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40 What to watch for: L.A. edition

Other than the outside chance that they’re looking to launch a film career (“Blair Betts…Jason Ward….in…..THE PENALTY KILLERS”), the Rangers objective in Hollywood tonight doesn’t extend far beyond two points. And you figure they’re going to need it. The team has Halloween off tomorrow, but then faces back-to-back games against…

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45 Hollweg Heads Home

It was inevitable that the focus in L.A. today would turn to Ryan Hollweg, the rare (or is it the only?) NHL product from Southern California. A couple of my colleagues on the Rangers beat have compelling profiles of the Rangers resident fullback in skates, “as does the L.A. Times’…

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25 Going back to the well?

That at least was the impression I got from my conversation with Tom Renney Sunday afternoon. Fresh off a win in Phoenix, having shifted to L.A., the Rangers coach said he wasn’t sure of his lineup for Monday night against the struggling Kings, but it was his “inclination” to use…

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16 Never discount the importance of psychology

Compare the Rangers to an 11-year-old baseball player. He’s just spent the better part of two weeks flailing at everything thrown his way. But when his old man lobs a few in for him to finally connect bat with ball, he suddenly doesn’t feel so useless. My point, loyal readers,…

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30 “Reg, what’d you say to the guy?”

It’s always my standard line when there seems to be an overly exuberant response to something. And that seems to be what we’re getting tonight from the Rangers, who are turning the diehard hockey fans in Phoenix — all four of them — on their ears. You are correct, I…

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15 What to watch for: Phoenix edition

Actually, it’s Glendale, but that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it? Anyway, the Rangers are moments away from officially kicking off their West Coast trip against the Coyotes, and here’s a couple of things to look out for (if, in fact, you are still awake): Marek Malik and…

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11 Wayne and Me

While you are all busy tearing your hair out over the current state of the Rangers, I figured tonight’s meeting with the Wayne Gretzky Coyotes was a fitting time to share something I wrote upon the Great One’s retirement. The piece actually ran on the day of Gretzky’s last game,…

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22 Your wish is granted

Sort of. At minus-9 for the year, Karel Rachunek will sit his first game of the season against the ‘Yotes. To those of you who had been criticial of the defenseman, I’m assuming this is welcome news. Problem is, many of you have also been calling for youngsters Nigel Dawes…

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36 Desperation in the desert

Granted, expectations weren’t as high in Phoenix as they are here, but the Rangers apparently aren’t the only team reeling early. Look at their opponent tomorrow. The Coyotes needed the influx of a couple of minor league call-ups to win their third game of the season (though it WAS against…

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22 And now for a brief programming note

Let me start by saying this blog, however time-consuming, is actually a lot of fun. When my boss first approached me about doing one this season, I was originally reluctant because I didn’t think readers would care about the insights of a first-year beat writer. Thousands of hits and hundreds…

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58 I hear you

I try to read all of your comments, not only because I find them insightful, but also because there’s always a chance one of you is a wealthy long-lost relative who will offer to pay the rest of my mortgage. In one sense, maybe we should be glad the Rangers…

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39 With losses like these, who needs wins?

Consider me confused, which is perfectly understandable for someone who isn’t that bright to begin with. But the Rangers improve to .500 with a win in Toronto, and they spend the next three days talking as if the sky is going to fall on them. Then comes an ugly loss…

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27 Post-game musings

Sorry for the delay in posting, but it’s good to see you all aren’t taking the loss hard… A couple of quick thoughts before I keel over from exhaustion: I actually switched up and ventured over to the Panthers’ locker room to talk to Gregory Campbell, who I actually wrote…

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34 Yikes

I’m not sure that’s the period the Rangers were looking for after three days of we-need-to-protect-the-puck-better-in-our-end mantras. Look, I’m not an NHL coach, but I’m pretty sure being better in your own end does NOT include direct passes to the opposition. But, you know, maybe it’s some sort of radical…

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5 The dreaded third jersey

I can’t say I’ve ever been a big fan, mostly because the Rangers’ liberty logo seemed to symbolize this proud organization’s years as a laughingstock. Nonetheless, the Rangers will be making the debut of their third jerseys tonight against the Panthers, and maybe that’s fitting. If you’re looking to harken…

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9 John Amirante is warming up in the bathroom.

Not sure if there’s news value in that, but I figured I’d share nonetheless. The strange part is that the longtime national anthem crooner was singing “I Want to Rock and Roll All Night (and Party Every Day)” by KISS…. I’m kidding, of course….. He only sings that post-game….

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17 “Congratulations on a fine return….

….now have a seat in the stands.” I’m not sure that’s exactly how the conversation went between Tom Renney and Sandis Ozolinsh, but it was certainly the essence. After a respectable showing by the seven-time All-Star in his first game of the season on Saturday, Renney has rewarded the player…

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2 Finally, a game day

It’s good to see I wasn’t the only writer to “bang the panic drum in my story today”:http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061025/SPORTS01/610250373/1046/SPORTS. But as my counterpart Steve Zipay at Newsday rightly pointed out, this may in part be attributed to the Rangers having too many days off in a row. Give a hockey writer…

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14 More from today

One of the problems with this blog is that, in the interest of timeliness, I often post updates before I get a chance to completely go through my notes. I can’t say for sure, but word is Hemingway had the same problem with his blog back in the day. Anyway,…

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24 Dark days

Contrary to what you may believe, the Rangers are not the worst team in hockey. Nor, for that matter, are they even below .500. But if you were to take the temperature of the team after an otherwise non-descript off-day practice, you’d almost get the sense the Rangers still haven’t…

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