The end of the line…


Well, a lot to discuss, and I’m not really sure where to start, which is why the podcast below may be helpful.

It’s a hearty 11 minutes, which is probably too long, but seeing how we cover this game, the Rangers future, and the season as a whole, my hope is it’s still worth your while.

Meanwhile, a few of you have asked about the future of the blog, which is a worthwhile question now that the season is over. The short answer is it’s not going anywhere. The long answer is it’s definitely not going anywhere in the next day or so since the Rangers don’t even have their official break-up day until Tuesday.


But I’ll have more on all of that tomorrow.

In the meantime, a few quick thoughts:

  • Whether there was a hangover effect from Friday or not, there was no question that the series turned on what happened in that game. The Rangers played a sloppy first two periods today perhaps because they were TOO desperate trying to save their and got caught deep in the zone time and again.
  • I am happy that the season is over from only one standpoint, and that is I get to spend more time with my family, which has been a tough balancing act on a number of fronts. But from a professional perspective, there is nothing better than covering the hockey playoffs. I was always told that. But I didn’t really believe it until I got to experience it. Naturally having such a faithful readership made it even better.
  • I’m reluctant to delve into the whole “what the Rangers should do in the off-season”question since that’s pretty much going to dominate conversation here over the next few months anyway. But to reiterate, the big question is Shanahan. Nylander made it clear he wants to stay and as long as Jagr is here, I’m assuming the Rangers will make it happen. But as we say in the podcast, Shanahan is far more complicated.

    OK, I’m about to pack up my stuff at the Garden for the last time this season, then it’s off for a end of the line adult beverage. Carpie tried to rope me into a trip to Hubba’s. But I held him off like a pro.

    Thanks to everyone out there. Until tomorrow….

  • About Author


    1. Thanks for all your work on this blog, Sam. It was nice to get insights that were not necessarily “appropriate” to be put in a newspaper article. Hope you’ll keep it up through the offseason and into next season.

    2. I’ll listen to the podcast later, but for now, I think it came down to Renney’s mediocre to subpar coaching. I know he won’t be fired, but I hope he does better. At the beginning of the year, I thought the team would make the playoffs; in the middle not so much, so I’m pretty much even on the standing of the whole year, although I obviously wish it could have gone farther.

      Sam, I really appreciate the blog since I couldn’t watch too many games this year now that I have started college just far away enough from NYC to not get MSG. I will continue reading now even at home and hope to hear from you about signings/trades/draft in the offseason when you’re not covering golf. Josh, good work, too, on a fill in basis. Hopefully at least one of you will be here to cover offseason activity and give us something to talk about.

    3. Yenner Mot on

      Renney absolutely has to be fired and this team is really not going anywhere under Renney’s and Jagr’s regime.

    4. Yenner Mot on

      “and 2000 empty seats for a playoff game in detroit.”

      where is the proof? If Shanny was there it could have been 4000 empty seats. I saw tons of empty seats in game 3 vs Buffalo, a lot more than 2000.

    5. craptain ego on

      not unsold empty seats. the seats in MSG were SOLD. the empty seats were NOT sold in detroit. that’s the difference.

      they never had unsold seats in the last 15 years in detroit until this year.

    6. Good stuff as always, guys. It’s going to be a shame not checking this blog religiously for game time updates until October, but I really hope that you guys continue to update it during the summer with rumors and offseason news. This is really the only site I know that gives so much in-depth analysis on the Rangers. I really appreciate all the work you did this season, guys.

      As far as the Shanahan deal goes, I believe that he needs to come back. I admit that his play dropped off a bit since coming back from his concussion, but let’s not count the guy out. He scored nearly 30 goals and was probably this team’s MVP next to Henrik until he got hurt and missed all that time. Shanny seemed to like his time here and liked working with the kids, so I’m sure he’ll be fine with a reduced role, although I’m not necessarily sure that’s what would be best for the team. Shanny is a team first type of guy, though…that’s what makes him a class act and a leader. I look back to when he actually got into that fight with Brashear and it really represents how good he is and how lucky we are to have this guy on our team. Trust me when I say that it’ll be a really big loss on this team if he’s not back next year…

      As for the offseason, the Rangers really have 2 main needs: defense and a second line center. That’s why I believe it’s so important for them to push hard after Drury…

      All in all, I thought it was a successful season. This isn’t like the Yankees, where you can say that just because they didn’t win it all this season wasn’t a success. The Rangers got deeper and could have beaten the Sabres if a few bad breaks and calls went the other way. They showed they can skate with the best, and showed that this team has a ton of potential.

    7. Sam and Josh (and Carpie today too), thanks for you thoughts and insight. Having followed the Rangers for over 40 years I welcome the opportunity to exchange ideas with people who actually cover the team.

      As for “anti-tom renney” and “egomaniac” if you want to “talk” hockey great, if not please take your urination matches off line. The day has been bad enough without having to put up with you deciding how many empty seats there were.

    8. craptain ego on

      I can’t see Buffalo letting Drury go. they would be much smarter to sign him than Briere if they can’t get both back.

      Drury is an all-around 2way player and leader and clutch scorer. Briere is more of a one way offense and PP guy.

    9. craptain ego on

      go eff yourself richboy. I was talking about hockey you piece of garbage. mind your own damn business.

    10. czechthemout!!!!! on

      very proud of the team.i was at the game and was really impressed with the way they would not quit today.

      now i wan’t to look a little towards next year.first this team badly needs a scecond line center.i would either sign
      gomez/drury or more preferably give dubinsky a shot with callahan and straka.avery and cullen should be paired with someone like korpikoski or a young vet via a trade,ex-prucha
      and montoya for nathan horton would be a great deal for this team.horton could then play the second line with cally and dubinsky.straka can play with jagr and for hossa,although he had a decent spurt for about 2 weeks,he again reverted to the almost useless player he was most of the season.on the fourth line i would to see someone like byers and big hugh given a shot.both players can play and drop the gloves when needed.altohugh both will not be given a shot.if i had to choose one i would say that byers is the more ready of the two.defense is where i don’t want any fa’s
      at all.they need to put staal out there and either lifiton or pock or both.they also have baranka and sauer and potter.


    11. craptain ego on

      with posts on here about Roger Clemens, and music, and beards, et. al.

      the nerve of some twit to complain about posts that ARE about hockey and the Rangers.

    12. Sam and Josh thanks for your work on the blog and the articles written…envious of you guys.

    13. Sam and Josh, thanks for putting in the time for us on this blog. It is great to get the latest news of injuries, lines, practices etc. and you tell other people and they ask hoe do you know that and you sya Sam told me. one question for you guys, I have readin other places that Marty Straka has a torn bicep. Is there any truth to that?

    14. Oh and Sam I guess the fact that Nylander had 2 goals today kind of hinders us from blaming our loss on his sick kid

    15. Yenner Mot on

      wow Shanahan was -3 tonight

      so what do we do with Dawes? trade him?

      Bertuzzi or Handzus or Zubrus could be a good addition

    16. Bertuzzi? Absolutely not. An overpriced, underachieving veteran is the last think the Rangers need. Zubrus would be a decent addition, but does not fill the void at an impact center that the Rangers need. Handzus is also no more than a 3rd or 4th line center. But adding Bertuzzi, absolutely not.

    17. goalbyPrucha on

      Sam, will you stick around in the summer for stories on signings and things like that once in a while? I’ll miss reading the blog here. I’m gonna be jonesing for hockey bad in a few weeks.

    18. The TrueBlue Vermonster on

      Hubbas! You made the smart choice, even though those Chili Cheese burgers sound tempting compared to press room food.

      Great season Sam! Every word, blurb and blog.

    19. imagination on

      Sam I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, my blood pressure is still to high from today’s aggravation, but Shanny told Al Troutfish on MSG after the game that he wants to come back if the NYR want him and that all the pieces are in place for his agent & Sather to get a deal done.

    20. if we can bring in Drury and our d man Staal this team can really be amazing next year. I’m not sure I really want any other free agents other than Drury and our own. Even though I’m extremely disappointed I’m very proud of the boys and the fans all game and all playoffs long. Notice the only time we littered the ice was with hats for the hat trick.

      Sam and Josh you’ve both been amazing (even though the pods did not ever come on on my computer).

      The rest of you – it’s been an amazing run and fun to be a part of with almost all of you. Sometimes even you Yenner. I’ve learned a lot from you guys and it added tremendously to my enjoyment of the team and the season. You all are part of the greatest fraternity of fans in sports in my opinion.


    21. reginald dunlop on

      yenner…………didn’t anyone ever tell you, crack kills son……..put down your pipe…….bertuzzi? handzus? sure hope youre joking….or displaying your lack of hockey knowledge???

    22. Sam,
      Great job. I found this blog late in the season. I will definitely be a regular. I hated to see this season end, but I’m excited with the direction of the team. I think we are only a few players away.

    23. imagination on

      and a coach who doesn’t get outcoached and owns up to his mistakes and corrects them. Renney lost this series, but he’ll never admit to it , let alone take some responsibility. He blames his players, gives credit to the other team, karma,B game, you name it anything but Renney the metrosexual.

    24. I might be alone here, but I think Adam Hall, Aaron Ward, Bozolinsh, and Jason Krog would’ve helped them out in Game 6.

      I still think Rachunek should’ve been sat for Pock after Game 4.

    25. What an exciting season. As a fan, you can’t really ask for anything else. This team had flaws, yet they came together and made a valiant effort for the cup. They were beaten by a better team, fair and simple. I don’t see how you can not be proud to be a Rangers’ fan right now. The boys in blue worked their tails off for us, and the fans properly saluted them for that.

      Next season should be even better, fellas. Thanks Sam for the blog, I know it definitely was enjoyable all year long. But now it’s baseball season, Let’s go Yankees!

    26. ThisYearsModel on

      Great work, Sam and Josh. Thanks very much. Your blog makes it easier to follow the Rangers from the left coast. As for the loss……that shoe dropped with 7 seconds remaining in game 5. Glad they pushed to the end and did not give up. I am proud to be a fan of the NT Rangers again. Plus, Slats, Maloney and Renney will be getting raises because the club will be in the black and Dolan gets to raise ticket prices again.

    27. DanTheRangerFan on

      Yenner you have no idea what your talking about, you say things with out any backup information. Its one thing to listen to your ridiculous opinions and a whole other to listen to your “facts”… Do us all a favor and dont come around next season. On another note we can complain and complain but this team really turned around their season. Who what have thought we would have gotten this far a few months ago. Thanks Sam for your coverage/ didn’t always see eye to eye but I enjoy this Blog. Good Season…….

    28. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

      First off….I just wanna say…Im damn proud of this team…They did a hell of a job coming back from what looked like a lost season…They almost beat the sabres…But even though they lost they still tried as hard as they could to come back..Good job by them.

      I dont wanna talk about the game but i do wanna say this..In my opinion Dawes shouldnt of played that game..He looked good at first..but then made a few mistakes..and of coarse we have to get rid of Rachunek..which im betting will happen..

      Ok…so like i said….Rachunek will be gone…Mara might get re signed…that save he made was outstanding…

      Now…I feel Staal SHOULD play for NYR next season…The kid is impressive in the playoffs for his club…As he was all season…But the thing is that once again means Pock will be number 7….I just hope some how they dump malik..

      It will be interesting to see who NYR goes for..

      Theres Briere and Drury..Which i think both might get signed if not then i say Briere is let go…Also Zubrus is available..but he may go back to WSH..Gionta is a lock for NJD along with Gomez…Gomez sealed the deal with his 2 goals..He was dynamite in the playoffs so he’ll be back…But i dont know about Rafalski…I say he gets let go…Souray is going to LAK definently..if not them then its some West team…Lang from DET is available…

      I guarantee if Lang isnt re signed….NYR will get him…Hes played with shanny…and we still need out second line center for him….Theres a few people available but eh…to much to type.

      But i say…Re sign Nylander for 2..Avery for 3..Shanny for 1…Lundqvist for 4 or 5…Or less…What ever…I think its Bs if Ortmeyer doesnt get re signed…Cause Hollweg who does nothing for this team..gets a spot over a great penalty killer..

      I cant wait to see who gets signed…and traded.

      Hopefully alot of good comes out of this

      Oh yea….This was a good season…Hopefully MSG brings back..the 10 To Remember games…Id love to see which 10 they’d pick…Cause there were a few great ones…

      My personal favorite…is when we were down 2 – 0..against the devils and we scored 3 goals in 90 seconds…2 by Jagr and 1 by Shanny…In that game i bet they read comments by YENNER MOT…and this was there “F you” for him…

      One last thing…Is it possible that next year….Graves or maybe Leetch will Retire there numbers….Or is Leetch ready for a come back….Lol..most fans stil pray..but i hope he hangs up the skates and puts his number upstairs with the other two 94 men..

      LETS GO NYR….07 – 08

    29. Sam and Josh, for whatever its worth, thank you guys. The tone and content of the blog made it a pleasure to read all season. Sam – nice work learning and getting into the game.

      You guys keep writing, I’ll keep reading. Thanks again.

    30. Yenner Mot on

      I am wondering maybe they played Dawes to finally decide what to do with him and maybe to show him off to raise his trade value, plus announcers talked about his great stats in juniors.

      I am leaning toward trading him, even if he turns into Gionta or St. Louis for another team. Then again we don’t really have many scoring prospects nor would we get much in return for him. In any case I think if he is to be successful in NHL he has to play on the PP, about 18 minutes per game on top 2 lines with a good playmaking center. I think he would do great as Joe Thornton’s winger, I would love for us to make a package for a guy like Bernier or Clowe.

    31. ORR kicks Ying Yang on


      Oh my god…You actially have brains…

      I gotta hand it to you…Thats the smartest thing you said and probably will ever say..

      For once were both on the same page…Dawes made 2 mistakes in this game that turned into 2 goals against us.

      1. He slid to block a shot but he stuck his ass in the air..and his ass deflected the puck past Hank.

      2. Avery throws a big hit..and shanny throws a hit..then dawes decides he’ll leave the slot to throw a hit…and boom 3 on 2…they score…

      Im not saying Dawes sucks…But he belongs somewhere else..and a trade would be a smart thing to do…But unfortunetly were still stuck with Hollweg….Unless next season that guy is gonna put fear in the eyes of players…then id want him…But to me hes still friggin useless

    32. ORR kicks Ying Yang on

      forgive the misspelled words…im just depressed cause ill have to wait till october for NYR…..MSG better play 10 To Remember

    33. I’d love to see Nylander back. As seen today and all season, Nylander delivers when the pressure is on. Of course not every time, but more than most recent Rangers I can think of.

      Love Shanahan, a class act, a future hall of famer, still good with the puck down low, but he’s too old and slow for today’s game, unfortunately. He was on the ice for about 75% of all the Buffalo goals scored in the 10 games the two teams played this season. Look it up. I wouldn’t mind if he came back, but I’d rather he didn’t.

    34. Sam and Josh, Thanks so much for you insights. I’ve enjoyed every minute of reading and the podcasts were great!
      As for the Rangers, well, I’ve been watching for close to 30 years now, and this season was exciting. I think they just were too wiped out in the end to keep up with Buffalo.
      No matter what moves are made in the orr-season, I’m looking forward to the ’07-’08 season with great anticipation.

    35. Sam / Josh
      Great job covering this team and insight all year. If you are a serious ranger fan, this is the place to be. Regarding the team, the two glaring needs are a second line center which I assume Sather thought he had when he signed Cullen. Second, the team needs a playmaker on defense. Rozy, Tyutin and Girardi are solid foundational guys and Mara can (and will) shoot the puck but there is no ability to transition quickly to offense from the D-zone. Leetch comes to mind and there are obviously not alot of these guys around. I can’t imagine Staal will step into this role as a rookie. Net net this team has some really good pieces and has developed a culture of winning. Renney, Sather and Maloney deserve alot of credit.

    36. There is room for Shanahan as long as Betts, Orts, Malik, Rachuneck, Hollweg, and Orr are still on this team. Upgrade those guys and then you can say Shanahan doesn’t belong.

    37. imagination on

      John M unless Shanny comes back like he was in the beginning of this year, he should be resigned with the understanding that he won’t be on the top 2 lines.


    39. Its been a Long, magical roller coster ride. Thank you N Y Rangers and Thank You Sam and Josh.

      I am tired, sad and very proud.

    40. Thanks, Sam for putting me in the locker room. Overall a fantastic second half from a group of guys that definitely had a lot of heart for this team and city. Rangers – thank you. Is the Czech Republic one of the five boroughs? I’m not sure. Maybe I am mixing it up with Sweden. Have a great summer.

    41. Hockeypuckz on

      Sam thanks so much for this blog. It’s been a great escape to my days, and it’s really great to know how many other Ranger fans are out there and voicing their opinion about the blueshirts they way I like to.

      With that said, to me as great and as far as they came. People can’t forget that at the begining of the season this team was expected to go this far and maybe even further. But I see anything short of a Stanley Cup as a failed season. However this team really came together when they faced adversity (Renney Word) and it really galvanized them (renney word). Whether or not Shanny comes back he has left his stamp on this team, and more importantly I believe his leadership qualities finally rubbed off on Jagr, who without a doubt was a monster in this series, as was Henrik, and Paul Mara. I know what Rosival has meant to the team, and Dan Girardi playing the young veterans role gets alot of attention, but I don’t think we can say enough about what we got out of the deal for Mara. If he plays like he has for a whole season he will really help the D next year.

      All in all with out a Stanley Cup, I really am very proud to be a Ranger fan today. Even when they lost, they still acknowledged the crowd with the salute, and no matter how other teams feel about it, not liking it and all, it is a gesture that has truly won over the hearts of the crowd, all their fans, and the city which was in need of a sports team with a Positive influence.

      2007-08 We want the cup!

    42. your boy Malik on

      Sam and Josh,
      Thanks for all your work …. please stay on the blog for a few weeks, so that those of us for are addicted and going through Rangers hockey withdrawal can wean ourselves off till October. Sunday’s game, though heartbreaking, was great. Our boys kept coming and coming! This team really made the second half of the season so exciting and really turned it on – we’re getting closer every year! Hope to see you Sam and Josh next year.

    43. Sam & Josh-

      Thanks for all your great insights and updates throughout
      this great season.
      It’s been a wild, streaky one and we only have good things to look forward to in the future.

      I believe we have grown in the past 2 seasons and will get better every year.
      Management really pulled the right strings at the trade deadline this year, surprisingly; and I hope that it was a turning point with this organization.

      Please keep the updates, rumors and insights coming all through the (too) long offseason. They are much appreciated-

      Let’s Go Rangers!!!

    44. Thanks for the hard work, Sam and Josh. It was great to come here over the last few months to get my daily updates. It made the season more interesting and enjoyable.

      I’d love to get Drury on the team next year. Veteran leadership, lots of playoff experience. Clutch, clutch, clutch goal scorer. While I think that at least Dubi and Cally should have a spot on the big team next year they are not goint to be able to be able to jump right in and be 30 goal scorers without a more veteran core showing them the way.

      If Shanny is not signed the Rangers need a Drury type player signed.

    45. True Fans bleed RW&B on

      Drury needs to be a Ranger. Let Briere, Gomez, Smyth, Blake…and whoever else go. DON’T RESIGN SHANNY! And take the money and give it to Drury. He’s a great all-around forward. In my opinion there’s only one center in the game who has a better all-around game and he’s always hurt (Peter Forsberg). Throw 5million at Drury and see if it sticks.

      Rachunek had a clunker of a game. I thought he was pitiful (along with Mara) in game 1, they improved slightly in game 2. Games 3, 4, and 5 I thought they both played well. But game 6 showed that we need one or two stay-at-home, slapshot from the point, defensman. Roszival is a #3 defensman and Malik a #4 defensman at best.

      Renney did not coach very well this series either. If you want to call it a lack of motivation in games 1 and 2, then call it that. If you want to blame the Rangers lapse in the 2nd period yesterday, then that lost another game. Add to that then the end-game flurry in game 5 where Renney put Jagr out to win a 1-0 game with less than a minute left!! Jagr and Isbister! And all those things (mentally being sharp, motivation, player matchups and shift management) come down to coaching, and good coaches set their players up to be succesful. Good coaches don’t let their players try and find their own success, and that’s how I feel Renney started coaching against Buffalo again.

    46. TIRF (Typical Idiot Rangers Fan) on

      True Fans – LOL! Throw 5 mill at Drury!?! He is gonna make at least 6.5 mill..

    47. TIRF – for once I actually agree with you. Good luck to your Sabres – and hopefully you’ll stay on their blog in the future unless of course we meet in the playoffs again.

      Yenner – I knew you had a good post in you.

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