Good news, bad news


The good news is the Rangers earned back their off day on the merits of what was likely their most encouraging effort of the season: another sound defensive game that finally included some traction at the other end as well.

The bad news is the canceled practice cost Sean Avery a needed day of contact with his teammates, and hurts his chances of coming back Thursday night. And this is bad news for not just Avery: the noted irritant was in overdrive last night, bouncing around the upper reaches of the Garden (as many of you saw) and then pestering his teammates during the post-game media availability.

Usually the way it works is we talk to players first and then a Rangers staffer announces that Tom Renney is making his way down to the interview room for his press conference. Last night we got that announcement again, only this time it was Avery butting into an interview with Brendan Shanahan to give us the word.

Please, someone, get this guy a uniform.

Meanwhile, as hard as this might to believe, I’m still not totally sure what Renney’s plans are for Nigel Dawes, which I realize sounds pretty ludicrous given the wing’s production of late. But there is something in the way Renney answered a question last night about Dawes, saying yes, he’s been great, and has provided the Rangers a needed boost, but that he’s still fighting for his job — or something to that extent.

I’m not sure what else the guy can do, although I say that acknowledging that with proven entities like Avery, Martin Straka and even Ryan Callahan eventually making their way back, finding a place for Dawes to play remains a challenge.

Sure, play him on the fourth line, you might say. But do you really want Nigel Dawes playing with Colton Orr or Ryan Hollweg? Maybe you do. I’m not sure. 

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  1. I think that’s just the way Renney is. Over the summer he made comments to the effect that Callahan and Girardi had to “demonstrate they could perform over a full season.” I can’t imagine he’s foolish enough to not recognize how important Dawes has been to the top two lines these last few games and keep him there. If I had to guess I’d say Hossa gets bumped to fourth line/PK duty when Avery returns, then Hollweg back down to fourth line when Callahan does. Straka’s return is the big question mark right now.

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

    Keep switching Dawes and Hossa on the 1st two lines, every few shifts, and play Hollweg in the games he needs to play, and play Orr in the games he needs to play.

    This is why it was a mistake re signing both Hollweg and Orr. I want Dawes to stay if he can score, but would Renney even consider taking both Hollweg and Orr out??

  3. I’m kind of worried as to what will happen to Dawes as well, and for some reason I feel it will be back to Hartford because he will definitely suffer on a fourth line. It’ll be a big shame, but I think it is inevitable considerig Hossa is playing well with Jags and Gomer, Straka will be on with Dru and Shanny, leaving the 3rd line for Avery Dubi and Pru. This is gonna get ugly…

  4. Let’s hope that’s just a poor managerial exercise in keeping a young player motivated and on his toes. As this team needs to remember, production is what counts and that kid has been leading the way. Not playing him sends a terrible message to him, to the entire youth in this organization and, importantly, to the people who haven’t produced. They should be inspired by him, not passively reminded that it is the name on the back of the jersey that counts, not the job being done.

  5. avery is not a 2nd line guy. he should play on the 3rd line when he’s healthy. Straka moves to the 1st and Hossa to the 4th. When Callahan comes back he’s plays on the 4th line with Betts and Hossa. Orr and Hollweg sit.

  6. Only the Rangers… who’ve been the joke of the league offensively… would have a discussion about sending their leading scorer back to Hartford.

    It’s commical.

    How’s this for an idea… until Straka or Hossa score a goal (or three, or whatever his total is running)… they have to win their spot back from Dawes.

    He earned it out of camp, and earned it when he’s been called up. What more can you ask for? Nobody is saying definitively that he’s going to be a better hockey player than those two, but until given the chance you never know. Right now he’s showing it.

  7. AGAIN – Rote media quotes coming from insiders like Tom Renney are meant to be bland, mis-leading, conciliatory, condescending, confusing, distracting public relations pablum, and, on occasion, some kind of pin-prick at a player’s agent.

    Taking any public statement Tom Renney or anyone else in professional sports management makes at face value is just playing into his hands. Come on, Sam, these guys are not giving us the time of day, their whole agenda, when being interviewed, is NOT to reveal or divulge their thinking or any information having any value, whatsoever. “Anonymous sources” from inside an organization, have much more validity as to alerting us as to what is going on. Do we have, can we plant, a mole in the Rangers hierarchy?

    What do Renney and Sather have to say to eachother and other Rangers upper-level management personnel, in private, that’s what I want to know? What they say for our consumption is not even a story. In fact, you can just about turn what they say in public upside down, to get closer to the truth and reality.

  8. Any coach who has made it to this level would have to be a complete idiot not to keep Dawes, at least rotated, on the top two lines. Like Sam and Joe said last night, Dawes is noticeable every time he’s on the ice. He’s been their best player since he’s been with the team.

  9. Doodie Machetto on

    Riche, only 2 games in which Dawes has scored. If his goal total is still only 3 in a few weeks when Straka and Cally return, then what would you think?

    Let’s wait and see before we start talking about where these guys have to go. Avery comes back and it’s pretty obvious that the offensive spot comes from moving Hollweg off of the third line.

  10. Doodie Machetto on

    My point is, there is still a lot of time before a decision to drop someone is made, so let’s see how every is playing then before we make it

  11. Hossa continues to be a complete waste of space. The guy contributes zero on the scoresheet, and on the top line that’s all that matters.

  12. I still feel that this might lead to a trade. I don’t know who I would move, but if the whole team is healthy what are they going to do? They can’t send Dawes down. The kid is playing his ass off.

  13. Doodie

    That’s exactly why i said give him that shot… if he faulters… then an intelligent discussion could be had about what to do with him. Right now he’s the highest producing scorer. Until that’s not the truth… he shouldn’t be goin’ anywhere.

  14. Peter, did you watch the game last night? If all you are looking for from a player is goals then Hossa is a waste. If all you are looking for from every player is goals, then you are an idiot. The guy is not a waste of space. He plays the boards better than anyone else on the team and plays good defensively. When he is put in a role to score by the coaches, he can put some in the net. I don’t think they have given him the green light to go for it offensively. Last year when he was because Straka went down, the kid scored some goals.

  15. Chris F. has it right I believe. You think Hyena wants to just come right out and say that the leading goal scorer on the Rangers, some newbie rookie, has assured himself a spot on the team? No Way! Keep the kid hungry.

    The reality is, Dawes is hitting people. He is drawing penalties. He is taking good shots and getting in good position. He is gaining more confidence. He will stick around.

    The Rangers have a mounting quality problem ahead of them as rightfully pointed out. Dubinsky was the best forechecker on the ice last night and is gaining more confidence with every shift. Cally, Avery, and Straka coming back means three people sit.

    Here is my take:

    Struds….b-bye. You are fine to be a backup if everyone goes down, but your career looks better behind the bench than on the bench.

    Orr…b-bye. Unless we playing the Flyers, the Isles, or some other bunch of scumbags, I don’t think we need him in there. BTW, Holly had his best game of the season last night!

    Who is #3 to sit? Unfortunately, knowing the mgmt on this team, Dubinsky might sadly get the benching. To be honest, Prucha has a lot of hustle but no real significant production so far. Some might argue about Hossa in that same league, but he complements Jags well with his size, has good hands, kills penalties (ever watch this guy away from the puck, he knows where to go), and can throw the body when need be. Hossa over Prucha for sure. Dubinsky as a center is valuable, but him over Hossa looks like a longshot.

    #3 player to sit when Aves, Cally, and Straka come back is the toughest question.

    The last thing I want to say is: Michael Roszival of 2006-7, where the hell are you? I don’t know who took over your body, but whoever did does not know how to play D anymore. He and Malik seem to play OK offensively with Jags and Co, but boy do they have their heads in their butts on defense! Getting old.

    Hank playing as solid as ever. Some talk about him getting beaten by Lecavalier (what a whiny little B, btw) last night. Yes, if his stick had been on the ice when he went to split he would have made the save. But he played extremely well last night and has sick #s so far this year. And it’s not like Lecavalier is some schlub.

    Last night was a good start. We need consistency now. And Shanny creating havoc in front of the net on the PPlay is a great look!


  16. Nasty, i was at the game last night. I’m looking for points from a top line winger who’s playing with one of the best set-up man over the past 3 years. If you aren’t looking for that, then who’s the idiot? Could you imagine the Senators putting a player on the top line because of how well the work the boards? Get a grip.

    Look at the 1sst place teams…Philly has Briere, Gagne and Knuble. Knuble works the boards well, but he also goes to the slot, Hossa never does. Look at Ottawa. Nuff Said. Look at Detroit. Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Holmstrom. Holmstrom goes to the net. Minnesota. Gaborik, Demitra and Walz. Skill line.

    What more of an offensive green light do you need than to be put on the #1 line? Prucha or Dawes deserve that spot WAY more. You aren’t going to score from behind the net, which is where Hossa plays his best from. Sorry, but he’s a square peg in a round hole.

  17. I agree with Nasty’s comments about Hossa. That guy does a great job killing penalties, playing the boards, and never seems to make a major mistake. OK, so he’s not scoring right now. That can be said about most of the team. He does, however, play a strong physical game, and keeps many sequences alive in the offensive zone. I think Hossa is a good all-around player.

  18. Not every guy on every #1 line in the league has 3 goal scorers on it. Excluding Ottawa. You need to put players together who compliment each other. Hossa compliments Jagr. Nuff said.

  19. Peter, re-read my comment about Hossa. Re-read Nasty’s comment to you. He is right.

    Do you know what to look for in hockey players? Do you ever watch the play away from the puck? Do you watch the games when we are a man-down?

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but sometimes people on this blog like to just spout off thoughts without actually realizing how silly they sound.

    Hossa has incredible hands. Hossa made some totally unbelievable break-ups of passes on the penalty kill last night. Hossa made some good body checks to win pucks as well. You do realize when Hossa goes behind the net in the offensive zone he is VERY hard to move off the puck? That just opens up space for Jags.

    Hossa can play.

  20. New Newman, thanks bro. Good to see someone who recognizes other talents in a hockey player besides scoring goals.

  21. Renney now has enough parts to construct a formidable tough as nails “fourth” line. the trick would be getting everyone ice time. I’d assume Avery would get 10 minutes + additional PP and PK. not a bad idea not to rush him with 16 full minutes a game. (note: with Straka still out).


  22. Avery belongs on the 2 or 3 line. I would say 3rd. But again, he needs to play with who is clicks with.

  23. Dawes has been way better than Dubinsky. No way Dubinsky deserves to stay up over Dawes. Thus, when all are healthy:

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

  24. Newman – well said about some of the comments found here.
    Nasty – I think a trade may be in the future, but it’s nice to have this depth when guys get hurt.

    Something that has been missed thus far regarding Dawes staying with the big club. We don’t have a lot of guys that don’t have to go through waivers. The CBA itself makes some of the decisions for us. Furthermore, Renney is not always the one making these decisions. The Brass upstairs is probably more involved than you may believe.

  25. Doodie Machetto on

    Something that jus dawned on me while I looked through Boston has a chance to win in every single sport.

    They’ve taken the World Series. The Pats are the favorites for the Super Bowl. The Celtics, after their offseason moves, are near the top of the Eastern Conference, and under some fluke set of circumstances beat a Western seeded team. The New England Revolution (MLS) are perrenial contenders and are in good shape after the first leg of the first round of the playoffs.

    The only weak spot? The Bruins. And judging from how the season has started, it isn’t inconceivable that they could pull off some miracle run like the Canes did 2 years ago.

  26. Doodie Machetto on

    “You aren’t going to score from behind the net, which is where Hossa plays his best from.”

    Funny, I vaguely remember some guy making that his office and doing pretty well. I think he’s a coach somewhere now.

  27. Newman – You can spout all you want about what you think Hossa brings to the table. The guy is on the top line because Jagr doesn’t want to get his hands dirty in the corners. No way Hossa scores more goals than Prucha if Prucha was on the top line.

    Doodie – If you’re comparing Hossa to Gretzky, you’re dumber than you sound.

    Jeff – Hossa has 3 assists…OK, how many goals does he have? If you’re going to bitch about me bitching, then shut the f*ck up.

  28. In the few instances Dawes has been on the ice with Jagr, they seem to have some nice chemistry. While I agree that Hossa is a hard worker in the corner, this teams needs to score goals right now.


  29. New Newman and Nasty1 – Well said. There is a lot more to a player then just scoring goals. A player has good hockey sense, knows what to do away from the puck (anticipation) that opens up the ice and creates scoring chances.

  30. So here is a question. I want to get a new jersey. I am leaning towards a #30 jersey, but I am not sure yet. I have a vintage messier one that I love, but I want to get one with a new player on it. I think it is safe to say that Hank will be here for a long time. Now, do I get one of these Reebok home blue ones or do I wait and see what the league does with the new jerseys? Has anyone heard anything else about them?

  31. Interesting how so many people can see the same thing, think they have a clue (based on what-I have no idea), and spew crap…

    Straka and Callahan are not healthy…Until they are, it makes no sense to fill out a lineup card (or even speculate)with their names on it.

    With one player returning, the obvious switch is to put Strudwick back on the pine, switch Hollweg back to his rightful place, and give Avery third line ice time on a line with Prucha and Dubinsky. Leave the other lines alone.

    If Dawes continues to show he belongs, you leave him where he is. You deal with Callahan and Straka when it’s their time to return..By that time someone else might be on the shelf…

  32. Rick- What the hell are you referring to in your first few lines? About line combos or about Hossa?

  33. Nasty – Goes to show what a moron you are…Giving props to a poster who compares Hossa to Gretzky. You shouldn’t waste your money on a Jersey. Learn something about the sport first.

  34. Nobody is comparing Hossa to Gretzky. You are the frigin idiot here. All he said is that offense can be created from behind the net.

  35. PETER

    That was a pretty moronic comment.

    Hossa has been our best player defensively, in the last 2 games. Maybe thats rubbing off of Jagr, cause in the last 2 games Jagr has made some sweet defensive plays. Bitch about someone else, cause as far as Hoss is concerned, he’s doing HIS job.

  36. Doodie Machetto on

    Peter- I’m not comparing the two. Merely pointing out that your statement was incorrect. A player can do very well from behind the net.

  37. Nasty – I didn’t say offense can’t be created from behind the net. I said goals generally aren’t scored from there. Whoever plays with Gomez and Jagr needs to be a finisher, not a playmaker. All Gomez does is make plays, Jagr can do both, so their complimentary winger needs to be a guy who puts pucks in the net. Hossa doesn’t. That’s the point.

    Can Hossa be a great 3rd line guy? Yea. Can he PK? Yea. In fact, swapping Prucha and Hossa makes a huge amount of sense. But the loyalty that Renney shows this guy is friggin ridiculous, especially when you throw Prucha’s offensive numbers into he mix.

  38. Peter, go back to the sandbox. You are not ready to pay with the big boys on the black top. Besides, I hear your mom calling you for dinner.

  39. What Jagr and Gomez need is someone who can keep the puck in the zone and play along the boards and behind the net. Hossa can do that.

  40. Orr – Where else in the league do defensive specialists play on the 1st line. I’ll give you a hint…NONE OF THE 1st PLACE TEAMS.

  41. Peter you are a moron. If you can’t comprehend what we are writing about then sit in on one or a couple of Nasty1’s 5th grade reading comprehension classes. He told me to do the same earlier so I believe there is room in his class. However, I told Nasty I did not see his posts until after mine was posted. Unfortunately, you have read the post and are still dumb to comment on what you do not understand.

    A player can be successful from behind the net. That was the point in case you did not get it.

    Nasty1 go with the Hank sweater but wait until the league figures out what they are going to do about the sweaters. Also, call it a sweater or go learn about the sport. HAHA LOL

  42. Doodie Machetto on

    Peter, I understand your concerns for having a finisher working with Jags and Gomez, but Hossa adds some stability to the line which helps Jagr: Hossa plays defense. This allows Jagr to not have to worry about being caught out of position because Hossa can cover for him. Remember how many goals Straka-Nylander-Jagr was responsible for because Jagr and Nylander didn’t really get back? Gomez is fast as lightning, and Hossa is just a very defensively smart hockey player. This allows Jagr to take the extra offensive risks without worrying about being caught in an odd man rush the other way.

    Speaking of which, it’s something that the team as a whole has done very well with: not that many odd man rushes at all.

  43. Nasty – How do you figure that’s what the line needs? I explained my rationale. What’s yours?

    Is that the role that Straka was playing on that line last year? Nope, Straka was scoring goals te first half of the year. That’s what that line needs. Jagr Can play along the boards. That’s all he does is play facing the glass and coming off the half boards to the slot. IT’s the same play over and over. What every line needs is a winger who drives the net. Hossa doesn’t/can’t/won’t do that.

  44. Ok Peter, I am going to be the bigger man here, you are a man right? You win, I am done with you. You made a stupid comment and now you are trying really hard to make it make sense. You are one of those people that can eat a piece of shit and convince yourself it is chocolate candy can’t you?

  45. Doodie – Thanks for replying with a well thought out point and not a weak insult. I see all the things you’re saying, but my point of view differs. On a team that needs goals, you can’t have a 20-30 goals scorer sitting on the 3rd line.

    Of course I see Hossa’s value. Just not on the #1 line.

    To anyone else who wants to comment on my “behind the net” remark…Go back and read it. I didn’t say anything about offense not being generated from back there. I said goals generally aren’t scored from back there. IF you’re too dumb to read and comprehend, I can’t help you.

  46. Lastly, that was LAST YEAR, when they had Nylander as a center. There are two new centers with whom Jagr will play with, Gomez and Drury. With Gomez as the center, Jagr must play a different game and Hossa compliments that game. That is why Hossa belongs there. You ok now lil buddy? Peter? I will give you a re test tomorrow. Don’t worry, you will get a golden star one of these days.

  47. HITS per 100 minutes T.O.I…



    DRURY………..2 1/2
    JAGR…………..1 1/2


  48. Nasty – You’re a complete moron who doesn’t know shit about hockey. I didn’t write tthat top comment, but it sure is funny.

  49. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I’d have to agree with everyone else here, Hossa is playing well and complimenting Jagr and Gomez near-perfectly. Adding a finishing touch for ALL 3 would be nice.

    PS: Pete, in your own argument of every line needs someone who drives to the net – tell me who that was, Straka? Nylander? or Jagr?

    God, you are dumb. Your own arguments don’t even support each other.

  50. You can ask anyone who is on here on a daily basis. I definitely do know hockey and I write intelligent comments and think them through before I do. It is fine to have a difference in opinion, but do it with class.

  51. As someone from overseas I really liked to be on this board to hear opinions and discussion about the Rangers especially before a trip like the one I will do next week, because the more inside I got from the Rangers the better……

    But you guys need to find a better level of respecting each other and not making any personal attacks…

    Sam this is also your task in demanding for more respect between posters…!!!

    Otherwise there will probably some more Rangers´blog

  52. And the one about my mom sucking d*ck was funny. I laughed. I really did. I can take a joke. So can Richard from earlier. Relax man. You made a dumb comment, now deal with it.

  53. Doodie Machetto on

    “On a team that needs goals, you can’t have a 20-30 goals scorer sitting on the 3rd line.”

    I would posit to you that on a team that wins championships, that is EXACTLY what is necessary. The only potential excpetion to this rule is the New Jersey Devils, but playing trap hockey under the old rules made that possible. Under the new rules that eliminate the clutch and grab, no two line pass, if a team doesn’t have 20-30 goal scorers that far down their roster, they will fail in the playoffs.

  54. Yeah, he is right. I could not help but stoop to his level though. They don’t call me the Nasty 1 for nothing :)

  55. True Fans – Straka was the one driving to the net. If you watched games you’d know it.

    Nasty – I started this? “If all you are looking for from every player is goals, then you are an idiot.” Hmmmm…Sounds like an insult.

    At any rate, I’m guaranteeing right now that this team continues to struggle to score goals with Hossa on the #1 line. Look at the goals we had last night…Dawes deflected a puck in from the front of the net. Jagr on a slapshot with Shanny driving to the net. Shanny on a stuff in right in front of the net. Let Hossa work the boards all he wants, it isn’t exaclty generating tons of scroing chances at even strength, is it?

    Now argue those points…

  56. So Peter I am sorry. Can we shake and make up and you can come over for dinner. My wife is making stovetop tonight.

  57. Doodie – You can have a 30 goal scorer on the 3rd line when you’re Buffalo and you have 3 lines that can score. The Rangers aren’t put together that way and right now struggle to score goals. I don’t know how anyone can argue with that.

  58. Peter, we had a completely different and dominating line last year with Nylander centering Straka and Jagr. You are right about that. But that was last year. Nylander was the force behind that line. As he went, that line went. He is gone. It is time to play differently. Nylander circles and hangs on to the puck. Gomez does not. He shoots up the ice and looks to make a pass. That is why it is taking time, but the line of Hossa Gomez Jagr is getting better as each game passes. That is the point I, and a few others are trying to make.

  59. Nasty1 – Now THAT, I got a chuckle out of. I apologize as well. As long as there’s turkey with the stuffing…

  60. Peter the funny thing is “The Great One” had more assists then goals in his career and Jari Kurri had more goals then assists. Why you ask, Because Wayne would sit behind the net and pass the puck to Kurri in the front of the net. So goals ARE scored from behind the net. Sometimes the number one assist is better then the goal.

    Does this make sense to you Peter Putz?

  61. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Pete, Straka is by no means a “net-crasher.” I believe you don’t watch the games or you don’t remember clearly how Straka plays hockey. But that’s OK.

    The one piece of this equation that you’re missing is with Gomez and Hossa, Jagr is the finisher – he likes scoring goals. Jagr plays better when he’s happy (its the main reason Straka was signed by the Rangers). Its also why he played well with Nylander last year. There may be a reason we’ve never really seen Jagr and Prucha play together 5 on 5…Jagr likes receiving the passes more than making them. That’s not to say he’s a bad setup guy. He just enjoys the glory of scoring goals.

  62. Nasty1 – Agree with you RE: Nylander, but the problem I see is that Jagr is a little reluctant to change his game. IF he won’t be the shooter on that line, someone has to be. I don’t see why Gomez, Jagr and either Dawes or Prucha can’t have the same type of flow in the zone that Elias and Gionta had with Gomez. That line was successful with Elias and Gomez playing a 2 man game and Gionta crashing the net.

    I don’t think others here are trying to make quite the same point you are, but my point is that Hossa being strong on the boards doesn’t help us scoring goals if that line isn’t shooting. They can cycle and keep the puck in all night, but someone has to pull the trigger on that line.

  63. Richard S. – One more time…HOSSA IS NOT GRETZKY, so kill that nonsense already. Hossa isn’t setting up behind the net and making insane passes to set Jagr up. He’s grinding and cycling. Learn the game, dude.

    True Fans – Straka sure as hell wasn’t scoring on his blistering slap shot from outside the circles last year. He was getting garbage goals and tap ins from in front. How’d he get in front? By driving to the net.

    I understand that Jagr should be the finisher on that line, but right now he isn’t. That’s why Renney was splitting up Jagr and Gomez, they both wanted to be the playmaker. Just because he put them back together doesn’t mean Jagr changed his philosophy.

  64. Doodie Machetto on

    Peter, here is how I will argue your point. We are looking towards the spring in making the multiple scoring lines like championship teams have. Unfortunately, it requires sever growing pains when the lines are so dramatically different than they were last year. You have to admit, as much as it would pain you to do, that last night, that line played significantly better than it had at the last game: even at even strength. Gomez is the part of the line that the others need to adjust to. He’s just so…. fast! He can go from behind the goal to the offensive zone in the time it takes Jags and Hoss to go from blue line to blue line. When they learn to adjust to that speed, they WILL start scoring. Jagr and Gomez both (especially Jagr) are too good of players for them NOT to start scoring. The problem is we have to be willing to put in the investment until it pays dividends.

  65. Doodie – I agree with your points RE: Gomez’ speed. Even more of a reason why he needs a faster winger.

    And why would I hate to admit that the line played well, if they did?

  66. Doodie Machetto on

    LI Joe, thanks for pointing out BC in college football. I’m not going to count them as much because it’s not professional sports, and because the BCS is BS.

  67. until they get on track, the biggest bright side of the season so far is the return to the traditional blueshirt jersey (for the most part). As per Gerry Cosby’s the equipment manager at the request of the Ranger players modified their game worn jerseys…you’ll notice on almost all jerseys except Malik….the scooped apron is gone. The RANGERS diagonal is still not centered right but at least that awful apron is gone. Commish Buttman (all 5 foot 2 of him) must be fuming.

  68. Doodie Machetto on

    Peter, because it’s contrary to your argument that the line will not score. If it improves, improvement will eventually lead to goals, and goals will lead to your argument failing.

    I don’t think he needs a faster winger. I think that once Jags and Hoss can read and time him better, they will be ready for when he burts into the zone and looks for that first pass as soon as he gains the blue line. Jags can step over and receive it, or Gomez can fire it around for Hoss to win along the boards. It can work.

    As for Hoss not scoring goals, we’ve already seen that when playing with Jagr, he is VERY capable of scoring. I agree with you that I would like to see him go to the net more often, but I would say the same thing about the entire team at this point.

  69. Doodie – I can see where all your points are coming from, but I guess at this point you have more faith than I do in all those “if”s. I just don’t see Jagr wanting to change his game for anyone, and being that we have Gomez for 7 more years, I’d like to find him some scoring wingers who will shoot the puck and go to the net and can keep up on a 2-on-1.

    Not trying to be argumentative, because I see where you’re coming from.

  70. Doodie Machetto on

    Peter, over the next two years, Gomez and Drury will be getting a completely new set of wings as Shanahan, Straka, Jagr, and most likely Avery and Hossa find there way out of NY. There will be a lot of new blood, and so I’m not worried about Gomez’s role over the long term based on his performance this year.

  71. I’m afraid I may not know as much about hockey as all you guys do… (this is not sarcasm)

    I have played (and watched) it my entire life though and I can tell you that a line with chemistry is greater than it’s individual parts. For most of the season (short as it’s been) all the lines have functioned as individuals… not as a cohesive unit.

    The fact that things have gotten better (not good, or great) this soon is a testament to the players’ talent and their proffesionalism. Given time it “should” only get better.

    One of the things that had been written about the line combos was that Renney asked the players what they thought. I think that’s a very telling piece of info… especially when looked at from the context of whose on whose line.

    Prucha may have said that he wants to be on Jagr’s line (why wouldn’t he?)… but I’m betting that Jagr wanted Straka (i.e. Hossa when Straka was injured) on his line.

    The ideal would be for Prucha and his linemates to create some chemistry of their own and then we’d be firing on all cylinders. Given the fact that they’re younger than the “old vets” who’ve been doing this for years and have undoubtedly played with various players on various teams, the chemistry may take longer to build.

    But the important part is that it “seems” the talent is there. On at least 3 lines. Not bad.

    I dunno. Just a thought.

  72. Hey Jeff…While I’m not a big fan of Hossa on the 1st line I’d like to see him on the 4th line replacing Hollweg or Orr.

  73. Doodie Machetto on

    I think Dubinsky should start seeing some PK time. We need to cut the Betts cord at some point, and better sooner than later. Seriously, the 4th line is a punishment for any talented winger because we know that any wing centered by Betts isn’t going to get a good feed unless he goes across the street to get a burger. With Anisimov a year or two away, the time to lose Betts is set. Better we prepare now than get caught with out pants down. Now is an especially good time since we’re short on PKers while Avery, Straka, and Callahan are all down.

    If we didn’t have Betts and Dubinsky could kill penalties:

    Avery-Dubinsky-Hollweg/Orr, depending on the team.

    Think about it.

  74. Doodie Machetto on

    Oh, and for comparison, picture that 4th line with Betts there instead of Dubinsky. It feels like you’re burying Avery instead of putting him on a fast, hard hitting, forechcecking line.

  75. Doodie – get those lines to Renney. Our 4th line is a joke, with Dubinsky and Avery there at least they have a chance at some offense.

  76. I nominate Betts as the first odd-ball out, when the big boys start to return. Here is a fourth-line center who doesn’t hit (seven hits per 100 minutes playing time); doesn’t block shots (zero on the year – Drury leads all forwards with 11); and of course, doesn’t score. His face-off percentage is a team worst 58-126 = 46%! Drury is at 56.5 %; Gomez is 56 %; and Dubinsky 51 %, face off percentages.

    So what does Betts add to this team? I know he’s a center and the returning studs are wingers, but playing a talented player out of position ranks above playing a waste of a hockey player “in position,” to my thinking. Betts is a decidedly American Hockey League veteran fringe wasted roster-spot player, and it’s time to cut the cord.

  77. Doodie Machetto on

    “His face-off percentage is a team worst 58-126 = 46%! ”

    To be fair, he typically is matched against the best faceoff men on the other teams.

  78. Doodie Machetto on

    “His face-off percentage is a team worst 58-126 = 46%! ”

    To be fair on that one, he is consistently matched against the other teams’ best faceoff men.

    What he adds is terrific Penalty Killing. He is our best penalty Killer, without question. That’s why we can’t just cut the cord without a replacement being trained on the PK. Hence my idea to start training Dubinsky.

  79. Doodie Machetto on

    Peter, 5 mins? I see him getting 15 mins under that scenario, between the PK and PP.

  80. I’d play that line 10-12 minutes, but I don’t see Renney doing it. Also, the #1 unit stays out around 1:20, normally. I don’t see any room for Avery on the PK.

  81. I’d play that line 10-12 minutes, but I don’t see Renney doing it. Also, the #1 unit stays out around 1:20, normally. I don’t see any room for Avery on the powerplay.

  82. Doodie Machetto on

    PK units do not stay out for that long. PP units do. PK units switch very quickly, ideally every 30 seconds. With Betts gone, Avery is a 2nd unit PKer. Give him 12 mins ES, 2 more PK (assuming 3 or 4 penalties), and maybe a little time on the PP/line switching after a PP, totalling 15 mins.

  83. Doodie Machetto on

    OK, I agree, first unit gets about that much time, but 40 seconds 4 times a game adds up.

    Besides, to be honest, I don’t give a shit about Avery. I don’t see him here next year anyway.

  84. Jagr doesnt wanna change his game???

    I coulda swore i seen Jagr killing a penalty lats night, i coulda swore i seen Jagr making damn good defensive plays, when he normally never does, i also coulda sworn i seen Jagr going in fron tof the net on the PP. YES you freak of nature, Jagr is willing to change his game for the team. He has been playing his best hockey with Hossa on his line. Im not sold on Hossa yet, but he has a place on that line until they all get healthy, and also Dawes was on that line half the night, they kept switching back and forth.

    Do yourself a favor, and dont post moronic comments like the one about Nasty’s mom. I can care less about the two of you fighting, but we already got rid of one piece of sh*t on this blog, im hoping we dont get someone similar.

    And get off the subject, cause you keep sounding more desperate and pathetic.

  85. Doodie – I don’t either, especially with a guy like Bourret in the minors. He’s like an Avery, but with hands.

    Unless every somehow regains hero status over the remainder of the year, which is a distinct possibility.

  86. Hossa is a good pker and good on the backcheck. That means his best spot is the 4th line and he’ll get plenty of pk time. Dawes can score throws the body, and drives hard to the net. Dawes with his speed and shot would add alot to the Gomez-Jagr line. Once everyone returns it is the only configurement that makes sense imo. Btb Hollweg haters he played a hell of a game last night.

  87. You know, Doodie, when find excuses for below-par player performance – instead of UPGRADING the position, which is really what is called for, we sink like that famous ocean liner, where a realistic shot at the Cup is concerned. I also indicted OTHER facets of Betts’ deficient game.

    Christ, Doodie, is he “cute,” or something? You want to win, or lose “pretty?” So who would you keep Betts over – your boy Straka, Dawes, Callahan, or Avery? Can’t wait to hear your choice.

  88. OMG! Something really bizarre occurred to me, as regards Dawes not getting a star, last night, when he earned either the first or second star for the game.

    Do you suppose that prior to or during the game, the Rangers had their P.R. guy, tell the “Star Award Committee” to bypass Dawes being honored, knowing, that Dawes is out when Avery returns, within the week?

    Everything is P.R. and politics, even in hockey, and just think how embarrasssing it would be for the Rangers to demote the young first star in a big win, to the AHL. They obviously don’t want the flak which would come with that decision. If Dawes goes when Avery returns, that will be the real story of the bogus three stars awards of Monday night.

  89. In my opinon Dawes shouldnt have been one of the 3 stars. Shanny really got 2 goals and 1 assist, Jags had 2 powerplay assists, and Hank played a great game, he had a huuuge save against St. Louis on a breakaway with 4 or more mins left. But Dawes is doing a hell of a job. And yeah Hollweg played a good game as well, but still. Its gonna get interesting to see what happens when they all get healthy. Sending Dawes down obviously helped, seeing as how he is playing great hockey, with way more confidence, but sending him down again, after he’s been playing like this. What will that do to his confidence??

    Also…Are we the smallest team in the league?? Drury, Avery, Dawes, Straka, Gomez, Hollweg, Callahan, Prucha. Those are some small guys

  90. Neither Dawes or Dubinsky are going anywhere. That’s why Pock was sent down. We are at 23 right now even with all our injuries. Where they play is another story.

  91. No one has really commended Renney (who would get blasted if Scathard had been signed) for sticking with the kids. Staal has basically eliminated Hutchinson and Kasparitis and now Pock. Dubinsky has held off Mark Smith (who is now in the NHL) and Scatchard.

    You can rip the guy all you want, but anyone claiming that he always plays vets over kids is only using selective memory. Blast his line combos. Blast his Power Play. Blast his even tempered personality (although it is ridiculous to think that an animated coach who yells at the refs is going to be more effective. This isn’t High School Hockey!) but give the anti-youth BS a rest.

    Yenner disappeared after the Rangers came back and won their first game. Maybe the win pushed him over the edge and he’s in a facility somewhere.

  92. Robby- Who on that list “Plays Small”? Gomez and Drury haven’t been effective yet, but I wouldn’t say that they play small. Say what you will about Hollweg and Straka but neither play small. Not even close to an argument for Avery, Prucha and Dawes.

  93. Robby- The “Star Award” committee is the press, not the Rangers brass. These are the Sportswriters (including Sam, I’m pretty sure) so claiming that they are going to listen to whatever the Rangers PR guy has to say is an insult to journalists. Dawes deserved a star, but I can’t fault any of the three choices they gave them to.

    A conspiracy theory is always on this board. I remember a certain someone I whose name I have already invoked today said that the Renney fabricated Valliquettes injury so he wouldn’t have to play to earn his spot as bench door opener. I really think it is ridiculous to accuse MSG or the Rangers to do a negative spin on any of their prospects.

  94. Ok, fine, I hear you, but will you or someone explain why Dawes got screwed out of even a third star, when he deserved #1 or #2 star? As an old horse player, I know this… You go to the track, a horse who should be 10-1 is going off at 2-1? Hmm, something is in the works. Another race, a horse who should be 2-1 is going off at 10-1? What does that tell you? It should tell you that something is fishy in Cape Cod.

    And something smells extra-fishy, as regards Dawes getting screwed out of a star – what other conclusion can there be (?) – and please tell me, I am open to suggestion, but it is all theory, not gospel, not one of us here is an insider. So we HAVE to specuate and connect the dots, on our own, as best we can. Glen and Tommy are not doing it for us, and they see a red flag when Sam or another member of the media is in the house.

    I hope to God I am wrong and that neither Dawes nor Dubinsky is going anywhere.

    By the way, to MARK, the PP minutes and total TOI Renney gives to Shanahan, Straka, Jagr, Gomez, and Drury, dwarf the minutes he gives to Prucha, Callahan, Dawes and Dubinsky, and THAT, Mark, is why some of us, who keep track of these things, cannot help but notice the imbalance and the bias. When a coach screws Callahan out of PP minutes, Mark, that coach is one sick puppy. He is screwing the entire team and the fans, in the process.

  95. So what are you saying, MARk, they’re small, but they play big? If that is the case, why mention that they are small, in the first place?

  96. ROBBY

    Usually the way they do it, is who had the most points. Shanny 2, Jagr 2, including the game winner, which still might be changed to Shannys goal, and also Drury who had 2 points, and Dawes had 1 point, now one of those 3 would have been Dawes but Hank played to great of a game to stay out of the selection. He was huge. Anyway its no big deal, he was first star in that Devil game….Actually second i think.

  97. Thank you, but hopefully we do not have to debate whether an even-strength, game-opening goal is offset by a PP goal, giving the team a two-goal lead, plus the second assist on another PP goal.

  98. The Power Play has struggled. But I don’t think there is a coach in the league who wouldn’t give Shanahan, Gomez, Drury and Jagr primo minutes on the power play. These guys aren’t just old fogies the Rangers are playing to draw a crowd. You have the active #1 and 2 all-time leaders in goal scoring (including the active leader in PP goals and two 600 goal scorers- this isn’t Jason Krog). I think he has leaned on the youth appropriately in the opening games. As someone who has coached, taking away ice-time from guys who aren’t producing might seem a logical step, but it doesn’t always work. There is nothing against Callahan, Dawes or Dubinsky (or Prucha) but sometimes players need to play through a slump.
    I used to argue with Yenner because he felt that all our rookies could take the place of Straka, Shanahan and the boys. These vets aren’t Valeri Kamensky (Sorry Sam), Keane or other big ticket free- agents who came here to retire. I have a hard time agreeing with you saying Renney is a sick puppy for not playing Callahan more on the Power Play over guys who have done it in the past. It’s not just about justifying salaries, it’s about the long term benefit of the team. Yes it will benefit the team in Years to come to give Ryan Callahan Power Play experience this year, but it will help the Rangers more THIS year to get Shanahan, Jagr, Drury and Gomez on track. You can’t really think that they have lost their ability so quickly? Are they loafing out there?

    On the three stars: Jagr deserved the #1 star. 1 goal 1 assist, lots of teeth missing. He was a warrior and created chances all night long. Lundquvist: Only gave up a goal on a penalty shot and held TB at bay during and 11 point onslaught. Shanny- 1 goal and 1 assist. Dawes 1 goal and a heck of a game. It is debatable, but I can see going with Shanny. I think Sam is a better person to ask why Dawes didn’t get the star as I believe he votes. I do know that it is not the Rangers who decide the stars. If there was a conspiracy, how did he get the #1 star the other night?

    i don’t know the Horse life (although my sister is a trainer at Belmont- I’m sure she told me how that works at one point) so I didn’t get your point on the 10-1 or 2-1 odds thing in comparison to Dawes, but I think you meant that the odds makers were messing with the odds to pad bets?

  99. Robby- I didn’t say they were small, someone else did. You said some played small as well, which is usually an insult as far as hockey players go. A small player who doesn’t play small is considered a compliment. A big player who plays small (think Malik) is considered a slam. Theo Fleury was small, but no one ever said that he “played small” in fact it was quite the opposite. Size was the focus in the last years of the old NHL, with Theor Fleury and Martin St. Louis being exceptions rather than the rule (I remember Curt Giles as being one of my favorite Rangers and he was 5 foot nothing and could open-ice hip check with the best of them. When you said some of those guys “play” small, I took it to mean that you felt those guys don’t hit, forecheck, hustle, etc. None of those guys listed in the post are afraid to take a hit or dig for the puck.

  100. Bonfire enough with the paranoid conspiracy theories. Dawes will not be sitting when Avery comes back Strudwick will be. You would have a little more credibility if you stopped the woe is me (re the youth) mantra.

  101. Re warped track odds and the analogy with Dawes not getting a star, my point is that whenever anything in sports or business is out of touch with reality, something is up. Nothing out of whack should be taken at face value. The media knows damn well Dawes deserved a star, before both Jagr and Dawes. Losing teeth is not star time, either, it’s hockey, they all pay that price. Jagr didn’t lose teeth because of dedication, he was stick-poked by his own man, accidentally, in the mouth. A star for that? That’s a non- sequitur case.

    I stand on my statement that some of them play “small.” Drury with 2.5 hits per 100 ice time minutes is defaulting on the physical aspect of the game. Gomez with 3 hits per 100 minutes ice time is wretched. Avery is not “small” to my mind, although he was mentioned among the “small” candidates, – not with 11 hits in 20+ minutes, before he went down. Avery is one damn “big” SOB gamer, bless his heart.

    Re the imbalance of PP minutes, not only are the younger players being treated like dirt, the older players can go just so far on fumes and the burn-out syndrome. The LESS you use your veteran players during the regular season, the MORE they have left in the tank, come the playoffs. Ask your sister how a horse going six furlongs does in the stretch after going :43.4 for the half. And ask her how a horse does in the stretch after going :45 for the half. To save you the time and her the trouble, the first “collapses,” while the second wins the race or gets a piece of the money.
    Athletes, whether horses or human, are not machines, and there is a breaking point. Renney pushes his veterans beyond the brink. And this is THIS YEAR, not the past, when the veterans were younger. Thank you.

  102. Robby Bonfire,
    jagr didn’t get the star because of getting hit in the teeth he was rewarded a star for scoring the game winning goal.

  103. Doodie Machetto on

    Robby, I wouldn’t want to sit anybody over Betts, which is why I want Dubinsky to get PK time. In the meantime, Betts is an important roleplayer for our PK. That’s what sucks.

    As for the three stars being selected over Dawes:

    1) Jagr had the GWG and an assist, clearly worthy of a star
    2) Hank was brilliant
    3) Shanahan had a goal and an assist, compared to Dawes only goal.

    Reasonable minds could disagree to the third star, but to suggest Dawes deserves a star over Jagr and Hank is ludicrous. And I think that Shanahan has reason to have the star over Dawes due to the higher amount of points. Shanahan also had significantly more time on our nearly flawless PK (~2 mins more).

  104. TOM – It was suggested, above, that consideration of jagr’s lost teeth made his case for a star, stronger, and I addressed/debunked that fantasy. Scoring a GWG on the power play vs. scoring the game’s first goal at even strength can be debated, on merit. I will take the E.S. game-opening goal side in that discussion.

  105. Doodie Machetto on

    Robby, I disagree with that assessment. I think the GWG here, changing the score from 1-1 to 2-1 is more valuable than the even strength goal, even if it was on the PP.

    This is also ignoring the fact that he also had an assist that Dawes didn’t have.

  106. I am glad to at least see intelligent arguments being held here rather than a persistent flame war.

  107. Dawes’ E.S. goal made the score 1-0; Jagr’s PP goal made the score 2-1. Let’s go: 1. Hank; 2. Dawes; 3. Jagr, and leave the guy who scored a PP goal making it 3-1, and added a “second assist” on a PP goal, the hell out of it.

  108. Doodie Machetto on

    I just plain disagree with how you are valuing Dawes’ goal. First of all, you’re ignoring that JJ also had an assist, and that JJ’s goal was the game winner. Also, I’ve seen you make all sorts of funny, subjective stats, and I have disagreed entirely with 90% of them, and partly disagreed for the rest. I find your subjective evaluation to be poor. I believe reasonable minds could disagree as to who would receive the third star between Shanny and Dawes, but I don’t believe they could as to Hank and JJ. In other words, I believe you are being unreasonable, and see arguing with your subjective judgments as fruitless.

  109. Why is this even being debated??

    Dawes had one point. The opening goal, and thats important, but Lecavalier scored, and that was that. Jags had the game winner, and an assist, and Shanny had the inssurance goal and an assist on the first goal. So those are your top two stars there, number 3 could have went to Dawes, but Drury had 2 powerplay assists, and no ones complaining for him. That 3rd star clearly had to go to Hank, for keeping them in it, after a brief collapse after they scored on the penalty shot goal. And like i mentioned before, the save on St. Louis on the breakaway, a few seconds after we scored the 3rd goal. That was huge for us, and eventually won us the game, i mean if he gave up that gaol, then we might have to go to OT, in my opinion. The important thing is we got the win, and nothing else matters. The right guy got the stars, and the way i do it, is put the guys who have the most points, and if a goalie gives up 1 goals, out of 20 – 25 shots, or 2 goals out of 30 – 35 shots. If we give a star to Dawes, you mine as well give a star to Hossa, for a great defensive game he had.

    Plus Jags, and Shannys goals were just way prettier, and is what the PP should look like.

    I like how Jags and Shanny are working together, and trying to do different things to make the PP work, WSH or PIT Jags would never go in front of the net on a PP, i dont want him there, but if he doesnt have the puck, then for him to go there, is perfect, cause the guy is huge, and its important to have a big body in front of the net, other then Aves, and Pruchs who are smaller.

    Lets go NYR….Hip Check Nyls, and Poti to hell and back.

  110. Doodie Machetto on

    By the way, the reason why I disagree is that you are trying to reduce the game into some quantifiable number system. One of the reasons why I love hockey so much is that it is NOT a sport that can be dictated by some number system. You have to watch the games to see how teams and players are actually playing. It’s not like baseball where everything can be quantified numerically. You instead try to do that, but in doing that you have to assign all sorts of subjective point values to different actions, point values to which people can disagree, and in that, every one of those stats is inherently flawed.

  111. Doodie Machetto on

    Speaking of hitting people to hell, that hit that Toots laid out that knocked off the guy’s helmet and busted his lip was AMAZING.

  112. Mark – Renney will replace Dawes and Dubinsky with Avery and Straka as soon as they are healthy. I guarantee it. He’s sticking with the kids because he has no other choice. There’s one reason and one reason alone that Scatchard isn’t on the team now: He was injured. He pulled a groin and they let him go. Thank your lucky stars.

  113. I think alot of people are over-rating Dawes by a mile. Yes, he has come up and filled in well and scored 3 big goals. But it’s been just a few games. Before we annoint him top line duty let’s see how his little frame holds up to constant NHL pounding night after night. Giving him a little taste and building his confidence is the right thing. But then send him down and let him develop.

  114. Doodie Machetto on

    Rmant, I’ve been saying the same thing. He has proven that he has had a couple of good games. People are putting him above Prucha who has had 2 good SEASONS, by comparison.

  115. Rmat he already developed in the minors for two freaking years. Dawes is more than ready to play in the Nhl. Doodie lmao Marcel 18 points a year Hossa on the first line and Avery on the 4th!? Avery adds grit, jam, speed and is a great agitator. Avery is on a Darcy Tucker like career arc. I would bet Avery will put up 60 points sooner rather than later. Hossa on the other hand will put up 25 points this year and Nasty1 and Newman will throw him a parade.

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