And now another dilemma


As Marek Malik chewed on a slice of pizza in the Rangers dressing room after his team’s “third straight win over the Devils last night”:, the amateur psychoanalyst in me started to wonder:

What must Malik be thinking now that Marc Staal has slipped so seamlessly into his spot alongside Michal Rozsival? Where does Malik fit in when he does finally return from his back injury? And what kind of pizza is that? Can I have a slice? The press room barbecue chicken didn’t quite get the job done, and I have a drive to Philly in front of me.

But I digress. The point is many of you want to see Staal and Rozsival as the permanent pairing and for Malik to disappear altogether. I agree that Staal and Rozsival is ideal, and that the two arguably give the Rangers a true top pairing that they’ve lacked since Brian Leetch left town.

But I also know Malik isn’t going anywhere just yet, and when he does return, I can’t say for sure what Tom Renney is going to do. I asked the coach again last night if Staal’s play is making that decision more difficult for him, and the coach respectfully wouldn’t speculate. He did say that both pairings work and that it allows them more options. But frankly I’d have been surprised if he said something definitive with Malik’s return still at least a few more days off.

And make no mistake, the point isn’t that Malik is better than Staal, or that, as many of you have suggested, there is some deep-rooted Czech conspiracy within the Rangers. More to the point, it’s that while Staal has proven he can play alongside Paul Mara, Malik hasn’t proven he can. And unless you’re ready to pin your hopes on Jason Strudwick playing every night, the Rangers have to find three combinations that work.

Yes, maybe the Rangers can move Malik, and maybe they will. But his hefty salary is a consideration.

For what it’s worth, I asked Rozsival as well about playing with Staal, and he was only positive.

“He’s playing very well,” Rozsival said. “You can see he’s proving that he was the best player in junior hockey league last year and by coming here, he’s moving the puck well, he’s skating well and he’s making good decisions with the puck. He has all the tools to be a really good defenseman in this league.”

More later…

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  1. Just to play the devils advocate here for a second. Don’t we have 3 pairing that work right now? Haven’t we allowed just 11 goals in the last 8 games? I know having Struds as a top 6 guy wasn’t the plan when he was signed. But the D is playing fairly well. At least to their respective abilities I will say. Some with more potnential than others, but until Malik can find his game with Mara – my opinion is to leave it all alone. And don’t get me wrong here – I support Malik(as long as he’s in blue).

  2. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I like Roszival’s comment on Staal: “he’s moving the puck well, he’s skating well and he’s making good decisions with the puck. He has all the tools to be a really good defenseman in this league.” Roszival later added: “…he’s not even doing any of the things he sees me do like holding onto the puck too long and getting checked off defensive zone coverage. Hell, the kid hasn’t even had a chance to play the point on the powerplay and pass the other team to death.”

    Goodness, can someone explain to me how Roszival is getting so much PP time? Add to that his pairing with Chris I can’t hit a one-timer Drury (very bizarre seeing him fan on 2 last night) and you may have the most inept PP blueline pairing since Roszival was paired with Straka who was playing the point with a torn bicep.

  3. People need to understand that Malik is not a top pair defenseman. He never was and never will be. I’ve posed this question with many Hurricane and Canucks’ fans, and they all said that he got lots of his plus/minus STARTING OUT on a first d pairing (with Jovocop for example), but then he made too many little mistakes in the worst of times and he was moved to the second or third pair.

    They also said he is a stay-at-home defenseman.. the rare time he uses his body/size to his advantage he does fine, but when he tries to use his lack of speed, it costs the team greatly.

    Malik would be fine if he played the third pair, and if he was making no more than 1.5m/y.

    Roszival has played better lately, especially with Staal. Malik + Roszival this season has been an absolute disaster.

  4. I think now that Rozsival is more comfortable playing with Staal the pairing should not be broken up. When they were first put together Rozie struggled badly but now that they are gelling there’s no reason to rush Malik back to play with him. Malik can play with Mara on the third pairing when he’s ready to come back. 11 goals against over the last 8 games. “If it ain’t broke don’t try and fix it!”

  5. How bout Jagr last night? He looked as dominant as he did when he scored 54 goals two years ago. Jagr dominated Pandolfo and Madden like no one has before. That was as good as a second period they played all year. It was picture perfect. It was great to see the young guys play great. While I like Straka and Callahan there is no need to rush back. Dubinsky keeps getting better and better his line ruled the puck all night. The pk was tremendous. Man does the Devs defense stink or what? Dawes just has a terrific sniper shot. While Rozsival has improved with Staal on his side he is still awful on the pp. Staal is just terrific great in his own zone and he’s starting to show his offensive skill sets. Henrik outclassed a shaky Brodeur. The biggest save was on Gionta’s breakaway with the sc ore 4-2 that’s just as clutch as you can get there.

  6. Dilemma is a choice between two not good options. The Rangers don’t have a dilemma, they have depth, and if anyone thinks they are going to sail through the season with none of the top 7 defenceman getting banged up, they are dreaming. That’s why the move to sign Strudwick was pretty sage, because you have a utility player who can step in there and at forward and do a workmanlike job. If you dump Malik at this point, you could end up with Hutchison or worse on the back line. I think Malik will go back with Rozsival, but Staal is developing before our eyes. He should be a be able to play with anyone. It’s almost like when Brad Park came up, if you go back that far. You can see he’s going to be the leader of the pack back there later if not sooner.

  7. “Malik would be fine if he played the third pair, and if he was making no more than 1.5m/y.”

    Couldn’t agree more Pavel.

  8. I was at the game last night. I felt like it was a ranger game. There were mote devils fans by a small margin but it seemed louder for us because there was much more to cheer about for the boys in blue. I was talking to a very realistic devils fan who all but summed it up. They are no longer the dominant team in the tri state area, nor will they be for a while. It was bound to happen. They can be a semi competitive club on some nights, but no longer is Brodeur the best, and no longer do they play in such a way that they can completely shut teams down. Without strong team defense of old marty, he is mediocre at best. He is not in Hank’s league right now. Hank can win games on his own right now, but Marty can not anymore. Yes, the passing of the torch you could say. And Marty can bitch all he wants that the new goalies in the league will catch him because there are more decisions in games and yada yada yada. I am not taking away from him, because he was an excellent goalie, and probably top 3 all time. But it is his time no more. Let’s go rangers! The team looks amazing! And oh yeah, I TOLD YOU SO!

  9. Dawes goal was nice last night but I don’t think it was a “snipper shot” or as good of a shot as he has scored on this year, it was defintally a SMART shot and goal. He caught Marty leaning to his left/Dawes right due to the 2 on 1 and put it right under his pad/5-hole. Good vision is what led to that one.
    Besides a very few, rare moments, no one is making any huge mistakes and if they do, the next guy over covers it up for them. I think right now, esp on D we have 3 very good units which interchangable parts. When Malik comes back, he plays with Rozsival and Staal goes back with Mara and none of the 3 in the lineup now really miss a beat, that alone shows a good system is being enforced and believed in by all 23 men, even those who are injured and aren’t playing right now. Saturday night with Valley playing is a prefect example of that.

  10. I was at the game last night. I felt like it was a ranger game. There were more devils fans by a small margin but it seemed louder for us because there was much more to cheer about for the boys in blue. I was talking to a very realistic devils fan who all but summed it up. They are no longer the dominant team in the tri state area, nor will they be for a while. It was bound to happen. They can be a semi competitive club on some nights, but no longer is Brodeur the best, and no longer do they play in such a way that they can completely shut teams down. Without strong team defense in fromt of old marty, he is mediocre at best. He is not in Hank’s league right now. Hank can win games on his own right now, but Marty can not anymore. Yes, the passing of the torch you could say. And Marty can bitch all he wants that the new goalies in the league will catch him because there are more decisions in games and yada yada yada. I am not taking away from him, because he was an excellent goalie, and probably top 3 all time. But it is his time no more. Let’s go rangers! The team looks amazing! And oh yeah, I TOLD YOU SO!

  11. Would anybody really care if Malik plays for Hartford?

    Has anybody noticed that Betts Face Off Percentage is 47%, that’s pretty low considering that’s really the only area of the game he excells at and is used for.

  12. You know – if you look at it a certain way – we don’t really have ‘top’ lines OR pairings. On any given night a pairing for a line can take control of a game. The only question is how will this translate into playoff performance. (I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet) But just like the team in ’94, there are pieces that may need to be shuffled(other than Malik!) to really make a run against Ottawa for the east.
    Just an observation…

  13. Rosy has a fair # of points this year. That is about his only real attribute so far. His defensive play has been abhorrent. His overpassing on the powerplay has been horrendous. He has lost a step since last year, it’s safe to say.

    The defense is solid though overall. Toots, Girardi, and Staal are fantastic. (Staal will be an All-Star in the next 2-3 years). Mara is playing better and better. As mentioned Rosy has some nice offensive skills, but he sucks defensively. Strudwick makes up for his slowness by being tough and using his head in spots. Where Malik fits in at this stage is anyone’s guess?

    Readers tell me this: If you could design a trade right now to help this team, what would it be? I think it should be something like Malik and someone else for a super stud D man. Any thoughts?

    Second, what do we do with Straka and Cally? I agree with the opinion above (see, I do agree with some of you some of the time!) that they should be fully recovered and ready. No need to rush back. But where do they go? I know Prucha27 will hound me for this, but I think Prucha is either expendable or tradeable. (He and Malik for a super D man?) (Maybe it’s Hossa, but I have a feeling Jagr likes his line now.) The HBO line is playing well.

    Last, did anyone catch Giannone last night saying how Betts was one of the best defensive forwards in the league (along with being “offensively challenged?”)

    Big game tonight!

  14. I think prucha will be one of the guys dealt too. he holds the most value of anyone we’d trade at this point. 1.5m is very trade-able

    Malik/Prucha/Hollweg – for????? a player and a pick.

    SAM – could you let us know what our draft pick inventory is for the next year or two?

  15. We are watching is what we have all wanted for years a mixture of youth and vets coming together to be one of the elite teams in the NHL. We are seeing true blue Rangers come into their own. Seeing Stall score that goal last night was amazing these kids are turning into something else. I know we want to win now for our aging vets Jagr, Shanny, Straka and they all deserve to hoist teh cup. Butif they don’t this team is truly built for a long haul in the future. Dubinsky, Dawes, Stall, Rangers who are “real” Rangers making the plays to win. What an amazing feeling it is to watch these kids develop. I’m actually really jealous, i’d give my pinky to be one of them. Let’s go into Philly and bully them tonight.

  16. I think Straka replaces Hossa on the 1st line and Hossa moves to the 4th.
    I’m not sure where Callahan fits in. He’s still likely a couple of weeks away. He should go to Hartford for 2 weeks of conditioning.
    I don’t see them sending Dawes down to Hartford to make room for Callahan.
    A Prucha/Malik trade might be something to explore.

  17. Oh, Prucha, when will you become the player we wish you were? How long until you’re broken by the “straw that broke the czech’s back” hit?

    Keep eating that pizza, Malik. They don’t have it that good in the Old Town Square. The Vltava water just isn’t the same.

  18. I think that we have great depth on both offense and defense. Prucha has not been producing, and if he was, he’d be an absolute bargain. He gets laid out too often, and one day, he won’t get up.

    Here is my suggestion: Go for Boyle or Morris. You might be able to get a better deal for Boyle since he’s on IR now (wrist surgery after a weird accident), but he is the puck-moving d-man we need (at least for the PP) and he’s a good defensive d-man as well.

    Tampa needs a goalie, too. Boyle makes 3.6 this year. I say unload Prucha + Malik/Mara + Montoya.. that or Prucha + Mara + picks for Morris.

  19. Doodie Machetto on

    “Without strong team defense of old marty, he is mediocre at best.”

    I think it’s important to stress the OLD part of that. I think a young Marty would’ve been fine in front of their current shaky defense corps. He just doesn’t have it like he used to. He got old, plain and simple.

    As for Malik, it’s tough to say. I think you need to try him out with Mara, see how it goes. If it doesn’t, maybe you go back to Struds and let Malik figure things out in Hartford or on another team. I like that we have depth, I really do, but not at the expense of Staal being sent back to the third pair for Malik to screw things up on the first. You know how much I don’t like Malik there? I was at the Caps game when he got hurt, and I wasn’t even that upset when he went down. I thought, “I hope he is OK, but I’m glad he won’t be playing.” It’s not often you feel that way about someone when they go down. I didn’t even feel that way about Rachunek last year! Also, if we are going to make a deal, no one s going to take on Malik, but they might take on Mara. I know it’s potentially a disaster, but do you try Malik-Strudwick to see if it works, and if it does, deal Mara? Personally, I think he’s played pretty well and they should keep him. I think you’ve gotta “Kaspar” Malik.

    As for Straka and Callahan, that’s a much tougher one. After the way Hossa-Dubinsky-Jagr has been playing, can you really split them up? There is no easy solution because we haven’t had the full team healthy all season. Before Straka and Callahan went down, Avery was down. With everybody up, roster spots are at a premium. Granted, Dawes wasn’t up before, but can you really send him down now? Hollweg and Orr are the obvious choices, but who do you bury on the 4th line with Betts? I have to think that Prucha’s spot in the lineup isn’t safe. He works his butt off everynight but has nothing to show for it except bruises. Can’t you say the same thing about Hollweg, except that when Hollweg hits people, they dgo down instead of him? Of course, you don’t want to LOSE Prucha, he’s too important for the future. But how can you justify him getting playing time over any of the other potential top 9 forwards (including Straka and Callahan)? Even if you say, OK, Prucha 4th line, you still have to put one more player there. It would be between Straka/Hossa (depending which of them isn’t on the 1st line), Callahan, and Dawes. Would you like any possible combination of Prucha-Betts-and any of those 4 guys? And what about Hollweg and Orr? Without at least one of them in the lineup, we can potentially get pushed around. So what’s the solution? I don’t know, and for once, I’m glad I’m not the coach, because I don’t know how I would straighten that out.

  20. Doodie Machetto on

    You can’t trade Prucha. Just because we don’t really have room this year doesn’t mean that we won’t need him next year.

    Think about Dawes. I was calling for him to be traded last year. What I’ve learned is that while it sucks that he had to sit in Hartford for another year, at least we held onto him so that when the space was available, he could come in.

    Maybe it should be the same for Prucha. Maybe Hartford is where he should go upon Straka’s and Callahan’s returns.

    “He gets laid out too often, and one day, he won’t get up”

    I agree. Anyone ever see Naked Gun? At the baseball game they are showing the bloopers and the one guy goes to catch a potential homerun and when he hits the wall his head pops off. That’s what’s gonna happen to Prucha, someone is going to hit him and his head is just going to come off of his body. And I won’t even be surprised. I’ll just say “well, it was bound to happen,” and move on.

  21. Newman- Malik and a forward for a stud defenseman sounds great.

    1-Which stud defenseman did you have in mind
    2-What team would trade a stud defenseman
    3-Assuming there is such a team, why would it trade this stud defenseman for Malik and a forward

  22. Doodie Machetto on

    Matteau, I agree with your assessment.

    To those of you thinking Malik is going anywhere for anything decent in return, keep dreaming. The only thing that we could use that we could realistically acquire in a trade is a vet backup goaltender. Because Aside from that, t eonly thing we need is that stud defenseman, which we will not get without trading away high picks, which I wouldn’t want done.

  23. I agree that Prucha may be the forward the Rangers would consider moving, but unless it was for a great young defenseman I would not make that deal. He has not been scoring as much as you like, but he has always gotten most of his points on the power play where he is not getting enough ice time right now. I think it would make sense to take Drury and/or Shanny off the first unit so we actually had two balanced powerplays. The problem here is that unless you are on Jagr’s pp unit, you probably will get no more than 40 seconds on the power play. I for one would not want to get rid of Prucha for anything but an elite defenseman as next year we will probably be losing Jagr, Shanny and Straka, so there will be plenty of winger spots open and I can see Prucha doing really well if allowed to play with Gomez full time. The Prucha-Gomez-Avery line looked good not that that line looks bad with Shanny but there was no real reason to take Prucha off that line

  24. The funny thing is, I was told by an inside guy (and I am not making this up, the guy being on the inside I mean) that this summer LA was interested in Malik and the Rangers didn’t do it. I am guessing they didn’t want a used puck bag for Malik, but I don’t know. His salary makes him tough to move. Malik/Strudwick/Prucha to MTL for Komisarek and Kovalev? I hear Kovy is on the blocks in MTL.

    Honestly though, with the season not even 20 games old, I have a hard time seeing the Rangers making too many moves right now. With injury potential and the team playing pretty well, they can wait til 2008 to do anything. I mean as long as we are in the hunt in mid-Feb, which I am guessing we will be, we can make a deal then.

    They need to sign Hank to a new deal in early Jan and then be able to potentially use Montoya in a deal too.

  25. Doodie Machetto on

    You have to figure no Shanny, and probably no Straka. What are trying to fit into the lineup right now? 2 Wings. There you go. Getting rid of Prucha would be a HUGE mistake.

    The one thing I would trade Prucha for is a power forward. Forward for forward. Nothing else, especially a young defenseman, as we have plenty of our own, and no need to logjam our own guys. Staal, Girardi, Tyutin, Sanguinetti, Sauer are 5 guys who will most likely be with the big club by the start of the 11-12 season. Add in Roszival or some other vet (because you have to have one with that many guys under 25) and that’s a full squad of quality defensemen.

    I can understand those who want the stud now to make a run for the cup this year, but as far as the future is concerned, we’re set from defense back to the net for the next decade.

    What we lack are big forwards. After Jagr and Shanny are both gone within 2 or 3 years (Shanny next year, Jagr whenever he wants to retire), look how many shrimps we’ll have on the wing! I’d love like one big power forward. I’d swap Prucha for that, and only that: A young power forward.

  26. Doodie Machetto on

    “I hear Kovy is on the blocks in MTL”

    Forget it! Not only do I not want him in NY, but he’s having a great year in MTL, so they won’t move him.

  27. Doodie – re: your 11:53 post. I know what you’re saying and all about the D pairings. But I think we’re best to get away from calling the pairings 1,2,3 or top/bottom. I guess we’ll see when malik comes back exactly how it shapes up. When that happens, we’ll have to take a look at TOI to really see where they stack up. There’s been plenty of games in the first 20 that we’ve seen toots/girardi step up and play like a “#1″ pair.

    FIRST PLACE TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    Beer Me!, I hear you re the ice time. But fact is, I don’t want Malik getting more ice time than Staal, which he would if paired with Rozsival. Tyutin and Girardi may have occasionally been getting first pair minutes, but Mara never has.

  29. I agree with Pete and the others that are looking towards next season. Too often during the “Playoff-less” years, we made moves for NOW and were left scrambling for the future. With the potential open spots in the roster next year, I’d like to see Prucha stick around.

  30. I hear ya Doodie. And I wish it weren’t the case. I would love for Mara to play to his potential.

    As far as trades at this point of the season…turcotte/patrick were traded to CHI Nov 2, 1993. that’s all i’m sayin.

  31. NO KOVALEV!!! For God’s sake. I know he was instrumental in 1994… but come one! We went back to him and he was terrible after that.

    He’s one of those guys that puts on the Blueshirt and all of a sudden his goal scoring prowess vanishes. Every time we play Motreal he’ll shove the puck up our… ahem… noses… but in a Rangers uniform he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat.

  32. its too bad we ruined thomas pock’s development. he has shown that after he adapts to a level of play, he becomes an offensive presence on the blueline that we clearly lack. during the stretch and playoffs last year, he was finally starting to get comfortable and producing. In his final 15 games last year, he had 9 points and was +4. granted that’s not exactly proving yourself at this level, but if the rangers management showed him as much unconditional support as they show a player like malik, he might be our powerplay quarterback right now. The rangers have 1 defenseman in the top 70 in D-man scoring. Also, the way he’s playing right now, Staal doesn’t look like he needs that calming presence of Strudwick anymore. I like malik, but he’ll never stop hearing it from the fans, so trade him, scratch struds, and play pock everyday.

  33. I’d be happier with getting Markov away from MTL. They can have anyone but Lundqvist as far as I’m concerned.

  34. Markov would be awesome, but he replaced Souray and is their best D man right now. They are not giving that guy up.

    I hear everyone on the youngsters brigade and I am all for it. But to be honest, if we could give up a young guy for a superstar D that would get us to the Cup this year, I would do it.

    The question is, can we takeout Ottawa?

  35. Good question newman….

    They play well even when they’re missing guys.
    They have 2 starters in net.
    They are relatively young(but may have cap probs after this year).

    And they’re the ones we need to figure out a trade with. Redden is a FA after this year, though they’re trying to work out a deal, maybe slats can make them an offer they can’t refuse. Problem with it is…THEY DON’T NEED ANYTHING!!

  36. Doodie Machetto – Did you catch one of the funniest moments at Madison Square Garden this year?

    I forget who we were playing, but Malik had the puck behind his net. He fires a nice outlet pass along the boards, but gets completely leveled by the on-rushing fore-checker.

    The crowd erupts because Malik got drilled. :)

  37. Doodie Machetto on

    Jeremy, Line combos and pairings were the same as in Toronto.

    Asmos, I saw that, it was really funny.

    Beer Me, actually, it’s looks like Redden will walk. Redden has a NTC, and why would he let himself be traded when he’s already on a cup contender? And unless he takes a significant paycut, the Sens can’t afford to resign him. Therefore, he’s out of there at season’s end, for nothing in return (except possibly a Stanley Cup).

  38. Strudwick is doing fine in his temporary role, but he is not a top 6 D man for a championship caliber team.. Malik is much better player, regardless of which pairing Staal plays with.

    If Malik comes back the rangers have 6 pretty good D man with the worst one in my opinion being mara.

    I also do agree with another poster that when Straka comes back put him on the 1st line and move Hossa to the 4th line. Hossa is not doing much except killing penalties effectively.. This myth that the 4th line is being productive is a myth. I play Orr only against a few rough teams and that is it..

    I also am not seeing much from Prucha, I wonder what is up??? Callahan when he comes back also must be in the lineup so I think Hollweg and Orr should sit.. Yeah they skate the whole shift without falling but to me that is not much of an accomplishment… the 4 lines if healthy should be something like this

    shanny/gomez/prucha or callahan
    callahan/betts/hossa(or orr and hollwegg)

    if they remove holweggand Orr from the lineup they have 4 legit lines like the sabres had last yr…..

  39. JEREMY

    It was…

    Hossa – Dubinsky – Jagr
    Avery – Gomez – Shanahan
    Dawes – Drury – Prucha
    Orr – Betts – Hollweg

    Staal – Rozsival
    Tyutin – Girardi
    Mara – Strudwick

    NYR needs to win tonight, big game. But jeez, did you see that Staal goal, that better be on VS plays of the week, that goal was amazing. Plus against Broduer, Staal must have been going crazy. He’s the man, lol injuring Martin, then giving Vishnevski a cheap shot, after hitting Pruchs. Even though it was a penalty, we killed it, and he bitched him. I love this friggin kid. And Dubi as well. Lol and Broduer is getting bitched by Dawes. When Straks, and Cally come back, the staff is gonna have a haaaard time.

  40. I think people that cheer when one of their own players gets hammered are classless. You cheer for your team, and you can let them know when they are not playing well. But you don’t cheer when one of your own get hurt. Last night I almost got in to a fight. And it wasn’t with a devils fan. It was a drunk piece of crap Rangers fan. I have no problem supporting your team. But when you get in the face of everyone around you and scream until you are red in the face, it is classless. This guy gave NYR fans a bad name. He was screaming in the faces of an older couple so I went up to him and spun him around and he thought I wanted to high five him. He was very lucky security intervened and took him away or I was going to give him the beating of a lifetime. I can’t stand crap like that.

  41. Orr – good call on the cheap shot – I was rollin. Good for him stickin up for his guys. Bad time to take 2min but he can slide on that night.

    Doodie – I do recall seeing a way they could keep him. Wasn’t aware of the NTC. If you’re familiar with this website you can probably figure it out yourself too.

  42. I don’t see how people would say Prucha’s lineup spot isn’t safe, but Hollweg’s or Hossa’s is. Realistically, Hossa should drop to the 4th line when Straka comes back, and Dawes should be sent back to Hartford. Even sending Callahan back to Hartford is fine by me. I love the kid, I think he’s a good player, I love the way he plays the game…but out of the 3 players (Dawes, Cally and Prucha), Prucha is the only proven goal scorer. Dawes is playing well, but it’s a long way to go for him to hit 30 goals. Same story with Callahan.

    You can’t trade Prucha unless you know that the other 2 are for real or just a flash in the pan. Also, at least 2, possibly 4 wing spots open up next year. Prucha will definitely fill one.

  43. Staal has been playing phenominal, but last night i think was his best game, you can tell he really got into it, he was shooting more, he was hitting more, and he saved a huuuuuge goal from happening, when he cleared the puck from the front of the net.

    And dont forget, Hank, with that save on Gionta. Lol, that little guy and his czech buddy miss Gomez so bad.

    Good job by Gomer too, 7 game point streak, hopefully he continues it. I was wrong about that line, i said they should put Pruchs up there, but Aves is doing fantastic.

    Lol, and on the PK i thought Shanny was about to fight Zajack.

    Its great to be 3 – 0 against the Devs, hopefully we go 2 – 0 against Philly tonight, and 2 – 1 against Pens on saturday. And obviously we need a friggin win against those moron Isles.

  44. Okay,

    1. Some of these trade suggestions: Kovalev, Komisarek and Markov are Montreals three best players and we think Malik is going to bring back any of them? Even if you throw in Prucha it ain’t happening. Strudwick is what he is and has no trade value and the Rangers like having him around (and he’s done his job perfectly and he’s cheap. He is the ultimate 23rd guy on the roster!)
    2. Prucha may be snakebit, but I don’t think the Rangers will trade him. If they do, it’s amistake with some of the older guys retiring in the future.
    3. Hollweg is an important guy on this team. Hossa might move to the 4th line, but I have a feeling he could go tot he press box when Straka returns.
    4. Callahan will go on a conditioning stint to Hartford for several reasons: A: No need to rush him back, B: Hartford has injury problems of their own and it would help Cally AND Hartford. C: There is no one in the lineup that he would be an upgrade over at this point except Hossa and Straka has seniority.
    5. I don’t think it was funny that the fans cheered Malik getting run. It was kind of disgraceful, actually.
    6. DEPTH is the key to an organization’s success. You trade Montoya and you kill all NHL depth within the organization. You trade Prucha and the forward depth is marginalized. Giving Malik the “Kaspar” treatment would be stupid. Strudwick is good for short spurts, but the longer he plays, the more he is exposed. Malik with Mara would be fine and Malik, gaffes and all, is a solid NHL defenseman.
    7. No one has to be sent to Hartford. Malik, Straka and Callahan are on injured reserve and we have no healthy scratches. The roster is set ever since Pock was sent down.

    I feel the Power Play personnel should be switched up like last year. It is more of a philosophy problem than who is playing, but I would go with this:
    Prucha-Gomez-Jagr-Rozsival- Dubinsky (Puck Posession)
    Avery-Drury-Shanahan-Girardi-Mara (Shooter/Net Crashing)

  45. I am sorry Orr about me taking avery off the 2nd line my mistake.. my point is for the first time in many years the rangers have the talent to run 4 legit lines like the sabres did last year.

    they would not be as physical but they would have alot of everything some toughness, alot of speed, good in there d zone, and plenty of skill.

    Hollwegg serves a purpose but he cannot score ever and is weak in his own zone handling the puck. I also notice Prucha is bad with the puck in his own zone also…

    you suit up orr and hollwegg on ocasion give guys rest and aginst the tough teams..

  46. Prucha27 – I’m not trying to get on your case here, but you’re obviously a little bias to him. He is absolutely expendable. Under-achieving wingers are plentiful in the nhl.
    And I know a lot of you have been saying you have to think about the future, and you’re right with saying ‘what happens when jags, straka, shanny are gone?’. But that’s just the thing!!! what happens when they’re gone? prucha is the one you’re asking to fill the skates of a 1st ballot hof’er?
    IMO this team as is right now is not capable of winning a cup. Maybe 1/4 of the way through the season is too early to tell. But its not to early to improve your team.

    Rebuilding is occuring every night we play. But so is a cup run.

  47. Beer – I’m a big Prucha fan, but I’m a bigger Ranger fan. Me being partial to Prucha doesn’t discredit any of my points. He’s a proven NHL goal scorer, the other 2 aren’t.

    Last year Shanahan had a stretch of 23 games without an ES goal. There weren’t many people talking about scratching or trading him. Now, I’m by no means comparing Shanny to Prucha, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that Prucha will break out of his funk. I don’t think Drury has played his best hockey, but when he does it will help Prucha as well.

    Also, you can’t look at the situation of Jagr, Straka and Shanahan leaving and say that Prucha needs to fill the shoes of a Hall of Famer. It just doesn’t work like that, nor should it be viewed that way. Did you look at Nylander and say he was filling Messier’s shoes? Just because Jagr was the first line RW and he’s a 600 goal scorer doesn’t be the next guy to fill that roster spot has to produce another 600 goals.

  48. Doodie Machetto on

    Beer Me, we don’t expect Prucha to fill that spot, but we expect him to play the lower spots.

    To those saying that Hossa hasn’t done anything on the top line don’t know what you’re talking about. Hossa ran shit on the top line last night. Did anyone see the little give and go he had with Dubinsky that led to the feed on Tyutin? How about Dubinsky’s goal? Hossa was in front of the net and drew the defenders that let Dubi get to the rebound. And his work along the boards in the offensive zone is 2nd to no Ranger forward. Fact of the matter is, the first line is clicking right now, Dubinsky and Jagr are getting a lot of time and space and it’s because Hossa is helping them. I don’t see that line as effective with Straka there.

    And we all know that Straka has seniority, and that it will count later on, but the truth is, it shouldn’t. The best players should be given the chance every night. People talk about Prucha being a proven goalscorer, but how can Dawes be a proven goalscorer unless you give him a chance to prove himself. Right now, he’s playing circles around Prucha. Why shouldn’t Prucha have to fight for a spot? Maybe it will make him hungry and play better. It would be a bad habit to get him into this early in his career to make him think his spot is safe no matter what.

  49. Doodie Machetto on

    Beer Me, The Sens can keep Redden if they let Corvo and someone else go (I forget who) or if they trade either Gerber or Emery (which they won’t) and Redden would STILL have to take a paycut, although not as significant. Forget it, he’s out of there.

  50. Doodie – Agree with some of what you’re saying, but not all of it.

    Dawes has been put in a position to succeed, but Prucha hasn’t. Renney’s taken Prucha out of the situations where he excelled (#1 PP Unit), and right now he isn’t exactly playing with the best set-up centerman on the team. I don’t think he’s expendable at all. I think he’s being misused. Next year, without Straka, Shanny and possibly Jagr and Avery, Renney will have to put Prucha back where he belongs, and I expect 30-40 goals from him, in that situation.

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