Bring back Rachunek! (Updated below)

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How does a player respond when he’s facing his old team?

No, not Scott Gomez, Karel Rachunek. Yes, you forget amidst all the attention paid the Rangers’ first-line center tonight, both Rachunek and Kevin Weekes will be squaring off against their old teammates as well. Will there be a video tribute? A tearful ovation? Wait a second, did Karel Rachunek actually play for the Rangers, or was it just a dream?

In other news:

  • Bad news on Ryan Callahan: the wing went on injured reserve today, meaning he is out until at least Wednesday. With that in mind, Tom Renney acknowledged a call-up is still a possibility. Who might get the nod the coach wouldn’t say, but he did allow it probably wouldn’t be a surprise. If that’s the case, take your pick between Alex Bourret, Lauri Korpikoski, or Greg Moore.
  • Meanwhile, if you disagree with Renney’s decision to not call anyone up for tonight, guess what: I’m not sold on it either.

    But let’s be clear about what the issue is here. To me, putting Jason Strudwick in at fourth line is not worth much of a fuss. He’ll likely play about five minutes, and probably can handle the basic, chip-and-charge role expected of that line. The question is whether Ryan Hollweg can handle the bump to what is a fairly competent offensive-minded third line. I suppose Hollweg’s ability as a forechecker could — emphasis on “could” — open up some space for linemates Brandon Dubinsky and Nigel Dawes.

    But seeing how Hollweg isn’t exactly Brett Hull in front of the net, the Rangers could be losing something. And I don’t know if you’ve heard, but this is a team that’s had trouble scoring goals of late.

  • Gomez held court for about 15 minutes downstairs, and gave all the right answers about facing his old team. Then he was asked about the Devils’ surprising new offensive emphasis: “They got rid of the right guy,” he cracked.
  • And speaking of switching teams, don’t be surprised if the next time you see Thomas Pock at the Garden, it’s as a member of a different team. Renney already sounded resigned to losing Pock to re-entry waivers if and when he’s ever recalled. “In fairness to him, you hope that’s the case,” he said.

    Update, 6:15 p.m.: Let the rumors begin: Don Maloney is in the building, and not, I’m assuming, for the vegetable lasagna in the press room .

  • Update, 7:15 p.m.: So looks like I had Strudwick and Hollweg right, but I didn’t have Nigel Dawes trading places with Petr Prucha. See, even sleep-deprived reporters make mistakes sometimes.

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    93 Comments

    1. FallLikeTheWall on

      I think with all this talk about Pock clearing waivers as a sign that no one wants him, people are forgetting that if the rangers ever need him they will have to bring him back up and they risk losing him and paying half his salary. Im sure there are a few teams that would not mind trying out pock if it means only having to pay 300,000 for him.

    2. “Renney seemed resigned to losing Pock.” You mean after treating him like a leper?

    3. Doodie – you should have quit while you were ahead. I think you misfired on about half of these other ones.

      Right, I can’t understand why Pöck, who was “raised a forward” would not play while Strudwick would. I can’t see them recalling Pöck this season, mostly because of the risk of dead cap weight. It will probably be whoever is playing best that doesn’t need to pass through waivers, Sauer I guess. Can’t be Liffiton, unless nobody really wants him.

    4. “the coyotes did just reassign david aebischer to their ahl affiliate…”

      If we didn’t pick him up on waivers yesterday, it wouldn’t make much sense to try to make a deal for him now.

    5. why are there such odd penaltys going on the first one the camera was off the second one i feel like they took forever to blow the whistle

    6. Fall – Pock not being claimed does mean even at his salary he’s just not that good and is overrated by many. BUT I do agree with you if we try to bring him back I think he’ll be claimed and we get zinged for 1/2 his salary rest of this + next. We can’t afford that so I strongly suggest keeping him in Hartford. I was hopng he would be claimed but not at all surprised he wasn’t. maybe he’ll go back to Austria or some European league. We can’t do the “right thing by the player” move and bring him back hoping he’s claimed. It’s a business and our cap is tight. Just like Liffiton many overrated this guy as fans in all sports do regarding their own.

    7. WHAT THE HELL the rangers touched it 20 times over and they didnt blow the whistle!right there shanny touches it why does the play continue!

    8. The key is controlling the puck, not just touching it. Play doesn’t stop on the delayed call until they actually gain control of it. No one actually had the puck under control.

    9. People have been wondering where drury has been, me included. Tonight so far has been Drury’s break out game. Drury has been
      playing great on both end of the ice and got robbed twice by Brodeur.

    10. klynblue – good question. All I know is can 29 other teams all be wrong. Some talk about him just like Immonen last yr as main cogs. They are not. Role players that are a dime a dozen.

    11. Doodie Machetto on

      Missed the first period, someone tell mewhat hppened on the dawes goal and what the lines are please?

    12. Doodie Machetto on

      surprise, surprise, Hollweg takes an offensive zone penalty totally away from his position.

    13. Doodie – caught the Devs on a change, Dawes put a wrister past Marty just right of the hash marks.

      Hossa has played a hell of a game so far on both side of the puck.

    14. I got to admit that Dawes has been the rangers best player tonight. I didn’t think Dawes was this good but he is tonight.

    15. LIJOE all I know is Sather has been paying this guy for 2 years or more & signed him for 2 more. By your logic Sather is the dunbest GM of the 30 on Pock. Now that seems to have been validated. So that confirms Pock, & Sather & Renney’s abilities.Why sign a guy nobody wants ? I say Pock is not that bad & was never given a fair shake. If he was a vet, he’d still be here. On top of that , waiving him yesterday was the dumbest timing by a GM in the league.

    16. Doodie Machetto on

      Ah, awesome, they showed a replay. See what happens when you actually PASS the puck Shanahan?

    17. Sorry Dood, forgot about those.

      Hossa-Gomez-Jagr
      Dawes-Drury-Shanny
      Prucha-Dubinsky-Hollweg
      Struds-Betts-Orr

      The bottom 6 have been a little mix and match coming off special teams.

    18. Lines have been juggled a little bit, as usual, but…

      Hossa – Gomez – Jagr
      Dawes – Drury – Shanahan
      Hollweg – Dubinsky – Prucha
      Strudwick – Betts – Orr

      I’ve seen Dawes on the third line with the other two forwards, so I think Hollweg is being occasionally skipped over or something.

    19. Doodie Machetto on

      Best players in the 2nd period were Hossa, Dawes, and Drury.

      Of course, it goes without saying that Lundqvist was excellent as well. It’s easier to note periods that he was bad than when he’s good.

      Just like it’s easier to list teams that are NOT reportedly interested in Forsberg than those that are.

    20. How many times are we going to get -almost- burned on the PP before we get a different pair at the point?

    21. 12 minutes to go – one whole goal by NYR – being outplayed at home for the most part – Drury misses breakaway – this just does not look like a good team right now.

    22. Malik has had a good game but he almost blew it with the spin-a-rama in front of his own net with a devil on top of him. I almost choke on my drink.

    23. cliff,
      Rangers out played, what game have you watch. The rangers are out shooting the devils 2-1. if it wasn’t for Brodeur the rangers would be up 3-0 at least.

    24. drury misses breakaway?

      cliff did you see the play marty by shear dumb luck stopped it with the shaft of his stick

    25. Malik has improved, it seems. It took until the 3rd period for me to yell, “What the f are you doing?!”

    26. Deja – did Drury score? Guess I missed that goal.
      By the way let’s give 90 year old Shanahan more minutes on the penalty kill to wear him out every game. Way to go Renney.

    27. bklynblue – whether he got a fair shake or not – he’s not getting that much money (but I still don’t want any hitting our cap both yrs and playing for another team). and with the other teams all passing on him at that salary says alot. he’s not that bad is about the best you or anyone else can say. you can also say the proof of the other 29 says he’s not that good. we also had to waive him. with all these injuries we’re getting hit with the salaries of the injured players and the replacements so approx 25 are hitting our cap instead of 23. that’s a big consideration.

    28. see what cliff is an example of is
      fans bitching about EVERYTHING even when they are winning chillax bandwagoner

    29. Like I said, Dawes has been great tonight on both sides of the ice. I said I didn’t think he was that good, he shut me up at least for tonight.

    30. Bourret is the VERY obvious callup.

      Recreate a successful line that had chemistry in Hartford.

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

    31. I agree tomg, but I think I would throw Hossa in there as well. He had some nice scoring chances and just about saved a goal when he stuck his stick in there to disrupt the shot (i forget who was the shooter)

    32. It seems like everybody failed to mention that the player who played for and against us last year was the one who caused the first goal. At least according to the recap, Rachunek passed it toward the bench where too many players were on the ice, so Shanny could just pluck it up and pass it over to Dawes.

      Cliff – Shanahan has to play PK that much because the three guys that are injured all play there when healthy. Like I said earlier, who else do you want there? Hollweg? Dawes? Prucha? I was busy and didn’t get to see the game, who actually did play PK (for forwards?

    33. Doodie Machetto on

      Here’s hoping Dawes becomes this year’s Prucha (called up due to injuries, scores 30 goals)

    34. I guess I can’t watch anymore games this year. Missed this one because of work… couldn’t DVR it cus’ the girlfriend needed The Office AND CSI… ughhhhh. I’m too nice.

      Anyway, it sounds like they played well. Hank’s got two shutouts in the last three games… Dawes has a spot for sure now? Sounds like Drury played great. I heard Jagr and Gomer looked good too?

    35. Doodie Machetto on

      It looks like Dawes is gonna be here for good, which will be interesting once Straks, Avery, and Callahan are back.

      We’ll have to jettison the Orrweg deadweight in order to dress all of the skill players.

    36. LIJOE…” he’s not that bad is about the best you or anyone else can say. you can also say the proof of the other 29 says he’s not that good.”

      I’ll say it again. What does that tell you of Sather’s judgement & decision to sign Pock for 2 years? You give me my pick between him & Strudwick, I pick Pock and hire a cheerleader named Strudwick with no cap hit of $500,000.

    37. Riche’ – DVR the noon replay. Unfortunately, they only have Rangers in 60 at 4:00 the next day now instead of the full thing, which is when I wanna watch. UGH!

    38. Doodie Machetto on

      I think they’re hoping Pock opts to go overseas. If a non-Russian Euro team buys out his contract it will take his pay off our books.

      I’d take him over Struds as a 7th D-man, but in all seriousness, neither of them are really worth a shit.

      Let’s seriously look at our young Defense and pipeline:

      1) Staal-He’s here, and he will be a stud for years.
      2) Tyutin-Having a break out year, will also be here for years as a solid second pairing with…
      3) Girardi-See above about Tyutin.
      4) Sauer-Could be here next year, but in all likelihood it will take 2.
      5) Sanguinetti-2 or 3 years away.

      That’s 5 potential career long defensemen within 3 years. Sign a vet D-man to help teach the youth, and we’ll be all set. Someone who has won multiple cups. There probably won’t be too many of those guys left at that point.

    39. Doodie Machetto on

      Alternatively, if Pock goes to Russia, it would be free, and when we suspend him, his salary will still come off of the books.

    40. Spiderpig – liked your posts re the pk. very few people comment on that aspect of the game. not just stopping the other team but not burning certain players out by playing insane minutes on the pk, pp and regular shifts as well. So we’ll miss the injured players for their role on the pk. I’m not for rushing any back though. let them be healthy and rested and ready to go. we’ll need them when they return. meanwhile it gives a chance to others. How they do is up to them. Dawes grabbed the horns today. Hopefully he’ll continue. and nice pass by Shanny.

      BTW – I think you’re one of the few posters that Bonfire actually likes.

    41. Doodie Machetto on

      Re: the multiple cup winning vet d-man in 3 years, two candidates:

      1) Colin White (will be 33)
      2) Oleg Tverdovsky (34)

      Anyone else would be too old. But I really like the idea of Colin White. Of course, from now until then, there could be new multiple winners.

    42. LIJOE the minutes were not managed that well again, one of Renney’s faults but no one is perfect. At least he figured out the 2nd PP unit was playing good & deserved more icetime.

    43. Doodie Machetto on

      It just came to my attention that White is under contract for 5 years. Also, it was previously under my attention that Tverdovsky sucks. So finding that vet will be pretty difficult.

    44. Yeah, Tverdovsky is good for my NHL 2004 team, but Eminger is my #1 defensman. Didn’t Tver’s team try to or succeed in demoting him to the AHL last season? He’s in Russia now apparantly, anyway.

      LI Joe – Yeah, it’s because I really changed my mind on his scoring systems. On the PK, it looks like we’re set whoever we play at forward because I think our defensemen are playing really well there, even Malik.

    45. bklynblue – part of the reason the minutes are not allocated as well as many hope are the injuries to 3 players who participate in the pk. when they return they can use 6 forwards on the pk or drop some who also get pp duty. but with the light schedule so far it’s not exactly burning guys out. look even young guys like Cally are getting valuable experience on the pk. some guys just are not a good idea for that role. JJ, Orr, Hollweg, Prucha – while others have to be on the pk to justify being in the lineup like Betts.

    46. Wow, looking at the NHL.com TOI report, I’m surprised we only used four forwards on PK, save for Dawes who played 17 seconds. I’m surprised they wouldn’t put Struds there at all. I hope someone comes back soon or that Dubinsky or Dawes can play there so we don’t have this continue.

      Surprised to see Tyutin get minimal power play time, but it looks like they’re trying Mara there, but I wish he would replace Rozsival, not Tyutin. I would like to see Shanny get less time while working so much on the PK, but there wasn’t that much PP time in this game to get worked up about.

    47. Guys, Hollweg actually played a very decent gritty game tonight. That boarding or roughing penalty they got him for was BS. The guy turned his back at the last second as Holly went to hit him. I have been harsh on him, but this was his best game of the season tonight. For sure.

      Dawes too. He really was playing smart and sniped two good shots. Maybe Marty looked a bit soft on one of them (a little on both maybe) but Dawes has been playing hard.

      Jags even started to look like he is returning to form with a sick move or two in spots and he actually played hungry.

      And I tell ya, I like Hossa on that first line. He really causes the other D to have to play against two big bodies. His hands are pretty soft too.

      Strudwick stinks though. Even just trying to play basic dump and chase, he looked lost. He could not even get it from the redline to the goal line at times. He is a waste of space.

      Don’t look now but Henry has given up 1 goal in 3 games.

      Need to keep the offense going. This is just a start.

    48. LIJOE I’m happy Renney finally gave the #2PP unit more time than the last 30 seconds of a PP. He learnt that from last season and adjusted for this game. He didn’t against the Pens and rode the 4 horsemen +1 into the ice. But he continues to not spread out minutes. He will wear guys out if he doesn’t readjust.

    49. BlueClue – It was you who said they were 8-0 in games you went to last season, and now they’re 1-0 this year, right? Uhhh, go to every game!!

    50. Doodie Machetto on

      I’m going to the game next Sat against the Devs. I’m actually terrible luck. Remember our dynamite run last season here we didnt lose in regulation since March against the Sens? I was at that game.

    51. Spiderpig

      Funny you remembered-
      Just got back from the game and yeah, i’m getting a bit superstitious here. Freaky-

      I have 8 games purchased this season already. Maybe I should get some more :)

      Just got back from the game.
      Great all around effort, great crowd tonight.

      Dawes really showcased his stuff tonite. He has a quick sneaky shot and should be given a real shot to stay in the absence of our 3 injured forwards. Dubinsky skated well and had good puck possession. Hollweg started hitting again.

      Jagr looked great on certain shifts and played well with Hossa and Gomez.
      I still feel like Gomez is trying to do too much and should stick to the basics…but man, he can fly up the ice.

      What I noticed especially was how poised and solid Marc Staal was. He really plays a solid defensive game, skates well, and can lead the rush up the ice. Looking forward to watching him develop.

      Of course, Henrik was his brilliant self and the shutout was well deserved. Beating the Devils is just icing on the cake.

    52. game was dope tonight
      dawes = shut my ass up big time
      jagr = had some smooth moves in deep
      hollweg= best offensive game he’s had in the NHL and I think the guy may be coming around as a solid 4th line offensive guy
      DRURY= *I’m sorry but this guy sucks in NY. He was not “great” tonight, at all. Missed a “clutch” breakaway…..I’m wondering what kind of Dman we could get for this POS*

      Gomez = this guy takes the puck end to end literally with a single hand through 3 defenders…Amazing. I’ve never seen anyone skate so smoothly with the puck, I strive to emulate my game after him and I am so happy that we’ve got him long term. Once this guy gets chem’d up with one of our snipers it is OVER JOHNNY.

    53. Was at the game tonight.

      Welcome to the NHL Nigel Dawes. He was our best player tonight other than Henrik.

    54. Doodie Machetto on

      One game does not a career make.

      Remember Ortmeyer’s big game last year? Then what did he do? Back to not scoring.

      But I’m hoping for Dawes’ (and the team’s) sake it sticks.

    55. But Ortmeyer is not really supposed to be a scorer, or at least we figured that out from his previous playing with the Rangers. Dawes is supposed to score, not be a penalty killer, so I have more faith in this.

    56. offensively Ortmeyer is not Dawes. Look at there minor league #’s no contest..

      Dawes if given minutes can be minimum a 20 goal scorer, that are ortmeyer #’s for his career/ Ortmeyer obviously had other value.

      they young guys are playing well; staal, Girardi(our best defensive d man), tyutin, dubi, etc///

      there D is great just need some more goals……….

    57. The question is…

      If Dawes goes on a streak where he scores massive goals, and plays at a level were the staff cant send him down..Then what happens??

      Cause when were healthy are lines are…

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

      We obviously need Hoss in the lineup, he had a damn good night, and if Dawes plays well and we keep him in, then someone will take Hollweg or Orr’s spot…Both players cant play on the 4th line.

      Err…Tough call.

      Anyway, as far as tonights game goes, we played pretty damn good. Jagr and Gomer looked decent.

      Im not worried about Drury, so what if he missed on the breakaway, shit happens, i wouldnt bitch and man about that.

      And Hank got what he diserved, a shut out..

      And i didnt know they count the Bruins game as a shut out.

      BTW

      I dont know if any of you watched the Intermission reports but Al answered my question!!!

      It was the question about bringing back the Jazz style opening…That was cool to see it again…one last time. I dont know how you all feel about the openings these days but to me they are boring.

    58. SALTY that’s one heck of an idea & name you came up with for Drury. You know good from bad players like a blind man passing a fish store. After last night you probably think Dawes is the better player. You have a keen eye like that guy passing the store.

    59. I was at the game last night right behind the goal, against the glass where the Rangers shoot twice. I must say that the boys in blue played a great game, but I am not going to get ahead of myself. We need to string a few together here.
      It still makes me laugh that the same people calling for lynchings of some players are blowing their horns in praise now. Can you say fair weather?

      Anyway, Dawes definitely looked like a man on a mission last night. And he is small but broad enough to play well along the boards. And Hossa played great along the boards as well. Jagr had some good moves, but still looks a step behind everyone else and I never realized how damn fast Gomez is until I have been watching him this year.

      Drury had a good game despite not scoring. He was very defensively sound with the puck and got us out of danger a few times. He is not the kind of player that is going to score 30 goals every season, and it definitely is the little things that he does. He is still finding his way on this team and I expect him to keep playing good defensive hockey and to put in around 25 goals this year.

      Good game all around. And like I said, if this team can net a few and keep playing the same way defensively we will be a force.

    60. “I’m not worried about Drury, so what if he missed on the breakaway, shit happens, i wouldnt bitch and man about that.”
      “SALTY that’s one heck of an idea & name you came up with for Drury. You know good from bad players like a blind man passing a fish store. After last night you probably think Dawes is the better player. You have a keen eye like that guy passing the store.”

      Firstly, Drury missing on the breakaway is the least of my concerns. That wasn’t the sole reason I’m not happy with this player at $7M. “Sound defensive forward?” Sounds like the guy should be centering the 3rd line if thats what he’s here for. Honestly, this is supposed to be on eof our big signings and he’s done literally nothing worthy of note in what, 9 games? Believe me, I *want* to like Drury, but I think he could possibly be one of the most overrated players around.

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