Familiar story


Some red-eyed thoughts the morning after a momentum-killing loss to the Habs:

<li>If not for the team’s up-and-down play the past month, this loss would have been easy to stomach. The Rangers played hard, arguably controlled most of the game, but took some inopportune penalties and didn’t have Henrik Lundqvist at his absolute best. No big deal. The problem is every loss these days is emblematic of something bigger, and last night it was a lack of discipline.

<li>There were times when watching Petr Prucha last night that I probably had the same thought as many of you: how the heck was this guy out of the lineup as long as he was?

The scrappy wing has been phenomenal, and clearly has regained the confidence that had eroded over the previous few seasons. And that’s part of the problem: As good as Prucha has been, he wasn’t nearly this effective when plugged into the lineup on occasion earlier in the season. What’s apparent now is that Tom Renney should have given the forward more time to play through his struggles.

Meanwhile, I hate to spoil the feel-good vibe when it comes to Prucha, but one would think that in just a few short games, Prucha has made himself significantly more attractive to other teams. If the Rangers were looking to move him earlier in the season but couldn’t fetch anything worthwhile in return, they might be able to do so now. And there’s no question that Glen Sather wants and needs to do something to upgrade this team for the stretch drive.

<li>Speaking of upgrades, time to get the Korpedo back in the game. As with Prucha, Lauri Korpikoski provides energy on the forecheck and has an ability to create something out of nothing. And that’s more than I can say for Aaron Voros, who at 6-foot-3, 215-pounds has created very little.

<li>Very cool decision by NBC’s Universal Sports to broadcast the Kontinental Hockey League’s All-Star Game from Red Square in Moscow Saturday morning at 8 a.m.. It will be Team Jagr versus Team Yashin at an even more historic site than Wrigley Field. If you don’t get Universal Sports, it will also be available on “UniversalSports.com”:http://www.universalsports.com.

<li>On another programming note, expect Henrik Lundqvist to get his first All-Star nod in a couple of hours. Also, come back here later today for a rare guest post by Journal News columnist Sam Borden.

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  1. Sam, Ill finish your story for you.

    As goos as hes been (im a huge prucha fan) hes been just as inconsistant as everyone else. If he played in the games he was scratched he could have easily been as ineffective as effective.

  2. Sam since i just did your job for you can you please ask renney why he didnt bench gomez for such a dumb penalty.


  3. All Prucha needed was the playing time. He’s the second most offensively talented winger they have, Zherdev being #1. The fact that this guy has not been in the lineup for over 2 years is criminal. He creates chances and works his ass off every shift.

  4. I think the league has figured out that if you shoot high on hank it goes in. Once he let’s 1 go he let’s them all go in.

  5. No way Hank deserves the All Star nod. He’s been awful the last few weeks. Marc Staal is more deserving than Hank. He plays with Rozisval and is still a +.

  6. As much as I hate to say it, Tim Thomas deserves the All-Star nod. Granted he has a great team in front of him, but he’s played damn good this year so far without a big slump like Hank has. Hank will find his game, he always does. That loss was largely on him last night though.

  7. “Sam since i just did your job for you can you please ask renney why he didnt bench gomez for such a dumb penalty.”

    If any of the younger guys did this they’d automatically know a benching for at least the next game was around the corner.

    Gomez has the luxury of knowing that he won’t be punished for his stupid, lazy penalty that pretty much sealed the deal on the game because Renney is a double-standard holding hack.

  8. onecupin67years on

    lack of discipline and focus always seem to do the Rangers in, then they point their fingers at the refs.
    It was interesting to hear perry Pearn interview after the 1st period when his tongue slipped and he blamed hank but quickly gave the neutral aspect of the 1st period.
    Gomez and redden and drury and the others high priced guys arent held accountable for their mistakes like some of the other players who are benched. big double standard splits the team .

  9. The Rangers needed to win this game but didn’t. I don’t care how well they played at certain points; 4 of the Canadians’ stars were out including their #1 goaltender and they didn’t get the job done.

  10. 3 goalies get named so Thomas is a lock for one spot. I’m trying to find the other guy and it might have to be Hank because I don’t really see anyone else. Steve Mason? Ryan Miller? Hank does have 20 wins so maybe he does deserve a spot.

  11. DB – good, good point- remember the last goal the Habs scored in the game prior to this…

  12. doodie machetto on

    Thomas deserves it, but so does Hank. Yeah, he was bad in December, but he was unbalievable in October and November. The guy deserves it. I can’t think of another goaltender in the east besides Thomas that has been better for more of the season.

  13. My take on Prucha, is that Renney realizes that Prucha can’t survive an 82 game schedule. So he let’s him watch a third of the season. Voros has just proven what everyone else in the league already knew: that HE can’t go 82 games. Now watch him sit until he gets his legs back, Prucha will be relatively fresh for the playoffs, and Renney will be a candidate for coach of the year.

  14. Why is every x-devil we get a BUST-get Gomez out of here.We should get a fairly desent player for him.

  15. Peter Prucha was benched b/c of GLEN SATHER! Tom had to take SOMEONE out of the lineup to showcase Glen’s brillian summer signings (Voros, Rissmiller, Fritsche) and Prucha just so happened to be the guy.

    Don’t think for one second that Glen doesn’t dictate who plays and who sits. This guy has a MAJOR ego. If Tom played Prucha from the get-go and never let Voros, Fritsche, Rissmiller try to break into the lineup, it makes Glen look worse then he already does.

    There’s your answer. You’ll never hear that from Tom or anyone else, but we all know it’s true.

  16. “What’s apparent now is that Tom Renney should have given the forward more time to play through his struggles.”

    brandon – I was JUST about to say that! If not for the plethera of 3rd liners on this team, prucha woulda been in the lineup the whole season…maybe. Speculative at best. But the extra fwds didn’t help the cause.

    Sam – Every player struggles. Did you forget that fritsche struggled? Should HE have gotten more games? How about Riss? Should HE have gotten more games too? Maybe we coulda just tried to dress everyone! Come on.

    22 – Yes, I did predict a dman to score a PPG. I didn’t say which team though! haha

    Speaking of dmen scoring goals. It looks like rozy’s starting to break the cement boots he’s been skating with all season. Getting healthy and confident at just the right time. I hope.

  17. oops…that didn’t come out right. I know brandon didn’t say that. the quote was Sams. But brandon was responding the the same idea.

    make sense?

  18. Dawes Drury Prucha
    Dubi Gomez Naslund
    Zherdev Korpi Fritsche
    Sjo Betts Orr

    And call it a day. Maybe Dubi needs some time on the wing, maybe just a change to break him out of the slump. He is not a play maker, but he can score goals, we know he can. It is worth a shot.

  19. You guys are unreal – Prucha svcked the past two years and it was no one’s fault but his own. He was aweful. He could have an open net with the puck right on his stick and he would shoot it in the stands. It was just awefull to watch.

    So now he gets his game back and is working hard and making things happen and all of the sudden it is Sather and Renney’s fault. How bout it being Prucha’s fault that he could get his head out of his arse for two seasons. Even the announcers said last night that Pru is playing his best hockey in years…. cause he is.

    Its the couches job to put the best guys on the ice night in night out and Prucha wasn’t doing it before… he is now and God bless him! Have always liked Pru but after his last two seasons I had given up on him. Glad to see the kid has found his game again. Him and Dawes and Cally look awesome of late.

    And yeah – Hank cost us the game last night. I like a few others thught the rest of the team.. ex Gomez with that penalty – played pretty well. I also thought the refs had an ok game and missed a few calls on both but nothing for Renney to get his knickers in a twist!!

    Big games this wkend – need 4 points!

  20. I was thinking of something yesterday, and I’m even sold on the idea yet. But what about a trade sending Rozy to TOR for Kubina? Both have the exact same cap-hit of $5mil per. The difference is, is that Kubina’s contract is up after next season. Right about the time we can hope that bobby s. or mike dz is ready for the bigs. Free’s up space in 2 years rather than 4 years from now. And you’re getting essentially the same player…another dman making too much…but at least it’s a shorter term.


    (btw…I don’t think burke would take redden instead.)

  21. I am done with Voros. I liked him when he was useful. He takes a penalty, that penalty costs us a goal, and then they show him on the bench later smiling and laughing. F that S. I don’t want to see any smiles on the bench. I want to see intense miserable angry glares.

  22. parros – Wish you posted more often.

    nasty – I think Dubi on the wing needs a shot too. If for nothing else than a ‘shot in the arm’ for him.

  23. Brandon wrote: “That was arguably our most complete performance of the year from our offense and defense. Everyone was firing on the same cylinder except for Hank.”

    Wait a second. No question Hank was bad. but Staal had maybe his worst game of the season and girardi stunk too, so not sure where this is coming from.

  24. parros, when a player’s ice time is slashed the way Prucha;s was the last two years because of Shanahan’s arrival, and his PP time is completely taken away, it has an impact on his confidence.

    reminds me of Robitaille when he was here — the only place where he didn’t score like a maniac before the age of 35. because Campbell never played him on the PP, where he’d made a living, and he was viewed as a disappointment. He wasn;t “set up” for success, and a lot of that blame as with Prucha goes to the man who doles out the ice time

  25. Where is all the anti-Voros vibe originate from? From Renney? What did he do to get all the hate lately? Is it because he stopped scoring? Took a few bad penalties? Is he just Renney’s and his supporters’ scapegoat?

  26. brandon – for the 10th time fritsche was not a free agent but rather a part of the z deal where we unloaded backman

    nasty – forgot cally in your lines

    beerme – no way toronto makes that deal. cap room is like gold in todays nhl

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