Have skates, will travel


Like I said, things happen fast around here. Not three hours after shipping Adam Hall off to Minnesota, there was already a red and blue bag in the hallway outside the Rangers dressing room with the name Dupuis on it.

No, the team’s newest acquisition won’t be in the lineup tonight against the Lightnining, but he is flying directly to our nation’s capital to join the Rangedupuis0713.jpgrs tomorrow against the Capitals. Tom Renney said he envisions Pascal Dupuis in a third-line-type role, capable of playing both wings, and that he is an immediate upgrade in terms of team speed.

“This game is about speed and transition nowadays, and you have to have a certain amount of character to maximize what you have in terms of team speed,” Renney said. “We believe we’ve improved ourselves on the speed side of the equation. The degree that he displays character remains to be seen.”

Ah, yes, the character issue. The Rangers already dealt with this question once this week when they brought in the outspoken Sean Avery. And they’re dealing with it again with Dupuis, who had fallen out of favor with Doug Risebrough and Jacques Lemaire, and had hence been deemed expendable. Some of this goes back to Dupuis holding out for more money after his 20 goal season in 2002-03, and it even carried into this year, when he walked out of Lemaire at practice on Dec. 19.

So maybe we’re not talking about the next Adam Graves. But we’re still talking about an upgrade from Adam Hall, a perfectly nice guy who was a mediocre NHL skater, and who never seemed comfortable in New York. It’s worth noting that when the team signed Brendan Shanahan and traded for Hall, they were emphasizing the need for more size. Now they’re realizing that size alone only goes so far.

“I’m not sure this is how a coach should talk about situations like this but I also made it clear (to Adam) I felt responsible for his situation….That’s the way it goes. You have to make the most of your opportunities. As your season evolves opportunities slip away from some people and other grab it,” Renney said. “Adam might not have delivered on the speed component the way we had hoped for. And had he been able to, his numbers would have been different.”


As for the other new Ranger, I bumped into Avery on 8th Avenue when we were both walking into the Garden (he was alone, sadly), and it was obvious it had been awhile since he had set foot in the World’s Most Famous Arena. First he asked me if he was going through the right entrance, then after getting off the elevator, he made a right turn instead of a left toward the team dressing room.

He eventually got there, so don’t worry about Avery missing the game while wandering the bowels of the Garden.

And the other good news is Avery has a decent sense of where he’s going once he’s on the ice.

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  1. damn … are you going to hang out outside the garden now that you know what time he arrives for games! LOL!

    One day soon, you’re marriage will be put to the test by that most beautiful of canadian hockey fans!!

  2. now that the Rangers are getting guys who can actually skate, it would also be good if they could replace the guys who spend most of the game turning back and circling instead of driving to the net.

    that is the biggest weakness in the Ranger offense. all opposing teams have to do is clog the middle, and wait for the circlers to come to them.

    they don’t want to shoot from a distance, and they don’t want to drive the net. that does not leave much else except fancy crap.

  3. Ah more quality Ranger scouting, the need for size. Yes, Adam Hall had a large framer, however he was softer than Snuggles the Fabric Softener icon.

  4. mike: If you saw Hall last year, he was ten times more physical..he went to the dirty areas, he might not have hit big, but he wasn’t soft by any means…this year, I don’t know what happened to him.

  5. Have I entered the twilight zone? Rangers up 4-0 and the scorers are Orr, Hollweg, Avery and Hossa. That group has now scored more goals tonight than they had as Rangers all year (Hossa 3, Avery Orr and Hollweg all zero).

    What the hell is going on here?

    Not sure but I’ll enjoy it.

  6. foot soldiers can contribute when they get ice time and are not just coaches cannon fodder.

    the team has been run all year for the benefit of the Jagr cronies, and isn’t it interesting that things improve on the night when they finally break them up and arrange another PP unit, and the whole team gets to have a role, instead of a czech clique and everybody else beg for table scraps.

    but, like in Boston, it might not last past one or 2 games because Renney will start reverting to form, tinkering with success to placate his favorites again.

  7. Guys who do you think comes out of the lineup for tomorrow’s game if he wants dupuis to play?

  8. What a game for Orr.
    Great to see Hollweg finally score.
    Avery, Hollweg, and Orr with goals. And a fight. This is hockey. If there were more games like this the NHL wouldn’t be in dire straits. Alas, it is Bettman’s fault he has ruined the game.

  9. i guaranteed a win tonight because of the lines and sure enough this is the best the team has looked all year. watch renney ruin it.

  10. Holy crap, did we just shut out a team with a better record than us? In the battle of Qvists, our man stood tall.

    Just when I was ready to bury this team, they go ahead and knock out a goalie who had been hot for the past month, and shut down a team that won eight of their last ten games. Wow!

  11. Im all for sitting Spare..uhh, I mean Blair Betts in favour of Dupuis that is if Hollweg doesnt get suspended…

  12. see, this is the difference in how the devils win a game and the rangers win.

    the devils use freaken trap hockey to stop teams at 1-0, boring their fans to death.

    the rangers keep pressing and make the game eventful, even when theyre up 4,5 nothing.

    and u can not for once tell me the rangers have more fans cause theyre in the big city. they have more fans cause they play with grit and excitement. and being in the big city doesnt hurt either.

  13. They have more fans because they’re RANGERS! Easily…
    That was the best Rangers game I’ve seen this season. Great! Sadly, Renney realized his mistakes too late. Everybody almost jumped when Sam gave us these lines, we were sure we have to win this crucial game… and we did!!!
    Great game. At least Rangers fans got some fun. Fantastic Jagr’s assist on Hollweg goal! Avery – goal, Orr – goal, Hollweg – goal, come on! That was great!!!

  14. Just back from the Garden. What satisfaction to see the JJ posse playing in an evened out role across the whole roster. Phenomenal to watch Shanny and Avery running their line and Nylander waiting for a pass instead of the other way around. Great to see Orts use the after burners to blow past the defense at the offensive blue line crash the net and almost score. Ditto for Cullen going to the net instead of the side boards. Exuberence at the use of 2, count em 2, PP lines for the first time this year.
    Solid game for Avery. He can really pass the puck . Avery fires the puck when he passes. Just beautiful. And he shoots the puck on net. Not wide.
    The only booing tonight was on an early Ranger PP when the JJ posse ( the original version with Prucha!) would not shoot the puck.
    It just better stay this way. Contrary to what it looked like, the Rangers played the trap for the last half of the game. I am not a fan of that strategy. It is begging to let the opponent up off the floor. We were up by so many goals so early tonight that the trap wasn’t that noticeable but I almost fell asleep for the last 6 minutes of the first. It became quite a bit exciting in the second and beyond!

  15. Dupuis trade doesn’t make too much sense.

    The amount of points they got is almost the same, Dupuis is older and Hall has more than twice as many hits as Dupuis. If we had anybody with brains they would just dump Hall and play some young guy or ship off Hall along with some young guy like Immonen for a better young guy. And if Hall is too slow then so is Jagr.

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