Rangers play it safe with Gomez


Whatever lifeline the Rangers were extended when Scott Gomez’s ribs turned out to be just bruised instead of broken, the team is not about to get greedy.

Still reporting discomfort and limited range of motion, Gomez missed practice today, and ended up only riding the bike (he did have the ability to send text messages while on the bike, so it can’t be all that bad). He will most likely miss at least tomorrow’s season series finale with the Flyers, and seeing how he isn’t even yet back skating — and said he even had trouble making breakfast this morning — I’d be skeptical about Thursday against the Devils as well.

But as I said earlier, Gomez’s absence will mean a return to the lineup for Petr Prucha, who has been out for the last 16 games. The left wing will take Marty Straka’s place with Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan, while Straka is reunited with Jaromir Jagr and Brandon Dubinsky. This also means Sean Avery will move to center between Brendan Shanahan and Nigel Dawes.

“It’s just been waiting. I was waiting for my chance,” Prucha said. “It’s actually sad that I can play just because Gomer is injured. But that’s how hockey is. So I’ll try to help the team as much as I can.”

Some other notes:

<li>Another player eligible to return is Paul Mara, who Tom Renney said was now fit enough to play but likely won’t. As of last week it sounded like Mara would step in for Christian Backman as soon as he was ready. But Backman may have bought himself at least a little more time with his three-assist effort on Friday.

<li>The Rangers Sunday game in Pittsbugh will be their last of the regular season on NBC. The network tabbed Chicago-Detroit for Sunday April, 6, while the Rangers will close the regular season in New Jersey.

More later…

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  1. repost:

    Prucha’s natural postion is right wing… thats what I though and I checked it on a depth chart. he moved to the left wing when we got SHanahan and now that he is with Callahan he plays left wing. When it was Prucha Dubi Dawes for a brief while and PRu started playing well and meshing he was back on the right side wasn’t he? I don’t think he is getting a fair chance until he gets the right side back…
    thats the depth chart, it lists him as a right wing…

  2. Hey, sometimes even the Zamboni drivers help out:

    “Gary Roberts, who hasn’t played since breaking his leg and getting a high ankle sprain on Dec. 29, aggravated his ankle problem when he stumbled while skating at Madison Square Garden in New York Tuesday. He has stopped skating and is not expected to get back on the ice until at least mid-week.” TSN

  3. BEER ME!! with the jokes today. HAHA

    P27…I hope you have a good game tomorrow. Was practice good?? Anything to report? I hope Prucha rocks it after sitting out for a while.

    All jokes aside. The Isles are officailly out of the playoff hunt. DP is god…haha

  4. not that I care but that’s a bad move by NBC picking the Chicago/Detroit game over the Devils/Rangers. The Chicago Detroit game is meaningless and the Devils/Rangers game could be for the division title.

  5. Doodie Machetto on

    I think DP really did hurt himself pretty badly during the all-star game and didn’t want to admit it. Look at the guy’s numbers before and after the game. Uncanny.

  6. I hope Prucha contributes… here’s his big chance (and his staunch supporters).

    Personally I’d love to see him in on the PP, if for nothing else than to mix things up a bit.

    I hope we can get some points from these games without two of our centers… it’s gonna be tough.

  7. Doodie Machetto on

    BTW, 95 pts is the magic number as of this morning. 95 pts guarantees your spot in the playoffs because that’s the maximum anyone outside of the top 8 can reach, which is currently Buffalo in 10th place (81 pts, 7 GR).

  8. hockeymanrangers # 2 on

    Not so sure about changing the lines as much as it sounds like Renny is doing. Why isn’t it as easy as just replacing Pruch’s with Gomer??? Or is Renny trying to drum up some more scoring??? I would so LOOOOVVVEEE to get a regulation win tomorrow night.

  9. Agravaine – Great work on that video. Is this what you do for a living ie: features, video editing or production work? Your photos were right in line with the music. Very well done. I spent a little time in the TV production world and that is not easy with out the proper editing equipment.

  10. Bench Rozsival for a game or two so he can watch videos of himself SHOOTING THE PUCK. He’s never going to get over the I’m-a-defenisive-liability hump, but at least he can try to do what he did the first half of the season (when he was almost worth the 5m he’s going to want in July). Play Mara, bench Rozsival, play Prucha on the PP.. heck.. call up Anisimov if you have to.. or better yet.. a checking center and bench Hollweg permanently.

  11. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Rob L, considering that the Rangers vs. Devils game last week was one of the most boring games I have watched in the last 3 seasons of “new” NHL hockey, I’m not all that surprised NBC chose the Detroit game.

    The Rangers vs. NJD game was playoff-like hockey, defense first. The goalies went, generally, unchallenged until the shootout and it was nice seeing the Rangers get back to that style of play, but it wasn’t fun to watch and won’t help NBC in ratings if their next matchup is the same kind of game for 52 minutes (at which point Chris Drury “DOES IT AGAIN!!!” and we can all justify his $7million). Sorry, got a little side-tracked their.

  12. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Pavel, I can’t agree more. Bench Rozsival and for a different reason…he’s just that awful!!! Turnovers, odd-man rushes against, and penalties aren’t worth $5million…I don’t think.

  13. Magic number is 7 for the rangers…..wont be the easiest thing to do….but pretty much should be able to do….

  14. Richard

    thank you kindly, no I wish it was what I did for a living… but sadly its not. I just sat with imovie listening to the music until I got the timing right… its fun!! DO you know of anyone hiring, I would love a career change and short of actually working for the Rangers, that would suffice nicely!!

  15. Detroit is a bigger watch than the Rangers are. They know people in NY are going to tune in anyway, but Detroit is one of the few teams that will get viewers nationally.

  16. True Fan…it would be better than watching a bunch of Detroit minor leaguers and scrubs play. Detroits going to have home ice rapped up long before their final game.

    It really doesn’t matter because I’ll be watching the Ranger game on MSG anyway.

  17. benching Rozsival would be a huge mistake. you guys are making Mara out to be the 2nd coming of Bobby Orr. Rozsival is better than Mara and any other defenseman on our roster.

  18. Rozsival has been shooting more regularly the last couple of games. And the bad turnovers the last game were two by Malik and one by Girardi, Rozsival was able tog et back for one of Malik’s and Tyutin got back for Girardi’s. Rozsival has great coordination in getting a pass ahead to a forward and through the neutral zone. He also knocks the puck down and gets it out of the defnesive zone, breaking up rushes more then our other defenseman. He doesn’t take the body when he can avoid it, but he has laid some hits. He also takes hits when he goes into the corner, unlike that cute play by Girardi (or Tyutin) when he stopped because a player was behind him?!? When a scrum forms around our goaltender Rozsival is the first one to throw someone away from Hank, more oftne then anyone else.

    As for his taking penalties yes Rozsival has the most of our defenseman, but firstly ten of those were a bogus misconduct that I still can’t figure out how he got. It was the Minnesota game, he was crosschecked from behind after play stopped and he pushed the guy back. He was gievn ten minute misconduct and a two minute elbowing penalty, I am guessing that he argued that he had been crosschecked, but whatever. SO yea he has taken a lot of penalties this year but its an aberration if you look at his career stats…

    Secondly he is our number one penalty killing d man, I say that because it seems every time he takes a penalty the other team scores. I would much rather not take out any more pkers since we are already missing Betts and Gomez.

    Also if you are thinking about offense, well then I will take Rozsivals 10 shot accuracy over Mara’s 1.4…

    Not saying I don’t want Mara in the lineup, just saying I don’t think you are suggesting a fair swap…

  19. I think the Rangers need to put Drury with Jagr to try and get them both going, put Dubinsky with Prucha and Callahan .. that would be a hell of a line … all 3 would be whizzing all around … it would be great to see … I believe they played together some this season and had success …

  20. Fair enough, but I feel Malik/Rozsival together are a huge liability. Rozsival was on pace for Souray numbers at some point this season, but he stopped scoring and his lackluster defensive play continued. I’d say Girardi is a better d-man than Rozsival any day of the week.. how many shots does the kid block? What this team needs is a physical d-man like Boynton, Pronger, etc. Which of the Hartford d-men have those defensive qualities (not offensive, I realize Pronger/Phaneuf are two of a kind).. Potter? Baranka?

  21. Koffy, I think eventually Dubinsky will be playing with guys like Prucha, Dawes, and Callahan but don’t you think with 7 games left that Renney shouldn’t be switching the lines up again. We need some continuity.
    The team started to turn it around once Dubi started centering Jagr, so I think changing things up might do more to hurt chemistry than to help it.

  22. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Agravaine, I don’t think your assessment of Rozsival is all that fair. Last game he was caught in front of two Flyers wingers on the play where Malik’s shot was blocked, which led to a turnover and the first breakaway goal. Later in the game, he was pushed off the puck leading to another 2-on-1 against. He also took a penalty in the defensive zone after he was outskated and lost his coverage. Against the devils, he was the player who was caught flat-footed and gave the devils a power-play, on which they scored.

    I attribute the scoring other teams do while he has penalties not to his success as a penalty-killer, but his lack of ability as a defensman who is often caught flat-footed at the blue-line, out of position in ALL zones of the ice, and a player who is easily worked off the puck in the defensive zone.

    And, your comment about the “cutsie” play Tyutin and Girardi do – – Rozsival was the first one to start doing that on this team. He will often miss the puck to slow down, look at the forechecker about to hit him, and jump out of the way…often leading to turnovers.

    I just completely disagree, if Rozy’s not scoring he is useless and our biggest liability.

  23. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    *In front of two flyers,* which actually means behind them trying to catch up.

  24. How about benching Malik for Mara. Malik was AWFUL Friday night. there were 5 instances where I said out loud that he was playing a horrible game. He looked like the Malik we wanted run out of town earlier in the year, not the Malik we wanted in the lineup over Backman

  25. I’m sorry I have not seen Rozsival comepletely stop feet away from the boards like the one did on the one play I was referring to. I have seen him take plenty of hits when he went into the corner to retrieve the puck.

    As for his getting caught up ice I have seen both Girardi and Tyutin get caught pinching a heck of a lot more then Rozsival has. I didn’t say anything about cutsy play they do, I referred to one specific play, if you saw the game the other day you saw it, I just don’t recall which one it was.

    The play against hte Devils he had gone to the boards to get the puck, it squirted free and instead of Staal either going for the pck or going for the man right next to him in front of the net Staal stood still… rookie mistake but he was the one flatfooted, not Rozsival who had moved to take the man.

    Sorry I think your assessment of Rozsival is unfair. I’ve seen him get back into defensive coverage better then the others (defintely better then Malik, Strudwick and Mara) and he hasn’t been caught pinching as much as Tyutin and Girardi.

  26. Rozy looks alot worse playing with Malik. Malik does not make others around him better, he makes others around him worse.

  27. Since the trade deadline Malik is +5, Tyutin +4, Girardi and Backman +2, Rozsival +1, and Staal -3. Oh, yes, Strudwick the Camel is +1.

  28. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Agg, well obviously we’ll agree to disagree. I do see what you’re saying and feel that Rozy is more mobile than Malik, Mara, and Strudwick and recently Girardi has been pinchin alot and playing very slow hockey. Not sure why. But I still think Rozy is awful defensively, worse than even Mara and Strudwick because those two know how to not try too hard and they simply play within their abilities.

    Agree to disagree.

  29. I think we need to realize that Michal Roszival is this team’s number 1 defenseman and just get on with it. He’s not Pronger (and never will be), he’s not Zubov or Leetch. He does what he does. He moves the puck fairly well. He has a hell of a shot that he doesn’t take often enough. He’s decent defensively, but gets beat once in a while (like, well, pretty much every other defenseman in the league).

    My point is, I feel like people are searching for a problem with Roszival. No, he’s not your prototypical #1 defenseman, but I think he’s good enough in the NHL the way it is now. He would benefit from having a better player than Malik as his partner, but now that Malik is playing better, that pairing is here to stay for at least the remainder of the year.

  30. for those of you who think Rozsival is so bad defensively, watch him in the corners when he’s battling a guy for the puck. He almost always comes out with it. Then watch Mara, Malik, and Strudwick in the same situations. It’s not even close.

  31. Ok so as usual the debate rages on about our Bad Defensive Core…which BTW ranks 5th in the league…thats right 5th.
    From what I can gather in the above posts…
    Malik…really sucks but when goals are scored he’s usu on the ice…
    Girardi and Tyuts…have “cutsie” plays which…suck
    Mara…not as bad as Malik or Rozi but still…sucks
    Backman…sucks of course
    Staal…since he’s not mentioned…might not suck but probably does…suck…so…
    All the answers to our defensive problems lie either in Hartford or on other teams
    So who is good, who is available,and who can we afford, because as some of you have forgotten…there is a cap which makes the Defensive Dream Team in your mind, just that…a Dream…

  32. Since Jan. 16 with Malik in the lineup the Rangers have 13 wins, no losses, and four OTL.

    With Malik not in the lineup the record is 4 wins, 6 losses, 1 OTL.

    He is plus 10 during that stretch.

  33. Rozsival doesn’t push anyone away from lundqvist. If he does it then its a light tap. I remember someone snowplowed henke and rosy skated past him and tugged his arm a bit and then fell. I’m not gonna say he’s awful, but he’s not great. You guys hate on malik, but if you watch away from the puck, he does a pretty solid job covering for rosy’s mistakes.

  34. Doodie Machetto on

    So long as Strudwick isn’t in, one scrub is just as bad as another. No defender on the team is better than a 2nd pairing guy. The only guy I want to see play every night is Staal, so he can continue growing into the superstar that he will be. As for the rest, one name is the same as the other.

  35. Staal thats not fair,

    there are posts defending each of the defenceman (well… except Malik) and the cutesy play came form my post, where I was pointing out one play, not a genuine behavioural problme to define their whole game lan… the fact htat it stands out so much shows it is not the norm….


    yes, we’ll agree to disagree. I can’t wait to see Girardi and Tyutin and Staal when they have gotten passed their growing pains though, when they are 29, like Rozsival is now, and coming into their primes. Right now we have a very young defensive core and its exciting… but we have to keep in mind they are still growing (even Rozsival).

  36. Ivrydov and Staal Wart.

    I agree totally, especially with Staal Wart’s point about how unrealistic a “dream defensive team” would be.

    Let’s win this year with our guys, eh?

  37. Agravaine,
    I do see the post defending certain D-men, however overall the attitude is that our defense is so bad but yet we are 5th in the league…I also understand that alot of that 5th place is because of forwards back checking…but that is a good thing…good defensive teams play team defense everyone is involved but I digress…

    My point is that I don’t think our defense is a huge glaring problem…would a big Beukaboom type D man be helpful…HELL YEAH! But 5th in the league, people…the arguments that our defensemen suck hold no water whatsoever! The numbers speak for themselves and the numbers don’t lie.

  38. Agravaine,

    Nice video. I did one like that in College (Go Red Foxes!!!) only we used cameras and easils (sp?). You would cut from one camera to the next and then have someone off camera change the photos. Talk about stone age huh? Anyway… mine was hockey also and set to Van Halen’s Dreams (this gives you an idea of how old I am).

    Long story short (too late) I work in TV now as a director… and I really feel that video (especially when set to music) is an art. The problem with that is that you WILL STARVE as an artist in this industry. Trust me… it’s fun but you won’t make anything.

  39. Riche,

    darn it, then I will just have to keep sending job applications to the Garden and hope… and I’ll keep making videos in my spare time :^P. But I’m glad y’all like it.


    Yea, I don’t like the defense bashing either, I know they are fifth in the league, I have even pointed it out at nyrnation.com and at my sister and I’s blog. I’m sorry I brought up the others, I really didn’t mean it to be bashing them, I just meant that if you are going to suggest taking Rozi out of the game I don’t know that there is someone else to replace him, I pointed out the shortcomings of the others to further my point, and that is a weak way to build an argument, my apologies I will try to use stronger arguments next time :)

  40. Staal Wart – great post, I agree. Our forwards play good defense and I don’t know that I would be so much happier with any other team’s top six D in the division.

  41. Doodie Machetto on

    “My point is that I don’t think our defense is a huge glaring problem…would a big Beukaboom type D man be helpful…HELL YEAH! But 5th in the league, people…the arguments that our defensemen suck hold no water whatsoever! The numbers speak for themselves and the numbers don’t lie.”

    You’re looking too narrowly. They’re 5th in the league for the very important reason that our forwards play defense first. This is something that you acknowledge. Because they (the whole team, defense included) play so much defense, we do not get as much offense. Our GAA may be 5th, but our GPG is 23rd. If we had a solid shut down d-man, we wouldn’t have needed to use that useless HBO line all season. Also, if we had a solid offensive d-man (not just a d-man with a good shot who is afraid to shoot), our PP numbers would be vastly improved, and our overall offense would be improved as well. That is the benefit of having a star player on defense, it allows the rest of the team to not worry as much about keeping the puck out of the net, and helps get the puck into the other team’s net more often.

  42. Doodie Machetto on

    And you can have that dream team defense when you don’t squander your cap money by overpaying your players. Look at Anaheim’s defense. Any one of their top FOUR guys would immediately become our best defenseman.

  43. Rozsival does to pull people away from Hank when they crash on him. And a bunch of his penalties this year (atleast four times plus the twelve minute night at Minn) were from people crowding in on Hank and the defenders and Rozsival pushing them back

  44. Agravaine,
    I’m in no way riping your post and I do see your defense of Rozi, I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you, I’m actually agreeing with you…Rozi can’t be taken out.
    Ultimately I’m rebutting all the haters, the folks who bash just to bash or see that someone bashed a player in a previous post then just add their .02 just to say something.

  45. ivrydov I totally agree
    everytime Malik is in a game we get a point.
    Our d is OUR D, there’s no changing it between now and the stanley cup so forget it everyone.

    I do agree messing with the lines right now isnt such a great idea but what choice has renney really got?
    Gomer and BEtts are out.

    You have the Dubi JAgr Avery Line clicking but has cooled off the last two games.THAT I would have left in place though.
    Dawes Gomer Shanny – Gomer out, need a center, insert Avery? hes been on that line before and produced, althoguh not as much as with jags and Dubi
    Cally Drury Straka – Again has been moving as of late but cant move Drury so insert Prucha

    It looks good I guess, not the best, but wihtout Gomer and Betts, it gets ify who you put where.
    WOUld you stick Sjostrom on the upper lines?

    So these are our lines for tomorrow?


  46. Doodie,
    what I’m saying is this is what we have going forward…but look no team is going to win without playing team defense. I don’t believe our offensive problems stem from playing a Defense first system…I believe our problem stems from having 2 new major players join the team this season who are being worked into Renney’s system. I also think our offensive problems stem from a certain Jagr, who this team was build around and who now just flat out is not the player he once was, I’m not ripping, I’m just calling it as I see it. Now we are in transition, the pieces are being assembled for a Gomez, Drury team and the Jagr era is being phased out. Signing a major defenseman is going to hurt us in the long run…to much money wrapped up…and eventually as Staal rises to be that Star Defenseman…the money won’t be there to pay him, or Dawes, or Dubinski for that matter…

  47. Why do I always have to straighten you guys out?! as the immortal Woody Paige would say :-P
    NBC did not “choose” the Detroit-Chicago game so much as they were stuck with it after they chose the Rangers-Penguins game for next Sunday, which puts both the Rangers and Penguins at the limit of four for NBC games (apparently this is including the Winter Classic). They’re probably better off with this rather than Detroit-Nashville then Penguins-Flyers, since they did the latter last week, I believe. This could be a good choice just to simply promote the future stars on the Blackhawks, like Kane, Toews, and Byfuglian, the latter I’m hoping for my fantasy team. :)

    I would like to see Mara in for Backman because I think that game was just an aberration. I think Backman will be served well to have a training camp here, but don’t see value for the stretch run right now.

    ivrydov – What a funny truth that is, eh? Malik back to being the key piece of the team, I guess!

    Agravaine – If you don’t mind my asking, what is your occupation right now that would allow you to have the time to make such a video, and have those editing skills, as well?

  48. Agravaine,

    Send a resume WITH a DVD of some of your stuff next time you send an app to MSG. If it’s easy for them to see WHAT you do… it speaks way more than just a letter saying “I’m a Ranger / Knicks fan blah blah blah.” They get hundred’s of those a day.

    Also, if you’re serious about a job in production like that take a course on AVID or Final Cut pro or some non-linear editing system… put knowledge of those on your resume.

    Good Luck!

    P.S. When you get hired and they’re looking for directors remember Riche’

  49. Agravaine – You should make more of those video tributes but of current Rangers and send them to the Garden PR department and see if they would do something for you as a freelance. Maybe the would show them on the big screen. You would probably have to but in video and not just stills. As I said before it was great.

    I do have to agree with Riche regarding the $$ and a career. That biz is a tough one.

  50. Mikey,

    I think thats it exactly but Prucha is left wing and Cally right.


    I agree that it is essential to save cap space by building from within and saving the room for when Dawes, Dubi, Pru, Cally and Staal hit their next free agency. Bring up kids from Hartford (to replace whichever vets don’t return of Jagr, Shanny, Straka), but saying that we still need one vet on defense (Mara, Malik, Rozsivali, and Strud are all UFA’s this year) needless to say I want Rozi back of the four. Then we are left with Rozi Staal, Girardi Tyutin and Backman. two slots for kids to come up.

  51. Richard,

    I would use video, if I had any… actually I have some, but its because I snuck a camera into the Garden (shhh you aren’t supposed to do that I know, don’t tell anyone) mostly I have stills.

    Actually funny story, you know how there haven’t been any Bobby Granger commercials recently… well my twin and I want to send our videos and a picture of us with our car (once we paint it for the playoffs (if you are curious click my name and look in the photo album entitled our car) We are goign to try and paint the helmet I use as a myspace symbol on it this year) As long as we make it to the playoffs!!

    ANyway we are going to send that with resumes and then pray real hard that we could be the next “Bobby Granger” (or Grangers since there ar two of us…) Probably won’t happen, but we are going to hope!!

  52. Doodie Machetto on

    “Signing a major defenseman is going to hurt us in the long run…to much money wrapped up…and eventually as Staal rises to be that Star Defenseman…the money won’t be there to pay him, or Dawes, or Dubinski for that matter…”

    We wouldn’t have that problem is guys like Tyutin weren’t signed for 3 million, or Backman for 2.5, or Hank for 7 million (not saying he shouldn’t be paid a lot, but not the 2nd highest in the league, where’s the hometown discount?), or Drury and Gomez for 7 million a pop, or Avery’s allegedly requested 4 million, or 5.3 million this year on Shanny, etc.

    Point is, if you set your salary schedule more intelligently, signing those big players isn’t difficult. Look at Anaheim’s salary schedule. They’ve got a lot of young guys, most of whom are worlds better than ours, but do you think they’ll have any trouble resigning any of them? No. They learned their lesson about waiting through the Penner incident, and they will all be under wraps, at the right prices. Their goaltender has won the Conn Smythe as a loser, and also won them a Stanley Cup. Did they pay him 7 million? No. Coming off the Stanley cup win he took 6 million so that the team could have more money.

    Now look at Pittsburgh. They overpay their players and have such a bad salary schedule that there is talk they might have to trade Malkin or Staal next season! Look at Tampa Bay. They paid Brad Richards a TON of money, and it crippled them for the next two seasons. The point is, you can’t just sign guys on a whim anymore. The cap has to guide all signings. It can be done. I repeat, all four of Anaheim’s top D men would immediately become our #1 guy. Marc-Andre Bergeron is their SEVENTH defenseman! That guy would definitely be our top offensive blueliner, and he is 7th! What was Getzlaf’s contract, 5.5 million? That guy is a top 20 caliber player!

    Now, this isn’t to say Brian Burke is a God, he certainly has his share of blunders (Penner, Bertuzzi, Bryzgalov), but man, his defense is one of the best playoff defenses I have ever seen.

  53. In regards to the team being 5th in GAA and 23rd in GPG…. Just think if the PP was in the top 10. Our PK has bailed us out most of the year. 5 on 5, we’ve held our own for the most part. But the PP hasn’t put anything together all year.

    Yes, Jagr’s production there is a problem. Unfortunately any time you mention ‘Jagr’ and ‘production’ in the same breath, it’s going to sound like a jab, and oh well. We were counting on him score goals this year. Go back to the beginning of the season, and right up until a month ago, you’ll find tons of quotes saying things like: “I know it’s my job to score goals”. THAT was the plan.

    Now he’s switched gears, and for the most part, everyone has switched to the ‘opening up ice for others’ theory. While valuable, we’re lacking the points that we rightfully expected back in October. Even if Jagr were to score JUST 30 goals, we’d be bouncing from 1st to 2nd and back just like NJD and PITT. All those 1 goal games we dropped early on added up to now. And what hasn’t added up is his goal total.

    I’m not going to come out and say ‘jagr sucks’ or anything like that. Though I haven’t changed my mind that trading him at the deadline was the right way to go if the future is actually something you care about. But we’re going to be in the SAME position next year if we don’t have a natural goal scorer on the top line, on the PP too.

    We brought in set-up men in the offseason to compliment our ‘goal scorers’. Jags/shanny. While Shanny obviously has his problems with age. At 39, 22 goals and 44 points(so far) is nothing to overlook. I’m sure if not on top, he’s right up there with any other 39 year old in the league.

  54. Salty so do I… I am going into the city tomorrow to buy tickets to see Gypsey and try and get autographs from around the Garden, then I hope to be home before the game starts… so atleast tomorrow won’t drag like today has with the waiting…

  55. MTL vs. OTT tonight…

    Who ya got??

    I’ll say MTL. Let them just ‘run away’ with it, and keep OTT close. I just want the score to be low, and NO OT! I want the score low b/c I have Gerber on my fantasy team. Though I have kovalev too.

  56. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I love how people want to praise the defense for being so good (“5th best”). They do, play with one of the NHL’s TOP goalies (even if you question his consistency, I’d take Lundqvist over at least 25 other NHL starters because he has been one of the best goalies over the past 3 years — thus, making him quite inconsistently, consistent). The defense also plays in a trap-like team system where defense comes first and is supported by a fairly mobile offense which creates good backcheck pressure.

    That said, i’m not sure how people are defending them? I counted AT-LEAST 4 odd-man rushes and a breakaway against them in Philly this past Friday. That’s 5 great scoring chances allowed (by the defense), and how many did the offense get…one? When you’re defense is that porous against the Flyers, barely a playoff team, you can’t seriously believe they are 5th best.

  57. Beer,

    Mtl, I think we can catch Ott this weekend then!! but yea, defintely no more three point games (unless we are the ones benefiting from the third point!)

  58. Rob L.
    I hear what you say about continuity and agree except the lines are being shuffled anyways … put Dubi with the kids … the veterans with the veterans …

    On another note — why are they not bringing up Moore to play center … Hollweg as a center ?!? That is a joke .. Avery is not really a center either so they are going to 2 centers? Weird…

  59. I love Pruchs !!

    He would rather stay out of the lineup then go in there because of an injured teammate. Now thats a classy son of a beech.

    I hope he replaces Straka next season. If he retires that is, or Jagr if he retires. Either way, i like Pruchs, he’s a hard worker who’s career is being ruined by Tom Renney. If he was on any other team that wold use him the right way, he might be a 25-30 goal scorer, and maybe his play making would get a little better. Hopefully he comes into the lineup nd gives the staff no chance to take him out.


    Isles are officially out of the playoffs i think.

    Also, did anyone know that the Devils have the Blues 1st round pick this year?? Thats not good

  60. Habfans.com wants New York teams out of Canadas sport, according to their papers. We need to go to their sites and tell them this is our sport too, as American based cities always win the Stanley Cup.

  61. I just think it would be easiest if Prucha played center, but I’m not sure if his defensive game could justify that. In light of that, I like the lines.

    Where are all of those Teddy Nolan suck-ups now? So much for getting this ragtag group together.

  62. Hey Yvan,

    Canada wants your province out of Canada.

    CONGRATS DOODIE! Hope she knows what she’s getting into and it goes w/o saying that I hope she knows you’re a Fanatic. I’ve been down the road(not to mention the aisle) twice and I don’t regret either times. Good Luck!

  63. “Yes, Jagr’s production there is a problem. Unfortunately any time you mention ‘Jagr’ and ‘production’ in the same breath, it’s going to sound like a jab, and oh well. We were counting on him score goals this year. Go back to the beginning of the season, and right up until a month ago, you’ll find tons of quotes saying things like: “I know it’s my job to score goals”. THAT was the plan.

    Now he’s switched gears, and for the most part, everyone has switched to the ‘opening up ice for others’ theory. While valuable, we’re lacking the points that we rightfully expected back in October. Even if Jagr were to score JUST 30 goals, we’d be bouncing from 1st to 2nd and back just like NJD and PITT. All those 1 goal games we dropped early on added up to now. And what hasn’t added up is his goal total.”

    I’m pretty much content with the fact that Jagr isn’t scoring because hes actually playing defense. I mean our whole system is based on defense and counterattacking where necessary. Plus even if we were an offensive team, Jagr’s numbers wouldn’t be amazing since we technically have 3 scoring lines. I’m sure he’d still get 30-35 goals, but I don’t think he’d get up to 50 liek he did 2 years ago.

    As for the defense, its good. Thats pretty much all its going to be. None of them are the best, personally I think fans hype up Girardi and Tyutin up just because of their hatred of Malik and Backman (not to say they are bad defensemen), but they all do their job and as a team our defense is pretty solid. We pretty much have a bunch of 3rd/4th defensemen and Strudwick.

    Rosy moves the puck pretty well and has very good hands (reminds me of Rachunek although I thought Racoon was a better d-man…but I’m not going there right now). Malik, even though just about everyone hates him, is a pretty good defenseman. His hands are either stone or smooth but he can make long passes and when hes in his own end in the corners, hes not that bad even though people seem to think hes as bad as Dale Purinton. Mara has a rocket of a shot and gets physical, isn’t all that bad of a skater but just gets caught since he takes too long to pivot. Staal is solid, still needs work but for his first NHL season I think we can all be satisfied with his all around game. Toots and Girardi are pretty solid. I won’t say they are great but I won’t say they aren’t good either. They get the job done and at most times aren’t noticable unless Toots is skating it up or Girardi lays a hit on someone. Backman should be a forward. He has really good vision in the offensive zone just he gets caught up sometimes in the d-zone. He could be a solid puck moving defenseman if it wasn’t for his lack of…well…defense. haha. And Struds makes up for his slow speed with solid positioning. Another guy people don’t like because of his skating, just because he isn’t fast doesn’t mean he can’t be in the right position. He knows where to be in his own zone and thats why I don’t mind him out on the ice.

  64. Where are all of those Teddy Nolan suck-ups now? So much for getting this ragtag group together.


    Bro… NYI has ZERO “actual talent”… not even Bowman could *win* consistantly with that bunch…. however, Nolan got those guys leaving it all on the ice on a nightly basis… you really gotta have some respect for that somewhere.

    I hate the island, i hate that team, I hate those fans, but I’ve *got* to commend Nolan… they never gave up, he never let his guys coast… if he actually had some skilled guys to work with, they would no doubt be a threat. Nolan is a proud man and a tough as nails coach. I don’t like his oxen tail wig anymore than anyone else, but if you put Jagr, Shanny, Gomez, Drury, and Lundqvist on his roster… I believe 100% he does way more with just thoes guys than Renney has done.

  65. And for those who have tickets, tomorrow will be my first game in a couple weeks since I missed the last home one. When will stupid fans stop screaming to shoot the puck? So many people have no idea that shooting the puck from anywhere with no traffic is the reason why this team wasn’t scoring at the start of the season.

    Gomez has the puck pretty much on the boards at the circle and people are screaming for him to shoot with nobody in front of the net. Then everyone screams shoot, they don’t and are patient and get a great opportunity in the slot and score and people are like “see I said they should shoot it”.

    It’s just funny at the lack of hockey IQ of some of the fans this year. Seems like since the team got good again, the bandwagoners who don’t know anything except for fighting and shooting from everywhere have come back out to games.

  66. Seems like since the team got good again, the bandwagoners who don’t know anything except for fighting and shooting from everywhere have come back out to games.


    Can you imagine if they were REALLY good?

  67. Salty you know what I mean. Like the team actually made the playoffs a couple years in a row.

  68. Hi ALL. This is Message for Brandon…Brandon Dubinsky. Brandon…Please score the goal against Philadelphia. PLEASE. I know, that you will not read this, but I try it…I must try it…PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE…Thanks :-)

  69. “I love how people want to praise the defense for being so good (“5th best”).”

    I know that I mentioned the TEAM GAA being the 5th best. So I’m not sure if that was in any regard to my post before. Just want to make sure I’m not bunched in with that group. B/c I think all of the dmen, with the exception of Staal, are easy replaceable. But the team plays to a defensive scheme that allows one of the fewest GAA in the league.

    Anyone care to research when the Rangers finished a season ranked at(near) the top?

    Salty – totally agreed on the Nolan/Isles thing.

  70. Beer Me,

    I did the only research attmept I could think of… I asked at the game on blogs, I will have to wait and see if they discuss it tomorrow on the pregame show.

  71. Mara in Tyutin out. He has made allot of mistakes and i think he could use the thinking time. I would not normally say that about Tyutin but he has gotten noticeably worse by the game. He will get better if he sits a few.
    Backman is really playing allot smarter in his own end and pinching in effectively. I think Backman has the talent to become a Lidstrom type D, but i think he needs to continue the mental training.

    or maybe even role 8 D, very quick shifts, see if that will make up for the lack of a true # 1 D. yes this means a 4th line that will be centered by Drury. also this 4th line will not play that much. Getting Drury 3-5 minutes more a game will not hurt either. playing all the 8 D before playoffs will help when someone gets hurt.

  72. Doodie Congrads. Did she cry? If so, was it because she realizes she has to take your last name? jk, I kid. Nice one.

    As for hockey…can we just play already!!


  73. Those Canadians do not realize that Lacrosse is their National Sport, according to Trivial Pursuit 1st addition. Can that change??

    Isles up 2 1 over Pens.

  74. Doodie Machetto on

    “I think Backman has the talent to become a Lidstrom type D, but i think he needs to continue the mental training. ”

    Dude, you have the hockey intelligence to become Mike Milbury, but you need to say and do more ridiculous things.

    Cheers Richard. She cried when she saw how I scoured the Earth to find the world’s smallest diamond. I kid. She was pretty surprised, and her eyes welled up but she didn’t cry. She cried later that night when we took the ring off because it was sized wrong, and ripping it off of her hand so that we could bring it to the jeweler had her crying pretty hard. What a disaster it was. But that’s what happens when you’re Doodie Machetto.

    C’mon Sam, I deserve some official props! I’ve been here since almost day 1 after the lockout.

  75. Who Needs Lohan (so Scarey) on

    Beer Me, I heard the “homo” Larry thing on the way to work this morning. They tried to be PC about it, and Boomer was acting like “Homo Boomer” if you ask me. If you are gay and that insecure that a chant like that affects whether you are comfortable at a game, go to a ballet or something. One of my best friends are gay, and if he ever acted like that I wouldnt be friends with him.

  76. Dream defense? How about the Anaheim Ducks? Their top four are Niedermayer, Pronger, Schneider and Beauchemin. There isn’t a defenseman on our team that could crack their top four. Just like now they have a bunch of their own draft picks playing forward and contributing in a really meaningful way, in a few years we’ll have Staal, Girardi, and Tyutin along with Prucha, Callahan, Dubinsky, and Dawes making meaningful contributions at a lower cost. And we won’t be paying Jagr or Shanahan or Straka or Malik or Mara or Roszival (who has been awfuller than awful all year in his own zone, simply hideous). When that happens, the cap will not prevent us from signing defensemen who can avtually play the game.

    And yes, Malik has been better, but the team’s GAA is only so low because of the mandated team defense. Without tons of puck support and all five guys “in the picture” the Rangers D – either too slow, too small, or too young – gets pinned in its own end and manhandled.

  77. Salty you know what I mean. Like the team actually made the playoffs a couple years in a row.

    I do know what you mean, but I mean if they were like DET good

  78. Doodie pants, what are you talking about, his style is similar to Lidstrom, not as much D upside but more offensive talent then lidstrom. Is he using it or developing? No not really, but if he worked harder in the off season with the right coaching he could be a very good D. what most of you dont look at is what pos. type D do. Not much. but not much happens either. they know sometimes making that big hit takes you out of the play. I see Tyutin running around and getting him self out of pos. all the time. he will calm down soon but not this year, he is still young. if you see a D running around like a wing or center in his own zone, then you are about to see a goal.
    Backman i think is caught in the middle, he knows his game but i think he listens to the critics too. I’m not say he in any way shape or form even close to Lidstrom but that is his style, but with more of an offensive leaning. I would take a Lidstrom over a Stevens or Pronger any day. plays just as well in his own zone but is in the box and or suspended allot less. better passer too.
    also Melrose may say some dumb things from time to time(who doesnt?) but he does have hockey intelligence. if you dont like what i say then explain. if you say its stupid without an explanation then you sound like a mite.

  79. “I do know what you mean, but I mean if they were like DET good”

    Oh I know. Although we would expect a 1st round exit if the Rangers were Detroit good, but the fans would be 3x as annoying.

  80. Doodie Machetto on

    “Doodie pants, what are you talking about, his style is similar to Lidstrom, not as much D upside but more offensive talent then lidstrom.”

    You’re kidding right? Lidstrom is in the top 5 all time in defenseman. The Hockey News rates him as the best European player of all time. And you’re comparing Backman to him? Not in his wildest dreams.

  81. edward r. murrow on

    malik is indispensable, backman is another lidstrom

    what embarrassing garbage. apply for the Ranger PR job if you are that much of a clueless cheerleader

  82. Backman couldn’t hold Lidstrom’s jock. Lidstrom is one of the greatest all-time. That comparison is a laugher for sure.

    Agravaine – thanks for the time looking that up. I’m going to give it a shot today.

    lohan – thank YOU for the update on the ‘homo larry’ conversation. You had to figure that’s the way they would approach it. I can’t blame Boomer too much. If that were one of us, we’d walk on eggshells to, lest face not getting the perks from the Rangers anymore. But I hear ya.

    Thank god we play tonight.

    Thank you to the Isles for making Pitt look beatable. Similar to us, they couldn’t ‘get up’ for what should have been a walk in the park. And 11 goals in that MTL/OTT game was a bit of a surprise when I turned on the game late in the 3rd. Glad of the result to keep OTT close.

  83. Here’s the TEAM GAA #’s:

    Season Rank GAA
    ’00 – ’01 30th 3.54
    ’01 – ’02 29th 3.15
    ’02 – ’03 21st 2.82
    ’03 – ’04 27th 3.05
    ’05 – ’06 4th 2.57
    ’06 – ’07 9th 2.57
    ’07 – ’08 currently 5th, 0.01 behind NJD

    Source: NHL.com, stats, team comparison.

  84. An interesting note about this year’s #:

    NJD and NYR are the only 2 Eastern Conference teams in the top 10 in in TEAM GAA.

  85. Who does everyone want to face in the first round? I would like us to be 4th and play a 5th place ottawa.

  86. After a two week hiatus from the NASTY 1 is BACK!!

    Man, I am tired as hell. Anyway, I really hope we can take this game tonight and let’s hope that Peter Puck can help on the power play. Who knows? He will either be very noticeable and very motivated, or rusty and look awful. Anyone know if the D is the same for tonight? I really hope Backman can play a solid game tonight. Let’s hope if he does make a mistake that the crowd at the garden doesn’t jump all over him. I feel like the few good games he has had have been on the road.

  87. repost,

    That first line should have read:

    After a two week hiatus from work and consistent posting the NASTY 1 is BACK!!

  88. Yeah, I kind of got a kick out of that one too. I knew everyone else would go all crazy on the poster for that one, so I just stepped back from it. I knew Salty would go all rabid bear in smurf village on him, so I figured I would just sit back and watch and laugh to myself.

  89. I agree I am not going to touch that comment. Salty have at it. I am with Beer Me and Nasty on this one.

  90. HAHA–

    Come on, that is an untouchable comment. I didn’t see the post among the top 100 or so, and, I too wanted to see such an absolute spectacle.

    Guy probably thinks Manny Malhotra could be like Iginla.

  91. Doodie Machetto on

    Salty, the post is from “B” at 9:53 P.M.

    Enjoy the laugh!

    I want us to finish 5th and play the 4th place Debbies, or, finish 4th and play the 5th place Debbies.

    I tell you what spot I don’t want to finish in: 1st or 2nd. Flyers have played us pretty well, and I see the Capitals sneaking into one of those spots, and they are pretty hot right now. Boston has played us very well this season as well, should they manage to hang on to a spot.

  92. Doodie Machetto on

    “Guy probably thinks Manny Malhotra could be like Iginla.”


    Pavel Brendl is Pavel Bure!

  93. In case anyone cares, Pearl Jam are playing MSG the 24 and 25 of June. Ten Club members can buy tickets tomorrow and I am not sure when the go on sale to general public. If you like Pearl Jam, MSG is the place to see them. AMAZING!

  94. Doodie Machetto on

    Backman could be Lidstrom. Is that officially the worst comment in the history of this blog?

  95. Salty – agreed. B must not have taken his meds yesterday because he wants to use eight defensemen and somehow have Drury center a fourth line that *does not exist*. Dude needs help. I would almost use eight defensemen if Strudwick wasn’t as bad a forward as Hollweg.

  96. nasty – I posted yesterday that over the weekend I saw a PA license plate that said:
    “NASTI 1″. I think it was a chick driving the car.

    I heard about the Pearl Jam shows. Would be cool, but I have so much stuff going on outside of the Ranger World, I can’t even consider it.

    Doodie – It’s certainly one of the worst posts this season. But just as silly were all the ones saying we were going to miss the playoffs.

    If Washington DOES make the playoffs, they would have to be one of the hottest teams going in just to make it. THAT’s a problem for the 1st place team.

    I too, want to finish 4th if possible. It’d either be OTT or NJD unless there are big changes in the next 2 weeks. I’m thinking we’ll probably split our games the rest of the way. I just want our guys to stay healthy.

  97. I’d also say we’ll probably see Vally’s last game of the season on 4/3 @ the island.

  98. But just as silly were all the ones saying we were going to miss the playoffs.


    Not really… not really at all… Rangers falling short was actually conceivable… it’s still a possibility really. But there is zero possibility that Backman will ever be nearly the player that Nick Lidstrom is. Backman is one of those players that would not be in the NHL if teams like Nashville, Colombus, and Phoenix didn’t exist.

    By the way, am I the only one that is pretty much in complete *denial* of the Colombus Blue Jackets being an actual NHL team? I despise everything about them, if there is a team in the NHL I would be ashamed to play on, it’s the “Columbus Blue Jackets”. Everything about them screams “minor leagues”.

  99. Doodie Machetto on

    “if there is a team in the NHL I would be ashamed to play on, it’s the “Columbus Blue Jackets”. Everything about them screams “minor leagues”.”

    I think you mispelled “New York Islanders.”

  100. Ken Hitchcock & Rick Nash are the only 2 things that keep that franchise afloat.

    I DO think that it was silly to see people saying this team would miss the playoffs. I say ‘silly’ b/c those comments never said “MAY MISS”. They said “WILL MISS”. THAT’s silly. Especially when they were made in December. But there’s really no need to have that debate any longer.

    But the Listrom thing is light years more retardeder. ;)

  101. That Lidstrom thing is starting to burn me up.

    That’s a FIVE TIME Norris winner(incl 3-straight). A Conn Smythe winner. A 3-time Stanley Cup Champ. A 10-time all-star.

  102. Doodie Machetto on

    god, I wish they would play a “gosh darn,” “fudgin” game already!

    The wait is unbearable. I had to miss the Flyers game. I’m running on almost a week of no Rangers games.

    Don’t even think of mentioning the offseason to me. I might snap.

  103. Doodie Machetto on

    The only things they have in common is that they are Swedish Defensemen.

    I think the Swedish Chef has a better chance of being like Lidstrom than Backman.

  104. MSG has done a decent job in the last few offseasons scattering some classic games throughout the summer.

    I stock up on game ‘tapes’ to get me through. I’m looking foward to finally watching the entier Beanpot Tourney one hot July afternoon.

  105. Sam,

    I know it’s probably unthinkable and completely unrealistic, but has the NHL given any significant thought to shortening the regular season?

  106. doodie, Isles may have zero class, but they have those 4 cups and were a *legitimate dynasty* …. I sometimes wonder if colombus is real or if i just a had weird dream…think about how g4y this is.

    Okay, theres already a team called The Blues. There’s ALSO a team that is very very often reffered to as The Blue Shirts. LETS MAKE A SH!TTY HOCKEY TEAM IN A SMALL MARKET AND CALL THE THE BLUE JACKETS…NO NO…IT’S DIFFERENT….JACKETS…THE BLUE JACKETS…. THE *BJ’S*!! And the mascot is like a little bee or something, like yellow jacket…but blue…g4y.

    We can also thank THEM for the nets behind the glass. They were the team who murdered the little girl..you can’t really blame her for not paying attention to them getting beat night after night in those awful uniforms.

    Also the only team in the NHL who has never made the playoffs.

    please drop them from the NHL… they sound like minor league baseball team

  107. Doodie Machetto on

    Atlanta was in the same boat as them until they sold their entire future to sneak into the playoffs and be swept last season.

    Columbus is going to only get better. McLean did a lousy job as a GM and so they’re still feeling the pain. I like having a team in Ohio. It’s a decent size market. I think they picked the wrong city though. It should’ve been Cleveland.

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