Friday morning thoughts

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Now that the riots in the streets of Montreal have been avoided, a few thoughts on your Rangers and the state of hockey:

  • Are the “Rangers suddenly boring”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071102/SPORTS01/711020401? Well, let’s put it this way: they won’t be confused with the ’87 Oilers anytime soon. As I already mentioned, the first period last night was probably the dullest of the season, so bad that at one point I started looking for the most obscure jersey I could find in the crowd (a homemade Colton Orr? Nick Kypreos? Was that really a Kelly Kisio sweater?).

    But what became apparent once the Rangers came to life in the second period is that the game had been boring not so much because of the style they were playing, but because they were just playing poorly. I don’t mind defensive hockey, and I’d even so go far to say that it’s more exciting when a team consistently ALMOST scores, which is what has defined the Rangers through the first part of the year.

    And if this is the style that carries them deep into the playoffs — they won’t get there by running and gunning — they’ll be plenty entertaining.

  • All that being said, a brief window into the life of a hockey writer on deadline: Almost all of us have to do what is called a running story, which is basically a story we write as the game is going on, and then file as soon as the final buzzer sounds. In the absence of quotes and a removed perspective — which we have for later editions — you’re often just describing what is happening on the ice, which can be more of a challenge when there are no goals being scored.

    Hence you find yourself going off on unnecessary tangents just to fill up space: the significance of the previous game, emerging trends throughout the league, a particularly captivating 3-on-2. My friend Lynn Zinser of the New York Times often jokes that her running stories on scoreless ties turn into existential essays on the meaning of life. Somehow I get the feeling that as the Rangers continue to embrace this defensive style, we’ll all continue to plumb the depths of the human psyche.

  • It was a great night for the Rangers rookies: Marc Staal got his first point. Nigel Dawes was part of the line that scored the Rangers first goal. And Brandon Dubinsky was again impressive, coming within one outstretched Olaf Kolzig leg of a highlight-film worthy goal. The kid has been better and better every night, and I only hope he continues to get valuable ice time even when everyone comes back healthy.

    More from practice later…

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    20 Comments

    1. Seamus O Riley on

      Sam, winning is not boring. I will never understand Devil fans.

      the kids are picking it up.
      Malik is still horrible.

      I am not at all worried about our offense. You will probably see some 10 game streak of 50 goals, and we go 8-0-2 or something that vaults us above the Flyers. We have a strong offense, some good kids (that NEED ice time) and a few holes on defense. Firm up our defense…hmmm.

      Fedor Tuts is going to be an all star, or all-Russian. He has added hitting.
      rosi is still coming around.
      Staal….is going to be great.
      Girardi: pleasant surprise.

      Hollweg has stonehands and will never finish.

      I am not a renney fan. Unless, of course, it is Sather pulling the strings, then I am not a Sather fan. Unless it is Dolan pulling the strings…

      the announcers are shilling and that is sad. this must be why JD left. I still miss him. Joe Mich can be smart, but when they begin to raise their voices just because Malik cleared the puck NOT in front of Lundqvst, it is too revelatory.

      I knew, for instance, that Staal was not going to be sent to Hartford early because the shills were allowed to praise him. Listening to them lets you know what Management is thinking…

      I loved the Dubi line when it was just kids. Renney was really way too quick to pull him out.

      Hossa on the first line is just a crying shame. It is the only thing worse than Malik getting 20 critical minutes per game.

      I must sound like a broken record, huh, Sam? How many posters here do you think knows what that expression really means??

    2. Does anyone know where I can find a replica Lundqvist jersey in an adult large in blue? It is sold out EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!

    3. And I don’t think Hossa on the first line is a crying shame. I think it depends on the kind of team we are playing. I think when Straka comes back he and Hossa will flip flop on the first line.

    4. Dubinski is starting to become more dominant every game.
      He takes the body, finishes his checks,and creates scoring chances. I think he’s gonna score soon.
      Staal is also starting to look like the great defenseman that was expected. He looks comfortable out there. I thought his hit on Ovechkin and his overall play last night was great.
      I think our Rangers are starting to get things going a little bit. Even Gomez, in a pre-game interview said it, and told us fans to be patient, that the chemistry was starting to come.
      As usual The King was fab.

    5. I also like Hossa on the first line, (broken record)
      I also think Malik played a good game, not great but good, good enough for the team to earn a shutout, I don’t know what game you were watchin O Riley but Malik did not play horrible.

    6. who plays on the #1 defensive unit if Malik can’t go tomorrow night? I wouldn’t break up Girardi/Tyutin and I wouldn’t want to see Strudwick in that spot. It might have to be Staal.

    7. A little while ago on this blog I said that the Rangers are looking like the Devils of a few years ago. I stand by that.

      For those of you who have been chiding Drury: Patience my young Jedis…Patience. The guy is starting to do his thing.

      Hank was the star of the game. But an honorable mention goes to Dubinsky. The guy is playing with more and more confidence every game. He is our best forechecker. He is quick with the puck and without the puck. I like the way he plays.

      Hossa did not have a great game last night. That being said, I do hope people saw his work grinding it out behind the goaline in the offenseive zone. He possesses the puck and creates issues for the defense. For the record, I don’t expect him to score 80 pts this year. Not even 60 pts. But he will be effective and a good balance for Jags. I mean if you want to point the finger at a first liner not scoring, it’s Gomer, not Hossa that I expect more out of. The question I pose is, when Straka comes back and some have suggested he replace Hossa on the 1st line, does everyone think that the line will start putting up a goal or more a game? I have my doubts.

      Hollweg continues to impress on the 3d line.

      I am curious what happens when the 3 injured guys return. We have a quality problem on our hands.

      As much as I think he stinks, I did like Strudwick providing us some versatility when Malik and Girardi went down and Toots went into the box.

      Roszival had a great game. Quietly he has put up some #s offensively. He needs to toughen up in the D zone.

      Starting to come together slowly.

      LGR.

    8. Jagrgal, I just checked and nothing. Damn, those are hard to come by. I don’t like them in white.

    9. Staal is the future on

      Sam, don’t forget Prucha who was everywhere last night. He just can’t find the back of the net right now, but he had that sweet blocked shot and I think a post or two. If he ever starts burying his chances, he could get a handful of goals in a good week or two.

    10. Hey, mess with the Rocket all you like, but don’t dis on Kelly Kisio. Anyone who knows anything knows that KK was the real Captain #11.

      And, hold on, The New York Times covers hockey? Now I know you’re playing fast and loose with the truth.

    11. Seamus O’reilly Jd was the biggest shill of all time. Listen to the radio like I do. Dave Maloney always tells it like it is.

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