One point either way and they’re headed to the ATL


Unfortunately, I am not in Pittsburgh, which I hear is lovely this time of year. (That’s a joke of course, but I’ve actually been to Pittsburgh twice. For those of you who haven’t been there, it’s actually a very picturesque city. You’d be surprised.)

Believe me, I wish I was there to see the regular season to its culmination. I will see if I can track down some info. But here’s what I can definitely tell you:

*1. Expect Lundqvist in net.*

*2. Don’t count on Hossa’s return just yet.*

*3. Expect to see the same lineup, with the Orr/Hollweg spot the only possible exception.*

Now, other than the Lundqvist thing, these are just my predictions. But I just don’t think you can mess with what you saw Thursday night. No, it wasn’t the Rangers best effort; I just thought the chemistry between their various units (three solid scoring lines, one well-defined checking line) was the best I’ve seen. I’d stick with it until that changes, wouldn’t you?

As you all know, the Rangers need a point or more to clinch sixth and a date with Atlanta, which won the Southeast Division last night. They can also grab sixth without a point if Tampa Bay loses (in regulation or overtime) to Atlanta. Those teams face off at 7, about a half hour before the Rangers.

Also, “you can find my story about the team’s surging confidence here.”: I suggest you pay close attention to the words of Jagr, who sounds like he’s as healthy and strong — both mentally and physically — as he’s been all season.

For those with a sense of humor, picture this: After his quote about how he even likes practice these days, he left the dressing room doing his impression Allen Iverson’s famous “Practice…We talkin’ about practice?” diatribe. To see and hear someone imitate “Practice?” in a Czech accent really puts a whole new spin on it as a comedy routine. Classic stuff.

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  1. Why is God’s name is Renney expressing such a strong desire (see today’s News for example) to avoid the Devils in the first round? All this does is pump up Atlanta if they’re the opponent, and reinforce to his own players how tough it will be if it is NJ.

    I believe that the Rangers can beat New Jersey, maybe beat them pretty persuasively. But not if the pontificating knucklehead behind the bench keeps flapping his gums like he’s doing right now.

  2. GuitarWizard on

    I think they already have a mental adversity to playing the Devils anyway. If they can take out Atlanta and gain some playoff confidence, it would be for the best.

    And a fight with the Devils will just tire either team out in the first round, leaving them with nothing for the 2nd.

  3. Delepina’s story in the Daily News today was B.S. Renney didn’t say anything like “we don’t want any part of the Devils,” he merely stated the obvious: that the Rangers match up against one team better than the other. Duh. I think 90% of Ranger fans would rather take on ATL and not NJ. Now its been blown way out of proportion and is bulletin board material for other teams.

  4. Josh,

    you wrote:

    “But I just don’t think you can mess with what you saw Thursday night… I’d stick with it until that changes, wouldn’t you?”

    Yes, you are 100% correct IF you were talking about a quality NHL hockey coach. But how many times this season has the team demolished an opponent, only to have Renney completely dismantle his lineup, even sitting out the previous game’s best players, just to prove that he’s the boss, “and that’s that!”?

    Renney has proven over the last two seasons that logic flies out the window when he makes his lineups. You know, in my opinion he’s such an egotist that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start Weekes or Valiquette in the playoffs, “Just to confuse the other team”.

    Now, I don’t really EXPECT that to happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised by anything coming from the TomHole.

  5. Oh man – Jagr impersonating Iverson!?!? Hahahahaaha!

    As for the ASS line (Avery – Straka – Shanahan) it’s actually a subtle form of anticipatory psychological warfare against opposing fans.

    1. When someone comes on here and calls Avery an ass, we can say, “Right, but that’s why Coach Renney put him on the ASS line – with Avery’s first initial implying his undisputed leadership of that line.”

    2. We can even spuriously claim that Coach Renney’s first incarnation was thousands of years ago, when he helped invent the alphabet, insisting that the letter A be listed first, so his future line combo can work. This can be used to question the brilliance of opposing coaches. ;)

  6. I think there’s more to the desire of the Rangers to meet Atlanta as opposed to NJ. It’s not just about who their first round opponent is. Taking the 6th seed has greater implications than taking the 7th seed. If we take 7 and Buffalo wins in round 1, we definitely play them. As the 6th seed, we still might avoid Buffalo in round 2 if the 7 seed wins. It’s always better to enter the playoffs with the higher seed.

  7. Baron,

    Get of Renneys ass already. The are on one of the hottest rolls in the team’s history and he’s made the playoffs two straight seasons after YEARS of futility.

    You dont like his coaching, we get it. The team just keeps on winning.

  8. SORRY…typos left and right!….


    Get off Renneys ass already. They are one of the hottest rolls in the team’s history and he’s made the playoffs two straight seasons after YEARS of futility.

    You dont like his coaching, we get it. The team just keeps on winning.

  9. 1)renney never said he didn’t want to face the devils, dellapina drew that conclusion.

    2)if you didn’t already know that every team in the league would rather face atlanta than nj & broduer in the playoffs, then you probably can’t read either and therefore wouldn’t be effected by the article

    3)who cares if it gets atlanta ‘pumped up’ we are better then them and will maul them

  10. Josh,
    What are we going to do for those great in-game updates if you’re not there? Get them from Sam Rosen and Al on TV? ;-)

    Seamus, The first home game looks like it will be April 17 (conflicts in the Garden), according to my account rep. The first game looks like it will be April 12, regardless of opponent.

    Games vs Devils are always grueling. So let someone else give them a grueling series in the first round. Besides wanting to sell tickets for their new arena, Lamoriello saw the Rangers surging and saw his team’s lackluster play over the past 6 weeks, and was starting to get scared. I think that’s one unspoken reason he made the coaching change.
    Here’s to securing 6th place tonight. Let’s Go Rangers!!!

  11. Thurs Sat Tues Wed makes sense since both Atl and NJ bball teams play the Fri and I’m sure NBC wants the Rangers Sat afternoon at 3. The knicks play Mon so my guess is that part of the schedule is a slam dunk.

  12. Rob S:

    Get your head out of Renney’s ass already.

    He has caused what should be a 2 or 3 seed to just barely make the playoffs with his ridiculous line combos and terrible in-game tactics.

    Now, Renney is already talking about screwing up the lineup that got him to the playoffs.

    He has said that if Hossa is ready, he will play on the first line, and Isbister will be moved elsewhere. NOT to the bench where he should be. Elsewhere in the lineup.

    And that means that Prucha or Callahan will be riding the bench once again. One of the two best players over the last month – who are desperately needed for their offense – will be out of the lineup.

    He didn’t learn from the Islander game – he’s going to have to learn his lesson all over again in the playoffs. I pray that this mistake will also cost him his job.

  13. LI Den,

    thanks….this should be a fun ride!

    Let’s hope Malik forgets to show up at the rink and Renney leaves Ryan Callahan in the lineup!

  14. Seamus,

    They can skate Straka back there. He’s done a nice job when getting caught at the end of a PP.

  15. GuitarWizard on

    I believe it was on NHL Live last week, but someone has mentioned that assisstant coach Perry Pearn has NEVER missed the playoffs at any level he has coached. Perhaps that’s the coaching that has gotten us this far.

  16. Perry Pearn knows hockey. He is a great coach and standup guys. The Rangers were lucky to get him on their staff. IMO he would have made a better choice for head coach over Renney. That isn’t to say Renney isn’t a good coach, because he is. Pearn has just continually proven he is a winner.

  17. Me too…Getting it only on FSN-

    Camera coverage seems poor and the announcers seem
    to not be talking into the mic-

  18. yeah, the cameras suck. and the pittsburgh fans sound like they’re with Sam at the Masters, except when they boo Jags

  19. GuitarWizard on

    Toots just got beat on that one…

    You guys are getting FSN Pittsburgh? I’m getting Sam on FSN NY.

  20. Tonight is the ONYL time in memory that I am/was rooting for the Habs.

    Once the isles are excluded, i’ll sleep better-

  21. Malik is scary-

    If Jagr has so much say, shouldn’t Henrik say something about Malik the clown and his nose for the (Ranger’s) net?

  22. Is anyone watching Malik this first period??? I cannot believe my eyes! Lundqvst is going to drop the gloves and hit him!

    I would rather see a broke-down, teary-eyed, substance abusing, divorced with dyed hair Kasper, half in the bag, half in methadonia PLAY over Malik in the playoffs!

    I cannot believe that Lundqvst has to put up with this tard! It is comical to watch him until you realize that THIS is your team and we WANT to win!

  23. Toronto took a 3-1 lead…Looks like the Fishies still have some air left in their gills-

    Tonite rooting for Habs, tomorrow for the Debbies..what has it come to?

  24. Can someone PLEASE tell me where the f– that penalty was.

    Isbister’s stick was clearly being held. He did NOT hook anyone!!!

  25. Does anyone know if Versus could of showed the Habs Leafs game tonight or does hockey night in Canada have exclusive rights to the game?

  26. i’ve been flipping back and forth between that game and the rangers. it’s been exciting

  27. Tampa now up 2-0.

    Thrashers don’t seem to be helping us out too much tonite.
    We’ve gotta do it ourselves and beat the Pens NOW-

  28. tampa is up 2-0. if the rags dont pick it up we could face the possibly of seeing the devils in round 1.

  29. I hope Kaspar is not in as bad a shape as you descibe him .i haven’t heard anything about him in a while. i was wondering how he was.

  30. back to rangers–

    fleury is not as good as sam & dave say he is. its time to get some more shots on net.

    and callahan drawing 2 penalties? nicee

  31. GuitarWizard on

    Sam on Petr Prucha:

    “He has great respect from the coaching staff.”

    Apparently Renney doesn’t count as coaching staff.

  32. More PP time..These refs are so inconsistent.

    the play just now was REALLY offsides and the refs called Prucha offsides a few min ago on a BS call-

  33. jagr is certainly affected by the booing. he’s barely holding onto the puck and is giving it away.

    and talk about missing the net…!

  34. What the heck is Cullen doing…stopping short handed on a breakaway..c’mon!!!

  35. Ottawa is beating Boston right now 6-3. Pens can’t have home ice-

    This game really means nothing for the Pens-
    and could mean a lot for the Rags-

  36. BlueClue
    Just in case you don’t know (and I am assuming that you don’t) calling the rangers “the Rags” is derogatory. Only Rangers enemies refer to our beloved blueshirts in this manner.

  37. eh, forgot. I didn’t get the game on TV and they didn’t really call his name so it didn’t stick.

  38. Huet is on the bench, Souray is in the dressing room, doesn’t look good for the Habs

  39. G.B

    Was not aware of that-
    Actually, 1st time I called them that-

    Just see a lot of fans referring to them as Rags-

  40. and in this game, crosby & the penguins are getting away w/ murder on these penalties




  42. P.W.- Rutuu slashed him first seconds before in between his chicken dances.

    Maloney should replace Micheletti.

    Altanta here we come!

  43. this night would have been ten times better if the isles were eliminated, and maybe if we won.

  44. Rangers were definitely flat tonight. Bet they’ll be doing a lot of work on the PP before playoffs. On a positive note there is no doubt that the Rangers can compete with the high powered offense of the Penguins and they certainly are capable of taking Atlanta out in the 1st round. Let’s Go Boys!

  45. I guess it doesn’t matter but i hate losing to the Penguins because i HATE them beyond words. anyway on to Atlanta.

  46. Looked a bit flat tonight at times. As long as we made it out with no injuries I am happy. Lunqvist got spun around but hopefully he’s fine.

    Gotta love the speed that the Prucha-Cullen-Cally line brings…all 3 of them think ‘shoot’.

    Maybe move Shanny up with Jags and Nyls on the first PP unit and have the PCC line as the 2nd unit?

  47. Why was the King in the net in the thire period who cares who we face as long as he is healthy.


    LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!

  48. How was the Prucha goal?…i missed it being so busy watching Tor-Mon and Atl-TB games

  49. Prus goal was a rebound off the Calahan goal. Remember the goal he scored in the game vs the Islanders when we bombed DIpietro? Same thing

  50. Are the Devils gonna be soft tomorrow cause the game doesn’t matter to them directly?

    Any chance Brodeur gets a rest?

  51. Callahan shot from the right side, save made but puck rebounds to Prucha on the left side and he shot it in the net, open on that side.

  52. The call where Roszival got in front of Malkin and he got an interference….I was just amazed. If that was us getting cut off the ref would have looked the other way.

  53. I think Brodeur has already said that he’s not going to do Toronto any favors by playing tomorrow, so the Isles will have to beat Clemmensen. Then again, the Isles have Dubiliewicz in goal. Still, there are worse things than all three NY area teams being in the dance. At least the Isles will try to beat up on the Sabres a bit.

  54. Sabres Isles is actually a NY-NY Series…even though Buffalo’s on another continent-

  55. Does anybody know for sure when the Rangers play? Josh mentioned the 12th the other day, and LI Den said the same above. Where is everybody getting this info from? I can’t find any schedules yet.

    I know the Rangers commercial said playoffs begin 4/11, but that’s for the league, not necessarily the Rangers.

    Bring on Atlanta! Get some rest boys and come back strong next week!

  56. The game’s are tentatively scheduled for the 12th and the 14th in Atlanta. They better be, because I just booked my flight for those days.

  57. Sam

    Why in God’s name don’t you stay in Augusta and drive up early in the week? Get Hootie and a couple other good ole boys to take you out for a quick 18 on Monday.

    P.S. Renney blows

  58. Thanks Sam! This is good, I come back from Vegas that night at midnight, so I will tape the game while I am gone and watch it that night…probably when I get home around 1am. I know, I’m nuts!

  59. BlueClue April 7th, 2007 at 8:06 pm
    But he is a +32 ….cough cough-

    Blues Clues… cannot be serious…………….he doesn’t even belong in the NHL. Do you have any idea what his +\- would look like if the NHL was smart enough to count goals against while the player sits in the penalty box???

    Lundqvst is going to knock him out in that huge forehead before Thursday……Lundqvst has reached the end of his rope.

    Honestly, this guy is so poor on defense that I cannot picture any fan, above adult age, defending him. seriously. =/-??? oh, man.

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