Sunday scramble


Tom Renney had said he was going to mix things up with his line combinations at some point during training camp. Today he delivered on his promise.

Among the combinations this morning was Chris Drury between Ryan Callahan and Petr Prucha, and Sean Avery between Martin Straka and Brendan Shanahan. More glaring was the afternoon group of Jaromir Jagr and Scott Gomez with Nigel Dawes at left wing, while Marcel Hossa was bumped down to play with Blair Betts and Colton Orr.

I should offer the standard disclaimer about any of these combinations, which is that if they don’t mean much during a regular season practice, they mean even less during a training camp scrimmage.

That said, the insertion of the 22-year-old Dawes next to Gomez and Jagr is telling. The book on Dawes, who had 60 points for Hartford last year, is if he is going to succeed in the NHL, he has to be playing alongside skilled players. The Rangers got a glimpse of the alternative to start last season, when Dawes was playing mostly third line minutes alongside the likes of Jason Ward and Blair Betts. For that reason alone, he didn’t last long.

A year later, outside of the desperate insertion of Dawes into the Game 6 lineup against the Sabres (playing with Shanahan and Avery, Dawes was great in the offensive zone but less impressive at the other end), the prospect got another chance yesterday, and he was brilliant. Along with scoring a goal of his own, he set up another by Jagr, and was even effective in digging pucks out of the corner.

As Renney cracked, you could have put him next to Jagr and Gomez and he would have had a few scoring opportunities. But he also made a point of saying Dawes has been impressive in camp so far, and that he may have aided his cause today.

Does Dawes have a chance at a job? It’s a fair question, and while it’s still ridiculously early in camp, I suppose a lot will depend on what the Rangers do with that third line center job. If they do in fact end up using someone like Ryan Callahan or Martin Straka at center, then there may be another opportunity for a wing such as Dawes. But if the center job is filled by someone new like Brandon Dubinsky, Dawes would seem to be the odd man out. Like I said earlier, a fourth line job is a waste of his time.

In other news:

  • The Marcel Hossa shootout magic continues: he scored the game-winner in the afternoon scrimmage to lift the White team to a 3-2 win. Hossa also had a goal in regulation, as did Dubinsky.
  • Hugh Jessiman and Petr Prucha scored twice in the morning. I’d love to tell you big Hugh is also vying for a job as well. He’s a great kid, and a local no less. But I don’t see it happening — or at least not this year.
  • The Rangers have their annual golf outing tomorrow at Old Oaks Country Club in Purchase so there’s only a short couple of practices schedule for the morning. Tellingly, only half of the players in camp will play in the outing. On that list are all the expected NHLers — i.e. Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez, and Drury. Dawes, Andrew Hutchinson, and Darius Kasparaitis are also playing. Al Montoya is not.

    Of course, that could mean nothing. But it’s worth noting.


  • About Author


    1. I’m praying Dawes makes the opening night roster and gets a real shot. He has dominated at every level he’s played at and sounds like he could be a 20-goal a year player playing on a top line. It finally sounds as though Renney understands(i hope) that Dawes isn’t the type of guy you stick on the 3rd or 4th line and hope he chips in an occasional goal. He belongs with Jagr and Gomer.

    2. Sam,

      How are the young D – especially Staal and Sanguinetti, but also Pöck and Girardi – looking? All this talk about line combos is nice, but the real concern with the Rangers is the D, and it’d be nice to hear more about how our future is looking back there.

      And any word on the new unis? Why is it such a state secret? How badly have they messed with them? Whatever it is, can’t be worse than the Isles’ new togs!

    3. Eddy, If you go over to Blueshit Bulletin there is a photo from camp on Friday when Chris Drury modeled one of the new jerseys. I’ve seen better but they didn’t seem to screw them up too much.

    4. Eddy, I was wondering the same thing about the D. From everything I’ve read, Sanguinetti is definitely destined for Hartford this year, which isn’t much of a surprise.

      I’m real interested in how Baranka is doing. I heard his game is similar to Rosie and he was on his way to the big club last year until he got hurt. Though maybe I’m wrong.

      As far as Staal goes, I have a feeling he starts in Hartford. It sounds like if anyone is making this team, its going to be Sauer, which would be awesome. The question, however, is who gets moved…

    5. Prucha – 6 Goals 3 days, I know it’s training camp, but I have a good feeling about him this year.

    6. Thanks, Cuch…yeah, nothing too bad. The old-school laces are a nice touch. I’m actually more curious about the thirds with the NYR Statue of Liberty logo…they would be fools to mess with the original’s style, but the thirds would be more susceptible to some sort of monkey business.

      And all I can say is that if people think the new Reebok ones are bad, they should be thankful that the NHL went with the Reebok design over the Nike “Swift” model. Some college teams tried those last year (supposed to have similar benefits in terms of weight), and they really didn’t look like hockey uniforms in most cases.

    7. Sanguinetti hasn’t showed very well so far, but he can’t play in Hartford this season because he’s 19. It’s the Rangers or back to juniors, and the latter is a certainty. … Girardi has been his usual low-key, steady self. Staal has been in and out and Baranka a basic non-factor who had several turnovers in the scrimmage today. It will be interesting to see if Rangers send Staal to Hartford for some adjustment-to-the-pros or throw him right into the NHL fire. If so, that gives them 10 defensemen on NHL contracts, so two or three will have to go, barring any trades. … Dawes definitely needs to be on a skill line and hopefully gets 10-20 games to prove whether he’s a NHL player. That and the defensive decisions will be played out in preseason, especially with seven games in two weeks.

    8. MrPack, thanks for the correction on the Sanguinetti thing. So he can’t play the season there but he can go there once his junior season ends?

      It sounds like you’ve been at the rink today. What else can you give us? How does Montoya look? What about Sauer?

    9. Has anyone else noticed the low number of posts? It’s kind of odd now that camp has started. People were posting like crazy during the summer.

    10. Eddy no third jerseys this year for any NHL team. Rangers will only wear blues and whites. Next year Reebock is creating 3rd Jersey’s for every NHL team.

    11. lawnboy – the low count is due to football plus nice weather. also as stated above the high count during the summer is due to the 1 poster with the ever changing handle and a couple of other posters.

    12. I guess I’m just a multitasker. I’m watching football, have my laptop out, and have the windows open.






    14. “Thousands of islander fans”?????? Is that why it’s so easy to get a ticket at the Mausoleum?

      If any team is contracted, it’ll be the Piles-as in hemmoriods.

    15. DanTheRangerFan on

      HAHA I just choked on my diner… Ive been to tons of Rangers/ Islanders Games here on the Island at the FishStick Shack and us Ranger fans ALWAYS out number you guys. Plus we fill the garden almost every night, you guys have to beg fans to come and watch. Its like a friggin circus… Shooting t-shirts in the crowd,mascot,Islanders girls,give away tickets are the only ways you can get a hand full of poeple to come to that pathetic place you call the coliseum. So before you talk look at the facts….

    16. ORR Knocks Them Out, Jagr Starts to Pout & Prucha Gets the Chances But Hollweg Does the Dances on

      Lol, nothing more pathetic then a loser who has nothing better to do then coming in a RANGER blog. Lol go get laid, maybe it will help you. Or just take a swan dive off a bridge.

      Sataaaan forever weee

    17. Man, I miss the OHM line…first Moore was gone, now Ortmeyer…Maybe Greg Moore can play with Holly and Orr…not the same without Dom, though.

    18. rc – do you actually believe the bs you spout. pls stick to the newsday blog – you and your fellow throw trash on the ice fans have already ruined the newsday Ranger blog. you talk about tix available in a game 4 where the Rangers were in a 3-0 hole and in a free fall end of season with many injuries. Why wouldn’t Ranger fans sell. Who in their right mind wants to be around a local rivals fans where everyone knows the outcome won’t be good and they will be surrounded by opposing teams fans at home. That certainly was not the case in games 4 and 6 in the Buffalo series in the 2nd rd. Just fyi if a team wins their 1st rd series they move ahead to play in the 2nd rd. I say that because your poor excuse of a team and even poorer excuse of a fanbase have not seen the 2nd rd since 1993. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    19. ORR Knocks Them Out, Jagr Starts to Pout & Prucha Gets the Chances But Hollweg Does the Dances on

      Ahh Im happy for Orty. I wish the Jedi the best. Its a shame Hollweg gets his spot, like ive said millions of times, that pisses me off. Moore and Orty is gone, its the right move though, now lets dump Hollweg. I wouldnt mind Jessiman taking his spot.

    20. How’s the battle for backup going? Is Montoya playing well? Is Valiquette playing himself into Hartford?

    21. Elk Attack Survivor on

      “Hugh Jessiman and Petr Prucha scored twice in the morning. I’d love to tell you big Hugh is also vying for a job as well. He’s a great kid, and a local no less. But I don’t see it happening—or at least not this year.”

      tell us why.

      Also will Renney try Drury with Jagr?

      Who has been the biggest surprises (good and bad) so far?

    22. I love the mixing up of the lines… even if it is just messing around in training camp. It goes to show the depth and numerous, EFFECTIVE combinations Renney and co. have at their disposal. This really is good news.

      I’m wondering if he (Renney) hasn’t messed with Jagr & Gomer yet because he feels that they would benefit from more time together… given that the chemistry appears to be there. If it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Gomez would center Jagr and the left side is interchangeable… then let them feel each other out now, right?

      That being said, I’m sure Drury and Jagr will skate together at some point just to see what’s what.

    23. Dawes is all O, no D. He is terrible, just awful in the defensive zone. His backchecking is horrible. It was very clearly shown in the game vs Buffalo in last years playoffs.

      he is a liability defensively on any line. I hope he gets dealt eventually for a big banger.

    Leave A Reply