Staying the course


Blair Betts was coy when we asked him what exactly put his spot in the lineup tonight in jeopardy. “If you don’t know already, I guess you’re not supposed to know,” the center said with a smile.

Whatever it is, it’s not enough to keep Betts out tonight in Game 3 against the Thrashers. In fact, it doesn’t sound like any lineup changes are expected, meaning Ryan Hollweg, Brad Isbister, and Karel Rachunek will again be out (while Jason Strudwick continues his role as the “Ranger beat’s best hockey playing blogger”:

Tom Renney made it seem like Rachunek is doubtful for Game 4 as well, saying he’s most likely to err on the side of caution. Playoff vagary. You’ve got to love it.

Meanwhile, some other updates:

  • Today was an optional skate, with the likes of Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Straka Brendan Shanahan, Jaromir Jagr, and Sean Avery all absent. Tomorrow is expected to be an optional as well, the only difference being that it will be at the Garden since the team is staying in the city tonight. Renney was asked if he consulted with veterans like Jagr and Shanahan about their preferred playoff routines , and the coach said he had, also adding that he picked Matt Cullen’s brains about his run with the Canes last year.
  • Speaking of Cullen, I mentioned I’m on the hook for more TV work with our partner RNN tonight (“NewsCenter Now” between 5 and 7). After a taped interview with the Rangers center, I turned to my cameraman Andrew and asked, “Was that good?”

    Cullen was indignant. “What do you mean, ‘Was that good?’ That was perfect,” Cullen said. “Heart-felt, emotional.”

    I then pointed to Cullen’s playoff scruff.

    “Yeah, but the least you could have done was shave,” I said.

  • Apologies are in order to Josh Thomson, who I just learned will also be at the game tonight, meaning we’ll have a season-high three staffers on hand. In fact, this will be the first time Josh and I will be in the same spot all year, putting to rest the rumor that we are in fact the same person.
  • Good to see there are some Hubba fans out there. Let the record show that I’m partial toward chili cheese fries, always with Hubba water. I should add that I don’t think I’ve ever been there before 1 in the morning.

    OK, more later…

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    1. I’m surprised Renney isn’t playing Hollweg for Orr. Hopefully, sticking with the same guys will give us the same result!

    2. How come no one has come up with the nickname for the Avery-Straka-Shanahan line like the HBO line or the COP line or the CCP line? C’mon, i know at least one other person here has thought of such a hilariously great nickname…..

    3. Sam are you going to break up the assignment… offense , defense, coach & goalie?

    4. I wonder how Prucha’s playoff beard is coming along. I love the kid but for some reason I’m having a hard time picturing him with facial hair.

    5. Believe me, up in Sec 327 we are all for “Staying the Course,” but why no Hollywood in the lineup? No disrespect to Orr, but Hollweg skates better, forechecks better and is more equipped to handle ATL’s aggressive game plan. Is Renney that worried that he may get tagged for some penalties? Especially with back-to-backs, it makes no sense to dress someone, only to use them for 4 or 5 minutes.

    6. the fear re Hollweg is the 5 minute penalties and putting himself out of position to make a hit. the bigger fear might be Dolan read Sather/Renney the riot act after the Philly game that Shanny got hurt in. Since then Orr has played almost every game. The Atlanta goon plays similar minutes to Orr so its not like Atlanta is rolling all 4 lines equally. The goal I hope is to win the next 2 so our guys are not subject to the 5 games in 7 days grind.

    7. I don’t buy the renney worried about hollweg taking penalties. Orr takes just as many penalties IMO. I think renney feels that ORR in the lineup still gives him the option should he feel there comes a point the team truly needs to defend itself from an dirty hit on jagr etc…
      As good a hitter as hollweg is he’s doesn’t bring the fear with the fists that ORR can provide..

      I also don’t understand what renneys problem is with callahans play. i think he has played well, and im actually not to happy with the play of ortmeyer lately. hasn’t been nearly as physical as he needs to be…

    8. Ahhh! Pats Hubba Hubba! Nothing better to soak up those garden beers then the chili cheese fries, I miss that living in philly, lets go rangers!

    9. DanTheRangerFan on

      sooo…here are my thoughts/ but then again who am I? Why play betts if he is that banged up. Give him a rest leave all the lines the same but the fourth:


    10. Is there any real chance of Dubi or Immo being called up without more injuries occuring? Posters keep calling for it, but has there been any mention of it by Renney or anyone around/on the team itself?

    11. The best nickname I’ve seen for Prucha – Cullen – Callahan so far is the RPM line (Ryan, Petr, Matt).

    12. at least you guys get to actually watch the game, unlike me, who is stuck at the Passaic County Police Academy for 3 hours (6:30-9:30) for stupid Continuing legal Education. And theres not even any free internet….grrr

    13. DanTheRangerFan on

      LETS GO RANGERS 07!!!

      1 New york Rangers playoff ticket on ebay = $125
      1 Round trip ticket on the LIRR to MSG= $25
      1 6 pack of Amstel and a handle of Vodka= $22

      Being one of 20,000 Hockey fans at MSG screaming “LETS GO RANGERS” = Priceless

    14. Prucha is the Man on

      Sam –

      We haven’t heard or seen much lately about Prucha. How’s he looking in the practice skates? Has Renney had anything to say about how he sees using him? The kid needs more ice time!

    15. Prucha is the Man-
      I think the same can be said for Cally.

      And enough of the Orr/Hollweg debate, we know the reasons why for and why not these two players should or should not play. That is all you guys have been talking about since the line-up for the first game was announced.

      Let’s just hope these last few hours can go by quickly, and at the end of the night our Rangers will have further secured their route to the Cup!

    16. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these days..

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