For once, the blog is right

45

I made the case before the game last night that Scott Gomez’s return “could have a trickle down effect on the rest of the Rangers lineup”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2008/11/24/the-opponent-is-irrelevant/.

Hey, what do you know, “that was exactly the case.”:http://www.lohud.com/article/20081125/SPORTS01/811250380/-1/SPORTS

I next plan to turn my prognosticating to the financial markets. Who’s with me? Anyone? Hello?

Again, it wasn’t a perfect win by any stretch. Against a promising but ultimately mediocre Phoenix team, the Rangers again surrendered far too many odd-man rushes to start, and if it wasn’t for Henrik Lundqvist, the score after the first period could have been fairly one-sided (I think I’m going to block save that text since I seem to use it a lot).

But — and here the “but” is fairly important — the Rangers finally found way to settle down. Hard forecheck. Good back pressure. Poised decisions with the puck. Lather, rinse, repeat.

How much of an impact did Gomez make? Plenty, actually. Along with his ridiculous run on faceoffs — he finished 19-4 — he was the player who consistently steered the puck out of trouble and up ice. Combine that with his upbeat vibe and you forget how important a player Gomez is to the Rangers when he’s healthy — which he hasn’t been for most of the season.

——

A lot of worthwhile stories in the paper today on the Great One’s return — I’m talking Gretzky, not Gomez — to the Garden.

Mark Herrmann at Newday chose a different path, “looking at Phoenix rookie Viktor Tikhonov”:http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/ny-spmark255941226nov25,0,5974154.column, who is the grandson of the infamous Soviet coach of the same name.

——

Meanwhile, Tom Renney’s defensive pairings seemed to make a difference as well, and here’s why: While Michal Rozsival continued to stumble on some isolated plays, last night he had the benefit of Marc Staal backing him up. The result was Rozsival at least seemed to have the confidence to be more decisive with the puck.

Again, he wasn’t perfect. But as opposed to a player who has both gun shy and ineffective in recent weeks, Rozsival was at least as proactive as I’ve seen him in some time.

Besides, whatever you think of Rozsival’s play this season, at least he hasn’t had this happen yet.

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45 Comments

  1. Sam, I don’t care what Gomez says about your ears, they’re not big at all.

    Sincerely,

    Dumbo the Elephant

  2. onecupin67years on

    The beat a team that they should have beaten.
    Still got behind early.
    I wouldn’t book the parade just yet.

  3. Gomer was great on faceoffs. He was much less than spectacular on giveaways and errant plays though. I will chalk it up to rusty, but a few times he tried to do WAY too much and got caught.

    Z was on fire. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t think he should be our PP QB?

    Betts has been fantastic all season. Is it me or did he pick up a little speed in the offseason? Maybe Orr and he skated together or Betts seeing Orr’s skating skills improve motivated him. Nonetheless, Betts is great. And Bob, please for once and for all, STFU about getting rid of Betts.

    Redden again, uggh. The guy is slow and he will get faster or slower over the next 5 yrs?

    Rosy….WTF! I mean one play in our D zone he tried to outwait a guy, got outwaited, and gave the guy the puck. (This was the 1st or 3rd period, I cannot remember but they were in their home defensive end.) Another play in our D zone during the 2nd period, same thing trying to come up the left boards. I mean I am trying to be glass half full with the f-ing guy but it’s a drought in the desert with him. I mean part of me thinks Renney called the scorer’s table to add Rosy’s name on the Betts’ goal. I mean Z made the play and Betts finished it. Then like 5 mins later on the PA they announced a 2nd assist to Rosy. CHALLENGE!

    Again we started slowly. But better that we just had 10 mins of sluggishness than 20+. Also, we actually made it nearly a full 5 mins before yielding a goal. So that was an improvement.

    Hats off to Dubi for his G Howe hat trick. But clearly he doesn’t watch hockey fight highlights. If he had, he would know that Carcillo is in Orr’s league. I mean once I saw the gloves come off, I was hoping it would be a short fight with a lot of clutching. He’s got courage though. And, it lit a spark for him.

    Nice rebound of a game by Hank.

    Tampa tomorrow, no letdown please!!

  4. Wow, the guy at Ranger Review, linked by LI Joe in the previous thread, makes Renney doubters like me look like Mother Theresa in the rhetoric department.

  5. Z was so good last night-had he kept the puck after the double-spinorama it would have been the year’s highlight. He set up 3 more goals that never went in including 2 by Dubi. I wonder if he was trying to impress The Great One.

    So our 2 weakest (The R & R show) links are being protected by guys that are getting on average 20% of their salaries. How long do they ride this one?

  6. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Nice to see numbskull finally put the most obvious line combo together!! Where’s LI JoeDirtBag?! Z, Naz and dubi looked awesome…dubi was back to his old tricks (in a good way) and that’s what I expected. Nice to see him drop the gloves w/carcillo too.

    All Is ok in rangersland. I’d still like Hank facing less against a bad team.

    And, question, why did gomez play so much time his first game back from a stress fracture? I mean, he helped, but his line produced nothing (sans empty netter). The dubi line carried this offense. Nice to see betts and girardo get on the score sheet too.

  7. This game was much more fun to watch than the last two abominations, however this was against a weak team who did not hit & pressure us & expose our still present inadequacies.
    The first half of the first period was us at our worst, once again, relying on Hank to cover our all too typical blunders.
    If something does not change soon, we have no chance to go far in the Post-season, in spite of Hank’s efforts.
    There is no way anyone will take our 2 horribly over-paid D-men off our hands thereby making it very difficult to be able to re-sign Dubi & Z to long term contracts.
    I like so much about this team, but the # of great scoring opportunities we give up has to be eliminated.
    This malady is not limited to just Redden & Rosi, either.
    We need a physical presence in front our net as well.
    How a supposed “defensive-minded” team can subject its goalie to such abuse is beyond me. Even Hank can only be great for just so long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Redden has an excellent shot, but it seems to always get blocked and never get through… have Redden and Zherdev play points on the first PP unit and we might have something.. Z can cycle the puck, draw attention and make a ridiculous pass without trying.

  9. Henrik Lundqvist:
    “We have very high expectations here, but we can’t be so unrealistic so that we forget to be happy with ourselves when we win games.”
    “When you don’t play well and win, you take the positive from winning. When you play well but don’t win, you take the positive from the good parts of the game. This one, we have to feel good about ourselves and the way we played, especially in the second and third.”

    So this is the setiment of the hands-down STAR of this team. His success following this thought process is pretty hard to overlook.

    Perhaps the 50% of the fanbase looking for perfection 82 times a year can take a page out of his book.

  10. First off, I wouldn’t call Phoenix a weak team. I have the Center Ice package, and I often watch them since they are the late game and I get stuck in class until 10. They are a good team. Young, but real gutsy and with lots of promise. Don’t forget that their record is against their division rivals, some of the best teams in the league. Plus they handed San Jose one of their 3 losses. Considering we were 1-10 against Western conference teams last year, I consider this win a worthy achievement.

    I’m disappointed in Orr for not having fought Carcillo. That kid is tough and probably out of Dubi’s league as far as pugilistic skill goes. We obviously don’t keep Orr around for his offensive prowess, so when push comes to shove he should be the one dealing the punches, not our 2nd line center. Dubi has balls, though. I think his team appreciates that he doesn’t need to fight and does anyway. He reminds me of how Shanny was, or how Mike Richards is. If we let him get away we will be kicking ourselves for years.

    Z is incredible. He is so much more of a player than we could have expected. He brings skill and crazy energy, which the team seems to feed off. I would love to see him and Girardi QB the PP. That would be a neat experiment.

    So with that said…WTF do we do with Prucha?

  11. Oh look, the coach changes his lines up and defensive pairings and hey presto, everyone on the blog’s the next coming of Scotty Bowman and Renney’s reading the blog for tips on how to be a hockey coach apparently – pah!

    As we have an 82 game season it is fair for the coach to remain faithful to players and line combinations for quite a few games in the hope that something will jumpstart them. If he were to change lines as quickly and as often as people here like, no player would have a clue if they were playing with Nas, Z or Orr each night. If we were losing every game then the changes would come more quickly i’m sure, but as we’re (even with adjusted standings for extra games played) in the top 5 in the conference whats the point?

  12. How did Dubi do in the scrap with Carcillo? (haven’t seen it yet, I am watching the game on re-run tonight)

  13. I was at the game last night. Other than the first 5 minutes, I thought the Rangers played a very solid game. Yes, Hank was very good, but I don’t know why we keep harping on that. Once a month he’s going to have a bad game…other than that, the guy is spectacular. You’re going to give up chances in this league, especially to a quick team like the Coyotes, who have very impressive team speed.

    I thought having Gomez back made a big difference. The Rangers are just a deeper, more complete club when he’s in uniform.

    Zherdev is unbelievable…he’s fast becoming one of my favorite players and I hope he’s around for a long time. He’s already got 200 NHL points, and hopefully he’ll hit many more milestones as a blueshirt.

    We need to rack up some more points this week, because as many people have pointed out, the schedule is really tough through December and January.

  14. Dubi didn’t do half bad until the end when he played too much defense (probably Renney talking in his head again). Then Carillo did a atomic plumb drop with his fist to his head- a real WWF move and waved his hand as if to say he is out of my league-which he was

  15. Dubi held on and managed to keep all his teeth…he did fine, but was noticeably at a disadvantage

  16. ummm Toys for Tots 4-7 at Bryant Park on 12/11 I think…

    Orr,

    since I first noticed it with Redden maybe its something he brought over and Tom thought it was a good idea? Because like you said I know for a fact they guarded against the pass and let Hank see the shot coming all last year, but then towards the end of the run we had a lot of pucks go off d mens skates when the puck handler tried to pass, that could be Renney’s worry, but its still wrong…

    I didn’t realize I had linked my Orr video here my apologies…

    hmmm there was something else… oh yea I thought Staal and Rozi would have been together form the start this year as well…

    and he did deserve that 2nd assist on the goal, I was surprised when he didn’t get announced at first. He had shoveled it through traffic to Z. I was sending someone updates and had to take his name off when they didn’t announce it. I was glad they corrected it later.

  17. Ha ha. Read Larry Brooks from yesterday.
    http://www.nypost.com/seven/11242008/sports/rangers/rangers_need_new_look_140507.htm

    First he deals with the obvious like its some sort of scoop (Redden and Roszi struggling) then sounds off like the messiah like he’d be able to trade away Prucha and Riss for anything at all and then so, so wrong about the line combos for last night – such a shocking piece of journalism from Uncle Larry…go Sam your the best..!!

  18. Rob C…

    just in time for our usual midseason slump… so then this year it will at least be against good teams? Here’s hoping they find a way through…

  19. we didn’t beat the same team last year-a team that had less experience.

    Jeez, Bob, isn’t it time for shock therapy?

  20. It was like an old friend showed up for 40 min 30 seconds of the game!! Dubi’s fight in the first is included in my count. He took on the first guy to touch Hank, that’s all there was to it, no waiting for Orr to get on the ice. But, the way they came out in the second was the team we have missed dearly for the last few weeks..I seriously wanted to hug the t.v. Some predictable snafu’s but they were cleaned up well.

    Staal is just so smart..him and a ‘yote rushing to the boards for a puck, the guy has a step on him and Staal knows any attempt would be interference or hooking etc, soo he just slows a step more to let the guy control the puck, then BAM now he can slam him right off. I had thought he was so good on D from playing against his brothers growing up but in an interview he said he ended up having to take D as the youngest kid in his league playing against others 2-3 years older.

  21. It’s comical how some of you are so quick to throw the “they beat who they’re supposed to beat” line out after we just lost to a team we were “supposed to beat”.

    Keep in mind, this is the NHL and this is hockey. It’s not the NFL or MLB where there are gimmee games against awful teams.

    Any team can win on any given night. Good teams win these games. Bad teams lose to these teams regularly. During the course of the season you’ll lose a few to Columbus, Tampa, etc. But, the teams that beat them more often then not finish in the top of the standings.

    There’s a VERY fine line that separates average from great in the NHL.

    Don’t kid yourself by downplaying a win just b/c of the opponent.

    The Rangers don’t make the schedule, so whoever they put in front of them on a given night is who they’re playing.

    So to all of you I say, DUHHHHH!!!!!!!

  22. Absolutely a win against a lesser team… doesn’t change the fact that they played well for most of the game. Hank, Zherdev and Dubi especially.

    Like Rosen said… you get Gomez back and it balances things out quite a bit… even if he isn’t the next coming of Gretzky the team played some of their worst games while he was injured. Not a coincidence.

  23. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Brandon, I think we’re all happen with the win. However, the success came at the cost of 35/36 saves by lundqvist and many of those not the ‘ordinary’ variety. It will be nice to see they tight defensively especially when tested by good teams.

    So there’s joy, but with a general apprehension this team (and the lazy/weak play from the slump) isn’t out of the woods yet.

  24. I’m missing the point of your post, Brandon. I’ll also add this: It’s one thing to lose games to a team that is “weaker” or less talented from time to time… it’s another thing to get embarrassed in those games by not showing up or playing to your 100% potential… *win or lose*. Even worse when that becomes a trend.

    As you find one thing comical, I find other things comical… for instance, UKRanger posts…who admits he *didn’t even see the game*, yet continues to spout off comments about it.

  25. Bob,

    When we won the cup in 94, were you pissed off and calling for everyones head that it was only won in the 7th game? Did you even know who the Rangers were then? Were you even born?

  26. I liked pairing Staal with Rosi.

    Good mention that Staal can pick up Rosi’s defensive slack, and hopefully give Rosi more confidence.

    These two signings are going to haunt us for some time if we can’t move either of them.

  27. Good Game Last night

    -Dubi was his early season self
    -Girardi has got to be one of the best bang for your buck defensmen we’ve had. His shot always seem to get through (Hmmh hmm Redden, Rosi, you watching his play?)
    -Hank was Hank, great comeback game after the Vancouver debacle.

    Only thing I could not stand last ngiht is Rosen And Douchelletti. I was flipping between the ISles game and the Wash game, and I swear we have two of the worst announcers in the NHL.

    Im just sick of Rosen and his Ass licking of every team we play. I swear he’s not even watching half the time, misses plays as there happening, calls our own guys by the wrong name. I heard him on the Eagels game on Sunday, GO stay with the NFL!!

    I’d take Maloney and is AM partner over them in a heartbeat and there not even that good.

    Im starting a new website : http://WWW.FIRESAMROSEN.COM

    Sam if you see Rosen in the hallay next game, please tell him to try and WATCH THE FING game!!!

  28. Sam Rosen’s synapses may not fire as fast as they used to, but he’s still one of the premiere announcers in all of sports. Joe, on the other hand, is the most speculative color commentator I have ever heard. His favorite line is “I think that hit a stick, it must have been deflected”. Ha, the guy things every single goal is a deflection.

    To your point Salty, I don’t think I was trying to make a point. In my world, a win is a win. If you want to point out some inconsistencies or deficiencies in our game, that’s one thing. But, to just come out with the “big deal, we’re supposed to beat Phoenix” jargon, you’re just being ignorant and negative.

    I don’t think you made any of those comments specifically, but if you scroll up, there were quite a few of them.

    So, to those folk I say, would you have rather played a tighter game and lost to this team?

    You don’t come out of a slump playing perfect. We took a step in the right direction.

    Imagine if we took ANOTHER step backwards? Like that couldn’t have happened?

  29. I couldn’t disagree more about Sam Rosen.

    I know I’ve said this before, but I broadcasted many sporting events throughout college, hockey included, and let me reiterate…IT IS EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. It’s easy to hate on these guys from our couches…but seriously, try it yourself. Mute your television, and announce the game as you think would be the correct way to do it.

    Can’t see the numbers? Oh, sometimes neither can Sam and Joe. Even though they’re at the game, most hockey uniforms don’t have numbers on the front, and the ones on the sleeves are pretty tiny, especially for a guy like Sam who’s getting on in years. THAT’S why they get the a name wrong here and there. It’s not as constant as some people make it out to be.

    The game moves extremely fast. Usually if Sam has to catch up with a play, it’s because he’s reading a promo or something like that (which he HAS to do). You’re getting handed cards every few seconds during a broadcast (stats, promos, other odds and ends), and you have a producer and director in your ear giving you constant cues.

    Stop minimizing the profession by being so critical. Sports broadcasting is obviously a great job, but it’s also very diffcult.

    Also, if you think Billy Jaffe is a better analyst than Micheletti, then you have no clue what you’re talking about. Jaffe is an idiot.

  30. Joe in DE….Agree!

    If I am Renney, I am absolutely saying something to Orr about his best asset and how letting Dubi fight the guy, losing the decision, and spending 5 mins in the box is unacceptable.

    Orr needs to avenge the fight and take on the other team’s heavyweight at least once every 2 or 3 games. I cannot even remember Orr’s last fight.

    Hank has been getting run. Orr needs to do more than just try and skate. He has been taking the body a fair bit, but we need to see him fight some people.

  31. JOE IN DE

    Lol are you kidding ?!? Carcillo isn’t gonna fight Orr !! Especially with Todd Fedork telling him what happens if he does. I thought i saw the two talking, but nothing happened.

    He cant fight everyone. I want him to fight more people, but he cant force himself on guys like Rutuu, and Avery. What is he a rapist ?

    Either way, they played a good game. I wasn’t happy with the bad start in the first, but they bounced back, which obviously is good.

    This idiot Eklund is praising Nicky Z and Dubi, saying they’re part of a “Cup Winning Formula”, and are the future. Lol, this all comes a day after he says one of them could be moved to bring in Sundin. Ahahaha, what a loser.

  32. NEWMAN

    Like i just said, he cant force people to fight him. Fedork completely avoided this guy like he was death. He knows what happens when you piss Orr off.

    It was dumb for Dubi to fight Carcillo, if he watched the home & home series against the Stars & Yotes last season, i think he’d know why.

    I still blame Renney for changing Hollweg, and Orr’s game around so much that its cuasing them to not do what they’re supposed to do.

    How aboot Mitch Fritz ? To bad he’s on the Isles, that guys like Godzilla. I hope him and Orr go 3 rounds.

  33. ROB C

    Fuggin who then ???????? How aboot John “bitch” Giannone ?? Or maybe we can get that fat ass loser Wishuzin to stop doing WNBA games and do NYr games ??

    There’s nobody else. Damn sometimes i think Nyr fans just think of random things to complain aboot just for the hell of it. This isn’t an issue, and if it is, you guys need to get out sometime, and maybe get laid, or party, or do something fun.

    I like Sam, and Joe, they’re pretty funny, and they can be annoying sometimes, but when you think of who can replace them, it gets scarier. And don’t bring up Kenny Albert, with that guys voice, ill be asleep after the 1st period.

  34. Sam, everyone’s saying Rozy had the benefit of Staal backing him up. Where was Staal on PHOs first goal? He was the man going in, and ROZY was backing HIM up, no he didn’t stop the 2 on 1, but as much as hes not playing well, people need to give rozy the little credit he deserves on occasion.

  35. PETE

    It was Fritche’s fault. He made an idiotic pass that he clearly couldn’t make, on a moronic angle. I wouldn’t blame Staal there, the Rangers D likes to jump into play, that’s all he was doing, but Danny F had to make a retard pass, followed by a retard move by Rozi.

  36. Orr I was agreeing with you. I like Sam Rosen a lot! I think he’s a good announcer and certainly bring energy to the games. Micheletti is fine too.

  37. Orr!!-There’s nobody else. Damn sometimes i think Nyr fans just think of random things to complain aboot just for the hell of it.

    I agree, too much complaining going on. I believe Sam Rosen is going to call games until he says so. I can’t remember the transition from Jim Gordon/Bill Chadwick. Was it Gordon/Espo, or did Rosen and Espo replace them at the same time? Just wondering.

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