The opponent is irrelevant


Longtime readers of the blog may already know about my boyhood fascination with Wayne Gretzky since “it’s something I’ve written about in the past”:

And yet even while acknowledging the extra charge in the building because of the Great One’s presence downstairs — decked in a fairly sharp gray blazer, he was sipping coffee and chatting with a throng of well-wishers –the return of the game’s greatest player to the Garden is only a sidebar in Rangerland. More important to most fans I presume is seeing some sign of life from your wayward team.

Again, no one should pin too much on the return of Scott Gomez. But there is something to be said for the fact that Gomez not only gives the Rangers a jolt on his own, but also takes some of the burden off of the players who were forced to pick up the slack in his absence (i.e. Drury, Naslund, even Dubinsky). But that’s just a working theory. Let’s see if it holds up.


Like I said above, there was a lot of familiar faces milling around downstairs. Not only is Gretzky back, but so is Don Maloney, as well as Doug Sulliman, the former Ranger first round draft pick who is in his first season as one of Gretzky’s assistant coaches.

I’ve written before about “Sulliman’s unique journey”:, going from a career in the NHL, to Wall Street, and now back into coaching under Gretzky. Let’s just say his timing in leaving the financial industry was pretty good, although he claimed it was luck more than anything else.


Let’s remember that the Coyotes last trip to the Garden was not a pleasant one for the Rangers. In a similar state as they are now, the Rangers were lifeless in a 5-1 loss. I asked Tom Renney if that game had any relevance tonight.

“I’d say no, but I do recall how they played and we watched,” Renney said. “We don’t need that.”

On this many would agree.

More later…

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  1. hahaha, yeah I was at that game last year =\

    Spent 115 bucks on a ticket to sit in the 100-200 level instead of the 300-400, and boy what a bad game to decide

  2. graves9
    November 24th, 2008 at 6:24 pm
    Ten bucks says the Betts line gets more icetime than the Korpkiski line. Any takers?

    Not even the Renney lovers take that bet. The hyena must go.

  3. ok i just saw those review on msg of the yotes flyers game. if we dont forecheck hard im gonna walk over to msg and beat up thomas renney

  4. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on


    that’s not a fair bet.Blair Betts is always getting more ice time than most of the other forwards,he is a GREAT talent haven’t you heard,that’s what all the Renneyade drinkers keep telling us.

  5. CCCP
    November 24th, 2008 at 7:01 pm
    Graves9… all i got is $7.80…but i am willing to sacrifice all of it… deal?

    Why not? Btw 5 minutes in Korpedo has like 15 seconds of icetime.

  6. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    how could any coach worth anything ever put Betts out with Z and Naslund? Can we please fire this Moron already!!!

  7. Why is the opponent irrelevant?
    this is a gimme week; 3 wins minimum should be expected.

    Renny’s clock is ticking

  8. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    I must say that Ryan Callahan is a winner.We need another one or two more of that type of player.

  9. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    about 11 minutes in,I bet the fourth line has the most ice time.

  10. I hope everyone gives credit where credit is due. Great pass by Z, great goal by Betts. This is our team people, there’s no need to try to discredit your least favorite player’s accomplishments

  11. Nice job backing up by Redden and Girardi instead of being agressive and getting the puck nearly lead to a goal.

  12. Lundqvist was great again. He made a half dozen point blank saves. The defensive was soft as hell. They backed in and was weak in front and in front of the net as usual.

  13. 16 shots allowed in the first period to Phoenix. They’ve scouted us very well. We gave the puck to them in our own zone on numerous occasions. Considering how little Phoenix pressures the puck, we could only allow these many shots by lack of puck pursuit on our part. Where’s the committment, boys? Poor period, I don’t care what the score is.

  14. Betts gets a lucky goal and our hyena coach double shifts him while he benches Korpedo and scratches Dawes.

  15. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    nice goal by Betts,better pass by Z. I was all wrong about Betts,after all,he is getting 2nd/1st line minutes and is now on pace to score…………8 goals!!!!.Renney has finally developed a STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. I can’t watch the game because I’m in class, but the stats look weak. We let up 16 shots, which is wayyyyyy too many. Even more frightening is that most of them are close range all aroud the net, which looks like a complete lack of support for Hank. Once again the D hangs him out to dry. That and we’re tied with a team that we should be rolling through. Finally, Rozsival is on the ice for another goal. This looks bad from the stat sheet, how’s it look on the ice?

  17. alex b (the poster formely known as czechthemout!!!!) on

    If not for the king they would be down 4 or 5 to 1 so far.They had some moments in the first but still an overall poor period against a team we should be dominating.

  18. joe, it wasn’t Rozi’s fault for that goal… he was the only one backs on a two on one, he played the man with the puck and Staal didn’t get back to cover the other man. Hank didn’t grab a rebound so on the second attempt it went in…

    yea the d isn’t hot… this might be Mara’s worst showing of the season…

  19. Agravaine, thanks for the synopsis. The D really needs to tighten up. What happened to the puck possession game the Rangers were playing earlier in the season? The opposition can’t score if they don’t have the puck

  20. Girardi and Redden keep taking shots every chance its a good sign… Staal and Rozi have both had god plays in their own end… they need to keep moving in the right direction.

    We have a pp now, the true test..

  21. no shorthanded goal… a giveaway by Gomez wasted some time, conservative but a good keep by Rozi kept the second half in the zone The Dubi Nas Z line had better control…

  22. Gomez has looked better and better as the game goes on. He is skating surprisingly well. Girardi and Redden have looked alot better this period. Zherdev has owned the puck. He had lately overhandled the puck tonight he’s made a bunch of nifty passes.

  23. i guess my Redenbacher comparison to Renney didnt go too well eh…I thought about it so hard though… lol

  24. yea.. I was worried about Girardi and Wade in the ifrst period but your right tey are settled…

    and Z does look good, anyone a tthe game save your ticket his 200th pint, get that baby signed!

  25. Agravine, I don’t want to get on your case, but coincidentally my only reason for posting something right now is because of my anger at rozi. At about the 15:30 mark, he once again loses the puck in his zone and it ends up in between the circles. Then joe michelleti praises his ass for lifting the stick of the forward who was about to deflect the shot, calling it a great defensive play. I tend to keep my opinion to myself at times because it changes week after week. Lol. I feel like staal isn’t playing such a great defensive game (look at tht he’s paired with rozi) gomez stick handling seems a little shaky but its not something we can really complain about since its his first game back. Henrik, brilliant. Dru made some bad decisions too. Also, now that im really putting a lot into this post, speaking of dru, I wish we had ron wilson behind the bench. Im not a renney basher, but I feel like he’s not really the coach to lead this team anywhere. Ron wilson benched his high profile players earlier this season such as jason blake for example, and that set the tone for the team, that EVERYONE IS TREATED EQUALLY AND YOU EARN WHAT YOU GET. Maybe if renney benched some players that don’t deserve to play at times (rozi, dru-yes dru-,dubi-hes not playin the same way as a few weeks ago, he tries too much by himself-, voros,) this team needs a tougher coach. Promote renney to the front office or something. And one last note, lol am I the only one that is likeing the way naslund is playing lately??

  26. hmm that wasn’t the play I was talking abut, but the two have had some good plays… Dan and Wade looking better Mara and Kal the weak pair, but they are the ones who relaly need to get used to each other…

    btw GOmez is looking better as game goes on..

  27. why is don maloney bleeding from the head were him and dave rough housing before the cameras came on

  28. Funny how everyone that plays with Kalinin plays their worst game. Isn’t he injury prone? Why hasn’t he gotten hurt yet?

  29. Way better period than the first. Its damn good to see Dubi score a goal, hopefully he keeps it going, cause we need him to produce. Nazzy is looking good, to bad that fuggin puck bounced off his stick or else he would have been all alone with Bryzgalov, and Nicky Z obviously is the best player once again, other than Hank.

    I hope Rozi scores a couple of goals, cause i think the Yotes have enough space to fit in his contract. Maybe we can squeeze Carcillo from them, which wont happen, but it did happen in NHL 09, mwahaha, i love it !!

    As for the “mocking” of Dubi. Who cares if its “classless”. They don’t call this guy the “new Avery” for nothing. Its a damn shame we couldn’t get him out of Phoenix in that trade last year, maybe if Monty wasn’t such a fuggin bust we’d be able to get him.

    Anyone see Carcillo waiving his tongue at that chick ?? That was pretty funny.

  30. Oh my oh my oh my
    Another odd man rush to deny
    Lundqvist left out to dry
    Leaving Lundqvist at the Guillotine to die

    Dubi shoots one of the metal
    I hope he does not settle
    Keep up the fight inside
    Get off of that scoring slide

    Dubinsky gets into a fight
    I thought Orr was supposed to shed that light
    Four minutes passed and there goes the lamp
    They sure are not playing like champs

    The puck goes in the net
    Because of a 4th liner named Blair Betts
    Looked like Gomez with his jets
    This team is starting to make me fret

    Somehow we got the first period by
    Struggling we somehow managed a tie
    Against the worst of the west
    We must continue on and finish this contest

    Oh why oh why oh why
    Another odd man rush to deny
    Lundqvist left out to dry
    Leaving Lundqvist at the Guillotine to die

    Rangers hands go up because of Dubinsky
    Not lets make it 1-3
    And how about the play of Z
    Once the Rangers pick them off Free Agency
    I’m sure I will buy one of their jerseys

    Everytime we are on this 5 on 4
    Somehow we seem to fail to score
    Gomez could have a 50 goal season route
    If only he could learn to shoot

    Gomez was flying, Drury was defensively sound
    Lundqvist dominant with little rebounds
    Dubinsky edge was electrifying
    Mara keeping pucks away from the Swedish king

    Dominating period, lets hope for the same
    For the third period, and the rest of our games
    Good period for Rozi and the defensive crew
    3rd period those players looked like the bled true blue

    Dont cry, Don’t cry, Don’t cry
    Very little odd man rushes to deny
    With Lundqvist left out to dry
    Leaving Lundqvist at the Guillotine to die

    They score another goal, Girardi puts one in
    They finally do it with a man in the sin bin
    These lines seem to be clicking; there is a great aura
    They are having scoring chances in bunches and plethoras

    We kill off a penalty, then push it up ice
    As Borat would say it they are looking “very nice”
    These lines seem to be clicking; both D and O
    Working down the ice with a consistent flow

    Coyotes pull their goalie to get the extra skater
    Gomez then shoots down the ice to put in the final deflator
    The team has won with Gomez being the much needed man
    This is the story of how the Rangers winning streak began

    Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye,
    No more odd man rushes to deny
    Lundqvist no longer left out to dry
    For today, Lundqvist was not left at the Guillotine to die

  31. paul mara played stong with kalinin…staal played his worst game as a ranger. get those two back together soon, it means a lot to players who they play with and they have chemistry,….rosie was still bad

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