Valiquette and Hollweg in tonight


Stephen Valiquette looks to continue his mastery against the Flyers tonight, and Ryan Hollweg steps in at center for Blair Betts, who is out with a foot issue. All this courtesy of Zipay, who made the trek “down for the morning skate”:

The absence of the versatile Betts is a significant loss in my book, although it sounds like only a foot bunion.

I’m leaving for Philly momentarily. More when I get there….

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  1. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Beer…in response to a point from the last thread…

    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.

    Examples: 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 this treatment: “He just needs to play through this rut so I’ll let him keep getting alot of ice time – heck, i’ll even put them out their for the PK, even though he doesn’t play it, and also for the last minute of the game so he can get an empty-net goal to try and that might get him going.” 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 defensmen, 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, Beer Me!, that the intent was to have Renney train up rookies but I don’t believe Renney has helped many of them develop until this year.

  2. Hollwegg’s gonna be nuts tonight…all that pent up energy and a lot of Guitar Hero…gonna have him pumped…hopefully in a good way!

  3. Ugh, we lose. Betts is our best PKer next to Drury and Straka… couldn’t they call up [insert any center here]?

  4. Well, all I can really say to that, we’ve seen lots of positives from our rookies, and in my eyes, they out number the negatives(re:rookie development). As far as treatment being different for rookies/youngsters vs vets. I think there’s a strong basis for that, and it is this: If you have a guy like Straka, that has produced points throughout his career, and hit a slump, you can safely bet that he will probably play through it. When you’re looking at younger guys, how do you really know if they’re going through a slump or if that’s just how they fit into the nhl? Peter Prucha is a different story. I really think there is more than meets the (fans) eye.

    Sitting in the ‘press box’ has different effects on different players, so I couldn’t comment on any specifics. What comes to mind for me, is that the vets on the team and any teammate for that matter should be supporting those that are sitting and drawing from their pasts to help them ‘hang in there’. Hey, it’s not easy to sit for an extended period of time, then come back and be on top of your game. But it would sure show a hell of a lot of character if you do ‘hang in there’. Prucha, in particular is doing an outstanding job of that. When Malik was sitting back around xmas, he was bitching and moaning. Remember the ‘I guess it’s cause I’m not scoring goals’ bit?

    I wouldn’t put as much of the fault on potentially stunting the growth of Prucha on Renney as opposed to shared by him and Slats. If Shanny doesn’t become a Ranger last year, Prucha keeps his spot on the PP. If Gomer & Drury don’t become Rangers last summer, it gives Prucha even more of a chance to stay there. But you can only play the players that your management gives you. And when it comes to youngsters vs vets, you have better odds with the vets then you do with the youngsters. The payoff is only known at the end. You can only do what you think will payoff.

    And I just reread your comment and caught this: “until this year.” So that changes my thoughts a tad, but I’m not about to go back and retype this, haha.

  5. pavel – it just means we have to stay out of the box and not resort to playing philthy’s game. Play OUR game. I sound like a broken record everytime we play philthy

  6. I’m glad Hollweg is playing. Too bad this team can’t score! Shanny needs to be sat. He makes Jagr look like Cally! He’s the slowest and most useless player on this team right now. Get Prucha out there and on the power play, he’ll actually skate to an open spot for a one-timer (key word being SKATE).

    On another note, enough with this captain clutch garbage, he’s got 6 game winning goals. Avery has 4 in about 30 fewer games. Just because every time he scores a goal Joe says “He does it again!” doesn’t mean that it’s ALWAYS a big goal. I remember a game where he scored when they were losing 2 or 3-0 and he scored and Joe yelled just that. Listen, I like Drury, he’s good, but that’s it. He’s not great, he’s not even very good. He’s one of 3 guys in his prime on a team full of has-been’s and maybe-one-day’s.

  7. formerly formerly jagrforgovernor on

    Staal Wart March 21st, 2008 at 11:57 am

    “Hollwegg’s gonna be nuts tonight…all that pent up energy and a lot of Guitar Hero…gonna have him pumped…hopefully in a good way!”

    Let’s hope he hits better tonight than he sings….
    I’m thinking Dubi and Cally (and little Dawes) will be throwing the body around tonight as well.

    The pressure is on Philly, obviously. If NYR lose, it’s not great, but Philly can’t afford to lose here. I’m thinking it’ll probably go to OT….

  8. I’ll be at the game tonight. Here’s hoping I remember to take off my Giants Super Bowl Champs license plate holder so I don’t come out to find my tires slashed or windows broken.

  9. formerly formerly jagrforgovernor on


    I’m worried about Sam. As a “typical white person” he might encounter “people he doesn’t know” on the streets of Philly and have a “reaction” that “comes out in the wrong way.”

  10. I totally agree with Renney putting in Hollweg and vali but my thought process wasn’t putting Hollweg in for Betts. Betts is by far our best penalty killer. Hope the rangers play a smart game and don’t take to many penalties and Betts situation isn’t serious.

  11. If Betts were to go down, I think the playoffs would get very ugly, very quick(ly) for us. Betts is a true unsung hero.

  12. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Doug, The best “He does it again!” was in Montreal, during the debacle. Drury scored to make it 5-0 and Joe still yelled “Look! He does it again!” hahaha!

    And the funny part is that Joe was right, but only because the Rangers stopped hitting and playing solid hockey leading to that epic demise…but had Drury scored again (a second goal) then that, my friends, would have been “clutch.” Oh yea, and let’s not forget that Drury ALSO had a chance to score in the shootout, but guess what happened…

    Drury’s doing his part now, and I like what he brings to the team, but when you have to shout “He does it again!” everytime he scores then there’s something wrong. Do you think the Capitals announcers say that? No! They’d be fired for the monotony! Sam and Joe won’t have to worry about that problem though…

    As others have agreed, I’ll hold onto a final Drury conclusion after seeing what he and $7+mil bring to the playoffs.

  13. i would def rather betts then hollweg but atleast tonight hollweg wil have something to prove and we can hope that betts is back for tuesday

  14. Beer Me – Thats Vally’s Award IMO. And if he shuts down the Flyers tonight it only tightens his grip

  15. KoA,
    because hollweg is a physical player and even though he can’t fight to save his life he is still willing to drop the gloves and that is the type of player that needs to be in the lineup
    against the philthies. This game tonight is not a game prucha would do well in and probably would get his head knock off.

  16. puck – I wouldn’t argue it. But I don’t think he’s played enough to really earn it.

    Chris F. “new mobile blog access looks great”

    Help me out dude…I just got a blackberry this week and don’t know how to do it!!!

  17. tomg – well, at least if prucha did play, and that was the result, we wouldn’t have to worry about him getting in the lineup!! haha

  18. Beer Me!,
    good point, didn’t think of it when i posted that comment but
    I guess that would solve at least one debate that’s been a heated debate lately, LOL.

  19. great article haha i knew something was up a couple of weeks ago when they but up a warning before larry danced.
    i guess we cant chant homo granny either…

  20. Give me a break,

    If I can’t yell anti-gay sentiment at a Hockey game, I’m leaving this country. So I guess we really shouldn’t yell Potvin sucks because we must just offend the real suckers in the garden that night.

    Go Hollweg!! Knock the Philthie Phags to the bloody glass!!

  21. Gald to see Valli getting hte start
    I fhe wins this gam eotnight, it goign to push his status within the Ranger camp as there locekd up back up for next season.
    Hate to see BEtts out, but bunions are a bitch so one game won’t kill us with Hollweg in.
    Still wish Renney would have sat Shanny for this game. Pruch’s needs the ice time to stay fresh, and even if he got knocked around, owuld again given shanny a nice three day full rest, and gotten pruch’s back in game mode.

    WEll see how it pans out otngiht

  22. they should throw the people out in section 314 that sit there and chat “314” and have section 314 on there shirts cause they are annoying. rangers will be on a power play and they chant 314 314. for some reason it drives me crazy

  23. I can’t for the life of me figure out why so many people are so big on Prucha. Yeah, he put the puck in the net for a couple of seasons but come on. This year all he has been is a punching bag for teams to abuse. He weighs 170 soaking wet and can’t play physical. Prucha is useless against Philly.

  24. PS

    I was a the Montreal game at MSg when we came back to win it. Not I cant’ remember what the score ended up being, but we won.
    ANYWAY, I was sitting in the 300’s and some Montreal fans were going nuts a few rows in front of me cause at that point they were winning. So I had 2 or 7 beers and I yelled (go home you F#&king French FA#G!TS!) Then the guy next to me, who was sitting with another man said “You know I usually get offended by people yelling fa#$ot becasue we are gay (And points to his very large, very scaring looking boyfriend, in a Richter sweater), but I couldnt have said that better myself” He bought me and my lady a beer and we screamed it the rest of the night everytime those dumb ass French fans started yelling. One of the best games sitting next to strangers I’ve had at MSG as they were super nice.

    THe Point: Poeple who yell that don’t always mean it against gay people, more like just another curse word to call the dumb french! And I was happy to see these two great guys understand that.

  25. Great link, Ante. It really doesn’t surprise me in this PC world. I guess they’re going to stop playing that song where the crowd goes” oh-oh, oh-oh” and 407 goes “homo-homo”.

  26. Adam and his Apple on

    about the homo larry chant, first of all dancing larry is the worst, get rid of him, you should see the guys myspace page, one of the most self indulgent guys prolly ever, get over yourself you do a stupid dance and then everybody screams the chant

    hes spose to get everybody pumped up but he just annoys people, he looks like a goon, dancin granny is way more funny but there is not enough room in the garden for 2 dancing retards

    and im sorry but some gay people are entirely too sensative, i have a few gay friends and when i say that something is gay in front of them they know that us straight people use the term gay as stupid, not homosexual

    if homosexuals cant stand the homo larry chant get the stick outta your tush, literally

  27. We should have called up Anisimov or Moore to play center. Then they could get boarded, elbowed, and there careers get get ended. No !!! Putting Hollywood in is the safe way to do it.

    Betts being out doesn’t mean this game is a loss. Anyone to think that is pretty friggin stupid, i just hope you were being sarcastic. I like Betts but we can live without him, im sure .There’s nothing he would do that Dru, or Straka wouldn’t.

    Hopefully Vally comes up big tonight. He has literally given up 1 goal in his 3 games 8 period against the Flyers. Amazing.,

  28. Rmant,

    I agree. It think people have feelings for Prucha like my wife has for him-not to some of the bloggers here.

  29. ColoradoMark on

    True Blue- Re- your first post on this thread: Dubinsky was never sat for a game. It’s hard to criticize the handling of our youngsters considering the way they have all developed this year. I think it’s just as easy to argue that Dawes/Dubinsky/Callahan/Staal ALL have developed because of the way Renney handled them. The Weekes thing is old news and I’ve explained before that that was just Renney doing what he needed to do to try to give Weekes some confidence. HE knew Hank was his man way before any of us did and whatever he says to the press is nothing more than lipservice.

  30. I think so many people are big on Prucha because they probably paid $250 to get the authentic jersey during his rookie season, thinking he would be the next great scorer to wear a Blueshirt. Now they are upset they can’t wear that expensive jersey with his name on the back. Then again, it’s not the name on the back, but the team name on the front that matters! And if you want the Rangers to throw out their most effective lineup and team on the ice tonight vs Philly, that excludes Mr. Prucha. Great kid, lots of energy, but he would spend 75% of his time on the ice on the ICE! Remember how he got injured last season – when a Philly goon basically took off his head at the Wachovia Center (or perhaps that was the year before?).
    Bottom-line: As Beer has been saying, if the Rangers play THEIR game, they will be just fine tonight.

  31. ColoradoMark on

    There is also a distinct difference between vets and rookies.I’m not convinced that Sather put Renney between a rock and a hard place. I think Renney is very loyal to his players and the fact that he holds rookies more accountable than vets is not that uncommon in any sport. A rookie can learn from a benching. A veteran is morelikely to take it personally and how much can they learn. Would benching Shanahan do anything positive? It MIGHT motivate him, but it alos might backfire. A vet who misses a checking assignment probably doesn’t need to “learn” anything new, but a rook might learn something from it.

  32. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Please notice at the end of my post, I concede that rookies have had a chance to grow THIS YEAR! But never before. The players who have been sat for having a bad shift are Dawes and Prucha – last year and two years ago.

    I compeletely disagree with your *OPINION* on the Weekes vs. Lundqvist issue, Renney saw Lundqvist as a 7th round draft pick and that’s all. He had a guy who could win, but he chose his “starter” because he wanted to give him confidence? Even when he was losing? Do you remember that Flyers game where he was atrocious and then let Gagne score in OT from behind the net? Goodness. I just don’t buy it. There were just too many times where Weekesy had a bad game, Hank filled in next game and had a hot game and played just GREAT. But guess who would flop around for the next outing? Weekes. I’m sorry, respect your opinion but disagree.

  33. Another interesting quirk in the scheduling tonight: basically every bottom-feeding Eastern Conference team (and their fans) currently sitting outside the playoff picture will be rooting for the Rangers tonight – how often does that happen?!? Also tonight, wouldn’t it be nice for the Fishsticks to derail the Devils?
    This of course depends on what seed is most optimal right now – I still like the #6 seed. The other side of that argument is you have to get through the best teams in the East anyway to reach your ultimate goal (assuming we finish 4 or 5). Finishing 1 or 2 would match you up against any of the following: Boston, Philly, Washington, Buffalo, Florida. Too early to figure out exactly who obviously, but always interesting to think about the potential matchups.

  34. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Renney, inherently, trusts his vets more than his rookies. Perhaps thats a natural response as experience would infer a greater stability and confidence with those players play. But when you have guys like Lundqvist, Prucha, or Dubinsky who are having very good rookie seasons – you give them a chance, especially AFTER they make a mistake (so long as its not an egregious error or an ego-based selfish play). I’d rather have the coach talk to them about the mistake, practice it with them, and get them out there to try again.

    Some of our rookies have shown clear NHL-level skill sets, and I’d rather see them playing and learning. ESPECIALLY since we’ve never had a question about the work ethic of our rookies (Ortmeyer, Hollweg, Moore, Betts, Prucha, Dawes, Callahan, eetc…) because most, if not all, have worked harder than the vets. And when a rookie’s working hard it inspires the rest of the team to work hard (ie. the team 3 years ago).

    But your approach and my approach seem to be fundamentally different.

    Vet’s who have played lazy for the rangers in recent past, as well as in the 1998-2004 era, should still be played as long as they don’t make mistakes? We’ve had alot of people like that, and none of them look over their shoulders. And you know all that does is encourage their lazy play. I don’t want to see old vets who play lax hockey anymore, even if it is mistake-free hockey! I want a rookie who works his butt off to get a chance to blossom and learn from his mistakes.

  35. what kind of message does it send to our young players that older players arent held accountable for repeatedly making the same mistake and not being punished, but if a rookie or prucha made that mistake they are out a few shifts, periods or a few games.

    and if a vet stops trying b.c. they have been benched then screw them.

    but not to worry, jagr, shanny etc will never be benched, even when there have been numerous times they have deserved it.

    i like how dubisnky and cally have developed this year, but i would have liked to see staal get some powerplay experience instead of tytutin or backman

  36. For the life of me I do not understand Backman over Staal. Staal was a better hockey player at 16 than Backman will ever be in his whole life.

  37. That article in the NYT was hilarious. I wish the Times would do an article about why there is a gay hockey association in NY. For pete’s sake, can’t we just play hockey?
    On this veteran rookie issue, I think you have to give Renney a lot of credit for successfully establishing as many young guys as the Rangers have over the past three years. With the salary cap you cant really bury guys making $2 to 5MM per year. I do think that the Rangers play a bit too much like TR’s personality – sort of like they are trying to out think the opponent rather than just get the effin puck to the net.

  38. Salty and I AGREE!!!! We probably would on more things than we realize, but I digress.

    Backman doesn’t deserve the kind of ice time he gets, ESPECIALLY on Power Play time. Staal has better hockey sense and looks like the more seasoned of the two players even though Backman has more NHL experience. I think two games ago, Backman led all Rangers in ice time…just under 26 minutes…that’s absurd!

    I wanna see defense pairings of Staal/Girardi and Mara/Roszival on the Power Play in the playoffs. I think those will be effective. Who knows though, this team is so clueless on the PP.

  39. let’s get real. the Rangers have beaten the flyers 7 straight times in philly. so it has nothing to do with Vally. he has played well in those games, yes, but what about the 5 previous games we beat the flyers in philly.

    it just boils down to confidence playing in that building against a very avg. team. I expect another Ranger win tonight

  40. I post here occasionally but I gotta say some of the most ignorant people that I have ever read should have the privilege of posting anywhere removed. Why do they have a gay hockey association? because of aholes like you that have problems being next to someone not like yourself (see, the thing is i think most of the people that chant that are gay but don’t know it-that’s why they’re so vehemently writing here and on other blogs about how they’re so offended by the article) or being in the locker room, etc. i go to all the games at msg. i’ve taken my son since he’s three. those first few years the bigots of msg were in full force in the days of anson carter. then a few years lapsed and weeksie was here and they were again in full force. the hockey crowd is, face it, bigoted, racist, sexist, blood-thirsty. that shouldn’t take away from the sport being the best sport in the world, but stop denying the obvious. if you can’t find another way to express your feelings about larry or the french or whatever, you’re the one that needs some counseling brother. gay people are too sensitive? you’re kidding, right? people get beat up because they’re gay. i love the rangers. i just am usually embarrassed to be a ranger fan when I’m connected to folks like you.

    sorry, sam, to get on the soapbox here.

  41. RAIN-JUR 1 –


  42. I was called a faggot tonight at the Wachovia Center for wearing a Rangers t-shirt. Where’s my article, New York Times?

    Anyway, on the way out I shook a little Flyer kid’s hand to show that there are grown men at sporting events that aren’t complete shitdicks.

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