Bird watching on the Island

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Believe it or not, this is actually my first trip to the Coliseum since the sluggish days of the preseason, having been derailed first by vacation, and then by jury duty. I have to be honest: I haven’t really missed it.

Case in point, there is a bird literally flying through the rafters as I type, narrowly avoiding the assorted hanging banners. So if you suddenly see something on Rick DiPietro’s shoulder midway through the first period, you’ll know where it came from.

A few updates:

  • Saying Chris Simon couldn’t apologize earlier because of potential legal charges, the Islanders have apparently reached out to Ryan Hollweg through the Rangers in hopes of setting up a meeting between the two players. But for obvious reasons — i.e. the teams are about to ram each other through the side boards– the timing wasn’t right this morning. Whether something happens postgame remains to be seen.
  • In the spirit of democracy, I’ll pass along “this link”:http://www.petitiononline.com/htfdpack/petition.html to a petition started by Hartford Wolf Pack fans in hopes of keeping the team in Hartford. Thanks to reader Jamie for sending it to me. I suppose I don’t have an official opinion on where the Rangers put their farm team. But I do enjoy knowing the team is so close if I want to make a quick trip there. And seeing how Hartford’s already been scorned once, the good people there deserve better.
  • Speaking of bird watching, don’t look now but the Penguins have a chance to tie the Devils for first place in the Atlantic Division with a win over the Bruins today…

    OK, I’ll have more later…

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    85 Comments

    1. Am I the only one who is nervous today. I can’t stand still. My stomach is in knots. I feel like I have aged ten years this season.

      This is their bigest game in the last eight years. Oh Baby!

      This is hockey at its best!

      Go Rangers!

    2. Biggest game is debateable.. If they win today they are in very good shape, if they lose all is not lost..

      go rangers…….

    3. How is this debatable? Tell me what game has had the emotional significance of this game in the last eight years or even since the 1997 playoff run.
      We are fighting for a playoff spot with our biggest rivals, We have a team that could go pretty far if they play the rest of the season and playoffs, the way they have played the last 15 games. This what hockey is about.

    4. it is a very important game but slightly less so since we won yesterday. Figure we need at least 5 of 7 incl at least 1 each vs NYI and Mtl. So no time like the present.

    5. You could say the biggest game of the year was the St. Louis game where Valiquette won the game, it seems to be the turning point of the season…but really, this game is the biggest game of the season thus far…the next game vs the ISlanders maybe bigger, or the second to last of the season vs Montreal or who knoes, but as of right now, this is…they’ve got one game at hand, we’re up 2 points on ‘em…even if we were playing the Capitals it would be a big game, but because we’re battling for points and it’s the big rivalry, without doubt the biggest game…it’s gonna be fun!!!

      Question: If Hartford ends up relocating, where are the potential other venues?..

    6. they should have built enough seats but maybe they can add them and move them to bklyn . they’d hopefully draw more than hartford.

    7. I bet there’s no chance that the Wolf Pack move to the new Nets arena because the Dolans are probably pissed that they will have basketball competition in NYC. Though that won’t open ’til 2009 anyway.

    8. hey guys, sorry I missed you yesterday. i did get updates from my brother the fishstick fan, though.

      I just had to rub that one in for COLTON ORR!!!! Let’s just say he wasn’t very happy.

      I’m getting the Boston/Pittsbugh game on NBC right now, what a shame, but I do enjoy the boys on the 1050. They do a great job.

    9. Maloney was just saying how great Pock has played and is playing today. It’s a shame the kid hasn’t gotten a chance until now. His time on the top pair has really helped him.

    10. GuitarWizard on

      Did Orty’s stick actually touch the Islander? It looked like he was holding his stick and moved it, while Bergeron moved his head. It didn’t seem like there was any contact, but I could be wrong.

    11. Oh, my heart…. I’m only 23 and I don’t think I can take the playoffs this year if all of the games are like this!

    12. Stay away from penalties in third and we have 2 points. Orr gave us a lift, Jaro & Lundy are playing great (have you seen that Jagr’s move on Sillinger? WOW!!!). LET’S GO RANGERS!!!

    13. That magic number of 92 pts doesn’t look like it will definitely cut it this year…This race is “Tight like a Tiger”

    14. By the way, as I stated on this blog several times, I can’t understand the refs that call ranger games. It doesn’t happen every game but I’ve watched this game carefully and again the refs don’t call trips and holds against the islanders but they are itching to blow the wistle on the ragers. It’s amazing how the rangers have been able to put this run together with the refs most of the nights calling the games the way they do.

    15. what is this, two 5 on 3 situations for the sticks? WTF!!! let them play the game for god’s sake

    16. Case in point, jagr gets high sticked right in front of the ref, no call but we have to defend not one but two 5-3’s.

    17. What happens when a player call the Refs out?

      This is just tough s#@t for us and makes every win even bigger-

      Let’s go boys..Fry these fish!!

    18. At this point since not only do we have to play and beat the isles we need to beat the refs also. I would be happy with a point.

    19. WOW…A penalty is called..unfortunatley no blood drawn on the high stick to Pock…

    20. WOW!!!!!

      I guess either the refs heard what I had to say or the hockey gods are listening and watching.

    21. Rangers have taken 8 minors thus far…Almost a period worth of penalties…
      and there’s time to play-

    22. I have to admit, I will be the first to say I wanted nylander gone but since he scored in overtime against the islanders I will not say another negative thing about hylander for the rest of the season.

    23. YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      NYLANDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      NJ MARK: THERE IT IS 4PTS BUDDY YESSSSSS!!!!!!!

      LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!

    24. Shanny has played pretty poorly, I think, these past two games… is he scared of getting hit again? Hopefully this will boost his confidence.

    25. Shanny has 3 assists in 3 games since being back-

      How is that playing poorly..gimme a break-

    26. I can’t say I have any complaints about this game. That goal in the third period was a dribbler more than anything else. Lundqvist was a beast, the team destroyed the PP, and we got the win. I guess my only real issue was our own inability to score on the PP, especially when we had a 3 on 5 for 90 seconds.

    27. Genius move by Chief Nolan calling a time-out to let the Rangers recharge on the 4-3-

    28. J D

      They were playing a lot more disciplined up till the last 3 games.

      I don’t understand what happened here.

    29. With the exception of today’s assist Shanny’s other two were against the terrible Flyers. And one was a secondary assist. He was almost invisible today and against Boston… he seems to lack confidence and I was saying I hope this assist (on a HUGE goal in OT) gets him going.

    30. The Rangers biggest problem is that they dont have a PP-QB. Imagine Leetchy instead of Roszival. Roszival is solid in his own end but he does not have the confidence to take the shot over his other Czech-mates. The Rangers inability to score on the power play could be a downfall in the playoffs. If we get there…Oh yeah, when we get there.

    31. Rachunek has been shooting well on the PP before he was out-

      Hopefully, he’ll be good to go in the postseason-

    32. the only complaint is the penalties.. too many stupid penalties; Nylander in the offensive zone, ortmeyer’s high sticking.

      they have too win low scoring games they do not have enough O..

      Henrik is on fire……

    33. The lack of a quality power play Quarter back has been a problem a season. It more evident in these low scoring games.

    34. anyone notice jagr has only cranked the 1 timers twice this season…both games against the islanders?

    35. Neil Katcher on

      Shanahan is playing very slow, very shy. He looks more like John McLean out there, then like the Shanny pre-hit. He may not be fully recovered from the concussion. I love Shanny, but he’s not particularly effective out there right now. I am not bashing Shanny, I just don’t know how many games you give him before you sit him for a game or two or for the season. I’d rather have a guy who can pressure the opposition like Dubi then 1/4 of the normal Shanny.

    36. Shanahan is playing fine.. He is so smart it is amazing.

      they are in playoff games every night. scoring chances are hard to find and the last few games the penalties have really screwed with their 5 on 5 play. check out the Islander ice time Asham played 2 minutes, tambellini 2 minutes.

      Too many penalties…….

    37. Jagr is afraid to crank the one timers because his shoulder is not 100%.

      The team is dog tired right now. I think that plus Genius’ idea of playing an ineffective Straka and sitting younger but faster and more energetic players for vets is what’s exposing this team’s fatigue, age, and causing them to take more penalties. I hope it doesn’t bite them in the ass later.

      If the team had played anywhere near this level all year we wouldn’t be in this position to begin with. But whatever, it’s about when you peak.

    38. You know for all the griping about the powerplay, and I agree it could stand improvement, the Rangers PP percent still ranks 8th best in the league, same as the PK percent. For March though, they’re 16th on the PP and 1st on th PK. They need to shoot more and rotate the players rather than just the puck better, but there’s plenty of teams with equivelant or superior talent, particularly on the blue line, that aren’t doing much better.

    39. Three players I have to credit for the turnaround, Avery, Mara and Girardi. HL is playing lights out but was starting to play that way before the Avery trade. Callahan has also been a huge addition and will definitely help the Rangers the rest of the way, if Renney uses him, like he should.

      The refs gave the Isles a point with their uneven calling of this game as Dubi already pointed out. I’ll take it though. Rangers got a 3 point lead on the Isles so even if the Isles win the game in hand, Rangers still ahead by one.

      Unlike last season and the early part of this season, the pressure isn’t totally on Jagr’s line to produce. Avery, Callahan, Sahnahan and Cullen are contributing offensively.

      How about that 4th line? Orr has got to be the most improved player on the team. Love how he kept digging at that puck that DiPietro thought he had. Looks like Renney now trusts his 4th line. Agree with him there.

      Still wish they had Liffiton in the lineup. Hope it doesn’t come back to bite them because he’s not in there.

      If they keep playing like this, best defensive team in hockey over the last couple of months, they are going to give a lot of teams a difficult time in the playoffs.

      Resserecting their play at the end of the season is the complete opposite of what happened last season.

    40. A few thoughts on today’s game:

      1. Like I said yesterday, 2 points is 2 points. I’ll take it anyway we can get it.

      2. Henrik is playing like he wants the Hart Trophy, period. MVP of this team and arguably the MVP of the NHL the 2nd half of the season.

      3. I say lets give Shanny some time. I think he’ll come around. He’s not playing THAT badly.

      4. Too many penalties are starting to worry me. They better cut down on them fast.

      5. I have been saying all year that this team desperately needs a QB for the powerplay. Roszival, Rachunek, Tyutin, none of them cut it. Mara isn’t too bad, he has a hard shot and it’s usually accurate. But they still need someone to man the point. If we had a point man, we’d be near the top in the league.

      If they can win Tuesday night, they will be as good as in. That will give them 89 points, with 5 left. They can probably then afford to go 2-3 (not what you want before the playoffs, but I’m just saying) and still get in.

      And I know some of you thought I was crazy yesterday for saying Jagr made up for a subpar game with his play in the corner and the shootout goal yesterday, but I am not backing off my comments. If Jagr does not get in the corner and put pressure on Chara, Chara never makes that bad pass to set up Pock. Argue it all you want, but it’s a fact.

      NYR1994: Like I said, 2 more on Tuesday and we’re good!

    41. yeah, let’s put Isbister back in. Shanny setting up the game winner is just not good enough.

      it looks like some fans are the ones with serious concussions.

    42. I feel pretty confident in saying Isbister will be watching many more games from the upper deck than on the ice for the remainder of the season.

      Whenever Hossa can come back, which of the forwards winds up sitting? I would have to think it has to be Hollweg or Orr, no?

    43. Malik was horrid, though he may never reach the depths of yesterday. No one can repeat that kind of performance two days in a row!

      Lundqvst continues to be the reason for the turnaround, though I like the play of Girardi and of Avery.

      It was shocking to see AGAIN how much ice time was afforded to Malikenstsein.

      More ice time for Ryan Callahan!!

      Dumb penalties by Ortmeyer…….way too much work for our goalie.

      This goalie is hot at the right time and could carry us!

    44. Another huge game on Tuesday against the desperate Habs who are also on fire. A win in Montreal and I think its safe to say the playoffs are a lock. Hopefully the Devils will wake up and beat the Isles, now that they have Pittsburgh breathing down their necks. Having the Isles miss the playoffs would be the highlight of the season

    45. Malik was still horrifically bad – that was a clear holding penalty on him late in my mind. Being able to watch my first game in a few weeks, he looks so slow. He did make a good play this game, however, giving Avery that breakout pass for the partial breakaway shorthanded. For Renney, one good play is good enough. He must be making one every game to overshadow his ten bad ones.

    46. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Though it may seem unfair since he was playing so well when he got hurt, but when Hossa comes back he has to held out as a healthy scratch.

    47. Gumper

      When your team is having trouble scoring, you don’t sit the only player who has shown any signs that he can consistently score in the second half of the season. Hossa goes back on the first line with Nylander and Jagr. Straka takes Ortmeyer’s place on the third line to give that line a scoring presence. Ortmeyer down to the fourth line and Hollweg sits….although he gives the team energy, he takes too many dumb penalties. Ortmeyer can do just as well if not better in Hollweg’s role on the fourth line.

    48. Gosh boys, what a difference from the end of last year! Can anyone tell me why Leetch is not back with the team?

    49. Dellapeanuts on

      Dellapina is writing about how great Malik is.

      yesterday he was trying to ban fighting.

      I wish he would just move to Europe and cover figure skating.

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