Let the handwringing begin (Updated)

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People who come to this blog expecting to read about grand scale changes the morning after a big loss are often disappointed. Tom Renney isn’t one for grand scale changes, and when he is, the circumstances have to be a lot more dire than they are now.

And so when the Rangers return the ice tomorrow night against Tampa Bay, you can probably expect the same personnel, the same lines, and even the same power play that was an inexplicable minus-2 against the Islanders Should the Rangers lose another game in a similar fashion as last night, Renney will be chided for his stubbornness. Should they win, the coach’s faith in his group might not seem so unreasonable.

In the spirit of political fence-sitting, I make no predictions.

“I’m comfortable with what we have as personnel,” Renney said. “I believe very strongly in these guys. Whatever the combinations are, I believe they will work.”

As for what truly ails the power play at this point, the coach said it’s simple.

“There’s been so much said and written about it, it’s all in their heads,” he said.

With that in mind, it’s worth asking: Does Dr. Phil know his way around an ice rink?

<iframe width=”480″ height=”289″ frameborder=”0″ src=”http://www.nhl.tv/team/embed.jsp?hlg=20082009,2,171″></iframe>

Some notes:

<li>If the coach was of a sunnier disposition today, compare that to last night, when he told the media he was “pissed right off,” and kept the door closed for 10 minutes after the game.  “With him it’s not always easy because he’s not going to start yelling and getting in people’s faces,” Nigel Dawes said.  “But you could definitely tell he was mad, as we all were.”

<li>One thing Renney did seek to address today was Nikolai Zherdev’s occasional penchant for freelancing with the puck in precarious areas. As the coach said, the problem isn’t Zherdev’s desire to try to make a play since that’s part of the reason he’s tied for the team lead in scoring. But last night saw a couple of instances when Zherdev’s overhandling led to a turnover. If it’s possible to have too much game, Zherdev might be guilty.

“They have creative license to do what they’re capable of doing in certain locations of the rink and under certain circumstances,” Renney said. “What we all have to do is help our players learn where those opportunities lie.”

<li>Bad news for Paul Mara’s bid to become a member of ZZ Top. The Rangers defenseman shaved off his beard this morning. I thought it was related to the two shorthanded goals, but he said it was more for the team’s yearbook photos taken  this morning. Plus, in a reference to Gross’s heavy beard, he said, “I was looking too much like Andrew.”

Of course, don’t despair. Mara said he’s starting the beard right back up.

<li>It’s fair to say the Lightning will be a different team than the one the Rangers faced in Prague. Perhaps because “Barry Melrose’s mullet is growing on players”:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/05/sports/hockey/05melrose.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss, Tampa Bay has points in seven of eight games since then.

Update, 3:55 p.m.: For more analysis on all things Rangers, the esteemed Kenny Albert was a guest of the boys on the NYRangerscast. Have a listen below “a listen here”:http://nyrangerscast.com/podcasts/nyrangerscast072.mp3.

Updated,  4 p.m.: Forbes.com has determined that Colton Orr is the best bargain among fighters in the NHL. There’s actually a fully story on “this here”:http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news;_ylt=Ap81maAXhzx79GtHT.v6POB7vLYF?slug=ys-forbesnhlfighters103008&prov=yhoo&type=lgns. It goes without saying that I never thought I’d use the words “Forbes” and “Colton Orr” in the same sentence.

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101 Comments

  1. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Sam, I’m sorry but I have a little bone to pick with you.

    About 3 weeks ago you called Naslund out. You said he was bad. He started producing almost immediately and you, last night, gave him his due.

    Here’s my problem, when does Drury stop getting a pass?! Drury’s been worse ALL season! Drury’s been worse, offensively, defensively, on the PP, PK (including drury being lazy), and as captain (which I now despise because Drury doesn’t do ANYTHING captain-like). Worse off (and this I haven’t checked recently) but when I last saw Drury was terrible on faceoffs too!

    Put the criticism where it deserves to be. Our $7.1million Captain ain’t cutting it. And that manifests in other ways. He was holding Naslund back. He’s killing the PP. He’s not scoring late in games (although using up all the time). And he plays 21-24minutes a night while Zherdev and Dubinsky only get 12-16. WTF?! It’s so frustrating. Send Drury back to little league, let him do whatever he wants. But someone needs to wake Renney up and point out this team’s flaws. Focus on Dubinsky’s and Gomez’s lines. Use Mara, Staal, Girardi whenever you can. Maybe Redden on the PP. But, even strength, Redden, Kalinen, and Rozsival are constantly playing the “no, I can suck more than you tonight” competition.

    Anyway, thank you for the blog – but please stop sugar-coating or avoiding the “C’s” performance. It’s horrid and manifesting in many ways.

  2. I think the comment about the PP being “in their heads” is dead on. Seems to me that in the 3rd period of game against a struggling team… that by all counts they should be leading by two goals… they pressed. Thinking “WE NEED TO SCORE HERE”. When it didn’t happen they pressed harder and harder until Rozi made that pass.

    Once they were down 1-0 to that same team they pressed again thinking “WE CAN’T LOSE TO THIS TEAM ON A SH GOAL!!!” That’s when the next one occurred.

    Keep it Simple stupid.

  3. Huh, Renney again criticizes a younger player (Zherdev) while billionaire Gomez is getting away with a whole of a lot worse. What’s up with that?

    Fire idiot coach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Sry… I had the pass on the wrong goal there… it came on #2 not the 1st. Hard to keep track of all these SH goals.

  5. Bob, as long as you don’t start spewing politics, you can spew as much hate as you want, you silly son of a bitch!

  6. SIGN SHANNY

    SIGN SUNDIN

    JUST SIGN ONE OF THEM ALREADY !!!!

    Im fuggin pissed. I hope Nyr kills the Bolts. I hope Orr catches Stamkos with his head down. and Lecavalier pulls his groin trying to split the D.

    Errrrr !!!!

  7. Enough of this Shanny talk already God almighty! Renney is about as stubborn as it gets. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different conclusion. Stop with Rozsival on the top pp unit put Girardi out there with Mara on the top pp unit at least.

  8. I’m thinking about getting a new Rangers hat. I kind of like the one that has Hockey Fights Cancer on the side, and like the fact that proceeds go to cancer research. Anyone else see any other cool new hats out there?

  9. New Newman you almost had me in tears when you wrote “…socialism is the opposite of fascism”. LOL you’re alright. Maybe you and Brandon should get a room. In case you weren’t just joking with me:

    The foundation of socialism is the control and distribution of wealth and property by the government.

    So fascism is the opposite of this? I get to keep my own paycheck and invest however I see fit? SIGN ME UP!

  10. “It’s Jagr’s fault … if they just get rid of him then Drury will thrive as captain, the powerplay will be number one in the league and Tom Renney can give icetime to all the young guys in key situations – Korpikoski, Callahan, Prucha, Moore.”

    Repost. Whoever wrote this is my boy

  11. Renney better start getting angry

    its his arse this year

    Gave him Kaspar and Hnk….we are building phase
    Gave him Shanny and Jagr…not good enough
    gave him Drury and Gomer….theres no chemistry
    got rid of Jagr and Shanny…..

    Its Renney time!!!

  12. Yup, I just can’t take the politics BULLSHIT!!!!! I am trying here. Anything, even Bob is a welcome over this shit.

  13. Noonan….I am not talking politics anymore….But if you are going to go textboom on defining one word, go textbook on the other. Don’t go textbook and then go noonanbook. That is not apples to apples…more like apples to assclowns.

  14. Fascism and Communism are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. USA and Republicans are much closer to Fascism than they are to Coommunism.

  15. Our PP sucked the with Shanny on it, why do some people on this blog think that an even older version will be much better? Our PP hasn’t been good since Jagr hurt his shoulder and stopped shooting one-timers. That’s how you score PP goals…you move the puck quickly and shoot off the pass, forcing the goaltender to move laterally while trying to make the save.

  16. I don’t think we’re responding as a group very well to our first taste of adversity here…

    Myself included. Not time to panic?

    Why do I feel like it’s the perfect time to panic?

    I can’t figure out a more embarassing way to loose (the game that should not be mentioned from last season aside) than they have the past two games.

  17. he shoots the puck, doesnt F around, plainly shoots the puck. Doesnt fiddle like everybody else does. Hey, i would be more than happy to have Jagr comeback!

  18. Riche’ – I think “panic” may be too strong a word. “Concern” I’ll buy into. I’m concerned that the PP will take a long time to get it right. But it can’t get too much worse….so at least we got that goin for us, eh?

  19. Fast moving pucks and shots when the D/Goalie cannot get set…That is the key. More often than not, by the time the Rangers get a shot on goal, the other team has managed to get 3 men and the goalie clogged into all the shooting lanes. Awful.

  20. Seriously, it is not a time to panic yet. Every game we lost this year, we could have won. It is not like we have been SOOOOO outplayed this year. Aside from the Buffalo game, we have been in every game. So relax.

  21. House uhh you realize the Rangers pp sucked last year and that Shanny was a big reason why right?

  22. Hahaha I was gonna say a blow up doll but I already heard that Bob bought every blow up doll in the country.

  23. Better panic early than when it is too late. If we dump Renney NOW we can still win a Cup!

    Renney’s job is done, time to move on, time for a change. Time for a coach that lets the score do the talking for him instead of his big mouth.

  24. does anyone else think we need a 7th defensmen and we should be thinking about that before signing shanny or sundin?

  25. In my business, you can value guys who are wrong all the time by using them as a contrarian indicator. (They say “sell”, you buy. They say “buy”, you sell. Etcetera.)

    I have come to appreciate a few people on this blog by the sheer laugh value I get out of them. Like it’s past the point of reacting to them by refuting their statements. I appreciate the sheer idiocy of their comments because of the laugh value I get out of them.

    You know who you are….keep it up! Love it.

  26. “House uhh you realize the Rangers pp sucked last year and that Shanny was a big reason why right?”

    yeah, really house. He was ONLY 2nd on the team in PPGs. come on.

  27. GardenFaithfulinFLA on

    Said it before and I’ll say it again, bring Shanahan back behind the bench – specialty teams. Then if need be down the stretch, put him on the ice. Taaaa daaaaa!

  28. Nasty – you should get a hat (before tomorrow) that reads: “PP Coach” and stand behind the bench!

    (just make sure no one pp’s on you)

  29. beer me – with shanny you get diminishing returns. the last 2 yrs he was at his worst from jan through may. yes i know injuries happen but they happen more to older or should i say old players. and he was heading south both yrs before the injuries. he will be 40 in jan. it’s time to move on.

  30. bob November 5th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Better panic early than when it is too late. If we dump Renney NOW we can still win a Cup!

    Renney’s job is done, time to move on, time for a change. Time for a coach that lets the score do the talking for him instead of his big mouth.

    Absolutely histerical…If I’m not mistaken people just like you bob were complaining that Renney never got vocal or pissed off…now he has, and you say he has a big mouth…I love it!

    Nasty 1…what do you think of that hat?

  31. Power play has been “the issue” for two seasons…its not just lost goals ( or now ridiculous shorthanded goals against) as bas as that is…. its how another team plays their game without fear….think about it..you can run Hank anytime you want; make him play jumpy because a penalty means nothing; you can play extra agressive without fear of being punished….

    I’m not going to panic at 10-4-1 but hey…if you think this powerplay is going to work itself out you are throwing out over 100 plus games as evidence..not just this years 15 games…

    They need a new plan at the very least; if not a new coach for the PP

  32. “beer me – with shanny you get diminishing returns. the last 2 yrs he was at his worst from jan through may. yes i know injuries happen but they happen more to older or should i say old players. and he was heading south both yrs before the injuries. he will be 40 in jan. it’s time to move on.”

    yeah, I agree. I didn’t say ‘bring him back’. I was just stating that he finished 2nd (behind dru) with 11 ppgs last year.

  33. Full blown retards don’t need therapy, maybe if you weren’t one you would realize that you are wasting your money.

    You’re not “your!!!!!!!!!!

    Renney has big mouth not because he semi-screamed after the game, but because he likes to impress people with his eloquency and vocabulary. That is how he lures all the reporters to his side so they never criticize him for his idiotic coaching ability.

  34. Shanny was very good the first two months of the season then faded. Putting Shanny and Jagr on the same pp units was ridiculous. Beer wow second in goal scores on the pp on one of the pp units in the nhl.

  35. Fire Pearn !!

    Trade Renney to the rival of the team Simon plays for in Russia. Maybe if we all get lucky Simon will whack him in the head with a stick, and end his career, among other things.

    I wouldn’t mind Shanny back. But he’s not gonna change the PP. He wasn’t that great on the PP, he missed the net so many times. He cant change it. Pearn needs to get fired, that’s it.

    I wouldn’t be bitching aboot the PP if it wasn’t costing us games. The last two losses, were because of the PP. They fail to put the game away on a PP, then shortly after the Leafs score their 1st of 5 goals in the final 7 mins. Then two PP’s cost us the game last night, with two short handed goals. Its one thing to not score on them, but to have them cost games for the fuggin team. Gimme a break, that’s pathetic.

    Wasn’t Pearn gonna coach the Panthers ? Or was that Pelino ? Either way, fire Pearn !

  36. The ways in which the last 2 games were lost were upsetting but not surprising. Honestly, there have been more games than not this season when I’ve been giggling like a loon because I just can’t believe they pulled out a win. But the thing is that they did win and so maybe haven’t been working as hard as they should on the glaring TEAM issues of working for a full 60 and scoring on the pp..because until now it hadn’t had that big of an effect. You saw them over-passing/hesitating and still winning, saw them standing still and winning.

    Well, they just found out that play like that will cause humiliating losses, but I think that this team has the character to come back even stronger. I haven’t seen such a dymanic and interesting bunch of Rangers in a long time. It’s better that they find this out the hard way now than dance ice-capades through the season just to find that they’re superficial and inadequate come the playoff push. I too am concerned, and I’m not sure that we can expect a sudden turn around, but I will be at MSG Thursday night cheering like crazy.

  37. Hey, I won’t argue that it was one of the worst in the NHL. The stats show that pretty clear. They also show that Shanny did not hurt the PP. Quite the opposite. But I really don’t care to be honest.

  38. Too much of “the system”. Now Renney wants Zherdev to tighten up and worry about the system instead of scoring goals. He ruined Jagr’s output with that theory, now he wants Zherdev to play defense too. This defense-first mentality is why the Rangers can’t score, and why Renney is not good with offense.

  39. NUT

    Exactly. They got lucky with some of those wins. They only played 60 mins in two games this season, that’s it. That is ridiculous, for a team with all that “leadership”.

    If they lose tomorrow, i don’t know, that will just be too much to handle.

  40. Hey guys have a pair for tomorrow in section 347 for face value of 104 bucks for the pair. Anyone interested leave their email, and I can give you all the details. Later guys.

  41. bob, only a retard would think Renney uses big words…he just talks like he at least graduated high school.

  42. I dunno, sometimes I think we have the talent and then sometimes I think we don’t.

    But when you have Dawes, Prucha, Drury, Gomez not scoring and now Dubinksy and Voros’ production dropping off, plus no production at all from line #4, you begin to wonder.

    Personally, I think most of it is coaching. I don’t think this team is efficient enough in the offensive zone. I believe we come out of the zone well, but we have no clue what to do with the puck in the “O” zone.

    I just see too many “scoring opportunities” or shots on goal coming from bad angles.

  43. Who Needs Lohan on

    To further vogs point, all you hear from Sam Rosen is about all the shots on goal. Does anyone else get extremely frustrated with this assumption that outshooting = outplaying? Cause it pisses me off BIG TIME!

    If you watched the game carefully the Islanders did an excellent job in their own zone. Although McLovin or whatever his name was did play a sound game he really didnt have to be that great with the exception of 2 or 3 awesome saves. The NYR couldnt get to a damn rebound because they were slow and in my opinion to damn small of a team.
    I know some of you “I love mediocre talent but they play hard so I love them” people will disagree but you really need to package up Dawes, Prucha, and Callahan maybe to bring in a 225 lb power forward. I dont have any suggestions on who that might get us in return but we need some people who will move bodies around and create some space for the actual talent on this team.

    In summary we need more Voros’ as less Prucha’s! Cause watching Prucha and Callahan skate into the crease to meet a Sutton is similar to throwing a water balloon against a stucco wall!

  44. Leetch is the man on

    Our team has to many soldiers and not enought generals. Pretty much we have a lot of supporting players but not that one main guy who can do it all typ of superstar except Lundquvist but hey he cant score goals. They have to package Dawes and Prucha and a pick for a big time player somehow. It will help the powerplay tremendously.

  45. Bob, damn you, ha.

    Clearly you don’t read the news at all. Renney gets criticized plenty. In fact, it was just the other day that Larry Brooks wrote an article with a headline that read “MEMO TO TOM RENNEY”. Doesn’t get much more specific then that.

    Furthermore, Renney is practically the Joe Torre of hockey as far as demeanor is concerned. Since when is having a good vocabulary and being articulate a bad thing?

    “Stop tricking me with your fancy words and long sentences.” Essentially, that’s what you said.

    He’s a top 5 coach in the NHL that’s had more success than any other coach in the league, minus winning a cup, in the last 3+ years.

    It’s the personnel 100 times over.

  46. I guess we’ll see what these guys are made of…

    They didn’t really react so great to the Leafs game…

    We’ll see how they do with this.

  47. Brandon

    That personnel issue cuts both ways. I guarantee you that if Henrik hadn’t shown up on the Renney’s doorstep three years ago, Tom would be selling insurance back in Cranbrook, BC.

    For the last time, Renney is a solid, professional coach. He in many ways has done a very respectable job — but you are not going to win a Cup with him. His in-game bench skills are limited, he’s afraid to rile the refs, he allows other coaches to frame playoff series (see Therrien, M.) in the press and with the zebras, and he’s too fearful of getting in the face of his veterans. That sadly does not add up to a Cup-winning resume.

  48. GardenFaithfulinFLA on

    Does anyone think the constant tweaking of line combinations may be causing as much frustration with the players. For example, it seems when Renney broke up the ‘Playstation’ line, Dubinsky’s game has been off kilter and Voros has been quiet. Now they’re back together and they have to build back the momentum they had going. I know Renney’s musical benches is frustrating me.

  49. I like the hat, but I’m digging that draft day hockey fights cancer one a little more.

    To make myself feel better I watched the 3rd period and shootout of the Penguins/Rangers game that I DVRd. I kick myself because I could have been at that game.

  50. Gardenfaithful,

    You old enough to get a beer prior to the game? I usually hang out across the street at Andreychuk’s before games.

  51. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    Renney is a stubborn fool.He may also be in denial.It doesn’t matter who the personel is,it’s the powerplay system that he uses.But it goes further than just the PP.It’s the style of game that the team plays.This team is built for speed and yet they are being made to sit back and wait for the other team to make a mistake instead of forcing mistakes through their speed and forchecking.The first three or four games of the season,they actually were skating and forcing the play.After one of the wins,Renney said that they needed to”slow things down” because they were giving up a few too many scoring chances.But when you have a goalie like lundquist you can take a few chances.The bottom line is,if you only give up two or three goals a game and can score 4 you will win many games.

  52. Sather signed Rozival and Redden to crazy contracts for two guys who are terrible. We need guys like avery and defenseman that can hit people. And now we cant even sign guys like sundin or anyone for the next two years cause of these crazy contracts for garbage. Thanks for ruining the rangers.

  53. Are the Rangers going to play the penalty killers are the power play? Seems like a better idea than playing the usual power play guys.

  54. We seriously need BOB to get his own blog. Funny stuff…

    Please hurry with Sundin…I picked him up for fantasy league and need some PP points asap. My team sux.

    Where is Mr. Herbert? “GUESS WHO”

  55. your boy Malik on

    Ok – I’m not panicking….but why does Renny change the Dubinski line and NOT the power play lines????? I’m confused….hoping my second game tomorrow isn’t a loss like the first game I went to…..LGR!

  56. If anyone is watching the Devils game tonight, Malik looks like a brand new d-man in the few shifts I’ve seen him.

    Oh and TB runs the same exact powerplay we do….except the rotate around and move the puck when pressured…like the Rangers are supposed to do. When they have the forwards pressuring high at their d-men, they pass it and rotate then look for the cross ice pass from the far side towards the slot. Just scored on it and it looked great. Rangers should watch that since thats how its done.

  57. Alex B aka Czech, you did not need the “formally the poster Czechthemont.” How could we forget the no spaces between punctuation and hard to read posts…hahaha

    Someone called you out on it last and I could not resist…still a tough read.

    I agree and disagree. Renney is a defence 1st coach and does not add much the powerplay, that is Pearn’s job, but it should be someone else. The second part I could not agree more, the first 5 games the speed and aggresivness to force the play worked and the wins showed. We are in the same game as last year and if that was the plan we should have kept Jagr and Shanny. From the beginning Renney said we want to control the puck and force the play with speed. Where did it go?

  58. When Sundin signs with us , i will have won more body parts!!!This bet has taken awhile , im gambling someones left nut!!

  59. i wouldnt trade bob just yet. maybe we could put him on the bench and have him sit next to orr for 1 whole game, we wouldnt have to get rid of him hed trade himself

  60. “It’s in their heads”? This coaching staff has blown it for 2 years and counting. They can’t figure out how to use the talent they have and come up with a respectable PP. Shame on them. And shame on them for sticking with Dawes and Prucha. Give someone else a chance.

  61. Id put Bob on the bench if Hollweg was still on the team. He’d eventually board his ass, and put him in the hospital.

    I cant wait to see how Rozi plays tonight. He better score a hat trick, to make up for his pathetic overpaid ass.

    Id love to see what that delusional old bastard Stan Fishler has to say aboot Rozi. He cant blame Jags anymore for the guy not shooting, so who’s to blame now ? Redden ? Ugh. I hate that guy, he’s so classless. He talks crap aboot Avery, then he gets an interview with him and tells him how much he misses him. He thinks he knows everything, ugh he needs to get let go, as does Giannone, and that idiot Scott Lasky who thinks he’s the shit. Ugh, why cant MSG have cool people, cant they just bring back some old Rangers to do all that work.

    Sam & Joe are the only ones i like, cause they’re actually funny.

  62. I don’t know if anybody noticed it, but Redden made a terrible play on the first goal by Thompson. After Thompson centered the puck, Redden has to stay with him and if hoes most likely Thompson does not score on the rebound.

    Redden and Rosival have been atrocious this year. I still say the Rangers need more size and grit up front.

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