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141 The good, the bad, and the ugly (so far)

The good for the Rangers: excellent pressure by the likes of Fred Sjostrom, Aaron Voros, Brandon Dubinsky, not only in keeping the puck deep in the zone, but in establishing inside body position on Atlanta defenders. The goal was by Colton Orr (Colton Orr!) but it was Voros’ work in…

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213 Finally for Freddy

I’ve been pushing the “Fred Sjostrom off the fourth line” button for a while now. I don’t offer this as a cure-all for what ails the Rangers, but I do think one of the team’s more versatile forwards is better served playing on a more offensive-minded line. Alas, Sjostrom “finally…

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115 Reading between the lines

The e-mail from J.P. Barry, Mats Sundin’s agent was brief: “He will be there. No meetings confirmed yet.” This was about Sundin’s visit to Madison Square Garden for the Rangers-Hurricanes game on Saturday, when he’ll be making a promotional appearance for an online poker outfit. Naturally this would be an…

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183 Rangers spend yet another day off ice (Updated)

Tom Renney has again decided to give his team the option of staying off the ice, the third such day in the last 10. Eight players — Chris Drury, Blair Betts, Nigel Dawes, Dan Fritsche, Paul Mara, Dmitri Kalinin,  Wade Redden, and Henrik Lundqvist — skated anyway, while everyone else…

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61 And then there’s that other guy

I’ve said all along the worst thing the Rangers could do would be to play just well enough to mask some of their flaws, thus eliminating the urgent need to try to upgrade. With that in mind, this most recent rocky stretch could be coming at the ideal time. According…

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87 One more thing about Shanahan

Continuing the day’s discussion on Brendan Shanahan, here’s the other possibility on why the free agent right wing is still out there, and it’s been lent some credence by people in the know: No one has any cap room. So while it’s possible the Flyers and Shanahan had mutual interest…

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188 Worth asking

When a team loses two straight and scores four goals in its last four, the addition of a 600-goal scorer suddenly doesn’t sound so ludicrous. So for those wondering, yes, Brendan Shanahan is still skating and working out regularly in hopes of returning to the NHL this season. “He’s still…

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19 Where to turn from here

Every team makes deals before the trade deadline, but in the previous two seasons, the Rangers went into training camp at least looking like they had the pieces to be an immediate contender. Two years ago they added Brendan Shanahan to a core that already included Henrik Lundqvist and Jaromir…

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61 Rangers need more

Every team looks like it’s missing something when it drops a few games. But this has been more than a few games for the Rangers, and the numbers reflect that: Chris Drury has no goals and just two assists in his last eight games. Brandon Dubinsky has one goal in…

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232 A new look…again (Updated)

So here are the new lines tonight: Korpikoski-Gomez-Callahan Naslund-Drury-Prucha Voros-Dubinsky-Zherdev Sjostrom-Betts-Orr You may now begin debating. As I suspected, Tom Renney cited defensive concerns for breaking up Scott Gomez and Nikolai Zherdev. It’s fair to say that the tendency of both players to inch their way up ice prematurely was…

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21 Back to the drawing board

So maybe the debut of Corey Potter and the return of Blair Betts were not the only nuggets to come out of the morning skate. The other tweak is yet another line change, with Scott Gomez likely to skate with Ryan Callahan and Lauri Korpikoski. Whether this means Chris Drury…

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64 Betts back in against old team

The blog skipped the morning skate to tend to some household chores, but Gross reports that Blair Betts “will be back in tonight”:http://njmg.typepad.com/rangersblog/2008/12/betts-good-to-go.html#more after missing Thursday’s loss in Montreal with what is believed to be a shoulder injury. Worth noting, of course, is that Betts broke in with the Flames,…

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142 Potter up (Updated)

Corey Potter has been called up from Hartford and is on the ice with the Rangers for practice. Potter will presumably take the place of the injured Wade Redden, who has a lower body injury and is not on the ice. Update, 11:51 a.m.: Potter is expected to play tomorrow,…

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118 A few quick things on Avery (Updated)

Very quick on Sean Avery: <li>I get the sense that there is as much a chance of Sean Avery coming back to play for the Rangers as there is of me playing for the Rangers (although the team could fit me under the cap). <li>Interesting story on Avery “by Fanhouse’s…

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113 Avert your eyes (Updated)

Remember that Herb Brooks line, “You’re not talented enough to win on talent alone”? I’m not sure there’s a better way to describe the Rangers. What’s remarkable about a team that has at least shown it can compete with the best teams in this league is how quickly it can…

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171 Live chat with Sam Weinman: Rangers vs. Canadiens edition

Thanks for joining us for our first in-game live chat. We’ll be firing this baby up precisely at 7 p.m., so we’ll see you then. <iframe src=”http://www.coveritlive.com/index2.php/option=com_altcaster/task=viewaltcast/altcast_code=f654180be7/height=550/width=470″ scrolling=”no” height=”550px” width=”470px” frameBorder =”0″ ></iframe>

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122 Back on the horse tonight

A  few thoughts over lukewarm coffee… <li>Don’t forget, live chat during the Montreal game tonight, the first of an occasional series. I hope you can join me so we can call each other names in real time. No, seriously, I look forward to a serious, civil discussion. Remember this will…

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219 A few notes (Updated)

A few quick thoughts before heading downstairs for the pregame media briefing: <li>Sean Avery is returning to New York! No, not to play for the Rangers, but “to meet with Gary Bettman”:http://www.lohud.com/article/20081203/SPORTS01/81203004/-1/SPORTS. Maybe this would be the time for Avery to familiarize himself with the NHL PR department that he…

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127 Prucha gets his shot

Petr Prucha goes back in the lineup as expected tonight, where he’ll skate on a line with Brandon Dubinsky and Aaron Voros. It’ll be the first game for the forward after 10 games as a healthy scratch, and he was fairly blunt about what he needs to do to avoid…

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32 Redden on Redden

Here’s my story in today’s paper “about Wade Redden’s slow start”:http://www.lohud.com/article/20081203/SPORTS01/812030393/-1/SPORTS with the Rangers. Most telling was his response to my question about whether he’s feeling pressure to live up to his $39 million contract. “Yeah to be honest with you, I do,” Redden said. “But at the same time,…

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