There’s always another game…


This is why I’d have a hard time covering the NFL. Because as opposed to the Rangers, who can come right back tonight after Saturday’s debacle, a football schedule means scribes like me would have to come up with a full week’s worth of “what went wrong and what are you going to do about it” stories.

Instead, we have tonight to see how the Rangers respond to the latest in a string of setbacks. I will stop short of making any predictions.

As for news:

  • Sean Avery was cleared for contact in the skate today, and was subjected to some bumps along the boards from Brandon Dubinsky. Later came more sprints under the supervision of Perry Pearn. Fittingly, Adam Graves was one of the people watching Avery skate, and the former 50-goal scorer was noting how the Rangers needed Avery’s fire back in the lineup. “He has an effect on both the team he’s on and the team he’s playing.” Funny, I thought while Graves was saying this to me, the Rangers used to have another guy like that…

    Meanwhile, the more likely return date for Avery is still Saturday, but as Tom Renney said, “I don’t have Thursday circled, but he probably has it circled in felt pen.” In other words, Avery could make a case to return against the Caps.

  • Alas, the Dave Scatchard Era is over before it started, so cancel your jersey orders. The Rangers passed on offering the center a contract after he went down with a groin injury after just one game in Hartford. Turns out the jump from practices with University of British Columbia was bigger than he thought.
  • Tampa Bay’s standout defenseman Dan Boyle could return tonight after “missing the first part of the season with a left wrist injury”: The defenseman, who Renney coached in the World Championships a few years back, is a free agent at the end of the season, something the coach readily noted.

    More later…

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    1. I’m a big Avery fan, and I do think he was the key to the Rangers success in the second half of last year (obviously, apart from Henrik). I’ve lived in LA for years now and I have seen what Avery can do, both as an annoyer and as an actual offensive threat. But it makes me nervous that everyone expects him to carry the grit and tenacity of the Rangers on his shoulders. Other players, especially ones whose skills are supposedly physical (hello hollywood) should be getting this done with Avery out. The Rangers shouldn’t have one guy alone who can get under opponents’ skin, or else, as we’ve seen, an injury to that player is crippling. Not everyone can be an Avery, or a Graves, or a Barnaby, but everyone can try. This team needs to get a little nastier, from Renney on down to Valiquette.

      Okay, maybe not Vali. What’s he gonna do? Cock his cap at an vicious angle?

    2. we all would love a win but I think I’d still be pretty happy if the Rangers score a bunch of goals and still lost the game.

      I can’t wait for Avery to come back, but I hate the fact that this team lives or dies with him.

    3. HockeymanRangers on

      Ok here’s on thing that I see the Rangers need to do better. And that is to watch their passing, they need to be very critical of how they pass the puck to one another. They need to pass stick to stick, none of this passing behind or ahead of the player you are passing to. And watch the passing lane it’s either open or it isn’t quit forcing quite so much. I know this sounds simple and you would think that this is a “gimmie” but I have seen it way to often this year a player has to go behind him to get control or it so far ahead of him the opponet gets the puck. Somthing else that I heard a Toronto announcer say is that all the forwards are playing to defensively and not paying enough attention to offense, I don’t know if this is true or not. I will keep an eye out for this. Lets do some damage tonight men.

    4. Ernie and Bert on

      0-2 after seven minutes and they are scoring six unanswered goals to 6-2 (2-2 by Shanny from behind the goal line !!!) before the Ligthning close the gap to 6-4 and then they will have an empty netter with 34,8 seconds left by Betts…

    5. Ernie and Bert on

      First star of the game :

      Martin St. Louis TBL 3 Goals

      Second star of the game:

      Brendan Shanahan NYR 2 Goals and 1 assist

      Third star of the game:

      Scott Gomez NYR 1 Goal and 3 assists….

    6. Meh… I could imagine squeaking by tonight… I really believe something needs to happen though that will ignite this team… something dramatic with one of our “big 4″ or Renney.

    7. Hossa and Betts scoring goals?! Ernie and Bert anymore fantasties? Next one is the Tampa Bay D’Rays sign A-rod.

    8. It’ll be 4-1 or 5-1. We’ll go down 3-0 by the end of the second, and we’ll get a garbage goal on the PP in the third.

    9. They won’t bring up Moore, but Scatchard was coming here, were it not for the fact that he was injured. How many “Strudwick types” do we want and need here, anyway?

      The Rangers should cull the GD dead wood from the roster, not bring more in. That is why they are LOSING. (Loosing for you bozo’s on L.I.)

    10. HockeymanRangers on

      I also had to laugh about the NJ game last week. If any of you read last week on the Hockey Rodent website he called Renny a pussy (can I say that here) because he left the #1 power play line out to long, and that they were dragging. Well during the NJ game Renny put the second PP line out there and that is when Dawes scored one of his goals. I am not sure if he put them out there at the begining of the PP or at the end. But that was the first thing I thought about when Dawes scored, is that somebody was reading the Hockey Rodent’s bitching. Hey it worked.

    11. 1-0 shootout by Marek Malik in the 14th round of the shots…

      Lundqvist 41 saves first star of the game….

      Game will end delayed for half an hour because of a light failure at MSG !!!!!!

    12. Bert and Ernie

      Are we not letting in any goals tonight because snufalupagus is in the net?

      Ha, sorry I had to.

    13. Tortorella will be sent from the bench because he called the linesman ” a blind pimple ” !

    14. Orr punches Roys jaw so hard, that his jaw breaks off his face and hits Torterella in the mouth, cause him to throw up, then his team to throw up, then our team to throw up, then the fans throwing up, then sam and joe throwing up, then US THROWING UP!!!

      AhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!

    15. Please stop that stupid predictions.

      Away from that it is such a SHAME that now everybody is waiting for Avery to come back. Sather went to arbitration with him – don’t you remember. SHAME.

    16. No all the lines are the same tonight. I ran into Sam about an hour and half ago. Orr – Betts – Struds on the 4th line with Hollweg on the 3rd. Seriously no joke.

    17. I ran into Heidi Klum last night and she told me to be at the game tonight rooting for the Rangers…Oh what a woman and a fan of the Rangers…!!! Seriously no joke…!!!

    18. Scatchard not a Ranger?!?!

      (long and exhulted pause)


      I will never watch the Rangers again. That is, unless the re-aquire Brad Isbister. Mark my word, this team will NEVER win a Stanley Cup with out Scatchard in the lineup.

    19. Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Randy Jones has been suspended for two games, without pay, as a result of being assessed a game misconduct during NHL game #146 against the Boston Bruins on Oct. 27, the National Hockey League announced today.

      “While it is my determination that Jones did not intend to injure his opponent, he did deliver a hard check to a player who was in a vulnerable position,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. “There have been suggestions by some that this hit was comparable to incidents earlier this season where players received significant game suspensions for blows to the head. These comparisons and suggestions are wrong,” Campbell added.

      Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Jones will forfeit $5,614.98. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

      Jones was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for a hit on Boston player Patrice Bergeron at 16:07 of the first period.

      Jones will miss Thursday’s game at Montreal and the Nov. 2 game at Washington. He will be eligible to return Nov. 5 at NY Rangers.

    20. So seriously… instead of speculating on tonights score, what do you guys think will really be done to light a spark under this teams ass?

      Something must happen. Someone traded? Renney fired? These are the real questions. Sather must be ready to draw blood.

    21. Salten
      you sound like a reporter,
      These are the real questions, and I think these are the real answers.
      Renney will not be fired, and no one will be traded. Instead Avery will come back, light the spark and off they go. Though I hate to say it. The team lives and dies with him.

    22. “Though I hate to say it. The team lives and dies with him.”

      I don’t buy it. That is too easy of an excuse/answer to a issue that aparently runs deeper. Avery provides a lot of intangiables but I don’t think he is the reason our guys are not stuffing ANY rubber.

    23. i would try to change the lines…not to shake things up but actually put players who play similar games together. I think they can mesh better:

      Hossa-Dubinsky-Jagr (dubi still needs some work, but he plays a hard cycling game that would work well with Jagr


      Dawes-Gomez-Callahan when he is healthy, callup until then

      Struds-Betts-Orr (Hollweg hasn’t shown me anything this season…he takes too many penalties and doesn’t get much going

    24. I don’t necessarily agree with it but the history does show pretty clearly, I might add, that the statement is true

    25. At the first off-shore betting site I just checked, the Rangers are -150 and TB is +130. If there were no vig and the line were -140 and +140, the Rangers would have a line-converted 58 per cent chance of winning this game, in other words the 7/5 favorite.

      While the home edge counts for a lot in all sports, this seems a bit pricey. I would say I like TB at +130 (win $230 gross for a $100 outlay), however that would require my rooting for TB tonight, which I will not be doing. Just watching Lecavalier perform his magic is enough compensation for the time invested.

    26. Hey Naked,
      I think I like your lines,
      Dubi is getting better every game. Who would you play with Dawes and Gomez right now though

    27. The Rangers simly lacking self confidence. If they would be able to have a couple of early goals tonight, it may end the drought ! Guys like Shanny, Drury and Gomez are pressing too much and Renney may realize the real problem with that group is based that those are too knotted to break out…

      And another problem is that Drury and Gomez haven´t find their right positions inside of the group..You have certain players in a team, who leads the group on and off the ice and it seems to be that the Rangers haven´t find yet the right balance in terms of stars to guys making the grind work…Avery is an important part of this puzzle and he is missing and you see it..

    28. sloot – i dont think we have anyone on the roster who could hang that isnt hurt. I’d probably call up moore to give him a shot in that spot for a week or 2. Gomez needs speedy guys who can keep up with him to dish the puck.

    29. Robby Bonfire October 29th, 2007 at 4:31 pm

      At the first off-shore betting site I just checked, the Rangers are -150 and TB is +130. If there were no vig and the line were -140 and +140, the Rangers would have a line-converted 58 per cent chance of winning this game, in other words the 7/5 favorite.

      While the home edge counts for a lot in all sports, this seems a bit pricey. I would say I like TB at +130 (win $230 gross for a $100 outlay), however that would require my rooting for TB tonight, which I will not be doing. Just watching Lecavalier perform his magic is enough compensation for the time invested.


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