And now playing the main stage….


Great thing about these Rangers games at the Garden recently: Sure, you see them lose, but you’re guaranteed at least one Brendan Shanahan post-game diatribe.

Before the All-Star game, it was Shanahan calling out the Rangers’ power play — and by extension, it seemed, Jaromir Jagr. Tonight it was Shanahan rushing to Jagr’s defense.

“I don’t know if there’s some sort of prejudice against him or what the deal is,� said Shanahan. “Guys hit late. Guys hit hight. Guys hook his hands. He doesn’t complain, he just goes out and plays and plays. But the referees seem to have a different set of rules for the way teams can play against him.

“Not since (Slava) Fetisov came over from Russia have I seen a star player get ignored by the referees and I know the reason they were ignoring him back then. But I don’t know why they’re ignoring the hooks and the holds and the chops on Jaromir Jagr. He’s been a great player in this league for a long time.â€?

How much of this was a pre-meditated deflection away from a tough loss (in the Mark Messier mold)? My guess is plenty. That’s not to say Shanahan doesn’t have a point. Given that he rarely loses his footing even when he is hooked, Jagr sometimes is too big and too strong for his own good. But I’m not sure this was the reason the Rangers lost tonight.

More on that side of things later…

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  1. we didn’t lose because of the refs. maybe if jagr and co didn’t wait until 10:00 left in the 3rd period down by 1 to ‘turn it on’ we wouldn’t be put in a position to need those calls. maybe if they tried playing with some urgency and passion for a full 60:00 they would negate the effects of any calls.

    we didn’t lose because of the refs, we lost because we simply aren’t a very good team.

  2. How much of this was a pre-meditated deflection away from a tough loss? My guess is plenty. “”

    correct. that’s all it is, Sam. Gill played Jagr fairly clean and straight up.

  3. Matt Cullen and Aaron Ward when they return to their old team to visit the White House:

    “I can’t believe we were stupid enough to sign with the Rangers.”

    Brendan Shanahan on a daily basis:

    “I can’t believe I was stupid enough to sign with the Rangers.”

  4. Beat Writers:

    I can’t believe that I was stupid enough to believe Renney knows what he is doing!

  5. Sam, have to agree with Kocur, you are overdoing it with the cutesy and buddy buddy stuff, how about some real reporting for a change??

  6. when is Shanahan going to talk about his great linemates, whoever they may be next game? It should be called the Shoe line, as in one shoe . …R_E_S_P_E_C_T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is a two way street and sometimes you have to demand it besides command it.

  7. yeah Sam there’s too much cutesy stuff happening on the ice, kick some tail, start with Renney.

  8. Doodie Machetto on

    screw you guys, he is doing the real reporting. Ripping people isn’t reporting news, it’s writing an editorial. I like Sam as a REPORTER, not an opinion columnist.

    Sam, you cannot be given enough credit for the fine work that you do.

  9. REFS: I don’t think I have seen anyone put the blame on the refs for the loss. At least I for one say the Rangers didn’t capitalize on their chances, if they had it wouldn’t have matters what the refs did. HOWEVER, its getting to the point now, were the refs are so bad, they might cost a team a playoff spot, I mean, what if the refs do their crazy random calling stuff like tonight in a game were two teams are tied for 8th and its the last game of the season…the winner gets the 8th spot…if they don’t call a good game, than they ARE partly responsible for the outcome. Penalties being called is not the refs fault, players breaking the rules is NOT the refs fault…but if its a penalty in the first min of the game its a penalty in the last min of the game…the refs DO NOT call games like this year, you never know when something is a penalty or not a penalty. Again, the refs MAYBE have cost the Ragners one or two games…but I think they have given the Rangers one or two games as well…so it even out, but its not good for the NHL to have officiating that seems crappy and hap hazard.

  10. i dont undertsnad how you can rip a guy who’s been doing his job and doing it well all seaosn…if you dont like what Sam is doing then don’t read his blog. Like Doodie said, Sam reports what he hears, and ripping on the team ins’t reporting. He keeps a light tone because he knows there are more important things inlife than how the NYR fair. If you can’t get that through your head you have some serious problems.

  11. alex: this is a blog…it for opinons…you dont like opinons that are difrent than yours…go away…oh and by the way GROW UP!

  12. Sam is better. that guy at Blueshirt Bulletin is nothing but a big defender of Renney and Jagr. if you criticize them he goes ballistic, says you should be ashamed..

  13. Anybody notice when shanny scored his goal and was sitting next to Jagr on the bench ,Jagr just sat there looking glum,not the excited look he normally has.I think he thought that shanny stole his goal.

  14. I’ve seen enough ranger games this year where the ref’s call a penalty against the rangers and the other team does the same thing and there’s no call. Example, last night I almost blew a blood vessel when there was a late penalty caled for high sticking against toronto and when the leafs finally touched the puck and the ref’s blew the wistle and play stopped, prucha got totally mugged by at least two leafs and the refs called a penalty against prucha who got punched in the face no less and the rangers lost the power play, are you kidden me. This crap has gone on against the rangers for most of the year. I don’t get it and you think Reney would say something to the ref’s, of course not. I never had a problem with reney but I am starting to see now why alot of bloggers on this blog don’t like renney. I am realizing that renney is not a good coach. I am starting to realize he is the reason why the kids aren’t getting a chance to play. This franchise will go no where as long as we have the three stooges running it(Sather, maloney and renney).

  15. doodie…Sam’s report ….the refs weren’t fair & the Leafs goaltender stopped all but 1 shot.question ‘Tom are you disappointed? ans. ..” yeah, they played a good game” oh ok thanks. … see ya next game, bye your friendly reporter Sam W.

  16. I agree with Shanny, there was one incident against the Bruins where one guy skated past Jagr and fore-arm smashed and butted him with the end of his stick – surely stuff like that was 2+2 in the box, i can’t remeber if anyone even got called for it at all.

    Changing subject the Post was talking about us going after Tkachuk to play C for Shanny – is that pie in the sky?

    The one good thing i keep hearing is “the Rangers are unwilling to part with any of their top prospects – Staal, Sanguinetti, Dubinsky, Callahan etc..” i guess Glen and Donnie are hoping someone will take a combination of Hall, Mailkstein or Kaspar or draft picks..?

  17. Sam ,,,”Pock didn’t play the rest of the way”. What other defensivemen were benched last night or this year? You’ll then have a list of the ‘untouchables” who have not been benched. No one mentioned Nylander going in circles on the PP passing up shots that could have led to a goal & a win. But blaming the refs & a hot goaltender are acceptable excuses?… A reporter is allowed to grill people with fair questions, if they don’t like the questions, they have to figure out why it hit a sore spot.

  18. You guys have to be kidding me. I don’t get why you guys are on Sam’s back. If he rips everyone, then who is going to talk to him? If I was a player and a reporter ripped me would I give him any info at all if he tried asking me questions or tried to interview me? It is not Sam’s job to rip the team (THAT IS THE FANS’ JOB!!!). His job is to report what is going on with the team. Sam you are doing a great job keep up the good work. I look forward to your updates especially after practice and before games. Why don’t you guys go read Larry Brooks (yea the guy who picked us to win the cup) and his made up trade rumors….

    The game last night was very disappointing (as usual at MSG this year). Rachunek makes a terrible pass and what does Renney do? HE BENCHES POCK…WAY TO GO TOM, GOOD MOVE. Where the hell was Girardi late in the game? Oh but thank God Malik was out there. Yes the refs sucked as usual, but by now we should be used to this. They aren’t going to give us any calls, they haven’t all year why should it start now. It is not going to change no matter how much Shanny, Renney or anyone else complains.

    You know what if I am Pock this summer, I get the hell out of here cause I know I could be starting every night on more than 3/4 of the teams in the league.

    One other thing, I don’t think Gretzky could have scored if he had Hossa and Betts as linemates so how the hell is Shanny going to? Why can we not bring up Callahan and Dubinsky and put them on Shanny’s line? What is the worst that could happen? They cannot be any worse than Betts and Hossa. I just don’t get it with this team, they are never going to learn (but we’ll all still be here anyway).

  19. Refs are terrible this season. It’s not the first time they screwed Rangers. Bettman is an asshole. Peroid.

  20. This was one of my post to nhl connect yesterday, a little ironic….

    1-31-2007 11:38:29

    As a former referee, I will be the first person to tell you that the job of a referee is not an easy one. It takes keen eyes, a clear mind and sharp intuition in order to be succesful and fair. With that said, one of the biggest problems I’ve seen in officiating these days is not necessarily with one individual, but rather with consistency across the collective group. Now we all have biases and opinions on how a game ought to be called, but that deciscion is not up to the fan. But when I watch a game one day that is being called closely, and then a game the next day which is being called loosely, it leaves me completely puzzled. How can both pairs of referees be right? And if this is acceptable, assuming that they are consistently tight or consitently loose through the match, is it the job of each team to test their limits in the first period in order to determine how the game is going to be called? Anyway, I just thought I’d throw that out there. I hope I’m not coming as being rude or mean to the officials, because I truly understand their position and believe that for the most part they do a great job. -NYRich82

    As seen here…

  21. hey remember when Neil Smith wouldn’t trade Brendl and lundmark because they were considered top prospects?What happened?

  22. Hey BleedBlue,
    I’ve been saying the same thing. It makes no sense, this is why I’ve had enough of the three stooges (sather, maloney andrenney).

  23. Pock got Benched because regardless of a bad pass or not by Rachunek, Rachunek was the guy that was moving in with the play, to make the pass, and Pock let Sundin skate past him, and didn’t move until AFTER the pass was picked off…it was a high risk play, he was hoping to be in position for a play, and got burned…its what Renney was talking about with his risks, and what people from Hartford said was Pocks only flaw. It doesn’t happen allot, but when a defenseman leave Sundin all alone like that he should get benched…

  24. Sam I hope you’re not as defensive as your defenders here. I’m not giving you a hard time,it’s called constructive criticism; just asking you to ask tougher questions. Blame it on the blog! Maybe Renney will learn something new.If you don’t learn something new every day, you die( not literally). Keep up the great work.

  25. Here’s my problem with Renney. RACCOONEK makes the dumb bonehead pass, and renney chooses Pock and the guilty party worthy of a benching. We’re down a goal, Pock has way more offensive talent than Malik and A.Ward. Makes ZERO sense…

    Also, Enough of KRog and Betts PLEASE!!

    Now to shannys points. He is 100% CORRECT. How many times was GILL clutching and grabbing and hitting jagr. 2 Plays standout in my mind. One where i believe Anthropov lost his stick and decked jagr from behind. The other is when Prucha was given a match penalty and Anthropov NOTHING after throwing a punch and connecting on JED. How do the refs miss this stuff? Are they watching the same game?

  26. I hate to say it, but this team is just not that good. I also must admit that when the team let Ruccin go and signed Cullen as a supposed “upgrade,” I was scratching my head a little bit. Ruccin may not have had a great season last year, but he was a consistent 2d-line center that would be alot better to play with Shanny than Betts or Krog. There is a huge hole in this team down the middle, and, I don’t see how they’re going to fill it with their current roster. It baffles me that the team refuses to try another prospect (Dubinsky) with Shanny I guess for the reason that they don’t want to have to waive a veteran to clear the roster spot. I’m sorry, but Krog, Hossa, et al. are the kinds of interchangeable parts that can be picked up off waivers at any time. It really does boggle my mind.

  27. Conceded: A number of infractions against Jagr weren’t called and Shanahan’s comments were justified.

    Trouble is that they became the story — the only story.

    We all know it’s going to be pounced on by the Rangers’ Ministry of Propoganda as an excuse for the loss.

    The Rangers are a flawed team – particularly noticeable on defense and in their oh so predictable “pheripheral attack” pattern featuring pass after pass after pass.

    Insofar as the coaching – treatment of players for failures is via double standard.

    Rachunek responsible for the winning goal, Malik no more than a camera on a tripod.

    Girardi benched for a good part of the final period.

    Did anyone even query Renney about it?

    If they didn’t they should have.

    And if they did, what was his explantion/reaction?

    And, what was his excuse?

    I’m not one who buys into “conspiracy theories” featuring the beat writers in league with the Rangers’ hierarchy, but
    Journalism 101 preaches “5 W’s & H” addressed in stories – even features and sports. (For those unfamiliar wih the acronymn: Who? What? Where? Why? How?).

    Don’t readers deserve that????

  28. Anthony (Abev) on

    Sam, I wonder how much it was Shanahan’s “pre-meditated deflection” as it was to make up for some of the comments he directed earlier towards Jagr’s PP style.

  29. Oh c’mon Sam, don’t be such a SHEEP and just blindly accept the officials’ performance as golden… The refs called a terrible game, last night, and sometimes they need to be called on it…

    I’m glad Shanahan went off after game, because there IS a double standard when it comes to Jagr… He gets hooked, held and tugged at all night… The refs call everything under the sun, turning the NHL into a ballet and yet when Jagr gets hooked and held, then turn their heads…

    The Rachunek penalty last night was awful, when the Leaf player turned his body at the very last second, and the non-calls on Antropov (evening up he and Prucha, during the 2nd period incident) were comical…

    Nobody wants to make excuses every game, and blame the refs, but last night (similar to the game against the Pens, at MSG earlier this season) they blew it… Let’s tell it like it is and stop kissing Bettman’s and the officials’butts…

  30. Doodie, go drink some Kool Aid.

    We are already screwed by this organization which now apparently includes you and Wildcard as a minimum.

  31. And why isn’t anyone mentioning the Cullen “penalty” at the end of the game? Shanny may be onto something here…

  32. teetime- are you kidding me with the “Jagr pouting becuase shanny stole my goal” thing…do you honestly think that he was doing that? I’m getting sick of people saying that!! Dont you think maybe he was upset at being pocked and slashed and what not all night and maaybbe he was upset that the goal was reviewed. Please stop with the Jagr hates shanahan nonsense!!

  33. Fans should start throwing garbage and banana peels at refs for the awful job they are doing!!! And stop blaming Jagr for everything that is wrong with this team! Last year he took the team on his shoulders and carried them into playoffs. He can not do it this year for whatever reason… It is up to the team as a whole and they are not good enough. JJ is the best thing ever happened to this team.

    It was not the best game by the Rangers but they had a good chance of winning if it was not for the REFS and bad bounces it would have been different. Something has to be done about officiating. I love how they missed the goal against the Pens this year and then appolgized for it. Well shove your appology up your a$$ now our divisional rival has 1 point that they did not deserve…. This just sucks they always call every little thing when it comes to Forsberg, Ovechkin and so on but Gill, Witt, Hatcher have been elbowing, clutching and grabing Jagr and nothing is called…. Something has to be done!!!! Also it seems that teams took a liking to shove Prucha around, I mean c’mon 3rd penalty against him was a joke and Antropov got away with roughing Jed. The refs are not doing their jobs and then you don’t do your job right you should be fired that is how it works for the rest of the world…

  34. Shanahan should stop whining and crying about the refs and start putting some pucks in the net again. If this team had any sniff of finishing ability, the “complaints” about the refs would be unimportant. Wah-wah, we lost so let’s blame it on the guys in stripes. Please. Grow a backbone. Stop blaming the refs and start putting your fists were your mouths are and police yourself. If Jagr is getting hounded, kick the guys ass already and be done with it. Crybabies.

  35. Richtersgirl, big discussion over at BB about Jagr’s pouting.

    I’m with the majority over there and think Jagr’s pouting was caused by his disgust for the refs and not Shanahan. Shanahan probably told him he was going to make an issue over the lack of calls over the illegal infractions against him (Jagr)and that’s what the pouting was about.

  36. My friend Peter says..

    “Matt Cullen and Aaron Ward when they return to their old team to visit the White House:

    “I can’t believe we were stupid enough to sign with the Rangers.�

    Add this, Peter:

    Ranger fans are saying,”I can’t believe the Rangers were stupid enough to sign those guys, plus Hall, plus Rachunek, plus…

  37. probert –
    while i agree with your overall idea, i do think it may be unwise to dare the refs to give us MORE penalties in the fashion you suggest, especially against the leafs who have one of the best best PP lines in the business. it really ties our hands. while we would like to get more physical as a deterrent, that usually means taking penalties, especially for a team that has a reputation for taking penalties. its a vicious circle.

  38. Probert24 for GM, Probert24 for GM.

    You might have to fire Wildcard and Doodie as soon as you take over.

  39. Probert24 – Good point… But how can you do it if Rangers are going to get an instigater and most probably Gill will not fight Orr??? The league is not the same any more. Last night the calls were clearly on Leafs side. Also how can you socre when you can not get to the net because tugging and grabing? Rangers were boarded quite a few times last night and guess what – no calls. Rachuneck boards the Leaf and gets called for it. You can not win a game when all the calls are against you!!!

  40. Dave, I understand Probert’s frustration and if the team played like he suggested, the physical liberties taken against them would come to a screeching halt. It would just take as long as it takes for the word to get around the league that the Rangers are no longer a team you can bully and take physical advantage of or else you will pay a big price.

    Strength usually prevents altercations, not increases them.

  41. Kirill, since the refs are so biased against the Rangers, might as well get your pound of flesh if you are going to get called on silly things like Cullen putting his glove hand gently on a Toronto player. Won’t change the number of penalties against the Rangers with this bias intact, but will make the opposition think a bit before taking liberties.

  42. Longtimerangerfan on

    Hey all, don’t forget the Bruins game where the Rangers DEFINITELY got the benefit of the doubt from the referees. That said, the officating is sooooo different from one game to the next makes you wonder where the officials are trained…some in Canada, some in the US and some in Sri Lanka!!!

  43. The refs sucked. Okay.

    But when Nylander is twirling around and being ineffective, Shanahan can’t close the deal on a number of opportunities and our coach benches the wrong guys, that’s why we lose.

    The guys on TSN actually said before the game that Malik was the key player for the Rangers and a great force on the blue line (waving about his +/- as if it meant something) and then they said Cullen was a wonderful surprise with his 10 goals. That’s bad reporting.

    Sam, you keep doing your thing. People who don’t like it, read another blog or start your own. Coming to this site and getting Sam’s lighthearted take is optional…

  44. Doodie Machetto on

    lenny, don’t lump me with Wildcard.

    Just because I understand Sam’s role as a reporter and not as an opinion columnist, that makes me some kind of “shill” for management. Get real. While you’re at it, get bent.

    I think Renney is an idiot and couldn’t have one last night’s game if he had one of the All Star teams at his disposal.

    Forget who is playing on the big club or not. They won’t win with Renney at the helm.

    PS- POC was POS last night. 8 PIMs. Ortmeyer had a good game, but the other two were pretty terrible. They wanted to score as many points as they did against the Bruins and took penalties as a result of the frustration, especially Cullen’s late penalty in the offensive zone.

  45. “julie February 1st, 2007 at 4:51 am

    Sam is better. that guy at Blueshirt Bulletin is nothing but a big defender of Renney and Jagr. if you criticize them he goes ballistic, says you should be ashamed.”

    Julie, if you have any complaints about “the guy over at Blueshirt Bulletin”, why don’t you go overthere and tell him that to his face?

    Shows a real lack of courage on your part. There are some sites like Rodent’s and Bird’s that will ban you if you are not in step with the company line but Dubi isn’t like that. I have taken him on several times and respect the guy for not considering a difference of opinion as a reason to ban someone. Go over there and express yourself.

    By the way to Chris and others, understand your appreciation of Sam and what he does, actually I do too even though I would like to see him ask the tough questions without getting thrown out of the locker room.

  46. Anyway back to the Rangers.

    Doesn’t look good. Tough games vs tough teams coming up and less and less room for not getting points and while not looking for the 04 sell off, I have to think that unless they start beating teams better than they are, they have to sell this year.

  47. Doodie

    “lenny, don’t lump me with Wildcard.”

    Thought you would be honored to be included in that company, you mean you’re not??

    More Doodie…yikes

    “Just because I understand Sam’s role as a reporter and not as an opinion columnist, that makes me some kind of “shillâ€? for management. Get real. While you’re at it, get bent.”

    You really got me doing a lot of things today, you want me to get screwed, get real and get bent. You want that in any particular order??

  48. well certainly not be buyers at the costs being floated around – they can address the 2nd line center in the offseason. Dolan will survive financially without 2 home playoff dates and the inability to raise prices 10%.

    and to those who talk about the 3 stooges – Dolan is the biggest problem of all with this franchise. I would rather have the Devs ownership they let the GM do his job – let players walk for too much $ bring up players like Parise etc.

  49. Doodie Machetto on

    I think we’re going to finish the season like they did in ’03. just below .500, missing the playoffs by about 5 pts.

    But, being more optimistic:

    Because of the way that the new schedule is designed, the Rangers still have a half decent shot of making the playoffs, PROVIDED that they can beat their division rivals.

    The last month or so are almost intradivisional games for every team in the league. Between now and the end of the season, we play we play the Devs 3 times, the Isles 4 times, the Pens 4 times, and the Flyers 3 times. That’s 14 division games. Every other team in the league is playing about that many as well.

    Because division rivals play each other so often, it really is almost impossible for 4 teams to make the playoffs out of one division. Therefore, we only have to worry about finishing second in the division in order to make the playoffs, as it looks like our third place team will be the odd third place team out this year. If we can take the games agaisnt the Isles and Pens, we’ll be in a great position to do so. Otherwise, expect us to finish third or fourth in the division and out of the playoffs.

  50. Terrible referreed game last night …even the linesman sucked … many icings not called – even Toronto announcers mentioned that ………. calling a delayed off-side on Rangers when Straka was skating at center ice with the puck ??? Prucha getting a penalty when Anthropov and others swinging at Jed and Petr … it was a joke …

    Still, Jagr has to show more heart …

    P.S. If Rangers are sellers, who is going to buy? Who wants Hossa, Ward, Rachunek, Krog, Malik … NOBODY

  51. A Ward and Roszival have some value as does Nylander and Shanny if the Rangers fall out of the race. You are right that many of the many 4th liners and 6th dmen on the team have no value in the trade mkt.

  52. Doodie Machetto on

    Teams that may be interested in Ward and Hossa because of their value as penalty killers: Atlanta, Calgary, Buffalo, Toronto(especially now that Peca is out for the season).

    Rachunek and Malik could draw some teams looking for an extra defenseman.

    Krog probably won’t get anyone to trade for him.

  53. “””And stop blaming Jagr for everything that is wrong with this team! Last year he took the team on his shoulders and carried them into playoffs. He can not do it this year for whatever reason… It is up to the team as a whole and they are not good enough. JJ is the best thing ever happened to this team.”””

    hey, Kirill, you can kiss my Renney. If you think that king pout supercedes the Rangers who won the Stanley Cup in ’94, or the guys whose jerseys hang from the rafters, you are so clueless it is scary.

    incidentally, charlie, Jagr SAID he was going to carry the team just a few days ago. that is not US saying it , that is HIM saying it. so he is a failure of his own words. stop pouting, you sound just like your hero.

  54. Julie

    I don’t agree with what you said over at BB but respect that you confronted Dubi directly.

    See, he didn’t ban you like Rodent (especially him or Bird’s henchmen would do.

    Glad you saw what I was trying to tell you.

  55. Jagoff, in your quote…”hey, Kirill, you can kiss my Renney”, are you referring to a certain orifice regarding Renney???

  56. lennynyr, but you will see that he accused me of this:

    “I don’t mind you calling me lame or ridiculous. But if you persist in using that kind of language with anyone else, your comments will be deleted or edited as per this web site’s policy.”

    I didn’t call HIM lame or ridiculous at all. and I used perfectly decent language. that is why I am through with his site. He is always deleting and fighting with his posters.

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