Just win, baby


With the Rangers still looking to lock down their playoff spot tonight at the Coliseum, my friend Lynn Zinser “has a worthwhile look”:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/03/sports/hockey/03rangers.html?_r=1&oref=slogin at the Rangers’ three thirtysomething forwards, Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan, Martin Straka, all of whom are struggling with low offensive numbers, all of whom become free agents at season’s end.


I’m in favor of the Rangers signing at least one of them, if only because the team would then still have a player older than me — somehow important for my fragile psyche.

Meanwhile, the big question marks surrounding tonight regard Shanahan and Blair Betts, both of whom are possible for tonight. Judging from the tone yesterday, “Shanahan is more likely than Betts”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080403/SPORTS01/804030418/-1/SPORTS&GID=wtp/2YhJiiZED7PoNRvjXbBZlkJqA4zliflpqCYc5TI%3D, who still has to meet certain fitness standards before he can be green-lighted for a return. Regardless, Betts will be back before the end of the regular season.

Should the Rangers clinch tonight,  hardly given against the pesky Islanders, don’t be surprised if the team does in fact rest some players — Scott Gomez and Brendan Shanahan being the most likely canddiates — tomorrow or Sunday. While a fourth seed is still important for home-ice advantage and to avoid a potential three-six match-up against the scary Washington Capitals, none of it is worthwhile if the Rangers are limping into the start of the playoffs.

But that’s all premature at this point. I won’t be at the skate since I have a 3-year old here at my side (he’s milking a mild fever by watching “Little Einsteins” on the couch in my office as I blog, which is not exactly how Hemingway did it), but I’ll check in from the Coliseum later.

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  1. Rob – we’re all having a party…no one told you!? sorry dude.

    Why? You got something good to talk aboot?


    Did you see the GOAL that the ‘war room’ called back on the devils last night??

  2. I’m in favor of the Rangers signing at least one of them, if only because the team would then still have a player older than me—
    I agree Sam, I’m not sure which one though…
    I would say Jagr, but only for less money and at a greatly reduced role…which I doubt will happen…

  3. I’m excited for tonights game considering I will be there at the Mausoleum. It will be my first game of the year, unfortunately at the Mausoleum but it is a possible clinching game so I’m pumped.

  4. “NASTY1 I was thinking of you last night at 4am. No, I wasn’t lying awake in bed. I was staring at the toilet bowl following a TAE (total a$$ explosion) thanks to the Yankee Frank and a Premio Susage. I thought, “Gee Nasty1 would be proud.” I am just surprised the sounds did not wake my wife. I might change my name to Nasty2. Just thought I would share!

  5. SeamusORiley on

    Hope he feels better; I am working from home as well…..6 year old little Ranger fan with a fever and cough…..

  6. Richard, funny you should mention that. Cause I wasn’t sure if I should’ve posted anything about taking a dump this a.m. and it smelling like an electrical fire. You think that’s bad?

  7. Nastiness on the blog today in all forms…..I am getting over a cold and it’s on its way out. How do I know? The loogeys I hocked up have been sent to a lab near 3 Mile Island for testing due to its flourescent green qualities.

  8. There will be no “three-six match-up against the scary Washington Capitals” for any team since Caroline wins their division. Washington will be #8 should they make it.

  9. As much as I want home-ice advantage, I think I’d be just as happy to see Philthy miss all together.

  10. Staal – not that I remember at least.

    Jay – I’m with you on that.

    HOWEVER…I think that goes along with the thought process that people follow in regards to Renney coaching for a point opposed to two. If we win tonight and he DOESN’T rest Hank, then it contradicts that thought process in a big way. And it may just give the team that ‘killer instinct’ going into the playoffs (which IMO is dangerous).

  11. No, THAT didn’t. But I’m pretty sure my company is using recycled burlap potato sacks as toilet paper these days.

  12. Beer Me!!, you need to bring your own private stock to the office. I have a roll in my desk of the soft stuff.

  13. I wouldn’t be sorry to see all three of them back for the right contracts, heavily incentive laden. My first preference would be Jagr, as he doesn’t have the injury history of the other two. While I think he’s a head case, through out his career he’s been pretty honest about his play – if he says he can still compete, I believe him.

    Unfortunately, I also think Jagr has the highest odds of leaving as he is by far the most desirable of the three.

  14. I dont think those guys would have a problem signing deals that are ‘highly incentive laden”. But even with those incentive/bonuses, they’d have to fit under NEXT YEAR’S cap. Before the ’09-’10 season, some of our youngsters are going to be due their raises. And under NO circumstances would I want to jeopordize being able to keep one of them b/c of bonuses for a guy that’s retired.

    That’s a ‘given’ as far as we’re all concerned I’m sure. We just have to relay that to slats.

  15. Yeahhh Boyyyyyyyy!(Flava Flav)Richard, that’s what I am talking about! I love crap stories. If anyone wants a really funny read, go to http://www.urbandictionary.com and look up Cincinnati Office Bomb. Hilarious. I think we are going to be getting points 94 and 95 tonight boys, I just have a good feeling about it.

  16. In my car I always leave a plastic bag and a roll of TP. And let me tell you, if I was to tell you that I have never dropped my pants and hovered over an open plastic bag and made some chocolate soft serve, I would be lying. And if I said I never wiped with a pair of fleece gloves that my mom got me for christmas, I would be lying too. HA HA HA!

  17. JJJP

    I agree and as the others said I too want Jagr back most of the three.


    I’ll be there too. I’m going to get there early to try for autographs!!

  18. Beer Me!!, I would never kid about something as sensitive as my a$$. My assistant laughs everytime I grab the PT, show her, and walk to the bathroom. You just have to be comfortable carrying it and working around people with a good sense of humor.

  19. LOHAN, nice one. I totally for got about those little squares. Did we go to the same school?

    Nasty1, love it.


  20. Shanny should sit out the next two games. It’s not like he’s adding an element of offense to the team that we cannot live without. Give him some extra time off. And as far as re-signing Jagr, Straka and/or Shanahan I give the nod to Jagr out of all three. I see no need to bring back all three or even two out of the three. If we are talking about who would be the most effective player for the Rangers next year I think the Captain has the most left out of the three.

  21. Richard – I changed offices(same co.) about 6 months ago. It used to be the running joke that when anyone saw me with a golf magazine they knew they wouldn’t see me for the next 20min.

    nasty – fleece gloves….awesome. Gonna go look up that Cincy office bomb

  22. I am eating a tuna wrap, and without fail I dropped some on my laptop again. How am I going to explain this to the Mrs. this time? Ha.

  23. Sam, I believe Hemingway shot himself to death. Not exactly a role model you need concern yourself with.

  24. That article by Zinser in the Times today was a good one. It spurred my thinking, and I don’t really feel like doing any of my work today, so I did some stat checking…

    I know that I’d be critized for spinning stats in a certain direction (by someone who’s in Vegas right now). But that’s what stats are there for in the 1st place!

    I only went back over the past 5 FINALS for goal scoring. Here’s what I found… # is ‘total goals per game’ (both teams combined total)

    ’01-’02 4.2 GPG
    ’02-’03 2.5
    ’03-’04 3.8
    ’05-’06 3.7
    ’06-’07 5.4

    OK…here’s my ‘twist’.

    those 5.4 goals last season were highly inflated due to Emery’s collapse in game 5. ANA scored 6 goals in that game. Had they scored say…3, it would drag that all the way down to 2.6 And if you watched the game, you’d see that Ott was dead in the water and 3 goals woulda been plenty for ANA to win that game.

    Diggin deeper… the 2.5 in ’02-’03 was by none other than the DEFENSIVE SPECIALISTS, NJD. And, they even managed to score 6 in one of those games too.

    So the average as its in the history books shows a 3.92 ‘total goals per game’ average in the last 5 Stanley Cup Finals. Not exactly explosively offensive games.

    The NYR are being built to establish that type of play for 82 games + playoffs. I’m not here to say that’s right or wrong, I just hope the players realize that they’re not being paid to win the Art Ross or Richard trophies.

  25. I think the Rangers definitely should bring Straka back… he’s the youngest of the three and still has his legs…

  26. NickyFotiu22 on

    Sam, is Strudwick going to play tonight??? With Orr having a fractured toe, the Rangers may be in for a beating, unless we dress Jason against the Isles… You know the Islanders are going to be taking liberties with our skilled guys and they would love nothing more than to punish us physically…

    Renney needs to be smart and get Strudwick in there… I would’ve called up Gratton or even Mitch Fritz, were I Sather…

  27. Thank you man. It is always good to steer people in the right direction. Especially when it is something as funny as that.

  28. pig – it’s right. 3 goals in 1 game does make that kind of difference when you’re only averaging 5 games.

  29. no thanks on all three. none of them are elite scorers anymore and we have plenty of young kids who can max out at 20+ goals. if shanny would take 1 mill and play on the fourth line id consider it but thats about it

  30. correction: my stat was right, my typing was wrong!!

    I tossed my scrap paper…sorry! I’d dig for it, but I tossed my leftover chinese on top of it!! haha

  31. carolina hasn’t clinched yet. If they win their next game or the caps get an otl or loss then they clinch.

  32. It would drop to 4.8 for both teams combined. But it would make the Ducks (alone) goals per game average just 2.6 in last years finals.

  33. The fact remains the same though. You don’t have to score ‘a lot’ of goals to win the Cup. You just have to ‘prevent more’ than your opposition does.

  34. I’m really pissed. I worked hard on that stat and I relayed it wrong! stupid Beer Me!

    To punish myself, I will have one less beer at the game tomorrow night.

  35. NickyFotiu22,
    You’re right, I should play. I am the key!

    Put me in coach, I’m ready to play… today… Put me in coach, I’m ready to play… today… look at me, I could be, Center!

  36. Beer Me! – What a revelation! That’s like saying “the team who scores more will win the game.” So what’s that put you down to, four beers? Haha, just busting your balls.

  37. Did you read the Times artcile?

    It’s relavent if you did. I know you’re busting balls, but people are making the lack of goal scoring an issue. My point REALLY is, is that this team will be better when Jags’ is gone.

  38. From the Times..
    “Nobody’s scoring on this team,” Jagr said. “Maybe we are playing too defensively. That’s for sure compared to other teams. We are playing too safe. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but then you cannot look at guys and say, ‘They’re not scoring.’ We don’t play open hockey.”

    “open hockey” isn’t what it takes to win championships pal. That really pissed me off today.

  39. NYCEditor, This is funny for those with a sense of humor instead of those who are straight arrows.

  40. TSN has an interesting poll

    It says “Should all teams that dont make the playoffs, qualify for a top overall pick in the draft”

    I voted Yes, its a double edged sword, cause Nyr can come out and be able to draft Stamkos, or Taveres, or any of those kids that have a lot of hype around them. But then again a division team could get them.

    I guess its unfair but then again it would be pretty cool.

    Anyway i dont give a sheet. All i care aboot is a win !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  41. colton – I voted ‘yes’ too. You’re right about the double-edged sword. But I looked at it more as a chance for even MORE teams to tank games to try to get the #1 pick.

    Editor must be a fun date, eh?

    pig – I reread my post, and I didn’t mean to come off an a d-ck or anything.

  42. Nah, I was just poking fun at you because you said you need to make the other team score less than you to win. Well, obviously.

  43. In the “graphic” on the side of the _Times_ article, it says that everyone aside from Jagr, Straka, and Shanahan has scored the same number of goals per game, *1.77*. That’s interesting.

  44. I’ll tell you what’s vulgar. Is that everytime I come to this blog today it looks different!

  45. We all know it gets harder to score in the playoffs. But that doesn’t translate into the Rangers being built for the post season.

    We are a “defensive team”, but you’d think that would translate to regular season success, which we haven’t had. In addition to that, it’ll be harder for ALL the teams in the playoffs to score, even us. So if we couldn’t score in the regular season, what makes anyone think we can score in the playoffs?

    It’s easy to say “We can win 2-1 or 1-0 games”, but did anyone stop to think how hard it will be for this team to get 1 or 2 goals?

  46. I just picked up my playoff tickets. Let’s go Rangers!!!! Lock it up tonight!!!!

  47. Tony from AZ on

    I think Sam’s kid took a pee on his computer – this site looks different every 5 minutes – driving me nuts !

  48. I think I’m gonna pick mine up tomorrow. But if I get a chance maybe I’ll go up to the garden today to get them since tomorrow will be pretty hectic for the last home game of the season.

  49. Here is an interesting tidbit:
    While looking over the gamenotes for tonight’s game it seems that the Overall on the Rangers vs. Islanders is 99-93-19-3, so how about getting the 100th overall win tonight.

  50. Tony from AZ on

    UpstateRanger – Nice.
    Hey, I’d be Sean Avery’s hooker for a playoff ticket !!

  51. Uh Sam even if they win tonight they don’t clinch the 5th spot so I doubt Gomez will be sitting. Resting old man Shanny or Straka is fine by me.

  52. Nostril damus on

    completely false choice Sam. first off, you would want them to sign for no more than one year, and that eliminates Jagr, who will want way more than that. second, a reduced role, and again the ego of jagr eliminates him. third, salary, and again jagr wants by far the most, so again he is eliminated.

    bottom line, if only 1 of the 3 return, it most likely won’t be jagr, unless stupid sather gives hima rich, multi year contract that ruins the ranger future, and brings back the undue influence of re-signing posse members again.

    thus, for all these true and obvious reasons, good riddance Jagr if you want a Ranger future for the young players in the org., real Rangers, not mercenaries.

  53. “Beer Me! April 3rd, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    From the Times..
    “Nobody’s scoring on this team,” Jagr said. “Maybe we are playing too defensively. That’s for sure compared to other teams. We are playing too safe. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but then you cannot look at guys and say, ‘They’re not scoring.’ We don’t play open hockey.”

    “open hockey” isn’t what it takes to win championships pal. That really pissed me off today.


    and THAT is why Jagr should never be brought back. he shows his selfish ego in those comments. he is not a team player or a leader. those selfish comments show it clearly.

    he is more concerned with running up his stats than playing a tight-knit, winning system that is playoff oriented.

  54. Aside from a few pockets of games this season, goal scoring has been a major problem for us this year. Jagr’s comments reflect that fact. You can’t win a game 0-0 guys; we’re gonna have to score in the playoffs.

  55. And when we do get a lead, we often tend to sit on it rather than going for the jugular. That’s a problem in the playoffs especially, especially against teams desperate for a tying goal (see Buffalo, Game 5)

  56. Maybe its me, but what is so wrong about Jagr’s comments? I don’t see them as him being selfish in anyway and just stating the facts that the team isn’t scoring because they play safe. I think the point of his comment is that people always say “you guys aren’t scoring” so hes just saying that they play defensively and its not open hockey meaning they can’t just kinda skate around and get open ice in their system and make it easy to score. they like to clamp down defensively and give the other team few chances. maybe im just missing something though.

  57. As for the renovations, I think they would just be better off building a new arena. First off I would love to see a new train station that you can actually walk through since it was awful what ended up becoming of Penn Station. Second I just think with the Devils getting a new arena and the Isles progression with that Lighthouse Project or whatever its called, MSG really needed to step it up and build a new hi-tech arena so that it can further live up to its name as the World’s Most Famous Arena.

  58. the biggest outrage about those Jagr comments is that he is not being asked to play safe on the PP, he is not being asked to play too defensively on the PP, so what is his excuse for his piss-poor PP performance. no, it’s HIS selfish system on the PP, i.e. passing to him on the half boards instead of shooting, and fancy plays instead of shoot and rebound that is the problem, as seen in the fact that the other PP unit is more effective playing that way.

    he has no cred on this subject because he is not producing in situations that are not defensive or safe or conserv. in any way.

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