Curious times

36

I’ve made this case before, but I’ll say it again: for all of your misery in seeing the Rangers struggle, there is at least no shortage of intrigue when they do. I offer today at practice as another example.

Beginning with….

  • The Rangers have found the answer to their goal scoring woes. It’s not practicing against Henrik Lundqvist. It’s not even practicing against a former Division III goalie like Chad Killam. No, the answer is a Shooter Tutor strapped to one of the nets today. The reason it was there is because Lundqvist is still out with the flu — although he did skate on his own before practice — and in the absence of another goalie, the Rangers were forced to be creative. Tom Renney’s plan is to skate Lundqvist in the morning skate tomorrow, and make a decision from there on whether he’ll play. If he can’t, I still wouldn’t count on seeing Al Montoya. It still sounds like it’ll be Stephen Valiquette.
  • You had to think Renney was going to shuffle his lines after yesterday’s debacle, and you were right: the coach had Scott Gomez back up with Jaromir Jagr and Martin Straka; Chris Drury between Brendan Shanahan and Nigel Dawes; and Brandon Dubinsky between Petr Prucha and Ryan Callahan (that’s not a misprint. More on that in a second). Of course, everyone stopped short of saying that’s what the lines will be tomorrow. Gomez was comically evasive, while Jagr looked downright disconsolate. “I don’t know,” he kept saying. For what it’s worth, Jagr still looks like he’s woozy from losing a tooth yesterday. We asked him if he went to the dentist, and he just flashed his broken set of teeth as a response.
  • As for Callahan, Renney called an audible, saying he opted to keep the right wing up in New York after all. Whether that means he’s back in the lineup or not is another story, although one could assume as much given the lines today. Callahan said he wasn’t sure what to expect, but he conceded he needed to get his game back on track regardless.
  • As for Dawes and Greg Moore, both are still up for the time being, and neither was in a position to complain. Awaiting every player at their locker today was a gift box from Tiffany. I remarked to Dawes that it’s probably better than what he would receive in Hartford. “Down there it’s Burger King certificates,” he cracked. The gift, by the way, was silver cufflinks with the Rangers “NYR” logo on it.
  • Sean Avery skated again, but in the dreaded green jersey. He’s out for tomorrow, and technically on injured reserve, although he was being pushed through the fitness testing by Perry Pearn that players are forced to go through before returning.

    More later…

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    36 Comments

    1. Wow – really all over the place at this point huh? Well, we’ll give the line shuffling a chance here. Can’t hurt.

      Jags inability to absorb some accountability needs to be recognized in the media Mr. Weinman.

      BK gift certificates….LOL

      This is from Panger’s blog. Sam – can you comment on this? Any clue?

      http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?blogger_id=100

    2. If Jagr continues to mope, give half efforts on the ice and act like a 2-year old, fans will not tolerate it for long. Soon the boos and nastiness the fans once saved for Malik will be sent cascading down from the blue seats in Jagr’s direction.

      There’s no moping in hockey! If Jagr wants to act all sullen, he should go play for the Knicks.

    3. I think it’s safe to say any concoction that Renney puts out there is imaginary. He has no thought process behind his lines.

    4. He doing exactly what all you boneheads have been spewing out for 2 weeks! What are you talkin about!?

      Sorry sports fans – I’m done for the day. Meetings galore.

      Sam can you post something on the meeting that Renney is having with Slats today?
      (as reported by blueshirtbulletin)

    5. Somebody prescribe Jagr some Prozac and let’s get on with it already. I mean, if 20 years in the league and a hall of fame career don’t convince you that you can play the game, I’m not sure if anything but the right drugs will. Either that or a good smack in the head.

    6. (repost)

      “Salty what the hell has Jagr done this season other than loose teeth? He’s has more lost teeth than goals! Drury gets 5 games with JJ and gets moved to 3rd line”

      Pay attention #1: I’m not supporting Jagr at all. I think he’s killing this team.
      Pay attention #2: Drury and Jagr play opposite games and have zero chemistry. Drury also cannot hold on to the puck or make a shifty move to save his life. Dubinsky and Jagr at least have chemistry, they just lack finish. Those of you saying Dubinski will never be more than a 3rd liner are braindead. He’s got more talent with the puck than we’ve seen in a long, long time. I’d even like to see him on the top line WITHOUT Jagr. Hows THAT bitches?

      Beer Me: I know what the C is about, and I know that it should be on the chest of Brendan Shanahan. Just because he doesn’t “need” it there doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong there. As for Drury, he’s no Captain. Look at how Buffalo treated the playoffs last year under his watch. He could simply NOT rally that RIDICULOUSY TALENTED team to show up for the playoffs. The Isles battled them well, we almost and should have beat them, and Ottawa embarrassed them. A good captain would have had that team STEAMROLL through both NYI and US and MOST LIKELY take OTT to at least game 7. He’s a good player but everyone knows he’s quiet and timid just like Brian Leetch….great player, maybe deserves an A after a while (not now) but certainly not a good C (not for a long time).

    7. “Salty what the hell has Jagr done this season other than loose teeth? He’s has more lost teeth than goals! Drury gets 5 games with JJ and gets moved to 3rd line”

      Pay attention #1: I’m not supporting Jagr at all. I think he’s killing this team.
      Pay attention #2: Drury and Jagr play opposite games and have zero chemistry. Drury also cannot hold on to the puck or make a shifty move to save his life. Dubinsky and Jagr at least have chemistry, they just lack finish. Those of you saying Dubinski will never be more than a 3rd liner are braindead. He’s got more talent with the puck than we’ve seen in a long, long time. I’d even like to see him on the top line WITHOUT Jagr. Hows THAT b1tches?

      Beer Me: I know what the C is about, and I know that it should be on the chest of Brendan Shanahan. Just because he doesn’t “need” it there doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong there. As for Drury, he’s no Captain. Look at how Buffalo treated the playoffs last year under his watch. He could simply NOT rally that RIDICULOUSY TALENTED team to show up for the playoffs. The Isles battled them well, we almost and should have beat them, and Ottawa embarrassed them. A good captain would have had that team STEAMROLL through both NYI and US and MOST LIKELY take OTT to at least game 7. He’s a good player but everyone knows he’s quiet and timid just like Brian Leetch….great player, maybe deserves an A after a while (not now) but certainly not a good C (not for a long time).

    8. Someone should tell Dubinsky his job is to SET UP HIS WINGERS and not try to beat the entire opposing team by himself every shift.

    9. I will concede that these lines actually make sense. I would look for Moore to go away after next game so he is gone before the roster freeze which starts Wednesday. This is the fifth separate time he has been with NYR this season, right?

    10. We need to make a trade now. Something to liven up this team. I’m not a Jagr basher but someone already said Shanahan is the Captain and we all know he is.

      As a lifelong Ranger fan who grew up watching Messier and Graves, i find myself as an adult who now compares everyone to them, in NY you need to show how much of a leader you are. This has nothing to do with North American or European, Daniel Alfredson, Mats Sundin, and retard Holik in Atlanta all play physical and can handle themselves if need be. I guess what I’m getting at here is your captain should not only be able to stand up for himself but all of his players, although he will never have to. I think that with the team that was created over the summer the best thing to do would be to package Jagr for something and lose him now rather than in free agency or if he retires. We will not win a Cup with him as our captain.

    11. I say drop Jagr to 3rd line minutes and see how he reacts. It should tell us all we need to know. If he accepts it and starts to play hard and EARN his way back up, thats great, but he *will* have to earn it if he wants to be the top man again. Otherwise, we’ll see if Jagr goes into a hissy fit, in which case we HAVE to deal him away and take what we can get. We can’t have a moaning baby bitch as our “top guy” let alone our Captain. If he accepts a diminshed role on this squad in order to help the team though, and he WORKS to get back on his game, it may be worth holding him though.

    12. Offense

      Straka – Drury – Jagr (hoping to spark BOTH Jags and Drury)

      Dawes – Gomez – Callahan (All about speed, doesn’t Dawes look like Gionta)

      Avery – Dubinsky – Shanahan (Toughness and will chip in a few points, plus give rest Shanny* a bit)

      Prucha – Betts – Hossa (Add in Orr if there is a need for “toughness, but since we never fight what’s the point of skating him)

      Deffense

      Rosival – Staal

      Tyutin – Giardi

      Mara – Sauer/Pock/Baranka/Santa Claus (Good bye to Malik and Strudwick THEY ARE TOO SLOW)

      *Get Shanny of the PK a well he should be playing less minutes………

      OK, well bash away…………

    13. I think we all know deep down:

      -They have been *bad* all year, Henke has won for us.
      -Jagr’s not getting dealt
      -Renney’s job is safe for the rest of the year
      -We’re in deep, deep shit
      -There is nothing encouraging about the immediate future of this team at all and its pathetic

    14. Salty: Agreed.

      How are idiots putting Callahan on the 2nd line? What has he done in is NHL career to make ANYONE think he was capable of being on the 2nd line? He scores goals in games we’re already winning. He’s the new Rucinsky.

    15. I’d like to throw one of these reminder posts out there.

      When the free agency frenzy was over, and we ended up with Drury and Gomez, while losing Nylander, Orts, Cullen etc, everyone said, “It will take some time to develop chemistry…”, or “We’ll mix up the line combinations til we get the right match…”, or “Our problems at center should be behind us…”. People who said these things also said, “none of it may work out well”.

      Well guess what? It is not working out well. I know there is still time for a push and it is really not all that bad. But lets face it. This year will likely be a carbon copy of last year in terms of result. Hopefully it will be no worse.

      That is all I’m asking for at this point.

    16. How are idiots putting Callahan on the 2nd line? What has he done in is NHL career to make ANYONE think he was capable of being on the 2nd line?

      In fairness, Callahan can be/has been one of our grittier players. You wouldn’t think Sean Avery to be an effective 2nd liner… but his SKILLS have worked there just as well as his “intangiables”.

      Ryan Callahan is New York Ranger. I have no doubt in my mind that the team looking so dead last night had a lot to do with the bad vibe that came with him being dropped from the lineup. He’s an impact player. You almost always notice him on a shift. He’s got raw NHL skill, he just need’s NHL polish. You cannot send this kid down for anything longer than a *legit* conditioning stint.

    17. If I remember correctly there have been a few games where we were up by a goal and lost. At that point I would have taken a goal from anyone.
      With the offensive production this year I wouldn’t complain about any scoring done by anyone to extend our lead

    18. Salty, agreed, again, but he isn’t a 2nd liner. I don’t think Avery is either. In fact, I’d say Avery with Dubi and Cally would be an ideal 2nd line.

    19. Staal Wart: I don’t mean insurance goals (winning 2-1 and scoring a 3rd), I mean pile-on goals (winning 4-2 and scoring the 5th with a few minutes to go).

    20. Fruity Cupcake on

      Pang’s right. For ALL the video tributes MSG throws together, you’d think there’d be one for Gretz. In SEC426 we talked about it, expecting to see one, but figured that maybe they asked Wayne and he said “Thanks so much, but don’t bother, eh.”

    21. What I thought was really weird ws when Mess retired and they had the ceremony, they had all those video blurbs of old friend and players and NOTHING of Gretz! I was really surprised Gretz wasnt on the ice in person for that, let alone no quick video saying congrats…. totally weird.

      If you ever read Gretz autobiography you know how tight he and Mess were, almost brotherly.

    22. agree that some video should have been shown for the Great One – which is the reason I got the game as one of mine to go to.

      Salty – totally disagree with Dubinsky. At this point he is nowhere near a 1st center unless our goal is to sabotage the season and get a great draft pick. Maybe he’ll be better in 2 or 3 yrs. From what I’ve seen he’s 3rd line material. Not too impressed with any of our young forwards on the parent club. Do like the young d better though.

    23. I don’t know if I am calling for Renney’s head yet but I have never seen him show any emotions. When there is a lack of calls or our guys are getting mugged he just shalkes his head. He does not need ot have a fit on the bench but at least work the refs.

    24. Right now this season is becoming a horror. Even though we will still most likely make the playoffs, its still a horrific season. Last year we needed centermen for Jags and Shanny, now this season we need scoring. Every year we need something else. But if Jagr continues to not put up points, then seriously, this should be his last year, at least in NY.

      Ive been a Jags fan my whole life. I hate saying this, and i went crazy when NYR brought him over, and thought it was the best move. But he isnt bringing his game, and if he’s playing good, he’s not putting up points like we expect him too.

      I will never say bringing Drury, and Gomez in was the wrong move. It was the right one, for the future. But maybe trading Jags for another goal scorer, or dumping him at the end of the year to sign a goal scorer might be the best move. Im not the kind of fan who boo’s players because of the way they play, the reason i dont like Malik is for his whiny comments in the paper, but thats a story for another time, but like i said, i really really hate saying this about Jagr.

      All of you will probably burn the hell out of me for saying this, but if Jags doesnt end the season well, or the playoffs well, and if Sather has any shot at getting Hossa, then id make the switch. Although there’s no way that would happen, cause Hoss will stay with ATL. Anyway enough about that.

      If anything, the good thing to come out of yesterdays game is, Jovo probably got freaked out by the way they played, and probably decided right there that he wouldnt waive his NTC for them.

      Also the Isles gave Simon “Time away from the team” for counceling or some crap, does this mean he’s not getting suspended??

    25. “ORR..Talented Mr. Colton Douglas Orr

      Also the Isles gave Simon “Time away from the team” for counceling or some crap, does this mean he’s not getting suspended??”

      That is the Islanders pre-emptive attempt at minimizing what should be another LENGTHY suspension. They are making a statement that they are doing what they can to handle the matter responsibly? I’m sure in the hopes that the league will not impose a really long suspension.

    26. Steve Bahoo.com on

      If the Rangers can’t find a way to turn things around quickly, I really would not be surprised to see Renney or Jagr on their way out of NY. Jagr has not been the leader or scorer that he needs to be. Screw what everybody is saying about Dubinsky not playing well. Jagr is supposed to be the type of player who elevates the play of his teammates surrounding him. He is playing like a big wimp out on the ice. He just does not care. WAKE UP RANGERS!!!

    27. Back in preseason, the line of Dawes-Gomez-Shanahan was great for the few games they were together. I do not recall them being together at all during the regular season games.

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