Sprint, shoot, pushups

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Practice was a little unusual today. The group was split roughly in half and the players with the most playing time in the John Tortorella era worked out off ice while the others had a brief and intense workout. There were pyramids and pushups, and shooting drill after shooting drill.

“The more practice scoring, the more shooting a lot of pucks, the more you’re going to score,” said defenseman Paul Mara, who was on the ice.

Assistant coach Jim Schoenfeld had players getting down on the ice to check out angles from the puck’s point of view, and he even had Valiquette and substitute goalie Chad Killam from Mahattanville lie down in front of the net as the Rangers shot over them.

When Lundqvist heard about that after practice he laughed and joked it was a shame he missed out;

Briefly, those getting a break: Naslund, Drury, Gomez, Lundqvist, Redden, Dubinsky, Zherdev, Roszival, Staal, Callahan and Girardi.

Mark Bell was on the ice.

I’ll update after Tortorella comes in for his interview.

Update 2:02: Torts came in for the post practice, said he went over film with the two groups while Schoenfeld ran practice. He said the team just needed to go over the basics. He wouldn’t say anything about lineups or who will be in goal, but did say the split in the groups was made over ice time.

Sunday will be a day of rest for the team, and he said sometimes this time of year that is the most important thing for players.

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140 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, I guaranteed 4 goals last night. I will have to bid fairwell for the regular season, and will return only if the team makes the playoffs. LET’S GO RANGERS !!!

  2. What were Gomez and Drury doing off the ice? They need the shooting practice now more than anyone else…

    …www.sportsnet.ca is reporting that Avery will be put up on re-entry waivers as soon as Monday. Still doesn’t really address our need, as we will be a little tougher. Send Voros and Dawes packing, I’d rather have a draft pick.

  3. Actually, sportsnet.ca also reports the following:

    Avery will play in both AHL Hartford Wolf Pack games this weekend. The New York Rangers have committed to claiming Avery providing he was still available.

  4. at least they recognize that they have to practice lifting close-in shots

    the only problem is that the guys most guilty were doing pushups, instead of liftups of the puck

  5. Back to basics I guess… Not being negative here but I can’t belive this is the kinda stuff these guys need to do at this level.

    Getting down on the ice to see the puck’s point of view? Crazy.

    On another note… I’d been calling for Zherdev on the point during the PP for most of the season… I like it. Hope Torts keeps that.

  6. Eddie Giacomin on

    HL should not be laughing at anything after that soft goal he allowed last night, the first one.

  7. Eddie – seriously! excluding the bad angle goals he is prone to from time-to-time.. that backhander was the biggest softie Lundqvist has given up as a Ranger (I am a huge LQ supporter)

  8. Eddie Giacomin on

    Riche, I guess it beats them just rolling around on the mattress, running their millions of dollars thru their fingers and toes.

  9. the players not partaking in shooting 101 are all watching video, trying to break down the offensive malaise. (ref: zip and gross)

  10. while one group was off ice training and the other was on ice. The group who was off ice after that, should have had the same on ice practice as the other group and visa versa. The players who missed to “lift” the shots should have been on the ice with those new drills.

  11. Eddie Giacomin on

    I agree, Costanza. I also love Henrik, but that goal was a real softie.

    that and the Ranger goal that the refs disallowed both made me mad

  12. Costanza

    While Im a LQ supporter as well LQ gave up way softer than that come on (see Philly game). The man can do no wrong in my eyes. But Booth is a great player and the back hand is the most deceptive shot to a goalie.

  13. oh thanks Jane,

    I initially thought I had somehow broken somekind of bloggers code, or inadvertently typed a long string of obscenities. phew!

  14. Eddie Giacomin on

    and to be fair to HL, I will say that the pressure of not getting any offensive support makes his job more difficult, where every goal allowed is magnified

  15. “I agree, Hank shouldn’t be laughing, he should be on the ice busting his ass to make up for blowing the last game.”

    He didn’t blow it. If you can only score 1 goal, you can not expect to win. Even without the softie, it’s a 1-1 tie, and you leave it up to chance in OT/SO.

    You HAVE to score at least 2 goals before winning is even on your radar. You have to score 3-4 before you start really expecting to win.

    But if you only score 1, the goalie didn’t blow it. Doesn’t matter if he gives up 1 or 10, you’ve still lost.

  16. Mako – I really like Booth – also Horton and Boumeester, in fact, that Panthers team in pretty well constructed, but I digress..

    …LQ has been pretty vocal about the lack of scoring, putting more pressure on himself not to give up any bad goals.. still, he shld not KEEP losing games that he give up 2 goals.. just so dang frustrating.. he went from vezina after 10-20 games to non-finalist now.

  17. Anyone who has never played doesnt understand the psyche of an athlete or hockey player. Im not downing anyone here. Even in college there is pressure. I know, I played in college and rec div I & II for YEARS. Its so frustrating when you think you are doing everything right and cant score. You start doubting yourself, you dont want to play, you arent having fun, start resenting teammates, your coach everything. But once you score you feel better. Its that second goal that gets you in the right frame of mind again and the “monkey of your back”

  18. Two things are now obvious…

    Avery will be in a Ranger uni on Wednesday night vs the Isles…

    the NYR will miss the play-offs this season after the franchises best start…

    I guess irony can be pretty ironic sometimes

  19. Costanza

    I agree, but he has to be NEAR perfect to win and with out his team scoring its almost impossible. It was HIS year to win the Veznia bc Fatso was injured. He can lose games when he gets scored on ONCE. They arent helping him at all when they dont score.

  20. I’m all for the rangers bringing in Avery but not if thats the only move they are going to make. I like them bringing in Mark Bell but as an extra forward. We need a big time goal scorer!!

  21. Eddie Giacomin on

    hey sather, the Pens made a good trade, not only for now, but they got a future good kid too, Tangradi

    when is Glennie boy going to make some deals to at least get some future help for this team?

  22. No Country For Old Rangers on

    i cant really get down on hank too much but a f-in 12 year old could have stopped that soft backhander.

  23. Carp, two questions with the coaching change.

    1) Anyway to find out why Renney was so disgruntled with Prucha that past 2 seasons?!

    2) What is going on between Larry Brooks and John Torterella, where does the history come from? I see comments from the last couple days where Torts snaps at Brooks. And then there’s a TSN hi-light from many moons ago where Torts says something like “Get that through your skull, Brooksy? …then you can get the #&$*# out of here [if i’m wasting your time]?”

    Thank you, Carp (& Jane). Keep up the great job!

  24. Remember the old phrase, “to get your jollies”? Ha. I don’t know why I just thought of that, but it is kind of a stupid saying. Made me chuckle a bit. The kind of chuckle, where if I was overweight, and had a double chin, it would have jiggled a bit.

  25. Oh, how funny would it be if we verse the Devs in the 1st round with Avery in the lineup. I would love that. Unless they lose then it sucks.

    SCX

    I agree, you cant win scoring one goal, at least this team cant. But like ive been saying for weeks, you cant keep talking aboot how the team needs to score when you’re giving up weak goals.

    This is a whole different story if he’s letting in goals that he absolutely cant stop. So yeah, i blame him as much as the rest of them. But that’s how I feel aboot it, i don’t expect many of you to agree, but it’s just mu opinion.

    Clemmensen could have stopped that, and if he can, why cant Hank ? THAT is what’s pissing me off.

  26. Lundqvist has righted the ship a bit after his usual winter swoon. I think that has kept him from becoming the outright best goalie in the league versus him remaining in the top 5.

    Tough to argue with the peripheral stats, he’s facing more shots than in years past and his save percentage is around his career average. He’s let up about 0.30 GAA more than his career average. At this point he’s played the same number of games he did as a rookie and his 2.24 GAA translated to 16 less goals against than his current 132 GA. I have to imagine that you take away even 10 of those goals in certain situations the Rangers have probably 4 or 5 more points in the standings.

    He has become a bit more human on the shoot-outs, but let’s be honest he was other-wordly earlier in the season. The poor guy just needs some goal support.

  27. PruBelongsOnTheIce on

    Jane, any indication to lines or who will be in goal tomorrow? I am guessing it would be hard to tell given today’s practice.

  28. UESBlueshirt,
    That’s a really honest and objective evaluation. I would agree. He’s been good, but earlier in the season he was phenominal. Let’s hope this team can get a couple goals so THEY can win him a game or two. How many games does he have to allow 1 goal or less to win the game FOR THEM?

  29. I can’t wait for john gianotalent to ask one of his stupid questions to tort’s when he is in a bad mood .Now that encounter will be priceless!!!!!

  30. This is the time of year when we always get confirmation that Dolan is a “making the playoffs” owner, who puts pressure on his GM to short-term patch the team, at mid and long-term severe cost, if necessary. I am resigned to the team bringing in at least one over 30, and another over 35 player in the next five days, (discounting Avery, if that happens), in exchange for one or two really promising futures, one from the big club, one from Hartford. Would Sather really trade Sangs or Anisimov or Korpedo to please his boss? Of course he will, because putting a patch on a bald tire is his blind spot, too.

    Sather knows he may well be out, if this team does not make the post-season, so the reality is that rather than his adding a couple more pieces to a potential future championship puzzle, he figures to subtract a couple pieces, in deference to making the post season. This is extremely selfish perspective, but human nature and not Sather’s exclusive domain, that he looks after his own interests, first.

    Is there ANY doubt, this team will exit in round one, if it gets that far? None, in this corner. Not getting swept in the first round is the best possible upside for this sorry-ass team, what with it’s ridiculous chemistry of soft, under-productive veterans, and over-paid mercenaries.

    Well, we still had a great week with Renney being executed, but two more capital offenders – the GM, and the owner, still need to be exiled for the dawn to break through the pitch-black darkness around here.

  31. repost….RICK do you know for a fact Toronto reviewed that goal? Not what Tortorella was told by the blind ref.

  32. nice UES – those #s translate well to just watching LQ’s career.. my subjective tght is that if the rangers were middle of the pack in scoring, we would be talking 3-5 seed in playoffs and a vezina..

  33. On Hank’s soft goal

    Sure it was soft but come on! You guys are acting like he let in a 80 ft dump in. As MAKO said, backhands are tough, Hank was probably expecting a rifle high to the blocker side, not a 5-hole changeup. He just got fooled.

    Not absolving Hank of all blame (I know he wanted that one back), but that shot was trickier than expected…Hank got Jamie Moyer’d

  34. PruBelongsOnTheIce on

    Why is it that whenever there’s a goal like that and they don’t review, we NEVER see proof?

    The officiating was horrible the last 2 games.

  35. They didn’t have time to review the first goal…

    look how long it took to review the second.

    That Toronto thing is BS. The ref had to say he saw it clearly and that’s why it was waved off and no need to review.

  36. JEFF

    If it was months ago, it would be easy to let go, but this teams trying to get into the playoffs, giving up a soft goal like that, this late in the year, and where this team is in the standings, with a team like the Panthers that is aboot to jump over us in the standings, and with another two teams going at it that’s behind us by a point or two, it’s just unacceptable.

  37. it seems that the rangers are fighting an invisible force every game. it takes extreme effort just to clear the zone half the time due to odd bounces.

  38. ok, it wasnt a Yann Denis/Gomez goal, but he needs to get those and save his GAA for all those 2 and 3 on 1’s that Redden will give up.. okay, enough on the Hank goal.. he just cant give up any more goals the rest of the year (shootouts, included)

  39. hank’s GAA was 2.04 in yesterday’s game. Maybe he should’ve let in a few of the shots he’s “not supposed to stop” and then you guys would keep your focus on the anemic offense instead. He sucked in the philly game. Not yesterday’s game. You guys deserve Dunham.

  40. how do i watch tomorrow’s game at all with the way things are going. 3 hours of frustration everytime

  41. good teams in the leauge score…Detroit 232, Boston 212, Caps 207, Sharsk 203, that being said i feel the storm is coming and things will start happening. Though not noticable by score the Panthers game they looked light years better than the two Leafs games. Hopefully they find their groove playing the two worst teams in the leauge cuz after that they are in prime time back to back. I think Sather should be frozen besides inter-organization moves. This is his bed and its time to lie down and ride this out for the season. If they get it together they can make up a lot of ground playing the Flyers 4 times, Hurricanes and Habs Twice, and a few agains the likes of Nashville, Ottawa, Atlanta and Pittsburgh.

  42. believe me, im not trying to kill LQ, he is my favorite player – it is just that I have pretty much given up on thinking that they can score more than 2 per game, as current contstructed… I mean what other team in the NHL would you consider a 3 goal game an “outburst” (even the isles scored 4 on the devs)

    ..at the very least, by now (they are 2 months late) they shld have gotten one of those vets that just put the puck in the net (i.e. 25 goals/4 asst guys) – like a Mark parrish type

  43. Hey carp and Jane,

    Thanks for forwarding my practice drill to the Rangers. Can you charge them my going rate for my expertise: $1,000/hr?
    Thanks! Appreciate it.

    In all seriousness though, I live in Philly and my neighbor was walking out of his apartment and I heard him say to his wife, “If that F’ing Avery guy comes back for the Rangers I am going to shoot myself.”
    The Fear has begun!

  44. Not sure if anyone posted it but Billy Jaffe on HNL live got a report The Stars will put Avery on re-entry waivers Monday.It had to be soon cause the deadline is Wed.

  45. Rick and Jane, I just want to say again, thanks for the updates and great reporting you are doing a fantastic job!!

  46. PruBelongsOnTheIce, I can’t go to Colorado, I’m flying to NY !
    But I have gone to CO to watch our Rangers in the past
    Nathan – thanks for the link.

  47. the only scorer available who is young is Gaborik.

    he’s 26, and has 209 goals-210 Assts=419Pts in 491 games and is +51

    but he is injury prone. could be another Bure, as in receiving damaged goods. his injury listing is 30 entries long

    but, if his latest surgery actually corrected the problem, then he would be a steal

  48. I was thinking about the team this morning and I have a few observations.
    1. I think we are going to start to see guys like Staal, Girardi etc show much more of an offensive upside. They are standing up in the neutral zone and getting in on the offensive rushes. Even Redden, Kalinin and Rozi have looked…better.

    2. The defensive play instilled by Renney is actually a great foundation for the system Torts is implementing. If they can start scoring we can be a very good team, we still don’t give up alot as far as goals go and alot of our forwards backcheck well. Even though Renney is gone his defensive approach is going to help us in the long run. Now if Torts can get them to score…

  49. drury for gaborik. Then if Gaborik ever laces ’em up again we’ll finally have someone that Gomez has to chase into the zone

  50. BillyDeeWilliams on

    Orr.

    Yes, he’s given up soft goals, but he’s stopped an amazing out of high quality shots from right in front, so before you blame the guy for it, take a look at his whole body of work this season.

    How many times has he had to bail out horrendous gaffes in the defensive zone? how many times has he had to stand on his head to save a game?

    After this recent stretch, i don’t even understand how you could possibly contend that hank is to blame for these losses. Yeah, if he stops that shot, they go to OT….but if any one of the dozen chances directly in front of the goalie that were put right into anderson were about a foot higher, they go in the net.

    you can keep blaming it on henrik when he lets up 2 goals in a game…i’ll blame it on the fact they can’t put the puck in the net.

  51. BillyDeeWilliams

    I think it’s just frustrating to see all the amazing saves, then he let’s in something he should have no way missed.

  52. Shoryuken on Wade Redden on

    If you could only dump one, Gomez or Drury, who do you trade?

    I’d trade Gomez because he seems like he’s become a dumbass since he got here, his positioning on the second goal was laughably bad.

  53. right. not only that, but if they signed him to a new contract, and he got hurt, that would not count against our cap if he was put on long term IR

  54. PruBelongsOnTheIce on

    I’d ship Gomez…

    that hesitation 5 feet in front of the open net really pissed me off!

  55. Gomez has the skills that mesh with Gaborik, speed and setup man. Drury does not

    yes, Gomez has been a disappointment, but he is younger, faster, and more likely to improve with better wingers than Drury is

  56. I’d trade Gomez. He’s been a GIANT disappointment since he got here. And his smart ass comments during interviews are only funny when we’re winning.

  57. dr. phil

    would be nice. By getting rid of Gaborik Minnesota is essentially getting something for nothing. They’ve barely seen him all year, and they’re gonna lose him during the summer. For us, worst case scenario it’s a salary dump. Best case scenario, Minnesota actually sees some value in one of our players. Gomez is an ex-Devil, Right?! Drury has certainly proven that he can flourish in a defensive system, No?!!

  58. it’s a risk, but the best one out there. instead of going after old guys like Tkachuk, Smyth etc

    if Gaborik gets hurt he goes on IR and costs nothing against the cap

  59. did anyone read eklund last night?

    is it true that Gomez doesnt have a true NTC, but more like a he will only accept trades to 5 teams of his choice?

  60. “All goalies give up soft goals…every single one of them.”

    But not all goalies can make the amazing saves Hank can.

  61. Between Gomez or Drury I’d trade Gomez because he’s probably going to be easier (or less difficult) to move. His jerkass smile also annoys me. All he’s good for is flying into the zone and either dumping the puck into the corner or weakly flinging it at the goalie from the perimiter. I can’t watch him do that too many more times without throwing things at the TV.

  62. its one thing not to make those guys do skating drills, but the guys who didnt practice are having the hardest time scoring mainly b/c their shot selection is so bad. they are the ones that should be doing shooting drills.

    i just dont get whered ud play avery, i guess on the third line instead of dawes or the 4th line. With the scoring problems the team has he doesnt really address that need at all. it was one thing for him to put up points when he was playing with jagr, but cant really create on his own.

    and again id be shocked if anyone would take gomez. and if anything drury has shown that he cant succeed in a defensive system (ie he hasnt flourished since coming to the rangers).

  63. Staal Wart…I agree wholly with your 2 point analysis about 8 entries above.

    I am on jury duty and have not read all the entries. I don’t have the time.

    Here are some thoughts:

    If any of 6 players could lift the damn puck off the ice the game would have been over in the first two periods. I guess that is why they are doing that kind of practices today. KISS method I guess.

    Hank let in a softie but 1 for us to win last night or the night before, he would have had to have a shutout. We only scored 1 goal in both games. That’s asking a lot.

    I like some of the offensive spark I am seeing in guys. It allows players to be aggressive. I asked my bro yesterday and I think most would agree, “Don’t you feel more “into” a game when you are skating forward and attacking rather than standing still waiting to react or even gliding backwards to play defensively?” I think the resounding answer is “yes” and that could explain why Redden (can’t believe I am saying this) actually looks comfortable. He is allowed to pinch and take some chances moving forward. I think this helps him (and others, Rosy, Kalinin!, etc) be more “into” the game.

    At the end of the day we are still on the cusp of the playoffs. If this team can adapt to Torts’ style and combine it with what they learned defensively with Renney (Staal wart you said this) makes for a nice combo. Time is fleeting though!

    That being said, I am going to the movies with my wife tomorrow night and leaving my bro hanging for the game, but I will watch it on DVR. I won’t be committing my time first and foremost to the NYR til they start winning again though. We were leading the “Fire Sater” chants last night, so the cancer still exists.

    I am rooting for em but not stopping my life to watch them live til we get a few wins or do something very exciting ahead of trade deadline.

  64. Pete

    haha, i was being sarcastic about drury. sarcasm is tough when you refuse to make smiley faces or cryptic acronyms.

  65. BillyDeeWilliams on

    matt…it’s the amazing saves that sets him apart. if he could stop everything, the rangers would never lose a game. can’t have everything all the time.

  66. Hi, Jane !

    I have a question to the woman in the reporter :)
    I watched all the videos on the Rangers website video on demand and it looked like that John Tortorella has a specific aura around him that makes players just believe what hes saying !!!!

    You probably were in the room during those statements and did you feel this aura as well when you listened to him ?
    I would really appreciate your evaluation from a femin standpoint of view…

    Koala

  67. The TIC-TAC-DOUGH DRAGON!! on

    New Newman, you know you gonna diss the wifey tomorrow night and sit there at MSG with the bromance!!! I mean, which is worse anyway? A Rangers loss or the Confessions of a Shopaholic!!!

    — ROAR —

  68. onecupin69years on

    A hockey player is a hockey at any level..just because you are a pro doesn’t exempt you from the basics, you’re a pro because of the basics you mastered. Whats the point of practicing shooting when they failed miserably?
    This is JT’s team he starting from the basics skate sprint, shoot push up, throw -up etc.
    If any player has a problem with this and feels he’s above it, I don’t want them on my team.

    A few years ago I was at Danbury ice arena playing men’s pick -up, on the sheet next to us were 6 minnesota wild players getting skating instruction from a russian skating instructor, they were doing the basic ,learn to skate drills, cross-overs, sprint blue line to red line, circles, etc, these were pro’s.

  69. Bill

    Of course he can’t save everything, but if he stopped the softie and let the tough one in it would be easier to take. But because he is so good it’s painful to see the softie go in. That is all I’m saying.

    lol, done posting about this.

  70. Koala I’ve asked a lot of weird questions on this blog over the years, but wow, that is one of the peculiar questions I’ve heard.

  71. When I started reading Koala’s post, I was almost certain it would end with the mention of Chuck Norris.

  72. from cbs sports

    GM: Gaborik likely staying put: The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports Wild GM Doug Risebrough said Sunday that injured forward Marian Gaborik, who has been out since early January following hip surgery, is skating. Risebrough maintains he expects the former All-Star to eventually return to the Wild’s lineup and not be subject to trade at the March 4 deadline. He added that Gaborik has an important physical he needs to pass March 3 before he can increase his training regimen.
    (Updated 02/15/2009).

    Injury Report
    Hip – IR. Out until at least mid-March
    (Updated – 2/15/09)

    Fantasy Analysis
    Even though Risebrough says Gaborik is staying put, don’t you find it a bit ironic that his most important physical comes one day before the trade deadline? Never say never in hockey, so Gaborik still could be traded away. However, his return date from hip surgery is yet to be determined. He is not expected back until early March, but it’s looking more like mid-March at this stage. Continue to keep the gifted goal scorer reserved in Fantasy.
    (Updated 02/15/2009).

  73. I can´t wait for the answer and hopefully she will confirm what I really saw on the computer…

    Believe me, I really think that the Rangers will be playing better at latest after this five days layoff with the game on Thursday next week after some good practices and instructions….

  74. Maybe Gomez should wear his old devil sweater under his rangers sweater then i bet he would light it up at the garden just like he used to. Assbag.

  75. There might be a trade that the Rangers send Scott Gomez to the Wild in exchange for Marian Gaborik…

  76. hey, long time reader and poster a few times…i have two tickets for tomorrow nights game. section 111 row d seats 6 and 7. they are awesome seats. i am sick otherwise id be there. just looking to get back what i paid. if anyone is interested, email poolsong@hotmail.com

  77. czechthemout!!!!! on

    There is nothing,I repeat nothing in Renney’s “sytstem” that benefits anything at all to what Torsts tries to have the team do,nothing.They are as diferent as night and day.

  78. Jane, I didn´t mean his tan obviously:)

    Didn´t you realize how he selected his words carefully and the sound of voice changed during his sentences all the way and I really like that he is a really honest coach from the get go…

    Also the way he looked after this made me believe that this guy won´t tolerate any player to let his teammates down….!!!!!

  79. Jane, don´t you think as well that this whole problem is a mental problem at all and the reason for it is the missing self confidence from players who scored before for other teams…

    Yeah it seems to me that Torts is not just a hardliner holding players accountable he seems to me a good psychologist to find the right line in between…
    He probably needs a couple of days to find out about his players to find out which player tick this way or the other…

    It is just not only the powerplay, but there is so much more important…

    Or do you think I just have read too much in between the lines ???

  80. No Country For Old Rangers on

    how are we going to get on guys like gianonne, trautwig, rosen, etc.? sure they are douche bags, but there are many more pressing issues

    are you seriously telling me you wouldn’t take their jobs in return for kissing the organization’s ass for a living?

    what do you guys honestly expect? them to say “fire sather” on the air?

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