Chance to restore harmony in the City of Brotherly Love


Maybe Brendan Shanahan is right: results have a way of making everyone happy.

And with that in mind, the Rangers might well just need a power play goal or two and a win against the hapless Flyers, and this team can get past whatever philosophical differences that might exist “not so far below the surface”: .

Heaven knows they need to. With Pittsburgh’s win over the Stars last night, the Rangers are now two points out of the eighth playoff spot, and perhaps of greater concern, just three points out of 13th place.

The good news is Martin Straka is at last with the team after rising from his sick bed. But it’s still in question whether he’ll skate.

Thomas Pock, meanwhile, is out, something we anticipated happening yesterday, but that still seems to defy reason (other than the team perhaps trying to showcase other defensemen).

As for Peter Forsberg trading dressing rooms and joining the Rangers before the puck drops, don’t count on it. The Flyers’ captain sounded resigned to staying in Philadelphia when asked about it yesterday. But then, maybe that’s just something you say while your agent is working the back channels.

My agent would do the same thing for me, I’m sure.

If I had an agent, that is…

About Author


  1. It’s starting to look a lot like 2003-2004 Isn’t it? Just a few examples:

    Looking outside the Organization for answers

    Allowing Veterans with large contracts to play instead of trying hungry youthful ones

    Allowing players to dictate who plays with who

    Worrying about the 8th (and final playoff) seed in January

    Anyone else see the similarity? Another question: If you were Brendan Shanahan, and you saw Jaromir playing with world class talent, and you were practicing with Marcel Hossa and Blair Betts, how would you feel?

    My patience is running thin, I’m sure I’m not alone…

  2. Longtimerangerfan on

    Sam, it was with “tounge in cheek” when I said that you were stirring the pot. As you said, this blog is intended to be a light hearted forum to vent on the Ranger issues of which, unfortunatly, there are many. My apologies…keep up the good work.

  3. czechthemout!!!!! on

    for those of you who have directv the wolf pack game against houston will be on channel 620 @ 7pm tonight.i know it is only one game but we can all get an unbiased first hand look on some of the players we have been talking about.

  4. Here’s a funny one: during the skills competition, they did an on-ice interview with Shanahan at which he was asked how he felt about being teamed on a line with Crosby and Ovechkin.

    His reply was somewhat telling:

    “Just get me the puck, OK?”

    Nice lines, Tom Terrific. Good luck with that.

  5. Longtimerangerfan on

    Almost time for the game and it’s gonna be 64 degrees here today and I’m going to stay inside and watch it…a glutton for punishment I guess.

  6. Way to bring up a kid and sit another one in his place. This team is never going to learn.

  7. and Holly just took a shot, good thing Hall didn’t take a stupid penalty. Lets see how the PP looks with Jags and Shanny together

  8. The PP looks better, they are getting shots and keeping the puck in, but 0/5 in a period is completely unacceptable.

  9. Longtimerangerfan on

    Shannahan is snakebit…but I don’t think it will be long before he breaks through again. They have to put him on the second unit with Prucha and maybe Cullen and Rosival MUST shoot when he’s that low in the slot…arrrrgh!!!

  10. Sam: I’ll take you on as a side client. Keep doing what you’re doing, I’ll get you some personal appearances and interviews, and take 10 percent of your salary.

    Girardi looked good in first period. Good move to have him get his first ice against the weakest team in the league and not at MSG. Gives him time to get his legs.

    But why sit Pock unless someone else is being showcases. Ward almost cost us.

  11. Aaron Ward is a pathetic waste. Him, Roszival, Rachunek.. Embarrassingly awful defensive corps.
    Flyers are manhandling the Rangers physically. Nice job getting sent into the Flyers bench, Krog. You bring a lot to the Rangers and the NHL. Good pickup, team. Betts on the 2nd line? With Hossa? This team is a joke and they’ll be lucky to leave town without having an injured player at the rate they’re getting hit, and doing nothing about it.

  12. Girardi looked good. Knocking a Flyer right into Lundqvist sending him flying into the back of the goal net.

  13. czechthemout!!!!! on

    ward haS to sit next game he is doing nothing but passing the puck to the other team.

  14. Longtimerangerfan on

    Prucha’s playing like a man possesed…I love that kid. He can dish it out too as well as take it. Forsberg should have gotten a penalty on that last hit on Prucha.

  15. czechthemout!!!!! on

    thats why prucha should be traded because he does not play within the style of this team.

  16. 0-5 PP may come back to hurt us. Flyers hitting us all over ice….we need to step up and hit back.

  17. the Flyers are just awful. they are slow, ponderous, can barely complete one pass to get out of their zone, are mistake prone. they have earned the title of worst team in the league.
    all they can do is hit.

  18. get real. the guy just fanned on a breakaway. they have lost 9 straight at home. they have the worst team they have had since they started 40 years ago.

  19. Anyone else think the combo of

    is a pretty decent mix of talent and speed that should stick together for the foreseable future?

  20. Solid all around game today. D was solid. Seems they learned to clear their zone by knocking the puck off the boards instead of passing through the middle. Good work along the boards. The PP looked better, they just need to finish. Good debut for Girardi. Let’s build on this for the next game.

  21. They looked good together. Hossa also had a great game. The problem now is can they all keep it going. This may prevent some younger players from getting a shot.

  22. Longtimerangerfan on

    Well I hope that they were just showcasing one or more of the D and will play Pock the next game…I’m not about to hold my breath though. Yep, Krog will get a multi year deal for that goal.

  23. czechthemout!!!!! on

    don’t anyone forget, they beat a team by one goal,2to1 that has only one 3 games @home all year.

  24. I also liked the Pricha-Cullen-Ortmeyer line. Hossa had a good game but not for a second liner. Hossa and Betts should be a third or fourth line. The team seemed to stick up for each other today. Jagr played extremely well today. I have a question for you, what type of player do you think we would have if Prucha had Jessimans frame?

  25. Longtimerangerfan on

    Good point, CTO, and if they don’t start potting some PP goals they’ll go nowhere…pretty much where they are now, tied for the last playoff spot.

  26. yep, Krog will get a multi year deal for that goal.”

    he already has one. he’s signed for next year too.

    that is why you won’t see any youth. you’ll just see more of the crap of replacing one kid with another like the Girardi for Pock deal.

  27. Prucha’s great, but it is too bad he seems to be really easily taken off the puck along the boards. He rallies immediately, but he’s just too easily pushed around.

    Glad to see Jagr playing with so much spirit; this forechecking thing works for him.

    Aaron Ward may have had a bad game and may not be good, but that one play after Girardi went off and he slid out to knock the puck away was pretty sweet.

    Also, thought Lundy showed a couple signs of mentally relaxing as the crap Flyer offense never kept him in it. That can’t happen.

  28. But it was cool to see the team win a one goal game and to stick up for one another. Let’s hope they don’t let that unity disappear.

  29. The Rangers played well. They outshot Philly by 17.

    They have limited own zone mistakes (there achillies heel).

    Malik saft and stupid pass up the middle ward a few moron plays, and Rachunek expecially up 1 at the end pinching in(Why).

    They should play Pock also then there D has 3 young guys; tyutin, pock, and Girardi(he looked steady.).

    If and that is a big word they play smart(limit turnovers and penalties) they can be a very competitive team…………..

  30. “Longtimerangerfan January 27th, 2007 at 4:41 pm
    Prucha with a Jessiman frame…he would be a Phr8trayn!!!!”

    I appreciate the shout out. Huge Speciman is a piece of trash. Just another in a long line that includes such NHL greats as Christian Dube, Stefan Cherneski and Filip Novak.

  31. Sam,

    I know we’ve been through it a lot about Malik…in fact, I bet my family that he would be, as Renney always has him, on the ice for the last minute of a one goal game: I won the bet.

    To me, he is the WORST Ranger on the ice since I saw Valeri Kamensky amazingly NOT break a sweat.

    In your opinion, who is the WORST guy to play for the Rangers WHO had significant ice time?

    Why Pock sits while Malik waves his stick at the puck and throws it in front will remain a mystery…..unless he is dating Renney’s older sister.

  32. Longtimerangerfan on

    Someone should have told Girardi to cough up the puck in his own end or make boneheaded passes through the crease so that he won’t get benched…oh wait, that only works for Malikenstein.

  33. they hung on to beat the worst team in the league.

    they were 0 for 6 on the PP. Rosival was wide open 25 feet right in front, and he would not shoot because he had to pass to Jagr on the sideboards. nothing has changed on the PP.

  34. I thought the Prucha-Cullen-Orty line was by far the best line today, they got good chances threw the body and played well in the defensive zone as well.

  35. Sam- I got Pulitzer materia for you! ;)

    The game were broadcasted here in Sweden, and they showed a reply of Jagr’s 5th hole attempt on Esche in the 3rd during a comercial break in the US. The expert (Arto Blomsten) with 15 years of NHL/SEL experience said that “the puck defenitly was in”. The play by play guy said the same thing. And I too defenitly thought it was in. On the reply you could see the puck hit the “centerpost” inside the net and bounce out.

    These guys are sitting infront of a tv screen here in Sweden commentating the game, I guess its possible that the tv-feed had some kind of freak blur on it that looked like a puck gooing into the net, or that the 3 of us just are blind.

    More suprising, not even a reply beeing shown of it on Philly’s feed. The game in Sweden are on a comercial free channel and they show replys they create themselfs during the commercial breakes in the US. I got a big problem with Comcast or whatever company dooing the Philly feed not showing it if it was a goal.

  36. Sam- Also, I don’t know how the Pulitzer works, but if its like the Nobel Prize here in Sweden with allot of dough involved, should we say 10% in case?..

  37. It’s hard to imagine there being a worse point man on the pp than Rozsival he’s just godawful, speaking of godawful that’s a good way to descripe Aaron Ward’s play today, he just can’t do anything right. I thought Giradi was very solid moved the puck nicely didn’t panic at all, and also made some nice subtle little plays. Adam Hall actually showed some life today as he did throw the body abit, and great grunt work by the entire 4th line on Krog’s goal. Lundqvist did seem to be fighting the puck abit and had trouble with rebounds control. I gotta say it again it’s assinie to play Betts and Hossa with Shanny. I understand a wins a win, but having this much trouble putting the Flyers away isn’t exactly a great sign.

  38. Sam good try at predicting…”the Rangers might well just need a power play goal or two and a win against the hapless Flyers” . They got 2 but not on the PP which Renney stubbornly, boarding on insanely, refuses to change. So I’ll request you ask him, how about more time for the 2nd unit with Cullen on the point ( does he know that’s Cullen manned the point on the PP last year with Carolina )? It’s like a boss hiring you to write but tells you only use your right hand not both when you type. Wow does this guy have a hard head, or is somebody pulling the strings, or is he trying to annoy sather for signing Cullen with that purpose in mind? He did the same thing with Sykora las t year, and forced Ruchinsky to play there instead. He has to be told to stop trying to reinvent the wheel, just use it for now.

  39. don’t forget that Ward was moved to unfamiliar left D where he never plays by brilliant Renney. instead of keeping the Ward Tyutin pair together, Renney of course has to suck up to Malik rosival

  40. Adam Hall finally did something positive. Most of the time the guy plays like he has eggs in his pockets & doesn’t want to break them! The coach needs to get on his ass or sit him!

  41. Sam …Renney has put himself front & center to be heavily questioned by his actions. J Ward was going to be on the #1 line if Straka couldn’t go, so he skyboxes him instead. Does that mean Ward can only play on the #1 line or another line when Renney feels the vibe or checks with his psychic, unless someone else can’t play? Sather should do the same & hire an alternate coach & see who does a better job, & leave the other in the skybox. That’s his karma crap.

  42. “I thought Giradi was very solid moved the puck nicely didn’t panic at all, and also made some nice subtle little plays.”

    “Steady” is his game.

    What you’re seeing, I believe, is what brought him so far (undrafted walk-on with an AHL contract) from Charlotte to Hartford to AHL Rookie All-Star to 2007 All-Star starter; his uncanny intuition.

    It’s reflected by his being where he’s supposed to be – nothing flashy, “Mr. Steady-Eddie” as I’ve posted previously.

    Someone mentioned that it was good, for a change, to see the Rangers using the boards to clear as compared with their usual habit of passing across the zone (and having it backfire). The kid’s been utilizing the boards to clear for some time.

    You also got a hint today of his passing ability – catch that pass he sent from the defensive zone that he put on Shanny’s stick as Shanahan who was moving quickly through center ice?

    If they give him the chance on the point, he’ll show a mean shot on goal – the kind that creates rebounds of opportunity (would fit right in w/Shanahan, btw).

    He’s not flashy, nor is he a fast skater.

    But he is reliable and smart – pair him with someone with real offensive skills like Pock and they’ll both thrive.

    You’re starting to see why Schoenfeld (who knows a thing or two about playing defense) is so high on this kid, predicting that he’s going to be a good NHLer.

  43. Sam follow up question why does he keep Orr, & does he decide what games to play him with a ouija board?

  44. more than anything Mark, it shows why Schony should be the Ranger coach. because he is not afraid to use kids, and he develops them into better players, like he did with Girardi.

  45. Sam,
    In your recent article, the last paragraph said:

    “””Last year we didn’t always take shots, but we always found the open guy,” he said. “The coach has to be responsible. If there is some misunderstanding, the coach should come and say, ‘Let’s play this way.’ Maybe some guys like to shoot and some guys don’t. Some guys are good in some ways; some guys are better in another way.”””

    Who said that? Jagr or Renney?

  46. 2 things: I think J. Ward being on the first line in practice was merely using him as a stopgap. I think they knew that Straka was probably going to play. Saying that Renney is an idiot for this move is a stretch. If you have 4 lines you are going to play the next day, why not keep three of them together for practice instead of having to juggle several lines? Renney deserves criticism, but come on. Also, HOSSA MVP- I don’t know about Schoeny. Yeah, he works with kids, but he’s in Hartford. He currently is playing Lessard, Purinton, Kasparitis and isbister (whom he asked for the Rangers to acquire because he “needed experience”- not a bad move as his record shows, but it doesn’t make him a poster boy for the youth movement) over kids who were sent to the ECHL. Just because he works with a kid like Girardi, doesn’t mean he’s goig to play him over a vet. His job is a lot different at the AHL level than it would be with the big club. I like Schoenfeld, but I’m not convinced he wouldn’t be a vet playing coach with the Rangers.

    Yeah, Jagr is sure holding us back. I wish we could dump him for someone who plays hard and cares about the team first.

  47. I was just watching Ottowa and Boston on CBC. First thing I noticed is Phil Kessel is a great player, very impressive offensively. The Rangers will need to account for him on Monday. Ottowa won 3-1, but all goals were scored in the third. Boston may be a little worn down, but they will also have to beat Tim Thomas, who played solid (the third goal was EN). And Jags will have his hands full with Chara.

  48. Colorado so Hall deserves to play over J Ward? In case you’ve forgotten Ward has played on the #1 line this year, so that qualifies him to be scratched along with Pock. Maybe they should send Pock back down too, until they give these combos enough time to practice together & gel or not. How did you like the PP today? What was it 0-5? They really crushed the lowly cryers 2-1. Oh was that the new NYR devil hockey? Renney doesn’t really need anyone to stick up for him, he’s probably got a deal with JJ, who’s probably got a deal with sather. And I doubt we’ll find out who can coach this team better, Shonny turned down the job before so it’s not likely to be offered again.

  49. Rachunek lucky that Umberger’s stick broke.

    They didn’t lose today that is all I can say.

  50. …NYR ‘survived’ today…barely…Flyers outhit them badly, and a majority of the hits were thunderous…but hey, Krog has secured a new 5 year deal…and Pock will be sent to Hartford to make sure they don’t go over the quota of 1 callup playing regular minutes at any time, in games or in practice…look for Genius Jr to start Weekes next game…and that’s that…

    …this just in…Roszival has another WIDE OPEN shot available from 15 feet and passes to JJ instead…

  51. A couple of quick responses: the quote goalbyprucha is asking about was from Jagr.

    Also, I find it funny that everyone is up in arms about Jason Ward filling in on the top unit during practice, only to be scratched for the game. This group is far too knowledgable for that. We’ve already discussed how Jagr has liked playing with Ward in the past, and that for some reason, he feels a chemistry (I say for some reason because I’m not sure it’s come to fruition). All that said, Ward overall hasn’t been playing that well, and is still not physical enough. So it’s not like Renney felt compelled to make sure he got him in the lineup.

    As for why not Prucha there, I actually that third line is pretty good and Prucha fits in very well. Naturally the tradeoff is by that by comparison, the second unit is still lacking. But one would assume that’s something the team is currently trying to address.

  52. “We’ve already discussed how Jagr has liked playing with Ward in the past, and that for some reason, he feels a chemistry ”

    I remember that Sam, but there are still too many posters in denial who won’t admit that Jagr has undue influence on how this team is run.

    No decent team in its right mind would have JWard or Malik on the first unit, but in Jagr posse-land it is regular procedure

  53. There should be Callahan in second or third line for Rangers. Betts and Hossa were awful today. Jagr played strong game tonight, one of the best this season so far. Thanks God… uchm, uchm Jagr we won.

  54. Sam I just wrote this big rant on Jagr but it didn’t post. Lucky for everyone. Is it possible to get the truth about this guy, because he sure knows how to make fans feel negative about him? Shortened version…I think he’s a big baby ala his mentor Mario & he needs to grow up some more.

  55. a week ago Shanny said “we have to get some gritty, dirty goals.”

    I then posted…

    “the goals that the Rangers scored after they got behind Ottawa 5-0 were the kind of goals that the team should be trying to score. Just going to the net and have guys just throw the puck on goal and then get tip-ins, rebounds, deflections, etc.”

    and that is how they scored both goals today. the Jagr goal and the Krog goal were more gritty than pretty.

    and that needs to be the new mantra…

    GRITTY, not pretty.

  56. Just some quick comments after seeing today’s game:

    – I liked the energy and work ethic of the Prucha-Cullen-Ortmeyer line, they should be kept together.

    _Jagr playe done of his best and most complete games of the season, lets hope he continues to do this.

    -Shanahan must be glad he signed a 1 yr deal only with the Rangers. It is disrespectful against him to not provide him with a center or wing that might actually provide some playmeaking and scoring to complement the future Hall or Famer. How can they possibly put Betts as his center and Hossa on his wing.

    -If the Rangers either dont trade for a legitimate #2 center or if they do not call up someone like Dubinsky who happens to click with Shanny, I dare say he will not be back with us next season.

    -I though Lundqvist played a good game today and has been steady in his last 5-10 games.

    – I like the addition of Girardi on the blueline, but why not play Pock alongside him as Renney said in comments over the break. Renney said that Pock and Girardi played well as a pairing last season for the Pack. Its so bad that when Malik to a puck top his foot and started limping, I hoped he was injured so that he would be out of the lineup and so Pock would be inserted back in the next game.

    -Despite Krog’s ugly goal, there are still far too many 3rd and 4th line forwards on this team – perfect example is that SHanny is playing with 2 of them today. You cant tell me that is wouldnt be better to at least have Callahan and/or Dubinsky playing up here instead of Ward/Hossa/Orr/Krog.

    -I would love it if the Rangers could engineer a trade for a decent center (Hornton on Fla, Stasny on Col) or even Mike York (who has a work ethic traditionally in the style of Ortmeyer) and may work well with Shanny, plus we would probably only have to throw a pick or crappy 3rd or 4th liner to get him. If he sucks, its OK , cause hes a free agent at seasons end anyway.

    What I would like the Rangers to look like – all real possibilities:




    Hollweg-Betts-DUBINSKY (or if need be J.Ward)




    trade Malik for anything (preferably a tough d-man – like Brooks Orpik on Pitt or someone in that mold, or else just trade Malik to get rid of him)

    – Any luck we can get rid of Malik, Hossa, Orr, Krog, and Weekes at the deadline? Malik can be replaced by Girardi and Pock, plus Marc Staal should be up next year, giving us enough D-men.

    -Maybe Weekes could fetch us something at the deadline. He is a free agent this summer, fans dont particularly care for him and by next season we can have Montoya backing up Lundqvist. We can see if Montoya is the real deal over the next 2 seasons, playing 30 games or so each. Management can make a decision on him and Lundqvist then and if need be, trade him within a couple of seasons and get some real value back.

    Any thoughs on the comments mentioned above Sam? Heard any rumors of the Rangers bringing up anymore Hartford guys soon or talking trade for a 2nd line denter (please!)?


  57. Bklyn Blue- I never said that Hall deserved to play over Ward. My comment was strictly that if Renney chose his lineup (admittedly FLAWED) and probably knew that Straka was going to try to play, then it made sense for three of his chosen lines get to practice together AND Ward could take his spot on the line for practice. My response was that Renney can be criticized for his lineup, but it was ridiculous to criticize him for putting someone in Straka’s place for practice and not jumble other lines. (This part of my post is not baloney).

    My second point was that the grass is always greener. Saying that Shoeny should be the coach because of how he worked with Girardi to get him to the NHL is giving Schoeny more credit than Girardi. Shoenfeld’s job is to develop kids. If He and Renney were in opposite jobs, I can imagine people would say how great Renney is at developing kids. The jobs are different. (Is that baloney? Maybe, but it is speculation on all sides. I might be wrong, but I’m right that the job is different. I am not a Renney apologist and I don’t think he is doing what needs to be done, but I’m not going to look at the entire picture with blind hatred.)

    My last comment was a sarcastic comment towards the Jagr bashers (Probably what drew the “Baloney” comment).I think he dominated today and stepped up. As crappy a team as we are (and I never said that I thought everything was great) we would be worse with Jagr. I may be in denial about Jagr’s influence on this team (It is all conjecture) but there are others who are in denial about Jagr’s importance to this team.

    As far as the Power Play. Did I like it? Well, not the results, but yeah, I thought the Power Play looked pretty effective after the first one. I think they had good player movement and they took more shots. I want Cullen on the point and Shanny on a separate unit, but I can’t complain about it today. Shanny is snake bit and hit a few posts. Jagr hit one as well.

    More positives: The Cullen line, especially Prucha. Jagr backing up his words (something he has done on more than one occasion- challenging teammates on the bench- something Mess would be reviled for, but Jags is a whiny euro baby for doing it), Girardi played well. Rangers stuck up for eachother for what seemed like the first time this season (besides Shanny-Brashear). 4th line scoring. Generated offense. Stayed out of the box.

    Negatives: Pock sitting. Ward. Malik. Hall dressing (was adequate). We only scored 2 goals (and a few posts). Renney’s 2nd line (they played well enough- just not a 2nd line).

  58. Thanks, Sam. Sounds like Jagr is saying the same things about Renney as I and a few others are. Wasn’t sure if it was Renney taking charge or not. I was hoping, actually.

  59. Many of us may be asking “Hey where is Sam?” Well I have a theory. Im starting to think he passed out when his best friend and personal hero, Jason Krog, scored the game winner. Actually hes probably out having a good time at some golf thing or something, deservedly so. Thanks for your great work, your blog is awesome.

  60. I’ve been scratching my head all season with the incompetants moves conducted by this Ranger organization.

  61. Callahan should be on the Rangers, but Renney is too busy finding spots for his pets, posses, and retreads.

  62. ill in the hills on

    Ok folks, here it is…

    The money under the cap is not exact, but doable (I think). The best way to fix all that ails the Rangers (except chemistry)and I feel is relatively realistic.

    the way I see i, there are four forward spots available (I would like to keep prucha, but he will surely be the cornerstone of a deal). we have jags,straka,nylander,shanny,cullen,betts,hollweg,and orts. that leaves room for a 2nd line pivot (forsberg) a 2nd line winger (tkachuk sp?, guerin, maybe bertuzzi), an actual enforcer (laraque, brashear, or maybe simon again), and a good mucker that can net a few goals and add grit (tootoo, laparrier, or hinote). On D, i would like to see three open spots, but i think two is more reasonable (keeping tyutin, rosie, rachunek, and ward) malik just has to go period. Adding a big strong HARD HITTING D is a must (see hatcher, gauthier, bowmeester, vaananen, orpik, norstrom,or even cullimore) and a real pointman/puckmover, but they are hard to come by(pitkanen off the top of my head) so why not wait till staal is done with his minor season and bring him up. Cutting weekes loose would free up valuable dollars, but I think montoya will be part of a deal, and a good inexpensive backup is hard to find (maybe caron from out west) so he will stay with his big backup salary. Ok tear me apart and let me know how terrible this idea is.

  63. I cannot wait to see Callahan with the big club. The greatest aspect of Callahan’s game is that he’s not some slow, weak on his skates, AHLer with soft hands. He would look great with the big club. Also, I know Ortmeyer doesn’t show up on the score sheet much but he’s got a much more steady and in control game than I remembered from last season. If Renny ever decided to match lines, Orty could our Pandolfo. No doubt about it.

  64. Doodie Machetto on

    Funny you guys are talking about Callahan, because that’s exactly what I intended to do.

    I was at my brother’s place4 today and the Wolf Pack were on FSN New England(DirecTV). I picked up the game right after the first intermission. Having seen the wolf Pack, here are my honest opinions:

    1) Callahan should be in the NHL. He’s heads and shoulders better than everyone else on the ice. It’s like they are playing a different sport. He is SO confident right now it’s unbelievable. He was unstoppable.

    2) Dawes was invisible. I saw him a couple of times on the PK, but other than that, he really provided nothing. It was really an eye opener.

    3) Immonen was involved but the stuff he was getting away with just wouldn’t fly at the NHL level. Callahan did a lot of that kind of stuff too, but it seemed like Callahan had an air about him while he was doing it that made it seem better than Immonen. It was like Immonen was doing it because it seemed like he thought he was making a solid choice, while Callahan was doing, with knowledge that it was carelss, only to embarrass the other team. Oh, and Immonen looked a little quicker than usual, but I think that might be due to the overall slower pace of the AHL.

    4) Liffiton is NOT ready, not even close. He is VERY green.

    5) Same for Korpikoski. He plays like a little kid. puck hogs coast to coast and then is rubbed out 1 on 3.

    6) Byers played solidly but also looks like he could use a little more time. I think he may be a little slow as well.

    7) Baranka looked average. Nothing special, nothing terrible.

    8) In fact, that goes for the rest of the Defense as well. Sadly, Kasparaitis was clearly the best defenseman, on either team.

    9) Dubinsky is fast and had good effort and made the smart plays, but he wasn’t so great at making them. I’d be interested in what he can do for the big club, but I imagine it wouldn’t be more than Cullen, as his skill level isn’t currently much higher, if at all.

    As for the big club:

    1) Girardi did OK. He looked a little lost at times, but I think that is mostly a chemistry thing, as well as just overall adjustment to the NHL game.

    2) Rachunek and Hossa had very good games, respectively. I only single them out because of how much they are picked on here.

    3) Jagr had an EXCELLENT game defensively. I never thought I would make that statement.

    4) Why is it that teams and players that usually are terrible have their best games against us. Esche has been lousy all season, except when he’s played agianst the Rangers.

    5) Shanahan got some good looks today but he was unlucky. He’s starting to force it a little.

    6) Hollweg needed to fight someone.

    7) I liked the 3rd line today. I especially liked how quickly Cullen got into the fray during that scuffle in the 2nd(I think it was the 2nd).

    Anyway, that’s it.

  65. Callahan will be part of the package of kids which will bring Roenick here. And I’m only half kidding.

  66. Doodie Machetto on

    Oh, one last thing about the game. Ortmeyer will score at least 10 goals next season.

  67. ill in the hills. Please tell me you are joking. 1) There isn’t enough cap space to do what you propose. 2) cept for maybe one youth for money (which i would be very opposed to) other trades would require trading equal money going back and forth. What the most likley would mean is a young player and garbage like ahll going the other way. For instance, Forsberg would cost Prucha or Staal and then Hall or Cullen or something. For 30 games? And you’d want to do this several times over? You must seriously change meds. I hope your illness clears up, cause it’s not the good beastie boys kind.

  68. “baron34 January 28th, 2007 at 1:57 am

    Callahan will be part of the package of kids which will bring Roenick here. And I’m only half kidding.”

    Baron, my friend, in Rangerland there is no half kidding. Sather might just make that deal. Sad isn’t it??

  69. I still don’t get the Hossa hate.

    Yes, this team is full of 3rd and 4th liners, but Hossa is one of the few we should keep.
    No, he doesn’t belong on the 2nd line, but that isn’t his fault.

    I still feel the bigger problem is the team being all 4th, 5th and 6th defensemen. None of them can control a game.

  70. NEIL- Great Beastie Boy Reference. I would take any of the BEasties on the Rangers right now, even though they are basketball guys. Yach would be a monster in front of the net.

    It’s a sad day for hockey. Gump will be missed. My condolences to his family.

  71. This is how ridiculously addicted to the Rangers I am. I want to see the Wolfpack game, which is on delay at like 4:30 AM out here in Colorado. So I paid for the Sports Tier package. $4.99. It gets me some college games, but sadly, no MSG. I’ll wait until the end of the hockey season and cancel it. Hopefully I’ll get a few more games.

  72. everyone seems to be talking about the 3rd line of Prucha, Cullen, Orts, if the professor can remember, all he has to do is put Shanny in Ort’s place he has the real #2 line he started with. He just has to leave them alone for the next 30+ games. Then he can put the 4 of them plus Pock as the #2 PP unit. They’ll give the #1 unit a run for their money. Maybe Jagr would like to bet on it;)

  73. Is there a record for the most amount of minutes in a season WITHOUT a single point?

    I do love Holweg’s energy and hitting, but I wonder if he is closing in on some record?


  74. I also won more money yesterday;…..I am telling you -if you want to make money gambling, bet your friends that in a 1 goal game, with

  75. Doodie

    Your scouting report of the Wolfpack and Rangers does not sound very optimistic…

    Outside of Callahan you don’t sound very positive about the other prospects.

    You called Byers “slow” and Korpikoski (who Maloney was raving about throughout pre-season) “plays like a little kid” and Dubinsky is similar to Cullen not that Cullen is a bad player, but these are our top three offensive prospects and it sounds to me like you are questioning their ability to perform at the NHL level and contribute offense.

    And your conclusion with Kaspir being the best defenseman out there for either team, that doesn’t say much about the Rangers defensive prospects either. Which seem to be Girardi, who if I am hearing most people correctly, would be a 4 or 5 defenseman, then Baranka who isn’t better than Kaspir at a 6 in today’s NHL, with Staal most likely a 2 or 3, we hope! Liffiton is green, Lampmans window may have passed leaving Sangueti in juniors for us to wait for.

    Does that sound about right or am I being a bit too doom and gloom, based on your opinions?

    I’ve been to a Wolfpack game live. I went last year to a game around New Years. Obviously I wouldn’t have had the chance to see Dubinsky or Byers, but I did see Dawes and Girardi. Dawes was excellent that evening, he was clearly one of the better forwards on the ice and always on the puck. I think he is one of the better forwards in the AHL and hopefully will continue to develop his skating to make the jump too the NHL level.

    When I watch talent play, whether it be hockey or baseball I like to think I can identify the player that is better than the rest and has the opportunity to play at the next level. You see things in players, quickness, speed, strength, how often to see him in the play, attributes in a player which make him better than those he is playing with.

    When I watched the Pack last year I did see that in Girardi. I saw flashes of him being able to play above the AHL, but his consistency wasn’t there yet. He was all over the defensive end and hardly made mistakes and he played a physical game. I didn’t see that in Dawes. I saw a nice player, but I didn’t see that extra something you notice in NHL players.

    Do you see those abilities or attributes in Dubinski and/or Byers or Liffiton? I thought I saw them in Dubinsky during pre-season. I saw a big, strong fearless kid who had hands but needed more polish and maturity.

    When Callahan was here a month ago, it took me two shifts to come to the conclusion that Callahan has NHL tools. Pretty sure he had a shot on goal his first shift and took the body.

  76. Longtimerangerfan on

    Doodie Machetto
    January 28th, 2007 at 1:57 am
    Oh, one last thing about the game. Ortmeyer will score at least 10 goals next season.

    I heard that Renney wants to try Orts in goal, so he probably won’t get the ten goals.

  77. Doodie Machetto on

    vogs, I didn’t mean gloom and doom. I was just referring to the way they looked right now. That is not to say they didn’t have room for growth. Two quick examples (I’m a little busy and will have more time later) are Korpikoski and Dubinsky.

    When I said Korpikoski played like a kid, I meant that he had to become a little bit more mature in his team game. What you missed in my description of what he was doing is that he carried the puck, end to end, with a lot of speed. If he only had a little more sense to wait for some support in the zone for him to dish it off to, he could possibly get a return pass and find his name on the scoresheet a lot more often.

    When I said Dubinsky’s skill set was equal to Cullen’s (and I’m referring to offensive only, I think Cullen is better defensively), I was referring to only in his current ability. He shows great potential for growth and is very fiery. He also, like many of the under 22 year old’s on the team, needs just a little bit more maturity in his game.

    More on the defense and other named players later.

  78. ill in the hills on


    I am only ill with the ranger roster (i live in the rockies “the hills”). The roster thoughts were what I thought was realistic with the current ranger (i.e. sather)decision makers would have the team looking like by the trade deadline. Just sparking some discussion…I thought. Not what I would like to see except for Simon and Vaananen or Norstrom.

  79. I mentioned bringing Callahan up to the Rangers a few months ago and was flamed for it. Give the kid a shot NOW!!

  80. doodie should also mention that scheonfeld along with the players told the press that it was their worst game of the season.

    as far as defensive prospects unfortunately our better ones aren’t in hartford yet. outside of baranka and now girardi who imo are 4-6 dmen potential wise, kids like staal, sauer, and sanguinetti are all still in juniors. so don’t be to upset about the lack of defensive prospects from watching the pack.

    the one thing i will say is that if you liken dubinsky to cullen thats fine your opinion however picture cullen BIGGER STRONGER and NASTIER. think that guy would be a good second line center? well thats what your gonna get from dubinsky. love that kid

  81. ill –

    I don’t think any of those teams would trade the players you mentioned, and the sad thing is Nordstrom was a Ranger to start his career and Simon was a Ranger three seasons ago and was turned into Blair Betts.

    You mentioned Mike York as a possible trade option, but didn’t we have him before? Oh yeah, he was drafted by the Rangers, but seen as unfit to hold onto because he was drafted by Neil Smith and not the resident genius.

    So basically your original post sums up the mismanagement of the Rangers quite well.

    Sather has had 7 seasons in New York and all he has to show for it is a great goalie, in Lundqvist, Petr Prucha, who we got lucky with, and was drafted by a man who was here prior to Sather joining the organ-eye-zation, Ryan Hollweg, Jed Ortmeyer and Fedor Tyutin.

    The rest of the players were acquired via trade or UFA. Sather’s record is horrendous when it comes to identifying and acquiring talent to win on a consistent basis at the NHL level. And in the end, isn’t that the job of a GM?

  82. Doodie Machetto on

    kovy, he wasn’t nasty in what I saw. Energetic like Cullen, worked hard like Cullen, got the puck into good positions like Cullen, but had problems connecting that final pass or shot like Cullen. The only thing is that Dubinsky may eventually learn how to finish those opportunities, while Cullen has likely reached his peak skill point already. He played with a lot of fire though, but needs a bit of maturity to channel it properly.

    OK, my main problem for the defense was positioning and coverage. The reason why I say Liffiton looked green is because he didn’t cover his space positionally but rather chased around the man with the puck, and was burned more than a few times. Baranka was positioned well in the defensive zone, but got caught pinching a couple of times offensively. Lampman was OK in both zones, but not great either. Degon wasn’t too good, and Taylor was called up to replace Girardi. He looked pretty lost.

    The thing is, I might not have noticed these things had I not seen Kaspar doing them right, i.e., switching off when players criss-crossed, staying with his man when they didn’t, guarding the front of the net instead of going to the corner to leave a trailer wide open. That’s how I noticed that their coverage was all wrong. They would sometimes chase the puck a little too much and someone would be left wide open as a result. Especially on the goal they gave up on the PK. That was REALLY bad coverage.

    Valiquette was servicable. His positioning isn’t that great but he can make up for it in size. A little slow front to back, like Henrik. Sometimes gave up BIG rebounds. Shows some promise if he can get some good coaching.

    I want to revisit my Immonen comment, because I don’t think I quite got it right. Immonen was making what he thought to be the smart play. Sometimes it came out OK, others it didn’t. Callahan would make a similar play, but would do it BECAUSE he knew there was a better choice and he was SO confident he KNEW he could do it. Almost a bravado, which would definitely be gone as soon as he was given a hard hit at the NHL level. But that would just teach him to not showboat. In fact, I have just two minor complaints about Callahan. The first is that he almost at times seemed cocky, which wasn’t so bad because he really was able to get away with it. The second was his passing in the offensive zone being a little too soft. They would get picked off sometimes because of that.

    As for Byers being slow, I think it wasn’t that he was actually slow, just slower than I was expecting. He’s faster than Immonen.

    Which reminds me of something from Baranka: he really telegraph his passing in the offensive zone. It really gives the defense a chance to intercept. A little bit more confidence in his own offensive game and this won’t be such a problem anymore.

    Dawes really was invisible. I remember going through most of the 2nd period without hearing his name on anything but the PK until it was almost through, then he was out for a 5 on 5 shift where he was involved in the play in the offensive zone, but didn’t show any of the fire I expected to see from him. He lost a couple of battles along the boards and then disappeared again.

  83. Doodie Machetto: Great assessment of the NYR game, and good summation of Hartford.Like vogs, I haven’t seen this year’s pack, but everything you said seems on par with what I saw in April. Sure they didn’t look bad, but the guys I expected to stand out as NHLers did nothing to proove the hype fans have been heeping on them for the past couple years.

    Korpikoski, IMO, will develope into a fine player. He’s got all the speed and the hands of an NHLer, he just needs to refine his game. I really liked Byers too(and that was one of his first professional games). As far as prospects are concerned, I think next year’s crop will be the make-or-break for Sather’s job in drafting.

    Some thoughts on yesterday’s game: No one on this team should be holding their heads high about a skin-of-the-teeth win against an abysmal team. There were some positive signs, but non that give me the inclination to believe this is a team for a cup run.

    Powerplay: very noticable there was more shooting, which is good. I’ve never been a big fan of Jagr’s passpouri. Understand it, yes. But like it? No. You score goals by shooting and shooting often. Both markers against Esche came for just that reason.

    -Jagr: one of the most-balanced games I’ve seen him play. He absolutly shut down Forsburg, who appears to be the only guy on that team capable of generating offense. That’s the type of play this team needs and worthy of praise.

    -Hossa, another popular whipping boy, had another good showing. One play that stands out in my mind was how he immediatly jumped in to defend Tyutin, after Richards(I think) basically punched him in the face.

    -Shanny is cursed. There’s no question about it. Had a good game, good opportunities(despite my aprehension of having Betts and Hossa on his line), just that blasted post kept ringing. I suggest a voodoo doctor to remove the hex.

    -Malik was awful. Pitkanen’s goal was his fault solely, IMO. He let two Flyers skate around him without as much as a stick check. One, okay, but two? No. That’s the type of bad play that loses can’t lose games. He should sit for a game and watch that play over and over again.

    -Ortmeyer-Cullen-Prucha looked good. But I’m still not sold in keeping Peter Puck on a line with two guys not known for their offense.

  84. Doodie Machetto on

    Thanks tdchi.

    One last thing about Hossa. The first goal was all because of Hossa hustling and beating out an icing call. 2nd line? no. Worthless? equally no.

  85. Doodie Machetto on


  86. Thanks to Doodie for his Hartford Scouting Report. Having digested all that, and watching how pathetic the Big club has looked, should the Rangers be buyers or sellers come February 27?

  87. IMO the next week of play will give us an answer. Either way, I’d like to see Cullen gone, he just doesn’t fit in. With Betts and Krog at 3 and 4, Cullen is definitly NOT a 2. He would fit nicely on a team looking for a point guy on the PP.

    I don’t see them dumping a defenseman if things go well. If they don’t, you may see a firesale (highly unlikely) and a large infusion of youth. You need to have seven legit NHL DMen. As of now, if they get rid of Malik (or Rachunek/AWard) they will have to call up someone (Baranka/Liffiton or possibly Kaspar) who according to the reports here aren’t ready. Otherwise they will have to get one back in the trade, hence giving up some of the youth and making the prospects of a trade less likely.

    My biggest fear is they do well over the next few weeks and make some dumb trades, mortgaging the future for now, which will put the Rangers back in the same position the next few years, a few bodies short.

  88. Doodie Machetto on

    P.W., I would much rather see Cullen at 3 and Betts at 4, than Betts 3 and Krog 4.

    Baranka and Lampman can fill in, but are by no means ready for regular duty. I feel like with Lampman, if he’s not ready next season then he will become the next Ken Gernander. To give you an idea of how those two guys are, Girardi in his NHL debut looked better than Baranka did last night, and about on par with Lampman, if not marginally better.

    Pock has been the team’s best defenseman for a couple of weeks now. And I’m not saying that because everyone else has been bad, but because he’s been very good. Roszi hasn’t been terrible, a little snake bitten on the PP, but otherwise pretty good. Rachunek has played well of late, getting better every game. Tyutin has been dropping off a little and Ward has been doing his best to hit people, even though he’s pretty useless otherwise. I didn’t think Girardi had an especially good game and he almost cost us a goal when he threw that Flyer into Henrik. I like that he wanted to clear the front of the net, but it was a bad decision to do that because he clobbered the King. He’ll get better though, he showed a lot of promise.

    Now, please be aware that my scouting report is only of one night. but it was also against a pretty terrible team.

  89. 23 of the last 37 even-strength goals against the Rangers have been allowed by the Jagr 5.

    that means that the other 3 lines gave up only 4 or 5 per line compared to 23.

    but then people are too busy praising Jagr’s supposed backchecking to see the facts.

  90. Doodie Machetto on

    Joe, we weren’t talking about his whole season, just yesterday. In fact, the only reason we even mentioned it is because it was so rare to see him do it.

    why don’t you do the same comparison for goals scored by the Rangers and see how many out of the last 37 have been with the Jagr 5, and how many by the other lines?

  91. that unit has only scored 40 even strength goals all season.

    the other lines have scored 53 even-st. goals this season.

  92. czechthemout!!!!! on

    i also saw the pack game yesturday.doodie is not quite where i am.dubinsky is always trying to create something,he and korpikoski worked a nice passing play wich resulted in a power play goal by callahan.dubinsky needs a little seasonig but he ALSO NEEDS nhl quality players to play with like shanny.i think that would serve him better than playing with isbister on occasion.byers is plenty fast and physical as well can play right now instead of all the 4th line forwards on our team.callahan is clearley ready for the nhl,he has no buisness playing another minute in the ahl.he already can be a solid two way forward and contribute 20+goals he will eventually get 30+.korpikoski did better than the last game i saw him play,but my opinion of has not changed yet. he is nothing more than a 4th line player.i agree with you on liftiton,he needs some positional help but he has all the tools to be a good tough dman.

  93. Doodie Machetto on

    CTO, if by tools, you mean size, then yes. I saw nothing else naturally on him.

    Byers could play instead of the 4th liners, but I see better things in his future than that, and I’d rather see him round out his game in the AHL. He’s just started clicking. Let’s not throw too much at him at once.

    Korpikoski will be much better than a 4th liner, he just needs more time to mature and play more of a team game.

  94. I was just reading an article on talking about how the Rangers often deal with the Oilers. I took a look at their roster and two names popped out, Petr Nedved and Petr Sykora. Both would probably oppose being back in Broadway Blue, but if a deal could be reached, does anyone think one of these two could help out Shanny and the Rangers? Don’t forget Sykora can fire pucks from the point on the PP with the best of them (although he, like Cullen, was never given that chance in NY).

  95. Doodie Machetto on

    Nedved was waived by Philadelphia. Let that sink in a while.

    Shanahan needs a center, so Sykora wouldn’t work either.

Leave A Reply