Does it get any easier?


So which player will be subjected to greater scrutiny tonight against the Ottawa Senators — the player who spent 11 seasons in an Ottawa uniform; or the one who bobbled his way into the Rangers fans’ doghouse on Saturday night?

That seems to be the “topic du jour”: I won’t go into another “monologue on the merits of booing your own player”:, nor will I question why Michal Rozsival has been targeted (although I also won’t be the first one to point out that that pass to the point on Saturday night was jumping around like Richard Simmons on Red Bull).

This is the risk you run when a player who is less than an NHL superstar is taking home superstar money — or at least close to it.

But really, who’s to blame in that equation: the guy who is receiving that contract, or the guy willing to give it to him? If someone was going to offer me $20 million to play defense in the NHL, I’d take it, too.

And I can guarantee I’d be a lot worse than minus-6.

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  1. Sam…thanks for putting some perspective on this.

    Also, read the end of Brooks’ article. What an idiot. This is EXACTLY how rumors get started! Amazing that in a game preview, the Post sports editors would actually keep that part in there. That is not good journalism.

  2. Brooks seems to be the only beat writer that is comfortable taking the coach and/or players to task…sure some of what he writes can be far fetched…but he’s cool in my book. Sometimes it’s nice to feel like there’s someone else out there who a fan but not afraid to call it how he sees it.

  3. I’ll be in the Garden tonight, and while I won’t be booing Roszival, I will probably end up having to boo the Powerless Play.

  4. I feel bad for Rozi – he’s a team player and while he hasn’t been stellar, he hasn’t been awful. He’s no Malik, and I hate to see him get booed at the Garden. Sure, he bobbled that pass, but it was bouncing all over the place and from the looks of things the ice was pretty bad on Saturday. The players, refs, and linesmen were falling all over the place.

  5. I’ve been on Rozy for a couple of weeks now and I did boo him Sat. night. However, I do think that he deserves to play tonight without being booed when he first touches the puck.

  6. I’ve seen it all. Richard Simmons name dropped repeatedly on a NYR blog. DAMN! I did it too!

    Sam – That IS always the problem. “Who’s to blame”. You can apply that to the top 5 $ makers on the team. Not their fault they get paid so much. But there’s no way thats going to change. The contract or the thought process of some fans.

    Brook’s is a f’n j-off that may as well write for the Weekly World News about Bigfoot seen in a grocery store.

  7. Brooks is an idiot, but that article wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. It’s his usual self. The points he tries to make are speculative, at best. And ALWAYS in the form of a question rather than anything factual or ‘solid’.

    And in the last paragraph he says Ottawa is in need of a dman, then asks if they’ve be intrigued by Prucha? Well, Larry, I think you just answered that.

  8. Yes, the ice was bad. But it was bad for the Bruins too. These are professionals, and should be expected to be able to handle a pass on bad ice. Rozy totally lost it in his skates, then couldn’t get back. Yes the game was a win, but we also surrendered a point to a rival team, and Rozsival was at least 50% culpable for both goals, which is unacceptable. I’m not asking for Rozsival to turn into Scott Stevens and start destroying people, I just want him to be responsible with the puck and not blatantly screw up. And for God’s sake, get the damn point shot off.

    The Sens are having a real tough skid, so they’re gonna come out desperate and this will be a tough game. Alfie, Spezza and Heatley are constant threats. Their goaltending is real suspect though. This team will break under pressure, and Redden is probably chomping at the bit for a goal against them.

  9. Salty

    Amen. It is laughable how timid the hockey beat writers in this city are with the Ranger management/coaches, other than Brooks.

  10. Sam, this was going on when Rozsival wasn’t taking home superstar money also.

    It’s just amazing how such an inconsistent player and a weak d-man can be on the first pairing and bring home that type of a contract.

    It’s just another case of a Sather/Renney player being protected (ex: Marek Malik) rather than sending him a message and throwing him on the bench for a few shifts LIKE they did to Brandon Dubinsky, Nikolai Zherdev, and others.

    I am sorry, but I much rather have a Zherdev or a Dubinsky out there after they make a mistake than Rozisval. The guy can’t catch anyone on the fly after letting the puck go behind him or fumbling a clean pass off his stick straight to a defender.

    Plus, HE GIVES UP EVERY TIME. The guy has no will to make a good play or take a hit.

    Ranger Nation

  11. I have conversed a few times with Larry Brooks in response to his articles in the past. He is usually pretty good to respond if you remain calm and cool and have a decent topic to debate with him. (Funny, he didn’t respond when I ripped him about his picking the Devils last year.) Larry likes to color his articles a little and has been known to stir the POT.

  12. “…that pass to the point on Saturday night was jumping around like Richard Simmons on Red Bull.”

    LMAO, Sam!

  13. leet his the man on

    Heyy guys this is a little off topic, but ill give it a shot. I am 23 and graduated about 6 months ago. Metlife in Manhattan as a financial planner do health insurance, life insurance, and investments. I am doin pretty well and have all my licenses and if anyone has any questions or needs anything reviewed jsut let me know by posting a comment and ill get back to you privately via email or phone. thanks.

  14. “Does anyone know how long it took the Rangers to get to 15 wins last year.”

    The rangers got their 15th win on Dec 1 last year, their record at the time was 15-9-2

  15. “The rangers got their 15th win on Dec 1 last year, their record at the time was 15-9-2″

    and they did that with Jagr, Shanahan, Avery and Straka

    it’s remarkable that we are 13-5-2 after 20 games with so many new faces and so many young players in the lineup.

  16. Thanks Billy. I have a 50$ bet with my neighbor that the Rangers will win 20 games before they lose 10,he’s a flyer’s fan.We also have a 10$ bet on every Ranger/flyer’s game.
    So far I’m doing pretty good.(as you all know).

  17. It’s still bad journalism, even though it might be entertaining (not that you’d read the NY Post for quality journalism, but still…).

    I won’t be booing Roszival tonight…he hasn’t been THAT bad.

    I don’t like how Ranger fans have developed this pattern of scapegoating a player…and the last few have been European defensemen. I guess they make easy targets? I don’t know, it’s just kind of silly. Even though Rozy has made some questionable plays, so has Redden, Girardi, Drury. go down the list. As I’ve said many times, hockey is a game of mistakes. Yes, some are more glaring than others, but no one is immune to them.

  18. billynj1, I know we can’t blame Rozi for one game but how about two. Did you forget that Islander game with in the last 2 weeks when he did the exact same thing with the exact same results. When is enough, enough? This happened a lot last year and the trend is continuing this year.

    We need a 7th Dman. Will give the current 6 a kick in the a$$ and someone lurking over their shoulder.

    Prucha is finished on this team. Regardless, if the Korpedo line keeps up the good hard work.

  19. “It’s just another case of a Sather/Renney player being protected (ex: Marek Malik) rather than sending him a message and throwing him on the bench for a few shifts LIKE they did to Brandon Dubinsky, Nikolai Zherdev, and others.”

    Actually, I believe the Rangers did bench Roszival in the third period. I dont think he got any power play time at all.
    And you cannot blame Roszivals blunders on bad ice cause like someone else said…it wasn’t happening to everyone else. Roszival has been less than stellar the past few years and it always baffled me how Malik always got the bad end of the stick when rozy was just as bad if not worse most of the time. I hope Roszival enjoys being the new boobird for the Ranger fans. He will really miss Malik now.

  20. historically, it’s always been a defenseman who gets to feel the wrath of the fans.

    They booed Harry Howell, they booed Rod Seiling, they booed Carol Vadnais, they booed Maloney and Greschener.

    It’s always going to happen and it is usually always extremely unfair.

  21. hey, anybody looking for tickets tonight? I got 2 in section 304, Row D, looking for face value on them ($104 for the pair).

  22. I thought this was interesting, and coincides with what was discussed here yesterday. Coaching is changing in the NHL, and if it continues, we’ll have been ahead of the curve.

    This is from a story in Ottawa about their troubles.
    “Hartsburg says it’s not his job to threaten players that change is going to come if they don’t start playing better. His task is to make them understand they have to play in a certain way if the team hopes to be successful. If they’ve heard him so far, they haven’t given much of an indication.”

    BTW…The ‘bad ice’ comment is a poor excuse, and a deflection from the fact that he hasn’t been playing to his potential for a while. I was a bit surprised to hear it from Renney. (see…I can be critical of the coach too…when it’s appropriate). But it doesn’t change the fact that the handling of players is changing.

    And at this point, it’s not about how bad of a game he HAD. It’s about how he responds to it.

  23. If your team is losing 5-0, then booing may be understandable. But it’s ridiculous to say one player is the only one who is making mistakes on the ice. Mistakes happen the entire game by every player — that’s the beauty of hockey — you never know what will happen, and everything can change in a split second. Try enjoying the game and supporting your team — the team that’s in first place with one of the highest ranked defenses in the league, by the way!

  24. Top reasone defensemen are booed at MSG:

    1. Big defenseman, doesn’t ever take the body. This was the case with Malik, Huber, Hatcher, the list goes on and on. I’m not sure how good a player Beck was, but he hit like a freight train. He was loved. Again, if Rozie lays somebody out tonight, the fans’ take on him will change dramatically.

    2. Turning the puck over with bad passes up the middle of the Rangers’ zone or worse, failure to absorb a hit to make the play. Now that may often be the forwards’ fault for not being in a position to help out and receive a pass, but obviously nobody boos, say Nigel Dawes when Rozie makes a bad pass.

    The truth is the Garden actually does NOT need a scapegoat. The Garden needs everyone to leave it all on the ice every night. Even though it’s not entirely accurate, the failure to play the body, especially by a lareg defenseman, translates into a lack of effort or a lack of willingness to engage or lack of desire to sacrifice for the team. Same thing with blind passes up the middle – it’s such an atrocious thing to do that it smacks of a lack of effort. And even booing the PP – it’s the same thing. Everyone can see that they need to move the puck quicker, go to the net and pay the price and goals will come. When that’s not happening it looks like nobody wants to pay the price so nobody bothers going to the net. And for some reason these are common themes in the Garden and have been for 40 years. New Yorkers don’t necessarily demand wins, they demand that you give 110% for the Rangers. The perception that a player isn’t doing that is what makes all the booing start.

  25. I still think Blozsival is tradeable… just need to add a sweet pick or prospect to get it done.

    Assuming he puts up another 35-40 points, $5m is not THAT bad.. my problem is he shouldn’t be such a PANSY.

  26. I don’t think Roszi was ready in the beginning of the season to start playing yet, after that surgery that he had. I am not making excuses for him, but the guy has never played this badly before. You can say all you want that he was always this bad, but the fact is, he wasn’t. That being said, he is not worth the money we paid him. I think the guy started off the year hurt and afraid to take a hit. His confidence is shot right to hell, he is scared to take a hit, shoot, accept a pass, everything. The booing has not helped one bit. I don’t think he is going anywhere though. So I think as fans we should make it a little easier on the guy. When he is playing his “A” game he can be a very good defenseman. Our power play looks much better on the road because we don’t have a bunch of pricks (our fans) screaming and bitching and moaning every second we have the puck. I agree, we need to shoot more, but when you have dancing granny yell shoot the puck when Hank has it behind our own net, there is a problem. You can’t always just shoot, it is not that simple, just as it is that simple. Hope that makes sense. I am sure that those of us who have played hockey, or truly understand hockey, know exactly what I am saying.

  27. Nasty raises a good point there…

    There was a PP SAturday night, Rozie had the puck, about at the bottom of the circle (closer to the blue line). he had TONS of open ice in front of him. A WHLE bunch of people yelled shoot, so he hesitated a second, then blasted a slapshot that got blocked. In a case like that, I’d much rather he walk the puck up and THEN either shoot or pass.

    There was no need to hurry and blast the shot when there was NOBODY by him, but he did it cause the crowd all screamed it.

  28. The puck was bouncing but he even missed when he turned to swat it. He knows how many SH goals had been scored against them this year. He could’ve dropped and covered the puck like Chara did earlier in the game. And it’s a lot easier for Rozy to do that than 6’9″ Chara.

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