Short and sweet


The Duluth excursion made for a curious dynamic today, although one I would gladly welcome again.

For instance, rather than huddle in some dark locker room after practice, we waited outside in the sunshine for players to come out. Everyone eventually did, and since there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, there was no rush for anyone to get on the bus.

Naturally, the fact that the Rangers stole off with a win in Game 1 last night allowed for an even more upbeat mood today. Practice was a scant 40 minutes (with the Thashers actually skating on an adjacent rink across the hallway), and then it was a matter of resting up for what will likely be a physical Game 2.

“Half done as far as we’re concerned,” Tom Renney said of the two-game set in the Southland. “The big thing for our team is to not feel full of itself that we’ve come in here and got a game. This is a very good team that I know will play better. We’ve got to be much better ourselves if we expect to beat the Atlanta Thrashers.”

Some updates:

  • Be sure to check out my colleague “Rick Carpiniello’s blog”: throughout the playoffs as well. Carpie was the dean of the Rangers beat before graduating to the lofty status of columnist. But he still has a ton of insight, and is able to put a lot of what we’re seeing these days into proper context.
  • A brief audio clip from Renney today is below. The answer was to a question I posed about the Thrashers’ attempts to entice the Rangers into a more wide-open style than the defensive-oriented game they’ve been playing. [audio:]
  • Following up on the Hossa hit, the left wing is not only fine but both he and Renney agreed it was important for him to get hit like that just to see his knee can take it. Hossa said the brace he’s wearing is helping him in that regard, but that he’s still conscious of how he positions himself upon contact.
  • Blair Betts missed practice because of an assortment of “bumps and bruises,” according to Renney. The center is expected to play tomorrow, however.
  • Karel Rachunek also skated and looked fairly mobile. Renney has upgraded the defenseman to “day-to-day” and given Tommy Pock’s misadventures last night, I wonder if there may be a greater need to get Rachunek back sooner rather than later. Either way, tomorrow is highly doubtful.
  • Yes, I was surprised by Bob Hartley’s decision to start Johan Hedberg tomorrow, especially since last night he seemed to chalk up Lehtonen’s ugly start to simple nerves. From an outside perspective, I can’t help but think a move like that creates more negative energy than anything else.
  • There were about two dozen fans outside the Ice Forum today waiting for the Rangers to board their bus. Jaromir Jagr stopped for every kid to sign autographs, and even posed for pictures. But when it was a full-grown man on his own — i.e. someone who looked like an autograph collector — Jagr blew right past him.

    OK, that’s all for now. More later….

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    1. good to hearm hopefully this move doesnt oay the dividens that Carolina got by replacing Gerber with Ward in last years playoffs.

    2. Sam I disagree that we “stole” a win .. we just won, plain and simple

      Good for Jags!

    3. Hey everyone! Just got back from vacation last night and saw we’re up 1-0! And already a goaltending controversy in Atlanta?! Hartley is nuts. Had Lehtonen been playing tomorrow, I’d say I’d be happy coming home 1-1. But with Hedberg in, this is our chance to end this series. We can go up 2-0 and have 3 at MSG left.

    4. Jagr did the same thing the night of “Shirts off our Back”

      He got to every kid that came up to him.

    5. we did steal that win, someone said it here last nite, atlanta looked terrible and but they still should have tied the game and still scored 3 goals on us. have to play a lot better to expect to do anything in the playoffs

    6. SAM: “Renney has upgraded the defenseman to “day-to-dayâ€? and given Tommy Pock’s misadventures last night, I wonder if there may be a greater need to get Rachunek back sooner rather than later.”

      Man, the Kool-Aid drinkers come in all shapes and sizes.

    7. I agree with MATTY, We didn’t steal that game. We played hard, We got to pucks and they got a few BS bounces. They stole a goal with Callahan getting tripped into Lundqvist, good eyes refs, We outplayed them, They wanted to hit, We wanted to WIN and We did.
      JJ is the man. We didn’t play our best either, We can def. play better. I hope OUR Boys get tired of hearing how explosive ATL is I know I am.
      -I look for Matt Cullen to have a big game tomorrow because He was flying last night.
      -Birthday wishes to Mr. Weinman.
      -Welcome back NJ MARK.


    8. Rangers Pride on

      stf – As per Vresus yesterday we should get the winner of Ottawa vs Pitsburgh series. Althogh I thought we would get Buffalo if Tampa loses to Jersey….

    9. NHL re-seeds after each round. NHL re-seeds after each round. One more time: NHL re-seeds after each round.

    10. STF one series at a time it is only one win and impossible to even think who they would play. If you need to sleep better at night and really need to know then, basically 1 plays 8 and 2 play 7 and so one so figure it out by playing the scenario game. If the top 3 teams lose then the Rangers are seeded 2 behind Pitt or Ottawa and play Tampa. If Buffalo and NJ win then we get Buffalo. You got it?

      Sam any word on Hollweg replacing Orr in game 2?? I think Orr’s hands of stone and speed hurt us on the 4th line. Yes he can hit but Hollweg has all three skills for the 4th line re: hitting, speed and hands.

    11. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

      It doesnt really matter if jagr doesn give autographs to gorwn men….

      I’d do the same thing…He probably thinks there just gonna sell it..Although kids most likely wont..

      Doesnt matter now. All that matters is NYR just beats this team and moves foward.

      It will be battle of the swedish goaltenders..Hopefully the blueshirts spoil hedbergs first game.

      We need to let not only ATL..but the rest of the east and west know that NYR are not pushovers

      Oh yea..any word on if hollywood is playing in Orr’s place or not.

    12. If the Sabres,Devils and Rangers win,the Rangers are the lowest remaining seed and would play Buffalo.The Devils would play the winner of Ottawa-Pitt.If the Sabres,Rangers and TB win,then TB is the lowest seed which means they play Buffalo and the Rangers play the winner of Ottawa-Pitt

      I don’t see Buffalo losing to the Islanders.Unless Ryan Miller goes out with an injury,it’s Buffalo in 3.Forget about the fourth game

      Buffalo will play the lowest remaining seed

    13. goalbyPrucha on

      SAM!! The audio cut off just after someone asked about Roszival!! Don’t do that!!

    14. Regarding Rick Carpinello’s blog,it must be killing Rick the Rangers made the playoffs and won their first playoff game in nearly 10 years.Carp hates Glen Sather and hates to see Sather’s team have any type of success.Carp is a Neil Smith apologist

    15. A couple of things:

      1. Don’t dis Carpie. He’s my guy. And trust me, there’s a lot of people who were critical of Sather in his early years here — and not without reason.

      2. Regarding the phrase “stealing a win”. It’s just an expression. The Rangers were the better team last night, but more often than not you “steal” a win on the road.

      3. The Rangers would play Buffalo if the Sabres, Devils, and Rangers win. If Tampa Bay wins, they’d play the winner of Ottawa and Pittsburgh,

      4. Regarding Tommy Pock: My reference there is to what Renney may be thinking, not what I’m thinking. I like Tommy, both personally and has a player. But since he did not play well last night — something he readily admitted today as well — it begs the question of how that factors into the team’s time frame with Rachunek.


    16. I thought Atlanta looked terrible because the Rangers took it to them all night. The one stretch of play in the third where the Thrashers looked better was when the Rangers got away from their game. The Thrashers played exactly as I expected. If the Rangers play their game they’re the better team by far. Defensively Atlanta is no match.

    17. The Rangers dominated much of the game last night despite not playing as well as the team can play. Hedberg tomorroe? That is mindbottling, after all Laehtonen was taking shots at Lundqvist. With the “He has never played in the playoffs either” quote

    18. Sam: I don’t mean to be impolite, but I could not care less if Carp and you are buds. He’s a big boy, he can handle it fine, I’m sure. And when he writes — safely AFTER the Rangers made the playoffs — that Renney is the reason they have succeeded (or like today, when he writes the Rangers will be in “desperate shape” if they don’t win Game 2), he deserves to take whatever lumps such opinions might elicit.

      chardkerm: You still da man.

    19. a casual observer on

      I hope Girardi and Pock settle down for game 2. First time playoff jitters.

    20. Short and Sweet? I think that was the last post; this was one of the longest in a while. Forget that, though; a lot of good information.

      It was interesting to see that there was such a low amount of penalties in our game last night, probably the least of any first game. If Mick McGeough (“McGoo”) was there, it would be double, maybe triple with some of the bad calls he adds. (I still remember him calling off a goal against Montreal in 2004 in about the second to last game of the season when we were fighting for a spot.)

      Talafous – I notice a lot of people saying now that Renney is good for this team; things like he provides togetherness, experience, toughness. HA!

    21. Oh wait, short and sweet was referring to the practice, right? I realized that right after I hit submit. And on Hedberg, the Thrashers have had goalie trouble at different times all year, even riding Hedberg for a couple streaks, but I didn’t expect them to change to the backup after one game.

    22. Sam, Pock has been playing his best hockey of the year lately. One below-par game by a yout does not deserve a benching. Pls. refer to MARIK MALIK, the standard-bearer for below-par games.

      Rachunek will not be with the team next season, Pock will. If Pock is benched, it will conform to the Rangers backwards thinking that has been epidemic for years. Rachunek should ONLY lace ’em up in case of an injury. Unless, Marc Staal’s team has been knocked out of the playoffs.

      And as for your statement: “Given Tommy Pock’s misadventures last night, I wonder if there may be a greater need to get Rachunek back sooner rather than later.” That sounds like editorializing to me.

    23. I didn’t notice anyone else post it, so I also wanted to share a stat that shows just how long our suffering was. The almost ten years between playoff victories was the third-longest ever. I can’t quite remember the other ones except that the Red Wings were first or second.

    24. Chard…u da man…Pock has proven over the last 20 games that he’s a valuable contibutor to the team’s success…to me, Pock has proven to be more valuable than Rachunek, who has his own share of misadventures…but El Genio traded for Rachunek so he, like Malik, get umpteen chances…biz as usual…

    25. Game two cannot come quick enough….I’m soo anxious that i need to play some open hockey tonite…pass the time by quicker…

    26. Sorry Sam, but I have recieved the Journal News longer than you have been working there and I certainly was happy when Rick was taken off of the Rangers beat and I believe Andrew Gross took over. Of course, now you are in charge and you are the best, with all due respect to Gross.

      Rick turned very dismal in his writing towards the end and it was anything but a good read. The team sucked. I understand that and I have no problem reading articles pinpointing our problems. But Carp just did it in a way that was not worthy of our time.

    27. SAM, Do you know if the Rangers are leaving for NY directly after the game? because the Metro area has a tremendous Nor’easter coming that will last a couple of days so I was figuring maybe they and you might have to leave right after the game tomorrow.

    28. Course nobody mentions the nice game Malik had last night.

      Nobody mentions the play he made to end the game after the puck came off the boards behind Henrik, blocking the shot into the slot.

      Malik gets nothing but grief. Rozival gets nothing but grief. Both players played well and deserve to be acknowledged for it.

    29. 20 of the 40 minute practice today is on the NYR site, video on demand along with other tidbits.

    30. Jaromir is just a big sweetie. I have noticed so many kids at Rangers games wearing Jagr jerseys. I guess he did to. I’m sure that guy just wanted his autograph so he could sell it on ebay,but the kids will keep it,it means more to them.

    31. goalbyPrucha on

      I’m loving the Rangers on demand videos on the Rangers site. I’ll never leave my computer now! HELP!

    32. Vogs- are you kidding?

      Malik had a good game? Why, because he didn’t score a goal on Henrik?

    33. Thanks for the info BklynBLue, Yea that Rangers on Demand is awesome.
      I listened to it and was laughing because I thought I heard Dellapina say he asked Holik about AVERY and Holik said “No thoughts, like in Avery’s head”. Holik is one to talk his head looks like it lost a battle with a meat grinder.

    34. that rangers on demand is awesome. i check it everyday now. it’s just so great how i get to see the team during their morning practice. they should post more video like the kids playin soccer or something outside the locker room

    35. adam from queens on

      just gotta say guys, were up 1-0 and all you guys can do is argue about insignificant BS, time to look at the positives people, our boys cant play a perfect game every game, were not going to shut the other team out every time, what matters most is intangibles and i think this team has it, it was the first playoff game for a bunch of the guys, some guys were noticeably tight but theyll get over the nerves, only move i didnt like was putting in orr for hollweg but i know renney will rectify that situation for next game, cheers guys! lets go rangers!!!

    36. Maybe your right CML, I had it very low cuz my g/f was tryin to watch somethin i gotta listen again.

    37. I also thought Malik played well last night. Good for him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately one good game isn’t enough, so let’s just hope he keeps it going.

    38. Ryan Callahands on

      As much as I admire Colton “one punch” Orr’s growth as a player throughout the year, I think Ryan “the dancer” Hollywood is a better fit for this series.

      Orr got lost in the “playoff tempo” much like Georges “hefty lefty” Laroque did if you watched the Pittsburgh game.

    39. 1 – we shouldn’t definitely get Henrik’s bro.

      2 – Beezer is on VS. Does anyone know the real deal on those crazy comments he made a few years ago about a black player?

    40. I’m watching Dallas/Vancouver on CBC. Good game so far, Dallas is up 2-0. Hopefully it won’t go until 3:30 AM again.

      There are only 2 players from the Stanley Cup team left in the NHL. Alex Kovalev and Sergei Zubov, isn’t that something. Shows how long ago it was.

    41. Couple of things before I call it a night.

      Yes, I just saw that Rangers-on-demand clip and that is me. That’s a pretty cool resource for fans, I have to admit. But maybe less so if it means having to look at my mug.

      The Rangers won’t be affected by the Nor’easter because they’ll right after the game tomorrow. I’m another story since I’m here until Sunday morning.

      Bob Hartley was at the Braves game tonight. I know this because I was there, too and they showed him on the giant screen, where he was met with tepid applause. It’s worth noting that Kari Lehtonen was not sitting next to him.

      Tough couple days for Atlanta. The Braves were getting spanked 9-2 when we pulled the rip cord and left.

      OK, more tomorrow.


    42. Chris

      I too am amazed that VBK is on the air after the knot he tied himself in four years ago. Bottom line, he was head honcho of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and lost his mind after a game, referring to the captain of his team as an N-word, both before his teammates in a meeting and then later in a one on one with the player himself, Trevor Daley. Pretty grim stuff.

      Here is a link:

    43. I’d just like to ask a quick question pertaining to Brandon’s post above.

      Mick Mcgeough isn’t officiating in the post season is he? That guy is not only the most blind ref, but also the most partial ref skating for the NHL. That guy has no right reffing in the regular season let alone in the post season.

    44. Talfous – Interesting to note that Beezer is calling the series in which Daley is playing, too. I never knew about that rant of his. But the odds are on Don Cherry saying something that NBC has to apologize for this postseason.

      Jezmund – I hope he’s not. I was just stating how he is such a bad ref with his phantom whistles and calls. That’s why I call him Mr. Magoo

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