More from practice


I totally missed this one earlier (proving again that I don’t pay enough attention to defensemen), but it’s also worth noting that Christian Backman was swapped out of in favor of Jason Strudwick in defensive pairings today; and that Paul Mara had taken Backman’s place alongside Michal Rozsival on the power play.

More from practice later, where the Rangers are saying all the right things headed into Game 3….

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  1. Sam ,

    could you ask the Rangers and Coach what they think about the NBC announcers, when talking about Crosby saying “Everyone dives, its just that some are better at it then others.” I kid you not htats what they said…

    Just pisses me off htat they basically said everyone cheats so why bother about it. Becuase our frickin team doesn’t cheat! Jagr doesn’t dive. Shanny doesn’t dive. Gomez doesn’t dive. Drury, Straka, Clly, Dawes they don’t dive. Prucha gets knocked down, but he gets up he doesn’t look for a call every frickin time and he doesn’t dive either!


    Wow, I’ve never heard more whining from fellow Rangers fans in my life. Look, the reffing has been ok, but its not like we didn’t deserve penalties for the ones we got. All that stuff is in the past and theres nothing we can do about it. Complaining about it doesn’t make it go away. Not to mention we didn’t even deserve to win either game with that piss poor effort that we played with. Point is the Rangers haven’t played with any urgency this whole series. I was afraid of that coming in just because of how they only showed up for certain games and not others all year. Its easy to get up and play the Devils because of the whole rivalry between both teams. We’ve owned the Pens up until this year and there isn’t really that rivalry between teams so the intensity isn’t as high as it is with the Devils and the Rangers proved that with their performance the past two games.

    For you whiners, heres why Crosby and his diving crew get the calls. We give them too much room in their own end and they pickup speed and don’t stop skating. Not to mention off the puck they move as well. Tyutin deserved that call yesterday because he stopped moving and took his hand off the stick. Its been that way for 3 years now. If Fedor just stays with him, where is Sid gonna go? Behind the net where Girardi can switch and pick him up or check him. Toots is strong and could’ve pushed him that way if he moved his feet instead of stopping skated and hauling him down.

    As for the offense and breakout, the Rangers have been way too stationary in the last two games. I know they wanna slow the game down, but thats for the guy with the puck. The guys off the puck still need to move around quickly with speed. Its making Pittsburgh’s job just that much easier since they can kinda sit back in a 1-2-2 and wait for the defender to make a bad pass. The D can’t clear the zone because the forwards aren’t moving.

    The key to Game 3 isn’t the refs, Crosby diving, any one of our D-men sucking, or if Bettman has it out for us. The key is which Rangers team shows up, the one that skates hard and gives into Tom Renney’s system or the team that is flat footed and doesn’t move around. Once the Rangers start moving their feet, the penalties will stop, their powerplays will increase, the puck control will also increase as well as the chances they get.

    Everyone needs to pick their games up for Game 3. You can ask where Dawes has been or some other guys, but really the only 2 that have consistently put forth an effort to maintain puck control and skate are Jagr and Gomez. Dawes and Cally are forechecking and doing an OK job of that, but aren’t getting control of the puck. They have to move out there and by in on the forecheck immediately. Don’t let a fast team like Pittsburgh build up speed through the neutral zone or else they will burn you and you’ll either end up in the box or down a goal.

    So guys, lets stop complaining about things the team can’t control and start talking about things they can control. The reffing can’t lose them a game if they aren’t putting forth the effort to win that they need and they haven’t gone that so far in this series.


    And lastly, I know I touched on this in my long post before, but if you have ever played defense you should know how difficult it is to move the puck out of the zone when your forwards either A) arent’ moving or B) are just moving up and down the ice instead of on angles and circling. If you look at when the Rangers do clear the zone, nobody is there to pick up the puck. They are all on the boards or right dead center on the ice instead of moving and giving them options. That being said they sure as hell aren’t the best at it, but right now they aren’t given any options and they don’t want to ice the puck. So they try to make a play to the outside or open space and the Pens just take it and push it right back down our throats because they are expecting it and transitioning on it immediately (with speed through the zone too).

  3. i dislike crosby playing like christian ronaldo as much as everyone else, but we need to move past worrying about the refs and start worrying about our own atrocious play. the refs did give us 6 powerplays on us and we failed on all of them (i know one could have been a goal but those kind of plays go both ways)

  4. I like this move. It’s not like Backman is a great skater anyway, and Struds is definitely more physical.

    Nice to get a mustache back on the ice also!

  5. Strudwick??? He did have a big goal in OT against the Penguins this year.

    Mara on pp I can agree on he does have a hard shot but really when is it time to give Staal a chance?

  6. Salty…I think Crosby and Malkin, to use your wording, “became” who they are along before this series. One player was last year’s MVP, the other is the favorite to win it this year. These guys have arrived already, there was nothing Ottawa or the Rangers could have done about it.


    The point is none of that really means anything until you produce in the Stanley Cup Playoffs… and they are doing that now. They pulled off a truly epic and legendary comeback win on friday night. An absolute classic. That’s what heroes are made of, and those kids have that under their belts now, not only against us for the rest of the series, but against everyone they face for the rest of their careers. Before Friday night, they didn’t know what it felt like to come back like that in a conference semifinal game…and they evolved to the next level right in front of our eyes, and gained that experience at our expense. It’s a beautiful thing really, the nature of the beast.

    Ovechkin may very well be the “best player” for years to come but unless he brings a team to a championship he’ll just be a Lindros, Roenick, etc etc etc etc… GREAT players than never went all the way.

    Crosby/Malkin = doing the real dance, right now. If they get through us, I don’t see them NOT going to the finals, and once on that stage… you really just don’t know what those kids might do given that opportunity. Scary as all hell, but PIT is one of those teams that actually is peaking at the right time. They could make a real cup run.

  7. Rob C…you can’t tell me that Struds is a better skater than Backman…I’m sorry but Backman is much better than Struds, personally I see this as Renney grasping for answers and Struds ain’t the answer…Struds won’t be able to keep up with any cycling Pitt forward…

  8. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Who do you guys think has been more to blame, Backman or Tyutin and Rozsival?

    I think Tyutin and Rozsival have been the worst two defensman this series and Tyutin our worst d-man all playoffs.

    I do agree the officiating and Cindy Crawford’s acting is going to happen, whatever. Let’s deal with it and just play well enough that it’s not going to make a difference anyway.

  9. Staal Wart you are the moron … Sjostrom is great you say !! … you axx he has one assist and has been invisible .. as a Ranger he has 2 goals no assists … fantastic … Sure I would love to insert Hossa, Fedorov or Campbell but we did not trade for them … so you have to choose from Orr, Hollweg or Moore… at least Orr or Hollweg can hit to hurt …

    Maybe Stall Wart has something for Swedish men… always defending Backman and Sjostrom …

    As for Malik, check the Rangers record with him in the lineup, second only to Avery’s record … check Rosivals plus/minus and goals with Malik in and out of the lineup…

    Or stick with your boys Backman and Sjostrom…. and have 2 more games left to watch …

  10. I never said Strudwick was a better skater than Backman…all I said was that Backman wasn’t a great skater anyway. Sure he’s better than Strudwick, but Backman is no Orr (Bobby), that’s for sure.

    To be honest, one can be burned just as easily as the other.

    Perhaps the positive of this…with Backman out, do we see Staal on the power play?

  11. Mara one goal the whole year if I am not mistaken ..and that includes a lot of PP … when does a guy sit ???…

  12. struds is too dahm slow. he’s gonna be toast against the penguins forwards. renney makes a good move by dropping shanny to the 4th line, but he negates it with the struds move. toots has been far worse than backman, if you are looking to point a finger at a defenseman.

    and, yeah, quit whining already. the rangers lost game 1 and 2…not the refs, or Cindy Flopsby for that matter.

  13. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Koffy, are you actually saying Mara should sit Game 3?

    He’s probably been the Rangers most reliable defensman all year. He and Staal are probably the only two who haven’t been victimized in the last couple of games too.

    Wow. I’m tempted not to even read blog posts anymore.

  14. I have to admit I did hate to see Staal not be able to clear the puck to only have his brother score on the same play. Had to be like a dagger through the heart for the kid.

  15. Mara has played fine, no goals he cannot hit the net but neither can Tytin etc..

    Backman is skilled but so soft on the puck in his own zone, the answer to that is unknown, I am not sure Strudwick is the answer he plays tough but is Malik slow….

  16. Good to see Rozsival get another chance to play himself out of a contract for next year.

  17. Pitt is a physical team. Our 4th line should be out there to create energy. All great teams have a mixture of skill and phyiscality i.e. MAlkin Crosby and Ruttu Laraque.

    Our 4th line has been doing nothing. Now thats obviously not why we have lost games, but you have to hit mix tihings up, get an edge to the game. To me if you have Orr and whether it be sjostrom or hollweg, you have to make a point to start throwing the body. Especailly since were home now, if Orr went with Laraque that would get everybody going.

    You cant have shanny on the 4th line. They dont get enough ice time for such a vetern presence and that much playoff expereince to just sit in this time.

    Now if you sat sjostrom and put prucha with orr then you could roate prucha in on the 2nd line every once in while. Thats what I would do for this game and see how it works. IF prucha doesn’t do that great then try hollweg with orr.

    Put them on the ice against one of there top players and get them rattled, get a big hit, but Malking and Crosby are skating around without any fear and that MUST be stopped.

  18. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I’m hoping a little Strudwick grit and smarts (defensively) will help this Rangers team. Strudwick is slow but seams to be smart enough, positionally, to be less-exposed than Rozsival, Tyutin, and Girardi usually are. Malik would be a disaster, he’s slow and poor when it comes to positioning himself.

  19. i love how everyones looking to last year for inspiration in how things can change quickly and they can come back, but how did that end for us. i was at game 5 i experienced the 7.7 seconds the fucking over dramatic afinigenov dive if they are going to lose right now i ratther see them be swept.

    PS I think Renney is reading the board everytime we suggest something lately its coming true.

    Hey Tom why dont you get the boys to win!
    pull that off

  20. true fans – that’s a good point. Eventhough it’s his ability that forces it upon him, struds plays a completely simple game. Something the rest of the D need to do. Perhaps he’ll have a calming effect.

  21. I wouldn’t want to slow our defensive corp down further by adding Strudwick in. Not to mention, it will take one other puck mover off the PP.

    Then again, Backman has had a bit of trouble. Bring in Sanguinetti! Nothing like trial by fire!

  22. Oh man….2 big losses and this blog is up in flames…..Ranger fan on Ranger fan hate crimes! hehe

    If Renney is putting Struds in over Backman it is for two reasons:

    #1) Leadership on the blueline….Very well needed to keep the other 5 guys, who are pretty much young, heads in the game.

    #2) Struds actually had some decent games vs. the Pens this year. Maybe he can muster up another good performance.

  23. For the life of me I can’t believe you Koffy your head is either up your A$$ or you literally know nothing about the game of hockey…so what your trying to say is Orr, Hollwegg or Moore are better than Sjostrom…you seriously are stupid…
    I’d love to see Moore called up… throw him to the dogs in his first playoff game, after spending the year in Hartford, and expect him to make a difference or have any impact whatsoever…
    I can’t believe I’m arguing this…for my own sanity I’ll assume your head is not up your a$$ or anyone elses and that you just know nothing…

  24. I just can’t deal with reading any more comments (besides Sam’s news) until the next game. I will see you guys then, unless I feel there is something new on which to comment.

    I can’t argue with this defensive move; Backman hasn’t been anything special.

  25. Koffy,

    You want every defensemen on the Rangers to be 100 point scorers… Why don’t you become coach and draft your Sega Genesis team. *sarcasm*

    The answer may not be as complex as different line combinations. Perhaps just a fire under our asses. Lets see some emotion.

  26. Brodeur is a BABY on

    I’m hoping everyone in attendance tomorrow BOO’s the hell out of Cindy every time he touches the puck.

  27. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Some people are creating rating posters to flash when Crosby dives.

    As a spin-off from that, can anyone who’s going tomorrow bring a snorkle or a swimming cap or something?!

  28. True Blue Fan … I would play Mara … I would sit Backman … but if Renney is so enamored with Backman as poster Stall Wart is then I would sit Mara … best Ranger D is Ros-Malik; Tyutin-Girardi; Mara-Staal … that is their best lineup …

    Oh, ya, and Staal Wart’s boy (I could not even play regularly for the Coyotes Sjostrom)

  29. True Fans, that would be awesome to get a shot of a Rangers fan with a swim cap and snorkel during warm-ups…behind the glass right next to Crosby!

    It would be classic picture to say the least.

  30. Someone just needs to pop Crosby right in the mouth. I’m not saying that it should be a dirty play, just that someone needs to ring his bell. Someone needs to show Crosby and the rest of the Penguins that they aren’t welcome at MSG. If it draws a penalty, so be it. It will be worth a) laying Crosby out and b) getting the Rangers and the fans in gear. Crosby is far too high on himself, someone should smack him back down.

  31. True Fans: Fantastic!! … bring Snorkels … Ratings … that is great! … GO FOR IT!

  32. True Fans Bleed- Unfortunately Rangers fans are not that creative or silly to do fun shit like that at the actual games….Would be funny to see a Rangers fan dressed in a Speedo with the number 8.7 on his chest and a swimming cap on his head taunting the pens players during warm ups

  33. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Haha! Will they allow it?

    Two years ago I went to the Carolina vs. Devils game 4 at Continental, it was mothers day and we brought a broom (Canes were up 3-0) but decided to draw a “Happy Mother’s Day” poster with a picture of a broom on it. When we got to the door we joked “yea, we almost brought a broom in but figured we’d get dismissed off the property” and the security-guard (female) said: “Why? I would’ve let you in!” Haha!!! Damn, we missed our chance.

    But if someone were to go to the Rangers game with a wet-suit, snorkle, goggles, and flippers they might allow it.

  34. Tony from AZ on

    We should BOO Cindy until he crys – again ! If you hear a faint boo in the distance, it’s me, booing from Arizona.

    I’m in favor of any changes the coach makes that gives us a better chance to win
    LGR !!!

  35. True Fans Bleed RW&B – That’s a great idea!!

    I just opened my pool so I might as well break out the snorkel gear and bring it with me tomorrow.

  36. Anyone know if they even allow “signs” into MSG? Like if I brought an oaktag (or smaller) sized sign….with no profanity….and rolled up with rubber band…do they allow them into the Garden?

  37. CubanC thats excatly what I have been saying. Someone need to lay someone out. And Id rather have Orr and Hollweg do it since thats what they are suppose to do and not lose any skill. But they are running around without any fear. If you hit them it makes them think twice about going through the middle or makes them glance up and that could lead to a turnover or something like that. Rangers NEED to get mroe physical.

    Thats part of the reason for struds but Orr needs to be in there. I mean what if thre is a cheapshot on Jager or gomez. Are you going to leave it up to avery who has skill and can score goals to take care of it or would you have Orr do it.

    As far as defense, No Maliek slow and soft. Struds changes it up, you have nothing to lose. No one ha been on fire.

  38. Just make a copy of a “No Diving” sign and run-off a hundred or so and pass them out to your section. here’s how you get them in: Use a 3-hole punch and put them in a 3-ring binder. You’ll have to bring a bag of some sort of course, but looking at a binder full of paper isn’t the most unusual thing they see at the gates…I’d expect. Then DISCRETELY pass them out during warm-ups. Worth a shot.

  39. “hey johnny d no one wants to read your book on how to play hockey..”

    haha well it started off as a real short post but as I went through reading, I had a lot of things I wanted to say. The sparknotes version is pretty much stop complaining, Rangers forwards need to skate to open up passing lanes for d-men, they need to move off the puck. Thats pretty much it.

  40. I wonder how many Pitt fans will make it to MSG from the Steel City….plus there may be some local yokals who bought into the whole Crosby PR machine hype and jumped on their bandwagon recently

  41. Beer me,

    Jo and I have my Mum using her free printer at work (shhhh what they don’t knwo won’t hurt them) making abuot 200 signs that read
    Nice Dive

    We made the print as big as it would fit on an 81/2 by 11 paper. Its all we cn manage but we re going to hand them pout on TUes (we can’t go to the game but we will be at the Garden)


    we made your sign
    It says
    with the eight being two tear drops and the seven two kleenex boxes. ITs really crappy but we will give it to someone to take in as well, or you can have it. Are we goign to met and talk camera stuff? I say Cosby’s at around 6:30 (becuase we watn to try and win tickets on the playoff bus and get autos before the game a friend sent us a poster to get signed for his daughter, we are hoping to get it starte on Tuesday.

    THey allow posters, atleast my sister and I have brought them in before. We bring the obligatory “ITs my birhtday please win” poster when we go to opening games, because it salways close (but sadly next year we can’t becuase they will be in PRague and we will not…)

    yea I think I’m not going to comment much, there isn’t anything new to say.

  42. Sean "Vogue Intern" Avery on

    I will pop Crosby with my designer Gucci pur- er uh, totally masculine European carry-all sack, Cuban C.

  43. I’ll be the guy holding a sign that says “nice rug” in honor of many Jon Amarante. This is the sign that will bring us to victory.

  44. I’ll be the guy holding a sign that says “nice rug” in honor of my man Jon Amarante. This is the sign that will bring us victory.

  45. Tony from AZ on

    Hey Agravaine , if you go to the game take lots of pictures & post them.

    LGR !!!

  46. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I love the Penguin fan who’s been checking in here since this morning, who would be so childish and have ALL-DAY to keep checking another team’s rumors…?

    Wait one second…Cindy, is that you? Are you here for the scouting reports? LoL

  47. True Fans Bleed RW&B on


    If you have a sign that says “nice rug!” and also wear a snorkel, you may convey a completely different point. Just thought I’d mention it.

  48. If I go to the game you know I will. I still need to make a video with the second half of the photos from Game one.

    But alas I ahven’t any tickets, so unless by some slim chance I win tickets I won’t be going (and since my friend’s daughter’s poster has Shannahan on it, I might not be able to get on the buses becuase he comes in so late. PLus my neighbor gave Jo and I an old Messier jersey that he wants us to tr and get the team to sign… and a really cute pair of miniature hockey gloves that he wants us to get Avery to sign (whihc will be real tough) and since our time now is limited (hopefully till June but you cna;t be certain) we really have to try and get these signed for people…

  49. thtas game on in the Devils series, which is the only game I have actually gone to, even though I have been at the garden for all the home games…

  50. Crosby is getting seriously booed tomorrow night
    I have half of my section doing it, as its a corporate seating block from my wife’s work.
    Cant wait to see how he plays UNDER PRESSURE

    And I am alomst 100% positive that you will see Cally or Dubi or someone DECK Crosby, not a dirty or illegal hit, but he’s goign down tomoorw night

  51. Damn is Renney panicing and confused.

    The physicality of the defense yesterday wasn’t a problem, yet he puts in the immoblie Strudwick? He is gonna get abused by the Penguin forwards and take at least two penalties..

    And up front where we played like a bunch of prancing pansies yesterday, he makes the forwards even more soft by dropping the decaying and physically afraid Shanny to the 4th line where he will combine with the utterly worthless Sjostrom to provide absolutley nothing in the physical department..And then the gnat Prucha on the 2nd line based on what?

    Our forwards need to hit and pressure the Pen’s forwards and D-men at all turns tomorrow, to make them uncomfortable, to make them know they are playing an opponent….The effort pur forth by Shanny, Sjostrom, Dawes, Straka, Gomez and Prucha was pretty disgraceful yesterday..ithas to change drastically and playing the HBO line would have been the best bet since we have the line change..But I guess defering to Shanny and minlessly playing an ineffective guy like SJostrom is more important….I sure as hell hope the King and Jagr can bail this team out tomorrow..

  52. I don’t know that swapping Strudwick for Backman will make much of a difference. I think Struds will get in there only because the Rangers don’t have a physical presence who can drop the gloves if things get ugly again like they did at the end of the game yesterday. If Avery is going to get speared the Rangers need to be able to defend him and if Orr is not going to dress again the Rangers need to have someone in the lineup who can battle Laraque and Hal Gill.

  53. didnt Struds have a GWG against the pens in OT this year?

    not sure but the range need to get into the slot more. noticed they were confined to perimeter and no shots could get through from the slot.

  54. Line changes, whatever. The Rangers need to come out and completely dominate the Pens from the get-go. We need a new definition of desparation hockey because this needs to be unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Physically abuse them. Score early and often, and don’t take their foot off the gas for even a second. Send them a message that the Rangers can own them, and then own them. Get all of us at the Garden worked into a complete frenzied mob. You know, one of those romps like game 3 against Atlanta last year, or the St. Patty’s Day massacre of Boston last year. Just re-assert themselves and bring their own confidence level back up, and the Pens’ down.

    They do that and it’s Rangers in 6.

  55. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Gotta win 1 before they can win 4, Peter.

    I love some of these posts. LoL

  56. I understand that. But I say win that first one with an exclamation point and ride the wave. Who says there’s no such thing as momentum in the playoffs?

  57. Strudwick in the lineup? The guy is a pylon. I rather even see Malikenstein in there over him. Gotta love some white thrash pens fan is posting on this board. He must be looking for his bastard kid must have left him on the lawn outside of the mellon arena with the rest of the white thrash penguin fans. Sissy Crosby is ready to dive in your lap pens fans enjoy it.

  58. Good move to take Backman off the power play unit. He is a bad puck handeler. Hopefully we’ll get sum refs that won’t blow the whistle when the puck is loose.

  59. True Fans Bleed RW&B on


    We’ve generally been ignoring him or exchanging friendly banter. It’s funny he has so much time and availability to check in here. Perhaps, he should be checking the Craig’s list posting, or the Dallas Stars roster?

    I joke, of course.

  60. Yep, there’s definitely bandwagoners in Pittsburgh. My cousin-in-law, who never cared about the Pens, called me after Game 1 predicting a Pens sweep. Apparently he had just watched the game with his family on TV.

    I thanked him for getting into hockey after the 8 years I’ve known him.

    The best solution to this? Let’s turn the series around and see who jumps off!

  61. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Cindy Crawford will get hers. One day Crosby will dive against the wrong team and wrong coach (perhaps Phillthy in the near future) and the coach will say “Fella’s, if you’re going to take a penalty, you might as well take her out too.” And that will be it, either a head-shot or a knees-shot. The NHL hates Avery for being unsportsmanlike (at times), and it will come back around to Crosby eventually. The NY media finally put the spotlight on it (nobody else has really said anything).

  62. Guys, the real problem with the D has been leaving the front of the crease and letting the Pens camp out in the slot untouched. If nothing else, Struds can hit people, throw his body, and add some snarl to the D zone. Yes he is slow. But if he is a stay at home D, his presence in front of Hank would be a welcomed benefit. Rosy avoids hanging in front of the net (and plays the puck solely) like the plague.

    Look, we are giving the puck away some in our zone and not clearing it. I don’t think Struds can do much worse in those departments. That is probably the thinking. We need someone to make people fear being in front of our net. Up until now, that has not been the case with any of our D men.

    Koffy, I disagree with you a ton more than I agree with you. I will leave it at that. There is too much negativity on this blog today already.

    Shanny should be relegated to PK time. Does anyone think he would be useful on the point on the PP? I waver between seeing his sweet slapper versus being too slow if there was a mishandled puck and the Pens broke out in a shorthanded situation.

  63. Agree with True Fans….I was saying to people watching the game…If Tyutin is going to take that pushing penalty, why not punch him in the jaw or elbow him in the nose? Same 2 mins….

  64. Speed_Ranger on

    Snorkels. Brilliant. I was thinking Oscar statues – for all that ACTING….. LGR

  65. True Fans, Crosby’s name has evolved so much over the last week I almost didn’t know who you were referring to!

    A friend of mine who lives in Dallas (and a Stars fan) made some unsolicited remarks about Crosby’s antics (ie diving + whining) earlier in the year. I agree that playing NY in the playoffs has put a big magnifying glass on him.

    But I also think there are more fans across the league that see Crosby for who he is than we give credit for. Then there’s the other side of the fanbase that anointed him savior of the NHL before they even saw him play and refuse to see anything negative in him.

    I’m not saying he’s not a great player – because he’s extremely talented. But his on-ice persona is something I could certainly do without.

    People see what they want to see. It’s just some choose to see for themselves while others let someone else see for them.

    Remember, Crosby will not be part of our conversations anymore as long as we beat the Pens. It starts tomorrow…2 games late!

  66. is it fair to be down on rozsival, which i have to say i am? can the guy get a shot on goal?

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