It’s only a matter of time….right?

77

Continuing on the optimist vs. the pessimist theme, count Jaromir Jagr as somewhere mysteriously in between. It was the Captain, remember, who suggested that it was going to take time for the Rangers to find their groove, and today after practice, he told me he was only partially right.

“It’s going to take a lot longer than I thought it’s going to be,” he said.

jagr.jpg

The reason why is what everyone’s struggling with, and that would certainly include Jagr. Although clearly in a playful mood, the wing was also honest in trying to find an answer for the Rangers’ poor start.

It was a strange conversation in many ways, but try to follow along.

“The thing is, you give me questions, but to answer your question, I would have to ask you more questions,” he said. “We play bad because a) are we not good enough?; b) a lack of confidence; or c) trying too much. There are so many variables.”

“Which one do you believe?” I asked.

“I believe there’s a lack of confidence right now and we’re pressing too much,” he said.

“And what about A?” I said, referring to his first possibility, that the Rangers aren’t good enough.

“If you come back in a month and ask the same question, I’ll maybe give you an answer. I don’t know how good we are really,” he said. “I believe we are good but we have to start playing good. Unless we start playing good it doesn’t matter right now. We don’t play good and I don’t know what’s the problem.”

This was pretty much the nature of the entire conversation, and perhaps fearful of being misunderstood, Jagr asked if I got the gist of what he was saying.

“I think so,” I said, looking down at my notepad. “You said, ‘Trade me right now,’ right?”

Jagr smiled. “No one would take me,” he said.

In other news:

  • Marcel Hossa skated today and is likely for tomorrow night in Pittsburgh. As a result, Tom Renney said he doesn’t anticipate bringing anyone up from Hartford.
  • There’s no definitive timetable on Martin Straka returning from his broken finger, but Renney’s best guess was the left wing would be out four to five weeks.
  • Given the above, the lines today were:

    Hossa-Gomez-Jagr
    Prucha-Drury-Shanahan
    Dawes-Dubinsky-Callahan
    Hollweg-Betts-Orr

  • Sean Avery skated on his own for a half hour before practice.
  • To answer many of your questions, I don’t expect to see Stephen Valiquette anytime soon. The one possibility is the back-to-back games Nov. 5 and 6.

    More later…

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    77 Comments

    1. Ugh, why can’t they use Dawes – Gomez – Shanahan. This would be the perfect time to do so, since Straka was skating with Shanahan most recently.

      At least now we have the excuse of injuries to fall back on, as well.

    2. Fugg that

      If Dawes is any good then he’ll show why he should play on the top 2 lines by having a great game. But as far as im concerned he should never have played on that line, he did no diserve it at all, good for Pruchs, maybe Cally the next game if things dont work out. Its about time one of those two are put with Dru and Shanny.

      Tough game tomorrow. This squedule is not getting any easier!!

    3. Doodie Machetto on

      “There’s no definitive timetable on Martin Straka returning from his broken finger, but Renney’s best guess was the left wing would be out *four to five weeks*.”

      WTF!? was his finger obliterated? That’s an INSANE amount of time for him to be out for a finger!

    4. Thanks for the answer Sam. I was thinking Valiquette gets in there earlier but who knows. I would want him to get at least some game action in the first month. Just to help him feel involved and not be AS rusty later in the season when they mayb need him a little bit more.

    5. Not bad. If I had Renney’s coat on I think I’d place Callahan next to Drury. I think he’s outplayed Prucha so far this season and should be the bumped up based on that fact alone. But Prucha is not a bad choice either and I hope for his sake he grabs the bull by the horn!

    6. thisyearsmodel on

      Like the lines, except for the utterly useless Colton Orr. He is a wate of a roster spot. Bring up Byers in his place. He has some talent.

    7. Doodie-

      Agreed on the 4-5 weeks. That seems excessive. Maybe he doesn’t want to be part of this fiasco.

    8. Straka’s injury is key as it relates to getting productivity from Jagr. He is the only player accustomed to Jagr’s style, that can play Center on this team. If he is indeed out 4-5 weeks, getting any production from Jagr will be tough.

      I’m curious if anyone else has noticed that the most challenging 2 forwards on the roster right now at even strength are Jagr and Shanahan. While both dissimilar in style, neither enthusiastically pursues loose pucks, and have essentially been liabilities.

      With the two being placed on the ice in all of the important offensive situations, and neither producing, is it a wonder why the team can’t score?

      Renney is going to have to give PP time to those players that demonstrate the desire to do the dirty work, and go to the net, not just the ones receiving big paychecks.

    9. Dawes Dubinsky Callahan

      Wasn’t this a top line in Hartford? I think it was. So there shouldn’t be an argument that Dawes is being wasted because he is not on a top line. If he flourished on this line in Hartford, he can do it now once they find rhythm on the NHL level.

    10. I like that kid line and I think given a fair chance they are going to produce and have a lot of energy.

    11. Someone asked me about the story on Malik and LA’s trade interest….I have sources let’s just say that. I can’t give him up, I’d be dead. The fact that they did not give Malik up means the D situation is even more desperate than originally thought.

      He also told me that Avery is progressing ahead of schedule. He told me that the mgmt on this team does not see Dawes as anything more than a 3rd or 4th liner, ever. Sorry. And that the reason Staal is playing so much is not as much that they think he is ready to play 25 mins a night but more due to the dearth of defensive talent they actually have.

      What I find amazing is that we have an fantastic goals against (defense is the key to winning in April-May and beyond) and we have such a bunch of OK-at-best defensemen. Imagine if our offense scored 3 goals a night?

      There is still hope, but man is it painful to watch.

    12. Nasty 1 – My fear for that third line, however, is if they get burned defensively one time early, Betts will be shuttled up there, making both lines 3 and 4 fairly useless offensively because you know Dawes won’t be able to produce with Betts centering him.

    13. I wonder what this team looks like when all are healthy. Who are going to be the odd men out? It will likely be Dawes and maybe Hossa or Hollweg. Hollweg has not really done a thing for us this year, and I like having Orr in the lineup for his fighting anyway.

    14. I hate the whole idea of 1-4 line. I say that if the team and the payers truly want to win they will play and produce on any line. If you have 4 balanced lines you should win most games. How can we best balance our lines? That is the whole issue.

      Callahan Gomez Jagr
      Avery Drury Shanahan
      Dawes Dubinsky Orr (just a stretch)
      Hossa Betts Straka

    15. Hopefully Hollweg will sit, at least for some games, because he has been mostly invisible out there; maybe affected by the decree from the league against him.

    16. I agree with the kid line, good speed hopefully they click.

      As far as Straka’s injury is concerned, without going into an anatomy lesson, the reason why it may be so long is, he may have broken a thumb, index or middle finger. If it was a ring finger or little finger, unless shattered with many breaks, could be taped. Most grabbing strength comes from thumb, pointer and middle. He is also a left handed shot, so that top hand has to be strong.
      Sam, do you know which finger was broken?

    17. I hated all the hype behind this team going in to the season. I have a feeling that the hype is definitely part of the reason we are having struggles as well because we are pressing so damn much. Look at the Islanders. They look like we did two seasons ago. The Flyers were expected to be ok, but because of last season people did not say much and they are flying right now. A positive is not many teams are playing knock em dead hockey right now. Teams are beating teams. Ottawa, Philly, Minnesota, look amazing. Nobody else looks sooooooooooo good. There is time and we will turn it around.

    18. While this was not a tremendously inspiring interview, I do have to admit I love hearing what Jagr says. His one-liners are priceless…

    19. SPIDER: A player can show a minus figure in a game and still come out well on my relative plus-minus system if his teammates on D do even worse. He can show a plus 2 or something and not grade well if his team won big and most of is fellow D’s did better than he did. So if the team wins big, you have to perform big, if the team gets blown out, you are graded against a lesser par figure. This way players on strong teams have no head start when compared with players on weak teams.

      +3) 1-0 vs. +2; 2-0 vs. +1; 3-0 vs. Even; 4-0 vs. -1, 5-0 vs. -2, etc.

      +2) 0-1 vs. +3; 1-0 vs. +1; 2-0 vs. Even; 3-0 vs. -1; 4-0 vs. -2, etc.

      +1) 0-2 vs. +3; 0-1 vs. +2; 1-0 vs. Even; 2-0 vs. -1; 3-0 vs. -2, etc.

      Even) 0-3 vs. +3; 0-2 vs. +2; 0-1 vs. +1; 1-0 vs. -1; 2-0 vs. -2, etc.

      -1) 0-4 vs. +3; 0-3 vs. +2; 0-2 vs. +1; 0-1 vs. Even; 1-0 vs. -2, etc.

      -2) 0-5 vs. +3; 0-4 vs. +2; 0-3 vs. +1; 0-2 vs. Even; 0-1 vs. -1, etc.

      -3) 0-6 vs. +3; 0-5 vs. +2; 0-4 vs. +1; 0-3 vs. Even; 0-2 vs. -1, etc.

    20. Am I the only one that thinks Hollwegg has improved a great deal? I think he’s showed much more offensive confidence and puck control. Sure, he’s not scoring goals, but who is? He’s been forced to change his game a bit, and yes he loses the puck, but if he’s controlling it for 3 seconds longer than he was, he’s attracting attention to himself and hopefully someone else is getting into scoring position. I’m still not a huge fan…. but I see him as an actual hockey player this year and not a Geico commercial on skates.

    21. Only a matter of time folks, only a matter of the time. I trust the men in that locker room to pull together and get us rolling, and when we do I feel bad for the teams that play us!

      LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!

    22. THISYEARSMODEL

      Are you drunk, high or anything else??

      NYR made the mistake of the year scratching Orr in that game against the Flyers. They chose Hollweg instead, and what happened in that game?? Fedoruk bitched every ranger in site. We lost Shanny to a concussion, Malik (thank god) to a shoulder injury, Ward to a hand injury, Hank nearly got a shoulder injury, and played a little before leavign the game, and that all could have been avoided, and yeah i know its dumb to bring up, but its the craziest thing in the world. Cause when you think about it, if Orr was in the lineup, seriously, none of that would have happened. Because Orr would fight Fedoruk and things would have settled down, and blah blah blah. What did Hollweg do in that game…NOTHING. Ward fought, and Avery fought, but Hollweg didnt fight Fedoruk like he should have. But Hollweg is a suck ass fighter. Dont get Orr and Hollweg mixed up, because unlike Hollweg, Orr knows his role, and thats to fuggin fight, Hollweg is supposed to hit, but he cant even do that…And dont bring up 05 – 06 and 4 months of 06 – 07, cause i dont care when the last time was were he was actually hitting, the fact i he isnt doing much of it, and he is the useless one. Enough said.

      Orr = Protection

      Hollweg = Pussy

      Not to mention Orr was the one who went after Exelby while Hollweg screamed at him and skated away.

      Orr might have taken a double minor, which Hossa scored on, but the game was over anyway, and he did the right thing.

      How dare any NYR fan question Orr. With a right hand like that, no one should dare say a damn thing. Orr is the man, im happy he’s on the team, he’s one of the best enforcers in the league cause he doesnt just fight, he can knockout. Byers should replace Hollweg, not Orr.

      Hail Baby!!! – Al Bundy

    23. Jagr sounds so depressed, I think he needs to get laid. Poor guy, Inna’s probably in CR.

    24. Jagr joked about being traded but I don’t think that would be the worst thing in the world. This entire offense doesn’t work because Jagr can’t seem to find chemistry with anyone. maybe taking him out of the equation would solve a lot of problems and they would become more of a team.

    25. i can’t say losing jagr would be ideal. still one of the top players in the game and he’ll click with someone eventually. he just needs to figure it out. and nyrblue2, i couldn’t agree more–jagr’s one-liners and quips are great.

    26. “This entire offense doesn’t work because Jagr can’t seem to find chemistry with anyone. maybe taking him out of the equation would solve a lot of problems and they would become more of a team.”

      I think…there’s a certain amount of truth to that. Although I also think that’s taking the easy way out, not to mention looking a gift horse in the mouth in the sense that we’ve got a Jaromir Jagr at half price in a salary cap NHL. It is in our best interest to MAKE it work while we can. I believe after this year Jagr turns back into a pumpkin and we probably wont be able to afford as much “talent” as we can right now. We are in a pretty unique situation with Jagr, unfortunately that really drives the pressure up on the “win *this* year” front.

      I do think it might be a good idea to have Jagr relinquish some control though. It’s on Renney to make this work somehow. Figure your men out. Give them orders and if they do not follow them they need to be punished in some capacity no matter how many zeros in their checks.

    27. Orr re that Philly game – Shanny had a fluke collision with a respectible hockey player – ie not a goon at all in Knuble. Henrik’s near miss was a fluky play as well. I’m not a Hollweg fan but Orr not being in there had nothing to do with those plays. BUT it did have everything to do witht he Flyers beating the snot out of our team physically. Orr – if healthy – will always play vs Philly.

    28. To nasty1…Dawes played with Immonen and Bourret to make the first line i Hartford. When Callahan was there, he skated with Byers and Dubinsky.

      Dawes and Callahan are too similar to play on the same line for very long. As soon as both get the puck they shoot, or in Hockey player lingo: ‘black holes’….Once you give them the puck, you never see it again..

    29. The smart thing to to do is trade Jagr at the deadline and take a run at Hossa in the off season.

    30. Peter – I presume you mean the Atlanta Hossa. The one who has disappeared in the playoffs each and every year. This is not fantasy hockey – draft him for your team if you want. I want a team capable of someday winning the cup. Not a team who’s alleged best player fades away come crunch time as Hossa has done time and time again.

    31. Sam, can you remember me that you have traded me away to another message board for making weak posts on your blog ????:):):)

      Yeah now you can feel what does it mean to be traded !!!:):):)

    32. Al Balwig is a dolt. Newman your ”sources” are the cookie monster and Big Bird right. Btb Staal is only playing 12-14 monutes a night. The Kings have zero interest in Malik.

    33. LI Joe – Hossa has had some great playoff years. In 01-02 he had 16pts in 18 games and in 02-03 he had 10 pts in 12 games. In 99-00 he had a terrible playoff, and again last year. But he’s been pretty good in the playoffs for most of his career.

      But why let facts get in the way?

    34. Another bit of info from that Al/Stan blog link above.

      They said it’s Straka’s index finger that is broken. Damn…

    35. Jagr was coming off his worst year of his career but that didnt stop us from getting him.

      If Jags were to leave or get traded, Slats would definitely take a run at Hoss, even Spez, but Spez already said theres no way he’s leaving OTT.

      Even Wade Redden is a free agent next year, Sather will look into that, but also he doesnt wanna leave OTT.

      Its pointless to talk about this now, so early in the year. But i guess its semi fun to think aboot.

      LIJOE

      I know it had nothing to do with that. But in some freaky way if one thing changed who knows maybe we would have been the ones winning that game and everyone would go home healthy. Its like final destination in a way. Also another example is, Shanny was about to fight Fedork, but he stopped cause Avery started fighting Richards, who knows…if Aves didnt fight, then Shanny would have fought and the collision might not have happened. Like i said, its crazy to think about, but it is like final destination. Its weird. But im glad both Shanny and Knuble were ok, and Hank of coarse.

    36. Straka – All I know is that if I took a Chara slapper to the hand, I’d be out AT LEAST five weeks. Sucks, it does.

      LINES – I like those lines for the most part. The only difference is that I’d switch Gomer and Drury. Drury seems to take far more shots at the net, which for the now-parimiter minded Jagr is something should theoretically lead to goals.

      Dawes-Dubinsky-Callahan will be fine. Black-hole players are exactly what this team needs: guys that are going to drive to the net and shoot. The only other thing I’d ask is that they HIT the net(re: Bruins game). Man, that last period, I counted no less than four scoring ops, one of which I’m sure would have gone in, had they managed to hit the friggin’ net. Time for some accuracy drills, Renney…

      Hollweg: the guy has some talent with the puck, moreso than I’d say Betts and Orr have. It’s just that he’s…well…skating with Betts and Orr. On fourth line, he is the only scoring threat.

    37. Graves9 or Oscar the Grouch, since were making Sesame Street references, I can back up New Newman’s source…so go back to your can. Just because bloggers are not reporters does not mean we do not know some of the right people and bump into them time to time.

    38. tdchi – others can say the same about playing with Hollweg. he is bad on offesne no matter who he plays with and makes others worse by playing with him. the best I can say about him is he hasn’t hurt us this yr like he did many times last yr. If the best that can be said about somebody is that they are not that good. he sat – and rightfully so – during most of the playoffs last yr (at least the Atl portion).

      Peter – Hossa stats attached. 35 pts in 55 playoff games. 2 good yrs. 2 good yrs out of 7. and look at his overall +/- of -9. Mark Messier he isn’t. No thanks on him. and nice snide remark but I always consider the source.

    39. LI Joe – I’d take Marian Hossa @29 over Jaromir Jagr @35 any day of the week. Hossa take over games now the way Jagr used to before he was overrated, like he is now.

    40. Peter – at some pt I’d take neither. whether that be next yr or the yr after. I don’t want Hossa as a main component of the team I root for. I’d like to see a cup or 2 in the next few yrs and I don’t see him helping. I hope Atl signs him before somebody gets tempted by that forbidden fruit. I also like 2 way players and Hossa is far from that. Good for fantasy stats but that’s about it. I’d rather go for a guy like redden if we have that much room on our cap. Although I don’t think our cap room will be that large.

    41. Current Ottawa D Relative Plus-Minus W-L Records…

      C. Phillips……….45-6

      J. Corvo………….24-12

      A. Volchenkov…30-16

      A. Meszaros…..12-25

      L. RIchardson….7-15

      C. Schubert…….8-27

      W. REDDEN……..7-32
      ———————————————————————–

    42. TDCHI

      Looool Whaaat!?!?!

      Hollweg has more offense then Betts?? Hell fuggin no. Betts has a way better shot then Hollywood.

      Why do NYR fans kiss Hollwegs ass so much. He is not a goal scorer he is nothing like Darcy Tucker. All he can do is skate fast and hit, and he hasnt been hitting, and he’s a suck ass fighter who gets his ass kicked every season.

      And were stuck with his crao for another 2 years. This sucks.

      Hollweg might have more offense then Orr, but not Betts.

      At least Betts had 10 goals or something last year, with 2 being shorthanded, while Hollweg scored his only goal off a 2 on 0 with future HOF Jagr.

      Hail Baby!!! – Al Bundy

    43. Jesus…..This is embarrising

      We nearly get shutout by Hedberg and the Thrashers, and the Lightning score 6 goals against him.

      And we get shut out by Manny and the Bruins, but the Habs score 4 goals against Manny and the B’s.

      I hate Aaron Ward BTW.

    44. LI Joe – Hossa kills penalties. I don’t know many one-way forwards that kill penalties. The guy is hands down the best winger in the conference. The only winger I’d take over him is Zetterberg. Not every forward is going to be a Selke contender.

    45. Jagr should be playing with rookies. Lang does it in Chicago. Sakic does in Colorado. Why can’t Jagr? He is the Captain isn’t he?

    46. John M …
      …Jagr is suppose to make the players around him better, but he wants them to play the way he tells them. He’s been quoted saying how he’d tell Nylander what to do. Nylander would change for a few games & go back to his comfort zone. Jagr would probably teach the kids bad habits. He likes to take shortcuts in his game. The NYR win when he goes to the net & backchecks. Maybe putting Prucha or Hossa & Dubinsky with him, would get him going & playing a two way game. I thought Straka should be his center, but that will have to wait now. Somebody needs to start scoring, the offense is in lala land.

    47. Jagr in the playoffs last year played inspiring hockey after being non existent all season long. I know he had the injured shoulder but either way, he was on fire in the playoffs. I don’t know if he is trying to save energy or what but he looks lost out there. He is still a fast skater, but not fast enough to pull off the one on one moves that he tries. He wants people to play his way, well maybe it is time that he changes the way he plays a bit. He needs to take shorter shifts and by doing that he can put more energy in to the time he is out there. There is no reason why he can’t click with Gomez, he just has to want to and be willing to compromise. There is no question that Jagr is one of the greatest to ever play, but he is a stubborn guy. But if he can start putting pucks in the net I don’t care if he pushes his grandmother in front of a cab on broadway.

    48. Two thoughts on all this:

      1) I thought they looked pretty good in the Boston game. They seemed to anticipate well (both defensively and offensively with regards to each other). That fact alone suggests that it’s only a matter of time. They’re going to explode offensively… and it may be sooner (in the next week or two) rather than later.

      2) The two injuries could be exactly what this teams needs… time for the youth to prove themselves. This is not to say that Avery or Straka will be replaced… it’s just to say that maybe Dubi and Dawes get a longer look and a chance to show they belong. If that third line (which apparently has played together before) can show some chemistry… then that’s at least a place to start. If those pieces are in place… the others may start fitting where they should be. Plus, chemistry is something that can be infectious. Maybe the kids are what get the ball rolling.

    49. I agree to an extent about the injury thing being good. But the problem with that is Avery has been hurt for a while now. And it didn’t seem to do a thing for us. I think we really need Avery back in the lineup ASAP. I don’t think he is overrated at all and he does a lot.

    50. Doodie Machetto on

      Don’t blame not scoring on Jagr alone. By my count, there are 14 forwards who have played for us this season, and Jags isn’t the only one not putting the puck in the net.

      The problem isn’t the players, it’s the coach. There is no rhyme or reason to anything going on in the offensive zone. There is no system. There is no game plan. There are a bunch of guys being randomly picked and told to play together. Forget chemistry for a second. Chemistry means two players click. But that click is supposed to be facilitated by a system, an organization of the offense so that each player will have an idea of what the other will do and where he will be. Chemistry is when players can work so well within the system that they can occassionally improv out of it with success. But there is STILL an underlying system. This year, there is no system. Haphazard, pick-up style disorganization.

      This also leads to a TON of penalties. Players are constantly out of position and taking penalties as a result. Just undisciplined, sloppy, unorganized play. All of this is Renney’s fault.

    51. I will put some of the blame on Renney, but not all of it. I am sure they practice a system, but the team is pressing, so they lose sight of that system. I am not putting all the blame on Jagr. Not at all. All I am saying is that he needs to adjust to his centerman and not have to have his centerman adjust to him.

    52. Well, some fans might say it is still early to determine if a season is in jeopardy, but how about this ,was it actually worth signing both Drury & Gomez this off season? All we need was to add one guy to last years roster and my choice would of been Drury and we could of kept Nylander, Cullen, & Ortmeyer. Check the stats, Gomez so far this season has in 7 games 3 points compared to Nylander in 7 games as well has 5 points or even Cullen in 9 games had 7 points (a wasted trade). Sure Gomez looks nice in a Rangers Jersey but so would Elias, Gionta & any other crosstown rival star. I think the Rangers went a little too far with the signing they did this past offseason. I thought we learned our lesson with the past seasons from 00-03, well I guess not. With the way the season looks so far, maybe we can get lucky to get Jareed Staal in the next draft.

    53. Doodie Machetto on

      Nasty1, I disagree. Let’s look at the System that Jagr had with Nylander and either Straka or Hossa/Isbister.

      Nylander would skate and circle, controlling the puck, looking for Jagr in the circles. Straka’s role would be to pick up loose pucks and be ready to get back on the defensive. Hossa/Isbister’s role was to hold the puck along the boards or regain it within the zone, and make sure it got back to Nylander to reset the offense for Jagr. That was the basic idea: setting up Jagr in the circles.

      Same deal with the 2nd line. The idea was to set up Shannahan in the circles or the slot. Whomever centered it made that their job. The LW on that line was either Prucha or Avery, and both had the same job: get in front of the net.

      The third line’s role was to cycle and pressure with a strong forecheck. Occassionally throw a centering pass out in front and then crash the net. There was a revolving door’s worth of players on that line, but the function and role of the line remained constant.

      My point is, whomever went into or out of any line, the line still functioned the same way. That constant of purpose and style fosters the creation of chemistry. This year, every shift each line is out there, they try something different. Gomez carries from end to end, gains the zone with speed, but then lays off the puck to nobody because no one is with him. Jagr hasn’t had a decent set up pass in the slot the entire season. Shanahan shoots the second the puck touches his stick, no matter where he is. Dubinsky tries to show he blongs by doing a lot, but instead he is doing so much that he can’t focus on playing offense. There’s no system. No rhyme or reason for what anyone is doing out there. And that’s why no one can score, and why it looks so unorganized, and why we take so many stick penalties.

    54. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

      Just wanted to quickly chime in about the “best winger” in the league conversation. Whoever said “Zetterberg” probably just looked at the top leaders and saw him above the rest. He’s good, but never hit 90 points. If you’re looking for the best winger in the NHL, he was just given a $45million contract…Dany Heatley. 100+ points last two years and he’ll probably do it again this year.

    55. I’m starting to think that because drury and gomez play a different style of hockey than shanahan and jagr is why the first two lines are struggling and look lost at times.

    56. And why is it that every time I see a highlight from the carolina games, matt cullen looks like an offensive genius. Ha. Figures.

    57. I never had a problem with Cullen, I like the guy. If he was getting paid 1.5-2 mil. and playing 3 line center for us I would have liked him even more. Oh well. I guess your stock goes waaaaaay up when you are coming off a Stanley Cup win.

    58. Doodie Machetto on

      Truefans: Agreed with you on Heatley. He is the most complete winger in the game. After Crosby and Lecavalier, I’d say he’s the best player in the NHL (only because dominating centers are so few right now).

      Tom G: I don’t think Gomez and Drury play different Hockey than either of them, especially Shanahan. The final couple of years Shanahan was in Detroit, he played largely with Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Tell me that speedy Datsyuk and Zetterbeg don’t remind you of speedy Gomez. Remember the Chemistry of Dawes-Gomez-Shanahan in the preseason? Dawes and Gomez were on the same page, and Shanahan knew exactly what to do just like he did in Detroit. I mean, that’s the way he learned to even play on the right side (before that he had always been a left wing). Now, I know you’ll point out that Datsyuk and Zetterberg are much better than Gomez and Dawes, but not when they were first united. Gomez now is as good as both of them were then. Dawes is a little lower, but has growth potential. Even if you were to slide Prucha or Callahan there, you would have the same result. I feel this is especially true for Prucha.

      As for Jagr, look at what he did with Kip f-ing Miller! You’re telling me he can’t do better with Drury? It’s just a matter of Renney telling the players you go X, you go Y, and then both of you do Z. Instead of You, you, and you, get on the ice and try and “keep moving forward.” That’s not a system; it sounds more like a team motto for the playoffs, like “Heave-Ho” or “Safe is dead” (TBL, 2004).

    59. I was at the islander pre season game that Dawes Gomez Shanahan flourished. I like that line a lot.

    60. Doodie Machetto on

      By the way, a system is what made it possible for JAgr and Nylander to still be effective with BRAD ISBISTER playing on the Left side. Because there were defined ROLES within the system. Isbister managed to fill a ROLE that is one of the reasons we fared so well towards the end of the season. I mean seriously: BRAD SHITBISTER!

    61. Doodie Machetto on

      Yes, I am saying Renney is the problem.

      And coming from me, that should mean something, becuase I liked Renney a lot the past couple of years, and defended him frequently when he would come under attack. But right now, there is no blame to be put anywhere except on his shoulders.

    62. Nasty1, Doodie

      It seems like we all agree that Dawes-Gomez-Shanahan would be a good fit based on the Islander game that I was at as well. Renney is just too dumb to see it for himself.

      IMO this team is starting out like it has the in previous years poor coaching, lack of discipline, no cohesiveness and no heart. Like in the past, more so last year, Renney will get his and the teams sh*t together.

      Not worried yet, but if we only have 6-8 wins after 20 games we can starts calling for dramatic changes.

    63. why.do we. refuse. to put. daes. gomez. and shanny. together?!

      you know why this team is terrible ITS A DIFFERENT LINE EVERY NIGHT!

      hossa drury jagr
      dawes gomez shanny
      prucha dubinsky cally
      holwegg betts orr

      Play it then leave it alone for awhile!
      you dont build chemisty by changing the lines every game!

    64. re the Islander exh game. the isles dressed their farm club that game. so I can’t see that game being used as a case in pt.

      Peter – I stand behind my stmt re Hossa. Especially in the playoffs he is terrible 5 yrs out of 7. And certainly not at $ 7 mm plus. Hopefully he’ll resign with Atl.

    65. Peter – BTW it seems like you want JJ off the team and want any player to come on so he’ll be gone. Same with many re Malik – they wanted Souray or Jovo at many yrs high $ just so they can get rid of Malik. Well as the Knicks learned by unloading a stiff with 1 yr remaining for stiffs with 4 yrs left that’s not always a good thing. So if Malik goes fine. And in 2 yrs same with JJ fine. But we don’t have to replace either with a big money many yrs older player who’s performance (especially in the clutch) does not warrant it.

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