“I’m friggin’ nervous”

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There may be only one thing more dangerous than a team at the top of its game, and that is a team at the bottom. Hence this quote from Tom Renney about facing the struggling Flyers tonight:

“I’m friggin’ nervous. I’m nervous,” Renney said. “I don’t know exactly why but these guys are going to work hard and if you do what you do under these circumstances — you really work hard under your game plan and work hard with in…And if we’re not ready for that — and that’s probably the larger side of the equation, if we’re not ready for that — then this could be an interesting night. I happen to have more faith in our guys tto get it done han I did three weeks ago, for example. But things happen.”

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One can understand where the coach is coming from. With the Flyers mired in last place and missing nearly half their roster due to injuries, the conventional wisdom is a team filled with cast-offs and prospects might make for an easy night for the Rangers. But as soon as the Rangers start to think that way, that’s when they invite in problems.

Meanwhile, a couple of other notes:

  • Aaron Ward is indeed out tonight with what the Rangers think is the flu. That means Sandis Ozolinsh returns from his three-game exile, and will be reunited with Karel Rachunek for one pairing, while Darius Kasparaits will be bumped alongside Fedor Tyutin in another. Tyutin will shift over to the right side normally occupied by Ward, and that makes sense seeing how he’s the steadiest of the bunch and better equipped to play out of position.
  • No word yet but don’t be surprised if Colton Orr returns as well. Renney said the enforcer’s spot in the lineup will be a game-time decision, but he isn’t quite sure who he’d replace. My guess — and I’m not basing this on much — is the odd man out could be Adam Hall.
  • Speaking of nervous, the folks on the Rangers side don’t need to be as jittery as their Garden co-tenants, the Knicks. Cablevision chairman James Dolan met with Knicks beat reporters today to discuss the team, and he was asked to compare the two teams. The answer, by way of “my friend and colleague Mike Dougherty”:http://knicks.lohudblogs.com/, is that the Rangers have a lot more going for them than their basketball brethren.

    “I really don’t compare the two situations,” Dolan said. “I think it’s pretty different. The Rangers have a whole farm system and a whole scouting system and a whole developmental system that doesn’t really exist in the NBA. And I have a great deal of confidence in Glenn and everything he built that it was eventually going to come to fruition and give us success. The Knicks don’t have that. What the Knicks have is readily visible. We got one rookie, three second year guys. We don’t have any assets sitting in the closet developing. We have what we have.”

  • Not surprisingly, Allen Iverson is all over the airwaves in the City of Brotherly Love. And you thought Marcel Hossa’s playing time was a hot-button issue….

    OK, that’s all for now….

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    115 Comments

    1. wow…am I first…thats a…first :) ORR in for Hall would only make sense since Hall seems to ahve disapeared…Maybe he isnt fitting into the system…maybe he should be moved…Hopefuly OR being in the linup dosne make the 4th line get less min…Prucha and Hollweg bring good things…and they should be on the ice MORE not less…

    2. Move Immo and Cullen down to the 4th line to play with Orr. Move Hollweg and Prucha up to the 2nd line to play with Shanahan. Those two disrupting everything could give more chances to Shanahan, as well as spark some scoring from Prucha and maybe even Hollweg.

    3. With the Flyers having Fedoruk and Eager I’d imagine Orr would be in the lineup. At least I’d hope. I’d much rather watch him than useless #’s 1-4. Betts, Ward, Hossa, and Hall. At least Orr hits and can fight as opposed to the aforementioned four pieces of trash on skates.

    4. Doodie Machetto on

      At least Orr hits and can fight as opposed to the aforementioned four pieces of trash on skates.

      Orr is the biggest waste on the team. He doesn’t hit, can’t skate, no hands, and can’t fight his way out of a paper bag. Look at how well they’ve done since he’s been out of the lineup.

      Orr sucks. At leats Betts, Ward, and Hossa kill penalties, not to mention that their line has been playing very well recently. Hall is worthless too, but he might score on the PP, I mean, he did get 2 that one game. Which is 2 more than Orr has had in his entire career.

    5. What a shame, because this will keep Hollweg off the ice. Of course, he could always move up in Hossa’s spot for a few shifts. Rosival has been looking great the past few games.

    6. Doodie Machetto on

      Philly just doesn’t have an answer for the 1st line. That’s 2 shifts where it looked like they were on a PP even though it was 5 on 5.

    7. Doodie Machetto on

      everytime we bad mouth someone on this board they end up doing well afterwards. If we all come down on Jagr he’ll score 100 goals.

      WELCOME BACK OZOLINSH! picked up right where he left off.

    8. DAMN! NEED HOLLWEG, ORR, AND SHANNAHAN TO CRUNCH UMBERGER AT ONCE.

      notice how whenever Ozo is on the ice, there is always a goal against us or a really dumb play…
      lets just ponder that for a bit

    9. Get rid of Ozo and Rachunek and bring up Liffiton and Pock to be the third pair. They played great together last year in Hartford. Even though they are young, it wouldn’t be any worse than what is there now, and at least they will get better and learn.

    10. Orr was great on that first shift. He was able to use his stick to make sure he stayed on his skates in the slot, then he was able to take a horrible penalty. Let’s see if the fourth line is penalized for Renney’s mistake.

    11. Doodie Machetto on

      I’d rather see Baranka than Liffiton, but I’m even ok with leaving Kaspar and just letting Pock come in.

    12. I’m OK with Kasper, at least he wants to be there and works hard. He proved that when he took the conditioning stint and worked his way back on the ice. I just want to see Pock get a chance.

      The 1st line really does look like it is on a PP all the time.

    13. Doodie Machetto on

      Immonen shouldve shot that one, but it’s no biggie, he’ll learn. He’s got that assist so far, so other things will come.

    14. Doodie Machetto on

      Blind backhand pass out of the zone by Malik. His fortune must be changing because earlier in the season that would have gone right onto the stick of an opposing forward.

      Weekes looks lost. Complete opposite of two days ago. Again, Nittymaki looks very sharp.

    15. But notice, he has only looked lost when the third pair is on the ice. And the fourth line got that one shift and hasn’t gotten back on after the dumb penalty.

    16. Renney Sucks!!! on

      this coach is now officially an idiot, I would take Ron Low over this loser.

      Orr over Prucha, you have to be retarded to be ok with this.

    17. Doodie Machetto on

      No, he looked lost while the Rangers were on the PK and one other time when the 1st line was out there.

    18. Doodie Machetto on

      I think maybe the rationale there is he was expecting a rout. When temas get beat badly, especially when they are rivals, things get chippy. Considering what a beating Prucha has taken all season from every team, the target on him would be huge. Taking him out of the lineup to protect him from someone who is deliberately trying to hurt him is the only possible justification. Because I’m grasping at straws here. It’s a really stupid move.

    19. you’ve got to wonder about Renney’s commitment to Prucha. he had one of his best shifts of the season last game, and he gets scratched. Renney seems to be trying to force a move.

    20. Doodie Machetto on

      Sam, you *know* you have to ask him why he scratched Prucha as opposed to Hall or someone else.

      Philly may be soft, but when you’re at the bottom, there’s nothing to lose in playing dirty. I didn’t say anything would be clean.

    21. lets just hope that the rangers have a lead once it is 2nd intermission because statistically, the flyers haven’t won one game this year when they were down during the 2nd int…

      i hope jason ward is okay. that had to hurt

    22. Doodie Machetto on

      On the replay it looked like a possible ankle sprain, although his return would suggest otherwise.

    23. he’s on the ice… i just hope nothing is actually wrong with it because he could make it worse if he skates on it… tho he seems to be fine

      GO KASPER!

    24. Doodie Machetto on

      Jagr should’ve buried Ozo’s pass. It was actually him doing something right and it turned into nothing.

    25. doodie

      I remember you asking me what could Immone bring to the Rangers about a month back. There you go.

    26. Doodie Machetto on

      Just because he’s playing well now doesn’t mean he was doing well then. He turned it around in Hartford and now hes got it going at the NHL.

    27. Renney Sucks!!! on

      BTW, notice that whether a goon is playing or not, the other team will not be intimidated from playing physical or dirty.

    28. Doodie Machetto on

      What excuses? he was playing poorly at the AHL level, once he got hot they called him up to play off of that momentum.

    29. Immonen should have made the team from the exhibition season where he played very well. But not in Teflon Tom and Glen “the Fraud” Sather’s world. Doody should know about that, he’s also from that world.

    30. Immonen showed last season he could play at the NHL level but people like you wrote him off because he was struggling in Hartford. I saw him as a good player who needed a chance. Something apparently Prucha no longer deserves.

    31. Doodie Machetto on

      Goods are useless unless the goons play like goons. Orr should have been in a fight by now, especially after Hatcher laid out Jagr. Either that or Eager.

      As for Immonen’s goal, it couldn’t have been a better one. He has been doing pass first an dbeing afraid to shoot. The shot he scored on was one that he shouldn’t have, especially with as sharp as Nittymaki has been. It REALLY goes to show what getting the puck on net can do. Maybe he keeps that in mind.

    32. Doodie Machetto on

      And once he turned it around in Hartford they brought him up. Makes sense to me. If you can’t compete at the AHL level, you certainly can’t at the NHL.

    33. TSALAD: Doody is shilling Rosen’s “Immonen’s afraid to shoot” b.s.

      Hey, Doody, does MSG have a good 401K plan?

    34. Can someone explain why Faux Coach Renney gave Hossa and Hall time on that pp and not Immo? Doody?

    35. Yea Immonen suddenly got good right doodie? Like he wasn’t good before and deserved a shot. A shot that never seems to end for players like Ozo and Rachunek and Cullen and Hall and Hossa.

    36. Doodie Machetto on

      “Can someone explain why Faux Coach Renney gave Hossa and Hall time on that pp and not Immo?”

      They’re wingers and Immo is a center? Otherwise, no. I think Immo should center the 2nd PP.

      “Doody is shilling Rosen’s “Immonen’s afraid to shootâ€? b.s”

      He is. He passed on a definite shot opportunity in the 1st, and has only 4 shots in his first 3 games. Cullen has 8 in that time. Shanahan has 13. So I’d say that shows tentativeness to shoot.

    37. tentativeness to shoot.

      You mean like Nylander? But Sam never complains about Nylander not shooting the puck?

    38. Doodie Machetto on

      I do. Nylander definitely needs to shoot more also. I’m not peddling Sam’s opinions, I didn’t even mention him, you did.

    39. In those 3 games what was Cullen’s total ice time? Or Shanahan’s and then what was immonen’s? How much PP time did those 3 get. maybe chances have something to do with total numbers of shots.

    40. I don’t want to hear rosen tell me Immonen should shoot the puck when he never tells me that Nylander or anyone for that matter should have shot the puck. Consistency is all I ask.

    41. Doodie Machetto on

      In the last game Cullen had 5 shots to Immonen’s 1. He had 3 and a half mins of PP time. I doubt the 3:30 of PP time accounts for 4 shots. He’s tentative because he’s a pass first center. It’s not that big of a deal, I’m sure he’ll learn to shoot more. You guys just have to fight about something.

    42. Doodie Machetto on

      Orr needs to fight Fedoruk, Eager, or Hatcher, immediately. Otherwise he is totally worthless.

    43. Jagr lucked out. he turned the puck over twice in a row for breakaways, only to be bailed out by a line change and then his linemates.

    44. Doodie Machetto on

      yeah, he hasn’t been on top of game tonight. lots of shots that turned into nothing. bad passes and defense. Also got laid out by Hatcher.

    45. if the score stays the same for the rest of the game i will be content… even more so if hollweg goes and fights someone at the last 15 seconds of the game, that’d be great

      ha, devils suck

    46. Doodie Machetto on

      Did you hear that? 7-1-3 in our last 11. 4 wins in a row. You would think they were putting together a winning team or something.

    47. *tear, no fight.. but hey, they won!!

      the rangers should be 1st in atlantic, devils aren’t doing so hot

    48. Doodie Machetto on

      just put your stick on the puck and don’t get down on your luck, it’s the Rangers victory song…

    49. speaking of the holidays… the guy who wrote ‘santa claus is coming to town’ also wrote the rangers victory song…so next time a=one of your devil or islander fans/friends sings santa claus is coming to town, you can say they’re rooting for the rangers

      i kno, i’m a dork. i admit it.

    50. Renney Sucks!!! on

      “just put your stick on the puck and don’t get down on your luck, it’s the Rangers victory song…”

      do you have some mental problems?

    51. Doodie Machetto on

      Wait, you’re saying that he doesn’t know the song? It’s so beyond my comprehension that a so-called Rangers fan doesn’t know the victory song. HAHA. Seriously? No… Can’t be. Can it?

    52. Okay, it’s flat out unacceptable that Hatcher flattens Jagr and Orr doesn’t kill someone. If he’s going to take a lineup spot he had better do something. He sucks. How soft can the Rangers get? Why is Shanny the only guy who seems to even know about sticking up for your teammates?

      Ozo, damn, you stink so bad even Sam Rosen feels cool saying it.

      Nice to see the Rangers win a game that they could have easily flushed with laziness. And Weekes played pretty well…got the W. Glad Immo took that shot instead of passing. Got the goal, maybe he’ll get even more confidence.

      Meanwhile, they still miss too many open nets…

      Let’s go Rangers.

    53. Chris I would agree with everything you said about the Rangers needing to stick up for each other, specially Jagr however I can’t agree much about Orr because that one was on Renney who did not put Orr out there as soon as he possibly could and by the time he put him out there a long time had passed …

      So I was annoyed that Orr dressed instead of Prucha, supposedly for this very situation and yet he sits on the bench and isn’t given the go-ahead to go out there and stick up for Jagr? I mean, come on!

    54. Matty, revenge is a dish best served cold — as ice. Someone should have done something, even later in the game, and if Orr isn’t the one to do it, you’re right, he shouldn’t even be dressed.

    55. The problem with going back at the other team toward the end of the game will draw suspensions and fines. The league has been cracking down. I really wouldn’t care either way if Orr had to sit out a few, but that is why there havn’t been as many fights toward the end of games this year.

    56. Immonen just over 10 minutes. After he scored a goal and assist in the first two periods, No pp time and less than 3 mins in the third. Way to reward your young players Renney. The guys who ned the confidence boost never get it from Renney. Meanwhile Jagr Nylander Shanahan and Straka all get over 21 mins. Straka over 24 mins. That isn’t coaching its reckless

    57. Doodie Machetto on

      They had 10 mins of PP time, so they only had 4 mins more of even strength. Not so terrible when you look at it that way.

      The Sixers should trade Iverson for Forsberg.

    58. doodie

      it sucks. Immonen got no PP time none. Hall and Hollweg get under 10 mins vs an AHL team. Those 4 Jagr, etc won’t have anything left come March.

    59. Doodie Machetto on

      PS, I need to eat some Crow. Cullen (no longer Hullen) might be turning a corner. Let’s hope it keeps up.

    60. Renney Sucks!!! on

      “No pp time and less than 3 mins in the third. Way to reward your young players Renney.”

      Renney doesn’t reward young players and does not want them to gain confidence, he can’t wait to have an excuse to take Immonen out of the lineup.

    61. Cullen and Immonen each with a goal and a assist and Cullen gets 2:21 PP time while Immonen gets 29 seconds. Way to reward guys for playing well. All Renney does is jam Jagr etc down our throats night after night to the tune of 22 plus mins.

    62. Allright Sammy!!!

      Heard you on the radio, you sounded great, and thanks for representin’ the blog, yo. You hit everything right on the head. The fact that Maloney asked about it made me wonder if he reads the blog too. Strong, strong work dude.

    63. Renney Sucks!!! on

      here is what I would do:

      replace Renney with a competent coach, get rid of Orr and Ozolinsh. Trade away the stonehand brigade of Jason Ward, Hall, Betts, and Hossa. Trade away Pock and Rachunek because they are UFA after this season and almost guaranteed to sign elsewhere. call up some kids from Hartford.

    64. Immonen was named the #1 star of the game…

      Imagine how good this team could be if Immonen starts contributing like this regularly, and they get rid of Ozo and Rachunek and replace them with anybody at all, find a way to get Prucha going (how about some PP time) and work Dawes in. See, the team not only canm win now with young players, they’re actually more likely to win now (and later) with those guys in the lineup.

    65. Sam-
      I know you were hesitant to question Renney on the retaliation issue earlier in the season, when the Rangers couldn’t afford to be taking penalties. I implore you to at least pose the question to Renney. Why have Orr in the lineup if he barely plays after the 1st period and cheap shots are being thrown all around. Jagr gets elbowed to the head and there is absolutely NO response. I don’t care if we are on the Power Play and are in a tie game. Does Renney think that other teams in the league don’t know that they can take liberties with our players and not have to worry about it? I have been supportive of Renney, but he sits Prucha a game after he had one of his best games in a while (not saying a game off might not be a good hing, but why this game after he played well?) AND dresses Orr who adds “Karma” and supposed protection, and then plays him for 3 minutes? It doesn’t make sense. You can’t protect/intimidate from the bench. The cheap shot on Jagr was in the 1st period, so waiting until the last 5 minutes shouldn’t have been an option (wouldn’t want to get fined or have Orr suspended, now, would we? MSG can afford a fine and it’s prtecting an investment in the best player in the game. Orr never plays, so What the heck?)

      I don’t think Renney has ever answered this question and it is time he does so. Thanks again for the great work you do.

    66. DOODY: “Cullen might be turning a corner.”

      DOODY, what’s the Dolans vacation policy for shills. Do you get 2 weeks or 3? And do they have a good dental plan?

    67. Renney’s been playing Immonen. Really pushing it to imagine you’re in his head and to say he’s dying to get the kid out of the lineup. He probably’s hoping the kid scores a million goals, the Rangers win the cup and he gets wealth and respect. Not that it’s likely…or he’s good. But that he’s rooting against people? Unlikely.

    68. Renney Sucks!!! on

      Renney also played Pock, Dawes and Callahan.

      As for Prucha, Renney pretty much drafted him, so he feels he can treat him like he owns him. When he scouted Prucha he must have had in mind Prucha being a good extra player that can fill in on 2nd line or provide some offense on the 4th line. Never did he imagine Prucha to become a 40 goal scorer, which he was for half the last season. Renney doesn’t want Prucha to be a big scorer and to rely on him, Renney will (if he hasn’t yet) ruin a great player in Prucha. Renney doesn’t want to play Prucha on PK or 4 on 4 even though Prucha is very good defensively.

    69. Doodie Machetto on

      Chardkerm: I’ve been coming down hardest on Cullen- I was calling him Brett Hullen and saying he couldn’t buy a goal. I even suggested he be traded at one point. He just had a goal and an assist in one game. Why wouldn’t you want to give him some encouragement to hopefully turn his season around? We’re locked in for a few years with this guy at a high number, so instead of hoping for his failure, why not take this opportunity to give him some encouragement?

      And please notice the use of “might”. I didn’t sya he is going to win the Art Ross now, just that there is a chance his name will appear on the scoresheet more often.

      It’s like you have to nitpick through everything anyone says to find something to complain about. The team is 6-1-3 in it’s last 10 and that’s 2nd best in the East and 4th best in the NHL. But you’re so quick to complain about everything. If the team went 98-0 and won the cup, you would complain that they didn’t win it at the garden. jeez. the team is winning. relax.

    70. Doddie any truth to the rumor that you really are Bobby Granger? Boy the Bozo, and the Racoon horror show was really on nice work by them on the Umberger goal. Hossa on the pp now that’s laughable but predictable. Immo looked great btw Doodie Michetti corrected Sam the sham Rosen saying the pass was the right move. Immo really seems to be gaining confidence and chemistry with his linemates. Prucha sitting is perplexing nearly as perplexing is Renney refusing to give Hollweg much of a chance either.

    71. racoon fell and lost his positioning on that goal, but the centerman should have been covering umberger in the slot…that didnt happen.

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