Rangers at least have something to build on


I’m not the only person “to have this reaction to last night’s loss in San Jose”:http://njmg.typepad.com/rangersblog/, that while it was still a loss, it was one in which the Rangers at least showed more than some of their wins this season.

I know, no one’s interested in moral victories. But go back to that debacle in New Jersey a week ago Friday. If you were told then that the Rangers would claim four of six points on the West Coast and at least play the league-leading Sharks tough, my guess is you’d have taken it.

So the ship has steadied since then. We at least know that. The next six weeks or so is when the Rangers clarify what exactly they need before the trade deadline, which, given their precarious cap situation, does not necessarily mean they’re going to get it.

The team is busy sleeping off the flight back from California, but will be back on the ice tomorrow. We will be back from vacaction to check in then…

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  1. Dubi or not Dubi on

    Sam, nailed it! No need for moral victories in the pro’s. They get paid to play hard and ultimately win. I’m glad they did actually play hard. How come they play the Sharks well and the Islanders like crap? Do they really try to win EVERY game 2-1? Shouldn’t they TRY to win games 10-0? If they did that against the bottom of the league, maybe they wouldn’t have so much trouble with the garbage teams…

    On another note, can we agree that Korpikoski needs to play more in the minors to be ready for the team? He doesn’t appear to be an NHL caliber player right now. Prucha can actually add value to the team right now but my favorite coach still hates him for some reason.

  2. San Jose was a very tired team last night. It was the perfect opportunity to catch a team that wasn’t firing on all cylinders. Yet the Rangers couldn’t even do that.

    Another horrible first half of the game. That is totally in Renney’s lap. It’s obvious that he can’t motivate the team, because they are never ready to play.

    If a team won’t play hard until the game has slipped away from them, then they come on like gangbusters but too late, I’d say the first part is the coach’s fault and the last part is the players’ pride taking over.

    Renney must go, and the sooner the better – before the season is lost.

  3. dr house
    December 21st, 2008 at 10:37 am
    why the Rangers want Keith T…. he is old as you people say.

    This coming from you who wails I want Shanny wah give me old as dirt Shanny. I don’t want Tkachuk but in the year ’08 he is a far superior player than father time.

  4. How, by the way, would the Protector of Children explain Sidney Crosby’s behavior on Thursday night in Atlanta when the Chosen One first sucker-punched Boris Valabik across the side of the head before continuing to rein blows on his nether regions while the Thrashers’ defenseman was wrestling with Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang and unable to defend himself or fight back?

    Crosby should be facing a disciplinary hearing with NHL vice president Colin Campbell. He should have gotten a game-misconduct penalty as third-man-in. Instead, the wimpy Chris Rooney-Don VanMassenhoven referee tandem got into the spirit of the Christmas season by assessing Crosby a mere two minutes for roughing. Ho! Ho! Ho!

    Maybe Bettman would like to explain that, and the concept of equal justice under the law, to all those 12-year-olds out there.


    Great job by Brooks again.

  5. Actually, every team should give each other the same amount of respect. Teams like Atlanta, Isles, Tampa should get the same amount of respect like Detroit, Bruins, Sj – you know?

  6. The Ranger coaches must tell them not to take stupid penalties. Last night’s first can be blamed on the players, I think. Though there are more than enough things the coaches do wrong. Playing redden and awful Kali is shameful no matter what they make. Korpedo isn’t up to the NHL yet, either. Voros could use a get your game up benching, too. As could Dawes.

    Last night revealed the Rangers can be tenacious. But it also revealed,again, that they don’t have the defensive toughness they need or the offensive snipers that will bust pass the two goal cap.

    And, of course, the flaccid, impotent PP continues to provide no help. INEXCUSABLE.

  7. graves why dont you lay off the sarcasm. Keep your comments to yourself about what i say. By the way i dropped it, you havent yet…

  8. You mentioned him twenty times in the last week. That is dropping it? I’d hate to think what’d you say if you were mentioning him.

  9. We have a team of 3rd and 4th line players,
    Until we get a scorer and 2 d-men ,,,,,forget going far in the playoffs,

  10. it wasnt 20 times, and i rarely talk about him outside of this blog.

    Really whocares what i say about shanahan or callahan or anybody. Just let it go.

  11. Rangers once again pay the price for not playing 60 minutes of hockey. Redden is abominable and Drury can’t even connect on a one timer. A decent effort last night but nothing impressive and nothing we haven’t seen before. Seems Gomez is trying to do too much and its hurting the team. Feels like a hand job.

    To answer a question from last night, no I did not cheer when SJ scored, but I did laugh when they went up 2-0 in the first five minutes! I also obviously was proud and excited when Zherdie and Callahan scored.

  12. This team is going nowhere with the hyena, and his gang of future child molesters.

    Trade Dubinsky, a 2nd round pick, and Dawes for Mueller, and Hanzal, or Lisin.

    Trade Rozsival, Gomez, Sanguinetti, Sjostrom, and a 1st round pick for Kovalchuk, and Exelby.

    Trade dr. house for Tkachuk, and trade Graves9 for some viagra for KT.

  13. Salty

    They did play 50 min of hockey ;) They got few really bad calls last night. Its to be expected. SJ was hooking and grabbing at the Rangers on several occasions and nothing was called. The Sharks have a wicked PP and if Renney wants to watch video then he should be watching the Sharks PP. Lightening fast, crisp tape to tape passes. Bombs from the blue line that get through to LQ. This is a perfect example of how lines should be consistent together so players KNOW where their line mates are and where they are going to be.

    Gomez needs to stop rushing the puck into on coming players. Jeeze how many times have we all seen him head of steam, and give up the puck once in the offensive zone???

  14. Dr. House you and Graves seem to have alot of sexual tension maybe a candle light dinner and some Marvin Gaye music will help you guys.

  15. You sure you want Exelby? He’s out at least 3 weeks with a fractured leg. Hope I spelled that right for you!

  16. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say Happy Holidays to everyone…

    I’ll be on vacation this week so I may not be on here as much to chastise our beloved Blueshirts… but I will be at the Garden on Tuesday night so if you see a slightly inebriated fan walking around in a NYR Pat LaFontaine jersey say “hi”.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


  17. That Crosby video is unreal. He is such a total p—y. Bettman, Campbell — they suck. What a joke the NHL can be.

  18. All Hail King Henrik on

    Crosby is such a bitch. How does he not receive a one game suspension for that? Oh, I know–he’s Cindy Crosby. He, and the Pens, get away with whatever they want. They have calls handed to them in the playoffs so they can advance to the SCF and then are gifted two games so as to not be swept. That could never happen to the poster boy’s team….

    F__K Crosby. Sooo happy that Malkin has 9 more points than Crosby right now. I really hope Malkin ends up with 20-30 points more than Crosby so everyone can shut the f.ck up about Cindy being the best player in the world.

  19. Ovechkin is better than both Malkin and Crosbitch. Malkin is a puss too he dives and also slew foots people like it’s nothing.

  20. ok i am waving the white flag, its holiday time i dont feel like arguing.

    By the way the tv show Dr. Phil is soooo fake.

  21. graves9 – I love Ovechkin as much as the next guy but he’s not perfect. He loves boarding people, and seems to get away with it most of the time.

  22. I posted a comment and it got lost somehow so if this turns out to be a repost, I apologize ahead of time.

    Thanks, vogs, for posting the video link. That’s pretty bad. Ugly, as a matter of fact.

    Bettman won’t do anything to his pet player because Bettman is too busy being offended by Avery’s sloppy second remark.

    This league is fast becoming a joke because of this clown and his stupid antics. I guess I mean both Crosby and his adoped dad, Bettman.

  23. did cindy purposely punch that guy in the balls, when he was bent over and cindy was behind him?? because it sure looked that way

  24. the reffing was fine last night. Were they kinda soft calls on mara and rosy? Sure but it’s been called that way all year. Mara really has to learn not to put his arm around guys cuz he gets called for it at least once a game.

    The fact is that renney and his coaching staff needs to push the desperate button from the second the game starts. We did it early and dominated teams. Plus I see people saying we don’t have enough talent, but I’m pretty sure you are wrong. If renney unleashes them from the initial drop of the puck, these guys can be extremely good. I honeslty think Nazzy, Zherdev, Dubi, Drury, Dawes, Sjostrom, and even Gomez, Prucha, and Callahan and reach 20 goals. However we’ll never see this because of Renney’s “sit back and hope” strategy.

    If this was Brent Sutters team, we’d be scoring 3-5 goals a night. Renney is still trying to play defense with offensively skilled players and is wasting their talent.

  25. Joe in DE (actually in NJ tonight) on

    Renney still hasn’t figured out the idea that you can use your offense as your defense. The third period, where we pounded away on Nabokov with what looked like a 20 minute power play, was the only period we didn’t let up a goal. Granted we didn’t score either, but lots of good chances with pressure that would have broken a lesser team. The opposition can’t score if they can’t get the puck. It’s not a hard concept to grasp

  26. I’m really glad that blueshirtbulletin.com is letting us post comments here… Thnx dubi! Sam says thank you as well… 300 some odd comments last night.

  27. Joe the Sharks D is very mobile and move the puck well the Rangers D doesn’t do that well. Don’t blame Renney for the defencies of Redden, Rozsival and Kalinin.

  28. My count shows 3 people got in on the action:

    Greg L.

    Honestly, I was hoping to draw in some other posters I could deal without reading for a couple of weeks, I wont mention names. I dont see how anyone thought the Rangers would win that game last night though, especially people who have been paying attention to the team. It was just not in the cards. Oh well, a bet is a bet.

  29. The sad thing is i am really disappointed about 4 points from 3 games – it could and should have been 5 or 6, if they’d been switched on from the start of the last game it could have easily been 6. Most teams will be lucky to come back from that trip with 2 points.
    We seem to be missing a sort of siege mentalitity when we’re the away team. We seem to let them play in order to size them up instead of stopping them playing and forcing our game upon them. We need one of our defencemen (and its going to have to be Staal, Mara or Girardi) to lay a big hit in the first few minutes to install that “thou shalt not pass” mentality.

  30. Morning reading (stuff left over from the weekend mostly) uncovers that 1/2 the league is “currently evaluating” their rosters and scanning for “bait”. Could be interesting over the next few weeks.

    The Shanny situation is the same as it was back in Sept. Some think he’s too old, and he’s done. Some think he’s got enough left to make it through 1/2 the season + post season. Some are on the fence…like me.

    But with the deadline 8+ weeks away, no one is going to be ready to just trade away a scoring winger or a physical dman who make “fair or less than” market value. Which we cannot afford.

    Haven’t really done the research yet on what dmen might be available. It’s a little too early to tell I think with 2 months+ left until deadline time. But wingers are a different story. And each of the “availables” carry their fair share of baggage.

    Gaborik – Excellent goal scorer…will score goals wherever he goes. But he can’t stay healthy and makes FAR too much for the NYR to consider him.

    Afinoginov (Icantfinishoff) – Has 2 goals in his last 43 games going to last year. Razzles & dazzles with the puck, pulls people’s asses out of the seats, then leaves them with a sobering ‘groan’.

  31. oops…I wasn’t finished.

    ‘ginov… He makes just 3.5mil and is in his last year of his deal. I doubt Buf would bring him back unless he’s willing to take a pay cut. My bet is he’s on his way out of Buffalo. (I’m sure he doesn’t mind).

    Shanny…We know the story.

    More to come. Let’s see if we can find the right deal here….

  32. Jussi Jokkinen on waivers. (1.8mil, last year of deal)

    Cheechoo? (3mil cap hit, 2 years left). But what would make SJ want to move him? Just a current slump?

    One thing is for sure. We won’t find a winger that’s firing on all cylinders to come to NY on the cheap. The likelihood is the same as moving Redden’s 6.5mil.

  33. Beer Me

    I think Gaborik would be a great fit here. BUT like you said injured all of the time and I am sure he is looking for big numbers. Which I cant see happening unless they make a trade for him – G*d only knows what they would want in return.

  34. Food for thought –

    We are talking about the lack of cap space and the Redden deal in particular. One thing I haven’t heard anyone mention is Lundqvist’s contract.

    The Rangers are paying $7.6mn for their goalie tandem, the league average is $4.7mn.

    I think Lundqvist is great but I have to question if he should be the highest paid goaltender in the league.

    We like to talk about how the defense leaves him out to dry but in thinking about it further, his salary is part of the reason the Rangers don’t have a more solid blue line.

  35. I still say our biggest problem right now is Sather’s ego.

    All bets aside, until Sather admits his ignorance to talent and the cap, we are stuck in neutral.

    We need to put our dead weight on waivers, now. This means Fritsche, Kalinin and maybe even Prucha. No one is taking these guys in a trade and if you can free up a dollar, you gotta do it.

    Kalinin really is the worst player in the NHL right now. Litterally and statistically speaking, the worst. He has no done one positive thing since his arrival.

    He contributes nothing offensively and is a defensive liability.

    In all my year’s playing and watching hockey, I’ve never seen a player, specifically a defenseman with a lower hockey IQ.

    He “steps up” and pinches at all the wrong times. During the course of the game, I always play in my head what I would do in a given situation.

    10 out of 10 times Kalinin does the opposite. That’s not to say that I have an NHL caliber mind, but 10 out of 10 times his decision results in a high scoring chance for the other team.

    Everyone gets on Rozy and Redden b/c of their contracts, but the root of some of our problems goes through Kalik.

  36. Beer – Cheechoo’s been in my thinking for some time due to his very friendly cap hit and when he’s on his game he’s a big strong goal-scoring winger BUT he seems to be used as a checker more at the moment by SJ and hasn’t been putting up the numbers for the last 2 years.
    However, with that kind of contract ($3m per) its currently where we are shopping, you can forget the likes of Gaborik, Kovalchuk etc…

  37. JJP- Are you saying it’s Hank’s fault that the D sucks? How about Sather, he had the $$ to spend and he spent it on Redden and Rozi. Redden was supposed to be our PP quarterback and #1 D with Rozi #2 when, in fact, they’ve been #4 and #6. Also, Lundqvist has stolen more than a few games this year. The blame for our lame D is 100% Sather’s. When you add Kalinen, you eliminate any chance of a kid competing for a spot. I hope Sather has a plan to sign Dubi, Callahan, Zherdev and Staal to long term contracts. Also, how about giving Mara a 2 year extension after the new year?

  38. I tried to Give Kalinin the benefit of the doubt; but watching him play you can’t help but to keep track of how many hits he goes out of the way to “completely’ avoid…he lets guys beat him into the corner ( In Sjose) so that he doesn’t take a hit; then attempts to “win back the puck” with stick-checks…one of these examples led to an excellent chance for Sjose the other night…he really does need to go; can’t see there being any trouble replacing his body with anyone else…gotta be ego at this point

    Other than that normal stuff it was a pretty good trip by the Rangers…Cant really complain

  39. JJP, our goaltending duo is considerably better than the league average, so it’s money well spent in my book. Even Vali has proven over the course of his time here that he is consistent and can steal a game here and there. Hank has been a Vezina candidate 3 years in a row and is shaping up for a 4th. Far from average.

    Redden and Rozsival’s contracts are the reason we don’t have a solid blueline. Rozsival was shaky all last year and coming off of hip surgery, only to be signed to a big long term deal. Surprise, he’s still shaky. Redden’s deal was another huge bust. The term is simply insane, and the number is just as crazy. The Rangers’ number 1 priority should be getting him back on his game, because he isn’t going anywhere. We probably should try to pawn him and a high draft pick off on Dallas for Avery and start over. I hate to say it, but I don’t think the ship is going to right itself. Another classic move by Sather. The Kalinin signing was terrible as well. The guy struggled on Buffalo when they were good, so it’s no shocker that he sucks here too. Instead of paying him 2.1, the Rangers should have made an investment in their future by bringing up Potter or Fahey. Getting NHL ice time is crucial to their development, and they can’t be any worse than Kalinin. Teams like LA and TOR have put their young kids in, dealing with the occasional gaffe or growing pain. Both teams have been handsomely rewarded with young players who are having great seasons and developing fast (Doughty and Shenn). Sather could have dealt for a while without a big name blueliner and made a move for one at the deadline with the saved cap space. But that makes too much sense.

  40. graves: Crysob could Chris Simon someone twice in front of the refs and Bettman still would not suspend him.

    That may go for other Pensys as well. Remember when Malkin slew footed Mara TWICE last year? Of course there was no discipline. Isn’t slew footing a suspendable offense?

  41. Malkin slew foots at least once a game…

    Last three Pen games I watched he did it at least once.

    One day someone will get a bad injury and it will be on tape and all the “Avery is a disgrace to the game” people will have to answer….

  42. Speaking to the Doughty reference, imagine if we didn’t sign Redden and Kalinin and commited to youth on Defense? (BTW, I have no problem with the Rossival re-sign and think he’ll turn his game around)

    In my opinion, Del Zotto was our best defenseman in the pre-season, point period. Had we not signed Redden to an absurdly long and lucrative deal and not taken on Kalinin, who has a terrible rep. in the league, DZ would be playing.

    I know the “plan” was for him to go back to Juniors from the get-go, but he got in incredible shape in the off-season and really “made” the team in the pre-season.

    Problem is, sather’s ego sent him back to Juniors.

    If Doughty can play and have success there’s no reason why DZ couldn’t have played this year.

    Young d-men are sprouting up left and right on every team. The oldschool mentality was D-men need more time to develop, but guys are training differently and the Rangers need to recognize that if an 18 year old shows he can play, let him play.

    With report that he’s tearing up juniors, I expect to see him on the blue line next year and think he’ll be our most offensive d-man since Leetch. Albeit, no one is #2.

  43. UK – Really, I’m not a fan of Cheechoo. But that IS our range at this point. Unless slats can move one of the big contracts, that won’t change. So that’s the type of player we’re looking at. Another 2nd line winger. Still no snipers. Still a problem(if you want to be considered a serious contender).

    Let’s think about this too. Gomer, Dru, Dubi, Betts, Korpi, Anisimov are all natural centers. 2 of them are almost impossible to move, and not worth moving (imo) as just a salary dump. If you were getting a high quality player in return, than its not so bad.

    If we want to get ‘that’ winger of dman we need, one of the young centers or dmen are going to have to go the other way. Along with a salary. Dubi, Korpi OR Anisimov…one of them probably has to go the other way to get the player we need.

    Quite a tight corner we’ve signed and drafted ourselves into. Don’t ya think?

    Oh…and I guess we could add Havlat into that mix too. But he’s got the same baggage as Gabs. Just doesn’t make as much, and “lesser hands”.

  44. “Bergeron out with concussion. There goes Boston’s season?… please!”

    Nah. He wasn’t playing that well anyway. It may even make the better! uh oh!

  45. In retrospect having , say: Potter, Sangy and DelZ taking the “two” spots of Kalinin and Redden probably wouldn’t have been any worse then it is; and would have saved us $$$$ cap wise…

    of course all the young stud Deemen would then be RFA/UFA eligible together rather than staggered but…now with 11 million locked in anyway…who knows?

  46. I wasn’t saying anything detrimental about Lundqvist’s play, he’s awesome, but the facts are the facts that his contract is bloated too.

    We are getting huge value out of Staal & Girardi relative to their cap hit – which in my mind offsets the impact of the Redden/Rozsival contracts. Mara, fair value. Kalinin, a bust.

    When it becomes difficult to resign the restricted players, I just wanted to point that Lundqvist’s contract impacts the team as well.

    I hate to say it but if Brodeur can sign for $5.2mn so that his team can be competitive in a salary cap enviroment, Lundqvist could have too. He wasn’t a free agent signing, he was already on the team when he signed that contract.

  47. I agree about Lundqvist. He doesn’t deserve a penny more than Brodeur, sorry. How Redden deserves $6.5m and how Drury/Gomez deserve close to Malkin/Crosby/Ovechkin money hurts my brain.

  48. “I was just looking at random players’ stats and Malkin has 55 points OMFG!”

    Pavel….or as much as Zherdev and Naslund have combined in more games!!!

    And crybaby crosy is right behind him as well….

    Thats Offense baby..offense…offense…offense

  49. I’m sorry but you cannot call LQ’s contract bloated at this point. You just can’t. Last year I questioned it as well, but this year he is really earning every cent. You can’t even shake a stick at his contract when you have Drury Redden Roszival and Gomez all taking nights off regularly.

    Think about this: Hypothetically, if you take away Drury and Redden’s contracts… You suddenly have about $14M/per to wave in front of Alex Ovechkin… How fun would that be.

    Truthfully I never want to see AO in NY… We would absloutley ruin him, and this game really needs him to be who he really is for as long as possible.

  50. I wouldn’t trade Staal for anyone. St. Louis’ are a dime a dozen. Big, mobile, patient and intelligent defenseman are a rarity.

    I am a fan though.

  51. Staal is one of the RIGHT pieces. Moving him is a step in the wrong direction.

    Scariest team in the East? B’s. They can beat you a number of different ways. And they have 2 goalies that could be looking for “tandem records” by the end of the season. I think its cause Aaron Ward protects them so well!

  52. Salty – I respectfully disagree. Lundqvist is earning his pay but he hasn’t stolen a playoff series yet has he? In my view, that is a prerequisite to getting a contract as the highest paid goalie in the league.

    Again, this isn’t knocking his skill set or performance, I do think he is one of the best goalies in the league.

    I’m just pointing out that when talking about cap issues, you have to throw Lundqvist’s contract in there as well.

  53. Lundqvist lost the game last night for the Rangers. The defense played like the way the hyena likes, and they didn’t protect him, but the 3rd girl was his fault. One of his typical december soft goals, and it stood as the game winner.

    Trade Betts, Prucha, and Sjostrom for Joel Lundqvist, and James Neal. Neal separated Brassard’s shoulder in a fight, and he’s out for the rest of the season. He has more balls than Orr, and anyone else the hyena ruins, and turns into wimps.

  54. joe in de – re your 10:36 post both of those guys were top 6 in the draft. can’t compare to anyone we have on defense in our system

  55. someone above mentions getting AO. he is signed for a long time with the caps so that is not happening.

    dave – enough with spamming your blog. imbedding it in your name is fine. linking it to every post is pretty obnoxious

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