From the Garden…


Update, 9:50 p.m.: A few postgame updates:

<li>For all of Markus Naslund’s protestations that he was not here to replace Jaromir Jagr, the forward now occupies Jagr’s spot in the Rangers locker room at the Garden. Brendan Shanahan’s spot appears to be occupied by Dan Fritsche.

No word on where Mats Sundin’s locker will be.

<li>Redden on singlehandedly improving Brad Isbister’s chances of making the Senators:

“That definitely wasn’t the highlight of the night,” Redden said. “I don’t know what was more weird: just being here for the first time or playing against that one. But it was good to get both out of the way, so it’s something to build on.”

Other than that major gaffe, the defensemen was pretty good, finishing plus-1 with six shots on goal.

<li>Petr Nedved admitted he was nervous before the game, but still delivered with a goal. He was awarded the game’s first star, which was somewhat of a surreal sight. Just like old times. Except, of course, that the Rangers won.

“Obviously it was a good start for me,” Nedved said. “Hopefully they’ll take notice and I’ll take it to the next game. I was a little bit nervous because it’s been more than a year since I played in an NHL game. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pretty happy.”

Not wanting to raise anyone’s hopes, Tom Renney still didn’t offer much in the way of an endorsement.

“It was his first game. I’m not going to draw on any conclusions,” Renney said.

<li>Speaking of postgame rituals, the Rangers did do a center ice salute after the win. There was some debate at least in media circles that the team might abandon the salute since much of the team’s European flavor is gone. But it was Brandon Dubinsky who could be seen urging everyone to the middle of the ice.

<li>Like what you saw of the Gomez line? They’ll be playing tomorrow in Tampa as well.

Update, 9:19 p.m.: Put it in the books. Rangers win 2-1. I go with Jagr, Straka, and Shanahan as my three stars. Oh, wait….

Update, 9 p.m.: So it’s bad enough that Wade Redden gets absolutely toasted on the outside for a Senators goal. Even worse is that it was Brad Isbister doing the toasting. Apparently Jason Krog was unavailable..

Update, start of third period: Lundqvist out, Zaba in.

Update, 8:28 p.m.: And speaking of guys scrapping to make the team, Lauri Korpikoski puts the Rangers ahead 2-0 after deflecting a Dan Girardi shot from the point. The Rangers are outshooting the Senators 30-12 through two periods.

Update, 8:24 p.m.: I had given up on Thomas Pock as a viable option at defense after the Rangers buried him in Hartford for most of last season. But I have to say: he does look good –  a step quicker and moving the puck with purpose. I’d still put his chances of making the team as slim because the Rangers probably only want to only carry six defensemen. But if they go with a seventh, Pock could be the guy.

Update, 8:17 p.m.: That is indeed Brad Isbister on the ice for Ottawa.  Good to see the kid still plugging away…

Update, 8:14 p.m.: In fact, Lundqvist is feeling so good about himself he’s refusing to relinquish the stage. The King stays in the net, and Zaba stays on the bench.

Update, 8:05 p.m.: Again, it’s only the first home preseason game, but Henrik Lundqvist quietly pitched a shutout in the first half of the game. In other words, I don’t think he has to worry about Matt Zaba breathing over his shoulder.

Update, first intermission: Rangers 1, Ottawa 0. If this were a real game, I’d say the Rangers were actually impressive, highlighted by the encouraging play of the Zherdev-Gomez-Naslund line.

Update, 7:36 p.m. Yikes. Dmitri Kalinin with two giveaways in the same shift. And then he gets caught deep and is called for hooking. Paging Mr. Malik….

Update, 7:30 p.m: Zherdev looks good so far, creating a couple of chances with some moves in the offensive zone.

Update, 7:22 p.m.: Sounds like the Rangers are stealing from the Sabres’ game night presentation by playing the singular bagpipe/electric guitar theme song from “The Departed” for a power play. In other news, Wade Redden has three shots on goal from the point already. Michal Rozsival is confused. “What is this shooting thing he keeps doing?”

Update, 7:10 p.m.: So maybe Petr Nedved doesn’t go quietly after all. A perfect pass through the middle from Aaron Voros finds the 36-year-old center, and Nedved buries the breakaway attempt past Alex Auld. Somewhere Blair Betts is sticking needless in his own Nedved voodoo doll. I’m kidding, I think…

Update, 7:04 p.m.: The small crowd aside, two guys next to the press box were going absolutely nuts during the anthems. Dude, it’s the preseason. Pace yourself.

Update, 6:50 p.m.: Not much of a crowd to speak of. I guess the dawn of the Dale Weise Era isn’t enough to lure people away from the season premiere of “How I Met Your Mother”.

Earlier: It’s good to be back in the old building, odd smells notwithstanding.

A couple of quick updates:

<li>Wade Redden found the place OK, and was already in the hallway chatting up some members of his old team.

<li>Scott Gomez will wear the “C”, while Redden and Markus Naslund will be alternate captains. Tom Renney said he’s no closer to making a decision on a permanent captain. I suggest a Drury and Gomez fight to the death involving a bench press, trivia, and karaoke.

<li>I have to be honest, it’s strange to be outside the Rangers locker room without the sound of Jaromir Jagr sawing and spray-painting his sticks.

<li>Renney was asked if players are showcasing themselves for a chance to play another preseason game. The coach said to an extent, but also acknowledged the sheer number of games forces him into keeping players around. A personal observation? This game is essential for Petr Nedved if he has any chance of making this team.

More in a bit…

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  1. Maybe if Jagr put as much effort into his game as he did into his sticks we would have signed him…I couldn’t help it.


    For sure. Voros is a step up from Hollywood. I like what i see from the top line, as well as Redden.

    There’s a piece of ice on the left of Lundqvist that’s cause massive turn overs. I thought it was just the players, but i seen 4 different Rangers nearly give the puck up in that spot.

    Nice pass by Voros, and shot by Nedved. Im sure a lot of Nedved haters are nervous for sure.

  3. First of all, terrible call on Kalinin. I really think these refs see a non-north american skater sometimes and call these fantom calls.

    I still think this bias against non-north american players exists in this game. Either that or the Euro’s and Russians need to start getting on these refs sometimes. The officiating in this league is the worst in sports. Has to be cleaned up.

    Whatever… if the NHL is going to have players from all over the world, then I think they should have refs from all over the world as well.

    Why not have officials from Czech, Russia, Sweden, Germany, etc. as officials? Just make sure they can speak the language to tell us what the penatly was.

    Redden, Nedved, Dubi, Anisimov, Voros all looked good.

    Gomez, Naslund, Zherdev look good as well.

    Bobby S. did not have a good first period. Big kid though, gonna take some time for his size to adjust to the speed of the NHL.

  4. Agravine- Nedved goal on a nice pass from Voros. Bobby Sangs was ok. Redden was moving the pp had lots of shots. Kalinin was probably the only negative. Line 1 looked solid.

  5. Avery Missing NYC on

    The song is Shipping Up to Boston by the Dropkick Murphys.

    Lots of Avery, Hollweg, Hossa merch on sale in the Team Shops. But why are Lundquist and Prucha items marked down too?

  6. i really love how Vorros screens the goaltender and is always in front of the net ive been looking for that on the rangers for years now.

    ps its good to see that no matter who is out there for the rangers the power play still sucks

  7. Haha Sam, i love the humor you put into your blog.

    “Michal Rozsival is confused. “What is this shooting thing he keeps doing?””


  8. I don’t know about you guys but NEDVED is standing out as one of the better players on the ice this game. I wouldn’t mind him as 4th line center. He certainly would score more than Betts and Orr combined.

  9. tell Mike Poligno to #1 shave the sideburns and #2 get rid of the mullet.

    Fritche… has he touched the puck tonight?

    He will not be on the opening night roster playing like this.

  10. MATT K

    Yeah, Nedved is looking really good. Did anyone see him lay out that Sens player. Im pretty sure it was him. Lol, he didn’t look to soft there. He’s looking surprisingly good. He could be the best forward on the ice. Has a goal, hit the post, had a nice chance. Dubi is having another pretty good game, i like that move he did, then he hit the post, but set up Danny for a shot deflected by Korpedo.

    All the players who need to stand out are standing out. I like Redden-Girardi pairing. Kalinin isn’t looking like the kind of player Sab fans hate, but it is only one game, against there AHL team. Good job so far.

    And someone needs to lay out this sh*t head Foligno. Twice he bumped into Hank, and one was a mini cross check.

    Also, do my eyes deceive me, or did i see Isbister challenging Orr ??

  11. Orr…

    I was looking at that too. Nice to see Hollweg picked up a hooking minor 3 minutes into that game.

    I also see Montreal lost to Boston 8-3. Hope they didn’t have their top guys in for that one.

  12. so is kalinin really looking this bad? and does korpi look good enough to make this team?
    please no nedved. LETS GO RANGERS!

  13. One bad play by Redden, but overall didn’t looked good. That top line had some nice set ups, hopefully they can do massive damage.

    Rutuu is a b*tch, trying to cheap shot Zherdev at the end of the game, i like how Naslund stuck up for him. That’s what every fan loves to see, and that’s what build chemistry, knowing you have guys to depend on, and all that sort of stuff. Love the team, Slats may overpay, and my sign some old guys like Mats, Shanny, or Nedved, but he is doing what all the fans wanted, and that’s a younger, faster team. Good stuff.

  14. I can’t believe I’m writing this but I was at the game tonight and thought Nedved played a decent game. Of course, he has to given his contract status. All in all though, he looked alright and wouldn’t be completely out of place on a 3rd or 4th line.

    Other personal observations

    1. Sanguenetti has been hyped big time on this board so I tried to key in on him every shift he was out. Based on what I saw, I don’t think he is that close, he made a bunch of mistakes on coverage and it wasn’t exactly full NHL caliber talent out there. Just my humble opinion and it is only preseason. Del Zotto looked to have far more of an impact on Saturday, although I watched that one on TV.

    2. I barely even noticed Zherdev or Ainismov when they were on the ice…..

  15. If Nedved makes the team and Fritche does not, then Fritche has been traded, waived, and/or sent to Hartford. In any or all of the above he does not count against the Ranger’s cap – See Kasparitie, Darius or Hutchenson, Andrew…

    FWIW one of the above will probably happen to one of the NYR’s new 3 headed, third liner monster – the Fritchevorosreismillerosaurus (and maybe two of them).

    Is it just me, or were any of you wondering whether Wade Redden called Kaspar and asked if he minded him taking #6?

  16. Wouldn’t just be nice if we could have all of these lines playing in the regular season. That Voros – Nedved – Parenteau line looked good tonight, from watching the “in 60″ replay. Obviously, we can’t be keeping all of these players, though.

  17. Not much to say but(like everyone else) I was very impressed with Nedved, Voros, Girardi(besides for the bad pinch in the 3rd) and the top line. Dubi was his usual dynamic self as well. I know it’s early but I think Voros is gonna be a favorite of ours. He hits drives to the net. I was very surprised by how well he skates for a big man. Zherdev has a nice skill set but I do get Kamensky like vibes watching him. He is a bit soft in the corners(and he does overhandle the puck a bit)Nasland and Gomez have very nice chemistry(they set up three or four nice little give and goes)I was shocked to see Orr on the pk unit(and even more shocked to see him not look out of place)

  18. I slammed Fahey the other night so I do have to give him kudos he looked good tonight. I wasn’t impressed with Sanguenetti (he reminded me a bit of Poti) Pock looked pretty sharp imo. Considering how injury prone Kalinin is (and how Rozsival will miss some games due to his wonky knee) whoever the 7th dman is will likely get a good amount of games in. Nedved created all kinds of offense playing with a 4th liner(or maybe third liner) Voros and a long time Ahler in Parenteau. Betts on the other hand probably drags their play down(due to his incompetance in the offensive zone) I didn’t notice Fritcshe(outside of a strong power move to the net early in the third) or Anisimov. I am hoping Anisimov gets more icetime next game. I like Korpikoski alot but considering his cap charge he likely won’t make the team.

  19. I’m with you guys on Nedved. I doubted him so much, but he was flying out there.

    And Zherdev is so much like Kovalev in the sense that sometimes he tries to do too much. Its a good thing in certain instances but other times not so much. Either way the kid has absolutely limitless potential and you could see how quick he was and also his hands are absolutely amazing when he has the puck. Defensively he looked pretty responsible to me as well, but we’ll see. That line of him, Nazzy, and Gomez did look pretty solid though. I can’t wait for the meaningful games to start.

  20. Blair Betts is too good of a fourth liner to not play in the NHL. If Nedved can handle the defensive challenges of the fourth line (thats a big if) then Betts would probably be traded in my opinion.

  21. Given the performance to date of the other candidates for 3rd and 4th line holes, based on last night Nedved could look awfully good on the left side of Dubinsky-Callahan… it’ll be interesting to see how the next week or so plays out. Of all of the offseason bottom-six acquisitions at forward, only Voros seems to be playing with any urgency whatsoever.

  22. Well, it IS preseason, so I won’t stress anything in particular as ‘great’. But man…I am so glad I got my wish on July 1st, and the NYR signed Aaron Voros. He’ll be a big contributor, and will be well liked by ALL of his teammates.

    Nedved played well. No doubt. But I still don’t think he’ll be a consideration when the regular season starts. If he makes the trip to Switzerland, I’d be surprised. But he did look good. Just don’t see it happening.

    Bobby S needs some more work, and I think I’ll stick by my prediction that Del Zotto beats him to the NHL.

    Gomer, Z, Nas…gonna be lots of fun to watch them this year. I saw traces of chemistry between them, and those wingers actually make gomer a little less noticable on the ice. Not an easy thing to do. Optomistic there.

    Don’t care at all that Isbister burned Redden. Wade will be there when it counts. I just have faith in it, that’s all.

    Whoever mentioned Hollweg…YOU’RE BANNED FROM THE BLOG! BEAT IT! just kidding, just don’t do it again!

    Messier was on the FAN this a.m. One of the things he mentioned was the addition of Naslund. They played together in VAN, and he likes the play that he brings.

    JJP – Anisimov was a ghost…straight to htfd. Zherdev played ok for the first go-around.

    Sorry for the long post…just wanted to get everything out. Have a somewhat busy day today. Somewhat.

  23. Missed a thought or two…

    Korpi looks good. He’ll be fighting for a spot for sure.

    Not too impressed with Fritsche.

    Girardi looked really good for a september match. He could be one of the best non-drafted dmen in the league. But I have no idea who the others may be.

    For the 2nd straight game now, the thing I am most impressed with in the very early goings is the shot differential. 38-22 for the game. 30-12 after 2. And they weren’t all perimeter shots, a bunch of them came through traffic in front which didn’t happen much at all last season. The 12 that were given up weren’t very quality chances either. Although they were missing their big 3…or 4…or 5(maybe more).

  24. “The small crowd aside, two guys next to the press box were going absolutely nuts during the anthems. Dude, it’s the preseason. Pace yourself.”

    Had to be two guys from this blog…no?

  25. As I’m reading about Shanny rejecting the try-out offer, and thinking of Nedved making the absolute most of the opportunity, I can’t help but think either slats needs to cut the cord and say ‘no deal’, or shanny needs to suck it up and show that he can keep up with a speedy team.

    Why oh why does EVERY negotiation have to be a sour one with slats?

  26. If Nedved will accept a contract for under a million dollars, you could see him in a Rangers uniform this year.

    Im thinking 1 year – 850k.

  27. Beer, on your comment on the shots total…
    It seemed to me that most of the game was played in Ottawa territory. They consistently controlled the puck in the O-zone.

    I also like what I see from Korpo. From the limited spots possibly available on the roster I believe he could make the team.

    If I were Betts, I’d be very nervous.
    I didn’t even notice Frische or Anisimov…at all…I actually surprised…they played last night and I didn’t even see them.

  28. If you had to choose one of the three “veteran” players to be on the Rangers this year, which would it be.

    Shanahan playing a much reduced third or fourth line role.
    Sundin centering a first line.
    Nedved centering a fourth line.

    Just something to think about. I still have the feeling that one of these players will be on the Rangers this year.

    I go on record saying this; If Nedved had it in him to play a complete season like he played last night, I would have no problem with him on this team. I know he had a good year when he played in Edmonton and I believe they even had him playing in the penalty kill there.

  29. Let me start by saying that I’m a Nedved hater, through and through. He DID look good last night.

    BUT during the PP in the middle of the 2nd, he doubleshifted himself, and stuck Gomez on the bench because of that. If he takes a 3rd or 4th line center position, he can’t elect to give himself extra ice time, just because the puck’s going back into the offensive zone.

    I’ve seen him double up TOO much and then be flat-footed when play goes back the other way.

    Somebody said Voros could be the next Hollweg. I hope not, I’d rather he be the next Avery.

  30. Nasty – i choose option 1.

    I think i’d rather have Shanny there than Rissmiller or Voros. I think Freddy Sjoes and Dan Fritsche could well be in Hartford to start the year, or in the stands.
    As long as Shanny is managed better and rested occasionally he will be a lot better in the 2nd half than he was last season. I like our current 4 centers and wouldn’t swap Nedved for Betts or make the sacrifices necessary to get Sundin under the cap.

    I still can’t help thinking the reason for no news is all linked to Sundin, and that despite our cap situation we are THE team. If he was going elsewhere surely he would have signed by now – the other teams (VAN/MON/TOR) have the cap room and virtually no hurdles to sign him. The Rangers, on the other hand, would have to shift at least a few million in salary to make room for Sundin or Shanny or both.

  31. Does anyone really think the Rangers would stifle the growth of any young player they’ve invested in, to bring in Nedved? If any of you believe that, then you really have no clue.

    Also, when the Rangers are playing a rag tag opponent, saying anyone looks good is meaningless.

    Personally, I’m not sure why Sather signed Voros or Rissmiller, because he has plenty of options in his Organization for less Dollars…

    Byers is a more skilled version than Voros (20 plus goals and 150 plus PIM’s in Hartford last 2 seasons), and what purpose does Rissmiller serve? Greg Moore can play wing or Center, as can Korpikowski…

    As for Shanahan…Please can we just turn the page? It’s time to say thanks and goodbye.

  32. I know it’s early , but I’m liking what I’m seeing. (& reading)
    I’m liking it so much that I went on line this morning & bought tickets to the Sabers & Leaf games in Oct.
    Flying in to see the team – gotta love it !
    Now just gotta tell the wife we’re going to NY – LOL

  33. I know it’s early , but I’m liking what I’m seeing. (& reading)
    I’m liking it so much that I went on line this morning & bought tickets to the Sabers & Leaf games in Oct at MSG
    Flying in to see the team – gotta love it !
    Now just gotta tell the wife we’re going to NY – LOL

  34. I have NEVER understood the timidity in making Thomas Pock a full time member of this defense corps. His skills have never been appreciated by Ranger Mgmt, and if it comes down to him or Kallinin…no contest. Kallinin never endeared himself to Buff people, and he has never shown much in the way of either smarts or guts to challenege for any place on this team.

  35. Can Renney stop the charade already with the captaincy? Name Drury the captain already and Gomez and Naslund as the alternates. But of course this is the Rangers so they have to make everything overdramatic and they’ll wait until right before their opener to do so. Just end the drama and make the announcement already. No one cares outside of this little circle of fans.

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