Comings and goings (Updated)

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Brendan Shanahan and Tom Renney need to get their stories straight. While the Rangers coach only said he was leaning toward having the future Hall-of-Famer back in the lineup tomorrow, Shanahan sounded today like it would take armed guards at the Garden door to keep him out against the Flyers tomorrow night.

Rest assured, Shanny will be back tomorrow, and he’s already preparing himself for an emotional evening. Rangers fans will likely enjoy the audio below, especially seeing how Shanahan largely credited them for helping him get back so soon.

As for where Shanahan fits into the lineup, this is where things take a bit of a turn. With a number of ailing players missing practice today — including Jaromir Jagr, Ryan Hollweg, and Michal Rozsival — Shanahan skated on a line with Sean Avery at center and Ryan Callahan on the left wing. Both Avery and Tom Renney confirmed that Avery will likely be back in the middle, a position he played often in Detroit before switching to wing in L.A.

As intriguing as that move sounds, it will come at the expense of Brandon Dubinsky, who was offered a handshake from the coaching staff and a return trip to Hartford. I asked the 20-year-old center if he felt he belonged to stay, but he said he takes it as part of the process.

“They’ve got some good players coming back that are healthy. I was happy I got the opportunity, and that I got to be here as long as I was,” Dubinsky said. “I feel like I am close to being able to play at this level full-time. I’ve proven I can do it in spurts. Other times I feel like I’ve watched things go by.”

A few other updates:

  • Great line from Shanahan not included in the audio: Asked if he would be using a different mouthpiece or helmet after his concussion, he said, “My mouthpiece is Sean Avery.”
  • With Jason Strudwick proving himself at least competent on the back line, the Rangers also returned David Liffiton to Hartford.
  • While the Rangers will benefit from the return of Shanahan against the Flyers, they will again be without Martin Straka. While the MRI on Monday revealed no tears in his knee, the swelling is bad enough that he said he will be definitely out tomorrow.
  • Don’t count on a break for Henrik Lundqvist anytime soon. I originally thought we might see Stephen Valiquette Saturday against the Bruins, but Renney said his inclination is to ride Lundqvist as long as the goalie is willing. And Lundqvist said he has no interest in taking a seat.
  • *UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.: If you’re having problems posting comments, I’m told there’s a problem on our end and we’re working on it. Hang in there. It should be resolved fairly soon.*

    OK, more later…

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    54 Comments

    1. Alright. I’ve got a few ifs’ and thens…
      1)If Isbister is on 1st line again;
      2)And skates 15 minutes against Philly;
      3)Then proceeds to whif at the puck like one would expect a 4-year-old to during a T-Ball game.

      Then…
      1)I’m going to kick the television;
      2)And write Renney a long, 75-item questionare explaining his “thing” with this drec;.
      3)Then proceed to imbibe heavily into bourbon.

      I’m not believing Dubinsky is on an eastbound bus considering Isbister’s play. Someone said he seemed to control the puck well. Must admit, I haven’t seen it. Someone also said he seemed to skate hard. Well, skating hard isn’t the same thing as playing well. Atmy college, they give you an E for effort; it was just a bit lower than a D-minus. Izzy boy needs a trip to Hartford to remind him how to score. I’ll say once again, is there something to this guy’s game that I’m missing? ‘Cause I’m really not understanding how you can be on a line with one of the most gifted offensive players in the league and put up a mere asssist in somthing like 10 games.

      Shanny’s line: Hilarious. And speaking of which, I for one love the idea of Shanny-Avery-Callahan. They’re three shooting forwards, they’re all gritty and they all love playing in traffic in front of the net. If Shanny’s got his mojo back(and even if he doesn’t)I’m pretty sure that line will generate some points.

      PLEASE, Renney. PLEASE PUT PRUCHA UP WITH JAGR. Jagr-Nylander-Prucha should be this team’s first line. Why it’s not is beyond me. They skate GREAT together and with Jagr, Prucha is bound to score(unlike the recent addition of Isbister, who couldn’t score on a soccer goal. Not sure who should be on wing with Cullen and Orts, but I know one thing: it shouldn’t be Isbister. I personally like Hollweg on that line, but that saddles Betts with Orr and Isbister(who will more than likely be on first line…gah).

    2. Doodie Machetto on

      Dubisnky sent down because of that emergency call up business. Shanahan is back and so Dubinsky had to go. Isbister is with the team for the rest of the season; get used to him. I do agree however, and have stated myself, that Prucha should be on the top line. However, I think the HBO line has been good, and the OCP line has had its moments of brilliance, so I don’t mind seeing it reunited.

      When Avery came over from LA, I always assumed he would play 2nd line C, considering how much of a problem it was at that point in the season. Frankly, I’m surprised he played wing upon his arrival. I understood it once our regular guys started dropping like flies, but I’m glad to see him at C now that Shanny has returned. The question is what to do when Hossa and Straka return. Clearly, Isbister sits, as he is only here to play in case someone can’t go and has no development to hurt by sitting as a healthy scratch. But that still leaves us with an extra wing. My suggestion, assuming Hossa returns to form:

      Hossa-Nylander-Jagr
      Shanahan-Avery-Callahan
      Straka-Cullen-Prucha
      Hollweg-Betts-Ortmeyer

      If Hossa doesn’t return to form, then I say either switch him and Straka or Prucha, or

      Straka/Prucha-Nylander-Jagr
      Shanahan-Avery-Callahan
      Straka/Prucha-Cullen-Ortmeyer
      Hollweg-Betts-Orr

      Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself. We need to see how the SAC line works out before any other decisions are made.

    3. Doodie Machetto on

      BTW, I really don’t like a line with Straka and Prucha on it at the same time. They’re both so small, a big line on another team would steam roll them. I just really wouldn’t know what to do.

      Who would have thought earlier this season, when we had a glut of 4th liners, that when trying to come up with line combos it would be difficult because of TOO MUCH talent?

    4. Stupid question, and it’s a little off the subject but… I was wondering, what is “limited viewing” meant for those players in the 2007 NHL draft. An old friend of mine, Jack Downing, is on that list. He currently plays for Ortie’s old team , the Omaha Lancers.

      Can someone please explain to me what “limited viewing” means?!? Limited to who?

    5. What do you guys think of our chances at the 6 seed? Id much rather play ATL over NJ or BUF. Also what team do we wantto win tonight, NYI or Tampa? I hate pullin for the Islanders

    6. Lucky Lindsay
      From today’s Page Six:

      “LINDSAY Lohan continued her New York party over the weekend. On Saturday night, she and her pals, deejay Samantha Ronson and p.r. powerhouse Lisette Sand-Freeman, hit the Beatrice Inn before going to The Box at 1 a.m. – where Lohan got up on the stage and sang while doing a “stripper dance” to thunderous applause. She got off easy – after her, New York Ranger Brendan Shanahan was blindfolded and ball-gagged as trannies danced around him.”

      Obviously Shanny is feeling much better. (So there’s Make a Wish Foundation….Toys for Tots….Shanny for Trannies….)

    7. GO NYR – would prefer TB to win tonight. Have to be in playoffs before worry about seeding. As in other games between contenders just don’t want that game going to OT.

    8. Talk about the sixth seed. I want the rangers to over take the lightning but than I find it really hard to route for the islanders in tonights game. I guess I will have to route for tampa tonight and than hope tampa goes in to a loosing streak. I hate the islanders so there is no way I can route for them.

    9. Newsday blog has interesting story re Dolan blowing a gasket after the home game vs Philly. Apparently yelled at Sather / Renney and since then Orr is in the lineup.

      I dislike intently the Isles/ Devs/ Flyers. But if it helps the Rangers I can make small exceptions. Hence I wanted the Devs over the Canes. I noticed the Devs play the NYI the day after our regular season ends. I sure hope it does not come to that.

    10. Renney is a 4 letter word on

      Renney is a tinkering fool.
      the Avery-Cullen-Callahan line has been the best lately.

      so he breaks that up first chance he gets.

    11. Hey LI Joe,
      I agree with you, I dislike the islanders,flyers and devils. The devils I respect, the islandsers I don’t and I despise the flyers.

    12. Courtesy of the Steve Zipay blog: (last Rangers – Flyer game) After that game, Garden chairman James Dolan apparently blew a gasket and lambasted both GM Glen Sather and coach Tom Renney for not dressing Orr, according to two persons familiar with the issue. “He said, ‘What the bleep is going on here?” according to one person who asked not to be identified.
      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Maybe some payback from last game?? I sure hope so!!

    13. Doodie Machetto on

      Sam, What is the story with Kevin Weekes? He seemed close to being able to return last week but I haven’t heard anything about him since. Did he suffer a set back? If he is/becomes healthy, will he resume his role as backup, or will they leave it to Valiquette for the rest of the season due to the rust factor? I know if we sent him to Hartford, he would be plucked off of waivers in a hot second by any playoff team looking for veteran depth(TB, Buffalo) or any other team that is in severe goalie trouble (Boston, Montreal). But then again, he’s not looking like he’ll be resigned, so maybe it’s just best to send him on his way now if the team has no intention of playing him?

    14. ISBISTER: He should be placed on waivers and sent to Hartford. I highly doubt anyone would grab him(is it true that he couldn’t be used for the POs even if he was ala Strudwick?). And I’m not really understanding him being any different than any of the other Hartford guys that don’t need to clear waivers. Send’em down…Bring me back Dubinsky. That cat has wheels, skills and a nice little mean streak. Isbister, well, he has that 20-goal season with the Islanders…SIX YEARS AGO… The Canes obviously didn’t think he was worth much, as he stayed in Albany for the entire first half. Once HOSSA is back, he should at the very least be in the press box.

      WEEKES – I think he’s as good as gone. Montoya will more than likely be in NYC by next year, unless he’s traded during the draft. Rangers could have the best netminding tandem since the Beezer and Richter days.

      DOODIE – not sure about your assessment on Prucha-Cullen-Straka. I think all those guys have the wheels that they could skate circles around slower thug lines, so as a coach you’d be setting yourself up for failure by throwing out the slower pounders who would get dusted. Simply use the PCS line to break out of the zone and move the puck quick. If grinders get on the ice, throw Ortmeyer-Betts-Hollweg out.

    15. THAT IS HONESTLY THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER HEARD FROM DOLAN..HE HAD EVERY REASON TO BASH SATHER/RENNEY AFTER THAT FLYER GAME, THERE’S NO EXCUSE FOR RENNEY BENCHING ORR THAT GAME..

    16. czechthemout!!!!! on

      renney is collin cancer.he obviously has his pets on this team,and thats the problem with why we are fighting for the playoffs.instead of putting on the best possible team talent wise,like callahan way earlier in the season,he gave us the magnificant double duo of SHITSBISTER,krog the frog,jward,adam hall.

    17. Broadway Roe-

      Regearding the 2nd best defense in the East, look at the standings. We have let in the 2nd fewest goals in the east, trailing only NJD. The last quater of the season, we got the best defense in the entire league!

      We are tied first with NJD on even strength goals against.

      The last quater of the season we have outshot the other team 90% of the time.

      These are the kind of numbers that can be pinned on the coach. The fact that we all know that our blueline have flaws, makes it even more impressive that we let in so few goals.

      And Lundqvist should defenitly not be used as the only explanation, we are outshooting the other team too, giving up really few shots.

      It takes time for a coach to make a impact. Most experts would probably say 3-4 years. We are improving every month. Adding new dimensions to our system. Now we are even trapping when we don’t got a opertunity to forecheck.

      Defensive zone coverge, D’s joining the attack, a little more width in the transition play, stuff like that can be improved. But I think Renney are dooing a heck of a job.

    18. czechthemout!!!!! on

      ola-renney is the reason we not battling for top spot in the conference,the king is the reason we are in 7th place,he is the one who has been renney’s equalizer.he cleans up all of renney’s many coaching mistakes.

    19. Doodie Machetto on

      CTO, to be entirely fair, the King is part of the reason we’re not battling for 4th or 5th. He was pretty shaky at the start of the season. We lost a lot of games where we scored a lot of goals, and if his goaltending then was even half as good then as it is now, we’d be 4th in the conference. Blame the shaky defense, but it really isn’t THAT different then as it is now, not enough to justify his lousy numbers at the start. He was giving up a lot of softies.

    20. Note to Shanny:

      nurse your concussion at home with your wife and kids rather than out partying in the wee hours with transvestites.

      geez…………………………………………………………

    21. czechthemout!!!!! on

      Doodie Machetto
      his stats were not exactly lousy.he still had .900 plus save percentage and a decent gaa average.and we were never in a position where we were scoring alot of goals.don’t forget we had even more rourth line forwards than like hall,jward,krog,betts,orts,orr,hossa.

    22. blaming Lundie is not fine , it was a team non-effort for most of the first 50 games, with Renney as the non-ring master. The only difference from this year and last year is they are opposites, but similar in coaching mistakes. Renney has reached his peter principle, but so has the entire NYR mgmt except for Schoeny and Co. & Rockstrom. Renney is too stubborn along with a few more negative qualties, that are preventing him from learning and growing. He belongs with ‘the not ready for prime time players’ in Hartford.

    23. Where's Bure? on

      Doodie Machetto,
      The answer to your question about who Tie Domi sucker punched is number 5, Ulf Samuelson

    24. Barbara H (my name and initial too, incidentally) and Seamus, give the guy a break. He’s entitled to a little fun. Life for most of us is not imitating Father Knows Best.

    25. Doodie Machetto on

      Where’s Bure? you are correct. Someone else came up with it too. Not that many participated. I thought it would’ve been fun.

      TB PP must have been studying tapes of the Rangers from a couple of weeks ago. 1-6 and a shorthanded goal. That game is going to OT. Just to spite us.

      BTW, talk about Top heavy. TB has spent so much money on their top players, that Jason Ward is on their 2nd PP unit! To be fair, he had an assist on the PP goal, but still. Jason Ward? That’s just sad.

      As for my commentary on Lundqvist: He was actually just below .900 for a good portion of the season. And there were more than a few games where we scored 3 goals and lost anyway. The last time that has happened since Henrik has picked up his play was February 5. And in every game since that point, if the Rangers would have scored 3 goals, they would have at least gone to OT, but would have won a very large majority of games in regulation. If only the offense and defense can get it going at the same time, we’ll win 3-1 games every night.

    26. we should be rooting for tampa bay. the islanders have 2 games on us and are only 3 points behind us.

    27. Doodie Machetto on

      Tampa Bay was only 1 pt in front of us, with the same number of games. The Islanders are sinking, not rising. This was the worst possible result for us.

    28. just root against 3 point games……

      also chezhmeout, never gives it a rest.. they are 2nd in the east in D with this team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      pock, malik, rozi, giradi, etc… who would believe it???

      No one……….

    29. NNYer-Nice to see another women on here. Hey i don’t have a problem with Shanny dancing with the Trannies, don’t have anything against Trannies. Its being at the same club as that skank/slut Lindsey Lohan!LOL!! The mere mention of her Paris Hilton or any of the rest of the skank pack makes me want to throw up.

    30. they have allowed the second fewest goals in the east, i wouldn’t automatically say that gives them the second best defense. maybe best goaltender.

      no one has posted what Crosby said to Hollweg yet. i didn’t see it, so is this because it was too viel or because no one here saw it?

    31. Blueshirt Bulletin shows Dawes as a call up in case an undisclosed Ranger can’t play due to injury. He speculates could be Hollweg, or Shanny not being ready.

    32. Doodie Machetto on

      Meh. Even if he dresses, it’ll be 4 mins on the 4th line. Big whoop. I’m sure Dawes is thrilled though. That’s at least one day’s worth of NY salary. However, knowing Hollweg, it’ll take more than bumps and bruises to get him to sit voluntarily.

    33. If Dawes plays on a fast 3rd line and they move bricklayer Ortmeyer to the 4th line for the game I think that would be fun to watch.

      I assume we really have not seen the real Nigel Dawes yet..

      Give him a game, let Hollwegg rest 5 full days before boston….

    34. Hey, assuming the Rangers don’t tank and make the playoffs, they are going to be a team to be reckoned with in the playoffs. Just think of how vastly different that is from last year, when we went into the playoffs riding a downward spiral and there was very little hope of victory. This year, I doubt many teams would want to face us in a 7-game series.

      And, about the Renney bashing — I agree that some of his personnel moves have left me scratching my head (Isbister on 1st line), but you can’t argue with the team’s play as a whole and, in particular, their defensive play since January — all with two or three D-men out and with Shanny out for a month. That’s pretty amazing.

      All this said, however, if Renney pulls Callahan out of the lineup if/when Straka and Hossa are ready to return, I’ll blow a friggin’ gasket!

    35. Rangers sent down Dubi and Liffiton brought in strudwick.
      And Shanny is back in the lineup.Well we just got a lot older and slower I hope it doesnt stop the momentum they had.

    36. Brooklynblue, I am 100% Irish, but our defacto Captain should have been home at 2AM. Sorry, but he can do that on his own time. Right now, his labor belongs to us and any athlete in the world with world class talent should have world class focus….right now, we have only a handful of games left.

      It made me think of Lance Armstrong’s preparation. As the tour became closer and closer, his preparation bordered on madness. I cannot picture him, half-way through, partying.

      Shanny’s 38 year old body needs rest. If he was drinking alcohol, it is even a bigger mistake, given the impact of dehydration on the body. I don’t know what impact it could have on a concussion, but I cannot see a doctor prescribing this.

      He can dance like a jackass with men dressed as women, or with Paris Hilton for all I care ————-

      during the offseason.

      On a team in desperation, I would not want my “de facto” Captain –the man young guys look up to, in the New York Post, on Page 6, in the wee hours of the morning during a desperate playoff run.

      I want my captain and leader at his best. I want him calling players at home to make sure that they are all in bed; reminding them that they can do whatever they want in the offseason, but in this last few weeks, they must be completely dedicated to the task ahead.

      Nutrition, rest, hard work, nutrition, rest. Stay focused.

      I think I am even too old school for this blog. However saying that, anyone can point out that old-school baseball players often showed up in Spring training out of shape (except Nolan Ryan) and that some players played coked-up. Babe Ruth was a glutton…I know.

      But with all of our advanced knowledge of what the proper rest and nutrition can do, especially for an athlete who’s body does NOT bounce back like a 21 year old…well, you get the picture.

      Is there a single person on this blog who agrees with me?

      I’d appreciate a response.

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