Pathetically pumped

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I’m not sure what it says about me that I’m pumped for today’s Victoria Cup between the Rangers and Mettalurg Magnitogorsk. I realize it’s just an exhibition. I also realize typing Mettalurg Magnitogorsk is not easy. But if there’s a chance that this game today matches the atmosphere of yesterday against SC Bern while actually producing a closer contest, I’m all for it.

As for what it will say about the Rangers or the NHL, I’d say not much about the former, but maybe a little more about the latter. There is nothing so far that suggests the Rangers are going to burst out of the gates this season, and a win today wouldn’t change that. But should they prevail, it would still underscore the NHL’s superiority. And should they fall short, well, they can always go back to saying this was an exhibition.

According to Dubi at Blueshirt Bulletin, “defensemen Corey Potter and Brian Fahey, forwards Colton Orr and Aaron Voros, and third goalie Miika Wiikman were the extras on the ice after the morning skate”:http://ordinaryleastsquare.typepad.com/blueshirtbulletin/ — meaning they’ll be the scratches. The fact that Tom Renney is going with his top six defensemen and is opting for speed over size up front reinforces that the Rangers are taking this game as seriously as I am.

More before the puck drops…

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33 Comments

  1. No matter who you play, you should take it serious. We have all seen what happens to the Rangers in years past when they get cocky. I don’t care if they are playing the little rangers in between periods, you play to win.

  2. newman – The NYR made their own preseason schedule. I’m sure there was ‘influence’ from the NHL, but ultimately NYR decision. Would you rather the NHL use Cry-baby to promote the NHL some more? I agree with you 100%, but I’m just sayin.

    somerset – It IS a toss-up between RissPiss and Sjoey. I’d lean towards Sjoey with his speed. But I can’t say that with 100% certainty.

  3. Hey Sam,

    I, too, am psyched about today’s game. Yesterday’s game, while a blowout, was nice to see, not only for the atmosphere in the arena, but also because it showcased what can be possible with some of the talent and teamwork going hand in hand.

    I know that it was not a fair matchup, but with the lack of scoring we have seen so far in the preseason, there was nothing better than seeing the Rangers put up 8 goals, especially goals from Redden – who right now is the best dman we have had since Leetch left – a guy who will actually fire the puck on net and not always defer. Renney finally seemed to get the lines/pairing to work. The Gomer-Drury combo looked great together and the Dubi-Zherdev combo was overpowering. Dubinsky has been the best Ranger in camp so far – I say give him one of the A’s and make him an assistant captain – hopefully he will be here for a long time and develop into our team captain one day.

    Speaking of letters on jerseys and leadership – when will the team make an announcement on who their captain will be and who their alternate captains will be??? Do you reporters have any inkling as to when we can expect an announcement about this? I would prefer Drury with the “C” and Gomez with the “A” and Dubi with another “A.”

    Finally, Sam, who will survive the cuts when it comes to the glut of forwards we have- especially those on the 3rd and 4th lines? Where will Prucha fit or will he be traded? I have a hard time seeing where there is room for Rissmiller and Sjostrom.

    Your thoughts??

  4. Sam I have to admit after the first six games I was quite discouraged about the Rangers upcoming season but yesterday gave me a glimmer of hope. I know that SC Bern was a far inferior opponent but the Rangers did things in that game that showed me a great skill level and an increased level of shots and opportunities on the PP. Maybe the large rink had something to do with that but I was very pleased with the 6 PPG. Metallurg is from the KHL and the KHL is looking at this as a big test of how there league stacks up against the NHL. The Rangers are playing for NHL pride today and I hope they wipe out this Russian team like they did to Bern yesterday. I don’t expect 8-1 but I do expect at least 5 goals out of our boys.

  5. sorry peeps, I’m late jumping in. I thought we looked good, the big ice surface looked AWESOME (except it must suck skating a mile between the penalty box and the bench).

    Our power play reminded me of last year. it would suck for like 2 weeks, then we’d explode with a bunch of PPGs in 1 game, then back to sucking… this was our explosion game.

    I know like 3/4s of the blog is down on Prucha, but how’s this thought? He’s fast, can handle the puck, and DOES shoot (whether or not he gets it on net). Maybe he needs to line up with a big body who’ll plant in front of the net and get 1/2 those rebounds for him, like a Voros-type? Just a thought.

    1 last thing in my book… Did anybody see the Prucha interview? Dude’s got acne. He showed up to camp in “incredible shape”. Anybody else worried he might flip out in a roid rage?

  6. Metallurg is a mediocre and currently struggling team in the KHL, so let’s not go crazy if the Rangers win. A win against Salavat, AK Bars, or Jagr’s Avangard would mean a lot more.

  7. jeevs – Prucha on the line with Z and Dubi could work because they are big bodies. But neither play in front.

    The same way jagr needed to play with certain guys is the same thing prucha needs. Why bend over backwards, and adjust your lineup for a guy that scored a bunch of goals once?

  8. Creepy – I post, then somebody using my REAL name posts 2 minutes later… Is your name really Rajeev?

  9. Beer – from what I’ve seen, people want a general group of Gomez, Drury, Dubinsky, Naslund, and Zherdev as 5 of the top 6 forwards… with discussion over #6 (I think a lot leaning towards Dawes).

    So, putting Prucha and Voros together on a 3rd line, is that REALLY bending over backwards for him? He dude has gotten shafted with ice time and PP time the past couple of years.

  10. Jeeves if he has earned his spot then its not bending over backwards, and I think he has. I would really hate to lose him elswhere and see him start scoring like he did his first year. He does play inf ront of the net so a bogger body would be a protection for him at least.

  11. I agree with Prucha being a shooter…its only a matter of time before they start going in…I’m not the biggest fan of the guy but he always is in position to shoot. It seems lately he’s always shooting into the chest of the goalie.

    Jeever and Beer…
    From what I have seen of Korpido so far…and this may be a jump… but it may only be a matter of time before he is a top 6…

  12. Staal – There’s 2 sides to what happens with Korpi. I think he has the talent/drive/desire to be a top 6 forward, in the near future… BUT, Rangers management doesn’t exactly handle young talent the best. I bet 2 1/2 years ago, a lot of people would have said that about Prucha. Now people are basically saying to trade him for a bag of pucks.

  13. yea but why deosn’t msg have it live. I checked the guide and its on at 8… nhl channel has it at 1:30 I think, so I’ll be watching that…

  14. naslund gomez drury
    dawes dubinsky zher
    prucha korp callahan (all work hard speed and korp stands in front of the net)
    voros fristche and either sjos or rissmiller

  15. Sam can you do me a favor?

    Can you call Shanny’s agent Curran or whatever his name is and just find out already if he’s looking and going to another team or if he’ still gonna wait around?

    Im just so sick of specualting on Shanny, and I really dont want a surprise announcment once the season has already started.

    HAs anyone heard any concrete news so we can put this one to bed already?

    Sundin obviously wont go away until he announces something himslef, but Shanny CAN NOT be waiting this long if Sather isnt telling him he’s getting a contract once three back from Europe, once they make cuts, Once Sundin decides, etc.

    I just don’t see him waiting around like this, especially the kind of person and player he is.

    On our team or not, I just want to know

  16. staal – I see him as a top 6 in a year or two.

    jeevs – I disagree with handling young talent. Dubi? cally? dawes? staal? girardi? you could even make a case for hank. I think they have done quite well in recent years.

    Agr – That was me that said ‘bending over backwards’. And I don’t think he’s earned a spot at all. Unless we’re talking about a seat in the pressbox!

  17. Jeever, well dammit the brass hopefully will have learned from Prucha…
    I think Prucha is going to have a good season…I know the haters are going to jump me for it but I really do…its only a matter of time…I’m not in any way comparing Prucha to Jagr but…JJ went for long stretches last season without even registering a point…Prucha needs to get few and hopefully his confidence will start to return.
    I also am not sure Korpido fits in the same mold as Prucha. To me he seems a different player…he’s alot bigger and from what I see he seems to play with more pose. I also see him in most cases being the aggressor. The most recent example being that Cheese ass call in the Debbie game last Saturday.

  18. to answer a question from the previous thread…

    “By league rule, the Canucks goaltender cannot wear the ‘C’, but he can be named captain. Mitchell will be designated as the person who will deal with officials on a nightly basis.”

  19. staal – Maybe I missed the comparison somewhere of prucha and korpi. 2 different players. 1 is 1-dimensional, the other has an all-around game(and is not easily knocked off the puck). Can we guess which one is which?

  20. Beer your right but I also see Korpido as a much more aggressive player. He can be very physical and so far his positioning has been solid.

  21. The NHL rule on goalies not wearing the C is silly and should be scrapped. They can already cause a delay whenever they want – just fake an equipment problem or untie a strap, and boom, you’ve bought your team an extra 90 seconds.

  22. Sam – Unfortunately for you *Metallurg* has two l’s, not two t’s.

    I still don’t see a recap of the game that shows that Prucha scored. Maybe that’s just because the official scorers sucked over there.

    If Renney wants speed over size in this game, why is he playing Rissmiller over Voros and Orr, who are both fater than him, I think. I would go with Voros because Orr’s hitting game is pretty much neutralized here. I guess Prucha has one more chance today.

    orts41 – The annoucners said during the game yesterday that the captain would be announced by Renney in the next couple of days, so I’m guessing we will know our letters by the first game against the Lightning. Did anyone wear the C yesterday with both Gomez and Drury playing? I didn’t check.

  23. beer,

    I know I was replying to Jeever though. Your point was they shouldn’t bend over backwards for one player, I agree. But if Prucha earns a spot then the scenario isn’t bending over backyards. If he hasn’t it is. You think he hasn’t Jeever thinks he has.

    I think Pru deserves a chance as well I think he can be a fine part of our third line, but keep him on the right side and give him some pp minutes. If he starts showing up like he did his freshman year maybe he can move onto the top six line, but as it stands I like how hard he works (albeit not at putting on weight which is what he has needed to do…) I like his hustle and I like that he is not afraid to go after the puck. His speed is great for the third energy line.

    Problem with him and Cally on the third line is they are both right wings… unless Cally is capable of playing center then Pru still won’t be getting back to his comfortable side… I really think that the loss of the right side (stuck behind Jagr and Shanny on the depth chart… and not syaing that was wrong necessarily) was part of what stalled his development.

    But we’ll see I suppose…

  24. Gotcha Agr. Don’t think he’s earned any more than Shanny has to be honest. One has a contract, one doesn’t.

    If Prucha DID earn a spot, you play him wherever you have an opening. NOT in the top 6 to ‘make him productive’. The same way he was only productive when playing with jags on the pp. THAT’S what I consider bending over backwards. To have a guy that only strives in particular situations…’let someone else deal with it’ I say.

  25. mikey – shanny is only being brought up by dr house and yourself and maybe 1 or 2 others. there is no benefit needed to raise money for him and his family. He made close to $ 10 mm last 2 yrs plus all money earned before.

    perhaps if he and his agent didn’t go for a 25% pay increase last yr part of which hits this yrs cap there might have been more room for him and his inflated salary this yr.

  26. Sioux-per-man on

    Prucha will get his chances this year. I think it would be best if he was on the third line with Korpo at center. If his pucks start to go in everyone will get off his back, if not I’m affraid the Garden faithfull will be all over him. Artem will be a nice replacement for him, once he is traded.
    With the opportunity Renny is going to give him this year, he should score 25+ goals.

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