Red-eyed and juiced

41

UPDATE, 10 a.m.: For the second time in a month, Ryan Callahan has been sent down to Hartford, with Nigel Dawes and Greg Moore both back on their way up. Callahan, of course, never actually made it to Hartford when he was sent down on paper the first time. But as he’s struggled to score since returning from his knee injury, it’s safe to say he’ll be going there for sure this time. 

 
OK, we’re back from our hiatus while we tended to the not-so-insignificant duties of helping bring a new life into the world. As you might imagine, things at Blog Headquarters are more hectic than ever, but the good news is as of this writing, my two-and-a-half-year old has yet to go all Chris Simon on his new baby brother.

Stay tuned, though, because those two are far from finished.

As for you readers, your kind words and comments mean more than you’ll ever know. Some of you I know personally and some I don’t. But the fact that all of you were so enthusiastic about Little Will’s arrival proves hockey fans have their hearts in the right places after all.

I also appreciate your patience since my personal reality over the past few weeks has come at the expense of my efforts here. I’ll be honest when I say I’m still probably going to be busier than I’ve ever been in the weeks and months to come. But the good news is covering hockey rarely feels like work, and I’m anxious to get back to it regardless.

In fact, at one point while my wife was in labor on Thursday night, a moment of temporary insanity took over and I wanted to put the Rangers-Canucks game on the hospital TV. I fortunately muzzled myself before I even suggested as much. Because if I did, I’d be probably asking one of you for a couch to sleep on.

So there you have it. Since Will just arrived home from the hospital yesterday, I’m taking one more day off before returning to work tomorrow. But my colleague Brian Heyman will be covering practice for me today, and I’ll be sure to pass along whatever updates he provides.

Until then….

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41 Comments

  1. Congrats again Sam. Now if we could just find a way to transfer the rage your wife would have displayed had you put on the Rangers game to Renney for when someone takes a stupid offensive zone penalty, we might just have something.

  2. If you would’ve put the game on, you BOTH would’ve been in pain!! Welcome back.

    Glad to see the right move was made to snd Cally back to htfd for conditioning. The only way he doesn’t come back is if Dawes out-right steals his spot. The competition to get into the lineup is one of those ‘sparks’ we need.

    Sam – can you have Heyman ask Malik if he’s purchased any automatic weapons recently??

  3. First to Sam, congrats on #2. My 2nd guy is now nearly 3 mos old and let me say a few things: 1) 1 + 1 does not equal 2. 2) Someone always needs something. 3) Just when you thought you had the kid thing mastered, bring on #2 and see how little you know. 4) With the first kid, it was all new and your weakness was the unknown. With the 2nd kid, it is the lack of time to do anything because of (2) above, that makes it so challenging. 5) That old army commericial (or marines or whatever) “the toughest job you’ll ever love,” is way more applicable to parenthood than anything else. Good Luck Sam!

    P.S. My little guy slept a full 8 hours last night. So it will suck for a while and then get better!

    After 203 entries on the last blog I decided to address the Renney question here: There are a few things that I think leave us frustrated.

    1) Stubbornness. Sticking with Malik this long. Sticking with a totally shite powerplay for this long. The definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We are all going insane watching this, I think.

    2) Inability to hold people accountable. This goes to #1 a bit. Compare his demeanor to Keenan’s. Keenan never kowtowed to anyone. He ruled with an iron fist. Remember when he made Kovalev skate during a game for like 5 minutes? Renney should make Jagr do this when Jags gets lazy and sloppy (too often). Renney rules with a cool, calm demeanor but oftentimes it appears like he is just a puppet for his big players.

    3) Questionable decision making. Someone pointed it out earlier, but why keep a guy like Hollweg? Because he is a good guy? Because he has a funny dance? Big f-ing deal. The guy is a menace out there. He loses fights, he gets 5 min match penalties for stupid hits. Get rid of the guy already. Colton Orr is a far more effective player than Hollweg. Keeping the 4th line out there when we are down by a goal with 5 mins to go? Allowing Jagr 75 seconds of powerplay time when his unit cannot generate one shot on goal?

    All of these issues kind of tie together. I think Renney has done a good job raising the caliber of hockey in NYC. But I do not think he is the guy to manage a team like this to the next level and win a Cup. Sorry. I just don’t see it. Renney might have a system but the truth is that the players within the system are still doing a lot of their own things.

    Renney does not have the ability to get the whole team focused and going in the same direction. They have moments of brilliance but there is too much inconsistencey and too many breakdowns. I blame Renney for the team’s tendencies.

    Why do they dominate games but not the scoreboard? There is something wrong with their offensive zone hockey. They are not screening the goalie, crashing the net, or finishing. Who else should we blame?

  4. Exactly Newman.

    Either Renney is not coaching them to go to the net, or the player aren’t responding to Renney’s coaching. Neither reflects well on Renney.

  5. Doodie Machetto on

    I’ve been away for a few days, so Congratulations Sam! I was looking in on babywatch intently, and I’m glad to see that Will has ben delivered safely and healthy. Here’s wishing all the best to you and yours.

  6. Western Canada Survivor on

    Congrats Sam and good post by New Newman. I actually just returned from Western Canada where I went to all three games-simply put,this team is going nowhere with Tom Renney as the head coach. Some observations:

    a) Goaltending: Kiprusoff and Brodeur, even after a bad game get the start in back to back games. Why Valiquette was put in against Vancouver, with Lundqvist having the potential opportunity to go head-to-head with the best goalie in the league and prove himself is beyond me. Renney put them in a position to lose from the second the puck dropped. Vali could have played in Edmonton. Additionally, since Keenan called out Kiprusoff, the Flames have won 12 of 13. Renney needs to grow a pair, but also give Lundqvist an opportunity in all of the big games.

    b) Fourth line: There are many reasons why we aren’t scoring, but having the fourth line play regular shifts, mind you a fourth line that has scored only 2 goals all season is mind boggling. I nearly booked an immediate return ticket to New York, when this line came on with 5 minutes left in Vancouver, when we were down by 1. This line has a purpose, but not when we need to score, and not in the third period.

    c) Power Play: Despite all of our issues, if we had a functional power play, we would have won at least 2 of 3 on this past trip and several other games this year. Spezza doesn’t come off Alfredsson and Heatley’s line during the pp, so why does Dubinsky still play with Jagr and Straka? Renney’s continued incompetency in putting together 2 successful power play units is killing us. Remember, it took until March of last year for Professor Renney to actually get this together and remember what happened? Right, we started winning.

    d) Line changes/Penalties: Dumb penalties is a sign of a complete lack of discipline. Translation: the coaching staff has no control over these players. In the third period of all 3 games during this trip, we took several killer penalties which lead to crushing goals and losses. Additionally, the too many men on the ice penalty we took on our power play in Calgary was indicative of a team that is out of synch. Additionally, how many times do you feel we blow many odd-man rushes? Usually it’s because we’re making a line change at the time-I’ve never watched a team that takes changes at such inopportune times.

    e) Our system: We play a dump and chase system and never drive to the net. Calgary, Vancouver, and Edmonton play slightly different systems, but Renney never makes in-game changes-he just continues to roll four lines who dump it in, change, and repeat. We don’t ever work down low anymore and never draw penalties. How long did it take him to remove Dubinsky from the first line or to bench Malik? The list could go on-we’re wasting precious points because this coach is so stubborn and doesn’t change his system. It’s a fine system BUT doesn’t work with the team we have.

    f) Callahan: Don’t get me wrong, Ryan Callahan has had a tough go of it this year, but he still has as many goals as Marcel Hossa and is still a step up from Prucha. Nigel Dawes has already proven that he’s not a two way player and Greg Moore is another fourth line superstar. Renney has not given Callahan an adequate chance to play his game. He’s not on the power play and instead of playing with scorers like Shanny and Avery last year, he has been with two players who don’t complement his game.

    g) Note to all of you fans considering following the team on future long road trips on the other side of the continent-don’t go as long as Tom Renney is still the Rangers coach.

  7. Congratulations, Sam, on the birth of your second son! I can relate to where you’re coming from as far as the game was concerned, but lucky you, you didn’t have to watch that one. The day after my first son was born, my husband had him listening to a Rangers-Devils game on the radio in the hospital. Pays to start ’em out young!
    Anyway, welcome back, and congratulations again. I’m too frustrated with the Rangers these days to even want to talk about them, so I’ll just leave it alone until after the game tomorrow. But Newman, I agree with the points you’ve made. We need more fire behind the bench, and maybe even a small one underneath it!

  8. Renney better give Dawes a fair shake this time or I’m gonna call Sharpton!

    ,.,.,.,.,.,

    Holy smokes, that made me laugh…

  9. Yeah, congrats Sam. Good luck.

    New Newman, good post. Hollweg shows a good period every month and that prolongs his NHL survival. Want it to be b.s., but it’s not. He should go. I don’t care about his locker room value anymore…

    Let’s not forget, people, not every young player who can’t score goals can suddenly get PP time; it’d be like 8 on 4, 10 on 3. Not that it could hurt the power play. Man, does it suck.

  10. If the PP was working nobody would be as pissed.

    Hollweg sits tomorrow night because of his inability to realize that a 1-1 game with 11:00 to go is NOT a spot to drill a guy right in the numbers.

  11. I am completely finished with Hollweg. He does not deserve to have a roster spot. He’s a penalty waiting to happen. He going to paralyze someone with all these hits from behind. He’s useless and brings nothing to the table. Bring up Byers or Jessiman to take his spot. Both those guys could play on the 4th line and do an adequate job.

  12. Yes indeed congratulations again Sam. Its a shame to make those roster moves and still leave Malik and Hossa here. 7 out of 9 at home, We need to make a move. The Conference is so tight that if you get on a run, you can pass about 5 or 6 teams. Need W’s.

  13. The only reason Jessiman would ever get called up is for P.r purposes he’s a bigger stiff than Hossa. The 4th lines job is to get a good forecheck going , draw penalties and add energy and toughness. I think it’s ridiculous to get on any teams 4th line for not scoring. The top 6 forwards let alone the top nine forwards are not getting the job done.

  14. Sam,

    http://seamusoriley.blogspot.com/

    6 kids later….

    fatherhood is the greatest thing in the world. enjoy every moment. I know this is off topic but I just wanted to share something with you.
    When I was very young and my first was born, a son, I had read just about every parenting book in print….some good, some awful. I wanted to be the best dad in the world. I did find one book, that I have gone back to over and over and over:

    “The Life and Letters of Robert E. Lee”

    It is the best book on fatherhood I have ever read. In his letters, you learn the riches of being so close to your children; and how easy discipline becomes when your hearts are knit together. My oldest son just celebrated his 22nd birthday….my littlest is 5. My oldest and I laughed….22 years and he has never once spoken back to me. Why? We were always just so close…we talked things through. Today, he is my Ranger buddy and fellow adult (I still have trouble turning off being a parent, but I always respect his judgment). Lee was a great man, a hater of racism, a brave and honorable man (Lincoln first asked him to lead the Federal army, but he chose to defend his homeland instead), but was a wonderful father. I hope you can pick up the book.

    If you get time, peruse my blog and go back a bit and see the fun I have with my kids (we are in Maine now, and that is why we have the huge ice rink –AND why I have to pay a lot to see the beloved Rangers!).

    I hope you enjoy every moment with Will. As a dad, I did change diapers and did bathe and even had my wife pump so I could feed the kids. The bond is great. Sharing a love of sports is amazing….in 1994, they all stayed up late, missing school sometimes, for the Cup finals (they were so young!) and we played hockey together in some father-son league we invented ourselves! Because I still have a 5 year old, I still will have more years of those things left, but believe me, when I look at my 4 oldest, I realize that the time went by so fast. I used to hear dads rail on their sons….and I would think, “life is so short…what a waste”. My own dad was really bad news to me when i was growing up and when I was 22, I was long gone. I didn’t want that with my own. I learned to hold my tongue and they copied me. Enjoy Will, and always speak to him the way you wnt to be spoken to.

    One of the things about Robert E. Lee that stands out is this. He was home on leave (from the Mexican War, I think) and his kids missed him terribly. He took his little guy out for a walk in the snow and as he turned around, he noticed that his son was ONLY walking in Dad’s footprints in the snow and said to himself, “It behooves me to walk straightly in life”; ever mindful of the example he sets.

    It has been fun reading about the labor –especially the temptation to turn on MSG (my wife would have demanded it be turned on! She is a Ranger NUT!). I enjoy this blog a great deal; especially the interchanging of ideas. I have been shown to be wrong and have enjoyed changing my opinion on some issues, and in others, have had my opinions strengthened….

    but, I guess all of that comes to a screeching halt when a new life comes into the world. It has been fun reading about him.

    God’s blessings on you and family, as well as the posters who enjoy the Ranger “community” here.

    Peter

    (Seamus is the name of the dumbest dog I have ever had the displeasure of knowing….kinda freudian that I use his name to post strong opinions, huh?)

    PS gotta release malik! (lol)

  15. Def. agree with ROB L. Hollweg took a dumb penalty in a key situation and he does not deserve to be on this team any longer. He serves no purpose.

  16. Yeah – that sharpton comment is hilarious.

    I’m going to comment one last time on the coaching issue. The debate isn’t really about the coaching. The debate lies because of the double standard that some fans support. Let the coaches hold accountable whomever they feel.

    As fans you need to see that when a guy is coming off the ice for a change, he needs to be aware that the puck is entering his defensive zone while his back is to the play. The undisciplined penalties that were referred to were taken by veteran players(with hollweg the exception) that know right from wrong, and inopportune times to lay a 2-hander on someone in retaliation. Or to take an extra stride instead of reach from someones skates cause your too lazy and feel that you’ve contributed enough to the game that you no longer need to play at the level that got you to where you are.

    All of this is attributed to the players on the ice. Far too often our vet players are setting a bad example and the trickle down effect is like a downpour some nights. Think slats would ever stand for shanny, jags, straks, or drury to sit? not a friggin chance. Look to your veteran leaders for those mistakes.

    As fans, don’t be so blind to lay blame where we’ve always been comfortable to place it.

    The other double-standard I’d like to point out lies with sitting players. Hank got sat the other night for reasons unknown to us. Speculate at your own free will, cause I know you love it so. But a forward or dman has a bad game and you want him to sit, but when Hank blows one he gets the start the next game?

    I’m done with this issue, I’m sure after skimming through the above you’re glad too.

  17. Hollwegg is gonna pull a Simon one of these days. Which frankly would be embarrassing. Couldn’t he ride pine and still dance? I don’t understand how that dance pumps up the team. It would make me angry

  18. It’s a good thing you didn’t put the Canucks game on, I watched it and almost wished I hadn’t!

    Anyway, congrats, Sam. Don’t let your kid grow up to be a basketball fan.

  19. On a MUCH more positive and interesting note:

    Did anyone catch the WJC sat a.m.?

    Chereponov owned the game vs. the U.S. and made our future look a little brighter. The guy does it all. Uses every bit of his talent, size, & vision to make plays. Anisimov wasn’t as visible during the game, but it was hard to look past Chery. Though he did pick up an assist. As well as Sanguinetti on the other side. THAT guy likes to shoot the freakin puck. He took a few wristers from different places as soon as he touched the puck, and doing so his first step was in the other direction incase it came back the other way. Can’t wait to see him on broadway.

  20. ThisYearsModel on

    Sam:
    Congratulations! Best regards to Will and Mrs. Weinmann. I am expecting the Weinmann family to be the American answer to the Sutter’s and Staal’s. You still have more work to do!

    Bob

  21. A Big Congrats and Mazel Tov Sam on Baby Will Weinman!

    I had my second just 5 months ago.
    My first was born 2 and a half years ago during the MLB All Star game and I somehow managed to have the game on the whole time overhead during labor. Don’t know how I pulled that one off; just told my wife I had anxiety, which was true. The second time around, couldn’t use that one :)

    I can tell you that having 2 is a totally different
    reality from just one.
    I thought I didn’t get much sleep after 1, but…….!

    At the end of the day, it’s a tremendous blessing and it’s all worth it though.

    Thanks again for all your hard work and the incredible job you do.

  22. Congrats Sam on #2. My first is 9 months. I agree on the above posts about Hollweg. His time is over. I’d rather give Dawes time to learn and make mistakes. I think a trade is needed just to change the chemistry-there is none. When is comes down to a shootout, we have no chance.

  23. Someone told me Sanguinetti had a couple of rough games and that he was trying to do too much, didn’t look good, etc.. Any truth to this? I haven’t seen any of the WJC games at all…

  24. I don’t think Sanguinetti was trying to do too much. I only saw about 4 periods of play by the u.s. but he looked fine to me. Not exactly an mvp candidate at that level, but I didn’t really see any mistakes.

  25. I saw Sanguinetti also and he impressed me, good crisp brakout passes, a quick accurate wrist shot and shots as much as Rozsival passes.

    Only thing I didn’t see was a lot of carry the puck out of the defensive zone. Doesn’t mean he can’t do it just didn’t do it in the WJC games.

  26. I saw Sanguinetti also and he impressed me, good crisp breakout passes, a quick accurate wrist shot and shoots as much as Rozsival passes.

    Only thing I didn’t see was a lot of carry the puck out of the defensive zone. Doesn’t mean he can’t do it just didn’t do it in the WJC games.

  27. Straka looked like he was seeing little stars after his head hit the boards against Edmonton.

    I hope it was minor and that he is okay. We really need him now. You can forget about Jagr doing anything without him.

  28. Fruity Cupcake on

    Yeah Sam, congrats! Hope you and the Mrs are on the Nylander plan, because USA Hockey sure could use a sibling dynasty, especially with a well-connected east-coast journo father :-)

  29. A very hearty Mazel Tov, Sam!!

    Enjoy the game tomorrow! It’s gonna be my first game at MSG since the season before last, so I’m really looking forward to it.

  30. Western Canada: Enough already with Dawes not being a two-way player! Throughout his young career in juniors and pro, he has been an overall plus player; he brings with him a +8 from Hartford in 21 games this season, which doesn’t even measure his potential value on the PP where he has been exceptional (even in the 5 minutes overall he’s gotten in NY previously over 20 games) for the Wolfpack. The “bad defense ” rap against Dawes is a crock in my view. As for his size being a factor, I recall seeing 5’9″ Rod Gilbert skate as a rookie for the Rangers; he of slight build has his #7 jersey hanging from the rafters last I looked. Just give Dawes the opportunity to continue to show what he can do and all Ranger fans will be quite pleased.

  31. I don’t expect to see Dawes jersey up in the rafters in my lifetime. Mr 1 assits, no defense and 5’8″. But we should work our pp around him. It takes all kinds to post here I guess.

  32. You made some first rate factors there. I seemed on the web for the issue and located most people will go together with together with your website.

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