Shanahan OK; Jagr taking his time

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*UPDATE, 3 p.m.: In hindsight, I suppose it was a bad sign when he was wearing a yellow jersey in practice today, but the Rangers just sent Jarkko Immonen back to Hartford after scratching the center for the last five games. I wish I had more insight into the rationale behind it, but this took place after practice, when we all left the Training Center. I would suspect this might mean the team wants to call up a wing in case Jaromir Jagr can’t play tomorrow*

Needless to say, it makes for a curious dynamic when you spend most of your day speculating about a grown man’s mid-section. Thankfully, there were clothes involved, but that was the case with Jaromir Jagr today.

jagr.jpg

Long after the rest of the Rangers left the ice, and even after No. 68, backup goaltender Kevin Weekes, and assistant coach Perry Pearn had been on the ice for nearly an extra hour so that the team’s captain could test out his hip (and contrary to earlier reports, *it is a hip flexor and not a groin injury* that Jagr is contending with) we are still no closer to knowing whether the team’s leading scorer is going to play tomorrow against the Islanders.

The 34-year-old Jagr said he felt fine during a series of shooting drills — including those wearing a resistance belt — but that he won’t know for sure until he tests in simulated game action tomorrow at the morning skate. Meanwhile, if you’re thinking that the whole scene was a bit melodramatic, you’d be right. There’s no question that Jagr hurt himself, and that the reason he didn’t want to play the third period against the Canadiens is because he thought he’d be a liability against a speedy opponent. For that I can actually commend him. But something tells me that if Blair Betts’ right leg fell off during practice today, it wouldn’t draw as much attention as what is likely a slight muscle pull for the future Hall of Famer.

One other thing: apparently Jagr had been dealing with the hip flexor a few games ago, but it went away. And while Jagr said he wasn’t sure, *Tom Renney figured he’ll have his captain in the lineup tomorrow*.

In other news:

  • As for Brendan Shanahan, count on him playing against the Islanders. The right wing missed practice to rest the right foot he injured against the Canadiens. But X-rays for broken bones were negative, and Shanahan said he felt much better today than he did Saturday. As for the play in question, it came at the end of the second period when Shanahan blocked a shot.
  • Meanwhile, never mind Jagr and Shanahan, on to more pressing matters: When we met with Renney today, the coach took one look at the cut above my left eye, started laughing, and said, “OK, I get the first question today. What happened to your eye?” What followed was plenty of speculation from the other writers about the cause of injury — my wife belting me being the early favorite — and then I relayed the truth. Long story short: my own skate yesterday morning, an opponent’s helmet, my face. You can guess the rest. There were no stitches involved, which may or may not have been a mistake. But as I said to Tom, “It may be time for me to start wearing a mask.”
  • And speaking of close calls, turns out the Rangers had one of their own on the flight back from Montreal. Needing to land in Albany to clear customs, the team’s plane overshot the runway not once, but twice, before landing clean on the third try. Players were laughing about it today, but it doesn’t sound like it was funny at the time.

    OK, more later…

  • About Author

    100 Comments

    1. I skate regularly with a guy who’s teammate got mangled the same way this week, a 2″ cut across his forehead. no stitches for him either.

    2. Sorry guys:
      Rachunek did practice, although the team might err on the side of caution given that the D is playing pretty well.

      Also, forgot to mention that Henrik is likely to start tomorrow again.

    3. nicole mondrone on

      wonderfully job as always sammy btw I think josh is a cutie not as cute as Henrik though.

    4. Blueshirts2k6 on

      Immonen sent down par the coarse for this braintrust well really brainlesstrust would be more apt.

    5. Sam, these briefings with Renney at the Training Center…what’s the dynamic like? Do the beat writers get together and discuss who will ask which questions, or is it just an every-beat-writer-for-himself situation? Does Renney ever ask to go off the record on certain topics at any time? Is Sather ever around? Just hoping for some behind-the-scenes nuggets…

    6. Hard to complain about the effort vs. Montreal. I was even impressed with Hossa in that game (although he’s got to look to shoot at least occasionally).

      However, it’s no secret that I would have liked to have seen them provide Immonen with a better opportunity. I believe he’s going to be a solid NHL center someday, probably just somewhere other than NYC.

    7. Regarding Immonen being sent down: Should the team be seeking to bring up a wing, I hope it’s Dane Byers, who is Hartfords’2d leading scorer, and leading PIM player. He’s a strong skater that likes to hit and mix things up a bit. At 6-3 and 190 lbs, he may remind the Garden faithful of a larger Ryan Hollweg, with more offensive upside. With Colton Orr out of the lineup, and Hossa likely to be playing with Nylander and Straka, it might be nice to see Ward with Ortmeyer and Byers on an energy line.

    8. Come on Sam tell the truth, you hit the golf ball off the white tees and it hit the red tee and rebounded right in your kisser.

      How about a little honesty here????

    9. This team is to soft. The only guy who throws his body around regularly is Hollweg. I like the idea of Bringing up Byers.

      Can somebody tell me why Adam Hall continues to play? He doesn’t score, doesn’t hit anyone, and doesn’t deserve to play on the 3rd line.

    10. Too bad about Jarko as I thought he looked good in his games.

      Hossa played a good game vs the Habs. Be a lot better if he actually could play the puck while not facing the wall once in a while.

    11. Arent’t the yellow practice jerseys the “no hit” jerseys that players who are injured or coming back from injury wear? Why would Immonen be off-limits for physical contact just because he was going to be returned to Hartford…?

    12. Laurie –The yellow jersey wasn’t for no-contact. It was mostly telling because the suspended Colton Orr was wearing one, too.

      Adam Z — you ask a good question, which I want to answer. I just have to crank out a few things first.

    13. I find it very curious that Hossa and Immo are about the same age, both were acquired from canadian teams by Sather, but Immonen came over in a much bigger trade.

      and yet, Hossa has been given beyond the ultimate patience over 2 years with the big club, while Immo has been given short looks followed by slams on his “limitations”. but we heard nothing about Hossa’s limitations during the past 2 years, except from the fans.

      I am not saying that Immonen is a great player, but he certainly deserved an equal amount of patience that Hossa was favored with over most all other Ranger youth.

    14. Hossa gets the benefit of the doubt because he can’t be sent to Hartford without going through waivers. He might get claimed (which might be a good thing) if they try to send him down.

    15. why not keep jarko until they determine extent of jagr injury…if jj can’t go slide ward back to wing and jarko at center..

    16. I personally think Hossa gets more of a look from the coaching staff because they know he can skate and be a strong presence on the ice (like we saw in Monreal). Also, we know he has good hands because of the two nice shootout goals he has scored. Problem is that he doesn’t seem to know how to put those two things together at game time. He never goes for the shot and when he does, it doesn’t usually even end in a good chance. The guy just doesn’t know how to finish. He’s got the skills necessary.

    17. there’s more responsibility as a center, so a winger would find it easier to get ice time

    18. Sam,

      I hope you have good dental insurance. I put the mask back on after eating a puck and leaving three front teeth on the ice. It was physically and financially painful.

      Too bad about Immonen

    19. So let’s say Immonen is too slow to keep up with the NHL game. (That seems to be the buzz about him) Is that the coaching staff’s fault? Why should they keep using a player that can’t keep up with the game? That’s just not smart..

    20. To answer Joe why Hossa gets more opportunities, there are several reasons. Immonen’s lack of foot speed and style of play will require him to be on a top 2 scoring line. If given the right situation, with the right players, I’m certain Immonen could be a solid contributor (a career similar to another slow footed center, Yanic Perrault perhaps). Whereas Hossa can play right or left wing (with equally enigmatic results), play on a checking or scoring line becuase of his skating ability and size. It’s natural to hope that Hossa would develop into an integral part of a teams success(like his brother), but his body of work demonstrates that he is a versatile/depth player at best. While Immonen brings a more consistent offensive game, his physical shortcomings will prohibit him from playing for the Rangers, unless the team is decimated by injury.

    21. If Immonen is too slow for the NHL then what does that say about the Rangers scouting? I know they traded for him in the old NHL but why not move him after last years Pack MVP season if they thought he is too slow?

    22. as far as hossa and immo go

      one has limitations (immo can’t skate)

      one does not (hossa can basically do his job as a third/fourth liner pretty darn well and because of his potential they keep running him out there can’t really blame them)

    23. “So let’s say Immonen is too slow to keep up with the NHL game. (That seems to be the buzz about him) Is that the coaching staff’s fault? Why should they keep using a player that can’t keep up with the game? That’s just not smart..”

      Then how do you explain keeping Malik? Allow me. The Ranger management/coaching staff are arrogant, incompetent frauds.

    24. you guys who buy that BS that Immonen can’t skate are hopeless. I saw a guy who wins faceoffs, is good positionally and made his linemates better. I didn’t notice any situations where his lack of “foot speed” made a difference.

      Just keep buying into the company line, though. They’re doing a great job of evaluating players.

    25. There are a lot of slow NHL players not as many as pre lockout but they are still everywhere. If players are smart and know what they are doing speed isn’t an issue. There are guys like Rico Fata who have world class speed and don’t know what they are doing so its a whole lot more than simplifying it down to slow or fact.

    26. Then it shows what a terrible job Sather did during the vet purge of ’04. He concentrated on the Canadian teams only in his deadline deals, making trades with all 6 of them. at the time he was so scorned for his poor work in NY that he wanted to try to improve his standing with the Canadian public by giving them some big name players.

      If he had been willing to listen to offers from 23 other teams he might have gotten better players in return for Leetch and Kovalev, etc.

    27. I didn’t see Immonen having trouble with the speed factor. I see a player who needs to play in order to get better but little patience has been shown this year by the Rangers as one playoff in seven years and the rebuild is over.

    28. “””””””So let’s say Immonen is too slow to keep up with the NHL game. (That seems to be the buzz about him) Is that the coaching staff’s fault? Why should they keep using a player that can’t keep up with the game? That’s just not smart..â€?

      Then how do you explain keeping Malik? Allow me. The Ranger management/coaching staff are arrogant, incompetent frauds.””””””””””””””

      and how about Kaspar too. the coaches complained about his foot speed, sent him down, but he now has a regular job even though he has not gotten one bit faster.

    29. Speed is always an issue. Look at the fastest teams in this league. Look where they are in the standings. Buffalo is a fast team. Philly is not. This is not a coincidence.

      As for why Hossa gets so much patience, it’s because Hossa is effective on the bottom lines. Not at scoring, but at defense. So sticking him there and working with him doesn’t cost the team much. It won’t cost games. If nothing pans out then we lost some time, but no rank in the standings.
      If we gave Immonen that chance he’d be lost on the bottom lines. He is not a checker, and he is too slow to keep on defense. He’d need to jump mostly right to a scoring line. But he’s not ready for those. Not 100%, or close enough to it. I question how much it matters when no one seems able to fill that role, though.

    30. Speed is not always an issue. Carolina won last year with far from the fastest team. Its smart play as in not taking pims, a good system and accountability that is always an issue. Teams that win always have those covered.

    31. blueshirts2k6 on

      Beamer and kovy, Hossa has had two good games this year and all of a sudden he’s good on the bottom two lines? please he’s spent 99% of his Rangers career doing nothing and getting rewarded for it.

    32. A couple of things:

      1. Let’s not get carried away with the whole Immonen speed theory. I know it came up earlier, but it’s not as if it’s been discussed since (or at least not with us). I think it’s more that Jarkko might not be ready to be a top-two line center, and he’s not a good fit for the third or fourth lines if those lines are more checking lines.

      2. According to the Rangers, no one is going to be called up in the short term to replace Immonen.

      3. Why do I get the sense that I could do a post on, say, global warming, and it would somehow veer in the direction of Marcel Hossa not deserving ice time? I’m not saying I agree or disagree. I just think it’s funny.

      4. Someone asked about our sessions with Tom. First of all, they’re all very informal. Sometimes they’re right in the hallway outside the dressing room if there’s only a couple of us. Sometimes we go into the team lounge if there’s a few more.

      It so happens that a lot of us on the beat are interested in the same things, but very often it veers in different directions. That said, we never discuss what we’re going to ask beforehand. And if there’s something very important that we want to talk to Tom on the side about, we usually can.

      As for whether we ever go off the record, we have, but it is rarely anything earth-shattering. And in fact, on one occasion, Tom asked me to go off the record on something, and then later in the conversation he said I could go ahead and use it.

      Altogether, there’s a lot of ribbing back-and-forth (my eye thing today being a prime example), and that’s true with most of the players, too. Put it another way: I’ve covered every major sport at some point, and hockey definitely has the most relaxed atmosphere. And that’s part of the reason it’s so great to cover.

      Sam

    33. when Hossa first came to the rangers he was put on the scoring lines and they thought he was a potential point producer. but he failed miserably in that role, so the brass decided that the only choice was to try to salvage their golden boy by converting his long reach into a defensive specialist and PKer.

    34. Sam, I would be interested to know what the staff told Immonen to work on in Hartford. That would tell us what they find fault with in his game.

    35. Anthony (Abev) on

      Hey Sam. Your post here in the comments is very interesting. One of the things that I like about visiting your blog is that we don’t always get the canned responses.

      I’d love to hear more about the missed approach on the plane at Albany. It would think it was something more that “the pilot missed it”. IIRC the weather was clear.

    36. Hossa is not the problem. Hossa is a hard working third or forth liner with some skill. Hall ,on the other hand,has been invisible. Hall has nice size but has no edge to his game. It seems Hall could go into the corners and lose the puck to Peter Neved. The other problem with the Rangers is their Defence. They are slow and soft. They turn the puck over to often and they don’t stick up for each other. We could argue about Hall, Hossa and Immonen all we want but defence is the Rangers weakest position.

    37. Sam — LOL you’re so right about Hossa, definitely a lightning rod issue here and elsewhere in Rangerland.

      I’m with VTRanger, I saw a teammate playing with a half shield get struck in the mouth with a puck and helped him pick his teeth up off the ice. It was at that moment that I decided to stay with the full mask (I was considering a half-shield at the time).

      Mask is a pain, but it would be worse to be hit in the mouth.

    38. Hossa is not a “golden boy.” Manny Malhotra was a golden boy. Jamie Lundmark was a golden boy. Petr Prucha is a golden boy.

      As for Hossa having “two good games,” what games has everyone been watching the past two months? The Hossa-Betts-Ward line has been a very effective shadow/grind line. Has it scored? No. But since when is scoring the most important part of a third line? It’d be a nice part, but if the line can shut down the opposing team’s top two lines with good consistency I’d call the line a winner.

    39. Joe: everyone knew the Rangers were liquidating, which therefore drove the price way down on all those names. Not to mention, DeVries, Rucinsky, Leetch, Nedved and Kovalev were all impending free agents, which made them worth even less. I think they got just about the best they could for what they had, even if it ammounts to maybe three guys that actually skate in the NHL.

      Sam: Been skating in beer leagues for nearly 15 years. I’d never hit the ice with anything short of a half-shield. Teeth can be replace. Vision, that’s a bit trickier.

    40. Hossa is the golden boy to the Ranger br-ass, evidenced by his favoritism, but he certainly is not golden to the fans. and Sather’s failure to leverage the entire market in ’04 IS what devalued his return in those trades.

    41. Doodie Machetto on

      OK, I’m back for real this time.

      I’ve stuck with Hossa all season in his limited role and made comments on his improvement in that defensive role, I can only hope that he keeps it up. Twin, all of a sudden it sounds like you’re going to be the world’s first purchaser of a Hossa Rangers jersey. I’ve got an extra blank one, maybe I should get him stitched on the back? haha.

      I personally thought Immonen looked really good in his time on the 2nd line, but with Shanahan not exactly winning the fastest skater competition and only to get slower as the season progresses, I can understand the fear of slowness. The last thing we need is a Jason Allison type on our team (notice he still hasn’t been signed). Last season Shanny played with 2 speedy players all season. Leaving him with Prucha and Cullen does the same, especially Cullen. I think Cullen has actually gotten faster (after already being the fastest player on the team) as the season has progressed, possibly explaining his recent upswing in scoring.

      Sam, try out a tinted visor. It takes a little time to get used to, but now I can’t play without it. That’s not to say I can play WITH it, either.

      I’ll be at the game tomorrow night, my first of the season. I haven’t been able to afford tickets but I managed to get some for a steal on E-bay when the Rangers were nosediving last month. Bad news is I’m sort of a curse. I’d say they lose about 3/4s of the games that I’ve ever been to.

    42. Yeah, let’s not make me out to be some sort of tough guy, because those who’ve played with me know better. That said, if I was going to make the jump, it’d be to a half-shield.

      All I can tell you is when I reached a point where I no longer had to wear the full shield, it felt like I just got out of prison.

      I can’t go back. I can’t. I won’t.

    43. Leetch had another year left on his deal when Sather traded him to Toronto.

      If Renney actually matched lines then the Hossa Betts checking line would be better but Renney rarely does that so Hossa and crew get to play vs all the lines and still don’t produce.

    44. Doodie Machetto on

      By the way Sam, Cheers for still using a wooden stick. I’m a wooden stick user as well. I couldn’t get my timing right with those ultralight sticks, even after using one exclusively for 3 months. I switched back to the wood and was set within a week.

    45. Doodie Machetto on

      “Leetch had another year left on his deal when Sather traded him to Toronto.”

      Are you sure? He ended up in Boston afterwards as a free agent.

    46. Doodie Machetto on

      In addition to my last post, I think the Leetch deal was pretty good. Kondratiev, Immonen, a 2004 1st(Korpikoski) and 2005 2nd(Sauer) rounder. I’d say that’s pretty good, especially if he was an impending UFA.

    47. Sam

      Does it seem that there is a political battle going on between Hartford management and Ranger coaches? I recall you saying that Hartford recommends a player to the big club. When the player gets here, he is used sparingly or solely in practice. Is there anything you see or hear on this question?

    48. John M —

      I’m not sure a Hartford coach recommending a guy get a look guarantees the Rangers are going to play him X amount of time. And the other thing to remember is that it really works against the Wolf Pack’s best interests to see their best players head out of town. They have their own games to win and their own seats to fill, so I can’t imagine they’re too disappointed that Jarkko is back down. The only time they might get annoyed is when they lose one of their best players and that guy still isn’t seeing much ice time in New York. But even then, there’s a chance Jarkko might come back fairly fresh.
      Sam

    49. Yea I’m sure about Leetch. Forgotten the lockout year already. He had another year on his deal when traded.

    50. and I’m not commenting on who the Rangers got for Leetch just that someone posted he was an upcoming UFA which he in fact was not.

    51. Sam,

      you’re really old school. wood twig and no cage. you don’t use those gloves with laces, or skates with those tubular steel holders I hope.

      oh, and what’s your take on global warming and specifically hossa’s influence on it?

      on a different matter, would Hall be subject to waivers if sent down, and if he is picked up would the Rangers then get dibs to claim someone else, if available on waivers.

      Finally, in the wishlist department, I read over the w/e that the Oilers were looking at Pitkanin for Rafi Torres and J. Lupul. I wonder if they’d take Pock (and maybe a pick) for Torres alone?

    52. Doodie Machetto on

      “Finally, in the wishlist department, I read over the w/e that the Oilers were looking at Pitkanin for Rafi Torres and J. Lupul”

      I saw that too, but I believe that it was a typo and should be Torres OR Lupul. Otherwise it would be a gross overpayment.

      tsalad: I think everyone knew the lockout was coming and so that year was pretty much going to be nonexistent anyway.

    53. Sam- In regard to Glen Sather, is this guy still alive? I havent seen him at all. Is he doing anything besides golfing down in Florida?

    54. czechthemout!!!!! on

      hey sam immo had 1g and 3a in 5 games on the second line not so bad i think .hossa only played a good game because he was playing the team that traded him. now he will disappear for the next 10 gms.

    55. A few more responses to close out the night:

      1. Adam Hall would indeed be subject to waivers if sent down, but don’t count on that happening anyway. If anything, the Rangers would try to trade him.

      2. My understanding is other teams have asked about Pock but the Rangers aren’t interested in parting with him. And that was before this most recent run of Pock’s best hockey of the season.

      3. Glen Sather is alive, and has actually been more visible in the past month than he was the earlier part of the year.

    56. thanks for the comments, sam. just kidding about the gloves and skates. too many sticks, and some pucks, have come up high for me to consider getting rid of the cage.

    57. “”””””3. Glen Sather is alive””””””

      that is also what they said about Frankenstein

    58. Doodie Machetto on

      “that is also what they said about Frankenstein”

      I can’t tell if that’s a Marek Malik joke or not. If it isn’t, I’m making it one.

    59. Sam

      Thanks for the response. It seems to me that the main focus of Hartford is to develop players who are one step away from the big time. The AHL is the final preparation for a rookie prior to the NHL. With that in mind,
      A. It doesn’t seem that winning in Hartford is or should be, priority number one.
      B. If a player is ready for the NHL, it is likely the management in Hartford is aware of it and therefor recommends the player be called up to the NHL level.

      Now all things being equal, if Hartford is the grooming portion of a future NHLer, and Hartford sends a player up, it would seem, if both parts of the organization are working together to better the NHL Rangers, these call ups would be ready to play.
      When we as fans are told that a particular call up has a deficiency AFTER he has been worked in the AHL for whatever period of time it may be for that particular player, and has surpassed Hartford’s skill level, according to Hartford coaches, it feels like there is a disconnect between the staff’s in Hartford and the NYR. In my opinion of course.

    60. doodie

      The lockout was a possibility not a certainty in March 04 when Sather traded Leetch. If it was known to everyone then why did Toronto give up so much imo to get Leetch for what 20 games?

    61. Joefair point about the lack of value the RAngers got at the deadline in 04′. I think you’re right on about the fact that Sather and Maloney limited their choices of teams (another indictment against both). I also think with the expected lockout and salary cap the market was less than any year previous and probably since then as well. At least teams now know what they are dealing with in terms of the cap and their own situation.

    62. czechthemout!!!!! :: CORRECTION!!! You meant to say Immo had 1 g and 3a in 2 games…than went scoreless and nearly shotless and hitless for the rest of the games…he isnt a true number 2 center…not yet anyway…IMHO he may devlope further…he is still young…but no reason to keep him in NY so long that he has to clear waivers to go back. Just because he is young dosnt mean he is good for the team. Immo is a great example of some Rangers fans blindly shouting for youth, withought first seeing if they are right for the team or a position. Immo did well when Cullen was doing well. While I agree that Hall hasnt done enough to be a regular, he dose PK rather well, but once Orts is 100% back int he lineup I say trade Hall, the system may not be good for him, but again…he is young and could develope further and become a rather good 3rd line player. I dont envy the position the Ragners staff and managment is in. But its good to see that BEFORE Pock was back in the lineup that Sather woudlnt move him…that SHOULD prove that the Rangers arnt just going to throw young palyers away…so I guess we can really put the Prucha for Cullimore rumors to bed… LOL

    63. Immonen never looked comfortable with Shanahan.
      Which is probably the biggest problem.

      Even if he’d make for a good second line center, he didn’t seem like he made a good center for our second line. And, if the choice is between him waiting another year or Shanahan being moved… which would you make?

    64. blueshirts2k6 on

      Beamer you couldn’t be a bigger shill for Hossa and management if you tried. Btw the way have you watched the team the last three weeks? or are you using sather talking points? Btw the great Hossa-Betts-Ward line was broken up three weeks ago because it stunk. Immo had plenty of chemistry with Shanny 4 points in 5 games, and even giving Cullen life so again your lying beamer.

    65. blueshirts2k6 on

      Beamer you einstein this isn’t shanny vs immo! They don’t play the same position pull your head out of your rear end for gods sakes! It’s about Immo not being given a fair chance to center the second line, while your idol Hossa being given 500 chances.

    66. SAM LOVE THE BLOG GOOD JOB CANT BELIEVE THERES CLUELESS FANS LIKE WILDCARD AND BEAMER AROUND WOW MAYBE THEYLL INDUCT HOSSA INTO THE HALL OF FAME

    67. Geez louise! maybe marceelHossa should run for mayor reading some posts i think some of you would vote for him.

    68. Man. I didn’t know there was a double standard on the Rangers.

      Hall, Ward,Betts,Hossa seem to be able to play the majority of nights and produce nothing offensively or defensively and Immonen,Dawes,Callahan, can’t break the line up whether they light it up in Hartford or come up and score a goal in a 2 game 4 minutes a night look. I am completely baffled.

    69. I think this is needed for the benefit of everyone who continues to bemoan the death, dearth, or lack, of the Rangers ‘youth movement.’ Here’s your current 3rd/4th lines:

      Jason Ward- 27
      Marcel Hossa- 25
      Blair Betts- 26

      Jed Ortmeyer- 28
      Ryan Hollweg- 23
      Adam Hall- 26

      Avg age of the group: 25.8

      Other than Ortmeyer, no one in this group has been a Blueshirt for two full seasons. Youth movement have growning pains. Have some patience.

    70. Even if Jagr can take the ice, why play him tonight? Okay, so it’s Jagr, I get it, but why not rest him for a game that had a couple days off headed into it? Why force his ass out onto the ice when it’s obvious his hip, shoulder and, probably despite what they’re now claiming, his groin, could use the rest? Can we really not face the Isles without him? And, yes, I remember they keep beating us, but still…

      Maybe playing without him and the team’s natural dependence on him might help tighten up some of the other players. It seemed to do that a bit in the last game.

    71. Doodie Machetto on

      Twin, defend your boy Hossa.

      They reunited the original 2nd line and it worked, so Immonen wasn’t going to dress anyway. Sending him down to Hartford so he doesn’t ride the pine/center a checking line isn’t the worst thing in the world. The team showed an interest in using him so he’ll be back if and when they need him. As I said before, with Shanahan on the wing, having a slow center isn’t the best option. He’ll be back up if the Rangers need him. For now, he can work on his quickness.

      I can’t believe all of the Hossa haters are still in such force despite the fact that he’s strung a few solid games together, while Adam Hall has yet to do anything besides that one two goal game all season. and what about Kaspar and Malik? It just seems silly to keep coming down on a player who has actually started to pick things up a bit when there are three others that remain terrible. You all claim that he’s not his brother even though Sather and co. thought he would be(shit, I was hoping so too), but it all seems that unless he produces like him no one will ever be happy. He’s playing well right now in his defensive role. He makes almost no money. Let him keep it up before the kill Hossa chants resume. In the meantime, let’s focus on some other voids like Kaspar, Malik, and Hall. We all know Malik isn’t going anywhere so what about Kaspar and Hall? Where’s the anger? Where’s the rage?!

    72. Chardkerm: So Hall gets half a season with the team, and then is cast aside? Ward and Hossa each get 1.5 seasons, and then they’re done? That’s how you run your youth movement? That’s pretty hypocritical.

    73. Doodie Machetto on

      Adam Z.- the concern with those guys that chardkerm has is that they aren’t homegrown talent. Furthermore, they aren’t offensive players either. I agree that those guys are young, but there is definitely a need to replace one of them with a player who is a scoring threat. And don’t say Hall is, because he isn’t.

    74. Adam Z.:

      I think it’s pretty clear that most posters on this site consider “youth” to be under 24, absurd or unfair as that may or may not be.

    75. Doodie: this is a question, then, of how you envision the third line in hockey. Our top line is obviously set, and with Prucha getting his scoring touch back (hopefully Cullen, too, if the MTL game is any indication), it seems clear that he’ll be sticking with Shanny and Cullen on the second line. As we know, Renney gives mostly lip service to rolling four lines, so it’s a question of third line- do you try to make it another scoring threat, or is it the traditional checking/grinding unit? It is exceptionally rare for it to be both on equal levels. Right now, the guys we have are obviously check first, score second. For me, when I’m staring up at the Devils for first place in the Atlantic, I’d rather know going in I’ve got a legit checking line (which they are) rather than trying to mold it half-heartedly into a scoring unit (which they aren’t) and losing the grinding edge in the process.

      And look, it’s not just even strength either. Ward and Betts are your top 2 penalty-killers, and they’re pretty good at it. So you start tinkering with who’s there on the line, and it has ramifications beyond the standard 45-second shift. Unless you want Shanny to start getting the top PK assignment and have his ice time go up to 25 minutes a game.

    76. blueshirts2k6 on

      Adam z so the fact that guys like Hall, Hossa, Ward add zip to the team matters not I guess right? These guys are retreads from other teams that failed elsewhere and are even worse here. I’d rather see Byers who adds grit and some skill or Immo who adds alot of skill.

    77. Blueshirts, what does ‘add zip’ to the team mean? if it means not putting up big scoring numbers, i got news for you, no third-line player getting 12-14 minutes a night and no PP time is going to be lighting up the scoresheets anytime soon. That’s not a situation unique to the New York Rangers either- that’s just hockey for you. Checking, shawdowing, putting work in the corners, breaking up passes, stopping rushes, getting the puck deep, getting the cycle going- none of these things wind up in a score sheet, but they’re invaluable to the game and its what third and fourth liners are supposed to do. Look beyond your stats.

    78. blueshirts2k6 on

      I’m not really looking at the stats, I’m looking at the level of play , and Ward was good last year but has stunk this year. Hall has been a huge bust while Hossa last year was on the second line. and was an unmitagated disaster, and this year getting 12-14 minutes he’s had a couple of good games, and done nothing the rest of the time. As far as not being able to score playing 12 minutes tell that to Prucha who played 12-13 minutes a night last year.

    79. Prucha got substantial PP time last year with Jagr. 16 of his 30 goals, and 22 of his 47 points were from the PP. None of these guys, aside from Hall occasionally on the second unit, gets any PP time, let alone up front with Jagr. Big difference.

    80. Doodie Machetto on

      Adam Z: I’m not advocating that position, I was just trying to explain others.

      Still, do I think we need all six of those guys? No. I think we can do without Hall for sure and replace him with someone who is a little bit faster and likely to cause a few odd man rushes. That’s what makes that Devils third line so good, because not only can they just shut players down, but they also force turnovers that lead to odd-man rushes. Our third line is mediocre at shutting guys down, and furthermore have no spark, no threat to cause those turnovers. I’d like to see them all continue to develop, but truth be told, Ward has actually gotten worse from last season. Make the Bottom two lines

      Hossa-Betts-Callahan
      Ortmeyer-Hollweg-Ward

      And 28 isn’t young anymore. It’s middle aged in today’s game, so even though it took Ortmeyer a while to make the game, I wouldn’t call him young.

    81. Future Blue is about drafting and developing homegrown Ranger talent. not about recycling some other team’s castoffs.

    82. “Beamer you einstein this isn’t shanny vs immo! They don’t play the same position pull your head out of your rear end for gods sakes! It’s about Immo not being given a fair chance to center the second line, while your idol Hossa being given 500 chances.”

      Which isn’t what I said. At all. Which makes your “einstein” comment all the funnier.

      I said that Immonen did not look comfortable with Shanahan.
      Their style of play did not mesh well, nor did their personalities on the ice. Immonen looked a bit intimidated.

      So the Rangers had three choices:
      1) Keep a line that clearly isn’t working.
      2) Tweak the lines and replace Shanahan. Since he’s too valuable to play on the third or fourth lines, he’d be traded.
      3) Tweak the lines and replace Immonen. Since he isn’t a defensive player, he won’t go to the third and fourth lines. This leaves Hartford or the pine.

      Which move would you make?
      Seems like you’d keep working on the line that failed.
      What’s that quote, supposedly from “einstein” that’s been tossed around here? Something about the definintion of insanity. Something about demanding that you keep using a line that simply fails?

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