One thing you can count on


Just think, if the Rangers hold Paul Stastny to four goals night, they can beat their chests and say, “Well, we shut him down.”

There is humor in there somewhere, if you can get past the fact that a team that was supposedly determined to maintain its defensive intensity was still exposed time and again last night against the Wild.

Five goals? Was that a dream? Was that really Marian Gaborik or was it the invicible Jeremy Roenick from the Sega hockey game we played endlessly as freshmen in college?

Look, we had said it before that any wins over this three-game set would be considered impressive. We just didn’t expect the other games to turn into the personal highlight reels for members of the opposition.

The good news is the Rangers get right back at it tonight, and whereas sometimes coming right back after a tough loss is an opportunity to be driven further into the ground, I suspect the Rangers will want only to make the mistakes of last night disappear as quickly as possible.

More later.

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  1. Sorry for the re-post:

    Prucha may need to play with his elbows up and his head on a pivot, and the team may need to back him (and others) up more, but let’s face it: Petr Prucha could get pushed around by a high-schooler.

    On a bigger note, I am finally pissed at Renney. The biggest thing I have against the coach, whom I’ve tried to believe in, is that this team’s flaws have been their flaws for a long time and he/Slats don’t do anything about it: the Rangers play with no heart and almost never for 60 minutes; when they pull ahead by even one goal they seem to collectively believe it means they ARE the great team everyone thought they would be instead of the mediocre team they actually are; their PP is impotent; the defense is soft and mostly a reflection of one man, Henrik, who isn’t a defenseman; and the whole team is designed to live and die by three people, H and J and Avery—and H refuses to admit he gets tired or fatigued, J seems to have no ability to adapt to change, and A is injury-prone.

    Everything about that—which has put the Rangers into this limbo—was obvious after 5 games. Or, arguably, even two years ago, after the post-Olympic collapse.

    And that’s bad management.

  2. I think this team needs a trade to shake things up a bit. Something has to change. Maybe the return of Avery is all that is needed but I wouldn’t mind seeing a deal.

    If there’s a big defensman that can be had I think they need to pull the trigger. Guys like Gaborik shouldn’t be allowed to stand in the crease and bat at pucks without at least thinking that they are going to get hit.


  4. found this on tsn. looks like Sakic and Smyth are both out tonight. they are playing 5 rookies which means each rookie will have his break out game tonight.

    FROM TSN: Neither Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth practiced Thursday, and it was revealed Sakic, in fact, has not skated since Saturday, his groin injury feeling sorer. Smyth, meanwhile, was awaiting word on further tests on a neck injury that apparently was so severe he couldn’t move his head in any direction without sharp pain. Neither will play tonight against the New York Rangers. Instead, the Avs will ice a lineup with five rookies who started the season at Lake Erie of the American Hockey League… Defenceman Jordan Leopold did not practice because of a thigh laceration. But Quenneville said he should be back soon. To add forward depth, the Avs called up rookie David Jones from Lake Erie…Brad Richardson continues to be out day-to-day with a shoulder injury. Defenceman Jordan Leopold (thigh laceration) is recovering well, the team said, but is unlikely to play tonight against the Rangers. – Denver Post

  5. Thank God the Rangers drafted Hugh Jessiman over Parise and Richards. I swear it seems like every team the Rangers play has a bushel of home grown forwards that can fill the net. The Rangers really have no young franchise player outside of Lundqvist. Hell nobody is really close. The Rangers have totally retarded Prucha’s development and have wasted time on Hossa instead of giving Dawes a fair shake.

  6. graves 9 be real.. yeah staal stinks, yeah giradi at 23 has reached his peak, yeah Prucha 55 + goals for his career is done, dawes will never develop, and on and on..

    yes the rangers do not have any known top end scorers neither do most teams….

    the rangers have a lot of minor league talent and the 2 russians have huge upside(we will have to wait and see if they develop)….

    The rangers actually except for the big 3(jagr, straka, and shanny) are very young team….

  7. Players I would trade right now:

    -Hossa (obv)
    -Malik (obv)


    Is he really going to want to sign up to play here cheap and LONG TERM when this team has shown it cant back him up?

    I think this is a SERIOUS question that people are ignoring. January is just around the corner and the plan seems to have been to sign Lundqvist long term in the new year. Also, is Sather going to lowball him for the recent lapses???

  8. Maybe the Rangers should bring up Montoya to shake things up a bit. Play him and Hank every other game and see what happens. Hanks been giving up too many softies lately.
    Definitly not the guy we saw earlier this season. I know its a crazy idea but hey.
    Even the players who are “playing well” are really only playing ok. They just aren’t making the glaring mistakes. I hate to say it but I don’t know if I can even sit thru another game tonight. The thought of another game like the past few other than the Pens game just turns my stomach.

  9. as of late what has Hank done to deserve the big money?
    Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy but really what has he done lately?
    Salty for some strange reason I agree with u on almost all those trades other than Drury. I love the guy and think that maybe he is having a difficult time learning to play Renney’s wonderful “system”
    I say f*** the system, it obviously sucks.

  10. Renney’s non-action after the Prucha hit makes me sick to my stomach. Remember what happened when Neil elbowed Drury? That’s what should have happened last night. Last night’s elbow wasn’t nearly as dirty, but who cares. If I was Tom Renney I would have put Orr, Strudwick, Hollweg and someone else who can drop ’em (Dubi, Shanny, Cally or Mara) out on the ice and said go nuts. But no, Mr. Renney is the class of the league who would never do such a darned thing. Last time I checked, class doesn’t win jack squat. The teams that win are gritty and will do whatever it takes. I’m going to go barf now.

  11. And by the way, Renney needs to sit Jagr down and tell him to be a man. It’s disgusting that this guy is our captain. Leetch played some of his best hockey under Mike Keenan and apparently Keenan was extremely critical of him. Keenan was constantly telling him how he played too soft and that he was no Chris Chelios. In the end, that worked out pretty well for us. Well it’s time someone sat down Jagr and tell him to man up.


  12. Stuart you shill I’ve got no interest in your proganda. I bet you think Jessiman was a good draft pick huh? Parise and Richards pffffft who needs em? We got Jessiman who if he’s lucky will be a third or fourt line grinder in the Nhl. Who can forget #1 Rangers shill Sam Nosen trying to compare Jessiman to Cam Neely. Prucha sure is getting a chance with his 9-10 minutes a night while Hossa averages about 15-17 minutes a night.

  13. Leetch was a putrid Captain after Messier left. Imo Adam Graves should have been made Captain. I have more of an issue with Drury’s play than Jagr’s.

  14. Graves9,
    You forgot to add in Dustin Brown (Who’s from Ithaca, NY and grew up a Rangers fan) selected #13, Ryan Getzlaff #19, Brent Seabrook #14, Patrice Bergeron #45, Patrick Eaves #29, and many others,, all selected after Hugh Jessiman ’03. What a bust.

  15. how could you even distinguish between the play of Drury and Jagr? They are both pathetic, the only difference is Jagr is our “captain” (if only I could have made the font smaller) and Drury is not. Drury just got here, and now I’m starting to think Jagr has been here too long.

  16. Please stop with the posts on the Jessiman pick. After Gaborik’s 5 goals last night, it’s like adding insult to injury.

  17. Please stop with the Jessiman posts because it’s boring. Okay, he’s a bust. We know. Enough already, nothing can be done about the past.

  18. Chris F – “the Rangers play with no heart and almost never for 60 minutes” I actually thought they did show some heart last night. more than usual at least. but the 60min effort was more scarce at the beginning than it is now.

    BSKUL – you really offer nothing to this blog. just thought you should know.

    zzyzx – Messier coached that team as much as keenan did. You know that. Unfortunately, there’s only one messiah

    I totally don’t think Hank SHOULD get the long term deal he wants. I respect the fact of how good a goalie he can be at times. But I fear that his inconsistancy will continue throughout his career, thus crippling the team for long stretches of time. 3 years, 15-18mil. And not to mention Avery not staying healthy. HE wants 4mil. At this point, there’s no way.

    Here we go again with everyone freakin out after a loss. 1-0, 2-1, 6-3, they’re all losses. And we’re STILL 2pts out of the div lead. This is a BIG ‘what if’ (i know), but IF we should win tonight and the devs lose, we’ll be back in 1st. I don’t understand how you can be angry at anyone (eventhough I hate jags at this point too).

    Someone was trying to compare isiah to renney – not even close. The knicks are the laughing stock of the league. The Rangers are in the midst of a division race. I’ve said it before that every team in the league with the exception of DET has been streaky this year. We haven’t come close the the 7-8-9 game losing streaks that the devils and the sens have both gone through.

    I have the utmost faith that we’ll go into the playoffs no lower than #5.

    Rob L. – glad to see us using the right ‘tools’ and doing the research.

  19. I asked my bro this question earlier today. Now I will ask the masses.

    Why is it that the Rangers Brass/Scouts can never find us a big name talent like Gaborik, Illa, Vinny, Heatley, Alfredson, Spezza, Zetterberg…? I could go on but you get my point and know the others in the league.

    I can’t remember one on this team in last 10 years. Jagr is one but he really only had one good season last year.

  20. Yesterday was humiliating. I don’t even want to go back to that game anymore. Imagine how our Czech players have to feel, they hate Slovaks.
    Anyway, I’d love to see some trades that could spark our team. I don’t agree that we should trade Drury (I know, he was more than terrible last night but who wasn’t?), you know that it would be stupid and it’s not happening, no matter what. IMO, Sather should move Hossa and Malik asap. Jagr is not happening too althought I’d love to see that. At least take that C away from Jags. Anybody knows what has happened with Callahan, he looks totally out of sync! For God’s sake!

  21. Richard,

    Those Russians could become those guys. And Lundqvist is that guy (probably). And Staal may become that guy, in his own way, soon enough.

  22. Heres the usual routine. Everyone freaks out until the all star break then we turn it around and go to the playoffs on a hot streak. Anyone who says trade drury please stop speaking. The guy should be on the top line but as usual the whole gameplan is focused on the almighty jagr and who he can and cant play with. I love renny but this team isnt the group of kids he coached in 05.06… Theres superstars on this team we need someone to light a fire under their asses….. And i love how everyone suddenly turns on henrik after a few bad games… Guess what: montoya is just as incosistent…too expensive.. And not ready for the nhl so stop making him a young luongo. No hank: no wins this year

  23. Richard- All those guys were #1 picks, as a result of finishing last year after year. Basically that is the reward for sucking. It is also not exactly the brilliance of the scouting staffs to select those guys. Lundqvist in the 7th round is a job well done by the scouting staff. Selecting Ilya Kovalchuck isn’t like finding some kid no one has ever heard of.

    As for the rest of the panic-stricken crowd- stay away from sharp objects and tall bridges. The Rangers will win tonight.

    Renney gets a misconduct for yelling at the refs (something that people have been calling for, saying he doesn’t show any emotion) and we get scored on. The way the Minnesota Power Play was going, we couldn’t afford to go head hunting, even if it would have been satisfying. If we took a penalty and then got scored on again, people would have said Renney was stupid for retaliating. No Credibility for the poster who will damn Renney if he does and Damn him if he doesn’t.

    The game wasn’t that bad last night, really. We dominated the first half of the game and were done in by an amazing performance by a brilliant player. Hank wasn’t stellar and the Wild capitalized on every mistake.

  24. CM,

    I think there was a lot more lazy play and lack of effort or smarts than you’re accounting for. That game was bad. Not end of the world, bad, maybe, but bad.

    And for everyone who thinks that the Rangers can automatically become hot going into the spring and earn themselves a slot, it doesn’t always happen so easily. Not to mention, we’ve seen the results — no cups.

  25. I just mentioned Montoya to light a fire under Hanks keester of late. I’m not expecting perfection every night but the man has let in alot of soft goals of late. Like I said I really like Hank and think he is our goaltender of the future but of late he doesn’t look like it

  26. I agree with you Colorado. Well said.
    We HAVE good players and prospects that should become stars in this league:
    -Anisimov (why don’t recall him from Hartford and send Dubi down?);
    I root for a win tonight.

  27. And BSKUL,
    Who do you want as coach? all you ever say is “fire Renney” but you never offer any input. If your gonna say something at least back it up with a little thought, cause you sound like your in HS

  28. Beer Me! says:
    “”I totally don’t think Hank SHOULD get the long term deal he wants. I respect the fact of how good a goalie he can be at times. But I fear that his inconsistancy will continue throughout his career, thus crippling the team for long stretches of time.””

    I want to see the Rangers become a team that can back up a struggling goaltender by getting him a lot of goals to cover for him. The Rangers can’t do that now, even with the fact that we are pretty much capped out.

  29. I don’t know about any of you, but that game strengthened my resolve that we need to make a push for Gaborik if he becomes a free agent at the end of next season. John Buccigross and Barry Melrose think Gaborik has the potential to be a 50, 60 goal scorer but he’s injured a lot and plays in a defensive, team first system in Minnesota. If they opt not to resign him (though I can’t imagine why) he would be an invaluable asset to an Eastern team with their more wide open offensive style. He would help on the powerplay and during shootouts and he has the speed to match Gomez when he rushes into the offensive zone. By that time I’m fairly sure Jagr, Shannahan, and Straka will all be gone (possibly Avery) and their salaries with them. Invest in Gaborik!

    I’m sick of people calling for the firing of Renney. December was an abominable month for us last year too and look at what happened in the second half of the year. Instead of Renney, I think individuals need to hold themselves responsible, ESPECIALLY Lundqvist. I love this guy to death, but he seems so evasive when he plays bad. Supposedly his dad’s health is on his mind. But if it’s such a distraction, I say give him a leave of absense. Maybe the holidays will do him some good.

    Which reminds me, what do we do if he goes down with injury? Valiquette’s last few games have shown he’s not capable of the load and he wasn’t brought up to be a possible starter. Do we bring up Montoya then? Sign Cujo to a year long deal?

  30. I’m a firm believer in generally avoiding players that are injury-prone. Was anything more frustrating than Bure? Though I suppose he was a bit old, but that’s just one example.

  31. WB,

    Cujo would be a great option for the rest of the year if Lundqvist needs a break. Valiquette is an AHL goalie at best. The guy can make some highlight reel saves like he did last night, but for the most part he gives up long rebounds often that lead to goals. Montoya should also be given a couple of games during this time.

    I say trade Jagr while he still has some value. He is on the decline, and proably will never score 30 G or 100 points again.

  32. Does anyone else think JJ’s problems are more a combination of mental crap and a system that isn’t working for him. If he was on a team that made him giddy, and he had players who had their own pure ability to score and so he got more room than he does now, I feel confident he could still score 100 points easy. Maybe I’m delusional.

  33. Col Mark – good call on the coach.

    GBPrucha – I wish we could wake up tomorrow and it would be the case.

  34. this team will go to the playoffs and may win a round. but they are not big enough or strong enough to put up with the beating they will take night in and night out. they will lose a war of attrition. I am not surprised at the lack of goals. Shanahan is our only finisher, and he isn’t what he once was. I thought Prucha might be a decent finisher but he has slipped. even Jagr is not a good finisher. Look at how awful he is in shootouts. Every team needs a few snipers and a few bangers. We are short in those departments. I on’t care what system we are in. Our D does not move people out. And our forwards do not finish checks or goal opportunities.

  35. Gaborik is good but he has the worst groin of alltime. My man is always having groin problems. I see the Rangers getting someone like Marion Hossa and then it’s gonna turn into the 80s all over again for a few years; playoffs yes, but no real shot at winning.

  36. hockeymanrangers on

    Any one watching the game?? Can the Rangers make tw0 good passes in a row??? Their passing is sucks tonight.

  37. another game another loss for the rangers, they were lucky henrik stood on his head in the first they really didnt deserve a point in this one

  38. Well,
    I said a few post back that i would be happy with three points!!!
    That means now that the rangers have to beat Ottawa straight up!!!!

    Good Luck!!!

  39. Christ!!! I HAVE ENOUGH OF THIS TEAM!!! E N O U G H!!! There is only one MAN on this team and it’s SHANNY!!! Who’s the Captain? Jagr? WHO?????????

  40. Chris F –

    I can tell you this – if you youtube Jagr and watch a highlight film of his best 10 or 20 goals with Pittsburgh, he does nothing on any of those goals that he cannot do now physically. Its not as though he was much faster or quicker – he just knew he would score. Now he knows he never will – at least in his head.

  41. That’s a tough loss to swallow, but at least we got a point. I can’t believe how many times Lundqvist is giving up four goals in a game. I feel like the defense mostly did their job tonight besides the first goal where Strudwick couldn’t clear it, which actually was the downfall again later when Betts I think couldn’t get it out.

  42. I’m really starting to question Renney as the head coach. I’ve never seen a fourth line get so much ice time in my life. Leave it to Orr to take a lazy penalty to let the Avs tie it up.

    30 seconds left, score tied 3-3, and who do I see on the ice? Hollweg-Betts-Orr. How is Tom Renney in the NHL? What kind of mindless idiot do you have to be to play your 4th line at a time like that?

    Can’t believe the turnover by Strudwick to allow the second goal. Lundqvist stood on his head in the first, and the Rangers just let him hang out to dry all night long. No one will take the body at all. Three men on the game winner just standing around doing absolutely nothing. THREE MEN!

    There are losses, and then there are losses like those to Phoenix, Minnesota and Colorado that make you realize just how many gaping holes this team has. They can’t score, they can no longer play defense, Lundqvist can’t play outstanding for 60 minutes anymore.

    Get rid of Renney.

  43. Spiderpig- Henrik did give up 4 goals tonight, but just imagine how many it could have been if Henrik wasn’t brilliant in the 1st peroid.

    Also anyone feel Jagr should not of went for the line change in ot?

  44. that piece of crap Jagr just stood on the ice at the bench as the Avs went in for the winning goal. the “craptain” probably didn’t get the minus he so richly deserved.

    what a fraud he is.

  45. What about Drury?! He has looked average in most games and in others has been down right bad and mistake ridden. He for the most part has been completely unnoticeable on the ice. I for one am sick and tired of waiting for his “intagibles” to become tangible results on the ice. He is the highest paid (grossly overpaid) effort(mediocre skilled) player in hoceky.

  46. this team is horrible, the defense blows as do the 3rd and 4th lines. Not to mention drury and jagr suk

  47. they have 17 wins in 35 games.

    2 wins in their last 9. a losing team so far.

    they have not won in Denver since it was mcnichols arena in ’99

  48. now you fools are starting to get it. Renney is a complete loser who has no idea how to run a hockey team. he should never have been named head coach. there’s a reason he was pathetic in vancouver. the guy is NOT A COACH! end of story, fire this loser asap!

  49. it was the losing Renney “system” that Messier objected to in Vanc., and that got him fired.

  50. wow the losers are out in force.. stop the whining frustrated peewee coach’s who love meaningless hits and other nonsense.. good game, the rangers had there chances and got a point that is it, nothing more or less.
    losers, complain everyday.. yeah let’s go back to te ron low days……

  51. No doubt about it Drury is certainly not earning his ridiculously high salary & captain Jagr is a real mental case. Jagr doens’t like to play defensive hockey but it was ok when he was scoring on a daily basis. I really think this team would be far better off without Jagr & Straka. They’re both well beyond their peaks. Totally fed up with the lack of discipline & commitment. There has always been a battle between Jagr & Renney. I think it’s time to rest Jagr for a few games. Also, miss Hossa defensively.

  52. Lone Ranger
    I am surprised that you would say that about Straka. Since he has come back the Rangers have become a much greater offensive threat. Straka definitely still has the hands, and unteachable gnack around the net. Never in question in my mind are his fitness, effort, defensive prowess, and straight up speed. I cannot believe given his performance upon returning, that you would criticize Straks, let alone suggest that he is a detriment to the team. Martin Staka is a big chunk of the Rangers ticket to success this year. I thank god that he is back!!!

  53. stf (send Dubinsky down, please!) on

    How come nobody complains about Dubinsky’s recent play? Every game this guy cost us a GOAL! Stupid, immature penalties, bad turnovers, HE NEEDS TO GO DOWN TO HARTFORD!!! BRING ANISIMOV UP!!! Artem was flying in the preseason. Also, besides losing I loved the way Dawes played. He was great. Also, PLEASE, PLEASE give C to Shanahan! Maybe Jagr has to be benched at least one game, he’s NO CAPTAIN and he’s no longer one of the best.
    I also noticed that Renney kept 4th line at the end of the game, come on… Another thought, why does NOBODY bump opponent team’s players in front of our goal??? What the heck?

  54. Dubi needs to sit-on the train to Hartford. Too many guys on this team underperforming. Too much watching the action. Too much lazy,weak play around both nets.

    Sam, is there more going on with hank? Injury? Personal issues? Or can he simply not rescue a weak team every game?

  55. stf – agreed on dubinsky. I can’t say I’m as ‘angry’ as you are about it, but I think he’d get the message to spend a week there.

    Although I don’t agree that there is a separation in the locker room(Euro/N.A.) but I certainly see it amongst the fan-base, more specifically on this blog. I would love to see a poll, here, to see where everyone stands. Coaching or Execution on the part of the players? And ‘executing the coach’ is not an option ;)

    SAM – can you put a new poll up here?

    1outof3 – “craptain” – HILARIOUS.

    Captian pout – just to point out here…what exactly did vancouver acheive by firing renney? Enlighten us all please.

    I STILL believe that we can pull out a win over OTT, and get our 3 points out of these 3 games. I’m still not worried. Just a matter of getting the right personel at the right time. It’ll come. Stop freaking out everyone.

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