A peek at the rearview mirror (Updated)


When it became apparent shortly after July 1 that this was going to be the group the Rangers would forge ahead with, my theory on how the team would fare went something like this:

Without some of the heavyweights who comprised the core of the team the previous two seasons, I thought the Rangers were short a few important pieces, and shouldn’t have been expected to do much as a result. But I also thought the team would be more cohesive without as many egos in the dressing room. I thought less starpower would give way to more balance, and that a defensive-minded system and a world-class goalie would at least help make the team competitive.

Basically what I expected to happen was for the Rangers to start slow, perhaps feed off low expectations not unlike the way they did coming out of the lockout, and then grow into a playoff team as the season carried on.

So now here we are almost halfway through the season, and it turns out I was only partially right. The Rangers, at least record-wise, are better than their roster says they should be, but they’ve traveled a different trajectory than I anticipated. Rather than start slowly, they gathered momentum quickly, which probably inflated expectations both internally and externally. And now the team doesn’t appear to be handling those expectations well.

It’s all conjecture, of course, but the point is the Rangers are still what they are: a flawed team that has enough pieces to be competitive, but has minimal room for error. The mistakes have piled up recently, be it because of a lack of effort or an overall disconnect, and it’s come at the price of valuable points in the standings.

Can the Rangers’ slump be attributable to  coaching? To a point, sure. If a coach lays out a system for his players and those players have strayed from that system, it’s the coach who ultimately deserves the blame.

And there are things Tom Renney could do differently, whether it’s holding certain players more accountable when they’ve played poorly, or in giving other players more of a chance than they’ve been given. If you want to take it a step further, you can blame the special teams problems and the abundance of too-many-men penalties on the coaching as well.

But those issues are only symptoms of a larger problem, and I maintain that Renney is merely scrambling to play the hand he’s been dealt. He’s not the one who signed the likes of Wade Redden, Dmitri Kalinin, and Patrick Rissmiller in July, nor is he the one who let Jaromir Jagr leave for Siberia when the forward clearly wanted to remain a Ranger.

So yes, there are steps now that can be taken to get this group of players back on track, especially when you consider it was a group that had no problem winning when the season began. But you could change coaches tomorrow, and many of the same problems would still be here.

In other news:

<li>From today’s practice, Michael Rozsival was back on the ice and Scott Gomez was out with the flu. Renney also hinted again at Petr Prucha going in for Aaron Voros, but I suppose we’ll see about that.

All of this courtesy of Gross, “who was at the skate”:http://njmg.typepad.com/rangersblog/2008/12/rozsival-back-gomez-out-with-flu.html#more.

Update, 4:34 p.m.: Of course a coach has a say in personnel decisions. This was never to suggest otherwise. But it still falls to the general manager to make the final call on acquisitions, and fit them into the larger framework of a team’s current and future needs.

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  1. first??

    also im thinking about getting tickets off craigs list for this game tommorow, hopefully its not a disaster

  2. How about Blake Wheeler scoring 13 goals aready.

    When he became free…I stated we should sign him.

    Instead we throw money at Rissmiller.

    You hear of this talk about tradition and blah, blah, blah… but outside of 1 year in the last sixty, the only tradition I can think of is, a bunch of overpaid veterans and missing the playoffs or early exits.

    After the lockout….I really thought the rangers would change their ways…but then came drury,gomez and the gravest mistake of all the bad signings and trades…Wade Redden.

    for that alone Sather should be fired.

    Can we also fire the dolans?

  3. I like Larry Brooks’ thinking here:

    “The Rangers need an infusion of energy. The Rangers need someone who actually will be tough to play against. The Rangers need Avery almost as badly as he needs them, and if anybody doesn’t like it, he should be playing better.”

  4. Hi Sam,

    What do you mean Rennet is not responsible for signings like Redden? You’re telling me that he had no input when the team was going after such player?

    I don’t buy it. I don’t even dislike the guy, but his time has passed.

  5. How much does a defenseman’s effectiveness decrease if he is played on his “off” side? According to the recent pairings, Staal, Redden, and Kalinin all play the same side, whereas Roszival, Mara, and Girardi play the other. With Potter in the lineup, he played opposite Kalinin, with Mara playing opposite Staal.

    From this we can conclude that Renney feels that Potter can not substitute for Kalinin, and that the Ranger’s do not have a viable response to sitting Kalinin besides having a defensemen switch sides. Which brings me back to my question…does Renney believe that he is reducing his defenseive effectiveness by sitting Kalinin, if it means switching someone to their “off” side?

  6. Sam I agree with you that Renney did not sign the likes of Redden, Kalinin but im sure that his voice was heard when the decisions were made and i beleive that his voice was in favor of the moves that were made. My problem is that he has a system which does not fit the players who are in it. Most of the players we have are offensive minded but are not given the chance to play that style. Another thing I dont understand is why are the wingers in the defensive zone going below the hash marks leaving the opposing defensment to do what ever they want. On every team i ever played on the coach always preached for the wingers to stay with the d on the points. Can you possibly ask Tom why the players are so low.

  7. Sure, the coaching staff deserves some of this blame, but the players are terrible. He has a team of 3 average to just about over average defensemen and has 3 just awful defensemen, two of which are the highest paid. Kalinin is possibly the worst d-man in the league (at least by plus-minus), so a third of the time, Henrik is playing with one and a half d-men in front of him. I have yet to see Redden even skate fast to a loose puck. The so-called third liners keep on getting the blame, but Gomez has been dreadful along with the other “stars.” Maybe we should have re-signed Nylander instead of both Drury and Gomez.

  8. Scotty 2 Hotty on

    What the Rangers need is someone who can actually put the puck on net with some type of a physical presence. They need to trade Redden and get someone who can push the opposing forwards off their game. Just look at how easy it was for Clarkson to plant in front of Lundqvist and block him from seeing the puck. Look at how easy it was for Parise to skate in and score on that one timer. I love my team but they aren’t playing with any physical presence.

    They could use Avery again.

  9. Doodie Machetto on

    They’re just not that good. Let’s not get crazy about it. We’re stuck with 4 really overpaid players for the next 4 years, and 3 of them for the next 6. It’s gonna be a bad stretch for us, no doubt, but let’s hope they can find their way. Complaining about their contracts will do nothing since they aren’t going anywhere.

  10. Avery IS NOT the answer. He won’t turn drury, gomez et. al. into finishers, nor will he make the defense not suck. This team needs talent and size, not a player the rest of the team hates and disrespects and who will be called for a penalty every shift. Accountability and benchings should provoke hard play. Now Slats has to find a way to get a scorer and a tough blueliner.

    If real responsibility and leadership needs to be found, strip the C and the As. Give the C to Staal and the As to Cally and Betts. Or Mara.

  11. Are you kidding me? You dont think in the off season the coach & GM talk about which players will fit best on said team? If anyone thinks that Glenn went out and signed players that Renney didnt know about, then there is no helping you whatsoever.

    There was NO reason why Sather couldnt resign Nylander. Straka-Nylander-Jagr had over 620+ points combined over the 2 years of playing together. Why on EARTH would you not want to keep that together. Most of his signings have made absolutely no sense.

  12. Resigning Straka-Nylander-Jagr seemed like a real commitment to very old men. Let’s not forget those guys wanted money and some years. Not that I don’t think they might have turned out better than what we have now (and for the future) but it wasn’t so obvious a situation.

  13. I agree with some of the other guys Sam,this team is Renney’s team, this is the team he wanted, sure Slats pulled the trigger, you think if Renney really wanted Jagr to stay that he’d be in Omsk now? Renney did’nt want a high maintenance superstar such as Jagr,instead he wanted different leaders, except the new horses can’t be ridden hard, in fact the new horses are actually donkey’s and belong riding with the kids down the shore.

  14. Guys in their mid 30’s who can play. Straka was one of the fastest skaters on the team & was a good combination of offense & defense. Do you think its a coincidence that Jagr & Straka’s play deteriorated last season? No, its the coaching system. Jagr one way or another “clued” us & the media into it by passing comments here and there about that “system”. He also said that the “defensive first system” is very tiresome to the players.

  15. Dan

    I agree. Jagr put the team on his shoulders and he was a monster when he laid it all on the line. He took over games. I also think that there would have been a player mutiny with Jagr & Lundqvist in trying to get rid of Renney, if Jagr was still here. Players like Gretzky, Messier, Jagr, Ovechkin, Malkin only come around once in a generation. Messier did it once with Renney. We will never know what goes on behind closed doors with this team or teams before it. But we are all smart enough to figure out and read between the lines into things.

  16. As someone mentioned last night, Mottau and Leach are scrubs who have responded to tough and good coaching, on a team with a backup goaltender who couldn’t play for the Maple Leafs last year.

    And yet there are still those who continue to insist it doesn’t matter who’s behind the bench.

  17. Bottom line, I believe, this mess falls on Sather…
    Our defense is absolutely appalling. Redden should be shot and sent back to Ottawa. I don’t understand why Sather gets credit for being a good GM…how? I could have built a Stanley Cup dynasty in Edmonton. Now he has completely ruined this organization. We are stuck with the likes of Redden for the next 6 years because no one is going to take him in a trade. I would go so far as to say no one would take him even if we offered to pay half his salary…he has been an abismal failure and only would drag down the next team he would play for.
    Sam good points about Renney. I don’t think all the blame can be placed on his shoulders. He didn’t assemble this team, he didnt make all these stupid signings.
    I was at the game last night and I am 0-3 for the season.
    a 3-0 loss to Calgary,
    a 5-4 loss to Ovechkin
    and a 4-2 drubbing from the Debbies.
    and I hate to say it but…I’m going tomorrow.
    and I want to hear 2 chants more than anything….in order of importance…
    “Sather Sucks” and “Redden Sucks”

    I am not about Booing my team or the players but last night I Booed Redden every time he touched the puck and I plan on doing the same thing tomorrow regardless of the score.
    I’m so pissed off right now!!!

  18. Ford –

    I seems “scrubs” on every team other than the Rangers respond to who is behind the bench. Devils have always been a well coached team no matter who is on it.

  19. At this point, I would completely understand if Prucha told Renney to drop dead and demand to be traded. I’ve had it with Renney.

  20. Sam, every coach plays the hand they are dealt. Every coach needs to coach in their own way and I have not been able to figure out Renney’s way yet. I also believe Sather made some poor decisions but that is too bad for Renney.

    I think Renney likes these players otherwise he would hold them more accountable. If he is playing them because Sather says to then he should step down as coach and go back to player development.

    just my thoughts….

  21. GardenFaithfulinFLA on

    It looks to me (a few exceptions – very few) they are on the ice because the schedule says that’s where they’re supposed to be. I don’t know. These guys are dsyfunctional but we’ve seen the sparks here and there. The “system” isn’t working never did. When they play their game they do better – go back to the ‘system’ it all goes to crap. It’s broke – fix it. Or get some people in here that can! FRUSTRATION!!!

  22. We pride ourselves on being right in our management and player personnel evaluations, but I want to say I was wrong about prospects for this team, this year…

    I did emphatically think and state here that this team would be vastly improved over last year’s team, because I appreciated the culling of stiffs like Malik, Strudwick, Hollweg, and Backman from the roster, as well as the TIMELY jettisoning of Jagr, Straka, and Shanahan.

    But what I did not realize, at the time, was how incredibly badly Renney’s “coaching,” personnel mishandling, and in-game strategic philosophy would regress, nor did I factor in how dreadful the signings of Redden and Kalinen would prove to be. Nor could any of us anticipate the liability Rozsival would become, given his considerably higher level of performance production, which peaked two years ago.

    So I was also dead wrong by a mile as regards Sanguinetti’s development, thinking that we should promote him to Broadway and keep him in regular D slot, for the duration. He has played much better in December, than he played the first two months of the season, but is at least a year away, and this former OHL all-star, at best, is looking like a future NHL journeyman.

    Oh well, I guess the trick is to see situations with your brains, not your emotions. So I am disappointed to the max with the organization, and for my giving credit to the organization and to indivuals, before it was earned. This is an extremely dark, foreboding time for this organization, and with the goalie going into the tank, of late, help does not appear to be on the way.

  23. Of course Renney had a say in the signings. Pearn is on record as being one of the biggest advocates for aquiring Redden. You know this Sam, you reported it.

    If puttyface Pearn has so much influence, I’m sure Renney does as well.

  24. Very well said Cakewalk.

    I have only one comment. I think LQ’s play is tanking because of the team in general. His attitude has become pretty perfunctory the last few weeks.

  25. Salty

    Yep. I remember that the reason why they signed Redden was so he could QB the power play. That is so laughable ….

  26. Lundqvist is probably frustrated that when he plays out of his mind for them they can’t get any goals for him. He never has much room for error. I can’t blame him one bit.

  27. “But those issues are only symptoms of a larger problem, and I maintain that Renney is merely scrambling to play the hand he’s been dealt.”

    since you feel that Sather is the “larger problem” that dealt Renney a bad hand (even though we all know Renney had major input), will you at least ask to speak to Sather before the season is over? or will you (and the rest of the media) continue to not hold Sather accountable for the miserable construction of this team?

    put in a request every day, let it get rejected every day and WRITE about that, make the fact that Sather does not want to be held accountable or answer to US, the paying customers, a public display…I mean how does this arrogant practice by a GM with an abysmal track record in his time here continue to be tolerated by the media in New York of all places??

  28. Cakewalk, the Flyers were really pissed that the Rangers drafted Bobby Sags. Bobby Clarke supposedly had a tantrum. He’s gonna be Tom Poti 2.0 Hopefully he’ll get tougher but I think it’s a little early to label him a journeyman.

  29. Rich –

    Good point. Just like when letterman kept a long of how many times he asked Oprah to come on his show LOL

    F*ck Sam, DO IT!!!!! LB should do it, Zip everyone should do it!!!!

  30. “Good point. Just like when letterman kept a long of how many times he asked Oprah to come on his show LOL

    F*ck Sam, DO IT!!!!! LB should do it, Zip everyone should do it!!!!”

    haha I think Renney (and Pearn/Pelino/the “system”) are just as responsible for this mess as Slats, I don’t think they should be absolved at all, but it’s about time for the entire NY media to go on the offensive and smoke Sather out of whatever hole he’s fishing in

  31. this team is short 2 players of 2 different characteristics:
    1. the all-star scoring winger
    2. the hard-hitting, solid, defensive-d-man

    this team is also 3 crappy players too much:
    1. dmitri kalinin
    2. michal rozsival
    3. wade redden

    i can deal with rozsival in the line up…he’s proven himself in the past and he is playing much BETTER then earlier in the season…redden is not even close to a 6.5 mil contract and kalinin HAS to go..potter should stay in his place

  32. onecupin67years on

    This team (Rangers) is like a bad computer –
    the (team), bogged down by a a virus Sather and spyware- Renney.We all what it leads to: new software in a new computer

  33. ThisYearsModel on

    Renney has hinted that personnel is not his job, and that he has to play with the guys he has. However, in hindsight, it was foolish to let Jagr walk and to give his money to Redden. I thought the PP would be better not having to go through Jagr……I was abviously wrong. I can’t believe that Redden could be as uninspired as he appears to be. I have seen flashes of good play, but more bad play than good. Gomez was horrid last night. If he is sick, he should not have played. Drury made a stupid, high risk pass that resulted in a shortie, and could not cover Parise on the 4th goal. At this rate, playoffs will be from the 7th or 8th seed at best.

  34. My comment is going to speak for itself:

    from Tom Renney:

    “We’ve had something creep into our game, and that’s a lack of commitment to the detail of playing,” Rangers coach Tom Renney said. “We end up cheating because we’re not a high-scoring team. Until we get our heads around winning 2-1, we’re going to have nights like this all the time.”

  35. I can’t bring myself to watch Renney’s conference because I may break my computer trying to break through to strangle the man, but he actually said we have to get “our heads around” winning 2-1 games? Unreal. This guy has to go.

  36. renney has all his skilled players on a short leash, everyone is afraid to make a mistake that would cause the rangers NOT to win 2-1 which their dumbass coach is so adamant about

    it’s horrible

  37. Renney has to go.

    It’s the only way this team will go anywhere.

    His coaching style simply can’t get them to the next level.

    It really is as point-blank as that.

  38. Do you guys really all actually believe that the man behind the bench is at fault when there’s players on the ice who can’t do their job? It’s hockey. They’ve been playing their whole lives. They know what needs to be done and they’re not doing it. Coaching is SO overrated it’s ridiculous. I think all of you on here just try to fit in with the crowd of bashing. Sam is right and yet he get ripped on his own blog. What coach out there is going to make this team any better? No one. This team’s bad play falls on the players. All you Renney bashers are wishful thinkiers at best. AT BEST. At least the vocal ones are only the minority. Most people are intelligent to remember the last three years.

  39. Audioserf you’re one of the worst I’ve read on here. How is it as point blank as that?

    This team has done more the past three years under him then they ever did under ANYONE the last decade.

    How can you honestly say that this joke of a collection of players will change with anyone else behind the bench?

    And what makes Rangers fans so sure that with Sather and the Dolans in charge the man they would choose to replace Renney would be any better?

    Rangers fans actually have confidence in that?

    Give me a break you guys.

    The only thing worse than this team are the fans who think they know what they’re talking about.

  40. And does ANYONE REMEMBER THE LAST TWO YEARS how this team always plays its best hockey in February and March?

    The past two years we haven’t even been inside the top 8 before February.

    So I don’t understand why everyone is freaking out now.

  41. cause you have a dumb Captain making stupid comments. This year is different from the past years. This team doesnt have Jaromir Jagr for petesake. Instead they have Aaron crappy Voros, and Wade Redden. This year is totally different.

  42. True fans bleed RW&B on

    I’m glad ‘me’ is in la-la-la land. Nice job son, keep smoking that stuff.

    Ive kinda lost faith in this team. Renney and drury are a joke, I have said that since day 1 (where’s beerme gone anyway?! Haha).

    Either Sather needs to fire renney, strip the C from drury, or do something drastic because this teams a joke. Weinman, another nice job eschewing the criticism from the people who should be getting, but this team started 17-2! How the eff is sather at fault for them tanking after that. Obviously they had chemistry and this squad knew how to win and win a lot!! You’re a joke. Renney and drury are the 2 biggest problem followed by redden and rozsival. Another BS entry.

  43. “Me” (great username by the way) – the last three years are all the argument I need. The Rangers scrape into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth and then get soundly outplayed in the playoffs. Yes, contracts like Redden and Rozsival are anchors to the team doing many creative things with personnel, but after a certain point, you have nowhere to look but the guy behind the bench.

    Renney has them playing a scared, timid, non-offensive system. I didn’t say “defensive” system, they play a non-offensive system… there’s a difference. They’re scared – of taking a shot instead of passing, of taking the body, of standing up at the blue line. As long as other teams can skate around freely with no fear of taking a hit, they’ll continue to dance around the Rangers defensive zone and score goals more or less at will. Henrik isn’t good enough to carry the entire team all season long… no goalie is.

    They don’t hit.
    They don’t shoot enough.
    The powerplay is and has been GARBAGE for three years.

    I very, very much doubt Renney is telling them to take the body more often or to shoot the puck more often. Nobody really knows what’s going on in the lockerroom, you or I included, but Renney’s shellshocked style of hockey gets exactly the results we’re used to seeing. And I don’t ever see it getting MORE than that.

    That’s why I think a shakeup is needed in the coaching department.

  44. Fair enough but I just think it’s laughable that people here think that firing Renney means this teams problems are solved. The players are garbage. I agree the powerplay is and has been terrible. But to assume that getting rid of the coach solves anything is insanse. You also said Rangers scrape into the playoffs and then get soundly outplayed? Huh? They made the playoffs with a team projected to finishe 30th in the league and should’ve won the division. They came within 7 seconds of having a 3-2 lead over Buffalo coming home. And if they don’t blow a 3-0 lead in game 1 against Pittsburgh or Hollweg isn’t a retard in game 3 that series is completely different. I don’t understand where all this hate from Renney comes. People need to look in the mirror and understand it’s the players making decisions on the ice. Whoever comes in next does nothing to change the personnel and the same mistakes will be made. All you guys want an up tempo offensive style? Fine. See how many goals this team gives up with Redden and Rozsival and Kalinin back there. Everyone needs to stop being so emotional and start being reasonable.

  45. Hey true fans bleed RW&B….kinda a funny name for someone who quits on his team this early in the season. No one is doing to defend Drury and how he has played. But that means you just give up on him now? I enjoy how you give the players credit for the great start but not Renney. Yet it’s obviously his fault they haven’t continued it. A bit hypocritical no? Look at it both ways not just one. No one is saying you shouldn’t be upset with the way this team is playing BUT EVERYONE NEEDS TO CALM DOWN.

    Anyone who wants out, get out now.

    When this team starts dominating the last two months of the season with Renney behind the bench and Gomez and Drury leading the way I don’t want to hear from any of you.

  46. True fans bleed RW&B
    December 28th, 2008 at 6:50 pm
    I’m glad ‘me’ is in la-la-la land. Nice job son, keep smoking that stuff.

    Ive kinda lost faith in this team. Renney and drury are a joke, I have said that since day 1 (where’s beerme gone anyway?! Haha).

    Either Sather needs to fire renney, strip the C from drury, or do something drastic because this teams a joke. Weinman, another nice job eschewing the criticism from the people who should be getting, but this team started 17-2! How the eff is sather at fault for them tanking after that. Obviously they had chemistry and this squad knew how to win and win a lot!! You’re a joke. Renney and drury are the 2 biggest problem followed by redden and rozsival. Another BS entry.

    “me” is this the type you were reffering too?
    Sather signed these a-holes you moron! Have you even seen Reddens play? I WANT MALIK BACK!!! All you morons bashing Malik and now you got what was coming. We are stuck with an overpayed “offensive” QBing PP guy who does’t score, hit and continually pukes up the puck in his own zone…Redden makes Malik look like the second coming of Bobby Orr! At least Malik left me with a shootout goal that will forever stick in my mind as the sweetest I’ve ever seen.
    There is’nt a coach out there that is suddenly going to chance things on this team. We are stuck with the same personel!
    And why do you bash Weinman you twit?
    your posts are up with the worst!

  47. But ReddenSucks! if Renney is replaed by Torts of Laviolette or anyone this team will instantly play up-tempo hockey and everything will be roses! Obviously! It’s Renney’s fault Redden is garbage!

  48. I think the best is when peeps bash Weinman.
    Hey lets kill the messenger with does’nt have to do the blog. I doubt he gets paid more to do it, and yet Sam works to keep us informed. Buncha Dolts!

  49. I still cant believe the Jets lost. What a waste, we should have kept Chad. I hope Farve gets hit by Rozsival’s car while leaving the game. Then he’ll stay retired.

  50. True fans bleed RW&B on

    Me and reddensucks,
    Renney chooses not to barely practice the pp, not keep players accountable, employ pearn who went to bat for redden, and I’m sure renney endorsed every single signing this team made. Renney overplays the fourth line, stunts dubi’s growth, geez the list goes on. Because this team was a winning team, sather’s not the biggest villain.

    Your point about malik is not only moot, but dumb.

    Weinman continually avoids criticizing his favorites (renney, drury, rozsival) that’s my point earlier.

    You guys are too funny though, many of us saw this coming way earlier this year and twats got on here calling us crazy, but we’ve been right predicting the failure of this team. You’ll be in their boat and stop posting here when you’re wrong too! Haha

  51. larry Brooks has also been begging for shanahan all season so consider the source. HELL NO on both avery and shanahan

  52. Guys and gals look; Jimmy Johnson (the old Dallas Cowboys coach) made a great point a few weeks ago when assessing the situation with the Philly Eagles and Detroit Lions; just because you make a regime or management change, doesn’t mean it’s gonna be better. How many people were calling for Neil Smith’s head in the late 90s/early 2000s and after the first three years of Sather wanted Smith back?

    Renney isn’t Scotty Bowman/Toe Blake/etc. or even close, but unless this team goes on like a 9 game losing streak and gets blown out every game, I’ll give him the entire season and if they can make the playoffs, who knows.

    Torts is a hothead and would last 3 years max, and while Laviolette would be good, the personnel on this tema doesn’t match his uptempo style.

    Avery is not coming back as long as Vally/Gomez/Drury are here. Not gonna happen. I really don’t like Drury at all since he’s been a Ranger. He’s decent but unspectacular skill wise, doesn’t have an NY personality, and makes way too much cash. If I was the coaching staff I’d make an example and sit him and Redden for a game while calling up Anisimov to play 3rd line with Cally and Dawes.

  53. Boy you guys are something thinking that Renney is the reason that many players have fallen in the shitter.

    TrueFans… Renney stunts Dubi’s growth? Where and how do you come up with this? What are you basing this on? He is a sophomore with only a decent first year. You are making him out to be this all-world prospect that suddenly went sour.

  54. True Fans – other than the one comment by Drury that he would have liked to practice the power-play more at one during the season, what makes you think they don’t practice the power-play?

    It would be interesting if Sam could comment on how much they actually do practice the power-play, which I would bet is almost every practice and then video on top of that.

    You don’t think they just show up for a game and Renney says “You five go out there, hey Chris why not try the point? Staal, you haven’t played the power-play since junior but go for it without any practice, no big deal”…..unlikely.

  55. Great Posts ME , particularly, ” All you guys want an up tempo offensive style? Fine. See how many goals this team gives up with Redden and Rozsival and Kalinin back there. Everyone needs to stop being so emotional and start being reasonable.” Most of the Renney haters don’t understand that this team is a average to good team at best with exceptional goaltending and nothing else, we have no great scorers, we’re too small, can’t hit or check anybody, have no leadership. (I really wouldn’t mind getting Avery back as he would provide some needed spark.) Also re-signing Shanahan wouldn’t hurt. Renney’s getting the most out of what he has, and right now that’s not much. Gomez, Drury (Terrible captain), Redden have all been massive busts. What’s a new coach really going to do with this crap.

  56. graves9
    December 28th, 2008 at 7:28 pm
    I still cant believe the Jets lost. What a waste, we should have kept Chad. I hope Farve gets hit by Rozsival’s car while leaving the game. Then he’ll stay retired.

    Gotta give you props bob that was somewhat funny.

  57. I feel horrible for WFANs Joe Beningo; a Mets/Jets/Rangers fan. Hopefully he’s not too hungover tomorrow after this wonderful weekend for two of his teams.

    Tom Preissing is being scratched pretty regularly in LA; you think maybe they’d take Rozi or Redden for him? He’s nothing special but maybe he can have a Mara-like resurgence in NY.

  58. Joe Beningo is laughing all the way to the bank. crying act with his mega salary to cry and talk about sports. i don’t feel sorry for him 1 bit

  59. The coach IS responsible for the team developing chemistry between lines and things like that, so, yes, Tom Renney should NOT be off the hook for this debacle. Coaches are also responsible shift changes without getting called for too many men penalties, for mistakes that the guys make time and time again.

  60. Haha, nice post that was pretty funny.

    (In my best Joker impersonation):

    Gomez has the flu? heheh simple…make him stay home and give Anisimov a reward for his good play and let him play against 1/2 the Sound Tigers who he knows fairly well.

    Redden sucks and is gonna mess with the cap? hehe easy…send him to Hartford and get him off the books.

  61. Gomez/Drury or Redden/Rozsival need to be taken off the books ASAP or on June 30th, 2009. I say use the money from two of those losers and give it to HOSSA!

    Too many bums on this team.

    FIRE RENNEY! I love seeing the Betts’ line with 3 minutes left when we’re down.

  62. Pavel
    The Betts line was out two times in the final 4 and a half minutes last night…truly an insane way to slap at your offensive players

    here I’ll show you guys I’ll put the plumbers in

  63. pavel – i thought you said you were not following the team anymore. its not easy at all to get other teams to take high salaries with many yrs. so no more freea gents for a few seasons – hide sather’s checkbook

  64. i’ll use redden as example of buyout cost. after this yr he has 5 yrs and $ 32.5 mm left in terms of cap $ left in his contract. so I’ll round to $ 33 mm. buyout is 2/3 or $ 22 mm.

    buyout is double the yrs so 2 times 5 yrs is 10 yrs. (getting to dp territory here). so buyout each yr for 10 yrs is $ 22 mm divided by 10 yrs or $ 2.2 mm per yr (again for 10 yrs).

    I think they should do this for someone and Rozy would be my 1st choice. Granted it’s $ 2.2 mm of dead money but the alternative is $ 6.5 mm each yr for 5 more yrs. although if we did not buy him out it is likely we could buy him out when cba ends in 2 1/2 yrs with no cap hit.

    even if we buy anyone out i would strongly recommend not signing any big free agents for a few yrs. we have our own to sign, Z this yr and staal the next yr. so sather should go to Banff with no phone and no checkbook next july.

  65. hey loneranger you wrote ” All you guys want an up tempo offensive style? Fine. See how many goals this team gives up…”

    did you see the third period against SJ?? That was up tempo for almost the entire last ten minutes and NOT one scoring chance was registered by the sharks. the idea that up tempo means a million scoring chances is simply untrue.

    and when you’re defending a guy whose supposed defensive bias leads to 23 scoring chances against WITHOUT an up tempo forecheck, you should realize your argument is, ahem, faulty in its reasoning power.

  66. I didn’t hear anybody else mention it, so I’ll ask:

    did any of you guys notice Betts on with Dawes and Callahan last night with about 7 minutes left for what looked like a FULL shift?

    it was at least 30 seconds from the time I noticed it until they changed, and when they did change, I don’t think it was the betts or Drury line out there.

    Is it possible sleepy benced dreary?

  67. onecupin67years on

    The truth is, that the Rangers overachieved the first 12 games of the season, now they are falling back to earth where they belong.. so let’s relax

  68. no spezza. no more big contracts until the existing ones are over. there is a salary cap remember

  69. TrueFans…you must be some hockey “god”. You know so much and predicted all of this long before any of us “regular” fans saw or understood…Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. We all owe you soooo much!
    Again thank you from a little peon

  70. Joe in DE thinks Redden likes goat porn on

    We’re stuck with Redden and Rozsival for years with their unmovable contracts. If we can’t shop them, our first priority should be to try to get them back on their game. Potter is easily no worse than Kalinin, so we might as well develop a young player when we’re probably just going to cut Kalinin loose at the end of the season

  71. Joe in DE thinks Redden likes goat porn on

    BTW, why is Colton Orr in the lineup every night? Unless we’re playing a divisional game, or a team with a big time heavyweight, he shouldn’t be in the lineup. We certainly don’t keep him around for his dazzling offensive prowess. Either kick somebody’s ass, score, or sit; take your pick.

  72. Joe i posted a few days ago a link to articles that Dolan blew a gasket the game philly manhandled us a couple of yrs ago. read sather and renney the riot act. enough said

    in 2 1/2 yrs when cba ends they’ll be able to buy out contracts with no cap hit like they did with holik

  73. My crabs get itchy every damn time i see someone say they want Avery back. He would give the team some sort of toughness, compared to the other sissies on the team.

  74. Tom Renney is turning Orr into a girl. He wont do anything anymore. He stole Colton’s apple’s and oranges, and left the banana. But im sure he’s not letting Orr use it on his girlfriend.

  75. Joe,

    I agree with you on Orr. In the 06-07 season, we had 2 different 4th lines (not all different members) that would play depending who we were playing, a fast team or a physical team. I don’t see why this had to change, it was effective and made sense.

  76. I’m not worried about resigning Staal; he’s gonna be an RFA this time around so unless someone gives him a ridiculous contract, the Rangers will match. It’s Girardi I’m worried about resigning as he’s gonna have comparable numbers to Rozi and Redden and may make $4-5 million.

  77. both girardi and staal are signed for next yr. girardi cap hit $ 1.6 mm and staal $ 800 k cap hit both approx

  78. Cripes…the tough dee-men that we passed on in the off season…Jason Smith, Jim Vandermeer, Kurt Sauer,Steve Montador,Mike Commodore, Brooks Orpik (hometown discount?..yeah sure), Denis Gauthier, Sean O’Donnell, and the power play point man that is being wasted out by Eisenhower Park..Mark Streit, all make your stomach turn, with some assistance from those Section 420 so called pretzels. Someone mentioned Preissing- he’s too soft as is overpaid Spezza.

    I feel it’s only a matter of time until a change is made behind the bench, that’s if Sather returns from his lead role in Weekend At Bernies. If the Fishsticks do as I think they might do tonight…is Schoenfeld behind the bench vs Caps Saturday night? And while a reappearance of Avery is probably not in cards for many reasons..we need that kind of “sandpaper” player as Renney says. Think we can pry Chris Neil out of Ottawa, Jord or Tuomo Ruutu out of Carolina?

  79. Zherdev/Dubi/Callahan/Mara are the only players we need to re-sign in July (please please please can we move one of the big contracts)… other than that I say tank and go for Hedmen!

    Too bad there is $40m in 9 players next year… and the cap is falling.


  80. wd40 9:01pm I didn’t write but quoted “ME”S earlier quote. In San Jose which is a game they should have won, the Rangers played great checking hockey in all (3) zones but still couldn’t score. We need scorers. Up-tempo hockey or solid checking (3) zone hockey means nothing if your team can’t put the puck in the net. Re: Malik, sure take him back over Roszy & Redden. Got to get rid of Redden asap even if we pay half his salary. Potter looked real good and deserves to play up here.

  81. Trade Drury, Rozsival, Prucha, and a 2nd round pick to San Jose for Grier, Erhoff, and Michalek, or Cheechoo.

  82. The team is just in a dark tunnel with no real forseeable light at the end of it.

    Awful coaching from top to bottom.

    Zero leadership.

    Literally HOG TIED by awful long/expensive contracts.

    Elite goalie who is being left to the wolves nightly.

    Raw young talent being smothered.

    Question: We have given up 11 SH goals on the season. Do we even have 11 powerplay goals? Are we seriously letting up more than we are scoring on the powerplay? How is that even remotely acceptable?

    Sorry to kick while they’re down, but I’ve gotta reiterate: We were right. We were right about Renney sucking, and we were right about Drury being an AWFUL captain. We were right about this team not playing well despite “winning divisional games” and I really think we’re right about Prucha needing to be in the lineup.

    I still think it was the right move to let Jagr walk. To be honest, I even think Redden could _possibly_ still work out alright.

    We need a real coach to come in and shake the shit out of this team, start holding guys accountable, the guys that SHOULD be held accountable, not kids like Dubinsky or Zherdev.

    OH, By the way, FAT FUCKING CHANCE of getting Zherdev to sign here in the offseason! We won’t afford him, and why in gods good name would he EVER stay here anyway, especially under Renney! Enjoy him now kiddies…he’s as good as gone.)

  83. Dubi or not Dubi on

    Why are people arguing that the Rangers would lose with an uptempo style? Is that not what we heard all off-season? Isn’t that why we got rid of our two future hall of famers? THAT’S why Kalinin was signed, he played on Buffalo, perhaps the best uptempo team in the NHL. Drury excelled offensively with that type of style. Gomez? He scores/creates more on the rush because he’s fast, he’s not a great passer once he’s set up in the zone. Redden got 6.5 mil for his breakout passes, but the team doesn’t know how to break out!

    That’s a pretty big reason why some of us want Renney gone. He got HIS players for HIS system and it is worse than ever because he’s alienated the only elite player on this team, Chris Dru… Kidding! Hank, duh.

  84. Dubi or not Dubi on

    Basically, the pieces are there for an uptempo game, Renney just doesn’t know how to coach it. Frankly, if our squad of midgets wasn’t put together for an uptempo game, then I’d be really confused.

    Sather sucks, Renney sucks, Dolan blows.

  85. Agreed, uptempo style for this team is the way they need to play. Look at it this way: their defense sucks and they give up a ton of goals playing a “defensive” system; what do they really stand to lose by playing run-n-gun? When they do it, they put the puck in the net… look at the early season games, look at the (start of) the game against the Caps last week, look at the game against the Sharks. This team can make it happen when they open it up, but Renney doesn’t let that happen, and it’s SO frustrating to watch.

  86. BillyDeeWilliams on

    How can you proclaim anyone right or wrong about anything less than halfway through the season?

  87. Hello
    I must be going

    I’ll stay a day or two…I’ll stay the weekend thru…but I’m telling you

    I must be going

  88. “How can you proclaim anyone right or wrong about anything less than halfway through the season?”

    That’s half a season to you, 2 and a half seasons for me. The people here who “get it” with this team saw this trainwreck, this collapse, and the inevitable “come back” to squeak into the playoffs coming a million miles away.

    The team has the tools, lacks the leadership. Drury is an embarrassment not only to NY, but the the United States of America.

  89. “The team has the tools, lacks the leadership. Drury is an embarrassment not only to NY, but the the United States of America.”

    Salty, I agree with you a lot of the time but that’s just needlessly harsh. I do not buy Drury as the captain of the Rangers, and do not think he’s really doing anything to benefit the team this season, but an embarassment to the US is just pushing it.

    Let’s send him back to Buffalatio for Vanek! LOL

  90. I doubt they’ll even invite Drury to play for team USA at this point. If they do, it’s pure marketing. He is literally an embarrassment. If you couldn’t see he SUCKS as a leader when Buffalo sucked balls in the playoffs 06-07, you don’t know anything about this game.

    SAVE IT on the 7 seconds left goal. That was *our* mistake, not Drury’s “elite leadership prowess”.

    Drury couldn’t even get the Presidents trophy winning team to show up in the playoffs. Isles battled them, we nearly beat them, and OTT destroyed them.

    Buffalo was smart enough to not even let him wear the C alone, he had to share it with snail face Briere. They were also smart enough to let him walk. LET HIM WALK. They wouldn’t even pay him the $4-5M for 4 years he was looking for.

  91. but an embarassment to the US is just pushing it.


    As an American hockey player, I am embarrassed that Chris Drury is noted as one of the “great Americans to play the game”… he’s not. He’s a 3rd line guy. He’s a fcking role player.

  92. BillyDeeWilliams on


    I think it’s a bit ridiculous to proclaim yourself as “getting it” while anyone who disagrees with you as, I can only assume, “not getting it.”

    You’re still just speculating as to what will happen the rest of the season, which was pretty much my point in the first place. If you wanna get your crystal ball and have your storefront psychic readings business, that’s fine. If all you’ve said happens, I’ll pay you 5 dollars to read my palm at the end of the season.

    And from someone who “gets it” I’m not sure where you come up with the idea that this team has the tools…because I’m pretty sure that’s what’s holding them back at this point…not having the tools.

  93. “I’m pretty sure that’s what’s holding them back at this point”


    That’s why I consider you someone who doesn’t get it. How have the tools changed from the team that started the season on fire and the team that *does not show up to play hard*?

    Hint: They haven’t.

    Thanks for playing. Keep your $5, I’m not a palm reader I just know when I see bullshit on the ice.

  94. Steve Mariucci song

    I must be going

    I’ll stay a day or two…I’ll stay the weekend thru…but I’m telling you

    I must be going

  95. BillyDeeWilliams on


    If you really think that because this team started hot, they were a team that could run the table and be the best in the east all season, you’re grossly mistaken.

    While you can go on all day about playing hard means winning, it’s simply not true.

    Every team goes on a run in this league, and the Rangers happened to do it at the beginning of the season. The devils are doing it now…and so on and so forth. I’m not saying this team can’t be good. I’m just saying if you really think the hot start was the real Rangers team, you know less about this than I do.

    Thanks for playing. I’m not a hockey genius. I just know when I see bullshit in general.

  96. All I now is tongiht will not be an easy game.
    The Islanders have DP back in net, and are gunning for anohter win.
    IF we don’t play 60 minutes of full balls to the wall hockey tonight, it will be our first 4 game losing streak of the season, period.

    THe entire team needs to step up tonight and play with some passion.

    And if Prucha plays tonight, and gets a goal or an assist, and Renney then sits him the next game, I’m making sure I bring a tomato to MSG next month when I go so I can hit Renney in that idiotic head of his.

  97. I have read and digested a lot of the above. I have a few thoughts:

    1) We knew in August that we had ten 3rd and 4th liners (Betts, Orr, Sjo, Voros, Riss, Fritsche, Prucha, Cally, Dawes, and Dubi/Drury). Cally has lifted himself above this group maybe and Dubi/Drury have entered it. None of this should suprise us.

    2) We also knew that we needed a wrecking ball D man in the front of the net and a PP QB D man. We got Kalinen and Redden. Scary that the resigning of Mara was the best offseason move we made on D! He is our “wrecking ball”. Love his effort this year, but I gotta say LOL.

    I don’t see how Sather is not to blame for 80% of the above stupidity (offseason moves). But the other 20% falls into Renney’s lap. There is absolutely no way that Renney didn’t have a say in the offseason moves and give his approval.

    3) 11 SHG given up. Is that the coaching or the players? Seems to me that the lazy, panicky, crappy cross ice “hospital” passes are a clear sign that the players are either trying too hard or they don’t give a crap. If they are trying too hard, I blame the players. This means they are not trying hard enough at other times. If they don’t care, I blame the coaches.

    At the end of the day, if Isiah didn’t get fired for his criminal behavior (he is still on the MSG payroll, btw) then Renney could never be fired probably. Asses are in the seats for the Rangers. That is all mgmt cares about. Why change the product if the consumer is still buying it? The Dolans don’t care enough. That’s a sorry state of things, but it is what it is.

    4) We are saddled with a lot of garbage now and for a long time. I don’t claim to be an expert on contracts and caps and whatever else, but admitting mistakes and cleaning house is something that this management never does well. I mean remember when Leetch and Kovy and others got shipped out? Did we even get one good player or draft pick from that whole event? The Rangers have a history of signing old veterans who used to be good so that they can fill the seats. Why would we expect this to change?

    We are the suckers. We tune in each night sitting on the couch with hope and ending the night spooning in bed with despair. A f-ing disgrace.

    Why is it that 90% of the players who come to the Rangers get worse when they hit MSG?

    Poor Lundqvist. The guy has clearly lowered the quality of his game given how frustrated he is with the whole team.

    At the end of the day as I said before, the mgmt wants to put asses in the seats. They would never let Potter or Bobby Sags in place of one of those D-men or Prucha or Anisimov play ahead of the high priced O-men, even to prove a point and embarrass a slacker.

    I am quite bummed but hoping that the Rangers are a 2nd half team.

  98. “they were a team that could run the table and be the best in the east all season”

    Run the table? wow, shut it.

    I don’t mind losing at all. I mind seeing a pitiful product on the ice. I mind seeing UNDERACHIEVERS go unpunished, and I mind seeing 3, 4, and 5 goal leads turn into embarrassing Losses.

    There is absolutely zero reason this team can’t be atop the East with hard work and good leadership/coaching. Zero reason. We’re not bursting at the seams with Elite talent, but it’s obvious that we have guys who know how to play this game and for one reason or another do not feel the burning desire to WIN.

    I’m not saying we coud “run the table”, but we could absolutely take it deep with hardwork and a little fcking effort around Lundqvist.

    But leave it to people like you, to think we need to add this star, add that star, sign Sundin, sign Shanny, get Jagr back, we need Avery, we need this guy, that guy IT NEVER ENDS AROUND HERE… the team could use another scorer but we have a BUNCH of potential 20 goal guys… some people just dont get it.

  99. BillyDeeWilliams on

    Never once did I say any of those things you accuse me of saying. Never did I lobby to sign any of those players.

    Renney needs to be fired, Drury is a terrible leader, and this team needs to play with passion. I get your point.

    I don’t think this team needs to go out and sign high price players or get a kovalchuk or bring back avery or whatever other ridiculous rumor you want to throw out there.

    I agree they need to play with passion. I also think that if this team wins anything this year, they will be overachieving. And I’ve been here all along saying that I think they have a chance, so please get off your podium and get a clue.

    As I’ve said all along, everyone on here wants to see this team win, they just have different ideas of how it can happen.

  100. Salty is 100% correct! It doesn’t matter WHAT player we get, it’s the coaching staff that can’t get this team motivated and playing at even close to their best.

    A fish rots from the head down. We can see that in this case.

  101. “is anyone going to the game tonight that is as un-excited as iam?”


    NHL center ice blacks out versus games; normally we find a online source ( justin TV etc…) but tonite we’re going to have dinner then watch an Alfred Hitchcock DVD collection…
    Taking a break from this lifeless, listless, leaderless boring a** team

  102. I wish this were as simple as firing Renney and Sather but whoever comes in to fill those spots will still be left with a team who has so much money towards the cap already for the next 5 years.

    Sather is the biggest problem followed closely by Renney. Both need to go sooner rather than later.

  103. A couple of observations –

    1) Special teams: Renney seems to get all the blame for a mediocre power-play but none of the credit for the strong penalty kill. Without one real sniper or even a strong goal scoring contingent on this team, I find it hard to assume why this team should be in the upper half of the league on the power-play.

    To put some more perspective around this, the team has 25 power-play goals with a 14.7% success rate. Middle of the road in the league is historically about 18.0%. That would be 31 goals based on the number of power-play chances to date, six extra goals in 38 games.

    Would anyone really have noticed that the Rangers scored an extra goal on the power-play every six games? That would put them in the middle of the league. I think most “fans” on this board would still bitch about the power-play even if it was 20%.

    2) Hard hitting d-man: According to the NHL statistics, Girardi is in the top 10 in hits. So are Callahan and Dubinsky incidentally, so there goes the argument about forechecking. While this stat is subjective due to the scorer, it would seem to indicate we do have a d-man who hits.

    3) Scoring chances: While the Rangers should be better in this department, I think that if you’re going to have the highest paid goalie in the league then team will have to sacrifice some corresponding quality on the d-men due to the cap and the goalie has to earn his salt.

  104. JJP

    “Mediocre PP” ?????? Are you kidding? A PP unit that gives up as many SH goals than scores PP goals you call mediocre?

  105. JJP
    Good job and yes….Dudi, Cally and Danny G do hit a lot, I mean at least they are trying

    One of the things that does not have a statistical measurment in hockey and “never” gets mentioned is how many hits a players “takes”….this is important because for every hit a guy like Kalinin does actually “throw” he backs off of one “coming his way”…you need to be tough to play hockey, you need to be very tough to hit people…you need to be “fearless tough” to play the game and do the things you need to do and ABSORB A HIT FOR DOING IT…

    I’m not arguing about the guys you mentioned, I’m merely stating that…
    the stats dont measure every thing…its “easier” to hit a guy along the boards than to go there knowing you will be hit and there is no stat for that

  106. I’ll be at the game and I honestly am not looking forward to it like I was a few weeks ago. I’m pissed I spent money on a ticket to see this “product”. I’m not spending any money in the garden though and all I want to hear is “fire sather” and “Redden sucks”

  107. Phalanx (Chris in MA) on

    Salty… if you’re around, I got my tickets for the game on the 31st @ Boston. I’ll be in Sec. 110

  108. haha, not me man… I hardly want to go to the Garden to watch this squad this year, let alone travel to Boston of all places to see them get mopped up by the B’s… must be somoeone else

  109. Phalanx (Chris in MA) on

    Apparently I was wrong. It wasnt you i had that conversation with… *slams face on keyboard*

  110. Phalanx

    I’m supposedly going there on the 31st…I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago

    I think Jeever said he was going to

    NYC buddy of mine was getting tix last I heard, we usaully go to one NY vs Bost game a year…last time we went was a 0-0 tie that we lost in shootout( Oct 2007 I think), two times before that were preseason games

  111. So my good buddy texts me a few weeks ago “Do you like Dubinsky?”

    I responded “Hell yeah I like Dubinsky”

    And he responds “Right on”

    He’s not a hockey fan at all, knows I am, I didn’t really understand, but whatever, I forgot about it.

    Saturday night I stop by his place before we go out and he hands my a plastic gift bag with a Dubinsky autographed puck with a cert of authenticity from NYR.

    Apparently he was at some auction of some sort and saw the puck and thought of me, he said “the bidding was only up to $40 so I put $50 and won it for ya!”

    I thanked him dearly and didn’t have the heart to tell him how much he overpaid… hopefully the thing becomes valuable in the future. Thank god it was a player I like, otherwise it would have ended up a $50 puck in my hockey bag and eventually in the back of some net, never to be seen again.

  112. Phalanx (Chris in MA) on

    Salty … i think i need to go wash my face now.

    “I’m supposedly going there on the 31st…I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago

    I think Jeever said he was going to

    NYC buddy of mine was getting tix last I heard, we usaully go to one NY vs Bost game a year…last time we went was a 0-0 tie that we lost in shootout( Oct 2007 I think), two times before that were preseason games”

    Ahh … yea, I could remember which blog entry the conversation was in and didnt feel like trying to hunt it down.

    I was @ the TD garden for the 0-0 shootout loss as well. I was about 5 rows behind lundqvist.

    But yea… I need ot look at the ticket again, but Im pretty sure our seats are in the 110 section

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