Drop the puck already!


It’s a good thing the Rangers are opening their season tomorrow, because I am officially ready. Granted, I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t ready, they’d start the season, anyway, although maybe given my years (make that year) of experience, they’d make some adjustments.

Whatever. It’s a moot point. More important is we’re now approaching 24 hours until the opening face-off, where, by all accounts, the Rangers will begin their unprecedented march to a perfect 82-0 record. What, too much to ask?

As for some notes:

  • The forward lines were the same as yesterday, with Colton Orr looking like he’ll be the odd man out on the fourth line. That’s my guess right now, but given Tom Renney’s preference of having Orr as a security measure, I could be wrong.
  • The big news — if this indeed qualifies as “big news” — is that Marc Staal looks like he will play. The rookie defenseman was paired with Paul Mara today, with Jason Strudwick and Thomas Pock looking like the two who won’t skate.
  • We haven’t spent much time discussing the power play here, mostly because there hasn’t been much to go on. The Rangers again practiced in two units, with Jaromir Jagr, Chris Drury, and Petr Prucha skating with Martin Straka and Michal Rozsival at the point; and Sean Avery, Scott Gomez, Brendan Shanahan comprising the other forward line. Count on Paul Mara playing one of the points there.
  • The Rangers also worked on a fairly formidable 5-on-3, with Jagr and Drury at the points, and Gomez, Straka and Shanahan down low. First prize to the reader who can count up the number of combined All-Star teams in that group.
  • A year ago, Jagr warned the media and fans not to panic if the Rangers started slowly, then he went on to score a goal on his first shot of the season. Asked if he’s ready to repeat the feat, Jagr cracked, “I hope not. It’s bad luck. I’m going to shoot it in the corner.:

    More later…

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    1. The only issue I have is with Straka playing the point on the PP. He has NO slap shot. If I am defending him, I give him the slapper. He does his damage by passing and being crafty. This is where Mara has more punch on the point than Straka.

      Glad to see Staal getting the nod too.

      Overall, I am pumped.

    2. I think Straka is the perfect guy to play cleanup on the PP. That’s pretty much what Prucha is only good at too, so I can see them meshing well on the PP.

      I’m glad to hear Staal and Mara matched.. please sit Pock. Struds should just sub as 7th.. he’s a good locker room presence.

    3. great move by the Rangers playing Staal instead of Strudwick or Pock.

      My guess is about 19 all star teams for that group.

    4. Time for a new poll Sammy ;)

      BTW, I can’t wait, the Garden’s gonna be rocking tomorrow!

    5. i definitely would rather have staal start over pock, but i dont get the animosity towards pock (not just on this post but in a lot of other ones). He was solid in the first round of the playoffs last year then got benched for no reason. I think given the chance to consistently play he could be a solid defenseman. Not likely to happen this season but he is by no means the liability that malik, mara or strudwick are, but i guess that isnt saying much

    6. Jagr – 9
      Drury – 0
      Gomez – 1
      Straka – 1
      Shanny – 8

      19 Total

      If Rob just guessed on that, that’s pretty impressive.

    7. Damn, i cant wait. Hopefully NYR starts the season with a win.

      I guess its safe not to play Orr tomorrow. The cats dont have any tough guys on there team, especially now that they traded Gratton to the Bolts.

      Who do you all think will score the first goal of the year??

    8. Ted aka Anonymous on

      I think the first goal will be scored by Drury from Jagr and Straka on the PP first 5 minutes.

    9. adam from the hills on

      i really dont know why everybody always hates on pock, from what ive seen of him when he plays is a player who can rush the puck from the D zone to the O zone, has a good shot, pretty good passer, might not be the biggest hitter but plays decent positional hockey, hes without a doubt a top 4 rearguard who should be playing and could be playing with any other team, he should def be on the powerplay without a doubt, just my 2 cents..

    10. Proof-Watcher on

      Marc… don’t think Drury was even an All-Star. He was a role player until on the Avs/Flames before he stood out on the Sabres, and I think Miller, Briere, Campbell, and maybe Afinogenov made the team last year, not Drury.

    11. I don’t think many people “hate” on Pock. But I also don’t think he’s a top 4 guy by any means, and I certainly don’t see him being a key player if we are going to take a real shot at the silver sip. Pock is just there and he’s “not bad”, IMO.

    12. Hopefully we have a nice All Star team this year…


      I was pissed that Hank didnt make the team last season, and Prucha didnt make the Young stars game.

      It was a pretty fun All Star game last season, with that crazy empty net goal by Dion Phenuef.

    13. For everyone begging for Sather to sign Peca: He’s already been put on the IR for a groin injury.

      Orr: Henrik had a horrible first half last year, thus no all star game. Pruchs should have made the young stars game though.

    14. I’m very surprised Drury didn’t make AllStar as a Flame…
      I remember Drury being a pretty big deal as far as 10 years ago…

      The name Drury always makes me think of druids or other little hooded friends.

    15. Doodie Machetto on

      Orr, Prucha and Lundy had poor starts last season. Prucha was due to being buried on the 4ht line, Lundquist just wasn’t good. He definitely made up for it though in the 2nd half. Prucha too.

      First goal of the season will be Shanahan.

    16. Jagr on the point on a 5-3 scares me a bit. He has a bad habit of holding onto the puck too long sometimes and looses posession. not good when your the last line of defense in case of a turnover with some speedy forwards on the ice.


      True….But they picked Huet over Hank, and at the time Hank was the better goaltender, so it didnt make much sense.

      I was reading at BB, that Buttman made calls to 3 GM’s about “hitting to hurt”or something like that. It was to warn TooToo from the Preds, Boogaard from the Wild, and Hollweg. And no call to Simon. Isnt Simon the one who went Conan on Hollywood, and boarded him the other night??

      Hollweg is getting treated like crap recently. I hope he injures Jokinen tomorrow…With a clean hit of coarse.

    18. Robby Bonfire on

      I like most of Pock’s all-around game, and sympathize with the way he has been jacked around by management.

      However, he does have one significant weakness – his abysmally low (3%) shooting percentage. Weak shot from the point, or mis-directed shot, or a combination of the two, whatever the problem is, he needs to at least double that percentage this year to establish himself as just an average goal-scoring threat for the D position. The really top D’s flirt with a 10%+ shooting percentage.

    19. I’m not sure what Ollie Joks did to have people wish injury on him, but I’m hoping more for a Rangers victory than anyone getting hurt.

      That being said, the first goal of the Rangers season is going to be scored by Brendan Shanahan on a slick feed from Scott Gomez.

    20. You know who’s gonna score the first goal for the Wolf pack???


      Cruel huh?


      The only reason i said Jok’s is cause he’s the only Cat i can think of. I can care less about him and his team. Panthers games are some of the most depressing games to watch, along with the Blue Jackets. There just two boring teams.

      Speaking of the BJ’s, not only is Peca still nursing thaty groin injury, but TSN is saying that Foote, and Modin are nursing minor injuries as well. When will they realize that signing Vets isnt the answer. They should just throw the season so they can get that Taveres kid or who ever the hell it is. I highly doubt they have a chance to do anything this year, they gotta build a stronger team around Nash, and Leclair, and Norrena wont bring them to the playoffs. Although it would be cool if NYR had Norrena. Him and Hank are buddies, and its always nice for Hank to have some old friends around. Or we can bring in Axelson, the manager of Hanks rock band.

    21. Doodie Machetto on

      Orr, Huet had great numbers to start the season last year, his save percentage was unreal.

      Also, Columbus *IS* throwing the season this year and rebuilding. Signing Peca wasn’t going to magically get them into the playoffs, and they knew it.

    22. John –

      I wouldn’t be too concerned about Jagr at the point of a 5-on-3. With those guys on the ice, they’ll play for so long, if the D gets possesion, the only thing they’ll be thinking is “Line Change”.

      First goal of the season: Sean Avery knocks home a rebound after Shanny drills a nasty one-timer from the top of the circle off a gorgeous feed from Gomez that the goalie can’t control. Get used to it. It’s gonna be the first, and it’s gonna be far from the last.

    23. Drop the Puck! on

      This is not a bogus post. ticketmaster.com has tix for tomorrow nights game. i just went on and got 2 sets of 2. i was bored at work and said ‘what the hell’. it came up once or twice and said none avail, but my persistence paid off, and i’m GOING TO OPENING NIGHT for the 8 consecutive year(excl. lockout)!

    24. Anyone else completely offended by this “Hit to hurt” flag on Hollweg? I grew up playing as my teams hard hitting enforcer. Never did I hit to “hurt”, just the same way I’ve never seen Hollweg intend to injure. Once, some kid knee dropped me on my back and as I tried to wiggle out from underneath him I obtained an intent to injure penatly for kicking, but Hollweg produces, for the majority, nothing but clean, solid hits. And the questionable ones are typically because punks turn their backs to him. I’ve never seen Hollywood head hunt, let alone stalk a player, but he is 1 of 3 that have been denigrated. Just like a few years ago when they put a list of “Divers” and unsportsmanlike player bulletins up in every locker room. This is complete, and UTTER bolgna. I’ve watched the tapes, and I plead innocent in the trial of Hollweg vs. The NHL.

    25. I’m sorry, that should have read The NHL vs. Hollweg (I believe prosecution comes first, but I’m no lawyer).

    26. Your poll is as polarized as opposing magnets.

      1st. Jagr
      2nd. Prucha
      3rd. Drury
      4th. Straka
      5th. Shanahan

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