Renney running them hard


Of all the Rangers skates I’ve been to this year — it’s probably about 15 or so by this point — today’s easily included the most skating. At times, some of the guys were breathing pretty darn hard. It wasn’t a surprise with all the time between now and the start of the series.

I have a bunch of quick points to cover today, so I’ll get right to it:

*1. No Lundqvist:* Henrik Lundqvist wasn’t at the rink today, but it has nothing to do with his health. Tom Renney said his netminder was dealing with a little bit of the flu bug. Now, don’t be too alarmed. Renney said Lundqvist would’ve played were there a game tonight, but he took the day off with so much time between now and Game 1.

“If we had to play tonight,” Renney said, “he’d play.”

*2. Hossa skating with Jagr and Nylander.* Marcel Hossa took most of the work alongside Jaromir Jagr and Michael Nylander (when the team wasn’t busy doing conditioning drills, of course). Renney still won’t say for sure that Hossa will be in the lineup for Game 1, but it sure looked like he’ll be the one on the left side of Nylander.

I’ll have a story on Hossa for tomorrow’s paper, both about his health, returning in playoff cauldron, and having to face his brother. Of note: Mr. Hossa, the former Slovakia national coach, was in the house.

*3. The lines for now are…:* The same as we’ve seen the last two days, with the exception of Hossa for Isbister. Hollweg, Orr and Ortmeyer all worked alongside Blair Betts.

*4. Rachunek ahead of schedule:* Karel Rachunek spent about half of practice on the ice today in a yellow jersey, but he left in time for contact drills. Still, Renney said the defenseman is ahead of schedule in his recovery.

“He’s probably a little beyond the beginning of the series, but he’s probably in it,” Renney said.

*5. What Renney learned:* This was an interesting topic, especially in the laid back setting of today’s chat with the media.

Renney said what he learned most from last year’s playoff sweep was that a coach must guard against over-preparation. “We put this package together and ‘Let’s go,'” Renney said. “Well, it was a heavy package.”

I think what you can take from that is this: The Rangers will be more worried about how they play than how Atlanta plays.

*6. On Pock:* I asked the Rangers whether or not Thomas Pock signed a contract extension and was told he had not. If I hear anything else today, I’ll let you know.

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    All these new suggestions on OT, 3-3’s, 2 man advantages etc… are starting to sound like a bad tricked out hockey video game.

    Althouh the game is still evolving, changes IMO should be very subtle and kept to a minimum-

  2. Good post, Josh. Thanks. I hope you guys don’t make too much of the Hossa brother story. The last thing Marcel needs is more pressure about the comparison.

  3. Chris F.

    There really is no comparison between the two.
    They are different players with different styles.
    The fact that Marcel is on the top line now gives
    it some more drama than there should be though-

  4. These playoff series matches are looking good.

    Nolan gets a chance for revenge against his former employer. Hopefully 4 games is enough to drain Buffalo’s tank at least a little bit.

    Rangers vs Thrashers. The brothers Hossa go against each other. Holik vs. Avery? Don’t forget the history between Hollweg and Exelby.

    Devils vs. Lightning. Again hope that Lightning fire hundreds of shots at that whiner Brodeur.

    Pitt vs Ott. – gotta go with experience on this one – Even though Crosby gets the edge for referee protection.

  5. Josh: Great coverage! Keep it up! Do you have an explanation as to why the Rangers are keeping 3 goalies? As far as we know, Weekes has been cleared to play… Do you think its mainly for practice when Henrik gets a rest?… Shed some light, will you? Cheers :)

  6. Thanx for the update Josh. And i think u mentioned in another update that today is your b-day, if it is, have beer for me buddy (if your into that sort of thing haha.) Good to see Renney not easing up at all. Should be a great series.


    Whatever happened to

    Petr Smrek, Tom Kloucek, Christian Dube, Vlad Vorobiev?

  8. I feel like Pock isnt going to resign with us because of the mistreatment he recieved for roughly 2/3 of year. However I hope he does resign because he has definatly evolved into a solid defensemen.

  9. josh,
    could you ask thomas pock directly if he has signed a new contract?
    thx in advance.

  10. on Pöck: sure sounds like he extended for another 2 years.

    austrian media (ORF) is already quoting Pöck after his signing his contract extension:
    “i really love it here, its a great organisation”
    “i’ve made steps forward this season, its been a great past couple of month”
    “I started out as the no.9 defenseman and now managed to play 44 games… nothing compares!”

    if your german is good, enjoy:


    saw Thomas Kloucek play for the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)… a shadow of his former self… Dube has been in Switzerland of years now… No idea about Shreck or Smrek or Vorobiev

  12. Salty Sausage Nips on

    I’m looking for a big series out of Cullen…I like the guys, he works hard, he’s agood team guy…..but it’s time for him to cash in a little bit.

    Does anyone remember his first goal in pre-season? Totally sick roof-job after swooping in low around the right circle…I thought we had a finisher from the looks of that goal….not so. I remember hearing that the Cane’s credited him with being one of thir most important guys in their run last year….can anyone elaborate on this? Way that all about his work on the point/PP?

  13. I remember that goal like it was yesterday. He burned the defender to the outside, went toward center then back and lifted it up top. It was a great goal.

    He had a few breakaways during the season but never finished like he did on that one.

  14. no matter who is healthy or who comes back from injury, JASON STRUDWICK WILL NOT PLAY IN THE PLAYOFFS THANK GOD!!!

  15. Salty Sausage Nips on

    “When Rachunek is healthy, who sits? Has to be Pock right?”

    This will be the next thing Tom takes it on the chin for….If the Rangers lose, it will be soley due to the the Pock/Rachunek decision….just you wait.

    Personally, I don’t see how you can take p0ck out right now…he’s one of the guys who got us here. I would bet confidently, if you sit him now….he does not re-sign with NYR. Rachunek….pretty meh. It is a tough call, and I pretty much expect Renney to put Karel in….but I think it’s a mistake on multiple levels.

    I like Rachunek….but he’s risky to plug back in in place of someone who has proven more than capable.

  16. Strudwick is a good player. Why are you, osminator, so excited for him leaving. No, he’s not as good as Hossa or Rachuneck but we obviously can’t play them just yet. It would have been nice to be able to play Struds, but we can’t. Depending on who will be replacing Struds, in the meantime waiting for Hossa, it might hurt the team.

  17. Doodie Machetto on

    PS, it’s too bad the Rangers couldn’t have played their last game of the season after they had already clinched 6th due to the TB loss. If they had, they could’ve given Kevin Weekes a start before tha playoffs. Oh well, C’est la vie.

  18. Doodie Machetto on

    CML, Hossa plays forward, so his return has no bearing on Strudwick.

    Strudwick was out anyway once Tyutin returned. Adding Rachunek just seals it even further.

    BTW, Strudwick wasn’t going to be back here next season anyway. They have so many defensemen in the pipeline. He was just a patch up for a couple of weeks.

  19. @CML
    not saying he is a bad player… in switzerland or germany or whatever… but he is too slow for the nhl.

    just for your info, ey, hossa is a forward, not a d-man.

  20. Osminator…The Rangers have three GT for now. Renney has yet to decide on his No. 2.

    Everyone…Remember. Strudwick can’t play in the playoffs because of his European contract.

  21. Josh, Did the Rangers work on Their power play because it is painful to watch it, or did Renney say anything about it.
    In order to be successful in the Playoffs We are going to have to start making people pay for taking penalties. If we get any PPs.

  22. Josh, Thanks for the updates. Do you think Renney is blowing steam about Hank? Remember, he was flexing his knee after that collision in Pitt. The ‘Flu Bug’ is the common thing to say for every ‘problem’.

  23. A few things:

    1) Josh I think you opined that Isbister would stay on the Jags-Nyls line and Hossa should wait. That is assinine. Hossa is basically ready and while I think Izzy did OK on the #1 line (when I say OK I mean, took up space, had some defenders on their heels, and had an assist or two…but NOTHING MORE!), even an 80% Hossa has a better chance of scoring than Izzy does. The interesting thing to opine on is whether Isbister could sub for Hollweg on the 4th line?

    2) The key matchup is not Hossa-Hossa in this series. Please…that sounds like sensationalist, media trash that you would see on Geraldo. The real story is Avery-Kovalchuk and whether Avery can get under Kovy’s skin and get him off his game. I hope he can and does at every opportunity.

    3) Man I hope the Rangers can practice their anemic powerplay in the next few days. This series may very well be won by the team with the better special teams statistics.

    4) Rachunek is a liability. I think Pock should stay in there regardless. But that will never happen because Rachy has some playoff experience and Pock is playing in maybe his 15th NHL game. So unfortunately he will be the odd man out. I think he has played well and deserves more time, but you can’t give him the nod over a more seasoned player. What will be interesting is next year’s D lineup: Tyutin, Girardi, and maybe Rosy are probable locks. Mara (great shot, big body, definitely an A Ward upgrade, but STUPID penalties) and Pock are next in line. But Malik and Strudwick need to be sent packing in favor of Staal and possibly another rookie and one stud free agent. That is my view, but it’s story for another post…not while we are in the thick of Thrasher-beating season.


  24. You all should be thankfull for Jason Strudwick coming here from Europe and help Rangers in their Playoff push. Thanks, Jason! Thank you for all you effort.

  25. New Newman…I never said Isbister would or should play over Hossa. In fact, I’ve always expected the opposite. I also didn’t say Hossa-Hossa was a key matchup. But I am writing a story about Marcel Hossa for tomorrow’s paper. Thanks for reading though.

  26. Doodie Machetto on

    Yeah, OK. I’m *sure* Strudwick did it to be nice. He wants back in the NHL, and knew that this was his best shot. He used us just as much as we used him.

    Here’s the thanks he’ll get: not getting signed.

  27. Doodie Machetto on

    Anyone know what the contract statuses of the Rangers d-men are? I remember seeing Malik had signed a 3 year deal back in ’05. I could be mistaken, however.

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    he should be thanking us for getting him out of Switzerland and putting him on display for other NHL teams.

  29. a casual observer on

    Let’s hope Tom HAS learned from last years dismal performance against the Devils. Let’s go Rangers! I wanna say thanx to Jason Strudwick for filling the gap for us. If the forwards come back to help and Malik doesn’t have any major gaffes we WILL win this series.

  30. My thoughts are that Rachunek will not play in this years playoffs. In my opinion he probably shouldn’t, as it will be next to impossible for him to be in proper game shape, and inserting him cold into the playoffs is just asking for trouble. Also, the current defense has played pretty well and pock has settled in nicely, so it isn’t like we are desperate to replace anybody.

  31. ORR kicks Ying Yang on


    I agree…I think Rachunek should be sat out…I mean why take the risk..unless of coarse our D isnt working..I cant wait till the playoffs.and hopefully NYR will play different then last year..We’ll get to see a new playoff shanny…and jagr as well..Jagr barely played last seasons playoffs…so im expecting alot from him….

  32. pock has played a hell of a lot more than 15 games. He’s a solid dman with some offensive skills. Pock wont get dropped for karel. Girardi maybe

  33. I think Strudwick was more than efficient in his short stay on Broadway this season. I’d wanted him back all season because he brings an element that goes beyond the stat sheet. He’s a great team guy who doesn’t really screw up too often.

    94, I’m almost positive Renney would drop Pock before dropping Girardi in favor of Rachunek. Girardi has played over Pock since he was called up if I’m not mistaken.

    Also, is Jed Ortmeyer really an UFA next season? I was under the impression that he signed an extension this past Summer.

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