Getting to know the West (Updated)

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I’m just confirming this now, but word is that the team the Rangers are playing tonight, the Vancouver Canucks, are in fact members of the National Hockey League.

Go figure. I never got the memo.

Like it or not, the impact of the new NHL schedule is already being felt, and will be felt even more next month when the Rangers set out on their three-game swing through California.

Is the new schedule better? Worse? I haven’t yet decided. The question may be best answered on a night like tonight. On one hand, the visit by the Canucks is rife with storylines: Markus Naslund facing his old team, a match-up of the two best goalies in the NHL, a rare chance to see “the singular chemistry between the Sedin twins”:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/sports/hockey/19sedin.html?_r=1.

But will the Garden tonight have a greater buzz tonight than if it was another game against the Islanders or Devils (or even Flyers or Penguins)? Probably not. And while the metropolitan teams are in a unique position because of their proximity to one another, familiarity will always breed greater contempt. In a hockey context, that’s usually a good thing.

Of course, I personally like seeing more of these Western Conference teams for the simple reason that when it’s time to vote on the end-of-the-season awards, I’m not completely talking out of my backside.

As much as you try to avoid a regional bias, there is still a tendency to favor the players you see often as opposed to the ones you see maybe once a year, or sometimes just by way of the TV (a couple of years ago, after consulting with a number of people I trusted, I was proud of myself for voting for Samuel Pahlsson for the Selke Trophy. Which was great, except at the time I wouldn’t have recognized Pahlsson if he hit me over the head with a Koho).

Now at least the new schedule makes the league smaller.

——

My story in today’s paper deals with none of these above issues, but instead “looks at the relationship between Chris Drury and Travis Roy”:http://www.lohud.com/article/20081119/SPORTS01/811190381/-1/SPORTS, his former BU teammate who was paralyzed 11 seconds into his college career.

It has become such a cliche to say stories like Roy’s help put sports in their proper perspective. But it’s a cliche because it’s true. Here’s a guy who had the same aspirations as Drury when he showed up at BU, and yet he never made it past his first shift.

In our conversation yesterday, Roy acknowledged that watching hockey these days is always a bittersweet experience, and how could it not be? But he still made clear how much enjoys following Drury, a teammate whose determination on the ice is exceeded only his grace off of it.

“Chris has a pretty good perspective on things,” Roy said. “If you can get him to talk, he can give you a depth other people can’t. He’s incredibly caring, and that was the thing with Chris: He asked questions right after my accident about how things were and what was hard. People were so afraid to ask those questions. But he wants to hear what you have to say.”

I wrote the story for today because Roy is in town  to speak at Rye High School (my alma mater). For those of you who want to DVR the Rangers game, the session tonight is free of charge and open to the public.

Update, 11:12 a.m.: Great story in the comments section from reader Irawine:

The Travis Roy Foundation is one of very few organizations in this country that provide grants for people who have suffered spinal cord injuries and who need special equipment to assist them in their lives. I recently attended the 39th reunion of my high school soccer team, which included a guy who has been a quadriplegic for the last 11 years. When we found out about the Travis Roy Foundation we helped our friend submit a grant request for a special lift that would make his daily life more bearable. He received the lift and it was installed in his house several months ago. It has made a tremendous difference to him and his family. That Chris Drury has maintained his support for Travis Roy over the years speaks volumes to his character.

——

Optional skate today for the Rangers. The one important question is whether Scott Gomez will attempt to skate at all. Unless he does, I would say his chances of returning in time for Saturday’s game against Ottawa are doubtful.

Update, 10:42 a.m.: Gomez will not skate again today, so it’s looking more and more likely that he can return no sooner than Monday against Phoenix, if even then.

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209 Comments

  1. First and
    Repost
    Staal Wart November 19th, 2008 at 9:32 am

    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!

  2. a few notes…

    right on staal wart.

    stories like Travis Roy’s make me feel so stupid for complaining about 3/4s of the things in my life. WAAH I have a scratchy throat. This poor guy can’t even blow his nose on his own when he’s sick.

    I like being able to see the West conference, its cool to be able to see guys I’d normally only be able to see like once every 3 years.

  3. This Gomez injury is really starting to worry me. As he’s getting healthy, his cap hit decreases… SUNDIN!

  4. Jeever,
    I’ve been reading the posts by Sam every day but on most days lately I can’t even read them…It’s like, people don’t realize how good we have it. What would this blog be like if we were playing like the Blues, Senators, or even the Stars?
    Now those fans have something to bitch and moan about.
    Sob, Sob, we are winning.
    Sob Renney bench Zherdev
    Waaah…he’s not playing Prucha
    Shut the Fugg up!!!!

  5. Staal – some people just complain, its what they do… but if we try to look at the bright side (you know, winning a LOT and leading the entire fricking league for now), we’re naive and blind to hockey.

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

    That would only make it even more ridiculous for a multitude of reasons… those are not the first players who “could have done more” in a game this season.

    Also, If you don’t think the Rangers could be playing much, much, much better hockey… you must not be paying attention. This is about winning the Stanley Cup. It’s nice and satisfying to win games, but if you’re getting “comfortable” just barely squeaking by teams in OT and don’t see lots of room for improvement…then you probably deserve to have your team swinging clubs in May… same goes for Renney.

  7. BillyDeeWilliams on

    Isn’t it a good thing that they can be playing much better hockey? cause I dunno. I thought they were 14-5-2. And I kinda thought they were leading the Eastern Conference.

    So I kinda thought that underachieving so far and leading the Eastern Conference is a good spot to be in.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong. I know my logic might be a bit crazy.

  8. “This is about winning the Stanley Cup. It’s nice and satisfying to win games, but if you’re getting “comfortable” just barely squeaking by teams in OT and don’t see lots of room for improvement”

    last I checked, you win the Cup in April – June, not October and November. This time of year is EXACTLY about winning games.

  9. There will be times where we play great this season and will lose, it’s great that they are picking up all these points now.

    More often than not, the Rangers outshoot their opponent.

    It’s not like we give up 40 + shots every night, Henrik stands on his head and we get a lucky win, there hasn’t been one win like that this year.

  10. the more points they take now…is less points they need later…we have all seen how this team has come together in the 2nd half of the season for a few seasons now…

    its great that they are taking games now even if its from the KING bailing us out…but there will be games where he’ll let in a bad 1 or 2 and we’ll bail him out….

    its a long season and I do feel confident that they will come together…they have a great bunch of guys who look like they want to win and care about their own play…

  11. Read that article when I got into the office this morning…amazing piece. Years ago, I read a book by Pat LaFontaine that included Travis’ story. Truly sad, but very inspirational.

  12. Salty,

    How do you know which players can give more…when have you attended a practice, or stood behind the bench…This is exactly what I’m talking about!

    You don’t win a Stanley Cup in November…every team right now is finding themselves…
    After the All-Star Break and some would say even the trade deadline is when the real push begins. That is when teams have to start upping the anti, and round into playoff form.

  13. Also Salty,
    From what I’ve heard and read…the Rangers are far from comfortable with the way they have been playing.

  14. Staal — Here’s the thing. You and I see Rozsival refuse to take a hit to make a pass night after night after night, and he gets a free pass. Yet Zherdev and Voros play an indifferent period, and they are publicly embarrassed.

  15. “Yet Zherdev and Voros play an indifferent period, and they are publicly embarrassed”

    OMG, exaggerate much???

  16. We all know the potential of this team – we’ve seen flashes of brilliance from everyone. Unfortunately they’re not sparking at the same time. But the song remains the same, consistency, power play, and not playing a full 60. Hmmmmmm – makes you think – revamped team . . . same coaching staff . . . same issues!! The wins may not have been pretty but I’ll take the two points every time and enjoy our seat at the top of the Conference. Now is the time to be banking the points instead of scrambling to play catch up in late February/March.

    What is going on with the D-Z-V line? When they came together they really seemed to be getting into a groove. Then Zherdev was moved and since that point there seems to be issues even though they’re back together.

    A couple of unsung heroes that have impressed me this season are Mara and Callahan. It appears they’ve taken their game to the next level. They consistently bring it to the ice every game. Granted mistakes are made but that’s part of the game. I was also pleased that Mara took the hometown discount to stay a Ranger – to me that says he truly bleeds blue (as opposed to others that claim they do). Mara and Staal should be the number one defensive pair and should be on the power play.

  17. “Publicly embarrassed?” Since when is getting benched being “publicly embarrassed”? They weren’t playing up to par so they were sat down, it happens in sports. It’s a story of being told a lesson.

  18. Gresch—I wouldn’t go so far as to say publicly embarrassed, BUT if Voros and Zherdev get benched for not playing up to speed or making a small mistake then Rozsival MORE than deserves a benching for the glaring mistakes and giveaways he has had which led to goals against!
    Instead Rozy gets a pass because of “Bad Ice” or “Puck jumping around”
    Rozy needs to sit a game or 2

  19. When a coach tells the media that he had 1-on-1 meetings with the two players he benched the night before due to their lack of effort, he is publicly embarrassing them.

    All from a guy who cannot even bring himself to discuss Rozsival’s serial cowardice, much less discipline it.

  20. jason

    I have no problem with Renney using the stick. What I have a problem with is his refusal to use it fairly, on big contract players who have floated/coasted/yawned through games and never get called out for it.

  21. Thank you Gresch, for underlining the point that I was *hoping* people would pick up on their own.

    Obviously, the Rangers are in a great position right now and the fact that there is lots of room to improve IS a great thing… we were in the same position all last year though… “waiting for the guys to come together”… it never happened.

    I wish my mind worked in such a way that I could be completely comfortable with the team right now… but it doesn’t. Maybe, if I didn’t see the games and just saw the standings… I could allow myself to believe certain things… but I do see the games.

    I’ll put it this way, I’m happy to see them winning, but I am far from impressed with how they are playing. My honeymoon with Renney is wearing off as I see his same old garbage show up in the wash again…

  22. I remember seeing Travis Roy’s accident on the news. Former NASCAR driver Ricky Craven always had a benefit for him. Just remember, no matter how bad you think you’ve got it, somebody else is worse off than you.

  23. “Rozy needs to sit a game or 2″

    Ok fine, and who are we playing on defense then to take Rozi’s spot?

    Yesterday we had Salty clamoring that Girardi should be scratched too.

    We gonna go with 4 defensemen?

  24. I’m not sure Rozi has gotten a pass.
    once again…what has Renney said to him behind closed doors?
    What has he focused on in practice? And when the fans jump all over Rozi in the Garden. What should Renney do? Pile it on more. Should Renney boo Rozi as he comes to the bench?

  25. Um Dude, there is no law against actually having a 7th defenseman on the roster. You know, to spark competition that might just possibly guard against complacency?

  26. “Obviously, the Rangers are in a great position right now and the fact that there is lots of room to improve IS a great thing… we were in the same position all last year though… “waiting for the guys to come together”… it never happened.”

    We were not in the same position last season. We had Jagrs team and not Renney’s team…now we have one guy in control. I like this team better than last years.

    “I wish my mind worked in such a way that I could be completely comfortable with the team right now… but it doesn’t. Maybe, if I didn’t see the games and just saw the standings… I could allow myself to believe certain things… but I do see the games.”

    Salty, no one said they were comfortable…right now I’m enjoying the ride and watching this team come into focus. I’m enjoying the wins and the ups and downs all the while realizing this team hasn’t hit its stride yet…which makes me enjoy it even more.

  27. The Travis Roy Foundation is one of very few organizations in this country that provide grants for people who have suffered spinal cord injuries and who need special equipment to assist them in their lives. I recently attended the 39th reunion of my high school soccer team, which included a guy who has been a quadriplegic for the last 11 years. When we found out about the Travis Roy Foundation we helped our friend submit a grant request for a special lift that would make his daily life more bearable. He received the lift and it was installed in his house several months ago. It has made a tremendous difference to him and his family. That Chris Drury has maintained his support for Travis Roy over the years speaks volumes to his character.

  28. Ford,

    exactly right, there is no 7th defenseman on the roster, so what is Renney to do?

    Who is the trainer, Ramsay? let’s put him on defense and scratch Rozi.

  29. jason November 19th, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Or he’s giving them a pep-talk and trying to explain why he benched them.

    Jason. EXACTLY!
    I love the guys who think Renney had a private meeting with Z and Voros and reemed them a new one. Fugg…you morons have no idea what was said yet you ASSUME Renney handed them their ass on a platter.

  30. When we only have 6 D, hard to bench anyone for more than a few shifts. We have a plethora of forwards on this team, so benching one guy for a period or sitting one guy for a game is much easier.

  31. Looks like it isn’t only fans that think the Rangers aren’t playing great. Zipay wrote this:

    Renney wouldn’t mind seeing the rest of his troops fired up before he lights into them after 40 minutes. They weren’t bad, just boring, through the opening period, but in the second, that boredom wasn’t just felt in the Madison Square Garden stands.

    “It just seems like we’re almost falling asleep,” Brandon Dubinsky said. “We’re not getting to pucks, we’re not forechecking in deep. There’s just no consistency to our attack or forecheck.”

    So whoever is telling us to shut the fugg up…

  32. I agree with Staal Wart’s original points. NONE OF US on here, including Sam, truly know the deepest inner-workings of this hockey club. If Renney chooses to bench a player or two, then that’s his decision and it’s most likely based on a lot more than what we can see and understand.

    What’s remarkable is that people on this blog complain that Renney ISN’T hard enough on his players, then they complain when he does bench someone. So I guess he’s never right? So damn typical of NY sports fans, not just Ranger fans in general. It’s really ridiculous how critical people are sometimes. And I do understand that that’s part of being a fan, but it does get ridiculous sometimes.

    What I read after Monday night’s game was that the Rangers were not at all satisfied with how they played that game, and that was all I needed to hear. I don’t hear complacency at all from the coaches or players. 21 games in, though, you still have 61 to keep improving. I do think the Rangers need another scorer…they won’t win the cup unless they get one.

  33. Dude — Are you saying that Renney had/has nothing to do with the fact there is not a 7th defenseman on the roster?? That he is simply a helpless bystander??

  34. I’ll also say this… a lot of you are so quick to say “the guys are really getting along” “great lockerroom” “they all want to win” “blah blah”

    I’m not saying that is or isn’t the case, but every team says stuff like that. The same stuff was said last season and the year before that…just don’t believe everything you’re sold. Of course these guys were all chipper after the first couple of games and skates… but we all know how the story can change… and it doesn’t always have to take such an extreme catalyst as Avery.
    Tensions rise… if the team was losing right now, certain things would probably surface a little easier…

    It’s just funny to hear people spewing back out the same crud that MSG (or any media outlet on any topic) spits into their ears, whatever it may be. We’ve all been guilty of it on some account.

  35. How is telling the media that you talked to the players “1 on 1″ without revealing what was said “embarassing”?

    This is NEW YORK. There is a certain obligation to be amiable with the media and give them enough information without defaming your own guys. Tom Renney is a PLAYER’S COACH!!! He NEVER and I mean NEVER embarasses them.

    Now you guys are just straight up nit-picking. This guy goes to battle for his team and sticks up for them night in and night out. I’ve never heard him throw his own players under the bus.

    In New York, you can’t just ignore the media. Nothing wrong with saying you had a 1 on 1 convo. You’ll probably have about 10,000 of them during the course of the season. It’s not even news!

  36. Ford

    please tell me who should be the 7th defenseman?

    Potter has been horrible this season with Hartford

    Sanguinetti isn’t ready

    Fahey is hurt

    any ideas?

  37. “Yesterday we had Salty clamoring that Girardi should be scratched too.”

    Do everyone here a favor and find a post where I said that… oh yeah, that never happened, clown.

  38. Staal

    Oh so, Renney is actually pep-talking Voros and Z! Before running to the media three seconds later to tell them that he had the meetings. yeah, that’ll cheer them up!

    Ah meetings. Behind the door team-only stuff. Meetings which of course are private and completely no one’s business when it comes to dealing with Roszi’s refusal to man up and take a hit to make a play.

    I think we can deduce that no such meetings with Roszival have ever even been contemplated, much less had.

  39. Furthermore, you can’t bench defenseman when you only have 6!!!

    Making mental errors and mistakes is not the same as not giving effort.

    I don’t agree with benching guys for mistakes. However, I DO agree with benching guys on effort — or lack there of for that matter.

    Rossival “not being benched” and Voros and Z “being benched” are two totally different animals.

    On one hand you have 2 guys who are sktaing their hardest and on the other hand you have 1 guy who’s battling some serious confidence issues right now and making mental mistakes… but, there’s no arguing that he’s not trying like heck.

  40. Dude94 did say this pure gem though:

    *the only time he has had a slump was when he was worried that his father was going to die, he never has had a “slump” at any other time in his career*

    …………

    This phrase is worth repeating and will be referenced any time this poster tries to sound credible again. It is evidence of a bandwagoner who sees through rose colored glasses and would likely swaller a healthy tablespoon of throatgack from their beloved swedish prince, given the opportunity.

  41. The good news is that Michael Sauer is back from his knee injury and has played the last two games with the Pack.

    As he gets healthier, we may finally have a candidate from within to come up from the Pack.

  42. I think some people view Ranger’s fan as all or nothing. Either they’re perfect, and nobody on the team can do no wrong. Or they’re completely useless and they are WAY overachieving. Let’s grade them on a scale from 0-100 (like a percent), maybe that’ll show that we’re not all THAT far apart from where our arguments lie.

    I’d have to say they’re a 92% or so. Definitely room for improvement, but we’re finding ways to win games, regardless of how ugly or bad we play. I can’t say I would have thought in my wildest dreams we’d start the season with this record.

  43. Gresch, you just spin anything you say with rhetoric, assumptions and glass half-full negativity when people refute you; surprised you haven’t dipped into your stooge references yet.

    “running to the media”? you don’t actually believe this stuff that you write, do you?

  44. We have too many forwards and we’re lacking a 7th d-man. As stated above, our AHLers are either injured or not NHL ready. So what’s the solution? Trade.

    There are plenty of teams looking for scoring depth and guys like Dawes and Prucha would be perfect for a package in the return of a 6th or 7th d-man.

  45. Dude, if you’re arguing that all hands are tied and no roster moves can be made (trades are still legal in the NHL, right?) to provide competition to the backline, then I don’t know what to tell you.

  46. Pavel,

    if a trade is what is needed to solve the 7th d-man problem, or lack there of, it’s Sather who should be getting some wrath tight now, not Renney.

  47. Gresch November 19th, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Staal

    Oh so, Renney is actually pep-talking Voros and Z! Before running to the media three seconds later to tell them that he had the meetings. yeah, that’ll cheer them up!

    Ah meetings. Behind the door team-only stuff. Meetings which of course are private and completely no one’s business when it comes to dealing with Roszi’s refusal to man up and take a hit to make a play.

    I think we can deduce that no such meetings with Roszival have ever even been contemplated, much less had.

    This is the stupid shit I’m talking about!
    Coachs can only rip? they never boost the players confidence or explain to them parts of there game that are good and parts that need improving…
    keep spewing crap.
    Let me ask you this. were you in the meeting?
    Stop Deducing…its annoying!

  48. # Salty November 19th, 2008 at 11:20 am

    1-100?

    I give the Rangers a 79%

    Thanks in my book thats passing.

    I’m happy its not March!

  49. Brandon the Line Matcher!

    If you think Roszival has been “trying like heck” while routinely evading contact that a pee wee hockey player learns to cope with, you are in my humble opinion mistaken.

  50. Thanks Dude.

    I think we should continue to roll 6 defenseman for as long as possible. We have guys who should be NHL ready next year (DZ, Potter, Bobby Sang) so let’s not waste draft picks or prospects on something we don’t need in the future. IMO, our 6 are playing good enough right now; could they play better? sure. Will they? I think so.

  51. Gresch,

    I do agree — on one point only, mind you — that I do see Rossival try to evade hits in the corner when going for the puck instead of taking the check to make the play.

    However, I’ve never seen a guy get benched for being “afraid” to get hit in my life. Once again, that’s a mental issue he’s clearly battling. It’s not a lack of effort — maybe balls — but certainly not a lack of effort.

    I’m a firm believer that you bench only based on effort. If a guy makes a mistake, I want him right back out there the next shift to avenge for it.

    Mark Messier always said, “Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. When you aren’t afraid, that’s when you make the big plays.”

    If we have our guys thinking they’re going to get benched for mistakes, we’re going to lose. Every player makes several mistakes a game. Some more glaring than others, but no one ever pitches a perfect one.

  52. Staal — Can you point to any sign, any sign at all, that Renney is dealing with Roszival’s obvious lack of will/courage/stones with the puck in his own end?? Any sign that lives in the same universe as the signs Renney has shown in disciplining Zherdev??

  53. Brandon — Well, I appreciate your thoughtful response, but I guess I think that effort and courage are more linked up than you do.

  54. I go to Boston University and we love both Travis Roy and Captain Chris “Hobey Baker/Nat’l Champ” Drury!

    I’m proud of the way Roy carries himself forwards. Of all the players that have worn the scarlet and white sweater (Jim Craig, Mike Eruzione, Jack O’Callahan, Tony Amonte, Drury, Tkachuk…the great Tom Poti), only Roy’s number hangs from the rafters.

  55. Who Needs Lohan on

    Just wanted to say that some of you are really annoying, to the point that I cant even post here for the most part because it insults my own intelligence.

    Some say that everything is bad and that we will collapse, others just say to shut up. I guess if we all shut up we would have nothing to talk about and hence no blog!

    Im in the middle, this team has holes, big ones at times that if the playoffs started today I wouldnt be too confident. But here’s the good news naysayers….Its November and the playoffs dont start until April. So we have some time to make some changes, right?

    So sit back and enjoy, my 3 1/2 year old nephew has more meaningful things to say than some of you (you know who you are)

    Going to the game tonight, first one of the season!

  56. Explain? Briefly: The Rangers seldom play 3 periods of hockey. The PowerPlay is the laughingstock of the NHL. Our big guys are not exactly coming up big at all (Drury has really come alive so to speak but he still strikes me as very inconsistent)…. As someone mentioned, it’s the same story with a bunch of new faces… at some point coaching has to take some of the heat… I do not understand Perry Pearn’s job security, it’s a disgrace.

    When the Rangers start playing 3 periods of hockey every night, regardless of if the opponent is wearing blue/orange or red/white…that would probably kick them up to about 89%…..

    The rest depends mostly on the Power Play.

  57. You don’t see Babdick scratching Datsyuk, or Zetterberg when they aren’t doing much, and the team’s not scoring a goal, or Getzlaf, Perry, and Selanne when the Ducks were 0-5, or any other team’s stars when they’re not doing much in a game, which was the same everyone else was doing.

    Nicky Z isn’t anything like those players, he can be, but right now he isn’t. But to Nyr he’s one of our top players. He shouldn’t have been benched, Voros either. It just made no sense. I wouldn’t be so pissed aboot it, if Rozi was benched for a couple of fuggin minutes, but he didn’t do that. It was bullshit, and he didn’t deserve it, he did when he coughed the puck up in the game against the Islandorks, which he did get benched for.

    Selanne, Perry, and Getzlaf were off to a horrible start, but they didn’t get benched for a single fuggin minute, and they got their shit together, and are on fire, and Getzlaf, and Perry are in the top 15 in scoring, and Selanne leads the league in PP goals, or is in the top 5 at least.

    I don’t agree with it at all. Just because they won the game doesn’t mean its alright to ignore, it was dumb for Renney to do. But like i said, id make less of a deal out of this if he would bench other players for doing nothing, like Dru. You didn’t see him get benched when he fell asleep on the PP against the Sabs, and let Vanek blow by him to score, and his horrible slow start, and Gomer with his retard decisions the last couple of games.

    I don’t know what was said in the locker room to the two, and we’ll never know, but its still bullshit deluxe !! Better not happen again. Renney can say “we expect more from them” umm what aboot Nazzy, and Dru ? The excuses this guy makes pisses me off. It seems like he lies every time.

    Either way, hopefully Nicky Z and Voros both get fired up because of it, and have a great game, and stick it to Renney. It sure as fuggin shit will be tough.

  58. Do the naysayers believe this is the finally product for the playoffs. I am happy they are winning, and I know they can improve, but there will be changes.

  59. So we have some time to make some changes, right?

    ….

    We have time Lohan… but the consensus is that everything will just work itself out, just like last year. The big trade never came. The PP NEVER clicked… its scary. Now you KNOW it’s not Jagr…it’s the system.

  60. Salty – I actually agree with a lot of that. Moreso the % than anything. Don’t know how you got to “79”, “80” would have sufficed man.

    And I agree with 80%. They lose 10% right off the top for the PP. Another 5% off for having an inbalance of fwds/D. (it’s away from the ice/bench, but it’s ‘overall’, right?) and another 5% split between the rest of the factors. Whether it be effort, execution, coaching, conditioning, chemistry, etc.

    I’d say 80% is fair. And if 80% is all it takes to lead the Conference 1/4 way through, I’ll take it for one of the hottest starts in an 85yr history of a franchise.

    Lohan – sorry you’re not posting more due to a-holes. Sorry if I’m one of them too! I enjoyed your comments for the most part. Just skip those nonsensible arguments. Leave them alone, don’t respond. They’ll never go away…they just keep chaning their names ‘paging truefans’.

  61. Sorry been off this blog for a while as been swamped at work. Haven’t missed a shift of any game yet though. Anyway so was watching the game v Ott last night and saw Zherdie on a semi two on one with Drury…. he was right by the Rangers bench and just took a lazy dump in and went to the bench. I remembered thinking what the heck was that…. kinda lazy. Anyway that was late in the second and as we know he didn’t see much time in the third after that. Point is I think he was benched for being lazy – as was Voros. Renney has seen what these two CAN do – and the other night they weren’t given the effort to produce what they are capable of. I think Brandon mentioned it before – I have zero problem with Renney benching guys for lack of effort… That is how you show the team it takes nothing less but 110% every night – if you aren’t gonna give 110%… then someone else on the bench will. And in this case they did….. Betts, Sjo and Korpi were awesome.

    Psyched for tonight… battle of the best goalies in the league! Should be fun.

  62. ORR raises the good point… you also don’t need to bench a guy for 20 minutes to make your point. Some times a shift or two is plenty, not to mention, probably a better start. That goes for both Zherdev and Rozsival. Just cause you can afford to sit Z fror 20 doesn’t mean you need to, and just because you _can’t_ sit Rozsy for 20 minutes doesn’t mean you can’t sit him a couple of shifts to shake him up…

  63. “Now you KNOW it’s not Jagr…it’s the system.”

    HUH?

    Admittingly dogging it for the 1st 1/2 of the season VS. a 14-5-2 start.

    Looks like the COMPLETE opposite to me.

  64. Has anyone who is up in arms about this benching thought that certain tactics work better with certain players better than others?

    We’ve all played sports I assume at some point in our lives. Did being yelled at that you’re fucking up work better for you? Did being benched work better for you? Did being spoken to and explained things work better for you?

    As much as some of us love this team and think that we know this team inside and out, the truth is that we simply do not know what type of people these players are and what their personalities are like. Which kind of a wake up call works better for them. If they need to be shown tough love or coddled. The coach does, let him do his job.

  65. BRANDON

    It would be fuggin sweet if Del Z was ready, but i highly doubt he’ll join the team. Nyr doesn’t really let young d-men make it to the big league’s so quick, they usually leave them to develop a bit, these days at least. Which can only be good.

    As for the 7th D-man stuff. Eh, they should have one, but who ? Renney doesn’t want Potter, Sauer, Sags, or anyone else to rot in the press box waiting for an injury. Maybe Denisov can be the 7th D-man, but eh, who knows. To bad we don’t have Strudsy, i actually miss the guy. Maybe Pruchs will get traded for a 7th d-man.

    Its kinda good this way though, cause if a d-man gets injured then one of the prospects gets to fill that spot. Last season we had to have Strudsy, Ozo, Racky, or some other semi vet in that spot instead of a young player. It exciting to see someone play their first game.

  66. Parros-good to see you back here. On that play, I think Z was on the end of a long, long shift and that was the reason for the dump in. My immediate thought to him being benched was for overextended shifts. Still love your pic last year at the Pebble.

  67. “Now you KNOW it’s not Jagr…it’s the system.”

    [referring the impotent power play]

    I think if Jagr’s here this year, we are FAR from the success we have had so far…

  68. Gresch November 19th, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Staal—- Can you point to any sign, any sign at all, that Renney is dealing with Roszival’s obvious lack of will/courage/stones with the puck in his own end?? Any sign that lives in the same universe as the signs Renney has shown in disciplining Zherdev??

    No Gresch I can’t. I know he wasn’t out on the PP like he had been. But back to my original point, I haven’t sat in 1 team meeting, or seen 1 practice or been in any private meetings.
    I will say I find it hard to believe that a coach that is so meticulous in preparation and detail has done nothing.
    and outside of benching Zherdev for a few shifts how has he disciplined Z? Has he bent him over his knee and given him a spanking?
    How do you bench 1 of 6 defensemen? Should Staal and Mara play 30 min each?

  69. BEER

    Eh, don’t get me wrong, it was great that he scored, but it was only the shootout.

    I think maybe Renney has been listening to his buddy Hitchdick to much. Maybe he thinks sitting him for a shift wont do much to get his ass in gear, so he sits him for a few more. Nicky Z has already proved that he’s giving 100%, i mean look at that game against the Jackets, and the Trashers, making great defensive plays at a huge time in the game. Yeah he might give the puck up a few times, but the whole team seems to be doing that.

    Im beyond happy with him, he’s doing good offensively, and surprisingly he’s doing pretty good defensively. Good stuff.

  70. Change of topics:

    Two questions:

    Jsut read the Yahoo article on Jordan Staal maybe/maybe not getting resigned by the Pens.

    What does eveyone think the possibility is of having two or even possibly three Staals together on the Rangers at some point in time?

    Marc is going to be here possibly for his entire NHL life presumebly. If Jordan doesnt resign, and JAred still in minors, makes it to the big show, you think they’d all want to play together?

    Second Question:
    When does PRucha either play another game/or get dumped?

  71. How do you bench 1 of 6 defensemen? Should Staal and Mara play 30 min each?

    …..

    You can sit him or “quarter shift” him…. you don’t need to do a big dramatic “BENCHING” like he did with Z

  72. Stop with the ‘benching dmen’ comments. They only have 6 on the roster, so there’s no risk of lazy play.

    That’s an organization problem that I’m sure is trying to be addressed.

    Who knows what will happen with a trade. But benching a dman is more of a detriment than anything. It changes pairings, that if you ask me look like they’re developing chemistry right now. You force players to take on ice time when you’ve got a 60+ games to go in the season. And it f’s up communication that takes a long time to get right.

    Rozy sux, I’m on board with that. From a fans perspective, all you can do is hope he plays through it. The TEAM GAA is 3rd in the league. And with more GP, that’s actually better than 3rd.

  73. I think Prucha depends on the Gomez situation and if Dawes keeps contributing.

    Think about it.. if Gomez has to miss a bunch more games, we get more leniency with the cap… and that gives Slats incentive to go after Shanny or even Sundin to fill a gap (one year deals of course).

  74. orr – I gotcha man. I know what you’re saying. Don’t agree with it all, but whatever. I guess we can all officially buy into the idea that he is truly an enigma.

  75. Last Thursday, Steve Valiquette came to Manhattanville College. He gave us a very interesting motivational speech on keeping a positive attitude. Through the basis of his own life experiences, Valiquette expressed the importance of setting your goals on the journey of life, achieving your dreams and giving back to the community. At the end of the speech, Vally signed autographs in exchange for a donation to the Travis Roy Foundation. There was even a raffle for eight sticks (2 Hank & Vally signed, 2 Drury signed, 2 Naslund signed and 2 Gomez signed). All proceeds of the event went to the Travis Roy Foundation that benefits a United States war veteran with a spinal cord injury. The Manhattanville Student Government Association and the My Soldier Pen Pal Program were trying to get Valiquette to one of our events and I hear that once the Travis Roy Foundation was mentioned, he automatically (without any hesitation) agreed to do it. It really shows Vally’s- and the rest of the Rangers- character to go out and do so much for this foundation.

  76. Mikey – Only way that happens is if they replace him with dubi. I don’t see that happening.

    Jordan’s a great hockey player, but doesn’t address ANYTHING we need. Where’s our bruiser dman? Where’s our scoring winger? Ya know?

    Hoping that bruiser really turns out to be Mara…always liked that guy.

  77. 22figure8… that pic is the best. Was able to get the full color one signed by shanny. so good. Now all i need is to be at the Garden watching the rangers carry the cup around the ice and i can die in peace.

  78. I like the idea of grading the team on a 1-100 scale. If I had to grade them, I would give them an 85, which is a solid B in terms of academic grading and counts as being “above-average” but certainly not outstanding. Results are certainly the most important thing, but the defense and goaltending have been terrific. General offensive punch and the power play are the areas that need to improve.

  79. Pavel – I agree
    But do you really think Shanny is even a consideration anymore for Sather or the team?

    I don’t. I think thats been a dead issue long before Shanny said HE was moving on.

    I think Sather’s Super Hard on for Sundin hasn’t gone away and he won’t commit to a release of pressure for his blue balls until he gets and answer from him.

  80. I don’t understand some of the arguments on this blog. It’s as if loving and cheering for the Rangers, and knowing they could play better and wanting them to, are mutually exclusive.

    Every time the Rangers score I’m up out of my seat yelling and psyched and scaring my girlfriend. Every point is one I’m thankful the team got early instead of waiting for March. It’s great to see them winning.

    But I also know they could play better. I get frustrated with the PP. I think Renney could motivate them better to play a whole 60 minutes. And I think some roster decisions and management choices could be smarter.

    Does it have to be blind joy or sheer contempt? No. It doesn’t.

    Go Rangers.

  81. Rob C
    I agree with your assessment. 85 is good…still room to improve but we aren’t a joke either.

    Pavel November 19th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Staal Wart: Detroit and San Jose.

    should we try to emulate San Jose…a team that considently does nothing in the playoffs? trust me they don’t have there shit together either.

  82. Beer Me;

    I agree too, he’s not any part were missign or need right now. Was jsut throwing it out there.

    Look at it this way, If your Sather and have/had a chance to get two or three of one of the biggest NHL families together on your team how do you pass?

    I hope MAra becomes the bruiser Dman we’ve all been wanting too. Jsut hopes he gets an offer next year to stay with us, if he keeps playing the way he has so far.

  83. Agree with MikeNJ on Shanny – I’ve been off the blog for ages but over the summer I was one of the biggest belivers in bringing Shanny back…. need the leadership and all the rest and i just don’t feel he is finished as a big producer in the NHL. At this point though I’ve changed my mind. Could always use a sniper on the PP…. but on the third line Shanny would get eaten up. Betts has really raised his game this year and Sjo and Korpi just never stop skating. Dawes has been a disappointment but even there I’d take the youth and cheaper salary over Shanny. Pains me to say it as I love the guy and now my wife is sad that she has a signed shanny jersey and he ain’t even on the team….. but watch gonna do.

    As an aside, was watching a game the other night with the wife and they had some woman in the stands on the tv answering a trivia question… she was wearing a Beukeboom jersey and when they showed it all of MSG followed suit with the Beuuuuuuuuuuuuuk cheer… I was like – see that honey… she is still wearing her Beuk jersey and the crowd loves it and he hasn’t played for the rangers in over 10 years! Think that saved me buying her a Zherdie jersey this year.

  84. There are new things this year that say loud and clear that this is Not the same team. First and foremost is that, yes, there are similar dead spots in the play and lack of scoring on the PP, but now they’re winning most games anyway! A big night to me was the first NYR game in Philly. Up 3 goals fast makes me so nervous because it seems to open the door for the other team to be reckless and daring and do anything to chip one in. So, as I watched the bullies start their come-back, the horrors of last year came back and I began preparing myself for the worst. But the Rangers held on and won the game! Some will criticize that they never should have let the Flyers back in the game but hey there’s two teams on the ice. And then there’s been several games where the Rangers were down and came back for the win! I don’t remember a lot of that in recent years. I remember knowing it was a sure loss. This year, there’s the excitement of believing that they can score to at least tie it up.

    With new hope comes chances for bigger disappointment, but There’s No Crying in Hockey.

  85. I always liked Mara and this season he’s been my favorite player on the team (aside from Hank). My next jersey acquisition will be a Mara.

  86. I don’t know if everyone realizes but once the Rangers sent Del Zotto back to juniors he is there to stay the entire year, and really, that is the best they can do for him, for his entire career in mind.

    The last thing the Rangers should have done to his career is keep him up here as a 7th defenseman.

    He has a terrific shot at making th club next season.

  87. Chris F – dead on sir.

    AS far as Mara – I don’t know if many others noticed this, but I LOVE how each time the Rangers come out of the locker room, he’s the 1st one out, and he stands in the hallway and fist-bumps each guy as they come out. Just shows what a team guy he is.

  88. Audioserf,

    don’t get a Mara jersey.

    I like him too, but he is only signed for one year and the Rangers have lots of young defensemen potentially making the club next season.

    get a jersey of someone you know will be here awhile.

    Last year in the playoffs, I saw a guy buying his kid a Jagr jersey for 155 bucks and I was just shaking my head.

  89. NYRinPHX…my point was that they always take an early exit from the playoffs…November means nothing and alot can change between now and April. and our record is not much different so if they have there shit together how can our situation not be much different?

    I agree with you all on Mara.
    Staal has also started throwing the body lately

  90. The Rangers have not had home ice advantage once in the playoffs the last three years.

    That should be the immediate goal right now and every one of these points we are getting are huge right now.

  91. Beer,
    As I posted earlier. Mara has brought it to the ice every game consistently. It really looks like he’s taken his game to the next level. He turned down a better offer and took the hometown discount to remain a Ranger – that speaks volumes to me. He truly bleeds blue as opposed to others that claim they do! Callahan is another one that brings it every game.

  92. Totally faithful. I’ve been an advocate of Mara’s for a while. Met him at casino night about 2 weeks after he was brought in. Really nice guy too.

    Too bad the 5 & 6yr deals are becoming more popular. Mara on a 1yr deal is playing for 7/1 as much as he is for a ‘W’ every night.

    Straka, shanny used to do the same.

  93. I hate to piss on charity but I hasten to point out that half of all money spent by the Roy Foundation goes to grants in search of a cure. This is an admirable goal but does nothing to help me or any other paralyzed person in terms of civil rights. Moreover, grants are specifically earmarked for people that experience a traumatic spinal cord injury. People with any other spinal cord problem are not eligible. This exceptionally narrow focus helps only a tiny fraction of people with a particular sort of sci injury. I also want to point out that MSG has NO handicapped seating–people that use a wheelchair are forced to sit in the aisle, get bumped into by people constantly, and ushers do nothing to stop this. MSG has been in violation of the law for many years and my son will no longer attend games with me because he thinks “people suck and it is wrong for you to be treated like dirt because you use a wheelchair”.

  94. Isn’t part of the Garden renovation that will begin soon going to create handicap seating though?

  95. Bill

    Very interesting and valuable post from you; I had no idea about the way grants work. Best wishes.

  96. I thought I saw that somewhere dude. Can’t find it right now though.

    I hope ditching Micheletti is part of the renovation too.

    It’s a toss up of who’s worse…him or chico.

  97. Dude- good point. I already have a Lundqvist jersey (home), and want to score an away now. Mara’s awesome but it will be hard to see how he fits after this season. A shame, too…

  98. lol, Micheletti

    I don’t really care that much about announcers, but I prefer the color guy to be a Ranger.

    I like Dave Maloney, but he just says “AGAIN” waaaaay too much.

  99. Sam, r.e. the highlighted comment about Travis Roy. Life for disabled people would be more “bearable” if people with a disability were not discriminated against. All the ramps and wheelchair lifts in the world will not prevent disability based discrimination. If you doubt this try watching a game at MSG using a wheelchair. You get to sit in the aisle while one jerk after another walks into you and the usher looks the other way. On a bad night you get beer spilled all over you and a drunk tries to explain why he is so sorry.

  100. I thought I heard or read that MSG removed a couple of rows in the 300’s for wheelchairs. I don’t remember seeing them scattered in between the 200-300’s.

  101. MIKEYNJ

    Lol, i had the three Staal’s on my NHL 08 Ranger franchise team. Id love to have them all. But Eric wont leave Carolina, but then again you never know, and i don’t think the Pens will trade, or dump Jordan, unless he decides to leave, which would be fuggin awesome. He has massive potential, and can play center, or the wing, throw him on a line with Dubi, and Nicky Z, oh baby !! I think i might have to go trade to bring him in on my NHL 09 Ranger team.

    Its wishful thinking, but i just cant see it happening. Im still pissed Nyr missed out on Jared by one or two picks, but im hoping Grachev will be a damn good player, better than him. If he’s the 2nd round pick that is.

    I think if Mara plays like this all season, he’ll definitely get re signed. I think there’s two people that wanted to be a Ranger like i wanna do it with Megan Fox, and that’s Pauly, and Shanny. Not saying nobody else did, but those two desperately wanted to stay here. A lot of fans didn’t want him re signed, and im glad now they are happy with the signing.

    Kalinin is a free agent next year, does he get re signed ?? I hope Pauly does.

  102. In regards to handicapped seating, MSG did remove some chairs to make room for wheelchairs. They stopped having wheelchair seating in the aisles and have actually made quite a few improvements to these services this season. Clearer signs and I’ve even seen evacu-chairs installed by stairwells.

  103. My honeymoon with Renney is wearing off as I see his same old garbage show up in the wash again…

    staalwart- renny has gotten us into the playoffs 3 years in a row and has gotten alot out of his players because of his patience and willingness to stick to his system and making his players do the same. i think hes even gotten better at it because it seems that last year we wouldve been losing all these come from behind games but the point is is the rangers could be playing better and im not comfortable with this team yet but at the same time its very early in the season and im much happier that we always find the resolve to win games no matter how we do it. its great that we’re gettin these points now. and as far as rozy goes, he had an ok game on monday. even though he was on the ice for the goal against(damn this guys either really unlucky or the other team knows hes struggling right now and theyre takin advantage of it)i think he ‘s not been THAT BAD. hes in a slump and will get out odf it.

  104. orr i traded pruchs and rozy for jordan staal and orpik on 09. god i wish it was that easy in real life lol

  105. Speaking of free agents, I just read Buccigross’s column on ESPN (which I normally don’t like).

    He made a good point about Ryan Malone being a nobody this year. Granted Tampa is a mess. But I thought it was interesting because probably 3/4 of the posters on this blog were wetting their pants to sign him.

  106. i also love at the end of the playoffs in 09 or 08 i would always trade my number 1 pick(30th) for the worst teams(1st) and throw in a prospect like moore or paranteau lol

  107. jjp its because the whole tampa team just threw all these new guys together and had no time to click. he also just had 1 good season last yeaar. remember when we picked up cullen after canes won cup? what happened? nada. and aaron ward too

  108. i really mis nylander. i wish he couldve been kept. we wouldnt have needed gomer even though hes a great playmaker i think nylander was better for the money. i think he wanted 4-5 mill. thats 2 mill less than gomer and wouldve been gone after 2 years makin cap room for artie and resigning doobs and nicky

  109. Dude1994, Yes the renovations will supposedly include handicap seating. This does me no no good now. It also does not solve the attitudinal problems that are rampant.

    Casey, Any removal of chairs to improve wheelchair access is news to me and disability serves at MSG. I call every year when the season starts and every year I am told no changes have been made. I am told that when the renovations are made wheelchair seating will meet the legal requirements. Somehow this does not reassuring. On the MSG website about the renovations no information about wheelchair access is included. The problems at MSG go well beyond signs.

  110. I was all about Malone. I still think he could be a very effective player on most teams. Not NEARLY worth $5mil/per though. $4mil…maybe.

  111. does anybody know where our 2nd rnd. pick derek stepan, i think his name is.? i know he was way too small yet but where is he and whats his stats?

  112. Who Needs Lohan on

    Hey since all we have been talking about today is Wheelchair Seating and Mara jerseys I thought I’d mention something that has gotten little or no attention this year that deserves a ton in my opinion.

    And that is the work Lundqvist must have done on his stick handling ability in the offseason. Its hard to judge but I would bet that he has saved a large handful of goals against this season already based simply on his increased ability to move the puck. He has gone from way below to maybe even above average in this area in one offseason.

    Thought it was worth mentioning. Anyone agree? Disagree?

  113. lohan- yes hes improved but still needs work. i think as long as he doesnt try goin behind the net alot like last year he’ll be ok. i notice that when he goes behind net he looks more comfortable but im glad that he doesnt get caught back there like last year. lets hope he doesnt start gettin too confident and try pullin a mike smith lol

  114. Who Needs Lohan on

    yeah mike, he isnt a great stick handler yet, but the improvement has been huge and it is quite evident to me.

    Thought it should be mentioned….

  115. Beer Me…thanks for posting Zip’s article. My favorite quote from Renney was “Just go play hockey and see what happens.”

    Couldn’t agree more with that sentiment.

  116. I’d agree that it deserves some attention. I still get really nervous when he leaves the crease though. Wasn’t too hard to improve on how bad he was at it! haha

    Speaking of that…when the NHLPA meets before the A.S. game in January, removing the ‘trapezoid’ next season is on the agenda.
    (see yahoo/nhl)

    I never liked it really. I’d rather the goalies be ‘fair game’ if they play the puck in the corner. Now, I know that ‘fair game’ will be blown out of proportion, but I say that for lack of a better term.

    Surely if you go down and level a goalie, there’s going to be serious reprecussions. But at the same time, you can’t just let the guy be immune. Perhaps not get called for a ‘pick’ if you stand inbetween him and the crease?

    It was getting ridiculous how many – scoring – offensive chances were negated due to goalies playing the puck in never-never land. I DO think there should be something to deter a goalie from playing the puck so far out of the crease with fwds charging down the ice.

  117. RobC – you got it. The thing with that is…it’s reckless. And so far from what they’ve been taught the last few years, there’s bound to be an adjustment period, as should be expected. (it won’t be here, but that won’t be a surprise)

    I REALLY like the fact that Voros knows exactly what his role is. And knows when he’s not fulfilling it.

  118. I DO think there should be something to deter a goalie from playing the puck so far out of the crease with fwds charging down the ice……..

    I think a 2min penalty is too much. Maybe leave the trapezoid there, but change the foul to a faceoff inside the zone?

  119. Bill – I’m really sorry to hear about your plight, and how hard it is for you to get to a game. You do really deserve more, but since when has Dolan or Ranger’s ownership EVER been about stuff that the fans deserve?

    And if its any relief at all, the tight hallways/aisles in MSG ensure that EVERYBODY gets bumped into constantly. I’d had plenty of big guys nearly knock me down cause they’re talking to their friend behind them, and walking straight into me. Again though, you DO face a unique set of problems going to a game, and they SHOULD do all they can to relieve those…

    Lohan – its openly obvious Henrik worked on his stickwork and is a LOT more confident with it. I think him and Orr are the 2 guys that most openly show as improved.

  120. also hank is entering his prime of his career and has generally improved on everything, rounding out his game. he looks better on high shots and seems to not let in a flukey goal every game. hes pretty much solidifying the aspects of his game that needed improving on from years before. i believe that by end of his career he’ll be the leading goalie for rangers wins. and i think hes got a good chance of breakin roys and most likely brodeurs win record. as long as he stays healthy. long live the KING!!!!!!

  121. Lohan-I did bring that up last week. Remember Lundqvist cost himself a couple of goals by handling the puck. This year, he seems to have a plan and doesn’t panick and get caught out of position.

    Bill-talk to a manager at MSG. I’m pretty sure the guy I get my tiks from said his old seats were gone to make a handicap section.

  122. Who Needs Lohan on

    BeerMe, I actually dont get nervous anymore, and thats probably why I think he is so improved. More work is needed, but it has made a huge differences.

    Moving the puck leads to less time in own zone which leads to less scoring chances against and less penalties taken. Well, either way, I wanted to shed light on something positive where most of the others here wouldnt say anything unless it was something negative.

  123. Lohan,

    Good call on Lundqvist’s improvement playing the puck.

    Jeever,
    Along with Lundqvist’s improved stick work and Orr’s overall game being most improved. I think you can add Mara’s consistency and “mean streak” along with the biggest improvements of the same players since last season.

  124. Bill:

    MSG has removed seats in certain sections of the 200/300 level walkways. Basically it’s a big indent in the walkway where seats were removed in the last row of that particular section, for the wheelchairs to watch the games. I know this because I have walked past it, most recently last Saturday. I would call again if you seriously want to attend a game.

  125. Beer – It could be perceived as reckless, sure. But I don’t think it implies an overhaul of the “defense-first” system Renney has implemented. However, I think Renney might mean this in terms of how they play in the offensive end of the rink.

    I get the sense at times that some of the players are on auto-pilot. Rather than look to make a play towards the slot or in front of the net, they simply throw the puck behind the net, even when a teammate isn’t there. Part of being a successful hockey club is the willingness to make smart, aggressive plays in the offensive zone. The Rangers look almost nervous and unsure of themselves in the offensive end because they’re not playing to their instincts, it seems. Hopefully Renney’s comment means they’re shifting their focus a bit in that regard.

  126. Tony from AZ, It is common in the New York City area to locate handicapped seating in obscure or simply terrible locations. Part of the problem with MSG is that the most famous disabled fan, Chris Reeve, sat in a luxury box. Reeve did not care about the average disabled fan and how they were abused. What worries me is that MSG will locate handicap seating in high priced areas when the renovations are complete. The Devils did this in Newark and I simply cannot afford to spend $250 per ticket to get in the door. For me and my son to attend a game the cost of tickets, parking, and gas is close about $600.

  127. Bill,

    From what I know about my experiences with the handicap seats at MSG (I was in an accident a few years ago and had major problems walking for a while) is that I THINK you have to purchase a seat in MSG, ANYWHERE in MSG, called their disabled persons services when you purchase the seats and they will put you and your guest in the designated rows for disabled patrons.

    Also, a full row is missing between the 00’s and the 100’s at the 7th Ave side of the building, not sure if that is new or not.

  128. Sorry for the typo, I added an “ed” on called, it’s suppose to read:

    call their disabled persons services when you purchase the seats and they will put you and your guest in the designated rows for disabled patron

  129. agree with those who said orr’s skating and henrik’s stick handling improved quite a bit.

    also love mara’s game this yr in every way. i think he is helped by not looking over his shoulder as last yr he sat quite a bit. his confidence and team play are quite evident. he is helped by not having extra dmen.

    at a minimum i want Valley to get 1 of the games in fla and 1 in cal. keep henrik fresh.

  130. “agree with those who said orr’s skating and henrik’s stick handling improved quite a bit.”

    Damn straight!

    I’m also liking Cally as a hitting forward (since we have a few poke-checking defenseman) and a finisher. This kid could could be L337 one day!

  131. Bill:
    That is horrible to hear about Prudential Center. I seriously hope that is not the case once MSG is renovated.

    Trust me though; I am not trying to defend the Garden. It sounds like things were not handled properly with you in the past and that is a shame. I just felt the need to mention that I definitely have noticed changes for this season and that it was good to see. I hope when you come to the Garden again it is better for you.

  132. rangers will never win the cup with renney,
    he coaches scared, and is not willing to do what it takes to win the cup. that is play the best players, not youre safest. one round and out!

  133. RobC – yeah, I don’t think it’s focussing on ‘overhauling’. Moreso getting a quicker step in the opening period. Or even a LEAD before the last 5min of the 3rd.

    In a sense, it’s a testament to how much dedication there is to a system that they believe in. In that they step on the ice before the opening faceoff and know exactly what their ‘assignments’ are. Where to be without having to take more than 2-3 steps to get there.

    It has it’s dissadvantages for sure. But I still think they’re moving in the right direction (save for the pp).

  134. Bull dog,

    So who do you want?

    Let’s hear it Renney haters…

    All of you say “we’ll never win a cup with Renney” but not a single one of you ever offer a suggestion as to who can bring us to the promise land.

    And as I always say, please don’t tell me Mike Babcock or so no-namer we’ve never heard of from some random Junior team in Prince Edward Island.

  135. tortarella,tortarella tortarella!
    stanly cup winning coach! lets not be satisfied with a good regular season, followed by the usual out coached in the playoffs.

  136. John Tortorella was a great coach in the OLD NHL and didn’t do jack squat in the NEW NHL, which is why he was fired and yet to be rehired.

    Next…

    Also, provide a reason as to why.

    I can go all day refuting these to warn you.

  137. BEER

    Lol, nice link. If only Rozi shot the puck half as many times as the bot did, he’d be in a lot better shape.

    MIKEIA

    Lol, hell yeah, i do the same thing. Ill sometimes sign a good free agent, and trade my 1st with it for the worst team’s 1st. Sometimes i get greedy and wanna keep my 1st though. If it were that easy the NHL would be scary.

  138. I miss Torts’ blow ups during a game. It was classic after a game in the 07 playoffs against the Devils, he told some writer to get the fugg out, and it was live. Fuggin hilarious ! Love the guy. He should coach Team USA in 4 years, or when ever it is. Gotta get someone with some fuggin fire.

  139. brandon,
    are you saying you are satisfied with a good regular season, and continual playoff failures. we both know he is not going to get fired this year, but i think we both know they are going to once again fall short in the playoffs. you need to play youre most talented players to win the cup, or even do well in the playoffs. that means not putting hollweg on the ice after a tying goal, or the betts line late in the third against the other teams top line. you need to play youre best players at the big times. that is something renney has never done, and never will.

  140. Rob, my guess is there was another event there this morning/afternoon (or the night before), and they added 30 minutes to make sure they can set up the arena properly. That’s all I can come up with because other teams around the league are mainly 7:00p est (or 10:00p pst).

  141. “but i think we both know they are going to once again fall short in the playoffs.”

    No offense ‘bull dog’. But that’s a crock of shit. And 1000000% negative speculation. And useless banter. Are you Larry Brooks?

  142. so Torts is a “Worthy” coach cause he won 1 Stanley Cup? So what was he the years before that, and the 8 months of coaching before he won the Finals? “trash like Renney”

  143. Well, I got far more response than I thought. Jeever, I agree getting bumped into at MSG is not a unique experience. I will also call MSG again. Many have suggested removing a row of seats to insure people who use a wheelchair have needed space. This is not an ideal solution but would mitigate many problems. Casey, All my experiences except one at MSG have been overwhelmingly negative. I am not looking for “special” treatment” and want ot be treated like anyone else. I am not the only disabled Ranger fan who feels this way. When I want to see the Rangers play I go to Washington, Boston, or Philly. If I hit the lottery I go to Newark. When at these arenas I always meet other disabled ranger fans who share my views.

  144. Couldn’t disagree more with anything you just said Bull. This is the NHL, not the NBA. You win as a team, not with individuals. We have a great system, one that involves us rolling 4 lines; I don’t see anything wrong with that. So far, it’s worked.

    Second, define success. Renney is still relatively knew to the organization by NORMAL coaching standards. He’s only one of two coaches in the ENTIRE NHL to go to the playoffs back-to-back-to-back years since the lock out.

    While he’s lost in the second round twice, he also won in the first round twice. Not to mention he significanly overachieved in 04 and took the Sabers in the brink in 05. The Pens series was very much up for grabs.

    So, no. I don’t really think there’s anyone else you can bring in to get us to play better.

    Listen, Renney doesn’t have the same kind of talent that other teams in the NHL do outside of a great goaltender.

    he doesn’t have an ovechkin or a crosby or a malkin or a lecavalier or a kovalchuk… Guys like Gomez and Drury — our best players — are second tier guys.

    He gets WAY more out of MUCH less by playing a great system.

    If anyone is to blame, it’s Glen Sather for paying too much in the wrong places and not enough in the right ones.

  145. beer
    do you believe he is the right coach? i know you are a renney defender, and honestly he has done a great job getting them to this point. but do you believe he can get them over the hump? i dont, and i am not satisfied anymore with just making the playoffs. there will be another coach that has to finish the job he started.

  146. It took Torts 3 years to win a Cup with the Lightning, not to mention the fact he had Vinny L, St Louis, and the Bulin Walls in their prime (and no Cup in 3 years since). Renney’s in his 4th year with the Rangers…

    Why is Torts considered such a great option compared to Renney?

  147. JESUS CHRIST, FORGET THE RECORD ALREADY!

    all of the people clamoring about how we can’t be a bad team due to our record need to stfu! WE’RE NOT LOOKING FOR THINGS TO COMPLAIN ABOUT, we’re just unsatisfied with the way the team has been playing! if you’ve watched the last few games and you don’t think there’s a problem you’re a fool.

    this team has been playing lazy and uninspired hockey since gomez went down. it doesn’t matter that we’ve won the last three games. WE’VE LOOKED TERRIBLE outside of hank. Ottawa is one of the worst teams in the league right now and we almost made alex auld look like a legit starter. we did the same thing with johnson from the caps when we played them.

    fourth line excluded, no one skates. we never dump the puck in anymore, instead just cough it up at the blue line while we try to enter the zone. when we do get the puck in deep, no one chases it down. the things that made this team successful at the beginning of the season seem to have vanished. the power play is COMPLETELY WORTHLESS and if it isnt fixed soon its going to start to cost us a lot of games, not to mention the playoffs.

    i don’t see enough fire from anyone on this team outside of the 4th line and marc staal. infact, id say we would be in serious trouble if hank wasn’t standing on his head every damn night.

    THERE IS ROOM FOR CONCERN about how they’re playing and IT IS MERITED. im not looking for reasons to complain, i just want to see this team firing on all cylinders. sure, some of you are happy with the record but if you actually watched the damn games maybe you’d see how awful we’ve been lately.

    fixes:
    perry pearn needs to be fired immediately.
    staal needs to see PP time.
    renney needs to wake up naslund.
    a combination of prucha / dawes / fritsche / rismiller need to be traded for a 7th dman or someone who can produce more.
    i might even bump sjo to the third line even though the 4th has been rock solid.

    if the last 3 games are any indication as to how were going to play tonight, we’re going to be shut out by luongo.

  148. shesends

    Excellent post.

    Brandon

    No disrespect, but would you please define what Renney’s “system” is?

  149. shesends is right. Just read the quotes by Dubi and Hank after the last 30-minute effort if any confusion remains about how fragile a base this record we all are thrilled with — and I am genuinely thrilled with it — is.

  150. haha who cares about winning or losing games… They should make sure everybody’s officially “PERFECTLY happy” with how the Ranger’s play.

  151. shesends – people have as much a right to disagree with your posts as you do to make them. so the stfu is totally unnecessary.

    someone asked about why 7:30. i think it was to accomodate vancouver for their tv for game to be 4:30 back there. seem to remember reading about it a month or so ago.

  152. dog – I’ll say this much. I hope so. Not only because I’ve been outspoken in defending him, but because he’s not going anywhere as long as we see another second round.

    I agree that making the 2nd round year after year isn’t anything to jump up and down about. But I’ve had enough of the f’n “instant gratification” with most Ranger fans.

    Most of you got a taste of success and take for granted the fact that of all 30 nhl teams the rangers (and the caps) have turned their franchises around faster than could be imagined.

    Not ALL Renney’s doing, but a big part of the transistion out of the lockout into a new style of play, new rules, new skill sets, new players, etc. And he gets sh!t on for having success. Doesn’t make any sense.

    You’ll never find a perfect nhl team. And if playing shitty gets you 2pts a night. Well, I’ll take it for now, keep my chin up horrible pp after horrible pp, and hope that this CONTINUAL WORK IN PROGRESS finds its stride in April and never looks back.

    Looking for perfection in November is pointless.

  153. I’d rather continue to win ugly then lose pretty.

    I doubt Scott Stevens looks down at his hands, sees 3 Stanley Cup rings and thinks to himself “damn, we were a boring team — it’s amazing we even won a game.”

    The Rangers play a puck possession, quick transition game that relies heavily on limiting the other team’s high scoring opportunities. While Henrik has had to make some big saves this year, he never faces 40 shots with consistently.

  154. and out of the fans who are happy with the Rangers so far, I don’t think ANYBODY thinks there’s no room for improvement, or thinks our PP is wonderful. Yeah it sucks, and yeah there’s lots of hustle and things we can do better.

    But I’d rather think about how awesome this team is doing right now. If all you nay-sayers are wrong, then we’ll have PLENTY of time to be pissed and angry and unhappy with the team, so why not enjoy a LITTLE success before the sky falls?

  155. I think Renney can bring his team to the Cup finals, and win a Cup. That doesn’t mean i think he’s a great coach, but eh. I have enough confidence in him to get the job done, but i think he is a little overrated, and doesn’t know how to coach players.

    I don’t care if he’s here or not anymore, im dealing with it. He’s not going anywhere, and to tell you the truth, the only way he gets fired is if we have a horrible year, like the Philly Flowers in 06-07, and im not willing to take a year of that. But then again, Wilson kept failing to get the Sharks past the Semi’s, so they let him go, so you never know.

    I saw on ESPN that Luongo is 2-7 against the Rangers in his career and his GAA is somewhere isn’t to great, and he lost 4 straight against Nyr, but those 4 were with the Cats i think. Obviously he’s much better, and he has a way better defense in front of him, but hopefully they can pepper sauce him to death n back !!

    Lets go Rangers ! Mats Naslund is coming !

  156. The idea of systems in hockey is a little overblown, because in reality a “system” only applies to what a team does at even strength when it doesn’t possess the puck and how it plans to get that possession back.

  157. “LOL! Montoya is 1-7-0 3.29 GAA in the AHL”

    Getting Sjostrom for Montoya has been an absolute steal.

  158. “The Rangers play a puck possession, quick transition game that relies heavily on limiting the other team’s high scoring opportunities. While Henrik has had to make some big saves this year, he never faces 40 shots with consistently”

    those are the most accurate sentences uttered on this blog today

  159. “If you’re among those who believe Renney is a build-the-foundation guy (such as Roger Neilson) and Tortorella a finish-the-job guy (such as Mike Keenan), you might be onto something”

  160. Let me ask you something shesends. If we have been so “awful” – loaded term, mind you — what have the other teams been?

    Is the NHL really THAT bad?

    I don’t thing the argument of Henrik carrying us holds enough weight since he’s not facing 40 shots a night. I mean, the Bruins were unbeatable til they came to the Garden, so were the Penguins, so were other teams. But, we’ve continued to find ways to win.

    So if we’re playing “awful” then how are the other teams playing? Are the Bruins minor leaguers? Do the Senators belong in the AHL as well?

    I don’t understand.

    Could we play better? Yes. Could we hustle more and establish more of a forecheck? Yes. Could we be crisper on the breakout? Yes. Could we be more efficient on the pp? Yes.

    So we’re inadequate in all these departments, yet we’re still winning.

    To me, that’s exciting. If we were playing our BEST and LOSING, that’s someting to worry about. Why? Because that means we’re just not GOOD ENOUGH.

    This is quite the opposite. We’re not playing out best — yet — but, we’ve been plenty good enough to win.

    Imagine what we’ll be like when we hit our stride.

  161. John Tortorella and Tom Renney are best of friends, and Tortorella has stated that he would never take the Rangers job at the expense of his friend.

    The Tortorella coming in here as Mariano Rivera theory isn’t going to happen.

  162. Who coaches Philly again? How did that guy take a team of all new faces and get his squad rolling hard enough to go from last place to the ECF last year?

    Do you think PHI has a more talented team, or a better goaltender than NYR? Do you think they had easy breaks getting to the ECF? Do you think coaching had anything to do with it?

    Philly went from zero to hero…

  163. “Philly went from zero to hero”

    Philly lost to the same team in the playoffs last year as we did.

    If they played Pitt in the 2nd round like we did they would have lost too.

  164. Salty,

    That’s all great and true for last year, but Philly is now going from Hero to Zero.

    They look like dog shit.

  165. if the Rangers played the Caps and Canadiens (after their brutal series with the Bruins) last year, we would have been in the EC Finals too.

  166. “If you’re among those who believe Mickey Mouse is a build-the-foundation guy (such as Roger Neilson) and Bugs Bunny a finish-the-job guy (such as Mike Keenan), you might be onto something”

    The names don’t matter as much as the concept that lies beneath… unless Renney get get this team ROLLING, and I don’t mean pipsqueaking out little pussyfart wins… I mean ROLLING through the bitch teams and battling down hard with the stiff competition… then I think we’ve gotten all we’re going to get out of him as far as taking us out of the cellar… but that Nice Guy sh1t will only get you so far. You don’t have to be an aeshole, but your players have to have that internalized fear of letting you down and getting on your bad side. So far Renney has picked on the Ukrussian kid who doesn’t speak english and Voros who makes his cake as a grinder…

    I’ve been saying this for 2 years and counting… Renney does not get the most out of his top guys … probably never will.

  167. …..“If you’re among those who believe Mickey Mouse is a build-the-foundation guy (such as Roger Neilson) and Bugs Bunny a finish-the-job guy (such as Mike Keenan), you might be onto something”

    The names don’t matter as much as the concept that lies beneath… unless Renney get get this team ROLLING, and I don’t mean pipsqueaking out little pussyfart wins… I mean ROLLING through the bitch teams and battling down hard with the stiff competition… then I think we’ve gotten all we’re going to get out of him as far as taking us out of the cellar… but that Nice Guy sh1t will only get you so far. You don’t have to be an aeshole, but your players have to have that internalized fear of letting you down and getting on your bad side. So far Renney has picked on the Ukrussian kid who doesn’t speak english and Voros who makes his cake as a grinder…

    I’ve been saying this for 2 years and counting… Renney does not get the most out of his top guys … probably never will.

  168. The highest quality of scoring chances that Hank had to deal with in the last two wins were generated not by the opposition but by his own defensemen making tape-to-tape passes to the wrong guys in the slot —- when relatively unpressured. That’s what concerns me.

    Really good hockey teams simply never do things like that.

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