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139 At the risk of the obvious (Updated)

A second win today in Prague would be significant for a number of reasons, but one is this: Externally at least, just about everyone is expecting the Rangers to endure some sort of hangover effect from their European journey. Should the Rangers capture four points in Prague, it would help…

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49 Quick procedural question

So here’s your first question of the season: Regular readers of the blog will notice that when I update an existing post, I post the latest information highest (see the post below as an example). My thinking is when you refresh the page, you’ll want to see the most pertinent…

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19 Opening day is here. Live updates to come. (Updated)

Update, 7:30 a.m.: Zpay reports from the morning skate that “Petr Prucha will play after all”:http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/hockey/rangers/blog/. The right move in my eyes. It sounds like Dan Fritsche, Patrick Rissmiller and Fred Sjostrom will be the scratches. Earlier: And just like that the 2008-09 season is upon us. I would jump…

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170 Fahey and Potter down (Updated)

As far back as July, I was told the Rangers were most likely to carry just six defensemen. The final roster moves today confirmed that is their plan at least to start this season. Zipay reports from Prague that backliners Corey Potter and Brian Fahey “were the team’s final cuts…

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33 Baseball’s loss is our gain

There are a lot of grieving baseball fans out there, some of whom are members of my family, and yet it’s safe to say the absence of both the Yankees and Mets from the playoffs is a boost for New York hockey. I mention this because at a time of…

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98 Roster heavy for at least one more day

The Rangers haven’t made any cuts yet. They skated as a unit of 26 this morning in Prague, which means Tom Renney is either still contemplating his roster, or more likely, he simply hasn’t made anything official. It doesn’t matter much at this point. Should the coach tell his final…

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65 Renney: No news yet

To hear Tom Renney on a conference call just now, it sounds like he has his mind made up on what he wants to do with both his captain selection and his final roster cuts. He just isn’t ready to make those decisions public. Renney reiterated that he will announce…

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33 Pathetically pumped

I’m not sure what it says about me that I’m pumped for today’s Victoria Cup between the Rangers and Mettalurg Magnitogorsk. I realize it’s just an exhibition. I also realize typing Mettalurg Magnitogorsk is not easy. But if there’s a chance that this game today matches the atmosphere of yesterday…

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103 A misleading gauge?

I hate to be the glass half-empty guy here because it’s still riveting stuff seeing the Rangers in this electric European atmosphere. But given the time and space afforded them against a clearly inferior Bern team, you have to wonder if this is counterproductive preparation for when the NHL really…

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65 Week-long trip took months to organize

Here’s my story in today’s paper about “the exhaustive preparations for the swing through Bern and Prague”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080930/SPORTS01/809300410/-1/SPORTS, covering everything from finding the right jet for the trip (the Rangers’ normal jet isn’t big enough and doesn’t have sleeper seats) to bringing over converters for European outlets. I traded e-mails yesterday…

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104 Pock claimed by Islanders

The Rangers knew it was a risk when they placed Thomas Pock on waivers, and it ended up costing them. And yet even with Pock being claimed by the archrival Islanders, it’s probably the best outcome for everyone involved. Whatever upside Pock displayed as a puck-moving defensemen, it was apparent…

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86 Renney staying pat

It sounds like Tom Renney “is staying pat for now”:http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/hockey/rangers/blog/ with the line combinations he experimented with on Saturday, which is notable on at least two levels. Among the knocks against the coach is that he is a) too defensive-minded and b) too trigger happy jumbling his lines. So when…

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102 And now for another programming note…

Raise your hand if you’re concerned about the Rangers start to this preseason. Yup, just like I figured. Pretty much everyone. The team offered a fair amount of disclaimers today, and many have merit. There were a lot of players in camp. They didn’t play together as a unit until…

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24 On the other hand

Update, 3:56 p.m.: Don’t get used to those line combinations just yet. Tom Renney acknowledged just now that he’s contemplating going back to the combinations he had for the most of the preseason. “There might be more continuity based on that,” Renney said. The coach sounds like he’s confused. At least…

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11 R.I.P. Reg Dunlop

Paul Newman probably had a dozen more important roles than his starring role in “Slap Shot”. But to me, he will always be the wise, slightly deranged player-coach Reg Dunlop. There’s not a fictional character I quote more (I’d rattle off a few right now, but most aren’t suitable for…

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