Has it really been 10 years?


I take back what I said about Atlanta’s paltry hockey fan base because tonight in Blueland definitely had some juice to it.

I’m not sold on “Blueland,” mind you, mostly because I don’t know what it means. But whatever it is, it didn’t disappoint.

Naturally, neither did the Rangers, who secured their first playoff win since Wayne Gretzky netted a hat trick against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference finals.

I’ll leave you with some quotes. Tomorrow the Rangers are practicing in suburban Duluth since the Hawks are in town.

“I think it gives our team confidence,� said Brendan Shanahan. “Obviously it’s still in the back of your mind what happened last year with the sweep. It was such a big high making the playoffs last year and then such a big crash. So we know we can win in the playoffs.�

“The start is important, everybody knows that,â€? Jaromir Jagr said. “I think you should take advantage if you’ve got experience. Guys are nervous. I know when I was younger and I was shaking trying to make a simple play. The game is all about nerves and I wanted to take advantage.â€?

“It just felt like we played the same game. The advantage for us is we had to face that kind of game the last 20 games, and even more important, I’d say,� Jagr said. “The games we played we couldn’t lose. Now there’s room for error. Before we couldn’t have it. I thought that’s what got us ready.�

“They’ve got some of the best players in the world over there. So no matter how well you play defensively they’re still going to get chances. That’s why having probably one of the best goalies in the world is a good thing,� left wing Sean Avery said of Henrik Lundqvist, who finished with 21 saves. “At opportune times we made the most of opportunities. For a lot of guys it was their first game to get the cobwebs out. I think we’re going to come back even better in Game 2.�

“It just felt like we played the same game. The advantage for us is we had to face that kind of game the last 20 games, and even more important, I’d say,� Jagr said. “The games we played we couldn’t lose. Now there’s room for error. Before we couldn’t have it. I thought that’s what got us ready.�

More later…

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  1. Just to note you posted the same paragraph twice (Jags quote). But it’s all good. I like hearing what Jags has to say. Hopefully, the Rangers are more physical in game 2 and not be run down by the hits of the Thrashers. Overall, definitely great play by the Rangers except the defensive mistakes they made which lead to the goals. Three of the Thrashers’ goals were due to miscommunication and bad dumping. Then again, it’s Girardi’s and Pock’s? first playoff game. Can’t wait for game 2!!! Let’s see some more thrashing by the Rangers!

  2. Ma, lick my dick's laser guided poke check up your ass on

    I think mission is accomplished as far as Renney and Jagr are concerned, they won a playoff game, now they can pack the bags and go on vacation.

  3. I suppose that Renney and the Rangers aren’t going to be more free-flowing with injury outfit in the playoffs than they were in the regular season, but any word on Hossa’s knee would be cool…

    Still like Isbister more than most, though.

  4. re Staal’s team from their website

    The Sudbury Wolves will face off against the Belleville Bulls in the Eastern Conference Championship series. The schedule is as follows:

    Game 1, Wednesday, April 18th – 7:15 in Belleville
    Game 2, Thursday, April 19th 7:15 – in Belleville
    Game 3, Sunday, April 22nd 7:30 – in Sudbury
    Game 4, Monday, April 23rd 7:30 – in Sudbury
    Game 5, Wednesday, April 25th – 7:15 – in Belleville (if necessary)
    Game 6, Friday, April 27th 7:30 – in Sudbury (if necessary)
    Game 7, Sunday, April 29th 7:15 – in Belleville (if necessary)

  5. It’s funny how Brendan Shanahan of all people would say “we” still remember last year seeing how he wasn’t with the team. I know he’s speaking for the team, however, and can’t say “they,” but I don’t think he should be talking in such depth about what he really observed as an outsider. It seems to me like our players should only try to block shots if they are close to the shooter; otherwise, let Lundy get in a groove and make some saves without deflection distractions.

    As for laser, please ignore him people. It’s the same as DumpJagrDope; probably the same guy.

  6. Awwww, Sam must be sleepy. Goodnight Ranger fans! I know I will sleep a little better with Game 1 done, over, and won.

  7. Ma, lick my dick's laser guided poke check up your ass on

    “laser whatever, when and where are you meeting wooz?”

    I just came back from a “meeting” with wooz, may that wuss rest in peace. My ears still hurt from his squealing.

    so who is next?

  8. I know Gretzky had a hat trick against the Panthers at MSG that year in the playoffs – I don’t recall him also having one against Philly in the conference finals, but I’d have to check on that.

    Don’t mean to be obnoxious, Sam, but we’re crazy people over here. Just a tad obsessed. You mess with the bull, you gonna get da horns. Keep up the great work and hope you’re enjoying your first playoffs – it’s gotta be a blast covering a series.

  9. sol rosenberg on

    shanny needs to come up big. the big line will definitley be targeted on saturday. prucha, cullen and cally looked great again. i hope they can punch a few in for us….spread out the scoring and make them think twice about where Holik and company are gonna play.

  10. The last time the Rangers won a playoff game the following was true:

    Trolley cars were still the mode of transportation

    Milk was delivered by horseback

    They faced off perpendicular to the length of the ice.

    Zamboni’s were horse drawn and sometimes a different kind of cleanup was required.

    Sam (Weinman) wrote short sentences and paragraphs

    Wildcard was the joker in the deck. (Has that really changed??)

    OK, now for the serious stuff:

    About last nights game. Loved the PCC line. Along with Jagr’s line, they were the best two lines for the Rangers. Avery and Straka looked OK but Shanny looks slow and bringing down that line a bit. Wouldn’t bench him though.

    That hit on Hossa wasn’t that hard, just caught him wrong. If he can go Saturday, he deserves to play over Isbister. As far as the fourth line is concerned, Orr looked invisible last night while Orts and Betts were getting hit all night. Maybe time to get Hollweg back in there.

    Sam Rosen’s credibility just took another nosedive with me. Couldn’t wait to blurt out that the rookie Dan Girardi gave the puck away for that third goal. When Malik or Rosy do it, no pointing the finger by Sam, his comment is usually, the Rangers gave up the puck. Hope JD gives him a job in St Louis and we are rid of this shill. Maloney will do a much better job.

    As far as Girardi is concerned, I saw that play and what happened was the puck hit a bad section of the boards and bounced erratically right on the stick of an Atlanta player. Remember those Washington boards where the Caps got two goals because of erratic bounces off the boards? If Sam was on the ball, he should have pointed that out but he was to eager to be critical of Girardi who has been the Rangers best defenseman since he came up.

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out Sam (Rosen not Weinman).

  11. At least you weren’t watching on center ice with the atlanta announcers. They didnt even acknowledge jagr’s goal until they finished talking about something good atlanta did.

  12. it was definitely a bank play off of the boards…you could tell dan was trying to bank it around the forechecker and safely to the corner. id rather have that play than a malik turnover at the blueline

  13. Unless Hossa can’t walk, he’s better than Isbister. Period. But I’d rather juice Hossa and his knee up with 50 cc’s of morphine and a fist full of hyrdos than have Isbister on the ice. The only guy I’d even consider playing Isbister over is Orr on fourth, as he really did nothing down there but get in the way. He even got rocked a few times by the hit-happy Atlanta. Frankly, I think the speed is a bit fast for him, in which case Hollweg is much better suited. It’s not to say Orr doesn’t have a space on this team, just that his usefulness dwindles against a team like the Thrashers. He’s just not quick enough to hit their guys, it seems.

    Re: Shanahan. I love the guy and wouldn’t recomend benching him, but he was pretty useless out there last night. Come to think of it, I think everyone on the top three lines had serious scoring chances(or scored) except him. I don’t know if its the pace of the game and that he’s tired after a long season, or if it’s the after-effects of the concusioun. But he didn’t look himself at all.

  14. lenny – Do we really need to say that Hossa should play over Isbister? That’s a given. Also, unfortunately, Maloney won’t be able to replace Rosen because one is a color announcer, the other is play-by-play. I wonder if Michaelletti can do play-by-play with Maloney sliding in next to him.

  15. Agree with many points made so far:
    -I’ll take Girardi’s ONE bad mistake, no prob
    -Shanny looks absent
    -Prucha/Cally/Cully look awesome again

    Sam, Gretz definitely had a hat trick against Panthers in ’97 playoffs….but did he have one against PHI too? I dunnnnnnno buddddy….

  16. A few things:

    1) Nice win. We controlled the puck for the majority of the time. When we peppered Lehtonen, we were better off. Once we got timid and stopped shooting and played defensively, we suffered. We were watching too much in our zone and not moving the feet. Overall a good game, but there is surely room for improvement.

    2) Orr should not be in there. He is just too slow. Hollweg is a better guy for this series. We lacked hits last night while Atlanta was hitting everything. Hollweg would help in this regard. Granted its easier to hit us when we have the puck, which we did for the majority, but still we needed to be more forceful. Even Kovalchuk was hitting people.

    3) Henry played well. The goals were not his fault. His D-men were shaky. Girardi is allowed to make a mistake. He’s a rookie and I would say that one was 100% his fault. But again, he is a rookie. We won, it is forgiven, I am sure he learned from it. Mara on the other hand, made a very Malik-like play on that PP goal by chasing the puck into the high boards, leaving 1 guy (of 4) below the face off dots. A no-no. Check the replay, we had 3 guys (Mara, Shanny, and someone else) all up in the upper left quadrant of our defensive zone. MISTAKE. And on the Hnidy goal, they were running around like chickens with no heads. Pock was to blame a little on that one. Generally, we could be tighter on D in our zone. They should be aiming to stay at home in the slot and not chase as much.

    4) Jags-Nyls-Hoss was creating all sorts of havoc all night. The Cally-Pru-Cullen line was quick and hardnosed. Both those lines get a grade of A. However the ASS line was not clicking. Shanny was a touch slow and a touch soft. Avery had some good shots, but he wasn’t throwing the body around enough. Straka played better defensively and on the PPlay than he did at even strength and in the O zone. And may I ask, WTF is up with the 4th line getting hit by everyone? Come on, their role is to bang and crunch people and they were getting it handed to them all night. We need a shakeup on that line. Hollweg for Orr in game 2 is an easy decision I think. I would even entertain Isbister in there….

    Overall I think we played very well, controlled a lot of the game, and stuck to the game plan. What is it about 2 goal leads though? And someone please tell me why Renney and crew were laughing and giggling when they went up 3-1? Not 90 secs later, it was 3-2 cuz they got too cocky. Please tell Renney, when they go up by 2, they have to tighten it up, check harder, and be more stingy.


  17. I would agree with putting Hollywood back in the lineup, Orr seemed to be a step behind the play last night.

    Atlanta is a physical team. They are as physical as any team in the league, that being said we are not a physical team. We have some grit, but that’s not our game, so I don’t expect the Rangers to be able to match Atlanta in the physical department.

    Shanahan looks bad.

    Last night was a wild game, up and down, back and forth, Cullen/Pruchs and Cally flying all night.

    Jagr looks great and let Atlanta run at him any time they want and you see what happens, they run around and leave holes open all over the ice, without enough team speed to make up for it.

    Overall the team looked good. I was really surprised about how dominant we were last night, minus a few defensive lapses and mistakes we looked real good as a team.

  18. Patrick Hoffman on

    Salty, Gretzky had a hat trick against Philly in Game two, which caused the Flyers to take out goaltender Garth Snow and replace him with Hextall, who would play the remainder of the series and help the Flyers to win the next three games.

  19. I thought Shanny looked best when he was briefly on a line with Avery at center and Callahan on the other wing. Since then, he’s made most of his plays on the PP. At even strength, he seems a step behind.

  20. oh yeah, where was Shanny last night? I barely noticed him on ice last night, hopefully he gets going here.

  21. Ma, lick my dick's laser guided poke check up your ass on

    “Sam Rosen’s credibility just took another nosedive with me. Couldn’t wait to blurt out that the rookie Dan Girardi gave the puck away for that third goal.”

    I totally agree

  22. Can I ask a question?

    What it is with you guys and your socially retarded nicknames?

    Salty…. and Ma, lick…..

    You guys have some issues…..see a shrink or something? Go on a date with a girl. Do something.

    Or, are you guys like 15 years old? If so, then forget what I said, keep it up…you only get to be like that once in your life before people start calling you sociopathic…

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