Reunion week at the Garden


At some point Wade Redden and Markus Naslund will probably compare notes on how to deal with facing their old teams this week. Redden is up first against Ottawa tomorrow, followed by Naslund Wednesday against Vancouver.

The task is probably made easier by the fact that both players are now a part of the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference, which last night’s win proved can be attributable to more than just smoke and mirrors.

(I remember two seasons ago when Brendan Shanahan was set to face the Red Wings at the Garden, and at the time the Rangers were well outside the playoff picture. The basic line of questioning: Wait, why did you come here again?)

And at least in Naslund’s case, he can also point to some encouraging numbers that say he’s only benefited from the transition (especially in not having to deal with Western Conference travel).

With Redden, it’s more complicated. The $39 million defenseman hasn’t been close to top form in a Rangers uniform, although his game last night was probably his most proactive since the opening weekend in Prague. And now with Michal Rozsival squarely in the crosshairs at the Garden, Redden has at least been afforded the luxury of fading into the background while he continues to try to find his game.

Either way, it will be a storyline to follow.


Scott Gomez didn’t skate again today, making his return for tomorrow doubtful — especially now that conditioning is probably an issue.

Needless to say, Gomez might not feel the need to rush back as long as the team keeps winning in his absence. But as bad as the Rangers first power play unit has been all season, it is struggling just to get the puck in the zone without Gomez there to transport it. So don’t think the team doesn’t miss him.

More later…

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  1. Oy! “The $39 million defenseman hasn’t been close to top form in a Rangers uniform, although his game last night was probably his most proactive since the opening weekend in Prague. And now with Michal Rozsival squarely in the crosshairs at the Garden, Redden has at least been afforded the luxury of fading into the background while he continues to try to find his game.”

    This line is a doozy! It kinda reminds me of when Drury struggled the first 12 games of the season and Sam called Naslund out…huh?!! haha.

    Perhaps I’m missing the logic, but when players play well – don’t they deserve a compliment and not a back-handed insult? Redden has been ‘decent’ for the last couple games and it’s more than fair to say Redden was at his worst when he started the season…WHEN HE WAS PAIRED WITH ROZSIVAL!!

  2. Bob Baggins III on

    A lot of defensemen around the league are getting injured, Beauchemin is out for the season. Sauer just came back from the injury, so we can trade Rozsival and call up Potter.

  3. Bruins were winning comfortably until they went into their “5 in the Picture” scheme.

    The Rangers going into a 3rd period are more likely to win if they trail 2-0 rather than lead 2-0. They’re winning despite Renney.

  4. Honestly, dealing with the booing of Rozie should be at the top of Renney’s and Rozival’s list because if this gets much worse itt will turn into a huge problem for both the player and the team.

    1. Drop Rozie off the PP for a few games just to give him a break from it and help get him off the crowd’s radar.

    2. I know it’s not his game, but for the next several weeks, Rozival should look to deliver some punishing hits every single game. I mean punishing. Paul Mara has really stepped up that aspect of his game while keeping the rest of it simple (remember, he used to be considered an offensive defenseman), and he’s not only one of the top defensemen on the team now but is much more respected at the Garden. Knock a few guys’ blocks off. Take a bad penalty doing it if you must. It’s much easier to tolerate than lazy hooks or trips.

  5. peter i agree but rozy wont do that. i wish he would take a hint from maras performance and at least give the crowd somethin to cheer for but i doubt highly. instead i think he’ll try to simplify his game and just try to work harder along boards and will probably be paired with staal cuz they were good together. i really do think that the 2nd goal was caused more from the bouncing puck and the ice surface. and honestly with all the great saves hank had he shouldve stopped that one. but rozy just needs to know the team is behind him n the fans too. in the history of hockey and all sports, when has booing your own teams player ever helped that guy play better? think about it. if ur at work and u make a mistake, and all your co-workers dislike you and jump on your ass everytime youre gonna be more pressured and probably make more screw ups. whens the last time u enjoyed having your boss stand over you watching u work? its real fun isnt it.

  6. I wouldn’t ever boo my team or a player on it… but the PP (Pudrid Play) is almost worth it.

    Rozi… no.

    The guy did have the goal from the point against the Devs that started the tide turning. He had a bad night last night (and has had a bad start of the season) but not enough to warrant fans booing him everytime he touches the puck.

    That was out of control. His contract sucks but come on.

  7. i would like to get some credit for last nights win. after comming back to my seats from walking around during the second intermission i said to my friend lets switch seats (alas celtic pride). the only thing i was worried about was that we were playing boston

  8. You know, we Ranger fans have become quite fickle. Let’s give Roszi and some of the other players some slack. Granted, we’re not playing our “A” game, but we’re still winning and playing exciting hockey. Although, we don’t appear to be playing 60 minutes, we still manage dig deep with some passion when we have to. We miss Gomez alot and I believe we still need some veteran who could inject more enthusiasm. We’re still work in progress team and should be patient.

  9. Last night’s three stars:



    and Matt.

    Hey Matt! Henrik Lundqvist is over here… he said he wants to have a quick word with you.

  10. It’s more exciting to watch the Rangers steal a game than win one! re: last night v Boston and last month v Pittsburgh

  11. i may have an extra to sell at a reasonable price for tomorrow. i pd on ebay for 2 tix in sec 304 row k total of $ 63 so i would want 1/2 or $ 30 rounded in your favor. I only needed 1 as I already have friends attending game (I’ll be sitting in the other seat in sec 304 FYI) but ebay was really only listing 2 tix.

    I plan on getting to msg approx 6:05 (like being there for pre skate). my buddy is printing both tix and will meet at approx that time (i can’t print since my printer is not working).

    again it would be $ 30 for 1 tix for tomorrows game. pls let me know if you’re interested. include your email.

    Thanks, joe

  12. I wouldn’t boo a player, but id sure as shit boo a PP if its not working. You gotta let the team know they’re looking like fuggin retards.

    How pathetic was i last season, that it took us, as Nyr fans, to chant “shoot the puck” every time they were on the PP. Renney couldn’t get them to shoot, so we had to chant that to get it through to them, how embarrassing.

    Its 5 on 4, you’d think they wouldn’t make it seem like they’re down one man instead of up.

    I hope Redden scores against those loser Sens. Corvo scored a hat trick against them last season, that would be sweet if he can do something similar. Same for Nazzy against the Nucks of course.

    That Rozi, and Pruchs for Artyukhin, and Eminger trade, lol where would the Bolts get the money to take on Rozi’s salary. I wouldn’t mind that guy on the 3rd line, but he takes waaaay to many penalties. I think he’s starting to be a bit more disciplined but still, he doesn’t exactly make smart decisions with the puck, and the last thing we need is another player like that.

  13. If they really wanted Artuhkin, he was out there as a FA but went back to Tampa because of his familiarity with them. The Rangers have plenty of big guys in their system for down the line though, so it’s not that big of a deal. Him or Anthony Stewart would be a good 4th line project as a change in scenery and philosophy could do them magic.

    Best under the radar signing of a UFA from Europe has to go the Flyers who got Vannanen for $1 million; that was brilliant.

  14. Bolts lost to the Canes in a shootout today…

    They blew another two goal lead. Ouch.

    I really thought they’d be the best in the division, and its still early, but with Semin playing on a level he’s never played on, and Ovechkin starting to come around, and guys like Backstrom, Green, Federov, Nylander, Kozlov, and all the hard workers they have there, its starting to look like they’ll easily win that division, unless the Canes challenge them for it, which in my opinion doesn’t sound like that could happen.

  15. Sucks for the Bolts that Vrbata is off to a terrible start. I read somewhere that he hasn’t scored in over 30 games, and he’s coming off a pretty good season with the Yotes. This team is just horrifying. They need to start cleaning house and re-building. Trade some of these guys like St Louis, and Prospal, and Recchi, and they could just build through the draft.

    Look at the Leafs, barely any stars on that team, its just all hard work from hard working players. That’s the way to go. Of course they got a good coach, but eh, waddya gonna do.

  16. i just met Dubi at a signing at American Legends and hes a good guy. Though he showed up around 2 hours late saying he forgot about the signing lol

  17. Bob Baggins III on

    Renney can’t wait to sit one of the third liners he is upset that he hasnt been able to brainwash them into his defense only system.

  18. STL is beating Montreal late in the 3rd and the Blues are playing real well. Would be great to keep 2 pts out of the conference

  19. I don’t think we should be in the market for players, unless it’s a banger on defense. Mara has been handling that role, but we need another defenseman who can hit and I think we’d be a tougher team to play against, Mara can’t shoulder that load all season.

    I’m a proponent of making room on the roster at the foward position via trades so kids like korpikoski, fritche, dawes, callahan, dubinsky can get PT.

    This kid Korpikoski is a big boy too. Huge hands, big head, thick body and he’s 23. Gotta hold onto that one, let em play now that he has his NHL legs under him.

    Amazing how tihs team has played since Gomez was out of the lineup.

    Girardi is 4th on the team in scoring. Why isn’t he on the PP more often?

  20. Orr:

    The Caps are legit top team in the east, without a doubt right now. Without a doubt. Nobody is better than them.

    next is Philly, Pitts, Buffalo, Boston, Rangers, Montreal, Toronto.

    Not happy Melrose got the boot after 20 games. I thought he had em playing. the guy hasn’t been in the league for 15 years and all you give him is 20 games?

  21. Buffalo’s strong D hasn’t been to great as of late, they’ve given up 10 goals the last two games. Still a tough team for sure. Pissburgh is only gonna get tougher now that Staal is scoring goals, along with Malkin, and Sidney Crabby. Tough conference.

    Anyone see Dawes at the Knicks game ?? He was with some geeky looking kid with glasses and an afro. They looked bored out of their minds. Id be too, Basketball is boring, with all those timeouts every ten seconds.

  22. msg forces these poor guys into all these signings and appearances.

    If it were me?

    “I’ll tell you this, Joe. Every woman, in that room, besides my wife, is gonna be running for the exits. I’m gonna do it, Joe.”


    It’s not enough you gotta perform at MSG night in and night out, but you gotta go do all the PR sh@t to. What a life.

  23. I honestly hope the Rangers are watching this San Jose vs. Chicago game. These teams know how to work the powerplay efficiently. The goals that they are scoring are so pretty. And they know when to shoot and when to pass.

  24. 4 for 6 on the powerplay for the San Jose Sharks. 2 for 5 on the powerplay for the Blackhawks. Thats 6 for 11 on the game with a 55% scoring percentage. Take notes boys.

  25. Sam-
    If Renney wants to spare Rozsival from the boos, shouldn’t his recommendation to Sather be to trade him? The fans will do exactly what I knew we would do, be unwaveringly harsh on him to the point he can’t perform. I also do agree with your statement that despite having less points Redden has been the better D-man, look at his plus/minus and the fact that he doesn’t cause the other team to score while on the PP as proof…

  26. I know its been said over and over again, and if you’ve ever been to the Garden you know it’s true…the roar in the building after a big goal is unlike anything else. But that video really lets you hear it at its best. You’ll never find a more ecstatic, passionate reaction than you do to Drury’s goal and even more so when they announce the ‘no goal’ that wins the game.

    There’s a reason we say we’re the greatest fans in hockey and that the Garden is the greatest venue in sports. It’s not bragging, its the God’s honest truth!

  27. Rozsival has it in him to play well, and considering sending him to the AHL and trading him and far-fetched options, we better just get used to him. If not booing him helps him get back on his game, then the fans should lay off him. I will say though, he needs to get off the PP. He’s been a mainstay back there for a few years now, and our PP has consistently sucked. Don Maloney said it best during the last game; defensemen, Rozy especially, need to the point shot off quicker. They’re too slow to tee it up and the shooting lane disappears. I love the way Mara is playing, but he really needs to work on that point shot. He has a cannon, but he can’t hit the net. If he got that thing under control he’ll be unstoppable. Girardi is playing well and racking up points. Put him back there. It’s high time for a new approach to the PP.

  28. Would you apes get off of Rozsival’s back already? The second blunder wasn’t even a mental error, it was just a combination of bad luck and bad puck control as the puck hopped over his stick and between his feet. The puck was hopping around like a tennis ball all night on that awful ice.

  29. A few things

    MIke from IA

    Sorry…Roszival has been inept for several seasons, and he’s locked into that what one writer called a patty cake style of PP. He also takes way too many of the cheapo penalties stemming from lazy feet, ( hooking, holding, interference etc.)And who can overlook his idiotic clearing passes made softly in his own zone which invariably alight on an opponent’s stick. There’s just way too much of this for the past few years now, to think that fans are just now booing him for present errors. It’s a long accumulation that is now coming to a head. The fans are fed up with his and Renney’s nonsense.

    Tampa vs Canes:

    Oh Boy. Tocchet is going to an improvement on Melrose? I doubt it.
    How about his shoot out lineup? He leaves St Louis off of his initial 3 shooters, and never gets to him. Canes wipe them out toot sweet.

  30. I understand the reasoning for Renney to defend Rozy. Don’t have to look to far for a prime example to do so either. OTT fans tore down Redden last year until the last opportunity they had. The coaching staff (while a f’n mess, in and of itself) did nothing to protect any of it’s players from the harsh candian-hockey media, the fans, or even the players and each other for that matter. Even going so far as to pile a large part of it on 2-3 players. It didn’t work. In fact, they’re worse without those players. They should have at least tried to deflect some of it, and spread it around.

    While I understand the ‘defense’, rozy just plain had a horrible game. A goal tonight, a perfectly-timed blocked shot, just about anything positive could get him back on the right track. But there’s no secret that he’s had a bad stretch, and hasn’t done much to live up to his contract. He was an inconsistant player before his payday. What should make any of us think he wouldn’t be after?

    Whatever…still 1st in the East. Still finding new ways to win games, this time without your #1 center. There are too many positives in Rangerland to dwell on a player in a slump.

  31. Here is the question I was pondering over the weekend, especially after seeing Saturday’s gritty comeback….

    Are we demanding too much of all of our players? Here is why I came to this question: When we see other players on other teams, we always wonder how great it would be to have them on our team. Aside from the top 100 or 150 players in the league (roughly 3 to 5 on each team), the rest of the players seem very hit or miss on any given night. I mean when Kalinan was on the Sabres and we saw him 2 or 3x a year, he looked pretty good. I thought, “Gee I would like to have him in a Blueshirt.” Now that he is here, and we see him daily, I am not so sure I was right in my original view. But then I wonder, “Do I expect him to play flawlessly like I thought I saw him play 2 or 3x last season?” Then I also wonder if that was the case, why would Buffalo let him go?

    Like how did we miss out on Zdeno Chara after he was on the Isles and the Sens? Did we just pick the wrong D-man to go after?

    Now to Roszival. What would the upgrade be? And how much would it cost? Would we then say that whomever is his replacement sucks or is clearly not worth the scratch we paid? I don’t know. It’s not an easy answer. Is there just a real dearth of quality D-men making more than $3 or $4mm who are THAT good day-in and day-out?

    My point is not whether we should boo Rosy. The point is that I am just wondering if any player is as good as we expect him to be? Look at Drury. Guys on this blog want to kill him 80% of the time. Then he scores 7 goals in 3 games (during the first 18 or whatever) and scores a critical shootout goal and all of a sudden he is the man, or at least redeemed himself. Or is he just back to average, in terms of his salary and what we expect of him?

    What about Redden? We have that jerkweed for 6 years and he is MAYBE our 4th best D-man now (at least Staal, Mara, Girardi playing better). Didn’t he look SOOO good on the Sens and the Isles? Did we just not see him playing every day and that is why we were not as nervous about him as we are right now? Did the scouts not do their job? Did the team pay up for him something he didn’t deserve? As fans all we can do is bitch and moan (and “boo”).

    I don’t know the answer but I keep thinking about, “Nothing is as good as it ever seems and nothing is as bad as it ever seems.”

    All this babbling aside, the NYR keep winning games and showing grit. That I like. They look sloppy and lazy when they don’t try. That I don’t like. Do I like this team in a 7 game series? Not sure yet.

  32. People definitely expect too much – perfection every single night. The journalists jumping all over Roszival is a great example. Every top d-man gets beat at some point, whether he’s Lidstrom or Kalinin. Some nights, one of your top d-men is going to get schooled more than once in a game. Its a long season, it happens.

    I think fans have to develop some common sense. The team is going to lose games. Those losses are most likely going to be due to mistakes. As a fan, I just hope that the guys who are veterans like Roszival bounce back like they should and that the coaches/vets teach the younger guys what they did wrong.

    The knee-jerk reaction on this board of “trade everyone” after each game is dull and shows the lack of understanding of what makes a successfull season…

  33. li joe, yea i was a hockey player during my teen n early 20’s and i know that if i was playin at the garden and the fans booed me for an almost uncontrollable mistake like the 2nd goal then id be playin scared too. it just doesnt help. he knows hes playin like shit. its kinda like when youre havin a rough day at work and ya got everybody gettin on your nerves and then u get home and your wife bitches about everything and so on. i dont really know the reason for the wierd contract with him but he should be playin harder and i do see he takes shifts off alot. thats rozy. unless renney threatens his ice time it wont change much. i think rozy was never more than a #3-4 d man and was forced into a higher role. and flynn, i know he hasnt played good and it pisses me off too but booing him everytime hes out there is not gonna help him. in fact its embarrassing for me to even hear on the tv imagine what rozy and even the other players feel? everybody forgets that he scored the tying goal against the devils and he shot it on the PP!! i think he might need to hear some encouragement from the fans especially since that 2nd goal was an easy stop for hank it just so happened to come off rozys bad play. how many times has any other player given the puck up and hank saved the day. because of that nobody remembers.

  34. Leetchhalloffame on

    It was a disgrace that Renney chose not to give Korpedo any OT ice time the other night after he was one of the best players on ice. Imagine the confidence builder it could have been for him. Although Betts played well also he can’t put the puck in the ocean so why is he out there in OT? How about also trying Korpedo in a shootout? I’m not saying he’s the second coming of Gretzky but he ain’t chopped liver either. He will be a big part of this team’s future.

  35. newman ur absolutely right. look at ovechkin, he just started scorin recently and i think has as many goals as drury. now i know he’ll end up with more but the point is, alot of these high skilled players that we see during highlights makin great passes and goals and saves etc… and we dont realize that the same guy who scored that fancy goal or whatever is not doin that the entire game, game in game out. i could see if we were losing than yea id be worried but even as we’re not playing a full 60 minute effort and at times it gets frustrating, its still the early part of the season and we have played more games than anyone. these guys arent robots thats what makes the game interesting is to not now who will be the hero for the next game. who’s gonna step up and spark the team onto a win. its funny how preconceptions of say redden thought of as our pp qb when we signed him and realized that he really isnt. the 1 thing that scares me right now is our pp. i think its horrible that we gave up 6 shortys already and cant score hardly when were up a man. i honestly think its the lack of a pp qb. redden isnt it. maybe he was at 1 point in his career but not with this team and system. anybody remember campbell when we played chicago? he was what we needed but instead we got a slightly above average offensive d man in redden and a resigned rozy who actually is better than redden as far as offense goes. dont get mad cuz they took the money sather threw at them. get mad because our expectations were too high and they just cant perform to their high salary. blame sather for overpaying

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