Should Sam even come home?


As you probably know, the Rangers are headed to Atlanta for the first round of the playoffs as the No. 6 seed. Our boy Sam, who will soon chronicle Tiger’s latest green jacket (unfortunately – how boring???), will be flying home, only to fly back for Game 1. Poor guy. I mean, I’ll gladly take his place…

Anyway, no practice tomorrow. So I won’t have a practice report for you. I’ll be back on Monday afternoon, before passing the baton back to Sammy on Tuesday. I don’t know if I’ll have much tomorrow, but I’ll hit you up on Monday (even though it’s my birthday).

I leave you with this question: The Rangers are obviously happy to head to the ATL, but are you?

And what’s your prediction??? I say: *Rangers in 6.*

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  1. Prediction: Renney will bench Prucha, Shanahan and Lundqvist in Game 1 to throw a monkey wrench into ATL’s series war plan.

    I wanted NJ. I don’t think they’re healthy, and I don’t think they can score more than 1.5 goals a game, and Brodeur has never been more vulnerable.

  2. 1. Yes, Sam should come home. Anyone ever consider the possibility that he misses his family back home?

    2. I agree Josh. Rangers in 6. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose the first game after the long layoff.

    Anybody else hoping that Avery drives Holik nuts this series? And lets hope Pascal Dupuis doesn’t come back to haunt us.

  3. goalbyPrucha on

    The Rangers do like their chances against Atlanta?? I’m curious. I wouldn’t have minded a go at revenge on the Devils, though.

  4. Rangers in 5

    ( I wanted to say Rangers in 6 but everyone else is, so I will go against the grain)

  5. I think We can beat anyone right now, but I say Rangers in 6 as well.

    happy B-day Josh…..Good work.

    Lets Go Rangers!!!!!!!

  6. BUF vs TOR or NYI
    NJ vs TB
    ATL vs NYR
    OTT vs PIT (that should be a fun series to watch)

    DET vs CGY
    ANH vs MIN
    VAN vs DAL
    NASH vs SJ (another great 4 vs 5 matchup)

    I will stick with my preseason prediction of Ottawa-San Jose for the Cup, although I doubt that will happen.

  7. If the Islanders win tomorrow (win no OT loss or anything like that) they kick toronto out and play the Sabres first round
    New Jersey-Tampa

  8. Happy Birthday Josh! Thanks for keeping the good flow of info going for us!

    I was looking at the Rangers overall stats as compared to the Thrashers stats, and they actually match up pretty well…the Thrashers have great offense, but the Rangers have great goaltending, so I think it should be a pretty even series, with the Rangers staying hot (even though tonight was pretty lackluster) and winning in 6 games.

  9. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    Tonights game i hope was all the crappy play there gonna leave behind on route to the playoffs….

    With that…Damn the 3rd period was close….but any body who denies the fact that crosby controld the refs..Take a look at the play where crosby jumped on Pocks back and was using his damn leg to bring him down…then when Roberts hit someone directly from behind…Oh yea and that BS call on Cally for prtecting his goalie..and not calling rutuu for slashing averys hand while they were on the bench….The pens control the refs…and i feel bad for the senetors..there probably gonna get swept because of it….

    Good job by ATL…Thank them for winning in it the i hope they get destroyed by NYR


  10. Forget Dupuis. Where’s THE Jason Krog?

    I think we’d be better off playing the Devils first round. They seem vulnerable and if we face Brodeur later, after he’d got into playoff rhythm, it’ll be a bigger annoyance.

    Either way, Let’s Go Rangers!

  11. Rangers in 4. How sweep it is. Henrik will also sport two shutouts. You read it here first folks…

  12. Happy birthday, kid, but, seriously, in five! And nice job, by the way. Watch those adverbs, though; there was a serious error in your article. Feeling differently means touching in a different way. The Rangers felt different (adjective, not adverb)! I’m a pedant by nature and copy editor by trade!

  13. why does everyone want brodeur after he just set the single season win record for a goalie?? they look pretty strong to me, but then again what do i know??

  14. manwithnoname on

    If the Islanders do make the playoffs, I’m wondering if Doodie will admit he was wrong when he said its impossible for 4 teams from one division to make the playoffs.

  15. Malik's laser guided poke check on

    Hockey’s future released a new top 20 Ranger prospect ranking and I think they pretty bad. First of all Pock and Immonen are now too old to be considered prospects.

    I would rank them like this:

    1. Callahan
    2. Montoya
    3. Staal
    4. Girardi
    5. Pyatt
    6. Dubinsky
    7. Bourret
    8. Dawes
    9. Sanguinetti
    10 Byers
    11 Korpikoski
    12 Baranka
    13 Liffiton
    14 Sauer
    15 Russell
    16 Dupont
    17 Anisimov
    18 Kveton
    19 Potter
    20 Jessiman

  16. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    Is there any word on when NYR will play…Wed or Thurs???

    The sooner the better cause i cant wait

  17. I would head down to ATL but I have responsibilities as a store owner all Thursday Friday and Saturday.

    Any clue on the schedule yet? I know they were saying it would be the 12th and 14th I think but no official word?

  18. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    Should be interesting to see not only Dupuis but steve rucchin…i forgot about that guy…

    I hope NYR creams that virgin playoff team

  19. B-Reid said something about Brodeur breaking the record, and I’d just like to say that there should be a big fat asterix next to that record since the rules were changed. Without the overtime and shootout the record would have never been broken this year. Or am I wrong?

  20. Also, did anyone else catch Crosby’s foul mouth on the FSN broadcast? You couldn’t hear anything… and I’m no professional lip reader but I could easily make out him dropping F bombs all over the place towards I believe it was Avery, and then, when he was done, going over to the ref and complaining to him? I’m sorry but I find this terrible. He obviously gets more leeway than the normal player and yet he goes and complains to the ref all the time? I’ll be pretty hapy when he’s no longer the talk of the NHL and he gets treated like everyone else.

    It reminds me of a game last year when he was called for goalie interference and was sitting in the goal and complaining right at the ref for at least 30-45 seconds. This kind of conduct should demote him from “Sid The Kid” to “Sid The Baby”

    I truly hope that now that it is playoff time refs are less liable to protect him.

  21. if hossa comes back for the first game of the playoffs who should sit? i think isbister because callahan is playing so well and so has prucha. i also dont think it wise to bench both hollweg and orr.
    also, rangers in 6.

  22. I’m not sure anyone would like to face Brodeur in the post-season… but I would rather have had a shot at vengace for last season’s debacle. Not to mention that a high scoring shootout against Atlanta and their firepower isn’t exactly what I would call an ideal matchup. We’ll need Hank at his best, the young guns to be effective including Callahan (AND NO SITTING PRUCHA FOR GOD’s SAKE!!!!) and Jagr/Shanny to be producing like we all know they can.

    Let’s Go RANGERS!!!

  23. The preferential treatment of Sissy Crosby is a bad joke . . . I too feel sorry for Ottawa . . . they are going to spend an inordinate amount of time on the PK

  24. Jezmund, I caught that, and some of it was definitely HEARD. You could hear that Maloney was trying to talk over the players so we couldn’t hear anything, it was funny.

    I hope Hossa just takes Isbister’s place, but who knows. Last night, Callahan was one of the best forwards on the ice for the first half of the game, and then barely played the rest of the way (especially the last 10 or so minutes). That pissed me off. Nylander and Jagr didn’t show up until halfway through the game and Shanahan barely showed up at all. So why not play the guy who’s actually doing something on the ice?

    Happy birthday Josh!

  25. All I have to say to you haters is:

    I am 2/2 so far getting this team to the playoffs. 6 seeds, no less. So for all of you who hate me, consider your alternatives. Maybe Ron Low can help you deal with your anger issues?

    Kiss my butt,


  26. This Team needs to improve the Powerplay !

    if the Powerplay starts working better I’ll feel alot

    better about our chances .

  27. onecupin67years on

    Lets see what the rangers can do in this round .If they play their typical blow a 2 goal lead game ,they’re done,if they play their win it in o.t. game. they’re dead ,they have to play 60 minutes and win in regulation ,something that they don’t do very well .Atlanta in 6.

  28. onecupin67years on

    And is there an NHL player who will kick crosby’s ass? Talk about protected .

  29. onecupin67years on

    Do the rangers D men know how to shoot one timers from the point ? You can count the one timers on 1 hand,the pas too much and are afraid to shoot from the pt.

  30. I know this much about the schedule…Thursday & Saturday in ATL. Tuesday and Wednesday in NYC. And that is from a VERY good source.

  31. Come to think of it, Hollweg hasn’t been a factor the last few games. I think the bumps, hits and bruises have finally caught up with him.

    Hollweg is the kind of player who gets noticed when he is playing at the top of his game. The polar opposite of Hollweg is Girardi who’s at the top of his game, for the most part, when he isn’t noticed. He takes the puck away from the opposition and starts the flow going the other way so quietly, you really have to pay attention when you watch him. On the other hand, one of the rare times a pass from him gets intercepted, or he loses the puck (very rare), you notice.

    Renney should play Hossa or Isbister but not both. If Hollweg perks up during this break, I’d put him on the 4th line with Orr.

    I’d line then up as follows:

    Hossa – Nylander – Jagr

    Avery – Straka – Shanahan

    Prucha – Cullen – Callahan

    Hollweg/Ortmeyer – Betts – Orr

    Since the playoffs are defensive oriented, the Rangers will need as much offense as they can muster. Ortmeyer, as much as I admire him, has zero offensive ability and plays softer than Hollweg. He blocks shots better than anyone else but I think you have to consider the offense first.

  32. The answer is yes, if only to reintroduce myself to my wife and son. I’m home Monday, then turn around and come back Thursday. Happy birthday Josh, and great job.


    lennynyr, i understnad your views but personally, i don’t agree with your ortmeyer comment. Ortmeyer is the Rangers BEST penalty killer, and notice how many penalties they’ve been getting lately. Anyways, Ortmeyer is offensive; notice all of the plays he’s been setting up for Cullen and Betts lately? Ortie even had more shots on goal than Ryan H. did. Yes, you need to consider the offensive but you cannot forget about the defensive.

  34. goalbyPrucha on

    Orr Kicks Ying Yang;
    Steve Rucchin has been out with a head injury of some kind and I don’t think we’ll see him. On the Thrashers board they think he is semi retired. Sam or Josh, have you heard anything on this?

  35. Josh, Do you know if they said anything about Hank…in regards to the knee he was flexing after getting run into? He finished the game but we don’t want to see him out. We know what happened last year when he wasn’t playing 100%

  36. Thrasher team is very well constructed top to bottom, has Stanley Cup coaching, and will be a serious challenge…with the trade deadline moves they could be this year’s version of the Canes. Series will go 7 and my homer pick is Rangers win it.

  37. Sidney Crosby is definitely a sissy — but I’m not sure dropping F bombs is exactly out of character with every on-ice conversation in the NHL. These are hockey players, not choir boys.

    Whoever said the PP better click is dead on — we need it bad.

  38. jezmund – in regards to whether they will put an asterick next to brodeur’s single season win record, i believe that the league’s official stance is that they will never use astericks. their reasoning for this is that the game is changing (they would say evolving) and that eventually the record books would be littered with *’s. while goalie pads get smaller, and all games must decide a winner, let alone any changes they make in the future (dare i mention making the goals larger?? imagine what that would do to scoring records, GAA’s etc…), things might look very different. the only justification you can make is that in 50 years when all the changes are made and done, it will again be the norm, and *’s will only distract from that.

  39. WHen Hossa comes back, I would sit Hollweg. As others have mentioned, Avery’s game maes Hollweg somewhat expendable. And, whether you like it or not, Isbister has played well. He’s comically bad on offense, but he is better than Hollweg.

    Hossa – Nylander – Jagr.
    Avery – Straka – Shanahan.
    Prucha – Cullen – Callahan.
    Isbister – Betts – Orr.

  40. When does our roster have to be set? And what’s the back-up goalie situation?

    And I hope the Rangers can win two playoff games in a row. This team still seems to have a little bit of emotional weakness, as evidenced by last night’s slow opening,

  41. AsmosEyes

    Agree with line combos, but Ortie or Hollweg should be on the 4th line-
    preferably Orts for the PK…very important in playoffs

  42. Last line would be


    Orr IMO is not needed in a playoff atmosphere, especially against Atlanta.

  43. For all you Marc Staal fans out there, he led Sudbury the other night to a victory. They lead the series 2-0, so don’t expect him in a Wolfpack or Rangers uni anytime soon.

  44. And to my on-line family here on the blog, Happy Easter or Passover or whatever holiday any of you are celebrating this weekend.

  45. lennynyr – Good lines. And wasn’t it the Hollweg-Betts-Ortmeyer line that people were raving about not to long ago? AsmosEyes: NO TO ISBISTER. He can’t hit the net, he can’t carry the puck, just about the only thing he does is “clear space” for guys like Jagr and Nylander to set up plays. Hollweg is just as effective, plus he CAN carry the puck. Isbister would be wasted on a line with Ortmeyer and Betts. Holly is there to lay people out, Orts and Betts are there to move the puck. Isbister can stay on the roster as an injury fill-in. Orr is done for the season. There’s no reason to have him in at all. Role three lines: JJ-Nylander-Hossa and Avery-Straka-Shanny and Prucha-Cullen-Cally(this line looked tight last night). Put the HBO line in when the puck is in the Ranger zone.

  46. DoodieMachetto on

    As far as the 4th line goes, Ortmeyer and Betts should be yesses, but Hollweg/Orr depends on the team. I’d put Orr out on the first game to KO Boulton again, then sit him for the rest of the series unless things start getting chippy again.

    Truth be told, Avery has made Hollweg obsolete. He is a smaller guy who LOVES to take the body whenever he gets the chance. The difference is Avery actually has some measure of skill. Hollweg doesn’t.

  47. I really hope Hossa picks up where he left off-

    It’ll be cool seeing the Hossa Bros square off each on the 1st lines for their teams..

    Who would’ve ever thunk it?

  48. Orts needs to be in against the Thrash for the PK at least. What will Orr do against a team that bairly fights…Orr has two against them…but I would Rather have Hollweg in than Orr…and Isbister looks good on the top line, but the few times he played on the bottom line he looked like garbage and did nothing. I say sit him leave the lines the same except put Hossa on the top line again…the Rangers have 3 scoreing lines, you dont need to worry about putting a scorer on the 4th line. The top line is a threat whith just about anyone on the left wing, the 2nd line is strong and the 3rd line is decent defensivly and can score and skate. The 4th line is more like most teams 3rd lines…the Rangers dont have a true 4th line of players who cant play…the Rangers 4th line can do a decent job shutting down a top line….so I imagine the ATL series will go 6 games with the Rangers winning.

  49. DoodieMachetto: I think Hollweg could develope some more…and maybe he wont, but he is the type that is good to have in the lineup…I think he brings more to the 4th line than Isbister would…but I agree that depending on the way the games are going Orr should dress

  50. DoodieMachetto on

    WC: Hollweg isn’t developing anymore. I had that hope for him at the start of the season. If you only have 3 goals to show for yourself after two full NHL seasons, you’re not ever going to develop into a halfway decent finisher.

    Sad to say, but I think Hollweg shouldn’t have a spot on the team next season.

  51. My fear is what others have expressed:

    not just the bonehead of Renney’s “tactics”, but also of the refs against anyone who sneezes near Cindy Crosby.

    I think this is going to provoke teams and individuals…..Cindy is not the new Gretz. He is a world class talent, but Gretz was a world class talent with class. This kid runs his mouth and has since the moment he stepped on NHL ice.

    If enough really awful calls go against teams that come near him, someone is going to run him.

  52. Hartford game on now FSN new england.. 620 on direct TV. they lead 3-0 after 2. The Islander game is terrible…

    Toronto will be mad at the Devil effort, or lack of…

  53. DoodieMachetto – HOLLWEG does occasionally show flashes of what offense he displayed in Juniors. And frankly, I think his lack of production is more a factor of his role as an agitator with the team, rather than a lack of ability.

    I disagree that he doesn’t have a spot on this team next year, first because the time he gets is not in spots where guys like Cally or Dubinsky would fit; and second, because he’s been with the team for the past two sucessful years and isn’t(nor will he ever) command a high salary. Ditto with Ortmeyer, Betts and even Orr.

    I personally think they’re extremly well-fitted for the role they respectively play. I wouldn’t count on any of them being superstars, but there’s the right combo of skill, toughness and energy among the four. Now that Jay Ward and Dom Moore are elsewhere, that should be the platoon on fourth.

  54. one can only wish that b/c of the crap performance the devils are putting on the ice today, karma will come back to them and they get beaten to a pulp against TB.

    if i were a maple leaf, i’d be preparing for next season’s series against these devils.

  55. Man – Dubi was huge that shootout.

    Here’s to Rangers v. Islanders in the third round!!!

  56. Third time ever that all 3 NY area teams are in the playoffs (first time since 1994, which was a good year for us!)

  57. whats even crazier is that 4 atlantic division teams made it. with the way the schedule is set thats almost impossible good stuff.

  58. Buffalo vs. Islanders on

    Islander’s goalie is a complete joke, all he does is flop around and pray the puck doesn’t go in. With all this ‘Brodeur-like’ luck (minus any talent of course), this guy is becoming full of himself. Watching that interview with Al on Hockey Night New York Live was disgusting; I’d prefer DiPietro anyday. Besides is a team really playoff worthy if all a number 2 seed has to do is really play for 3 or so minutes to tie it? Fishsticks will be out after 4 games unless there is a god given miracle.

  59. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    The Shootout

    This is why the shootout is stupid…The isles dont diserve to make the playoffs..

    Toronto diserved 8th place…They were down and came back with hard work…unbelievable…

    Isles suck i hope they get swept

  60. Regarding Rangers versus Thrashers: Tough series. Will be really tough if the Rangers don’t fine tune the PP. I don’t think dressing Orr to offset Boulton will be necessary. Rolling 4 lines will be. Rangers win game 7 in ATL…

    Regarding Isles versus Buffalo: Brendan Witt and Sean Hill can only play so many minutes, and the Sabres have way too many weapons. Look for the Isles to start strong but fizzle.

    Sabs in 5

  61. ORR kicks Ying Yang: the shootout in the last game of the season had NOTHING to do with it…the first game of the season that the Leafs did not win is the reason JUST as much as teh last game for teh Islander in a shootout. EVERY team played in the same rules…did the leafs lose any shootout games or games in OT thjis season…or did they have any bad games that they should have won?? if so, its all them, and not on the Islanders or the shootout…saying that is liek saying that the rangers dont really deserve the 6th spot bvecause the games are worth more points with the “must have a winnner” thing…except every team had a shot at those extra points if they didnt win in regulation…the NHL has shootouts…gets over it…I liek them, I hate ties…always have, ties are stupid…teams would always play for ties in OT, and it was so silly to see…two teams dumping it in and only sending one guy deep to pressure the other team so they would get a point…now at least teams have to play for the point…and they cant sit back and keep it to 1 point each. this is much better…and you cant have OT forever in the regular season IMHO…The leafs lost out ont he playoffs because they didnt paly well enough this season to make it in…end of story. The islanders did…the rules are there and the shootout is there saying the Leafs deserved the 8th spot more is just silly…they could have had it if they had won just one more game…

  62. could not agree more w/ the fact that “dubi” is not that great and witt & hill will fall over once this series begins. the buffalo forwards are going to walk over the defense. i say buffalo sweeps.

  63. why does toronto deserve 8th but the isles dont’t? as far as im concerned when you leave it up to another team to do your dirty work your not deserving of anything. toronto could have put the isles to bed a few nights ago and mailed in a 5-2 loss right after we smacked them around 7-2. teams that are in deserved to be in.

  64. Malik's laser guided poke check on

    Leafs twice in a row in the 9th place that must really suck.

  65. I actually will give credit to the Islanders. Much as I hate them, I had them dead and buried. They won 4 straight to end the season with a 3rd string goalie – and i those four games, they did a very good job of protecting him from good scoring opportunities. They played hard and smart and I hate their guts but I can’t say I don’t think they deserve it or feel like “good for them.” And the notion that tyhe Leafs deserve it more for their win last night – well, the Leafs had their chance to beat the Isles and clinch on Thursday and didn’t get it done, so its their own fault.

  66. Getting a little ahead of myself here but where do any of our forward prospects fit into next seasons line-up? (all the wolfpack ATO’s made me question this)
    Hossa Nylander Jagr
    Avery Straka Shannahan
    Prucha Cullen Callahan
    Hollweg Betts Ortmeyer

    I believe this will be next seasons line-up, I think Nylander, Avery and Shannahan will be back.

  67. The more interesting spot is defense. who will be back, who will be gone, and who will move in to the lineup. I’d like to see Thomas Pock back, but I don’t think he will resign to be a #7 defenseman. Then there is Struds, Ozo, Kaspar, etc. What will they be doing and where will they be? Will we have some guys released or traded? This is who is at least in the mix:

    Malik, Rosival, Tyutin, Girardi, Pock, Mara, Rachunek, Strucwick, Kasparitis, Ozolinsh, Liffiton, Baranka, Stall, Sanguinetti, and I’m sure there are some more I forgot.

    Who will be in the lineup, and what could be gotten for the others?

  68. It’s not so much that the Islanders played all that well, it’s more a case of the opposition playing very poorly against them. In fact, the Islanders played pretty ugly games against the Flyers, as well as today against the Devils. That game against the Flyers was one of the ugliest games I’ve seen in a while. Both teams played equally bad, it was really just a roll of the dice to see who would come out on top. If the Devils had played to half of their capability today, it’s Fishfood for the Fishsticks. This Islander team has no business being in the playoffs at all. Oh well…their time will certainly be short lived.

  69. DanTheRangerFan on

    P.W good points but right now im just thinking about the playoffs the time will come when we have to go down that road…and what a road it will be!

  70. The Fishsticks are toast. They would be extremely lucky to get a game out of this series. Buffalo in 4.
    Game 1- 4-2
    Game 2- 5-4
    Game 3- 4-1
    Game 4- 6-3
    They need the ice girls to come up big in distacting Buffalo’s players

  71. Meshuggah
    They don’t. The only possible room will be on the fourth line, but our top prospects are not the “role players” that typically compose a fourth line, and add grit and energy to the team. Even if used in a fourth line role as an offensive threat, their talents would most likely be wasted due to a lack of ice time, and the absence of other talented players on the line to feed off of. But all that is to be worried about next year. For now, let’s go kick Atlanta ass!

  72. DoodieMachetto on

    I saw the Pack get a big win tonight over the River Rats. They looked great. But I actually wanted to comment on one player form Albany: Jakub Petruzalek. He looked TERRIBLE. Completely lost at all times. Finished the game a -2. I know it’s hard to judge a player on one game, but man, he was AWFUL.

  73. Nickyfotiu22 on

    Rangers in 6, sounds about right to me…

    I’ll be pretty amazed, if the Fishsticks aren’t swept by the Sabres, or at least beaten in 5…

  74. The Devils are done. Tampa Bay in 5. You read it here first. I only hope we’re not wishing we drew NJ ten days from now.

  75. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but with the way the Dev’s have been playing lately I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Tampa beats them. WHEN the Rangers defeat Atlanta they will hopefully not have to face Buffalo.

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