Rozsival may be back


Michal Rozsival was called day-to-day by Tom Renney, but was actually seen walking without much hindrance after the game.

Meanwhile a lot of talk about the Rangers bad penalties setting them off on the wrong foot tonight.

“We weren’t sharp. That’s why we took so many penalties,â€? said Brendan Shanahan, who had his fourth goal in five playoff games, but was minus-4 on the night. “And I don’t think we spent a ton of time in our end, but on the rush they just seemed to walk through us a couple of times. I don’t know if they outplayed us but they outperformed us….You have to play almost perfect hockey and we were far from perfect tonight.”

“We didn’t expect to be come in here and pound them in four games. But we did play some good hockey to start and we may have deserved a better fate early,� center Matt Cullen said. “After that we had a couple of lapses and it was downhill from there.�

Altogether, a fairly unceremonious welcome in Buffalo. Except for the chicken wings in their dressing room after the game.

It’s not a good sign when that’s the best part of your night.

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  1. Reposts – On the poll, I can’t believe there are so many votes for “Excellent.â€? If we took this poll in January, there would be almost none. Might I ask why and how your opinions have changed so much, and yet, after one game, Renney is a clueless a-hole again? I, for one, voted “Competantâ€? because I believe the GM’s office did more than the coaches.

    GB, I guess you consider Shanahan to be playing well? If so, I like!

  2. SAM a partial repost…the refs missed too many calls by the chips. Callihan was highed sticked twice right in front of them without a call. They negatively affected the game, that’s not doing their job correctly.Not that the NYR would have won, but the NHL looks unprofessional way too much. It needs to be addressed.


  4. Repost-I think that for me it might me time to face facts about Shanahan. The only thing is…he seems to be a great face for our team (missing tooth and all). The guys seem to have really bought in. This is of course uncompromisingly important, and for an extremely long time, the very thing we had been missing. Can you keep a player around for reasons of team morale?

  5. they need to stop missing the net, stop taking bad penalties, stop turning the puck over. Use size advantage, make better passes, try to get rebounds with the shots, instead of terrible ange shots or wraparounds.

  6. John M my choice was to stick with the same lineup that won 4 straight. And losing Rozi , left them with 4 1/2 D men. But they probably still would have lost with all their mistakes along with the refs’….

  7. AngelusMortis on

    GB – Apparently team morale is what Kasparaitis was for last year. This year we got some vets in with their names on the Cup, namely Shanahan, but Cullen and Ward as well, and all of the sudden Kaspar becomes the odd man out, stripped of the “A” he wore proudly in 05-06, and ends up with his NHL career all but in the commode in Hartford. Sad story for a player who was once known for planting his hip into opposing teams, but that’s how stuff works out sometimes.

  8. I agree John M except…

    I truly believe that Renney doesn’t think that we are winning the cup this year. If this is true then an injured Straka might as well play so as to not have him gather rust, and to not lower his morale (desire to play for this team and consider himself a crucial member). This will maximize his effectiveness for the run next year when he envisions everyone returning healthy and raring to go and with a bad taste in their mouthes from this year.

    Agree or not I believe this to be the case.

  9. AngelusMortis on

    If anyone is tuning into the late game on Versus, Luongo just got pulled after he let in his fourth goal. You know you’ve done your job when you run Roberto Luongo to the bench.

  10. Sam, why can’t anyone in the media step up and say anything about refereeing on the ice and in Toronto. It has turned the NHL into a joke and at BEST is terribly inconsistent and one-sided. The Media needs to step up instead of always talking about the Sabres offense. Refereeing has been favoring the sabres since game one of round one, and I bet you they will favor the Rangers in game three just not to make it look like it. Sam step up please..

  11. That isn’t to say that Renney is sacrificing this year for next. I don’t see anyone who would replace Straka being the difference betweem us winning the cup or not. Do you?

  12. Thank God that Rozsival is OK. He has really been a rock for us this 2nd half of the year and, IMHO, completely earned his fairly modest contract.

    If we lost him for an extended period of time, we might as well kiss the series goodbye.


  13. Pock in…Rachunek out!!!
    Let’s just hope that Mara can recover from his terrible outing tonight. You can do iiiiittttttttt MARA!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Sam, you were excellent between periods on the radio with Maloney. Funny thing is that when you were announced, I was nervous, as though an old friend of mine were being interviewed, and I was worried about how you would acquit yourself. Shouldn’t have worried, well done! And, yes, I seem to regard you as a friend, even though I correct your written work from time to time. Hey, it’s what I do for a living…I’m never off the editorial clock!

  15. I think Mara’s problem, GB, was also Rachunek. Covering for that bum must be really frustrating. Mara wasn’t as good as he has been, but he wasn’t as bad as you would look at it if you just saw him and not the plays (or lack there-of) that Rachunek was making all over the ice. The guy was just a bum tonight and if there really is any accountability, than he will be in the press box for the next game.

  16. Jon Rx

    if Rozy can’t play who would you suggest other than Rachunek. It can’t be Staal and no one in Hartford will be an upgrade at this point. Liffiton would be eaten alive by the Sabres speed.

  17. If Rozy can’t play, it HAS to be Rachunek. But I bet Rozsival will be back Friday. The guy is as tough as they come and has played through pain a lot for us.

    I mean, we don’t really have any other options other than Rachunek and Pock when we’re talking about our 7 men d corps. If all 7 are healthy, I scratch Rachunek and put in Pock. But if Rozsival is gone next game, you HAVE to play Rachunek, unfortunately.

    Baranka is gone for the year, Lampman sucks, Staal isn’t out of the playoffs yet (IIRC), Liffiton would probably get eaten alive, etc. Just no options right now.

  18. AngelusMortis on

    Jon Rx – I agree about Mara and Rachunek. Mara could’ve done better, but Rachunek is definitely a large handicap on anyone’s game. Lundqvist didn’t quite look himself tonight. His defenders didn’t do much to help him.

  19. it just shows again that Avery is the Ranger MVP. when he plays well, the rangers are hard to beat. but when he doesn’t, like tonight, they are just a mediocre team.

  20. God damn we are starting to sound like Islanders fans. Waah, we wuz robbed. Waah, the league has it in for us, which must sound pretty ironic to a Buffalo fan’s ears, given the multitude of bad goals scored against them, and not just Hull’s. I guess someone should explain to me why the league would fix it so the continent’s #1 market would be eliminated in order for the #60 market can stay. Sounds like a pretty retarded conspiracy to me.

    We lost because our #1 defenseman is would be the #5 or #6 dman at best on Buffalo’s team. We lost because we can’t cope with their speed. You can talk until you’re blue in the face about how the regular season doesn’t matter, but the same problems in November are still problems in April…

  21. AngelusMortis – I think the amount of goals tonight makes us all think Lundqvist wasn’t as good as usual. While it’s true for the most part, he was constantly left out to dry by shoddy defense and a lack of real back checking.

  22. Good call, Mark.

    They didn’t play as good as they should (or have to for that matter) be playing for the playoffs. Someone needs to put their hearts back into it.

  23. And Mark, the next thing we will hear is that Ted Nolan’s purple tie distracted them too much to let them play good.

  24. Rachunek had only one giveaway and was on the ice for only 1 goal against, what is all this hate for a guy that just came back from an injury?

    Is it me or has Rozsival stopped hitting lately?

    Am I the only one who is not impressed by Sabres’ defensemen? They don’t impress me much, main reason why it is hard to score against them is their speedy forwards get back and surround the puck carrier like a pack of hyenas and obviously their goalie who badly needs a haircut. Lydman, Tallinder, Spacek, old fart Numminen are they supposed to scare anyone from crashing the net?

  25. Avery’s role is to put shots on goal and skate hard in this series. He was caught gliding around a few times last night. Jagr gave the puck away 5 times officially. Blueline turnovers are what caused the Rangers most of their problems last night. I hope they skate Friday. Or else this will be a short series in Buffalo’s favor sorry to say. THERE CAN BE NO GAMES OFF IN THE PLAYOFFS.

  26. The good news about last night was that the Rangers really brought it all on themselves. They came out hard and I thought looked like they were playing Atlanta for the first 10 minutes or so – the Sabres never seemed to have the puck – and then Avery took a stupid penalty and Mara followed and that got Buffalo into the game and into a flow while taking the Rangers out of theirs. They then proceeded to play the worst second period in history.

    They’ll bounce back. Buffalo is not THAT good.

  27. a casual observer on

    It’s good to see Donuts Koharski still hates the Rangers. You gotta wonder if he is the “Pete Rose” of hockey.

  28. Peter buffalo is that good, but the NYR should not have been that bad. They can play alot better but didn’t, except for the first ten minutes. It’s gut check time. They played that game like it was an early regular season game, dumb blind pond hockey. They better figure out why and change it, otherwise they’ll be playing golf with Sam. I read alot about respect this week, but I didn’t see it last night.

  29. You know what gets me, is all the fans that suddenly say sweep and the Rangers are playing horrible…etc. Guys, it’s the first game. The Rangers came out flying and they sustained good pressure 5 on 5 but when you take 8 stupid penalties, then you’re going to pay the price of wearing down your special teams. Avery talked the talk and couldn’t back it up and walk the walk. Mara took a dumb penalty too, and suddenly he’s A.Ward. Give me a break.

    If Rachunek would of made that chip pass and the Rangers wound up scoring, then he would of been a savior. Now he’s blamed for the chip pass not working and coming back for the Sabs to score.

    Go Rangers! It was only game 1, there’s 6 more to go! Sit back and enjoy it, at least they’re not playing golf right now!

  30. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    I dont know about all of you….But Rackunek..and Hollweg made this team look pathetic…Rachunek…Obviously not ready…Hollweg….hes never ready to do his job….Oh yea nice job by him “sending a message” and not even doing it right..and taking another penalty in the process..

    I was really beginning to like the coaching staff..But why the hell would you replace 2 guys…Like everyone says..if it aint broke..dont fix it..

    Hollweg didnt do anything…Callahan through more hits or more effective hits then he did…Yea hollweg didnt get alot of ice time to do his job..but the ice time he did get..he wasted…Enough of the “hollweg is a great checker” bs…hes not on the team for his checking..its for his friggin hitting..the guy cant fight…all he can really do is hit..when hes doing that…then you can appreciate him.

    Rachunek made the D look bad tonight…its like he took the suckiness away from malik and used it for a night..then he spread it all over…malik wasnt that bad..tyutin and giardi either..but Mara was god awful…for a few seconds i thought i was lookin at aaron ward..

    I think NYR just made BUF look better then they are right now…Also BUF destroyed us in game 1 of the regular season…Then we came back with 3 close games…Im not the least bit worried…If it werent for the penalties this game would be to close to call…

    If you all noticed…before we took th seemed like the ice was tilted in our favor…Also once we lost rozie…I think BUF took advantage of it..and we couldnt play them with 5 d men…I believe..

    But with that i gotta say…It good to see hossa and shanny scoring…as always…and nylander had another pretty good game..notching 2 assists for his 10th point..Uhh resign the guy…Hank was great but how many times can you stop semi breakaways and 7 pp’s until you breakdown with no help at all…and Jagr….i think….was really the 3rd he was stepping up making some nice plays….unfortunetly…NYR made Miller look amazing…all i here is how miller stone walled NYR…he was far from good…and once again there D lost there killer instict and let 2 goals not afraid of the sabres..NYR WILL bounce back..


    2 notes i wanna share with everyone…

    I HATE that moron beninati and the other loser…You can tell they hate NYR…Beninati obviously does WSH…he must be pissed cause Jagr’s gone..and of carse he hates avery..ever since the Orr and OV incident he hates NYR…We need MSG…for my sake…so i dont brake my TV listening to that annoying voice

    Also if any of you are wondering whos gonna be signed next season…Robert Lang…i bet he’ll get signed…I have a feeling…But hes not that great to be honest….


  31. sounds like Renney and Shanny are disagreeing on if it was a discipline problem. Renney is right their penalties weren’t intelligent. Avery took two of those.

  32. For all of you complaining, would it have felt any better if we lost 2-1? We got outplayed, and we lost. But we’re still only down 1-0. It’s as simple as that. We looked rusty, slow, and we took stupid penalties. It’s hard to win games when you’re shorthanded half the time.

    Even-strength, I think we’re capable of beating Buffalo, but if we slip, whether it’s by taking a penalty or playing sloppy, they are going to capitalize. That’s the difference. So we need to bring our A game for 60 minutes every night of every game of this series. We didn’t do that last night, and we lost.

  33. Hey, Carp stole my idea — I guess great minds think alike. The beauty of a 7-game series is that you can just throw-out a bad game. This was the Rangers’ one mulligan. Game 2 now becomes the most important game of the season — probably in the last ten years. If they don’t show up for that one, then they’re done.

  34. Mark the Realist on

    Hey, ORR kicks Ying Yang. “I think NYR just made BUF look better then they are right now…Also BUF destroyed us in game 1 of the regular season…Then we came back with 3 close games”

    That’s really comforting. A blowout LOSS and then three close LOSSES! And then last night.

  35. If Orr plays two things happen. One Ruff may dress Peters meaning someone better sits. Or he doesn’t, but then that fourth line with Mair and Kotalik has something to think about besides just waltzing around like they owned the place. Orr has been out against the best lines in the league for a long time now and hasn’t hurt the team.

  36. did renney say anything after the game ie why the third line got so little ice time and why he stuck with that horrendous 5-3 grouping and why avery was on that power play in the first place. poorly played game and a poorly coached game. Rachunek didnt cost us the game but why was he in there in the first place. Pock was playing great but Renney needed to get one of his boys back in there. mara by the way looked terrible, why do u drop to your chest to block a shot when one of their best shooters is point blank. if mara stands up vanek he has no where to put that puck with either a shot or a pass.

    agreed you can put that down as a bad game but you have to correct what went wrong and that was mainly the sloppy defensive play and the terrible play by the “2nd” line

  37. Buffalo…..damn.

    Few little things I noticed:

    -In the pregame, I forget the sabre that was being interviewed on the ice, but the second Avery’s name was mentioned he looked away and spat almost subconsciously. I do believe Avery nullified himself by saying what he did….theyre only using it to thier advantage.

    -Rags obviously looked great first 10 mins and it slipped away after the penalties started….I’m not sure what to make of that….was it flow or was it fatigue….?

    -I thought Rachunek *did* make a couple of good plays.

    -Someone said something about Shanny *not* thinking there was a discipline problem….but it appeared to me he was scolding/yelling at Hollweg for his late penalty…

    -Connoly’s behind the back move was sick…I’m really glad he didn’t put that away.

    -Lundqvist is absurd but he can only do so much.

    Not really sure what to make of it right now….I guess we’ll have to see how these guys handle this….but I will say that I think BUF made it look pretty easy to handle NYR last night.

  38. I wrote most of this on another blog this AM, I am just too busy to create an original right now.

    The real issue is not the refs or Buffalo, but it’s dealing with the lackluster performance last night by the Blueshirts.

    A few tidbits:

    1) Shanny, despite his goal (too little too late,) was -4 on the night. That is unacceptable. Like how can Shanny be happy with his 5 on 3 play where he whistled 2 shots wide? In 5 on 3 play, you are not really supposed to take slappers from the point. You are supposed to get it down low and take shots from 15 feet. His linemates were not much better…Avery -3 and Straka -2 is just BS. That line started slow versus Atlanta, so there is huge room for improvement there. But if we are going to play competitively with Buffalo, that line has to do more. I am guessing they will rebound in game #2.

    2) Rachunek was not ready. It’s easy to be Monday AM QB, but Pock should have played, not Rachunek. (I know I was saying Rachy was a good choice before the game yesterday, but I was wrong. It happens!) He was a step slow on the blueline early and got caught pinching in the neutral zone on Vanek’s 2nd goal. I hope Roszival’s knee is actually “mild” like they claim.

    3) Reluctantly, give some props to Miller, he played well. Henry played very well too. But he can only do so much.

    4) They can’t give up 8 powerplays. It just keeps Jags and Nyls off the ice and is too much wear and tear on the D to have them chasing for 16 mins of a 60 min game. Avery and Cullen with stupid offensive zone penalties. Then Avery with another in the D zone AFTER he had taken that guy off the puck already. Malik with a stupid closing the hand on the puck. Straka failed to clear the puck and then had to hook the guy. Too many stupid penalties. I think they were rusty from the days off.

    5) To continue on that last line, they were a step slow given the huge days of rest. If Jags had buried that chance 30 secs into the game, it would have been an entirely different story. I think after practicing for 7 days and then being given that chance in the first rush it was apparent that he was a little rusty.

    6) The best line on the ice for the Rangers throughout the night was Cally-Cullen-Prucha. Callahan was hitting everything, going to the net, taking shots (Ranger high of 5, btw), and being scrappy. Nice job. Cullen took a dumb penalty, but played hard overall. I just wish Jags-Nyls-Hossa had played more consistently throughout.

    The bottom line, they cannot make little mistakes against Buffalo or they are dead. They were a step slow in most places, thus they could not hit them as much as they probably wanted to. But they have to hit them when they can, like on the forecheck, and then stay composed when backchecking and playing in the D zone.

    We did not expect to sweep Buffalo, so it’s OK. Game 2 just becomes that much more important now. I like the way we played for the first 20 mins and even into the 2nd. But the penalties we took were bad. Could the refs have called a little more on the Sabres, yes maybe. Still though, the Rangers took some dumb, lazy penalties.

    Onwards….focus on game #2. LGR.

  39. Agree with all the comments above. It wouldve been nice to win Game 1, but its not the end of the world. I think Racoon does need to not play because honestly, if hes not 100% hes a waste. You need to have some physicality from every defenseman and to me, he looked like he was shying away from contact completely. Plus he tooks too many chances. Put Pock back in. Same with Orr. Truthfully, Hollweg brings nothing more than Orr and Orr is much much bigger. And hey, he has scored more goals than hollywood this year…

    I do think we are setting ourselves up for next year when we really make a run with guys like Staal in the lineup, and hopefully a real 2nd line center (Lang wouldnt be so bad playing with Avery and Shanny although I dont know what they would do with Straka).

    Anything from the first round on is just icing on the cake. I am more excited about next year than this one. Its safe to say that the execs learned what works in this league and what doesnt, based on last year and this years early mistakes (i.e., Moore for Hall, signing slow old dmen, etc.)

  40. Mark the Realist on

    “If Orr plays two things happen. One Ruff may dress Peters meaning someone better sits. Or he doesn’t, but then that fourth line with Mair and Kotalik has something to think about besides just waltzing around like they owned the place. Orr has been out against the best lines in the league for a long time now and hasn’t hurt the team.”

    Again, some realism PLEASE! Pigs will fly when Ruff decides to put Peters in, least of all in response to Orr suiting up. Who would he sit? Mair? He has been a stud in the playoffs. Kotalik? After last night’s game?

  41. After getting some more time to gather thoughts and whatnot…

    Orr for Hollweg….I don’t like it. Ruff is not putting Peters in the lineup. Hollweg is quicker and more physical. He does take stupid penalties though. But so does Orr. This sounds nuts, but we might even take a shot at bringing Dubinsky up…..Thoughts anyone?

    Avery’s pre-series talk would have been effective if he had played well. He did not though. So people will be saying, “Avery’s talk backfired and worked to the Sabres advantage.” Avery was -3 last night and took two stupid penalties. He was his own worst enemy last night. Someone said it somewhere and I agree….right now as Avery goes, the team goes. He needs to be smarter and quicker and more aggressive. I love the guy for what he brings, but he needs to stay within himself. Why would he be grabbing that guy in the offensive zone? Not smart.

    I think we still can play with these guys. We just cannot run around without discipline.

    The last thing is that we need to get in front of Miller and shoot from the slot, not from outside the faceoff circles. Those are easy shots for him to stop. Straka took it to the net hard last night and we got a goal. Jags took it to the net hard and Hossa made a nice flip to the glove side but Miller bested him.

    We need to get a lead on these guys and play smart.

    Let’s go boys….so we are down 1-0, BFD.

  42. we did not lose because Hollweg played 5 minutes instead of Orr. Buffalo is too quick for Orr. If Rozy plays – as someone else said – it would be a good idea to dress 7 dmen and use Pock as a forward. If not Pock should play instead of Rachunek. Re the last forward it has to be Hollweg or Isbister. The 3rd line has to play more but to do it the Rangers have to stay out of the box.

    BTW no Ranger fan refers to our team as rags. That’s like an Islander fan calling his team fishsticks.


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