And now, the games begin…

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My story today looks at “Petr Nedved’s outside shot at making the Rangers”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080920/SPORTS01/809200377/1046/SPORTS0107, which he wistfully admits is his last chance of playing in the NHL. Tellingly, Nedved said he would only play for the Rangers, and will head back to the Czech League if (and most likely when) the team cuts him.

“The way I look at it is this is probably the last opportunity for me,” Nedved said. “Obviously I’m not getting any younger. I actually look around and I think I’m the oldest guy here, unfortunately. If I was 25 or 26 I could play one more year in Europe and then it’s not a big deal. But if I play one more year in Europe, it’s not possible for me to come back.”

It says something about the ups-and-downs of training camp that I went from thinking Nedved had no chance of making this team, to thinking he had a chance, to again think he’s a longshot.

Some of that comes from conversations with people both inside and outside the organization. And some of that is just what you see on the ice. Nedved had to be stellar this week, but he hasn’t been so far in the intrasquad scrimmages. Now his last hope rests with how he fares in the games. He’ll play his first Monday night at the Garden.

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Meanwhile, a brief programming note: while one squad will be in Ottawa, the other two will be skating at the Training Center today. I may check in later from there, but my real interest lies in what I see on the TV tonight. MSG is covering all eight (eight!) games of the preseason.

More later…

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58 Comments

  1. I guess it’s a nice gesture on their part to give him a tryout but do the Rangers actually think he might have something to offer? I guess they wouldn’t bring him in here if they didn’t. They must really want some offense from the 4th line if that’s the case. Personally I’ve never been a big fan of him at all and hope he is released very soon so some true prospects can get a little more ice time in preseason.

  2. I hope Nedved was just invited out of courtesy to an ex-player and also to give Betts a kick up the rear to provide more offense.
    Its good to hear there is a lot of competition for spots.

    Sam, if you were cutting the roster now who would be out of the 23?

  3. Nedved was a good player in his time. The only reason he was asked to tryout was to light a fire under some people and to get the young kids to work hard and fight for a spot on the team. It was true class from the organization to give him a shot, but unfortunatly bye bye Peter. Say hi to Marty for us.

    I am going on Monday probably for about a hour just to see some hockey. Maybe longer if the organzation wants my input on who to cut. They have not asked me yet. Maybe the phone will ring today.

  4. TSN has a piece on the Rangers in there “30 Teams In 30 Days” thing. But kinda funny, here’s what Nyr’s 07-08 record was last year, according to the ever trusting TSN…

    2007-08 Record: 32-43-7 (15th in Conference)

    Now maybe Im stuck in this fantasy world where Nyr is actually a good team, but am i crazy or is that really there record from last year ???? Stupid Tsn !

    Cant wait for tonight, i hope Nyr dominates the Sens, back to back !

  5. Orr,

    TSN is horrible, That was definitely not our record. House could they mess up like that.

    I cant wait to see Drury and some of the men tonite!!!!!!!

  6. I think its a great sign of player development and Free agent acquisitioning that the Rangers have enough talent to have two decent split-squads for preseason games. It’s pretty funny to me that while the “white team” is less talented then the “blue team” i think that they could still win games in this league. With the young talent waiting in the wings, I really love the future of this team. Look at the “Depth” of the other preseason teams rosters … it seems as if Pittsburgh and Ottawa pretty much have their lineups set for this year already. If these are the rosters for the preseason games, it will be like grading our prospects on real NHL caliber teams.

    The forwards dressing tonight will be Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, Antoine Vermette, Jesse Winchester, Nick Foligno, Chris Neil, Mike Fisher, Jarkko Ruutu, Jim O’Brien, Josh Hennessy and Danny Bois. Chris Phillips, Christoph Schubert, Filip Kuba, Alexandre Picard, Brian Lee and Jason Smith will suit up tonight on defense.

    The Penguins lineup for Saturday will include forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Pascal Dupuis, Jordan Staal, Janne Pesonen, Ryan Stone, Kris Beech, Jeff Taffe, Miroslav Satan, Petr Sykora, Bill Thomas and Eric Godard; defensemen Sergei Gonchar, Ben Lovejoy, Alex Goligoski, Brooks Orpik, Mark Eaton and Darryl Sydor; goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury and Dany Sabourin.

  7. I think Nedved is just looking for a free ride back home to Czech Republic. No problem Peter… hope on up… cuz this is as far as you go with this team…

  8. Sam – Could you say something on the play of the fourth-liners on this team? How have Rissmiller and Voros fared? I’m assuming if Nedved DOES make the team, it will be at the expense of one of these two guys.

    Somerset – Jeeze..that’s basically Ottawa’s starting lineup. This should be an interesting game…

  9. is there any way to watch these games online tonight? if anyone could link it up it would be much much appreciated.

  10. Does anyone know if rangers.nhl or thegarden are streaming tonights game on the net for us outside of the MSG viewing area?

  11. cmb572 – i just looked around actually and couldn’t find any info on anyone broadcasting the games online (MSG or Sportsnet).

    Sucks to be an out of market fan before Center Ice starts up, but you could always listen to the game online at msg.com. It’s not as good as getting to watch it, but oh well.

  12. i’ve been looking for a live stream of tonight’s game as well. justin.tv used to have a ranger channel but i guess its no longer because i can’t seem to find it….?

    if anyone finds a feed, please post it!

  13. LOOL, if the Sens lose this game, that will be pretty pathetic, even if they have a crappy goalie in net, they still have a pretty good D to back him up.

    Im looking forward to seeing this game. I cant friggin wait. I might just go to sleep now, and wake up at 7:07 pm !

  14. I tried posting the link a couple of times but my posts aren’t coming up

    There is a different take on Zherdev and the criticism of him on Prospect Park’s page

  15. yea i was looking around too and i couldnt find anything. very annoying. ill never take having msg for granted ever again. now that i live in charlotte it sucks not having it. ill try to keep looking but i doubt ill find anything. obv link something if you find it ..i will do the same.

  16. I know this is a far cry from opening night. But its awesome that there will be some live action tonight. I’m not real concerned with the final score of the game. I just want everyone to stay healthy and skate hard.

  17. Very frustrating not being able to see these guys early on so at least we know what will be waiting in Hartford, if and when.

    That NHL network, is is good idea poorly instituted. The
    Rondo of endlessly repeated same things, should be put to rest and the concept of live action installed in it’s place. THEN – would be worth watching.

  18. Flynn,

    Sometimes it takes a while for a good idea to get enough rolling so that it can get the rights to air quality programming… especially live events. In order for NHL network to air a NYR/OTT pre-season game they would have to work something out with the NHL, each franchise AND each network that usually would have the rights to a NYR/OTT game.

    It makes sense to have the NHL network air stuff like that and we as viewers think it’s a no-brainer but it’s way more difficult than it first seems.

    Look at how long it took for The Golf Channel to start airing actual PGA tour golf.

    Give it some time. Doesn’t help right now but still…

  19. Hey if Larry Brooks is unfairly maniacal in his negativity then any one who writes paragraph after paragraph defending Zherdev is maniacally positive ( hello Prospect Park)….nobody knows anything until the season is underway……

    I’m still available, by the way, for 7th Dee-Man…this time on the cheap!

  20. Yeah Orr; that’s why I want the Rangers nowhere near Gaborik. The guy has the worst groin in the history of sports.

  21. I think there was serious considerations behind inviting Nedved. I am sure everyone remembers both Larionov and Yzerman centering Detroits 4th line at diffrent times.

    Its not a bad idea always to have a skilled center on a 4th line flanked by two goons. The center can get the puck deep where the bigger wingers can pound away.

    The big problem IMO with Nedved is that his strength isn’t to take the puck up ice and get it deep. Thats almost his weakness; he had big problems gooing up against trapping teams even in his prime.

    Sam- I love your blog and reports from camp, but with so many guys covering the camp and so much demand from fans to get news out of camp — I think people are getting a bit carried away.

    Like there is allot of things that can be seen from day 1 in camp — but it basically stops at how a guy is looking; how he have developed over the summer, how a kid looks the first time at a certain level et c. I think its downright impossible, even for Renney, to watch a player in a scrimmage and predict how he would look in a NHL preseason game. Let alone a NHL game. Once the regular season starts not much is asked from atleast 50% of the players in terms of “outstanding” plays, all you want from 50% of your team is to meet a certain minimum level really. And that they can meet that minimum level shift after shift, game after game, month after month.

    In scrimmages everything tends to be allot more unorganzised then in real games. That also effects the outcome, some guys thrives in situatiosn like that, some don’t. If I remember correctly Marc Staal didn’t stand out much at all in scrimmages last season — and Marc’s biggest strength is his hockeysense and poise. When things calmed down and got organized — it was like Marc got a read on things and could really seperate himself from many players who had matched his game in scrimmages.

    My point is, I think its a bit risky to make predictions based on scrimmages. Like Potter can look great and Jessiman awful — but when the games starts it could be the other way around really. Like Potter will be asked to make more decsions with the puck, where he might be a bit weak, and be pressured less around the boards, where Potter thrives.

    Now lets kick some Sentator a… ;)

  22. TSN released a list of players’ projected points for this season.

    http://www.tsn.ca/fantasy_news/feature/?fid=11655&lid=sublink04&lpos=topRelated_nhl

    As for the Rangers,

    Scott Gomez: 17g, 51a = 68 points
    Markus Naslund: 28g, 36a = 64 points
    Nikolai Zherdev: 25g, 35a = 60 points
    Chris Drury: 24g, 33a = 57 points
    Nigel Dawes: 22g, 25a = 47 points
    Brandon Dubinsky: 15g, 24a = 39 pionts
    Wade Redden: 6g, 28a = 34 points
    Ryan Callahan: 17g, 16a = 33 points
    Dan Girardi: 11g, 22a = 33 points
    Michael Roszival: 8g, 23a = 31 points

    These numbers are obviously just one man’s opinion, but isn’t that the whole idea behind this blog?

    Plus, it’s nice to see Dawes receive a little recognition…

  23. as per TSN…”Lundqvist’s name rarely comes up when discussing the best goalies in the game, but this might be the season that all changes. The Swedish netminder has been nominated for the Vezina trophy in each of the last three years.”

    So if his name rarely comes up, how the hell can he consistently be nominated for the Vezina?

  24. STAAL

    I was gonna post that but i thought i read it wrong, and didn’t wanna look like an idiot. I cant believe that they really did say that. Oh but according to TSN Miller, Ward, Luongo (3 overrated goalies) are better than Lundqvist, as well as Biron supposedly being better, gimme a friggin break. I hate Canada with the way they shit on everyone else.

    I fell bad for Nabby, its such a shame he didn’t win that Vezina, it was the height of BS, he had more wins, more shut outs i think, better GAA, and the only thing Broduer had on him was better Save %. But i guess its “Soooo Amazing” to be Broduer’s age, and play 75 games or so, oh yeah and being CANADIAN !!! Hank should have won it at the very least, Broduer neevr deserved, it should have been Nabby, with Hank coming in 2nd. Man, that story always gets me pissed off. Broduer is so classless with the way he dives, and he couldn’t even admit that Nabby had an amazing year, and deserved it. Maybe that’s why Hank wouldn’t congradulate him the last 2 seasons after his win. Ugh !!!

    STAAL (again)

    The line are something like…

    Dawes – Drury – Prucha
    Byers – Dubinsky – Callahan
    Voros – Betts – Orr
    Rismiller – Moore – Sjostrom

    Staal – Roszival
    Mara – Potter
    Fahey – Del Zotto

    Vally / Wiikman

    Guess what, i got that on Blue Notes, but funny, on BB+ Dubi says that you have to PAY, to see the lines. Jeez louise.

    Looking forward to the game, in 28 mins. Im gonna take a 30 minute shower to get ready for the game. I love hockey !!!

  25. Yesterday I watched a game live via Internet from the Russian League and almost in every second or third TV timeout I saw a speech in russian from Jaromir Jagr…

    It was a strange feeling, absolutely. I just think about the idea to change from one of the best cities in the world to move to Siberia just because of money..

    It wasn´t a game with Jagr´s Omsk team and the level of play was not as good as I thought it would be.. I am just waiting for one of that..

  26. audio on both websites are not working from the live game, they have both taped versions from a previous game..it is dissapointing…

  27. NHL.com has a real time scoreboard from the game with an Islanders logo..that is quite impressive!!!!

  28. why is Rosie wearing an A?

    and already we take a penalty and theres a goal from heatly ah hockeys back kids.

  29. apparently Chris Drury has lost some weight is that something he really needs to do? i mean hes already small to begin with.

  30. itll be interesting to see how many shots on goal we have considering almost every shot ive seen them take has missed the net

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