Sorting through the postgame: Rangers know there’s a problem


Granted, I have not been around the last two or three weeks, but the Rangers seemed to realize there is a problem.

I read a quote after Saturday’s loss that Renney said this isn’t the worst it’s been, and he offered something similar before the game last night, but he and the players seemed to know there’s a mess on their hands. In fact, Brendan Shanahan used that exact word.

Here are some snippets from the bowels of the Mausoleum:

*RENNEY on the state of the locker room:* I haven’t seen the team quit, that’s for sure. The bottom line is, there’s some solace in that, but the reality of it is, that’s (loss) No. 6.
*RENNEY on benching Nylander:* He and some other guys, I wasn’t happy with how they were playing. Michael is a puck-handling master, but there’s a time and place for it. And I thought the penalty was pretty tough on our team. … We’re not going to pull ourselves out of this thing properly if we don’t pay attention to the little things.

*SHANAHAN on ‘this mess’:* It doesn’t make you feel any better to say it, but we do feel like we put ourselves in this mess and we’re going to get ourselves out of it.

Also, *Renney did feel Brendan Witt elbowed Jagr in the first period.* I asked him exactly that and he said ‘yes,’ and this was right after he disclosed that his team should’ve had more than one power play in the first 59:54. *Jagr said he wouldn’t comment on whether or not he was elbowed* but said this: “(The league) said they were going to call it more, but they don’t. … I’m not complaining. That’s hockey.”

I know you’re all going to jump on him for that, especially on a night where he had five giveaways and five shots (but none until the third period), but he’s right. There was an elbow by Witt.

With everything to sort through afterward, no one asked Renney about the Straka decision, which produced just three shots on goal for Straka, Cullen and Shanny. I’m guessing that will be something to discuss at practice tomorrow morning, along with Ortmeyer’s status.

If you guys have any question, you’ll have to give me a while to get back to you. I’m headed out to my car now. Feel free to discuss the postgame stuff here while I’m driving back to Westchester and I’ll try and answer whatever I can either tonight or tomorrow.

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  1. I can’t argue with Shanahan. This team sure is a mess. I bet he’s sorry he ever came here.

  2. RE POST
    Another loss. Another third period with no passion. Brendan Witt , who can’t get a steady job on any top team, shuts down the Great Jagr again. Tom Poti is better than 5 of our starting d men. Adam Hall, Blair Betts are on the ice in the final minute of the third. I can’t believe it. Immonen played with big heart tonight. As did Prucha and Pock.
    Rosival tried too. He’s just not good.
    The Rangers cannot complete a first pass. The Rangers cannot play north south style hockey. At the first sign of an opposing player standing in a Rangers way in center ice, the Ranger swerves to avoid the opposing player. And the opposition knows it. It’s so easy to defend the Rangers in the neutral zone. Night after night, turnover after turnover, the Rangers will not change from swerving east west neutral zone play.
    Betts played better covering the defensive slot tonight. Cullen is really a waste. He can’t hem a puck in to save his or a line-mates life. Neither can Adam Hall.
    In my opinion of course.

  3. I like Renney a lot, but I question his moves and judgement. Nylander high sticked a guy, probably by accident. Why bench him? Why not bench Jagr who has been soft and have been turning the puck over on every shift. That would be sending a real message to the team, but Renney doesnt have the fortitude to make such a move, so Nylander sits. Renney better start being realistic and stop saying this will be something that is good for the team. Really, losing essentially 4 point games to the Davils and Islanders is a positive thing?

  4. Renney can’t get it thru his head that Straka plays best on the wing with Jagr, and he does NOT play well at C.

  5. I Miss Steve Rucchin on

    Renney tries to send a message by benching Nylander, thus putting Hall and Betts on the ice for too much time in the final frame. He basically threw the game to send a message.

    Why did J. Ward not play in the 3rd, as well?

    Dominic Moore – 4 G, 6 A, 10 Pts. Plus 1
    Adam Hall – 4 G, 6 A, 10 Pts. Minus 12


    No Moore, No Ortmeyer, Prucha and Hollweg playing well under 9 minutes a game. Well, atleast Hall and Cullen are here.

  6. the Isles are no great team, with guys like Sean Hill and Poti on D, and the same old forwards. But they now have a REAL coach, Ted Nolan, and the Rangers don’t.

  7. Rangers are the dumbest organization in hockey because they constantly fail to hire a good coach. 6 crappy coaches in a row and counting…

  8. czechthemout!!!!! on

    nylander should not have benn benched tonight ,i did not feel he was playing poorly at all . what he should have done is shorten the bench buy putting this first line together ,put prucha with immonen and shanny ,cullen with betts and ward,and play tyutin,ward,pock rozy for the rest of the period.

  9. TSN Renney quote on Nylander

    Rangers coach Tom Renney benched forward Michael Nylander for all but 11 seconds of the final period after he took a double minor at the end of the second. Those 11 seconds spanned the time Nylander came out of the penalty box and Blake scored.

    “I thought the penalty came at a tough time for our team,” Renney said. “It put us behind the eight-ball, and it came on the heels of an extended shift that wasn’t necessary.”

    I don’t know if this is the whole quote. But it does add a little more of an explanation.

  10. czechthemout!!!!! on

    i hope he does the same when jagr rozy straka malik overstay their shifts as well.but he won’t because he is affraid of the czech posse on this team.

  11. yeah, and let us know when he benches Jagr after a long shift and a needless hooking or holding penalty at the end of it. fat chance.

  12. czechthemout!!!!! on

    what was a great success that should have been built upon with 2 or three more yougsters who bleed ranger blue has quickly turned into a team of failed first and second round busts and mercinaries who bleed dollar green.

  13. I am not a Jagr fan. But he really didn’t want to be the captain. He doesn’t like it. Why did the management insist on Jagr being Captain? He is definitely tuned out on the ice now. As I have said before,Jagr has been a quitter everywhere he’s played. But he told everyone he did not want the captaincy.

  14. If we are still worried about who the captain is, we are in deeper trouble than I thought. The Captaiancy is symbolic at best. Lets see, here is my game report card:
    A- for Effort/not too many mistakes: Lundqvuist, Tyutin,, Prucha,
    B Pock (Some good things tonight),Immonen, Hollweg, Kasparitis (still slow, but he rocked a few people and stood up to people) and Rozy (Same thing, just not as effective. Combine these two and you’d have an interesting player).
    C- Aaron Ward, Betts- some good effort, little skill
    D Jagr, Nylander, Straka, Shanahan- all had moments, and I can’t say they didn’t try, just didn’t produce and that’s their job. If everyone else does theirs, we don’t rely on these guys so they can have an off game
    D- Cullen, Hall (too inconsistent)
    F Hossa(Lazy and ineffective- deserved criticism this time for sure), Rachunek (Can’t get a shot off, got crushed every other shift), Jason Ward (I like the guyenough to be a fourth line or a filler inner, but he was brutal tonight) and RENNEY.

    So of the 20 men on the roster:
    3 Showed up and played with heart and skill
    5 played okay, mostly with heart and limited skill

    4 guys didn’t do their job and played subpar games. )Graded on a curve because they have produced)

    5 guys were a disaster

    Weekes is the only incomplete. If this were my class, I’d be getting serious pressure form the school board. I’ve defended Renney, but his time may be up. It looked like the team is rudderless, and it doesn’t mater who the captain is at this point.

  15. Hossa did turn the puck over and, though it was knocked around a little bit, it eventually led to the Asham goal. That was obviously a big play.

    I think you guys are a little rough on Jagr. He definitely played hard tonight – far from quitting – but tried to do way too much to get something going, leading to the giveaways. That said, you can’t bench Jagr in a 1-0 or 2-0 game against a division rival to make a statement.

    And Renney did not say this was good for the team, as you can see by the quote above.

    I thank everyone for writing in tonight. It was fun — even if the result frustrated each and everyone of you.

  16. it is obvious though that the way to stop Jagr is to knock him around, to give him no respect, and that is what the Isles have been doing. and if he can’t get good scoring chances because he has J.Ward on LW, well whose fault is that, because it is Jagr himself who wants Ward there.

    and you cannot deny that Jagr pouted his way out of town in both Pitt. and Wash., so why should Ranger fans not expect the same here.

  17. Renney also made it sound liek Nylander was over handling the puck…which is correct, he dose that sometimes. Jagr did as well, but he was trying to spark the team. HOSSA: I stand up for the kid most of teh time…but tonight he deserved to get benched in the 3rd period. Renney although I liek him, and he has done well, he sint the coach that is needed for this team, or for this time. If this team was a bit younger, or very settled in he would work, but there is to much flux, and the team needs a coach who changes up on the fly. The Nylander penalty, even though it was accidental, he reached with his stick…he SHOULD have let the islander player get the puck than palyed the body, dosnt have to hit the guy hard, just paly the body. The POCK/ROZSIVAL pair is fairly strong…not physical enough, but both can skate and it seems a better pair than Malik Rozsival. Kasper plays hard, but I dont think he can keep up anymore…those injuriesand offseason surgury seem to have taken alot out of him, alot more than I imagine anyone thought they would. COMArk: You pointed out that Rachunek got hit alot…one thing for him…he knows its comeing and still trys to make the paly, other Rangers D past and present would try to avoid the hit frst…at least you can say that for him…and hey are you ready for more snow on Thursday and Friday ;)

  18. Josh, thanks for the great blogging, and for bothering to check in late-night.

    Renney is still saying one thing, then doing another. Nylander deserved to sit — that was a careless penalty — but only after a number of other frequent offenders. And all his comments about ice time/shift lengths and how that’s something he controls, well, it was mismanaged terrible and never disciplined or changed.

    That Asham goal — terrible. I’m growing tired of forgiving Lundqvist soft goals. That one should have been stopped regardless of how it originated.

    Good to see Prucha and Immo play with heart. But, overall, the Rangers seemed to show that they just weren’t the better team tonight…again. Something’s gotta give or this “mess” won’t be cleaned up any time soon.

  19. 4Rangers: I actuly think…that if Nylader is at center that line with Ward is ok…he dosr bring some energy to the line…but Nylander and JJ need to be playing well. I would put the top line back together…but they NEED a 2nd line center..maybe a trade is in the works, we can only hope its Malik and Cullen for a 2nd line center…Culen was a good signing, because if he worked out at all his experiance would be valuble…but he dosnt sem to fit the team….and with a true 2nd line center, Immo can be the 3rd line guy and Betts the 4th…or if you want the 3A center.

  20. Chris : I have a hard time getting on any netminder when a puck is tpped…and it was tipped by Rachunek, it hit is side or his stick shaft or soemthing. Granted maybe he culd have gotten it…but ALOT of NHL gaolies woudl miss that one..dont forget on a shot liek that you have less thn a half second as a goalie before its at the net…so if it is tipped jsut after its shot they are already moving to were they “See” it going to start with…maybe if he was palying higher in the crease he would have gotten it…but last year a big gripe about him was he played to far out at times…so now he has overcompensated…maybe he will get it figured out soon.

  21. This is funny. I remember a few months back I stated the rangers would not make the playoffs and people on this blog thought I was crazy.I also said that Jagr looked like he was not motivated this year like last year and that was a problem.
    I will say this one more time and than I will watch the rangers fade away. Renney is not the problem. Glenn sather has done nothing since he has been the GM. It is time to clean house in organization unfortunately the first person to go is
    Dolan which won’t happen since he owns the rangers and knicks so we as ranger/knick fans are stuck with bad teams. I personally would trade Jagr and his buddies and build for the future but that won’t happen under sather. Sather’s motives has been to bring in past there prime old players and make bad trades. This has been going on for to many years. I am fed up with this crap. I’ve been a hockey fan for a long time so i am a die hard but I feel my interest sliping away.

  22. Tomg : waht do you mean build for teh future?? What do ou think you will get for JJ and his buddies…I bet not as much as you think. Also…thi team is still very much in playoff contention…the Devils lose 5 in a row and everyone still talks about how great they are, but the Rangers go on a slide and they are out of it only halfway though the season…how silly is that? You are predicting the future…you have a 50/50 shot at getting it right…and if it starts going your way you act liek you were all knowing. Well i say that the Ragners amke teh Playoffs…we will see who is correct. And to say JJ isnt intersted this year, or motivated…why cause he has had some bad games?? ANYONE would lose a little drive from not scoreing and teh team loseing….it happens…these guys are human for crying out loud. JJ will get scoreing again…he is STILL second in the NHL with points. I think writing off a team completely because of a slump is silly. In that case teh Devils LAST season shoudl have been done…you dont know any better than me or anyone else what the rest of the season will bring…what trades will hapen and how palyers will do. this team could still very well be the division leader at the end of the regular season…or they could be in the bottom 5 in the east…but thats hwy they paly all 82 games. ANd by saying teh rangers wont make it you are also guessing that none of the other teams now in th PO picture wont go through horrible injuries or loseing streaks…so not only do yo know the rangers wont paly good, but you know all the other teams will paly good. its just not proactical to talk like that. I tihk the rangers can make it, and probably will…and I think the top spot in teh division will change hands MANY MANY more times this year.

  23. and as for past tehir prime…why is it that Straka and Nylander are having and have had thei some of their best years last seasn and so far this season?? so far past their prime that they are ding better than most other yeras…and Jagr is so far past him prime that he had 123 points last year…wow…I must be wrong about what prime means…and I see all these bad trades since the NHL started back up again…if you mean teh Moore trade…well who cares about Moore…he has the same number of points and Hall…so Hall dosnt have his energy…oh…im sorry…oh well…some trades work some dont…if it had worked out better early on peopel would be saying it was a good trade…what other trades are you talking about??

  24. I’m getting more impatient for a shake up after every loss in this streak. No lead feels safe anymore. And im sure any win we manage to conjure will feel just like a fluke win.

    Cant beat em in the alley cant beat em on the ice. When Jagr gets elbowed i want to see hells gates open. Maybe then he’ll be shown a little respect. And for all argumentative purposes, i don’t like Jagr that much, hate no but i don’t see much to cheer for.

    Get me a team full of Hollweg’s and Prucha’s and I’ll watch them go an entire season without a win. But this crap….its just horrible to watch.

    In short, im so, so, so, impatient for a change to this team.

  25. Lotus: keep saying it…but noone seems to realise ts the truth…you could beat teh crap out of every palyer that elbos JJ…and guess what, later the same game or the next game…JJ would take another elbo and just as many hits during teh game…players arnt afraid of that, ither they fight and arnt afraid of fighting, or they dont and know their team will get a HUGE chance out of tehm getting punched a few times. Jagr has taken hits like that his entire career. Going ad hitting the other team wont do anything ither…they are hockey palyers as well…so they know how to get hit.

  26. Ranger Fan in Wisconsin on

    I think that Renney can be critized for his line combos. Why break up Jagr, Straka, and Nylander? They’ve been the best line for a year and a half now. Hossa has to go, Ward can’t play with Jagr and Nylander and Hall does not deserve to be out there with under a minute to go. I understand why Betts was out there – to win the faceoff.

    This is really frustrating though. I know they’re not as good as the five game winning streak but also not as bad as this six game losing streak. It does not get any easier with Ottawa, Washington and NJD coming up.

  27. Ranger Fan in Wisconsin on

    Since I live in Wisconsin I watch the games on the NHL Center Ice package. Since it was an Islander home game everyone had the privilege or listening to the Islander announcers. Howie Rose is ok but Billy Jaffe brings nothing to the table when it comes to insight into the game.

  28. I think TRenney is really playing with fire. I’m not down on him as some are. My opinion is that he is trying to tweak too much. JJ, Straka, Nylander are the first line – unless one is sick or injured – period. Renney has so much offense but seems to find ways not to put the good lines together.

    Nylander benched for a full period??? Playing with fire I tell ya’!

    Cullen, Betts, Hollweg, Prucha, J.Ward, even Hossa. These guys have all been crucified because of inconsistent play. These guys have also shown that when the lines are good, good things happen. The inconsistent play is a direct result from TRenney’s contant tweaking. Enough already.

    The only player I think is challenged in terms of skill is Adam Hall. He is a decent player but there doesn’t seem to be a good fit for him.

    This season, the Islanders have played the Rangers with twice the hitting as any other team. That is why they have been tough games.

  29. “Renney’s game” is not a system. His “game” is go out and play pond hockey but play it with all your heart and soul. Work hard in all three zones at all times. The Rangers aren’t so poorly equipped to play in the NHL. They just need more balance and a different approach. And some personnel changes. And….

    Seriously, I still think Immonen looks great playing on the top lines – what he lacks in speed he makes up for by being positionally sound and responsible with the puck. Personally I’d go back to what we’ve talked about before – a different approach from different lines. Let Jagr/Nylander/Staka do their thing. If the opposition focuses on stopping them, then our second line – which I think should be Immonen centering Shanny and either Prucha or Dawes – should be able to play a strong North/South game. Cullen is a third line player. He can potentially mount scoring opportunities and chip in a few points here and there, but he simply is not a guy who this team should be relying on for offensive prowess. We got him because from a third line position he chipped in lots of points and was able to man the point on the power play effectively. Perhaps its time we did that with him. And as for the rest of the lineup, there really is no excuse for Hossa, Betts, Ward, Kasparaitus (gets beat to the outside 5 times/game), Rachunek to all be in the lineup and not being replaced by Callahan, Dubinsky, Ortmeyer ASAP, Baranka and Girardi. Pock has looked much better than Rachunek, and he’s just getting used to the NHL game.

    The tools to get into the playoffs and go far may not be there this year, but there ARE players in the system who are pretty much ready to take their shot and within 2 years our team could be a consistently competitive one. But someone has to actually do the right thing here. And I don’t know who’s the one forcing the current lineup down our throats.

  30. Ranger Fan in Wisconsin on

    How many times in a row will I need to play “New York Hustle” on my iPod after the Rangers play? It’s up to six now!!

  31. blueshirts2k6: Just to comment on your assertion that Lampman is a future “AHL lifer.” He was highly touted by the management when he first came to the Pack. He showed good promise and almost made the team last year, then suffered a season-ending injury. As far as maturity, Lampman is defnintly next in line for a call. He’s not a guy that’s going to put up big numbers. His game is solid and defensive. He can check, but he’s also got the skill to join the rush. I think both Baranka and Girardi would benefit more from another solid season in the AHL.

    Peter: some good points, although I don’t think this team is ill-equiped to play in the NHL. I think its more a factor of tweaking the formula so to speak. There are line combos that worked, only to be broken up the next game(see: Hossa-Betts-Ward). There is also some unneeded experimentation that gets me scratching my head, such as the Isbister-Immonen-Prucha line against Tampa, or this new Shanny-Straka-Jagr line. If a line works, leave it alone.

    Recently, it seems like Renney switches up the lines simply to shake up the team, when in fact, what they need is a trade. They’ve needed a trade since day one, when they carried eight defenders into the season. Now, there clearly needs to be changes with the forwards, especially with Ortmeyer comming back. My suggestion is this: Trade Cullen and Hall, along with a blueliner(most likely someone from Hartford) for a bonafide second-line center(Mike York would have been perfect). Either that or picks and hand the position to Immonen. I’ve always wondered why Renney hasn’t tries Jarko on a line with Prucha and Shanny…

  32. Pock was the best Ranger D on the ice last night, he even elevated Rosival’s game to mediocre. I actually saw a guy in a Ranger uniform wearing #3 throw a punch…at the opposition!! That couldn’t have been Rosival could it?

    Islanders add guys who can hit and the Rangers add guys who can cry, I’ll take Wang’s management style over Dolan/Sather any day.

  33. the biggest problem i see, and many others have commented on this, is that renney doesnt leave the lines be long oenough to gell. we have had lines that worked well together, and we have had lines that didnt work at all. but how can three guys on a line together be expected to gell together when they are broken up a game, sometimes a few shifts later. i dont like what renney is doing here at all. but i dont think that sather has the balls to do anything about it. problem is sather is too high on his own stock to think that something he did could turn out this badly.

  34. IMO the outstanding problem is coaching. I think Renney would be great assistant coach but not THE COACH. He appears to have a great relationship with the players and knows how to talk to them. But I think Rangers lack the system and lets face it Renney is not a stategist (Laviolette, MacT).

    Here is Yasin’s quote on Nolan : “He’s really very good at telling everybody what they’re supposed to do, penalty kills, power-play, five-on-five,â€? Yashin said of Nolan. “We play the system where he explains to everybody his role. I think it’s great because instead of just, ‘Let’s go, guys, we have to win,’ we’re really learning how to win. That’s what we have to do system-wise, what we have to do on defensive zone coverage. So it makes it much easier for me personally and I hope for everybody else on the team.â€?

    We need a new coach!

  35. hockeymanrangers on

    With all the offensive tallent on this team as we all know something is just not right. Yes our defense does not seem all that talented that you could see us getting scored on. But WHY CAN WE NOT SCORE GOALS??? It is mind boggling, I seriously think it is a coaching issue that the guys are not responding or do not have faith in Renney. It is terribly upsetting to watch WHEN YOU KNOW WE SHOULD BE DOING SO MUCH BETTER WITH THE PLAYERS WE HAVE. For me to have any desire to watch these guys again I would have to see some serious changes.

  36. What the Heck? Bring back Nedved,Dvorak,Hlavac.

    We can’t get anyone else. And No Team wants them. Come on Donnie Maloney. You can get those guys!


  37. We can’t score goals because the other teams are learning that they can pound us all night and no one is going to retaliate, except Hollweg, and one guy just isn’t enough.

    Also Renney is running his top players into the ground. Just see how slowed down Shanny is because of too much ice time and is catching up to the first line too.

    If Renney doesn’t have confidence in the other lines to add scoring, get rid of them and bring in some fresh blood from Hartford, or get rid of Renney..or both.

    I would have loved to have a coach like Nolan. Problem is he wouldn’t last too long in Satherland, probably would tell Glen to go f*k himself.

  38. 4Rangers, they show Jagr no respect because this team is too soft to DEMAND respect for him. Anytime someone goes NEAR Jagr that player should be harassed severely for it. The soft Rangers refuse to stand up for him.

  39. These are guys that throw the body with ANY consistency:


    These are guys who should be more consistent hitting:


    C. Orr throws the body but does not get enough opportunity to make a difference.

    Make sense? We need a lot more from this second group.

  40. Personally I’d go back to what we’ve talked about before – a different approach from different lines. Let Jagr/Nylander/Staka do their thing. If the opposition focuses on stopping them, then our second line – which I think should be Immonen centering Shanny and either Prucha or Dawes – should be able to play a strong North/South game.


    I truly think that your suggestion above IS the way the Rangers play now. It is a sorry excuse to appease JJ.
    Granted when Nedved was here the Rangers appeased him also. Resulting in disaster.
    And when Messier was here, they appeased Mess. Stanley cup, and some great competitive years. Some bad also.

    Who were the coaches? Neilsen,Keenan,Muckler,Low,Renney. Which of those coaches are strong willed and defiant of the GM?
    I’ll give you a hint. The coach that left Kovelev out for 3 plus minutes one shift because he didn’t come off when he was supposed to so to teach him who’s in charge of the team.
    Mike Keenan. He is available.

  41. “Make sense? We need a lot more from this second group.”

    Actually, what we need the second group to do is get lost.

  42. What is hitting going to do for us?? That is not a problem. Our problems are Defense and powerplay. Also we are way too slow and lack the drive to win. Jagr doesnt seem to be into it like last year. We need to call up some kids like Dawes and Callahan that feel the need to win and thats all they care about. If Renney had a brain this is what our lines would look like.

    Straka-Nylander-Jagr (have no clue why that is broken up)

  43. True Fans bleed RW&B on

    Hahaha – thats what the europeans would tell you, but its in fact NOT the case. Look at our Hudson rivals – they hit alot more than most teams in the NHL and they are the least penalized team. Clean hitting is possible, the Rangers just don’t like to get a little physical. That’s just not the european way.

  44. I’m not saying take bad penalties – just exceed the physical play of the other team…

    True Fans bleed RW&B – Excellent example.

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