Too many men … or too few


I’m going to try to not be too negative here. Why? Just because I’m sick of being negative, and because I’m sure there are going to be plenty of chances to be negative the rest of this season.

So the Rangers had too many men on the ice twice last night. For a lot of the game, they had too few. And I kind of agree with Chris Drury that the last few losses (and the win) haven’t been wrecked by a lack of effort. I think they’re trying. Drury was trying to make something happen — a breakaway for a team so desperate for offense — when he got burned for a goal last night.

I know, I know. He needs to score. Period. And I’m sure he would pay out a chunk of his salary for the answers to the problem’s he’s had.

Before we go any further, I just wanted to welcome back Jane from her week off. She is at practice today and will post this afternoon. Also, Sam Borden filled in last night and did a terrific column on Andy Bathgate for The Journal News and LoHud. com today.

Some thoughts:

1) Scott Gomez, for the third game in a row, got better, I thought. I kind of liked him with Brandon Dubinsky on the wing. And those who watched on TV know that Joe Michelleti called the Gomez 4-on-4 goal. Nice going, Joe.

2) Those were the Maple Leafs, right? The Leafs who have now surrendered a league-high 219 goals? What does that tell you about the Rangers’ offense? And they get to meet again Wednesday in T.O.

3) If Aaron Voros is going to play, then, in my opinion, he needs to stay away from useless fights and just play tough. I mean, fighting a guy at the drop of a puck for no reason is not what this team needs right now. It serves no purpose, and in fact can backfire if you lose the fight. What he needs to do is to play hard, to hit people, to aggravate people, and then if challenged, drop the gloves. Not some staged fight. That’s not helping in any way.

4) Petr Prucha: scratched. I do see that the kid has some defensive deficiencies, but, wow. No explanation from me. I have no idea. I am not on that bandwagon that thinks Prucha-over-Voros is going to solve anything major with the Rangers. But I don’t see why it’s Prucha sitting night after night. I just don’t. And now the Rangers pretty much have to trade him at the deadline and get something for him, because he’s not in their plans.

5) The ceremony. Too bad there were so many empty seats. But the ceremony itself was wonderful. It really was, for two absolute gentlemen who played and played hard, and were legit all-time greats. Both of them came off a little nervous, which was also endearing. It occurred to me when all the retired-numbers guys posed for that photo at the end of the ceremony that it might be a long time before they all get together again. I don’t foresee any more retired numbers for a while, unless the Rangers plan to right some wrongs and honor Bun Cook or Lester Patrick or guys from that era. And it could actually be the last time ever that all the retired numbers players are together on the ice. Too bad, because these annual gatherings the last few years had been really awesome. Maybe they’ll have a Gretzky night.

Jane will be back with an update later.

About Author


    “After 2 when it was 0-0, I told my friend that Renney had a boner.”
    Doodie Machetto 2-23-09


    I gotta tell you; normally I would agree but last night he truly looked befuddled and nervous…and they showed him alot…alomost like MSG productions was playing on the firing rumours….I almost felt bad for him…

    Until I saw betts playing

  2. Rangers not on ice for a scheduled practice. Rangers PR being very strange. This is according to Andre Gross. HAS RENNEY BEEN FIRED?

  3. Doodie Machetto on


    Interesting article about past draft picks projecting the value of picks based on overall number for draft picks from 1995-2004.

    What makes the article so funny is that the picks are broken down by every 5, and for overall pick number sets 1-5 (Brendl), 6-10 (Montoya), 11-15 (Jessiman), and 21-25 (Brown), we have someone listed as one of the worst picks. But if we had picks in 95, 00, and 02, I’m confident we could’ve had more in the “worst” category.

    We also don’t have someone that we drafted in the “best” category until 36-40 (Tyutin), and no one that we drafted and still have until 56-60 (Dubinsky). The highest player we have in the “best” category is at 26-30 (Gomez).

  4. Doodie Machetto on


    Was at the game last night. Retirement ceremony was about as nice as they could have made it for those guys since they both retired 40 years ago. I thought it was very wise of all parties that spoke not to specifically name Dolan/Sather et al., but instead to just thank the Rangers organIzation. Although, it was really poor planning by said organIzation to include Rozsival, Drury, Gomez, and Naslund, who were booed mercilessly.

    Also, Richter made an appearance in the 400s and I got to shake his hand. I wished that I had a better camera than my phone and/or a marker for him to sign my jersey. I always knew he wasn’t a big dude, but man, he is REALLY small.

    As for the game, they were terrible. The game itself was terrible. The first two periods were SO boring. Awful.

    As for Renney. He sat Prucha, which is terrible since Prucha has 2 assists in the 4 games he’s been in the lineup this month, which is 2 points more than Voros has had in his last 9 games. In fact, for Voros to rack up 2 points, you’d have to go back 22 games. Petr Puck has 2 in 4, yeah, let’s sit him. Although it was a lot of fun to watch Voros get his ass kicked again. He is the worst fighter I’ve seen in a long time. People won’t fight Orr because they know they can get Voros to fight and beat the hell out of him. Why fight Orr and potentially get KOed? IT makes no sense to have both of them in the lineup. Actually, it just makes no sense to have Voros in the lineup, period.

    Wade Redden on the PP! Nuff said.

    Blair Betts in OT! Way to go for the win! Oh he took a penalty that led to the GWG? WHOOPS!

    Toronto scored on three of their last 5 shots, with shots 1 and 2 being consecutive goals.

    Too many men on the ice. Always a bad reflection on the coach. But this is especially grievous for two reasons:

    2) TWO IN ONE GAME!!!


    Some of my favorite comments I heard from the fans:

    1) When Rangers would draw a penalty, some would chant “Defense” like for the Knicks. Others shouted for them to decline it.

    2) Someone shouted bring back Poti while Redden fumbled with the puck.

    3) While Bathgate was talking about his time on the powerplay, someone yelled for him to lace up his skates.

  5. Rick,

    I agree with you on celebrating Bill & Bun Cook, Lester Patrick and Frank Boucher. It is long overdue.

  6. PruBelongsOnTheIce on

    “fighting a guy at the drop of a puck for no reason is not what this team needs right now. It serves no purpose, and in fact can backfire if you lose the fight.”

    It’s not a question of IF with Voros.

    This team needs offense and the crowd needs something positive to cheer for. Prucha is their best shot – make that their only hope.

    Voros is terrible, awful, horrendous. Pitiful. Bad. I can’t believe they would put him out there. Why is this happening? Why do Rangers fans have to suffer?

  7. Rick thanks for the new post

    It was as positive as could be I guess…

    …which means that I wont jump out a window..I’ll just stare at it with a tear rolling down my cheek

  8. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp, great post, and yes, there were far too many empty seats.

    “And they get to meet again Wednesday in T.O.”

    I know Terrell Owens has a big ego, but I didn’t realize it was so large that it was an actual geographic place AND it had an NHL size arena in it. Wow.

  9. If there was honest to goodness effort last night, then by process of elimination, coaching is to blame.

    They can’t make good, crisp passes. A hard-forecheck can get them pinned back in their own zone. They often get clogged up in the neutral zone. If a Ranger does manage to skate into the offensive zone, he’s often by himself, requiring him to pull up and pass, instead of dish or shoot off the rush. Most point shot get blocked. There are seldom any 2nd or 3rd chances against opposition goaltending. The PP continues to be awful. The 4th line is getting ice time at critical junctures. Personnel continues to be woefully mismanaged.

    Sorry…that’s ALL on Renney

  10. They should put a banner up after Renney gets canned “2-1 OT/SO” so we never have a coach that coaches that way again.

    For the ceremony, I think they took a page out of what the Canadiens have done for their centennial season where they honored the rivals as well. Classy touch, but where was the Bruins player?

    I think what sets most fans off with regard to the Prucha situation is that it speaks more to accountability than anything else. I don’t think he’s the answer either, but he’s produced when given a chance and gets passed over for a guy that has done NOTHING but get plastered in fights, take stupid penalties and not score since nearly Thanksgiving. If he was getting passed over by almost any other forward I’d somewhat be ok with it, but whatever Jedi mind trick Voros has on Renney has worked pretty well so far.

  11. PruBelongsOnTheIce on


    please tell me you’re not joking!!!!

    That’s great news!!!!

    Hopefully he goes somewhere where he can recruit Voros

    like taco bell

  12. I too am hearing Renney is done. And I’m hearing Tortorella and Schoenfeld are in the mix. My prayers (and if anyone recalls my predictions) could be answered if Sather steps aside as GM, maintains the President title (saves face) and hires Schioeny as GM and Tortorella to take over the team. Then we’ll be in good hands.

  13. Phil come clean man…..

    This is tatamount to abuse if its not true…

    like yelling ship ahoy for fun on a food-less desert island

  14. BillyDeeWilliams on

    Even if Renney gets fired, and he’s bound to (either in the next few days or at the end of the season), I still look at him as a good coach for this team. He, along with Jagr, took this team out of the gutter. At the same time, Sather decided to do his best to dunk them back in with these ridiculous contracts. I’m not going to sit around and act like Renney is the worst thing to happen to this team. He’s a crapload better than anything they’ve seen in a long time.

  15. Hockeyman Rangers on

    It’s obvious that there needs to be a DRASTIC SHAKE UP. This team is not reponding at all to Renny, like the announcers said in between periods no sense of urgency.
    I have decided just to watch hockey in general and not worry about the Rangers.

  16. they should retire jean ratelle and brad park. especially brad park. so what if he also wore #2? his career was eclipsed by bobby orr’s, but if bobby orr hadn’t been playing he would have been this best of his era. yes, he played most of his career with other teams, but he put up (arguably) his best performances with the rangers.

  17. Bill Cook, Bun Cook and Frank Boucher all need their numbers retired.

    Especially Boucher. Possibly the best Ranger to ever play the game of hockey.

    It’s a crying shame that those three are not in the rafters and, even if they are put up there (which they should), that they won’t be able to witness it themselves.

  18. A Shame indeed so many so called die hard Ranger fans did not come to the ceremony. The empty seats, alot of people i did not recognize. But it was a great ceremony for 2 Ranger lengends. Graves looked really upset when he was introduced, i think because all the empty seats.There were chants for Sather and Renney’s heads around sections 301-304.

  19. Doodie Machetto on

    ” He, along with Jagr, took this team out of the gutter.”

    If by “He” you meant Henrik Lundqvist, then yes, I would agree with that statement. But since you meant Tom Renney, I am forced to disagree.

  20. So what happens when Renney is fired and this team continues to play the exact same way?

    I actually believe we’re playing at max capacity and this is as good as it will get. No joke. Plain and simple, we’re just not good.

  21. PLEASE say its so

    I really hope he is fired
    Sather stuff, We can all pray but I doubt he’s stepping aside for anything or anyone

    but 1 out of 2 I will gladly take

    And take PEarn with you Renney

  22. I doubt Renney is getting fired. It will make my season though.

    Too many men two time in one game IS the coaches fault. He is individually responsible for calling or “tapping” players for their next line change.

    Z is being wasted on the line with Drury.

    It was a shame to see the Garden as empty as it was for two great men last night.

    And lastly, the game was so boring I shut it off midway through the 2nd pd. Im numb to it as well.

  23. PruBelongsOnTheIce on

    Brandon: “So what happens when Renney is fired and this team continues to play the exact same way?”

    That won’t happen. No other coach will let Virus on the ice.

    Granted they may still play awful but at least Korpikoski, Callahan and Prucha should get reasonable ice time.

  24. Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Let the Renney Firing be TRUE!!!!!!

  25. It’s sad that every player seems to be playing their absolute worst. Sure Gomez & Dubinsky showed some life, but not enough to matter or to impact the game. Whether it is team leadership or coaching, it almost doesn’t matter at this point. Even if they get a new coach, it seems like it’s too late with this group. Sather needs to resign as GM, if only to cleanse the air in the building.

  26. BrandonWorld!

    “Too many men on the ice penalties:

    1. It’s not on Renney; it’s on Pearn and Pelino. The head coach is not responsible for making sure each player knows who he’s taking off the ice.

    2. If you played hockey, you know it’s always the player’s fault for commiting the cardinal sin of too many men.

    You don’t spontaneously jump on the ice. Everyone has a position, and everyone knows who they’re substituting in advance of their shift. Occassionally, changes are made, but it’s still not that complicated. One player comes off, another goes on. It’s as simple as that. Pearn and Pelino are there to make sure everyone knows who’s going out next.

    Like I said, if you’ve played the sport, you know.

    If you haven’t played the sport competitively, and you think it’s the coach’s fault, then you’re highly misinformed.”


    To be this laughably wrong while calling others out for not knowing Hockey 101 makes this a candidate for the most idiotic post of 2009.

    In BrandonWorld, not only does the head coach not call out the next lines/players to go, it is an assistant!

    And not just an assistant, but TWO assistants! That’s right sports fans, two voices in the players’ ear at the same time!

    The Renney defenders have got to do better than this. Because this is pathetic.

  27. Doodie Machetto on

    “So what happens when Renney is fired and this team continues to play the exact same way?”

    Just exposes Sather even further, hopefully prompting Dolan to eventually do something about it.

    Besides Brandon, I’ll point you to the same logical argument that I’ve made to people who think Renney isn’t part of the problem:

    1) With these players, this GM, and this coach, the team will not win.
    2) The players aren’t going anywhere.
    3) The GM isn’t going anywhere.
    4) Therefore, in order for the team to have a CHANCE at winning, the coach must go.

    Now, I’m not saying they will win, or that won’t do worse than they are doing now, but it’s the only thing that can be done that has a possibility of making the team better. It really is the last and only option to potentially improve this team.

  28. Rick

    its not that Prucha over Voros will solve all the problems of the world… its just that the kid plays hard and hustles and makes an effort and the fans want to see that being rewarded and encouraged.

    btw… where is this firing talk by three coming from?

  29. REPOST

    February 23rd, 2009 at 11:22 am

    The coach calls out the lines. I have played college hockey and div I & II rec. I have seen Renney himself call out players names or tap them right before line changes.

  30. Talking about line changes has me thinking of what was actually a funny Sather story about his time as a Rangers player when Emile Francis called his name and Slats thought it meant he was to go on the ice and Emile said something to the effect of “No, idiot…Ratelle’s skates need sharpening, go take care of it.”

  31. “btw… where is this firing talk by three coming from?”

    The guy is full of BS because he hasnt posted anything since then. Renney isnt going anywhere. Sather didnt say ANYTHING in that post article.

  32. Renney lost his players and prucha lost his playing time at the same time. It was a defining moment for the team as a whole. At the time it seemed like Prucha was the only one playing with his heart and not his pay check, so, as a reward, Renney tried to send Prucha down to the minors for conditioning reasons.. Another bad decision. You could tell that the players did not like that. Even Gomez came out and said that everyone on the team looks at Prucha for inspiration, for that spark. So, Prucha rightfully refused to be Renney’s whipping post any longer and declined. The result: Renney effectively alienated his players and prucha, by not going down to Hartford, lost his coaches respect and his future with the Rangers, but still has his dignity and his team mates respect.

  33. Here is my fear. Fire Renney they bring in a new coach and try to become buyers at the dead line with whatever good youth we have. The new coach is going to want some insurances that the management is going to go for it. This team stinks, fine blame Renney, but they have to start dumping people. If you want to make me happy, and I know I am one fan, Sather goes to President, Shoney as GM, fire Renney he lost the team. By the way Renney haters what does that say about the professionals on this team, what if they don’t like the next guy. This team makes me sick.

  34. Ford,

    I highly doubt you’ve ever played any kind of sport that wasn’t handheld.

    If you want to argue semantics, go right ahead.

    The fact is, Renney says X,Y,Z are going out next. Pearn and Pelino are responsible for making sure X,Y,Z get off their ass and on to the ice.

    That’s why you don’t see the head coach running up and down the bench making sure everyone knows who’s out next.

    These are GROWN ADULTS. He calls out the line, the assistants make sure everyone knows their spot.

    Occassionally, you tap a guy and tell him he’s out next, but last night’s too many men were defenseman errors and there are FAR LESS changes to the defensive corp than offense during the course of a game. Rossival actually collided with Kalinin at center ice.

    If the head coach was tapping every single player that’s out next every single shift, when would he have time to watch the game and/or decide the next shift?

    That’s why you have 2 other coaches on the bench.

    It’s the head coaches final call, but he doesn’t execute the change.

    And, for the record, BrandonWorld is a damn fun place to live. Lots of hot bitches. So, if you don’t want to check it out, that’s cool, “more for us”.

  35. I’d like to blame Renney for the too many men, and someone can correct me… but both times it looked like Redden was skating to the bench, a player came on and then Redden continued play… at least thats what looked like happened and in that case I think the blame lies on Redden since it looked like he was going for a change… but again, someoen can correct me here…

    Rozsival had a goal assist and took several nice hard shots, maybe being involved in the ceremony meant something to him, but the current players should have been left out… (or they should have used the kids, Cally, Dubi, Staal) there shouldn’t have been booing at a time to honor those men… they’ve wisened up and just say the organization rather than mentioning DOlan by name (I still think Leetch did it on purpose knowing what response he would get)

  36. At this point, I hope Renney does get fired and they bring in another coach and the Rangers don’t make the playoffs for another decade. The fans deserve that fate, in my opinion. Renney is the BEST coach we have had since the mid 90’s. Many coaches sucked between then and now.

    He is not the problem. But again, if/when they do replace him and the Rangers get worse, and the bunch of fans continue to whine about the firing of that coach (it WILL happen), I’ll just smile and be happy.

    As much as I want the Rangers to win and be successful, fans like this make me want to root for them to lose because they don’t deserve a winner.

  37. If Red Holtzman’s (Knickcs coach for their two NBA cahnmpionships) nem is in the rafters (classy guy – he earned it), than Lester Patrick (Player, Coach, GM, Innovator, Pioneer) is long overdue.

    Not to get caught up in “over-retiremnent of numbers ( Yankees/Canadiens) perhaps recognition of defensive pairs and lines is in order.

    For instance; Cook/Boucher/Cook (“A Line”) and Hadfield/Ratelle/Gilbert (“GAG Line”)

  38. BillyDeeWilliams on


    I was wrong in not including Hank in my earlier statement, but if you’re gonna kill Renney for the team’s flaws now, you need to give him some credit for the team’s success in the past.

    i’m not even saying i want the guy to stay on as coach, and I’ve been supporting him for awhile, but I also don’t think the guy is a complete bum.

  39. Carp

    Anytime you want to revise your “the reason this team blows is not on the coach but because the roster is bad” thesis in light of the roster they played against last night — Dom Moore as your go-to center????? — feel free.

    It is OBVIOUS the team on paper is not a Cup contender. But it is just as obvious that they are LIGHT YEARS better than the team they lost to less than 24 hours ago.

    They can’t beat the Leafs because they are gripping and tight. And they are gripping and tight because their coach is a Major Anxiety Disorder on two legs, and it’s a contagion.

  40. IF Renney gets the boot, today or whenever, Sather will put Schonny or Gernander behind the bench for the rest of the season. Their is no way the will hire outside the orginization with only 21 games remaining.

  41. Brandon

    “If the head coach was tapping every single player that’s out next every single shift, when would he have time to watch the game and/or decide the next shift?

    That’s why you have 2 other coaches on the bench.”

    Thanks for clearing that up, rock star. Now just explain how Toe Blake and Emile Francis and Al Arbour changed lines in the days before assistant coaches even existed, much less were on the bench.

  42. Kaspar, please don’t jump.

    Re: too many men, there are a lot of people responsible, but ultimately it is the players who have to be aware who’s going on, when, and for whom. And if the players continue to mess it up, then the coach has to hold them accountable.

  43. Hockeyman Rangers on

    In the end the fault for “too many men” goes to the head coach end of discussion. And the thing is, it has been happening all year long WAY TO OFTEN. The head coach should have adressed it a LONG time ago. I am sure it’s somewhere in the stats, and I bet we are close to the top in THE TOP. Right along with the short handed goals


  44. And no way Torts takes this job. . . .yet anyway. He didn’t like the rumors swirling when he was on the hot seat and has a serious aversion to taking a job before someone gets fired. I see Schoney taking over, then Torts may be hired this summer.

  45. Renney, Pearn out

    Rangers just announced Tom Renney has been relieved of his duties along with assistant coach Perry Pearn. We’ll have a conference call with GM Glen Sather later today. No announcement on Renney’s replacement, either full time or interim but the strong belief is that it will be Jim Schoenfeld.

  46. Doodie Machetto on

    Some really sloppy reporting in that TSN article. It states that this way Renney’s 6th season with the team, but doesn’t state the capacities that he started in. It also states that Sather was fired in 03-04, but seeing as how he’s the GM, he didn’t get fired, he just merely stepped down.

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