The circus is in town


Update, 7 p.m.: Gomez in, Prucha out. Discuss amongst yourselves…

Update, 6:45 p.m.: Gomez looks good in warm-ups. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t play. Confirmation later…

And no, I’m not talking about Sean Avery.

I’m talking about the actual circus. You know — clowns, elephants, the inevitable bad dreams that followed (OK, maybe that was just me). It was only this morning that all that was here, and Garden crew is still working on the ice surface as a result. So if you were under any delusions that tonight was going to be some high-scoring, up-and-down affair (and if you were expecting that, by the way, I would then ask where you’ve been for the last 15 years or so), you might want to reconsider.


Point is, if ever there was a night when the Rangers want to avoid falling behind, it would be a night when they’ll be trying to stickhandle through elephant footprints on the way to Martin Brodeur

With that in mind, some notes:

<li>Still no word on Scott Gomez, and to hear Tom Renney tell it, it really might come down to how Gomez looks in warm-ups. “I might watch the first one ever tonight,” the coach said.

Naturally, Gomez wants to play, and when he walked into the room a few minutes ago, he hardly wore the expression of a player who plans to spend the evening eating hot dogs in a luxury suite. My guess is he plays, but that’s just me trying to read between the lines.

<li>I just got my ballot from the NHL for a host of post-season awards, including Hart Trophy, Calder Trophy, Lady Byng, and NHL All-Star, and All-Rookie teams. I make no promises, but my plan is to do a more thorough job on this than last year, when if memory serves, I filled it all out in a half-hour from my hotel room in Atlanta.

More in a bit…

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  1. Yes. I really am Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf. And I came back from the dead to blog about the Rangers. The devil sends a message to the one who calls themself graves9 &/or Prucha27.

  2. I hope Rangers will take 2 points out of this game. I don’t really like Hollweg return, he brings NOTHING. Prucha is better, even as a 4th liner. GO RANGERS!

  3. STF, I couldn’t agree more. I have no idea what Renny thinks sometimes. How is Hollweg and Orr better than Prucha? It’s been well documented that Prucha had a lot of success on the PP when he is actually utilized there, but Renny insists on not even giving him a chance. The PP is a disgrace and won’t get better with the same people being used over and over and over. Also, regardless of what most people say here, the Rangers are much better defensively with Malik in the lineup. How he goes from being on the first pair to not being in the lineup just doesn’t make sense to me.

  4. after that 1st period, i am withdrawing my Jagr vote for the Stephen McDonald extra effort award. JJ: Stop reaching w/ your stick and put a body on someone!

  5. Avery v. Brodeur – called it; love it. Brodeur gives up a goal on the ensuing power play (granted it somehow wasn’t called against him)

  6. Any reason given why with Gomez back in the lineup, all the lines are changed????

    So Hollweg took Betts’ place…What other changes were needed???????

  7. In between Periods, Lou Lamoriello is calling JD and thanking him for duping Sather into taking Backman….

  8. even before the backman joke they were playing like crap. sloppy back pass crap in there own zone and a nothing forecheck.

    they have not gotten the shots they were getting weeks ago.

    classic backman screw up, the boards are there but NO) they need to do the crap pass like avery did recently etc.

    keep it simple IN YOUR OWN ZONE.

    MY 10 yr. old son knows that..

  9. Renney and the coaching staff are morons, they say that pair is gaining chemistry, but all ive seen from Backman is a pathetic give away that potentially screws us out of this game, and Staal playing like the scouts that passed on him expected. Embarrassing.

    If Parise’s goal turns out to be the game winner. I really dont care anymore, cause that is just pathetic. Nice time to do that as well. Sather was stupid for bringing in another D man.

  10. colton I think they are leaving those tow together because they will both be here net year and the others (besides Girardi and Tyutin) might not (though I hope they resign Rozi)

  11. the PP delivered with Shanny moving and Gomez nice pass, after the Jagr unit sucks again

    keep that useless jagr off the ice on the PP, and use Prucha next game and sit Jagr

  12. Sam – Can you cast a vote for the entire gentlemanly Rangers defense to win the Lady Bing?

  13. This is the type of game we needed moving towards playoff time. Gritty and battling, and ….we have a productive power play??

  14. That’s a really good game, I am beyond impressed with Dawes and Callahan’s intensity tonight…those kids are ready for playoff hockey, that’s for damn sure.

  15. haha wow I thought backmans ranger career was over. Just so everyone knows since I’m sure the didnt show it on tv, but backman was trying to pass to gomez who was wide open down the ice. It was a risky decision that didnt payoff at all. I give him props though for stepping up to the plate and not letting the mistake bother him and getting the tying goal. Doesn’t make up for the giveaway but it shows he forgets those things easily and tries to makeup for it by playing better. Awesome game to be at since the team actually worked. The devils did out work then down low but they picked it up as the game went on.

  16. Is it me or did Marty look “weird” out there.

    F him that P of S.

    Rangers got outplayed in the first. Played them even in the 2nd. Out hustled them in the 3d.

    Backman from goat to hero pretty fast.

    Salty, still think Drury not worth his pay? Not even the 3 assists…how about the dive in front of our goal to break up the play late in the 3d. Salty, come on dude, admit it. He was the man tonight.

    More tomorrow…going to bed.

  17. you mean a productive one unit on the PP, the Gomez-shanny unit. the other unit, the jagr unit sucks bigtime, and they were just as bad as always.

  18. Newman…totally agree. Out worked in the first, even in the second but you could see the tide starting to change and we hustled in the third. Nice comeback win…
    Think all the days off they were a little rusty to start, but got there legs under them in the second.

    Avery and Backman should practice using the boards…

    I got to bed Happy tonight…a good win :}

  19. anyone know what brodeur said during his interview i am very curious. Dawes has the potential to haunt Brodeur just like MATTAU did.. hahaha

  20. For those of you who watched on tv, did they show lundqvist at the blueline during the avery/brodeur encounter? He immedately left his crease and looked like he was ready to go.

  21. oh and that attempted pass by backman was to dubi, not gomez. I just saw it again and that was a pretty good play by parise too. Backman should’ve gone back around, but I can see why he tried that pass. Its not like it was on the ice, he lifted it, just it was a high risk play and it went against him.

  22. I will take the win but they are missing something. earlier in the season they wee forechecking harder and getting more chances. they could not capitalize on the chances but were getting more good chances…

    again I put Prucha back in there and I am not sold on Backman over Malik.. Backmans mistake tonight was dreadful.

    Henrik is playing real well right now…….

  23. Debbie does Dallas on

    the topper will be if the Rangers finish ahead of the debbies. that will frost Lou because they were in front of the whole conference a couple weeks ago. sutter will get the julien treatment with 3 games left if this continues.

  24. johnnyd – thanks for the heads up on who the pass was intended for. Please tell me you weren’t one of the a-holes booing on the 3rd PP.

    The 2nd penalty on white was a horrible horrible call. THOSE are the ones that kill teams. And it did again last night.

    BTO is SUCH the appropriate name for backman its not even funny. Glad he got the goal, but he really plays like a rookie most nights. Surprising that he’s been in the league this lone with plays like that.

    Agravaine – Good point about the pairing. I think that it’s a great concept and something that most people discount b/c of the ‘win now’ mentality.

    “Well, he can’t say I fanned on that one, I guess,” Dawes said of Brodeur.

    Atta boy Dawesy. Stick it to ’em.

    I really want to finish 4th and play the 5th place devils. (or just see them miss all togehter).

    Stupid Pittsburg keeps winning. Hossa got hurt again last night though.

  25. Personally, I think Backman played a decent game. Fluke play on the goal. It happens to every defenseman at some time or another and he made up for it. If that occurs every five games, then there is an issue but I thought he played well.

    I’m actually pretty happy overall with our defensemen as we approach the playoffs. Among Backman, Malik, or Mara – whoever is sitting with Strudwick come playoff time – it won’t be necessarily be a huge step down if one of them needs to come in for an injured player.

    Did anyone catch Malik’s black shirt, white tie combo at the end of the TV broadcast? Maybe that’s why Renney is benching him, he looks like he’d fit right in with the eurotrash at Au Bar.

  26. I sort of hope we lose the final game against the Devs. It would scare me in the playoffs having beaten them every time in the regular season; that’s the kind of thing that would turn around on a NY team. Anybody agree? It’s not like they’ve lost confidence playing against us.

  27. UpstateRanger on

    NY Times, 3/28/2008…

    Brodeur was beside himself, trying to explain the seventh loss to the Rangers and the Devils’ fifth loss in a row over all.

    “This is probably one of the toughest ones,” Brodeur said. “I thought we played extremely well for the first two periods. We were on the ball and we finally scored some goals. We had the momentum.

    “The ones in the shootout are one thing. When you lose in regulation, on a lucky goal like that, it’s tough to digest.”

    The Rangers had little digesting to do, just some celebrating.

    “Funny bounces like that sometimes decide big games,” Drury said. “I’m glad we got the funny bounce.”

    (Think maybe we’re getting to Marty just a little? Weird!)

  28. jjp – I had a feeling that was going to be misinterpreted. Overall…Backman’s ‘dime a dozen dman’. At this point of his Ranger career.

    But his turnovers (to stick with the theme) are like a circus act when he makes them. It draws so much attention b/c of the fashion he does it in.

  29. Too much criticism of Backman; Avery also made a bad pass to no one (in the Philthy game). At least Backman tried to make a play. Let it go…got old. It seems some of you always need a whipping boy—self-flaggelate if it helps but move on to a pertinent topic. Good win for the Rangers!!! Dawes in the right place again. It must be weird for Marty to be bested by Henrik 7 times this season. This is just too enjoyable!!!


  30. I’m just trying to stay positive on the guy. He was a 1st round pick and sometimes players just need a change. Look at Avery, I’m sure fans in Detroit and LA weren’t enamored with him but he’s been great for us. I think it was a decent trade by Sather, a 4th round pick for a #5/6 defenseman with some potential for upside.

  31. no beer me I wasn’t booing. I actually felt bad for the guy because he tried to make a good play. When I saw it from a better angle it showed that parise knocked it out of midair. I mean its not like he just whiffed or passed it on the ice, he got it up in the air and parise made a good play on it. Backman tried to do the right thing and you could see how pissed he was when the puck went in.

    I told my buddy “that’s it. His career as a ranger is over because of the boos” then 5 seconds later he scored. That to me shows me something about him that you don’t see in the other guys that got booed. He stepped up his game to try to make up for the mistake. Not only that but he was more careful with the puck for the rest of the game. Anyone who can bounce back like that impresses me because he didnt let the booing or bad play affect him. Still though most people will use him ad a whipping boy because they have nothing better to do. They are probably the same fans screaming to shoot when someone has the puck on the goal line with no angle and nobody in front or booing when the team regroup on the powerplay. Haha I love when the fans do that because it shows they have no idea how the pp is supposed to work and also don’t know you don’t just skate the puck up the ice all the time.

  32. ana – I know you don’t post here often cause I don’t recognize the name. But your comment towards me in no way reflects my view of the team. To tell you the truth…I think Avery is more overrated then backman.

    jjp – hey, I’m one of the most positive thinkers in these parts. But that was as bad as Avery’s blunders the other night too. Avery at least has shown that he brings something to the team. As soon as Backman ‘gives’ it’s ‘taken away’.

    I think it was a horrible trade by sather. He’s another overpaid dman. He was the 4th or 6th to be overpaid on our blueline.

    Now it turns on me to be the level-headed one. Salty, I’m starting to see how it’s hard sometimes. Honestly.

  33. johnnyD – My job requires me to ‘evaluate risk’. There is ZERO risk going up the boards with that puck, and THAT was the right play. I’m not going to crucify the guy for making a mistake. Hey, sh-t happens. But it’s not the 1st time. That’s all I’m sayin.

    But if I were ranking our 7 dmen, he’d be #6.

  34. I think Backman “could” be a good solid player. We’ve all seen some very bad plays – bad coverage and turnovers. But we have to recognize that this guy has some real potential to improve. He has some offensive ability also.

    He is still very new to NY – not easy to adjust to. He is very new to the NYR system and the other ranger defensive players. I think (and hope) that with some work within that system and within the training methods that are used with Girardi, Tyutin, Staal, – Backman could end up being an excellent addition.

    Go ahead – let me have it:)

  35. I was just going to say it’s great to be a Ranger fan today. I’m thrilled with the win in regulation. I’m thrilled with the loser being NJ. I’m thrilled that we had 2 PP goals last night. That play was the biggest hiccup of the night, and I’m not going to make a big deal out of it b/c in hindsight, it doesn’t matter. But if Malik was sat for being part of the plays that philthy scored on. Then Backman should suffer the same fate on sunday. (again, I understand & like that staal & backman are playing together if the plan is to have them paired next season).

  36. That to me shows me something about him that you don’t see in the other guys that got booed. He stepped up his game to try to make up for the mistake.


    Gotta agree there…I thought he’d be on suicide watch, Instead he completely sniped Marty on the near corner. That was a sharp shot.

  37. Believe it or not but the real reason Backman made that mistake is that he’s got OVERconfident after very obvious improvement in his game over the last several games. Let’s be honest: he looked absolutely hopeless in first 2-3 games. Not anymore.

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