If it ain’t broke….


Raise your hand if you think this adage applies to the Rangers. Anyone? Hello?

Nonetheless, Tom Renney will proceed with the same lineup tonight in Springsteen Country, with the lines and pairings from yesterday expected to be intact, and Adam Hall, Jason Ward, and Darius Kasparaitis all sporting Armani (or some kind of suit).

I wish I could give you the rest of the sights and sounds from the morning skate — curious anecdotes, overheard conversations — but I opted again to remain at Blog Headquarters until tonight.

Still, a few quick hits:

  • Yes, I wrote a “story on Jason Krog”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070116/SPORTS01/701160371/1034/SPORTS for today’s paper, but so did three other writers, and as far as I know, none of them are UNH graduates. And besides, I’m comfortable that I played it straight, making the case that Krog has struggled as a pro, and that you have to wonder about a player that Atlanta was willing to offer up for nothing.

    Of course, my editors decided to cut out the three paragraphs in which I proclaimed the Krog acquisition as the greatest move of the Glen Sather Era, and that anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.

    I’m kidding, of course….

    I never actually used the word “idiot.”

  • How to explain the Rangers’ stellar record against the Devils so far? Easy: they’re well aware they can’t get away with any mistakes, which is something they lose sight of too often. One would think they would carry that philosophy into tonight. But that would be too simple, wouldn’t it?
  • The who-to-play-with-Brendan Shanahan debate rages on, and here’s an important part to consider: perhaps the only known entity with the Rangers this year is that the Nylander-Straka-Jagr line works. Put one of those players with Shanahan and you risk losing that as well. Hence, Tom Renney abandoned his experiment early on Saturday, and I’m not sure you can blame him.
  • To clarify, goalie Chris Holt has NOT been called up by the Rangers. He is merely in New York to work with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire while the ECHL has its All-Star break.

    More in a bit…

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    1. Sam,
      Did Shanny have input regarding Immonen as his center? Immonen seems like a pretty good playmaker despite his “footspeed”, and definetly more so than Cullen..

    2. Lowtide —
      I remember in Philly after Jarkko scored his only goal, Brendan was fairly positive, but he wanted Immonen to take charge of the line more. He said he felt Jarkko deferred TOO much to him and Cullen.

      By the way all, Chris Holt has NOT been called up by the Rangers. He is merely up to work with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire while the ECHL is on all-star break.

    3. I am putting this out there and I know it has been discussed before.

      Can the Rangers just waive Malik? No one will pick him up because of his contract. Send him to Hartford and clear up cap room if a move presents itself. Constantly behind the play and doesn’t hit a soul.

      I saw this guy play in New Haven when they had an AHL team (Florida/Carolina Split the farm team) and he was bad back then. How this guy has earned the contract he was given is craziness.

      I am just looking for someone to explain why he is still on the roster. Is it Jagr’s doing?

    4. No matter how badly Kasperminus has played, on his worst day he is better than Malik.

      I think that Sather MAKES Renney play him (and Carol Rachunkek) because of the embarassing salaries that both are paid………Sather does not seem like the type to humbly admit how wrong he is, and Kasper has been the red-headed step child since day 1. They are continually telling him to shut his mouth.

      However, if it is actually RENNEY that decides to play Malik, then something is seriously wrong with Renney, or he is dating (on the side, of course) Malik’s sister (though the gene pool does not suggest anything but an unfortunate looking younger sister).

      Malik is slow, apt to take hooking penalties, LOVES to clear the puck IN front of Lundqvst and is just plan awful out there. CAN ANYONE explain why he plays?

      The ONLY explanation came from Stan Fishsticks (has this guy EVER laced ’em up??) who said that the Ranger fans are fickle. They loved him in that shootout last year and now have turned on him.

      He is either mentally challenged or the most transparent shill on MSG….

      no 3rd option.

      Well, maybe a 3rd: He hates Ranger fans and just loves the Icelanders?

    5. Malik earned the contract over the last couple of seasons before he was in NY, IN vancouver and his last bit of time in Carolina (I think for the canes anyway) he had really good seasons…he also had a good year last year for the Rangers…he really did…he isnt great, but he is, or at least was a decent defensman. I think, THINK mind you, that he would not be such a mess if he wasnt tring to stop other teams top guys. Meaning, if he was a 3rd pair defender, he woudl be an asset, or at least a wash…wich is what I tihnk he value is int he NHL now, a 5th or 6th defender…to bad he dosnt get apid that way, or palyed that way. But he did earn the right to a decent contract…I jsut hope the Rangers waive him or trade him..hendosnt have whatever he had over the last few seasons…

    6. Rachunek isnt palying that badly…I dont know why people think he is. Since the games that he was put int he stands, he has gotten much better. He is also Young, and still learning, he hasnt been the reason of a gaol against for some time, I eman, he hasnt pulled a Malik and passed the puck to a oposing player in perfect scoreing position…and he isnt affraid to hit, and dose at times..not enough, but he can pick it up. I tihnk Kasper and Malik should go…than call up Baranka or Lampman, and play them, along with Pock regularly. Leave ROszival and Ward for now as the vets for the blueline…than next season if Staal is ready for the big show (I think he will be, and should be) than you move Roszival, Ward is hard nosed, and IMHO is good to have a vet like him. He can get 3rd pair min and that will minimise he lack of speed hurting the team….but otherwise…I think that would work on D

    7. I think it’s pretty clear that Jagr wants Malik and Rosie out there with him. He’s said that he likes to work in a 5 man unit and, defensive expert that he is, he seems to have decided they’re the blue liners for him. Which sucks because they stink.

    8. It must be Jagr wanting Malik on the ice. But even if Jagr wants him out there, Renney should make the case that he hurts the entire team more than he helps that five man unit.

      At least Hall is sitting.

    9. Sam what does Immo have to do for Renney to ever call him back up? Renney seems to talk alot but I’m not sure if he’s communicating. (ie J Ward) Just saying Immo is slow, now what? He gave Pock notes ala the Professor.

    10. bklynblue —
      I suppose the answer is Immo needs to make a better case that he can stick as a top-two line center. As we talked about earlier, the sentiment is that Immo doesn’t fit on a checking line, and that he’s not quite ready to center a player of Brendan Shanahan’s caliber. Hence, he’s stuck.

      Also, regarding the J. Ward thing: let’s not blow this out of proportion. I thought Ward’s comments to John Dellapina were very interesting, but some background is in order: when Renney was asked about J. Ward’s benching, Tom said he didn’t feel comfortable discussing it with us in the media because he hadn’t talked to Ward yet. The assumptionthere was that he was going to talk to Ward fairly sooon. If he hasn’t already, then I think there’s more to the story. But my guess is the two have talked, and so there’s probably less. Either way, I’ll follow up with that later.

    11. Immonen’s foot speed issue is in Renney’s head. The kid is just as quick as many #2/#3 centers in this league, and it is not like he was blown away playing with old Shanny there (who has never been a the top of the foot speed ladder).

      Immonen is so smart that Renney thinks he has a foot speed problem when in fact he is just cheating the transition. There is a big difference and I cannot believe a professional who gets paid to evaluate hockey talent cannot see this.

      And another thing, there is no reason Immonen cannot play a 3rd line role. He’s smart enough both ways to play Dom Moore’s role from last season, and Betts could drop into the 4th line. A 3rd line with a little scoring punch would take some of the issue of needing to find a guy to play with Shanny.

    12. SAM but they haven’t really had anybody to center for Shanny so far. Seems like they threw out the dirty water without having clean to replace it.

    13. Doodie Machetto on

      “Immonen’s foot speed issue is in Renney’s head. The kid is just as quick as many #2/#3 centers in this league, and it is not like he was blown away playing with old Shanny there (*who has never been a the top of the foot speed ladder*).”

      That’s the key right there. You can’t have a slow center for Shanny because it makes the back check way too slow, especially if Immonen gets caught cheating, which is something that he does in order to make up for his lack of footspeed. Shanny cheats too for the same reason. That’s a major potential for odd-man rushes. I like Immonen offensively with Shanahan, but I can at least understand the concern on the defensive side of the puck.

      That said, Betts is a terrible choice on the offensive side of the puck. Even Krog would be better (I’M NOT SAYING HE SHOULD BE THERE EITHER, JUST POINTING OUT HOW TERRIBLE OF A CHOICE BETTS IS). Cullen is fast enough but is pretty poor playing defense on that line.

      I think he should go with the
      line combos that he started Boston with. Cullen or Hossa (both of whom Renney seems hell-bent on playing) could be the 2nd line wing with the other playing on the third with Betts and Ortmeyer. Krog can center Hollweg and Orr.

      Turn Jagr into the playmaker on the first line, taking pressure off of him to score and allowing his shoulder good time to heal and Prucha and Straka can get on the end of his passes.

      Nylander can feed Shanny all night and occasionally Cullen/Hossa might chip one in also. I’m even open to shifting Shanny back to the left and bringing up Callahan to play on the opposite side(scratch/waive/abandon in the woods Orr or Krog for the lineup spot).

      What do you guys think?

    14. Chris: If Roszival had a stay at home guy, or at least a MUCH better defensive partner who could cover for him a bit, ROszival would be a good fit when the top line is out. He can sklate fairly well and seems to know when to pinch down…but I think Malik out there with him hurts him alot…heck even with Pock Roszival looks 10 times better…I think its Malik who really hurts the D moreso than any other player. ALL:: as for Immonen, It sint his foot speed so much IMHO, its his quickness, he cant get going fast and he dosnt go to quick other than stright ahead, I think he has shown he has it in him to be quick enough, but again, he dosnt always put the same amount of effort in, and if they told him that before they sent him down than he should work on it, if they didnt tell him anything specific, well thats bad, and he wont be able to improve.

    15. Thanks Sam!
      And DoodieM- good point on the speed of the line- though having either Prucha or Cullen could counter that against most teams except Buffalo and a couple other fast teams..no?

    16. Peter Prucha is the 4th line center tonight. Enough said. Reason enough to watch something else tonight.

    17. Doodie Machetto : I think your right…If Shanny was faster than Immo would be OK…and If peopel want Prucha off that line for good, well Cullen would need to be there to use his extra speed to cover for 2 guys who arnt as fast. If Straka was a wing instead of Shanny it would work…but I dont know if Shanny will work at all with the top line in Strakas place…maybe he would…duno…but it might be worth a try…no?? Shanny/Nylander/Jagr Prucha/Immo/Straka Cullen/Krog/Hossa Hollweg/Betts/Orts Actuly now that I look at that…it dosnt even seem partly bad…any thoughts???

    18. Doodie Machetto on

      Lowtide10- The speed needs to be at the center position because of the defensive duties he has. Prucha is not a center and we’ve already seen that Cullen is not good when trying to play both offense and defense.

      This is from Spector’s Trade Rumours, once again putting any Prucha Rumors to death:

      “PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Dave Molinari reports Penguins GM Ray Shero has to decide if he’ll swing a trade to bolster his club’s chances of making the playoffs or standing pat. Shero claims he’s getting no calls from rival GMs for young stars Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury or Jordan Staal. Shero also “firmly” denied a report in Sunday’s NY Post claiming he’d been in talks with the Rangers regarding winger Ryan Malone and defenceman Brooks Orpik.

      Spector’s Note: As Molinari points out, nobody inquires into the availability of those young stars because everybody knows the Pens won’t part with them. I also don’t see them moving Orpik. Malone, on the other hand, is a possibility I wouldn’t rule out.”

      Good ‘Ole Uncle Larry making things up again!

    19. 5 minutes after benoit allaire’s practice with chris holt……..

      chris: well benoit what should i work on i mean what do you think i should do?

      benoit: um i think you should retire

      annnnnd scene

    20. Bob: I think Prucha is playing center on the 4th line…if he palys good its OK that he starts on the 4th line center spot…HOWEVER if he dose anything good he should move up the chain, possibly right to the 2nd line and see how he dose..IF Renny is thinking that than starting him on a line with no pressure were he can just play is a smart move for a first game in a long time at center…if he isnt than its not a good move…but lets see what happens. Like I said…there are ALOT of ifs, but this MAY if it works out solve some problems on the 2nd line…just MAYBE…but alot of things need to hapen in order for this to work right…the biggest being Renney paying attention and Prucha playing hard

    21. if you watched the game saturday prucha did not play center hollweg did and thats probably the way it will go to be honest with you.

    22. Doodie Machetto: two things…Prucha was a center overseas if im not incorrect..and he was drafted as a center…dosnt eman he can do it in the NHL..but may as well try him there. ON the Brooks and PIT stuff…he probably herd that the Rangers asked about Malone and Orpik, and the Pens probably asked about Prucha and maybe the Rangers asked if they were intersted in Hall for anything…and Brooks turned it into Prucha and Hall leaving and Orpick and Malone comeing back, than made up some stuff to fill in the blanks…that seems to happen in EVERY media market…is silly sometimes…I jsut wqish they would right exactly what they hear…or who said it to them…

    23. Doodie Machetto on

      Wildcard: “Doodie Machetto : I think your right…”

      If you think I’m right, then I’m definitely wrong. But after reading the rest of your post, I see you’ve completely misunderstood me, and so I feel a lot better.

      Shanny-Nylander-Jagr would have the same problems as Immo-Shanny. Jagr doesn’t back check and Shanny could get caught cheating. Also, Jagr isn’t that fast either, even if he were to back-check. Therefore, too many odd-man rushes.

      I don’t think anyone wants Prucha off of the 2nd line, in fact, I think most people want him there, if not on the 1st line in some kind of reshuffle like I have suggested. So I dont’t know where you got the idea that most people didn’t want him there. But your second line is flawed because neither Straka nor Prucha plays on the right side.

      Your third line is flawed because neither Hossa nor Cullen plays on the right either.

      Your 4th line, however, is acceptable.

    24. Doodie Machetto : I understand that the top line would have that prob…but they at elast hang onto the puck..the 2nd line as it has been alot this yera dosnt posess the puck…so that would counter that a bit…and the D would need difrent guys out there that wont pinch at the wrong time…and be fast…so no Malik! The palyers being out of position…Hossa a think can play both sides…I seem to remember him having games on both wings, and players playinf their off wing has worked well in teh past…basicly, this team needs to get drastic in order to find something that works…it might not be perfect…but hell what has been?? I knwo noone wants PP off the 2nd line..thats my point…if Immo was tehre with Shanny I dont think Prucha would be a good fit ont he other side, and CUllen with the extra speed would be a better fit…I dont mean to think that the lines you said wouldnt work…and I tihnk they would…but it was just another idea…

    25. While I wouldn’t go as far as changing my handle to “Malik must STAY” (there’s something always insidious and extreme in repeatedly singling out a single player on a team sport with so many parts and variables), BUT I’m going to break with the party line, and say I for one am glad that Malik is playing this season for the rangers. He’s not flashy, never was nor will be, but he is, over an 82-game season, usually solid. I’d rather have him than Darian Hatcher or Rajte, and certainly rather than the defenseman who was rightly sent packing, despite Poti’s having the attributes (like mobility) that Malik detractors can’t get past.

    26. Hey Sam, has anyone in the organization givin you or anyone the reasoning behind the mis-use of Prucha?

    27. honestly i think prucha knows and renney has told him that the reason he’s shifting around so much is because they just don’t have the guy to play with him RIGHT NOW. and despite all that he’s still got 10 goals on the year and will probably finish with around 20. for a guy thats all over the place getting nothing minutes 18 20 goals is fantastic. im almost positive that renney has made it clear to petr that he is a HUGE part of the future of this team and you can read all the rumors you want but the rangers are not the ones offering this kid around the league. the league is asking for him on every deal hence why the rangers have not made a trade all year even though they’ve been in dire need of a number two center as well as a better dman. prucha will not be traded and will start out on a top two line next year but they’ll get him a centerman to play with. keep in mind straka plays another year or two tops same with shanny. the rangers aren’t going to throw away a kid like prucha anytime soon. its frustrating seeing him play the minutes he does but he’s going to be a great player for us for a long time just be patient.

      now if im wrong and the rangers DO move him for anything less than a seabrook or a cammalleri or a kid of that quality then this organization is COMPLETELY lost.

    28. With all the money the Rangers spend on chasing “marquise” offensemen every year, why haven’t they invested in a premier defensive Quarterback and a fewgood defensemen that can let it rip from the point?

      This lacking truly boggles my mind year after year!

    29. wildcard loves Malik and Rachunek and is happy that Prucha’s on the 4th line keep drinking the kool aid by the gallon wild sez Sather!

    30. kovy27 : I wouldnt call Prucha untouchable…but if he goes, I agree it will be for something good, I mean a good young center, or perhaps a defensman, but more likely a 2nd line center. I dont see teh Rangers tradeing him for Rucinsky or something like that. I dont like that he isont getting to line min…but even on the top line he dosnt get the puck enough…so why put him out there against top defenders…he probably has a better chance of creating for himself on lower lines…lets just hope he gets some shifts here and there on the top line….or something at least

    31. btw Malik has always been a 5th dman to say he earned to 2.5 mill he makes in sheer lunacy and stupidity by our buddy wildcard.

    32. blueshirts2k6 : umm at elast get it right…I say Malik should be waived or traded and replaced with Pock full time, and Baranka should be called up…so thats wrong…and I give Rachunek more slack cause he is young…he sint some old vet…but I dont love his game by any means…and I NEVER said I was happy PP was on the 4th line..I DID however say that if its just a starting point for him at Center than thats OK, but if he palys good he needs to be moved up…so get it right…

    33. One thing that ticks me off with Prucha’s style of play is that he’s all over the place, usually in the wrong place.

      When he finally manages to get near a puck offensively, he wacks at it erratically and half the time, is way off the mark and falls to the ice.

      Prucha needs to change his style of play, needs to ground himself a bit more and take his time with the puck.

      That’s why his production is way down. He needs to play a game more like Jason Blake-

    34. Trade rumor from HTR http://www.hockeytraderumors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=8029
      Rumors and talks have been going around that Ryan Malone and possibly Brooks Orpik of the Pittsburgh Penguins will be sent to the New York Rangers for an exchange of Petr Prucha.

      Malone at 6-4, 216 lbs. Has the potential to be a very good power forward. But yet I think still this has to be remain to be seen. Yes he has done very well at times that is of course at the beggining of his career. But Most of the time, as a fan watching. I believe he’s lazy at times doesn’t really go for the puck. And may seem out of position alot. You’ll often see him playing on the line with Crosby and Reechi. But has seemed to fail at being at the right place at the right time. But on the positive note he has been playing alot more physical then normally.

    35. blueshirts2k6 : the only stupidity is yours…he was a 1st pair defendr on the Cunuks..as well as trhe Canes before he left…so its not liek the Rangers were the first. He aslo had a 2 mil contracty with the VAN and made over 1.5 with the caes if I remember corectly…to say he has always has been a 5th defender??? LOL…and I dont knwo hockey?!?! thats a joke…he has mostly been a top 4 defender in the NHL…he didnt paly the 3rd pair very much in the NHL so why do you pretend that the Rangers came up with this on their own. If you had a chance to sign the top +/- defensman in the NHL you would have done it…withought knowing who it was…I hate that stat, but it was cause in Maliks case by a very good year in Van..he did have a good yera out there, and last year he was good for the Rangers…so lets not go making stuff up just to make your points seem stronger…especially to a group of people who think the guy should be moved or waived…

    36. does anyone know why scratched players wear the green jersey in practice? (acc. to S. Zipay’s blog). I could see injured players wearing a different color, but scratched? First, why not wait and identify scratched players until after practice (or close to game time), thus keeping their competetive edge by not knowing whether they’ll play. And if you do tell them, why identify them with a different colored jersey?

    37. kovy lol you drinking wildcard kool aid too? Renney isn’t telling Prucha he’s the future by playing him on different lines he probably thinks Hossa’s the future.

    38. Wild on one post you want Malik waived or moved to make room for Pock on another you don’t want him moved, I’m confused and not just by your putrid spelling.

    39. Marco: swomething off of that…a team tradeing for him may hope that his lazy attitude will go away when he realises he dont like being traded…I imagine its happened before, a young palyer being awaken by a trade. Prucha hasnt been as good, even with less time and not as good of a set up man, and no PP time…when he dose get the puck, he holds it and tries to make a play when he should jsut fire it, and when he should skate in or make a play he fires it…That may jsut be a lack of confidence, but he needs to work on it…I definatly dont want him traded….but, for Malone maybe PIT would take some other younger players, Like Hall, and acouple of others who are in teh system, the Rangers lack a big guy with the posibilities that Maolone brings to the table…its weak spot in the system, hew COULD one day bring that top line physicality the Rangers havnt had for years…and MAY make a good compiment to Shanny…or even a better 3rd line guy with more upside and better physical play than a Hall or a Hossa.

    40. blueshirts2k6 : I never said I dont want Malik moved…and if your not smart enough to figure out what IM saying..well there is your problem….I have NEVER said Malik should be kept by the rangers…I have been saying that he wasnt as bad as some make him out…but NOW he has lost whatever he was doing to be a better defender…I havnt gone back on saying that I want him moved, waived or wahtever. Pock should be in Full tim, and Barank (or Lampman) should be called up and played in Kaspers spot with Kasper as the 7th Dman…I have been saying that for a while, dont put words in my mouth…You are making stuff up. go back, re-read my posts, and if you need any help for my typing and spelling mistakes think for a few seconds, and than ask for clarification…I do it if I dont understand…I dont make stuff up to try to make my point valid…

    41. I think Hossa has the raw materials to be a solid 2nd Liner in the NHL.

      Lately, he’s been carrying the puck long and strong, skating around and drawing penalties. He also is great on the PK!

      Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to shoot the puck very well.
      I think it’s just a matter of confidence. There is definitely some HOSSA in him.

      The guy is strong like a horse and within a few years can score 25 goals a year. I think that’s a fair assessment.

    42. onetimer: thats a good question, I wonder if SAM knows…or SAM if you dont, could you find out??

    43. KennethBlue : thats fair….HOWEVER even as a Hossa supporter I really wonder if he can ever make it to his potential…and if he dosnt show more by years end, or by the trade deadline, that he is traded or not re-signed. He needs to show NOW that he can get to his full potential, or he should be gone…its showtime for him, and if he dosnt show good, well than it should be over.

    44. the Jagr line with Ros-Malik plays together because Jagr WANTS it that way. he said so the other day in a Dellapina article.

      Here’s jagr’s quote–

      Jagr believes the defense pair playing with his line also must be part of the plan.

      “If I’m coming back and the defensemen dump it in, it doesn’t look good,� he said. “Nobody’s going to get it and I’m back in our zone.

      “If we’re not going to do the matchups, then we need to have five guys together who know what we’re doing. That’s the only way we can beat it.�

      and THAT is what hurts the Rangers defensively. most all coaches use their top defensive D pair against the opponents best line, just like the Witt vs. Jagr setup.

      but the Rangers are NOT doing that vs. their opponents, because Jagr wants not only the linemates he wants, but also the D pair he wants. that makes it hard to stop the other teams’ best line because they do not have to worry about the Rangers having the best D against them.

      is it any wonder then that of the last 33 even strength goals against the Rangers, that 19 have been scored on Jagr and his cronies.

      as long as Renney continues to defer to Jagr, things won’t change.

    45. Wildcard.. I mostly agree with that.

      The only thing right now is that he is still more valuable at his current level than Hall, Hollweg, Ward, Orr and aruably Betts. So there really isn’t much of a risk with Hossa. He is defensively responsible.

      Now two guys who really need to go are Hollweg and Orr. They are a both wasting space and will maybe register 5 points between them all year. If you put ME on the ice as much as Hollweg is on, I guarantee that i’d have more points than him, just by default. Now Orr is just eating up a valuable roster spot that Callahan, Immonen, or Dubinsky should be occupying.

    46. So Sam, in regards to he Immonen he is too good to play with the Rangers(3 and 4 lines) but also not good (enough for lines 1 and 2)???? Or is it just his approach to the game?

    47. Doodie Machetto on

      “With all the money the Rangers spend on chasing “marquiseâ€? offensemen every year, why haven’t they invested in a premier defensive Quarterback and a fewgood defensemen that can let it rip from the point?

      This lacking truly boggles my mind year after year!”

      There haven’t really been any on the market since the lockout ended. The exceptions were:

      2005: Niedermayer, Pronger, Gonchar
      2006: Chara, Kubina, Jovanoski

      In 2005 they weren’t going to spend any money on those guys because they were expecting to be absolutely terrible. I mean, they signed Nylander and Straka to be top line players-Who knew that it would work!?

      In 2006, they, in my opinion wisely, focused their attention on Patrik Elias. They wanted to offer him the max because it would hurt the Devs if we had him and they didn’t. It STILL hurts the Devs because they are gonna lose Gomez to UFA and get nothing in return. I think Chara would have been a great fit though, especially considering the Czech connection. Kubina turned out to be a bust but may have done better in NY, again due to the Czech connection. Jovanovski was a risky investment by the Coyotes, but he has turned out better than expected. So really, management hasn’t passed on any blaring opportunities. They know they have a lot of talented D-men in the pipeline (aka Staal, Pock, Baranka, Girardi), and drafted another potentially great offensive D-Man in Sanguinetti. I still would have loved to have seen Chara, but if they had spent that money on him, I don’t think they would’ve been able to afford Shanahan.

    48. whats with all the friggen kool aid???

      listen blueshirt2k6? whatever do you really think prucha is still here because glen hasn’t been offered anything good for him? do you really think glen isn’t trying to get a veteran center right now? of course he is. the asking price is petr prucha. thats why no deal has been made. you can drink all the koolaid you like purple blue red whatever but the kid is part of the future and management knows it.

      O YAH

    49. by the way i will gladly eat crow well not gladly because i will be PISSED if he IS traded for anything like ryan malone or martin rucinsky. but imo that won’t happen.

    50. malik is the gratest, but i think he shold be waved. hossa is the gratest, and he shold b on 2nd line unles he shold b on 4th lime cuz tom is gratest coachn in wurld.skyis blu unles it is cloudy,and glass is half full, unles it gets spilt.yadayadayadayadayadayadyayyaa adnauseum.

    51. Doodie Machetto on

      KB, you could not be more wrong. I mean, you could try, but you would fail.

      How in the world can you say Hollweg is wasting a spot? He is the only guy on the team that throws a body check. Who cares if he doesn’t have any points? He plays 8-10 minutes a night on the 4th line. I, and I’m pretty sure most people on the board would agree with me, would rather have Hollweg out there for his 8-10 minutes than ANY kid in the pipeline, simply because Hollweg provides the INTANGIBLES. Same thing for Ortmeyer.

      I like Hossa, but man, you cannot be more wrong about his potential, development, and skillset. And you want him over Hollweg? You aren’t going to be very popular on this board.

    52. Doodie Machetto on

      KB, what the hell are you talking about? Samsonov is a winger, Kaberle and Mccabe were never UFAs. Are you sure you’re talking about the right sport?

    53. Machetto- I am not here to win a popularity contest.
      I watch every game and can tell you that Hollweg, or anybody else on the Rangers does not stick up for Jagr when menacing players from the opposition rail him.

      ORTMEYER, I would agree with you 100%.

      I just feel that in today’s game, (and I know many Ranger Fans agree with me) a guy who throws his body around also needs to have basic offensive abilities.

      Hollweg can not shoot a puck straight and has taken many dumb penalties.

    54. ken blue hockey=pantywaist no hitting chess match, with his hero Hossa avoiding contact at all costs. that’s it, get rid of the only guy on the team who throws bodychecks, Hollweg, and make a soft team even softer. brilliant.

    55. Doodie Machetto on

      And to add to my post about adding a “marquis” defenseman:

      The investment they’ve made is in the draft. They also are trying not to lose any of their other prospects to land that D-man. That’s why they traded for Ozolinsh last season, because he was the best available(via trade) offensive D-man at the lowest price. Ville Niemenen- another 4th line/borderline AHLer, which the team has a glut of.

      Ozo actually played pretty well for the rest of that season, although he was terrible this season.

    56. he doesn’t play on the same line as Jagr, or is that too hard for you to figure out, pal. the RAIL?? a hockey expert.

    57. Wildcard, if you read my post, I never said that there should be no hitting on the team.

      I just sugested that Hollweg does not necessarily need to be the guy who does it.

      I don’t care what line you’re on. You still need to be able to hit an empty net.

    58. Wildcard, you are obviously a douche bag who purports to know what you’re saying. Yet you are just talking out of your rear.

      If YOU know anything about hockey, one does NOT need to play on the same line with someone in order to retaliate at a later time in the game; perhaps a shift or two later.

      So take your derogatory comments and shove ’em PAL.

    59. it’s too bad that Hollweg can’t retaliate against you now.
      maybe Hossa will come to your defense.

    60. Doodie Machetto on

      I haven’t seen Hollweg take any stupid penalties. I’ve seen the refs target Hollweg and give him penalties that he doesn’t deserve. An elbowing penalty or a boarding penalty isn’t stupid unless its egregious, which his never are. In fact, almost all of his elbowing/charging/boarding/roughing penalties are called against him because refs keep their eye on him, just like they keep their eyes on players who dive, and are more quick to blow the whistle on him.

      Stick/holding/interference penalties, on the other hand, are ALWAYS stupid. Even the “good” ones(ie, stopping someone form getting a breakaway) are the result of being out of poisition, aka stupidity. Hollweg almost never takes one of those. In fact, of his 76 PIMS, only 8 are for those kinds of infractions. Your boy Hossa, has 12 PIMS this year, all in this category.

    61. Doodie Machetto on

      I like that Holt is getting to make some NHL level dough for a couple of days. I feel bad for a guy like him that will never make it to the big show.

    62. Doodie Machetto on

      The Bruins just traded Yan Stastny to the Blues for a 5th round pick. That is a STEAL for JD. That kid is gonna be good.

    63. You’re right. BTW – maybe ew could make some trades for low draft picks? Does anybody know what picks we have?

    64. Sam,

      I know you probably either don’t know yet or can’t say too much, but what is going on with J Ward? Ward has done everything the Rangers have asked him to do, even centering the top line. He is realistically just a bottom 6 winger who has often played with Jagr. I don’t understand why he is benched instead of someone like Orr, someone who only plays a few minutes and according to Renny bring “something else to the bench.” I know the Rangers feel like they have another Hollwig with Orr, but he hasn’t shown it yet. Why not sit Orr and play Ward, someone who gives valuable penalty kill minutes?


    65. I think we need Orr more than J.Ward in the lineup anyway. We got banged all over the boards when he was suspended. I’m eager to see how our 4th line with Prucha/Hollweg/Orr will play tonight. Let’s hope Pru can produce something between these two guards ;)

    66. Alright, so here’s how I guess we should be looking at things. If I understand correctly and what I want to happen is, in fact happening:

      1. The Rangers have an outstanding first line.

      1a. The Rangers played way over their heads for much of last year, and the coaching staff realizes this.

      2. They signed Matt Cullen as a replacement for Steve Rucchin. Why not, he’s younger. They also had hoped that given he had somewhat of a breakout season last year, he would be actually be not only a younger but a better second line center than Rucchin (who also really never was one to begin with). Unfortunately, they were wrong about him. He is probably an excellent third-line winger, and good on the PP point – exactly what he was last year. But not a center for Shanahan. And the contingency if that didn’t work out was that Immonen was hopefully ready to try a crack at second line center. But he apparently didn’t show enough in camp, and lacks the speed to be a true two-way player in the NHL at that level unless both his wingers arer fast and can get back to cover effectively enough. As that is not the case this year, and we already have 27,000 guys who play 3rd and 4th line, so back to Hartford he goes.

      3. Thinking there was a glut of third and in fact even fourth line centers, the team sent Dominic Moore away for Adam Hall, hoping Hall could play on the third line but perhaps ultimately develop into a true power forward, top six. Unfortunately, Moore turned out to be the BEST of the 7 or so fourth line players that comprise the bottom 2 1/2 lines for the Rangers. The second best of those – Jed Ortmeyer – was unfortunately out with a pulmonary embolism.

      4. To further complicate matters, not only does it appear that the Rangers have no second line center, but that line is not only unable to generate nearly enough offense but also unable to play any defense. While moving Cullen down would probably help, then you’re left with nobody to set up Shanahan because Prucha is a finisher. (Not that Cullen was a setup guy). So basically, as of right now, the Rangers have Brendan Shanahan, but they really have nobody to play him with. His ideal complements would probably be a a center and a wing who are both fast enough to backcheck but can generate alot of pressure deep in the zone.

      5. As happened last year, nobody on the third or fourth lines are ever able to score. That could change with Cullen on the third, true. But for now, Hossa, Ward, Betts, Hollweg, Orr and potentially Ortmeyer are absolutely no threat to score anytime they are on the ice, and thye guy they brought in to help that problem -Adam Hall – has been a bit of a bust. These guys are not scored upon all that often, but let’s face it – for the 35-40% of the game that they’re on the ice, the Rangers are never scoring.

      6. Dominic Moore was the Rangers best penalty killer. No question about it. And this year by putting Shanny and Cullen on the PK, they’ve gone back to the Satherian method of playing Messier and other offensively talented guys on the PK. Result: not nearly as effective.

      7. All of which brings us to the defense. Last year, with a full year of rest and extra legs to boot (and also, dare I say, with Tom Poti and Jason Strudwick back there who, while certainly no all-stars, were waaaaay more steady than Kasparaitus and Rachuneki have remotely been this year), they were passable, and actually played exceptionally well. This year, the play has become faster and more physical. Malik is shown to be a turnover machine, Kaspar a pylon, Rachunek a complete disaster. If the team is to succeed remotely, then the forwards need to backcheck like gangbusters. Which is exactly the problem with the second line, and on nights when they’re unable to collectively put 10 points on the board, the first line as well.

      8. According to management, nobody else in Hartford is ready or appropriately suited for this team. Immonen is too slow. I have no idea why they cannot bring up Dawes and play him on the second line, none. Dubinsky, Byers, Callahan – not ready, need more time. Fine. As for the D, putting Baranka and Girardi in would be bad for them at this point because they shouldn’t be hung out to dry wityh no real solid vets to show them the way or cover for them.., our vets have enough trouble covering for themselves.

      So if I were to sit down with Sather and Maloney, this is what they’d tell me: Hall, Hossa, Ward and Betts have all been WAY less productive than we’d hoped; we underestimated the effect on our PK of losing Moore; Malik and Kaspar’s play has dropped off much more than anyone expected, and Rachunek’s hasn’t come around anywhere near as much as we’d hoped; NONE of our defensive prospects are anywhere near NHL-ready, including our 2 best, Staal and Sanguinetti, so what you see is what you get; Pock is getting more PT and by next year will be a regular; and we have no excuse for not working Dawes, Immonen and perhaps Callahan into the lineup as well although the latter may be nowhere near ready yet, as is the case with Dubinsky, Byers et al. Don’t expect us to trade any of these guys away to make the playoffs.

      I hope I understand our season correctly. If not, then the last sentence would read: Expect us to trade as many of these prospects as we have to in order to qualify for the playoffs. In which case, I think I’ll get off the bus.

    67. Wow, Peter. That was pretty good, except I don’t think Rachunek is that bad and he doesn’t have a large contract. Otherwise, awesome recap of the team.

    68. I would try Cullen-Nylander-Shanny, Prucha-Straka-Jagr, Hossa-Betts-Ortmeyer, Hollweg-Krog-Orr

    69. Doodie Machetto on

      Peter, I’m with you 1-5 and have been saying that stuff all year. A lot of it you can find within this exact post.

      6 is OK, although I think Blair Betts is a better PK center now than D.Moore is/was. Betts leads all NHL forwards in blocked shots.

      7- Malik is a turnover machine AND a pylon. Rachunek started the season a complete disaster but has been much better, both offensively and defensively, since getting away from Ozo. Enough so that I wouldn’t call him a disaster. Not good, but not a disaster either.

      8- The reason they can’t bring up Dawes for the 2nd line is because they need a center, not a wing.

      Your Sit Down: Rachunek is starting to come around, Staal will be NHL ready next season, Dawes and Callahan are 2nd line wings and we need a 2nd line center. The wing spots would be occupied by Shanny and Prucha if there was a half decent center between them.

    70. Doodie Machetto on

      slapshot, I suggested that above, I’m glad you agree, although I had the Jagr line as the top line and the Shanny as 2nd.

    71. Doodie – Non question, we’ve both discussed many of these points, and I know I’m not necessarily adding to that. Im just trying to get my hands around what’s going on.

    72. sorry, I did not see it. If the Devils use Pandolfo against Jagr, that frees up the Shanny line. with Nylander to set them up, both Shanny and Cullen could score goals.

    73. doodie, it’s too bad that Tom Renney can’t figure that out. But it must be given a couple weeks to work. They can’t just give it one game and then say it won’t work.

    74. Doodie Machetto on

      The thing that I really like abuot the split up is that Jagr would be allowed to become a playmaker instead of a goalscorer. Jagr throughout his career has said over and over that he views himself as a playmaker 1st. Straka has a hot stick and Prucha knows how to get on the other end of JJ’s passes.

    75. The ONLY St Louis Blues Vet that is a decent player is Guerin or or Weight.. NO Ruscinski,
      We need a center so Weight is the man the Rangers inquired about. In my opinion of course.

    76. see this is what i don’t understand…didn’t prucha originally play center? amnd i have heard he is good on face offs…so why not go?????

      straka – nylander – jagr
      hossa – prucha – shanny
      orts – krog – cullen
      hollywood – Bettes – hall

      the way i see it, with hossa’s puck control, prucha’s speed and shanny, it can be a decent line.

    77. bettes, orts and shanny are all better pkers than moore….

      and i would put hossa on par with him

    78. Doodie Machetto on

      Prucha is actually not very good on faceoffs, he is 4 for 11 on the year. Krog was 5 for 6 in his first game. The only players with lower percentages(that have taken faceoffs) are Jagr (1 for 3), Hossa (0 for 2), and Dawes(0 for 1).

      Even Nylander is close to the 50% mark. Prucha is 36.4. And that Prucha line you’ve suggested sucks because no one is there to pass the puck to either Shanny or Prucha.

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