Too much information

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Lots to discuss on a gorgeous Monday morning, beginning with the lineup for tonight on Strong Island. This is a rough sketch for reasons that I’ll explain in a moment:

Dawes-Dubinsky-Korpikoski
Hossa-Drury-Shanahan
Byers-Anisimov-Callahan
Hollweg-Betts-Orr

Malik Rozsival
Pock-Strudwick
Hutchinson-Staal

Montoya-Wiikman

Some quick notes:

  • For the most part, the lineup for tomorrow night in Detroit will consist of players not playing tonight, most notably Jaromir Jagr, Scott Gomez, and Henrik Lundqvist (although a number of prospects, including Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, and Nigel Dawes, will be playing both). There are, however, some notable exceptions, including…
  • Stephen Valiquette is out with a cut on his hand sustained over the weekend. The severity is unclear, but Tom Renney conceded it will cost Valiquette tonight and tomorrow. Al Montoya will play the whole game tonight, then will back up Lundqvist tomorrow in Detroit.
  • Sean Avery was originally penciled into the lineup for tonight, but has, according to Renney, “a tweak to a body part.” It can’t be too bad since Avery took part in the morning skate, but Renney said he wants to be cautious with a little more than week before the start of the regular season.
  • It doesn’t look promising for Darius Kasparaitis’ comeback. As best I could tell, the only two players remaining in camp who are not playing either tonight or tomorrow are Kasparaitis and Francis Lessard. Renney hinted a few more cuts could be coming, so it’s a safe assumption to say those two won’t be around long. Either way, count on these next two games as the last two evaluation games, with Friday and Saturday serving as warm-ups for the real team.
  • I was originally surprised to see Brendan Shanahan in the lineup tonight as opposed to tomorrow in his old stomping ground in Detroit, but I’m told that it’s rare for a player to make a return like that in an exhibition game. I guess we’ll have to wait until the Finals…
  • The Nigel Dawes experiment is likely over on the top line with Jagr and Gomez. Part of this has to do with the fact that the group simply didn’t click on Saturday night. And word is Jagr has already made clear he needs more of a defensive presence on that line. Enter Martin Straka, who skated on the left wing with Jagr and Gomez today at practice.
  • Overlooked subplot for tonight: Ryan Hollweg is in the lineup for the Rangers. No word yet on whether Chris Simon is in for the Isles.

    More from the Island later…

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    56 Comments

    1. looks like Renney isn’t smart enough to try Hossa-Straka-Jagr and is not brave enough to play Wiikman even in pre-season.

      “Stephen Valiquette is out with a cut on his hand sustained over the weekend.”

      I don’t believe it, they just don’t want Montoya to outplay him, because they will not play Montoya even if he does better than Lundqvist.

    2. Thank God the Dawes experiment is over. He looked absolutely HORRID on Saturday night. I’m glad to hear that Straka will likely be the left wing come October 4th. In fact, that makes me extremely happy, I was worried with Dawes up there.
      Sucks that Kasparaitis couldn’t make it. Hopefully if he’s ever used as trade bait, it’s somewhere out west. The last thing we need is him ending Jagr’s season with one vicious hit.

    3. I hope Chris Simon doesnt play, I wanna save that fight for the regular season. Hollweg will kill Simon and tonights game isnt even on TV so we have to save that reunion.

    4. hoof, is Lundqvist too old for you too? Although, I am also very disappointed Wiikman doesn’t get to play. I said so as well after the Philly game when he didn’t dress.

      Hollweg should be replaced by Byers on a permanent basis.

      Dawes on the first line started OK on Sat, it just went downhill really quickly. And why isn’t Hoss being given some time up there as well? And why isn’t Dawes being given a shot at the 2nd line instead? Why not give Hossa-Gomez-Jagr and Dawes-Drury-Prucha a shot (the reversal of the LWs in Philly)? I understand that the Dawes-Drury-Prucha line would never exist in the regular season, I’m just suggesting that Dawes be given ice-time in some 2nd line type situation, and with Shanny not playing in Detroit, I figure that’s a viable combination.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Kaspar didn’t report to Hartford if he was reassigned. I can picture him signing in Russia instead.

    5. Oh, I just noticed the defensive pairs. I’m very unhappy. First of all, we can all rejoice (read: cry) at the reunion of Malik-Roszival. 2nd, putting Staal on third string duties with Hutch doesn’t say much about his chances of making the team. Same goes for Hutch.

    6. “hoof, is Lundqvist too old for you too?”

      what does age have to do and what does Lundqvist have to do with it?

      I wonder if old man Jagr only gets about 80 points this season, will they bring him back next season?

    7. glad to see Straka back where he belong on Jagrs line. Here’s the lineup I’d like to see on opening night.

      Straka Gomez Jagr
      Prucha Drury Shanahan
      Avery Dubinsky Callahan
      Hossa Betts Hollweg

    8. Wait…Chris Simon’s suspension carries over like a dozen games into the upcoming season…but he’s allowed to play preseason games? Doesn’t exactly seem fair to me. If you’re suspended over the off-season, you shouldn’t get to take part in training or exhibition games. Trying to fit in with your team 15 games deep into a season should be part of the penalty for something so ridiculously stupid! And it would create extra incentive for players to not to stupid stuff in the playoffs.

    9. Rob

      Agree with your lines, but think Shanahan should be on the 3rd line and Callahan should be on the 2nd.

      Shanny should be used more on the Power Play.
      Hossa and Straka should be rotated depending on the situation-

    10. Sam, any sense that the Flyers game reminded the Rangers that overconfidence breeds disaster? There’s been a lot of talk about how stocked with talent the team is and even talk of the Cup. Are the players or management really not aware of how fragile this team’s mental state has been in the past couple years? Last thing they need is to expect a Cup, then lose and fall into a funk. JJ, and therefore the team, seem to do better in an underdog role. Is anyone trying to keep their expectations down?

    11. John and BlueClue, he’s suspended for games. Either preseason games count as games or they don’t. I have to agree with him being able to play in the preseason.

    12. I just looked over Straka’s numbers and it is scary–about 36 points at even strength were scored while on Jagr’s line, about 28 PP points also with Jagr, 1 shorthanded point. That leaves only 5 even strength points that he scored without Jagr.

    13. If Kasparaitis does not make the team this year, I will be extremely disappointed in the Ranger’s organization for not giving him a fair chance. I was confident after seeing how well he has conditioned himself and “seemingly” having Glen Sather’s suppport on the interview on MSG when Sather said that they could have bought out his contract, but that is not what the organization is about. Then WHAT is it about???

    14. Hey, remember when we got pulverized by the Flyers on Saturday? That sucked. I cancelled plans to stay home and watch that game and they reward me by being shut out by Martin friggin Biron?

      Maybe I’m just too panicky by nature. It’s only preseason. But I’m very paranoid we’ll have a repeat of the Bobby Holik, Anson Carter, Alex Kovalev years…

    15. Ann,

      They have given him a fair chance. But if you watched the preseason game he played in so far, he looked terrible. Bad turnovers, getting caught out of position, not picking up the man, etc. This is his chance and though he may not be awful, with the gut of defenseman they have waiting in the wings, you’re really not losing much by cutting him.

    16. Ann

      I’m all for giving Kaspar a chance, but after the preseason, if he looks too washed up, why play a guy with so much baggage and with such a high salary?

      While being a good guy and funny, he’s not a good role model, has a history of substance abuse problems and his play could be a detriment to this team-

    17. Doodie Machetto on

      “Doodie

      Yes, it should count as games and the suspension should have been much longer.”

      I’ve gotta gree with that.

    18. If they had no intention of playing him in regular season, they should have just bought him out and Sather shouldn’t have double-talked his way out of it.

    19. Good point, re Straka’s production, without Jagr. Even INCLUDING Jagr, Straka is a plus-minus wash-out. I say Straka and Shanahan should not be in the mix, this year. I think they will take themselves out of the mix by New Year’s. And goodbye, Kas, who, never should have been invited to camp.

    20. on TV tonight??

      it does not appear to be, but could it just be a late addition?

      it would seem to me that Ranger-Islander preseason would have a larger audience than a Devils playoff game.

      but that is just me.

    21. Ann,

      You just said before that they should give kaspar a chance but then in your next post you say that they shouldnt have and shoul dhave just bought him out. I like the fact they gave him a chance to condition and prove himself but his performance was awful. There is no way they should put him on this team if they want to be serious contendors.

    22. Any word on how Valiquette cut his hand? He didn’t drop a skate on it did he? I can’t believe Boyes severed 3 tendons in a lockeroom mishap.

    23. As for TV, it looks like it is on NHL Center Ice online (nhl.tv.com) but there are no local tv broadcasts, so who exactly is doing the game?

      Kaspar should get at least one more exhibition game, but it looks like his boat has sailed.

      Purinton had 27 minutes in penalties in his only exhibition game for the Avs. (Just an interesting tidbit!)

      I know the Logans Run mentality around here is still running rampant, but I think writing off Straka and Shanahan before the season has even begun is a bit premature. The guys are both classy, leader-types who will be needed in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Someone on BB suggested trading Malik and Shanahan at the deadline. This kind of move will not happen as we are looking to be contenders. We can’t keep going back to 2004. This season might show a few vets the door, but the results of this season will dictate what happens next.

    24. “I was confident after seeing how well he has conditioned himself and “seeminglyâ€? having Glen Sather’s suppport on the interview on MSG when Sather said that they could have bought out his contract, but that is not what the organization is about. Then WHAT is it about???”

      Ann,

      I like Kaspar as well, but he just doesn’t have it anymore. The main reason that the Rangers didn’t buy him out are all cap reasons (no matter what Sather says, just ask Bobby Holik). If Kaspar can clear waivers, then none of his salary counts against the cap and if he is picked up, then there is no significant loss. He was made for the “old” clutching and grabbing NHL.

      The Rangers should be fine as the season starts.

    25. ORR...Fighter for Life...Or Enforcer for a Day? / Fist in Face Deceased on

      Why is Korpi on the 1st line. That should be…

      Dawes – Dubinsky – Callahan

      RYAN

      Lol i hope Hollweg just throws big hits at him, Simon will murder and embarrass Hollywood like most enforcers do, he’s easily the worst fighter in the league. Let him leave the bralws for Orr, who already has a knockout under his belt in pre season.

      If Orr and Simon fight, thats if Simon plays. Expect Orr to challenge him, and i expect that vid to be on youtube by tomorrow.

    26. Ann – if we bought Kaspar out – 2/3 of his salary would count vs our cap. Instead we send him to AHL and if he’s claimed it’s no cap hit. If he’s not claimed still no cap hit (only real $ hit). Only if he’s sent down and then the Rangers try to bring him up would there be a cap hit (1/2 his remaining salary). It’s a business and we can’t afford the cap hit of trying to be nice to Kaspar by buying him out a few months ago.

      Colorado Mark – great line re Logan’s run. Straka in particular is invaluable to this team this yr and hopefully next yr. I think the age of expiration to many is a lot less than 30 – more like 27 for most and 24 for my 2nd favorite poster here who wants 16 year olds.

    27. Straka’s career stats:

      676 points in 889 games.

      +62 in his career, with two horrrendous years on the Penguins of -16 and -18 when the Pens probably won 40 games combined in those two seasons.

      60 pts in 96 playoff games.

      11 points in 14 Olympic games.

      Maybe the best 2-way player the Rangers had last year in terms of offensive production and breaking up plays in the defensive zone.

      Played through incredible pain last year with multiple injuries.

      Yeah, he sucks. Get rid of him.

      Shanahan: 29g last year in 67 games. (Tied for 2nd on the team with that other terrible player Straka). 29g was good for 43rd in the league (and for you mathematically challenged, with 30 teams in the league, that means Shanny & Straka would be in the top 2-3 on almost any team in goals scored.) Remember, Shanny missed like 12 games due to that concussion. Then when he returned for the playoffs, he had 5 goals and 7 pts in 10 games.

      1294 pts in 1417 career games.

      More leadership and hockey smarts than anyone in the Rangers lockeroom.

      Took less money to come here and worked his contract so it only gets bigger if he hits incentives, allowing the Rangers to make some good offseason signings.

      Yeah, he sucks too. Get rid of him.

      Neither Shanny or Straka have won any Cups either. What the hell do those two jerks know about hockey?

      I am amazed at the ignorance of the writers on the blog. I am guessing that like half of you are about 15 yrs old.

      The Rangers are 2 games into the pre-season and they dressed two split squads and you guys are already to say we won’t even make the playoffs. Hilarious!

    28. Newman – I like Shanny too but he didn’t exactly give us a discount by signing for more than $ 5 mm even though approx 1/2 is deferred to next yr. His incentives are very easy to achieve the biggest one is playing in 10 games.

    29. NEWMAN…”I am amazed at the ignorance of the writers on the blog. I am guessing that like half of you are about 15 yrs old.”… MENTALLY YOUR Guess is TOO HIGH, ACTUALLY MOST OF THEM ARE BETWEEN 17-25. And they know everything, so they think ;-)

    30. BlueClue

      I agree with your 12:53 post. Callahan would look great on the second line and Shanahan should be on the third and pp’s . Second line needs Callahan’s speed and aggressive play. Your estimation of Kaspar is the same as mine—he’s done and not a good role model for young players that need to walk a straight line and focus on improving their game.

      LI Joe
      I agree with your comment about Shanahan’s salary—too much and it could hurt the Rangers’ cap next season.

      I love Drury!

    31. ORR Knocks Right Wing Fascist Out, Robby Bonfire Starts to Pout & Malik Prances But Hollweg Does the Dances!!! Bow Chicka Wow Wow on

      MS

      He is for another 12 games or so, but for some reason he’s allowed to play pre season which is stupid but hopefully Orr breaks his robital bone and gives him a reason to visit Troy / Macnamara.

    32. Doodie Machetto on

      LI Joe, I agree wholheartedly with your last two posts.

      imagination, he also has another bonus that kicks him up over 5 mil, I think to 5.3. I think it’s for making the playoffs or scoring a certain amount of goals that is incredibly low.

    33. Doodie Machetto on

      Hollweg is useless and should permanently be replaced by Byers, who might actually make something of the spot.

    34. Doodie Byers has more offensive upside & is not afraid to stand out in front. But Hollweg is one of the few hitters on this team, which are needed. Byers will be up next season.

    35. Doodie Machetto on

      At what cost? Sure, he can hit, but a lot of them end up as bad penalties, and he usually takes himself WAY out of position toland the hit. We have Orr for intimidation; he’s really turned into a quality fighter. Byers can hit and actually can score once in a while. Betts has 5 or 6 brief flashes of brilliant offensive skills in a season: better that he have SOME help around whenever that happens. Hollweg had one goal last season that came on a 2 on none with Jagr.

    36. I still want to know how they are streaming a game that neither team is broadcasting. Are the tv play-by-play guys doing the game out of their basement a la Wayne’s World?

      Hey, Logans Run could be worse. Next year we’ll have a Menudo based age limit!

    37. I still want to know how they are streaming a game that neither team is broadcasting. Are the tv play-by-play guys doing the game out of their basement a la Wayne’s World?

      ————

      Apparently its on center ice….. so make what you will of that.

    38. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/news_story/?ID=213239&hubname=nhl-rangers

      keep in mind Shanny made $ 4 mm last yr so to get a greater than 25% increase coming off a really bad concussion he and his agent made out really well and at age 38 no less (39 in January). like I said I like the guy but thats a lot of fishnagels to quote JD especially in a salary cap world. And he will meet the incentives (or this season will be an outright disaster if we miss the playoffs for the last $ 800 k of his incentives). Now if the incentives were up there like reaching the cup finals and or 40 goal season that would be another story. The latter would just encourage selfish play. I’d rather the incentives be tied to how the team did. Posted below is part of the article I linked above.

      NEW YORK (AP) – Brendan Shanahan stuck to his word and agreed to a one-year deal with the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

      He will receive US$2.5 million in base salary and can earn an additional $2.8 million in performance-related bonuses. Shanahan will earn $2 million if he plays more than 10 games next season and has a chance to earn up to $800,000 in playoff-related incentives, a source told The Canadian Press.

      Ana – I too think the world of Drury.

    39. Salted- But that is my point. center Ice is a method of watching broadcasted games. It’s not like ESPN or VERSUS, or TSN or MSG. It’s a subscription package. They can broadcast a game, but who is providing the cameras, play by play/color, etc. It’s a mystery, that obviously I care too much about!

    40. “And goodbye, Kas, who, never should have been invited to camp.”

      he never should have been signed way back when.

      “Look at how many games Straka played & not played on Jagr’s line .”

      I think he spent a good portion of the season on 2nd line and I think few games on 3rd line.

    41. whats with all the carping about a PRESEASON lineup? about half the players are not gonna be playing on the rangers to start the season. trying to figure out what roster decisions are by the lineups is rediculous. I mean we all knew jessiman wasnt making the team and he played in 2 games,

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