In need of a breather?


As a matter of fact I am seeing how it’s been two grueling weeks since my last vacation. But we’re not talking about me…

No, the man in question is your Rangers captain, Jaromir Jagr. Yes, the Big Fella is in the lineup tonight against the Islanders. And no, there isn’t much reason to expect him to play less than a full game even while contending with a troublesome hip flexor.

But with that and other body parts still ailing, and the All-Star break upon us in two weeks, there is at least the theory that the veteran should not play in the game, take time to rest, and thus be better prepared for the crucial second part of the season. Tom Renney conceded it was a consideration, as did Jagr himself a few days ago.

I would imagine that if the Rangers’ prized right wing is at all questionable at that point, he should indeed take the time to rest and not play. But let’s be clear that the NHL All-Star Game is never going to be confused with the Stanley Cup finals, and if Jagr can represent the Rangers by playing a meager few shifts of shinny hockey, he should go.

I doubt either way it’s going to make much of a difference.

Meanwhile, in other news…

  • Speaking of the All-Star game, the starters for both teams are going to be announced around 9 tonight, and it doesn’t look like the Rangers will have anyone on the front line, with Jagr the highest vote-getter in sixth place. That said, the team will likely have a few representatives when the full teams are announced in the next week or so.
  • As for Tom Renney’s style of speaking, which seems to strike a nerve with some of you, let me offer this: at least you don’t have to transcribe interviews with the coach on a regular basis. Don’t get me wrong, Renney is extremely articulate, maybe even too much for his own good. But I think you’re right in that he gives some answers in four sentences that he could give in one. And if you’re wondering why I don’t always include quotes in my blog entries, it’s because it takes too damn long to go through some of tapes. Still, Renney is a very bright guy, and while this shouldn’t matter one way or other in deciding whether he’s a good coach, he is the type of guy you’d all like if you got to know him.
  • One of you asked how my gig as “golf writer”: might conflict with my work here. All I can tell you is we dodged a bullet tonight, when the “New York metropolitan area’s lone PGA Tour player, Johnson Wagner”:, was nearly paired with Michelle Wie in the first two rounds of the Sony Open. I won’t bore you with the particulars since golf isn’t everyone’s schtick. But what I will say is it would have likely meant me making phone calls to Hawaii instead of paying attention to the game. Thankfully, it never reached that point.

    Anyway, I’m all yours. Back with more later…

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    1. Don Maloney says “there are 8 or 10 guys who could be playing with us in the next 2 years”

      “COULD” is the operative word because with all the vets under contract or likely to be given new ones, plus new UFA signees, that 8 or 10 figure looks more like 2 or 3 over 2 years which is abysmal.

    2. But those 8n or 10 won’t because Sather Baloney will just sign useless vets. But wait until next year always wait until next year. While the chance to play kids for the future slips away right now.

    3. F… the NHL and most of all, F… Gary Bettman! This cheating bastard and the joke of league he runs have stopped streaming games on radio via the internet and have replaced it with online streaming of the game of the US and Canada only!!!

      Bad enough we barely get to see any games in Europe, now this SOB has to cut the radio too!!!

      Unless hockey fans in Europe have signed up for expensive tv packages (NASN, Canal+, Premiere) and if they are very lucky, they might see the Rangers vs. Islanders… highly doubtful though… now the only option for us real fans has been removed…

      This is sooo disappointing, I could cry

      Regards from Vienna, Austria…

    4. Osminator – try again – it must have been a glitch, b/c the radio on is working now.

    5. I think you all are funny…you are able to tell the future…do you really think that all 8 or 10 will end up makeing it…just cause they look good now? DO you really think the Rangers WANT to hold kids back…what a joke…you are to funny…

    6. we don’t have to tell the future. all we have to do is look at who is under contract, or will be.

      you tell us, wildcard, who is not going to be back next season and barring a UFA replacement, would then mean a spot open for a prospect.

    7. You know, I have just as much to say about all of this stuff as any of you. But right now I just wish we could beat the stupid Islanders. Isn’t it clear how bad they are? Why is it so difficult? What a horrible second period. Wake up, boys, wake up.

      I guess things like this are what mediocre, .500 teams do.

    8. What a crappy goals we’ve allowed in this game… don’t tell me we’re going to lose 4th game with the Isles…
      Please let Malik go somewhere… anywhere…

    9. Sam! Love your blog, love your articles… great insider stuff!

      Wouldn’t you want to write about Malik being the biggest disaster since Enron? While Enron must have cost many people their pensions and financial investments, Malik is causing self-inflicted hair loss through pulling and high costs deriving from anger management classes, which many fans have to attend because they have to watch this cheap imitation of a traffic cone.

      Just a thought..

    10. …and 5th loss to averange Isles in a row… and they play crappy hockey… but we have a BIG problem in the defensive zone, i mean BIG… btw – i hate the guy but i’dlove to have someone like Witt in our D. ISLES SUCKS!!!

      um…yeah, SHOOT THE PUCK!!!

    12. Well, 4Rangers, mediocre doesn’t always beat mediocre, generally speaking. But I’d venture to say the Rangers are mediocre, the Isles are bad. I mean, those guys aren’t getting anywhere near the playoffs, and if they do, it will be because they got so many points against the Rangers.

      Wouldn’t we all feel better if it were Baranka and Girardi making rookie mistakes and costing us games?

    13. Sorry boys and girls, we got pushed around again. Aaron Ward is turning into Sandy McCarthy II. He yaps too much and hits too little and in turn gets abused. Breshear punched him last week and Witt massaged his puss tonight. The guy is a fraud as a hitting defenseman.

      The worst D is Malik. He was playing pattycake with the puck in his own zone which led to at least one goal. I wish he would have fought Witt, both guys are better for the Rangers in the penalty box.

    14. Tell the future. That’s easy with this organization. Just look at the past. The past under Sather shows little good for the future.

      Now comes the four game slide.

      Renney still not comfortable with getting O on the 4th line. Why bother when Jagr, Straka and Shanny score. Oh yea we lost.

    15. it was the Jagr group, all 5 of them, who were the worst in their own end. they produced some goals, but they gave them right back.

    16. Saw Tie Domi on TSN last week and they asked him if Brashear should have gotten more than one game and Domi said Ward deserved it as all he does is yap but never fights.

    17. Prucha certainly didn’t have a great game tonight either. Missed at least one great chance and then turned the puck over on Sillinger’s goal. Malikival was terrible, even Lundqvist wasn’t controlling rebounds at all.

      But, on the bright side I think I saw Jason Ward throw a bodycheck tonight.

    18. Yea J Ward and Hall really looked great tonight. Doing little to nothing once again. Can’t imagine why in kid in Hartford should replace them.

    19. Sam, ditch the tapes man. Get a digital voice recorder, makes things a ton easier. I actually use an iRiver MP3 player for my stuff, easy as hell just to transfer onto the comp in no time if you’re on deadline (which you obviously always are going to be)

    20. i thought hall played one of his better games as a ranger. he threw a few good hits and had a few decent scoring chances. the fact that i actually noticed him on the ice says he was at least skating out there

    21. Do you think Hall should continue to get to play?

      This club needs to have some changes because these guys just can’t do it for more than say 5 games and that isn’t good enough. Two players stick up for another and that is not enough. These guys get pushed around everynight.

    22. i would absolutely try to move hall for a grittier player…possibly package hall with j ward for barnaby

    23. On a different note… Anyone at the game get a little annoyed at the cocky bastards that are Fishies fans? Yeah, you guys won. But c’mon, show some class. Don’t stand up and start egging on the crowd. Seriously, I’d rather hang with a Devils and Flyers fan than a scumbag Icelanders fan. They are — BY FAR — the most unclassiest fans in all of hockey. Maybe even all of sports (and that’s including the huns from Glasgow!)

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