What’s French for “Get the heck out of here”?

67

There are Montreal Canadiens milling about the hallway here since they’re using the Rangers practice facility today. In fact, I should make this quick since word is Souray, Kovalev and Co. want the use of this media room to get dressed as soon as I leave.

(By the way, not necessarily a smart move by Montreal management letting players see the Rangers facilities if they expect to hold on to their free agents this summer. Because suddenly your digs back north of the border pale in comparison.

Of course, sign with the Rangers and you have to deal with clowns like me, so maybe it’s a wash…)

Anyway, some quick rundowns from the morning skate:

  • Martin Straka was on the ice but wearing the dreaded no-contact yellow jersey, and will not play tonight against the Pens. Even worse, after originally saying he thought Straka was close to a certainty against St. Louis on Saturday, Tom Renney now saying he is merely hopeful that the forward can return by then.
  • Paul Mara will be paired with Karel Rachunek on defense, and will also see time on the second power play. Tommy Pock is back as a scratch, while Norris Trophy favorite Marek Malik is in his usual spot alongside Michal Rozsival. (Humor, folks. If you don’t laugh, you cry).
  • Jarkko Immonen will be back at center between Jed Ortmeyer and Brad Isbister (in fact, all the forward lines are the exact same as Tuesday). Since the Jarkko “foot speed” issue has been a favorite topic with readers on this blog, I figured I’d ask Immonen himself whether he think his lack of speed is an issue.

    “Of course I’m not the fastest skater. It’s not my style. I’m more a playmaker than a natural skater,” Immonen said. “So of course I need to improve my skating and get more speed.”

    I asked Immonen if he thinks it’s something he can improve and he said he can with some sprints, especially since he said he does notice a difference at the NHL level.

    My take? Immonen can get faster, but he can also get bigger, which would certainly take attention away from his supposed lack of speed. And that’s the thing: it’s one thing to be of average speed when you’re of average NHL size. But when you’re smaller than most players as well, that’s when it becomes an issue.

    OK, more later…

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    67 Comments

    1. When will they get it?

      Pock needs to be in the lineup. The more he plays, the better he is. He has a hard, accurate shot from the blueline.

      I have had enough with Malik and Rachunek making mistakes in the D zone. It costs us too much.

    2. True Fans bleed RW&B on

      1. The potvin chant is awful. I have to explain what it actually means to at least 2 people (who follow along) every game.

      2. Poti was awful. OK, not awful but he was pretty bad. He had the defensive skills of Brian Leetch and the offensive skills of Rachunek – what does that give you? Aaron Ward – and thats useless to a hockey team…he was booed right out of Edm and NYR…so good luck NYI and good riddance.

      3. Malik has been our steadiest defensman the past 2 months. Roszival thinks he’s Nylander and makes the worst turnovers or gets pressured into making horrible passes. Tyutin, who knows what his problem is. Rachunek has been atrocious for a month now…and Gerardi, well maybe he and Malik have been acceptable.

      4. People boo Malik because: they expect a big man to use his size. He’s european. They need a whipping boy for a lost season. He’s not a goal scorer (which we see with Hossa does redeem players). He started the season off horribly. And, because of his size, he is a lumbering/slower player. And despite playing sound hockey the past month alot of NYR fans are idiots and just follow the bandwagon (see: point #1 – “Potvin Chant�)

      5. Furthermore, now that i’m ranting about the “bandwagon-eers,� to give Jagr crap about not taking a shootout is disgusting as well. Its been all over the media since the Devils shootout and it makes me sick. Jagr is awful at shootouts! One of the worst. Other good players and captains respectfully bow out (Forsberg, Gomez, and Elias). And if you don’t think Jagr already knows its not his forte’, esp vs. Brodeur, then enlighten yourself with this video:

      http://youtube.com/watch?v=Tnrzrxmw1_s

      (Sorry for posting on 2 threads, BTW)

    3. It’s clear – Sather will not resign Pock. That is why he’s not Renney’s favourite guy. Rachunek is playing… of course but our coaching staff is just blind. Nothing new. Isbister in the lineup… please… I don’t want to see them losing tonight. Come on…

    4. Totally disagree about the Potvin sucks chant. It’s a fun bit of Ranger history and it shows the crowd still has a connection to that history in an old-school garden way. Opposing players don’t think that the garden is intimidating because our fans are supposedly “the most sophisticated in the world.” It’s because we love our team, hate the other team and are verbal about it. Potvin sucks is a tribute to that.

      “Most sophisticated.” What a joke.

    5. Sam,

      Please do me a huge favor. Is there any way we could figure out what this team sees in Rachunek? Could you ask Renney? I mean in all honesty he has been our worst defenseman this season. The guy is one of the most inconsistent defenseman I have seen in a really long time. Any reason for starting this guy over Pock night in, night out? In all honesty Malik has not been as bad as Rachunek. He just never seems to be in right place ever. He pinches at the wrong time, and has issues hitting the net.

    6. How badly does Rachunek have to play to get a seat on the bench? He is on the ice for almost every goal against. He let’s opposing players get the inside lane to the net. He fans on passes and shots from the point and gives up odd man rushes. He is frequently out of position. He doesn’t hit. And he puts an alarming number of pucks in our own net.

      And yet Thomas Pock gets scratched game after game while Rachunek continues to get a pass every game. If Pock plays and makes a mistake, I can live with it because he is young and learning. When Rachunek continues to play and makes numerous mistakes, there is no upside. At this point in his career, Karel Rachunek is not going to change or get better. So the Rangers continue to throw points away by using this guy. They aren’t making the playoffs and they aren’t training young talent.

      That is the real concern that should be on the mind of every Rangers fan. What can management possibly be thinking? How is playing Rachunek every game as he continues to make mistakes that cost games helping the Rangers in any way? What is the rationale? Someone please explain it to me. Otherwise the only conclusion is that the Rangers’ management is clueless and without a plan.

    7. I posted this over on the Malik entry as well. But wanted to make sure it was seen:

      OK, these are good responses.

      Here’s a couple of my own.

      First of all, while I’m not a big fan of booing at all, my point is that Malik certainly left himself open to it earlier in the year, but that it hasn’t been as justified of late.

      I happen to agree with many of you who say it’s because Malik doesn’t play a physical game for someone his size. I think that’s a valid argument, and it’s something I mentioned in my story in today’s paper.

      As for mentioning his sons, why wouldn’t I? It ties into what I said earlier. Yes, when you get paid millions of dollars to play a game you leave yourself open to criticism when you play bad — even if your own children have to hear it. My point, however, is that it’s a much more difficult thing to explain to your kids when you get booed for making an assist. That’s when it’s construed as personal, and that’s when a guy’s family is relevant.

      Sam

    8. Sam,

      Jarkko is not exactly small. He’s not tall, but he’s listed at 210 and his legs are like tree trunks.

      I personally do not see his foot speed being an issue. No he’s not fast, but he’s quick enough side to side to be effective down low. And he seems to be always making big defensive plays so that means his positioning and timing are way ahead of the curve.

      A lot of guys are not overly fast, but get it done.

    9. Malik, Rachunek, Pock, and the rest of the defense are not the problems here. the rangers have only given up 178 goals against. Buffalo, New Jersey, and Ottawa are the only teams in the conference that have given up fewer goals.
      I think it’s the lack of a consistent offense from anyone other than the Jagr line that is the real problem. When Jagrs line doesn’t score they don’t win generally.
      The fact that it took Renney 3/4 of the season to break up Jagrs line is the real issue.

    10. DumpJagrDope on

      Isbister is back?! Renney just keeps proving that he is a piece of shit and a clueless coach.

    11. DumpJagrDope on

      “Malik, Rachunek, Pock, and the rest of the defense are not the problems here. the rangers have only given up 178 goals against.”

      that is mostly thanks to goaltending, not defense.

    12. Doodie Machetto on

      Sam, is there any word out of Boston getting Aaron Ward’s take on being dealt and if he thinks his spat with Jagr led to his dismissal?

    13. Doodie Machetto on

      PS: Quitte ici, maintenant! means leave here, now!

      the french up top says obtain the heck of here.

    14. Alex Roberts on

      Sam, I’m not sure you have your facts straight regarding immonen. He is certainly of at least average NHL size. I’m sure you noticed when you watch him play that he doesn’t get pushed around very easily. He’s like a baby bull, sort of squat – even though he’s 6 feet tall. He weighs in at 209, which is quite hefty for a 6 footer. 209 is certainly not smaller than average for a hockey player. For players 6 feet tall, he’s probably bigger than average.

      Sure, he could stand to gain another 5-10, and if he did that while improving his first few strides, he’d be a much more dynamic and powerful player – but small now? by no means so. in fact, of all the rangers who are 6-0 or smaller, he’s the biggest one!

    15. DumpJagrDope on

      “but small now? by no means so. in fact, of all the rangers who are 6-0 or smaller, he’s the biggest one!”

      Not bigger than Hollweg or Kasparaitis

    16. Alex Roberts on

      On a seperate note, aside from speed and shot, immonen is a better player than matt cullen. His instincts away from puck as well as his passing, and his vision, are superior.

      He should be playing second line center between prucha and avery. Not Cullen.

      Also, when straka comes back, and nylander gets shifted back to the 2nd line (which I hope he will). I’d love to see immonen stay at 3rd line center between avery and ortmeyer, and put nylander inbetween cullen and prucha.

    17. Alex Roberts on

      dump jagr – kaspar is not on the team anymore, so he doesn’t count.

      hollweg is 5’11 and 210, so they’re the same size. You got me!

      what’s important is that immonen uses his size in an offensive manner much more effectively than hollweg does. hollweg uses his weight to hit hard. whereas immonen protects the puck well and can stand strong in the corners in ways that hollweg can only dream of…

    18. Rob March 1st, 2007 at 1:55 pm
      Malik, Rachunek, Pock, and the rest of the defense are not the problems here. the rangers have only given up 178 goals against. Buffalo, New Jersey, and Ottawa are the only teams in the conference that have given up fewer goals.
      I think it’s the lack of a consistent offense from anyone other than the Jagr line that is the real problem. When Jagrs line doesn’t score they don’t win generally.
      The fact that it took Renney 3/4 of the season to break up Jagrs line is the real issue.

      Rob, most believe that our goals against is all due to Lundqvst and it would be significantly better if we actually had a defensive corp in front of him.

      Rachunek and Malik are just so awful that I don’t see them playing NHL level hockey. Seriously. Malik takes the most lazy hooking penalties as guys speed by him. malik and rachunek both PASS in front of Lundqvst. Can you imagine how he must feel with these two idiots? NY fans are knowledgeable and they see these bad penalties and bad passes. They see Malik consistently beat by anyone….speedy or not.

      Renney reacts to the fans booing of Malik? give him the A. maybe the A will make him join another A player: Kasperitis. On his worse day, he was not as bad as Rachunek and Malik.

      What would Malik’s +/- be if we added in EVERY goal that he is in the penalty box for?

    19. Alex — I’ll take a closer look at him tonight. But just from the naked eye, Jarkko seems smaller than say, Jed Ortmeyer, and maybe slightly bigger — at least weight-wise — than Matt Cullen. I’d put him right in there.

    20. Plus Minus is the biggest misleading stat in the game-Mailk is a pile of crap and so it Rachunek-I would have traded them both for a bag of pucks Tuesday.

    21. I agree the Potvin chant needs to go, its time has passed, it means nothing now. I firmly believe that fans should just substitute the best player on the opposing team for Potcin. So tonights chant would be Crosby Sucks instead of Potvin Sucks.

      Sam, if Pock is a free agent and the Rangers aren’t going to resign him, why didn’t they trade him at the deadline? Get a pick or something for him. It doesn’t make sense.

    22. Sam, can you please ask Renney why he insists on playing Immonen with a guy like Ortmeyer, who as much as we all love him, can’t contribute offensively at all. Immonen needs to be playing with players who he can create with, otherwise he is never going to get on the stat sheet playing with Ortmeyer and Isbister.

    23. Sam,

      Also give some good words about the Rangers to Souray. We could use him next year.

    24. Alex Roberts on

      Seamus, the rangers have such a nice GAA because they outscore their opponents heavily when they win, and because they’ve lost a TON of 1 goal games. Look at the disparity between how many 1 goal games the rangers won and lost. They’ve lost a ton more. They’ve also blown a ton of leads late in games…

      These two things point to the same weak factor: Tom Renney.

      When your team plays solid d for the most part, but can’t close out games, and can’t win 1 goal games, the coach bears primary responsibility. done.

    25. Doodie Machetto on

      Potvin chant is part of the culture and the history of the team, just like the Rangers victory song.

      Gilbert and Giacomin haven’t played in 30 years, let’s take their banners down because their times have passed.

    26. Sam

      Marc Savard is slow and small —– and yet is a difference maker. If you’re skilled, smart, play hard, are able to read the play, have hockey sense, all qualities which Immo possesses, you can be a productive player in the NHL even if your foot speed is not world-class.

    27. IMMO’s speed should not be an issue. The kid is a hard worker, smart with the puck and knows how to backcheck, and an overall smart hockey player. He is the poster boy for what we have in Hartford(Smart hockey player who backchecks and can make things happen) He should stay here even when Marty comes back. Sam, can you possibly tell us what Renney sees in Rachunek that the fans don’t see?

      Big game tonight, Curious to see the Younger Rangers against the young pens…..LETS GO RANGERS!

    28. Savard’s skating has always been a topic of relative concern because it stands in such contrast to the high quality of his other offensive traits (seeing the ice, passing, thinking the game)

    29. I just find it interesting that some people can bash the Potvin chant because it’s “old” and at the same time flip out over tighter-fitting jerseys because it’s “destroying the tradition”.

    30. DumpJagrDope on

      get rid of anything that is is still around just because it is “tradition”

    31. That’s a very thin line you draw.

      Isn’t it ‘tradition’ that they are allowed to fight in the NHL?
      Isn’t the tough stuff, the hitting, the fighting for everything you believe in you just to get a taste of the pie ‘tradition’?

      It is in the Hockey that I follow

    32. Frankly, given the history of the Ranger franchise, which is not particularly one of success, I think most of the Ranger “traditions” should be tossed. The Potvin Sucks cheer (who’s Cotvin, anyway?) came about at a time when the Rangers were being humiliated as a rite of spring by an Islanders team that was stampeding its way to four Stanley Cups. While I fully understand the notion that the chant ties us to our past, blue-seater brethren and is a great reminder of what a real zoo the Garden used to be on game nights in the late 70’s, the fact is that the very era it evokes is only surpassed by its forgettable-ness by the current one.

      Think about it this way: let’s say that for some odd reason the Islander fans had been given reason to hate Brian Leetch, and even now, well after his playing days would seem to be numbered, continued to chant his name derisively, and would continue doing so for the next 20 years. We’d probably think they were crazy, needed to move past it and get on with their lives, or find a new team – or hope their present one could make them forget about the dreaded “Brian Leetch.” In some ways, the Potvin sucks cheer demonstrates our plight – this team from the Island won four Cups while we were unable to win any for 54 years, and now we’re right back where we were then. The “tradition” of our own franchise makes us miserable to a degree, and is frankly torturesome at times.

      I should submit this as an essay called “Psychoanalysis of a Blue Seater.” Never mind the cheer. Truth is, our current ownership and management need to give us something to cheer about from our own team.

    33. Peter – I agree that the chant has to go. Then maybe everyone can forget that the early 80’s ever occurred.

    34. All I know is that when I went to my first Ranger game in the mid-80s and someone explained to me what the Potvin Chants sucks was and what it meant I was blown away by the idea that the fans still cared and remembered. I thought they were crazy, sure, but I wanted in. Now I live in LA and I watch every game, either live or on Tivo. And when I hear the chant in the background of the television feed it reminds me of why I still love the Rangers and the other fans and the garden. That’s important, because lord knows the current team and the current management sure don’t.

      Now, see, Sam, this is where you would put in a bit about explaining the Potvin chant to my son and how it gave us a Hallmark moment. Only I don’t have a kid and that would be way too cheesy…

    35. Notice, I did not defend the booing itself. In fact, I personally have never boo’d at any game, from high school to the NHL. Just not my thing.

      What I do defend, however, is the hockey intelligence of NY Ranger fans. These people KNOW their hockey. They do not like lack of hustle and they do not like being lied to. Being savvy, they know the Dolan Wall of Silence that falls upon MSG. They recognize party lines and shills. Scouts know this. Parents know this. Agents know this. NY takes it sports very seriously.

    36. Fruity Cupcake on

      Sam, Doodie, I just read this on the Globe’s site. It has an Aaron Ward video attached, so you can hear from him directly. Obviously, he’s going the typical “classy” hockey player route. Which is fine.

      http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/bruins/articles/2007/03/01/bruins_unfurl_welcome_mat/

      Malik is such a welcome upgrade from Poti that I can’t boo him just on that principle! Maybe we fans can get it together and boo the more deserving Rachunek.

      And finally Sam, how about a nice write-up on the poised, young and talented Mr. Girardi? Fifteen games played, averaging 15 minutes and he’s got a mere TWO penalty minutes? What’s his secret? His fine play needs to be publicized. Thank you.

    37. Chris

      Amen. The Potvin chant is the hapless, inane, ridiculous yet binding tribute to days gone by, and the fans’ desire to link themselves to what has gone before. The chanters themselves realize how stuck in reverse the chant is —- that’s why it is so expressive of the Ranger fan in sum. Doomed, romantic, mistreated, hanging on to old slights and insults as if they happened yesterday.

    38. Why didn’t they try to pry Immonen away? Did you not hear that we were not giving away young talent for older veterans(for once). That comment made absolutely no sense. Pry him away for who?

    39. DumpJagrDope on

      “Isn’t it ‘tradition’ that they are allowed to fight in the NHL?
      Isn’t the tough stuff, the hitting, the fighting for everything you believe in you just to get a taste of the pie ‘tradition’?”

      these things are good for entertainment value, I am talking about things that don’t have any purpose other than tradition.

    40. NYR1994 – Immonen is almost 25 and not that good. Toronto let him be part of the Leetch deal as a throw in with the major part of the deal the # 1 pick. So I was talking about trading him for a younger better player or a draft pick. If he is as good as some people think he is other teams would be happy to give up a 2nd round pick for him. My point is there did not seem to be any interest in him from other teams. In 2 yrs if he is still a Ranger the same fans who clamor for him will be wanting him gone replaced by someone younger and better.

      I was not stating that we should have traded for vets with our youth.

    41. Booing is stupid, I could never understand it.

      The Potvin chant is tired and should be forgotten, but when I had season tix in the mid-80’s in the blue seats there were lots of great imaginative chants and the Potvin thing was just one that stuck around.

      I remember when Wally Harris, who was a ref back in the day, fell during a game and sustained a pretty nasty concussion. He was out of action for quite a while and I think it was his first game back and he was having a particularly bad game at MSG. All of the sudden the chant started up from the blue seats “hit your head, Wally, hit your head” Maybe not too classy, but funny and original.

    42. Doodie Machetto on

      Thanks Fruity Cupcake. Man, I feel about as silly saying “Fruity Cupcake” as I imagine everyone else is when they have to call me doodie.

    43. Doodie Machetto on

      “Who is going to be Laraque’s new punching bag tonight?”

      Orr has done pretty well in his last 2 fights. I’m interested in seeing what he can do against Laraque, although I expect Laraque to punish Jagr all night.

    44. To all the smart people who think the coaches have some sort of bias against Pock because he is young — why did Renney stick Girardi in the lineup and make him a regular?

      Maybe the answer is that Girardi and the others playing in the Top 6 are better than Pock. Remember, the team this year has discarded vets Ozolinsh, Kasparitis and Ward. Maybe the remaining vets are not as bad as people make them out to be.

      Maybe Girardi is better at things like positioning, which aren’t obvious to people watching on TV, but are glaring to the people on the team. I honestly don’t know, but anyone who is certain that he knows more than Tom Renney is certainly wrong.

      Just a guess that the people who screamed about Hossa sucking and now say Rozsival and Malik suck and Pock is great maybe don’t have a clue what they are talking about.

      Pock obviously has a decent set of puck-handling skills, and an OK shot, but there is a lot more to being an NHL defenseman. If he leaves, so be it, we have Staal and Baranka and others who will take his place.

    45. LI Joe:

      how do you know there wasn’t interest in Immonen?

      You’re right, if two years from now Immonen has been given the same chance that Hossa got, and hasn’t shown anything then yes, I’ll be the first one to say we should look for someone younger and better. How about we give the guy a chance first?

    46. Twin – i don’t know there was no interest in Immonen. BUT my point is, if other teams have more interest (ie have him more highly ranked) than the Rangers seem to – the other teams would have made an offer for him and the Rangers would have jumped on it. For example if the Rangers think he’s the equiv of a 5th rounder and another team think he’s worth a 2nd, they can offer a 3rd rd pick for him and the Rangers would have jumped on it.

    47. GuitarWizard on

      Rangers managment (Don Maloney, I believe, but I could be wrong) said that he could not think of anyone on the Rangers’ board that was not inquired about. Clearly there was interest in Immonen and other young players, but they were smart enough not to part with them and maybe give them a shot in the future. We’ll see. I’m just glad they did not part with younger talent for another over-the-hill former star who has little or nothing to offer. How many of those have we seen in the past 10 years?

    48. Doodie Machetto on

      Here’s to Paul Mara having a successful beginning to his tenure in NY.

    49. Malik is fine. Not your most beautiful of skaters or body checkers or scorers but hey, he gets the job done, more often than not.
      Most fans just go along with whatever the fans around them are doing, especially the young ones. They just don’t know any better.
      The real fans NEVER boo their own players. It’s better to cheer loudly when they or the team do well.
      Try to watch the game, understand how it’s played. Then you will realize that Malik should not be subject to the kind of booing that’s been going on this season.
      Gotta run…going to the game…see ya

    50. Hey Inwood…watch the game closely and you’ll see Malik out of position and turning the puck over regularly.

      I don’t like booing but that doesn’t mean Malik is a good player.

      Have fun at the game.

    51. Doodie:

      Mara paired up with the Raccoon. Good luck to him (and us)! Methinks that pair is going to have a long night vs Sid and Co.

    52. To all, interesting takes on Immonen, Rachunek and Pock.

      I think that when a player acknowledges he needs to improve his acceleration, I believe he knows best. To all that believe that there was interest in him, consider the fact that teams BUYING are looking for proven talent to take them to the next level, Guys like Guerin, Roberts, Bertuzzi, Smyth. A guy like Immonen has’nt proved anything. He has 10 goals in 36 games in the MINORS. I think EVERY Organization has a guy like that in their system.

      As far as Rachunek is concerned: he looked like a fish out of water playing the left side (as a right shot) with Ward. Hopefully he will settle down now once again playing the right side with Mara. He’ll probably never be steady, but perhaps now less inefficient.

      Lastly Pock: When Renney was playing Girardi (right shot Defenseman) over Pock, while playing Rachunek essentially out of position, that should have alerted everyone exactly what the Coaching staff thinks of Mr. Pock.. Which is not to say they’re right! Given the right situation he could put up some nice PP numbers with that shot of his.

    53. Doodie Machetto on

      did anyone see Mara’s interview with Al Trautwig? Ra-Chew-neck. hahaha, classic.

    54. DanTheRangerFan on

      First off I like the Potvin Chant…Buttt its done way toooo often( give it a break once and a while). As for ____Larry, the name says it (please stay away from the garden). Second stop booing Malik, hes not the best defender but he does not deserve all the critisim he gets. Our front office is the problem( Rangers investement in a wrecking ball but be the best move, cause its time to overhaul). I say this because right when some good decisions were made(a..picking up a top prospect b..moving ward for a good youth dman and C..bringing up Immonen. They go and do stupid thing like bring up Isbister and also sit Pock for Rachunek who sucks…Now onto jagar.Get off his back If hes no comfortable taking shootout shots thats fine with me. We have seen how aweful he is at them. Let someone else on the team step up and take a challenge. Jagar only problem and enemy is his mind, hes not alway there and it makes him look lazy and uncomfortable. Throw that into a mix of an injured shoulder and the lights of the garden and you have a ? sometimes.. Lets see what they do tonight. Not expecting anything tremendous, but I have been surprised before..

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