On the ice at 4…


As you can see, I took full use of my All-Star weekend. Truth is, I was so miffed that I wasn’t selected, I boycotted the blog as a result.

OK, not really. Either way, the Rangers reconvene for practice today at 4 before jetting for Carolina. Unlike last season, when the All-Star break afforded the team a chance to make some needed personnel moves, I don’t anticipate seeing any new faces today.

But who knows, maybe we’ll be surprised (where have you gone, Ryan Callahan?)….

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  1. Thank God for a new post Sam. I was getting tired of all the mental masturbation going on about who should be traded for whom, what our lineup will look like in 3 years, and the whole “cancer” debate.

    Please tell us what is going on with Malik.

  2. What up with Malik? Can they really expose his pathetic and unmanly refusal to shake hands with Renney and then pretend as if nothing’s happened? I feel so used.

  3. Doodie Machetto on

    Who were the guys from last year’s potential class that didn’t get in?

    There are going to be a lot of players over the next three or four years who will be making hall selection difficult. An entire generation essentially retired at once, both right before and after the lockout. So the HOF is flooded with excellent players.

  4. Doodie Machetto on

    Glenn Anderson won’t get in for at least 5 years, if ever.

    I vote no to him anyway, unless there is a particularly weak class.

  5. Doodie Machetto on

    I hope he’s gone. I hope they just suspend him from the team and then trade him. If they can’t trade him just keep him suspended. Make him damaged goods so that he can’t find another job in the NHL.

  6. Cally seems to have refound his scoring touch and energy in Hartford – shows what he can do when he gets longer shifts and more than 7 minutes of ice time in a game.

  7. On Cally, I just think it shows what he can do against AHL competion..Except for two games, healthy or not, he has been close to an offensive zero in his stint with the Rangers…That bbeing said, I like his game and glad to see him getting his confidence back..And I can see him possibllyt as a good addition to the 4th line (at RW) for late in the year and the POs..Or injury insurance..

  8. I love the people touting Callahan because he’s scoring at the AHL level. He didn’t really do anything that impressed me at the NHL level.

    He had a *sort* of hot streak last season, and did nothing this season.

    There are plenty of players who haven’t been able to make the jump from the AHL to the NHL (Brad Smyth? Layne Ulmer? Jason Krog?). I feel Callahan is just one of those guys.

    Would he be able to put up numbers if he played more than 7 minutes a night? Maybe. But everyone who’s currently getting that ice time is better than Callahan is.

    Should he replace Hollweg? Maybe, but he still won’t get more than 7-8 minutes a game.

    I stiull wouldn’t mind a 4th line of Hossa/Betts/Cally or Orr. But right now I’m just not seeing the offensive upside for him to replace anyone on the top 2-3 lines.

  9. Western Canada Survivor on

    Exactly Mikey. Callahan was an animal when he got ample ice time last year. Not receiving any PP time and getting marginalized this year did not help him after his injury. I’d like to see him get called up again and prove himself.

  10. Prucha27…Callahan is better defensively and won’t take near as many penalties as Hollweg does. He would be a huge upgrade over Hollweg. Hollweg is a penalty and a suspension waiting to happen. Have you watched him, he can’t skate and stick handle at the same time.

  11. WCS – Except for two 2-goal games in routs, Cally was far from an animal last season but he did hustle his butt off..His injury did him this season but it was more of a reflection of hoiw he needs to get better all around…

    Prucha27 – If he replaced Hollweg, it means he would be getting 10-12 mins an night! Tha being said, no way do I want him replacing Holly right now..The HBO is one of the few things on this team that works right now and is started working one Holly got his act in gear after his one game benching….If anything, you replace the immobile RW (Orr) with a speedier Cally (who is a RW) later in the season or if and when HBO starts to falter defesnively..Otherwise, you let them be

  12. Callahan showed LOTS of promise last year, and ever early this year. *He is one of the few players we have that will not only play with an edge, but also do whatever it takes take the damn puck to the net*.

    *That* being said, after his injury this year, he really disappeared. I also agree that scoring a couple of goals in the AHL does not mean it will happen up here. BUT, late last year, make no mistake, Callahan was absolutely a “top 9″ forward and added a great combo of offense AND grit.

  13. Doodie Machetto on

    I’d swap Hollweg and Orr with Byers and Callahan. Unless we were playing a rough team like Philly. Then I would dress Orr.

  14. Doodie Machetto on

    Dawes has thoroughly outplayed Callahan in the NHL this season. He has really made the most of this most recent chance. He and Dubinsky really work well together.

  15. Rob L – You’re right..bench Holly…After all, the HBO line has been on ice for TWO goals against in like the last 18 games, and half of their time going up against top lines..All because Holly and Betts know where to be almost all the time, can skate, can forecheck and, in Holly’s case, hit..I’m not saying Cally can’t or won’t do the same, but you don’t ruin great chemsity for a maybe right now…And what are all these penalties you are talking about with Holly? I Haven’t seen them

  16. Western Canada Survivor on

    Callahan played with Avery and Shanahan last year and showed a ton of promise–if anything, he throws the body every shift and that is more than you can say about 14/16th of the forwards on this team.

    Hospo, don’t get me wrong, he needed to get sent down (even though we do like to carry tons of 1 goal/season scorers), but think he can bring a lot of fire to this team.

  17. Rob – I’m not disagreeing that he should take over for Hollweg, but it still won’t translate to goals playing 8-10 mins with Orr and Betts.

    Hospo – Orr will never sit because he fights. Take him out of the line up and we have no one that fights. Avery can’t do it. Strudwick shouldn’t be playing in the NHL. Hollweg scares no one.

    Salty – Not saying that Cally isn’t a #6 – 7,8,9 forward. I’m just saying that there’s no one in our top 9 that I’d take out to have Callahan play. Our top 9 are all better players than Callahan is.

  18. Salty – I like Cally’s style but his results are way over-rated…Last year he scored in only one of the last 13 games..Throw in this season and that’s 2 goals in like 40 games…I’m glad he’s scoring in the AHL, but the kid still needs to work on the things that will help him score in the NHL..

  19. Prucha27 – Big deal Orr fights, it has basically meant nothing this year..And later in the season and in the POs, the fighting will go down and almost cease…When Orr’s hockey and skating limitations become a liability (they haven’t been this year as the HBO line has been GREAT defensively) then you sit him.

  20. Hospo – If having Orr in the lineup makes 19 other guys feel safe, then you keep him in the lineup.

  21. Prucha27 – I think there is a little reality (but not alot) in that and why I have no problem with Orr playing NOW. And as long as HBO keeps playing great defense, you keep all three in…But, later in the season and the POs, it’s all about speed, wins and hockey…If Orr (or any goon) can’t provide any of those three he will be a liability and would need to be benched…

  22. Prucha27- I don’t know how you could judge Callahan after a handful of games last season and and handful this season. I don’t think from what we have seen of him that we could say he shouldn’t replace one of our top nine forward. For example…Prucha. what has he done. Cally could replace him. I’m not saying I don’t like Prucha but he has done little to nothing this year.

  23. I was thinking the same as Staal Wart regarding Prucha – who I really like. But the guy is not puuting up numbers like he should, especially given the PP time he gets. At this point, I would slot Dawes is his PP slot.

  24. hockeymanrangers on

    Sam will you be around to see if Malik shows up today??? Or for that matter any info as to what’g going on with him would be appreciated.

  25. Staal – What has Dawes done since being up here? Compare that to Callahan, who’s had more games. Look at what Prucha did in his forst 40 games in the NHL. Callahan isn’t even close.

    No way Callahan replaces Prucha. Prucha earned his spot in this line up at the NHL. Callahan hasn’t. Simple as that. Callahan has had a great AHL career, but done nothing of consequence at the NHL level.

  26. Mikey – Prucha isn’t getting PP time anymore. Yet another reason for his drop off in production.

    He saw limited time on a dysfunctional first unit, but hasn’t played there in the last 4-5 games.

  27. Staal Wart,
    I totally agree, I heard the same thing about Dubinsky and Dawes, can we please give these kids a chance. Every individual player is different when it comes to developing.

  28. Prucha27 – thanks. I had not noticed Prucha did not get PP time in the two most recent games against Atlanta.

  29. Western Canada Survivor on

    Kind of surprised how everyone is bagging Callahan. The guy has done nothing this year and I totally understand why they sent him down, but he had 4 goals in 14 regular season games last year and 2 more goals in the playoffs.

    Also not really sure where you would put him, considering he shouldn’t be on the fourth line, but just want to make a point that I’m surprised people have issues with him. Nigel Dawes has plenty left to work on, but he’s in the lineup.

    If there’s anything this team needs is energy and size…

  30. Prucha27
    Uh what has Dawes done…well lets see. For starters did you see the sweet, calm pass he made to Rozi the other night?
    did you see Dawes beat the Devils on 2 pretty goals…he won the game and how long has he been here? He plays well with Dubinski.
    Dawes, in his Rookie year has played 30 games, has 6 goals and 5 assists for 11 points and is a +3
    Prucha, not in his Rookie year has played 48 games, has 6 goals and 9 assists and is a +4. Don’t get me wrong I really like Prucha but he has slid since his rookie year.

    IMO Dawes has been pretty good, same amount of goals in few games, is a calm, cool player, and really is just another young + on our team.
    That is what Dawes has done, he may not be St. Louis yet, but I really like what I’m seeing

  31. WCS – I’m not sure it is really “bagging” on Cally…We agree on his pefroamnce this year and both could manipulate the stats of last year to show different stories..

    Still, the bottom line to me is that I don’t think Cally has shown he is ready to be a consistent player in the NHL yet..And that’s no surprise, he only had a half of a year in Hartford before he was recalled last year…and was a little hurt this year…I think being demoted to the AHL was the best thing that could have happened to him.There is no shame in spending a few more months leanring in Hartford…Maybe later in the season or next year he will be able to play the same type of game in the NHL as he does in the AHL and will be there to stay..We just gotta have patience and not force it with him…His time will come again

  32. What I find comical is that people in this blog are still blaming the 4th line for our problems. That is stupid!

    One thing the HBO line has NOT done in the past 20 games is cause us to lose them. They have stifled most of the other teams’ first lines. If you do that for 15 mins a game, in the other 45 mins your top 3 lines should be doing their job and scoring.

    The discussion here the that Callahan should replace someone on the HBO line means that the HBO line is why we are losing. Just cut the crap!

    It’s guys like Prucha going invisible all the time. It’s guys like Shanny who play when they are injured or tired. It’s guys like Drury just not being an offensive player enough when we need it. It’s the m&%#$^#%$ing powerplay going 2 for 50 and not scoring during 5 on 3s. It’s Jagr not being able to play well with anyone. It’s a few defensemen who have no right being on the ice as much as they are. It’s NO ONE ON ANY OF THE TOP 3 LINES hitting anyone or forechecking aggressively at all.

    All of you stop spewing your verbal sewage about whether Cally is a 4th liner who should replace the HBO line. That line has done it’s job 90% of the nights out on the ice. It’s the other 9 forwards who have not lived up to their billing, save for maybe Gomez.

    I don’t have an answer right here and now, but it is NOT putting Cally on the 4th line to replace H or O.

    I will agree that as we get down to the final weeks of the year, Orr’s value shrinks and so does Hollweg’s from a physical perspective. But if our team cannot score any goals on the PP, any team can take egregious runs at our players and take slashing and roughing penalties with little recourse. Maybe if we had a real PP, we wouldn’t need Orr as a deterrent? Then maybe I could see getting rid of the HBO line.

  33. FWIW, I fully agree that Dawes has proven himself and deserves his spot, absolutely. Callahan will hopefully make his way back into the lineup in some capacity by next season, probably replacing one of the old codgers. I wouldn’t mind him going on forth in place of Orr/Hollweg in a possible rotation situation between those 2 depending on opponent. Not that the 4th hasn’t been great, but it would be nice to see a touch of offensive talent sprinkled in that mix.

    f0rk upd4tes on marek?

  34. “The discussion here the that Callahan should replace someone on the HBO line means that the HBO line is why we are losing.”

    Uhhhh…that’s not what I was inferring, at all.

  35. Newman, I dont think anyone was blaming the 4th line for anything. and i agree all of the things you mentioned are the real issue. But if Callahan could play defensively as adequately as Hollweig, Id give him a shot there b/c as of now that line has no scoring potential which it needs to have it is gonna get 10+ minutes of ice a game. But yeah Id rather see Shanny out then Hollweig at this point, but we both know Renney would never do that. At least put Prucha back with dawes and dubinsky as that trio looked good

  36. Richtersgirl35 on

    Its not the 4th lines fault we are losing persay, but if they are going to be on the ice for 75% of the game, maybe we could use some better players on it!

  37. Salty I wasn’t coming at you personally.

    Let me use an analogy….

    We are sitting around saying how slow our car is and people are like, “We should change the color.” The real issue is the engine and the wheels but people are focusing on the color of the paint.

    Callahan is an odd-lot. He has future potential. The reality is that he is a non-factor on the 07-08 NYR. Despite what we have seen, this team has the tools to win right now. [I really believe this…though my confidence has been shaken (and continues to be) countless times!] Callahan does not hold a single shred of importance in our success this year, in my view. Sorry, that is the bottom line and I cannot think anyone here really disagrees with this. If it were not the case, he’d be back here already.

    So bringing him up to replace someone on our most consistent line is just silly.

    That is my point.

  38. BTW “odd-lot” is a reference in my business to a “tiny, small order” not an “impacting, signficant order” that moves the needle.

    “Odd” as in the #, not as in “bizarre”.

  39. Prucha27,
    I am literally Laughing my ass off! I just realized that I compared Dawes with Prucha not with Callahan.
    Hey its been a long weekend, No Rangers hockey, only an All-Star Weekend that for some reason this year didn’t interest me at all. I’d seen enough after the obstacle course and that woeful speed skate
    Please forgive me! LOL

  40. Newman, I knew you weren’t, but I didn’t see that before I posted mine and wanted to clarify I blame nothing on the 4th line.

    I think Callahan should get NHL minutes if he’s able to play last as he did last year. I agree arguing about the 4th line is ridiculous when you look at how invisible our top lines have been, but just because the Betts line (sorry I hate “cute” line names and im not using the movie channel moniker!) has been “consistant” doesn’t mean Cally shouldn’t get a shot there at some point when he looks ready. Say what you will, I thik Cally played a signifigant role in our success late last year.

  41. I agree with you on Cally’s contribution from last year. 100%.

    But this year he had an injury and then got out of shape and lost his touch. He has potential and I like his spirit. I just have a hard time seeing him as impactful this year.

  42. Anyone else hate Kovalchuk even more after the AllStar break? He looks like such a penis with that smarmy quiet look and that 1992 highschool senior keanu reeves wannabe haircut! His big move in the break away comp was dropping to his knees to take the shot… that your *signature* move huh Ilya?

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