No false sense of security

46

So maybe the Rangers haven’t fully emerged from the whole “what the heck is going wrong here” cloud of the past week. The win last night was important, and it certainly reinforced their contention that they really weren’t playing that bad the previous two games. But given their grand total of two goals in three games, no one is ready to pick out championship rings.

Which is why Tom Renney interrupted one drill today to castigate his players.

“Win a (expletive) hockey game and start floating?” Renney said. “Not a (expletive) chance.”

We’re a family blog here, so I’ll let you all fill in the blanks.

In other news:

  • The Rangers’ walking wounded were all accounted for in some capacity or another. Sean Avery skated in a yellow no-contact jersey; Martin Straka was riding the stationary bike; and Ryan Callahan was walking through the dressing room in a bulky knee brace. “Surviving,” he said, when asked how he was holding up.
  • The only other player to miss practice was Chris Drury because of a visit to the dentist.
  • Still no one up from Hartford, so you can expect the same lineup tomorrow. Renney conceded the player the team was contemplating calling up was Greg Moore, not only because Moore is leading the Wolf Pack in scoring, but because he kills penalties, something the Rangers need (more on that in a bit). But for now, Renney and Co. are going to stick with the same personnel.
  • As for the penalty kill, all three injured players were important parts of the unit, so the Rangers have been relying only on four players — Brendan Shanahan, Blair Betts, Marcel Hossa, and Drury — to carry the load. Nigel Dawes has seen a little bit of time as well, but will likely see more tomorrow, and Renney said he’s not against eventually trying Ryan Hollweg and Scott Gomez as well.

    More later…

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    46 Comments

    1. Can Hollweg be levelheaded and responsible enough to handle the PK? Sounds like a 5 on 3 waiting to happen. Hope I’m wrong.

      Glad to hear Renney curses, though. Just once I’d like to see him doing it behind the bench.

    2. TV was raving, last night, about how Shanahan “leads the league in shots.”
      Great, now how about someone around here leading the league in shots that go into the net?

      Leading the league in shots in hockey is like a baseball hitter “leading the league in outs.” Anyone else tired of all the P.C. crap we are spoon-fed by the media. Failure is NOT success, damn it, anyway!

    3. If you are going to have 1 goal it looks better that you’ve at least tried 54 times.

      Baseball analogy isn’t exactly the same, more like 1 run but you flied out 54 times.

    4. If you were trying to get your work done and your boss walked up behind you and started cursing, how would you respond?

      If he pulled me aside the next morning and said “I really want you to perform better” thats one thing, but cursing while someone is trying to get a job done doesn’t necessarily motivate.

    5. He wasn’t JUST cursing at them, he was yelling and had some curses thrown in there. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

    6. Doodie Machetto on

      Rich, it was the whole team, not one player. Singling people out is one thing where I would want the coach to pull me aside, but if he is reprimanding the whole group, I think it sends a good message.

      These two bits of info via Spector’s Trade Rumours:

      “HOKEJ.CZ: reports Russian Super League team SKA St. Petersburg is interested in signing either Darius Kasparaitis, Danny Markov or Alexei Semenov. Kasparaitis is currently playing for the NY Rangers AHL farm team.

      SPORT1.AT: reports NY Rangers defenceman Thomas Pock recently wrote on his website that he’s happy the club has placed him on waivers as it allowed him to see if there was serious interest in him from other NHL teams, adding that playing in Hartford was better than sitting out games in New York. ”

      That Austrian site always has the best info on Pock because he and vanek are the only two Austrian NHLers (well, Vanek is now technically the ONLY NHLer.

      Looks like Tommy is looking very seriously at getting out of here, I don’t blame him. I mean, c’mon, he had to see that he wasn’t going to play this year:

      1) Rozsi
      2) Malik
      3) Tyutin
      4) Girardi
      5) Mara

      That’s five guaranteed players above him, plus everyone knew Staal was a stud and was likely to make the team this year. If you are a fringe player, why would you sign with a team that doesn’t really need you? Nobody to blame but himself and his agent.

    7. And it is different in sports than what most of us do. I teach 5th grade, and of course I am not going to walk up to my students and curse at them, although sometimes I would like to. But raising your voice and getting angry can grab attention, especially when they are not used to you in acting in such a way.

    8. It’s (expletive) hockey. I think cursing is a lot more effective there than in an office where people should be calmer.

      It looks like Dawes was rewarded with a little first line time last night, not just when there was only a partial shift, because I saw him with Jagr at a faceoff once. Maybe it was because of the fact that Hossa kills penalties, since Dawes stayed on with the first line after his penalty, as well.

      Sloot – We are now leading the league in GAA after Minnesota laid a four-goal egg last night (with the fifth coming in a shootout loss). Also, you mentioned the pourous Devils; might have something to do with Rachunek?? :)

      I think the healthy lineup decisions will come down to who plays well in the time before players return. If someone’s not doing so hot, he gets benched or on the fourth line. Then if someone else starts struggling, a replacement is made. Depth is good! I hope they don’t make any trades because I’m not that confident in anyone else in Hartford filling in when there are more injuries, and it might just lead to needing a trade to get talent later. I guess since Avery will likely come back first, he will take Strudwick’s spot, and I hope Avery stays on the third line. Since Straka will probably be last, I’d like to start him on the fourth line if possible. Straka – Betts – Hollweg could actually be a really good shutdown line. Straka will still get his PP time, but if he starts on the fourth line, it will be good to keep the lineup in front of him intact unless someone plays badly.

      I wonder if Dubinsky could play LW on the fourth line, alternatively. He might have to to get in the lineup more, if they use Avery at third line center. I also wouldn’t mind Avery on the fourth line, but don’t think that is the most effective use of him.

      Nasty 1 – I don’t think Dawes will get 25 goals, since this would be his first full season, and he may not even remain on the top two lines, especially if he hits a slump. I expect 15 goals at most (but as others say, I hope I’m proved wrong and it’s higher).

      Orr – I didn’t get to see the game last night, so hence not seeing your question. By jazz opening, do you mean the one they used prior to last season, where it was about a minute long, there were skate blades being sharpened with sparks and I think past players’ pictures during it, then a burst of flames at the end? I really liked that music and opening! It was very triumphant-sounding.

      Sam – You must love this schedule right now with (essentially) eight games at home in a row. Maybe your wife has a different opinion, though. ;)

      That’s all for me for now.

    9. I’m happy to hear that Renney reprimanded the team. Zip said over on his blog that Renney perceived the team taking the drills lightly, and if he was right, the team needed to be grounded. The last thing we need is to finally win a game and then have Toronto come in tomorrow night and beat us. We need these wins to keep coming, this team needs to stay focused.

    10. Spiderpig, I didn’t say Dawes would score 25 goals,I said Drury would.

      Doodie- Yeah, behind the glass because I work at a very posh school and the tickets and my services were part of an auction that parents bid HUGE dollars on to go to the game. Me, 3 kids, a limo, and 500 bucks for food and whatever else. I had an awesome time. We are doing another of these trips in december against the canes. I can’t wait. ha

    11. Pöck was likely the *real* seventh defenseman, so I guess he figured someone might get hurt or Staal might not make the team or be sent down. At the time he signed during last season, it was at least good for him to get a guaranteed two-year contract. Why not take the money? With him never playing a full season, he took what he could get. I guess Renney just didn’t want him playing with Staal when Mara sat.

    12. Doodie Machetto on

      Haha, Orr, you asked the jazz opening question?? That’s pretty funny.

      And yes SP, that’s exactly what he was talking about, and they showed the opening after they read the question, too.

    13. My mistake, Nasty 1, I saw you writing about Dawes then didn’t see you switch to Drury. I think you are about right at 25, maybe 22 I’m saying.

    14. robby, leading the league in shots isn’t the same as leading in outs. its more like leading the league in foul balls. you make contact, it just doesn’t work though

    15. Nasty 1 – I’m not quite sure I understand the basis of the auction. Did the school already buy tickets and had parents bid on them to cover the cost and then some, thereby donating money for the school, or did parents want to have a few kids go to a Rangers game? I guess you’re not Devils fans at that school! How did you get so luck to be able to be the teacher to take the trip?

    16. They approached me last year because, not to toot my own horn, but I am a pretty popular teacher at the school and one of the only male teachers. It is a dinner/auction and the parents donated the tickets, limo ride, and money for food and things. They wanted to attach my name to it because the knew the bids would be high. They ended up being so high in the thousands that they had to make two trips because one set of parents got in to a bidding war with another set of parents and there you have it. The Nasty 1 gets amazing seats to a hockey game and has a blast.

    17. Anyone know where the cheapest place to get a new Henrik RBK jersey would be? I am trying to get one from NHL.com with free shipping and they only have the white one in a large. I want the blue but it is sold out. To have it custom made it will be 175 but to buy it with the name already on it is only 149.

    18. One word: SWEET!

      I don’t know if you should get a “new” jersey. Someone posted yesterday or the day before a news article that said they’re going away.

    19. I don’t think the baseball-hockey reference is the greatest analogy, either, but my greater point is that SUCCESS PERCENTAGE, whether at putting a batted ball in play, or shooting a puck at the net, is extremely important. See, when Sam Rosen, who I really like for his hockey knowledge and vocal quality, emphasizes shots taken, he is also bypassing all reference to Shanahan’s abysmal shooting percentage.

      Fact is, the major decline in Shanahan’s success-rate could be far more significant for his finally hitting the career- wall, than for the effort he is expending, and I don’t think we or the announcers should avoid looking at the implications of Shanahan’s early-season struggles.

    20. Oh, and I should have understood that before, about the donating, because my mom donated cookbooks to my school for auctions since she works for Good Housekeeping. It’s just strange in that it’s tickets because either those people work for the Rangers or had to buy them first. But I would guess that Rangers tickets were up for auction at my school at some point because Luc Robitaille’s kid went there for the brief time Robitaille was with us.

      I guess another question would be how come those kids were so lucky to be able to go? Are they some of the few NYR fans since you are in NJ?

    21. Shanny will come around. And I thought the look of the jersey was going to remain the same, but they were just going to tweak it? I don’t want a real one with the fight strap, just a repica. And yeah man, it was real sweet. Being against the glass you really see how fast this game is. How fast gomez can skate and how well hossa can play the boards.

    22. If Dawes gets the ice-time and stays on one of the top 2 lines I wouldn’t be surprised to see him score 25+ goals. The release on his second goal was explosive.
      From what I saw he has to have one of the quickest shots on the Rangers.

    23. Get Gomez on the penalty kill. It’s crazy to burn out four forwards using only Dru, Shanny, Betts and Hossa only on the PK.

    24. Guys less than 10 games in I would not be retiring Shanny just yet.

      One thing to keep in mind in drawing up your analogies is the fact that it is not an easy chore to get open and the get a shot on goal in hockey. Shanny’s 54 shots is a testament that he is working hard to get open and get shots no to mention he has been working hard and doing well on the penalty kill. give it a little more time and goals will come the whole team has been a little snake bit look at Jager missing the open net or Drury’s break away lets be fair tio shanny its not just him. I think the team needs to go through an exercism or something they need the karma change!

    25. Doodie, good point- individual vs. team.

      I’m all for cursing, I curse all the time, but I know that just because its hockey and these are tough guys doesn’t mean that cursing at them is going to score goals and win games. However, motivating through passion and emotional dictation can work, curses just emphasize.

    26. Doodie Machetto on

      Kaspar has signed in Russia. No surprise there. I called it back when he got cut. Via Spector’s Trade Rumors:

      “EUROHOCKEY.NET: reports both Markov’s signing and confirms NY Rangers defenceman Darius Kasparaitis has signed with SKA St. Petersburg (Hat tip to Alexander Wirdzek and “Phil”).

      Spector’s Note: Looks like Markov just couldn’t find any takers for his $3 million per season NHL salary demands. It remains to be seen if he has an “out-clause” should an NHL team come calling, but once he plays his first game for Moscow Dynamo he’ll have to pass through waivers before he can play in the NHL.

      As for Kasparaitis, the writing was on the wall for him when he was demoted to the Rangers farm team. This’ll work well for both sides, Kasparaitis will undoubtedly get a decent salary in Russia, and the Rangers can suspend him and thus strike his salary from their books. ”

      I went to the Eurohockey site and they don’t have a report on it, just a list of transfers that includes Kaspar’s.

    27. Doodie Machetto on

      Rob, I like Jagr. I’m even one of the guys who likes and defends him as captain. But even I know that there is no way that he is jumping in front of a shooting lane, so putting him on the PK just wouldn’t work.

    28. I listen to sports talk programs on the net, as much as I can stand – and it’s all about football, baseball, NASCAR (yuk!), and basketball. Anyone know of any hockey forums, online? Knicks this, Knicks that = what a waste.

    29. SPIDERPIG

      Yeah thats the opening. I loved that one.

      CHRIS F.

      Renney curses a few times on the bench. Last season Marc Recchi walked by the bench after drawing a penalty, and said something to th bench, and Renney said “Fugg You”.

      This is disapointing, i was hoping to see another Ranger in his first career game. Moore would be nice, but Bourret and Korp as well.

    30. Also ive been meaning to ask, i heard that Straka wants to be traded. He’s not happy about getting demoted. Some bullshit like that.

    31. Sam, when Cally said surviving–any indication on when he’ll be coming back? and how serious the knee is?

    32. Ranger forwards FIBONACCI pts standings ( PTS. – Even Strength Min.’s = score per 100 min’s E.S. Playing time)

      DAWES……………..34 – 51:37 = 66

      PRUCHA……………34 – 89:46 = 38

      DRURY……………..34 – 120:55 = 28

      CALLAHAN………..21 – 80:34 = 26

      STRAKA…………….13 – 79:04 = 16

      JAGR…………………13 – 138:50 = 9

      Neither GOMEZ, SHANAHAN, DUBINSKY, AVERY, BETTS, ORR, HOSSA, HOLLWEG, nor STRUDWICK has an even-strength goal, thus far on the season = 0 score.

      To put it in perspective…

      Lecavaier, TB = 82
      Thornton, SJ = 47
      Crosby, Pit = 45
      Ovechkin, Was = 44
      ————————————————————–

    33. SPIDERPIG

      Thats the one. I never understood why they changed it, these days its boring and plain. I miss it.

      Why arent they gonna call up a Wolf. Did Hollweg, and Strudwick do soooo much to impress Renney. Thats pretty stupid.

      The win last night was sweet, but again, Dawes scored 2 goals, and we didnt get anything from our big guns. But they all looked a bit better. Shanny is still struggling, i really hope he gets out of this crap he’s in.

      We gotta bea the leafs tomorrow, we need a streak.

    34. Vaughn,
      I forgot where I read it but the injury is worst than originally thought. It appears Callahan could be out for at least a month.

    35. Dear Sam,

      Please tell me the expletive that Tom uttered was Gosh Darn!

      I cannot imagine Gentleman Tom using the eff word in mixed company!

    36. Renney needs to be a tough Pr*ck…I hate what Al Trannywig said…He says guys like Shanny, Drury, Jagr, and Gomer all heard speaches in the past, and another speech wont get through to them, some BS like that.

      Fugg that, Renney needs to prove he has a pair of grapes, and step up, if you gotta get tough with some Vets then do it.

      Hockey players arent like Basketball players…They wont choke there coaches, or cause them any physical harm.

      Leafs are still a tough team, Sundin is off to a great start, Antropov is off to the start everyone expects from him, and Blake is always deadly against the Rangers.

    37. Leafs are still a tough team, Sundin is off to a great start, Antropov is off to the start everyone expects from him, and Blake is always deadly against the Rangers.

      True but the Leafs score alot (42 GF) and get scored on alot
      (44 GA) so it will be interesting to see how well are defense really is and if our Big Guns can break out against the team with the highest GA in the league as of right now 6:20 on Friday night.

    38. Toronto’s worst RPM (Relative Plus-Minus) D, Bryan McCabe (13-51) did not play in the big 5-2 victory vs. Pittsburgh, last night. Don’t know McCabe’s situation, but his absence makes them a much tougher opponent to beat. Hal Gill, off a mediocre season a year ago, is off to a big start at 46-15 RPM. Here’s hoping McCabe is still around and plays, vs. the Rangers.

    39. Wow, I’m surprised that people had so many thoughts on the cursing. And, yes, NYRich82, if my boss, when I had one, cursed, I knew whatever we were working on was a serious project and something worth really focusing on. If he had walked up and cursed at me personally and called me something specific, I probably wouldn’t have taken it as motivation. But I’m not a child, I can handle bad words, and I like to see passion get the better of people from time to time. Often, that comes through in cursing. Which was really my point. Renney usually seems like a reserved, calm person who tends to parse his words carefully. I’m glad to know sometimes he loses his cool. And now seems like a good time to remind his players everything isn’t hunky-dory (is that how that’s spelled? where did that come from?).

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