A few thoughts


Before I immerse myself in a game of street hockey with my 2-year-old:

  • Word from the Rangers after Ryan Callahan’s MRI is the wing suffered a grade two knee sprain and is out “indefinitely”. He will not require surgery, so indefinitely might only be a couple of days.

    As for who might be up to take his place, it depends on what the Rangers are looking for. If the team insists on having a right-handed shot, Alex Bourret or Lauri Korpikoski would be out of luck, and Greg Moore would be getting a shot. Moore currently leads the Wolf Pack with three goals and two assists in five games.

  • This was Devils coach Brent Sutter speaking to reporters today about facing Scott Gomez tomorrow:

    “I had no impact on Gomez whatsoever. I was never here when he was a New Jersey Devil and personally I could care less. It was his choice to decide where he wanted to go play. It was his choice not to want to play in New Jersey anymore and that’s his prerogative. So, to think that we should be easy on him is dead wrong. We’ll treat him like any other player…It’s his choice to across the river and play there. That’s up to him. But our job is go to there and win a hockey game.â€?

    Wow, talk about warm and fuzzy. So my guess there will be no tearful Scott Gomez-Brent Sutter embrace before the game.

  • Since he was put on waivers after I left the rink, I never spoke to Tommy Pock today other than to say hello. I have a pretty good idea what his reaction was, however, and it’s probably consistent with “this”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2007/10/16/pock-mystified/. As for whether the Pock move is indicative of something bigger in the works, it’s possible. But the team also wanted to shed a body to make room for Callahan’s replacement.
  • Is a Stephen Valiquette start the answer to the Rangers’ problems? How do I answer that kindly?
  • I asked Tom Renney what kind of lift his team can expect upon returning to the Garden. The coach, mindful that they not be entirely embraced, laughed. “It depends on how we do,” he said. “It’s good. Our fans are great and they’re very passionate about our team. They’ll let you know both ways how we’re doing, so they’ll keep us in check.”

    More later…

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    1. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

      Sam, why don’t the Rangers put Straka on the IR? (that may have been your point in your third-to-last paragraph, i’m not sure why they would put Straka on waivers afterall). Putting Straka on the IR would make room for someone to replace Callahan but also keep Pock as a defensive backup. Unless, of course, the Rangers just want Pock to get some playing time with the Pack.

    2. SAM a typo Martin Straka on waivers , you meant Pock? …” But if the Rangers did not place Martin Straka on waivers, they needed to shed a body to make room for Callahan’s replacement.”

    3. Or Pöck is going on waivers because the Rangers aren’t placing Straka on IR (I can’t see why not), but it’s a typo either way. And I’m surprised.

      On Callahan, I would have said sit him next game anyway, that is if we had anybody else who could play instead of him, because he really didn’t look good last night. Maybe the injury was part of it though. It would be a moot point anyway because we wouldn’t have any healthy forwards to replace him unless somebody went on IR or waivers, like just happened.

    4. I guess they don’t think much of Pock if they waived him when there were other ways to get a replacement for Callahan. As someone said Straka could have gone on IR and opened up a spot for a call up. They also could play Strudwick at wing for a few games if they think Avery will be back soon.

    5. callahan looked fine last game except the 2 stupid penalties.. he hit the post on a breakaway if you remember…

    6. Positives.. The D looks real good. malik has played better the last few games.. I am real impressed with Girardi and Staal they make very few mistakes…

      Henrik has looked very good.

      there downside is obvious the scoring, but I think they will break out of it and I really like this team. They have plenty of youth and skill.

      I also like Betts on the 4th line, Dubi has looked good… They will turn it around, they are outshooting all there opponents and limiting the mistakes on D…

      Staal is going to be unspectacular but great fora long long time…….

    7. Seamus O Riley on


      Henrik Lundqvst, goalie for the NY Rangers, was arrested today for hiring an undercover cop to beat up teammate Marek Malik. No one in the Rangers organization is commenting, though it is uncertain as to whether or not Lundqvst’s US Visa will be revoked.
      Madison Square Garden chariman and CEO, Junior Dolan also refused comment, but was seen smoking a very illegal cigar and smiling.

    8. ha ha Tomas! ha ha! I don’t hit and I don’t get hurt. I make 3.5 american dollar, you make next to nothing. I score on Lundqvst now he in trouble with the police. ha ha Henrik you dope. Up yours, Ranger fans. I play no matter what happens. I play and I get paid lots of your stupid dollars. Yeah for Malikenstein who is me.

    9. Doodie Machetto on

      Malik, you were chased out of Europe with torhes and pitchforks; I wish Sather and Renney would chase you out of town with a trade.

      While Renney is trying all sorts of weird line combinations in order to get things going, do you think maybe we should revisit Jagr and Shanny on the same line? Maybe with Gomez to feed them both? I’d try anything at this point.

    10. Why don’t we put Malikentstein in front of the opponent’s net? See, that would be playing to his strengths: unintentionally putting the puck in the net.

      Pretty amazing how it rubs off. Evgeni Malkin didn’t even shoot that goal in. He stood near Malik and it just bounced in.

    11. Someone said in the last post that maybe Vally getting the start would spark something for this team…..Well the only thing i can say to that is…


      That was the dumbest thing i heard this season.

      Please, never say that again. I fear, for the games Vally plays. You forget that win was against one of th worst teams in the league, and we played like shit, and the true player who sparked us into the playoffs, played a hell of a game, and that was Aves.

      The last thing we need is a goaltender who is gonna give up 3 to 4 or more oals, when we CANT EVEN SCORE ONE DAMN GOAAAAAL!!!

      For the love of god. When are O gets going then we can play Vally, but until then its all Hank.

    12. Just shows you another reason why Tom Renney is a moron.

      He puts the slowest D man on the point on a PP but refuses to put his big fat ass in front of the net.

      Then he takes a player who is known to play the point on the PP, and puts him down low (Cullen)

      Then he takes Captain Clutch who makes a career out of big time goals scored around the net, in front on the sides, dirty style…and sticks him on the FUGGIN POINT,

      All you Renney lovers, keep on loving him, he might be a decent coach or a “good guy” but he does NOT KNOW HOW TO COACH HIS PLAYERS AND DOESNT HAVE THE BALLS TO CALL THEM OUT ON THERE MISTAKES!!!


      Brent Sutter is a classless piece of shit. I hope a puck deflects off Gomez stick and hits him in the nuts….really really hard!!!

      That may be harsh but i dont give a flying fugg, i hate that jag off!!!

    13. Brent Sutter may be a merciless a##h((e, but what is he supposed to say? we love gomez, he was a great devil. screw that. what he said is what he should have said. the blueshirts could use a little more mean from their coach these days themselves…

    14. Nobody responded to my post earlier today and maybe it was because we were all still pissed off about the loss last night. But I said this. Would you all be happy if we were winning games 8-7, 6-5, 5-4 up to this point? I also that I would not be happy about that. The defensive part of our game is coming along great and so is our goaltending. I would rather start this way and find our offense than be winning but getting lit up at the same time. Hank looks solid, D looks solid. Offense will find itself and we will be a great team. Defense and Goaltending wins you cups. Nuff said.

    15. Sam,
      Is it possible that the rangers could swoop aebischer off the waiver wire as i heard he was placed there yesterday by the coyotes. I know it doesn’t help the scoring problems etc etc, but he could be that veteran backup goalie that we need. Also his contract is around 600,000 so caps not an issue. Do you think this move is plausible?

    16. SAM unless they are calling someone up & Avery is ready why would they waive Pock & put Straka on IR? Unless the trade rumors for an offensive PP Dman are true.

    17. Nasty1

      I think I would be happier. At least I would know this team is great and just needs one solid defenseman, and the others to progress a bit and lock things down.

      The way it is right now…

      I don’t know what the hell to think!

      I can see your point though.

    18. that just means no one claimed abby. i’m a little surprised by that considering his price. not a ranger priority i guess.

    19. RYAN

      You say that now, but once Vally plays i have a strong feeling, and i hope not cause i think Vally is hilarious and him and Hank are pretty close buddies from what i here. But if he plays bad, and we still cant score, then were doomed.

    20. NASTY 1: In response to your posting, while of course it is better to win 8-7, 7-6, 6-5, etc., than to lose, and it is better to win 4-3, 3-2, and 2-1, than to lose, championship teams win the BLOWOUTS. It is better to win 6-2 and 5-1, than 2-1 or 6-5.

      It is greatly misleading that team A can win 6-1, on the same night team B wins 2-1, and both earn two points in the standings. Of course you can’t have it any other way, and a win is a win, but when, in mid-season, two teams are closely competing for the division title, if one of them has a far superior GF-GA ratio, this team is a far better bet to pull away from its rival.

      The reason should be obvious. On a night when the D is lax, a team with a potent offense can still pull out a win, thus a 6-5 win. And on a night when the offense is not clicking, a team with a stingy D can make the difference in a 2-1 win. So that a team which earns many blowout victories has MARGIN for a slump by one of its units, whereby a team barely getting by, well, if either unit goes south, the other unit cannot pick up the slack and carry the team. Thus we see winning streaks and we see slumps, in sports.

      Perhaps you have heard of Bill James’ adaptation of the Pythagorean Theorem, as applied to baseball: Runs squared divided by the sum of runs squared + opposition runs squared = winning percentage. You can do this for hockey, as well: goals squared divided by the sum of goals squared + opposition goals squared = winning percentage.

      When this Rangers team wins a couple blowouts in the same week, they will be back in the groove. In baseball a four+ run win is considered a blowout. I would say a three-goal win in hockey (of course not including empty net or extra-attacker garbage scoring), would qualify.

      The final score of these games, not just the result, means a lot. Let’s all keep a closer watch on this.

    21. Holy Shit

      Dan Blackburn commited suicide. I just watched it on Channel 1 News.

      This sucks, he was a really cool guy. I feel for his family.

    22. Blackburn’s not dead on Wikipedia, so it must be false. Seriously, I just checked NY1 website; it’s not there. What a MORON this poster Bobbi is!!

      Honestly, if Aebischer lost to Auld and Tellqvist, why would we want him on our team? He used to be good in Colorado, but that was the past I guess.

      At least Drury schemed with Shanahan last game to switch places and Drury put himself in front of the net and was there to screen Shanahan’s shot on the power play. Prucha might do a good job in front on the other power play because he is pesky, but maybe too small. I would try Dubinsky there, as well. Malik would probably find some way to shoot the puck towards our own net if he was there. We could put Avery there when he comes back, but I feel like he will just take too many penalties himself or totally miss the net like he did earlier this season on a power play rush.

      Bonfire – I wouldn’t waste time tracking ECHL stats. The only prospects that go there are the ones that are doing badly at AHL (Jessiman), unless the parent NHL team is sharing an AHL team, which we are not. So you’re not really gonna see prospects rise out of ECHL.

      Orr – When Valiquette played well in his one start last year, I’m sure you were on the edge of your seat biting your nails, especially as it went towards the shootout. He played well when we were in a major rut, so he could probably do it again under less pressure. I would have played him against the meak Bruins, especially since it was a road game. Now, I want him starting against the Leafs on Saturday. It’s not like we can save him for a Western Conference team, since we don’t play one until November 25.

    23. Bonfire – Also, while watching last night’s game, I noticed something to look out for when tracking the even-strength goals. Make sure that you don’t count any that come when there is an extra attacker on the ice because of a delayed penalty. The only way to check this would be the time on ice charts for each game at NHL.com.

    24. Hartford lost at home to Providence, 4-3, tonight, blowing a 3-1 lead. Moore was +1 (44-9); Bourret was -1 (6-48). (But of course Bourret has all those “intangibles” going for him, and my relative plus-minus system is biased and flawed.)

      The really BAD NEWS is that Scatchard did not play. Call-up to Broadway? I certainly hope not because Dubinsky could be ticketed to Hartford when Callahan returns, if Scatchard is up here – no matter how badly Scatchard is playing here. Hey, he’s over 30, and a journeyman, waiver wire special = welcome to the “Can do no wrong” club.

    25. Whoa, what got up Lecavalier’s butt to make him slash, fight, and get a game misconduct at Washington? Maybe it was the fact that Marc Denis was in goal for Tampa Bay.

      BTW Sam, your report about not expecting to see Valiquette until those back-to-back games is being taken as gospel at goaliepost.com

      BTW Bonfire, I realized that doing addition on Excel is much easier than one-by-one calculating new numbers each time I need to, haha.

    26. Nasty – in a previous post you claimed people coming out of the woodwork and praising Cullen. I can assure you (ask rangerbill and others at blueshirt bulletin) that I was arguing strenously re keeping Cullen,. So no monday morning qb by me. The 3rd line would be much better with Cullen than Betts/Dubinsky and Prucha and Callahan would have better stats.

    27. Well, if they sign Scatchard to a two-way contract (not sure if that is possible, or if he would accept it), then they could send him back down freely when somebody returns from injury. I’m not even sure if I want it to be a prospect at this point since we are missing a big defensive presence (Straka), a big physical presence (Avery), and a hardworking/physical presence (Callahan), and Scatchard could definitely help us out at those a bit. I just fear that they won’t get rid of Scatchard when someone comes back, if in fact they do sign him. We should probably wait until if a lesser player such as Betts, Hollweg, or Orr gets injured to bring in another prospect, especially with the way we’re playing right now.

    28. Bonfire – re your previous comment a couple of threads ago. First I like young players more than you like vets. I like Tyutin, Staal, Girardi and The King to name 4. Remember the youngsters are not putting the puck in either. As I stated above I wanted Cullen with Prucha and Cally (and bye Mara for cap purposes). Prucha and Cally would have more pts than they have so far playing with Betts/Dubinsky. There would be stability. I’m ok with Nylander leaving (4 yrs at his age was insane) even if we take the s-t hit. And he’s replaced by a 20 something and early 30’s player. Re Chicago – those guys (and like Sid the Kid) were drafted at the top of the draft. They are “A” prospects. Are our young forwards on the team “A” caliber. Not one is. I talked about wanting a solid 2 way player who is almost 31 (and with speed of someone 10 yrs younger). Look at what he is doing with Carolina so far. And he had a solid 2nd 1/2 of last yr and playoffs. All things not just goals and assists. PK etc. 4 of our key pk’ers are gone or injured from last yr. Maybe Shanny and Drury wouldn’t be subjected to as many minutes if 2 weren’t hurt and Cullen gone. And that would help their performance offensively. Where am I advocating 40 yr olds for the lineup. Yes I want Straka back next yr but not the cap killing Shanny. And I even like Shanny but he is killing our cap this yr and next. And I already spoke about Nylander. And like I already said what have the kid forwards done to deserve all this praise from you.

    29. re Pock on waivers. I think he’ll go unclaimed just like Liffiton. Just how we tend to overrate our own prospects but most fans do in all sports. If we try to bring him up then he might be claimed and we get hit with 1/2 his remaining salary – which I think includes next yr as well.

      I think he is on waivers since the cap hit of counting injured players + replacements is causing us to get closer and closer to the ceiling. And all the injuries have been to forwards so they probably need to bring up someone from Hartford.

    30. And no one is talking about positives. so here is one no Yenner for weeks – I think he’s on newsday but better there than here. I’d even rather have Bonfire than Sybil.

    31. We are really short on the PK forwards now with Callahan going down, as well, and Hossa maybe nursing an injury. I would hope this means players who don’t penalty kill like Prucha, Dubinsky, and Dawes, will be getting more power play time. (O, Lord, I’m beginning to sound too much like Bonfire, I think.)

    32. Here’s a wild idea: move Drury to wing and call up Anisimov.

      Hossa – Anisimov – Jagr
      Drury – Gomez – Shanny
      Dawes – Dubi – Prucha

    33. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb

      Give Artie a year before we throw him on a line with a friggin HOF 600 goal scorer. Why do people keep saying Artie on the top line, thats stupid.


      Take a Sean Avery “LA Kings vs NYR” dive in front of a moving car. Should be fun.

    34. What a sick joke about Blackburn…Bobbi should be banned for moronic comments. Go buy a Porsche Bobbi and slam it into a wall at a high speed ala Pelle Lindberg.

    35. Rangers send Prucha, Dawes, and Mara to Atlanta for Hossa and Zhitnik and 3rd round pick in 08 Draft. More details to follow.

    36. I know we wall have posted moronic comments….So Bobbi should be banned just for being an a*&hole. That joke was completely wrong.

      Bobbi’s mom’s just killed herself after she realizing she gave birth to a heartless piece of s*it. How does it feel Bobbi??

    37. To follow up, I wish death on no body including Bobbi’s mom, but maybe the Red Sox. I was just want to see if he has feelings.

    38. Not that I would want that to happen. I like Prucha and Dawes. I think each of them will contribute to us in the future. If they each had more playing time I really think they would be pumping home some goals. How about a line of Dawes Gomez Prucha if we don’t bust out of the goal drought tonight? I am going to the game tonight.

    39. Last season, the Rangers were 8-0 at games I went to.

      I hope tonight, my 1st game at MSG this year, will be the start of their winning ways.

      It’s about time…

    40. I am a teacher and I am taking 3 of my students with me to the game tonight. I work at a very posh school in NJ and the tickets were donated as part of an auction to go to a hockey game with yours truly, the Nasty 1. The seats are on the glass and we are getting limo service to and from the game and they even kicked in 300 bucks for food and whatever else. Sweet deal huh? If you knew what they bid you would Sh*t in your pants. But the bidding got so high that we had to make two trips. One night and the other in January.

    41. Nasty1

      Sound VERY posh to me.

      I would have much trouble controlling my mouth at the game.
      Will your students see a different side of the Nasty1?

    42. Ha, 11, 11, and 14. I am going to have to be on good behavior, but I tend to lose it at games sometimes. All in all is should be a good evening.

    43. Enjoy it!!

      If we play the well we should tonight, you’ll have no reason to lose it….

      and if you somehow do lose it, the kids will only respect you more!

    44. Just a few notes on some of the comments above…

      Aebischer wasn’t claimed by the Coyotes, he was always on that team. They just send him to the AHL after no one claimed him.

      Cullen would not have had another sub-par year on this team. Renney would not use him where he excels (point on the PP), and playing a shoot first center with 2 shoot first wingers would not result in better stats for Prucha and Callahan. Just the opposite. Dubinsky is a way better play-maker than Cullen.

      “Intangibles” are often mocked by stats freaks. Stats definitely do not tell the entire story of a player, especially stats that are of the fabricated variety (such as “relative +/-).

    45. Nasty: Sounds like Pingry…. or maybe that place outside of Peapack that I’ve passed on drives to the country.

    46. Peter – Is that supposed to read Cullen *would have had* another sub-par year here? From the rest of your post, it looks like that is the point you are trying to get across.

    47. And the Rangers Lame players merry go round continues.. Strudwick off..Strudwick on.Isbister on…Isbister off…. Pock on…Pock off….Dupuis on…Dupuis off..Hall on…Hall off..Scatchard on…etc .

      One lame one after another. And I only put half of them on here.

    48. My favorite “intangible” is the retension of athletes who are over 40, who can’t cut it anymore, but who provide clubhouse “mentoring” leadership pep talks for kids who can perform circles around them in the actual game -arena for which they are employed, in the first place.

      See, “intangibles” are popular with illiterates, because intangibles cannot be measured and are merely subjective impressions; whereas the mathematical grading and measuring of performance, and holding athletes to standards of production requires thought, work, and discipline – qualities lazy people abhor and cut and run from, in all facets of their lives.

    49. Spiderpig: Yea, I mis-typed. Good catch!

      As far as “intangibles” go…if sports were played by robots, then statistics would tell the whole story. But since human beings have emotions, those play a great deal into performance and into what type of player you’d want on your team.

      Case in point…Does anyone believe that Sean Avery’s stats jump-start the team last year? Or was it his attitude and swagger?

      I think it actually takes more of an effort to watch the games and read what players say and what’s said about them than to read a box score. That’s why sports teams have scouts. If you could determine all you need to know from stats, you wouldn’t need to go see anyone play.

      The problem with sabermetrics especially is that the values are predetermined based on the statisticians personal views. For example, based on sabermetrics and moneyball, a team like the Oakland A’s doesn’t believe in giving away outs. Therefore they never steal bases or sacrifice bunt or go after players who have low on base percentages. They’ve been quite successful, haven’t they? Whereas a team that USED to be heavy into moneyball, the Red Sox, is now in the World Series.

      Basically the point is that 90% of the people who read this post could care less about your fictitious relative +/- and would rather see a player come up here and give 110% rather than the player with the best stats come up and play like he doesn’t care.

    50. Orr –
      You say its the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard to start Vally. I suggested that. And I didnt suggest doing it right now. I said if the slide continues it might spark something. You also say that he would let in 3-4 goals per game. He only let in 2 goals against the blues and his career average is 2.72. How is that 3-4? Last year the whole team said Vally sparked the turn around. Not Avery.And the team was playing quite Horribly when he played..kinda like right now.

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