Rangers Blog: Feel good edition


Fatherhood has made me soft, so rather than dwell on the Rangers’ sloppy defensive play, their maddening reluctance to take wide open shots, or the fact that Henrik Lundqvist might have been “the only thing standing between the team and a fifth straight loss”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061208/SPORTS01/612080404/1034/SPORTS, I instead spent most of my time at practice today focusing on Michael Nylander and the birth of his baby girl last night.5396.jpg

(By the way, nothing official on the name front, so there’s still time to cast your votes. I’m not sure if the Nylanders are aware that I’ve auctioned off the name of their sixth child, but you don’t think they’d mind, do you?)

It’s true, the Rangers center was back on the ice the morning after his frenetic dash to Greenwich Hospital (where, of course, the heir to the Blog throne, my son, was also born). Turns out Nylander’s wife Camilla had gone into labor earlier in the day, but the player assumed things were moving at a leisurely pace, and didn’t think it was going to conflict with last night’s game. He soon learned otherwise, and when he stepped off the ice after the first period, Camilla called and told him he needed to kick it into gear. Nylander did, abruptly hopping in the shower before busting it up to Greenwich with 12 minutes to spare (See, he could have played at least another shift!).

Anyway, for all my stupid jokes — i.e. they already had five kids so what was the big deal? — the center was beaming this morning. And why not: his new daughter is healthy, the Rangers came back to win in his absence, and with six kids, the Nylanders now have a decent game of half-ice 3-on-3. Really, what else is there?

A few other thoughts:

  • Fedor Tyutin missed practice with a twisted ankle, but is expected to be fine for tomorrow’s matinee in Ottawa. No word yet on whether Darius Kasparaitis will play for a second consecutive game, but I’m of the belief that the defenseman should get another shot. Outside of two glaring errors last night — the Sidney Crosby highlight-film goal and falling on his backside late in the game — the veteran was otherwise decent. I realize that’s a big consideration. But the only way to limit those mistakes is to get him back into a rhythm.
  • Jarkko Immonen is likely to get another shot on the second line tomorrow, which would be another decision I’d endorse. Immonen was respectable but unspectacular in his first game of the year. And when I asked him how he felt he handled the speed of the game, he thought he was fine (Unfortunately, that was pretty much the entire quote: “Fine.” Not much of a talker, that one). Tom Renney seemed to agree, although it’s worth noting that as of noon today, Immonen wasn’t sure if he was going to Ottawa.
  • Disturbing image of the day: Marek Malik dancing in the Rangers locker room after practice. I’ll let you all think about that one for a moment….

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    1. I HOPE Immonen gets another shot. He didn’t show a reason why NOT to play him, in my opinion.

      But crazier things have happened in Rangerland, like the Pock situation.

      And I hope the Nylanders do NOT name their daughter Jennifer. The name is a CURSE upon my generation.

    2. hockeymanrangers on

      Why does it seem like Jagr consistently shoots the puck directly at the goaltenders, like right in thier chest area??? Is any one else noticing this?? Along with quite a few of other players that are missing the net all together?? Except for Shana he has been having good placement. I also saw last night (on a Pitt local channel)something that was alarming the scoring record of the number one line compared to all the other lines. I forget the details but was pretty sad.

    3. Well, not sure why he goes for the chest, but given 90% of my shots seem to go there (those that make it to the goalie) and the only think we have in common when we play is the puck. It has to be the puck’s fault. Perhaps the goalies are starting to wear rubber attracting materials under their form-fitting jerseys.

    4. It was my girlfriend Julie’s first Ranger game last night, so I say name her Julie Nylander.

      Btw, Kaspar deserves to play, even if he did looka bit awkward at times, loved the way he pushed Ruutu into the ice when they both received minors in the 2nd period.

    5. Oh Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!!!!!!!

      Herman Munster dancing?!?!?!?!…..honestly…there’s probably more movement out of a tree trunk dancing than that guy…

      someone explain to me how this guy is playing the NHL again?!?!


    6. Not sure if that Jagr question was serious or not, but I doubt he aims for their chests. Thats like saying “Why do baseball players always strike out? It’s like they’re missing the ball on purpose.”

    7. Actually I’ve noticed that a lot of the Rangers seem to put the puck squarely into the middle of the opposing goalie’s chest. They seem to alienate between being too fancy and too square. I can’t figure it out. I know it happens fast and there’s no such thing as a bad shot, but still. Are they hoping for redirects? If so, the Rangers might wanna start playing a man in front more consistently. Seems like Immo could be strong enough for that.

      And not to mention that there have been way too many instances in the last year of players who seem incapable of hitting a barn in the clutch…

    8. Let me chime in here since, as reader EB can attest, I am not exactly Shanny in the shooting accuracy (or power) department, either:

      You’ll see that a lot of shots that hit a goalie in the middle are ones taken off balance (Jason Ward, who is a decent player for 180 feet, is the king of this), since it’s actually harder to shoot a puck low with power than it is up high.

      At the other extreme, as Chris said, is the Rangers often missing the net when they seem to have a clean look. That I attribute to a team that is lacking in confidence and feels it has to aim for the tiniest sections of the net to beat a goalie. Naturally if you’re aiming for those corners, you’re more likely to miss the net altogether.

      Again, I know all about both of these problems….

    9. Caroline is the ONLY name for a girl born the night of a victory…. Although in this case Brenda may work. OK, Bettsy. Did I win!?!

      During the lockout, wasn’t there a college coach or professor who was toying with the idea of red nets, so shooters could aim there, instead of seeming to aim at posts and logos on goalies’ chests? Maybe that could be the last radical change to the game.

    10. Jagr shooting at the goaltenders deliberately???? At least he’s aiming for the net!!!!

    11. Doodie Machetto on

      Camilla couldn’t hold out another day? Then little baby Nylander would have had the same birthday as me!

      Seeing as it’s his 6th child, he now has a full team: 3 forwards, 2 defense, and a goalie. Therefore, he should name the child Manon, after Manon Rheaume, the female goaltender who tried out with the Tampa Bay Lightening, and turn all 6 of his children into a Swedish hockey juggernaut!

    12. I tihnk JJ hitting the checst of the goalies is from good positioning of the netminder, thats part of it, I also think that he knows that he has to hit the net, and hope for rebounds if it dosnt go in. I dont think he actuly aims the puck beyond aiming between the pipes and below the crossbar…I dont think he ever really tries to put it in the top corner or whatever, in fact the way he shoots, I dont think he can see the net half the times he scores. That might be why he isnt good on breakaways or shootouts, he has to think about were he is going to put the puck…and he dosnt do that…

    13. In the Nordic cultures the baby is usually baptisted when he/she is about 2 months old and the name is kept a secret until then.

    14. Thank you to reader Swede (not real name, I presume) for some actual useful information. Nylander said he was hopeful to have the name solidified by tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean he wants to share it with the world. I suppose we’ll live.

    15. Re: Jagr’s shooting

      I’ve heard players say that when they are slumping, the puck rarely goes where they aim it, so they shoot at the center of the net. When the puck deviates from its’ intended target, there’s a good chance it will hit a corner for a goal.

      I think a lot of players subconsciously do this when they go through a rough stretch. Maybe that’s what Jagr is experiencing now. Except he’s accurate enough that the puck IS going where he aims it (the goalie’s chest).

    16. if you guys think these guys even have the time to aim most of the time your crazy. thats why they always say i just put it on net and got lucky because the speed at which these guys are playing they rarely have time unless left alone to think about a spot to put it. when they are hot they know where the net is and can hit spots without thinking about it. when they are struggling they are just trying to get their shots off. thats why guys like shanahan are so special. they can put the puck where ever they want without even thinking about it. top shelf slapper glove side while in full stride down the leftwing WITH A RIGHT HANDED STICK!?!? unbelievable

    17. Andrea:
      ^During the lockout, wasn’t there a college coach or professor who was toying with the idea of red nets, so shooters could aim there, instead of seeming to aim at posts and logos on goalies’ chests? Maybe that could be the last radical change to the game.^

      I would think having red posts contrasting the white net actually helps differentiate the open areas of the net,…If you were to have red posts and net, it would be harder to spot the open areas.
      Could you imagine playing with red posts & red nets against Detroit at home! forget it, it would be a huge red blur!

    18. Doodie Machetto:
      ^Camilla couldn’t hold out another day? Then little baby Nylander would have had the same birthday as me!^

      *Happy Birthday Doodie!!!* (gotta love that name)

    19. inferno/blueshirts2k6: for one, alot of wild rumors end up on those boards…but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Also I hope it ISNT true, he is worth at LEAST a 4th round pick I would say. Some team who is weak on D, or has a bad PP or both (Vancouver) would proably give up something like a 3rd or 4th rounder for OZO, and if thats the case well, its better than jsut having him retire..cause I THINK he will still count against the cap no matter what because of his age….so lets hope he can be traded…and than the Rangers get something out of it.

    20. Let him go, forget the 4th round pick. Ozo, who so many of us had high hopes for, is/was a stinker. Anything else would be great. And maybe it would relieve pressure on Kaspar, who for better or worse, fair or not, seems to resent being appraised game to game and has said so. I wish Ozo the best, just far away from the Rangers…

    21. Chris : cant just let him go…got to do something with him…I guess if he is a UFA after this year that would do it…but the cap space would be nice..could waive him, but that he could go for nothing to another team…I I would rather get a 5th or 6th round pick than nothing at all

    22. ozolinsh is 34, since that obviously means he signed his current contract before turning 35 that means his contract would not count against the cap if he retires since that rule only applies to guys over 35 signed to long term deals…

      but that is really irrelevant for ozolinsh because this is the last year of his contract, if the rangers waive him he comes off the cap for this year and his contract expires at the end of this year so there is no next year to worry about. so its only a question of whether he’d come off the cap automatically or if they would have to put him on waivers as a technicality.

    23. Anthony (Abev) on

      Evgeni – good comparison between hockey and baseball, gave me a good laugh. Along the same lines maybe Rangers fans can take their “SHOOT!” to Yankee or Shea next season and change it into “SWING!”

      Swede – good piece of info. That’s very interesting and seems to make a lot of sense.

      Comments aren’t that negative today. Are the Rangers faithful becoming complacent? :)

    24. wildcard only one gm is dumb enough to trade for Bozo that’s senile Sather. The Nucks defense is okay it’s up front where they’re very weak.

    25. Abev – Hopefully people realized that no matter how much they complain, nothings going to change. It’s not like Renney reads these comments and says, “Oh that sounds like a good idea.” I’m confident that Renney knows his options and will use them, hopefully, when necessary. Anyway, who’s in goal today?

    26. i think we should be responsible here and say there is ONE RUMOR from ONE RANDOM BLOG that says there are rumors that boozeo is retiring. imo renney may be kicking around the idea of sending this jerk to hartford and if thats the case he may be contemplating retirement which as leetchie stated would be great for us given boozeo’s contract signing before his 35th bday. this would be the ideal situation for us as it makes pock the seventh dman which will obviously get him some ice time. it also gives us cap relief that we desparately will need at the deadline. retirement or not renney should send this guy to hartford now

    27. Doodie Machetto on

      Plebeian- Thank you for being the only one who caught that. very clever. and I am glad you like my name.

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