Back to the drawing board again (Updated)

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Three straight wins are apparently not enough to lock into anything at this early juncture, which explains why Tom Renney was toying with new lines for tonight against Atlanta.

Note the return of Chris Drury to wing alongside Scott Gomez and Markus Naslund’ a reunion of the Playstation line; and a rare look at Dan Fritsche at center.

Here’s the full breakdown:

Naslund-Gomez-Drury

Voros-Dubinsky-Zherdev

Dawes-Fritsche-Callahan

Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

Petr Prucha will again be a scratch, while the defensive pairings look to stay the same.

(Update, 1:39 p.m.: Stay tuned on whether these lines hold up. Tom Renney said his intent is to go back to the lines he used Monday against the Islanders. But these combinations were the ones he had together today at the morning skate.)
More later…

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104 Comments

  1. Fritsche HAS to get some time. I think that a game vs Atlanta is a nice chance to make that happen. And those are the players that should make up a 3rd line in NY.

    4th line has been a lock, and I see no need to change it.

    “1st” line needs to be FORCED TO PRODUCE! Come on…that’s so good on paper. Can these guys get it together or what? Maybe a few games apart have helped? We’ll see.

    Hopefully the “The Dubi Bros” line picks up where it left off.

  2. Prucha is scratched again? The kid can’t hustle any more than he has been. That’s just ridiculous. Maybe if Renney gave him and not the 4th line PP time, he’d score a friggin goal!!!

  3. I agree with captclutch that pru should be starting instead of fritsche. But then again I am not the coach. Oh yeah, and sorry for stirring up that huge debate over Dubinsky. That was my bad.

  4. What does Prucha have to do to stay in the lineup (besides score obviously).

    Fritsche has showed me nothing. Prucha has battled when he’s been in. Fritsche hasn’t even put together a good shift.

    If Prucha is not going to play regularly, he needs to be traded ASAP to get some value in return while we can.

  5. Just for kicks:

    Naslund – Sundin – Zherdev
    Dawes – Gomez – Drury
    Voros – Dubinsky – Callahan
    Sjostrom – Betts – Orr

    and why is Renney breaking up Naslund-Drury-Zherdev. They were playing well.

  6. leatherneckinlv on

    I meant to say, Naslund with Gomez and Fritsche and Drury with Callahan and Dawes..Whats this about Sundin?..no thanks on Sundin

  7. I can understand Renney putting Gomer back with Naslund and Drury.
    However I too would have liked to see Prucha back in there.
    I hate making lines, and I rarely do this but here goes…
    I would have
    Naslund Gomez Callahan…I like Callahans grit on that line
    Dubi line obviously no change needed
    Prucha Drury Dawes they are quick and hardworking
    4th line… nough said.
    I’m not the coach…but I like Renney and so far we are winning so I can’t argue his choice.

  8. Leetchhalloffame on

    Sather should trade Prucha, both for the good of Prucha and the Rangers. He tries hard but he’s pressing. Right now he couldn’t score an empty net goal.

  9. I would have no problem at all bringing in Sundin for a year. No problem at all. I think he immediately makes this team better. The guy is still a number 1 center in this league. And if we are keeping Drury on the wing, he does not stunt Dubinsky’s growth.

  10. NO other guy in the league with NO goals gets this kind of love.

    You have to play your bench players, bottom line. For those that want Prucha in so badly,
    he DID play in divisional (rivalry games). That should speak for something. No?

  11. The Russian Diva on

    I’m from C-Bus and moved here a couple years ago. I love Z, and he’s gonna be huge for the Rangers. But – Fritsche is a great young player. He works hard and busts his ass every shift. I feel like if he got the chance to stick with the team for more than just one game at a time, you’d see him develop chemistry and maybe produce some points. I’m glad to see Renney keep giving him chances.

  12. I think Sjostrom should get more a chance here. I like his speed and I think he has a nose for the net with some good hands. Callahan to me is more of a guy for the Betts and Orr line. The works his butt off but I don’t think he has the hands that Sjostrom has. Either way they need to win tonight with Atlanta coming off a big lose in Philly. They are going to be up for this game.

  13. I just typed this whole long post about the ineffectiveness of Prucha so far in his 5 games (vs Frit’s 3 games). But I decided not to post it. Why? Not sure. Maybe because I really WANT Prucha to produce. But I think it’s a toss-up who has less confidence in it. Me or him.

  14. They are letting Prucha play a little to show that he can play the game, he looked good the last few games. He is obviously being shopped and showcased, but at the same time we can not let players get cold. That is why he is in and out of the lineup the way he is.

  15. The long and short of Frit vs Prucha so far thise season…

    Prucha, 5 games, -1, avgs about 11min/game, 160lbs…soaking wet

    Frit, 3 games, -1, avgs 9min/game, 200+lbs.

    I’d rather not get pushed around at msg.

  16. Nasty1….If the Rangers were to sign Sundin, how would they go about it in regard to cap space and moving players

  17. Glad Drury is back on a wing with Gomer now that that the force field in front of the net has finally given way for Drury. He & Nasland will always be lurking around the net & both know how to get open & no one is better than threading a pass thru than Scottie.

    I think Frische showed me a lot early when he was given a regular chance & will ultimately be a productive regular with a well balanced game.

    Prucha has been really good lately, but if he can’t score there are others who are stronger & more well rounded & will contribute far more.

    I hope Shanny will one day become part of the Ranger organization once he hangs them up. I think he played hurt way too much last year & that was at least as big a factor
    in his disappointing play as his age. His ability to one-time it & be a good teammate & leader for a smaller salary will result in helping some team this year, but not our current Ranger team. I really like what we have, & our potential to get lots better, & Shanny just would not fit.

    If Hank can maintain this level of play all season we can really go somewhere.

  18. I don’t know, but I think Sather has something up his A**, I mean sleeve. I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think Sundin is all about the pay day. I think he will take less money and play for the team that he has wanted to play with all along. I don’t think we are going to have to shed that much in order to sign the guy.

  19. I just have a couple of questions:

    1. Where did the “Playstation Line” nickname come from? I love it and have heard it, but don’t know its origin.

    2. Why do some people on here think Sundin is coming? Have there been rumors in the media, because I haven’t heard any.

  20. GardenFaithfulinFLA on

    NO SUNDIN – if we didn’t resign Shanny then we really don’t need to sign Sundin. Any available cap space needs to be used to lock in Dubinsky, Staal and whomever!

  21. Rob C – One night, Dubi and Voros were playing NHL on Playstation together. They put themselves on a line together, and had fun.

    The next night, Renney put them together (along with Zherdev) in real life. It was instant magic.

  22. Hahaha, alright SCX, I figured it was something along those lines. Great stuff.

    and I agree with GardenFaithful…NO SUNDIN!

  23. Rob C.: Dubinsky said that he, Zherdev and Voros were playing playstation and Voros suggested that they put him on the line with him and Z. They did, and the next day Renney had them on a line together. Thus the Playstation line was born.

    GardenFaithful: I understand your point about wanting to lock in Dubinsky and Staal, but their impending contracts have no bearing on whether Shanahan OR Sundin are signed. First of all, Staal has another year after this one on his three-year entry level contract. Dubinsky, on the other hand, is in the third year of his contract and he would become an UFA at the end of the year. If we signed either to an extension before January, their salary would be counted against the cap this year. This is why we didn’t sign Lundqvist until after January last year. So Dubi can get a contract extension in January and it won’t effect this years cap whatsoever. If Sundin and/or Shanahan signed, it would be 1 year deals. This means that they are two separate situations that will resolve themselves eventually.

  24. Who Needs Lohan on

    I think thats where Zherdev learned that behind the back pass move from his own crease line!

  25. prucha should play over dawes. what has dawes done and dont say score a goal hes only done that and nothing else. renney just likes him more.

  26. If they’re not going to give Prucha a better look, considering his hustle and his contract, they should trade him for some picks. Enough.

  27. This whole Prucha debate that continues ad nauseum….Can we just make a rule? Until Prucha records a friekin point…I mean a goal or an assist, can we stop talking about him like he deserves first line minutes? I mean is that asking too much?

    kc said, “Prucha is better than Dawes as well.” I mean is kc like 5 yrs old? Blind? A special needs person? Which one?

  28. I like Naslund Gomez Callahan. I am a big Callahan fan and have watched him since before his OHL days. The kid can score goals but the only chance he ever had with the Rangers was when he played with Shanny and Avery. Give this kid a chance to score goals and he will lead the team. check out his career and you will agree. Just get him the puck.

  29. WOW. Ottawa re-signed Alfie for 4 years, 22M. That works out to 5.5M a year. That’s a nice discount. The contract is frontloaded so he makes a lot more earlier in the contract…

  30. Considering Prucha was one of our best forwards over the past two games, I don’t understand this move.

  31. Who Needs Lohan on

    Best forwards as in skating around like a lunatic and nothing to show for it but being knocked on his ass a few times and drawing a 2 min PP? I am with Newman, get over the Prucha thing already, its getting annoying.

    How bout this…let’s let the GM be the GM, the coaches be the coaches, and the fans be the fans! STFU!!!!

  32. Who Needs Lohan on

    The problem with most NYR fans is that most got so used to overpriced a$$holes with no heart playing for our team, that now we are completely captivated and blinded by the simplest of efforts.

    Get over it, 0 goals=0 goals last time i checked!

  33. colorado mark – dubinsky will be restricted not unrestricted. and we can take him to arbitration like we did to henrik. sign for 1 or 2 yrs discounted somewhat. after all zetterberg at around age 27 is making less than $ 3 mm since he is not yet unrestricted but will be after this year if not signed.

    gardenfaithful – sundin or shanny has nothing to do with signing dubinsky or staal beyond this yr. unless we sign for more than this yr or if deferrable bonuses come back into play. so far they are not allowed this year but that could change when players ratify cba and don’t end it early. if a team is $ 2 mm below cap 1 yr they can’t carry that over to the following year

  34. Who Needs Lohan on

    Nasty1, do you need me to make a list? Im not talking about now, im saying over the last 10 years or so weve had player after player making lots of cash, using the NYR, and showing little effort.

  35. Sorry, I didn’t get what you meant. No need to be a fuggin prick about it. If you weren’t being a prick there then I am sorry, but if you were, it is really not the day. I am in no mood and I will tear you to shreds, it is just a thing that I do, because I am very good at it. No hard feeling chap.

  36. i think tim is short for “time warp” and he is talking about the first two seasons post lockout…if that is the time frame, yes, prucha was a top forward on the team.

  37. house – Clue? No. But Zipay “says” that the lines that Sam posted above were just momentary in practice and that Renney’s going with the same lines we saw vs the Isles.

    Someone is being mistaken here.

  38. What I thought you were getting at was my saying that I have no problem with signing Sundin. I thought your no heart post was about Sundin. I think the guy has a lot of heart, and I am pretty sure that any player in the league would say the same thing.

  39. Sam hit the sauce after the Phils won the World Series can’t blame him. Anyway I would put Naslund and Zherdev with Gomez. Imo that line could be dominant.

  40. Can somebody inform me as to who drew that penalty Saturday night that allowed us to score on the PP and cut the lead to 2-1?

    This game is more than the numbers, you guys should know that.

  41. Bench Orr and play Prucha … this is ridiculous … once the schedule starts getting hard Rangers will wilt …

    This line does nothing – Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

    Sjostrom because of shootouts should stay in, but Betts and Orr should rotate out, not Prucha and Fritsche …

  42. I don’t understand all the love for Prucha. He had a very good rookie season and has been looking recapture that magic ever since. There’s not one guy in the current starting lineup I’d scratch to get him in.

    Is there anything contractually that prevents them from sending him to Hartford? If he’s going to get his act together, he needs to play, and he simply hasn’t earned that on the NHL level.

  43. Graves, I agree.

    Naslund Gomez Zherdev
    Calahan Drury Dawes
    Voros Dubinsky Fritsche/Prucha
    Orr Betts Sjostrom

  44. He has a one-way deal and would have to pass through waivers. My guess is he’d probably be claimed.

    Look I don’t have a man-crush on Prucha, I just want some regularity instead of this healthy-scratch platoon. How are you supposed to get any of these guys going when they’re playing at such unpredictable intervals?

  45. Apologies on the confusion, everyone.

    I should have made clearer that Renney was only experimenting with those lines, and that he would likely revert to what he started with Monday against the Isles. But I’d be surprised if he didn’t see these combinations at some point.

  46. I concur with with graves9, lets throw Zherdev up there with Gomez and drop Drury with Dubi.

    The way i see it, Gomez is a great skater and can dish off to Nik or Markus. Gomez needs a finisher on his line.

    I like:

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

    Dawes has done nothing lately, give Petr a shot, he worked hard last two games.

  47. Drury with Dubi could be interesting. I mean why not. We haven’t tried that combo yet. Voros Dubi Drury.

  48. BEER ME

    Would you not want Mats for one friggin season ?? Think aboot it, we get a dangerous player, who can still play the game, and we get rid of Roszival most likely, along with Prucha. That’s worth it to me. Remember, only one year.

    And i hope these lines are gonna start tonight, Id change them a little bit, but im just happy that Gomer isn’t playing with Cally, and Dawes. Just put one of them up there, not both.

  49. Orr –

    If we get rid of Rozy, who’s stepping up to play D? Like him or not, he’s one of SIX NHL-level defensemen the Rangers have. If Potter/Fahey/Sanguinetti were ready, they’d be getting looks. I trust the Ranger scouts and management, who’ve watched these guys everyday for years, to judge who’s NHL ready. Rozy is not a perfect defenseman, but he’s certainly serviceable…I’d say above-average (he better be, we’re certainly paying him enough).

  50. ME? I haven’t said the “S-word” all day!!

    Sure, I’ll take him for THIS season. BUT…we would have to be a hell of a lot closer to .500 for me to sign on for that one. There’s no need to change anything at this point. The combo changes haven’t let us down, the d-pairing changes haven’t let us down, the goalie rotation is fine….

    I don’t see a need to change anything. But just like with Shanny…if the circumstances called for it…why not?

  51. Put everyone’s contract aside for a second. At the end of the day, who do you want in the game, Prucha, Dawes or Fritsche?

    So far, the games he’s played Prucha has been his usual bat-out-of-hell penalty drawing, stone-hands self, while Fritsche has been virtually non-existent and Dawes has been practically invisible, save for his lone goal.

    I like to “notice” when guys are on the ice. Not in a Ryan Hollweg sense, but moreso that they do something to catch my eye on a shift here and there.

    I recognize some guys are quieter than others — their skating style and body motions lend to that (a la Naslund) — and not everyone is Nikolia Zherdev. However, there are other ways to get noticed and you don’t have to make fancy moves or score goals to do so.

    I haven’t notcied Nigel Dawes or Dan Fritsche (playing less) on the ice for a single shift this year. Sure, I know they’re there, but they have had virtually zero impact on the 12 games we’ve played.

    On the other hand, Peter Prucha has not only been part of game changing moments, but i always know he’s on the ice b/c he makes things happen. Somehow, he’s developed hands of stone, but he still contributes.

    I can’t say as much for the other two and if someone can point out what they bring to the team, I’d be happy to look for it tonight.

  52. I will say this about Sundin. I hate players taking all this time to decide what they want to do. But with that said. I take him for 1 year in a heartbeat.

  53. got to keep guys freash for morale and physical reasons. and we’ve been very lucky health wise. at some point probably sooner rather than later we’ll get injuries and there will be no healthy scratches.

    meanwhile good idea for a while to stay at 22 players to help with cap

  54. nasty what do you think sundin would sign for on a full yr basis – obviously prorated. and if was say $ 5 mm how would they fit him in. maybe going with 21 players and letting prucha and rissmiller go would do it or maybe kalinin go as well

  55. Prucha also isn’t as strong in puck possession as Dawes though. Plus Dawes is a better defensive player. Sometimes the guys who do less and you don’t see as much are better than guys who make a couple of solid plays. That being said, I feel Prucha has played well enough to at least stay in the lineup, but Fritsche is a solid player who hasn’t been in the lineup enough to be effective. I mean Fritsche hasn’t shown anything cuz he’s barely played. Give the kid a shot first. Its still early enough to tinker around with that line, but we can’t and won’t be doing this in march or april.

  56. I wonder how much longer of a leash will Dawes be getting? He has played in nearly every game and he’s been noticable in what one of them?

  57. good point about the injuries… we’ve avoided it REALLY well so far, but chances are, somebody will get hurt, and will become an injured scratch, then we can start plugging in the people who are sitting right now.

    Sucks that a guy like Prucha/Fritsche might have to wait for an injury to get steady time, but that’s the nature of scratches.

  58. Johnny D, I know what you’re saying. That may be true for the nonchalant fan, but most people in this blog live and breathe hockey. We notice the smart plays during the course of a game, which I’m sure you do too.

    I’m not talking about being “noticed” in a sense of being “wow’d” with a big hit or fancy move. I’m talking about hockey sense and consistent solid play.

    Wanna know what excites me? A relentless cycle, tape-to-tape break-outs and standing guys up at the blueline. Those are the things I look for in a given game.

    If you’re not involved in any of those you’re quiet game is probably non-existent b.c you’re doing more hovering than skating and more watching then playing.

  59. I don’t understand this aversion to signing Sundin. If he came for one year he would help solidify three top lines. You’re still playing a ton of young guys. You can still sign the people you need in the offseason. You would need to move Prucha and another player (Kalinin, please). As hard as Prucha may try he can’t score and without scoring he’s not a player the Rangers can afford to play. Then again, Dawes has been terrible. Completely invisible.

  60. Who Needs Lohan on

    Nasty 1 wrote
    October 30th, 2008 at 1:40 pm
    Sorry, I didn’t get what you meant. No need to be a fuggin prick about it. If you weren’t being a prick there then I am sorry, but if you were, it is really not the day. I am in no mood and I will tear you to shreds, it is just a thing that I do, because I am very good at it. No hard feeling chap.

    I wasnt being a prick, but I do appreciate your fire!!! I feel the same way today, I thought about body checking a woman in the office when i walked by

  61. The problem what judging ANY player’s contribution to the team by goals and points is that it always has a “what have you done for me lately?” vibe that makes it 1) completely unfair, 2) totally subjective 3) and completely ignorant to the realities of NHL hockey. Look the league has maybe a handful of games a year where one team scores more than five goals, NHL hockey is typically low scoring to begin with. So to judge a player, be that player Drury or Prucha, by production = goals is a little bit ridiculous, there has to be at least an attempt to put things in perspective and weight a player’s point performance by other factors. Otherwise you get these “no goals in the last four games” “Rangers haven’t scored in 120 minutes!” stats that hockey pundits use to make drama out of nothing.

    When you’re judging a player’s talent by goals … when do you start counting? Last ten games? Season? NHL Career? Professional Career? It’s totally subjective, if we count from recent games than Prucha and Dawes are equal in talent (0 goals vs 0 goals), if we count from the season than Dawes is more talented (1 goal vs 0 goals) if we count from career then Prucha blows Dawes away (18 goals to 60 goals) … even when we factor in a greater number of seasons played

    Hockey is supposed to be entertaining, when it’s not we all have better things to spend our time and money on. Therefore I’m always going to favor the player who is EXCITING to watch regardless of their point production. If you favor goals/wins over entertainment than there are plenty of teams in this league that can accommodate you (may I suggest NJ?)

  62. dr house – which is more important the teams success or having shanny on the team. taking it to the extreme would you rather have no shanny and win the cup or shanny and lose 2nd rd

  63. LI Joe its a moot point now… but you can’t say for sure that this would be a worse team with Shanny than without. The same question could be posed to you backwards, 2nd round without, or Stanley Cup with. You can’t say for sure he would drag the team down THAT much.

  64. HOCKEYMANRANGERS on

    Renny should set the lines up one way and leave them for a while, this changing every other game is not good. Let the players find some chemistry for a awhile.

  65. lol… what is all this no Sundin talk abOOT? as if he said that he is coming to NYR or something…or anywhere else for that matter… he isnt coming here… u can relax guys…its ok… lol

  66. brandon – Very interesting point you raised (with 2:44 comment). Me personally, I don’t know if I could separate who “I would rather in a game” and “who I want on my team”. I think my answers would be different.

    I may say Prucha on the first side of that. But I definitely wouldn’t for the flip side. And between dawes/frit, I’m not sure which I’d choose for my team. Frit can play 2 positions, and is bigger than both other players.

    That said, Prucha WAS a game-break once. In the right circumstances he could be again. But I don’t currently see those circumstances presenting themselves in NY right now. I just don’t think that a 3rd liner is going to be catered to.

    Of all 3, Frit is the most well-rounded, then Dawes, then Mr. One Dimension. And the exact opposite order in terms of “game-breaking” ability.

    I believe that’s why there’s such confusion among the organization from dolan (if he even knows who the f*ck peter prucha is) right on down to the fans.

    Also, I think that each of 82 games can present a need for those 3 types of players. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to ‘who belongs in the lineup’. It’s too broad of a question.

    Was that as long as I think it was?

  67. GardenFaithfulinFLA on

    I’ve got a question – if consistency has been a problem with this team, how can they guys develop any kind of consistency in their game when their line mates and positions are being changed every 30 seconds? (Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit but it seems like every 30 seconds!)

  68. Jessiman is traded to Nashville? stop the world now!! :) what is that mean for the team?? boo-hoo
    i wanna grab Slats by the ears and smack his face against my knee…sorry

  69. One of the worst draft picks in any sport. Sather should be ten times a day for drafting that no talent clown.

  70. Holy crap. Jessiman was just traded to Nashville for future considerations. That worked out well.

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