Morning thoughts


Some random observations over a lukewarm cup of coffee (if you must know, I’m too lazy to go heat it up)…

<li>The Rangers’ loss last night wouldn’t be alarming if the team hadn’t already lost two of three games coming into it.

Even then, I’m not sure I see a trend. The Buffalo loss was the inevitable letdown game after a 5-0 start; the loss in Detroit can be attributable to a slow start, an unfortunate call, and a handful of defensive lapses; while last night was a case of a team dominating early, and simply not having enough to show for it.

Observers will point to the 14 shots the Rangers took that missed the net last night, as they should. The team’s inability to score from close range particularly in the first period was probably the difference, and when asked about it last night, Tom Renney said he’d much rather see players hit the net and then try to pump in a rebound. As the coach likes to say, the best pass is one off the goaltender.

But let’s also not forget that it’s certain players’ ability to pick corners that has also led to some goals of late. I’m thinking specifically of Nigel Dawes and Ryan Callahan, who both scored caught a sliver of the net in Detroit to get the Rangers back in that game. There’s probably a happy medium in there, but the goalies in this league have become so proficient in covering up the net, that players have almost no room to work with — hence a lot of shots that sail high and wide.

<li>One has to assume Renney’s decision to put Patrick Rissmiller at right wing alongside Markus Naslund and Chris Drury was in part to see what Rissmiller could offer in a more prominent role — if only to then rule it out moving forward. Feel free to rule it out. Rissmiller struggled all night, and it was his inability to clear a puck in the third period that gave way to Mike Modano’s game-winner.

In fairness to the player, Rissmiller has played only part of one game this season  and is coming off an ankle injury, so it’s not realistic to think that he can just jump back into the lineup without a hitch.

But this only reinforces the idea that the team has to do something about the glut of forwards, and quick. Not only are you carrying around extra salary, but you’re also letting certain players languish on the sidelines for too long and getting diminishing returns as a result. It doesn’t matter who it is –  Rissmiller or Dan Fritsche or Petr Prucha — anyone’s going to be sharper if they’re seeing the ice on regularly. And it’s only going to help their prospective linemates since they don’t have to adjust to the tendencies of a different player on a nightly basis.

<li>Sean Avery has said repeatedly that part of his rationale for yapping at opponents is to get himself into the game. He said as much last night about his early run-ins with Brandon Dubinsky, Stephen Valiquette, and Henrik Lundqvist.

But what’s his excuse for taking on a broadcaster who has no impact on the game?

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  1. repost

    Renney will never realize thats why i dont ever see us winning the cup with him. ie him having hollwegg out there aganst pitt at the end of the game so he could take a the hollwegg penalty.

  2. I agree with you to an extent Sam. I can see where Avery might get annoyed when Giannone praised Avery last year, and now, just like pretty much all of the announcers and analysts on MSG, they all talk about what a detriment and locker room cancer he is. I am pretty damn sure, that even if that is the case, that they knew about it last year as well. I guess it is the politics of the game and the entire organization. But if you are going to call a spade a spade, call it a spade the whole time, not just when the spade is no longer a part of your team. Last year it was, “Sean Avery walks the line of what is acceptable, and there is no better in the game.” And now it is, “He was a pain in the locker room and has a short shelf life, and yada yada yada.” I am not saying anyone has to like him, but Sean does call it like it is, like it or not, and many of us, and those in the media, clearly do not.

  3. Avery is a *********.
    I hope last nights game just boils down to tiredness because they were slow and missing the net way too much.

  4. REPOST:

    Rozsival and Redden don’t hit (5 and 8 respectively) They should be split up. Staal and Girardi do hit (18 and 27 respectively) so they could be the partners, this helps with another area, being turnovers v giveaways
    Rozsival 5 hits 7 takeaways v 2 giveaways with Staal 18 hits 2 give and take aways
    Girardi 27 hits 8t v 3g with Redden 8 hits 6 t v 9g
    Kal 8 hits 4 t 6g and Mara 21 hits 1 take and give away
    a little more balance…
    Just becuase Redden adn Rozi are getting the big bucks doesn’t mean they need to be together….

  5. I agree that Rissmiller has only played minimally (maybe the least of all forwards on the brink like Pru, Fritsche, Korpi, and Dawes) but he does not show me much, I gotta say. He’s not exceedingly fast. He doesn’t have great hands. He has some size but he barely uses it. I guess you have to give him a little more time but as of right now he is ranked last on my list of all extra forwards (even below Prucha!) We have a glut of mediocre forwards…we’ve all talked about this since the summer.

    I also want to add that how come this team stops doing what it does best every time they get momentum? This team is very speedy and can be physical. When the other team lines up 4 across on the blueline, dump the g-darn puck and chase it. We do best when we are hitting people, causing turnovers, and taking the physical game to them in their zone. Time and again we tried to skate the puck around everyone with little or no success. Remember that 5 minute stretch in Detroit in the 3d where we created 2 goals on turnovers cuz we forechecked and hit? Well where the F was that last night?

    And hit the damn net too. Please. How annoying is that?

  6. I Bleed Rangers Blue on

    I felt like they dominated most of the 1st half of the game. They realy started to slow down towards the end and i really think its from playing 7 games in 11 nights. that could really make a team tierd. They have three days off to rest a little im sure theyll have a day off probably today and come back hopefully flying agaisnt Tyutin and his Columbus BJ’s.

  7. There’s no excuse for missing he net as wide as they were last night. If the lane isn’t there, MOVE!

    Rissmiller’s just not an impact player, to any extent. I know he hasn’t had much of a chance, but sjo, dawes, frit, & prucha can at least open your eyes sometimes. With Rissmiller, I kinda try to look away.

  8. I Bleed Rangers Blue on


    its hard to do that when your tierd theve played more games then anyone in the league. It starts to wear you down playing three games in four nights twice already this season in an 11 day span

  9. At least it is still very early in a long NHL season.

    And at least we get one more chance at Avery – Feb. 6 in Dallas.

  10. hey guys, I’m buying a new pair of skates today and need some help.

    I am thinking betwee:

    Nike Bauer Supreme One75s
    Vapor XXXX

    and if neither fir my foot i’m thinking about peeping out the One95s (but they are more than I’d like to spend).

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  11. One thing that is glaringly obvious is that this team needs to do a better job of knowing who is covering what man on the other team. Modano should not have been allowed to just kind of have a cup of hot cocoa and a doughnut in the slot there last night. While our guys just had their backs to him. Christ, Jim Abbott could have scored that goal that Modano scored.

  12. I agree on splitting of Rosi and Redden… weren’t we supposed to split up Rosi and Redden with Staal and Callahan?

  13. I am fully willing to concede that they could be tired. That’s fine. I just hope this doesn’t become a pattern.

  14. Good for Modano though, he is one of my all time favorites. I am glad to see him still have success in this league. I like Morrow also. I have a great Minnesota jersey with Modano on it. I love how he kind of made an ass out of Trautwig in his post game interview also. I can’t remember what he corrected Baldwig on, but you can tell that old Al gave him a shitty grin and quickly changed topics.

  15. doodie machetto on

    “I am not saying anyone has to like him, but Sean does call it like it is, like it or not, and many of us, and those in the media, clearly do not.”

    I’ve been saying it all along, and now I get to say I told you so: Sean Avery is a bastard. He’s a bastard coated bastard with bastard filling. He is locker room cancer and the team is better off without him. Just like I have said all along.

    Forget all of the record with him and record without him BS. At one point, Malik had a similar stat line, and I’m sure there are other Rangers with those stat lines too. We’re a much better team without him than with him, end of story. Good riddance. Have fun in Dallas where you are already a piriah on your team. Oh by the way, I forgot, how many goals does he have this season? 0? OK, just checking.

  16. I agree on splitting of Rosi and Redden… weren’t we supposed to split up Rosi and Redden with Staal and Callahan?

    What??? Staal and Callahan? Is Ryan switching to D now? Ha.

  17. Hey Doodie, I know you do not like that guy, I know you never did. I do like him. Does that make me not like you, clearly not. But again, you get a pass, because you never did like him. But everyone who always S his D is now saying the complete opposite. That is all I am saying.

  18. doodie machetto on

    noonan- I don’t like Nike skates, and I didn’t like Bauer from even before it was owned by Nike.

    I’ve never tried the Graphs, so I have no opinion on them. But seeing as how I don’t like your other choices, I’d go with the Graphs.

  19. “I can see where Avery might get annoyed when Giannone praised Avery last year, and now, just like pretty much all of the announcers and analysts on MSG, they all talk about what a detriment and locker room cancer he is”

    Are you serious? Of course they arent going to say that kind of stuff while Avery is still on the team! He obviously was a cancer to the locker room, no one could stand him and they are a better team with him gone. I’m sure all the announcers are happy to be able to express that now. Avery is the biggest jerk and he doesnt deserve any success, at this point i almost hope he gets what is coming to him. I have to say I am impressed that the fans at the garden boo’ed. I was there and expecting to get fired up cuz idiot fans were cheering for him.
    Good job fans!

  20. Morrow plays the game hard, and I think he is a great captain. Look, I have no problems with some dirty stuff. Christ, look at Mark Messier in his prime and throughout his career.

  21. doodie machetto on

    Nasty, I know. That’s why I get to say I told you so to all of those people who rode his jock for a year and a half.

    And I would never not like you. How could anyone dislike the Nasty 1? That’s like saying you don’t like a certain Lithuanian-born defensemen and his beautiful blonde locks. Can’t be done.

  22. Look, I just don’t like being spoon fed shit from announcers and being told it is chocolate candy. So basically, you are ok with being lied to?

  23. Doodie, WOOOOOW! That was great! Also, are we going to do our beard growing contest again this year?

  24. What would you expect the media to say about Avery being gone?

    “Well the Rangers let a great player go this off-season in Sean Avery… let’s look at the stats with him in for the Rangers and not… whoa… looks like they’re in trouble this season without him.”

    Come on. When you’re watching MSG you have to realize that there’s a bias there… intentional or not. The MSG guys do a much better job of being impartial than others around the league, but it’s there for sure.

    Some say it should be… you’re watching the Rangers on MSG network… you’re probably a Rangers fan and therefore don’t want to hear about how bad they’re going to be. At least to some extent.

  25. CCM Bobby Hull skates!
    that dates me

    I thought after the run and gun game against Detroit, the Rangers thought they could play a fun game again, but as it turns out, they should have played the game that gave them the 2 goals by Voros against Detroit-dump and grunt

  26. doodie machetto on

    Nasty: totally agreed on Mess. Man, was he dirty. He really knew how to throw those elbows.

    All great physical captains are. Just a few that quickly come to mind that still play today: Richards, Iginla, Pronger(although not a captain anymore), Keith Tkachuk (not a captain anymore)

    Some from the recent past: Stevens, Lindros in his prime in Philly, Wendell Clark

  27. nasty I hope you guys get your beard growing contest going, and I hope you take it through June along with the Rangers!! sshhhhh I dind’t say anythign jinxable there…

    noonan, we knew you meant Girardi so did nasty he was just being… well… nasty, but a differnet nasty then usual… ;^)

    where is Kaspar?

  28. Doodie, ABSOLUTELY!!!!! Some of my favorites. And let’s not forget Cam Neely. The ultimate power forward of all time. Man, makes you wonder “What If?”

  29. I totally don’t feel bad for John Giannone, sorry Sam I know you guys got to stick together and everything … but I swear he must be someone’s nephew: he asks horrible questions that are either unanswerable (ala when did you stop beating your wife?) or that suggest the answer in their form leading to boring disjointed interviews. He misuses big words he clearly does not understand (microcosm? microcosm SERIOUSLY?). His play-by-play skills are reasonable but lack emotion (this is really more annoying for the guy who has to put together the Rangers promotional videos I think) … I can’t figure out why he’s still working in front of the camera.

  30. Noonan, I had a pair of Grafs and found the boot to be very stiff and returned them. I skate on a pair of Daust 501s and they are a great skate. They are old but have held up very well. I am unsure if they are still being made and sold.

  31. Giannone always has that look on his face. Like a kid who just got caught picking his nose and sticking the same finger he just picked his nose with in to his younger brother’s birthday cake, to taste the frosting before anyone has even cut in to the cake yet. I don’t hate the guy, at all, but he is just a very awkward interviewer. I think you all know what I mean.

  32. Noonan, you should find a pro shop and try the different skates on. The Bauer Supremes and Vapors and essentially equal quality wise, but the foot bed is shaped differently. It will be a matter of preference and not quality. Keep in mind that both skates can be thermoformed. I know pro shops cost more, but they will often thermoform for free or offer you free sharpenings. That can equal the price up between the pro shop and the cheaper internet mail order suppliers.

    The Vapors and the Supremes are RIDICULOUSLY light weight. The Tuuk chassis is a classic. I personally have an older set of Vapors and like them very much. Some of the guys I play with swear by Grafs, one of the guys comparing them to playing in tennis shoes. They’re a bit heavier, but still light. Most of the guys playing Grafs now used to wear CCM Tacks.

  33. i acutally think it was an insult to put Drury with Rissmiller. Drury is class act, clutch and has to play on a line with garbage.

  34. doodie machetto on

    beer: good pickup on the Kelso.

    Nasty, let’s make the playoffs before we start talking about beards.

    noonan: It’s all about what feels best on your feet. For me, nothing feels better than CCM Tacks. Yeah, they’re not as expensive, and yeah, they’re a little bit heavier, but I’m not competing at a level where a few ounces is going to make some difference, while an extra couple hundred bucks in my wallet definitely will. Not to mention, I think they’re REALLY comfortable compared to other skates, especially since I have a wide and flat foot.

    Now, to be fair, I’ve never spent into the upper echelon of what Nike/Bauer has had to offer, so the Vapor XXXX or the One75s might feel like a foot massage; I’ll never know. But their cheaper (and older, since it has been a couple of years since I have bought Nike skates) models have made me see stars with foot pain.

    I’ve tried Nikes, I’ve tried Bauers (before they were with nike), I’ve tried Easton; I just like my Tacks better.

    I haven’t actually bought new skates in a couple of years since I don’t play as much as I used to. Have the Tacks been discontinued?

  35. Take away all of the negativity, and the anger after a loss. Come the end of the regular season, where do you think our beloved blueshirts will sit in the Eastern Conference?

  36. Rob L… The Manny being Manny comment is ridiculous just like Avery being Avery is crazy.

    Let’s all move on.

  37. About the same as last season Nasty. Which isn’t all that bad considering the team has been re-tooled and would net the same results. Speaks volumes about the core.

  38. Unfortunately I still see this team fighting for a play-off spot in the end.

    If they can get the PP more consistent and work a bit harder night in and night out (I know they were tired last night) then that may change.

    6, 7, 8 range.

  39. With all these days off, I have a feeling the Rangers will murder Columbus. No excuses about being tired because they have the whole week to rest up. I think they will look like they did the 1st few games of the season. 7 games in 10 days is hard, and especially more difficult when you just came back from overseas.

    And I still like Rissmiller, but he had a difficult game last night. I think it was a variety of factors like not playing much, coming back after and injury, and also playing with two guys he hasn’t played with all season who was “skill” players (Rissy is just a grind it out crash the net forward), but I still don’t see him having a place in the lineup unless he gets accustomed to playing and practicing with Dru and Nazzy.

    I think he can be an asset, but he needs to get his practicing in with a specific line. Had he been with like a Prucha, Korpi, or Cally, he would’ve been better off since that could be more of a 3rd line throw it at the net type of line. With Dru and Nazzy, its a lot of fancy puck possession and trying to make plays instead of throwing it at the net. I’m not going to defend his performance or try to make excuses, but I promise you that he’s definately better than he showed last night.

  40. Thanks guys. I’m trying some pairs on today after work. Will try on to see which boot fits best… hopefully will be baking a pair tonight!

  41. doodie machetto on

    I said it before the season, and I’m sticking to it. Rangers struggle to make the playoffs this year. 7th seed, tops. Potentially 11th. My honest prediction? 8th.

  42. “And I would never not like you. How could anyone dislike the Nasty 1? That’s like saying you don’t like a certain Lithuanian-born defensemen and his beautiful blonde locks. Can’t be done”

    This is what scientists refer to as; Universal Constants(loving Kaspar) and Universal Impossiblities(hating Kaspar)

    They could play me in a too-too out there and everyone would love me!

  43. Call me jaded, but I think after we trade some players, we are going to completely gel as a team and I really believe we will challenge Pittsburgh for our division.

  44. I just want to weigh-in on yet another Renney-led futile offensive night for our boys in blue.

    Once again the team gets their shots, but can’t put the puck in. Once again, the team gets the lead and sits on it, playing, once again not to lose. Once again, the power play is completely powerless. Once again the Rangers “outplay” or “outshoot” or “outchance” the other team and lose.

  45. Did anyone see Voros OWNING Holsmtrom in front of the net the other night? I love how this guy works.

    dood: they still sell CCM Tacks but i think you can only find them online unless you are at a huge skate shop

  46. doodie machetto on

    ” I really believe we will challenge Pittsburgh for our division.”

    Then we’ll be challenging for second. Philly takes the division.


  48. honestly, I see us in a 5-ish spot at the end of the year. In out division, I don’t see the Devils, Flyers or Isles being better than us. The Penguins could be better, but after Crosby and Malkin are an average team at best.

    SE division’s just coming out of the basement of the division. Tampa will compete but be on the bubble. Florida & Atlanta suck. Washington could be good, probably take the division. Canes will probably do bad, since they can’t stay healthy.

    NE division, Montreal, Ottawa, and Boston can all be quality teams, will probably fight for the division, and mid-lower playoff seeds. I think we can come out above 1-2 of those teams.

    sorry, that was a novel, but I haven’t posted since last night and it was all pent up.

  49. doodie machetto on

    noonan, but does that mean they have stopped making new models? and do you get what I was saying about comfort and fit?

    Kaspar, is that what the Cold War era scientists discovered while trying to obtain cold fusion?

  50. doodie – why so high on Philly? they’re winless so far, and I just don’t see how they’re supposedly such a good team? lots of people say Philly’s great now, but I’d rather say they were lucky at the right times last year.

  51. doodie machetto on

    Rob, I wouldn’t want him. Too injury prone. And even if I did want him, the asking price is far too high.

    Probably a good young player, a blue chip prospect, and a high draft pick.

  52. I think they stopped making them in 2006… :( i could be wrong though.

    i got what you said about the size and fit–it’s said to be the most important thing to consider when getting new skates.

  53. Sorry Sam, but the media can’t expect that they can insult players and shape the public opinion of players, and not get players annoyed. The media can help or hurt a player’s career — it depends on if the press likes the guy or not. The media voted for Joe Thornton over Jagr for MVP in 2006 only because Thornton was Canadian. Media types like Milbury and Don Cherry constantly slam European players. Players are forced to speak in dull cliches because if they tell the truth the press will be all over them. Avery probably is a jerk, and he uses the media plenty, but why exactly is it a problem if the media has their feelings hurt?

  54. doodie machetto on

    Jeever, they have the right parts to be great. They have speed, they have size, they have skill. They just need to get it together on defense. Missing two of their regulars for two dregs hurts them a lot.

    Give them a solid, stay at home, defenseman and they will be a team to be reckoned with. Kyle McClaren would look GREAT on their team, but they don’t have any more cap space.

    Biron has been really bad so far, but you know that won’t last. Right now they have the highest GF/g in the division, and I see that number staying put, while I see their GA/g, currently the worst in the league, going way down.

    And separately, I am on Mike Richards’ jock. I see only good things for him. Think Jarome Iginla.

    Trust me, they will be very, very good.

  55. Noonan,

    Ive had CCM super tacks, Bauer xxv’s and Graf 704’s all in the last 5 years.
    WHile it really is personal preference, Graf by far is the best skate.

  56. doodie machetto on

    “I think they stopped making them in 2006″

    That’s what I thought. I bought my last pair that year. It’s starting to get dangerous to play in them because of how many little tears I’ve patched up.

    Does anyone else know which skates use the Tacks boot or something similar? Anything but the TUUK.

  57. Maybe someone can explain why Anaheim (-130) is favored in Toronto (+110), tonight. Anaheim is playing the worst early-season hockey in what is by far the weakest NHL division. I am laying $100 on the Maples to win $110. Lost my opener last night = $130 dropped on Boston at home vs. Pitt. Value is the key, consistently get value plays (overlays) and the percentages will fall into place on the profit side, over the long haul. Fail to do that and it’s time to find another “hobby.”

  58. I don’t how we can be talking playoffs when most of the teams we have beaten are non-playoff teams and each game this team looks worse and worse.

    Tampa Bay (2) – no wins
    Chicago – fired coach two weeks into season
    Toronto – We got lucky

    Ya know what you gotta love if you’re the opposing team playing the Rangers?

    We make every goaltender look like Jacque Plante – see Toskala and Turco

    Dallas, last in the league in goals against (and they looked it early on) and we get one goal on a fluke bounce off the back boards.

    I’ll say it again. I like our players, I really do. I think we have an absolute star in the making in Dubinksy. That move he made last night in the third was vintage. And I like our defense much moreso than last season.

    But our coaching staff is killing us with this pathetic power play and anemic offensive approach to the game.

  59. Bigjnyc,
    How long did it take you to really break those 704s in? I bought Graf for the first time (735s) in April. I have been playing twice a week at least ever since and still feel like they’re pretty stiff.

    At the rate I’m going I’ll have these skates forever, they don’t even look the slightest bit beat up either vs. some I’ve had looking trashed after six months.

  60. We’re Ranger fans (a lot are NY fans in general), no one’s ever happy lol…we could be 8-0-0 and there would still be problems. You can always improve. No one will stop until the clock reads 0:00 with the Rangers ahead in the Stanley Cup Finals….even then, the victory would still be flawed…

  61. haha the negativity gets to me sometimes too… I follow sports because its fun, then people freak out over bumps in the road and non-perfection and weaknesses. I’ve still been happy with the result in 6 out of 9 games, I’ll focus on THAT part of it.

  62. doodie machetto on

    “Anaheim is playing the worst early-season hockey in what is by far the weakest NHL division. ”

    Uhh, ever hear of the South-East? And I’d say they are the strongest division in their conference, and fighting with the Atlantic for 2nd in the league overall (North-East is first).

    As for why Pacific is strong: Dallas and San Jose are perrenial contenders who did nothing but add to their teams this offseason, even if it was, as in SJ’s case, by doing nothing to make it worse. Anaheim is playing unusually bad, but they have the best 1-6 defensemen in the NHL, what should be a top 5 goaltender in Giguere, and what should be an elite forward in Ryan Getzlaf. It’s the rest of their offense that troubles me.

    Phoenix is a young team that has shown a lot of improvement. They have been consistently plugging more and more holes, with none so big of a plug as Ilya Bryzgalov last season. Factor in the addition of Jokinen this summer and they have a pretty solid chance at a 8-10th place finish.

    The Kings, granted, are going nowhere, but every division has at least one awful team (Islanders, Leafs, Panthers, Lightning, Blue Jackets, Oilers).

    Some divisions have a lot of teams off to fast starts that will certainly fade soon (Edmonton, St. Louis), but there is no denying that Anaheim is a much better team than they have been playing as, and their division is definitely one of the best in the league.

  63. By the way, for anyone interested in this year’s WS match-up as I am, as a Phillies fan originally from Ardmore, PA, yes the Rays deserve to be heavily favored and should win, but there is a caveat, here. And that is the fact that Las Vegas and the entire State of Nevada gambling & sports book industry will be heavily burned, if Tampa Bay wins. The books all over the state are carrying a heavy inventory of long-shot bets on Tampa Bay, 50-1, 100- 1, and more, which they accepted during the first half of the season.

    I say if the Phillies win, it may be because the umpires will shade the close calls their way, same as we saw in 2004 with the bias in favor of the Red Sox over the Cardinals, and in 2005, when the umpires greatly assisted the White Sox, both in their series with the Angels, and in the WS vs. the Astros. The strike zone bias in favor of the Red Sox in 2004 was so pronounced, color commentator Tim McCarver made the following observation between innings five and six in the deciding fourth game vs. the Cardinals: “Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa is walking to home plate to ask the home plate umpire why Boston pitchers are getting the low-strike call, and his pitchers are not.”

    So look for the “duplicity angle,” if you watch any of it. It could be the telling factor in the outcome. I don’t think my Phillies can win, without a lot of inside help, which they may well get. And have no doubt, the Nevada Gaming Industry WILL tamper with the outcome of a sporting event, to save their backside, such as when the lights at a night time football game in Las Vegas suffered a “power failure” before the end of a Wisconsin-UNLV game, so that the books did not have to pay off on point spread bets on Wisconsin which had been placed by thousands of Wisconsin fans who had traveled to Las Vegas for the game. Buyer beware when going against powerful house money interests.

  64. I think the negativity stems from frustration of this team not living up to its potential. Maybe it’s early and all, but we are New Yorkers…we demand the best. Love it or leave it.

    Question for the blog: The GM meetings start today or tomorrow. What does everyone realistically think are legitimate expectations? I mean most every team knows we have a glut of 3rd liners. None of whom are really stepping up to cement their positions as starters. So what do we think we’d get for Rissmiller ($1mm per), Prucha, and Fritsche? I mean you don’t think we are trading 2 or 3 dudes and getting a legit 30g scorer? Do you?

  65. I agree about Philly to an extent Doodie, but I still say we will finish above them in the standings. I also think that if we do make a trade, that it will be for someone we are not expecting either. And I have a feeling it could be a total shock to a lot of people. But, before we do anything like that, we have to clean up some cap space. Getting Gaborik I am not too excited about because the guy wants a boat load of money that we don’t have, and he is definitely a guy who gets injured a lot. Sundin, well, maybe for the right price and right circumstances. I still wonder what is going on with Shanahan. Sather has always wanted Havlat, what is his deal this year?

  66. Doodie, your points are valid, and time will tell. I put more emphasis on what is happening right now, than what happened last year, and on what might be happening in mid-season. Current form is a major handicapping consideration and catching a wave of change before the crowd is on to it can represent an enormous advantage.

  67. I think they are gonig to try and dump some of them for picks…if anyone would take that. I mean you could trade all 3 but they aren’t going to do that…they still need an extra forward. I like the idea of keeping Fritsche. He’s young, can skate, and has potential. Prucha isn’t liked, and Rissmiller brings nothing to the table. So if someone will take their million dollar contracts then so be it.

  68. noonan – GO GRAFS! I spent my first 10 years in Bauers, then switched to a pair of Graf 501s in my early 20s. It was like someone took a shackle off my legs. Those skates lasted about a decade of hard use(between 2 and 3 skates a week), before crapping out.

    I had such a great experience with the 501s, I decided to go back to Graf, only get a bit firmer of a boot. So last year I got 703s and let me tell you. It’s made all the difference in my game(enough so my teammates have noticed). The boot is so goddamn light and comfortable, you feel like you’re wearing moccasins. The skates broke in after two uses and offer great protection. Can’t speak to durability, but they’re truly an awesome skate.

  69. doodie machetto on

    Jeever & Kevo,

    This early in the season, you have to look at more than what number is in the W column. It’s the other information that gives you an idea of what that number will be at the end of the season. Right now, the way they have played and with the manpower on this team, I don’t see that number as high as I would like it to be if some adjustments aren’t made.

    PS, can we all agree that Jagr wasn’t the major problem on the PP so much as Perry Pearn? The man just doesn’t know how to make the PP work. We have a lot of good PP defensemen now between Redden, Rozsival, and to a lesser extent Mara, Girardi, and Staal if he were ever given a chance. So now the Jagr and no PP QB excuses are gone. What’s next Perry? Face it. He sucks.

  70. Look, we scored on the power play in the first few games because the coaches are all preaching making the simple play and shooting the puck at the net. Even Valli in an interview the other day said that it is the right play. Renney said last night, “Sometimes the perfect pass is off the goalies pads to our players stick.” You can’t blame the coaches. They are telling these guys to do what we all want them to do.

  71. Cakewalk this is hockey not baseball talk please. There is negativity because while everyone is saying we r 6 2 1 we r 1 2 1 in our last 4 games 6 goals in those 4 games. its not like we r 2 and 0 then we lost a game then won 2 then went loss win ot loss.

  72. doodie machetto on

    tdchi, maybe I should try the Grafs too.

    “I mean you don’t think we are trading 2 or 3 dudes and getting a legit 30g scorer? Do you?”

    No. We’ll be lucky if any team is interested in any of those 3.

    Remember, the idea in trading them is to shed salary, not to get anything decent in return. That’s why I think Prucha is most likely to go. Rissmiller is the least likely because no one in their right mind would pay that guy a million bucks. Good job Slats.

  73. doodie: i have talked to friends about this and one told me some players just buy the CCM boot and have it customly drilled they love it so much. good luck finding one, i wish i could help more.

    thanks tdchi, i will take a deeper look at the Grafs as I’ve only been hearing good things.

    Natsy1, I dropped Corey Perry for Havlat in my fantasy league :D Something tells me this kid MIGHT not get injured this year!

  74. First, I don’t know how my name got brought into this…just saying that people always can find something wrong (which is fine)….Second, although it isn’t looking that good still, Jagr still was the problem on the PP last year. Teams go through slumps, just as the PP does, they will turn it around.

  75. doodie machetto on

    Nasty, but being an effective coach is more than just preaching. If your players don’t listen, then you are not effective.

  76. I understand what you are saying Doodie, but I don’t understand why they do it sometimes and totally abandon that other times. When we have done it, it works. Plain and simple.

  77. doodie – I like Richards a lot too. Carter is a great talent as well. Gange when healthy is awesome. But I don’t think they’ll be as good as people thought a month ago. Biron is not that great. Good? Sure. But not leading anyone to a cup. Playing great at the right time got them to the ECF last season. Individually, they’re a good team. But I don’t think they’ll finish on top.

    It’s really too early to tell anything at this point. But I just don’t see them doing much with that horrible defense. Even when healthy, they’re nothing special.

    On the PP…I think it was Pearn, Jagr, and the fact that the personel was alllllll wrong…not just for the pp, but overall it was poorly constructed.

  78. “i have talked to friends about this and one told me some players just buy the CCM boot and have it customly drilled they love it so much.”

    I’ve had my ccm boots for 12 years. I’ve gone through about 4 different style tuuks, and the boots are loaded with drill holes…but they still rule!

  79. Noonan… the best skate is the skate that fits best. An ill-fitting $500 pair of Graf’s won’t do you any better then a well fit pair of used CCMs from 1985. You can change the holder and/or blade radius and hollow to suit your skating/playing style once you find the best boot for your foot.

    I always hated Avery. He was an idiot in LA (where I live), an idiot in NY (despite playing hard), and it won’t be long before everyone in Dallas is sick of him being an idiot there as well.

    The Rangers were pretty awful most of last night. The 5-0 start was a little misleading I think as it seemed the long pre-season had them a little sharper then the teams they were playing to start the season. Chicago and Philly come to mind there. Ever since, the lack of scoring depth and soft clearing attempts/breakout passes are really hurting these guys. It’s a guess but I’d surmise that half of the goals against thus far this year are from poor clearing attempts or breakout turnovers.

  80. I like Gaborik, but there’s just no way to bring him to NY. Not in the real world anyway. Or at least the cap-world.

    Havlat is a possibility, but SUCH a liability in regards to injury.

  81. Havlat plays about 30-35 games a year due to his fragility and is ridiculousy overpaid. I wouldn’t even think of trading for him. Doodie the Flyers aren’t making the playoffs. The have the worst defense this side of Tampa Bay and Biron has returned to his sieve like ways.

  82. I think Philly will make the playoffs, but I do not think they are going to be the team they were last year.

  83. Noonan-

    I’ve always had CCM Protacks- was fortunate to find a new pair last year. It is my understanding that was the last year for them and I don’t like the Vecor skate. Alot of the guys I play with swear by Graf. Again the most important thing is that it’s fitted properly. Also note Bauers tend to fit A more narrow foot better.
    Hope this helps

  84. If we’re talking about liability to injury, Gaborik has to be thrown in too… He’s got some serious groin problems. I just don’t see us getting ANY top-name guys, due to salary cap restrictions. We can’t even bring up a d-man from Hartford because of the cap, there’s no way we’re getting ANOTHER 5M+ contract dumped on us without another major trade (or giving up a major contract in said trade).

    Honestly, I think the most that’ll happen is waiving a couple of guys, like Rissmiller, and getting the contracts off the books.

  85. The pp was real good in 05-06 the pp Jagr had what 25 pp goals? In 06-07 the pp struggled in the first half mostly cause Jagr and Shanny were placed on the same pp unit. In the second half they put them on pp units and the pp was very good. Last year the pp was horrendous all year alot of it had to do with Rozsival being the worst pp qb you’ll ever see.

  86. Whether you want to see him traded or not, do any of you see Roszi being moved to a team who needs help on the blueline?

  87. nasty id love if rosival was moved.

    beer me id give them the day off actually since they can practice tues and wed. today id just do a film session

  88. I COULD see Rozy being moved. But I’m not really certain. Maybe at the deadline if we were 15pts out of a spot, but that’s not likely. Or in a year or two after we burn through a few years of his contract.

  89. doodie machetto on

    Gerr: exactly what I was saying. I’ve got a wide foot and Nikes and Bauers (separately and together) have always caused me blinding pain.

    Beer and Noonan: I love my Tack boots (I still remember my first pair: 152s), but I’m not gonna start drilling them to keep them. Time for me to find a new skate, and I’ll start with the Grafs. If not, I’ll give the Vectors a shot.

    re: Biron
    “Good? Sure. But not leading anyone to a cup.”

    I never said anything about a cup. He just has to be good enough to keep them in games. He’s a lot better than he has been. As for their currently sieve like defense, they are missing players due to injury and lack a solid stay at home vet. I mean, they are playing Alberts and Eminger for 15 minutes a game. That’s like having a pair of Strudwick and Rachunek. Bad. Ossi Vaananan gets 20 minutes a night. I like Vaananan, but not for 20 minutes. And they have their first round pick this year logging 18 minutes a night, and this kid is just not ready for that. They can’t get Jones or Parent back fast enough.

  90. Thanks for the suggestions, keep them coming. When it comes down to it whichever fits my foot more comfortable will get baked tonight, but it’s good to know what the people are referring.

    I don’t like the Vector’s either. A pair of mine got stolen (who the hell steals SKATES they won’t even fit the rat b@st@rds?) which is why I need a new pair. May have been a blessing in disguise.

    I see Philly possibly out of the playoffs or just making it because of their D. I know there are injuries; the other night against Pittsburgh, the Penguins were barely even trying on their half-assed forecheck and forcing turnovers.

    They also have a goalie situation, and it isn’t one of those good ones.

  91. doodie machetto on

    I can understand the Philly hate. But let’s revisit this later in the season when every team in the Atlantic is looking up at them in the standings.

    My only fear is that if they get off to too slow of a start then they won’t be able to climb high enough to take the division. But I guarantee a higher finish than any team other than Pittsburgh.

    I also guarantee another terrible December/January by the Rangers, with the exception being that there will be no miraculous turnaround this season because Hank is already playing great (turnaround #1, ’06-’07), and Jagr isn’t here to carry the team offensively (turnaround #2, ’07-’08).

  92. you guysssss seriously talking about moving Rosi? He’s been playing better and stronger and I swear to god I SAW HIM SHOOT THE OTHER DAY!

  93. I didn’t mean to imply that you meant he’d lead them to a cup. But whats the point if you can’t? I don’t think they’ll be up there. That’s all.

  94. I didn’t say I wanted him traded, but I was wondering who thought that it would be a possibility. I mean, I just figure he is a guy who is getting a pretty hefty salary, but is still someone a team could afford and at the same time need on their blueline.

  95. leatherneckinlv on

    That Dutch commercial was silly funny,,yeah..those D pairings are not clicking…only 2 that look solid is Staal and Mara..the other 4 are fish out of water right now,,, i dont why he doesnt juggle those pairings like he does his forwards..I think Redden will flourish with Girardi and Roszi was good with Staal last year..that leaves Mara with Kalinin,,but maybe its time to recall choice was Potter but I have heard he doesnt look good in Hartford.. I dont know i hav not seen Potter play in Hartford..another option is trade for another D-man…sort of a block buster trade..meaning a few player exchanging places…LA, San Jose and Anaheim have the players we need in a trade..oddly all in California and to various degrees could make a trade however this is clear..the chemistry will not grow as is… some of these players will get pissed down the line.. I know I would be pissed if I were a player not even dressing and..I will keep harping on team toughness… we dont have it..last night is a game where team tougnhess could have swayed the game back into our favor by getting the crowd into it instead of a team going through the motions as we did..frankly the european players brought alot of skill to the NHL but the game got worse..less entertaining..those of you who recall the 70’s to the early 90’s know what I am talking about..the Euros arent going anywhere…they are here to we are stuck with the neutral zone trap for a longggg time to come….toughness can still overcome this..meaning..set the tone early…throw the puck towards the boards..or make passes thare are meant to be intercepted by the opposing D men..a la a trap..and nail these players..the trap would then loose a chink in its armor…any thoughts on my opinion?

  96. bye bye biggest mistake of summer. nice link guys.

    Nothing bad to say about Rissmiller. Didn’t get too much of an opportunity, but didn’t really need to sign him anyway. That was a mistake by slats. Not the first or the last.

  97. So if he clears waivers and nobody claims him, he then goes to Hartford and his salary does not count against the cap. Is that correct?

  98. So what does this mean about Rissmiller? Does his $1 million come off the books if he is picked up or not?

    Either way good bye and good luck. Excellent job Slats….Not!!

  99. leather,

    I like watching the plays of the skilled Europeans, but it needs to be balanced, kind of like I was looking for with the defense pairs.

  100. Beer Me, If no one picks him up the $1 mil is gone completely and if someone picks him up is it also gone completely?

    The recall situation I understand.

  101. Nasty do you think they will move Rozi?

    If they do its like a slap to Renney, becuase Rozi is stll the dman he goes to most ice time lots of pp and pk (when heisn’t be a complete moron and taking the durn penalties)

    Also he is shooting, and getting the assists right now. I mean I just see him as the d man that Renney relies on and I don’t know that Staal and Girardi are ready to step up into that slot. I think both Redden and Rozi will be around until those two can take over. Maybe in three years or two Rozi will go, but I don’t think so yet.

  102. I always feel bad for guys who get put on waivers. I also think that everyone, including the coaching staff, had made up their mind about Rissmiller before training camp, and that he never really got a decent shot.

  103. Bye Rissy. I like how you play, but you just didn’t fit in with the team right now. I don’t think he’ll be picked up because he’s making 1 mil.

  104. Dan, I don’t think anyone should disagree with that. Its unfortunate for him, for sure. And I’m sure both sides had good intentions when he was signed. But the business isn’t always fair.

  105. leatherneckinlv on

    every tactic has a counter,,,same thing with the requires a strategy early on…meaning…lots of hitting and setting up a D-man to get nailed in an open ice hit.. like whow there are set plays for scoring…same thing can be done for hitting…this has to be done early in the game to get the players thinking twice and requires all players to induldge into it..even the likes of Naslund, Drury and Gomez..the skilled players…as much as i hate to give any Islander any credit..the line of Trottier, Bossy and Gillies was one of the best lines in the NHL ever because they had everything on that line,,,,Bossy the scorer, Gillies the hitter and crash the net power forward and an awesome 2 way center in Trottier,,he could score and play tough…no coincidence the Dubi line is playing well…they have somewhat of a make up of that line…just not as good as the Trots line was in Long Island…To open up the neutral zone team speed wont do it…hitting will.. when you get a player to think twice…then the odds are in your favor and it will force the team to adapt..or forget their game players taking runs at our players out of either frustration or being pissed for a hit earlier in the game…now at this stage we get to play our game..not their game of trap boring hockey…fights will increase…goal scoring will improve..isnt that what we all want? an entertaining game either in scoring or penalty filled game…those are the fun games..and once in a while..we will get a both penalty filled game with lots of goals to relish an talk about..”man did you see that game??” wow was it entertaing..see the fights…did you see how that guy scored…Thats what the true fans of Hockey want…not the Mr Bettman style of we have more penalties called in obstruction and interferance…and most teams still cant get over 20% on the PPG…and the flow of the game is boring in most cases..get a chance watch a game between the Sharks and Anaheim..its a fun game to watch…How did we miss on Getzlaf over Jessiman on that draft year…lol…he is a very solid player Getzlaf

  106. Rozsival sadly is going nowhere. He is making the same amount of money as Zubov(who is a future hall of famer imo) and has 3+ years left on his contract. Outside of the the Zherdev trade and the Voros signing I didn’t like Sather’s moves this offseason. Redden’s contract is one of the craziest contracts in all of sports. Mara’s signing is fine by me but Kalinin’s signing was overkill. Imo the Rangers d would be fine with Potter in there over Kalinin and they’d have more cap more to make moves later in the year.

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