander and Straka, you also have to look at who they have played with in the past. Great players overall. I am happier with them this season than last because this year at least they are shooting and are accurate. They are helping out some w/ the goals (scoring 19 together up to this point, I think).

      On the prospects, I post with guys who watch them quite a bit. And I respect your opinion…Pock I did not include because he is up with the team. I always felt he was shafted myself. On Moore- Only reason I say he can be here is because he is one guy who you can play 5-10 mins a night and wouldn’t hurt his development. From what I have seen in pre-season, Baranka is more than ready. Although I can’t say I know much of his season with HF this year. I do not include Immonen because I don’t think he is in the Org’s plans. I like him, but he needs to improve his feet/speed. Dawes should be up here, but he needs descent minutes and I don’t think he will get that at the moment.

    60. Doodie Machetto on

      I also forgot to mention that the list of prospects that were thrown straight into the NHL and amounted to nothing is too large to even begin to list.

    61. Doodie Machetto on

      Bauer: apology accepted. While Baranka did look good in camp, as heavy as the team is on defenseman this year, there is just not a spot for him, especially when there isn’t even a spot for Pock (although I think Pock can be moved in for Ozolinsh). Moore could play on a 3rd or 4th line, but a year on the farm isn’t going to hurt him in the slightest bit.

      As far as Immo is concerned, I have said on more than one occassion that I think he was a very large part of the organization’s plans this season, but failed to live up to expectations.

    62. Fair enough. So basically we just disagree on how good Dawes is and can be and how to best develop him at this point. The rest of your points are well taken mostly because you did a good job of researching them.

    63. Doodie Machetto on

      Peter- Yes. I really wish the long version of that post posted, I had like 10 guys on each side.

      PS, Thornton and Marleau, 1 and 2 in 97, are the best 1-2 center tandem in the NHL. Crosby-Malkin would be close, but since they have been playing on the same line, that point is moot. I think Lecavalier-Richards is 2nd, but not close.

    64. Doodie Machetto

      On Cullen

      Immonen had a great pre season so his game didn’t go anywhere. renney didn’t promote the best player because if he did immonen would have beaten someone out Hossa, Ward etc for a roster spot. Cullen was signed a a 2nd line center all along and I don’t know if he can do it.

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