Malik back in as Rangers look to steady ship

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Marek Malik makes his return to the lineup, Christian Backman remains in place on one power play unit, and Martin Straka moves to forward on another. Those are your top stories out of today’s morning skate.

Good thing this isn’t a sweeps week.

No, if you were looking for some tectonic shifts to the Rangers lineup after their disappointing showing in Florida, expect to be disappointed. Petr Prucha, Ryan Hollweg, Jason Strudwick, and Paul Mara are again the healthy scratches, and the lines otherwise stay the same.

Fact is, other than a stale power play unit that obviously needs something, the sense is there no overriding need as of yet to make any drastic changes. The Rangers went 10-0-3 with pretty much this lineup. Just because they lost two straight doesn’t mean it’s time to rip everything up and start anew.

Of course, let’s talk after tonight and see if that still holds true.

As for the power play, Christian Backman will again work the point alongside Michal Rozsival, which he did in Tampa, while Straka skated on the other unit with Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. Tom Renney said he was still mulling that last move, and maybe he should reconsider. Given how Straka has struggled of late, I’m not sure I see the wisdom in his replacing Nigel Dawes there.

More on that later….
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Meanwhile, there’s still time to “enter our online college hoops bracket contest”:http://lohud.com.pickmanager.com/tourney/, with a chance to win $10,000. As a Journal News employee, I don’t think I’m eligible to win the grand prize, and I don’t think I have to worry: I fully expect at least three of my Final Four teams to be knocked out in the first round.

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82 Comments

  1. longtimerangersfan on

    Good ole Renney…when they were winning he didn’t want to change the lineup but now they have lost a couple…I just don’t get him!

    The Rangers will NEVER win the cup with him at the helm and don’t give me his winning record crap! They should have won a lot more but for his cronyism and game time blunders.

  2. I honestly don’t care today…I’m just flat out looking forward to the game tonight!!
    LETS GO…FREAKIN RANGERS!!!!

  3. “Given how Straka has struggled of late, I’m not sure I see the wisdom in his replacing Nigel Dawes there.”

    Dawes is finding the net, shooting, and producing fairly well for a rookie. Straka is an aging vetern who is needs to find his hands and some confidence going into the playoffs. Moving to fwd on the PP will hopefully do just that for him. I don’t think it will hurt Dawes as much to be replaced by straka there as much as it will help straka find his game.

    Putting straka on a pp unit that likes to shoot and go to the net for rebounds may be just what he needs to get going.

    longtimefan – he’s changing the pp. not the rest of the lineup. the pp has been crap, and nothing can really make it worse. You’re making a change that MIGHT happen into the apocolypse.

  4. I dont know. It seems the main problem was with D. So Malik in should hopefully change something…haha…did I just say that!?!
    The forward lines as they are were putting in goals left and right… it was after the Malik injury that the D has been horrible…causing us to play in our end ALL the time…and it’s hard to score goals from down there. Also, with less faith in the D, the forwards will be less likely to fly up the ice if they just think they will have to be back there to help out every other second. So a solid D will equal more pressure and goals by the forwards!

    And I’ll be there tonight!!! My last game I was at they shutout Atlanta 4-0!

  5. Beer Me, you bring the same happy go lucky sh*t everday yourself, digging for numbers and twisted angles so you can tell yourself the team is good. I mean to a point, I understand that…but it also gets to a point, like right now, where it just doesn’t hold water anymore.

    Excuse me for having a problem with the team, and calling out people that oppose my views. I bring the fire to my side of the argument. That’s what I do, no one has to like it, no one has to read it. I believe in what I say 1000%, and I mean it from my heart, I;m sure that’s no surprise.

    I just refreshed and saw your question. Why do I come back here despite it all? Because I *am still* a fan. I want this team to be good. I enjoy picking them apart, discussing the good and bad…and hoping that they will magically stop being pussies and the organization will become respectful for once in damn blue moon. It’s not as if I wasn’t here praising last season when they legitimately looked like a really strong team that just couldn’t “work out the kinks”…and in that final stretch last year…nothing but smiles and virtual high fives… man that was awesome… they earned that with hard work.

    That’s why I’m here. I like it. You guys are free to keep milking eachother off about illusions and hallucinations you have about this team, but you can count on me to call BS when I see it… just like I will count on some of you to tally up that 1 point we got vs MTL, completely missing the point of what happened that night.

  6. As far as I’m concerned, Dawes deserves to be on the top line, the way he’s been playing. Avery was great with Dubi and Jagr, but his production has slipped the last few games, so why not give Dawes a shot?

    Straka has been great for PKing, but he’s still not producing… bench him, rest him, whatever, and put Prucha on the PP.

  7. Malik has been solid, and he’s pretty much what we’ve got so hopefully he performs tonight. Personally, I’d like Paul Mara back in ASAP, perhaps instead of Backman.

    Pittsburgh is a quick team, so the Rangers will need to be skating well tonight. They’ve gotta forecheck and take the body. At home after a disappointing road trip, one would hope they’d come out flying tonight.

  8. Why is everyone still tough on Backman? He’s a +1 since coming here… the real defensive troubles start with Rozsival. If not for his early season goals (what happened to his scoring?), he’d be completely useless instead of just a huge defensive liability. I hope he signs a big contract with a division rival next year!.. same with Malik!

  9. Pavel….I like Dawes, but he doesn’t bring the grit and tenacity that Avery brings to that first line. He takes some physical pressure off of Jags. Dawes has better hands and is more of a natural scorer, but he doesn’t make the opposition nervous like Avery does (just ask that Sabre defender Paetsch (sp?)).

    Rob C. WORD! Backman sits when Mara gets back into form.

    A note on Malik: Seriously, since his dust up with Avery in practice 6 weeks ago or whenever, he has been reasonably solid and stable back there. He will help tonight, I think. Couldn’t do much worse than we have been.

    LGR! Man I hope they come out flying….

  10. salty – I’ve never discredited your passion for the team. It’s obvious, and admirable. The passion, not the point of views.

    “so you can tell yourself the team is good.”

    I don’t come here every day and say that the team is ‘good’. I’ve said quite a few times though that the team is improving. The improvement deserves some g-damn respect and recognition.

    And everyone SHOULD be calling out BS when they see it.

    “and the organization will become respectful for once in damn blue moon.”
    It’s on it’s way. And it takes time. You’ve never showed the least bit of patience with anything. It could take another 3 seasons before this team is a threat right out of the gates and straight through another cup.

    There is absolutely no argument that the team has improved from where it was pre-lockout. The big-picture shows that the team/org is working towards where it want to be. And if anyone thinks it happens overnight…they’re going to be very dissapointed.

    “it just doesn’t hold water anymore.”

    Neither does constant ranting and raving about the same things day in and day out.

  11. Salty is officially the worst on

    You couldn’t be any more negative, argumentative if you tried. One would think you’re a former NHL player, current NHL GM & Coach given your constant critiquing about what every single person in the organization does wrong. Get over yourself, stop whining and don’t bother watching if you can’t be supportive.

  12. I agree getting Avery off the top line might not be a bad idea. Switching Dawes with Avery might go a long way to helping both lines create more offense.

  13. longtimerangersfan on

    Don’t you just LOVE the posters that keep changing their names so we, supposedly, don’t know who they are!

  14. how would benching straka and letting prucha play be ripping up the team and starting anew? Seems like thats only a minor change. And if Straka is taking Dawes place to simply try and get him going then it is just another case of Renney favoring vets. Do the Rangers need Straka to score to win the cup? Absolutely not. Let the best players play and if someone is struggling sit them down and let someone else have a turn. Or is that only allowed when the struggling player is Prucha?

  15. Rob, I agree with replacing Avery. He seems to be off his game and has been taking some pretty bad penalties of late.

  16. longtimerangersfan on

    I have to agree with Salty, this team is NOT improving in my estimation…Renney will NOT sit veterans, Malik is the exception, and he will CONTINUE to let Jagr and crew eat up most of the PP time. Renney says virtually the same thing in every interview. We have to go to the net, shoot the puck, blah, blah, blah. He’s the coach isn’t he? If someone doesn’t do as says, bench them. Yeah, right.

  17. Straka has what one goal on the pp? Yet he’s replacing Dawes on the pp (who has chemistry with Drury and Gomez) It makes so much sense. Straka imo should get zero pp time. Thank God Renney isn’t getting Prucha back in the lineup. I mean who needs someone to stand in front on the pp? Shanny and Jagr on the same pp unit has not worked even a little bit in two years. I guess all of a sudden that unit will find chemistry?

  18. Avery has cost Jagr a countless amount of assists over the last few weeks. Jagr has given him passes with the net half open or competely open and Avery has missed the net many times. Dawes is a natural goal scorer imo he puts alot more of those setups in the net.

  19. Salty is a Devils fan on

    Salty- besides the obvious fact that we didn’t get the full 2 points, what lasting effects did the Montreal game have on this team? Did we slip into a terrible slump afterwards? Did it kill our playoff hopes? No, we went on a 7-0-1 run after that game until these 2 recent losses. Please tell me the point I am missing of that game because where I come from W’s are all that matter. Get the gun out of your mouth and come down off the ledge. Or, better yet, jump.

  20. “I probably won’t try the personnel thing but I am about to demand that the shot get made,” said the coach.

    He should have demanded shots get taken on the powerplay in week 2. He goes on to say Staal isn’t ready for the powerplay yet, but Backman is?

    If you were the owner of a team, would this honestly be the man you wanted to run your team’s strategy?

  21. Leave Salty alone. He tells it like it is and the truth does hurt sometimes. Go Salty!!

  22. He’s just not that kind of coach.

    I think Renney knows that Jagr is going to need to play better (WAYYYYY better) if this team has any legitimate chance of making a deep run in the playoffs. Jagr is a temperamental guy, we all know that, and one of Renney’s greatest assets is player management. You have to keep players happy while also giving them the best chance to succeed. It’s a delicate balance. Benching Jagr (i.e., taking away PP time) would probably cause Jagr to regress even further.

    I think they need to experiment with the power play units(Prucha, please), but Jagr is gonna stay. I actually think he and Prucha should stay together. That worked well 2 years ago and at times last year.

  23. Avery should be fined for every missed open net and awful offside.. get him off the 1st line… put some scorers together and take some damn chances! At least one line needs to take some risks.. Jagr had 54 goals two years ago.. FIFTY FOUR?!??!!?!??!!

  24. Yeah Go Salty! Lets all say we love the Rangers then bash them, their coach and all their fans each and every chance we get. That’s fun right!

  25. your boy Malik on

    This is my last game this year at MSG UNLESS we get into the playoffs……PUT PRUCHA IN!~

  26. about 2 months ago, Renny said that if someone on the pp didn’t start shooting more he would be benched. He didn’t back up his talk then and I doubt he will now.

  27. i never expect jagr to be benched, renney doesn’t have the cajones for that. but he should be able to sit straka, put prucha in with jagr and get rosi off the unit with jagr. Rosival could be a good pp defenseman if we ever get rid of jagr, but for now we know he will always defer to the fading star of his country

  28. Never thought I’d be happy to see Malik back, but why is Backman still in the lineup, and on the power play, no less? Get a clue Renney.

  29. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Salty, great points – I completely agree with you and I’m glad that someone else sees the glass for “not being full,” it feels like some others see the glass and say “Hey, its not empty – lets have a parade!!”

    For some reason though, I can’t wait to watch this team tonight and I’m even working on getting tickets, but I still see the team for what it is. It’s a good team that doesn’t work very hard, isn’t properly guided by the coaching staff, and has some defensive holes in it. But that is what it is.

    Salty’s here pointing that out, and I agree. I still love this team, but I hate hearing people sugar-coat sh*t. They’ve played poorly for weeks now and there’s no hiding that. I respect you all as fans and I love the fact the Rangers have such great fans, I just refuse to see this team as being a serious threat in the playoffs because of their lack of zeal and mismanagement.

  30. I think the Rangers definitely need to shoot more on the power play but the MSG fans are ridiculous with their screaming every time the puck makes it to the point. A point shot from the boards with a penalty killer converging to block it is a very, very low percentage shot. It also has the potential to be horrific if it gets blocked, takes a bounce out of the zone and the penalty killer has enough momentum/speed to get behind the point (who isn’t always a defenseman either).

    Watch any game, a slapshot from the point doesn’t even hit the net all that often and these are professionals getting paid plenty of money. It would be nice if the average MSG fan woulde realize this.

  31. I think there’s a missunderstanding on this blog.

    I haven’t read anything, or at least interpreted anything saying that anyone believes the team has been ‘playing good’. As long as your watching, you can see it. The separation is that some want the team to look perfect and win 5-0 games every night. The other side just want points. Do you think a team that wins the cup looks back in July and says: “I’m not happy b/c we didn’t play good in 30 of our 45 wins.” ??

    End results are what the focus should be. How you get there is never pretty.

  32. First off, I cant beleive Im saying this, but I do agree with Salty. WE are all NYR Fans, but the negatives and illusions must be brought up from time to time. GO SALTY

    Secondly, and I wrote this yesterday, can we all agree the PP, for the last what 35 games, HAS NOT WORKED? Yes?

    Then why the hell not switch it up? Again I said this yesterday but what would be the harm in putting the youth out there for one game to see what happens? I’ll tell you the worst thing that could happen, they wouldn’t score.
    Which is what the PP is doing as of right now WITH Jagr, Shanny and Straka.
    I see this as Renney’s worst flaw this whole year, refusal to change the personell on the PP

    NOT any of the other lines. THey have worked well and I have zero complaints about them, but come on already. Pearn isn’t cutting it designing the PP, so as head coach take the bull by the horns, show some balls, tell him who you want out there and go with it for a game? I mean Straka on the PP in a different position? huge change there. That will get us ZERO goals
    This should be the PP lines for tonight

    Drury, Dubi, Cally, Staal, Rosi
    Gomez, Dawes, Sjostrom, Betts, Girardi

    F&$K Backman on the PP, He hasn’t earned it over Sjostrom in my Opinion, or over Betts. He’s been OK, but putting him on PP is RENNETARDED

    PSS Can that be a new term we use when REnny is an idiot with his PP design RENNETARDED?

  33. Forced into hiding.... on

    this guy salty should consider suicide..infact i’m pretty confident he’s tried it once or twice in his life…

    this tough guy act is funny to read though..

    if the play of this team hasn’t impressed anybody over the past 6 weeks then nothing will..

  34. “if the play of this team hasn’t impressed anybody over the past 6 weeks then nothing will..”

    haha – well, I guess I stand somewhat corrected.

    If you replace the word ‘play’ with ‘point production’. Then you have a point.

  35. Graves9…..I just have to call you out on this one, sorry….You wrote: Thank God Renney isn’t getting Prucha back in the lineup. I mean who needs someone to stand in front on the pp?

    I know you are being sarcstic. I agree that the PP needs to be changed up.

    Do you honestly think that Prucha can stand in front of the net and get his way with the puck? Shanny can’t. Drury can’t. Avery can’t. But Prucha can?

    Are you sure you are not Prucha27 with a different blogname?

  36. Backman and Rozy together on the point are making my stomach turn. Kudos to Renney for making changes to the PP.

    Beer Me- While the PP may help Straka get back on track, don’t you think the additional ice time will negate any positive effect? I don’t see why Straka and Shanny to some extent have to play this many minutes. I a few minutes less each game will keep the guys rested for the playoffs

  37. I haven’t read anything, or at least interpreted anything saying that anyone believes the team has been ‘playing good’. As long as your watching, you can see it. The separation is that some want the team to look perfect and win 5-0 games every night.

    ….

    dude, you are back-pedaling big time. all you do is configure stats and compile soundbyte quotes to make the case that the rangers are better than everyone gives them credit for. thats your thing man.

    and i’ve said repeatedly… i care less about wins than i do about seeing a hungry team play with heart and soul…and thats the honest truth. who wants a team loaded with talent that doesn’t show up to play…what the hell is that? And then when you win its like… yeah no sh1t we won… but when you lose/play awful it just amplifies the badness. same goes for the yankees..I like them, but they are the biggest embarrassment in sports right now IMO. go ahead, load your team up, but you better damn well have something to show for it or else you just look worse than a team thats just not talented. Whatever…the Isles suck…thats acceptable… they have no talent, etc. The Rangers are a different story.

    *I feel like this concept goes over most of your heads*

    want points? if you play like you WANT it…the points will be there. bottom line kittens.

    I have seriously got to get some work done, enjoy the win tonight kids…just dont let it get to your head…even if they win 5-0 ;)

    but they’ll win tonight – Salty told ya so

  38. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    The point production was great!! It was an admirable achievement, but when you really break it down and look at the second half that streak you’ll realize they were points derived from smoke, mirrors, and Henrik Lundqvist.

    The first half of the streak the team played solidly on both ends of the ice, the second half Lundqvist was forced to make too many good quality saves(see games against Boston, Flyers, Islanders at the Garden) or the points were derived from shootout wins and losses (most often won by Dawes and Lundqvist). They found ways to get points, but the team was defensively porous and relied on Lundqvist. Now, they have two more stinkers where NOBODY shows up (FLA and TB) and people say “don’t be concerned” but it’s hard not to get concerned in context. The Rangers haven’t been playing very well. simple.

  39. If the “over-riding sense” is how Sam reported it, this team is in hughe trouble..The team has played like crap for the last 6 games AT least..The efforts in FLA were horrible…and before that we played terrible and barely eked out wins against crippled defernse in Boston and Buffalo, as well as the AHL-like Islanders…

    Cally has turned into the invisble man, Straka has flat out sucked..Shanny is a ghost at ES, Orr is worthless against almost every team, and Sjostrom is Hossa incarnate plus a few stupid penalties..And the team had ZERO life in FLA

    And Renney doesn’t want to make a change…OK…

  40. We all want to see them play with heart. I think you’re missing the point that sometimes the way you talk about the season, you make it sound like it’s a complete and total wash. Is it, with 10 games remaining and the team in the playoff picture? It’s hard for me to concede that it is.

  41. hockeymanrangers # 2 on

    I really hate to say this but I am a bit skeptical about tonights game. I am really trying to have THE POSITIVE attitude but it’s hard. I can almost see them coming out tonight and be in a “try to much state”. I was reading this blog yesterday about holding these vets accountable for their crappy play, I think I agree with that. Not exactly sure how you do that maybe it is sitting them on the bench for a period. It’s kind of late to make them healthy scratches, but I agree if they got pulled for a game or 2 maybe they would make them give 110%. I see every game from here on out as 100% desperation and they HAVE to give everything they got. GO RANGERS

  42. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Sjostrom was a great addition for this team, he brings some good speed and decent offensive talent to a fourth line. Who’s going to produce with Betts and Colton Orr? Nobody, but Sjo has a spot on this team and could slip into the 3rd winger slot and add some offense.

    Colton Orr and Blair Betts do their jobs, and quite well I might add. They show up every night and usually shut down opposing team’s top lines. They don’t score, but that’s not what they’re paid to do.

    Straka and Callahan have been dissapointing – i’m not sure what Cally’s deal is, he’s trying but he’s less noticable than last year. Straka looks old (losing his hands and his confidence). Shanny looks old, but he’s losing his legs. He’s smart but he simply doesn’t skate.

    I’m wondering which of these guys are playing injured – give them a night off and play prucha.

  43. ok nakedjoe – I just don’t remember it, that’s all.

    pj stock – valid point with ice time. But what’s the point of having a guy thats rested and not producing? ya know?

    salty – being better than your given credit for or ‘playing well’ are 2 different things. You make it sound like we’re a celler-dweller. So to say anything to the contrary will make it sound like praise. I, along with others have said that ‘good teams find ways to get points even when they don’t play well.’ I know you probably don’t remember it.

    “I feel like this concept goes over most of your heads”
    I take that concept and wipe my f’n brown-eye with it.

  44. TFBRW&B – While he does have some speed, Sjostrom hasn’t provided much else since the Philly game and has very little hockey sense…And the 4th line is no different, and perhaps even weaker defensively…..and let’s not blame Sjostrom’s lack of production on Betts..Sjostrom has 1 point in 20 games and 1 goal in like 30 games so, it’s something about him not his linemates..Certainly not worthy of anything over a regular 4th liner, if that…

    Orr has been OK, but most of the year carried by his linemates skating defensively..and 0 points in over 30 games? C’mon…As the game becaomes faster, more intense, and the fighting shenanagins ceases, he should sit..except against the FLyers, one of the few other teams in the league that dress their goons every night..

    Cally was playing well but seemed to have lost the drive, at least temporarily. WOuld have been a perfect time to sit him to drive home a message..

  45. “Try too much”

    Wow. I’d love to see that tonight. For me it’s been about effort all season.

    My contention is that when these guys look around the lockeroom there’s so much talent that the mentality of “Someone will pick it up tonight… so I don’t have to.” is an issue.

    If they wanted to rotate “games off” around the room fine… as long as the rest play with heart and passion.

    But it’s those games where NOBODY SHOWS UP, like the last two that has this team in the precarious position it’s in right now.

    This squad has gotten how many wake up calls this season?!!!!

    What? They need another one with ten games to go?!!!

    I suppose they’ll need yet another one in the first round of the play-offs once they realize the other team isn’t gonna lay down like Atlanta did last season.

  46. nothing points out the deceptive nature of the plus minus stat than saying that Backman is +1 so far. that is mainly because the rangers scored a lot of goals lately to overcome his minuses.

    plus, he did not get a minus for all the goals that were scored while he was in the penalty box, or the goals that were scored while he did a poor job on the pk. in fact, he did not even get the 4 min high stick penalty that he committed. someone else was fingered by the ref, even though it was backman who did it.

    and to reward his poor play by putting him on the PP is outlandish.

    meanwhile, keeping jagr with rosival does not work, jagr with shanny does not work, but clueless renney keeps insisting that he cannot see it.

  47. Hospo –

    I agree on both Orr and Callahan. First, on Orr: In the “New NHL” to go 30 games without a point is damn near inexcusable, I don’t care who you or your linemates are and what your role is. Assists are given out like candy on Halloween in the NHL, and he hasn’t registered even ONE in 30 games? I mean, the law of averages would say that the puck would hit you in the arse while you’re changing, carom to a scorer who would put one in. Unreal.

    Callahan has shown flashes but I guess just isn’t ready for regular duty in the NHL. I like his passion…he’s a fiesty guy, but he doesn’t seem to be able to provide a short-term solution a la Prucha, who is the kind of player that scores in bunches once he gets one goal.

  48. and to go 20 games with only 2 goals when you are getting more offensive situation ice time than anyone is also inexcusable, so let’s bench jagr or at least move him down 2 lines.

    it works both ways, pal

  49. Fair enough…though at least Jagr has set up teammates, and he draws defenders to free up ice. He’s obviously a much more talented player than Colton Orr.

    But I do agree…2 goals in 20 games is not enough in terms of raw production from the captain. But like I said before, Renney isn’t benching him and he won’t let him play any less than half of a power play. It’s a reality we have to deal with I guess.

  50. MIKEYNJ – gotta say I kinda like your pp units… Except for Betts on D… He would be the guy to rip a slap shot right into the pads of a screening fwd sending them down on a shorthanded breakaway vs Hank. Not a good pick although he is Mr Clutch on the man-down. I think sticking one of the Ranger vets on the point with your fwd lines might work well though. Like Shanny and Rosi on the first D line and Staal and Malik or Mara on the other. Or maybe even Jags on one of the points. Not sure if they have ever tried that and if so how it worked out but he sees the ice so well and one would think he could set up some nice goals from the point.

    Anyway – I’m going to the game tonight as well and couldn’t be more pumped up for it! Lets go Rangers!!

  51. Newman – You continue with the BS digs all the time, give it up already.

    It isn’t that Shanny CAN’T stay in front, or that Avery CAN’T stay in front…It’s that the CHOOSE not to, where as Prucha DOES go to the front. And so does Drury, so you’re wrong there.

    Don’t insert my name when you’re trying to talk shit to another poster, keep it between the 2 of you.

  52. can we all agree the PP, for the last what 35 games, HAS NOT WORKED? Yes?

    Then why the hell not switch it up? Again I said this yesterday but what would be the harm in putting the youth out there for one game to see what happens? I’ll tell you the worst thing that could happen, they wouldn’t score.
    Which is what the PP is doing as of right now WITH Jagr, Shanny and Straka.
    I see this as Renney’s worst flaw this whole year, refusal to change the personell on the PP

    NOT any of the other lines. THey have worked well and I have zero complaints about them, but come on already. Pearn isn’t cutting it designing the PP, so as head coach take the bull by the horns, show some balls, tell him who you want out there and go with it for a game? I mean Straka on the PP in a different position? huge change there. That will get us ZERO goals
    This should be the PP lines for tonight

    Drury, Dubi, Cally, Staal, Rosi
    Gomez, Dawes, Sjostrom, Betts, Girardi

    F&$K Backman on the PP, He hasn’t earned it over Sjostrom in my Opinion, or over Betts. He’s been OK, but putting him on PP is RENNETARDED

    PSS Can that be a new term we use when REnny is an idiot with his PP design RENNETARDED?

  53. PRUCHA27 – heeeee’s back! Gotta say Pruuuu I thought you were gonna get your wish this week.

  54. Hospo…agree mostly with your assessment of Cally and Orr, but you are not correct about Shoe.

    And based on your analysis, I am questioning what you look for in a hockey player? Shoe’s legs never stop moving, he hits people, he possesses the puck, and he is a bull on the ice. I think he should be switched in for Cally and play alongside Drury and Straka.

    The 4th line would have had at least a goal or two if anyone was alongside Shoe in the past 2 games. Absolutely. Since the trade deadline, Shoe has been one of our top 5 players.

    I would argue that Shoe is one of our top 4 fastest skaters alongside Gomer, Dubi, and Avery.

  55. Typical, Beer Me.

    During the point streak I went on ESPN’s NHL page and how many times were the Rangers the top story? Zero.

    There’s a huge bias against this team, and for what, I don’t know. It’s not like the Yankees where everyone is envious of the money, championships, etc. The Rangers have won a whopping 4 Stanley Cups!

    It must be the New York thing. Even in a salary cap league, everyone expects the NY team will contend every year because it’s in the biggest city, the biggest market. Who knows.

  56. Parros – So did I, being that Callahan and Straka both are more invisible by the day, and Shanny just looks tired. Maybe tomorrow night. Stay tuned!

  57. I actually DO want to see prucha in a game or two before the playoffs. I also want Alyssa Milano to tear her clothes off and deliver me an irish car bomb between her tatas. But I’m not too optomistic about either.

  58. Newman – We’ll have to agree to disagree on SJostrom becasue since the FLyer game I have been unimpressed..I’m not saying he sucks, and he definetely has speed, but at most he’s a 4th line regular, if that..And , again, people need to look at SJostrom’s last 30 games before blaming others for his (or the lines) lack of scoring…He is very Hossa-like in that regard…All that being said, right now, at least for a game, I would bench/sit Cally/Straka and Orr first.

  59. “Most of the skate was devoted to the ailing power play. The first unit was Shanahan-Dubinsky-Jagr, with Backman and Roszival; the second, Straka up front with Gomez and Drury, and Tyutin and Girardi at the back. The goal: More pucks on net. Sounds simple, right?”

    From Zipay’s Blog on Newsday.com

    RENNTARDED AS USUAL!

  60. Most of the skate was devoted to the ailing power play. The first unit was Shanahan-Dubinsky-Jagr, with Backman and Roszival; the second, Straka up front with Gomez and Drury, and Tyutin and Girardi at the back. The goal: More pucks on net. Sounds simple, right?

    from newsday.com, zipays blog

    RENNTARDED AS USUAL!!!

  61. The “More pucks on net” thing is getting soooo very tired.

    The problem with this power play is that it isn’t inventive and doesn’t move the puck well enough. Even when it’s set up, they rarely get quality looks from the point. I agree they need to get more shots, but they also need to do the necessary work to get quality shots. I’d love to see Jagr come out towards the top of the circle and try some more one-timers. He scored on so many of those 2 years ago when he had 20-some odd power play goals. Shanahan should be set up on the doorstep to the left of the net, to allow him to be on his forehand for a one-timer or stuff-in of a rebound.

    Also, I think Mara needs to be back on the point ASAP. he has the best shot off the pass. If Roszival decides to shoot, he’s got a good one too.

  62. Game 73 and we are still sorting out the powerplay. With 2 sure HOFs on the team and arguably 2 or 3 others who are close to the HoF and we can’t buy a friekin goal. What is wrong with this picture?

  63. Realistically, if you put yourself in Renney’s shoes – you’re not going to change that much on the power play with 10 games left. Its an absolute guarantee that Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez, Drury and Rozsival are going to be on the two power play units come playoff time, probably Avery too.

    That leaves you with four spots, one upfront and three at the point. If it were me, its Dawes upfront as he’s had a better scoring touch this year. On the point Girardi (some offense), Straka (experience, used to have offense and is defensive minded) and whoever (Tyutin, Mara, Staal….).

    I don’t see Prucha/Callahan/Sjostrom on the point as none them have a cannon or are finesse passers.

    My point is that, if you’re Renney, you kind of already know who’s going to be on the PP come playoff time, so why mess with the lineup now…..

  64. you mess with it because it SUCKS ASS
    Who says you have to be a HOF or even use your HOF if they aren’t producing

    HArd work only gets us so far, its been tried, the PP is dead, time to shake it up, even with PLayoffs around the corner
    Jsut like with the top 2 lines, He changed them how many times to find the right combo?
    C’mon, thats a copout to say he cant change them

  65. Changing lines is one thing, the guys with reputations and who you are paying are still getting ice time.

    I don’t think you’ll keep your coaching job very long or get another one by benching HOF players on the powerplay come playoff time. Its just common sense.

  66. Its not Common sense at all. Common sense say you go with what works.
    And at the cost of your entire PP production? just becasue there HOF and being paid large sums of cash? No. Thats retarded thinking then. You play with what works, regardless of who it is or hwo much they get paid.

    So your telling me if Dubi and dawes cally, etc had one game as a unit and scored on two different PP’s, that Renney wouldnt keep the unit together becasue of Shanny and JAgr?

    I jsut think its stupid on Renneys part to not even try it without them. There getting ZERO from the way it currently is. Wheres the harm? Getting goals, of I forgot thats not the point of the Powerplay, its to put our HOF and big bux out there to make them feeel good

  67. I kind of take the middle ground between JJP and MikeyNJ. I don’t think they will (or should) bench Jagr and Shanahan. They’re 600-goal scorers who are still capable of finishing chances. I think the peripheral players need to be changed to bring a fresh approach to the power play.

    Prucha should be out there as a garbage guy. He scores most of his goals from 10 feet and in, so he should be stationed in front. I also think separating Jagr and Roszival is a decent idea, in hopes that Rozy will shoot more. I think Dawes deserves some Power Play time, perhaps with Gomez and Drury. I don’t think Dubinsky or Avery should be on the Power Play.

  68. honestly Rob, Id try any of those combo’s
    even swapping Jagr from one line and Shanny on the other again, ANTYTHING other than keeping it the same
    IT drives me insane seeing it every single game and then Renney asking himself, “WHY DONT WE GET ANY GOALS ON PP” “they dont shoot enough”. Its jsut retarded
    Move Rosi away from JAgr, get Shanny on the ohter Line away from JAgr, and put some new people on the point
    and how he says Staal isnt ready for the point but will let BACKMAN on PP is beyond me.

  69. I’d rather see Staal out there as well, but I do think he needs to quicken the release of his shot a little bit. It seems to take him a long time to get his slapper away, and his wrister is a little weak, I think. Probably a better option than Backman though. Staal is a more responsible, confident puck-handler and is shifty enough to skate around his defender and go down low or into the high slot.

    We’ll see what happens tonight.

  70. For the PP, this is what I suggest….we should put Bobby Granger and The Chief on the wings and centered by Dancin’ Larry…..At the points, put the Dancin’ Grandma and that Yellow Smiley that represents the Fans for the MSG trivia contest….Anything beats watching Jagr and Shanny out there at the same time. Hope this helps

  71. Risk/reward……You guys in favor of changing up the PP? Think about it.

    Let’s say he makes the changes and the young kids score 2 goals a game and we win 7 of the next 10 and Renney looks like a genius. On the other side, let’s say it does nothing, we don’t score a darn goal, and we choke and miss the playoffs. He gets run out of town. People would be calling for his head having shelved Jags and Shanny in favor of the unproven kids. Where would you assign the odds? I would say 70-30 that it doesn’t work. Does that sound like something you want to do?

    Let’s say he doesn’t change it and we either get in by the skin of our teeth or we don’t get in. He can say, “We went with our best. It didn’t work.” Or whatever.

    Renney is not a risk taker. That much we know. He is a play it by the numbers. Repeat ad nauseum, even if it does not work.

    While your suggestions are admirable and well thought out, I am sorry to say that you guys are wasting your time and energy.

    Remember Matt Cullen? That guy was even more proven than these young kids and he didn’t get a shot at the point.

  72. My point is that Jagr and Shanahan are proven assets, this is a business and there is a certain amount of self preservation involved. I would also be willing to bet in just about any practice where they’re working on the PP when you compare Jagr or Shanahan to lets say Calahan or Prucha, its obvious why he keeps playing the proven guys – regardless of execution.

    Sure, you might look like a genius if all of sudden you sit HOFs on the PP in the playoffs, play guys who played more games in the AHL then the NHL and it actually works. But you stand to get run out of town as well if it doesn’t. And I’m sure Renney want to be able to buy his kids the the GI Joe with the kungfu grip next December.

  73. Just my Opinion on

    I think Renny is incredibly loyal to his team, however there is a line that has to be drawn. In my opinion his loyalty sometimes effects his decisions and that is what sometimes hurts this team. They are all big boys on the team and sometimes you have to rock the boat to get some focus.

  74. There’s zero risk in changing the powerplay. None at all.

    We currently aren’t getting any goals on it, so to say that “if we change it, and it doesn’t work, we may miss the playoffs”, really doesn’t apply.

    It can’t possibly work any less than it does now, unless we start giving up shorties.

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