He shoots, he scores

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The Rangers had their team-building exercises at West Point yesterday, which apparently included a paintball session. Should a player’s on-ice behavior be any indication, I’m assuming Brendan Shanahan fired at will while Martin Straka passed up one open shot after another.

The short trip concludes with two practices followed by lunch with cadets this afternoon, with at least one of the functions of the trip to provide players with a healthy dose of perspective.

Tom Renney made that clear yesterday when talking about his admiration for soldiers and the sacrifice they make. I know many of you think Renney’s sense of honor and loyalty are one of his weaknesses as a coach, and it’s true, he is someone who lets his heart at times get in the way of his head.

But that is also what has made the coach so immensely popular with his players, and part of the reason why Scott Gomez and Chris Drury are at West Point right now and not in L.A. or New Jersey or Buffalo. Moreover, in a sports world that is so often lacking proper perspective, it’s hard not to respect Renney’s sense of the bigger picture. If you think that’s a fault, so be it.

Meanwhile, hard as it is to believe, tomorrow finally marks the start of the preseason, and yes, that means the unveiling of the new uniforms. Again, don’t expect to be blown away. I think when the notion was first introduced last year, we were expecting some space-age concoction featuring a jet pack and moon boots. Instead, all it is is a little tighter-fitting and quicker to dry. No word yet on how it handles blood. This being hockey, that’s not something to be discounted.

As far as cuts, a few more are expected to be made before tomorrow night. If last year is any indication, I’m assuming the Rangers will allow a lot of the kids to play in the first few exhibition games, and then use the last few as full dress rehearsals for the regular season.

More later…

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26 Comments

  1. ORR Punch Survivor....Barely!!! on

    They better have some footage of the paintball session in tomorrows NYR 07 – 08 season preview. Im looking foward to that.

  2. Ok Sam, you left out two major details- who was the first one out of the game in paintball? and who was the last man standing?

    My guess is Malik was first– too big of a target, and too slow.

    Last man standing was either callahan or prucha..

  3. Bring on the season, bring on the season. I am foaming at the mouth. I am excited for the pre season games but I want to regular season to start right now. I am actually kind of interested in seeing Jessiman fight in the pre season and see how the boxing training worked out.

  4. The reason I say that is because the kid is 6 foot 6. If he could play a smart game, and is a good fighter, I say bring it on.

  5. MArk, thanks for the link re: the jerseys. Definitely an interesting thing. Maybe they could just outlaw pulling the jersey over the guy’s head? It’s a dirty trick anyway. Slap a 1 game suspension on it and 5 games for repeat offenders and the injury issue will go away.

    I just though of another way it would limit fighting: it will be much harder to get your elbow pad off in order to have greater mobility to throw punches.

  6. This just in: Martin Brodeur wants the new jerseys outlawed because he thinks they create an unfair advantage.

    I’m kidding of course (referencing the reflective visor Ovechkin wears).

    What a cry baby. I wish he had hit his head when he flopped around like a fish when Avery nudged him. I respect his accomplishments, but what a goddamn baby.

  7. “As far as cuts, a few more are expected to be made before tomorrow night.”

    But the only difference between his last set of cuts and this set will be a couple of practices… Maybe he should wait until there is at list another scrimmage or an exhibition game?

  8. RE: Jerseys and Fighting:

    I think it is already illegal to not have your jersey tied down, and that article mentioned that the ties weren’t working and that the jerseys were ripping. It’s curently the player whose jersey comes off that is responsible, not the puller. It sounds bass akwards, but if you watch hockey fights closely (or have a guy who has been in lots of them explain them), one of the first things you do is grab on to the jersey with your non-punching hand to stabilize. It is rare where it actually looks like a boxing match (which will make it interesting to see Jessiman apply those skills to hockey). Most fighters grab hold around the shoulder and punch with the opposite hand. The force of the blows means the stabilizing hand is pulling the jersey, thus the punishment going to the one who didn’t properly tie down their jersey.

    The article makes it sound like the jerseys aren’t capable of being tied down properly. Maybe the material is too light and the tie down is what is ripping. I am sure the NHLPA will have an issue with it’s members getting penalized for an equipment malfunction.

  9. Sam, are you provding any updates from the preseason games tomorrow and Saturday from the Garden ?????

    Or is there any other kind of coverage from those games ?????

    Would be very nice to know it in advance because for me they starting at 1 am in the morning !!!

    Matthias

  10. Matthias- I think you can watch the games on Center Ice online for free:

    http://www.nhl.tv.com

    I have read that you need to register and then you can watch. After the season starts, you would have to pay for it.

  11. Just thought of something, it might not be available in Europe like we can’t access streaming from TSN in the US. Worth a try, though!

  12. Thanks, Mark..Last season Center Ice Online wasn´t available in Europe, but I will definitely try it if I am awake at that time :):)

  13. Doodie Machetto on

    Some comments on those line combinations and d pairings:

    Byers-Smith-Jessiman

    I want to call this the AHL line (All Hartford Line), as none of them are making the team.

    Roszival-Staal

    Just like I had suggested!

    Malik-Sanguinetti

    Between Sanguinetti being eager to jump in the attack and Malik being, well, Malik, this combo should get torched for a couple of goals.

    Who are the players not on either roster but still in camp? I’d say your cuts are coming from that list.

  14. Doodie Machetto on

    Some comments on those line combinations and d pairings:

    Byers-Smith-Jessiman

    I want to call this the AHL line (All Hartford Line), as none of them are making the team.

    Roszival-Staal

    Just like I had suggested!

    Malik-Sanguinetti

    Between Sanguinetti being eager to jump in the attack and Malik being, well, Malik, this combo should get torched for a couple of goals.

    Who are the players not on either roster but still in camp? I’d say your cuts are coming from that list.

  15. Doodie Machetto on

    Sorry for the double post. I just checked and all of the players currently in camp are listed on those rosters. Therefore, either they are wrong, or Renney isn’t making any cuts until at least after the first exhibition game.

    Interesting competitions to watch for in game 1:

    1) Valiquette and Montoya
    2) Anisimov and Dubinsky
    3) Struds, Kaspar, and Hutch

    Interesting competitions to watch for in game 2:

    1) Dawes and Hoss (I wouldn’t be surprised to see them switch lines midgame, something else I had suggested)
    2) Gomez and Drury
    3) Sanguinetti and Staal
    4) Pock, Baranka, and Liffiton

  16. Elk Attack Survivor on

    “But that is also what has made the coach so immensely popular with his players, and part of the reason why Scott Gomez and Chris Drury are at West Point right now and not in L.A. or New Jersey or Buffalo.”

    and them being here is a good thing? I don’t think so, it is back to throwing big money at questionable mercenaries.

  17. Elk Attack Survivor on

    “Tom Renney made that clear yesterday when talking about his admiration for soldiers and the sacrifice they make. I know many of you think Renney’s sense of honor and loyalty are one of his weaknesses as a coach, and it’s true, he is someone who lets his heart at times get in the way of his head.”

    most soldiers fall into 2 categories: brain dead idiots who are easily brainwashed or those too poor and too desperate. Why does Renney admire them?

    “Moreover, in a sports world that is so often lacking proper perspective, it’s hard not to respect Renney’s sense of the bigger picture. If you think that’s a fault, so be it.”

    is that a joke? If he had any sense of the big picture he would have never played the likes of Strudwick, Dupuis, Hall, Krog, Isbister, Rucchin, Sykora, and many many others.

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