Full unit against Sabres


Sean Avery, Brendan Shanahan, and Jaromir Jagr will all be in the lineup tonight against the Sabres despite their assortment of injuries.

“Whether or not it’s sore, I just put it out of my head,” Avery said of his wrist.

Losers of six of their last seven, the Rangers obviously need Avery back, and can expect to benefit from his rare brand of spunk. But can he be play his on-the-edge game while remaining healthy? The answer so far, with three significant injuries already this season, has been no. Avery said yesterday the one concession he would make to his wrist is he would try to avoid fighting. But in the same sentence, he also acknowledged he can’t always contain himself.

“When you’e out there playing and emotions are running, you probably don’t think as rationally as you would like,” he said. “You can’t think that way. I just have to go out and play. I’m not going to change anything. I’m not effective if I do that.”

In other news:

<li>Expect Shanahan and Avery to rejoin Chris Drury on a line. Marcel Hossa, Greg Moore and Jason Strudwick will be the scratches.

<li>Henrk Lundqvist is in net.

<li>Brandon Dubinsky, after first trying to play it cool, about being named to the YoungStars Game:

“Of course I’m excited. Growing up I watched all the All-Star Games. And it’ll be nice to have Marc (Staal) going to have someone to kick it with.”

More later…

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  1. I am a little concerned that shanahan, avery and jagr are playing hurt because there not going to get better by playing.

  2. that ain’t right Beezer.
    Are you saying you want him to break his ankle?
    I just hope Renney’s little video tape session, brings about some changes…somehow though I’m not expecting much

  3. Does anybody know the Rangers record with everybody healthy? Has there even been a game this year with everyone healthy? Just curious.

  4. Newman – “Sending Callahan and Dawes and the youngsters down is silly, IMHO.”

    I disagree. If you show these guys now the result of sloppy play, it will benefit them for a lot longer than sitting a vet, namely Jags.

    He’s set in his ways, past his prime, and now his body is catching up to him. Sitting him for a shift or for a game may result in a change of attitude till the final buzzer, then it’s back to the lazy hooks. Hey, I hope he makes me eat my words, but its just the way I see the rest of his days in NY play out. I don’t blame him for all of our problems though. It’s on everyone. Staal gets a slight pass from me b/c he’s a 20y.o. rookie that has huge expectations. I don’t think he’s made an excessive amount of (rookie)mistakes.

    Its real hard for me to believe that it could be a coaches fault that a guy that broke a franchise scoring record 2 seasons ago can’t put more pucks on net, or in the net.

    And to those that want more yelling and screaming AT THE OFFICIALS, I give you examples A and B. Ruff & Torterella. Ruff has ‘led’ his team to 9 straight losses. Torts, a season-long struggle. It doesn’t help you win games, and won’t get a ref to overturn a call cause you got screwed on a call and threw a stick on the ice.

    This IS in defense of the coach. BUT, again I lay equal blame across the board equally. From the top all the way down.

  5. Shanny needs to rest! I guarantee he’s going to miss the Saturday game.. grrr! Jagr needs to rest too… if we somehow slip into the playoffs, we need them as healthy as possible!

  6. Hey TomG –

    I couldnt agree with you more. As much as we would love Avery back in the lineup, I think it would be more ideal to have him rest completely. If that involved him resting until the all start break, I think I am OK with that. After all, thats when we started to pick it up last year. But, Avery is a true competitor and he wants to be out therea and I give him a lot of credit for wanting to play through the pain. Sadly though, there are more concerns with this team getting back on the right track, with or without Avery.

    I am very glad Hossa is finally sitting. Larry Brooks really reemed Renney for continuing to dress those that are not performing and taking stupid penalties. Hossa is guilty of both.

    so whens Jagr and Drury going to sit?

  7. Going to game tonight. 4th of season, still looking for win #1…..(maybe i should stay home)

    Drury NEVER sit. Like to see Jagr sit(just to see how the rest of teams plays)

  8. I expect a win tonight. The Sabres defense is more flawed then the Rangers defense. They really miss Teppo Numminen. I’m glad Jagr is playing tonight. I think he’s played better the last few weeks. Drury is either gonna play a great game tonight or yet another brutal one. Sending Callahan down was the right move imo. Dawes hopefully will be up the rest of the year. I wish the Rangers would waive Hossa already.

  9. Beer me,

    I think those two guys take it to the extreme. Torts is always bitching and if Ruff isn’t, he scowls like he’s about to. If Renney, who is calm and annoying professorial, suddenly started yelling and threw a gatorade bottle on the ice after a crap call, his players and the refs and the announcers and the league and the fans would sit up and say, something is happening here. Strategically released fire is an effective and awesome weapon. Renney shouldn’t be afraid of it, just as he shouldn’t abuse it like the two guys you mentioned.

    I joke about where is Michel Bergeron, but sometimes a hint of Le Petit Tigre wouldn’t be so bad.

  10. I still think it all goes back to the goalie. Yes, there are an assortment of other issues. But it really begins and ends with Hank. Why is Pittsburgh suddenly on a tear? Because Ty Conklin is out of his mind. As soon as he comes back to earth, so will they. Similarly, the Devils struggled mightily earlier in the year when Brodeur looked washed up. Now he’s on top of his game and so are they. And it’s more than just the numbers of giving up x number of goals. It’s an entire mind-set a team possesses and controls the ebb and flow of a game. The team’s playing confident, good hockey and a few soft goals go in, it’s just deflating. Conversely, a few big saves and the momentum builds even more.

    When Hank comes back, our team will certainly be back.

  11. Reading the comments from the last entry, I felt like I was watching that episode of _Two and a Half Men_ where Charlie’s back locks up during sex and he refuses Alan’s help. Chiros vs. MDs, lol. Best show on TV!

    Rob L. – Let’s see, we won the first game 5-2, then Avery was injured early in the next game in Ottawa. Then after Avery came back from his second injury and Straka came back from his first, we were healthy for a few games until Straka got injured again, I think. After looking at the game logs, I’ll get back to you with a record.

    If Avery is still hurting, I don’t want him to come back since he has a greater chance of reinjury, but he has probably sat out long enough. Jagr’s and Shanny’s injuries sound minor enough that they should be ok. I’m looking forward to this game now.

    That _Post_ link wasn’t working because of the underscores, probably, since they make things italic on this blog.

  12. I had to add Prucha & Malik into the mix for health, although you could argue we are healthier with Malik out.
    Totally healthy games:
    10/4 vs. Panthers: W 5-2
    12/23 vs. Senators: L 3-1 (Prucha was a healthy scratch)
    12/26 vs. Hurricanes: W 4-2
    12/29 @ Maple Leafs: W 6-1
    1/5 @ Oilers: OTL 3-2 (not sure to count because Shanny wasn’t full strength, but I will)
    So the record is 3-1-1. Now, if we could only duplicate that for the whole season. It would probably be enough for a playoff spot to do that every five games the rest of the way since it would result in 96 points and a playoff spot. Injuries are expected in the NHL, but those were three very key players, two who were out extended time. If it was Prucha and Dubsinky, it obviously wouldn’t be as bad.

    I feel bad for Teppo. He’s now been told he won’t be able to play until March after he thought he could come back around right now. Looks like he’ll only be available for a few games, like Connolly last year.

    On Malik, he is definitely making some good passing plays to start the offense up ice, and a couple in the offensive zone, but his defense has been horrendous. I don’t think we need him on the ice for his offense because the rest of the defense has been providing that well, and I would rather have Strudwick to hit and fight. To those in the last couple of entries saying nobody hits, or listing a few names, you forgot Tyutin, and Girardi throws some hits, as well. I have noticed Staal hitting less than earlier in the season, I think.

  13. Thanks for the research Spiderpig. and even with everyone somewhat healthy tonight it won’t matter if Hank keeps letting in soft goals each game. The only way this team turns things around is when he starts playing better and when Jagr steps up and plays like one of the best players in the league. He still has the skills to be that player and he has to find his game or we are doomed!!

  14. Well, I’ll be attending the game tonight for the first time since opening night. I’m thrilled to know there is a healthy lineup, hopefully things will start to fall back in line and Hank will find his confidence again.

    Any word on when Cally might be coming back up. I thought I heard he had a bunch of points since being sent down.

  15. I hope Beezer was joking and just refering to the time that Leetch slipped on ice fell off a curb and broke his ankle.

    Malik is in the line up. The score is already 1-0 Buffalo.

  16. Hate to be the pessimist here…but I can see the Rangers easily losing this game 3-1. First off, they flat out don’t score. And Miller can get hot against the Rangers. Add one bad goal at least from Henrik, and another goal at least off a Malik deflection or statue of liberty imitation and you’ve got 2 goals. Now Buffalo will get PP’s off of some boneheaded penalties…and the PK isn’t so great anymore…so at least one PP goal against. There ya have it….3-1 Sabres…and Renney will catch 38 flies and a stray milk dud in his gaping mouth on every goal against and every call against…

  17. I said yesterday that this team is fully capable of winning the next 4 out of 5 with a healthy team, hell 5 out of 5 but I was giving them at least one loss. We should beat Buffalo tonight. We should win both against Boston. And I say we can beat Atlanta. But I have a feeling they will take one from us, they are playing great right now and are actually ahead of us in points after a horrible start.

    Here is to a full squad tonight.

  18. I would like to see Renney just one time pull a Tortorella and go nuts behind the bench. He stands back there like he’s watching a chess match. This team needs more passion. If everyone played the game with a sense of urgency we wouldn’t be only 1 game over .500. Having Avery back should help bring the passion level up a notch.

  19. Going back in the blog archive, Hossa was actually still recovering from the flu on 12/23, not a healthy scratch, so the record would be 3-0-1 totally healthy, with no regulation losses. Interesting!

  20. My “totally healthy game log” post (2:22 PM) should read – 96 points, and we made the playoffs with 94 points last season. (in the first long paragraph)

  21. Oh you know Ryan Miller has is resurgent game tonight…no question. Especially when we fire the first 10 shots from the blueline without anyone in front of the goal.

  22. I for one would like to see Renney do his best Lou Piniella impersonation the next time there is a blatantly bad call. Go out on the ice, try not to fall, push the goal of its pegs, throw the puck into the crowd, maybe take somebody’s stick from your team and break it, throw that on the ice, maybe with some water bottles, and then storm off into the locker room. Or, if it is a goal by the Rangers that is called no goal on review, bring a water bottle to the goal to spray it on the goal line to show where it is, throw a puck into the goal, then take pick the goal up and show it to everybody, give the puck to the guy who should have been credited with the goal, and again, storm away at the end, since he would clearly be ejected. Hey, it could only be a two-minute penalty, right?

  23. Richard – That’s no problem based on 43 shots on Monday. But they literally need to hit the net instead of hitting the goalie in the chest.

  24. My keys to the game (and notes):

    Hank has to be sharp.

    Hank & D have to communicate better.

    Breakout pass – anywhere but up the middle!

    We have to stay out of the box.
    Buf is 15th on the PP. We’ve given up ppg’s to lesser rankings. They’re PK is 9th, tough test for our lackluster pp.

    Need shots from the slot.

    Afinogenov has been out, so there’s less speed to beat us(though he can never finish).

    We match up very close in size. (which is unusual) Have to beat them with a good forecheck and always keep the 3rd man high.

    They’re more ‘due’ than we are having dropped 9 in a row. Has there been a 10 in a row losing streak this year?

  25. Greg Moore needs to play … can’t we bench Hollweg or Orr … My vote is for Hollweg …This shutdown line crap is overrated … they don’t score (Hollweg’s 2 being a mirage-check career stats) … Comments?

  26. I like Moore’s effort so far, but IMO, he hasn’t really done anything to warrent a spot in the lineup every game. I find myself saying “F’n Hollweg” quite a bit, but at least that line has some chemistry. Orr is a must tonight with Peters on the other side. Peters would kill avery or hollweg.

  27. Oh, jeez…I didn’t know the Sabres were coming in on that bad a losing streak…Now we’re DEFINITELY gonna lose this one. Gotta think at this point most teams kinda look forward to playing the Rangers…gives your goalie a boost of confidence, helps your special teams regain solid ground, and if anyone is in a scoring slump just fire it towards the net and either Hank or the Rangers D will find a way for it to get in…

  28. What it comes down to is that Renney has clearly accepted the teams position and fate at this point. His conscious decision to let things go on as they have, cool as a cucumber. By not making any substantial changes he’s showing the team, the league, and those fans who refuse to wear MSG blinders, that he is a one dimensional coach who lacks the ability and willingness to make changes to his gameplan when it’s not working out, and motivate his guys to win matches.

    How many games have the Rangers *come back* to win this season?

  29. “substantial changes”

    1) without deals with other clubs, personally, I would say that nothing is substantial. That is the GM’s duties.

    2) we’ve seen every center play with jags and he still can’t produce like he was/is capable. We’ve seen wingers change spots. We’ve seen guys called up & scratched. We’ve seen the D pairing shaken up recently. Our backup has started when the starter was available/healthy. In addition, we’ve had many more injuries this season than the previous 2. Necessitating changes on its own.

    What ‘changes’ haven’t we tried?

    Salty – Since none of us here get it, tell us what that substantial change is that needs to be made. What IS that change that Renney needs to make to turn it around? Better yet, tell him. I don’t think his shot is that hard, so putting himself in the lineup won’t help.

  30. Too much negative energy !
    Maybe tonight’s the night we start to get our season going.
    I hope so.
    Ranger fan forever !

  31. First, we get Dolan fired by his Dad.

    Second, we punt Sather.

    Third, we cut out Renney.

    Fourth, we get a captain from North America.

    The rest should fall into place.

    Those, I think, are substantial changes.

    Probably none of them happen this year.

    More probably, the first one never happens.

    If that is the case, the second doesn’t either. I mean Isiah practically raped and maimed people within MSG and he got an extension. So Slats isn’t going anywhere, sadly.

    The latter two might happen within the next year. It would be a start.

  32. Beer Me & friends,

    I don’t consider any of those minor adjustments to substantial changes. It’s the same mixing and matching that has been going on since October. I want to see franchise players benched full periods/full games for bullshit playing. That’s the most basic form of motivation since the inception of the sport and Renney is terrified to do it to certain players. Benching Malik, Hossa, Callahan…are you seriously claiming these are substantial coaching tactics? *I want see Jagr stripped of the C at the very least to send a message to the other players that you have to work hard to be a leader* Beyond that, I want Jagr scratched/benched, and given the clear message that if he wants to stay here, he needs to be tapping into his 3rd and 4th reserve tanks right now. Drury, should never have an A on his uniform that doesn’t come between ‘R’ and ‘N’, again, what message is this sending to the rest of your players? I want to see Drury playing on the 4th line for a couple of games. You want to be Mr. Defensive forward guy and get a free pass for not putting points on the card? Fine, then play on the line that does that and start working on that pathetic -12.

    How are those moves? I think they are pretty basic things to try. At the very least you send th emessage that you are not complacent with the lack of production from 2 of your $7M+ men.


    [/my longest rant ever]

    -The locker room is strongly rumored to be ‘divided’. I’m not going to explain it because I think you know exactly what I mean. If there is even a *kernel* of truth to that, Renney is failing at his job. It’s up to HIM ALONE to get his players on the same page at the very least, it’s not up to the players to be playing Lord of the Flies in the locker room, that is utter fucking bullshit and Renney should be shitcanned on the spot if there’s any truth to that.

  33. This North American thing is a joke.

    And if anyone thinks the Rangers organization is going to humiliate Jagr by stripping him of the “C,” you’re mistaken. And if you think there’s any way a psyche like his would respond favorably to that, you’re further mistaken.

    The Rangers need to make one single change and then see what happens. It will make or break their team, season and playoff potential: they need to play at full intensity for an entire 60 minutes. That’s it.

  34. Maybe the Rangers problem is all the bad vibes from their fans? You know if watching them made me as miserable as so many of you seem to be i would just stop watching them. I’m disappointed in their season too but come on.

  35. And if anyone thinks the Rangers organization is going to humiliate Jagr by stripping him of the “C,” you’re mistaken. And if you think there’s any way a psyche like his would respond favorably to that, you’re further mistaken.


    Actually, you’re right. What should really happen is Renney should drink more OJ before getting down on his knees for Jagr in order to maximize saliva production and to make “Jagr’s psyche” feel a little better. Good call, lets keep jerking the crybaby off and hope and pray he decides to play hard for us again. *F### THAT*, I’m so disgusted with that mentality. That’s exactly why this organization, thi soriginal six team, is *the laughing stock of the NHL*

  36. You know what I would like to see instead of or in addition to plus/minus since that is usually not a good indicator of good and bad defensive players? A pair of stats that shows goals for and goals against while individual players are on the ice (besides goals during a power play, of course). You can try to guess based on points, but Drury could be doing much better defensively than we think if he doesn’t have many even-strength or shorthanded goals scored while he is on the ice. I’m not saying it’s true, in fact, it’s probably not, but you don’t know. Another reason why plus/minus is mostly useless. Maybe I’ll make that my goal for next season, but it’s harder than calculating clutch goals, which I have slacked on and have to go back to that Pittsburgh OT win by Strudwick and work from there.

  37. For example, you could assume that Hossa has had no goals scored against him at even-strength since he has seven even-strength points and a +7 rating, but all it means is that the goals scored by the Rangers while he is on the ice other than those he had a part in equal those scored against the Rangers while he is on the ice.

  38. Did we know this?

    *Jagr will continue to play with the foot injuries that have limited him for 21/2weeks but have yet to knock him out of a game. Jagr feared that he had broken his right foot when hit by a shot during the Rangers’ game at Toronto Dec.29. Last week an X-ray revealed that there was no break, just a severe bone bruise.

    “But it didn’t really matter – I was going to play anyway,” he said. “I have to play. There was nobody else – Marty (Straka) was out, Shanny was out and Sean was out.”*

    That’s gutty from Jagr; he’s still showing some captain-y qualities.


  39. jagr has dogged it most of the season. i think he sensed early on that the papers were, as usual, wrong about the team and he is just preparing himself for Omsk.

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