Friday, April 4, 2008

Gotta Love this guy

Scott Gomez is my favorite player on this team and personalty makes it a lot easier to root for him, another funny interview on MSG after Pens game:


Playoffs Here We Come

Well I guess the current captain is not ready to give up his C just yet. Jaromir Jagr woke up the Rangers and showed exactly what it will be like in Russian Elite League next year. The Islanders are an embarrassment t right now and I think they should have kept with Neil Smith to turn this thing around. If they are going to come near last place every year, at least get a GM that can draft and build a good team.

Quick Notes:

What a boring game- The Rangers can say all they want they did not look past this team, but this was the most boring “rivalry” game I have ever seen. Devils/Flyers are much more of a rival at this point. If the Isles become better the rivalry will grow again. The start of the year when the isles were healthy and playing well you could feel the intensity, last night I could feel nothing.

The King- 10 shutouts the most since (well you look it up) a really long time ago. He made some big saves last night on a couple chances. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Rest- Memo to Renney- Sit Jagr/Gomez/Shanny tonight. Then put them back in the lineup for the last game of the year. There is no need to go for broke to get the 4 seed and a part of me would not love the 5 seed. I would love to beat the Devils do not get me wrong, but those 7 wins this year are deceiving. 3 games went to OT and I am pretty sure they all were 1 goal games. Actually f that- the Devils have no offense and we will destroy them!!!

Player of the Game- Jaromir Jagr- The captain stepped up and buried 2 PP goals. He has actually gotten hot at the right time and the Rangers will need him to keep shooting on the PP as he has the last 4-5 games. PLAYOFF PREVIEW COMING SOON- Once seeds are set. Do not expect a re-cap of tonights game, as I may take a break- 80 straight games on the couch with my funny bones and milk have really affected me. I think I need a one game break!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Clinch at the Coliseum does it get any better?


Rangers are in the playoffs with 2 points in the next 3 games. They will clinch vs. the Islanders or (hopefully it does not get to this) vs. the Devils on the last night of the season.

Some quick notes from the Pens series:

I do not want any part of the Penguins in the playoffs and it has nothing to do with the team/talent on the team. It has to do with the love affair the NHL/Refs have with Sidney Crosby. If you breathe on Crosby he seems to try to get a penalty called and the refs seem to call it most of the time. I mean the phantom high stick (rumors are he showed tape mark to Channel 4 showing it hit him, but there are no videos showing Gomez’s stick was anywhere near his face. When the refs let them play and did not call every penalty on the Rangers (in MSG) the game was a battle and the Rangers prevailed in OT.

Ask yourself this….would The Great One dive as much as Sid The Kid (or The baby as I call him) does, would the great one throw his head back like he did when he was NOT hit in the face. No, the great one respected the game and the players he played against. Sidney will get enough calls for him because he deserves them, I mean the guy carries the puck a ton and is strong on his feet, do like Jagr and fall when you have to.

Speaking of strong (or not strong in this case), did anyone notice Evgeni Malkin is weak on his feet? For such a huge guy, every time he is hit he goes down like a sack of potatoes. Rangers scouts better be seeing that and tell the team to hit him often and early to get him off his game. Reports are he is not the same player he was when Crosby was out. He seems to cater to Crosby and he just takes the scraps (although the scrapes are a ton of open nets to shoot into).

Ryan Callahan is becoming a small little wrecking ball. Every shift you know when he is out there. It appears Dawes is following his lead. They are like smaller versions of Hollweg, but they have talent, soft hands, scoing touch etc etc….okay they are nothing like Hollwed THANK GOD.

I would like to introduce you to the new Rangers captain--------CHRIS Drury. This guy is sick in the clutch. Thank god he is on our side this year. I love the way he plays and he seems to lurk around until he can pounce on a puck and bury it when the team needs it most.
Hopefully there will be a welcome to the Playoffs post after the 2 games vs. the Islanders

Friday, March 28, 2008

In Gomez We Trust


What a difference a game and having one player makes. Anyone that thinks Gomez is overpaid just needs to watch the replay of the Flyers game Tuesday and last nights Devils game. This guy is a tempo/game changer. Once he got going, so went the Rangers.

After the first period (which the Devils fore-checked the hell out of the Rangers), Gomez got his legs under him and started to really force the play in the Devils zone. He made 2 great passes to set up the two goals and then Mr. Clutch came through with a game winning assist to Dawes scoring on his back. I will admit though, all I thought when Drury passed was what the hell are you doing, take the shoot. That is why I am on the couch with my Baked Lays and Diet Dr. Pepper and he is known as the best clutch player in the game. Chat of the year- Ranger fans chanting after 3rd goal- “YOU CAN’T BEAT US!!!”

GAME NOTES:

Jagr is done; he will not be back next year. This is no longer his team and you can tell. He just does not have the same jump/desire to carry this team on his back. He needs to be the man to enjoy the game. I am just speculating here, but I think we all can tell the Rangers are transitioning into Gomez and Drury’s team and they will only go as far as these 2 carry them. Jagr most score to have value and he is not. I love him and thank him for the last 3 years and putting the Rangers back on the map, but he will be in the Czech Republic league next year. Hope he finds some fire for the playoffs, but he just does not have that finishing touch anymore.

Drury is showing why every team he plays for loves him. 3 assists last night and every night he seems to be in the right place at the right time. During Hall of Fame weekend Messier was quoted as saying you do not pay Drury and Gomez all that money for the first month of the season, you pay it to watch them at the end of the year and playoffs. Man was he 100% correct on that one.

Gomez post game- Even if you do not watch all of it, you must watch Gomez in the post game interview (when he has a good game he seems to always go in to talk to MSG). He is a natural and will be a TV man after he is done. He said his new nickname is blood and guts, and they call Dawes Black Magic (Al Sharpton on line 1). The best moment was at the very end. John Gianone was about to say thanks for the interview and Gomez says, man John they could not do anything about that on your lip (he had a zit/blemish). Gianone turns red and Gomez says man they could not even get any makeup to stick to that (and makes a great face). Do not know if you had to see it to laugh, but I was dying.

Christian Backman- I do not love this guy and I was ready to throw my remote at the TV on the Paraise give away, but the guy has a ton of talent. If he would limit his mistakes he can be a solid 3rd line d-man with offensive upside. We will see what becomes of him in due time and come playoff time, he will either be a hero or a HUGE Goat.

Player of the Game 1A- Gomez and 1B- Henrik. Tell Martin Broduer to go f-himself. Sports Illustrated article Marty was offended Hank did not say hi to him at Vezina award presentation- Henrik’s response, I had to seek him out, couldn’t he have said hi to me? Then Marty says I just do not like Lundqvist’s style, it is weird. Well if being a finalist every season for the Vezina and winning 30 plus games every season as a goalie is weird then sign me up. I F’ING HATE THE DEVILS!!!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Knocking on Top of Eastern Conference Door


You know the king is on when he is dominating in the shootout. He lets in one goal on a wrist shot in the upper corner, but he stopped the first 2 to give the Rangers a chance to win it. Scott Gomez did just that with a nice forehand tuck in the bottom left corner of the net.
Rangers get to 83 points and are tied with Ottwa for 5th place in the East. They are now 3 points out of first place overall in the East (and the Division). I am torn on the 5 or 6 seed. Carolina and there style scares me, but the 4th seed is currently Pitt so no easy matchups in the first round. I love that we are able to talk seed in playoffs now and not will they make it. What a run going 10-0-3 in the last 13 games, This team is really starting to jell and may be ready to make a run.

QUICK NOTES:

Another game for Drury and another stretch where you see why he is the player he is. Rangers go on a 2 minute 5-3 penalty kill and he is just dominate on the PK. He blocks a shot, he dives to clear the puck 2 times and just would not let the point men establish themselves.

2nd goal is another example of why Avery is better then all the press he gets as just a nasty agitator. He absolutely destroys the d-man while fore-checking, gets the puck behind the net and puts the puck right on Jagr’s stick for a top shelf goal. I think Avery celebrated more then Jagr on the goal and he deserved to.

Refs- What happened last night? Was if breath on a Sabre get a penalty night? The Rangers were called for everything last night. Then a Sabre punches Orr after a clean hit near the bench and Orr and Peters each get 10 minutes? HOW IS THAT NOT a 2 minute PP for the Rangers? I mean that is a dangerous precedent to set in the last minute of a tie game. Peters was not going to be sent out there for the OT or shootout so any time a pile up starts in a tie game late he can just punch the guy from the bench? Should Orr have let up with 2 seconds left, yes, but the hit was not late and was prior to the buzzer.

PLAYER OF THE GAME- Overall a solid game by the team (except for the Penalties). I think all the Penalty Kills in the 2nd period were the key to the win. I will give Player of the game to Chris Drury for leading the charge (see his analysis above).

Monday, March 10, 2008

The King Reigns Supreme







I have lost a lot of confidence in the king over the last couple months. He has been back in the net and been giving up a ton of deflection goals and just plan bad goals at the wrong time. Well, last night was the old King and the one the Rangers will need if they have any chance at making a run at the cup. For about 5 minutes in the third period the score was 0-0 and Henrik stood on his head (almost literally) to steal 2 points for the Rangers. Much love for the King and I am hoping he plays again tonight to see if he going to go on a run The diving glove save and then kick up of his pads scenario will be played on NHL.com for a long time.

Quick Notes:

Renney is saying that Backhman is finally getting settled down and playing his game. Well if his game is letting guys blow by him and taking at least 1 penalty a game then man did JD rip the Rangers off. He is actually making Staal look bad as he has to cover for him all game. Last night Backhman did have some moments, but he better be better then this real soon.

The Legend of Nigel Dawes continues to grow. Does anyone see a little Shannahan in him? He has a great shot and some great offensive moves to get him self open. I think his release is a couple notches below Shanny, but he has better play making skills then Shanny.

Love what Shojrstrom is doing for the fourth line. He skates like the wind and is solid in his own end. I know she is not a hockey announcer or understand the game, but middle of the game yesterday Jeannie says “Man that number 20 is all over the place, and is always flying around out there, he is scrappy.” A little tear came to the eye as Jeannie is finally admitting she is now a Ranger fan.

Avery Water Bottle Gate- Sean Avery took 2 water bottles and in anger threw them around the penalty box after his phantom penalty in the second period. You know the one with the pile up in front, he get cross checked in the ribs, then pushes the guy in the chest and he is called for 2 minutes (great job refs). One of them ended up striking a wall in the stands and getting a family of 3 wet. The father walked down and showed Sean the bottle in disgust. At the end of the period Avery sought the family out and gave them signed equipment (sticks). The father was satisfied and moved on. Just another story to add to the Sean Avery resume, those are the things you will deal with, with a player like him.

Side note on Avery, well placed sources stated the Sharks offered Steve Brenier for Avery straight up and the Rangers said no. Brenier was the player they then used to get Brian Campbell and were offering for Marion Hossa. Think this tells you how Sather feels about Avery and tells me he will be a Ranger next year.

Drury- what more can you say. Malik get run and Drury drops the gloves for him. I like to introduce you to the future captain of the NY Rangers.

PLAYER OF THE GAME- Has to be the King. He stole 2 points for the Rangers and keep them in the hunt for top spot in the East. Put them 7 points up on 9th place.
Rangers play 500 hockey (13 points) the 9th place and 10th place teams will have to go around 10-3, or 11-2 to top them or tie them.

Friday, March 7, 2008

3 out of 4 Isn't Bad


When the home and home started, I said to myself if they can get 2 points at home and 1 on the road I will sign up for it now. Well it was the opposite, but the results were the same. Game 1 the Rangers should have won but the King was awful yet again (I mean come on a wrist shot from the point on a 2 on 2 should not go in). Callahan and Gomez hook up for a huge shorthanded goal to get the point. Last night was a dominate effort in periods 1 and 3 with a lull in period 2. Henrik kept them in the game in the second period, so much props to him as he made some huge saves to keep them with a 1 goal lead.

Quick Notes

Jagr MUST be in the shootout!!!!! I mean come on, I have no problem with Shanny, Dawes (he has looked great in shootout), Gomez, Drury types but Micheal Rozival? Hey Renney you are the coach, tell Jagr (even if he says I stink at shoot-outs) you are our best player go out in round 5 and win us a game. I love Jagr but this Shoot-out thing is just comical and frustrating.

Avery must be signed. I can not say it enough. Time to pony up to the table and get this guy paid. I will not enjoy a game as much if he is not there, he has a lot more skill then people give him credit for and he is a proven big game player now. A blog I was forwarded from Bobby (my uncle) was pretty interesting, it states Sather may be leery to sign him long term and then Jagr and Shanny leave. Jagr and Shanny have been able to keep Avery in check as he knows this is there team. I think it is a valid point, but you must sign him, then tell Drury/Gomez this is your team time to step up and one thing you must do is keep Avery in check. They want an average of 7-8 million a year they must do more then just the on ice stuff.

4 points out of first place in the East with a game in hand on the Penguins is a little deceiving as there are 5 teams to jump over but unreal how tight the east is. Rangers better not need 3 of 4 again when they play the isles the last 2 games. I want a cushion.

Thanks to Ted Nolan for playing Dubliewicz, come on Ted, you sign a goalie for that long and you know how up he gets for the Rangers you have to play him. Dipietro is a monster vs. the Rangers and while Dubliewicz had some moments in game one he let in some weak goals and did give up 3 goals. It was not like he had 40 shots against and only let in one or none. Stupid coaching move.

PLAYERS OF THE GAMES:

Tie- Nigel Dawes and Brendan Shannahan. I can not believe I am writing this, but I want Shanny back next year. If Callahan/Gomez continues to kill penalties like this, you can put Betts with Drury and take a lot of ice away from Shanny. He can not re-sign and play as much as he does now. Play him on the 2nd line and PP and watch him shine. His presence in that locker room can not be understated. Nigel Dawes is a great young player and will be a 2nd line winger next year all year.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Another Weekend Victory


I did a little research and the Rangers record since January on the weekend (Saturday/Sunday) is 8-1-3 for a total of 19 out of 24 points. The Rangers played a wide open game in the first period and were able to stay in the game. As much as it was frustrating to watch the Flyers score all those goals at least the offense is at a level where they can win a high scoring game. Shannahan set the tone with a sick top shelf wrist shot in shootout and then Dawes with a sweet backhand in the five hole to clinch the win.

Quick Notes:

Henrik oh Henrik you let up another soft goal to make it 3-3 and take the heart out of the team. I mean Carter had no angle to try and go fore-hand as Malik was coming up the middle to cut that off and you get surprised by a weak floating backhand. I think Renney was correct in pulling The King and with Valiquette’s records against the Flyers he should have started. 20-20 hindsight obviously but Vali was steady and the Rangers d-shored itself up in the last 2 periods.

Backman and Sjostrom score and thank god Backman did, he was one bad play away from being booed every time he touched the puck. Sjostrom’s goal was a thing of beauty and he really has been impressive for the Rangers already. He showed speed to get to the front of the net and then determination by getting 3 shots off without being touched.

No respect for Channel 4’s coverage. Jagr was not playing well last 2 times Rangers were on national tv and the entire broadcast they are trying to show he does not care and is not the same old Jagr. Yesterday when he is back to top form there is not a mention at all by Milbury or highlight reel showing how well he is playing now. Just shows they were all about shock value and wanted to get the press going with does Jagr not care quotes.

Player of the Game:

Martin Straka- Big goal to get the scoring started and then a great rush and feed to Callahan for an easy band in goal. Love the way a different line every night is the big goal scorer for the game.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Rangers newbies one good one…not so good


Well the Sjostrom/Backman era began last night and it was to mixed reviews. This Sjostrom kid looks like he can play all aspects of the game. Orr/Holloweg better not play over this guy the rest of the season. He will bring a nice spark to that last line and when Avery goes off for a fight or a top forward gets banged up he can fill in as a formidable top line winger. The speed he showed on that break-in was nice and he did not make any mistakes when playing with Betts/Hollweg.

Backman on the other hand….Holy Shit he better have been nervous and trying to hard because, he was out of position all night and took 3 penalties (should have been a 4 minute high stick on top of that, but the refs called Staal). I agree with Brendan Shanahan (boy he will sleep well at night now) when he said it is much harder for a d-man to jump in and play over a forward, but this has to be one of the worst Ranger debuts ever. You have to give him a little lee-way but if we are paying 2.3 million next year for this type performance we are in trouble.

Quick Notes

Visions of Montreal were dancing in my head right when Sam Rosen said the same thing on the broadcast. Dawes set up Shanny for a perfect top shelf shot and a game clinching 4th goal. Rangers showed poise and got the job done.

Memo to Glen Sather SIGN AVERY NOW. This is 2 years in a row Avery shows he is not scared to play in big games and the big time of the season. His wrists must have really affected him the first half of the season. He is playing like a man possessed right now and the Rangers need that in a big way.

SIDE NOTE IN PITTSBURGH- Unreal for Marian Hossa and the Pens (not that I am complaining). He suffered a knee injury in there loss to the Bruins (do they ever lose) and early reports are a sprain/strain of the knee and out 1 week. It could be much worse but man that is a downer for the Pens.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Even though he did not get on the scoreboard last night, this player has been there all year night in and night out. He really is making me believe he deserves # 1 d-man money with his play. Should he shoot more, no doubt, but when the team needed him last night he was a monster on the penalty kill. Michael Rozival gets my player of the game for the 8 plus minutes Backman put them a man down. He intercepted about 2-3 passes and stood up 2-3 players at the blue line. The main reason the Rangers won was they killed off those penalties and allowed Shanny to ice it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Guy highlights

Josh Gratton, he does not win them all but man he lasts long (that is not gay is it):




Fredrick Sjostrom first one is all Doan but it was against the Flyers:



NICE SHOT and on the PP

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A lot of Talk Not A Lot of Moves for Rangers





Most surprising thing to me was Marek Malik was NOT traded. He has played better over the last 1-2 weeks so maybe Renney told Sather we should keep him. Only reason I am glad they keep him is his salary is off the cap next year, so can slide some of that money to Rozie.

The biggest splash was made at 2:58 PM when the Thrashers traded Marian Hossa and Pascual Dupris to the Penguins for Colby Armstrong, Eric Christenson, 1st round pick and prospect Angelo Esposito. As much as Pens will be a force up front I think Atlanta held out and at least got players that can help them now and in the future. I just do not see how the Penguins will be able to pay Malkin, Crosby and Hossa for the next 5-10 years and still compete. Will the Rangers still have a shot at him next year? If this is a rental the Penguins gave up way to much.

Back to the Rangers and who they acquired. Christian Backman is 6’4” 200 pounds and has no real offensive stats. They say he is very similar to Marek Malik, he is a big man that can move the puck and tends to make the safe play. He does not hit and was actually last in hits on the Blues. I think he is a depth move and will allow the Rangers to sit Strudwick. He is a great team guy but he has played way to much.

The other trade annoys, not for what the trade was, but the fact that the Rangers knew they should trade Montoya and when he had value they did not pull the trigger. They waited until he was the backup goalie at Hartford to dump him. In essence they traded a 4th line (maybe 3rd line) type winger and there 4th best goalie and got something for it.

Fedrik Sjostrom (or however it is spelled) a 3rd-4th line winger right now with upside. Rumors are he was used as a defensive forward in Phoenix but given a little freedom he has the skills to score. The fact that he will break up the HBO line and give a little skill to that line I am happy. Playoffs there is not fighting so Orr just not needed, plus we have Dubi for fight?????

Jason Gratton is a tough guy and that is it. He would fill in for Orr if he went down on nights a fighter is needed. The goalie they received (Levaneau) has a good track record in the AHL and was a former pupil of goaltending coach Benoit Alare (again not idea how to spell our goaltending coaches name).

Overall the key word for the Rangers is Depth. They improved there depth big time and this Sjostrom guy has the potential to play on the 4th line and make them a line that can contribute a goal. I think it was a good day, but not a great day for the Rangers.

The one guy I think they missed the boat on was getting Hal Gill from Toronto for 2 picks. He is a stud stay at home defenseman that shuts down the other team’s top player. He is a thorn in the side of Jagr every time they play Toronto and he did not cost the Pens that much. I would have taken a guy like him over Backman.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Another Weekend Sweep

New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr, of the Czech Republic, right, finds an opening and scores past Florida Panthers' goalie Tomas Vokoun, of the Czech Republic, during the second period of the NHL hockey game Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Okay, new rule Rangers play one day during the week and then play 2 games on the weekend and sweep them. They will win 2 out of every 3 games. A clutch goal by Avery to beat Buffalo and avoid the 3 point games we all love. Florida stinks and was a possible trap game, but Rangers put up a 3 spot early and win 5-0.

Quick Notes:

Jagr is making Bryan, sorry Commander B (linger longerrrr), look like a prophet. Putting Dubinky in the middle and Avery on the wing has re-energized Jagr and the # 1 line. Avery looks like he is finnaly healthy and back to being the pest we all know and love. His antics are a lot easier to digest when he scores and makes unreal passes. That goal last night by Jagr was the best goal of the season. Jagr scored from behind the net. SICK.

After Dubinsky gets in a fight I heard some DU-BI…..DU-BI chants going up at the garden. I think this will be the norm for the rest of the season. NY fans love a guy that has skill and is not afraid to mix it up. He will not get the crowd going like Henrik and Avery but the fans are starting to love this kid.

The Kids are alright- Man you can not give enough credit to the draft scouts and Don Maloney for what he did for this team. If he does half of what he did for the Rangers for Coyotes they will be in good shape.


CASINO NIGHT- (thanks to Bob for this). Rumors are and from all the posts about this night the Rangers were all unreal and mingling with the fans….except one. Rumors are that Jagr was the only one with a personal bodyguard and was wisked away when ever the crowd around him got to large. Adam Graves was the best (isn’t he always) and had time for every single person that came over to him. Overall though all the Rangers really showed that Hockey players are by far the easiest guys to root for and be fans of.

Player of the weekend- Sean Avery was the key man this weekend. He waived to all the Buffalo fans after the Game winner and was just an overall pest on the ice. His antics are that much easier to take when he is playing the way he is right now. Memo to Sather lock this guy up right now, he is made for NY and he is a key to this team.



Thursday, February 21, 2008

Boyle/Rucinsky Broadway bound????





Love the NY Post for Hockey news, Larry Brooks all over this stuff:




The age scares me a little(32) and they need to re-sign him. If they do not re-sign him or plan to just rent him they better not give up much. The Rangers have a ton of prospects right now and the rumors are they will not give up a Type A prospect for him, but the Rangers have some of the best Type B prospects out there (Maloney did an unreal job getting this team set in the minors).


Also Boyle has a no trade and is already on record as saying he will waive it to come to NY.


Avery and Sather are talking extension after Girardi/Tyutin and Henrik were locked up.


Even better news John Davidson like Marik Malik and would trade Martin Ruckinsky back for him. Only snag is Rangers need a D man back prior to trading Malik. So Boyle/Ruckinsky would be a great get at deadline and they keep all there top prospects.


We will see.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

2 Games For the Price of One

New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr of the Czech Republic skates past a jubilant Montreal Canadiens' Cristobal Huet, of France, after Huet made the final shoot-out save to win against the New York Rangers during NHL hockey action on Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 in Montreal

Words can not describe what just happened in Montreal last night. When the score went to 5-1, I thought ok we are fine no way Henrik is giving up 6 goals in one game. When the score went to 5-2 off the next draw, I knew this was going to be a battle. You just got the sense the Habs were not going to go away. Rangers got a much needed point but you can not lose this game, no way. I felt like someone punched me in the stomach when Kovalev scored to tie it. UNREAL!!!

Quick Notes:

Gordie Howe Hat Trick for Dubinsky- He said he would not take Komisarek’s shit and he stepped up and did not back down. On top of the fight he scores a goal and gets an assist. I will say it again we are watching a kid become a potential star in the NHL.

Reason # 1 Rangers lost this game was they decided to play a prevent defense in the third. Joe and Sam said 10 times in the first 5 minutes, great job just dump it in and make Canadians take it all the way up the ice. That is not what got the Rangers a 5-0 lead and it cost them the game. The Canadians have way to much speed and offense to just dump it and change, or dump it and just back out of the zone. I HATE PREVENT DEFENSE Hockey.

Jagr/Avery/Dubinsky- this is some line, it has all the pieces- Speed/Power and grit in Avery, Dubinsky youth/energy/skill and Jagr skill. Jagr is proving the last 2-3 games he is not done. He is not scoring, but he has set up some nice goals and is playing a great give and go game with his line mates. He is not carrying the puck for the entire shift like he used to, are we watching him re-invent his game?

Trade deadline- read an interesting article where they said Rangers should go get Bobby Holik for a discounted price (a pick or a low prospect) and move Drury to Gomez’s wing. I was ready to laugh my ass off, but if Holik is played at # 3 center he fits into a team. Rumors are, if he was not bought out, Holik was going to be named Renney’s captain his first year. Holik is not a # 1 center, but he brings a shut down center to this team and I would love to see a guy like him out there instead of the HBO line against teams # 1 lines. I love Drury on Gomez’s wing. These 2 play a very complimentary game and could be a Drury/Briere type combo that Buffalo had last year. All speculation but I love trade deadline time.

Player of the game (we did get a point no goat) - Brandon Dubinksy and Jaromir Jagr. These 2 have a great chemistry growing and I would love for Jagr to take a NY discount next year to stay and watch these 2 play an entire season together.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Becoming A Favorite Player





A great article in Daily News today. Dubinsky countinues to impress:





Some excerpts:


Helpless to do much about it since he and Jaromir Jagr weren't playing on the same line at the time, Brandon Dubinsky seethed from the bench as he watched Montreal defenseman Mike Komisarek spend shift after shift pounding on the Rangers' captain on Feb.3


"I'm definitely going to be physical on him - I'm not going to let him off the hook ever," Dubinsky said of Komisarek. "I can't say if anything's going to happen. But he's definitely going to be hearing it from me if he's taking any liberties or cheap shots. That's for sure."
_______________________________________________________________
This kid is earning major points and just shows how letting a kid develop is the answer sometimes instead of trading for that veteran. I wanted Peca at start of the year but thank god I am just writting and watching and not running the team. To early for a Dubinsky jersey?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Great Weekend in NY

The Rangers, including goalie Henrik Lundqvist of Sweden, foreground right, celebrate their 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks in their hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The Rangers finally solve the west with a win against San Jose and started the weekend with a dominate preformance vs. the Sabres, a team they are battling for the final few playoff spots. The Rangers dominated the Sabres, but owe a huge thank you hug to Ryan Miller. He was just awful Saturday. 2 of the 4 goals he gave up were just terrible, a slap shot from the point unscreened can not go in. San Jose was a great Ranger win, with great shut down d by the HBO line. Thorton was no where to be found after his assist in the 1st period.

Quick Notes:

Memo to Tom Renney, when things are going stale for 1 or 2 games, change the lines and see what happens. Every time he changes the lines something happens to get this team on a role.

Dubinsky- Unreal, that is all I can about this kid. He is becoming a star right before our eyes. He is doing so well I actually think (after the million posts saying the opposite) he can be a # 1 center in the future. The confidence he is showing right now is feeding the entire team.

Is the King Back? Henrik did what he needed to do the last 2 games and when the d broke down he made the key save to keep the other team off the scoreboard. Perfect example was the shorthanded breakaway save right before Drury's game winner Sunday. A week ago that goes in and Rangers lose the game. Maybe the contract thing, plus his dad sickness was playing with his head more then he let on. This is the King we will need for the last 20 plus games.

Callahan- I guess that AAAA post got him going or he was just reading to much of his own press at the start of the year. He is fearless and is leading the team in hits in almost every game since he was called up. He has re-energized the # 3 line and Drury/Straka are feeding off that energy. There is a kid on every line right now and it appears the vets are playing off that energy and relentless forecheck.

Player of the weekend- Ryan Callahan. See above he has made the # 3 line a threat and d-men must put there head on a swivel when Callahan is coming in the zone. He owned Brian Campbell Saturday and 2 goals Sunday. How he was not the # 1 star Sunday I have no idea.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Some Scary Moments on Ice

Richard Zednick and a linesman get a skate in the neck and face and it brings back memories of Clint Malarchuck. Do not hit play if you have an empty stomach.


CAN THIS ANNOUCER BE MORE OF A JERK!!! 2 seconds after it happens it says oh it is the carotid artery in his neck with all that blood, oh man I have never seen that much blood. Hey jerk off his family might be watching this, you have no idea what happened. I can not stand announcers sometimes.

RICHARD ZEDNICK





and the worst video ever.....Clint Malarchuck cut by skate and blood everywhere:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Goalie Controversy Brewing!!!

New York Rangers goalie Steve Valiquette stops a puck against the Washington Capitals during the second period of a NHL hockey game, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008, in Washington.

No way is Stephen Valiquette taking us to the Promised Land, he is a 30 plus year old backup for a reason. I just hope Henrik took some lessons from him over the last 2 games as 3 points out of 4 is not bad on the road. Valiquette made all the saves he was supposed to and then chipped a couple game savers that helped save the defense when they broke down. The problem with Henrik, over the last month, is he is not making those game changing saves (and recently has even been letting in one bad goal a game).

Quick Notes:

Jagr- I am at a loss with this guy right now. He is giving the effort he can just not score. This team will not get anywhere without Jagr stepping up. It is so frustrating to watch him either shoot wide or hit the goalie right in the chest. I am starting to think Bobby was more correct then Bryan when he said in the first month Jagr is done.

Ovechikin is a beast. I said it in an earlier post when they played the Caps that Ovechkin is the total package. I can now see why the Crosby/Ovechkin, Pen/Caps games will be fun to watch for the next 10 plus years. These 2 are a lot closer then people think. Only reason Crosby is propped up as the league savior is the language barrier. Ovechkin Canadian or American he would be a marketing dream come true.

OLD TIME HOCKEY- I know it was after a scary skate to the face on a linesmen so it lost a little luster, but how great was the Orr/Cote fight will all 10 players hooked up and Orr beating the shit out of Cote. I loved the picture of the gloves all over the place, the passion and a Ranger win. Just a fun game to watch old time hockey Flyers/Rangers it does not get much better.

Player of the Weekend- Nigel Dawes. He continues to impress. He scores, he hits, he is good in his own end. I think this Player of the Weekend is more a player of the last couple weeks award. Dawes, Dubinsky and Drury have been top Rangers last 2-3 weeks.



Friday, February 8, 2008

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz




Another boring Ranger game where they dominate the territorial play at the start rack up a ton of shots on net (with no one in front to get rebounds or when they are they miss the puck), but they end up down 1-0 after one period. The Rangers are now winless in 9 games against the West and it is unreal how inconsistent this team. They go on a stretch where they score a ton, play great defense and shut everyone down to not being able to score and not being able to stop anyone else.

Quick Notes:

Ryan Callahan sighting!!!!!! Ryan was expected to be a key third line young player for the Rangers this year. Instead he could not score and is just not big enough to be a great defensive forward. I said last night I just hope he is a not quadruple A player. Meaning he is too good for AAA (minors) but not good enough for the majors, so he needs a new league AAAA. I know it is way too early to judge him, as this was supposed to be his first full season. Just something to think about at deadline time if a teams wants him.

THE KING NO MORE- Bobby and I spoke about it last night and it just seems to be true. The king is just not the same. All of those goals were not his fault, but he is just not the same this year. He is letting in so many deflating goals when Rangers are dominating. They are killing the Ducks all first period and end up down 1-0 at end of one period. Start dominating second and Callahan scores to tie it. Think to yourself OK her we go let’s get that second goal. Corey Perry comes down the right side takes a slap shot from upper face off circle (with no one in front as it was a 2 on 1) and Henrik lets it in. The team was completely deflated at that point and turned out to be turning point of the game. THIS CAN NOT HAPPEN, especially if playing a defensive system.

Rozie off the PP- I am so tired of it, put Staal on # 1 PP with Mara, Straka with Tyutin or Girardi. Renney wants to send a message to Rozie take his ice time away. He just does not want to shoot the puck. When he receives a pass he is not even looking at the net. He just takes the pass and is looking for the next pass. I am done watching the Gomez/Drury unit battle in front get some excitement going and shots to the net, then Jagr unit comes out and get one shot as they are all looking for the pretty perfect goal. Renney has to hit players where it hurts and start playing Gomez/drury unit 1:30 of PP and give other unit the scrapes, that does not wake them up, nothing will.

Goat of the Game

The turning point of the game was that Corey Perry goal. That 2-1 goal deflated the entire team and they did not play the same after that. Henrik gets my vote. The offense did not do much but that was the entire game right there!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Trade Rumors Strating to Fly


There are some major players out there that will be available for trades. I think the Rangers biggest trade chips are Al Montoya, # 1 draft Pick, Petr Prucha (he has struggled but he plays with heart and not making a ton of money). They also have salaries to dump that I am pretty sure are coming off the cap next year (Mara, Malik types).

I will take a look at the prize trade commodities out there.

Brian Campbell- Sabres- He is an unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) next year and has told the Sabres he will test the market. Reports are Sabres want a current player, a # 1 pick and a prospect. Hmmmmm Prucha, Montoya and a # 1 pick…….I would do it in a heartbeat. Campbell is a fast d-man with a shot and a half, Sabres want this for him MUST do it and try to throw them a bad contract back for rest of the season.

Dan Boyle- Lightening- Another UFA and he is a PP specialist with a blast. This is exactly what the Rangers need. I have said it before and will say if again. The Rangers need a respected point man to draw forwards out on the PP. Right now it is collapse and take puck away from Gomez/Jagr and make Mara/Rozie beat you. Boyle would make teams pay for collapsing.

Vinny Lecavalier- Lighting- This is a pipe dream Lighting love this guy he plays a Messier type game (scores, hits, fights if needed) so he will not go anywhere. I would trade anyone for him. I know we are on a youth movement but he is arguably the best player in the game right now and he is not old.

Mats Sundin- Toronto- if he were to waive his no trade he would want to go to an Ottawa, Detroit type team. Maple Leafs will likely send him out West plus with Dubinsky playing the way he is the Rangers have enough Centers.

Marian Hossa- Thrashers- While the Rangers offense has been anemic and the PP needs a boost, I think that boost would need to come from the back line (see my Dan Boyle explanation). If we can not get Campbell or Boyle, I would go for Hossa next. You can never argue with a forward with this kind of scoring touch. If the price is right Glen pull the trigger.


Here is a good link to a breakdown of all the players out there that are being rumored to be traded and the teams interested in getting them:

http://insider.espn.go.com/nhl/features/rumors

Take a peak and let me know what you think is needed to make this team a threat and take that next step?
My prediction Dan Boyle or Brian Campbell will be a Ranger by end of this month.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What a Difference a Weekend Makes


The Rangers had a great Super Bowl Weekend. Victories over the Devils and Canadians (2 of the top teams in the conference) have put them in the 7 spot in the Conference with a little room between them and the 9 seed. The game vs. the Devils was playoff hockey in February, just a great game with battles all over the rink. It was not the fans’ banging on the glass it was all the hits that rattled the boards (from both teams). Canadians looked like a game you just chalk up to a bad night on a long road trip and instead the Rangers battle back again to win there 3rd straight (5 of 6 dating back to Thrashers sweep pre-all star break).

Player of the weekend
CHRIS DRURY by far has been the best Ranger of the last 3-4 games. He is scoring now in addition to killing penalties, winning draws, etc etc. This guy is unreal when the backs of his teams are against the wall. He is starting to fit in and it is perfect timing.


Rising- Rangers in the standings. Man you win a few games in the conference and you feel so much better. Rangers must not fall asleep now, Kings have actually played well last few games and there PP is solid. Rangers go back to 5 PK in the game they may lose.

HOT- Chris Drury- see above.

Falling- Shanan’s Health. I was working at FYE Saturday and this kid says to me, man Rangers looked great last 2 nights. My response was yes they do, but man did you see how old Shanahan is looking? Bobby said to me time to stop giving this guy all this ice time. We could all see it he is wearing down big time. Rangers have to sit him as long as they can, as they will need him for playoff push.

Cold- My hate for Renney. Read the post on Sunday and a great article about what Rangers are building right now. They talked about them sitting tight right now and not going after a Forsberg type. There patient has lead to Dubinsky becoming a legitimate #2 center, Staal a # 1 line type defenseman, Dawes a key role player 3rd line threat etc etc. He may just be the correct guy to lead this team.

SIDE NOTE

I watched Channel 4’s coverage and I thought they were way over the top with ripping Jagr. I mean to iso him for 1 or 2 shifts and say there is no passion, is just shady journalism. Jagr may get under all of our skin, but he was getting hit all game and he kept driving to the net, was actually following through on hits and while he did not score, he played with passion. Mike Milbury just wants his name in the paper and he will do it anyway he can. Renney reacted in today’s Daily News and it was another great article.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde Hockey Team, What a Ride

New York Rangers' Petr Prucha gets the puck past Philadelphia Flyers' goalie Antero Niittymaki for a goal during the first period of their NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008 in Philadelphia.
It is a guess every night which Ranger team will show up. Last night it was the work there asses off, drive to the net and play unreal defense. Tonight vs. the Devils it could be shot from the perimeter, play awful transition defense and lose 3-1. The Devils usually wake the Rangers up, so I expect them to play hard and well, a win I am not so sure. They need these 2 points bad.

They have played most games of any of the 4-5 teams battling for seeds 5-8 so they have to get to the top of that group in case teams win those games in hand. One good thing, all the teams in seeds 9-15 have played the same amount of games or only one less (except Buffalo who have 3 games in hand) so they are a legitimate 8 seed, as only the Sabres and Isles could catch them if they win all of there games in hand. What a race this will be to the final playoff spots.

Quick Notes
Doesn’t it seem every time Renney tweaks the lines he finds a diamond in the rough line that sparks the team? Once it was putting Gomez with Shanny for a stretch, then Gomez back with Jagr. He did the kid line for a couple weeks, put Avery with Jagr and now put 2 hard nosed players with talent on Drury’s line. That line clicked all night. I still think Avery should be with Jagr/Gomez and then Shanny with Straka/Dubi but that is just me. If this Drury line plays this hard every night have to keep them together.

Power Play- I have said it all year this is the key to this team. I was not overly impressed last night with the PP but they did play well 5-5 and did not need the PP. That will not happen every night. Anyone notice the one PP goal they did score it was a wrist shot from the point with 2 Rangers in front…….interesting concept! I do not love Renney but he was yelling all AM skate to drive to the net boys, with some F-bombs thrown in (per beat writers Glen Sather is on this trip so they are not surprised Renney was acting this way, Thanks for this info Bob).

Player of the Game

Drury- 1 goal, 1 assist 5 of 7 on Face-offs, integral part of holding # 1 PP team in league to no PP goals. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE PAYING FOR!!!

Side note: Much props to Valiquette and his first career shutout. While he was not tested most of the night, he did make a couple saves in first period that were important. Although, with the Rangers defense Steven Mcdonald could have shut out the Flyers last night (okay that was wrong and even I am a little offended by that sentence….)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Half, Same Team

Carolina Hurricanes' Scott Walker (24) scraps with New York Rangers' Marc Staal (18) and Sean Avery, as Rangers' Jaromir Jagr (68), of the Czech Republic, battles with Carolina Hurricanes' Tim Gleason (42) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008.

I am about done with this team. They play a team that is awful in there defensive zone, they give a solid effort, but they can not score. You know going in vs. Carolina they will have 2-3 odd man rushes a period as they are an unreal transition team, but as a trade off you will likely have just as many if not more transition rushes as they attack all game and get caught.

Well that is exactly what happened, except Carolina had maybe 5 break-ins and odd man rushes and scored on 3 of them. Henrik can not be blamed as the goals were all one odd man rushes/breakaways but we needed the king to make 3 spectacular saves and he could not. The problem with this team yet again was the PP was awful, except for the first one, and when they got chances they either missed the net (one by Tyutin was so bad it created a 2-1 the other way leading to a Carolina goal) or Ward was there.

Quick Notes:

Refs---wow are the refs getting worse as the season goes on? Gomez drilled from behind, and I mean drilled, no call. Avery had every right to go after the Carolina player and we get a man disadvantage. I mean give one Carolina guy 2 minutes in that scrum to even it up, especially with the missed call. Much props to Jagr for dropping the gloves (he did not fight) but, he was the first one in to help Avery.

Then Orr levels a Carolina player which should have been a penalty (hit from behind, it was open ice but it was from behind). A Carolina player jumps Orr and they fight. Well of course they will give an instigator to Carolina correct…..no of course not. I am in no way blaming the refs for this lose but man they were awful. Do not even get me started on the Jagr dive call, that is just wrong, I have no idea what Jagr did to the refs but he is the most disrespected superstar I have ever seen.

GOAT OF THE GAME:

Offense- Until they start scoring on PP’s and on shots right in front of the net, they are the downfall of this team. I mean Carolina, as stated above, is one of the worst defensive teams in the league and Rangers score 1 goal.

Offense does not start to bury it’s chances this team will be on the outside looking in come playoff time.


Monday, January 28, 2008

BORE FEST/2nd Half Notes


No idea if anyone tortured themselves and actually watched the Skills Competition on Saturday. I DVR’d it and was happy I did, so I could fast forward all the boredom that ensued. Wow, the NHL really has no clue what it is doing and the Atlanta fans were just awful or as bored as I was. All the time it took to set it all up and get it going is just not worth it. The only 2 moments I actually went wow or adjusted my seat was the 3 on 3 young stars game and the fastest shot competition. 3 on 3 young stars had 2 Rangers and both did well, Marc Staal had a sick shot on a breakaway top corner and Dubinsky flashed some quick passes and 2 nice goals. Dubi was even named MVP of the game, I tell you what this kid is impressing me more and more. When Chara blasted a 103 plus mile an hour shot on the last shot it was very impressive. Otherwise the festivities were a complete waste. I did not even watch the All-star game the skills competition bored me so much.

The NHL also tried a slam dunk type competition where there are no rules on a breakaway the guy can skate backwards, juggle the puck with his stick, go around the net 10 times, WHATEVER he wanted to do. Garbonik and Ovechkin must have been the only 2 that got the memo. Something that seemed like a cool premises was just awful. The players were just going on shootouts and trying to score and getting no points for it. Then a guy tried to do some things (Martin St Louis) and Nabokov the goalie came all the way out and poked check the puck away from him!!!!!! What the FUCK NABOKOV this was a display for the offensive guys to try sick moves and you take the puck away when they try it…awful end to an awful night.

VS. is the absolute worst network and it is time to go back to ESPN for free, say what you want about ESPN they know how to do the kind of stuff the NHL needs.

THE START TO THE NEXT HALF

Well it is time to get back to business and to see if what some have been saying (Bryan and Bobby) is true. Will Jagr turn it around as he was saving himself for a run in the second half and the playoffs.

My Five questions and answers for the second half:

1- Will Jagr turn it on and carry this team?

Yes- He has shown signs last 2-3 weeks of coming around and is getting back to the 1.5 point per game pace (last 18 games 24 points). I love Avery with him and I think that line will prosper the second half.

2- Which Henrik will show up the one from the first month or the one that struggled near the end of the All-star break?

I think it will be something in between, which should be good enough. I do not think you can expect a .950 save % and 1.50 GAA from first month, but he will be better then the 3.00GAA and barely .900 save%. He will be somewhere in between but more consistent. We need him to be hot going into the playoffs to have any shot.

3- Will Tom Renney loosen the reigns and let the top lines carry this team?

Not a chance and it will be his downfall, no matter what we say or how fans, media feel about him, Tom Renney loves 3rd and 4th line type players. He will continue to lean on HBO line and make Ranger fans crazy. Tom Renney will be the scapegoat (and rightfully so) if this team does not do well in or get to the postseason.

4- Will Gomez and Drury be the top centers we signed and hoped for?

Gomez has been a top center all year and he has produced what is expected of him. It is time for the fun-loving good interview Gomez to go away and for him to turn the fire on more and get this team to the playoffs. Drury, I am scared of the 2 he will not earn his money this year. Is that Renney’s fault or Drury’s, I think a combo of both. Do not get me wrong I love Drury, but you do not pay a guy 7 million per to be a tough 2 way player, he has to start scoring and producing offensively. I think Renney has handcuffed him as Drury is the type that will do what the coach’s ask and Renney wants him to be a 2 way player with defense being first. My prediction is Drury will keep doing what he is doing and I think Gomez will step it up even more.

5- Will the Rangers make an impact this year in playoffs?

I think they will get to the dance but how far they do depends on where they are seeded. Play Penguins or Ottwa first round there is zero chance they win a round. Any other team they play they can beat in a series. My predication 7th seed Pens first round- out in 6. Overall I am predicting a disappointing season and all hell will break loose this off-season.

Friday, January 25, 2008

LOVE YOU TUBE

Got this from you tube---oh to be young and hockey player- cool warmup game and love this song (yes it is rap but I do like it, leave me alone)

Leetch Night Capped Off With A Victory.




A great ceremony and a great announcement (much props to Bryan for predicting it, right when he said he had an announcement Bryan said Graves is going up to the Rafters) by Brian Leetch. Tie Domi riding in on the handlebars was great moment and overall another classy night by the Garden. The game, what is there to say, The Rangers slept walked through the first 2 periods, played a great 3rd to tie it up and won in a shootout. I can not complain the game was boring (it was), as I will always take a boring win over an exciting loss.

Adam Graves’s announcement is just another way to show how Brian Leetch had absolutely no ego and was the best teammate around. I mean this was his night, should have been all about what he did for the Rangers and he lets Graves still some thunder, class move all the way.

Love the not so subtle knock of Glen Sather last night, he thanked every big wig including Neil Smith for his Ranger career and never mentioned Sather. Then his last part of speech he says “I came back to the garden only one time and sat on that visitor’s bench and you guys (the crowd) made me feel right at home.” Leetch is a good guy, but he knows Sather treated him like garbage and that was his way of letting him know he will never forget what was done to him.

Quick Notes:

Messier, I love you and you will always have a special place in my sports heart, but enough with the tears. You retire, you cry, your number retired, you cry, you get into hall, you cry, but you talking about Brian Leetch YOU DO NOT CRY…….THAT IS MAN LAW 1.2C enough already. Sorry had to get that out of the way.

Tie Domi- I have a friend that works the penalty box/score box etc at every Ranger home game and he said to me Tie Domi was the nicest down to earth Ranger there ever was. He used to take all the NHL guys out after weekend games and get them drinks etc. etc. They actually became pretty good friends. Once Domi got traded he would circle the date the Maple Leafs came to town as Domi would always take the blue collar guys out for a few drinks. Well Domi made it back last night at it was good to see, he should have been given a chance by the Rangers as he turned himself into a damn good player once he left NY and was given ice time. We missed the best times Domi had as a hockey player. Never forget the fight with Probert when he made the mock title belt sign, Classic Domi.

THE GAME

Dubinsky/Dawes yet again are the best 2 forwards all night. It is every night Dubinsky does something or makes a move and I go Holy Shit this kid is fast, or this kid can carry the puck or deek anyone. Last night the only time you shifted your seat and anticipated something would happen was then these 2 were on the ice.

Just an overall boring game where Rangers and Atlanta just wanted to dump and chase and keep pucks deep on each other, it looked like neither team wanted to make a mistake and puck went from behind one net and then out of zone and behind the other net. Oh well they needed 2 points and got them, I will take it any day.

Star of the game

Have to give it to Dubinsky, Dawes made the last pass, but overall Dubinsky was the best player on the ice for the Rangers. Time to move Drury to a wing and let Dubinsky by # 2 Center…….just a thought- trade Malik for a # 3 type center and get Drury on the wing with Gomez/jagr…..hmmmmmmmmmm, nah Renney would get a # 3 center and play him point on the PP, play him 25 minutes a game and see what he can do with Jagr. Sorry can not do a post without ripping Renney.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Leetch Greatest Ranger Ever???




He was at the least the greatest Ranger in my lifetime and could arguably be called the greatest Ranger ever.

He was the first player I ever got a jersey for. I was going to wear it tonight but I put it on and the Large from Junior High just did not cut it. It looked like big guy in a little coat.

I received as a B-day gift this year the 1994 Stanley Cup DVD box set. Unreal is all I can say about the way Leetch carried this team. Yes Messier slayed the dragon and put himself out there, which was a big reason Leetch could just play his game, but Leetch was the Key to that team. Leetch did not like the media attention. His ideal day was AM skate, play and win that night, and maybe a dinner and home. He was not the Derek Jeter date supermodel guys. He just wanted to play the game hard and go home. In 1994 Leetch was like an extra forward on the ice, he would carry the puck in get an offensive chance started and then be the first one back to break up the play.

He was my favorite Ranger of all time and even during the tough years, he was the reason to keep watching the game. Enjoy the video below and remeber the good times Leetchie gave us for his long and great Ranger Career; hey you think he can play the point still:
PS- I could not find any video tributes of leetch on youtube.com except stupid pictures with music. This was only one that was somewhat good. Wish there was better quality but this was all I could find.



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Okay a Good Building Block

New York Rangers' Chris Drury, right, comes over to celebrate with teammate Martin Straka (82), of the Czech Republic, after Straka scored during the second period of hockey action Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008 in New York.



It was a dominant game and it is something to build on for the next couple weeks. It all means nothing if the Rangers do not come out hard Thursday and win again and play well again. The lineup shifts worked and Avery added a little something to that Jagr/Gomez line. Overall not really much bad you can say about this game, I actually almost fast forwarded the DVR, but realized these types of performances have been few and far between so I better enjoy it.

Quick Notes:

Dubinsky, wow this kid can flat out play. That move on breakaway was a sick move and he can skate and carry the puck well. This kid is something to build on and him and Nigel Dawes are looking like a solid duo for years to come.

Team play was great last night; I mean not a single shot against until approximately 9 minutes left in the first period. They shut down there team and pretty much dominated the puck all night.

Joe Micelitti says about 1 minute after the face-off the Rangers will have to play .700 hockey to make the playoffs this year. Am I missing something? They are in a battle with 6 teams being 6 points apart and 3 of them are around the .500 mark. So in essence how I take it one and maybe 2 teams that finishe around a .500 will make the playoffs. Yes I want the Rangers to be better then just .500, but we are not in last place and have to catch 6 teams ahead of them. They are battling the Bruins and Islanders not the 1980 Oilers/Islander teams that win every night. They need to play better and get on a run but to say that like it is fact, is just bad color commentary.

Player of the game

I give this guy hell every time he looks flat or just not interested so he deserves props when he has a great game. Jaromir Jagr was the best player on the ice last night and dominated play with Avery and Gomez. He looked like he wanted to play and looked like he actually cared. We will need this type of effort the rest of the year from him.






Tuesday, January 22, 2008

HOT/COLD/RISING/FALLING



Hot- Ranger fans tempers.

This has been my worst season ever as a Ranger fan. I can not say it enough, I really thought this team was put together well and would compete every night. I never thought effort and heart would be a problem. This team has followed it’s leader and seem to all play with the same laid back style of Jagr.

Can anyone really be put in the hot column right now? The one player I really think has played well and brought something to the table is Paul Mara and reports are he is being benched tonight for Marik Malik. The every changing world of Tom Renney continues to baffle me.

Cold- Rangers Team Psyche----- Shanny said it best after the last Rangers game Sunday:

"We're playing as bad as since I've been here," Shanahan said. "From the first day, we haven't developed any consistent chemistry. "We don't work hard enough. We don't think well enough. We make the same mistakes. You don't have to be Scotty Bowman to figure out what's wrong

I mean don’t work hard enough, that to me is a direct refection of the coach and motivation of players. This is getting hard to watch.


Rising- Penalties- if everyone can see that they take way to many penalties how can they not see it, or choose not to correct it in some way. Yes there have been some ticy-tac calls and I think the refs have been awful the last few games, the Rangers are putting themselves in the position to have those calls made. Just terrible….


Falling- Confidence in the King. I do not care what anyone says he looks lost out there one minute and the King we all know the next. That goal against Boston Short-handed was possibly the worst goal of the season. I mean a 2 on 1 wrist shot from the top of the face off circle can not, I REPEAT CAN NOT go in.

LINEUP SHUFFLE (thanks Bob for article).

Rumors are there will be a lineup shuffle tonight:


Avery-Gomez-Jagr (I like it Avery can bring some needed spark to the top line). Dawes-Dubinksy-Shanny- (no idea why kid line broke up, only line playing well not together????) Straka-Drury-Prucha- Again no idea why kid line broke up.
HBO Line- odds are they start the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enough already RENNEY!!!!!!!!!



Channel 4 and Mike Milbury spent all day Sunday ripping Jagr for his need to have Nylander with him and the total lack of a spark he has had all season. Milbury flat out called him out and even said it is time to let him go and give this team to Drury and Gomez. I hate Milbury but I tend to agree with him. Drury and Gomez need to feel like they can lead this team, with Jagr here they can not. I really do not know if trading will improve the record this year but they will get nothing for him next year.

Hot/Cold/Rising/Falling



Hot- Ranger fans tempers.

This has been my worst season ever as a Ranger fan. I can not say it enough, I really thought this team was put together well and would compete every night. I never thought effort and heart would be a problem. This team has followed it’s leader and seem to all play with the same laid back style of Jagr.

Can anyone really be put in the hot column right now? The one player I really think has played well and brought something to the table is Paul Mara and reports are he is being benched tonight for Marik Malik. The every changing world of Tom Renney continues to baffle me.

Cold- Rangers Team Psyche----- Shanny said it best after the last Rangers game Sunday:
"We're playing as bad as since I've been here," Shanahan said. "From the first day, we haven't developed any consistent chemistry. "We don't work hard enough. We don't think well enough. We make the same mistakes. You don't have to be Scotty Bowman to figure out what's wrong
I mean don’t work hard enough, that to me is a direct refection of the coach and motivation of players. This is getting hard to watch.

Rising- Penalties- if everyone can see that they take way to many penalties how can they not see it, or choose not to correct it in some way. Yes there have been some ticy-tac calls and I think the refs have been awful the last few games, the Rangers are putting themselves in the position to have those calls made. Just terrible…

Falling- Confidence in the King. I do not care what anyone says he looks lost out there one minute and the King we all know the next. That goal against Boston Short-handed was possibly the worst goal of the season. I mean a 2 on 1 wrist shot from the top of the face off circle can not, I REPEAT CAN NOT go in.

LINEUP SHUFFLE (thanks Bob for article). Rumors are there will be a lineup shuffle tonight:

Avery-Gomez-Jagr I like it Avery can bring some needed spark to the top line). Dawes-Dubinksy-Shanny- no idea why kid line broke up, only line playing well not together? Straka-Drury-Prucha- I do not hate this line but Pruca should be with kid line. HBO Line- odds are they start the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enough already RENNEY!!!!!!!!!



Channel 4 and Mike Milbury spent all day Sunday ripping Jagr for his need to have Nylander with him and the total lack of a spark he has had all season. Milbury flat out called him out and even said it is time to let him go and give this team to Drury and Gomez. I hate Milbury but I tend to agree with him. Drury and Gomez need to feel like they can lead this team, with Jagr here they can not. I really do not know if trading will improve the record this year but they will get nothing for him next year.

Friday, January 18, 2008

JAGR THE GREAT

It worked for Henrik, hope it will wake up Jagr for the weekend. 2006-2007 season all of his goals:

TIME TO WAKE UP CAPTAIN....

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Boring? Maybe, But 2 Points is More Gooder





All I read at the start of the season was how boring the Rangers are this year and they just win 1-0 and 2-1 games. Well the key word in that sentence is WIN……I will take a somewhat boring 2-1 win over an "exciting" 5-4 loss any day. I am a Yankee fan and they get plenty of “exiciting” 10-6 wins and 10-6 losses but the playoffs come and they get no boring 2-0 wins. Defensive commitment will bring this Ranger team to the Promised Land, that is how they are built and that is all there is to it.

We can say all we want with all this talent they should be an offensive juggernaut. Well we are over 40 games into the season and I must say they are not. They have 2-3 really gifted forwards (Jagr, Drury, Gomez) and 1 with an unreal shot (Shannahan), the rest bring something to the table that helps a team win, but are not offensive wizards. Jagr has just not got on track this season and now with feet problems he may never. I am not getting overly excited. As I said the next 2 games are key, lets get 3 out of 4 points and then start to get excited.

QUICK NOTES

Avery- what can you say the guy does something every game to get the crowd going, or his teammates. He is just an unreal intangible filled player, that when he is out there can also play the game. I mean take the puck up ice, dump it in and then proceed to knock down both players that are going for the puck. Rangers did not score but the crowd was fired up and could tell Rangers picked up there game after that.

Mara, what else can be said except , he is starting show why he was signed for 3 million 2 years ago. He has an absolute cannon from the point and when he shots the puck and is played at the point on the Power Play he is a very valuable d-man.

Renney- Wow a post with Renney in it, who would have thunk it. Well I was watching all night when the Rangers got 20 seconds left in the PP and face off what he would do. Both times he put out the # 1 PP line and both times the Rangers won the draw and got action on net and came close to scoring. What a concept still have a PP you put out your best for the entire 2 minutes!!!!!

Betts- Slowly becoming one of my favorite players to watch. The writer’s final got it right and nominated his as a # 3 star (even though he did not register a point). He does everything the team asks and is a human dart board on the PK with shots hitting him everywhere.

3 stars of the game- I always stick around MSG telecast to see who got the 3 stars. Last night:
Betts # 3 star, Dubinsky # 2 star, Prucha # 1 star. That is right no Jagr, no Gomez, no Drury, No Henrik. I think this is actually a good thing. The stars did not shine but the Rangers still win. Are they becoming a team??????


RELAX LINDY RUFF- He is in the paper as saying hit by Shannahan was dirty and should be a suspension. Come on Shanny admitted and agreed it was a hard play and he should have been in the box, but a suspension. That happens on the side of the net he would have not even been shaken up. The fact that he hit the net after was the reason he was hurt. Lindy Ruff is a baby, come on Shanny is not a dirty player and wanted to make sure no loose puck was going to hit in so he crosschecked the guy. Penatly should have been called but leave it at that.

Player of the Game

DDP LINE- I am getting very excited about this line. They play with speed and recklessness, but in a good way. They are flying all over the place right now and picking up the veterans. There forecheck is dominating, they just need to worry about not being to careless and letting odd man rushes the other way. Renney needs to give them a little rope though and let them stick for awhile even if they struggle a game or two.

Pre-game video worked so look out for another one later in the week!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



I am saying it now and saying it loud it is time to get out the Sammy Hagar Van Halen, open up the windows and play RIGHT NOW on number 11. I will be doing it so I expect all my readers to do the same. The Rangers play Buffalo tonight and then the Bruins back to back Friday and Saturday. I want 6 points or at the least 5 out of 6 to get this team back in a playoff spot, we do that there will be no looking back.

Rumors are Shanny will be back and Avery has been upgraded to day to day. Avery may actually play tonight. One negative was Drury did not practice (no reason given) and Jagr was limping around room and did not skate with feet issues. I want Jagr out there but maybe the team will stop looking to him and Gomez/Drury will make this there team tonight. We want to win this year that transition needs to happen. It is time for the big priced Free Agents to take over this team.

Some highlights of Henrik Lundqvist to get this team going and hopefully get this team on the track to the playoff.

IF THIS MUSIC AND HIGHLIGHTS DO NOT GET YOU READY NOTHING WILL IT IS CRISIS TIME RANGER FANS LET THE REAL HENRIK SHINE (oh and if Valiquette plays tonight pretend that was him making all these saves:



Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2 good periods 1 bad one = another loss


I have no idea where to begin with this team. I guess since Big Blue are playing in the NFC Championship Game Sunday a football quote will work. In the almighty words of Bill Parcells “You are what your record says you are!” All I hear in press conferences and reports are players saying we have better talent then this, we are better then our records shows etc etc. Well I have to say I believed them for awhile but I do not anymore. This is a .500 team and will battle until the end to make the playoffs. If they do not make it, this will be ranked as one of the most disappointing seasons in Ranger history. Due to the expectations being so high (as Jim Mora said Playofffffssss, why are your talking playofffss) to not make the playoffs would be an absolute disaster. I mean all I heard all off-season was this is a Stanley Cup team.

QUICK NOTES:

Is Henrik done? I know you can always blame someone else for a goal but Henrik is not making the big save anymore. He is the sole reason this team will go anywhere and since he started struggling so has the team. I really expected (especially after the quick start) a Roberto Luongo type year out of him and it is just not happening. I know his dad is sick and an extension is being negotiated, is that the reason??????

This is a 40 minute team. They play a hard, team game for 2 periods (which periods depends on the night). At the start of the season and when they were winning Henrik was able to withstand the bad period they played. So in essence it seems like if Henrik can stand on his head the period the Rangers take off they will win. That is not a formula for winning hockey

Penalties- When will the players be held responsible for there actions. This team reeks of the Bobby Holik, Messier days when all the high priced players could do what they want and not get benched. I mean if Jagr is not showing grit out there or takes 2 bad penalties in a row SIT HIM DOWN. I mean they just take way to many hooking penalties which means to me they are a lazy team, taking lazy penalties.

Renney does at least one thing a game that just baffles me. Second period Rangers are dominating play, I think the shots were 16-2 and they were all over the Pens. 25 seconds left on the PP and a face-off in the Pens zone, score 3-0. I am thinking okay lets win this draw get a quick PP goal and get back in this game. Out comes the HBO LINE….WHAT IS GOING ON. Are you telling the team okay this PP is over lets get back to defensive hockey. If Drury gets out there wins the draw you can easily score within 25 seconds or score right after the PP expires. Tie game or up by a goal or more, fine get Betts and them out there but you are DOWN 3-0.

Heart- what does that mean to a team, well it is your best player diving for a puck to try and get it to the middle, then getting upended by your teammate trying to get to the puck behind the net as your entire goal is to win a loose puck to score that big 4th goal. That is what Sidney Crosby did in the 3rd last night and if that is not a team leader I have no idea what is. I know Jagr is older but he is the Rangers best player and if he is not skating and going 100% other players feed off that.

Goat of the game

STUPID Penalties. One thing that Montreal win masked was the Rangers took 8, count them 8 penalties. You just can not win in this league taking this many lazy and dumb penalties. The Pen game was no different and they got burned.


Column to ponder trade Jagr??????? see link below:


Monday, January 14, 2008

Hot/Cold and Rising/Falling









Hot/Cold and Rising/Falling

I will have a new column every Monday AM. When you get in each Monday log on to the Ranger Blueshirts Review to check on who is hot, who is cold, who is rising, and who is falling. What a way to start the week, add your 2 cents all opinions are welcome.

HOT

Brandon Dubinsky- ever since he dropped to 3rd line Center and not having the pressure of centering the top line, his production and overall on- ice presence has improved. The numbers are starting to come in addition to his overall game.

Cold

Henrik Lundqvist- He did have a solid game vs. Montreal but there is no denying Henrik has been a court jester and not the king the last couple weeks. We will see if the Saturday game was a building block or just an aberration.

Rising
Paul Mara- A point man on the PP that shoots the puck: what an unbelievable concept. Looks like Tom Renney has told Mara get out there and use that cannon on the point. It is a welcome site to see the PP get more then 1-2 shots every 2 minutes. Drury is setting up shop in front and Mara blasting away will hopefully lead to more and more goals.

Falling
Marik Malik- He played well vs. Montreal, but no arguing he was the # 2 defenseman on the top line, start of year and is now a # 6 D-man and usually # 7 D-man on the bench. This one may turn around quickly as I think Renney is going to give him a shot over Strucwick over the next 2weeks. He can play the way his did against Montreal he may replace Mara in the Rising column real quick.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Total Team Effort= 2 points


Well, all was right in Ranger land for one night at least. This was a total and complete team effort with 3 of 4 lines getting in on the scoring and the third line actually leading the way. The DDP (dawes/dubinsky/prucha) line set the tone the entire night. They fore-checked hard and were in the offensive zone all night, they were rewarded with 2 goals. Overall a great game and hopefully we will look back in a month and thinks this was a turnaround game for the Blue shirts.


QUICK NOTES:

I was always a big fan of teams that put together a kid line and most cup winning teams have a high energy, hard skating kid line. Will the DDP line be that line for us? I hope so, the Rangers need contributions from the top 3 lines and this will wear teams down. Dubinsky has really impressed over the last month with some real nice moves and overall game.


I must say I could watch Alexi Kovalev on the PP all night. No matter what you say about his effort, he has the smoothest skating moves and can play with a puck like no other. Watching him as a Ranger was maddening because you know the talent he has and he really never put it all together. He was unreal in the cup run but never shined as a Ranger like he could. Montreal has pushed the right buttons and he is finally tapping that great potential.


Player of the Game


Nigel Dawes was the key to the third line production. His pass was great and then to do the no look shot to get the goalie to open the legs was unreal. I really think this line will be productive and exactly what the Rangers need.


We will see how important this win was if the Rangers can build on it or will they revert back to win 1 lose 1 hockey. Stay tuned.........

Friday, January 11, 2008

NO COMMENT

This will be the shortest post of the year.

The RANGERS SUCK.

RENNEY- Sucks
Henrik- SUCKS
GOMEZ/Jagr/Drury SUCK
Rozie- SUCKS
Hollweg- Congrats but you still SUCK
all other names here- SUCK

The only soliace is a quote from a friend of mine when the Yankees sucked at start of last season

Mark Grossman- "You are not as good as you look, when you are winning, and you are not as bad as you look, when you are losing, they will turn it around".

He said it about the Yankees but I am praying it applies here.

FUCK!!!!!!!!!!! that is all I can say right now. The first time in the year they put me in a really bad mood. FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!