From the Coliseum, a rivalry renewed (Updated)


Every time I return to Nassau Coliseum I can’t help but recall the chance I had to play here as a youngster. I was a squirt, no more than 60 pounds, and I thought stepping onto the ice at this venerable arena was the coolest thing in the world.

It goes without saying that I didn’t get out much as a kid.

OK, too easy. Truth is, as outdated and even ugly as the Coliseum might be, it at least has some semblance of character, which isn’t something you find in every NHL building these days. Now if I was a player and I had to compare the facilities here to other arenas, some of the arena’s “charms” might quickly wear thin. But I can certainly handle three games a year.

Meanwhile, some notes:

<li>For the record, I’m fairly certain I was kept off the score sheet in that game. I believe we played Oyster Bay, or maybe it was the hated Green Machine. I can’t remember. But I can guarantee you at no time was there an incident with the Ice Girls.

<li>As for more relevant hockey news, it will be Henrik Lundqvist versus Joey MacDonald, a clash for the ages. Laugh all you want, but I guarantee the Islanders come out flying.

“They’re a good team and they work awfully hard,” said Tom Renney. “The results and point totals don’t necessarily suggest what they’re doing, but as a team we’re pretty cognizant of that.”

<li>Had the chance to catch up with Thomas Pock, who resisted my invitation to trash the Rangers. I hate when guys get all classy like that.

“Honestly, I had a good time and some great memories from being with them that will be there when I’m 80 years old,” said Pock, who has played in six of the Islanders’ first seven games after being claimed off waivers. “Everything else is water under the bridge. In some places it works out and other places it doesn’t. I have no hard feelings against them.”

It’s fair to say that Pock was not a favorite of the Rangers coaching staff despite some potential as a puck-moving defenseman. He spent most of the 2006-07 season with the team, but played in only one game last season before being demoted to Hartford.

I asked him if he always thought he could play for most NHL teams.

“Definitely, you look at their roster and the guys who are there, it’s just a tough team to crack,” he said.

More updates in a bit…

Update, 7:01 p.m.: The Scott Gomez line to start, with Michal Rozsival and Dmitri Kalinin at defense. Thomas Pock gets the start for the Islanders alongside Mark Streit.

Update, 7:08 p.m.: Nothing like a resounding goal to break a player out of his slump. Somehow Chris Drury was credited with the goal just 56 seconds in, even if it didn’t look like he touched the puck at all. Nonetheless, it’s his. And as I said earlier, sometimes that’s all it takes.

Update, 7:13 p.m.: At least they’re saying here Drury scored the goal. I see everywhere else that Markus Naslund is getting credit. So stay tuned..

Update, 7:29 p.m.: Looks like Brandon Dubinsky’s two penalties have landed him in Tom Renney’s doghouse. He was just held out in a shift in favor of Blair Betts.

Update, first intermission: I was just about to say it’s remarkable the Rangers escaped that period with a lead given how badly they were outplayed when the Islanders score late. Dan Girardi gets completely outmuscled by Richard Park, and Kyle Okposo buries his first of the year with 7.3 seconds remaining. Fitting, I suppose.

Update, 8:13 p.m.:  Given my earlier posts, I’m not at all surprised that the Islanders are outworking the Rangers. But I am surprised at just how flat the Rangers look, particularly on their second failed extended 5-on-3 in as many games. I’m just a guy who played one game here 20 years ago, but doesn’t a power play need some movement to be even slightly deceptive? This power play is just as predictable as when Jaromir Jagr was here, with one major exception: it no longer has Jaromir Jagr.

Update, 8:26 p.m: Voros and Thompson fight, to the tune of “Panama” by Van Halen. I’m not sure how I feel about the soundtrack, although it would be even stranger if it was “Wind Beneath My Wings”. If a guy could fight to that, no one would ever mess with him.

Update, 9:02 p.m.: Nothing abut this lead would qualify as “commanding”. In fact, I’d venture to say this is one of the sloppiest efforts of the season. So why are the Rangers winning? Maybe it’s because the Islanders aren’t exactly overloaded with finishers.

Update, 9:16 p.m.: OK, so now we’ll call it commanding thanks to Scott Gomez and what looks an extended 5-on-3 for the Rangers. In other news, note that Nikolai Zherdev is back playing with Brandon Dubinsky and Aaron Voros while Petr Prucha is with Chris Drury and Markus Naslund.

Update, 9:27 p.m.: Slump? Did someone mention a slump? So maybe one goal wasn’t much of a goal at all and the other was on an inconsequential 5-on-3, Chris Drury no longer has to look at the bagel next to his name on the stat sheet. Now the question is how it serves him moving forward.

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  1. Ah the green machine, I believe we played against them at a tournament in white plains when I was a peewee.

  2. The Bruins had a massive fail: the faceoff dots in one zone were four feet farther away from the goal line than they should have been. Watch the highlights from Saturday’s game online and you can easily tell that the right zone’s circles are much farther away from the goal line than those on the left (link to article in name).

    Wow, I felt like we had a high amount of goals per game, but we are at about our average from last season right now.

    Here are my numbers for goals for and against *while on ice* (similar to plus/minus), not including empty net goals (Callahan) and counting 6 on 5 goals as PP (Zherdev) for my purposes. I still have to work on averaging these based on TOI.

    Even strength goals against, defensemen:
    Kalinin 7, Rozsival 6, Redden & Girardi 5 each, Staal & Mara 4 each. Kalinin is definitely in the bottom half of our D for TOI, so it looks like the hatred is unfortunately warranted.

    Even strength goals for, forwards:
    Zherdev 11, Voros 8, Dubinsky 7, Gomez 5, Drury & Naslund 4 each, Betts Callahan & Sjostrom 3 each

    Just to go over all of the goals scored while Drury was on the ice, since it seems he is the main point of contention: 4 even-strength GF, 6 even-strength GA, 4 PPGF, 2 PPGA, 1 shorthanded GA.

    Kalinin is the biggest offender overall, with six more goals being scored against us while he is on the ice than goals for. He leads with three power play goals being scored against the Rangers when he’s out there. Betts is one of the six players with two PPGA. Zherdev has seen 12 more goals for than against us in his time on the ice.

    Make of it what you will. The season is still young.

  3. Here’s the link to where I have those stats. They are up-to-date.

    Also, did anybody else notice Sam Rosen a couple times saying *Mats Naslund* on Saturday? That dude never even played here, but he was in the Eastern Conference. Or maybe Sam has Mats Sundin on the brain? At least he was with us Saturday since his football game was in Philly.

  4. He said Mats Naslund a couple weeks ago as well.

    It’s official: Sundin is coming to NY. Sam couldn’t help the slip.

  5. I really hope we beat the fishsticks. I can’t bare the thought of losing to the fishsticks lol.

    Hope Drury has a good game. His luck has to turn some time. I know he is a great player! Hope tonight is the night!

  6. Mats Naslund? Sam probably has the 86 series stuck in his head. Wasn’t Mats Naslund the leading scorer on the Habs back in the 80s? One of those Swedish dudes who won a Cup and then retired early kinda like Hakam Loob with Calgary. It’s a little before my time.

    The Colesium? I hate the Islanders but I grew up on LI when the Rangers were bringing up Leetch, Richter, Amonte, Nemchinov, etc. (like 89-92) and the Islanders used to be a very competitive second tier team in those days so I have my own view of this rivalry. I always think of Rangers/Islanders as being played at the Colesium and Rangers/Devils as being played in the Garden. Don’t ask.

  7. the fact that the Rangers are way better despite the poor stats start by Drury underscores the fact that a team captain is more vital for emphasizing the team concept to his teammates, rather than running up big numbers on the ice.

    the failure of Leetch and Jagr as captains demonstrates it best. individual points for big names don’t translate to points in the standings. but TEAM LEADERSHIP does.

    it does not take screaming, or cheerleading, or big goal totals. it takes quiet, unassuming bonding of the whole group, not for cliques or selfish personal gain.

  8. Tyr
    I dont agree with you at all. I dont think Drury has anything to do with the team clicking this year. In fact, in most practices and games I’ve watched it looks like he is the one to shy away from people. He is very underspoken and doesn’t take enough interviews. And his game doesn’t even speak for him. Of course, I do not know what he says in the locker room, but we can’t assume that his personality completely flips in there. The reason our team was divided last year was the cancer of Avery on the bench. While an amazing player and fan favorite, he was not a locker room favorite.
    Anyways…I suggest to all of the Drury, Kalinin, Roscival, Prucha, Redden haters out there. Pick out one of them tonight. Just watch them and every one of there little plays. Make mental notes of strengths and weaknesses, then talk about them later. DONT JUST COMPLAIN ABOUT HIGHLIGHTS! Sometimes people see the giveaway that turns into a goal, but dont see the turnover that turns into a Lundqvist save. Watch everything. My guy for this game is Wade Redden.

  9. Mcdonald pretty much scored on himself lol. Uh oh the Isles are starting to fly. B.s penalty call on Dubi.


  11. graves and other haters can’t be happy about the captain getting a goal. come on chris start getting a bunch of them now.

  12. Joe you are the king of retards. I’m always happy when a Ranger player plays well and produces. Unlike you I will get on players when they underachieve. Nobody wants Drury to play better than me.

  13. graves (malik) – i get on players i think deserve it. for example i hated Hollweg and did so for a long time. I don’t usually quit on a proven player 10 games into the season.

  14. Horrendous Girardi got beat in the corner and Redden beat out in front. That’s just a play where Park and Okposo wanted it more than Girardi and Redden.

  15. Quit? No get on for playing like crap? Yes. Redden is just a pylon and what has happened to Girardi’s d zone play?

  16. GRAVES

    Freddy should have been more aware of what was going on. I knew they were gonna score of the faceoff, the way Sam and Joe were going on aboot Pruchs, i knew it was gonna happen.

    Pathetic period, the Isles look like they’r ready to put up another 50-60 shots. I don’t know why this team can hold the Bolts to under 20 shots, with Lecavalier, St Louis, Malone, Prospal, etc., but they give up all these shots to the shitty Islandorks, c’mon.

    Hopefully they get it together in the 2nd. I didn’t like that period at all, we got a lucky goal, im not impressed at all. Ill take it, but im not happy with it, but good to see Dru get a goal. Although i could have swore the Islandork player shot it towards MacDonald, but i guess not.

  17. Islanders announcers are reporting Drury did not actually get the goal, but the Islander behind the net actually accidentely put the puck into his own net. I might have to retract my statement. Also, WHAT THE F*#$*@#($@(#$*@$*@#*$ are we doing. This is worse then my girlfriends herpes! Altogether Islanders dominated the play. If Henrik was not in net and Vali was, we’d be down 3-1 at least. I hate our shell that we go into after scoring a goal.
    As for Redden, he played very well that period. He made a nice play on the player in front, unfortunately it squirted to the uncovered guy after him.

  18. Renney benches Dubi? He should permenantly Redden!

    I feel sorry that Girardi has to play with this useless SOS. And, we got him for 6 more years. Nice signing Sather. This clown is going to take up the cap space we need to resign Zherdev.:X

  19. Dubi got benched for taking two penalties in the first period. When is Redden getting benched?

  20. Dubi will be fine. he won’t sulk and will come out even more motivated. a coach knows which players he can punish while others need TLC. he would be afraid to lose Zherdev for that terrible pass in front of HL.

  21. Let’s face it Callahan (whom I really like) is just not a scorer on an NHL level. Put him as a center of the 4th line and trade Betts, Fritsche and Rissmiller.

    The Gomez line isn’t going to score much with Callahan on it. Dawes and Prucha could use PP time.

    Put Korpikoski with Dubinski and Voros.

  22. Green Machine? Flashback to Dante Cozzi! I played for Nassau County and Beaver Dam (and Portledge), but I’m an old guy of 40. My brother and my best friend played for the Green Machine one year.

    Does Fischler think he’s “punny” when he says stuff like “Hunter hunting for a goal” and last game he talked about “stone cold goaltending” because Lundqvist “stoned him”. What the? Fishler is like that old history teach who has told the same jokes for 45 years!

  23. I’ve never seen a PP that doesn’t move the puck like ever. Its not rocket science. Move the puck, get the D moving, get the goalie moving, open up passing lanes, open up shooting lanes. Its not so much the formation as it is the Rangers lack of puck movement. You watch the best PPs in the league and the puck is constantly moving. Nobody has it for more than 2 seconds.

  24. The PP setup is a joke, fire Renney and his cronies. Where are these cross-crease passes for tap in goals?

  25. agree that voros should get some time on the pp in general especially on 5 on 3. spread the wealth plus drury and naslund get a lot of lumber on them over course of long pp

  26. Also, I mentioned it last year, but I still think its true.

    Gomez is the worst best passer I’ve ever seen. He makes some ridiculous amazing pass that gets through like 3 people…but then he screws up a simple pass and gives it away. Its the story of his life.

    As for the PP, its the coaching and the players. I feel like they are all complicating things way too much. Pittsburgh runs pretty much the same set formation but moves the puck around extremely quickly. The Rangers don’t have passing lanes because they never move the puck and when they do, its so slow and predictable. Just spread it out, fire the puck around the perimeter until a shot or cross ice pass opens up. You learn this when you first learn how to run a PP. But for some reason this team can’t figure it out.

  27. thank god. just when I was going to ask how Dubi missed a wide open net, they get an ugly goal.

    see what happens when you just throw it at the net? Paul Mara knows whats up.

  28. new lines should be:


  29. Callahan can score into an empty net, I never doubted that. He can even score garbage goals. Which is more than I can say for Betts. Oh and Callahan hits unlike Betts.

  30. bob – renney likes betts too much. he is not getting traded. they;ll probably extend him 1 year or 2. you’ve calmed down on sjostrom

  31. Trautwig just said Scott Drury, what a douchebag. But you know what else, there are a lot of people on this board that practice the art of douchebaggery just as well as Baldwig. When other good teams win a game like this everyone says, “see good teams find ways to win games like this.” When the Rangers play a game like this everyone bitches and moans and moans and bitches. Sure, they haven’t won this game yet, and they still could lose it, but s my fuggin d already. We are the #1 team in the NHL. Enjoy it a little bit. Yes we need improvement. All teams do.

  32. Using new ten-stone calculator (purchased from a gypsy in Romania) I have determined the following:

    Rozival’s salary is $2.5M per powerplay shot on goal

    Drury is getting paid 12 cents per time he gets hit with puck(also 12 cents per time he winds up on his butt)

    Gomez gets $1 dollar per blueline back-pass

    Hank….cannot be paid enough

  33. nasty – good point on many posters. see you’ve been posting less during the day. students taking up too much time?

  34. Yeah man. That and I don’t feel like riding on the misery train in to negativetown on I’ll be dAmtrack. It’s been smelly on the board because of all the senseless bullsh*t people have been talking.

  35. This team really sucks on the 5 on 3, that’s 3 games in a row they blew it.

    Hopefully they have 20 mins left in them, we cant lose to teams like this, cause if we do struggle at some point late in the season, we’ll look back at these games, and think if we won the games against the weak teams, we would have had home ice advantage, like last season.

    I had a feeling Dru didn’t score that goal, i noticed the Islandork put it on his own net, but wasn’t to sure. Good for Nicky if its his again, but it would be better if it was Dru, even though he probably knows it wasn’t his at all.

  36. How can we live without Joe Mich’s amazing insight?

    “The rangers will have to make smart decisions with the puck”

    I disagree, I believe stupid decsisions are the only way to beat the Island

  37. what I like to see more of is somebody going behind the net and passing out the pucks for one timers like Gretzky used to do.

  38. onecupin67years on

    Sam, how about posting your hockey photo for us to laugh at ,I mean admire. My son played against the Green machine on some so shore rink, I don’t remember if he won or lost, but one year they played the Suffolk Pal and got clobbered,he was the goalie and lost badly, I told him “look at all the shots you got while the other goalie got frostbite’ you don’t get better not making saves’ he nodded his head and played college hockey

  39. Kaspar I’m listening to Bill Jaffe since I’m not home and I have the Isles feed…hes 20x worse minimum than Joe.

    Also what a bomb by Kalinin. So yes, he can shoot.

  40. Bob,

    That’s a Red Wing set play, too! Thing is the Fish are relentlessly checking the Rangers so they don’t really get that chance.

  41. woooooo thank you. bout time gomer. oh and you scored from the worst angle ever…but thats what happens when you put pucks on goal. Rozsival will not learn from getting an assist on that one though.

  42. nasty – well it’s noticed when a high quality poster like you doesn’t post. don’t let the inmates run the asylum

  43. ehh Sam I think you’re being a little harsh. We’re owning the play, skating and passing well. Id like to see a few more goals on the board but I dont think the play has been THAT bad

  44. Why is it that when they aren’t challenge and don’t have to move the puck fast, they do, but when they are challenged on the PP they don’t move the puck when they should? Its backwards with them.

  45. “Renney never rewards his 3rd and 4th liners with power play time!”

    Guess who posted that gem a few games back?

  46. “Why is it that when they aren’t challenge and don’t have to move the puck fast, they do, but when they are challenged on the PP they don’t move the puck when they should? Its backwards with them.”

    good point

  47. Why the hell did Hillen duck when Voros went to hit him? I hate this. Voros should get 2, but Hillen is an idiot. I’ll haveto see it again but it looked like he just dropped down and put himself in a vulnerable position, which is stupid.

  48. at least bob keeps posting even when we win with good effort. some of the drury bashers stopped posting about an hour ago

  49. Awesome neutral zone giveaway Girardi. You play a great game and that happens. Oh also awesome crease defense by Redden. haha.

  50. “Rangers PP is coached by General McClellan”

    lol, and he should be relieved of his duties again.

  51. “Awesome neutral zone giveaway Girardi. You play a great game and that happens. Oh also awesome crease defense by Redden. haha.”

    that should be good, they won’t slack off after a win when they win on a sour note.

  52. Seriously, Pearn needs to go. Our PP blows and we give up a bunch of SH goals this year. Last year when the PP was bad at least we didn’t give up goals. No problem with Renney or Allaire, but Pearn needs to move on.

  53. I am a Drury-hater. He had a great game and scored some necessary goals to get his game sparked again. RICHIE, YOU WERE RIGHT! I hope this is what he needed. He looked like he had a jump in his step tonight. Also, my report on Redden. He is not as good as I thought he was originally. I concentrated on his play all game, the good and the bad. I feel for ever 5 plays that he was involved in, every 5th time he would make a mistake, making him 1/5 on bad plays. He could be blamed for both goals but I think the first was actually a forwards fault for not picking him up, because Redden was working the front of the net. Also, when players went to the outside of him he could not pick them up and would resort to hooking (1 penalty called, many times he hooked and ref didnt see it). I appreciate having him on the team, but he did make some bad mistakes, as did Zherdev today. I will keep watching Redden and see how we does to make sure this isnt one bad game. Right now, I am not a fan of him, nor am I against him. I have neutral feelings toward the guy

  54. All Renney and Pearn have to do is say “hey move the puck” and if the puck isn’t moved, start giving new guys PP time like Callahan, Dawes, Prucha, and Staal. Our PP has success when the puck and players move quickly, but when they sit around like they have been lately, they don’t do anything. Thats why its so predictable.

  55. Good win. Im pissed that this team gave up a shorthanded goal, but at least they won.

    So far this team’s looking good in the conference. They only lost to the Sabs, and that’s it, the other two are against the Stars, and Wings. Sabs lost tonight in regulation so that’s good, and if the Oilers beat the B’s this night will be even better.

    Glad to see Dru get off this slump, but it doesn’t mean he needs to get back on it. He needs to keep scoring goals, i only expect 25 for him, im hoping he can score that much at least.

    As for Hank, he kept us in this. He looks like he’s ready for a step up from a Vezina nomination, but its still a loong season.

    The PP still sucks, the 5 on 3 goal was a bit lucky, but ill take it. It looked like it went off an Islandorks stick, but he shot the puck, and that’s the opposite of what this team did last season. i still think Pearn needs to go, but who knows if Slats has the balls to do it.

  56. I think people on this board want this team to lose just so they can be disgruntled and have a reason to piss and moan, yet we win and they still do it.

  57. I just watched Phillies and Rays for 45 minutes…no runs scored and only “4” outs recorded….looks like it’ll end at 1 o’clock…ugh

  58. your boy Malik on

    Sam, you’re a hoot! Good win by our boys….Drury scores and Prucha safe for another day…..can’t complain when you’re winning – it ain’t pretty, but it all counts….
    LGR! No negativity here….I’m pinching myself!

  59. “What the hell is wrong with Gomez? Can’t pass, can’t shoot on net.”

    Oh Bob, Gomez leads the league in shots.

    Trade Bob

  60. I think Jason has a point.

    I think that arena was def. 6-0-40 Ranger fans…my cousin went and He confirmed what I thought.


  61. Nice win. The Rangers got some breaks but hey you make your breaks. It was nice to see Drury come out of his early season struggles and have a big game hopefully tonight’s game really gets him going.The Rangers really picked it up after the Voros fight and once Gomez made it 3-1 they took full control and diddn’t let go the entire third period. Hank was the number 1 reason for the win though imo. He made some many big saves many against the Isles solid pp unit in the first half of the game. Guys like Zherdev were sloppy with the puck(as well as taking penalties) as was Dubi but it didn’t matter because Drury and Gomez were on top of their game. The pp again was frustrating as hell but they did get a 5 on 3 goal(after an earlier 5 on 3 got zero shots) still the pp is one of the few issues this team has. Who can complain at 9-2-1. The last two years the Rangers got off to bad starts and had to fight like hell to get in the playoffs. This year a start like this may assure the Rangers not being in sucha a dog fight to make the playoffs. Ottawa went 15-2-1 to start and stunk it up the rest of the way and still made the playoffs cause of said great start.

  62. Gomez was very good tonight. Dawes really can’t finish but Cally has picked up his game with Gomez imo. Cally isn’t a first liner but imo he’s a solid second or third liner that can pot you twenty goals a year.

  63. Pearn can’t do anything about the pp if Renney puts the same guys on the pp and won’t change it up when they won’t produce. Voros should have been on the ice for the first 5 on 3 and Girardi should have been on instead of Rozsival.

  64. Sorry for not posting every 5 minutes L.i joe sorry I walked away from my computer before bowing to you and Drury. I apologize.

  65. Callahan and Dawes didn’t really do much. Callahan got a lucky empty net goal, but otherwise I am very disappointed in both of them.

    Gomez is a lousy passer. As someone said sometimes he makes amazing passes, but most of the time he makes really brutal ones. Very strange player.

  66. Who Needs Lohan on

    If you read this board and didnt know the rangers record you would think they were 2-9-2! Some of you guys really suck……As for the game, Zherdev was feeling a little too confident after is huge goal on Sat night. Wow, that was one bad game he had. On the positive side I thought they played ok for the most part, Rozi shooting on the PP makes all the difference. Oh, and I love Mara. Loved him when you all hated him last year, still do.

    He actually seems like he is pissed off. Its kinda like when I ask my buddy to talk shit about my wife before my tee shots, cause I hit em better when Im pissed. Well at least its sorta similar

  67. Renney wasn’t a Mara fan last year. He made him a healthy scratch numerous times and gave him little to no pp time. Hell alot of the time he had Tyutin(who never hit the net ever) on the second unit over Mara.

  68. I am a charter member of the Prucha fan club but he did nothing tonight. Outside of his blocked shot I didn’t notice him at all.

  69. graves – you are not the only drury basher here. you are joined at a minimum by at least 3 others. most seem to be huge fans of prucha and take it out on drury but maybe there are other reasons for the intense dislike. all i can say is it is extremely annoying day after day after day
    especially on a team with a very good record

    what the heck
    true fans

  70. Don’t get me started on Drury. The guy is so pitiful they gave him a mercy goal on a puck he never touched. Honestly, thats shameful.

    good for him though on the 5-3, thats good I guess

  71. Props to Thomas Pock for taking the high road and not trashing the Rangers on the way out. He was re-signed here for two years before the 07-08 season with a promise that he would get a look and he was banished to Hartford for the season before he could blink an eye while the Rangers went with Marek Malik, Christian Backman and Jason Strudwick as their sixth and seventh defensemen throughout the year. I don’t think Pock is an all-star by any means but I thought he got bit of a raw deal here. I wish him luck in that abyss out on Long Island. At least he’ll get to play in the NHL out there.

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