On second thought…


…Henrik Lundqvist will not be in net tonight, because guess who has the flu now?

Yes, the healthy Lundqvist we all saw at the morning skate today is now doubled over somewhere in his Manhattan apartment, the latest victim of a flu strain that has almost reached comical proportions. I say “almost,” because if I get this thing, I’m pretty sure I won’t be laughing.

Anyway, one man’s brutal vomiting session is another man’s helicopter ride, as Al Montoya is now hovering over Fairfield County in hopes of getting to the Garden to back up Kevin Weekes. Given that this all developed around 4 p.m. — Lundqvist getting sick, then Tom Renney placing the last minute call to Hartford — it’s 50-50 that Montoya will make it in time. But obviously the hope is that the Rangers aren’t really going to need him anyway.

Of course, the irony is that as we’re waiting around the Rangers locker room just now, in walks Mark Messier, who has been hawking this Cold F/X supplement to enhance players’ immune systems. One of us chirped up that it didn’t seem to be working.

Messier’s response? “They’re not reading the label.”

In other news:

  • There is at least some encouraging news for Rangers fans, which is that Brendan Shanahan is expected to play, even if he hadn’t yet shown up at the rink as of a few minutes ago. As one team official surmised, the veteran has never missed a game due to illness, and given how many other players the team is missing, this might not be the time to start.
  • Of course, the other part to consider is that Shanahan is expected to be one of the honorees at a pre-game ceremony commemorating both his and Jaromir Jagr’s 600th goal. This is all a surprise, and we were asked by the team not to mention anything to either player before the game. So, if any of you happen to see either player in the next 10 minutes, don’t say anything.

    OK, that’s all for now. I realize I’ve been slacking on responding to some of your comments, but there have been serious computer problems at Blog Headquarters, so I’ve been all out of sorts…

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    1. So the rebound king is in net tonight? Wonderful I expect a 5-2 loss with Weekes giving up 3 bad goals.

    2. Doodie Machetto on

      Yeah, that’s a travesty.

      “Weekes giving up 3 bad goals.”

      There’s one.

      On the positive side of things:

      That was a brilliant pass from Rachunek on the PP.

      Jagr’s girlfriend is hot.

    3. Doodie Machetto on

      Callahan definitely looks good.

      the Rangers look like a pickup team. Don’t expect any of the lines except for the first two to stick together, and if the Rangers are trailing, expect those to be switched up as well.

      I definitely like that Callahan is getting 2nd line time, and that they even moved Shanahan over to his old position to make it happen.

    4. Doodie Machetto on

      I think he is definitely going to give the coaching staff something to think about. Orr needs to go for sure, but I think he was out when Ortmeyer returned anyway. So who else goes? Hall or Hossa. They can switch off.

    5. they used to play the Irish music when Shanny scored in Det., but I think I’ve only heard it once in NY.

    6. thats where immonen belongs on the fourth line he’s an ok player on the second line but on a bottom 6 line he’s tremendous. thats exactly where that kid should be playing and he fills a large hole there because hollweg is no center not even close. i personally am love the lines tonight you give me nylander instead of ward and these lines are great imo

    7. Pretty fun period plenty of energy by the kids, and the line of Hollweg-Betts-Hall was very sharp. Other than a bad giveaway by Jagr the Rangers outworked, and outplayed the Isles.

    8. Lets see, Shanahan, Jagr, Kasparaitis and Orr take foolish penalties. Aaron Ward deflects one past Weeks. Kevin Weekes has a mediocre game so the Rangers are only losing 4-1 in the second.

    9. how come dipietro doesnt get calls for skating around with the puck….should be delay of game on him

    10. no….orr is worse. he offers the team nothing and takes at least 1 dumb penalty per game. 0 career goals, prolly as much shots on goal, and 0 fights won.

    11. Wow, it’s funny. I remember how i complained about how bad Ozolish is and was and scream how pock has to be better than an old can’t skate veteran. Look what happens, the rangers finally listen and waive the bum. Flu or no flu rangers won’t make the playoffs and by some miracle they did, big deal. The rangers will loose in the first round. Time for a complete overhaul and start the young players. This looks like the same M.O. sather has tried since he has been here.

    12. I definately don’t want to hear one more thing about yagr’s shoulder is not 100% percent either. Lets face it, yagr is 34 and getting older by the minute. Last year he was motivated. I
      have watched every ranger game exept the ones on the versus channel which i can’t get this year and yagr looks old also. lets face it, he is 34 and not getting younger. I would say he is past his prime. This is the new hockey era it’s time to build a team with youthful players.

    13. Last year it took three quarters of the season for the rangers to collaspe and this year it took one quarter. Ranger fans wake up, this is crap.

    14. incidentally, Toronto Leafs getting blown out 7-2 at home by the weak Florida panthers. puts the Ranger performance there on Sat. in perspective.

    15. Tomg: wellsince you dont even know how to spell Jagr that a J, I dont think I will listn to your reports on the progress of the team…palyers are sick..and if you think that because they are pro players that they dont get affected…well, lets just say that you dont knwo human all that well…I dont liek they lost..and they could have played better…but 3 losses isnt a callapse…when they lose2 or 3 more in a row I will start wondering if they are done…but not yet..not with MORE than half the season left…anything can happen!!

    16. Blueshirts2k6 : hey F$#Kface…I didnt like the play in the second…the Rangers took to many pims even IF you took away the refs bad calls…and gave up to many PP’s even if the Islanders got called for what they shoudl have.

    17. Well some decent news…Pens lose, Flyers lose and Devils only get one point…so even with the loss the Rangers still hold onto 1st at least for now…if they can turn a good effort outside of to many pims toinght into better more dicipline play the next game they shoudl start up again.

    18. they are only in first place because of more games played.

      Devils are 1 pt. behind with 2 games in hand.
      Isles are 3 points behind with 3 games in hand.

    19. Losers. they have about 45 games left, relax…

      Pock played fine, Callahan played fine. Orr does stink, when they have injuries you cannot afford to have 2 guys with no chance of scoring(Hollweg and Orr who also cannot skate), Orr should play once in a blue blue moon.

      They will be fine, showed alot of character the last 25 minutes of the game. The Islanders have no young guys all vets…….

      Weekes is very avg. Jagr and others have to stop this neutral zone no look giveway crap…….

      THEY WILL BE FINE, not winning the cup but should make the playoffs…..

    20. Doodie Machetto on

      Tough loss. Weekes forgot what made him so good a week or so ago: stay on your feet! he went down too quickly and got beat over the shoulder on the game winner from yashin.

      All things considered, they didn’t do that badly tonight. I know injury is no excuse, but to have such a massive team overhaul in such a short span so that the coach has to basically invent 4 line combinations (although i think they could have been a little better) is tough. They didn’t look that bad if you consider that.

      Callahan looks good. Unfortunate that there were so many penalties keeping him off of the ice. But when he was out there he looked good. I’d like to see more of him. I remember that against Buffalo he didn’t have too many minutes, but he looked a little lost while he was out there.This game was definitely different.

      Kasparaitis doesn’t. He takes a bad penalty in every game. Time for him to join Ozo and for Pock to stay for good.

      Dissapointing to drop the two games against our division rivals.

    21. “”””Pock played fine, Callahan played fine”””””

      right. and guess what. how much ice time do you think they are going to get when Nylander, Cullen, and Malik return, which will be very soon.

    22. when will Renney finally be fired? The guy knows zero about coaching, other than playing his star players every other shift till their legs fall off.

    23. Isles have friggin’ Tom (I’m allergic to bodychecks) Poti on D, and they have 2 wins at MSG already

    24. Tonight the Rangers proved that Callahan, Immonen and Pock can play in the NHL if given the chance. They also proved that Orr is useless, Hall is almost useless, Weekes is pedestrian at best and that Shanahan, Jagr and Straka will have nothing left before the allstar break.

    25. Poti had 28 mins., 42 secs. of ice time, way more than anybody in the whole frickin’ game. and the Rangers can’t take advantage.

    26. The Rangers do not play like a motivated team Tonight the effort when they lost the lead was atrocious. The coaching staff has lost this group of veteran players. The Rangers play as if they are in a tie game or up by one goal when they need to be pressing to score. One on One battles are lost all over the ice. Hall loses one on one every time. Ward loses one on one all night. Betts does absolutely nothing all game. Hossa wins an occasional one on one battle. Hollweg hits hard, but loses the puck every-time.
      This makes the Rangers look weak and soft. The young guys did not play enough tonight including Prucha. Why can’t the rooks play on the penalty kill?? Why does Prucha get put out on the PP when there are 10 seconds left in a pp???

    27. Hall, Malik, Betts, Orr, J. Ward, and Hossa have to be moved or waived and replaced by prospects. Renney has to be replaced by a proven coach that can make the team play hard and gritty and be not afraid to play youngsters or punish veterans.

    28. “”””””””Hall, Malik, Betts, Orr, J. Ward, and Hossa have to be moved or waived and replaced by prospects. Renney has to be replaced by a proven coach that can make the team play hard and gritty and be not afraid to play youngsters or punish veterans.”””””””””

      Agreed. but the chance of it happening is slim. Sather feels no pressure from clueless Dough-lan to do anything but minor cosmetic changes.

    29. 4Rangers : But its still pressure ont he other teams to win those games…its always easier to win games to STAY ahead rather than know you have to win them…but this early it dosnt really matter…its after game 82 that matters. The Devils have shown this year they arnt the team of old…they give up lead after lead…sometimes they win anyway, but they arnt dominate like they ised to be. The Islanders have 3 games in hand, but they are the same as the Ragners and the Devils this year, good for stretches, and bad,I tihnk that there will be 3 or 4 teams in the division fighting it out all season…and thats what will make it a good or rather heartbreaking season. Alex: I agree with that…I would liek to see those guys get replaced IF someone can do the same or better job, and you cant do it all at once. Callahan should stay up, and Pock, as well as Immo. By stay Up I mean be in the games, not jsut in pratice by the way. There may be one or two more guys in hartford that should be given a look, but none jump out from reports that are read…who else should be brough up to replace guys on the 3rd/4th line that are really ready?? I mean, I think there might be one or two you might be able to make an argument about, but noone is really ready IMHO…and most of the players that are the closest are still adjusting to the pro game..maybe at the deadline they will be more ready, or maye for next season. I really hope so…but today he was playing young guys in important situations…liek Immo on that last draw…Pock had PK time…I dont think any other kid is really a PK type, and dont say Callahan, I tihnk he is as well, but he only got to the team today, and PK guys needs to pratice together, you dont want even MORE micomunications on the PK than they have now…and im not sure about Immo, is he quick enough for PK duty, being a forward you need to be quicker than D has to be IMHO. But I would like to know hwo you think shoudl come up other than the palyers whop are up now.

    30. Anthony (Abev) on

      It’s ironic that the squeakiest wheels are able to post during the game.

      Which means either A) they are posting from the game or B) they are posting from home.

      Maybe your perspective may change if you actually see a game in person, instead of letting the blog/message board world dictate your pace?

    31. 4Rangers : Poti isnt as bad as Ragners fans want him to be…he amde mistakes tonight…a couple turned into chances for the rangers…and he had help, but he is palying the same way he palyed in NY, but now that he isnt a ranger people realise he actuly plays OK…I wanted him gone…but because I thought Pock would replace him, who I though had alot more upside..not because he was as bad as some made him out to be.

    32. Anthony (Abev): I tihnk there are some here who dont watch and just read the boxscore as the game goes on…than complain about how palyers arent doing it well. But I cant be sure…since the only thing they talk about is stats…and stats dont tell the whole story…but maybe that jsut me, I was always taugh there was more to playing a game that winning and more to palying that what showed on the stat sheet…so..again..maybe I was lied to by all those peopel in my life…

    33. one more thing…Callahan came up this time and showed he learned from his last trip, and from reports from hartford he put what he learned to use there, and praticed it, than broughit with him when he came back up…would it be good for him after a game or two up with the Rangers this time to go back again to use what he learned…he is only a rookie to the pro game..not saying I want it…but than at the deadline the Rangers can make moves and bring him up for good…i jsut dont know if the time in Hartford will help him develope faster…or if time in NY will…some players you can tell…Pock and Immo wont benifit from more Hartford time…but guys like Dawes and Callahan might…

    34. “””””””but he is palying the same way he palyed in NY, but now that he isnt a ranger people realise he actuly plays OK…””””””

      wildcard, gee, what a surprise that you thought that Poti was fine on D for the rangers. he was booed out of town in Edm, so I guess those fans are clueless too.

      If you think Poti played OK in NY, over the whole course of his few years, then you just confirm your status as resident cheerleader.

    35. SAM–

      Why was DiPietro not penalized for CONSTANTLY playing the puck behind the goal line in the non designated trapezoidal area? I’m baffled.

    36. 4Rangers:I didnt say he was always fine on D…but he palyed better than some gave him credit for…dont put words in my mouth. Some made it seems like he sigle handedly gave games away…it was a team effort, he was sometimes the worst defender…yeah, but for stretches he was one of the top two defenders for the Rangers…he sint palying any etter this season, it sjust not as noticible since he isnt a ranger anymore…and I am jsut more realistic than some fans…I dont get to high when the team wins a few games, and dont get to low when thy lose. No player is perfect, but very few seserve to total amount of crap they catch..one of the guys who did this year is Ozo, and Orr this year as well. But other than that most of the palyers who catch alot of crap dont really deserve all of it..some of it yes, but not as much as they get.

    37. oh really? then why did sather, the guy who drafted him, and the guy who traded for him, decide to let him go when his contract ran out? If he was “better than some gave him credit for”, if the Rangers made the playoffs, if he was sather’s boy from the time he was drafted, then why did Sather not even make him an offer, and let him go to a div. rival? because he was not even satisfactory to his mentor, that’s why.

    38. Saying Weekes is the worst player in the NHL shows a tremendous lack of knowledge of the game, and is at best a knee-jerk reaction.

      He IS NOT a starting goalie in this league, and he probably never was. But he’s not a terrible backup either, and people need to keep in mind he found out about two hours before gametime that he was going.

      Either way, this is not a game he should have been in.

      Cannot believe someone didn’t try to smoke Brendan Witt, by the way. Ryan “Mr. Energy” Hollweg seemed to have no interest in throwing the body on him.

    39. And…

      Was Tom Poti good during his stint as a Ranger? For the most part, no.

      But he was nowhere near as bad as people made him out to be.

      He was made to be the scapegoat for the Rangers underachieving teams in the same way the fans tried to do it with Weekes.

    40. “”””””””Was Tom Poti good during his stint as a Ranger? For the most part, no.””””””

      exactly. you should have stopped while you were ahead.

    41. That DiPietro crap was unreal. Guess if they’re paying you a gagillion dollars the rules change…

      It’s funny, the people who refuse to be apologists for Renney (who really may be terrible) are apologists for the youth. I’m sorry but Callahan looked okay, just okay, and Pock didn’t. He’s not in game shape at all. Whether that’s Renney’s fault, I don’t know, but he isn’t gonna save the franchise.

      How about Sam Rosen congratulating Renney on thinking to put Jagr, Shanahan and Straka together. My 4 year-old nephew could have done that — and sooner. What a genius Renney is…

      It’s like Renney is from the Coughlin school of discipline: I say I’m big on discipline, therefore I am…no matter how many stupid penalties my players take.

      Finally, am I the only one who feels like the current Rangers don’t get how serious the rivalry is with the Islanders? DO NOT LOSE THIS GAME.


    42. Stupid penalties (why they did not smash Witt for what he was doing?), lack of luck (skate deflection in Blake’s goal) and Weekes not in his best shape. 3rd in a row.

    43. >>It’s ironic that the squeakiest wheels are able to post during the game.

      Which means either A) they are posting from the game or B) they are posting from home.

    44. Chris: If you remember that line was together early in the season…but it flopped horribly…they didnt look good at all, and than Renney put the top line back togeth…actuly the difrence was Nylander instead of straka, but it seemes that JJ and Shanny didnt know how to play together. I also dont think that they want Straka as the number 1 center…maybe they try it with Nylander once he is back…but than that would hurt the 2nd line I would think withough Shanny, unless straka and Prucha can go there…along with Immo…maybe it would work…I dunno

    45. In the first and third they outplayed and outworked the Isles, but they were undone by really stupid penalties in the second period, Jagr’s penalty was as bad as it gets. Kevin Weekes inability to make the big save was another factor, I thought the kids played fine, Callahan had good energy , Pock moved the puck well, and Holllweg hit everything that moved. For really the first time all year Shanny, and Jagr seemed to be on the same wavelenght. I’m hoping that Henrik will be back vs the Panthers because Weekes rarely gives the team a chance to win.

    46. Anthony another ridiculous observation but hey continue sipping the kool aid through a sippy cup.

    47. I guess we should be happy go lucky 3 loses in a row! yeah baby the cup is ours! Is there a better GM than Sather? I mean in his last 15 years he’s had one winning year, that proves he’s the best! Kevin Weekes imo will win the vezina this year, and it would be a travesty if Rachunek doesn’t win the Norris.

    48. Tom Poti was just a hair better than Bozo while here, the thing is, I really think he is a better player than that, just one of those people who cant succeed w/ the Rangers, weve seen em before like Lucky Luc and such, its just different playing here.

      And the isles are totally different, their attendance makes it seem like you are playing in the midwest or something.

    49. Mike York traded to the Flyers for a 5th round pick, and Randy Robitille. Imo it’s a real good trade by the Flyers for whatever reason Ted Nolan didn’t like York or so it seems.

    50. Matt:

      I know the negativity for me is frustration that the same mistakes keep being made, and keep being addressed as “unacceptable” by coaches and players alike in their post-game interviews, and then keep being made again. The penalties, the lack of energy, the soft defensive play…I really only get pissed as a fan when there seems to be no relationship between the organization knowing what’s hurting the team and anyone doing something real to stop it. Even Shanny took a dumb penalty last night. Bummer.

    51. It’s obvious the coaching staff has lost these guys. I don’t care how many are hit with the stomach flu or injured right now. Renney isn’t effective this year. But as long as Dolan keeps singing his and Sather’s praises, we’re in for a long season.

    52. i would have taken york for betts any day…he’s a great 2 way center who works his tail off and can pot goals

    53. hearing that Stiffbister’s been called up and Callahan sent down. Nice commitment to youth. Next up for our Genius: Nedved.

    54. Callahan is 21, he probably has a little time. I also looked up the ranger and islander roster the rangers are much younger!!!

      the only fishy’s under 30 are; hilber 25, asham 28, hunter 26, campoli 22, gervais 22, an dipietro at 25.

      The rangers have more youth; Tyutin 24(high ceiling) henrik 24(high ceiling), Immonen, prucha, and on and on. they will be fine.

      Isbister is replacing Orr and if he stinks he will be gone…

    55. go Fy with your they will be fine crap when kids are sent down for has been hacks. Sather just loves fans like that.

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