Leaving Buffalo with an unpleasant taste

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Believe it or not, that’s actually more of a reference to the 12 Buffalo wings I had last night at slightly after midnight. Don’t get me wrong, they tasted great at the time. But 6 a.m. is another story.

As for your downtrodden Rangers, I’ll go ahead and make today’s ridiculously obvious statement by saying they absoutely have to win tomorrow back at the Garden. Get it to 2-1 and they can eliminate a sense of panic. Fall behind 3-0, and well, both they and I might be getting back to golf fairly soon.

A couple of quick thoughts:

  • No, there’s no excuse for the Malik giveaway, and yes, it was costly. Tom Renney knew it. Malik knew it, too. He stood at his locker for 10 minutes afterward and answered questions about what he was thinking — which, apparently, wasn’t much.

    “I was trying to lead Michael Nylander with a pass, but I left it out in front of him,” he said.

  • Renney has obviously been banking on the fact that once Karel Rachunek gets some rust out of the way, he’ll be a better option than Thomas Pock. The problem is, he’s not the better option now. Rachunek has been a disaster the last two games, and both he and Paul Mara are clearly out of sync with one another. It’s probably time for Renney to cut his losses.
  • As for the surprising Brad Isbister appearance last night, Jed Ortmeyer looked exasperated when we saw him in the press box, although as a team guy, he didn’t want to say much. When I asked Renney about the move he said it was less a reflection on Ortmeyer and more about wanting to get Isbister in the lineup. Later came word the coaching staff figured Isbister might provide some more offense on that line. I’ll agree that Ortmeyer isn’t known for his offense. But Isbister isn’t exactly Maurice Richard, either. And the other part to consider is Rangers missed one of their top penalty killers last night.

    OK, Josh Thomson is covering for me at the skate. He’ll check in later…

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    40 Comments

    1. onecupin67years on

      Renney may have little faith in his decision to keep the same lineup as in game 1,so he changes things a little hoping to be creative,well it didn’t and never did during the year,Hollewig ‘s presence in a playoff game does nothing,messing with the d pairing does ,rangers d did little or no banging ,a tuytins and someother rangers’ stick checks behind their net on Zubrus,what no hit ?If Renney wants to mix matchups he needs the personal to do it during the game ,don’t bench the key players and suit up the waiver line guys.And jagr and the guys were kept at bay by the sabre D which didn’t allow jagr to penerate in close and Miller came up huge when he had to.

    2. Renney won’t be coming up with a cure for cancer anytime soon.

      Malik has done this ALL season. Why should the playoffs be any different?

    3. We beat Atlanta like a drum with what had basically evolved into a well-oiled machine, so Renney changes the lineup. If the results had been the same, would anyone be sitting here saying that Rachunek, Hollweg and Isbister would save us? NO.

    4. onecupin67years on

      “I was trying to lead …..”every peewee player is taught never pass in front of your own net especially a no look pass.Malik’s play was a mindless act of ZERO concentration on his part, a Lazy Play .

    5. Thinking that Isbister has more scoring touch than Ortmeyer is ridiculous. I mean I know Jed only scored 1 or 2 goals this year, but playing with Jagr, Isbister had many chances and did not capitalize on any of them. I would say in offensive ability Ortmeyer is at the worst, even with Isbister.

    6. They are a tough team to beat and mistakes need to be at a minimum from the players AND the coach. Having your best line (Cullen’s)sit on the bench way too much in favor of a largely ineffective second line just because a hall of famer is on it makes no sense to me, and not dressing a premier pk guy in favor of Isbister to get more scoring makes even less sense because Izzy ain’t going to score any goals either. If you sat Orts because you wanted to get Dawes or Dubinsky in there for more grit and offense, ok, that makes some sense, but Isbister? Did you know Izzy played 9+ mins, not much less then Callahan? And while we’re at it, why play Hossa on the pk over Callahan? The kid seems like he’d be a natural and a sh threat on top of it with his speed, moves and shot. Most coaches would find a way to get their hot player on the ice MORE. Renney still seems to be grudgingly playing Callahan. Like, “What do you want from me? I’m playing the rookie, do you want me to feature him?”

    7. For me it’s pretty clear, you can blame Renney for that loss, no doubt about it. He changed the lineup, scratching one of the team’s best penalty killers, he put Hossa on PK then and Marcel made a mistake that lead to the Buffalo’s first goal and finally he sit good player (Pock) and put not 100% player (Rachunek) which supposed to be better but was way off… Renney’s “tactics” sucked in these two first games with Sabres.

    8. A bold move was called for after the game one stinker and all Renney did was shuffle in Izzy for Orts? Even that seemingly inconsequential move backfired almost immediately as Hossa, Ortmeyer’s replacement on the pk, blundered every bit as badly as Malik did by covering the wrong point as Betts was pointing him over.

      You know what pisses me off? Renney had the trio of Avery-Cullen-Cally together when Straka and Shanny were hurt and Dubinsky was up here. That’s the kind of move that would put us over the top against this team but Renney hasn’t the balls to do it. Only injury forces Renney’s hand. That line left devastation wherever it went and teams did not know how to handle it AND handle the Jagr line at the same time. It puts an incredible amount of pressure on a D with that one two punch but Renney feels that Brendan Shanahan and Marty Straka must get their prime time minutes. You know who would put them back together? Lindy Ruff, because they would play exactly like his go go lines. Look at the breakdown from last night. Straka was over 20 and Cally, clearly the best Ranger on the ice, had 12+! I know PP time skews that a bit, but damn, Callahan needs to see more ice.

    9. Peter April 28th, 2007 at 7:31 am
      We beat Atlanta like a drum with what had basically evolved into a well-oiled machine, so Renney changes the lineup. If the results had been the same, would anyone be sitting here saying that Rachunek, Hollweg and Isbister would save us? NO.>>>>

      What does this even mean? I read it twice and still don’t understand what the poster is trying to say…

      We beat Atlanta with a certain line up. Renney changed that which worked so well.
      It does not take a rocket scientist to know that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, unless you are trying to make a name for yourself at the expense of that which already has proven successful.

    10. In all fairness b/c these are all such high pressure games, I can understand Renney’s logic for not wanting to debut Callahan on the PK at this level, as he did it in the AHL and had 4 shorties.

      He’ll be on the PK next season, that’s a fact.

      The tiny bright side to all of this; hopefully Rachunek has played his way off the team.

    11. I’d advocate going back to the Atlanta lineup. Even getting Orr back out there with a mission to hit. While I could see Isbister going in for Holly or Orr, not Ortmeyer. As was proved at the begining of the season, the Rangers have a tendancy of losing when he’s out of the lineup. As for Rachunek…Put Pock back in. It’ couldn’t be any worse…And

      Malik should be sat for that BLIND PASS UP THE @#$%’IN MIDDLE. I frankly can’t believe a veteran did that move. Christ, I play beer league hockey and would never do that. IMO, that lost the game. It gave the Sabres the energy boost and momentum as the Rangers were quite clearly running out of gas. Now it’s a must-win situation in NYC…Thanks Marek.

    12. what is this the little league, everybody has to get a chance to play their parents are complaining ? Renney is an overthinker.There was no reason to change the lineup except for Orr MAYBE! The fact is they lost 2 games that they lost by the chips taking advantage of the NYR mistakes. The NYR have not done enough of the same.The offense is not burying the puck. I defer to OLA who has called them out on their shot selection. They will not beat them by scoring only 2 goals. The NYR are and have been for a long time an inconsistent team with enough blame to go around from top to bottom. Renney has outcoached himself this series and needs to get a grip by learning from his mistakes and correcting them. Bottom line still is he needs to be reassigned, he’s not tough enough.He has 5 games to prove me wrong, I hope he and this team get it done, but I doubt just relying on respect is enough to motivate anyone. Controlling emotions is one thing, not having some is another. They don’t have the killer instinct to win The Cup. They are missing that fire in their belly, it needs to be lit by whatever means necessary, no holds barred texas death match style. WAKE UP!

    13. Putting Rachunek and Isbister in while taking out Pock & Ortmeyer are 2 GLARING mistakes made by the coaching staff. The Hollweg for Orr is debatable, but Mr Stubborn decided differently. The one time he needed to be a stick in the mud, he wasn’t. Bring back the lineup that swept the trash, no more panic thinking.

    14. I am pretty sure the Rangers refuse to play a 60 minutes game, opting for the much easier 40 minute game.

    15. If you told me before the season started that the Rangers would make it to the second round and that would be it, I would be fine with it. I go back to a Bill Parcells saying, which is that you are what your record says you are. The Rangers were a 6th seed, Buffalo was number one in the NHL. What we’ve seen the last two games shows that.

      I know he puts up pretty good numbers, and I may be completely alone in this, but Straka is just not that good and Malik is an old story. I think Renney’s biggest mistake is Rachunek. The other guys are kind of interchangeable, Pock is a much better option than Rachunek.

      Plus, I read that Jagr has 2 goals in his last 12 playoff games entering last night. Your not gonna win much if the best player on the team doesn’t perform.

      I still have faith though which when you are a Rangers’ fan is always “blind.”

    16. The decision to scratch Ortmeyer was a baffling one. I know some people like to trash Ortmeyer for his low offensive production, but he is probably the Ranger’s best fourth line player, who can shift to the third line because of his speed and intensity. Others pointed this out, but the first goal would not have happened if Ortmeyer was on the kill. I’m not sayng the Rangers would have won if Orts was in there, but the first goal would not have happened the way it did that is a fact.

      The first two goals were the result of plays any squirt level through men’s league hockey player knows not to make. When you make those plays against the best team in the NHL you lose, pretty simple.

    17. Why didn’t he sit Hollweg last night instead of Orty? Sometimes Renney acts like he has no clue whatsoever!! Sorry, just needed to vent.

    18. JRG says:
      “”Others pointed this out, but the first goal would not have happened if Ortmeyer was on the kill. I’m not sayng the Rangers would have won if Orts was in there, but the first goal would not have happened the way it did that is a fact.””

    19. “Renney won’t be coming up with a cure for cancer anytime soon.”

      Renney IS cancer

    20. Ort would have been out when 2 of those goals were scored, and they probably wouldn’t have been The claim about looking for more offense is hollow, Orts can create mor offense than Hollweg. so why was Holly in? And Pock needs to be in, he can create more offense than Isbister or Rachunek. Renney has to decide who to sit but Orts & Pock should be in.

    21. Why would Renney throw Isbister out there in the most important playoff game to date after he has not played 3 weeks? Stupid move on his part. Rachunek has to go also

    22. pick the 4th line Betts Ort Pock… Betts Ort Isbister… Betts Ort Orr…not Betts Hollweg Isbister…. Hollweg &/ or Isbister should not be in the lineup. Ortmeyer & Pock should be put back in. That leaves Renney with some decisions to make… Rachky, Isbister, or Orr. I’d go with Racky, Rozi is 1 more hit from gone, & Mastink is 1 more pass from pine, not that racoon doesn’t belong pined too.But it is what it is. Play Ort Pock & Racky, sit Hollweg, Isbister, & Orr. or play Pock Ort & ?, sit Hollweg, Racky & ? Good luck Mr Renney which ever ones you make unless they win you’ll be Monday morning quarteredbacked. And probably will be even if they win, tough job. Nobody said it was going to be easy, and if they did, they lied.

    23. I watched the whole game the rangers outplayed them but a few mistakes killed them.

      for game 3 sit hollwegg(he does nothing ) play ortmeyer and Isbister.

      You have to sit rachunek and play Pock, rachunek has played like sh t.

      Miller has outplayed Henrik that is the bottom line. Think of it the Rangers played a B+ game and still lost. I think Buffalo is beatable but I do not know if the Rangers have enough scoring.

      Buffalo is focusing on stopping one guy, he wears # 68..

    24. Stuart — please. Miller has outplayed Henrik? Name one shot last night that was Lundqvist’s fault.

      Rangers have been outcoached and overmatched with a slow mistake-prone d against fast Buffalo forwards. Rangers best forwards have not played very well. THAT’s the bottom line

    25. Next season lines:

      Dawes-Nylander-Jagr
      Prucha-Zubrus-Callahan
      Straka-Dubinsky-Avery
      Jessiman-Cullen-Ortmeyer
      Byers

      Tyutin-Girardi
      Staal-Rozsival
      Mara-Liffiton
      Pock
      Baranka

      Lundqvist
      Montoya

      coach: someone with a clue.

    26. “Name one shot last night that was Lundqvist’s fault.”

      1st and 3rd goals he used to stop those easily. he goes to his knees too early.

    27. I did not say Henrik has played bad it is just Miller has played great.

      I think Henrik is fantastic I am a huge fan but Miller has stopped some goals from occuring and yes the cross bar stopped 2 yesterday also.

      You cannot make any mistakes against buffalo, be careful, don’t cheat to rush out of your zone, slow the game down…

      the rangers are not scoring 5 goals, they need to win 2-1 type games…………

    28. Yenner mot Hossa will be on the team next year..

      looks like Staal is a real player, he will be on the team next year Rachunek is so gone…………..

    29. “Yenner mot Hossa will be on the team next year..”

      trade him, he is nothing special

    30. you still wondering why malik gets booed? Maybe its true that other guys are getting a free pass, but for the sake of actual journalism, please never again subject your readers to a tear jerker about how frankenstein has to explain to his kid that he gets booed when the makes a play that a high schooler would get benched for making.

      hopefully the next few games (or hopefully weeks) will be the last we’ll see of him in a nyr jersey.

    31. Next season lines:

      Dawes-Immonen-Callahan
      Prucha-Gretzky-Roenick
      Bure-Dubinsky-Thornton
      Betts-Domi-Ortmeyer

      Nystrom-Girardi
      Staal-Bourque
      Schneider-Liffiton

      Lundqvist
      Healy

      coach: someone with a clue.

      I THINK YOU NEED TO GET A CLUE

    32. SAM the 2 most glaring mistakes were those of omission by Renney. 1 not having Pock in for game 1 &/ or 2…#2 sitting Ortmeyer in game 2…… If both of these guys are not in the lineup tomorrow, there is something drastically wrong in how he is seeing things and the decision tree he’s using. I don’t care what he decides on Rachunek, Hollweg, Orr, & Isbister, even though I think Rachunek would be the safe choice, but those 2 guys have to be in.

    33. NBC’s Countdown to Faceoff show just threw out such a bad graphic. They’re trying to say that the Rangers are struggling this series because their stars are struggling, but of the four people they showed (I think Nylander, Straka, Shanahan, Jagr), two of them have one assist each, and the other two have a goal and an assist each. This is in two games. I can hardly call that struggling.

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