Sure, they’re 5-0, but…


It’s not necessarily my job to point out deficiencies in a team that is technically perfect so far. Actually, strike that. That is my job.

So here goes:

The Rangers are winning  thanks to a number of factors — a power play that has already scored five goals in five games, a penalty killing unit that is a perfect 21-for-21; a goaltender who had all of us fooled during a shaky preseason; a line of Brandon Dubinsky-Nikolai Zhderdev-Aaron Voros that has scored seven goals in three games and has been a factor on practically every shift; and a fourth line that is a far more relevant offensive threat than at any point in the last two seasons.

And yet most remarkable about the Rangers is that they’ve won five games with only sparse input from their supposed top line. The unit of Markus Naslund, Scott Gomez, and Chris Drury has combined for two goals so far ths season, and hasn’t scored any since the team returned from Europe. If it was a combination that seemed destined for big things during the exhibition schedule, particularly with Drury freed to assume more of a sniper’s role, it has since been a line close to invisible the past few games.

“I think we’re pressing a little too much, but we’re winning,” Scott Gomez said. “I’d rather have that than us putting up whatever….It’s going to happen. You go by the points and we’ve got them.

And then Gomez took a dig at his line.

“I think everyone’s doing what they have to do — besides us — to make this work,” he said.

Well, almost everyone. Because let’s also remember that as good as both the Dubinsnky and Blair Betts lines have been so far, the other unit that is struggling is the one centered by Lauri Korpikoski. I’m not an advocate of giving a rookie just five games to prove himself and then either scratching him or returning him to the minors. But’s let’s also be realistic.

Of the Rangers forwards, the only candidate to be returned to Hartford without exposure to waivers is Korpikoski. And if he struggles just as the top line does, it’s worth asking at what point Tom Renney separates Drury and Gomez so that Drury could go back to playing center. I don’t know what the combinations would look like at that point, but I do know it would also be an opportunity to perhaps get more out of Ryan Callahan, who has been the only consistent performer on that third unit.

Again, let’s be clear that I’m not necessarily saying these are the moves the team should make, especially when it’s still early and the team is 5-0. In fact, at this point, I would discourage it. But it is something to keep in mind if the trend continues.

The team is off today, but I’ll have more later…

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  1. doodie machetto on

    “True Fans – we are 5-0 check the standings.”

    Examine that 5-0 and it’s not that impressive. We started by playing Tampa Bay team twice, a team so desperate for defense that they are putting in calls to Malik. And all we could do is eek past them in two 2-1 games, despite the fact that we had 41 and 39 shots in those games, respectively.

    Then we played a Blackhawks team that is still winless, with a goaltender who has been totally lost so far this season. It was also their first game of the season, and our third, and fourth if you count the highly competitve match with Metallurg.

    Then we played the Flyers, in our 4th (5th if you count Metallurg) game of the season, which was their first. We got out to a 4-0 lead after the first period, particularly because of 3 soft goals let in by Biron. But, over the rest of the game, we were outscored 3-0. So, not exactly crushing defeat there.

    I didn’t get to see the game last night against the MB30s, but it sounds like this was the first win that we should be satisfied with this season.

    So, 5-0, I’m not that impressed. Didn’t the team go something like 9-1-2 last November? Then it was below .500 for the next 2-3 months. So, again, to quote the immortal words of Mr. Harvey Keitel, “let’s not start sucking each others d!cks just yet.”

  2. The Prucha, Korpikoski, and Cally line looked great in the first game in Prague, can Renney but them back together?

  3. Damn Sam. You beat me to Korpi. I agree…when do you make a decision on that?

    Fritsche plays center as well, so a move doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move Drury back to center. But you need to make a decision SOON on which of those extra players your sticking with. And move the rest for a spare dman, and whatever else you can find.

  4. Doodie, glass half empty kind of guy, would you say the opposite if we were 0-5?

    Eh, we were tired in Europe, eh Tampa is a new team, eh the Blackhawks have fresh young legs, eh the Devils were bound to beat us, eh it was the Flyer’s home opener. None of those were meaningful losses.

    All you did was point out glaring negatives in each team we played. We could come up with a million excuses for us to lose any of those games, but we won.

    That’s a really in depth analysis you gave us on the 5 wins. Good job.

  5. If they sent Korpi back to htfd, moved Fritsche to center, and played riss or prucha or dawes on the other wing, it only leaves you with 2 extras. Naturally you’d like to keep one extra fwd on the roster. Leaving just 1 player to be moved.

    Do you move the one that will fetch the best return? Do you move the one that allows you to breath the most under the cap? Do you move the least productive one? Tough call.

  6. For once, in my very long Rangers memory, I can proudly say we Are the best team in the entire league, Undefeated and perfect on the penalty kill.

    Just wanted to actually say this, since its true for now, and probably wont be for much longer.

    And whatever, a win, is a win, is a win. No matter hwo you cut it.

    So at 5-0 with the PK 21 for 21, let’s all enjoy it

  7. doodie and brandon…I think you’re both right.

    ‘Impressive’…I don’t think so…yet. BUT, I’ve seen more positives come out of this TEAM in the first 5 games so far than I saw almost ALL year last year.

    PPGs are coming. PK has been even better than last year. I didn’t think it was even possible. Depth scoring is there. Hanks been awesome. Extra skaters are being integrated into the lineup with no ‘hiccups’, to be evaluated.

    There’s tons of positives. 15-0 is “impressive”. 5-0 is a good start.

  8. I was at the game last night. It was the first time I’ve seen the team live this season, and I have to say I was thoroughly impressed. The speed and puck pressure is immense. I’m gonna be a stand-up guy right now and say that if this type of play continues all season, I’ll admit how wrong I was about not having Jagr/Avery/Straka back. The team is just different and maybe this truly is a “Tom Renney Team.” So far, I like what I see.

    As for the first line, I don’t think it’s anything to worry about just yet. Not at 5-0. I think teams are really keying on that line and trying to stop it, and Dubinsky’s line is reaping the benefits of an easier matchup. Once other teams scout that line, maybe they’ll commit their best defensive players to stopping them which will open things up for the Gomez line.

    Either way, the Rangers are getting chances from all 4 lines, and that’s encouraging. So is the power play. These people at the Garden have to stop, though with constantly screaming “SHOOT!” Isn’t the point of the power play to move the puck around, tire out the defensemen, open up shooting lanes and crash the net for rebounds? Just shooting into the legs of the defenseman in front of you isn’t very productive, is it? Man, I feel like some people have never watched hockey before. This power play is SO clearly a departure from the stagnancy of the Jagr-quarterbacked power play, and people who don’t see that are truly not watching.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to tomorrow night. I don’t think Buffalo and Toronto are all that strong, so…7-0???

  9. doodie machetto on

    “Eh, we were tired in Europe, eh Tampa is a new team, eh the Blackhawks have fresh young legs, eh the Devils were bound to beat us, eh it was the Flyer’s home opener. None of those were meaningful losses.”

    Except none of those excuses hold any water. Tired in Europe? Tampa made the trip too; they weren’t tired? Furthermore, being a new team is a hinderance early in a new season, not a help.

    The Hawks have fresh young legs? The Rangers had almost a week off to rest. If they weren’t fresh in that game, then it would be a LONG season.

    The Flyers’ home opener? So what? The Wings lost their home opener after putting up the cup banner: to the LEAFS! Home opener means nothing besides the fact that its your first game at home.

    And as I said for the Devs, that actually appears to be a solid win. But if they had beaten us, I certainly wouldn’t say they were bound to, we were 11-1-1 against them last season, including the playoffs.

    And what about what I said about being something like 9-1-2 in November only to be below .500 for 2-3 months after that? It’s 5 games. If we decided the cup winners five games into the season, Ottawa would have won the cup last year. My point: let’s wait a little longer before anyone passes any judgment on the quality of this team.

  10. Good points about the lines. One argument is to say that the lines need more time to jell, and give it another few games. On the other hand – last season the line of Dawes/Drury/Callahan looked fantastic at times – excellent speed, grit and chemistry. What about recreating that line, and moving Sjostrom to skate with Naslund and Gomez. It would be fun to watch Gomez and Sojstrom together with their great speed! Then Purcha/Fritsch or Rissmille can be on the fourth line depending on match ups.

  11. I think the first line has played pretty well for the most part. All three games in the U.S. they have kept the puck deep, cycled and had scoring opptys. Hit two crossbars on Saturday night and both Gomer and Drury missed point blank shots from the slot on Nittimakki. Love the up tempo play, puck control on the boards (Voros, drury, Calahan, Orr et al) and continued commitment to team D. Let’s be honest, since last year what team would you rather have protecting a one goal lead in the third: Rangers or Devils?

  12. i agree with doodie, but no one has mentioned the word stanley cup, so let us enjoy this while it lasts negative nancy. they WILL probably have a stretch where they look like a last place team, but thats expected with ANY team in ANY sport. just look at the way the giants played last night. lol. my point is, no one seems to be bragging just yet, but i havent been this happy about this team for a very long time. and its gonna be some blog here when this team loses the first game. i can hear it already:
    “fire renney!”
    “trade drury!”
    “switch the lines!”
    “pp looks horrible, pk looks horrible”

    just wait.

  13. My nonsense “reasons” for psuedo-losses are a mockery to your nonsense “reasons” for us winning.

    What does a team playing its first game have anything to do with losing. You do realize every team in the NHL has played a first game so far — half won, half lost. The NHL doesn’t do ties anymore.

    These guys are professionals. They’re not completely out of sorts on the home opener.

    By your more games equals more experience logic at game 30 this season, if we were to play a team that had 32 games under its belt, we should lose?

    Furthermore, being 9-1 in November last year and then playing .500 puck in December-Feb is relative how?

    This is a different team and if that’s not speculating I don’t know what is.

    So if we go 10-0 in November this year, we should automatically expect to play .500 puck in Dec. – March b/c that’s what happens.

    You’re logic is convolluted.

  14. Sam, I like you a lot and I don’t want to take a dig at you but your posts of late have been frustrating so here it goes: Maybe instead of looking at whats wrong with this team consider whats going right. Maybe the fact that the 2nd and 4th lines are carrying the team right now is in fact a sign that they are good team. Its only been 3 games back here in the States that the Gomez-Naslund-Drury line hasn’t been producing, yet they have won anyway because they are getting scoring from a balanced lineup. Do you not think there were stretches of games last year when Zetterburg and Datsyuk weren’t scoring in Detroit. But good teams win when everyone contributes. We can almost take it to the bank that the 3 players on the Gomez line will be among the top 5 on this team in scoring this year so their goals will come and when they heat up perhaps the Dubinsky line will have cooled off some by that point. But what I see so far is something far different from what we have seen from the Rangers since the lockout: 4 line thats can beat you. This team will have to out work teams on a lot of nights to win games because thats their style of play. And maybe they are just working harder than there opponents right now, and maybe that will catch up to them over time. But regardless, there will be good stretches and bad stretches through out the year; what seperates good teams and bad teams is having the depth to pick up wins when your top players aren’t at there best. We didn’t have it prior to this year and through 5 games so far we do. I see a lot more to optamistic about then to worry over at this point.

    I think reporters or the media in general don’t see a super star on a team and automatically think they will have trouble scoring or the shoe is waiting to drop because no one is good enough to score on a consistent basis. But the Sabres won the President’s Trophy 2 years ago without a Star and Montreal can be argued was first in the Conference last year w/o one as well. This issue of not having a single player that can take over a game may be bigger in the Playoffs then the regular season. But lets see how we catagorize some of our guys by the time we get there to determine that.

  15. matty – Its just what I tried to explain last season. Enjoy EVERY win. And when its 5 in a row…enjoy it! There’s no reason for us to sit here and tear apart all the things that COULD have helped put the string together.

  16. BillyDeeWilliams on

    Rob C.
    I couldn’t agree more about the yelling “Shoot!” during the PP. I had to switch sections this year to get away from the brilliant minds who can’t understand that there are such things as shooting lanes. If a shot was taken every time a point-man touched the puck, you’d have a hell of a lot more short-handed breakaways.

    …and except for a short period of time against the blackhawks, the team looked good in that game…and i think you can attribute the 2-1 scores against tampa to some solid goaltending by Smith.

    so really, what’s being said is that for the final 2 periods against the Flyers, looked overmatched…i’ll take that.

  17. How many games did the Rangers completely outplay, out shoot and out perform other teams last year and lose?

    So far, this team is FINDING ways to win. Be it pretty or not, 5-0 is 5-0 and that you can’t argue.

  18. In my opinion Korpikoski has looked good. He has the hustle and has been playing well defensively. He is not a natural centerman. I also believe his style of play is too different from that of callahan to be on the same line. If the top line does not start scoring. We should move drury back to the third line. Center Callahan and Dawes and move korpikoski to the top line wing. He has the speed to keep up with Gomez and Naslund and the shot to be a good finisher.

  19. Doodie, there have surely been a few impressive wins so far. Sure the TB wins weren’t the most impressive, but wins are wins. Chicago has a decent team this year, and considering we were 1-10 against western conference teams last year, I look at it as a good start. The win against the Flyers was legit because they had their first game, and we were playing our 4th game, the 2nd in 2 nights. The Flyers also have a legit team, so to win and give Hank a night off is a huge plus. The Devils are always formidable opponents and with Marty in net can never be discounted.

    Of course we should be critical, there is always room for improvement. But the team is looking awful good right now, it’s hard to deny

  20. cuch – Certainly noone can answer for Sam other than himself. But lets not lose sight of the fact that he’s a fan of the team AND in a profession that to be successful, you need to sell papers and acrue webpage ‘hits’. Stirring the pot whether positive or negative is his job.

    Repeating what he hears from fans doesn’t set him apart from anyone. Patting eachother on the back for a 5-0 start does nothing either. I like Sam, and want him to keep his job. If stirring the pot keeps him there, so be it.

  21. How about

    Drury Gomez Naslund
    Voros Dubi Zherdev
    Callahan Fritsche Dawes/Prucha
    Orr Betts Sjostrom

    Maybe if Korpi doesn’t produce, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if he goes down to Hartford for a bit. Fritsche is not a bad replacement at all.

  22. I like that Nasty. Except for the whole posting line combos thing! ;)

    So you’re keeping prucha and dawes going through the proverbial ‘revolving door’ of the 3rd line winger spot. And moving rissmiller?

  23. Along the lines of what Brandon said:

    They may not have looked “great” by any means and the Drury-Gomez-Naslund line has looked “bad” they are 5-0 and if they’re 5-0 now, what happens when they look “great” and the Drury-Gomez-Naslund line clicks?

  24. I hate posting line combos too, but I just felt like it wasn’t a bad idea. I love the fact that pucks are flying towards the net from everywhere. Good stuff.

  25. True Fans….This is not personal, it’s business.


    05-06: 30g in 68 games w Jagr spoonfeeding him (average 0.44 goals per game…shooting percentage 23%!!)
    06-07: 22g in 79 games (avg 0.27g/game…shooting % 16.2%)
    07-08: 7g in 62 games (avg 0.11g/game…shooting % 7.9%)

    You do the math. I don’t care who he played with. Those #s are what they are.

    You apparently are smarter than all the management in the organization and everyone else I guess. You want to fellate Prucha when the reality is, he is a lot of flash and no substance. I used to like the guy. Now he is of no use to this team, except as trade bait.

    And on the Drury thing: He has averaged 24g/year in his 8 yrs in the league. Last year he had 25. The year before he came here, he scored 37. A statistical anomaly if you look at his career. That production total was 7 more than he ever had in any other season and 12 more than his career average. Take out that 37g season and he averaged 22.5/season. I am in the business of probabilities and I think you are hoping for snow in the summer if u want Drury to score more than 30 this year. Consider this especially when the Rangers preach defense first.

    I don’t want to get in a pissing match here. The team is 5-0. That first line will start jamming soon enough. And yes, the 3d line is the only one that has issues. Sam even said so on the post AFTER I made the comment. Maybe both Sam and I have no hockey IQ.

  26. You know what else helped/hurt Prucha? I’ll tell you!

    The first year out of the lockout you couldn’t TOUCH a player without going to the box. Not that its completely changed, but there’s no doubt that the league has become progressively more ‘physical’ since coming out of the lockout, year after year. This hurts Prucha to no end. The freedom he had before just isn’t there. When you play in 1-dimension, and that dimension goes away…so do you.

  27. Wow, damn guys, let’s calm down a bit here. It is not like we are eating shit and calling it chocolate candy here. We found ways to win each of our first 5 games. And I think we did that by not finding ways to lose. My point is, a win is a win. I expect the team will get better, but I am pretty happy being a Ranger fan right now. I will bitch and moan when the time is appropriate.

    God is Love,
    Rev Run

  28. FAR too early for this. But I’m friggin bored, so whoever reads this has to suffer with me!

    NYR are TEN points ahead of Philthy. Philthy has allowed NINE goals in TWO games. NYR…eight goals given up, in FIVE games.

    5-0 to start this year.
    2-3 to start last year.
    A difference of 6 points.

    Rangers lost the Atlantic Div by 5 points last season.

    They all count. Did I mention how bored I am?

  29. I still say Prucha is trade bait and he won’t be with the team much longer.

    If anyoen is out it’s him.

    -There not gonna trade Dawes. Not yet anyway
    -Korpi “MAY” be sent down for a conditioning stint if he doesnt imrpove but thats a maybe, he’s a freshman remeber
    -Rissmiller/Fristche one of the others to me moved
    -Sjoestrom’s speed & production last two games has put him ahead of the other glut of of forwards

    Prucha and Rissmiller/or Firstche will be traded
    7th Dman brought in at some point
    Dawes stays
    Shoey Stays
    Korpi Stays (maybe sent for down for conditioning)
    They sign Shanny in February, for 5 Million, heheheheh

  30. Send down Korpi, he can use some more seasoning, can always bring him back if someone is injured. Trade Prucha and Rissmiller to free up the money to resign SHANAHAN. I think Callahan and Shanny would be good together with Dawes.

  31. Beer –

    You’re absolutely right that all these points count. I’m loving five REGULATION wins as well. Not giving away the third point either (yes, I know I’m micromanaging really early in the year, but still!)…I think there are far more positives than negatives right now.

    But let’s remember, there will be a losing streak. There will be injuries. We’ll see how this team responds when adversity hits. That’s really what separates the good teams from the great ones.

  32. NorthCountryRanger on

    I was at the game last night and i was IMPRESSED. This team looks like it’s light years ahead of last year’s in chemistry. Also they all stand up for each other. Finally i saw a career low amount of devils fans (or at least big groups from the jersey swamps) at a Garden game and that was enjoyable to not hear their trash pre game. You guys need to lighten up is any other team looking as good as us this season? We are 21 for 21 on the PK… What mre could you want? 7-0 wins all day? Be happy for once, your team is dominant.

  33. There will be injuries, and things have happened with this team in the past. But in the great words of Eddie Vedder, “It makes much more sense, to live……in the present tense.”
    Let’s Go Rangers! I am going tomorrow night. Got free tickets today.

  34. Beer, following on your comparison to last season, it took the Rangers 12 games a season ago to amass double digits in points.

  35. Just want thank Ryan Hollweg for not being on the team anymore lol… last night in the game against St. Blues he worked his magic of helping his own team to lose once again by getting 5 minutes major penalty for checking Blues player FROM BEHIND (where did that come from?) and giving Blues a chance to come back and eventually win the game. Thnx #44 for not being a Ranger!! lol

  36. I am not saying that the past and what might happen in the future is not important, but hell, we all might sprout di*cks out of our heads and run around looking like floppy horned unicorns. But we also might just go through life having that not happen and looking exactly like we do now, just with more wrinkles. My point is, let’s enjoy now, and worry about other things when we have to worry about them. As fans, it really is all we can do anyway.

  37. i wanted to trade prucha but maybe a look @ callahan playing center on 3rd line? with prucha and dawes or plug in whoever…

    korpedo looked good in both games i saw him in… he can skate and move… can throw the body and not put himself out of position.. its a tough call..

    but callahan is not able to produce and is strugling because the line hasnt been clicking… callahan hs been the same in all 5 games.. strong on the puck good in the corners, gets open… lots of energy from this kid….

    i love the way th team isplaying… the first line id still leave… just continue to tinker with the 3rd line…

    also teams are focused on our #1 line… not our real #1 line… let it stay like that for a bit… lol.. i like watching voros celebrate.. everyone on that line… hahaha

  38. Yeah man, I love Pearl Jam. I have seen them 5 times,twice at the Garden. And was lucky enough to see Vedder solo in Newark this summer. Actually Pearl Jam was in June and Vedder was in August. Great summer for concerts for me. In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, but they are the best live band I have ever seen, and one of the best bands of my generation.

  39. Doodie-
    Just to get back to you regarding Bruce Driver- Your exactly right off the ice he is a super nice dude. Has even bought us beers after games at times and is very approachable. Did’nt make the comment to imply he was an ass. I probably no your friend as the league that I played against Driver, he was a goalie. I’m guessing your friend either plays for the Bombers or the Stars – I know alot of those guys.


  40. The way I see it, the team has passed its first, and possibly 2nd test of the season.

    1st was the euro-trip. I’d say we passed.

    2nd was not coming back tired and ‘flat’. Passed.

    3rd will be finishing the 7 games in 11 nights with at least 4 wins. (over .500) They’ve won 3 already.

  41. Yeah man, I have seen them too. Good stuff. Great energy from that band. I saw them when they toured for Songs for the Deaf at Roseland Ballroom. Unfortunately Grohl was not on the drums.

  42. leatherneckinlv on

    I suggest that we trade away both Prucha and Dawes as well as Kalinin, sign Kyle McLaren and bring up Dane Byers and Corey Potter. third line of Byers Fritsche and Callahan and let Korpikoski mature as a scorer and playmaker. He has the gift and just needs more minutes to hone in on his talent. I dont want to see him lose his confidence the way Dawes and Prucha have. A trade of Dawes and Prucha is a win – win situation and of the two i favor Prucha and disappointed that he lost his confidence and chemistry as a Ranger. Rissmiller is a solid extra forward to plug in on the 3rd or 4th lines. What Byers brings is grit and an addition to team toughness and take away some of that responsibility away from Aaron that was to be an integral part of his contribution…now that the 2nd line has this awesome chemistry Aaron Voros needs to stay on the ice not in the sin bin and we still need to address team toughness both on D and forward positions. Also these trades will open up cap space and with the unfortunate passing of Cherepanov we will need to draft players that will fit this team good as Dawes and Prucha are, they are not a fit unfortunately.

  43. Sheesh, not impressed with a 5-0 start? Rangers fans are tougher than I thought.

    Saw the game last night and I thought they looked pretty good compared to the Devils, who are not an awful team. They have much, much better chemistry than one would have expected… but of course that will change with injuries etc. Not a world-beating club but they are definitely in good form early on, which is definitely something to be happy about.

  44. sometimes when you win you really lose and sometimes when you lose you really win and sometimes when you tie you really win or lose.

    what movie?

  45. Shanny Fan
    October 14th, 2008 at 12:11 pm
    Send down Korpi, he can use some more seasoning, can always bring him back if someone is injured. Trade Prucha and Rissmiller to free up the money to resign SHANAHAN. I think Callahan and Shanny would be good together with Dawes.

    Please no Shanny but…who will center this line and will Shanny be using “thermo-blades” with turbos cause I can’t see him keeping up with even Dawes, and Cally…forget it!

  46. Actually, here is how it really goes, “Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose. Winning or losing is all one organic globule, from which one extracts what one needs.”

    What movie is that from?

  47. Nasty,

    I’ve seen Pearl Jam 10 or 11 times, and I agree, they are hands down the best band to come out of the 90’s era/Grunge movement. So many bad copycats followed and none could lick the dirt off the bottom of PJ’s shoes. Their longevity alone proves how great they are.

    Back to Ranger talk…well, I don’t have much, haha. Just looking forward to tomorrow night!

  48. I was watching NHL Live last week and there were a few calls about Cherepanov. I remember getting really excited about him coming here next year. I am really sad about this. 19 folks, 19. It is just awful.

  49. Actually I have seen PJ 6 times. Not that it is a competition, ha, but I forgot about Randall’s Island.

  50. Matteauonov is the winner!! Ha, yup, exactly!

    And Alic in Chains is a great band too. No doubt about it. There was just something about Layne Staley’s voice.

  51. Not sure if this has been mentioned already, but what if the Korpedo gets sent back down to Hartford and Drury centers a line, what about getting Dawes and Prucha into the action. Or just one of them plus Rissmiller/Fritsche so they’re both in the line-up. I agree with Sam in that it’s too early to make a decision but there are definitely options in case he does get sent down.


    For those of you that want to tinker with lines please remember that the 2nd and 4th lines must be left alone. Why change what is NOT broken.

    Having said that why not try:

    Naslund Gomez Prucha
    Voros Dubinsky Zherdev
    Dawes Drury Callahan
    Sjostrom Betts Orr

    For games that you anticipate to be physical, you can replace Prucha with Fritsche…

  53. How about looking at it this way; we are 5-0 and haven’t come close to playing our best hockey yet!

    DO NOT send Korpikoski down. He is fast, strong, tough on the puck. We know he has a great wrist shot and slap shot. Last night he made a few great plays and slid the puck right through the crease but his wingers were not driving to the net.

    Give the kid more than 5 games. This team is DEEP. Remember 94 and how deep it was with the black aces? This team has that type of depth.

    There is the start of some mojo here. Let’s hop on for the ride.

  54. the whole point is that the Rangers this year are a TEAM first and foremost.

    that means that if one line is not hot, the others pick up the slack, and when the Dubi line cools off, the Gomer line can pick it up, etc.

    the hard working style that the Rangers are using lends itself well to being in every game.

    as many of us have wanted for a long time, the team is now a NORTH-SOUTH team, a grinding team.

    the east-west euro-circling crap of the past is what brought the team down. driving to the net was a dirty word. fancy schmancy was the buzzword, and that sucks.

    Teamwork and perspiration win hockey games, not big names.

  55. to leatherneckinlv:

    great point!

    I thought the Rangers did NOT need to sign Voros because Byers is essentially the same player with better hands and numbers than Voros had in the Minors…

    Would love a forward lineup that looked like this:

    Voros Dubinsky Zherdev

    Byers Gomez Callahan

    Naslund Drury Fritsche

    Sjostrom Betts Orr

  56. I’m sorry this post is so late but I just watched the game this am (DVR’d it and made sure not to catch any news last night or this am).

    I can’t believe the tragic news about Cheraponov… I’m absolutely stunned.

    19 years old is way too young… not even close. If I died at nineteen I would have missed some of the best things in my life.

    My thoughts and prayers are with him, his family and friends.

  57. 4th line sucks outside of Orr.

    If Renney wants more scoring he needs to get rid of Betts, reward his 3rd liners with PP time, break up the top line if they continue to struggle.

    It is pathetic and stupid to make rookie Korpikoski a scapegoat to lack of offense, especially when we are 5-0. Did moron Renney think Korpikoski would score every game with only 9 minutes of icetime and no PP time?

  58. Bob

    Shoe and Betts have had some real chances, and have more skill on the puck then Orr (who is vastly improved, seriously most improved player right there and I’m loving it!!!)

    I don’t think anyone is making Kor a scape goat. The third line isn’t clicking, and that could be because of the tinkering or the pieces, but either way Korpi is the only one who can go down without getting snatched on waivers. That means if the lineup is goign to have some consistency him being sent down allows a slight move on the top line (drop Dru to third center ) Plug a kid on the first line, leave Voros so maybe Fritsche or Prucha (a last chance kind of thing, but more then one game that way)

    ANd then the thrid line could be Dru Dawes and Cally, a line that worked last seaosn, ot the highest point total still, but many chances and energy.

    Personally Id on’t think all of that is necessary becuase the first line is getting chances, good ones!

    Maybe all they need is time, but if shifting is going to be done, it is easier when you move one piece out of the way, imagine those little puzzles, where you slide each box into the empty space created before (anyone know what I mean?)

  59. Adam and his Apple on

    you guys know that it took dubinsky 9 games last season to record his first assist and 16 games to record his first goal

    good thing we didnt send him down like all of you wanting to send down the korpedo! the kid has got some serious skills, with us winning it affords the rangers time to give this kid a long look, its not like his line is giving up tons of goals, hes gonna be a keeper guys be patient!!!

  60. Nasty 1… as far as PJ goes truer words have never been spoken.

    I’ve seen them almost thirty times (four times at MSG) and I’m positive that I could see them 30 more times and still want more. Best live band ever IMHO.

    Anytime they sing indifference at MSG I love “I will scream my lungs out!!! ’til it fills this room.”

  61. Adam and his Apple…
    Good point…I think Korpedo is adjusting to the league…I’d say give him another 10 games or so before we make any judgements

  62. Adam,

    fortunately I’m sure Renney realizes that and so Korpi isn’t going anywhere, but I don’t know that anyone meant dump him now, I think they were saying in time if the third and first lines aren’t straightend out, and Dubi’s line can’t cover these are options..

  63. Adam and his Apple on

    i was one of the many who said we need a big bruising D-man

    but after checkin out how our D has looked, i dont think its the case anymore

    we have 6 extremely capable D-men, we might have the best defensemen in the league, i cant think of anybody except the redwings who even come close IMHO

  64. hey everyone, i got a good idea:

    how about we do NOTHING with our current team , so we can continue to WIN. so take all of your dumb trade ideas , and sending down players, and line mix ups, and wait a couple of months. stop bringing shanahan up, im sick of hearing of this guy, get off of his nuts already. we dont need to spend that kinda money on a guy who is a question mark. whoever isnt happy should honestly root for another damn team cause you obviously dont wanna see this success continue.

  65. Korpi is more of a winger than a center. it is very difficult to score in the NHL as a kid when your first concern is defending down low in your end, as the C must do. that takes time to develop, as Dubi has shown.

    I would like to see Korpi on the wing, with a C who is a more natural center

  66. Matty and Adam/apple are making too much sense to continue to keep posting today. We must break up this team now because we’re 5-0, but not a good 5-0.

  67. Who saw Korpedo drive to the net in the 2nd yesterday and draw that penalty? If you didn’t, and you are commenting negatively on Korpedo, I suggest you re-think it. If you did, then you know that is why you have to give him more of a chance to prove himself. I agree with whomever posted it, he needs more ice time.

    Whoever said bring up Byers needs to just put down the weed. I think that same person said replace Voros with Byers? I am not even going to touch that one. I am just going to pretend I didn’t even read it.

    What would a day be without Bob bashing on Betts? I agree with StaalWart, trade Bob. The 4th line was the 2nd best behind Dubi’s last night. I only wish Orr had fought someone: Rupp, Clarkson, White, Holik, even Langenbrunner…they were all asking for it.

    I hate the f-ing Devils!

  68. I’m all for trading bob!

    Freddy shoes was the fastest dude on the ice last night for both teams, period.

    What can we get for bob? A half used roll of toilet paper and yesterday’s edition of the Times?

    I’ll take it.

  69. Sam (not the Great Weinman) on

    I was saddened and disheartened at the death of a 19 yo kid yesterday. Today, Im disgusted. Id never wish death on anyone and I’d feel bad even if it were a Red Sox, but the circumstances around the negligence involved witha 19 yo is disgusting. When Peter Gammons has a brain aneurysm and is in his car, someone calls 911. When Tedy bruschi has a stroke, he comes to play football not long after. Same with Paul Pierce getting stabbed 20 times and David Ortiz’ steroid induced irregular heartbeat or Jon Lesters “miraculous” overcoming of cancer “with all the money in the world in his support. New York Guys die in plane crashes and get forgotten about like theyre nothing, while Len Bias, a druggie scumbag and poor example to children gets memorialized by Everything Sox and Patriots Network ESPNs Bill Simmons. What is this world coming to, this kid deserves to mentioned, I didnt watch ESPN but he probably didnt even get a story like Bias has gotten 500 in 20 years.

  70. New Flash …Bob just traded to Pittsburgh for a roll of hockey tape !!! He can continue to post here but has to respect our boy BETTs!!! Were leading the league in PK . 21 for 21 ty Betts thank you …Bob get yer head out of your A** his job isnt to produce , it is to Kill penaties and play solid. Wake Up .

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