In a sense, the season starts today


I’ve never been a big believer in the whole “you get to start over at New Years” philosophy, mostly because it still feels like the middle of the year.

In high school, you still had the same teachers. In college, you still had the same roommate who left five-day-old cans of Natty Light stuck to the coffee table and took 45-minute showers that robbed the rest of us of hot water (OK, maybe that was just my roommate).

The point is, New Years usually doesn’t mean much, especially in the middle of a hockey season. But today, with the Rangers playing their first game in five days, and with just 43 games remaining in the regular season, feels like a new beginning.

The best thing you can say about this team right now is that it has put itself in a favorable position heading into the season’s second half, which is a heck of a lot better than where the Rangers stood at this point the previous two seasons. The worst you can say is that there’s still plenty of time for their myriad shortcomings to be exposed.

The next three games — against the Caps tonight and then Pittsburgh and Montreal Monday and Wednesday — should tell us something.

Some other thoughts:

<li>Regarding Zip’s “well-constructed report card”:, my fantasy team co-owner seems to get it right.

One quibble: despite his goal-scoring drought, I think Brandon Dubinsky has played better than a C-minus rating. We’re still talking about a second-year player who is fifth on the team in points.

<li>Great change-of-pace story from Larry Brooks about the constant banter between Paul Mara (Red Sox) and Chris Drury (Yankees) “over their favorite baseball teams”: The guy you should feel bad for is Colton Orr, since he sits between the two in the MSG Training Center locker room.

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  1. Dubi or not Dubi on

    Man, even knowing that Mara is a Sox fan, I still like him better than Drury!

    Obviously no Prucha on the power play, because that would make sense. Of course Dawes has been playing well too and also should get a crack at the power play. Of course of course the American scrub centers of Drury and Gomez, as ineffective as they are, will NEVER be taken off of the power play! Let’s just blame it on Jagr! It’s all his fault! Stupid future hall of famer sixth all time in scoring is just ruining the power play, even now, because what other excuses can the coaching staff come up with?

  2. a casual observer on

    Perry Pearn runs a very good penalty kill. It is well thought out and executed well. He runs one of the most impotent powerplays in the NHL.It is disjointed and lacks any semblance of gameplan(not to mention the wrong players are in on the powerplay, although that is probably Renneys fault).Isn’t it time SAM to have someone else supervise the powerplay. Pearn has proven he can’t get it done.

    ps-Everday that goes by, Shanahan looks more attractive to NHL teams. If the actual salary cap hit for him turns out to be 600k then someone will take him for a playoff run. just sayin.

  3. Now that the new year is here, Sather should sign Mara to a 2 year extension. Him and Staal have been, by far, our 2 best defensemen this year.

  4. Sam – You agree with Zipay’s assessment that in the first half of the season that Lundqvist is the 6th best performer on the team?

  5. onecupin67years on

    Can you give Renney a shot for coach of the year at the half way point, for keeping this sloppy low scoring team in first place? Maybe, some would.
    But they have to turn on the scoring light if they want first place at the end of this year.
    Drury and Gomez have to give them more offense.

    I think Mara will get big $$$ offers elsewhere, the rangers have cap problems.
    Who comes off the cap at the end of 09?

  6. Sam,

    Any reason why Josh Gratton was not resigned?

    Is it because we have so much muscle in the organization that we didn’t need him. Can someone explain how he is in the Flyers lineup every night, a better team, we pains me to say.

    I know he sucks but he fills a role and a need, yet he is totally dismissed and resurfaces for one of our most hated rivals.

    I just don’t get it.

  7. jack – becuse it makes more sense to sign Rissmiller for 3 years at $1 million per than Josh Gratton @ $550k for one season, uh…..right?

  8. Can’t get too bent out of shape of career journeymen like Crabb and Alexander Giroux, who have been gone for years. Now, if you’re asking me if I’d rather have Dom Moore or Blair Betts, that’s another story…

  9. Flyers are tied with the Rangers for first with a game in hand. Devils have two games in hand and are two games back. New beginning? Yep. With the Rangers having that big lead all season, now it’s starting to slip away. Everything is pretty much back to square one in the division. We’ll see how the Rangers respond.

  10. Sorry to learn of the passing of OHL D Don Sanderson, who took a head fall to the ice during a fight in a game, three weeks ago.

    Also sorry for the implications for the rest of us, anytime something tragic happens in this world. It is always a green light for meddling outsiders to milk it for publicity – for themselves, starting with politicians forming “an investigation committee” for the purpose of usurping control, and of course the usual P.C. activist groups come out of the woodwork in timely, opportunistic fashion, too. They are about as helpful as the organization asking for money “to fight filth on TV for the sake of our children.”

    I just hope Bettman doesn’t go along for the ride and impose “stricter enforcement rules” as a concession to the creepy, meddling, publicity-seeking vipers who run every aspect of our lives under the pretext of “making this a better world.”

  11. Hi Sam,

    I completely agree about Dubinsky and with the remainder of Zip’s report card. I made the following comment on Zip’s board the other day in response to the C-:


    I completely disagree about the Dubinsky grade. First and foremost, this is a guy who gives his all on each and every shift. He wins the battles along the boards, he hustles and he hits. Plus, Dubinsky is one of the most responsible two-way players on the club.

    The problem is that Dubinsky has not had a chance to play with goal scorers this year and when he has (e.g. Zherdev) his offensive production has been much better. But, Dubinsky is not and should not be a goal scoring machine. He is a gifted play making center and his job is to get the puck in the zone and dish it to a sniper, not score 40 goals. He more than holds up his part of the bargain, but the linemates he has most typically been paired with have not.

    If you can, look at some Dubinsky tape from the past couple of months. He breaks through the zone on almost every shift, gets deep and has no one to pass to. Voros cannot keep up with the guy and no one else who has played with him, with the possible exception of Zherdev, seems to be able to find positioning. It is a tribute to Dubinsky’s two zone play that with the lack of offensive help he is a miracle -2 so far this year in the +/- category.

    If Renny sticks with the Zherdev/ Prucha/ Dubinsky line, Dubinsky will have a better chance to show what he can add offensively in terms of play making ability.



    I feel people have been pretty tough on Dubinsky this year and I think there is a misunderstanding about his role and what is (to paraphrase his words) special about his game. One of the things I like a lot about Dubinsky is that he understands what he brings to the ice and he works extremely hard to be the best he can at it. Besides, how many other players on this Ranger team get into the offensive zone on 2/3 of their shifts.

    I would give Dubinsky a B for the year and my comment would be to continue to work on face-offs.


  12. I agree with Sam. All major problems aside (ha), the season starts today. Why? Well, how about 2000-01 as an example. Rangers were the hottest team in the league going into the New Year. The “FLY” line could not be stopped, we were in first place, and looked impossible to beat. Fast forward to year’s end… everything falls apart and we don’t even so much as make the playoffs.

    So, anything can happen at the turn of the year. This is when teams kick it into a second gear.

    We’re very much in the thick of things and I think if we can just stay afloat, drop some of this dead weight and then make a smart move between now and the deadline, we’ll still be pretty hard to beat.

    If Nigel Dawes, Petr Prucha (provided he plays) and Brandon Dubinsky elevate their game significantly we’re a much different team. But those are all “what ifs”.

  13. Dubinsky’s had a tough year. He played harder than his numbers show. He’s had a lot of opportunities that very easily could have been goals if he had gotten a bounce here or there. I really think not having a veteran presence on his wing has slowed him down a bit.

  14. Dubinsky is having a very typical season for a sophomore with a lot of talent and limited veteran influence. What he’s doing is he’s trying to do TOO MUCH — almost on every shift. Instead of trying to make plays, he has to let the game come to him a little bit more. I find he exerts too much energy in the wrong spots.

    I love that he plays with heart and fire, but sometimes you have to let the game come to you. For those that played, they know what this means.

    Just a typical problem with being young, full of piss and vinegar and wanting to be considered as a “go to” guy.

  15. I find the constant blame on the coaching staff in here kind of unbelievable. It’s a cop out from blaming the players. In my mind it’s the players on the Rangers who need to improve and step up their game if they want to be a dominant team. There’s no amount of coaching that can compensate for stupid plays on the ice or lack of effort.

    I’ll admit that some of the personnel decisions are perplexing. That said, I don’t think a Prucha/Potter/etc. in or out of the lineup make or break this team at the end of the day.

    Take a look at Boston, essentially the exact same team as last year on the ice and the same coaching staff. Look at them last year, look at them this year – way better. You tell me, did Claude Julien dramatically change his coaching style/techniques or are his players just playing better?

    Players win the game on the ice, not coaches.

  16. Sam, I think you have to be wary of using these games as a barometer. Pitt is slumping big time, Montreal’s entire starting lineup is on IR and Washington is also still hurting from injuries.

  17. jjp wrote: “There’s no amount of coaching that can compensate for stupid plays on the ice or lack of effort.”

    there it is in a nutshell, sports fans. It’s all random. Doesn’t matter who’s behind the bench. Who can teach, who can motivate, who can withhold ice time. Who can establish a demand for excellence and hard work. Nope.

    But then it gets better. because JJP then goes on to cite Claude Julien as supporting evidence for his argument … when in fact Claude Julien (replacing Dave Lewis and Mike Sullivan, who couldn’t coach the likes of JOE THORNTON successfully) is exactly the example that negates his whole argument! A coach who knows what he’s doing, getting performance from players who floundered under two guys who lacked Julien’s skills.

    the cherry on top? Prucha or Potter in or out of the lineup has no importance “at the end of the day.” Wrong in and of itself, but the phraseology: At the end of the day! Quite honestly! Let’s identify the culture! Any other rennyisms you wanna throw in there?

    you can’t make this stuff up.

  18. JJP

    So Julien bears no responsibility for players thriving under his coaching?? A team that has steadily improved for a season and a half, after having been relativey lousy under other coaches? I see no way to follow your logic.

  19. I don’t know… I have a bad feeling about the second half of the season. The rest of the teams are just now going to start hitting the gas pedal. What happens when this squad can’t find anything more than what we’ve seen?

    A trade?

    More line juggling?

    All I do know is that if these guys (Hank, Z, Naslund, Staal excepted) can’t start to pull their own weight, it’s going to be tight at the end.

  20. Sam-

    Regarding Dubinsky, while it might sound like he is having a nice season because he is 5th on the team in points, one has to remember that he only has 21 points (5 goals 16 assists) and that this team struggles to score. The word choice of being the 5th leading scorer on the team sounds better if you are talking about a team like the Red Wings, whose 5th leading point scorer is a defenseman with 30 points (Rafalski). Dubinsky started hot, but has really struggled to consistently put up points the last 25 games or so.

    The one mid-season grade that stuck out like a sore thumb to me was Nigel Dawes with a B-minus. He has only tallied 12 points in 29 games, and sometimes it takes me until the second or third period to even realize this guy is in the lineup. There are far too many nights when he is simply invisible.

  21. I find the constant blame on the coaching staff in here kind of unbelievable. It’s a cop out from blaming the players. In my mind it’s the players on the Rangers who need to improve and step up their game if they want to be a dominant team. There’s no amount of coaching that can compensate for stupid plays on the ice or lack of effort.

    I’ll admit that some of the personnel decisions are perplexing. That said, I don’t think a Prucha/Potter/etc. in or out of the lineup make or break this team at the end of the day.

    Take a look at Boston, essentially the exact same team as last year on the ice and the same coaching staff. Look at them last year, look at them this year – way better. You tell me, did Claude Julien dramatically change his coaching style/techniques or are his players just playing better?

    Players win the game on the ice, not coaches.

    jjp- excellent post, i agree and ive been saying that if drury and gomez start accepting the responsibility theyve been given and be an example for these younger guys, then we are a much better team. the thing is, is that both dru n gomer have been on pace for their usual point output for the season, and we are still missing that 40 goal scorer n pp qb d man away from being a contender. i think renny has done good, not great, with his guys. prucha should be playing every game now and kalinin should be scratched for potter. thats the only problems i have with renny

  22. Dubinsky has worked hard, but he’s been lacking production since Voros stopped doing anything useful. I’d like to see him and Zherdev on a line permanently.

  23. That article by Larry Brooks was pretty funny. I really like what Mara’s done this year; he gets my vote for the Steven McDonald Award so far (with Cally coming a close second followed by Zherdev, Staal, and Henrik). He should be resigned and kept on the 3rd pair; give him a 3 year deal even if it means letting Sjo go who I like but is replaceable.

  24. Wd – You’re attributing comments and views to me that I didn’t make. Troll away.

    The 12th forward or 6th defenseman in/out of the lineup isn’t going to define a team’s season at year end. There’s only one player on the Rangers who’s play will strongly determine the season and that is Lundqvist.

    Albeit slim, this team has the lead in the division. Reading this blog, you would think firing the coaching staff is a must since they’re holding the team back.

    Same point last year, the Ranger’s record was (20-15-4 44pts). This year they are (23-13-3 49pts), a small improvement.

    My point with Boston was that with essentially the same team and coaches they’re doing much better, I would attribute that more to the players than the coaches. I think Julien is a good coach, it wasn’t a knock on him but I doubt he’s doing anything much different this year than last.

    The Rangers have a bunch of new faces this year and lost some big players as well, yet they’re doing better than they were a year ago and I think most would agree haven’t reached full potential.

    I think coaching staff is doing well with what they’ve got and for the level of performance they’ve gotten from the players so far. This isn’t Detroit where you can look at the lineup and say they should be at the top of their conference.

    For most of the big beefs about the coaching I think there is an offset – bad powerplay/great penalty kill, if you’re a big Prucha fan and think he’s been undeveloped/there’s Staal & Dubinksky, etc..

  25. actually, they don’t have the lead in the division…they are now 2nd in the division and 4th in the conference, solely by virtue of playing more games

  26. and im not saying potter n prucha are gonna save the rangers, but the few goals pruchs gets and the possible shitload of goals scored against may go down a lot without kalinin in the lineup

  27. i like mara, but this red sox stuff makes me not like him at all. But he does have an edge over us Yankees fans, I still dont get how we were up 3-0 in the ALCS and just blew it. Still confused…

  28. man did anyone watch the habs devs game last night? how the hell did we take jessiman over parise? that guy is a scoring machine and he laso made a brilliant behind the back pass in front of the net to set up langenbrenner. the devils are also geting great goaltending fvrom clemmenson. thats a team that plays as a TEAM. alot of backups are stepping in and giving their team a chance this year. i think vally should get some more games. henrik is world class we all know that but i also think vally is more than capable of gettin some more games in and maybe get some pressure of hank

  29. and the rangers do have the kind of team on paper that you look at and think they should be on top of the conference

  30. dr house, keep poppin those vicodins buddy lol. why does mara likin the red sox make u not like him?

  31. rob f- he meant that the rangers arent a team that on paper look like they should be on top of the conference.

  32. jjp, let me know when you retract your “there’s no amount of coaching that can compensate for stupid plays on the ice or lack of effort” and then we can have a serious dialogue and you can complain about “comments that you “didn’t make.” troll on, brother

  33. Voice of Reason on

    Re: The Report Card…

    Funny how some people see things differently.

    Who is responsible to put the players on the ice in the situations they are most likely to succeed?

    THE COACH… Therefore if players like Kalinin and Redden are continually thrown into situations and continue to fail, the Coach should assume their grade.

    The A- List: Callahan, Staal, Lundquist, Orr (yes Orr, can you honestly expect anything more from him than you get?)

    The B Team: Mara, Valiquette (remember the Toronto collapse?), Sjostrom, Betts, Korpikoski

    C: Zherdev, Naslund, Drury, Gomez, Girardi

    D: Roszival, Redden, Voros

    F- Kalinin, Renney, the Power Play, Sather (see the signings of Redden, Roszival, Voros, Rissmiller)

    Incomplete: Fritsche, Prucha, Potter

    To be 10 games over with only one of your top Performers playing well is fortunate….

  34. Voice of Reason on

    oh yeah…put Dubinsky into the C category as well.. I think the Coach anchored him for a long time with Aaron (slow, punching bag) Voros…

  35. Wow what a silly post by Dr. House(what else is new?) At least you know he’s not a bandwagon fan like 95% of Yankeee fans.

  36. Yea JJP don’t feel so bad, wd40 did the same thing to me where he has a knack of taking ones comments out of context to serve his only purpose which is to dump on Renney. He’s funny…it seems the only one he blames is the only one who does not actually play in the game.

    Hey wd I would have a whole lot more respect for you if you busted on Captain Dreary or Gomez once in a while; but no, it’s back to the same old rant of let’s kill the guy who makes these players play like shit. Your endlessly talking about Renney is starting tomake me think that you have a man-crush on him!

    BTW Warren ease up a bit on that Dubinksy not getting enough credit. The guy came out like a shot the first week of the season, and he’s been pretty damn bad ever since!

  37. I was kidding smarty pants, Mara is a great defenseman, i will take a red sox fan on D more than Wade Redden.

    I for one am not a bandwagon fan, having met Alex Rodriguez that guy is ripped for sure. No matter how much he goes out with madonna.

  38. lobstah! my only man-crush is on you! and if you can tell me how I took “there’s no amount of coaching that can compensate for stupid plays on the ice or lack of effort” out of context, that man crush will grow even greater!

  39. Sorry that my retarded twin tries to twist everything. He’s not really a fan of the team. He just tries to turn everyone into haters so he doesn’t look so stupid.

  40. dr house
    January 3rd, 2009 at 2:47 pm
    I was kidding smarty pants, Mara is a great defenseman, i will take a red sox fan on D more than Wade Redden.

    I for one am not a bandwagon fan, having met Alex Rodriguez that guy is ripped for sure. No matter how much he goes out with madonna
    Okay you’re not a bandwagon fan you’re a groupie much better.

  41. Btw disagree with Zip’s grade for Dawes. He was awful the first two months and has rebounded to have a real good December. I would give him a C.

  42. I’ll give it a shot wd40

    Can we agree that Kalinin’s multiple give-aways, and Gomez’ coughing up the puck are stupid plays? If yes (and I think that even you who don’t like to bash anyone but your sweetheart(Renney, not me)can agree that these are stupid plays…did Renney make them do these things? What about the lack of effort? It is Tom Renney that has to motivate these multi-millioaires’s who are playing at the greatest stage in all of professional sports game-in and game-out? Grant it part of being a coach is to motivate your players, but come-on most of that resposibility should be on the shoulders of these professional athletes not the coach.

  43. graves9 i would give him a c too. good december, but we’ll forget that boneheaded pass he made last week that led to a costly goal

  44. Okay Wd – when did I say it was random? when did I say it doesn’t matter who is behind the bench?

    Your reading comprehension skills are lacking.

  45. re the bet – by my calc greg and the other person can start posting around 1 am or 2 weeks after ther SJ game. orr can start posting on friday or 2 weeks after he stopped posting

  46. Hey Voice of Reason…how does Redden not make your F list?
    IMO hes worse than Kalinin…I didn’t have much in the way of expectations for Kalinin but Redden on the other hand was supposed to be our PP QB and he’s paid an outrageous amount of money yet he’s been just as bad as Kalinin…maybe worse.

  47. Mike in IA; it was stupid of the Rangers not to take Parise or Brown. Parise’s dad scored that stupid goal against them in 1975 to knock them out of the playoffs and knowing the “logic” of the Garden brass, they probably thought that kid would never be accepted because of his name.

    It’s funny too, as in the Bure trade, the pick they gave up that was traded to Calgary year turned out to be Eric Nystrom. Imagine if those two were Rangers hehehe. Does John Druce have any kids?

  48. Joey Crabb is decent. Id like one of my crabs to be as responsible as he is, LMAO. Im just joking.

  49. Joey Crabb is decent. Id like one of my crabs to be as responsible as he is, LMAO. Im just joking.

  50. onecupin67years on

    Based upon Zipay’s Ranger report card this is what the Rangers report card costs per grade:
    player salary total
    A) Stall 765k,callahan 600k 1,365,000
    B-)Naslund 5mill,zherdev 3,250mil , Valli-765k = 9million
    B)Dawes -587K
    c) drury 7.1 mil,korpi,984K ,Orr 550k, Sjostrom 840k=
    D)Gomez 8.1mil,Dubi 635K, Rozi 7mill,Voros 1.2mil=
    D-) redden 8mill, Potter 500?,Fritsche 875K= 9.3 million

    So ,it seems that the high payed star, HA HA , performs the worst .

  51. Dubi or not Dubi on

    Lobster, JJP, Mike in IA:

    I’m pretty sure most people on here who dislike Renney dislike Gomez and Drury to some extent. They have been huge busts no question. It’s just that since there are so many players who don’t appear to be playing up to their potential at all, the only common thread is the coaching staff. Redden was never this irresponsible in Ottawa, Gomez NEVER turned the puck over against the Rangers, Drury scored in what seemed like every game against the Rangers.

    All of a sudden they come here because Renney and Sather want to construct a fast transition team. Only problem is, Renney doesn’t know how to coach that! I can understand new players in a system making some mistakes, but not with this frequency. So his message/teaching tactics must be off.

    I also beg to differ on the comment that multi-millionaires at the highest level don’t need motivation. They probably need the MOST motivation. What incentive does a guy with a 6 year contract for 6.5 mil/year have? Guys like Dubinsky, Zherdev, and Callahan need no motivation, they are playing for a contract. Renney was initially great at dealing with a superstar in Jagr and a budding star in Lundqvist, but now he only has a goalie and needs to either motivate his players better or get the power play at least LOOKING like it could score once in a while.

  52. Hi fellow posters. I’m really smart when it comes to hockey and the Rangers in general, in case you didn’t already notice.

    I like to curse at people who don’t agree with me but my favorite thing is to ask “where all the Renney lovers are now?” after any loss. Pretty cool right?

    I’ve put together a website full of my wit and wisdom at . Or you can click on the link in my name.

    There is very little in the way of astute insights or comments. But who cares? Its fun to just constantly talk about that hyena Renney.

    Toodles, wd40

  53. fakegraves9
    January 3rd, 2009 at 4:12 pm
    Joey Crabb is decent. Id like one of my crabs to be as responsible as he is, LMAO. Im just joking.

    bob your brain is messing up you piece of crap. Go play in traffic would ya?

  54. Doodie Machetto on

    My report card (grades based on performance against my personal expectations and contracts):

    A: Betts, Callahan
    A-: Staal, Mara
    B+: Hank, Naslund, Zherdev
    B: Girardi, Valiquette, Voros
    B-: Dubinsky
    C+: Dawes, Sjostrom
    C: Drury, Orr
    D: Gomez, Korpedo, Rozsival
    F: Redden, Kalinin.

    Fritsche/Prucha/Potter incomplete.

    Some explanations:

    Betts: Plays his role well and even has chipped in some offense.

    Callahan: I expected very little of him and he has really impressed me with his fire.

    Staal: Our best defenseman. The only reason he isn’t an A is because I had expected him to work on his shot during the offseason, but it’s still terrible.

    Mara: I’d give him an A but his play lately has been tailing off.

    Hank: Started the season out of control good, but has proven yet again that he doesn’t have a full season of great play in him.

    Naslund: I thought we would be getting 15-20 goals from out of him in a terrible signing. Instead, we’re getting goal scoring at about an equal pace as Shanahan’s first season in NY, at the same dollar amount. Let’s see if he is better than Shanny down the stretch.

    Zherdev: can disappear at times, but he’s leading the team in points, and is on pace to have career high totals in assists and points.

    Girardi: Slipping away at times from the basic solid defensive play that earned him a contract extension. But he’s shown he can handle the big minutes and get involved offensively. Definitely still a work in progress.

    Vally: overpaid for what he brings to the table.

    Voros: Started well above what anyone, including him, could ever have expected. Now he can get back to the role he was brought he for, an upgrade for Hollweg. That’s what he should focus on.

    Dubinsky: Needs a dynamic wing in order to excel. He has the talent, but he needs someone there to give him the confidence. I said it during the offseason and I’ll say it again now: the number 1 reason I wanted them to resign Jagr was for Dubinsky’s sake. When he had Zherdev to start the season he did incredibly well. Now with a rotating cast of dregs, not so much. He’s still 5th on the team in points despite being on the 3rd line. But, he also has the 2nd lowest shooting % for forwards at 5.4%. So, hard to say.

    Dawes: I expected a lot from him and he just hasn’t brought it. He has been better defensively, but his offensive game has suffered greatly as a result. He’s a better playmaker than finisher, I wish he would concentrate on that instead of the goals.

    Sjostrom: Didn’t expect much and I’m not being disappointed… except when they play him on a line other than the 4th. Lowest shooting % of all the forwards.

    Drury: 7 million for 5 years for 25 points.

    Orr: His skating has greatly improved, as has his overall hockey skill. But we don;t need him to skate well and play well, we need him to fight. Only 8 fights this season. Also, took a beating from Mike Rupp.

    Gomez: 7.35 million for 7 years for 25 points. Granted, he missed time for injuries, but he gets to play with the better wings, and we expect him to score many more points. Also, his whopping 5.8 shooting % despite leading the team in shots isn’t helping.

    Korpedo: 1 goal, 2 assists. I expected more from him.

    Rozsival: Defensively, a nightmare. Offensively, he’s starting to put it together. But still a long way to go.

    Redden: Not as bad as Kalinin, but will kill our cap for the next half of a decade.

    Kalinin: I would rank Kalinin lower than an F if I could because not only is he just the worst, but I expected a lot of him. I thought Sather did a good job when he signed him. Man, has he proven me wrong. Just, the worst defenseman I’ve seen in NY since the lockout. I’d say before the lockout too, but we’ve had some pretty bad players.

    Fristche: Hasn’t had enough time to really show me something, but from what I’ve seen, I’m not impressed.

    Prucha: Bad to start the season, his confidence shattered by 2 years of Renney jerking him around. But there is no doubt that in the last two games he got to play that he wasn’t one of, if not the best player on the ice for the Rangers (especially against the Islanders).

    Potter: Is worlds better than Kalinin. Better than Redden? Probably not, but he is paid a lot less.

  55. Agree with Mike R. The Pens are playing so badly even the refs can’t help them win games. The Habs have alot of injuries. Plus their pp badly misses Streit.

  56. Doodie Machetto on

    “Dubinsky is having a very typical season for a sophomore with a lot of talent and limited veteran influence. What he’s doing is he’s trying to do TOO MUCH—almost on every shift. Instead of trying to make plays, he has to let the game come to him a little bit more. I find he exerts too much energy in the wrong spots.

    I love that he plays with heart and fire, but sometimes you have to let the game come to you. For those that played, they know what this means.

    Just a typical problem with being young, full of piss and vinegar and wanting to be considered as a “go to” guy.”

    Brandon, you and I have disagreed a lot, pretty much always, but I LOVE this comment. Spot on.

  57. Girardi’s offense has pretty much dried up. He had 15 points in the first 23-24 games he has 1 point in the last 16 games. He hits but he’s out of position alot. He continues to get worse and worse in his own end(while not adding offense anymore) Mara’s play has fallen off having to play with Kalinin.

  58. wd40

    I’d say it looks like you’ve aggravated someone rather thoroughly for them to dedicate a site to you!


    I would love to see the Rangers initiate contact in all three zones tonight. If you limit AO’s ability to generate speed through the neutral zone, you give yourself a decent chance to limit his shot total to single digits.

  59. DM – not going to critique your whole post – but definitely disagree about Valley. he is a very very good backup and contract is still less than $ 1 mm. well worth it and should play abit more.

  60. doodie

    Pretty good job, and pretty good explanations too. But the grade you give Voros is way too high — and he was brought in to make everyone forget Avery, not Hollweg.

  61. JJP

    So you find little or no fault with Renney and his Merry Men, but think that the players are mostly responsible for the debacle that has occurred with this vastly over rated team?

    Then you must find some logical explanation for the fact that Renney continually plays his worse performers night after night despite their incredible bad performances, but is fearful of bringing up a kid from Hartford lest he
    ” make a key mistake” during the game.

    Furthermore, pray tell, why so many of the players on the team who have made their bones with other teams, suddenly find themselve incapable of getting out of their own way, and can’t seem to ever put shots on the net.

    Unless you beleive that the total collapse of their erstwhile skills almost simultaneously is just a run of “bad luck.”

    It’s the coaching my friend. Or lack of it. They are one confused bunch out there constantly second guessing themselves, hesitating when they sould be acting instinctively, fearful of making a defensive mistake that then becomes ALL that they do. And their offensive game of course in non existent. When have you ever heard of a team “defending” it’s way into the Stanley cup finals?

  62. man when your cyberfoes take the time to create a website in you’re honor, you know you’re doing something right! and I thought i needed to get a life. lol

  63. Wd did you create that site or as some others have said, did someone else do it for you? Either way, I am gonna’ withhold comment until further notice, you pseudo-demagogue!

    Fran – Bustin on JJP – I have one question: where the hell did you come from?

    Ford – I am surprised you are not with your boy on wd’s website – you two seem to be thick as thieves in always taking the same side

    Whatever – i am really pumped for tonight’ts game. I know the Rangers have played the most games, but it’s been all week since they’ve played. I think I’ve been suffering from Rangers withdrawal – which might explain my cranky/surly mood. Let’s Go Rangers!!

  64. lobster – fran usually posts on the post site as one of a group of around 10 (don’t read their comments as i tend to disagree with most of what they write). i don’t think the post guy updates his blog anymore which could be bad news if they all post here.

  65. Doodie Machetto on

    LI Joe, for the money we paid for Valliquette we could’ve gotten Ty Conklin, currently spliting duties in Det. Or we could’ve paid a little more (.275k) and gotten Alex Auld. Valli does OK once every 6 games, but those guys have similar numbers with larger duties. We don’t know how Valli does if Hank misses any time. With either Conklin or Auld, I’d feel safe.

    ford, I never pegged Voros as a replacement for Avery, only for Hollweg. The guy was a career AHLer who had played only 55 career games in a 4th line role. That says Hollweg to me, not Avery. And as I said, the grades were per MY expectations.

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