Strange bedfellows, Feb. 15 edition

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It’s that time of year when if you’re a Rangers fan, you find yourself pulling for teams you normally have no time for.

Tonight, that means hoping a couple of pesky Southeast division teams don’t make up any more ground in the standings.

<li>New Jersey over Atlanta:  For all the Karel Rachunek devotees out there, this should be easy.

<li>Florida over Washington: Wait, Florida still has a team? Anyway, go Florida!

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27 Comments

  1. I didn’t know that if Jagr won the scoring title in 05-06 or the Hart Trophy, that it would have meant him having another year tacked on to his contract. I was just listening to ESPN.com and EJ Hradek talks about this.

  2. I wonder Jagr secretly HATES Gomez. It sure seems that ever since he hurt his shoulder trying to hit Gomez in the 05-06 playoffs he hasn’t been the same. Sure, he had a decent year for us last year, and was good down the stretch and in the playoffs, but he sure as hell is nowhere near the player he was in 05-06. Not even close.

  3. If Hank plays well tomorrow I’ll bet Renney plays him again on Sunday.

    He’d still have monday off and then Tuesday he plays… not the harshest schedule I’ve ever heard of.

    I’m more worried about Stall not playing… I think that hurts the Defense more than they’re letting on. (Wow what I would have given back in September to know I’d be talking like that in Feb… though I guess I really wouldn’t want to know about the sad state of affairs playoff wise, this squad is in).

  4. “Just close your eyes and brace for the pain September Riche’!!!”

    I’d shout to myself.

    “This one’s gonna hurt buddy!”

    Then I’d ignore my future self and watch anyway. Hoping I was just messing with my September self.

  5. Hey Sam,

    There is a great article on ESPN.com (which I added the link below my post) with analysis on the Rangers locking up Lundqvist and, more importantly, the article addresses Jagr’s contract situation and a potential move. In addition, the article takes a look at where Al Montoya fits into the Rangers plans now that Lundqvist is nailed down as the starter for the next 6 years.

    The article talks about the Rangers need for a defenseman and how Jagr and/or Montoya could be pieces to a trade to bring back a quality defenseman or young players and picks that could help the Rangers out.

    I agree now that we have committed to Henrik and have him locked up, that we should explore trade options for Montoya. Injuries and inconsistency has been the name of the game for Montoya the last few seasons in the AHL. Since goalies take longer to develop, I am sure there are multiple GM’s out there that find value in Montoya and his future potential.

    One team that needs to solidify their goalie situation is Tampa Bay. They also have a stud defenseman in Dan Boyle who is coming back from an injury. If the Rangers could trade Montoya for Dan Boyle (and ensure that they get Boyle signed to a long term deal), I think this would a fair trade.

    As far as Jagr goes, I do indeed hope that Sather shops him around before the deadline to get an inkling as to his worth to other teams. Unfortunately, I feel that Sather will let Jagr finish out the season and then let him walk as a UFA this summer. However, if this is indeed the Rangers’ mindset, they should indeed trade Jagr (preferably to a Western team) so that they can get something back in return. I think Jagr would be able to fetch an NHL player, a decent drafy pick and a young guy (perhaps someone developing in the AHL for another farm team).

    What are your thoughts Sam? Check out the article below…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=burnside_scott&id=3246362

    Nick

  6. “I wonder Jagr secretly HATES Gomez. It sure seems that ever since he hurt his shoulder trying to hit Gomez in the 05-06 playoffs he hasn’t been the same. Sure, he had a decent year for us last year, and was good down the stretch and in the playoffs, but he sure as hell is nowhere near the player he was in 05-06. Not even close.”

    He may have scored a lot in 05-06, but holy shit was he out of shape and lazy. His goals came when he would back in like he was posting up in basketball and he’s just turn and shoot and it would go in. He never really skated. Then he lost like 15 pounds when he was rehabbing the shoulder and now he can move around kinda like the Jagr of old. I just wonder if he never was right again from that shoulder surgery because he still shows signs of having that great wrister but not nearly as much as he used to.

    “If the Rangers could trade Montoya for Dan Boyle (and ensure that they get Boyle signed to a long term deal), I think this would a fair trade.”

    I hope you don’t mean straight up because thats just a joke. An AHL prospect for a proven NHL veteran defenseman. I think Tampa might want a bit more than that. haha.

  7. I think it made more sense to root for Atlanta. I mean its too bad the game went to a shootout, but the point is I think we can still catch the Devils. Secondly, it might not be the worst thing if Atlanta stays in the hunt here cause they might win the division, finish 3rd and possibly play us if we could get to 6th (I know I’m getting ahead of myself).

  8. Gotta agree with the general sentiment on the board. Any loss by an Atlantic team is a great loss, especially with the Rangers only 6 points out of first and dominating the intra-divisional contests. Honestly, if the Rangers are going to get beaten out for a playoff spot by whomever comes in second in the Southeast, it means they’ll be playing some pretty bad hockey over the next 6 weeks and they’re not going to the dance anyway. I personally think they’ll either go on a run and finish first or second in the division or fall out of it entirely, but I favor the former. They play their best when it counts the most, and now it does.

  9. Nasty 1 – And Jagr came damn close to winning both of those things that season.

    “Put some Aviators on [Strudwick], he looks just like the guy from _Super Troopers_” – Brandon Dubinsky

    My Slingbox doesn’t appear to be working, so I might have to hit up the radio feeds this weekend. Aww.

    Anybody thinking Montoya will go to Tampa is out of his mind. Two of their top prospects are goaltenders and I bet they don’t want a third, especially at Montoya’s salary.

  10. Do we have official line and defense combos for tomorrow? Based on the ones posted earlier this week along with additional information, my guess (not posting my preference, don’t jump on me) would be:

    Avery-Dubinsky-Jagr
    Dawes-Gomez-Shanahan
    Straka-Drury-Prucha
    Hossa-Betts-Orr

    Rozsival-Malik
    Girardi-Tyutin
    Mara-Strudwick

    And if Straka is off Jagr’s power play line, does that mean Shanahan or Avery is back in there? I would venture to guess Shanny, and I’m hoping Dawes stays on with the other unit.

  11. Now that the Red Wings have lost five in a row, my world has turned upside-down and I don’t know what to think. So much parity! No team is really good! We have a chance! haha

  12. They need to get rid of these “3 point” games. It provides too much “safe play” in the last 10 minutes of regulation when a game is tied or teams are separated by a goal. What’s the point of watching when you know there’s an 80-90% chance that it will go to OT or SO? Something needs to be changed. Make winning in regulation more valuable than winning in OT or SO. I’d hate to say it, but maybe there should be 3 points awarded for a regulation win, 2 for an OT/SO win, 1 for regulation tie? Case in point: last night the Devils gave a point and then some to ATL by trying to protect a one goal lead, knowing full well that if they had the lead going into the latter half of period 3, they would come away with at least a point. I’m glad they lost the additional point they could have gotten if they had actually played to win in regulation.
    Big regulation win this afternoon vs BUF a must. Let’s go get ’em boys.

  13. Sam have they called anyone up? Zip is reporting Prucha, Staal, & Hossa out today. That leaves them 1 player short, unless Valliquette is going to play on a line or D.

  14. I’m not Sam, but I would imagine the lines for today are:

    Avery-Dubinsky-Jagr
    Straka-Drury-Callahan
    Dawes-Gomez-Shanahan
    Hollweg-Betts-Orr

    Malik-Roszival
    Girardi-Tyutin
    Mara-Strudwick

    So nobody from the ‘Pack is being called up..

  15. Btw, is anybody else pumped up for this weekend? A week without any Rangers hockey has been torturing. I sense the guys coming out with lots of fire in the 1st period, hopefully scoring a few goals, and protecting the lead to get the win. The work ethic should be there, especially with 5 days off. On another un-related note, the Rangers are in the 3rd of a 4-game matinee stretch (last wknd vs PHI, WAS, today, tomorrow vs SJ). When’s the last time (if ever) that’s happened to ANY NHL team??? Sam, your thoughts?

  16. TODAYS IS A MUST WIN THEY BETTER COME OUT WITH FIRE IN THERE EYES. THEY HAVE NO EXCUSES TODAY HENRICK BETTER PROVE RIGHT FROM THE START. AND BTW I HATE THE DEVILS THEY HAD TO SCREW US I DID NOT CARE WHO WON I JUST DIDNT WANT IT TO BE AN OVERTIME GAME THEY WILL ALWAYS TRY AND SCREW US SCREW THEM AND NEWARK….

    LETS GO RANGERSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

  17. I hope the Rangers come out with the fire Joejoe has. They better play with some urgency and keep Buffalo in their zone cause Buffalo is dangerous right now. They are starting to get the goals they did last year, off their heads, arms, legs, jocks and in the net.

    Lets Go Rangers!!!!!

  18. Doodie Machetto on

    Anyone who rooted for the Thrashers last night is a fool (sorry Sam). That whole division is terrible, and if the playoffs started today, the winner of their division would not have less points than 8 other teams (including the Rangers), yet would still get third seed in the conference. Meanwhile, the Debbies sit atop of our division thanks to that OT point they got. We need our division to stay close, so that a few wins against the Devs and Flyers (which we’ve been good about this season) could potentially pole vault us in the standings.

    This game against Buffalo is huge. They’re on fire right now, and we can’t afford to lose to a team above us in the standings, especially one so close.

    BTW, the Henrik contract, now that it’s official, is some of the worst GM work I’ve ever seen. He’s grossly overpaid. Yet another great job by Glen Sather.

  19. buffalo has 64 points 1 point more than the rangers and two games in hand. This is a huge game. This is a 4 point swing. The rangers only have 23 games left so basically these remaining games are as close to playoff games as possible. There is no more if they, if this, if that, it’s now or never.

  20. So it’s about 1 hour til game time. There has been NO power play since….well, you tell me.In my opion if the power play problems continue threw these next two VERY BIG games
    Then I think it’s really time to consider to fire Renney.I know that that has been talked about for quiet some time now and I totally agree,but after5 uniterupted days to pratice these pp problems continue,like I said Renney MUST go.With the star’s he has to work with there’s NO excuse anymore.I think even if we win both game’s (and I think we will) But going 1 or 2 for 8-10 not good enough we need the pp in the playoffs to win. Getting a player or two in trades woun’t help with out a powerplay.
    LET’S GO RANGERS———-we win 5-2 1 for 6 on the powerplay

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