At the risk of being a downer

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Regular readers of this blog might notice I don’t talk enough about the Rangers’ power play, mostly because I feel there rarely is much rhyme or reason to its successes or failures. The power play is kind of like putting in golf — obviously essential, but often difficult to define.

And yet having said all that, even in what was an otherwise impressive showing against the Devils, the Rangers power play was again a stumbling block. Theories abound on why that is — not enough shots, not enough traffic, the lack of a quintessential power play quarterback.

With one unit, the Jaromir Jagr-Brendan Shanahan one, so much of its strategy is geared around feeding Shanahan in the slot. But with Shanahan struggling of late, the right wing often isn’t in position to even get a clean shot off.

Put it all together the Rangers are 1-for-their-last-24 on the man-advantage, and everyone on the team knows it absolutely has to get better if the club wants to have success in the playoffs.

“It’s just one of those things where it’s going to have to bounce off three people and go in,” said Scott Gomez. “We need it. There’s no question about it. But hey, we have to keep working, and hopefully it does bounce off three guys and go in and away we go.”

Said Martin Straka: “We have to keep working on it because it’s going to be huge in the playoffs.”

Incidentally, Straka and Christian Backman have been the only two personnel changes Tom Renney has made on the power play of late, and even with Straka, he was subbed out for Nigel Dawes by game’s end.

Are more drastic changes needed? Put it another way: could it really hurt? Isn’t Ryan Callahan’s nose for the net worth trying out up front? Might — and brace yourself for this one — a revitalized Marek Malik be a more sensible option at the point than a clearly tentative Backman?

Maybe these aren’t the changes that are going to immediately flip a switch. But at this point in the season, I don’t see the harm in trying.

In other news:

<li>OK, folks, last call for the “LoHud.com NCAA bracket contest”:http://lohud.com.pickmanager.com/tourney/, which closes shortly after noon today. Big money is at stake. Pride, too. If your picks are better than mine, well, they should be: mine are awful.

<li>The Rangers are having a day of off-ice team-building today in Philadelphia.

More later…

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156 Comments

  1. Sam – I thought the same thing when I read your artcile this a.m. about ‘being a downer’. But the truth is, the PP is horrible.

    Here’s my take, but no one can really explain it. No matter how much they think they know…

    It’s not ONLY that we’re missing a PP QB. We’re missing a PP ‘THREAT’. The last 2 seasons every team knew that they had to protect the 1/2 boards where Jagr would swing out from and fire a shot from the circle. Now, he doesn’t take that shot, and is not much of a threat. Thus, teams don’t load that side of the ice.

    Look at MTL’s success on the PP. Kovalev is a THREAT to score on the PP. As was Souray last season. Oppositions will play their PK to account for a THREAT on the other side.

    I know you probably just threw a dart at the roster to pick Malik to throw out there. If he WAS on the PP, then my theory goes right out the f’n window b/c Marek is clearly not a threat to anyone.

    I don’t know, it’s anyone’s guess why it’s not working. Cally’s as good a bet as anything at this point. Just my opinion folks. I’m as lost as the team on the lack of production from our PP. Our PP is peepee.

  2. I agree we need to shake the PP up. I would advocate moving Drury back to the point, like early in the season, and putting Callahan or even Sjostrom on the Gomez unit.

    Speaking of Drury I am one of the few people that defend him on a regular basis. I love the guy (which is why I was thrilled he became a Ranger and why I shelled out $300 for a Ranger jersey with his name on it). Folks, last night was a prime example of why Sather brought him here. Sure he hasn’t put up the goal tally we all expected, but that’s been due to his adjusting to NY, the fact that he’s not playing with the same offensive talent as in Buffalo and Renney’s D system (which is unfortunate because if we had better D men, the forwards could take more chances and play a little more wide open). However, one thing he hasn’t lost is his clutch, clutch play in crunch time. He’s been doing it his whole career and last night was just the latest chapter.

  3. Didn’t mean to bash Malik too much there, but if he gets PP time, then it can be said that “now we’ve seen it all”….and tried it all.

    If unsuccessful, at least we would be able to say that it’s not the personel, but the attack. (or lack there of)

  4. pavel – rozy’s SHOT is a threat. But HE’s not a threat, b/c he won’t use it. I don’t think you can MAKE someone a threat.

  5. It’s as simple as what works 5-on-5. Get pucks to the net. Go to the net. Anything else doesn’t work in this league. Until they start doing that, nothing changes. And to do that, they need much quicker puck movement to open shooting lanes instead of holding the puck forever.

  6. You need to leave Drury in front of the net for the powerplay, he’s great at getting rebound and garbage goals. If the team wants Shanny to be effective in the playoffs, he needs to sit. He can barely move out there right now. Bring in Prucha for a game or two and see if that sparks the powerplay. Bottom line, Shanny needs rest as he looks like a shell of his former self out there. If only Jagr had half the scoring touch of years past, this team would easily be in first. Now when I see him get ready to shoot I am expecting the puck to go off the heel of his stick or head way wide….real shame.

  7. They desperately need a hammer from the point on the PP. Every time I hear about what a great shot Rozival has from the blue line, I wonder if people are watching the same team as me. Not that Rozival is terrible, but hey doesn’t anyone remember the presence that Zubov brought to the PP?

    Jagr plays with outstanding chemistry skating w/ Dubinsky/Avery. But he’s lost on the PP and getting way to many minutes. Straka is also a shell of himself on this unit.

  8. pavel – I’m all for it!! haha

    pete – IMO, I don’t think that if you even sent Shanny to the f’n Bahama’s he’d come back ‘rested’. The tank’s just empty…as far as his legs are concerned.

    ukranger – from prev thread. re: 30-goal scorer. I think that was mis-interpreted if it was in any reference to what I was saying(which I think it was). I don’t care if we don’t have a 30 goal scorer and win it all. But when you’re looking at Jags & Shanny, you’d have to think at least 1 of them would pot 30, no?

    salty – good point about ‘hitting the wall’.

    Great conversations so far today boys. Let’s hope ‘you know who’ doesn’t show up. lol

  9. has anyone noticed Andrew Hutchinson?

    Rangers never even brought him up during the season to get a look

    He does have NHL experience

    just a thought

  10. I think having at least 1 shot during the pp might help our chances. But, I would rather they struggle up until now and get something going in the next week than have an awesome pp all year and nothing in the playoffs.

  11. DB – that’s an interesting take. At least if it DOES get going, no one will know what to expect!!

  12. probably right Beer, shanny looks pretty much cashed out. re Hutchinson, he’d have to clear waivers which maybe he could do at this point of the year, but would still be a risk

  13. Habfans,com site says there are to many homos on the Rangers, go buy a better team. Shanny is cute, however, yummy. We are having a trivia contest with guests and prizes at Habfans.com, Americans even welcome.

  14. You know what’s funny? MTL fans are so in love with the Rangers. They’re bitter b/c they’re the most successful franchise in NHL history and they’re not even the biggest market in Canada. Toronto has been bad for a long time, and they’re still considered Canada’s team. Mostly, I’m sure, b/c the rest of Canada would like MTL to secede from Canada. And quit making a nice country look like a bunch of idiots.

  15. I wish Renney would just use his lines as PP units.
    They are familiar with each other, and hey its worth a shot (no pun intended)
    Or…
    what about Dawes, Dubinski, Callahan, Drury and Girardi.
    Just throwing it out there. Drury, as we all know now…has an 85 MPH shot…

    How shifty is Dawes and what a set of hands…What a goal last night.

  16. My recommended PP line…

    Callahan-Dubinsky-Avery-Mara-Roszival

    …using the umbrella formation

    Callahan-Dubinsky-Avery wreak havoc deep and just feed Mara and Roszival for blasts from the point

  17. If you guys want, this is a video I put together from the pictures I took at Tuesdays game v the Penguins.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=X8bS3tddgV8

    It is set to music, for those of you at work, so you might want to make sure your boss can’t hear :^)

    Rozsival has taken more shots in the last two games, I am hoping something from the FLA games rubbed off, the team had a little more desperation. I would have to check, but I think Renney worked to seperate Rozsival and Malik a little more then normal during the 5 on 5 play.

    I would love to see Callahan on the pp, could have a baby Rangers line of Dubi, Dawes, Cally Girardi and Tyutin. The other unit could be Jagr Shanny Gomez Sjostrem Rozsival… maybe??

    It would be cool if Renney could get Malik to use his size and set up in fornt of the net on the PP, Rozsival did that a few times in Pitts game, but his shot is better from the point, and while he did get back into position for defense when needed, it still made me nervous to have just Backman there….

  18. IMO the power play doesn’t work because nobody from the point wants to shoot the puck towards the net. If you watch other teams score on the power play, it’s simple, the point man shoots the puck whether it’s a wrist shot or a slap shot while the rest of the players down low crash the net. Another way to score is to have somebody pass the puck from behind or the side of the net to the front of the net while other players crash the net but the ranger players just keep passing the puck around the perimeter and appears afraid to crash the net and shoot, it’s a enigma.

  19. So after 74 games, not only are the Rangers the only team in the Atlantic that’s over .500 vs the rest of the div. But dominating it in the standings to the tune of 17-6-1. The next best would be the Isles @ 12-12-0 in terms of wins.

  20. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    On Drury and 30-goal scorers…don’t hold your breath for it. That’s not bashing Chris Drury at all so don’t write back saying I’m hating on him, he’s just not that kind of player – check out his stats. He had two seasons with a jugernaut offensive team in Buffalo where he had 30 and 37 goals (for 67 and 69 points), but Drury is about a career mid-50 to 60 point player. He averaged 20-23 goals before being a Sabre. He also had a great goal last night and he is a solid two-way center, my only question is whether that’s worth more than $7million? I don’t know, I recall 2 clutch goals this year (including last nights). I’ve seen him score clutch goals against us and I know he’s won the Little League World Series…but as a Ranger I’m anticipating what he’ll do.

    So far, he’s been OK and playing much much better lately. I just hope the “clutch-ness” intangible he brings to the game starts showing up the next 8 games and beyond.

  21. I think if you want Rozy to shoot, he can’t be on the same unit as Jagr.

    Also – Malik at the point sounds too risky to me because he is way too slow to get back if a shot is blocked.

    Drury needs to be in front of the net on a unit that has Rozy or Girardi at the point.

  22. inhankwetrust on

    its really amazing, and sam said it best. if we played the rest of the league like we played the atlantic, could you imagine??

    staal wart- he actually started doing it last night, as the rangers had dubi, jagr and avery on for the beginning of the power play, then callahan, straka, drury…

    peter- realizing it was a mistake free game was commented on b/c it was showing that the ranger can play 2 kinds of game. the back and forth offensive game (i.e. pittsburgh win on tuesday), and the defensive mistake-free game (i.e. the devils)…its a necessary trait of a good team and therefore was pointed out

    100% agree with the roszival situation….he has a cannon, and has shown that when he uses it, it works. that being said…why not shoot?!? why wouldn’t renney just pull him aside and tell him to get the damn puck to the net and score or atleast create a rebound and crash the net??

  23. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    About the PP – I think Mara is a must because of his shot and not being afraid to use it. Rozsival, our best offensive defensman, elects to pass more often than shoot and when he does shoot it’s usually too late and not when he should have. Backman, although I can’t say what kind of shot he has (hasn’t really used it), Tyutin and Stall are all 3 a little more slippery than Rozy and Mara…they can make a play around the winger pressing them and setup for a play. But I think the biggest problem isn’t at the point, I think it’s Jagr and Shanny. Shanny never gets open and Jagr isn’t shooting; that makes 2 of your 5 players useless.

    Why not use a like: Drury-Gomez-Dawes with Mara and Rozy/Tyutin at the points? Dawes has had a great nose for the net in the shootouts, give him a powerplay chance. I also think playing Prucha now (especially since he had so many PP goals two years ago) for the PP isn’t a bad idea either. Hell, any new strategies can’t be worse than what the Rangers bring now to the man advantage.

  24. Malik could be useful on Jagr’s unit, as Malik has shown that he is capable of making a good pass or two, especially recently. I just worry about he and Roszival trying to do too much and leaving breakaways for the penalty killers. I think we will see Mara back with Rozsival when Mara is healthy.

    You would think Shanahan would tell Renney that it might be a good time to rest him, since I can’t see Renney doing it himself. I’d like to see Shanahan out for both games against the Flyers so he doesn’t have his head taken off by one of those goons. Hollweg would be useful because he would threaten them, and probably get suspended for it because he hasn’t played in awhile, so he would be crazy.

    New Newman – Yes, that was definitely Salty. I’m one of the positive ones!

    UKRanger – I’ve seen enough from Jagr to think that if he was left one on one that he could make some moves. You can tell he’s almost getting them through right now.

    Nick B – Yeah, I said that yesterday about Sjostrom. He has some nice shifty moves that he could use. I’d like to see him on Gomez’s line on the power play with Dawes shifting to Jagr’s line, if Shanhan can sit. Maybe put Gomez at the point on his unit with Callahan in down low, also.

    Someone mentioned there is no roster limit in terms of numbers now. Like I said before, please produce a link because I don’t believe it. I have heard nothing about this in the past two seasons when this CBA was being used, especially last season when we had injuries and needed to use the IR.

  25. Everyone seems to send it to Jags on the PP and he seems to not want to leave the ice. Okay, here’s the solution:

    Sit his huge ass in front of the net and have everyone else shoot the darn puck and let him asscheck opponents for tips and rebounds.

    I’m not joking.

  26. EXACTLY
    Take Rosi OFF of JAgr’s line, take Shanny out of the PP for one gam, jUST ONE GAME!
    Put Cally, Dury, Dawes, Rosi and Staal on on eunti
    Gomez, Jagr, Avery, Malik and MAra

    Where’s the harm in changing it up?

  27. Nick B – Also, I wouldn’t be so quick to say Drury *hasn’t put up the goal tally we all expected* because he _is_ leading the team.

    RW&B – Dawes was on the power play on that forward unit for a few games before Straka replaced him recently, so that’s nothing new, really.

  28. He also had a great goal last night and he is a solid two-way center, my only question is whether that’s worth more than $7million?

    ….

    No, it’s not worth $7M. I mean, it’s just not. Drury is often invisible, and I don’t care what anyone says, you don’t pay $7M to a player that doesn’t you don’t notice *every single night*.

    Thats me knocking the Rangers, not Drury at this point. Drury plays a $5M game, at the absolute max. $6M to lock him up, and $7M is just a poor bargain. But the reality is that it’s out of our hands, he’s signed. Truth be told, I would personally love to hear what other teams would be willing to give up for him, but I will keep my mouth shut until after the playoffs. I think that’s where we will get our best look at him.

    But the absolute truth is that, much like Matt Cullen…Drury simply has not fit in very well here, and I think there is still a strong lack of comfort for him. *Don’t think that has gone unnoticed.* Things are starting to happen, he “leads the team” in goals, and still has playoffs…but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him shopped if he’s not looking a lot different by 2009. $7M might just be better spent.

    Sometimes things don’t work out. DRURY might not be completely happy in NY. Imagine a $5 million dollar wing for Gomez to feed and a $2M Dman who actually intimidates. Something like that *might* be better for the Rangers.

    Drury’s getting his fair shot though and starting to make good. Personally I would suggest moving to Westchester for him though… I feel like he’d be much more comfortable there

    I won’t bash Dru though. Not before I see him in the playoffs

  29. Also, I wouldn’t be so quick to say Drury hasn’t put up the goal tally we all expected because he is leading the team.

    dude, thats more a testament to the weakness of the team, not the strength of drury. i think people expected ~35 goals, but no one expected 23 goals to be the most of anyone.

  30. Haha, Salty, you crack me up when you put “Leads the team” in goals in QUOTES! That’s just funny. Like, statistically, he does lead the team in goals! There’s really no dispute there, at all.

    Now, your point it well-taken as an alternative point of view, but this guy is going to be here for the duration of his contract. Perhaps much to your chagrin, the guy is here for good and will get the “C” on his left-breast when Jagr leaves. It’s the plan. Get used to Drury.

  31. spider – I remember the conv about roster limits on or around deadline day. I don’t have a link to the CBA, but have it saved on my desktop. Here’s section 16.4. I believe this is the only place in the document it’s mentioned. ………….

    16.4 Active Roster Size; Playing Roster.
    (a) For the 2005/06 League Year and thereafter, there shall be a maximum of
    twenty-three (23) Players on each Club’s Active Roster at any one time, provided,
    however, that, on the date of each season’s Trade Deadline, a Club’s Active Roster may
    be increased to any number of Players the Club, in its discretion, so determines, subject to
    Article 50 hereof.
    (b) Except in case of emergency, there shall be no reduction of the required
    minimum Playing Rosters of the Clubs, below eighteen (18) skaters and two (2)
    goaltenders.
    ……………..

    I think the 23 man roster is in effect every day other than dealine day.

  32. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Rob C,
    That’s what I’m kind of afraid of…”the Plan.”
    Eric Lindros, Theo Fleury, Luc Robitaille, and Pavel Bure were all “part of the plan” too!! …didn’t mean it was a good plan. I really want to see what Drury does in the next 8 and beyond that.

  33. salty – in response to your view on drury’s ‘lack of comfort’. I’d find it real hard to believe. He grew up a die hard ranger fan. While I know that argument doesn’t hold up for all players (ahem…Jessiman). It looks like it’s sure helped Dubi a LOT.

    If it’s anything like ‘lack of comfort’, it would be more like he’s ‘putting too much pressure on himself’ not to let HIS team down. There’s a loose tie between the ideas. I think he’s just settling in for a successful Ranger career.

  34. Didn’t anyone else notice as henrik stopped the last NJ shooter, he did a nice little arm pumped almost looking down the ice in marty’s direction, I loved it, almost felt like he was trying to say, hey marty I ain’t bad down this end either, lets go rangers.

  35. It’s the plan.

    ….

    Believe me, I’m well aware of “the plan”. Matt Cullen was involved in plans too. Didn’t work out. It happens. like Drury but he is in no way *crucial* to the Rangers “success” at this point.

  36. When are people going to start holding the mainstays responsible for the struggling PP? Jagr, Shanahan, Gomez, Drury? The PP hasn’t been working all year yet nobody suggests removing them? Why keep using Straka as the scapegoat? He’s the only one that can gain the zone and definitely the only one who can keep pucks in… I agree he should shoot more however…

  37. No, that’s true. But a lot of people criticize the organization (and rightfully so, sometimes) for NOT having a plan; for NOT thinking about the future while trying to win in the present.

    Personally, Drury has won me over. His goal total is not OUTSTANDING, but it’s about at his career average. One year when he gets hot, he’s capable of pumping in 30-35.

    What I love about the guy is his ability to do the little things. Poke checks, blocked shots, picture perfect penalty killing. He takes the body. He’s even dropped the gloves to stick up for Malik (MALIK! One of his more maligned teammates). He’s the consummate pro.

    The ’94 Rangers had guys like this littering their roster. Obviously Messier, but what about Anderson, McTavish, Kevin Lowe, etc. These guys are crucial parts of championship teams.

    What I’m saying is that I like having Drury as part of the plan.

  38. The big names definitely share the blame for the pp. But its Renney and Pearn that I hold most accountable, b/c they send the same units out there every game without any noticeable strategy. some of those players should be pulled from the pp but Renney would never sit shanny or jagr no matter what they do

  39. Beer Me!

    SECONDED

    I got chills when Drury scored last night. And love or hate the shootout, THAT was a sweet way to win last night…to watch Maarrrttyyyy freeze and Dawes calmly slip it through, then to watch Hank pump the fist. They should have done a road Stick Salute last night…more than half the crowd were Ranger fans.

    The Devils are a sorry franchise.

  40. Sam,

    I know this oversimplifies things but beyond taking shots and getting them through traffic, why is it that the Rangers PP never always seems to be rushed and unable to even set up? There is a glaring difference when watching the special teams of our opponents — though I think our PK has been solid for the most part, the Devils had little trouble setting up and moving the puck on the PP. However, the Rangers, if they even get it in the zone, seem to have fewer seconds than every other team on the PP in order to set up. It reminds me of post ’97 games I’d watch against Philly – Rangers would have to dump, the Flyers would swarm them and pop the puck back out and then proceed to set up in their offensive zone. I always thought it was a matter of personnel but the Rangers have gotten better a puck control. That aside, their PP still seems rushed all the time. Is this a tactic of our opponents? Are other coaches saying something as simple as, “look their PP confidence is low so swarm the puck and they’ll give it up”? I mean, if there are 3 guys on Gomez or Jagr in the offensive zone on a PP why can’t we seem to get it to any of the guys not being triple teamed — doesn’t that leave multiple PP players uncovered? On the flip side, why do other teams find it so easy to set up on their PP against us? Is this because of the style of play or what? It is so frustrating that I now find myself hoping they don’t get PPs as I see it as a true waste of 2 mins with a better than average chance we are going to give up a shorthander. Who cares about a QB or getting shots through when it seems the fundamental act of setting up is something our PP rarely achieves.

  41. rob drury is definitely a helpful part, but is he worth 7 million a year? guess it doesnt matter since he’s already signed but i think thats what people are getting at

  42. formerly formerly jagrforgovernot on

    Rob C.

    I agree.

    Drury plays an all around game. Wait till the playoffs. He’ll earn his $$. Remember, he’s locked up long term. $7 mil. now is overpaid, but wait until two years from now, it’ll look like a good deal.

    If he heats up and scores 5 or so before the end of the season, he’ll have had an o.k. year, especially given all of the line-switching at the beginning of the year. Also, this years team is all about team defense, and Drury fits well into that system. He has the ability to play tight d in close games, and has a knack for scoring the key goal.

  43. Adam and his Apple on

    ya know its funny but everybody wants a “HAMMER” from the point, a blistering slapshot is all good but sometimes all it takes is a simple quick snapshot, first of all the hard slappers are way harder to deflect but a simple wrist shot is easily deflectable as you can see from strakas goal the other night vs the penguins

  44. That 7m UFA contract will turn into 9m when the cap goes up the next couple years. Drury will do more on a two way scale than Slowlander on a one way.

  45. Hey All. Here is some interesting fact from “Fire & Ice”, the Devils blog.

    **The sellout was the Devils’ seventh of the season. They’ve sold out all three home games against the Rangers. They’re 3-3-1 in the their sellout games, including 0-2-1 against the Rangers.

    Gotta love it. New Arena….Same Fans. The only reason it was a sellout is because of Ranger fans.

    On another note. I for one cannot wait to have Mara back in the lineup. Backman is a liability on the ice and though he has a flash or two of being normal, he is still very uneasy on the blueline.

    Those bashing Drury asking if he is worth $7 million should wait until after the playoffs to make any judgements. Sather got him for this time of the year and unless I am out of my mind, he came through last night. Bigtime. To see Marty sitting on the ice like a kid who lost his dolly was priceless. I think I may make that picture my screen saver……

  46. I think there is too much gnashing of teeth over the PP pct.

    Last year the Rangers had by far the highest PP pct in the playoffs. That didn’t win them a ticket to Disneyland. In numbers terms the Rangers were at 24.1 and Anaheim won the cup with 15.2.

    At this point of the season Anaheim with three PP QBs (incl. Pronger) stands at 16.7 and the Rangers with a gang that couldn’t shoot straight is at 16.2.

    In terms of actual goals, 54, the Rangers are in bunch in which there is little to choose, from the fifth place Kings at 60 to the 25th place Lighting at 50.

    What the Rangers don’t have this year is a big-time scorer. Only Edmonton’s leader has less than the Rangers. But they do have three solid lines and some life on the fourth, so if Henrik keeps playing like he has lately, they’ll be competitive.

  47. ivrydov – I don’t know if it’s what the real gripe is. For me anyway, my dissapointment with the PP is that if that % was just a little higher, we could be on top of the conference with room behind us. NJ is just 1 place in the PP rankings ahead of us and in 1st in the East. The PP won’t completely define if your team is a 1st place team or not. But in our case, if it were just producing a fraction more, it could have carried us through a few close games that we put up an 0’fer on the PP.

    here’s the current PP standings.

    http://www.nhl.com/nhlstats/app?formids=PropertySelection_6%2CPropertySelection_7%2CPropertySelection_8%2CSubmit_0&component=reportBuilder.%24Form_0&page=Home&service=direct&submitmode=submit&submitname=&PropertySelection_6=0&PropertySelection_7=0&PropertySelection_8=8&Submit_0=Get+Stats

  48. definitely missing a big time scorer, which could be an issue next year as well unless the kids step up. but thats why jagr and shanny need to be let go so the yougner kids have a chance to reach the next level (dawes, prucha, the russians etc).

    i think the pp pct can be misleading, but if we go 0-4 or 0-5 in a playoff game, more likely than not we are losing that game

  49. Salty – Yeah, but don’t you think that if the whole team was doing better that Drury would be around 30 goals by now? Seems so, by your logic, that would be the case.

    Beer Me! – That’s the part I have already read, which is why I challenge these *know-it-alls* to provide some proof to their statements about *no roster limit*.

  50. The ‘94 Rangers had guys like this littering their roster. Obviously Messier, but what about Anderson, McTavish, Kevin Lowe, etc. These guys are crucial parts of championship teams.

    What I’m saying is that I like having Drury as part of the plan.

    ….

    None of those guys were making the equivalent of what Drury is now… poor argument.

    I like Drury as part of the plan too, but not automatically as THE PLAN. Sorry, you cannot build a Ranger team *around* Chris Drury playing this “defensive system”. Doesn’t mean dipsh1t management won’t try… but it won’t work. The argument remains, that we could get two $3.5M guys that will also put up 30 goals each. Those are parts of a plan, and a better “plan” IMO.

  51. salty – Of all the things I’ve disagreed with you on, I’d have to say that this may be the biggest disagreement of all. If I were building a team to play a defensive system, Drury would be one of the 1st players I’d take.

    spider – If I were a betting man, which I am far from. I would say that the 23 man roster is in effect all season except for that 1 day.

  52. Salty – First of all, there was no cap back then and salaries were much different. Your argument isn’t exactly foolproof either.

  53. If I were building a team to play a defensive system, Drury would be one of the 1st players I’d take.

    ……..

    I’d more rely on/look for a player like Drury on a ‘run and gun’ team like Buffalo…where an individual’s defensive responsibility plays a much larger role, than it does on a team like “we are trying to construct”, where everyone is already going to be playing in a defensive mind set.

    Drury is a resource I don’t think we neccesarily need if we’re already playing sound team defense, he’s better suited to bring defensive aspects to a scoring team that needs it (off hand, i cant think of one besides BUF, i dont pay too close attention around the league to styles).

    You want to talk about “clutch goals”, bring in a real 40 goal guy, they will get the goals too and it wont feel like we are always looking for a reminder of why we’re paying them, they way it so often has felt with Drury. (Don’t say it’s just me, it isn’t)

  54. Salty – First of all, there was no cap back then and salaries were much different. Your argument isn’t exactly foolproof either.

    ………

    Didn’t say it was fool proof. He mentioned role players. I agree, Drury is a role player here, the *problem* is he’s taking up the cap space of 2-3 role players.

  55. Not for nothing but basically no team’s “plan” seems to really work. Which organizations have been really successful for sustained periods of time? In the past 10 years its Detroit, NJ and maybe…..Colorado. Only one team gets the Cup each year and after them its just degrees of failure. You have to try something.

    My point is that I think Drury was a good player to sign. It was an aggresive move by the organization to sign him plus Gomez and he’s proven he can win at every level. You can bitch about his contract but the reality is that its basically front end loaded. Yes, we’re probably over paying him now but by year 5 we’ll probably be paying him the equivalent of $4mn player now what with discounting and salary cap increases.

  56. I know it’s part of the debate to talk about contracts, but try and forget the Dollar amount for just a minute and look at what he’s done on the ice.

    Again, I think people are failing to realize the little things.

    Salty, a couple of days ago you insinuated that people on this board aren’t “good” or “knowledgable” hockey fans, which quite frankly made me livid. I would never say that about anyone else, and I know you have a very critical eye, which I truly appreciate for the discussion it creates.

    That said, I’m going to call you out on not appreciating Drury as a complete hockey player. He’s not flashy, but he always does his job. He almost never makes a mental mistake, of which there are MANY on this hockey team. His game is simple and effective. He is, for my money, one of the top 3 penalty killing forwards in the league.

    Funny thing is, about 2 months ago, I would have agreed with you. But now I’m a Drury convert. And please don’t give me the old lines like “you’re being spoon fed Sam/Joe’s bull—-” etc. etc. He’s one of those players, like Derek Jeter, that you need to watch every day for a long period of time to truly understand.

    I may not change your mind, and I know you’re not throwing Drury under the bus either…but stop attaching the dollar amount to his goal total without looking at the complete package.

  57. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    It’s funny, about 2-3 months ago Drury was playing pretty horridly. He was making turnovers, none of his passes were connecting, he was missing his defensive zone coverage and he met with Renney and said something to the media of “I have to play better” … I can’t find the link to it but it was probably around the New Year. Everyone seems to forget that, this guy didn’t play that well until about the last 2.5 months.

    Recently, “HIS” game (the Drury game) has come around. Good passes, turning into a PK monster, and last night showing his clutch goals.

    Nobody’s saying he should play better, he’s doing his part now and we all hope he continues…but, could you invest his $7million+ more wisely? The Rangers gave him the contract and so-be-it, but as a fan you can still wonder if investing that money in a solid defensman would have been wiser.

  58. salty – I see what you’re saying (d-system/players). And I think that one can go either way to tell you the truth. Pretty equally too. Drury can’t hurt your team is really the bottom line. Regardless of style of play. no?

  59. give me a break sam. you don’t talk about the PP because it would bring up the criticism of your favorite hero Renney.

    and if you suggest malik, you are really clueless.

    and as far a a PP QB, you mean from the point. but the actual PP Qb is the guy at the right half boards, just like Joe Thornton does it for the Sharks, or Kovalev for the habs, etc.

    you won’t admit that jagr is a big flop on the half boards, and that his undue influence over Rosival keeps Rosival from shooting, thus voila, you have the PP problem.

    Avery in front of the goalie, Gomez just to the side of the net, and an umbrella at the top with Shanny, rosival at the center point, and Mara when healthy. that would give you 3 blasters who could one time shots, with Avery screening the goalie, and Gomez as a down low setup passer

  60. truefans – It’s one of those things every fan asks themselves. GM’s for that matter too!

    It goes through all sports, all levels really.

    There are plain old stupid deals like DP’s. Then there are the one’s like Drury’s. You always hope deals prove worthy, and the higher the $$’s, the higher the risk…you can only hope for the higher reward. But if you knew what the result would be before signing…where’s the fun!?

  61. Contract structure doesn’t mean much anymore. The cap hit is what it’s all aboot nowadays.

  62. He’s not flashy, but he always does his job. He almost never makes a mental mistake, of which there are MANY on this hockey team.

    ….

    I agree his mistakes are almost never mental, it’s his physical lapses that i put into question. I’ve seen him fumble lots of pucks this year, seen many many turn overs. I don’t want to turn it back into a Drury rip, but you’re saying forget the $$$ for a minute, which I *can’t* do.

    Drury’s $7M hit on our books is playing a huge role in whether or not we can afford to keep/aquire other *very important parts of the “plan” *… players Sean Avery, who is unquestionably a fan favorite and an essential part of this team. It’s not that I don’t want Drury to make money, I don’t care if he gets paid $53M to sharpen skates… its about how important is this guy to the bigger picture, and how much of th epie chart is he going to get, and if that doesnt make sense, then we’re a mickey mouse team trying to sell $300 jerseys.

  63. Would it hurt to put together a group that knows each other from Hartford? At least try it in practice first – Dawes, Callahan, Dubinsky. Games like last night and in Tampa could have been much easier if they clicked on at least on PP in each game. Even kids know that you need to move constantly, pass crisply and quickly and shoot.

  64. Doodie Machetto on

    “Contract structure doesn’t mean much anymore. The cap hit is what it’s all aboot nowadays.”

    Not true. Here are three ways it still remains important:

    1) Trade to a small market team. Some teams have a lot of cap space, but not a lot of money. For those smaller market teams, they can pick up a player being paid less in the final year of his deal, and absorb the cap hit because their payroll is lower. So, for instance Player A has a two year deal for 10 million the first year, and a penny for the second (yes, I know a contract can’t be structured this way, it’s a hypothetical) His Cap hit is half a penny under 5 million. His team trades him to another team that is strapped for cash. They can afford to pay him the penny, and since they have the cap space, they can absorb the hit. But if it were 5 million for 2 years, they wouldn’t be aable to afford paying the player 5 million bucks.

    2) Buy outs. When a player is bought out, it is 2/3s the remaining value of the contract for double the remaining length. Please note, that it is the contract value, not cap hit. Therefore, a front loaded contract is more likely to be bought out.

    3) The value of money. Money today is worth a lot more than money tomorrow. Front loading gives a big incentive for a player to sign with Team A as opposed to Team B.

  65. Doodie Machetto on

    As far as the PP is concerned, I would love to see Rozsival and Jagr split up. I think Rozsi would shoot a lot more.

  66. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Anybody notice Malik look like he was going to be caught and lose the puck behind the goal line, do a little head fake, and send Gionta flying into the boards? It was funny seeing a guy that big out-dance that midget.

  67. doodie – outstanding points. The only one I’d contest would be #3. And I’d have to change the meaning behind it to the fact that the USD is much weaker now than it will be when Dru’s contract is up. At least I f’n hope so! haha

    My phrase that you quoted was not intended to be as vague as it was. It should have been more specific to NYR & Chris Drury. In those terms, IMO at least, it doesn’t matter b/c he’s not being bought out, and not being traded.

    spider – I’ve read elsewhere that there are quite a few people saying that the 23 man roster is NOT in effect after the trade deadline. While absolutely no one can prove it, there was a good example given. Someone referrenced how you always see teams bring up youngsters from junoirs when their respective seasons are over. Okposo being the most recent. So I can see the limitation being waived post-trade deadline, but would surely feel more comfortable seeing confirmation.

  68. Asking players not to mishandle a puck or two over an 82 game season is flat out unreasonable.

    But again, your point is well taken. Avery is one of my favorite athletes of all time and it would be an absolutely pity if they didn’t re-sign him. But that would be a function of more than just Drury making $7 million a year.

    I think it’s best to finish this argument after the playoffs. That’s when Drury supposedly “makes his money” so I’m cool reserving final judgment til then.

  69. Asking players not to mishandle a puck or two over an 82 game season is flat out unreasonable.

    Come on, it’s not like I’m fabricating the fact that a large portion of the spectators were unhappy with Drury on BOTH sides of the puck for at least the first half of the year. The fact of the matter is that he was actually a liability for a while, I mean, on the *verge* of being “bad”.

    I didn’t even bring up the fact that Drury has the inclination to take slap shots into the gut on breakaways. I already said, I’m ready to just see how he performs in the playoffs, but if you want to discuss Drury’s year so far, we can do that too.

  70. Hey back to the original post – Malik NO Backman YES. It’s not Christian’s fault refs call penalties differently (and more leniently in my view) in the western league, he’s adjusted to that over the last three weeks even if it has given him a temproary tentative approach. He was a first-rounder with a +13 in his last full (good) year in St Louis. Malik’s just a guy you can count on to pass up the middle and loaf near Henrik when the other guys chip one in.

  71. With the pp both sucking and blowing(nearly costing the team the game) last night can Renney finally get Prucha back in the lineup? I swear the guy casn be so stubborn some times. Look the pp is important in the regular season and it’s importance doubles in the playoffs. Shanny looks older than Gordie Howe right now. Renney needs to sit Shanny at least one of the Flyers games. I know we have been spoiled with Guys like Greschner, Patrick, Leetch, and Zubov running the pp in the past twenty or so years but my God Rozsival is the worst pp qb I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t shoot, he force feeds certain guys the puck, he can’t keep the puck in the zone. In other words he’s got it all. Thank God for the Drury line last night because the other lines couldn’t get much of anything going.I think you have to give the team credit for having alot of patience to slog through an ugly Devild type of game. What can you say about Drury in a big spot that hasn’t been said?

  72. why do I have this feeling that the last game of the season is going to be for the division title.

  73. SeamusORiley on

    malik on the powerplay could work provided that he does not slip and fall down.

    that is the likely scenario.

    whatever ‘came of petr prucha?

  74. I think we gotta count on 4 points from both fishies and phillies. That leaves 4 other games to get more than 2 points. With that, the rangers should maintain 6th.

    I’d love to sweep the season series against Joisy though.

  75. I think we gotta count on 4 points from both fishies and phillies.

    I kinda hope they use just because of people who say thing like this.

    Did you “WANT THE CUP” in October? Bet ya did.

  76. Yeah, use=lose*.

    Keep counting your chickens, worked out real well so far huh?

    How about we “count on” every game going down the line to be an absolute battle.

  77. Wow… are you seriously an idiot or do you just play one?

    You’re ASSUMING we’re getting 4 points from both NYI and PHI…?

    Because they’ve been “such a cakewalk” all year…?

    Am I missing something? Maybe I misunderstood you.

  78. How about Malik is used as a screen in front of the goalie/ Wouldn’t hurt to try. That is totally Callahan’s game though. He’s very capable of that. Remember that deflection in the playoffs against ATL? He was on the first PP unit in Hartford.

  79. Big Jim Slade on

    I read this blog and comments many times and I realized 2 things.
    A. Salty is the biggest pessimist on this blog(sorry I state the obvious)

    B. Prucha27 has no idea what is going on.

    Folks with all due respect I like building the team around Gomez and Drury. One guy is the best playmaker in the league and the other is the best big game player in the NHL.
    I dont understand some of the comments here. With the young players coming and the young players here We should have a good team for years to come. I mean I think its a great time to be a Ranger fan and some of you should realize this.

    GO RANGERS!!!!

  80. I don’t want the Rangers to finish 6th. I don’t want them to play the southeast winner in the first round again because that would be too similar to last year. I want to see in the first round if they can beat a better team such as Pens or devils and play well like they have in the reg season vs those teams.

    I think the Pens would be much tougher to play 4 in pitt, but not in NY

  81. I picked the Sharks and Rangers to play in the cup final since day one this season, and I still stand by it.

  82. Spider and Beer me – I don’t have a link but I’m fairly sure there is no 23 man limit after the trade deadline for rest of season including playoffs. have to comply with cap. there is a call up limit after deadline of 4 players from AHL except for injury emergency. I’m not sure if Mara is on injured list or not. if he’s not we’re already at 24 players. if he is on list when he’s ready to play he can come off list and no one needs to be waived, sent to AHL or put on injured list.

  83. No offense – but I’d rather be a pessimist with a grasp on the reality of the situation than an optimist with a big lollypop pretending everything’s cool in RANGERLAND.

  84. Huge win for the Rangers last night. These two wins helped boost their confidence for the last few weeks remaining. Even if the blueshirts don’t move up a spot in the East, if they stay a 6, they will play Carolina. The hurricanes aren’t that good and could be a favorable first round opponent for the Rangers.

  85. I said the same thing about playing Carolina but then I thought we played Atlanta the first round last year swept them and then look what happened.

    Also I’m actually going to agree with salty. There’s ni reason tobclunt any point from up coming games nothing is going to be easy the fish and flyers are going to try there hardest to beat us or maybe go after someone and hurt them. These 9 games are not going to be a cake walk

  86. *tobclunt* – I love it ;-) There are only eight games remaining.

    It’s much more important to beat the Penguins and Devils if we have aspirations of first place in the division. We’ve gotta sweep those two and at least split the other four.

    LI Joe – Mara is on IR. I don’t understand why there would be no roster limit when the Rangers weren’t calling up people in droves last season with their injuries and were worrying about IR.

  87. Spider there is no 23 man roster limit after the deadline. there is a callup limit of 4 from the AHL so they were being careful of that and probably the cap situation as well.

  88. well last year they did sign struds for the 2nd half to add an extra d-man.

    And let’s not worry about who we need to beat. So what if we beat the devils and pens if we can’t beat the isles and flyers. We don’t get points in those games then forget about the division. And let’s not act like we’re in clear water yet after buffalos 6 goal 3rd period win last night. These last 8 games are going to be far from easy.

  89. The Devils are scared of the NYR. Every guy last night in their locker room kept talking about how they had dominated the game and got ripped by one late defensive miscue.

    Sorry, but that ain’t what happened. The Rangers are by far the better skating team, by far the better team when it comes to possessing the puck. And they showed that over the course of the hockey game. The Debbies were reacting all game long after their burst in the first ten minutes of the game.

    Now does this mean the Rangers automatically come out of the East? Of course not. But it does mean they do not have to fear facing anybody, with the possible esception of athe Canadiens, who possess and wield the puck better than anyone in this conference.

    So as a result I think the only team who right now is poised with good reason to beat them is Montreal, due to their power play, their skating ability, their karma, and their (possibly) new-model Ken Dryden in Price.

    But I have a feeling if Hank plays as well as he can, this could be a cool spring…..

  90. Sam please do us all a favor and make sure that Renney never gets wind of the putting bit.

    I can hear it now. “Okay boys I want you all to close your eyes for a minute and just imagine yourself on a golf course. You are 1 down playing a $500 nassau 2 down automatic press. Your opponent just hit a bunker shot to 8 feet. You’ve got a 30 foot sidehill put that will go 10 feet past if you miss on the low side. The safe play is to keep it high and give yourself a 2 footer for par, making your opponent have to nail his putt to halve the hole.

    Quite honestly, I hope you boys would take the second option. Sure trying to make the putt would look nice and flashy, but I’d like to see you lads show some mettle and have to persevere through a bit of adversity and make that pressure putt. It would be a great effort and it would show some fortitude to withstand that bit of adversity.

    Oh I’m sorry gents, I didn’t mean to say adversity twice (or spell it incorrectly). The moral of the story boys is that anyone can make a circus style putt. It takes a great lack of self indulgence to withstand the temptation of looking like a hero.Okay? Great.

    Two things before we get back on the bus. Rookies, by order from the veterans of course, you guys need to scan the field for any leftover paintball equipment, Petr, you help them out too okay Sport? And number two, Boys, we’ve all been in Philly before and I hope you ALL, yes Sean I’m talking to you, need to keep in mind that while you may hear certain words from fans during the pregame, it doesn’t mean it’s okay to say them around the rest of the boys.”

  91. I just woke up and had a dream the rangers won 6-2…So what! you say,well about a month ago I had a dream we beat Atlanta 4-0 that night we beat Atlanta 4-0…………..
    one more, pretty early in the year again I dreamed we beat flyers 3-2 well we won that one 4-0…Let’s see.

  92. John – Let me ask you a question. What difference does it make how you get ‘there’? Seriously.

    To stick with your golf analogy, Tiger Woods doesn’t blow away everyone every tourney. Let’s look way back to hmmm…Sunday. Didn’t he battle through adversity and win with the last possible putt(in regulation)??

    It doesn’t matter how you get there.

    Also, it’s taken so long for the players of the NY Rangers to realize that nothing needs to be flashy. This year more than any other in recent years, with the parity of the East, “Par for the course” could win you the conference. The Finals may be a different story though.

    I DO love golf analogies, but IMO, you were a little off basis on it.

  93. Why not Valiquette. He seems to have Philly’s number and Hank could probably use the rest down the stretch here.

  94. We are playing the Philthies again on Tuesday with 3 days rest in between. I would lean toward Vally tonight in Philthy and then Hank at home, but just a thought.

  95. Think we see any lineup changes?? I think Philty is going to play a physical game tonight

  96. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    “Folks with all due respect I like building the team around Gomez and Drury. One guy is the best playmaker in the league and the other is the best big game player in the NHL.”
    —-

    Big Jim, Who’s the best play-maker in the league? You must’ve *accidentally* forgot to type “Thornton, Savard, or Spezza” in that sentence because you only mention Drury and Gomez.

    Simple Typo.

  97. I agree with Bathgate. Even though the pessimists on these posts believe the Rangers are is disarray it’s simply not true. What they have proven is that they can play against and dominate every team in the east, and so often are the much better team even in losing efforts. Now if they get their power play working half as well as it should they will be deadly in the playoffs.

  98. rmant/bathgate – I say, ‘let the pessimists be the pessimists’.

    PJ – I don’t know man. Any lineup changes would be the same as we’ve all been spouting out the last few weeks. The one thing I would be opposed to, would be to change the lineup to play a physical game. I don’t see it shaping up that way tonight. Philthy is on the verge of missing the playoffs. If Stevens really lets them go out there and play like the scumbags they are, they he deserves to be replaced(as the rumors swirl).

  99. I think Stevens is a goner, especially if they miss the playoffs. Can you believe he was having his team practice defending 6-5 when the opposition pulls their goalie??? What a MORON.

    I can’t say that I would mind Struds rpelacing Wally, just in case something gets out of hand. I don’t think Philthy is a really fast team, so inserting cement feet Struds wouldn’t kill us. Other than that I don’t care what lineup changes are made as long as they FIX THE POWER PLAY

  100. I thought the same about Struds. If my memory serves me correctly, he played a decent game the last time down there. I wouldn’t change the fwd lines though.

    Stupidest thing philthy could’ve done was fire Hitchcock last season. They HAD a good coach.

  101. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    “I agree with Bathgate. Even though the pessimists on these posts believe the Rangers are is disarray it’s simply not true. What they have proven is that they can play against and dominate every team in the east, and *so often are the much better team even in losing efforts.* Now if they get their power play working half as well as it should they will be deadly in the playoffs.”

    Haha. Let’s just forget the two losses to Tampa Bay, including the most recent where the Rangers didn’t even bother to hold their spring break beer pong tournement (that was a loss, my friend, where they DID NOT dominate), and then the Panthers, plus a couple losses to the Islanders, Thrashers, Coyotes, Kings, and the Oilers. Those are MUST-BEAT teams. Granted, any given night someone can show up (a la Gaborik) and dominate the scoring sheet, but the Rangers play to their opponents talent. They have the ability to beat just about anyone, but whether they show up mentally and physically is a completely different question.

    I’m still not sold on the defense either. I hope they get back to their start this season and win games 2-1 because that is playoff hockey. So far, they have one game like that to build from (beating Jersey).

  102. What they have proven is that they can play against and *dominate* every team in the east, and *so often are the much better team even in losing efforts*.
    …..

    Man, I really disagree, and I wonder what games you are watching. I mean, Unless if by “dominate” you mean “get by by the skin of their teeth” and if you meant that they are “not the better playing team even when they win”.

    If there is one thing the rangers have Not Done this year, it is *dominate*. I don’t think too many people here can honestly disagree with me there.

  103. Well Philthy execs aren’t exactly the smartest bunch. Cote is going to try and goad Orr into a fight, Orr should just respond “Dude i’ve beaten your arse enough this year i have nothing left to prove to you” and skate away

  104. Speaking of Vally…did you guys see that Inside the Rangers when he was kneeling on the ball and lifting? I’m pretty sure I’d hurt myself if I tried that.

  105. Salty – Why do you call me an idiot? I thought this was a discussion board.

    You have some real emotional problems. Get some help soon.

  106. I agree that the Rangers have NOT really ‘dominated’ too many games this year. Perhaps a handful.

  107. “Some of these people” hmmm, could you be any more condescending?

    Jeez. People have different opinions of the team. People’s views are shaped by different Ranger experiences. Can you please allow that and stop insulting everyone who doesn’t share your opinion?

    And please, spare us all the riot act supposedly “proving” that your opinion is the right opinion.

    People like Beer Me!, myself and plenty others on this board are happy to get 2 points at game’s end no matter what the score is, how the defense plays, and how many softies Hank lets in. If the score is 3-0 or 7-6, as long as it’s in favor of the Rangers, we’re pretty happy to take that and move on.

    And the thing is, in the playoffs, the result is really all that matters. You can micromanage this team all you want when you analyze it, but the fact of the matter is, when the playoffs start all that stuff goes out the window. Regular season stats, contracts. It’s all gone. If the team wearing red, white and blue wins, that’s all that matters.

  108. True fans bleed- I’m sure you are not implying that an NHL team must win all 82 games to be an excellent team. Even Detroit has lost 20 games so it would be silly to point out specific losses to prove your point. Of course there are going to be bad nights, even awful. But the key is how do they step up against the big teams. And as I stated, but you must have misread, they can play and often dominate any team in the EAST. If you look at their record in the east, most specifically their own division you will see they do dominate. So your point misses the mark.

  109. Rmant – Good point.

    This is what makes is so frustrating. When they can adjust and play better against one tough opponent – then not adjust properly against a weaker opponent.

  110. Rmant, that means Detroit wins almost 75% of their games.. that’s ridiculously good… and I wish we could say the same.

  111. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Rmant, I agree with your point, they have the talent to beat most of the East. They also have the *inability* to beat the NHL’s most feeble teams (NYI, ATL, EDM, PHX, LA, TB, & FLA).

    If I had to choose, I’d rather see them beat the NHL’s best and lose to the worst…because it *IMPLIES* that they can get mentally ready and play well against good teams.

    But what I’d rather have, above all else, is a team that goes out to play EVERY night. Why can’t we ask for that? I feel like that’s the same thing Salty and I keep saying and we get bashed for it.

  112. My definition of dominate means they carry the play, control the puck, win faces offs, keep the puck to the outside, reduce good scoring chances, outhit and out shoot their opponents. In many games, even in losses they often do this. Unfortunately, their power play is horrible and until recently Lundquist was hurting them by letting in weak goals. They aren’t winning 6-0 games but they are the more often the dominate team.

  113. True fans and Salty- It’s not that you get bashed for it, it’s that its unrealistic. I would love to expect that too but it’s not feasible. I’m sure if you are a big hockey fan then you play the game as I do. You have to admit that physically sometimes you’re off, you are hurting, you have something on your mind or you’re simply tired. They are human and they play hockey 7 times a week for 6 months. It’s hard to be up all the time. I agree it’s their profession but we have to be reasonable and assume there will be letdowns. it’s how they respond that matters and how they step up when it counts.

  114. There have probably been more nights where the Rangers looked “off” this year than they should have. but I attribute that to trying to develop chemistry, especially in the early and middle parts of the year. I don’t think they were playing poorly due to lack of effort.

  115. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Rmant, great post and good points. I do play and agree there are days you’re just off. It happens. And although I’ve never played the game 5-7 days a week for 6months straight, I don’t understand how an entire roster (with the exception of 1-2 players) finds the same night to take off because they’re hurt or down or whatever. You know what I mean?

    In Tampa this past week, how did the whole team take the night off (except probably Sjostrom and Lundqvist), especially, after losing the night before to one of the NHL’s worst teams. Shouldn’t that be when your adrenaline gets more pumped because you NEED that win?

    I understand some guys are tired and/or hurt but there are too many nites where Avery, Gomez, Sjostrom look like the only 3 guys actually skating. There’s too many games where the defense spends the entire game in a brain-fog. That’s what I don’t understand.

  116. True- I totally agree with you on that point, I doubt anyone can explain why an entire team is flat on a particular night, it’s an enigma. Maybe it’s like good hitting in baseball, it’s contagious. But I don’t think you judge a team by those games because over 82 games you are going to have them. You judge a team by how they step up because in the playoffs they will have to step up huge.

  117. I hear that, True Fans…but I guess in the scope of a team concept, there are just nights when nothing works. Good passes bounce over sticks. your couple of quality chances turn into near misses rather than goals.

    Even if guys are skating hard, sometimes all the wheels aren’t turning together and you just can’t generate anything.

  118. Big Jim Slade on

    Jay, If Salty doesnt agree, then your an idiot, its just the way it is.

    GO RANGERS!!!!!

  119. Not to mention that sometimes the other team is just simply on and in the zone. Afterall, they are all NHL teams with the best players in the world.

  120. So many thoughts…my heads gonna explode!!

    trufans – People don’t ‘bash’ Salty for wanting to win every game, they do it b/c of the way he goes about demeaning people when they are simply happy that we don’t have that disgusting ‘team’ we saw ’98-’04. And from what I can tell, he has no problem with it. While I certainly can’t speak for anyone, I think that’s pretty close. And it’s not just him, it’s a lot of folks. But since that was the name referrenced, that’s the name I cited.

    It takes some time to adjust to the realization that people are entitled to their opinions. No matter how ‘outlandish’ they may seem at times, the opposing opinion sounds that way to them too. I’ve made my share of comments calling someone a name or something to the effect, and I admit that it’s stupid and EXTREMELY CHILDISH. You can only hope that people learn to control themselves and act like adults. Lest they want this board to be monitored and comments screened, causing delay’s in conversations.

    I hope I got my point of view across ok. I was once a lad that got upset when I read something I didn’t agree with. But I’ve learned to deal with it and voice my best retort in an appropriate manner. But sometimes you just can’t help it.

    Hey, don’t we play tonight?!?

  121. Big Jim Slade :) Man I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I Hate when I’m an idiot.

    Lets Go Rangers!!

  122. Everyone seems passionate about their opinions, some just seem to have a monopoly of Ranger knowledge. We must remember, we are all amatuers. I had the opportunity to speak with Tom Renney one on one at Casino night and was refreshed at how logical his approach to the game was. He has an amazingly postive approach and he makes his players respect him, not fear him. I am a very firm believer in that style of leadership. I think in the long run we will see his genius.

  123. Rmant.

    I’ve never had the opportunity to meet T. Renney but I like his very thoughtful answers during interviews. I like his very technical approach to coaching. Obviously – posting this now will probably get me harassed.

    I’m under the impression that people respond with respect when they are respectd. It seems that T. Renney respects his players…

    (Just like I respect the opinions of others even if I don’t totally agree)

  124. I would say, Renney should definitely start Vally tonight.
    Hank has gone 15 staright games. PErfect time for a three day rest, he can analyze the game from the bench, then be super rested and ready to go on Tuesday.
    Not to mention that Valley, even if we lose tonight with him in net, OWNS the Philthies this year.
    Also, I would definitely give Shanny the night off and insert Prucha. When’s the next time he will be able to get a three day rest before the playoffs? I think it will make a huge difference for him and give him some time to re-energize himself.
    Also, I wouldnt be opposed to letting Hollweg play tonight, but Shoey has been great lately, and we definitely need Orr in as well, but sitting Orr for one game wouldnt be so terrible either
    That along with PP changes ar ethe only things I see happening tonihgt, if they happen at all.
    LEts go Rnagers, see you all on Tuesday!

  125. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Not to be a downer, but didn’t Messier lead to Renney’s firing in Vancouver? LoL. Irony.

    I agree that Renney seems quite knowledgable, sometimes we all question his tactics and ability to coach the rookies, but there is no doubt he’s smarter than us and just about anyone we all probably know who isn’t employed by a professional hockey team.

  126. I think there is an element of posters who dislike Renney because he isn’t a head chopper or because he is overly loyal to his players. I think that’s because they don’t play for him. If they did they would love him. No one wants to play for the likes of Brent Sutter. They will because they don’t want to lose their spot, but not because they want to take care of him. Loyalty is a 2 way street and it starts from the top. Renney has a great handle on it and his players love him. Just look at who he had the problem with, Malik, the most hated Ranger.

  127. I wouldn’t want to make the choice on goalie for tonight. Good reasons to start both guys.

  128. I still wonder if there is a carry-over tension between Malik and Renney. Once you snub a guy like Renney, who was more than fair with Malik, it may still be a sore spot.

  129. I’m sure it’s forgiven but not forgotten. Something like that you never forget because you see someones true colors. It’s an eye opener. Nevertheless Malik is playing better and that’s all that matters as long as he’s a Ranger.

  130. He has been playing better. Break-out passes are better – that move on gionta in the corner was good and he is playing way more physical than he did in the beginning and middle of the season.

  131. “Not to be a downer, but didn’t Messier lead to Renney’s firing in Vancouver? LoL. Irony.”

    We actually discussed that here not long ago. And what I threw out there was that Renney’s successor was Keenan, go figure right? Keenan actually did worse in Van. It just wasn’t a good team. But I know you weren’t looking to open it up for debate.

    Also, trufans – I believe that it’s just the opposite. Renney is exactly the right coach for the youngsters. Which is highly likely the reason he was Director of Player Personnel. Then promoted to VP of Player Personnel. He also created the Annual Prospect Camp in CGY. Just throwing out supporting reasons for my statement.

  132. Vali in net tonight and Hollweg in for Betts..as Betts has something wrong with his foot and didn’t make the trip to Philly. Per Zipay.

  133. I’m a huge Renney guy. I think he’s a really thoughtful, calming coach and seems to handle the atmosphere of NY and coaching the Rangers really well. He knows there are expetations and he handles them well. He’s really self-aware and he knows his team really well.

  134. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Beer, I think that was Sather’s intention, having Renney groom alot of these young guys. But Renney was put between a rock and a hard place when deciding between Vets and Rookies.

    His first season he showed a clear loyalty to Kevin Weekes the first 50 or so games of the season, even though Lundqvist was clearly outplaying Weekes. It wasn’t until Weekes got hurt that Lundqvist inherited the starting position. There are other countless examples where Renney has sat rookies for 1 or 2 bad shifts (Dubinsky and Prucha especially – Dubinsky being sat shifts, entire periods, and whole games for a single poor shift; Prucha losing his spot on the PP and although he started great, Renney hasn’t helped him develop at all). While, on the contrary, the Vets get the “He just needs to play through this rut so I’ll let him keep getting alot of ice time.” Nylander had 10-15 lazy games last year before Renney sat him for a period…And I think Nylander, besides the 4th line players and the 7th defensman, has been the only guy sat due to lack of effort while every rookie has sat at some point or another because “they couldn’t find their game” or because they “played well when the puck was on their stick, but need to learn how to play better when it’s not on their stick”…so how do you learn from sitting with the media? Sam is knowledgable and all, but is he supposed to be the guy training the rookies? haha

    So, I do agree with you, the intent was to have Renney train up rookies but I don’t believe Renney helped many of them develop until this year.

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