Sam’s off, so you’re stuck w/me again

80

That’s right, Sam had a reprieve from Rangers practice today, so I’m back in the fold for another day. The rumor is that Sam spent the morning formulating his comeback to my assault against UNH. So here’s what I have to offer, the two words UNH fans hear every time they visit BU’s Agannis Arena: “Safety school.”

Now I digress. The Rangers had a pretty spirited practice today. From what I saw, they worked on 5-on-5 situations in the offensive zone, a lot of which seemed to take place in the corners. Afterward, they did a number of sprints that had not been part of previous practices I’d seen, although for me personally it’s been a fairly small sample size. By the end of sprints, some of the guys were dripping sweat and breathing pretty hard. Everyone participated in practice today but Jed Ortmeyer, who missed today with a case of the flu. Tom Renney reiterated that Ortmeyer will probably have to spend time in Hartford before joining the big club.

Renney had a few more interesting things to say after practice about Tuesday’s game. (By the way, as an aside, our talk with Renney took place in the players lounge, which has incredibly comfortable black leather chairs. Seriously, I cannot imagine there is a better chair in the universe than the one I sat in today.) Renney felt the Rangers played well on special teams, but that they were mostly flat, as was Atlanta. He seemed pleased that they took a 3-1 lead despite lacking energy, then noted that it probably came back to bite them in the end.

He also had two good quotes on Adam Hall, who, as you all know, “broke his scorless string with two goals Tuesday”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061129/SPORTS01/611290387/1046/SPORTS .

1. “It’s important that I continue to give him opportunities — even if he’s playing down (on the third or fourth line) — that he’s still on the second power-play line.”

2. “You may see his deployment change through the rest of the season, based on how he played last night.”

Clearly, Renney seems intent on Hall being a part of the offense. I guess last night showed what he’s capable of, so expect to see more — not less — of Hall.

Also, my story tomorrow will focus on Martin Straka, who is playing some of the best hockey of his career. I give him credit. I knew he was small, but I’d never met him before today and let me tell you: He is SMALL. But Renney had some very positive words on Straka’s work ethic and the example he sets in the locker room for the other Rangers. That’s why Straka earned the “A” on his sweater.

“It wasn’t a reward,” Renney said. “It was recognition.”

More on that tomorrow.

About Author

80 Comments

  1. Actually I wasn’t off today, but was on another assignment. I actually told Josh this, but that’s the thing with these BU guys: they’re so busy trying to remember the first few letters of the alphabet, they can’t retain much else. Bear with him, folks, if only out of pity.

  2. >>> Bear with him, folks, if only out of pity.

    Oh Snap!

    You got him there Sam …

    Straka earned this A last season with his stellar play, he has been great for us …

    Nice to hear that they had a “Spirited” practice but I guess we will see if it matters come Friday … last of the season vs the Sabres

  3. Marty Straka to me has been the most underrated player on the Rangers this entire season. He does just about everything and does it well, and you don’t truly appreciate him unless you see him live. There are things he does behind the play that are great to watch.

  4. marty straka, along with nylander have been the unsung heroes of this team. I believe that without what they ahve done thus fair into the season, we wouldn’t be where we are. They offer so much more than just being Jagr’s teammates. They have been scoring and assisting, as well as leading this team. They really deserve all of the praise that they are getting, and I hope Straka DOES get retired as a Ranger (as said above), because I just can’t see it any other way. I cannot see this team without them.

  5. above I made many mistakes;
    ahve=have
    fair=far

    Sorry about that, I didn’t check over my work hahah

  6. yeah. I’ve always liked Straka, though he especially shines it seems playing on a team (if not on a line) w/68. I think he just complements Jagr (there was a piece last year in the NYT about the two signaling each other on the ice, hand signals and such. Has anyone seen this actually?). And signing Nylander was an astute move–he’s one of the best set up players in the game, and great for Jagr.

  7. put Immonen and Dawes on top line with Jagr and on top PP with Jagr and Shanahan and play them 20+ minutes every game and they will have more points than Straka and Nylander.

  8. Teams that improved
    Sabres
    Thrashers
    Canadiens
    Leafs
    Isles
    Pens
    Bruins
    Panthers
    Caps

    Team that got worse
    Sens
    Flyers
    Rangers
    Lightening
    Devs
    Canes

    Of the nine teams that improved, the Sabres, Thrashers, Canadiens seem a lock for a playoffs spot. The Leafs, Isles and Pens have a legitimate shot at a spot. Bruins, Caps and Panthers: one or all could possibly make it.

    Of the six teams that got worse, the Flyers seem hopeless. I can’t see the Sens, Devils and Canes getting locked out. This leaves the Rangers and Lightening with a shaky shot at the playoffs.

    My reasoning on the Rangers is that they seem to be as good as they’re gonna get (while most of the others seems to be unknown quantities) Why not the Rangers? God-awful, shaky defense, consisting of 3 #6’s, two #4’s and a #3. Absolutely no offense past Jagr, Nylander, Straka, Shanahan and Prucha. Goaltending that will not steal games like HL did last season (because of the state of the d) But most of all, ATROCIOUS COACHING and GMing. No breakout, no offensive d-man, no speed on d, unbalanced icetime which will doom the stars, no accountability, no protection for stars, no discipline (see “no accountability)no team unity (the Czech clique and then everybody else) and on and on.

    This team will not get better than what we are seeing right now. Possibly worse. This is not a 90 pts team which is what it will take to squeak into a playoff spot.

    So…
    Sabres
    Sens
    Thrashers
    Canadiens
    Canes
    Leafs
    Devils

    Those teams are locks.

    Isles, Pens, Rangers, Lightening will be fighting it out for #8. And they may have company with everyone else but the Flyers.

    WE DO NOT MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. WE HAVE GONE BACKWARDS. And with the same incompetents running things, it’s a done deal.

  9. 90 points won’t be enough to make the playoffs. And yes we will take a nosedive in the 2nd half of the season.

    “My reasoning on the Rangers is that they seem to be as good as they’re gonna get (while most of the others seems to be unknown quantities) Why not the Rangers?”

    yeah and also no young players, so while teams with rookies will get better, we won’t because if Shanahan goes down we call up Isbister and if Jagr goes down we trade Dawes and Baranka for Fedorov. And I am pretty sure we’ll miss the playoffs, not that it matters much cause this team won’t win a single playoff game.

  10. Strong words… we should print out your predictions and see how they stand up at the end of the season…
    No way to improve?? You mean that all the people on the team that everyone says should be scoring never will?
    This team should only get better… even if it means making a move or two….

  11. “Guess it’s all over…see everyone next season…”

    why? the best part is seeing them lose and them wonder why. This freakshow will be fun for me. I laugh my ass off each time they lose.

  12. wow. why don’t you guys get a little more optimistic, because you are doing a great job. You guys have got to be kidding me. Can you PLEASE just relax, and give this team some supprt. This is getting quite pathetic. I am pretty sure that fans are supposed to supprt their team, even when they suck. You guys are acting like sissy princesses, so just chill. And guess what? The coach and GM know what they are doing despite your negative comments that are inconsequential to the Rangers.

  13. Doodie Machetto on

    “put Immonen and Dawes on top line with Jagr and on top PP with Jagr and Shanahan and play them 20+ minutes every game and they will have more points than Straka and Nylander”

    You’ve said some pretty ignorant things, but this one takes the cake.

    “why? the best part is seeing them lose and them wonder why. This freakshow will be fun for me. I laugh my ass off each time they lose.”

    Wait, you just topped it. Go root for the Isles, we don’t want or need you.

    Josh and Sam: Don’t make be get Brooksian on you two: I don’t want you two doing Herbies until one of you says your name and then “The Journal News” instead of your name and your university.

  14. Doodie Machetto on

    Jane: I agree, but that’s the typical NY fan- never happy, always complaining. They complain the team isn’t any good and they should rebuild. If the team rebuilt and lost most of the games, they would complain that the team sucks and should pick up some vets to win some games.

    Chardkerm: Did you notice that the 6 teams you listed that got worse all made the playoffs last season? It’s much easier to go down from there than it is to go up from the bottom, ala Pittsburgh and Washington. And did it occur to you that Buffalo isn’t better, they are just the same, with everyone else being worse? I don’t buy your playoff predictions either. No way do four teams make it out of one division under the new schedules because they play each other so often that it dilutes their numbers. It’s almost impossible. If i wanted crazy predictions, I could always read some Nostradamus or shake my magic 8ball.

  15. Straka has played well, but he does benefit from playing with Jagr. Case in point…when Straka was tried as the 2nd line C earlier this season, he was a flop. So those who yell about the 2nd line C spot, well it ain’t easy.

    And the other lines could benefit from doses of Jagr too, if Renney would wake up. Instead of playing Jagr on long shifts with his buddies, why not shorten his 1st line shifts, and then double-shift him on the other lines at different times to keep him fresh, to keep him away from opponent defensive specialists, and to boost the output and morale of the other lines.

  16. Doodie Machetto: I like your thinking, and your Herb Brooks comment, it made me laugh. And the Rangers are going to be a winning team, and here is MY prediction “Chardkerm”:

    1. Rangers
    2. Rangers
    3. Rangers
    4. Rangers
    5. Rangers
    6. Rangers
    7. Rangers
    8. Rangers

    according to my prediction, we at least won the eastern conference title. So mine is pretty much as crazy as yours, eh?

  17. Doodie Machetto on

    Straka has played well, but he does benefit from playing with Jagr. Case in point…when Straka was tried as the 2nd line C earlier this season, he was a flop. So those who yell about the 2nd line C spot, well it ain’t easy.

    True, he does benefit from that, but so would any player. Part of his failure on the 2nd line is that he is a much better winger than center, too.

    And I agree on your idea of splitting up Jagr’s time. A week or so ago, there was talk between myself and someone else about dressing Pock as a 7th defenseman and having him split shifts with Jagr on the 4th line in a rolling 4 line set up. Pock could pair up on defense also during those shifts and give a regular defenseman a breather.

  18. Why do people even read what Chardkerm or vinny pooh say anymore? vinny obviously has no clue about anything. Immonen and Dawes = Straka and Nylander? Ok. And Chardkerm pulls predictions out of god knows where, so that if he’s right he can say, “I TOLD YOU SO.” I guarantee the Rangers make the playoffs. This team has only gotten better since the beginning of the season (For the month of November they are 8-3-3), which is a great improvement from October, and will only continue to do well. Get over it

  19. “You’ve said some pretty ignorant things, but this one takes the cake.”

    feel free to disagree, but calling me ignorant just shows you are ignorant because it hasn’t been done yet so how would you know if I am being ignorant unless you are ignorant yourself? And come on you are the one who said Buffalo has more top tier prospects, and you dare call me ignorant? Shame on you.

    “Go root for the Isles, we don’t want or need you.”

    this gives me flashbacks from kindergarden.

  20. Doodie Machetto on

    aside from having them listed in all 8 spots, I’d say your prediction is going to be at least as accurate as CK’s

  21. Doodie Machetto on

    Evgeni: agreed. But it will take a collective agreement among everyone else to ignore them, no matter how crazy what they say, in order for the ridiculousness to stop.

  22. Doodie Machetto on

    By the way, I’ve sometimes wondered if vinny pooh and chardkerm were the same person. Maybe even tsalad too.

  23. haha I know, I was just kidding around… and Vinny Pooh; come onnnnnn reverse phyc about ignorance? let’s get poppin here, and uhhhh how can I say this… take the play in stride–and PS, I am quite sorry about your kindergarten memories

  24. Evgeni(terrible name by the way), my prediction is you have room temperature IQ and you will be on antidepressants by April 2007.

  25. Doodie Machetto on

    Jane: the sad thing is that even though you were kidding around, it was still a better bracket!

  26. vinny pooh: “Evgeni(terrible name by the way), my prediction is you have room temperature IQ and you will be on antidepressants by April 2007.”

    wow. you defff contemplated the formulation of this comment in order for the greatest possible effect on Evgeni, although it is probaby inconsequential (word of the night) to him!

  27. Let’s reel it in, folks. I’m not sure any of this is going in a productive direction. You all know how I feel. I’m happy that you are using this space to trade ideas, but not if you’re just using it to wage personal attacks at one another.

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    Sam, you’re one to talk:

    “Actually I wasn’t off today, but was on another assignment. I actually told Josh this, but that’s the thing with these BU guys: they’re so busy trying to remember the first few letters of the alphabet, they can’t retain much else. Bear with him, folks, if only out of pity.” haha.

    I think we could all use some Herbies.

    “Doodie Machetto, New York Rangers fan.”

  29. vinny pooh: You are ignorant…but that may be just becaue you havnt seen enough of Immo….he dosnt hae the skillset of Nylander, so him on the top line wouldnt be the same, he wouldnt be able to handle the puck long wenough for Jagr/Straka to get into position. Straka has done ALOT of his stuff on his own, I dont think Dawes has that ability, at elast yet, maybe after a few yeras in the NHL full time he will acheive that tyype of play…but right now, Jagr wou;d have half the points he has if he was on the line with Dawes and Immo…not that someday they wount get better, but Immo dosnt have the smae skillset that Nylander dose, and I think its the TYPE of skill, not so much the AMOUNT of skill that the players on that line have, I tihnk its how well tehy work together, and read off of each other. But maybe you dont see that, I dont know, maybe you dont want to, but if you dont know enough to see that than that is why I say ignorant, becasue thats what that means, basically, not having the knowlege about something means your ignorant about it…but no prob, jsut looka t it that way, its the typew of palyers, not jsut any palyers with skill would work..

  30. This is amusing … it seems to me that there is a type of “fan” who likes to see the team do well so that they can pretend to seem “Smart” as they wax poetic of WHY things aren’t working …

    Well folks, they have about the same amount of points that they had last season now so they haven’t gotten worse, but by all means see you next season, it’s better than seeing the constant whinning

  31. ALSO EVERYONE… 5 games agao…at the beginign of the game…if the announcers had said the Rangers would get 3 wins in a row, than make it into OT against the two top team ion the east, and get 8 of 10 points going 3-0-2, I dont htink anyone would have said no to that…come on..thats a good stretch of games…the team realises they messed up last night, most teams do that now and again…heck even Buf did it this year, they talked about letting tehir guard down, and loseing a game, so they rebounded…if the Rangers sit back and lose another one soon than I will be upset with them, but if they learn from their mistakes, well thats just them getting better. Someone picked the Devils to make it over the Rangers…but the Devils go onth eroad and lose 4 stright and get 3 points out of 10, but yeah, they are so good they will just never do that agin all year?? PLease…tey could end up number 14 or 15 in the east…as cvould Buf if thins went horrible in the injury department for them. I say the rangers end up Ither 2nd/3rd as the division leader, or 5th/6th in the 2nd spot of the division…that wont shock me as much as not makeing the playoffs…the East is really tight right now, but I think it will start to settle out a little soon, some teams will go on streaks, and the young YOUNG teams like Pit may have some probles with the length of the season, and a few injuries will hit them harder than a team like the rangers who have good young guys to call up and fill in. NJD will rebound, but I dont know if they make it, their D isnt that good, and they cant seem to score game to game…they score 4 gaols in 3 games, than they score 4 in one, than its back to 5 in 4 and so on and so forth…The Flyers are doing better, but I dont see them doing to much…But ost teams wont be able to hang with the Rangers and Buf and ATL, I tihnk the Rangers are better than their record right now, they are a better team than in the opening month, while some teams like PIT and NJD are not nearly as good, its is their early season success that has them up in the hunt, not tehir recent paly.

  32. Wildcard you are ignorant because Immonen is almost a Nylander clone, what he lacks in fancy shmancy stickwork compared to Nylander, he makes up with better physical play, more energy/enthusiasm, better defensive play and a hell of a lot better on faceoffs.

  33. vinny pooh, I am supporter of giving Immonen an extended look with the Rangers but to say he is a Nylander clone doesn’t suggest a strong understanding of either player’s game. Nylander’s game is predicated on his speed, which he has in abundance. The rap on Immonen is that he might be too slow a skater for the NHL game. I don’t know if that’s the case, but Immonen relies on his vision, passing and tenacity for success – very different then Nylander trying to skate circles around everyone.

  34. Nylander relies on speed? He barely ever uses his speed. I meant they are clones in term of offensive output.

  35. vinny pooh: EXACTLY MY POINT!!! Nylander has the EXACT things that the lines needs along with Straka…its not about how much skill but what kinds of skills they have. You MUST have missed my point. I am NOT saying that Immonen isnt as skilled as Nylander, but in other ways, I am say that Nylanders skills are exacltly the right ones, along with Strakas and Jagrs…I tihnk Immo and Dawes maybe with someone else may have that kind of thing, but you cant jsut plug two guys in for those Rangers top line guys and expect them to get the same results…it wont happen plain and simple, tey dont have the right typs of games or the experiance to put their skills to work efectivly. And by saying Dawes can get as many points as Straka…than Prucha could to…and I really like PP, but he wouldnt be doing what Straka is…he dosnt hve the same type of game that line needs…

  36. “Nylander has the EXACT things that the lines needs along with Straka”

    no, I disagree, I think somebody more physical, who would crash the net, who can win faceoffs and is better defensively is EXACTLY what that line needs. Whether it is Nylander or Titov who centers Jagr he will still get his 100 points because he is the most selfish and spoiled player in NHL. That is why he sucked in Washington because they were more about “team” rather than idividual glory.

    “I tihnk Immo and Dawes maybe with someone else may have that kind of thing, but you cant jsut plug two guys in for those Rangers top line guys and expect them to get the same results…it wont happen plain and simple”

    it will, maybe even better results. Maybe not right away but they will unless of course Jagr declines due to age or injuries.

    Prucha would get 50 goals a season if he got the icetime that Straka gets.

  37. and yes you are right the type of players that Jagr is most happy with are like Straka–fast enough to cover his ass and fetch him the puck non stop and is brainwashed into always doing everything for Jagr. Jagr wouldn’t want anybody like Jagr on his line because he would never get the puck. Jagr wants to be THE STAR and he wants to play with players who will work their asses off to make him look like a star.

  38. Now I understand better after reading all of your insightful posts. How could I possibly have questioned the judgement of the Ranger braintrust? I’m now convinced that the team has the greatest coach in Ranger history and we’ll soon be planning the ticker tape parade.

    GO RANGERS!!!

  39. And of course Jagr needs a coach who would do everything Jagr’s way to make Jagr happy and to help him be the star.

  40. vinny pooh : The line is one of the BEST in the entire NHL…two pf the top 5 scores..one of them Nylander…and you say they need something difent?? Get reall..that is the CRAZIEST thing I have herd in a LONG time..Immo wouldnt get 100 points..and Prucha wouldnt get 50 gaols…because Strka dose alot of the things all alone, Prucha NEEDS guys around him to get him going. Not a knock on him, some players just need that..and Jagr is so selfish that he is getting alot of assists and makes passes to guys lkike Nylander and Staka…or that pas to Roszival the other day that ended up on Strakas stick for a tip in, yeah…jagr COULD have taken that in a bit and shot it, but he was a TEAM palyer…he comes back on D…peopel say dont go after a player for their past becasue they dont always play liek they used to..well Jagr has been a TEAM guy last season and this one so far…give him some credit, giuve Nylander and Straka their credit. You ap[arently dont see how uch they do for that line, that line has exactly what it nees for each of those guys to succeed, and you think that by changing it it will get better …LOL…would a supperstar Center make the line better?? I dont know…I think if the rangers got a TRUE number one center…Vinny L from TB, or a Crosby, or a Joe thorton it would be better for the team to put him on the 2nd line with Prucha and Shanny and Cullen ont he 3rd line…I would touch that top line…its a great line…the rangers need to figure out whats wrong with the 2nd line first…Immo might work really well there becausde his style meshes with Shannys, and Prucha could finish from the oposite side of Shanny after Immo gets the puck off the baord with Shannys help, they could eed him in front and bang bang…and Cullen could use his speed from the 3rd line helping defensivly like he did most of last year, that would also make the 4th line better…But to mess with a line that is clicking so well…jsut plain stupididty IMHO..but anyway…no more of this..whoever seadi it before was right…I need to ignor things that are just way outside the relm of reason or posibility

  41. vinny pooh : EVERY STAR PLAYER IS LIKE THAT!! dont think for one second they dont want ot be the center of attention…and Straka…for all him being out there just for JJ, he sure is doing it himself alot…and JJ seems really happy about it…your way off base…and Renney is SMART for making JJ happy, you dont think that the Staff in PUT is worried about keeping Crosby happy, that tey would put the palyers he wanted on the PP to make him happy and productive? Or The Avs with Sakic and for a while Forseberg? Or any team?? When they dont htose star palyers are not as good and thats the problem, stars get what they want or they just arnt as productive, its human nature…are tehir exception…of course…its human nature…but if Jagr helps win with those linemates, and they play really great al well, because those guys are palying great, that you leave it alone!!! man…why not keep JKJ happy, the rangers are in 1st, they are winning, they have 8 of the last 10 points…so lets keep it going GO RANGERS!!!!!!

  42. What Jagr has is not really skill (well he does have skill but not that much more than many good players) as you can easily see from his numerous giveaways, missed shots, and shootout/breakaway record, he has a good understanding of math and probability. He knows that if he conserves his energy by not playing physical or caring too much about defensive part of the game while playing basically over 15 minutes a game in the offensive zone he will produce lots of points. Further more if he has a large curve on his stick which can surprise many goalies with velocity or the unusual direction and if he shoots a LOT many of those go in. And once he starts scoring he will get double and triple teamed, then he can start passing to open teammate and get ton of assists.

  43. That top line just started hot, 57 games to go, they will cool off soon enough. This was as good as it gets, next come slumps, injuries, and effects of being overplayed each night.

    And so far this line put up almost 40% of their points on the PP.

  44. doodie

    You have something to say then please say it to me not in a post about how you don’t like what CK and vinny put down. This board is about opinions and if you can’t learn to deal with the one’s that disagree with yours you need to post somewhere else.

    Not everyone is happy and that doesn’t make them any less of a fan or any less credible then those who love everything. Show some class.

  45. Why I’m not happy.

    One playoff appearance in 7 years and they get swept.

    No kids in the lineup this year so what takes place when Jagr, Shanny, Nylander, Straka etc retire? Who replaces them? Maybe if guys got a chance to play we could find out if anyone can actually play in the NHL. When does the ability to continue to develop players have to take a back seat to developing none at the NHL level.

    Now its a long year and perhaps and I hope young guys get a chance to show if they have anything but as of right now there have been no chances, instead we get ozo and rachunek and hossa and that makes this team better how? I just don’t see how playing those guys makes this team better this year or in the long haul. Is Ozo walking after this year and if so who replaces him? Other people see if differently and that is fine by me as I don’t have a problem with that but I will disagree and if you can’t take it then realize there are fans who see it differently.

  46. oh and we can’t beat Buffalo when they play 6 rookies. I don’t care how little some played we still lost or Atlanta with 3 of there 6 d men out. Those make me unhappy. Right now as last year this team isn’t good enough to compete vs the top teams. Or what Jagr said today in the paper. Not me Jagr.

  47. “Who replaces them?”

    some other big name free agents an so the cycle continues. Who needs to develop some young unknown nobodies when they can get to play Tim Sweeney’s, Mike Keane’s, Ulanov’s, Gusarov’s, Kamensky’s, Ciger’s, etc. They will play just about anybody as long as they don’t have to develop any young players, because what could be worse than having some young unknown nobodies come and outplay some millionaires and force management into an awkward situation, lets leave these nasty things to pathetic poor teams like Sabres and Penguins.

  48. P.S. if I told you before the season began that Nylander would be top 5 in scoring, you would laugh at my face and call me ignorant, so I see no reason why Dawes and Immonen cannot play well on the top line with Jagr, until I am proven wrong, and I will not be proven wrong because this is the Rangers we are talking about, they treat rookies like Nazis treated Jews.

  49. if someone said Nylander palying onthe top line would be in the top 5 in scoreing, i would say ” That mean jagrs leading teh leauge again..cool” I wouldnt laugh, not at all. Also…there are LOTS of “kids” in teh lineup, if you mean no rooks…well…no but I tihnk before teh season is over Pock will be regular in the lineup, r at least playing alot more. The ranger have ZERO, well no, one or two top 6 prospects in Hartford, one or two in junor or overseas…so a grand total or two or four, and thats IF they all pan out. Buff may have palyed with 6 rooks…but their top 6 was intact, big difrence than if they had 2 or 3 of their top six as rooks. In ATL tehir D wasnt teh prob…it was thier Offense…they kept the puck in the 3rd, not the D doing it…the rangers had chances when tehy got deep…so thats why that game went the way it did…Rangers didnt work hard enough to push that banged up D….and Vinny, young guys have outplayed vets…thats why Rucinsky isnt with the Ragners…his name is Prucha…so lay off the stuff…its messing with your brain..

  50. Doodie Machetto on

    “No kids in the lineup this year so what takes place when Jagr, Shanny, Nylander, Straka etc retire? Who replaces them? Maybe if guys got a chance to play we could find out if anyone can actually play in the NHL. When does the ability to continue to develop players have to take a back seat to developing none at the NHL level. ”

    Good point. Who replaces them? The fundamental problem with that thinking is that Jagr and Shanahan COULD be replaced. Point in fact is that they, especially Jagr, are dynamic talents that are not easily replaceable. The Rangers have no one to replace Jagr in their organization. Anyone who could be good enough would not have spent any time in Hartford, and would have gone straight to the NHL. So while we have him, before he gets any older, why not make a run at the cup instead of develop young players at the NHL level.

    “One playoff appearance in 7 years and they get swept. ”

    Exactly. Why not one or two more first before they miss it for another 7 years? It’s not like there are any amazing players in the draft this year to be picked up if they finish poorly. The kids in the system are still young. They will have plenty of time to develop together at the NHL level. But the trick is to get as many in at the same time as possible, so that you can have them all cheap, and save your money for the superstar veteran players that are available at the time.

    Buffalo is trickling them in and while they are great now, they are going to lose either Chris Drury or Daniel Briere at the end of the season as a result (probably Drury). Tampa Bay decided to keep all of their players and so they lost Kubina and Khabibulin and still have their hands totally tied by the cap. Speaking of hands tied by the cap, The Great Loudini is lucky that Brodeur was willing to be paid so little or his team would be dead in the water, which they will be next year. Ottawa lost Chara. But look at Pittsburgh. All young kids. All of them. They will win the cup eventually because they will still all be there together. But as soon as they break out of those entry level contracts, theyll be back at the bottom because they won’t be able to afford Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Malone, Armstrong, and Staal at the same time.

    PS, imagine if we won the lottery and got Crosby? I like to think of how we would win the cup.

  51. Doodie wrote:
    “So while we have him, before he gets any older, why not make a run at the cup instead of develop young players at the NHL level.”

    Thank you for writing this because this sums up the fundamental difference between those of us who are unhappy with the Sather/Renney regime and those of you who are supportive. The “unhappy” group sees a deeply flawed team (esp on the blueline) that is not a realistic cup contender while the “happy” group is happy making the playoffs and hoping for the best once the team gets there. The “unhappy” group wants to see kids developed because they believe that long term success will require a rebuild led by a youthful core augmented by a few key veterans. The “happy” group thinks that bringing kids in is too much of a risk to the short term goal of making the playoffs. I will say that I believe that the Sather/Renney regime’s thinking is clearly more aligned with the “happy” group. So, all of you in that group can take solace that regardless of the nattering nabobs of negativism (to steal a phrase from Spiro Agnew), you have a coach and a GM that agree with you. The rest of us will have to just shake our heads at the mismanagement of the franchise that has been going on for a long time and looks like it will continue for a while longer (as long as JJ is around).

  52. Vinny-

    I don’t always appreciate the tone of your posts, but I do think you bring up good points to discuss. I reallyhave to disagree with you as far as Nylander anStraka go. If you watch that line when they are in the offensive zone, they do things that the two rookies you would like to take their place cannot possibly do. Yes, Immo might be more physical and better on face offs, but the work of the line along the boards is nothing short of amazing. They can control the puck with two or three guys on top of them and can find eachother with deft passes that leave opponents scrambling on most occasions (I know you’ll say they turnover the puck way too many times. True, but I think with this line, it’s worth the risk). Straka can lug the puck in with speed. I know you think Straka is a terrible player, and it must be tough for you not to be able to trash him as he is playing incredible hockey right now, but it’s your blatant hatred of certain players (Betts and Straka have been your whipping boys all season) that undermine, in my mind, your comments. I have had a problem with Malik all season, but he is playing better and I recognize that. You, in turn, don’t bother commenting on Straka and turn your venom towards Nylander and, today anyway, Jagr. I would love to see Immo and Dawes up here. I would put Immo with Prucha and Shanny. I would put Cullen on LW with Betts and Ward and I would have a 4th line of Hollweg, Hall and Ortmeyer when he returns. But I’m not going to trash the guys that have had a lot to do with our success last year and this year in the process.

    Oh, yeah, comparing a hockey team to the nazis and the jews is pretty ridiculous. I’m not even talking political correctness, just talking class.

  53. Twin-

    Funny post, especially the Spiro Agnew quote!

    Look, I understand that you think the team should be developing youth. I personally think that we are still developing players with patience. It’s funny that a few years ago we complained that young players were rushed and pushed into situations where they wouldn’t succeed. Someone mentioned that Buffalo was only rated 21st at Hockeysfuture.com and we were 14th and this showed that Buffalo didn’t have a better drafting record. That was a ridiculous comment, because obviously the Buffalo talent is ready and in the NHL and their cap situation didn’t allow them to keep all their vets (Dumont toname one). We have the youngest team in the AHL (despite Isbister who is warming the bench- Ferarro was released).I agree that there could be more youth inthe NHL lineup, but I don’t agree that this team is a disaster as long as Jags in here. How many past their prime superstars have we seen on Broadway? (Espo, Dionne, Lafleur, Gretzky, etc.)Jags and Shanahan have broken that trend and are delivering as promised. I’m not one of the “Happy” camp as far as thinking Sather is doing the right thing all the time, but I appreciate being able to have one of the best players ever playing for my team. I enjoy the makeup of the forward lines and hope that the D stabilizes soon.

  54. I didn’t mean disrespect to the players I mentioned as past their prime. I am thankful I got to see each of them wear Ranger Blue (Gretz especially) but Messier is the only guy before Jags who came to Broadway and still delivered a dominating performance.

  55. Doodie Machetto on

    Colorado Mark barely touches on a point I tried to make to Twin but he overlooked it. I’m all for the rebuilding process. But you need to either have a full scale rebuilding process or none at all. If you trickle them in, they develop at different paces and you can’t keep them all. Buffalo had to part with JP Dumont this season. Next season it’ll be Drury or Briere. What happens when Miller and Afinogenov break out of their entry level contracts.

    This year wasn’t the right year to start that process. There is no debating that Staal and Sanguinetti weren’t NHL ready this season. Korpikoski and Dubinsky needed some AHL time to get used to the size and power increases. Jessiman is coming along, slowly but steadily. Moore needed at least a year. Montoya needed just one more year in Hartford and then he can split duties with the King (I’m thinking 52-30 if he does well). He also needed to wait for the spot Weekes is currently occupying to be vacated. So the majority of the Rangers future wasn’t really NHL ready yet.

    That said, bringing in some youth this year wouldn’t have been a bad idea. The only problem is that there isn’t really any room for the wingers who were ready, like Dawes or more recently Callahan, in the lineup. Those guys play an offensive game, best suited for top 4 wing duties, not for wearing a team down on a third or 4th line. And If you suggest that they play higher than Straka, Jagr, Shanahan, or Prucha, that’s just wrong. I truly believe that Immo was supposed to start the season on the 2nd line, but for some reason or another, didn’t. I think that at some point in the season, he should. Not right now. Wait for them to put a couple of regulation losses together or go winless for a while in order to shake up the lineup. If they are playing well though, let them play.

    The one place that they SHOULD have put in youth is in the defense. They should have bought out Ozolinsh at the start of the season. Pock should definitely be in the lineup. Baranka could be in the NHL now also, for Rachunek. I would have started the season with Rachunek, because he wasn’t a terrible choice, he just hasn’t panned out.

    But the full scale rebuild you’re talking about just isn’t ready yet. Next year, they should have Dawes, Immonen, Callahan, Montoya, Baranka, and Pock DEFINITELY in the lineup. Dubinsky and Korpikoski could compete for a spot, but I think that the spot won’t exist. Staal and Sanguinetti could compete for a spot as well, but we’ll see where they are at that point. The next year, add in Jessiman and Moore to play on the checking lines and you’ll have the entire prospect system in the line-up within 2 years. This will enable them to grow together, without us having to take a beating this season and next.

  56. Dave,

    “I still read the blog. I’m done with the comments.”

    I agree. I’m only going to search for Sam’s rebuttals.

  57. And around and around we go. And just why isn’t there room for NHL ready Immo, Dawes and Pock? Do the names Hossa, Hall, Cullen, Ozolinsh, Malik and Rachunek ring a bell?

    And what NHL law says that Dawes and Immo have to be on the top two lines? Please reference Buffalo Sabres. Do I really have to repeat a list of current and past stars who were broken in slowly (hint: Joe Thornton/Guy Lafleur) with moderate TOI?

    Sather = Jim Jones. MSG = Jonestown Some of you = Kool-Aid drinkers.

  58. Doodie Machetto on

    Hossa and Hall are third and 4th line players. Hall also may be turning a corner, so give him a chance. Malik is playing a lot better recently, so give the guy some credit (I will say he isn’t good enough for as much ice time as he gets, especially in key situations). I already said Immo could possibly play in Cullen’s spot. Also, I already said that Ozolinsh and Rachunek should be replaced by Pock and Baranka. So all you’ve done is preach to the choir there.

    And you point out Thornton, but it took him years to develop, then he fizzled, and was traded. Do you want that to be the fate of our young players? MVP of the league somewhere else? Not to mention Jumbo Joe was a number 1 pick. He SHOULDN’T spend time in the minors. If you are spending a number 1 pick, that guy BETTER go straight to the NHL once he plays and do well, or they are just the next Patrik Stefan, Phillips, or Daigle. Guy LaFleur was a number 1 pick also (I would speak more about his career but I don’t know enough about it. What I do know is that is was a totally different league and a totally different game so development then was probably 100% different). You can’t compare number 1 picks to guys that aren’t even projected talent-wise to be first line players.

  59. Doodie Machetto on

    Dave and NYRick82- I hear you guys. There a lot of people just attacking each other personally. The only way to stop it is to do what you two are doing- ignore it. But, if you parce through the attacks, and ignore the posts and suggestions that don’t make sense or are implausible, there is still good discussion to be had.

    Speaking of Sam, did the Rangers hold practice today, and if so, what happened, what did Callahan do, and any word yet on who is in net tomorrow (I assume Lundqvist)?

  60. Chardkerm-

    Agree that Hossa, Hall, Ozo,Malik and Rachunek are standing in the way of Immo, Dawes and Pock. Cullen sort of is, but I still think he’s a good acqisition. I don’t think it’s as easy to get rid of guys with guaranteed salaries as we think. Yes, Sather is to blame for signing some of these guys. I would not have signed Rachunek. I would have bought out Ozo. I would not have re-signed Hossa, but I don’t think that these moves necessarily mean that the future is ruined.
    As far as guys playing on the 4th line, Renney needs to get the 4th line more ice time, without a doubt. But the fact that he isn’t getting them that and we are in the age of Jagr, having Dawes rot on the fourth line would be counterproductive and he isn’t fit to play a defensive role that the third line DOES need.

    In the past, our team was all free agents. Any youth that we did have were rushed and put in positions that hindered rather than nurtured their development. Our minor league team was filled with AHL vets and a few rookies. Our NHL team was boring and uninspired, showing up half the time if that.

    The new philosophy is the opposite. Don’t rush the future, supply the farm team with mostly prospects and a few veteran leaders, and use free agency to fill in gaps with role players. Shanny is the only star we have signed int he past two years, and he is worth every penny. The NHL team is competitive, works hard a majority of the time and can be very exciting.

    Bottom line, I agree that things aren’t perfect in Rangerland and there should be room for POCK at least and probably Baranka this year. I’d put Dawes onthe 4th line IF Renney would play him. But to say things are the same as they’ve always been is just not true.

  61. Doodie-

    I agree with most of what you said, except the number one pick thing. Thornton (I’m pretty sure) did not spend time in the minors. What Chadkerm was saying is that Thornton was not given 1st line minutes right away. He struggled early (as most power forwards do) and moved up in the lineup as the years went by. He wasn’t really a bust in Boston (who really blew it by trading him), but Boston felt he wasn’t living up to his potential so they should try to get something for him. They were right in regards that he needed a change of scenery, but they didn’t get nearly enough for him.

    NHL #1 picks do not necessarily jump into the NHL right away. Crosby is an exception. Most of the more recent ones have not jumped right in. You’re still talking 17-18 year old kids. The best #1 picks take at least a year to crack the NHL lineup, but some take longer and many never make it at all. So I understand what you are trying to say, but I think that your off a bit on the NHL draft.

  62. DOODIE: .”So all you’ve done is preach to the choir there.”

    My apologies. Didn’t know you were the entire choir. Self-obsessed any, Dood?

    MORE DOODIE: “And you point out Thornton, but it took him years to develop, then he fizzled, and was traded.”

    Fizzled? In his partial, last season with the Bruins, Thornton had 33 pts. in 23 games before traded. That’s well over 100 pts. projected over a season. Wrong again, Dood.

  63. Chadkerm- If you read my post, I tried to follow up on your Thornton example. I hope that I didn’t misinterpret what you were saying. But I agree (if I understood you correctly) and I also agree that Thornton fizzled. Something was going on there, but I don’t know what. It’s easy to say Boston blew it (Like I just did), but if he wasn’t happy there or was having problems with management or teammates, it might have been the only option.

  64. “but it’s your blatant hatred of certain players (Betts and Straka have been your whipping boys all season) that undermine, in my mind, your comments”

    Betts stinks, he is at very best a 4th line center, your blatant love for him undermines your comments. I don’t hate Straka, but he is not a 1st line player and I think he can easily be replaced by Dawes and nobody will notice any difference.

    “It’s funny that a few years ago we complained that young players were rushed and pushed into situations where they wouldn’t succeed.”

    I never complained, the sooner the better, the more icetime the better.

    “Dave and NYRick82- I hear you guys. There a lot of people just attacking each other personally. The only way to stop it is to do what you two are doing- ignore it.”

    aren’t you the one who starts many personal attacks?

    “But you need to either have a full scale rebuilding process or none at all.”

    absolute nonsense, just look at Sharks and Sabres.

    “Next season it’ll be Drury or Briere. What happens when Miller and Afinogenov break out of their entry level contracts.”

    then Stafford, MacArthur, Mancari, Paille, or Zagrapan replace them or some cheap UFA like Jan Marek.

    “That said, bringing in some youth this year wouldn’t have been a bad idea. The only problem is that there isn’t really any room for the wingers who were ready, like Dawes or more recently Callahan, in the lineup.”

    how convenient. Good teams make room by either trades or signings. Sabres in offseason got rid of Grier, McKee, Dumont, Pyatt, Fitzpatrick, and Jillson and only signed ONE guy Spacek, this is pure genius.

  65. Thornton didn’t fizzle he just started playing lazy like Jagr, but was still getting tons of points. And I think there was something going on with him and the head coach.

  66. COLORADO: I read your previous post. Thanks. But how can Thornton fizzle with a projected 100 plus pt. season? Also, Thornton’s unhappiness in Boston, under an owner who didn’t care about winning was understandable.

  67. Doodie Machetto on

    Thronton’s fizzle wasn’t him personally. They weren’t looking for an Ovechkin-esque performance by Thornton where he gets 100 pts, but the rest of the team gets none. They wanted him to get 100 pts and get his line mates 80 a pop, like Jagr did last year. Look what Thornton did for Cheechoo last year. That’s what they wanted. He had achieved that but it wasn’t happening. Agreed that it was a bonehead move to trade him, but sometimes things just don’t work out.

    CM, you missed my point about Thornton a little. I know he didn’t spend time in the minors. I was saying that generally, unless the guy is too small to go to the NHL right away, you get those number 1 picks in as soon as you can. In fact, the number 1 pick has gone straight to the NHL, at least for split duty (Fleury) from 1997 until last year (Johnson elects to stay in college).

  68. DOODIE: Thornton had 9 goals and 24 assists in 23 games before he was traded to SJ. That projects to around 85 assists for the season. Doesn’t get much better than that.

  69. Doodie Machetto on

    Glen Murray was his Jonathan Cheechoo with the B’s. He only had 12 goals at that point. That’s a fizzle. (compare, Cheechoo had about 5 and ended up with 56. 12 goals in 23 games or 50 in about 60.

Leave A Reply

Protected with IP Blacklist CloudIP Blacklist Cloud