Two points away


It’s been so long since I subbed at the training center for my boy Sam that I forgot how cold the rink was. Thankfully, I’ve returned quickly to the relative warmth of my apartment. (Hopefully, my thoughts on today’s optional skate will be all the more coherent for it…)

With just two points (either won by the Rangers or lost by the Caps) between the club and a third straight playoff berth, 12 guys took the ice today. Most were young guys: Callahan, Prucha, Dawes, Avery, Strudwick, Valiquette, Dubinsky, Sjostrom, Hollweg, Malik and Straka (obviously not a young guy).

If you count, that’s 11, but not because of my faulty math. The 12th was Blair Betts, who skated for 45 minutes and said his toe felt fine. He’s currently on oral antibiotics, and wraps the toe in gauze after applying another antibiotic.

“The toe feels great. I don’t think that’s the issue anymore,” Betts said. “I just have to get back in shape and get comfortable out there. I should be able to play. I’m just not sure when that’s going to be.”

Betts will skate harder tomorrow. The possibility remains that he’ll play Thursday and/or Friday, and both he and Tom Renney want the return to happen before the playoffs.

“At least Sunday, if not Thursday-Friday,” Betts said. “I definitely want to get in the game, just for the mental aspect of it. It should be three pretty intense games. … If I can help it, I don’t want my first game back to be a playoff game”

Betts said the problem shouldn’t rear it’s ugly head again (and in the case of his infection, “ugly” is an appropriate word), but he’ll have to fix it permanently in the offseason.The other injury news is what you’d expect. Renney said Brendan Shanahan was day-to-day after missing the second half of Monday’s game.

“I think he’ll be fine,” Renney said. “He’s just getting a little bit of work on his muscles.”

At 6-foot-1, 150, my man Sam could use help on his muscles, too. Then again, couldn’t we all?

I’ll have a story for tomorrow’s paper on the Rangers’ quest for home ice. They are clearly keeping an eye on the standings, hoping the playoff opener is at MSG.

“We’ve been really good at home,” Henrik Lundqvist said, “so we should definitely try to get that.”

Renney said he’ll try to balance who should play and who should rest if the opportunity presents itself the rest of the week. He was non-committal on exactly what approach he’ll take.

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  1. Josh,

    do you think Renney will stay with Mara and keep Malik scratched?

    I am hoping Mara HITS and will be in the lineup for the playoffs and Malik will not be. We are a better team with him NOT in the lineup.

    Also, any thoughts on what posters call “Malik light”? Or Bachmanturnit Over drive?

    This is very exciting. Home ice could mean the difference,……

  2. Jagr is on fire, leave hm alone. He has 3 fluke goals, and 2 assists in his last 4 games. Keep it going !

    Jagr got nailed by Orpik, but he’s been cheap shotted worse by Hatcher, two times with an elbow. He had a decent game though.

    I thought the goal was offsides but eh, it was close. It was a nice play by the Pens., and Lacrackhead.

    I love how Dubi wanted to fight Orpik, he might be the only person on the Rangers who will actually stick up for his captain. I love that friggin kid, its scary.

    The refs sucked big balls as usual, i mean they did screw the Pens. That 5 on 3, lol where the fugg did that come from? Hooking and Roughing calls with nothing against us., Hey i wont complain, thank god it happened for us and not against.

    Hopefully the Fishsticks beat up the Devs, and i want the Caps to win, so they replace the Sens. Habs need to beat the Sens!! If Sens lose, they might be done.

    I thought Mara played great. He even agitated Lacrackhead a bit, shoving him around, which eventually lead to him taking a cheap shot boarding call. I like Mara, i think im theonly fan who does, and love to see him next year.

  3. I thought Mara played a tough game….we have to hit. It cannot be only Avery.

    Josh, I didn’t mean Renney; I meant your opinion regarding the defense. i would love to see mara over malik in the lineup, but Renney will often fall back to vets…

    I won’t say anything about Rosi in a shootout. nope. not a word.

  4. SeamusORiley on

    this is why he was signed. Stellar defense, absolute clutch.

    I don’t care about our record against the West. If we get far enough to test the West, I will be one happy man.

    Lundqvst is the type of goalie that can get so hot; so untouchable….

    well, you just never know. Stranger things have happened
    Home ice to start would be terrific.

    I fear Washington more than Pittsburg.
    I fear the refs if we play Pittsburg more than that choreographed whiner.

  5. “When you say things like Jagr plays like he’s made of porcelain – in the context of last nights game that is a dumb statement. *Generally, I would agree with you, Jagr isn’t physical but that’s not his game and if he had 40 goals you wouldn’t bitch about it at all.* However, last night he actually finished some checks and managed not to take any penalties. Probably one of his most physical games in five years. So your statement is kind of silly.”

    It’s really not silly you slack-jawed illiterate joke, when you actually f*cking read what was said, that I was *Surprised* to see Jagr giving and taking hits. Goddamn, you are too easy. Honetsly, you’re another one of these guys that just tries so desperately hard to put words into my mouth and to “catch me” on something.

    Call me a jerk, call me an ass, “bad fan”, “don’t know what I’m talking about”, say whatever you want… but when you don’t actually pay attention to what I say, or when you try to put words in my mouth…the joke is on you, because once again, *I’ve fed you my warm sh1t in front of everyone reading, and exposed you as someone who doesn’t pay attention to what others have to say in the conversation/discussion.*

    typically own’d. thanks for playing.

  6. In the last post there was some talk about a 3-point system. In case anyone cares, I did some math for the sake of comparison. Here are the current eastern conference standings under various point systems. I didn’t take the time to resolve ties (top 8 only impacted in winner-take-all scenario).

    1. PIT 100
    2. MTL 98
    3. CAR 90
    4. NJD 93
    5. NYR 93
    6. OTT 92
    7. BOS 91
    8. PHI 91

    Winner takes all (Pt. for game won, 0 for loss, OT or otherwise)
    1. PIT 46
    2. MTL 44
    3. CAR 42
    4. NJD 43
    5. OTT 42
    6. NYR 41
    7,8,9 BOS/PHI/WSH 40

    3-point system (3 for reg. win, 2 for OT win, 1 for OT loss, 0 for reg. loss)
    1. PIT 162
    2. MTL 162
    3. WSH 150
    4. NJD 160
    5. NYR 158
    6. BOS 149
    7. OTT 146
    8. CAR 146

  7. Salty, do you have logs of the people you “take down” on the Blog?…cause that would be histerical..!

  8. Do you look down from your mountain on us poor, stupid ignorant, illiterate, unschooled, stupid, retarded, green slimy milky substance eating subjects…
    Throwing down judgement…cursing…wow…hope your not like this in real life…

  9. Salty,
    You’re too funny. You call me illiterate but you write like a child with your run-on sentences and cursing. Seriously, what do you do for a living with that brilliant mind of yours?

    Apparently, you have trouble with reading comprehension too. Here’s what you said:

    1. “When Jagr took that hit I winced as if I just saw an iPod thrown against a sidewalk…. i’d be surprised if Jagr’s not pretty banged up from that, never seen “the big fella” take a hit like that before…. ive grown to assume he’s pretty fragile despite the size”

    2. “-Saw the Jagr hits, but the hit on Jagr was massive, holy hell I seriously am surprised how he took that.”

    3. “FACT: Jagr avoids direct contact as if he was made of porcelain. At his size, it’s nearly unacceptable.”

    Those are your statements verbatim. Now reread what I said. Use your finger if you have to but make sure you go nice and slow so you can understand it.

    I didn’t comment about your first or second statement. Are we clear on that? I commented on your third one. You said he plays like he’s fragile and its unacceptable. Obviously you didn’t watch last night’s game, where he did play physically. So your observation is garbage and in my opinion, flat out wrong. It highlights that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    If you’re still having trouble, I’m sorry that you’re not smart enough to understand what I’m saying. If you want me to try and dumb it down some more for you, let me know.

    I am eagerly anticipating you’re next witty reply and fantastic insight into the sport of hockey. Thank you for sharing.

  10. You people talk aboot Sidney Crabby being such a whiner. Look at all of you ! He’s rubbing off on all of the Ranger fans !

    Does anyone think Malkin is the next Jagr? Not in the good way. Everyone is saying Ovechkin is, but i think its Malkin. I have a feeling he’ll have a phenominal career but at some point he’ll lose it. Thats my opinion. I hate his ugly mug.


    If you take Brent Sutters head, and Evgeni Malkins head, and put them together, you know what you get?? Rocky Dennis !! From the movie “Mask” !! Not the comedy, the true story from 1985, with that weirdo chick Cher. That movie scares the Byfuglien out of me !!

  11. Hang on let me stop laughing for a moment….

    okay. whew. I’m catching my breath… this is a riot, I gotta make this quick though before I get back to my job of being the “Axe Man” at Chrysler Motors.

    3. “FACT: Jagr avoids direct contact as if he was made of porcelain. At his size, it’s nearly unacceptable.”

    How many years has Jagr played in the NHL? You are seriously going to take *1 single game* where Jagr threw 2-3 hits and imply that that erases ~17 years of Jagr not EVER getting his hands dirty? Please, spare me, and everyone else the nonsense, Joey. What does Jagr weigh in at, 6’2 230lbs or something? Come on… Like I said, it is *nearly* unacceptable. If the guy didn’t have 600g and 2 Cups under his belt, it would be *completely* unacceptable.

    If you’re a shimpy speedy forward who just does not have the size…. I suppose it’s understandable to shy away from contact sometimes, and not go in for hits, I mean you got to work with what you have got. But Jagr is a beast, and one of the least physical players you’re ever going to see play the game. Sure he gets hit, but you almost NEVER see him drop the shoulder or hip on someone, you just don’t. That is FACT, babe. I won’t even drop other players to compare because I don’t have time to serve you again after you get all flustered over that one…but think of other players, smaller and larger. Think about who “deserves” to not play physical, and who really has pretty much no excuse not to.

    Your argument is so full of holes I almost feel bad for you. You even went and retrieved my posts and copied them back here to try to “prove yourself”, it’s kind of cute. Unfortunately for you, you again brought service upon yourself. Again. Looks like I’ve got a blog hat trick today on you, all on “sloppy giveaways”..haha.

    YES Jagr plays like a bitch 99.9% of the time. The last game or two don’t change that percentage over hi swhole career.

    That’s thrice JJP. Thrice.

  12. Colton – I said that exact same thing about Malkin-Jagr last night to a friend at the game. There was a point where the Ranger’s defensemen just couldn’t get him off the puck, very similar to Jagr’s style of puck protection. Also, his discomfort with speaking English is eerily similar to Jagr in the early ’90s but not to be faulted.

  13. Nice try Salty. Your comment was about last night’s game not his career. Once again, you’re trying to twist your words own into making yourself right.

    Try and pay attention to what I say, I know reading is tough for you. I said Jagr isn’t physical but he was in last night’s game.

    If you’re keeping tally of “serving” people on the internet, you’re an even bigger loser than I thought.

    Its “disservice”, learn to write.

  14. SeamusORiley on

    sometimes this blog is great for exchanging Ranger ideas….

    other times it is like hearing middleschoolers in a playground exchanging insults. oh man.
    wait, I just made an insult! I am insulting those who insult!

  15. “I said Jagr isn’t physical but he was in last night’s game.”

    Yep. And this is exactly the point that I made, twice. *You even copied and pasted them here, slackjaw.* And then a third time it’s you who “twisted” something… my message didn’t change unless you are twisting it to fit what you want me to say.

    *Exactly* the point I made. Jagr surprised me after a career of playing like a porcelain doll. Please try to refrain from being a retard.

    4 times today. Just for you, cause you’re one of those *special* people that just don’t get it. I hope you’re taking notes. God this is so insanely funny, I might print this out and ask my mommy to put it on the refridgerator.

    Sorry buddy, it’s you who came to me looking for the argument. I’m just cranking homeruns off you.

  16. ILCAT – That is a very interesting breakdown. As it turns out any point system is pretty much the same. Same 8.

  17. Guys everyone wasting their time on Salty. I made it very clear on this blog last Friday that…like Fredo in the Godfather…Salty is dead to me.

    Everyone should use that mantra.

    The guy has said since day 1 that Drury is an overpaid sack of potatoes.

    Now in the last week when Drury has shown his worth, Salty has backtracked, mumbled, swerved, bobbed, weaved, and tried to tell everyone that he never said the things he did and only meant blah or blahblah.

    He has little in his life except for trying to irk people into talking to him on the blog.

    Just leave him be.

    Clearly he is smarter than everyone on this blog and most people in the NHL based on his keen observations and insights. That statement doesn’t even cover his mastery of the English language.

    How can you have a convo with a know-it-all who is never wrong? You can’t. So why try?

    Also, he really hates the Rangers and clearly loves bashing them more than he likes praising them. Why waste your time?

    If he had any balls he would have come right out today and said, “I was 100% flatout totally wrong on Drury.” Odds on that ever happening, about 1 in 1,000,000.

    I am guessing that any team bound for the post season would fork over $7mm to have Drury on their team tomorrow.

    But Salty wouldn’t do that trade. He knows better. Better than the other 15 teams that will be in the playoffs alongside the Blueshirts.

    It must be nice to be smarter than everyone all the time in everything Salty. I am jealous of you and your life. So much so it hurts.

  18. Salty you are the best man. Hahaha. I love it. You make fun of me for quoting you verbatim (that means word for word) but then if I didn’t quote you, you’d say I didn’t read or understand what you’re saying.

    Then you copy my post. So I guess that makes you a slack-jawed yokel as well?

    Watching you twist in the wind, racking your brain to rearrange everything you say to come out on top of every arguement is priceless. I’m sure you’re home cranking four “homeruns” off yourself daily. No doubt.

    Before I forget, you’re a jerk, an ass, a bad fan and you don’t know what you’re talking about. You said those were all okay to say about you, so please don’t be mad.

  19. Salt you truly are a waste of space… hitting in the NHL takes skill. A skill that not everyone in the NHL has. You can’t just want to be physical and hit guys all over the ice… you have to be good at it. It doesn’t just take size… it takes timing, committment, poise and a rather large nut-sack. Scott Stevens was not always Scott Stevens… he got that good after years of practice. And no one has ever come close to his prowess in that aspect of the game. Not from lack of desire – but from lack of skill.

    Furthermore, the Rangers did not trade for Jagr for his physical presense on the ice you dope. They went out and got him because he can score goals and set up goals. The fact that you bellyache over the fact that he doesn’t play physical is laughable. That is not his game and it never will be. Just like Colton Orr is never going to score 50 goals in a season…. nor is Scott Stevens for that matter.

    BTW were you beaten as a child… dropped down a flight of stairs perhaps – just saying it would explain a few things.

    That’s it – no more Saltard responses from me… hoping if we don’t respond to his antics he will just go away!

  20. Doodie Machetto on

    Richard, not the same 8, Washington is 3rd and Carolina is 8 under the 3 pt system.

    Dude, I was wondering about that, and figured it would be similar. But oh man, that must have taken you a lot of time. Thanks!

  21. hey – Dellapina has an update from practice too. And some details about the Betts injury.

  22. (Chicago) Daily Herald –
    “No matter what happens this week, whether the Blackhawks make the playoffs or not, general manager Dale Tallon will consider the season to be a success.”

    uh oh. Someone better tell the GM that unless you win the Cup, it’s not a success.

  23. This is the title of Darren Dreger’s (tsn) blog today.

    “Scoring doesn’t come easy for Sid”

    HAHA – Maybe he’s setting his standards too high. Maybe he should try for a fatty or 2 first.

  24. inhankwetrust on

    now now children, don’t make me get the hose….

    i agree that jagr isn’t the most physical player and doesn’t throw his body around nearly as much as he should, but should he? remember the last time he tried? i think it was against the devils in the playoffs…..

    for the record, he’s 6’5 and weighs 240…

    now, the fact that he doesn’t hit doesn’t bother me so much, and you can’t possibly say that he doesn’t play physically. it’s not all about throwing your weight around, it’s about positioning and using your size to your advantage, which i think he does quite well. he protects the puck better than anyone in the league, and even though he’s not scoring as much, he’s still attracting a hell of a lot of attention and taking the opposing team’s best defenseman wherever he goes, opening the gate for say, sean avery to score the goals.

    so while he’s not throwing phaneuf-like hits, i can’t say that he isn’t playing physically, b/c he most definitely is and takes beatings night in and night out…

  25. Ouch three haters in a row huh? LOL.

    Newman, you are both right and wrong. I WAS dead wrong about Drury’s production. 100% wrong…he’s on pace, and has done a hell of a job for us down the stretch, especially compared to the rest of the team. Although honestly, I don’t know how many other teams that are well on their way already would trade/pony up $7M for him. I’m sure a bunch… but then you have to ask if they would still be “on their way” without those other players. It’s an honest argument. “Would the Rangers be so hardpressed for that OT goal if there were 2 other 30-35 goal scorers on the team instead of Drury? There is an argument there whether you agree with it or not. Drury has completely done his job here though, I have no argument against that whatsoever.

    DDJJ, you don’t have to accept this, but I am sorry for being so viscious with you. You did spin the things I said, and you did put words in my mouth. Maybe you really did misunderstand them, I don’t know. I don’t care. I go to great lenghths to explain myself as clearly as possible. If someone misconstrues something and then tries to spit it back in my face, the wrong way…it makes me hate them for not only not understanding, but trying to “catch me” on what they didn’t understand, although maybe thats my own fault.

    I can’t wait to see what this team does in the playoffs. Should be pretty funny to read around here.

  26. Funny how you change your stripes Saltard. I remember after the Montreal melt down you said playoffs were a pipe dream and that this team was the worst embarressment in the history of the New York Rangers. Good call ya dope.

  27. oh and going to admit that I haven’t read any of the coments on the last two posts I think. But I will later, last night was a late night (I ended up leaving the Garden at about one or so in the morning, and this morning had running around to do…)


    thanks for saying who was at the skate!!

  28. “and that this team was the worst embarressment in the history of the New York Rangers”

    Hmm, I really don’t that’s too far off. It’ sbeen a very disappointing year.

    Hi there Tony in AZ, how’s Cam doing?

  29. OK for the love of God can we all just stop the bashing now?

    Salty said he was wrong about Drury, and apologized, so I think he manned up, and apology should be accpeted.
    I’ve had words with Salty before, but he acted accordingly, explained himslef, and apologized.
    ENough said, game over, LET IT GO.

    Salty, your a man for saying what you said, and most men aren’t, so I respect you for that one.

    Let’s jsut bask in the fact Sid the douche and Malkin the MAsk had zero last night, we all but secured a playoff spot and have a day off to watch the debbie lose to the isles

    Brotherhood!! LEt’s have some

    PS next home game, beer is on me at Stout
    I’ll be in the Shanny Home Jersey

  30. Tony from AZ on

    Salty, thanks for asking about Cam.
    He had another surgery last month to clear up his heart infection & remove scar tissue & he’s going back to the hospital on May 6th to have his pace maker put back in.
    God I hope this is the last one for awhile.
    Sam got him some autographed Ranger pictures – Gomez & Drury.
    Sam has been a really good guy with us. we love him.
    Cam says the race to the playoffs is not good for his heart – kid still has his sense of humor !
    Thanks for asking !

  31. Ranger pontificator on

    it is laughable how after a loss everyone is negative, but after one friggin win it is a capital offense to then criticize the same player who was a rightful target the day before. that is bs, frontrunner bs

    the bottom line is that the Rangers have NOT played up to their potential most of this season. I am talking about the talent level on their roster compared to the other teams in the east, and compared to the results and standings.

    the ONLY surprise achievement has been the 7-0 vs the devils. everything else has been at or below expectations by the vets, especially the scoring which has been abysmal

    a long playoff run is possible because of the weak east, BUT, if it does not happen, then this ends as a very subpar disappointing season.

  32. Now that’s more like it. Let’s all hug it out….Koom-ba-ya!

    F the Pens. F Crosby. Go Isles…for tonight only. Go Montreal.

    Shanny hit the hyperbolic chamber.

    Prucha27…where are you to bask in ya boy’s solid effort.

  33. I’m still waiting for my April Fools from MikeyNJ… I think that was it!

    Tony in AZ good to hear about your little guy, say what you will about me, but I remember you and your guys story… we need updates on him as a reminder of whats really important… when it’s so easy to get caught up in all these discussions about Jagr being a panz…

    Pontificator… word.
    Thank you defending my (relative) sanity.

  34. Jagr needs to be more physical! He neeeds to try and hit Gomez…..oh wait that didn’t work out to well.

  35. Tony from AZ on

    Hey Salty
    You’re right, sometimes we do need a reminder of what’s really important in life.
    But you know what, sometimes we need hockey & our Rangers to take our minds of of life’s problems.
    When Cam is in the hospital ( & he’s there often) I burn a DVD of “Rangers in 60” so he can watch the games.
    You should see his face while watching our boys play.
    He’s sick & he knows it. He knows he can never play sports or do any kind of exercise.
    But watching our Rangers takes his mind of the bad deal he got in his life.
    So yes, there are more important things in life then our Rangers.
    But the Rangers also help us forget for just a little while.
    Love you guys for thinking of us !

  36. Salty,

    Only thing I can say about your comment about Jagr is that he doesn’t avoid direct contact with people since he takes hits from guys. Yes I know he doesn’t hit much if ever, but your comment makes it sound like he just gives the puck away so he doesn’t get hit too (which I know is not what you meant). Although, if I had to choose between a guy who passes up hits or a guy who takes a hit just to keep the puck, I’d pick the 2nd option.

  37. Salty,

    I totally agree that Jagr needs to put more pucks to the net. He’s still got a pretty devastating wrister when he gets it off and it doesn’t get deflected. I suppose his problem this year has been creating enough space to get a free shot. He just lacks that bit of quickness which used to separate him from defenseman so he could get a quality shot. It’s clear that Jagr isn’t going to change his game, so we have to hope he comes alive during the playoffs.

  38. Salty

    I know hard to beleive I wasn’t trying to pull an April fools joke, but I wasn’t. Seriously. You stepped up, admitted you were wrong, apologized, it’s done.

    Also like the kind words to TONY AZ, You have have mine as well TonyAZ, you have all the suport from Ranger fans out in JErsey!!

    Til tomorrow eveyone!

  39. Absolutely… look I mean he obviously takes and has always taken abuse on his way to where he is now, and to be fair, he’s just not very easy to hit either and thats another reason you don’t see it often. It’s pretty hard to be successful in the league if you can’t take physical play, and obviously pretty tough to net 600g’s without taking a few bumps and bruises. There are certainly “big, elite forwards” though who will crush a homeboy to challenge for the puck… that has never been Jagr’s style. Last night was a novelty treat to see him getting into it like that.

    This all (conversation) started from Jagr taking the biggest, cleanest, meanest hit I’ve ever seen him take though. I mean, that is a highlight reel hit and totally captures the phrase “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”…

  40. Agreed… the season has overall been disappointing in terms of our point total. I would have expected our boys to contend for 1st place… and considering how no one else really crushed it in the East, 4th place seems down right lame. Despite… the boys are coming together at just the right time. They aren’t limping into the playoffs like they did three years ago before being swept by the Devils… they are coming in hot. Like they did last year. Only this year they are near the hottest team in the NHL. And this year… they have a better team. A much much deeper team… with Gomez and Mr Clutch! So you tell me – who gives a rats arse how many points they accumulate during the regular season when they are parading the Stanley Cup down the Canyon of Heros.

    Playoffs start next week boys. This is what its all about. Everything else is just fluff.

  41. Doodie Machetto on

    “Prucha27…where are you to bask in ya boy’s solid effort.”

    He’s resting. He just played a game yesterday and needs to get himself prepared for Thursday.

    PS, very nice new look. very snazzy. Kudos to the web designer.

  42. I think Kopitar=new Jagr more than Malkin. That dude is gonna be stellar and if LA ever gets any goaltending……

    Fans in Chicago have something to cheer about, they have two of the most dynamic young players in the league and if Akim Aliu becomes a power forward a lot of teams will regret not drafting him for his supposed “off ice problems.” They also have some good young dmen like Seabrook and Keith, and addded the consistent and gritty Andrew Ladd for off-injured Ruutu, so it definitely was a step in the right direction for Chicago, who are long overdue for some success.

  43. kudos saltard. and apols for the beaten as a child and thrown down the stairs comments – heat of the moment. which is such a bad arse tune but that is besides the point. that guitar riff is awesome though.

    anyway pains me to say it but I feel a split with the isles coming on. they get their win in OT though so 3 points for us. then we beat fat mouth Marty and the Devs on Sunday ending with 98 points.

  44. Doodie Machetto on

    I want Malone so much. I’ve been on Malone’s jock for a few months now and I’m not ashamed to say it.

    6 years, 24 million.

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