Gomez out, Naslund in, Dawes bashful


That’s about the extent of the news from today’s optional morning skate before the Rangers face the struggling Ottawa Senators tonight.

Among the notes:

  • Scott Gomez skated this morning — on his own and without equipment — but will not play for the third straight game.

    “It is what it is,” Gomez said of his ankle after an off-ice workout. “It’s gotten a little better and it should get better every day.”

    Notice how Gomez did not say he felt close to being game ready. And now having not skated hard for close to a week, I’d put Wednesday against the Canucks as doubtful as well.

    Speaking of the Canucks, their former captain Markus Naslund did skate today and will play tonight after missing practice yesterday with an undisclosed body contusion.

  • Asked about Wade Redden’s first 20 games as a Ranger, Tom Renney broached the defenseman’s struggles delicately, but also said Redden has shown improvement of late.

    “It’s been somewhat predictable in the sense we know what we were getting in terms of the poise and experience,” Renney said. “Experiencing New York City and MSG for the first time you could see there were some growing pains, but there was for our team there still is. What I’m seeing of late is someone who is true to himself in how he copes with things. He doesn’t get worked up as he continues to work on his game. And I think the last little while as he keeps things simple, he’s been real successful and he feels much better as a result.”

    “Because of his ability to play and his experience, you’d like to see Wade being more proactive and be one of those guys that initiates.”

    The truth is the $39 million man was better on Saturday night, but when it comes to both Redden and Rozsival — or any defenseman for that matter — I still think a seventh defensmen allows Renney the option of sitting down a struggling player on occasion. But if the team carries only six, there is no real specter of consequence.

    As any coach will say, ice time is your only chip.

  • Nigel Dawes got some face time on the Jumbotron at the Knicks game yesterday, a day after his third period goal against the Bruins started the Rangers comeback.

    “That was an awkward 10 seconds,” Dawes said. “We didn’t get the standing ovation like Magic (Johnson).”

  • Here’s Fred Sjostrom on Rick Tocchet, his former assistant coach in Phoenix who is taking over for the fired Barry Melrose in Tampa Bay.

    “He’s really emotional, and talks very intensely,” Sjostrom said.

    Sjostrom said he liked Tocchet as a coach, but didn’t exactly say he expected to Tochet to flourish in his new job. Maybe that’s because an overly emotional coach with a veteran team has already proven to be problematic.

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    1. Limiting ice time for players is a great tool to work with. And to pick-up on, to contest actually, what someone said back in a previous thread somewhere, that ‘dubi was benched’ and well as someone else, I forget who. That’s true. But when you have 12 fwds to work with vs 6 dmen, ‘benching’ one of them can, and IS in most cases, like shooting yourself in the foot. Especially given the point of the game.

      1/2 way through the game? Not necessarily a good idea. (Although taking him off the pp WAS ((and still is)).

      If it were 1/2 way through the 3rd? Then he’s done till the next game.

      All circumstantial when it comes to benching a player.

    2. With Tocchett as the head coach, the Lightning might be “gambling” with their future.

      Gomez can’t come back soon enough, but better he rest and heal properly than rush back and play 50% like Shanny did. We’re getting by without him.

      I’m really liking the Naslund signing. The guy shows up to play, has a great shot, and seems to be a real leader in the room. Redden will find his way, and I think he’ll work out here.

      Hard work will yield 2 points tonight. Half ass effort will make for a nailbiter

    3. Now there’s an ad on this page with some dude checking out his pecks!?

      Come on SAM! I know they’re helping to keep the blog alive. But how about some ad for a mammory glad enhacer or something?!

    4. Redden has 8p in 20g.. not exactly worth $6.5m, but it’s consistent with his career numbers 418p in 858g.

    5. This is a must win. It really is, this is a team that is having trouble scoring, and obviously isn’t doing good at all. 5 games in a row they lost i think. Hopefully we can make it 6.

      I really hope Wade can stick it to his former team, and their shit for brains fans they have.

      I hate Canadian teams, and i hope Nyr mops the fuggin floor with them !!!!

      Lets go Rangers !!!! That 3rd line needs to have another big game. To bad Cally isn’t on that line, we can call them he KFC line, but Cally is doing damn good and deserves to be on the 1st line. Dawes needs to keep it going, cant wait another 9 or 10 games like he did.

      Lets go Rangers !!!

    6. Repost:

      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.

    7. “He’s really emotional, and talks very intensely,” Sjostrom said.

      Hated Tocchet as a player(always thought he wa s a punk) and Freddie couldn’t be more non-endorsing in his assessment.

    8. NASTY

      Like i said, its alright to boo your own PP if they’re doing absolutely nothing, looking like amateurs. But i do agree, when retard Nyr fans boo the PP, they take it to a whole new level, and start screaming for Wade, Rozi, Danny G, Pauly Mar to shoot when there’s a god damn player right in front of them, that if shot, can be blocked and sent the other way on a 2 on 1. Its almost like these morons don’t understand that, and cant get it through their idiotic brain dead skulls. Then when they score the shorty, they’ll be sure to boo in a prick ass fuggin “i told you so” way. Jerks !!!!

      As for Rozi, im sorry, its over. I cant forgive this guy, cause ive done it to many times. He hasn’t owned up to his screw ups. I appreciate him having the balls to finally admit that he fugged his team over when they lost against the Isles, but i thought we wouldn’t see any more mistakes from him, at least not like this.

      The funny thing is, teams usually score on Rozi’s fugg ups, but anyone else does it, Hank usually makes the saves. I feel bad for the guy, its bad luck, but fuggin fix your gam already, how many screw ups does it take ?

    9. From the TSN.ca website. Check out the typo in the first line. I thought is was some sort of joke because of the actual content. Sounds like the writer took one too many blows to the head…

      In an effort to start crackdowning on unnecessary blows to the head, NHL Senior Vice President and Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell had a memo to that effect posted in every league dressing room on Friday. Flyers star Simon Gagne took up the call on Sunday, saying it was up to the players to get headshots out of the game

    10. The key to any successful power play is the speed at which the puck is moved. The Rangers move the puck glacierly. Why? Because Renney has no problem with it.


    11. The problem with the powerplay isn’t just lack of shots, it’s lack of creating quality shots by moving the puck well. If you watched the Bruins PP on Saturday, they move the puck AND THEIR BODIES with lightning speed, whereas the Rangers slowly play catch while in stationary positions around the perimiter and take forever to get a shot off. It’s useless.

    12. Agreed on what the power play needs to do. That doesn’t all fall on Rosi though. It is the whole team. His turnovers need to just plain stop.

    13. The definition of irony is highlighting a player from the Philadephia Freaking Flyers in a story about cracking down on headshots.

    14. Do you guys honestly think the players listen to the crowd when they yell “shoot!” cmon now, these are professional players that learn to drown out the crowd. What they are saying has no impact on what they are going to do, and if it does….well maybe they shouldn’t be in the NHL.

    15. RichtersGirl –

      Several players during last season and some this season have commented on hearing the crowd scream shoot during even strength and PP

    16. Richter’s Girl. Yes, I do think the players hear and feel the crowd. They always say, when the crowd is behind them, and cheering for them, that it is like having another skater out there. So why would the booing be any different. I think these players are human. Sure, they get paid a shit load of money for what they do, but they are human. I think it gets to some players more than others, but I definitely do think they are aware of the crowd and whatnot.

    17. Which players have said this Jay? I’m curious to know becuase I havent heard them say that hearing the crowd say that causes them to shoot when they shouldnt

    18. girl

      it doesn’t cause them to shoot, but they hear it ticking away in the back f their minds. They know they must ignore it and for that get booed, don’t you think that would be grating… listen to them and mess up or ignore them and be booed?

    19. Nasty – I can totally understand that by the crowd cheering it gives them some more energy. I also agree that by the crowd boo’ing it can hurt a players confidence. I think that is completly different than basing your game strategy on what the crowd is yelling. Obviously the players can hear the crowd, but what I’m saying is if the crowd is yelling “shoot!” that should NOT cause the players to shoot when they know its not a good shooting lane and I really don’t think it does for any of them. They are professional players, they know what they are doing (allegedly), they don’t need the fans help on when to shoot.

    20. I don’t mean to disscredit anyones comments on the crowd/players response. Please continue…

      But the team must be in a pretty decent position that that is the topic of conversation. Even with Gomer out, Naslund bruised up, still no 7th man, and those extra fwds sitting around still.

      Either that, or everyone got tired of discussing.

      I love being in 1st place.

    21. The KFC line….I like it. They were clicking very well on Saturday. I think they were the best team on the ice. Would love to see these guys make it this way on a nightly basis.

      What happens when Gomer comes back?

    22. It feels good to be a fan of the team who ended an opponent’s 5 game winning streak rather than having one of our own ended.

      Can anyone do some math to figure out how many points the Rangers would have if the power play was say – average?

    23. Beer Me! I agree! It is nice being in 1st place and not to put a damper on that but I have a bad feeling.
      After the last game, even though we came from behind and it was a great rally, does anyone else get bothered by the fact that the team only really plays 1/3 of the game. It used to be they would play the first 1/3 of the game, lately it has been the last 1/3. It really bothers me that they decide not to show up until the end of the game. Maybe if they were on the tail end of a bunch of games in few nights i could understand that happening from being tired, but I feel like they do it all the time. They have been lucky enough to be able to come back most times (mainly becuase Lundqvist has been unreal!), but that isn’t going to work for them all season.

      Not to take away the first place, I am enjoying it right now, I just feel that they will fall back if they keep up the way they are playing now.

    24. I don’t pretend to know a damn thing about playing at the NHL level… but as far as crowd noise goes I think the players hear it and feel it more on the bench rather than during actual play.

      I played in college and it was loud in our arena but when you’re on the ice you’re IN IT. Concentrating, anticipating etc. Not much time to listen… except of course to teammates.

      Dunno. Just a thought.

      I also can’t imagine why Tiger freaks out about cameras clicking in his swing because I can’t hear a damn thing when I’m swinging a golf club.

      Maybe it’s just me.

    25. Nasty

      I completely agree with you. I have a season package and I have to say at times I’m embarrased to be part of the crowd. New York fans make me sick. They are all no-it-alls, yet have no idea how to play the game.

      Think back to game one of last years 2nd round loss to the Pens. After the Rangers scored and were up 3-0, the Pen fans went ballistic, cheering and chanting which brought the players to life and got them rolling. Any Ranger fan knows the end result. That’s how the Garden needs to be. Instead they boo their own players and criticize as if they would do it better.

      Look no further than some on this blog, msot notably True Fans. You know he is one of those idiots.

    26. Rmant

      You are correct.
      I hate to bring up the dreaded MTL game where the Rangers were up 5-0. The Montreal fans didnt boo their team. They went crazy for them more and more after each goal. Well we all know how that game ended.

      I have heard players say when the crowd is it in, they are like a 7th player out there….

    27. booing is the nature of sport. Childish? Yep Unproductive? yep. ( What booed player has ever suddenly responded to booing to straighten out his game?) The natural tendency is to either sink into a stupefied condition ( sort of like “fetal” while moving,) or overreacting and making a fool of themselves.

      But……seeing as it is the only way in which the paying crowd can exercise it’s frustration and annoyance with a team or player’s performance…it will go on. Coaches can deride it, but they can’t stop it. But it is basically a simple minded way of responding, because the booers shortly thereafter make complete fools of themselves by cheering the very same guy moments later if he does something unexpectedly heroic. Sort of like a guy striking out with the bases loaded one inning and then his next at bat slams out the winning HR.

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