Staal still ailing


The Rangers need to play a game here pretty soon, if for no other reason than to eliminate the meaningless rhetoric spouted around the team’s locker room.

Not that I’m blaming anyone. If I had to sit and wait five days for the next game, I’d be spewing out the same “No, really, this break is good a thing” line as everyone else. And I really do think the Rangers believe it seeing how it’s allowing certain players to get healthy. But it’s still a relatively mundane topic.

Meanwhile, some news:

<li>Marc Staal missed another practice with the flu and is a concern for the weekend as a result. Worse than Staal being out is the possibility that another flu strain is making its way through the room, but so far, there hasn’t been an indication of as much.

<li>Petr Prucha skated only on his own but is doubtful for the weekend with a sprained shoulder. “Day-to-day is optimistic,” Tom Renney said.

<li>Marcel Hossa looks like he might take Ryan Hollweg’s place at left wing after missing two weeks with a bad back. Meanwhile, I asked Hossa about his brother Marian’s situation in Atlanta, and whether he’s talked to him. “He’s just going to play for them right up until the deadline and see what happens,” Hossa said.

I also asked Marcel if he’d like to see Marian come to play for the Rangers next season.

“It’s not my business to control,” Marcel said.

Yes, I’m aware of that. This reminds me of Saturday, when I asked Staal if he’d like to see Stephen Valiquette start again in the wake of his shutout against the Flyers.

“It’s not up to me,” the rookie said.

Yes, again, I realize that Marc Staal and Marcel Hossa are not running the whole operation around here.

I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.

More later..

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  1. Sam said,
    “The Rangers need to play a game here pretty soon, if for no other reason than to eliminate the meaningless rhetoric spouted around the team’s locker room.”

    Kind of sounds like this blog.

    Is it Saturday yet?

  2. Is anyone else thrilled that Hossa is playing instead of Hollweg? and what’s the possibility of one of the d-men from hartford coming up?

  3. Siobhan

    I am THRILLED with a capital T that Hossa is the H of the HBO line!!

    I also agree that we don’t need tog et another forward, we need the ample amount fo forwards we have to start producing… PLus I remmeber Marian form the playoffs and I was not impressed, we don’t need another Arod…

    ummm the d guys in Hartford, I saw soemthing liek if Hutchinson or Pock are called up they have to clear waivers, adn if they don’t we have to pay half their salaries. Now I don’t recall where I saw that and I (to continue with baseball hear) may misremember how it went but I think that is what prevents them form coming up. As to the kids in Hartford we have kids with Girardi, Tyutin and Staal, what we need is the veterans to step up (Rozi, Malik, Mara, Struds!!) That or a trade, but not a forward…

  4. Staal…Hossa, Try not to be too revealing all the time. Keep your answers closer to your chests.

    Good God.

  5. I may be the only one on this blog who likes Hollweg and wants him suited up everygame to play on the 4th line…granted Hossa adds more versatility, but I like players who play angry, who hit, and have speed…I do wish Hollweg was a little bit smarter on the ice sometimes (that penalty against Washington shoudl’ve been against he Capital for diving, so I don’t blame holweg for that one)… I’d mix Prucha in and out with Hossa and keep Hollweg in, but I think that’d be an unpopular idea here…Prucha just doesn’t score anymore, I like him but he’s expendable to me

  6. Alex,

    Prucha scores more than Holweg… And I liek Hollweg until he proved he had no idea what he was doing when he slammed the Kostitsyn brother in Canda and though he did nothing wrong. ANd whatever the penalty was before that (in a previous game) when he clearly left his feet and charged a guy, then said he held up… thats to dangerous. Not only does he take stupid dangerous penalties but he shows no sign of acknoweldging what he did…

    I liek players who play with emotion and hard but not players who play angry… Prucha plays as hard as his little frame allows and I like him for that. Holweg plays hard but dumb and is to dangerous as of late… he wasn’t always like this, I hope he changes back and develps instead of his regressing but I don’t know if he wil

  7. Re-post

    I love having The King in net.

    If the King is having such a horrible season, then why are the Rangers one of the lowest goals against in the league?

    The Rangers have the LOWEST GOALS PER GAME in the league at 2.37 goals per game.

    Hank has a goals against average of 2.37.

    So basically you are asking your goaltender to win every game for you, which is not fair at all.

    In comparison:

    Broduer has a 2.19 goals against average
    And the Devils as a team have an average of 2.56 Goals Per Game.

    This means the Devils will have a few more wins than the Rangers and subsequently are ahead of us in the standings.

    That being said, the Rangers are 6th in the league in goals against as a team.

    To me, this means that the Rangers are relying far too much on Hank to win them games. When I see these stats I say to myself the reason why the Rangers were good last season was because Nylander, Straka, Jagr, Shanny, Prucha and Callahan and others were putting the puck in the net, this year it’s not happening like it did last year and the team is struggling. If the Rangers can begin to put the puck in the net with a bit more frequency, Hank will be there to win us games.

    Lundqvist has 7 shutouts, 2nd in the league.

    You put a better offensive team/system in front of Hank and the W’s will mount for the Rangers.

  8. With Marcel on the 4th line at least we have a shot at scoring. Hollweg just never puts it in (except for those two goals against Philly I think in Dec) At least Hossa willc asue other teams to react to the fourth line more of as an offensive threat rather than just a purely checking line.

  9. Dawesfan, the reason Staal won’t comment on the goalie situation is a simple one. If he answers “yes, I think Valiquette should start on Sunday” then some dopey reporter (present company excluded) will go over to Lundqvist and ask “so how do you feel about Marc Staal saying he wants Valiquette in goal tomorrow.”
    It can only lead to something bad. it’s always better IMO to give the vague cookie cutter answers.

  10. Vogs, I share your sentiments about Lundqvist. It’s great that he’s in the fold for another six years. He’s a world class goaltender.

    Apparently you and I seem to be in the minority about this.

  11. Yeah, keeping Hollweg in the lineup does mean a roster spot that won’t score, and our 4th line NEVER scores and has little expectation that will, which really is a detriment to our success, but my ideal 4th line is one that is fast, that hits, creates energy, and chips in everyonce in a while on offense…under those qualifications I’d rather have Prucha on the 4th line with hollweg, play Orr depending on the opponent, shuffling Hollweg or Prucha out

  12. vogs, I’m not blaming Henke for losing. It’s blatently obvious that we need more scoring. But if you wanna bring up stats, here’s his splits for GAA this season.

    October – 1.82 GAA, .930 SV
    November – 1.81 GAA, .930 SV
    December – 3.11 GAA, .875 SV
    January – 2.55 GAA, .891 SV
    February (only 4 games) – 3.03 GAA, 893

    Last year he was the opposite.

    October – 3.57 GAA, .878 SV
    November – 2.26 GAA, .922 SV
    December – 3.12 GAA, .903 SV
    January – 2.01 GAA, .921 SV
    February – 1.96 GAA, .922 SV
    March – 1.80 GAA, .938 SV
    April – 1.72 GAA, .940 SV

    We’re not saying he doesn’t win games. We’re not even saying hes a bad goalie. We’re saying he has shown in his career, even in the 1st year which I didn’t post, that he has one really good half where hes the best in the league, then the other half he is just ok and nothing special. If he was kinda up and down with streaks throughout the season it would be fine, but he hasn’t proven that yet in 3 years.

  13. agravaine, you are mistaken Ryan did not leave his feet on that hit, yes it was from behind which was wrong but i will take him over the useless hossa anytime. I am hoping the only reason he is playing is to show case him and show that he is healthy because there is know way he can help the Rangers unless he is traded and we get something for him like a bag of pucks!

  14. And Hossa should always play over Hollweg. Hollweg and Orr should be rotated, at least I think so. Hossa is a much better defensive player and despite what most fans think of him, hes still pretty talented. He keeps the puck down low in the offensive zone. I just hate when he takes one of those stupid hooking penalties, which he’s limited somewhat this year when he plays. If he can find the scoring touch from the end of last year, then that will help us out dramatically. He still has time too since hes only 25 or 26.

  15. I don’t think you’re in the minority about Lundquist, I think every ranger fan was real happy that Lundquist will be a longterm Ranger…he’s really the face of the franchise at this point and the only player that gets his name chanted by the crowd…Ranger fans love him…but when he’s forced to win every game 2-1 due to a unfathomable lack of offense from our team, and he gets on a stretch where’s not dominating games, people become less vocal in their affection…it’s not him, it’s just the team people are getting frustrated with

  16. Well the way I see it if anyone thinks that Lundy is not worth that type of money should just burn everything they have that says rangers on it and just walk away from hockey all together. If our so called all star goal scorers would score and the defense try and check someone they win a few games. Lundy has absolutely no support from his defense.

  17. I would like to say that I am psyched that Henry is our goalie for the foreseeable future. He deserves what he got and will show that over the next few years. He too is young and if other young players can still imporve so will Henry. As for the $$ he is worth it and when the cap expands in the upcoming years it will all work out.

  18. Against the Candiens he didn’t leave his feet, it was a differnet one I was refrring to, where he did… And you can’t argue that he doesn’t becuase he does.

    I am glad Hank is a Ranger long term I just hope he shows consistency over a season, as does everyone else, instead of going on serious skids.

  19. Hollweg is a no talent player either. He has pretty much 0 upside. I liked Hollweg until he started making more and more stupid mistakes. Not just hits, I’m talking about overall. Its like he can’t multitask and can only focus on skating, hitting, stickhandling, or playing defense one at a time. I like the fact that he tries hard, but he needs to be a hell of a lot smarter. Plus his overall skills need to improve. Hossa might not be scoring, but before he was hurt he had a lot of chances. He’s solid positionally in the defensive end, especially on the PK, and while he might not hit as much and as hard as Hollweg, he hits clean and barely gets knocked off the puck. He’s kinda like a Jagr of the last couple weeks with better defensive zone coverage. Not a difference maker, but not a liability either.

  20. Yea don’t get me wrong a couple years agao, when it was Hollweg, Moore and Orty Hollweg seemed to be playing a heck of a lot better, I am angry at him now because he has taken a huge step abckward. He was clean and energetic in years past, I am frustrated with him becuase I don’t know what happened, but this year he has been a danger.

  21. Johnny:

    Good stats to add to the discussion. And true Lundqvist has not gotten better this season, he has gotten worse, as has the team around him.

    More scoring means a looser goaltender and more confident. If one goes, so should the other.

  22. The biggest concern is Hank’s consistency. If he can go back to 1.83 GAA then ok, he deserves almost 7m a year.

  23. hockeymanrangers on

    a afternoon Eklund post be we all know he is usually full of you know what?????

    Rangers leading the many who want Boyle. Devils and Canucks talking?
    As Tampa meets with Boyle in an attempt to get an extension signed, plenty of teams are watching. The Devils and Canucks are talking again.

    Just a quick hit today as I go in to chase some more rumours. I hope to have a Jokinen update, and something on Forsberg as well.

    The Rangers are the team that most looks like they are going to make a big push for Dan Boyle. According to a source, “There are two teams, NY and Philly, to start, that are weighing out waiting for Forsberg or going hard after Dan Boyle.”

  24. I wouldn’t doubt Eklund’s speculation on Boyle. Boyle is a PP specialist and what’s one of our main problems? Any team would take a guy like Boyle.

  25. He still doesn’t toughen up our defense, but I guess we have to take it one step at a time. Plus hes 31 or 32 I think. If anything it would be for a playoff run, not for the long term and thats why I’d like a younger guy who we can lock up for a few years like Campbell. But we’re not starting with him again. haha.

  26. Valid point. I thought of that after I posted. Its like the opposite of forwards. You want older guys because its a tougher position to play. Just ignore my last post.

  27. Boyle is going to be 32 and UFA this summer. I’m sorry, but we’re not good enough to start selling at the deadline for a pp specialist. Yes, the PP has been one of the biggest disappointments of the Rangers’ season for sure, but there is a real opportunity to build a solid winner for years to come with young players like Staal, Dawes, Dubinsky, Anisimov, Cherepanov, and the core of Drury, Gomez, and Lundqvist.

    Dealing any of those players would be a travesty. Put Staal on the PP and see what he can do, and for gods sake take Perry Pearn’s power play responsibilities away.

    Then you go for Boyle or Campbell in the offseason.

  28. Everyone on this blog is desperate for Saturday….evidenced by the Eklund rumors hitting this blog!

    On the Hank thing….chill out all you naysayers. The Rangers have scored more goals than only 3 other teams. They have given up less than all but maybe 3 teams too. And we all know they have played more games than practically anyone.

    If any of the NYR’s worst 10 forwards, who are punching under their weight in goals this year (I include Jags in this group), scored 1 more goal this year than they currently have scored, we might be 6 pts higher in the standings or on top of the Atlantic.

    Yes that is a big “IF.” But you know if that were the case, the naysayers would not be talking as much sh1t as they are. Please guys, get off Henry’s case. The guy is the best goalie we have had since Richter. Period.

    Vezina finalist his first two seasons, Olympic Gold Medal, European Championship…..WTF are you naysayers looking at or expecting?

    Arguably this is the best team in front of Hank since he has been here. Also, this team has the worst offensive stats this far into a season as well. The problem with Hank’s numbers are not really Hank’s fault. How many odd-man rushes do you expect him to make saves on? How many tic-tac-toe 5-on-4 or 5-on-3 plays do you expect him to make saves on? How many deflections off of Malikenstein, Staal, Girardi, Toots, etc. do you expect him to stop?

    I have always said this about Hank, if he can see the puck and it is not deflected, he makes the save.

    Yes there have been a few soft goals from stupid angles, through the legs, etc. But even Marty over in NJ has been known to make those boner plays once in a while.

    Hank is a top 5 goalie in the league. Ask anyone who knows hockey.

    You naysayers are blind.

  29. Dan Boyle would be a good addition to this team, but Tampa has been playing better lately and Boyle has been on that team forever, I don’t see him being dealt unless Tampa gets a great offer.

  30. NHL salary cap levels over the last three years:

    2005-2006: $39 million
    2006-2007: $44 million
    2007-2008: $50.3 million

    Continuing along the same trajectory – roughly a 13 percent cap increase each year – the future salary caps will be roughly at the following levels:

    2008-2009: $56.8 million
    2009-2010: $64.2 million
    2010-2011: $72.5 million

    Lundqvist makes $4.25 million this season- about 8.5% of the team cap. If Lundqvist makes $6.5 million next year, he’ll be at about 11.5 percent of the team’s cap. By 2010-2011, it’ll be down to 9 percent. In other words, basically the same as it is now.

    So for the final three years of this contract – assuming the reported numbers are basically accurate, and the salary cap increases stay consistent – Lundqvist’s percentage of the team payroll will be LESS than it is right now. And, in those years, he will be 29, 30, and 31 years old – prime years. And remembering that this is a goaltender who, despite being a completely unproven backup goaltender in October 2005, has already made an all-rookie team, has twice been a Vezina finalist, and played probably his best hockey during last year’s playoff run.

    There’s lots to complain about the New York Rangers. The Lundqvist contract isn’t one of them. Enjoy the next six years with him between the pipes.

  31. Oh yeah, one more thing: How many of you (heaven forbid) have had a loved one with an anuerysm? Did it affect your daily thoughts or your work at all?

    I am not making excuses, just asking a question…

  32. Adam, there’s no way in hell the cap continues to increase at those numbers. It’s being rumored to go up to 53/54 million next season.

    The cap was supposed to save the small market franchise, but with all of the ownership-imposed ceilings we’re starting to see (like Tampa’s $42 million ceiling), it’s doubtful that some franchises will be able to survive in a league that allows team salary spending to eclipse $60 million.

  33. I like Boyle but Campbell is the guy to go after he’s just as good a PP guy and he’s ahs thrown some highlight hits the last couple of years.

    With regards to Hank he is the embodiment of professional sports in NY and he is still so young. Something the Rangers have always been know for are high profile “cool” goalies. Eddie, JD, Mike Richter, heck even Glen Healy as a back-up was awesome he was a good goalie and he plays the bag pipes. Hank is more than that he’s Messier, Broadway Joe, LT, Patrick Ewing, Jeter. Like someone said he is the face of the organization. This was a reality check year for him. I’ve said many times this year that after that game in Tampa way back when that he was to full of himself. Shanny corrected that but I think he was embarrassed and then the stuff with his dad and the contract I mean he’s two years younger than me it’s alot to deal with. Were going to see a different team come Saturday. Lets Go Rangers!

    PS- We may actually see a “different team” if Glen gets off his arse and makes the deal we need.

  34. The cap will never go past 60… remember each cap ceiling means there’s a cap minimum… some teams can barely make the minimum.

  35. talk about forgetting

    calling hossa a scorer is ludicrous .

    he is a corner freak who will go from passing up an open shot in the slot to carry it to the corner and circle.

    if he was 5-11, he would be in the minors because his size and reach are the only things he has going for him.

    in the past, he was bashed relentlessly here, and rightfully so. now he’s the flavor of the day. puh-leeze

  36. Maybe not. But even if it stayed at $60m, he’d be at about 10 percent of the cap. For your franchise goaltender, that’s a heck of a bargain.

  37. jt, I’ve always been a fan of hossa because he is a hard worker who was pretty talented in juniors and still needs some time to reach his potential since montreal set him back a couple years. I’m not saying he’ll be a sure scorer, but he can be a 2nd or 3rd line wing with maybe 30-40 points, possibly more if he can consistently finish his chances. he passes up open shots when hes not confident, and when you play as little as he does, its hard to build that confidence.

    Newman, for the last time, we’re not talking about Lundqvists ability, we’re talking about his lack on consistency being a reason for why he was paid too much. Hes a great goalie, but I’d like him to show it for a whole season with a couple of waves here and there where he doesn’t play well, not half of a season. Also if he goes back to playing like he did at the start of the season where he wasn’t dropping down right away and keeping his shoulders up to stop the high shots, then he’ll be fine. If he goes back to doing that like he did last year, then teams will easily exploit it by just shooting high on him all the time. Plus Marty always gives up easy goals. Its the one thing true Devils fans don’t like about him.

    The cap is not going up by that much each year. Maybe 3m a year if they are lucky, but thats too much money in too fast a time for the NHL to keep up with as a “niche” sport.

  38. of all the posters here, I disagree with you the most.

    you seem to be more in love with a marginal winger like hossa than a star #1 goalie who has lifted the franchise, Henrik Lundqvist.

    that tells me plenty.

  39. Jonny D…..what do you think he would command in the free agent market?

    “For the last time?” This is the first time you and I have discussed something. Is this the first and last time?

  40. Jonny D,

    Also, in 59 games with Montreal he scored 9 goals and 9 assists. What did Montreal do to Hossa that has taken him 4 years to recover from? Did they make him play with a field hockey stick?

    (Like that guy jt, btw)

  41. i found this in a habs blog from 05:

    ‘What will people think should Latendresse score 5 goals this year, and Marcel Hossa scores 30 with New York. This scenario is quite plausible, and fickle Canadiens fans will be calling for Gainey’s head. On the other hand, if Latendresse can have a season like Boston’s Patrice Bergeron did in his rookie year, and provide that physical presence, Habs fans will be rejoicing into April.’

    haha that could not be further from the truth.

  42. Remember those two weeks last January when Hossa was awesome?…then he got hurt…but man, those two weeks were good

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