Count your blessings

50

*UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: Moments after this post came word that Thomas Pock has accepted a two-week conditioning assignment in Hartford. This seems to make sense given Pock’s lack of playing time, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens once he’s done.*

I suppose in this holiday season, the emphasis should be on the things that really matter in life — family, friends, the poetry of a well-executed 2-on-1. Instead I choose to focus on my iPod, which crapped out on me at some point late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, and is now sitting sitting brain dead on my dining room table.

This is devastating stuff, readers, especially since half my music collection may have been wiped out in the process. Even worse, this morning at the gym I suffered the indignity of working out to — I shudder even to write the words — a portable compact disc player, which is sort of like Jaromir Jagr being asked to go back to a stick with no curve.

Oh, the humanity!!!

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But enough of my woes. Of greater importance to you is that “the Rangers have won three straight games”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061211/SPORTS01/612110360/1046/SPORTS for only the second time this season, this just a week after a crushing 7-4 loss to the Islanders. Is this what we can expect all year — solid play followed by incompetence, followed by an inspired resurgence? I wouldn’t be surprised, but at the very least it makes my job more interesting.

So without further ado, let’s get to some of your questions.

*Q: Sam, can you ask Renney why, despite trying other things to get Cullen going, he has not tried to put him on the point for the PP, where he was so effective for the Cup Champs? — Brian*

A: The reasons for Matt Cullen not being used on the point on the power play seem to vary, from Renney prefering Martin Straka in that role, to the fact that the coach likes Cullen, alongside Petr Prucha and Adam Hall, as an integral part of the second power-play unit. Whether any of those reasons suffice is open for interpretation. Meanwhile, the comical trials of Matt Cullen continued last night against the Panthers, when the forward not only failed to convert on several golden opportunities, but was nearly decapitated in the process. I say it’s comical because there are two kinds of scoring droughts: one when a guy simply can’t score, and another when a guy can’t score and sees his entire game suffer as a result. Cullen continues to be extremely effective in his myriad roles — even strength, power play, and on the penalty kill — but put the puck on his stick in front of the net, and he suddenly turns into Colton Orr.

*Q: How you doin Sam? Doesn’t it bother you that Renney bases his goalie decision off a little chart he creates? I mean now we realize why Lundqvist doesnt get some of the games he’s supposed to get after great wins….Now why is it that Brodeur plays the majority of the games, Richter played the majority of the games and yet we still have to plug Weekes in there? Lundqvist is a big boy, he can handle the pressure. — Newman*

A: Helllooooooo Newman (sorry, couldn’t resist). Yes, the goalie plan that Renney talked about yesterday, in which the coach maps out his starters at the beginning of each month, is a little odd. But there are a couple of things to keep in mind. One, the coach said he still can stray from it when he wants. And two, I think the coach would be a fool NOT to spread out the goaltending duties as he has. One reason is that Weekes, as proven yesterday, can be just as effective as Lundqvist on a given night. And secondly, there’s no point in risking burning out Lundqvist at this early juncture in the season Maybe physically and emotionally Lundqvist can handle it, but the occasional break is only going to help him, and if he knows that Weekes can step in quite capably, it’s only going to push him to work harder. The reason why Martin Brodeur plays as often as he does is the Devils don’t have that luxury. The Rangers do, and they should use it to their advantage.

*Q: Sam, what are your thoughts on Ortmeyer coming back? Do you think he will add a lot to the lineup? Talk to me about those 3rd and 4th line guys and who you think will be the odd man out in coming week. Thanks. — Nick*

A: Nick, I do think Ortmeyer will be an important addition given his energy level and the defensive approach he brings, not to mention the symbolic lift of returning from such a potentially devastating condition. That said, I think you need to be careful in with your expectations. Ortmeyer was a fourth-line player for most of last year, and it’s not like he turned into a 50-goal-scorer in the months since. Moreover, the Rangers are currently in abundance of these type of third- and fourth-line players who don’t contribute much in the way of offense, so Ortmeyer’s return doesn’t really address their most pressing needs (i.e. secondary scoring). That said, as I mentioned, he is a valuable, popular player and one would hope that his return would also mean more minutes for Ryan Hollweg, who I happen to think is underutilized. As for the odd man out, I would imagine the short term solution would be to force Thomas Pock to take that conditioning assignment in Hartford (*SEE ABOVE*). Otherwise, I’d expect Colton Orr to be the one sent packing.

*Q: Any thoughts on Immonen? More specifically any thoughts from the coaching staff on how he has played this week? — Len*

A: Len, I’m not sure there’s a direct correlation, but it’s worth noting that the Rangers are 3-0 with Immonen (and Darius Kasparaitis) in the lineup. Maybe that’s just a coincidence. Or maybe the center has allowed the Rangers more of a balance with their forward lines. I think Jarkko has been solid. He seems to always be in the right place, and he’s smart enough to almost always make the right decisions with the puck. More important, when I asked Renney about him yesterday, the coach said many of the same things. That said, the coach also admitted that this continues to be a probationary period for the prospect, so Immonen might need to do a little bit more than just making good decisions.

OK, folks, that’s all for now. But I’ll check in as the day goes on.

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50 Comments

  1. hockeymanrangers on

    Of this subject a little but Oh yes the Hossa line was working so hard last night it was nice. But I like what I saw with the speed of the Hollweg-Prucha-Hall line last night. I would so love to see this line start scoring, they have so much speed with Hollweg and Prucha ( I am not sure about Hall) but if this line could do some nice fast paced passing and get the puck to the net, that would be so much fun to watch. Anyone with me on this one????

  2. Sam,

    Do you ever get a day off?

    But seriously, why is it that Cullen stays on the second line with all his struggles and the fact that Immonen is now centering that line? Wouldn’t it be better for him to move to one of the other lines in a role where he is still excelling to take the pressure off him to score? Of course, that would mean breaking up one of the the other lines (and I don’t think anyone wants to break up the Betts line) and raises the question of who should be on the second line with Immonen and Shanahan.

    And my sympathies on the iPod.

  3. i would love in general for Hall to start playing like a big guy.. also if Hollywood would (haha) put some offense into his game, amazing..

    i dont like Hossa..

  4. I have a real problem with Hall. Last week Tom Renney said that coming off a two goal game he wanted to give Hall a chance to build some momentum and see what happens…

    Well, since that game there has been vast improvment teamwide without any contribution from Hall. I think that two goal game was a fluke and there is no more momentum to find. If there was any more to be had, you would think we might see it during a period much like the last few games. But nothing.

    What is the story here?

  5. A few interesting points brought up about Cullen,Immonen, and secondary scoring.

    Immonen is good infront of the net, he’s a better playmaker than Cullen is. I think the scoring production can be fixed simply by tweaking the second powerplay unit. Have Immonen center it and slide Cullen back to the point. If this works out it would get everyone on that units confidence going maybe getting more regular scoring from the 4 forwards on it(Cullen Immonen Hall AND Prucha) BRING IT UP TO RENNY SAM!! haha

    If it works out the way I think it can, Prucha getting confidence back sparking him to return to a similar form as we know he had last season, then the ideal line combos (IMO) can come about

    Straka Nylander Jagr
    Prucha Immonen Shannahan
    Hollweg Cullen Hall
    Hossa Betts Ward

    How fantastic….

    really Sam, bring it up to Renny some how to atleast get the idea in his head as a possiblity to try out…. if he hasn’t thought of it already

  6. Doodie Machetto on

    Sam, stop the insanity of the iPod. Switch to a Creative MP3 player. Unless you like the nano and how tiny it is. I don’t think Creative has an answer for that. But I would never get a Nano because I would snap it in half.

    Creative Zen Vision:M. Think about it.

    How could you not like Hossa right now? That third line is getting better and better, and Hossa is fitting well within it. I’m getting fed up with Hullen. Maybe he should spend 2 weeks in Hartford to get his first one in the net and get out of his terrible slump. He’s working hard, but just can’t get it in. I think once the first one comes, they might start coming a little more frequently. Until then, Brett Hullen doesn’t deserve 2nd line time- give it to Prucha.

  7. to clarify, i dont blindly dislike/hate Hossa, i just think he brings very little to the table..

    I can’t wait to gain some sort of retribution against the Islanders soon.. I went to teh last game, and it was the first Rangers game i left early. sad.

  8. Doodie Machetto on

    Rob: At the end of the last post, Twin and I suggest your PP idea.

    As for moving Cullen to the third line as a center, I think that’s a mistake. No reason to break up the Betts-Ward-Hossa combo because it’s working very well.

  9. Hossa in his last 62 Nhl games has one goal and is -25 he’s a waste of space. Renney loves Hossa last year he broke up the Hmo line a couple of times to get Hossa in the lineup, and sit Hollweg. Once Ortmeyer comes back I see Hollweg sadly sitting while Hall and Hossa play.

  10. Sam,

    My condolences on the IPod as well… :-\

    anyways….

    I agree with Jen. Has Renney even given any thought to moving Cullen to center the 3rd line? I would love to see this happen, and this is where the guy belongs IMO. He’s not a true 2nd liner. You answered Nick’s question, but i guess i’ll take it this much further. With Orty coming back and almost certainly being placed in the line up, who in the actual lineup do you think will sit? I agree that the Betts line should not be broken up, so then what happens? Who sits?!?! I certainly hope Immonen isn’t the odd man out because then we get to see Cullen center a line he can’t center.

    Also, you make an excellent point about the fact that the Rangers have an abundance of the same type of player (3rd and 4th liners). Does one of these players get dealt because of it?

    thanks!

    AZ

  11. Doodie:

    Look at the line combos I suggested again… I didn’t break up Hossa Betts and Ward, I just moved them to the 4th line where they belong, Hollweg to the wing where he belongs and Cullen as the 3rd line center where he belongs

    and yeah great minds think alike as for that PP unit goes. MAKE IT HAPPEN SAM!!! haha

  12. Jen,

    The problem with the Rangers lineup, almsot entirely, stems from the 3rd line.

    If Renney wants to continue to give betts-ward-hossa- third line minutes, either cullen or prucha is going to be the odd man out (only one of them can fit with shanny and immonen). Renney will not, in no way, play cullen on the 4th line. Sather just signed this guy to 3m per. It’s already a below average move, and if cullen plays on the 4th line, it’s a full admission that he’s not living up to his contract.

    Things will be made even more difficult when Ortmeyer comes back. Presumably, he’ll play 4th line as he did last year, hollweg and ???prucha???. It will make that line even less offensively oriented (that’s about all the credit I’ll give to Hall), than it already is, and that’s saying alot.

    Jason Ward should be the player eliminated. Jed plays a similar high energy game to him, can kill penalties as well as him, and can score as well as him also. The Third line, right now, provides absolutely no offense. That is a very bad thing. Come playoffs, this will hurt the team (if we make it that far).

    The solution is obvious. Drop Cullen down to third line pivot. It’s what he’s best suited for anyway, as there will be less pressure to score. I have no doubt cullen could be an effective defensive oriented center if he wasn’t pressing so hard, as he’s been on the second line. Flank Cullen with Hossa and Hall. And put ortmeyer and hollweg with betts on the 4th line.

    If Renney continues to insist on rolling a third line of betts-hossa-ward and give them ample minutes while relegating the 4th line to erractic shifts, we’ll continue to see prucha get spotty playing time. He deserves more.

  13. You know, I don’t see why the Rangers couldn’t have a 3A and 3B line that gets equal time. One centered with Betts and the other centered with Cullen.

  14. Well yeah Jen… I mean their ice time should be about the same, doesn’t really matter what title you give the line, but the reason the betts line has been good is because of it’s ability to controll the puck and be utilized as a shut down line against the other teams top line…. if they’re out there for that purpose alone, they should tack up plenty of minutes similar to what cullens line (if he were the 3rd line center) would play

  15. “””Hossa in his last 62 Nhl games has one goal and is -25 he’s a waste of space. Renney loves Hossa last year he broke up the Hmo line a couple of times to get Hossa in the lineup”””

    true, Blueshirt. and while Hossa has played better defensively lately, I find it a joke that certain posters on this board are all over Cullen for not scoring goals lately, but those same posters have no problem with Hossa getting 1 goal in 62 games. they praise him, and don’t mention a word about his goal production, as you point out.

  16. ideally

    straka nylander jagr
    prucha allison shanahan
    hollweg cullen hall
    hossa betts orty

    he’s an option i believe we should consider at this point in time. We don’t want to part with prospects and we don’t want to wait till the deadline to fix an obvious weakness. jason allison should at least be discussed by management at this juncture.

  17. I think some suggestions as to the expendibility of Jason Ward are a bitr premature. The guy does a lot and has some speed. Hossa-Betts-Ward is the best checking line we’ve had in years (Nieminen on that line came close, but that was short lived and he was traded.) I would go with this lineup upon Jed’s Return (Waiving Ozo):
    Straka-Nylander-Jagr
    Cullen-Immonen-Shanahan
    Hossa-Betts-Ward
    Prucha-Hollweg-Ortmeyer
    Malik-Roszival
    Ward-Tyutin
    Kasparitis-Pock

    Bench:
    Hall, Orr, Rachunek

    I think the fourth line with Prucha on it would be tenacious and effective. Orts and Hollweg created many chances last year. Pruchs on that line gives them some finish. Pruch had his best game in a while last night. He played like Hollweg and I think he would have less pressure and it would add scoring from our 4th line.

    My 2 cents.

  18. Doodie Machetto on

    kvy27: No way, he’s slow and there is a reason nobody has signed him, even when there are at least 5 or 6 teams in the league looking for a 2nd line center: the guy sucks.

    Cullen on the third line is a mistake. His problem playing center was that he was poor defensively; why move him to center a line where defense would be his primary responsibility?

    4Rangers: the reason I attack Cullen and not Hossa is because Hossa isn’t there to score goals. Cullen, on the other hand, is defensively weak, and we have all seen that he is worthless up front. He also gets 17 mins a night to Hossa’s 10. Hossa makes 600k, Cullen 3mil. Thats 5 times the salary. Hossa has 3 pts and is shooting 3.3 %, Cullen has 13 pts and is shooting 4.4. This is why I am starting to get on Cullen and leaving Hossa alone. Hossa cheaply and adequately fills a spot, Cullen squeezes out someone more deserving and does nothing except miss open nets. And don’t look at +/- because its a BS stat that would lead you to believe Marek Malik is a good defenseman. This season Hossa has 1 goal in 29 games, playing on a very defensive minded third line. Cullen has 4 goals in 30 games, playing on the 2nd line AND on the PP. Cullen is clearly doing much worse than Hossa.

  19. Doodie Machetto on

    I think they should trade Cullen for a solid D-man.

    This from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, via Spector’s Trade Rumours:

    The NY Rangers are expected to buy out Darius Kasparaitis’s contract at the end of the season.

    Spector’s Note: Kaspar the Unfriendly Ghost has not looked the same over the past two seasons, leading to the conclusion that his hard-hitting aggresive style that made him such a pain to play against over the years has finally caught up with him.

  20. you’re the same expert who praised Bozo, who resisted changes to add youth, and then tried to jump on the bandwagon that we “critics” created.

    Pavel Datsyuk in Det. has 1 more goal than Cullen has. Should datsyuk be banished as well? and Shanny has more goals than he had last year at this time in Det., so I doubt HE has any problems with the way Culen has played with him.

    Put the 2 players on waivers, Cullen and Hossa, and see which one the other teams in the league would be more interested in. It sure as hell wouldn’t be your boy.

  21. Kovy27 I swear you are like Glen Sather’s wet dream fan. Yup screw the kids and bring in an slow and injury prone vet like Allison that doesn’t backcheck please.

  22. Doodie Hossa played nearly all year last year on the second line, and was dreadful. Once they picked up Sykora he took Hollweg’s spot on the 4th line, and did zip as per usual.

  23. Doodie:
    Cullen was the third line center and PP point man in carolina… and he was pretty damn good in both roles there… why not use him where he excelled last season on a stanley cup winning team?

    And if we’re going to talk defense pairings Mark:

    I’d like to see them try this

    Ozolinch Roszival
    Tyutin Ward
    Kasparaitis Rachunek

    I think Ozo would be able to use his offensive upside better if paired with Rozzy… not to mension he’d play more with the Jagr line, I think we’d get to see some big time point production from him, and it’d make that top unit that much more lethal

    And the only reason I say keep Rachunek around is because he’s a righty… it’s better from a defensive stand point to have a lefty paired with a righty for keeping the play to the outside… if they can find a right hander via trade or whatever to replace him I’d be all for it.

  24. forgot to ask you to “make it happen” Sam haha…. unless it’s stepping too out of bounds for you to bring up these ideas to Renny, but I really think that the regular line up I have posted here, along with the second PP unit tweak me and others have mensioned, and my D pairings… I think those are all the answers this team needs to be playoff ready, with the exception of like I said replacing Rachunek if able

  25. Lots of criticism of Cullen, some of it justified. However, when he was signed, I posted on another board that the NYR overpaid for a guy who’s career averages were well below the 25 goals and 24 assists he had last year in Carolina. So, I went and checked his numbers at TSN.ca and it turns out he’s on pace for a 12G, 26A season.

    So, what are his career averages over 7 full seasons (although in one he only played 50 games)? 13.71G, 22.43A. This includes his inflated salary drive year last season.

    So, he’s actually having a pretty average year for him. Unfortunately, the NYR are paying him to be something he’s not.

    TSN has him pegged as a “third-line center� under “career potential.� I’d say given his track record that’s where he belongs. To me he’s an upgrade at that position over Betts (who should really be a 4th line center).

  26. Doodie Machetto on

    “you’re the same expert who praised Bozo, who resisted changes to add youth, and then tried to jump on the bandwagon that we “criticsâ€? created.”

    First of all, I never praised Ozolinsh, just said he deserved a chance. In fact, I didn’t resist the youth either, I just said that the guys on the team desevred a chance. We’re a quarter of the way through the season and they’ve had a chance. Ozolinsh and Rachunek didn’t pan out. Cullen isn’t panning out. Hossa is doing what I expected him to do. I think Detroit is considering getting rid of him, but there are probably no takers since he has been such a dud, especially in the post season and in this season. he’s also due to be an UFA so teams will wait to pick him up there. And Shanny’s goals aren’t coming because of Cullen, that’s for DAMN sure. I’d say Cullen has, at most, 5 assists on Shanny’s goals.

    Cullen is overpaid, big time. Hossa gets paid nothing, so I don’t mind him being out there as a defensive forward. The only place I can imagine Cullen looking good is as an energy line center. 4th line between orts and hollweg. A replacement for Moore for 3 mil. Speaking of Moore, I said we should give Adam Hall a shot also. That didn’t pan out either. It’s not jumping on the bandwagon. I don’t call for the firings of Renney or Sather, I just think that the guys they picked deserved a shot and now that they’ve had them its time to move in a new direction.It’s what I’ve been saying all along.

  27. true, twin, but what you are leaving out is the fact that he got a lot of his production last year on the point on the PP, and he has had no chance to get any points that way here. and that was one of the reasons that Sather overpaid to sign him. we all know why he doesn’t get a sniff at the point, and it rhymes with blogger.

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    “So, he’s actually having a pretty average year for him. Unfortunately, the NYR are paying him to be something he’s not.”

    Twin, that’s the EXACT problem. He’s overpaid and being forced to fill a role that is commensurate with his salary rather his style of play (Bobby Holik). I don’t think the third line is a good spot for him- the Betts-Ward-Hossa combo has been playing very well. An energy line of Cullen-Hollweg-Ortmeyer I think would be fantastic.

    Straka-Nylander-Jagr
    Prucha-Immonen-Shanahan
    Hossa-Betts-Ward
    Hollweg-Cullen-Ortmeyer

    For this to work there would also have to be a more even distribution of icetime.

  29. Okay. It’s finally clear to me who the NY Rangers need to get. He’s gritty, tough, plays every game with heart and has an incredible offensive touch.

    His name is Allen Iverson. And he is The Answer.

    I mean, 5 on 4, 5 on 3, the guy would be sick. And on shootouts, you know he won’t be scared.

    Sam, could you please bring this up to Renney ASAP.

  30. Doodie Machetto on

    Cullen and Jagr are on different PP lines, so I don’t see why Jagr would be the reason Cullen couldn’t see some time on the point on the 2nd line PP. Just slide Immonen into center and let Cullen drop to the point alongside Tyutin.

  31. Doodie Machetto on

    By the way, I’m also possibly for Dawes seeing some 2nd line time alongside of Immonen under the following set or circumstances:

    Cullen continues to struggle and is replaced by Prucha. Prucha is given an honest chance. If Prucha still continues to show that his scoring abilities arent what they were last year, bring up Dawes to see what he can do for 5 games. If he looks good, leave him. If it’s not working, at least he had a shot.

  32. Doodie Machetto on

    Callahan too, moving Shanahan over to his natural LW position and letting Callahan play right.

  33. Doodie Machetto on

    The Blues just fired Mike Kitchen. I miss JD, and I’m sure with as badly they are doing in the standings and in the stands, he misses us too.

  34. I really like what I saw from Prucha in the last game. There were a bunch of shifts where he was all over the ice. I saw a blur and a crash, thought it was Hollweg, and discovered it was Prucha. Keep Hossa-Betts-Ward together for now, they are playing well. I’d like to see Hollweg-Ortmeier-Prucha in the near future. Ryan can score, he has the skills. He made a bunch of great offensive zone plays the other night off the intense forecheck. If Prucha keeps pushing the forecheck with Hollweg, they will get a bunch of scoring opportunities. Orty gives the defensive pressence you want. I truely believe this line could bring some second tier scoring if given enough ice, and we all know how Renney like to roll the lines.
    I’d also love to see Pock get some ice. The defense is only getting older. Although I don’t agree with the assessment you guys have been giving Ozo and Malik (I really think the defense is beginning to gel and they aren’t bad players) I’d love to see some new blood back there. And how about that hip check of Tyutin and offense of Rosival. And if you guys really think Ozo and Malik should be gone, how about Pock and Liffiton, they did play a lot together in Hartford.

  35. Not to worry ….about the music collection on the Ipod. PS it is embarrassing to have a compact disc in this day and age! Not sure if it’s a Mac or Windows (there is a difference on how to get it back so it’s visible. Always get the warranty plan on the Ipod – only thing you ever have to get it for. Rangers did look good last few games – no one mentions how well Immonen is playing (very solid and getting chances) with Shanahan. Darius is Darius. Good with the bad. What I would like to see is Pock back soon and Rachunek sitting down for a spell so that we can get a lot more solid on D with upside.

  36. lol i love fans that scream PLAY THE KIDS or DONT BLOCK THE KIDS yet have no clue about the “kids” at all. listen there is not one kid in our entire organization that is ready to be a second line center in the nhl right now. not immonen (can’t skate should be a fourth liner tops) and not even dubinsky who is just getting his feet wet. you want to scream at posters for ideas at least know what you are talking about. if you don’t agree with me please list ONE kid that would be blocked by bringing in a veteran center for a year. please.

  37. Doodie Machetto on

    kovy, your post just illustrates your fundamental misunderstanding of what those people are saying. They aren’t saying play the kids because they think that they are better(except possibly on defense), but because the best way for them to get better is to play at the NHL level. And I don’t know if you’ve been watching Immonen, but he’s doing a pretty good job so far and certainly better than Cullen was doing. The best part is that he is only going to improve at the role with the more time he has there. Granted, he is slow, but I think he is still young enough to work on that if the rest of his game falls into place.

    Oh, and they did bring in a veteran center. His name is Matt Cullen. Immonen currently plays center instead of him, so your veteran center theory goes out the window.

  38. I don’t miss JD he was a bloated shill since Dolan became the owner and Sather the gm he and Sam the sham Rosen became the biggest shills in the world. The team could lose every game and they would still put on a smily face from 98-04. Rob Bozolinsh on the first pair lmao yep he was a disgrace on the third pair let’s move him up! Geez Kovy three games into Immo run here and to you he’s just a 4th line center huh? Maybe the team can talk Messier out of retirement? I’m sure you’d love that.

  39. machetto i understand what you are saying but my post wasn’t directed at you just so you know. matt cullen is a veteran center you are right. but not a second line center. never has been and shouldn’t be here. he’s playing out of position so whatever theory you are talking about is not one i had in mind. blushirt immo has been in the organization for longer than 3 games by the way. maybe its the first time you’ve heard of him but i’ve seen plenty of him at hartford and from what i’ve seen here i need nothing more to see. he can’t skate. he’s not 20 he’s about 25. and he still can’t skate. i think he’s smart enough to be a VERY GOOD fourth line center in this league but asking him to be a top six player is just way to much. if your best response is to say something stupid like lets get messier out of retirement than there really is no reason to continue this conversation.

  40. I guess you missed him having a great year in Hartford last year huh? Plus he has gotten hot as heck lately that’s why he was recalled. There’s plenty of players that were told they couldn’t skate that ended up stars or very good players. Immo has very good Hockey smarts and good hands if given a chance he’ll be fine.

  41. Line 1: Straka-Cullen-Jagr
    Line 2: Shanahan-Nylander-Prucha
    Line 3: Hossa-Betts-Ward
    Line 4: Orr/Ortmeyer-Hollweg-Hall

  42. kovy:

    when you make a statement like this: “listen there is not one kid in our entire organization that is ready to be a second line center in the nhl right now” you’re taking your *opinion* and stating it as fact. Expect people to disagree with you. When you say that those of us who have seen Immonen in Hartford *and* in NYC “have no clue” expect some flames. Maybe you’d be better off saying that *in your opinion* based on seeing him play for however many games you’ve seen and sharing your qualifications for making the assessment (ie your experience as a player, coach, scout), you feel that Immonen doesn’t skate well enough to be a consistent scoring center at the NHL level. Then maybe you’d be taken seriously. Right now I’d say you’re a bore.

    BTW, I have played the game for 25 years, coached at the youth level for 7 years, live in the Hartford area and see 10 to 15 games a year, and I wouldn’t say definitively that Immonen is a 2nd line center. But I would say that he deserves an extended look there to find out. So far he’s looked pretty good defensively, on faceoffs and handling the puck. I think the jury is still out on whether he can score enough to be the answer, but he’s doing better than Cullen did so far.

  43. Reasoing:

    The 2nd line is not producing. Nylander gives Shanny and Pruch the playmaking center they desperately need. And while I agree that Cullen is a checking line center, we do not have 2 scoring line centers, but at least he can skate. Line 3 and line 4 are the same.

  44. Give Immonen a chance… He’s not the quickest guy out there, but he makes up for it with hockey sense, good hands, above average faceoff skills, and a good work ethic down deep and around the net. NEVER take Nylander away from Straka and Jagr… they’re unreal together

  45. I saw Immonen Sunday night in person and he looked good to me. The problem on that line is Cullen (old stone hands). With his speed, he’d be much better on the 4th line taking Prucha’s place and put Prucha with Shanahan and Immonen. I think that line would work.

    Renney thought processes are snail like. Look how long it took him to give Immonen a chance, to bench Bozo, to get Kasper in the lineup. He left Pock hanging. I hope Renney doesn’t drive, he would brake for a red light about 5 miles past that intersection.

  46. Doodie Machetto on

    blueshirts: they’re announcers, not critics. they are supposed to put smiley faces on and make us smile and laugh too.

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