If not for themselves…


…the Rangers need a win tonight for the poor vendors who I shared an elevator ride with at the Garden this afternoon.

“I hope they win,” one woman said. “When they win, people want to buy stuff. No one buys anything when they lose.”

See, I was actually surprised by that. Isn’t it when a team is so depressingly bad that fans start drinking en masse? Aren’t the Rangers just one more bad period away from a record spike in Budweiser sales?

OK, so they’re not there yet. Believe it or not, a win tonight vaults them right back into eighth place in the Eastern Conference, which, while well short of what they expected during the off-season (“We signed Drury and Gomez! We’re going to be scratching and clawing for a playoff spot!”), it does serve as a reminder that their fate is in their hands.

Meanwhile, some notes:

<li>Fedor Tyutin and Dan Girardi will be reunited as a defensive pairing. Since Michal Rozsival and Marek Malik will be together as well, that leaves Marc Staal with Paul Mara.

<li>Don’t expect any emotional “These bastards knocked us out of the playoffs!” speeches from any Rangers. Given the turnover on both teams, especially on the Buffalo side, there doesn’t seem to be much point.

Strangely, I think back to that series last spring with a tinge of sadness, which is amazing when you consider it included two trips to Buffalo of all places. But having covered a lot of different cool events, playoff hockey beats them all. And right now, that’s not a given for the Rangers.

<li>On the Rangers European plans for next season: The deal that would have them play part of their exhibition in Switzerland before opening with a two-game set in Prague isn’t done yet, but either way, the team would still play some preseason games here as well.

<li>And regarding next week: The Brian Leetch retirement ceremony next Thursday begis at 6:30, not 7. Pass it on.

More in a bit…

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  1. Sam. Great work. You’re the hardest working rangers beat reporter! I love your updates.(Show this to your boss when u lobby for the euro trip next preseason…lol) A belated congrats on the newest addition to your family.

  2. I think they purposely do the Rangers last all the time on Hockey Night Live pregame so the Devils and Islanders fans don’t complain that MSG is biased towards them because its a Rangers-owned network. But all it does is make me enraged! :O

  3. Just to wrap up the thought from the previous thread… If you really think that changing a captain or coach midseason, THIS season is going to happen…Keep dreaming.

    A deal sending Jags out of town is the only way you’d see that ‘C’ change hands. And as much as some of us would like to see it, it’s still a bit far-fetched. We’re still 3-4weeks away from knowing if we’re buyers or sellers.

    I’m going to try to better discipline myself and not get dragged into these insane tiraids of these DRASTIC moves. There are far worse coaches out there with under-performing teams, with owners that actualy give a damn that will retain there jobs throughout the remainder of the season as well.

    If a coaching or captaincy change is all you think we need, I’ll have to be more careful to stay away from responding to those posts. Show me when a midseason coaching change ever benefitted THIS organization. Thought so.

  4. We need more than taking the “C” from Jags… that’s for sure.

    As Tiger Woods says… “Winning solves everything”. He’s a smart guy who knows about the topic. I say the Rangers should listen to him.

    The End.

  5. SAM maybe you can tell the rich NYR players & Co they are affecting many. If they keep this losing up, the crowds will dwindle, hitting poor jimmyboy where it hurts, in his pocket. And the vendors get to suffer more with the fans. I’m sure Renney can come up with a speech on the subject, that would make politicians take notes.

  6. As for the title on Sam’s update…

    How ’bout for the fans, the city, the folks who spend hard earned pay, the diehards, the frontrunners, the fairweathers, the negative nellies, the ones who live far away, the ones who’ve never seen the worlds most famous arena in person… but love them anyway, the new ones, the old ones, the loud ones, the drunk ones, the ones who cheer, the ones who chant, the ones who’ve “been through this before, the ones who are completely obsessed (i.e. those who visit this site and others like it) and the ones who haven’t taken the 1994 Stanley Cup Champs license plate off their car yet.

  7. That line was due! I hope they stay together for the powerply with everybody healthy, but I know it won’t happen since Shanny has to get in there for somebody, and him playing with Jagr doesn’t work. That line needs to be shown more ice time at even strength because they are similar to the fourth line but can actually score.

  8. Great play by Drury. Unfortunately he had to be setting up Orr. Paetsch is silly to be challenging Avery with his injury; why didn’t Paetsch go after Orr? I’m not sure how Mair got the only penalty there eirher.

    I can’t understand for the life of me why Avery is still getting power play time, besides that one good pass to PRucha when Avery was out there in place of Jagr.

  9. stopwiththefourthlinealready on

    WHYYYYYYYYY does the fourth line play more than the prucha dubinsky dawes line. Renney Sucks. We win despite him

  10. stopwiththefourthlinealready on

    jagrs line did not get a shift on the first pp of the 2nd period….why??????

  11. Maybe two goals will convince Tommy Boy to play the Dubinsky line more. I’m not even gonna call them the 3rd line because they are used more like the 4th line. That should be Prucha’s goal!

  12. swtfla – Maybe because his power play unit sucks!?

    That was a hell of a shot by Mara for that 2nd goal, but Prucha’s gotta get credit for the tip.

  13. BTW, during the pregame, I wonder was the same guy who asked a question as the one who posts here under the name “lone ranger?” I would assume so.

  14. bench jagr’s ass.

    I am sick of his lazy penalties all the time.

    a good team would score PP goals, but buffalo is pitiful on the PP

  15. Dubinski is the KING of “you knows”…15 in the interview with Giannone. Aside from that…I love the kid.

  16. Doodie Machetto on

    Other teams are going to start taking pentalties against the Rangers once they have the lead because it’s guaranteed that they won’t score on the PP.

  17. It’s a start but i can’t get to excited, buffalo is missing key players due to injuries and they still almost tied the game at the end.

  18. That was a good game against a bad team, but I’m not totally convinced. I would have liked more goals, but it was pretty solid overall. Go DDP line!!

    Surrprised Henrik wasn’t a star, but Betts was a good choice just for that 5 on 3, and I can’t argue the other two.

  19. Lazy penalties by the usual suspects, Jagr & Malik. Good thing Hossa wasn’t in the game because we probably would have lost with one or two from him!

  20. Well now I guess Prucha-Dawes-Dubinsky will be sat down for a game or two…Was Dubinsky the kid on TV show Blossom??

  21. hey Sam,

    do me a favor and ask Tom why the time on the Ice for Prucha – Dubi – and Dawes was

    Prucha – 8:51
    Dubi – 6:25
    Dawes – 7:08

    not exactly minutes you’d expect from a line doing all the things you want for 3 straight games….

  22. Good game, kids played well. Very good third period. GOOD DEFENSE. Its a start.

    GO RANGERS!!!!!

  23. I think they’re back to their old ways of winning despite Renney. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the ice times for the players on that line:
    • Dawes 7:08
    • Dubinsky 6:25
    • Prucha 8:51
    That is absolutely disgusting. Only 11 shifts averaged between them while Drury gets 29, Orr gets 19, Jagr gets 21, just to name a few. JEEZ!! Now I’m pissed.

  24. yea the rangers need to get on a roll fast, the islanders, flyers, and penguins are a combined 22-3-5 over each of there last 10 games, hopefully we can build from this game

  25. As of tonight the most expendable Rangers in my opinion are Malik, Strudwick, Shanahan, Jagr,Hollweg, and Orr. As for me, they can and should be traded if there are any GM asking for them. I would not trade Prucha, Dubinsky , Dawes, Stall, Drury, Gomez , Avery, or Moore . They are untouchables for any player over 33 regardless of the players past. Or under 30 without at least 40 points so far this year.

  26. Fruity Cupcake on

    It’s true, when the Rangers are winning, I’ll splurge for the nearly five dollar box o popcorn. When they aren’t, I eat a big lunch before I get to MSG. Because if they’re losing, they won’t make their bonus clauses, so they won’t need my popcorn money! Trickle-up economics, right? They win in Boston Saturday, I’ll gladly buy popcorn on Sunday. Think I buy t-shirts during losing streaks? Ha.

    Yeah, I’m loopy from the home win. Bless li’l Petr Prucha. Instead of the DDP Line, can’t we simply dust off The Kid Line? Please….?

  27. Fruity Cupcake on

    And Sam, it goes without saying that drowning my sorrows at MSG prices is depressing, so drinking while watching the highlight show when I get home is the way to go. So save my liver and win, fellas!!!!! ha-ha-ha

  28. my evaluation of the game.. the kid line was there best line.. If the minutes are accurate Renny needs to fall out of love with the 4th line and give the 3rd line more time….

    the problem is the same; jagr cannot finish, and if they could score goals in the middle of the pack in the league there defensive breakdowns which are really not many would not be so hurtful..

    on the buff. goal the jagr line did not get back and they had a 4 on 2.

    staal looked like he played well today, recently it looks like his play ws slipping a little.

    take the 2 points anyway you can and try to build some confidence but they need to score some goals….

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