“Like Samson and Goliath”


Ted Nolan: Great hockey coach, but maybe lacking as a biblical scholar.

I’m fairly certain the Islanders coach meant his series against the Sabres would be like David vs. Goliath, but hey, he’s obviously distracted these days.

Anyway, just a brief correspondence to say I am officially excited for the playoffs. I never doubted beforehand that I would be. But just to be back at the rink today reminded me why this is the greatest time of the year. I’m not sure my beautiful wife would agree, but that’s another story…

Also, a heads-up for my story in tomorrow’s paper. I swore to myself that if the Rangers went on to make the playoffs, I would revisit the remarkable come-from-behind win against St. Louis on March 3 that may have triggered their late season run. At the time I thought that was a defining moment for this team, especially seeing how miserable they were in the first two periods of that game. And a number of players agreed with me.

OK, that’s all for now…

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  1. Doodie Machetto on

    No, he’s right. The Sabres are like Samson AND Goliath put together compared to his team.

  2. czechthemout!!!!! on

    just came back from aruba,wanted to chime in a little.
    first,thrilled with the post season appearence,can’t wiat for game one.i wanted to give out my regular season grades on the players still with the team regardless of games played.here it goes.

    lundquist-A started off a little bit rusty but came around big time when nneded most.would have been a+ if he played same way all year.

    weeks/valliquette-D not much playing time for either,in effective when they played.

    rozy-B+ was really good most of the year.cleaned up alot of malik’s errors.

    malik-D+ was brutal most of the games he played,should pay rozy part of his paycheck.he may have had only a dozen or so games that he played well in.very disapointing.

    tytin-B his play was very un even first part of the season,then got better and better.would have been an A with more consistancy.

    girardi-A was a revelation with his play after being called up.one of the most consistant players on the team.maybe had
    one bad game all year.

    mara-B+ was a great aquisition by sather at the deadline.made us all forget the horrid play of a.ward.wolud have been an A if he played in more games.

    pock-B was abused by renney most of the year even though he out played both rachunek and malik when in the lineup.has improved his play with every game,is a player who will never be a star,but will score 12 to 15 goals and add 30assts every year if given the chance.

    rachunek-C very inconsisant,was very good in some games,bad to very bad in most.more of a liability on the d than pock.would not resign next year.

    jagr-B played hurt first half of the year .but still at times looked disintrested and lazy.much better after the team made the changes that have turned the season around.not a good leader in my opinion,can not inspire the team.however he says that he is now healthy.if true look for him to have a huge playoffs.

    nylander-b+ was good and consistant most of the year.had a career year.would be an A if he would shoot more and stop the ice capades.

    straka-A was consistantly outstanding every game until his shoulder injury.would have been a career year if not for that and would than have desereved an A+.

    hossa-C was awfull most of the first half,better in the second half.if he can play like he did before he got hurt,he will be a major part of the team.

    shitsbister-D- enough said.

    avery-A++ co team mvp along with the king.his trade could go down as the anti rick middleton deal.

    shany-A- a true leader,was great in the first half,only pretty good in the second before renney wore him out and the injury.

    cullen-B- very poor in the first half of the season.i blame renney on that as much as cullen.toatly misused.should have been number three center and power play point man from the start of the season.is much better now.

    prucha-B another player misused by renney.despite that,still scored 22 goals.is a spark plug and gives his all every shift.i look for big things from him in the playoffs.

    callahan-A 30g 40asst man.was a huge spark when he was called up late in the season.tough and gritty type of player who shines come playoffs.renney should have called him up months ago,he would have solved part of our offensive issues.

    betts-B he is good at what he does on the ice and that is why i gave him such a good grade.but i think he is easily replacable by some one like tom pyatt next year.

    orts-C+ he gives his all when he is out there every shift, but he is too one dinensional to get a higher mark from me.

    hollweg-D+ see orts.

    orr-D seeorts and hollweg

    renney-D he is the reason we “only� had 94 pts this year.a good coach can steal a half a dozen or so games evry year.a bad one does the opposite.he is another one who owes a piece of his paycheck to several players on the team most of all to the king.the one thing about renney that was consistant was his misuse of players,his stubborn streak about using young players,and his poor in game coaching dicisions.he will cost us a play off series this year and than hopefully be let go so that we can bring a coach in here who has the killer instinct needed to take the next step.and also we nned a coach who is not afraid to play young players and hold lazy vets accountable by benching them when needed instead of pock.

    sather-A this was probably his best season as gm in many years!!.not only did he fix some of the mistakes he made during the off season,he actually dramatically improved the quality of the team and the chemistry that is so important in a team sport like hockey.good job slats!! finally!!where have you been all these years?


  3. Funny

    Samson was also a very powerful man who never cut his hair…until Delilah snipped it off and he lost all his strength.

    Maybe Nolan was referring to the team hair club:
    Witt and Smyth…haha-
    Still it would make no sense. The man never thinks before opening his trap.

  4. czechthemout!!!!! on

    the icelanders will give the sabers a tougher series than most people think.

  5. czech

    You think so?
    Even with no DP? Or a concussed one?

    Dubeliewicz would be ripped apart- especially in a 7 game series.

  6. czechthemout!!!!! on


    yeah ,i do, because most of the toughest series and upsets happen in the first round.i think the sabers will win in six but two of those wins will be in o.t.

  7. was the “Samson and Goliath” quote a freudian slip of “Samson and Deliliah”?? sorta a throw back to the Dominator?

  8. Malik's laser guided poke check on

    maybe he meant what he said. If he would have said David and Goliath it would imply that his team will win. but nobody knows the outcome of Samson and Goliath. So all you bible thumpers need to shut up.

  9. I was at that game against St. Louis…after that first goal given up by valinquette i wanted to leave and sell of the rest of my season tickets…good thing i stayed and opted for playoff tickets…

  10. I knew it all along. Laser guided poke check is a fishsticks fan just posing as a Ranger fan so he can get under the skin of us true blue fans. His lunatic ranting on this blog has been nothing but an attempt to turn us against our own. Go jump in the ocean and swim with your fishie friends, Laser.

  11. DanTheRangerFan on

    Islanders will come out strong then fade away into a drowning pool of oblivion….lets face it habs should be in over Nolans Finest Fish Sticks///czechthemout I agree with your grades except you took alot of credit away from the 4th liners, they have helped in the Rangers turnaround. Renny would often throw them out for a quick pick-me-up, there energy always seems to spark a team effort. These guys got heart. So I think you were a little low on them///especially orts who is a awesome penalty killer ,how many pucks does the kid need to take in front of the net to deserve a B. LETS GO RANGERS 07

  12. czech…
    I think you are wrong abouth the Isles. They haven’t played well at all in the last month or so. Luck was definitely on their side that they were able to make the playoffs at all. They will most likely be swept. They may manage to win a game but in the ones they lose the score will not even be close.

  13. Fruity Cupcake on

    Oh, anything can happen on Wrong Island. Maybe the ‘sticks are sending the ice girl Delilahs up to cut Ryan Miller’s hair off as he sleeps. THAT’s a decent strategy for their anemic forwards, no?

  14. i agree w/ GB.

    apparently, the isles were playing 4 game sevens in the last week, but consider who their opponents were. yeh they played the rangers and beat them in a ‘shootout’, not overwhelmingly “winning the game”. then toronto, who we previously pounded. then the flyers. i mean come on! the flyers? and then of course the finale against the devils which was a complete joke and another SO win. so all these game sevens and think about it, did any of there opponents know they were in a “game seven”? pretty much luck on their side.

    and anyway, they were only in b/c they lost more times in the extra session. they had 2 less wins than montreal– i wouldnt call this “an amazing run” to anything.

  15. DanTheRangerFan on

    Word on the street is that Nolans Finest Fish Sticks have cloned 3 Yashins and taught them how to score…When the news reached Buffalo, the sabres were seen retreating North to Canada where they quickly turned their playoff spot over to the mighty toronto Maple Leaves.. With the latest new this might actually be a series after all!!!

  16. Did anyone else watch that game against the devils? It was incredibly boring. Both teams played like crap. The only reason the islanders got it to the shootout at all was that the devils didn’t wake up until midway through the 3rd when they decided they might not want to be embarrassed. As everyone knows, a devils team down in the third period is a very beatable team (even to the likes of a team playing like the islanders).

  17. lol…yea some sort of series. Most likely still a pretty ugly one (in more ways than one with three yashins on the ice)!

  18. manwithnoname on

    The Islanders are the underdog so they’re the scariest team to play. What a load of crap. They’re are going to get completely dominated. Dubie is gonna wish he was still in the AHL and the “great” Ryan Smyth trade is gonna prove to be the biggest waste, along with the delicious 15 year deal.

  19. Islanders fans are very annoying. They counted their team out last week and then they come back to talk trash. What is that all about?

  20. With further research, Samson and goliath was a cartoon in the late 60s. Could that have anything to do with his quote? I have never seen the show. Anyone know?

  21. Well, we already knew Nolan was an ass.

    Evidence: The quote he gave after Simon’s chop of Hollweg’s neck.

  22. Shanny’s interview on “Hockey Night NY” was brilliant. I could definitley see he with a front office job for the Rangers in a few years. He knows exactly what to say, amazing!

  23. Aussie Rangers Fan on

    Regarding Sam’s reference to the March 3 third period comeback win against the blues, I went back in the
    archives to read his post game articles. In hindsight his
    comments are prophetic, with the Rangers playing much better hockey consistently since and going 12-3-3 along the way. I included it to save you searching.

    Living in the moment

    Flash back to two days ago, to the second intermission of Saturday’s matinee against the Blues: The Rangers were down 2-0, and their season was essentially over—not so much because they would be back six points or whatever in the playoff race, but because it was apparent they lacked the needed fortitude to dig out important wins down the stretch.

    This being my first go-round on the beat, I was chewing on a muffin and asking other writers how they thought the final weeks of the season would play out. What would be the stories? Who would be called up? When would the unfortunate business of monitoring a coaching change commence?

    To be sure, all of those variables remain in play even after the Rangers buried two goals in the third period and then went on to prevail in a shootout. By April 7, when the Rangers file off the ice after their final regular season game in Pittsburgh, we may look back at what happened on Saturday and recognize it merely as an aberration—a mere detour on the inevitable road to oblivion. But there is also the chance that it goes down as the game that brought the Rangers back from the dead.

    Naturally, we’re likely to know a lot more beginning tonight, in the first of two crucial games against the Islanders this week. Like I said, I’m still not sure what to make of what happened on Saturday. But I do know it ensures tonight will be as compelling a game as the Rangers have played all year.

    Heck, I might even wear a tie.

    If I can find one, that is…..

    Posted by Sam Weinman on Monday, March 5th, 2007 at 10:17 am

  24. RB – don’t sweat that – the guys still belong to the rangers org. The pack just had a look at them after their jr season or college season.

  25. When you wrote that sam I agreed with you. I was at that game – in fact, starting with the 4-0 whitewash of the Habs earlier that week I as at an awful lot of those home games down the stretch and saw alot of damn good hockey. I had managed to get 2 extras to that game and so my wife and I brought both kids (under age 6!!). As she put it, the first 50 minutes of the game blew -they were booed off the ice after the first 2 periods, hell, there were chants starting up of “we suck.” And then in the third period the team just decided to win, and basically has been doing that ever since.

    Lets hope they keep it up. This is a team that if they believe in themselves could go far this year. To me, its all about them believeing they can do it and having the confidence and doing what they’re supposed to do. If they do that. they have the talent to play with anybody.

    My predictions, based on being a Ranger fan and what I want to happen, and nothing else:

    First round:
    Buffalo in 6
    Rangers in 6
    Devils in 5
    Ottawa in 7

    Second round:

    Rangers beat Sabres in 6
    Devils over Ottawa in 7

    Conference Finals:
    Rangers in 5 (that’s right, Devils have no prayer).

    Finals: Rangers in 7. Over anybody.

    You heard it here first. Now have a good laugh and get some sleep.

  26. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    LOL what a moron…When i heard that i had no idea what it meant

    Maybe its a native american thing

  27. DanTheRangerFan on

    Good Night Ranger Fans!!! we have a week ahead, get some sleep cause the puck is soon to drop… Lets Go Rangers 07

  28. this is not going to be an easy series with the balance sheet on players is inconclusive though the trash ,have more scorers , The King has the net( Sam any word on his ‘flu’?) , the real problem is the coaching inbalance. Renney pretty much admitted to being at least half clueless last year, and is no match for Hartley. If he goes into his paralysis, it’s over. As far as I can tell, he’s not ready for prime ime coaching in the playoffs. I hope I’m wrong, but he talks about if a player is not 100% he’s zero, he’s already 2 steps behind what the playoffs are about. It’s war, almost life or death, you play hurt as long as you’re not hurting your team. Renney needs a berlitz course in playoff coaching, lesson 1 don’t panic, 2 don’t be stubborn, 3 coach like it’s a regular game but pay attention, 4 don’t make those stupid faces behind the bench, 5 talk to the refs, 6 scream at them if you have to, 7 2 PP units 1 minute each,7 dole out the icetime, 8 don’t get caught for too many men, 9 stop thinking any 1 player is going to bring you to the promiseland, 10 speed and grit……..etc etc….. Mr Renney if you’re not 100% that’s a BIG problem.

  29. he really sounds like Tom Greenny, maybe he’ll get in the zone rather than the ozone.

  30. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    I agree BrklynBlue

    But theres no need for renney to pull a fonzie…AKA..Tortarella

  31. Islanders are going to have a tough time physically…..they could have used Simon. Our hope? They surprise and wear down Buffalo………….just a hope. I don’t want to see a clean sweep and a well rested Buffalo team……..

    Lou last night……..apparently, Lou smokes, but does not inhale.

  32. Doodie Machetto on

    Renney might not be good, but Hartley certainly isn’t either. He couldn’t make the playoffs last year with his stacked Thrashers team in their weak ass division. This year he barely made it and it was only because they traded away their entire future. Hartley even needed two playoffs with his STACKED Avalanche team (once they pulled the trigger on the Bourque deal) to win the cup. He’s nothing to write home about.

  33. Go NYR April 10th, 2007 at 9:53 pm
    biggest reason for wanting to avoid NJ: In a series v. the Devs you can completely forget about Jagr contributions>>>

    What about with Pittsburg? He was foolish enough to admit publically that the booing gets to him in Pittsburg.

    I see that in reference to when Brian Leetch, Messier, Graves, etc, first came to the Garden wearing another sweater and were warmly cheered. Even Kovie got that treatment. You might think that Pittsburg fans would cheer someone who brought them the Cup. weird.

  34. Sam,

    Most of Hossa’s success with Jagr came when they were centered by Straka, not Nylander. Has any reporter asked Renney about this?

    I envision endless circling by those three. Straka is more apt to skate the puck straight into the zone. While I think straka works better with Shanny and Avery than nylander would, the top line that was on fire consisted with Straka, not nylander. Any thoughts? Want to ask tom what his thought process is?

  35. Dave

    I agree-

    Plus, isn’t Nolan from Canada?
    Wouldn’t that make him Native Canadian?

    Just wondering….

  36. ORR kicks Ying Yang on


    Take it easy i wasnt joking around i was asking if it WAS…a native american thing

    Calm down

  37. ORR kicks Ying Yang on


    I think they call that First Nation ppl or something..

    I was watching on the Real Sports thing

  38. Chief Nolan…what a moron, Does DiPi have a wife or G/F? That could cause some trouble…..

  39. Blue Clue – well Canada is in North America so America does not just mean the US.

    and by the way to all GO RANGERS 30 hrs and counting

  40. LI Joe

    I was thinking about that prior to posting, but America is usually associated with the US-

  41. Malik's laser guided poke check on

    If I had a penny for every stupid thing that Nolan say or do, I could hadly afford a hot dog.

    If I had a penny for every stupid thing that Renney say or do, I would be a very rich man.

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