Everything looks good after a win


The reality is when a team loses, even if it’s just one loss out of 10, you talk about everything that is wrong. Naturally after a win, it’s just the opposite.

So with that in mind, some Friday morning rose-colored observations:

  • Balanced scoring (sort of). I suppose one of the upsides of a team scoring so infrequently is no one is no one is scoring ridiculously more than anyone else. And with the Rangers, that is certainly the case. They now have two players (Michal Rozsival and Brendan Shanahan) with seven goals; two players (Chris Drury and Jaromir Jagr) with six; one player (Scott Gomez) with five; and two (Fedor Tyutin and Brandon Dubinsky) with three. No, none of those numbers are overly inspiring. But it is at least a departure from last season, when they were getting almost all of their scoring from just four players.


  • The first line. And it really does look like a first line these days. I mentioned the other day how Martin Straka was likely to jumpstart Jaromir Jagr, but what he’s also done is allow Brandon Dubinsky some peace of mind. For all the energy and savvy that Dubinsky had provided that line, there was an inordinate amount of pressure on him to get Jagr the puck, and it may have explained why Tom Renney was tinkering with Drury there for a couple of games. But with Straka, Dubinsky has someone to share the load with, and it’s brought out the best in all three.
  • Marcel Hossa. Speaking of pressure, it’s not always a bad thing. I think everyone around the Rangers can tell you that Marcel Hossa couldn’t afford to tread water much longer if he wanted to remain in the lineup. He received a reprieve of sorts with Sean Avery taking leave (Avery, by the way, had successful surgery last night), and Hossa seized the opportunity last night alongside Gomez and Shanahan, playing one of his best games of the season. However lacking he may be in scoring goals this season, Hossa can still win a lot of pucks free for his linemates, and was particularly effective last night in keeping the puck in the offensive zone. Of course, let’s see if he can sustain it before we heap the praise on…
  • Don’t know why I’m thinking about this now, but how in the world did Wayne Gretzky score 92 goals in a season? I don’t care if it was 4-on-4 with no goalies. The number continues to astound.
  • The Board of Governors approved the schedule change for next season, meaning division rivals will face each other six time as opposed to eight, and each team in the NHL will face each other at least once. Personally, I liked having so many games in the immediate area, but I also know this was for the best. The Western Conference seems so foreign to someone like me, so I’d prefer to see more of those teams. No, not for work purposes, but so I can scout for my fantasy team better.

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    1. Staal is the future on

      Wow, Sam that’s so weird, I was literally looking at his stats on his Wikipedia page yesterday saying the same thing. I guess you don’t get the title “The Great One” without be something really special. I only wish I was a little older so I really could have seen him play on those Edmonton teams.

      As for last nights game, the Isles looked like us in the first three games; tired. So I’m not going to look too deep into it either way. Although, it was nice being the fresher team out there.

    2. Amen on the Hossa comment Sam. Lately he has been getting a lot of guff and deservedly so, but last night was his best game in a long time. He is not scoring per se, but he is creating a lot of opportunities. He also made a few stellar defensive plays.

      No comment on the Ted Nolan whining about Hollweg’s facewash threat on Martinek? I love how Nolan makes that comment while Simon and Witt are doubling up Colton Orr. What a joke! You mean to tell me when someone admits they have a sore leg that the other team isn’t gunning for it? Why do they call all playoff injuries, “Upper body ailment,” or “Lower body injury.” Ted Nolan is an idiot.

      Girardi also snapped out of his 2 game funk. He stepped it up.

      Any word on Paul Mara? I gotta say that it looked to me that Trent Hunter should have been called for hooking or holding. He had his stick tangled up with Mara’s body/stick prior to hitting him.

      Props to Strudwick too who had a very solid game. He also got the “3d assist” on the Dubinsky goal. It was his very solid play behind the goaline that got the puck to Straka for the outlet.

      Also totally agree with you that Straka is the spark that the first line needed. His shiftiness and creativity opens up a lot of space. I have a love/hate relationship with him being on the point on the PP though.

      Lastly, I hate to knock him cuz he has been our backbone and was tremendous making saves last night but Hank was soft on one goal last night and questionably soft on the other. Look, a lot of the saves he made were spectacular and prevented a bunch of other goals. But it seems that Satan’s goal snuck in through the pads like Hank wasn’t even ready for it. (I think that was the one. I am not talking about the own goal from Betts, which was a bit of a clusterf**k in and of itself.)

      Anyway, we got the Isles monkey off our back. I am kinda glad we don’t play them again til March. By then the Fishsticks will be in about 4th place in the division and 8th place in the conference so it won’t be an issue.


    3. I really like the make up of this team over the long haul but cant help but feel that we need a true power forward ala Graves or Leclair. Alot riding on Hossa and Dui to creste some space.

    4. “Don’t know why I’m thinking about this now, but how in the world did Wayne Gretzky score 92 goals in a season? I don’t care if it was 4-on-4 with no goalies. The number continues to astound.”

      Don’t forget that Mario Lemieux scored 85 goals in 1988-89. At 6’4″, 225 lbs, Lemieux’s size made him a better player in his prime than Gretzky, in my opinion.

    5. BTW I was wrong above referencing the Satan goal. It was Comrie’s goal where Hank looked slow and lazy. Again not taking it to Hank but just making an observation.

    6. Nice to have Callahan back too. Not that his impact last night changed a whole lot, but he is a big part of the reason we finally have an ‘identity’ in the NHL.
      A reference to a power fwd was made above. I think if you have the paitence, you may see one of our younger players turn into just that. Doug Weight was a prime example of that. I just hope mistakes aren’t made ‘upstairs’ and we mortgage our future for a run at it this year. We have the ‘character players’ in place with our youth. If Jags/ Shanny/ Gomez/ Drury/ Straka play like they are capable, I believe we can contended with the league’s elite. And be part of it ourselves for a long long time.

      Always a good feeling to beat the isles with the weekend just a few hours away huh?

    7. Prucha-Drury-Cally looked great in my opinion. Hossa may have played a better game than usual, but on the second line I want someone who has the potential to score a goal. also I don’t see a reason for Hollweg to be on the team. I would much rather have Moore or Byers on that line. For all Renney’s praise for that line’s defensive responsibility, they looked terrible last night. if those guys are playing against heatly and company they we are in for a rough one in Ottowa

    8. I think Dubinski will grow into a power forward. He is noticeable every game, and last night his line was noticeable on every shift.
      The Rangers D corp. are playing absolutely amazing, no defense is perfect, but at the beginning of the season, everyone was ripping on Strudwick/Malik and co. I’m gonna say it…
      All the questionable d-men Strudwick/Mara etc. have been pretty solid and I’m happy we didn’t go get another “elite” d man. We have great young defensemen, and we don’t need another player to try to click with the team.
      This team is incredibly deep. Avery goes down again, Callahan steps in, Straka is back in full force, I think we have a great team in place.

      did our Rangers actually score 4 last night…offensive explosion!
      Ottawa hasn’t been playing well of late, however I’m sure they will be good against the Rangers.
      Lets Go Rangers!

    9. G2D2 in my opinion Lemieux was a better player in his prime than Greztky because he wasn’t surrounded like Hall of Fame talent like the Great One was. And Lemieux did his thing in a tighter checking Eastern Conference.

      Anyway, getting back to the first place New York Rangers they played with vigor and some grit last night and it was great to see. I think Jagr’s groin troubles may be behind him now and maybe we’ll see more efforts in the future like we did last night.

    10. I gotta agree with New Newman on this one. Lundqvist hasn’t been tanking in the past ten games, but he’s been letting in some real softies that aren’t typical of him. Is the strain of playing finally getting to him? The Comrie goal was awful and the Jokinen breakway goal against Dallas should’ve been easy for him to stop. I don’t think there’s a need to panic but do you think he’s showing cracks?

      On the other hand, the offense is beginning to step it up so giving up 3 goals doesn’t necessarily equate to a loss anymore.

    11. I just think Hank is looking human. When we’re comparing the way he played during that winning 9 of 10 streak to the last few games it’s gonna look bad. But 2 goals or less, regardless of how soft they were (i agree), is still a good outing. Maybe not what he’s capable of, but if you get every guy clicking at the same time…call Ripley’s.

      Ottawa is a strong team even with an injury here or there – gonna be a fun game tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be interested to see who starts in net for the Sens. Gerber didn’t play well last night, and Emery has had some struggles coming back from surgery.

    12. One thing I have noticed with Dubi is that he looks a lot skinnier out there and I think its a good thing. He seems much faster than last years brief stint, and he is still strong enough to battle for pucks on the board. I think he needs to be a bit more confident in his shot, as do all of the Rangers centers. They are all terrified to shoot, yet when they do, like Gomez, they can actually score.

      Also, I PRAY that if Malik plays anytime soon, Renney does not break up our true #1 d pairing of Staal-Roszival. Suffer through playing Malik and Strudwick or Malik and Mara. Staal is wasted playing with Strudwick or Mara.

      Callahan looked a bit off last nite, but he’ll be welcome addition. Still think hes a better version of Prucha. If he could learn to play the off wing, he could easily replace Shanahan when he retires. Probably the perfect player on the team now for Gomez.

      One more Dubi note, does anyone else think that playing with Jagr will set him up real well for playing with Cherepanov? Does he have a similar game to Jagr?

      I liked the quote in the paper today about how Hollweg allegedly threatened to rip the stitches out of Radek Martinek’s face. He then appeared to reach for his face, but come on, are you serious?

    13. Doodie Machetto on

      “Props to Strudwick too who had a very solid game.”

      I think Struds had a bad game, with one good play (the Dubinsky goal). Everyone has mentioned the Comrie goal and saying it was soft, but it was Strudwick who completely blew his defensive assignment that allowed Comrie to walk right in. There was another play later in the game where Struds’ play almost led to another Islander goal.

      As for Hank letting in a couple of softies, I don’t think you can call any breakaway/open chance a soft goal. Comrie got to skate in, completely unchallenged. Someone mentioned the Jokinen breakaway. You can never blame something like that on your goaltender because there is no reason why those guys should have been allowed in freely in the first place. It is the fault of the five guys in front of Hank to allow one player past totally unmarked, and when Hank can’t bail them out, you call it a soft goal? Not at all. The team let the goaltender down, not the other way around.

      A pretty lousy opening to the game and then it was fairly even through 2, but we were in complete control during the third, it’s a shame we couldn’t have scored more.

      The Jagr line was dominant, no question. Speaking of which, do you think Straka is getting tired of reporters asking him about Jagr?

      Callahan looked great, and but for Prucha’s lousy passing, he could’ve had a couple of good chances. Someone said he had to play the off wing to replace Shanahan, but I don’t understand you. Shanahan is a right handed shot playing RW, and so is Callahan. Shanahan played the off wing for most of his career (LW), but has never played the position for the Rangers, so I’m not sure what you’re trying to say.

      Prucha on the PP… give it another try? Or do you scrap the project because of how terrible it looked last night?

      Any word on Mara? The question is, do you go with a Malik-Strudwick pairing (sieve), or do you try and go for a balanced defense, no top pair, but no sieves either?

      Also, people were talking about power forwards. I agree, and I said it during the trade talk of a week or two ago that the only trade I would make is for a young power forward. The thing is, if Marcel Hossa played with his size, he could be that guy, but he doesn’t. Someone else caled Doug Weight a power forward. You’re kidding, right? Weight is, and always has been, a set up man.

      The traditional power forward has to be a mean guy, who isn’t afraid to drop them, and who is impossible to move away from the crease. The prototypical example (in my opinion) is Cam Neely. He was a smaller guy, but man, was he mean! Gravey played a similar game, not being that big of a guy, but he wasn’t as good of a finisher. But if we were to get a power forward, I would want him not only to be tough, but to be a BIG guy as well. Think Todd Bertuzzi before the Steve Moore attack. Think John Leclair playing Eric Lindros’ wing. Hell, even think of Shanahan before he got too old to take that kind of a beating every night.

    14. just checking on that check on

      i knew it was the last seven lemon chellos that were going to get them ‘landers.


    15. Tremendous win last night. The Rangers for the first time all year had all the lines humming. The Straka-Dubinsky-Jagr line owned the puck from the opening faceoff. They looked like they had the puck on the string all night long. Jagr was dominant all night long . Marty Straka has to be one of the most underarated and underappreciated players of this era. The guy does everything. He never stops hustling has blazing speed isn’t afraid of traffic. The pk was fantastic in the first killing off 4 penalties. All of them were phantom penalty calls by the worst ref in Nhl History Mick Mcgoff. The Staal clearing attempt clearly went off an Islander and the linesmen tried to tell him that by Mick waved em off. The Tyutin-Girardi pair after struggling the last week to ten days was back to their usual tremendous selves. Strudwick and Mara on the other hand looked like rodeo clowns all night long. Two PP GOALS BY THE Rangers?! I was shocked the Drury-Gomez-Shanny pp unit was terrific. Gomez was flying all night long. Hossa wasn’t his usual horrid self but he still butchered 3-4 scoring chances. When the puck is on his stick nothing good happens. Great to see Callahan back. Cally added alot of energy and grit. He and Prucha have alot of chemistry and Drury looked good on a line with em. I was glad to see Orr pound that thug Simon. It seemed like the Rangers play picked up after that. Lundqvist made some big saves but boy did he look bad on the Comrie goal. The Rangers had a bad first half of the third and were lucky the game wasn’t tried up. Thankfully Andy Hilbert is the one guy in the Nhl with worse hands than Hossa. The Dubi line grabbed control bnack for the Rangers. That Dubi goal was a thing of beauty. It reminded me of some of the goal the Straka-Nylander-Jagr line scored the previous two years. Big game vs a badly struggling Sens team. Hopefully the top line can really start to dominate.

    16. I forgot how good a player Straka can be. I am glad to have him back and to see good things happening for him. He is one of the classiest guys to play for us. And Hossa, although he didn’t score, played a solid game.

    17. Did anyone see the interview with Ted Nolan where he pretty much called out Hilbert? It was kind of funny to watch as a non islander fan.

    18. Speaking of power forwards, one of my favorite players of all time has been Keith Tkachuk. I remember the two years in a row when he scored over 50 goals each year. The guy played full of piss and vinegar. He got in to a few fights at that time as well, and completely pounded the shit out of some people.

    19. Just wanted to comment on the Hollweg incident:

      I think it’s just built up over time. The Rangers have played the Isles in several games and Hollweg has been somewhat quiet. Before anyone starts believing the Isles (not to say it didn’t happen), think about how they reacted after the Simon slash last season. Wasn’t it these same Islanders that downplayed what Simon did to Hollweg.

      Nolan of all people who defended Chris Simon should have nothing to say. I think Ryan Hollweg has had plenty of time and opportunity to take a shot at Simon and any one of the Isles, but he didn’t bring himself down to that level.

      Nolan said “When a guy like Hollweg tries to scratch an open cut on someone’s face, that’s not professional. It’s not a classy thing to do.” Well what about Simon? Not only did you defend him to a certain point, but you didn’t call it classless. I wonder what Nolan’s stance on Brashear and Bertuzzi would be?

      Prove he did it. Was this when 3 Islanders were attacking Orr or was this something they made up to take the focus off their loss. Nolan is a good coach and I respect him, but he is really pulling out the gradschool tactics.

      Just to put this in perspective, here is what Brendan Witt said earlier this year about the Simon slash
      Brendan Witt(on the Simon slash):

      “Nobody is perfect in this world in any situation, and everyone has their moments.”
      “It always looks worse,” Witt said. “I saw the guy after the game, he looked fine. That’s enough to tell me that it wasn’t that bad. You know what I mean?
      “The ref obviously thought it was clean,” Witt said of Hollweg’s hit. “Maybe if there had been a call, it would have never escalated to that.”

      Well maybe is Simon and Witt were both called last night this wouldn’t have happened…..

      Martinek added that no damage was done, but said he had never seen a player act in such a way. (Have you seen your teammates suspension record?)

      I see that Martinek was fine after the game, so maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. He should wear a visor in the next game or avoid the rough stuff if you can’t take it.

    20. On an Upside note. Did anyone see the clip of Avery in the new Rocket Richard movie?

      He get one punched (twice)

    21. Goalies in the ’80s were not nearly as good as they are today and nobody played team defense like they do today.

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