Double yikes!

86

Tom Renney indicated just now that Jaromir Jagr will likely miss tomorrow night’s preseason finale in Philly. It might still be that the coach is being cautious with the Rangers’ captain, but it also suggests Jagr’s hip flexor is worse off than originally anticipated.

But again, better to be dealing with it now than a week from now.

As for the rest of the lineup, Sean Avery is also out again, leaving Nigel Dawes on the Rangers’ top line with Brendan Shanahan and Scott Gomez. My guess is that Chris Drury will play with Marty Straka, and potentially Jagr Lite, better known as Marcel Hossa.

More updates in-game…

Update, 6:55 p.m.: The Rangers are suing the NHL over the team’s web site. It’s very complicated, with a lot of legalese I don’t quite understand. But the Rangers just released a statement that began, “We are a proud member of the National Hockey League and will remain so.” Thank heavens. I’m not sure I like this team’s chances in the NFL.

Update, 7:04 p.m.: At one point during this season will teams come out to start a game and I won’t recoil in horror at the sight of the new jerseys? December? February? Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals?

Update, 7:33 p.m.: Slow going so far. The Rangers had two early penalties, then finally got a power play just now. They didn’t score, but they did hear their first, “Shoot the puck, you idiot!” from the crowd. Heartwarming stuff.

Update, first intermission: Not the rousing start the Rangers were looking for, and let’s put it this way: if Marek Malik is trying to win over the hearts and minds of Rangers fans, he might not want to show them the tape of the first period. Meanwhile, Henrik Lundqvist let in a backhander by Sean Bergenheim to give the Islanders the early lead. That alone wouldn’t be much cause for concern…except, who is Sean Bergenheim?

Update, 8:15 p.m.: Scott Gomez ties the game, and then sets up Brendan Shanahan to put the Rangers ahead 2-1. For all the talk about what to do with Jagr and Gomez, you wonder if Shanahan and Gomez might make the decision pretty easy.

Update, 8:27 p.m.: Dawes sets up Shanahan for his second goal of the game, and Dawes’ third assist. You may recall a few days ago I said I didn’t see Dawes making this team. I still have a hard time seeing where he fits in in the current configuration. But it’d be a strange time to send him down after he plays a game like this.

Update, second intermission: Meanwhile, I owe Brandon Dubinsky. I had already written a story about him for tomorrow’s paper, and was worried about having to rip it up in favor of a “Nigel Dawes salvages his NHL chances” story. But Dubinsky’s fight was noteworthy as well –or at least noteworthy enough to justify writing about him. We’re a strange bunch, reporters. We don’t root for teams but for stories. Or in this case, not having to re-write stories we’ve already written.

Update, 9:15 p.m.: We are officially in garbage time (which, in the preseason, is a lot of the time), but the first sign is the TV in the press box is permanently on the Mets game. In other news, my three star votes: 1. Malik; 2. Bootland, 3. Strudwick….OK, just testing to see if you’re paying attention. The real vote: 1. Shanahan; 2. Dawes; 3. Gomez.

Post-game musings: It’s hardly a surprise that Brendan Shanahan enjoyed his first game with Scott Gomez. “Scott’s probably more used to playing with someone like me. He likes to have the puck on his stick, and I treat it like a hot potato,” Shanahan said.

Gomez echoed the sentiment, although he did say that as a center, it’s his job to adjust to whoever he’s playing with. Either way, both players said they expect the lines to be jumbled as the season goes on. Next week: Gomez with Orr and Mitch Fritz!

Some other news:

  • The Rangers are boarding a train for Philadelphia in 15 minutes. Renney said Jagr is again a consideration for tomorrow night, but that Sean Avery is out. The coach also said he was considering going back to Henrik Lundqvist for at least half the game. The other half would be played by Al Montoya since Stephen Valiquette is still hurt.

    As for Nigel Dawes, Renney said the wing didn’t hurt his chances tonight, and is likely to play again tomorrow.

  • Meanwhile, a clarification on the strange Andrew Hutchinson case. I reported the other day the Rangers placed the defenseman on waivers. Turns out they still haven’t done it, although no one, including Renney, can explain why. Either way, he’s not going to start the season with the Rangers.

    Confused? Join the club…

  • About Author

    86 Comments

    1. Sam, I am stunned….I fear that Jagr is obviously seriously injured and won´t play either today or tomorrow…That would be the only chance for the Rangers to play in the best possible lineup…What a disaster that is…..He needs to find the sync with Gomez……

      I think it is more serious than a hip flexor….Can´t you talk to him tonight at the Garden ?????

    2. JJ hurt himself in practice I doubt it is that serious. Serious injury comes from actually physical contact in a game, its a precaution, HE SHOULDNT BE PLAYING THIS WEEKEND ANYWAY!

    3. From last thread: “Not in case of Immonen who already was 23. Liffiton spent 3 years in AHL, and is not being trusted. Helminen, Wiseman, Weller spent 3 or more years in AHL and weren’t given a chance.”

      I’ll partially agree with you on Immonen. I think he had what it took to be an NHL center and I’m not tickled by the fact that he got overlooked for Krog and even Cullen, who I never thought we should’ve signed to begin with. I think he simply came to the Rangers at the wrong time.

      As for the other guys, they’re simply not NHL players. I doubt any of them except maybe Liffiton will ever crack NHL lineups.

    4. it is fantastic…I can see the game live on center ice…what a luck i have sent my girl away for the night….:):):)

    5. I feel the Rangers should have used their best line up in more preseason games to improve their tune up…forwards still seems to be out of sync…

    6. Dawes was pretty good and threw a big hit.

      Gomez is horrible and a lazy floater, at one point he couldn’t catch up with the puck in the neutral zone.

      It was nice seeing that slow and useless Strudwick getting slammed with a big hit and also not being able to control the puck behind the net.

      Girardi is by far our best defenseman

      Lundqvist should have stopped that backhander.

      Malik and Rozsival look very bad.

    7. Rangers seemed to be not too motivated with Islanders playing with out Simon and Di Pietro..Only at the beginning of the period they put some pressure on them but as more the game progresses the Islanders without a lot of regulars in the lineup had more puck possesion and had the luck of that soft goal allowed by Henrik….

    8. C’mon Lundy, wtf are you doin?

      I seriously hope Jags is ready to play by next Thursday. I’m going to be at the game, I spent a lot of $ on real good seats, and it’ll be a real disappointment if he isn’t out there.

    9. The defense is going to be a problem for the rangers this
      year.
      I’m sure some how this will get fixed during the season, at least I hope it gets fixed.

    10. Is anyone else having trouble ordering NHL Center Ice from Time Warner, either in New York or anywhere else? I’m in LA. This sux…

      Go Gomez. Nice speed.

    11. Colorado, thanks. That’s actually what I’m doing right now, but I also tried to order the tv package (as I have for years) and for some reason the deal between Time Warner and the NHL has apparently not been closed so I can’t order it yet. Such crapola.

    12. Chris

      I get Comcast. All 3 times I tried to order Center Ice, no reps had any info on the package. Finally, a supervisor told me it will be available to order on October 4th.

      Usually, atleast on Comcast, the first few weeks of the season are FREE and you can order the whole season after that for about 145 dollars broken down over 4 months-

    13. Man, Malik is living up to his reputation tonight. Islander player forechecks malik who had the puck in the corner and the islander player hits Malik, malik falls down and gives the puck away.

    14. WHP,
      I thought the same thing, yea dawes looks good tonight but lets take it easy, it’s against the islanders b squad.

    15. Dawes deserves to be here. No question. Letting him go would be a mistake, I don’t care that he’s not scoring goals, he can play, and if he’s traded, we’ll regret it. (I Know Doodie and others say he won’t be successful here, I disagree).

    16. totally unfair. Dubinsky is getting very little ice time on a shitty line, while Dawes gets gobs of ice time and PP time on a strong veteran line. meanwhile the announcers try to sell and oversell Dawes as per their intructions from mgmt.

      Dubi got screwed. he is big and tough, but the little pansy gets the last spot.

    17. They both deserve to be on the team as does Staal. All three will be with the team and playing regularly by the end of the year. One might start down in Hartford.

    18. You can´t read too much out of this game because Islanders playing an AHL lineup….Shanny, Gomez, Dubi seems to click but it is still a lot of work to do……

      Preseason means nothing..But it is great to see some hockey live after the summer…Can´t wait to go to some games in November….

    19. as others have pointed out, this is nothing but the Isles B team, so points scored tonight should be seen with much skepticism.

      Avery should not be the third line C, he is much more valuable and effective as a LW on the top 2 lines, so keeping Dawes is a stupid move.

    20. Blue Clue

      Thanks. Yeah, I used to have comcast and then here in so cal they became TWC and I’ve had Center Ice for the last 4 years or so through those two companies. I don’t know why this year they’ve waited to make it available or close their deal; in the past I ordered it early to be sure I had it on day 1, and to get the “early bird” special. Hopefully there won’t be a problem on the 4th…

      Thanks again for the reply, though.

    21. sam what do you think about this?

      straka – drury – jagr
      dawes – gomez – shanny
      prucha – dubi – callahan
      avery – balir – hossa

      extras orr and hollweeg….giving you flex ability with moving dawes out and avery up lines for bigger body games, and also amazing depth for injury

      of course this assumes ani, and strudwick being sent down……

      Pock > strudwick

      strudwick = Captain of Hartford, paving the way to an assitant coach position with Ken down in Hartford. mark my workds, when all is said and done he will be part of this org.

    22. “At one point during this season will teams come out to start a game and I won’t recoil in horror at the sight of the new jerseys?”

      The Islanders new jerseys will never stop being horrific.

      —————-

      I actually just ordered Center Ice through Time Warner today, and the lady that helped me mentioned they had just gotten a memo today that they could begin selling Center Ice; I’d give it another try tomorrow.

    23. if Avery is not on the top 2 lines, you’re way off base. putting him on the 4th line is a joke. get a clue.

    24. but at the same time he isn’t playing with orr and hollweeg.

      hossa has good skills, and blair has looked good this year so far in the offensive zone….of course this would assume rolling lines with the first 2 lines getting 45 second shifts, and the other two with 30 second shifts.

      each unit is defensively responsible, some hitting ability, good puck possession.

      clue enough for you?

    25. oh yeah, and avery is the best example of a great 3rd line player…..that is the best line to play him on in typical line formats…

    26. you are a complete fool. Avery was the catalyst who turned the rangers last season from chumps to contenders. He is a great passer who can set up Shanny or Jagr, and he doesn’t shy away in the corners like dawes does.

    27. and nylander was perfect for jagr, but you move on and overall your team gets stronger.

      also thanks for the personal attacks. it makes you look of so brilliant.

    28. anybody like you who scoffs at any idea which could work isn’t what we call a thinker…especially since i stipulated rolling lines.

    29. I haven’t been visiting all of the NHL team websites, but of the ones i have, I noticed that the Rangers have the only one that doesn’t fit the template *teamnickname*.nhl.com, i.e. rangers.nhl.com. The homepage address is still newyorkrangers.com. My best guess would be this is somehow related to the suit, or vice versa.

      Can’t comment on the game cuz I can’t see it.

    30. What’s so bad about Avery on the fourth line? He’s an energy player. With the way Renney switches things during the games, he’ll get shots on the 2nd line in that situation. He would also be cheaper to sign in the offseason and show his true character – if he pouts or not on that line. I like that lineup, nich!

    31. avery is NOT a 4th line player. too much offensive upside, when he’s happy and not being what he was in LA. his passing is not “great passer” as i think someone had said, he is a 3rd liner but because he plays as well as he does with shanny, he has a spot on the 2nd line and as ive said, as long as he continues to play well and not be a distraction, he deserves it.

    32. Dawes earned a spot, and tonight he showed a little of what he can do. Staal looked shaky, and Dubinsky had to get into a fight to be noticed.

    33. imagination-
      I was at the game and Dubinsky w/ Callahan we, re hitting everything they could, were strong on the forecheck, and relentless all shift, every shift. especially in the 2nd and 3rd periods.
      Their work was followed up by Hollweg and his lines grit and it frustrated the Isles. Granted it as Bridgeport guys for the most part, but that’s renney’s system..
      Dubinsky may not have showed up on the score sheet, but he did good work and will fit great as the 3rd line center…THE position of need. Paired with Cally and Prucha..OH BABY.

    34. “The Rangers and Islanders haven’t taken the ice yet, but a big fight has already broken out here at the Garden — between the Rangers and the NHL. The AP has reported, and the Rangers have confirmed, that the team has filed a lawsuit against the league to prevent it from taking control of its web site. The NHL was set to fine the Rangers $100,000 a day beginning tomorrow for its failure to hand over control of the web site, prompting the Rangers’ legal response against the league. You can see the league’s version of the Rangers web site here — the Rangers are the only remaining team that hasn’t switched over to the NHL network.”

      Rangers don’t want to surrender their PR propaganda department, a lot of BS-meisters are fighting for their dear worthless lives.

    35. Lowtide I was there too. Granted Dubinsky was with Orr & Hollweg, but he didn’t really stand out tonight. Dawes did. I just feel Staal & Dubinsky could use a little time in Hartford to get more NHL ready. Otherwise they’ll be making gaffes most won’t have patience for this season. What”s the rush for two guys that in the long run will benefit by being in Hartford? They’ll be regulars by next season at the latest.

    36. ALL PLAYERS UNDER 25 REPORT IMMEDIATELY TO HARTFORD FOR MORE “SEASONING.”

      ALL PLAYERS OVER 35 PLEASE UNRETIRE AND REPORT TO MSG FOR CLUBHOUSE MENTORING DUTIES, IN BETWEEN YOUR GLUT OF -4 PLUS-MINUS STAT SHEET GAMES.

      YOURS TRULY — “lack of IMAGINATION, vision, courage, and any desire to win the Stanley Cup in our lifetime.”

    37. “SMITH A FLAME?

      THE CALGARY FLAMES WEBSITE LISTS FORMER SAN JOSE SHARKS CENTRE MARK SMITH AS PART OF THEIR LINEUP. SMITH WAS CUT BY THE NEW YORK RANGERS TRAINING CAMP EARLIER THIS WEEK.

      Spector’s Note: Hat tip to GJ Berg. No official word yet on the NHLPA website nor an official announcement by the Flames. Hopefully there’ll be more details later this weekend.”

      “YOURS TRULY—“lack of IMAGINATION, vision, courage, and any desire to win the Stanley Cup in our lifetime.â€?”

      that about sums it up

    38. Renney supporters need to compare the icetime that young capitals got today to what young rangers got, shocking difference. One coach understands how to develop young players, the other is clueless.

    39. Shanny/Gomez looked really good tonight. Shanny looked to be in midseason form tonight.

      Though I liked that they attacked the net early and kept getting the puck on net, then they stopped doing that. That should be there game plan game in and game out.

      Anybody agree with me that Callahan has been one of the best if not the best player this pre-season. That kid is doing it all so far, I’m really excited to see what he can do in a full year on the NHL level

    40. The website thing was mandated over the summer (friend’s the webmaster for the Devils, lucky SOB) and he was of the opinion the Rangers would get in line before the season started.

      I guess he was wrong!

    41. I don’t think Dawes will be on the team come Opening Night, I think he will be down in Hartford. Gomez and Shanny I hope stay together for the time being.

    42. The Following was written by “whatever hate provides.”

      >

      I ask you true ranger fans here… Is there ANYTHING more pathetic on a hockey blog than Islander fans coming here and PRETENDING to be ranger fans?

      Sad….

    43. I am SO IMPRESSED with Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan. I think they are both the real deal.

      I hope that Renny has the balls to go with a line of Dubinsky-Callahan-prucha. I think the speed, desire and intensity of this line will drive other teams nuts.

      PJ

    44. ORR...What Ever His Right Hand Provides!! on

      Pretty good game, these NYR vs NYI games this year will be damn good. Shanny looked good to, with that sweet shot.

      I gotta say, im not Harry’s biggest fan, but that fat tub of sh*t didnt have any right talking smack about him, that was pretty classless. Im willing to give him another shot, especially since i know he’s not going anywhere this year. I wonder if that fat ass was Yenner or Robby, hmm tough choice but all the same.

      WHP

      I hardly doubt Orr chickened out of that fight, it looked like Brennan didnt wanna go, he was the first to let go.

      I wonder what they were talking about, seemed entertaining, and that Dubi fight, lol wild lefts all over that guys face, Staal was into it though, he had a big coolaid smile on his face on the bench…

    45. Robby et al… the anti-vet mentality and the give the home grown kids a spot has a controversary of it’s own. As you have correctly stated in the past, Sather is the one making the final decisions. What’s the chances everyone will agree with him? He didn’t sign Peca, I think it was a mistake. Then Dubinsky would have had competition for earning a job, and if he won Peca could have been traded or waived. To me that would have been a good gamble. If anyone here thinks Sather is going to really change his way of thinking, I doubt it. It’s his team to try & win The Cup, that his basic job description. How he gets there, or tries to get there will have many in an uproar. There are prices to pay to drink from it. Just look at who they traded in 1994 to win. That wasn’t easy to swallow, but the results were. It’s impossible to get everyone to agree beyond Lundquist should be the #1 goalie, after that plenty of opinions. Only Sather’s will count. Until he’s gone , vets get preference. If Schoenfeld gets his job, MAYBE the opposite will be true. But don’t bet on it! I just hope he can make at least 80% of his decisions correctly to reach the goal. NYR fans want to be the GM,coach, micro manage, and find someting to complain about. It’s ingrained in them, along with being frustrated, negative, & semi-masochists. Try a different mindset, it feels alot better but it does take an effort to maintain during a long season and it’s never 100% . GOOD LUCK!

    46. Imagination – It’s Lundq”v”ist not Lundq”u”ist. Get it right before going on your boring meaningless rant, you pukie.

    47. Robby “pukie’?…. Enjoy getting aggravated & trying tp prove yourself right. I didn’t say drink the kool-aid , but complaining is really boring. Come back when Sather & Renney are gone, if you can’t handle how they run the team.

    48. I thought Shanny and Gomer looked great last night. Granted a shell of an NHL team playing opposite them, but still.

      This is why I firmly believe that Sather (it makes me almost cringe to say it aloud) is doin’ a great job. The Rangers now have options… and not just many of them, but some really good options. This team SHOULD be able to take slumps by certain players, certain lines, & the inevitable (but god forbid) injuries in stride.

      Dawes is proving that, when he’s called up… he’ll be able to contribute. Gomez is proving (not surprisingly) that he can fit with a number of linemates. Drury is proving to be one of our best aquisitions in years. Callahan and Prucha are proving that they’re no fluke.

      I’m not worried about Hank coming along slowly. He knows that the season needs to be a progression. That’s not to say that it’s ok to come out weak for the first 3 months again… but “better and better” as March approaches is better than peaking in January (see Jan ’06).

      The defense is really the only place I still see problems. They’ll need to be sorted out at some point. I think Staal has made this team… but he’s not good enough (yet) to “make” this defense. I’m still of the opinion that Malik (despite his +/-) is fairly horrible. As for the rest… I just see to much standing around, not enough anticipation, slow legs, and a general lack of strength/use of size. When we get stuck in our zone… we really get stuck. Once the puck is out things look good but geez are we horrible in our own end.

    49. czechthemout!!!!! on

      imagination-asper my other days post,how can i not question your hockey judgement?While i’m happy for nigel,remember that he did what he did against the bridgeport team plus trent hunter and chris campoli.Renney being the coward that he is played betts on the third line!unbeleivable.Betts is a terrific fourth liner,and thats all he’ll ever be.Yet renney continues to try and fit a square peg into a round hole.remember that dubinsky played with hollweg and orr.he set up hollweg once in the third period and hollweg fanned on the shot.Watch the move dubi put on the isls best dman yesterday in the third and that alone tells you that he should be playing with players like callahan(who’s great)and prucha.

      on a side note,malik is an abomination back there on defense.he was knocked off of the puck at least 4or5 times by much smaller isls players.

    50. czech

      My jaw dropped when I saw that Dubi move-

      If he could have finished, everyone here would be speaking a lot more highly of him.

      What I saw was skill, effort and determination on his part.
      He should be here to stay-

    51. czechthemout!!!!! on

      blueclue-I agree with you.I just don’t understand why after how well he played in the first pre-season game with straka and callahan Renney has not put him with any other players that can play in the rest of the games.

    52. ORR...What Ever His Right Hand Provides!! on

      Im happy that Dawes is doing well, but you gotta give the shot to Dubi. No doubt about it. Shanny most likely will retire at the end of the season, so Dawes will definitely get his shot next year depending on how he does at camp, and pre season. Either way, in my opinion its Dubinsky who should get the third line center job.

      Renny and the staff need to skate….

      Callahan – Dubinsky – Prucha

      If Dubi starts the season, it will be them skating together, unless Pruch’s gets on the first line and Straks on the third.

      CZECH

      That was ridiculous. Malik was getting bitched by midgets. He needs to be alot stronger on his skates. Hopefully this is minor rust for him, and he gets his sh*t together before October 4th.

    53. czech

      Renney always claims in the pre-season that he’s just trying differnet options out. Some may seem strange, but it’s all experimental.

      While a guy like Dawes needs good linemates to flourish, Dubinsky I believe can show individual effort due to his size and vision. He just needs decent icetime and a speedy winger to showcase what he’s got.

      I agree that Dubi, Cally, and Prucha would be a great combo-

    54. After last night’s performance, there are a few things I must say. First, there are a few of you on this blog (and you know exactly who you are) who seem to be about 14 yrs old and are more excited to just speak their mind than really have anything intelligent to say. Second, all of you who are panicking that Renney and Co. don’t know what they are doing, just zip it and save you breath. (I am talking about some of the same people in both comments.)

      Let’s see…what have I seen here in the past week? “Straka sucks. Shanahan is old. Betts sucks. Gomez should be traded. Drury doesn’t really look like he will do much for us.” Straka remains the most unsung guy on the Rangers. He does the little things in all the right spots. Shanny who was 3/4s of a player post concussion last year, is back 100% and sniped two goals last night. Betts killed penalties, won faceoffs, blocked shots, and confirmed that he is a great role player. Gomez was the fastest guy on the ice. Drury was doing a ton of sneaky little things that never show up on the score sheet. So all you clowns out there who have opinions but no knowledge to back it up, just save your BS for some other blog.

      Renney has been giving everyone a fair shake who deserves it. I would not want to be in his shoes now with Dawes, Dubi, Staal, and Strudwick decisions looming. A lot of depth is a good thing.

      WHere to play Avery is a question mark? Dawes looked sharp last night. Avery on the 3d line with Cally and Pru? Tough call.

      THe team is comign together and the season has not even begun.

      Peace.

    55. NEW Renney is not going to make the final cuts. Sather might go with less than 23 to save cap space.

    56. The 8:08 am “you pukie” is not my post. Enough said, except, let’s face it. ORR is a homosexual with fantasies for my body.

      As regards H-O-C-K-E-Y, I do not have an “anti-vet” mentality, what I have is an anti-journeyman, old, over-priced, washed-up players mentality. You know how I take the Krog’s and the Ozo’s and the Strudwick’s and the Kaspairitis’ and the Isbister’s of the world to task, and I will never get over the senseless, absolutely STUPID acquisition of that cue ball Dupuis.

      A vet who can PLAY, is ok by me, but to hold on to, and acually acquire the dregs of the NHL to add to the Rangers active roster, is not something I can sit back and take without voicing my opinion / objection to the short-sighted, self-defeating lunacy of it all.

    57. Robby I don’t think it’s ORR, more likely the nyi fan who has a love hate not happy unless complaining for the NYR. Last season they felt the kids needed more time. Strudwick had a decent game last night & will be a Black Ace. I’d rather see Pock & Dawes get the first try this season, not the treatment they got last season. While Dubinsky & Staal go down for the beginning of this one. But I get the feeling only 22 are going to be kept up. Sather has put himself in a little bind & Renney might have to deal with it. He’s somewhat anti-experienced to begin with, and not alot of patience for rookie mistakes but plenty for vet ones. It is what it is, never 100% satisfactory or agreeable.

    58. Robby on second look you might be right on who used your name. Way too many kiddies/ babies here. But it would be boring if everyone agreed.

    59. ORR...What Ever His Right Hand Provides!! on

      ROBBY

      Trust me…If i was moronic enough to use your name….the last thing in the world i would say is “Pukie”.

      Why dont you cry about Buttman and Vegas and go bang Yenner. God knows he can use the attention.

    60. New Newman is correct, Straka is a vastly underrated player!

      Come on Renny… Give us Dubinsky-Callahan-Prucha!

      NO SOUP FOR YOU!

    61. ORR...What Ever His Right Hand Provides!! on

      Anybody watching the Kings vs Ducks game in London??

      Kings are up 1 – 0 after the first, on a PP goal by Mike Cammalleri.

      No J.S. Giggy in the game, he’s out with some injury.

    62. nich – I was thinking along those lines last night with one BIG exception: Avery will never skate fourth line. Never. He’s paid way too much to be a grinder. I could see him at third-line center, although my gut tells me he’s going to be wing on second.

      ALL YOU GUYS BASHING THE RANGERS STAFF – Are you for REAL?!? Jesus…in the two decades I’ve watched this team, this is the first time I’ve SEEN a coaching staff, with a slight exception to Keenan’s abrieviated tenure. For so many years, this team has suffered an utter dearth of leadership at the top. Now they’ve got guys that have literally pulled the Wolfpack from the junk heap to create one of the best feeder systems in the league. Knock last night’s victory all you want, but what I saw was a confident Callahan opening up good opportunites on net, Dubinsky plastering the opposition with hits, Dawes pulling a puck out of mid-air, Girardi blocking shots with impunity…and the list goes on…these are all guys that came up through the system and look to be making a VERY good case for staying on the team.

      There are good things ahead for this squad. I can’t ever remember a Ranger team with this kind of depth just a 100 miles away from the Garden in Hartford AND even more(Cherepanov, Sanguinetti et all) in juniors. So knock Renney for this and that, bitch about the journeymen playing, but at least acknowledge what they’re doing is ACTUALLY WORKING.

      Last of all, I haven’t seen too many names of prospects jetisoned by Sather and crew who have gone on to sucessful careers in the NHL. In fact, the list seems pretty damn stark. Lampman and Kondratiev may have NHL spots. Wiseman and Giroux still haven’t gone anywhere. Lundmark is on his fourth team.Immonen and Helminen are in Europe. These are guys that didn’t cut it.

      As for the guys they have now, Girardi and Callahan will defintily play prominent roles. There’s a good chance Staal will start with the team and either Dubinsky or Dawes will be in the lineup opening day. There’s also a good deal of talk about Montoya being on the club. So I’m failing to see the gripe here. I mean, it’s not like Jason F’in Strudwick is single-handedly stifling the NHL aspirations of the entire draft crop. And besides, the best team is the one that produces on the ice, not the youngest one in age.

    63. Good points tdchi. My concern is that we not see a rehash of last year when Giraridi (January) and Callahan (March!) each got a shot thanks to a parent club injury – out of desperation – the Krogs and Dupuis of the world had already been tried. You say the Rangers have a “feeder system.” Well, I would like to see some PLANNED feeding off that system, rather than the preference for scrap heap bargain hunting from all over the league.

      Good question – which is the real Rangers feeder system, veteran rejects from other teams, or our own top propects who are ready to take their place in the limelight? I hope management learned from last year’s disasters, wherein only Avery, of all the outside the organization, in-season acquisitions, panned out. I want to see this team get BETTER over the course of this season, not get top-heavy with more dead wood like we brought in last year, especially with the talent we now have just a phone call away.

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