Early test

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Some notes after a spirited practice at the MSG Training Center:

<li>Scott Gomez is still day-to-day with an ankle injury, and didn’t practice today. Tom Renney said he’ll check on Gomez’s status in the morning, so there’s at least the chance he’ll play tomorrow night against the Bruins. But don’t count on it.

Because of Gomez’s absence, the Rangers practiced in the same lines as Wednesday night.

<li>The consensus is that tomorrow might be the biggest test of the year for the Rangers given the Bruins hot play of late (bigger even than their trip to Detroit last month). The Bruins under Claude Julien have won eight of 10, and ripped apart the Canadiens 6-1 last night.

“I was impressed with them when they hired that coach,” Renney said of Julien. “He’s a pretty good friend. We’ve worked together, so I’m not surprised at all.”

<li>How do you explain Dan Girardi’s place among defensive scoring leaders with 14 points?

Like a lot of defensemen, Girardi’s first priority when he was called up to the Rangers after the All-Star break in the 2006-07 season was to just be responsible in his own zone first. Having nailed down that, he’s allowed the other part of his game to slowly emerge.

“I would just say he keeps the game simple,” his defensive partner Wade Redden said. “That’s one of the things he does and he does it very effectively and does everything with authority. And you get rewarded when you play the game hard like that.”

When I asked Redden who he would compare Girardi to, the defenseman said Rob Blake, which isn’t bad for a player who wasn’t even drafted.

<li>One more thing about Brian Burke’s impending free agency. Again, I don’t see Glen Sather stepping aside anytime soon. But it is worth noting that before the lockout, Burke was reportedly in talks with Sather about coming to the Rangers as the GM-in-waiting, only to have Jim Dolan nix the idea.

Consider this John Dellapina (remember him?) story from a couple of years back:

The Daily News has learned that at least twice over the last few years, Sather has had discussions with high-profile hockey executives about having them join the club’s front office. According to several league sources, former Vancouver GM Brian Burke was one of the respected hockey men whom Sather considered bringing in as the eventual general manager, allowing him to remain solely as team president.
Dolan understandably was not anxious to sign off on a major restructuring of the club’s front office with the 2004-05 season threatened – and ultimately canceled – by a lockout.

So it’s not like there isn’t a history there. More later…

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51 Comments

  1. REPOST (with an update)

    WOW. I don’t even know where to start or begin.

    Read the last 4-5 entries (sams’s) since the in-game on wednesday night.

    1st, great win. Actually found the game on tv in atlanta at a bar suggested by one of ‘us’ here. They had the STL/BUF game on also. Who knew hockey was so popular in ATL? They just don’t realize they have their own team.

    2nd, get well soon Gomer.

    3rd, great video from the beloved Puck Daddy Blog. Love that site, often link to it.

    4th, screw the devils.

    5th, On Sather…I wouldn’t mind Burke coming in. He has a STELLAR track record of finding young talent. There are lots of similarities in the types of players he drafts to Dubi. Sather’s buried the team, and dug them back up. Some of the best deals the franchise has ever seen, and some of the worst decisions the sport has ever seen. Make of it what you will.

    6th, The naked guy ads are gross.

    7th, Was that the spark the PP needed to find their ‘rythm’? Is there any link to the absence of Scotty? Not to put it on him at all, but I don’t think the question is too far fetched. Then again, it WAS Kevin Weeks. Ok, I’ll just stick to that first question.

    8th, This chicken ceasar salad is pretty good.

    9th, Couldn’t hear the game the other night. I’m assuming an ice pack to the back of the head is all Dubi needed. Looked pretty scary at first.

    10th, and finally…don’t know why I numbered my thoughts…

    Can someone look up the last time the Rangers spent this many calendar days at #1 in the Atlantic/Patrick Div?

    OH YEAH… AND… J! E! T! S!
    ………..

    How to explain Girardi’s success this year? Easy. At least *I* drafted him in my fantasy league! haha

  2. good, I hope Burke replaces Sather, maybe then Burke fires Renney.

    And trade Rozsival and Gomez already.

  3. Beer Me… Burke didn’t draft all those players. He came in when most if not all of them were already in the system. Don’t give him too much credit.

  4. Sam, I wouldn’t be so fast to declare that Girardi has “nailed down” his defensive responsibilities but ever since he joined the team, he’s been one of our best D’s.
    Redden credits him with keeping it simple. Redden and Rozy keep their game simple too, get the puck….give it back….lame stick check attempt….goal!

  5. Two things:

    1) Is it not a foregone conclusion that Burke is going to Toronto? I thought that was a “when” not an “if”?

    2) Is Montreal somehow going to be punished for electronically stuffing the All-Star ballot box? And, if not, don’t any Ranger fans know how to create a computer program that can just keep submitting votes for our guys?

  6. Kaspar – so is Slats…he’ll fit right in!

    Rucc – I concede that “stellar” is giving him too much credit. And the CAPS there probably was a bit much by me! haha

    But the man is a fine GM, and there’s 30 teams that would be lucky to have him.

    Also…Just want to publicly pat myself on the back here (ahh..that felt good) for saying back in Sept that Boston is far far improved team this year. Partly due to the fact that T.T. is playing well above what was expected. But there’s a decent backup there too. It all starts with good goaltending.

  7. Burke is a genius, he got rid of garbage players in Fedorov, Ozolinsh, Rucchin, Bertuzzi, and Sykora.

    If he comes here I hope he gets rid of some of our useless players.

  8. Burke Paid for 1 year of Bertuzzi and had to buy him out of second year

    could have kept twenty something Penner for same money…Burke=idiot

    Anyway
    Funny times up here near Hab-land
    You would think Habs record was 3-9-2 the way the press and fans are outraged after the Bruin and Leaf losses this week

    Rangers have it easy, media-wise, be happy there’s no canadien press hounding our guys….those press people are savages…

  9. First of all, for a guy with a blog name of Beer Me! you lost a notch of credit when you used the word “peeing.” You sound like my wife…LOL

    I said to the guy sitting next to me the exact same thing about tom’w night’s game. Biggest test of the year no doubt. Boston is the hottest team in the East.

    Can someone give me an eyeballed estimate as to when the other teams in the league will catch the Rangers on GP? I hate having to look at everyone’s point totals and try and figure out how many games in hand everyone else has. I mean the NYR have games Sat Mon Wed….I am sure we are not letting other teams catch up in the games played anytime soon.

    LGR!

  10. Is Komisarek really the 2nd D-man with the highest votes ???

    I hate the All Star game its boring. But even so, the NHL should do this themselves, not fans, i mean Price has given up 6 goals twice already. Lundqvist, Miller, and Thomas deserve the starting job mroe than him.

    But i can care less.

    I hate Canadian teams !!!!

  11. I back off on the Burke thing now…i forgot he got s slew of draft pix by losing Penner….

    Anyway back to Crazy hab fans….wasn’t it sweet seeing Lucic kick Komisereks ass??

  12. Yeah beer!!
    Slats and Burke sitting in a tree…..

    Anyway…where were you during the Naked-Guy riot yesterday??

  13. Totally off topic:

    Does anyone else in the tri-state area notice how MSG Chanell is always lower than any ohter station?

    By lower I mean, I crank the voulme up for any game or show I’m watching, then when the commercial hits “BAMM” it jumps up to where it should be.

  14. Probably sitting in the F*CKIN Atlanta airport man. The delays were in Newark though, not ATL. Newark sux for just about everything I guess. BeerMe! and Barry Melrose…sittin in a tree…LOL

    Newman – Ok, I’ll give ya that one. But I only mention it because of the difficulty of balancing in those little airplane bathrooms after “drinking a delay away”. I really didn’t give 2 sh!ts that my boss didn’t look happy that BeerMe! was getting toasted on his corporate card.

    I always try to focus on the fact that we’re a few games ahead of the rest of the pack too. I would have to believe that the latest everyone would catch up would be the A.S. game, more likely xmas.

    What pisses me off about it is that the other 3 teams that made the trip to euroland have fewer gp as well. I don’t remember which, but one of them has fewer than the rest of the whole league!…or close to it.

    I guess there’s no point in bitching about it though, we’ve made the most of a jam-packed sched.

  15. Girardi is nasty! People bash him for his play in his own zone, but sh*t happens. I’ll take a LEAGUE leading (i think) 14 points as a defensemen any day , for an occasional slip in his own zone. I’d also like to take credit, like BEER, for having him on my fantasy team since day one. Him and Henrik are the only two players who I havent had to trade all year.

    Im sure Brian Burke is a GREAT GM. His resume says so, but when you look at his face, doesn’t he kinda got the look of an jerk? Just an observation. Wouldn’t object to signing him on here.

    Lastly, the Bruins ain’t gonna light up Henrik like they did to Price. The Bruins offense looks tight as hell, Rangers better skate with them tomorrow or the team is gonna look clueless like they did against the caps.

    PS
    Canadians fixed the All-Star ballot

  16. I don’t doubt that there is something crooked in the A.S. balloting/game in MTL. And that’s one of my most hated teams in the entire league.

    BUT…if it were the NYR 100th anniversary, and the game was at MSG, I’d be extremely pissed and dissapointed if the NYR weren’t properly represented in that game. Fair or not.

    I’m just being honest here. Let them have this one. It’s just an A.S. game.

  17. “Does anyone else in the tri-state area notice how MSG Chanell is always lower than any ohter station?

    By lower I mean, I crank the voulme up for any game or show I’m watching, then when the commercial hits “BAMM” it jumps up to where it should be.”

    The MSG plus channel which was televised Wednesday was getting really low at times. I haven’t noticed it so much with MSG.

    But then again I do blast surround sound for games on MSG with Sam Rosen (and turn it down when homers like Daneyko get into drunken rants).

  18. Bruins physicality is what I’m most concerned with. They like to hit and it’s the whole team who does it, forwards and D alike. They hit often and hard. The Rangers don’t have an answer for it. Prucha and Cally throw hits but they’re tiny and do more damage to themselves than the guy they’re hitting. Orr’s a factor but with big Chara on the ice, he’s somewhat mitigated.

    I can see Boston bully’ing their way through this game, honestly.

  19. Wierd thing about Sather is that he speaks so rarely that its almost impossible to get a feel for whether he’s still excited about being Rangers GM or not….

    You Can’t even tell if he even cares about his “legacy’ anymore than a fat stogey

    Some of his moves (Redden and Rozy long term, even Drury in a way) would lead you to think that he just signed who he could and doesn’t think he’ll be around to answer for it…

    At least he didnt package Staal, Dubi and Girardi for Peter Forsberg and Adam Foote or something along those lines

  20. “I get MSG through the dish and noticed the same thing”

    GardenFaithfulinFla

    Thats because you are underwater in your pool half the time and spend the other half with your ears still clogged from being underwater!!

  21. “You would think Habs record was 3-9-2 the way the press and fans are outraged after the Bruin and Leaf losses this week”

    We behave identically.

  22. this may be old news, I forgot to look at the date…

    Sources tell TSN New York Islanders defenceman Thomas Pock will have a hearing with the National Hockey League this afternoon at 2pm et to determine supplemental discipline following his hit on Ottawa Senators’ winger Ryan Shannon last night.

    Pock received a 5-minute major and game misconduct for elbowing Shannon in the head.
    ……………

    I know I also missed the shanny to philthy conversation too. I wish it weren’t filly, but I can understand the choice from his perspective. Surely not from theirs though.

  23. Peter
    I live in Vermont I listen to team990 its their all-sports station in Montreol…good station (PJ stock does lunchtime) anyway…I think about what you said every day!! Everyone (including me) finding holes in a team thats actually winning…

    Audio, I agree …I see worst loss of year coming…Big bad Bruins are back..

    Beer me1
    our only hope saturday ( besides Hank) is………Naked Guy

  24. audio – very correct about the bruins. im actually very nervous about playing them. id hate to see the rangers get bullied around, i just hope they are prepared. its very nervewracking to know that a team like the bruins, who are in early development as far as rebuilding goes, can be such a threat.

    and the audio on msg does suck. its ALWAYS sucked, even back to the early 90’s when i was a young lad watching them.

  25. What did Tampa expect Melrose to do with second string goaltenders, cabbage patch defense and the 1993 all star team of Roberts and Recchi??

    All they have is Vinny…and his goalhanging lapdog St Louis

  26. Tampa really is a MESS. They did Barry rotten — at least give the guy a chance. You did sign about 100 players in the off-season.

    Bizarre hiring and an even more bizarre firing.

  27. Hah!

    Blaze

    I live in Jericho! Moved from NY…..4 years ago!

    hitting the road now
    check back later

  28. All Melrose has done is alienate his players by saying stupid shit to the media after every loss. His days were numbered before he left Europe. He got what he deserved.

  29. doodie machetto on

    BWA HA! MELROSE IS A JOKE!

    now, not only does he not have a coachin job, but he lost his sweet ESPN gig as well! so sweet.

    Now, if only Trautwig could have taken over as the coach of the Knicks and had the same thign happen to him.

  30. And the scariest thing about the Bruins – they’re not a dirty team. By and large their hits are clean and their style of play is sound. They’re just never afraid to take the man to get the puck.

    And Beer, believe me, I know all about Lucic. I’m actually convinced he’s really a black bear in a jersey and iceskates, at this point… dangerous guy!

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