Big month at home begins tonight


Update, 7 p.m.: Shanahan is in after all.

The Garden has already begun its preparations for Brian Leetch Night on the 24th, as evidenced by this dimly lit cell phone picture from yours truly (credit goes to John Dellapina of the News for even pointing it out just now, because when I first walked past the ice surface earlier, I never noticed anything different).

2-1.jpeg With seven of nine games at home before the All-Star break, January could conceivably be the month that elevates the Rangers from a middling unit scrambling just to make the playoffs. But given the challenges directly in front of them, they first have to worry about not taking any major steps backwards.

Among some updates:

<li>Greg Moore has been deemed well enough to play, and will likely skate in the middle between Nigel Dawes and Pierre Parenteau (who apparently now wants to be know as P.A. Parenteau) on a relocated Hartford unit.

<li>The above is contingent on Brendan Shanahan not playing tonight, and that, according to Tom Renney, is a safe bet. Although the veteran will take part in warm-ups, Renney’s inclination is to leave Shanahan out and have him ready for Thursday.

(Proof that I am in a sleep-deprived haze: I had to look up to see the Rangers are playing the Flyers on Thursday, because I completely forgot).

<li>Chris Drury will indeed skate on the left side with Scott Gomez and Jaromir Jagr. The over-under on how many minutes the line logs tonight is at 25.
<li>Renney conceded that amidst all the roster movement today, he at least considered calling Ryan Callahan back up, but opted against it in order to get Callahan back playing and in a positive frame of mind.

<li>Although word is the Rangers were not going to make much of Marek Malik’s storm-off Saturday in Edmonton, the defenseman looks to be the team’s only healthy scratch,

<li>Martin Straka showed moderate improvement today, and has not been placed on injured reserve yet since the Rangers want to at least leave open the option of a weekend return.

<li>A quick plug for my own newspaper and its website: Although the blog will look the same, “the”: site has been impressively redesigned, and debuted today. Check it out when you can.

More later…

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  1. I’d rather see Parenteau than Hossa, and if Shanahan is in, why not keep Drury at center? These lines should be interesting. I guess Dubinsky will center Shanahan and Dawes? Moore with Hossa and Prucha? MSG hasn’t stated them yet.

  2. Since that was my first post since the event, congratulations Sam & wife on actually getting that baby out. The name has a nice ring to it. Maybe a Stanley Cup ring? :-P

  3. tampon’s goalies are just embarrassingly bad.

    their goalies are worse than minor leaguers, all of them.

  4. Doodie Machetto on

    I missed the start and only got in on the game just before the first TB goals. What are the line combos?

  5. czechthemout!!!!! on

    The descenst to oblivion continues.This is exactly why you can’t give away so many games early.And I’m also sick and tired of the myrad of excuses that comes from the coaches and players and even some of the beat writers.We’ve been getting a daily dose of “we out shot them”,”we were happy with our game today,just did not get the breaks”,”the officials stole the game”crap.Enough already and shut the fuck up and play with some emotion or passion!!!

  6. czechthemout!!!!! on

    Sixth or seventh shift of the first period for the fourth line down a goal,and they lead all lines with toi!!!

  7. Craig The Weatherman on

    Okay… did the 4th line play AT LEAST half the period or am I imagining things???!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Renney has GOT to go! Can’t score goals when your 4th line logs as much if not more time than your top line…. This is a f*ing joke!!!

  8. Don’t worry. They’re close…
    The breaks just need to start going their way…
    They’ve had some bad bounces of the puck…
    They just need some consistency…
    It’s a long season, it’ll come…
    There’s some good things to take away from the way they played that 1st period….


  9. czechthemout!!!!! on

    Incredible,the fourth line was out there for what seemed like half the period.Maybe Renney can clone another three sets of the fourth line,and maybe that will make him happy.He’ll finally have the forwards he’s always wanted.

  10. renney is more concerned with his boy betts playing against lecalvier than anything else.

    renney lets the opponent dictate the game.

  11. czechthemout!!!!! on

    Even Fischler the blind man can see what’s going on.He just
    said that they need to test this goalie who is weak much more than they are.Can someone please explain this to that IDIOT RENNEY.COLTON ORR,6min 30 sec.UNBELEIVABLE.

  12. I know I’m not a “glass is half full” kinda guy…

    But this is bad. Really bad. Injuries aside… this team can’t get it together… in any way, shape or form.

    It’s broing & bad hockey.

    They have no shot on any given night.

    How’d we ever win 20?

  13. Doodie Machetto on

    Lundqvist had plenty of a chance to stop that third one if he wasn’t such a butterfly goaltender. If he stayed on his feet it would’ve been an easy save.

    Poor Graves, never going to get his number retired.

  14. I don’t know…

    I’ve been a Renney supporter all along but how can we defend this guy anymore.

    The 4th line is out there WAY TOO MUCH!!! Where did it get us? Down 3-1 to this awful squad.

    How about trying to play Jagr, Gomez Drury for a whole period next… maybe that’ll work. No line changes, no rolling 4 lines. Just 1 line… like turning off line changes in Sega hockey.

  15. What happened to team defense and our “system”.
    “systems” broke but why fix it?

  16. Have we hit rock bottom… or can it get any worse?

    Just concede now and don’t even bother coming out for the 3rd period.

    Even Hank’s given up… you can tell… he’s just going through the motions.

  17. That penalty to Hollweg was crap because the referee didn’t raise his arm until the interference call on Lecavalier, even though it was probably a charging call.

  18. What a BS call against Hollweg. Charging when his feet weren’t moving at the time of the hit? Plus, who noticed that the ref didn’t put his arm up until Vinny Lecavalier got the interference call? He wouldn’t have called it if Vinny didn’t get his…garbage…

  19. Anyone see the 4 goal second Philly just threw up against Atlanta…Thursday could be ugly.

  20. the comeback is no surprise. TB is the worst road team in the NHL. they have blown many leads this year.

  21. czechthemout!!!!! on

    It’s amazing how much offense can be generated when your best players are getting most of the ice time!

  22. that’s awful. Tb did everything it could to give that game away, and the rangers still could not do it.

  23. longtimerangersfan on

    With this loss the Rangers are officially, I think, out of the playoff picture now.

  24. I wouldn’t go that far but at this point don’t deserve it. Tampa? you can’t score 4 goals on tampa?

  25. yea the rangers are just 8 points from the cellar in the east, thats quite an accomplishment

  26. The crappy part about this organization is that there seems to be no accountability on star players or coaches.
    Just look at the Knicks.

    How bad do the Rangers have to play and for how long in order for Renney to get the boot?

    In a way, i’d rather the team lose the next 6 games if it translated in to Renney’s one way ticket back to Canada.

    ….And for all the people that say there are no other good alternatives out there…BS!
    The team can only go up from here. This is ROCK BOTTOM!!!
    Throw Schoenfeld in there if no one else can do it. This is a young team right now and he’s coached quite a bunch of them.

    Watching Renney make that demented face while chewing his gum all game with his team playing like crap just infuriates me beyond belief-

  27. Bring back Lohan on

    So here is my assessment of the game, not that you asked for it!
    Renney actually had a nice game plan, IN THEORY!!! IN THEORY he figured that he could play his top defensive forward unit(which contrary to some’s beliefs is Betts Hollweg and Orr)against Vinny La’s line. Then IN THEORY he would stack his top line with the idea that it would score 2 maybe 3+ goals. So IN THEORY this wasnt bad thinking at all.
    The problem with this “smart” “well thought out” plan, is that Renney forgot that not all teams play like the NYR and roll 4 lines and not allocate the top time to their top players. So what this did was strip the top players of their ice time. Now when you are a “goal scorer” or “play maker” and dont have a lot of ice time what do you do in the limited time you do get? Thats right folks, you press to make things happen. Now class, what happens when you over focus on creating offense? You guessed it….you press and give up opportunities against. This then creates the downward spiral that leads to a 2 goal deficit and eventually you give up two points that were supposed to be “easy”. Sorry for the long post but I thought I would share how Renney’s overthinking put us in a hole that we couldnt dig ourselves out of. Good talk!

  28. Schonfeld would be way better than Isaiha Runney. but there is no accountability at MSG, that’s right.

  29. longtimerangersfan on

    Blue clue said: “In a way, i’d rather the team lose the next 6 games if it translated in to Renney’s one way ticket back to Canada.”

    In a way, I kinda agree with you.

  30. correction. devils got 2, sabres 1 pt.

    and habs are tied in 3rd.

    everyone is pulling ahead.

  31. whiners relax, the rangers will be fine..

    the woosie fans get crazy when things go wrong…

    they are in better shape in the standings then last year and they have a better team…..

  32. Sather begged Schonfeld to take the job before the strike year, does he really deserve to be given the chance again?

  33. longtimerangersfan on

    Stuart, sniff some more glue…it’s time for the “Oh Baby” tape again…watched it a lot this year.

  34. stf (anti-Dolan) on

    And Lundqvist should forget about another Vezina nomination… he’s somewhere else…

  35. schoenfeld rightfully said no, and made sather get behind the bench because sather had stupidly hired Trottier who was a disaster, and sather had put the crappy retread vet roster together, so he deserved to sink or swim with it. and he got almost run out of NY by the fans, as he should have, before the lockout saved his ass, forcing him to start going younger and rebuilding.

  36. stuart
    “whiners relax, the rangers will be fine..”

    what does “fine” mean?

    That they’ll all make a lot of money and live comfortably?
    In that sense, then yes, the Rangers WILL be “fine.”

    The fans however and the prosperity of the team will continue to suffer under Renney.

  37. longtimerangersfan on

    If the Icelanders win tonight, the Rangers will officially drop out of the playoff picture.

  38. West Canadian Survivor on

    You guys were all on me yesterday when I said after coming back from the West Coast trip that this team couldn’t win anything with Renney behind the bench. In 25 years of watching this team, I have never seen anything as moronic as the way he plays this fourth line, as the way he can’t make in-game changes. Come on, who really wants to fight for eighth place again. We are 8 points out of last in the East!!

  39. Bring back Lohan on

    Hey Stuart whats the point of a blog if you cant voice you’re opinions, either positive or negative??? Should we all just sit here and convince each other that everything’s gonna be all right? I mean that is just stupid to call people (including me) a whiner because we are frustrated. Go join a weather blog or something…..

  40. hockeymanrangers on

    Rangers Suck, I am just waiting for something to happen behind the bench or just SOME KIND OF SHAKE UP SOMEWHERE. It BETTER happen soon, this is painfull to watch.

  41. will the media report on Renney’s tactical blunders? no they won’t. will they ask Sather if he will make any changes? no they won’t. will they say even a peep about the current run of 7 wins in 23 games? no they won’t.

    some tough NY media. HAH, what a laugh.

  42. I habe been reading you moron couch coach’s whining about Renny for 2.5 yrs…. They do not listen to you and I doubt they will fire him anytime soon so enough with the mental pollution…..

  43. and the slobbering pollyanna fan who can’t stand a discouraging word about his team.

    the moron is the one who cannot see the truth or say the truth or face up to the truth

  44. The Ranger Renney system is oddly the same in ecah game and over the season: play like “it’s going to happen” for the first 2/3, and then when it hasn’t “just happened” in the first 2/3, it becomes a crazy rush for the last 1/3. That’s not smart, even if things turn out okay, in terms of making the playoffs at the last minute. It leaves too much to chance in the last 1/3 of the season, and in a microcosm of that, in each 3rd period. Must change.

    And what’s with Hank? Has his ego or expectations of himself gotten so big that he can’t be cool after goals. He used to be ice cold after goals, good or bad. Now he stares at the roof and slams his stick. What gives?

    And dumb penalties…ugh. Hollweg can’t “play on the edge.” He goes over too often.

    Frustrating as hell.

  45. 1. Winning 7 out of 23 isn’t a “bad stretch.” It’s a “bad team.” That’s more than 25% of your season.

    2. If you take away the one decent 10-game stretch where they went 9-1, then they’re 11-17-5 on the rest of the year.

    3. The Rangers right now are a bad team that strung together 10 good games when their goalie played unconscious. And that’s that.

    4. The strategy of “we play good team defense” clearly no longer works when you give up 4 pathetic goals to the worst road team in the NHL at home. Better figure something else out, Tommy. And outside of the third ( yes I was there) they looked putrid tonight.

    5. Sorry if it sounds like I’m whining, stu, but these are simply the facts, not whining. Not sure how you can disagree.

  46. Yeah, Relax… we’re right back to pre-lockout form here folks… we should be used to it and not surprised.

    Big signings… big names to put people in the seats (and buy merchandise)… who cares if they can play together. I feel like I’ve been taken by a con artist.

    The big question at the start of the season was the defense and the chemistry. Neither have been answered. The latter will be our downfall.

    Just the simple fact that these chumps can’t even score on an extended 5 on 3 tells volumes about the lack of chemistry.

    I can’t defend Renney anymore… call me what you want… say I’m freaking out and in a full blown panic. It’s over… his system has failed and we need someone else back there calling the shots. Half a season wasted on paying “attention to detail” and “trying to do the little things right”. F-in enough already!!!

    You can’t score on a 5 on 3?!! Are you kidding me?!!

    Freakin’ pathetic.

  47. a last place team that had lost 17 times in 20 road games comes in and beats the Rangers with Jason Ward, Hlavac, Gratton, Ramo, Lukowich etc.

    such luminaries. pathetic.

  48. sather is collecting a payckeck? what the hell is his excuse to keep this cast of characters around after a meltdown like this. all the hope after the signings of last year are gone. this crew is a disgrace to the ranger emblem. there is no pride or commitment at all. the fans are getting screwed by management and its time that a massive email campaign begin to dolan to let him know the the core fans are fed up. stop buying their crap and tickets. maybe when they see empty seats and a full stock of unsold merchandise dolan might kick someone in the ass to get this team straightened out. put you money where your mouth is. enough bullshit already, sather and renney must go. boycott the team. treat them like they treat you. they dont show up for games why should you.

  49. well, all I can say is I didn’t actually believe this team was a stanely cup contender going in to the season but i didn’t think they would be this bad. I’m glad I didn’t run out and buy tickets and saved my money. Oh by the way, the devils as usual are in first place again. I wish sather would pay attention and buy the book Devils management for Dummies and study it.

  50. oncupin67years on

    Hey they made the playoffs…Thats success in Sather and Dolan’s eyes,they’ll make the playoffs again this year and those two will celebrate,but win the cup? I don’t think so.

  51. The difference is only that the Devils are much better coached. We have boatloads more talent than that team does. If Prucha played for them, he’d be another Parise – if we’d taken Parise instead of Jessiman, he’d be another Prucha here, if you get what I mean.

    Mike Mottau and Karel Rachunek take regular shifts for them for pete’s sake. I guess you can argue that they’re both better than Strudwick, but he’s not our problem, is he?

  52. stuart – “stuart
    January 8th, 2008 at 9:57 pm
    whiners relax, the rangers will be fine..
    the woosie fans get crazy when things go wrong…
    they are in better shape in the standings then last year and they have a better team…..”

    I think it’s just you and me fighting this battle.

    And don’t waste your time talking about a mid-season coaching change. Not going to happen. Off-season at best, but you won’t be talking about it in the off-season…there will be no need.

    January 8th, 2008 at 10:08 pm
    “If the Icelanders win tonight, the Rangers will officially drop out of the playoff picture.”

    OH! I totally missed them say that the season ended today! How did I miss that??!?!?!

    You guys are whiners. I think I’m done here. It was fun for a while, there are a couple of real fans here, but for the most part, you’re the ‘typical fans’ that blemish our good name.

    See you in the playoffs.

  53. Why Renney continues to give quality minutes to the 4th line is beyond me. Especially in a game like last night when they needed offense. I’m not saying a coaching change is the answer but I think Renney needs to really look at the ice time and make sure his best players are on the ice.

    Someone also has to tell Hollweg that there is more to the game than just skating around like a chicken without a head trying to put people through the boards.

  54. With all of the complaining about Renney and the time he gave the 4th line, it should be noted that that line played even, while Jagr-Gomez-Dury were a combined -9!!!

    If Renney is at fault for anything, it is letting Shanny play, and letting Dawes play at all. HE was invisible last night.

  55. This is getting pathetic. Why hasn’t Hollweg been benched? He completely disrupts flow to the game with his running players, yet the 4th line is on the ice every time I look up. If they are watching the playoffs in April, look back to these few weeks.

  56. Dawes wasn’t invisible when he made that great pass to Mara. Mara rang one off the post after that. The 4th line played more minutes in the 1st period than Jagrs line. That is a problem!

  57. Everyone…Jagr, Gomer, Drury -3 on the night, Shanny -2, Betts Hollweg Orr were even.

    The 4th line was the best line on the ice last night.

    This team is in a lot of trouble.

  58. it’s easy to be an even player when you don’t have to worry about scoring goals. Matching the 4th line against opponents #1 lines is a huge mistake. All it does is keep your most talented players on the bench.

  59. ROB L. You are even because you shut down the top scoring line of the other team which is what our 4th line does and does very very well. They are not paid to score goals. Why is it so hard for you all to realize?

    The 3 other lines need to score that is their job and they all stink at that right now and the fact that they do not play D or back check is why they are minus.

    Do you all know the meaning of a checking line?? Who gives a s**t if they play 20 minutes. If the other team’s top line does not score, success. Ours should score.

  60. I agree 100% with Richard.

    All you clowns on this blog saying that the 4th line sucks and Renney shouldn’t play them, are ignorant. Do you guys know the role of a checking line? It is to stop the other team’s #1 line. Lecavalier, Crosby, etc etc. Why you ignoramuses can’t see that is beyond me!

    If HBO can go 15 mins or 18 mins or whatever and keep Lecav, St Louis, and Prospal off the scoresheet (EN goal doesn’t count) then that means Jags and crew have 45 or 42 mins to do their thing. THEY ARE NOT DOING IT! -3 by Drury, Jags, and Gomer is just unacceptable!

    Now I agree that the 4th line should not be playing when we are down by a goal with 5 to play. But to fault Renney or the 4th line, when it is clearly the 5 on 5 play of lines 1-3 that is really sucking butt, is just misdirected frustration.

    The best line on the ice last night in 5 on 5 was the 4th line. Anyone who disagrees wasn’t watching the game that I watched or they just don’t know anything about hockey.

    This team has no heart. They don’t try until they are down by 2 goals or more.

    We need an iron fisted coach to handle the heartless punks we have on the team.

  61. longtimerangersfan on

    January 8th, 2008 at 10:08 pm
    “If the Icelanders win tonight, the Rangers will officially drop out of the playoff picture.”

    Beer me said: OH! I totally missed them say that the season ended today! How did I miss that??!?

    Beer me, what I meant was that they are out of the playoff picture NOW if the Islanders win but I was incorrect…they only needed a tie and now the Rangers are in 9th place.

  62. Any one who says Dawes was invisible last night is blind! you can’t be invisible and set up Mara with a wide open chance for the equalizer like Dawes did. Such comments are from the type of Ranger fan who recommended trading Middleton after two years only to see him score hundreds of goals for the hated Bruins. Putting Dawes and Moore out with a gimpy Shanahan is certainly a recipe for success. I want to see more , not less, of Dawes before I consign him to oblivion. The man was an MVP candidate 2 years running in the WHL in juniors, all 5’8″ of him; not only does he bring scoring skills, he brings great passing skills and imagination; just be patient and give him adequate time on the ice and he’ll prove his worth.

  63. in his own zone Dawes sucks. he was the culprit who let the man Ward get by him for the cross ice pass that led to the 2nd goal. THAT is why he gets benched. he is a defensive weak spot.

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