Calm before the storm

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The Rangers are able to relish “another impressive win”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070415/SPORTS01/704150413/1034/SPORTS with an off day today.

I’m still at the airport and crossing my fingers that I can get home before Game 3.

Some quick responses:

  • Mood of the team? Quiet confidence.
  • Why no Ryan Hollweg? Great question. If Colton Orr serves the role of deterrent, I wonder if that role is as needed in the playoffs. Say what you want about Orr improving his game over the course of this season — which he certainly has — he’s still not as complete a player as Hollweg. Moreover, while Orr is the better fighter, I’d venture to say Hollweg is actually a more effective physical player given how well he forechecks. That part seems more necessary now. Or at least in Game 3.

    OK, we’re supposedly boarding. More later….

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    88 Comments

    1. Moreover, adding Hollweg instead of Orr, you upgrade our fourth line to an absolutely competitive and effective while forth line of Atlanta is probably their weakest link.

    2. i agree..a line of hollweg/ortmeyer/betts can go 8 to 10 minutes…hollweg can also respond to some of the checks that orr just simply cannot…that said, i really dont care that we get out hit as long as we keep winning..
      great points but dubi at blueshirt…rangers are not getting intimitaded from the thrashers physical play…

    3. Also in agreement re: Hollweg.
      Attrition is a playoff factor no doubt and now that we have a 2 game lead heading back to the Garden, I would think that lining up Sutton, Exelby, Larson, Holik for some forechecking punishment from Hollweg would be a worthwhile tactic. Orr has been ok, but it’s clearly too fast out there for his game, and if the Blueshirts are looking to frustrate instead of retaliate then you might as well have Hollweg’s speed and grit.
      Perhaps Renney did this to get Hollweg P.O.’d for a return to the Garden!

    4. its gross, weather-wise, here in the NE.. its like a Slurpee is being poured from the clouds..

      hopefully there’ll be better weather in the 2nd round!

    5. “You win two on the road, I don’t think it matters what organization it is – it’s big,” Avery said. “Now, we just have to keep the momentum. And our building is going to be – I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about how loud it’s going to be.

      “Now, we have to just go in and not let our fans down and win two games.”

    6. I’ve said before and I’ll say again, when Rangers got Avery I knew he could play but I cringed at all his penalty minutes. I guess I felt this way because we couldn’t stay out of the box and this would add to it.

      Whoever made the decision to bring Avery here, thank you. Yes, even if the decision belongs to Sather. Thank you. It is nice to see someone with so much passion and who can play the game. This has been missing since the cup year.

      I vote to get Hollweg back in. He ups the game and has skill.

    7. They definitely need Hollweg in the lineup. None of those wussies on Atlanta seem willing to drop the gloves with Orr, so they might as well sit him and put Hollweg in. However, don’t put him in at C. He’s useless down the middle, he doesn’t hit as much. Lines:

      Hossa-Nylander-Jagr
      Avery-Straka-Shanahan
      Prucha-Cullen-Callahan
      Hollweg-Betts-Ortmeyer

    8. hey sam….quick question.

      howcome pock only played 8 minutes last night? and he got zero time on the powerplay and penalty kill? i guess i can understand the powerplay since renney has cullen on the point now, but to only use 5 d man for a penalty kill sounds a little strange to me.

    9. Sam

      I hear Hartley is benching Hedberg in favor of one of those velcro goalies for street hockey. Any truth in that?

    10. nicole–its because pock has been atrocious and by far our worst player. he has looked completely overwhelmed

    11. Sam

      All I want to know is what the heck Renney was actually thinking in benching Hollweg?

      If he can provide a rational explanation, it would settle my nerves a bit-

    12. there’s no question we have been a disciplined team for 2 games. Hollweg does take retalitory and stupid, needless penalties. We don’t want to give Hossa and co power play time. Hollweg simply will not control himself.

      I think that that is the only rationale explanation that I can use to settle anyone’s nerves.

      Plus, I keep seeing Malik in at the last minute of the game……lost as ever, scary as ever…that should keep you on anti-anxiety meds for quite a while!

    13. Nicole…

      That’s an easy one. Pock only played 8 minutes because he looks horrible and cannot keep up with playoff style hockey yet. Renney is keeping his missteps to a minimum until Rachunek comes back. Frankly I don’t blame him.

    14. Seamus,

      The Malik / Rosie pair have been rock solid so far. The deserve to be there in the last minute.

    15. leetch

      Your description of Pock’s play is way over the top. Mara has not been good, and Orr apparently has forgotten how to skate and make a hit, and Betts needs to win every face-off he takes to justify his place in the line-up, because he does so little else to contribute in any meaningful way.

    16. Yeah, I agree with the consensus above: although he’s had flashes during the year, Pock has looked lost in the post-season, particularly yesterday. I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait for Rachunek to come back.

    17. Rachuneck over Pock? Maybe over Malik. Not Pock. I dont think the Rangers should re sign Nylander. Let him go after the playoffs.
      I think Blair Betts is the one that is totally lost out there. He hits nothing and does not take one important faceoff. He is useless. I think Betts should sit and Hollweg reinstated on Tuesday.

    18. I hope you guys are joking. Bench Blair Betts? This guy gives his heart and soul everynight, he LED THE NHL IN BLOCKED SHOTS FOR FOWARDS. He is an animal on the penalty kill, the only guy who can win draws and is a solid defensive player. He isn’t going to score, you know he isn’t. Having Hollweg on that line instead of Orr gives it more speed, and would allow them to keep up defensively. To bench Betts would be a disgrace, the guy is a key part of the team and to the penalty kill.

    19. There’s NO reason to drop the gloves during the playoffs, especially seeing as though it can buy you a warantless instagator penalty if the other guy doesn’t dance. That said, there’s no reason for ORR to be in the lineup. As some have mentioned, his improved play has elevated him from a marginal AHLer and thug to a viable fourth-liner. But that’s during the regular season. My guess is Orr in the lineup has a bit more to do with Dolan’s tirade several months.

    20. Ok Andrew. I understand your point. But do not agree. Lets have a two forward lines full of shot blockers? Lets sacrifice hard hitters who can skate fast and provide a bit of second guessing by the opponents defensemen when they are trying to recover the puck behind their own net so we can have another shot blocker out there when we have many others who hit also? The greatest value Blair Betts has to the Rangers is faceoffs. He isn’t utilized by Renney for important faceoffs so Betts is dispensable for Hollweg. In my opinion.

    21. “Moreover, while Orr is the better fighter, I’d venture to say Hollweg is actually a more effective physical player given how well he forechecks. ”

      do you also venture to say that salt is salty?

    22. While Hollweg can play center in place of Betts, that would be counterproductive. A pivot has to play both sides of the ice. Forcing Hollweg to play this role will negate his affectivness as a forechecker. The same goes for Ortie, who can also play center. Hollweg and Ortmeyer together on the wing with Betts at center gives the best opportunity to keep the puck deep on the forecheck while allowing Betts to be affective in the defensive aspect of the game.

      Taking Betts out of the lineup and skating Hollweg or Ortmeyer at center would be a HUGE mistake.

    23. There is only one thing that is more embarrassing than getting swept, and I have a feeling Renney is going that route.

    24. JohnM – can’t agree with you on Betts. He’s helping a lot in his pk and 4th line center roles. BTW saw that your boy Forsberg scored 2 goals the other night. Of course that made me think of you.

      To some of you – you do realize we’re up 2-0. We’ll need all hands on deck since the playoffs are an unbelievable grind and hopefully we’ve only just begun our journey.

    25. Two wins from a team that looks solid.

      We got outhit but that is because we possessed the puck more than Atlanta did. I gotta say, it seems like everyone hits in the playoffs and even when the puck has been gone for even 2 seconds sometimes. The Blueshirts have to be on the watch for that.

      I just want to point out that there were a lot of knuckleheads on this blog saying that Shanny should have been benched. Where are those knowledgeable bloggers now? He had 8 shots on goal, including the game winner. That line was the most productive on the ice for the Rangers. Glad to see sandpaper Avery was doing his usual. Straka played effectively as well.

      On this whole Hollweg/Orr debate….Clearly Hollweg is the more complete player. Perhaps Hollweg’s tendency to take silly penalties keeps him out of the lineup? Or, maybe you go with the team that won game 1 and don’t change anything. But tell me this…why wouldn’t Orr be out there in the final 3 seconds when Cullen got jacked by 3 Thrasher? That one makes me scratch my head.

      On the Betts debate: The guy is the Rangers best faceoff man. He is probably their most complete defensive forward. He is a great forechecker. He is an outstanding shot blocker. He is a solid penalty killer. So I don’t see anyone who is a better 4th line center than him.

      On the defense….Pock will be benched when Rachunek returns. And while I like Pock and think he has a great future for the Blueshirts, he is a touch slow and oft out of position, enough to warrant riding the pine when Rachy returns. Tyutin has 4 assists in 2 games in case anyone didn’t notice. He took a big hit to keep that puck in the zone just before the 2nd goal. Mara has been a bit more invisible than I would have thought. Girardi rebounded well from his gaffe in game 1. Malik….hmmm…not sure what to say there. Roszival played OK.

      Enough of this idle talk about who the Rangers should be worrying about for next year and who is a free agent and whatnot. Focus on Tuesday and Wednesday. I am looking for the decibel level to be north of 120 on Tuesday. I will be putting some cotton in my ears perhaps, much like I used to for the concerts at MSG.

      LGR.

      One other thing…Just watching NHL on NBC and brAvery was just saying that he says the diff between the Kings and the NYR for him is Renney. He said, “Renney let’s me be myself.” So one person likes Renney at least. And for now, I am not going to argue with results. His decisions here and there I have major issues with, but Renney does have the team playing smarter and very team-oriented.

    26. Hey Sam, I am going to quote what you wrote yesterday to argue your Hollweg vs Orr argument.

      “Following up on the stat I mentioned earlier: The Thrashers outhit the Rangers 22-10, but they also had 12 giveaways while the Rangers—at least according to the official score sheet—had 0. As a number of players said when I asked about it, the last six weeks have taught them how to withstand hits without coughing up the puck. They also said they’re unwillingess at times to retaliate is part of their game plan since it might lure the Thrashers into stupid penalties.”

      –They said their unwillingness to retaliate has help them, so why would you put Hollweg out there (although speedier and hits more) against them? So every hit that Ryan sees the team takes, he will go out there on his next shift and use his speed just so he can hit them back, that take his focus off the plays that are going on and perhaps leading to a penalty. Colton does more than fighting, he’s also bigger and can cause more damage if there is a need for a hit. His hits are more calculated (alot of the times) and although he doesn’t skate well, he has been taking after Avery and planting himself in front or by the net waiting for a deflection or a passing opportunity .. just look at the 2 goals he’s had in the regular season! He is not an offensive threat or a speed skater but he does his job and serves a purpose while Hollweg skates with speed to catch up to players so he can hit them. That’s great for the regular season when you want to get the crowd going but the need lessens in the playoffs. I personally think that Orr provides a sense of security for the team (at least for the 4th line) and Renney & training staff loves Orr (per John Giannone), it’s like the fact that they stuck with Marcel all this time and we never understood why and now he is shining. I think they see underlying talent in Orr that we haven’t had the opportunity to see yet.

    27. right now like it or not, it’s time to let Renney be Renney. He’s getting it done.

    28. wow, Rangers barely manage to win 2 games against one of the weakest teams in the playoffs who never even been in the playoffs and now Renney is a genius? Some people need to get a clue.

    29. a casual observer on

      Perhaps Renney did this to get Hollweg P.O.’d for a return to the Garden!
      Lowtide 10 hit the nail on the head.
      I have enjoyed the “change” that the team has gone thru which I think started with the aquisition of Avery (which many of you argued was a bad move at the time!) Renney seemed to go with the flow of the North-South (except Nylander :)) defense first team that had begun to emerge. I give him credit for that.btw I was calling for his head a few months ago. I just wanted to give credit where it was due.

    30. a casual observer on

      ” it’s like the fact that they stuck with Marcel all this time and we never understood why and now he is shining. I think they see underlying talent in Orr that we haven’t had the opportunity to see yet.”
      You might be right Karen, He is getting smarter every game and if he picks up his speed a little he would really increase his value.

    31. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

      I would like to see both Orr and Hollweg in the lineup…but that would result in betts or orty being taken out..It would be nice to sit betts for one game to see how it goes

      But NYR won 2 games with this lineup…Maybe they should stick with it for now…Just tell the boys to get more physical..avery is our biggest hitter and the one who is willing to throw em’

      But hes one of our most offensive…so who knows..as long as NYR keeps winning then its Ok….

      And how abou Fedor Tyuyin..hes tied for most points in the playoffs with 4..also its a 5 way tie…but him and gonchar lead all d men with assists i think…

      LETS GO NYR

    32. Bench Betts? Yeah, lets bench our best faceoff guy and one of our best PKers. We’ll send Nylander out there for every faceoff (sarcastic).

      Just simply bench Orr and put Hollweg in. Only way I leave Orr in is if he plans on knocking big baby Kovalchuk into next century on his first shift. And since Renney won’t allow that, then we might as well use Hollweg since he’s good on the forecheck and energizes the team and the crowd with his hits (although I don’t think that will be a problem heading back to MSG up 2-0).

      Lets go Rangers!

    33. yenner I’m not a big fan of Renney, but they made it from 11 to 6 place and are up 2-0 so he deserves some credit along with the rest of the team, especially Avery. And he gives the credit to his coach for letting him play on the edge. Hard to argue with the results.

    34. I give Rebbey zero credit for making it to the 6th place. It is mainly due to Lundqvist, Avery and other teams having slumps and/or injury problems. If let’s say the Habs didn’t have their goalie injured and beat us those 2 games that they lost, then they would be in the 6th place while we would be in the 10th.

    35. Blueyermyboy! on

      We were at the game yesterday..good to see lots of ranger blue. We even met Mr & Mrs Hossa after the game! They were very nice. Sam – you should have bailed out this morning! We caught an 0855 flight & got into White Plains no prob.
      As far as Orr/Hollweg goes, leave Orr in. If ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    36. atl is an avg. team that is led by a guy who is well known as a playoff flop, the lazy no-desire Hossa.

      the Sharks whipped them about 6-1 in atl a couple weeks ago, and Tkachuk said they were totally dominated, and never even touched the puck. they are clearly the weakest of the 8 teams in the east.

    37. hossa’s unseen potential was realized when he started playing with jagr. the moment you put on a line with lesser players he will not be that good (tho could still kill penalties). that being said no reason not to use him in this manner for the time being.

      for all the

    38. hossa’s unseen potential was realized when he started playing with jagr. the moment you put on a line with lesser players he will not be that good (tho could still kill penalties). that being said no reason not to use him in this manner for the time being.

      Pock has not played great but Mara has been just as bad, it was Mara and straka’s sloppy play that led to kovalchuk’s goal.

      also jagr needs to stop just throwing pucks across the ice in the offensive zone. almost let to a goal yesterday and about five of his passes were picked off on the powerplay.

      im glad we’re up 2-0 but against a better team all those penalties would be our death sentence. need to pick it up in that regard big time and our power play has got to get going.

    39. Yenner mot,

      Other teams having slumps? We went like 17-6-6 since Feb 5th. and your talking about other teams slumps wow, your bigger of an idiot then I thought. This team has togetherness, toughness, and resiliency and most of all confidence. and ATL is not the weakest of the 8 teams in the East. Anyone think We are actually playing them tough. Come on now. Atl is findiing out that the playoffs don’t have 6-5 games.

      LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!

      Bring down the house MSG!!!

    40. Never seen so much complaining when the team actually finds a way to win…

      LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    41. Hossa is an ok player, but people are gushing over him as if he scored 40 points. He has yet to score 20 points in a season.

      17-6-6 is nice but if we went 16-7-6 we wouldn’t make the playoffs. We also would make it if Toronto or Montreal had wone 1 or 2 games more.

    42. Well for all the Betts lovers and stat keepers of face offs, here are the totals and the zone breakdowns for Game 2 on faceoffs. I don’t see the need to use Blair Betts over Hollweg.

      TOTAL

      5 C CULLEN, MATT 5-13 // 2- 7 O zone// 1-4 D zone / 2-2 N zone

      16 L AVERY, SEAN 12-18 // 7-11 O zone// 3-3 D zone/ 2-2 N zone

      19 C BETTS, BLAIR 3-7 // zero O zone// 1-2 D zone/ 2-5 N Zone

      92 C NYLANDER, MICHAEL 1-18 // 0-10 Ozone // 0-3 D zone / 1-5 N zone

    43. FYI

      Betts took 7 face offs in Game 1 also going 4-7. 0 fer 2 in the defensive zone. Stop the BS. Betts is useless.

    44. FYI

      Betts had 1 blocked shot in Game 1 and 1 blocked shot in Game 2. Wow thats a stat that just jumps out and says ” BLAIR BETTS SHOULD PLAY!” Get real. In case you care to know. Betts had 1 hit in Game 1 and 2 in Game 2. He was – 1 in Game 1 and even in game 2. HO HUM!

    45. John M the coach is not going to change a thing unless he thinks he has to. Betts will get scratched only if he can’t play because of injury.

    46. Those stats are uselss, the Rangers also had ZERO, count em ZERO giveaways. Right. Betts is clogging up zones and lanes and should not be benched.

    47. Those stats are useless to you, Andrew, because they disprove your point. He plays 8 minutes a game!!! Give it up!

    48. Will no one acknowledge Yenner’s argument?

      If the the Rangers had lost some crucial games instead of winning them, no one would be crediting those involved for their success! Brilliant!

      If the ’94 team hadn’t won that game 7 against the Devils or the one against Vancouver, no one would be talking about their “championship” year. Why has no one thought of this?

      I suggest we all support Yenner in developing this revolutionary paradigm (if not winning, then losing). The applications are literally limitless.

    49. Eaves for Ottawa just got hit by Colby Armstrong. They got the stretcher for him. In the meantime, McHammond and Talbot squared off.

    50. BKLYNBLUE

      Maybe thats the way Hollweg can get back in. He should take a run at Betts in practice!! :)

    51. dld you have no argument, going 17-6-6 Iin the shootout era with no ties) is not that big of a deal and clueless Renney had nothing to do with it. go ahead and prove me wrong.

    52. yenner you did a good enough job on yourself. now prove yourself right, but not just to the voices in your head. hate the coach all you want, enjoy. take your pick , root for the team to win or lose . If they lose, you might be right. that should make you feel better.

    53. You’re actually making two arguments. The first you offer nothing to prove: that the success lies with the players and not with Renney. This is possible, even probable, but you mention nothing in support of it.

      Secondly, you say: “If let’s say the Habs didn’t have their goalie injured and beat us those 2 games that they lost, then they would be in the 6th place while we would be in the 10th.”

      This is just an example, but what this suggests is that if they won the game instead of the Rangers, the Rangers would not make the playoffs. This argument is so hilariously stupid because all of the credit is going for WINNING the games. That they won, and keep winning, is the precise reason they get any credit at all.

      Also, you say that if the Rangers lost one more game they wouldn’t make the playoffs. This is only true if they lost that game to Montreal or Toronto. If not, they’d still have made the playoffs (94-2=92, the same point total as the Islanders. Do this math slowly, so as not to cause a head ache)

      Lastly, you say the comback is no big deal because it was made in “the shootout era with no ties.” This is another line of argument. This ignores the fact that all the other teams chasing those final playoff spots, including those ahead of the Rangers when they began playing well, were playing in the same “shootout era with no ties.” Plus, while the shootout era allows teams to get 2 points were they’d previously have to settle with 1, it also lets the same team that lost the shoutout or in overtime get a point as well, making it harder to create distance or stage a comeback.

      And how exactly were the other teams slumping? In Montreal’s last 10, they went 7-3-0. Toronto went 6-3-1, and the Islanders went 6-3-1. That’s not slumping. And you know why the Rangers separated from them? Because they won those crucial head-to-head matchups–the exact reason why the team deserves credit.

      Maybe personal changes were more responsible for the upturn than coaching changes, but the team did start to play better defensively. Who knows if Renney was at all responsible? I’m guessing someone who can’t subtract, probably isn’t the greatest person to devine the answer.

    54. John M, i just dont understand how you expect to change a winning formula and a great penalty kill by benching Betts in faovr of Hollweg. That means Shanny has to kill more penalties, which gets him tired. Go and check who was on the ice for Games 1 and 2 when it mattered most, Betts and Avery were the fowards because Betts can win a draw, block shots and make smart defensive plays that Hollweg just can’t do. Put Hollweg in for Orr, not Betts.

    55. Exactly. Betts is far more valuable than people think he is. If all Betts and Ortmeyer are good for is killing penalties, then that’s fine too. The Rangers have done a phenomenal job killing them off and 1 PPG would have been the difference in either one of these games.

      Holloweg for Orr and leave the rest alone.

    56. Yenner Mot – I don’t think anyone’s saying HOSSA is the second comming of Gretzky or even his brother. But the kid has skills and could easily be a 20-20 guy with 40 pts at the end of a season, maybe even more. Put him on a line with anyone who has an ounce of offensive ability and he’ll do well. His offense was always the stronger part of his game. And keep in mind, he had 14 points, nine of them goals, in the last 17 games of the season. That’s not somthing that Isbister managed to do on a line with Jags. In 17 games, Izzy managed a paltry four assists ON THE EXACT SAME LINE. So I think a bit of glee for the leaps and bounds this kid as made since being a fourth-liner and the punch line of the “Renny better bench” comments at the season’s inception. I’ll close by saying this: anyone whe DOES score major points playing 9 minutes along side guys like Jay Ward, Krog, Ortmeyer, Betts, Hollweg and Orr IS probably the second comming of the great one.

    57. If this series was anything like the Pens – Sens game today, we’d be needing Orr, if only to jump on somebody after a cross-check or illegal hit. I was surprised to see even Malkin dropping the gloves today. Thankfully, it hasn’t come to that yet, besides the last hit of last game, which hopefully the Thrasher will be suspended for. That said, it should be Holly in there.

    58. Ok Andrew. I get the point that Betts is your guy. But you need to put his attributes into proper perspective. There are Avery, Ortmyer, Shanahan,Straka, and Hossa that can do Betts’s job. Hollweg brings additional attributes to the line up that Betts does not. Although Hollweg will not go 3-7 on faceoffs in 8 minutes of playing time, he will hit 3 or 4 Thrashers in that much time. And hit him fierce. Come to the dark side Andrew. :)

    59. John M – Hollweg also puts himself out of position at times with the hits. center is not his position and not a position that would allow him to do more hitting. If we go far enough there will be plenty of time for Hollweg to play.

      Betts has been helping the team a lot in the 1st 2 games. this is not rotisserie hockey.

      We are up 2-0.

    60. While Hollweg can play center in place of Betts, that would be counterproductive. A pivot has to play both sides of the ice. Forcing Hollweg to play this role will negate his affectivness as a forechecker and hitter. The same goes for Ortie, who can also play center. Hollweg and Ortmeyer together on the wing with Betts at center gives the best opportunity to keep the puck deep on the forecheck while allowing Betts to be affective in the defensive aspect of the game.

      Taking Betts out of the lineup and skating Hollweg or Ortmeyer at center would be a HUGE mistake.

      Stars/Canucks on CBC. Dallas took a REALLY EARLY delay penalty.

    61. if Renney changes anything right now and they lose or someone gets beaten to a pulp, then who or what would most be calling for?

    62. So Sam – did you make it home in one attempt or are you stuck in some airport somewhere? Or did you stop South of NY and have your wife come get you in the car?

    63. As long as the Rangers are winning, why try to fix what ain’t broke. Sentimentality will get you nowhere. The road to the cup is long and hard, should we be so lucky to travel it, and Hollweg will get his chance. Meanwhile Orr casts a shadow and can prevent Boulton from getting ideas of running wild a la Fedoruk and hasn’t hurt the team.

    64. it has nothing to do with sentimentality. they need Hollweg to start running Exelby, so he can’t be so free to run all the Ranger forwards. get it?

    65. ivrydov, did you watch the last 2 games? Thrashers don’t give adamn about Orr and were running wild, not just Boulton, the entire team and were nailing clueless Orr with big hits.

      if we have Hollweg in the lineup they would be scared that Hollweg starts nailing their star players. Before the playoffs I really liked the Rangers, but now I am very disappointed how they failed to elevate the physical play for the playoffs. Actually they even lowered it a few notches. That is not a team I can be proud of, they are a bunch of pushovers and will soon fall apart with injuries.

    66. Yenner, if you can’t be proud of this team going on the road and winning the first two games of the series then don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Seriously, enough crying. We’d all like the team to be more physical, but the only stat that matters at the end of the night is the scoreboard.

    67. The problem is Avery does all the grunt work while the rest of the team watches and cheers for Avery. What happens when Avery eventually gets hit so hard that he doesn’t get up? Is Blair Betts going to step up and take the abuse and play 18 minutes? At least with Hollweg the opponent has to watch out. And Avery isn’t the only target for retribution.

    68. “The more attention on me, the less there is on my teammates and the better I play,� Avery said. “It keeps me on my toes.�

    69. sol rosenberg on

      “All I want to know is what the heck Renney was actually thinking in benching Hollweg?

      If he can provide a rational explanation, it would settle my nerves a bit-”

      ill settle your nerves…. NYR 2, ATL 0.

      it boggles my mind how some know nothing fans can complain about the ice time a sub-mediocre role player who has little affect on anything gets!!!! stick a horse out there and youll get the same or better results because the horse isnt going to take a stupid 5 minute boarding penalty!!! you dont fix something that isnt broken!! and besides with 5-7 minutes of ice time there isnt going to be much of a difference. maybe you should complain about something more logical, like say the odd man rushes and the occasional breakdown of our defense.

    70. Sol

      You know full well that it is a cumulative effect. The more the team plays soft the less chance there is for resilience. Lets be honest.The goal off the glass was nice but lucky.And the 1-2-2 that suits players like Betts and Rosival and Malik will not work long term in the playoffs. You need 2 men in deep hitting every shift. Or else you have to be lucky to score. Lets face it. The teams that want to win keep the pressure on.

    71. sol rosenberg on

      the goal may have been a fluke but its not like atlanta hasnt had their lucky breaks! no instigator calls on tchachuk or kovalchuk at the end of the game, no too many men call when holik handled the puck before hedburg got to the bench. the BS call on betts by the ref at center ice(why is that allowed??) holly will only play 5-7 minutes, and is more likely then orr to take a penalty.

    72. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” crowd makes me laugh, where were they when Hollweg was taken out of the lineup? Or when Dubinsky and Liffiton were sent back? When did we ever need Orr, nobody will ever stop hitting because Orr is in the lineup. Only fear or getting hit by Hollweg would prevent other teams from head hunting.

    73. John M – the Devils have won 3 cups with out forechecking 2 men. And been close on others.

      Look at most other series guys are pounding people and the Hollweg’s of the world would not serve as a deterrant. I do think Orr should have played the last few secs of game 2. No reasn for Cullen and others to be subject to that.

      I have to hand it to you (even though I don’t agree with you) when you get on a point (Forsberg / Hollweg) you stay with it.

    74. Ortmeyer kills every line he is one with skilled offensive players. Kepp Callahan on the 3rd line RENNEY!!

    75. Rob wrote:’

      Rob S April 15th, 2007 at 1:03 pm
      Seamus,
      The Malik / Rosie pair have been rock solid so far. The deserve to be there in the last minute.>>

      Rob, watch Malik, by himself, very carefully. He looks completely lost. Rosi has improved steadily over the year. Malik owes him greatly. Just watch Malik without listening to the sound…no cue cards. His play has been consistently poor all season and is so overpaid, we’ll never be able to move him. In all my years of watching the Rangers, I have never seen a player with less ability get as much ice time as Malik. He is slow footed, does not seem to know what to do with the puck, does not use his body whatsoever. He cannot skate, nor pass, nor shoot. About the only thing he can do is poke at the puck; otherwise, it is just another terrible penalty where he hooks, they score, and his =/- continues unscathed.

      Rosi has been tough to watch, early on, but has been consistently improving his play.

      I also agree that Callahan should be on a line over Ortmeyer. I love his heart, and he blocks shots well, but he cannot score on an empty net. We’ve got a LOT of hockey to go here….Renney needs to continue to tweak things properly.

      Betts is unsung. He does small things right and every good team has someone like him….he is no star: just a blue collar guy who does a lot of small things right. He is not part of the stone hands guys. He is a necessary cog in the larger wheel.

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