What might have been


Greetings from Continental Airlines Arena, where in a telling display of inexperience, I parked far enough away from the rink that I’m not sure my car is actually in New Jersey. On the plus side, I am the best conditioned writer here by virtue of my mile-long walk to the front door.

Anyway, a few quick hits before the official halfway game of the season:

<li>Given the tenor of conversation at this site, I’m pretty sure how this next little nugget will go over. But here goes: It turns out the Rangers WERE one of six teams to claim Petr Nedved on re-entry waivers from the Flyers, only to lose out to Edmonton, which was lower in the standings (although “lose out” might not be entirely appropriate here). Yes, even to try to go after “the 35-year-old Nedved”:http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/players/profile?statsId=394 might  further irritate those fans who want to see the team give more opportunities to prospects. But seeing how the team would be on the hook for only a quarter of the two-time Ranger’s $2.35 million salary, it wasn’t like they’d be breaking the bank either way. Still, you have to wonder if a guy couldn’t hack it with the last-place Flyers, just how much fuel he’s got left in the tank. So if you don’t like the sound of it, be thankful it didn’t happen.

<li>As I mentioned earlier, Jarkko Immonen is out, but it didn’t sound like Tom Renney was ready to sent the young center back to Hartford yet. Asked about Immonen’s perceived lack of foot speed, Renney said he still sees plenty of upside in Immonen.

“Maybe to a point. There’s concerns about a lot of people but you ask yourself do those concerns outweigh what good he might bring?” Renney said. “That’s the debate I make in my own mind. But he’s been a pretty effective player for us.”

<li>Jed Ortmeyer will skate on the fourth line tonight with Marcel Hossa and Jason Ward. Renney said he figures Ortmeyer will see about seven or eight minutes in a “high-energy” role, and could conceivably see some penalty killing time. But that last part is something Ortmeyer will be eased back into.

<li>An honest admission from Aaron Ward, who said that he rarely hears comments from the crowd, but did hear one Garden fan call out the other night. “Where the (bleep) is Brian Leetch?”

OK, more later…

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  1. oh great, Jed gets to play with those 2 “energy” stalwarts, Hossa and Ward.

    so the Orty-Hollweg connection from last year is out the window for Renney as well.

  2. thats histerical..high energy line with hossa and ward…i just laughed out loud…i guess hall is too valueable on the betts line to play orts-betts-hollweg….

    The only thing more comical than calling ward/hossa high energy is the rangers actually tried to get nedved…

  3. That is funny but not as funny as the Rangers claiming Nedved on waivers. The horror of this organization.

  4. I tihnk that its a good sign that Hollweg was moved to a line for more MIn. Nothing says that he and Orts wont be put together later…but it seems to me Renney put the players he wants to see the ice the least, for one reason or another on the 4th line. You have to admit, 7-10 min for Orts first game back isnt that bad, and he will end up with more time as the season goes along and he gets mroe games…and perhaps when he is getting 12-14 min a game like last year that Hollweg will be with him 5 on 5..and maybe even on the PK. But for tonight I dont think its SO bad…it might not be the best seemingly…but would you rather have Hossa getting more ice time??

  5. 4Rangers: I wouldnt say that…Nedved was for free…and only partial pay…at the worst, he ended up in Hartford, but it still put the Flyers on the hook for half his pay and a cap hit…thats at LEAST one thing LOL

  6. Nothing is for free. It would have come at the expense of ice time for other Ranger players.

  7. Ortmeyer, Hossa, Ward 1, Ward 2, Betts, Hall, Cullen, Roszival, Rachunek, Isbister. Too bad we didn’t get Nedved, this team clearly doesn’t have enough useless players.

  8. 4Rangers…very true..and that would be a price…however…i think, think that this might mean the Ragners ARE trying to solve their 2nd line center problem…not that I think that Nedved would have solved it, but getting someone withough a trade first to see if it worked might not have been to bad an idea. HOWEVER I hope they can swing a trade for a 2nd line center…thats why I dont think they wil go after Rucinsky, he is a wing, and they are fine on wing. If they do that I wil be very disapointed with them…but as long as their intention was to inprove the center position than I will forgive the atemp at Nedved…

  9. 2 shills, Sam Rosen and Joe M., of course say that the suspension of Brashear for just 1 game is fine. They say that Orr was going after Ovechkin’s head, but they fail to say that Goon-shear was ALSO going after Ward’s head with his fists.

  10. Mike : If you think Ortmyer is useless…well than you need to re-evaluate what you know about 4th line palyers. He blocks shots and is fearless when doing so…that is important on the PK, and role palyers like that are on EVERY championshop team. others you mentiond have their palce on this team as well…what to you isnt useless…scorers?? is that all you see as usefull?? top 6 guys who are future hall of famers??? ther is a palce for Orts on alot of teams in the NHL…

  11. 4Rangers: sounds like they are trying to stop the complaining or something…the one game wasnt fine…not by a long shot…if it was a guy who has NEVER done anything liek that I would understand, like if it was a palyer along the lines of a Malik, I could see a slp on the wrist…he probably wont do it again anyway…but a goon like that…one game dosnt even show up as anything but a rest day for him…

  12. No, they speak for mgmt., and as expected, Ranger mgmt. does not back up their players.

  13. well IMHO Orr deserved 5 games…you dont see high cross checks like that to pften…but when you do the players get the gate for 4 or 5 games….but Brashear SHOULD have gotten ALOT more than 1 game…at elast the same 5 as Orr…Orr at least isnt doing this crap all the time…but now what sucks is if he dose it again, he will probably get 10 games…again, he could have done the same thing withough the stick and gotten the same messege across…if it wasnt fore the stick to the mouth he probably would have gotten 1 game or none.

  14. Just let me chime in here: to even look at Nedved is proof the Rangers are looking for a solution at second line center (meaning they want to slide Matt Cullen elsewhere). Granted, this one didn’t work out, but I’d anticipate the team still trying to find a solution elsewhere.

  15. Just let me chime in here: to even look at Nedved is proof the Rangers are looking for a solution at second line center (meaning they want to slide Matt Cullen elsewhere). Granted, this one didn’t work out, but I’d anticipate the team still trying to find a solution elsewhere.

  16. Daneyko on FSN was right on about the suspensions saying Brashear should have gotten more than 1 game and Orr less than 5 and that the NHL needs to have more consistency with their suspensions. The NHL has a blatant double standard when it comes to star players and tough players. The only reason Orr got 5 was because he went after Ovechkin. 3 game suspensions for Orr and Brashear would be reasonable. The NHL, from the commissioner on down to the inconsistent referees are embarrassingly awful.

  17. Sam Rosen is a clown. Sam Rosen was tolerable when J.D. was around because Davidson would put the purse carrying pacifist Rosen back in his place.

  18. “Mike : If you think Ortmyer is useless…well than you need to re-evaluate what you know about 4th line palyers. He blocks shots and is fearless when doing so…”

    His -10 in 50 some odd games last year is a good indication of his infinite value he brings to the club.

  19. Pandolfo is -6 this year. does Lou think he’s useless? of course not. because checking line guys almost always are minus because they play with teammates who have very limited scoring ability, and against opponents top scorers.

  20. Asked about Immonen’s perceived lack of foot speed, Renney said he still sees plenty of upside in Immonen.

    How can he see upside a player has when he is on the bench 55 minutes a game??

  21. Renney was misquoted. He said he see plenty OF Immonen’s upside, referring to the constant view he has of the back of his head and jersey on the bench.

  22. “”””The only reason Orr got 5 was because he went after Ovechkin. 3 game suspensions for Orr and Brashear would be reasonable.””””””””

    No question about it. if Orr had suckerpunched Ovechkin insead of cross-checking him, would the league have given him 1 game? No bloody way. it was all about star power.

  23. We have no breakout plan, defensive zone plan, no offensive zone plan (unless you count circling until you get dizzy and then lose the puck), no game plan. All of this in the premier sports market in the U.S. Shameful.

    Devils = Disciplined
    Rangers = Undisciplined
    Renney = Janitor at a hockey rink.

    As poster Twin said on another site:
    Immonen at 2nd line center = 5 game winning streak
    Immonen at 4th line center/scratched = 1 win, 7 losses in 8 games.

  24. If you are looking for weaknesses a player has you are gonna find that everyone outside of Brendan Shanahan(Well it seems that way) has a weakness. It isn’t fair to take Immonen’s weakness and penalize him for it when many of the “Renney’s Favorites” have no or very few strengths at all. I’m just Checking out the teams statistics and this is quite humorous:

    Immonen 11 1 3 4 -2 4 12 0 1 0 0 8.3
    Dawes 8 1 0 1 -4 0 7 0 0 0 0 14.3
    Hossa 38 1 2 3 -9 12 33 0 1 0 0 3.0

    I don’t know what Renney’s obsession with Marcel Hossa is, considering these kids have matched his stats in 1/4 the games

  25. C’mon, don’t you know that Hossa is a premier penalty killer. And Renney’s afternoon delight.

  26. wow…that was a big hit by Betts…to bads he dosnt do that mor often…Go NYR, I am NOT saying I totaly disagree…but if you are jsut goign by stats than you are missing a big part of the game…stats only tell part of the story, and shoudlnt be used to decide what players play and on what line, or position…you cant do it with stats…

  27. Wildcard- You are telling me Immonen and Dawes cant skate around with the puck behind the net?? Thats ALL this guy ever does.

  28. The Devils committed 3 fouls against Prucha in the first. A trip, a stick foul,and interference without the puck. Not one of them was called. Orty looks like Dawes did in his first couple of games with the big club earlier this season. Totally lost!
    How many times is Jagr going to forget to cover the point when the defenseman on his side goes in deep? He is a WORLD CLASS PLAYER according to some. When is he going to show it? Are we going to blame it on Pandolfo again?? How many times are we going to hear the cliche? Shadowing me. If Jagr is world class, why can’t he find a way??
    Is Blair Betts ever going to conrtol a puck? Is Adam Hall ever going to control a puck? Is Hossa ever going to go to the net?

  29. maroon(n): derogatory term used by Bugs Bunny to refer to a nemesis of limited intellect (see: Elmer J. Fudd)

  30. Maroon
    1. dark brownish-red.
    2. Chiefly British. a. a loudly exploding firework consisting of a cardboard container filled with gunpowder.
    b. a similar firework used as a danger or warning signal, as by railway brakemen.

  31. “How many times is Jagr going to forget to cover the point when the defenseman on his side goes in deep?”

    None, thats just the type of player he is and always will be, wether you like it or not. You have to take the good along with the bad.

  32. Aaron Ward always seems to be the guy who screws up somehow near the end of the game. This time he lost his stick. He’s the Tom Glavine of the Rangers, talks too much for a guy who delivers less on the ice.

    Sam, try a little harder to pin Renney down. Why Hossa over Immonen? Makes no sense at all.

  33. Hossa — king of the shootouts

    Lenny: Hossa just cemented his place in the lineup for the rest of the season.

  34. And you have your answer Lenny. Buahahhaha…
    But that was fun, even thou I was listening the game on NHL Radio. ;)

  35. Henrik may have kept the Rangers alive, but the same could be said of Brodeur who made some very good saves.

    Okay, now Shanahan is standing on the bench talking to players. before it was Jagr. I know people joke about Renney not being the coach, but this is ridiculous. Veterans and Hall of Famers or not, we need a coach who can coach and doesn’t NEED back-seat drivers.

    Anyone else notice Kaspar almost scored on the same play that he did score with? Dropping down? That would have been awesome, especially since Shanny referred to him as the “closest thing to Kevin Weekes” in terms of scoring power. Brilliant.

    It’s going to be nauseating to watch Rucinsky end up in Edmonton with Nedved and then have them explode for a thousand points. Not that I want either at all, but, hey, that’s the kind of crap that happens to this fan base…

    Why, oh why, can’t we hold a one goal lead?

    Sam, you being coy about the second line center thing? Your latest post sounded as if you’d heard a specific rumor…Just call your source “Deep Throat.” It worked for those other two guys.

  36. Too bad they couldnt hang on in regulation to get 2 points on the Swampmonsters, but i guess it wasnt meant to be. That last goal in regulation seemed pretty lucky to me, but we got a lucky one too. I dont think Marty Brodeur has looked like Swiss cheese like that in a while. Shootout was very entertaining, unexpected amounts of goals scored seein as we had 2 of the best goalies between the pipes. Lundqvist seemed to be off just a little. Even the goals he let up he got a piece of. He is not a robot so it was good to see him pull it off through his shootout trouble tonight.

  37. right. Brodeur was very ordinary in that game. the Nylander goal, and then he was flopping around like a dead fish in the shootout.

  38. He was flopping around like a dead fish because he didn’t have the Devils defense in front of him to help him. Without them, he’s a mediocre goalie. And as for Nylander’s goal, it was a great shot. I’m sure if Shanahan had shot that exact same goal, nobody would be calling it a fluke.

  39. no, if the Ranger goalie had allowed that goal, people here would have been calling it a soft goal, which it was.

  40. Hossa scored??? Was it his brother in a Ranger uniform??

    Good one stf. Maybe I should say that for a particular player every pregame. The Rangers might be undefeated the rest of the season!!

  41. stf:

    lol, good call, should have said season, but you know what i meant :-P

    and right on brotha, lets finish this season like we started this year, with 60 minutes of pressure packed playoff type A+ hockey.

  42. I hope that second center is Craig Conroy. Guy just needs a shot in the arm and someone new (Shanny/Prucha) to distribute the puck to.

    Hossa played great whenever he was on the ice. He was solid on the forecheck, and the work he did towards the end of the third with Ward and Betts was remarkable.

    Lundqvist rips, very proud to be wearing his jersey as I type this. Great game all around. This and the Caps game are good ones to build on. Lets run over Philly on Thursday and put a stop to their recent improved play and smash up the Habs on national TV saturday!

  43. Chris- Sorry, I disagree with you. A team needs guys to stand up and talk. Renney is the coach, but he’s not on the ice. If a guy notices something, he needs to be able to speak up and say it. Any coach that doesn’t allow that is the clueless one. Hockey is a team sport and coaching is a part of the team effort. It’s not, and shouldn’t be, a dictatorship.Between Jags and Shanny you’ve got 30 years experience and over 1200 goals standing up and talking to teammates. I think I’d listen.

  44. COMArk: I agre…there isnt a team inth e NHL that dosnt have opalyers that talk on teh bench…sometimes they get up, sometimes tehy yell when they are sitting down. The coach wont stop those guys from talking…and he dose his thing as well..you see al th coaches lean over an say things, or pat guys on the shoulders, but tehy cant spend thier time talking to aplyers…they do need to pay attention to the game more than the player onteh bench need to.

  45. Colorado: I don’t think, at all, that players shouldn’t be speaking during a game; but it’s the rare sight of a player STANDING up behind the bench to address his linemates. Sure, they yap and cajole and discuss, but how often do they actually get up and yell? Not that often in my limited time(20 years) watching the Rangers. That seems to indicate something lacking in the motivational/directing ability of the coach.

    I’m all for Shanny and Jagr — or anyone with cajones and a good idea — telling their teammates what they need to hear. Those two guys, obviously, are incredible. But, again, like I thought Shanny (who is the man) fighting also belied the team’s need for a true badass, I think either Jags or Shanahan having to be that vocal on the bench indicates something missing in Renney.

    Whether I’m right or wrong, I do love seeing the players have that kind of passion. I just wish the coaching staff had that kind of fire. But, of course, I loved nothing more than seeing Michel Bergeron go apesh-t and chuck a water bottle while his head threatened to explode and you know how many Cups it won us. So there you go…

  46. I dont think I remember Shanny or JJ ever standing before tonight…perhaps it was jsut some weird thing that was hapening during the game…liek i said…I dont remember it hapening before…but it is kinda odd haveing the palyers stand, but as long as teh coach still dose teh same things it really dosntmater i dont think

  47. Chris,

    Did you ever consider that sometimes it hurts less to stand up then to sit down, especially with a sore hamstring. Shanny and Jagr are heavyweights. They like their space. Jagr’s favorite thing is to sit on the boards with his legs hanging over. Watch the commercial breaks. You’ll find him there. In Detroit, at any given point in a game, the loudmouths,um, I mean A’s, like Cheli, Shanny and Hull were always standing up yapping. Stevie would just sit there, let them have at it and then go out and score. Nik too. Being vocal was not their style. Whatever it takes, eh.

    Some of you here will surmise anything to put a negative spin on Renney’s coaching. I don’t buy it.

  48. Go NYR – I love it when people suggest that if Hossa’s “big brother wasn’t a star he would not be in the NHL.” Do you honestly think the NHL calls up the Ranger brass and says “keep playing Marcel…we’ve got to keep Marian playing in Atlanta.” Common, dude. Get real. I mean, maybe if the Rangers SIGNED Marian along with Marcel, that theory would hold a teaspoon of water.

    Marcel’s in the league because when he does show up, he’s a big body that can and does overpower people on the puck. For his size, he’s got good hands and good speed. His main problem is that he doesn’t have the drive his brother does. It doesn’t mean he’s a waste of a player. Far from it. On his worst days, he’s a floater(see: first period against Ottawa). On his best, he’s an agressive forechecker who can penalty kill and add some offensive spark to the lower lines. And at 25, he’s not exactly the “aging veteran” everyone complains about here. In fact, most people consider that age young…

    david g: I’m afraid the tank might be empty with Conroy. The guy’s pushing 36 right now and, while he’s bit of a late bloomer, I’m not sure how much longer he’ll be a viable number two. Right now, I’m just glad the answer wasn’t Petr Nedved(who’s actually younger).

    Chris: As long as the Oil are willing to take Rucinsky(thus precluding Sather from buying into a -count ’em -FOURTH Ranger tenure, I’ll be willing to watch him and Nedved rack up points. Hell, maybe JD will ship Dvorak up there too and they’ll have sort of a franken-Czechmates line. Fine by me. Maybe with all that offensive production, they’ll be willing to donate Jarrett Stoll to the Rangers ;)

  49. Sam, you need to put a disclaimer before the ‘We attempted to get Nedved”. Seriously, that is not for the faint of heart.

    You did however, put a nice spin on it that the rangers are in fact looking for a better 2nd line solution, but come on, Nedved? ugh, i still feel a little queezy.

  50. Yes, Pock turned over the puck last night and Aaron Ward lost his stick at a crucial moment but what Ranger D has not turned over the puck? Some have done it more than once per game. Yet, none of them get punished, save for Ozo, who was turning it over just about everytime he touched it.

    My point being that now Renney has the excuse he is probably looking for to put Pock back upstairs when the human pylon returns.

    Renney is a terrible coach and only an inept organization like the Rangers would give the coaching job to him.

  51. I never understand the “if his brother wasn’t a star” comments, either.

    Gretzky had brothers. One played minimal games, one never played any.

    Why would being Marian Hossa’s brother give one more credit than being Wayne Gretzky’s?

  52. Sign me up for the Hossa’s Brother Has Nothing to Do With His Career Bandwagon. Gretzky, Messier, Lindros, the list goes on of players who couldn’t guarantee their siblings NHL contracts…and these are guys who were marquee players selling a lot of jerseys and generating a lot of bucks and attention for the league. I don’t think Maid Marian is putting his brother on Broadway.

    Sure, Marcel’s talent may have caused people to give Marcel a longer look, but it’s his brothers skills — perhaps not nearly as good or consistent as we’d want, but still NHL level — that have him here. In fact, his name is probably earning him more attention and loathing from fans because it’s hard not to wish we had his brother…

  53. blueshirts2k6 on

    That was one of the best regular season Rangers-Devils games ever imo. The game had it all great goaltending lots of hitting and alot of passion after a pretty passive and boring first period. I thought Lundqvist was very sharp for the most part, and the defense was abit better than usual. Rachunek who had 5 turnovers in the first alone was an exception , and Pock had a rough third period but he was flying in ot. I thought the Jagr line got stronger as the game went on. The Hollweg-Betts-Hall line was fairly solid I think Betts, and Hall threw the body more in that game than they have all year. The third was fun firebrand Hockey, and ot was even better even Hossa, and Ward had a good shift in the ot. Prucha seems to be getting his touch back which will only help the team. The shootout was entertaining and very surprising to see how many goals both goalies gave up, and Hossa has finally found something he’s good at kudos to the stiff.

  54. I think Conroy still has a little something left, and only one year remaining on his contract. Hes a good defensive center (granted something we might have a glutton of past Nylander) but I think he still has some offense left in him. Losing Demitra really hurt him this year (I watch every Kings game out here in So Cal) and he looks like he is just out of sync with his linemates this season, but it isnt for lack of effort or ability right now. In any event, there arent a lot of options!

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