Dawes a game-time decision

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Nigel Dawes walked into the Garden moments ago a step behind Michael Nylander and looking every bit like a player who expects to see the ice today in Game 6.

Tom Renney said his plan is to skate the same lineup that he had yesterday at practice, which featured Dawes on the left side with Sean Avery at center and Brendan Shanahan at right (which in turn would bump Martin Straka back to the first line and Marcel Hossa back to the fourth), but that he has yet to commit to it fully.

One of the coach’s concerns is disrupting the continuity of his lineup from the first part of the series. I also asked if he was worried about throwing Dawes into a playoff environment without being exposed to it already.

“That’s a consideration, but he’s a good player,” Renney said. “I think at this point in time anyoen can step in and do the job. The big thing is you’ve got some continuity going. But at the same time the reason you would consider it at all is he brings something others don’t and at what point in time do you say, ‘OK, we need that.’ Hence you’re in my world.”

It was noted to Renney that a move like this would be a departure from his usual stay-the-course mentality. The coach agreed, but also said one of the lessons from last year’s springtime debacle was not pulling the trigger on moves that tactically could have helped them win.

“That’s my obligation and my responsibility as a coach to take that chance,” he said.

It doesn’t sound like any other moves would be in store. If Renney goes with Dawes,Brad Isbister would likely be a scratch, while the defensive pairs should remain intact.

Otherwise, a fairly upbeat mood outside of the Rangers dressing room. Jaromir Jagr was smiling as he walked in the door.

“Why wouldn’t I smile?” he said. “Always.”

Of course, Jagr may have been unaware that his Czech Republic had fallen to arch-rival Slovakia yesterday in the World Championships.

“I’ll save that for after the game,” Renney said. “I don’t want to throw him off his game.”

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16 Comments

  1. Hopefully Dawes plays. This would make the lineup deeper and give some more offense to the fourth line. And the 1st line of Straks, Nylander, Jags always play well when first reunited. They just have to shoot the puck and we will be fine. Game 7 here we come (I hope)

  2. omg… I just had a mini panic attack upon first look at nhl.com.

    Things are great. o.o

  3. dawes for isbister is a no brainer…if nigel doesn’t play well, u simply move hossa back up..at this point in the series its safe to say the top 2 lines haven’t produced well and could use a little shakeup…cullens line has clearly been our most productive line…the other move i would make is pock for rachunek…

  4. I just have ZERO confidence in Renney. Over the years, I have never really felt too much passion about a coach, either way (wasn’t a big fan of Muckler), but Renney really bothers me.

    Posters here have pointed out his flaws easily, but what bothers me most is that which appears to be stubbornness on his part….versus a man that learns from his mistakes.

    Someone pointed out how often he puts our 4th line out after a goal….or how little ice time kids got in the season, or how he wore down Shanny to nothing by Christmas by loading up the ice time…….and the list goes on.

    the clincher for me was after a horrific showing by Malik (and THAT is saying a lot) the fans boo’d him mercilessly. Renney responded by giving Malik the “A”.

    Now, if you are a high school coach, this sort of loyalty to a player is terrific. But not in the NHL. malik is 32 years old, get paid more than 2 million dollars and cannot keep from passing the puck in front of Lundqvst. Time to go.

    Pock sat game after game after game and had to watch this guy fumble away the puck repeatedly.

    This is coaching.

    I thought he would have been fired after putting Jagr in to be injured v the Devils last year’s playoffs—nope. He’s back.

    I think we can count on nothing from Dolan. Look at the Knicks. Dolan makes his employees show up at his “gigs” (Dolan is an amateur guitar player/Springsteen wannabe, who the people that have to suffer through his narcissistic excess say is horrible at guitar and vocals)….

    In spite of all of this mess, we have a TOP 3 goaltender in Lundqvst and some good pieces of a puzzle for next year. If we had a good coach, gave youngersters a shot, resigned Shanny, and dumped some of our defensive dead weight, we could really make a run for the Cup next year.

    hell, we came a long way this year, riding on the back of Lundqvst since February!

  5. i also like to add, that i think this move is a clear indicator is seeing renney mature as a coach…he’s thinking outside the box and isn’t being blindly loyal to something that isn’t working…

  6. Doodie Machetto on

    I didn’t think Hossa was playing badly. I like putting Dawes in the lineup, but I don’t like Avery being moved to center, where we’ve seen that he isn’t effective.

    I had a dream last night where the Rangers lost 1-0. That kind of stuff doesn’t usually come true for me. However, if the Rangers trail 1-0, and Rozsival gets a breakaway to tie it, and he is hooked, misses, doesn’t get a penalty shot, but takes a retalitory penalty to cancel what would have been a PP, start to worry. I, meanwhile, will be in need of a young priest and an old priest…

  7. Wow, a role reversal, Hull said the Rangers will win and they should have won the last game, while Ferraro said Sabres, and Clement (who cares) said Sabres. Now we’re in trouble!

  8. I love hearing Brett Hull yell “Let’s Go Rangers” right there on NBC! Screw Ray Ferraro, I hope Hully slams him in the face with the telestrator!

  9. Yenner Mot on

    watch Jagr will play great, because the game is on NBC and he likes to be praised in front of many viewers.

  10. God Brett Hull’s a douche, and to think, I used to have respect for him…

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