On Zherdev, Fritsche and those other guys

234

Here’s my story in today’s paper on “Dan Fritsche and Nikolai Zherdev returning to Columbus”:http://www.lohud.com/article/20081024/SPORTS01/810240404/-1/SPORTS, although we can safely say neither return is of the Eddie Giacomin-with-Detroit or Mark Messier-with-Vancouver variety.

Both players spent four seasons with the team, and each held their own appeal — Zherdev twice topping 25 goals, Fritsche being Ohio-born and raised. But both also said they welcomed the trade to New York, if for no other reason than because the Rangers are probably closer to contending for a Stanley Cup while the Blue Jackets have yet to even make the playoffs.

How close are the Rangers to contending for a Stanley Cup? Certainly no closer than they were a week ago, and even then, most of us would put the team’s fast start into the category of an encouraging beginning and nothing more. I believe the Rangers are a better than they’ve been the last four games, particularly when you consider that the likes of Chris Drury, Markus Naslund and even Zherdev are bound to start producing more than they have (or at least you better hope as much).

But even then, there is that underlying concern that each night is going to be a grind to score more than two or three goals. Some of that is a reflection of personnel, and some of that is just the way the team plays, with the constant attention to defensive hockey perhaps coming at the expense of a full-steam attack.

Can you have one without the other? It’s a fair question. As much as the Rangers can point to the Red Wings and say Detroit won its Stanley Cup by minding its own zone first and creating chances in transition, I think some of that is deceptive. A big reason the Red Wings were so proficient at shutting teams down is that they simply wouldn’t let teams have the puck.

So in other words, maybe the key to the Rangers playing well defensively is not to attack less, but to actually attack more. We saw evidence of as much against Tampa Bay in Prague and even last week in Detroit, and on both occasions, the Rangers’ speed seemed to fluster the opponent (or at least temporarily). But when their forecheck is flat, teams seem to pass through the neutral zone with greater ease, and the Rangers are pushed on their heels.

Those are at least one man’s thoughts heading into a critical early-season weekend. It might not make or break the team’s chances over the long haul. But it could be two games that at least crystallize what this team is all about.

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234 Comments

  1. How about this year we all agree, including Sam, not to label games “must win” or “critical” until March?

  2. sjostrom should be with Dubinsky and Voros….not Fristsche even with his homecoming and all. Renney is too considerate.

  3. I think the key to the Rangers lie in these simple points:

    1) Chopping wood in front of the net.
    2) Playing tough physical hockey in our own zone, forwards too.
    3) Aggressive, fast paced forechecking in the O zone.

    The rest will fall into place I think. It sounds simple, but if you look at the Detroit game in the first 5 mins of the 3d period and compare that to the first 5 mins of the game and the one shift in the OT, you can see the difference as clear as day.

  4. I agree whole heartedly with the concept of a strong fast paced offense and a strong forecheck making for the best style for this Ranger team. Once the forecheck slacks off then the Ranger D is exposed to be be very similiar to last years defense. There are still way to many basic defensive mistakes being made in front of Henrik. Redden is terrible and Rozival is still plays the same passive stick check game.

  5. Orr and Sjostrom have to sit … Play Orr only in division games … give Fritsche and Prucha a chance to gell … this one game here and there is not working ..

    Prucha, Betts and Korpokoski can make a great 4rth line. Prucha can be just as good defensively as Sjostrom, plus he can give some offense.

  6. Sjostrom has been providing a lot more than Prucha has been lately. Sjostrom has done nothing to warrant a demotion.

    I think the Rangers defense is still good when their forecheck isn’t going. The thing that is affected is their offense. As we saw against Dallas, when we didn’t forecheck, we didn’t have any offense and we were back on our heels in our own end the whole time. Our D was still solid, aside from the bad luck Modano goal. If we don’t skate, we don’t get our opportunities, plain and simple. You can’t score if the puck’s in your own end.

  7. Simply put, sometimes the best defense is a relentless forecheck.

    The Rangers fourth line is one of the best in the league defensively, not only b/c of their positioning the defensive zone, but rather their relentless forecheck which essentially amounts to high octane D.

    The other team can’t score from their own end.

  8. Kevo, youre 100% correct on Sjostrom and the forecheck. The way they made the Stanley Cup Champions look in the 2nd period and parts of the third was quite impressive. Now they need to bring that effort every night.

  9. doodie machetto on

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: THEY SCHTINK!

    This team is not good, and despite the fast start, will being sliding in the standings soon, and will be in 8-10 by the end of November.

  10. It’s your right to have your opinion, but I definitely disagree. I can’t predict where they will finish, but they are a better team than they were last year, and several playoff teams declined in the offseason and have important injuries this season, while not many teams improved themselves. Personally, I can’t see them fighting for a spot, but rather have one locked, but that’s just how I feel.

  11. Doodie….Your new name is Poopie. A few more comments like that and your name will be S***TY. And that is NOT SALTY.

    Koffy…please, stop with the Prucha Korpikoski in place of Orr and Sjo. If that happens we become a soft team with no physical presence. Prucha blows. Korpi I like a lot, he needs to get a little confidence going.

  12. Koffy….Prucha and Sjo are not the same player defensively. It’s not even close. Learn how to judge talent before you talk that kind of crap. And offensively, Pru has played with much better offensive players this year and has ZERO points. Sjo has a goal (mostly on his own merits) and is +3.

    Enough with the Prucha man-love already please. How many times do we have to go over this?

  13. Glad to see Fritsche in this game. Being in front of his hometown crowd will give him a personal stake in skating his ass off. 100% effort is what we’re after, and I can guarantee he’s one player we won’t have to worry about tonight.

    Sjostrom has played superbly, and he deserves his spot in the lineup. In the same breath, the same could be said for Orr and Betts. A few games ago, Orr made a huge rush up the right side, put it on goal, and crashed the goaltender. Nobody from the opposition challenged, knowing they’d get their ass beat. The 4th line is defensively smart and can chip in some offense on occasion. Also, keep in mind that at least a few goals from the other lines have started with work done by the 4th line. They forecheck so hard and keep the offensive pressure on, and while maintaining possession in the offensive zone, a new line will come on and score.

    Not a big fan of breaking up the Playstation line, but it will be nice to see Drury and Naslund maybe stir something up. Naslund’s troubles aren’t as bad as Drury’s, all he needs to do is shoot. Drury just can’t seem to find the back of the net no matter what he tries.

  14. so doodie, you think this team is worse than last years team? despite where we were in the standings, last years team was just awful. slow and showed no aggression at all. plus we were built around 2 guys who were past their prime. this years team isn’t necessarily built around anyone in particular and they are young, fast, and very aggressive. I still think the results in the last few games was due more to fatigue than anything else, but tonight will be the test to prove that. If they come out flat and don’t play well, then maybe I’ll have second thoughts. But I think the way the team is built now, we will be much better than last year and can compete with anyone.

  15. Prucha is useless. He his production dropped dramatically along with Jagr. He’s a defensive liability and one big hit from a career-ending concussion. Let him become a west conf team’s problem.

  16. And Drury’s problem is that we are paying him like a primary player when hes nothing more than a secondary guy. His role is fine when hes not the focal point of a line, but when hes the main guy, he can’t put up numbers. Mind you there are only a handful of gamebreaking players in the league, but there are also guys who complement each other. Nazzy played his best hockey when he had other guys (Bertuzzi and Morrison) who helped hide his flaws. Your hope is that you can get 3 guys who all cover each others flaws or a star gamebreaker like Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, Crosby etc. We don’t really have a gamebreaker, so we have to hope for guys who can come together and combine to make a dominant line.

    Playstation line did so well because Z’s weakness is pretty much his turnovers in our end, but Dubi helps him skate it up. Voros opens up ice for Z to skate and dangle in the O-Zone, Dubi and Z get the puck on goal so Voros can be effective. Dubi also needs room to skate but needs guys to crash so he can dish off the puck and Voros crashes while Z gives him an option higher up in the slot. Chemistry isn’t rocket science, its just a matter of getting guys who all do different things great to play together.

    Drurys main issue is he doesn’t do anything great. Hes just good or maybe a little above average at a lot of things, which is why he needs to be a secondary guy on a line. If he excelled at one part of his game, it would be easier for him to adjust to playing with everyone.

  17. Beer Me! It’s funny….I used to love Prucha. In fact, on my hockey team this year I was given #25 and I was like, “Wow, I hope I play like the Prucha of old in this jersey. I will have more goals than him this year!” He used to be the man.

    But I am a trader. That is what I do for a living. If something stops working, or a trade goes against me, I cut it and run. On to the next. I don’t get attached to much (except my kids and my wife…and the Blueshirts.) I gave Prucha the benefit of the doubt last year and by mid-season I had had enough of him. I think the mgmt thought the same acutally. Late in the season and by playoff-time I was done with him. Ditto for the mgmt. Then we picked up a few dudes this year and other players matured and got better (Dawes surpassed Prucha, etc), and now I am done with him.

    Other guys on this blog remember his 2 sick years and think he can get back there. I don’t have the time or patience to wait around for that.

    And I am not afraid to tell it like it is. Other guys seem to want to tell it as their heart feels. In my business, betting with your heart is how you lose a lot of dough. In hockey, it’s how you lose a lot of games.

  18. Drury’s problems are deep right now. when you’re not scoring that’s one thing. When you’re losing your check constantly and the puck then winds up in the net, losing faceoffs, and failing to even get the puck deep and chase it, it’s another matter entirely. When Drury starts playing tougher defensive hockey, keeping it simple by getting the puck deep and chasing it down, and going to the net, he’ll suddenly start scoring in bunches too. It’s up to him more than he thinks.

  19. johnny d.
    good post…I agree with you 100%
    and Joe, Ditto for Sjo…he definitely belongs in this lineup

  20. That’s cool Newman, I see it similarly.

    I mean, I think we all WANT him to do good. That’s a win/win situation.

    If he’s burying goals for us, he’s helping to win us games, AND/OR building up his trade-value.

  21. Doodie,
    I also remember the first time I saw Dubinsky play in the first exibition game after the strike and loved the kid and you had nothing but bad things to say about dubinsky.
    How did that turn out?

  22. The only part of the rangers that concerns me is how soft three of our d-men are (redden, roisival and kahlin). I realize redden and rosival are supposed to be offensive d-men but I haven’t seen any offense from either. I’m not impressed with redden. Those two signings could be the worse in the nhl.

  23. tomg – It’s really really hard to defend Redden right now. Although, there are no glaring (regular) mistakes, and he has 2 goals, 1 on the PP to lead the dmen.

    But this is a long-term deal. “You” can’t judge the signing on the first 9 games of the contract when he could play 410 NHL games under that contract.

  24. Redden throws the body when he knows he can. He knows he’s not necessarily the fastest guy out there so its not worth it for him to throw hits since he won’t be able to get back. As for Kalinin, he throws the odd check here or there, but he’s supposed to excel at puck movement, something hes done in spurts. Rozsival on the other hand can’t pass and skate at the same time. He has to like stop, think, then pass. Plus he always takes lazy penalties because he can’t keep up.

    Hitting d-men aren’t that big of a deal. Lidstrom and Niedermeyer are two of the best and they don’t play physical. The key is pairing a physical d-man with an offensively minded/less physical d-man. having Mara and Staal together I think hurts Redden and Rozy because they both need more of a stay at home guy to make them successful. Once that happens, Redden will be able to join the offense more.

  25. You know what, I will go out on a limb and defend him. I don’t think he’s going to be a Norris candidate this year, but I don’t think he’s a bad defenseman at all. And based on my comment above, I wouldn’t even call the signing “bad” yet. Too early.

  26. Beer me, people are basing our team on the last 4 games too. Lets wait until December or January to see how the team and its players are doing before passing judgement. I gave last years team until January before I decided that I just didn’t like them and that they weren’t good. This year I have high hopes and think they will be better, but we’ll see how I feel once its closer to the all star break.

  27. doodie machetto on

    “Doodie,

    I also remember the first time I saw Dubinsky play in the first exibition game after the strike and loved the kid and you had nothing but bad things to say about dubinsky.
    How did that turn out?”

    I said he needed to learn how to stay on his feet and looked like nothing special. Things like that change over time. Two years ago when he was in the lineup for like 8 games or so, I said that he looked like a much better player, but still had balance issues. Then last year’s camp I thought he should have made the team, no question. Then by January I was saying how was playing better than every guy on the team.

    I call them how I see them. In that first exhibition game after the strike, he looked like an average prospect who was very green behind the ears, something we had in abundance. But that all changed. Look at Petr Puck. There was a guy I LOVED in the preseason that year, he had a great season, but has nosedived since. It goes in both directions.

    Beer, how am I even remotely a fairweather fan? I’ve been a fan for a long time, the good times and the bad. Even as I predict bad things for this team, I’m still a fan. I just have a negative opinion of how I see things turning out this year.

    As for my negativity, it’s not like I’m jumping on some kind of bandwagon after they’ve hit this recent rough patch of 1-2-1. I’ve been saying the exact same thing since before the season started: that I don’t think the team is very good and that they will struggle to make the playoffs. I was happy to see them go 5-0, and I’m pleased with the current 6-2-1 record. I just don’t see this team doing well over the long haul.

  28. leatherneckinlv on

    I agree with team toughness..got to hit more in the neutral zone to open up the ice..every line needs someone who can hit hard..just as teams have set plays for scoring..I think they need the same for open ice hits in the neutral zone to make players think twice about owning the neutral zone in a trap style teams….the trap makes for a very boring style of hockey and maybe call a team penalty for teams that play the trap and call it illegal formation/procedure to stop this neutral zone nonsense…if for example you see 3 players lined up at the red line..blow the whistle and give a penalty…dont allow it even if a team is on a PK..force at least two players to be on a forecheck in the offensive zone and only allow 1 defense man to stand the line in the defensive zone,,,just a suggestion

  29. Poopie….

    Fairweather Fan is someone who comes around when things are good. When things are bad they sit there and say, “I am out. This team stinks. Good riddance.” And then 3 weeks later after a big win streak and sunny skies have cleared out the dark clouds they say, “Hey, I am back. Things look great.”

    Last year at least 3x you said you were done, gone for the season, leaving the blog, etc., and then you re-appeared after they clinched a playoff spot, beat the Devils, etc., saying how pumped you were.

    You are the classic Fairweather Fan. What is worse is that you are defending your stance as if you are not one. Like in Harry Met Sally….”You’re the worst kind. You are high maintenance but you THINK you are low maintenance.”

    So in the above post you said this team stinks. You said they will be in 8th to 10th place this year fighting for a spot. If I had my way, if they make the playoffs this year and finish higher than 8th, you shouldn’t be allowed to make another blog post until the beginning of NEXT season.

    How I wish that could be the rule!

    And how you can be so negative 8 games into the season is beyond me? Renney hasn’t even secured the lines yet. Remember the Senators last year? If you were a fan of theirs, by game 14 last year you would have been reserving your seat for the Cup parade.

  30. doodie machetto on

    Beer, why so harsh man? Just because I happen to disagree with the management and personnel on this team? When they play, I am cheering and hoping they win just like everyone else. When they aren’t playng, I voice my displeasure over what I perceive to be weaknesses in the team’s structure. I do it after they win, just the same as after they lose. Being a fan doesn’t mean being blind to problems with your team.

    Someone asked me if I thought this year’s team was better than last year’s team. The answer to that question is no. But last year’s team was really bad too. If it wasn’t for stellar play from Henrik and Jagr down the stretch, they wouldn’t have even made the playoffs. Not to mention how many games went to the shootout. A lot of our wins could have easily been OTLs. The team won 6 shootouts from the game before the all-star break through the end of the season. Those 6 points were the difference between making and not making the playoffs. And I said it all along that I didn’t think last year’s team would make the playoffs, especially after that game against the Canadiens where they gave up the 5-0 lead, and that was late in February. I didn’t think they were good, just as I don’t think this team is good. But I think this team is certainly better, if for nothing else than Dubinsky, Staal, and our other young players are a year older and a year better. I think that on any given night, last year’s team could have been the best team in the NHL, if all of our parts worked at top capacity. But that was a big if. This year’s team will be a lot more consistent, and overall, a better team, but I think that it won’t be able to go on a run down the stretch like it did last year because it doesn’t have a player like Jagr who can take over the entire game by himself. So, if this team slides, as I expect it to, then it will have a harder time making the playoffs, even though I think it is a better team than last year’s. The playoff race is going to be too tight this year for us to be battling for points down the stretch, and I see us having to do that and either barely squeaking in, or missing out.

  31. “Breaking up our best line to try to prop up Drury…”

    is wise, and left untouched would bury a players confidence further. Spread the goodness!

  32. leather, there are so few guys that are good at open ice hits and its not even worth it. how many insane open ice hits do you see every game? rarely any because it opens up a huge whole right through the middle of the neutral zone. the best way to play around the trap is to keep moving. hitting them won’t stop them from trapping since…they don’t have the puck. beating the trap is skating fast, criss-crossing, and dumping the puck.

    Trap teams are relatively flat footed since they all face up ice and keep the play in front of them. getting it deep gives you the advantage of using speed to beat them deep in their zone. last years team always had problems against the trap because they were too slow and liked to regroup.

    now on the flipside, when you play a trap, you keep the play to the outside. you don’t want big bruisers because that opens huge holes defensively. when a guy goes to throw a hit, that space he just went to opens up since he took himself out of the play. thats why we don’t need huge hitters. most of the team is smart in when they check because when they do go for hits, they keep people to the outside and condense the ice. so its easier to defend against.

  33. “You keep the play to the outside.”

    That’s key right there. When you have a top 3 goaltender, he’ll stop the bad angle shots. (unless they’re over his shoulder cause he goes down too early) shhh…

  34. I think I can settle the Beer/doodie feud with this 1 question. (Either that or I’m WAY overvaluing my thoughts)… Beer watches hockey hopefully, wishing for the best, and trying to enjoy it.

    Dood watches it negatively, thinking they’ll lose, and probably kinda having a bad time the entire game. If the Rangers do something good/win, its surprising and unexpected, if they do something bad/lose, then its because that’s the team they are.

    I prefer to be positive (and hope for the best), so that’s why I would lean toward’s beer’s side on this argument.

  35. interesting how the handles describe their viewpoints too.

    Beer – something wonderful, could be described as the nectar of the gods.

    doodie – usually pretty unappetizing and just something gross to avoid.

  36. leatherneckinlv on

    Johnny..I agree with what you are saying as is…but the open ice hits you are refering to is on D-men…forwards should hit as well in open ice…but lets talk about say Scott Stevens..he hit well..you are right..there are fewer hits not because players cant throw them…they are not to take chances..what i am refering to is a system to set hits up just like you do goals…intimidation in clean tough hockey..not gooning it up like the Flyers of the 70’s as far as the Flyers of the 70’s you have to admit even that was more entertaining than some of the games we see today… the movie slapshot I believe was made because of the Flyers…I believe in honest fights…not a just going out and fightimg..also…a fight occurs both parties should take of their helmets..i saw a fight the other day when Cody McCormmick of the AV’s fought Iginla..Iginla had his helmet and visor still on after McCormmick took his off..that should be a game misconduct penalty

  37. graves9 October 24th, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Breaking up our best line to try to prop up Drury and Naslund is patiently ridiculous.

    would you prefer to have 1 line that clicks and the opposing to can focus on just that one productive line OR should we try to get all 3 top lines going so we have production possibilities from all of them…
    This might be the dumbest comment I’ve read all day.

  38. Johnny, you right about Drury. Not to be an angry fan but….

    It’s too bad he’s been sucking so bad right now I can’t even call him an average player.

  39. ok, but you said the team needs a guy on every line who throws open ice hits. thats not going to happen is all i’m saying.

    as for d-men, the Rangers don’t play a system that allowed D-men to step up and throw too many open ice hits because they drop back more and the wingers/forwards protect the blueline. The D will step up if there is room, but they also don’t want to miss and free up open space for a 2 on 1. The only time you will see the D-men step up to hit is by the boards. Scott Stevens didn’t throw an open ice hit every game. He only threw a couple a season at most. Plus players were slower then so it was easier to line up.

    and we play a tough system when this team plays the way its supposed to. get the puck deep and play grind it out hockey by forechecking hard. in our own end, throwing the body recklessly opens the slot, something this team doesn’t do. they pin and bump, but overall they make sure the slot is covered. as Sam said, the key to our defense lies in our forecheck and puck possession.

  40. haha thanks Noonan.

    I really like Drury and loved him on the Sabres, but when I saw how much we signed him for I was kind of clueless. Hes really the Ryan Smyth of US born players. Hes extremely overrated when you take into account how much he gets paid and even moreso, what the media and fans/coaches/teams say about him. You would think he was a superstar gamebreaker, but he’s not.

    Everywhere he’s played he’s been a secondary guy. When in that role he really excels because his lack of greatness in an area isn’t exposed and he can just focus on playing a solid all around game. But when hes the “star”, thats when you see the flaws. So really with him his greatest strength is also his greatest weakness depending on the situation.

    Its a problem the Rangers had post 94 team because we brought in secondary stars and tried to make them primary players. All of the guys we brought in like Nedved, Dvorak, Holik, Kamensky, MacLean, and even Lindros and Fleury at that stage in their careers all were better when they had either stars or other types of players around them. The only gamebreakers we brought in were Bure (who was hurt), and Jagr who was on the downside of his career anyway. But when some of those guys had success here, especially in the case of Lindros and Fleury, it was because they were paired with people who all had different roles and were able to focus specifically on them.

  41. What we need is a top 3 draft pick or two. I know it used to be a bigtime problem finding talent there for us. But times have changed for the NYR.

    It’ll take trading a serious player and gambling that the pick will turn into a superstar. But it’s the price you pay.

  42. We don’t necessarily need a superstar. Look at the last 3 teams that have won the cup and I wouldn’t say they had a gamebreaker/real superstar. I mean Datsyuk and Zetterberg are amazing hockey players, but they aren’t on the same planet as Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin, Kovalchuk, and those guys. Same goes for Selanne (at this stage in his career) and guys like Staal and Cole.

    The key is to have great players who know how to utilize their talents and put them with other people who have different talents that complement them. On last years Wings team, they did that to perfection. Holmstrom just had to focus on standing in front of the net while Datsyuk and Zetterberg did a lot of the other things both offensively and defensively. Filppula was allowed to skate a lot more because Frazen cleared up space by crashing and Cleary would be more of the physical guy that stayed high. Lines 1-4 mixed guys that had different talents and put them with each other so they could focus on those. As long as we have that, a superstar player might not be needed.

  43. What does it mean that Rissmiller hasn’t been officially assigned to Hartford yet? Why the delay?

  44. I was just reading something on ESPN.com about the last (10(maybe?) drafts, and the top 5 picks each draft and where they are. The Penguins had top-5 picks 5 years in a ROW! In order, Whitney, Fleury, Malkin, Crosby, and Staal. That’s obscene. At least they made losing their priority and stocked up some.

    We always won just enough to not get any real high picks…

  45. I’ll agree with Doodie, but not because we don’t have the players, but because we have a coaching staff that can’t get the most out of their players.

    I don’t think we’ll be under .500 come Thanksgiving, but Renney is inspiring me less and less each season I watch this team. This team has won despite it’s pathetic coaching.

  46. doodie machetto on

    Seriously Beer, you’re being kind of a jerk. We’ve both posted here a long time, why such animosity all of a sudden?

    “Dood watches it negatively, thinking they’ll lose, and probably kinda having a bad time the entire game. If the Rangers do something good/win, its surprising and unexpected, if they do something bad/lose, then its because that’s the team they are.”

    Actually, I hope they win every game. Once that puck drops I cheer hard and excitedly. I keep an eye on players I see playing well or poorly and think of ways the team might improve but for the most part I just enjoy the game while it’s being played. If they played well, I won’t say anything about what I would like to see them do moving forward (here, or to any of my friends) until the next day. Rarely, but it has happened, all I say is “THAT’S how they should play all the time.” If they have one bad game in a string of good ones, I’ll say they were bound to have a let down, and just be curious to see how the team responds. I am still curious to see how this team responds to their recent string of unfortunate results.

    But I still haven’t seen anything this year that would make me change my mind about what I said about this team before the season started.

  47. He has to wait until he clears waivers, which even so, I don’t think we have to send him to the AHL. If he clears, we can send him down whenever though. Unless I’m wrong.

    Keeping him with the NHL club is better incase we need him later on. It might’ve been Sather’s attempt to pull a Burke (when he put Bryz on waivers). Kind of like, I feel bad we don’t have room for you so lets see if other teams will pick you up.

  48. You know someone knows nothing about hockey when they site “balance issues” in their psuedo-scouting report on a player.

    Doodie, unless you’re the second coming of Scotty Bowman, I don’t think you’d be able to judge a player’s equilibrium even if he were dancing on a balance beam at mid-ice.

  49. graves:

    It’s early, I don’t see the harm in using Dubinsky and Zherdev to try and get Naslund and Drury moving.

    Naslund is coming over from the West, might take him some time. Dubinsky can get anyone going, the kid is a good one.

    Let’s hope it works.

  50. Beer Me is almost a clone of Mike Francesa he can’t take anyone disagreeing with him and can’t ever admit he’s wrong. The Gomez line has been playing well so they had two lines that were going good. It seems like everyone that plays like Drury ends up playing their worst. On the other hand almost everyone plays their best so maybe Fritcshe finally shows you something.

  51. doodie machetto on

    Brandon: what I emant by balance was he hit the ice, a lot. I was using one word to encompass a wide range of possible problems, none of which I could put my ifnger on as the exact cause. Could’ve been that he wasn’t strong enough, could’ve been that he was a clumsy skater, could’ve been that he was scared, could’ve been because he was drunk: point is, I don’t know what exactly caused it, but he went to the ice, a lot. To sum up the problem succinctly, I called it a balance issue.

    Stop being such a tool.

  52. Jeever, I see your doing a lot of work over there hahahaha. Pittsburgh sucked for those years so they got those picks. They didnt want to make big splashes in the market so they never got good until their picks did. I guess you can say a lot like the Rays. I feel this new combination getting Drury going. Hes gonna go on a nice run after some rest and new line mates.

  53. Doodie:

    I said the same thing about Dubinsky, kid has good hands, speed and size, but can’t stay on his feet. He seems to be solving that issue rather nicely. Nice to see him progressing so well.

  54. “a coaching staff that can’t get 100% out of their players…”

    Your right Vogs, Renney doesn’t get 100 percent out of his players… he gets 110!

    The Rangers go to war for Renney. One thing you can’t say is that the effort is not there — and it’s irrelevant to site games this year where we played “uninspired”, which in reality was exhaustion.

    Coaches don’t score goals. This team’s system is better than its parts. He’s gotten more out of his players than any other team in the league in the past 4 years. Not to mention he’s one of two coaches to bring his team to the playoffs 3 years in a row. Moreover, he’s had to deal with some of the biggest personalities in the game in doing so, a never satsified fan base and a media contingency that breathes fire.

    John Muckler didn’t get the best out of his players, Brian Trottier didn’t get the best out of his players, Colin Campbell didn’t get the best out of his players and Glen Sather, himself, didn’t get the best out of his players.

    The one constant in the past 3 years has been Renney. He gets the most out of what he’s got, which hasn’t been a WHOLE lot. He doesnt have a Crosby or an Ovechking or a Heatley… he doesn’t have a high caliber young stud.

    He’s instilled a system and the players go to war every night. If anything, we sometimes outwork our opponent and lose… that’s not coaching, that’s just not scoring.

  55. JohnnyD, you know what’s hilarious? i WISH that Drury was having the season Ryan Smyth is having. LOL!

  56. doodie machetto on

    vogs: I forgot to mention that I agreed with you on the coaching issue. The real problem with this team is the coaching, without a doubt. That’s an assumption that I base all of my discussion on the team’s potential with: They can only play so well with the coaching they have. In other words, when Jagr was dominating games, the team was much better because Renney couldn’t screw it up. Without his domination, the team was crap. Now, they have better players than they used to, so overall they will be better, but without that dominating presence, they won’t really excel because to do so with the players on this team would require solid coaching.

  57. I’m not going to defend anyone here but I understand what people are trying to say. In the end though, the team is 6-2-1, but everyone is making them out to be 2-6-1. Teams go through tough stretches…ours has been 4 games. What should be a good sign is that we haven’t played teh best we could (in my opinion) and we are still winning games.

    It’s tough when there is a few days off between games, but people shouldn’t just start saying nonsense….like this coaching staff sucks. The team doesn’t have extraordinary talent the past few years, except for Jagr and Hank, and we were predicted to finish 2nd to last a few years back I believe and we made the playoffs. I know the goal is to win the Cup but we’ve made the playoffs in all of Renney’s years and 2nd round exits in the last two. It’s pure nonsense to say he’s not a good coach.

    People have to stop being so, so negative

  58. How about he was an 18 year old pre-pubescent teenager playing against rugged 35 year olds trying to make an impression. You noticed him “hitting the ice” b/c he wasn’t afraid to go after anyone, even if that meant bouncing off of the checks he deliverd. Some call that fearless.

    But, you’re a half glass empty kind of guy, which is why everyone seems to always lose patience with you. It’s tough to debate with someone who has the personality of Eeyore the donkey.

    And to your notion of me being a “tool”… On my least cool day of the year, I’m stil the Derek Jeter to your Joe the Plumber on the coolest day of your life.

    Recognize.

  59. Brandon, I’m pretty sure if there’s ever an argument to be made for Renney, you ALWAYS beat me to it lol…I obviously agree 100% and think we are lucky to have him here.

  60. Brandon:

    In my mind effort is one thing, results are another. I will agree with you that Renney gets a quality effort from the boys. But where I disagree is the following:

    1) A power play which scares nobody
    2) Constantly sitting on leads, playing not to lose
    3) A team which is one of the lowest in the league in goals per game yet highest in the league for shot attempts.

    Winning and losing is a fine line, I just wish the team were a bit more efficient and could put the puck in the net more often and be more efficient.

  61. Don’t you think if the coaching staff was that bad the players would sort of give up? It seems to me that on most nights the team playes its heart win or loose. The only game I can seriously say they didnt give 100% was the game against Buffalo. Would they really have anything to loose by just quiting and bringing home the paycheck?

  62. You’re officially clinical Doodie.

    I bet you can’t answer this. What other coach would you have?

    Who’s going to get the best out of THESE players?

    Mike Keenan? Or maybe you want Brent Gutter or Michel Therien?

    You don’t know the first thing about coaching.

    Renney is regarded, and rightfully so, as a top 5 coach in the NHL… no question about it.

  63. doodie machetto on

    “Your right Vogs, Renney doesn’t get 100 percent out of his players… he gets 110!”

    And now we know who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

  64. Not interested in your crap anymore doodie. That’s whats up with it. You spew out the same crap over and over. But you seem to be pretty high on the 0’fer Flyers. Go root for them. Take graves9 with you.

  65. see, exactly, cause I agree with brandon there on the 110%. It’s a lost cause. I honestly don’t care what you have to say about the team, and your opinion means zero to me.

  66. I hope that solidifies my stance here. I’m not pursuing the disagreements any furhter.

    We have different viewpoints and yours is of the minority. I’m not looking for someone to change my mind on my team.

  67. Vogs,

    At least you’re debating with reasons. I’ll respond.

    “3) A team which is one of the lowest in the league in goals per game yet highest in the league for shot attempts.”

    – This is not scoring, but just a lack of having prolific “scorers” on the team. We don’t have 50-goal guys. You can’t teach guys how to finish. A system creates shots, not goals. Just like a set play in basketball gets a guy an open shot — he still has to make the shot.

    “1) A power play which scares nobody”

    – Agreed. This is the achilles heal of the coaching staff. However, I don’t think you can find a coach to come in here and fix the problem. It has much to do with NOT have an authentic power play QB as it does with having guys who prefer passing more than they do shooting.

    “2) Constantly sitting on leads, playing not to lose”

    – I happen to disagree with this point. This team has won more games playing that style than it has lost. Most people remember the games where teams came back on us in a give season, but those are few and far inbetween. That will happen from time to tome. We win more 1 goal games then we lose. If you’re tight defensively, you don’t have to go on the attack.

    Who’s to say if we opened up after being up 2 goals that we wouldn’t be more vulnerable?

  68. doodie machetto on

    Sitting back and playing defense isn’t coaching. Playing the 4th line after taking the momentum isn’t coaching. Having a powerless PP isn’t coaching. The guy sucks. He’d be a good assistant. Someone who can help develop youth and keep players happy. But a guy that can lead a team to victory? A guy whose decisions can win his team the game?

    I have yet to see Renney make some kind of in game switch or some gut call that has won us a game. However, I’ve seen him do that and lose us several.

  69. you don’t need numerous superstars to win cups, but you definitely need a few players that are of elite talent. we have henrik in goal who id think wed all say can be as good as any goalie in the league, but no one else is really a game breaker on our team. Gomez is as fast as anyone in the league but he can’t finish if he even chooses to shoot. Now if gomez had someone who could consistently score that could be enough, but as the team is constituted right now, it doesn’t seem to match up to many teams that have won the cup in the recent past….thats not to say we cant compete with teams like detroit, but over a 7 game series it could be tough (detroit looked really good against us and zetterberg wasn’t even playing)

    and while datsyuk and zetterberg don’t necessarily have the offensive talent of crosby/malkin/ovechkin, they are both more complete players than any of those guys and can almost score at the same level, those two are superstars no matter where they were drafted

  70. Sure, I’m a “slap hitting singles hitter no range having Shortstop” with four World Series rings, all the money in the World and the ability to walk into any bar from here to Australia and point to any girl I want and to her home with me.

    Tough life… I’d hate to be Derek Jeter.

  71. Renney is a fine coach no question. Top 5? I don’t think so. He is helped in the eyes of the fanbase because take a look at some of the coaches the precessed him. Sather was one of the most clueless coaches ever. Renney did what the team needed he put in a system held regular practices(unlike the mandatory practices Sather called) and made player accountable. He also helped by having two elite players in Jagr and Lundqvist.

  72. OMG, you can’t be critical of your team anymore without being attached? Good grief.

    The fact remains this team’s power play scares nobody. This team sits on leads and cannot put any team away and really don’t have much offensive punch.

    In my mind that doesn’t lead to a Stanley Cup, which is my goal after 8 years of Glen Sather.

  73. Plus he has guys like yourself being in love with him. Yankee fans are by far the worst fans in sports. Anyway let’s get back to Hockey.

  74. Doodie,

    How many other coaches have made it to the playoffs the last 3 years besides Renney?

    Done deal.

  75. I can’t believe I have to play this side…

    So Sather is clueless with 4 cups and 5 appearances in the finals?

    And renney is good, but not great with no appearances?

    Could it POSSIBLY have anything to do with personnel???

  76. Well the win total will be skewed because of the shootouts but yes he’s doing a good job. He is no Emile Francis but thankfully he’s no Trottier, Sather or Muckler either.

  77. So, power plays are the MOST important thing in hockey???

    It’s special teams. SPECIAL TEAMS!!! They call it special teams because it’s not the REGULAR GAME, it’s something additional!

    If you think teams win the Cup on special team, you’re nuts.

    That’s all you have on him is the power play, that’s really it.

    Fact is, you can’t name a single person that can come in here and coach this team better… and don’t tell me Mike Babcock.

  78. Uhh Beer did you see the job Sather did his first 4 years here? Plus his last 7-8 years and Edmonton weren’t exactly good. Until recentely he looked like the biggest clueless putz around. He was ranked by thn as one of the worst gm’s and rightfully so.

  79. doodie machetto on

    OK Beer. Be a dick. Sounds to me like you’re an alchie who didn’t get his drink today. It’s OK though. It’s almost game time and you can go dirnk yourself calm again. Your hands will stop shaking then too.

    And I really don’t think my view point is in the minority either. This team isn’t that good. It hasn’t been that good since the lockout. Year 1 was ALL Jagr. Years 2 and 3 was all Hank keeping us afloat until Jagr turned on the jets. This year, I think the team is the best it has been, but that still does not make it that good of a team! Look at all of the holes the team has:

    1) No top scoring
    2) No top defenseman – offensive OR defensive
    3) No Powerplay

    Those are pretty big issues. You don’t go anywhere with such glaring holes. It’s a team of 2nd and 3rd liners, both on offense and defense.

    We’re the Devils. We have a great goaltender and nothing else. The difference is that when Devils were in their hayday, they at least had some top guys.

    Don’t get me wrong, in a couple of years, we’re going to be AWESOME. Staal will be a #1 D-man. Dubinsky will be a #1 center. Losing Cherepanov hurt our future up front, but if we can keep Zherdev in the fold, then he could potentially be that top winger. But we’re just not there yet. Plain and simple.

  80. Brandon:

    We got up one goal on Dallas and then sat on the lead, and we lost 2-1.

    We were up 4-0 on Philly and almost lost.

    I understand your side of the agrument, but I want to keep the peddle down when we get up on these teams and beat them 6-2.

    And to boot.
    It just seems that we make every goalie that comes into MSG look like Patrick Roy recently. See Toskala and Turco.

  81. The key to this season is for my Dubi jersey to get here immediately. Sportsk said 3-4 weeks, so we’ll have to go under .500 for a while. It’s ok. We shall prevail!

  82. He was the gm too did he not hand ourt ridiculous contracts and drafted horrendously for a long time. I believe he went something like ten years with drafting first round busts between the Rangers and Oilers. I meant Sather was a clueless coach here. As far as his 4 cup as the coach anyone could have coached those incredible talents.

  83. Jagr and Lundvist carried that team in 05-06 no question. Jagr had one of the best and most dominant seasons I ever saw. Lundqvist had as good as a rookie year as any goalie could ever have.

  84. exactly. But not everyone can coach a group of youngsters and guys that have never played together to 3 straight playoff appearances, with the core of the team changing each year.

    I think we agree more than we think on this graves9. I’m good to leave the conversation here. You?

  85. “This team isn’t that good. It hasn’t been that good since the lockout.”

    No, FLA is not ‘good’. PHX is not ‘good’. CLB is not ‘good’. NYI is not ‘good’.

    A team that hasn’t finished below 6th in their conference since the lockout IS a good team.

    Maybe not a championship team. But they’re a ‘good’ TEAM.

  86. doodie – so according to your post, we’re the best we’ve been since the lockout, right? And since we didn’t make the playoffs for years prior to that, we’re better than we have been in 10-15 years, right?

    Isn’t that a positive thing, instead of focusing on the negative? Why not think, hey this is the best shot we’ve had to win the cup in a LONG time?

    As weird as it might sound, you don’t have to be the BEST team to win the Cup. Just best at the right time. Look at the Giants last year. CLEARLY the worse team, but they beat the Pats for the Superbowl. Look at baseball, weren’t the Angels the best team most of the year? Yet its the Rays that are playing for the Title. Sure there’s a group of teams that are “better” than us, but that doesn’t automatically DQ us from having a chance at the Cup.

  87. sather and co did great with the talent he brought into the nhl when the oilers joinded and the young players they soon drafted like messier/coffey, but post-1990 id say he has been pretty much a disappointment as a gm and has drafted horribly post-83 the best oiler players he drafted in after 83 was smyth/arnott and rucinsky (fine players, but none great) and they had some pretty high picks in some of those years. and sather himself said hed play for/win the stanley cup every year if he could spend money like the rangers…well he has yet to bring us there and he had 4 years with an seemingly unlimited payroll at his disposal

    renney can only do so much with the players he is given but the style of hockey he likes definitely seems to be defense first, almost to the detriment of offense but then again, sather hasn’t exactly gifted him with great scorers and there don’t appear to be many developing in the minors either

  88. Vogs,

    There is no such thing as almost losing. Not to mention, Philly came back b/c of EXCESSIVE power plays which killed our momentum.

    We looked tired vs. Dallas. You can’t sit back on a 1 goal lead if you score 30 seconds into the game. That’s not sitting back, that’s essentially getting spotted a goal. We’re lucky it was a tie game after the second.

    Agreed we make goalies like Mike Smith look like Felix the Cat in his prime, but that’s not coaching. That’s guys who can’t finish. That’s ability.

    Jon Tavarez isn’t going to be the #1 pick next year b/c he’s a good player or has been well-coached. The dude is a PROLIFC scorer. We don’t have one, which is why we NEED to play a system.

    Side note, you’re a total loser Doodie. You make a left field drinking comment probably b/c you’ve never been to a bar and shared a beer with actual friends and yearn to do so. Hell, who would want to actually hang out with Eeyore the Donkey?

  89. Couldn’t agree more with Beer.

    How can you debate with someone who probably looks at Jessica Biel and says “well, she has an ugly pointer finger.”

  90. doodie machetto on

    “Doodie,

    How many other coaches have made it to the playoffs the last 3 years besides Renney?

    Done deal.”

    Don’t look at coaches. Look at teams. Some teams aren’t satisfied with just making the playoffs or have promoted their coaches, etc.: Detroit, New Jersey, Ottawa, Nashville, San Jose, Dallas, Anaheim, and Calgary have all made the playoffs all three years since the lockout. Pittsburgh had the worst team in the NHL that first year, but they won the division last year, and everyone and their mother (except me) has them taking it again this season.

    As for coaches who have made it to the playoffs the last 3 years: Babcock, Ron Wilson (who was fired because making the playoffs wasn’t enough), Randy Caslyle, and Bryan Murray (led them to playoffs last year after firing Paddock) all made the playoffs the past 3 years. They have, between them, 2 Stanley Cup wins, 1 Stanley Cup Finals appearance, and two conference finals appearances.

    And don’t give Renney any credit for the year coming out of the lockout. We made the playoffs that year in spite of him. Jagr scored 120 pts. He didn’t want Prucha in the lineup until there were so many injuries he couldn’t deny his spot, then he scored 30 goals. And it took him almost half the season to name Hank the starter, even though he was clearly WORLDS better than Weekes.

    As for Pittsburgh, they were the worst team in hockey coming out of the lockout, yet last season they won the division, and everyone and their mothers (except me) is picking them to win it again this season.

  91. Never have I heard of a team having a successful year and making the playoffs IN SPITE OF a coach until now. Thanks for showing me how that’s done Doodie.

  92. doodie machetto on

    Jeever, I’m glad you asked that. It’s because we have been lucky to get into the playoffs the past couple of years. And looking at the conference, I think our luck has run out. I think the other teams are all good too. Some are by far the best they’ve been, such as Montreal, or Washington, or Boston even. Philly will be REALLY good once they get their injured defensemen back. Brodeur is off to one of the best starts of his entire career, which won’t help the MB30s come April, but at least it will get them into the playoffs. I just don’t see this team squeaking in the way it has the past couple of seasons. It’s just not in the cards this year.

    That’s why I don’t think having the best team we’ve had since the lockout is enough. I think we will be consistently better than we have been since about 1998. But in one night, I think that we lack the kind of dominant player who can simply will this team to a victory, like we used to have in a Jagr. I think that the team we had 2 years ago had the most *potential*. On any given night during the playoffs, we could’ve gotten a great performance from Jagr, from Nylander, from Shanahan, from Straka, from Avery (first round only). Someone who could just carry the team to victory. I just think this team is going to be the best team we’ve had in terms of a consistenty basis. I think it’ll finish at like .550-.575, which is scraping the bottom of the playoff picture. But it won’t be with a big run down the stretch. We’re going to be competitve every night. Very few blowouts, in either direction. But I don’t think they have what it takes to win night in and night out.

  93. Beer Me! – Too bad in that NHL.com article about all 30 teams playing tonight that they can’t seem to do math, saying that there are only eight officials _not_ working tomorrow night but they list three referees and *five* linesman. So, either they actually have 35 linesmen or one that they list is actually working on Saturday.

  94. doodie machetto on

    Let’s see how you are all on Renney’s jock in December when we’re 3rd in the division and in 9th place.

  95. Emphatically, I think this year’s team is better than last year’s team. Puck hog and turnover king Jagr is gone, Slowpoke Shanahan is gone so far, Backman, Malik, and Studwick are gone, and Betts and Mara are playing better. Yes, Avery is gone and that is a negative, but how is Voros doing, in his place? First, get rid of the pot holes, then add the talent. I like the way the Rangers have gone about their reconstruction. The overall league looks weaker, this year, with some really awful looking teams in just about every division. That helps decent teams like the Rangers look a bit better than they really are.

  96. doodie machetto on

    jason: in spite of is the wrong phrase. I should have said despite instead of in spite of.

    Still, I don’t think that’s what your comment was pointing out. But the truth is that Renney didn’t do anything except make sure Jagr was happy and ride his good success.

  97. OK Poopie….Let’s see all mark down that last statement of yours. If the Rangers are top 7 in the conference by Dec, you should banish yourself from this blog.

  98. Cakewalk,

    Not only do I agree with you and think this years team is better than last years team but I think last years team was better than the previous years team and so on. And yes, I think we’re better than the 05-06 team. The change over of this team has been considerable since the lockout and while we have gotten younger, faster and more of a draft and play instead of a sign/trade and play team, we have gotten better.

  99. Doodie,

    I completely and totally disagree with everything you just wrote. In fact, it’s pointless for us to even continue, so this will be my last response. I’m a glass half full guy, you’re glass completely empty guy. I give credit to those who deserve it and you somehow found a way to channel this credit other places. Actually, some of your points come off as quite bizarre. Especially things like “it took him (rennedy) almost half the season to name Hank the starter, even though he was clearly WORLDS better than Weekes.”

    Just a couple bullets on your “points”, which is a stretch to even imply they made any kind of sense:

    – Yeah, the Devils changed coaches only to lose in the first round of the playoffs in five games having lost in the second round the year prior… That’s improvement!

    – San Jose has been blessed with the most talent in the league and can’t seem to get over the hump. They had the two top scorers in the league at one point in the last 3 years. We’ve never had that. Not to mention, they also have a Vezina candidate goalie as well. They collapsed last year, didn’t even compete. That’s why Wilson was fired.

    – I’m sure Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby had nothing to do with the Pens improving. That was all coaching. Hell, you could even coach those guys to finals. They’re the essence of talent — there’s no better 1-2 punch in the league.

    – Ottawa went to the finals then completely collapsed the next year. That’s a real example?

    – Renney was ahead of the curve and that’s why we were so successful in 04. His player in his sytem had a career year after being boo’d out of Washington during career lows. To not give the coach any credit to that success is hypocritical and moronic.

  100. Brandon:

    Fair points re: talent.

    However, I can give you some examples of teams that have won Stanley Cups or been to the Staney Cup that did not have “A” players like Crosby, Malkin, Zetterberg and Ovechkin,

    Carolina, Edmonton, Calgary, Tampa, Anaheim are recent examples of teams that have had good players and made it to the finals, and some even won.

    We have Gomez, Drury, Naslund, Staal, Henrik, Zherdev and Redden, doesn’t that talent rank right up their with players from the teams I just mentioned?

    Maybe Iginla, Vinny and Pronger push these teams over the top. SO maybe we need that one more impact player?

    Callahan, Dawes and Dubinsky can’t get it done? If not, then fine, then let’s get some players in here that can.

    See to me, coaches can make their player better. And in the case of Torterrela and Laviolette they got their players to play at a higher level the years they won.

  101. dood – you mentioned teams that all made the playoffs last year… which non-playoff teams from last year do you think are better or will finish higher than us?

  102. Both those Carolina and Tampa Bay teams had plenty of talent.

    The Lightning were stacked that year and their best players (Lecavalier, Richards, St. Louis, Habibulin, even Fedetenko) were playing at their best. Side note, I like Johnny T and hope he gets another opp. to coach.

    In addition, Carolina was by far the best team in the league in 04. I remember watching them come into the Garden and being impressed how fast they were. They had A LOT of talent (Staal, Brindamour, Cullen, Stillman all had career years in points) and rode a HOT goaltender in the playoffs.

    I think the Rangers have plenty of talent, definitely enough. But, what we don’t have is a Michael Jordan and both those teams had it. However, we do have a better system. We’re like the Devils of the late 90’s. Enough talent, relentless effort and superior coaching.

    I’ll take that.

  103. doodie machetto on

    Boston didn’t make the playoffs last year. Buffalo didn’t either, and they have been playing very well, although I don’t see that continuing. Maybe Carolina. They’ve been doing OK, even without their injured players. Not to mention they get the added benefit of playing in a really bad division. They didn’t miss by much last season. 1 Point if I recall correctly.

  104. Doodie – At least stop talking out of both sides of your mouth. Please clarify:
    “Someone asked me if I thought this year’s team was *better than last year’s team*. The answer to that question is *no*. But last year’s team was really bad too.”
    “I didn’t think they were good, just as I *don’t think this team is good*. But I think *this team is certainly better*, if for nothing else than Dubinsky, Staal, and our other young players are a year older and a year better. I think that on any given night, *last year’s team could have been the best* team in the NHL, if all of our parts worked at top capacity. But that was a big if. *This year’s team* will be a lot more consistent, and overall, *a better team*”
    “So, if this team slides, as I expect it to, then it will have a harder time making the playoffs, even though *I think it is a better team than last year’s*.”

    How rediculous is it that the general managers are discussing eliminating some shot blocking by (essentially) not allowing players to dive on the ice? Let the players do that often enough and the offensive wizards will find their way around them which raises offense anyway. It’s too hard to tell if a player’s skate is on the ice or not.

  105. I love how this blog just went insane. 05-06 was Jagr…but how quickly we forget the impact Nylander and Straka had. Jagr led the team, but he got a lot of help from Mikey and Marty. Notice when Nylander left, Jagr wasn’t able to go hiding for awhile and still put up points. He would rather have a guy hold the puck so he can pretend like he isn’t doing much and then boom, rush to the slot and get open for a pass to score.

    And everyone is open to their opinion, but I don’t get why people keep trying to beat it into people. So we have differing viewpoints about what people think about the team. Its not that big of a deal. I think this team has the potential to be great for various reasons. Doodie doesn’t agree with me. He’s entitled to his own opinion.

  106. Oh and I forgot, this is what happens when the team has long stretches off. People run out of stuff to talk about so they keep repeating their points. Thats when this blog blows up with crap.

  107. and doodie, Boston did make the playoffs. they lost to Montreal in the 1st round. Thats something you can be corrected on. haha.

  108. doodie machetto on

    ““Someone asked me if I thought this year’s team was better than last year’s team. The answer to that question is no. But last year’s team was really bad too.””

    That’s the typo. The answer should have been yes.

    Yes, I think this team is better on a nightly basis than we were last year.

    But if everybody played their best last year, then I think that team could have beaten anyone. But there were so many ifs that it didn’t happen very often.

    Does anyone play fantasy? I’ll explain it in fantasy terms. Some guys are more consistent performers with lower upside. Some guys are riskier, but have a lot of upside. The riskier guy was last year. The consistent guy is this year.

    I happen to prefer consistency, so I think this year’s team is better. But I didn’t think last year’s team was going to make the playoffs, and as late as March, it wasn’t a far fetched though. And I don’t think this year’s team will make it as well, and we’ll see where things are.

    As for Newman, how about this. If they finish better than 7th on the season (provided there aren’t multiple injuries to major stars on opposing teams, like Crosby, Malkin, Brodeur, etc., unless there are countervailing injuries to the Rangers, like Hank, Gomez, Redden, etc.), I’ll stop posting. Guaranteed.

    But, if they miss the playoffs, you stop posting here. And as for 7th or 8th, we’ll call it a push, since I said they would be scraping to make the playoffs, and didn’t say it was impossible for them to make it.

  109. doodie machetto on

    Jonny, you’re right. I forgot that they squeaked in. I stand corrected.

    However, they will improve on 8th place. Probably 6th.

  110. You’re entitled to your own viewpoint until it’s relentlessly negative and erroneous to the conversation.

  111. doodie machetto on

    Dude, I’m not even relentlessly negative. I was on here chirping about how I think Dubinsky is going to be Vinny Lecavalier good. How I think Marc Staal would easily be our #1 defenseman and PP QB if they just gave him the chance. How I think that Gomez and Naslund show chemistry but need another passer on their line instead of a garbage goal guy in Drury. How Orr really has gotten a lot better at hockey since coming to NY.

    I gave kudos to Renney when he challenged Hank to beat Detroit. I don’t just say negative things. Really. I don’t.

  112. I’m gonna go home and like almost all of us, root for the Rangers tonight, unlike Doodie who will be rooting for the Blue Jackets.

  113. doodie machetto on

    And newman, to be clear, I’d gladly lose the bet to never post here again. Nothing would make me happier than to be 100% wrong, for the team to come in first and to win the Cup.

    Nothing.

  114. Pete – Look at the last three Cup winners and try to find some trend there. Red Wings, Ducks, and Hurricanes were not the same type of team.

    Brandon – I have been loving your posts today, but Hurricanes did not win in 2004; they won in 2006, _after_ the lockout.

    Doodie – Your posts still don’t make sense. Clearly, at least previewing the team before the season, last year’s team was more about consistency; guys like Jagr, Straka, and Shanahan with proven track records that could produce over the course of the season. There’s no use looking at individual games because everybody has sluggish stretches. This year’s team has a lot more risk because younger players like Zherdev, Dubinsky, and Dawes have to step it up to make sure this team stays competitive.

    Good job being wrong about the Bruins, who took an exciting series against Montreal to seven games.

    graves9 – I think your Francesa comment applies more to Doodie. Beer Me! is much more jovial than the fat man, except for today because he can’t take it anymore! :)

  115. Doodie Machetto, once one of the most respected posters in all Ranger-Land, had been suddenly and swiftly taken to task by Beer Me and much of the rank-and-file for his relentless negativity. Ranger-Land hasn’t been rocked like since Giacomin was put on waivers.

  116. Here’s some important news: Marek Malik will be wearing #22 for the Lightning; Mark Recchi is wearing #8, but he could be some sort of a pilon, too, at his age. So when you’re looking for someone to get beat, look for #22, though his hulking frame shouldn’t make him too hard to find anyway. How sickening would it be if he scored a goal in his first game?

  117. I cant stand fans like Doodie. Why even watch the games if you know where they’re heading ??

    Its alright to worry aboot the team, but you make it seem like you don’t give a flying fugg if they win or lose, and almost nearly seem like you actually root for the opponent so you can prove your point. Ugh, i cant stand that. Even Bob is more supportive even if he’s a total friggin moron who probably gets the crap kicked out of him by his mom for spilling the milk. What’s the harm in trying to be positive, instead of so fuggin negative ?

    As for the game. This is a must win, we cant lose to teams like the Blue Jerkoffs. I don’t want to see Tyutin with that ugly smile like Aves the other night. Hopefully Zherdev has a big game, and Nazzy keeps his scoring going.

    Im worried aboot Dru, but at least Ovechkin only has 2 goals, so that makes me feel a little better cause he’s supposed to have aboot 6 at least right now. Im using that to not worry, but i still cant help it, this guy needs to score like i need to see Jessica Alba in playboy.

  118. doodie machetto on

    SP: There was risk because they were older and had questions about durability. Shanahan didn’t have any and was useless for the last half of the season. Jagr’s drability issue was different: he saved himself for the second half of the season by not going full speed at the beginning. Straka is risky because he goes as Jagr goes.

    As for Boston, I don’t know how I forgot about that. I picked them to beat Montreal in 7 games because they were supposed to get Patrice Bergeron back. They didn’t get him back, but still played a great series.

  119. Thanks Spiderpig, typo on the year.

    I’m leaving work to have a brew and watch the game.

    Looking forward to the atmosphere in the building tomorrow against Pitt, especially if we win tonight (which I think we will).

    Rangers: 4 (Zherdev, Drury, Naslund, Orr)
    Columbus: 1 (Tyutin)

  120. In case anybody did not read one of the links that Beer Me! posted earlier, this quotation must be repeated:

    …a two-time Olympic gold medallist filling in for sick goalie Carey Price. That much-decorated athlete was Kim St-Pierre.

    And she found the perfect double-entendre to describe the experience — priceless.

    “Mike Komisarek asked me if it’s like women’s hockey and I said not at all– it’s so different,” said 29-year-old St-Pierre. “They’re so powerful. Their *quick release* is amazing. It was quite something.”

  121. So, after not rememembering much last night, I looked back at the blog and supposively I went 16-0 last night in pong which was later confirmed by some guys at the party. Im going to take that as a sign that Rangers are going to win 16-0 tonight…well lets make it 4-0. And I can actually understand where Doodie is coming from. I felt much more comfortable with our first line last year then our first line this year. But we decided to make a trade (and one that I like), depth for surface superstars. So therefore I think Newb should take the bet. Im sorry, but I dont really like your posts Newb, so its a win win situation for me.

  122. I’m pulling for Newman in this one big time. he is time and again a good poster. DM has not been in at least a year and his comment toward Beer me at 3:51 just goes to show that he continues to be a cancer on this board. so while Adam says that DM was once a respected poster it has been a long long time that was the case.

  123. I wish I had a good nasty 1 for all of you to lighten up the place a bit, but I don’t. I am sorry. I just want the team to win at any cost. I am done debating with people on whether the team is good or bad or whatever. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I used to get real mad at the negative posts, but now I just don’t much care. I will take the start we are having no matter what. I point in the standing is a point in the standings. And we have beaten teams we should have beaten, that is what you are supposed to do. In the past we would always lose those games. So we are just in to the season by 10 games and I think it is still too early to judge what kind of team we have. But I like what I have seen so far for the most part and I think we are going to be higher in the standings this year than many expect. That’s my two cents.

    I am pumped for the game tonight. Big time!

    Let’s Go Rangers!!!!!!!

  124. spider,

    detroit had great offense/defense and a big game goalie
    anaheim had great defense/great goalie and a great top line(selanne is the type of scorer we lack) and good secondary scoring
    carolina (the worst of the bunch): had more balanced lines w/at least one elite offensive player (staal) and u could make a case for brindamour as well, and their goalie was hot
    and carolina also happened to play edmonton who were good but not great

    so maybe no trend but detroit/anaheim have greater high end talent than we do and u could make a case that carolina did on offense and benefited from a hot goalie (or maybe pair of hot goalies)

    so i think we are/can be good, but we are missing some pieces to win the cup, now if we picked up a big scorer that can change and make up for deficiencies elsewhere (ie why pitt should still be a threat even w/less than great defense/goaltending)

    and we are not the devils of old, our d is not of that caliber sadly, not even close really

  125. Pete – With Anaheim, I was thinking more along the lines that they are a much more physical and grinding team. To me, there is no clear way to go, that teams just have to find whatever style works for them.

  126. Beer, Thanks for the link to the Dallas Stars ice girls. Man those chicks are hot. I like Kristen, but I am partial to blondes.

    That shit makes me depressed man. We’re the NY RANGERS, from the greatest city in the WORLD…why can’t WE have hot skanks sweep the snow from the crease? Somebody dropped the ball

  127. Nah Doodie is more like Joe Beningo. Just saw the Rangers have changed up the d pairs. The Kalinin-Rozsival pair should be a disaster in waiting.

  128. CCCP, Malholtra was 7th overall in 1998. I was there at the Theatre at MSG when they drafted him! John Davidson and PJ Stock were there and signed my hat

  129. I can’t wait for everyone to blame kalinin for “letting” that bounce past him. He made two great plays that shift…and his d-man partner was nowhere to be found on that play. Plus the forwards didn’t get it deep. So before everyone rips Kalinin, know that wasn’t his fault.

  130. what a bust he is… malhotra that is… i just checked that years draft… not to much to choose from… but he got picked way ahead of Gomez in that years draft

  131. I can’t believe they allow hockey to be played on ice this bad. All around the league, it’s embarassing and equal to a soccer game being played in sand or a basketball game being played on carpet. Mickey Mouse League.

    That being said, this team is boring right now.

  132. haha I never said he does everythin right. but there, he was by himself and got a shitty bounce. when he physically gives the puck away when hes trying to make a pass, thats the reason why he should be traded.

  133. Malhotra is exactly what he was supposed to be, selke calibre D every night and a leader, former captain of Canada at the WJC’s, that says volumes.

    Think Joel Otto

    Anything but a bust, just mis-understood.

    Hugh Jessiman was a bust, Jamie Lundmark was a bust, Al Montoya was a bust, Pavl Brendl was a bust etc etc. Not Malhotra.

  134. Rangers could have drafted Gomez or Gagne over Malhotra. I recall Smith comparing him to Graves oops. Malhotra is a nice checking center but he was a huge reach that early in the draft.

  135. well even though I came in late, what an awful period. what is with this regrouping? what happened to dumping it and skating fast on the forecheck? I’m going to guess it had to do with all the penalties, but still, come on.

  136. So, that is how not to play the first period. I only saw the last ten minutes and Im hoping the first ten didn’t look like that because they rarely got any consistent play in the Blue Jackets zone.

  137. not that i defend the drafting of malhotra in anyway, but Gagne and Gomez were considered small and soft back in the NHL that was becoming a physical and defensive game. we went a bit over the top with the pick however.

  138. Anyway Fleury and Verbeek were still pretty good players at that time. Malhotra was mismanaged from the time he came here. Smith wanted him up(when he should have been in juniors) and Schmuckler didn’t wanna play Manny.

  139. I shouldn’t say that since I wanted them together I wanted Girardi to be paired with Redden to give a physical presence, I thought Rozi should be with Staal…

  140. Funny that they score when Renney is away from the bench. either way, you have to hope hes ok.

  141. wtf just happend? … hopefuly we wont have to look for a new coach (ahem)but yea…hope he is fine

  142. jesus that sick came down on renney hard hope hes alright

    talk about winning one for the gipper that was serious to come back out after that and tie the game

  143. yeah i believe thats the right call he honestly didnt kick until after the puck had changed direction to go into the net

  144. bob, you’re an idiot of the worst kind.

    meanwhile, the rangers are lucky as hell to be up in this game.

    please, please, please, get a PP.

  145. that was a good goal. Dubi hit the puck with his skate first, then he made a kicking motion. for the shit they played early on, they look better in the last few minutes. heres to hoping they keep it up.

  146. And that was a better period. I think the chances were equal this period between Columbus and NY. Now we just have to make sure we don’t shell like Avery in a fight

  147. As boring as the first period was that’s how entertaining that period was. Don’t forget about Hank’s save on Nash on a breakaway early in the period when the Jackets were leading 1-0. Dubinsky and Zherdev are flying. Girardi is by the far the best offensive dman this team has. He is smart with the puck and is always willing to shoot(and get the puck on net) Drury can’t score with Paris Hilton at this stage. Gomez has been very quiet tonight(almost invisable)

  148. onecupin67years on

    The Rangers without pruch are a good team,
    The rangers without prucha and renney are definitey a better team!
    If Renney returns for the third period they will lose.

  149. onecupin67years on

    Ken Hitchcock’s pregame meal,
    4 beefy burgers with cheese and slaw
    a bag of corn dogs
    a couple of chicken fried steaks
    Two shakes one chocolate one strawberry
    and a small diet coke
    he looks like Yoda

  150. Good job by the War Room. That WAS a goal. There was NO kicking motion at all, except after the puck was off his skate, and he never touched it. Good goal. I didn’t think the league would let that slide, cause they didn’t want Hitchcock up there ass ( take that quote how ever you want it ) But that was a good goal, and a great play by Dubi.

    Zherdev had a good period. 2 assists, a couple of crushing hits, good stuff.

    20 more mins, hopefully they make no mistakes.

    Fritsche isn’t anything special, i would rather have Korpedo in his spot with Dubi, not Dan. At least put Freddy on the 3rd line.

  151. “Ken Hitchcock’s pregame meal,

    4 beefy burgers with cheese and slaw
    a bag of corn dogs
    a couple of chicken fried steaks
    Two shakes one chocolate one strawberry
    and a small diet coke”

    His in-between period snack is Tom Renney.

  152. I had the game on dvr cause I went out dinnner and when I saw renney get hurt and we score I said I can’t wait to see bobs comments. One cup I only agree with the second part about renney

  153. I was praising his offensive skills mostly. He has nowhere as consistant in his own end as he was in his first year (06-07)

  154. Bob get off that computer. youll never get a girlfriend that way. Stop being mad at Mr Betts and Mr Renney for not going to your birthday party.

  155. Zherdev is a ridiculous talent. Reminds me alot of a young Kovalev(so far he’s been far more consistant)

  156. So Z is pretty much awesome, which is what I said when we first got him. Even without Fritsche, that deal was a steal. With Fritsche, its pretty much the same thing because we have too many forwards. haha. Fritsche is a good 3rd/4th line guy though.

  157. onecupin67years on

    The Rangers got the better of the trade tonight, Tytuin looks lost, bachman looked ok.Nice win.

  158. Excellent win. It was all keyed by Lundqvist’s big save on Nash, Renney taking a stick the the head(okay maybe not) and Zherdev tormenting his old team. Hell even Drury and Naslund showed some life and played fairly well. I liked that the Rangers came out agressive instead of sitting back in the third period. Tough game coming up against the Pens and their buddies the officals.

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