And now, reality….


The opener against an improving, yet still middling Florida team now behind them, the Rangers have no delusions about what they face tomorrow night in Ottawa.

In fact, I’ll make the case that last night was the best case scenario for the Rangers, for the following reasons: they got two points, they built up some confidence based on their third-period comeback, but they were also reminded right away that they can’t expect to sleep walk through a game like they did the first two periods and expect to win.

Bear in mind that was one of the pitfalls of last year, when they stormed through the opener against the Capitals, snuck past a mediocre Philadelphia team on the road, then immediately thought the rest of the way would be easy. But it wasn’t, seeing how they went on to lose the next three, which set them on the rocky path of the first part of the season.

But this is a new year, with new players, and immediately, some questions arise from today’s practice:

  • Defense: Tom Renney said he’s got some thinking to do on his back end, and my educated guess is that Paul Mara’s slot might be in play. I’m basing that only on Renney’s reaction to Mara’s ill-advised double minor in the second period. Asked about whether he liked seeing the defenseman rush to the aid of Scott Gomez at the time, Renney said it was noble, but that he questioned the timing. If Mara, or anyone else sits, it’s still unclear whether Jason Strudwick or Thomas Pock — or both — would play.
  • The third line: As he was at the end of last night, Blair Betts skated in between Petr Prucha and Ryan Callahan in practice, with Brandon Dubinsky slipped down between Ryan Hollweg and the platoon of Colton Orr and Marcel Hossa. Renney said he wasn’t punishing Dubinsky but that he liked the poise Betts added to that line late. “It was a game we needed to win, it’s that simple,” the coach said. “Brandon will get his opportunity to carry the load under those circumstances in the future for sure.”
  • Marcel Hossa: Don’t be surprised to see the mercurial wing back in the lineup tomorrow. Renney said he was fighting the decision last night as well, and at times he thought there were points when Hossa could have helped, particularly on the penalty kill and when the team needed some offensive jump. Hossa certainly helps in that regard, but Colton Orr has at least improved his skating enough where he’s no longer just an enforcer.
  • Finally, it’s not a question but a stat worth noting: The Rangers won 33 of 56 faceoffs last night, with Scott Gomez and Chris Drury going a combined 25-12. I asked both players about the key to their success in that area, and Gomez immediately laughed. “I don’t want to talk about it,” he said. “Because as soon as I do it becomes the kiss of death.”

    OK, more later…

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    1. Benching Mara? Really? I know the penalty turned out to be ill-timed but, to be honest, I didn’t really notice what he did that was worth a double minor. Certainly nothing twice as bad as anyone else would do in a similar situation. Honestly, I think that was a botch job by the refs. If you blow a whistle for a penalty and some pushing and shoving follows, unless someone is holding there hand behind there back and getting jabbed in the face, I dont see how the penaltys can even out.

      And aside from that one play he was just as solid as any other defenseman on the ice, plus his style compliments Staal, and Staal can learn a lot in return.

    2. I don’t really see what Hollweg brings to this team anymore. Orr is tougher and Hossa has more scoring punch. The young kids skate harder and hit more effectively. What’s the point of keeping him?

    3. Here is what I don’t get? Unless the Blueshirts are playing the Isles or the Flyers, do we really need both Hollweg and Orr in the lineup? It does not make sense to have Hossa riding the pine and those two guys playing the 4th line. I do think Orr has improved and I do like Hollweg’s energy but when the Rangers are in the penalty box, I don’t like seeing Straka and Shanny out there killing penalties. In March and April, they will pay for this. We need Hossa in the lineup in place of part of Orrweg.

      And everyone here who badmouths Betts, just stop it. He is a role player. You cannot win a Cup with 12 Jagrs as your offense. It just doesn’t work. Betts kills penalties, blocks shots (did you see him sacrifice his body and catch the puck in the stomach last night!?!?!), wins faceoffs, plays smart defensively, and can possess the puck in the offensive zone a little bit. I like him on the 3d line providing some solid play between Cally and Pru. Dubi has good quickness and energy but he is still pretty green.

      Tomorrow night should be interesting. They cannot play Ottawa like they played in Pd 2 last night. Because the Rangers are not scoring 4g in 12 mins on them in the 3d tomorrow night.

    4. Sat in Section 68 last night w/ all 7 goals right in front of me. A couple of quick thoughts:
      Staal looked solid in fact I thought the D overall was very good.
      Dubinsky looked very tentative but liked that he went after Mezei after he hammered Callaghan.
      Finally, while they did not play together, you can see why Gomez and Jagr may not be a great fit. Gomez is a fast north – south skater while Jagr is a east – west guy. I thought Gomez was great pushing the puck into the O zone last night. I wonder how Shanny and Avery are going to keep up with him.
      Great electricity in the Garden – Thought it was much louder though for game 6 against Buffalo.

    5. I really think Avery had a crappy game last night. Gomez set him up, with no one in sight, and HE MISSED THE NET…wasn’t even close. I think if you throw Hossa or Callahan on that second line left wing it would be more of a threat. Stick Avery with Betts and Prucha. We caught lightning in a bottle with him last year, I just don’t see the same thing this year. In fact trade him and bring up Dawes!

    6. “I thought Gomez was great pushing the puck into the O zone last night. I wonder how Shanny and Avery are going to keep up with him.”

      I feel bad even suggesting it, but I can’t help but imagine a line of Avery – Gomez – Dawes.

    7. Doodie Machetto on

      I think that the first goal was Mara’s fault actually. Staal played his man into the corner, and then Mara went to the corner to help: abandoning the front of the net. Eventually the puck came around behind the net. Callahan was the guy in front who then went after it, but the it came out in front with dubinsky the only guy there. No defenseman to be found, McLean buried it because no one could push him off of the puck. Staal didn’t help the situation much because he never went back to the front of the net.

    8. Doodie Machetto on

      I’ve been saying that Avery isn’t good enough to be a 2nd line player since the beginning of the offseason. They should move him down to the third line in one of three ways:

      1) Swap him and Prucha on the LW.
      2) Have Avery play 3LW, move Prucha to 3RW, have Callahan play 2RW, and move Shanny over to 2LW (his natural position).
      3) Have Avery play center, send Dubinsky to Hartford, and recall Dawes to play on the 2nd line with Gomez and Shanahan, where he showed a lot of chemistry in the preseason.

      Who called Betts playing on the 3rd line? I have to begrudgingly admit that you were right. However, I also have to admit that I was never comfortable with a line of Prucha-Dubinsky-Callahan for the exact reasons that Renney stated. I just think that he picked the wrong guy to fill in that slot. It should be Avery to provide the poise.

    9. Ted aka Anonymous on

      In response to some earlier posts about Malik’s shot on Straka’s goal, after just watching the replay there is no way that was not done on purpose. There was a huge crowd between Malik and the net and knowing your home ice boards Malik knew that shot would carry to the front. Cheers to malik for a great game.

    10. Doodie Machetto on

      Ted, please see my post from the last thred, partially reprinted here. It was impossible for him to hit the boards and the puck to come out the way it did from where he was standing:

      “First of all: look at how one night has changed everyone’s perception about Malik. The guy gets three assists, and all of a sudden, everyone and their mother is like “C’mon, let’s give Malik a chance! I love Malik!â€? I watched the replays of the Straka goal, and yeah, he didn’t mean for it to go on net, but he didn’t mean for it to come right out in front like that either. He was trying to play it around the boards, it took a funny bounce out in front and Straka happened to be there. I mean, just consider the physics and geometry of where he wouldv’ve had to hit the boards so it would come out ACROSS the goalmouth from where he was standing. There is no way that he could’ve aimed for that from where he was standing and hit it. If you watch the corner where the puck comes from carefully, you’ll see that he in fact DID shoot it around the boards, but it hit a crack where the door was and came out in front. No aiming involved. Just luck.

      Face facts: if those three assists were for the other team, per usual Malik, you all would’ve been either booing him (assuming you would normally boo him), or you would be here talking about how much of a liability the guy is and how much he needs to go. [And if he only had the assist on the Straka goal aside from those three negative ones, you all would’ve been calling it a lucky bounce.]

      Bottom line: Every dog has it’s day. I still think he is a liability, and one game ain’t changing that.”

    11. To be honest the worst defenseman on the ice for the Rangers was Staal. I know that he is going to get playing time because he is important for the future and needs time to develop but there were at least 3 giveaways by him, and another time he was out of position. I understand if Renney wants to bench Mara for his penalty (I liked the fact that Mara was showing toughness and sticking up for his players, which he did twice) but if you are going to bench the least productive D last night, it would be Staal…

    12. if MAra sits it should not be for coming to the aid of a teammate. sends a bad message so I would play him the next game and then if they want to sit him find a different reason.

      Ottawa is a pretty tough team too. But Hossa isn’t exactly small so I would be ok with either Hollweg or Hossa sitting but they need Orr.

      Betts is a solid contributor as Newman pointed out.

      Let’s not get crazy re the 2nd line. Avery is needed for some grit. Dawes will get a chance at some time. And re the lines it’s also about some balance and balance re pp and pk playing time too. It’s not as simple as putting the best 3 forwards on line 1, the next best on line 2 etc. Having at least 3 lines capable of scoring (and playing solid d as well) is the way to go. And the 3rd line should get fairly close to the same minutes as the 2nd line. I think if Betts plays 3rd center for a few games I can see Dubinsky going to Hartford in a few games replaced by Dawes. Even if Dubinsky plays with Hossa (who’s obviously not a world beater offensively but not as much a liability all around as some think) I think his minutes would be lacking. His style of play, confidence and development would probably be hurt by playing on the 4th line.

    13. JOHN

      That penalty on Mara was BS. He got 4 minutes for nothing,it should have been 2 minutes for roughing, the guy he was against did exactly what Mara did, except he dropped his gloves and threw a punch at him and Gomez, he should have gotten 4 minutes, and Horton should have gotten 2 minutes, and Avery and Mara also with 2 minute minors, which would leave us on the PP. That was a pathetic call, and im not looking foward to the seeing what BS the refs come up with this year.


      Everyone says that, and then we play TBL, or TOR, and then we go back to saying that we should have put him in the lineup. I like Hollweg but he needs to hit, he didnt do alot of that last night, like i said in the last post, i think its because, maybe he’s nervous about the whole Colin Campbell thing, having a close eye on him. Orr has gotten alot better on his skates this summer, i would much rather have him in, and Hossa.

      NICK B

      I dont know what kind of Hockey fan you are, but it is WAAAAY to early to judge players after one fuggin game. Avery is a player we need, the fact that any Ranger fan would want him traded in favor of Dawes is ridiculous. He is still nursing the minor groin injury, maybe that cause some problems, but he didnt have a bad game cause he missed one shot.


      Look, i know its immpossible to give Harry credit. But i think 1 or 2 of you said you played hockey. The move Malik did was f’n amazing, and he DID do it on purpose. He didnt expect it to go straight to Strak’s…But in Detroit, Chris Chelios does it all the time, what he does is…in practice, he fires slap shotss at all parts of the boards to see where it deflects off of, and he uses it to his advantage. I know most of you are not fans of him, but that was a set play and he knew what he was doing the whole time, but he probably didnt know that would go so beautifully. Also, remember in that Rangers at Caps game last season. A cap player fired a wrister around the boards and it deflected off a board and right in front of Hank, and they a Cap blasted it in…Then in the second period, another Cap did the same move intentionally, and it happened exactly the same way, went right in front of the net, and a cap scored. This isnt something that Malik just came up with, nobody gives him credit for obvious reasons, but jeez, give him credit for a phenominal play that ended up beautiful, and was in fact, a set play.

      I wouldnt be surprised if you see Harry try that more often this year. Its a great play that can be very useful if it banks off the boards the right way.


      Im still waiting on you negative comments about Cupcake Prucha and how he shouldnt be playing, and he’s useless and Dawes is better Blah blah blah. Dawes will have a fun depressing year in Hartford, while Pruchs and Dubi enjoy NYR hockey..

    14. My lines for Saturday night…

      Straka – Drury – Jagr
      Callahan – Gomez – Shanahan ( Cally needs someone who will get him the pass he needs to get open.
      Avery – Dubinsky – Prucha ( To add some grit to that line )
      Hossa – Betts – Orr ( We need Orr, Mcgratton will be playing, and Neil is always on the loose )

    15. Ted aka Anonymous on


      Have you ever taken a slap shot or for that matter played hockey? I do not want to get into it with you, but I played defense in high school and have done just what Malik did, from the same spot, and I am no pro. Coach always told us to see how the puck reacts off the back boards.

    16. DOODIE has Malik commenting on the shot, he barely takes credit for it, he says the lane wasnt open so he shot it at the boards cause there wasnt any snow there or something, and it deflected perfectly.

      If that was me, i would be saying i knew what i was doing the whole time, and brag about it, lol.

    17. As far as benching Mara goes… I’m not super surprised by that. Hockey (like many other sports) is a reactionary game. There’s not a great deal of “thinking” going on while the action is taking place. That being said, once the whistle blows… you have plenty of time to use your brain. If that whistle blows because the other team is receiving a penalty… you MUST NOT DO ANYTHING that might give the refs a chance to even it up. Bottom line: DUMB penalty that cost us a powerplay. This team can’t tolerate dumb penalties. Standing up for one another is one thing… but there was no reason to do what he did.

      As for the rest of the game… Malik shouldn’t be booed at home… no Rangers should. He’s not my favorite player but nobody deserves that.

      The Rangers were VERY lucky to come away with a win. But good teams find a way to win when they play bad.

      Nobody has mentioned how physical that game was. I liked seeing our boys take the body as much as they did. Don’t discount that as being a factor in Florida feeling more “tired” or “a bit slower” in the third period.

      I thought Staal did really well in his first NHL game in the world’s most famous (and loudest) arena. Give him a few more games and things will settle down a bit more.

      With all the new faces… once thing hasn’t changed a bit. WAY TOO MUCH RUNNING AROUND IN OUR OWN END. They’re really going to have to bring guys back to help more… they can’t just wait at the redline for the puck to be moved. In the third period… the defense had a lot more support from the forwards and it showed.

    18. Oh… also. Prucha and Callahan were awesome! I don’t know if I’d split them up. I hope Dubi can find a way to keep his spot with them.

    19. Putting Hossa in for Orr against The Senators will be the right move…We need to be able to skate and hit to beat that team..Orr is one of the worst skaters in the game..Can’t change direction and can’t keep up with the play in a fast game..Holly-Betts/Dubi-Hossa will be able to forecheck and do the transition when they get the chance

      No need to be afraid of McGrattan..He’s another goon that just fights other goons..The other Sens players will check us, especially Neil, but Orr won;t chage that one iota…And you will need Holly to join Avery in hitting back with speed..

      Put Orr back in against the Isles where his “talents” will be more appropraite…

    20. Robby Bonfire on

      What is going on with the NHL that the game box scores, everywhere you look, are just superficial, with G-A-PTS-+/-, and TOI numbers? This is really strange because had composite stats for the Rangers game posted for awhile, include individual giveaways, takeaways, hits, penalty info, and a break-down of TOI for PP, ES, and PK situations for each player – then took this info down, and now is like the rest, just no in-depth info on the game online, at all?

      Does this come from Buttman’s office? Who is blocking the sharing of complete in-game information, unlike last year when you could access as much info as grains of sand on the beach. Not a good sign, and really disrepectful of fans in the “information age.” Some of the sites I have checked include, ESPN, cbs, thehockeynews, Yahoo, and


    21. Orr and Ted have it right, sorry Doodie….Malik maybe didn’t think it was going to bounce RIGHT in front of the net but he surely didn’t want it to hit a Panther and end up out of the zone. He shot it wide, around the group in front of him, and hoped for the bounce…and got it. (If you’ve played hockey enough, you know that this play is not THAT far-fetched.)

      Not sure on the Hossa/Orrweg thing with Ottawa this wkend. I see plusses and minuses to the decision. My strong feeling is Orr and Hossa for these reasons: Hossa has decent offensive skills, PK skills, and size. Orr has improved skating ability and can fight if needed. Hollweg has little except high energy.

      Now I know some of you might just hound me for this, but it is possible that Strudwick gets the call (and Pock too, in place of Mara and Staal?) tomorrow night because he too can drop the gloves if needed. I know he is slower and less skilled, but trading it off for toughness might be a thought.

      That last paragraph is a little out there, but some of you at least can see SOME merit in that idea, I think.

      And that play in the defensive zone where Staal tried to bank it off the boards to himself around that Panther works in the Junior Leagues but not in the NHL. Sam Rosen (most of the time I can’t stand him) pointed that out and I think that was a quick learning experience for Staal.

    22. Robby Bonfire – Over at and the scores section, check out the Event Summary for each game. That has everything..Also, for season long stats, just pick RTSS in the stats section ofthe site.

    23. Newman – Hollweg can skate, forecheck, hit, provide energy and play the entire sheet of ice…As long as he is not taking needless penatlies, he should stay in. Orr, on the other hand, can fight and do absolutley nothing else. And against at least half the teams in the league, his fighting or presence is useless..Eh, different schools of thought…

    24. dancing with the "stars" on

      why doesn’t renney just marry Betts and Malik? they can do no wrong in his tiny mind.

      Betts probably has the lowest assist per minute totals of ANY center in the league in the past 2 years.

      and Malik is a big PANSY. he is booed more for that, than his frequent screwups. opposing forwards know that all they have to worry about is a poke check, never a bodycheck.

    25. Don’t forget –
      Wadee redden has a fighting major already this season and has oiled up early pims.

      We don’t need orr in the lineup, hossa would be a good offensive addition.

      Pock would be a good fit if mara sits.

      5$ says there are 2 fights in trhe OTT-NYR tilt.

    26. Went to the opener last night and the 3rd period last night showed us what the team is capable of if they play hard for 20 minutes – now they need to put it together for 60 min in Ottawa. Staal and Dubinsky will be fine just need to let them play through the typical rookie mistakes.

      Does anyone know where to find the great video they played last night online. It was the black and white montage video that I am guessing will be played before every game now, but haven’t found it on You Tube or anything yet.

    27. Seamus O Riley on

      I AM no Mara fan, but other than the penalty, he actually showed some grit.

      Malik is gawdawful no matter whether he meant that shot (yeah, right) or not. Skating the puck THROUGH an empty crease would have gotten just about ANYONE else benched. He is one of Jagr’s boys and he stays.

      I cannot believe renney is punishing Dubinsky after one game,
      and I cannot believe he is even talking about hossa.

    28. Only problem I have with Mara is the same problem with Rozsival. They don’t shoot the puck enough, both have an amazing shot but neither shoot it. Shots from the points help lead to more rebounds which leads to more goals.

      What was the purpose on the PP to take Straka off the point? Was that to give him some rest? Because I really like Straka on the point for the PP.

      And as for Hollweg, he had a few good shifts last night, forchecking rather well, didn’t take bad penalties and skated hard. Their isn’t more you can ask from him.

    29. Doodie Machetto on

      Ted and Orr:

      I have played hockey for over 10 years. Im no stranger to the physics of a skating rink. What I’m saying is this: While yes, it is possible for you to bank shots off the boards, where Malik was standing, it was not possible for him to directly hit the boards and have the puck come across the goal mouth the way it did. Instead, he hit it, it started to go around the boards, hit a crack, and came out in front of the goal. He did not plan or expect it to do so. He was just trying to get the puck deep. That’s all it was. Luck. So he said he meant to do it: wouldn’t you!?

    30. Just got home in time to watch the final half of Rangers in 60. I can’t understand why they changed to “in 60” at 4:00 rather than the whole game they showed at that time last season, which will really annoy me if I want to see the game again. Anyway, that third period was really good, especially the power play just after the halfway point, even though they didn’t score and Avery missed the net horribly. Good to hear the cheers for Malik after his third assist, even though they sounded kinda sarcastic. After seeing the good replays on TV, it’s clear to me that he intentionally looked to the boards to bounce the puck, a little home ice advantage there. I also heard the announcers pointing out a deficient play, so I can’t see where some of you are coming from, calling them shills, at least they’re not all the time.

      I think Dubinsky *should be moved to the fourth line in favor or Betts*, but only when Hossa is playing fourth line with him because I expect there to be defensive difficulties on the Prucha – Dubinsky – Callahan line. Totally justified to move Betts there last night. Hopefully, Hossa will play more than Orr so Dubinsky can give some offense with him.

      I suppose we will have to listen to Crispino on Saturday?


      I hope Crispy is doing that game…he’s hilarious.


      Straka didnt have a great game, and he wasnt that great on the point, thats why they put Malik there, and to my surprise, Malik looked good on the PP with Rozie, they moved the puck well, so who knows.

      I dont understand the morons here saying Renney is an idiot and he punished Dubi by putting him on the 4th line..Hellooooo isnt Pruchs the one who has zero defense in his game, and Cally is good but we needed Betts on that line to provide D. Were trying to keep a 3 goal lead and win, not score as many goals as possible. It was a good move, and Renney also did something you people are bitching that he should do, and thats play Cally on the PK and even Staal for a few shifts, and he did it. He surprised me last night, and im happy with what he did.

      Enough said.

    32. Robby Bonfire on

      HOSPO: Thanks, you have to look around a bit, but all the info re extended individual player stats is there, at I particularly like the feature where they list on players on the ice for each goal being scored. Really helpful!

    33. Betts forced that turnover that led to Callahan’s goal, and he may have been playing on the line when Prucha scored, too; can’t quite remember on that one. Doodie, I can’t say that I predicted Betts would be on that line explicity, but I did think they would get broken up quickly.

      Redden is piling up PIM because he had *two fights* in the first game, with a roughing last game. That’s not like him, is it? Looks like Heatley didn’t take enough money in his contract extension right before the first game. For the Rangers, I want Hollweg in because he is similar to Neil in that they give dirty hits, not necessarily intentionally. I believe it was Neil who set off the fracas against Buffalo last season. I wanted Hossa in first game, and still want him there instead of Orr. Of course, if Avery seems hurt, it is a moot point.

      Crispino is only hilarious if you’re laughing at how many mistakes he makes or how overexcited he gets on every play near the goal.

    34. Actually I’d like to see 2nd line be Gomez centering Prucha and Callahan, and 3rd Betts between Shanahan and Avery as a defensive line that can check and score. Spot Dubinsky in place of Betts on 3rd line but mostly he plays with Hossa and a platoon of Hollweg and Orr.

    35. Bonfire – that explanation of your system re: Prucha’s and Callahan’s goals last night is moronic. If the Rangers are leading 3-2, the goalie can prevent the other team from tying the game just like the offense. Prucha should get more points than Callahan.

      To Peter, who asked – his system is based on Fibonacci numbers, for some reason.

    36. I can’t believe that some here are calling for the demotion of Brandon Dubinsky after one freaking game! The kid has all the tools and make-up to be an integral part of this Ranger team.


    37. Robby Bonfire on

      Yes, Fibonacci numbers, in lieu of a 5-3-1 system, or a 10-8-7-6-5, etc. system which Formula 1 uses for it’s drivers order of finish. Fib is at least consistent with a recurring pattern in nature, so it gets the nod by default, with me.

      Again, I am open to suggestion. Don’t like my system, or find fault with it? Propose a system of your own, here, in its place. If I think it is better I will give credit and jump on it.

    38. Robby Bonfire on

      Tell you what, SPIDER, this is for you. Fill in YOUR recommended point values for all of us to evaluate….

      From a tie to +1 goal = # points?

      From +1 goal to + 2 goals = # points?

      From + 2 goals to + 3 goals = # points?

      From +3 goals to + 4 goals = # points?

      From +4 goals to +5 goals = # points, etc.

      On the trailing side…

      From -6 goals to -5 goals = # points?

      From -5 goals to -4 goals = # points?

      From -4 goals to -3 goals = # points?

      From -3 goals to -2 goals = # points?

      From -2 goals to -1 goal = # points?

      From -1 goal to a tie = # points?

      If you attempt it at all, you may find yourself wrestling with it, and you may find it challenging, as I certainly have. Let us know if you come up with something you feel comfortable with. As I said, I am open to suggestion – the ball is now in your court.

    39. I’ll give you the use of Fibonacci numbers, but I think the game-tying goal should be more than the game-winning goal because the tying goal prevents you from losing, especially in the shootout era in which your team can win on a goal that doesn’t count towards your own player stats. For sure, the tying goal should be more than a goal that puts you two ahead. If it is an empty-net goal, I would take the number from your system and divide it by five, let’s say, for the number of people on the ice, since anyone can score it. I would award points for EN goals because if your team is up by one, an empty-net goal will still prevent the other team from tying. It is just easier to score.

      Hmm, if I were to come up with my own system, I’d only use goals scored during the time the game is within four goals, since it’s highly unlikely that teams come back when down by five. I’m gonna think about this for a night or so because I’m sure your system didn’t take ten minutes to come up with.

    40. Robby Bonfire on

      SPIDER – I will meet you, halfway. My original conception, was, in fact consistent with your observation that a tying goal is worth more than a goal giving a team two-goal lead. But then I changed it. So I am going to revert to my original values, as a result of your observation. That has been, by far, my most difficult dilemma where assigning point values, is concerned.

      I do not, however, and never will, touch empty-net goals with a 10-foot pole. In fact, on my plus-minus D and forward relative plus-minus comparison, I completely discount any empty-netters, in direct contrast with the NHL statistical bureau which insists that empty-netters are “even-strength” goals. Nothing upsets me more about hockey, in fact, than the entire concept of punishing a team for leading in a close game by putting it a skater down, at crunch time. This hideous, arbitrary rule directly led to the Rangers getting bounced out of the playoffs last spring, but I have always been adamantly opposed to the injustice of it all. Enough said.

      The new values, and I will adjust them for game one play, are as follows, where “10” represents par and a tie score; “11” a one goal lead; “12” a two goal lead, etc. And “7” represents a 3-goal deficit; “8” a 2-goal deficit, etc.

      17-18 = 1 point.

      16-17 = 2 points.

      15-16 = 3 points.

      14-15 = 5 points.

      13-14 = 8 points.

      12-13 = 13 points.

      11-12 = 21 points.

      10-11 = 34 points.

      10 = par and a tie score

      9-10 = 34 points.

      8-9 = 21 points.

      7-8 = 13 points.

      6-7 = 8 points.

      5-6 = 5 points.

      4-5 = 3 points.

      3-4 = 2 points.

      2-3 = 1 point.

      So that Prucha’s tying goal (from 9-10) has an adjusted value of 34 points; whereas Callahan’s goal for a two-goal lead (11-12) becomes worth 21 points.

    41. Robby Bonfire on

      Elias has most professional sports tied up, but I can’t say if that includes hockey. Staats out of Chicago also has some major statistical clients.

    42. Bonfire – I was talking about actual empty net goals, scored on an empty net. I’ll agree that 6 on 5 goals are essentially power play goals. That’s why I said divide by five because the team that’s down has five. But you don’t include shorthanded goals, right? Maybe that’s something we should think about, too.

    43. Mara came to the aid of his teamates twice last night,had some good hits, he stays in the lineup…..he’s getting heat for a crap call 2 min,yea 4 yea right!!!!!
      Keep it up Paul.
      Dubi on the 4th line maybe but com’on 1 game give him a few to get going guys


      Yeah Betts was on the ice for both Cally and Pruch’s goals.

      Im not quick to dump Betts, every team needs a Defensive player, and he’s that guy for us. He played a decent game, and he is a damn good Pk’er.


      Nylander scored for WASH

      and NYI is looking pretty good. Miller is letting a few softies go by, its now 6 – 4 NYI…

    45. That Cherepanov goal was nice. MSG doesn’t post post-game press conferences on Youtube, do they? Wish they would.

    46. Robby Bonfire on

      I considered including short-handed goals in the mix, but decided not to, because that would involve combining even-strength and SH minutes in one column, and I don’t want to do that. Too much time involved, plus I already keep a log on E-S minutes on each player, so I can project the Fib points earned over a common denominator time-frame, such as 100 minutes.

    47. Looks like Renney might give this kid blog more to cry and second guess about. Dubinsky & Staal will likely be scratches tonight.

    48. Bonfire – Your life must be consumed with these hats during hockey season. Am I right to guess you may be retired based on some posts you made during last season?

    49. Doodie – pretty much agree with your assessment.

      Mara should in no way be benched for his double-minor. Untimely, yes, but warranted? Hell no. Bad call number one by the refs. Number two was when Weiss PURPOSELY grabbed Orr’s stick. I don’t believe that was incidental for one minute. It was a case of quick thinking and quick hands on the part of the Panthers and a bad eye by both Orr and the officials.

      As for the Sens game, they’d be crazy to have Hossa out a second game. Frankly I don’t understand why he’s sitting to begin with. There’s too much size and talent in that player to sit him without good reason. I’d argue Dubinsky for the pine seat tonight. Granted, this is probably an unpopular view. But having Hossa and Betts in gives them the size and experience they need in a tough game. NTM, Orr AND Hollweg should be in such a situation. Lines:


      And if that doesn’t work, move Betts back between Cally and Pruch, and Hollweg between Hossa and Orr.

    50. Retired? I wish I were, and living on a Greek isle in relative seclusion. I maintain stats, in season, on the Rangers, Phillies, UCLA football, Phila Eagles, and Formula-1 drivers; as well as the FOREX market, which I am in and out of as an investor; country music songs and singers, as well as the NASDAQ and precious metals and commodities markets. I also run a P.T; business as a certified Foreclosure Prevention Loss Mitigation agent. Oh yes. I also write music, have 15 songs registered with BMI, and belong to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, located in NYC. I have as much passion for my Rangers as any of the above.

    51. DoodieMachetto on

      “Doodie – pretty much agree with your assessment. ”

      which one?

      That Cherepanov goal that someone linked a youtube vid for would NEVER happen in the NHL. Once he puts the puck past that defenseman, the guy just stood there. In the NHL, once he tries that cute move, the guy would FLATTEN him. Unless it was Malik, then he would poke check the puck away.

      (I still don’t like him)

    52. Doodie: I posted that Cherepanov link and I thought the exact same thing. Yeah it was a real nice goal, but he would have been flattened in the NHL. The move wasn’t what impressed me the most though. I was most impressed by his shot after not having the puck on his stick. I grew up playing hockey and its one thing to hit the upper corner after having the puck on your stick for a few seconds – you have a feel for the puck. But if I remember the video correctly, Cherepanov shoots the puck immediately after he schools the defenseman without really regaining possession. I don’t know if that makes sense to everyone, but it impressed me.

    53. I wouldnt be surprised if Dubi and Staal got benched tonight…In my opinion i think its a potentially great move. You gotta let these two know, that they didnt win those spots just yet, so they need to fight to keep it, and benching them is good, let them watch from where Pock usually sits. Dress Hoss, and Pock / Strudwick. This way Dubi and Staal come out strong against the Isles. My lines…

      Hossa – Drury – Jagr
      Callahan – Gomez – Shanahan
      Straka – Avery – Prucha
      Hollweg – Betts – Orr

      Rozsival – Malik
      Tyutin – Girardi
      Mara – Pock

    54. dancing with the “stars”: Betts isnt out there to get points, he is out there to keep the other team from scoreing points. Just as, if not more important at times than lighting the lamp. Points are NOT a good way to show value of a 3rd/4th line defensive center. If Cally and Prucha can take care of the O (and I think they can) Betts just has to think D, and that line would be well balanced. I just hate that some people point to his lack of points as him doing wrong, or being a bad player…that doesnt give enough credit to the abilities defensivly that he has….and his heart, I mean how many players go down in front of shots every time?? Not to many, he will sacrifice his body at any point in a game, the 1st min or the last min, and the score doesnt matter…he has a job and he does it well. Another thing, dont you think with a full season on a line with offensive player he may get some points? I mean really, how many points could any center get with Orr and Hollweg playing 8 min a night?

    55. Pock should get a shot tonight and sit Staal. Staal doesn’t need to play every single game, let him watch a few. I’d sit Dubinsky tonight and put in Hossa on the second line with Shanahan and Gomez. Avery can play with Callahan and Prucha. We actually might need Hollweg and Orr for once tonight. Neil is gonna run around at Jagr and maybe even Drury who he concussed last year. We are going to need Hollweg to throw some big hits back if needed and Orr to drop the mitts with McGratton or Neil. If McGratton doesnt play tonight then I’d sit Hollweg and keep Dubinsky in there.

    56. according to zipay mara and hossa are sitting and strudwick and staal are paired together for tonight

    57. Jeez….Mara sitting. Im not surprised Hoss is sitting, i know Renney doesnt wanna make the mistake of not dressing Orr, or Hollweg. I guess having Strudys is for extra protection.

      If there willing to sit Mara, then you know they are shopping him around. Im not sure about it, but i wouldnt be surprised if they do try and get Jovo.

      I was watching a Yotes game last night or the night before, and Jovo threw a huge hit. he can be very punishing.

      But then again who knows, i just find it weird to sit a guy who didnt play a bad game, and took a double minor which ended up a 4 on 4.

      I am surprised Staal is playing, but its like i said last week, Staal will get put to the test against OTT, not FLA.

      Hopefully we hand the Sens there first loss of the year.

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