Morning thoughts


A few quick hits:

  • Larry Brooks “is reporting”: that it is Jaromir Jagr’s hamstring that is bothering him and not his groin as many of us have been led to believe. Hamstring, groin. I was close. If I wrote “nose” we’d have a serious problem.
  • To go with my story on “Matthew Von Dollen’s visit to the Garden”:, my colleague at The Journal News Carucha L. Meuse took some beautiful photos. Check them out “here”:


  • The ongoing renovations continue at Blog Headquarters, so seeing how today is an optional skate, I’ll be wielding a paint brush rather than a pen this morning. I’ll check in from the Coliseum later, if not before.

    Until then…

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    1. Anyone notice that Jagr’s goal didn’t come off the same move off the boards every defensemen and goalie has prepped for? They’ve got to keep him shooting from fresh angles and getting him the puck in different space.

      Team looked good. It’s awesome to see them win. Hank’s insane.

    2. Sam, great story on Matthew.
      It warms my heart to see the Rangers do stuff like this.
      It also warms my heart to see Henrik play like he does.

    3. And, Sam, just because Larry and Jags are saying hammy doesn’t mean it is hammy.

      Oh, and the PK, how sweet is it? Sweet.

    4. I hope its Valiquette for 1 reason. Even though Lundqvist is hot..its better to rest him now than risk a tired Lundqvist vs the pens on thursday. Give Hank 2 days rest heading into the Pens game and let him continue to roll. Plus Vally knows the Coliseum..its crazy there..but I dont think that would effect him. Just remember that Vally would be considered anything 2 goals or under will be a fantastic game.

    5. What’s stupid in Larry Brook’s article is where they are explaining the photo. They called Sean Avery .. Steve Avery!

      I was wondering why you were at warm ups. I never usually see you there.

      Anyway, it was nice to meet you again!

    6. Puck

      I have mixed feelings on that. I think Lundqvist would be great against the Isles because he is so hot right now. It would be a bit of a risk to place Valiquette in there right now, although he did very well in the shootout last year, it’s Renney’s decision now….and I would not want to be in his shoes..

    7. I just finished reading your story on Matthew. That was a touching story and any time anyone goes out of their way to make a child happy. It’s just a great story to read. Thanks!

    8. Nasty1, Chris F, ok maybe Jagr is important. I just want to correct and excuse myslef from yesterday.

    9. Lundqvist will be in net tonight and Thursday. There’s no way he should be tired. The Rangers are playing great team defense and Lundqvist has not been overworked in any way. There’s no way after only 14 games that he needs a rest.

    10. It’s not a question of “after 14 games”, it’s a question of after 50. Exhaustion doesn’t work like a light switch, it builds. A rest now — after 14 — pays off at game 65.

    11. Just wondering, is Chris Simon in tonight? I see he’s played in a few games, but not last game against the Penguins. It will be interesting if he is, since it will be the first regular season game since the incident, the melee in preseason and emotions will already be high as it’s Rangers/Islanders.

    12. Chris F – well said. I agree it pays off big time later in the season.

      Rob – you really can’t refer to 14 straight starts as “only”. 14 straight is quite alot in this league..and with this schedule. Thats why you rarely see it. Hank is playing fantastic..but you cant ignore resting him.

      Plus you can’t ignore your backup. Even with Hank playing 65+ need to get your backup a start earlier then mid to late November. So when mid season rolls around and you may need Vally a bit more..hes closer to mid season form and that much more reliable.

    13. Jagr and Dubinsky look damn good with Hossa on that line. And I like the line of Gomez Prucha and Avery as well. I feel a Dubinsky goal coming very very soon. The kids looks damn strong.

    14. what do we do when straka and callahan come back?! where do we put them? and the kid is money.. dubi dubi dubi dub!!!!!

    15. It would be great if we could win tonight and do the stick salute at their center ice. I was thinking they should do that last year at a game where there were so many Rangers fans, but the Rangers are too classy for that and would probably get beer bottles thrown at them by drunk Isles fans. Actually, it would be great if we could just win because we haven’t done that on the road yet this season.

      Lundqvist hasn’t had too much to do in the last two or three games, but for the few games before that, he was having to make some spectacular saves. I still hope for Vali tonight.

      I have a feeling Simon will be in there, and doing some nasty stuff to not justify it for his coach.

    16. I am very impressed with Dubinsky… the kid has speed, size, reach, puck handling ability and toughness.

      He can handle the puck in tight also, which is very impressive for someone his size.

      It is going to be a real pleasure to watch Staal, Henrik, Girardi and Dubinsky continue to get better each game, because that is exactly what I see from these four guys right now.

      Last night I saw the Rangers take the toughness aspect right away from the Flyers. The Flyers had no answer for the Rangers last night, let’s hope it continues tonight.

    17. I think we can do:

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

    18. I must say though, that I really like Hossa Dubinsky Jagr. I thought they were the best line on the ice last night.

    19. Marty Brodeur has been playing 70 games or so a year and he doesn’t look tired at all.
      sorry boys but if Valiquette plays tonight it’s going to be a loss. He’s not an NHL caliber goaltender. The Islanders are still riding high from their last game. They are going to come out flying tonight. Lundqvist will be needed.

    20. I would also like to say something else. Two weeks ago I was saying that I would not be surprised if Prucha was traded. Not that I was down on him or wanting him to be, but I was just thinking that it wouldn’t have surprised me. But like a lot of us has said, him on a line with Gomez has been a very good thing. With Avery on that line also it provides us a lot of speed. I like Avery on that line, and I also think Callahan would look good on that line as well. Since the season started it was automatically assumed that one of our two free agent signings HAD to play with Jagr. That is simply not the case. You put the BEST line combinations on the ice. And it is about time they started to do that. We should learn from teams like Buffalo that there does not have to be a true #1 line and all that. It is great to 3-4 lines who can score. I believe we have the players to do that.

    21. Rob – Come on man..Brodeur doesnt look tired? He’s currently posting his worst numbers of his career. he started 78 games last year. Thats his most ever..and he fizzled in the playoffs..he even admitted to being worn out. But that doesn’t even have anything to do with Lundqvist. Hank will play close to 70 games this year.Yet 70 games means he rests every 7-8 games. Hes currently at 14 straight. Its Vally’s turn.

      Plus you say Vally WILL lose. Yet he’s 5-1 in his career starts..and won his ONLY start last year. How can that mean he loses automatically now? I’d really like to hear your point. And you also say Vally isnt an NHL caliber goalie. He’s currently in the NHL..and has been since last season when he dressed in place of a healthy/more NHL experienced goalie in Kevin Weekes in the playoffs..I agree he may not have been NHL quality in the past..but whos to say he isnt RIGHT NOW? Players improve..and its been widely written that goaltending takes the longest to perfect..

    22. I wrote that last post in a rush and I said had instead of have and left a word out at the end there, but you get the point I was trying to make. And thank you Richard.

    23. Rob,

      Don’t mistake my thinking Henrik should rest for satisfaction with Vali as backup. I think we have no choice but to play him, but I don’t think he’s even close to a solid enough backup and I think it’s unfortunate that we don’t have a decent goalie on the bench (not Monty, who I don’t think would benefit from that, but obvioulsy is Henrik’s real replacement in an emergency). I still think Weekes didn’t get the credit or respect he deserved as a role guy for the Rangers who had enough talent to count on. But maybe those are two different stories.

    24. Chris F – Let me ask you something. Why dont you feel Vally is a solid enough backup to play 10-15 games? Yet you imply Montoya is? I dont understand that…Vally obviously doesnt have as much upside as Montoya..but how does that make Montoya a more capable backup RIGHT NOW? I dont think Montoya is CURRENTLY a better goalie..hes still young/raw and makes alot of mistakes..and if Montoya was THAT much better than Vally..why did Vally take slightly more than half of the starts for Hartford when Vally was still there?

      In addition you say Weekes was solid..and deserves more credit for being solid. Yet it was Vally who kept Weekes in street clothes throughout the end of the season and playoffs..why would a poor goalie(Vally) dress over a solid one(weekes) as you imply?

    25. I think Valiquette is the backup if Lundqvist starts the game and gets hurt in the middle. If they actually want to spell Hank, they’ll call up Montoya and let him start the game. The only reason he’s not the backup is because he gets paid to much under a cap system. By him only suiting up for games he’s actually going to play in, the Rangers limit their cap exposure. So until you see Montoya getting called up, or until this team is very comfortably in forat place, I wouldn’t expect to see valiquette in there.

    26. Puck: Brodeur in his prime played over 70 games 10 times. He won 3 cups playing just about every game. Playing over 70 games should not hurt a young goaltender, in my opinion it should actually make him sharper. I also think Brodeur looks tired this year because the Devils defense has guys like Andy Greene, Mike Mottau, Johnny Oduya, Karel Rachunek, & Sheldon Brookbank on it instead of guys like Neidermeyer, Stevens, White, and Rafalski.

      My only point is that after 14 games Lundqvist can play back to back games. It shouldn’t be automatic that the backup has to play in a back to back situation. Lundqvist is 25 years old and in top shape. If you feel Valiquette has to play, play him at home against Pittsburgh. Then Hank gets 3 full days off. After Saturday they don’t play until Wedenesday so he’ll get another 3 days off.
      When you have the best goalie in the league and you are playing a division rival you have to play your best.

    27. Montoya is a better goalie but i dont think it is fair to Vall to bring Montoya up to play on those certain games. i think eventually we may need to trade montoya because what else can we do with him? if hes that good and can play in the nhl and compete, why keep him if we have henrik instead trade him to a desperate team for either another star or a solid D and a first rounder or something like that… seems good to me?

      As for the king. i think if he rolls tonight then hes out thursday. the guy is playing scary good and says hes not tired, but how long can he last. we know when he played in the olympics he played at a whole nother level but died out and didnt last the season so i think we need to think about that when you consider his games this season

      and for the lines when we are all healthy.

      1. Straka/Hossa Dubinsky Jagr–i agree but i think we need to test it with straka cus if it ruins the chemistry then why ruin it.
      Avery Gomez Prucha– i agree
      Dawes/Calahan Drury Shanahan– if callahan comes back and fits well with this line we may need to drop dawes to hartford. but he will definitely get picked off in waivers. so its going to be a tough call by Renney.
      Hossa/Straka Betts Callahan/Orr/Hollweg– the orr hollweg rotation will probably be constant but at this point i would say play hollweg way more.. hes really proving to be valuable. but is straka a 4th liner. i dont think so, so where does he fit?

    28. I say play Vally tonight. That was the plan all along it seems, no reason to deviate. Give Vally his time between the pipes and let the team rally for him.

      Give Henrik some time to watch from the bench. The Rangers should be able to beat the Islanders without Henrik, sorry.

    29. Who would most of you rather have stay with the team? Dawes or Callahan? Who do you think right now is more valuable to the team? I am just curious because I am not even sure.

    30. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

      Can someone tell Larry Brooks his name is “Sean” and not “Steve Avery.” Hahaha. That’s pretty funny.

      And, can anybody else recall when Avery picked Richards out of a scrum last year and they fought then? I thought last year how weird it was for Avery to run at Richards because he had to skate past about 3-4 other Flyers to get to him. And then last night those two seemed to congregate quite easily. IS there a history there? Anyone know?

    31. We gotta win tonight and thursday. We need these division games !!! Give Hank the start until there next loss. And put Drury on the wing, on the Gomez, Shanny line. The D as been outstanding.

      And stupid Eklund is saying the stars from the East and West, and funny how his goaltender is Biron !! I hate that guy, its clear who the best in the East is, and its Hank.

    32. pghas – What makes you believe Montoya is “currently a much better goalie” ?? I dont understand how someone could say that. He didnt post better numbers than Vally while they were both in Hartford.They were nearly identical #’s when vally left. Vally also play slightly more games. And played the better teams. Im a season ticket holder for the Wolf Pack. And Myself..along with 90% of the fans preferred Vally in net over Montoya every night. Montoya is much more athletic and quick…but not as technically sound. he posts good numbers but is not as clutch as Vally either..those things will come..which is why Montoya has much higher upside..but in No way is he CURRENTLY better..the only difference is Montoya is so young and has so much room to grow..but those again are future characteristics..not current…upside has nothing to do with who is better now..and that is the only thing Montoya has on vally..take it from someone whos seen both play many many times.

    33. if we can send down and pull back dawes with out waivers then i dont see any big issues but still that question from nasty 1 is HUGE… dawes or callahan? how do you decide? you can say that dawes is stronger adn scores more but then you can say that Callahan has a much brighter, longer future? its a really hard call and i hope whatever Renney does works out.

      no matter what, this new defensive style looks great but we need to score more. we had too many shots last night to only score twice. we cant rely on Henrik all the time, well we can but that wouldnt do much good late in the season and playoffs when hes dead tired.

      lets bury the islanders tonight

    34. Dawes has a much higher ceiling than Callahan IMO. Dawes has proven to be a goal scorer at every level he’s been. Not that Callahan hasn’t put up great number but Dawes numbers speak for themselves.

    35. Eklund is philly based, he’s a big flyers fan.

      worst of all, he’s a scam artist who makes shit up to get money out of dumb subscribers who like gossip with no kernel of truth.

    36. Eklund is a way for agents, GMs, etc… to spin a situation how they want it spun. Everyone involved has an agenda, including Eklund. He wants to make money off his rumor-mongering, his “sources” want to get deals done for one reason or another. If he were any good at “reporting” he would have a real job other than throwing random tidbits of information into fans’ heads.

    37. Either way, Straka and Shanny are not in NYC next season, unless Shanny finds the fountain of youth ala Chelios, but at this point it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.

      Which means there will be spots for both Dawes and Callahan.

      The other question is whether Avery comes back, which I don’t know because he will be demanding a high salary and most likely a long term one and the Rangers will have their own youth to lock up.

      I totally want Avery on this team and would want him over some over others like Hossa, Dawes and maybe even Hollweg.

      But with Byers, Moore and Anisemov coming up, something or someone will have to give, just who I don;t ven want to speculate, it’s much too early and too much can happen.

    38. i agree, straka and shanny both will not be here next year. especially if this dubi and jagr thing works out all season, then there really isnt a need for straka.
      See i think that Dawes is putting up the numbers now but im not sure if he can continue to put out the numbers on another line. Last year in the games hes played with the lower lines he hasnt been able to do much but with higher lines he puts the numbers up. but then Callahan works well no matter where he is. Maybe im crazy but i feel like Callahan will work out better for he long run but again its what do we do now? When Straka and Callahan get back? I feel a very very tough choice coming on by Renney. Who knows what will happen. and then ofcourse the ridiculous amount of youth we have in Hartford, who knows what happens next year.

    39. anyone who thinks Lundqvist should rest tonight while he & they are on this streak is not thinking straight. Only if he feels he can’t go, then he shouldn’t.

    40. Straka is signed for next year, Shanahan isn’t, and the Rangers have a team option on Jagr. Jagr has said repeatedly that this is most likely his last season.

      Callahan and Dawes are both on minor league contracts, so they don’t have to pass through waivers. I wouldn’t care to see either one or both sent down. I like them as players, but face it…The Rangers aren’t going to send Straka or Hossa down, right? Even Dawes has been ordinary in the last 2 games.

      These guys will have their time to shine. People need to stop jumping on the bandwagon anytime a rookie scores a goal. I think Dubinsky has been the more consistent player (than Dawes), and has been rewarded by playing on the top line. Daws has been good, but similar to the beginning of the year, it’s a numbers game. I wouldn’t mind seeing a rotation of Callahan, Dawes or Hossa throughout the lineup, depending on the need.

      Also, Dubinsky finding a chemistry with Jagr is great, but I wouldn’t plan on seeing that all season long, and definitely not next season.

    41. Is Eklund the washed-up, never-was Pelle Eklund? Is that who we are talking about? The loser who was on the Flyers? The guy always sucked. Leave him be. He is a loser.

      Regarding the goalie tonight, you play Henrik. There is no other choice. He is hot as balls. You don’t sit a guy the night after he has shutout. You ride the guy, as long as he is up for it, until he says he needs a break. I think the right thing is to play Henrik tonight and Thursday and then sit him against Toronto. This will give him 5 full days off before NJ on Nov 14th.

      If for some reason he gets shelled tonight or Thursday, then you pull him and still sit him against Toronto on the 10th.

      The guy is 25, not 35. He should be able to play. And against the Isles and Pitt he’s gotta play, IMHO.


    42. david c – there is a need for Straka if the team wants a better chance at winning the cup. remember Dubinsky has 1 point this year for goodness sakes.

    43. haha yea that is crazy but who would you rather on the line hossa or straka with jagr and dubi? or who goes?

    44. haha yea that is crazy but who would you rather on the line hossa or straka with jagr and dubi? or who goes?

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