Your guess is as good as mine


OK, not really, otherwise this whole Q-and-A business would be a waste of precious cyberspace.

Truth is, though, that a lot of the questions submitted fall into the ambiguous, “What the heck?” department. Like I said, I have theories. But I continue to be mystified as well.

So let’s start right in….

Sam, is trading Jaromir Jagr a real possibility? Would trading him really do anything for this team one way or the other? What kind of package would we even expect to receive for him? — Rif 

I don’t think a team that is currently outside the playoff picture  and that has a potential unrestricted free agent as intriguing as Jagr can close its ears to any offers.

The problem is, and I think this applies to any type of seller situation for the Rangers, is that their season is still likely to be hanging in the balance by the time the Feb. 26 trade deadline comes around, just as it was last year.

In other words, if the Rangers were definitely out of it by then, then trading Jagr makes all kinds of sense. But given how tightly bunched the Eastern Conference is, and given the late run the Rangers went on last year, I doubt they want to risk leaving themselves depleted when a playoff run might still be a possibiliity.

So as a fan, if you’ve truly given up on this season, then you probably want this team to pack it in as early as possible. Otherwise I don’t see this team as sellers.

Hey Sam, first time poster. You do a great job with the blog. Here’s my question: In regards to the power play, why have the Rangers been so predictable the last two years? I mean if I was coaching the other team I would just tell them to get in the shooting lanes and passing lanes, and its that simple because the Rangers dont move around on the PP– XV

You’re right, XV, given this team’s personnel, it’s mind-blowing that its power play is as anemic as it is. But why stop there? The Rangers’ lack of offense in general makes no sense given their abundance of talent.

First of all, I think power play success is at least somewhat arbitrary. A puck goes in off a skate now and then and the power play is considered a success. A couple of passes bounce over sticks, and the power play is incompetence personified.

But having said that, I believe there’s an issue of chemistry. One of the real drawbacks of thee Rangers being in such a dogfight right from the start of the season is they haven’t been able to be patient. This means switching up the power play combinations too often, and it means panicking when things go even slightly awry. I agree there’s not enough movement in the power play, particularly down low in the zone. But in general, I see a lack of confidence from a group of players who are pressing too hard.

Success begets success. And failure? Well, we’ve seen what that’s produced as well.

Sam, of course this time of year rumors are heating up. Two I have heard of, Malik on the trade block, but Sather wants a top four defenseman. Is this possible? And the other is Forsberg possibly signing with the Rangers. Would this be worth it. Would it really help or just hurt this team? — Tim

Rumors are an inevitability at this time of year, but especially for a team in as precarious as a spot as the Rangers.

Let’s start with Marek Malik. As Larry Brooks reported, Glen Sather is entertaining offers, and may be looking for a top four defenseman in return. I made a snide remark about that the other day, and I maintain that given Malik’s salary and on-ice struggles this year, Sather may have to lower his price if he really wants Malik out.

But even then, as hard as this may be to believe, Malik does have value. For one, his plus-60 rating the previous two seasons was attributable to more than just playing a lot with Jaromir Jagr. For another, I think that if you got him out of New York, where’s obviously he’s getting in his own way this season, he can return to being an effective puck-moving defenseman.

Whether other teams are willing to take that leap is another story. But I do think it’s in the best interest of both the Rangers and Malik to move on.

As for Forsberg, come on already. The last thing the Rangers need is another big-name star who will only increase the pressure on the players around him.

Sam, in my mind, Jagr is not the right player to be captain of this team. Given his personality, would it be possible to remove the “C” from him and still have him perform as an effective player on the Rangers? — VT Ranger

The short answer is no, just as it wouldn’t have been possible for any other player to be named captain at the start of last season.

Look, I understand the temptation to pin a lot of the Rangers’ problems on Jagr, especially given his complicated history. It’s true, his personality is such that he does not fit the mold of your typical hockey captain. He appears to get easily frustrated, isn’t as outspoken as he may need to be, and as a player, hasn’t been the indomitable force he was two seasons ago.

And you’re right if you think ripping the “C” off his chest or even sitting him down for a shift might have negative repercussions. But just as an aside here, how do you think that would have gone over with a 35-year-old Mark Messier? Or even Brendan Shanahan?

The reality, though, is that Jagr is still the Rangers’ most dangerous  player, he really does work his tail off, and he really does have a strong desire to have this team succeed. If he sulks on the way to the bench or takes an ill-advised penalty, I see a player who’s trying to do too much to help the Rangers win. That might not be an excuse. But it is a reality.

Sam, is this team worse than the Knicks? And I mean at hockey. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Hank, since we have all assumed he would be the true premiere player on this team for years to come and he seems to have regressed. Physical? Mental? Merely a sign of the crapola in front him? Lack of backup competition? — Chris F.

Are the Rangers worse than the Knicks? When the mass protests start outside the Garden, then we can talk.

As for the King, there’s a couple of moving parts at work here.  I think the most important factor is the Rangers are indeed exposing him far more than they were either last season or at the beginning of this one. Just look at the three Carolina goals last night. All three were instances when Rangers skaters were caught up ice and the Hurricanes capitalized on an odd-man rush.

With that in mind, though, the Henrik Lundqvist of last spring was making at least two of those saves, if not all three, suggesting that he’s set his own bar too high.

I go back to confidence.  What little I know of goaltenders (other than I can’t score on them) I know they get into a rhythm when they’re seeing the puck cleanly and making a string of saves in a row. Take that away, and every shot suddenly becomes more elusive, which is why Lundqvist appears to be fighting the puck on occasion.

Sam, at what point is Renney’s job on the line? Or is it already? — Rich M

There’s no way you can look at a team that has underperformed to this extent so far and say the coach is immune.

A lot of the disappointment of this season falls on Tom Renney because it has to fall on someone; and yes, if the Rangers wither away over the season’s final months, then a coaching change may well be in play.

What I don’t see, however, is the Rangers making any sort of move to salvage this season because, to be honest, I don’t think it would do anything. You fire the coach either when the team has tuned that coach out or when he’s no longer proven himself competent.

But Renney still very much has his players’ attention, and he  continues to hammer away at ways to get them playing more consistently.

Is he too soft on his players on occasion? Does he make moves that leave you scratching your head? In both instances, a yes is unavoidable. But a new coach isn’t going to suddenly have Chris Drury break out of a season-long slump, nor is he going to turn Lundqvist back into a stone wall.

OK, folks, good stuff from all you, and I apologize that I didn’t get to more questions. I might be back later…

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  1. Repost, since you got this thread in before I posted in the last one. I hope you are still taking questions!

    I couldn’t bring myself to come to the board until now, since it would obviously be an overwhelmingly negative sentiment, as it very well should be. I just had to keep away for a while, but luckily BSKUL is here to make me laugh (in his post last night).

    My question to you, Sam, on a lighter note – Where do you sit in MSG? I looked near the goal last time I was there during an intermission, but then remembered there is another press area below the announcers, near where I have previously sat.

    I can’t believe Renney keeps going with the same tired combos in the same situations. When it comes to the point that we need to pull the goalie, why can’t playing time be based on who was playing well that game, along with players playing well recently? At least he put Mara out there for a change, but Ward made some unreal saves to keep the game from being 3-2, especially once the ‘Canes were down two men. Last night, my six would have been Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez, Dubinsky, Dawes, Mara. Sure, Drury can score late in games and has done it once this year, but he’s playing like crap overall and I don’t remember him even touching the puck besides the faceoffs. Last night specifically, it’s hard to beat Brind’Amour, and I give Dubinsky an equal chance, since he has looked good on faceoffs. I would not pick Straka or Rozsival because they have shown their propensity to pass when they should shoot on power plays, which a goalie-pull essentially is.

  2. As a Renney supporter(though I see faults, as I do with the other 29 coaches), if this team misses the post season I can see his tenure being over as the head coach. But its ridiculous to think that replacing him now will change the problems that we have.

    And then what will happen, is that the whole personel will go through changes this summer and people will look back and say ‘told you so’, but in reality the whole team was changed, staff, players, the whole kit ‘n caboodle

  3. The best part of last nights game was me falling asleep late in the second period. The refs were a disgrace last night. This is Fairy Buttman’s Nhl though and the refs will be rewarded for their work last night by working the Stanley Cup Finals in June. Jason Strudwick might be the nicest guy in the world but he is so far away from being an Nhl player it’s not even funny. Strudwick looks like he’s skating in both quicksand and humus at the same time. Dan Girardi must have missed Marek Malik because he played exactly like him last night. While Girardi’s offense has picked up from last year his defense has declined from last year. How bout those slow motion odd man rushes by the Rangers? It seemed like every odd man rush the Rangers had somehow ended up in their own net. Btw there is no excuse on how Bozosival played Brin’amour on the odd man rush he just kept backing off. Well to be fair if Rozsival is mentally handicapped that’s a good excuse for his play on the Brindy goal. How bout putting Prucha back on the line with Dawes and Dubi Tom? All Shanny does is slow them down. That way you can have Shanny back with the invisable man in Drury. Hey Tyutin you know it wouldn’t hurt to hit the net one in a ble mooon no? Next up is the white hot Flyers hopefully the Rangers play with some desperation.

  4. Where is this abundance of talent on the Rangers? I don’t see it. Jagr, Gomez, Straka, Lundqvist, and Rozsival are the only above average players on the team at the moment.

  5. Sam – I like that you look at everything so rationally, being the professional reporter here, and give the striahgt truth because you can see more behind-the-scenes than us. It’s good to hear that Jagr still works hard and Renney still commands respect (except from Malik, I guess). I hope everyone remembers these facts and stops assuming that the opposite is true.

    I think Sather needs to pull the trigger quickly on a Malik deal to see if that will help the team get on the right track. If not, we will know that we should be sellers by the deadline, although Sather probably still won’t do it.

    I don’t understand why everyone assumes that Valiquette couldn’t play a few games in a row. I just think Renney is nervous to do it, even if he shuts the opponent out in the first game of a potential run. We’ve never actually seen Valiquette do this, and I wish it would have been tried earlier in the season, so in a way hoping that Lundqvist was down for a week with the flu, so that way we would know at this later point that he is ready, rather than testing him in such a crucial spot, since even a point this early seems late to a team that can’t get their stuff together.

  6. Dan Boyle has returned for Tampa Bay he’s got 4 points in his first two games. If there is one player that is a must get either at the trade deadline or this summer it’s Boyle. Imo he’d be the best dman this team has had since Leetch’s heyday.

  7. Renney/Sather’s insistance that this group is a plyoff team is laughable. That’s the problem.

    Outside of a 10 game streak in November, this team has shown nothing in terms of being to able to compete for a spot in the post-season, much less have any success there.

  8. Also, nobody can complain about fourth line time last night because all of Prucha, Dubinsky, and Dawes saw over seven minutes more than Hollweg, five minutes more than Betts. Now, some could say the fourth line should get more time, but I would only say that if the Rangers could score more than one goal. Otherwise, it’s no use.

    graves9 – That’s what I was worried about with Girardi. He showed offense at Hartford last year, which was probably part of the reason he was called up, but then showed none with the Rangers probably because he wanted to make sure he played good defense. I figured coming into this season since he was comfortable with the NHL-level of play, that he would put focus back on his offense, and I had hoped it wouldn’t affect his defense. It is starting to look like it has, unfortunately.

  9. IMO I don’t care if the rangers are close to the playoff picture when the trading dead line comes around, I don’t want to see these veteran UFA on the rangers resign with the rangers next year so IMO the organization would be better off in the long run by trading as many as possible for young talent and draft picks to build a legit cup contender in the next 5 years. If you hold on to these players the rangers are not going to win a cup this year or next year or the year after.

  10. pig – thanks for those #’s on the …ahem… checking line.

    I know you can’t use 1 game to base something on, but it keeps looking like Dawes & Prucha are more effective when their time is limited.

    prucha27 – not many of the teams we’re close to in pts have put anything together. But some will make it in just b/c there has to be 8 teams. And it’s still possible that we could finish out of the playoffs with more pts than the SE Div leader. I can’t say we look good, but it doesn’t look like there will be too many ‘good’ teams in the playoffs anyway representing the East.

  11. Man… it’s like a snowball rolling downhill isn’t it?

    Chemisty is the problem…

    Then scoring…

    Then the powerplay…

    Then defense…

    Then goaltending.

    Now we’re back to offense. Unreal.

    Everyone keeps waiting for that last push like last year. It’s not coming this time. Last season the team was blowing 2 and 3 goal leads. Implying they’d been in position to win and couldn’t finish.

    Not so this time ’round. They’re not in any position to win games until the final buzzer sounds (a game or two against Atl and Pitt aside). Perfect hockey from drop of the puck until the 3 stars are announced or it’s a loss.

    That’s the difference and that’s why it won’t happen.

  12. Beer – No point making it in on the 8th seed to get trounced by Ottawa. Think big picture.

  13. Prucha27,
    exactly, who cares if this team and there veteran players make the playoffs, it’s about winning the cup.

    According to this, we still have $2.5 million of cap space if we want to push more of Shanny’s “bonus” into next season. Of course, if we don’t make the playoffs, I think half a million comes off his bonus, if I remember correctly. If we trade Malik for no roster player (for example, and if that’s the only move), all of the bonus will fit under the cap this season no matter what. Taking this as an example, I don’t think it is as hard as the analysts say to make trades because most teams, if not all (I’m not taking the time to check) have bonus salary to play with against the cap.

  15. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Just wanted to clarify a general misconception – big agent signings and spending BIG $$ on players does not translate to an “abundance of talent.”
    *Gomez only had 60 points last year, and has only broken 20goals one time (he’s now in his 8th NHL season).
    *Drury has averaged 58 points his past 5 seasons (that includes playing on two offensive juggernauts – Buffalo and Colorado).
    *Shanahan, since being concussed, has 22 goals in 68 games (averaging to a 27 goal season for a full 82 games).
    *Jagr & Straka – where do I even start?

    Thus, Jagr, Straka, and Shanahan have all been aging in front of our eyes and we all know the loss of Nylander isn’t hindering the process either. Also, Gomez and Drury have never been offensively dominant players…NEVER. They were just the best free agents available in a weak pool of offseason UFA’s (and perhaps not even the best as Briere is probably outperforming both of them).

  16. I am a true fan and I just cut myself by accident. I am only bleeding red. Does that make me less a fan, or worse….not a true fan?

  17. Beer – You’d rather make it and lose, and have 5 guys leave next year for nothing?

    Instead of getting value for our assets now and live to fight next year?

    There’s no glory in a first round exit, even if every game goes to 3 OTs. You still lost. In the first round.

  18. …And our rookies, our future(god help us) will get to see what your game needs to look like to be a serious contender.

    And as far as losing UFA’s. My opinion has nothing to do with that thought. I’d rather see my team in the playoffs. Any season.

  19. I’m still just bleeding red. I don’t see any white or blue. I am starting to see a light though. I am starting to feel a little woozy here.

  20. I am on the fence on what to think. I said to myself during the break that I am giving this team 10 games before I make the decision on whether to have a fire sale or whether to ride it out. Game one did not impress me at all. Except for the first period.

  21. Nasty – I know I’ll regret this one day, but we’re thinking right along the same line here.

    And listen…if you’re bleeding that much, go drink a beer. it’ll only take one to get you buzzed! ;)

  22. I am a true fan and I just cut myself by accident. I am only bleeding red. Does that make me less a fan, or worse….not a true fan?


    It means you’re joining me as a Black Cawks fan

  23. Sam & Joe threw a good stat at us last night.

    Dubinsky is leading all rookies in hits. atta boy.

  24. the rangers have scored the FEWEST goals in the entire NHL.

    that is ridiculous, given the career stats of some of their players, and given that the D has scored more than most D in the league.

    thus, the forwards are not getting the job done, and that is directly attributable to Renney’s stupid stifling “system”, which is a 1-2-2 trap, his overuse of a 4th line that cannot score much, and the euro style which was very evident last night, stupidly passing back when you have a odd man rush,(straka gives away a goal instead of scoring one) standing off to the side of the net all the time intead of in front of the goalie( did anyone else notice the 6-on-3 in the final seconds where jagr was standing way off to the side of the net and could not reach any of those wide open rebounds off the pads)?

    so, the problem is obvious. the forwards under the renney system and with the euro perimeter style are lackluster on offense to the point that it is the key problem on the team, as the stats show. a high scoring defense group, but the LOWEST SCORING team in the league. that says it all.

  25. Maybe they should just say to hell with defense altogether. Set them loose and just go run and gun and take tons of chances throughout the whole game. Try to rack up a bunch in the first period and then kind of shut it down and protect the lead? Ha.

  26. Some sobering facts-

    NHL Goals Leader = Daniel Alfredsson with 39 Goals

    NYR Goals Leader = Brendan Shanahan with 16 Goals


    NHL Points Leader = Daniel Alfredsson with 68 Points

    NYR Points Leader = Scott Gomez with 48 Points


    Marcel Hossa leads the Rangers in +/- with a +7

  27. ROAD – the euro-style worked when nylander was jagr’s center with straka up there too. Slats let Nylander go. right or wrong, he let him go.

    I think something that gets lost in the ‘accountability field’ is… that as straka’s game was slipping, he was shifted down off the top line, with fewer minutes.

    Avery was playing hard after coming back from injury and was rewarded with time. Drury’s game isn’t where it should be and ends up playing on the 3rd line.

    These are just small examples. And if your going to sit a guy down for a shift, well, you’re going to have to change your lines too, or sit the whole line. Everyone says they want to see more accountability(which the word is far over-used in ranger-ville) but don’t understand what has to take place for it to happen.

  28. here’s another stat…

    the d 4some of Rosival, Girardi, Tyutin, Staal has 26 goals, almost the same total as Jagr and Drury combined, 27

  29. blueclue – thanks for those stats.

    Can I ask a question?

    Does it matter that Hossa is a +7? And what does it say about him? His ability? Does it make him good?

  30. Bring back Lohan on

    RANGERS SUCK! Wow, that feels better. I hear Lohan is back on the bottle. We need her back in the stands….

  31. beer, I partially disagree. the euro style had the rangers in the same boat at the same point last season UNTIL Avery came aboard and showed everyone how to get in front of the goalie, and how to create some havoc in the offensive end.

    but this year his injuries have kept him out of many games, and hampered him in most others, thus the falloff in O zone intensity.

  32. Bring back Lohan on

    hey Road to add to that point, do you notice Avery has been stick handling through the Neutral Zone with one hand? He is hurting big time and probably should not be on the 1st line.

  33. I feel like Hossa is someone who should just be parked in front of the net. They thing that makes me laugh is this. They did the park someone in front of the neat earlier in the season and it worked. So they decided to abandon it. I don’t get it. Does anyone remember this? Shanny scored a few from there, Hossa I think did, Drury. It was around the same time we went on our one hot streak of the season. And all of a sudden we tossed that theory out the window and it landed in a big ol’ pile of dog shit and then got run over a few hundred times. It worked and it is obvious, so why not do it?

  34. Bring back Lohan on

    Nasty, cause that leaves someone “trapped” in the zone in the event of a blocked point shot. That happened once and they stopped that quickly. We’d rather stay in a low scoring game with a chance to win in the end than play an agressive forechecking style that creates offense. Beer Me may get upset but blame Renney…

  35. Sam, you know I respect your views and have known you for a while, well before this blog.

    In reference to that powerplay question: I wholly disagree with your thought that an odd bounce off a stick or a skate and your PP #s would be very different. That is dreck. Ben Hogan said it, “The more I practice the luckier I get.” So if you are talking about luck affecting the Rangers PP, then they need to practice more and practice stuff that is working.

    But at the end of the day I blame Renney and the coaches. Plain and simple. Last year they misused Cullen. This year Prucha is the invisible man. Drury is playing the half boards instead of hanging around the goal looking for garbage. Jagr camps in one area with Gomez all powerplay. Barely anyone takes a screen shot slapper from the point. Absolutely no one crashes the net. I could go on, but I am tired of all this.

    Fire Renney. Get rid of the high priced older talent. Start shipping in the young kids. It would be a whole lot more exciting and refreshing to watch.

    BTW, Dawes had one of his best games in a Ranger jersey last night. He hit people.

  36. nasty, because Jagr does not subscribe to that style, and it was made very clear last year that he disagreed with renney on how to play the PP, he wants the perimeter style with the weak side Dman sneaking in the back door for the cross ice pass. he does NOT want the shoot and screen style UNLESS he is the point man like on the 5-on-3

    renney does not want to fight jagr, he tries to placate him, and that is a loser of a strategy on the PP

  37. nasty – I remember! It worked. Just like our play worked in the 1st last night. Then they friggin abandon it! Blame whoever (not you specifically), but when a staff prepares a team, they have to execute for 60 minutes.

    road – true. But Jags was burying way more goals then, nylander & straka’s #’s were higher as well.

    I think it’s so much of a transitional time for the whole organization that it just takes time to change. Which is something we know none of us want to give it. Sure, we’ve given the organization time, but a staff from the brass all the way down has to become one, and that takes years. But we’re still building from the youth up. And the youth that we got back from the fire-sale are just coming up now.

  38. “Beer Me may get upset but blame Renney…”

    Heeeere we go again….

    Renney shot that puck in the dman’s legs? really? or was he the one that blocked it?

    gimme a break.

    At this point it’s a battle to the death between Renney and Jags…who’s going to be the last one getting a paycheck from the Rangers?

  39. Bring back Lohan on

    My fear of the Sell Sell Sell mentality is that I wonder how much it really helps to have B level prospects (and too many of them). Its great if you want to build a team full of role players and such but at the end of the day you still have a bunch of 3rs and 4th liners (sound familiar). Like someone else said before, when we were bad, we just werent bad enough! Didnt get the Crosby, Ovechkin type players after 7 years of doing crap. Instead we have Blair Betts and the like. So maybe dumpinng the underachieving, older players accomplishes jack shit. Maybe you are better off just letting them go next year and then use the money more wisely. I dont know, I just dont want another group of 3rd liners that we can all complain about for years to come….

  40. I think the fans would be happy with a team full of homegrown kids like Dubi, Dawes, and Girardi, Staal, etc.

    Anaheim has the Oilers #1 pick. if the rangers were to trade a big name for that pick, they would then have 2 picks in the top 10 or 15 this summer.

  41. You only get a partial.

    It’s the nature of new york sports to boo guys out of town. I’m not even a Mets fan, but that’s a PRIMO example. Everyone was yelling to dump Willie when they were struggling last september. And I’ll admit that I don’t know a whole lot of their stats, but I know Delgado didn’t fulfill his role, nor did Beltran, and I’m sure there are other. And the pitching fell right off the table. Perhaps expectations were too high? familiar story there. And the pitching fell right off the table.

    A parallel there is Jagr not fufilling his role as a goal-scorer or Hank not performing like we’ve seen him.

    Willie is back on the bench this year b/c mngmnt new better. But as soon as they hit their first skid…it’s going to be all his fault again. We all know that.

    It would be really funny if Willie got fired and I didn’t even know it. Baseball sux.

  42. I look around the league and see the teams that are having success are the ones where the youngsters are more prominent then the veterans. Am I wrong?? If not, what is wrong with this organization??

  43. Baseball does suck. I actually despise it, until the playoffs then I can can actually stomach it minimally.

    Making a big deal out of going to opening day in baseball is the lamest thing I’ve ever heard.

  44. Bring back Lohan on

    I agree BeerMe, although I think a coach has a LOT more impact on the outcome/team performance in Hockey. I am a HUGE Mets fan and a HUGE Rangers fan, I know strange combo, but its true. I am not going to sit here and try to exemplify why this is the case, just trust me it is. Regardless, I think we all thought this team was better/more talented than it really is. Although I think Drury is a LOT better than some of you guys he certainly is overpaid, which will hurt the team in the wallet over the next 4 years. At the end of the day, our team really isnt that good. But we cant say screw the playoffs and dum the desirable players, unless of course we could get a top pick or two. I dont really know what my point is anymore. Pitchers and catchers report in less than a month. And the Giants are in the SB. So really who gives a shit. Oh yeah, we all do.

  45. Why not just say screw it and do everything possible to get the offense going? Like, say, put five forwards out there and just have them all storm the net and jump out to a quick lead. Of course, since that doesn’t even work for our team 5-on-3, I’m not sure it would work 5-on-5. But still, let Drury, Jagr, Shanny, Gomez and Straka work their behinds off to keep pressure on the net and prevent the other team from having a 3 on 0. And imagine what that would do for Hank’s confidence if he stopped a few of those.

    It’s not pond hockey. It’s “video game hockey.”

  46. Does anyone think Henrik maybe pressing? His agents is negotiating a longterm deal, dont you think he may be trying a little too hard.

  47. Anthony (Abev) on

    Every team is predictable when it’s the only team you watch. And it’s not that the team you watch is predictable, it’s that the team you do not watch is unpredictable, because you do not watch them.

  48. Those are some mighty deep thoughts, Anthony. I don’t think the Rangers deserve such a philosophical effort out of you. But thanks.

  49. I disagree with the earlier post who said you have to suck to get a top level talent. It’s all about good drafting. The last time the Rangers were loaded with prospects in the late 80s/early 90s, they were a middle of the road team. Guys like Leetch, Zubov, Amonte, Weight, Kovalev, Richter, Nortstrom, Nemchinov, etc. were all picked in the teens or lower, but Neil Smith despite revisionist history was not that bad at the draft (just too generous trade wise).

  50. Yeah totally. To expand that…Brett Hull was drafted at #116 in the 6th round. Sure to pick a HOF’er that late is finding the needle in the haystack, but it happens.

    BTW, Mario Lemieux was the #1 over all in that 1984 draft. Luc Robitalle…#171 in the 9th round

    I don’t know who said that, but you gots ta do yo research.

  51. This is sad, but this year’s Rangers team (with the exception of Dawes/Dubinsky and a few others) is making me miss guys like Bernie Nicholls, Ogrodnick, Kissio, Turcotte, etc. At least those guys could score.

  52. MikeA: Sure it is possible to pick future hall of famers in the teens or in the 6th round just as the number one overall could turn into alexander daigle. however if you pick consistently high in the draft you are more likely to get some elite players. That list of draft picks is indeed impressive (altho Craig Patrick drafted Leetch and I think Richter so can’t give Smith all the credit) but whats more telling from that list is that only Leetch and Richter were kept on the team the rest were traded to appease Messier,Keenan,Colin Campbell, etc. to get that elusive missing piece of the puzzle. Has Sather learned from these past mistakes (many of which he wasn’t a part of)? I sure hope so because if they start trading kids for more players to appease Jagr/Renney/Dolan I will be very upset.

    And do you really miss Johnny O and Kissio. They may have tried but they were taking the team nowhere just as it appears the current veterans are taking this team. And I think the powerplay back then was equally inept as from what I remember they never pulled the trigger, especially the great James Patrick.

  53. True, you’re right, Craig Patrick was a good GM and laid the groundwork.

    Ogrodnick and Kissio? They were stopgap, but at least they won a division with Leetch and Patrick etc. It’s a shame they couldn’t handle John Druce in 89-90 who had a career year, because they could have went to the Stanley Cup Finals that year (they were pretty good vs. Boston). Aaaaaaaaah, pre-Messier memories. not all were doom and gloom.

  54. Looks like Valiquette might be getting the start tonight so Hank can play against the devils and habs. In the papers they are saying renney was screaming mad and telling the guys to go to the f’n net and asking them if they want to win f’n hockey games. Too bad he doesn’t get on them more often and I guess we will now see if it works. I feel like when you act a certain way with your team all the time, and then try to take on the tough guy role it seems fake and almost laughable and hard to take serious. There has to be consequences to not going with the coaches plan and poor mistakes. So far that has not happened, so why should it change now?

  55. Just stumbled across an article which mentioned Jarkko Immonens name. Apparently we still hold his rights even though hes playin in the SM-Liga. He plays for JYP and though I dont read Finnish I can read his stats and it seems like hes tearing it up. In 42 games he has 17 goals and 26 assists for 43 pts. Not bad production, in a league that produces many NHL players. Though alot of people never considered him quick enough to keep up with the pro game, he always had the hands and scoring ability. Anyways heres the link.

  56. I think vally tonight is a good idea.

    nasty – again, you are scaring me. I was just about to post something similar. what paper did you read that in(re: renney)? I haven’t gotten the chance to read anything yet today…stupid job.

    Anaheim put Maxim Kondratiev on waivers. – TSN
    Could he be worse that Struds? (I like Struds, just wish he could play hockey)

  57. nasty – to speak to your point on consequences of not sticking to the plan…

    It appears(to me anyway), that as soon as the first guy, or the 1st unit to get away from it, it has a domino effect and infects the other 3 lines. not so much the checking line, cause they only have 1 style anyway.

    … So, if you end up punishing the 1st guy, or the 1st unit, you’ll end up just playing the checking line…which everyone here LOVES to see so much.

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