Much to discuss


In the absence of penalties that weren’t called last night in Philadelphia — and yes, we’re talking about you, Derian Hatcher — I’ll go ahead and give myself two minutes for failure to dash off a quick post-game correspondence.


My excuse? No lie: there was some beer league hockey game being played on the Wachovia Center ice while I was busy writing “my story for the newspaper”:, and I found myself easily distracted by the action below. Hence, by the time I had filed one story, it was time to bust out of Philly.

Anyway, let’s touch on a few things while they’re still relevant.

  • The aforementioned Hatcher elbow on Jaromir Jagr: It was ugly no doubt, and it absolutely warranted a response from the Rangers. As some of you have already scratched your head about, the Rangers failed to do so, and Tom Renney said it mostly had to do with the fact that the game was still hanging in the balance. “Yeah, we were ready to take care of business,” he said. “There’s a head shot. And you’ve got the leading scorer in the game taking a head shot. Protect these people. And if you’re not going to, OK, that’s fine. Then we’ll all just carry a hired gun and let it evolve the way it will.”

    My take? It’s funny, I’ve long been torn about the importance of fighting in hockey. I think we’re past the days when teams need to try to intimidate others — mostly because I don’t think a guy like Jaromir Jagr gets intimidated. But I also think the Rangers need to make clear that a run on their best player is intolerable; and it doesn’t matter if the game is close or not. Bear in mind that whatever signal the Rangers gave off last night not only reaches the Flyers, but Dallas, and Toronto, and every other team they have upcoming. And in that regard, maybe challenging Hatcher and risking a loss wouldn’t have been so bad.

  • In a related matter, the benching of Petr Prucha: I said this on the radio as well last night that maybe this wasn’t a bad idea, not because Prucha has been terrible, but because it may be an opportunity for the forward to charge his batteries with little residual effect (did I mention the Flyers are awful?). As of late last night, Renney said he hadn’t a chance to discuss the issue at length with Prucha, but the forward seem to understand the message regardless.

    “I have to change something and this could be a good thing to me to help me because I was trying everything: on the ice, and in the gym, and nothing helps me,” Prucha said. “So maybe one game is a good break for me.”

    Of course, the other side of this is that Prucha was replaced by Colton Orr, who was supposedly inserted into the lineup to provide the Rangers some needed grit. How’d that work out? See above.

    Either way, expect Prucha back in the lineup tomorrow against the Stars.

  • Oh Jarkko!: Big night for the Rangers’ rookie, with a goal and an assist, but I still can’t say for sure what this means for him long term. In talking to Renney, Matt Cullen, and Brendan Shanahan, there seems to be a consistent theme: that Immonen is a smart player and very poised, but maybe too reserved for his own good. Naturally, Shanahan admitted, it’s tough to step in on a line with two veterans and immediately take control, but Shanahan said he’d like to see Immonen do just that. In fact, Shanahan told me he’s often in Immonen’s ear on the bench.

    “I put a lot of pressure on him. When he backs off a little, I’ll nudge him on the bench and say, ‘Let’s pick it up.'” Shanahan said.

    If that doesn’t get a player going, then there probably isn’t much hope for him.

    Meanwhile, the Rangers are 4-0 with Immonen in the lineup. I’m not sure he’s the reason, but they’d be fools to stray from what’s working now.

    Anyway, that’s all for now. Let’s talk as the day goes on…

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    1. I thought there might be a need for Orr in the lineup for what i call “extra protection”

      – now Renney obviously believes just having a body on the bench with #28 on it is enough to ward off the opposing attempts at Jagr and company’s heads.

      -But what happens when Hatcher or some other dope actually DOES drop Jagr and company like he did last night with a late elbow to the kisser? (and it was late and high, the puck was out of zone already) How does Renney react? just the way he did. with nothing. Then why even dress Orr for the 3 minutes of ice time? Because it’s the fear that he wants there, thats it.

      -Renney always preaches about accountability, for HIS players… well he better start thinking about the accountability of the players wearing different colors otherwise someone important is gonna get hurt. Its just a matter of time. Its only December… you think in February and March when the games are even MORE important, teams are not going to try an intimidate even more??

      -If you arent gonna do that consciously, at least get your money’s worth with the penalties you take. instead of a hook/tap that lands you 2 minutes for grazing a players glove – Slash his arm off or throw him into the dasher, if youre going into the box you might as well take a piece of the other team with you.
      Im not saying try and hurt the other team, but play tough and show the other team that retribution can occur. Seeing Chris Neil smash everything in his way the other day (with no response) in Ottawa really disturbed me, Chris Nilan wouldve pummeled him, or at least sent a message somehow.

      -Thats whats lacking in the NHL right now, and on the Rangers specifically. If they are gonna allow this stuff (even Hollweg and how he runs around and smashes the opposition in certain contests) you have to let some players police the ice so the games stars dont shafted.

      -I dont know if its Renney’s patty cake way of doing things, or his abiding to the NHL standards sent down from the top as a mission statement for the league. Whatever it is, its gonna have to change, this is NEW YORK for christssake.

      -And this crap about not doing it because the game is tight? Every game is tight, and they are gonna get tighter as the year moves along. Besides, if a game IS out of hand and something happens – thats when they start calling stuff and throwing out fines to coaches and players. He backwards with that statement.

    2. i checked his stats today…colton orr has ZERO career goals and just about as much fights won. He does nothing on the ice , takes dumb penalties and cant intimidate a fly. I’d rather have a Mathew Barnaby out there….a guy who skates hard, has a decent set of hands on him but isn’t afraid to throw down if need be. The teams enforcer has to get a regular shift to be able to do any good, and if he has no playing ability (ala colton) he wont get any ice time…hard to fight from the bench.

    3. Patrick Hoffman on

      Here is my brief take on the game that I wrote for Let me know what you think, Sam:

      The New York Rangers (17-10-4) moved into first place in the Atlantic Division last night after beating a hard working Philadelphia Flyers (8-18-4) hockey team by a score of 3-1.

      The team got unlikely scoring from the likes of Matt Cullen (his 5th of the season, second at the Wachovia Center this season) and Jarkko Immonen (1st of the season) while Michael Nylander added one more tally (12th goal of the season) in the third period to help clinch the victory for his hockey club.

      Rangers’ goaltender Kevin Weekes was certainly not as busy as Antero Niittymaki last night (34 saves) as Weekes only had to make 15 saves in his seconde consecutive victory. The team once again played a strong defensive game as they have allowed five goals in the last four games, all Ranger wins.

      Though Cullen and Immonen were able to get their names on the scoresheet, the Rangers still need to find a scoring balance since their top two lines produce a majority of the goals they score.

      What was a bit disturbing was the fact that Rangers’ forward Petr Prucha was a healthy scratch last night. One can clearly see that he is pressing and getting frustrated out there. However, he still creates chances and hustles. Who knows? May be sitting out a game will help Prucha in the long run.

      This score could have been much worse either way as both teams missed golden opportunities to really open the game up. This just goes to show you that no team can be taken lightly in the NHL and the Flyers were a perfect example of that last night as they were able to keep themselves in the game.

      Tomorrow night, the Rangers will take on the Dallas Stars (20-11-0) as they look to extend their winning streak to five games.

    4. Ridiculous nothing was done after the head shot to Jagr. Those 2 points wont mean SQUAT if Jagr takes more hits like that, becasue we will be no where near th playoffs.

      And, why only Orr can retaliate, Shanny had the opportunity and DID NOTHING also. If he is such a LEADER than he SHOULD have stepped up to hatcher instead of whispering in his hear, “Hey, dont do that again”

      scratching my head on this one

    5. I think that Immonen brings a sort of stabilizing presence to the lineup. Shanny is +2 in 4 games since being paired with Immo, and was -9 before that. Instead of having Cullen at center bringing the puck up wildly trying to beat 5 guys and eventually losing it causing counter-rushes, Immonen holds the puck and works the boards extremely well and that line can now cycle with Cullen on the wing.

      And how about that goal….Immonen beats Timonen, Pitkanen, and finally Nittymaki 5-hole. Hilarious.

      And we need to give Ozo his due, he can’t cut it in the new NHL. Kaspar is solid enough to play, and Rachunek should take Pock’s place in the pressbox. Everytime Rachunek/Ozo are on the ice I get nervous.

    6. i was at the game last night and behind the play shanny made a legitimate attempt to get hatcher to drop them but he didn’t accept.

    7. Andy —

      I actually found myself uttering this phrase at one point last night: “You know, other than the defensive part of the game, Ozolinsh isn’t bad…”

      What I mean is that he actually sees the ice pretty well and makes some impressive passes. But he is, sadly, pretty lost out there at times, and I think last night sort of proved as much.

    8. Sam,
      Do you think that the Rangers are 4 – 0 with Immonen on the line up, or is is cause Kasper is there to help stablize the defence? Both Lund and Weekes have played way better when he’s in the line up….take it for what its worth I guess

    9. Sam,

      The issue isn’t necessarily going after Hatcher. It’s “taking out” Gagne or someone else of his skill level. Who cares if Orr drops his gloves against Hatcher? Big deal. But if someone (anyone, please!) buries Gagne, I bet Philly takes notice to that.

    10. If there is any place for fighting in the NHL, last night’s hit on Jagr is a great example. The hit seemed a little late and Hatcher went in elbows up. Others have made the points about protecting your star player and that is right on. You can’t necessarily expect Shanny to go toe-to-toe with Hatcher but he WAS right there after the hit and if he did grab Hatcher I’m guessing the other players would have joined in the scrum. Otherwise, next time Gagne or Knuble is on the ice, send out Orr to pummel one of them. Let him take the misconduct…he wasn’t getting any icetime anyway.

    11. Keith —

      Good point, and you’re right, that would snap a lot of teams to attention. But that’s a slippery slope and I don’t think it’s good for hockey if every team is going after all of each other’s top guys.

      RB —

      Kaspar and Immonen have both had an impact, mostly in the balance they bring to the team. With Kaspar, it’s mostly about the mood and energy he brings, along with his decent play. And with Immonen, I think it’s mostly alleviated some pressure off other guys, specifically Cullen, and allowed the Rangers to even their lines out a bit. That said, let’s keep in mind that of the four teams the Rangers have beaten, none are inside the playoff picture. I think the Rangers are playing pretty good hockey. But if there’s ever been a chance to ease Jarkko in slowly, this was it. Meanwhile, he’s likely to be tested over the next four games: Dallas, Toronto, Jersey, Islanders.

    12. “But if someone (anyone, please!) buries Gagne, I bet Philly takes notice to that.”

      Kind of like when Kaspar went after Forsberg last year. The whole Flyers team wanted Kaspar’s head. Same when Kaspar took out Connolly and Marshall, the Sabres and Devils wanted to kill Kaspar.

    13. Patrick Hoffman on


      Just wondering if you liked my article on last night’s game.

      I was also wondering who you were on the radio with last night? I need to start listening to the post game shows so that I can catch one of these times that you are on.

      Your Friend,

      Patrick S. Hoffman

    14. Anthony – I’m not looking to initiate the hit on the star. But if Jagr is going to be the recipient of cheap shots, I certainly don’t have a problem retaliating against the opposition’s top gun.

    15. Hey Patrick,
      Good article but here’s a tip. When you mentioned that the Rangers were playing the Stars tomorrow night, you should’ve specified in which city/arena the game is scheduled to take place.
      Just a thought, but a good read overall

    16. I agree with Sam, I’m not sure that going after star players is the ethical thing to do. It might send a message, but I’d rather go after the transgressor. There’s a great clip on YouTube of Shanahan (when he was a wing) going after Hall (when he was a Predator) after a goal was scored. I don’t think Shanny considers himself too old to fight. I think Renney has set the standard. No retaliation.

    17. I don’t care if Orr goes after Hatcher or not, the NHL should go after Hatcher. Clear head-hunting like that should start with a miscondunt and be elevated to a match penalty for repeate offenders. It doesn’t matter if the ref sees it or not, it doesn’t matter if the team retaliates or not, but if a player in the league is maliciously head-hunting league stars there needs to be accountability. Just like they use video replay to fine excessive diving, they should punish malicious behavior.

    18. Hossa. He got 16:45 last night including 1:52 of pp time vs an AHL team he also added

      0 SOG
      2 Missed Shots
      1 Giveaway
      1 Hit

      Yea that’s great.

    19. Colorado Mark

      Well it is unethical to go after Jagr as well, but it does not stop other teams from doing it. Tecnically if Orr goes after Hatcher Flyers do not lose much (if he gets hurt), but if Gagne’s brains are splattered all over the wall after that hit on Jagr then it will other teams thoughout the NHL to think of their star first before going after Jagr…

      Also, I someone brought up spreading offence throughout lineup. How do you guys like :


      That way Rangers have 4 offensive lines and Renney can roll all 4 of them. what do you gys think about it?

    20. Crippling skill players isn’t the answer and that is why hockey had traditional enforcers who knew their place and kept everyone in line (Marty McSorley). That being said, the Rangers could use some more, gritty LEGAL hitting AND an enforcer who will stand toe to toe with anyone in the league. That is, not Colton Orr (yeah, a Barnaby would be nice cause he has two dimensions, like if Hollweg could also really fight). The very idea that we’re at the point where we’re pissed Shanny didn’t drop the gloves is pathetic — not that he would be unwilling, but that we’re looking to an old man to do it.

      Ozo has to go. It’s just that simple. Take the financial hit. Whatever. He stinks defensively.

      Agreed on Hossa — he’s playing really solid.

    21. Hossa doesn’t have the skill to play on the PP. Not in a close game. Why would you give Hossa 1:52 of PP time when he can’t buy a goal and in that close game give Immonen 29 seconds when he had a goal. Doesn’t make any sense.

    22. Nyrich82 rewarded for what exactly? Stinking his entire career yet Renney having man love for him? The guy is the most worthless waste of space in the Nhl.

    23. Yes, he has a rought career. Yes, Renney obviously is favoring him. But he is NOT, by any means, the most worthless waste of space in the NHL. He has improved greatly. If he can sustain that, he’ll have no problem cracking line-ups. He has energized the his linemates Ward & Betts. They have been teaming up to be quite the checking line, grinding away against other team’s top lines. This also gives them rythm for when they are called upon to play PK. Do I think he should get PP time? Probably not, but hey, you never know what a guy is capable of until you put him in a situation where he is forced to rise to the occasion, and this is excatly what Renney has been doing. Cullen/Betts centering the 2nd line, Hall cracking the 2nd line, Hossa on the powerplay. He is trying to see which of his guys will rise to the occasion. Who is going to replace our top 4 when one of them gets injured, and belive me someone ALWAYS gets injured. It may be for a game or it may be for a season, but someone will be injured and someone else will have to be called upon to fill those shoes. So give Hossa a break, he may not be Marian, but when you improve your ability, even if its a slight improvement over what has been a reality stinky career, everyone deserves encouragement.

    24. First off I don’t think the hit on Jagr was as bad as everyone is making it out to be and secondly it wasn’t called a penalty. I think the worst thing about the Flyers as an organization is they have a guy on the ice like Fedoruk who is wearing a full face sheild yet is running around hitting eveyone. I can recall times in the past that when Jagr has been hit there has rarely been a reply by the Rangers because I think Jagr can take care of himself and maybe he tells the guys not to worry about things like that.
      But I can recall plenty of games where Ryan Hollweg is running people through the glass and other teams do not respond. At the end of the Ottawa game I recall Hollweg laying someone out behind the Ottawa net.

      Renney hs showed patience with Cullen on 2nd line and it might pay off. If Cullen can catch fire and start scoring the Rangers will be dangerous.

    25. I’ve read a lot about dealing out justice today, and I must admit I’m torn. On the one side there’s the “sticking up for your team mates” aspect, which while I agree with the underlying philosophy, I think there’s also the need to do that smartly.

      In today’s NHL game, a single event can often turn a game…it might be an injury, a lucky bounce or even a missed opportunity. It changes the psyche of a player and a team and it can have a broader effect on the season.

      Yes, by responding to Derian Hatcher’s elbow you might be sending a message to other teams that you “can’t mess with us”, but you could also be sending quite a different message.

      If the Rangers respond every time one of the top line players takes a borderline hit, then the chances are that teams could well take advantage of that and goad the Rangers into the kind of ill-discipline that we saw under the reigns of Glen Sather and later Bryan Trottier.

      It might be satisifying for a fan that “we won the fight”, but if all a team needs to do is put a hit on Jagr to get the Rangers off their game plan and seeking justice, then it might be a tactic that teams would employ.

      Conversely if the Rangers win the game without responding does that not send the message to other teams that trying to cheap shot and hit the Rangers out of the game will not have the desired effect and that the Rangers will win anyway?

      Ultimately I think you have more room to respond when your team is trailing and those are the games in which I would expect to see “justice” done. It may not be as satisfying as a fan in the short term, but the long term goal is to make the playoffs.

      Typically you don’t see a lot of injuries from intentional cheapshots, so I’m not as worried about that aspect (most injuries tend to occur accidentally IMO), and as Sam stated, he doesn’t think Jagr’s the kind of guy who is going to get intimidated by it.

      So bottom line for me is winning is more important, and while I’d like to see a guy like Hatcher put in his place, the best way to do that is to beat his team.

    26. NYRich

      hey, you never know what a guy is capable of until you put him in a situation where he is forced to rise to the occasion,

      You mean like Prucha or Immonen.

    27. vogs,

      My own opinion on Cullen is just that he’s always going to be one of those 2nd/3rd line guys who’s too good for the third line, but not good enough (particularly offensively) for the top line. I really like his skating, and he seems to be a hard worker, but he’s not as offensively gifted as you’d hope.

      Last year he had a career year with the Canes and still managed just 25 goals and 49 points, which could well be inflated when you consider the Hurricanes had the third best offense in the league. Before last year his high was 18 goals and 48 points back in the 2001-02 season.

    28. Nyrich82 Hossa was given plenty of chances, in fact last year he spent alot of time on the 2nd line, and good god did he stink it up. Ward and Betts were better players last year when they played alot with a real player in Prucha.

    29. I am more than willing to encourage Hossa….in another uniform. If this is his level of competence then I’d have no problem if another team claimed him and he “develops” into a solid fourth line checking forward. My feeling is that we have plenty of those types who might turn out to be something more.

      Renney’s love for Betts/Hossa/Ward is unhealthy and a little creepy. 16+ minutes TOI for each of them last night!?!

    30. True Fans bleed RW&B on

      I’m just reading the posts and i guess fans will be fans…nothing is ever good enough. Over the past 3-4 weeks everyone’s been complaining about spreading out even ice time now that Renney probably has one of the most balanced games of the year people are complaining. hahaha…oh well.

      That said, the Betts line has been solid – keep playing them Tom.
      The top 4 (92, 82, 68, and 14) are going to burn out if they keep playing 22 – 24 minutes a night.
      Prucha will be back against Dallas, don’t worry – Renney probably sat him because the “tough love” approach worked last year when they sent Prucha down to Hartford.
      Sit Ozo and we’ll be a better team.

      I’m not a Renney fan, I actually think that Murray or Hitch would have been a good fit for this team but most of his decisions recently are better.

    31. They aren’t balanced at all, The 4th line gets 4 minutes a night while the top 4 guys play 22-24 minutes a night, While Hossa’s icetime is up that’s really the only change.

    32. Doodie Machetto on

      No time to comment on what’s been said above, just a suggestion for Sam:

      Try out for the Flyers. They need help.

    33. I realize that 22 minutes a night for the Top 4 isnt exactly good but do you guys realize that at least 8 minutes of that is on the POWER PLAY when those guys have the puck and dont waste a lot of energy. The Top 4 and Roszival are out there for at least 3/4 of the power play. Once Ortmeyer comes back this team will be much more balanced and Shanny wont have to kill penalties. They are winning and thats all that matters. Great goaltending=wins.

    34. Andrew strikes a good point. How often during a game do you see Jagr struggling to catch his breath?? Shanahan would play even if he couldn’t stand up, but he’s a veteran and knows how to pace himself. Nobody has to worry about those guys. What we should worry about is not giving young guys enough time so they can get better, because if Jagr goes down, the Rangers are cooked.

    35. Are you guys crazy. If Jagr and crew keep playing 21 plus everynight they won’t be able to catch there breath come March much less April. The playoffs are every other night something has to be conserved these guys are all mid 30’s.

      I saw the rangers ride Messier after the cup and watched how he didn’t have as much in the tank come April. Renney has a choice to play these guys less and he had that choice last night and he didn’t do it. Straka with over 24 vs an AHL team is crazy and it will hurt the Rangers at some point if it continues.

    36. Tsalad, you act as if these guys are coming to thier death. Mid 30’s is not that old for a hockey player. I agree that they need to play Immonen and Prucha more but thats about it. Jagr,Shanahan,Straka and Nylander are offensive forces. Why would you want them out there? Would you rather Orr get 13 minutes while Jagr gets 17 and they lose? I dont think so. They ran out of gas last year with a less talented team. I think they realize what they need to do to conserve themselves.

    37. Lmfao @ Drew’s post, some of you guys are lost in never never land. Older players wear down the stretch look at how the team played after the Olympic break. You need to manage guys in the mid to late 30’s ice to play well late in the year and in the playoffs.

    38. Renney Sucks!!! on

      “Renney’s love for Betts/Hossa/Ward is unhealthy and a little creepy. ”

      yep don’t forget he coached Betts and Ward in junior championships, they are his soldiers and he will never abandon them.

    39. Renney Sucks!!! on

      “I have to change something and this could be a good thing to me to help me because I was trying everything: on the ice, and in the gym, and nothing helps me,� Prucha said. “So maybe one game is a good break for me.�

      Prucha is being too humble and naive. He needs to realise that Renney is his enemy and is treating him with utter disrespect because he is young and doesn’t speak English good.

    40. Andrew

      How about taking 2 mins off of each of the top four’s ice time and giving it to say Immonen, Hollweg and Hall. If Hossa can get on the PP why can’t Hollweg or Immonen?

      If renney didn’t play those 4 21 plus everynight I wouldn’ be worried but Renney does play them 21 plus everynight and they will wear down come March and April. I’m trying to think of what the end of the season may look like and not just right now.

      Orr should not even be in the lineup because renney won’t play him. Here’s a thought, give Prucha 13 mins and reduce Jagr’s ice time.

    41. instead of Teflon Tom, he should be called Timid Tom

      Sam Weinman…

      “””””But I also think the Rangers need to make clear that a run on their best player is intolerable; and it doesn’t matter if the game is close or not. Bear in mind that whatever signal the Rangers gave off last night not only reaches the Flyers, but Dallas, and Toronto, and every other team they have upcoming. And in that regard, maybe challenging Hatcher and risking a loss wouldn’t have been so bad.””””

      exactly right, Sam.

      you don’t want Shanny having to fight all the time, because he risks injury doing so.

      But, here is where the Rangers are different from other teams. the Rangers don’t have one single Dman who is a tough guy, who will fight to defend a teammate. I’m not talking about their willingness to throw a hip check, I’m talking about their willingness to step in when a teammate receives a cheap shot, and to start throwing punches. there is not one guy on the Ranger D who gets into fights, but almost all other teams have several Dmen who will do just that. so, they don’t always have to play an Orr-type to protect a star, even though they also sometimes do that, because they have Dmen who do that job, but the Rangers don’t. Rosival and Malik don’t lift a finger when Jagr is elbowed.

      But Sather and Renney seem to want to bank on luck to prevent injuries to stars, instead of being pro-active.

      someone like Rob Davison of the Sharks would make a good 6th Dman who can throw punches, and is willing to protect a teammate.

    42. How about taking 2 mins off of each of the top four’s ice time and giving it to say Immonen, Hollweg and Hall. If Hossa can get on the PP why can’t Hollweg or Immonen?

      Remember, Tsalad, coach feels the ebb and flow in the game and thats why he sends certain players out on the ice. Renney’s words not mine. Scratching Prucha for Orr,Hall, or Hossa is a minor league coach move in my opinion.

    43. “Prucha is being too humble and naive. He needs to realise that Renney is his enemy and is treating him with utter disrespect because he is young and doesn’t speak English good.”

      Wow. Just wow. I actually don’t even know how to respond to that, besides laughing my ass off. If you actually think Renney hates Prucha, then there’s something wrong with you.

    44. Tsalad

      I defintely agree with you about Prucha. He needs more ice time to succeed. I just dont think that Jagr is going to wear down when half of his time comes on the power play when he dosent do much but control the puck and dosent have to skate hard.

    45. Renney is Prucha’s “enemy”? Renney is the reason Prucha has an NHL career at all.

      Renney playing Hossa, etc. is “creepy”? What does that even mean? Dumb? Illogical? I don’t think so, but I guess I could see your case. But “creepy”?

      Renney might be a bad coach (and maybe he’s not), but he is an NHL coach with a job to do and that’s win. There’s no great conspiracy going on…even if he does things you wouldn’t do (on the peewee league team you coach or play on).

      The Rangers are winning. And that is good.

    46. hey Renny Sucks, Prucha doesn’t speak English WELL. You don’t speak English good.

      “Prucha is being too humble and naive. He needs to realise that Renney is his enemy and is treating him with utter disrespect because he is young and doesn’t speak English good.”

    47. Jed Ortmeyer plays tonight…

      from Bruce Berlet in Hartford Courant…

      “”””Pack coach Jim Schoenfeld said Ortmeyer’s enthusiasm and leadership will be a bonus for as long he stays. He’ll play tonight, Friday and Sunday on a long-term injury/illness loan, then he and the Rangers will decide if he returns to New York or stays in Hartford for a normal two-week conditioning stint such as the one defenseman Thomas Pock begins tonight.

      “I certainly want to make sure he gets enough work, but I don’t want to overtax him,” Schoenfeld said. “It’ll all be predicated on how he feels.””””””””

    48. SAM:

      I believe that the Rangers toughness problems are due to their heavy dependence on finesse players and therefore poor overall team toughness. Had a Ranger run at Forsberg, or Elias, or Crosby, etc. the other 4 guys on the ice would have been after the perpetrator. The Rangers simply skate away. One point or two in a mid-season game is much less important than sending the message to the league that messing with their starts will not be tolerated. I believe this is what is short-sighted about Renney’s approach. The Rangers need to get a cheap guy that can play on the second line, someone like Darcy Tucker. Of course, these are some of the most difficult players to get, and historically the Rangers have rarely had them. Remember the over-the-hill Chris Nilan? The Rangers rarely ever get those guys, and when they do they dump them (Tie Domi, Ian Laperriere). They also need a defenseman or 2 that are not pansies. Otherwise, the softness of the team will show itself in an early playoff exit.

    49. Hollweg is there to land crushing clean checks. It wouldn’t have hurt to put him on the ice for a short shift to hit gagne or other first liner to send a message and quickly get off. I agree that a message needed to be sent for future games.

    50. >>> Prucha is being too humble and naive. He needs to realise that Renney is his enemy and is treating him with utter disrespect because he is young and doesn’t speak English good.


      This is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read …

    51. Jagr wearing out should not be a concern, because frankly it doesn’t apply to a player with his caliber of endurance. Shanahan is a bit older and plays a more physical game. Him you do have to worry about because during the past few years it has been his huge knock (Playoff no show).

      Once Orts comes back, Shanny’s PK time has to come to an end. We need him late in the season and when playoff time comes

    52. the game is only half over, and Sidney Crosby already has a goal and 4 assists to go ahead of Jagr for the scoring lead.

      Pens 6, flyers 2

    53. Patrick Hoffman on

      Speaking of our Jaromir Jagr, he is no longer leading the league in points. Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosy how holds that honor.

    54. Sidney Crosby is the league leader in points????? That proves Renney doesn’t know what he’s doing because he doesn’t use guys like Dawes and Callahan, etc.

      Wait…that makes no sense at all. But I thought I’d beat some of you to the point.

    55. >>> Him you do have to worry about because during the past few years it has been his huge knock (Playoff no show).


      However, you cannot compare the travel schedule that Shanny had to endure in the West to what he is going through now … I think you have to take that into account because he’s mentioned how much fresher he feels now playing in the east and the Rangers(along with the other Atlantic Division teams) have the best travel schedule …

    56. Evgeni:

      He’s definitely a bit of a b–ch, but man is he a sick talent. I’ll take Ovechkin, because I think he’s a badass, but Crosby’s something to watch. Pretty exciting time in hockey with these guys around.

    57. It’s sad because if the Rangers 1st line or PP actually clicked yesterday (and they had the chances) Jags would have had at least 4 pts last night.

      Guess it goes to show the difference in making a lot of chances compared to finishing them as a team

    58. Chris: Haha, I know. He’s actually unbelievable. I’m just kidding around because he hasn’t been as big of a baby as last year. And yeah, I’d definitely take Ovy just because I think he’s more exciting to watch. I’d love to see Crosby and Ovechkin switch teams for a week or two and see how the numbers compare.

    59. You guys are nuts…No offense.

      I was on the line last year, but this year it is clear.
      Sid is Gretzky-lite and it’s that simple. He is the whole 9 yards. His vision is top 3 in the league right now. He can score goals or he can pass. He plays with a mean streak at times. And at what? 19 or 20? He will be on top of the scoring race every year for the next 13-15 years.

      He is a 130-160pt player in this new NHL. Ovechkin brings the physical package and is more of a pure scorer, but all round it is no comparison. You have to pick Crosby and believe me- I am a huge Ovechkin fan. But Crosby is brilliance on ice. The vision once again- He makes art of the game. It makes every teammate better instantly.

    60. Anthony (Abev) on

      Sam IMO you have been right on the numbers almost in every case.

      But this ->”And in that regard, maybe challenging Hatcher and risking a loss wouldn’t have been so bad” might be something I would expect to read in the bowels of hfboards, not here.

      I dont get how Hatcher beating down Hollweg, or Orr exchanging a couple of head shots is going to change a guy like Hatcher’s approach.

    61. so you just take it like a dog, eh? have you ever played hockey? cause if you have, you would know why you have to stand up to cheap shots.

    62. Hey Bauer, I understand where you’re coming from. Sidney is probably the second coming — but that doesn’t mean I still don’t prefer a guy who mixes it up with some more edge, a la Mess or Gordie or Ovechkin. Crosby is the best. Okay, I just said so. But I don’t care. That’s stupid, maybe, but I’m talking fantasy anyway since he’s not a Ranger (and I don’t mean fantasy league, I mean imaginary world).

      Plebeian — Yeah, you’re damned right this is a Ranger blog. I was born in NY but live in LA and I watch every game and I’ve been a fan since I was 12. And I’m not 15. And, generally, I’m cool with everyone who isn’t a Ranger eating sh-t and breaking bones. But, c’mon, if you can’t appreciate hockey skill, even as you root loudly against it, then you’re a sucker. Hockey’s an amazing game and seeing those very few special athletes come along is a a treat. I remember watching Gretzky as an Oiler and — no offense — it was a lot more amazing than watching him cash in on Broadway. And Kelly Kisio is still my favorite captain and my number 11. Big deal.

      That being said, Go Rangers and I hope every other team eats it.

      Potvin still sucks, the home jerseys should be white, I’ve met Carol Alt and love her, and Gyro II is the only place to eat before a game.

    63. new york strangers on

      I don’t understand why everybody is so nervous as Ozo comes on the ice? It’s because of Racoon. The guy is nervous and at times he doesn’t know what to do with the puck he just gives a pass to Ozo. yeah, this is a hard job to handle the situation and solve the problem not to loose control over the situation. What is he suppose to do. shoot away the puck avoiding the goal.

      and again – Ozo has played many allstar games. What do you think why? because he is a great player who know how to organize a game from the defensive zone. And he is PP specialist.

      ok, forget about it..

    64. Anthony (Abev) —

      I don’t know how Hatcher’s approach might change, either, but as I said, it would also resonate with the other teams the Rangers play. I know a lot of this is posturing and mostly symbolic, but it is required sometimes. And it doesn’t have to be a fight. It can simply be someone lining Hatcher up with a clean, hard hit the next time. Either way, when it comes to your best player being run at, I don’t think it can be ignored.

    65. Mr. Ivey,
      Although I agree with your sentiments and those of several others, there does seem to be a trend this year of cheap shots being thrown against Jagr and Prucha, etc, and yes I would rather have a solid win than the circus that was the Low/Trottier NYR’s. Dropping the gloves is certainly a necessary part of the game, but in this case, I’d rather see Hollweg let loose one of those booming bodychecks on Gagne, Pitkanen and/or Hatcher, much like he did to Grant Marshall last year- took the snarl right out of him. Good, clean, hard hockey. And when he came back to the bench, # 68 gave Hollweg a pat on the back..
      Message sent, morale lifted.

    66. Patrick Hoffman on

      For all you big Ranger fans out there, I would like to tell you about the number one Rangers fan publication out there, Blueshirt Bulletin.

      Blueshirt Bulletin, of which I am the copy editor for, brings Rangers coverage to the forefront, covering the team, its players, featuring interviews, prospect updates and a staff of great writers including Sam Weinman, John Dellapina, Steve Zipay, Bruce Berlet, Joe McDonald, Ranger fan reporters and Rangers/NHL historian John Halligan.

      The publisher of this terrific Ranger publication is Dubi Silverstein, a long time Ranger fan. He’s been working hard on this publication for over three years so lets reward him by getting some subscriptions.

      You can go to for more info!

      Thanks guys!

    67. Renney Sucks!!! on

      “It can simply be someone lining Hatcher up with a clean, hard hit the next time.”

      who? other than Hollweg we don’t have any forward that is capable or willing of a big hit. And the hit has to be against their star player if you want to send a message.

    68. Hey Patrick, how about making the publication available on-line? I’m constantly moving around and the post office isn’t very good about keeping up with me.

      I mentioned this to Jess in the past. I’d be more than happy to subscribe if you did that. I don’t want to fight with the post office each month when my BB doesn’t arrive.

      I know Dubi, Jess and the rest of you guys are doing a great job since taking over the publication from Joe C. who also did a good job. Have you heard from him lately?

    69. Patrick Hoffman on

      I did not know Joe C. too well. He had me write an article on Roger Neilson back in August of 2003. Than, when Dubi took over, I emailed him and offered him my services.

      If you want to make the publication available online, I would e-mail dubi about it at

      It would be great to attract more readers!

    70. Looks like Joel Lundqvist was recalled from Iowa last night, and will be suiting up against his brother tonight after all…

    71. Renney Sucks!!! on

      weird thing about Lundqvist’s twin is that I thought he was a defenseman, but Stars played him as a center in several games.

    72. He’s a center and always has been. Steve Zipay mistakenly said he was a defenseman in a recent article and blog post, but he’s not.

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