And we’re back…


Well, I’m back, at least. I’m not sure the same can be said for your beloved Rangers.


Speaking of which, what in the name of Ron Low is going on around here? I go on vacation for six days and in the meantime, the Rangers decide to go turn-of-the-millenium on us, falling to pieces in rather dramatic fashion over the last few days. Is it me? Was I really missed that much? (Apparently not, given the impressive work of the industrious Josh Thomson in my absence. By my last count, Josh did 33 updates from the Islander game on Tuesday, in addition to his stories for the newspaper. And to think, all this time I didn’t think BU guys even knew the entire alphabet).

Anyway, I could go into great detail about my exciting week watching it *NOT* snow up in the North Country, but I’m pretty sure it was only exciting to members of my immediate family. For everyone else, let’s just say I had a much better week than the Rangers. Then again, I think the people who clean the toilets at Denny’s had a better week than the Rangers, too.

Speaking of which, a few quick hits:

  • *We’re going to have to wait on those Jed Ortmeyer-to-the-rescue stories* you’ve been pining for. The right wing, according to Tom Renney, is going be sent back down to Hartford for a conditioning assignment, pending league approval. Renney’s thinking is that he still wants Ortmeyer to work his way into better NHL shape; and then when he is ready, he can return right to the lineup as opposed to having to skate with the team a few days first.
  • *At least from my removed perspective over the previous few days, there is a correlation between the Rangers’ six-game losing streak and the way in which teams are successfully limiting Jaromir Jagr’s time and space*. Everyone from Tom Renney to Michael Nylander — who apparently has had his own issues of late — said No. 68 has been done everything he could during this stretch. But Jagr today was fairly forthcoming in saying he’s frustrated with his lack of productivity, and not sure why, either. Then came this gem of an analogy referencing us notebook scribblers:

    “If you’re going to write an article and nobody’s going to read it, are you going to be confident about it? Are you going to be happy about it, or are you going to look at what you did wrong?” Jagr said. “Sometimes nobody cares. Then one night you write it good and everybody’s buying and you get confidence and people start reading….Of course you’d ask what you were doing wrong, but you’re not going to find an answer. If you knew, you’d fix it.”

    I’m not sure if the metaphor quite works, but I commend the Rangers’ captain on at least trying to feel our pain. And I did have a follow-up: “How did you know no one reads my stories?”

  • *Let the Bryce Lampman Era begin in New York*. Or at least in Ottawa. Or at least in the stands in Ottawa. The recent call-up from Hartford will make the trip for tomorrow’s game, and according to Renney, will be a game-time decision. That said, it’s worth noting that Lampman skated today with Marek Malik, who is definitely out for tomorrow.

    OK, plenty to discuss. It’s good to be back. Let’s talk more later…

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    1. welcome back, but please no more winter vacations.

      on another note, with all the wrangling here during this losing streak about getting rid of this guy, or getting that one, I’m wondering why Petr Sykora was never re-signed. He seems to fit the bill as a first or second line winger, and last i looked was leading the Oilers in scoring.

      sam, was there at least good ice in new england?

    2. The autumn leaves are probably still on the trees in New England as well as NY, right Sam.

      Yes Sam, totally agree the Denny’s guy cleaning the toilets had a better week than the Rangers, at least he could fush the stink away!!

    3. Welcome back Sam. and thanks Josh. Sam. Was JJ trying to explain that if he were scoring, no one would be up his or the Rangers behind?

    4. 1. We all read your articles. But I’ll Bet Jagr laughed at that. It still annoys me when people accuse the guy of quitting. Maybe if someone else could pick up some slack he could relax and stop pressing and get back into a groove.

      2. Initially, I thought that photo of Ron Low, Purinton, Nedved and Rucinsky was hilarious. Then I sprinted to the bathroom and offered up my lunch to the porcelain gods. Kindly remove said offensive photos before I start having nightmares about the absurd things that little mustache used to do on Low’s face while his forehead beaded up and it became completely obvious he had not a clue of what was going on in Rangerland.

    5. Why does the Low era effect you anty different than a photo of Renney behind Jagr,Orr, and Straka? Or Renney, Nylander,Malik,Cullen? It’s all the same.

    6. onetimer — no ice, sadly, since my winter excursions have always included ample pond hockey games in which I lord over a gaggle of 10-year-olds. It’s very good for the confidence-building.

      John M — yes about Jagr. What he said was that if and when the Rangers can figure out a way to exploit teams that play him over-aggressively, those teams will back off. In the meantime, they’re seeing success so they’re all going to keep at it.

    7. Sam what were the lines in practice today? Anyone question why Immo was moved away from Cullen and Shanny.

    8. Sam. Thanks. Is it possible to ask JJ that if this aggressive style against him is consistent,game after game, has JJ tried to develop a game plan with his linemates to exploit the over compensation by the opposition? Maybe a different scheme in the offensive zone ,for example?It seems his line mates at the time JJ is on the ice are wide open when he is forced up high carrying the puck.

    9. Sam
      To clarify my question so if not to say it was answered by your last post. I was asking if JJ himself had tried to confuse his checkers by deliberately altering his lines way of doing business on offense.

    10. John M — here’s the quote from Jags:
      “They’re going to do everything they can to stop me until we break through and score the goals,� Jagr said. “If they try to take away space from me and I can pass to other guys and they can score goals, they’re not going to do it again. Until we break through, they’re going to do it. It’s up to us.�

      I don’t think they’re going to be too forthcoming about specifics, although Renney also mentioned working the puck to open spaces and letting players skate into them as a way of creating an odd-man rush when Jags is double-teamed.

    11. Sam,

      Any sense of JJ’s conditioning/strength? Is he still feeling hampered and weak? It seems that way, without or without the double team pressure.

      Any roster-freeze trade rumors? Also, one of the other posters was bemoaning the lack of faith Team Renney seems to have in the Hartford coaches’ assessments of their personnel. Have you had any sense of the same thing? That they call guys up to practice them, because they don’t trust the game reviews they’re getting?

    12. When Immonen was the 2nd line center the team had a five game winning streak, IIRC. Then, he gets moved to 4th line and they have a 6 game losing streak. Coincidence?

    13. “”””Of course you’d ask what you were doing wrong, but you’re not going to find an answer. If you knew, you’d fix it.â€?”””

      who is he kidding? over-stickhandling while surrounded by opponents causing costly turnovers resulting in goals. that’s one thing he knows he’s doing that he could fix.

      he could go to the front of the net on the PP instead of standing on the side boards.

      he could shorten his shifts and dump the puck in for a change so that the next line doesn’t get stuck chasing opponents who are already racing in across the Ranger blueline.

      he could cut way back on his needless hooking and holding penalties that have set a bad example for other teammates.

      he could tell the coach that he does not need to play with his posse all the time, thus reducing the favoritism that gives them.

      so, there are plenty of things Jagr could do if he was honest with himself.

    14. The racoon should sit but god knows he has a free ride from Coach Tomfoolery. Sam you better answer poor Jen’s question or she’ll go postal on you lol.

    15. heh. I don’t go postal on anyone. Patience is a virtue.

      I’m curious because I think everyone would be doing cartwheels if Ozo is permanently gone.

    16. Sorry all, I was out at my own game. Yes, LI joe is right. Ozolinsh has been put on IR by the Rangers because of knee problems. I don’t think that changes the fact that he’s probably done in New York, and it probably means he’s taking his time before figuring out what he wants to do next (i.e. report to Hartford, retire, head back to Europe).

      Chris, Jagr is fine health-wise. That’s not his problem. As for whether Renney doesn’t trust the Hartford personnel, I don’t think that’s the case. I’d say if anything, maybe that’s a problem a little higher up the food chain. But I’m not basing that on much more than an educated guess. Bear in mind, though, that the only reason a guy like Lampman or Isbister is called up at all is because of the recommendation of the folks in Hartford.

    17. Lampman? Where have you gone Dale Purinton!!!?? (I know, he’s injured). But Lampman will win as many loose puck battles along the end boards as Rozsival and Malik do. As Tim Hunter said in that famous ’94 Ranger video….”Eat your Wheaties boys!!!”

    18. “lol one look at Lampman will have him back in Hartford”

      Mike- aren’t you Colton Orr’s greatest defender? and yet you have the audacity to poo-poo ANYONE else? Colton Orr is the worst player in the NHL.

    19. hockeymanrangers on

      Somewhere back there some one had the idea of Jagr moving behind the net with the puck ( or so i thought that is what the said) I think this is a great idea, or at least a try. But then the rest of the crew needs to go to the net with their sticks down. I remember seeing Jags up front with the puck and he centered the puck several times with no one in front. Or they were there with their sticks not on the ice. I think we are all in agreement with what they are currently doing is not working lerts try something else. Also I think they need to come up with a different way to bring the puck up into the zone also.

    20. “Mike- aren’t you Colton Orr’s greatest defender? and yet you have the audacity to poo-poo ANYONE else? Colton Orr is the worst player in the NHL.”

      Great. Another person worrying about someone who doesn’t even play anymore instead of focusing on the real problems.

    21. Sam, thanks for the answer.
      I’m always afraid of players popping up again when we think they’re gone. ;)

    22. True Fans bleed RW&B on

      Just wondering if Sam or anyone can suggest what the line combo’s have looked like in practice?? Will 68, 82, and 92 be reunited or will we intimidate another team with the offensive skills of Jason Ward??

      Will Prucha, Immonen, or Hollwegg see any time on the 2nd or 3rd lines?

    23. Lets not over look that Lampman has a litel more time than some of the othe Hartford D (at least I tihnk he dose anyway) who could be called up…and seeing as how the Rangers knew he probably wouldnt get much if any ice time its better to NOT sit a rookie, and if a palyers has a little more experiance they know how to handle being the “extra” guy. Might not be the reason, but it might have had soemthing to do with him being called up.

    24. Doodie you are Hossa’s greatest defender and Weekes too two of the worst in the Nhl easily so no need to slap at someone else when you do the same.

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