Something’s missing

98

If we’re all in agreement that “the Rangers have struggled”:http://www.lohud.com/article/20081111/SPORTS01/811110385/-1/SPORTS since charging out of the gates last month, what’s less clear is what exactly they’re struggling with.

Do they lack a physical presence on the backline that would make life more difficult for opponents?

Are they absent the character needed to play three consistent periods of hockey?

Do I dare ask if Brendan Shanahan is still available?

No, for the record, I’m not ready to go there, and nor should you. This most recent swoon could be indicative of larger problems, or it could just be an inevitable rough patch every team confronts over an 82-game schedule.

But the problem with any major move at this point is that you risk undermining the rest of your team in the process. Maybe that’s fine if your team needs such a shake-up. But seeing how the Rangers are still on pretty solid footing even after losing four of five, you risk more harm than good.

That’s not to say the Rangers aren’t exploring other options, because I’m sure they are. But it’s doubtful any of those move would be ones that would fundamentally alter the core of the team. A player like Shanahan, for instance, would have that impact. And even in looking fairly unspectacular the past few weeks, the Rangers still aren’t willing to take such a leap.

—–

And as if their on-ice problems weren’t enough, the Rangers are “justifiably getting roasted around the league”:http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/sports/story.html?id=6a31cddb-a1bd-48db-959a-69039fb7e7a6 for seeking a compensatory draft pick for Alexei Cherepanov.

The more I think about what the team has done here, the more I think that an organization that usually should be commended for its class has shown an appalling lack of common sense, if not simple decency.

The guy taking the biggest hit on this is Cam Hope since the Ranger’s assistant GM has been the one quoted on the issue, most notably with his regrettable statement that a player who has been dead for a month “is technically eligible to be drafted again next year.”

But let’s be clear that while Hope certainly could have used more tactful language — and “he did later in an e-mail response to me”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2008/11/06/rangers-seeking-confirmation-for-cherepanov/ — he is only guilty of following orders from above. Just as he was in making the Rangers’ case in “the Sean Avery arbitration dispute a couple of summers back”:http://www.nypost.com/seven/07312007/sports/rangers/rangers_rip_avery_in_faceoff_rangers_larry_brooks.htm, Hope is the team’s point man on all things related to the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But it still  fell to Glen Sather to decide whether the matter was worth pursuing, and in this case, whether it was worth pursuing so quickly after the player’s death.

That may be the larger issue here. Had the Rangers broached the topic at another meeting in, say, February or March, maybe their actions wouldn’t seem so crass. But that they jumped on it while emotions were still so raw makes it seem like they had little regard for the human tragedy involved.

——

Finally, here is that “radio interview I did last night”:http://www.justagame.ca/audio/sam%20weinman%20nov10.mp3. (before the game, mind you) in which I talk about the Cherepanov case and other issues.

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98 Comments

  1. you know… I’m a Ranger’s fan, ALWAYS will be. But the management there really makes me doubt it sometimes. As a Ranger’s fan, how do you defend your team when they pull crap like that? That article from Edmonton (linked in Sam’s post) hit it right on the head.

  2. Who really cares what the rest of the league thinks of us? They’re our opponents and our enemies, so of course they’re going to try to interfere with any kind of “compensation”.

    Morally and Ethically — right or wrong — we should take advantage of any kind of glich or language in the system that would grant us a compensatory draft pick.

    Why not? It’s a business and you gotta look out for yours.

    We never get the in-game benefit of the doubt as is, so what’s one more person, be it a commissioner, reff or player hating us?

    Doesn’t hurt to try.

  3. The Rangers definitely should have taken a different tact. They should have gone hat-in-hand and try to get a draft pick at the end of the second round. The argument they should have used was the team was unable to work out a deal with Omsk to bring him over this year because of the ongoing NHL problems getting a transfer agreement – regardless of whether they were brining him here this year or not and regardless of the Rangers being able to keep his draft rights beyond this year. It is the NHL’s fault that there is no agreement in place and the Rangers should not be penalized for it. Might not be the best argument, but it beats Hope’s dopey comment.

  4. Furthermore, as far as that link is concerned… surprise, surprise another Canadian paper/person/team hating on an American franchise…

    There’s a tremendous amount of resentment in Canada towards successful US organizations — so, why should we care what they have to say when their opinions are so arbitrary and laden with animosity.

  5. Brandon – because its just embarrassing. Why can’t we have an organization that treats a teenager’s death with some tact, instead of trying to squeeze something out of it?

    Yeah, purely from a hockey perspective, we lost a good draft pick, and a hell of a player. At the same time, somebody DIED. We’ve blown PLENTY of great draft picks with horrible choices, what’s wrong with letting this one go, just for the sake of decency?

  6. How does an article from and Edmonton paper (surprise, surprise)translate to getting: “justifiably roasted around the league”?

    The reason for Hopes stupid comment is based more upon the fact that the league has no ruling in the case of a deceased draft pick.

    Hope clarified the statement prior to making it. He was only submitting the fact (agreed it was cold) that cherepanov was eligible for re-draft based on the fact that the league was silent on the issue.

    Listen, we all know when a loved one dies in our families that we have to speak on legal issues almost immediately.
    There is no reason to color Sather and Hope as monsters in this situation.

  7. Losing Cherepanov has an enormous effect on our organization long-term. If the rules are written a certain way, there’s nothing wrong with calling it to the attention of the power that be.

    Could better PR have been used? Yes, definitely. Cam Hope needed some better constructed message points.

    But the idea is nothing to be embarassed about.

    I think Alexei’s death is a terrible tragedy. Anytime a teenage dies it’s awful. That being said, the Rangers aren’t “cashing in” on his death. Whatever we get in return will never amount to half of what he was supposed to be, so I definitely don’t see us “taking advantage” of anything that isn’t rightfully ours.

  8. I’m kinda leaning towards Brandon’s points on this one. Especially the thoughts on the edmonton paper. When I read it yesterday, the first thing I thought of was ‘jealousy of a bigger market in the usa’. Still think the same thing.

    What if he were in a car accident and lost his arms and legs? You’d ask for compensation then, right? When kaspar got d!cked and sent to the wasteland, when a fan favorite is traded or not resigned, when a player is bought-out…”It’s a business”. But not now?

    Hey, I nearly sat at my desk and cried when I read the breaking news and the days that followed this tragedy. But the business doesn’t change. And fans here get on management for their multitude flaws. But when they try to take advantage of a loophole, and for once have a legit ‘beef’ (for lack of a better word), everyone has a problem with it?

    I don’t think its disrespectful at all…the CONCEPT. The TIMING is a little harsh, I’ll certainly concede to that. But the language is there in the CBA, and the NYR have the right to pursue compensation…and so they should.

  9. Ha, seriously! I don’t know who I would get on it. I almost want to get a Cherepanov jersey and wear it as a tribute to the kid.

    I will add, that I don’t think there is anything immoral with what the Rangers organization is doing here. If there is a clause that says we should be compensated, then we should be compensated. Unfortunately there is no way to be classy about this. The whole thing is heart breaking and it sucks,but this sport is also a business and life must go on.

  10. They must become 20-22% efficient on the PP. Do whatever it takes to get that done. End of f’n story!

  11. I have to agree with Brandon and NickC. It should also be noted that the Rangers making the move to seek compensation could have respectfully been kept quieter than this…but it seems the writers are the ones who saw the opportunity to bring it back out, point fingers, and stir the Cherepanov pot if you ask me, which is even more embarrassing as the gains from such stories are selfish on a different level IMO, especially for those outside the Rangers community.

    This wasn’t Brodie DuPont or Guy Farlardeau who we lost, it was a very high prospect. I think it is honestly disrespectful to Chere to not make a case to try to get a player who could maybe begin to alleviate the loss… to do otherwise is almost like saying “eh he wasn’t much of a big deal, we can move on easily with his loss”.

  12. Guys, are you saying that because Dawes on it because that is where he belongs or because it would be a cool jersey? Ha.

  13. ok I could see if there was something saying “if you lose a prospect, you can get compensation”… But the Rangers argument is that he could possibly be drafted next year. Because he’s dead, the Rangers don’t have his rights, so who knows, maybe he’ll sign with a different team… Come on. That’s just rough.

    Granted, I have lots of relatives in Canada, so I know firsthand that Canadians have a HUGE chip on their shoulders when it comes to anything American, so they’re probably just taking shots, but every ONCE in a while, it can be a valid point.

  14. Jeever-I’m with you, always a Rangers fan, always. We all know Sather is an ass, and Dolan is a dick. They were made for each other. That’s what we’re stuck with. We survived the Gulf + Western days with Sonny Werblin, we can survive Sather and Dolan.

    With that said, I think the rest of the league jumps at the chance when the Rangers mgmt makes themselves look bad. The Rangers organize-ation has probably been the leaders in charity and community goodwill. From a personal experience, the Rangers do have heart. 5 1/2 years ago I lost my brother who left behind a 10 year old son. I spent alot of time with him after his father’s passing. My sister wrote to the Rangers and told them the story of his passing and how we were big NYR fans and how I put my NYR game puck from the 70’s in his casket. When I took his son to the next game, the Rangers came to our seats and gave us a goodie bag with good stuff plus pucks.

    I will still complain about tik and beer prices, but the Rangers will always be the #1 team to me.

  15. What is missing?

    1. a good coach
    2. a good system
    3. good passing
    4. good offensive strategies and breakouts
    5. playmakers
    6. proper icetime distribution
    7. reward/punishment system
    8. size of forwards

  16. What is missing?

    1. a good coach
    2. a good system
    3. good passing
    4. good offensive strategies and breakouts
    5. playmakers
    6. proper icetime distribution
    7. reward/punishment system
    8. size of forwards

    *9. threatening/upredictable powerplay*

  17. Last night, even in the third period and OT, the Rangers seemed confused when they had the puck outside of the offensive zone. Guys just stood around and didn’t make quick decisions. Their transition game is completely outta wack, and that’s the defenseman’s fault. Someone’s gotta tell Wade Redden to stop dressing up in stupid fancy suits for magazines, and work on getting his transition passing game down. This is why we got him. He was supposed be the catalyst for our transition game. I’m starting to miss Jagr as well.

    RollmeaDubi – I agree with your points, and your line changes as well (in the last post). At this point, they don’t have a dominant line combo. They don’t even have a 1-2 punch that is guaranteed.

  18. What is missing?

    1. a system that can adapt to different styles
    2. reward/punishment system for EVERYONE
    3. finisher/s
    4. team wide physicality
    5. productive power play

  19. Andy Petrovitch on

    I don’t think he team is acting crassly at all. I’d rather they resolve this issue now, early, than at draft time.

    Please – if this happened to the Flyers or Ducks, the league would be falling over themselves to award them compensatory picks.

  20. This team is so scared to take chances to start games. If they played like they did in the second and third period, they would be on the winning side of most games. It is like they are scared to make a mistake so they are cemented to the ice and not moving around or making plays. We have a more than capable goalie and they should have all the confidence in the world in him. We need to start taking chances and playing desperate right from the drop of the puck. It is so damn annoying.

  21. Clearly, Hank is the main reason for our team’s success so far this year. If he was only playing average, instead of lights out I shudder to think what our record would be. No way we can keep leaving him on an island to save our butt.

    We never answered our biggest need in the off-season, namely a physical presence on D. Every team knows the only way to score on Hank is to put traffic in front & even run at him, which teams are doing with impunity.

    Mara is playing great, but our overpriced D-Men are playing at a level 1/3rd their cost. I have no doubt that Potter & Fahey can play the equal of what Rosi & Redden have done so far for a fraction of the cost, but lets face it, no other team would take them off our hands at their contract levels.

    We get plenty of chances to score but just can’t put the puck in the net. I think our guys have the ability to shoot better but they just have not been able to, hence making average goalies look great.

    I still think this team can get a lot better, & hope it does soon.

  22. And it is so annoying that the whole team can’t be on the same page at the same time. To start the season it was, “And if Drury was producing we will be unstoppable.” Well now, he is playing much better hockey and others have cooled off. I am not giving up on this team, and I do think they will turn it around, but it is so damn frustrating.

  23. And also, tomorrow night’s game is not a gimme by any means. You can be damn sure, that whoever the Devils have in goal tomorrow night, and whoever is healthy for them, will be playing their hearts out. I don’t have a very good feeling about the game. Earlier in the season I would have been cocky and said “Sure win.” If we continue to play passive and how we have been playing, I think we should all be concerned.

  24. Not only is Lundqvist the reason for our record, has anybody noticed how improved his puck handling is? He was worse than JD with the puck but now he doesn’t give it up and he’s always looking to get the puck up the ice, especially on the PP.

  25. Chere was our BEST prospect in YEARS, and since he’s gone, we’re due compensation, end of story.

    I wish his family the best, but I also understand that professional sports are a business.

  26. I really do think there is something in the works to rid this team of Roszival or Redden. I know their salaries are high, but I just have a feeling that one of those two will not be with us come middle of the season. Probably Roszival.

  27. doodie machetto on

    Sam, I agree with you and what a couple of other people have said: the move is fine, the timing and tact were awful.

    I especially agree with you in how it was couched in terms of “technically eligible to be redrafted.” They should’ve just left the textual approach alone in public and approached it by the spirit of the rule, how it is to compensate teams who don’t get their first round picks under contract. In private, they could’ve made the textual argument.

    Truth is, the loss of Alexei was completely unforeseeable, and not a more common career-ending injury, which I would actually have LESS sympathy on the team for. There is a forseeable risk inherent in all draft choices and players that an injury could end their careers at any moment. But to just drop dead, basically from nothing? You can’t possibly be expecting that. That’s why the team deserves to be compensated, because it was a freak occurrence that has robbed them of a first round draft choice.

    As for the current state of the team. Don’t panic. They were inevitably going to lose some games. It was probably going to happen in a slump since they were on a winning streak, and without a slump, they would finish the season with a record that is just totally above the team’s ability. Currently they are .667, which would see them finish a season at 109 points. That ain’t happening. That’s 2nd in the league last year; first in the East by 7 points. I expect the rest of November and the beginning of December to be pretty rough, and for them to be slightly above .500 (.525-.555) by 2009. Then they’ll finish strong like they have in seasons past, finishing with somwehere between 92-96 points.

  28. doodie machetto on

    22figure8: I have noticed that, actually. He was just dreadful last year but has definitely improved. Part of it is his work with the stick, but the other part is his skating. He comes out hard to the puck to play it away, instead of letting it come to him.

  29. SCORING!!!!!!!

    How can no one on here point to this glaring deficiency???? We do all watch the same team, right?

    People, hockey is a reactionary sport. You can talk system and coaching all you want…there are no set plays…this isn’t football. When it comes down to it, if the puck finds its way to a player in a good position, you need someone who can fire it into the back of the twine. The Rangers lack a deadly scorer. They had Jaromir Jagr and Martin Straka and Brendan Shanahan. Now, I appreciate the need to move forward…those guys were aging, and it’s better to let players go a year early than a year late. BUT, the Rangers simply did not do enough to replace these dynamic players. Now they’re stuck with a team that cannot score goals. Period.

    They have Henrik Lundqvist who has allowed two or fewer goals in nearly every game this season. If this was a HALFWAY DECENT team in terms of scoring, they would have won all of those games.

    Who is Jeff-Drouin Deslauriers?!?!? How many backup goaltenders are we going to get beat by this season?!

    I can’t believe people come on here and talk about which third-liners should play, how poor the defense is (defense is not this team’s problem) and the salary cap and how that affects us in 2020. Seriously, wake up guys. IT’S THE SCORING.

  30. Well I did say finisher/s on my list. Which pretty much means scoring.

    and yes Beer,

    Sundin IS coming!!

  31. Things missing:

    – finishers. We have plenty of playmakers, but no guys to consistently bury the puck.
    – a tough blue line. I know Mara and Staal have the physicality to get the job done but I am sure they’re on a short leash by Renney and are told not to hit much. If we had defensemen who’d stand up at the blue line rather than skating backwards meekly poke-checking the puck (I’m looking at you Roszival/Redden/Girardi/Kalinin), there might be some reason for ANY team in the league to fear carrying the puck into our zone. Right now, we have nothing to be afraid of.

    As for the Cherry situation, it is very unfortunate, and I’d personally have preferred the organization to wait a bit longer than they did before bringing it up.

  32. really do think there is something in the works to rid this team of Roszival or Redden. I know their salaries are high, but I just have a feeling that one of those two will not be with us come middle of the season. Probably Roszival.

    ….

    I wish with all my heart…but I just don’t see it happening…we have been looking for the “big trade” for 2+ seasons now… Prucha, whatever… It never happens.

  33. Do you all know what the difference is between a nicely aged swiss and bad swiss?

    I will tell you. Not much. Be back in a few, after I am done making myself throw up. I just had some stale swiss. MMMMMM.

  34. It’s a reactionary sport. I’ve played, coached, refereed and covered it…you can’t convince me otherwise. There are styles, sure (dump and chase, cycling, the trap etc), but you can’t pre-plan 4 or 5 passes in a row. You just don’t do it. It’s a game that’s predicated upon bounces of the puck and mistakes.

    You go out there and try to coach a team based entirely off of “set plays”. You will lose. By a lot of goals.

  35. The Rangers need a legit sniper to play with Gomez. Why Renney hasn’t tried Zherdev with Gomez I’ll never know.

  36. I was at the game last night and all my brother and I could keep saying was take that body. With that said this team is missing:

    1. A solid hard hitting puck moving dman
    2. A solid big third line goal producer

    If we do not do something we are going into the playoffs but not much further than that, hate to say it.

    Dawes, Prucha, Fritsche and Rissmiller do nothing for this team, obviously for the Riss who has cleared waviers and should be in Hartford.

    The Korpedo I think still needs a season in Hartford. I know it was one game but he is just a year away.

    Sjostrom is by far the most under rated player on this team. He should play on the 3rd line but breaking up that 4th line is tough.

    Redden 6 more years of this crap. My call to Slats re: Rozi, “trade him right F ing now,” then hang up.

    more later….

  37. Nobody is taking Redden or Rozsival off our hands…It’s too bad Sather doesn’t have a twin because he’s the only GM in the league who would trade for either of those guys at their current salary.

  38. doodie machetto on

    Rob C., even football set plays are reactionary. When a QB drops back to pass, he isn’t definitely going to throw to one guy. He checks his options, sees which is best based on the defense in front of him. There’s a schematic in place of what routes guys will run, but even they would deviate from those if they saw something in the defense.

    That is the definition of a powerplay. There is a set schematic of how it should work and where you want the passes to go (yes, sometimes a few in a row, ESPECIALLY off of a face off). How appropriate that the term is a PP QB. That’s exactly what it’s like.

  39. Sam Weinman

    Something’s missing? Like the players, after the game, to answer questions?

    One of your competitors reported that some of the Rangers didn’t stick around after the game to answer questions. How could you miss that? Or, why don’t you report that? Surely that is an enormous sign that Renney has lost the vets.

    Go ahead Sam, tell us what you think of that?

  40. Audioserf…one thing you said that I want more clarification on is that Renney has the D-men on a short leash and TOLD THEM NOT TO HIT MUCH. Can you explain that? Cuz to me it sounds like you are saying that Renney said, “Don’t hit people.” That cannot be what you meant or can it?

    On the compensation discussion…It’s not personal, it’s business. Sorry. If we are owed stuff legally, while as tragic as Cherp’s death is, we deserve to pursue it. Clearly there is a right and a wrong way to go after it (and the NYR brass took the wrong path…real f-ing shocker there), but we need to pursue it as best we can. F the other chatter in the league. If it’s our right legally, then F the naysayers. Get me compensation.

    On last night’s game:

    I remember posts back in July/August when I said that we have a glut of 3rd and 4th liners. (A few of us said this actually.) None of that has changed. Fritsche is useless. He does nothing and is not even noticeable. Rissmiller who? Prucha has spurts of energy but no results. Dawes (best potential I think of all these sucky players) can’t seem to put a beach ball in the ocean. We are in desperate need of another premium forward. Sundin where are you?

    The 4th line is our most consistent. I keep hearing stories of people wanting to break them up, how they don’t score, blah blah. I think those stories are sheer idiocy. Say what you want about +/-, but SOB is combined +10. Outside of Zherdev, SOB are the top 3 forwards in +/-. Yes, the stat can be misleading, but this line does their job.

    BTW, what I find deplorable is Drury -5, Gomer -4, Naslund -2, and Fritsche & Korpikoski -4 each (though I don’t expect much more from those latter two guys.) But the big 3 are just playing irresponsibly defensively. I don’t know how that can be refuted. And for a team that preaches “defense first” there is something wrong with those stats. Fine, don’t score goals, that sucks. But add to that poor defensive play and I shake my head in disgust.

    The line juggling is getting annoying. Renney doesn’t even give it a full game. He starts Dubi, Drury, Zherdev and 1 period later it’s back to Dubi, Zherdev, Voros. Renney seems schizophrenic or panicky, take your pick. And the first two shifts of the game for Korpi, Voros, Fritsche were a combined total of 30 seconds. I kid you not. I mean if that doesn’t smack of, “I am clueless. I really am just grasping for straws right now,” on Renney’s part, I don’t know what does. Either play them and give them a chance or don’t. But playing them for 15 secs at a time is pointless.

    I am not sounding the panic button. But I am just befuddled at all the decisions being made.

    And another thing, 40 shots is great, whatever. But how many are from the top of the circle (or further out) and right into the goaltender’s stomach? I mean WTF? I tried on goalie stuff once. The easiest saves were the ones that hit me without moving. How come 85% of the Rangers’s shots are like this? We make all these useless goaltenders look like Eddie Giacomin.

    Another point: Why is it that when an opposing team’s D-man skates the puck out of the zone the first forward in (Gomer, Cally, Naz, etc) don’t just body the guy? Even if he passes it away, he’s gotta be hit! I mean even in neutral zone, same thing. Our guys reaching out for a poke check instead of just putting a body on the opposing skater just smacks of pu$$y hockey.

    Last point before I go kick a cat: Our D corps is middle of the pack, no better. Sorry. Redden might be OK now, but 3 or 4 yrs for now I might personally go postal on his ass. We need a bone crunching D-man. None of those guys hit at all, save for the one off effort. Mara and Staal are our top D-men. Kalinin skates like the wind and the coughs up the puck. Rosy is just deplorable. I mean WTF, sit the guy for a game.

    I have babbled on long enough….disgusted.

  41. RobC is dead on. Hockey is a reactionary sport. You can practice 5 types of break-outs and 5 types of forechecks, but you don’t “plan” to use any of them during the course of the game. You use them based on what transpires at any given moment in the game. It’s not like basketball where you can set up a play on the fly or football where you know exactly what you’re going to do beforehand.

    For instance, you can have a 1-2-2 forecheck or a 2-1-2 forecheck and neither will deliver the same outcome at anytime during the game — they’re styles moreso than set ups.

    There are NO set plays in hockey. There are set plays off of faceoffs only. That’s the only time when there’s a stoppage. After the faceoff, it’s read and react.

  42. Doodie, in football everyone has a role in a given play. X player goes here, Y player goes there, Z player moves here. While the QB may span his “options” he knows where everyone is going to be. The only adaptation that occurs is when the play falls apart.

    Hockey is a different breed. There are power play styles (e.g. umbrella), but there are no set plays as in X player passes to Y and Z shoots. You have to read the opponent. If the opponent collapses you work the puck up high, if they attack you try to move the puck down low. You can’t set that up.

  43. Brandon…let me add this….against Oilers last night and against the Isles the other night, their forwards on the PK pressured our D-men and tried to smother them. This creates a 3 on 2 down low. How is it that the D-men or the coaches could not see this and react? I mean put the forwards on the half boards and get them the g-damn puck! Clearly an inability to move the puck quickly is hamstringing us. While I agree there are not really “set plays”, the inability of the PP to move quickly and move the puck even quicker is just awful!

  44. Damn swiss cheese.

    Tomorrow night is a very big game folks. I think it could get us out of this funk, or send us deeper down the shit hole.

  45. I agree Newman. But, I think that’s a testament to our personal and lack of confidence on the pp moreso than it is our style. One of our biggest problems is that we don’t attack the zone. We’re very slow through the neutral zone so teams jump on us and never really give us a chance to set up shop.

    Gomez completely stopped bringing the puck up ice, as did Dubinsky and we don’t have a fast mobile defenseman who’s confident enough to carry the puck into the zone and QB that shizzle.

    Redden was “supposed” to be that guy.

  46. I think the Rangers need a physical, punishing hitter on the back line that is not afraid to drop the gloves with the best of them. Who is available that fits those standards is arguable…but the Rangers need to find one.

  47. Yeah, there’s a difference between a set play and an overall plan or scheme. I’m not saying you run out there totally disorganized. But it’s a game of flow and creativity because of lack of stoppages. Off of faceoffs, sure, maybe you pre-plan on going forward with the puck, or who drives to the net and who drops back, things like that…but it’s not a game of set plays.

    What makes the greatest players GREAT is their ability to read and react quicker than everyone else on the ice, AND convert the chance they create. Gretzky saw the game better than anyone. Jagr was able to create space for others (as well as himself). To be honest, the greatest players are at their best when they’re NOT constricted by a rigid system. When they’re allowed to think outside the box, take what’s given to them, and make a play. Most importantly, that play is finished with a GOAL.

    Right now, this Ranger team consists of a lot of quick, solid, complementary hockey players. It’s a team that’s capable of winning a lot of hockey games, for sure. But if they had a true sniper or impact player (Gaborik, Nash, Kovalchuk), they’d be a true Cup Contender.

  48. IT’S FRUGGING TIME TO LOSE SOME OF OUR FOWARDS AT LEAST 3 OF THEM AND AT LEAST 1 D-MAN,WE NEED SIZE UP FRONT THAT CAN SCORE,AND HIT.ALSO D-MAN THAT HIT,AND THAT INCLUDES HITTING THE FRUGGIN NET..AND I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT TRADING PRUCHA,DAWES EITHER.IF THEY GO FINE,BUT I;M TALKING ABOUT TRADING SOMEONE WE CAN GET SOMEBODY FOR…SUNDIN WOULD BE A NICE START.AND DON’T GET ME STARTED ON OUR INEPT COACHING..

  49. Sam Weinman is so clueless. He says: “obviously, Gomez is one of the best playmakers in the league” Do you even watch games, Sam?

    And how much can yo kiss up to Renney? Renney kills most young players’ careers, not makes them better. Watch for Zherdev become the new Prucha when Renney gets new “toys” next summer.

  50. SCOTTY

    Commodore was available but they didn’t go for him. He’s getting overpaid but who the fugg isn’t getting overpaid ?

    I agree, they need some physicality, but not just a d-man, i think they need a forward as well.

    Trade Prucha for Tootoo. Toots isn’t much of a goal scorer, and Pruchs has more offensive threat than him, given the right amount of ice time, and responsibility. I don’t see how that trade would be turned down. But then again, the Preds are pretty high on Toots.

    I love Cally, but he’s pretty small, and Voros always misses on his hits, and Orr is never in the right spot to throw a hit.

    I didn’t believe the whole “to soft” thing everyone’s been talking aboot, but im starting to see it now.

    I don’t know who’s available, as far as physical D-men go.

  51. Nash isn’t going anywhere, don’t believe anything on hockeybuzz. You can say the whole “If Gretzky was traded, then anyone can be traded” BS. The Jackets are smarter than that. Brassard isn’t gonna be the guy to build around, that’s Nash. That kid is just a piece of the future. As far as i know, Nash wants to be there, i haven’t heard anything different.

    But i sure as shit wouldn’t blame him for wanting to leave if he did, ugh Columbus, i think id actually take Graves9’s advice if i played there and couldn’t leave.

    And id be surprised if Waddell traded Kovalchuk, but if there’s an insane offer, which there will be, then he’d have to do it. As for Gabby, he’s as good as gone, and id love if Slats got him here, but that guy tweaks his groin just by listening to loud music. Last thing Nyr needs is one of these injury prone players.

  52. doodie machetto on

    I can’t believe people are calling for Sundin. Why would we get him instead of having kept Jagr? They had similar point totals last season. Plus, Jagr is a wing, not another center, something we already pay two guys over 7 million dollars for, and are already having one of them play wing as a result.

  53. Personally, I’d take Jagr over Sundin any day of the week and you don’t need to look further than their hands to know why…

  54. “I can’t believe people are calling for Sundin. Why would we get him instead of having kept Jagr?”

    Jagr wanted 2 yrs(+?). Sundin’s a rental. As far as we know.

  55. Beer, cheers to that.
    I am not on the Renney bashing train. Sure, there are things that he can do better, but he is not a bad coach. Some of the coaches that are available that people want, are available for a reason.

  56. GardenFaithfulinFLA on

    Riddle me this – you have a player who is a left winger, play him at center. His production is eh. Send him down to the minors for ice time instead of bench time. He’s playing at his natural position, left wing – production jumps 6 points in 4 games plus 3 of those point a hatrick. You bring him back up. Where would you play him when you bring him back up?

    The changing of combinations every 15 seconds has got to come to a stop! How can you call for team consistency when there is none at the coaching level. I’m really beginning to wonder if Bettman has got Renney in his back pocket and is paying him to disrupt the success of the team.

  57. faithful – a reasonably fair point.

    But lets use the same theory and apply it to a dman or goalie?

    They’re different leagues and different levels for a reason.

    Hugh Jessiman can tear up the ECHL in any position…but it doesn’t translate to sh!t in any other league.

    Sometimes logic just doesn’t apply. Strange, but true.

  58. faithful – I actually regret replying to that at all. that last statement in your post…

    I think just made me retarded just reading it

  59. Hi all,

    Went to my first game last night with my friend. We sat in section 118. Ok so 2 guys next to me probably had IQ’s of 25. They got drunk before 1st period. Yelled some BS all game long. Had no idea why there was a 4 on 4 during OT lol and whenever Hank went to the bench for an extra penalty in a delayed penalty they were yelling what the hell is he doing its not 3rd period yet and he’s going to get tired skating to the bench… ridiculous… also… teh row in front of us were 6 Oiler fans (1 hot one I might add)….when Kalinin drew a hooking penalty they started chanting RANGERS ARE HOOKERS…the guys next to me went ballistic….. anyways i had a good time last night, was fun to see a shootout in my first game… the Potvin Sucks chants didnt disappoint and the Dancin Larry video was amazing…

  60. The pretzel that posters such as Beer Me twist themselves into to avoid even one semi-negative word about Renney is hilarious.

  61. gardenfailthfulinfla

    “I’m really beginning to wonder if Bettman has got Renney in his back pocket and is paying him to disrupt the success of the team.”

    me too…if that was the plan Renney couldn’t execute it any better…

  62. Beer Me says negative things as do I. I also realize, as he does, that it is a very long season, and lulls like this are bound to happen. I absolutely refuse to let something like what has been happening in recent games, make me panic. Sorry, when the shit hits the fan you need to have a few guys like us on your team.

  63. “I can’t believe people are calling for Sundin. Why would we get him instead of having kept Jagr? They had similar point totals last season. Plus, Jagr is a wing, not another center, something we already pay two guys over 7 million dollars for, and are already having one of them play wing as a result”

    Id prefer Jagr as well, but the difference here, just like Beer said, Jags wanted another year on his contract, Mats just wants to play for a chance at winning the cup, and we’re the best in the east right now, so im sure Nyr is on his list.

    As for the center stuff. Dru is playing a little better, Gomer had his first good game in a while, it wouldn’t hurt to have another. If anything play Dubi on the wing, he did that last night for a few shifts, cause he wasn’t great on faceoffs. Its only one season with Mats if we get him. Id rather have Mats here instead of Dawes, Pruchs, and Fritshe who are doing nothing. I expect Korpedo to go back to the minors, cause Renney will give up on him as soon as possible.

    Naslund-Sundin-Zherdev
    Drury/Callahan-Gomez-Dubinsky ??
    Voros-Callahan/Drury-Dawes
    Sjostrom-Betts-Orr

    No Pruchs, cause obviously he’d be gone if Nyr signed Mats.

  64. MAsTercard gold iS So UNbelievable at paying for DINner, Im So COMpletely serIous about It Guys!

  65. Sam, don’t jump on the anti-compensatory bandwagon, it’s ill-informed and totally unprofessional. Forget the rangers, forget the specific circumstances and look at it as a business, which it is. Fact is, there should have been a rule in place long ago for this eventuality.
    It is unfortunate that the Rangers request has to be public, which only makes it seem salacious, but it’s not. If your boss promised you a raise, but died before he made it offical with HR, a major portion of your future salary would be eliminated because of a technicality. You would fight for what you deserved too -Quietly, right? How do the rangers keep this quiet? (They can’t -cue blogzilla and the keyboard moralists).
    The ranger haters- try to frame it thusly; if this was Bob Gainey instead of Sather, no one would say a damn thing…
    The rule should be amended to get the same pick back in case of death before signing…i.e. the #17 pick in this upcoming round, leaving each team back one from there (leaving 31 1st rounders this year). That would be fair, and a proper way to respect any kid that dies too young. Print that.

  66. GardenFaithfulinFLA on

    To give everyone a chuckle – I’ve got a Border Cocker named Saydie. I’ve got her to the point when we score – I raise my hands and yell score and she points her snout up in the air and wolf-howls with me!

  67. nasty that was awesome!

    by the way, correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t people on Renney’s case a couple of years back becasue he NEVER changed his lines and he stuck with the same ones no matter what, and he didn’t adjust in game?

    Not saying he doesn’t make mistakes and drive me crazy sometimes, but maybe he’s learning and adjusting and figuring things out… Keep in mind, each year he’s started with like 1/3 of a brand new team and new chemstry to try to build.

  68. and about Sundin, I read somewhere, (don’t ask me where, I don’t remember) that Sundin might be willing to take a low salary, like 2M, to play for the right team.

    Jagr was asking to be the highest paid Ranger, because if he’s the go-to, he should be paid that way.

    I’d take similar production for a 5M discount in a second.

  69. I did notice Lundqvist’s puck-handling improvement.

    Last season he was by far the worst puck-handling goalie in the NHL. I wish he could handle the puck like Marty Turco how sick would that be? But he is improving at least.

  70. Regarding the Cherepanov situation, though it is tough and tragic, the Rangers do basically get screwed out of a top flight #1 draft pick if nothing is done as far as compensation. The other teams would have done the same thing, so screw them.

  71. Rob C

    You are right on.

    This is an ad hoc game, always has been and will be. Who can tell where a puck is going to go – or wind up?

    One of the most amusing sights for me was that game the other night, when Rangers had SIX SECONDS left and a pulled goal tender, and that coach {is it Ferlino?} pulled out his magic play board and began to diagram a play for them.

    Talk about a clueless bunch.

    This team’s destiny is in the hands a man who has no concept of the handling of player personnel..Renney.

    He makes a lot of noise about what the PP should do, but he continues to put out a man who dithers with the puck,
    { Roszival) and leaves his most potent pP weapon ( Mara) on the bench. That says it all.

    They will never go anywhere as long as he’s guiding this team. So rest easy now, it’s still a long season, but don’t expect much of anything different, because with him at the helm- nothing is going to change.

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