Nowhere to go but forward?

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*Update, 2 p.m.: The Rangers just announced they called up Brad Isbister from Hartford to take the roster spot vacated when Brendan Shanahan went on injured reserve on Saturday. This is probably a precaution should Marcel Hossa not be able to play tomorrow.*

If you were looking for your Knute Rockne moment from Jaromir Jagr today, you’re likely to be disappointed.

Because on a day when Rangers coach Tom Renney said his team has no choice but to forget about last night and push ahead tomorrow against the Devils, the team’s captain was busy lamenting how the Rangers continue to beat themselves late in games.

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“It’s getting frustrated because it’s the same thing all the time,” Jagr said. “It’s just over and over and over. You figure it out.”

Then Jagr walked out of the room.

Like I said, not exactly rally-the-troops stuff. But in some ways Jagr may have been expressing what everyone else was thinking — that it’s tough to stomach a game in which the Rangers felt like they threw practically everything they could at the Devils, and still had nothing to show for it.

“It’s kind of frustrating but we got to forget about games like this and focus on our next game,” said Petr Prucha, who had his own share of almosts last night. “We know what we have to do to be in the playoffs and we’re going for it. So we just have to forget about a tough game like this one.”

Easier said than done?

Well, yes, especially given the Rangers are physically as well as emotionally banged up after last night. Among the wounded: Michal Rozsival and Jed Ortmeyer with black eyes; Sean Avery with an injured wrist, Colton Orr with bloody knuckles. And there are the guys who are pretty much fine.

  • As for Marcel Hossa, the resurgent left wing did not skate today while recovering from the “upper body injury” (read: neck) sustained last night. Renney said Hossa is 50-50 to play tomorrow, which I suppose is better news than hearing he’s out altogether.
  • As for Marek Malik, the defenseman skated in a yellow jersey today and said his shoulder had recovered enough to play tomorrow (although Renney said a decision would be made in the morning). As for who Malik might replace, that’s a worthy question given the continued floundering play of Karel Rachunek. But that’s something we won’t know until tomorrow.

    OK, more in a bit….

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    45 Comments

    1. Renney better sit Rachunek if Malik plays. My god, that’s like sitting one problem for another.

      If the Rangers play the same game again tomorrow night, they’ll beat the Devils. How lucky can they get? Can they possibly score 2 goals off of Ranger players again? Can they have their whiny goalie throw a punch and have the 3rd man in AND get a PP out of it again?!

    2. the incident at the end of the second should have been an obvious wash. brodeur not only over-reacted, and was guilty of a roughing, but as we all saw he also took a dispicable dive – it was as though he were hit by a train. have some self respect! when the dust cleared i felt the call was obvious – off setting penalties all around, any advantage either way would have been uncalled for. naturally though, the rangers take the worst of it as usual. avery may have been a little over aggressive, but the puck WAS loose, and he was just hoping to pop it in. nothing wrong with that.

    3. hockeymanrangers on

      I don’t think they played great they played good but not great. We have all seen them hustle a little more and move the puck around a bit better. But I just felt that the devils were just that little bit better and that 2nd goal was going to be there’s. They need to, like I said in the last blog shoot the puck with more accuracy. Make the first one count instead of just throwing it at the net and expecting a rebound. I havn’t counted them out of the playoffs yet but they won’t go far at all if they do make it.

    4. Whenever they play NJ I tell myself I won’t even watch the game, but I always do. It’s so painful and frustrating to watch these games. Not only because they usually lose, but it’s how they lose. That boring trap that NJ has used for years causes other teams to press, press, press, and press some more just trying to get a decent scoring chance. If it’s maddening to watch I can only imagine how it is to play against. The two bright spots were clearly when Avery decked that whiny Brodeur (who gets away with tripping players in front of the net all the time), and when Orr took care of that cement-head Janssen who was seen threatening Ludqvist. If Renney had played Orr against the Flyers we might have won that game. At least the Rangers are fighting back since they traded for Avery.

    5. Despite his major gaffe on the Parise goal, I did notice Rachunek pulling the second Devil in off of Avery. And sscrew that baby, Broduer! I hope they run him again tomorrow night!

    6. perhaps a package with Malik and Rachunek?

      man, we could grab some serious 4th round action for them! (if we agree to pay 75% of their salaries)

    7. NJ Mark – just compare it:

      Malik (+21)
      Rachunek (-10)

      Malik is a lot better defensively, way better.

      Sam – about Avery – is he ok for tomorrow?
      And thanks for updates, you must be frustrated as we are… I can read it between the lines…

    8. Agreed Lowtide. Not necessarily run him, but Avery is 100% correct. The only way to beat Brodeur is to crash the net and get under his skin. Remember the 1997 playoffs? The Rangers had guys parked in front of the net all the time and were “in the crease.” That agitated him so much and threw him off his game. I hope Avery parks himself at the top of that crease all night long. Heck, ask him who’s better: his ex-wife or her sister. Anything to tick that lowlife baby off.

    9. Look at it this way. If the Rangers dont make the playoffs it wil be their own fault. They control their fate playing these teams (Many are on the bubble like NYI,MTL,ATL,CAR,TOR,BOS)

      NJ-1G
      CBJ-1G
      MTL-3G
      PIT-4G
      STL-1G
      NYI-4G
      CAR-1G
      OTT-1G
      ATL-1G
      TOR-1G
      PHI-2G
      BOS-2G

    10. Sam,

      Do you know why Nylander hasn’t taken many faceoffs lately? Last night Prucha was taking the faceoffs and previously it was Shanny.

    11. the league ruled that they will not switch over to the 3-point system, or change anything for next year. so what that means is that it is possible for one team to have less wins then another, but b/c of OT losses, they could make it into the playoffs before the other.

      just a few days ago the rangers had a game in hand on the isles, but the same amount of wins. however, the isles were ahead of them in points b/c of the OT/SO losses. if the rangers could have converted on one of the games in hand, they would have had one more win, yet still fewer points.

      but this system makes perfect sense. im not saying they should change everything, its just that some games are worth 2 points and others 3. before the SO each game was worth 2 – either you won and got 2 points or a tie resulted in 1 point each. now that the SO decides a winner, the winner gets 2 and the looser gets 1, resulting in a 3 point game. the league should decide to go to the 3 point system or award no points for losing, b/c the system now is just too undecisive.

    12. Isbister’s call up is a mistake. This was a genuine chance to give Callahan a genuine look. They could’ve even brought up Dawes. But that’s a serious error in judgment bringing up Isbister instead of Callahan. Man, what are they thinking?

    13. “Do you know why Nylander hasn’t taken many faceoffs lately? Last night Prucha was taking the faceoffs and previously it was Shanny”

      yeah, he sucks at them.

      “before the SO each game was worth 2″

      It started before the SO. OT losses have been worth 1 pt since 1999-2000.

    14. And Leetchy, it was still plenty possible in the days of the 2 pt game for a team with less wins to make the playoffs over another team with more because ties were worth one point.

      40-20-20 would make the playoffs over 45-37-0. Just an example.

    15. True Fans bleed RW&B on

      Hospodar…devils fan I suppose? Scratch that, you’re simply a Rangers hater because no one will ever know or care about the swamp-dwelling Devils anyway.

      PS: Tell Marty and Cam they are behind 2-0 to Colton and Sean.

    16. Isibister has been given 100 chances in his career to become a solid player, and has failed miserably, so Sather gives him yet another chance whatta joke. Rachunek is so freaking bad it borders on sabotage waive the stiff already!

    17. I’ll said it before and i will say it again. Watching prucha prosper with the increased ice time the last few games makes me feel even stronger that bringing in shanny was a mistake. He is simply stunting the growth of guys like prucha and dawes by taking there ice and/or there roster spot…Yes, shanny is a warrior, hall of famer, winner, However he obviously hasn’t help us win more games since we’re on the outside looking in, after his red shot start, he certainly has slowed down as the season has progressed….

    18. Hey, that guy looks familiar….

      Isbister is the only call up that makes sense right now…Being called up in case Hossa can’t go (not likely) or for 5 minutes for the 4th line instead of Hollweg..Not a spot for Callahan..

      Don’t get me wrong, Callahan has earned a call up–the only kid in Hartford that really has– but it just doesn’t makes sense for him right now…Maybe after we completley tank in the next week or two (seems to be what alot of people want), then he can get alot of ice time..

    19. brodeur’s dive….imagine if he threw himself back any farther, he would have hit his head on the crossbar. Imagine the response on that…oh man I don’t even want to think about it. Avery would prob be suspended/arrested due to Marty’s actions

    20. Anyone who calls themselves a Rangers fan would not want the team to tank so soon, especially since they are so close to a playoff spot and basically control their own destiny since they play the teams in front of them quite a bit over the next month and a half.

      Sorry, I know I might be upsetting some people when I say that, but I just can’t root against them, especially when we’re so close to a playoff spot, playing much better the last few weeks, and far from getting a top 5 draft pick.

      Besides, as great as it would be to get a look at some prospects like Callahan, Dubinsky, etc., do we really want them to come up to a losing atmosphere? What will that do to guys like Henrik, Prucha, Avery, etc? Do we want them to feel like they are part of a losing franchise?

    21. I don’t think you are upsetting anyone, Mark. We all want the team to win. We’ve just seen this whole, exact same story play out so many times in the last decade tat we know what’s going to happen already and it makes it easier to accept it, just admitting it now.

      As for Isbister, well, he is, after all, a big, strong man. Yes he is.

    22. the Rangers have 29 wins in 60 games. so do the Isles and Toronto. but the Rangers are 3 pts. behind them both because of the ridiculous NHL “points for losing” system.

      won’t fans be thrilled when the Rangers miss a playoff spot because of this joke of a system.

      and the GMs just rejected today any changes to the system for next year too.

      it should just be wins and losses, period.

    23. Doodie Machetto on

      Hospo, you’re dead wrong. If Hossa is a no go, then Callahan could have had prime ice time on the top line(or 2nd line if they decide to bump up Prucha instead, also fine). If Hossa can play, Callahan is a healthy scratch but gets a chance to practice with the team. Hartford isn’t even playing again until the 24th! Even if he stayed through Saturday, missing one game in Hartford for the 50/50(Hossa’s probability) chance to get REAL big club ice time is definitely worth it.

    24. Doodie Machetto on

      I like how everyone forgets ties, which were around long before the idea of a point for an OT loss. Any shootout game would have been a tie. Points for both teams. Not new stuff here folks.

      They should, however, get rid of the point for a loss in OT without the shootout, since the shootout already is a consolation prize comparable to the tie.

      I, however, am for the 3 pt system.

    25. Hey guys first time posting here,with 2 games left for the rangers before the deadline if they lose to the devils and beat columbus do you think sather is a buyer and if they actually lose both do you think we become sellers.

    26. Sam, ask Renney if he will be relieved of his duties if they fail to make the playoffs this season.

      talk about a dumbass organization that neither makes the playoffs nor wants to develop youngsters.

    27. I say either way, they make one very minor move at the most. I just don’t see Sather giving up the farm for those old vets out there.

    28. I think the Rangers will need to trade for the deficiencies that have been exposed time and time again this season by teams that are willing to take a penalty in order to intimidate. Players such as Purinton would not and should not be considered as answers to this deficiency. Players such as Sean Avery are the answer. And if Avery was available for J Ward and a prospect, then the Rangers should focus on trading for more Sean Avery types and tryto dump Blair Betts, Marcel Hossa (while he’s hot), Arron Ward, Rosival, Malik, Rachuneck, Nylander, and Straka if a deal comes along for more rugged ,less intimdated types of players. For example. John Madden,Todd Bertuzzi,Darcy Tucker,Pavel Kubina, Paul Mara,Todd Fydorik,Zanus Zubris, Keith Tkachuk, to name a few. No real superstars just players who don’t take a dump in their hockey pants when they are being checked hard.

    29. It is useless to use the officiating as a reason for the Rangers ineffective offense. The Rangers continue to lack goal scoring every night except for a rare few. The dependency on Jaromir Jagr continues to drag down the team.The managements inability to balance the offensive attack has completely stifled the Rangers. On an evening when Brendan Shanahan was not available to the team, the management insists on replacing a 25 goal score with a defensive minded forward. Instead of calling in goal producing forwards from Hartford to fill the void. Managements inability to land Peter Forsberg as the offensive center that the Rangers need so deperately will come back to haunt this organization much more than the two prospects that would have gone for him hypothetically.
      The lack of Sean Avery type players on the Ranger roster is reeking havock with the teams ability to compete every night. This roster was built with just as much money as many others in the NHL . There is no longer that inequality available to the Rangers to bring in a player for cash when the management screws up the roster. That is very evident this evening. Management has no where to hide tonight. The Rangers are not prepared to compete for a playoff position as of this evening. And will not be prepared until this current roster is decimated.

    30. DM – The Rangers are doing what’s best for getting the points right now, as they should…Isbister as a potential replacement for Hossa and maybe a 4th liner (with guys like Pruch and Dupuis moving up) is a better option then playing Callahan on the 4th line right now. And despite what some peoples hopes are, the Rangers aren’t sliding Callahan onto the 2nd or even 3rd line during a PO rush..So, only Isbister was goingto be the call up…And since he was, I’m not wrong..:)

    31. czechthemout!!!!! on

      hospo-you are wrong.shtsbisterhas been given hundereds of chances to prove he is a player and yet he has failed.what makes you think that at age 29 or 30 he will all of a sudden wake up?callahan has outscored him,outplayed him,and outhit him in the dozen or so games that i have seen the pack play.if you are a ranger draft pick you are doomed to never be given a chance to play in the nhl until you are traded to another team.the sabers had six count em six rookies in the lineup yesturday and they wipped the flyers 6-3 and their rookies contributed one of them scored his first nhl goal.why is it that a team like buffulo who is in first place does not fear to trust the kids that they have drafted?

    32. Isbister has been the Wolf Pack’s best forward the past 3-4 weeks. And it would be a waste to call up one of the youngsters and have him play 4-5-6 minutes on the fourth line when he can continue to develop playing 20 minutes a night in all situations with the Wolf Pack.

    33. Marty's whine cellar on

      hopefully the fans will be all over Brodeur from the warmups on tomorrow night. He flopped like a dead fish when Avery pushed him back. Avery is right. Brodeur is a whiner, and a reason for the refs giving the Devils the benefit of the doubt on calls all the time.

      the Rangers need to stop playing the chess match with the Devils, which favors them, and go all out offensively with 2 forecheckers. get on their D, and stop giving them time set up.

    34. The Rangers played a perfectly good game last night. Their problem is not that they are unable to compete with New Jersey, or need to play the Devils differently. They have competed well with Jersey all year, despite losing all 4 to Buffalo they competed well with them (3 in OT or shootout), and they also competed well with the better teams in the Western Conference. And their problem is not that they need Peter Forsberg.

      The Rangers problem is that they don’t come to play every game the way they came to play last night. If they did, they would have at least spolit with the Isles; they would not have blown 2 and 3 goal leads to Florida and Tampa, respectively; they wouldn’t have lost to the LA Kings; they would have taken Philly more seriously on Saturday. That right there, off the top of my head, are 12 points this team should have, which puts them right in the thick of it. This is exactly like it ws pre-lockout. For whatever reason, the team doesn’t bother to show up every night. And maybe no team is able to do that. But the team is not motivated to show up. The coach lets the same older players make the same lazy mistakes, benches none of them, they blow a bunch of games they should win, and then they get to this point in the season and play as well as they can, but like most teams that isn’t enough to win games and make the playoffs because at this point they need to win EVERY game. And many of us sit here saying it all season “this is one of those losses that will haunt us at year’s end.” And now here we are again.

    35. czechthemout – Yes, all Ranger kids are doomed and will never ever play in the NHL..hear that Hollweg, Prucha, Girardi, Tyutin, Pock, Lundqvist? You really aren’t playing for the Rangers…

      And nowhere did I say Isbister was the better player or the player I like better. He is neither..So chill out a bit…Right now, for emergency situations and limited ice time, Isbister is the better call…That’s all..

      I agree that Callahan should have been up already and playing but thats water under the bridge now..

      And you talk about all the Ranger kids that should be playing? Who? Dawes and Immo who have been stuck in the mud? Dubinsky after a hlaf a year of pro hockey? The Sabres rookies play because right now they are better and more ready..The Ranger kids will be next year..

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