From the Rock: The grind continues


Update, postgame: Petr Nedved was eventually credited for the Rangers’ final goal, now giving him a goal and two assists in two games. On a related note, Nedved is scheduled to play tomorrow night. I’d like to take credit for the idea, but Tom Renney said, “We had him penciled in already.”

Fine. The point is on a team that appears to lack some offensive punch so far, how do you justify cutting a guy that has been one of the lone bright spots in that department?

I’d still put Nedved as a longshot, but with each passing game, he’s making a stronger case for himself.

“I don’t have a deadline,” Nedved said about making the team. “Maybe they have a deadline.”

Meanwhile, that’s eight goals in four games for the Rangers. Tom Renney’s explanation? “Strange as it may seem, we haven’t really placed a premium on our offense yet,” he said.

Oh, OK. Let us know when you get around to that.

Seriously, the coach’s point was that the team was focused on getting its defensive structure down first. I guess this would explain why they call Renney a “defense first” coach.

Update, 9:15 p.m.:  This Nedved guy won’t go away. The center wrists a shot that is tippedby Aaron Voros past Scott Clemmensen, but it takes a video review to confirm it was a goal. Devils 3, Rangers 2. That’s three points in two games for a guy who supposedly has no shot of making this team. If I’m Tom Renney, I put Nedved right back in the lineup for tomorrow night, if only to test his durability.

Update, 9:13 p.m.: Never mind. Lafleur fails to cover up a rebound, and Parise flicks it past him, giving the Devils a 3-1 lead.

Update, 9:03 p.m.: Slight — emphasis on slight — signs of life from the Rangers in the third period, particularly a growing chemistry between Nigel Dawes and Chris Drury. You’d think because Drury is the center he should be more of the playmaker while Dawes at wing should be the finisher. The reality is just the opposite. Dawes set up Drury with passes in the slot twice in the last shift.

I’ll have more on the expanded role the likes of Dawes, Callahan, Prucha, and Dubinsky are expected to take in tomorrow’s paper.

Update, 8:14 p.m.: Just think, the tens of fans here were able to see Antoine Lafleur make his NHL preseason debut. Henrik Lundqvist leaves after stopping 13 of 15 shots.

Update, 7:45 p.m.: So there’s your reason to amend the rule below. Nedved coughs up the puck, Devils go back ahead 2-1 after a goofy bounce. A fairly sloppy game so far, which I suppose is a superfluous statement for a preseason game.

Update, 7:21 p.m.: The Nedved plot thickens. The center shovels a pass to Brian Fahey at the point, and Fahey buries the shot to tie the game. New rule: you can’t cut a guy if he’s riding a multiple-game point scoring streak.

Update, 7:02 p.m.: Plenty of good seats available here at The Rock. Like pretty much all of them…


Earlier: Is it possible I’m sick of hockey already?

Of course not. I was just making sure you were paying attention.

But I will say that this back-to-back-to-back-to-back stretch the Rangers are in the midst of is a tad extreme. That said, this is the Devils, and we haven’t seen the likes of Chris Drury and Nigel Dawes since as far back as Saturday, so every game adds another layer of intrigue.

A couple of updates:

<li>The Rangers’ plans for paring down their roster is coming into sharper focus. The plan is to re-assign players to Hartford on Friday, probably carry a few more for Saturday’s game against the Devils, then make more cuts before heading to Europe. Tom Renney said the number of players who will travel overseas will be certainly less than 30, and more likely will fall in the 25 to 26 range.

“We have significant decisions to make. Some people are making it very interesting and our total focus is on those guys,” Renney said. “You want to get to your team as quickly as you can, but that players have made it tough on you is a credit to them.”

<li>I asked Renney how he will approach the two exhibition games in Bern, because trust me, neither game is being taken lightly over there. One of the opponents will be the host city playing in front of its home crowd. And the other game, the Victoria Cup match against Metallurg Magnitogorsk, is being viewed in some quarters — certainly not by the Rangers — as a grudge match between the NHL and the upstart KHL.

“I approach them as getting the New York Rangers ready to play in the National Hockey League,” he said.

But that’s not the same thing as playing to win, I said.

“You don’t play to lose,” Renney said. “We’re preparing our team for the season and we’re preparing to win. I’m not going down that road with  Magnitogorsk saying this is the be-all, end-all of hockey 1972 revisited. I think it’s a huge opportunity to marry the two factions — the European and North American  factions — together. That’s how we approach it. We want to win the hockey game. We want to continue to hone our game so we can come back here and go after a Stanley Cup.

<li>Renney was asked in a roundabout way if Brendan Shanahan’s window of opportunity is closing seeing how the Rangers leave for Europe on Saturday.

“It’s not Saturday yet,” Renney said.

Asked if a player like Shanahan could be brought to Europe at the 11th hour, Renney sounded non-commital.

“I don’t see why not,” Renney said. “But as far as I’m concerned it’s really concentrate on what’s in front of me.”

Personally, I don’t see it happening.

More later…

About Author


  1. How come nobody ever talks about petr prucha? So far, he has only played one preseason game, but that game said somthing to me. Where is the petr prucha of the 2006-2007 season. Granted the kid has great sense of where to be during play, he simply cannot put the puck into the met. His hockey iq is great, but we need more then that. We need players that can bury a puck or two
    And I know it’s really early to be saying this but I’m going to put up my predictions for the eastern conference standings at the end of the season based on individual talent on teams
    1. Pit
    2. Wsh
    3. Ott
    4. Njd
    5. Nyr
    6. Phi
    7. Mon
    8. Buf
    9. Car
    10. Bos
    11. Tbl
    12. Nyi
    13. Tor
    14. Atl
    15. Flo
    I hope both petrs prove themselves tonight

  2. SCORE!!! 1-1 fahey scored from the point (might have been tipped)

    guess who helped make it happen petr nedved

  3. Wait i’m confused… We’re playing games against non-nhl teams? I never heard of this…I personally don’t watch preseason games because I jsut get nervous about a horrible injury ending the season of any player whether 1st line or 4th….if we do play a european team, they’re going to be jacked to play us and it’s just a shitty preseason game…

  4. I’m up for a beer at any other game I’m attending but can’t make the opener, I’ll be headed up to Boston that night.

  5. please Rangers.

    Renney has been here how many years? Shouldn’t these prospects know by now where they are supposed to be on the ice? This team runs around like chickens with their heads cut off.

    I’m sorry, but an organization should be able to put pieces in place and we should at least see the same type of play game in and game out. But we don’t.

    Staal, Rozival, Mara, Henrik, Duby, Cally, Dawes, Drury… terrible period.

  6. that’s all right i’ll drink a soda. beer bothers my stomach. i’ll be having plenty of rum and cokes after the game

  7. vogs, I just managed to see that goal, from Nedved on, yea everyone did seem very out of sorts there. Rozsival and Staal ended up ont he same side and then switched sides then the goal was scored…

    I still hold the boys will iron out the problems come open… optimism… I’m trying it, its hard though

  8. this is what i love about new york sports fans we’re so arrogant about our teams while still being willing to write them off in pre-season.

  9. haha Mark that would be funny

    its the great thing about sports and NY isn’t it… I mean come on everything is possibly the best but currently the worst… we have no in between ground… whats goign on with the game right now?

    Are the Devs being very thuggy with all the talk of revenge and such, I thouhgt I saw soe roughhousing before but I dind’t get to watch long…

  10. I would love to see Maloney pick up Doc and beat Chico to death with him. And then tear off Doc’s head and drink beer out of it. Then throw both bodies on the ice.

  11. right there with you Nasty

    Ag- there hasnt been much tomfoolery just one fight between vorros and salvador that wasnt really much. theres a nice back and forth going on not a hell of a lot of action. Both teams have made a goalie change. Clemenson for the devils and Guy LaFluer is in for the rangers. what is this kids first name andre?

  12. I am not watching these games from a who scores more goals standpoint. I am just trying to see who is controlling the play and just looks like the team with the better plan. This game looks pretty even.


    He has one more point then Drury,Prucha,Dawes and Rosy. They have been horrible. Brain Fahey has been there best player. Plus the play with Nedved was not totally his fault. Bad defensive zone play. They didnt score on the three on two. Nedved has still played better then half the guys in camp.

  14. lol beth,

    I run all around outside the Garden (well I limp, Jo runs) I need to find out what entrancs they are going to use this seaosn, but last season Drury would be the first in and he would go through 8 Penn Plaza, its where the buses line up… if y stand by there you will probably see a few guys… I don’t know where is good anymore, sometime Henrik would change it up and go in there… most times he went though by the media trucks on the other side… ummm Betts walks up the 8 penn side frm the hotel, but he turns throught the cutthrough… ask the people there with stuff, most will help you… and of course if you see a pair of twins, just come on over and say hi!

    They start going in 3 hours before the game (Drury!) and they have to be in by two hours before game time (unless they are Shanny in which case he was lawyas about 15 to 30 minutes into that hour…

    good to hear that our squad with half our regulars is holding their own against the devils… do they have in their real squad or are they split like we are?

  15. LOL

    A violent hugging session it was.


    Take it easy, don’t blame Hank for those two goals.

    Once again Rozi is passing up every shot he might have, oh wait he attempted one shot, and it was blocked. What are we paying this guy for ?? He better get his sh*t together, and start shooting when the season starts.

    Rismiller, pff that guy had a breakaway, and a another chance, and didn’t hit the net. Enough said, why did we sign this guy, he’s taking a spot of in Hartford for someone that can use it.

  16. onecupin67years on

    Pre season any thing sucks, but the devils look more like a team than the rangers. Maybe its the major player turnover thats the reason the players seem out of sync, but I see better hockey in men’s league.Renney should stop wasting Nedved’s time and cut him.
    And play the rookies ,newbies and deadwood (Jessiman) more ,lets see what they have or don’t have agianst the dev’s top lines,the real hockey begins soon and Renney shouldnt be guessing line match ups when the season starts.

  17. Clarkson doing lots of talking without his buddy Avery not around. What did Avery call him a career minor leaguer at best?

  18. one cup well they are playing 4 days in row so they pretty much have to be split squad. team i’m sure wanted their 3 home exh games that they force fans to buy. it’s all about the money

  19. is anyone else being lulled to sleep by this period?

    i feel like the slow back and forth play is like the slow rock of a mothers arms

  20. i gotta stop opening my mouth 3-1 devils.

    im dvring Bones and Criminal Minds it might be time to switch to that.

  21. How does lafeur not try to catch that shot? He lets it bounce off his body and they cash in on the rebound.

  22. thats bull it was nedved’s there was no deflection.

    did chico just say the devils need every victory they can get its just preseason.

    Well boys and girl another 1 run game and by 1 run i mean one goal (i miss good yankee baseball already)

    Im not worried.

  23. If I’m Tom Renney, I put Nedved right back in the lineup for tomorrow night, if only to test his durability.

    Great point Sam. nedved has played 2 good games, except for losing the puck tonight, but you have to see what he can do in back to back games.

  24. Two bad games in a row. Same ol Rangers. Running around, no finish, Parise nets two, Rangers on their heels.

    Whatever, i see no difference.

    We have no finish, no power play and we again have no “umph” as a “team”.

    It’s not one game, it’s not two, it’s not pre-season, it’s the same thing. But this year there is no #68.

    Heck, I’ll be optimistic this year, but really, it’s the same game we’ve been seeing for years, just no Shanny or Jagr to win games for us.

    What I saw from Naslund, GOmez and Zherdev was perimter stuff the last two games. What I saw from Drury and Dawes tonight was nothing.

    I call em as I see em folks.

  25. Imagine a 4th line of Shanahan and Orr centered by Nedved. A legitimate scoring threat with Orr providing the brawn.

    It would be unreasonable to think that every single one of these new guys is gonna work out.

    Could Petr Nedved be our savior?

  26. can everyone calm down its not our real lineup out there you cant judge a team as a whol by pre-season. pre-season is about mesuring indivdual players worth and getting guys to start to gel.

  27. onecupin67years on

    I don’t think Nedved or Shanhan will be on the sqd.It would mean that Sather’s trades and signings are on the weak side ,which they are.
    But you can’t get riled up with these preseason games , what if they were winning them all then everything is rosey?
    Its the lack of fundamental, being out of position, poor p/p that are the signs or a team with no direction or that they just don’t get it ,despite being coached by the greatest trio of coaches.And Prucha is the same weak player.I hope he gets off to a great start so he has some trade value by the deadline.

  28. Is anyone else getting scared about our lack of offense?? Might we be pining for Jagr, Shanny, Straka and Avery come November and December when we keep losing one or two goal games because our lack of offense? I know its preseason, but its already scary.

    There are too many forwards for the number of spots available. I wish/hope that Korpikoski will make the big club. There are too many 3rd and 4th line guys right now and I am not tricked by Nedved’s play so far as to consider him for a roster spot, hopefully Renney won’t be either. Kalinin has not impressed on defense either and he looks like Malik’s replacement – maybe we can put him in the AHL and have Potter as our 6th d-man.

    Here is the lineup I expect/hope will play the opener in Europe:

    (maybe Korpikoski instead of Sjostrom as the extra fwd)

    (maybe Kalinin as 7th d-man or sent down to the Pack)



  29. It seems like with my favorite baseball team, often some veteran pitches really great in spring training and gets the final spot in the rotation and then stinks up once the regular season starts. I’m a little concerned I’ll start noticing this with fourth-line centers.

    Having said that I always liked Nedved, just don’t think he’s top-tier. Maybe he could be a decent role player.

    As far as Shanahan goes, if they haven’t signed him by now …

  30. Are any veterans and alleged top six forwards on the Rangers capable of scoring besides Nedved and Dubinsky? This offense is horrible. This Rangers team may be fast, as the announcers are constantly exclaiming, but who cares how fast they are if they can’t score. I can’t believe I’m rooting for Petr Nedved over Blair Betts. Or at this point, maybe Petr Nedved over Chris Drury.

  31. onecupin67years on

    we’ll all see next week how they do in Prague. If they stink and loose more games then they win ,I don’t want to hear Sam Rosen or Weinman blame the poor start on jet lag. All I ‘ve been hearing so far is how wonderfully conditioned they are and how great a camp they all had.FOOEY

  32. How long before Renney switches the lines and players up once the season starts??

    If Prucha does not produce early, I am sure Renney will quickly pull him off the line and search for other options on Dru’s wing for offense. What’s the over/under on how many games until that happens?

    Last thought – if the Rangers don’t start scoring as the season progresses, do the Rangers regret not signing Shanny and.or do they make a quick move to try to get Sundin signed and into our lineup ASAP.

    Your thoughts?

  33. onecupin67years on

    1) Management will deny anything is wrong,they’ll tell us how wonderful they are playing and to wait, they will gel and score.As long as they make the playoffs ,its a successful year in their eyes.
    2) they admit defeat fire Renney, or have a press conference anouncing the signing of Sundin and shanahan, if they are still available.

  34. It’s been over a year here for Chris Drury. When is he actually going to play consistently well? He’s had a few spurts here and there, mainly when he was playing on the third line against the opposing team’s 3rd line defense, but why does no one ever hold him to any high standards?

  35. Sure, the preseason won’t tell everything, but damn. The rangers have had nothing this preseason without Dubinsky and Nedved. And everyone is talking about releasing Nedved. Do you want to win any games? From what I’ve seen so far, prucha has lost everything he had first season. Sure you can talk about how in shape he is, but if you can’t score there’s no point in having him here. We should switch Petrs. Nedved in prucha out. Secondly, why doesn’t anybody ever critisize drury. He did nothing today. And what’s up with our first liners not scoring on the teams that are only half pros and half prospects. We better figure some stuff out real soon. Hopefully this all works out in the end

  36. Don’t worry, it’s only preseason it doesn’t matter that much. I mean, I remember when the Jets had Browning Nagle as QB and he looked sick in the preseason and they went like 3-13.

    I do admit that Prucha has looked horrible and Voros should not be with Cally and Dubi, he’s not skilled enough. Put Korpo there!

  37. Wow, between the Rangers and the Mets and throw in Plaxico getting himself suspended as a cherry on top, this has been a pretty brutal night in NY sports. I gotta go hug a puppy or something…..

  38. dr that’s what happens to 40 yr olds they get hurt. he was terrible jan through may last yr. the shanny train has left the station i hope.

    i wouldn’t sign him no matter what. we’re not winning the cup with or without him so it’s time to move on. you can still wear his jersey to the games though so don’t worry.

  39. Mike A – I agree with you that Korpikoski should make this team out of camp and should be given the left side on the line with Dubi and Cally. Korps has speed coming down the wing, which Renney says he likes in him, and he would be able to keep up with Dubi and Cally – in fact with the way scoring is going now, they would probably be some of the top scoring lines for this team unless the Drury or Gomer line wakes up. Stick Voros on the 4th line instead,

  40. Questions: 1) If we signed Shanny, would he come with a no trade clause? 2) If he didn’t, would Slats have the guts to trade him at the deadline (ala Leetch)?

  41. If we assume that the 2 top lines are set for now and Dubi and Cally are set to play together that leaves 4 playing spots(LW3, LW4, C4, RW4) up for grabs, plus a couple of roster spots for spares.

    I’m interested to see all your opinions on who is doing well (even if its just grades) out of:

    From what i’m seeing and hearing i’m thinking the 4 spots are Orr, Betts, Korpi and Voros and maybe Rissmiller and Sjostrom may get to hang around with the team and sub in for Orr when his nuclear deterrent is not needed or anyone has an injury.


  42. onecupin67years on

    Mike A – You forgot to mention Robinson Cano and his amigo Melky Cabrera they “jumped the shark” this year.

  43. Ok…I DID watch the game. But for several reasons I could not pay too close attention. My sister in law went into labor last night, so there were phone calls in every direction.

    From what I did see…looks like theres guys that are really trying to make the team, guys battling to keep their spots, and guys that probably won’t play in the NHL. Ever.

    I’m still not worried about the final score of these games.

    Potter can really skate though huh?

  44. Ok I can’t be missing any more games…even if they are preseason…so
    I just ordered myself a DVR box…
    I know, I know…you guys probably alllll have them!!!
    I just joined the club.

  45. I will say it again as well, I do not care about the final score of these games. The team looks quick and battle ready. You can’t judge a team until at least 5-10 regular season games with the “real” team on the ice.

  46. Defense first? Really, then why have I seen Redden get badly burned to the outside twice already this season…probably an equal amount for Rosi…

Leave A Reply