All in the name of journalism

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Yes, it was a slippery front end of my trip to the practice today, and this is to say nothing of what still awaits. It doesn’t help that the wife has the better snow car today, but that’s just what you do on Valentine’s Day. And they say chivalry is dead….

Meanwhile, the Rangers were busy wondering whether they were getting out of Westchester today or if they’d have to fly down to Carolina tomorrow. As of now, the plan is to push forward, but count Jaromir Jagr as a proponent of same day travel.

“In Czech league, we used to get there an hour before, get the two points and come home,” the captain said.

Marty Straka was sitting nearby, and he was asked if that’s how he remembered it back in the old country. But Jagr interceded.

“Marty was driving the bus,” Jagr said with a laugh.

For a guy still fighting the flu, his sense of humor is apparently intact.

A few more updates:

  • Yes, Stephen Valiquette is up with the team, but to clarify my earlier statement, he does NOT have to clear waivers. Because of Kevin Weekes’ condition — the backup will be out a week with a quadricep strain — the Rangers were granted a medical exception.
  • The lines that we saw yesterday are likely to hold up tomorrow, with Pascal Dupuis at left wing alongside Jed Ortmeyer and Matt Cullen. Jason Krog, Colton Orr and Thomas Pock will be the expected scratches.
  • Of course, illness remains a factor so stay tuned. Jagr skated today but said he still felt crummy — hence me interviewing him from a safe distance — and Tom Renney was still fighting the flu as well. Maybe a plane trip in close quarters isn’t what this team needs right now.

    OK, I’m off to brave the elements. If you see a black Honda Accord veering off the road, make sure you at least wave….

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    16 Comments

    1. It’s hard to break up a winning combination…but I guess they really want to get Dupuis into the mix. While they probably won’t need Orr’s fists, it’s hard to sit a guy who’s coming off a couple of good games.

      Any idea Sam, what the power play units and PK units will look like with Dupuis in the mix. One of things I’ve felt all this year was that if you got Prucha some PP time with Jagr, it would probably help his offense out a lot…give him confidence scoring, which might then translate into success at even strength.

      Also thought he looked like a good fit on the Jagr PP unit with his willingness to go to the net and to stand on the back door. Shanahan’s preference was to sit higher up to take the one timer or slap shot and I think that didn’t add as much as it does now on the other PP unit.

    2. Sam,

      What is the deal with Prucha? Does he have a spot or role on the team? I know last year half of his goals were on the power play and many were rebound and tap in goals but he still scored 30. I just want to know if he has a real role on this team?

    3. Meshuggah Renney thinks Prucha’s a utility man, rather than play him where he can thrive. Then most start talking about Prucha has had it, trade him. The other GM’s love it, they’ll take him in a heartbeat. Maybe they need a ‘coach’ instead, “Mr. 50 game then change man.”

    4. Never heard of a medical exemption for waivers, but glad we got one. Chris Holt backing up Lundqvist doesn’t seem like a good solution right now.

    5. Thordic… I think the reference medical exemption for waivers is actually called “emergency call-up”, and I think they are especially easy-going when it come to goalies, as it would be stupid to cancel an nhl game due to a team no being able to dress 2 goalies…

    6. bklynblue: How do you know the other GM’s have any interest in Prucha? His name has actually been mentioned in three Newspaper reports for trades. One involved Brent Seabrook and Chicago so that Prucha could play a top 6 forward role with Martin Havlat and Michael Handzus, and the other involved Martin Rucinsky and the Blues, and the last one was with the Penguins and Brendan Malone and Brooks Orpik. How do you any of them are true? Prucha is a nice player. He had a 30 goal year last year playing A LOT of 1st unit PP time. He has 12 goals this year. Is he is good as last year or as bad as this year, or somewhere in between? Probably the latter. If he is NOT on the top 2 lines he should NOT be on a checking line. He is not physical enough or sound enough in his own zone to play that role. Since the Team has won the last two games without him on either of the top 2 lines, I think they’re doing fine by placing him wherever, and letting him play PP with the big boys.

      Here’s a question: now that Marcel Hossa has 3 goals in 4 games, is he all of a sudden going to become untouchable in the eyes of Ranger fans? Is he an All Star now hat he’s playing with Jags? Or is he the guy the Rangers acquired for Garth Murray that was going to be sent to the Minors by the Canadians last year?

      Prucha is a spirited kid (with nice moves), that produced when playing Jaromir Jagr, on the Power Play…Let’s not make him anything he isn’t.

    7. Rick –

      Go watch highlights of Prucha from last season. He was playing MUCH better than he has this season. He has a lot more skill than we’ve seen this season, and with the right icetime and encouragement could really shine. He should be able to have 30/30 seasons no problem.

    8. rick mgmt & reporters have said so , but I haven’t talked to any gm’s persoally. would you like me to make some calls?

    9. bklynblue, yes calls would be nice…And by management do you mean Don Maloney speaking on the FAN that teams inquire about young players?

      Thordic: what I see from Prucha is what I saw last year…He mainly played even strength with Betts and Ward, then played PP on the left side with Jags while Straka played the point. The difference is that this year he is getting less garbage because teams are denying Jagr’s shot off the right wing boards. SO if he isn’t lighting it up, where does he belong on theis team?

    10. bklynblue, yes calls would be nice…And by management do you mean Don Maloney speaking on the FAN that teams inquire about young players?

      Thordic: what I see from Prucha is what I saw last year…He mainly played even strength with Betts and Ward, then played PP on the left side with Jags while Straka played the point. The difference is that this year he is getting less garbage because teams are denying Jagr’s shot off the right wing boards. SO if he isn’t lighting it up, where does he belong on this team? Do you play him with Shanny even though they’re both shooters that require players get the puck to them? Do you play him on checking line when he’s not a checker? Doesn’t really matter where he plays even strength. Let him get 6 minutes a night with Jagr and see if he can get some points-IF THAT HELPS THE TEAM…

    11. Sam,

      Would you know where in Raleigh the Blueshirts would be staying? A couple of my students who are from Ottawa were able to meet the Sens prior to their game versus the ‘Canes. Apparently, the Sens stayed at the Comfort Suites across the street from the RBC.

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