The man of the hour


If you’re Ryan Callahan, I’m assuming there are worse ways to spend St. Patrick’s Day than by scoring two goals at the Garden. What’s better is you get to again be the featured audio on the blog (fulfilling the trifecta of all boyhood hockey dreams: Stanley Cup, Olympic gold, Sam’s blog).


It was a good night for the kid, as it was for just about anyone around the Rangers not named Martin Straka. The early indication from Tom Renney is that Straka’s right knee (the team is saying “lower body injury”, but it sure looked like a knee to me) isn’t as bad as the other three Rangers who recently sustained similar injuries. And a telling sign is the fact that the team is already listing him as day-to-day, so maybe there actually is some hope.

Meanwhile, it was also not a very good night for Aaron Ward, who apparently ticked off Al Trautwig enough by not talking to MSG, and who seemed to miss assignments on each of the Rangers’ first two goals. Not exactly the return he had envisioned. But then, Ward had plenty of company: The Bruins were dreadful tonight. I really think the Rangers tapped into something offensively. But let’s just say I’d be a little more convinced if they did it against goalies other than Tim Thomas and Joe MacDonald.

More later…

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  1. awesome win… i agree though Sam, not exaclty the greatest goalies in the NHL (especially McDonald who is a career AHLer).

    nonetheless the boys came out and played prob their best offensive hockey this year (besides the 59 shot Islander outing which only produced 2 goals).

    the Rookies played well. Callahan will hopefully be a force to be reckoned with in years to come (plays a similar style to Prucha in my opinion). Liffiton seemed a little off at times, but made up for it with big hits and the fight. I wouldn’t mind the rangers getting a good look at Baranka as well though.

    As for Straka, it looked pretty bad, but if he’s not ready to go I actually wouldn’t be too mad to see Dubi back at it.

  2. I was thinking groin as well…as for Thomas and MacDonald…Sam, they couldn’t solve Hedberg who is about on par with those 2 so take it as a step in the right direction!

  3. Glad to see that Ryan Callahan took care to mention in his intermission interview with the Trautwig that he’s also half “paisan” courtesy of his mom. The kid was awesome!!!

  4. I was ticked off Dubi wasn’t in the lineup, but you can’t argue with results, especially this one. The roster move made sense. You need to use those emergency calups wisely, and I have no problem with the way they have been using the roster. I’d rather Liffiton than Strudwick, but Struds is a great team guy and he’ll drop the gloves.

    GOOD RIDDANCE, WARD. Everything I needed to know about Ward became clear when Holweg talked about how well the team was getting along “now”. If that isn’t a dig at Ward, I don’t know what is. And to not be willing to talk to Al. What a pu***. Our record since he left is all we need to know about who the real cancer on the team is.

    Anyone who thinks Callahan isn’t better because of the time he spent in Hartford is just showing blind hatred of Renney/Sather. I’d have liked to seen him earlier, but he’s a first year pro, he’s helped Hartford, and he will be better for the franchise is the long run because of the teams handling of him. Give credit where credit is due. Dui- same thing. By all accounts, he struggled at times in Hartford. The Rangers have a good young nucleus and our future looks brighter than it ever has.

    Gotta love the Simon-inspired Islander Meltdown!

    The only Rangers that still drive me nuts are Makik/Rozy, but they both have their moments. Jagr and Nylander can be infuriating, but they produce.

  5. is it jsut me, or is Cullen playing WAY better with Aaron Ward in a different city?

    I havent been around the blog before, so forgive me if its been discussed or mentioned.

  6. Good stuff tonight, I only caught bits and pieces at work but I can’t wait to watch Rangers in 60.

  7. onecupin67years on

    Boy Ward looked like crap on that second goal,a wee too much beer in the morn,I suppose.

  8. If only you could spread these 7 goals among all those 1 goal losses they had this season…
    Anyway, regardless of the Rangers destiny this season, it’s the first time in maybe 10 years there is a feeling of something good happening in the whole organization which naturally manifests itself in the appearance of capable young players.

  9. I missed the game
    Anybody know where I can find the highlights?
    TSN only had about 30 secs.

  10. czechthemout!!!!! on

    my take on the game-the best dman tonight were the youngsters in the following order,pock,girardi,lifiton,mara was good as well.rozy was so so,malik sucked tonight by far the worstdman on the for lifiton,i though as he got more time he got better and better.tough kid ,takes the body,would rather see him in than strudwick.cally will never be sent down because it would cause a riot.dubi sratched,is just mind blowing.can’t wait to see shany take shitsbisters spot for good.bye,bye shitsbister.avery should be wearing an A.and of course ALL HAIL THE KING!!!!!!

  11. Callahan was awesome tonight. Really like the play of Cullen and Avery. It will be very good to have 3 lines capable of scoring.

    Looks like Straka will miss at least a couple of games so either Dubinsky or Shanahan will be in.

    czechthemout – can’t you be happy with a 7-0 win. BTW at least Isbister gets involved in the after play shoving matches. AND I don’t necessarily like the icecapades either in case you accuse me of drinking the coolaid.

    Lets beat the Pens now!

  12. “Anyone who thinks Callahan isn’t better because of the time he spent in Hartford is just showing blind hatred of Renney/Sather.”

    I notice you also had to tell us how you agree with the Dubi benching, you bleepin little cousin of Renney.

    what kind of toilet paper does Renney use? Colorado Mark nose.

  13. Dang, that was fun. Cally looked good, as did Liffiton et. al. Of course, the Bruins sucked, but still…

    fun to watch. Hope to see it all over again some other night.

  14. czechthemout!!!!! on

    li joe-i am very happywith the win.but as a fan,i wan’t them
    to make the playoffs as well .in order to do that,they need to field the best possible roster every night.SHITSBISTER IS NOT THE BEST OPTION FOR THIS TEAM.neither is strudwick.
    if you’ve read my posts,i have beeen calling for the kids to be brought up as much as anyone.soecificaly callahan,
    and dubinsky.AND BEFORE i get slammed by the they benefited by playing in the minors people,let me say i agree they have
    and they should have started down with the pack especialy callahan.but by mid season both were more than ready to play up here instead of crap like a.ward,jward,a.hall,
    dupuis,krog, far as defense,pock ifyou notice ,has palyed better and better with every game.he is consistantly good as is girardi,wich is why i think they should leave lifiton in the lineup and let him play.if he plays the next 3or4 four games i bet you renney won,t be able to take him out if the lineup either.but that is what he might be afraid of.lifiton,pock,girardi all three out playing the big doof ball malik,”what to do, what to do?tyin is ready how can i bench won of my shity vets and play the kids”,jagr might be upset.

  15. chezh It’s now HAPPY HOUR , step right up to the Kool-Aid stand, all you can swallow. All you have to do is give Renney the credit for the last 10 games and blame the players for the rest, especially The King;)

  16. Good riddance Aaron Ward.

    Here is a weird stat: New Jersey’s goal for/against differential is +12. The NYR’s are +13. So why are we 15 points behind them? Simple: they win their 1 goal games and have lost a few games really bad this year (that Ottawa game early in the year and yesterday’s game), whereas we lose our 1 goal games and have won a few by a lot of goals (last night especially).

    Hopefully, the kids continue to produce! Go Rangers!

  17. Sam,

    Can you give any insight into what’s going to happen roster-wise upon the return of Shanny? Everyone here seems to think Isbister will be gone, but based on previous Renney moves and the fact that Renney has been trusting him on the first line, I feel like we might all be scratching our heads when Shanny returns. Do you think Callahan is here to stay? He was great last night, but it was just one game, and I’m not sure Renney feels as strongly as everyone here does. I’m not knocking Callahan in any way (I hope he stays), but I’m worried as to what Renney’s moves will be…

  18. Loved that hit on the loser A. Ward by Callahan. Sounds like he was a cancer in the locker room.

    I might be wrong (won’t be the first time), but due to that emergency callup rule, the Rangers had to send Dubi back to Hartford, on paper only, but is still physically in NY.

    Hartford has a lot of injuries and Liffton can help them out there, although I would prefer Strudwick going there instead of Liffton. Why help Hartford out? To get them deep into the playoffs and give our best prospects, including Liffton, a chance to get that valuable playoff experience.

    Whoever said our kids weren’t ready is talking out of their ass. So far Girardi, Pock, Liffton, Callahan and Dubinsky have played better than the guys they replaced and if Immonen wasn’t mishandled by Renney, he too would have performed better than who he replaced.

    Dawes seems to have fallen from grace. Got the feeling both him and Immonen will be gone by next season.
    If Strudwick replaced Malik, it would be a good move

  19. after the way callahan has played the past 2 games, not even renney can send him down..when shanny comes back, they don’t have to send someone down to hartford. first off right now, shanny steps in for straka, who could be out for a while now..second, should marty come back, i see orr sitting vs. a heavyweight..i also strongly disagree against strudwick being anything more than a healthy body in an emergency…it better serves the team to let liffton gain, whose to say strudwick brings anything more to the table, he didn’t even play against NHL competition this year…

  20. The straka injury is to his knee. If you watch the replay when they showed Straka’s legs spread his right knee hyper extended slightly and than when the trainer came on the ice to assist straka, straka was grabing the side of his knee. That’s why it’s day to day because it was a slight hyper extension of the knee.

  21. MIKE Said coach Tom Renney: “I’m not sure he could’ve done this without the opportunity of learning the trade in Hartford, getting the minutes down there. He’s a confident player, an intelligent player. He loves the game, loves everything about it, and this performance is indicative of [his potential].” ( on Callihan)

  22. what a game,
    its the first for a long time that i am confident in renney. with a look at the roster/IR, the rangers are performing better than i expected.
    the young kids (pock, girardi, callahan) were really great yesterday, fun to watch …
    good times, never seemed so good

  23. Lennynyr

    I think the debate is not whether the kids are ready now. Rather, have the Rangers waited too long, or did they call them up at just the right time in their development. Since the play of the likes of Girardi, Callahan and Dubinsky has been seamless, its easy to claim the Rangers waited too long. The other argument is that they waited for just the right time to bring them up.

  24. Longtimesufferingrangerfan on

    Rangers Coach Tom Renney said, “It’s almost like the more adversity is thrown at this team, the more they are willing to rise above it all and try to win.�

    He, Renney, is all the adversity the Rangers can handle! How good could this team be if he had made some roster moves sooner in the season. We would be securely in position of a playoff spot instead of clawing our way in.

    Weekes is my #1 goalie, end of story! I’ll play Lundqvist on occasion but Weekes is #1! That was last year. Look at Malik’s +- he MUST be good dammit! (Note: The preceding paragraph is dripping with sarcasm).

  25. VALLEY: This win had absolutely nothing to do with Renney. Once again, he was FORCED to use youts from Hartford because of injury. Same thing that happened last year with HL and Prucha. Otherwise we would never have seen the likes of Girardi, Callahan, Dubinsky.

    This win had everything to do with HL standing on his head in first period while Bruins were outplaying us. 1-0 Ranger lead could have easily been 3-1 Bruins and a totally different game. Once again, HL saves incoherent, blabbering Renney’s ass.

    To validate my point, where the eff Dubinsky last night? A one-armed Straka was moved to center while the capable energy-bringer Dubinsky sat, so that BRAD ISBISTER could continue his stellar play on THE FIRST LINE. Unreal, huh? That is Tom Renney in a nutshell. And we all know it.

  26. Humble pie –

    The Rangers play since the deadline has been inspiring. Some depressing one goal losses to say the least, but I like what I have seen on the ice these last couple of weeks.

    Ottawa & Pittsburgh are better teams than the Rangers right now, but I would love to grab that 6th spot and play either Atlanta or Tampa in the 1st round, doubtful that would happen because Atlanta/Tampa play in the SE and probably have a lighter schedule than the R’s.

    But I think the Rangers are better than the Devils, Carolina, Tampa, Montreal, Isles, and even Atlanta, although Atlanta did get much better at the deadline. We are not better than Pitt., Buffalo or Ottawa. Pitt. is most likely going to win the cup, which makes me ill.

    Honestly though, I don’t think we need Hossa back in the lineup. He doesn’t hit and he doesn’t force the play with his speed the way Callahan does. I would keep the same lines and put Shanny in Izbister’s spot on the top line when he returns.

  27. Oops on the repitition, Longtimesuffering. Didn’t see your post. Anti-Renney minds think alike.

  28. Longtimesufferingrangerfan on


    I wish what we post would have some impact on Renney but, alas, don’t think it will.

  29. From today’s Daily News-

    “IT’S WEDNESDAY FOR SHANNY: Brendan Shanahan’s return to the lineup should come Wednesday vs. Philadelphia. “That’ll give me three practices with my teammates,” said Shanahan, who suffered a concussion vs. the Flyers Feb. 17. “I haven’t had any contact yet and Tuesday I’m going to get some contact. And if things go as I expect, I’ll do the morning skate Wednesday and play Wednesday night.”


  30. Longtimesufferingrangerfan on

    March 18th, 2007 at 12:17 pm
    It should be Shitblister-

    Should be but…………………

  31. Thats my question. When Shanny and Hossa come back, what happens? If it were up to me we would say bye to Isbister, and maybe Orr. But tom renney has a bad habbit of not doing anything right. I guess we will have to wait and see.

  32. By the way, it’s pretty funny how at this point of the season, we actually will have TOO many decent options on offense when everyone is healthy-

    this should be the worst of our problems-

  33. Longtimesufferingrangerfan on

    March 18th, 2007 at 12:20 pm
    it should be those two, and Orr should sub in against teams we need some fight for-

    Looks like Liffiton can hold his own pretty good at least as good as Orr.

  34. It is actually kind of pathetic that Dubinsky had to be sent down seeing as well as he was playing. Although he will probably come back for Straka. It seems as if the Rangers are downplaying his injury. He did not look good after that accidental split.

  35. Did you see Callahan’s and Valiquette’s facial expressions on the bench when Liffiton was brawling?

    They were beaming with joy-

  36. it should be shitbister and orr. And on games when you need a tougher guy hollweg can sit. I love hollweg but he does not need to play every game. Would anyone be terribly upset if he sat vs. the flyers so colton orr can police hatcher. No. Renney is clueless tho and probably what will happen is callahan and orr will sit. Isbister will still play too much and he will move prucha to the fourht line like a moron. Renney sucks

  37. I know I am going to be shot for saying this and called a PR guy, but I think we need to take it easy on Renney and Rangers management. Yes, some of the criticism thrown his way is definitely warranted. But the guy is the best coach this team has had since Mike Keenan, period (I know, that’s not saying much). A lot of people have been saying all year to bring up the kids. But you know what? Perhaps the kids weren’t ready! Perhaps they needed some time in Hartford to fine tune their game, and that is why they are now showing how valuable they are. Dubinsky is 20 for crying out loud! And for every Crosby that is 19 and can step right into NHL action and be productive, there are 100 kids who need the proper time in the AHL to develop their game.

    And you know what? I am glad Renney said Weekes was his #1 goalie last year for about half the season. Maybe it motivated Henrik to become the elite goalie that he is. Nothing wrong with extra motivation. Renney has this team playing well. For the past decade, I’ve watched this team give up 4 goals a night with no defensive system in place. I think Renney deserves SOME credit. Again, I am not completing defending the guy. He has made some very questionable calls during his short tenure. But I’m not ready to hang the guy just yet. Would you rather have Ted Nolan as your coach? Or Dave Lewis? Or any of the boneheads the Flyers, Leafs, Hawks, etc. have used the past 5 years?

    And believe me, in the past, I have been the first person to yell fire Sather. But lets give him some credit. When can you last remember so many promising prospects in the Rangers system? They obviously struck gold when they drafted Lundqvist so late, and they have a ton of prospects/kids who look like the real deal: Staal, Callahan, Dubinsky, Girardi, Pyatt, Sanguinetti, etc. Then throw in young ones like Hossa and Tyutin who have already proven then can play at the pro level. This team is shaping up very nicely, and I think Sather/Maloney deserve some credit.

    Sorry for the long post and for posting a completely different viewpoint on here, but I had to vent for a bit.

  38. Longtimesufferingrangerfan on

    I hated to see Straka get hurt as he has been awesome this year but of late is playing with the bad shoulder and has been ineffective, He should stay out and have a chance to heal. Hear me, oh Renney, hockey guru who, incidentally, must be related to the “Maven”.

  39. Longtimesufferingrangerfan on

    Go NYR
    March 18th, 2007 at 12:29 pm
    Dont forget that Strudwick may be coming and he can hold his own with most fighters. Just youtube “Strudwick�

    But why play Strudwick when he can’t play in the playoffs? Give one of the “youts” a chance to get the playoff atmosphere now.

  40. I agree in terms of Straka. He should not have been playing at all. He should have been siting and healing for a possible playoff run. He is basically less than half of the player he was earlier in the season when he had a good shoulder. I think the best thing for the team would be for him to take a seat for a few weeks, seeing as how the kids have played and all.

    Another thing, this may be greedy, but I would love to see Dawes up here also.

  41. Longtimesufferingrangerfan on

    NJ Mark

    Tell me please, if Renney is so good, can he continlue to play Malikenstein on the top defensive pair game in and game out. Girardi has only been up a few games and Malik can’t even compare with him.

  42. I was saying to have Strudwick play defense for either Liffiton or Pock as Rachunek and Tyutin are coming back for the playoffs(if they make it) anyway so what difference does it make if they play or not.

  43. Longtimesufferingrangerfan on

    Go NYR

    If you replace Malik with Strudwick, no problem but you know that aint gonna happen.

  44. Agreed on Malik vs. Girardi. Again, read my post. I didn’t say Renney is fantastic and should be praised to the fullest extent. I said he has made some questionable decisions during his tenure. And I agree. Girardi is a very steady defenseman. I get nervous everytime I see Malik skating real slow and anytime he comes within 5 feet of the puck. I’d much rather see Girardi getting 20+ minutes of ice time every game.

    I am just saying I think he deserves SOME credit for last year and the team’s turnaround this year.

    And please, no way would Hitchcock have been better. Minus his one Cup, his teams were always 1st round exits as well. I recall the couple of times he had his #1 seeded Stars lose in the first round to the #8 Oilers (it happened twice, thus once again proving anything can happen in the playoffs). His Flyer teams never went anywhere. And he has young talent on his team in Nash, Zherdev, Klesa, etc. What has he done with them so far? Not that much.

  45. NJ Mark

    Atleast he got them to the playoffs. Who have we had between Keenan and Renney that ever gave us a shot?

  46. NJ Mark

    If Sather was the GM for only the last two years, you might have a whisker of an argument. But he got here in 2000 and his results have been disastrous, and how people want to credit him for finally abandoning the idiocy that drove this franchise into a ditch is beyond belief. What other choice did he have?? If this team were owned by someone with an IQ over 55 Sather would have been fired in 2003 at the latest.

    Renney the best since Keenan? Hah! One word for you: Tortorelli.

  47. Mike Keenan 1993-94
    Colin Campbell 1994-97
    Colin Campbell and John Muckler 1997-98
    John Muckler 1998-99
    John Muckler and John Tortorella 1999-00
    Ron Low 2000-02
    Bryan Trottier and Glen Sather 2002-03
    Glen Sather and Tom Renney 2003-04
    Tom Renney 2004-


  48. Callahan should have been up 20 games ago playing real mins. The kid had an overage year in jrs and half a season in Hartford was enough imo. In his case the Rangers waited too long. But better late than never.

  49. “1-0 Ranger lead could have easily been 3-1 Bruins and a totally different game.”
    and if and if and if …. and if we would win most of 2-0 lead-games we would easily be in the playoff spots (but thats probably also renneys mistake) ….
    i think right now (since the deadline), the rangers are good and a lot of player are overperforming
    and i’ll give some credit to renney (for that).
    and now bury me ;)

  50. Tortorella might have been a good coach for us if given the proper chance, I’ll give you that. But I’ll take Renney over Campbell, Muckler, Low, Trottier, and Sather any day of the week.

    Talafous: I agree about Sather, he should have been fired back in 2003. But he wasn’t, and he’s gone a long way to righting the ship. We finally have prospects and young kids that are NHL ready or near NHL ready. I think he and the scouts especially deserve some credit.

    To me, his biggest disappointment was when he took Jessiman over Getzlaf and Parise in the draft. That was worse than any free agent signing he ever made. Hopefully, Hugh proves me wrong and makes the big club someday and produces.

  51. I’ll give the credit to Lundie 1st, then Avery for what’s he has brought in changing the culture of this team, along with Shanny of course. Renney & Sather should have been fired in the past, but it’s the present & the future that have to be dealt with. Sather is not going and Renney’s jury is still out with 10 games to go.

  52. “1-0 Ranger lead could have easily been 3-1 Bruins and a totally different game.�
    and if and if and if …. and if we would win most of 2-0 lead-games we would easily be in the playoff spots (but thats probably also renneys mistake) ….”

    What does one thing have to do with the other?

    And then there was this gem:

    “I am glad Renney said Weekes was his #1 goalie last year for about half the season. Maybe it motivated Henrik to become the elite goalie that he is.”

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Or both.

  53. What does one thing have to do with the other?
    it just did not happen, its better to discuss the facts (IMO at least), how can we discuss a second and third period trailing 1 to 3 ??
    weekes – henke: obviously that was a misjudgement, and it was finally (far from too late) corrected.

  54. Valley, the bottom line is that HL has saved Renney’s and Sather’s ass for two seasons going. Renney has cost this team numerous games with his horrible decisions on icetime allotment, who plays-who sits, in game adjustments, folding to Jagr’s every wish (even though it was destroying the power play until Shanahan finally spoke up and on and on and on. The Weekes-HL quote was not yours, it came from someone else. It is laughable that someone would even entertain the notion that Renney had ANYTHING to do with HL’s success, quite the contrary, let alone motivating him to his success. We all know that HL needs no motivation.

    Renney and Sather were responsible for the collapse last season (see Ozolinsh, Sandis as one of many examples) and for the start to this season (see Roszival and Malik as first team d-men as one of many many many examples…I won’t even go to Jason Ward or Brad Isbister on the first line – too obvious) ONLY REASON we are where we are right now is HENRIK LUNQVIST, exclamation point.

  55. Did you know that Ranger d-men are responsible for scoring on HL around 20 times this season? If HL had half those goals back, we’d have already locked in a playoff spot and HL would be in the top three in the NHL.

  56. NJ Mark

    Jessiman over those 2 is as much on Maloney as Sather. So Maloney better not be the replacement if and when the time comes.

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