If only it were always that easy

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Unlikely today: The Rangers steamrolling over the Bruins as easily as they did last week at home.

More likely: The B’s, with a humbling loss fresh in their minds, coming after the Rangers with everything they have left in them — which, mind you, still isn’t that much.

One of the more encouraging elements of the Rangers recent resurgence is they truly have embraced this whole “It’s all about us” mantra, which is essential seeing how they’re not getting much help from anyone else (except for Buffalo last night, which stormed from behind to nip the Leafs in regulation). What that means is they may be less prone to letdowns against inferior teams, and similarly less likely to be intimidated by superior ones.

Meanwhile, another prediction: look for the top unit of Martin Straka, Michael Nylander and Jaromir Jagr to have an extra spark today. Historically whenever that group has been broken up for any sustained period, it’s always flourished once reunited.

More later…

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107 Comments

  1. I hope you’re right Sam. It’s ridiculous how much everyone just keeps winning. This stretch of games coming up is everything. I think we’ll have a good idea whats going to happen after they play (and hopefully beat) Montreal.

  2. I’ll be at the Garden today for the game today(Yeah, displaced Rangers fan). Can’t wait!

  3. goalbyPrucha on

    There still is no margin for error at all in the games coming up. It’s hell on the nerves.

  4. “Historically whenever that group has been broken up for any sustained period, it’s always flourished once reunited.”

    Even if only to disappear into the circles of the exterior of the offensive zone a game or two later.

    Tis true tho – tis true.

  5. lets hope the rangers dont take the bruins lightly b/c after a string of losses, i expect the bruins to come out strong.

  6. I just hope Straka is at least at 80% or he shouldn’t be in, and he’s watched what Hossa & Missbister jobs’ were and he plays a similar role. The NYR’s aversion to ‘kids’ is blantantly obvious until their backs are against the wall. Then most ‘kids’ prove them wrong when given a real & proper chance to succeed, but that’s rare unfortunately. I hope they learned from this year and use ‘kids’ correctly & early next year. It’s alot better than crunch time. Dawes , Immo, & Pock are prime examples of that mistake. And the ‘loyal’ blue try to spin it right. Ask yourself who’s better Dawes or Missbister if given the same exact opportunity, ones a 4th liner if that , the other could be a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.

  7. bklyblue -agree on Straka, although I think half a Straka is better than an Isbister at 110 percent.

    But I kind of disagree on the kids side of your argument. Pock is in the lineup now and both Dawes and Immonen aren’t in the lineup because they already have a smallish scrappy forward(Prucha) and a finese center(Cullen). As you might have gathered from my previous posts, I really DON’T like Isbister. But I also think Dawes would be ineffective in the role he’s in(clearing space for Jagr).

    Not to say that there won’t be roles for these guys in the future, but right now, they just don’t work into the lineup. Dubinsky, I think, does belong here. But it seems as though they want him to get one AHL year under his belt before moving him into a role in NY. And besides, the only line he WOULD be a great fit (Shanny-Avery-Cally), is already a good line. I can’t justify him here in NY and getting five or six minutes of play. He needs first-line time for this season and by next, he’ll be ready to move a guy like Cullen to another city.

    There seems to be a slow transition of youth getting infused into this team, which from a fans prospective, seems like it’s too slow. But you can’t deny the fact that in two years, we’ve gotten Prucha(24), Hollweg(23), Tyutin(23), Callahan(22), Girardi(22), to some extent Pock(25), and even King Henrik(25) into starting roles. That’s almost a third of the team.

  8. Im cool as long as Cally is here to stay, even once hossa returns, you wonder what they will do..even the euro line is playing well and if the irish line is still doing there thing not sure where hossa fits in…u can put him on a third line with cullen and prucha?

  9. The tough part when Hossa omes back is putting somebody on the fourth line. Either they’ll cop out and sit Callahan, or put him, Prucha, or Hossa on the fourth line. Hossa will probably start there, but switch with Prucha only because Prucha gets PP time to compensate. It would be Prucha – Betts – Hollweg. I can’t see anyone else there.

  10. malikenstein deserves pine for at least one shift. does renney have the brains and the onions?

  11. Just rembered we have Ortmeyer that should play 4th when everyone’s healthy, but that changes the wings, putting Prucha on the right side of the 3rd line, which is probably where he belongs anyway.

  12. it just shows that Lundy is the main reason for the Ranger success last season early, and this season late.

  13. Malik and Mara down the road have to go. no question. until we get better Dmen – I would love to see Staal come up at the end of the year and get some games. Wont happen but both M&Ms are borderline players. How Mara could let someone get by him and take a point blank shot at Henrik is unforgiveable for a Dman in a game like this.

  14. Yeah, I usually don’t like saying someone’s bad for no reason, but Malik has been BRUTAL this period.

  15. Malik is a minus, no matter how often his goalie and team have to bail him out, to give him his phony stats.

  16. This period is an example of how our 1st half of the season was played– being shorthanded about half the game-
    … and usually losing.

  17. goalbyPrucha on

    How many more lazy penalties is Malik gonna take?? The man is slow as mollasses. Bench his butt, Renney!!

  18. is this gonna be another example of the rangers making a pretty bad goaltender look like patrick roy?

  19. These goaltender interference calls need to be looked in to.
    Lately, they have been total BS. An opposing player gets banged in to the goalie by an opposing team mate and it ALWAYS seems to be penalized- ridiculous-

  20. so pelino doesnt think the rangers are playing sloppy? i cant imagine what he would say to them in the intermission.

  21. GuitarWizard on

    Ha. And the coaching staff says the Rangers aren’t playing sloppy? What game are they watching?

  22. lets see how they respond- they’re playing like crap as of now… and also those worries that they wouldnt take the bruins seriously are coming true…

  23. This has to be Malik’s absolute worst game. He is doing everything wrong….all the little things and the big things….

    I cannot believe Renney won’t sit him. This is awful.

  24. The 1st line as it is today IMO should be disbanded.

    There is no grit at all to it and Nylander, Jagr and Straka are basically variations of the same player.

  25. and now the offense problems again…

    just when you thought they were starting to get some consistency

  26. Roszival also is not looking good today. He is passing up one shots only for his passed to get broken up every time-

  27. GuitarWizard on

    Haha… good call leetchy.

    Seeing Jagr’s ling out there every other shift is not helping anything. Renney needs to start playing the other guys and get something going.

  28. I am a big supporter of waive Malik and can give you a thousand reasons…

    today versus Boston, I say nothing. If anyone can watch his play and thinks he belongs in the NHL, we have nothing to debate.

    Lundqvst must fume. how often must a 7 year old defenseman be told, “DON’T pass in front of your own goaltender!”?

    Malik does it with impunity. He hooks. He is slow footed. His reach is only good for his hook. He is hurting us, right now, and we need every point we can get.

    It is so sad that Renney won’t pull him. Likely, Renney will hear it from the fans and the press and reward malik with the A and with more critical ice time.

    I think it is Renney’s way of flipping the bird to New York fans. They boo because they are the most knowledgable fans in the country and know minute details of this game. They know Malik is THAT Godawful. Only cue-cards keep NY announcers from being truthful, but Boston announcers on NESN can see it for themselves.

  29. 100% correct on the five-minute major. That is a phenomenally dangerous play. Hollweg should explain himself.

  30. GuitarWizard on

    And here I was thinking the Rangers weren’t taking stupid penalties this period.

    Although I understand Hollweg was out there trying to get some life into the game, that wasn’t a good way.

  31. That’s just a great kill. What Boston fans, bklynblue? A major is a major is a major, even if the Rangers do it. Agreed with the call; end of story.

  32. GuitarWizard on

    The only thing you have to remember is that if a Bruin hit a Ranger like that, it wouldn’t have been a call.

  33. dave that’s your opinion made a fact by a ref , that doesn’t make it the correct call.

  34. When the Jagr line is on the power play, does anyone else feel like it looks more like they are playing “keep away” as opposed to passing to set up a good shot? That pass by Straka when he had a wide open lane was a premiere example of why this team doesn’t score that much.

  35. Do the Rangers conduct drills at practice shooting the puck and missing the net?

    They’ve really got that down to a science-

  36. every single player is playing w/ no momentum

    didnt they learn not to underestimate teams from the feb 17th game w/ the flyers?

    com’on, LETS GO RANGERS!!!

  37. NESN had the assistant coach of Boston miked. He was heard to be saying,

    “C’mon, boys, just throw the puck at that big tard, Malik…it’ll go in. He’s our best player!”

  38. I like how MSG called out Jagr for his poor defense that caused that first goal. That last drive by Boston, if the puck went in, was all Jagr again. He needs to wake up and play both ends of the ice (cause truthfully, he’s not doing much on the end he’s willing to play).

  39. Thomas Pöck! Finally! He still won’t play in playoffs if Tyutin comes back. :(

  40. Jagr with the physical play!! Right when the Islanders 4-3 score was flashed.

    ——————–

    div – Malik’s performance on the point is worse…way worse.

    ——————–

    Amazing leg save by Lundqvist off Ward!!

  41. WE NEED ATLEAST A POINT HERE TO STAY AFLOAT–

    THAT WAS SIMPLY NEEDED THERE– HUUGE

    OH and they are yelling, “Let’s Go Rangers” in Boston-

  42. …and why the heck was that not a penalty on Bergeron getting his stick in Jagr’s legs?

    I guess Jagr should have dove-

  43. In the new NHL, if you get beaten on a play, you’re either going to end up in the box or getting scored on.

  44. Jesus people – we are not worthy of Henrik Lundqvist. No way. No how. Nuh huh!! :)

  45. Lucky, Lucky. Actually according to the radio announcers, Kessel missed, hit the outside of the post, so no King save there, but he was there for 40 other saves, so he should have first star honors.

  46. YES BABY!!!!!!!! THATS RIGHT!!!!!

    NJ MARK: THATS ONE!!!!! NEED TWO TOMORROW!!!!!!

    ALL HAIL KING HENRIK!!!!!!!!!

  47. pock’s goal wouldnt have mattered if henrik doesnt stand on his head and make 40 saves

  48. “pock’s goal wouldnt have mattered if henrik doesnt stand on his head and make 40 saves”
    obviously it did!!!!

  49. w/o Pock’s goal, there would be a lot of screaming, cursing, and bickering going on here.

    Actually, there probably still will be-

  50. Thank you Henrik!! And anyone else who bad mouths Jagr better shut their trap! He made a great play to get that puck to Pock, and he nets the game winner in the shootout.

    Now lets beat the Fishsticks tomorrow! Lets go Rangers!

    NYR1994: Gotta love it! Now lets get 2 more tomorrow!!

  51. Wow, I heard parts of it on the radio. Sounds like they played like complete garbage. That just makes me so infuriated. The last time they won a game they didn’t deserve was in Dallas, and we all know whatv happened after that.

    Was it as bad as it sounded? I mean, please, Joey MacDonald looked like he couldn’t hold Valiquette’s jock last Saturday. How the hell were they unable to score? Maybe Isbister on the first line was useful at making room after all. The B’s had nearly 17 minutes of PP time as well. What garbage. They’ll need a much better efort tomorrow.

  52. GuitarWizard on

    NJ Mark- I’m willing to say Jagr’s 2 minutes of good time made up for the 18 of poor playing.

  53. And last time I checked, the other 17 on the ice played like garbage too. 2 points is 2 points, whether they win 7-0 or 2-1.

    Point is they won, and Henrik is the man. I swear, there is no pleasing Rangers fans.

  54. bs. Jagr did NOT get the puck to Pock. he tied up Chara in the corner, and then CHARA took a wild swing at the puck and centered it blindly right into the slot.

    the replays show it, and Joe M. confirmed it.

  55. Doodie Machetto on

    Henrik stole that game. We did not deserve any points. The refs definitely called it too tightly.

    I noticed the Jagr butchering that wasn’t called because he kept skating. If that’s any other player in the league, he goes down and there’s a penalty called. I thought it was very classy of him to keep moving.

    As for Prucha in OT, I had just been thinking before he got on the ice that we probably wouldn’t see him in OT because it was clear that Renney was keeping his eye on not being too irresponsible defensively. The first three pairings he had out were Nylander-Shanahan, Avery-Straka, and Cullen-Jagr. The first two are matchings of two guys who are about even defensively(Shanny a little more so than Nylander, but Avery and Straka about dead even). Jagr is terrible defensively but Cullen balances him out by being great. So I was thinking to myself that unless Ortmeyer or Betts was coming on the ice, we wouldn’t see Prucha in OT because he is REALLY irresponsible defensively. Then he came out with Straka and it was immediately a mistake. If you want Prucha out there, he needs to be with someone who is a lot more responsible defensively, and BIGGER. Sturm literally just overpowered him to the point where Prucha had to take a penalty. It wasn’t Prucha’s fault so much as a bad pairing by Renney.

    Great game by the King. The rest of the team was terrible with the exception of Betts and Pock. And I’m not even talking about the goal for Pock. Pock was excellent defensively. Other than Pock and Betts, every skater on the Rangers today had an absolutely terrible game.

  56. GuitarWizard on

    Very happy with the win, but I don’t think there is need to put Jagr on a pedastal over it.

    They played horribly (except Lundqvist) and got a lucky bounce.

  57. not benching malikenstein is beyond comprehension, and giving him 22 minutes is adding insult to injury. He tried to singlehandily lose the game today.

  58. NJ Mark: Jagr deserves any criticism he receives. His pathetic defensive play and lack of hustle for the majority of the game cannot and should not be excused by one good play. Did this win really make you feel good about the way the team played?

    It is this type of less-than-100% effort that has characterized so many Ranger games this season. Not just Jagr, but the whole team. The captain needs to step up and set the example.

  59. what are the Rangers in the SO?
    7-3 I believe.

    If so, that is 4 pts. that are the difference between making the playoffs and not making it.

  60. They are 9-4 in the shootouts this season after today’s HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE WIN. We got two points… stop complaining about the effort. It’s a long season and lackluster performances happen. Our boys are putting it together and getting breaks that they weren’t getting early on in the season. This time last year we were shooting ourselves in the foot on a nightly basis as we watched the Devils come from the boonies to steal the division. Let’s just roll along with our team and enjoy the exact opposite of the ending of last season

  61. Nice win. I was hopnig for a desructing performance but…eh…hopefully they give it to the isles..Hopefully Asham grows balls and decides to fight Orr. Also yea Jagr isnt having the best season, but hes our top scorer and if you really want to say hes not playing great..then look at cheechoo, him and jagr are coming off of 50 + goal season and now there both stuck in the 25 + (chech has 30)…but who cares jagr’s made up for alot of wrong hes done..Hes been there in the shootout. Now rangers have deadly shooters in the shootout……Nylander..Shanny..Jagr. then out trump card …Hossa…then of coarse prucha..and cullen. and dont forget The king who will always come up big for us….If Tampa loses tonight against OTT and we win tomorrow, then we are in 6th, and we have to keep rolling….ERR Lets go NYR…….

  62. Rangers play their best hockey over the last three weeks and they have an off game on an afternoon game and you guys are all over em…

    I’ll say this, good teams find ways to get points when they play poorly, and they did that today, gotta give em credit.

    And the Devils wouldn’t be the Devils without Brodeur, no team would be anywhere without it’s goaltender, and Henrik has proved that.

    I’ve been critical of this team all year, but they are slowly making a believer out of me… gotta get at the Isles tomorrow, it won’t be Mike Dunham in net this time.

  63. you know I thought the last isles game was one of the most important games of the season… but tomorrow’s tops em all.

    a win tomorrow and we’re at 87 points with the isles at 83… a loss and we’re tied with another match-up the following week.

    I thought the isles would be done after the Simon incident, but they’ve pulled it together some…

    I dunno if anyone will be willing to fight Orr after the Fedoruk KO…

  64. Good Call Doodie Machetto.. If you want to make an argument to play Prucha there, at least have a defensive presence at Forward with him, not Nylander. Coach could have cost a point there. On that note, am I the only one that thought the team was better suited for these types of games before Shanny and Straka returned?

    By putting Straka with Jagr and Nylander again (with Straka still not near 100%), we’ve insured that line to be less physical. While Shanahan has been effective, we can’t expect him to play with an edge for awhile. That edge is what is needed, and what has been present over this streak. Towards the end of the game the Coach was seeking combinations that might generate offense. I’m hopeful he can adjust for tomorrow. Perhaps play Straka between Shanahan and Prucha as a 3d unit, while Cullen Avery and Callahan make a gritty second unit. Ortmeyer might add some defensive awareness to Jagr and Nylander, and leave the 4th line alone. They were fine.

    By doing things that way, you’ll still have Straka and Shanahan available for special teams play, and the occasional shift while being more physical 5 on 5…Any thoughts?

  65. Come on guys – we won today. Henrik is part of the team so if he stole the game so be it. Just like young guys get opportunities from injuries like Henrik did last yr. Injuries happen and one mans misfortune is anothers mans opportunity.

    BE HAPPY – ABD LETS WIN TOMORROW VS OUR ARCHRIVALS

  66. compalining about Callahans minutes……….they were killing penalties all day, if you watched the game..

    way way to many penalties, nice move Holwegg………..

    They cannot commit 9 penalties Sunday else they will lose……

    Good teams win games like this, be happy they finaly have figured out how to win a game when they do not play better, they have only done it a few times this yr…

    enjoy all………

  67. Wow-what a scary game! But it’s looking like we are going to make 6th place, and then watch out in the playoffs!! Atlanta or Tampa Bay should be beatable, which will help ease the pain of last season’s end of the year destruction.

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