Saturday matinee

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For some reason, an afternoon Rangers game always reminds me of the regrettable blue puck days of the ’90s, back when some brilliant Fox executive decided hockey was just one dash of laser tag away from mainstream acceptance

The best part about it was when I actually had to explain to my dad that the puck could only be seen on TV and was not blinding players en masse on the ice.

Although, I guess that could have been sort of exciting, too…

Anyway, some updates as the Rangers prepare for their 1 p.m. start with the Thrashers.

  • Michal Rozsival will be a game-time decision based on the treatment he is currently receiving on his hamstring. If he can go, which is expected, Darius Kasparaitis will likely be out. Speaking of which….
  • Among the reasons yours truly is an idiot: I had a fairly long conversation yesterday with Thomas Pock about his progress of late, only to mistakenly erase the tape last night. I’m not too worried: a one-on-one with Pock isn’t exactly a sit-down with the President, and when I confessed my gaffe too him just now, he laughed and said we could do it all over again (by the way, this is hardly the first time I’ve done this).

    Anyway, the basic gist: given all of Pock’s movement in and out of the lineup this season, maybe the only person who is not too concerned is him. He said he’s grown plenty this season, and the only way to grow more is too keep playing. But he also admits he’s made some mistakes on the defensive side of the ice, and many are those that a more experienced defenseman would avoid.

    “It’s still only my fifth year playing defense,” I remember him saying.

    What’s interesting is that Pock said there are little things he’s done this year that he could get away with in college and in Hartford, but are very quickly exposed at the NHL level.

    I mention all this because I think Pock’s been pretty good overall, excellent on Tuesday against the Devils. But he wasn’t quite as enthused, which shows how two people can see the same game very differently.

  • Tom Renney’s plans for the All-Star break: “I’ve got some great video to watch.”

    I’m assuming he means hockey games. But just to be safe, I should tell him to avoid “Must Love Dogs.”

    More later…

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    39 Comments

    1. Sam if the NYR don’t get their act together, we’ll be watching the live version of ‘must love dogs';)

    2. Sam,

      if you haven’t already, you should invest one a digital recording device. Like the M-Audio. It has more capabilities than you might need. The sound quality is good. But you can buy memory cards that you give you something like 8 hours of recording time. Then you can dump it straight onto your computer or an external hard drive and have an archive of old interviews. Sounds like an ad, sorry, i have no affiliation, I swear.

    3. Rangers PP looks like crap. Jed Orty looks better on the PP than the usual suspects.

      only 10 wins in 23 home games.

    4. What’s the most painful part of listening to Sam Rosen and Joe M.:

      1 – Them shilling for the managment(Joe’s efforts to justify Krogs signing, espcly)
      2 – Them defending crap officiating
      3 – Them praising the opponents endlessly
      4 – Al

      Man, the PP looked bad.
      The Rangers need a geometry class so they understand how to use the boards to clear the puck out of the defensive zone.

      Also, anyone else think that Prucha, maybe because he so badly wants to have an offensive impact, has become a puck hog?

      And Lundy, who is just awesome for so much of so many games, seems to give up a lot of iffy goals. Or am I imagining that?

    5. Doodie Machetto on

      Chris, you’re not imagining the Lundqvist thing. He’s given up a lot of softies.

    6. Jason Krog, the invisible man. he is just awful. soft player. I see why Atlanta got rid of him. even Renney had him benched in the late going.

    7. Malik on the pp? Krog taking playing time away from Immonen? Can’t score on a 5 on 3? Not only is this team, coaching and management inept, but they’re also boring.

      Biggest shame is that the fans had the opportunity to voice their disapproval by loudly booing Sather, Renney and the rest off the ice at the end of the game, but could only manage a smattering of weak boos.

      The fans don’t care, the press doesn’t care, nobody cares enough to get pissed. Shameful.

    8. I dont mind Sam and Joe giving the other team their due – Atlanta is very good. Lehtonen is awesome. It’s fact. I’d rather they just be fucking honest instead of being Dennis Potvin and thinking that the Panthers have every game ripped from their sweaty palms by the jaws of life (bad officiating, other teams luck, etc)

      Oh, WE CANT FUCKING WIN IF WE CANT FUCKING SCORE.

    9. Sorry for all the swearing, not sure whats more frustrating – this team, or this blog’s comments.

    10. Ho hum it’s the usual outplayed outworked and outcoached. Krog on the second line and Prucha on the 4th line worked out wonderfully.

    11. Could this be best for the future of the team?? I mean if they play horribly enough, eventually they have to make drastic changes. Maybe they should start a complete rebuilding instead of only playing kids if they score a goal a game. If they lose enough, hopefully they will call up some kids and realize that this is not the year to win. If they call up the young talent now they could be ready to play serious hockey next year and with the addition of Marc Staal next yeaar they will become a true contender

    12. A few observations:

      1) Shanahan is getting all of his shots blocked. I counted about 6 today. Shanny is lacking his jump from earlier in the season, but more importantly, like someone mentioned about Prucha, They are both trying to create all of their opportunities instead of just finding open ice and waiting for the puck. Immo is the only option. He needs to be given another shot. We’re struggling anyway and I’d like to avoid Sather making a dumb trade.

      2) The Rangers stopped playing all of their lines early in this game and despite have played only twice in a week, they seemed tired and lifeless for much of the 2nd and 3rd. Which is inexcusable. But, I’m not sure all of the fault lands on the playes.

      I’m seeing a trend lately. It happened late last season as well. Renney relies way too much on the first line which leads the bottom 2 lines to lose ice time. This leads to the sense that the team is playing with no energy because there’s a lot of perimeter soft play. An HNIC color guy mentioned recently that the first two lines are scoring lines, the third line is the checking line, the fourth line is an energy line. With more power plays in the game and coaches who are too afraid to play all of their lines, the game lacks energy and passion. They want to make it more exciting, more passion, more fighting… let fourth line players get meaningful minutes.

      Someone ought to remind Sather that the Graves, Gelinas, Murphy line was instrumental in winning a stanley cup for him. And someone ought to remind Donnie that he played on a line with Deblois and Erixon.

      Also, going back to a conversation a few days ago… the NHL cannot sell this league on SKILL. Skill is an abstract concept. Unless you know the game, you won’t totally know what Skill looks like. Passion, commitment, speed, and the threat of violence. I miss Mike Keenan.

      As for the critique of Sam and Joe. You missed one thing. They’re a snoozefest.

    13. I hate to say this but 23 days until pitchers catchers arrive for Spring training, 39 days till first Yankees spring training game, 71 days till Opening day

    14. I was at the game today… the boos at the end were pretty loud around me.

      But remember… it was a family game. Half the crowd were kids. Mom & Dad won’t be booing in front of the kiddies.

      I think it’s time we all took a trip up to watch the WolfPack. It’d be nice to see some part of this organization play to win.

      Let’s organize a get-together for a Pack game. Whaddya say, Sam? You’ve given us this great blog, so we’ve got you covered for beer and a pretzel. Hot Dog… well, only if you’re good.

    15. Has to be an article someday by someone that is critical of the job Sather Renney and Baloney have done. Right?

    16. After watching another NO Offense performance in MSG by the Rangers, It is a MUST that the Rangers get Forsberg. Forsberg is better than Betts, Cullen, Ward, and Nylander all put together. Even if he plays 50 % of the time. In my opinion.

    17. sure, give away Brandon Dubinsky and Montoya for 6 weeks of Dr. Scholl sitting out games with his myriad aches and pains.

      and they wonder why Sather gets away with this crap year after year.

    18. Neil Katcher January 20th, 2007 at 5:54 pm
      A few observations:
      1) Shanahan is getting all of his shots blocked. I counted about 6 today. Shanny is lacking his jump from earlier in the season, but more importantly, like someone mentioned about Prucha, They are both trying to create all of their opportunities instead of just finding open ice and waiting for the puck. Immo is the only option. He needs to be given another shot. We’re struggling anyway and I’d like to avoid Sather making a dumb trade.

      Neil
      I disagree with your solution. After plodding through 50 some odd games of the 2006-2007 Ranger season, there is no such thing as a fix from Hartford. It’s too late this year. The players we all mention on this blog that play in Hartford would need time to get to know the NHL and that takes a season. 82 games. It cannot be done in 30 games and add fighting for the playoffs . It becomes a bad solution.
      If Peter Forsberg, or Brad Richards, or Matin St Louis are available, Elite players all of them. Sather should go hard for one of them. In my opinion of course.

    19. HossaMVP January 20th, 2007 at 6:44 pm
      sure, give away Brandon Dubinsky and Montoya for 6 weeks of Dr. Scholl sitting out games with his myriad aches and pains.
      and they wonder why Sather gets away with this crap year after year.

      Come on. Are you going to compare Dubinski with Forsberg??? “Houston, we have a problem here”!!!

    20. Montoya doesn’t even play the majority of games in Hartford. Valiquet splits time with him.
      What kind of goalie prospect splits games with a 26 year old minor leaguer? That doesn’t have a ringing endorsement on Montoya. In my opinion.

    21. John M – in a salary cap league they can not trade youth for very well paid and past their prime players. for what purpose – 2 home playoff games and then they can raise ticket prices 10% for next yr? this team is fundamentally flawed and ruining the future to salvage? this season just means we’re screwed in the present and the future. I went to the game today and other than a few minutes in the 2nd centered around the penalty shot, it was a very boring game.

    22. LI Joe

      We have room on the cap. A vet will be included in the deal. Making more room. The Flyers are not dealing from strength on this one.

    23. Glen, er John M., time to learn some new tricks already, like building from within and not selling our future.

    24. Sam has got to put Renney on the coals. Just nodding and adding quips isn’t going to cut it regarding most Ranger fans.

    25. Hey Sam. First, I have to say I love your blog. lol. I met you once or twice at the warm-ups, well my dad talked to you and I was just there, but I wouldnt expect you to remember. Anyway, the game tonight was pretty devistating, but then I bought the yearbook which made me much happier. As I was going through it after the game, I found you in a picture on one of the last pages interviewing Aaron Ward. Since it made me laugh, thought you might like to know. Keep up the good writing.

      Lets go rangers!

    26. even to mention Fosberg is to go back to the days of selling our youth for a moment of vet greatness, which got us nowhere.

      NOW is the time for change.

      1. Renney must go. He is not a NHL coach. He is not a strong leader. His loyalty works well in developing high school kids, but this is the end of the line. We will not win with him. He has no control over vets. His decision to play Malik/Rachunek over my dead grammie (forget even Kasper) is baffling.

      2. Bring up kids. Dubinsky. Dawes. Immonen. Baranka. (Is staal at all eligible?)

      3. Waive/dump stone hand players, no matter how much effort they bring. Effort is wonderful, but without talent……Play kids. Play younger players who are NOT kids, like Pock.

      I would rather lose with kids, and have hope for the future, then continue with our mediocre ways, perhaps limp into the 8th spot, only to get nailed out in four.

      We need a strong coach.

      “Hey Shanny: the answer is no. We need YOU ALL SEASON. Take a seat”

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