Fine-tuning before the Islanders


The lines that started out last night were intact for today’s short practice, most notably with Petr Prucha at right wing alongside Brandon Dubinsky and Aaron Voros.

That line was just OK against the Penguins, but I thought Prucha and Dubinsky were most effective in the third period, when Voros was replaced for several shifts by Fred Sjostrom. The hustle of that combination led to a power play, which gave way to the Rangers’ first goal.

We’ll have plenty more tomorrow for the first visit of the season to the Islanders, but not much else today. I seem to be fighting something passed along by one of my sons. That’s OK. This will all be noted when it’s time to make out my will.

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  1. what the HECK-
    “If Drury gets a goal in the next four games or more then three assists then I will stop posting here for (as many goals as he scores or every 2 assists counts as 1) weeks. If Drury get 0 goals or less then 3 points, you have to not post here for 3 weeks and must declare me as the omniscient and omnipotent when it comes to NYR and hockey. Oh yeah…and I get to have your house and car.”

    Let’s see… I don’t really want you to stop posting… but I’ll take the friendly bet and say that you’re the omniscient and omnipotent (what? king of the universe) if Dru doesn’t get a goal by the time we play Tampa on Nov 6th. If he does get one… I want you to say that I was right.

    P.S. My car isn’t that nice and my house is in Orlando (700 sq ft 1bed/1bath)… still want it?

  2. You guys know Drury is a career 50 point guy right? Thats his average for the most part.

    And can someone please explain the Kalinin bashing too me. I won’t say hes amazing, but he hasn’t been any better or worse than Rozi, Girardi, and Redden but yet everyone is ripping him. For the money he gets, hes better than the Redden and Rozi signings. The guy made a bunch of solid defensive plays and is always involved on the rush. The problem is hes with Rozsival now and they both have offensive minds. If Kalinin can be paired with Mara for example, he can jump up in the play more often without worrying about giving up breakaways. Just because he doesn’t hit that often (he still throws a couple), doesn’t mean he’s horrible. And lately he’s been stealing the puck a hell of a lot more than he’s been giving it away.

  3. Kalinin is playing decent. He makes a few mistakes every now and then, but im not gonna rip him like everyone would wanna do. The only difference between him and Backman, is when Backman would fugg up, he’d come back and score a goal. Either way, im hoping Potter, Sanguinetti, or maybe even Del Zotto is ready next season, and will replace him.

    Del Z looked great in pre season. The young D this season has been pretty good, Schenn for the Leafs, getting in his first fight with Neil last night, and playing the final shift of a one goal game, Bogosian with the Trashers, Doughty for the Kings, which i haven’t seen to much but heard he’s doing pretty good, Petrangelo for the Blues, Sbisa for the Philly Flowers. You just never know, maybe he’ll be ready next season, but then again Staal had a good camp out of the draft, followed by a not so good camp, then followed by a good camp which allowed him to make the team, and he’s doing great.

    As far as Staal goes. I think Renney should put him on the PP, Mara wont like that, but Mara isn’t hitting the net. Its time to put Staal on the PP, ive seen him there once this season, and im not saying he’s gonna be the PP QB, but even so, i think its time to give him some more responsibility. I think he can handle it.

  4. Please! “Offensive-minded” Kalinen has ONE even-strength assist, and no even-strength goals, all season. Not really impressive for someone “who is always involved in the rush.” Involved in the rush as what, an innocent bystander? Christ, this buffoon is this year’s version of Backman – maybe you remember that not too scintillating acquisition?

  5. Actually Backman did that once, either way I didn’t bash him anyway. But after how badly everyone booed guys who were much slower and ineffective like Malik, Strudwick, Ozolinsh, and I guess even Backman and Tyutin in the 2nd half last year, you would think Kalinin is worse than all of them. We have him as our 6th d-man. I could understand if he was our 3 or 4, but hes our 6, and he has a lot of offensive potential.

    I think with a better defensive guy like Mara next to him, he’ll feel a little more free to join the rush. But if you notice, when our team goes off for a change and hes on the ice and only one forward is up the ice with the puck, he’ll jump in to help immediately. He’s helped cause a lot of goals because he jumps into the offense as a 4th man. Plus when he gives the puck away, which hasn’t happened as much lately, he makes a great play to make up for it immediately. Like he’ll poke check the puck away so they don’t get a scoring chance. And he played Malkin pretty well last night.

    I think people just want to see hitting out of him when thats not his game. But he’s not nearly as bad as most people make him out to be.

  6. The statement that “lately (Kalinen) has been stealing the puck a helluva lot more than he’s been giving it away,” is hogwash. Four games back Kalinen had a takeaway-giveaway ratio of 4-4. Now he is at 4-7, four takeaways & seven giveaways.

  7. cakewalk, you clearly do not pay attention to the games much because you would see him up in the rush all the time. It was his game when he was in Buffalo and he’s brought that over to NY now. He might not get points, but he’s forcing the other teams winger to drop back or risk giving up a 4 on 3. Plus he’s got a great shot, only problem is he needs to hit the net more. I’m not saying he’s Brian Leetch, but hes not awful either.

  8. fair enough about the stats, I didn’t look at them before, but from watching he doesn’t seem to be turning the puck over on outlet passes like he did. and would you rather have Struds or Malik as our 6th man or him. Hell Malik was like our 2nd or 3rd guy. haha. I’d much rather have a guy with offensive potential whos pretty solid in the d-end then a guy thats slow and doesn’t have much to offer and gets beat a lot by fast players, which both Malik and Struds did way too often.

  9. I think Kalinin has a lot of upside…I think he just has brain farts every now and then….”Malik” is Czech for “brain fart”.


  10. Redden and Kalinin mistakes seem to always lead to quality scoring chances (a la Malik).. Mara has been solid (despite mising the net on the PP) – hope to see that for whole year

  11. Huge trap game tomorrow night against the Islanders. very easy to see how the Rangers might be intoxicated by their very successful weekend, while the NYI might be devastated by their horrible start and injuries to so many so-called key players (Witt, DiPee, etc.)

    So it is all set up for a Ranger calamity —— unless Renney and his crack staff prepares them appropriately and urges them to play like it’s Armageddon.

    Play Hank, play Prucha —– and try to win the game 5-1, not hope to get by. Don’t let that fourth-rate organ-EYE-zation steal one because you were taking a breather.

  12. What has happened to Voros’ game? He started off so promising, played with a lot of enthusiasm and energy. Come back to us Aaron.

  13. Voros will be fine. He can’t score every game. He’s solid on D, has a long reach, and hits.

    I’d love to see Mara and Callahan take on Sutton for that cheap crap he pulled last preseason.

    Definitely a trap game, they better stay mentally sharp.

  14. Callahan needs to be taken off the top line. He needs to stop wasting offensive opportunities by constantly taking bad angle shots. Either pass it or drive to the net with the puck. Same goes for everybody else, except snipers like Zherdev.

  15. I guess you don’t know the definition of *trap game*. This would reqire the Rangers to be looking past this game at an important matchup against a good opponent in the next one. However, the Rangers are playing the Thrashers after this, so, hence, not a trap game on Monday.

    I feel like all of the defensemen have played well so far this season, at least compared to last season. If you trade Kalinin away, what makes you think his replacement will be any better? There is a reason why he is a sixth defenseman, and he can be afforded more mistakes in that position. I feel like he has played very well as our “worst” defenseman. It looks like somebody has taught them to go for the body more than the puck this season during a rush against, like Rozsival did against Malkin and Mara has been doing frequently.

  16. MIKEA

    I think Sutton is still out with an inury. I saw him skating in practice for them, but i don’t know if he’s ready.

    Sutton is a piece of shit, but i definitely would love to have him here. He is a cheap shot artist though, but sometimes you need them in the lineup, unless he takes 5 minute penalties like an old friend of Nyr used too.

  17. “I seem to be fighting something passed along by one of my sons. That’s OK. This will all be noted when it’s time to make out my will.”

    haha, good stuff sam.

    Glad to hear they’re keeping Pru out there, the guy deserves an every-night spot.

  18. Voros was less effective over the weekend because they didn’t let Voros get to the net, or allow the Rangers to settle for long to allow Voros to screen the goalie.

    Freddy Sjoes looks like he’s improved this last week and there were a lot of players doing the little things right in the 3rd against Sindy and the Ice Chickens. Lots of nice little disruptions, interceptions and takeaways – there were only a couple of times 87 & co were allowed to skate freely into our zone, one being Hank’s stoning of Crosby in the last couple of minutes. We also seemed a lot more direct in the 3rd, which is what lead to Prucha drawing the penalty for Naslund’s goal.

    I like the puck posession play, but nothing’s more exciting than the “crash the net” type play in the 3rd on Saturday.

    Lets hope the momentum from saturday spills over to tonight and we give the Isles an ass-kicking!!

  19. Sjoie was good before he got here, he was just in a bad situation playing with a completely ineffective Betts and Orr. Both of those guys worked on their games in the offseason, especially Orr, so its benefitting him. Plus he’s being used in a lot more places and is bumped up to the 2nd or 3rd line Wing when the team needs a push to finish the game.

  20. I guess it’s all in the perception.

    At 8-2-1, a team 1.91 GAA, a 5 point division lead (with 2 more GP), ‘evaluation period’ winding down, line combos still being ironed out, and 2 wins from the backup, I can’t really find anything worth complaining or arguing about.

    So from an overall on-ice perspective I’d say I’m content with what’s out there. There’s still the question of getting 1 or 2 guys going offensively, and that could all be in the combos. There’s still a need for a 7th dman for security (and motivation).

    I wouldn’t be so quick as to get cocky over their record, because there are some other teams that are on pace for the same #’s, and look very good right now. But we’ve beaten every team in our division except the Isles, where we get the chance tonight. And have managed a tough schedule to start. As a team, they’ve held up their side of the deal so far.

  21. Kalinin has been decent this year. Not stellar, but solid. Defensively, he hasn’t lapsed that badly, and no more often than Redden, Girardi, Mara, or Rozsival. The way I see it, for the defensive part of the game, he’s probably been our third best blueliner this year, behind Staal and behind Mara by a hair; about even with Girardi who had a slow start but is settling in.

    People are bound to get on him because his style of play is sort of like Backman/Malik, but unlike Backman he doesn’t have this delusion of adequacy with the puck. Every time Backman would touch the puck he’d get this notion that he had to do something spectacular with it and would forget what the hell he was doing in the first place and usually just cough it up. When Kalinin gets it, he just tries to make a smart pass, which usually works. He’s not dazzling by any means and he’s sort of weak with the puck when he’s challenged, but he’s okay and he’s an improvement over what we had going in and out of that seventh spot last year.

  22. Morning all! I’m still a little stoked from the game Saturday. Tonight will be interesting because the Islanders always seem to ‘bring it’ when playing us.

    on another note – I had pittsburgh fans (a dad and his kid) sitting behind me on Saturday and the linesman had his arm up for delayed offsides call and the kid kept hollering for Fleury to get out of his crease because he thought it was a penalty.. clueless…

  23. Re Kalinen, you can endorse him for his “style” or you can focus on his “substance,” which I prefer to do. We all would like to see him turn his season around, but the fact is, like it or not, when he is on the ice at even-strength – the ultimate skill test and barometer – the Rangers are being outscored by the opposition. On a winning team that is a telling indicator of overall weakness in a player. This is shaping up as a disaster and a dreadful import decision.

  24. Anyone want to predict Vally’s next start? Is it tonight against the Isles backup(Or should I say newly appointed starter)?

    And is there a better goalie tandem in the league right now? Hank and Vally are beaming with confidence.

  25. Beer, I just think theres something about this team that makes you feel like they can win every night. Last year I never had that feeling just because I knew the talent was there, but the effort wasn’t. Two years ago our team overacheived like crazy just because of the effort of guys like Cullen, Ortmeyer, Prucha, and a bunch of other players. We have that feeling back this year with a much better overall team. Now its early like you said so the test will be keeping this going for the whole season, but by January or February we should be able to tell 100% what this team is truly made of.

  26. Cake, that would obviously be plus/minus and that is not the “ultimate skill test and barometer” – if that was the case, Marek Malik is the next coming of Bobby Orr (if plus/minus measures skill). I don’t know how I conceivably input those names in the same sentence.

  27. And while I know the Icelanders are absolutely terrible, they ALWAYS, ALWAYS play the Rangers hard….so while I believe the Rangers should and will win, I won’t be surprised if they don’t…and if they don’t, they most likely weren’t looking past the them. Renney won’t let them do that.

  28. Johnny D, true true about the confident feeling going into every game. With Hank and Valli playing the way they are, and Kalinin picking up the slack of the entire team, esp. Drury we have chance to win every night. hehe

  29. bob October 27th, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Only defensemenn that should be traded are Rozsival and Redden. Overpaid and too soft.

    Priceless bob, just absolutely priceless!
    Highlight material…seriousl

  30. Staal, I agree. Even though the points aren’t there, Kalinin has to be in consideration for the Norris haha

  31. prucha should play even if he doesnt score as long as he provides the full hard nose in ur face effort he brings. that effort will never be a bad thing and does no harm.

  32. Prucha’s hustle crashing the net with the puck draws the penalty, which helps us on the power play to tie the game. Give him credit, he deserves more time on the ice, I really liked the combo with Sjostrom and Drury. That line could be a tough one to defend.

    Rangers need to roll over the islanders!!!! I know they always play us tough, but this year they look more like AHL team.

  33. “Re Kalinen, you can endorse him for his “style” or you can focus on his “substance,” which I prefer to do. We all would like to see him turn his season around, but the fact is, like it or not, when he is on the ice at even-strength – the ultimate skill test and barometer – the Rangers are being outscored by the opposition. On a winning team that is a telling indicator of overall weakness in a player. This is shaping up as a disaster and a dreadful import decision”

    that is misleading because Kalinin is playing even strength with 3rd and 4th lines thad do not score much. If he was playing with top 2 lines he would have had more points and better +/-

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