Lineup changes in store?

77

After playing what Brendan Shanahan said was their worst game of the series, the Rangers return to New York and are greeted by their first true elimination game of the season. With that, Tom Renney appears torn between fiddling with the lineup and sticking with what got him here in the first place.

Among the items for you to consider and perhaps even discuss…

*1. Nigel Dawes skated with the team for the first time today.*

*2. As they did in the third period, Marcel Hossa and Brad Isbister switched places for practice.*

*3. Thomas Pock skated alongside players not named Jason Strudwick and Colton Orr.*

Here’s what Renney said on potential lineup changes: “I am. I don’t know that I’ll do anything yet. You’ve gone to war with this group to this point in time and my anticipation is that we’ll continue to do that. But I wanted to have a look at Nigel and I wanted to make sure that Pockie had a good skate and we’ll see how guys are doing tomorrow morning.”

On whether or not Hossa’s play has dipped: “I don’t think it’s significantly dipped. I think what’s happened is he’s plateaued. What he has to do – as with all of us – is find that next gear.”

Obviously, it’s impossible to tell what changes will be made. Who knows? With the Rangers, Hossa could be right back alongside Jagr and Nylander tomorrow. But for what it’s worth, Renney made a point near the end of practice to approach Pock and say something to him. I couldn’t make out what it was, but you imagine he asked him how he felt. It could mean he’s interested in using him to replace someone. And the consideration of Dawes is for obvious reasons…the ability to skate and score.

On the injury front, everyone skated with the exception of: Tyutin, Rozsival, and Lundqvist. Renney said Tyutin would be fine. Jagr joked about his health after banging knees yesterday, but he skated today and should be fine.

As far as the mood of the team, I think it spoke volumes that Jagr, Shanahan, Nylander and the other older guys all skated today. From their words, they clearly understood that they needed to set a new tone at practice and that they couldn’t do that by taking a “maintenance day.”

“It’s important for all of us to come here today with a smile on our face, light on our feet, and to not carry a heavy burden throughout the day,” Shanahan said. “We’ve done that. We had a good practice. It was chipper. None of our coaching staff, or management, or players are walking around here sulking or pointing fingers. Guys had a good time at practice today and skated hard. We’re looking forward to the Garden atmosphere tomorrow. That’s our focus.”

Shanahan and a few others apparently spoke to the team on its way to the airport about leaving Game 5 behind them in Buffalo.

“We talked about it a lot on the bus and on the plane that we have to start looking ahead instead of thinking back,” Matt Cullen said. “Especially in the playoffs, that’s probably the toughest part is staying mentally tough and staying positive no matter what happens.”

*EDITED (4:47) —* Here’s Renney’s answer about his on-ice personnel in the final minutes. He was asked if he wanted to get Betts on the ice in particular:

“Betts for sure, but I wanted to make sure I had my two biggest wingers and boardmen (meaning Jagr and Isbister) out and I thought that, at least initially, with Michael’s hands and his ability to finesse pucks through tight areas that we could get out over the blue line and do what we needed to do but it didn’t work out that way.”

“You take your chance on that rationale and I’m completely prepared to accept what might come my way for thinking that way, but I believe I did the right thing.”

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77 Comments

  1. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

    Putting Dawes in the lineup probably wouldnt hurt…But then again….Would he fold under the pressure…This isnt the AHL playoffs…And this is a do or die win…Idk..

    Nonetheless…Rangers gotta stay headstrong…The series isnt over..

  2. I don’t think now is the time to panic and start making a ton of lineup changes. I’d leave Hossa with Nylander and Jagr simply because he has more offensive skill and can finish if Jagr sets him up. Dawes hasn’t been given regular ice time all season. I don’t think now is the time to experiment (although he would add a lot more speed to the lineup).

    The Rangers were 7.7 seconds away from controlling this series. I wouldn’t hit the panic button just yet. We know we can beat them at home, and we know we can play them tough in their house.

    No matter what happens this series, I think it’s obvious that Buffalo is VERY overrated. That’s right Sully, I said it. This team does not impress me. They are not built to win a Cup. Ottawa will kill them next round (if it’s OTT-BUF), and if Miller steals them a series, any of the 3 remaining West teams will kill them.

    LETS GO RANGERS!!

  3. I’d love to see Dawes out there, but who would he replace?? A slumping Hossa? Ortemeyer, who hasn’t been able to hit the net since birth?? How about Prucha? He’s been very mediocre in the playoffs and if he’s not scoring, he’s not worth having on the ice. He’s got the most awkward form on his shot. He always leans on his backleg and falls away from the net. He should be using his momentum towards the net and it would help him shoot more accurately. Trade him for Seabrook in the offseason, that’s what I say.

    And I’m sure everyone would love to see Pock in there over Rachunek, but that might be asking for too much common sense at this point.

  4. And NJ Mark, I completely agree on the Buffalo being overrated comment. This doesn’t look like a #1 seed. Ottawa would be licking their chops if it so happens.

  5. whatever Renney decides on which lineup will win game 6 will be fine, as long as they win. Both coaches have made mistakes and correct moves. It’s chess on ice. I’ve been calling for Pock since before game 1, and every game since except for game 5. They need more offense while shutting the chips down. The chips have only scored 1 goal in each game during regulation the last 3 games plus 1 in last night’ OT , 2 goals in game 2. Nobody would have believed that after game 1. The nyr have held them to 6 goals in 4 games after giving up 5 in game 1, unheard of against that team this year. That’s why SULLY tried to call it a snooze fest. They have scared the chips out of the chips, and will kick the chips out of the chips tomorrow & Tuesday.

  6. Yenner Mot on

    Buffalo’s forwards are overrated, but their defensive play and goaltending is underrated. And they have a very good coach.

  7. Yenner Mot on

    repost:

    you know what is funny, Avery leads the rangers with 29 hits in the playoffs which ties him with Trent Hunter.

    Cullen is just not good ebough—61 hits in 82 games, 7 hits in 9 playoff games, only 41 points while getting 17:09 minutes on average, this is just not cutting it. Why the hell did we sign this Rico Fata clone?

  8. Even though I love Prucha, I would like to see him sit for at least one game. He hasn’t done much of anything during the playoffs, and he looked a bit off in Game 5. Dawes could probably fit in on the third line. As for Isbister on the first line over Hossa, I’m undecided. I wish we could put Dawes or Immonen there, but that just wouldn’t be good at all. I’m leaning towards Hossa because we are at home and the Jagr line has chances to get away from their defensive nemises. I still think Pöck would be a better choice than Rachunek because we don’t get much scoring from our D anyway, so defense is more important. Plus, Pöck had three assists in the first round. I think Rachunek has one in one more game played. The only change I can see Renney making is Dawes for Prucha, not Hossa or Isbister, and he’s stuck behind Rachunek thus far, so why not keep him, in his mind.

  9. I gotta give credit when it’s due:
    Over 19,000 fans inside & additional 9,000 fans outside.
    Pretty impressive.

  10. Yenner Mot on

    Dawes on the top line would be very good, because he is a sniper and maybe idiot Jagr will pass to Dawes instead of missing the net a 1000 times.

  11. Yenner Mot on

    lets face it Jagr’s dominating puck control is totally useless if 90% of his shots have zero % chance of going in and if the team relies on him to score.

    This is why this team is so flawed and why I want him gone. Sure if he played 13 minutes on 4th or 3rd line and we didn’t rely on him to score I would maybe love Jagr, but as a captain and a go to scorer he is a disaster and I hate him.

  12. Yenner Mot on

    non only that but Jagr demands to be surrounded by crap like Malik and refuses to play the PP how all successful teams do it which is slappers from the point and get rebounds, screens and deflections.

  13. Yenner Mot on

    I hope idiots Renney, Jagr, etc. are watching Detroit game maybe they can learn something about the Power Play

  14. Yenner,

    Do you judge all hockey players by how much they hit? Who cares that Cullen threw 61 hits in 82 games?! That’s not his game. He’s been an excellent 3rd line center, is an exceptional penalty killer, and skates well with the right guys (Prucha and Callahan). And I am so sick of Rangers fans ragging on Jagr. The guy is awesome. Period. He’s one of the best in the business. If he wasn’t, we wouldn’t even be talking about a Game 6 right now.

    This is the playoffs. Games are low scoring. It’s not just Jagr, it’s everyone. This is the time of year goalies take over. Proof in my statement is Buffalo. 300+ goals on the year. Yet, they have been struggling to score all series (minus Game 1). Does that mean Vanek and Briere and Drury all suck? No. It means teams play a tighter D in the playoffs and the goalies are zoned in.

    Feel free to make a ridiculous comment back to me, I am headed out and won’t be here to read them.

    LETS GO RANGERS!!

  15. Does Yenner enjoying posting replies to his own posts and talking to himself?

  16. LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THIS IS NOT OVER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LETS GO BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. No one’s pointing fingers, except Renney casting doubt on Hossa, who outplayed Isbister by light years. So I guess no one has the guts to broach the subject: Why, with a one goal lead was Nylander/Jagr out there in the last 90 seconds of one of the most important games in 10 years? Esp. considering that Nylander’s faceoff % is microscopic.

    I guess it would be too much to expect that someone would ask that question.

  18. Yenner Mot on

    and I so sick of clueless people praising Jagr, they totally don’t understand the big picture.

  19. Yenner Mot on

    “No one’s pointing fingers, except Renney casting doubt on Hossa, who outplayed Isbister by light years. So I guess no one has the guts to broach the subject: Why, with a one goal lead was Nylander/Jagr out there in the last 90 seconds of one of the most important games in 10 years? Esp. considering that Nylander’s faceoff % is microscopic.”

    because they are not real fans and don’t want to critiicize their favorite coach, who smiles like a hyena and talks such “cool” things.

  20. Josh, Zipay is reporting that the first line was Straka – Nylander – Jagr in practice..but your saying it was Isbister with Jagr and Nylander….who is right?

  21. Yenner Mot on

    “Do you judge all hockey players by how much they hit? Who cares that Cullen threw 61 hits in 82 games?! That’s not his game. He’s been an excellent 3rd line center, is an exceptional penalty killer, and skates well with the right guys (Prucha and Callahan). And I am so sick of Rangers fans ragging on Jagr. The guy is awesome. Period. He’s one of the best in the business. If he wasn’t, we wouldn’t even be talking about a Game 6 right now.”

    Then what was wrong with Fata everybody hated him because Messier said “he skates faster than he thinks”, Cullen is nothing more than an overpaid glorified Fata. 4 years at 2.8 million for a guy who adds very little offense and is one of the worst playmakers and not much of a hitter.

  22. The greatest hockey personality on Earth — Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo — just promised to hand in his resignation if the Rangers win this series!

    LET’S DO IT!!!

  23. Yenner Mot on

    and when a guy plays over 17 minutes a game he needs to produce more than 40 points and 60 hits.

  24. Yenner Mot on

    Prucha for example averaged only 13 minutes, had 78 hits and scored 40 points and got paid about 5 times less than Cullen and we all think he had a disappointing season, yet Cullen we praise? Trade him or buy him out.

  25. Yenner-

    Your incessant negative babble is tiresome for a team that has played above and beyond expectations. I hope for your own sanity, as well as the relief of this entire blog that you choose another team as soon as possible.

    “Real fans” do criticize but they have the common sense to put things in perspective. “Real fans” realize that now’s the time to rally around and support the team and not bitch and moan like a prom date with the wrong color corsage.

    I am assuming you are a fan of another team pretending to be a ranger fan, because no “real fan” could ever be this completely clueless.

  26. yenner doesn’t have a date for the kindergarten prom, just the wrong color for most things including a corsage.

  27. As far as Dawes, I have no problem with him replacing Prucha. The kid is clearly out of place and whiffs on point blank chances over and over again.

    Putting only Dawes in could still infuse youth into the team without worrying about the defensive side of the puck.

  28. has any press lapdog grilled Renney as to why he had the weak defensive jagr line on the ice in the last minute that cost them the game?

    of course not. they are too busy reciting the company line, and telling us to move on.

  29. Yenner Mot on

    I am a real fan, I even have “true blue” tattooedon my penis and “hockey is different here” tattooed on my buttocks.

  30. Yenner Mot on

    I also keep lots Renney’s photos around in case I run out of toilet paper.

    you people on the other hand are brain dead cheerleaders who lack the brainpower to analyze or criticize.

  31. Tom Renney on

    Someone who spends as much as time as you do on a frigging internet board should not employ words like “brain dead.”

  32. Yenner Mot on

    BTW, Cullen had 52 penalty minutes, and everyone’s favorite captain had 78, how many of their penalties were bad? I think prett much all of them. When softies like these 2 take so many penalties it hurts the team.

  33. TIRF (Typical Idiot Rangers Fan) on

    Why is everyone here putting down Buffalo? They’re a class organization, and they have been slowed down by great goaltending that our boy Henrik has provided. As for Ottawa, it just shows that people here know nothing about hockey. Ottawa always chokes, the only question is which round. Last year it was 2nd, his year will be 3rd. They won’t get to the finals.

  34. TWTSF (Typical White Trash Sabres Fan) on

    Yes! We are a great organization and will not let our fear of the Rangers exposing our weaknesses to Ottawa get in the way!

  35. I’m glad to finally get renney’s ridiculous CYA answer, now I can rip it.

    he is trying to tell us that he wanted size instead of defensive prowess on the wings, so he is really clueless.

    Jagr and isbister are not used on the PK for a reason, because they are shit-weak defensively covering people.

    and nobody stopped him from putting Betts out there with a minute to go except his own stupidity.

    let’s face the real reason. selfish jagr wanted an open net goal, and THAT is why he had him and nylander out there. and it cost them the game and likely the season.

  36. “selfish jagr wanted an open net goal, and THAT is why he had him and nylander out there.”

    Possibly THE dumbest theory yet. Nice job!

  37. Yenner Mot on

    “Betts for sure, but I wanted to make sure I had my two biggest wingers and boardmen (meaning Jagr and Isbister) out and I thought that, at least initially, with Michael’s hands and his ability to finesse pucks through tight areas that we could get out over the blue line and do what we needed to do but it didn’t work out that way.�

    “You take your chance on that rationale and I’m completely prepared to accept what might come my way for thinking that way, but I believe I did the right thing.�

    OMFG, firing this turd would not be enough justice, I want to se him in serious pain and beg on the streets for living for the rest of his useless life.

    What an arrogant hyena, he believes he did the right thing, can you believe the nerve of this self righteous prick? Stupid bastard, the best defensive forwards are Ortmeyer and Betts and you benched them after Straka’s goal because you are an arrogant piece of shit and because selfish garbage Jagr wanted to pad his HOF career stats and his big ass ego.

  38. john holmes on

    “I am a real fan, I even have “true blueâ€? tattooed on my penis”

    small words, small ____ ?

  39. With all going on in Rangerland all you guys talk about is some guys penis ?

    I also have a Tattoo on my penis.
    It says Potvin & when I get hard you can see “sucks”

    GO RANGERS – Mad Dog is a IDIOT !!

  40. The Cullen line has been the most consistant line for this series. They have done everything but score and none of the forwards are a minus. Prucha has the 3rd or 4th most shots on goal but Miller has been better. I think Renney is trying to motivate some of the guys by letting them think that they might be sitting. Similar to the scene in the movie “Miracle”

  41. that we could get out over the blue line and do what we needed to do but it didn’t work out that way.�

    “You take your chance on that rationale and I’m completely prepared to accept what might come my way for thinking that way, but I believe I did the right thing.�

    Like he said after the game it was their B game, too bad he’s not man enogh to admit it was his B ( bad) move in the last minute that lost the game, no matter what letter game they played. At that point the chips had no goals, he put guys out that couldn’t keep it that way especially in the always intense last 60 seconds. There’s a being difference between rationale and reasoning. He’s backing into the consequences because he used bad reasoning, trying to rationalize his way out of it. Josh what did he instruct them to do during the timeout with 17 seconds left?… 10 seconds later, BANG! BAD JOB DONE. NEXT GAME…No comment from Renney on his 2 guys getting knocked to the ice in those 10 seconds by 1 guy? What is that Renney’s 13th playoff game? He needs alot more experience in playoff coaching. Hopefully he gets it this year.

  42. “You take your chance on that rationale and I’m completely prepared to accept what might come my way for thinking that way, but I believe I did the right thing.â€?

    and what should be coming his way is a pink slip, but that won’t happen in Ranger lapdogland.

    Renney was clueless earlier this season, and he still is clueless. he has simply been the beneficiary of having Sean Avery handed to him on a silver platter. if not for that, they would have missed the playoffs, and Renney would be back sitting in his office shuffling papers where he belongs.

  43. “I thought that, at least initially, with Michael’s hands and his ability to finesse pucks through tight areas that we could get out over the blue line and do what we needed to do…”

    First of all, this is incredibly flawed logic, which is very consistent with Renney for the past two years. You need someone on the ice who is going to either flip the puck out of the zone or SLAM it out. Nylander turns over too many pucks in general. And more importantly, Nylander’s faceoff record during the playoffs: 39% That’s right. THIRTY-NINE PERCENT.

    Renney shouldn’t even be coaching an effing pee-wee team.

  44. Yenner – how wide is your seat to fit all that – it s/b the other way around.. Get to the gym pronto. Sorry you left yourself too open for that.

    “I am a real fan, I even have “true blueâ€? tattooedon my penis and “hockey is different hereâ€? tattooed on my buttocks”.

  45. Josh and Sam, I have a question to you both…

    Do you have really fun making this blog when you read some of this posts ??????

  46. escaped mental patient on

    I know when I’m off my meds, the first place I go is to Ranger Report, where I can be with my own people.

  47. czechthemout!!!!! on

    like i said on the eve of the playoffs,renney’s in game coaching decisions will ultimately cost us the playoffs.case in point,the first line is out in the final 90
    seconds when we are protecting a lead,nylander and his 39%faceoff winning percentage is on the ice,and when the game is tied with 3minutes to go,the fourth line is out.everything i done backwrds during a game by the hyena,and that’s why we might lose this series.

  48. D-Man,

    That’s ok. They have nothing else better to do in Buffalo than make childish pictures and dream of a championship for their overrated team. We’ll get the last laugh in these next 2 games.

    LETS GO RANGERS!!

  49. czech he’s made right and wrong decisions both of which have consequences, and so has ruffalo.

  50. Yenner Mot – I don’t think anyone cares about your penis. Probably the only thing on it is your own hand print anyway.

  51. escaped mental patient on

    “Barbara actually I just had sex 20 minutes ago with my girl.”

    I love those vinyl girls at Inflate-a-Date too.

  52. imagination on

    if it’s a real girl definitly not a woman, she’s with her d & v now, there is no way she was satisfied, just done for mercy on a hopeless clueless boy.

  53. Yenner Mot-It looks like you’ve been on here all night,what are you a two minute man? Poor girl.

  54. Ryan Callahands on

    Is this what happens when we hit the brink?

    People F.Y.I., the best way to get an annoying child (Yenner Mot, you are so clever) is to pay him no attention. I bet if you all stop reading his posts, like I have, he will fade away. Because it’s no fun posting when no one cares. (also works for boy bands, annoying pop stars, and ex-girlfriends)

  55. FYI

    The Rangers have figured out what it takes to beat the Sabers. Now if they have the will to do it depends on the players on the ice tomorrow. I know I will be there to lend my moral support. But the game has to be executed by the players who play for the Rangers tomorrow. It’s up to them if they want to play another day.

  56. Is Blair Betts the villain for taking that hooking penalty? Or perhaps Jaromir Jagr for his selfish pop of Dainus Zubrus or for pissing away seven power plays by overpassing the puck.

    That is from Rodents Rant.

    Very insightful in my opinion. As I stated above. The Rangers have to want to execute during the game. It’s totally up-to the players who are in the lineup. As you know, the players did not execute in game 5.

  57. I wouldnt blame Renney for yesterday they should have closed it out.

    Anyway, Dawes would be good in the lineup. He can score, skate well and pass well. Put him in….

  58. i can’t stand this accoriding to garth on hockeybuzz they are already predicting buffalo against the senators, this series is far from over, i really can’t wait unitl we prove everyone wrong

  59. SAM it sounds like Isbister( 1 of the BIG guys out for the last minute) will be scratched & Straka will be with Jagr, with Dawes & Shanny, & Pock in for Rachky or Tuts if he can’t go…… In 20/20 hindsight, why did Renney have in the last minute 3 guys who were hurting ? Jagr’s knee ( he was kneed) , Tuts leg, Nylander coming off the flu playing the most minutes but not doing well on faceoffs. That was a really questionable decision on Renney’s part and he should own up to it rather than blaming the players & a B game, while giving double talk. He needed defensive guys out there to prevent a goal, not looking for an empty net goal 1st. He went off his own game plan which A, B or Y had shut out the chips for over 59 minutes. So Isbister is now his fall guy and Pock the prodical D man who was scratched by a coach who is beyond reproach? They all have to have their act together today, especially the coach.

  60. imagination on

    “You take your chance on that rationale and I’m completely prepared to accept what might come my way for thinking that way, but I believe I did the right thing.â€?…… does that mean he would do the same thing again, Hossa benched, Orts not in for the last 4 minutes , Betts not in for about the same. They scored at 3:41 then the D forward line was not used, only Betts with Avery & Isbister before that. He went to 3 lines for most of the 3rd period. The last minute is a PK situation w/o a penalty. Who should be on the ice , and who doesn’t think he made a mistake but his team did? … Guys available for the last minute, Betts, Orts, Hossa,Callihan, Prucha,Cullen, the 3rd and 4th lines,or some combo of, he choose the #1 line…Today has no room for that!

  61. RangersRock on

    Renney wanted Jagr and Isbister out there, because they win battles along the boards. Nylander, with the flu, is a more questionable choice, but he is on their line.

    He put them out there with a minute or so left, and they had to stay out there due to Tyutin’s icing the puck. Also, it wasn’t a standard penalty kill, it was 6 on 5. If it was 6 on 4 or 5 on 4, I think he would go with the normal penalty kill unit.

    All this talk of putting Jagr and Nylander out there for an empty netter is total BS. The coach and players want to win, they aren’t concerned about getting an empty net goal. Remember, it was Avery who went for the empty netter in game 4 and ended up icing the puck.

    Players make mistakes, get over it. Lundqvist came out of the net and botched the puck, Malik and Nylander pass to the middle in their own zone, Avery and Tyutin iced the puck in the last minute, guys like Mara, Prucha, and Isbister crash the net and negate possible scoring chances, Rachunek doesn’t pick up his man, Jagr and Cullen try moves and lose the puck, etc.

    Buffalo’s made mistakes too. So have the coaches. The refs make plenty of mistakes (too many really).

    The Rangers have overcome adversity, injuries, mistakes, and poor refereeing to put themselves in this position. They need to win two games in a row to go to ECF.

    They will do it, believe!!!!!!!

  62. imagination on

    ” that we could get out over the blue line and do what we needed to do but it didn’t work out that way.â€? ….What does that mean? Which blue line? You have to get over the red line for no icing, but you can get an empty net from anywhere. What were his instructions with 17 seconds left?

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