Zherdev takes a pass on star

131

So why didn’t Nikolai Zherdev come out when he was named the game’s second star last night?

It was not a communication issue, as some have speculated. Instead, it was a case of the young wing deciding he didn’t deserve the recognition after a game in which he was benched, and so he decided not to come out.

Maybe that was fairly short-sighted, but it does underscore the many problems with the three star voting, which I’ve lamented in this space  before.

The basic gist: as writers, we are given the three star ballots early in the third period, and are usually asked for them back with around seven minutes to play. That’s sometimes OK, but when the score is tied at 1-1 and it’s obvious that the real star of the game has yet to present himself, many of us, myself included, simply write “GWG” for game-winning goal.

Again, most nights that’s not a problem, but it is when there is no real game-winning goal scorer and instead only a guy who scored the only goal in the shootout. And it gets even more complicated when the guy who scored that goal is a guy who had an otherwise uninspired game and was benched for several minutes in the third period.

Long story short: given the time to really think about it, most voters wouldn’t have voted for Zherdev. The player sensed that, and decided not to come out.

Again, maybe that’s short-sighted. But at least he had a reason.

—–

No skating at all today for Scott Gomez. He is definitely out for tomorrow’s game against the Canucks, and unless he can get back on the ice in the next day or two, Saturday in Ottawa is unlikely as well.

“He’d have to get a couple of skates in now, there’s no question,” Tom Renney said.

——

As for the Canucks, the spotlight now turns to Markus Naslund, who spent the previous 12 seasons in Vancouver.

“I envisioned myself retiring as a Canuck, but things happen,” Naslund said. “More and more as I was uncertain about the future at the end of last year, it was more likely that I was not going to be there. But this situation presented itself and it was an easy choice.”

As with Redden, the transition to New York for Naslund is jarring when considering just how much less attention he receives. There are demands from media and fans just as there was in Vancouver. But it’s still different from being the captain of the only hockey team in a hockey-mad city.

“It’s a big difference, there’s no doubt about it,” he said. “It’s been relaxing in many ways. Coming to the rink is the same. You’ve got a full house that’s going to be loud and excited. That’s no different. But outside of hockey you don’t get recognized as much, which is kind of nice.”

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131 Comments

  1. You can tell that Z is trying hard and he’s already won the NYR fans over. He didn’t even have that bad of a game, IMO.

    Meanwhile, Blozsival…. ugh

  2. as beer said…its the absolute opposite of immature…he was embarresed by the way he played and expects better of himself which is great to see in a young player…so while it might not be the most popular decision in the public and medias eyes…as a fan who follows this team extremely closely and an athlete my entire life I understand where Z sits on this…im sure NY can’t wait to blow this up beyond belief as well…

    but on a higher note you could see on his shootout goal how he put almost no effort into schooling Auld…and Auld had no chance…Z looked so upset by his play he just wasn’t going to miss and didn’t wanna celebrate either…

    btw does anyone know if he was on the ice for the fan salute???

  3. Bill R. He was on the ice for the fan salute. He reluctantly rasied his stick then he was the first guy off the ice.

  4. Thanx Rob L…its good to see he didn’t isolate himself from the team, if that was the case i would then be a lil annoyed/concerned…

  5. Bill, I’m pretty sure I saw him out there. I dont mind that he did that. I feel that if he doesn’t deserve credit for the win and he needed to humble himself, then so be it. I just really hope this doesnt carry into future games. He has seemed a bit moody recently and I hope Renney can calm him down and focus his great potential back towards the ice. We need him to continue foward. Like I said before yesterday’s game during the booing argument…I think that I’d rather have an emotional superstar then a lousy hardass player. As to the Korpedo issue, I seriously doubt that he will be sent down. We can still send down Fritsche or Pru or Dawes because all of them combined have not done what Korpedo has done so far.

  6. what the heck,
    I disagree with you on Fritsche, he has done plenty to deserve to stay in the lineup. I don’t know about you but every shift I could tell when the Korpedo line was out there

  7. no big deal here. kid was unimpressed with his play and so was the coach. He wants to earn his stars!

    I figured this much was up with East Coast Z!

  8. Zherdev has a look that he could have blasted his shootout shot and have it end up in Jersey.

    If that doesn’t indicate that Renney’s motivational technique didn’t work on him, I don’t know what does.

  9. The Russian Diva on

    Classic Z…

    Um, how about letting someone else sign Prucha off waivers? He had 6 games to prove himself and did nothing.

    Fritsche had more points in 2 games than Prucha had in 6 and has been hitting and playing physical. He also clearly has helped spark Dawes and Korpi so might has well let him stay. I’d say he’s earned it.

  10. It seemed like Dubinsky wanted to go at it all game with Ruutu, but do you think Colton (or another) steps in instead just to “make sure” things are taken care of? I expect some juicy fireworks none the less…

  11. Um, how about letting someone else sign Prucha off waivers?

    Doesn’t it put us at risk of paying half his salary against the cap?

  12. Well that was my other thought. Either way its not a big story, if anything its good to see. It just proves what I said earlier about Z caring so much about how he plays and what people think. Columbus took things the complete wrong way when they took him from Russia when he could barely speak english. As I said, hes one of the most misunderstood players in the league and I really hope he finds a home here in NY where people will finally give him a shot.

  13. Trade Prucha for a pick. That’s life. If there’s an injury it’s probably of more value to get a Wolfpack guy some time, anyway.

  14. thae whole line of dawes-fritsche-korpi has been great. i dont think anybody should be sent down. from what it seems gomers ankle is worse than appears, so it’ll give renny a chance toreally get the most out of the 3rd line, and as much as i like fritsche, i think hes the odd man out if it came down to it. i see korpi could be also interchanged with sjo or orr for 4th line. id rather see orr and put shoe in every 16th game.lol j/k but im actually worried about the ps3 line. doobs made great pass to nazzy other night for the gtg but really hasnt done crap and they really need him to step up more if hes on the 2nd line. id maybe break that line up for awhile and put doobs with nazzy and cally and try dru with z and korpi. voros can be put with fritsche and dawes. he could bang around the net and have dawes open in the slot. idk i just want doobs to start scorin again i love watchin him grow as a ranger and hes too good to be not scoring at least once every 2-3 games. maybe more. i think zherdev needs to be a man and not be so emotional. i think he needs to maybe get a script for zoloft or somethin. i am not a fan of whiny euros but i am glad hes owning up to his mistakes and starting to show some character. hopefully he wont revert back to his old ways but i have faith in renny to help him grow into the superstar he should be

  15. And what I meant by my comments about him barely speaking english is that there was a huge language gap when he came over here and lots of controversy around the move Columbus made to get him out of Russia. Hes been bashed ever since and told that his work ethic wasn’t good enough.

  16. Cindy Crawford on

    I actually respect Z for doing that. It shows that he simply didn’t play well enough, and I think it is great that he realized that. He dind’t play up to his own standards and having realized that, he will work harder

  17. Ottawa Rumour-mongers have been talking about a Sens-Canucks swap for a week or so…Vermette and some more for Ohlund….Supposedly the ‘Nucks GM was at the Garden last night…
    maybe to spy on Sens or maybe….on how Peter Prucha greets people after the game….
    I’m just sayin

  18. ok i was harsh on z but i just like the guy so much that i dont wanna see him lose his confidence and start playinlike crap. it seems he maybe tried to be gomer against the sens and it didnt work tryin to gain the zone. either way we really are missin gomer right now. even with hank givin us a shot every night we need his speed and playmakin skills. as far as prucha, he played ok during his 8 games but those 8 games were spread out so he never got a chance to click with a certain line or really get momentum and who would maybe ovechkin could do that but nobody can just step in after missin 3-4 ganmes and be 100 %. point is renny doesnt want him anymore and hes not given him a full chance. look how long it took dru to score and now lookat him. it takes just 1 game to turn it around and id rather have prucha playin every night than dawes. i just hate that he scored 30 his rookie year and is now being wasted. given a longer stretch of games he could score more than dawes 2 measly goals

  19. and dont give me that it was a fluke. i just wish pruchs wouldve put on some weight this season and got stronger. hed probably get slower but def be stronger on the puck and could hit harder causing turnovers

  20. It kinda was a fluke. I’ve said it so many times and people just can’t seem to understand it.

    Prucha succeeded in a soft league with one of the best players ever helping him out. He had so many PP goals because guys were afraid to touch him in front. The league had so many penalties for hooking and holding that guys were afraid to touch anyone.

    Now that the league has almost completely washed out the goons with no skill, players are so much more aggressive because they know what is a penalty and what is not. The room on the ice is now so much less than it was 4 years ago because of it.

    So the fact is Prucha is a decent hockey player at best that flourished in a soft league. That soft league is now much faster and tougher and he just can’t handle himself out there. I like him and want to see him succeed, but hes never coming close to 30 goals again.

  21. Has anybody ever seen Z get interviewed? I haven’t and am wondering if I missed it or he still doesn’t know the language or he is reclusive. I’d like to see him interviewed before tomorrows game.

  22. The Russian Diva on

    Has anybody ever seen Z get interviewed? I haven’t and am wondering if I missed it or he still doesn’t know the language or he is reclusive.
    ______________________________________

    he was interviewed before the Columbus game. He doesn’t speak english well and is a bit reclusive but I think it’s mostly the english thing. But again, people can take that the wrong way and hold it against him – he can’t defend himself against his mindless critics so then they get the only word. That happened in C-Bus and I don’t want it to happen here. I’d like to see more teammates speak out on his behal (and not just after games where he scores)

    Someone asked him what he wanted to do against the Blue Jackets and he said something like “Good game. Goal and assist.”

  23. Johhy D

    takin the steam outta the Prucha debate…

    the 05-6 “NEW NHL” where the pruchster thrieves, where the powerplay is one of the best in the league etc..

    he did score 22 the next season though and always seemed like a pretty good player…

    Move him or use him I say

  24. In beer’s link – “The New York Rangers could be interested. Their GM, Glen Sather, is said to be ready to step down.”

    That would make MY DAY.

  25. A few things:

    I think either Fritsche or Dawes gets booted when Gomer comes back. Korpedo has his confidence back. That being said, I am checking with my sources to get the inside scoop on Gomer’s ankle. The first glance I got was tendinitis. But I will not know more til T-Giving. By then it will probably be sorted.

    I was hearing Prucha for Chris Neil somewhere earlier today. But how the heck could that be possible?

  26. That better not be possible. I mean I’m all for trading Prucha so he gets a shot elsewhere, but Neil fits in where? We have Voros and Orr who are both better than him at their respective jobs, plus I don’t want anything from that sinking ship in Ottawa.

  27. Newman
    good trade for both teams…we need more fire they need more well…..cheerleaders I guess

    Kidding, could work out

    whats Neils $$$ look like anyone know?

  28. Neil is a 1.1m cap hit. It would take more than Prucha to get him, though.

    We also need a 7th d-man!

  29. Glad you guys enjoyed the link. I didn’t mention anything in it cause I wanted you to find those 2 ‘tidbits’ by yourlselves. Hilarious about TakeHimBackman.

  30. Pavel
    Thanks..you may be right about that it’ll take more than Pruchs 2008 version…

    You never know though….

    Tyuten and Backman for Zherdev and Fritche doesnt make much sense from Bluejackets end does it?

  31. I think Neil was injured last night. Not sure how serious but it was not the same knee that had been previously injured.

  32. I think we should collect on our “future considerations” from the Predators, and make them take Rissmiller from us. That’ll open up a little cap room.

  33. Pavel – certainly not yet. with our depth i would rather he really heal unlike what happened with shanny last yr where he made a bad injury worse.

  34. Friendly ghost – Nashville took Jessiman from us for “future considerations” I’m just thinking they should take Riss to complete it.

  35. wow this sums it up.

    Speaking of the New York Rangers, success isn’t translating into happiness for some fans. “There appear to be two schools of thought among Ranger fans right now: the ones who are happy and content with the team since they are indeed in first place and the ones who feel that this team is vastly underachieving and playing some crappy hockey.” [Scotty Hockey]

  36. Neil will NOT be on this team. No way. You think after his cheap shot on Dru, that Dru would want him here, also Wade got into a fight with him in practice, so there has to be some tension there.

    Id much rather have Tootoo here. Id be surprised if the Preds wouldn’t take Pruchs for him. They could use a 3rd liner, potential 2nd liner there since Radulov is gone. Not saying Pruchs will turn into Jagr over there, but he can put up more goals than Toots, and we can use some toughness, agitation, and physicality, with Toots.

    JAY

    Wasn’t that Fisher who re injured the same knee ?? Or was Neil suffering from the same thing ?

    I wouldn’t mind Neil on the team don’t get me wrong. He’s a good Pk’er, he’s a hard hitter, he fights, draw’s penalties. But i just cant see him here, when he’s thrown cheap shots at half the players on the team.

  37. So I was just thinking about something regarding Sather since someone mentioned him before. I mean we all hate him because hes an ass and all that stuff and didn’t start so well here…BUT, do we realize that hes just done something that not many GMs can do in one of the toughest cities to run a sports team?

    He has completely rebuilt and changed the whole dynamic of the Rangers in a few years without making this team any worse or in an awful position. So he rebuilt the team without actually “rebuilding” and going through the pains of missing the playoffs and stuff, which is something NY fans expect in every sport but its not actually realistic.

    Plus he started off by dealing with the absolute shitshow that Neil Smith left the team with. I mean he did a great job early by stealing all the Oilers, but then we never got back there again and he made some pretty bad moves.

    I’m not saying I’m a huge Sather fan, but hes done something that is pretty unrealistic to think can happen by rebuilding and still producing a team thats competitive. Everyone else’s thoughts?

  38. The difference between booing Rozival and other Rangers when they screw up …? I’ll tell you . Rozival just doesn’t score . Plain and simple …Zherdev screws up alot but the guy won us the game with seconds left ( or he tied it)Drury scores goals!! He allowed to screw up once in a while. The Rangers fans know the by boooing Rosival , either 1) He will start scoring 2)or get him traded . 3) to voice ourself because we just won’t take it!

    Rozival is kinda quirky looking and has buggy eyes and twitches alot, he one crazy looking and acting guy once ya actually watch him. He could stop all this boooing by just smacking that puck at the net ( just like Marc Staal) I saw a few times where Rosie could of asserted himself in which he chose not to. He gets what he desreves because he just dosn’t get it …SHOOOOOT!!!! everytime , we don’t care ..you can hear the fans trying to be supportive by cheering when he fires a great shot at the net . Rosival chooses to pass up a good shot everytime , and untill he stop and starts shooting…his time in NY will be as pleasent as Malik .

  39. Sam made a point last night about Rozie… he said that Renney told him to drop a big hit, do ANYTHING to get the fans back on his side. While Rozie had a solid game, he didn’t do ANYTHING to make the fans cheer, to make them change their opinion of him.

    A good shot, a good hit would have really turned people around on him.

  40. The Russian Diva on

    Tyuten and Backman for Zherdev and Fritche doesnt make much sense from Bluejackets end does it?
    _____________________________________

    None at all. They are weak on D and were looking to improve…so they added Mike Commadore, Backmann and Tytutin who are terrible and didn’t resign Ron Hainsey. But that’s why the Jackets have never gone anywhere, poor management.

  41. Jeever he had hits early on, because I was surprised when I saw it… but yea then he stopped again

    I know Z is from Ukraine, but the two languages are similar, and since I find it more believable that Dubi has learned Russian (more populous language and more teammates) I was asking if they were conversing that way or is maybe Z knows some more English.

  42. Beer…that link had some great stuff. Did you see that line at the bottom referring to Pisani’s injury.

    “That angle about one minute in is sphincter-clenching.”

    That is the line of the year.

  43. Greg – Rozy isn’t a goal scorer. Fans aren’t booing him cause he’s not scoring, they’re booing him becasuse he’s made careless mistakes playing defense, whether its at the point, or in a corner battling with someone. We all have to face it, he’s not that physical of a player, HE’S NEVER BEEN. He just knows how to stay in position and be responsible. The only thing I think fans want to see out of him is making better decisions during the PP, and to be more in command of the puck when he is in control. He has just looked shaky as of late, I’m sure he’ll come around, and I don’t expect him to get traded.

  44. Johnny D

    I think Sather has done a decent job, like you said, rebuilding a bad team ( he made some mistakes to keep it bad for awhile as well to be honest) even with some godawful drafting he’s been able to get the Dubi’s and Hanks in later rounds

    You said it though, I mean the guy is practically looking down his nose at fans, writers and sometimes players, so he doesnt give you a warm fuzzy feel

    Together with Renney ( gotta give him his due here too) they have made us expect more than just a playoff team, hell…more than first place!! imagine thinking that in 2001 or 2002 when we would have died just to beat out the Islanders??

    The team is respected and competitive again and has some young building blocks…

    Is this the top of the ascent though? (same question about Renney)The team is the most patient its ever been..on the ice and in the front office…sometimes it seems to us fans like they’re a little too calm..maybe its just us

    All in all…gotta be happy to be a Ranger fan these last few years..playoff hockey and slews of hi priced guys to scream…er…encouragement at

  45. • Speaking of the New York Rangers, success isn’t translating into happiness for some fans. “There appear to be two schools of thought among Ranger fans right now: the ones who are happy and content with the team since they are indeed in first place and the ones who feel that this team is vastly underachieving and playing some crappy hockey.” [Scotty Hockey]

    describes this board completely. hehe

  46. I’m a big defender of Rosi but I have yet to see a recent game where he doesn’t commit a major turnover.

    but let’s give the guy ONE MORE CHANCE~!

  47. Jonny D , Sather did rebuild the team and yes he is getting older . Its time for him to step down . Neil smith got all thoses ex-oilers for us not Sather. 1992 was the year the Rangers came alive and have been the talk of the NHL either good or bad , this is the good . Rangers playing in prauge was good for the team and being in the movie MYSYERY ALASKA was pritty cool. Jonny the league wasn’t so soft , most players had to skate around with a stick crammed in thier gut and that was not a penalty , softer league..I beg to differ.

  48. Am I the only one who believes that Zherdev’s reaction after the shootout goal, as well as his reluctance to come out as a star, occured because he was pissed at RENNEY, not himself? This guy has underachieved his whole career and was benched many times in Columbus…you’re telling me that he actually agreed with Renney and didn’t think he played well? No chance…he was furious at being benched and decided to be a baby about it and pout…

  49. I too am torn. its hard to say what he was thinking, without seeing more how he really is. I hope he was just mad at his own play.

  50. Jonny D-Sather will reap the rewards but I think there are a couple of factors that helped. When he first got here, he was worse than Smith with getting overpriced duds. I think Dolan had a hand in that also as he likes big names and $ has never been a concern to him. When the lockout came, it forced the powers to think about their team. They decided to build around JJ and insert some youth. The formula worked. We’re now able to tweak the team away from a Jagr team to a Renney team committed to being young and fast. My feeling is, if the salary cap never came, we’d be watching Guerin, Holik, Modano, Roenick and Sakic stinking it up at MSG.

  51. The idea that a professional athlete today like Z is thinking, “Thank you sir for benching me. It has not only fired me up immensely but also given me wisdom in how I need to play shift in and out,” seems a lot less plausible than him being pissed at the double standard applied to more veteran teammates who escape the lash no matter how badly they screw up/make the same mistakes over and over.

  52. I say I hope so because I can buy that he was dissapointed with himself. If it’s anything else, I’d ship his ass out with flucha tomorrow.

    The organ i zation has worked too hard to bring in the ‘right type’ of player to F up the lockerroom with a selfish personality.

    So I say “I hope so” that he’s upset with himself for putting himself in that position.

  53. I hope he was too, although his history suggests otherwise. There’s a reason we got him for only a slightly above-average defenseman and a pitiful, overpaid defenseman.

  54. ML,
    I totally agree and thought the same thing last night what you mentioned above because that was the story with this guy when he was playing for Columbus. He takes nights off.

  55. fIRST REACTION TO z’S REACTION AFTER SCORING

    “ok Professor!! Thats a goal, i wan’t being defensively responsible or taking appropriate measures in the nuetral zone, nor was I reacting to the assets present on the ice at the given time….I shot a puck into a net…now….me and Voros well go sit down, with by the way 255 of all rangers goals scored this season…we’ll go sit while you and Perry take a chart out and work out the rest of your yawning game plan….”

  56. tomg

    Naslund has taken nights off. Gomez too. Redden too. Rozsival shies away repeatedly from contact.

    How this discussion can be framed around Zherdev almost exclusively is astonishing to me.

  57. see Kasper? that kind of hand-eye-coordination is EXACTLY why you’re in Siberia right now. Sorry.

  58. Laurence — Don’t be astonished. The double standard that is applied when it comes to holding players accountable, no matter who there are, has seeped into the water on this board.

  59. Laurence,
    I disagree, I think your opinion of taking nights off is the for mentioned names not scoring a goal. I’ve never seen Naslund or gomez or redden or rosival not skate hard or look mentally out of the game. I’ve noticed Zherdev especially last night look like his mind was somwhere else skating in a fog. That is a big difference.

  60. For one of the Rangers best starts ever there sure is a lot of negativity on this board. However, if you just watch the last five games without knowing their record you would think we are a middle of the pack team. And Hank is single-handedly responsible for at least 6 points this season, if not more. That being said, I don’t understand the extreme feelings towards Renney. He needs to play a defensive style with this team: we don’t have the forwards to score many goals and we don’t have the D to withstand many rushes against – look what happened in the late nineties. It may make for boring hockey, but you want the points or the excitement? Renney deserves some credit, especially for making the playoffs every year. That first year he overachieved with a poor team.

    And you don’t call out a player for bad play in public. Never ever. the Inter Milan coach explained this philosophy in depth recently. If the player is trying but not playing well you support them and perhaps switch the player for another one until they improve if it impacts the ability to win. If they are not trying you sit them and call them out in private. If they are playing for themselves and not the team you call them out in front of the team. But never in public; it is a distraction and destroys the team spirit. Confidence is often the issue with bad play and criticizing the player in public will destroy any confidence that player may have left. We have long term contracts with players like Rozy so it would be a disaster.

  61. Its simple

    Renney kept Z on bench during alst period because whether it was his defensive play or attitude he determined Z to be a “liability” for getting a tie game

    Now..once the game was securely tied up, well he put Z out there to a shoot-out…you cant give up a goal there…you can only score

    We play for ties
    we play for ties
    we play for ties
    say it again….

  62. The Russian Diva on

    This team has no offense and can’t score. They need a player like Z, and they need him to perform.

    Naslund, Drury, and Gomez are all great players – but they are also not 30 goal scorers. Z can be one and he is still young with a lot of upside. Renney can do what he wants with him – but right now he’s the Rangers best offensive weapon. He won the shootout last night, got us in position to win the pens game, and has been a major factor in other games (so I’ll let it slide that he was a non-factor last night)

    Bench him to motivate him or baby him, I don’t care. Just get him on the ice.

  63. I dont’ know if this is just coincidence, but the ones that have been held accountable are the cheaper contracts on the payroll.

  64. tomg

    You have never seen Rozsival shy away from taking a hit in order to make a pass that retains possession?? That is the definition of not playing hard, and it happens every night.

  65. “I dont’ know if this is just coincidence, but the ones that have been held accountable are the cheaper contracts on the payroll.’

    You speak’um the truth my wise red-white and blue friend

  66. And the Naslund I saw not so long ago in Vancouver — relentless, dogged, skating with incredible purpose — has not been the most common sight either. I know he’s a little older now, but I don’t think he skates nearly as hard as he should every shift.

  67. From Ranger Rants by Andrew Gross:
    Meanwhile, coach Tom Renney had brief meetings with both Nikolai Zherdev and Aaron Voros after they saw their ice time limited in the third period last night. In Zherdev’s case, Renney admitted when asked that Zherdev might have a shorter leash than other players once he starts freelancing, just because of his previous reputation for doing so. It’s a tough habit for Zherdev to break since it was the way he was raised while playing in the Ukraine and Russia.

  68. Wondering if this blog’s title is a pun, as in, Takes a Piss…because the NHL probably didn’t like what he did at all…not to get on Z here…I wouldn’t blame him for hating Renney since the guy lets Gomez get away with that kind of crap without sanction but Zherdev tries to get something going when nobody else is willing to work and he gets the bench.

  69. blurt – could be a pun, since Zherdev isn’t much of a passer… he’d rather try to stickhandle through 4-5 guys and shoot… who knows, but the Great Weinman though.

  70. kaspar is right on. we play not to lose. renney coaches scared. hank bailes him out night after night.

  71. Russian players are taught to try to do too much sometimes to get the team motivated. If you look at all of them in the league, or at least the really good ones, its what sets them apart from the competition. I mean Ovechkin, Semin, Kovalchuk, Zherdev, and the other elite Russian players WANT the puck. Sometimes they do too much, but its what they know. Sometimes they’ll do great things with it and you kinda just deal with it knowing that away from it they might not be so great. It takes a couple of years to learn that part of the game. Example would be Kovalchuk who just recently has become a better defensive player. With the puck though, hes been a wizard since day one.

  72. Benching Nicky Z just shows you how retarded of a coach Renney is. Voros, and Nicky Z didn’t do anything fuggin wrong. What ever they did, is exactly what the rest of the team was doing, why not bench them. He’s an idiot, win or lose, he just does stupid things.

    Who the fugg knows where this team would be without Hank, but you cant bench one of your leading scorers, who’s scored some big goals for the team so far.

    I was pissed off when i found out he got benched, and he probably is pissed aboot it, and i don’t blame him. Bench Rozi after one of his 10 giveaways in a game. This guy makes no sense. He honestly makes me think i can be a better coach than him, as long as i have Hank in net.

  73. I didn’t think Nicky Z warranted a benching last night but I ain’t the coach.

    As long as the Rangers are winning, I don’t care if they all make the fans at MSG do the Macarena after the game; 2 points every night! You want fun? Winning is fun.

    I’m not a Sather fan but he’s done a much better job since the lockout. Look, I know the Jessiman draft pick stunk, but from the 04 draft there is Dubi, Cally, Korpi, Girardi as a UFA, and maybe they’ll get lucky and get Sauer (gotta stay healthy), Potter, and Byers.

    05 has already given Staal, and then there’s guys like Anisimov, Grachev, Bobby Sags, Michael Del Zotto, Hagelin, Weisse, Kundratek, and maybe Gaulton who all could play big roles in the future. Not too shabby true believers :)P

    And if I ever meet Neil Smith; he’s probably one of the only people I’d want to high five, say thank you, and then kick him in the nuts (figuratively). “Thanks for the Cup dude, but WTF were you thinking trading Zubov, Norstrom, LaPerreire, and Knuble for junk?!!!”

  74. Neil is at the garden every now and then so if I happen to run into him again, I’ll make sure to give him the kick for you.

  75. Matty , i was just stating if he scores , then he is allowed to make those blunders…I know he was boooed because of him mishandling the puck on crappy ice was the reason fan got on him….BUT , IM SAYING …. IF he shot more and scored he would be allowed to make just dumb plays.

    ROB L ( as in loser) YOU GET A CLUE ,your stament hold no merit without any reason other than you yourself are a complete idiot.

    Zheredv is cool , plain and simple .

  76. Sather is going to step down? And this is from the Columbus Press?

    Ha!

    And we’re going to replace him with Brian Burke? Oh yippie. What’s the difference?

    Actually was quiet impressed with the teams toughness last night. Mara, Voros, Dubi, Orr all willing to get tough.

    I think it was meritable and a good step forward in the tougnness category. I still think we need a banger on defense. I am curious if we could get Souray out of Edmonton or Jovo out of Phoenix for Rozival.

    Freddy Sjostroms legs are tree trunks. watched the interview postgame and they are freakish.

  77. Mike

    Smith did a fantastic job as GM.

    Drafted Alex, traded for Graves and Messier. Got Beuk, Wells, drafted Zubov, Savard, Sundstrom, Norstrom. Traded for Anderson, Tikk, best move was getting Kocur, McTavish, Larmer and Matteu. Drafted Weight, Amonte, the guy knows talent.

    His final years were due to outside influences. Paramount let him do his job, Cablevision rushed him and it cost him HIS job.

  78. Sather is plainly trying to help his boy Burke extract the very last penny he can from Toronto by creating imaginary leverage.

  79. As far as Smith.

    The Rangers were the best team in hockey through the 90’s. Might not have won as many Cups as Pitts or NJ, but still were one of the best, year in and year out.

    Neil Smith was the GM. And I am not going to give credit to Phil Esposito.

    Smith turned Kisio, VBK, Ogrodnick, Mullen, Chris King, Tie Domi, Michele Petit, Tim Kerr, McKegnie, Curt Giles, Sandstrom and Nilan into the best team of the 90’s.

  80. If only Smith didn’t have those abysmal post-Cup moves (ie., Zubov and Norstrom out, Kevin Stevens and Kamensky in) his legacy would be far more glossy.

  81. happy the pens lost to the wild… anyone have any idea when the other teams that are chasing us (pens, capitals and bruins in particular) catch up with us in terms of games played? I think its next month, when we go to california for 3 games and then when we return… that would make sense…

  82. I just watched the Ruutu shootout on youtube about 4 times and the puck was in fact continuing in a foward motion. Lundqvist did not get any piece of it at all. I still want them to kick his a because I honestly dont think that he thought it was still alive and he just wanted to show his frustration by shooting it. Also the ref was about to wave his arms saying it was dead when Ruutu came over and almost ran into him. It would have not counted since the ref was waving his arms as to say it was dead. Also that is an issue that I believe can not be reviewed by instant replay. Im still glad that we stuck up for the star of our team though. They must know how valuable he is…and even if we know now that it was legal. Its the principle of it and I think Rangers need to show the league…if ruutu or any other pest, fs with our best, theyll die like the rest, probably by an orr fist fest.

  83. A couple of things; I think the Rangers should use the old Messier trick on Ruutu; if he goes to hit put their elbows up or their sticks high and horizontal and send that idiot to the dentist.

    As far as Smith goes, look, I love the guy for everything he did from 89-94 (well most of it) but from 95-2000 he was horrible and so was most of his drafting; Sudstrom was drafted from 93.

    Also, McKeggney was gone way before Smith got there; off topic, but Jarome Iginla broke his record of most goals by an African-Canadian hockey player I think last season..Mullen was traded for Kerr, and Kissio they let go in the expansion draft to the Sharks. Craig Patrick is kinda like the Ernie Acorsi to the 94 Cup, as he drafted Leetch and Richter, and luckily Esposito wasn’t around long enough to trade them.

  84. Joe in DE (actually in NJ tonight) on

    I’m totally liking Nik Z, and it doesn’t bother me about what happened the other night. In fact, if it is as the story here relates, it’s a tremendous relief. If Z is upset with himself for his play (which wasn’t even that bad mind you), then he will push himself to play better. C-Bus got rid of him because he was disinterested. I’d be very concerned if Z sat on the bench completely indifferent to that fact that he put in a 70% effort. If he’s mad at himself, it’s tangible proof that the kid cares and is here to play

  85. I’m very impressed by Nik Z so far and I think the general consensus is that. I’m willing to live with his occasional blunder because he can do things with the puck that few can and he’s passionate. If he wants to, he can own this city.

  86. Neil smith made some blunders but he did get the Messiah and that my friend is the best thing to ever happen to this franchise. Everyone came , if you sign him ..they would come …

  87. I’m very impressed by Nik Z so far and I think the general consensus is that. I’m willing to live with his occasional blunder because he can do things with the puck that few can and he’s passionate. If he wants to, he can own this city.

    Agree 100%. I really hope Renney knows what he’s doing. If there’s one player on this squad that Renney should suck dry after every game (besides Hank) it’s Nicky Z.

  88. I had wondered whether Henrik got a piece of Ruutu’s shot. Sounds like he did not, from what I’m told. So that kind of explains a bit, but then what is the control on things? Am I wrong in guessing that it has to be ‘forward’ motion, i.e. it would not be possible for the puck go off the back boards on a non-shot (a flubbed deke for example), and the shooter skate back in the direction of the blueline to retrieve it and then come back and take his first ‘shot’

    I hope that scenario is not possible. Still think Ruutu’s shot was ridiculous and not legit. Maybe time for another rule, or at least clarification of an existing one.

  89. Good to see Z is switched on enough to recognise he didn’t have his best game. This is looking like a very good trade and if Fritsche plays like he has in the last couple of games and earns a regular spot it will be a massively one-sided deal. Well done Slats.

    Lets see if Slats can now find a way to move Riss and Pru for something worthwhile in return.

    As for Renney, when there is a guaranteed point for not losing, why not play not to lose? Gone are the days of buying a bunch of big name scorers to try and blow away the opposition 6-3 or 7-4. Its now about using the cap wisely to get a team who will play together and follow a system, and also backing them up with a top goaltender who can steal you points and win shootouts too.

  90. Yes, time to move Prucha (well past time, actually). Always liked him, still do. And so I hope he is traded soon.

  91. It’s funny. Most of the people that complain that Renney can’t get the most out of his ‘stars’ are the same folks that complain that he coaches not to lose (and play to get to the shootout). Well, Hank is a ‘star’ and is one of the best in the NHL in the shootout. THAT’S getting the most out of one of your stars. It’s 2 points. Just get’em.

    Then again, those same people complain about everything, so I guess it really doesn’t matter.

    If that’s the shootout rule, it’s the rule. Could use some clarification though. Its also obvious that Mackenzie didn’t watch ruutuu’s game up to that point. He wouldn’t have wondered why the Rangers were upset if he did.

  92. Today’s one of those days its tuff to remember that the Rangers have still played a few more games than everyone else. But to be 12pts up on the debbies getting closer to Dec, is fuggin awesome. Even if they won all 4 games they have in hand on us they couldn’t catch us.

    I’ll tell ya…the 73 GF the Sharks have through 20 games is crazy. And 10-0-1 at home ain’t to shabby either.

  93. We have played the most games in the NHL, have had a European trip, lost Jagr, Avery, Shanahan and Straka from last years team and have a record of 14-5-2 after 21 games.

    I see the reason for all the pessimism, I really do.

  94. “Greg L….The Rangers fans know the by boooing Rosival , either 1) He will start scoring 2)or get him traded.”

    so booing Rozsival will get him to start scoring? That statement is so stupid it doesn’t even warrant a response.

    Malik was booed for over 2 years and he didn’t start scoring and he was never traded. You’re using logic that a 4 year old would use.

    So my original post for you to get a clue still holds water.

  95. Vogs,

    I have generally been a Neil Smith supporter more than a negator over the years, but how were the Rangers the best team of the 90’s?

    We missed the playoffs in 93, 98 and 99 and we won one Stanley Cup.

    Pittsburgh and Detroit both won two cups in the 90’s and Pittsburgh knocked us out of the playoffs in 92 and 96.

    As a Ranger fanatic, I’d love to stake the claim that we were the best team of the 90’s, the reality is a little different.

  96. Lev – I’ve wondered that too, when people will watch up to us in Games Played. the entire 1st part of the season, we play at least 3 games a week (until the week of X-mas). That’s about average/high. I don’t think teams play a WHOLE lot during X-mas & New Years, so we could lead Games Played until 2009…

  97. I love some of you who from the comfort of your couch or your seat at the game could honestly say Z and Voros didn’t warrent a benching…we all spend absolutely NO time with the players, we don’t see them in practice we aren’t behind the bench…we never interact with them and somehow we know whats best…un fuggin real!

    How bout the benching of Z and Voros was NOT because they did something wrong but because they could have done more?

    I know some will disagree but…
    I think Renney is a good coach. His players go to battle for him every night. We are winning games and we aren’t even playing great hockey…this is not the finished product! What has Renney done wrong? Who would you rather have? I can’t name one coach out there I’d rather have.
    I’m getting so fuggin sick of the bitching and moaning every fuggin day. I sometimes wonder what some of you are watching…FUGG!

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