Post-game musings: Baby Nylander edition

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It’s all about karma these days for the Rangers, or at least that’s one way to explain their come-from-behind win after two mostly forgettable periods against the Penguins. According to Brendan Shanahan, Michael Nylander was torn over whether to leave the game to be present for the birth of his sixth child, but his teammates pushed him out the door.

“I’m a firm believer that when you do the right thing — and when you send a guy off to be with his family for the birth of his child, that is the right thing — good things happen,” Shanahan said.

Sure enough, consider the alternative: Nylander stays, Rangers lose, and when the soft-spoken Swede has to face his wife at the hospital later in the evening, his only response is, “Hey, this whole miracle-of-life thing was getting old anyway.”

A few more thoughts:

  • The most remarkable part of the whole affair was an exchange between Nylander and Matt Cullen in the bathroom after the first period. Cullen was taking care of business when he heard Nylander jump in the shower.

    “I said, ‘Hey, what are you doing?'” Cullen said. “He said, ‘I gotta go. My wife’s having a baby.'”

  • Speaking of good karma, you can’t say it’s rubbing off on Cullen, who failed to deliver on a a couple of point blank chances tonight, and who appeared hapless in his shootout attempt as well. It’s now reaching a point where a couple of us were openly making fun of the wing, if only good naturedly, after the game. Of course, one needs only to visit “one of my recent posts”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2006/12/06/the-mystery-linemate-returns/ to realize I’m not one to talk.
  • Interesting admission from Tom Renney after the game: My point about the game-tying goal from Shanahan was that it was one of the few signs of direct chemistry between Jaromir Jagr and Shanahan. Naturally, the two separately have been great, and they’ve certainly been on the ice for their share of goals together as well. But the Jagr drop pass-Shanahan one-timer was the very sort of play I’m sure many Rangers fans had envisioned when Shanny first signed during the off-season. I asked Renney if he’d seen any chemistry building between the two and he said flat out, “No.” Then after a lengthy answer, he clarified. “Maybe it hasn’t happened as much as I anticipated. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.â€? Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

    OK, folks, that’s all for tonight. Come back tomorrow and we’ll vote on a name for Nylander’s daughter…

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    30 Comments

    1. come now nylander. i mean, gretzky’s wife was sent to the hospital in the middle of a game (when she was hit by a collapsing glass) and he didnt go with her. 6th kid and you leave?? thats why you’ll never be a “great one”. ok ok ok i kid, congrats mikey (thats what i call him). how about sidney for a name? thats a good GIRL’S name. haha

    2. Gretzky’s wife was sitting in someone else’s seat that night. It was Karma.
      How about Sidney as a girl’s name?

    3. make fun of Sidney all you want, the kid is, at the age of 19, probably in the top 3 or 4 in terms of overall player in the game. By next year he will be the best, this kid is special, and id give anything to have him in ranger blue.

    4. My two cents. I watched on tivo since I worked late. I missed some entertaining posts here. Hmmm, where’s Vinny Pooh? Last I heard he made Ranger and Renney references that I never thought I’d se when discussing the Rangers. Was he banned? That drive by “Sid” guy seemed awful familiar.

      So here’s my take on tonights game. Nylander couldn’t score on the 2-0 and we were reeling for the rest of the 1st period. Henrik played well and Immo (yeah, not as much as I’d like, but I saw him play with Jagr and Straka at one point and he got PP time. Better than the Doom and Gloom predictions). 2nd period was just a mess with everyone playing out of position and proof that you can’t just “replace” Straka and Nylander with just any old player (as was suggested by someone, not sure who, hmm…)

      The bottom line is the boys came to play in the third. Inferno, I respectfully disagree. A win is a win. No matter how much we want the team to play every game perfect (and I was frustrated as well during the 2nd especially) it’s not realistic. I’ll celebrate this win as a sign of character (Shanahan inspired) and they got two points. That’s the thing. This team has had a few games like this, where they only play one period, and still manage a win. I think the return of a Mr. Ortmeyer is the key to this team playing complete games again. Better now than later is what I think of the inconsistency.

      Prucha is struggling and, yes, he’s working hard, but he is missing chances he buried last year. He whiffed on the pass from behind the net. He whiffed big. Again, I’d rather he finish on fire. He will. Same with Cullen. The guy can’t buy a goal. But it’s not going to be forever. At least I think.

      Kaspar was outstanding all things considered. The third period and especially overtime showed what he brings to this team. No one else on the team lays like him (Tyuts is closest). It’s ridiculous that it has taken this long and I still maintain he was no worse than other D-men early on. Oh, sure, he got toasted by Crosby, but the kids got game. He beat four rangers once and three another time. I really think there are only a few D men who COULD stop that rush.

      Jagr is not a shootout guy, and anyone who questions his leadership because of this is way off base. He knows he can’t score, so why not find someone else. Plus, with Henrik being superman in shootouts, I’d rather have Jagr later on when the other team is using their 4th liners. Not sure what was up with Straka, but isn’t he hurting a bit? Prucha has no confidence. Hall was an interesting choice. I would have liked to see his attempt.

      Yeah, they aren’t there yet, but I’ll take the two points.

      Congrats to Nylander, and there should be no debate on whether he should leave the game. It is just a game.

    5. Congrats to the Nylander Fam fisrt off. CO MArk, I got to agree with you on all points…its nice to agree instead of disagree with someone :) But anyway, I would hve loved to see Halls attemp on teh shootout, and I am all for JJ being later in the SO, he isnt good on them, but he is smart enough to read a goalie and probably figure out after a few shooters were to put the puck…but he isnat a nifty deeking type guy, he scores using screens and movement, not one on one with the netminder…oh well…people will always say he isnt a leader cause he dosnt do shootouts. IMHO he uses his shoulder as an excuse, might even be embarassed by his ability, or lack therer of, on the SO and breakaways.

    6. I thought that Kasparaitis had a good game, especially when you consider how long he’s spent in the press box. He was a major upgrade from Ozo tonight. I even thought Rachunek looked more in control too. Mind you not having to cover up for Ozo migth have had something to do with that.

      On Crosby’s goal where he zipped past everyone, you saw the major flaw with all of the Rangers defensemen on display. They’re too slow. It’s why the tend to back in on the goalie all the time. They’re trying to avoid a fast skater beating them to the outside. The problem on the Crosby play was that they didn’t have the lateral quickness to close the gap.

      All in all I’ll take a win any night no matter how ugly.

      Finally, congratulations to the Nylander family.

    7. Sam: ^Cullen, who failed to *deliver* on a a couple of point blank chances tonight^…you kill me!

      Colorodo mark: ^No one else on the team lays like him (Tyuts is closest)^…Man are you fortunate you caught that before I could respond…you have to admit that sounded awfully suspect…and hilarious. And in response to ^a win is a win^ yeah, you are right, 2 points is 2 points no matter how you earn them…but a sloppy win does not make you feel good about the progress the team.

      Inferno, Im telling you someone has to clock that kid as hes coming in for the rush…I dont care if you take a penalty…they were humiliated by their lack of…how do you say…*balls*

    8. oh inferno, we’re joking. hes obviously an incredibly talented kid. take a joke every now and then.

    9. as far as the game is concerned….glad to see Immo got some ice….

      PEOPLE, patience with Prucha is needed!!!!!!…this guy is a fantastic talent….he’s getting there….even if by the end of the season he’s not gonna put up 30, he’ll be on the mark again IMO…

      Hank….what else can be said….IMO…top 3 best in the game right now….the save on Malkin was RI-DIC-U-LOUS!!!…LONG LIVE THE KING!!!

      my suggestion for the name….

      Jaromira…

      :-P

      AZ

    10. EB, your link is to YOURtube, not YOUtube.

      Its hard enough to keep up with a guy like that skating side-by-side, but to do it skating backwerds while trying to defend the net. The only thing you can do is hit or hook.

    11. sorry, my cut and paste wasn’t working. But seemed more like a parting of the red (white and blue) sea than much attempt of hooking or hitting.

    12. I for one am not really worried about Prucha or Cullen. Last night, Cullen had a lot more chances to score while on the wing. He’s bound to score eventually. Just seems like the puck is taking some bad bounces or something. As long as he’s working hard for the puck all the time, I’m not really worried about it. He may just be too fast for his own good which is why he’s always fumbling the puck.
      Prucha is also a hard-worker and I dont see a reason for benching him. He did whiff on the puck a couple times last night, but the fact that he’s able to get open for an opportunity like that makes him deserving of a roster spot. Of course I’d love to see both of these players start putting the puck in the net, but they’re not even close to the problem. As good as Crosby is, there should never be a 1v4 goal. Looked as if the defense just opened up and let him go. I feel so repetitive saying this but, if it wasn’t for Lundqvist, that game could’ve been a blow out.

    13. *Bench Prucha*
      Bench Prucha? You’re daft. You don’t bench a hard worker for not producing early in a season . . . _especially_ a sophomore that had 30 goals in their rookie season. Please.

    14. Kaspar looked bad on that Crosby goal, no doubt about it. However, some of that has to be on the coach for not playing him for so long, and some needs to be on his partner for not being there to help take away the inside move. I’ve played defense and in a 1 on 2 you always play it like you assume your partner might get beat. Kaspar bit on the outside deke, but Rachunek was nowhere to be found when Sid went inside. Bad play against a great player.

      Overall, I thought Kaspar played OK. Better than Ozo, but I still would have liked to have seen what Pock and Kaspar could do as a pair.

    15. i know youre joking, but i still had to say it. Sometimes i really do see a bit of gretzky and lemieux in the kid. hes skill, and his vision are mind blowing.

    16. JR

      Every tiume you see the kid he is either on his back, getting knocked down, or missing a pass. He can’t create his own shot. Most of his goials last year were bang ins from passes across the slot.

      Plain and simple, he isn’t doing anything. Everyone calls for Hossa and the like to be benched. Hossa fills a role on the team, albeit a crappy one. Prucha is part of the problem for the lack of scoring behind the top line and shanahan. something nees to be done.

    17. Doodie Machetto on

      “I WOUL DGIVE MY LEFT NUT TO AHVE CROSBY IN RANGER BLUE….THE BEST PLAYER AT THE AGE OF 18-19 I EVER SAW”

      How eloquent.

    18. In a post-game interview, Shanahan was asked about how he feels when it comes to OT and the shootout. His face lit up. He responded that he always wants to be “the guy”, that his blood quickens when he senses a chance to score the big goal. So he goes out and scores the big goal.

      This IMO is the big difference between Euros and North American players. Jagr’s decision not to take a turn in the shootout typifies the Euro lack of the killer instinct. Sure, they love to score the goals, but they don’t enjoy the spotlight much, and they tend to get psyched out by pressure. Jagr wouldn’t have scored because he didn’t want to even be in that situation.

      Another example is how Jagr (and the other Euros) tend to play a passive game when the crowd starts booing them (last week in Pittsburgh). It’s as though they take it to heart and get depressed.

      North American players (Gretzky, Messier, Shanahan, Hull, Trottier, etc.) are like assassins who love to “stick it” to the opposing fans who boo them. They can sense the kill and go for the jugular. It’s a totally different mindset.

      Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule (Kurri, Tikkanen, Lidstrom) but in general I think my theory is pretty solid.

      ====================

      Prucha needs to play with a playmaking center. Aside from Nylander, the only other one on the roster is Immonen. Those two should be paired up and given a long stretch to play together. I guarantee they’ll start lighting it up.

      Hossa needs a stint in Charlotte. For the rest of his career.

    19. Bench Prucha: ^Every tiume you see the kid he is either on his back, getting knocked down, or missing a pass. He can’t create his own shot. Most of his goials last year were bang ins from passes across the slot.

      Plain and simple, he isn’t doing anything. Everyone calls for Hossa and the like to be benched. Hossa fills a role on the team, albeit a crappy one. Prucha is part of the problem for the lack of scoring behind the top line and shanahan. something nees to be done.^

      Alright Im convinced…lets trade him for a crappy aging veteran with 3 years left on his bloated contract!
      Get real,…swap him with King Cullen on the “new” line 2.

    20. Prucha needs to be sent ^down^ to Hartford for a while to try to get his game back. Ever since he hurt his knee, last season, he hasn’t been the same.

      Does the name Tomas Kloucek come to mind?

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