Betts back in against old team


The blog skipped the morning skate to tend to some household chores, but Gross reports that Blair Betts “will be back in tonight”: after missing Thursday’s loss in Montreal with what is believed to be a shoulder injury.

Worth noting, of course, is that Betts broke in with the Flames, playing 35 games with them over three seasons after Calgary took him with its second round pick in 1998. He was traded to the Rangers in the deal that sent Chris Simon out of the town in the great purge of 2004.

Betts takes some shots on this blog because of his offensive limitations, but there’s no question is he has been a vital player to the Rangers the past few seasons. I’m not saying his absence was the reason the Rangers spent most of the Montreal game chasing the puck aimlessly in their zone, but I will say it didn’t help.

With Betts returning Lauri Korpikoski returns to the left wing alongside Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan. Nigel Dawes is expected to be the scratch.

(By the way, reader Mark reached out and expressed interest in buying a Korpikoski No. 29 jersey, but wanted to make sure the Korpedo was going to keep the number. I asked Lauri yesterday and he said that was the plan. He said he’s worn No. 28 in the past, but this year, “That would mean I’d have to fight Orrsy.”)

In other news, the Corey Potter Era begins tonight, where he’ll take Wade Redden’s place at defense. Potter will play with Dmitri Kalinin while Paul Mara will switch to the left side with Dan Girardi.

More from the Garden later…

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  1. Sam,

    With Betts in and Korpikoski moving back to the wing with Drury, who sits today? Dawes or Prucha?

  2. Beaten, and badly, tonight. This will be a difficult stretch not because the Rangers have a tough schedule but because they’ve become a bad team. If anything, they’ve regressed significantly since the beginning of the year. What is it now, 3 regulation wins in 6 weeks against a light schedule? Lundqvist can only do so much. They’re in trouble, especially with the Flyers, Devils, and Pens streaking. And speaking of which, look at the Brodeur-less, Holik-less, Rolston-less Devils winning 6 of 7 including a win over the Habs last night in Montreal. Anyone still think the Rangers are the better-coached team?

  3. Yes coaching is the problem . Rangers are not as bad as you say Peter . Oh sure the losses were ugly …This team could beet the Devil , no prob. We beet Pittsburgh . The Flyer don’t pose a threat to us either . You may want to say a few positives with all that negative because after The Rangers make mince meat outta Calgary , you won’t no what to think.

  4. Greg –

    Hey I’m all for being wrong and pleasantly suprised. If the Rangers beat Calgary, I will know what to think. I’ll think, great, too bad the team seems unable to sustain a high level of play for more than a game at a time. And if you really think Pittsburgh and Philly are not threats to the Rangers, more power to you. But those teams have loads more offensive firepower than the Rangers do, and with the Rangers’ currently surviving on a popgun offense, those teams don’t even need to worry about defense or goaltending against the Rangers.

  5. I doubt Dawes will see the lineup tonight. Probably the same lines we had against Pitt:


  6. PETER

    They have Rolston, and Holik back now. And Eliasshole is producing for them, along with Parise having a great year. They’re just as dangerous.

    Nyr sucked against the West last year. Hopefully that changes, we beat a couple of weak West teams, like the Hawks, and Jackets. The tough ones like the Nucks, we lost. And now we have the Flames. This game will be tough for sure.

  7. czechthemout!!!!! on


    Exactly how and why do you think Betts has been vital to this teaM? He does not hit,he’s less than 50% on faceoffs,he’s not that fast,and we already know his offensive limitations.
    He is however a pretty good penalty killer I’ll give you that,but there are plenty of those around.Does that mean he should get 15 minutes of ice time? I think not.

  8. I feel a loss coming on as well tonight. My outlook isn’t as bleak as Peter’s but he’s on track with at least a few of his thoughts.

    The offense has been pathetic lately. There are some seriously struggling personnel (paging Drury, Dubi, Callahan).

    I will add that the d has made a few mistakes early and it seems that every damn one of them end up in the back of the net (not saying anything about Hank, he’s been damn good).

    I hate to say it but I’d love to see Hank get some help tonight… even if it means not scoring early and often (not something they’ve done anyway).

  9. May be Puke-up’s last stand. (I would play Dawes over Prucha any day as he plays some defense). Trying to showcase the little trerp, but nobody wants him. Why do you think no one has signed Shanahan so far??. He wants to play with the Rangers and probably will once we get rid of Prucha’s ridiculous 1.4 mil. contract and have cap space. Need the vet as a rudder for this team.

  10. This team is lost on the pk without Betts. Nobody understands when your not noticed defensively you’re doing well.

  11. akayama

    I’m not a big Dawes fan at all (no pun intended with his size), but i do think Betts should sit this one out and either Dawes or Fritsche in. solves two issues. getting betts healthier and keeping morale up for the healthy scratches.

    your boy dawes is nowhere near the star or potential star you think he is. pretty much the last guy into the lineup or 1st healthy scratch take your pick. certainly not a difference maker

  12. Drury used to play for calgary as well

    Calgary tough guy Brandon Prust broke his jaw in st louis the other night…(no need for Orr to waste a roster space). Let him sit, Dawes speed would be good against Calgary defence

    Nasland should show some life against his old rivals from western canada.

  13. Voros, Dawes and Prucha should be in the line up . Voros , as someone stated has hands of stone but I don’t think so . Dawes finished and Prucha actually hit ,scored and hustled.

    Sather sighned theses guys and as small as they are ..they should play .

    The team is inconsistant and we just don’t know what Ranger team will show up . This problem worries me and alot of you out there. I can’t blame you . The way it’s been going this western team should destroy us. If that happens , during the 3rd period a ” fire Renny Chant should be heard” Ranger fans wont tolerate this off and on play .

    If the defense can’t play as a unit , I can see Lunqvist having a bad game again. All the stinkers have been against canadian teams and are usually brodcasted nationally in Canada. Ive been embarrassed in front of my fammily and friends with poor showing by The Rangers. Theres a few Calgary fans here …Rangers please don’t let me down.

    X-mas wishlist :

    -New Coach
    -Messier as coach
    -TooToo for grit
    -Staalsie on the powerplay always
    -Defensman moved
    -Rangers 3rd jersey back
    -Gomez to play better defense and not turn over the puck as much.

  14. For all of Renney’s limitations as an x’s and o’s bench coach, I really think the biggest challenge to this team is his refusal to push his roster psychologically. They don’t come out of the gate with hunger, with a desire to bury the opposition with pace and relentlessness. Rather they feel out the other team, and as Tom said himself after the MTL game “work themselves” into the game.

    Of course what this does is remove the possibility of a blitzing of the other team, a jumping them before they know what’s hit them, and getting out to an early lead that cements the type of game that the Rangers will dictate thereafter.

    When was the last time the Rangers had a two-goal lead after twenty minutes? I honestly can’t remember.

  15. Dubi the Flames are as rough and tumble as a team as there is you need to have guys like Orr and Voros in the lineup against them.

  16. DOOGIE

    C’mon, with Phaneuf in the lineup, he’l hit anything that moves, and we’re full of midgets anyway, we need Orr in the lineup. Don’t forget that piece of garbage Bertuzzi.

    I don’t understand sitting Dawes, but that’s Renney for you. He’s a moron.

    Send Korpedo back to the minors, trade Pruchs, Fritsche, and possibly Dawes, and sign Mats, and trade for Toots.

    I wonder if Slats still has Shanny in mind.

  17. Dubi or not Dubi on

    Okay, so if they’re a tough team then I’m fine with it, I’m just tired of them being invisible and taking ice time from Dawes/Korp/Pruch. While the Rangers aren’t particularly physical, they aren’t losing because of a lack of physicality, they are losing because they can’t score enough.

  18. Someone mentioned making minced meat out of Calgary…

    The Rangers do not make minced meat out of anyone…

    Here is what elite teams can do on a bad defensive night


    The above numbers represent the amount of wins they have this season when giving up 4 or more goals

    anyone want to venture a guess at how many the NYR have won?

    The answer is “0”

    Renneys system: Hank sparkles or death

  19. dubi, I think being physical is critical to scoring goals so its more linked up than you give credit to it being, there has to be a will to get to the front of the net and fight for loose pucks and hit hard on the forecheck to cough pucks up. in other words it’s all connected

    ford, good post i agree

  20. Rucchin Even though Dawes scored the other night imo he didn’t play well. To be fair neither has Korpkoski. I would send Korpkoski down and call Anismov up(he is red hot and he scored his 11th goal last night)

  21. Further to my research;

    The Rangers did not win a single game where they gave up 4 goals ALL LAST SEASON AND SO FAR THIS SEASON!!!

    Sorry for capz but I’m even amazed

  22. last installment;

    Since October 2006 the Rangers have won exactly one game (March 31st 2007 vs Philly) where their goaltender yielded 4 goals.

    They system cannot adjust to bad games or a couple of fluke goals; thats because there is no system.

    Send the youngins all down to Hartford so they dont become too poisoned; aquire veterens for this last Renney season or…

    Fire Renney Now

  23. We all know this team doesn’t blow too many opponents out of the water. Be it laziness, coaching strategy, lack of offensive talent… whatever.

    They give up more than 2 goals and they’re darn near finished.

    That means their goaltender has to be sharp, and the defense has to limit the quality chances.

    While Hank has been close to a rock… the defense has been suspect (including the backchecking of the forwards) for the past month, hence the stinkers.

  24. Hopefully, that just means they don’t allow 4 goals too often? Just trying to be optomistic.

  25. Who is in net tonight?

    if you want a fight night Andre Roy and Colton Orr would be considered a heavyweight match up.

    Your right ORR !! What Is It Fuggin Good FOR ??
    I was just looking at the complete roster and the Rangers do carry a lot of mini flyweights…dawes, callahan, prucha.

  26. Doogie you just realized the Rangers are small? It has been rather obvious for the last few years.

  27. graves…I was just looking at the rosters under “weight”…never realized.

    Tootoo at best is a minor/dirty “third line agitator”..he is -7, 5 points…yuck.

    2008 Off Season free agents…AKA why we need a Sutter not a Sather:

    cammalleri (3.1 mil), bertuzzi (1.9 mil), bourque (1.3 mil), glencross (1.2 mil), giordano ( 600 thou), roy (500 thou).

    nasland (4 mil), reddon (8 mil), rozsival (7 mil)

    Calgarys first line of Iginla and Cammalleri are starting to really play well together (the chemistry we are all looking for)

  28. Dubi or not Dubi on

    They tried Rissmiller but he was terrible. Having physical players doesn’t necessarily lead to goals unless you have physical players who can play. Unfortunately, Sather has put together a group of slow, purposeless physical players who can’t play. The only way THIS team will score more goals is if either the power play starts working or the small, skilled guys are allowed to play games that fit their skill set (ie NOT 100% defense all the time). I sometimes do wonder who is worse, Renney or Sather, because they are both pretty awful at their job.

  29. onecupin67years on

    Sam , any trade Rumors out there?
    Are the Rangers showcasing Prucha and Potter ?\\
    How much salary would the rangers have to eat if they moved redden or rozy?

    C’mon don’t hold back.

  30. “- The NY Rangers are believed shopping Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival, but given Redden’s “no-movement” clause Rozsival is more likely to move.

    SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Redden’s being shopped but if he were that movement clause and his big salary means he won’t be moved. Rozsival has heard the boo-birds in New York but his $5 million per season contract is as good as a no-trade clause. They’re stuck with him unless they buy him out. “

  31. The Flames are shopping Adrian Aucoin and his $4 mil…trade right across, rangers get a big shot, good offensive zone awareness….Sather would you send Reddon back to the home country?

  32. KipperSOFT is Up N DoWn ….Flames Goaltender lets in goal after goal alot. Time for a Zherdev Hattie!!!! Yeah games on sportsnet west and it sucks!!!!!! Those guy couldn’t anounce a game if they tried..Morons …Hope my Center ice on Shaw cable has the MSG boys anouncing. Iginla kicks ass but he will get intimidated by the bright lights at MSG. Calgary respects us alot…time to lay down the beat ‘ in eh?

  33. dubi – hard to say Rissmiler was terrible he played 2 games.

    one cup – teams no longer allowed to eat a part of a players contract as part of a trade. the jj deal was different it was before the current cba was signed.

  34. Dubi or not Dubi on

    I bet the flames announces are better than Sam and Joe… I also bet that they aren’t told what to say by a Rangers PR person…

  35. dubi that is all on dolan who totally doesn’t agree with free speech.

    rissmiller – again i think it’s pointless to say a guy who played 2 games was terrible. bad signing mainly because it gave them too many forwards but the signing was before they made the trade for Z and Fritsche. i think sather was trying to address the teams lack of height with rissmiller and voros.

    I don’t think that sather and renney are on the same page when it comes to types of players one signs and the way the other uses them. also thinks sather is very weak in 3 areas.

    one is supposedly offensive d men (ozo, poti, rozy with new contract, redden at this point in his career – and i suspect del zotto and sanguinetti will fall short of expectations as well).

    second is salary cap. he is way too close to maxixum. and he seems to have a strong disregard to how it affects team’s cap going forward with redden 6 yrs, rozy 4 yrs, rissmiller 3 yrs etc.

    part of this is the relatively weak drafts during end of smith’s and during his own tenure. so his drafting is his 3rd weakness as it was during the last several yrs of his time in edm.

  36. I believe it’s Al Strahacan that had that rumor. He makes Eklund look credible. Stracahan had Malkin getting traded to the Kings whatta dumbass.

  37. weird is kinda the word…Sather can’t give Jagr a extra million and an extra year but goes out and gets Naslund for another year and around the same price. He didnt wanna give Avery an extra million but but yet sighns Redden to a Tank full a cash plus years of it. He signs Drury and Gomez for tons of cash and for years and years on end . He ditches the whole Jagr idea and keeps Rosival!?? For years? and years??… for millions that Jagr could be getting!!!??
    Jagr was out heartbeat along with Avery , Jagr excelled for the passion of the game.

    Sather’s mistake was keeping Rosival and ditching Jagr. If you had to choose for $5 million for 5 years of Rosival or take Jagr?

  38. Greg L

    And as glaring (and right) in what you just said….how about what July 1st 2009 is going to mean to this team??

    Sather will have Drury, Gomez, Voras and Nasland signed….and 11 free agent forwrds to sign/trade/replace??

    I’d LOVE to see his plan for 2009/10…cause he needs one NOW!!

    sleeping giants lie…iginla and dion are both “hot” at the moment…see what the MSG fans do!! I’m sure their will be a few “seconds” posters etc….

  39. … Sather has a Future Hall of Famer in Shanahan who only wants to play for The Rangers , he has over 700 goals and can fire that puck from the blueline. Hes bigger that half our 7 dwarfs , he can fight and is not as slow as Voros.
    Shanahan has heart and Passion and we need his presence.
    Enough said ffs.

  40. greg – jagr was wanting at least $ 8 mm a yr for 2 maybe 3 yrs. or double what naslund is getting.

    re avery – when the best gm in the game (holland of det) is quoted that there is no way he would bring avery back and that he is immature and selfish that is good enough for me. i think holland knows more about how to build a championship team than any of us fans.

    no one can defend the bad signings of rozy or redden. i do think neither will reach end of contract here or even come close.

  41. claude lemieux…hey san jose..bit much
    chris chelious….maybe for the dressing room

    Shanny….can’t go wrong, bring him back!!

  42. shanny has more than 600 goals not 700. he is already on our payroll for cap purposes to the tune of approx $ 700 k. that is from his bonuses where his salary + bonus went from $ 4 mm a yr to $ 5.2 mm increase of more than 25% despite a signifiant injury and resultant fall off in play. give me those kinds of numbers and I would “only” want to play for the Rangers too.

  43. Doogie thanks , and I do not know what gonna happen . Sather may step down by then and hand off this mess to someone else. All is not bad though , we just cheer our boys on and hope the hell for the best!! Has it ever been any other way here in NY?

  44. You sure are a cheerfull one Mr. Joe …so come on whats the fix here if we don’t bring back the Shannyman?

    Avery is exposed to what Sather said about him on the arbitration. A detriment to the team.

  45. greg – what did they do with shanny last 2 yrs. he was horrible end of both seasons and will be 40 next month. he is not the fix.

    maybe there is no fix for this yr. except not going further than 2 rounds will lead to a new coach. which will help toward next yr and beyond. after all this yr they were predicted to be anywhere between 6 and 10 seed in the east and they look to still be in that range.

  46. fine , hes done or is he?

    would be nice to have a shanny
    he not as old as good ol lanny
    His body can still knock you off your fanny
    Old as he is , his wifes not a granny
    Hes way better than Avery the tranny
    I say we sign him , thats my planny!

  47. NHL Totals 1490 games 650 goals 690 assists 1340 points 2460 pim
    Playoffs: 177games 59golas 72assists 131points 277pim

    he is a player that could be signed tommorow and eat up 600-700 thousand in (available) cap space…
    he is by far a better third line player than the 10 third line players presently on the roster…
    either that or get a bonafide second line scorer..

    Nasland could be great tonight!!

    very nice greg l

  48. those stats would really help if he was still in his 20’s or even mid 30’s. everybody reaches the end of the line. if shanny was that good still some team would have signed him by now


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