Soccer in the sun


Greetings from suburban Duluth, where the Rangers are practicing today, and where Petr Prucha, Thomas Pock, Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan, and Jason Strudwick were all just kicking a soccer ball out in the parking lot.

Brendan Shanahan made a brief run around the parking lot and Marty Straka is sprawled out on the asphalt stretching. Otherwise it’s just us pallid media folk are soaking up some last few rays while waiting for practice to start (who’d have thought the Ice Forum here would have wireless internet outside?)

Marcel Hossa did get hit by Alexei Zhitnik last night, leading to a brief scare. But other than missing a shift, the wing was assured by doctors he should be fine. Then again, we should see how he looks in practice.

In other news, a happy 72nd is in order to the original master behind the bench, otherwise known as my old man. When I called him this morning, my Dad and I talked over the game last night, and he agreed that Atlanta looked flat in its playoff debut. But he, like me, expects Game 2 to be a different story.

More later…

About Author


  1. Glad to see Hossa is alright. The Jagr-Nylander-Hossa line looked great. So happy they won, Go Rangers!

  2. Haha, something about the image of Straka stretched out on on a parking lot makes me laugh.

    Damn good thing Hossa is okay. I’m sure he was in alot of pain after that, glad to see he toughed it out too.

  3. Sam I agree with you about Atlanta. Hartley never found an answer for the Jagr line. I think Henrik did not look very comfortable, just not that sharp. Although not as bad as former Rangers’ prospect Johan Holmqvist.

  4. they better start hollweg, orr just is not fast enough to get in and hammer people on the forecheck.

    whats up with orts? he was great when he came back but the last dozen games, he’s made defensive mistakes (he never does that), has barely been hitting people and just lacks zip.

    the 2nd line better step up, need them to produce. shanny was not himself.

  5. Can anyone explain why Strudwick tags along at this point? I just don’t see how that in anyway benefits the team to have him on the ice for practice only. I know he’s a great guy and everything…but whats the story?

  6. struds is a good dude to have around. kind of like what bundini brown was to muhammad ali.

  7. his teammates love struds he’s great to have in the lockerroom i don’t know why fans get on this guy he’s done nothing but play over his head since he’s been a ranger and he came in and saved us here at the end by playing just a handful of games and supporting the team. great teammate.

    great news on hossa i for one saw him tweak the knee but the shift joe was going nuts over that he missed was hossa blocking a shot right off the top of his foot that hobbled him for a shift or two.

    henke imo looked fine just wasn’t tested much and they got a couple of goals that you really cant do much about. i thought when pucks hit him he controlled the rebounds and looked fine and you can tell when he’s having problems fighting the puck and he wasn’t last night. that W is huge for him especially and i expect him to be top notch the rest of the way.

  8. Colorado Mark on

    I read somehwere (Dellapina or Zipay?) that the ranger PR guys came up with the name RPM Line for Ryan callahan, Petr prucha, Matt cullen. It fits.

    Atlanta announcers were okay, but I think they glossed over some errors when they talked abouthow good Atlanta’s goals were. The 1st one was brilliant- I don’t see any real blame on that one. The 2nd goal appeared to be a result of Girardi’s feet getting tangled with an Atlanta player and him sliding into Henke. The announcers didn’t say anything other than what a great play it was, but they asked Hnidy and he said “I looked up and he wasn’t there, so I just took the shot!” (or something like that). Did MSG do a better job explaining how that goal happened? The 3rd looked like it was a Girardi cough up with a backhand pass off the boards that went right to Atlanta.

    Malik Laser= Mr. Rothma= Vinny Pooh = DumpJagrDope (am I missing any names?). Either his name gets banned, or he continues to change names because he doesn’t have the guts to stick with the same name. Unfortunately, ignoring him didn’t work, as he just resurfaces with a different name. The sad thing is, he does appear to have some intelligent hockey knowledge and I don’t disagree with all of his beliefs. His problem is he has to drop to the lowest common denominator to try to get his point across and his homophobic hatred undermines anything useful he tries to say.

  9. No doubt Atlanta should have something extra in their step in game two tomorrow. Let’s not forget who their coach is.

    PS- A Happy Birthday to your dad Sam.

  10. Saw this in The Post. Thought it might help some of you:

    “To find the local goaltenders – and their teammates – on the airwaves this postseason, go to and click on the “NY Overflow” button in the bottom right corner.
    It will tell you on which channel each team can be seen in your area, something you wouldn’t have to check unless all three teams were playing on the same night.”

    Let’s go Rangers!!!!!!

  11. 1st line was great. 3rd line was very good. Now just imagine if we could get the 2nd line to step it up. Wow, would we be flying! Shanny definitely needs to assert himself more in those “dirty areas” where he is most effective. Anyone think he is still nervous about being susceptible to another concussion? C’mon Shanny, go to the effin net!

  12. I am a little worried … Shanahan looked old and slow … Girardi had his worst game as a Ranger … Atlanta had several huge hits – they can take their toll – especially when the refs allow them to leave their feet (Dupuis on Jagr) … Hossa may become tentative … He was in the 3rd period …..

    Does anybody else think the 6 shots attributed to Atlanta in the 3rd period was way low? The Atlanta feed had very few replays – but 6 shots? – I think they had 5 shots the last 2 minutes of the game.

  13. Colorado Mark.

    Sam needs to have his IT staff block the IP addresses of:
    “Malik Laser= Mr. Rothma= Vinny Pooh = DumpJagrDope”

    So even if the guy is roaming and not always logging in from home, for instance logging in from work or an internet cafe, you can still track the assigned IP address or address range and filter/block him from access to the blog.

    I hope that helps..


  14. All teams, in the playoffs, have black aces or players who will not normally play in the post season either because they can’t(not eligible like Struds) or are healthy scratches(like Izzy) … Struds is even doing a playoff blog for the team on NYR.COM … he is with them because he is well liked and respected amoung his own teammates and I think that’s what matters, not what some fans think or him.

    While Atlanta’s top line was flat, I didn’t feel that the rest of their team was … by contrast I think some of our D was a bit tight and tentative but with a mostly young Defense that’s expected … Henrik always plays a bit off when he’s been off for multiple days … the Shanny line did have an off night

    For me, the beauty of this is that while Atlanta supposedly didn’t play their best .. neither did we … Not defensively and not even offensively …. yet we scored 4 goals and won the game … We will play even better as the series goes along … like I did in the regular season I have full faith on the team.

  15. good post Kovy, last year when struds was the lone tough guy on the team he protected his teammates and played well. Plus, he played with a lot of these guys for a year or more so he is probably good friends with them.

  16. good post Kovy, last year when struds was the lone tough guy on the team he protected his teammates and played well. Plus, he played with a lot of these guys for a year or more so he is probably good friends with them.

  17. Please, for the love of god, I hope that Renney doen’t play Rachunek if he’s healthy next week. It’s no coincidence that the defensive intensity and presense of this team increased when he went out of the lineup. Atlanta has great forwards, and they’ll eat him up. I’d rather see Girardi and Pock stay in the lineup.

  18. Why does someone have to be banned? If you don’t like what they are saying just move on to the next post. It’s like HFBoards, everyone is WAY too sensitive over there. And before anyone asks, no I’m not him! I just think he has every right to say his stupid things as we do. If you don’t like his posts, scroll down one click. LETS GO RANGERS!!!!

  19. Friday…

    Pock was by far the defenseman that got burned the most last night. If that trand continues in the next game or two, then i would absolutely consider sitting Pock when Rachunek comes back.

  20. Rob S:

    Hard to argue with that, and Girardi had his shaky moments as well. But the upside on both of those guys is great, and the hope is they’ll get better. You know what you’re getting w/ Rachunek, and I don’t think his style fits this matchup. We don’t need an offensive minded d-man. To me, that’s all Rachunek is.

  21. If I’m Hartley I put Tkachuk with Holik and Kovalchuk. I try to use Holik to run Lundqvist and screen him. To me he did not look sharp last night. I’m sure Renney knows what to expect, but I expect Atlanta to keep hitting and put more big bodies in front of Lundqvist.

  22. re Rachunek – remember the playoffs are a grind and we’ll need all the healthy bodies we can get as others get too banged up to play.

  23. Doodie Machetto on

    Hey all, just briefly checking in for two reasons:

    1) Happy Birthday to Sam’s dad. All the best.

    2) “kind of like what bundini brown was to muhammad ali.” Best reference of the season.

    We all saw the same game last night so I can’t add anything that hasn’t been said. Cheers.

  24. refs:

    The officiating last night was terrible once more.

    Mulitple missed calls in the first period, two hooking non-calls on Cullen when he toasted Atlanta dmen.

    No calls on Jagr.

    Boarding against Pock, high hit by Dupuis on Jagr…

    They make this phantom holding call on Rozival and they score. Then the call against Pock because Mellanby is flopping around like a fish outta water in the last minute of the game.

    The officials in this league are so anti-Rangers it is disgraceful, and last nights effort by so called “officials” was no different than most games throughout the season.

    Gonna be difficult to beat a team on the ice and the officials…

    Oh yeah, how about the high stick thhey called on Hossa when he hit Rozival in the helmet? Terrible officiating.

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

    “his teammates love struds he’s great to have in the lockerroom i don’t know why fans get on this guy he’s done nothing but play over his head since he’s been a ranger and he came in and saved us here at the end by playing just a handful of games and supporting the team. great teammate.”

    Strudwick saved us? what are you smoking?

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

    “his homophobic hatred undermines anything useful he tries to say.”

    I was sexually molested by a rabbi when I was 7, what is your excuse?

  27. Rob S,

    I think … that when this person posts derogatory and obscene comments as he normally does then yes he should be banned because as Sam said weeks ago this blog is for the public and children might read it and as such these types of comments shouldn’t be allowed as shown by his most recent comments …

    One thing is to post Stupid comments .. another thing is to personally attack others with obscene language and derogatory remarks

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

    don’t you think children need to be aware of sexual molestation?

  29. FWIW, nothing agtainst struds here…I think it’s pretty funny that he’s just along for the ride…guy probably just fucks off all day trying to crack jokes while the other guys are working etc….really funny, just an extra buddy….

    I just wasn’t sure if there was ANY circumstance in which he’d be able to play or something….

    I bet that guy boozes every night in ATL, sinister looking bastard ;)

  30. Matty,

    After reading his last few assinine posts, I have changed my mind and now agree with you.

Leave A Reply