Shuffling the deck


Just when you thought a random Sunday afternoon game against an anonymous opponent would be devoid of intrigue, the lineup changes alone are compelling.

Try to keep up, because there are plenty,..

<li>Stephen Valiquette gets his fourth start of the season, in no small part because of the flu bug — there was no mention of a sore wrist — that is still hampering Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers did not call up Al Montoya because Tom Renney said Lundqvist could serve as a back-up if need be. But should Lundqvist’s condition worsen, Montoya in New York would likely be the plan.

<li>As reported earlier, Greg Moore and Nigel Dawes are both in. With Marcel Hossa still fighting the flu as well, Dawes would presumably skate with Scott Gomez and Brendan Shanahan, while Moore is most likely to be with Chris Drury and Petr Prucha. Seeing how Moore can play both center and wing, there is the chance his role could change as the game goes on.

<li>This of course means that Ryan Callahan is out. On paper, as Renney said, the right wing has been sent to Hartford, but he hasn’t gone yet since the Rangers first want see if anyone gets hurt tonight. The decision to pull Callahan from the lineup at all, as suspected, can be traced to his inconsistent play since returning from his knee injury. Renney conceded he may have made a mistake not sending Callahan to Hartford immediately upon his return late last month. “In order for us to compete the way we need to, we need Ryan Callahan to play Callahan hockey,” Renney said. “Having come out of the injury, he wasn’t quite right.”

<li>Not a great day for Ryans. Ryan Hollweg is also scratched, with Jason Strudwick taking his place at left wing. The intended message? “He’s got to do more,” Renney said of Hollweg.

<li>With Strudwick up front, Marek Malik is back in the lineup, and most likely back with Michal Rozsival, a reunion Renney said he hopes sparks the top line of Jaromir Jagr, Brandon Dubinsky, and Martin Straka. That means Marc Staal would go with Paul Mara.

OK, plenty to chew on. More in a bit…

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  1. Staal should not be moved for Malik. Ever.

    And I’m glad to see Hollywood being asked for more.

    Go Valli, Go Rangers.

  2. Renney grasping at many different straws here. Let’s hope Malik doesn’t kick any into his own net today and the Gretzkies go home with another “L.”

  3. Hollweg needs to do more so they put Struds in his spot. If you want to make a statement, you sit Jagr and put Struds in his spot. Christ, what a joke. Understandably you want your fourth line to chip in every now and then, but as long as they do their job and shut down the line they are playing against I say, no problem. But your top offensive players need to produce, and if they don’t, that is a a problem. Thus, I feel Renney is putting a band aid on a bullet by benching Hollweg and sending Callahan down. I know you don’t want you big guns roting away on the bench, but maybe a seat on the pine for one game is what Jagr needs. I think callahan going down will be for the better, but in the grand scheme of things this is not the kind of thing that shakes up a team and gives a wakeup call.

  4. Renney is moving backwards. I’m getting fed up with the amateur way he’s handling this team.

  5. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Hollweg minus3 in the past 8 games, playing against opposing team’s toplines.

    While Jagr, in the past 6 games, has gone minus6 with 2 points against other team’s checking lines…Hmmm, who’s doing their job better? $550,000 Hollweg or $8.4mill Jagr?

  6. The Rangers TV schedule on says their game is on MSG today. In Yahoo’s boxscore, it has MSG as TV coverage.

    However, the general MSG tv schedule doesn’t have the game listed (some MSG vault thing @ 5). My cable guide also has the MSG vault.

    What gives? Does anyone know if they are on or not?

  7. It’s on Channel 9 today.

    As for the moves; Cally’s my fav player on the team with the exception of Lundquvist, but if he’s not doing the job now, Dawes deserves the roster spot. Cally’l be back. I predict he’ll be on the 4th line for the playoffs (knock on wood). Having him on the 4th line won’t be as bad as Dawes because he is physical.

    Hollweg-blah……he should be traded out west next year to make room for Byers.

    Jagr ain’t gonna be benched, so we have to live with him.

  8. Awful awful awful. “band aid on bullet wound” is exactly right.

    renney = bush league

    bring up “making the playoffs” bullshit and i give you Henrick Lunqvist. Renney has not done anything with this team besides stroke Jagr off long enough for him to play well and even that has run out. i hate being a ranger fan. WHAT A DAMN JOKE.

    theyre gonna be awful tonight…those were not quality moves by renney at all.

  9. I feel like he got it half-right. Looks like Prucha on the 2nd line, I would have preferred Dawes. I would much rather take my chances with a Malik-Mara pairing to keep Staal on the first pairing. He hasn’t done anything wrong to warrant being taken off that line. I would have sat Prucha actually if we could, but it sounds like Hossa has the flu.

  10. Doodie Machetto on

    That Girardi behind-the-back pass across the middle that led to the Vrbata breakaway, was that a set play too? He’s getting into a bad habit.

    Malik is garbage. He wanted to bench Hollweg and didn’t send Callahan to Hartford. Hmm, woudn’t putting Callahan on the 4th line satisfy this purpose? That way, you don’t need Malik-Rozsival to be a seive and Staal to get 5 minutes less ice time.

    And why would you keep Dawes away from Gomez and Shanahan!! They were so good in the preseason. Why can everyone see it but Renney!?

  11. Doodie Machetto on

    Strudwick-Betts-Orr and Hollweg-Betts-Orr remind me of that little shrimpy kid coming up to bat in little league and the pitcher tells everyone to come in because there’s no way he gets a good hit. The other team doesn’t have to play defense because there’s no chance that our 4th line scores.

    I’d say the top line was our best line, and indeed, were the only line I even noticed on the ice.

  12. 3 0.. terrible game so far.. they are playing terrible.. 3 crappy goals.. they can’t get the puck out of there zone, they go backwards to much, and the power play is as effective as ever…

    terrible outing…


  13. There was a real bad vibe going into this game sending Cally down…you could just taste it. Not so much that thats an awful move but you can just feel Renney “grasping at straws” for sure….

    *”Desperation is a stinky cologne.”*

  14. Ok…
    If the Coyotes wanted to they could take off their pads.
    I don’t think I’ve seen one hit all game. Our Rangers are playing like a bunch of sissies.

  15. Could they bring up the Wolf-pack to play the next game.
    This entire team needs “conditioning”

  16. Doodie Machetto on

    OK, aside from how terrible the team has looked, there’s no question that we need a legitimate back up, and Valiquette cannot do the job down the stretch.

    Also apparant is that Renney is lost. He just doesn’t know what to do to fix the team.

    At least I really like Gretzky and Fuhr. It makes the pill a little less bitter to swallow.

    5-0. Maybe we should re-evaluate the coaching situation, no?

  17. tom renney is the main reason this team stinks. end of story. get rid of this clown, he has no idea what he’s doing.

  18. Pathetic. They look like the old Rangers. Stars making a lot of money but can’t do anything. We pay good money for tickets and cable (oops, sorry, a gift today, free TV), and they can’t even show up.

  19. Pathetic

    I hope Orr starts playing dirty. I hope the whole fuggin team does. What an embarrassment.

    Dawes is up here to score mother fuggin goals, not pass the puck with 1 god damn second left, in 5 – 0 game.

    This whole team blows. We got lucky with the Devs, and we got lucky with the Caps. But this team hasnt had a convincing game in a while.

  20. This is an absolutely disgraceful effort. Does the entire team have the flu? If they’re not all wearing depends, there’s no excuse (and even if they are, I think the depends are leaking onto the ice).

  21. Marek Malik should not play again this year. The Rangers score one goal and react like “well, at least it’s not a shutout, we can keep playing like crap.” LAZY. PATHETIC.

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