Off to Florida


Tom Renney was in short sleeves and Aaron Voros was talking up a poker game on the plane. By every measure, the Rangers are ready for their two-game swing through Florida, if only because of how they emerged from their most recent funk last night against Phoenix.

It was a quick, upbeat practice, followed by plenty of banter in the locker room afterward. The plan is to spend tonight and tomorrow night in Tampa, work out there during the day on Thanksgiving, then fly to South Florida where they’ll have a team Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night.

This would have been the plan regardless of whether they won or lost. But the win last night does remove the sense of gloom that had hovered over the team after the previous two games. Or at least that’s how we saw it. Players said the nature of the schedule is you can’t dwell on any game for too long.

With that in mind, I give you that great 21st century philosopher Brandon Dubinsky:

“It’s tough. You don’t want to make excuses, but every team is going to be helter skelter for a few games. They were tough, no doubt about it. But we have a great resolve in here and a group that sticks together in the best way. We were able to put that behind us and move forward. When you’re winning it’s about not getting ahead of ourselves and thinking we’re better than we really are. And when we’re losing it’s about not thinking we’re the worst team in the league.”


At the end of practices recently, Michal Rozsival has put himself through a standard defenseman drill in which he skates forward with the puck, passes it off to a coach, then accepts a pass back and skates with it backward. He does this several times in a row (I am great at that drill provided I can do it at the slowest possible speed. It’s a different story when you pick up the pace).

While Rozsival has yet to use his offseason hip surgery as an excuse for his mediocre play this season, he did acknowledge the need to continue to work on his skating. I believe it’s all connected. Because Rozsival’s mobility was limited to start the season, he has played poorly, which has affected his confidence…leading to more mediocre play.

Fact is, a guy who was a fairly productive NHL defenseman for most of his career doesn’t turn into a liability overnight without a reason.

“I feel I need to get back to work,” Rozsival said. “Even if the hip feels better, it’s still not strong enough. You have to work on it every day on the ice or off. It’s not just my hip. It helps my overall conditioning just to get a better feel for my skating: to get stronger and more comfortable. It helps your confidence to do a little bit more work. I hope it helps with my game.”

He’s not the only one.


At various points in his two seasons as a Ranger, Scott Gomez has made references to his own career as a journalist writing for his high school newspaper, The Rolling Thunder.

The subtext has always been the same — that anyone can do what we do standing around asking sweaty athletes questions (he usually does this while also making fun of someone’s clothes).

Maybe that’s true. But just to be sure, I asked Gomez to produce a copy of one of his articles for the Rolling Thunder. I figured he’s not permitted to make fun of newspaper reporters without at least subjecting his own work to scrutiny.

(In fairness, I should mention my own work writing for my high school newspaper, The Garnet and Black, was hardly Pulitzer material. I once wrote a story about our high school hockey team in which I quoted myself. To this day, my favorite interview).

“You know what, I definitely will,” said Gomez, who added he might bring in his high school yearbook as well since he wrote for that, too.

Don’t let me forget this. It’s important.

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  1. Nice game last night, but the slow starts still worries me. If the King isn’t so focused & the opponent has real goal scorers then we’re instantly in the whole. Not to mention what it does for the confidence. I think they still need to beat a good team 4-1 before I’m convinced they’re back on track.

  2. Is it me, or does Gomez seem like he could rub people the wrong way at times without meaning to?

  3. Rob C,

    I’m with you on the Sam Rosen front… sportscasting is a hard job and he does an exceptional job.

    One thing you didn’t mention that is quite possibly the toughest aspect… every night there’s a new team facing your team. You need to know their numbers, stats and history as well as the Rangers. Exceptionally tough when it’s a team you face once a year, like last night.

    Couple that with doing football as well (his choice) but he does great and is one of my all time favorites.

  4. This is my post from last night. I think it basically summarizes how I felt about the whole game and the past several games

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

    Rangers hands go up because of Dubinsky
    Now lets see them make it 1-3
    And how about the double spinnerplay by Z.
    The Rangers need to get them out of Free Agency

    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
    2nd 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 him at the Guillotine to die

    They score another goal, Girardi puts one in
    Finally with an opponent 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

  5. I love Gomez… what a jerk. I never knew anything about said “school paper” and the underlying message that goes along with it… absolutely classic.

  6. I’m still not a big fan of him or his cockiness, and especially not of his horrid contract, but Gomez DID play well against the ‘Yotes.

    That said, I bet he’s not half the writer you are, Sam.

    And, by the way, you’re not the only one who has quoted himself in an article, haha.

  7. Is it me, or does Gomez seem like he could rub people the wrong way at times without meaning to?


    Oh, I think he fully intends to. He puts the press *through he mill* and never really offers much of any substance as far as I can tell. He’s a player. He’ll talk to the press but he won’t give up much.

    “It is what it is.”

  8. Newman,
    I might be. I have no idea who or what that is

    I can’t move right now. My leg is casted because I injured it this past weekend. I wont be able to walk on it for the next 3 weeks…so why not…haha. I can either do this or study for finals…Oh the choices

  9. I’m still not a big fan of him or his cockiness, and especially not of his horrid contract, but Gomez DID play well against the ‘Yotes.


    I’m the first one to point out a bloated contract… but of our “Big Four”…Gomez I think is the best one so far. He’s the youngest, and has come to play every single night. Not worth $7M, but he’s closer to being worth his contract than Redden, Roszival, and Drury. (I’m not counting Hank’s contract, who is the clearcut winner if we did)

  10. I agree with Salty on that note. Gomer adds a new dimension to the team…Without him, I feel our team is a little more predictable. With Scotty, you don’t know what he is going to do…he is going to fly up…but is he going to dish it off, is he going to skate it in, is he going to dump and chase? He is half of the reason we made it into the O zone last night

  11. what the heck…

    completely off it for three weeks… man that sucks… I had to do that for about a month… ummm six weeks I think, then I could start putting some weight on my leg, but still not much…

    feel better :^)

    lol the internet was my friend then as well… so was my old SNES system lol.

  12. Thanks a lot Agravaine, Luckily I’m on tons of painkillers and I’ve been telling all the kids at my school an amazing story of how I had been “attacked by a shark” but I fought him off and got away with only a sprained ankle and a couple of scars…haha. They all are soaking it in and making it look like I’m some sort of hero.

  13. Beuky… nice…surprised no one came up with that back in the day…

    I was going to change my name to Sweety for this whole season if the rangers swept NJ in playoffs last year… that was the deal and I was excited that it almost happened…

    I could never change my salt though… just been on a wine kick lately…

  14. HECK,
    here’s the ending for your poem:

    But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight…

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

  15. “Gomez I think is the best one so far. He’s the youngest, and has come to play every single night”

    Lol, yeah and i play shortstop for the Mets. He hasn’t “come to play” every game. Hopefully all due to his ankle problem.

    He looked good last night, but that was a young Yotes team, lets see how he does against the future HOF’ers like Malik, Eminger, Ranger, etc.

  16. As an english/grammar nerd, I must point out the failure to properly spell thinking in the quote from a Brandon Dubinsky. I just hope, for your sake, that Scott Gomez does not read the blogs, or the comments posted.

  17. heck,

    lol yea percocet is good stuff (I’m guessing thats what you have, maybe vicoden.. I had both at different points, and morphine but I don’t think they let you take that home with you)

    awww, you’re there hero… how cute maybe you won’t get spitballed or anything for the rest of the year..

  18. sorry if this reposts…was having some PC issues.

    what the HECK….leaping lanny poffo: check wikipedia. he was a crappy wrestler in the WWF in the 80s who sucked but read poetry before every match.

    salty….if you chose D….umm, actually, that just won’t work. period.

  19. I got vicoden…And some other kinds too but no oxy haha. Agravaine, that was uncalled for, I don’t get spitballs, I get to ride the garbage can down the school hill, at least give me a little bit of dignity.

    Then I guess that was me. I always read poetry before going into the ring.

  20. Rob C

    Sportscasting is a hard job? NO IT’S NOT

    Digging ditches is a hard job
    Working the midnight shift at a factory is a hard job.
    Being a waitress at three different places to support yourself and your kids is a hard job

    To get paid six figures to sit on your ass, and call a game is not a hard job no matter how much you travel (first class) and how hard it is to read the jerseys of the team you watch EVERY SINGLE GAME.

    Oh and other teams stats? I forgot they don’t provide them to the announcers, there sitting there looking everything up themselves, please.

    The least Rosen can do is be prepared, call the game while its happening, and be accurate instead of talking about bullsheet is all I ask.

    And No I dont think JAffe is good at all, I just rather have a play by play guy rather than Rosen and his moronic statements, and continous Blow jobs of the other team.

    And Im not complaining JUST TO COMPLAIN.
    Im bitching cause it makes the game unwatchable sometimes causing the mute button to be deployed.

    But your right, who else is there to take there spots? No one Unfortunately.

    Like last year, and the year before that, this will be my last Rosen Bashing.

    I still say he sux arse!

    See you boys and girls on Wed

  21. BillyDeeWilliams on

    Actually, while digging ditches can be considered a physically demanding job, there isn’t much thought involved in it.

    And working the midnight shift at a factory, while it does numbers on your sleeping habits, isn’t too bad on the brain, as it would be very repetitive.

    And being a waitress at three different places is technically three easy jobs, not one hard one. Not to say that three easy jobs doesn’t make it hard.

    The point is that sportscasting is just as hard as what you listed, just in a different way. I’m sure Sam Rosen would have a hell of a time digging a ditch or building a house, but those guys doing that sure as hell can’t broadcast as well as Sam.

    I enjoy Sam and Joe to an extent. I always loved the chemistry that Sam and JD had, and I think JD was one of the best hockey people around, which makes them hard shoes for Joe to fill.

  22. BillyDee,
    I disagree with you. Those three jobs are all very difficult just in different ways. You need to have talent to be a sportsbroadcaster, great English, a great brain, and the experience to be able to call games and make them exciting. I think once you have those key elements, your pretty much golden and it could be considered easy. But you need those talents. Not any average joe could do a play by play and make it sound like they do. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Buffalo’s announcer…GOOOAAAAALLLLLLLL. He makes everything so exciting.

  23. BTW, this is a thought that came to me as I caught a gimpse of the Great One behind the bench last night:

    Does anyone else think that it must be near impossible for Gretzky to coach people? I mean don’t you think at times he has to be saying to himself, “You guys all f-ing suck. This game is easy.”

    I guess that is why you often don’t see the best players in their sports become coaches. Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, etc.

    It’s just a thought I had…

  24. Listening to JD through the recent stretch of lean years (’98-’04) was often painful. Shilling for the incompetence of Dolan and Sather and Muckler and Low et al., while refusing to report what he saw on the ice right in front of his (and our!) eyes: Horrid, lazy, puke-inducing hockey.

    Always an excuse. Always the other team playing so well. (Sam is still at that crap).

    But I know for many he is a nostalgic figure, and he does deserve his due in the history of the team. So I wish him well in St. Louis etc.

  25. Mikey,

    I think you’re confusing labor for “hard work”, when it was being implied that it’s difficult, not physically demanding.

    Broadcasting is a talent. Some may arguing waitressing or digging holes is too, but the fact remains there are far more people who wait on tables then there are broadcasters who announce professional sporting events.

    While no one here is arguing that broadcasting a game is a physically or even mentally demanding job, it’s “hard” in the sense that not everyone can do it. There’s a significant talent that goes with being about to talk for 1 hour straight, timing commercials and articulately conveying information without rambling like a total fool and sayin “um” or pausing every 2 seconds.

    Seriously, try and do it with the game on mute and you’ll find it’s much more difficult than you imagine.

    So broadcasting is “difficult” alike painting a picture is difficult. It’s not “hard work” in comparison to construction, etc. but it’s a skill and talent that only a few people have. Alike, some people may hate certain art, but there’s no arguing that some of us are artistically gifted and others are not.

  26. Gomez comes to the rink to play everynight. (That’s what they teach in NJ.) Much more so than the other Big 3… There’s not much debating that.

    You’re gonna hold Gomez’s games he played while injured against him? Why did I even respond to something so retarded…

  27. BillyDeeWilliams on

    what the heck. I actually think we’re both in agreement. I guess i went the opposite way saying they’re all easy, when in fact, i meant they’re all hard…just physically versus mentally, etc. we were both getting at the same idea, i may have just said it in a strange way.

  28. Hopefully Fritsche won’t be in the lineup tomorrow. He had a good game or two but he’s gone back to being invisable at times and mistake prone at other times(like last night)I can’t say I wanna see Rissmiller play. Look at his career stats. He has always put up points in the Ahl and done zip at the Nhl level. I would waive Rissmiller and Fritsche and call up Parenteau. Of coarse if he only gets 7 minutes a night like Korpedo did last night he won’t be able to do anything either.

  29. Graves,
    I agree

    Onto another topic…
    I just can not stop watching O’byrn putting that puck into his own net. I watched it live and I couldn’t believe me eyes when I saw it. If he had just let them touch the puck the game would have been pretty much over. Supposively he was already deamed the Rozi of that team and he just made it that much worse on himself. He will never stop hearing the booing and by the looks of his face last night, it took a huge toll on him. The kid might never be the same again. That could be the funniest moment that I have ever seen in hockey in my life. The best part was the Islanders came back to win it.

  30. “You’re gonna hold Gomez’s games he played while injured against him? Why did I even respond to something so retarded”

    I clearly said, “hopefully all due to his ankle injury”. He’s been horrible during that stretch of games, he’s been coughing up the puck, he’s been doing idiotic things, like trying to split through 3 or 4 players just to gain the zone on the PP. He hasn’t been that good.

    And don’t act like a fuggin blog god, you’d respond to anything just to argue. That’s how you’ve been acting lately. You must have a wedgie to end all wedgies to be acting all grumpy. Take a chill pill.

  31. When it comes to Gomez’s cockiness and ability to possibly rub people the wrong way, I like the latter. If people can joke and laugh with, or at, each other, it’s a sign of a tight team that is comfortable with each other. It’s when people are quiet and they don’t say things to each other that is what raises the red flag that things are awry.

    Who was it that took the keys to Hank’s brand new Maserati, parked it on the other side of the building, and put the keys back like it never happened? Then Hank comes out and his car is gone. Happened last year, funny stuff.

  32. One other thing….Korpi and Fritsche are starting to click. They are both faster than most guys on the team. What scares me is Voros has no confidence left, it seems.

  33. Aaron Voros needs to grow a set. It seems like he lost his nasty streak and wants to be a finesse hockey player now.

    He’s better when he’s crashing the net, pissing people off and playing a bit reckless.

    Take a look at Johan Franzen in Detroit for an example. Dude just stand in front of the net and bangs home rebounds game in and game out.

  34. Anyone see how confused and pissed Renny was in the post game. The Boys played alittle looser and got some goals!!!! Wonder how he`s gonna whip them for finally playing the game the way it should be. Renny-Pelino-Pearn MUST GO !!!!!!!!!

  35. I LOVE how much quieter and more peaceful the blog is after a win… Everybody’s happy, and life is right with the world (for the most part).

  36. I recall Leetch putting the puck in his own net about twenty years ago. It wasn’t as funny as What O’Byrne did obviously. No question Voros has become mouse like lately. He needs to play with jam soon or he’ll end up in the press box. Fritsche had a couple of good games but the last 3-4 games he’s gone back in the tank.

  37. Guys I have a question…
    I’m looking at a new Samsung 46″ HDTV…but…
    What is the difference between 1080P and 1080i?
    Which is better?
    the only thing I watch is Rangers, Jets and the occasional King of Queens

  38. ORR…

    maybe if you didn’t throw in your mets pitcher line it wouldnt have seemed like you were trying to dog gomez… you make it seem like an absurd notion that Gomez comes to play every night… maybe he had a few rough games with a banged up ankle, but he was there and he was trying to do his job as best he could. He’s been the best overall of those 4 in their tenures here. Sorry, Gomez doesn’t knock people out so I guess he’s a dog?

  39. Repost from JS –
    hey Salty do me a favor SHUT UP..
    I like winning hockey.. I like playoff hockey..
    those small, quick, hockey clubs get bounced out of the playoffs by the types of team we are trying to build here..
    If you like the up tempo style so much go to the garden for knick games.. caused that worked well for the Suns.
    Yea, good idea, lets adopt a style of play that opens up the ice and creates more shots for the opponent – which NEUTRALIZES OUR INHERENT COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE – LUNQUIST.
    Renney for Pres in 2016!

  40. “Those small, quick hockey clubs get bounced out of the playoffs…”

    You mean like the Red Wings? Those behemoths like Draper and Hudler, and Zetterberg, and Datysuk, and Rafalski, and Kronwall, and Lebda, and Filppula?


  41. Good Times: great, Renny for Pres in 2016, because you like playoff hockey? yeah but you clearly don’t like too much playoff hockey. like a couple rounds max, right? Win one, lose one, get the clubs out. wonderful

  42. Interesting stats:
    Of the forwards that make 7 million a year or more here are their goal totals for this year (remember Rangers have most games played):

    Vanek 15
    Heatley 11
    Hossa 11
    Iginla 11
    Ovechkin 9
    Drury 8
    Spezza 7
    Crosby 7
    Richards 5
    Thornton 5
    Gomez 4

    Ovechkin 25
    Crosby 25
    Iginla 24
    Hossa 24
    Thornton 22
    Heatley 20
    Vanek 19
    Spezza 16
    Richards 16
    Drury 14
    Gomez 14

    Again the Rangers overpay and give solid 2nd line players superstar money which will hamper them to field a complete team.

  43. Graves , i do agree that those two could be sent down , but Rob L saying prucha should be given a shot ?, I think Rob should be shot for being such an idiot.

  44. koffy – i beleive with the exception of Hossa none of the others ever reached free agency. and Hossa gave himself the best chance to reach his goal of a cup by signing with Det.

    this is not baseball where many prime players reach free agency. the Rangers have not lost out on any major players because of Gomez and Drury. the bad contracts they have are Redden and Rozy.

  45. SALTY

    The way i read your Gomer comment, i looked like you were saying he has been one of the best players on the team in the last couple of games, when he’s been one of the worst. That’s what i thought you meant. And no, i don’t expect the guy to knock people out, i don’t even expect him to score goals, i expect him to set up his line mates, and that’s something he really hasn’t been doing. Like i said before, its better to now know, that’s all due to his ankle injury, or you never know it could just be an excuse.

  46. Greg L…It is crazy to want to give a former 30 goal scorer a true chance at some quality ice time when all he does is bust his ass when he’s in there. He’s proven that when given ice time and powerplay time he can produce.
    so you can take your idiot comment and stick it right up your ass.

  47. Rob L.: amen, brother, Im on your side of that one. Free Peter Prucha and put him on the power play point like Emile the Cat used to play Bobby Rousseau. So sit down Roszibust and Reddenshit. how can it be worse than what it is with those two buzzkillerz?

  48. hey guys some funny shit i saw on versus after the blues preds game, on the top ten plays of the week, hugh jessiman had a spot in it i was laughinmy ass off. he actually scored while on his knees and shot the puck behind him past the goalie. funny how every player we get rid of starts scoring n playing better. of course it was an ahl goalie lol.
    and chris g, no prob for the link. i got the same link from somebody on this blog couple months ago and i really appreciated being able to watch the rangers all the way out in iowa. man i miss new york. wish the rangers played out west more often

  49. talkin about redden bust, anyone notice how dan boyles doin in san jose? hes got 6 goals already. man i wish we had him. what redden have 6 goals all last leason?

  50. if reddens gonna blow it in his own end maybe he could at least put some in on the other end of the ice

  51. people who complain about the team make me irritated, I agree sports casting is no piece of pie and I actually like listening to Sam, Joe, Dave, Kenny and the gang. It beats Doc Emerick screaming all of the time and barely being able to keep his excitement when Pittsburgh scores or John Madden commentate on the blatantly obvious

  52. Boyles in ranger system would have maybe 2 goals at this point. Western conference just different hockey. Put Redden in his place and i bet he has some inflated numbers as well.

    mike i will have to check it out. Any other booze bags here watch that show on Mojo called Three Sheets? This guy gets to visits all these cool countries and drink the local booze. He gets wasted every episode and all he has to do is talk about what he is drinking…… Dream Job

  53. All Hail King Henrik on

    Kevin James is awesome.

    Staal Wart,

    I’m sure it’s covered in the link, but you want 1080p (i.e. it’s the best). You also want the quickest pixel-refresh rate you can find for watching hockey. I actually just bought a 40″ Samsung 1080p from Crutchfield for $799. It was between the Samsung, Sharp and Toshiba; The Samsung pixel refresh was 5 miliseconds, 6 for the Sharp and 8 for the Toshiba. It’s miliseconds, but it matters somewhat, especially for fast-moving sports; of which hockey is probably the fastest.

  54. All Hail King Henrik on

    ^ That’s in regard to LCD HDTV’s, not sure how said info relates to Plasmas (I’m no expert on this stuff).


    Yeah i mentioned that the other day, its to bad NYR didn’t try to get him at the deadline last year like it was rumored. He could have helped out a lot, but at the same time, you can say goodbye to Del Z, since we wouldn’t have a 1st rounder, and Pruchs, and maybe Arty, Sags, Cally. Who knows.

    The Bolts were getting greedy at the deadline. The only reason they weren’t this season was because they had to dump him like he was cancer. Which was stupid.

    If Nyr doesn’t win the cup, i hope the Sharks win it, i like Thorts, Cheech, Boyle, Roenick, Marleau, Nabby, Blake, etc. They got a damn good team.

  56. Dubi or not Dubi on

    The only good sportscasters we watch/listen to on a regular basis are Dave Maloney and Kenny Albert. Sam gets half the players’ names wrong! According to Joe, nobody on the Rangers ever does anything wrong except for anyone who is being benched. An example of that is Zherdev against Ottawa, “He may have hurt himself on this play… Oh, he’s on the bench, so maybe he’s not hurt… Sam, Zherdev hasn’t been playing hard and Renney is teaching him a lessen…” That’s all within about 10 minutes!

    I can’t believe anyone can defend the ridiculous contracts of Drury, Rozi, and Redden. Gomez, as someone said, at least brings something different, but the other guys? Come on, I know the people as devoted to the Rangers who spend time on this blog HAVE to be smarter than that.

  57. Dubi – the terrible contracts are the dmen. i can not defend them at all. while, like many in sports, Gomez and Drury are somewhat overpaid, they are nowhere near in that category. Drury leads the team in goals, is solid on the pk, ans one of the few on the team who goes into the area in front of the other teams goal.

    I’ve yet to see as prime free agent we’ve missed out on because of Gomez and Drury. This is not like baseball where huge impact players reach free agency.

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