Same old story

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At one point yesterday I was going through my digital recorder to erase some old interviews when I heard the voice of Henrik Lundqvist.

“It’s a really frustrating loss,” the goaltender was saying. “It’s tough.”

Here’s the scary part: I wasn’t sure which of the countless frustrating losses this season he was talking about.

Naturally, “last night falls into that category as well”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070223/SPORTS01/702230407/1034/SPORTS, in another game that the Rangers played well enough to win, and yet still did just enough to lose.

More to discuss later….

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61 Comments

  1. I can’t take this anymore. For 3 weeks, I’ve been defending this team, saying they can make the playoffs. And for 3 weeks, they have played much better than they have all season. And yet, they never seem to get 2 points. I still think if they keep playing like this, they will beat the teams in front of them. But I can’t take much more of this. I didn’t get to read everyone’s posts yet, so forgive me if I am repeating any of you:

    1. Someone please teach Renney how to select a shootout lineup for the top 3.

    2. Our captain needs to step up and do the shootout. A team’s best player is supposed to be the guy that carries the team on his back and leads them to victory. Hard to do that when you put yourself on the bench for the shootout.

    3. Poor Henrik. He keeps playing his butt off, and doesn’t get the wins to show for it. If he was on a top team, he’d have 30-35 wins now.

    4. How come everytime that piece of crap Brodeur gets bumped, he makes like a freight train hit him and has to fall over and embelish it?! How about a diving call on him?! Piece of crap.

    5. The refs are TERRIBLE. Betts gets held. No call. Avery takes an elbow to the head. No call. Jagr barely tocuhes Brodeur (as a result of having his leg held!). 2 minutes for goalie interference. Tyutin’s stick gets stepped on. 2 minutes. I’m sick of it. If this league wants to become popular again, they need the Rangers deep into the playoffs. But the league will never see that because the refs can’t call an even game. I guess they are still upset about Shanny shooting his mouth off.

    Not that a few PP’s would help us. They have Jagr playing with the puck for 1 minute of it, and Roszival sucks on the point. He simply cannot hit the net.

    OK, I’m done. Let me go throw up now.

  2. Sam, have we traded our draft choice for ’07 already? It looks like we may be picking ahead of Boston now.

  3. One more thing about how Jagr gets treated by the refs: It’s obvious that the league wants Jagr to be pummelled every game so he doesn’t threaten any more records set by Canadians.

  4. “the Rangers played well enough to win, and yet still did just enough to lose.”

    like they say good teams find a way to win, bad teams find a way to lose. the rangers are a bad team.

    and words can’t describe how PATHETIC our ‘fearless’ leader is that he opts out of a shootout in one of the biggest games of the year. actually there is a word to describe it COWARD. do you think that messier would ever opt out of that situation?? mark would have to be literally dead to not want the puck on his stick in a big moment. jagr proved that he is not a leader and that this team is going no where with him as the captain.

  5. NHL is a huge bullsh*t right now, it’s a crap nobody wants to watch. Bettman is putting this organization in self-destruction mode.

  6. A good coach wouldn’t have let the Rangers be taken by surprise against the Flyers on Saturday. The Flyers came out strong and the Rangers obviously weren’t prepared for it and knocked them right out and lost a monstrous 2 points. There is no other excuse for the loss other than not being prepared. I can’t get the bitter taste out after that one.

  7. Although I am beyond frustrated this morning, I can’t give up yet because they are outplaying their opponents, including the Devils in back to back games. If they keep playing like this and Henrik keeps it up, they will catch the NYI, TOR, etc. They’re behind the NYI by 2 games with 20+ left. Far from over.

    Now if they come out and stink up the joint, then I will have given up. I think they’ll beat up on Columbus pretty bad tomorrow night, but they need these teams in front to stop getting points every single game.

  8. I love ortmeyer, but the guy just can’t finish, at least hit the freakin net, how many times!!!….
    i echo everything about jagr, thats a joke that he takes himself out, he’s the Captain, and needs to step up…cullen hasn’t scored a shootout goal all season…

    very curious to see what happens to this team if we miss the playoffs…management needs to leave spots OPEN for guys like callahan, staal, and even a dawes…let montoya backup so we can trade him and get some value back….
    If there’s one FA this team needs to give everything to its Scott Gomez. He is a stud….

  9. I get the feeling that not taking Parise in the draft is going to haunt us for a long time. The guy is a Ranger killer already.

    Remember the Future Blue episode where the Ranger’s draft table all cringed as one after the Devils announced Parise’s name? That was pretty telling.

    I know this has nothing to do with Hugh, because the accountability is on the Rangers for drafting Hugh despite having a massive raging one for Parise.

    Hugh is going to be compared to Zack, whether it is fair or not, and right now it’s pretty obvious to see whom the better player is. I really hope Hugh pans out though.

    On the bright side, the Rangers have some nice non-drafted players on their team: Girardi, Ortmeyer, and Pock.

  10. if this team plays the rest of the games the way they played the last 2 they will be in the playoffs…… good luck getting the same energy every night.

  11. The most discouraging part for me is despite the fact they played really strong against the Devils both games, something tells me this team is going to play down to the level of Columbus tomorrow and get caught flat-footed, just like the Flyers game.

  12. Does anyone really want them to make the playoffs?….clearly they’re not good enough (especially on defense) to win a series….i sit there and pull for this team every game, screaming at the tv, but i would really rather them sell off some players (i.e. nylander) and build for next year

  13. Doodie Machetto on

    “NHL is a huge bullsh*t right now, it’s a crap nobody wants to watch. Bettman is putting this organization in self-destruction mode.”

    HA! now Bettman is ruining the Rangers! that’s an original one.

    Attention: Bettman does only what owners tell him to. Nothing else. Why is this hard for everyone to understand? Blame the owners. Dolan is the Devil.

  14. After weeding through the ridiculous posts from last night, I don’t know which was more abysmal, the gut-wrenching loss or the piss-poor reaction fans seem to take these days toward this team and toward each other. It’s really bothersome that there are people out there who find it appropriate to relentlessly rank on one another ONLINE over a hockey team everyone here likes equally. Then again, these are probably the same dolts who curse at children and beat each other up at peewee hockey games.

    Man, I don’t know where a lot of you people were between 1998 and 2004, but these guys are at least IN these games. And while Jagr is not the vocal-type leader that Shanny is, he shouldn’t be castigated for not being the first skater in the shootout. You people want him to step up and blow the game? Then what? You can bitch more about how he should be traded to some team in a fanciful deal that will bring back five top-flight prospects? Get real.

    Fact is, loosing in a shoot out to one of the best teams in the league isn’t admirable, but it’s a hell of a lot better than some of the anemic games during Messier’s second stint. And were it between Mess circa 2001-2004 or Jagr, I’d take Jagr any day in a New York minute.

    Back to the fanciful trades and the “sellers” mentality, WAKE UP PEOPLE. Remeber the great dump of 2004? Who did the team get then, do tell? Well, let’s go to the video tape: Balej(now playing in the swiss leagues), Giroux(still in the AHL), Rachuneck(who everyone wants to trade now), Kondratiev(back in Russia), Umberger(who was never signed), Martin Grenier(AHL), Steve Valiquette (AHL lifer), Dwight Helminen(likely the same), Rick Kozak(just made the ECHL) Chris McAllister(in the UHL), Jamie McLennan(one of four guys recieved during the purge now in the NHL with the Flames), and Blair Betts (the second of three guys still with the Rangers).

    The only remaining rays of hope from that purge are Greg Moore(18 pts. in 53 AHL games), Dave Liffiton (who’s just barely on the radar screen in the AHL)and Immonen(likewise). And perhaps the best chance this team will have to secure their next regular from the deal is the emergence of Dane Byers(part of the Nedved deal), but even that’s a bit of a long shot.

    Oh yeah, and then there’s Jagr…

    So let’s sum it up for the cheep seats: trade Nedved, Markenen, Leetch, Rucincsky, Malahkov, Simon, Barnaby, De Vries, and Carter…get back Jagr, Betts and Rachuneck, all of whom people want moved now.

    And you think Nylander, Malik, Jagr, Hossa, Rachuneck, Cullen, and Rachuneck is going to bring a better haul? Maybe secure Stafford or Gausted from the Sabers, or Bourret from Atlanta, Brown from the kings and( possibly the most laughable of all) Bernier from the Sharks?!? GET REAL.

    What the Rangers would get back in a purge would be the same dreck they got in ’04 and a team that would be miserable to watch over the next month(as they were in ’04). Frankly, I’m glad the purge occured, regardless of the results, but it’s not going to help in this situation, where there’s a team that’s probably one player short of making the playoffs. And that player could very well be Shanahan.

  15. They said going into last night devils have had 33 pp to the rangers 18..last night i believe it was 5 to 2, so thats 38 to 20..almost 2 to 1…absurd, especially when questionable non calls are then resulting in devils scoring chances and powerplays….
    the charge on hollweg? he hit jenny from the side….the jagr call was absolute crap, he was tripped, and the whiner completely took a dive…betts gets his stick held and then they make a questionable call on tutin the other end of the ice…it also looked like tuts got the puck first, so he shouldn’t have rec a penalty…its all mind boggling…

  16. Avery Blasts Brodeur aka Malik Must GO on

    I am starting to feel bad for myself for wasting so many hours reading about/watching games this year.

    Does anyone think they can rattle off 5 in a row or am I being stupidly optimistic.

  17. I agree that a purge is not what’s needed, but this team is not making the playoffs this year, and they should certainly listen to offers for some of the players. But who can they actually move. Nylander? yea maybe. Prucha? maybe,, but I wouldn’t- not now anyway. Pretty much everyone else is either cap restrictive and too expensive as a rental, or not going to bring any upgrades in return.

  18. i don’t think anyone is talking about a purge…..i agree with the post i read yesterday that said that this team is close to be a very competitive playoff team….they are missing 1 or 2 key players….i advocate trading nylander for a couple reasons:
    1) He handles the puck way too much, with it leading to nothing but a turnover most of the time.
    2) He’s a huge defensive liability and having 1 guy on the team (Jagr) that plays that way is enough.
    3) He soft – I’m not saying that every player has to be a goon, but the fact that he was joking with Brodeur immediately after avery got mauled in tuesday’s game in jersey enraged me the most out of anything. Every hockey player needs a little bite to them, and nylander has none.
    4) As a playmaking center, he could fetch a nice return, and his value will probably never be higher…..

    With that said, I say trade him ONLY if you can get a young player that will be able to contribute next year.

    Like everyone, I would love to trade away some of the D-Men for anything (Rachuneck, malik, etc.), but realistically, I don’t think anyone would want them

    The bottom line is it does no good just to get to the playoffs….it takes years to build a winner and the team should keep their eye on winning the cup in a few years instead of making the playoffs and exiting early the next couple of years

  19. Even though Rangers still can make the playoffs I doubt they will. The problem is our team as a whole. I agree that JJ is not Messier-like leader but he is the leader non-theless. The problem is other guys are not stepping up (Cullen, Ortmeyer, Dupouis….). 3 nad 4th line need to score.

  20. I am tired of NHL conspiracy against the Rangers. Blatant non-calls by officials are just enraging!

  21. They should have done it a few months ago, but if ever there was a time to fire a coach. Listening to Renney’s postgame interview and reading his quotes today are just infuriating. It’s great that the team is trying and all but they aren’t getting it done under his “leadership.” Once the Devils tied the game it became clear that Renney wanted a shootout. How you do not play Prucha in overtime (in fact I am not sure Prucha has a single minute in overtime this season) and then to have Cullen shoot third comeon. Renney should just make Jagr shoot, he is the coach not Jagr, act like it. Not saying it is all Renney’s fault, but he is surely not helping

  22. i agree, tdchi…great post…pretty pathetic…u did forget korploski, but he isn’t anything special either…makes u wonder about our scouting…combined with the parise/hugh debacle…

  23. If this league wants to become popular again, they need the Rangers deep into the playoffs.”

    What kind of nonsense is that? Popular with whom, Flyer fans? Or maybe Bruins’ fans?

    The majority of fans enjoyed just hearing about the Buffalo-Ottawa game. That’s hockey the way it is supposed to be, before Bettman got his clammy hands on the game. People want excitement. If the league wants to become popular again, they need Bettman out of there, pure and simple.

    You can’t use the refs as an excuse, but there were three calls on the Devils ignored and then Jagr got hit for goalie interference when clearly he was bumped onto one leg, off balance. That’s not a penalty.

    The team is playing as well as it can, but maybe it’s just not good enough. They are still only five points out with two games in hand. But they have to win those games obviously.

  24. If there is still any Playoffs flame in this team they NEED to win at least two games left this month – Columbus & Montreal. If they fail to collect 4 points out of these 2 games then no Playoffs. Sorry.

  25. OK, i get that Jagr doesnt want to do the shootout. BUT– Please Sam, explain why Cullen and Hossa were ahead of Straka?? That seems to be a bad coaching decision there– or did Renney forget about Straka the same way he forgot about Sykora last year until the 7th round?

  26. Ivrydov:

    The fact of the matter is the NHL is losing more and more market share as each season goes by. The only fans left are lifelong hockey fans. And ratings are down because your big market teams like the NYR and Chicago are not succeeding. Look at when the Rangers won in 1994. The sport was 3rd! It was ahead of basketball.

  27. Sam,
    Do you think Jagr is to introspective? That maybe he thinks to much and should take his talent out on the ice and try the shootout. I understand he feels he is not “good” enough (for head or health reasons)but is it any worse the Cullen. Hossa was 2 for 2 in shootouts.

  28. Longtimerangerfan on

    tdchi wrote:
    February 23rd, 2007 at 10:12 am
    After weeding through the ridiculous posts from last night, I don’t know which was more abysmal, the gut-wrenching loss or the piss-poor reaction fans seem to take these days toward this team and toward each other.

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in what people posted last night as it was just venting. Look at the posts today and you will see that after a cooling off period there have been some sane and viable comments made. We are, what we are, rabid Ranger fans and hate to lose in the manner that we have been losing so try to cut some slack to our “fellow” Ranger fans.

  29. Longtimerangerfan on

    Longtimerangerfan
    February 23rd, 2007 at 11:58 am
    tdchi wrote:
    February 23rd, 2007 at 10:12 am
    “After weeding through the ridiculous posts from last night, I don’t know which was more abysmal, the gut-wrenching loss or the piss-poor reaction fans seem to take these days toward this team and toward each other.”

    tdchi,

    I wouldn’t put too much stock in what people posted last night as it was just venting. Look at the posts today and you will see that after a cooling off period there have been some sane and viable comments made. We are, what we are, rabid Ranger fans and hate to lose in the manner that we have been losing so try to cut some slack to our “fellow� Ranger fans.

    Sorry, I should have put quotation marks around what tdchi said.

  30. Devils-

    It just makes me mad(or maybe jealous you decide)

    They don’t even sell out playoff games. That’s pathetic. And they’re always good, what’s wrong with those fans?

  31. Bleeker- I wouldn’t have put Cullen in either, but Hossa has owned the shootout and had smoked Marty w/ a shootout type goal earlier. I would have put Prucha before Cullen, but that wouldn’t have done much good.

  32. Guys stop blaming JJ although I agree he does not set the best example for the team but toughness starts with the coach. I am sorry to say but Renney is pu$$y. This team does not need a “players coach” it needs a good kick in the a$$. Do remember Devils form last year? The reason the won 15 in the row after playing awful year was Lou. I remember interview with Gomez and when he was asked about Lou he said “players are just afraid of him”. This is the trainer Rangers need!

    Toughness starts with the coach!!! Look at Ruff last night he sent his 4th line headhunting after Drury was freight trained by Neil. And what happened when JJ was knoched out by Hatcher??? He was laying there and nobody even bothered to come to his defense and knock Hatchers teeth out. I would love to see Hatcher try that with Islanders… Fishsticks have a team that sticks up for one another. Rangers have a mob that plays together but whenever there is a situation arises nothing happens. TEAM SPIRIT this is what this team is missing!!!

  33. A playoff caliber team that plays the trap is still just boring. Why go to the arena? The one spark they have is Janssen – and he’s… not that good. Oh – and you can’t forget the newly labelled whiner who should also be fined for diving. Were I a Devils fan (cough) I’d still stay home and watch the tube version.

    How do they get such favorable officiating anyway? I believe that both games this week were decided (if not decided then at least greatly influenced) by officiating. Please tell me this is not what was intended when the “NEW NHL” was unveiled.

    The NHL is in bad shape and it is getting worse.

    The frustration experienced by the Rangers players this week is a function of “non-calls”. With the level of intensity that was sustained in both games, comes a true measure of team effort. In fairly whistled games, that effort can be measured by the number of calls that go your way because you out-worked your opponent on that shift or on the play. Look at the math or clock or whaterver- The Rangers should have had ten additional power play opportunities over those two games. Ten power plays, even for a team whose power play is not in top form, will decide those games. Ten penalty kills will surely tire the “D” and Goal keeper, so whether you score on the PPs or not, you still want that 5 on 4.

    Some time ago, over the course of a few games, these calls used to even out. Not any more. Like I said, it is getting worse.

  34. Longtimerangerfan on

    I’ve said it before, get rid of one of the referees as the officiating was better before they added another. The ice is too clogged up anyway and I think that one ref may be waiting for the other to make a call and consequently nothing gets called. Oftentimes the ref at center ice makes the call and the one nearest the play does not. Let the linesmen make “intent to injure” or “major” penalty calls if the ref doesn’t see it.

    Contrary to what the “League” might say, the officiating is absymal.

  35. hockeymanrangers on

    I have been saying this since the all star break bring up CALLAHAN. What do we have to lose, we need someone that can put the puck in the net and he has been doing it. WHAT DO WE HAVE TO LOSE????? NOTHING, EXCEPT CALLAHAN GETTING SOME NHL EXPERIANCE. I really hate to blame everything on Renny but come on he just does not know when to make the right moves. This team now is consistantly losing, I will be very surprised if we make the playoffs. And if we do we get embarassed again like we did last year.

  36. SAM:

    Any murmuring from Ranger players about Jagr tanking on the shootout? I know Avery has an opinion. I think the captaincy needs to be taken away from him if he does not do the shootout. Captains are supposed to be leaders.

  37. Last night was the first time I’ve actually felt like the officiating was biased — but it doesn’t matter. The Rangers have opportunities and they don’t close. If you can’t finish and you can’t maintain a lead, you’re scr–ed no matter how the calls go.

  38. “Consequently he’s NOT INTERESTED in shooting” were Renney’s words about Jagr last night. Is there really any doubt about who’s in charge here? I’m sick of the persistent Euro psycho babble that surrounds this team.

    Honestly…when we were up 2-1 in the 3rd period….did anyone here actually believe we could win without scoring again?

  39. Doodie Machetto on

    “Do you think Beckham put the MLS ahead of NHL? That makes me nervous.”

    Nope. I have a job interview with MLS on Tuesday. Whenever I tell anyone about it, their immediate response is “What’s MLS?”

  40. “NHL is a huge bullsh*t right now, it’s a crap nobody wants to watch. Bettman is putting this organization in self-destruction mode.”

    In my own case, I actually came back to the NHL after the strike. I lost interest in the League around 1997 or so, and I figured this was the opportunity to jump back in. I don’t have nay problems with the changes, and I find watching hockey* and following the sport to be enjoyable.

    *If I blamed Bettman for anything, it would be the inability to watch hockey on television. I know he’s not going to get every game on network TV or even EPSN, but the hockey packages are way too expensive for a league no one watches.

  41. Sather got all that crap back in trades at the 04 purge and he still has a job. Unbelievable. Its going to be one playoff round in a decade.

  42. TDCHI great and thoughtful post..

    I am a fool, I think they are not that far off from (not winning the cup) but being a pretty good team..

    Look at the games, so close… Are they losing because they are lacking heart, character,luck, or talent?? Management needs to figure that out and make the changes or I know this sounds outrageous stay the course allow the team to grow and jell and promote from within.

    I am aware that Cam Neely he is not but Hossa has played much better the last 10 games. Yes it may be only because he is playing with a mega stud(Jagr) but maybe it is more. Prucha has produced lately also. They are both still young, maybe we need to show them some time…

  43. Any news on the rumor front? Any more Eric Lindros’s, Pavel Bure’s, or Ozo’s making their home on Broadway this year?

  44. RANGERS ARE DONE! No way are they all of a sudden going to be able to win 15 of their last 21. Eight out of nine years with no playoffs!!! In the NHL? Amazing.

  45. I think the purge is just what is needed, get rid of Jagr and his friends, Shanahan, Renney, Sather, Maloney, Scouts, etc. Clean up the house

  46. Doc Emrick had a funny line in Tuesday’s game. “Oh and Colton Orr tried to knock Rafalski into next week, but he only got a day and a half!”

  47. Sean: I have been saying it even before last nights game. It is way too late!!! There is too many should have been done earlier things in this season (Avery, Ozo, Kaspar, Girardi, etc…).

  48. 7make the money on

    that post by tdchi is just pure BULLSHIT.

    nobody really thinks a trade purge will occur, they are just posting out of frustration, so he is just flailing at windmills, making a phony straw argument.

    then, he points out how little they got in the ’04 purge. well, guess what, that shows the incompetence of Sather, his boy who he defends all the time. so that is on him.

    and then there is his bullshit defense of Jagr. let me say it slow so he can understand it, JAGR TOLD REPORTERS HE WOULD CARRY THE TEAM. the fans did not make that up. the posters here did not make that up. jagr went out of his way according to SAM to tell everyone that HE was going to carry the load the rest of the way and get the job done.

    and what does he do? he bails out on a shootout that could win the game for his team, and lets a few lesser light teammates take the pressure, while the CRAPTAIN pouts and sulks on the bench.

    SAM, bring out your audio clip of Jagr telling you that he would carry the team, and then let’s match that to his actions.

    no wonder they wanted him out of Washington in the worst way.

  49. 1. This is hockey. Everyone knows one guy can’t carry a team. Jagr was trying to instill confidence. He’s not the one making the mistakes that end up in our net, Aaron Ward and Karel Rachunek are. He’s not the one sending them out there again and again despite pathetic results, Renney is.

    2. Honestly, who cares if he refused to partake in the shootout? In all likelihood he would not have scored. What, did he depreive the team of a moral victory by not going? Please. The Rangers, in case anyone forgot, have this year done the following:

    1. Blown a two-goal third period lead at Florida
    2. Blown a three-goal third period lead at Tampa Bay
    3. Blown a 2 goal third-period lead at home against Detroit.
    4. Not managed to get a single of eight available points from the Islanders.
    5. Blown a two-goal lead to NJ just last night.
    6. Managed to come out flat off a three game winning streak and get mauled by Philly in what will surely be viewed as the ultimate nail in the coffin for this year.

    That right there is at least 10 points that there are no excuse for the Rangers not to have. What that does is give the team no margin for error at all in the stretch, which is right now. If they’d won those games, which were theirs for the taking, they would be right in the thick of the playoff picture and the generally .500 + hockey they’re playing right now would be fine. Instead, they need to play .750 hockey. And they can’t. So stop harping on whether or not Jagr shot. The fact that the season has come down to this is a result of series of abysmal failures over the last 4 months. It’s not like the team went to game seven of the finals and Jagr refused to play. This team blew it, all year long when it counted, and is now in a hole it can’t dig out of. Hardly on Jagr’s shoulders for not shooting last night.

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