It’s not because I don’t care


I’d love to tell you the reason for the blog’s occasional slip into oblivion is because I spill beer on my computer keyboard and the whole thing shorts as a result. The problem is I am neither that clumsy (although close) nor that influential (not close at all).

Besides, for all I know, The Journal News and have strict rules about Drinking While Blogging (DWB). Fortunately there are no such rules for your state of mind while reading a blog, which may explain why I’ve fooled some of you into thinking I know what I’m talking about.

What can I tell you — it’s frustrating. On Sunday, in fact, I left for the Garden early much to the chagrin of my wife for the simple purpose of posting a blog update on Martin Straka and Ryan Callahan, only to discover that the blog had crashed. Between that and a pre-game buffet in which the eggs were an alarming shade of green (Sam I am, but I do not like green eggs and ham), it was a disappointing day.

By the way, Straka played and Callahan did not. In other news, Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election, and word is M*A*S*H is going off the air.

In many ways, this blog has resembled the Rangers so far: occasional moments of competence interspersed with head-scratching, toe-stubbing moments of frustration. My hope is to get better. My educated (as far as you know) guess is the Rangers will as well.

Meanwhile, a few belated thoughts:

  • I’m in agreement that Henrik Lundqvist needed to be a lot better yesterday, especially in the wake of his post-game hissy fit Wednesday in Tampa. While hovering around The King’s locker, I was waiting for anything resembling a mea culpa for the three goals he allowed — not because they were so awful necessarily, but maybe they were well below his usual standard. Instead, Lundqvist mostly dwelled on the team’s low scoring output. He had a point, of course, but it might have been the time to accept some of the responsibility.
  • If Tom Renney goes back to Chris Drury with Jaromir Jagr, I’d be for it not because I think Brandon Dubinsky is overmatched by The Captain’s side — far from it, in fact — but because Drury needs a more prominent spot in the lineup. For all the talk about how the Rangers don’t really have a first line, second line, third line, let’s also point out that when the game was tight late yesterday, Renney was mostly going with two units. Drury needs to be part of one of those groups, and as much as you’d want to just throw him in there late, that doesn’t make sense for continuity’s sake.
  • Who sits when Ryan Callahan comes back — presumably on Thursday? Good question. The easy answer is Marcel Hossa, but the problem is Hossa’s value as a penalty killer. My guess is Renney doesn’t want to throw Callahan back into that fold right away, so unless Martin Straka is ready to kill penalties, Renney might keep Hossa in the lineup and sit Ryan Hollweg.

    But what the heck do I know? I’m just a guy who’s been staring at an error message on his computer for the past two days…

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    1. “He had a point, of course, but it might have been the time to accept some of the responsibility.”

      Excuse me Sam, but I read in the papers today when Henrik took responsibility for the 2nd breakaway goal saying that he should’ve stopped that … and of course he is right … he and our defense are the major reasons we are 9-3-1 this month … So if he got upset the other night over losing his hard-fought shutout then you know what? He earned it … The guys need to bail him out when he has games less than stellar as he did yesterday … he has earned that too … furthermore I love his passion and the fact that he was upset over losing his shutout, I would be worried if he didn’t care …

    2. Seamus O Riley on

      The King has a “hissy fit”?? Why? Because Jagr did not feel like playing defense??

      Lundqvst deserved that shutout. Just a small effort on the part of PrimaJagr would have ensured it.

      I don’t like when guys complain about other guys, but I give Lundqvst a pass on this one.

      As to Callahan….no let’s keep Hossa and see if he can make it through the next 3/4 of the season without pumping in a goal. It’ll be fun to watch. In fact, let’s mike Renney, listen to him say “eh?” over and over and play Hossa on the first line.

    3. Just wondering how far the rangers training center is from msg, 20 min drive? Do most of the players live in nyc or near the training center?

    4. The Training Center is about 30 minutes outside the city without traffic. I’d say three quarters of the team lives in the city while everyone else lives in Westchester.

    5. I too don’t like the fact that henrik seems to be complaining a bit much. hockey players don’t do that. it’s a team sport. sounds like he is getting a little frustrated, which can’t be good for the team. however, from where he is standing (in the goal crease, watching his team make the other goaltender look like the next patrick roy night after night), he has a point. 2 goals a night is not going to cut it…in the NHL or AHL or wherever

    6. Doodie Machetto on

      Sam, when the goals weren’t coming in the beginning of the season, everyone was calm, and would say things like “we’re still figuring things out, the goals will come.” But here we are, 24 games into the season, still figuring things out. Is a sense of panic starting to arise in the lockerroom?

    7. Guys, during the post game report after the Tampa game, in regards to Henry losing his shutout, Renney took full responsibility by saying “I should have had better personnel on the ice,” without naming Jags. Later in the post game Dave Maloney showed the clip of the goal and said basically the same without naming Jags to the likes of “Toots went in there to get the puck and the other guy went in with one hand on the stick and they both were out of position.” Maybe that is why Hank had a hissy fit because the coach let him down not his players.

      Oldkid you are starting to worry me. The only two posts I have seen from were are about the team and how they get to NJ, either by car or by bus. Now you want to know how the team gets to MSG for games and how far is Greenburg from the city.

      We love our Rangers, if your planning a hit on Malik go ahead, anyone else please don’t….ha

    8. Such pearls of wisdom by Sam in that post. That’s all I’ve got for now, since I haven’t seen any of the last three games. I do want to keep Dubinsky with Jagr, however. Renney seems too rigid; why not go with three lines in crunch time if they’re all good?

    9. how about grilling renney about the power play, me thinks its time to get Prucha back on the top unit and gomez needs to start shooting the puck, he pretty much does the same thing evey time ie rush the puck up and dish to shanny right inside the blueline

    10. I’m obviously a big fan of Hank’s… and while I’m a bit surprised about his “outburst” the other night… I can completly understand. I was at the Tampa game and was AMAZED at how well he played. It was unreal to see in person. Every spectator in that arena (the ones at home too) knew he deserved a shutout.

      That being said… it’s becoming a bigger issue than just shutouts. He’s of the opinion that if the team could put up some kind of offensive numbers (even on the powerplay for God’s sake!!!) then they would have to be considered a real contender and the games wouldn’t all be nailbiters. Right now they give up breakaways on 5 on 3 powerplays… and cannot be considered elite.

      We all know he’s right.

    11. Regarding Sam’s thoughts on the possible lines with the return of Cally, I agree that even though he totally deserves to have his ass in the stands becasue of his all around poor play, Hossa will very likely stay in the line-up..This is despite the HBO being a more then solid 4th line for awhile…And if we do change the 4th line, I see no reason whatsoever why Colton Orr remains….What does this guy do anyway? Possiby the worst skater in the NHL…Doesn’t hit…Can’t transition or forecheck…And his one attribute hasn’t been needed once this season, no matter who we play…The Isles outplayed us with heart, hustle and speed the last time we played..Orr can’t keep up…

    12. Spiderpig,

      In all seriousness, how can they be described as “all good”? These aren’t 4th lines — these are lines intended to score. SCORE. Not just play okay, get off shots, etc. SCORE!!! You still win by SCORING MORE than the other team, not by outplaying them or outgoaltending them.

      Enough with the “it will come” b.s. These lines aren’t “all good” — that’s why not one of our games is an easy win and why Henrik has been pushed to the point of frustration that he’s whining (even if he’s right, it’s unlike him to show it and express it; not a good sign).

      Of course, if the PP could score, it would help immensely. And sitting Prucha on the PP is unacceptable at this point — he’s freaking named for it, even.

    13. Seamus O Riley on


      I have been one of them calling for patience, saying, “it will come”, but you are correct; it is now 1/4 into the season and we do not have steady lines. Jagr, with all his talent, I think, must be very difficult to deal with; on and off the ice. Lundqvst goes to Shanny to complain….the de facto Captain.

      Here is how I think the Shanny/Jagr thing plays out:

      1. Shanny says shoot the puck
      2. Jagr wants the perfect pass and pretty goal; Shanny wants any dirty goal
      3. Players appear to be SO reluctant to shoot when Jagr is on the ice. I have especially seen this with Gomez primarily, but also with Stratka (picking up where he left off pre-injury), the young players, and even Drury.

      so many times, himself and Mrs. Seamus will yell at the TV, “shoot! shoot the puck!” and off will come a pass looking for Jagr. Even Jagr won’t throw it on net as often as I would like.

      shanny wants it thrown on net and let us crash it.

      some other thoughts:

      nice to have Malik take his time to fully “recover”.

      We HAVE to get some solidification on the lines….we need lines to work together.

      Guys that have underperformed need to be dealt with: Hossa. Even Prucha, for all his effort, is not producing.

      I think we need some changes.

      I think that all that we hear about Renney says that he is a good man, but I have not liked him as a coach, at all. But I also HATE coaching changes….I would love to have someone coach the team for 5+ years….

      your thoughts?


    14. Seamus O Riley on

      would ANYONE call me absolutely NUTZ to consider trading Jagr (if that were possible) to a western team who would be willing to give up a real young star for the Cup NOW? I know this is more talked about in February, but………….

      perhaps I just woke up and forgot to take my meds.

    15. Against the fish Hossa should sit. The NYR have to play their game but with more offense , and get the fsticks off theirs by Avery & Hollweg getting under their gills;-)

    16. I think Renney IS the right coach for this team. I’m a big supporter of him and think he can coach us to a division-winning year. Perhaps he is a little soft on guys as a whole, and I think he knows it.

      Don’t forget though…Gomez & Drury being Rangers right now is in large part to the respect that the rest of the guys have for Renney. Whether having them right now or not isn’t what this is about, you can make that call. But he is the best coach we’ve had in a long time, and I fear that any changes there could send the team into a downward spiral.

      At 13-9-2 could anyone really take themselves serious calling for a change??

    17. beer if Renney can’t get Jagr scoring, the NYR will be in trouble, then Renney is in trouble.They will not be successful without Jagr scoring.

    18. lundqvist normally stops those shots and we’ve been spoiled by how good he is to the point where we expect him to stop every breakaway and can’t believe that he actually got beat…but in no way, shape or form does the blame go on him just because he wasn’t perfect. he shouldn’t have to be perfect every night to win and on this team he does. and when he’s been close to perfect for the first 20+ games he gets a pass for the rare bad one…

      and blame still goes on the lack of offense and terrible pp because when lundqvist has a rare bad game those guys need to step up and bail him out because lundqvist has bailed them out over and over. its not like he gave up 7 goals, his ‘terrible’ game still held the other team to 3 goals which for most goalies is a pretty good game. if your goalie gives up 3 goals on a bad night and you aren’t winning the problem isn’t the goalie.

    19. Frustrated Fan on

      I am wondering if any of Jagr’s struggles have to do with his potential team option kicking in. If he doesnt get his 84 points he is a free agent. Would it be crazy to think a sports star would “mail it in” to get the money next year, he is not getting any younger. His reluctance to shoot is really starting to annoy me.

    20. “If your goalie gives up 3 goals on a bad night and you aren’t winning the problem isn’t the goalie.”

      Well said Leetch3.

      In 24 games now… our largest margin of victory is 2 goals. Shouldn’t we have had

      Anyone know how many empty net goals we’ve scored this year?

    21. “If your goalie gives up 3 goals on a bad night and you aren’t winning the problem isn’t the goalie.”

      Well said Leetch3.

      In 24 games now… our largest margin of victory is 2 goals. Shouldn’t we have had one blowout by now? It’s not like we’ve played great teams EVERY night.

      Is it too much to ask for a 5-1 win once every 10-15 games?

    22. You have to start wondering if jagr doesn’t like Renney’s system, team defense first and is not shooting or playing like we know jagr can because he wants to become a free agent. He does have a track record of this sort of thing back with pittsburg and the caps.

    23. We can debate all day and night about what’s wrong with Jagr, but the bottom line is that as long as Renney refuses to send a message by benching him on PP’s, etc, the problm will continue. Ice time should be EARNED by EVERYONE on the team.

      Prucha NEEDS to be on the #1 unit. Every time Renney takes him off, the PP flounders. Happened last year, too, and when Renney put Prucha back on that unit, it went up to #9 or #10 in the NHL.

    24. Regarding Jagr:

      A) If he does not meet the critera for the option year to automatically kick in, the Rangers have the right to take the option (meaning it’s not really entirely Jagr’s choice in the end).

      B) Not playing to your potential is not the way to sell yourself to teams who might offer you a deal in free agency. If you are going to be a free agent in the upcoming summer you go all out with your play to show off the goods and try to get money. If you can’t score points or contribute in any way, no one’s going to make you much of an offer.

    25. Jagr has always been and remains the problem with this team having no flow to its offense. Case closed

    26. I hate to say it, but I agree with those of you who are saying that Renney isn’t equipped to coach a star powered team. Look at his work in Vancouver-he couldn’t create a winning team with the likes of Messier, Bure, Mogilny, Naslund, and Linden! It’s the same problem now-Renney is an inexperienced juniors coach who quite simply doesn’t understand what it takes to build a championship NHL team.

      Let’s take a look back: throwing Jagr on the power play in Game 1 of the ’06 playoffs; throwing Rachunek back into the mix and changing the lineup last year for the Buffalo series after sweeping Atlanta; blowing game 5 against Buffalo with an idiotic line combo on at the end of the game; inserting Blair Betts as a 2nd or 3rd line center over the last couple of years; I could honestly write a book about how many gaffes this guy has made over the last 2+years.

      This year’s team has some kinks to work out for sure and certainly Jagr is a big part of it, but man, it starts with changing the power play. Prucha scored 30 his rookie year and 20 last year by being a PP star-did Renney forget what happened last year when he pulled Shanahan off Jagr’s PP line? If we had a decent power play, we’d be in good shape.

      Pat Burns and Pat Quinn are out there and I’m sure both of them would be able to handle and thrive with a team like this. They wouldn’t run the team like a day camp.

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