From the outhouse to the penthouse


A frantic morning led to a late start, so apologies are in order (along with thanks to Josh Thomson for pinch-hitting late last night).

First, the basics: the Rangers have not called anyone up from Hartford, and will instead insert the recently scratched Marcel Hossa into the first line spot alongside Jaromir Jagr and Chris Drury, in turn dropping Martin Straka down alongside Scott Gomez and Brendan Shanahan. On defense, Paul Mara skated again with Marc Staal, which would suggest that Jason Strudwick will again be a scratch alongside Thomas Pock.

But it’s early yet, and Tom Renney conceded he was going to at least talk to management about bringing someone up from Hartford as an extra forward. But it doesn’t sound like that’s imminent, and even if it is, it would likely only be someone called up for insurance purposes as a 13th forward (remember both Strudwick and Pock also play forward, so that’s an 11th hour option as well).

As for Sean Avery’s mindset after his injury, it’s safe to say it’s less than rosy seeing how he declined to talk just now. But the season pushes forward, and Avery’s loss is Hossa’s gain. The idea to pair the wing with Jagr makes sense since the two showed chemistry playing together last year; and given the similarities between the explosive styles of both Avery and Straka, it could come at minimal disruption to the second line.

“I came to play for this team,” Hossa said when I asked about his benching the first two games. “When the coach makes a decision, I have to live with that. And as soon as he pencilsme into the lineup, I have to be ready.”

We’ll see how this all shakes out against the Islanders on Wednesday. Given the fireworks between the two teams in this preseason, it seems like the very sort of game Avery would want to be a part of. But for now, he’ll be forced to watch from afar.

More later….

About Author


  1. Richtersgirl35 on

    I am loving this decision! I am sure Hossa will go out and show them why he shouldnt have been benched in the first place.

    Especially since the Jagr line has really done nothing so far. Hossa will be the perfect addition!

  2. this is a repost –

    If I am Renney and the Rangers I am looking at the situation as a rallying cry.

    The league, the team themselves, the media, the players and the coaching staff have placed a tremendous amount of pressure on the shoulders of their players.

    Avery was their guy who rallied them last season and now he has been shelved for a month by a cheap shot, by a player who plays on a team the Rangers could possibly be facing in the playoffs.

    We got the Isles and then Washington, two games we need to win and pick up 4 points. the Isles game will certainly be physical. Ottawa is going to make the playoffs, the Isles and Washington are on the bubble. We need to take 4 points from these two opponents, not be distracted about Saturday’s matchup.

    get your four points and then it’s payback time on Saturday night. If they lose focus here, they could easily find themselves picking up only 1 point going into Saturday’s game.

    I’ve watched the Isles and Washington, along with many other teams. The league is uptempo, high energy and a lot of teams are looking good out of the gate.

  3. Vogs….Neils hit on Avery was clean. Avery had his head down. Neil just like Avery never gets the benefit of the doubt on a marginal hit like that. There was no elbow thrown (Neils elbow came up after the hit) and he didn’t leave his feet.

  4. Peter, totally agree. Like we give a crap about 2 or 4 points at game 3 of the 82 game season? We care about the lines being stabilized and actually being allowed to play together for one whole game.

    Richtersgirl35….you have a good spirit. Keep it up. But remember, Malik cannot play defense to save his life. When the puck goes in the corner and one D is already there, the 2nd D should NEVER go to that corner unless every other player on the ice is outside the defensive zone. Basic hockey I learned when I was a squirt: One D chases the puck, the other stays in front of the net. Plain and simple. Malik wandered into the corner and the Senator was wide open in front. And believe me, this is not the first time this has happened and maybe not even the first time this season it has happened with that buffoon. Offensively he makes some contributions, but defensively he SUCKS. No 2 ways about it. Once in a while he makes a timely poke check. But countless times he is too slow, not physical enough, and just not effective enough to be a real D man. Period.

  5. Robby Bonfire on

    Malik has 0 takeaways, 3 giveaways and 0 hits, in two games. How does an NHL D not hit any forwards venturing into his zone? On the positive side he has 3 blocked shots and, is second of seven Ranger D’s (to Rozsival) in the plus-minus department.

    The play wherein he left Lundqvist with no protection in front was pee wee hockey at it’s dumbest. The sooner this team moves on from Malik, Mara, and Pock – unless they actually are going to use Pock, rather than rust him, the better.

  6. Hazman – I know you’ve heard of the salary cap. It’s also in effect the next few yrs as well. Just how do you intend to fit Jovo under the cap all 4 yrs. Hint Mara and Malik are gone after this yr anyway so that does not help for next yr when players like Henrik sign for much bigger bucks next yr. Do you want Tyutin, Prucha, Avery and Straka (at least) all gone to make room for this overpaid bum whose best yrs were a long long time ago.

  7. Richtersgirl35 on

    New Newman- In all seriousness I appreciate the fact you didnt jump down my throat like most people do about it. But I mean i watched the replay a couple times and Roszival was not in the corner with that guy that had the puck. He went after him at first but was pushed away and then I have no idea where Roszival went after that. I defintely do not think Malik is the best defenseman on the Rangers and Im not saying he doesnt make mistakes, all i say is i think he gets way too much crap for no reason. Thats why i defend him a lot. I feel like a lot of people blame Malik no matter what happens if he is on the ice and that is what gets to me. I feel bad for the guy becuase I feel he has a lot more talent then fans see him for. If we didnt sign him he would be picked up in a second i think becuase the league knows how valuable he is to a team.

  8. Malik – I’ve got no real afinity for him and think he’s dreadfully out of place on a first-line pairing. But with that said, there are worse options out there on defense(see: Jason Strudwick).

    If there’s one guy “on the bubble” so to speak, it’s definitely Hossa. Now’s his time to put up or get shut up with fourth line. If there’s no chemistry with Line Jagr, it will likely mean Marcel gets shipped, IMO.

    I will say, I like that line A LOT. Size on the wings and Drury. Hopefully, Hossa plays it physical. That was what was glaringly missing Saturday. The Sens were pounding on Jagr, even double-teaming him the whole game. With Hossa on that line, hopefully that will open up a bit more space for Drury and JJ.

  9. While it’s not good that Avery got injured, I think that his absence will pave the way for a more fluid offense.
    IMO, Avery should have started the season on the 3rd line.

    Gomez on the 2nd line needs someone who can skate at his pace and finsih. Straka dropping down a line may be the perfect complement to him. That line now is our second skill line. Shanny will povide the grit and protect the pair.


    I agree with your assessment on Hossa. This is his chance to finally shut up all his haters. I think he’s more than capable of doing so and expect him to get the 1st line going.
    Avery’s injury may prove to be a blessing in disguise.
    (Dubinsky and Hollweg need to make up for Avery’s grit in his absense.)

  10. The point I was trying to make…is you tell me where the “experts” think Washington and the Isles will finish up this season.

    The Isles are picked to be last in the league and I highly doubt the Caps are picked to finish in the east ahead of the Rangers, Flyers, Ott, Pitts., Carolina, Tampa, etc.

    So I guess I’ll have to explain that teams looking for home ice in the playoffs don’t want to look back at games in October they lost to non-playoff teams as reasons why they are fighting for 8th spot.

    The point was to concentrate on playing hockey, not payback…

    But if you don’t post on here every single day you get attacked for posting thoughts, which is what I thought this blog was for.

  11. Repost– Deja
    October 7th, 2007 at 11:08 pm
    what id like to see for the next game if in fact hossa would be slotted in instead of dawes

    (call me c-c-crazy)

    hossa drury jagr
    straka gomez shanny
    prucha betts cally
    holwegg dubi orr

    rosie – malik
    toots – girardi
    mara/pock – staal

    Jagr and hossa clicked together last year
    id like to see someone on the line with gomez who can keep up with his speed.

    just call me Deja Renney

    id like to see them call up dawes though

  12. Vogs -couldn’t agree more. Need to get four points ahead of the Sens and you know NYI will come with their usual chip on their shoulders. Rangers need to keep the puck deep and cycle as NYI’s D sucks and thats generous. Washington is quick, deeper than last year and they have Kolzig. The war is fought two points at a time.

  13. vogs – your posting seems reasonable. don’t let a few fools discourage you from posting. I agree that the next 2 games are very important. I want the team to get off to a good start so we don’t try to play Henrik 78 games. I also do worry though about getting beaten up by teams like Ottawa. So defending oneself is a concern as well. The main focus is the 2 pts yes but also to try to stay healthy.

  14. I agree, that Aves should have started on the third line. Hopefully Renney realizes this before he starts putting Hollweg on the 3rd line or some BS like that.

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

    And try Cally on the 2nd or 1st, and same with Pruchs. What the hell do we have to lose.

  15. Avery on third: agreed. Mind you, I think Avery is a very talented player, I just don’t think he’s a “1A” player. Theoretically speaking the Rangers’ have two first lines, ie. second being more of a 1A than a second.

  16. Most of you fellows seem to have pretty good insight. Malik’s biggest failure is that he takes the lazy way out – instead of pumping his legs, he reaches with the stick, and promptly goes to the P Box. Pock is a much better D than he’s ever been given credit for, and I can see him being sent to another club and reaching stardom there.

  17. I’d like to see Hossa get a shot before anyone from Hartford does. There’s really no sense in calling up Dawes for him to just sit there.

    Not that I’m at all a Strudwick guy, but this is where having him is actually beneficial, because he can serve as the extra forward and defenseman and you don’t have to curtail someone’s development in the AHL.

  18. As for Pock, he seems very prone to the big mistake. I’m not sure if it’s his positioning or what, but I’ve seen him get burned on quite a few big plays during his tenure as a Blueshirt.

  19. Doodie Machetto on

    I’ve been saying it since last season that I don’t think Avery is good enough to be our 2nd line player. He just flat out isn’t skilled enough offensively to warrant time on that line.

  20. Richtersgirl35 – Simply, Malik was to blame for the pass getting to the middle for that goal. Rozsival fell/got pushed down after chasing his man to the corner, which set up a 2 on 1 situation pretty much, where Malik should play the role of blocking the pass while letting Lundqvist play the shot from the guy with the puck, if he should so choose to go that route. I am confused, however, why no forwards were coming back when Meszaros, a defenseman, was rushing into the zone.

    Looking ahead, I think Valiquette will get his first start at Boston next Saturday.

  21. Also, it’s just strange to hear it that Hossa moves from bench to first line, even though it is totally justified. In the game against the Capitals, I would like to see Pöck tried at forward, but I know it won’t happen since he hasn’t been practicing there.

  22. Valiquette seems like a nice enough guy, and I know he has to play some time soon, but he just seems stiff to me. I mean yeah, he got the win in that Blues game last March, but I wouldn’t exactly say he looked real smooth out there.

    There’s a situation where I’d like to dip into Hartford and see what Montoya can do.

    How long can he keep playing in the AHL without ever seeing any NHL game action?

  23. Robby Bonfire on

    I wonder if Yankee fans snicker at those who have advocated, for a long time, the developing and inserting of “kids” (that familiar condescending term) into the lineup?

    What has been going on in the Bronx for several years is exactly what I don’t want to see the happen to the Rangers, i.e. their becoming an organization hypnotized more by the assembling of big names, and public relations, than the job at hand of building a world championship caliber team. The NHL salary cap, mercifully, mandates that the Rangers, unlike the Yankees, consider fiscal discipline, as part of their modus operandi.

    Just look at the age of 14 principals on this season’s Yankee roster – for the 2008 season. It doesn’t get any uglier than this, and of course they have not won the big prize since 2000…


    and pitchers…

    M. Rivera…38
    Villone…… 38

    Plus, of course, A-Rod, no spring chicken at 33 next year, may well be out the door. This is not called “planning ahead.” This club is done, for now, and will be lucky to crawl back into contention by 2012.

    So, boys and girls, next time you chide someone who advocates the steady infusion of “kids” into Ranger Blue, just think of the Yankees and the cost for being hesitant and reluctant to do so. Were it not for the salary cap, the Rangers would be the Yankees of the National Hockey League. We are most fortunate, in the Sather era, that they are not, no thanks to Sather.

  24. spiderpig – I think that guy came off the bench – and that’s also why Malik went into the corner with the 1 guy. still not the brigtest move but it looks like he didn’t see the guy coming off the bench. that’s the way I saw that play.

    bonfire – so it looks like you would rather the Rangers be the KC Royals or the Pittsburgh Pirates. or maybe the Columbus Bluejackets.

  25. The best thing to happen to the Rangers was the cap. It might suck for the players, but it allows for more kids.

    If Lundquvist, Drury, Gomez, and Roszival if they choose to resign him take up like 1/4 to 1/5 of the cap..cheaper guys will be needed to supplement them.

  26. I think NYR should wait on Vally. They should play as many teams, and then see which is the worst team, and play vally in those games. Like playing him against the Blues last year. I dont know.

    Im just happy the Devs and Isles lost.

    Broduer = 0 – 2 – wooooo

  27. Drop the Puck! on

    Maybe this will help with the Malik situation…
    Remember Bozo, Rachunek, Potty, even Kaspar? Do you remember hearing lots of boooos when they touched the puck? And they’re not here anymore right? So the ignorant fan would have to find someone to boo now right? Enter Marek Malik ((from the upper hall…Dylan anyone?)) He’s just the next guy on the chopping block. Not to say that the afore mentioned rejects didn’t deserve there fair share. But in comparison to them, Malik is a much more sound defenseman. If he were making 1.2mil he’d hear as many boo’s as the rest of the team. Booing Marek opening night was a disgrace to the true Ranger fan. Sports fans are often thought of as the “7th Man”. Think Marty Straka is booing Malik after they go out there and do battle for 60min? If you don’t wanna support a guy that has full backing from management, excellent coaches, and the guys that bleed for him night in and night out – you should question your loyalty to your team. JAGR was the one who led the ENTIRE NHL in give-a-ways last year. Jagr was. Malik was the one that led the team in +/-.


    I agree, it was a disgrave to boo him, and its not like that wont help him do better. But the fact is, he puts the team in danger to many times, and he costed us many games last season, and hopefully he wont do the same this year. But plays like on 10/4 when he went in front of Hank and passed up to the point and gave it right to a Panther. Those are things we dont friggin need. then on 10/6 against the sens that piss poor pee wee style hockey he was playing, when he left Hank all alone. Yeah Rozsival did get knocked down by a bigger guy who out muscled him, but Rozsi broke the play up, and there wasnt much Fisher could do, until Malik came skating towards him, then boom, open man. Those are the damn plays that screw the team, and is unfair to Hank and the the rest of the team. I can go on and on about him.

    Yeah, Jagr did have alot of giveaways last year, but he came to play, and had a damn good 90 point season with a bum shoulder. And if i have to hear about Malik’s +/- again, im gonna snap. Put Malik with Shanny’s unit, or Pruch’s unit, and lets see what his +/- is at the end of the year, cause playing with Jags, your +/- is gonna have to be good. Im still hoping for a suprise Harry trade, all im worried about is, will dumping Malik hurt Jags in any way. Cause thats the last thing we need.

  29. BTW

    Like i said…Jagr did have many giveaways, but most of them didnt lead to goals. But most of Harry’s did. How about Drury’s goal in the playoffs, in game 1 i think it was. Blind pass right to the point, shot by Campbell deflected by Dru. Great play.

  30. LIJOE- From what I had posted yesterday,it was a rumour that was published to that link that I had posted above. Yeah, Jovo & his salary might not be the answer we need in this team, however our defence is still in need of a (quarterback)offensive defenceman. Don’t take things personal, they are just rumours.

  31. Before you bash Malik for chasing a player (Fisher) in the corner, remember that a DEFENSMAN (Mazorov) scored the goal. . . . SHORTHANDED!!!!!!!!!!!
    I know some people like to say “anyone who ever played should know. . .blah, blah, blah,….I am an expert. . .bla, blah, blah. . .” When you have the PP, you should have the puck. Malik did not cost us that goal. That one was on the lazy Ranger forwards. Don’t preach unless you REALLY understand the game.

  32. hazman – sorry if I came off as surly. it’s just people in gen’l on these boards get on these kicks (Souray, Jovo etc) that to me make no sense due to the cap constraints and the fact is these players are not that good. if we were talking about the best dman in the league that would be a different story.

Leave A Reply